Monday, May 16, 2011

Shiver Me Timbers!!

His fingertips walked the dotted line the stitches made on the brim of his hat. The palm of his hand slid up over the dome of the garment, feeling the soft and subtle imperfections in the leather. The mad man's thin pink lips started to curl into a smile and gradually grew into a full teethy grin.

Hatter had bought a new Hat.

The eight-teenth century brown leather tricorn was a stunning accessory but of course it needed an equally impressive outfit for it to compliment. Of course we wouldn't put it past Hatter to strut about the house wearing just the headgear, his hands firmly planted on his bare hips standing tall and proud, but those who know him best know his fondness of costumes.
Two of Hearts and I sat on the couch talking about something not worth mentioning as I can not recall what it was when the silliness began. Out of the back of the house Hatter emerged wearing his tricorn over a powdered wig, a puffy white shirt, and a pirate captain's coat. He had taken his corporate salve uniform khaki's and tucked the ends of them into white stockings at his knees. To finish of his already ridiculous costume he wore black dress shoes with skeleton feet painted on top. Sometimes I wonder if he does these things just to see my head cock to one side and my eyes cross in confusion.

We shared in a laugh and some jestful pirate talk when a distant and faint sound managed to find our ears and silence the room instantly. We all stood still as if frozen in motion and strained to hear the cheerful musical tones that were slowly growing louder and louder. Eyes darted. Hatter met eyes with mine, Two of Hearts met Hatters, Then mine met Two of Hearts as we all stood silent recognizing that we all knew that tune pulling out buried memories: The ice cream truck was coming!

"Quick," Two of Hearts yelled excitedly, "Give him two dollars!" Before he could finish the order I had already produced a ten dollar bill and put it in Hatter's hand with haste.

We took our party outside at just the right moment. The conveyor of frozen confections approached the T intersection we lived on. The Piratey Hatter approached. The playful bounce in his step synced with the music as he reached the truck window.

The bewildered gentleman inside looked like he better fit in at a Greatful Dead tribute show than an ice cream truck but everyone has to make a living, I suppose. His mouth sat slightly open as he waited to find out what was about to happen with this peculiar client.

"Arr, One Ice cream sandwich," Hatter exclaimed in the best pirate voice he could manage while giggling. When the man did not respond and just went to fetch the sweet treat Hatter continued, "Say, you got change for a ten, me matey?"

The man, without cracking a smile responded, "Yes, sir."

Hatter giggled but swallowed down the laughter after a moment to correct the vendor, "That be capt'n' to yous!" The unamused merchant playacted to his apparently bilharzia buyer by offering a slight smile with his change. Scooping up his ice cream sandwich and his change Hatter turned to walk away.

"Have a nice day, Land Lubber!" He called back to the dead head ice cream truck driver. He then turned to me and we shared in a bit of laughter. Without his laughter pausing or changing tone to acknowledge a new thought had crossed his mind Hatter pulled his arm back and brought it hurling forward. It wasn't until I saw his hand release the sugary sweet that I stopped laughing realizing that...

I just got pegged in the face with an ice cream sandwich.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Sky is Falling

Just when you think you have this place figured out, you are reminded that Wonderland can not be pigeon held into any kind of structure and that includes it's climate. For decades there seemed to be some kind of predictability when wintertime approached. The cold, sometimes wet air would last a few short months and about every third year there would be enough snow to dust the ground and bring with it a kind of insanity that causes every citizen to drive as recklessly as possible. This year, though, Wonderland decided to play a cruel joke.
Maybe it wasn't a joke, maybe it was some kind of weather Alzheimer's but it snowed four times starting as early as October. The combination of Mother Natures deteriorating memory and the wishful thoughts of many people romanticizing snow for the Christmas holiday caused the worst snow if the year to start Christmas evening.
Do you know those blissful few moments between sleeping and waking? The moment where you are acutely aware of the softness of your pillow and the sweet clean smell of your sheets but not yet awake enough to believe it is not a cloud you are resting upon? I rarely get to remember those moments now that I live with Hatter. I was awoken that morning the loud slam my door made as it hit the wall and Hatter came screaming into my room. My eyes still refusing to open I sat up quickly, trying to comprehend whatever it was Hatter was blabbering about at the top of his lungs at nine o' clock in the morning and at the same time try to figure out how it could possibly be more important than a pleasant Nathan Fillion dream I was having. Speaking faster than light moves for what seemed like an eternity Hatter finally stopped to catch his breath and then spoke the only sentence I could make out which was,

"I made you waffles!"

My tired read eyes opened and looked down at the plate of hot waffles, smothered in maple syrup and sprinkled with walnuts that he placed in my lap before skipping out of the room.

Setting the plate neatly aside I started to get dressed and my mind took a long loud yawn as it said goodbye to the dreaming world. I knew my bedroom was abnormally bright for the time of day but it wasn't until I ate my hearty breakfast and came down stairs that I realized just how much snow had fallen while I slept.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs I was met by Alice. A child like grin plastered across her pink snow nipped face reluctantly waited for my eyes to acknowledge her presence. Her whole person seemed to vibrate with excitement when she asked,

"We are going to go play in the snow, Wanna come play with us?"

I am usually a Scrooge about snow. I find it cold, wet, and pointless. When people make the argument that it is "pretty" I am quick to remind them it is only pretty in those first few hours before anyone walks in it or drives in it. In that moment of Alice starring up at me, though, I broke. Maybe it was the residual feeling of happiness Christmas has on me carrying over from the night before or maybe it was the mixture of warm waffles and crunchy walnuts swimming around in my stomach but I caught the snow disease from Alice and enthusiastically agreed to help build a snow fort.

I bundled up and made a leap out the back door into the knee deep snow hiding the deck. Around the corner I could hear the giggles of Alice, Hatter, and Caterpillar. Walking through the snow was near impossible. To get from one end of the deck to the other was more like wading through a thick liquid and took the whole body pushing forward to go a few steps. Nearing the yard I caught a glimpse of motion out of the corner of my eye. I paused and stared at the indention in the snow a couple steps in front of me where the motion had been. After a moment a small dog head popped out over the pile of snow and excitedly looked at me with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth. The little jack russel acknowledge the same impossibility to walk in the stuff that I had and instead developed a hopping method of getting around. Moving more like an awkward kangaroo than a dog she followed me over to the group.

didn't need a ridiculous yellow hat for me to identify him as the foreman of this construction site. He had appointed Caterpillar the official and prestigious roll of "Shoveler" and Alice the more labor intensive but equally impressive roll of "Packer". I assisted Alice for a while on the construction of the already impressively tall wall. Even wearing boots, two pairs of pants, a sweater, hoodie, jacket, scarf and gloves the snows most evil quality was able to seep in. The cold wet water saturated my socks after a few hours and I could no longer ignore my icicle toes. I admitted defeat to the snow.

It wasn't long after that Hatter, Alice, and Caterpillar roofed their fort with a patio umbrella and set out to defend our Wonderland from the diabolical Jack Russel and Pug puppies.

Monday, February 8, 2010


The weather was something frightening. Only in Wonderland do they issue a flood watch and expect up to three feet of snow at the same time. Oh well, "'Tis a silly place," you know. It was Saturday night and my day of work before having three days off. After battling the wet and icy roads I felt an overwhelming comforting feeling. As I pushed open the front door my mind was blissfully focused on some hot food, cold vodka, and a warm blanket. Hatter had other plans for me I soon discovered.

As the door swung open six pairs of eyes stared back at me like deer in headlights. The look I got from many of them was of confusion and surprise. They know who I am and know I live there so I can only guess this look equated to a child caught doing something they know is wrong. Like the parent in this scenario I felt a little worried by the stare down and instantly knew the small bottle of vodka I'd been fantasizing about would not be enough to get me trough whatever it is I just walked in on.

"Hi, Rabbit!," Hatter was the first to greet me in is usually cheerful voice, "Want to play Murder?"

Now, If you are picturing this playing out like an indie horror movie shot in the woods of some state park by kids who know WAY too much about Charles Manson then I'm sure you are in good company. I want you to hit the pause button for just a moment, though. I'd like to think a sane person would of responded with a polite, "No Thanks," before calmly exiting then driving a safe distance away before calling the cops. But If we were sane people there would be no story, would there? In my case I smiled back at the anticipating group of people and replied, "Of course I do!" I then ran up stairs to change clothes while hatter explained the rules of Murder to the few who have never played.

Playing murder is very simple. The scene plays out in a dark house where a group of friends are hiding from the mad-man among them. Unsure of who is the sadistic assassin they hide, listening to the sounds of their friends' final screams until they can identify who the murder is. The game ends when someone yells out the correct identity of the murder or when everyone is dead. Since we are kind of fond of one another no one will actually be killed. Instead three taps from the killer and you are considered dead.

So we cut off all the light and exited the house. We all drew slips of paper from a hat that will tell us what our roll is. Most everyone has a blank piece of paper but mine had a big capital M in the center showing me that I am to play the murderer.

Now I had to be as inconspicuous as possible. The best thing the murder can do is enter the house first or last. First allows you to hear when everyone else enters so you knew where they are hiding. Entering the house last means you don't have to hide, you can take your time and move around freely. I decided to try and divert any suspicion from myself and enter third or fourth. Once inside I moved to a corner in the living room that is easy to get in and out of but not too obvious. One of Hatter's friends, Two of Hearts, comes in and hides between the couch and coffee table beside me.

"She will be easy," I tell myself, embracing my character.

A voice pierces through the darkness, "Last one in," and the game begins. The poor girl lying on the floor beside me didn't stand a chance. She screamed loudly as I reached for her but the cries were futile. Hearing the scream of his girl, Ace came in. At first I thought he was trying to investigate her screams but I soon realized he was just trying to scare her because she started screaming again. I couldn't have dead bodies screaming and giving away my position! I killed him and he fell forward on top of Two of Hearts. Just as I turned around I saw Hatter lunging towards me with some bizarre battle cry.

"AAAHHH," He screamed. Ina panic I flung my fist towards him connect with his jaw and he went down. I gave him a few good taps to make sure he was dead but didn't stop to make sure he was actually ok.

I didn't have any time to wonder if her was hurt because Alice's voice piped up, "Rabbit is the..."

I must shut her up! Tap tap tap and she goes down without being able to properly identify me. I feel victorious for a moment. Four dead bodies around me and the house fell quiet. I knew there were two more out there so I stopped to listen intently for the sounds of life. Unfortunately all I heard was the faint distant sound of music. I don't know if many people realize just how creepy Billie Holiday is until you are in a pitch dark house and all you can hear is, "The very thought of you, I forget to do, those ordinary things, that everyone..."

I start wandering from room to room but my eyes were having trouble adjusting to the complete absence of light. I began to get nervous because I can't seem to find my other two victims. Passing by the dining room I caught the faint glimpse of fleshy white skin. Having already explored this room twice already I was skeptical. Maybe my eyes were just playing tricks on me so I approached slowly. Within a foot of what I was now sure was an arm I reached out to make my attack when a male voice cracked.

"Rabbit is the murder!!"

I am frozen in place for a half second as all the dead come back to life and the lights turn on.

After inspecting Hatter's jaw we determined he has suffered no serious injury. In fact he seemed far too amused to be hurt. With everyone still in tact we ventured out of the house again. This time my slip of paper was blank. I remembered being thankful for this because I am far better at survival then killing.

One of the first people in, I headed fora a corner in the kitchen where I know I am sure to see my attacker before they see me. It wasn't long before I heard someone else rustling around and banging the oven door, slamming counters, and knocking stuff over. I imagined someone was trying to hide in the oven and that made me laugh, giving away my position.

"Don't go dying on me, Rabbit," Ace said in a hushed voice.

"Don't go killing me," I replied.

The house fell silent again save for the distant sound of music. What was really only ten minutes felt more like an hour with the anticipation growing and silence crushing in on the kitchen walls. After a while I heard that familiar cheerful tone:

"Watcha doin, Alice?" Hatter inquired, standing right outside the kitchen doorway.

Mustering up as innocent a voice she could, "Looking for a hiding place," Alice offered. She might of fooled a common stranger with her faux sinlessness. Recognizing the quiver of uncertainty in her voice I knew what Hatter said to be true:

"Alice is the Murderer!"

We all breathed a sigh of relief and I exited my hiding spot while flicking on the kitchen light. Seeing movement I looked up to discover Ace crammed into the one foot space between the top of the fridge and ceiling. All I could do was chuckle at the absurdity as two people helped wriggle him free.

We played several more rounds of the game but it quickly digressed from Murder to "Who can make Two of Hearts scream the most?" The poor girl got attacked by moans, growls, creepy laughs, and even full left over Halloween costumes. Her screams were so shrill our neighbors must of realized in that moment that the people living in our house are not stable. I'm surprised no one called the police but then again this is only week one.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What Am I Doing Here?

I am about to do something crazy...

Looking at it from the surface it seems like a very normal, practical thing for a single 23-year-old girl to be doing but that would be naive. Naive only because you don't comprehend the level of complete insanity of the people involved. If you continue to follow this blog you may get a small glimpse of what I'm referring to.

You see, I am about to move into a house with three roommates. They are fantastic people that I love very much for all their virtues and even more so for their vices. On February 1st, I will embark on a 15 month long adventure with these wonderful companions. I have only one expectation for what is about to happen: That is I expect that any reasonable expectation a rational, sane, and sober person would make in this kind of situation would be foolish and misguided.

Reflecting upon this, I have decided to make a few preparations. One of my first thoughts was I need to write my will just in case of a crazy night of debauchery, some fool-hearty experiment gone wrong, or in the event of one of those four a.m. logic free conversations that always begin with, "You know what would be cool?" and ends with the sound of ambulance sirens fading into the distance. The thought of my impending mortality quickly lead into my second thought. If by some miracle I happen to survive this experience I want some documentation of what went on. That way when I'm old and feeble I can remind myself constantly of the experiences I've had falling and tumbling down the rabbit hole.

With that said, welcome to my Adventures in Wonderland. I thought long about how this should begin. I had hoped to do it like a speech; you know, "Open with a joke," they say. However, I am neither that witty or cliché. Instead a brief background on the most important people you will meet should do for now.

Names have been changed to protect the guilty: Myself namely.


The first person you should probably meet is Alice. Since we are traveling through wonderland I through it fitting this friend go by Alice. I see her as somewhat of our leader. Our Heroine being that she is the one of most sound mind here. I met her a number of years back when I worked at a coffee shop. When she first got hired I thought she was a pretty face that would be good for tips. I never thought I would grow to love her so much. Alice is from the Deep South where everyone is friendly. I'm curious if that plays a roll in how incredibly affectionate she is. Alice is a very open, accepting, and infinitely forgiving person. It's for those reasons, I suspect; she is able to put up with all the nut-jobs around her.

Hatter is the second person you should know. Alice and Hatter have been dating for as long as I've known them. It's good for me because had I not been exposed to Hatter by Alice I may not of ever become his friend. I forget who told me, but someone once said to me, "With great genius comes great insanity." Hatter is a great example of that. He is one of the most creative people I have ever met. The unique way he looks at the world makes sense to me only because I've learned to filter Hatter. Kind of like an interpreter. His intelligence and creativity show in his artwork but I occasionally question his grasp on reality. I don't mind that he occasionally makes up in his head that we had conversations that never actually took place because they amuse me greatly. Hatter is quirky in an endearing kind of way.

Caterpillar I met through Alice and Hatter. He would be the hardest for me to sum up because the things that make Caterpillar so great are not things that he's done or where he is from. It's the same thing that lends him the ability to make me laugh hysterically at almost nothing. Sure, I could tell you he is half Italian and from New Jersey but I could also tell you he's an Urrlig from Jupiter and it wouldn't make any difference. Caterpillar is better experienced then explained.

I'm sure you will meet a number of delightful characters along the way but these are my roommates and so the leaders of our party. They are the tools used to either make or break this story.