A cube of marble with arms, a chest, stomach, legs and feet with none of the ripples and bumps of a completed piece. He was a block.
Everything was imagined from mythical beasts to majestic feasts. Yet he could not conjure her, even in his own memory. She would not appear in his imagined world.
I put her clothes from the hospital in the hamper and sat on the bed. What were all those forms I needed to fill out? What were those phone numbers I had to call? Why did I put her clothes in the hamper?
“Turn, bend over, spread your cheeks and cough.” He paused and looked at the other freshly imprisoned men complying. His clothes black with a strip of white, wadded up on the floor behind him.
I knew she was just extending a guilty hand. I looked around the yard and spotted chains and a lock on the lids of their trash cans.
The grandfather stopped its whining. He check his watch out of habit one more time then slid it off his wrist. Another thing he thought he could count on gone.
I was terrified to breathe. What I had considered a burbling brook a few minutes ago seemed now like a turbulent vortex. It started to rain.
Through the angry clouds and assault of spray from the waves battering the boat, I stared. My eyes stung from salt. My body ached from gripping tightly to ropes and climbing rigging, all to pull us out of the deep ocean and closer to land.
“Right. It was singing but it was the combination of a chortling bird and an opera singer. Like Andrea Bocelli Gargling mouthwash or Placido Domingo trying to belt out ‘O sole mio while being water boarded. It was bizarre.”
“PANCAKES! Pillow-y spheres dripping with melted butter and sweet maple syrup. What do you think of that.” The private looked up at the sky, as if the clouds would fall down onto a plate and the heavens would rain down syrup.
On to the rite-aid for some ice cream, a scoop with a cone for a dollar a some-odd cents. A pretty good day. I felt like I had lived like a king.
Rooster’s don’t have teeth. At least that’s what he was told. He was also told to go to college, get married and buy a house. That shit didn’t work out. So did rooster’s really not have teeth?
Milton scratched his nose, perhaps it was the waft of fecal matter, like the sudden chill of a ghost passing through the living, or perhaps he was reminding himself that he thought too much.
Then some priest was like, I’ll pray about it. For all we know he’s still doing that.
She wiped it off her chin. He wiped with a towel. The crew struck the set. The director took the footage to the editor. The talent got dressed and drove off in separate vehicles.
The man pushed the tines of his fork into the base of the T in his steak. The woman scooped out a piece of chicken with her hands, dipping it into her dressing before taking the whole bit in her mouth.
The sensation was of wallflowers. Becoming a part of the scenery, the background, a decoration that’s been hanging for so long it’s lost all meaning. A ghost viewing life but not able to live. She leaned back, her mouth open, her eyes only slits. The needle stayed in her vein.
Smoan had made the trip hundreds of times. From the satellites shining in the sky, the group made their way through the terrain in a smooth, continuous movement.
When she closed the glass door of the lighthouse, for a moment, there was only silence. Silence and the spinning light.
I flagged down the waiter for another Sangria and sat, trying to figure it out. All this raw emotion and rush of feelings but I was alone. In younger days it was easier to identify my feelings. This is happiness. This is regret. This is anger. As I grew older, the feelings tied themselves to memories and experiences, making it harder to untangle one emotion from another.
I watched her dance and ignored the insatiable appetite of the flames biting into my finger tips. An emptiness hit me, a tunnel opening up inside my chest, terror. Then the flame spit up its victory smoke and I was left with the memory of her dance.
She drove, her hands ten and two, no radio, stopping at every light, keeping two car lengths between the vehicles in front. Textbook safe driving. We pulled up to a bakery and she said, “get out.”
He snapped off the end of his carrot and kept thinking. More than a cup of coffee, chewing woke him up in the mornings. This morning, however, his mind seemed to be stuck in that fog between dreams and the reality of the world that his eyes took in.
He kicked the dust and shoved his hands into his jeans. She slammed the hood of the car down and dabbed at sweat on her forehead. Pulling a cigarette from a pack, she let it hang from her lips and crossed her arms on top of her head.
The morning was moist and the empty lot was soft underfoot, clinging to all the hand-me-down shoes of the young troupe. They made their way, shortest to tallest, toward the striped tent. Cotton candy, kettle corn, funnel cakes, fried chicken wafted into their hungry noses. Not a single kid, however, turned his gaze toward the vendors.
Little Johnny stacked his potato chips on the TV tray. His eyes were glued to the salted yellow starch disks while Wally and the Beaver “gee whizzed” and “golly’d” all around their picket fence neighborhood. So concentrated on balancing his Lay’s, Johnny didn’t hear his daddy come home.
he dropped her brush. The desert’s grit clung to the paint stuck to the brushes toe. The once indigo splash was now a textured nib of yellows, oranges and browns from the Mojave’s sands.
I took a long pull from the cigarette. With no filter, the smoke punched a hacking cough out of my lungs. I choked it down to hear the rest of Father Ibsen’s sermon.
A young girl, taking her parents lasers and adding some of her own, taped all of them together and stuck them on the weather vain of her roof. As she stepped back to admire the lasers whipping in all directions the wind would blow, she fell off the roof and never was the same, but neither was the world.
Dust. So much swirling in the air that it became mud in the eyes and chewed up cake in the mouth. Their ears built dams of wax and stone. Their noses reduced to only to hold up glasses, unable to pass air in or out from the mucus and wet clay caking its opening.
Flat-nosed. Ears like used tinfoil. Arms, legs and a neck like chiseled stone from a sculpture still in progress.
We had talked about shutting off the world many times and he was a few days and a couple details away from freedom. Tracking time in cigarettes and answering only to his bodily functions.
He looked up at the faces of the other guests. Nodding, smiling, winking, head-tilting, lip-biting, red cup sipping, arm touching, eye fluttering, eye fucking, and jealousy. Bob noticed it all in those faces. He took a deep breath and downed the rest of his drink. What was he doing there?
Something like thirty cubicles span the space between me and this RJ character, so why is he unloading his life on me? His badge! I can glance at the name on his employee badge. I look down at the usual badge holding locations. Shirt pocket. Damn. Belt loop. Shit.
I walked in the front entrance of the institution where crazy lived. Outside crazy was called normal. Inside it smelled like rubbing alcohol. In the waiting room, everyone’s hair was shiny and thick. The bags under their red eyes reminded me of how I felt every morning.
Now that life was burning 10 feet from where I stood in the snow, keeping me warm and melting the billions of frozen flakes around my feet.
It only takes a moment for our animal instincts to take over us. A hushed whisper of a thought becomes the booming voice of vice.
The morning arrived in a gradient of orange, purple and blue across the sky. The sun hadn’t pulled itself over the mountains and the moon was enjoying a glimpse of the day. The girl with the pearls in her eyes wept.
He grabbed his bag and through on a jacket before wandering to his spot where he’d hold out a cup and shake it for spare change. In the tourist spots, he always made enough to at least buy a sandwich from McDonalds but he was out of his potions and elixirs that helped him forget. Not even a beer in his possession.
Henry groaned as he got out of bed. His back popping and snapping as he stretched. It was still dark out. He grabbed a cigarette from the night stand and went to his back patio. The dew from the grass and the absence of sun sent a cold shiver through his body.
“I’m not a man to take what isn’t mine.” The teenage crew member dropped his valuables and ran out to the deck. Leaning forward on the railing, trying to catch a glimpse of land.
With the amount of swim lessons I’ve had I should be the next Michael Phelps. At most, I’m the Phelps of the doggie paddle: No swimming cap required.
Weekend skeet shooters use them for practice, the mosquito’s blood engorged torsos exploding in red across green lawns.
Easier physically perhaps, maybe even less dangerous but how will we really show them that we don’t want to kill them, we just want them to behave? We run their underwear up the flag pole.
“I’ll bash you head in.” I said. Now I was thinking of my wife lying in the bed behind me, with nothing but a solid wall behind her. Trapped.
Today is Easter Sunday. I won’t survive, however, if I can’t do this high or a little drunk. One of the two days out of the year in which the church is full. A fact about the faith so laughable I find I cry myself to sleep at the thought.
Easy rider walked into the coffee shop and came out with a very pale coffee drink to which he was adding many packets of sweet-n-low.
Though she didn’t move, Sara knew her colleagues were beginning to stand up in their cubicles, like Meerkats on the plain, suddenly aware of the threat of danger.
Now she could see the task of the morning. It involved pouring two elements; liquid and solid into one bowl. An alchemy resulting in a new element.
Sometimes I already know what the message is by looking at the phone number. I know what they want, how much they want, where I should meet them and what time I need to meet them.