short story


the woman worked at a bar in little tokyo

and she loved her phone so much

and one day, on a cold and rare rainy night in Los Angeles, she made love through her phone 

but the very next day, the phone broke

and it broke her heart

"love is fleeting" , she concluded

but I think she's a bit immature


he looked straight ahead, as far as his eyes could see in the middle of the warm summer night.  this was where he spent his childhood.  a park, in the middle of the quietest suburb on planet earth.  the grass felt nice.

it was here that he tasted alcohol, and it was here that he first tried marijuana.  It was here that he saw his best friend Arthur body slam Robbie the bully.  it was here, that he and Arthur would discuss what they would do to girls, had they had the chance.  and this certainly changed from year to year.  drastically in fact.

it was at this location that he lay, sprawled out on the grass, looking up at the sky for countless hours, wondering if life would ever change.  It was here that the legion of emotional experiences tickled his bored soul.

and now, if only he could crawl back into that tiny space, and feel those feelings once more, everything would be ok.

lessons hardly learned.

the old man would pull me over and talk to me every time I saw him at the coffee shop.  his subjects were often the same, little nuggets of wisdom we're all familiar with.

most of the time it was a nuisance.  i would make smiley faces, half understanding anything said, as I kept wanting to get on with life, which is code word for work.  

and most grating of all, this ritual kept me away from coffee.  i mean, that's the main reason I came, and my cravings would erupt in quiet desperation.  i would start resenting everything.  why the hell do i do this to myself every damn time?  why do i come here knowing this is going to happen with 100% certainty. 

but recently, he hasn't been coming in.  and life has gotten more uncomfortable without his greetings. and life is never 100%.


the coat of color reddish.

Michelle’s favorite coat was a tint of red.  I can get specific about the type of red it was.  But, I don't want to. I mean, I'm sure there is an exact name for that red.  Like all those goddamn house paints with those silly names you find at Home Depot, or some place as dreadful.

I just know, let's say, I can tell you, non subjectively that it was a hue of red.  Or tint of red.  What's the difference?  I can see that you're already signaling me to “Google” it.  But no thanks, I like my world with a bit of mystery.  Plus, Google has clocked me watching porn one too many times.  iI’s embarrassing and I don’t trust them. 

I mean, I get it, all this business about the specific color of a coat, it’s a small detail.  But that's what I remember.  Maybe that's all I really remember of Michelle.  Michelle was a coat to me.  A bit harsh, and selfish, and chauvinistic, but, if you're looking for the truth, yeah, that's what sticks out.  If you don’t like my feelings for Michelle and her red toned coat, big whoop, sue me Larry H.  

We slept around for a bit.  Totally causal.  She never asked me more then four questions or so.  She was a cocktail waitress on the lower east side.  Oh, i remember now, it's coming to me.  she was pretty cute too.  Not a real knockout, but, plenty cute.  So, Michelle, cute, reddish coat, minimal talking.  

Whatagirl man. Whatagirl.

limits of control.

the woman tried to change her life.  one morning, she awoke with an insistent image.  it was herself, but refined, elegant, shiny and new.  she also looked about 25 pounds thinner.

the woman became ecstatic thinking about this image over and over, every second she could.  she was completely obsessed.  it was what she had always wanted herself to be.  an uptown girl.

the woman was soon full of "vital life energy”; an incantation she learned and repeated 45 times a day from an instructional DVD she bought over the internet.  "I AM VITAL LIFE ENERGY" she would scream to herself every morning, at exactly 7am during her morning HOUR OF POWER.  she felt “alive for the first time in years”, she told an uninterested co-worker.  

she continued signing up for the newest workshops, researched all her food habits, bought the latest motivational books.  in a span of three months, she spent $3200 on her new life.  but, it “didn’t really count as an expense, because it was an investment”, she told her mother one afternoon at a juice bar.

one day, on her way to work, she witnessed a gruesome accident.  a motorcyclist lay sprawled out on the concrete, motionless.  Another car flipped over, a body inside, engine running.  the sound of that out of control engine terrified her.

she began to sob uncontrollably.  she didn't know why, but she couldn't control her emotions anymore.  they where running away like that engine.   a week of crying was enough!  she bought her first book on emotional self control after reading all the reviews online.  they were very positive.  one customer wrote, “this book will change your life.  trust me, it changed mine almost instantly.”  she was destined to be somebody else completely. 

her weight, her nose, her goddamn ugly shoes, her lack of emotional self control, her stupid honda civic, her back-fat, her frizzy hair, her gossipy and unreliable friends who drag her to T.G.I Friday's on the weekends.  yes, she absolutely despised herself.


"why is your face so goddamn dirty", yelled the belligerent man to the one legged woman lying on the street. he picked up her worn out walking stick. he looked carefully at it.

"one more hit and I can own you", he chuckled.

she looked so sad in that moment. her hair disheveled, her clothes in tatters. the princess of dejection.

i wish i could help, i thought to myself. but, I'm too busy taking a sad photo to do anything meaningful about it.

tinnitus of the life.

he wondered, why do the same thing tomorrow as I've done for the last five years?  all the books read, the time in school, the confusion of adulthood.  nothing amounted to anything.  maybe it was his recent affinity for Murakami?  

it was as if, adding salt to his plate didn't change the taste in any reasonable way.  dull. tasteless. limp and, and, what's another word for dull?

he watched the BBC nightly report on public television.  a reporter introduced the special guest; a National Geographic photographer who specializes in war-torn countries.  look at this man's life, he thought.  pictures of dark refugees, deep in agony flashed on the screen.  a small child sewing her ragged clothes.  the man could barely keep his composure.

this, this is what I wanted my life to be, he shouted. someone who makes a goddamn difference he screamed.  but, after the cathartic eruption, he lay silent.  he thought about tomorrow.  the credit card debt, the school debt, the telephone bill, the IRS, his recent trip to Colorado for a best friends wedding.  his stupid, inconsiderate, but fairly large breasted girlfriend.  goddamn, I'm a chauvinist he muttered to himself, sickened at the thought of his refusal to call it off, because sex was all that remained.  and frankly, he didn't even enjoy it all that much anymore.

a moment later, a steady, but thin noise engulfed his left ear.  it made it's way up into his mind like a thin, translucent sheet, drawn out, and slowly falling into place.  the noise grew.  drowning in the sea of noise.  alone, in the sea of noise.

suburban terror.

the nightmares kept coming.  night after night.  soon, I started to wonder if I was in a perpetual dream state.  the faces all had an eerie smile, that propped up on the left side, like a puppet string was holding them up or something.  that's not a natural smile, no, people don't smile like that.  

even at Target, the same looks on faces.  why was I in Target anyway?  that's not a place I would ever go.  i don't have kids, so I don't need to pick up diapers or Oreo cookies, and I certainly don't need a new lamp, or CD's, or whatever else the fuck they sell there.  maybe I've been too judgmental about Target?  see, I'm in a nightmare again.  night after night.


morning fuckery.

it's 5:37am.  why did my snooze button land on an odd number?  am i being tricked?

it's a bit dark outside, as I pull the curtain to see if other life forms exist at 5:38am.  a man get's into his old, red BMW across the street.  

man, he must have gotten a lot of pussy a decade or so ago, i quip.   

but then, maybe he's married and has three kids?  what the fuck do I know anyway(s).  

it's 5:39am.

penning in the pen.

the effects of your leaving hadn't taken it's hold yet.

sure, the upset still lingered.  oh, and anger.

a few lonely nights here and there caressing a bottle.

but, nothing catastrophic, and certainly nothing a man with a five inch beard and a criminal past couldn't entertain. 

a few months past though, then the trouble started.

and, the TROUBLE left me gutted.