Posts

Cause For Alarm

There is cause for alarm at nearly every moment. The universe is tremendous, violent and all encompassing, while we are tiny, soft and mostly irrational.
     This is what is bugging you. This is the cause for that horrid sense of groundlessness that attacks you just when you think you've put everything in order. This is the sudden, momentary dread that grabs you between the sugar packet and the spoon as you fix morning coffee.
     If you bang your head in the shower at six am, you could be dead before noon. This is the way it works.
     We are tiny drops of water mixed with tinier bits of clay and rock, glued together with specks of sunshine…
     If only we were less distinct. I know, I've thought of it. If we, as individuals, were less solid and more fluid in both space and time – less individual really  – then we really wouldn't be as concerned about things that might grab us off the planet: a sudden aneurism caused by a bump on the head in the shower,  spontane…

Revenge of the Family Idiot - part 1 (Horrible Marriages Collection)

There were Stacy, Tracy, Lacey, Casey and Lola, in that order, from first to last. Lola because Lou, the father of the five girls, had prayed this was the last one, and as such, wanted to have a say in naming the closer. He loved the catchy tune on the radio, never realizing what it was about, or who the Lola in the song had been.
        Stacy senior, Lou’s wife and mother of five girls, was too tired to argue. Lola it was.
        It was Lola who started the trouble. Stacy, Tracey and Lacey had already been married to various local men for a number of years and Casey was dating Luke, a plumber from two towns over, when Lola introduced Grant to the family.
        “Oh, he's a handsome one! You’re a handsome one!” Stacy senior passed the looks and the smirks like a card dealer passes bad hands around a card  table.
        “Mom, stop it, your embarrassing him,” said Lola, quietly.
        “Oh no, that's ok,” said Grant, scanning the dining table and the family of young…

The Hit (Horrible Marriages Collection)

“It's not that I never liked him – I liked  him enough -  if it mattered anyhow, which it doesn't,” she hissed.
        “I want him dead. I want it to hurt. I want him dead and then bring him back so you can kill him again, right away, right now…”
The hit-man squinted. “That's twice the cash, even if I could… I'm no expert, but even if I could, it ain't right...”
She smiled and the words sliced through clenched teeth, “You have no problem killing him once but..,” she said and shook her head.
        Stupidity. Killers. Assholes. Dropouts – they make it look like something in the movies.  A hit man is a losers loser: Bad breath, bad manners, dirty, filthy, stupid third-grade dropouts.
“Listen to me! Every week goes by I have to pay that schmuck to live, to breath, to exist in this world just to bust my ass and remind me of what a god damned fool I was in the very first god-damned place. Every check, every dollar in every check - every single cent in every doll…

Sweet Little Things - Part 2 (Horrible Marriages Collection)

Part 2

        I braced myself for the attack. It was a ritual.
       “King of the mountain! King of the mountain!”
I am the mountain. No one ever won that contest. The mountain tumbled every time.
        They'd gotten as far as they could before I scooped them up and rolled them, elbows over giggles onto the soft, Persian  rug.
        “Your getting slow, Lurch!” Squealed Simone.
        “You're getting heavy!” I replied, honestly.
        I was Lurch; from the Adams family. They found that unlikely association hilarious. Especially when I tried the voice.
        After nuggies, a belch contest, and silly how-do-you-do, the girls composed themselves. I received a years worth of catch-up in a six-minute, stereophonic, high speed summary, which ended with four handed vote that my hairline had receded, and it was a sad state of affairs for my nonexistent love-life. They then slowly gravitated  to the photo wall.
Annette and Simon  reviewed their achievements without blinking or…

Sweet Little Things - part 1 (Horrible Marriages Collection)

A  friend of mine tells me he's up to ‘here’ with his kids.
     “They spent the morning filling the washing machine with bullfrogs from the pond.  Felt bad for them,  all that dirty pond water…”
     We stood in his yard and looked first at the well manicured pond in the distance, and then back to the house where, from all appearances, there was peace and order and prosperity.
     He chewed his bottom lip and winced. “After the first rinse…” he gurgled, looked away and managed to squeak out,  “I have ha hard time talking about it…”
     “You have a washing machine?”
     “I didn't know it either, until…” His eyes glazed up.
     “Filled?” I made like measuring with my hands.
     “Up,” he said, through fist full of knuckles.
      I was going to ask another question – there were a few – but he shook his fist out of his mouth and headed for the house.
     This friend of mine, a white linen and straw hat in the summer guy, met his wife – a floppy sun hat over face coveri…

Hogtied & Swearing (Horrible Marriages Collection)

“Nardo, what am I looking at here?” “Couple, married. He's hogtied to a dining chair and dangling from the roof over here, on this side – and she, well, I don't think I have to explain it, Sir – but she's dangling from the roof off the other end of the rope on that side.” And she was. Tied and bound to a children's wooden hobbyhorse, calico, with hearts and something that looked like red bursts of flowers… she was mostly naked except for the charred remains of Bo-Peep Halloween costume. “It's her blood, sir. Oh wait, they're at it again.” “You son of a bitth!” She lisped over the second story aluminum gutter, getting her chin up over it, lifting herself, ass-skyward, with her neck and enough hatred to do such a thing. “He needed braces! You moaned about the braces – I got your God damned braces!” The second engine company arrived as the fire flared up around the tightly knit hedges surrounding most of the house. “Sir, The first engine company was nearly completely in…

Lily - part 2 (Horrible Marriages Collection)

Lily lay in bed and cursed herself for the habit of wearing socks to sleep. It worked in the winter, but in July the kitchen sent up hot drafts of midnight air through the floorboards.  It was a long-reach or a pretzel-twist; she went for the twist and sent the socks into the air with enough verve to never have to see them again.
     “Cmon Earl!”
      Not a sound.
     “I can hear you down there, Earl! Hell, I can smell you down there, Earl!”
     She loved the smell of him. She'd told him when they'd met, and reminded him frequently. He reminded her that she also loved the smell of buffalo manure.  And turpentine. And car exhaust..,
      “Earl, your not making things better here! Your making them worse! You know what I'm like when I don't get sleep!”
     Lily knew Earl. She’d seen the results of his efforts in just about every arena. It was all bleak, except for his lovemaking. He excelled in that area, or maybe he didn't -  she'd had nothing to compa…