Monday, February 20, 2012


Can’t delay the inevitable any longer. It is time for Jared to enter the store and accept whatever consequences come his way.

Through the door, into the familiar sight of the bookshelves, Mrs. Friedman behind her counter, and the unfamiliar sight of a man holding a knife. Oh dear.

The assailant is screaming something about a book at poor old Mrs. Friedman. She naturally seems terrified by this encounter, and neither of the participants has noticed Jared’s entrance. Jared begins to step forward; his motivation, we will never know. Did he intend to stop the burglar? Perhaps try and negotiate with them? Or was it merely an automatic reaction as he attempted to understand the scene? Whatever it was, before his intention could be made clear, he slips on the ground, and as he flails his arms trying to regain balance, hits a pie which was on a bookshelf, sending it flying forward. Why was there a pie on the bookshelf? Certainly an excellent question. One which none of the participants at this scene would have been able to answer.

And with the comedically required splat, the pie hits the face of the robber. Oh, slapstick. The thief begins to swear a string of obscenities, wiping the delicious custard from his face. When he sees that a new witness has appeared on the scene, he chooses flight over fight, and pushes past Jared in a dash to the exit.

Thus the danger seems to have passed. The police are called, and Jared attempts to apologize for his lateness, but such a trifle seems inconsequential compared to recent events. Besides, it was thanks to Jared’s lateness (along with a strategically located Deus ex pie) that the robbery was foiled. A large chunk of the workday is spent answering police questions; in spite of being the hero of this incident, Jared knows little of what actually occurred. Mrs. Friedman is the better source for the police, describing to them how the man, after spending hours wandering through the shelves of her store, suddenly pulled out a knife and demanded a book he claimed to know she was hiding. The crazed way which the man acted led Friedman to believe that he was under the influence of drugs.

Following that excitement, the rest of the workday is slow. The store was never known for being very high traffic, so Jared has plenty of downtime to himself. He finds books on Roman and modern sculpting, from which he hopes to glean some insights from. Friedman always tells him he can have any book from the store he likes, but Jared insists on paying. After all Mrs. Friedman’s done to help him, just taking from her store would feel wrong.

Night is fast approaching, and Mrs. Friedman soon must leave. Her grandchildren will be coming tomorrow, and she needs to prepare the house for guests. Jared’s paycheck is written out, and he is left to close the store.

Well, this has been eventful. Jared foiled a robbery, found books he was looking for, and got paid. Already his mind is brimming as he tries to convert these events into inspiration. But why end the day so soon? There are still plenty of hours before tomorrow comes. In what manner should Jared spend the rest of this night, in order to put a satisfying close on such a day?

Comments close 2/27/12

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Jared takes a look at his clock. 12:05 PM. Time to start the day. Starting with pants.

Of course next will be food. And by food, Jared is referring to instant coffee. The Breakfast of Champions. Yet upon opening the pantry, he discovers a bag of microwavable bacon. Jared does not remember purchasing such food. Nor can he think of why he would put it in the pantry. But seeing it as a significant improvement over what he had planned. And look: the chai latte tea in the refrigerator wasn’t quite as empty as he had thought. It would appear that Jared is, for the first time in weeks, actually starting his day with something that resembles a meal.

Across the table, Jared has propped up his current painting. He had hoped that the location would allow him to think on his work as he eats, although the lack of any recent progress speaks volumes about how effective that thinking has been. He had begun working on it shortly after his breakup, with the intent of throwing all his emotions into the art. One can certainly see this; there is far too much an emphasis on the color blue, and partway through he appears to have given up and started throwing paint onto the canvas in some wretched fit of grief. Since then, productivity has ceased. He cannot make himself draw upon the same depth of emotions which initially started the work anymore.

Perhaps dream recordings…. Jared wracks his mind to recall what he dreamt about. He pulls out a sketchbook, and tries to piece together the details. Hm…. An annoyingly difficult task. Something about corridor… darkness… weird floaty bits… a lake? Well, now that he tries to bring back the image, it was really a river, but his dream self insisted on calling it a lake….

Upon glancing down to his sketchbook, Jared finds that he has been sketching in his absentminded state. Well, not exactly sketching. That would require him to actually be drawing something, whereas this is closer to a random series of geometric shapes. Very angular, very harsh; not close at all to the smooth curves and soft shapes which Jared usually does. Not very helpful for his current piece either. Still, something to keep on hand in case inspiration is needed at a later time.

Inspiration! That’s what he needs now! Jared jumps from his char, over to the cupboard, opens it….
Why is there a bag full of weed in his cupboard?
Surely Jared would remember that. Did someone leave it when they came over? But it’s been so long since he’s had guests, he would have noticed it before now…. Besides, Jared would never indulge in such a hobby. He is proud of having spent most of his life staying on the straight and narrow.

But that inspiration. That’s what he needs. Jared reaches past the bag and grabs a bottle of whiskey. A drop of this will help. Maybe two drops. Three, that’s the magic number. Oh, why not just keep the bottle on hand. Never know when he may need more inspiration.

What was that we were talking about again?
Oh, yes. Straight and narrow.

Still no luck. Flicking on the television, there’s an interview with a local sculptor happening. Perhaps that’s what Jared should try? Sculpting? But wait, that would require tools which he lacks. Well, perhaps it’s something to keep in mind. Jared mentally notes to himself to purchase the basic necessities for sculpting once the opportunity arises. And preferably once he has figured out what these basic necessities actually are.

Still no luck. The apartment begins to feel stuffy, almost unbearably hot. Being trapped in here all day cannot be good at all, Jared decides, and he quickly walks out the door into the cool air. Quite the improvement.

Jared lives in the fashionable part of the city, close enough to downtown for easy access to its luxuries while still avoiding actually being downtown. He walks down the sidewalks, letting his mind wander as he tries to think on his art. The newspaper stands are selling a story about some Tragedy, he overhears two women gossiping about something that was Tragic, a billboard over a building has the word Tragedy printed in large letters, each containing their tale of woe and violence, yet Jared appears to lack the sociopathic leanings required to take inspiration from this. How unfortunately dull.

The streets are mostly empty, a feature which Jared enjoys. Not too many people out walking around in the middle of a Wednesday.

Wait… Wednesday…. There’s something about Wednesday afternoons… something that Jared’s supposed to do….

Oh. Yes. Work. A job. Earning the money needed to actually support himself. Jared really should get onto that.

Now we see the panicked rush as he turns around and has to throw himself together in order to prepare for work. Look what you people have done. All your terrible distractions will make him late. At least he has a boss who is forgiving.

Following a frantic bike ride, Jared is at the door of his job: a small used bookstore on a street corner, owned by Mrs. Friedman. A very kind and patient old woman (one would need to be in order to put up with Jared as an employee,) but her generosity is only exacerbating the guilt which Jared feels for his tardiness. As he puts his hand on the door, I would gather that he is formulating an apology for her. However, I am feeling curious, so his life shall be put on pause for the time being as I pass over the reins to you. Have fun.

Comments close 2/17/12

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Let us now take a look into the life of Jared Stephanidis. Likely he is still asleep at this time; the man never was the best at managing mornings. Not that it matters, for we do not require him to be conscious for our examination.

Jared is a man three fourths through his twenty seventh year of life, a fact he desperately refuses to admit to himself. He has the unshaven, sunken eyed look of a man who has experienced far too many long nights with far too many cups of coffee and cigarettes. In his mind, he imagines that he looks like an artist; in the minds of everyone else who sees him, he’s just a man who needs to get a haircut and spend some more time outside.

In fact, one could claim that the conflict between Jared’s artistic self imagery and the reality of his world is what forms much of his life. Most of the meager salary he earns is spent acquiring tickets to the most fashionable and up to date art galleries and shows, which Jared sits through and pretends to understand. He will often speak of how deep the works of Kandisnky are, but the moment he is confronted by an expert in expressionist art he finds the conversation quickly leaving his depth of knowledge. Throughout his apartment are scattered collections of various paintings he spent months, some years, carefully creating, which he continues to naively believe will one day be bought. Were it not for his apparent inability to feel smugness, most would find him intolerable; instead, his childlike eagerness and constant look of worry more often elicit pity.

For the past several months, he had been living in his apartment with his girlfriend Rose, but she left him three weeks ago, claiming that they needed some time “on their own.” More likely she simply could not stomach the thought of having to smile and act flattered while listening to him nervously stutter his way through another of his poorly crafted poems. Jared still hasn’t gotten over this terrible “tragedy”, and tries to cope by putting his emotion into what may be his worst work yet.

Outside of his hopeless aspirations, Jared’s social circle is mostly confined to those at his work and the people he meets at the coffee shops during the odd hours of the day. He is always friendly and personable to those willing to speak with him, quick to offer support or advice, yet he has an innate talent at being forgettable. If he was ever picked last for the dodgeball team in high school, it was in no way because of malice directed towards him, but simply a result of being constantly overlooked in favor of those with more interesting personalities.

But it would seem that his third alarm has just gone off, and today that is the one which finally brings him out of his slumber. Out of bed now Jared, that’s a good boy. You can’t keep our players waiting. Time to face the day.