Thursday, October 22, 2009

She sat down heavily, so close that I could smell the stale perfume on her pantsuit. On her lap she held a battered boy scout tin full of pictures, and between nicotine stained nails dangled the one I’d come for.

“This here, this is your motha.”

Partially hidden behind coffee stains was a picture of a mother and infant, the mother with a thick, full beard that fell just on top of the baby’s rounded belly. I wondered if I thought hard enough if I would remember what that felt like, the tickle against my skin.

“One of the best sideshow workers we evah had, God bless her,” she coughed violently, dislodging ancient phlegm into her hand. “You look just like her, if you cover up from here down,” that same hand pressed down under my nose, presumably where a beard would be, if I had one.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The farmers had woken up at dawn to reap the harvest, finally ripened after a long season of waiting. The trees, for their part, patiently held their wriggling fruit until some gloved hand cared to lighten their burdens. Baby season had begun. The workers sorted through the pink and plump offerings. The ones deemed acceptable were handed to a line of waiting men to be wrapped up and shipped out to couples who had been anticipating their arrival since the beginning of the season. Some, however, were not to have such a fate. It was one worker’s unhappy job to dispose of the crops that were not satisfactory. The man, face obscured by his hat brim and hands covered in thick, black gloves, moved robotically, perfunctorily, casting aside those who would not be welcomed into any home.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When the body floated into town it only had a sixteen-count packet of Crayola crayons and a couple of wet wipes in its pocket. The wet wipes, it was noted, were especially wet-- circumstances being what they were.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In my mind, I saw the entire hallway on fire. People would run out of their rooms, knocking into each other in blind panic. But the door at the end of the hallway was locked. They would run up to me and they would yell,

“Do you have the keys? Do you have them?”

And I would smile at them and shrug. There’s nothing I can do. I don’t have the key. But I did have the key; it was in my pocket. That’s what made it a game, they didn’t know, and I did, and the hallway was on fire, and the door was locked. So I would watch them pile up at the door, stepping on each other, brute and bovine, but they still couldn’t open the door. I would begin to walk toward the door.

“Do you have the keys? Please, oh god, please!” they would yell.

I would calmly regard the crowd. I would clear my throat, step over the bodies that had been pushed to the floor, and make my way to the door. The only door. And I would take out my key, and unlock it. And they would call me a hero.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

“My sister knew a guy who had one of those mattresses once. He relaxed so much that he just died. His parents found him in the morning, like, ‘get up for school, honey’, you know, but he was dead,” she took a long, knowing sip of her coffee.

“Shut up. That’s not even possible.”

“No dude, my sister, like, knows people that went to his funeral. He just got so relaxed that his heart stopped beating or something. It’s happens, to like, one out of a hundred people or something.”


“I’m just saying. Think about it before you buy one.”

“Yeah, I’ll keep it in mind.”