Thursday, February 27, 2014


I don't know why I did it - does that suffice? I can't find the words to say what I need to say without inflicting pain - can you forgive my silence? It is slowly killing us. It floats around our heads, vapor. I try to ignore the cowardice, but it is like a big, toothy dog - it smells of those mints your grandmother always had. They were tasty, but covered in lint - we all make our sartorial choices.

I know that every time I don't say it that I am worse than a liar - I am a builder of walls unfit to hide behind. My father was a Mason; he would be so ashamed. My walls always crumble no matter how strong I think I've made them. They crumble like middle school egos. There is no hiding.

I get mad for the strangest reasons. Your love enrages me. I hate me, and I want you to agree.

Dog fight memories dance in jubilant circles. The past creeps on tepid stalks, just below the sight line - I don't want to hear about it. I'll pick up my guitar and strum the apathy away - that's not true, this is not about me, it's about you.

First person confuses things. I get that. 

I want to be the man who walks into a room, stops - looking thoughtful - sits, quietly observant. But I want it to be natural. I am tiring of contrivances.

What should you call me? You can call me anything you want. I have no stake in it - I played the sly deuce and payed the price. My pride is a skittish foal. I write sentences that make me want to cleave my own skull with an axe. Who the fuck says 'skittish foal' and doesn't hate themselves? Horse folk, I guess. 

What does it MEAN? Why does it have to be this way? I don't have a goddamn clue. Ask me in forty years and I still won't have an answer for you. Unless I'm dead - then, that will be all the answer you need.

But I won't die. Genetics. I am descended from factory workers and laborers. My ancestors would probably enjoy beating me with picks and shovels. The irony is not lost on me.

There is no plot, get that anxious look off your face. It's making me nervous, itchy - makes my heart race. 

I stare at bright things. I walk through hallways sniffing; I don't know what I am expecting to smell. Some calamity. Sulphur madness. Sewage and cigarette butts. Do you SMELL that? They never do.

When I was young, things happened to me. Good things, bad things, happy and sad things. They were the mortar that should have held the bricks, but I threw the bricks through the windows of my soul. People never seem to understand. Break a window, punch a wall, fucking yell your head off - why? What do you mean 'why'? Seriously, it's pretty simple. 

If I gave you all the why's, you still wouldn't get your answer. Because your answer is everything. It is nothing. Its scope is beyond you. It smells like hot pine needles. It tastes like good scotch - too sweet - it would set your teeth on edge. 

So where does this leave us? In the middle of the woods, wishing we'd dropped bread crumbs? Or is it even worse - were the woods ever really there?

We've had about enough of this. I know you have. I certainly have. They have. You don't know who "they" are? Just wait, the sound of their arrival will be a reckoning centuries in the making - we will all quake and shiver, saluting nothing but ourselves.


  1. Please. No applause. What I did was not an act of courage. It was motivated purely by fear and if anyone knows what fear is all about, it's me. I raced in there, ax in sweaty hand, because I heard a woman's voice screaming for mercy, and I figured, the dying tree in my yard could wait another day for the axe. Maybe it all looked authentically brave; after all, I could've done my usual response to sounds of danger: run like hell, but this time, maybe curiosity got the better of a coward's good sense.

    There was blood everywhere. A woman lying akimbo on the shag rug, her clothing torn away, her eyes glazed like a storefront mannequin, and above her, on four legs the beast. I could've run then, but I was rooted there, as much a prisoner as the woman, except I had the ax which I began swinging at the monster's head. When it stopped roaring, when it keeled over in a furry heap, it reverted back to a human man. But until it first bit a chunk from my hand.

  2. Man, you have such a knack for turning subtle, beautiful phrases. "...curiosity got the better of a coward's good sense." - So good. Thanks for sharing this, Sal.

  3. Thanks JD for giving me a place to share!

  4. I was in the middle of my shift when the charge nurse rang my ward and asked to speak to me.

    "You're a good friend of Jerry's right?"
    "Yes, I guess. I mean we hang sometimes, what is this about?"
    "Well he didn't show up for his graveyard shift last night. That is not like him at all. I checked his dorm room and I could hear someone moving around in there but no one comes to the door. I wonder if you could just..."

    "I'll be right there."

    I met nurse busy body outside Jerry's dorm room where she stood pounding on the door frantically calling Jerry's name over and over like he was a run away Irish setter. Pushing her aside I put my ear to the door and called out, "Yo, Jerry its me man. Open the door."

    My mood elevated briefly as I heard movement on the other side of the door. The optimism was short lived as I heard the drugged out steps of someone who seriously took the wrong drugs.

    BAM! Something heavy struck the other side of the door and then slid down to the floor. Mercifully he managed to unlock the door on his slide to the floor. Pushing the door open with two hundred pounds of Jerry on the other side of it took both of us.

    "Call the paramedics, NOW!" I was trying to interpret what I was seeing. I seen most every version of high from fucked up to good and fucked up to simply fucked. Either Jerry had seriously took the brown acid or.... well my money was on or...

    1. That was dope, man. And very accurate. Sad. Human. Thanks for writing it.


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