Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Finish Your Beers Day!

You by the door.

You in the back.

Down it.

You too. Slap the shit back, ya'll.

Both of you, now, slam your pint glasses down on the faux wood table top.

Slam from the man by the door. Smack goes the lady in the back.

In unison, you hear your clap in stereo. You both look up to ask "what was that?" You both look up into each other's eyes. You both get up, step out from behind your tables, and you give out the grades.

shorter than I'd like but her tiny smile packs a whallop. i hate her tits but love her hips. i just hope she doesn't open her mouth and say she's the one for me.

tall enough but his nose is stupid. however, and this is good because this point is non-negotiable for me, his eyes are prettier than my mother's. his hand's on his belly, i want it on mine. if he's sweet i'll kill him in his sleep and get the hell outta there. tonight.

Now move to each other, move through the bar towards where you got no choice but to keep going to, to the center of the floor, just in front of the waitress' service station, and hold hands. Not like you're gonna be holding hands a year and a half from now on the way to brunch. You, take her left hand in your right. Lift it from her side and watch it. You, watch it too, but also watch him watching it. Watch him watch his thumb glide along the skin of the back of your hand. This is the first time he's doing that. This is the first time he's touching your skin. You haven't even kissed yet.

This is the first time he's touching your skin.

Happy Finish Your Beers Day!

Monday, September 29, 2003

Your Dead Girlfriend's Dirty Black Sweatjacket Still Smells Like Her Hair, And Your Dead Girlfriend's Hair Always Smelled Like Fire Day!

You search every morning when you wake up with the jacket in your arms, and you search again most Saturday nights after 2 AM, but there aren't any strands left.

You took them for granted. When you first pulled the jacket from underneath the afghans, it was caked with so many stray strands of her hair you were forced to wonder whether she had had more to worry about than she ever let on to you. You'd pull the strand from the bosom of the jacket and let it coil up in your palm, and you'd set aside a few days at a time to just lay in bed and stroke that lock of your dead girlfriend's hair, but you never made it past a few hours. Hair just disappears. One distracted glance and it either catches a breeze and floats away to the dustbunnies under the bed or it just stops being.

Maybe you and the strand of hair have that in common. Maybe the strand of hair feels that continuing to exist without your dead girlfriend around is just as pointless as you do. But maybe the strand of hair has the power to simply will itself out of the universe, whereas you have to use a gun and/or pills.

No more strands of her hair left. It's been four months of intensely regimented mourning after all. But the scent is still there. The one you used to smell when you pressed your lips down upon the top of that parted-down-the-middle mop of deep deep stringy brown.

You smelled fire. Not smoke, ash, sulphur or the debris of aftermath, but only the fire. Perfect, terrifying flame. The scent it would release if it could ever roam alone. If it could ever wear a belt or drink a glass of whiskey. If a flame could weigh something, that's what her hair stunk of.

And it's what her jacket still stinks of. So stay in bed and hold it over your eyes and your nose and your mouth and your neck and breathe it in. It's perfect.

Happy Your Dead Girlfriend's Dirty Black Sweatjacket Still Smells Like Her Hair, And Your Dead Girlfriend's Hair Always Smelled Like Fire Day!

Sunday, September 28, 2003

You've Got The Special Scent Day!

You smell like my ache. You stink of everything I crave, every lonely pant in the middle of my gargantuan twin-sized bed on a Saturday night. My friends all say you're disgusting because your breath stinks of coffee and cigarettes. But when I sit in the path of your exhalation, all I smell is that time I wanted my Dad to say "good job" but he refused. Your hair stinks of snowy walks and your clothes smell like Sundays in bed. Your feet reek from car trips to foliage and your ass indicates you weren't too careful about wiping away the kiss you put to the tip of my nose leaning across the tabletop of a candlit dinner. You smell like what I think about when I drink.

Happy You've Got The Special Scent Day!

Saturday, September 27, 2003

If You're Both Attractive, Stay Together For The Sake Of The Rest Of Us Day!

You know couples who hated each other but continued fighting it out for twenty years for the sake of their fucking kids. Who'd that help out?

But you two are a sight for sore eyes. When the metropolitan population sees you two leaning into each other to share a brief peck during a wedding ceremony, or on the sidewalk clutching at each other's jackets and watching grimly as a fleeing shoplifter is tackled to the pavement by an undercover police officer in the middle of the street, or walking down the street holding hands, we are reminded of a few things:

1. I should not wish for that person to be inside of me because such a wish is unrealistic. That person belongs with someone more attractive than myself. I can go about my day now.

2. Beauty can comprehend "beauty." And beauty is fond of itself.

3. If both parties in a relationship are beautiful and each has brown hair, as a couple they will necessarily be far more beautiful than a blonde-haired couple. And they cannot be stopped.

4. Given the opportunity, I would have no choice but to watch them screw, though I would be frightened of how such an experience might affect me in the long run. Kind of like seeing the face of God, right?

5. If you think about it, blonde hair is kind of a birth defect.

6. It is possible for events in this universe to be absolutely appropriate.

7. If two people look good enough together, they should be ordered to walk around a lot in my neighborhood and I'd appreciate it if they'd buy bagels where I buy bagels. I'd like to pick out their sweaters as well.

8. Love is a myth. But physical beauty may be objectively graded on a scale of 1 to 10. Those two in a park in autumn are like a 90,000. Jesus I hate my dad for getting drunk and holding my face over the stove when I was nine, leaving me to live with this miserable scar just below my left eye. I'm sick of meeting people and knowing they're going to call a mutual friend later to ask for an explanation.

9. I was in love once. And the feelings I held for my lover, if I were to imagine those feelings of love taking the form of a little tiny couple in love themselves, that love-couple would look like those two. Except with different shoes. And, oh wait, is that dude wearing an earring? Oh wait, sorry, never mind.

Happy If You're Both Attractive, Stay Together For The Sake Of The Rest Of Us Day!

Friday, September 26, 2003

On Loan From The Museum Of Incredible Asses Day!

It's just a really fucking old chair. This is why all museums suck dick. They name an exhibit "Knights In Shining Armour!" so you show up and you get like two suits of empty chainmail and then about five rooms full of wooden bowls "from which jousters would take their porridge!" Total bullshit. Where are the human heads that have fossilized upon the tips of spears?

Then you saw a banner through your bus window that read "On Loan From The Museum Of Incredible Asses - Through October 12th" so you decided to give museums one more shot. And here you are staring at the indentation in the plush velvet cushion of a bejeweled dining chair that purportedly supported Queen Elizabeth I during her morning Froot Loops. "Yes," you think. "I'm sure the Virgin Queen had an ass that was out of this world. But I didn't pay a 25 cent donation today just to look at a seat cushion that had to endure the Earl Of Leicester dropping to his knees and digging his nose into the fucking upholstery every time the help stepped away to apply a balm to their eczematic scales." Break some glass.

Happy On Loan From The Museum Of Incredible Asses Day!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

She's All Fireflies Day!

If she gets up from the grass the world's gonna come to an end. If she breaks the stride of the stroke of her hand through your hair all the babies in the world are gonna start screamin all at once, yes they will. If her pants fall lower on her waist and cover up even one more centimeter of that creamy little ankle the spirit of our troops overseas will fall to an all-time low, nothing but letters home begging for swap meet play-by-plays, yup it'll happen that way. If she doesn't put her lips to your shoulder forty five thousand times before midnight, from now on math will be wrong. If you ever feel unsure about the number of freckles on the back of her baby girl hand, you'll stop drinking.

And if she ever asks a question and her pitch black eyebrows don't frown...fucking hell

But it's all about timing
It's just because it's Indian Summer
You're getting more than your share of something you actually enjoy for once in your life but trust me
Couple more weeks and you're gonna have a coffee with someone who looks better in sweaters
I'm telling you, she's all fireflies

Happy She's All Fireflies Day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Her Boyfriend's Name Is Rick Day!

Go to the bar again, she'll be there tonight. It's Wednesday.

This is how you know it's right between the two of you. Because she'll be at the bar tonight because it's Wednesday. Normally, you'll see a lady on the train that morning you get up ten minutes earlier and you'll think, "If I just get up ten minutes early every single day, I'll get to look at that lady every morning. And soon she will love me."

But you wake up early for a week and a half without ever seeing her again and you accept that perhaps she woke up late that day you saw her. Or perhaps she was only a visitor in your city. Or perhaps you only imagined her. You do that sometimes, imagine things that never really happened. It's been getting worse lately, btw.

This lady who is at the bar on Wednesdays, however. She is at the bar on Wednesdays. The first time you saw her there, it was a Wednesday. So you naturally made a point of going to the bar the following Wednesday to see if she would be there (your appointment book is pristine). And on that following Wednesday, she was there. Just like all those Wednesdays in August. This has never happened before, a strange lady sticking to the schedule you assume she'll keep.

So go to the bar again. She'll be there and her boyfriend's name is Rick. You heard the bartender (a lady) ask her about "Rick." And when she was on a cellular phone call, you heard her say both "Rick" and "Goddammit Rick." Rick is her boyfriend's name and he doesn't come to the bar on Wednesdays.

But you do. Win her. Tell her the story about how your mother has been in a psychiatric facility for twelve years and you stopped visiting her in 2001. "It got so I couldn't catch my breath for a week after I'd visit. So I've had to pretend that my mother is dead in order to go on living myself." Your story will intrigue her. And the fact that you chose to confide in her so suddenly will trick her into thinking there is a connection between the two of you, and soon she will love you.

Happy Her Boyfriend's Name Is Rick Day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The Aircraft Carrier Day!

Today, the aircraft carrier is thinking, "It's cool and all, I mean, it's my job, but seriously, FUCK AIRCRAFT! Or, I mean, planes."

Planes, choppers, pilots and those guys with the glowsticks. They're all on the aircraft carrier's back and they act like they're doing it the fucking favor. "I'm fucking huge," thinks the aircraft carrier. "There's a majesty about me. But they don't ever see it."

Just then though, the Aircraft carrier stops its grumbling because it notices Private Nairns alone on the upper deck with a letter clenched in his fist. Nairns is standing still and he's not looking at anything. Just has his eyes open.

"That's Nairns," the aircraft carrier says to people just like you and me. "Looks like he got another shitty letter from his girl. He really loves her, but she does this all the time. She seems real twatty. I mean the guy's at sea."

Looks like Nairns' pain is just what's needed for the aircraft carrier to put things into perspective, because it'll stop bitching until Nairns goes back to his bunk. Then it will think, "Some of these guys are okay I guess. But most of them, God I hope they die."

Happy The Aircraft Carrier Day!

Monday, September 22, 2003

Take A Class In How To Tell The Truth Day!

This is offered at most continuing education centers and some of your more prestigious community colleges. Here's a bit of the syllabus:

9/23: How to say "Yes" when someone asks if you love them and you do. Reading: ch. 6, Aronson.

9/30: How to say "Yes" when someone asks if you want the last piece of french toast and you do. Reading: ch. 8, Aronson.

10/6: How to say "No" when someone asks if you have enough money to buy this boat and you don't. Reading: ch. 3, Aronson.

10/13: How to say "Yes" if you're outside in a rainstorm with someone and that someone asks if it's raining outside. Reading: ch. 10, Aronson.

10/20: How to say "No" if you're dying and someone asks if you're relieved and you're not. Quiz.

The class is usually around $225. Enroll, or we're through.

Happy Take A Class In How To Tell The Truth Day!

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Your Guardian Angel Is Loaded Day!

It's been a hard week, what with you all of a sudden deciding that looking both ways when you cross the street is for homos. You're not the only corporeal being he's gotta look out for you know. Your guardian angel has got two others on his roster, and one is a speed freak for God's sake.

Additionally, angels don't line up trying to get on guardian detail. It's a pre-requisite if you've been declared an L9. L9 means you were kind of a cunt on Earth, usually selfish, sometimes just emotionally unavailable. And while it's not a crime in itself, almost of them were abusers of some kind of substance or other. Anyway, if you meet a guardian angel, you can bet your ass he's got a lot of regrets about how he handled his life on Earth. And God doesn't wipe those regrets away neither. Being a guardian is kind of a punishment. The assignment is given to Angels who don't wanna do nothing but brood over themselves and all the mistakes they've made, but they're charged with the responsibility of paying attention to the every movement of others and preventing those mistakes.

And once everyone on his roster is steered clear of uncovered manholes, your guardian angel has no choice but to go home, sit in his recliner, and get fucking blitzed to stop thinking about all the times he said no when he was too much of a pussy to say yes. And to stop thinking about the fact that all he has left is an eternity in the wake of a life just barely lived.

Now why don't you try not to fuck up for a little while? Let him cry in his recliner.

Happy Your Guardian Angel Is Loaded Day!

Saturday, September 20, 2003

And Then Laura Walks In Day!

You light some candles and then you go back into the kitchen to check on the roast your mother told you how to cook over the phone (your mom ain't dead like everyone else's and she's very excited about your decision regarding Laura). It's almost done. It looks almost exactly like the picture you saw on that website.

You go into the bedroom to change out of your tee shirt and into your pretty shirt, the blue one you always wear to weddings. Laura always says how proud she is to walk inside weddings with her arm hooked through yours when you're wearing that blue shirt.

You look at yourself in the full-length mirror and you let yourself take a moment to acknowledge that you look older than you did when you were younger. "But so does Laura. In fact, she's gained ten pounds since 1998," you say out loud. Time to take a seat at the empty dining room table and practice sending some pleas over the candlelight.

"Be my wife Laura. C'mon! Laura. Laaaauuuuuuuuraaaaaaaaaaa. Beeeeeee myyyyyyyyy wiiiiiiiiiife."

Take a sip of wine. Then,

"C'mon! We rule."

Now is when your should get down on your knees and take her hands in yours. Until Laura walks in, practice with the cat. Sit Mesopotamia on Laura's chair and take her paws in your hands.

"What do you wanna do, hit me and see if I can take all you got to give? Is that it Mesopotamia?"

Use Laura's name, even though you're talking to Mesopotamia.

"What do you wanna do, Laura? Wanna just hit me in the face and see if I can take all you got to give, Laura? Is that it Laura?"


Okay, let Mesopotamia go. You're ready. So you drink a few glasses of gin, no ice, no mixer, just straight gin, and then Laura walks in and you ask her what then fuck took her so motherfucking long. Storm out.

Happy And Then Laura Walks In Day!

Friday, September 19, 2003

The Winter Day!

Today, the winter is ten miles away. People are running through town with their babies in their arms. I saw a businessman trying to stuff his papers back into his briefcase. And a boy kissed a crying girl, right there in front of my eyes. They both had snowflakes in their hair.

There's a man in our hospital who says he was just lying there on his office floor minding his own business when the winter burst in and accused him of things. He said the winter accused him of unspeakable acts that he won't repeat to anyone except his own wife, who cannot be reached. It is believed that the winter got to her first, The man in the hospital swears the winter is a liar. He has a runny nose, the man in the hospital does.

Have you noticed how much dirtier the bottom halves of cars are? The ones speeding down state street, the only two lane street in town. Dustin said, "That's slush. Dontcha see?!"

Dustin wants to get us out of here. He thinks anyone who stays in town is in for it. I can't tell if Dustin really believes all the rumors he's repeating, or if he's just trying to scare me into packing up and running off with him. But I'm staying.

Happy The Winter Day!

Thursday, September 18, 2003

The Clean Woman Day!

Not to be confused with The Cleaning Woman, who is, ironically enough, filthy. No, today The Clean Woman is dead and her body is at The Undertaker's. She has already been washed of the vomit she had expelled down her chest when she died, and her hair is presently being rinsed.

The Undertaker uses an entirely incorrect soap and he scrubs in a most damaging semi-circular motion. This marks the first time The Clean Woman is being washed wrong since she was six, when her mother passed away beside the tub whilst giving her a bath. Just a little girl in a giant clawfoot tub, The Clean Woman had been used to being lifted from the water to the bathmat. But she had to run for help, so she climbed atop the edge of the tub and stepped down upon her dead mother's hip like a little stepstool. But her dead mother's frame adjusted under her weight and The Clean Woman lost her balance and her wet naked body tumbled atop her mother's corpse. Then she picked herself up, found a towel and fetched her father. Since that day, The Clean Woman has been very particular about her washing. And until today, there was never anyone trying to butt in and interfere.

Happy The Clean Woman Day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

16 Year Olds, In Love And Scalding Fucking Hot, Run Off And Get Married Day!

Her dress has got little flowers all over it and she wears it so well it could be the uniform for a comic book superhero called "Super Absolutely Delicious Girl." Jet black hair and eyelashes designed to let a teardrop dangle just a second too long for gravity to be real. Her little knees and her little hands.

He has a long black shadow where his eyes and eyebrows should be. He has the kind of steely fat-free body that looks like he'll soon be on the run for accidentally killing a drunk in a barfight for disrespecting his new bride.

They left last night at one am. He climbed up to her window, yup, and helped her down the awning, yes he did, and then they scaled the trellis, mm hmm, you bet your ass they scaled the trellis.

Now they're on their way to Virginia where he thinks it's legal to get married at 16 without a parent's consent and he might be right. Then they're on their way to Tucson to meet up with his Dad who he thinks will give him work, but who will just ask him for some money and who will make a pass at his new bride. He'll beat the shit out of his dad and they'll go to California where he'll start stealing cars and go to prison and she'll become a world-wide pop music sensation.

Happy 16 Year Olds, In Love And Scalding Fucking Hot, Run Off And Get Married Day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Crouched And Loaded Day!

You've been drinking all night and it's time to scare your friends before you get in the car (you're driviing, you shouldn't). Walking through the parking lot, you should make a sudden dash around the corner of the bar, pull yourself up against the wall, crouch down and wait for your friends to follow. Wait until they take their first steps around that corner and then spring up from your crouched position to scare them.

Unfortunately, your friends won't come around the corner before you fall asleep there against the wall set atop your bent knees. In fact, your friends won't come around the corner at all. Once you disappear, they'll all keep following for a few paces before Tommy will spread his arms and stop everybody.

"Wait a minute guys," he'll say. "I don't like the looks of this. We have no idea what's around that corner."

"C'mon," Jeff'll counter. "Let's just get to the car."

Tommy'll call to you. "Greg? Greeeeg!?" But you'll be unconscious.

"Oh shit," Jeff'll say.

"Greg's gone, man. Something around that corner got him. And it's probably right there just waiting for us."

Then they'll run and you'll continue to sleep on your crouched knees until 6 AM. You won't be able to walk for three days after you wake up.

Happy Crouched And Loaded Day!

Monday, September 15, 2003

Be The Star Of Your School Play Day!

Today, if you're the star of your school play, you'll get around 38 minutes of stage time, more than everybody else by nearly 14 minutes. Also, you'll get to kiss your co-star, which will happen right there on stage in front of everybody in the room. Even though she has a boyfriend and he's right there in the third row waiting to kick your ass, you get to kiss her. Her breasts developed two years ago.

Don't forget, if you're the star of your school play it will either help you get into college or it will light a spark in your belly that won't be extinguished until you've lived A Life in the Theater. The school play is called "The Music Man."

Happy Be The Star Of Your School Play Day!

Sunday, September 14, 2003

The Aunt Your Dad Cut Off Is Dead Day!

That's what that call was this morning at nine. No message, of course. But he'll call back. Your Dad will call and say, "Just want to let you know that, uh, your Aunt Elena. She passed away this week."

You'll say, "Oh God." And then you'll hope your Dad will talk again before you have to concoct some way to react to the death of a blood relative who has been forbidden to contact you since you were six.

Your Dad will say, "Yeah she had a stroke in her sleep. Or, actually just before she got to bed. Your cousin Jimmy found her."

Just wait for a second. Or say something like, "Jesus, Aunt Elena. It's so..." but use a tone that your Dad understands. A tone that says, "What the fuck did she do anyway, that you would cut your own sister off for the last 25 years of her life?" The tone will make your Dad laugh a bit, because your Dad can't believe he pulled it off either.

He'll chuckle a bit more just before he tells you, "So the funeral's tomorrow. I'm paying for it." Here's where he laughs out loud.

He'll tell you you're welcome to come but he understands that you have to work. But he will point out that he's using the caterers from your cousin Michael's wedding, who were awesome.

Happy The Aunt Your Dad Cut Off Is Dead Day!

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Do You Like Your Medicine? Day!

If your medicine is keeping you from, as you call it, "Living a scowl," then it might be worth the 30 pounds you've put on. But if your medicine is still leaving you feeling, as you described it, "Dusty. Here. In my sternum." then we can try to find you some different medicine. 30 pounds is a lot.

Happy Do You Like Your Medicine? Day!

Friday, September 12, 2003

Girl Of Fury Day!

Everyone can tell when you're about to stop being plain old Kim and start being Girl Of Fury. It's getting old and by the numbers, frankly.

You stop talking. You stop talking and the person adjacent to you at the table notices you haven't spoken for twenty minutes. That person thinks, "And it begins."

Next, you transmogrify into a beautiful blue light. From the barstools to the pool cues, all are transfixed by the wondrous glow that is you. For a moment at least.

Just as knees begin to weaken, that's when you begin to radiate heat. At first just a creaky throated desert heat. But after a few minutes, the bar is a kiln and the elderly are dead.

Next, the windows shatter, the shelves fall from the walls and the pretzel mix is in everyone's hair. That's when you start to freak out.

No one sees it, but everyone feels it. Everyone, one by one, suddenly feels they have less blood than they just did a second ago. They felt it get tugged out from just below the backs of their necks. Just a yank of blood into the air, but it doesn't splash to the floor. Rather, now a kind of gas, the blood of everyone in the room is intermingled and sucked into each person's lungs. They've lost life, and they have taken life from their neighbors. The people are tainted with each other.

Finally, you freeze time, then take corporeal form again and go behind the bar to down a few free Ketel Ones. And when you return to your seat, we return to our conversations, the memory nowhere to be found, all of us without suspicion.

We get it. Go learn a bar trick.

Happy Girl Of Fury Day!

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Cut Off Your Shoes Day!

You can smell your stinky feet from under your desk which means everyone who comes over to ask you a question can too. It's your shoes. You have to get rid of them.

To discard them in a brisk, clean manner, you don't want to touch the laces to untie them again. Every time your skin touches your shoes, that odor seeps a little further into your elemental being. Make today the day you put a stop to the rotting.

Be seated and put your right foot up on the desk, then hack through your ankle with a meat cleaver. This should not take more than ninteen or so swings. Once the cut is clean, get your left foot up on the block and again, slam a cleaver down upon your ankle over and over again until your foot flies from your leg and across your desk. Remember, no matter how sharp your cleaver might be, once you hit the bone all you're really trying to do is shatter it. You might as well be using a hammer really.

Once both your feet and shoes have been cleanly severed from your legs, light a match and get the hell out of there.

Happy Cut Off Your Shoes Day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Your Boring, Terminally Ill Boyfriend Day!

What. A. Fucking. Ripoff.

Of all the guys you've dated, the architects, the archaeologists, the lifeguards, it had to be Count Yawnsalot that ended up in a deathbed. This kid wouldn't know how to die if he took a Learning Annex class called, "Dying With Such A Flourish That Your Girlfriend Never Screws Another Dude Again."

"Isn't there anything you want to apologize for or anything you don't want to leave unsaid?"

"Um, I love you. Do you think there's anything I need to apologize for? If so, I apologize."

Fucking hell. Of course he has nothing to apologize for. He doesn't even hit. And all these years he said "I love you" more than he farted. "I love you" was the blanket he put you under so as to avoid having to focus on on anything specific about you.

"You must be pretty angry right now. About dying I mean. You must be furious."

"Luck of the draw I guess."

Fucking hell. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, he once said when you brought up the topic of you two trying to fuck differently. To him, presents were always sweaters and gold necklaces. He was a kind, generous man who would've given you anything you asked of him if it was within his grasp. An example of something that's not within his grasp: A refusal of all visitors, including yourself, for 23 days in an effort to say fuck you to the world and everything he ever cherished during his time upon it, before of course making a shaky peace with his fate and welcoming his loved ones to say goodbye, occasionally lashing out at them for not knowing what it's like to spend a night alone in his hospital room.

"I'm sure glad you're here with me. It really makes the time go by faster. Hey did you remember to put my baseball cards up on Ebay?"

"Mm hmm."

Fucking hell. To think, when he first told you he would be spending the rest of his life in the hospital, you imagined climbing atop his cancer-ravaged body in the dark, working for hours, days even to arouse an erection from him and guiding his body into yours for one final moment of utmost love. But some douche gave him Scattergories and now he's hooked. You love him to death but Christ almighty can't he give you some kind of drama that'll keep you locked up in bed for a few weeks after he's gone? Most girls don't get to watch a boyfriend die more than two or three times in a lifetime, and look how this one's being squandered away with a bunch of slightly tender moments and...fuck...is he fucking laughing at Will and Grace? Pretend to cry again and get the hell out of there for a little while.

"Are you okay honey?"

"I think I need some air. I'm just gonna miss you is all."


Aww fuck off.

Happy Your Boring, Terminally Ill Boyfriend Day!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Love Of Your Life Like A Deer In Your Headlights Day!

You stopped saying her name a long time ago. When you talk of leaving her, you refer to it as, "When I left Los Angeles." Your friends understand.

Your old friends at least. The ones who used to surround the two of you, who seemed to celebrate the love you shared. Dinner parties felt like ring around the rosie, everyone hopping out of their chairs, joining hands and revolving around the two of you at the first sign of you spooning some sorbet onto her outstretched tongue.

And your fights were like a long-awaited summer blockbuster. You would show up alone to the bar and brood by the payphone all night. Or someone would spot her having coffee with Alan, her ex-husband. Word would spread, anticipation would be at a fever-pitch. Until opening night, when your old friends would pull into a rain-swept parking lot and spot you with your hair drenched in spikes down your forehead, arms wild and wide, clearly sobbing, her in a floral-print dress hugging her frame, responding with black eyeballs and a wailing squeal of a scream. All plans would be cancelled, your old friends would park their cars in a circle, headlights pointed at the main event, they'd sit back in their seats and recline their necks and prepare to be awestruck and ask each other, "Hey how'd they do that?"

Your old friends saw it all so you necessarily cut them off and moved to Tempe. Where tonight, out with your new friends, somewhere around your sixth drink you'll bring up "Around the time I left Los Angeles" and the table will go quiet. No one will ask you, "What happened back there?" They'll just wait in silence to find out how much you're willing to offer them tonight. Whether you care to share more than the usual, "Guess sometimes things just stop being the way they oughta." Or whether you'll just down your last sips and pack up and go.

You'll down your last sips and pack up and go out to your car and pull out of your space too drunk to drive on an Arizona night. But you're good at it and you'll ass the Chevy out onto the highway. And you'll pause to search the crack of the seat for a cigarette, and you'll find one and light it and the lighter will haze your eyes to the flash of white that just ran across the concrete. Probably a coyote.

In gear, you'll spin the wheels left and edge out onto your way home, getting 14 feet down the road and no more than four miles per hour before she's back. Standing there in the middle of the lane, no blink, no smile, no tears. Just a suitcase and a floral print dress pulled south with the wind. She's back, staring straight at you, eight and half years after the fact. It's either nighttime or she's dead because she hasn't aged a minute. And she won't move an inch. Oh wait, here she comes.

"Can you take me home?"

Yes. She's leaning inside the open passenger door, her suitcase by her feet on the road. The lamp from the parking lot shining a halo on her head. Both of you must be dead. You always said the day you two share a smile again will be the day you shake hands in hell. Yes. You can take her home.

Happy Love Of Your Life Like A Deer In Your Headlights Day!

Monday, September 08, 2003

In Some Nightmares You Said Day!

Because last night was special, you were a featured character in five different nightmares. In your friend Jeff's nightmare you said, "I'm leaving town. You were right, we never really touch anything in our lives Jeff. You shouldn't have thrown Beverly away." In your Mom's nightmare you said, "Stop it! I can't get dressed." In the nightmare of Moira, a girl you met at a pizza dinner three days ago, you said, "Moira, you're too weak for me. Are we really gonna get married? It's good I guess." In your friend Kara's nightmare you said, "Just keep the bees away! They're getting into my shirt!" And in your very own nightmare, you said, "I'm sorry that I broke into your apartment and spent the night in your bed while you were at your boyfriend's. I was just dropping off some things and I got tired. You taking the train in?"

Happy In Some Nightmares You Said Day!

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Lay Back, Nice Wind Day!

In a field. In a park. In almost Autumn. In almost love. In the line of sight of bikeriders and baseball players and boys and girls on blankets cuddling. In bikini tops some of them. In sweatpants, shirts and ties, mesh tanks and spandex, all the others. In debt and hock and line for unemployment benefits. In the sun. In line with his lap, your head. Lay back.

Your long brown hair, half your neck, your smile now pointed straight up at the sky, your eyes now squinting to make out his nose, the conversation you're continuing to have as if this is the position from which conversations should continue to be had, all of it in his lap. Nice wind.

Happy Lay Back, Nice Wind Day!

Saturday, September 06, 2003

The Kind Of Guy Every Girl Dreams About Day!

He's got long, sharp fangs dripping with menstrual blood and clotted with chunks of uterine lining. He's drunker than he's ever been before in his life and he's proud of it. He owes you nine hundred dollars and he has a court date for a desk appearance ticket for public-- Correction: He had a court date for a desk appearance ticket for public urination last Thursday (no one, including him, knows where he was that day). He hits and once kicked. He often falls asleep sobbing into your breasts begging you to never ever leave him alone because he'll kill himself if you go, and then he wakes up and disappears for six days. Your roommate moved out to get away from him and you haven't been able to replace her yet so you've been paying double your rent. He sometimes smells like trash.

The dream every girl dreams, and the one you should dream today when you nap, is the one where you throw him out and he comes back and he says he's changed and you believe him, but this time you believe him because it's true. Then your dream should flash forward to later that night, to a fuck that lasts about 100 months, the kind where your physical form fades to dotted lines. Then your dream should flash forward about twenty years, to you sitting on a lawn in a park feeling wonderful about having the guy who is the opposite of everything that attracted you to him in the first place, a guy who is suddenly responsible, attentive, can fuck hard yet still be tender, employed, sober, doesn't say "cunt," showered, likes women, doesn't wear leather pants anymore, paroled, but who is still as attractive as the first night you saw him fall down and drool on something. When you wake up, change the locks because he's out of money.

Happy The Kind Of Guy Every Girl Dreams About Day!

Friday, September 05, 2003

A Nine Year Old Turns In A Poem About His Dad Beating The Shit Out Of His Mom Day!

The first line is, "It always happens at nighttime." The sixth line is, "Please mommy don't cry." Halfway down the page, the kid's hiding under his bed and near the end he's remembering a trip to the beach they all took when everyone was happy. The end is of course the kid pleading for mommy to wake up. Anyway, Mrs. Thompson will drop it into the assistant prinicipal's box before she leaves at 2:30 and family services should be on campus by next Wednesday to ensure that every step towards protecting the mother and child is ridiculously bungled, pretty much handing the father a handgun with two* live rounds in the clip, both of which will be discharged within six months.

Happy A Nine Year Old Turns In A Poem About His Dad Beating The Shit Out Of His Mom Day!

*Three live rounds should the father choose to turn the gun on himself after.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

A Popularity Contest Day!

You can win this because people love seeing love work out.

Janice and Frank were meant to be together. But Janice married young to Laurence, a miserable alcoholic who always made her show up alone to Scattergories night at your house. That's where she met Frank and that's where their love affair began. But they couldn't be together as long as Laurence was alive. Your entire circle of friends felt the frustration of seeing a love that is in every way correct being forced to hide behind closed doors. Every time someone got her alone, Janice was given the same advice: Kill Laurence but don't go to jail or anything. And if you were around, Janice would always invite your opinion with her eyes. And you could only shrug and say, "They're right Janice. Laurence has to die."

So after she bludgeoned Laurence in his chair with a lamp, she knocked her bloody fist upon your door and asked to use your shower. The police showed up not soon after and asked if anyone had anything to say about anything. You replied, "Yes." And you've been in jail ever since. And Janice and Frank are free and doing pretty well, though they're having a little money trouble of late.

You would say that your sacrifice was mere responsibility. Not just because they met at your Scattergories party. No. It was a responsibility to Love itself. And people who demonstrate responsibility in the presence of true love are very popular amongst friends and coworkers. You should enter the contest.

Happy A Popularity Contest Day!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

This Is A Kiss Day!

When you kiss her at the train stop, when you give her a kiss to send her on her way, when you give her the first kiss you'll ever give her for as long as you both manage to keep from fucking this up, say something first. Say.

"This is a kiss."

She was in position, her chin up high and her eyes waiting for something perfect to happen. And then you, as your head leaned in, as her eyes began to close, as your lips had just a few seconds traveltime before collision, you said.

"This is a kiss."

Your eyelids are parted just barely enough to make out the furrowing of a brow, the slackening of a mouth, the clenching of all the facial muscles that define the face of a person who is thinking, Did he just fucking say "This is a kiss?" Did he really? Did he? Seriously. Really? Did he say?

"This is a kiss."

When you pull your lips from hers, she will be in love with you. Yours will be the love that will not fade.

Happy This Is A Kiss Day!

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Will We Win The War? Day!

Today, as you sit in darkness in the depths of your underground bunker listening to the planes strafe your hometown in a thunderstorm of bullets and shells, your wife will try to comfort your crying child. She will say to the baby, "It's okay, it will be over soon."

Then she'll look at you as if you were responsible for all of this. She'll ask, "Will we win this war? Or are we just patiently waiting to die?" Shrug your shoulders without bothering to look at her and just continue eating your beans.

She'll shake your baby with a little more vigor and mutter to herself, "At least you could get out there and fight them like the rest of the husbands."

Say to her, "But I don't have any legs." It's true, you don't, and she'll buy it.

Happy Will We Win The War? Day!

Monday, September 01, 2003

Drive Slow Day!

There's someone in your passenger seat and she's marveling at how gray and autumn it is outside and she's marvelous. You're there, don't worry, she'd be lost if you weren't there with her. But lately, she's no longer scared you're gonna run off somewhere. So she's able to just stare out the window for a while and not moon over at you from behind her seatbelt every five minutes to let you know how wonderful she thinks it all is.

It's all wonderful. But now, wonderful is just another day. She knows it's going to stay that way, so she can stop trying to suck the marrow out of every single second of you and occasionally take in a sky that's all pretty and gray, a sky that's up above your head too.

Drive slow. Point at horses.

Happy Drive Slow Day!

(The following is what you were supposed to do yesterday and the day before that. Prettygirl hopes that you had a lovely yesterday and the day before that. If, by coincidence, your yesterday or the day before that adhered to the personal regression assignments below, write to prettygirl@girlsarepretty.com and tell Prettygirl how your day(s) went. The content of your email will not be reprinted on this or any other website, and your email will be deleted unread.)

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Go To His Rock And Roll Show Day!

He's a small boy with unpocked skin and adorably tousled, stringy black hair. He has an 8 1/2 by 11 inch flyer in his left hand and a scotch tape dispenser in his right. He's two back in line. You've already smiled at him. You recognize him.

A bagel sandwich has been paid for and the boy is now one back in line. He's not looking at you. He's making a concerted effort to stare deep into the case of muffins because he has something to ask you when it's his turn at the counter and he doesn't want to appear too eager. You're steaming a cappucino now and from around the corner of the machine you're able to make out a deep brown mole on his earlobe, looks like an earring, and you want it in your mouth.

A cappucino has been served and directions to the sugar counter have been given, and now it's the boy's turn. With the countertop between you, you're looking each other in the eye. But the floor behind the counter is raised three inches, which makes him three inches taller than you. Just enough. Hi.

"Hi. Can I put this flyer in your window?"

"What's it for?"

"It's for a rock and roll show. Tonight. My rock and roll band is in it."

"Go ahead," you say. He waits for an awkward millennium, and finally remembers how to walk away when you giggle a little.

He takes nine minutes to find a space in the window by the door, carefully tape the flyer to the glass, go outside to check that the placement is ideal, then step back in to catch your eye and shout from across the floor, "So, thanks."

"What's your band called?"

"The Evelyns. We're really good and I play guitar you should come tonight."

"Where is it?"

He doesn't answer. He just turns to the window and rips his flyer down, leaving four small triangles of white paper taped to the glass, and brings it to your counter before anyone can get in line for another bialy. He puts the sheet of paper in your hands. You make sure to never let your smile fade because he looks like he could easily be frightened away by a chance to second-guess. It's all written in rock and roll flyer sharpie scribble so you don't really read it. You'll read it later.

"You should come."

"I might."

He says okay and walks away with the flyer still in your hands. You should come.

Happy Go To His Rock And Roll Show Day!

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Put The Word "Love" On A Postcard And Mail It Day!

Tell her where you are, what's pretty about the trees and her, then put the word "love" at the bottom, just above your name. Then a "ps:" and something funny to dilute the terror caused by the "love" just a few centimeters up.

You won't have to worry about owning up to it for three more weeks. But you've still got four more cities to float through, and the next three weeks will be a lot less lonely if the word "love" is sitting in your handwriting on a bureau back home, a bureau that's held your wallet and keys and ripped up condom wrappers on more than a few wonderful nights.

A few wonderful nights when you kept her awake. When you and her watched dawn. And this way, from a distance of 1200 miles, you'll keep her awake at least that first night after the day she gets the postcard, and maybe a few nights after. She'll stay up all night, listening to that "love" hum from where it sits across the room on her bureau, and she'll argue with herself over whether or not to hum along or fuck Joe (he's been by while you've been away).

Put The Word "Love" On A Postcard And Mail It Day!