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  1. ----This is my piece that was locked in the workshop after I was told I hadn't given good enough critiques. I begged to differ but that's not here nor there, so I'll be posting in my blog. Any comments are appreciated.----

    At the bar he took up his drink. He tipped it to his mouth, turned, and looked out across the room. Everyone was isolated within groups. He watched how they’d tiptoe on anxious feet when apart from their friends but he was at the bar alone, all to himself.
    He looked at the women. They flipped their hair while their bird eyes flickered about the room. He could sense that they were half-wittingly engaged in conversation with their friends. Looking into the crowd, he tried to concentrate his desires onto a particular woman. He looked. Somewhere, he thought, there’s a woman with my kind of magic in this room. He saw her in the far corner under the speakers, and walked over.
    ‘It’s a parade in here, huh?’ he said.
    ‘What?’ She tilted her head towards his mouth.
    ‘This scene.’ he said. ‘It’s all over the place but everyone is so stuck within themselves. It’s crazy, y’know.’
    ‘Oh,’ she replied, ‘sure, I guess you’re right.’
    ‘Look there,’ he said, pointing. ‘You see those girls? How they’re stuck to each other waiting for a hungry lion to break into their pack and hunt one down. Now look behind them, the two guys standing there also tied to one another watching the girls and wishing that something called fate would intervene into their night. It’s such an obnoxiously refined game.’
    ‘Where’s yours?’ she asked.
    ‘What?’
    ‘Your ‘pack’.’ she said.
    ‘Oh, no. I’m not that way. More the ‘lone wolf’ type.’ he smirked.
    ‘Sure.’ she said. ‘Why me, then?’
    ‘Because there’s something called fate.’ They laughed together.
    Eventually they were able to take a seat at a table. He bought drinks and refills when necessary. Slowly, they learned the little nuances of one another. And at the end of the night he asked to drive her home. She’d answered ‘no’ but he could see the hesitation in her eyes and the way the word awkwardly lingered about her lips.
    ‘I hope you’re not scared. I wouldn’t take advantage of you.’ he smiled. ‘Okay, I’m lying. I would try for sure. But, I bet you can handle me even if I do.’
    ‘I better not even try.’ she said.
    ‘So this is it?’ he asked.
    ‘Until you call me.’
    ‘Or until I kiss you.’ he said.
    He pulled her close enough to smell the liquor coalescing with her sweat and her perfume. She barely resisted. Her hands grasped his hips. He could feel her warmth against his body. Her lips shimmered wetly. His mouth ached with want as he looked at hers. Her eyes gleamed under the soft light as she waited.
    He looked into her eyes and said, ‘If I could tell you a poem about your lips, it would begin like this.’
  2. I wrote this experience ten years ago. Be warned, it contains graphic language. I call this, Dear Defensive Driving Instructor, or something like it.

    Anyways, the lowdown... I had gotten my first two traffic tickets, and had my car bashed in within a matter of three days. One ticket was for an expired inspection, the other speeding (42 in 30)... The expired inspection was dismissed with proof of inspection and a limp little fine. The speeding was a lovely roundup... another fine, court, and a series of follow-ups. I had to take defensive driving to have the ticket expunged from my record.
    Well, by this time I had moved back home from college down into the backwoods of 'nowhere'. This may as well sit for a name. Anyways, I ended up going to the nearest town that offered a defensive driving course; lets name this place 'nowhere, better'. I spent eight--yes, I said eight; the curse of eight--glorious hours in the luxury of driving education. Anyways, this whole thing is about the driving ed. instructor. That's the point of this whole recollection. He looked a whole lot like my uncle, which wasn't saying much really. He looked goofy and maybe even a bit effeminate with his rounded gut. He had the same hair and eyes as my uncle. The kind of eyes that gives a person away instantly, unable to withhold the fact that they're entirely fake assholes trying to spell out a message of inspiration. You see, it's the dark eyes I can live with; the mournful ones, the excited ones, the dangerous, the deadly, fanatical, insane. Those have nothing to hide. You look at them and a voice in your head says, 'I know.' And they understand it because you have dark eyes too. Those false eyes of his added to the other subtle feminine qualities, being that a lot of women I’ve known have had that same gloss in their eyes; a counterfeit expression. Although it’s something I fall for time and time again, and the result always leaves me saying 'Fuck You' to myself.
    But again, back to the point. This instructor is the point. His tears are the point I'm struggling to achieve. I endured this remedial class he put me through. Eight hours of nonsense and paperwork and even in the end he didn't grade our papers. He mechanically stamped 100 percent after 100 percent after 100 percent. It sorta pissed me off cause I knew I had made a better grade than the cunt in the corner who had fist fucked this dude I knew. Actually, I didn't know him, it just felt that way. And actually, she wasn't a cunt, it just felt that way too if you get my meaning. But I know my marks, if graded appropriately, would've/should've impressed my favorite cunt in the corner enough to allow me to drive her somewhere exotic, y'know, especially now that I'd be so notably fresh with the bylaws in the driving field. I could delve into a fantasy of detail with how I'd steer her into a comfortable position, and maneuver around our clothing, and glide myself ever so gently--and well, you get it cause it's been here forever and more. And so on.
    Back to my uncle. He has a mustache. My D.D. instructor didn't. To the point, it was the ending that made it, that made this stuffy little 'memoir' possible. It all ended in tears, as it seems all things are wont to do. He, meaning my effeminate instructor, brought out this classic poem that I've heard time and time again but can never recall where from. It's a poem written from the hand of a little girl. It's written to her father, I believe, and maybe even to her mother. Vice versa. She speaks lightheartedly at first, happily even, about coming home to such loving parents. Such loving parents that had probably planned, and rejoiced in, the absence of their daughter. They were probably fucking all night, using toys, eating oatmeal from strange places. I've learned that's what parents do when they have free time away from the lovable monsters. At least until the monsters start going to school, then the excitement of their absence wears away. The parents find more entertainment in other things than sex with each other, and their sex returns to its dull anticlimax.
    Well, this little girl of theirs talks onward about the great joy she explores in the presence of her unmatched guardians until, at the butt-end of the poem, the tone changes crudely saying something similar to this, 'I am sorry loving lovable parents but I cannot make it home tonight. I had an appointment with Jesus setup by this drunken trucker that plowed through Uncle Bill's geo metro sending each and every one of us to our good Lords dinner table just in time for stew. Goodbye Ma and Pa!'
    I suppose I knew it was fictional or something (or something or another) and had heard it several times before this so it didn't stir much emotion from me. But the old man, my uncles' mask, my dear instructor, he stood in front of the class with words trembling from his lips; tears trembling from his eyes; and a flush of feminine fire smearing his cheeks while he inaudibly expounded the words. I nearly gasped and cried myself at his presentation. It was surreal. My uncle was speaking to my heart. I questioned over and over if he was in fact crying. Damn was he ever was my subconscious answer. But I still questioned myself, because it seemed the natural thing to do in a surreal situation. It made me feel like the darling little girl was his baby and this played about in my mind. Perhaps a series of events had instigated his presence here, now, in front of me and the handful of assholes surrounding us. I imagined that his daughter had died to a drunken sorry son-of-a-bitch and that his, the instructor of instructors, redemption was claimed in this very classroom--well, the very restaurant we were crowded into at the time. I didn't take a rational moment to realize that the fucker was here for money. His time cost more than I would let myself agree with. Later on, at some point, I would get angry and realize that I had paid for his goddam artificial tears from those goddam falsified eyes! And, I had paid for the goddam forgery of comfort I had supplemented myself with by mourning the sorry son-of-a-bitch whom had lost a darling little daughter to a sorry drunk son-of-a-bitch. I had paid for my anger and I had paid for it all. And, y'know, it winds up that everyone's either a cunt or a god awful sorry son-of-a-bitch in the end. This is something I've learned. Everyone, you included.
    Well, after the poem everyone hugged and felt sorry for the old man and I genuinely shook his hand. It felt like I had made a strong mark in his life, far beyond my hundred percent just by listening to his pain. Because something pained him, I thought. And that's nearly the whole story, within bound. But I couldn't finish it without the essential 'flash forward'.
    Flash forward. It was a few months later. I had escaped my life. I had fled to Honduras. I was living with my brother. I told myself that my errors were subdued and meaningless so far away from myself. The myself I had known. What had I run from? I had run from a tragedy. A modern tragedy that I had created for myself that wasn't really a tragedy at all. It was in all respects and truth, futile childish bullshit. It's just that I had shaped and molded the turds into an applaudable, nearly plausible form which I called 'modern tragedy'. It was quite modern, I'll admit to that!
    Well, I was there. And my instructor was somewhere, surely somewhere close to all the problems that vexed me. Hell, maybe he was spitting at them at that very moment. By spitting I don't mean spitting literally. I don't really know what the hell I mean literally. Of course I had left my luxurious 97' Ford Escort LX, its muddy white tint decorated ever-so-elaborately with the smut elegance of deteriorating paint and a vandals’ artistic impressions.
    Back online, precisely put, I was continuously having to write my sister from Honduras begging her not to drive my car and, knowing that she would, begging her to be goddam careful, cunt! Of course, when I returned home a few months later to the same problems I had left, I found that my sister had received a ticket driving my car. It was a predicted surprise; a fateful one, too. And, as is relevant to this story, I would give you one good guess, if I were that type of asshole (which I am, but not today), to conclude who would be my lovely sisters defensive driving instructor. This was also a surprise to me for reasons misunderstandable. But at some later date I was reminiscing with my dear sister over a liter of whiskey. We talked about our mutual experiences leading up to our gracious teacher of unparallels. We both reminisced, again, over his tears. Both! I spit, not literally. It left me deep to think, though. How many times can a man cry over the same cast of bullshit? And how many times are the tears real, and not just ritual? All I know is that this son-of-a-bitch, meaning myself, ain't gonna drive down that goddam road again. I'll create my own lane first, cause I'm not into that ritual kinda shit. I'm in for the ride, and I'm in for those marks.