Monday, May 31, 2004

Croydon Station Day!

Like the song says, "Take me to the bench at Croydon Station and finger me blind."

The last Northeast Corridor train stops at 10:42 PM. After that, consider that bench your honeymoon bed, that shelter your five star hotel. Dough, your boyfriend, has weed and his brother's car. But his brother took out the back seat to make room for his amps, so you need someplace to spread out. Just try not to remember when Jonathan, your ex took you there on his birthday. You might start crying, which really gets Dough angry.

Happy Croydon Station Day!

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Maximum Rock And Roll Day!

Hug your dolly. Tell your dolly you love her. Say, "I love you dolly." Get so tripped out that you think your dolly is real and you pour imaginary tea down her throat from an empty tea cup. But go full throttle. Set up an entire tea party table, with lacey table cloth and everything. Then talk to your plastic dolly as if the two of you were a couple of gossipy 19th century society types. You are so out of your mind little girl. You are maximum rock and all, tits to toes.

Happy Maximum Rock And Roll Day!

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Blood On The Hula Hoop Day!

Guy got shot doing a hula hoop. Got shot in the belly. Kids. Drove past saw guy out on his driveway doing the hula hoop with a big smile on his face, like he knows everyone in their cars is loving it. Bang. Some kid just leaned a gun out his window and shot the guy's gut wide. He was hula hooping then this POP! Of blood blurts out from the middle of him and his hands slap down at his belly and he flops backwards. Man did he scream. The car that shot him zipped into the back driveway of a strip mall across the street, but all the other cars, we all just stayed in the lane waiting for the turning light. A couple people pulled over onto the median and ran out to help. But most everyone else just waited to turn. And you know that intersection. That light lets three cars turn at the most. So we waited for the light to change about four times, just staring at that guy writhing on the ground, people leaning over him. Just edged up to the intersection a little bit by bit. Then finally we turned onto 223 and headed on to Grandmom's.

Happy Blood On The Hula Hoop Day!

Friday, May 28, 2004

On To The Bars Day!

Hit the bars tonight. Bring Dave and Joey and tell them to bring some girls. Bring Brad, Johnny, and Frank and tell them to bring some girls. They know girls. Bring Kevin, Lewis, Jeff, Amrit, and Jacques and tell each of them:

"Don't forget. Six girls each."

Six girls each that you don't know. Six girls each who don't know your nickname (The Heater). Six girls each from Kevin, Lewis, Jeff, Amrit, and Jacques equals 30 girls right then and there.

"How can I lose?"

You'll find a way baby. So stack the odds. Invite Theodore. He always has girls. Tell him it would be a good idea if he brought some of them with him.

"The hot ones Theodore. Not Deborah!"

"Ah," Theodore will say. "But Deborah is the most beautiful of all. You just haven't spoken to her long enough to see what depths she possesses. For instance—"

"Shut it Theodore! Her teeth are too big."

"Her teeth," Theodore will say. "Such stark white totems of…"

Hang up on Theodore and hit the online personals. Create a profile so witty and weighed down with obscure pop culture references that no HoneyBabyOne will be able to resist. Check back an hour after the profile posts and only scroll through the replies that have the phrase, "LOVE Your Profile! ROTFL!" in the subject lines.

Still a couple hours before you have to hit the first bar. Call everyone in forty five minutes to see how they're doing with the whole "Corralling Women" project. The two guys who are showing the least incentive should be disinvited. Then, hit the chin up bar. Get those arms into "Feel This Muscle" shape. Tonight's your night.




Happy On To The Bars Day!

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Plaster Head Day!

Have your friend Lou sculpt a perfect plaster sphere around your head. No eyes, no nose, no mouth. Just a round, milk-white ball growing out of your neck. This way, no one will be able to look into your eyes and realize you’re the one they want. This way, no one can rub their noses up against yours and feel like they've just been sent back into the warm wet womb with a fun little splash. This way, no one can watch what your lips do when they wrap up around a beer bottle, leaving them no choice but to grab you by the shirt collar and drag you home to meet their parents. This way, you won't have to buy so many hair products.

You're either going to have to be fed intravenously or suck all your food through a tube that's cemented into the base of the sphere and permanently inserted inside your mouth. But with a tube in your mouth all the time, you'll probably get nervous and chew on it. Go with the intravenous.

If you're not into the plaster sphere, get under the covers. No one will find you under the covers. No one will find you under the covers.

Happy Plaster Head Day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The Bridesmaid Died Day!

The body of work she left behind has been well documented, but none of the articles mention the promise she broke. Two little sisters of ten and eleven shook on it.

"When I get married, you'll be my maid of honor."

"And when I get married, you'll be mine."

As the years passed, you both lost the little girl daydream of a princess wedding. But when your sister finally got married, to her editor, that promise might as well have been written in blood. She wouldn't in a million years have asked anybody else. Out of respect for the silly little girls the two of you were for so many years.

The articles made mention of you. "…Leaving behind her parents and a sister of 34 years…" And there was even a short piece in today's Daily News about your wedding. "…sister of the recently deceased Booker Prize winner Kate Ashton, who died of a prescription drug overdose this past…" A slow news day when a story fleshed out from a marriage announcement gets run on page 8. No reporters spoke to you, and you're glad. If they had, you might have mentioned that Kate was supposed to be your maid of honor, and the writer would have wrapped an angle around the grieving bride who just wishes her sister could've been by her side on this beautiful day. If they found out you were going it bridesmaidless, the story might've made it to page 2.

Your mother offered to stand in your sister's stead, but you wanted to leave it empty. Your aunts will think it's out of respect for her memory. That no one can fill her place by your side. Let them think that. Let them be wrong.

That space by your side will be the void left behind by a promise broken. You'll be alone at that altar because a trust was betrayed. You held up your end of the bargain. You put on the lime green dress at her wedding. You did it happily. Because you promised.

"Where the hell are you Katie?" You fix your veil in the mirror. You're unhappy with the bosom of your gown. But you're very happy with the little tiny waist it cuts you. There's eye makeup on your eyes. Someone put it there when you weren't looking. It looks okay enough.

"And when I get married, you'll be mine," you tell your reflection. "Guess you thought I'd never find a guy, right Katie?"

You adjust your veil for the ten hundredth time, then you take a deep breath.

"Your word is for shit Katie," you say to the mirror. The you go downstairs to find your place on the dead empty side of a church altar.

Happy The Bridesmaid Died Day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

You Can Bring Home The Bacon Day!

You can let the bacon sit in the freezer until you move out of your apartment and you have to empty the place out to get your deposit back.

Jena used to cook bacon. On Saturday mornings. The first few times it was a lark. She'd laugh while she cooked it. You laughed while you ate it. You both felt like you were play-acting, doing what your parents used to do on Saturday mornings. It was funny lookin'.

After a few months, bacon became a part of the nutritious Saturday morning breakfast in apartment 22D. Every morning, Jena would wake up, brew the coffee, and get started on bacon and either eggs or pancakes. She didn't laugh while she cooked it anymore. And you didn't laugh while you ate it. Which of course made you look more like your parents than ever, because neither of you could see how funny lookin' it was.

Jena started working on Saturdays when she got promoted to adminstrative director at the theater. You went back to egg sandwiches from the deli, if you got out of the apartment in time for breakfast at all. Things didn't feel right. You never noticed it then, but the problem was that you stopped looking like your parents, which was funny lookin', whether you knew it or not. Around that time, not a lot was funny lookin' to you and Jena.

You bought the bacon today thinking you might make yourself some this Saturday. You won't, but maybe one day you'll bring someone home who'll find the bacon in the freezer and cook it up for the two of you. If not, the freezer will keep it from going bad until you have to move out.

Happy You Can Bring Home The Bacon Day!

Monday, May 24, 2004

Couch Love Interrupted Day!

Tonight when you're making out with your boyfriend on the couch, the kid you're babysitting will fall in the pool. He won't drown, but he can't swim. Your boyfriend will jump in to save him.

Afterwards, you'll dry the kid off and give him a lot of ice cream and you'll try to get it across that he shouldn't tell his mom. Luckily, the kid will think your boyfriend is a hero and he'll want to be like him. So all you'll have to do is get your boyfriend to talk to the kid about how this should all just be a secret between a couple cool guys who know how to keep quiet about stuff. The kid won't say a word to his mom. For like three weeks.

Happy Couch Love Interrupted Day!

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Jimmy, Age 9, Waterslide Hotshot Day!

No one thinks you can do it Jimmy. It looks like a desperate move to remain relevant. It looks like you got something to prove.

"If this story's gotta end, might as well give it a big finale."

But Jimmy, it's suicide.

"Maybe. Or maybe it'll be the biggest thing to every cascade down those tubes."

C'mon Jimmy, you had a good run and you got a lot ahead of you. The waterslide is a little kid's sport. So what if Dayton McAfree—

"DON'T…ever say that name to me again."

Let go of my neck Jimmy.


He's a good kid Jimmy. He's got talent.

"He's got a knack for gimmicks is what he's got. Trying to beat the record in a sandpaper wetsuit."

Yeah, but he beat it.

"With no respect for the slippery!"

Jimmy, really, don't do it.

"I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna climb the tubes and jump three different slides in one turn before I hit the splash pool."

And you're really gonna tie ten pound weights to every limb?

"You bet your motherfuckin' ass."

You want your finale to take place in the emergency room?

"My finale's gonna be in the splash pool. And it's gonna be painted on the faces of every last one of you who didn't think I had it in me anymore. I only got about sixty or seventy summers left. Better make this one count."

I'll be waiting at the bottom Jimmy.

"With some peanut butter sandwiches?"

And sliced bananas.

"Thanks Mom."

Happy Jimmy, Age 9, Waterslide Hotshot Day!

Saturday, May 22, 2004

In The Baby Cemetery Day!

"You never look at me. I only know that because I look at you a lot."

You smile and take a sip from your cup of beer, spilling a bit from your lips. It seems all night long you haven't been able to take a sip without spilling a bit down your chin, onto your shirt sometimes, always wiping it away with the back of your hand. You wipe this spill away with the back of your hand, because you're going to have to try to kiss her soon.

"I thought you liked Lisa for a while." She pours some beer into the grassy grave of Jessica Hoyle, 1975-1978.

"No." You did like Lisa. You do. But Lisa's had the same boyfriend since sophomore year, and Lisa's not here, telling you she looks at you a lot.

"I hate beer." She pours some more of her cup into the grass. "Just being here is so horrible. Why always the baby cemetery?"

You take another sip and wipe your chin with the back of your hand. "More trees. Cops can't see us from the street. Less chance of getting raided."

She says, "It's like nothing we do here is disrespectful because the very fact that we would ever even come here and put a keg down on one of these graves is so disrespectful, we can't top it with our behavior once we're here."

"I don't think of it as any different," you say. "Every grave, no matter how old or how they died, everyone met the same fate. Everyone here stopped." You take a sip, wipe your chin but it's dry. You take another sip and wipe your chin and you say, "I look at you."

She doesn't look at you. Just looks ahead with a smile.

"I looked at you the first day when you walked into homeroom."

"What was I wearing?" she asks.

"Blue tank top. White skirt. Light blue, the tank top. You have a dark blue one too."

Her cheeks are big and fat like a baby's when she smiles like she's smiling now. Her free hand's in the grass next to your leg. You take a sip, and slip your hand over hers. You finish your cup. Both of you race your thumbs overtop each other, down into the crook between thumb and forefinger, then back up and over. She only turns her head to you when you lean over and she meets your kiss.

The kiss is just one, long and still. Then she moves her lips and you move yours, and you're kissing. You put the beer in the grass by your side and you put that hand on her shoulder. Then you let go of her hand and wrap that arm around her back. She follows suit, pulling you towards her. You move to your knees and she reclines so that you can climb atop her, the two of you stretched across the graves of Mae Franklin, 1989-1989, Martin Ganz, 1963-1969, and of course, Jessica Hoyle, 1975-1978.

Happy In The Baby Cemetery Day!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Unicorn Fiiiiiiiiiiiight Day!

Apparently, the one unicorn stepped on the other unicorn's hoof. The second unicorn spun around and spilled a little bit of his beer on his pelt. He started yelling, "What the fuck is your problem? Look at what you made me do mother fucker. You get dizzy from suckin' so much dick all day?"

The first unicorn tried to apologize and offered to buy a round. But the second unicorn just kept talking about "respect" and "think 'cause I wasn't born from a waterfall?" and "spotted hooves." The first unicorn's friends (six black females in their 30's) were trying to intercede. They seemed to know the second unicorn. They were calling him "Walsh."

But "Walsh," the second unicorn, just kept his eyes on the first unicorn, who met the stare with a stony mouth and seemed to be growing impatient. It should be noted that Walsh's friends (an Asian couple) appeared to back away from him. He'd occasionally direct his comments to them at their table, looking for support, but they just tried to look down into their pint glasses.

Finally, the first unicorn spoke calmly and directly to Walsh. "Sir, I've apologized. I would be happy to buy you another drink. I want no trouble. However, if you insist on causing trouble, this won't end well for you. Please accept my apology."

This was all Walsh needed. He started shouting, "He's talkin' bout trouble. You heard that?" shouting at everyone in the bar. Walsh was clearly a regular there, based on the heads shaking left and right on both sides of the bartop. "You want some trouble then?" And that's when Walsh slapped horns with the first unicorn.

It was over before anyone had a chance to take a gasp. The first unicorn slapped his horn smack into Walsh's jowel. Walsh's head whipped left and the first unicorn bent low and smacked his horn flat up into Walsh's ribcage, drawing from Walsh's lungs a high-pitched whinny, the sound of the last breath he'd take for several minutes. The first unicorn sidestepped into Walsh, slamming him up against the jukebox with no effort at all. Walsh was paralyzed. The only thing holding him up was the weight of the first unicorn pressed up against his side. The first unicorn started demanding of Walsh in an enraged growl, "You gonna cool down baby? You gonna cool down?" It took a second for the first unicorn to realize he wasn't getting an answer because Walsh had no breath to carry his response. The first unicorn stepped away and let Walsh slide down to the floor. He stepped back and let the Asian couple help Walsh out the front door.

The mood in the bar afterwards was noticably more jovial. There was no applause or anything like that. But the first unicorn (I'm sorry, I didn't catch his name), he handled the situation, and even the brawl, with more grace than anyone could have expected. His fellow patrons were grateful and relieved. The fate of their Friday night had been placed in his hands, and he'd been sure to make it a good one.

Happy Unicorn Fiiiiiiiiiiiight Day!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

This Wife Will Change Your Life (For The Slightly Better)! Day!

When you married her, you hoped she might send things on an upswing. And she has, to a degree. You make more money now (1200 dollars more) and you have sex sometimes (twice today). You can't complain.

Or can you? Take a look at the deficits. For example, she got sick last January (THE MUMPS) and you spent lots of hours being concerned when you could have been at peace. And what about the baby? That thing just bleeds money. And then there's the silences that are getting longer and making you wonder whether you made the right decision.

If you're wondering whether you made the right decision, can it really be said that this wife has been a positive addition to your life?

Then again, she does make her own candy.

Happy This Wife Will Change Your Life (For The Slightly Better)! Day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Twelve Thousand Bats Day!

Your favorite sports bar used to be a speakeasy with many private rooms outfitted for bootleg gin, poker, and "other." Some of these rooms have been renovated for storage and for private meeting rooms. Some have not been opened. In one of them there live 12,000 bats.

That one room, the one with the 12,000 bats, the bar back just discovered the sealed up door that leads to it. He presently has the dishwasher and the grill cook trying to pry it open with various heavier kitchen utensils. When they get it open, not all 12,000 bats will pour out into the bar area. Maybe a good two or three thousand. Anyway, enough bats will pour out to cloud over the entire giant plasma screen currently showing the Knicks-Spurs game. So you're going to miss your game. And you're going to get bit on the nose, cheek, neck, and scalp. Bit by bats.

Some of the bats are freakishly huge. Like eight pounds.

Happy Twelve Thousand Bats Day! Button up.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

She Has A Fucking Bird Day!

Everything about her seemed perfect. She's got a lot of money and she drinks constantly. You should've known it was too good to be true.

"This is Arnold. Say hello."

You peer through the little bars into the eyes of the perfect yellow parakeet, trying to steady your drunken legs, afraid you might fall over and grab at the cage for balance. You take half a step back to get the bedpost within reach.

"Say hello I said."

"Hello. Arnold, hello."

Arnold doesn't say anything.

She says, "Arnold is the most important thing in my life."

You sit on the bed, remembering how good the sex had been in your tiny apartment following the first two dates. You can't wait to get into her place and see what a trust fund can buy. You discover that it can buy an average apartment with an additional small alcove room that could be used as a study or extra storage. In this case, extra storage.

"My soul's in there."


She puts the tip of her finger in between the bars of the cage. Arnold pokes at it with his beak. "Inside that little yellow body. When Arnold flutters his wings, my stomach grows unsettled. He contains my essence."

Why do you keep your essence locked up in a cage, often blinded by a white lace-fringed doily?

"That's nice."

"Did you see the way he just looked at you?"

No. Is he taking a shit?

"Arnold is uncertain of you. I can't have sex in here tonight."

"Should we go back to my..."

"Lay here on the bed by my side but don't touch me. Arnold has to absorb you."

You lay on the bed, so terribly disappointed in yourself. From the pillow, "Do you have anything to drink?"

She goes to the kitchen and returns with an unopened bottle of vodka and two glasses. "I don't have any limes."

You drink with the lights on bright. You don't speak. Arnold holds her soul motionless on his perch, occasionally crying out for no discernable reason. Birds cry out from time to time.

Happy She Has A Fucking Bird Day!

Monday, May 17, 2004

You Need A Place To Stay, And It's Raining Day!

Naturally, you call your ex-girlfriend, the one with whom you had an incomparable erotic connection. A physical understanding that left the two of you unable to occupy the same physical space without screaming. It began to seem like the sex took place solely to give the screaming an appropriate context.

So anyway, you need a place to stay for the night. You have the cash for a hotel, but call her. Because you haven't done the wrong thing in a very long time.

I have a husband.

You don't dignify that with a response.

But he's at his parents' house for the weekend.

You ask if her buzzer's still broken.

When she says hi, she's sweet. You don't remember her being sweet. Her kiss in the doorway is gentle. It's loving, searching. The sex begins on the living room floor but ends in her bed, properly.

What's the boyfriend like?

He's kind. Rich. He loves me.

You can't believe you're gonna ask this. Um, kids?

She turns her head on its side to give you a silly smile. I'd say so. I'd say if you come back here in two years I'll be a mom.

You want to tell her about your pending divorce, but it's suddenly too depressing. Instead, you want to ask whether what the two of you were has been erased by the four and a half years that followed. But instead you ask:

Why'd you do this?

Wanted to find out. She's still smiling silly.

Did you?

Didn't you?

She's still got a smile. You return it. You take her in your arms and the two of you hug there on the bed in silence, both aural and physical. You hold her still for an hour and a half, before going to the yellow pages to locate a hotel.

Happy You Need A Place To Stay, And It's Raining Day!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Running For President Day!

Instead of running for president, Lucy's gonna get drunk with her boyfriend, have sex with him one last time, then break up with him.

"I just think we don't really have a shot at anything awesome," she'll say to him. She'll sit Indian style on the edge of the bed, giving her naked stomach a crease. He'll lay along the length of the bed with his back up on the pillows.

"You're just trying to kill it before you have to put any effort in. It's what you always do," he'll say.

"What do you mean, like I always do? What else have I given up on?"

His eyes go wide with disbelief. "How's that presidential run coming?"

"2008. You'll see."

"And the massage therapy license?"

She'll say this to her knees. "Carpal tunnel. I told you."

"Right," he'll say. "And how's the drug dealing coming along?"

"Oh for God's sake. There's too much competition."

"You never even tried to get a supplier!"

"Maybe I would've been dealing drugs by now if you'd offered some words of support instead of throwing all my failures up in my face all the time."

He won't say anything at first. Then, "You're right. I'll try harder to be supportive if you'll stay."

"No," she'll say.

Happy Running For President Day!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Mincemeat Ate A Breathmint Day!

That's why her tongue's hanging out like that. Cats aren't used to retsin. Just keep an eye on her. Mostly to see that she's alright, but partially, to see what will happen. Her tongue's been hanging out for a half hour already. And she's flicking her whiskers the way she does when she gets them dipped into some spilt syrup. Pretty sweet.

Happy Mincemeat Ate A Breathmint Day!

Friday, May 14, 2004

Stars And Stripes Forever Day!

He found your tattoo.

"You're quite the patriot."

Cover up. Pull on a robe and move to the wicker chair by the bedroom door.

"I'm not a patriot," light a cigarette. "My father was a patriot. A colonel in the army." Let fly a plume of smoke. "Stars and Stripes was my German Shepherd."

He's trying not to let it show on his face how disappointed he is.

"Yes," say. "That's right. I'm a chick with a beloved pet story and you just fucked me so you have to lay there and listen to my beloved pet story like a good little boy who just fucked me, then you can head out the door and make a vow to drink less from now on. Now buckle the motherfuck up because here comes my beloved pet story."

He's trying to let it show on his face how absolutely and suddenly intrigued he is, not by the terrible story he's about to hear, but by you.

"Check it out. My Dad was a career army man. I was an army brat. My mom was a drunk, believe it," drag from the cigarette. It's almost burned out. "Stars and Stripes came into my life as a puppy. My father gave her to me a few days after we settled in at Fort Huachuca. I was only eight years old. My father named her Stars and Stripes."

Put the cigarette out. Get to the good part. He's bored. "Seriously, this gets good. When I was 15, we were at Fort Drum by then, my Mom started banging my dermatologist. This went on for about a year and I was pretty miserable, hating my Dad for being a Dad mostly but also for dragging us around everywhere, leaving me with Stars and Stripes as my only friend usually. So I was dreaming of my mom and my dermatologist making a go of it and letting me live with them."

He's still not interested. Finish the story but get him out of there right after. He's a dud. "Okydoke. So then, one day, poof, dream comes true. My Mom pulls the car over on I-81, tells me that she wants me to pack a suitcase and hide it under the bed. That night, the night before my Dad was about to move us all to Redstone Arsenal, she and I were gonna split and go live with Dr. Beame."

Now he's just wondering what this has to do with the goddamn dog. "So I pack up feeling light as feather, thinking I'm finally gonna have a life I'd wanna remember someday, you know? I lay in bed waiting for 2 AM to roll around, the appointed time. Round 12:30, my Mom creeps into my room and I hop outta bed, grabbing for the suitcase. She takes me by the shoulders and lays me back down. Says sorry kid, cold feet. We're goin' to Alabama with your Dad."

He says, "Um, the dog?"

Light a cigarette, making sure to shake your head in disbelief. "Here comes the dog, son." Send some smoke out towards him. "By the way, brunch is out for me. I just remembered I gotta help a friend move. Anyway, I flipped out on my Mom. Started hitting at her and screaming at her. Cursing. She's trying to shut me up before my Dad wakes up. But I couldn't have given a shit, so I just really wailed on her, slapping my forearms into her face while she tried to grab at my arms. My Mom's real small. So then my Dad comes in and pulls me off of her. He tosses me off the side of the bed and holds her to his chest. I climb up and see her crying into his undershirt. For fuck's sake."

Now he's interested, now that you forgot he's even there. "Fucking bitch had our ticket in her hand and she ripped it up. So Dad's demanding I tell him what this was about. Demanding I apologize. Fuck if I was gonna do either. The whole time, Stars and Stripes is barking at the two of them. So Dad keeps yelling, Mom keeps crying, Stars and Stripes won't stop barking, and I vowed then and there to get pregnant with the first Corporal I could find at Redstone. That'd make the new Colonel look real good. So Dad lets go of Mom and grabs Stars and Stripes by the collar. Says I'd better apologize to my mother or he'd take Stars and Stripes away from me. I don't say anything. He gives me a count of three."

Take a breath or you're gonna cry.

"On one, I start crying. But I don't say a word. I just cry and cry and send all the hate I can out of my eyes and all over him. Of course, he gets to three and yanks the dog out of my room. I listen to him go down the steps and out the front door. My Mom is sitting on the floor, her knees to her face, trying to say sorry probably but all she does is sit there shaking her head with her mouth open. I stopped crying then. I swear, I stopped crying just about five seconds before. I stopped crying and just sat there staring at my Mom like I was waiting for it. A full five seconds before I heard the gunshot in the back yard."

He's crying. Jesus.

"Jesus," you say.

"My God," he says.

He's not crying hard. Just a couple tears that he has to wipe away. But his face is real slack. Go lay down with him and play with his hair for a couple years.

Happy Stars And Stripes Forever Day!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

So You're Keith Fredericks Too Day!

You've met two other guys with the same name as you in your life, but you've never met one who was one half of a pair of conjoined twins before.

"Where'd you grow up?" you ask.

"Santa Fe. We lived there until our uncle sold us to an Eastern European circus. This is really weird to meet another Keith Fredericks."

"It is. It is."

This kind of cuts you a pretty good break. Everyone else has to figure out what kind of small-talk passes when you're talking to a couple of guys who share a hip. If they ask how they're liking the weather, will that be so benign that the twins will see right through it to the question they're dying to ask, which is…

"How do you think they take a shit?"

You hush your date up quick before she tries to raise her whisper above the bar's jukebox volume. Yes, you have it very good tonight. You get to lounge comfortably and look down on everyone else from the height of your conversation jumping-off point. You can feel the eyes of everyone else in your party marveling at how well you and one half of the Fredericks twins are getting along.

"You two have the same name? Wow, what are the chances?"

You and Keith look at the sister of the birthday girl and you both say, "Mm hmm." Several people have tried to sink their meat hooks into your conversation piece, but you've yielded not an inch. And you notice that Keith doesn't invite anyone else in either. Perhaps he's as relieved as you are to have an immediate topic of curiosity at hand. Of course he is. How often does a guy who spent his wedding night attached by skin and bone to his own brother get to say to a stranger, "How odd?"

"I know it's silly to think there'd be any parallels in our lives," you say, "But how many brothers and sisters do you have?"

"In addition to Nick here," Keith says, "I have a sister. Named Alicia. But I haven't heard from her since I was eleven."

"As I said, I know it's silly. But point of fact, I have one brother and one sister too."

"Weird," says Keith.

"Weird," you say.

"And just to see how far this goes," Keith says.

"Yes?" you say.

"Would you happen to be conjoined to one of them?"

You and Keith laugh.

"No," you say. "But I never forget their birthdays."

By the end of the evening, you and Keith will be getting along so well that Keith will tell you about the time he and Nick were watching TV, and Nick wouldn't change the channel from The Price Is Right. So Keith tried to grab the remote out of Nick's hand, but Nick held it away from him, and in the end they just started spinning around in a circle in the middle of the living room.

Happy So You're Keith Fredericks Too Day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The Dancer's Common-Law Husband Is Moving Out Day!

She's a dancer, and so she walks the hardwood floors barefoot in short, quick paces. He's a sculptor of some former renown, but lately his money is running out and he's fallen in love with his assistant. Moving out was his idea. He doesn't know that she's been offered a big wad of money to choreograph a film. She's not telling him, for fear that he'll stick around. Instead, she's walking the hardwood floors barefoot in short, quick paces, manufacturing chores to make herself look preoccupied while one half of her last nine years is being sorted into wine bottle boxes.

"Hey hey slow down," he says to her. She stops with some junk mail in her hands. He takes a seat on the couch and waits for her to join him. She sits.

"I wonder what you think," he says. Her blood's picking up. He's going to ask if she wants to give it another shot. Maybe he found out about the money.

He rubs his face, exhausted. Or at least with the semblance of exhaustion. "I don't know. Does this shit ever work? Relationships?"

Oh Jesus, she thinks. He wants a pep talk.

"You're worried about Tina?" Tina's his assistant.

"No, I know that's not gonna last. She's twenty fucking five. But you and me, we're like over forty. Shouldn't we be ready to settle in to something?"

She says, "When we met you were thirty three. I was thirty-four. We both still had vivid dreams. Neither of them came true. Not the one I had for myself nor the one I had about you. We're disappointed is all. We wanna dream about something again."

He doesn't respond immediately. Just shakes his head with a silly smile on his face. Then, "Your dreams didn't all fade to nothing. Sure, your company's defunct, but that led to you choreographing a big Hollywood movie."

He knows. "Yeah," she says. Did he just throw that up in her face? Is he gonna try to stick around to live off her for a while? Does he know how much money she's gonna be paid (she's gonna be paid a whole lotta money).

"Tina's great though," he says. "I think we'll have a lotta fun for a while. And you'll be kept busy with this movie. It's gonna be cool."

Holy shit, he's giving her a pep talk. He feels guilty is all. "Yeah," she says. She wants him out immediately. "I'll be okay."

Dear God, he's getting up and crossing to her. He's going to give her a hug. Oh Christ, he's so going to give her a hug.

Happy The Dancer's Common-Law Husband Is Moving Out Day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Avalanche!!! Day!

Today, all and sundry will be covered in hundreds of feet of snow after your sister Christine hears her boyfriend whisper something in her ear that makes her exclaim. After sixteen winters on the mountain you'd think she'd know by now. No one ever ever raises his voice. Even if you see someone about to be shot and you wanna yell "duck." But whatever Jake whispered in her ear, it sure must have been something special because it made her forget sixteen years of her life. Her and her family have been keeping their voices down for such an extended period, a good many of their vocal chords have atrophied and it should honestly take a little effort for any of them to raise their voices, a little seek and find time while they look for those chords that can project a shout. Unless of course a puppy love of the caliber of Jake sends a sweet nothing into one of their ears, then they start screaming like babies apparently. I don’t know what specialness Jake panted to Christine, but I bet he's regretting it way down there underneath 100 feet of snow. Way to go, Romeo. Yes, we blame you Jake. Not Christine. It's a teenage girl's natural instinct to shout to the heavens when her loverboy is sweet to her. It is NOT, however, a teenage boy's natural instinct to be sweet to his girl. You two live on a mountain for fuck's sake. What are you afraid she's gonna find someone else? Play it cool next winter, thanks Jake.

Happy Avalanche!!! Day! (Jake told Christine she was sexier than Jessica Simpson)

Monday, May 10, 2004

Break Some Windows Day!

You've had a hard day at work. Lots of yelling and unrequited lusting. And you got fired. You deserve a little "I Deserve A Little Something" time. So go over to the house that's been up for sale for two years and join the latchkey kids who show up every day in the house's backyard to idly toss rocks through the house's windows. After each of you sends a stone through a window, you can look over at the kids' dissatisfied faces and say, "Honestly, this is as good as it's gonna get so don't give up on it too soon. Let's throw a few more and see if we light any fires in our bellies huh?"

You and the latchkey kids will break a bunch more windows then the latchkey kids will ask you to buy them some ice cream. Say, "No. I gotta save my money. I got fired today." One of the latchkey kids will say, "My Dad used to get fired a lot. Then he left us."

Happy Break Some Windows Day!

Sunday, May 09, 2004

The Campfire Story Day!

Tell the boy scouts the one about the inbred killers who used to live in a shack in the very woods where they have to sleep tonight. How they were brothers, born of parents who themselves were brother and sister, and they suffered the horrible defects so common to offspring of incest, such as poor eyesight and misplaced appendages. Tell How they were jealous of people born from mothers and fathers who met at bars or supermarkets, so they couldn't help but rush out from their shack in the middle of the night and kill anyone who they considered to be trespassing into their woods. Tell them how one of the inbred killers would always feel very guilty after a kill, while the other was always like, "That ruled." Tell them how the one who felt guilty started taking correspondence courses to get his GED so he could finally get out of the woods and join society, but the other one was always like, "No one will accept you. You have a pinky growing out of your hip." But the one who felt guilty was like, "Look, Jed, I know you feel like you need me to hold the children and fornicating teens down while you drive the pitchfork into their genitals." And the other one was like, "Hell yes I need you to hold them down. What am I supposed to do? Go chasing after them with the pitchfork? You know my misshapen torso has afforded me a lopsided center of gravity. Come on Lem, we're a team!" But the one with the guilt decided to compromise. "Tell you what," Lem said. "I'll be happy to help with the kills until I get my GED. And maybe even after if doesn't get me any job offers. But once I get the chance to split these woods, baby I'm gone like a creeped out fawn."

The brothers shook on it, but Jed had a trick up his sleeve. When Lem fell asleep at his computer while taking his online GED equivalency test, Jed snuck over, changed all the answers, and clicked on "Submit For Grade." The next day, Lem got an email from the correspondence school telling him he'd passed with a near perfect score. He was overjoyed, and couldn't stop beaming at Jed about how he was smarter than he ever imagined. "I'm gonna make it big," Lem told Jed. "Check out my potential," he shouted as he waved the test score in Jed's face. Jed couldn't take it. "You inbred retard," he shouted at his brother. "Last night, I changed every single answer on your test to try and get you a failing grade. Had you turned in your test as it was, you would've failed like a bitch. You'll never make it outside of these woods." Lem accused Jed of just being jealous. But just in case Jed really did try to sabotage his test, Lem threw a hatchet at him. And just before Jed died, he set Lem on fire.

"But the bodies were never found," tell the scouts. "So they might still be alive. But if they kill any of you, one of them's gonna feel real guilty about it. Later days." Then go into your tent and get some shut-eye.

Happy The Campfire Story Day!

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Due To Circumstances Too Horrible To Elaborate Upon On This Sign, The Candy Cave Will Be Closed Indefinitely Day!

Mary must've written the sign. Of all the girls, Mary is the one who really just wants to scream from the rooftops, "My Dad Didn't Do It." Kim's been putting a smiley face on it all. Everyone who gets in her line at the checkout asks her about it, and she just says "We're all doin' okay, thanks so much for your concern. Yes, I'll tell them. Thank you." Jane, of course, split. Some say she went out to California, but she's probably just living with her Aunt in Jersey. Jennifer seems to actually be handling things. Going into Manhattan every day to either meet with the lawyer or do her own research at the library there, then coming home to be with their Mom. Jennifer's gotten her letters printed on four editorial pages across in four different papers so far, including the Boston Globe. She's been talking to an editor at the Times. Though not the editor. Not yet.

But Mary's been nothing but a doomsayer shouting a lot of well-intended but poorly articulated doom. Jennifer made her promise to never speak to the press again after Mary told a local news reporter, "Maybe he was having an affair with the girl, but that doesn't mean he'd kill her," and it started getting picked up nationally. Mary's semester off from Rutgers has lasted eighteen months already, so when the police showed up at her Dad's candy store, she was kind of happy to have something come along and swirl her up. But with Jennifer keeping a muzzle on her, Mary's cries of injustice are relegated to her bullshit Relatives Of Incarcerated Loved Ones (ROILo) support group and to the occasional outburst such as the sign on the door of her Dad's candy shop. Jennifer plans to reopen the candy shop soon and make Mary manage it. They need the candy shop to appear viable in order to get the loans to pay for the defense. And the defense team might be bringing on a forensics expert now that her father's bloodtype (but not fingerprints!!) showed up on the wrench the killer used to bludgeon Charise Johnson's head.

Happy Due To Circumstances Too Horrible To Elaborate Upon On This Sign, The Candy Cave Will Be Closed Indefinitely Day!

Friday, May 07, 2004

Look At The Pretty Bird Daddy Day!

Your daughter just saw a pretty bird in the sky. She said, "Look at the pretty bird Daddy!" You looked at it, then you looked down at her and said, "You're right, it's a very pretty bird."

No shit it's pretty. She wasn't asking your fucking opinion. She was trying to alert you to a little fleck of natural beauty soaring through your day. But you had to use it to get all DAD on her and turn it into a fucking lesson. If only she was old enough to say, "Thanks genius. I really needed your input here. By the way, Mom's thinking twice."

Get off your high fucking horse and just love the shit out of your daughter for a little while. If you were here, standing in front of me right now, I'd get up out of my desk chair and punch you in the goddamn mouth. Christ almighty. I'm gonna go take a bath.

Happy Look At The Pretty Bird Daddy Day!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

The Bricklayer's Song Day!

The bricklayer is tired, lonely, and sick of laying fucking bricks. So he wrote a song to get him through the day. It's called, "Smokin' Hot Mama."

Smokin' Hot Mama
by The Bricklayer (Tim Girardi)

Here she comes down the avenue
In her dress all pretty and sewn
Draggin' behind her a wagon full of pears
Oooooooh. Luscious.

Smokin' hot mama
All firey thoughts and bad intentions
Smokin' hot mama
Fruit stand supplya' (probably...or maybe she just found those pears...I've never seen her before honestly and I'm too shy around women to ask)

There she goes underneath the overpass
Noise of the cars above filling up her dress
She's out from underneath the overpass now
Smokin' hot Mama, so many bricks, Jesus. (a whole building and I just got started)


Happy The Bricklayer's Song Day!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Learn The Bugle Day!

Learn to play "Broken Taps." Your girlfriend's so gonna dig it.

Practice playing so that you fuck up that one note the exact same way that Sergeant Keith Clark cracked it at Kennedy's funeral. The next time you and your girlfriend are going at it, just go through the usual steps like you're gonna do it the way you've done it for the past 200 nights. Close the door and let her get into the living room, then come up from behind her as she's unbuttoning her coat and kiss her neck while you slip your hands underneath her fingers and unbutton the buttons for her, like you do. Like clockwork, get your hands up under her sweater, pulling her breasts free from the cups of her bra and holding them while you kiss her ear. She'll spin around, like she does, and she'll pull her sweater over her head and she'll interrupt you undoing the clasp of her bra by pulling your shirt over your head. You'll make out there, like you do, standing up in the middle of the floor, both your torsos bare and white under the one light bulb that hasn't burned out yet, and then you'll drop a bit and lay kisses on her breasts before you put your mouth to the crotch of her pants, rubbing your face into the warmth, like you do. You'll come back up and she'll undo your pants and play with you while you make out some more. Then she'll push you to a seat on the bed, drop to her knees on the floor and bring you into her mouth, like she does.

When she pulls away from you, with a few gentle kisses goodbye, she'll stand and ready her hands to undo her pants and climb up on the bed to dip her pussy in your mouth. Grab her hands before she gets the button undone and say, "Wait."

Her face will turn with fear that you've lost the mood. But your smile will tell her that, yes, it's going to happen, yes. Yes, the two of you are possibly going to have sex in a manner that diverges slightly from the clockwork step-by-step you've both come to contentedly enjoy over the past two hundred nights. She'll keep her hands by the button of her pants, and they'll shake a bit with anticipation. Reach under the bed and retrieve the bugle.

She'll look at the bugle like it's a diamond ring. She'll have to catch her breath to ask her question.


"Broken baby." Kiss her just above her belly button and look up into her eyes. "Broken."

Close your eyes, wet your lips and pucker to the bugle. When you open your eyes, you'll find her pants are open and her hand is bunched into an open fist under her underwear. Close your eyes again and blow.

Day is done… Draw it out so very long. And when the note finally gives to silence, she'll suck in a startled gasp, capped with a wet coo at a pitch high enough to crack a glass. Open your eyes. Her eyelids are fluttering faster than her fingers are flittering underneath her underwear. Close your eyes again.

Gone…the sun… And you crack it, you crack the sun with that same broken pitch that made the whole country blink their eyes just once, all at once, so many years ago. Recover the pitch and let the note swim out, but the sound of your bugle will be smothered by the ecstasy pouring forth from her mouth in a torrent of sobs. You'll be cut off when she climbs onto your thighs, her pants and underwear stretched wide below her knees, and stumbling and flailing she'll jostle the bugle away from in front of your face and whip you up inside of her, her panting sobs turning to a pained moan as she says over and over, "Oh I love you oh I love you" like she's begging God to never ever take you away. The fury of her writhing frame and the strength of her grip around your neck will make you stiffen in fear that any movement on your part might make her hurt you by accident. But she'll finish, and you'll finish, and she'll lay atop you whispering her love into your ear until she falls asleep.

She sure does dig that president.

Happy Learn The Bugle Day!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Three Young Men In Their Late Twenties To Early Thirties, Walkin' Down The Street Yeah Day!

Three young men in their late twenties to early thirties, walkin' down the street yeah
One of em lookin for his girlfriend, who's off tryin' to figure things out

Three young men in their late twenties to early thirties, walkin' down the street yeah
One of em, Josh, age 27, hopin' to find his girlfriend at one of the places she always liked to go to, places like the used bookstore and her mom's

But what Josh don't know yeah
Is his girlfriend feels like she's been wasting her time trying to get backing for her literary magazine yeah
So Josh's girlfriend ran off into the woods to live there for a while

Three young men in their late twenties to early thirties, walkin' down the street yeah
There's Josh, the one we already met, yeah
There's Charles, age 32 and gay
And then there's Leo who tried to commit suicide only six weeks ago and no one knows about it yeah

Oh oh oh Josh's girlfriend's name is Diana and Diana's got pretty brown hair that streaks out over her cheeks and kisses her on the lips
Ah ah ah Diana doesn't laugh that much and she doesn't cry much either but she smiles
Oh when she smiles
Oh when she smiles
It's not that big a deal

Hey Leo why ya so sad?
Is it because ya have so much trouble being glad?
For all the wonderful things you've had?
Or are you just mad?
That you drank a lot of vodka and ate a lot of prescription muscle relaxers intending to be found on the floor of your bedroom near-dead in a pool of your own vomit and rushed to the hospital but instead you fell asleep and woke up dizzy after not too long and vomited it all out all on your own into your toilet and then went and got in bed without no one even knowing you just tried to kill yourself and not even getting to go to the hospital and have everyone worry for the next year and a half about whether you were gonna try again yeah?
Hey Leo it's gonna be okay. Just get drunk and tell someone about it.

Three young men in their late twenties to early thirties, walkin' down the street yeah
Charles, the gay one, is doing fine
Both financially and socially, yeah oh yeah

Three young men in their late twenties to early thirties, walkin' down the street yeah
Diana's in the woods Josh
If only you read Girls Are Pretty
You'd know she's out in the woods
And she's not thinking about you

She's thinkin' bout Phoenix (she grew up there)

Happy Three Young Men In Their Late Twenties To Early Thirties, Walkin' Down The Street Yeah Day!

Monday, May 03, 2004

Goodbye Georgia O'Keefe Day!

"It was pretty much slow-motion," you tell the one with the pen and the piece of paper. "It all only should've taken a second, but it felt like it went on for twenty minutes."

"Step-by-step," the officer says.

"Okay," you say. "I threw the Frisbee up to my little brother by the street. It was a long throw so I gave it all I got. Of course, it went over his head and into the street. That's when I saw the hatchback coming straight at him. He was a goner for sure. But then with a streak of gray behind her, Georgia O'Keefe swooped out of the sky and flung a handful of mud at the car's windshield, making it swerve off down the hill and into the rocky beach of the creek below.

"I ran up to the street to wear Georgia O'Keefe was hugging my brother. I said to her, 'Thank God for you Georgia O'Keefe.' And she said, 'Check it out kid. Don't be counting on me for too much longer. As of the last Friday in May, I'm out of the superhero business.' I said that's fine I understand."

The one without the pen and piece of paper asks, "But why didn't she just grab your little brother out of the way? She ended up killing that couple in the hatchback, you know."

You shrug. "Georgia O'Keefe saves little kids. Grown-ups and pets often get killed in the process, but she don't care. That's the way it works with her."

"Well she may be a superhero kid," says the one with the piece of paper and pen, "But we're still gonna bring her in."

You say, "Don't! She'll commit suicide if she's incarcerated. She's constantly looking for a reason to commit suicide. It's all she talks about!"

Happy Goodbye Georgia O'Keefe Day!

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Man With A Van Day!

You meet this Don guy outside his girlfriend's apartment building on 63rd between 2nd and 1st. You got your van into a space down the block. You'll pull up and double park when the girl's down on the street to keep an eye out. This Don guy is a lot smaller than you.

"Did you ring the buzzer?" the Don guy asks.

"You only gave me the address," you say. "Not the apartment number."

You and the Don guy head inside and up the three flights to his girlfriend's apartment.

"What's her name again, Don?"

The Don guy says, "Sarah."

You go up three more steps before you say, "Pretty name," up to Don's back. Don's leading you up the steps.

"You live with anybody?" Don asks.


"This is my first time," says the Don guy. He smiles down at youover his shoulder. He's excited about it.

Don's putting his key in the lock when you remember you didn't ask for the money yet. You always get paid up front. Three of your first four jobs ended with a haggle over the rate. The fourth one ended with you sitting around waiting to get paid while the college kids you helped to move kept trying to put another beer in your hand. Since then, it's always up front, in full. If they wanna argue, they can go find another van.

"Oh, hey Don. About the money."

"Right. Sarah's got it."

The Don guy opens the door on a ransacked studio. Dresser drawers hang open and half-empty. The bed is naked except for a comforter. The closet door is flung wide with a pile of sweaters and jackets strewn out on the floor like the thing exploded. The open windows flutter the curtains bulbous into the room, just to make it all look a little more desolate. Don's looking at the fridge. There's a note on it.

"Oh fucking hell," you say. You're not gonna get paid.

The Don guy is reading the note. "Holy shit," he says.

"What the fuck's it say Don?" you ask.

"She freaked."

You're really not gonna get paid. "How bad Don? Is this for real or is she gonna come running back by the end of the day. Read me the note."

The Don guy gives you the same incredulous look he's giving the piece of paper in his hands. "Dude, I hardly know you."

"Check it out Don." You're pointing a finger at him. "This involves me too here. You hired me for a job that I might not be allowed to perform. And before I explain to you that I get paid for my time no matter what obstacles beyond my control prevent the job from getting done, I'd like to know whether there's gonna be a job to do."

The Don guy looks at you, then your finger. "She freaked, all right. I'm not gonna read you the note."

"She's not moving in with you?"

The Don guy shakes his head, his eyes still down on the note.

"Okay Don, but is this just a cold feet thing? Could she come back today?"

"How the hell should I know?" he says.

"Well how've things been between you two lately?"

The Don guy folds up the note. "Look, let's just go to a cash machine and I'll pay you what we agreed."

You sit down on the computer chair and pull a leg up on your knee. "Now hang on. I don't wanna get paid, be on my way back home and then have you calling me up telling me she changed her mind and can I come on back seeing as you went ahead and paid me already. Now, how've things been between you two lately?"

The Don guy flops into the papasan chair. He pulls some of her belts and a winter cap out from underneath him. He hangs onto the winter cap, playing with its frayed threads. "Things have been fine. Except she started mentoring kids. Like tutoring, but also kind of being a big sister. Young teen girls. It's all she can talk about."

"She just started doing this mentoring?"

"She got laid off from her job in February. Which is what made us decide to move in together. Or not the only reason, but it's what got us talking. She can't afford this place right now."

You get up and go to the kitchen. "Nothing wrong with that Don. I've been moving a lot of people in together and almost all of them's doing it for the rent cut." You peer into the fridge. There's some orange juice. You hold up the carton to the Don guy. "You want a glass?"

The Don guy nods. You pour two glasses while he talks. "This one girl. Nicole. She's fourteen and screwing her boyfriend without a condom. Sarah's been begging her to make the guy use a condom but she won't. She doesn't care if she gets pregnant. Sarah says she wants to get pregnant."

"Sarah wants to get pregnant?" You're standing over the Don guy with the glasses in your hands.

"No. No. Nicole does." The Don guy takes his glass of orange juice. You sit back down at the computer desk. "Like, her best friend got pregnant. And she wants to join the club. Get the attention. Sarah's been talking about Nicole every night. Like Nicole's a bomb about to blow and she's running out of time."

"So Don," you say. "I hate to ask this because I know the answer's gonna suck. But when did Sarah start packing?"

Don picks up the winter cap again. "Last night I hung up with her around one. She said she was gonna start then."

You have a breath to let out, and you let it out slow, through your nose, so it doesn't make a sound like a sigh. "She hasn't been too excited about the move then, has she Don?"

The Don guy shakes his head. "All she ever talks about is Nicole and the other kid she's mentoring. Terence. But Nicole's the one she's worried about. Terence she says is just real stupid and lies a lot. Terence is trying to be cooler than he is. But Nicole's really walking a tightrope."

You down your orange juice, get up out of your chair, and you hold out your hand. "Lemme read the note Don."

The Don guy grabs the note from his lap. "What for? I'll just pay you and you can go."

You crouch in front of him and look him in the eye. "Don," you say. "I'm a Man With A Van. I'm not in business for families of five moving out to the suburbs. I'm in business for kids just starting off after college and for people like you. People in their late twenties and early thirties who might be making a big mistake and are scared shitless about it. I've moved a lot of couples in together and by now I can tell by the way they're talking to each other whether it's gonna work or it's gonna be a big mistake. It usually comes clear when we're all three of us trying to angle the couch down the corridor. But you see, she's not here for me to know whether this is gonna work out. All I know of her is she's looking for something to do with herself, the mentoring and all, and that don't bode too well for her taking the big leap with you. But if I read her note, I'll know whether I should take your money and hit the road, or whether you should go get us some egg sandwiches while we wait for her to come running back through the door. Now lemme read the note."

Your hand is out in front of you. The Don guy looks at your hand, then into your eyes, trying to find something he can trust. He finally puts the note on your palm, gentle as a feather.

You go back to your desk chair and you read while the Don guy watches.


After we hung up I sat on the floor for 4 and a half hours. I didn't do anything, I didn't even think about anything. I looked at the clock at five AM and felt like I'd just come out of a coma. I don't know what I'm doing. With anything. I'm going to pay my rent for this month and I'm staying at Megan's for the week. I'm sorry, but I just can't make a decision like this, or any decision, the way I am right now. I'm sorry Donny. I love you.



You fold up the note. You get out of your chair and you hand it back to the Don guy. He's looking up at you like you're a priest about to give him his first communion.

"Go get us some egg sandwiches Don," you say. "I'm gonna turn on the TV if you don't mind."

The Don guy smiles. He hops out of the papasan chair and bounds out the door.

Happy Man With A Van Day!

Saturday, May 01, 2004

She Wishes Morrissey And Marr Could've Tried To Work It Out Day!

It starts in a car when How Soon Is Now? gets going and everyone just wants to keep quiet and look out the window and watch trees fly by. It's late and it's winter and the driver's drunker than Dave and Mary, both asleep in the backseat. Karen's awake and dreamy-dumb like she always is. Karen never lets things happen the way they should. She thinks there could've been more records.

"They were just so good," is the extent of her argument.

Karen can't get what is obvious to the rest of us. Even you, the stupid dumb reader, can hear the sleep-deprived petulance that makes Strangeways such an unpleasant listen. It was over, in a big angry way. Karen thinks her favorite rock bands should go on making her favorite records forever and ever.

"Wouldn't it be great if there were like ten more albums that we never heard before?"

Yeah, great Karen. Just fucking awesome. How Soon Is Now? ended two minutes ago and no one got to hear it because she couldn't just wander off into the million mile plain of a car ride that everyone else can explore just fine without running their fucking mouths off about shit that's just wrong.

"And what have they done since then? Nothing nearly as good."

You can't take it anymore. If she says one more thing, you're going to have to say something and the tone in your voice will send her to bed as soon as you get back into the house and you'll just end up drinking on the couch in front of HBO. Which doesn't sound so bad honestly. But wait until she says something else. Maybe she won't say anything at all.

"They broke up too soon."

"No they fucking didn't. They broke up just in time. Death Of A Disco Dancer for god's sake. Or Paint A vulgar Picture if it's not obvious enough. Come the fuck on. They were over and done with and Viva Hate was one of the most logical progressions from great band into adequate solo effort in music ever. Come on Karen."

Karen's quiet now. And Dave and Mary are awake in the backseat. You're the big dick of the winter car ride.

"Bands can't go on forever is all I mean."

Nice save dickhead.

Happy She Wishes Morrissey And Marr Could've Tried To Work It Out Day!