Dog Days


It was in the sand.

No, wait- maybe... 

Maybe it was in her feet.

The way her heel gave heed to the softness of the sand, the angle of her ankle as it move across the beach. It was sinking in, the smell of her skin, her long hair hang to the small of her back. A drop of sweat from being in the sunshine.

And her feet make scoop of the heat-scalded sand as she leads me away from the boardwalk. The screams of the Ferris wheel fading away as she leads me to the dunes, or the surface of the moon, and we lay down close to the shoreline.

Her hand holding mine, my heart lost in hers, and we lower our heads at the thought of the depth of the ocean.

We talk with our lips, without words, and with saltwater sweet on my tongue the sound of the surf reminds me: that I'm not afraid anymore.

And together we set sail.

Paper Route - Day 15


Well... it's official... I think the bloom fell off the rose. Slapped my Mother when she tried to wake me up. Gouged my sister's eyes out for finishing the cereal. Kicked the Cafero's dog in the head for looking at me funny. The phone calls keep coming in, the neighbors hate me & I can honestly relate. Who reads the newspaper? I mean what is fucking wrong with you? Tomorrow I might get up early, get the papers out on time and start a pattern of dependable productivity. Or I might burn down every motherfucking house on the block...

It could go either way.

The Shot


“I am nothing. We know this. Now give me the shot.”

Psychiatrist, because he had to, “Mm you sure you want to go out this way? Must be pretty rough in your world.”

Step One in getting the shot was not to get tricked into talking. Talking leads to tears, tears leads to sorrow and the next thing you know you're back in bed at the ward doing art therapy to help get your feelings out on canvas.

I'm done with canvas.

“The shot...”

The Psychiatrist, in pantomime, looked at the Processor, wink-wink, “Now has he filled out all his paperwork in full?”

The Processor, an older black man who would never win an Oscar, pretending to scroll through his laptop, eyes popping wide, the three of us in this tiny office playing make-believe, denying that death was the answer, as if some God was watching with the benefit of laughtrack.

“No, I don't believe he has, Mr. Winter- Doctor Winter.” Try learning your lines.

“Well then let's re-convene this appointment at a future date and time-”

“I filled out all my paperwork. Signed every consent form. I had my lawyer witness & notarize. Stop fucking with me... let's just not fuck with each other. Do you want the confirmation number?”

Bureaucrats, bristling in their seats, suddenly aware of their waistbands, and their assholes, and all the other lies they'd come to know, since their formal education gave them no answers.

“74-74-505-B,” I recited, and then to watch them car crash, as they came up against proof indisputable, as they ran out of reasons for show.

One last-ditch attempt from Dr. Winter, and as much as I hated the son of a bitch I fell in love with him for caring this much: “I don't think you really wanna do this,” he said, standing up from his chair, “you're not ready for the shot. You're just a chickenshit coward with no guts or no balls... you're taking the easy way out, and I think you're fucking pathetic.”

That passion. I could have kissed him on the mouth. The man cared more than most. But I had made up my mind a long time ago.

“Thank you, Dr. Winter...” I recited smiling, “now give me the fucking shot.”

He looked into my eyes, pleading with me for some sort of clemency.

“The shot.”

He nodded, and I knew. They called the nurse in... a blonde in all white with her hair in a bun, anonymous executioner, syringe already readied, looking at me soft & sweet in order to tell me she didn't really do this, this wasn't really who she was... yeah. Whatever.

And with a smile & a lick of her lips she pierced my flesh with the needle, her heart a block of ice, and in that golden moment