Friday, October 10, 2008


"Fine then love, don't tell share your poem. Won't kill me one bit." Gordon says angrily.

"C'mon guys, let's not get all pissy with each other again, we were just sarting to lighten the mood." Parker says, trying to ease the tension.

'It's cool, I'm just a little tense, and I really want a shower, and a nice bed for a change. These cheap motels and hostels are wreaking havoc on me poor ol' back." Gordon says as he rubs his upper back.

"Well, as soon as we get to a decent town, maybe we can splurge a bit on a nice hotel or somethin', we'll see." Joe says, scratching his head and eyeing the road.

"Yeah, let's just get goin', maybe there's another bus station or somethin' close by." Casey says, as she pulls a smoke from her pack and lights it.

The group starts to walk slowly down the strech of raod. After about 15 mintes of walking, a long black limo pulls up slowly to them, then comes to a stop next to them.

"The hell?" Gordon says. "Fancy." Mali chimes in, eyeing the limo. As they stare at it, the back window slowly rolls down. A young man peeks his head out. He slowly lowers his sunglasses.

"You kids need a lift or somethin'?" he asks, eyeing them all.

"Uh, sure?" Joe says, unsure. He looks around to the group, looking for a consensus.

"Why the fuck not. Always trust a man in a limo." Casey sayy, as she opens on of the doors and gets in. the rest of the group files in, and as soon as they are all in, the limo pulls off, and heads back down the highway.

A few minutes pass, as the group studies the man silently. He looks slightly disheveled, with a think 5 o'clock shadow, an old pair of black slacks, a blue button down shirt with a black blazer over it, and an old pair of sneakers. He slowly pulls a cigarette from a silver case and lights it.

"So uh, what's up guys?" he says, trying to spark a conversation.

'You bloaks do know who this is, right?" Gordon asks.

"Uh, no." Casey says.

"It's Jamie fuckin' Erowid! You know, the American film maker? Indie King of Hollywood?" Gordon says.

"Holy shit! It is!" Mali exclaims. "I totally didn't recognize you, did you do something with your hair?" she asks.

"Uh, no. I havn't slept for a few days, and I'm sure I look like shit, but other than that, I'm pretty sure I havn't done anything different." Jamie says, taking a long drag from his smoke.

"Oh yeah, you're the one who won't put a black person in his movie, ain't you?" Casey asks, sounidng slightly offended.

"God if I had a nickel...I am working on that. You're not the first person to point that out, ya know." Jamie says. "What the fuck are you kids doin' out here anyway? Traveling on the side of the road really isn't the safest thing to be doing. Hotter than fuck out here."

"We're on a little adventure. Goin' cross country telling stories, that kind of thing. What are you doing out here? Shouldn't you be like, writing or filming or something?" Parker asks.

"Well, I was working on a little something, but my publicist said I should attend this little festival in Tempe. Says it might help my rep a little bit. Really, I'll just be board as shit for five hours, then crash at a hotel somewhere, rinse, repeat till I head back to L.A." Jamie says, putting his smoke out, then lighting another.

"Why didn't you just fly out here? It's not like you can be straped for cash or anything, you last flick was huge." Mali says.

"I like the drive. Reminds me of home, the good ol' days if you will. Problem is, we got a little lost, and fuckhead up there has no idea where we are." Jamie says.

"Well, I can tell you where to go, but there's kind of a rule we have with new people." Joe says leaning forward.

"And what would that be?" Jamie asks, leaning back and corssing his legs.

"Well, you have to tell a story. Take this die, roll, it, and that determines what kind of story you tell." Joe answers, handing Jamie the die. Jamie takes it, and rolls in onto a mirror covered in white residue. It lands with three dots facing up.

"What does that mean, story master?" Jamie asks. "Well, you just kind of have to rant about something. Anything, the floor is yours Mr. Erowid." Joe answers.

Ok, lemme tell you something about this here industry. See, I always thought it'd be the glittery place you see on E!, and shit like that. I thought I'd try and avoid the glamour, magazine covers, all that bullshit. problem is, you can't here. Not in this place. They find you. Everywhere you go, someone is watching, and waiting for that slip up. They kiss your ass at first. I can't tell you how many shitty scripts they've thrown at me that I've had to shoot down. They're cool about it, at first. They pretend to respect the fact that you wanna be something different, ya know? Something respectable. Not churn out the same blockbuster shit time after time after time. Then, after you've made a few respectable films, that while they earn critics approval and award nominations and all that shit, you just can't seem to please them. They want more. They want the fuckin' explosions, and shitty dialouge, and forced acting by their shitty teen star of the week. But I don't give them that. Fuck 'em, why should I? I didn't come here for that. I didn't come here to be the next Michael fuckin' Bay, or whoever is making those shitty blow 'em up pictures. And they pretend, once again, to be ok with it. But secretly, their plotting against you. maybe a leak to the press here, not advertising enough there. But it's cool. The key is to not give in at all. They wanna pull funidng out, fuck it. I have enough cash to finance my own shit now. Might as well anyway, be nice to stick it to 'em and show them that I don't need a huge company watching my shit. But for now, I play the game, and wait for the legs of the machine to finally give out. I tell ya, I get off every night thinking of how fun it'll be to finally watch it burn to the ground.

"Sounds like you have quite the bit of pent up frustration Mr. Erowid." Parker says.

"Yeah, but that kinda felt good. It's nice to vent once in awhile. I'll tell you kids what, why don't I put you up somewhere nice in Tempe. My treat, give you a taste of the good life, as they call it." jamie says, as he lights another cigarette.

"Fuckin' A, good life it is!" Gordon exclaims.

"Ok kids, drinks are in the mini-fridge there. Let's have a ball." Jamie says, as the limo speeds down the highway towards Tempe.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


"I guess we could think of something better than a bus," Gordon remarked.

"What do you mean?" Joe asked and Gordon smiled, hooking a thumb over his shoulder. "No,"

"Afraid of a little adventure, mate? Didn't take you for the type,"

"Adventure is one thing, but I don't think Parker will be up for the idea of hitch hiking."

"Parker won't or you won't?"


"Just because you don't want to do it we all shouldn't want to?"

"It isn't like that,"

Gordon frowned and sat in the silence for a while, his fingers scraping against the stubble of his face.

"Wherever we go I'd like to get cleaned up some," he broke in and Joe nodded.

"I never thought I'd miss a bar of soap so much."

"Did you ever hear the story of how soap was discovered?" Mali asked and the pair nodded.

"Bodies and rivers and all that,"

Actually, it started with snowfall.

"Liar," Gordon said and Joe shushed him, pointing to the rolled die.

Or rather, the lack of snow fall. You see, there was a town in the northern part of Europe called Celia. For years they had been celebrated for their incredibly beautiful mountains and for the snow that fell on them. Ancient skiers would come from all parts of the world in order to ride those wonderful white slopes, paying top dollar for just one run down the thick white powder.

One year, however, winter came to the town of Celia, and with it came the flood of people and their skis, yet the snow was no where to be found. The clamor for it in the hills drove the townsfolk to elect one person to climb the mountain and find where it had gone. That person was Edmond Soap.

"Good Christ," Gordon laughed.

"What?" asked Mali.

"Edmond Soap? What sort of name is that, love? What sort of thing are you getting on about?"

"Maybe if you'd let me finish I could get there," she replied.

"Finish what? I mean really,"

"Easy guys," Joe broke in, "let her finish her story."

"If you'll remember it was my poem that got us the money, mate. I think I know a little bit about what makes good writing and what doesn't,"


"And what makes good writing?" Mali asked hotly.

"Not Edmond Soap, I'll tell you that,"

"We all helped get the money, Gordon," said Joe, "All of us."

"Some of us more than others I think," he replied.

"Mali had a great poem,"

"About the old bat and her stories?"

Joe stared hard at Gordon for a long time before turning back to Mali. Her face was bright red and her lips were pulled into a tight white grimace.

"Go on Mali," said Joe and Gordon sighed.

"No," She told them, her face unchanged, "I think I'll just save this one for a different time."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Have I Told Ya'?

I just don't know anymore. These endless hills of blah blah georgous amber waves are wearing thin on me. Like I said before, I miss the damn rain. I miss frequent storms and showers, the bangs and crashes of a lightning overload. It almost adds a sort of adrenaline to life.

This, this is not life. This is drudging. This is dragging your feet and burning your shoulders. This is nonsense.

Call me out of spirit, call me what you want, but it's hard to be a human in these places. I have never felt so lonesome in such an eclectic group of people. Typically, I feel like home in situations like this. Normal, you know? Not anymore. I'm picking the sand from my teeth everytime I talk or smoke a cigarette. I miss what this 'adventure' was like three weeks ago.

You know, it's awesome that we just won all of that money but weren't we doing pretty alright before that even came into play? I almost wish we didn't go for it. Kind of. The extra loot aids in certain simple pleasures but at the same time, what happened to the art of the starving artist? I think the most creative ideas are born out of strife.

and desolate.

Now every time I go to write I feel like I am sleepwalking through the lines, trying to muster the best IDEA I can come up with. Idea? Shouldn't I just be inspired? All you chaps have to talk about now is this AWESOME 800 dollars is that we were blessed with.

I know in this day and age it's a necessity....
but come on guys, don't let this cash replace our creativity.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On the move, they move.

Dry spell.
"Aren't there ways to travel besides buses?" Mali groaned, pausing from her vicious chewing fit on her fingernails only long enough to study the the damage. Outside, the ruddy terrain of northern Arizona drifted by, immense and unchanging and bleached by the sun. She watched for coyotes but saw only minivans on the highway opposite the median.

"We could get a horse," Gordon replied, counting the troupe's treasury again. "Get real cowboy-like. What do you suppose a good pair of spurs go for these days?"

"I don't think I want to be a cowboy," Mali lamented, gnawing on her fingertips.

Casey shifted uneasily and thumbed through the stack of notebooks on her lap. On her third nervous strum, her thumb caught a loose page the wrong way and a thin cut appeared in stark white against her flesh. She winced and brought her thumb to her mouth, suckling the papercut and eying the paper with contempt. "I can't stand the desert," she muttered eventually.

"Why's that?" Joe asked, propping himself on the back of the seat in front of her, contorting his body around the sleeping pile of Parker to face Casey.

Casey shrugged. "It never rains here."

"That's not true, actually!" Mali chimed in. She produced her mobile device from her pocket and her fingers flew across its keys. A few chirps later, she smiled and showed the screen to her comrades. "The average rainfall in Sedona was 1.9 inches last month. So, see? It does rain in the desert."

"That ain't rain," Casey said, shaking her head.

Why are rainy days so much cozier than sunny days? 

Is it the roof of wrinkling darkness that crawls miles above our heads, making even the rainslicked outdoors feel like in-? 

Is it the humidity in the air that clings to our bodies and our clothes that makes us cling to each other? 

Seems like a good summer downpour will ruin just about anyone's day, but not mine. I like it when it rains. My auntie, who lives up in Oregon, has this cottage near the Pacific. Some summers, I'd spend part of my break with her and her kids. We'd play in the ocean and go shopping at the farmer's market in the village. My auntie would bake us oatmeal cookies and sometimes let us have slumber parties in the living room, or at least until our giggling and hollering woke her up and she'd make us go back to our rooms. But my favorite memories are sitting on her porch, wrapped in a blanket with all my cousins, and watching the skies just plain empty.

She used to tell me that the rain was when the whole world needed a good, strong bath; that people were being unfair or unkind to one another, using bad language or throwing mud, and this was just God's way of reminding everyone to clean up their act.

Makes me wonder how these desert-dwellers ever remember to clean up their act if God won't even provide them a shower once in a while.

Casey seemed to snap out of it and returned her gaze to Joe. They shared a look before breaking into a mutual smile. Casey, embarrassed, looked away out the window.

"You're in luck," Joe said.

"Why's that?" Casey asked.

Joe showed her the die she wasn't aware had been rolled. Three little dots smiled back at her.

Monday, October 6, 2008


They approached the building, a secondhand bookstore specializing in obscure or otherwise hard to find reads that sat adjacent to the diner enjoyed previously. It was a quaint brick building, complete with an old spiral staircase that led to the basement shop. The room itself was pleasant, couches interspersed, coffee tables even moreso, each with a unique approach to architecure. Joe found out later, after speaking with the event organizer who also happened to be the owner, the bulk of what's present in the store, both furniture and literature were locally done. Her name was Azlea Dreams. Her parents were hippies and wanted her to start a commune. She wanted no part, instead opting to start a business, but she couldn't quite shake the hippy idealogy.

"I didn't want to live off the earth, which to me equated to being dirt poor. I wanted a comfortable living while also helping my fellow man. I knew a few writers so here I am." She spoke with confidence, her handful of piercings and tattoos couldn't hide her business savvy. Joe was very impressed with how she held herself and inquired, as per the rules, for a piece of advice.

"You're all writers, huh? Well the best advice I ever received was "the purpose of business is to meet as many people as possible." It didn't really make any sense at the time but boy does it now. The characters I've met, the stories I could tell, it's all been a wonderful journey so far. Well as much as I'd love to chat, I have to get this show on the road."

Azlea walked hurriedly to the front, positioning herself before the audience of avant-garde, deviant and otherwise counter-culture crowd that attended the event for what Joe would call mutual ego masturbation. At that time Casey had just finished scribbling in a notebook and began passing it around the lot of them. When it arrived to Gordon, he peered down to see the following:

All of your humanity
All of your insanity
Is mine to see
Is mine to be
A remnant binds my serenity
The cross I bear in amenity
I star at the sky, wishing for the stars
Juxtaposed affection felt from afar
This heart of mine, a conflagration
A brand new burden, a new sensation
I want to be enveloped, consumed in the flames
This onerous euphoria, I bear with no shame
I’ve let you become my whole
A gift of requited soul
Of what was, is and shall ever be
Is yours and mine, ours to see.

Gordon looked up at Casey's curious look and whispered "That's......something."

"It's a duet stupid." Casey verbalized in the most urgent tone a person can maintain while still holding the volume of a whisper. "No, i ge' that, it's just that......we haven't gotten much feelin out of you love. Sure you're nice to Mali, all mother-like, bu' that poem right there is the first bit o' passion we seen o' you."

Casey grabbed the notebook out of his hand and wrote I think there's more to all of us than we show, except maybe you.

Harsh love, but I do put meself out there. It was nice though, like a Disney movie."

"Great, so I'm going to go up there and read off like a cartoon animal shitting rainbows and pissing kittens."

"Mighty harsh on yerself, ye? We'll be fine, with this much material, we're bound to get some mighty dollar."

They each took their turn, Parker reading his, barely capable of maintaing composure given his fear of public speaking. Gordon stood proud, reciting his as if it were an impromptu speech, a fashion that embarrassed his comrades and impressed the struggling lot of artists present. Mali breathed in deep and given the short nature of hers, recited each line with clarity, placing emphasis on key words. It worked well and as she looked up, her confident smile was present to more than just the surprised travelers that brought her there. Casey ended the night, choking back tears as she finished.

As the final communist finished his manifesto deriding any and all governmental policies, Azlea stepped in, inciting an applause from the crowd. Much to their amazement, they secured the top four prizes, which amounted to $800 cash and several certificates to local eateries, providing the lot of them dinner before they stepped on the next bus heading out of the state.