Sunday, February 12, 2006

HOME AGAIN

While cleaning up some old files I came across a story I wrote in college. I was surprised how much I still like it even after 15 years (cough). I wrote this 3 years before the book "Wicked". But I was heavily influced by Jeff Lyman's (arguably far superior) novel "Was".


H o m e A g a i n

by David Melito


“Oh and Auntie Em, There’s no place like home,” Dorothy cried!

Aunt Em smiled and wiped sweat from Dorothy’s brow. She turned to Uncle Henry and the other farm hands and gave a wink.

But Dorothy knew. She knew Oz was real. It was more then just in her head...

“Dorothy you need some rest,” said Aunt Em.

“Yes, a little more shut eye,” Uncle Henry added.

Hunk, Zieke and Hickory filed out of the room behind Em and Henry and the great and powerful professor Marvel moved away from the window. Great and powerful? Great and powerful like... Yes that man, he was the wizard. He got back too ...the balloon worked! But no it couldn’t be because professor Marvel had been in Kansas long before the man in Oz. It was strange. There was only one thing of which she was sure‑‑ the trip back from Oz had left her tired. Now that she thought about it she never did sleep in Oz. Never ate either. Well no there was that one bite from an apple. What an odd place? She had to have been there for more than one day. But the sun never went up or down. There were no nights nor sleep in Oz. No, wait. The wizard had told her to “come back tomorrow” And she saw the munchkins “wake up their sleepy heads.” and she did fall asleep in the poppy field. Whatever... these questions could be answered tomorrow. At least she was home.

Dorothy drifted off to sleep.

‑‑3:00 a.m.‑‑

Dorothy lied in peaceful slumber, thinking of Oz, the scarecrow, the wonderful Wizard and the all the people she liberated from...


Elmyra Gultch.

“Toto!”, Dorothy whispered to herself.

That wicked old witch Elmyra Gultch. That’s why she had run away in the first place! Because of her dog. That’s how she had gotten to Oz. She came back home. Why? She struggled to get back and what did it get her? A dead dog! Dorothy grabbed Toto, who was still oblivious to his fate, and hugged him. How could anyone destroy a dog that had done so much. A dog that had saved Dorothy’s very life? It wasn’t fair! Toto saved her life and no one was going to take him away ....or was Toto a she...Dorothy had never checked... no matter. Dorothy lifted her dog’s head up from her breast and said “I won’t let her hurt you...In the name of Oz I won’t let her get you.”


‑‑next morning‑‑

Dorothy was surprised to see that she had slept through the rooster’s morning crow. She guessed Auntie Em knew she needed her rest. She climbed out of bed and looked out her now non‑existent window. She would have to speak to Auntie Em right away about Toto and about how he ...or she... was a hero and how Toto saved her from the wicked Witch of the West...
Dorothy walked out to the barn where Aunt Em and Uncle Henry were counting chickens.
“37...38... Dorothy I let you sleep because of that nasty bump you got on your head yesterday. Think you’ll be well enough to work today? 39...”, Aunt Em said and grabbed more chicks.
Dorothy began, “We have to talk about To...”


“We were lucky” Uncle Henry said “we didn’t lose half as many chicks as I thought we would have.”

“40...41...42...43”

As Aunt Em continued to count, Dorothy looked around the farm for the first time since the storm. Disgusting! There was a pile of dead chicks that Aunt Em was sorting through.

“How terrible.” Dorothy covered her mouth.

“The tornado picked the incubator up and knocked it clear over there.”, Hunk yelled as he tried to overturn what was left of a wagon.

“Thank God Hunk found them and that some survived.”, Aunt Em continued. We’ve lost at least 4 pigs, and the horses haven’t come back yet. And the cow...”

Dorothy turned to see what was left of their milk cow. It lay in a lifeless slump by the storm room’s entrance. Its neck had twisted around 180 degrees and now it lay lifeless, watching the sky...Elmyra! She almost forgot!

“43...44...45...46”

“Aunt Em I need to talk to you about Elmyra Gultch she’ll be back for Toto and...”

“47...48...49... not now Dorothy please we are trying to count! ”

“But Aunt Em! Toto helped me get back from Oz and he can’t...”

“Now Dorothy I know your feelin' a little bit funny after yer spell yesterday but we don’t...”, Uncle Henry took more chicks from Aunt Em.

“50...51...52...53”

“...need this. Now we need to get this place cleaned up. In about an hour the new cow will be here. After I move her in, I gotta get the old one out. Now when Miss Gultch comes, we’ll deal with it. Please go somewhere where you won’t cause any trouble!”

Dorothy walked away. She understood the pressure they were under. And if they hadn’t seen Oz for themselves why would they believe in it? Stay out of trouble... Could there be such a place? Oz certainly wasn’t it. Whenever Dorothy felt blue like this she would sing and it would make her feel better. Where could she go? You couldn’t get there by boat, or by train , or by tornado...

“Somewhere under the ocean,” Dorothy began to sing. “Thats were I’ll be. Fish swim under the ocean and they’re waiting for me....Some‑‑‑”

A Crescendo of villainous music filled the air! Da‑ da‑ da ‑da dahh.
That music! Elmyra Gultch was coming! Dorothy’s beautiful song was interrupted by that demon’s motif! Dorothy told Toto to sit and stay behind a nearby tree. If Miss Gultch thought Toto had died, died like the chicks, then she, or was it he, would be safe. Dorothy ran to greet Ms. Gultch as she walked through the front gate.

“Ms. Gultch you can’t take Toto”, Dorothy caught her breath, “ because he.... um... she ... the dog died! Died in the twister.”

“You’re not only a thief but a liar to boot, I saw the little beast on my way past you. It’s true I’d like to take care of him now but the sheriff’s station was seriously damaged and he won’t be ready to destroy that menace until tomorrow.”

Elmyra Gultch pulled her basket to her side. “You know how long that is? twenty four hours and it isn’t very long my pretty it isn’t very long.”

Dorothy had heard that before. The witch! But she’d killed the witch. Elmyra marched past the wagon that Hunk, Zieke and Hickory were still repairing.

“Where is Emily?”, demand Ms. Gultch.

“Now what’s all the commotion about.”, Zieke asked.

“Zieke make her go away! Make her leave!”, Dorothy shrieked.

Zieke turned toward Ms. Gultch and began to speak...

“Mind your own business, Hunk, and get back to that wagon,” Aunt Em interrupted from across the yard. She didn’t need anymore trouble. Telling Elmyra Gultch off yesterday was dangerous business and she didn’t want anymore trouble. “Go back to fixing that wagon. Ms. Gultch...”
“She’s gonna take Toto away tomorrow Aunt Em. Don’t let her.”

“Ms. Gultch I will gladly hand Toto over to the sheriff tomorrow. And I will let the sheriff settle this matter for us. Now in light of yesterday’s storm it is going to take sometime to straighten things out. Surely you must realize that right now we all have more important things to worry about than a dog. ”

“Yeah.” added Uncle Henry.

“Good Christian woman you are, Mrs. Gale...Very hospitable... I’m not here to talk about that animal. I am hear about my sister. She’s missing.”

Her sister. Elmyra Gultch’s twin sister. Dorothy didn’t even remember her first name.
Elmyra continued “I sent her here yesterday. To fetch that dog that you,” she pointed to Dorothy, “stole from me.”

“Haven’t seen her at all.”, Uncle Henry said.

“Ms. Gultch, I beg you please don’t take Toto.” Dorothy whimpered.

“Dorothy please. Go in to the house.” Aunt Em was beginning to get angry.
This happened before! Dorothy could sense it! She walked into the house and into her room. The window, the bedroom window, had been replaced. When had that happened?

‑‑Later‑‑

Dorothy ran down the lane to the farm. Ms. Gultch was probably just behind her. Toto got in to her garden yet again and chased the cat. Why didn’t she think to go another way. Hunk just told her that only yesterday. She’d have to tell Aunt Em and Uncle Henry or else...


The farm. The farm was fixed. There was no other way to explain it. Everything was back the way it was before the storm. Everything. The cow’s corpse was gone and it was replaced by a by a new one... no the same one... just alive. There were same number of pigs as before. The same exact chickens were in the yard. Even the incubator was were it belonged.


Dorothy walked past the wagon that Zieke, Hickory and Hunk were still trying to fix.
“Ow you got my fingah!” Hunk yelled.


“Well maybe you should have gotten your finger out of the way!”, Zieke snarled.

“67...68....69”, Aunt em yelled as she furiously counted chicks.

“Aunt Em, Uncle Henry Ms. Gultch is coming and...”

“69...70...71... Dorothy please the incubator is broken and we’re bound to lose a bunch of chicks if we don’t hurry,” Aunt Em said. Again?

Did they ever do anything besides count chicks? This has happened before! But not in Oz it’s happened here! What’s going on? Dorothy just stood staring at Em and Henry.


“Please go somewhere where you won’t cause any trouble!” Aunt Em responded.
Aunt Em responded? But Dorothy didn’t say anything. Dorothy was gone. Her mind was sailing. This had all happened before in Oz. Professor Marvel was the wizard. Zieke, Hunk and Hickory were in Oz with her. Oz was real like Kansas. No it was more real than Kansas. People didn’t wear masks in Oz. Ms. Gultch really was a witch; Dorothy could count on her friends to help out and Aunt Em and Uncle Henry were only fond memories that she wished cared more.
It all was falling in to place. Professor Marvel must be a fake just like the wizard. Aunt Em wasn’t sick before the storm. Did she even care if Dorothy had run away? The witch would be back and she’d take Dorothy away, take Toto away, take everything away.


Dorothy ran from Aunt Em who still counted chick after chick. “Too much is happening at once”, Dorothy cried aloud. Tears were welling up inside her. She sat confused by her favorite broken piece of fence. She had to calm down. No- she had to get away. She had to run away! (you haven’t sung the song yet). Theres no time to sing. She needed to clear her head. She grabbed Toto and a basket that had her photo of Aunt Em and the farm. When was that photo taken? She could not remember and yet there Aunt Em stood wearing a polka dot dress with her arm around Dorothy. Dorothy’s little world spiraled around, unraveling everything she new to be true. When had that photo been taken? Could she remember anything besides Oz and the immediate days before and after her journey? Three days or was it a week? This small chunk of living seemed to repeat itself indefinitely. Had she been to Oz before?


One mile down the road was Professor Marvel’s wagon and it didn’t surprise Dorothy in the least; she knew it would be there. Professor Marvel, the fraud, was sitting roasting hot dogs. This has happened before! Everything has happened before. Nothing was new and for the first time Dorothy realized that she and everyone around her was trapped. Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, the scarecrow, the tin man, the munchkins, the witches, Zieke, everyone was trapped.
Stuck doing the same things over and over again. Trapped counting chickens. Continuously fixing wagons, repeatedly singing the same songs, stuck running from the same witches over and over again. Why did it take so many repetitions for her to understand what was happening? How many times had she been to Oz and learned the same lesson?


Could she change the future? Could she break the pattern? Would she have to return to Oz again in just a few short hours by another tornado? No! No she wouldn’t. Dorothy stood tall she concentrated for a moment and remembered. She remembered vividly everything she was doomed to repeat over and over again. Every decision she made, every idea in her head would be checked. Checked against the script, the script of her life. And she would not duplicate one single thing she had done before.


And yet there she was in professor Marvel’s wagon. Something drew her there and she found herself going through the conversation that she had had 1000 times before. What would happen if she changed some of the dialogue? “Can we, Professor Marvel? Can we visit the crowned heads of Europe naked? Can we?”

“Well I never do anything without consulting my crystal ball,” Professor Marble replied.

“He’s not even listening!” Dorothy thought to herself. Mutiny was going to be easier then she thought.

“Now close your eyes just close them so we can get in touch with the great beyond and such...”
But Dorothy only squinted. It would only make sense that the professor was the wizard. How had he known all those times who Auntie Em was? He looked at her photo! That’s how he knew what happened. Dammit how could she have been so stupid all those times?

“I see a woman in a white polka dot dress,” professor marble droned on.

“You’re a fraud!”

“Ahh yes short for Emily....Excuse me what did you say?”

“You’re a lying, picture stealing, fraud!”

“Ahh.. I think you meant to say ‘that’s Aunt Em.’” Professor Marvel began to turn red.

“Wake up, you stupid bastard, do you want to go through this again? How many times has this happened? How many times?” Dorothy was yelling now. Yelling so loud that all Marvel could do was hunch back behind his chair. Dorothy didn’t wait for an answer. She had to beat the twister home...she wasn’t going back to Oz. In a rage she knocked the professor’s table over. The crystal ball rolled to the floor with a crash so powerful it made the skull that hung above Marvel’s door fall to the ground and bounce. Bounce? Not even a real skull.

When she finally reached the entrance to the farm, she stopped cold in her tracks. If she didn’t want to end up in Oz again she needed a plan. The storm cellar!

As the winds were starting to pick up, Dorothy snuck into the cellar. She snuck into that storm cellar exactly five minutes before anyone else would even consider it.
The cellar was small but comfortable. Dorothy thought for a moment and realized she had never been in it before in her life. There in the corner was sat a large green suede foldout couch. If Dorothy had known what the word “green room” meant that’s what she would have called this place.

“Dor‑o‑thy!” she heard Aunt Em’s screams from above the cellar. If Em was in on this thing like Marvel, boy was she gonna be surprised. Dorothy couldn’t help but chuckle to herself.

Suddenly panic struck Dorothy “Toto! Toto? Where’s Toto?”

“Who the fuck cares?” she yelled aloud to herself. The words were liberating. With that one question she knew she would ultimately be freed from what ever hell she was trapped in. Toto was the carrot that kept her walking blindly like a mule strapped to a cart. Screw the dog it’s part of Kansas, its part of Oz, its part of this trap.

“Dor‑o‑thy”

“We can’t look for her now.” Uncle Henry was opening the door.

All five of them were now in the storm cellar. Dorothy moved behind the couch.

“Dor‑o‑thy!”, Aunt Em cried as Henry, Zieke, Holke and Hickory rushed her down the stairs where Dorothy lay waiting. “One might assume”, Dorothy thought to herself “that Aunt Em might keep crying.” After all her niece was trapped outside. But it was silent in the room. Uncle Henry reached into his pocket and pulled out a pack of Winstons.

“Emily, you got a light?”

“Dunno, Henry you got a smoke?”

Now just as those phonies were about to rest on the sofa, Dorothy jumped up and yelled, “Well the party can start cause I’m right here.”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”, Aunt Em fell to the floor.

“What in the name of God are you doing here? You’ll ruin the story!”, Zieke shouted.

“Shut up you stupid fool.” Snapped Uncle Henry. He approached Dorothy. “Dorothy so glad you’re here.” He spread his arms out as if he were about to hug her. But Dorothy wasn’t stupid. Not any longer. “We thought that Tornado had gone...(closer) and sucked you .... (closer) up.... Get her boys.”

Henry lead the attack on Dorothy but she gave him a swift kick in the groin that sent him to the floor.

“ARGH!” he groaned, “get her outside!”.

Dorothy struggled like a mad beast. “Let go of me you bastards I don’t want to do this again.” But there were too many hands. Back up the stairs she was forced step by step.
“Come on Dorothy have a little courage.”

“If you had any brains you’d know this was the right thing to do!”

“Someday there gonna erect a statue to me in this town...”

The doors flung open and Dorothy was thrust back into the world she had briefly escaped from. Don’t go in the house! Get away from the house! The house goes to Oz. Dorothy ran. Ran blind. She could hear the window in her room give way.

Then a horse, a horse of a plain old color, one of the horses that had been set free lurched past her. She jumped the beast. Dorothy grabbed on and rode it bare back. “Yah” she yelled.
She had killed the Wicked Witch of the West some three thousand times surely she could handle a stupid horse. “YEE-HA! RIDE ON horse of a plain old color! YEEE-HA.”.

‑‑ much later‑‑

The storm passed and Dorothy chuckled to herself as she rode off into the sunset. Her dog was gone but the animal was just as trapped as the rest of them. Let them stay at home. Let them all learn the same lessons over and over again. Let them be trapped fighting the same witches. Dorothy wasn’t from Kansas anymore and she wasn’t small and meek.


“And what did you learn?” If Glenda were here that would be the question she would have to answer.

“A god‑damn lot more then you hoped I would,” she thought to herself. “I learned that home is only the starting place. And if you keep going back to it you’re forced to do the same things over and over again. You’re forced to be the same person. You stop thinking if you stay there too long. At home you sing the same songs over and over and no matter how pretty they are they are still the same damn you songs you sang yesterday. In order to write new songs you have to go to new places. You have hear other witches’ motifs. You have to ride your own bicycles and write your own music. Otherwise you are living in other people’s fantasies, just like the people in Oz. Back at home I was Dorothy the meek, in Oz I was Dorothy the witch killer. Today I will start being Dorothy.”

Dorothy rode away and probably had a very exciting life. Then again maybe she didn’t. She might have fallen in love. She might have become a successful business woman. She might have done both. She even might have found another exciting strange new world. Fact is it’s not really our business. But I think there is one thing we can be sure of...she never went home again.


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Halloween Weekend


I usually hate costume parties. I never can think of a good costume and I am always afriad I am going to look silly. My compromise is my annual horns and red shirt. This way I can pull of the horns if I start to feel uncomfortable. My technique paid off when John, Alex and I decided to leave the costume party and goto Rooster Fish.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005



Hot. Hot. Hot.

Friday, April 08, 2005

While this personal ad isn't as good as the Liza Minelli Impersonator with a suffocation fetish personal. It's pretty damn good.

It's ties in nicely with last months Big Gay Mommie Dearest Screening.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

One From The Vaults. I like this story. It is moving up to the front.

Why I Hang Out At The PO

I had the most joyous morning at the Fairfax post office. Have you ever seen the Full Monty? There is a great scene were everyone who is on the dole stands in line to get their check for the week. Since unemployment is automated in the U.S., people who are unemployed stand on line to mail the shit they sold on Ebay. It’s sad in a funny way, but mostly in a sad way.

This morning at the PO was very special: A young Russian woman, who had her cell phone lodged between her ear and shoulder, was concurrently engaged in a debate with a postal clerk while having a love-in one the phone with her boyfriend.

She shouted to the clerk, “Why you send back to me? I paid to go to Russia”, and then her voice would soften as she cried dulcet Russian to her boyfriend on the cell phone.

The postal woman waived a shipping slip in the air and repeated, "Ma'am I need your receipt, this is not a receipt"

"They give no receipt."
(Something in Russian on the phone)

"Yes, they do.” replied postal woman

And then Russian lady provided this clever retort.

"They give no receipt."
(Something in Russian on the phone)

That got postal woman thinking and she said, "Yes, they do."

Russian lady mulled over this new information and replied, “They give no receipt.” Then just to try something a little bit different she spoken in Russian into the cell phone.

Well Postal woman thought about this for a moment. She took everything she had heard thus far in account. And then you could see a light bulb go off in her head-- She had the answer that would solve this problem:

She announced, “Yes, they do.”

Do I need to tell you what Russian lady said next?

After 5 minutes of this, postal woman had had enough-- so she turned into Sam Jackson "Ma'am I need you to get off that cell phone, or I cannot help you. Do you understand me? I cannot be talking to 2 people at once while you are translating. Who is that?"

"I love my boyfriend very much,” replied Russian lady.

There is love at the post office.

Russian lady hung up. Finally there was no longer a cell phone making things complicated- the conversation progressed.

"They give no receipt."

"Yes, they do."

This went on for another 5 minutes.

Finally postal worker said "I can't do nothing for you, I am going to go talk to my supervisor".

"You need to ship.” Russian lady said, while redialing her boyfriend on the cell.

"I don't need to do nothin’ without a receipt", and with that she slipped into the back.

2 minutes go by (did I mention there was only one other window opened). The postal woman comes out and this is the part I love...

"Ma'am you were here yesterday. You never paid. You thrust the package over the counter and said ‘$86.00 is too much to ship to Russia’ and then you left the package here. So we sent it BACK to your home."

Russian lady was so busted.

She didn't protest. She just said. $86 is too expensive I don't want to pay, and then she took the box and left.

Her expression never changed. She wasn't embarrassed. She didn’t apologize. It was so fucking ballsy I had to applaud.

Fuck Eudora Welty-- That is why I live at the PO.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

You May Ask Yourself: How Did I Get Here?

Many of you may be under the mistaken impression that I am currently in New Orleans. Aw Contraire my friends, I WAS in New Orleans. I left L.A. on a Thursday and arrived in New Orleans on Sunday. I Worked for three days and then was sent home due to casting issues. I left New Orleans on Thursday and arrived back in LA LA land on Monday.

4,000 miles in 11 days- Don’t ask me to drive ANYWHERE.

I do have one very special photo op to share. I passed through Paris, TX. It’s a real place and their Eiffel Tower is much sexier than the real one. Note the giant cowboy hat a top the tower.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Holy Christ on a Cruton. Check this out.