Thursday, May 16, 2019

2 Minutes. Go!

Candy

The handle is sticky, toggling back and forth as the ice melts and the wrappers crinkle. Street fighter. You could do this for days. Take Mountain Dew and Twix breaks. Watch the shoplifters move slow then fast, then out. Watch the seventeen year old at the counter not giving a shit. Watch the owner coming back furious, but what the hell can he do?

Don’t eat the hotdogs. Seriously, just don’t. Leave a quarter on the game to save your place. You’re poor, but if you keep winning you won’t have to pay. You suck. Take quarters off the counter and from the corner of the mud room. That’s not stealing, it’s appropriating. Something fancier. You know it, baby.

The high school kids smoke cigarettes out front and talk smack to everybody – little kids included. They don’t care about anyone or anything except cigarettes and 90210. That kid with the fishing rod? He’s going to commit suicide. No one will see it coming. Same with Jenny who becomes a mommy young. Rachel will be a lawyer. Dante will see both sides of  a gun.

Wipe your hands on your pants and spit in the gutter and look up at the sun like, man, that sun is so bright. That’s everything right there.

Mad power.

 

Rust

That thin ketchup with the water in it. Always forget to shake it and you get mostly water, wet fart of ketchup. Tomato soup. Old people in scratchy sweaters. Peppermint fuzzy with lint. A dark bait box and the smell of industry. You don’t know what that smells like? In Pennsylvania it smells like upbeat poverty. That clothesline in the backyard, an octagon – all you gotta do is spin it, state of the art. Rust poking through the rubber paint.

An eerie silence, then dogs barking. You’ll never know. The house settles and makes sounds. Tiny sword, blackjack, bubble gum. Just take one. Cool water and cigar smoke. The smell of fresh cut grass. Hungry. Eating fast enough to skip being sick. Just tired. The back of a farm truck on a hot day. Sweat speckling hay.

Fish fries. FryDaddy. Cole slaw. Fisticuffs at the boat slips. Long, slow days. Warm beer. Neighbors fighting. Kids are kids. They are barefoot and full of wonder. Mullets and Mustangs.

Night. Silence. Collective breath.

Florida.

Florida feels like humid desperation. Boy, where's your smile? Turnstile. Way too close to Alabama. Hushpuppies and Catfish, son. You'll be home soon.

Let the night settle the dust of the day. Ashes to ashes. Rust to rust.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

2 Minutes. Go!

Pee


The alleyway is dark and stained, but the air is still – you are leaning, shoulder against cement, smiling like you’ve got a secret. The graffiti pulses in the moonlight. The stench of humans surrounds you, clogging your throat. This is where souls go to die. Among dirty syringes and broken bottles, the meek make a mockery of scripture. Feral cats claw at the scraps of trash, claw at each other. There is the silence of everything. Traffic and fights and yelling and sirens. There is no expectation of privacy here, and people do not go here to hide. They come to do things that make them feel hidden, lost in the tumult of mediocre dirtbag. You are just passing through, temporary dirtbag. You will not get lost in the alley. This does not make you superior, it makes you complicit. And lucky. Therebutfore the grace of something.

 

Beach


I don’t know where Kiggie went. 

It’s dark. 

There are lights father up the beach, lights behind the dunes – lighters flick on and off, blasting sparks into the sky. 

No Kiggie. Where the hell did he go? Why the hell does he always do shit like this? This is the last time, left to wander among strangers as the grunion run... 

Silver flashes in the shallow water. Moonlight trapped in brine. It’s apocalyptic and exciting. It’s a smile tearing itself across your face. 

Where the hell is that kid? What is wrong with him anyway? 

But then he’s back grinning and what can you say? I mean, there’s lots to say, but the grunion wait for no man. No boy. No manboy. 

I don’t know about you, but it’s not so bad – the salt in the air and the sound of the waves. 

The flashes of silver fish in the moonlight.

 

Ramen


It’ll keep you alive. Sort of. It will keep you alive, but you will be made of salt. Salt will replace your blood. But you will save money. And you will not die. You might die ... after a while. Just make sure that any opportunity to eat free food is an opportunity to cram diversity into your diet. Eat fifty carrots. The little ones. Not the big ones. You will regret it if you do. Do not eat free Ramen, you have ramen at home. Do not share your Ramen with your roommates because then you’re not even saving money and you could be eating a burrito. Your ramen can be stored anywhere, but the shelf in the closet is the prime space. The garage. The roomrage. You can add pasta sauce instead of the sauce packet if you cop some. Hint: People often throw away sauce jars with a serving left. Sometimes more. Ramen has become your master. Bow to ramen. You are now one of the salt people. Soon, you can be their king.

(prompts provided by a student)

Friday, May 3, 2019

2 Minutes. Go!

I’m gonna rob the Hot Topic. I’m gonna take all their shit and set the place on fire. I’m gonna laugh while they text pictures to their friends – look at the crazy old shirtless man setting the Hot Topic on fire. Yelling, “This rebellious enough for ya?” I’m gonna knock an Orange Julius out of someone’s hand and go try on 500 ball caps when I’m done. I’m gonna sell all the Bob Marley and Snoop and Ozzie posters. I’m gonna use the One Direction poster to beat a boy scout to death. That funny coffee mug? I’m gonna smash it and use the shard-sharp handle to give you a new smile. I’ll stand on top of the cash register singing Johnny Cash songs and making myself vomit. I’ll eat a JUUL case. You’ll see. I just don’t give a damn. And all the time I’ll be singing. “IS THIS REBELLIOS ENOUGH FOR YOU!!!” Then, I’ll get a Cinnabon and throw myself down the escalator, chugging bourbon and lighter fluid.

Show them youngsters how it’s done.