Yesterday I had plans to meet a friend for drinks at a German joint called Der Biergarten in downtown Atlanta. Not wanting to deal with downtown parking or driving after a few steinfuls, I booked an Uber to pick me up from my house in Cabbagetown. Immediately after hitting “Request UberX” the driver calls me.
“Hi! This is Jared, your Uber driver. How are you?”
“I’m good, and you?”
“I’m great. So how are you?”
Pause. “I’m fine,” I say hesitantly, having not the slightest clue what is happening.
“I wanted to ask if it’s OK if I have a friend riding with me.” No explanation as to why.
“Yeah that’s fine,” I reply. My first thought was that he’s simply giving his friend a ride somewhere and is doing double duty. My other thought was that it’s probably just two dudes riding around like we used to do when we were in high school and the only things to do were drive around, or hang out in the Walmart parking lot or in the woods. I found out immediately that it was the latter. Continue reading
There was a point when I was in elementary school that my mom was pretty much my best friend. When I first started school and she still had her paper route she would sometimes let me stay home sick so we could play hooky. We’d get McDonald’s for lunch and rent movies like Splash from Blockbuster. We’d laugh and joke. Probably make fun of things as we were wont to do. There’s a scene from the movie “Say Anything” when Diane Court’s father is trying to figure out what’s going on with her and he implores her, “You know you can say anything to me.” That’s how it was with my parents, I could say anything to them.
I remember once I got old enough to start going out with friends and start making big girl mistakes they sat me down and told me: No matter what you do, what happens in your life whether you kill someone, get pregnant, rob a bank, anything. We will help you. I never forgot that.
When I was really little, before I started school, mom worked a paper route and many times I would go with her. She would wake me up at three in the morning, make us each a cherry Pop-Tart wrapped in a napkin and a little glass of milk for the road. We would drive out to a bank where all the paper deliverers met and rolled their papers for the morning. Then we would drive through the Trailer Haven trailer park while it was still pitch dark and mom would cruise through the lanes and whip the papers out the window of her Toyota while she played Fleetwood Mac. Continue reading
Note: The idea for this letter came from my very dear friend, Satan M.D.
Dear Latina Janitorial Staff at Every Corporate Job I’ve Ever Had,
Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Your judgement is wrapped so completely in apathetic boredom that it appears nonexistent but I know it’s there. I know that behind those half-lidded eyes, that gum-chewing maw, those pink Gumy Reggaeton-blasting earbuds, beneath that messy bun of hip length, gloriously lustrous and full-bodied brown hair, deep inside that cranium, you’re judging me. You’re seeing that I’m still working at 6:45 p.m. and you’re thinking, “This perra must suck at her job.”
So now I’m informing you that, on behalf of every corporate employee ever, I don’t appreciate it.
You don’t know me. Maybe I’m so dedicated to my team, my job and my impending promotion that I work twelve hours a day, sacrificing all personal needs and any shred of remaining social life. Or more realistically, maybe I spent half the day sexting that random bartender I finally heard back from and now I’m playing catch-up. Either way, there are important things afoot and I would like to attend to them sans judgment. Continue reading
In June of last year, I started working as a copywriter and content creator for a gargantuan national retailer, by far the largest corporation I’ve ever worked for. Along with learning the veritable alphabet soup of job position and department acronyms, I started to become keenly aware of the liberal, one might even say egregious, use of corporate jargon.
The jargon goes far beyond laughable terms like “synergy” and “paradigm shift,” and has weaseled its way into everyday, non-meeting conversations. Some are barely noticeable, like physical tics, and others are so horrifying they make you want to move to Iowa and become a beet farmer, leaving the board rooms far behind. Continue reading
After three and a half years of living in Atlanta, I finally made it out of suburgatory and moved to the city. Not to say that my time in Chambodia wasn’t great; where else in the South can you get a car wash, a lap dance, and an authentic bowl of pho at 3 a.m.?
That said, my life has improved infinitely in the short time that I’ve been in the city. I’ve ditched the cuntadactyl of a roommate I was living with, adopted Humphrey
and threw a bitchin’ house party.
Please note that during this time I was in the longest sustained amphetamine-free blackout in personal history: roughly six and a half hours. Therefore most of this recap is a combination of speculation, pieced-together secondhand accounts, and several eyewitness reports.
There Goes the Neighborhood
Enter at your own risk. Continue reading
I could say that this is a bullshit holiday invented by capitalist pig greeting card companies and manufacturers of waxy, mediocre chocolates. These same companies that undoubtedly have contracts with Weight Watchers and 100 Calorie Packs, which as we all know, if you mow down a box of six, does not equal 600 calories. It’s science.
None of this is untrue, but there’s another side to this ugly die. Let’s all keep this in mind as we approach this miserable holiday:
Even when you are head-over-heels, shit-eating grin, dance around the house, window-licking in love, Valentine’s Day still sucks.
It never won’t suck. Continue reading
Dear Woman Sitting Behind Me in 12A on This Flight to Vegas,
For the last two and a half hours I’ve been suppressing a distinct and snowballing hatred for you. You insist on squawking at full volume on and on about all the mundane things that come to your mind. Dismal proof of your repressed suburban life. Mindless chatter that sets those subjected to it back decades of intellectual years when heard at normal volume, but at your chosen decibel level, it’s simply unbearable.
And of course, you have a Southern accent which makes your inane yammering sound, if at all possible, more vapid.
As if that was not enough, after one and a half Shock Tops you’ve taken to laughing at everything you say. Your favorite topic has been how ridiculously hot it is on this plane. When the flight attended asked you if you wanted anything you requested air conditioning and then threatened to “strip down to your skivvies.” I got a good look at you when you went to use the lavatory, and seeing you in your skivvies would be an event so unholy, I would sell my own mother into white slavery to keep your clothes on. Continue reading
Today I found my reason for living.
I am straight as an arrow, but with that black hair and throat tattoo, I would give up men forever. If she handed me a pair of sneakers and a cup of Kool-Aid I would put them on, drink it, and follow her until my body ceased to function.
Her name is Mlny Parsonz and she fronts the Atlanta band Royal Thunder.
Royal Thunder. Prepare yourself.
Editor’s Note: This was a rant that I wrote my first year at SCAD in 2007-08. I submitted it to District, SCAD’s newspaper, the following year but of course it didn’t get published.
We’ve all been to one at some point in our lives, or at least we’ve seen the pictures. The mindless droll that sets us back five intellectual years with every photo we see. I’m talking about Eighties-themed parties. You can’t spend a weekend on a college campus without hearing about one.
Party of the year
The first quarter I was at SCAD, I got invited to “The Party of the Year,” according to some very credible sources and Facebook bullshit. My knee-jerk reaction was to say no because it was, in fact, an Eighties party. I get dragged to said party because I have unfortunate lapses of judgment and moments of pathetic weakness.
Since these events are always about the clothes, my wardrobe choice was an outfit a la Debbie Harry-meets-Nancy Spungen (deceased girlfriend of the Sex Pistols bassist, Sid Vicious). It was a completely ridiculous mix of glam rock and punk including a leather jacket and overly teased hair.
I didn’t expect too many people to be dressed as ‘80s punks, but when a friend told me he was going as Dee Snider, I figured there would be a few people there representing hair metal, or glam rock like David Bowie. At the very least, I expected to see some power suits with huge shoulder pads and skinny ties, because let’s face it: it doesn’t matter if you’re in a nursing home or the fourth grade, everyone’s seen Miami Vice.
I was wrong.
A few weeks ago I finished reading a memoir called Townie by Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog. Townie was a powerful book on multiple levels; it was raw and visceral, heartbreaking, and utterly inspiring to me as a writer.
Townie is a story of what it’s like to grow up poor, nearly fatherless, and fighting for your life in the streets of Boston in the 1970s and ’80s. It spares no gritty detail on back alleys filled with cigarette butts and broken glass, passing around a pint of Southern Comfort and a joint waiting for the school bus to take them to middle school, and the persistent, soul-crushing stench of the brown, bubbling Merrimack River.
The Merrimack: Where childhoods go to die.