The Raven in 2015

Happy Halloween!

Every year I like to read Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, because it is creepy and perfect for October. This poem also has a special memory for me because it is how I first became friends with my good friend Hazel, who didn’t read the poem for our test in high school. I didn’t either, but I retold her the Simpsons version where Bart is the Raven and Homer is the guy being tortured by him. She got a better grade then me, and now she is a super smart medical physicist. I still watch the Simpsons.

And now, here is a recreation of the famous poem set in modern time in the perspective of a drunk girl getting a text from the lost Theodore. And if you want to read the original, you can read it here.  Hazel, if you’re reading this, you should give it a chance. =)

Enjoy!

The Raven DM

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I scrolled down, drunk and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious text of forgotten lore—

While I scrolled through, nearly napping, suddenly there came a ringing,

As of someone quickly texting, texting at my iPhone 4.

“Tis some stranger,” I muttered, “texting at my iPhone 4—

Only this and nothing more.”

 

Ah, distinctly I remember it was of the cold November

And each single, well dressed member of the bar scene wrought itself upon floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow

From my phone surcease of sorrow—sorrow of the lost Theodore—

For the rare and radiant bearded bro whom my girlfriends called man whore—

Nameless in my phone for evermore.

 

And the brightening, sad, uncertain light from my phone left me uncertain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic drunk thoughts I never felt before;

So that now, to still the spinning of my head, I stood repeating

“Tis some stranger,” I muttered, “texting at my iPhone 4—

Some late booty call entreating entrance at my bedroom door;–

This is it and nothing more.”

 

Presently my drink got stronger, hesitating then no longer,

“Ted,” said I, “or whoever, truly your subtext I implore;

But the fact is I was drinking and so gently you came texting,

And so quickly you came chatting, chatting in my messenger,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I hit sent to my suitor;–

Darkness from my iPhone 4.

 

Deep into that wine glass peering, long I sat there, typing, deleting,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no woman ever dare to dream sober;

But the silence was unbroken, and my moscato gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Theodore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Theodore!”—

Wine glass filled with nothing more.

 

 

Back into my front room sitting, while the Netflix turned on churning,

Soon again I heard a buzzing somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is a like of my Facebook status;

Let me see, then, what likes received, and this mystery explore—

Let my buzz be still a moment and this mystery explore;–

‘Tis my feed and nothing more!”

 

Open here I flung the cover, when, with a many swipe and password flutter,

In there sat a stately Twitter DM not yet seen before;

Not the least retweet he made me; not a favorite sent or made he;

But, with emojis of a bro and lady, perched next to a heart or four—

Perched upon a pile of old DM’s from Jake and Tom and another bore—

Perched unopened, and nothing more.

 

Then this blinking text beguiling my drunk self into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum that my hangover would store;

“Though thy text be short and misspelled, though,” I said, “art sure no bro,

Ghastly grim and plaid-clad man, wandering from the nightly bar—

Tell me what thy gentlemanly game is on the last call’s nightly roar!”

Quoth my inbox “Nevermore.”

 

Much I marveled at this amusing message to read most confusing,

Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy it bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that I am drunk and he is needing

Of someone who has been drinking and would come to his bedroom door—

Some lady of drunkenness upon the Uber ride to his chamber door—

Whose name in my phone now should be “Nevermore.”

 

But the message, sitting lonely in my DM box blinked only

That one time, as if his soul in that one note did he outpour.

Nothing indicated that he’s anything other than completely passed out on the floor-

Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other bros have left before—

On the morrow you will leave me and my hopes for brunch have flown before.”

Quoth my inbox “Nevermore.”

 

 

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so quickly woven,

“I doubt,” said I, “that you even remember why you ghosted before

Caught most likely by another woman whose outfit was a disaster

Swiped right once and swiped back faster till I was just one burden bore—

Till the skank had found another my man candy was now the burden bore—

Of ‘Never-nevermore.’”

 

But the message still confusing turned my face expressions smiling,

Sober I needed to be, or seated at my food-filled refrigerator;

Then, upon the iPhone blinking, I betook myself to thinking

Just how fancy his beard was before—

With his face, so neatly trim, even with it spiked with Tullamore

Had me reconsidering “Nevermore.”

 

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable did I send texting

To the guy whose fiery message now burned into my drunken core;

This and more I sat debating, while cold pizza I was digesting

On the cushioned cold kitchen linoleum floor

But whose walls were slightly spinning, churning, moving o’er,

Shall I reply, ah, nevermore!

 

Then, I thought, the air grew denser, perfumed by my roommate’s incesner

Swung my water bottle which wrought itself upon the floor,

“Damn!” I cried, “My best friend had warned me—drink the wine and hell has sent thee

Texts- texts and DMs from the lost Theodore;

Turn off, or silence this kind of torture and forget this loser Theodore!”

Quoth my inbox “Nevermore.”

 

“Ass!” said I, “thing of evil!—cute, but still, you are deceitful—

Whether hell sent, or whether my phone number you tossed ashore,

Stop this drunk text stupid nonsense, on this Friday night enchanted—

On this eve where I spilled on my bedspread the remnants of the wine cantor—

Are you-can you come on over?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

Quoth my inbox “Nevermore.”

 

“Ass!” said I, “thing of evil!—cute, but still, you are deceitful—

By luck would have it that bends above us—there is an Uber right at my door—

Tell this soul to come to meet up, for a drink and we shall see what

Bars are open up past four—

Meet up with this rare and radiant maiden whom the iPhone rings for—

Quoth my inbox “Nevermore.”

 

“BE THAT WAY YOU LAME ASS BRO!” I text in all caps just for show—

“Get thee to a hoe with no morals, with a face of a wild boar!

Leave no DMs, texts or Tinder messages the wine has spoken!

Leave my lonely phone unbroken!—quit staring at my profile pic of glamor!

Take thy broke ass out of my heart, and take thy emojis you sent before!”

Quoth my inbox “Nevermore.”

 

And the DM, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pile of old DM’s from Jake and Tom and another bore;

And his eyes have all the seeming of an ass that is scheming,

And the ugly lights o’er the bar streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my pride from out that shadow lies next to the pizza on the kitchen floor

Shall be lifted—nevermore!

raven

 

The time I dressed up as Hitler for Halloween

Sometimes in the age of adolescence kids fall in with a bad crowd. Motivated by what the popular trends are, its hard to listen to your own voice instead of following suit, even though it may lead you down a bad path. In 5th grade, I fell victim to peer pressure, ignoring my better instincts and instead let my parents choose my Halloween costume, knowing it would end badly.

All 10 year olds are ugly. There is no exception to this rule, including myself. Yes, mothers of 10 year olds, your child might be the rare exception, but looking back on yourself, which school photo would you be most likely to throw out? My guess is 10. At this age, you’re in that odd stage in life where you are too old to be cute and to young to be pretty, thus leaving you in this abyss of awkward and unpleasant. Fortunately, most people grow out of this phase, while others put it off for a later age, mainly, child actors who were given a pass and now have to walk through life with their pinnacle of beauty having peaked at 13 (see: cast of any 90’s sitcom you can think of). What makes this age 9,000 times worse is when you are juxtaposed against a small, evil demon taking the host of a cute 6 year old otherwise known as your little sister. When I was going through the phase of growing out of my fat baby face, Caitlyn, my cute as a stupid button younger sister, made every family photo between the years of 1994-1997 seem like an illustration of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde….if Dr. Jekyll had a horrible bowl cut with bangs.

Faced with the task of finding shows that weren’t too adult for his growth spurting daughter, my father got into the habit of watching old Laurel and Hardy episodes. Grasping for anything that wasn’t a cartoon, and always eager to please my parents, I enjoyed the duo and would occasionally watch episodes, a welcome break over Barney the Dinosaur, Caitlyn’s most viewed show of the 90s. When October rolled around, we were all sitting around the kitchen table after dinner, brainstorming costume ideas for the two of us. “What about Laurel and Hardy?” my mom said, “You could wear my suit jacket!” my father squealed, before I could brush my knotty, cow licked bangs out of my face, my fate was decided. I did however, manage to insist that I was Laurel and not Hardy, because going as an old-timey slapstick male actor that nobody my age knew was one thing, but to go as an old-timey slapstick male actor who was fat was out of the question.

Another problem with being 10 is that it’s the age where everyone stops playing together and cool kids start to rise above taking reign. In my grammar school, the two blondest girls took the reigns. My brown average hair not having the genetic luck to compete, I was forced to struggle with failed attempts at popularity, settling for mediocrity only until my ego caught up with me and I realized how utterly awesome I am (around sophomore year of high school, I estimate). So between this inner struggle called middle school, you could imagine my shock to be invited with the two cool kids trick or treating. But what was a Laurel to do without her Hardy? Luckily, there was another famous black and white slapstick male actor left, and with the addition of a cane and some black mascara under my nose, Stan Laurel turned into Charlie Chaplin, and I was on my way.

1995 had an exceptionally warm Halloween. That, coupled with the fact that I was wearing a men’s suit and black cotton pants, and a bowler hat, made my short bob haircut a slicked back, sweaty mess. By the 5th block of candy stalking I was a hot mess, and decided to take my coat and hat off. The father of one of my Aryan classmates subtly hinted that I should stay in character, but I declined, noting that I still had my fake mustache to remind everyone who I was. It wasn’t until years later when I realized that the culmination of my greased back hair, mustache, and jacket less suit ensemble made me a spitting image for one of the most awful dictators the world has ever seen. I can’t exactly recall my neighbors reactions, but I’d imagine given the choice among the grotesque zombie, grunge rocker Kurt Cobain, and Hitler, my parents were the ones judged the hardest.

Charlie Chaplin in the Great Dictator, where he mocks Hitler. Full circle?
Charlie Chaplin in the Great Dictator, where he mocks Hitler. Full circle?