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A collaborative writing project with high hopes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Upon his arrival at J.B. Everet’s law office, Jesus was told to wait in a large waiting room. Seated across from him was an obese man wearing a neck brace. A very large cane was leaning on his chair. Jesus imagined that the man was suing the someone who made him wear the neck brace and walk with a cane. He would later find out that the man was suing his wife for cooking him fattening foods for the last seventeen years. He would win.
Jesus spent twenty five minutes in the waiting room, reading an article on a new trend in music. It was not actually new. The Japanese had been performing in this style for years. They called it “Karaoke.” Karaoke is a combination of two Japanese words which translate to “Empty Orchestra.” The way karaoke worked, Jesus learned, is that the vocal tracks of songs have been erased, leaving only the “empty orchestra” of the background music. Japanese businessmen liked to relax by adding the vocals to these popular songs.
The article said that karaoke was gaining popularity in America. Jesus decided to check it out.
It was finally his time to enter the office of J.B. Everet. Mr. Everet’s office was large and dark. He sat behind an enormous desk with a granite slab across the top.
“Do you like the desk?” Mr. Everet asked? Jesus just nodded.
“The son of a bitch was so big and heavy, they had to bring it into the office through this window. Had to buy a bigger crane. So, Mr. Reno, you are a lucky man. Did you know you had a benefactor?”
Jesus didn’t. In fact, he would not even have known what the word meant, had he not used it in his Music of the Renaissance course at the University.
“Your benefactor has asked to remain anonymous. I can’t tell you anything about him. Oops, I mean about ‘your benefactor...’” Mr. Everet then winked at Jesus. Jesus did not know why he was just winked at. He decided not to do anything about it.
“Well, I can see you’re a little confused, let’s just get into the details here, and get you on your way.”
Mr. Everet then explained the details to Jesus. The details were pretty simple. A very rich person decided that Jesus was a good kid, and decided to fund his life for him. A large sum of money had been deposited into a high interest bank account. The interest from this account would be deposited into Jesus’ bank account every month. The first month’s deposit was $125,000.
With a firm hand shake and a pat on the back, Mr. Everet was showing Jesus to the door. Jesus was very confused. Almost skeptical. He was so absorbed in his own thoughts that he almost ran into the fat man with the neck brace as he was leaving the building.
Jesus walked to the bank. Mr. Everet had set up the money to be automatically deposited into his bank account. When he got to the bank and told the teller to check his account, everyone in the bank was suddenly very pleased to meet him. Especially the president of the bank. He wanted to make sure that Jesus kept his business at his bank.
Jesus assured him that he would. He withdrew two hundred dollars. He walked home more confused than he had ever been in his entire life.

Monday, March 15, 2004

On his twenty-first birthday, Jesus Reno received a letter in the mail. It was a certified letter. He had never received one before. In fact, he had hardly ever received letters. He received bills. He received dirty magazines. He received notices that he needed to pay off his student loans, but he never, ever, received letters.
Jesus was by no means a man of correspondences. He had no friends to speak of. And no friends to not speak of. A handful of people would call him an acquaintance. Few of those knew more than his name. they knew him as a classmate, as a graduate student in the school of music.
No one knew he graduated high school at the age of sixteen. Or that he graduated with honors two and a half years later from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. And now, this twenty one year old doctoral candidate, teaching music history to students oftentimes older than him, slid through life mostly unnoticed. He taught Music History, and ignored his passion in life: song. He loved to sing. More specifically he yearned to sing in front of people. To entertain them.
But no one knew that he sang. And no one knew that he was good. And no one knew anything about Jesus Reno. And so, Jesus Reno led a solitary life, devoid of friends, devoid of song, and, until his twenty-first birthday, devoid of correspondence.
Jesus did not read the letter on his twenty-first birthday. It seemed strange that he should receive a letter. Especially on his birthday. He had never birthday cards growing up in hotels in Las Vegas with his guardian, who felt burdened by his presence. In fact, were it not for his birth certificate, he would not even know that it was his birthday.
So, upon receiving a most unexpected letter on his birthday, Jesus placed the envelope, still unopened, on his desk, and decided to read it after he finished grading a rather large stack of Music History exams. And he finished grading. And he stared at the letter. And he debated opening the letter. And he didn’t. And he continued not opening the letter for an entire week.
And so, Jesus’ certified mail sat, unopened, on his desk for an entire week before he let his curiosity get the better of him. It would turn out that this one letter would be the single most important letter of his life. It was, in fact, very easily classified as the single most important letter of his life, as he had only received three letters in the past.
The first letter he received was from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, notifying him of his admission status. The second letter was from Herman Munderchuck and the Fantabulous Five. It contained and autographed 8 x 10 Glossy of the band, and a certificate proclaiming his membership in the band’s official fan club. This certificate was now hanging in his bedroom between his birth certificate and his two diplomas.
And now, his third letter proved to be the most life changing. It was from a lawyer named J.B. Everet of Everet, Sanders, Barber and Everet, one of the most prestigious law firms in all of Las Vegas. And he had asked Jesus to come to his office, at his earliest convenience, to discuss a matter of great importance.

Monday, January 26, 2004

It would be impossible to pinpoint, with any accuracy at all, the exact starting point of any story. The story of Jesus Reno is no exception. I could over simplify the story and tell you it all started in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 29th, 1968. In all actuality, Jesus’ story begins with the beginning of life on earth. There are several theories as to how and when this took place, none of which are relevant to the story. The only thing that matters is that a series of events began, each event triggering an infinite number of subsequent events. Jesus Reno’s chain has remained unbroken for thousands or millions or billions of years, depending upon your outlook. The Jesus Reno chain will, eventually, come to an end. And it’s end will, as all events do, inspire many, many more chains to begin.
For the sake of my narrative, we will trace Jesus’ chain back to Honduras, 1964. A woman I knew only as Lupe fled with her father and two sisters from the costal town of Puerto Cortès. General Oswaldo López Arellano staged a successful military coup, and brought down a reign of terror on Salvadorian immigrants working in the banana plantations along the coasts. Lupe’s mother was Honduran, her Father Salvadorian. Forbidden loves would run in the family for many generations.
I never knew Lupe’s full name, nor the names of any of the rest of her family. She never disclosed the fate of her mother, left behind in Honduras, forever scorned as the lover of a Salvadorian.
Lupe’s father smuggled his daughters onto a banana freighter headed for America. The headed south east, through the Panama Canal, and loaded more bananas. By this time, the girls were living in a make-shift hut constructed of now empty banana crates. The sisters rationed what little food and water they had for the next three weeks. When they finally reached America they were discovered. Their father had been discovered several weeks before, and had been brutally murdered at the hand of the first mate.
The details of this part of the chain are not very well known to me. Eventually, through some inter-related series of events, Lupe found employment in the housekeeping department of a swank Las Vegas hotel. Being the good hearted, hard working woman she was, she quickly climbed the ranks and was put in charge of the luxury sweets. This is where my chain becomes, briefly interwoven with Lupe’s.
Lupe and I were lovers. She could tell no one of this. Hotel policy strictly forbid relationships between guests and employees, and an affair with a hotel maid would have ruined my career. Lupe kept the secret very well. She took the secret to her grave. Lupe died as a result of a complicated pregnancy. With her, at the hotel, was her best friend Rosa, another maid at the hotel. Lupe never told Rosa who the father was, never told her of the love she had for me. Rosa, believing that Lupe died a virgin, named the orphaned baby Jesus. And as the chain of the only woman I ever loved ended, Jesus’ chain received it’s own beginning.




Sunday, January 25, 2004

The Karaoke King

The shower was on in the small one-bedroom apartment.
You could tell this by the hot water that echoed a
harsh bellow in the rustic pipes that orignated from
the smallest of bathrooms. Even with-out the horrible
sound that came from the pipes, it would still be
easily recognizable that the shower was in use. A
voice, which was almost always singing, practicing; a
voice with a hondurian spanish accent that would never
completely dissappear, was now slightly muffled. Yet,
against even the loudest of sounds the voice and the
words to the song; a song that the owner of the voice
knew by heart, were still recognizable. And with the
strained squeak of the shower nob, turning off, and a
loud pop, within the pipes, the voice of Jesus Reno
became much clearer.

"Girl..doon doon doon doon...You'll be a woman
soon..." On it went. Especially today. And oh how
it drove the tenants in every direction of his
apartment insane. Mr. Huxley, in the apartment just
above; who had retired,after 35 years of working the
welding line at a car factory, and was now deaf in one
ear, would stomp his feet to the ground every so often
in retaliation. Reno, which is what most everyone
called him, except for Jake Stoompf; a regular at The
Echobox--- the jivest karaoke bar in town, who would
yell "HeyZeus!!" every Thursday night as Reno, in his
pattented blue velvet blazer covering his cream
ruffled shirt and green and brown plad pants that were
topped off with his old pair of black and white reebox
cross trainers, would glide past the doors nodding his
head here and there to his adoring followers and
occasionally he'd throw in a wink and a fake
gun-in-hand shot to his favorite cronies, like
Stoompf. But to everyone else it was simply Reno.
And as Mr. Huxley would only mumble to himself, after
his leg could no longer stomp on the ground and he'd
resort to clogging up his one good ear with tissue
paper, His neighbors, with hands pounding on the
walls would yell out to Reno to stop, because they
couldn't hear their t.v. or were trying to eat dinner
in silence. Reno took their complaints kind heartedly
and would lower his voice so that he could still sing
his song. For like I said before, he knew the song by
heart, and it had made him a nice amount of money, and
as it was he would be going to the Echobox tonight as
The Karaoke King for the 2nd straight month.

But, unkown to Reno, tonight would prove to be his
greatest challenge. Olaf Van Heusen, "The Olaf Van
Heusen"; german karaoke enthusiast and president of
the David Hasselhoff fan club was in town.

(To be continued)
If i were pitching this to a producer in Hollywood i'd say it was Karaoke Fever meets Zoolander
karaoke kings is the working title of a collaborative writing project with high hopes. see, it says so in the title.
we're writing this in hopes of turning it into a movie.
a short movie, but a movie none the less.
more later, as the time is deemed fit.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

i don't know what i'm going to do with this blog. i just thought i'd set up a new one for shits and giggles.
well, we'll see how this works out.

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