Showing posts from December, 2023

Non Compos Mentis

Proof that I have problems: Whenever I leave my apartment I press on the door three times, after having locked it, so to confirm it secure. I may even be out of the building and half way down the block when I’ll stop and turn and go back to check the door once more. (In my defense, I succumb to this last compulsion infrequently.) I have multiple copies on various media of everything I’ve ever typed into the computer. I take a floppy disk copy of said writings—secured within two Ziploc baggies—wherever I go. * Of the writings that are not recorded into the computer (id est, upon/within various notepads and notebooks), I keep most of them, along with an autographed copy of Mamet’s The Old Religion , in the freezer. (Said freezer is of the non-ice accumulating variety.) The rationale: fire protection. All of my valuables (which carry little value beyond the bounds of mine own heart) are hidden in odd places. I shall not detail such “odd places” upon these pages, dear reader, lest you be

Cock and Bull

The restoration of the giant shack next door was NOT  proceeding according to plan. This much was clear given the view from my window. * The fools they hired botched the job and the shack toppled into my building. Either the shack was stronger than it looked, or my building was a great deal less stable than it seemed. Whichever the case, I had but minutes to gather all of my valuables and escape certain death. I loaded my backpack with rare books. I took an autographed first edition copy of Mamet’s The Old Religion (in which he scribbled ((to me)), “Thank you for your most kind words”), along with a first edition copy of his first novel, The Cabin (which I have yet to read † ); I also packed my Harry Potter books (British editions all, and a bulky lot, to be sure); and somehow I managed to cram in my thick, hardcover volume of Richard Matheson’s The Twilight Zone Scripts . And then, just as the walls of my wee studio efficiency apartment gave way, I fled.  Over the next few weeks, a

It's Ok, Though

For the second time this week a girl—a beautiful girl—looked my way with desire in her eyes. I’m serious . It was desire! I tell you: DESIRE! And I did nothing— nothing! —but smile back. * This inaction, albeit chivalric , left me in a sour mood. Sour . SOUR! I left work a short while later hungry and ticked off. The weather outside: raining—no: sleeting! The fierce , unrelenting wind very nearly murdered an umbrella I’d owned for a decade. (Well, perhaps I owned it for only a half -decade, but still closer to a full decade than an actual half-decade. So, like, seven years? Six and a half? The point is that I’ve never owned an umbrella for this long in my entire life.) Whilst battling the elements, I stepped into a frigid puddle of dirty water— filthy, oily curbside water. It seeped through my left shoe, soaked the sock, and all but froze my foot to death. Amputation seemed a likely possibility. All this, only to find: no new issue of PerformInk . Meaning: I’d walked blocks

S T R E A M # 2 5

Start: Ah. Nerves. Plenty for tonight and tomorrow night. Tonight, barring The Unforeseen, the Gods have allotted another potential Fifteen Minutes of Fame for the FireVaney. The Gods bend over backwards for this clumsy schlep. And he’s going in unprepared. That’s right, folks, he’s Winging It! That’s okay. (It’s also OK, and Ok, and okey-dokey.) Well, it’ll be okay so long as he doesn’t stutter too much. His objective is to add interesting and amusing Input to The Ongoing. Then again, for all he knows, he might not get past security. They seem to play it fast and loose over there. Either way, it should be, at minimum, “interesting.” And then there’s tomorrow night. Looks like he’s going it alone. Like the ole Os Man liked to say in the face of possible catastrophe: “It’s all good.” That’s the notion FireVaney must cling to. The turtle won’t get nowhere until he sticks his neck out. Golly, this ain’t no Stream. This is a Stumble Through. STREAM, DAMNIT! The point is not to eat cheese


My new next door neighbor regularly struggles to unlock the door to her apartment. As a result, she’s struck up a friendship with the building manager’s wife. This new neighbor is apodictically elderly, while the building manager’s wife is nearly, but not quite, elderly. (My apologies. You’d think, by now, I could offer better descriptions. At least I made use of “apodictically.” There’s a ten-dollar word you don’t run your eyes across every day, eh?) After the building manager’s wife managed to unlock the troublesome door, the two babushkas continued their hallway confabulation. That is, they did so in the space between my new neighbor’s door and that of my own. I’d had a late night and their chitchat woke me up. Since they were responsible for disturbing me, I felt it well within my rights to eavesdrop. Let’s call the building manager’s wife, “Olga.” The name seems to fit. * Olga could not believe that my new neighbor (whom we’ll call, “Blanch”) did not own a television set. † “Wh