Friday, November 30

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

I want to be the man who takes care of the aquarium. It would be fun to scuba dive in the giant tanks and feed the fish. I would have a trained octopus who would eat out of my hand. There would be a big laboratory where I could learn all about fish when I wasn't taking care of them.

Clopin is cool. He's the smartest guy in all Paris and leader of the bad guys who are really good guys. He knows ventriloquism and does puppet shows. He has cool clown clothes. Plus he sings really high at the beginning of Hunchback of Notre Dame. And he knows magic.

I'd like to be an astronaut. You can jump real high on the moon. You might even be able to go to Mars. It would be super cool to ride in a rocket and watch Earth get real small. I would eat my dinner through a straw. Then I would fart and laugh at the other astronauts because they can't get away. I'd bring back some moon rocks for my Mom.

If you had gorillas for friends you would be awesome. Tarzan is awesome. He can kill a huge snake underwater with a knife. He lives in a tree and swings on vines and yells a lot. He plays with grown-up girls in leopard bikinis. All the jungle animals do what he says. Awesome.

Being a writer would be fun. You could write stories about robots and lasers. Or you could write about animals that talk. You can write about anything in your imagination! Then people would see your book in the store and you would be famous. Or maybe I would write for TV. I would write cartoons and then me and my friends could watch them after school. That would be fun, too.

Mr. Spock. He's a Vulcan. They don't feel stuff. He's really strong and smarter than anybody, even Captain Kirk. He gets to fly around in outer space and meet neat looking aliens and stuff. If I was Mr. Spock I would probably get all A's in math and science. And he does that cool neck pinch thing that can put bullies to sleep.

A bear is the baddest animal ever. He's so mean that none of the other animals will mess with him, even the girl bears. But he is also nice sometimes. He gets to eat salmon and berries and ants and gets to sleep all winter when it's cold. Bears live in a forest in the mountains where I went camping one time. Except polar bears. I don't want to be a polar bear.

Paleontologists look for dinosaur bones. I would like to find a dinosaur nobody ever saw before. Maybe even the biggest dinosaur ever! This guy named Jack Horner found a lady T-rex. I think her name was Susan. He also found some other mother dinosaurs and their eggs with babies inside. I wish I could go back and see real dinosaurs. Stegosaurus is my favorite.

My friend says ninjas are way cooler than pirates. As if. Pirates would sail their ship and blow up the ninja village with a cannon before the ninjas knew they were coming. Ninjas don't have parrots or treasure. They wear black pajamas. Pirates wear big boots and big hats with feathers in they took from some dead guy. Pirates get to live on the ocean and drink rum and climb ropes. Pirates have gnarly beards and bigger swords.

Let's play tag!
- Tiff
- Rennratt
- Shari
- Wordnerd

Tuesday, November 27

Listen Close

This is a work of fiction. Copyright © 2007 Bolt, Ink. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of this work may be copied, retransmitted, reposted, duplicated,
or otherwise used without the express written approval of the author.

Listen Close

That fucker, he’s always watching.

Doctor LaSalle the pusface tries to tell me what’s right, but she’s a philistine. She never listens. She talks and talks but never expresses a coherent thought. How many times do I have to point out the obvious?

Fluoxetine? Please. I eat that shit like candy. Lithium? Might as well swallow the powdered exhaust from a ‘57 Ford. That stuff’ll kill you for sure. Haloperidol? Might work on an earthworm, but not a crocodile like me. Clozapine? Ain’t gonna do it, hombre. I hide it in my corn. Can’t trust corn either. Kernels or pills, what’s the difference? They will both kill you if you aren’t careful.

No one learns any more, that’s the problem. No one really reads a book or feels the hum of the planets or thinks in the darkest safety of the night. There is everything there, more than your mind can hold. But not me. I keep my mind pure and alert and open to everything. That’s why I am free. Intelligence is not bound by ideas others have thought before. You’ve got to go and make reality for yourself.

Listen close: Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Cleopatra’s Needles. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Lawrence Welk. Aluminum nitrate. Jesus turding Christ! It’s all right there! One day they’ll stop cleaning these walls and look at the stuff I’ve written there. Then they’ll see.

The New York Times, Il Papa, Commandant Pusface, my father. They all think they know, but they don’t. They think I don’t know, but I do. I KNOW. I know i know i know i know i know. It’s that knowledge that keeps me safe.

If you’re smart, you’ll listen, and listen close. Pay attention. Beware. Don’t trust anything. Don’t trust anybody.

Because that fucker? He’s always watching.

Thursday, November 1

Exchange Rate

This is a work of fiction. Copyright © 2007 Bolt, Ink. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of this work may be copied, retransmitted, reposted, duplicated,
or otherwise used without the express written approval of the author.

Exchange Rate

¡Sangre de Cristo!” Villareal almost tripped over his mop in his haste to leave the room. He crossed himself twice, intricate tattoos emblazoned on his forearms, the left a glowing Virgin Mary, the right a somber crucifix.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

Ladrón de almas: the thief of souls!” The mummy I was studying, had been studying for a week, stared without eyes. I forgot Villareal was rarely down in the basement, so had never seen our current project.

“Oh, him? He was found in the mountains east of town. He can’t hurt anyone now.” Villereal crossed himself again, grabbed his tools, and fled up the stairs.

I spent the day examining the body and taking notes. The forgotten town in the arid Mexican hills had yielded a wealth of treasures from the nineteenth century, including 23 mummies. For some reason we could not determine, all had been found unburied in a cave, unusual for the time and place in which they had lived. Some were found with thick paper cards embellished in strong, flowing Latin script. Such was the case with Castro, our current project, so named for his card. We called them “inventory tags,” a ghoulish joke that no doubt would have offended our poor beloved janitor.

After bending over the table and peering through magnifying lenses all day, I was ready for a hot meal, a cold drink, and lively music at the cantina. Villareal met me at the top of the stairs.

“Please jefe,” he pleaded, “do not leave me here alone.”

“There is nothing to be afraid of, my friend. Nothing can hurt you here.” I laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “Besides, the night crew will be here soon. Buenos noches.” I left the building, feeling guilty in the frightened gaze of the superstitious Villareal.

The next morning, the janitor greeted me as I opened the museum’s heavy doors. I didn’t recognize him.

“Where is Villareal this morning?” I asked.

Buenos dias, señora. He is not here. I take his place.” A glance at his nametag betrayed his lie. It said Castro. An expanding pool of sickness threatened to rise from my gut. I ran down the stairs to the basement lab. The corpse was still on the examining table, covered in the same dingy cloth.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” my assistant said. “We got another one today.” He pulled back the cloth to reveal a dried, papery face. The features were a grotesque contortion, as if the person had been frozen in panic at the moment of death. “Looks like the night guys moved ol’ Castro.”

My skin went numb. My bones turned cold. My eyes turned the room into stark colors and lines, dark and menacing. I pulled the cloth farther. There, on the parchment-like skin of mummified arms, were the faded representations of the Blessed Virgin and her Son.

I didn’t need to see the old inventory tag to know what it read now.