Saturday, March 3, 2012


No, no. Not really. I just wanted to grab your attention.

     I was driving in the evening, my car limping and creaking from work. Snow had just fallen, trees lined the sidewalk like waiting brides in white. My head was cracking open like an egg from Billie Holiday, who was punching holes through my car stereo to grab at my head (yes, I could listen to her forever) and then . . . it happened.

     Perfection. I hadn't seen my twin lung, my other half in a few days. I was sad. It was snowing. My head was falling apart, my car was miming my head  . . .


     I was happy. It takes a little sad for me to be happy.

I don't know why. I have to be a little bittersweet for it. It pours in like syrup on a plate and spreads out, out, out. The snow, the trees, driving alone, the music. I realized I was very, very content. I would see my lover soon enough, my car would make it home, I had enough food for dinner, and work was done.                   I. was. happy.

     Of course, under the bones of this emotion are tendons stretched full of ache, the giant muscle of worry pulling.

But onward and upward.

Here is a short-short that if you would be so kind, reader, to leave feedback on (all two of you!).

Written late '10, I let it set on my computer. I don't mind honest critique. My skin is 'gator thick. Oh - it is  spec fic. Not for everyone.

            The sun gives its last orgasm and leaks into the pond out back. I collapse into bed with cell phone in palm, waiting for it to shiver like a mouse.  I can feel my life branching off and splitting, and it swells inside my veins but makes me tired.

Arizona. Vermont. Arizona. Vermont.
Two withered beauty queens duking it out, one frosty, another parched. I go to sleep in boxers, and wake with cellophane covering my face.

            “Where do you want this one?”
            “Throw it in the trunk”

Two moving men grab my ankles and under my arms. Being carried up stairs I notice my father leaning against the wall, his impatient eyes boring cellophane. I start to whistle but stop. This is a momentous occasion, where my being is going to be hauled and pumped to life, in a state and job I do not have to choose.
            “What about the big guy?”
            “Shit, son. I told you to leave’em upstairs with the other. These ones aren’t going out today.”
            “Man, I wish I had it this fucking easy. Apply, get accepted, euth'd and prepped. These motherfuckers have everything. Middle class lethargy.”

I wonder which state has got me. The drugs kick in. My breathing slows. I like my arms, dropping away like lead. I like my feet better for not supporting me.  I like my head for not thinking. I left a note on the counter, two notes actually. Specifically tailored to either state I may live and start a career in, complete with connections.  My parent's income range is just high enough to support the Integration Process. 

That's all, folks. 


  1. Mmm, something about listening to Ms. Holiday while reading this gave it a faux-nostalgia tint, like when we all remembered when we were robots.

    I don't care for the opening line. Hey, that's just me, and I know a lot of others will like it very much. Getting that out of the way, the rest reads like a dream. Maybe that Red Poppy isn't just perfume.

    There's a wonderfully cohesive quality to it, and a dust-motes-swirling-in-sunlight quality that brings that line about middle class lethargy to a solid hit. Sometimes I think you could've written The Virgin Diaries.

  2. I had to wiki The Virgin Diaries. Clueless! I was clueless!

    Thank you so much for letting me know about the first line. Is it overkill? Like a 'scratch entirely' or a 'back to the writing table'? Let me know, and mucho thanks by the by.

    And, uh, that perfume? How is the staying power? IT IS SO EXPENSIVE! AND I WANT THEM ALL! I would not mind smelling like a used bookstore/library. I'd likely be wearing vacant-eyed expressions of bliss throughout the day though. And I'm more of a frowny girl, myself.

  3. I like it. I like how you communicate such lack of energy and ability to act. I like the fluency and the economic writing (yes, I find it economic, I get a lot of images and atmosphere out of this very short story). I agree with Becky on the opening line, funny, that was actually my one objection too. I perceive it as you-trying-too-much, or maybe it´s a case of "kill your darlings", like when we as writers fall in love with a certain phrase or description and hold on to it even though it really doesn´t improve the story we´ve put it in. Hm, been there, done that, will do it again =)

    Hold on to the happy as it emerges =)

  4. Hi there Jenny -- I know exactly what you mean about needing a little sad to go for happy (kind of makes things poignant; bitter sweet). Liked that mouse, liked the whole story. When you mentioned beauty queens, it seemed to me that this is what this girl is being shipped out to be, which is certainly -- to me at least -- a role someone could be reconditioned and vacuum-packed for, and supplied in the manner suggested. Apologies to pageantry.

    BTW: I nominated you for an award here:

    May or may not be your thing, but take it as intended -- a compliment. Nothing else is required. I like your writing. :) St.

  5. And to continue with that thought, I have this thing where I *eventually* get round to stuff a million years late. Yeah, so I *finally* wrote a review of Riches for One / Poverty for Two. It was great reading your poems again, and you can find the review here: St.