(Compiled via text message with Stephanie on March 30, 2012)
Clutching the front of my sweater together, wishing for fairer weather.
There were pharaohs even 100 years ago
– they stayed home,
they hate how the wind blows,
it tears at their hair and regal clothes,
like the whips at the backs of those
they called slaves
– whom eventually parted the waves,
migrated west and found homes in suburban enclaves
in the land of the brave –
where nothing is free:
not food, water, discourse or a mid-morning pee
into the wind,
which solemnly hunts for those modern pharaoh’s faces
— You See? We all take our places,
yeah, we all yearn for graces
from these gods that never cared.
And there’s mist on the wind,
piss in my hair.
I pull up the hood of my sweater and slowly descend the stairs.
It’s been a pleasant trip for Cheryl Scott, so far. She’s accompanying her recently un-retired husband, Mearle, on a business trip to picturesque Green River, Wyoming. Their slightly used Buick LaCrosse (“Two years on the road and you’d never know it,” Mearle said the day he brought it home, his jowels quivering with pride.) floats across the interstate confidently, like a silver thundercloud drifting across a Montana sky.
—Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“That’s a really tough question, just one memory?” Stephanie asks before she takes a sip of beer.
“Yeah, just one memory,” I say. We’re sitting in the grass under a large oak tree at the back corner of Amazon Park. It’s hot. “I should clarify; I stole this from a Douglas Coupland book, ‘Generation X,’ which is awesome, by the way.”
The branches above us sway on the breeze, opening gaps for the sun to spill through. Little drops of sunlight dance across Stephanie’s face. She’s pretty; her dark hair is just touching the shoulder straps of her yellow spaghetti strapped dress. She wears a white t-shirt underneath it. She told
—Back of Amplifier.
Richard didn’t think he could talk to his friends about it anymore, not even his closest friends. They’d be frustrated, they’d be angry with him. He’d fallen back on them with this too many times. Each time they’d patiently given him the same advice, logical, sound advice that he nodded along to with his iPhone pressed to his ear while salty tears dropped onto his ironic t-shirts. It was advice that he’d given some of them in the past, his voice firm with conviction, but it was advice that he couldn’t seem to follow. “Stay away from her; she’s only going to hurt you.”
***Note: this is stupid. - A
The light turns red at 13th and Anderson. A 27-year-old accountant called Neil, perspiring in a corduroy suit, gently applies the brakes of his old Toyota. His head points rigidly forward. His eyes flash from the road to his rearview mirror.
“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.” He mutters, eyes in the mirror. “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.” He starts to whistle. He stops whistling. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he says. A biker with torn stone washed jeans striped with blood grows in Neil’s mirror at a remarkable rate considering the violent wobble in his front wheel.
***This is a short story I threw together for my fiction writing class.Why not post it here? Exactly. So here it is. - A
It all started with the stapler. It was around ten in the morning on a Tuesday and Steve was stomping around howling like a crack-headed banshee about his goddamn stapler. “Shit,” stomp, stomp, stomp. “Fuck,” stomp, stomp, stomp. I remember in my half asleep state being particularly interested in how he emphasized the swears. “Where the fuck is my mother fucking stapler?” etc. He’d been up all night working on a paper for probably a law class or something and now, some twenty minutes before it was due, he couldn’t find anything to bind his irrefutable masterpiece with.
We’re drinking scotch tonight in a blue-collar hole called “Mac’s Tavern.” It’s a long bar on the ground floor of an old brick building in downtown Madison. We’ve got a regular gig; we meet at a different dive every Thursday to drink heavily and whine the night away like kids with dead hamsters or lost puppies. Alex moves his glass around in a motion like a bent bicycle wheel and watches the ice spin with low eyes.