I no longer live like the others. I understand those mysterious untimely deaths. They are of habits known only to the deceased, leaving everyone living to wonder why. Close relatives believing what danger surrounded their loved one is something that used to be not knowing that the danger is. Always.
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.
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.
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.
Sykes thought about this face being cleaned up. The Diener picking out teeth, shards of glass, and chunks of carrot from the skull turned bowl now holding onto the pulp of the man’s features.
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.
“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.
I do know that the magic spell for the catalyst to vomit is brushing my tongue. Without fail, if I linger too long on the attached part of my tongue, I gag.
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.
So Shtan, father of Sheth now stood proudly defending the one thing that made their family truly unique, a lisp passed down from generation to generation.
“Hair! You’ve lost 37,564 hairs from the top of your head BUT you gained 63 hairs in and around your left ear and 59 hairs in and around your right. You had an increase in your nose hairs, both in number of individual follicles as well as girth of each hair.”
Here’s to party’s and the glimpse of memory you may be lucky enough to have of them.
Ever since I hit my head, every thought plays through my mind in French, Spanish and then English. Always.
There is no warm comprehension only cool calculations: The language of positions, diagrams, degrees, millimeters, rations, nuts and bolts. Still, never their minds attempt to bury the why, who, what, where, how?
On the train we rode during a day trip, he bought a hat as a souvenir. He wore that hat almost everyday until he went to the hospital for the last time.
Taking his Pinarello bicycle down the road, he stopped at a 7-11. This was also the first time he had left home on his own.
On the page in front of me was now a rendering of a mobile phone with a cracked screen. The text accompanying the previous illustration now changed as well.
He kept potatoes just so he could watch them grow eyes. They looked like they were trying to escape themselves too.
The weather element was presented for its audiences by a clip from the first season; a contestant from Wisconsin, Judy, remarks “Gosh it sure is windy.” just after the opposing family gets blown away and the laugh track turned on.
From watching you pick up rodents and reptiles with no problem, to literally climbing up the walls to holding your own against my teasing which culminated in leaving a red hand print on my back. All the way to teaching for a year on your own in a country where the language was completely foreign to you. To your latest endeavors.
Every morning I thank god for gasoline, Marlboro Reds and every day low, low prices that can’t be beat. I slip on my blue vest and straighten my “welcome to Walmart” badge.
I felt around for the buzzing toothbrush, which the advertisements had bragged “could last up to 48 hours on the same batteries.” Who the hell would brush their teeth for even 5 minutes?
For waiting customers, the owners had items for purchase on display. There were a number of Nascar hats, greeting cards, various candy bars and energy pills. There were also scarves and handkerchiefs.
I suppose our opinions differ.
I’m in outer space and you’re trying on the 8.5 size shoe at JC Penny because the 8 was just a little bit too tight in the toes. Yeah, I suppose we differ.
Oh my god! And those pumps? Delicious! My silky gams would be on display in those heels. Rawr.
Above his head he held the words which were meant to give his life purpose, the words he was meant to obey.
In this dream walked a procession, four deep. They had come from the hill shaded by the Samanea Saman tree at its summit. They walked; the Cloaked Ruby leading her troupe, stretching and yawning at the sky.
“Excuse me?” she said.
From behind me the tertiary constituent in our sad procession towards frozen dairy spoke up.
Each country had their slight variation on liquor and coffee. Caffeine to wake the body and whiskey to have a nice day, nothing spectacular, just a nice one.
The man pulled a Mason jar full of water from below the counter and took a swig. His eyes bulged, his cheeks flushed red and he let out a puff of smoke before replying, “well, if you are camping alone, I recommend a pup tent.”
I think therefore I am tortured.
One packet at a time he sprinkled the salt in a circle around his tent. Satisfied, he took the bag from his mouth and stepped inside the tent.
Suddenly my being floated and my world of black exploded into a million pieces of light and color. I floated, my lungs burning. My eyes squeezed tight but the light still stabbing through.