Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Learn To Spit A Loogie Up In The Air And Catch It In Your Mouth Day!

No other way to call yourself a lady. Plus, this is such an eyecatching talent that you can bet it's going to save your life one day. For example, let's say you've been captured by Rich Men In Suits who plan to detonate the bomb in the middle of the world. The room where you and the three Rich Men In Suits go to detonate the bomb has ultrasensitive floor tiles that can tell if more than four people are in the room at any time. If it does detect that there are more than four, the room will be gassed and firesprayed from jets in the ceiling.

You learn all of this and you're in there thinking, "I have to figure how I can distract them to pull the lever on the World-Bomb back up to fail-safe and then run. Hmmmm." So you shout out to the Rich Men In Suits, "Hey fellas, you said the ultrasensitive floorboards can detect whether there's more than four people in here, and even a drop of sweat can set off the trigger?" The Rich Men In Suits will nod in unison. You'll say, "Check it kids!" And you'll spit a loogie way up in the air.

The three Rich Men In Suits will run and dive through the air to try to swat your loogie into their fists. They'll clamor overtop each other and finally pile each other into a mound of Rich Man on the floor, each of them having swatted blindly into the faces of the others, not a one of them coming close to grabbing your loogie.

Ultimately, your loogie will land square on your tonsils and with a sharp gulp you'll reach out and bring the lever up to fail-safe, then you'll plant your high heels atop the pile of Rich Men In Suits and hop out the door. They're gonna chase you, but the man you love will have arrived by then and he'll have guns.

Happy Learn To Spit A Loogie Up In The Air And Catch It In Your Mouth Day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Boats Crash Day!

Today a lost oil tanker is going to float into your lagoon while you're not catching any fish (sometimes seems like that's the whole point of fishing doesn't it). The oil tanker will sneak up on you and it'll just give the back of your boat the gentlest little shove. You'll look way up to the Russians leaning out over the bow of the tanker and they'll be trying to sign something to you because they can tell you don't speak their language.

You won't be able to make out what they want from you, so the Russians will lower a crane and lift your rowboat onto the tanker. Once up top, they'll give you a glass of vodka and some caviar and hand you a globe. The Russian Captain will point to Russia on the globe and start nodding vigorously. You'll shake your head, lift his hand and spin the globe until you can put his finger on the coast of Maine. You'll nod vigorously.

The Russian Captain's eyes will go wide as he spins the globe slowly to realize how far they have to go to get their oil to Russia. Then he'll take his cap in his hand and start slapping another Russian over the head (the navigator, you'll assume).

After some more vodka and caviar, the Russians will lower you down to the lagoon in your boat so that you can continue fishing. But you'll be a little too tipsy from the alcohol so you'll just nap for a bit instead.

Happy Boats Crash Day!

Monday, March 29, 2004

You Have a Bomb In Your Bag Day!

When the FBI people come onto the plane, they show their badges and shout out into the cabin, "We're the FBI hot damn. We have reason to believe someone on this plane has a bomb in his or her bag and that's a hot damn. If any of you has a bomb on this plane, simply give it to us and we swear to God we won't yell."

You think, "Did I bring a bomb on the plane?"

The FBI men start to walk through the cabin, looking all the passengers in the eye. They stop midway through the cabin and the one FBI man says, "Ya know, everybody, we're not a bunch of big mean toughies trying to show everyone who's boss. We're only trying to make your flight better, hot damn. That's what we're doing here, we're just a special kind of flight attendant. The kind where you say, 'Excuse me, sir, but this bomb might disturb me.' And I'll say, 'Oh let me take that away for you then.' And I take it away and you never have to worry about it again." The FBI man looks at the flight attendant smiling behind him and he says, "But of course, hot damn, I could never make the outfit look as good as she does." Everyone laughs and the FBI men continue through the cabin asking passengers to give them bombs.

You think, "Oh Christ, I think there's a bomb in my bag."

You want to get up and pull your bag down from the overhead so you can check. You look down the aisle and you see one of the FBI men playing with a passenger's iPod. You begin to recollect packing your bags. Toiletries, socks, underwear, exams to be graded (you're a professor), polo shirts, um…bomb?

"Fuck," you think, "Where the fuck did I get my hands on a bomb?"

The FBI men have taken a short break, just kind of leaning on seats and staring off into space, when you stand up and say, "Look, can we please get this over with?"

One of the FBI men says, "We got our Joe."

The other says, "Hot damn." They come to you.

"You got the bomb, Joe?" says the one.

You say, "I don't know. I could, for all I know. Let's just check my bag."

The FBI man points to the overhead compartment and you nod. The FBI man pulls the bag out and unzips it without worrying about a goddamn thing. He roots through the bag, finding no bomb. But he does find a three-pack of Trojan condoms.

He holds the condoms up and says to the cabin, "Look what I found everybody."

The other passengers turn to see the three-pack of condoms and they either laugh or faint.

The FBI man says to you, "What are you gonna have sex?"

You say, "I'm not sure. So there's no bomb in there?"

The FBI man says, "No bomb. But thanks for letting us check your shit. LET'S MOVE!!!" he shouts to his partner. They casually continue through the cabin.

Happy You Have a Bomb In Your Bag Day!

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Back To The Basics Day!

When you wake up with your face in your pillow, say "Fuck you pillow." Slip your legs out onto the floor and tell each floor board to "Go fuck yourself fuckin floorboard" until you get into the bathroom to give your toilet the finger. Before you sit down and take a shit, give your medicine cabinet an up-yours arm-slap. Take a shit, but before you flush, lean down close to the bowl and whisper to your log of shit that it is a miserable wad of uselessness and that it is poor. Flush the toilet, waving goodbye to your shit as if you were taunting a man about to be hanged. Then go beat the shit out of your coffeemaker.

Happy Back To The Basics Day!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

A Life On The Streets Day!

When you were nine, you felt coddled in your middle-class life with two loving parents and free food and schooling. So you took to the streets to find something real.

And the streets took to you. Tricksters and hucksters alike could see in those nine-year old eyes the glint of lawlessness. They brought you on, but kept you at bay. As with all the best outlaws, you were invaluable to your employers, but your employers knew that one day you'd make a move against them. On the streets, climbing the ladder means picking off whoever's on the upper rung.

Within six months, you were running your own corner, selling keyrings. By age ten and a half, you owned your block. Anyone tried to move so much as a water-pick in your neighborhood, they knew you got a taste. Not long after your twelfth birthday, you took control of the trade that would bring you more money and power than any crook had ever imagined. Animal Shelters.

Shelters got cash from the city to fund all their vets through all the spaying and neutering the city's rescued pets might need before they went to a good home. Ten percent of that cash went to you. You did it the right way, you showed the shelters respect for the service they provided. You took just enough to make a nice profit, and they had more than enough left over to remain comfortably in operation. In exchange, they got your muscle with the cops and you had city hall on speed dial. They needed you to get their funding and to speed through the red tape to build into new neighborhoods and get their permits for outreach programs.

No one else saw what you could see. Non-profits are the ideal partners in crime. It's so obvious it's right there in the name. Not only do they have no interest in turning a profit, by law they're not even allowed to hang onto the money. All they wanna do is stay in business and feel like they're doing what they set out to do, which is help out somehow. And the government makes them jump so many hurdles they got no problem with funneling city cash to someone who actually makes things easier for them. That's where you came in.

The veterinary trade made you a giant, and by the time you were sixteen you'd swooped into every other social service you could find. While the other kingpins were out getting shot trying to push drugs, you went into cahoots with the needle exchange folks, robbing the trucks carrying the needles and taking half what the program was going pay to the legit providers. Soup kitchens put a new wing on your house. You'd rob the soup trucks and bring the chicken noodle to those in need while pocketing a big hunk of grant money. And breast cancer research proved to be a good racket as well. Those breast cancer research trucks never expected to face a robbery, and they handed over the keys without a stammer.

But when you were eighteen, things started to get silly. Rival gangs were pelting your soldiers with water balloons full of shaving cream. The new administration proved harder to work with, and the mayor made the cops come down on you and your trade. Suddenly, you couldn't move so much as a month's supply of birth control at planned parenthood without some cop holding out his hand for some cashews. And then the cable company started snooping around. The vision that helped you climb so high was suddenly going blurry. You were going to have to finally follow the beaten path. Just like every crook who's getting tired, you decided it was going to be one last score and then you were gonna get out.

So tonight's the night. There's eight trucks full to the brim with welfare cheese pulling into the warehouse district tonight. You've got every last thug on your payroll armed to the hilt with wiffle ball bats and rape whistles. By dawn, you'll either be on an island in the pacific, or you'll be covered in magic markered obscenities from head to toe. You're only twenty one, and no matter how tonight's score plays out, your life on the streets is about to come to a very stupid end.

Happy A Life On The Streets Day!

Friday, March 26, 2004

All His Heads Day!

There are only six.

The most frequent is the one with the straight horizontal line just underneath the nose. Next on the list is the lips slightly parted with the eyes closed. Third is the eyes kind of shut and the lips in a near-pucker, but angry, not intentionally sexy, yet sexy anyhows. That third head is what appears just before his body splits out the front door with no phone call until the head gets 80 to 180 ounces of beer poured in between its lips. Fourth most frequent has a smile on it, just beneath the nose. This one's okay. Fifth has a big bruise around one of the eyes, usually appears the next time he shows up after number three splits. Sixth is the potluck. You're sick of all six of them, but you can't stop slapping two of them up against your gash.

Happy All His Heads Day!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

She's Walking With A Limp Day!

That's all we know. Thirty three days without a trace and she walks back into town without saying a word. Walks back into town with a limp. That's all we got until she starts talking.

Some say Red knows something. She went up to Red's place the night she got back. The next morning, you met Red on his sidewalk as he was packing up his hatchback. He called you and said he needed you to come by early.

"Want this chair?" he asked you. His tweed easy chair was sitting on the curb. There were a few boxes sitting behind his bumper waiting to fill the little remaining space in his hatchback.

"What's all this about Red?"

Red just hefted the boxes one by one, straining to squeeze them into the space, until he slammed the hatch door shut. Then he came over and placed his hand on the head of the chair.

"If you don't take it I'm just gonna leave it out here on the curb." He looked up at his building. "Mae's upstairs."

You flipped your neck to look up at Red's window. "Mae?"

Red was already climbing into his car. You ran to his door and knocked on the window. Red started the car and rolled the window down.

"She came back last night," he said.

"Where's she been? Is she okay?" You realized then that Red was going to be gone for good in just seconds. "Red?"

"Go up and ask her man," he said. Then he looked up and smiled at you. Then he drove away.

The entrance to Red's building was always unlocked. You walked upstairs and knocked on his door.

When it swung open, Mae was standing before you looking like a stranger. "Kelly. How you been?" she said.


She limped away to the kitchen leaving the door open for you. "I can't find where Red keeps his coffee. But I'm gonna make some. Have a seat."

You looked around the apartment. It wore the sleeplessness of the night before. You didn't sit.

"Where'd Red go, Mae? Where you been?"

Mae was rooting through the cabinets. "You wanna take a shower Kelly? You can if you want."

You took another look around at the dismantled towers of books and CD's. Through the bedroom door you could make out dresser drawers sitting in the middle of the floor. There was the discoloration in the carpet where the easy chair used to sit. Why didn't he just leave it?

Mae stood up holding a bag of filters and a can of Maxwell House. She said, "Ta da!"

"Jesus Mae" you said.

Happy She's Walking With A Limp Day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Rainy Day Partycrasher Day!

You're drunk. But that goes without saying.

You're angry. But that goes with the terrain when you've been betrayed.

You're deaf in one ear. But that's gonna make this really funny.

You're wet, your hair is slick like typewriter ribbon in front of your eyes. Your longcoat is pasted to your body. Your scowl is vile. Your finger's on the doorbell.

"Dave," Frank says when he opens the door. It's Frank's house. It's his party.

"Send out Cara or I'm coming in."

"Dave, calm down."


Frank leans to your good ear. "Calm down."

You shove past Frank into the living room. You're startled to find that it's not a big party, not the kind with a lot of people who don't know each other shoving past each other with their drinks held up by their heads. There are only eight people set upon chairs and couches. Really more of a get-together than a party. The scene you're making is different than the one you'd orchestrated in your head when you were peeing behind the bar. It'll have to be re-blocked.

"Let's go," you say to Cara. She's on the floor with her back up against the couch.

"I'm not going anywhere with you," she says.


Cara stands up and says into your good ear, "Get out of here. It's over."

"Really Dave, this isn't the way to go." It's Mark, your former friend, the one Cara's left you for.

You say to Dave, "What?"

He walks around you, bumping an end table with his knee, to get closer to your good ear. "Dave," he says. "You've been drinking." He leans in and raises his voice. "This is no good buddy."

"I can hear you asshole," you say. "And don't you tell me what's good. Was it good for you to go sneaking around with my girl."

Mark's still shouting into your good ear, which is helpful because some rainwater just dripped from your hair into the ear canal and everything's just a bit muffled. "You were broken up for three weeks man. I didn't sneak around on anybody."

Back to Cara. "Get your coat. I'm not gonna tell you again." You spy a half-empty beer on the end table. You pick it up and down it.

"I'm not moving," she says. She can tell you didn't hear her, so she crosses her arms in front of her knees and shakes her head no. On the couch above Cara, someone you've never seen before places her hand on Cara's shoulder in support.

"Cara," you say. "If you don't come with me, I'll go alone. But not before I do something…unspeakable."

Cara doesn't budge. Everyone looks to you, waiting for what's going to happen. Pee right there.

Happy Rainy Day Partycrasher Day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Clip-On Tie Day!

Digging your stuff out of the attic after both of your parents have died peacefully in their sleep on the same night, you find your old clip-on bow tie. The one you wore in the picture taken of you on Easter Morning when you were six. You lift up the tie, and underneath it is a stack of letters from your mother's lover. If you read the letters you'll find that your mother was unfaithful to your father for at least sixteen years. This discovery will affect you less than when you found out Jennifer in Policies is fucking Sebastian the HR administrator. But Sebastian is a dick and Jennifer turned you down when you asked her to see The Boy From Oz with you last December.

Happy Clip-On Tie Day!

Monday, March 22, 2004

Your Dad Is A Voiceover Artist Day!

For 26 years now his voice has been all over the radio and TV. It's what's put food in your mouth and it's what's put you through college and it's what's given your parents the life of comfort and stability they've enjoyed all these years together. What right do you have to complain?

Yes, it was difficult in high school, parking with a girl and turning on the radio hoping for a Stevie Nicks rock block to get her in the mood. And just when the windows start to fog the car would fill up with the sound of your Dad extolling the virtues of a denture cream. So you made some mix tapes and the problem was solved. It's not like he hit you with a belt.

Yes, when he and your Mom split up for a while and he went to live at his brother's, you were six years old and sleepless most nights. You'd stay up watching weird TV waiting for that voice that would normally be reading you a bedtime story to pipe through the television speaker with the shout, "Attention Homeowners!" Sounds like a nice little slice of comfort for a boy going through a tough time. But you remember it the way you remember a recurring nightmare, the way you look at the bottom on top reality of dream and wonder how on Earth your mind, conscious or not, was ever able to make sense of such a thing. But it instilled you with a hostility towards debt consolidators that has kept your credit card balances low.

And yes, during early twenties when you hated your father and everything he stood for, you looked to the doctors and lawyers who served as father in the homes of your friends and you marveled that you could have been sprung from the loins of a man whose only value to the world was that his voicebox could produce a sound that human beings perceived to be inoffensive, nearly pleasing. But when he sang at your sister's wedding, when he sang to your mother, you regretted such thoughts. He sang to your mother in a voice that had a quiver behind every note, and a hum where there might've been silence.

Your father is a voiceover artist. He has a talent that has paid him well. That has paid him enough to provide his family with more than they needed. Your father is the American dream: He's a good man with a means.

Happy Your Dad Is A Voiceover Artist Day!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

When The Pillow Breaks Day!

There's gonna be feathers everywhere. Be careful, if you breathe too deep you're gonna get feathers caught in your throat and you could asphyxiate and die. Not to mention that they could be fake feathers made of something poisonous and the sharp tip of the feather could pierce the skin of your throat, poison your blood with the poisonous something, kill you instantly, and the paramedics will think you were killed in a pillow fight gone awry. Stop fucking your pillow.

Happy When The Pillow Breaks Day!

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Dear Confused In Connecticut Day!

Dear Confused In Connecticut,

You're right, this is quite a pickle you've gotten yourself into. But if you sit still, very very still, so still you'll wonder if you've lost your own self into the weave of the world around you, if you can be that still Confused In Connecticut, it'll all go away.


Girls Are Pretty

Happy Dear Confused In Connecticut Day!

Friday, March 19, 2004

Gilly's Back In Town Day!

"Gilly's back in town."

Your grandmother catches her breath.

"He's gonna cause trouble."

Your Grandmother starts clearing the table. "Your brother is in Mexico and he's never coming back."

"He left his driver's license in the crack of my door."

She stops at the sink, arches her back, takes a breath before she turns. "Show it to me," she says.

You toss the driver's license across the table. She sits down and picks it up. She puts her hand over her mouth as if to stifle a sob. "He looks so young," she says. She holds it closer. "Still valid."

"When I was a kid, you know how much we looked alike. When I was a kid I used to ask him if I could borrow his driver's license to take a girl out in Dad's old Chevy."

Your grandmother waits with her eyes closed.

"He'd say, You'll get it when I'm dead. I won't be needing no wheels in hell."

"He's gonna kill Paul," she says. Paul's your Dad's brother. Killed your Dad. Stole your Mom.

"Whether he does or not, he's sure planning to get hisself killed."

Your grandmother goes back to the sink and washes a dish. She puts it in the rack to dry. She picks up another dish out of the sink, holds it in front of her chest. She doesn't turn around when she says, "Find him."

"Now how in the hell am I—"

She wheels around at you with more life in her eyes than what's been in 20 years. "Find! Him! Or he'll take this whole town into the grave with him."

You nod three times without breathing.

Happy Gilly's Back In Town Day!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

She Smokes By The Windowsill Day!

Naked on a stool with one bare foot up on a precarious stack of your compact discs she smokes one of your cigarettes while you're fast asleep. It's three.

She's blows her plumes out around the handrails of the fire escape. It's a smoke signal for Buzzcut to spy and join her.

Buzzcut is the boyfriend of your neighbor three doors down. Her window faces the courtyard as well, just around the corner. Buzzcut can't sleep after sex in other people's apartments either.

It was a month ago that she first saw Buzzcut naked as he was sitting in the window and smoking one of his girlfriend's cigarettes. Her first inclination was to cover up, but Buzzcut wasn't looking. And because Buzzcut was naked himself, she decided it was okay. That night they didn't so much as share a glance.

There've been five occasions since then that your girlfriend and Buzzcut have smoked nude together. On the third, they both put out their cigarettes at the same time. And as each reached up to draw the blinds, their eyes met and so did their smiles.

The fourth, last weekend, she kept her eyes on Buzzcut, waiting for him to steal a glance at her. He did after not too long, and he looked away quickly. But she held her eyes on his skin moonlit white, making sure that the next time he looked he'd see welcome in her eyes. For the last five drags of their cigarettes that night, Buzzcut and your girlfriend had a silent conversation across the courtyard using only eyes, smiles, and smoke plumes.

Tonight Buzzcut climbs onto the windowsill with a goofy grin on his face. He lights up and pulls the cigarette away from his lips with a broad flourish, letting fly a firework display of smoke. Your girlfriend chuckles, causing her breasts to quiver just a bit. She thinks Buzzcut is just a little too forward tonight, so she gives her eyes to the moon for a few drags before giving him a kind smile. He's calmed down by then.

She's not sure if she'll do this anymore, not sure about you or Buzzcut. And though she knows he might get the wrong idea, might think it's not a goodbye, might even wait in the hall for her to walk out tomorrow, when she puts her cigarette out and reaches up to draw the blinds, she puts her hand to the glass to give Buzzcut a wave.

It startles him. He waves back, a little too briskly. Your girlfriend draws the blinds while Buzzcut's still smoking.

Happy She Smokes By The Windowsill Day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Way Fucked Up In The Head (We're Talking About Corey Now) Day!

She wants to have a baby. We're talking about Corey now. She says I'd make a great father and she doesn't see any reason for the relationship to go the way it's going if it's just gonna sit still the way it is.

So, she says she's gonna split otherwise. Unless I let her have my baby.

She's way fucked up in the head, I'm saying. She leaves me, what's she gonna do? Run out and find another guy she can spend the rest of her life with? How easy is it to find a guy she wants to have a baby with? She's 38 for God's sake.

I know she's probably bluffing. I'm not stupid. But I can't fucking call her bluff. You know Corey. If I called her bluff she'd split just to save face. Just to prove to me that she can't be fucked with. She'd live the rest of her life alone to make a point.

I blame you for this. You and your whole goddamned family. She sees you and the rest of her brothers having two or three kids, all of you having good jobs and shit, and she looks over at me and wonders what the hell's wrong with me and shit.

So talk to her for me. You're her big brother. You know how to get her to do what you want. Tell her I'm too much of an asshole to be a dad, but not so much of an asshole that she has to leave me. And tell her, I don't know, she looks too ugly or old to find someone else if she leaves me. Just make me look good. I'm counting on you.

What the fuck? Who the fuck'd want me to be a daddy? Look at me. Christ.

Way Fucked Up In The Head (We're Talking About Corey Now) Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The Bad Feelings Day!

They're creeping back up on you. You can tell by the twitch in your eyebrow. Slam your head in the door twelve times. Then hold your arm over the range for a minute or two. That should keep you from sharpie'ing cat whiskers onto your sleeping girlfriend's face.

Happy The Bad Feelings Day!

Monday, March 15, 2004

The Passion Of The People Who Are Having Sex Day!

That's what you would call the porno version of that Easter movie. Another good one would be The Passion of the People With Each Other's Genitals In Their Mouths At The Same Time. Or how about, The Passion Of The Fuck-Fuck And The Suck-Suck Too Anal For You! That'd be awesome.

Satisfied that you've adequately channeled the morning's inspiration, you rise from your composing desk and go upstairs to check on your mother. She's on the floor and her nightgown is up over her belly. You heard the thump and the shouting earlier, but you couldn't pull yourself away from your work.

"Mother," you say. "How many times do I have to tell you? If you want me to change the channel, ring the bell."

"I fucking did!" she says.

You hoist her up back into bed. "Well keep ringing until I answer."

"I fucking rang the bell for forty minutes," she says. She's crying now.

"You're just going to break your hip again," you say.

"You'd like that wouldn't you. Keep me in this fucking attic until I'm dead. You'd fucking love that."

You don't say so, but she's right. Since you agreed to provide her with in-home care, the writing has been flowing like water. As evidenced by this morning's list of pornographic variations on the title of that Easter movie. You have to plead dedication to your craft, but you know that you wouldn't hesitate to take a crowbar to her bones if it would mean your muse might stay by your side.

Happy The Passion Of The People Who Are Having Sex Day!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Big Sid Day!

You need a favor, you go to Big Sid. Everyone in the neighborhood knows that Big Sid is the man to get things done. But everyone also knows that Big Sid always expects a favor in return. If you're willing to accept that, go see Big Sid. But be respectful.

"Thank you for meeting with me today Mr. Big Sid. I know you're very busy."

Big Sid will speak through a mouthful of pomegranate. "Nonsense," he'll say. "I'm always happy to help an upstanding member of this community. What's the problem?"

"Well, I want you to get my neighbor to stop his dog from crapping in my driveway."

"Consider it done," Big Sid will say.

"Oh, thank you so much Big Sid."

"But you understand that one day I will come to you for a favor as well," Big Sid will say.

"Yes, anything Big Sid. Anything."

Big Sid will say, "On April 20th, I want to have sex with your wife."

You'll be flabbergasted. "My wife?"

"Don't tell me you expect a favor from me without wishing to repay me for my efforts. This displeases Big Sid."

"No, no," say. "I would never wish to disrespect you Big Sid."

"Good," Big Sid will say. "On April 20th, I'll come over and have sex with your wife. Enjoy your driveway."

Happy Big Sid Day!

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Send Word Day!

Jennifer knows you'd never step outside America. She, like you, could only imagine you roaming the streets of Rome or Madrid propelled by a bewildered shrug, searching the landscape for anything that has the remotest relevance to the fiber of your veins. When she places you in Beijing, you're frantic, possibly being chased. When she sits you at a table inside of a Cincinnati Taco Bell, you're pensive, and you're eating a chalupa.

But America is gigantic and Jennifer has you in a million different tableaux across the minutes of her workday. That's not good enough for you. Allow her to zone in. Send a letter with an accurate postal stamp. She'll know it was mailed just before you stepped on train into another state. But at least she'll know where you were on a specific day, and she'll be able to hone in on the routes away to keep her speculation of locale to a particular tri-state area, at least for the first few days. You can imagine her putting color-coded tacks to a map on the wall where her mirror used to hang. It'll make you feel good.

Send her word.


How could you?

Still diggin' you like a pig in poo,

The Max

Happy Send Word Day!

Friday, March 12, 2004

Those Fateful Words Day!

"Bartender, I'd like to buy the lady at the end of the bar one Screaming Orgasm please."

That was just a joke you'd play at the end of the night after you'd been shot down by every woman in the bar and you knew you had nothing to lose. But Carol took the drink and invited you to join her. She was the first. She brought you home that night, and twenty years later, you're still together.

You renewed your vows again last August. In keeping with tradition, all the toasts were made with Screaming Orgasms raised in the air. The ceremony was even more delightful than the ten-year. But this time, when you told her, "Until the end of time my love," it was a plea. Because you knew what was coming around the bend.

You haven't said a word about it. Though you knew you were going to take the hit, you hoped against hope that a last-minute change of course in the US Attorney's office would keep your name out of the indictment. But the phone rang this morning, and your lawyer let you know that the you can look for your name on the front page of Monday morning's paper. Carol's in the kitchen.

"Until the end of time?" you ask from the doorway.

She looks up from Matthew's math homework and smiles a quizzical smile. "Until the end of time," she says. Of course she says that.

I've been indicted for securities fraud. I might be able to avoid jail-time, but everything's...

"How's the homework coming kiddo?" You just can't tell her. There's got to be a way out. There's a rifle in the shed.

"Fine," Matthew says. He doesn't look up from his looseleaf.

"Matthew, I'll be back in a second," Carol says.

"No," you say. There are two more days. Two more days to tell her. Two more days for it all to disappear somehow. "I'm fine. I'm just going to go up and read for a bit."

Carol doesn't sit down. She keeps her eyes on you, waiting for you to explain what's going on in your head. When you leave the kitchen, she's still standing.

Happy Those Fateful Words Day!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Hanging Out With Cousin Jill Day!

It's confusing, because your parents push you to hang out with your Cousin Jill the same way they demand that you take out your Dad's colleague's daughter. So since you were both eleven, every time you've hung out with your Cousin Jill you spent the first five minutes wondering if you should make a move. Then she'd say something in a tone that reminded you how cousins are supposed to share a room. Not like brothers and sisters, in that, Jill doesn't throw stereo equipment at your head until you get out. It's more of a bored politeness. Jill welcomes you into her room and can't wait for you to leave of your own volition.

This time though, you're both sixteen and Jill's a little different. She's on her bed, a pillow in her lap, her hair down over her face. "Come and sit with me," she says.

You go and sit beside her on her bed. "Can I tell you a secret?" she asks.

You nod.

"Tonight, after my folks go to sleep, I'm gonna run away from home."

"Where you gonna go?" you ask.

Jill says, "I'm not gonna tell you. I'm not sure I trust you not to tell my folks."

Just then Jill's little sister Meg runs into the room with her piggy bank. "Here Jill, in case you run out of money."

Jill takes the Piggy Bank and rustles little Meg's hair. Little Meg leaves and Jill's mailman Jarvis comes in with his mailbag over his shoulder. "Hey Jill, I heard you were running away tonight," he said. "Here's fifty bucks." Jill takes the bill from the mailman's hand and thanks him.

After the mailman leaves, the homeless as an entirety enters Jill's room and drops what change they've collected that day on her bed. It takes a while for them to leave.

Once you're alone again with Cousin Jill, she looks at you, waiting. You start fishing around in your pockets for some cash.

Happy Hanging Out With Cousin Jill Day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Faded Beauty Day!

He's only nine, but he's past his prime. Robbie foolishly thought he could trade on his looks forever. But his stark blonde hair started to darken, and he broke his nose in kickball.

He felt dizzy when the "Outstandings" that once littered his report cards without any effort on his part suddenly vanished to make room for so many "Satisfactories." Girls stopped giggling when he threw rocks at them and instead registered complaints with teachers. Boys stopped calling him a homo. It was a harsh lesson to learn, but Robbie had no choice but to slide into a life of being merely passably attractive.

"I'm through," Robbie told his Dad one day in the car.

His Dad kept quite for a minute, then said, "Look, people do just fine with average looks. You're just gonna have to put your nose to the grindstone. Learn a trade."

"Like what?"

His Dad said, "I bet there's good money in computers. repair."

Robbie sobbed, "But I wanted to pass as gentry!"

Robbie's Dad just patted Robbie on the knee. Robbie's Dad had hoped when Robbie's looks went, they'd get along a little better, have some real conversations. Before, whenever Robbie's Dad looked his son in the face he'd just start to sing. With a better control over himself, he looked forward to teaching his son things and giving him advice.

But Robbie had no desire to listen. He hated the thought of being of the same ilk as his most decidedly average looking father. And he absolutely refused to give such an ordinary man the satisfaction of thinking he had something to teach to someone as extraordinary as Robbie.

"Even if I were to have my skin melted from my skull with acid, I'd still frown down at you," Robbie muttered to himself.

"What was that?" his Dad asked.

"Buy me ice cream," said Robbie. He added, with some trouble, "Daddy."

Happy Faded Beauty Day!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A Hundred And Six Pounds Day!

He asked me how much I weigh and I asked why and he said he just wanted to know and I said I don't see what difference it makes and he said come on just tell me so I said a hundred and six pounds.

He said all these weekends I been fuckin a hundred and six pounds. I said guess so.

He said I never thought about it like that before. A hundred and six pounds all at once. I said would it have made a difference if it was a hundred and seven. He said it would have been a little heavier. By about a pound.

I can't rememeber what else he said or if he said anything before he fucked me again but this time while he fucked me he picked me up and rested me on his thighs. I think so that all my weight would be on him while he fucked me. He'd try to just hold me by my ass and lift me up and down his cock kind of like he was fucking himself with a big toy. But he couldn't hold me for that long, so he'd sit me on his thighs again. But I don't think I touched the bed the whole time. It didn't feel as good as when I'm laying down and he's on top of me, but it's always neat to get fucked in a way you've never been fucked before. And I liked seeing how much he dug it. But I couldn't help but feel a little bad because I haven’t weighed less than a hundred and twelve pounds since college. I felt bad only because he didn't care what the number was. He just wanted to fuck me while he knew the number.

Happy A Hundred And Six Pounds Day!

Monday, March 08, 2004

Dogwalk Day!

Today, when you walk little Leopold, you're going to cross the path of a homeless girl. She'll be holding a box of money.

"How much money is in that box?" you'll ask.

"77 thousand dollars," she'll say.

Say, "Wanna buy a Daddy?"

She'll ask what kind of curfew you'll impose on her. Offer her dusk until she's ten years old, then you'll give her 8 PM in the summertime. When she's 13, you'll renegotiate.

"Do you hit?"

Say no.


Socially, say.

"You're not gonna…"

Say, "Hell no!"

"Does that dog play?" she'll ask.

Let Leopold loose and watch them wrestle sweetly.

The girl will pull herself out of the dog's entanglement with a giggle. Then she'll hand the box into your leash hand and she'll take your free hand in hers and the three of you will start walking. "What's for dinner Daddy?"

Say hot dogs.

Happy Dogwalk Day!

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Long-Haired Pallbearers Day!

Looks like someone pretty cool just died, you think as you pass the churchyard. Check out the pallbearers. Two of them have long, scraggly rock and roll hair streaking down over the shoulders of their only suits. One's a girl with a jet black bob. The other three are wearing pretty bitchin' vintage suits that look like, even though they could be put on for a Saturday Night out, they were just bought yesterday. They made a day of it, the three of them. One has a shaved head.

Did a lead singer die? No, the lineup behind the coffin is too small. Too small for a lead singer's girlfriend too. Maybe a drummer.

It could be a lead singer whose band broke up last year and who's just been looking for some new people to play with. Someone who's still on the scene and still gets a lot of respect, but just hasn't been doing much lately.

It wasn't an overdose. That's apparent by the bewilderment on the pallbearers' faces. No, no one saw this coming. No one's crying yet.

Here come the parents. Normal, pretty middle class. They must have had big hopes for him.

Or her. But you just don't think it was a girl. You're not certain why. Maybe it's because none of the pallbearers looks like he's awesome enough to be carrying his girlfriend in a coffin. If it's a girl, she's definitely just someone's sister.

Happy Long-Haired Pallbearers Day!

Saturday, March 06, 2004

When Girls Know They're Going To Die, They Go Into The Park Day!

I'll be on the bench by the boathouse path in forty five minutes.

It's two. You don't get a chance to ask her what she wants. She has to load her cousin into a cab. She's assuming you'll be doing the same to your girlfriend. She's correct.

The last time you were on the bench by the boathouse path was a year ago this June. Her bare legs bore from a white skirt overtop your thighs. Your hand was on her ankle and she was smiling. You were both giddy with exhaustion. There was some roommate trouble at her place that put you into a cab to your place and you only managed four hours of sleep between sex and showers.

Since then she's waved hi and goodbye. You've sat at opposite ends of large tables and shared smiles from time to time. But there's magically been no conversation. It's been the right thing to do.

You don't put on your coat when you walk your girlfriend down to her taxi. On the stairs, you tell her you have to stay behind. "Sounds like Keith's in bad shape over Mary," you tell her. "I'd better stay behind. Might be a long night. But I'll still catch up with you and your Mom at brunch tomorrow." You kiss her and slam the door and begin listing what you're going to hear when you get to the bench by the boathouse path in T-Minus 29 minutes.

By the time you get up to the top of the stairs, you've narrowed it down to three items. She wants to give it a shot. She's dying. Or she's moving back to Pittsburgh (she just lost her job). It's actually the second and the third. But she didn't lose her job. She quit because she found out she has ovarian cancer.

On the bench by the boathouse path, she's going to tell you that that was a wonderful day you gave her, back in June. That you're a wonderful man. "I know this doesn't sound that great," she'll say. "But when I left you, I thought I could do better than you. Now that I'll be dead by Christmas, you're the best I'll ever have."

You understand, right?

Happy When Girls Know They're Going To Die, They Go Into The Park Day!

Friday, March 05, 2004

All Her Guns Day!

"I'm frightened for the girl," say.

"But you love your guns," your husband will say. He is so very supportive of you.

And you do love your guns. The hunt for a special addition to your collection can take you months at a time. And then there's the little items that you need just to complete a series. Sometimes when you walk out of a gun show you look as if you're not so much "collecting guns" as "amassing arms." But every single pistol has its own special meaning for you.

He knows that. He's the only one. All your friends and family consider your gun collection as just a silly hobby that you fell into after your last miscarriage and never managed to climb out of. "If it lets me see that smile of yours," he likes to say, "there can't be a damn thing wrong with it."

"But she could get hurt. She's twelve now. Getting curious."

Your husband will rub the whiskers of his chin. "I see where you're going with this," he'll say. "She's waking up to her sexuality. And only a blind man wouldn't see the virility seething out the barrel of a handgun. Your afraid she's gonna go down there and..."


Your husband will stop rubbing his chin.

"I'm simply afraid of an accident. I couldn't live with myself if my weapons brought harm to my baby."

Your husband will kneel down before where you're sitting and put his hands on your shoulders. "You are the greatest of all time. To act so selflessly."

He's going to start crying again. "Get it together," say.

He'll take a deep breath. "I'm sorry. I just... You do what you think is best. But we've taught her again and again how to behave around the guns. Her education is her safety. I don't think we have anything to worry about."

Think for a second. Then say, "All the same, I think I should get rid of the ones that go off by themselves when it gets hot in the summer."

He's just gonna start crying again. Go for a drive.

Happy All Her Guns Day!

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Dress On Fire Day!

If it's a non-flammable fabric, dip it in some kerosene. If it's flammable, you might want to put a little bit of kerosene down at the hem, just to make sure the flame catches. You gotta make sure it goes up like a wick. There can't be any delays. Just like tonight you're not gonna waste time with "How you been?"

Get your arms out from your sides, flex the fingers of your zipper hand, then light the match. With a breath, focus. You know what to do.

There's a wallop in your ears and you're on fire. Four feet of flame from your knees to the top of your head. Four movements, zipper down, off the left, off the right shoulder, step away from the pile on the floor. You're naked and you're safe. 3 seconds.

That's good. You don't want to go any longer than that when you get to Sam's hotel room tonight. He's only in town for a couple of days and you can't be wasting five and six seconds with a dress all over you getting in the way.

Happy Dress On Fire Day!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Otto's Day!

"Best. Frites Stand. Ever."

That was Otto's motto when he hatched the plot for Otto's.

"My name is gonna be synonymous with Belgian fries. After last call, some guy's gonna say, Anyone up for some Otto's? And everyone will know what he's talking about."

His enthusiasm was infectious. Freddy couldn't help but offer up the five grand from his inheritance when Otto asked for an investment.

"I think Otto is really gonna take this Frite thing all the way," he'd told his girlfriend.

"How much did your Dad leave you again?" she'd asked. They were in bed at the time. Her head was on his chest. This was two years ago, when she was still on the fence about giving up dance.

"95,000 dollars. Hey, you don't think I should be putting that money away for in case we wanna get a house and kids or something do you?"

Emma sighed. "Don't."

Her head was just the right weight on his chest. No need to go filling it up with big ideas.


"I don't know what the fuck. All right? I don't know."

Otto couldn't give Freddy an answer.

"But Otto I saw your financials."

Otto looked so much older. There was a deep pocket of shadow under each eye. Though he hadn't been injured, he appeared to walk with a limp. This was a year ago.

"Look, no one bought the fucking fries! What do you want me to say?"

Freddy wanted Otto to say how great his next plan was. How he's going to change the way people think about snow cones or bicycle cabs. He wanted Otto to radiate with the unmitigated optimism he had when Freddy signed his name to a five thousand dollar check. Freddy would have handed over whatever cash Otto needed if he knew he was going to walk out of his apartment feeling the contact high of someone who just can't fail.

"I'm sorry about your five grand dude. I bet Emma thinks I'm a real shithead."

Emma didn't think anything about it. Freddy wasn't sure if she'd heard him when he told her that Otto's would be shuttered soon. She had been leafing through a booklet at the time, trying to pick an LSAT prep course to take.

Law School was her new plan. In the three months since her last show she'd thrown herself into the process of picking schools and getting applications in order. Freddy had 55,000 dollars left.

"I can help you out. Pay for a year maybe."

"Don't be silly," she'd said. "I'll get loans."

Giving up dance had awoken something in her. She was throwing effort into every moment, seemingly in memoriam for the time she'd already wasted. She was less ruminative. She spent less time with her head on Freddy's chest, which he missed, but he was glad she was happier.

Freddy realized that the twinge of panic in his belly started when Otto mentioned Emma's name. It was in the same moment that he realized Otto was smoking a cigarette.

"I thought you quit."

"I did," Otto said before letting fly a plume from his lips. "You still got money left Freddy?"

Freddy stiffened. "A good hunk of it, yeah."

"What you gonna do with it?"

He said, "Emma might need some for Law School." He said it because he didn't want to just shrug and shake his head.


This was last week. It was in a letter.

…don't have a second to breathe. I hope you're…

Freddy has twelve thousand dollars left. It should buy him four to six months before he has to look for something full-time. He'd put off looking until last week when he received the letter.

…not a good time right now. The first year's the worst and I'll be so…

His whole work history is here. It would have been a lot more difficult to start up again out in California. Especially with the two year gap in his resume. This way, he can fill in the gap and save up a bit more for next year.

…glad I'm so busy or else I'd just sit around missing you…

The news is on mute on the TV. Just like Emma used to like it when she was filling in her applications. It's going to be a lot easier to save now with Emma away. Freddy never knew what to spend on. He's thinking he might shut off the cable, to save a bit more money. Buy himself a little more time.

…Christmas isn't that far away. We'll finally be…

Freddy can't wait until Christmas. It's not that far away.

Happy Otto's Day!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Wipe Your Feet On The Welcome Mat Day!

He'll take your coat he's dying to. He hasn't touched the fur of your collar in over a year.

"Back in town then?"

Hold the eighty dollars out to him.

"What’s this?"

Tell him it's your share of the last dinner he bought. You wanted to pay him back for it because you ruined it by telling him you were moving away to find the future you knew you wouldn't find by his side. "I was pretty cunty. So I figured, why make you pay for that meal? Least I could do, right?"

He'll ask how things worked out in Los Angeles.

"Great. Leaving you was the right idea I think."

Eighty dollars isn't a lot of money. And he certainly didn’t expect to be paid back for a dinner he bought two years ago. Something about all this makes him think you needed an excuse to visit.

"I'll admit, I miss you. I still think I made the right decision, and I'm not coming back to you. But I did think that maybe we could kind of…get in bed. I have four days."

That's fine with him, but he's willing to bet that this won't be the last time he holds you.

"Yeah, well, maybe by the next time I think of coming back you'll have failed so hard that you had to leave town and I won't be able to find you. Now take off you shirt."

Happy Wipe Your Feet On The Welcome Mat Day!

Monday, March 01, 2004

Yeah, Well, She Just Won A Car Sunday And Monday!

So Prettygirl missed Sunday's Personal Regression assignment, but it was only because she won a car. It's a Nissan. She won it on a game show early Sunday morning. It was a live game show called, "Stun-Gun The Fuck!" It's an early Sunday morning program in which everyday people are picked from the audience to come on stage and test their might. Each contestant is given a stun-gun. And there's this fuck that they bring out who's job it is to try to get away. On the count of three, the contestants are required to run out and stun-gun him until he's legally retarded. The fuck wears this stupid hat and gloves too. Anyway, Prettygirl won the car (a Nissan!) and was driving around town all day long with her black friend. So yesterday and today are going up right now. Scroll down to read yesterday's first and then read today's or else..well...or else it just won't work.

Monday, March 1, 2004

Whip-its Day!

Drive to a parking lot tonight with some "pals," sit on the trunk of your car and do some whip-its until you don't know anything at all. After about an hour of giggling, run off. You're going to wake up under a bench somewhere. The friends you leave behind will be cool with it. They're gonna neck.

Happy Whip-its Day!

Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Great Linda Calenbeck (1921- 1980) Day!

Everyone knows she was a revolutionary in the field of agricultural technology. What people don't know about Linda Calenbeck is that she was once cast off of a lifeboat.

As a girl of only 10 years old, she joined her parents on a cruise to Ireland. Unfortunately, they booked passage on the Vorihaine, which of course went down in the Atlantic on January 20th, 1932. Linda ended up on a lifeboat filled with young children and teens and one drunken midshipman. Her parents got safely onto a another lifeboat after they saw her down into the ocean on hers.

The midshipman had filled several flasks with whiskey to carry him through the wait for rescue. In a drunken miscalculation, he decided it would be best to begin rowing out to where he guessed the rescue ship would be coming from. This took their boat out of sight of the others, and when day broke, panic stirred among the children. They knew they had no guardian in the midshipman, who sat at the stern sipping his liquor and ignoring their pleas. The children decided they were going to die out there, and they started talking of who might be the first.

It turned into a game. The doom they thought was theirs turned in their minds into a doom over which they had command. "We are all going to die out here," said one little girl with long red hair, the ringleader, as Linda remembered. "We just have to pick who will die first."

The ringleader and the other children who gathered around her as her adopted minions began to debate over who would be the first to go and why. They settled upon a small boy who was mute. "You won't be able to scream for help when they come. You're the first to die," said the ringleader. The minions crouched towards the boy chanting, "Death at sea. Death at sea. Death at sea." The boy cowered away from them as far as he could go until he threw himself overboard, presumably to drown.

The ringleader and her minions continued in their game. They moved on from searching out handicaps that might hinder survival and handed out their death sentences without any obvious rationale. A teenage boy with no shoes. A girl with trim eyelashes. A boy who had freckles. Linda was seventh.

"You have flowers on your dress," said the ringleader. "You're not going to be rescued."

"Death at sea. Death at sea." The minions came to Linda like goblins. She stayed in the boat until their hands were upon her. They didn't push her overboard. They just pushed at her. Linda climbed over the side and jumped in. It was a game and she'd gotten tagged out.

She tried to stay underwater as long as she could, hoping the lifeboat would be out of sight when she came back up. It wasn't, so she went back under. And again. And again until the boat was gone.

Linda floated. Swam some. And the next thing she remembered was waking up in a bed. She had no memory of how long she had waited for rescue, and no comprehension of how long she remained conscious in the water. It was considered a miracle that she lived.

There was never any documentation made of what went on in that lifeboat. It is believed that twelve children jumped overboard, and nine drowned. The other two that survived told the same story that Linda told. The name of the ringleader was never learned. The midshipman was fired.

Happy The Great Linda Calenbeck (1921- 1980) Day!