Tell Me What You Want, What you Really Really Want

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I’m sitting at Starbucks when she asks, “What are you looking for?” My eyes peered over at the coin on the linoleum floor. It looked like a nickle, but I couldn’t tell from this angle. I cleared my throat and pulled out the first words I could think of.

“So you know how can tell a lot about a person by the way they stand and wait? The more you watch them, the more you get to know them. Do they hide in the back, quick to pull out their phone? Do they stand patently? Do they try to figure out how many people are watching them?

Are they pissed because there is only one person at the register?

Obviously, a lot of this is all moment to moment. I mean, we have our good days and our bad dates, and all the other  But the fascinating thing to me, is the HOW they do this. I can’t help it, my brain just goes kid in a candy store with this type of shit.”

“Darby, what does this have to do–”

I put up my finger. “Gimme a second, I’m getting to that.” I took a quick breath and continued.

“So the how someone stands, or the way they get mad. These are all learned behaviors influenced from all types of different people within this person’s world, so to speak. Some of these behaviors we play around with, kind of like a new jacket, while others we seem to hold on for dear life. The second ones are weird traits. They’re the ones we like so much we tend to form a bit of an identity around them.”

I took a swig of my latte and placed it on the cold table.

“It would be like if you wore that Grey Jacket everyday of your life.”

She bashfully looked up and rubbed her jacket.

“Definitely a magical jacket.” I took another sip of my latte and she followed suit.

“But anyways, what were we talking about again?”

“You were avoiding telling me what you were looking for in a woman.”

“I was?” I let out a small smirk.

She rolled her eyes. “Oh my god!”

“Kidding. Back to this identity thing. Those traits are something I look for with anyone I meet, but it’s not like an active thing. See, we’ll just be talking about something mundane and it’ll hit me, like a motorcycle at a light pole. BAMM! Something just clicks in me and I realize, This is who this person is, or who they think they are. Just like with your Grey Jacket.”

“You really like this jacket.” She said smiling.

“It’s true. But see that “who they think they are” part is super crucial. Everyone is stronger than they think they are. We just tend to forget that from time to time.”

“We do.” she said, adjusting herself in the stool across from me.

I took the final drink of my latte.

“So I said all that to finally put an end to the simple question.”

“Finally.”

“I know. I know.  So what I’m looking for, is a girl that owns a specific crazy leopard pattern jacket that she bought drunk at a thrift store years ago. Maybe she was feeling excited about her new promotion, or always wanted one since she was a kid. I don’t know that part. But what I do know is for some reason she gets up every morning, sifts through the jackets in her closet, passing the leopard one because of some excuse about how it’s just not right for what she’s wearing today, and puts on the Grey Jacket.”

I began gripping the empty cup with both hands.

“And honestly, what I’m really looking for more than anything else. More than toe curling orgasms, or honest thoughts about my writing, or even putting up with my retarded bull shit. All those things are great, but the thing that might be the most insanely beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, is when I help that girl connect the dots in her brain. And she struts down Diversity street, flaunting her leopard pattern jacket on without a care in the world.”

“Wow” She said, analyzing my eyes.

“Yea. So that’s what I’m looking for.”

 

Actual Cover Letters I Send To Literary Magazine Editors Pt. 2

Dear Editor,

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….I bet you were waiting for me to start off the cover letter like a professional and not some 90’s retro computer game. Well expect the unexpected, my friend. Here I would love to tell you that there is some deep significance to the number seven that applies to the story I’m sending, but there isn’t. I thought it would be fun to draw.

If you couldn’t tell, this letter isn’t going to get any different from what’s above. I’ll probably ramble a few more sentences about nonsense and sprinkle in some inappropriate jokes here and there, because well screw it. I really don’t care if you publish my work or not.

Trust me, it’s not that I don’t think my work is good. Everything I write is fireworks on the 4th,  including my name. I would like you too, if you feel it fits you journal. But if not, we’ll do this song and dance again soon.

You see for whatever reason, I measure my success by the amount of times I hit the green submit button. That’s the gold metal to me. Whatever happens after that is a bonus. This year I’ve submitted 30 pieces, which means I’ve kicked ass 30 times. Chicago Marathoners have nothing on me and you best believe 31 is coming in a few brief seconds. Well, that is, until I figure out how to tie in a solid joke at the end.

………

………

……………………So I got nothing. I was trying to out smart you by making a pun with a movie quote from Se7en. But I’m done. I wasted all my creativity on this this piece. …Okay and this cover letter that you probably won’t read. So you won this round, but I’ll be back. You can count on that one.

P.S. Please enjoy my my 700 word piece entitled “Oscar”.

P.S.S. I really loved your last piece “Mooncake” by Grace Prasad.

Sincerely,

Darby Cashed

Aka the people champ

Aka the Voodoo Child

Aka the Italian Stallion

Aka the most successful deadbeat writer you’ve never heard of

 

Part 1 Here

 

36 Weeks

I made it 36 weeks.

36 weeks since I last messaged you.

I know this because you’re a millennial who only uses snapchat to text

It’s like a bomb timer in a Steven Seagal movie, that counts up

to infinity

or 36 weeks.

In that time, I’ve lived in two major US cities

I’ve dated doctors, lawyers, waitresses, Actresses, Economics professors, HR reps

I’ve had one night flings with girls from Brittan, South Africa, and the good ol’ USA

I’ve joined acting classes, bowling leagues, Soccer

I’ve went from having no friends, to more than I see on a regular basis

Despite all that, I got up and for the first time in 36 weeks

I thought of you.

I thought about our last drunken adventure where you kicked some girl out of your apartment

and the creamy vanilla perfume you always wear

and the one time you told me not to kiss you before our date because you just put on makeup, yet I did it anyways

to which you brought up months later as evidence that I was your “soulmate” even though I don’t believe in that.

I thought about all of those times

and how I’m sure you’re doing well wherever you are

with whoever you’re with

and I guess,

I just wanted to say “hi”.

Also,

I have the same pair of boots as you in that pic. #twins

How to Stand Out At a Concert

You move through the herd of selfie takers by the Riot Fest Demon Head

Dodge the Random Zombies in between stages, Texting their friends

Bump into the groups scrolling Instagram while Weezer warms up

You tilt your head to make out Rivers Cuomo from the sea of iPhones recording

“Bro, give me your Phone, I’ll take a sweet video for you” Says the stoned kid in the Bulls Hat next to you.

“It’s cool man, I’ll just enjoy it now.”

Welcome to being fucking weird in 2018.

How Things Done Changed

I sent a text to this girl I met the other day on the street. She just got back from living overseas for the last five years.

Me: You haven’t seen How I met Your Mother? Yikes

Her: I’m sorry I don’t know that reference. I feel like I’ve been missed so much, I’m just trying to catch up.

Me:Ohh, well that’s acceptable then. Here let me help. Here comes the cliff notes on the USA since you’ve been gone:

Me: So everyone in Hollywood is a rapist.

Me: A former reality tv star is our leader

Me: John Oliver replaced John Steward and moved the show to HBO.

Me: We’re really mad at guns.

Me: ……again

Me: For some reason people still like the Kardashians

Me: There are more “Real House Wives” than major US Cities

Me: We still protest racial issues

Me: Other than in Miami, Soccer isn’t a thing.

Me: And Winona Ryder is famous again.

Her: Wow. So nothing has changed huh.

Me: Not a damn thing.

 

 

The Most Dangerous Thought

I met a professional writer, and woke up the next morning and thought:

“Why not me?”

I found a job listing for the big city that was well out of my experience, and thought:

“Why not me?”

I saw a girl standing in line in Starbucks twirling hair while reading “The Road” and thought,

“Why not me?”

I met a woman who finished a marathon and thought:

“Why not me?”

Be careful, because you never know

where that thought will take you.

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People shuffle in, waiting in a wavy line to order a drink.

Like a well trained robot the workers turn out cup after cup of coffee

What’s the bathroom code?

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A long blonde finished with yoga gets a latte.

A cab driver with a Bluetooth headset gets a Pikes Roast

A Chinese girl struggles to order tea.

No Hello.

No Small talk.

And only one inevitable question, with a four number answer.

9731

9731

9731

A homeless man cuts in front of a teen in Daisy Dukes. He demands water as his trash bag knocks into the girl’s Kate Spade. The workers give him the cup and before he opens his mouth they say

9731

James the Manager of this Starbucks has a Master Degree From Columbia.

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Sarah, making the Green Tea Latte, has done Modeling for Target.

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Jade, taking the orders, has another day job to pay for her daughters private school.

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They’ve said the numbers so many times, the feeling is completely sucked out.

I asked if they’ve ever thought about putting a sign up.

They all gave me a confused look, and went back to working.