Monday, September 24, 2012

The End, Again, and a New Adventure



I’m Not Emilio Estevez has come to an end, again.  I’ll leave the site up, along with Thinly Sliced Raw Fish.  Comments will be turned to moderation to prevent spam that seems to find it’s way to defunct sites, so feel free to leave a comment and I’ll approve if it’s not junk. 

Though I’m quitting this blog, I’m starting another one with a different purpose:  A Specific Gravity, which will focus on my non-fiction adventures in craft beer.  It'll be live soon.

So long!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's the Point?

One of the challenges I had with this blog was, what’s the purpose of it?  Should it be to post thoughts about writing fiction, or to post my flash fiction, or to comment on other works or ideas out there, or something else?  The last few posts aside, I’ve tried to shy away from posting my thoughts about anything and made it mostly straight posts of fiction.  Perhaps it should’ve been more than that.  But know that "what's the point?" has long been a struggle of mine with this blog.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Writer's Block, Sorta Kinda

The last year has been very challenging for me as a writer.  I’ve been in what might be considered a block, though I’ve been writing through that in fits and starts.  It’s more a lack of direction and an overall lack of desire that I think I’ve been experiencing.  I’ve worked in collections for a long time, which has provided me direction, but I’ve struggled to come up with new collection themes.  I haven’t really submitted anything for publication.  I really haven’t had the desire to go through that process and receive the many rejections that come before hitting an acceptance.  I view this last year as just a phase, one that I’ll eventually emerge from as a stronger writer.  In the end, I don’t think there’s anything that the blogging experience can do to assist me in getting out of it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Asleep at the Wheel

I had the realization that things were done with the blog when, after not doing so in awhile, I looked at some of the blogs that I follow.  Many of them are now gone or essentially defunct, as the bloggers haven’t posted in quite awhile.  The fact that I hadn’t taken a peek at these blogs in such a long time is at the core of my problem here—I’ve fallen out of touch, and I’ve failed at keeping up with and encouraging other writers.  I’ve been posting new stories regularly here since I returned.  I've received scant comments though the traffic stats do indicate that people are still visiting the site.  I could bemoan the lack of commenting, but it’s really my fault for falling asleep at the wheel here, and there seems to be no way to correct this as the small network I’d tapped into just a couple years ago now seems to be essentially gone.

More to come... 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Ridiculously Short Half-Life

I'm Not Emilio Estevez 2.0 is winding down.  This time, it'll be for good.  It's not quite over yet, as I'll have some posts coming documenting my thoughts on the whole blogging experience.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ribeye


One day as a child C, at a steakhouse, glimpsed the future: the restaurant closed, covered in graffiti, crumbling parking lot asphalt sprouting weeds.  Neighborhood overrun by crime’s chaos.  Teenage boy lying in blood where C sat, another boy standing over him, firing a gun. In C’s present, it was a place for Friday evening dinners, sliding  plastic trays along cafeteria-style metal rails, fountain sodas in plastic cups, plastic wrap covered pudding.  Frozen by the stark images, the child said nothing to his parents, instead quietly ate his ribeye and fries, both drowned in A1 and ketchup, drank his soda.

He had no more visions.  Eventually, he saw the abandoned building, read about the shooting.  Years later, he found the shooter from the vision, 24 years in prison, asked him why.  Money and drugs, thought I was bad, got a son I haven’t seen since he was a baby.  Sitting across from him, another vision, indeterminate future: the adult son robs a coffee shop, kills the clerk, two bystanders.  After some searching, he found the place, went for coffee.  Cradled the warm cup in his hands when a robber fired shots.  Searing heat through his chest.  The coffee spilled, mixed with blood.  He collapsed, thinking the visions senseless, random films of violence.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ketchup

When filming we use the old standby of ketchup for blood. Consider this a mere condiment on an otherwise exquisite entrĂ©e, I tell my corpse lying on the floor, who winks at me as I squeeze out a fatal wound. An old cap gun for gunshots. Plastic dime-store knives in stalker scenarios. Kid stuff. I use the same ketchup bottle on burgers, hot dogs, scrambled eggs. My father used it exclusively on fish but late in life confessed he’d grown fond of it on fries. On film it often looked too thick to be blood. Wipe off some, distort the focus, shoot from a distance—bargain basement guerilla indie aesthetic. When I was a kid we shot movies without cameras. Act and direct, but no historical document. The ultimate punk attitude. History is for suckers.

One night an expressway onramp was blocked by police. We moved closer to see. An overturned car on a curve. Sheet draped over body, a puddle of red on the ground. Real. The cop looked up, said, you want to see death? We ran away. The next day we scanned the papers and tv for mention of it. Nothing. No history. I pull back from my corpse, who blinks an irritated eye. Someday we’ll get it right.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Walnuts

On Christmas Eve E and R were in R’s apartment, cracking open walnuts, drinking tap water.  They were sitting at the dining room table, a tabletop artificial Christmas tree flickering before them.  Outside a snow storm pelted windows, an erratic wind sent nonpareil flakes in all directions.  R was apologetic to friend E about the sparse offerings. E, nowhere else to go this holiday, consoled his friend.  They talked about old times, laughed into the night.  At 2:00 AM, R encountered a walnut that just wouldn’t open.  E tried also.  Nothing.  Like a stone.  So they walked outside, the snow down to flurries, the world silent.  Down to us and the world’s asleep, E said, just like old times.  Remember back when? said E.  Yeah, said R, the parties, the hearty food and drink, the music, the crowds of people.  Where are they now?  Where are we, E said, looking straight ahead, eyes frozen.  R looked upward to the apartment.  White ceilings, generic light.  No decorations.  The years kept disappearing.  Erasure of what was, who they were.  Wind, snow pelted them both.  R thought he should’ve bought drinks, festive food, put up window lights.  Somewhere old friends, dispersed geographically, celebrated.  He threw the unbreakable walnut.  It sunk into a mound of snow.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Steak Tartare


S goes Gordon Gekko, orders the steak tartare.  He looks down at the raw egg on raw meat.  He’s an imposter.  This isn’t his life.  He wants to vomit.
***
N is tantalized by the idea, calls around town.  Nowhere.  One place leads him to another and another.  Other odd foods.  Craving exotic, he heads off, never to return.
***
X grabs what he can, jumps on his horse.  Invaders all around, axes and dust, swords and blood.  Somewhere in the sunset he’ll eat.  Alone.  The blood of his kinsmen in his nostrils.
***
L, a gun to his head, prays.  The fire in his assailant’s eyes tells him the situation is lost.  Quick and painless.  Protect my family.  Deliver my corpse for closure.
***
A sees things he can’t have.  Money, prestige, power.  If he gains some, there’s always more.  Life unfinished.  His existence a never formed product.
***
V, in a world devoid of fire and electricity, forms a circle of uncooked meat, tops it with a fresh cracked egg.  The question is, from where did the meat and egg come in this dystopia?
***
Gordon Gekko, freed from prison, orders the steak tartare.  He looks down at the meal and smiles.  Greed is eternal.  He’s got a plan.  He takes a bite, reclaims his life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Squid

This was the day when you were going to show me how to prepare squid for dining.  But you never arrived.  Slicing into rings; stuffing with brown rice, snow peas, and red peppers; deep frying the tentacles—the possibilities, you told me, but you were absent.  I was afraid of the squid, but once we started seeing each other, and you convinced me of your culinary skills, I started believing there was no food to be afraid of.  Now, you’re gone.  I called your house, you weren’t there.  I called your work, nothing.  The mail came and, there it was, a letter from you, signed and dated yesterday, multiple pages, blue ink on both sides.  It’s not working out, you needed to move on—but nothing about the squid.  Once you realized that I wasn’t the one for you, I suppose cuisine was secondary.  Now, though, whenever I think of squid, I’ll think of this, and be distraught.  As food, squid will be nonexistent, just as you now apparently are.  I’ll be left to wonder, what happened, did I do something specific to make you disappear. Perhaps someday we’ll meet again, say, hey, how’re you, but I see elusiveness, you only appearing in my fading memory, as I eventually question you existed.