A Spurt in the Spotlight

puppetryBy Christopher J. Cannon

The sweat started early that night. It must have been the multiple shots we slammed minutes before we went on. Feeling the moisture drip down my back and slowly work its way down my very cute bubble butt always took my mind off of what I was doing, but I hated being sweaty on stage. It was hot that night, and the 900 middle-aged, screaming drunk women chanting, “PENIS! PENIS! PENIS!” only made it hotter. I loved my job, but the one hundred year old theater somewhere in the middle of Canada didn’t have air conditioning, no surprise, and I was starting to regret my fourth tequila shot I had slammed before going out on stage.

Too late now.  Continue reading


Homeward Bound

By Michael Gutgsell

istock_generic_212070I stared at the plastic platters of five-buck sushi, agonizing. My stomach growled as I kicked myself for preemptively eating my lunch. That morning, I hadn’t had time to make breakfast before jumping on the bus to catch the train that would deliver me, an hour later, to the non-profit where I worked. I thought maybe I could make it until my three o’ clock lunch time, but I caved, and ate on the way to work. What I didn’t think of while eating my hastily prepared turkey sandwich was my lean debit card balance. Now I wasn’t sure I could afford lunch.

We’re only given a half hour break, and I had already wasted precious minutes. I picked out a tray and headed to the counter, figuring even if this caused my account to overdraw, I’d be paid tomorrow, so it would probably be okay. The late fees are exorbitant, but maybe the check would go through in time.

Continue reading

Sex Sells

IMG_0598By Michael Gutgsell

I would arrive to open the store at 11:45. I swung my bag and helmet on the counter, clocked in, and went about unplugging the fully-powered toys and putting away the chargers in paper bags I’d carefully labeled by brand: Lelo, JimmyJane, Fun Factory. My co-workers ignored my organization, usually just dropping the power strip behind the counter, chargers still attached. Nevertheless, I wrapped the cords carefully and placed them in the proper bag. Then I put the merchandise on their stands, making sure everything was lined up and dust-free. I counted the drawer, sent my manager and the owner the opening checklist, and gave the store a quick once-over before flipping over the open sign, flicking the lights on, and unlocking the door. Then I waited.

The day yawned before me. I sat behind the counter and endlessly, obsessively, edited my work playlist. I looked out at the bright day as the parade of men in candy-colored tank tops strutted by, flashing their muscles, their white teeth, their ridiculous short-shorts and designer sneakers. Continue reading

A Joint Affair: Episode 2 – Shitty First Day

A Joint Affair 5
By Lirot Comma Brian

I glide across the rainy road as the darkness turns grey. A regretful high-pitched tone beats the drums of my ear due to the trials and tribulations of the recent hours past. I cannot go into work without a shower…no way. I fold down the passenger side sun visor to see my brown hair laying above my greasy forehead in clumps.

Six hours slide by, and just like that, the adventure’s over. As soon as David pulls into the driveway of my parents’ house, I swing the door open before he can get the chance to park.

“Thanks for doing that, Mike.” David hollers as I grab my backpack from the trunk.

“Anytime homie.” I respond as I speed walk up to the garage door. “I’m always down for whatever.”  Continue reading

First Draft: Semester in a College Writing Center

By Michael Gutgsell

When I think of the college writing center, I think of a wall of windows with warm sunlight shining on two cushy couches, a small desk, and a kettle. It was the quietest part of campus for me, and it relaxed me walking into this cozy room with a plate of cookies on the table, a Google calendar open on the computer, and a peaceful couple hours to read or do homework until someone came in.

I was so nervous the first few shifts, certain that I would come across as awkward and stupid, but to my surprise, I loved going over people’s papers with them, and it wasn’t difficult. Continue reading