Saturday, August 7, 2010

Things Jasper has said

These are things Jasper Cornwallis has said to clients (people on the street while he is on duty) that are without context. This allows you to dream about the context of these quotes.

"Somebody wants to see boobies"

"Sir, if you give women enough to drink they will dance anywhere."

"You are so lucky I have a miserable dry cleaner who probably can't get bloodstains out of this uniform, sir."

"That's a good place on the pants to put their logo because that's where everybody's looking"

"Piss tests, sir. Piss tests"

"Miss, I didn't see anything and if I did you have nothing to worry about."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Community Service Shorts: SW6

It's the end of the shift and Jasper and Duke wait in line to clock out.

Duke: How was your day?
Jasper: I was on SW6, how do you think it was?
Duke: Ummm I don't know. How was it?
Jasper: Wannabe artists who are creative with their hair and not with their love.
Duke: How do you know that?
Jasper: I know all too well?
Duke: Details, details, I want to know about her love.
Jasper: I was talking about myself, Duke.
Duke: You're not creative with your hair.
Jasper: I get it cut now. That's pretty fucking creative for me.
Duke: and the...
Jasper: Duke
Duke: Understood Mr. Cornwallis
Jasper: I'm glad somebody does.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Community Service Shorts I: Death and the Maiden

Curtain rises on Hector Rodrigez and Jasper Cornwallis are walking to their train after work. There uniforms are disheveled. They reach an intersection where there is a “Don’t Walk” sign and a bus quickly approaches.

Hector: Come on, Jasper. We can make it.

Jasper: I ain’t gonna get hit by a bus, man.

Hector:(with a smug look) Oh, your afraid of dying sissy. I got it.

Jasper: I didn’t say that. I just don’t want to get hit by a bus.

Hector: How do you want to die then, tough guy?

Jasper: Lying naked as the day I was born on a Days Inn mattress, with a lit Pall Mall in my mouth, a chunky IHOP waitress astride, and surrounded by empty Pabst Blue Ribbon cans.

Hector: That’s fucked up.

Jasper: What, you gay Hector?

Hector: No…just…a fat waitress?

Jasper: I said “chunky”.

Hector: Still…

Jasper: Look whose talkin’. Mr. I want to get hit by a bus.

Hector: (with a smile) Well, I guess they are kind of the same thing.

Jasper: You’re a wise man, Hector. Don’t let this world or that bus take that from you.

Hector: Wait…what?

Jasper: I said I’m tired.

Hector: Oh (pause) you could at least die drinking better beer, Jasper.

Jasper: Who said I was drinking it. You don’t get a prize like a chunky IHOP waitress with sweet talk. You’ve got to grease the waffle iron if you know what I mean.

Hector: What?

Jasper: Sueno. Muy sueno, amigo.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hen's Teeth Marks part three: What happen?

This isn’t turning out like I conceptualized it at the beginning. I guess that makes it mirror life and I guess that’s what writing at its truest is supposed to do. I intended to use the phrase “red terror” multiple times through the series. It was going to be funny. It was going to be a tales of sad luck dames doing our hero wrong. I would be this hero enduring the slings and arrows of unabashed angry redheaded femininity. In every entry there would be tales of warm beer and cold women. Then I started and stumbled filling the web with enough schmaltzy sweetness to make a turd taste like dessert. I gave up on fighting the current on the first two knowing that I was done wrong enough to exude enough venom to create some spectacular dark humor in the third. Flo Page was the thief of most of my romantic milestones. She had taken my first kiss, she was my first girlfriend, and she took my virginity in a matter of an hour. She was the ultimate pirate. I was going to go after her with the fervor of a hanging judge, but I can’t. It seems that my mind can’t put things down that have driven me for years when they are not true. The truth is Flo was beautiful. Her porcelain skin was framed by hair that looked of still glowing embers ready to ignite at any minute. She had a gentle form that contained enough moxie to power a locomotive. She didn’t walk through life, she danced. Maybe that’s why it didn’t work out. That’s why it wouldn’t have been fair to her if it had worked out. I am a wall flower and I don’t dance. I am a square. She would have been held back and I would have died of guilt for holding her back. I’m not an asshole. The burning embers have changed colors over the years but she’s still beautiful. She gets to dance and I blossom on the wall watching her from afar. It’s a great show. Hens teeth are supposedly hard to find but there marks are always there for you to see and remember. Look at me pondering the warm women in my life over a couple of cold beers. It’s almost enough to make an old emotionally distant guy be somewhat human…almost.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Street Training Shorts one: Kin

Veteran public servant Florence Baxter, 57, sits with rookie Jasper Cornwallis, 33, in Kentucky Fried Chicken establishment on their meal break. Jasper eats trail mix he brought from home while Florence eats a chicken sandwich she just purchased from the counter.

Florence: I normally don’t buy food on the breaks, I bring it from home just like you, but today I decided to splurge.
Jasper: I gotcha.
Florence: I’m what you would call frugal.
Jasper: Well I’ll be damned. We’re kin. I’m you ugly southern cousin “cheap”. I usually wait for my fat sister “big spender” to come down from the holler to pay for my vittles.
Florence: Wait, what?
Jasper: I was kidding.
Florence: Huh?
Jasper: We’re really not kin.
Florence: I don’t get it.
Jasper: See, we have that in common, too.


Hen's Teeth Marks part two: First Dance

So the cutting of hair continues. In the background there are the sounds of a child’s intermittent screams over a soft rock soundtrack. The child, lets call him kid, is going through the traumatic experience of his first haircut. I really don’t care for his problems. I’m not a monster. It’s not because he got the last apron with the penguins playing volleyball though I don’t understand why children get first dibs on that kind of stuff. It is because poop happens and sometimes you have to work it out yourself.
It was the summer between eighth and ninth grade. It was the summer before freshman year of high school. I was in a transition. I was leaner, meaner, and I had contact lenses. In other words, I was a sex machine. Art camp awaited me across the bay. Everybody knew it wasn’t about art. For the teachers who were mildly successful artists it was about making a little extra money for pot. For the teachers who were artists before their time it was about making money to pay rent until there time came and they could afford pot. For me as a student it was about getting out of the house for two weeks. I didn’t know what pot was yet. Other students said they would stay here forever if they had their mom’s cooking at mealtime. I told them I didn’t need anything extra to stay there forever. They wouldn’t had looked at me so confused if they had actually tried my mom’s “cooking”. All the talk was about the dance at the end of the first week. We couldn’t wait. All the guys talked about whose throat their tongues were going to be down while I was just thinking about getting my tongue on the spread of sugar laden deserts and pastries that were promised to be on tables outside the dance. No euphemism intended. I’m talking about eating food. Given my eighth grade swing and misses I figured I was going nowhere with the ladies, especially on the western shore. Aim low, at least you’ll eat was my motto but at the dance, as it turned out, aiming low just made me not see a girl approach. She was from the part of the camp. She a lip that looked like it wanted to be cleft but at the last minute decided not to be. She had skin like a Hummel porcelain angel and a head of hair as red as the fires of hell. I’d make comments about her body but she was fourteen at the time so those records are sealed. I’d also tell you her name but I really can’t remember that so she will be known as “the girl”. The girl asked me to dance and as I do whenever asked a surprising question I agreed. We talked about ourselves as people do when they are trying to move rhythmically while kind of touching each other. My hands on her hips her hands on my shoulders. We were together the entire dance. She told me how she hated her stepmother and how she liked the camp. I was thinking of dead dogs to try and avoid an erection that would make the night more uncomfortable than it already was. In later years I learned by way of a few films that sometimes an erection makes things more comfortable. Anyway if you are waiting hear the juicy details there are none. I guess if you pluck a wallflower from its wall it is destined to die. I made no brash romantic moves and hence there were no brash romantic occurrences. Just two white people trying to dance. Probably two young people caught in the grip of “What are we supposed to do” without any answers. There was at least one person in that grip. We said good bye and I walked back to the dorm remembering our light fandango and thinking of how incredible she smelled as I heard my stomach growl...
“Wow, what was that,” Bridget exclaimed. “Oh sorry, it was my stomach. I forgot to eat earlier.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hen's Teeth Marks part one: First Crush

I’m at the Hair Cuttery. It seems my hair is “too bohemian” for the streets and community service work. Old man Patterson is a ball buster. As Bridget backs my head into the washtub I’m slapped with the knowledge that my hair is going to keep growing and I’m going to have to do this again in the future, then again, then again. Let just say until the end of time, my time at least. I don’t know why she has to wash it because I did shower before I showed up. I guess its standard operating procedure. There’s nothing much more I can do but look up at Bridget as she washes my hair but there’s nothing wrong with that. She has the most gorgeous red hair. It seems red hair has made its way into my life a few times. Actually all my love landmarks, or hen’s teeth marks as I call them, have happened around the follicles of red haired maidens. I grin at Bridget and she’s working for a tip so she smiles back the kind of smile that makes a man dream.
I was in sixth grade just realizing the differences between boys and girls. My realization was aided by the well worn book “The Facts of Love” my mom had on the shelf. Well worn because my older brother must have had the same realizations with this book earlier in his life. The emotional and hormonal feelings were awakened by those graphite drawings of what those other people who played with dolls looked like under their summer clothes. What did I do? To steal a phrase from Hannibal Lecter I began to covet. What did I covet? I coveted what I see every day. I coveted Mary Sullivan. Mary was my first major crush. She had blazing red hair. The kind of hair you’d think you could roast marshmallows over. Yes, she was a year older than I but I felt I was mature for my age. I had seen the drawings in “The Facts of Love” and hadn’t really played with my Castle Greyskull in weeks, I mean really played with it with commitment. I had farted around with it on Tuesday but that didn’t count and that was only to get an idea of what to do with the castle Mary and I would build for ourselves after the wedding. Maybe we might have kids but we would take a little time just to walk around the castle naked for a few years at least. Just in the castle. It would be silly for me to be naked while I was playing defensive end for the Cleveland Browns. I would have my uniform on then. I was an overweight child, which may help in my professional football career but may not help in the wooing of the fair Miss Sullivan. I hatched a plan that would be the envy of any coveter. Step One: Crash diet. Step Two: Walk up and down the street for exercise. This gives me a visual presence plus it spreads my musk chemically telling all other coveters, “Hands off! She’s for the fat kid in the Ocean Pacific shirt.” Step Three: Book Sir Rod, the Rod Stewart cover band, for the wedding. Well the pounds were coming off that summer between seventh and eight grade and some how my musk had drawn Mary out to participate in the walks with me. We’d talk a lot and she probably knows what we were talking about but god knows I didn’t. I was too busy in the back of my mind picking out wallpaper for the drawing room of our castle, but as the summer went on I started to hear her longing for her first year of high school to start. She would talk about all the cute boys that would be there and I realized that I had lost her. Actually I never had her. It was a one year age difference but that’s the longest year when you are in middle school and she’s in high school. I lost my taste for any preditorial coveting that summer. I decided that I would live the rest of my life as if on a sled letting wind and gravity guide my way leaving me with little responsibility for outcomes. The emotional welfare system I guess. I lost a lot of weight that summer but I think the biggest weight I let go was the towering down payment on that castle. That would have killed me with just my part time salary at Movie Time Video. I mean… ”Is this good?,” Bridget said. “David, is this okay?” “You can take a little more off. You know, one time I actually had a mullet,” I replied. She laughed, “I bet you had all the ladies.” “Not a one,” I said grinning, “Not a one.”