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Gettin' Ready for Drunk Webcam PicsYeah, I like that title. It’s a good one. Snappy. Evocative. Double entendre. SEO. God I hate SEO. Not the thing itself. Just the word. ESS-EE-OH. Doesn’t convey anything. Goddamned algorithms. Skynet exists.

Take a break. Eat a peach. Good for vitamin C. Juice drips from my wrist onto the pristine white standing desk. Damn.

Get a paper towel. Run the tap, get the towel juuuuuuuust damp enough. Not so wet that I need a second towel to dry the desk. Wipe the desk before it stains. Sherry told me this desk got great reviews on Yelp but some buyers complained that it stains easily. I can’t let it stain. I’ll never hear the end of it. Continue reading

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The Life Of A Cigarette

Sitting in the park on a sunny day, Frederico picked up the white pawn in his gnarled hand and placed it gently two squares away. Then, he did the same with the black pawn on the other side of the board.

He’d learned to play chess in Cuba. His father taught him when he was a boy. Years and years later, after Marco died, he taught himself to play both sides, upside down. Now at 87, he was certain that he was unbeatable.

Cigarette

image: Paolo Neo

Frederico wore a green fedora, and a purple scarf around his neck. His overcoat was olive, and his shoes were mirror-shined. His ash wood cane with the silver handle leaned against the stone chess table. He wore fingerless gloves so that he could get a good grip on each piece, loving each one as it played its alotted part.

A cool breeze blew.  It was Autumn in New York,  just like the song.

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Missing Girl

That rule about not calling the cops until the person’s been missing for 24 hours? Total bullshit. TV fantasy — and an insidious one at that. Why give the creeps time to do what they do and get away with it?

Call it in. That’s the rule.

Detective Lewis Costello personally knew parents who’d put themselves right into a real-live version of purgatory. They sat on their hands for that magical, fictional 24-hour window while their guts froze and their hearts died. Hope died. When purgatory ended, hell usually opened up. Continue reading

I’ve Been (Almost) Everywhere, Man

Reno, Nevada

Sitting pretty on a big pile of chips. Unfortunately, they were potato chips. Had to mug some drunk bastard outside the casino to get bus fare out of this desert shithole. My guitar has a big dent in it now. Think I stepped on a rat.

Chicago, Illinois

Bus ride here was hell. It explains the devil-spawn I saw glaring at me every step of the Miracle Mile. Continue reading

Fairyland

35 Rock cut at Miners Bay

Assignment: A travelogue

The thing about traveling is that one’s experience of any given journey largely depends on who one is. If one is a child, than the most mundane journey can be imbued with breathtaking wonder. And if one is an adult in desperate and overwhelming trouble, a time among the most glorious of landscapes can be like a season in hell.

What if these two perspectives are represented on the same journey, with one holding the hope of escape for another? This story starts off with a fatherly promise of a journey into a fantastical wonderland, and ends up as a trip to the underworld instead. 

***

It started in the gloom of an early morning in 1975. The moonlight streamed through the window and threw slabs of hard-cut, ghostly illumination on the wall in my room. I was six years old, just a little girl  in my pajamas and staring up at my father from my bed. He wore his overcoat, a valise in his hand, his face hidden in shadow under his hat.

My father spoke in a hoarse whisper that I suppose if I heard now I would judge as being pregnant with desperation.

“Sweetheart, wake up! It’s Daddy. We’re going on vacation starting right now, just you and me!”

“Where are we going? Where’s Mommy?” I replied in a whisper of my own. My own voice sounded small to me in that moonlit room.

“Your mother can’t come with us on this trip. She’s too busy, Sweetheart. It’s just you and me this time!”

“But, it’s dark. It’s nighttime! I’m sleepy!”

“It’s the perfect time to go where we’re going – to Fairyland!”

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The Astronaut

Assignment: A story told from an animal’s point of view

We often forget that despite our intellect and our grand ambitions and achievements as a species, we are animals, too. Maybe we’ve forgotten on purpose. But why? What are the advantages? Well, we get to pretend that the world we live in is external to us as something to be used, rather than something to be truly be a part of. But, what do we lose in the process?

The use of chimpanzees in the space program by the early 1960s seemed to be a good platform to explore this idea; a creature of the forest shot into space, as far away from his home as it’s possible to be. What does this reveal about humanity and our pursuits to escape our own origins?

***

chimpanzwee

I have dreamed of the green world all my life.

I do not remember being there. But, my family was born there, many tens of thousands of years ago. When I dream, I am with them. When I am awake with the smooth ones, I am alone. I am only a child.

I am surrounded by smooth surfaces here. Everything around me is the same. I do not like it here. I do not like the smooth ones, either. And they do not like me. All but one. He is the one with the shining eyes. I call him that in my mind – Shining Eyes. He calls me by a name that is only mine when I am awake. When I am asleep and I am in the green world with my family, I go by another name. It is my true name.

I wonder if Shining Eyes has a name like that. I wonder if he dreams as I do. Continue reading

The Return of the Green Guardian

Steampunk Ray GunThe police precinct was crawling with the usual kind of cockroaches. A cat-burglar was demanding his phone call. A pair of rapists in matching hoodies snickered to each other in front of the stone-faced cop who was booking them. A couple of hookers who’d stabbed their john were busy taunting the short-haired, butch rookie cop sitting across a desk from them. The new officer just took the abuse – you gave the perps any kind of grief in here, you were just as likely to face an internal tribunal in front of some stone-faced bureaucrats who had no clue what cops went through every day dealing with these parasites.

Continue reading