Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Carrot, the String, and the Suburbian Meth Lab

       I see my dreams in front of me, dangling, just out of reach, and yet here I am on the treadmill; no matter how fast I run, that dancing carrot on a string is always going to be just out of reach.
       I'm Bryan, and I'm a writer. I have an agent. Had an agent. Have an agent. Hell, I really don't know anymore. I brew my own beer. I garden. I nap. I do jiu jitsu. I collect loud cars and piss off my neighbors, who can burn in the furthest regions of Hell for all I care. Well, if it weren't for the fact that we're living quite comfortably there now, my fiancee and I.
      Contrary to Brandon, who lives in taco shack Hell, I live in Suburbia Hell. It's pretty on the outside, very quiet, and whiter than Christmas. Safer? Perhaps. Yet I bet I could score some coke here faster than you could in the furthest asshole corner of the ghetto, where there's no lights, the windows are all boarded up, and gunshots just mean it's time to close the blinds.
       And yet, according to the community, we're the drug dealers... even though we're the only ones on the block not doing drugs. Is it because we're young? Partially. But there's actually a very simple answer for this--my fiance is Mexican. Ahhhh, you say, NOW I get it. See, as a young, successful Mexican residing in a nice, suburban area, us living here can only be the result of selling weed, cutting coke, and brewing meth. We are the bad guys of the neighborhood, and clearly the most likely to be filling beakers with fresh, crisp, tasty meth... even as I stand on the balcony, gardening, and my fiance works on her latest scrapbook.
        A clever disguise, no?
        So basically, what I'm getting at in so many words, is that all of our neighbors are assholes.
        One neighbor's fucking the garage repair man and isn't afraid to make out with him on her porch. Quit any fantasies before they start up, because she's older than you'd be comfortable with and has a body that looks like ricotta cheese stuffed into a wet sock. Her dogs are big, and ugly, and stupid, and bark at anything that makes the slightest hint of movement.
       Another neighbor is a lonely, middle aged man who spends his days tucked away in his garage, working on his Shelby kit car, because his wife is a miserable twat and his daughter is a miserable twat. He has admitted this. I would get along with him... if he wasn't also a miserable twat.
       He leaves passive aggressive notes on the door. He calls the police when our dogs make the slightest amount of noise, even though mine are just happy to see me and yet his friend the garageman fucker has dogs that never shut up, ever. He throws me dirty looks when I work on my car. He tattles to the HOA when we leave our trash bin out past the allotted time because when you have no life, no happiness, and hell, just plain no penis, taking it out on your neighbors is clearly the best outlet.
        Speaking of which, while on the subject of Hell, we should surely not leave out the HOA. I'm convinced that Hell is in fact run by the HOA, and that when the flames grow a little too high, you get an HOA fine on your door. And then a barbed-wire pool stick in your rectum. Because nothing's scarier than not conforming to a cluster of inane rules set by middle aged men and women who, themselves, have not had rectums in over 10 years.
       So here I am, the Howard Hughes of the neighborhood, barricaded in my Suburbian meth lab, lest I step out and face the intense ray of judgment that is the Bradburn community. And while a shitty place to make friends, it's a great, mostly quiet place to write the next great American novel. Or a bunch of shitty ones leading up to it.
       What's more, it's also a great place to take a shower or kick back a beer. Or both. So turn up the water pressure, grab your favorite bottled brew, and let both sets of fluids wash away your stress. And don't mind that liquid bubbling at your feet. It's just meth.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Highway to Hell

It's been said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. While I won't disagree, I just want to express my appreciation for the fact that the very same subterranean motorway is also lined with an endless supply of bars and liquor stores, especially in my neighborhood. The Wicker Park area is sort of like the appendix of Chicago, in that nobody really has much idea of what it does, although it does like to sound more important than it actually is. But, here at least, somewhere between hipster heaven and Little Puerto Rico, there is no shortage of watering holes, and for that I am eternally thankful. Nor am I left wanting for taco shacks (although the Puerto Ricans seem to have confused the structural logistics of the taco with that of the wonton).

My beer of choice is Two-Hearted Ale. My author of choice is Terry Pratchett. My landlord breathes through his mouth. My neighbors all own pit bulls that I pray will eat eachother. And, this weekend I interrupted a man and his son tandem pissing in my parking spot beside the building. But, at least it's cheap. What better surroundings could a virile young writer hope for? I write, I do construction work to pay the bills, and I pretend to be an attentive graduate student. My girlfriend keeps me sane.

But, enough about me. Welcome to our blog. As the name banner of this blog so vaguely implies, sometimes it's necessary to drown your sorrows in a hot shower, and pretty damn nice to sip a cold one while you're doing it. If you've never tried it, I highly suggest making your way to the nearest liquor store (unless it's Manny's, on Division, the cheap bastard), buying a six-pack, and throwing that water-conserving shower head out the nearest window. Sip a brewski and wash the stank away. Some days, it really helps to take the edge off, while others, it may actually take you off the edge. Case in point: this week, Bryan and I got a nice little cock-punch from the universe, which came in the form of a letter from the editor at a major publisher, who had previously offered to buy our collaborative novel a few months back. Apparently, the book world is currently stiffer than the men of the porn industry, and our little baby was tossed back to the lake, like the nine-eyed Chernobyl herring that she is.

Nonetheless, we rally onward. This blog is the rambling outlet for we two writers, who have repeatedly been let down by an industry suffering from literectile dysfunction, and the various reasons we have masochistically decided to stay the course. Because, really, what other option is there? Give American Idol...write screenplays? Not a chance in Hell.