Brooklynite Found Pt. 1

Jacob grabbed his phone, keys, wallet and briefcase, and quickly rushed out the door of his small, yet charming, 2 bedroom apartment in Park Slope.

“I’m late, I’m late!” cried Jacob, as he scurried down the subway station steps and raced towards the arriving Manhattan-bound train.

Please swipe again” appeared on the miniature screen above the turnstile.

Jacob obliged, swiped his MetroCard a second time, but was met with “Please swipe again.

Jacob, noticeably agitated, swiped a third time, only to come across the earth-shattering prompt that read “Insufficient fare.” He turned around and made his walk of shame to the kiosk, soaking in the death stares from commuters stuck in line behind him.

This is how Jacob normally begins his daily commute to work. No, not by being denied entry due to lack of funds (though the $2.75 fare is unworldly), but by willingly hopping aboard the claustrophobic shuttle we call the subway.

“This day could NOT get off to a worse start,” he muttered to himself. Jacob was late to a meeting at his office, and knew his boss would not be a happy camper.

Finally aboard the next train, Jacob could not believe how overcrowded it was. He squeezed his way in, only to be shoved further into this mosh pit by the crowd behind him. He was a sardine in a can. The train then began it’s slow, screeching crawl to the next station.

Ten minutes went by, and Jacob still wasn’t able to move an inch. “Well, it’s no use to email my boss ‘I’ll be late.’ There’s no chance I’ll get service down here.” He thought to himself. No chance indeed. For reasons unbeknownst to man, in the year 2016, there remains no cellular service in the subway tunnels of New York City (yet little Boston has service in its tunnels…)

The train screeched to a sudden halt. “Oh, what now!” gasped Jacob, as a large man braced himself onto Jacob’s hips to regain his balance.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are being held momentarily due to train traffic ahead of us. We apologize for any inconvenience,” echoed the prerecorded announcement throughout the sardine can. “They don’t mean this apology. They never mean it.” Jacob thought to himself.

All he could do was think. The train was stuck. He had no room to maneuver his hands. For some reason, the large man’s hands were still on his hips. A grueling ten minutes later, the train resumed its slow crawl, and Jacob arrived at his destination. Not even noon and thoroughly defeated, Jacob lethargically sat at his desk and read the admonishing emails from his boss.

He hated this cycle and needed a way out. Not the job, which he (somewhat) enjoyed, but the daily grind of this nightmarish commute.

There was a soft ping in his headset, and a G-chat appeared from his old college roommate Kelvin:

Kelvin: Hey man how’s it hanging?

Jacob: Not so great, pal. The MTA is draining my soul.

Kelvin: Sorry to hear that. You ever try CitiBike?

Jacob: Citibike? For sure not. That’s just for tourists. And a public relations stunt from Citigroup because of their role in the 2008 financial crisis. The last thing we need is more bikes in this city.

Kelvin: Just think about it, bud. I’ll email you my offer code for a free ride.

Jacob had always wondered how Kelvin remained so slim and fit after they graduated college. He also recalled how Kelvin had so much energy at the end of the day when they would go for happy hour drinks. “Why not, I’ll give it a shot,” he said to himself.

.   .    .

Jacob made his way to the nearest CitiBike station and entered Kelvin’s free code. Using Google Maps, Jacob pre-planned his route using all the nearest bike lanes. He hopped on the bike, strapped his bag to the pannier, and began his journey.

Feeling nervous, he proceeded with caution, stopping at every red light and slowing down at every yellow. His mother did tell him that biking was dangerous. He couldn’t help but notice the experienced bikers whizzing by him with grace and expertise. He admired how they were able to time the lights, avoid traffic, and ride on without having to slow down.

Jacob started to gain confidence. He felt energized from each pedal. “Wow, what a view!” Jacob said with a smile as he took in the magnificent city skyline.

“Out of the way, a**hole!” yelled an Uber driver as Jacob drifted towards the middle of the street. But Jacob remained unfazed and continued his trek home.

He finally reached the nearest dock to his apartment, and dismounted his shiny blue stallion.

Jacob finally felt free.

He felt liberated.

He was a sardine no more.


This story is the work of a guest contributor who preferred to remain anonymous. – PJS


“Help me man. Make sure you don’t leave any fingerprints.”

“It’s our bathroom dude. It’s going to have our fingerprints!”

“Fuck you. I’m stressing out right now. The least you can do is give me some God damn sympathy.”

“Sympathy? I’m in the shit with you now. Plus, I’m not the one who invited their friends over.”

“Whatever man. Go get some plastic garbage bags from under the sink and the cleaver from the kitchen. Get the rubber gloves too.”

“Fuck y–”

“Matt, just go get them.”

The body was on the couch now, carefully placed onto a commemorative 1999 New York Yankees World Series blanket that had been spread out by the two men.

“Where did it all go wrong?” The man muttered to himself.

He was startled by Matt’s re-entrance to the room, “Here are the bags. I couldn’t find the cleaver, but I think there’s an ax in the back shed.” The man nodded, but he wasn’t really listening. Instead, he was pondering the precision needed to correctly maneuver the situation he had put himself in. A single slip in the oncoming events could screw him and his brother for the rest of their lives.

“Ok, fine. Go get the ax. Just be quiet. We can’t wake Mom!”

The man opens one of the bags and tosses the Yankees blanket into it. The figure had fallen into a sitting position, staring at the man. His face was contorted into a grin.

The man recognizes the face. He recognizes the smile. He hears the laughter that accompanied both.

The voice of the figure taunted the man. “Why did you do this to me? Answer me! Hehehe.” The man questioned whether he was going crazy, but knew there was no time to do anything about it. In a few hours people would start asking questions about where the figure was.

The man needed to hurry. He couldn’t bear to look at the figure much longer. He was a friend. He was part of the family. He was also a lover.


Matt returned from the shed with the ax. “Hey Kel, are you alright man? Should I call someone for help?”

“I’m fine. Let’s just get Ben into the bags.”


Kel and Ben first met back on the bus to Our Lady of Forgiveness in the 6th grade. Kel, too scrawny to protect himself from the endless onslaught of the bullies of the local public school, was sent for a Catholic education by his parents.

The first day at the bus stop was intimidating to young Kelvin. Throughout his life he had been surrounded by loving family and friends, never knowing the cold feeling of being an outsider. There was an arctic breeze that autumn morning, stinging Kel with previously unknown loneliness and pain. Children at the bus stop would recall that Kel did not say a word during that first day, ironically. They say that now they can’t get him to stop giving unwarranted hot takes. Privately, they yearn for the Kel they met on the first day.

The bus arrived 20 minutes late that morning, an ongoing theme Kel would endure for the rest of his life. Slowly walking up the steps, the boy can smell booze coming from the overweight, middle aged bus driver. He was familiar with the smell from an uncle on his mom’s side that couldn’t handle Thanksgiving dinners. “I wonder if we’re ever going to make it there,” Kel nervously thought to himself. All of a sudden, the boy hears a faint, high pitched sound from the back of the bus. At first he couldn’t recognize the words, but the sound continued to draw him closer to the back, until he was facing a smaller Indian boy singing Will Smith’s hit single, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.” Kel’s favorite song.

Ben was an innocent child. Well-mannered and always sitting up straight, he was the perfect young gentleman. The only issue with his behavior was the consistent backing out of obligations. From birthday parties to calling his grandmother in India, he would promise to do things, but would ultimately stand up the engagement. His parents hoped the strictness of a Catholic education would stop this behavior.

Kel the white Irish Catholic, had never before seen a darker skinned boy of his age. He was intrigued. His parents had warned him of those of a different skin tone, but he was hypnotized by the way Ben’s skin glistened in the light.

The site of Kel’s intimidated face brought Ben’s singing to a sudden halt. Mustering the courage to say something, especially to someone he was fascinated by, Kel said the only words he could think of. “Hi, I’m Kel.” Ben smiled.

Little did either of the boys know, but this was the beginning of the most important relationship of either of their lives. What started as a friendship would grow into a forbidden love. Once their parents caught wind of the romance, they chose to split the boys up. Kel’s parents were old school Catholics, and would probably make Ted Cruz blush on the topic of homosexuality. Yes, they loved their son very much, but they knew young Kel would never get through Heaven’s Golden Gates of Endless Happiness if he didn’t change his ways. To remedy the situation, they sent their son to the once prestigious High Holiness High School, a different school than Ben was going to. The school held the principles of the Catholic Church, no doubt, but also was lenient on discipline. They hoped that the right girl with just the right amount of insecurity could change the course of Kel’s future.


It wasn’t always easy, but Kel and Ben kept in contact throughout the years, even during college. They would meet up during breaks, and were able to keep their love a secret. They graduated, and both were fortunate to start working in New York City. They planned to move in together into a quaint apartment in Brooklyn in the fall of 2015, and they decided that would be the right time to reveal their love to the world.

That was at least the plan.

There’s a saying, “Tell God your plans and he laughs.” On the day Kel and Ben were planning to sign their lease after weeks of negotiations, God laughed thunderously.

It had been a week since Ben and Kel had agreed to the price with their new landlord, Gloria Goldstein. Gloria was a hardened soul, growing up and living in the Brooklyn home since she was born. Her grandfather, the original owner, had won the home in a poker game during the early 1900’s. Having being passed down from generation to generation, the house had a certain life to it. Ghosts of past family members would often creep their way through the halls. Gloria, as the home, was once a strong, peaceful woman. But as the years passed, she changed dramatically. Bills began to pile up and renovations were desperately needed. Reluctantly, Gloria with the help of a young Asian neighbor, Anthony, were able to put the “Renters Wanted” posting on the Internet.

As any landlord would, Gloria had a simple background check run on the young men. In the report, Ben was found to have no alarming incidents. Kel, on the other hand, was a different story. Five incidents were listed involving Kel while he was in college. All five involved apartment cooking fires. Two of them were due to tin foil in the microwave. Gloria had no choice but to deny Kel from leasing the apartment.

Ben saw the apartment as too good of a deal to let go. After 2-years of commuting to New York City on the LIRR, he could not take it anymore. So he went on Craigslist and created a “Roommate Wanted” post. “Young Indian millennial looking for roommate that enjoys hiding the pickle.” Unknown to Ben, hiding the pickle has a sexual innuendo. When he was growing up, Ben and his family would make their own pickles. After they were done, his parents would hide the pickles all over the house for him and his siblings to find. Needless to say, Ben loved the game.

Alex Dabber was an interesting fellow. The man had always had a self-entitled and totalitarian attitude. This was evidenced by him being upset when excluded from weekend plans and complaining about not being invited to sporting events, which he didn’t actually enjoy (he just wanted to go to give his opinion). Ben originally met Dabber at a high school party with Kel. Although no one knew of their partnership, Alex was able to see past the ruse. He sensed their love and was jealous of it. So pure and unadulterated, if he was unable to have it, no one could. Seeing a chance to finally disrupt their love, Alex quickly sent Ben a text. “I want in on the apartment!”


For the first 2 months, everything was working out great between Alex and Ben. They rode the subway together to and from work, and ate together during the nights. On Wednesday nights they would head to the bar down the street and play Roc n Roll Bingo. On weekends, Kel came to visit, and all three men would go out together. They even went to a Knicks game, where Alex was on his phone the whole time. Even so, Ben couldn’t have enjoyed living the city more.

Although Ben had always been faithful to Kel, Kel was suspicious. Alex was always around when he was over and was a little too comfortable with Ben for his liking. His Instagram was filled pictures of Ben, and one night, he thought for sure he saw Alex make a pass at him. Though he feared the worst, Kel thought he was being jealous and should keep these thoughts to himself. He came up with a plan, which was to invite Ben and their larger group friends over the next weekend. They would play some poker, drink some beers, and everything would be great.


That Friday, Kel and Ben met at Penn Station after work to catch the train back to Long Island.  Like the bus that fateful first day of 6th grade, the train was late by 20 minutes. This wasn’t actually too bad for the Long Island Railroad, and Kel thought this was the first sign of a good weekend to come.

They returned to Kel’s parents’ home, and Ben got his things for the evening ready. As he was getting his things out of his bag, his phone beeped. Taking a look to see what it was, he laughed.

“Hehehe, that Alex,” he said to himself. Ben picked up his things and continued to the bathroom for a shower.

Kel had overheard Ben. “Fuck Alex!” Kel exclaimed. Ben’s phone continued to get notifications, again and again and again.

“This guy, I should tell him to get the fuck out of my face.” Kel walked over to Ben’s phone. He then saw something he could not unsee. Several naked photos of Alex appeared on his phone. Kel shivered in pain, but that quickly grew into uncontrollable anger. He proceeded to grab a towel, wrap it around his hands, and he headed to the bathroom. He quietly opened the door and scowled at the figure in the shower. He positioned himself so he would be behind the figure. He firmly grasped both ends of the towel, took a deep breath, and with catlike reflex pulled back the curtain and wrapped the towel around Ben’s neck, taking him out of the shower and down to the cold bathroom tile.

Ben struggled, but Kel was able to get on top and establish leverage. Kel’s weight was too much for Ben to get himself free. He stared at Kel and smiled before he took his final breath.

Realizing that the deed was done, Kel got off Ben. Hearing the struggle, Kel’s brother, Matt, walked into the bathroom.


“Matt, grab his legs, we got work to do,” Kel promptly told his brother.


Glaring through the window, having seen the whole evening’s events, a dark figure stood in the shadows. The only areas on him that were visible were his hands, one holding a freshly lit cigarette, and the other a new iPhone 6S.

“Yes officer, they’re leaving now. You need to hurry,” said the voice in a composed tone as he hung up the phone.

A devilish grin appeared on the man’s face. He took another drag of his cigarette as Kel and his brother started to pick up the trash bags. Snow, which had started over an hour ago, began to get heavier, covering his beanie. Sounds of sirens blared in the distance, drawing closer to his location. He watched Kel grab the final bag and turn off the light.

Now, Alex could only see himself and his reflection in the glass of the window. He was cold and alone in the dark. He continued staring at a face that he did not recognize anymore. A face that had deceived and manipulated. The satisfaction he was feeling seconds ago was replaced with depression and despair. He cried out to the sky, but only the devil answered because God wasn’t there.

Alex grabbed the revolver from his pocket and raised it to his head. The devil stared and smiled at him through the reflection of the window.


– The end-

March Madness 2016

Each year, the country is drawn to the insanity of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. From the casual sports fan to the current student to the crazy alum, each is drawn to the games in a winner-take-all tournament. Everyone knows the big names: Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, and UCLA, but this year there is no clear cut favorite. Due to this, the 2016 tournament is poised to be one hell of a ride.

The casual fan in America probably hates the idea that there is no clear favorite entering the tournament. He or she wants a dominant #1 so they can win the office pool or some bets in Vegas. As an avid college basketball fan, I love this. Why? Because of one reason and one reason alone, the chaos. It makes it so much more entertaining that a small school can upset a traditional powerhouse in this year’s tournament. Think of the years where teams such as George Mason, Davidson, Florida Gulf Coast, or VCU went on runs. It creates better stories, and the nation does seem to be much more interested if there’s potential for a Cinderella Story to make it all the way.

We all know everyone loves filling out brackets. People pick the games and hope against hope that they can get that perfect bracket, along with the fat prize check that comes with it. There are all types of strategies for picking: which mascot would win in a fight? I like the color blue instead of red. That team has cool bench celebrations. That senior looks pretty cute. (Looking at you, Ryan Arcidiacono) This year, you probably can keep whatever strategy you’ve been using the past 17 years and you might turn into a genius, and a millionaire. If you don’t have any slightly insane methods for picking the games, well, you might want to get on it. This tournament is wide open.

Why is this tournament such a crapshoot? There are several reasons. First, top ranked teams have been taking losses like crazy. Just this week, 8 of the top 10 teams lost. That is insane! If you take a look at the rankings this year, the recurring theme has been the number one ranked team staying in that spot for two or three weeks and then dropping due to a loss or losses. The longest a team has been ranked #1 in the AP Poll was Michigan State. They held that honor for four weeks earlier in the season. The rest of the season, the #1 ranked team has held for three weeks or less. In fact, this even carries over to the Top 10. Teams make it into the Top 10 and lose a game or two and subsequently drop. That is not supposed to happen, and we are a week from the conference tournaments! One has to believe the upsets are just beginning, and that the the 64th ranked team has just as good of an opportunity to win the tournament as the Number 1.

Another reason for this unpredictable year is the “one and done” rule. College basketball has been and is becoming a one-year pit stop on some star players’ roads to the NBA. These players don’t care about going to class, and they don’t care about the team. They care about getting through that one year of college, and then being on their way to the draft and to being a professional. It’s hard to blame them; if I had their talent, I would probably take that route too. The NCAA can fix this, but they choose not to, and as a result, many players jump to the NBA or overseas prematurely. College basketball is about developing as a player, and most of these guys are still pretty raw after their one-year. Coaches can work with them to encourage them to work as part of a team, teach them how to handle adversity, and how to improve their game. By leaving early, players are depriving themselves of these experiences, and America of the opportunity to see a game with higher teamwork and chemistry.

The third big reason for inconsistency in top teams’ play is the lack of talent of some of the “top freshmen.” Every year, we see the McDonald’s All Americans who are going to take the college basketball world by storm. This year, there are two top freshmen, and then everyone else. Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram are the top two freshmen in college basketball this year. They have so much talent that they are projected as the number 1 and 2 picks in most NBA mock drafts, but there aren’t many freshman players close behind them. Even so, both aren’t accomplishing as much as you would expect of players of their caliber in college. Ben Simmons, for example, is the best player in the country, yet his team, LSU, may not even make it to the tournament!

Also an issue this season is poor play on the road. It would seem that during conference play, teams are having a difficult team dealing with the adversity that comes with playing on road, mainly from being out of their element and dealing with deafening noise from fans. We’ve seen normally tightly coached teams become prone to dumb mistakes, which wind up being costly if the home team can capitalize. High emotion rivalries are also huge, and this year is no different. Higher ranked teams come into a rivalry building with a target on their back, and can end up dropping the game if they aren’t composed and smart with the basketball. This can come into play during the tournament as teams are playing far away from their campuses, and have to deal with travel after every couple rounds.

The final big reason for the inconsistency this year is injuries. I know every team is going to experience nicks and bruises throughout the season, but it seems that a lot of players have been hurt and have been out for a long period of time, and other players haven’t stepped up. Some teams put all their eggs in one basket with their star, and when that player goes down, the team is left scrambling. If you look at any team, you can find a top player who was, or is, currently hurt. I know injuries happen, but teams not being prepared and the lack of that player bouncing back has definitely damaged their seasons, and may continue to affect them in the tournament.

“The Tourney” is probably my favorite event to watch. I am locked and loaded from opening tip until the final score. I won’t give you my answer for who I think will win this tournament, as it is only March 1, and there is still plenty that can happen, but I firmly believe this tournament will keep up with the overarching season theme of extreme volatility. There will be upsets. Top programs will fall. Cinderella’s will be born. So get your best bracket picking strategy ready, because it might actually pay off this time around.

Let the chaos begin!







Welcome – A Letter from the Editor


Welcome to PortaBloggy! This site is the result of over a month of discussion, collaboration, and procrastination by myself and three of my good friends: Brandon Babwah, Brian Graney, and Kevin Hunker. I speak for all of us when I say we are looking forward to producing content that will sometimes be solid, but most times will probably disappoint. But hey, we’re trying, so that’s got to count for something right?

Our goal here is simple: to produce pieces of writing that are long enough for your bathroom time, but not so long that you spend your whole morning in there (well, unless you want to, in which case we won’t judge). Like any bowel movement, the writing here will be a collection of different styles, different genres, and different stories. We have a pretty eclectic group of individuals writing here, each bringing something unique to the table that will allow us to hopefully appeal to a broad audience. We wanted to write, and we wanted a place to do it, but we also wanted a site that came to be thanks to a strong objective and mission, and we think PortaBloggy is just that.

We welcome feedback and suggestions in the comment sections and on Twitter. This won’t be perfect for a while, but we’re going to work hard to achieve our goals, and hope you will enjoy watching us grow. If you’d like, for some reason, to contribute or have something published here, please email us. Also, check out the About and Staff pages.

So please, grab a seat, pull out your phone, and let’s take this journey together.


Super Tuesday Presidential Candidates and Their Toilet Paper Brand Equivalents

Well, it’s here: Super Tuesday. Arguably the second most important date in an election cycle behind the actual general election. On the Republican side, 11 states will vote and ultimately dish out 595 delegates to the five remaining candidates. On the Democratic side, Clinton and Sanders will battle for 865 delegates in 11 states and American Samoa. These primary elections have been an absolute circus. Candidates hurling middle-school insults at each other, barking like dogs, tweeting (this is where I imagine I’ve gone back to 1776 and had to explain to Benjamin Franklin what tweeting is and how it’s become a platform for candidates running for the most important office in the world and I have to look into Ben’s disappointed eyes and console him and tell him everything they’re working for still has meaning), and acting in a morally questionable manner. What better way to describe my feelings towards them all while tying in the central theme of our new blog site than by comparing each candidate with the paper we use to wipe our butts. Without further adieu.


Donald Trump – Charmin Ultra Soft

On the surface Charmin Ultra Soft seems like it’s a great idea. Easily the richest of the toilet papers (63 cents/176-sheet roll). Strong message with the two-ply action. People who use this probably think to themselves “Hey, there’s no harm in this. I know this is probably a little over-the-top and I don’t need it but hey I’ll give it a whirl.” But ultimately after a few months of  use the shtick gets old. Even the jingle with the bears running around and singing “Cha Cha Cha Charmin” lacks substance. Next thing you know, the toilet bowl starts acting up, it gets tougher and tougher to flush and next thing you know you’re calling up the plumber and your stuck with a $367 bill. Make pooping great again!

Bernie Sanders – Cottonelle Aloe & E

Designed to be as gentle as possible, Cottonelle Aloe & E gives everyone what they think they want. Aloe on toilet paper is like free education and healthcare for everyone. All the poor people want it but at the end of the day it’s outlandish and unrealistic plus who’s gonna pay for that?!?

Ted Cruz – Envision

Ever get into work after a miserable commute go straight for the shitty pantry coffee in your office only to be speed walking to the bathroom thirty minutes later? You finally get into the stall for a little relief and when you go to grab for a couple squares you get hit with the harshest, sandpaper-like ply imaginable. This unique design has the sole purpose of making you and your bum sensitive for the next 24 hours of your life. Uncomfortable, unnecessarily harsh, and probably doesn’t believe in evolution. That’s what envision is all about.

Hillary Clinton – Scott 1000

Probably the most sensible toilet paper in the game. Scott 1000 is nothing flashy but for a one-ply TP it’s got the best value. Dissolves quick and easily, quality price per roll (67 cents/1000-sheet roll), and won’t clog the internal plumbing. However, it’s also the type that is perceived as rough, falls apart in your hand, and will probably not do as good a job as its husband.

Marco Rubio – Quilted Northern Mega Roll

Ranking somewhere in the middle of the pack, Quilted Northern is the brand we’ve all heard of but nobody’s ever really taken the plunge and tested it out. It appears to be a well-absorbing, thick 2-ply product that remains strong when wet. Much like Charmin Ultra Soft, you could run into issues with plumbing here. But that’s just a chance you’re going to have to take when you purchase anything with “Mega” in it’s title.


So, there you have it. They’re all shit.