Tagged: career

Storytime Saturday, featuring an excerpt from an unnamed short story.

Here’s a snippet from an upcoming short story. Thanks for reading.

The day that my potato exploded in the microwave was an eye opener. It was a sign…an omen. A message from the powers that be. Maybe I’d nuked that fucker for too long, or maybe I just didn’t give a shit. Either way, that little vegetable bastard decided to commit culinary suicide and blew itself spud first all over the confines of the microwave with a mere five seconds left. I mean, c’mon…it couldn’t have kept its composure for a measly five more seconds? Suck it up, god damn it! I had no money left, I had no lunch, and I was hungry enough to eat the scum out of the bottom of a homeless man’s shoes. It was definitely a sign…an omen…a message from the powers that be.

Storytime Saturday, featuring an excerpt from an as yet untitled piece.

This is intended to be a tale of growth, understanding, and redemption…below is just a snippet.  Check it out if you’d like.  Best of days to all.



I wasn’t worth a damn on paper. In the paper world, the document world, the world of resumes and economic status, I was fucking worthless. Bullshit administrative work here, run of the mill labor there, hum drum office experience way over there…hell, my resume was less than toilet paper. Looking at that bad boy made me question everything. Is this what it had come to? Is this what all the years of busting my ass have amounted to? Jack shit? I may as well have been anonymous. Just another warm body to feed the greedy corporate carnivores. A chalkboard whose teachings had long since been scrubbed clean. 

But clean slates can still educate, right? They can still learn. Clean slates still hold value, however anonymous they are…they can still speak of success. I had to remind myself of that. But I was never successful at anything. Well, failing…I was very good at that. I was successful at failing. Hell, at fucking shit up, I was a professional. The best. I could turn a nugget of gold into a fistful of shit at the drop of a dime. All in a day’s work.  

Storytime Saturday, featuring an excerpt from A Million Little Boxes – a work story. 

I decided that I’d refuse to let a building define me. I’d refuse to allow any company, or entity, or job, or anything define who I was as a person. As a human. As a man. The contents of that building did not define my success. My success was not in there. It’s in here. It’s within my chest. Within this soul. I am defined by who I am, and what I do…what I believe and what I feel…what I’m capable of…not by the whim of some fucking corporation. Interestingly, it was brought to my attention that I may be afraid to move forward, that I feared success more than I feared failure. The thought of that shit had me up in arms, like “what?” You’ve got to be kidding me, right? “All I want is success”, I’d tell myself.  But you know what?  Maybe I was.  

Theatrical Thursday – Big (1988).

The year was 1988. I’d spent countless hours begging my mother incessantly in that desperate, nine year old beggary voice…begging for the chance to see Big in the theaters. I went so far as to cut the picture of it from the film section of the newspaper (it was a big, goofy picture of Tom Hank’s face), and I’d carry it around and show her with the hope of annoying her into taking me to see it. When she finally did, I loved it then and for many years to come. I’ve seen the film about 786 times to date, but seeing it again recently after a very long while opened my eyes to a few key elements that a nine year olds eyes will never see. The main character, Josh Baskin, wished “to be big”; he got his wish, and woke up one morning looking like grown up Tom Hanks. Most of the movie involved Tom acting like he was twelve, but what I hadn’t noticed before was the emphasis on choices. I had no idea that the movie was so complex; taken apart, it had some very deep inner workings.

As an adult, the kid found great success working at MacMillan Toys, great love with Susan (the love interest), and a maturity that most twelve year olds don’t possess. He also earned a pretty powerful conundrum that most kids don’t have to endure; having to choose between prematurely continuing a successful adult life, or reverting back to the comforting reality of his youth. In my opinion, the most powerful scene in the film was when he went back home, in adult form, and witnessed firsthand what he had, and ultimately would, miss out on if he chose the adult path. The ‘innocence’ of youth; friends, games, and family stared him in the face, and either decision that he made was bound to hurt someone. It showed that life revolves around choices, great or minor, and how ultimately, you have to make the decision that’s best for you.

He followed his heart and went back to his family and his young self in the end, but his decision to do so was embedded in my head for a few days after I’d watched the movie. So many of us in life, when confronted with great decisions, freeze up from indecision, and rather than formulate a well-calculated battle plan, we end up making none and float through life under the mercy of fate. It takes incredible character to exert the power of choice, despite the odds. Hey, if the kid in the film was able to make a sound decision that would affect the lives of everyone around him, then we should all be able to, right? Twenty-eight years after seeing Big, I finally got a sense of the soul of the movie; follow your heart, and you can’t go wrong. It’s never too late to learn that message.

Storytime Saturday, featuring an excerpt from A Million Little Boxes – a work story.

The day that my potato exploded in the microwave was an eye opener.  It was a sign…an omen.  A message from the powers that be.  Maybe I’d nuked that fucker for too long, or maybe I just didn’t give a shit.  Either way, that little vegetable bastard decided to commit culinary suicide and blew itself spud first all over the confines of the microwave with a mere five seconds left.  I mean, c’mon…it couldn’t have kept its composure for a measly five more seconds?  Suck it up, god damn it!  I had no money left, I had no lunch, and I was hungry enough to eat the scum out of the bottom of a homeless man’s shoes.
  It was definitely a sign…an omen…a message from the powers that be.

A Million Little Boxes – a work story (excerpt).

The trials of being me:
 “Damn, a year’s already gone by.”
“Fuck, I really can’t believe I’ve wasted two whole years at this place.”

“Yo, please kill me if I make the three year mark.”

“Hey man, for real, throw me off a fucking bridge if I make it here four years.”

“Like seriously dude, something’s seriously wrong with me if I make it to five years.”

“Wow, three months from now will be my six year mark.” 

“Well I’ll be damned. Six fucking years.”

So begins the current situation. Keyboard clicks, telephones ringing, clunky fax machines humming their disjointed rhythms, random chatter, overcooked professionalism, clichéd power phrases, false motivation, no incentives, wilted prospects, dried up ambitions, phony smiles, fake promises, and utter loss of concentration await. Deep breaths.

Monotony – A Story – Part 6

A sharp shudder awoke me from those old thoughts, and the quintessential office cacophony of keyboard clicks, ringing phones, and light chatter swirled around my ears like bad porn music. I’d only dozed off for a scant few minutes, and traded a (quite pleasant) humorous dream for a very real corporate prison cell. Not a good swap; those dreams and daydreams were the fuel that propelled me through the persistent tedium of the day. My screen stared back at me with rows upon rows of untouched work, a dull mishmash of numbers and letters, reports and spreadsheets that I’d scarcely mastered after all the years being there. Those rows and worksheets stared at me with dead, drab, critical eyes, and I stared back at it with equal scorn. It was abnormally cold in the cubicle that morning, and the fluorescent lights above shone down as coldly as a winter star. In the office, it was always either too hot or too cold…as if working in a state of discomfort was somehow great for productivity. I was dreaming of zombies again that day, and those raggedy bastards managed to grab hold of me and tear the hell out of my jugular. Again. I deftly flicked a bit of morning crust from the corner of my eyes and squinted hard in an attempt to refocus them on the computer screen that I’d been staring at for hours; a gang of work needed to be done, and it was only 9 a.m.

Monotony – A Story – Part 5

The highlight of our childish creativity was The Bunker, a hollowed out cluster of unused shelving, walled with a carefully crafted facade of boxes that concealed an inner homemade bar. To the untrained eye, it wouldn’t even garner a second look; it was identical to any other normal, mundane, ordinary wall of boxes. However, this particular Great Wall of Cardboard masterfully concealed a super-secret hideout within that rivaled something that a James Bond villain would have constructed, or perhaps it resembled the lair of some comic book bad guy. In it was our headquarters, our command tent, our private lounge that served as our secret war cabinet. Our Round Table, with each of us looking to fill our Holy Grails with whatever was on tap that day. The effort that went into crafting bubble wrap and cardboard La-Z-Boy recliners and cotton stuffed sleeping mats was labor intensive. Not to mention surreptitiously loading our liquid stash in and out through the drop down hatch that we cut through the wood slats of the pallets that served as the roof. Our cooler was always stocked to the gills with a variety of suds. This was the real deal for us. That was our debaucherous shrine, and we’d retreat to The Bunker to devour a few bottles or cups of the drink of the day, every day. And when we weren’t in our venerated safe zone, we’d just down our spirits from the red plastic Solo cups in broad daylight like it was a house party. Like we owned the joint.

We developed into exceptional drinkers; a functional alcoholism that allowed us to perform at our best with just the right amount of whiskey flowing through our veins. We’d field instructions, calmly attend meetings, and cheerfully converse with the front office staff while being lit to the core on liters of Rum and Diet Dr. Pepper. And no one was the wiser. It was the only way we were able to make it through the monotony of the day, a monotony which by now I hope you sincerely feel. It was an alcohol fueled, fun steeped binge that lasted for years, and invariably suffused our livers and our minds with loads of lasting good memories. But all good things must end at some point, right? The question ticked in my brain every single day, like a turgid time bomb just waiting to explode; what the hell was my purpose? There had to be something that I was good at in life. Thoughts like this lingered in my head on a regular basis as I walked the aisles up and down filling orders. Whatever that ‘something’ was, wasting away under layers of box dust was not it. What was I good at? I was in my twenties, but felt as if I was past my prime, or as if I’d missed the ferry to Success Town. I felt utterly left behind by life, and my fun, yet counterproductive daily dealings only resigned me to that early grave and kept me pinned tightly. There just had to be more to life than this.

Monotony – A Story – Part 2

Do you feel the monotony? Can you hear the annoying scrape of my feet dragging themselves to the bathroom? The stabbing numbness of my slowly adjusting eyes as I try in vain to shield them from the blinding solar glare of the bathroom light? Or how about the pungently aromatic stale air produced by 8 hours of backed up bowels? I stood at the toilet, graciously releasing at least four hours-worth of slightly yellow urine, and let out a long bear growl of relief. One of the few breaths of relief that I get to look forward to over the coming day. Feel that monotony as I clamber into the shower, only to realize that I forgot to buy soap and toothpaste? Ever wash a tired body with dish soap? Feel the monotony.

The sky that day was a deep overcast grey, with thick, overfed clouds spewing their liquid lunch all over the city, making for a slow and sloppy morning commute. I arrived at my gig thirty minutes late (not giving half a shit), and slowly crept into a parking space. It was a lonely, bleak, deserted lot, strewn with unattractively enterprising weeds tangoing out of deep cracks that resembled California fault lines, and year old garbage bleached bone white by a harsh sun. I carelessly swerved into a parking space, which I created myself due to the fading of the yellow dividing lines. It’s a sight you would have expected to see in the former Soviet Union, not twenty first century USA; an aged, crudely built exterior, its walls cleverly stained brown by the rust that rained down from the aluminum roof. It reminded me of coffee stained dentures, or a distasteful hotel room watercolor.