Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Used To Live With A Gone Girl

I feel like I need to start this story off with a clarification: Marissa and I were roommates, not lovers. We wouldn’t make any sense as a couple. To tell you the truth, we didn’t make any sense as roommates either. But I was desperate for a room and she was desperate for the other half of rent, and Craigslist was helpful enough to complete this doomed equation. And just like that, a very, very bad living situation begun.

Like any bad living situation, the fault lies with both parties. I was at fault for neglecting to tell her beforehand that I was absented-minded and messy. And she was at fault for neglecting to tell me that she was fucking insane. Once we both found out about each other's faults, we tried to treat the situation maturely like adults.    

But somewhere along the way, we declared war on one another. I will spare you the details, because it’s not all that interesting and I fear I would become a far more bitter narrator than I ever care to be.

The story I do want to tell you, however, takes place during this war, over the course of one night, when we were forced into a period of peace. It was during this period that I discovered that I wasn’t just living with an unstable person, but an actual Gone Girl. If you have not read the book, or seen the movie, I suggest you do so at this time (or at least check out its wiki page). Go ahead, I’ll wait.

OK ready? Great. Now like all stories of this nature, this one begins with a series of loud THWACKS.


“RANDY! Randy are you there! Please help! Let me in! He’s after me! He’s after me! Let me in!”


(Another quick clarification, that last bit of dialog, that “aaaaah!”, that’s coming from me, not from the voice pleading for help. As I’ve explained in the previous story, whenever I am awoken by a loud noise, a let out a surprisingly feminine cry. But I digress…)



Like a frightened toddler, I swivel my head up to my bedroom window, the direction where the screams are coming from. That’s when I discover my roommate, Marissa, standing on our front porch, her face smushed up against my window, begging for help while her hands continuously slap the glass.

“Ma-Marissa?” I sputter.


“Randy, you gotta let me in!! He’s coming!!”

Instinctively, I jump out of bed and rummage through my pants pockets looking for my keys, but I can’t find them. Meanwhile, she keeps on thwacking the glass and pleading for me to unlock the front door, as if I’m unaware that the situation is serious.   

At last, I find my keys and run out of my room and straight to the front door to unlock the deadbolt. I try my best to get the key into the key hole but I’m so full of nerves that it takes a humorously long time to do so.  


“Randy! Open the door! He’s after me!!”

Finally, I get the key in and unlock the door. Immediately, the skinny frame of Marissa bolts into the house and she jumps into my arms. This is all very weird for me, as Marissa has refused to talk to me in the last three weeks, much less touch me. (Which has just been fine with me, interacting with her at all made my skin crawl.) And yet here we are in this moment, with her shivering in my arms, thanking me profusely. 

“You just saved my life! You just saved my fucking life!” She repeats this over and over again. Naturally, as I hold her, I peer out the door window, waiting for some boogey man to suddenly start rampaging towards us. But no one comes. Eventually, I get Marissa to calm down enough to let go of me and take a seat on the couch. 

Three minutes later, Marissa is clutching a cup of water, muttering to herself, as I sit next to her wondering what to say. Luckily, I end up not having to say anything, as she suddenly dives into the whole story, or at least, her version of the whole story.

 She tells me that she was at work (she works as a bartender at this dive bar in Midcity… yeah I know, enough said) when her ex-boyfriend came in and started harassing her. Then the manager tried to get him to leave and they got into a fist fight, then the cops show up and the ex-boyfriend hightails it to the back patio where he hops the fence and disappears. Then Marissa gets a call from a girl who says she is her ex-boyfriend’s new girl and she’s going to beat her up. This freaks Marissa out so she leaves work and walks home. That’s when the ex-boyfriend finds her on the street and chases her all the way to our house.

“Holy shit.” I say, when she finishes. “That’s insane.” I find myself actually feeling sorry for her, wondering if maybe I’ve been too hard on her, if this is what she’s been going through. But then a thought hits me.

“Wait… don’t you work like three miles away?”


“So he chased you for three miles?”

“Yes! I’m telling you he’s fucking insane! He wanted to kill me!”

Obviously, this sounds all kinds of weird to me, but before I can pry more information from her she excuses herself to her room so she can lay down. She tells me goodnight and thanks me again for ‘saving her life’ and then disappears into her room.

So there I am, alone in the living room, in my underwear, wondering what the hell has happened in the last twenty minutes. And then, of course, there was a knock on the front door. A loud, aggressive knock.

It’s him! I thought. It’s the boyfriend! He’s come here to get his revenge!

A grab the closest thing around me that could be used as a weapon, the plastic blue broom leaning up against the wall. If the image of me in my boxers, armed with a broom, walking towards the unknown while my crazy roommate hides in her room sounds too much for you, don’t worry, I felt the same way. I promised myself once this night was over I would start looking for a new place to live.

I open the door and am greeted by the sight of two stern looking police officers.  (For those keeping score at home, yes, this is the second story in a row where I answer the door in just my boxers only to find the police staring back at me. I guess it’s just my thing). 

“Sir, we know you’ve been in an accident. Come with us.” One of the gruff cops says.


But before the cop can explain further, a voice chirps up behind me.

“It was me officer, I was in the accident…” Marissa says as she walks nervously towards us.

I give her a quizzical look, but the cops whisk her away into their patrol car before anything is explained to me.

The last thing I hear her say to the cops is: “Am I in trouble?”

Now it is three in the morning, and any hopes I had of getting some sleep that night are completely dashed. Instead I lie in bed wondering what really happened with Marissa. What kind of trouble had she gotten herself in now? Would I ever see her again?

An hour later, I get my answer. Marissa returns home. I go out to the living room to meet her. This time, she’s all smiles, completely calm. I am beyond confused. After I press her a little she gives me the story, the real story.

Apparently, she didn’t walk home from the bar. She got a ride from some guy she met at the bar, she tells me. They were drinking together when he offered her a ride back. He was pretty drunk, but he told her he was fine to drive. So they got in his truck and headed towards our house. Somewhere along the way, he managed to drive into the neutral ground and run straight into a tree, causing his truck to flip over. They both crawled out of the truck and ran off in different directions. Marissa headed to our house (but not before leaving her purse in the truck, which is how the cops found her at home), the man ran somewhere into the night. And that’s how it happened to be that she came banging on my window.

So all that stuff about the boyfriend chasing her and trying to kill her was totally made up. This never made any sense to me... until I saw the movie Gone Girl. Then the dots connected. A delusional woman angry at a (ex) lover and wanting him to pay so she tries to stain his reputation and make him seem evil? The truth became evident. And the truth is, I’m lucky I’m still alive, cause I was living with a freaking Gone Girl.

The End

*also, Marissa is not her real name, I’m not crazy enough to take that risk.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Neutrons Protons Article: I Was a Ninja Turtle at Coachella!

Hey everyone,
   one of my stories was published by Neutrons Protons. This is a hilarious story (if I do say so myself, remember I have to be my own hype man here!) about me at Coachella dressed as a ninja turtle, and you can only read it over at Neutrons Protons. So click on the link, and be happy!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

SWAT Team Alarm Clock

As I mentioned in my previous story, I don’t live in a great neighborhood. There are obvious disadvantages to this (also mentioned in my previous story) but there are benefits as well. Here is an example of one of those (well, sort of)…

I went to bed happy the night before, because I knew I was flying home in the morning. I would be leaving this swamp (a swamp that I do love very much, but still a swamp nonetheless) and heading to the redwood mountains that I loved as a child. It was this image of nostalgic warmth that lulled me to sleep. And there I stayed, until…


I woke up with a yelp of fright (I mean this literally, I have this weird thing where if I’m awoken unexpectedly by loud noises I unleash a pitiful yelp for help), and scanned the area for danger.


No danger in my room. I realized I was okay. Then I checked the time. 6:20 am. Shit. My alarm clock was supposed to wake me up twenty minutes ago. I proceeded to fumble with my stupid clock, cursing its incompetence while trying to find the reason why it didn’t go off. 


Fuck. I had set my alarm clock for PM not AM. The classic blunder!  I thanked God for whoever was making that infernal banging noise. If it wasn’t for that, I might have slept right through my flight.


Who the hell was making that noise though, I wondered. Perhaps it was my roommate, locked out possibly, trying to get me to hear his knocking from all the way in my room.

Figuring that was exactly what it was, I go to the door in just my boxers, so I could surprise him with the sight of my hairy, pale/red body.


I opened the door to find a team of SWAT police facing me. Guns at their sides, bullet proof vests on, the whole bit. And judging by their facial reactions I could tell they were just as surprised at the sight of me as I was of them. “What the hell is this white boy doing living in this ghetto, and why is he so hairy and pale and red?” they seemed to be asking.

After this initial awkwardness passed, the leader of this pack, a square-jawed, fit man who slightly resembled an older version of Deputy Junior from Reno 911, stepped forward and threw a picture in my face and asked me if I recognized the man in it. The picture was incredibly grainy, but despite that, I could still clearly see that this was a picture of my next door neighbor Emil. I could even make out the tattoo tear drop on his left cheek, a tattoo that always made me wonder about him. He seemed like a nice enough dude, but wasn’t that tear drop tattoo strictly for those who had killed someone? Is that why they were here? To arrest a murderer??
The SWAT LEADER repeated his question, had I seen this man? But all I could do was think back to the past encounters I had with Emil. He was always good to me. I recalled this one time when my brother was in town and he gave both of us a beer as we were heading into a taxi. I also remembered that he was usually a very horny young man. Whenever a girl came to the house, he would pretty much interrogate me later about if she liked to get down and if she had any friends. That always made me feel uncomfortable.

Now I was getting interrogated by this SWAT leader and felt even more uncomfortable. If I identified the man in the picture, would that make me a narc? Or even worse, a snitch? Wait, is a snitch worse than a narc, I wondered? I wasn’t sure… I knew that snitches get stitches, but what do narcs get...

“Hey man,” Deputy Junior interrupted my thought process. “if you know this guy and you want to do the right thing, just tell us.” He was using the good cop strategy on me, and it was working. Why shouldn’t I be honest with this cop, he’s just trying to do his job. On the other hand, I didn't want to die... with one foot firmly over each side of the fence, I responded: “Well, he might be this guy that lives next door, maybe you should knock on his door and see if he’s there…”
 I needed to hurry. My wake up call and interaction with the New Orleans’ Finest had left me with just 15 minutes to pack before my cab was going to pick me up from the airport.  I grabbed my suitcase from my closet, opened it up and then pulled out my list of things to pack.

As I looked at my list, I could hear the SWAT Team playing bad cop with the apartment next door. 

            -A week’s worth of socks.

            Where is your brother, asshole?!”



“Fuck you, I want my lawyer!”


- T-shirts, casual. And a few dress shirts.

            “Where is your brother? Just tell us where he is!!”


            -  Hiking boots, Chapstick

            “I’m not telling you anything!”

I’m not sure exactly when, but at a certain point I no longer felt like I was packing for a vacation home, it felt more like I was fleeing for my safety. I had pointed the finger at the neighborhood criminal element, and now I was going into the witness protection program.
As I threw in my good pair of jeans on top of the haphazard mess that filled my suitcase, another worry hit me. What if they hadn’t found Emil. I knew Emil lived with his brother next door. Was that his brother they were talking to, or was it Emil himself. What if it was just his brother, and Emil wasn’t at home? If his brother wasn’t the one they wanted, would they just leave him at his house, unarrested? If so, would he see his brother later that day? If he saw his brother would he tell him that he thinks someone put the finger on him? That someone in the building pegged him as the outlaw they were looking for? Would they put me in that group of suspects? If so, would they want to talk to me, maybe give some much earned stitching for snitching?

I zipped up my suitcase and waited for the honk of my cab, trying to ignore the escalating anger occur just beyond my thin wall.

“Do you want to be in a world of shit?! Because if you don’t tell us where you’re brother is, you will be in a world of shit!!”

Two minutes later I was throwing my suitcase in the back of cab, trying with all my might to use my peripherals to see if it was Emil they had in handcuffs, as I dare not look directly at the situation, that might have been enough to convince Emil or his brother of my guilt.   

The cab sped away to the airport without me ever confirming whether the cops had found their man or not. As we drove out of my bad neighborhood, the driver looked back at me in the mirror and asked:

“So where you going, buddy?”

“anywhere but here man, this place is just too hot right now.”