October

2009

The Secret Diary Of Balloon Boy

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October

2009

Top 5 Ways To Celebrate Columbus Day

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May

2001

An Ass From The Past

When I first moved to New York, I didn’t have an apartment lined up so I ended up sleeping on a mattress on the floor in my friend T.’s dorm at Columbia University while he finished up his degree. The residence hall was a number of small, two-person apartments, about ten to a floor. Across the building lived two girls that T. knew – M. and R. And next door to them lived Jake Dobkin, a name that may be vaguely familiar to long-time Short and Happy readers. This is his story. MORE »

 
May

2001

Bridget

It’s funny, the little things that stick in your mind; the little mnemonic devices that your memory uses to index and catalogue your past experience. Proust wrote a couple thousand pages brought on merely by the taste of madelines. My memory is so patchy and unworkable that I can be taken completely by surprise at the onslaught of some repressed horror that lay buried. And so, when I booted up my Nintendo emulator, started a game of Castlevania and broke out into tears over the keyboard, I wasn’t even all that surprised. MORE »

 
April

2001

Band(s)

I don’t remember exactly when it was that I first decided to be in a band. It was just one of those high-school things during my sophomore year that seemed like a good idea. Seattle was all of a sudden the cool hip place to be for musicians, Kurt Cobain still had the top of his skull; it was a whole new world. So I decided that the bass guitar was probably the best choice for somebody with my poor motor coordination. If I could have found an instrument that you played with a Nintendo controller, I would have gone for that, but sadly that technology was still a few years away. MORE »

 
September

2000

Teachers

Three weeks remained until I graduated from high school. I barely squeezed out of the all-consuming maw of high school intact; a number of forces conspired to bar my exit from the grinding gears that reduced most of my compatriots to grease and clothes. I didn’t come out with all my parts, doubtless, but I think that I received the minimal amount of skullwash. MORE »

 
August

2000

Two Hundred Dollars

Three weeks remained until I graduated from high school, barely.

Everything was winding down, and I was confident that I would slide under the wire if I held course. I was busy making a couple hundred bucks by doing American History make-up work for a couple idiots who were too busy attending keggers or whatever to actually sit down and do it, so I spent a lot of time in the computer lab, assembling a 28-page document answering a couple hundred banal questions from the back chapters of a textbook. I was pretty solidly in the middle of this when my whole life almost wrecked itself. MORE »

 
July

2000

Interbay

The first thing I noticed was that she was a mess; haggard and worn out. She was showing Jacob her breasts, and she came over to me. “No, no thank you,” I said. This was a marker on the times we spent. Orbiting the same axes were myself, Jacob Carroll, Nathan Atkins, Jeremy Holcomb, Ryan Dorman, and occasionally others who would catch in the spiral and drain. Stratified in the lowest rung of high school, we bonded like… well, like only freaks can. Unified by a collective retreat into fantasy, we lived a subterranean life uncool, sick and sad, running through abandoned apartment buildings, staying up late, late, late. MORE »

 
June

2000

Acid Trip Park

They called it Acid Trip Park becuase it was allegedly where the heads would go, years ago, to drop and hang out, six blocks away from our ghetto high school, the freaks and hippies escaping from the cracked walls and decaying textbooks of Physics. I first went there my Sophomore year, before I had even done acid for the first time. After a year of thick- spectacled rejection, I had fallen in with a crowd of year-younger girls. Myself and Jacob, the two older boys in this herd of budding femininity. Jacob, however, was far more experienced than me and actually managed to deal with it in the way that a teenage boy should; by making out with as many of them as possible. My story was a little different. Repressed and shivering, I wasn’t scoring with anybody or anything. While Jacob made out under tables with the prettiest girls I knew I rode the bus home alone, into my warren of comic books and furtive, hateful masturbation. We would leave for Acid Trip Park at lunch, content to skip fifth period, whatever it was. I can remember what I did outside of class far better than I can remember the classes themselves. Who would be there? Jacob and me. Molly. Jenny sometimes. There were so many girls that year that I never saw again. Kaleen who I had a terrible crush on, Jacob pulling down the ring zipper on her shirt. Her friends said she liked me too. What’s worse is the number of names I’ve forgotten. Marissa, who nobody liked, with enormous, uncomfortable breasts, drawing unwanted attention. Nobody liked her, said she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. With her UK Subs tattered shirt and crazy, kinky hair, always on the outskirts of our group. It fell to me to tell her to go away, that nobody here liked her. I did it, I did it, and started crying in self-hatred minutes later, after she’d crested the hill out of sight. Her friends said she liked me too. All this emptiness, all this loneliness, all this never understanding anything. That whole year, what was I looking for? What was I trying to find, at the dawn of my adulthood? Love was only a concept that happened to somebody else. I never did acid at Acid Trip Park. It seemed like the place itself was enough.

 
May

2000

Wedding

When my old friend Michele asked me if I would go to her mom’s wedding with her, of course I said yes. When she asked if I would go in a dress, I had to think for a second first.
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