Wednesday, January 18, 2017

If you get out of bed even once this week, bad things will happen


There are a lot of big events this week, including discounted bullets at the rifle range, an 80’s themed yoga class, and at least three middle school fistfights behind the 7-11. But you’re going to miss them all because if you get out of bed, something terrible will happen.

“What do you think will happen?” your boyfriend Dennis will ask.

“I don’t know,” tell him. “But what if it’s something that happens to you? I couldn’t live with myself. Get in the bed where it’s safe.”

Dennis is supportive so he’ll first go out and buy you a bucket to go to the bathroom into. Then he’ll climb into bed with you and stay there.


Your mom will come by on your second day in bed and tell you you’re just depressed because your father was distant when you were a little girl.

“It’s not that, Mom,” you’ll say. “I mean, he never said he was proud of me, but this is a whole other thing. By the way, this is my boyfriend, Dennis. At least he’s supporting me in this.”

“Oh and I’m not supportive?”

Your mom will climb into bed and shake Dennis’s hand.

“I like him,” your mom will whisper, spooning you while Dennis hangs over the edge of the bed using the bucket.


Your old high school field hockey coach will come by on Wednesday for a pep talk.

“You think hiding in bed under the covers with your mom and your boyfriend is the way to win?!” your coach will yell. “Come on, get back in the game!”

Your mom will tell the coach he’s pushing you too hard. “You were always too hard on our girls!” your mom will say.

Crying, the coach will crawl into bed with all of you to apologize. He’ll snore when he sleeps.


By this point, your mom and your field hockey coach will have admitted to noticing each other on the field, always wondering. They’ll be under the covers pawing at each other when your coworkers come by to check on you after almost a week of absence. You’ll be glad when they decide to climb on with you and make it a team-building thing, distracting you from the noises your mom and your coach are making.


The bed will be close to buckling when your book club comes by and hops on to discuss the novel The Interestings while drinking several jugs of Chablis. No one will want to leave for fear of being the one something bad happens to, so in order to fit everybody, you’ll all start stacking on each other like Lincoln Logs.


Your dad will come by and sit on the floor, staring at the stack of bodies arrayed before him.

“This is my fault,” he’ll say. “I was distant when you were a little girl. I was distant to your mother too, which is why I can hear her and that coach of yours moaning from level three of the body stack. You think that since I withheld myself from you, the way to live your life is to withhold yourself from the world. Well if something bad is going to happen to somebody, I want it to be me. I deserve it.”

Your dad will stay there on the floor all night, bringing people water when they ask and occasionally emptying the bucket.


While everyone in the stack is still asleep, you’ll realize your dad is right. Living your life in bed underneath a pile of friends and colleagues isn’t living at all. Bad things are part of life. You can’t have good things unless you risk the bad.

“Come on out,” your dad will whisper, as if he’s reading your mind.

You’ll carefully wriggle free so as not to disturb the stack, and you’ll first swing one leg over the edge of the bed, then the other. Then you’ll stand up.

“See,” your dad will say. “Nothing bad happened.”

“But something bad did happen,” you’ll tell him. “Nothing changed. At least if something bad happened I’d know I have an effect on the world.”

“You have an effect on me,” your dad will say. “You made me proud. Now let’s go get some pancakes.”

You’ll smile and take your dad’s hand, and the two of you will tiptoe out of the bedroom to go find yourselves pancakes while the pile continues to sleep the day away.

(Originally appeared on

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Get Out Of That Break Room Day!

You and your coworker Louise always end up in the Schlotsky's break room at the same time and you never do anything but sit around reading your phones.

"Let's get the motherfuck outta here Louise!" you shout. "We got 15 minutes lets make the most of it!"

"You're right!" Louise says. "Let's go kill my husband and make it look like an accident!"

You and Louise head over to Louise's house and find her husband making her a special romantic dinner.

"Who's this?" her husband asks, seeing you. "I can set a third seat at the table."

Louise looks at the clock.

"We have to be back at our registers in 8 minutes," Louise says.

You and Louise grab her husband, drag him upstairs, then throw him down the stairs so it can look like he fell by accident but all he does at the bottom of the stairs is get up and ask what's wrong.

Louise checks the clock. "Six minutes!"

You grab her husband, drag him outside and throw him in front of a moving car, but the car brakes to a stop before hitting him.

"5 minutes!" Louise shouts.

You start whispering in her husband's ear all the sad things in the world, all the injustices, the feeling that existence is nothing but pain, and humanity happened only to exact cruelty on the world. You whisper all this hoping he'll run inside to kill himself but instead he runs inside to look up some charities where he can volunteer his services.

"We have 4 minutes!" Louise shouts. "Forget it!"

Louise kisses her husband goodbye and he tells her to pick up something for dessert when she's done with her shift.

"Motherfucker won't die," you say when you're both back at your registers.

Louise nods, tears running down her cheeks. "That's why I love him," she says. "I test him and I test him to try to make him go but he never does. I don't deserve him."

Louise composes herself to sell someone a sandwich. Your manager tells you both that there's a new rule that employees aren't allowed to leave the premises during a break, even if it's to commit an attempted murder. Tell him this is bullshit.

Happy Get Out Of That Break Room Day!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Someone Found Your Dad Day!

He wandered into their backyard and started eating apples from their apple tree.

"What do you want us to do with him?" they ask.

You tell them to give him a bath.

"Okay we did," they say. "What do you want us to do to your dad next?"

You tell them to send him to a dance party.

"He had a good time," they say. "What do you want us to do to your dad next?"

You tell them to go to the beach and lock him in one of those lifeguard sheds where lifeguards go to have sex with other lifeguards.

"There were lifeguards having sex inside but once they were done we locked him inside," they say. "He's still there."

You become furious. You tell them you didn't tell them to leave him there. He gets scared of lifeguard sheds. You tell them to get him out.

"He chewed his way out," they say. "We found him squatting on a houseboat. He destroyed the inside with his bare hands."

You tell them to give him another bath.

"He's too powerful now," they say.

You order them to give your fucking dad another bath.

"He's too powerful now," they say. "He can't be stopped."

The water in your glass starts to shake. You hear the footsteps. Soot falls all around your kitchen as the roof is ripped from the walls.

Your father is very upset with you.

Happy Someone Found Your Dad Day!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Pinch Your Elbow While Saying Goodbye And She'll Be Gone Forever Day!

You meet this genie at a bar and you and him start talking and you hit it off so he gives you one for free.

"One wish?" you ask. "For real?"

The Genie says go for it. Normally you'd have to free him from a lamp but he likes you.

"There's this asshat I can't stop thinking about and I wanna stop thinking about her," you say. "But every time I decide she's out of my head, I bump into her. I want her completely out of my life so I can think about stuff besides her."

The Genie asks what kind of stuff you wish you could think about besides her and you can't think of anything.

"That's the point," you say. "Make her go away and I'll find out."

The Genie says the next time you say goodbye to her, pinch your elbow while you do it.

"She won't die," the Genie says. "She'll still be out there. Somewhere. But your paths will never cross. And you'll never even hear about her through friends. Even though she might be sitting a few rows behind you in a movie theater, you'll never turn your head at the correct angle to catch sight of her."

You ask him which elbow and he says he's not telling.

You bump into her the very next day and your heart shoots out your mouth and she touches your hand once and that spot where she touches it glows you can feel it.

"Okay bye," you say while squeezing your left elbow. You walk away three steps then you turn around but she must have already gone around the corner.

You spend the next few days looking for her just to make sure the spell worked. With every passing hour of not bumping into her, instead of confirming the effectiveness of the spell, it only makes you wonder more and more if you pinched the correct elbow. You haven't seen her yet, sure, but if you didn't pinch the correct elbow she could pop up at any given moment. No matter how long you go without seeing her, you could still bump into her tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or the one after that. If you didn't pinch the correct elbow.

You grow obsessed with finding her. You look for her in crowds. In the windows of office buildings. On the subway. On your television during local news segments. In the reflections in shop windows. On the inside of your eyelids.

"I pinched my left elbow," you tell the Genie after tracking him down at a cigar bar. "Is that the correct elbow?"

The Genie blows some smoke through a smile.

"This is one of those Genie wishes where I wish something and my wish ends up making the opposite happen?"

More smoke, bigger smile.

"I wished she'd disappear from my life but now because I can't be sure if the spell worked, I can't stop wondering if I'm going to see her," you say. "It's worse than before."

The Genie chuckles.

"Best part of this one," the Genie says. "Is if you bump into her, you'll know which elbow is the correct one to pinch. But after searching high and low, when you finally see her again, do you think you'll pinch the correct elbow this time?"

That's how this ends. After about five months you see her at a bar and you two are the only customers there and she's really happy to see you and you're stunned that she's really there. And then you realize that you now know which elbow is the one that works but you probably won't pinch it I mean you spent all that time looking for her even though you tried to make her disappear you two probably aren't supposed to be apart.

Happy Pinch Your Elbow While Saying Goodbye And She'll Be Gone Forever Day!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

You And This Guy Dan You Both Make Engines Day!

"There's someone I'd like you to meet," your friend Karen says. "His name's Dan. He makes engines too."

You ask her what kind of engines.

"Who cares."

Dan lives on the other side of the country so you ask for a couple vacation days, buy the $700 plane ticket, and fly out to meet this guy Dan.

"Karen says you make engines too," you say.

Dan nods.

"What kind you make?" you ask.

Dan spends a couple hours telling you what kind of engines he makes, then you spend the next couple hours talking about the kind of engines you make.

After a moment of silence when you're both sipping your beers and staring at the TVs, Dan says, "Guess we're friends now."

"Best friends I guess," you respond.

You fly back home, feeling excited to get back there, elated really, knowing that you have a best friend now.

"Thanks Karen," you say to Karen when you meet up with her. "Dan's a good guy."

Karen loses it on you and everyone else in the bar screaming about how no one ever bothers to fucking find her a new best friend even though she's fucking delightful everyone says so and she's always going out of her motherfucking way to help everybody else, "But does anyone ever goddamn think to return the fucking favor nooooooooooooooo oh noooooooooo not for good old Karen she can take care of herself well I fucking can't take care of myself you all hear me do you need to shake the fucking beer out of your ears I can't do this alone I need a goddamn best friend goddammit!"

Happy You And This Guy Dan You Both Make Engines Day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

You Teach American History In The Caves And You're Starting To Fall For One Of Your Students Day!

You're only 25! Fighting for water and weapons has made these boys look so much older than 17! And since society has fallen and members of the resistance have been chased underground to preserve what life was before the End, doesn't it make sense that some of those old customs might have fallen away in the retreat under the soil? Specifically, age of consent laws? The life expectancy down here is 38!

Brandon is adorable with an anxious stare into the distance that's not like all the other anxious stares into the distance that occupy the eyes of the other boys you teach. Like Brandon can see something more than fires and armored squads pulling people from their homes and putting them onto military carrier vehicles retrofitted for civilian policing. Like Brandon can see a moment of tenderness he still remembers from the Before. Perhaps it's the last moment of tenderness he ever experienced.

You want to give him another.

You're supposed to teach them what was. You're supposed to teach them about trusted leaders and peaceful streets and social compacts that said neighbors should never report each other to the Registrars. You're supposed to teach them about the childhoods they never had. And you do. And you want to.

Except for Brandon. For Brandon you want to expand your syllabus and teach him what it means to be touched by a woman and feel everything else in the world fall away.

Yes you're 25 and yes he's 17 but dammit, you're his history teacher! You teach history so your students can make a better one for themselves. Where is the harm in you and Brandon sneaking away, finding your own special private nook somewhere in these filthy caves, and using every inch of your bodies to shape a tiny little pocket of history together?

Happy You Teach American History In The Caves And You're Starting To Fall For One Of Your Students Day!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Upgrade To Love Day!

He comes in with a reservation for Economy.

“You deserve better,” you tell him.

“No one ever told me that before,” he says.

You hit some keys on your keyboard. You hit more than you have to in order to keep him there at your counter a little longer.

“You deserve Standard at minimum,” you say. “Premium even.”

He shakes his head.

“You don’t know what I’ve done,” he says. “You don’t know who I’ve hurt.”

You reach across the counter and grab him by the lapels of his J Crew pea coat.

“Everybody gets hurt,” you say. “It’s how we know we’ve loved.”

He is startled. He is silent. He waits patiently for whatever your next word might be.

“I’m upgrading you to Luxury,” you say. “With a catch.”

He asks what catch and you tell him he has to take you with him.

“Wherever you go. I’m getting into that car with you and you are taking me wherever you go. Because you standing on the other side of this counter tonight feels like I finally found the reason I took this job eight years ago.”

You tell him to initial next to the part of the contract that says he can never let you go.

“Thank you for choosing Avis,” you tell him before leaping your hips over the counter and falling into his arms, then leading him to the Cadillac XTS Or Similar that will drive the two of you down that long and bumpy highway to lifelong love.

Happy Upgrade To Love Day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

You're In Some Girl's Trunk Day!

She put you in there and said you had to stay there until she could find a good place to park for the two of you. It's nice in the trunk. Every few hundred miles she stops for gas and opens the trunk to throw you some hot dogs and Sprites she bought from the gas station. She looks really pretty with the blue sky around her reddish brown hair when she throws you hot dogs and Sprites. The spare tire works as a pretty good pillow for when you get sleepy. And there's a bag of her clothes in there that she must have intended to give to Good Will so you like to pull those out and smell her on them. She smells nice.

One time she got pulled over and so you kicked at the trunk until the cop made her open it. He looked at you, then at her, and he said even though it's probably a crime you two make such a good couple that he'll let it slide and slammed the trunk shut. Who are you to argue with law enforcement?

She kissed you in Utah. Pulled over at a Scenic Overlook, opened the trunk, grabbed your face and kissed it until she was done. You've been hoping for another every time the car comes to a stop. Maybe this next one.

It's been a good seven weeks now. A good nine or ten thousand miles. She still hasn't found a place to park for the two of you. You're starting to wonder if she ever will. You're starting to worry that she might just let you out and drive away. 

Or maybe she just wants to drive. That'd be fine if she just wants to drive. Things weren't working out so well for you before, so being there in her trunk, smelling her clothes, sleeping on her tire, hoping for one more kiss, that'd be fine if she just wants to drive.

Happy You're In Some Girl's Trunk Day!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Co-op Board Meeting Day!

The last time you saw her she was twenty-six years old and screaming at you from across a rest-stop parking lot, waving down a truck to give her a ride. When she walks into the co-op board meeting she's thirty-eight and she has hips now. Good God she looks good with hips now.

She sees you and her face goes white and she rushes for the door to run but she jiggles the knob and accidentally locks herself in. Panicked she finds a far corner and puts a trash can between herself and you.

You jump out of your chair and leap row after row to the rear of the room to get as far away from her as you can.

"I moved all the way across the fucking country!" you shout at her. "I put 3000 miles between us!"

"So did I you dumb fucking piece of shit!" she shouts back. "I fucking hitched my way here after leaving you at that Roy Rogers you asshole. You followed me!"

"You followed me!" you counter. You grab a stapled packet of meeting minutes and throw it at her. She grabs a paper bag out of the trash can and throws it at you. A partially eaten sandwich falls out of the bag and hits Manny from 11D in the chest. 

"You two know each other?" Paul the board president asks.

"I think they used to date," Natalie from 2B says. "I think they broke up and each of them moved across the country thinking the other would stay put, but they ended up in the same city and now she's trying to move into the same building as him, into, um, which unit?"

"4C," Paul the board president says.

"That's right next door to mine!" you shout. "No fucking way! I vote no."

"She's already been voted in," Paul the board president says. "At the last meeting that you didn't attend. She's just here for an introduction. She's got solid credit and hers was the only offer that met our asking price."

You take a step away from the wall. "Withdraw your offer."

She comes out from behind the trash can. "Fuck you," she says. "I'm already in escrow. You can move."

You're feeling bold. It's been twelve years. You're older, sadder, the tissue of your heart's gone hard. You can face her without falling for her. You can take another step closer.

"You can live anywhere you want," you say. "Anywhere but here."

She moves to the center aisle. She's moving toward you. You try to stay strong but she has hips now dear God she has hips now.

"Sell your place, move back to Baltimore," she says. You see a slight wobble in the next step she takes. She's weakening too. "I'll buy your unit and I'll knock down the fucking wall."

"That would have to be approved," Paul the board president says.

You take another step toward her. And another. You're no longer moving toward her of your own volition. You're being pulled. You can feel her taking over. Already, still a few steps away, you can feel her in your veins.

"Jess," you plead. "I was doing so well, Jess."

"Then run," she says, also pleading. "Open that door and run. Because I can't move anywhere but three little steps straight ahead."

You take one step. She takes the second. The third you take together and you're in each other's arms and on the ground and your neighbors are ducking as your clothes go flying about the room.

Paul the board president bangs the gavel he bought himself and adjourns the coop board meeting, yielding the room to your reunion. A month later you'll both return to the meeting to request to knock down the wall between your apartments. Six months after that you'll both disappear without warning leaving all your possessions behind. 

Happy Co-op Board Meeting Day!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Here's a little info about this here blog.

The following is an amended version of what I posted on, the tumblr where Girls Are Pretty lived for the past few years. I'm putting it here too because I want people who come here to read it if you didn't. 

I started Girls Are Pretty back in 2002, updating it every day for several years before I slowed down and focused on other stuff. Because I’m bad at bothering to do things right, I moved the blog around a bunch of times, and the entries have ended up scattered about many different platforms. First it was on blogger. Then when I put a lot of the entries into my first book Happy Cruelty Day, I paid a friend to design a full-on website. Then for God knows why I went back to a blogspot blog for a few years, until I moved over to Tumblr, a platform I never really understood or enjoyed at all.

Jumping around like that meant the archives in every location were incomplete. I’m now going back to the days of its infancy and just posting it here as a Blogger blog again. And I’ve managed to gather every single entry from all the different incarnations into this blog's archive.

So if you’re new to this blog and you want to read the thousand or so entries you might have missed, now has every single Girls Are Pretty Day since “Tell People You Took A Friend For An Abortion Day” on March 26, 2002. All 2,637 posts are there in the right column, and the search thing at the top works if you remember one you want to find again for whatever reason.

I’ll continue to update it sporadically, usually whenever I hate whatever else I’m writing or I’m particularly filled with heartsickness or I want to passive aggressively address people in my life with missives too long for a subtweet. The design is as generic and ugly looking as the very day it started, back when I was living in an illegally converted office space in Los Angeles and discovering all the wonders a dial-up connection could deliver unto me.

I’ll keep everything here from now on. Even though I don’t update it that much, I like Girls Are Pretty. I like that it’s been around for so long and there’s so much of it and I like that all those posts are in one place again.

As long as I’m being sentimental, two people were really helpful to the site in the early days and I want to type their names onto the Internet now. A few months after I started it, Leslie Harpold contacted me out of the blue and actually just went ahead and registered the damn domain for me. Even though we’d never met in person she walked me through moving off of Blogger and making things look more legit. And Chloe Weil created a gorgeous design for the fancy site it lived on for a while. They’re both missed.

In closing, all my stuff is here now if you want to read it.

Also, buy the book version, Happy Cruelty Day. It’s got at least 50 entries that were never on the web, and when you buy it I get money.

PS: When I update it I'll tweet the link out from @girlsarepretty1 if you want to follow that. I'll probably tweet it from @bobpowers1 too I mean who are we kidding?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tell Seamless To Leave Your Food And Beverages In The Bucket You Lower To The Sidewalk On A Rope Day!

The delivery guys are used to it. They know when a couple starts fucking, sometimes they get scared to put clothes back on and go back outside because outside is where people make them do stuff like work or have conversations, basically do things other than fuck or lay around grazing each other’s skin with the backs of their fingertips.

You brought this guy into your bedroom like 5 weeks ago and you’re hoping to get at least 4 more weeks of uninterrupted nudity on the books before you rejoin society. To keep from having to even go to the front door to get your food, just use the special delivery instructions field to tell the delivery guys how you want it done: “A bucket will be dangling from a rope outside my building. Please leave the burritos and Jarritos sodas in the bucket, then yank on the rope to ring the bell affixed to it so we know you’ve arrived. If you hear me screaming ‘Holy shit! Holy shit!’ it means we’re still fucking and you’ll need to ring the bell a few more times to be heard over the sound of this dude rocking my shit hard enough to shatter the wood of my futon frame. Please hurry we’re starving and need burritos in order to keep up our current pace.”

Before technology like Seamless, acquiring food and drink was one of the only reasons couples had to interrupt a fuck sesh and interact with non-naked people. Those days are over so stay where you are as long as you need. Though your roommates are starting to complain about the smell so maybe turn on a fan.

Happy Tell Seamless To Leave Your Food And Beverages In The Bucket You Lower To The Sidewalk On A Rope Day!

Friday, June 24, 2016

They’re Vacuuming Around You Now Day!

The air conditioning turned off hours ago.

It’s Friday evening and the only employees still in the office are currently sitting on this two-seater lobby couch.

The maintenance guy needs you to lift your feet so he can vacuum under them. You both laugh as you do it, your legs up in the air like you’re on an invisible amusement park ride or like you’re both fucking a ghost. The man pushing the vacuum runs it back and forth eight times, making you keep your legs up in the air long enough that he hopes your abs will give in and you’ll go home to your respective spouses.


“You have anything lined up?” you ask him.

“I might take some time off for a bit,” he says. “But I’m bad at time off.”

You nod, staring at his fucking wedding ring.

“If I hear my consulting firm has any spots to fill, I’ll let you know.”

“Thanks,” he says, staring at your fucking wedding ring.

It was six months ago that you got assigned to work alongside him on a data migration, and for the last four you’ve been unable to think of anything but him. You’re pretty sure he feels the same but you’ve never said a word, choosing only to hang on every one of his.

“It’s not fair,” you say.

He looks at you, very interested in what you’ll say next.

“It’s not fair that full time staff gets cut to save money. Soon the workforce will be nothing but us consultants.”

His shoulders fall. He looks away.

“We should stay in touch,” you say, your voice reduced to a whisper. You’re having trouble speaking at an audible pitch, like you know you’re going to say goodbye soon and your voicebox is powering down to prevent you from saying it.

“We should,” he says.

You won’t.

All you’d have to do is say “Let’s go” and you’d be in a hotel room within the half hour but you won’t. This isn’t someone you can be casual about. This is someone you would destroy everything for if you let yourself but you won’t.

The maintenance man is buffing the floors now.

He says something that you can’t hear. He leans closer to you on the couch and says it again but you still can’t hear.

He yells, “Maybe we should get going.”

You scream, “No!” You scream it loud enough that the maintenance man turns off the buffer to find out what’s wrong. He shoots you an irritated look.

“I’m not fucking leaving this couch,” you tell the maintenance man.

The maintenance man drops the handle of his floor buffer and stomps away.

It’s quiet now. He’s staring at your face from his end of the couch but you look straight ahead. If you turn and look him in the eye, even for a second, you’ll burn your whole life to the ground. So you just sit there next to him and look straight ahead, and you stay there, keeping one eye on the clock to make sure you don’t miss the last MetroNorth train home.

Happy They’re Vacuuming Around You Now Day!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Ex-Wife On The Roof Again Day!

“Dana,” you say. “Come down. You woke Pam.”

“Tell Pam to pop her tenth Ativan for the day and shut her hole. I need to think.”

You lean back in the window and assure Pam you’re taking care of it. Then you climb out onto the roof with your ex-wife.

“You can’t keep doing this,” you say.

“When you used to piss me off I’d climb out here and figure it out,” she says. “It’s how I decided to leave you. When I said you could keep the house I didn’t realize Stephen would start fucking up worse than you ever did.”

You ask her why she just doesn’t climb out on Stephen’s roof.

“Stephen doesn’t have roof access,” she says. “All we have is a shared yard but the douche who lives below us is constantly throwing meat into his smoker. Like in the middle of the night even.”

You puff up a little. “Guess leaving me wasn’t the fix-it-all move you thought it was.”

“Please,” she says. “You sucked.”

You sit in silence for a bit before telling her, “We’re re-shingling next week.”

“I just need a couple more nights.”

You climb back into the bedroom and fall asleep. In the morning when you go to your car you look up at the roof and Dana’s gone. Chalked into the shingles is a long list of pros and cons of leaving Stephen. The neighbors will probably complain about the profanity but you’re late for work. You’ll wash it off later.

Happy Ex-Wife On The Roof Again Day!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Your Dead Sisters Wrote You A Letter Day!

All your dead sisters wrote you a letter to tell you it’s your fault they’re dead. “You’re absolutely right to feel guilty that we died,” the letter reads. “We’ve been rooting for you to destroy yourself with booze and drugs and to convince others you don’t deserve an ounce of their respect. The way you’ve been lashing out at those who care for you until they turn their backs and split, great fucking work, shitstain. You’ve been doing a fantastic job. Keep it up, fuckdick.”

The letter is written on the inside of your eyelids and it’s only readable in that split-second of darkness when you’ve regained consciousness in the morning but you haven’t opened your eyes yet.

Happy Your Dead Sisters Wrote You A Letter Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Everyone At The Car Crash Just Fell In Love Day!

The drunk teen who was behind the wheel fell in love with the paramedic bandaging his head but the paramedic fell in love with the lady cop directing traffic and the lady cop fell in love with the dad who rolled down his window and asked “Hey what happened?” The dad fell in love with the college girl crying because her boyfriend’s cut in half on the guard rail. The crying college girl, now single, fell in love with the highway patrolman who gave her a blanket. The highway patrolman fell in love with both ambulance drivers and the Good Samaritan. Ambo Driver #1 fell in love with the bottom half of the kid cut in half on the guard rail and Ambo Driver #2 fell in love with the top half. The Good Samaritan fell in love with his wife all over again. He sees her in the passenger seat with the traffic lights sliding over her face and he wonders if it’s too late for them to rescue what they have. The Good Samaritan’s wife fell in love with the guy operating the jaws of life because who wouldn’t? No one will ever know who the dead kid cut in half on the guard rail fell in love with, which is why car crashes are sad and you should drive more carefully. Ten and two.

Everyone At The Car Crash Just Fell In Love Day!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Demolition At The Fuck Motel Day!

Last night they all checked in. They signed the waivers. They visited the ice machine and walked around the drained pool and stared out the window at the wrecking ball sitting dormant under the moon.

“You all have sixty seconds,” you say through a bullhorn. “Step outside and shout your joys.”

The doors all fly open and men and women shout over each other. They shout the names of the lovers they met there. The dates on which they occupied those rooms in an erotic quarantine, walled off from their children and temporarily delinquent from the promises they made to their spouses, spouses whose names they also shout. It’s a messy chorus, and when it ends, they one by one step back into their rooms and wait.

It’s a ritual dating back to the Intimacy Laws of the late 1800s. When a Fuck Motel is slated for demolition, former guests may volunteer to spend one last night in the room where they once experienced pleasure that proved elusive for the rest of their lives. Now, they sit on the edge of their beds awaiting the wrecking ball. It will forever bond them to the walls and ceiling and bedside tables that bore witness to their happiest hours.

Happy Demolition At The Fuck Motel Day!

Monday, February 29, 2016

You’re The Governor Of A Whole Goddamned State Day!

“Fuck!” you shout. “I wanted to date more. Put myself out there. I can’t do that if a whole Goddamned state is looking to me every goddamned time they need shit.”

Your assistant gets up from her chair and slaps you across the face.

“I am sick of hearing you make excuses for why you’re still single!” she says. “So you’re the Governor. Big fucking deal. Everyone has a job. If you want to meet someone you have to make time to get out there and meet them! I won’t hear any of this ‘I’m too busy thwarting a public employee strike’ or whatever the fuck.”

You look deep into your assistant’s eyes.

“Maybe I don’t need to date,” you say. “Maybe the one I’m supposed to be with is right here under my nose, but I’ve just been too blind to–”

She slaps you again.

“You’re not going to pussy out of this,” she says. “You need to put in the work. Quit looking for the quick fix!”

“Fiiiiine!” you moan.

Your assistant clears your schedule and commands you to spend the next hour Tindering.

Happy You’re The Governor Of A Whole Goddamned State Day!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Cremains Day!

Everyone in your family is fighting over who gets to keep your dad’s cremains. Your sisters are grabbing at the urn and then it spills and the ashes land on the prayer card you were given at the church service.

“It’s sizzling,” one of your sisters says.

The prayer card turns black and floats up to the ceiling.

“Did Dad sell his soul to Satan?” you ask.

Your sisters remind you of all the get rich quick schemes your dad was into.

“Wouldn’t put it past him,” your sister Janet says.

Then the blood pouring from the light fixtures drowns you all and you die wishing you had a dad with better business sense.

Happy Cremains Day!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Just The Mattress Now Day!

His stuff’s all been put into storage. He moves into his roommate situation in two days.

Your stuff’s in the middle of the floor at Harold’s. You’ve yet to begin blending your things together.

It’s just the mattress now. That’s all that’s left from your three years in this one bedroom together.

“Nowhere else to sit,” you say as you take your place on what’s always been your side of the bed.

“Harold excited to have you all to himself now?” he asks.

“Don’t,” you say.

He says no. He says it’s okay. He says he’s curious.

“Harold’s happy I’m moving in,” you say.

“You’re still moving in?” he says. “I thought you were already fully in there.”

“He’s in Singapore until Thursday,” you say. “And you and I still have two days on this lease.”

“So for the next two days…”

“Technically, yes.”

“We still live together.”

“Technically,” you say again. “Yes.”

He pulls a beer from the six pack sitting on the floor by his side of the bed. Hands it to you.

“So,” you say. “What should we talk about?”

“How this was?” he suggests. “How we did? Three years living together. Five years dating. Lot of ground to cover.”

“Like a post-mortem?”

“If you’ve got the time.”

You take a sip of your beer. Two days later you finish talking and head off to the rest of your lives.

Happy Just The Mattress Now Day!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hitchhike To Work Day!

Today you’re going to hitchhike to work. It will take you three different rides and two fended off assaults, but you’re going to experience the open road of your commute for once. Let those other suckers take the subway six stops, huddling underground like rats for the 20 minutes it usually takes you to ride in. You’re a dweller of the land and it’s time to see that land, to hear the stories of the people roving between your apartment and your office. When you finally make it in 90 minutes late and the other board members ask where you’ve been, you tell them, “America, man. America.”

Happy Hitchhike To Work Day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Stay Up And Listen To His Voicemail A Hundred More Times Day!

“I’m turning in,” your husband says.

 "I have some work to do,“ you tell him.

 He kisses you on the lips. It’s a sweet, happy kiss. He loves you and he never fails to let you know how lucky he feels to have you. You love him too. You know you hit the jackpot with him. And you can’t imagine a better way to live your life than to grow old with your husband by your side.

 But he’s going to bed right now. So it’s time to stay up and listen to the voicemail from Steven, who you haven’t stopped thinking about since he became your office-mate four months ago. He left you a message on Monday morning telling you he’d be in late. An email would have sufficed, in fact it would have been more practical. But there was no real reason for him to have your phone number when you gave it to him on his third week on the job, so why should he have a real reason to dial it?

 You’d never do anything to hurt your marriage. But you’ve listened to Steven’s voicemail about a thousand times since he first left it, and you’re just going to listen to it a hundred more times before bed.

Happy Stay Up And Listen To His Voicemail A Hundred More Times Day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tell Your Mom You Just Got Your Heart Broke Day!

“Good,” she’ll say. “Sounds like you fell in love with the wrong guy.”

Ask her to have some sympathy for you.

“The girls I have sympathy for are the ones who slide into a marriage like it was a pair of flannel lined pants. So easy and comfy. No one remembers being comfy. On your death bed you’ll remember this pain, and you’ll know you loved, little girl.”

You remember the phone call during which he told you he was lying to himself when he thought he could be with you, and you double over on the couch.

“Goddammit, Harold!”

Your mom’s soap opera has been interrupted by a freeway chase. The cops are chasing after her new boyfriend, Harold, who’s driving your mom’s car.

“I really thought he might be the one,” she says.

You both eat ice cream while she watches the chase, yelling at the screen every time Harold sideswipes another motorist in her car.

Happy Tell Your Mom You Just Got Your Heart Broke Day!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

You Wouldn’t Have To Negotiate With Hostage-Takers If Larry Listened To You At Home Day!

You used to be a hostage negotiator just to pay the bills and to have a good spot for yourself in the department. Over the years, you’ve ascended the ranks to become known as the finest hostage negotiator in the city. Anytime someone gets a gun pointed at their head, you get called in. And you owe all your success to Larry losing all interest in hearing a single word you say at home.

“Listen,” you tell the bank robber. “There’s no rush here. No need to start throwing out bodies, and no ticking clock on the demands. I can sit here on this megaphone all day.”

“But these people’s lives are in danger,” the bank robber shouts back. “And you’re wasting the department’s resources.”

“Forget those people and forget the department,” you say. “It’s just you and me, Larry.”

“Why’d you call me Larry?” he shouts.

“Larry’s my husband’s name,” you say, with a little feedback on the megaphone. “And since you won’t tell me your name, I’ma a call you Larry, since it’s nice to talk to a Larry who’ll hang on my every word. For once.”

The bank robber’s silent. So is everyone on the street.

“Oh you used to,” you say. “You used to cherish what I had to say, Larry. In those early days, it was like every single word that fell off my tongue held the secret of the universe for you. But those days are long gone.”

One of the snipers gasps audibly.

“I mean, did I change, Larry?” you ask. “Or did you just explore every nook and cranny of me and decide this mystery’s been solved? I come home every night telling stories about saving the day from desperate gunman threatening innocent lives, and for all the attention you pay me, I might as well have just asked you to remember to pick up a gallon of milk.”

Gusts of wind rattle through the police tape.

“Have you told him that?” the bank robber asks. “Have you demanded more from him?”

You chuckle into the megaphone. “My career has made me way more suited to listening to demands than making them, Larry.”

Everyone laughs. The bank robber, the bystanders. Even one of the hostages shouts “Good one!” before getting a rifle butt to the forehead.

“Besides,” you say. “What if he tells me why he stopped listening?”

“Leave him!” the bank robber shouts. The front door to the bank opens and as he steps out into the plaza, he shouts again, “Leave him and find someone you des–”

He’s tackled by police before he can finish giving you relationship advice. You drop your megaphone to the street, and you accept the pats on the back from your colleagues. Then you get in your car to drive around for a few hours before heading home to your husband.

Happy You Wouldn’t Have To Negotiate With Hostage-Takers If Larry Listened To You At Home Day!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bottom Day!

Tell your man, “This won’t get any worse.”

He’ll say he doesn’t think it’ll get any better either.

“But if we are cool with this,” say, “At least we know we can count on it. Like, we can know that tomorrow will be like today. It won’t be worse than today. That’s nothing to sneeze at.”

“And it won’t be better,” he’ll say.

Ask him what his fascination with things getting better is.

“I just feel like I have potential for better,” he’ll say. “And this won’t fulfill that potential.”

Ooooooooh. Nooooow you realize the problem.

“I feel like i have potential for worse. Much…much worse!” you explain. “And this doesn’t feel like it will fill that potential.”

Tell him your potentials aren’t compatible.Tell him you need to go find someone who believes, like you, that everything could go crashing through the floor at any moment, then ask if you can borrow his Vespa.

“I just need to drive until I find him,” say.

He’ll give you the Vespa key and a last kiss.

Happy Bottom Day!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

There’s No One At Your Office Anymore Day!

“Guess you didn’t get invited either,” the maintenance guy says to you.

“Invited to what?”

“Yesterday they were all like, ‘Let’s work somewhere else.’” he says. “They invited everyone they thought was cool.”

You ask him where the new cool office is.

“Dunno,” he says. “All I know is they think this office is played and for lame-o’s.”

The elevator door opens. Harold, the smelly guy in HR, steps onto the floor and looks around at the empty desks.

“Goddammit!” he says. “This happens at every place I work!”

You and Harold marry.

Happy There’s No One At Your Office Anymore Day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bloodstains Day!

“Are you killing again?” you ask her.

She shakes her head no, her eyes fixed on the TV.

“There’s bloodstains on the carpet,” you say.

She shrugs.

“And on the basement floor.”

“Maybe some kids got down there. Drank? Fought?”

“And on top of the refrigerator.”

“When did we last clean up there?”

“And under the bedsheets on my side of the bed.”

“Maybe your skin is dry.”

“I opened your dresser drawers. Nothing but damp bloody rags.”

“Hey,” she shouts. “You knew I was sloppy when you asked me to move in!”

“You’re covered in blood. Right now. Head to toe.”

She looks at the clock. “Oh jeez you’re right. And it’s already 8. I’m late for work!”

She gets up and runs to the shower. You get on your knees and start sopping up the puddle of blood she left on the couch.

Maybe she’ll quit tomorrow. Cleaning up after her kills might make you an enabler, but wanting her to quit shouldn’t mean you have to live in a messy house.

Happy Bloodstains Day!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

All Your Hostages Are In Love With You Day!

Your partner hangs up the phone with the FBI.

“They need three hostages.”

You pretend to not be listening.

“You go tell them or I will! Ask some of them to leave. You’ve got like nineteen guys back there.”

As you step into the vault you see their eyes light up.

“I need volunteers,” you say.

No one raises their hand.

“In honor of what we shared together?”

One raises his hand. “I’ll go. If the way to show my love for you is to leave you behind, then I’ll–”

“Fine, get your coat. Who else?”

Another raises his hand.

“We’ve only just gotten to know each other, yet it feels like we’ve known each other for years. So yes, I will honor our–”

“Great. One more. Come on. I promise to date you when I’m out of prison.”

Five hands go up. You pick the hottest one. Then you send the three volunteers out to where the police are waiting.

Back in the vault you can hear the racket. They’re writing songs about you, composing poems, screaming at God for making them meet you under such impossible circumstances.

“I might just go shoot them,” your partner says.

“Wait,” you say. “This one guy’s song about me sounds pretty good.”

Happy All Your Hostages Are In Love With You Day!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ask Your Mom What Made Her Fall For Your Dad Day!

“He blackmailed me,” she’ll say. “I did a hit and run. Thought I got away clean. But then there was a note on my door that read ‘I saw.’ We met and he gave me my options. Marry him or go to jail.”

You ask her why she didn’t just kill him.

“I planned to,” she says. “But he had a fail-safe. If anything bad ever happens to him a letter gets sent to the police telling them everything.”

She still doesn’t know where that letter is. You offer to go looking for it but she says no.

“I don’t want to kill him anymore,” she says. “I’ve seen what you’re going through on that dating scene and no way do I want a taste of that. Besides, people get married for far worse reasons than avoiding prosecution for vehicular manslaughter and fleeing the scene of a crime.”

You both look outside and watch your Dad shoveling snow.

“You’ll see, sweetie,” she says. “You get used to people.”

Happy Ask Your Mom What Made Her Fall For Your Dad Day!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Terrible Mistake Day!

“Hi,” he says, letting you in.

“I shouldn’t be here,” you say.

He nods and lets you in. You sit at his kitchen table. His roommates pass in and out of the kitchen, saying hello, gathering their coats, preparing to leave. There seems to be an understanding that sometimes they have to go when an important encounter is afoot.

“I remember this,” you tell him. “When I was your age. My roommates would vacate when I had a boy over.”

“And tonight I have a girl over,” he says.

You nod. Your eyes are on the one bottle of liquor on display in his kitchen. He grabs it and pours it and puts a glass in your hands. You down it while he opens a beer.

“So you’re here,” he says.

You nod, holding your already empty glass out to him. He pours.

“Can I just be a fun thing you did?” you ask. “A story you tell everyone? The older married lady you banged? You can even make fun of me. How old I am. If you just let it be nothing more than that?”

He lowers himself to his knees. His blue eyes are close enough to yours you have to down your glass to keep from looking away.

“I’ll tell this story,” he says. “I’ll tell it to you when we’re growing old together.”

“Oh fuck, man, come on,” you say. But his hands are already on you and you slip out of your clothes so fast you wonder if you were ever wearing any at all.

Happy Terrible Mistake Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Don’t Sleep Day!

“Why do you love me?” he asks.

You don’t have an answer.

“You can split or you can explain.”

You sit down on the floor, bundling up your coat under you for a cushion since he doesn’t have any furniture in his apartment.

“I’ll explain,” you say. “Just give me a minute.”

You drove a thousand miles to this tiny one-room apartment where he hoped to start his life again, alone, resigned to not building a life with you. And now here you are, and you should be able to come up with a reason why.

“Maybe I need five minutes,” tell him.

He pours some bourbon into glasses and he gets comfortable. It’s going to be a long night for the both of you.

“Just because I don’t know why I’m here doesn’t mean I don’t want to spend every single second of my life with you until you die first or I die first,” you tell him.

“I want a reason,” he says.

He hands you some paper and pens and you start drawing diagrams.

Happy Don’t Sleep Day!

Friday, February 12, 2016

You’re A Bronte Sister Day!

Today you’re Amber Bronte, the Bronte sister no one knows about because you’re still temping until you can get your Life Coach business off the ground.

“That’s so great!” your three sisters say to you when you tell them you now have four steady clients and your friend says he can build you a website for free. You don’t add that you think he might want you to sleep with him, and you don’t add that you might go ahead and do that if it means free website by summer.

“You have such persistence!” your sister says.

“Seriously you never give up, no matter how discouraging things are,” your other sister says.

The backhanded digs have begun. Time to throw the focus away from you.

“How are your book tours?” you ask.

They spend the next hour complaining about lackluster promotion from publishers, poorly appointed author accommodations provided by far-flung bookstores, and fans who want too much from them at book signings.

“Oh, Amber, I based a character on you in my new book,” Charlotte says.

Oh dear God.

Happy You’re A Bronte Sister Day!