Ten Minutes With A Dumpster Woman

dumpster woman

I hate taking out the trash at home, but when I’m at Starbucks, I absolutely love it.  It’s my favorite thing to do.  On any given day I’ll clock in and then immediately approach the supervisor and start trash talking.

“Can’s lookin’ pretty full,” I’ll start nonchalantly.  If they don’t ask me to take the trash out, I give them a little nudge.  “It’s going to overflow soon, probably.  Big mess.  I’d hate to be the one to have to clean that up.  Could attract rats.”

That usually works.  If it doesn’t, then I can wait.  Someone’s going to have to take it out at some point, and I’ve already planted my seed.

The reason I love taking out the trash so much is that it’s like a mini break.  Since I work at a Starbucks in the mall, the dumpster we dump our trash into is a few hundred meters away.  Maybe a two or three minute walk.  Getting the bags in the dumpster takes another few minutes, and, before you know it, your coming back eight minutes later, feeling refreshed.

Eight blessed minutes without having to talk to another human being.

If only it were that simple.

By it’s very nature, a mall is a communal institution, the dumpster pit doubly so.  Everyone in the mall uses the dumpsters.  Sometimes you have to make small talk.  Dumpster small talk.

It’s as uncomfortable as it is banal.

“Oh, hi!  How are you?  Yep, just taking out the trash!  Yes, I know.  Can’t wait for winter!  Work sucks, right?  Yeah, we’ll get better jobs one day!”

How I hate it.

It was night, and I had was bringing a bunch of cardboard boxes to the recycling dumpster, which is right next to the trash one.  I wheeled my cart up the ramp and threw a box in.

“Ow!  Hey!  Stop it!  Somebody’s in here!”

My heart seized up.  There was someone in there.  There was someone in there!  Both the dumpster have pneumatic trash compactors that could easily, easily crush anything left inside.  To death.

“Sorry?”  I asked.  I stared into the dumpster.

A head popped over the inside ledge.  A pretty head.  A woman’s head.

There was a woman inside the dumpster.

Meeting women by the dumpsters is not uncommon in my line of work, though most of them are pale, thin, and utterly unresponsive.


This one was different.  She wasn’t a mannequin.

So I asked the obvious question.

“Oh, you know,” she replied, “just looking for stuff.”

Stuff?  “This dumpster is for recycling only.  It’s mostly just cardboard boxes.”

“Well, that’s great.  You can never have too many cardboard boxes,” she said with a smile, and the disappeared again.

I looked over at the big, green button on the railing.  The one that started the compactor.  The one that would compresses her to a pulp.  The one that literally any unknowing passerby could press.

It’s loud.  The pneumatics would drown out her screams.

“They’re all squished!” she lamented

“That’s because you’re inside a trash compactor.”

The head popped up again.  “Really?

“Yeah.  You could die.”

“Huh,” was all she said.  She looked at my boxes.  “Are you gonna use those?”

I shook my head, and the woman climbed out of the dumpster.

I don’t know what I expected, but It wasn’t what I saw.  Here, crawling out of a dumpster, was a gorgeous twenty something woman in very chic clothing and, I kid you not, high heels.  Her hair was perfect.  Her nails divine.  She even had makeup on.

I stared.  She noticed.

“Sorry,” I said, “I just thought that someone… of the dumpster… wouldn’t look like…”  I took a breath.  “Aren’t you nervous someone might see you?   Someone you know?”

“Hey,” she said, “everyone needs boxes.”

Again with the boxes.  Who was this woman? Did she live in a box?  Did she and her lumberjack, rugged, cover of Men’s Fitness husband construct a house out of used cardboard?  Do they sleep on a cardboard bed?  Eat cereal out of cardboard bowls?  Did she send a lot of packages?

“I guess…” I said, as the woman picked up all of my cardboard and carried it to an infiniti CRV not too far away.

She left me alone with my thoughts.

Why?  Why would someone who didn’t have to climb inside a dumpster?  Who would do that?

She stayed on my mind as I walked back to the store.

I was mopping the floor when my friends showed up.  Nate and Britt had just graduated from the same graduate film program I had, and had made the move to LA less than a week ago.  Nate has two internships and film production companies.  Britt has some set jobs lined up.

I was in a green apron, mopping the floor, and I’d been here for a year.

Time flies.  When I first moved out here,  lived in a beach house thanks to a mix up with the apartment I would rent.  I stayed there for a week.  I was interning at a production company, the same one Nate was interning at now.  I was living the dream.

beach house

And now I’m mopping floors in a mall, taking trash to dumpsters, talking to strange women who dwell within.

At this point, I thought I’d be writing for TV show.

“There he is,” Nate said as I walked around the bar, “Looking good in that apron.  Has it been a good day?”

“Sure, it was busy earlier, but it slowed down now.”

Nate looked around, smiling.  “So do you like it here?”

I looked at my mop.  I thought about Starbucks.  I thought about the customers.  I thought about bills, and paychecks, and rent.  I thought about student loans.  I thought about fixing my car.  I thought about my health insurance, and my free coffee, and my computer, and my writing, and the industry, and movies and TV and socks and money and beer and people and friends and life and death.

Most importantly, though, I thought about a woman in a trash compactor stealing cardboard.

Hey, everybody needs boxes.

“Yeah, I do.” I finally said.  “What can I get for you guys?”

He got a very berry hibiscus.  Just like I knew he would.

very berry hibiscus


1000 Loyal Followers!

Well, it’s happened.  1000 followers!  Hooray for us!

I’ve decided that, as a 1000 follower event, I’ll post a poll where you, the visitor, can vote on what the next post will be, or maybe what you would like to see more of.

Also, I’ll be posting something very soon, hopefully by next week.  I’ve been caught up in finishing my screenplay and stageplay.

And lastly, some of my collegues at film school are doing a kickstarter to fund their writer’s showcase.  Here’s their website.


If you like film or writers, check it out.


Dear god, another one!

Well, dear and gentle readers, I must, first and foremost, apologize for not having posted anything in the past 3 or so months.  I was going to apologize for not having written anything, but as the most devout of you are surely aware, I am in a graduate screenwriting program, and have therefore written quite a few things, just not blog things.

I was doing pretty well with blog posts until we hit the production cycle last semester, which is when in a few short weeks every student directs his or her own movie, and also does every other film set position on other people’s movies.  It’s sort of like undercover bosses, except that all the people you may have pissed off while you were the boss know exactly who you are, and their turn is coming up soon.

The most exciting thing that happened to me during this whole period happened on the first day, when, in a dusty and dank warehouse, I dropped a $60,000 lens onto the cold, hard floor.  The concrete welcomed it greedily, and everyone else, the whole film crew and actors, watched it in slow motion as it tumbled from my clumsy paws.  There was really nothing I could do; my arms wouldn’t react fast enough.  It’s ironic, I thought, that the thing you are most often warned about not dropping is more often than not the thing that you drop.

And warned we had been.  Every class, every day, to hold the lens securely, and cradle it, much like one would baby Jesus, unless you were a Satanist or something, and make sure the party you are passing it too has secure hold of it before you release your grip.  This point was stressed again and again.

I honestly have no clue how I dropped it, I just sort of fumbled it.  One moment it was in my hands, and the next moment I was curly from the three stooges, clawing desperately at a 35mm lens that had seemed to have turned into a Mexican jumping bean, and refused to stay locked in my grasp.

As fate would have it, the trajectory at which I had launched my expensive missile led it to strike my friend Joel’s hip, and somehow, magically somehow, roll down his leg, like a wheel going down a hill, have a soft landing on his shoe, and then roll across the floor, where my friend John snatched it up before it could crash into a wall and shatter completely.

The room was dead silent.

“Gosh” was all I could manage to say.  The director nodded in agreement.  Gosh indeed.  As it turns out, the lens was somehow completely fine, a godsend, and I was merely charged a fee for having someone look at it, which I’m not entirely sure I ever actually got charged.

I was so warn out come winter break that writing was the farthest thing from my mind, and then, in Januare, I loaded up on an airplane and flew across the northern Atlantic to make my new home, at least for the next three months, in old London town.

It’s part of the writing program.  We get sent over here to work with British playwrights and other British people.  It’s supposed to help our writing, but it’s really been is an absolutely lovely way to write one’s first complete screen play, in a fabulous city, steeped in history and time, and rich in culture.

London, I’ve come to find, is nearly the antithesis of Tallahassee.  It feels safe where Tallahassee feel like there is death lurking around every corner.  It is clean, where Tallahassee is covered in litter.   It is classy, where as Tallahassee is full of bros.  Not that I don’t like Tallahassee.  Quite the contrary, it’s a fun place.  I just wouldn’t want to live there after I finished the program, but I wouldn’t mind living in London, even during the bitterly cold winter.

What’s gotten me back into blogging, you ask?  Well, the answer is twofold.  To put it simply, the first reason is that I’m supposed to be doing something else right now, yet another outline for my screenplay, but I’m meeting with my professor later to work out some kinks.  The kinks are only at the end, but it’s still an excellent excuse to not work on it.

The second reason is that the estimable Reverend Mother has nominated me for the Versatile blogger award, my third award if were counting, and we are, and I couldn’t bring myself to not write a lovely thank you.

So, thanks for the award.

Ok, so I’m reading this list of things I need to do in order to receive this award.  15 people.  I need to nominate 15 other people for the award…

1. http://seedofbilly.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/weekly-poem-2/#comment-51

2. http://stvaltheeccentric.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/still-writing/comment-page-1/#comment-12

3. http://vincentmars.com/

4. http://ahouseandagarden.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/oh-my-word-many-words/#comment-1472

5. http://narrellemharris.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/it-means-what-it-is/#comment-1727

6. http://ramblingsfromamum.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/five-sentence-fiction-challenge-empty/comment-page-1/#comment-6574

7. http://writenaked.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/5-ways-to-make-money-writing-as-you-travel/#comment-547

8. http://screenwrites.wordpress.com/

9. http://bonesmurphy.wordpress.com/

10. http://gameoverbooks.wordpress.com/

11. http://alyssalyssa.wordpress.com/

12. http://observingvessel.wordpress.com/

13. http://clareodea.wordpress.com/


15. http://kamikazehermit.wordpress.com/

Dear me that took a long time.  Now I have to write 7 facts about myself.

1. One time, upon leaving my house, I witnessed a possum eating another possum; on my very doorstep no less!  It’s one of those images you can’t ever unsee, and it haunts my dreams to this day.

2. I’m living in london right now.  The weathers been quite bad the past week, but it seems to be getting better.  I might even go to the farmer’s market!

3.I quite enjoy tea and coffee, but here in englan i’ve somehow been drinking more tea than coffee, I guess because it’s cheaper and easier.  It’ll be nice to get back to florida where coffee is a plentiful as fire ants and the rain.

4. I had never seen Tarentino’s from dusk till dawn until this weekend.  It’s quite good.  You should wach it.

5. I’m an aspiring screenwriter and I care more about sports than the academy awards.  Is that bad?

6. I fought a grizzly bear to the death one time.  With a knife.  I won’t say it was easy, but I’m still here.

7.I know how to sail a sailboat.

Cool, there we go! Thanks gain, http://lifeaswedontyetknowit.wordpress.com/ for the award!

Job and the Burger

Here’s a scene that I wrote for my screenwriting class.  The prompt was that we needed to write a scene that reveals the flaw in the main character.  It could be no longer than 3 pages and had to have dialogue.  Can you guess who my protagonist is and what is his flaw?

(Note: the formatting is less than desirable here.  The first two caps (A BURGER and A MAN) are scene introductions.  The rest are dialogue, which i have painstakingly formated in the center.)



…Sits on a food tray. There are some fries and a drink next to it.

…Glares at the burger on the counter of the fast food restaurant, incredulous. The fools! 34 years old, JOB is a nuclear bomb, anger barely contained by the paper thin veil of society, ready to go of at any moment.

What’s this?

BRITTANY, 19, looks up from filing her nails. For Brittany, life is perpetually dull, and each day always proves more boring than the last.

You’re food, sir.

Job continues to glare at the burger, like it had just slapped him. He lifts up the bun. Lettuce. Lettuce.

This isn’t what I ordered.

You asked for lettuce.

Job screws up his face, and forces the red back down.

No, I didn’t. I hate lettuce. I asked for a burger without lettuce.

Brittany rolls her eyes and dramatically punches some keys on her computer like she was playing whack-a-mole. She turns her screen around so Job can see.

One burger. Ketchup, tomato, cheese. With lettuce.

Brittany goes back to filing her nails. Job stares at the screen.

Can you just make me another one?

Brittany pauses her filing.


Job’s hands begin to shake visibly. He breathes deeply. It isn’t working. A man behind Job taps him on the shoulder. Job turns to see fat, middle aged man with his equally fat family standing behind him.

Sir, just take your damn burger. We’re hungry too.

Job roars like a lion. He grabs the food tray and smashes it on the counter, fries flying like shrapnel from an IED.
He lifts the tray up and smashes the man in the side of his face. The man goes down among the raining fries.

The man’s family cries in fright and his wife tries to tend to him.

Job throws the tray like a frisbee and pegs the man at the drive-through window in the back of the head.


Job pulls a revolver from a pocket inside his jacket and fires a round into the air. The bullet strikes the ceiling and chalky dust covers Job’s face, making him even more terrifying.

The other patrons make a mad dash for the exits. Job hears them running and spins around. He does his best to point his gun at all of the dozen patrons.


Job points his gun at a frightened, college aged woman by the door.  Not so fast!




Job spins back around to Brittany, who has dropped her nail file and is staring at Job like a deer in headlights. This is the best day of her life.

Ok. Ok! Here!

She reaches behind her and grabs a new burger. She opens it up and removes the lettuce, and then hands it to Job.
Job puts it back on the tray.


Brittany gives him some fries. Job glances quickly between his food and Brittany, and then nods.
He holds the food to his chest like a bag of money from a bank heist, and slowly backs away, randomly pointing his gun at people behind the counter.

Good, thank you. Good.

Job sits down at a table and places his food in front of him. Everyone is eyeing him nervously.

It’s ok. We’ll all be alright. Sit down and eat. I got my burger.

Everyone hesitantly sits down and eats. Job smiles happily at his food and takes a bite. We can hear sirens in the distance, steadily approaching, like a distant storm.

The Harvest Moon

It hangs, large and imposing, overseeing the crops and fields below.  In the distance, a demented cackle echoes across the twilight, flitting over the gently rolling hills on the wings of a raven.  See how it circles; upwards, ever upwards, and outwards, too, but never down.  Feel the chill tiptoe down your spine on toes of ice, subtly belying the pleasant atmospheric conditions and almost making you wonder if winter has come early.

It hasn’t.  It is autumn, my favorite time of year.  A time of candy and mysteries, preparations and celebrations, witches and family, pumpkins and poltergeists, and most of all, the bizarre juxtaposition of the harvest and the looming winter.  This is autumn, and the harvest moon looms, some would say wickedly, and yet others would say like a mother, over the pageant of the season.

And so we come full circle again to the demented cackle we had heard previously, and to the point of the story wherein we meet our protagonist, namely me.  I have always had a penchant for having bizarre things happen to me.  It’s a talent really, but not the sort you could use to impress your schoolmates in a talent show or something.  I can see it now…

“Behold!” I would say to the crowd, who would appear as amorphous blobs from my vantage point of the stage, “and tremble, as bizarre things happen to me”  The crowd would grow silent, and there we would wait as the excruciating minutes clawed by, until at last Dr. Amico, the assistant principle, would quietly shoo me offstage.

No, this talent can not be demonstrated with any sort of predictability, but anyone who has been around me for a long enough time understands the bizarre coincidences and terrifying persons that assail me weekly.

And so it seems less odd, even par for the course, that on that cool autumn evening I found myself in the clutches of three witches, as wicked as they were warty, and as stinky as they were ancient.  I was floating in a pot, if memory serves, over a small campfire that one of the witches, let’s call her Hild, was desperately trying to light.  Hild was a tall and slender creature with a hooked nose one could use to open beer bottles, or perhaps even un-cork wine.  The possibilities were endless.

“Poo and fiddlesticks!” she swore, wasting yet another match that had singed her fingers.  She dropped it to the forest floor.

“You might want to be careful with that.”  I said.  She stared at me quizzically, and I nodded my head toward the match that was smoldering contentedly on the forest floor.  “That’s how forest fires get started.”

“What do you care, human?”  She hissed back at me, spittle flying from her crooked teeth, “You’ll be cooked soon anyway.”

“Well,” I continued, repositioning myself so I could hang on the side of the pot.  It was a very big pot.  “I wouldn’t want your ladies’ evening to be ruined by an inattention to fire prevention”  I chuckled at my little rhyme, and then continued “furthermore, I would be out of the frying pan and into the fire,” I paused and thought for a moment, “…or out of the pot and into the forest fire, as it were.  I’ve always held that it would be better to be cooked alive than burned alive.  You ladies struck me as being excellent cooks, and I doubt you’ll let me burn during your meal preparation, so it would really be a shame if I was roasted by an uncaring forest fire, you see.”

The witch narrowed her eyes and stomped viciously on the match.  It was about that time, at least I think it was, when her sisters returned.  One of them, let’s call her Froggy, was a squat and rotund creature, with a palled yellow tone to her skin that appeared absolutely horrific in the moonlight.  She must have had a gastro intestinal issue of some sort, the poor dear, for she would sporadically emit tremendous burps, somewhat like a horrific bull frog’s croak, that would echoe across the grove where I was currently stewing.  It would set off all the other amphibians in the area, a chorus of grunts and croaks that would have been amusing if it wasn’t so damn loud.

The last witch, let’s call her Bella, was dubbed the “beautiful one” by her sisters, though in truth she would have been dubbed “the lest ugly one” by almost anyone else.  She was of average height, neither short nor tall, thin nor fat, and had the long, flowing silver hair of a Targaryen.  It was undoubtably her best feature, and she knew it, and kept her hair in a near immaculate condition.

Behind the two witches stalked their scarecrow,  a fearful construct of straw and wood, with a leering pumpkin head and burlap clothes.  A faint fire burned in it’s eyes, which, besides locomotion, was the only indication that it was alive.

I have to admit I was afraid of this golem, despite the fact that I am not a crow.  Perhaps it would be better suited if it were called a “scare-human,” or maybe even a “scare-everything.”  The creatures of the forest hated the thing, and would attack it on sight, more out of fear than anything else, so that it’s once picturesque pumpkin head was now peppered with the marks of a thousand tiny teeth.

It was hauling a bundle of kindling in it’s straw arms, which it set under my pot.

“Well, here you go, Hild”, spat Froggy, after emitting yet another belch.  Dear god she was foul.  “Some fresh kindling for ickle baby, since you can’t manage to light a simple camp fire.”

“She’s got a point Hild,” I chimed in, happily, “could we get a move on here?  This water’s really cold.  I’m afraid i might catch pneumonia, or maybe even SARS.  Hey…” I turned to Bella, “Do people even get SARS anymore?”  Bella looked at me confusedly, and then shrugged.  “Pfft, some witch you are.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”  Bella said, defensive.  The thrust an accusatory finger at me and stalked towards my pot.  “I’ll have you know, young man, that I have been witching since before you were born-”

“And yet you don’t even know if people get SARS anymore.  I thought witches knew all about that sort of thing.  All the good ones, at least.”  Bella’s mouth opened and closed, searching for something to say.  Froggy pushed in front of here and glared at me.

“Witches don’t know that sort of thing.  Doctors know about diseases.  Witches know about spells and magic and dancing naked in the moonlight.”  I raised an accusatory eyebrow and looked from the hideous Froggy to the marginally more attractive Bella to the Pelican like Hild.  The witches became incredibly uncomfortable.

“Well,” I stated haughtily, “I certainly hope we’ll be having none of that tonight”  The witches were dumbstruck, and took a moment to gain their composure.  Bella was the first to rally and gave me her best impression of a wicked smile.

“You probably wont be so loquacious when your boiling in the pot… to death!  Hild, light the fire!”  Hild cackled wickedly and lit another match and tossed it onto the kindling, which briefly hissed and smoked and then sputtered out.  I let go of the pot and began to float and spin in lazy circles.

“Why don’t you just light it with magic?” I asked.  The witches all shuffled their feet uncomfortably.  Bella coughed quietly into her hand.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”  I chided, rolling my eyes.  “You can’t do magic, can you?”

“Well, that’s why we’re cooking you!”

“We have to!”

“It’s a sacrifice to mother earth!”

“Then she will grant us powers and potent spells!”

“Puh-LEASE.”  I contemptuously said as I floated back over to the side of the pot.  “If I knew this was going to be so ‘amateur hour,’ I would have just stayed at home and cooked me myself”  The witches were flabbergasted.  The night was not going as they had originally planned

“Hey man.”  Hild finally said.  “Who do you think you are?  Talkin’ all this shit to us, acting so blasé.  What’s your deal?”

“This is nothing.”  I said, climbing out of the pot.  “Nothing.  One time, I had to fight the anthropomorphic personification of the GRE in a nightmare world.  I think I can manage a few tyro witches.”

“Hey… stop!”  Froggy weakly protested.

“Or what?  You’ll bore me to death?”  I mocked, putting on my shirt.  “I remember when there used to be proper witches.  Menacing witches.  Those were the days.  Now all we get are a bunch of try hards.”  I finished putting on my clothes and walked up to the witches, who were looking a little hurt.  “I think I’ll stick to wolfmen, or maybe vampires for the rest of fall.  Come back and kidnap me when you’ve had some experience…”  The witches stared at me as I walked away, silhouetted by the gigantic harvest moon.

“You can’t just go!” Bella pleaded.  “Our…um…oh!  Our scarecrow will stop you!”  I stopped and turned around to face them.

“There!  Much better!  But you should have said that earlier, when I was just getting out of the pot.  Better yet, you should have ordered him to guard me and make sure I didn’t escape.  Then you could have gone and had a secret meeting while I had the chance to try and convince to scarecrow to let me go, only to find out how truly lifeless and unfeeling it really is!”  The witches were amazed.  I continued.  “Then I would have truly been scared.  Plus, you could have used that time to go down to a store and buy a lighter or something.  That would have solved your fire problem.  With a little showmanship, you could have made me think that you were , oh I dunno, summoning the fire from the depths of hell or something, and I would have been really scared.  I would have never dreamed of getting out of the pot at that point.”

Hild and Bella were staring at me, mouths agape.  Froggy was hurridly taking notes.

“Okay,” Hild said slowly, “what about if we threw in an ol’ “and you better not leave… or we’ll curse you!” or something?”

“Yeah, that’d be a nice touch, but I only think it’d work after you demonstrated that you actually are able to curse people, or at least do magic, and only after your scarecrow had menaced me for a bit.  Then it’d be plausible to think that you could do curses, though you in fact can’t.  Any more questions?”  Froggy raised her hand.  “Yes… Froggy is it?”

“Yes Mr. Brock.  I was just wondering if maybe having some sort of props would help in the beginning.  You know, like a vat of boiling blood, or some candles and such.”

“I should say so!  But we can do better than that, can’t we?  Your goal is to engage the audience, and be really compelling villains.  Right now you’re just sort of one dimensional stock characters.  You know, “evil witches with scarecrow monster”.  We need to give you some depth.  Here’s an idea, what if one of you had a husband-”

“I do!” Bella excitedly interrupted.

“That’s great Bella, but please don’t interupt.  Let’s say Bella brought her husband along, and he sort of helps out around the place, as like a slave or something, but you demonstrate that Bella actually cares deeply for him.  This will give her character some depth, and possibly open a door for me, the protagonist, to maybe kidnap the husband and threaten to kill him or something unless you let me go.”

“Or you could try to convince him to help you!”  Hild added, “He’s a very nice man.”

“Yeah, that’s good, that’s good, but I’ve already asked the scarecrow to help me, haven’t I?  Hypothetically, I mean.  It would work really well if you all went away, and I had some alone time with…”


“Peter, yeah great, some alone time with Peter, and I was about to convince him, and then you guys came back, and saw what I was doing.  Hild, you could get really mad and be like “Damn it Bella I told you not to bring him along!” and then hit him or something.  Then Bella will be kind of upset at you, which is another weakness I can exploit.  You can then order the scarecrow to guard me and I can learn about it’s evilness!”

The witches applauded.  I took a small bow, with a flourish of my hand.

“So, do you wanna try it again from the top?”  Bella asked, like an excited 12 year old kid.  I glanced at my watch.  2 A.M.

“Sorry gals, but I gotta run.”  They were disappointed, but they had a look of awe on their faces that made me feel all warm inside, as if I had drunk a whole jug of hard cider.

“Who are you?”  They asked.

“Me?”  I said, dusting my fingers off on my shirt in what I thought was a very nonchalant manner.  “I’m just a film student.”

A faint breeze rustled the browning leaves of the trees as I made my exit.  It carried on it’s gusts hints of pumpkin spice, ciders and candy; an everlasting promise of what is to come.  Of what’s always to come with autumn.

As I walked down the hill, dry leaves crackling beneath my feet, I pulled my collar up tighter around my neck and smiled.  This is why I love autumn.  Its a time of magic and tradition, a time when the druids of old felt the spirit world connect with the material one, and when the wild hunt races madly through the woods.  It’s Halloween and thanksgiving, it’s horror films and sit com specials.  It’s football.  It’s a harvest moon, orange as a pumpkin, baffling and grand, hanging austerely over the spectacle of change; the pageant of the seasons.

A farewell to life -or- Why I can’t talk to you during film school

As far as suicide notes go, the experts would consider this a bad one.  Their main complaint would be that I am not planning on killing myself, which I have been told is a key factor in having a successful suicide note.  If one writes a suicide note and does not commit to killing oneself, then the “suicide note” merely becomes a “note,” and no one cares about “notes,” unless of course someone wrote the note to you.  If this is the case, then a state of puzzled bemusement is generally the emotional status quo.  “Dear me!” people normally begin with, “A note!  How lovely!  And yet it’s written on paper, with ink.  How peculiar!  A simple text message, or even an e-mail would have sufficed, I’m sure, but still, how very nice!”  They would then puzzle over the bizarre looping script the note had been written in, before shrugging and casually tossing the thing in the garbage or, if they are particularly environmentally conscious, the recycling bin. This is of course assuming the note had been written with pen and paper, rather than typed on a heartless computing machine and penned by an equally heartless printer.  If I were ever going to kill myself, I would most certainly write my suicide note with a pen on stationary paper.  It adds that personal touch to the taking of one’s own life that would sooth your loved ones as they tearfully stepped over your swollen corpse and picked up the letter, riddled as it was with spelling errors and horrible grammar.  Things like syntax are hard to keep up with without spell check.

“What’s that say?” Your dad would ask, squinting at a word.  He would then glance down at your body and shake his head. “Lazy kid never did figure out cursive!  Why the hell would we write his damn suicide note in cursive?”

“Robert, please!” You mother would chide, blotting a tear from her eye with your carefully crafted note that you worked so hard on, smearing some of the ink.  “He was trying to be creative!  He was always so creative.  At least he didn’t type it on a computer.  At least he cared.”

As the title states, this blog post is a farewell to life, and I suppose that in a sense it is a suicide note, albeit a temporary one.  My life, however, is not being taken or snuffed out, but rather carefully packaged and set upon a high shelf, where it will gather dust in the coming months until it becomes nothing more than another unpacked box from my move.  On the shelf it will remain until the end of my first semester at film school, when I move out of my dorm.  I’ll discover it once I have packed everything else up in my car, after I have said goodbye to my room mate and I’m doing a last inspection of the room, a last check for anything I’ve forgotten.  My eyes will stop at a small, coffee mug sized box, dusty and alone.

“What’s this?” I’ll ask, picking it up and turing it over in my hands.  It will tinkle slightly, like a wind chime in a light breeze, or maybe broken glass being swept up from a stained linoleum floor.  “Ah!” I’ll remember, setting it carefully down and cutting the box open with a knife, given to me by the man from Aurora, Alabama who had rescued me from a roadside disaster an eternity ago.  The lid swings open, and  a glow comes from inside.  I grab it, and press it gently to my chest, whereupon it permeates skin and diffuses throughout me.  At that moment my phone will buzz with a thousand texts and ring with a hundred phone calls.  There will be time to answer them when I get home, but as things will stand I’d still have 300 miles to go.

But that’s almost four months in the future, and so I sit here in the waning hours of a saturday morning writing my not so suicidey suicide note to let my friends and family know that I’ll be busy nearly all of autumn.  You shouldn’t take it personally, because it’s my fault, not yours.  I was the one that signed up for this intensive film program, and I’m the one giving them money that the bank was nice enough to give me. I sure hope they don’t want it back.

So if you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry.  I’m not dead, I’m just sitting up a shelf until winter, when I’ll be taken down, dusted off, and set loose once again, to wreak havoc on the world.

The Wizard -or- I haven’t posted in a while. Deal with it.

Read the title.  It’s difficult to find time during college to write things on the blog, especially with me working on several screenplays and a novel.  So in the effort of posting something, here’s a short scene i wrote for one of my film school applications.  I couldn’t figure out how to get it to keep it’s proper format, so I just copy and pasted the whole damn thing.  Enjoy, or else!

The Wizard 


William Charles Brock



The shop has many old wooden tables and bookcases, crammed

full of all sorts of magical ledgers, tomes and instruments.

A man sits behind a counter, reading a People magazine. He

is dressed in some tattered old wizard robes and has a

damaged wizard hat on his head. The hat has large, faded

silver stars clumsily patched on.

The door opens, ringing an antique bell placed over it as a

man walks in. He is holding a wand and looks very

angry. He approaches the counter purposefully, as if he has

been there before. The wizard continues to read his




The wizard continues reading his magazine, oblivious to the

man standing in front of him. The man glares at the wizard

for a moment, and then furiously rings a bell on the

counter. The wizard jumps in terror, throwing his magazine

into the air.




I would like to return this magic

wand. It doesn’t work.

The wizard takes the wand in his hand and looks it over. Be

bends it a few times.


Seems fine to me


You said I could use it to turn my

boss into a toad.


Yes. Thats right.


Well it doesn’t work.


Did you use it as instructed?






Did you wait until the moon was





Did you get close to the spell

recipient? You have to be very

close, you know.


Yes! I was practically right up

against him! I’m telling you, the

wand doesn’t work!


You do know you have to aim for the

head, yes?


Of course! You told me so

yourself! I aimed at his head and

swung the wand furiously, shouting

the magic words…


Which are?


Take that you bastard!

The wizard nods sagely at this as the man continues.


All that I managed to do was

savagely beat him to death with

this ordinary bit of wood!

The man angrily brandishes the wand.


Well that settles it then. The wand

is working fine


Fine? Fine? I killed a man! He’s



Yes, but didnt you want your boss

turned into the toad because you

wanted his job?




Yes… but


And are you not now the new head of

the research department?


Well, yes…

The wizard smiles and his eyes twinkle knowingly as he

slowly nods.


Dear God…

The wizard sits back down and returns to his magazine.


Well I’d still like my money

back. The wand didn’t work as



(not looking up)

I would think that a man who had just commited murder and

had hitherto escaped the authorities has far more pressing

matters to deal with than a silly malfuntioning wand…

The man pulls on his collar nerviously.


Ah…I see. Well then… Good day,


The wizard clears his throat and points at a jar labeled

“tips.” The man grudgingly deposits the entire contents of

his wallet into the jar.


Quite kind of you. Good day.


Yes, good day.

MAN exits


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