Eating Talking Turtles

24 02 2010

I drove to a town over the railroad tracks, a rural town with gravel roads. They eat talking turtles there. They say that they don’t but that’s a lie. They lure them in with promises of work and friendship and good benefits. My talking turtle friend hitch hiked a ride with me. Can you hitch hike with someone you know? And isn’t that really turtle suicide?

Right away we were pulled over by the cop, because I’m sure that he could see the turtle in the passenger seat. And there was only one cop, because it’s a small town. The cop tried to take the talking turtle in on an infraction of some obscure town law. Only he made it seem like a favor. Told him he would get him a job as a dishwasher in the backroom with racquetball benefits. So once he had the turtle, I decided to get out of there before I they decided they were cannibals. But the main road didn’t go anywhere. It was a dead end, and I had to turn around in someone’s flower bed, my car spitting gravel.

But somehow, I didn’t leave either. I parked my car alongside the road. I left it there for several days with my cell phone and wallet. And I never called home to let anyone know where I was at.  I don’t remember what kept me there so long. Maybe I decided that I couldn’t leave my turtle friend. Maybe my conscience had grown inside of me.

I didn’t find my turtle friend. They invited me in and showed me the racquetball courts. But the racquetball court was transformed into a music room during the day for the children. My racquetball partner and I played the instruments instead of stretching out the room for racquetball. And we ate the children’s Valentine’s Day candy until the teacher came in after hours. We complimented her on her fine classroom, and hoped we didn’t get blamed for the broken sound board in the violin that was broken before we had arrived.

After racquetball, I attended the town meeting. I stood next to the scheming leader who was also the cop. He stood at the edge of a swamp, talking about his great plans to throw the next “brother” into the swamp. I asked how it was going to work since they weren’t really brothers. DNA would show that. He ignored my question. He was trying to set the whole thing up as a crime scene. He wanted it to look a certain way. “Who’s going to push in the next brother?” he asked.  I pushed the cop leader, but he regained his balance. So I pushed even harder the second time and watched him fall into the poisonous sludge. The crowd was quiet. They had adored their leader and believed his lies. All eyes were on me. I walked quickly out of the building and down the street. I had to get back to my car. I hoped it was still there, because I had been inside for almost a week or more. I felt my pocket to make sure my keys were still there. The entire town was behind me, ready to stone me. I picked up my pace.

My car was gone. But Seth Green was there with a tattooed eye. He told me that my car was parked around the corner on the inside of the building (actually a large cultish complex). He said that it was all a set. None of it was real. I could see for myself. Inside there would be placemats for all the actors and visitors, eating meals, ready to watch the debut.

I did look. It was like a grey hair convention in a Big Boy Restaurant. The placemats had our names and rank. Mine read Executive Leader or something like Queen.

I still didn’t believe any of it. I had to get to my car.


Is Gary Dop God?

15 11 2009

The Michigan lottery was just hanging out on the corner of Butternut and 144th with their trailer of lotto cash. The bills were part of a large sheet of perforated cardboard. Each rectangle was worth $1000. It was on a first come first serve basis. Magically, I was the first to arrive and emptied the trailer except for a few bills. I took the sheets rather than trying to separate the bills. It seemed the only logical thing to do.  Before I could count my $1000 pieces of cardboard, I woke up.  

But if you look up dreams about money, it’s never about money. Freudian thought views money as a symbol for excrement. Isn’t it obvious that a pile of cash is really just a pile of shit? I most certainly wouldn’t want to spend it or pay my bills. It’s really that I have a problem with anal fixation, and I’m mentally damaged from strict toilet training as a child. What the fuck? Everything is about sex or shit with Freud.

I played the lotto on Friday the 13th. I didn’t win. This isn’t some happy fairy story. But Jacks won $20 on a scratch off. Maybe her luck was my luck by proximity. Really, I have been more fortunate lately. In September, I was offered and accepted a new job in ICU/TU when the odds of finding a new job in this economy are 5%. I’m not sure who came up with that number, but it makes a good story. The 1st day that I worked  in ICU on my own, I had a seriously critically ill patient on a ventilator with an ART line, CVP line and about 7 IV solutions all working to keep this patient alive. I would not have been surprised if this patient had died, but the patient lived that night and the next night. My new boss sent an e-mail congratulating me on my good work! Me, who was scared shitless to work in ICU.

Last week I received an acceptance letter from Vagabondage Press. They accepted “The Key Collector” for The Battered Suitcase for the Spring 2010 issue.  <INSERT COMMERCIAL HERE.>

It’s not just me either. Some of my MFA buddies have reported prize nominations and acceptances for their writings. My MFA buddies say that this new fortune should be attributed to Gary Dop. Gary Dop is God, they say. He is also a University of Nebraska MFA graduate. It’s rumored that his poetry gets published every month. In fact, he might even get paid to write.  So they follow the Commandments of Dop, hoping that they too can receive publishing blessings. #1 Send out multiple submissions. #2 Snail mail has a better chance of being accepted than e-mail. #3 Keep sending out multiple submissions. Okay, so I don’t really know the commandments, because I don’t believe in Gary Dop. I believe that he exists. I just don’t believe in his supernatural powers. And then I took his name in vain. Gary Dop Damn it! My MFA buddies chastised me. Maybe if I believed in Gary Dop, I’d win the lotto. Maybe I could make a Gary Dop shrine and pray to his mother. Maybe I could hang a painting of him over my bed, so he could look down upon me while I sleep peacefully in my bed and dream about winning the lotto and getting published.