Friday, July 11, 2008

Story #43 - Firework

Oh my goodness it has been over two months since I last wrote a LOBD story. I am so sorry for the delay, but things have been hectic and I have been forgetful. Let's let bygones be bygones and I will write more and hopefully you will send me more stories. Friends? Friends.

Here's a story I was going to write for last week, the 4th of July, but didn't get around to. So, happy belated independence day!

***

Firework
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decision. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

It was the 4th of July and we were all gathered at the middle school to watch the fireworks. The brass band played the national anthem and we all waited, waited for what seemed to be too long. It always takes forever for them to start.

And then up went the first one - the high whistle of a rocket taking off - and the bright blue explosion in the sky, a concentric circle, falling down. And then another: red. Then green. White. Red.

That's when I got up and ran downhill towards them. I had a question that I wanted to have answered. I climbed over the plastic orange fence that blocked the way between me and the field.

You'll laugh, but -- well -- I wanted to catch one.

I saw the fireworks disappear in the sky, the smoke rising up, and I wanted to see if they fell, where they fell to.

It turns out that I don't know much about how fireworks work.

***

Friday, May 2, 2008

Story #42 - Telephone

Sorry for missing another week; here is your story as requested.

***

Telephone
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

Here's what I did:

I took a telephone, I put it in my hand. I pressed the buttons until it made the sounds I liked. I tried to make songs, but they were mostly atonal and boring.

I tried all the seven letter words I could think of: 1-800-PROBLEMS, 1-800-EARACHE, 1-800-CUPCAKE.

If I got a business I said, "I would like to buy several products."

If I got a person in their home, I had to think very fast. I would say, "I am on fire!" or "My house is gone!" or "I have been poisoned!"

And they'd say, "Are you sure?"

Or, "Who is this?"

Or hang up.

I never got to talk to anybody more than that. Sometimes I'd hang up. Sometimes I couldn't think of anything good enough to say.

Accidentally, I called someone I knew. I showed up on their caller ID. "Why are you calling me?" he said. "Why are you doing this?"

That night, while I was somewhere else, he broke into my house and smashed all my telephones with a croquet mallet.

Now I don't talk to anyone.

***

Friday, April 18, 2008

Story #41 - Outside

***

Outside
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

It was so nice outside, damn it really was, so I sat out there on a chair and thought, you know, I'm going to stay here. I'm not going back inside at all. Not at all.

It proved more difficult. For one thing, it turns out to be cold at night. I found a patch of sod they were using to cover up an upturned field, and I slept under that. I found shelters - the tarps at baseball diamonds, dumpsters, various pieces of cloth.

For food I would scour around the area, looking at trash cans, going to pick up the scraps from restaurants. Sometimes there were cats and dogs.

Then winter came. Turns out that the weather isn't always this nice, sometimes it gets extremely cold. I ate snow to survive, as much as that could have helped. I tried to make warm insulation inside of me. I may have gotten frostbite? I don't know.

The important thing is that my sojourn outside was terminated - not by my own free will, understand, but by someone picking up my frozen body and taking it to a hospital. That bastard. Didn't they know I didn't want any help - that this is what I chose, to make a life like this for myself?

I was so close.

***

Friday, April 11, 2008

Story #40 - Climbing a Tree

Dang, I have been neglectful, I guess that is what happens when you are busy all the time. But no fear! I will try to get this back to at least a semi-regular schedule.

***
Climbing a Tree
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

When I was 9 or so, there was this tree in my neighborhood that I could climb up easily. So sometimes I would go up there and hide for a time.

Once, I decided I would stay there for as long as possible. I didn't prepare, I just went up and did not come down.

Only, I didn't tell anybody. Which is why, when my family walked past yelling my name, trying to find me, I wasn't sure whether I should answer or not. Part of me knew I should probably come down there. Part of me was thinking: Stay up here. Stay up here. Don't say anything.

Oh, I came down eventually. Someone in my family eventually looked up. They got angry. I was grounded for maybe a week or so, I don't remember.

Looking back I think that I knew, even then, that it was a bad decision to begin with. And yet I did it anyway. Maybe I shouldn't have, who can say that now. But it happened.

I haven't been back up the tree yet.

***

Friday, March 21, 2008

Story #39 - The Message, by Adam Mirvis

Sorry for missing last week, but I am making it up to you by posting a new story by Adam Mirvis! Picture the coolest person you know; Mr. Mirvis can defeat him. Yeah, I know. Here is the story.

***

The Message
By Adam Mirvis

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I pondered this thought while blinking into the blindingly bright light. After several long seconds, my pupils began to adjust, and I stopped having to squint quite so hard.

The crew stood about, some making last-minute adjustments, but most with nothing to occupy them. Nerves were apparent in their faces, but also a barely-contained giddiness. Like the equipment we were using, the crew was mostly scrounged up - some had been ungraciously retired before their time, others were young amateurs, in way over their heads.

Already, I could begin to feel the warmth of the lights creeping into my skin, my collar beginning to itch. It had taken nearly seventeen months to get everything in place - surreptitiously patching into the cable and satellite networks, assembling our broadcasting station, coordinating our assault so that all the media channels would be redirected, simultaneously, to us.

I reflected on what we had done - on what we were about to do. As I watched the hand just off the center of my field of view counting down...five...four...I indulged in a brief fantasy of the world we were about to create. Everything would be different - better. We would be treated as heroes one day. Three...a small red light came on, just to the right of the camera lens. Two...one...an index finger, pointing at me in pregnant silence.

I cleared my throat, and began to yodel.

***

Friday, March 7, 2008

Story #38 - Underwater

Right, sorry this one is so late. So, for the spring of 2008, LOBD is now moving to FRIDAYS. That's right, Friday is now LOBD day, as it fits better with my schedule.

Remember, you can (and should!) submit your own LOBD entry, by following the rules, as linked to on the right.

Now then.

***

Underwater
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

So I submerged myself in water, and told myself I would not come back up. The idea was not to kill myself, it was just to test my limits.

At first it was bad. I could hardly hold my breath for more than a minute. I had to teach myself new ways to breathe, ways that surprised myself. I read some very interesting texts.

I got to five minutes and started to feel like I'd accomplished something.

Then six. Then six and a half, then seven. Finally I worked it up to ten.

I kept going like this, in different places - swimming pools, lakes, ponds, especially large baths. Sometimes lifeguards would come and "rescue" me, which of course led to further complications.

Eventually I learned how to eat plankton.

And now I think I have a handle on things. I have learned how to do it very well. For long, long periods of time. Where do you think I'm writing this from?

***

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Story #37 - Bad Drugs

Sorry about the delay on this one, I have been extremely busy (and forgetful, okay). But we are back for reals this time!

***

Bad Drugs
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I took some bad drugs. It started out as an experiment, sort of, to be how many drugs I could take without dying. But I'm not that well off, and so I couldn't get my hands on the good stuff. So I took what I could get.

It was interesting, to say the least. My body had trouble ingesting some of them, and chose to expel it in the sorriest way. The rest, well. How do I describe it.

I went to Antarctica, and I was very surprised not to see any penguins there but rather the busts of the heads of several Vice Presidents, including Magic Johnson, our 50th. I dug a hole in the ground - surprisingly easy - and covered myself with the snow, determined to make myself a snowman. It was difficult. The snow kept falling off and turning into small children. They wanted some candy, but I had none.

It was very cold, and I was very cold. Suddenly a face appeared that had no mouth but was still asking me to leave, first politely, but then rudely. It had an axe for a hand and a hand for a foot. It's foot-hand grabbed me on the leg, like a cat would if a cat had fingers instead of paws. It kept on doing this.

Then at the end I was a few states over and colder than I had ever been.

I refuse to go to the hospital for this. I refuse.

***

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Story #36 - Waffle Iron

Folks, sorry it's been so long since my last story, but I hope you enjoyed the hiatus. I am busy this year but I'm going to stick to posting one story a week, every Thursday, for your enjoyment.

Of course, you could make it easier by writing something yourself and sending it to me.

***

Waffle Iron
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

It was right in front of me, and I could not help it. I turned it on and waited a few minutes. While I waited I fixed myself a strong drink of whiskey and soda water.

Then it was nice and hot. I opened it. I put my hand in the middle. I closed it.

It's like how you go to reach a kettle or something, and it's hot, so your hand instinctively moves away. Only now, it can't.

When I finally took it off - charred, seared - I saw the square marks covering it all over, having left their print.

And it was awesome.

***

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Poem #1 - Frustration attraction, by Josh Gottlieb-Miller

Sorry for the week hiatus, but I was in France visiting a friend, and I forgot to let people know. So I'm saying this advance, that this blog will be going on a two-week hiatus, beginning again on January 31.

However, it is not all bad news! I am proud to present the first poem written for the Land of Bad Decisions! It is by Josh Gottlieb-Miller, a good friend and a good poet. Please enjoy this offering and, while you are at it, submit something yourself.

***
Frustration attraction
by Josh Gottlieb-Miller

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

Every decision is a bad decision, that’s not enough. I needed to make some bad decisions, really make them. I needed a nickname

from the roommates I needed a bad habit, bad. I wanted to be a home-wrecker. I wanted to be loved the way a house needs an explosion

a demolition a fixing-up so it doesn’t have to have problems. I had to be a house I had to be livable. When I found my bad decision I had to be a worse decision,

I had to be somebody else’s bad decision because it’s not a land of bad decisions if I’m the only citizen. Fuck houses. I’m talking about whole new universes

of attraction I’m talking about raising the stakes because no girl wants to cheat with a fucking angel. I had to be a big crunch ending,

or a stars ripped open and exploding but not the cold slow advance of nothingness. I had to be the night that can’t drink enough

I had to be the drink that isn’t dark enough I had to be the God of Bad Boyfriends and gambler’s luck and candlelight suns and midnight blowjobs.

I wanted bigger bad decisions, climbing into bed decisions, turning off the light decisions, getting out of bed decisions, having another shot of bourbon great decisions.

Big bad bang bad decisions. It was as if my universe had come into contact with another universe and the result would be a never-ending cycle of destruction

and creation. And every morning that comes up is a morning after. And it comes up because of us.

And there are still Gods out there we can no longer see and no longer feel even as they exert gravitational pull. Perhaps there are houses to live in

and universes to live in that don’t end and begin at the drop of a name into a confession. Up there the cosmos isn’t black there’s just nothing

for the light particles to illuminate. Ain’t no way to build a home in the land of bad decisions. So build a universe. So tear it down.

I want to live in the land of bad decisions. I want to make it mine. The worst decisions again and again, until they come up roses.