Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tobin Terry: Two Stories

Tobin Terry, a student in the Notheast Ohio Master of Fine Arts (NEOMFA), has become known as a master of the short-short (fiction or prose poem). His peculiar style is evident in the following two pieces.

The Boyfriend of a Burning River Roller Girl Expresses His Displeasure

Sitting here in the ER, I’ve had a lot of time to think about, well, us. Remember when we first started dating? Boy, things were good then weren’t they? I wasn’t laid up in here. You were a gentle, caring, peaceful woman, everything I could hope for. One day you came home and told me you were going to join the Burning River Roller Girls. You said it would be good for you to get some exercise, that it would be nice to meet other women too. I agreed and for the first couple of weeks you were right. You started being more confident in yourself, more assertive at work, and the sex was great. Then, do you remember the day when I saw something on your arm? What is that? I asked. What’s what? Oh this, you said curling your arm like Rosie the Riveter, this is a bicep, silly. That same night in the midst of a nightmare that very bicep powered the devastating blows to my face that gave me both a fat lip and a black eye. You have no idea what I had to put up with, besides the pain of course. At work my boss cornered me in the copy room and told me that if I needed to talk about anything, say an abusive relationship for instance, his door was always open. I could hear co-workers snickering in the hallway. I was the laughing stock of the office. Remember that time, when you jokingly punched me in the arm and I couldn’t write for a week? Then when we were playfully wrestling around and you got me in a headlock and I lost consciousness? I mean, I’m all for gender equality, but I felt totally emasculated when you punched out that guy at the bar for spilling my drink. He was the bouncer for Christ’s sake! I have to be honest with you; I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. You go out with your friends from the team and then you all come home loaded and trash the place. When I asked you guys to quiet down a little since I had work in the morning, you told me to quit being a pantywaist and to make you some sandwiches. That was the last of the bread! Look, don’t get me wrong. I love you, and I still think we can make this work. But we have to make some changes. Really. Who is going to believe I slipped on one of your skates and fell down the stairs?

For My High School Friend, Frank

I never told anyone this, but I too thought it was creepy when Frank started wearing the same clothes on the same day as you. I told you not to worry. It was just a coincidence. It was really hard to believe in coincidence though, when Frank dyed his hair blonde, like yours, but we said it was the style. Or when he bought a gold chain necklace with a charm, the number 22, your football number, just like yours, we said it must have been on sale. Even when Frank bought a '93 Firebird, just like yours except a different shade of blue, we said it must have been a popular model. Now that I think about it, I should have been suspicious when we saw Frank at TGIFridays eating a piece of birthday cake with your recently ex-girlfriend on your birthday. I should have questioned it, but I didn't have the foresight you did. When you finally confronted Frank about it all, he denied everything, but you wouldn't believe him. When you threw the first punch, it was like he knew it was coming, like trying to punch a mirror, and the two of you ended up wrestling on the ground. I wanted to jump in because one of you was getting pummeled, but with all of the commotion, I honestly could not tell you apart. The next day I didn't see you at school. A week later your parents and the police called my house asking if I'd seen you. I had to tell them the truth. I could have sworn I saw you walking down the hallway that very day, but then again, it could have been Frank. The two of you looked so much alike from behind. For a while everyone was worried about you, but things seem to be getting back to normal. As it turns out Frank is a pretty good quarterback and the football team is doing really well. After the game tonight I'm meeting him and the guys at Fridays for sodas and appetizers. Believe it or not, Frank always orders the nachos but complains that they are too cheesy, just like I do.


Taking Names said...

Love the Burning River Roller Girl story!!!!

Shoves & kisses,
Taking Names

Soulie said...

Reactions to the Burning River Roller Girls story by actual Burning River Roller Girls:

1. That is hilarious!
2. Who is this guy?

Soul Eater #53
Burning River Roller Girls

Bob said...

Who Tobin Terry is: a guy who is going to love your comments!


Bob said...

PS--Email me photos in action and I'll post them beside the story...


Anonymous said...

My name is Lance Burnet and i would like to show you my personal experience with Ritalin.

I am 56 years old. I have taken Ritalin for 30 years. I have been diagnosed with a mild form of narcolepsy. I use 4 (10 MG ) pills per day. The drug ahs worked wonders and eliminated the drowsiness and sleep attacks. My concern now is the length of time I have been on it. When taking a "drug holiday" it seems like my symptoms are worse.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
rebound effect when dosage wears off.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Lance Burnet

Ritalin Prescription Medication

About Me

My photo
I write short stories and essays. I have published over one hundred stories, essays, and flash fictions or nonfictions in magazines or anthologies, as well as a novel, Jack's Universe, and a collection of stories, Private Acts. I grew up in a military family, so I'm not from anywhere in particular except probably Akron, where I've lived for forty years. Before I came here, I never lived anywhere longer than three years.