Tuesday, April 25, 2017

#7: Rainbow daze

I have been struggling. I realize I have a problem but I figure I'll be ok eventually. It all started when my mom died 4 months ago. I fell apart emotionally, started drinking a bit too much, and smoking a bit too much dope... Now I was surely on my way to being layed off and I realized as much and I also realized that the news I was reporting wasnt news, so I made it easy for them and just quit. My mom left me money, plus I had a good bit saved since I don't spend much. Now I just sit in my house mostly, listening to sad records with tug and smoking and drinking. The days blur together and only Ed comes by to check on me, every once in a while. "I just dont know what to dooooo with myself... bah!bah!" the white stripes wailed. There was a rainbow, and I saw a lot of people out and about, some staring at the rainbow, some heading to the free waffle day at Karnival... "I used to love those waffles" I said to Tug. "You still would if you got your lazy, drunk, high, sorry-for-yourself-ass off the couch and got some" he replied. "Tug you cant talk.." I said, giggling to myself. Oh well, he's right I suppose, free waffles are a good reason to get out of the house. As I opened the door, the new girl from across the hall had opened her and we locked eyes for a second. She was average height, with straight jet black hair and a smile that was shone like diamonds. I hadnt had any emotional attachments since my girlfriend taren, who left after my mom died. It's been a rough couple of months. I realized i was staring, stonedly at her with a half smile drifting across my surprised face.
"Hey, youre new right?" I said.
"Yeah, I heard there's free waffles at the diner, can you out me in the right direction?" she asked.

"hah! what a coincidence... I'm headed there now, I love their waffles," I confessed.

I told her to walk with me and we talked a bit about her and then she asked about me and I suddenly felt like I could tell her anything. I opened up about my issues and how I felt like I have a purpose but I cant seem to fulfil it and how now I am just wasting away in my apartment. She told me about her life in the city and how university was fun but she too felt like she was destined to do bigger things then intern at a shitty company who made toys in china.
We connected. I was excited and we both enjoyed the waffles, and then a stroll in the park. I showed her around Winthrop and explained the crazy stuff that had taken place last year. She was shocked abuot the circus but said that murders happen way more often in the city.

Her name was Diana, and we spent a lot of time together, and our romance grew. She got a job with the school, helping the underprivileged youth in Winthrop, and Pushed me to write more. I began to let my creativity spill onto the pages, and soon a story took shape. A grand novel of the exploits of a young man in a strange city. There was romance, violence, and everything in between. I was beginning to feel.... happy?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

#5 Happy Holidays'

I ended up at the Costco after the tree lighting. I realized I needed some things, just the basics like milk for my coffee and eggs, and maybe a few other things. Mostly I needed some time away from the hubbub of the apartments. Everyone is trying to act like there's nothing weird going on. They all want this joyous little Christmas time but what about the murder? The circus? What about the blood before that? Is no one curious about these mysterious happenings in our city? I've hit dead ends on all sides of each of those cases, but I continue to scour my notes looking for something I missed. Its getting really creepy to me in Winthrop. I expect the snowmen in the park will begin terrorizing people and the latke stands will cause mass food poisoning because what else could we have after all that we've had already. I grabbed a bottle of scotch off the shelf and threw it in my cart for later, when  I'm supposed to meet up and hang out with Ed. I need a woman in my life, I decided. I need more distractions because this writing bs stories and just wondering about the real stories isn't cutting it. Who knows, maybe I was never meant to be a journalist anyway. The boss loves my work but I hate it. I want to do real investigating, not this junk that I have been writing recently. there's a buy one get one free on chicken noodle soup so I grab two.  I already wrote a brief on the Christmas tree lighting. It was alright, everybody came out and the tree is huge, but the lights were a little basic and the spectacular was mostly for the kids. There was some caroling and some small talk between neighbors but nothing truly intriguing. I walked from there over to Costco, and then grabbed a latke with apple sauce from the one that stays open late, on the corner of Blackburn and Juniper. It was delicious but the oil kind of made my stomach hurt after. I headed home and saw someone shooting fireworks off and i smiled. I hope the winter gets better. I really do.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

#4 Murder Murder

Its been really cold. Like realllllly cold recently. I had to go and get some new gloves because one got chewed up last winter, and I splurged and bought a very nice, very expensive pair of brown leather gloves with a fur liner. I know fur is taboo or whatever but they are so warm and comfy. I also finally am having some fun. There was a note slipped under my door inviting me to be a detective in a Winthrop place murder mystery dinner on the 7th floor. I love mysteries which is a reason I became a journalist in the first place, so I am actually excited about this dinner. I dressed up in a suit like the note said to and went up the creaky elevator at 8:18, an odd time but then again the whole idea was a bit odd. I saw some of my neighbors and some people I recognized but couldn't name. The host greeted me at the door, introducing himself as Sep with a firm handshake. I made some small talk with a few friends and settled into a seat near Ed Banks

"Do you know what this is all about?" I asked him.

"Im just as in the dark as you, this is pretty stange," he replied.
"all I know is that my character that I'm representing is better than my real life," he laughed. "I'm now a a husband to the rich housewife. Thats a major upgrade!"

I chuckled and was about to ask him about his kids when the sound of metal on glass ran through the room.

Ding Ding Ding Ding

"Please may I have your attention, I am happy to be hosting this dinner and just wanted to invite us all to share our names around the table so everyone can at least have an idea of who everyone else is," The man named Sep said.

We went around saying names like a first grade class.

"Alright," he said as we finished, "lets ea–"


The room flashed white and then went completely black, total darkness.

"eat" he finished. "well folks I dont know what just happened but–"


The lights flickered back on and next to the table laid the circus master. He was pale and looked fragile like a porcelain doll. Blood was smeared across his brow and someone gasped. Sep looked on, mouth still open, with a distant look on his face. I pulled out my notepad and started scribbling the events furiously. Now the fun of the murder mystery dinner vanished and the horror of seeing a real dead person sunk in for the people around me. They hadnt been to the morgue to look at dead bodies and interview the postmortem examiners. I took notes on everything, each persons expression and the reactions and the set up of the room.

Someone called the police because soon they came and ushered people out and put take across the door to the 7th floor and people talked in hushed voices about their predictions of what happened and how it was a sick joke by a secret Winthrop killer, or it was the same person who left the pool of blood or whatever the theory of the moment was.

I used my credentials to get back up but they wouldn't let me see anymore and I could only talk to the boring police spokesperson who always gave the same, scripted account of every crime. It was useless, I would have to wait for the press release.

#3 Forum

As a journalist, I get to cover some of the most amazing and captivating events in the whole city.
And then theres covering environmental forums...

The thing was just to discuss our environmental footprint and lowering consumption, blah blah blah.  I know its an issue but I truly just want to enjoy my long showers and gas guzzling car. It's the little things, you know?

Anyways I was taking notes and listening to people voice their liberal opinions about how were destroying our planet and we need massive sweeping city ordinances to fix all the problems. As I listened I realized something. I am not worried about the looming death of our world. It sounds depressing and selfish, and maybe it is, but I want to live and have all the modern commodities that we have, and not worry about the future. I guess what I mean is that I like to live in the moment and enjoy what I have, especially since I don't have all that much to begin with.

The forum was boring and the metal chairs were icy cold. I could feel the chill through my pants and I decided to cut my stay there short. I had enough for the article and I could finish it up in time to walk down from my apartment to the lamppost with Tug.

I love walking the streets with him, its one of the most relaxing things I do. I just feel so stagnant right now and I want to do something bigger than these small town stories. Theres not a lot of breaking news since the pool of blood. Jake wasn't even interested in me covering the chandelier that blew up at the circus.

Oh well, at least I have Tug, and my hot shower and my rusty old Bronco.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

#2 For one night only

Another day, another story. At least this one is a little interesting, I guess... Covering the freak show that is the circus. They came in quickly and quietly, then the Ringmaster and his monkey passed out tickets and flyers all day. I was actually walking down Juniper and saw him, right after being assigned the story. I pulled him aside for a quick interview, and he gave the most vague and cryptic answers I have ever received. He failed to really give me anything to work with, so I decided to describe him. He was wearing puffy striped circus pants, with a bright plum colored top hat that stood probably a foot off his head. He had wide, green eyes that radiated mystery, and throughout the 15 minute interview, he didn't blink once. His face was clean shaven except for the large mustache, curled more on one side than the other, which gave his face a lopsided smile. An old bald brown monkey sat upon the Ringmaster's shoulder, screeching every so often as if to announce his existence.

I decided that I would just go to the circus itself and report from what I saw, then just crank out the actual writing immediately after. I got to the main tent early after walking through the rest of the circus quickly, I was ready for the main event.

People started to file in and I began scribbling furiously on my notebook. I try to capture all the details from a family's perfect brightly colored outfits, to the sound of popcorn being munched and soda being gulped down in anticipation. I note the animal headed people around the grounds, I note the absence of any trucks or way the tents and equipment got into Winthrop, I note the smell of rain, like it smells in summer on the hot black asphalt. The lights dim as I scribble. The boy and girl controlling ice and fire, putting on a show.

Some people give me weird looks since I just keep writing, hardly able to look up for 10 seconds at a time. One lady specifically is staring at me like she's worried. Maybe I looked suspicious in dark clothes in the back, writing everything I see.

The woman is suddenly gone. I see a chicken where she stood, but I assume I just looked away. Perhaps the chicken belongs to the circus, I think. I refocus on capturing the show.

After the show, I search around behind the tent but none of the performers are around to give an interview. The Ringmaster is nowhere to be found. I keep walking the grounds for about 15 minutes before I give up and trudge home to begin writing.

When back in the warm bright apartment, I try to do some research on the circus. The internet doesn't seem to know this peculiar group of performers exists, because the closest match to my google search ends up being a wikipedia page about ancient circus groups that show up in certain places based on the alignment of the stars and the cycle of the moon.

I end up making the story the most generic news brief possibly in my career, and then I climb into bed.
Perhaps tomorrow will bring with it another story with as much promise as the bodiless murder. There have been no leads and really no talk about it for weeks. Well, It's late... I had better get my sleep.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#1 Apt. 202

The day started with the usual. I woke up and made a delicious cup of coffee, had a bagel toasted with cream cheese, a glass of orange juice and then watched the 7:00 o’clock news.

I knew already about the blood and the note. I was called by my editor in the wee hours of the morning and got to the scene. Police were still there searching for evidence and clues and I furiously took notes of everything I saw.

I spent 3 hours watching, interviewing, recording, photographing. I needed this story to print by the morning edition of the --------- weekly. I hurried home trying to keep my notes away from the damp drizzle that soon drenched my entire figure.

At home, the clothes peeled off my body in the way wet clothes do, you know, the stick-to-your-body-tight kind of way. After a super quick shower I typed up a draft that I was almost content with, emailed it to Jake, my editor, before passing out on the couch still in my boxers.

Somehow I was still able to get up today and as I watched the news I compared it to the paper I had on my lap. My story captured the mood of the night, the lights flashing, the looks on the officers faces, and really the entire scene better than the news story. By a long shot.

“This will make Susan happy,” I texted Jake. He worked wonders on my story and it came out incredibly. The picture I chose to go with it was even good for my standards.

I smiled to myself, thinking about the rivalry between the channel 5 news team and our staff at -------- Weekly. This time they were second best, thanks to me being willing to go out in the downpour and get the full scoop.

I usually cover the shitty, novel stories which are so formulaic that I could basically write them in my sleep at this point. I got into journalism to do the big, heavy hitting news stories and this was my first real chance. And I killed it.

I looked down at my casio analog watch, jumped to my feet and started getting dressed. I had to take Tug for a walk before I left. I buttoned up my shirt, slid on my blazer and strolled out, locking the apartment behind me. I walked Tug to the bus stop and across to serenity where they have a little dog bowl outside. He lapped the water up greedily, even though he had just drank from a puddle right outside Winthrop Place.

I peeked inside Serenity but didn't see anyone I knew besides Beth behind the counter.

I waved and pulled Tug back to Winthrop so I could get to work.