Monday Morning Commute: L. Pena’s Universe

L. Pena's Universe

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!




Seeing a couple of dry patrons at the other end of the bar, Thelma slunk away, the only dependable defense against the time-tested charisma of the salty old bastard. Believing it more than moral for a starving man to steal a piece of fruit, Absalom allowed himself a quick glance at Thelma’s apple-bottom  before returning his attention to his audience-of-one.

“So, where was I in my tale? Hrm…Oh, here, take a shot of this bourbon.”

“Can I have somma the cola too?” Young Pie-Eyed was interested in the story and appreciative of the bourbon, but truly inquisitive about the cola. What was it about glass-bottled Pepsi that got this kooky near-geezer so amped up? Did it have mystical properties? Is it the cola that gave him storytellin’ powers? Could consuming it in mass quantities imbue one with a deeper sense of truth?”

“Of course not! We’ll share the bourbon but the Pepsi is mine! Now what’d just happened in my story?”

“I thunk,” Pie-Eyed coughed after choking on his shot, “you’d just sayin’ that Urie gotchu.”

“Ah yes! So Urie’s screamin’ at me, ‘They’re fuckin’ pigs, man! She turned `em all into fuckin’ pigs!’ And I mean, he’s screamin’ this, over and over and over! So I pop out of the car and tell him to bring me to Susy. But get this — he’s so damn freaked that he swears he won’t go back! So I give him the keys, he locks himself in the car, and I make my way towards the party.”

Absalom took a Giant-Size X-Men rip of Pepsi. Then, with blitzkrieg ferocity, he poured and tossed back not one, not two, but three successive shots of bourbon. Pie-Eyed was stunned. Never before had he seen someone so purposefully and cruelly cleanse their own palate.

Cola with a liquor-chaser.

“And it turns out that Urie wasn’t lyin’. I make my way up to the bonfires, and what do I see? Before my very eyes, the beings that’d left the car men were now, in fact, nothin’ more than animals. Cavortin’ about and eatin’ and drinkin’ and fuckin’ out in the open. I tried to call to `em, but it was as if they couldn’t even hear me. It was as if they were under-”

“A spell!?! Susy! The witch! She putta spell on `em! A real curse!?”

“Well, it all depends on your definition of real. Is the figurative world real? Can metaphor and allegory effect change? Does the power of placebo suggest the existence of realities beyond the material? If you agree with me, you’d say yes and yes and yes. And if we’re in agreement, we can proceed accordingly. So what says you?”



“Yes and yes!”

“In that case, m’boy, Susy doled out overflowin’ cups of her witch’s brew!”

“Knew it! So what’s inna brew?!”

“Well, if Susy’s a witch then it’s fair to say that her cauldron was bubblin’ with all sorts of ingredients. Kegs full of domestic beer and handles of dollar store vodka and a full sound system blastin’ dubstep and an entire bachelorette party and two duffel bags full of sex toys and ten pizzas and a couple of Disney mascot costumes with strategically placed zippers. Oh, and mounds upon mounds of cocaine.”


“You’d think that, wouldn’t you? Had I gone with Urie and the rest, I may have fallen victim to the very thirst to which they fell victim. But I’m tellin’ you, a witch’s brew is never less appealing than if you happen upon those who’re in the midst of its effects. Damn terrifying.”

“So whattaya, whatya” Pie-Eyed tried to compose himself, finally realizing the extent of his slurring, “what…did…you…do?”

“First, I marched right past all of the madness, which was no easy feat.”

“Why? What…was happening?”

“Goddamn everything. Shit I could’ve never imagined in my wildest dreams. For instance, I’d known Lou Pena since kindergarten, and I’d always known him to be one even-keeled sonofabitch. Sure, he could booze with the rest of us, always holdin’ his own in all sorts of partyin’. But d’you know what I saw him do?  I saw him climb onto the roof of a half-finished tool shed. Then, I saw him clip off his ponytail with hedge trimmers and light it on fire. And then I saw him scream at the sky, ‘The tables have turned, bitch! No longer am I subject of the universe! The universe is a subject of me!’ And then after that, I saw him take a Super Nintendo controller out of his pants and started pounding away at it, as though the night sky were a fuckin’ video game.”

“That’s…that’s insane…”

“Yeah, it is. And there’s more to the Lou Pena story, but we’ll get there.”



Doing everything I can to clear my plate and watch the third episode of TRUE DETECTIVE!


Gushing about HER to anyone who’ll listen.


Hopin’ to give in to my IKEA nesting instinct while purchasin’ some damn furniture.


So that’s my week — television and film and Swedish-made pieces of shit.

What’re your days lookin’ like?