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Scrawls From My Blue Period


by Ryan Mazer


The following was written under disagreeable circumstances, in that I was present for them.

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Late meeting my father for lunch today, as I had to reroute when a girl who'd been walking in front of me for several blocks started glancing repeatedly behind her. At lunch my father told me I needed a job. I reminded him of my tenure at the bank, but that was over before it began, and for unemployment I'm now required to pay them a lofty sum each month.

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Idea for a Story: Head of household insists that his family not take its luxury for granted. Over the summer, members of the family are forced to dress lightly as though they don't have running air conditioning, and two of the children die from frostbite.

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Visited a friend of mine. He reminisced on the na├»ve thrills of his youth, like roller coasters. “Show me a roller coaster and I was happy. That's all it took back then,” he said as he sat in the corner of his room, cutting himself and orgasming.

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Why do I still miss my ex? When we dated, I had been enslaved to her fears. My perception was submerged to them. I can still recall the excitement and guilt of the time I thought I was being followed by a cabal of sultry women, but it turned out she was just having a nightmare.

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Idea for story: A guy scrambles around his apartment before a blind date. He reaches absently for a can of fabric freshener but instead grabs his bait-and-kill insecticide and sprays it all over his clothes. Later that night, bugs continuously fly towards him and then drop to the ground, seemingly straining relations with his date. Eventually, however, she reveals that she's an entomologist. She's fascinated by the insects' attraction to him, which in turn has attracted her. For years, he sprays the insecticide on his clothes everyday. But as he grows increasingly sick, he's faced with the conflict: come clean to his girlfriend, or die of chemical poisoning?

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Instance in self-referentialism: How a person with a lisp says the word, “lisp.”

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While explaining his disgust with social technology and its impact on our daily interactions, my roommate pulled out a tape recorder and began speaking into that. At times I caught him looking into it. I think he forgot I was there. I know I should have done something, but I don't like to step on toes. In fact, I try to avoid feet as a general rule—they're never clean. Come to think of it, that was a strange plan to consider in the first place.

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Idea for story: Following the death of his mother, a detached twentysomething decides to turn his life around during a weekend stay at his childhood home, when he escapes the hedonistic clutches of his hippie father by forgoing hallucinogens and other recreational substances. He meets with a kind doctor to discuss the possibility of pharmaceuticals as a utility for an engaged, responsible existence. Natalie Portman has hamsters.

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Pretentious means different things to different people. For the British, it's people with too much piss in them. This is why they sometimes deem it necessary to take out. But that's enough about urinating for me. I'm too anal. (Use!)

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Our legal system is absurd. Why are great artists treated better than the rest of us when terrible ones are treated no worse?

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Before our breakup I used to love watching my girlfriend sleep. It was comforting to know that she was out of harm's way, and that I could watch porn. Though since she's gone I should probably stop giving into foolish impulses when it comes to porn, like deleting the videos right after watching them. I'm just as nearsighted with food, never taking home my leftovers because I happen to be full at the time. This leaves me with nothing to do while I wait yet again for my porn to download. Writing that, I realize how empty my life has become, and how empty it is likely to remain, until I can get some goddamn food or porn.

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Idea for story: An epidemic of infertility breaks out. With no threat of pregnancy, everyone spends their days having rabid sex. As with all utopias, this looks great on paper but is doomed to failure because, like, we're human. Here the problems are obvious. The cure is within grasp of any decent scientist, but they are too busy having sex. Mankind is destroyed.

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Reminder: End more sentences with, “in our iPhone-addled times.”

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Idea for story: A man founds a food drive for starving intellectuals, entitled Food for Thought. Because some things are too adorable.

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I had a friend who was against communication. It was infuriating, because he would never explain why. His certainty caused me such doubt. I always had to think, “Maybe he's right.” Then again, maybe he's wrong. I told him that once, but he just sat there. It was a pretty terrible friendship.

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Calling someone vain for thinking that people talk critically about him only serves to prove him sadly right. So please stop.

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