A-Rod's Bad Dream

He looked at his reflection, smiling wide like a criminal in court and then, in love with what he saw, he leaned in and kissed the mirror, his lips making deep & warm with his own, dizzy from the intensity of his own impassioned eyes, his own forbidden taste.

And then, realizing what he'd just done, Alex Rodriguez made hot sick in his mouth, hoping he could hold it, or swallow, or at least take it to the toilet, but the rush of bile had its way: it escaped his throat & launched as a projectile stream out his mouth, splattering the mirror and obscuring his reflection, his senses overtaken by the hot stench of his own undigested foul.

A-Rod lowered his head, as he felt the vomit drip off his face, obscuring his image in the mirror. He hiccupped, a final round of liquid shame escaping his lips and pooling on his chin. He couldn’t ask Rosa to clean this, not after all the other humiliations, not after that night with Derek & the sheets. He knew he'd have to skim the glass with his own hand, in his own paper towel, from his own spray bottle of Windex. Where was that last glass of scotch?

He turned the shower on, letting the hot water run, praying he'd find absolution in the steam and the spray, wondering why he felt so bad over a meaningless one-year suspension, or why he felt worse about making upchuck on the mirror. He watched the steam and considered his legacy- liar- and his impact- cheating- on the game, wondering when this drinking thing became more than just a hobby.

He opened his mouth to sneer, at the puppet Commissioner, at the Player's Union, at Major League Baseball, humanity in general, but he found there was more Big Ted Burger inside him than he had realized. Tequila, beer, & ground beef fueled his final blow and he made rancid chunk, soaking his chest and shoulders in the acids from his stomach, throwing up testosterone, HGH & anabolic steroid from deep inside his system. The potent combo stained his skin pinstripe white.

The vomit covered his body, became a uniform, a Yankee uniform, and Alex was on the field at the new Yankee stadium, the antiseptic corporation bowl at sell-out capacity, the faceless fans in the stand all cardboard cutouts, their voices loud & clear, and all of them booing at him on this dark Summer night, a night too dark for baseball, and he was the only player on the field, standing alone at third base as eight baseballs flew past him from all different directions. He reached. He ran. He couldn't catch them. The crowd was disgusted.

Then he was at the plate, a bat in his hand, a pitcher on the mound with eyes of black and a face of fury, throwing the ball so fast Alex couldn't even see it fly by. He struck out. Over and over again. Six swings. Nine. Twelve. The crowd called him names, told him the truth. The umpire told him he was out. He stood alone at home plate choking up.

A-Rod found the beer bottle in his hand and took a sip. 'That's right,' he thought, fresh from his shower, 'I have a plan.' And though he couldn't remember it right now he was sure that it would clear his name, exonerate him for all the things he did wrong, which he never did in the first place, so there was nothing to worry about.

He staggered down the steps of the deck into his backyard, the bat back on his shoulder, the baseball in his left hand. Soggy on the drink and weakened from the sickness Alex tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it with all his might, missing by a country mile and creating a force of wind so powerful it almost went hurricane.

'It's okay,' he thought, as he looked for the ball in the overgrown grass, getting ready for the second pitch, 'This is all a bad dream, and I'm the greatest baseball player in the whole fucking world.'

Something To Scream About


The String

Riding in the elevator Martin noticed the string hanging out of Carrie’s skirt. It was about six inches in length, clean and white, dangle lazy from her waistband, hanging cool against the black fabric. It led down into her skirt… and then where?

And then where...?

He was going to ask her, but before his lips could form the words he found his hand already outstretched, the kind white string between his thumb and forefinger. He pulled gently.

“Yiiiiiiii,” giggled Carrie, as the elevator rode higher and higher. She was smiling in spite of herself.

“What is that string for?”

“It’s connected to something,” she said, annoyed but still smiling, “so please don’t pull on it.”

The floor numbers light up the dial, and Martin tried to be cool as he listen to the motor jive, tried to think about politics, and that one Italian opera he had always meant to see. What was it called…? The name was on the tip of his tongue but his left hand had already closed fingers round Carrie's mystery string and he tugged, this time with a bit of force.

“Zwaaaaaaay!” squealed Carrie, standing on her tip toes. She hit him with her magazine.

“I thought I asked you!” Her smile was unstoppable. Then, “Go away, Martin!”

Her teeth looked great. Brighter than usual.

It was just a white cotton string, thicker than thread, thinner than rope, delicate and vulnerable, innocent but powerful, and it was disappearing into her skirt just in front of her hip. Leading beneath… leading down... leading God-knows-where. Martin’s head was spinning.

What is that rule? Two times is funny, three is too much. Or wait! Maybe it was three times funny, four times too much? Three times too much, two times too many? He knew he should quit while he was ahead. Two times funny, three times seven... twenty-one?

He gave the string a strong yank- Carrie’s spine liquified, her eyelids fluttering, her eyeballs going slack and rolling to the back of her head. Her tongue hung lame out the side of her mouth. She shivered, then staggered, and then came the familiar grin and giggle, like she had just come into a great secret.

“Hymeeeeeeee!!!” she howled, and Martin took a step back, afraid. But she looked at him with such affection that his fear fell away.

“You’re going to get it,” she said, smiling wide and laughing music.

“Please. Please tell me what that string is for… what is it connected to?” Martin asked.

She gave him a look that seemed a warning: ‘Martin….’

“Please, Carrie. I have to know. Please tell me what that string is for.”

Carrie’s smile was crooked now, devious, and she looked around the empty elevator as if someone else might hear. She licked her lips and took a short breath.

“Okay, I’ll tell you,” she said, “but you have to promise to never tell anyone else. Ever.”

“I promise,” swore Martin.

The elevator leveled to a stop. The bell chimed and the doors opened.

“Sorry, Martin,” Carrie said, slipping off, “this is my floor.”


Gina, with the glow stick, under neon, slammed the dance floor when her tit slipped out her top. It leaked easy, didn’t really matter, and no one took a picture. Gina just keep dancing, in rhythm to the music, in time to the Ambien and the Ecstacy: she couldn't even feel her nipple poke you in the eye.

The club was live, the crowd was lost in the bass, moving furious in bliss of velvet chemical courtesy of good pharmacists gone bad. DJ had the records running backwards: house speakers breaking everybody's jaw, scratches deep enough to scuff the sidewalk. The wide floor was full, the bar in the back of the hall all but abandoned, tenders drying glasses, cocktails melting in surrender. The spotlight hit the uptown crowd of corporate digital kids, young money party fine, their glowing necklaces lighting up the darkness in genius junior. Tonight they live their dream of freedom, all of them in their own music video. Gina was starring hard.

She blew the bouncer to get in, burly with a beard, and while her mouth was full with his member her phone began to ring. It was her Mom, and the scene was so absurd that Gina would have giggled if she wasn’t busy gagging. Afterward the guy gave her a goody bag of pills; Gina swallowed like a good girl. Mom left a voicemail but fuck that noise. Too many conversations… too many mondays at the office where the clocks don’t go. It was time to break out, to forget all her manners: tonight she was ready to lose her head, to amplify and divide. Gina feel the warm glow from the bouncer in her belly, and a couple vodka cocktail helped the tabs liquefy pretty. This was getting good. Tonight’s mission: absolute obliteration.

Gina’s breast, bouncing free, liberated joy and blind to her opened eyes, until a colored girl called Macy slipped it back into Gina’s strapless top, all done under the guise of grinding beside her. Macy was smooth: Gina didn’t feel a thing. Some of the junior execs who had sponsored her first drinks were hitting the dance floor now, unable to sit still in the presence of the scent... the smell of soft earth from a good girl's garden. Gina had been shy with the boys at the bar: talking small, her butterfly eyes on hover, her mouth wide smile. The guys could feel her gravity, danced around her in spontaneous symmetry with cash in their hand that took flight and disappeared into the neon sky. To leave this baby thirsty would be a crime against everything beautiful.

Out on the dance floor Gina couldn't see the boys she had made men, didn't notice them finding funk & flanking her, all intent on taking her home, for the chance to get inside and go beyond. Gina, loving the beat, feeling free as her body finally did what it had always been meant to do. She had grown up in silence, afraid of her oatmeal, but she was learning quick that good girls drive their own cars.

She slipped her finger down the front of her pants, under the waistband, dipping it quick between her lips. She pulled out the sweetened finger and - in time to the beat- pushed it in the mouth of the app developer dancing to her left, who tasted her wet and got hard. Gina didn’t know his name.

Just then some joker fucked up on oxy & a lifetime of Playstation put his lighter to the smoke alarm, and against all odds the sprinkler system actually works. Water flooding the dance floor, rain pouring on the party as the boys and girls scramble for the exits, trying to preserve their club clothes and what's left of their dignity.

Not Gina. She kept moving to the music, laughing hard to her own private joke as her dress gets soaked and her tit slips back out her top. She pulled her dripping hair back, her calves stretching, her smiling cheeks sore, her wet breast bouncing to the beat. Nothing was gonna stop her from dancing tonight... she loved this song.

Seed (Second Planting)

So it’s there, in the ground, and you’re getting old from stepping over it, going deaf from pretending it isn’t there. You’re getting sick from walking by every day, keeping your eyes up, and really, what’s the worst that can happen if you water this seed? What’s the worst that can happen if it grows?

So you’re into the tool shed, past the lawnmower for the watering can, and you hold it in your hand, and you find yourself on the spot. The can is heavy with the liquid, your wrist is struggling to stay upright and then you find that it’s tilting, you’re pouring, and you water it good. And the ground soaks it up. The soil goes dark with satisfaction. And the seed inside the ground. Well, the seed.


He smiled as he threw the dynamite through the window: this was something special.

No more apologies. No more concessions. No more taking less because it was easier.

Listen up.

Stand back.

He put the car in drive and was gone before the