Archive for May, 2010


What things come with a movement closer?

Slight and subtle, barely a breath pushes the clay

Slipping around it, shaping its being, becoming…

…it into it into it into it…

Pull in your breath, let the chill shudder your bones, and move

Move into her, just passing through

As the sweet salt sweat tickles the tip of tongue

Don’t let it leave you


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He left us

He came to us with wandering tales of wild things

Savage, biting, slashing, tearing

A violent voice boomed becoming of beasts

The teller of tales gnarled his hands

Reaching for recoiling children

Clinging close to the care of mothers

A lady’s worried wail heard by heroes

Champions, conquerors, saviors, good men

Felled, torn too easily by ferocious fang

The teller smiles at a cadence lacking climax

Imparting on us fright and fervent

He left us abandoned, empty absent an end

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OK. So, I just finished watching the season finale of V, and I have to say, I think I want to climb on top of a large building and throw myself off all the while hoping that I am lucky enough to survive until I hit the hard ground with a resonating thud loud enough to sufficiently express my frustration.

I could only hope that in the writer’s meetings that everyone is so profoundly retarded that they are simply incapable of stringing together coherent dialogue or a plot without big enough holes that you can fly one of the V ships through. The list of problems with the show are so plentiful and fly by me so fast that it is difficult to throw my hands up quick enough to catch one without having them cut off at the wrists.

Let’s start with the finale, which is the freshest in my mind, unfortunately. I don’t know why anyone thinks that the Vs  (which apparently the aliens even refer to themselves as) are that difficult to defeat. They have no security on the ships, because, if they had, they would notice who is talking to who and what they are saying. Discussions like, “you should go blow up all of the soldier eggs with this bright blinking blue energy hand grenade that I am holding in the open for everyone to see” or “I know I’m supposed to be incarcerated in this big blue energy thing, but could you just turn the “off” switch so that I can get outta here?” go unnoticed because the Vs, while able to monitor the video feeds coming from  the millions of shirt pockets of all the uniforms that they give out, can’t be bothered to install a thirty dollar video camera on their own ship, much less hire some guy at minimum wage to watch it. Maybe the economy has hit them, too.

Not only that, but they’ll let anyone just roam the ship wherever the hell they want. The V doc tells Decker, a reporter, “go down this heavily guarded hallway and you’ll see why Anna is such a bitch”  and the next scene has Decker walking down the corridor without anyone harassing him. Then, just to make sure things went south, they give Erica Evans a gun and let her run off to throw a thermite grenade into the V hatchery and make scrambled soldier eggs. Then again, that Erica Evans is a talented woman. She could even outrun a nuclear fucking inferno in high heels and a tight skirt.

The moral exclamation seems to come in when father what’s-his-face (I am not capable of committing the names of useless characters to memory) gives a sermon where he proclaims that everyone needs to choose between faith in the Vs or faith in God. To whose god, I’m not sure. But he is catholic, so I’m sure it’s not Vishnu. After hearing his religiocentric reaffirmation, I wanted to join the masses of people who were walking out, and I know what pricks the Vs can be. And don’t get me started on Anna’s interest in studying the human emotion of “love” (I think I puked a little in my mouth when I heard that one).

Although this is a bitch piece, I do have to give the show some cred. Aside from whiny bitch of a teenager what’s-his-face (see above) the rest of the cast is built up of people who can actually fucking act. Morena Baccarin (MMMMMMMMM Inara!!!) is amazing as Anna. In spite of the shitty dialogue that is handed to her, she portrayed Anna as cold and without feeling throughout the entire season only to explode into a whirlwind of “human” emotions (apperently all emotions are human, bleh!) in the finale. Her character feels more real and seems to have more going on than all of the characters put together even considering that she is supposed to be emotionless. It’s a true testament to how good of an actress she truly is. Elizabeth Mitchell and Scott Wolf do very well with what they’re given, which isn’t very much.

I think that V needs to get off its attempt at a high horse of “Faith in god is more important than faith in anything else. And, the human emotion of love is stronger than, blah, blah, blah.” The thing that was good about the original series is it said all of this stuff and more without actually saying it. If you have to say something along the lines of “human emotion is the best thing since sliced bread” out loud, then you’re not doing your fucking job as a writer. Let’s just hope that Morena slaps those bitch writers around and says “I’m not spouting off this bullshit anymore until you fuck-sticks come up with something worth regurgitating” (MMMMMMMMM Inara!!!!)

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Stop Pissing on My Head!

OK. So imagine you’re taking a bath. You’re enjoying yourself playing with your little submarine man and your rubber ducky and pretending that the rubber ducky is going to eat the submarine man. Suddenly, you feel a little trickle on your head. You look up and there is a man pissing on your head while screaming, “your bathtub is getting cold so I thought that I would warm it up for you!”

Infuriated you jump up and throw your finger in the guy’s face. “Fuck you! Stop pissing on my head!” The guy shrugs his shoulders and leaves. Once the prick has left, you look down forlornly at your bathtub and the water in it and the little streams of yellow that are still suspended in what used to be a happy place. Your little submarine man and rubber ducky are floating lifeless in the wake of a disaster that has ruined every bit of happiness that you used to have.

Enraged, you burst out, “Get the fuck back in here and clean this shit up!”

The bastard comes in and says, “you’re right. Although it’s not my fault, I will clean it up for you.” He then proceeds to go to the faucet by the tub and turns on the water for a few seconds until the collected suspended streams dilute and disappear into the rest of the water. With a smile, the piss master says, “there you go, that’ll be five dollars.”

“What do you mean five dollars? You pissed on my head and dirtied my water and now I can’t go back in there!”

“Why not?”

“There’s piss in there!”

“I don’t see any piss. It’s perfectly safe. Don’t worry, I’ll take the money that you owe me out of your wallet on your kitchen counter.” The pisser then leaves to find another tub to piss in.

You look at the water in your tub and realize that the only way you can drain the water, since you certainly don’t want to go back in, is to stick you hand in it.

Thank you to British petroleum for pissing on all of our heads and taking our money to pretend to clean it up.

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Now that another example of a oversaturated capitalist culture promoted by Hallmark  is winding down, I do have a few things I would like to say about the woman who went through the insane torture of having her belly cut open after nine hours of birthing pains so that I could have the opportunity to breathe air and eat a taco every so often. I am oft compared to my mother in looks as well as demenour. Our simularites probably come through the strongest when we are pissed off.

As a child, I attended a Christan school, a habit that directly contributed to my utter disbelief in anything even resembling a Christian God. We had to attend a PTA meeting where, representing the church side of the administration, a priest was in attendance. Although the specifics get a bit fuzzy, I do remember my mother being told to shut up by the priest. At this point, the universe seemed to pause in event for a power that had not been seen since the exploding of the singularity that brought life into this universe. In a flash, my mother leapt across the table and started to choke the shit out of the priest.

Growing up, it was always my mother who should be feared. Wild, unruly, and governed by her passions, my mother was much more of an unstable force of nature that could leave you trembling and bleeding in a moment too quick for notice. Although my brother could piss anyone off, I had a special knack for knowing what buttons to push when it came to my mom.

One night we were all sitting around the dinner table, and I was going off on what a piece of shit here Jeep Grand Cherokee was. Seeing how agitated she was getting hearing me proclaim the deficiencies of her automobile, I only raised my voice louder and slammed my hand on the table to make my point even clearer. After saying that her vehicle “would be better off at the bottom of a lake” and that “we should all hope that shit doesn’t float,” a silence followed where my mom’s frustration seemed to disappear. That is, until she grabbed the steak knife in front of her and brandished it in my direction. I threw myself back away from the table cause I knew that she would fucking use it!

That being said, my mother is the most loving and caring of human beings. Family is the most important thing to her and Zeus help anyone who should decide to threaten that. I started off by saying that I am allot like my mother, and that’s very true. The one thing that I hope that I did inherit from my mother is the ability to care for and keep a family together as well as she has done all of these years.

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“Gotta bleed every so often.”

Looked the boy over. Didn’t see no cuts or nuthin’.  Not sure what he was gettin’ at. Smiled at him, thinkin’ he was simple. He put his hands to my counter. Puttin’ them greasy things all over the glass. Leavin’ streaks and prints all over the place. Told him I’d no time for games. I was mindin’ the store. I looked for his mom, but no one else was there. He blinked his eyes. Big ‘n’ brown, like two dark holes in his head I tell ya. “Your mama know where you at?” I says to him.

He just smiles, squintin’ his eyes and everythin’.

“Ok boy. Whatcha want anyway. Give ya a candy if ya leave me be.” Them kids perk up right quick when ya give them sumthin’. His eyes got all wide. Threw his hands out real fast, looked like one of them unfortunates. Gave him a candy, and if he didn’t take that thing and run out that door like I was goin’ to take it away. After that kid left, no one else came in that day.

Walked home ‘cause the car was in the shop. Ain’t had time to pick it up. Ain’t had the money either. Hoped business would pick up soon. Said to myself that I’d get the car tomorrow.

It was darker out than I was used to, like some of the streetlights was out or sumthin’. Didn’t bother me much, though. There are times that I like it dark. Can’t say why. Told my wife Lucy ’bout how dark it was, but she wa’nt listening. She was goin’ on ’bout her hair, day at the office, and some other such stuff. I didn’t keep to it too closely. She didn’t seem to mind.

Got up late. Probably hit the snooze too many times. Lucy’s side was already cold. Went to the bathroom, found my toothbrush but couldn’t find the toothpaste. Took a shower, water was runnin’ cold. Needed to turn up the water heater or fix it if need be. Said to myself that I’d take care of it tomorrow. Had some eggs and walked to the shop.

It was warmin’ up outside. That damn was chill finally leavin’. Saw Kylee runnin’ to school. She was runnin’ late too. She crossed the street too quick and didn’t pay attention. A car came out of nowhere and near run her down. Damn.  “Watch where ya goin’!” I yelled out. Both her and the driver looked at me, probably wonderin’ who I was yellin’ at. I’m not sure which one I was yellin’ at either. I waved my hand at them and kept walkin’.

Got to the store. Lock’s been broke. Told myself I’d get it fixed tomorrow. Opened the door and dragged in the papers. Sumthin’ was on the front page ‘bout some kind a disease, Haemo-croma-tosis or sumthin’ like that. Not sure how to say it. Couldn’t wrap my tongue around that one. Sumthin’ bout rust getting in ya if you don’t bleed enough. Not sure what the hell that’s about.

Turned on the lights and brewed the coffee. I opened the shop too late for the mornin’ rush. Some stragglers might still come through, though. Besides, lunchtime’ll start hittin’ right soon, and lots of them like coffee with their lunch. Don’t drink it myself, bad for the heart. At least that’s what Lucy says. I keep readin’ things that say different, but I stay away to keep her happy. I always liked tea, though. Not that lousy bagged stuff that tastes like sawdust. I try to drink it loose. It’s expensive though. Even through my friend Gerry, it still costs quite a coin.

Some customers came. Some went. Some bought stuff, and some didn’t. Not sure why anyone bothers comin’ into a store and don’t buy nuthin’. Happens all the time, though. After the lunch rush, no one came in for ’bout an hour. Closed the door and jimmied the broken lock. They could get in if they really wanted to, but least it looked locked. I went next door for a drink.

The place always smells like stale smoke, lingerin’ long and clingin’ to the walls. It gets in the nostrils and drips down the back of the throat ‘til you gotta wash it down. Sally poured me a draft. She forgot I don’t drink no more.

“Old habits die hard.” I tried to smile at her, but it didn’t come out right.

“That’s what they say. Sorry hon. I’ll get you a cranberry.” She took the beer away, and I grabbed a pack of matches.

I kept my eyes to the TV. Sports was on. It’s always sports. Never cared for sports much myself. Never got what all the fuss was about. A scream came from one of the tables near the back and startled the hell out of me. “Yeah! Kill him!” Not sure who “he” is, or what they playin’ but someone seems to be havin’ good over it.

Sally brought back my cranberry. “There you go, hon. Let me know if you need anythin’ else.” I caught a look at her backside when she walked away. Not that perky but not bad. Guess they don’t have to be perky at my age. Just willin’. I looked down the bar and found an old man sittin’ down a couple of stools sippin’ his suds. And fer me to say he’s old, well, that’s old. His beard soaked up most of his beer. Thinkin’ to myself that his wrinkles would probably do the same if they got the chance.

The doors banged open loud from behind. Sure it wa’nt intentional, a “sorry” from the guy who did it told me I was right. Didn’t even have to look. Knew who it is. Knew he’s smilin’ a wide smile and wavin’ at Sally. He always did. He sat ‘tween me and the old man. I knew what he’d say before he even said it.

“Pour me some of that scripture.” His finger pointed at Sally to nail the point home. An old line from an old movie, he pushed his smile harder when he didn’t get no laughs. He shut up right quick after that and sat down where Sally put his drink. He frowned when he looked down at his scripture. Maybe he’d find his answers in that foamy book. He took a sip.

I watched him do it, lookin’ for a scripture of my own. There I was sittin’ and watchin’ old men and their old ways. Time passes sumthin’ dreadful while you’re waitin’ to die.

Went back to the store after an hour or so. Pretty sure no one came a knockin’, lock hadn’t been moved at all. Sat behind the counter and watched the clock ’til ten. Then, walked home and ate dinner. Lucy talked about sumthin’, but I wa’nt really listenin’. That goofy kid popped into my brain. That wide squinty-eyed smile of his smilin’ sumthin’ fierce. I smiled a bit myself thinkin’ ‘bout it.

Snuck out for a smoke after dinner. Hadn’t had one in a while, promised Lucy I’d quit. Did for the most part too, still had one every so often, though. Grabbed a match, struck it, and lit the tip. Took a drag. The cracklin’ sound from the burnin’ cherry roared, tearing through my head like the claw of a hammer. Felt like it was gonna shred through my eardrums and pop my eyeballs. Hurt like hell. I coughed hard and dropped the smoke. I landed on my shaking hands. Sweat was pouring off of me like I had been working in a steel mill. Almost lost my dinner, but I took a deep breath and shook my head till it cleared. Dunno what the hell that was about.

Went to bed late, still shakin’ a bit from earlier. Crawled into bed next to Lucy. She didn’t move. She never moves. Couldn’t sleep straight away. Kept turnin’. Kept my eyes open ’til a familiar blue from the window spread across the room. It always made me sick to my stomach, that early blue.

Woke up late again. Alarm didn’t go off this time. Not sure why. Lucy’s side was cold. Made myself some tea. I used the wrong water, and it didn’t take well. I thought of that kid again. Dunno why I keep turnin’ back to that kid. The thought left me quick when I jumped in a cold shower, though. Guess I should’ve let it run. Showered real quick after that. Couldn’t find the shampoo. Used soap instead.

Got to the shop. Struggled to pry the lock loose. It was really in there tight. The day went on without a hitch. Was wonderin’ if I’d see that kid again. He never came by, though. Thought about what he said. What a silly thing to say. Bleedin’s no good when you’re workin’ to stay alive.

Lucy wa’nt home when I got home. Must be out with the girls or workin’ late. I wa’nt really hungry. I sat in front of the TV with my eyes gettin’ heavy.

There was that kid. He was playin’ down by the lake. Looked like he was fishin’ for toads. Lyin’ on his belly, he reached over the ledge and put his hands into the water. Used to love doin’ that myself. There’s that smile of his again, wide as ever. He pulled his hands back quick. Sumthin’ spooked him, I guess. Just as quick, he threw his hands back in again, and his whole body slid in with ’em. I laughed at the silly boy. Just like any other kid. Can’t even keep a good footin’ on ground. Always slippin’ and fallin’.

The water rippled hard, but it slowed quick once the bubbles stopped commin’. I stopped laughin’ and lost my smile when I saw he wa’nt commin’ up and the water went still. Nuthin’ scares you more when children are about than still water.

I got that tight feelin’ in my belly and chest. Could hardly breathe. Tried to yell for him when I started runnin’ but coughed instead. I couldn’t catch up with my breath after that. He still wa’nt commin’ up, and I couldn’t run any faster. It didn’t matter. I weren’t gettin’ any closer, anyway. The bubbles stopped long ago, too long for things with breath, and I finally reached the edge.

I woke up, dripping with sweat. TV was still on, infomercials and such. Even though I was awake, I still couldn’t breath. The boy wa’nt there. The lake weren’t either. There wa’nt any drownin’ boy. Just me and the TV. I dragged my sorry ass off to bed. Lucy’s spot was still empty and cold. She hadn’t come home yet. See her in the mornin’, I guess.

Got out of bed the next mornin’, draggin’ my feet. Like a man walkin’ to his grave I was. Or walkin’ from it, not sure which. Went to the can to relieve myself and take a shower. Found the mirror. Sumthin’ was starin’ back at me. It wa’nt me but some thing. Some thing that I swear wa’nt me. It couldn’t be me.

“He’s gone y’know.” It said to me with its gravely voice.

I stumbled back, slipped, and almost fell. Damn near killed myself, but I caught myself on the towel rack.  I was spooked as hell I’ll tell ya, but when I looked up, everythin’ looked normal. It was me lookin’ back at me, the way it should be. My brown eyes were wide and starin’ back at me. That couldn’t have been me.

I guess it weren’t nuthin’. Not enough sleep, that’s all. I rubbed my hand against the grain on my chin. It’s gettin’ long. But I was still shakin’ from the fall. Not a good time to shave. Do it tomorrow. Last thing I need’s to cut myself. Last thing I need’s to bleed.

Went to the shop. The lock was layin’ on the ground. The gate was still shut though. Don’t look like anythin’ was taken. That sort of thing never happens ’round here anyway. Not even sure what the gate’s for.

About noon little Kylee came into the shop. Told her I saw her near get hit by a car the other day. She didn’t seem to care. I told her she should pay more attention. She still didn’t seem to care. I told her it’s not my problem. If she wants to go and get herself killed, that’s her own. She frowned and made like she was gonna cry. I gave her a soda. That shut her up. She left pretty quick after that. Damn, wanted to ask her if she knew that kid.

After Kylee left, I sat back in my chair behind the counter and stretched a bit. I got a little dizzy. Must’ve stretched a little hard. Leaned forward in my chair and unfolded a newspaper on the counter in front of me. I couldn’t read it, though. Not at all. My eyes were all crossed and my brain was startin’ to hurt. While I was tryin’ to read that damn things, I nodded off a little like I handn’t slept in weeks. I jumped up and shook my head. Spread my eyelids wide. It didn’t help much, though. I only nodded off harder the second time, like I was being pulled under, or just falling into it, not sure which. Good thing someone came in. I heard the bell and heard the click of a boot. I stood up behind the counter and rubbed my eyes. Still hazed, I kept my eyes to the counter.

“Can I please have a pack of Winston Lights,” a wormy little voice squeaked.

Looked up from under my brow. He looked a little young. “Got ID?” I grumbled.

“Yes sir, I do.” He reached in his back pocked and fumbled with his wallet. He handed me the ID with his hands shakin’.

I looked close at the thing. My eyes were still a bit fuzzy, but I could tell he was old enough. Could even buy beer if he wanted. “You wa’nt soft or…” I saw sumthin’ movin’ out of the corner of my eye, something black, commin’ at me fast. It swooped up at me and looked like it came at me with black claws. I snapped my own head back right quick and threw myself against the display behind me. My foot slipped out from under me, and I fell on my ass. “Sonofabitch!” I screamed.

“Are you ok sir? O my! That looked painful.”

“I’m fine! Taken’ worse spills.” Pulled myself up, strainin’ a bit with my crackin’ knee. The ID was still in my hand. I laid it down on the counter, grabbed some Winstons, and put ’em next to it. “That’ll be $3.50.”  He paid and left. No one else came in that day.

Went home. Knee was botherin’ me the whole walk home. Had a frozen dinner. I missed Lucy’s cookin’. Maybe she went to stay at her sister’s for a while. She does that from time to time. Guess she gets sick of me sometimes. Don’t blame her really. She’s got her own troubles. I only get in the way. She could’ve left a note though. I lied down in my bed without her.

It was really warm where I was. Not sure where I was, but I could tell I was floatin’. I thought it should be cold, or I should be hurtin’ or sumthin’. Not sure why I thought I should be in pain, but I did. Looked around. Still couldn’t figure out where I was. Didn’t see anythin’ familiar. Things floated by me without a care. Not sure if I had one either. Felt like I should care about somethin’. I couldn’t move my legs. My crackin’ knee wouldn’t move, and the other one wouldn’t either. Still didn’t care. Looked up. Sumthin’ shiny was above me, glimmerin’. I think glimmerin’s the word. It moved like the sun reflectin’ off of busy water. Yeah. Just like that. Eventually, it calmed down and it wa’nt glimmerin’ any more, like those busy waters all of a sudden went still. Not sure where I wanted to go, and I was even less sure where I’d been. It didn’t seem to matter how much I wanted to move, I just couldn’t. So, I decided not to bother wanting anything. Figured it probably be best to just let it go.

Woke up late again. Skip’t breakfast. Not hungry anyhow. Just had some tea. Need to call what’s his name. Craig? Was it Craig? The tea guy. No, that’s not it. Couldn’t remember his damn name. Known the guy since high school, for Christ’s sake. Or was it the army. What am I talkin’ about? I was never in the army. Who the hell’s Craig anyway?

I walked to the shop. My crakin’ knee was killing me the whole time. I was trying to remember how long it was I had that crakin’ knee.

Saw Kylee again. It was late. She really should be in school. Maybe school’s out. It was warm. Maybe they were on break. It’s easy to lose track of those things when you don’t have kids. My chest suddenly went tight. I fell down on my crackin’ knee. Bit my teeth hard. Not sure what was worse, dyin’ of a heart attack or bustin‘ up my knee while doin’ it. Didn‘t feel much like a heart attack though. Had one of them long time ago. It was still hard to breathe, though. Got back on my feet, and my knee buckled again. “You bastard!” Had to yell at sumthin’. I limped the rest of the way. Gaspin’ hard for thick air the whole time.

Took me a while to get to the shop. My crakin’ knee was still sore. Dunno what happened to the lock, so I just opened the gate. When I walked through the door I all of a sudden got sick, like I just whiffed on a big barrel of rottin’ fish. Tried to hold my breath like it would do some good and ran to the back of the shop. I pulled open the door to the can. The minute I ran through it, my crakin’ knee buckled and fell again. There was a lot of pain, but I couldn’t keep to it for long cause my mouth filled with whatever was in my belly. I grabbed the sides of the bowl ‘n put my face to it. I spat out what was in my mouth. Followed it up with a bit more. Barely anythin’ at all came out. I just threw up some of that bitter green stuff. My head was spinnin’ and I was doing that sweatin’ thing again. Drops kept drippin’ from my head into the green filled bowl, barely makin’ a ripple.

Could barely stand myself up. Stumbled to the faucet and put my lips to the water. Pulled it in, and spat it out. Took in more water and swallowed it this time. It still burned in the throat, but at least it was cooled a bit. Looked in the mirror and saw my face all pale and sweaty and spattered with bits of green. A clean mirror for a dirty face. I think I need a little more water.


Huh. What was I doin’? Oh yeah, the shop.

Went out, someone was at the counter waitin’ for me. Tall guy wearin’ a brown jacket. Little warm for it one would think. “Give me minute, alright.” I coughed a little.

He didn’t answer.

I limped up to the counter and saw he didn’t have nuthin’ in his hands. Not sure why I noticed that. “What can I…” I couldn’t say nuthin’ else. He had no face. No eyes or nuthin’. He was just a blank thing. My lungs wanted to scream or somethin’, but my throat closed. Tried to cough but couldn’t get anything out. I hit the ground hard, too. A sharp pain shot up through my arms and my head went spinnin’. I caught the dark real quick after that.

There was that light again, still glmmerin’. Funny thing. Not too sure what the hell that’s about. Where’s that boy anyway? Not sure why I thought of him. Should probably try and breathe.

Woke with my face still lyin’ on the rim of the toilet bowl, still looking at the green that came out of my gut. I was shiverin’ cold. Pushed myself up from it and slipped a little as I did. I was still dizzy and still tasted that bitter bile. Went to the faucet. Water wa’nt workin’. Looked to the mirror, broken and shattered, with big streaks of stuff on it, hard and caked.  “She’s gone y’know.” Something moaned to me. No idea where it came from, but I heard it. Least, I think I did.

I tried to brush it off like nuthin’ happened. “Bathroom needs cleanin’,” I said to myself. Figured I’d do it tomorrow.

Went up front. Sat behind the counter and watched the clock. No one came in that day. Went home. Lights wouldn’t work. Skipped dinner. Sat in front of the TV. That wouldn’t work neither. Wouldn’t turn on or nuthin’. I just sat there, starin’ at an empty screen. Could almost make pictures out of that black glass, though. Someone was sittin’ right across from me, ‘nother man, ‘nother couch. Someone to talk to. Both lookin’ to the other for someone to talk to. That would be nice. But it weren’t there, I guess. Always hoped for it, though. Always hopin’ for sumthin’, sumthin’ outta nuthin’.

Woke up but don’t remember fallin’ asleep. It was still dark. Pushed myself up from the floor. Damn that crackin’ knee. Always remindin’ me it’s there, but it never told me when it started botherin’ me. Went to the window. Not sure what happen’ to the drapes. Things was dark. Even them street lamps found it hard to keep up. The one in front of my house, that tall metal thing, aluminum, I guess.

It looked like a kid was playin’ under it. Looked like he was playin’ marbles or sumthin’. Parents should be watchin’ him, this late an’ all. No good parentin’ that leaves a kid on his own this time of night. Walked out my front door. “Hey kid.” Didn’t answer. No discipline, I tell ya. “Hey boy! I’m talkin’ at you.” Still nuthin’. What the hell’s with this kid? I was ready to stomp a mud hole in his ass. “Kid, you’d better answer me, or I’ll put the belt to ya.” Stumbled up to him and pull him up by his shoulder. He just hung there limp. “The hell’s wrong with you kid?” I turned him to face me. The kid’s marbles knocked on the concrete.

He looked up at me with them big, brown eyes. “Christ sake kid!” I dropped him. It was that kid from the shop. He looked older and beatin’, but I was sure it was him. He fell on his knee. He was already cryin’ and startin’ to wail, grabbin’ onto his busted knee. He looked like he was in a fight with black circles under his eyes, bruises, cuts, and other such things.

I didn’t wait for him to stop cryin’. “What the hell are you doin’ out here. Where your parents?” He just sat there holdin’ his knee and cryin’ harder. “Well?” I tried to look at his face, but he was too busy lookin’ at his knee, almost screamin’.  “You gonna tell me where your parents are or not kid?” I put my hand on his shoulder and shook him a bit. Now he was really screamin’. “Who the hell are you anyway?”

All of a sudden his screamin’ stopped. My ears were still ringin’ from it. I couldn’t even hear him breathin’. Downright creepy I’ll tell you how he just went all quiet. Shivered a bit like sumthin’ cold and awful crawlin’ up my back. That’s when he looked up. Them big ole’ browns almost black, nuthin’ of color left in them things. “You still miss him, huh?”

“Huh?” Caught me off with that one. “Not sure who you mean.”

“Y’know, your brother.” He stood up like he never fell. My hand was still on his shoulder.

“Never had one. Y’must be thinkin’ of someone else.” I coughed a bit.

He turned away, facin’ the street. “No. It’s you. It’s always you.” He walked to the middle, squated down, pulled out some more marbles from his pocket, and went back to playin’ like nuthin’ ever happened.

Wa’nt sure what to do at first. Not sure what he meant. Never had a brother. “Hey kid.” He didn’t turn around. Why don’t he ever answer me? “Hey!” I moved to him. But I caught one of his marbles on the bottom of my foot. It rolled and made me stumble hard. I caught myself, but when I looked up, the boy was gone, marbles an’ all. Startin’ to think I lost my marbles too. Kept lookin’ to that empty street, waitin’ and thinkin’ that kid was going to pop up out of thin air or sumthin’. He never did though. No surprise there. Turned around and limped back inside. Door was broke, fallin’ off the hinges. I’ll fix it tomorrow. Lights were still off, too. Where is that damn woman?

I woke up and went to the bar.

“Whatcha like hon?” Sally proped her elbows on the bar. Could see down her shirt.

“The usual.“ I stuttered a bit.

“Don‘t ya mean ‘Pour me some of that scripture,’ huh?”

“Ya know me too well.”

“Ya say it all the time, babe. No prob though, hon. I like it. View’s free by the way.” She smiled and walked away.

My stomach got all tight. Think I went red too. Must’ve, cause her smile got wider when she came back. She barely put that draft on the bar before I took me a big glug. That brew tastes as good as it always does. Savored it though, couldn’t let it go too quick. Kept my eyes to that foamin’ head. Never see it pop. It just goes away after a while. Drank a bit, maybe a little too much. Always drink too much, everyday it seems. Went to the shop. The door was open. Looked around and everythin’s in place. Wa’nt much here anyway. Went to the cooler in the back to grab a pop. Empty. Make an order tomorrow. Opened the door anyway, wanted to stick my head in there, clear it up a bit. It stank, real bad. Cooler must’ve burnt out. Take care of that tomorrow, too.

Woke up late. Don’t even remember fallin’ asleep. What day is it? Not even sure what month. Lose track of things sometimes. Not sure where those things go. Sometimes they come back, but most times not. Went to the bar. Was quiet there. Can’t find no one to get me a beer. What happened to… Couldn’t remember her name.

Two ladies in the corner was whisperin’. “…hasn’t been the same since…” I hear ’em. Talkin’ ’bout me for sure. Everyone’s always talkin’ about me. Widower’s make for good conversation I guess. Ya’d think people would keep to themselves a bit more. Guess not. Shook real quick when I heard a yell from the back.

“Yeah, tear him apart!” Someone screamed.

Gotta keep occupied somehow, I guess. Looked around. Can’t get a beer to save my life.

“…they were so happy…” Those ladies seemed so sad over my life.

Yeah, we were happy. They were right ‘bout that. She had this smile. She was always happy ’bout everythin’. Nuthin’ could get her down. ‘Til she got sick.

“…now she’s gone…”

Yeah, she’s gone.

I got up and left. Didn’t need to hear no more of this. Went home. Looked in the fridge. Lights were out. The sour smell hit me hard. Gagged a bit and almost lost my stomach. I slammed the door shut and backed away ’till my legs hit the counter. Slid down an’ let my legs spread out. “I miss Lucy,” I snorted.

“Who is Lucy?”

Hung my head low. “Y’know who she is.”

“I really don’t.”

My eyes couldn’t stay open for long. Why bother keepin’ ’em. “Dead wife.”

“You were never married.”
My hands went numb. “I was, but she died.”

“I’m not so sure about that.”

My head swayed a bit. “I am.”

A scream pulled me out of my sleep like I was drownin’. Threw my hands out like the same. Got up too quick and got myself dizzy. Almost fell, but I caught myself on the counter. Thought the scream came from outside the house and ran out there to see what was goin’ on. It was dark out still, and I couldn’t find much but the biting cold. Thought it should be warm. “Hey! Everyone alright?” Couldn’t think of much else to say. “Hello?” Didn’t see no one. “Keep it down, would ya?” I called out before goin’ back inside.

When I walked through the front door there was sumthin’ stadin’ in front of me. I guess I mean someone. Couldn’t make out a face, though. Was too tall to be a kid. Seemed too tall to be a woman. He was pretty tall. “Ah, hello?” He just stood there. “Y’know, I think ya should leave,” I said to him. Have to admit it, I was shakin’ a bit. He didn’t move right away. He just stood there. Not even sure what the expression was on his face. Is he smilin’ or Grinnin’? I wasn’t sure. I just wished he’d move or sumthin’. Gotta keep things movin’.

Sumthin’ glinted past my eyes, a glimmerin’ light, almost blindin’. I brought my hand up to keep the glimmer out of my eyes and brought it down once my eyes fixed to it. It reminded me of somethin’. Like light bouncin’ off of water, movin’ when the water moved and still when the water was still. I tried to move but couldn’t move my feet. They felt too heavy like I was caught on sumthin’. My hand touched my leg. It felt wet. Why was I wet?

“Gotta bleed every so often, otherwise you’ll rust.” His voice wa’nt as deep as I thought it would be, gravely, but not deep.

“Where’s everyone gettin’ that nonsense?” Looked down. Saw my pants was soaked. Warm and wet fell down my crackin’ leg. Thought it should be cold. Tried to look back up, but my head moved to the side instead. Couldn’t help it, I fell down and smacked my head on the ground pretty good. There was nuthin‘ there to catch me. Nuthin’ at all.

Woke up like I’d been sleepin’ for years. I always remember wakin’ up but never fallin’ asleep. Stumbled out of bed. Couldn’t reach my crutches over by the door. The hell did I leave them things there for? I hopped over to ’em. Got ‘em and crutched myself to the couch. Knew I should eat but wa’nt hungry. Just sat there. Rubbin’ my leg. Gets hard hoppin’ ’round like that. Looked to the stump where my leg used to be. It’d been gone so long now. Get used to missing things I s’pose. Got so use to it myself, don’t even remember where it went.

Stayed on the couch most of the day. Decided to go to the bar. Decided to crutch it. Didn’t know how I’d get home. Didn’t care either. Streets were quiet, late afternoon, Y’know, sun goin’ down but still light out, that type of thing. Strange time for things to be quiet, unsettlin’. Kids should be runnin’. Moms’ should be callin’ on their kids. Cars should be goin’ ’round, bustlin’ ‘bout.

The leaves were fallin’. Everythin’ turned to that strange orange-brown color. Turn brown and fall down, in’nt that like how most things die. In’nt just like that when things get cold. Kept crutchin’ it. Couple more blocks an’ I’d be there.

Saw Kylee. She was lyin’ in the street. Playin’ some game I’m guessin’. Stupid kid. Just lyin‘ there all still. Leaves blowin‘ around her, she didn‘t pay no notice. Just lyin‘ there. “Hey!” She didn’t answer. Damn kids never answer. Don’t even move when you call ’em. “Fine! Stay there an’ rust!” Not sure what I meant by that. Might’ve been a little harsh.

Got to the bar. Was hurtin’ already. Crutches were killin’ me under the arms. A brew should help that out. Place was empty. Should be open, you’d think. “Hey!” Nuthin’. “Anyone hear me?” Still nuthin’. Heard some rumblin’ in the back. A voice or sumthin’. Crutched my way back there. Stale smoke hung in the air, but no one was there.

Dunno why they keep them places so damn dark, hard to see anythin’. TV was on, football. Looks like the Saints’re winnin’. That was good. I got money on th’ game. The TV shined some light on things. Letin’ me see things a bit clearer. Didn’t see no one else, though. Turned down the volume and turned to leave.

“Hey! What’s your problem?” Someone yelled out behind me.

I turned around pretty quick. Spooked th’ hell outa me. “Oh. Hey. Sorry. Didn’t see ya there.”

“Well? Why don’t you turn it back up cripple?”

“Didn’t mean to cause a fuss.”

“Just get back there and turn the volume back up, gimp.”

Crutched back to the TV and turned it back up. “Sorry.”

“Where are you from you old crippled bastard?”

I could barely make out a face. It looked like he had a beard.  “Well. From here really.”

“You don’ t sound like anyone I know. I’ve been here all my life.” He took a pack of smokes from his pocket.

“It’s how we talk ‘round here.”

“Are you calling me a liar you old bastard?” He stood up with a smoke hanging from his lips.

“No sir. No need to cuss.”

“What kind of word is ‘cuss’? What happen to your stupid leg anyway? Bet you’re going to say that you lost it in the war or something like that.” He lit the smoke and pulled it hard and deep. I was dyin’ for one myself.

“That’s right.”

“You’re lying!” He pointed his fingers at me with the smoke between his fingers.


“‘Uh…what?’ I said you are lying old man!” He pulled another drag, held it a bit, and pushed it out again.

“No. Really, lost it stormin’ the beach at Normandy.”

He started laughin’ really loud. Smoke goin’ everywhere. “I didn’t know you were a moron too. This is great.”

“Not sure what you mean.”

I didn’t say nuthin’ for a bit. Niether did he. I was just waitin’ to see what’s next. My stomach was all twisted up. Still couldn’t make out his face.

“What’s your name?”

“What’s that got to do with…”

“Answer the question you dumb bastard,” he grumbled.

“Uh…it’s Ray.”

He started laughin’ “I knew it! You didn’t even bother to give yourself a name.” He took another drag.

I fell back a bit with that one. “Whatcha mean?”

“Don’t give me that. You know exactly what I’m talking about.”

“My name’s Ray.”

“No! It’s not.” He was spewin’ smoke. Ash fell to the table. He didn’t seem to care. Still couldn’t make out much on his face. Think it was the smoke that was hidin’ him.

“You’re right. It’s not.”

“Finally, something that isn’t a lie.”

“Was my brother’s name.”

He slammed his head on the table and started movin’ it back and forth. “You fooled me once already with that one.”

“Huh? Naw. Really, he drown. Took his name when he passed. Took it as my own.”

He raised his head and cocked an eye at me. “That’s silly.”

“Was all I could do…”

“Let me guess. To remember him.” He seemed to be calmin’ down a bit.


“I think you’re lying again.” Took a drag. That cherry burned hard, lighting up his face with that red. Still, couldn’t make out more than simple features. A nose, a beard, but nuthin’ else stood out to me.

“Whatcha mean.” My arms were achin’. Hands started to quiver a bit. Couldn’t keep myself much longer.

“I believe that you are making all of this up.” He put his smoke out on the table.

“All of what?”

“All of it!” He screamed and waved his hands about.

“You mean everythin’?”

“I mean everything. All of it.” He looked up at me. “Even me and you.”

“What the hell sense does that make?”

“It’s difficult to say.”

No matter what, I knew him right. “What should I do?”

He got up, reached behind him for his coat, put it on, and walked right past me. “It would probably be best to just let it go.” Still couldn’t make out his face. Took everythin’ to catch a glimpse at his eyes. So dark, like two black holes they was. Didn’t turn around to watch him leave. Heard his feet makin’ their way to the front. Heard the jingle of the bell when he pushed the door open and the slam of it when he passed through, and that was it.

Had to sit down. Crutches was killin’ me. Sat down at his table. Looked at the mess of ashes he left behind. Looked at ’em close. Smelled the stale smoke still lingerin‘. Sat back in the chair. The sound of the TV was lost long ago. Missed it some. Not sure what to do next. Just sat there, starin’ at things. Would’ve liked ta felt sumthin’. Put my hand to my face, hopin’ to feel the grain of my face or the warmth of my palm. Sumthin’ would’ve been nice. Nuthin’ came though. Didn’t feel my hand or nuthin’. Nuthin’ at all. Was like it was never there in the first place. Kept my eyes open, though. That I did do. Keepin’ them open to things, keepin’ to ’em best I could. Kept loosin’ those things though. The harder held, the faster lost. Really wished I could keep ’em where they’re at, for a bit longer anyway. Just keep ’em where they was. I couldn’t though, kept loosin’ ‘em. Things started to move strange. Everythin’ was twisted and all out of shape. I just sat there. Didn’t see it go. It just went. Gone, just like that. Had my eyes open the whole time. Didn’t see a damn thing.

“Probably best.”

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Nunc Stans

He was lying on his side taking in his breath in short sporadic heaves. His shoulder rose sharply as his lungs pulled in what they could and gently fell when they couldn’t hold the breath any more. Between each of the breaths that he struggled so hard for, the pauses seemed longer and longer.

I inhaled deeply to remind myself that I was still alive. The air didn’t fill my lungs the way that I would’ve liked. It was too dull, too stale. It would’ve been nicer if I could’ve breathed the arctic air, something to invigorate me and make me feel my blood being filled with the elements that keep me moving. Instead, I was surrounded by the air that fills a room when something remembers that it’s about to die. My ears picked up his wheezing, as subtle as the wind pushing through a window that has been left cracked open. I wanted to put my hand on his shoulder, comfort him with warmth, but I didn’t think it was appropriate. He never liked to be touched.
For a moment, I thought that maybe he had stopped breathing. As I held my breath, I listened closely to the silence that had suddenly occupied the room, inhabiting the air, leaving it thick. I even thought that I could hear his heart slowing down, but it wasn’t. His breath came back suddenly, or maybe it had never left. Maybe I had just missed it.

Walking closer to his bedside, I tried to think of something to say. Nothing came to me as I convinced myself that all he wanted to hear was silence anyway. I couldn’t imagine anyone would want to hear a comforting word at this moment. When everything else is leaving you, there could be nothing worse than having to hear some bastard rambling on about how it’s fine to just let go, that everything would be all right. Who cares about everything when it’s about to leave you behind?

His window had the drapes drawn, leaving the room a black void where gentle sounds were the only things that could bring image to the mind. I could only think that he needed some image to keep fixed on. Black wouldn’t do it; it left him only able to concentrate on the sounds and the feeling of his breath slowly leaving him. I pulled the drapes aside and found the failing light behind it. There was the dark horizon where the last of the fading light penetrates orange. No matter how beautiful it looks, it’s never as lovely as the twilight before.

Looking to his eyes squinting shut, barely open to the lovely thing in front of them, I could tell that he knew what was going to happen. That was when my throat started to swell, and my eyes puffed up. I took in a sharp deep breath, and, when I did, his arms moved slowly toward me. His façade didn’t change, but the movement in his arms told me that he wanted to touch something, feel something else besides the heat fleeing from his body. Sitting on the bed, I laid my head down and wrapped my arms around him.

The remaining light of the day had long left us as the hours crawled, slowing to years. It wasn’t completely surprising that he wasn’t done yet; he would never give up easily. Even when parts of him started to deteriorate, leaving him disfigured, he still moved about, catering to himself, dealing with the burdens that had compounded themselves on him. I thought that I might fall asleep next to him, still holding him, but I couldn’t. My heavy breaths came too easy for me. It shouldn’t have been that easy for me, not when he struggled for every one of his. Every time he exhaled, I thought that it was over: I hoped that it was over. Then, he could finally rest, and he wouldn’t be burdened with breath anymore. He breathed again. I thought the sound of it would be more grotesque, a gurgle or a whine as the air entered his failing lungs, but it wasn’t. Although a burden, it came in smooth and unabated. If he was going through something horrible, he was the only one who could notice. I wanted to think that he might’ve found some mode of meditation that eludes the rest of us, that he only needed to breath once for every of our six, but I was being a fool. No matter how peaceful his breath seemed, anyone could clearly see that this was a dying thing lying in front of them, a thing not long for anything else that time had to offer. Any moment would soon be gone for him. It would be gone for me too; his moment would leave me just as it was about to leave him. I knew I would try to go back to the moment, but, either in waiting or remembering, wanting or reflection, that moment is still too far away or too far gone for anyone to keep. I missed the cadence and remembered the verse too late. Now, that place where everything comes together is a first taste of things that have somehow become slightly bitter, and I was choking on it.

I wanted to smother him, end it now. My weight was already on him. All I had to do was push a little harder and add to his burden. Then he would stop. What a merciful thing to help end torment and pain, to bring peace. Redistributing my weight on his side, I put more pressure on him. He started to wheeze and whimper, almost squeaking, like a little creature that wasn’t sure what was happening to him but just wanted it to stop. I fell off of him weeping hard, drooling, and unable to close my mouth. I couldn’t do it. I tried to say that I wasn’t brave enough, but I knew that I just wanted to end him for me, not for him. Just let these things happen: Just let death be. Just let the moment go and let the now go with it. The now is always fleeting anyway. A new moment came but passed away too quickly for notice, and no matter how hard I tried to hold it close, holding my breath for it, I had missed it entirely. That now was never abiding.

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