February 07, 2007

February 2007, Vol. 6, Issue 2

1. Big Day Out by Paul McGuire
We did not have a hotel room in Surfer's Paradise with fewer than 18 hours before we were scheduled to board a flight to Coolangota Airport on Australia’s Gold Coast. We were caught up with work in Melbourne and waited to the last minute to book a room... More

2. A.M. by Nick Cantwell
Disoriented at first, then a realization. Lisa. No Liz. Yeah that's it - Liz. She's naked. Sound asleep... More

3. My Clog by Gracie Logan
When my film's start time drew near, my clogs and I said good-bye to the sunny afternoon. We purchased one ticket (my clogs travel free) and entered the inviting cool darkness that is the lobby of the Music Box Theatre... More

4. Emilio Estevez Is Born by BTreotch
Joe Estevez was in a pickle, he knew Janet was in the midst of some invisible shrimp tickle. Scooping her into his arms, Joe got an erection and asked where the ladies room was... More

5. Title by May B. Yesno
On the inside boiled and roiled the heathenish and brutal trail of mangled flesh, from every direction, tokens of small bottles of human - and sometimes, from the early days, animals - blood... More

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...

From the Editor's Laptop:

Welcome back to the another installment of Truckin'. May B. Yesno is back with a wicked tale. Nick Cantwell shares another poem. This issue features BTreotch's first Truckin' contribution which is a hilarious story about Emilio Estevez along with a clog story from Sweet Sweet Gracie. I spent a month in Australia and I have the first of many Oz-inspired stories. Stay tuned for more.

I ask that if you like these stories, then please do me and the rest of the writers a huge favor: Tell your friends about your favorite stories. It takes a few seconds to pass along Truckin'. I certainly appreciate your support. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you know anyone who is interested in being added to the mailing list.

Thanks to the writers who exposed their souls to the world and wrote for free. I'm lucky that you were willing to take that leap of faith with me. Thanks for inspiring me.

Thanks again to you the readers for wasting your precious time with Truckin'. Until next time.

Salukis,
McG

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Thomas Pynchon

A.M.

By Nick Cantwell © 2007

Six thirteen. AM.
Disoriented at first, then a realization. Lisa. No Liz. Yeah that's it - Liz.
She's naked. Sound asleep.

I'm wide awake. I always wake up immediately when I've been drinking the night before. I let my eyes become accustomed to the semi-darkness and scan the room.

There are my clothes and there is the door. That's all I need to know.
I pull on my jeans, shirt and jacket. Check the pockets – phone, keys and wallet - all present and correct. The wallet still has money in it. Good – I haven't spent it all, and none has been taken – you can't take any chances.

I go into the hallway, and close the door gently behind me.
The hallway is familiar. We didn't get as far as the bedroom for quite a while.
Fortunately she hadn't locked the front door from the inside – other things on her mind.
I leave.

As the fresh air hits me – I realise my head is pounding. It's the crack of dawn, I don't have any idea of where I am and I need a piss. I find an alleyway and relieve myself.

Classy.

I find a main road, and there's a shop. I buy a bottle of water, some aspirin and a packet of cigarettes. Twenty, not my usual ten. I ask the guy directions to the nearest tube station. It's a twenty minute walk - which I'm glad of. Clear my head a bit.

The underground station is relatively quiet. Only losers like myself are up this early on a Saturday morning. The tube arrives quickly, and I place myself in the corner, my head resting against the glass. For the first four or five stops, I have the carriage to myself, but as we get closer to town, a succession of cleaners, shift-workers, down-and-outs and drunks inhabit my space – or was I inhabiting their space?

Daylight greets me for the first time as I step through the ticket gate – and for the first time this morning I feel cold. I reach the flat and head straight for the shower. The steamed mirror denies me the opportunity of looking at my face, looking into my eyes – which I am eternally glad of.

I sit on the end of my bed, and my eyes immediately become drawn to her picture.
Her picture.
It's always her face I see.
No matter what their names are – it's always her face I see.
Always her face.

But it never is her. Not her hair. Not her smile. Not her mouth. Not her body.
Not her.

Nick Cantwell is a writer from London, England.

Big Day Out

By Paul McGuire © 2007

We did not have a hotel room in Surfer's Paradise with fewer than 18 hours before we were scheduled to board a flight to Coolangota Airport on Australia's Gold Coast. We were caught up with work in Melbourne and waited to the last minute to book a room. Our buddy Brandon, a professional poker player, was playing in the Aussie Millions poker tournament while Shecky and I were media hounds, covering the event for Poker News. We all assumed that we could find something at the last minute. We were very wrong since it was the middle of the summer in Australia. Surfer's Paradise and the surrounding beach towns were popular destinations. Plus, with the Big Day Out music festival nearby, everything was sold out.

After checking every major hotel and tourist website, we were ready to give up and headed to the bar to brainstorm our options. We ran into Kristy, a poker pro from Southern California, who had just won $285,000 Aussie dollars inside of four days after going deep in two different tournaments. She was having a minor celebration at the bar with her boyfriend, Ralph, a funny, soft-spoken, Aussie businessman, and invited us to join them.

Ralph bought us a bottle of wine that cost somewhere near $2,000. He doesn't just have a "black" American Express card, Ralph is such a high roller that he has a "Titanium" card. That puts him in an elite with 50 other members on the planet. That card is literally made out of steel and comes with a 24-hour concierge service... free of charge. Ralph's assistant is named Wang and attends to all his needs.

Shecky explained to Ralph about our problems finding a room on the Gold Coast.

"No worries, mate!" Ralph said as he picked up his mobile phone and dialed Wang, who was told to set us up with a room.

A few hours later, we were set up at the swanky Palazzo Versace. The room was over $600 a night or over $1,200 for two nights, which was about $800 over our price range. Shecky asked Ralph to find us a cheaper alterative.

"No worries," he said again. "This is on me. But be warned, it's a very snooty place."

Thanks to the generosity of a gregarious wealthy Australian businessman, our lack of hotel room was quickly solved. Our next problem involved the tickets to Big Day Out. Shecky was supposed to secure us three tickets to the Australian summer music festival rivaling Coachella and Bonnaroo. It had been sold out for months in every city including the show we had flown up to the Gold Coast to see. Shecky worked in the music industry for fifteen years and was associated with several major bands. He personally knew Tool's manager and had called in a rare favor several days earlier. His contact said he'd put three tickets aside for us.

On the morning of the festival, Shecky showed up at Tool's hotel in downtown Surfer's Paradise where he was given an envelope. Shecky opened it up to discover that there were only two tickets instead of three that were promised. Wicked pissed, Shecky called the manager, who was back in Hollyweird.

"I have not asked for a favor in five years," he lamented, wondering about all the positive karma he put out into the universe during his days of managing the Stone Temple Pilots or heading up Hootie and the Blowfish's record label.

Tool's manager apologized and said his assistant would contact us immediately. A late thirty-something California girl called Shecky to apologize again and promised us backstage passes, which read "Guest of Tool."

Since most of the bands we wanted to see were late afternoon and in the evening, we headed backstage and sat in the huge tent adjacent to the dressing rooms. There was free food and drinks with plenty of tables with the stairs up to the stage a couple hundred feet away. We sat down at a table to play Chinese Poker. It was a little strange because members of random bands would be walking past us while Brandon, Shecky, and I gambled as the muffled sounds of the band onstage fluttered by. The guys from Chemical Romance, Jet, The Killers, and Tool passed by us at one time or another and must have wondered who were those freaks playing poker amidst balding journalists with tape recorders and seventeen-year old groupies wearing no underwear.

I wanted to end the game to go see John Butler Trio's set. The band had walked past us and headed on stage, but Shecky would not let me go because he was in the middle of a terrible losing streak. He refused to end the game until he won a hand. That went on for about 12-15 hands and we ended up missing the first fifteen minutes of John Butler Trio. Bastard.

I had only been backstage at a major concert once... and that was Phish in Arizona in 1999. The Big Day Out backstage experience was unreal and surreal. When Kate Hudson walked by, our jaws dropped. The angelic actress was not wearing any make-up and wore a flowery sundress and oversized sunglasses as she sauntered past us. She was apparently banging the lead singer of Jet, according to the Aussie tabloids. At one point she bent over in front of me and squatted for a few minutes so she could see Muse. Shecky poked me in the ribs and said, "That's the closest Kate Hudson will ever get to your cock."

Two feet away. Spectacular. I jotted down notes and the setlist and just like the scene from Almost Famous, I expected Penny Lane to take the pen out of my hand and toss it away. And yes, she's amazingly smoking hot in person.

Paul McGuire is a writer from New York City.

Emilio Estevez Is Born

By BTreotch, a short story inspired by Neal Beatty and Ted L. Nancy © 2007

It's a little known fact that Emilio Estevez was born in a women's bathroom while his mom, Janet Sheen, was on a tour of the Hillshire Farm Factory in New London, Wisconsin. Boy do they have tasty meat. Janet Sheen loves to travel. She also had an award winning collection of skinless kangaroo sausages (Blue Ribbon, New Zealand Nut Festival 1961 [Skinless Sausage Division]) and was hoping to collect a collector's item skinless sausage gift tin she heard was being sold at the end of the factory tour. Convinced such a coveted gift tin wouldn't last long, Janet risked her approaching due date and flew into Milwaukee.

Joe Estevez had never been to Milwaukee, but he would later recall with strong affection his fondness of Robin Yaunt.

"That Robin Yaunt has a grand mustache!" Joe would yell at the TV.

Or, "Robin Yaunt is a hass, a certified hass!" Uncle to Janet Sheen's daughter, Renee Estevez, no one ever said if he was Martin's brother, or brother-in-law. Those were Martin's wishes.

Joe Estevez headed north on Highway 41 – they had a two-hour drive ahead of them and the plane had a late start from LaGuardia.

Fighting intense heel pain, Joe made good time in the cool Wisconsin summer and almost managed to forget his left foot. Joe had terrible spells were he felt he just couldn't go on in such pain. It was so bad that he once threatened to slice off his heel and replace it with his elbow. He figured he only needed one elbow. The only phone call Janet ever received from the police was to come pick up Joe from the station. Joe had been arrested – though no charges were filed – for public intoxication, only he hadn't taken drink or drug in 12 days. Police found him yelling and pointing at his heel with tears running down his face. Joe didn't mind the arrest; he was only concerned that his parrot would be fed while he was, "in the clink."

Arriving with only 45 minutes until closing time for the Hillshire Farm factory tour, Janet Sheen asked to be dropped off near the door, hoping Joe would wait in the car so she could get a reprieve from his constant belly aching. The Sara Lee Bakery owns Hillshire Farms, but Janet was somebody who really didn't like Sara Lee's baked goods. She once got into it with a nasty Englishman and went after him with a shrimp fork – luckily, it didn't break the skin (though she did puncture his arm). No one was manning the Hillshire Factory Farm front desk at 4:15 pm. No one knows why either, then again no one ever stopped by for a tour anymore; the elementary schools had already done their tours in early April. Perhaps the gal was simply matriculating.

This missing receptionist only stalled Janet for a bit, but long enough for Joe Estevez to find his way inside. Turing around, Janet noticed a large red arrow below a framed white sign which read, "Welcome to Hillshire Farms, a Sara Lee Bakery Company.” The route of the factory tour is a loop, if one were to measure the length of this loop they would find it equaled this distance of all the apropos tubes (intestinal and what have you) laid out in a straight line from the nostrils to the anus and back, of the entire Sheen/Estevez family. Wrap your head around that, it's quite compounding. Interestingly enough, the gift shop was just on the other side of the wall where the receptionist should be sitting. Had Janet Sheen known this, Emilio Estevez would not have been born in a women's bathroom at the Hillshire Farm Factory.

This factory produces an epic array of food and drink: hot dogs, bread, meat products, coffee, baked goods, pork sausages, frozen and packaged foods, corn dogs, coffee machines and coffee pods. Lesser known are the extensive list of household and body care products: air fresheners, hair care, shower gels, facial toners, washes and masks, shoe polish, washes for men, children's bubble bath, toothpaste, cosmetics, body care, and baby products. Even lesser known was that the new chemical Hillshire Farm R&D were developing to solve the terrible dandruff caused by their "Mighty Man" shampoo would cue such an odd response from Janet Sheen. Wade Duckworth happened to open the door to the R&D lab, wafting the odor into the awaiting nostrils of Janet Sheen. She stumbled and went to her knees, much like William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition, but without the blood and hullabaloo.

The Maya weren't the first people to discover that female orgasms usually induced a successful birth very quickly (not to mention a happy-ever-after life for the child). They were, however, the first to draw pictures in stone of it. Quivering like any of the young ladies in "Squirting Down the House, Part 5" (take your pick), Janet Sheen was cumming, and she was cumming hard. Joe Estevez was in a pickle, he knew Janet was in the midst of some invisible shrimp tickle. Scooping her into his arms, Joe got an erection and asked where the ladies room was. Janet's water broke the second step inside the bathroom, her third step slipped across the wet spot on the tile floor (making the fourth step her ass landing on said floor). Emilio Estevez's head breeched on the second bounce of Janet's round butt, and on the third climax in 30 seconds. By the time Janet's head laid back Emilio was squirting across the floor, like Janet's vagina was bull's eyeing wamp rats back home. Baby Emilio's head nestled against the high heels of a lady who had been quietly pinching a loaf; she wondered who would call the ambulance.

When Joe, Janet and Baby Emilio made it back to New York, Martin Sheen pulled Joe aside and asked him what they did with the foreskin. Joe shrugged and Martin dropped it, but Joe never complained about his left heel again.

BTreotch is a chemist and artist from Tampa, FL.

My Clog: A True Tale That Just Happened To Happen To Me

By Gracie Logan © 2007

It was a late April afternoon in Chicago, and though the weather was truly springish for the first time, I did not heed the call of the Lincoln Park Zoo with my new and overpriced walking shoes to see the bat house. Nor did I take my rollerblades to that delightful stretch of lakefront between the Drake Hotel and North Ave where the boys play football and white girls on a quest for the biggest melanoma lie face-up and unmoving in small groups on the grass.

No, I did none of those things with my aforementioned footwear. Instead, I wore my favorite clogs to a matinee showing of a new film entitled Memento at the Music Box Theatre.

We did some browsing before the film, my clogs and I. We stopped at P.O.S.H. to admire the Jadeite I covet, and wandered leisurely up and down Southport, eagerly planning an after-film trip to Hi Ricky for some Tofu Something Something Woonsen and a little satay (they have the best satay this side of the Patpong district).

When my film's start time drew near, my clogs and I said good-bye to the sunny afternoon. We purchased one ticket (my clogs travel free) and entered the inviting cool darkness that is the lobby of the Music Box Theatre. While I was anticipating some woonsen later, I could not resist a small popcorn with real butter. This particular theatre is the last movie house on the planet earth that uses the real thing on its corn.

"Extra butter, please," I told the attendant. "With some in the middle," I added quickly, not wanting to spend the second half of the bag craving more rich buttery flavor.

So, with calorie-laden corn and a counteracting Diet Coke in hand, we (my clogs and I) entered the viewing area and chose a seat up close to the screen--but not too close--and on the aisle. My clogs and I like aisle seats for not only do you not get claustrophobic there, should you have a heart attack or need some other sort of emergency medical attention, help can reach you quickly.

It was a sensible and well-planned choice.

Or so my clogs and I thought.

Aisle seats afford you a little more freedom than regular seats. One arm rest is all yours with no risk of having to share, and there is a little extra leg room should you wish to cross your legs towards the opened area.

I chose to cross my legs.

As the film (Did I mention the film was Memento?) explored some of the more disturbing areas of the human psyche, I grew uncomfortable and stopped eating the popcorn, placing it on the ground just in front of me in the aisle, hoping to get back to it soon because, gosh, it was tasty.

In my agitated state, I must have, and I say "must have" here as there is no conscious recollection of doing so, been fidgety with my foot. The one that was crossed over, not under.

Misinterpreting my nervousness for the call of freedom, my clog dropped off my foot, landed squarely in my popcorn, tipped it, and sent a wave of kernels down the incline of the aisle.

My clog, aided by gravity and moving corn, rolled away.

The chuckling started behind me and moved forward down the theater as I stumbled from my seat, on all fours, to grab my wayward clog. It was dark and I handled more than one shoe before I found my own, buttery and quiet, three rows down.

I did not stand up and take a bow, I did not make a off the cuff comment to indicate I had a sense of humor about my own foolish predicament. Rather, I skulked back to my seat head down, both mortified and dejected.

I may have embarrassed myself, but more importantly, there was no way I could possibly salvage my corn without the entire left half of the theater knowing I was eating from a bag that had my shoe in it.

Thus endeth the tale of my clog.

Gracie Logan is a writer from Gainesville, FL.

Title

Title

By May B. Yesno © 2007

As quietly as that the story began to take shape and blossomed in the mind's eye. The author motionless for many minutes on end, never committing to paper the swirl of thoughts. Never articulating the pain he saw in that mind's eye, nor attempting to describe for an innocent reader the involuntary quiver, the trickle of blood from the incision, warm to the fear cold body. Still. That was the word for the author. On the outside.

On the inside boiled and roiled the heathenish and brutal trail of mangled flesh, from every direction, tokens of small bottles of human - and sometimes, from the early days, animals - blood. The bottles chronicling the diminution of desires. Some bearing only dark matter, some reddish brown rusty liquid; some showing the separation of stillness, of others displaying clearly combined contents. But never reaching the shelves end. Always another empty bottle. Always the need to fill that bottle. And the shelves in the mind's eye were neither difficult nor tiring to construct. Never.

The observer, standing behind the author, would observe a form, save for the regularly spaced torso expansion and contractions, immobile as a statue. Seated was the form, in a kitchen chair, at a kitchen table, in a cold water flat - some where. Where didn't seem to matter, never to an observer, not to the author. The circumstances of the mildew musty smelling walls with peeling paper, stained sink, the un-made bed with tattered linens; none of it mattered.

The important matters were of the mind and the mind was busy fondling the bottles, and the manner of collecting contents. The mind was busy dissecting the body, the hands deep within the cavity beneath the ribs. Touching the heart, crowding the lungs. The mind could see the hands forcing fingers beneath and around the bowels, gripping the fat slimy glistening blue and white tubular sections, pulling, twisting; the mind hearing the velvety tearing, ripping of thin membrane as one section was loosened from another. Foot after foot dragged hissing and slithering across the bloody flaps of the abdomen walls, laid to each side, still attached to the back.

If the observer rendered powers sufficient, he would dip into the mind and tell us about the author. Tell us of another time, of lazy summer days; of the wonder filling the mind; of the reaching, the grasping, of never obtaining that perfect hold, of the perfect sequence of letters and spaces; of never achieving the goal. And as the youth matured, the quest continued; searching, seeking, never finding. Not all the Gods in Heaven; not all the Devils in Hell; not all the friends combined that praised, would the observer find that pleased the author.

That observer would tell us of the girls in adolescence; of the Christmases of youth and the joy and the gifts received. He would tell us of pleasures of the learning, the pleasures of skipping the learning - for the delightful pleasures of truancy are pleasures as great as the knowledge gained through diligences. Still the observer, with his powers, cannot find a grain of satisfaction in the author. Nor he search himself to exhaustion, none would he find, nor will find, not yet.

In the mind of the author; the hands gently pried and separated the coils and loops; moving smoothly down, smoothly down, savoring each twitch and jerk of the body, until the fingers identified shapes. The ovaries, the womb - and the hands pause, they stroke. The birth place, the center of creation. The authors mind caresses the thought, imagining the process of creation. The passion, the touching, the blood racing, the questing, the ascension; both kinds. The release. Ah, the mind bending, blessed, release of tensions. The joy of the aftermath.

The hands rip, tear, and cast aside, the object which thumps to the floor. Tough, disgusting, it thumps. The body on the table heaves. In the author's minds eye rise giggles and simpers, and the hands pause as the mind turns over every action thus far performed.


Were the observer to move deeper into that miserable room, close-in behind the author and peer over his shoulder, the observer would detect a certain tension in the hands. A certain rigidity to the neck, a faint but perceptible quiver to the head. The observer would also discover the envelope. The envelope: clutched, wadded, smoothed across the knee; held gently, clutched again, wadded, smoothed, held. But never torn, never destroyed, never discarded. Never opened - yet.

Having reviewed the actions taken, the mind of the author skips forward; considering, mulling. The eye of the mind sees the cavity, free now of intestines; wet and glistening. And the mind commands, so the hands obey and one reaches out, picking, from the utensils neatly arrayed nearby, a sieve. A small screened sieve, yet in entire, large enough to contain a bottle.

And the mind chooses; commanding again, and a hand drifts forward, closing on the bottle. The bottle identical to all other bottles on the identical shelves. Shelves hidden in the dark corner of a cluttered warehouse, yet light enough for the author's mind's eye to see and identify each, and if so chosen, any would yield a story to the mind. A warehouse hidden in gulleys and shadows behind the glittering fa├žade of the questing intellect. And the mind hesitates, so the hand stops. The eye observes the fluids seeping into the sieve, the sieve keeping the coagulating fluids and viscera away; creating a small pool of pure and lovely hearts bloods. But there is an Act to be performed. And Act as yet undone. If not performed, all Acts to this point are moot, worthless.


Now the observer, peering over the shoulder of the author, sees the hands lose tension and the fingers, ever so gently, ever so smoothly, ever so tenderly, turn the envelope back side to and will watch them trace the flap seal ridge - over and over; and over.

After a period the hand stills and gently presses the envelope to the knee while the off-hand raises smoothly to the table top and grasps the handle of a knife.

And just as smoothly, returns with the knife and the tip slips under the flap seal - and stops.

Should the observer use his extraordinary power at this point to enter the mind he would find a mind at this point at peace. All the preparation is finished in the mind's eye, everything to be done has been done. The bottle is ready, all that remains is the envelope.

And the knife moves, not quickly, slowly. Slowly and carefully, to avoid the missive inside the caressed envelope, the knife move with no hesitation. And it is done. The cut. Finished. The fingers holding the knife adjust position, dip into the envelope, and draw the single sheet free.

The mind's eye sees the bottle, sees the hands it commands, further instructs the hands to loose the seal and remove the container's lid. And the tensions in the mind raise. The heart rate supporting the mind doubles. The hands seem to tense beyond the task appointed, but remain firmly under the command of the mind's eye.

The observer will watch ever so closely as the hands return the knife neatly to the table, arrange the ruined envelope with precision and ever so gently open the full sheet to expose the message from the publisher to whom the manuscript was sent.

Silently the head dips over the document and the eyes of the author scan the five lines. A single word, the searched for word is not found; but the expected word, the bottled hopes of a word, is there, defining the shelves. The word is 'Reject.'

In the noisy mind's eye, the command is given and the hands act. The bottle is lowered, ever so gently, within the sieve, submerging itself. The fluids drain in smoothly and the mind chuckles, watching. The last small space is filled when the air bubbles and the bubble breaks. The mind communicates with the hands and the bottle is lifted, the lid replaced, the seal set. The hands flow smoothly to the sink where the bottle is gently washed clean and dried.

The mind's eye holds the bottle aloft against the available light and the mind, the creative mind nods in satisfaction, turning, reaches to place the bottle of ruby life's blood on the shadowed shelves, in line, in turn.


The observer watches the seated figure rise, stand momentarily, then turn and place the missive gently beside the envelope. The observer watches and the author slowly settles his knuckles to either side of the articles touched.

And listens to the first words uttered; as with head bowed, the author articulates: "It's time. It's time to hunt once more."

May B. Yesno is a writer from Fresno, CA.