#Monday Morning Commute
I feel like Jared Leto.
And I don’t mean the Jared Leto from last nite’s Academy Awards. No, that one was all about having beautiful long-ass hair. And usin’ his victory speech to pay tribute to his Mahma. And bein’ all dappered out, white tuxedo beamin’ contrasts off his spray-tan.
I don’t feel like that Jared Leto.
And hell, I don’t feel like 30 Seconds to Mars Jared Leto, neither. Y’know that one, right? Yeah, exactly, the Jared Leto that somehow learned to play guitar and be all frontman-like while figuing out how to live his so-called life. What’s that? Yeah, this Jared Leto is also known as Ride a Bicycle in the Middle of Goddamn Street Without a Helmet Jared Leto.
Nope, I ain’t that sort of Jared Leto.
Today, I feel like good `ole fashioned Fight Club Jared Leto. The Jared Leto who, for a moment, is really happy that he’s pretty and blonde and surrounded by some peers. This Jared Leto is all, “Check it, I can fight too, dudes! First rule is — oh wait, can’t say it! Ha! Get it?! Kawaii!” Everything is pretty sweet.
Quite frankly, I’m feeling the grind of the workweek and life responsibilities and my own mortality and the fact that it’s been goddamn months since I’ve sat down with a stack of comic books. Allow me to wax philosophic. Wax misanthropic. Wax bitter tonic.
Wax Jared Leto.
But alas! Right here’s the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! I’m goin’ to show you some of the buoys I’ll be hopin’ to cling to as I avoid getting washed out into the deepest depths of the Bullshit Sea! Then, you hit up the comments and share your own ideas! Let’s do this!
Whoops! Late on the Monday Morning Commute tip. Didn’t realize it was going to be floating in flux this week. Then it occurred to me that Rendarbones Frankenpepsi is currently en route across the vast distance of the Empire in some sort of silver tube that is intent on dying God’s will. So provided that he doesn’t crash into the side of a Mountain (death is only a transition, he’d be reborn in Earth^42, so don’t cry), he’ll be back next week. However for now you’re dealing with my hurried, blast beat-esque rundown of what I’m enjoying this week. That’s what we do around here. In Monday Morning Commute.
Quick! Look out your window!
See it? It’s floating right there! Yeah, right above the guesthouse your neighbor uses for his weekend binges of cocaine and SNES. No, it ain’t a UFO, at least not of the little-green-men, flying-saucer variety. And yes, it does look a bit like a rocketship made of impounded station wagons and junkyarded computer components.
Because it is.
What’s that? Oh, the lights on the side? You’re goddamn right they’re Christmas lights. What’re they there for? C’mon, they spell something out. Look closer, it’s not hard to see a two-letter combination. Yeah, you’ve got it.
Spaceship OL is touching down in your neighborhood. Why’s that? Well, it’s `cause we’re bringing you the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE. Once you board the vessel, I’ll show you some of the strategies I’ll be using to spend the week celebrating existence. Then, you tell the crew and passengers what you’ll be doing to destroy boredom.
Let’s do this, before that nosy CPA across the street phones the neighborhood watch.
Servin’ a life-sentence on Spaceship Earth is a tedious, painful, agonizing wonder.
Why’s that? For one thing, there’s the fact that everyone you love will die. Your best friend. Your kid sister. Your longtime mistress. Your high school math teacher.
Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead.
Along the way you’re guaranteed to deal with inevitable body-breakdown. Maybe you’ll abuse your body. Maybe somebody else will fuck it up. Even if you think you’re unscathed, the sands of time are wearing away at your flesh-vehicle’s gears. Every single day. Every single moment. Until when, you ask?
Until they’re so smooth that they don’t move shit.
But alas! There’s hope! Even those of us who’re agin’ more like vinegar than wine have a fightin’ chance at experiencin’ glory! Not only are we fortunate enough to have been imbued with consciousnesses, but we get to live in a hyperreal future! Are things royally fucked up? Sure! But we live in times in which anything is possible!
So if you start to feel a chill as an existential shadow lurks over your shoulder, spin around and blast that motherfucker with a science fiction repulsor ray!
Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! I’m goin’ to show off this week’s strategies for keeping me pleased with existence. I suggest you liven up the party by entering the dance circle that is the comments section.
Apologies! Apologies for the tardiness! I didn’t know Rendar wasn’t able to do the column this week until he didn’t do it. I received a message by nightingale this morning. Told the bro to not go necking any beautiful androgynous bitties on the moons of Jupiter but goddamn if we don’t all have to learn from experience. Now the kid is in bed. Testicles the size of basketballs, scrotum the shade of an egg plant. Oh sure they’ll go down in time — it’s merely an intergalactic viral infection. But let’s not talk about the sores, the oozing, the buckets of indescribable white sludge that drain slowly down his bed within the Spaceship Omega. Those will be gone too, but at what psychic cost? For all of us?
Let’s instead quickly run down the various arts, farts, and shenanigans we’re enjoying this week. This is Monday Morning Commute.
Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! First, I’m goin’ to throw a bit of fiction your way — this week sees another entry in the ongoing adventures of Absalom Fabliaux. Then, I’ll guide you through some of the ways I’ll be entertaining myself through the workweek. Then, you pony up your own suggestions, making your presence known in the comments section.
Let’s do this!
Over the months that saw Absalom writing at this bar, he’d grown fond of Thelma. She was busty and acerbic and two tax brackets below most of the clientele. More importantly, she was most attentive to Absalom, having memorized his preferred drink-sequence.
Serving the public ain’t easy, and doin’ it well is damn-near impossible.
“Thelma, goddess of libation that you are, how many times do I have to warn you against eavesdroppin’? It’s not becomin’ of a woman like you. If you want to experience a life-changin’ conversation, you mustn’t resort to NSA tactics,” Absalom gave a shot-in-the-dark wink that defied his age, “just ask me out to dinner.”
“Oh yes, ‘dinner,’ that lovely euphemism for those too cowardly to just come out ask for it. Sex. Even if it were my greatest desire to bed you – and believe me, it isn’t – I simply wouldn’t be able to go through with it.”
“And why not?”
“Are you serious?” Following Absalom’s implicit instructions, Thelma set down the two shot glasses. One for a formely-respected, now lying-in-the-gutter-but-lookin’-through-the-smog-hopin’-to-see-a-star Writer. The other for a stoned-on-booze-and-slowly-realizin’-that-my-careerist-aspirations-will-never-get-me-high-off-life Intern. Between them, she placed a bottle of bourbon.
And for Absalom, a fresh bottle of Pepsi.
“By the gods, of course I’m serious! Why wouldn’t you bed me?”
“It’s Señor Fabliaux, Thelma, and you know it!”
“Whatever! Even if I wanted to sleep with you, I wouldn’t. And the reason? Your ever-deteriorating old-man body couldn’t handle it! Having sex with me would literally kill you.”
“Ah, but it’d be a most glorious death.”
Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! First, I give ya’ll a bit of fiction to get the mind warmed up! Then, I run through some of the ways I’ll be entertaining myself over the course of the workweek. After I’ve tired myself out, you hit up the comments section and share your strategies for fending off the Beasts of Boredom!
Yes, it’s basically the Spaceship OL way station.
Okay, let’s rock!
Well, we’re back in the workweek, which means that spirits’re bound to be low. How why shouldn’t they be? There’re matters which need attending! There’re bosses lookin’ over our shoulders! Hell, there might even times that things have to be done by!
Luckily, this here’s the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! First, I’m goin’ to detail some of the small pleasures that’ll keep me from turning my bathtub and toaster into a fatal 2-in-1 combo. Then, you hit up the comments section and share your own entertainment strategies for survival. Finally, we all reply to one another, making for a totally geektastic show-and-tell.
Work sucks, life rules, let’s do this.
The Pie-Eyed former-bibliophile was flabbergasted, which was new for him. Drunk? Awkward? Socially maladjusted? Oh, he was plenty comfortable with these. But in this moment, he was straight-up flabbergasted.
“Goddamn boy, what’re you lookin’ so flabbergasted for?”
“‘Cause you says,” a youthful forehead was slapped by its own palm, “youhadda shackkup with a witch. A witch?!”
Absalom bellowed, “Oh yes! There’s no two ways about it, Susy’s a witch! Hell, she has to be the witchiest witch I’ve ever come across in my time!”
“You mean with a cauldron and potions and brum-stick and all?”
“Well, not exactly.”
Pie-Eyed was making the most of his ever-dwindling faculties to figure out what the hell Absalom meant. He lifted his drink to his lips, hesitated for a moment, and then drained the entire thing. “Wait! Wait! Did she have magical powers?!”
“Yes and no.” Absalom chucked to himself. “I mean, we can get into all sorts of discussions about ‘magic’ and of what it is composed. Access to supernatural realms? ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology,’ is that it? The ability to astound, to create scenarios that push the limits of imagination? Artistry? The ability to realize to turn an idea into a tangible product? Do any, or all, of these constitute magic?”
“So we’re coastin’ on fumes, and I swear to the Maker that we sputter to a stop right in Susy’s driveway! No damn brakes or nothin’! The jalopy croaks right in the driveway.”
“It, it,” Pie-Eyed paused to burp, but continued, “it was kismet?”
“It sure seemed like it at the time.” Absalom sratched his grey-goin’-white stubble and flagged down the bartender in the hopes of getting some peanuts. “There we were, a carful of over-eager youths, sweatin’ testosterone and hankerin’ booze. And what was before us? A cabin that looks more like a palace, set woods that look more like a national park, with bonfires lightin’ up a keg-party that looks more like Saturnalia!”
“Betcha couldn’t wait to get outtathat car!”
“I’d take that bet – I stayed right where I was, didn’t unbuckle or nothin’.”
Once again, Pie-Eyed was flabbergasted.
“I know what you’re thinkin.’” Absalom swooped in with a preemptive strike. “How could I sit in the car with the prospect of inebriation and fornication mere yards before me? Well, I’ll tell ya,” the old-timer took a rip of Pepsi. “It’s `cause I knew about Susy’s reputation. I’d never met her before, but we ran in the same circles. And the word was that she was a goddamn man-eater. A seductress. A master of cardiac-vivisection. After I’d made the call to see if we could crash at her place, I told my crew that I’d be sleepin’ in the car and encouraged to do the same.”
“They lissen toya?”
“Hell no! The car’d barely come to a rest when those monkey-brains were already runnin’ towards the coeds, practically unzippin’ their flies as they went.”
Absalom Fabliaux, ever the consummate gentleman, slid the bowl of peanuts to the Pie-Eyed intern. When a passerby attempted to filch a peanut, Señor Fabliaux grabbed the interloper by the collar, growled that the “Yuppie Scumsucker better drop my friend’s nut,” and then dispatched him with a firm shove.
Pie-Eyed was grateful.
“So, wuddya wake up inna morning? Allyur friends hanged over and witthur pants down?”
“I wish. At about three in the mornin’ I wake up to find my buddy Urie frantically bangin’ on the window, screamin’ for help.”
“To quote Urie: ‘You’re right, Susy’s a witch – she’s turned our friends into fucking pigs!’”
Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!
I’m going to show you some of the ways I’ll be keepin’ myself entertained over the next few days. Then, you (as an ever-faithful contributor to the Spaceship OL passenger-community), will hit up the comments section and do the same. Before all’s said and done, we’ll have had a nice round of digital show’n'tell.
Break the glass and grab your Emergency Word-Weapon!
With a fresh Pepsi in hand, Absalom took a deep breath and began his tale.
“We’d been tryin’ to get home for ages, and we were all in rough shape. Beat-up. Hungover. Outta gas. And hungry, to boot! There wasn’t no way we’d be able to travel through the night. So I had to call in a favor to woman I’d’ve rather not ever seen again.”
“Waitta second,” interjected the Pie-Eyed intern, sole audience member of this performance, “whereyou says you comed from? Why’s you away inna furs-place?”
“Ah, yes. It’s a long story. But in short, this guy I knew – friend-of-a-friend sort of thing – was all sorts of salty `bout his ex-girlfriend bein’ with another man. So, he assembled a crew to travel `cross a bunch of states and win her back. With nothin’ to do but sit around drinkin’ beers and readin’ science fiction, I volunteered for what I’d assumed would be a grand adventure.”
“You’re goddamned right it was! I don’t think I’ll ever see nothin’ more glorious than a midnight fist-fight in a donut shop – everything blurrin’ together in a wash of neon light and black coffee and red blood!”
Absalom seized a moment to swish cola across his gums and crack his knuckles, like hitting the reset button on a broken-bodied Storyteller Machine. He flagged down the bartender and re-upped Pie-Eyed’s drink.
“Phanks man, but I dunno if I needa ‘nother.”
“Kid, it ain’t `bout need! Hell, ain’t no needs bein’ met in this entire bar! This place is `bout the Tapioca Populace foolin’ themselves into believin’ that they can even conjure up the notion of danger or excitement or novelty! So drink your drink!”
Pie-Eyed obeyed and Absalom continued.
“So anyways, after spillin’ teeth in the donut shop we attracted some attention, so we had to scram. Hightailin’ it out, we got ourselves into all sorts of trouble. Drinkin’ and fornicatin’ and fightin’. Glorious! But before y’knew it, a three-day drive had mutated into two weeks. Two goddamn weeks.”
“Thazz,” Pie-Eyed slurred and sipped and slurred, “thazz crazy. Whattya do?”
“Well, with the gas-gauge on E, the backseat-keg on its last pint, and the paper absent from our wallets, I decided to rely on the generosity of Susy.”
“Susy,” Absalom paused to take a rip of Pepsi and stare into the middle distance, “Susy’s a goddamn witch.”
Come one, come all! This here’s the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! What’s that, you ask? Well, once a week Spaceship OL has to touch down on a nearby moon or satellite-weigh station for refueling purposes. During this time, I share the upcoming itinerary with the crew, detailing the means by which I’ll be navigating our rusty pop-culture mind-vessel through the Omniverse. After sharing my plans, the floor is opened up and everyone is encouraged to share their prospective space-maps.
In other words, we nerd out about the various ways we’ll be entertaining ourselves.
Let’s do the damn thing!