From Rags to Wings

My best friend Lauren and I were broke the other day.

I use “were” because we are technically no longer broke as we proceeded to execute a series of money grubbing parlor tricks that would put Bonnie and Clyde to shame.

Lauren is a bartender while I am a waiter. If I could describe Lauren in one mental exercise it would be this – think Lindsay Lohan packaged in Blake Lively’s body. Oh yes, it is true. She is one of a kind and I love her dearly.

There are two different reasons why Lauren and I both find ourselves broke on a near frequent basis. Her’s is that she blows more money than a coked up Howard Hughes during an Amazon search. Mine is that I make such piss pour tips that the only thing in my Amazon shopping cart is a direct message from Jeff Bezos that reads, “bitch, please.”

First, Lilo and I raided our cars, bags, apartments and couches for any spare change we could find. We took that change and went to the local Chumash casino where we cashed our treasure trove in at the coin machine for seventy-five big ones. We took that money and proceeded to lose a quarter of it on slots before hitting it big with a winning streak that showered us with a cool two-hundred and fifty-six dollars. We soon came to our senses and cashed out before coming up with another stroke of brilliance – hawking the spare tire on my truck for an on the fly sum of eighty bucks. It is an idea that I might come to regret once I actually do pop a tire, but as the great Scarlett O’Hara proclaimed, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”

One of the many prized studs in Lauren’s barn had recently given her a pair of boots. They were brand new Stetsons, which we proceeded to sell on eBay for a cool NastyGal profit of two-hundred and thirty dollars. At this stage of the game we were tired of our entrepreneurial pursuits and decided to reap the rewards of our scrappy success. So what did we do? Well…Ladies first.

Lauren proceeded to get out of town and go visit one of the male victims on her roster (not the poor schmuck who gifted her the boots). She had him buy her a plane ticket to fly out to Arizona the next day. Sadly however, he bought this nonrefundable ticket in his name and had to eat it. This meant Lauren had to eat it as well and use her hard earned cash to drive her ass out all the way from California to Arizona. How did she get a week and a half off from her job at the bar you ask? Simple. She went to the doctor, faked mono and got herself a solid gold doctor’s note.

I proceeded to execute a much more economical and boring spending spree. I was hungry, so the first thing I did was go to the local grocery store and stock up on fixings for grade-A quesadillas. There, in the center of El Rancho Market, was the famous El Rancho chicken wing bar – a delicious temple of chicken goodness that all locals worship. But their price for religious expression is eleven dollars per pound. Call me crazy but that is a little excessive. So, trying to economize and be responsible, I decided to burn some Karma points and swipe one tiny wing from the temple’s alter. The god’s of the grocery store caught me in my sin. I now shop at Albertsons in the next town over.

Cheers to hustling folks!

 

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I have what it takes…

I just now realized that there are no pictures, selfies, or portraits of me on here. Perhaps I will post one in the future and kill one of the last few shreds of dignity that I have left. When that moment comes, you – the whole two people who are reading this right now – will see that I look thirteen years old and appear to be embarking on my freshmen year in high school. The truth is that I am twenty-three, a college graduate, and currently working as a waiter at a steakhouse. Oh yes, don’t let my babyface fool you, this is what my version of adulthood looks like.

My degree was in business. Too bad I didn’t get my shit together earlier and fight for a major that I was actually passionate about. But coulda shoulda woulda bitches, I’m fighting for my dream job now.

Writing during the day to eventually serve during the night is sort of like having sex with a blow up doll that pops right before climax – you wish your were doing the real thing, and then as soon as you fool yourself into thinking that you are, the fun is over…the illusion ends. I hope that one day my blow up doll becomes real and doesn’t end up popping. Translation – I hope that one day I can actually write as a real novelist and not have to end my days wanting to slit my wrists with a butter knife while I bring some snot nosed little shit his Roy Rodgers.

Did I mention I am not only a server, but a “host” as well? I prefer to just rock it and call myself a hostess. Why not right? Just slap a rack on me and let me take you to your table with a smile. I often find myself talking in some sort of heightened voice to customers as though a tiny gnome lives in my pants permanently cupping my balls. I’ve been called “miss” a time or two by a menagerie of customers who are trying to order a to-go steak. The phone rings every thirty seconds and I answer it with the ever professional response of, “Black Barn Steakhouse, how may I help you?” I don’t know why my professional voice reaches a pitch that only dogs can hear. Perhaps it is a mystery that I will never solve. It is a question that deepens due to the fact that I find myself deepening my voice when I’m not working to counteract the tiny gnome’s work molestations.

Recently I had a customer call me to inquire about her reservation. She asked wether or not she had a good table due to the fact that it was her parents fifty-sixth wedding anniversary. The little gnome squeezed my balls and I proceeded to convey in a voice like that of Mickey Mouse that she did, in fact, have a good table. This was followed by a delightful treasure chest of questions in regard to free desserts, the kinds of free desserts, and the air conditioning of the wonderful establishment in which I work. The culmination came with an in person meet and greet where her table was not satisfactory and a move to two more tables was required. It all ended with a handshake, a smile, and the wonderful compliment of, “young man, for only being in high school you have what it takes.” I smiled, thanked her, and returned to stand behind my podium. There, in the glow of the POS system, I pondered the compliment…I’m twenty-three, a college graduate, and I have what it takes to be a seating hostess in a steakhouse. Even the gnome in my pants was kicked in the balls on that one.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know I don’t have it bad. It’s not exactly like I’m handing out condoms on a peace corp mission in the middle of the Congo while I wait for literary agents to read my queries. I refuse to get drunk on self pity, despite the thirst of my inner martyr. I hate being a waiter. I hate working in a restaurant. I hate when my sex doll pops (for the record I do not have a sex doll…Yikes!). But I hate the thought of giving in and giving up even more.

The moment behind that podium reminded me of a little cult classic gem called Galaxy Quest. In that fine piece of cinematic history, Tim Allen recites his Captain Kirk-esque line of, “never give up…never surrender.” I am currently clinging to the belief that I have what it takes to do just that. But I admit that sometimes I think about the upside down version of that very same question…What if I don’t? 

 

 

 

 

THE DEPTHS OF PRETEND

Here is just a hint of what I’ve been playing with today. It is a short story that I’m writing. Hope to post the rest of it soon and get your feedback!

THE DEPTHS OF PRETEND

Macabre, Montana would be unknown to the world if it were not for one single fact. The town of twenty-three hundred people owes it’s one shred of infamy to the fact that novelist Kayhill Ellenwood has forever called it his home.
Much like the town in which he has always lived, Mr. Ellenwood is famous for only one thing. A single novel, Little Things, was published nearly twenty-five years ago. It tells the tale of a young girl named Little and her battle to save her father from demons she calls the “Things”. It was the last story destined to escape Mr. Ellenwood’s mind, for the time since its first printing has not been kind. But this is not due to a lack of effort and try, for the old man forever sits locked away in the office of his humble home. The pounding of his fingers upon the typewriter keys dance beat for beat with the footsteps of his granddaughter, Anna, running through the snow not but a few miles away.
The old man’s daughter and the young girl’s mother died in a car crash exactly one year ago. Solemn anniversaries summon strange happenings.
##
Anna’s hot breath melts the snowflakes that fall in between the aspen trees through which she runs.
“Goat tie the bitch!” The orders come from Jazlyn McSpade, a girl local children speculate was raised by wolverines. Her rabid personality is masked by a face that brainwashes all young boys into doing her bidding.
Two such minions are Stuart Bozeman and Colton Barlow. The boys howl like wolves as they hunt through the forrest. But they have not the honor of the wolf. They have the depravity of dogs. Both run with ropes spinning over their cowboy hat clad heads. The sound of the ghostly twirl heightens the pressure of Anna’s blood.
Hot fear and cold wind turn Anna’s dimpled cheeks crimson red. She begins to see her grandfather’s house peek through through the maze of the white and black aspen eyes. The cold and indifferent gazes watch her flee just as they have done so many times before. The trees cannot offer her help, but they do make her feel less alone. They act as witnesses to the coming cruelty.
The strike of the first rope misses Anna’s head. But the strike of the second latches onto her legs. Her face falls to meet a wicked pillow of frozen snow as the giggles of Jazlyn McSpade echo through the trunks of the watchful trees.
“Get her up.” Jazlyn watches the boys do her bidding.
Anna is ripped up to her feet. She says nothing. The young girl chooses to use her strength to fight rather than waste it on useless pleas for freedom.
“Hold her still!” Jazlyn turns from her dogs to look into the brown eyes of her prey. “Why do you always run?”
Anna takes aim at Jazlyn’s face and fires.
Jazlyn screams as the spit hits her between her cold blue eyes. Vengeance comes in the form a violent slap. “You know what today is?”
Anna gives no answer. Her voice is replaced by silent seething as she strains against the boys’ combined might.
Jazlyn grabs Anna’s throat and whispers the answer to her own question. “Today is the day that you’re drunken fuck of a mom killed my dad.” Jazlyn raises her fist. “Happy Anniversary.”
The blast of a shotgun explodes through the forest. All turn to face its epicenter.
Kayhill Ellenwood’s grizzly hands clutch his still smoking gun while his mouth growls forth a cold, dead, and merciless order. “Let her go.”

MORE TO COME…

I am a fluffer…

Okay folks…In case you are a high-powered literary agent looking to secure new representation and be responsible for giving me my BIG BREAK that will allow me to change the world with the written word (Inhale…exhale) I have included my query letter below. This is officially my attempt to fluff you and eventually pimp you my manuscript. LET ME QUERY YOU!!!!

Black Acid Pen

Be prepared and be warned. I currently just inhaled a foot-long subway sandwich. It was an aggressively average triumph of culinary skill…all for seven bucks. It is now being replaced by the acidic tinge of black Starbucks coffee as I kidnap free wifi to write this first blog post.
Cynicism is usually something I try and quell, but frankly I was tired of trying to come up with the perfect first blog of sunshine soaked inspiration to vomit upon the world in my inaugural desperate attempt at getting any and all eyes to read my tales and launch my nonexistent career into the stratosphere.
Brace yourself. A heavy dose of hard up, blue-balled cynicism is on its way.
A few weeks ago I went to the local bar in an effort to take a breather from some close friends and breath in some new candidates.
One of them was a girl who professed to me how her dream was to be a professional writer. She recently had a friend create and design a blog for her where she has been dispensing a menagerie of unsolicited bleached white bullshit ranging from relationship advice for the everyday singleton to the life lessons she’s learned from the struggles faced everyday as a marginalized and put upon twenty-two-year-old white woman hailing from the great state of Oregon.
I heard her out. I smiled. I even encouraged her to turn her blog into a book.
If she ever gets anything published I will purposely dive in front of one of the trucks that pass underneath the highway I’ll most likely be living under. But, in the end, she thanked me and gave me the advice that I should write a blog myself due to the fact that we share the same “dream”. Yes…it’s true, I write to you now as a twenty-three-year-old struggling, aspiring, and desperate novelist.
Writer by day, waiter by night – my description sounds like a blurb for perhaps the least fucked superhero in all of Marvel Comics. This post may sound as if it was written with a black acid pen, but at least I’m being honest. Isn’t that what these things are for? To connect with readers on some honest, raw and deep level? I sure as hell don’t need to read another lithium laced advice column, see another selfie raped by hashtags, or watch another youtube video starring someone whose biggest problem is having six abs instead of eight.
So here is my shameless mission, plug, and purpose – I am reaching out to any all voices, eyes, and minds with the aim forcing you to watch and read my quest towards becoming a novelist who can actually pay a single bill based on their stories. I won’t lie to you. I hope that you are Guillermo del Toro, Neil Gaiman, or…dare I say it? J.K Rowling? Are you there?
I recently completed my first manuscript (hallelujah hands emoji). Wether it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen, but I am determined to drag it out into the sun. It’s not easy. Just google the process “Querying Literary Agents”. Like my last girlfriend, it is a fucking ball buster. But I will not give up. By the way…an example of my query letter is included on this blog for all who are interested (prayer hands emoji).
The first question your asking is this – he sucks doesn’t he? Well the answer is up to you. I want the good, the bad, and the ugly. Give it to me straight. I should be able to take it. It’ll be rough if you all hate the stories I post, but it is a risk I need to take. This blog will have be a leapfrogging mix of my digital Bridget Jones’s blogs alongside short stories and excerpts from some longer pieces of fiction that I’m working on.
I don’t know if anything will come of this, or if anyone will even read see this, but I am just going to do what the great Will Ferrel said to do in his commencement address I watched on Youtube the other day – I am going to just keep throwing darts up on the wall. This blog is just one of my many darts. #rantover. Also, please visit my Youtube channel where you can watch me count my one single gigantic ab.
Sincerely,
Jayrock Avalon
P.S. Send me your shit. Much like your comments, I love the good, the bad, and the ugly.