Thursday, January 13, 2011

His Sleeve-Stretching 16-Inch Biceps

When I started grad school it was on a fellowship that let me stay up standing in burrito store lines and squirting limes into beers until four am. My roommate would be hip-deep in student essays in our living room and I’d be tapping out novel pages and taunting him, have fun, ha ha ha, but of course the next year when I had to teach to pay rent the universe bit me for my cruelty and I was assigned sections of ENGL 150 & 250 that started at eight in the morning. This was in Iowa, and in November – February meant that to get to my classes I had to rise at 7:30 and pull on a blazer and tromp out through untouched snow and cross streets kicking slush just to get dripping to my dank classroom in the basement of the English Department. Sometimes I’d see my students at the intersections and they were as gray as me but happier, probably, because their frozen brains would be only somewhat required in the hours to come whereas mine would be put to work animating our course.

One of my friends from grad school lives in Tennessee now—she just got there, actually—and told me her classes Monday were cancelled for snow. (I didn’t even realize Tennessee has snow.) Monday was the first day of her term, and this upcoming Monday is MLK Day, of course, and her class meets once a week, so that her entire schedule was pushed back two weeks by weather.

Here in Florida we don’t have it so bad, but it’s frigid lately, and we live in homes not designed for the cold (our apartment has one heater, and it’s an AC unit that has red settings you can turn the knob to) and it’s killing me to get out of bed. This morning the cat was a tiny ball by my shoulder with her nose stuck under a blanket. She inspired me to write a story, which I wrote about instead, featuring frozen pets.

Writing about that story I never wrote got me thinking about the other mini-stories I considered putting on Moonshot and didn’t. I just looked through the archives and found drafts for

“Clustered, Huddling” : No memory of what this even was about, but it was probably inspired by a similar cold stretch last month.

“What a Lot of People Don’t Know is the Song ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ is About a Drunk Driver” : Pretty much explained in full by the title.

“+20 Allure” : About an acquaintance with a magical and simple hairband that makes her gorgeous. Maybe the main character was going to swipe it and see if it worked on anyone else.

“Barcadenstein” : Frankenstein updated and set in a barcade. Obviously this one had good reasons for not developing past the title.

“The Princess and the Cake” : What?

“Untitled” : Someone decides the best way to kick start his partner’s libido is to get really out of shape and then really in shape again. Contrast therapy.

“His Sleeve-Stretching 16-Inch Biceps” : No clear memory of what was going on here.

“Ts” : A fantasy about running into one of the staff members from a local news station on which everyone is very careful to pronounce very sharp t sounds in every word, to the point of awkwardness.

“Pooh-Style” : About someone who will only have sex Pooh-style, naked but for a shirt. Probably really about someone who ruins the mood by making a joke, after stripping to just a shirt, about having sex Pooh-style. Why would you bring up Winnie the Pooh? one of the characters might ask, just before falling into a nostalgic stairwell in his brain.


  1. I think "Pooh-Style" is going to haunt me.

    This post is funny.

  2. I want to know more about the barcade. Also, the cake.