“Don’t Wanna Fight”

redeye-alabama-shakes-video-20150210

The band: Alabama Shakes

The song: “Don’t Wanna Fight”

Alabama Shakes is a band that I first listened to back in 2011. I was sitting on the living room floor at a friend’s party when Brittany Howard came on the television set. She sang “Hold On” and I remember feeling grateful. Grateful that somebody was talking about the struggle that comes from holding on to a dream. Today, the band’s lyrics continue to inspire me.

I’m just your local part-time server who is familiar with having a bad day at work. It’s the kind where the restaurant is full and only three servers are working the floor. Every guest wants, of course, their refill of coffee as soon as I am delivering another one’s eggs. I might be a fairy but there isn’t a wand powerful enough to make everyone happy.

“Excuse me, have you been helped yet?” I said to a table of four. They had been sitting in the corner of my eye for the past couple of minutes.

“No,” They said. I smiled and apologized before taking their orders. Even though it wasn’t a table in my section, I understood how it could have been overlooked. Attention is like a Sticky Toy Hand that a server throws in every direction during a Rush. Sometimes it pulls away too quickly because someone is shouting for more free bread.

Back in the kitchen I stood by the computer. On it I saw all the tables that were waiting to be delivered. Four red squares stared into the back of my head. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to deliver them all and hand out checks to the other tables in a timely fashion. My coworkers were just as busy as I was.

“Your food is up,” my coworker said from behind me. I felt my heart speed past the adrenaline rush and straight into panic mode.

“Can you help me, please,” I said. Drops of sweat were trickling down my backside. My coworker agreed while I handed out the last of my checks. As I headed back into the kitchen I remember feeling relief, like it was all going to be okay.

“There should be ten orders there,” I pointed out to my coworker, as soon I was back in the kitchen. They nodded just as another order popped up in the window. I told them to go on ahead while I plated this one. It was for the table of four that I picked up.

I counted, “One. Two. Three…” There were only three orders. I had forgotten to punch in the last one. I felt my arm wrap itself around my waist. My stomach turned like a waffle in its iron. I didn’t know what to do. It would take another five minutes to cook their meal. I checked the time-ticket and saw that it was already twenty-minutes old.

“I’m sorry. That was my fault,” I said to them. “It’ll be right out.”

The boy sighed. “We’ve all been coming here a long time and this is the worst service ever.” The three girls around him waited for me to respond. A cold wind blew through my open lips. I wanted to tell him that I had five other tables and one of them had ten people. I could have easily pointed this out to him except I couldn’t. My job is to serve him his food.

“I’m sorry.” I said again and made my way to the ten top behind us.

“How is everything?”I said. A woman in the corner waved me over.

“There wasn’t any bacon in my wrap,” She said. I apologized before walking to my manager’s office. I explained to them the situations at hand.

“I made her wrap and there was bacon in it.” They said. I rolled my hands into fists. I knew then that it wouldn’t make a difference what I had done. Each table was going to complain about something. Still, I had to deliver their checks with a smile. My manager walked out to check on each person before discounting their meals.

I followed him until suddenly “Don’t Wanna Fight” came on the radio. Brittany Howard’s wheeze perfectly described the frustration I felt. There was no explanation that I could have given to either person, because I wasn’t allowed to speak. I had to lay down my pride along with the check.

That’s exactly what I did, but at least I had Howard’s words in the background.

Advertisements

Noble Phoebe

catcher-in-the-rye-2

Dear Friends,

Today has been a delightful one. I am putting the final touches on my literary paper. It’s about the speaker’s self-discovery in “Theme For English B” by Langston Hughes. I’m having a lot of fun with it. Meanwhile, I’ve finished reading Catcher in the Rye for my pleasure reading list. It’s an insightful novel that most people get to read in High School or Middle School. However, my opportunity never came along due to a constant change in class scheduling.

Here is a favorite quote of mine :

Here’s what he said: ‘The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.

I love it because of how it compares the novel’s characters to the protagonist. Holden is forever criticizing the “phoniness” of the boys and girls he meets. I say that because they are consistently avoiding their conscious desires with meaningless talk. This to me makes them children, yet ironically Phoebe is the only one Holden prefers talking to. They talk about celebrities (The Lavender Bar), the theater (Sally), or avoid talking altogether (The Wicker Bar). Phoebe, however,  is the only one willing to ask her brother about his life.

I think this makes her a noble character and person. She is a ten-year-old that knows what she wants. She wants to be Benedict Arnold in her school play. That goal might seem simple but it’s honest. Everyone else trades in their desires for attention like Hollywood deals (D.B) and a normal life (Sally). I’m not sure where this puts Holden on my scale but I’m glad to have read this novel.

-BoyKitsch

2015 Bulletin Board

site-bboard-pre-v1-jkr

Friends,

Thank you for coming back.

  • Since that time I’ve completed two college courses and am ready to start blogging again. I stopped writing it because I was concerned about its content. While my stories may have been entertaining they weren’t always truthful. Truthful to me means a direct play-by-play without any opinionated words to describe people. This is impossible for me to do so I must change the content of which I write.
  • Literary Theories, Paintings, Artists, and Music are just a few things that interest me. I love these things because of their impressions on culture. People can carry away many interpretations from just a single art piece. Yet, they aren’t always willing to share that influence with others. I’m one of those people because often times I feel overlooked. I am a seclusive person by nature but when I do speak to friends I don’t think they listen. In effort to overcome that insecurity I write.
  • I write because I want to reach people. I want to hear their opinions because that way mine can keep growing. Conversations, though, can only start after someone breaks the ice. Smash!  Maybe now we can talk about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao or Glee. I know that they both opened up my perspective on music and internalized racism.

-BoyKitsch

Morning Lion

In my bed I once awoke to find a lion sitting at the foot of it. My first instinct wasn’t to scream as perhaps someone, a less imaginative-someone, might have done. It’s golden mane was unlike any one I saw ever in my dreams. I didn’t want it to disappear so I forfeited sleep and comfort. I crawled slowly towards the beast. The bed seemed longer than I remembered it to be. Through tunnels and mountains my body tumbled. Even through an avalanche of pillows did I not take my eyes off the brilliant beast. It’s pearlescent teeth reminded me of a pirate treasure I buried beneath the ocean when still an adolescent. The closer we came together the more familiar our friendship seemed to be. I couldn’t remember the last time we met but that didn’t seem to be important. I knew that approaching it was not against the laws of nature. So I came as close to it as possible but still did not touch it, for there was still the fear of it being an illusion. I could smell oatmeal in it’s mane, the kind my father served me every morning before school. We talked for several minutes about Kindness before it reminded me that no one deserves solitude. I saw it’s paw shiver and that’s when I noticed the sun was beginning to leak through the blinds. I asked it not to go. It promised to come back. I hope so.

Books and a Blog

“It’s a small move I’ve made to move past the first page”

In the beginning there was a collection of notebooks in my possession. Each had a single page filled out with multiple adventures. Monsters ran through sentences before jumping the hurdle into a story about a Florida romance. On the bottom was always the prophet’s signature, a coffee stain I left behind before watching my favorite television program.

between-the-bookends-660x481

For years they stood like props around my bedroom. Invited guests sat among the books and talked about things I didn’t understand. Ambition, College, Fame, Creativity, were all words similar to the ones written on the first pages. There was a difference between the spoken and the printed though.

In conversation people talked about their achievements. There was a gallery down the street in which one of them had just ran an art exhibition. On the bottom of each piece was a familiar signature. It was the same one I saw on a story printed in a literary journal. My friends were achieving something while I sat in an altar.

I learned that the world runs by the success of having done something. So I began this blog because I wanted some proof of this law. My stories have been about travels, small ambitions like college, and at best some fiction. It’s a collection I’m proud of even though I do miss the smell of ink on paper. So every now and then I return the cove beneath my bed.

Hello Friend

We hadn’t spoken very much, recently. I kept missing your calls, although the time I picked up there was no one at the other end. It was like you vanished completely that not even your dog knew where you were. I had to feed him amounts of food that depleted my life’s savings. He’ll never be the same.

I wandered about your flat for several days. Every room had a photograph of us in it, the likes of which sent me miles back into memory. The first moment I remembered, which is to say the one that still plagues the heart, is of our last kiss. I held your bottom lip between a smile before saying, “I love you”. That’s where it ended.

I slept in your bed, turning with every nightmare of your absence. We would never have time together under the mistletoe. Every winter we’d walk into town and buy the most colorful ornament for our Christmas tree. It was a tradition that was carried from our childhoods’, although we made them instead. Your’s always had the most curious of shapes. Like a cloud it transformed from small to big to being a rectangle to being a horse. Mine were that much boring compared to yours.

I don’t know where you’ve gone to but I hope you’ll come back soon. In the meantime I’ve taken the liberty of keeping Lord Byron. He’ll never survive on his own.

Sincerely

Kryptonite

I won’t try to make this creative. Artists proclaim that struggle is a field for harvesting inspiration. This is not true. I have written, erased, rewritten the same sentence for over four days. Working on thesis papers has been my all time weakness in college. Being an English major and I’ve locked myself in a room full of Kryptonite. 

I don’t know what to do. These papers are the very reason I dropped out of college the first time. Except, I just had a brilliant idea. A shiny key to unlock this door may be within my reach under a certain pile of green glowing embers.

-Signing off early in search off hope

Logging Off

When I first started blogging my attention was immediately drawn to gay blogs. I wanted advice on finding romance because I reasoned that gay romance is different than heterosexual. Experiences can be similar but the pieces belongs to a different cultural-puzzle.

A piece of it is the Grindr App, one that has helps spark conversations between non-heterosexual (I say this in light of transexuals, bisexuals, etc.)  men since 2009. It has personally helped me gain the attention of men that were perhaps too shy to meet in person. Not to say all pursuits were welcomed.

Recently, I had an encounter with someone whose profile expressed honesty. He wanted a person to be direct with their wants. I thought to myself, a reasonable request. Not all men can be straightforwards and thus has been a problem in previous relationships. I’d rather someone tell me they are “looking” rather than have me type twenty texts thinking we are “connecting.”

Me:Looking? 

Him: No.

Me: Cool. Neither am I. 

We continued small talk. It was all me telling corny jokes. I wasn’t trying to impress him but ya never know when a corny joke might hit a sweet spot.

Him: Let me be rudely honest I don’t care. I am looking but not for you. You are too short for me.

I logged out leaving a few bitter words which I now regret. The conversation hadn’t been my first turn-down but it left me wondering why I logged on day in and day out. Entirely, the app is a community of  men that choose to log on. They are NOT the only men. I think this is a good phrase worthy of being slabbed on some LGBT pamphlet.

Coming out of the closet wasn’t easy so I turned to Internet Cafes instead. There I promptly made as many fake names as someone named Madonna wishes she could. In the end though there was nothing to gain except fake boyfriends that didn’t make me feel any more loved or accepted. So I deleted them all and found a GLBT center called Compass with the fortunate help of my parents.

It’s been eight years later and I’m sure boys soon to be men are turning online to come out. As I’m sure men are turning on to “get off”. They both are looking for something that probably lies within the same arena. Quite frankly though I am not concerned about either at this point. Somebody different is who I am becoming with online anonymity. I don’t like that person.

I’ve logged off.

Junot Diaz on Writing (Well sort of)

Junot Diaz on writing (well sort of). Great pieces aren’t ready after one session of writing and if they are well praise be to you. One session means you haven’t enjoyed the adventure (I think.) Spending quality time with my characters and plots is truly a gift. I’ll try not to remember the imaginary awards of writing. Instead I’ll focus on the voice that comes from my papers.


You edit fiction for The Boston Review. What do you look for in a great short story? And what would make you want to immediately slip a story into the paper shredder?

Ha! Well, nothing calls for the paper shredder like a story that the writer clearly hasn’t sat on. A story that hasn’t been rewritten, or rewritten enough. So many writers that I encounter send their work in so soon. It shows, it really does. In the end all of us are subjective when it comes to what we’re reading for. As an editor you try to expand that, become a little bit wider, because you’re publishing for a readership larger than yourself. In the end what I’m looking for, which I think is what everyone looks for, is something that sings. More technically, something that is aesthetically beautiful and that challenges people’s sense of the form, and of the world that they live in. We all want to be arrested, to walk away turning over a good piece of fiction in our head. That’s my guide.

Ready, Set, Done

Today’s Daily Prompt was about anything I wanted to discuss. I chose a short-story by the looks of it. Please read, comment, and most of all enjoy. Oh, also subscribe!


She found me when no one else was looking. In the paper, three weeks back, the headline read DEATH BY POPULAR DEMAND. There were quizzical looks everywhere from the grocery store to the inside of college libraries. Neither man nor scholar could figure out what the title meant by first glance. So on they read.

The story told of a dead twenty-four year old boy and his ultimate demise. He wasn’t special by the looks of the newspaper photograph but the words on the outside spelled A-r-t-i-s-t. Five years of art school had instilled in him a kind of confidence not found in books. “He loved the world and so himself.” became a popular quote from the printed piece. The boy had said this to practically all the university professors.

It was a tragic story of how he was found on the fifteenth floor of the Heart Studio Apartments. Paint mixed with blood on a canvas that framed suicide. I think that’s when people decided to stop looking for me. Another artist gone too soon by his own doing.

“But I knew that you wouldn’t leave.” she said upon finding me. My consciousness was barely stable and so I thought her an angel. A real angel with fluffy wings when later I’d discover it was hair.

“They took you away because what you had to offer was something much bigger than a mural or scholarship. On your canvas was a theory of worlds. Universes hidden in bristles, disguised as brushes. I think you broke the laws of time. My dear sweet Amin.”