This’ll Feel Like Home-My Friends of Mumvies Boy

Disclaimer and personal opinion: the unique band name is derived of a story oddly close to infringing upon the copyrights of Friday the 13th.

My time with Mumvies Boy came with a predetermined expiration date, so I knew from the start that we’d share a limited series of moments. No long-term commitment allowed me to apply effort without any real pressure. I felt free to be myself, and play the parts as I saw fit. The core members consisted of the songwriting duo Michael Davanzo and Tommy Isaac, and their plans involved relocation after obtaining their respective degrees. With their previous drummer having departed from the Columbus area I was welcomed into their circle. Bias runs through this text, but music is best described in terms of taste… their approach to creating music is most tasteful.

I met Michael at Ohio State in the fall of 2013. Through our studies we became acquaintances, but through music emerged friendship. He was living with Tommy off of Hudson, and I met him when I finally came over to jam last winter… no strings attached.

While my drumming resume ranges from metal to musical theatre I’ve never taken part in anything that would fall under the banner of folk. Michael plays an acoustic guitar with a style that nods towards that of Lindsey Buckingham. Tommy brought flare to the table with erratic synthesizers, and the occasional complimentary ukulele. Together they seek to craft a sound that is a hybrid of minimalist electronic and folk.

The only Columbus show I played with them took place at the Space Bar in early February. At the time they had acquired the talents of Sylvie Mix to round out the group on bass. I remember the burden of concern that Tommy had expressed for that show. To consider a rhythm section that hadn’t ever gone over the songs together would sound the alarm of inadequate preparation, and yet the set started, we all clicked, and the crowd was none the wiser.

After that Sylvie departed for the endeavors of her own plate, and Mumvies Boy would continue without a bass player for the remainder of their time in Ohio.

We started tweaking songs and playing gigs in their hometown of Mansfield. The duo had acquired the vocal talents of local artist Erin Mason (to my knowledge she performs with a multitude of other acts, but I’m only certain of Hello Emerson), and the harmonies she and Michael produced gave the sound an extra layer of magic. I loved the charm of their music, and their Mansfield. Up to that point in my life I’d never experienced latte art, and assumed the patterns atop coffee cups to be the beautiful lie of Photoshop. Though I’ve seen pictures of such imagery online, the physical cup of chai tea amused me beyond what it had merited… a simple pleasure serves best.

The Mansfield gigs included the basement office space of a newspaper production house (of which there is a recording), the patio of a local brewery, and a larger outdoor stage that we shared with another Columbus act, Coal Fired Bicycle. Within the scope of that time I met their families, was a guest in the homes they grew up in, explored high rooftops, carousels, and developed friendships outside of a classroom setting. All of which happened to be more than I expected to take away.

With their departure I find a personal joy in acknowledging their hopeful spirits. They venture west in search of the next chapter of their lives, without burning the pages of previous endeavors. I write this only to reflect, and wish them well. I hope they settle into their new home with an ease that allows for their musical project to take root, and continue with the most limited of interruption. I believe in the horror story that is Mumvies Boy.


From left to right: Erin Mason, Michael Davanzo, my horror-show self, and Tommy Isaac.


Prologue for ‘Tin Foil Hat’

{The following is the prologue from my second book, Tin Foil Hat.}

Record Seventy-Four
On Stalking-Social Skills-A Prelude to Waste

Reflecting upon the first time I broke into Beatrix Kennedy’s apartment, I associate the memory with the euphoric sensation similar to the peace one feels beyond the climax of drowning. With her Twitter account informing me that she would be spending quality ‘alone time’ with the TV while she caught up on some shitty drama before the new season was set to premier the following weekend, I felt this was the moment worth seizing. Knowing she’d be by herself and binging in front of the screen allowed for an excitement that sent my heart into double time. I’ve been stalking Beatrix for a matter of years now, and I could not have fantasized such a perfect coincidence. How foolish of her to move back home…

It starts by seeking them out online. Social networking has made this easier than ever before. While B’s Facebook page was private and left much to the imagination, her Twitter account granted open access to her thoughts, feelings, and occasionally her schedule. Of course, I started from the beginning and broke the ice by reading through all one thousand three hundred and twenty-seven tweets that she had typed off since the winter of 2009. You can learn so much private information about a person when they post it for the world to see; no roommate, no dog, owns a gun, even the fact that she prefers women to men. I tell myself when she does love a man she loves a man with a beard. My routine of maintaining a shaved face would not be a deterrent, as her tastes were not part of what I considered important. Her online persona is so sarcastic, and beautiful, and selfish. It’s no wonder she’s single.


Once the target has been confirmed, it never takes more than twenty minutes to Google my way to an address. You really have no idea how easy it is; I should’ve worked for the government on some spy program aimed at watching civilians. As it turned out, Beatrix lived a ten-minute drive from my residence, and I visited the premises often. I even took the time to visit the leasing office, claiming to be moving to the area. This allowed me to indulge the specifics like the restrictions on installing a security system.

I had scoped out her complex a number of times before our first encounter. So much time spent in longing… She lived on the third story, which at first appeared to complicate how I’d go about breaking in. After a little inspection I realized that the stairwell was out of sight for the passerby and made for a prime jumping point to get onto the balcony that entered straight into the glory of her bedroom.

The best part of that humid Friday afternoon was making the drop to find that the city girl with a gun was under the assumption that her balcony was out of reach. Ms. Kennedy had left the door unlocked, and I slid the plate of glass to the left, pushed aside the blinds, and entered paradise.

Crisp air conditioning chilled me and solidified the layer of sweat to my skin in a way that contrasted the swamp-like atmosphere outside. That first sensation of cool air brought on such comfort that I almost forgot to press forward with my plan. Beatrix would be on the clock for another three hours… plenty of time to poke around and set up camp.

Dirty clothes were scattered about a carpeted floor in a flawed way that turned me on. An aroma lifted from the laundry and I brought a shirt to my nose to properly breathe her in. Pressing the fabric to my face, I closed my eyes and thought of her hair. Joy overwhelmed my heart as I dropped the shirt to the floor and continued inspecting the room. A queen size bed was located in the far corner with a few blankets carelessly discarded to the foot. Her dresser top consisted of old receipts and other such clutter that told me where she shopped and ate. A bookcase stood adjacent to the dresser and for the most part displayed the texts of her studies. Such curiosity on an intellectual level… could it be that I’ve found an equal? Nay, for she is greater than I am.

The only television was located in the living room, with all the bells and whistles of video game systems and surround sound. A walk-in closet peered directly at the couch that sat at the optimal television viewing position. At that point in time the closet had been left wide open. Clutter would be my saving grace, as I would drape fallen jackets and other loose garments over me and watch her watch her show. Even if she shut the closet I could still bear witness to her presence through the crack where the bottom of the door neglects to reach the carpet. Not too bad a view, at all.

The minor bits of filth in the bathroom brought a smile to my face. Upon entering I immediately seized the hairbrush and stripped it of the loose hair caught within, pocketing it for later indulgences.

I turned off my cellphone, ate a piece of wheat bread, and used the restroom well before Beatrix returned home for the evening. With building anticipation I took my place within the living room closet to wait it out.


She was so beautiful. That first audible sigh of relief that she let out caused my heart to swell with the genuine happiness that triggers the nostalgic wonder of childhood. Her business attire was quickly replaced with a loose fitting yellow t-shirt, the shortest of gray cotton shorts, and pure untainted white socks. I had never before seen much of her flesh above the knee. Such a sight complicated the conditions required to restrain myself. But I’m well disciplined.

Taking into account her negligence concerning the closet door, I would be treated to a much more desirable viewpoint than initially expected. What amazing luck. I stared directly at her, and she never caught my glare.

She spent a little time in the bathroom before emerging. Moving with the grace of divinity, she walked to the kitchen where she grabbed and consumed an apple. This display of her eating habits explains how she maintained a physique of such desirable conditions. I could not have fantasized this level of perfection. She is as an apple; the fruit I so desire to consume; the drug I need if I intend to sleep.

Upon assuming her position on the couch, Beatrix handled the assortment of remote controls to establish the ice breaking of the series-streaming binge.

Hours passed. The only interruption occurred due to hunger. In between episodes she ordered food from a Chinese restaurant, and it was delivered shortly thereafter.

Following dinner she removed more articles of clothing. The yellow t-shirt found its place on the floor next to the shorts. She was without a bra… I would have touched myself right there had it not been a point of compromise to my going unnoticed.


Shortly after two in the morning, she deviated from the show and put on something else to serve as background noise. From that point she proceeded to pass out on the couch.

I waited a solid half hour beyond my personal certainty that she was asleep before standing up as quietly as possible. I approached her resting body and hovered over it. The glow of the screen illuminated her pale skin, revealing the magnitude of its pull as a coveted and living thing. I looked upon her bare chest and considered a gentle caress… but the possibility of waking her would prohibit such a gesture. To compromise I ran my fingers through her hair and lowered my face to smell her before I walked out through the front door. Leaving it unlocked left me with the knowledge that something suspicious would be revealed to her, for she is not one to overlook such details.

I went home, and played guitar into the early afternoon. Then I masturbated myself out of the scope of realism and into a restful sleep. May have a new song in the works.

All of my love, -MT



On ‘Blindness’ by José Saramago

An epidemic will typically start with an individual entity. Blindness by José Saramago begins with a singular unnamed character, strikes him with sudden blindness behind the wheel of his car, and spreads out from there. The science fiction motif follows through the hoops of genre expectation, but with a literary merit that won a Nobel Prize. The initially afflicted are quarantined, and the standard of living descends into the wretchedness of human depravity. There is little hope beyond the instinct that dictates survival, and yet our cast presses on in the fashion of a funeral march. It is a heartbreaking read that ends on a hopeful note that almost feels forced. I’m not thrilled that this sci-fi tragedy had an optimistic ending, but even with the resolution comes the reflection of what a simple lack will do to a people, and to what depths are we driven by want? It’s satire, so I dig it. Yet it is not only the story that makes this book special.

The text is a fluid thing. It is without question or quotation marks, proper paragraph breaks, or even character names. The reader is challenged to forgo the expectations of traditionally published storytelling, and to feel their way through the text. The narrator jumps through perspectives, breaks from the story to imply or manipulate opinion, and seems to play with the experimental atmosphere of modernity coupled with the stuff narrative theorists dream of. The rhythm is fun to read, but the density removes the notion that Blindness is intended to be a quick read.