Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Girl From Moscow Drinks Bourbon

We were out with the Girl From Moscow. A mediocre band was playing and she was dancing upon a riser toward the back of the crowd. She was a much better thing to watch than the band. She’s dark and beautiful. She motioned for a drink. She’s into vodka. Previously I’d explained to her that vodka sucks. You see, the better quality the vodka is, the less character it has. Vodka’s strongest virtue is its anonymity. The ideal vodka is tasteless, and mixes well with anything. Bourbon, on the other hand, has character in spades. Good bourbon should taste like caramel, be smooth and sweet, and go down like fire. It should knock you out like a shot to the head. The devil drinks bourbon, and I’ll drink it with him when I die. I convinced the Girl From Moscow to try Maker’s Mark instead of her weird vodka that I can’t pronounce or spell, which she assures me is very good and comes from some eastern European country that I can’t recall. As the Maker’s passed her lips, it immediately came back out. Quickly and forcefully she spits it back into the glass from whence it came. She looked utterly terrified of what sat in the glass in her hand, and I got a look dirtier than the thoughts I was having of her.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Girl From Moscow

She’s from Moscow, and not impressed with me or anything that I have to say. That makes enough sense. Very likely she’s seen lots of things much more intense than me. She’s a very difficult woman to read. She’s not volunteering much, and it’s taking a great deal of restraint not to turn this into an interview on her experiences in the USSR. She was there for the fucking coup. That naked fact makes her a historically and culturally relevant person. But that’s not what we’re all here for. That’s just a pleasant surprise. That’s bonus content and peripheral distraction. Her boyfriend seems nice. We all know we’re not getting anywhere, fast. I’m doing a great deal more talking than I generally care to, and it’s awkward trying to carry the conversation. I don’t know that we’ll ever make it to the cool part, at least not tonight. Everybody’s going to have to drink more. That’ll help. We might have to take another crack at this in a few nights. Try a new approach. Who knows? They’re new to this, and you can’t rush people. I’m sure we’ll get there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An Ordinary Crucifixion – No. 5

Yesterday I saw a girl in a motorized wheelchair on Penn Avenue. She looked like she was in her late teens. She had a very pretty face. Her hair was perfectly long, straight, and brown. She had great big Hollywood-looking sunglasses, well-applied make-up, and a great big smile. Everything below that smile was pretty deformed. Well-dressed, just not well built. Not very many people have that much soul. Immediately upon catching sight of her, my politeness reflex struck me. I looked away. It’s not nice to stare. However, in that moment, I realized that I wasn’t staring. I was admiring. As I thought more about it, it occurred to me that she was likely proud of the way that she looked that day, and wanted people to notice her. Through my ignorant reflex of thoughtless politeness, I had contributed to a larger, heartless cultural misconception. By the time I had realized this, she had already passed with her friends, and I was already an asshole.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Black Guy and the Fat Italian with the Ridiculous Handlebar Moustache

On my way home from work, I drove past an accident on West Carson Street, at the intersection right on the edge of McKees Rocks. I didn’t see it happen, but I did arrive moments later, and could easily infer how it had happened with the quick look that I stole as I drove past. There was a PT Cruiser driven by a black woman with her husband or boyfriend seated in the passenger seat. She had a giant, complicated, immaculate haircut and fingernails like neon-colored daggers that I could see clearly from my car. He had a shaved head and a well-groomed mustache. They both appeared to be in their mid to late 30s and were dressed very nondescriptly. No aspect of their personage seemed at all dangerous or should have elicited fear in any way. They had just been rear-ended by a fat Italian guy in a Pontiac. He was bald, had a ridiculous handlebar mustache, and was wearing a polo shirt. It looked like he was in his 40s, though it was hard to say exactly. Likely, the PT Cruiser stopped quickly at the light, and the Pontiac didn’t follow suit quickly enough. There was no visible damage. They must not have collided too hard. No damage…at least not at a glance, and really…nobody’s fault. You still need to exchange insurance information, though. At least get out and confirm that everybody is okay and offer a phone number. The Italian guy didn’t want to get out of his car. The woman was being pretty calm, and just seemed irritated, but her husband/boyfriend was livid and standing outside the vehicle, yelling intensely. The Italian guy was yelling back with equal intensity, albeit from inside his car. The last part I saw was the woman getting out and approaching the Pontiac. She probably had plans for being more diplomatic than either of the two men. Good for her. Women can be great that way. The whole thing kind of reminded me of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, only set in Pittsburgh and without all the cool music. I can only imagine if/how the conflict ever got resolved. Traffic in that lane was beginning to back up.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Everything Rose

The heat rose. The street rose. The buses and cars rose. The pedestrians rose. The buildings rose. The volume rose. My blood rose. We all came up from the ground. We all came. We all rose. Nothing would ever fall again.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Neon Burn

The neon lights are burning the street. The bus exhaust is burning my nose. The sirens are burning my ears. The moon is burning the sky. That girl’s nipples are about to burn through her shirt. The bourbon I drank back at the bar is still burning in my throat. The words you said are still burning in my mind. We’re all sadists, and everything is on fire.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hot Stupid

Stupidity sucks, even if it’s hot. Even if it’s wearing leather pants, smells like vanilla, and has an ass like an apple. Stupidity sucks, even if it’s nice to look at while it’s walking around outside without a coat when it’s 20 degrees and the whole world is frozen.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


The gallery crawl happens downtown on the first Friday of each month. These galleries are all very hip and cultural, and I don’t bother applying to these ones. My work would never get in. I can only visit. Normally the work is bad anyway. Tonight, however, it’s awesome. They’ve got some intense African drumming going on, too. Seems like the real thing, as best I can tell. All black guys dressed in brightly colored clothes. They look like they’re probably adhering pretty closely to the traditional article. They’re all wearing matching garb, kind of like a uniform. Most have dreadlocks. There are some really big, beefy-looking guys pounding away, and a feeble little old guy who appears to be the leader. He can work a crowd of white suburbanites like nobody’s business. We’re hanging on his every word. The music is loud, furious, and throbbing. If Slayer were acoustic and African, this is what they would sound like. F u c k i n g a w e s o m e. There’s nobody under the roof who isn’t dancing. There’s beer too, and that always makes cool stuff cooler. Walking to the next gallery, I pass a porn store and a white tranny, walking with a really good-lookin’ black chick. I suppose she might be a tranny too. I can’t tell, and I don’t care. They’re radiant, glowing in the neon lights, heading into the bar across the street. They will take no shit from anybody on their way there. Part of me wants to follow them into the bar. I bet they’ve got more soul than any or all of the hip-looking college kids hanging their bullshit cartoons in these downtown galleries. It’s getting cold, and the heavy, drying taste of beer spit fills my mouth. I’ll likely need to piss soon. The next gallery has a bathroom, and more beer. I stop there. Hit the mens’ room. I can feel the heat of my piss radiating back from the urinal. No backspray, just heat. It was gross but reassuring. I’m hot, and therefore still alive. There’s a gay bar beside the gallery, and I’m pretty sure it’s the one the black chick and the tranny went into. I give it a long hard think, and determine that I’d look like an asshole if I went in there. I’m pretty sure I’d be an asshole if I went in there. In the next gallery there’s a confused Christian hippy girl with an acoustic guitar and enough sappy songs about Jesus to choke a whale. She looks like she needs to eat something. The plot-loss is devastating. Behind me, I catch a glimpse of the overflowing cleavage of a snobby-looking, pretentious, artsy bitch in her late 30s. She’s sporting a plunging neckline and giant bright red glasses. She’s laughing, and her tits are jiggling wonderfully. I’m sure she’s upper-middle class, enlightened, and lives on organic food. If she owned an art gallery, she wouldn’t even let me in the front door, but she’s got a great rack, and she’s showing it off really well. At the end of the night, I can’t complain.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I want to go parties. I want to socialize with elite people, get drunk, and then say crass, inappropriate things to them. I want to be places that I don’t belong or deserve to be. I want to make people slightly dirtier with my presence. I want to buttfuck the daughter of a Bush voter while she’s doped up on prescription meds. I don’t want to be them. I don’t want to be one of them. I just want to be among them. I want to be the turd that cannot be flushed and continually floats back up to offend. I want prestige and a wall of pretense to wear like a flak jacket.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Laughing Asses

You’re the best, you laughing ass. The world might just be a quieter, more focused, intelligent place without you. It’s a fortunate thing that we’ve got you on the job to prevent that from happening, you laughing ass. It’s a good thing we’ve got you handy to mock and debase anybody with aspirations higher than being another laughing ass. It’s great that we’ve got you around to belittle anything more refined than slapstick comedy. Not enough people realize that the world really is just there for their amusement, that anything beyond their current intellectual grasp is stupid, and that other peoples’ pains and struggles are, in fact, hilarious. You’re the best, you laughing ass. You’re the anchor keeping human evolution safely tethered to where it sits, and where it will die, you laughing ass. Thanks.

Monday, December 21, 2009


There was a table of pretentious, pseudo-intellectual, upper-middle class, white, liberal college professors seated behind us. They were talking about Brazil, South America in general, all of the wild and exotic places they’ve been, and how profoundly their travels had changed their lives. They segued from that into a critical analysis of the writing for popular television shows. I wanted them all dead and on fire. It must be nice to do that for a living. It must be nice to make your living that comfortably and be concerned with such ridiculous and trivial things. I must confess that a large part of my scorn was steeped in jealousy. I would love to have the luxury of accumulating degrees, spending my entire life inside a classroom, drunk on information and never having to get my hands dirty. It’s occurred to me that I will never teach anything. I’m too good at what I do to ever waste my time teaching it. I will never be so full of shit that I run from the real world into the pristine safety of academia. Only abstractions can exist in a vacuum, and I’m not an abstraction.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Contemporary Caveman

Nothing elevates the values of humanity higher than a contemporary caveman with a gun. You will be the pinnacle of human achievement, contemporary caveman, not by virtue of your irrepressible creative brilliance, crushing intellect, or social resilience, but with intimidation. You will shame all others with the constant threat of violence, you semi-literate, infantile, hot-tempered mongoloid with a sidearm. Keep buying into the thug shit, because that’s valuable. That will get you a lot of sincere respect. That’s an effective way to fight stereotypes, rise above, and defy social expectations. What can’t be intimidated into submission can be beaten, or even shot if necessary. That’s the most effective way of getting what you want. Know what you want, because you need to want it. It’s important to want things. It’s important to take. Just take. Don’t think. Don’t earn. Take. Thinking is for people less real than you, contemporary caveman. Keep it real. You’re a man. You’re the man, and a man shouldn’t have to think. A man should take.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kitchen Tattoo (The Flaming Paint Brush)

It was a freezing Sunday afternoon in February. Shawn had waited to clean up the kitchen until I got there. Picked up the kids’ toys, swept the floor, and wiped down the kitchen table. His wife was cooking nearby. I stood there. The kids brought me stuff, drawings, toys, messages from imaginary people. Shawn prepared the stencil and stuck it to my arm. While he prepped his needles and gun, his son demonstrated proper whoopee cushion technique on one of the chairs at the table. Then we proceeded to about three and a half hours of drilling into my left arm, planted on the corner of his kitchen table. For the most part, his wife kept the kids away. They’re great kids, but I was relieved to know that the table wouldn’t be bumped during the drilling. We talked while Shawn drilled, and I looked out the kitchen window into the neighbor’s open window. A guy walked by periodically. He seemed pensive. I think he was curious and watching. Afternoon turned to evening, and the sun fell. When it was over, my left hand was asleep. I had to drive home with it still numb and waking.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Art, Motherfucker! ART!

The art world is a great place to go in order to feel like a failure. It’s a great place to develop a drinking problem and a bad attitude. Frank Ferraro, Josh Hogan, and Mark Gualtieri are the only guys I know personally who paint as well as I do. They’re all fucking awesome. Aside from them, I see lots of academic posturing, trendy hipster crap and amateurish junk. None of it has any heart. None of it has any soul. None of it has any grit. That’s all fine. I don’t really care. What bothers me are the rejection letters from all the juried shows to which I apply. I could wallpaper my goddamned house with them, and still have enough left over to wallpaper your house, too. If my work isn’t good enough, whose is? What really burns me is when I go to the show to see what beat me. I’ve made that mistake before. When I see it, I want to cut my eyes out with a box cutter. Who juries this stuff? MFAs do. Gallery owners do. Pretentious shitheads do. They’re arrogant motherfuckers who don’t have the talent and/or heart to make their own work and bring it out into the world. They’re people who have made a career out of their fetish for academia and academic standards, as if those things are a measure of quality. They’re one-dimensional people with no experience outside of the field. These people believe that art needs to be one of three things to be good. It needs to be 1) qualified, 2) trendy, or 3) a vocabulary word. Your art needs to be technically beyond reproach (ie, you’ve got an MFA or an established name), look like whatever’s big at that moment, or be so staggering in its technical sophistication that its lack of emotional resonance is easily overlooked, and questioning its quality is a more difficult task than putting it on a pedestal. This isn’t to say that all art needs to be evocative and emotionally charged. Cold, intellectual art is great too, but there are even fewer people who are good at that than there are of the former type. I’m glad I went to college and graduated. I learned a lot there, and I’m still paying off all of the loans. When I think about going back to grad school for my MFA, I just don’t think there’s anything they could teach me, and I don’t need another $40,000 piece of paper that badly. I can keep reading Charles Bukowski’s books, listening to Lou Reed’s music, pushing my paintings further, drinking black coffee on my own, and whoring myself out to any gallery that will hang me. No qualifications necessary.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Time is escaping like blood from an open wound. It’s escaping freely and in copious volumes, but we are not. We are here, and not leaving. Freedom is drained of its vitality, like a raisin, and the beat drives hard, like a ’71 Mustang. A chipper little girl returns from the bar carrying two beers, one for her boyfriend, one for herself. They each belong to the other. Tomorrow they’ll both go to work, and so will I. Now we’re here. Then we’ll be there. This moment will pass like any other. So will that one. One moment bleeds into the next and into the next. Some are good. Some are bad. None are without choreography. We all belong to our destinations, obligations, relationships, and responsibilities. It’s easier than freedom. Perhaps freedom isn’t necessarily bleeding out like a gunshot victim, but instead is malnourished, like desolate soil that can no longer support life. Regardless, in this club, with this beer, I’m bleeding freedom all over my clothes and the floor. I’m a willful hostage, too scared to plug up the hole and be filled. I’m letting the moment flow through me. It’s one way of going. It feels like freedom, but not quite. It’s a reasonable simulacrum. What I really want is to go home, but not know where home is until I get there. I don’t want a map.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holding the Bag

All our friends left. Jim and Ellen went to Philly. John went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Mike went to Austin, Texas. Brad and Renee went to Portland, Oregon. Dana’s leaving for Raleigh, North Carolina in two weeks. Amy and Stamatis are headed for NYC in less than a year. Pittsburgh is an awesome wingman. It’s great for making other cities look more attractive. Our Saturday nights often happen the same way. My wife and I, sitting at a bar, asking ourselves what we’re still doing here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Three Hot Black Girls at the Deli Counter

There are three hot black girls that work the deli counter at my local grocery store. I think they’re awesome, but I’m pretty certain that they hate me. I’m gently trying to win them over with my cordial, gawky, long-haired, creepy, white guy charm. It might work, eventually. I don’t know. I don’t necessarily need to lay one of them. I just need a smile.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Privilege spoils proportionately. It doesn’t spoil like milk does. It spoils like a parasite. It spoils its host. Privilege creates a want for more of itself. Whether earned or given, it behaves the same way. It is a fat, loud, sexless, suburbanite, SUV-driving, credit card wielding, permed stay-at-home-mom on her way to the mall, fists spilling coupons.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

No Reverse

Nothing can ever be as it was. The past should not be seen as a template for the future. Nothing previous to this moment has any existence beyond memory. What is, is, and immediately falls off into nothing after the cassette playhead passes. We are on that precipice, my friend, precarious, absurd, and smelling of gasoline. There is a lot of road, but none of it is behind you. That’s why there aren’t eyes in the back of your head. You are a creature for moving forward. You don’t have a reverse. Forward is the only way to go. It is that way because there is no other way for it to be. It is where all things go, even when they’re not going anywhere. Forward is inevitable, yet very costly, and occasionally it appears impossible. It’s not what you are trying to become. It is what you must be. Forward won’t let you miss your mark. Your responsibility is knowing where you’re aimed. That is a much greater task than it might first appear to be.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I’m a rivulet of sweat between the rolls of fat on a severely obese man having a massive heart attack. That’s exactly what I am as I sit in traffic in this goddamned concrete obscenity. This isn’t a metaphor. We all deserve to die for this.

Friday, December 11, 2009


We will punish with numbers. It will be a demonstration of quantity over quality. It will be an exercise in photocopying and reproducing. We will exploit unfair advantage and exponential injustice. We will waste and decimate because we do not understand ourselves. We will fly in the face of natural law, punishing, brutalizing, burning, fucking and fucking and fucking. We’re making babies, too-fucking-many-goddamn-babies, goddamn it. We are breeding. We are deserving. We are assuming. We are licensing. We are rewarding weakness. We are disfiguring. We are all wasted lives.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Attic Bathroom

The bathroom at work is a box, and the box is an oven. It’s a hot attic oven that smells like it’s been baking shit, sweat, and original scent Lysol. The fan doesn’t work and the walls are paper thin. You can hear people walking past, and they can hear you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Completely Emptied

We saw our bartender walking down the sidewalk on Carson Street in broad daylight on a Saturday afternoon. It was strange. We almost didn’t recognize him. I don’t think you’re ever supposed to see bartenders that way. It ruins the magic, kind of like when they looked behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz. We smiled and nodded. My wife commented that he and I actually look a great deal alike. He’s just a little more slender, leaner, tattooed, and less muscular. Later, we ended up at the Moose drinking. As we approached the bar he saw us, drew a Guinness and a Woodchuck from the fridge and put them down in front of us. We all chuckled, and he said that when he had seen us earlier outside on the sidewalk he had immediately thought, “Guinness and a Woodchuck.” It felt good to know that even if I was an alcoholic, I was at least a memorable alcoholic. I put a bunch of stuff on the jukebox, the first thing being Motorhead, “No Class.” As soon as it started up, it was met with groans from the bar. Our bartender friend laughed, and yelled, “No Motorhead!” at us. Two other guys at the bar nodded agreement. I guess they get tired of hearing it. There’s tons of it on the jukebox. I also put on some Crowbar, Black Sabbath, and Fugazi for a surprise finish.

We went to a table and sat. We played pool. It took forever because we’re both terrible at playing pool. Eventually our friend Kareem showed up. It was good to see him. It had been a while. He’s still unemployed. A few months ago he got laid off. He’s riding his unemployment until it runs out, then getting another job. He loves it. It’s a pretty sweet gig. I know. I’ve been laid off twice. It’s like a giant paid vacation. I wouldn’t mind getting laid off again. I hate my job and wouldn’t miss it a bit. Regardless, we drank and talked about travel and music and drinking. I already had four in me before we'd gotten to the Moose. Two imperial stouts, one doppelbock, one brown ale, all at different places. Then I drank a few Guinnesses at the Moose. It got late. I had poured down just about all the beer I could hold. I wasn’t really drunk, just very full of beer. I was at capacity. My wife drove. The car ride was long. We had the windows down, and the cool night air rushed in and around us.

When we got home, I took a long piss. Holding it for the length of the car ride was an incredible accomplishment. After I was relieved of that, it occurred to me that I was still burdened. So I took a shit. I was more relieved still. Life was improving by the second. It was, however, very short lived, as I realized then what had to come next. So I got down on my knees to pray to the bowl that still stunk of my recently flushed bowel movement. I wasn’t really too happy about that, though it probably expedited the imminent vomiting. I threw up what had to be a bucket of Guinness and the miscellaneous things which I had eaten for dinner. The fullest, most complete relief that I’ve ever felt in my life overcame me at that moment. It was kind of euphoric in a way. It may have been the best buzz I had had that evening. I was completely empty. I’m sure the toilet was grateful that it was all over, as well. When I emerged from the bathroom I looked like walking hell. My wife thought that I had been at war with something in there, and was glad to see that I had come out victorious. After brushing my teeth, I passed out on the bed and slept like I was dead.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lemmy’s Twin Brother

Lemmy Kilmeister has a twin brother, and he lives in Pittsburgh. He’s been here his whole life, and I had no idea. My wife and I just met him last night, though I don’t recall his name. Lemmy’s twin brother is an extremely talkative 43 year old guy, who hangs out at the Smiling Moose a lot and drinks cheap beer. He knows all about lots of things, such as being in the military, welfare, social security, disability, taxes, art, fashion, music, and college. First he instructed my wife on all of these various subjects. Then I rescued her, took her place, and he repeated all of the aforementioned information to me. Ironically, he doesn’t like Motorhead. He also told me that he’s having a hard time getting laid because there are no single women in Pittsburgh his age. Last year, he only got laid twice, and it was with his ex-girlfriend from Cleveland. My wife and our friend Kareem grabbed a table, and at an opportune moment also thankfully grabbed me away from Lemmy’s twin brother to go sit with them. Three pretty young punker girls immediately took our seats at the bar. From our new spot, we could see Lemmy’s twin brother lean over towards them, and my wife, Kareem, and I toasted all of them.

Monday, December 7, 2009


It was the first Saturday night that had been above 60 degrees this year. There was a gaggle of bitchy-looking girls walking down the sidewalk in front of us. Going the same way we are, though most likely to a different bar. Five girls and a guy. He was a reasonably big guy, but not huge. He was a dopey-looking frat boy, apparently dragged along as security. Everybody appeared to be in their early 20s, probably all good girls majoring in business at one of the various local colleges. They’re only kind of bitchy now. The real carnage won’t start until much later. Just give them a few years. Heads will roll. Blood will flow. The girl at the center of the gaggle was wearing a cardboard cut-out tiara with the numbers “21” on top of it. They were all showing off their gifts as best they could, and they were good. They were very nice to look at. I spent four blocks’ worth of East Carson staring at their asses and listening to all the meatheads in passing cars yelling indecent suggestions to them. Halfway through our voyage, my wife told me that she thought the sound of their heels clomping on the sidewalk sounded like horses’ hooves, and I laughed out loud.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Stephanie’s Back!

The regular guy called off and Stephanie’s filling in for him. Kareem called from the bar to let us know. We were already drinking at a different bar on the same street. We pounded the rest of our drinks and we ran down the street like giddy alcoholic school children on a bright Saturday afternoon. The bar was empty except for the four of us. The beers came one after another. Free shots of whiskey came too. We poured it all down and talked about music and tattoos. It got dark and the bar filled up. The frat boys who like to pretend to know how to drink arrived, and we had to end the Slayer marathon we had been playing on the jukebox. We all had different places to go, except Stephanie. She had to work ‘til close.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A New Bartender

Earlier in the week we were at the Lava Lounge and a guy stopped at the bar to pick up a six pack. He looked like a young Anthony Kiedis, with very long, straight, dark hair. He was very thin and svelte, with very tattooed arms covered in Japanese koi, waves and such. I noticed my wife take a good look at him, and I immediately seized upon the delightful opportunity to give her a hard time. I don’t often catch her looking, so it was very funny for me. He didn’t look old enough to buy booze or even vote, but Greg didn’t even card him. We laughed, and forgot about it.

A few nights later we were back at the Lava Lounge, and he was there again. This time, he was behind the bar serving people. My wife marveled at how young he looked. Obviously he was at least 21, as I don’t believe a bar can hire you to serve alcohol if you’re not. I supposed that’s why Greg didn’t card him the previous night, because he already knew him and knew that he was old enough. So I reached around and smacked my wife hard on the ass and said, “I bet he’d love to hit that!” She replied, “No, he’s too young. He’s probably got no idea what he’s doing.” My wife and I are both 29, but first met when we were 18. I asked her if I had known what I was doing at 21, and she burst out laughing. I said, “Okay, well look at him! Even if it doesn’t last long, he’ll recharge quickly!” She replied, “I’m sure, but it’ll make me feel like a creepy old lady.” And she chuckled. I had no logic with which to retaliate other than, “That’s ridiculous!” The guy had no idea that I was trying to get him laid as he worked the other end of the bar, a cigarette behind his ear, and his black ponytail stopping just below his shoulder blades. I wondered if there would have been a free beer in it for me if he had known. The irony in my wife’s insecurity with her being 29 is that she also looks like she’s only 17. She occasionally still gets carded at “R” rated movies, and always for alcohol unless it’s at a place where the servers know us. I reminded her of that fact, though to no avail. She asked if I would be willing to sleep with a girl that young and it was my turn to burst out laughing. I explained that a girl doesn’t need to be skilled, just willing. Skill is a nice bonus if a girl’s got it, but not altogether necessary. We both laughed at ourselves, and we knew that nobody would be going home with us that night.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Beer Ring

I was sitting at the bar, and it was time to break the seal, so I hit the men’s room. On top of the urinal was a ring of dried beer. Dark stuff. Very apparently from the bottom of a glass that was set there and then removed a while ago. I love beer, a lot, especially dark beer. It’s often hard to part with my beer while I go to the men’s room, but I don’t think I would ever resort to bringing my beer into the men’s room with me. Even at that, I certainly wouldn’t set it on top of the urinal, less than 12 inches from where I was pissing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Filled With Pussy

This place is filled to the gills with pussy, strange pussy. It’s dancing everywhere. There’s pussy lining the walls and halls, dimly lit, smoky, and heavily tattooed. There’s pussy wagging its tail on its way up the stairs, peeking out from under its dress, scarcely covered. There’s pussy at the bar, wearing a thong and a blue translucent plastic skirt covered in zippers. There’s pussy rolling on ecstasy, grinding on everything in sight. There’s drunk pussy swinging from the fucking rafters. Natural and unnatural. Tight and loose. Black and white. Fat and underweight. All flavors. Mean, man-hating, empowered pussy with sharp, angular, spiky haircuts and fierce intellect that won’t stand for any of my shit. Soft, helpless, insecure pussy that’s got to have everything handed to it. There’s pussy with bad taste in music and lots of silly, frivolous, whimsical ideas about life. There are also men here, trying to pass themselves off as pussy. Dressed in leather pants and wearing cosmetics. There’s a wild insanity that is consuming everything here, and it’s hot and moist.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The man mopping the floors was insane. The coffee shop was empty except for the girl at the counter, the insane man mopping the floors, my wife, me, and our two friends Frank and Gail. It was 3:38pm. We were all finished ordering, seated at a table in the giant empty dining room. The girl was still at the counter. The insane man was still mopping. It was quiet and dimly lit. The quiet was composed of our conversation, the sound of the mop, and the lamentations of the girl at the counter. The quiet was periodically interrupted by outbursts from the insane man. He sporadically yelled at the front window as though there were people standing on the other side of it. There clearly were not. Moreover, it was impossible to discern exactly what it was that he was yelling at them.

Eventually, there came a point when I needed to piss. I heard our insane mopping companion working in the general vicinity of the restrooms in the back. He had apparently grown weary of the invisible people on the other side of the front window. I had to risk the interaction. I departed the table, heading for the men’s room. As I got closer, it became obvious that he was in the men’s room, singing loudly. Neither the melody nor the lyrical content could be determined. I opened the door and entered. He had stopped cleaning the men’s room, to sing into the mirror, quite intimately. His face was three inches from it as he leaned across the sink, singing loudly. My entrance into the room startled him immediately, and I felt terrible for disturbing his masturbatory serenade. He smiled widely and began a fast, garbled explanation that I couldn’t understand. I backed out of the men’s room, not having pissed or understood a word of his explanation except for the last six words, which were, “…and they’re not cheering for anybody.” I returned to my seat, bladder still aching. A few minutes later, I saw him emerge, sit, and begin smoking. So I went back and pissed without incident. It was beautiful. The relief was unexplainable. I returned to my seat and the conversation between my wife and friends.

More time elapsed. He quit smoking and disappeared. There was no audible singing. My wife decided this would be a safe time to make her trip to the bathroom, as coffee goes through everybody pretty quickly. Her account entailed her entry into an empty women’s room and an empty stall. This was soon followed by the sound of approaching footsteps out in the hall, and the sound of the insane man’s singing. He knocked on the door. It must have been time to clean the women’s room. My wife shouted that she was in there. She got a retort that, much like the one I had received, was indecipherable. At this point, the girl behind the counter intervened, corralling him away from the women’s room. Neither myself nor our two friends sitting at the table were aware of either of these events. Our table was out of earshot. I was only aware because I was told by her later.

There were no further incidents. He must have cleaned the women’s room. As we all left, he was seated and smoking again. He smiled and said, “Have a good day.” It was the clearest thing he had said yet. We all returned the sentiment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tar and Chewing Tobacco

The road is magical tonight. The show we just saw was great. One o’clock in the morning and a long drive ahead of us, Cleveland to Pittsburgh. It smells like fresh tar and chewing tobacco. I smell like I’ve been drinking, and I have, a lot. My wife hasn’t, and she’s the one driving. Don’t make assumptions, asshole. Fines are doubled in construction zones in the state of Pennsylvania. It’s the law. Not that you can speed anyway, when three lanes are funneled down into one. Horses and barrels line it all with their blinking yellow eyes and white and orange stripes. I don’t have to work tomorrow. So I can enjoy the moment, the air, and the music. We are going home, but we’re not in a hurry. Soon we’ll hit a rest spot and get some scalding hot black coffee. I’m in heaven.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tattooed Bartender

The bartender looked good. Big surprise, right? I’m kind of predictable that way. She was very thoroughly tattooed. She had one half-sleeve and a great deal of patchwork on the other arm. Intense stuff too. Looked like H.R. Giger’s work in black and white. Nice and curvy, she was just mildly overweight, blond hair, bright purple eye shadow, a ring in her lip, spider web tights, and a “Possessed” t-shirt. She looked like she could break up a fight. Doubtless she has, on more than one occasion. She looked to be just over 30. I was smitten at first glance. She was a knockout. Most of the office was there. Shawn got a new job, and this was his going away party. He was a good guy. Everybody mingled and circulated throughout the bar. None of my co-workers seemed impressed with her. I didn’t get it. I’m not sure how you could see her as anything short of stunning, though I’m sure they all thought she was scummy and/or dirty, if they even noticed her at all. Whatever. I’m sure she was leading a fuller, happier, more interesting life than any one of them, or any number of them combined. She had soul by the boatload. I wanted to go talk to her, though I feared I’d look antisocial if I just sat with the bartender. I might have also had to answer some questions later that I just wouldn’t feel like answering. They all know that I’m married. It would have been awkward and stupid. Not worth it. It occurred to me, though, that your taste in anything says a lot about you, your depth of character and your sense of identity. Food, music, women, cars, etc. All things in life are subjective, and thus there are no “right” choices. It’s easy to see, that most people don’t spend a great deal of time looking, thinking, or evaluating on their own, however. Most peoples’ values come out of a can, and it’s not even a very good can. It’s a B.O.G.O. at Wal-Mart kind of can. Whatever’s on sale and whatever everybody else is getting. It seems like most people don’t even really know what they like.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mechanical Failure

I admire things that imply the failure of other things simply by their naked existence. A spare tire implies not only the failure of the tire that it’s replacing, but it also points to the limitations of tires in general. Divorce attorneys highlight the finitude of love and the volatile and temperamental nature of human sentiments. Police allude to our inability to behave. Churches illuminate our failure to grapple with the fact that we’re all alone in the universe. Shoe polish indicates leather’s lack of natural shine and resilience. Wars imply the failure of diplomacy and cooler heads. My garage full of art proves my failure to ever sell any of my work. My daily one-hour commute to my miserable job implies my stupidity and complacency.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Flat Tire

On my way home from work today I got a flat tire, in four lanes of gridlocked rush hour traffic. It happened on 5th avenue, which runs through the heart of the University of Pittsburgh’s campus. I made it from the 2nd lane over to the right side of the road. I pulled over by the sidewalk into a metered space. I put a quarter in it, because it was before 6pm, and a parking ticket would just add insult to injury. I got out the spare, the tire iron and the scissor jack. It took a bit of struggle to get the jack in a stable spot underneath the car. It went up, though. The hubcap came off pretty easily, and all the nuts did likewise. All of them except one, which was a little reluctant to come loose. I managed to slip and pinch my hand between the tire iron and the curb in the process of its forceful removal, opening a decent little hole in the meat of my right hand. It bled quickly, and the blood mixed with the dirt already accumulated. The wheel itself, however, was rusted firmly into place. I couldn’t pull it off. I couldn’t even get it to wiggle. College kids streamed past, beautiful girls in short skirts and boys without convictions. They were all young and clean. I am not a proud man, and I would have happily asked one for help, but I just didn’t see any of these guys with more upper body than me. They all looked thin and soft. Filthy, and sweating completely through my clothes, I knelt in the gutter with my blackened hands, one also bloodied now. A woman walking down the sidewalk handing out religious pamphlets approached me, asked if I knew about the lord Jesus Christ, and waved a pamphlet in my face. I wondered if I took the fucking thing, would the lord Jesus Christ come down from his ivory fucking tower and change this goddamned tire? I wondered if I looked like I needed something to read while I tried to pull this rusted fucking wheel off, and I also thought about ending her miserable fucking life with the tire iron still sitting easily within reach of my bleeding right hand. I wanted to cave in her face, take pictures of it, and send them to the lord Jesus Christ as a warning. Instead, I politely said, “No, thank you.” It was the most restraint I’ve ever exercised in my life. After about 15 minutes, a cop showed up and demonstrated how to kick off a tire that’s rusted stuck. Apparently, he worked two jobs. His second job was as a mechanic. He was very friendly and helpful, and looked Hispanic. Nicest cop I’ve ever met. His trick worked pretty quickly. After thanking him profusely, I put on the spare and threw everything else into the trunk. My 45 minute drive home resumed.

Friday, November 27, 2009

December 31, 2006, At the Smiling Moose

Last night the bar was full of beautiful girls, stunning punker girls. Some heavily tattooed, some heavily chested, some just heavy, and each with a unique sense of purpose. I was only half-cocked and sticking to beer, since New Year’s Eve is really not a good night to get hammered. There’s just too much potential for disaster. So I sat quietly with my wife and some new and old friends at an upstairs table. There was a beautiful red-haired, red-lipped, pale girl telling us a story about getting her nipples pierced. It sounded nice. Better than the music that was playing on the juke box. She drank, breathed smoke, and tossed about armchair philosophy with us. Some things were relevant, some things not. Everybody is a moralist. Everybody rationalizes. It’s all goofy and pointless. There wouldn’t be any insanity for us that night, just talk. That was all I really needed. I was content in it. Today, I don’t even have a hangover as a memento.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Driving Like an Asshole

Sometimes when I’m driving, and my wife is with me, I’ll begin to drive like an asshole just to draw out her criticism. It’s not that I like to fight with her, but at least I’ll be able to participate in the argument that my bad driving will precipitate. I normally only use this technique as a method of curtailing a really long story that she’s telling. I can’t participate in a long, winding, one-sided story. I can only desperately fight to listen. The argument that I’ll precipitate with my bad driving will at least be a discourse between both of us. It will bring us closer together, whereas her long story will only drive us apart.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Drunk at the Mall

Tonight I got buzzed and went to the local shopping mall with my wife. In the back of JC Penny's, near where she was getting the free wrapping paper with the towels that she was buying, they had a bunch of exercise equipment for sale. Complicated machines engineered to help lazy people do sit-ups. So I sat down on one, and started doing some of whatever I think I was supposed be doing on it. When I got up, there was a middle-aged black woman walking past, trying not to laugh at me. I made no effort not to laugh.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I’ve got an apple, and I’m not questioning it. Like any good fortune, it should simply be accepted and enjoyed for what it is. There is no valuable information or lesson to be learned from belaboring the origins of this apple. I found it in my lunch, which means that I must have put it there myself. What could be questionable about an apple? It’s not complex. When good things find their way into your life, they don’t need explanation.

Friday, November 20, 2009

An Ordinary Crucifixion – No. 4

The woman bagging my groceries was retarded. She was also missing some fingers. They did not appear to have been missing since birth. Their absence looked like the result of some terrible accident. Her right hand was perfect, but on her left hand, each finger ended at the first joint. Her thumb was the same way. She was able to make reasonable use of the little stumps that remained, but she was definitely missing the top two links from each one. She was smiling and bagging and doing an excellent job of it. She was grouping things logically and efficiently. She was more content with her life than I am with mine.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stephanie the Bartender

Our favorite bartender got a new job at a new bar. Now she’s managing a different one, instead of simply tending the bar at the Tiki Lounge. The new place is just down a block and across the street. It’s not really new. It’s been there for a while, but we’ve never been there before. Her hours are different, and the place is obnoxious. She’s not there when we are. We can’t stand the new bar. It sucks. We’d go just to hang out with her, because Stephanie’s that cool. She’s got a magical personality. She has told us when she’s there, and that we should start coming in then. I suppose I could if I got a new job. We’ve tried going back into the old bar, to give the new bartender a shot. He’s a big fat guy with a shaved head. Nice enough guy, but bad taste in music, not as much character, and not nearly as nice to look at.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There was a dead dog by the roadside. I saw him on my way home from work. It was a large German Shepherd. Not horribly mangled, ripped open, or splayed out, just dead on his side. No visible blood from my vantage point. Head turned at an odd angle, by the side of the road. Cars were passing quickly and frequently, very close to the dog. So close that the draft coming off of them made his tail move slightly. It looked like it was wagging, barely, sadly and lethargically. It looked like he thought he still might be able to convince somebody to help him, like his situation could still be fixed. In that way, he exemplified the unbreakable spirit of a dog. Even when his predicament was beyond hope, even in death, he was optimistic.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gym Friends

Periodically I make new friends at the gym, normally with guys with whom I have very little else in common. They’re great guys, but there’s really not much I can talk about with them. Generally, the guys you find in any given weight room are very into sports and not much for art, music, literature, or poetry. I’m pretty sure that I’m the only powerlifting art fag in North America. At least that’s the case around here, in Pittsburgh. You couldn’t pay me to watch sports. I just don’t care. Besides that, I really don’t go to the gym to socialize. I like to hit the weights hard and get out quickly. Regardless, I was shocked this past Saturday morning when a visibly excited guy came over to me, asking about my tattoos. I’ve got Renee Descartes’ “Cogito” tattooed inside my right bicep, and an icon that I drew up representing Occam’s razor on my right shoulder. Apparently this guy has a Ph.D. in philosophy, and has been teaching it in Belgium for the past six years. You don’t often find philosophy geeks in the gym. Not really art or literature, but close enough for me. It was a fun conversation, him leading, me trying to keep up. I got my ass handed to me. It was magnificent.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Locker Room

The locker room at the gym smells like sweat, shit, and Right Guard. It doesn’t smell at all like the failing air freshener that’s plugged into the wall. Naked old men are walking about. The air is so humid that you can very nearly float in it. I’m thinking it’s a good time to jump on the scale, because I’ll probably be lighter because of that humidity. I do, but I’m not. When I get out to hit the weights, the air is so comparably clean that I feel like I’m about to do my chest workout on top of a mountain.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Bouncer at the Tiki Lounge

I was on my way out the door after a few beers, my wife behind me. We were cutting through the crowd efficiently and with trained purpose. Some girls were trying to come in at the same time that we were trying to leave. The first one handed me her driver’s license, looked me in the eye, and smiled. She was very pretty. I’m always happy to have pretty young girls hand me things in bars and smile at me. I was, however, slightly confused by the gesture. A sad and pathetic part of me hoped that she wanted me to ravage her, and she was proving that she was of legal age before taking me back to her place. Perhaps just laying eyes on me from ten feet out was all she needed to see before giving herself to me? Then the rational portion of my mind took over, and my immediate confusion gave way to disappointed amusement, as I realized that I’d just been mistaken for the bouncer. I smiled, handed it back, nodded, and motioned for them all to come in. They smiled back and walk in. Then we continued out the door.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The End of Time

This morning was the end of time. It was majestically overcast and gray. The sky was huge, and not at all claustrophobic or crowded, as overcast skies tend to be. The air was cool, but not cold. The sun didn’t have the energy to fight the crushing nihilism of the clouds. It wasn’t in the mood to work hard, and none of the rest of us were, either.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fake Hipster Artist-Wanna-Be Degenerate Fucks

Nobody’s fucking anybody tonight. This place is terrible. It’s full of terrible people smelling terrible. The art is terrible. The beer is terrible. Everything sucks. The gallery is full of young, pretentious hipster assholes. I am the only man in here who can bench press more than his body weight. I guarantee it. I’m also the only guy in here that has likely ever made art that meant anything. There is nothing for me to learn here. These men are not men. They’re all growing beards and ironic facial hair to convince themselves that they are. Then they’ve adorned themselves in strange haircuts and ridiculous glasses to temper all that projected illusory masculinity and create a visual tone of irony. They’re all admiring the crappy, neato, comic-book-sketch-looking, safe-quasi-graffitti cartoon art that isn’t even framed. It has just been drawn on illustration board and tacked to the wall. It must be a rough life having that little self-respect and motivation. How do they have sufficient energy to feed themselves? Too much weed, not enough red meat. I can understand that these kids were raised on cartoons and videogames, and that’s why it’s reflected in their art. Fair enough. However, in the larger creative dialogue, I think it’s absolutely horrifying that that’s all my generation has to say: “I like video games and comic books.” That appears to be about the size of it. I can’t understand how they can feel that passionately about inane, time-wasting childrens’ games and pulp illustration. It’s proof that humanity is in decline and we’ll never cure cancer or AIDS. It’s even more ridiculous when they try to pass it off as “street art.” Whenever I hear that excuse, I want so badly for Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring to come back from the dead and beat these corny, white, straight suburbanites within an inch of their safe, stylish lives and educate them. Furthermore, I’ll bet none of these people read anything worthwhile. Likely they don’t read anything at all, except maybe comic books. Of course! God-fucking-knows it’s important to have images and illustrations handy to remove any of the creative responsibility from reader. On top of all that, the women here are generally sexless and uninviting. Fuck these people and their scene. I can appreciate what they’ve created for themselves here. I’m sure they were all misfits and outsiders growing up. Now they’ve got a place to belong, and that’s great. The only problem with that is the fact that they’ve simply created their own exclusive group with a specific set of codes and criteria that you must meet to be accepted. Being an outsider by nature I can identify, though I have no desire to belong to anything. I tend to be an outsider among outsiders. When too many people agree with me, I get nervous and uncomfortable. I like to judge people by my own criteria, based upon their content. None of these confused fuckers have anything valuable to say or contribute. They have no enduring sense of identity beyond having all gone to the same shitty, over-priced art school that taught them nothing, but reinforced the juvenile notions of art that they carried into it from high school, and created an incestuous clique for them to hide inside. Never send your child to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. A worse education isn’t available in the free world.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Too Cool to Care

It’s 2006 and all of American culture has been consumed by the postmodern cancer. Everybody is too hip to believe in anything. Even many religious people often won’t own up to their beliefs in conversation. I suspect they’re concerned about pissing off God(s), and just don’t want to pick a team officially. Nobody takes anything seriously, for fear of looking ridiculous or being wrong. Sincerity is a vulnerability and a liability, and we live in a culture of cowardice. Everything is rented, and ownership is seen as a form of insanity. We are a culture without permanence or honest conviction. Welcome to Wal-Mart. With no lasting interests, we’re all passively waiting for the next big thing to come by and blow our minds, tire of it, then move on. Recycle, then move on. Recycle, then move on. The strong-willed individual has died and given rise to shiftless disorganization and fashionable disinterest. Irony has consumed everything like rust. Art without conviction is a shameful and insincere thing. Good art should come from the gut and be inflexible. An artist must first be a fascist.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Raining In Toronto

I like Toronto. You can’t smoke indoors anywhere…but prostitution is legal. Canadian logic is amazing. My wife really wanted to watch me fuck a call girl, but we opted to hit a strip club instead, as I just wasn’t in the mood to gamble with diseases that night. Strip clubs are safer. They all appear to be free here. They’re pretty different than any that I’ve been to in the States. Free to get in, and you don’t tip the dancers unless you opt for one of the optional private dances. The alcohol is, of course, horrible and overpriced. I suppose that’s how they make their money. Regardless, it’s fun. My wife doesn’t enjoy it quite like I do, but she tolerates it well enough. She’s a good sport. Unfortunately, most of the strippers don’t know what to make of her. So she’s like stripper repellent. They normally just don’t approach us. So on that night we were content to watch from our table. The stage was wallpapered with mirrors. There was even a bank of them at a 45-degree angle between the back wall (mirrored) and the ceiling (also mirrored). There was quite literally nowhere for the strippers to stand on the stage that they weren’t exposed in one way or another. There was also a strange chin-up bar that I didn’t fully understand. I hadn’t once seen a girl do chin-ups or even swing on it. It must have just been there in good faith, in case they ever hired an ex-gymnast to dance there. We didn’t hang around long. One beer each and we watched a few half-hearted dancers. We left to get some coffee. It was raining, and my $12 umbrella was apparently made of black tissue paper and feeble old coat hangers. Whenever the wind picked up, it turned inside out like a sea cucumber. The only practical thing to do was embrace the cold wetness. Accept the things that you cannot change. Once at the donut place, the name of which I can’t recall, I was drinking my black coffee and eating a stale donut. While I did this, my wife dried off in the ladies' room. I sat right beside the door, because I’m stupid and was not wet or cold enough yet to realize that the rest of the place was empty. Warm, dry seats abounded, everywhere other than where I sat. However, my stupidity paid off, as I got a close up view of a girl pressing her ass through the door. She had a coffee in one hand, and a cell phone in the other, and tons of flat, boring shit pouring out of her mouth. Her ass, however, was round and full and wrapped in wet denim. Watching it change shape as she squeezed and turned her way through the glass doors was the sexiest thing I’d gawked at that night.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Awkward Americans

My wife and I love Toronto. It’s only five hours away, so we go there fairly frequently. It’s a fun little town with lots of cool things to do. One evening in Toronto, we decided to check out the Amsterdam Brewing Company. It’s a brew pub. We had a pretty good idea where it was, and struck off without much preparation. We got off the subway a little too soon and had to walk a little extra distance. The air was nice. Canadians are nice. The sky was beautiful. So we walked and loved it. Ever so slightly lost, we were only about one or two blocks off. We arrived with minimal trouble. They had outdoor seating in a sectioned-off area on the sidewalk. We stood and waited to be seated, assuming a hostess was coming. A beautiful young girl greeted us, and instructed us to sit wherever we liked. I said, “Oh, sorry. We’re not from around here.” She replied, “I could tell.” She smiled, betraying sincere amusement. I said, “You could tell we’re Americans?” She responded, “From down the street, before you even got here.” We laughed. It was a pretty wide open street, with minimal car or pedestrian traffic. No doubt she could see us approaching. I wondered how she could identify us as Americans from that far away, though. We weren’t wearing or waving an American flag. Our attire was pretty nondescript, and didn’t have anything intrinsically American printed on it, like a Slayer logo or American football team colors. We didn’t try to economically exploit anybody on our way down the street, or declare a pre-emptive war on anybody or anything. I was dumbfounded, not hurt or offended, just honestly baffled. I wanted so badly to ask her to explain what we had done that made us look so obvious from so great a distance. Not wanting to embarrass myself further, I decided to just get a beer and enjoy the evening.

Monday, November 9, 2009

An Ordinary Crucifixion – No. 3

The afternoon air was chilly. Not terribly cold, but cold enough to make me uncomfortable. My wife and I were walking westward on the right side of East Carson street. She walks faster than I do. Often, on a crowded sidewalk, this puts her out a few feet in front of me. Such was the case on this afternoon. At 15th and Carson I watched a shitty old Honda, which was traveling east, make a right. There was nothing remarkable about it. It was a simple turn. The driver used his signals and moved at a slow, responsible speed. My wife was already past the event and not watching. I was watching because I’m easily distracted. As the car began traveling down the narrow side street, a flock of pigeons left the pavement. Pigeons are not valuable. Pittsburgh has no shortage of them. People typically don’t empathize with them. As the car drove down 15th, however, I could not help but sympathize with a particular bird that had not escaped the shitty Honda. It was not dead. It was not flattened. From a solid distance of 20 feet, the bird’s injury was obvious. It leaped out from under the Honda and flopped about madly on the street. It arced up and fell repeatedly, never clearing more than five feet. It flopped and beat its mangled wing furiously. I hoped that it might be able to straighten it out like an inverted umbrella. Very quickly, it became apparent that would not happen. It was more likely trying to throw the wing off completely, just to rid itself of the painful, useless burden. I paused for a moment watching the bird’s agony. I wanted to help, but had no idea how. I certainly have no qualifications to treat the bird’s injury myself. Beyond that, I can’t imagine a veterinary professional offering any help for this animal beyond euthanizing it. Lamentable as pigeons may be, this pigeon’s suffering was no less real or compelling than any human pain. My wife was getting very far ahead of me on the sidewalk. I pulled my eyes from the spectacle and caught up with her. I didn’t mention a word of what I had seen. I didn’t want to burden her with it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cats and Dogs

There is no doubt in my mind that dogs are emotionally and intellectually superior animals to cats. As contrary to popular opinion as that is, I believe it is painfully obvious. Testimony to this is a dog’s visible sense of guilt. A dog knows when it has done wrong. A dog knows love and malice. A dog is a dynamic, expressive animal. It learns, feels, and acts, not only according to its instinct, but also according to its reason. It is a layered creature. A cat is an arrogant, base, immature creature. Cats lack the depth and loyalty that dogs constantly demonstrate. Nobody has ever successfully domesticated a cat. They have simply been domesticated by their cat. The misconception of feline domesticity is a reversal of cause and effect. The common illusion of feline intelligence is attributable to the human prejudice that arrogance and emotional instability are traits which imply intellectual and emotional depth. Humans hide behind this façade all of the time, and they also like to project it upon their pets. A dog understands what it is doing and experiences emotional dynamics. It simply has the heart to fight through them. A cat is always one-dimensional, feral, and without heart.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Waiting for a Bus

There was an old man sitting on a bench, presumably waiting for a bus. Suddenly, as though he had been shot in the back of the head, vomit leaped from his mouth onto the sidewalk in front of him. It steamed up from the pavement. Miraculously, none appeared to have landed on him. There was a little on his shoes, maybe. I wasn't sure. Just then, I caught a whiff of somebody’s fresh laundry. A dryer’s exhaust must have been breathing nearby. In that moment, I was grateful for the direction of the wind.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Choppy Rivers

The river was choppy in the process of flowing under the bridge, with the heat and madness of summer over. It was time for things to get cold and start freezing over. It was about goddamned time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I’m sorry. You’re sorry. We’re all sorry. Everybody’s sorry! Let’s drink to sorry! If apologies were gold, we would all be rich, and the booze would be free. If apologies were pussy, this would be an orgy. Nobody’s got answers or solutions, but fuck if we don’t have “sorry” by the bucket load. It has never inspired any great art, cured any diseases, or launched a thousand ships. Sorry leaves you all alone in front of something giant and unloving. Sorry is a rubber check, written for millions of dollars, meaningless and unlimited in its falsity. It’s utterly useless and we’ve got tons of it. Good, honest reasons are a rare commodity.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Consolation Prize

Tonight has got me in the mood to drink myself into a mild coma. I’m losing on all fronts. The whiskey can’t change that, but it can change the way I feel about it. It isn’t the cure, but it will treat the symptoms. It can make a loss feel like a victory. It’s the consolation prize. It helps. It kills some of the sting. Whiskey is nice, though it’s not as nice as watching her naked ass walking in front of you, leading you across the room to the couch. Hips swinging like a boat listing side to side, without a stitch on her. I think, though, that even if I had her here, I might still be drinking whiskey tonight. Whiskey is good then, too. Then, it’s even better.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Last to Know

It’s hard to forgive when you’re the last to know. It’s hard to respect people who manipulated you by withholding information. It’s hard to overlook all of the various points in time when you should have been informed and were not. It’s hard to know what an ass you looked like, sincerely operating under false assumptions. It’s hard being betrayed by people who are supposed to have your back. It’s hard to live with yourself, knowing that you’ve been used. It’s hard to be the only honest man in a house full of liars. It’s hard being a martyr to honesty.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Honor Among Thieves

There’s no clear, consistent, defined honor among thieves. It’s all very relative and subjective and complicated and discretionary. There’s no definitive code, rulebook or instruction manual. That ambiguity will bite you in the ass, and sometimes you’ll do the biting and deny it. Like an attorney, you’ll build up a shield of complex technical arguments that protect and justify your actions, proving to yourself that you’re somehow a noble thief, perhaps not even a thief at all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nobody Was Supposed To Cuddle

The fucking never bothered me. The fucking was the whole point. The fucking was the purpose of the arrangement, and we all did lots of that. From all of our previous exploits, I had gotten quite accustomed to watching it. We were all supposed to be involved exclusively for the fucking. No problems there. It was the cuddling that stung. I didn’t anticipate that, and I was unprepared for it. Nobody was supposed to cuddle. Nobody was supposed to develop feelings, and our unpreparedness for that event opened the door for injury. I got dragged in too. It led down a long, strange, dishonest road. It led to jealousy and hurt feelings. It led to manipulation. It led us to all sorts of places that we hadn’t planned on going. You put a condom on your dick to make sex safer, but there’s really nothing that you can wear to make cuddling safe.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

In Front

At 5:15pm, I’m in front at the light, watching the girl and the guy and their long goodbye. There’s an asshole leaning on his horn. He must be so far back that he cannot see that the light is still red.

At a different light, I catch a cute goth girl in the car in the left lane looking at me. I smile. She smiles back. The smell of exhaust and fried food wafts in through my open window. I breathe it in deep, and it adds years to my life.

I’m going home, but getting there slowly. Stuck in traffic and cursing, I can see a horse-drawn carriage. It’s gridlocked like me. It’s gridlocked with me. The two horses and I laugh ‘til we cry.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Squirrels are amazing. There are a lot of them running around the streets where I work. They’re constantly jumping from trees, running up telephone poles and into garbage cans. They’re great. Today I observed a squirrel dive into a garbage can and emerge with what must have been half of a candy bar. He darted from the can, up a tree, and between two houses before you could count to three. He must have been experiencing an incredible, euphoric joy. In that moment, it occurred to me that I am an asshole. I will deserve whatever suffering befalls me. The squirrel has half a candy bar and he is overjoyed. His life will span, at best, a fraction of mine. The sum of his life experiences will be proportionate. I have a nice job, a car, a house, a cell phone, computers, friends, family, a wife, a girlfriend, and all the enriching art, music, food, comfort, and healthcare I need. I live at the high water mark. As I walk down the sidewalk, gourmet coffee in hand, I am discontent, miserable. I am a plague upon the Earth. The squirrel is more enlightened and of far better stock than myself. People like me are parasites. I don’t want what I deserve. I want what I want because I’m too dumb to know better. I am proof that there is no such thing as god. If there was, he would have hit me with a bus by now.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Easy Moments

We had sweet, small, easy moments, in the early hours of the morning. Naked and having tea at the kitchen table. Our house’s windows are sufficiently high, that you can’t really see below her shoulders from the outside. I was always tired and slow to move. She was always hung over and sore. She was a burning paper airplane, destined to be ash before hitting the ground. I’d be there to help clean up.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shower Scum

She was showering in my shower, in my bathroom. I was also in my bathroom, trying to watch, but the glass was clouded with soap scum. At that moment, I really began to regret my poor housecleaning habits. I could more or less figure out what was going on, but couldn’t quite see the details as well as I’d have liked to. Details are important. She knew she was putting on a show. It dawned on me to get a bottle of Windex and clean the shower door. Before I did that, I thought better of it and just stepped in.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


There I sat, draped in her and the dim blue-green light. The light was fluid. It saturated everything it could touch, and jealously coveted everything it couldn’t. It coveted the cracks and crevices. It coveted the nooks and crannies. It coveted the spaces between us. The light soaked and languished in the spoils of its work. It was proud of everything that it illuminated and exposed, as though it had discovered these things first and brought them to our attention. In her tremendous length of thick, curly, red-brown hair, the light and I got lost. Together we shared in our good fortune.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Unexpected Good Day

The unexpected good day presents itself all of its own accord, because you never expect it. Why would you? It’s a bullet that was meant for you but missed. It’s an accidental stay of execution. The unexpected good day is the top step that was anticipated but wasn’t actually there. It leaves you stumbling in your wasted effort. It throws open the blinds and reconnects you with the world outside. The unexpected good day breaks apart your nightmare and reminds you how to smile.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Women’s Room at the Tuscany

I’m not sure whose idea it was to fuck in the bathroom, but it wasn’t mine. I didn’t offer much objection, but I wasn’t exactly excited either. My wife and my girlfriend’s husband went in there first. They were gone for a few minutes and came back giggling. It was encouraging to see that it had gone well. It’s not an easy thing to fuck in a bathroom. I guess they had locked the men’s room door, and he had just bent her over sink and fucked her for a bit. I believe that was more or less the extent of it. Next I took my girlfriend (his wife) back. The men’s room was locked. So she quickly dragged me by the arm into the women’s room, which immediately made me uncomfortable, like I was trespassing, like I was about to do something very inappropriate somewhere that I wasn’t supposed to be in the first place. I understand that that’s the whole appeal of the thing, but it takes a lot of conscious effort for me to get past that. Anyhow, she’s a very petite little woman who was wearing a loose skirt and no panties, so we ducked into the stall and I just picked her up, held her, and we fucked standing upright. Neither one of us was drunk, but we were slightly buzzed. It was good. She was already very wet, so I slipped right in. We kissed deeply, and screwed for a bit, as best we could in our enclosed space. It must have looked hilarious from outside the stall, as I’m a full head taller than most bathroom stalls, and even in the weird sort of slouched posture in which I was standing, I could still see over the stall door. Neither one of us could cum in that uncomfortable environment. So we conceded that we’d just stop for now and finish up at home later. I pulled out and tried to manage my hard-on back into my pants, and as she straightened her skirt, the door opened. I ducked. A woman entered and started fiddling with the sink. My girlfriend lit up. She was so excited, so proud. We had a spectator! I was filled with a bizarre mixture of pride and horror, and tried not to look weird as we emerged from the stall. My girlfriend was beautiful and beaming. I didn’t look at our audience. It’s a magnificent thing when a woman is proud of you. It doesn’t matter what woman, or for what reason. It’s just incredibly validating when a woman gives you her approval like that. I tried to enjoy that esteem through the shame I felt for the judgment that I believed our audience was certainly projecting upon me. I felt guilty, like I had just done something wrong. Even though I knew that I hadn’t. I was proud that I had done it and overcome my inhibition. We returned to the table. My wife looked at me with big happy optimistic eyes, and asked how it had gone. She only wanted for my happiness. She can be wonderful that way. I appreciate that. We finished our drinks and left. When we returned to the house, we finished other things too.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cock-Chafing Devil Snatch

One morning after a vigorous night of screwing, my girlfriend saw me rubbing lotion onto my limp dick after we got out of the shower. It wasn’t exciting or sexy, just habit. I think it’s a healthy thing to do. It keeps the skin supple. Apparently, she had never seen me do this before, and shrieked, “That sucks!” Terrified, I asked “Why?” and she replied, “Like I’ve got some kind of cock-chafing devil snatch?”

Friday, October 23, 2009

PA Turnpike Arby’s at Harrisburg

On our way back home from New York, we stopped at an Arby’s for dinner. The girl at the register was short and chubby with flaming red hair. She looked to be about 19. She had prison-style tattoos, done very poorly and very likely with a sewing needle and India ink. They were comprised of lots of little dots all strung together into letters and shapes. “BOO” in the center of her right forearm, in letters approximately an inch and a half tall, all caps. She had the following collection of shapes in the same spot on her left forearm: “$,” a small outline of a heart, the letter “M” on her left hand, and a smaller heart on the webbing between her thumb and forefinger. My favorite was on her knuckles, though: “MATT” on the left hand. I wonder about Matt. Where is he right now? What is he doing at this moment? Is he okay? Is he dead? Does she still feel the same way about him? Is he an asshole? Has she ever punched him with those knuckles? This girl was a sign that told me I was getting a little closer to home.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The 7 Train from Queens to Grand Central

We took the 7 train from Queens to Grand Central. July 21, 2006, 2:36PM EST. It was 96 degrees Fahrenheit. My wife sat to my right. To my left sat a young couple, younger and prettier than us, both of them. He wore expensive Italian shoes, expensive everything, and a very precise haircut. The upkeep on it must have been intense. He was asleep, hunched over. Face in his knees. His girlfriend was blond. Her silk hair flowed into her silk blouse, from which her left tit nearly peeked out. She was asleep on him, twisted sideways and not wearing a bra. Together, they were a giant crumpled pile of silk, expensive, soft, and very nice to look at. Out cold, and completely vulnerable on a train to Grand Central. Across the aisle sat some tough-looking workmen from the Queens Industrial Park with giant boots and callused hands. They were filthy, sweating, stinking, laughing their asses off.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Soup

New York smelled like a pot of boiling urine and garbage. It was a fucked-up, fragrant soup, 90+ degrees Fahrenheit. July, hot breath, people crammed everywhere. Subways, sidewalks, bridges. People unable to get away from each other. Everybody was hot. Everybody was on fire.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Citgo Cogito

Today I was tattooed at a gas station in the backwoods of central Pennsylvania. Our friends recommended the place. The guy’s work is good, and so is his reputation. I got Renee Descartes’ “Cogito” lettered inside my right bicep. There weren’t very many people hanging around, but from the chair I watched a small coke deal transpire outside the big window as the sun set. Mustaches and mullets. It’s not that I know a coke deal when I see one, but my girlfriend was there with me. She pointed it out. She was more experienced with such things and thus able to identify them when she saw them. After my tattoo, she got a very Dr. Seuss-looking bird tattooed very near to her girl parts. Tom Waits was playing over the stereo, and life just kept coming. No matter where you are, or what you’re doing, or what’s being done to you, life doesn’t stop. It’s impossible to step out of it, for even a moment. No respite. Everything counts.

The original plan was to get this new tattoo right under the Occam’s razor tattoo on my shoulder. At the shop, I hatched the idea to get it inside my right bicep. The consensus among all parties present was that the inner bicep placement was much cooler than the original location. I went with it, expecting a bit of a fight from my wife when I returned and she saw it. My wife has a weird hang-up with me getting tattoos in very visible places. She’d prefer they were all able to be hidden by a t-shirt. My girlfriend didn’t seem too concerned. After the work was done, we paid and left the shop. As we approached the house, I secretly hoped that we’d walk in right after she’d just been fucked silly by her boyfriend, so the post-coital glow would soften the shock of my new, awesome-looking, but very visible ink. As we walked in the door, there were no obvious signs of any recent or current sexual activity, and my guts tightened a bit. I saw my wife sitting at their table. She seemed pretty content, so I showed her the new work, doing my best to really sell it. She seemed kind of disconnected. She wasn’t excited or angry. After a few moments, and a brief explanation from her boyfriend, it came to light that they had just smoked, and she was pretty well stoned out of her mind. I was grateful. It wasn’t my original hope, but it had served the same purpose.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Drunk Bus

Our office took a field trip to the Firehouse Lounge. We were all picked up at the office by a yellow school bus driven by a very soft-spoken black guy. Then we were dropped off at the Lounge at 2:30pm. We drank and carried on, all on the company’s tab, until about 6pm, at which point we got back on the bus. Filled to capacity with salaried, drunk, white-collar white people dressed very casually, the bus rolled through town, taking everybody back to the office. People sang loudly, started chants, and acted like asses. As we approached our building, everybody noticed the cleaning lady, also black, climbing the stairs to our building. She was getting ready to start her evening rounds. They promptly began to chant her name out the windows. She endured it with a polite smile, and was very cordial as everybody emptied from the bus. From there, everybody walked down the street to another bar, and eventually drove home hammered. White is a poisonous, fat, bloated plague.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cold Lips

I can still taste the last cigarette from her thin, cold, wet lips. I can see her in her crumpled pile of clothes at the foot of the bed. I can smell her on me. It’s a mixture of laundry detergent and moisturizer. Her clothes are always freshly cleaned. The weight of her tits is still tangible in my palms. The crests of her hips still feel present against mine. She is still here in many ways, though she is hours away now and likely halfway home.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

July 30, 2006

My girlfriend just left with her husband. They drove off a little while ago. My twenty-eighth birthday is in two days. They came down for the weekend to celebrate it a little early. We spent the past 24 hours drinking, smoking, fucking, and passing out, at different intervals. Last night the orgy culminated with my wife riding her boyfriend in the cowgirl position while Iggy Pop played “Fall in Love with Me” loudly over the stereo. It was charming, pleasant, and somewhat surreal. The multi-colored lamp tinted the dimly lit room softly. It was hazy. I was hazy. My girlfriend and I had just finished. We were recovering and watching the two of them. My mind wandered, as it tends to do when I’m drunk and high. I watched kind of absently. The very first time you watch your wife fuck another man in front of you it’s a bit of a shock, but kind of titillating. It’s kind of like the first time you get tattooed, pierced, shoplift, or use any type of illicit substance. Once you get accustomed to it, it’s just fun. After a while, it loses its uniqueness and becomes kind of ordinary. We did it to do it. It was fun. It was rehearsed. I’m one year older. Now that they’ve gone, my wife and I have decided to fuck again just to prove that we still can.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This girl is biting my lower lip so hard that I’m concerned it might tear. She’s also pulling my hair with one hand and trying to flay the skin from my back with the other. The women have made a competition of leaving claw marks on our backs. It’s beginning to lose its tone of playfulness, and it’s becoming a subtly nasty game. Then he and I have to wear these markings of the women’s ownership on our backs. It all hurts. Not pleasant sexual hurting (except for the hair-pulling, which I love tremendously), but actual painful hurting. At the same time, there is cool spring morning air coming through the open window. It’s ventilating our tangled mess of limbs, and feels cold against the back of my balls and crotch. It’s nice, and almost offsets all of the pain caused by her intense climax. She fucks completely, like she’s trying to pull me through her. She fucks like there’s nothing else in the world she’d rather be doing. It’s absolutely wonderful. She fucks like it’s going to solve something, though at times I suspect it might be having the reverse effect.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Into A Storm

I’m driving into a storm. I’ve got the window open. The air smells magnificent. It’s chilly. Iggy Pop’s American Caesar is loud on the radio. The writing on that album is goddamned bulletproof. It is unimpeachable. Iggy is the man, no fucking doubt about it. The music is louder than the wind coming through my open window. I don’t want to get wet, but I don’t want to lose this air either. Fast, cool, clean, wet air. My cloud of long straight brown hair was billowing around my head. I’ll wait until the last minute, past the last minute. A few drops won’t hurt. They’ll start gradually, one at a time. I’ll drive. I’m not scared. I love the storm. I’m not scared to love the storm. The storm loves me. This wonderful-smelling air is its gift to me.

Monday, October 12, 2009


You don’t know that you don’t like broccoli until you’ve eaten broccoli. What’s more is that there’s a multiplicity of different ways to prepare it. Until you’ve tried broccoli every which way it can be prepared, you can't really be sure that you don’t like it. I’m generally not a fan of broccoli. It’s not really my thing, though I’ve had it on a few occasions. It’s not terrible. If you’re in the right mood, it can be pretty good. It’s not likely that I’ll ever seek it out explicitly, but if a situation presents itself, and there’s some decent broccoli on the table, I’ll likely eat it again.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nailed To the Floor

My girlfriend had it in her head that I needed to be dominated. That was fine. I had it in my belly that I had just eaten a great big pot brownie and drunk a giant bottle of barley wine. That had me in a pretty agreeable mood. There wasn’t much to which I would've objected at that point. We were drunk, high, and already fucking as a group all over the living room. The focused attention of two women at once is a spectacular thing. My wife’s boyfriend and I had been sharing the pleasures of that situation pretty evenly. Previously there had been a great deal of talk, especially between the women, about getting he and I to play around together. My one previous male/male experience had gone somewhat badly. I’m thoroughly comfortable in group sex situations involving other men. I just don’t normally feel compelled to interact with them. I don’t find the idea unappealing when the mood strikes me. It just doesn’t often strike me, especially not in the presence of two readily available women crawling around nude. Regardless, it occurred to me that that moment would be a good time to give it another try. He was reclining on the couch, and the women were on their hands and knees taking turns blowing him. I had been fucking one of them from behind, I forget who, while they did this, and I decided it would be an appropriate time to give it another shot. I had been assured that he’d be receptive. So I did, and it went well. The women went nuts over it. He seemed to enjoy it too. A little was all I needed though, and I went over to his wife. He and my wife started fucking on the couch. With silk scarves, his wife tied my hands together up above my head, and then to one of the legs of my coffee table. I think she tied each of my feet to something separately, though I don’t recall exactly. She worked me over with her mouth and hands. I started to feel sick from the brownie and all the barley wine, but was pretty sure that I had it all under control. As she sat down on me, I almost forgot about what was happening in my stomach altogether. Everything was pretty great for what must have been about five or ten minutes. At that point, my primary concern was that I was actually feeling so good I thought I might pass out, which would be kind of embarrassing under the circumstances. Passing out during group sex would be a new experience that I wouldn’t be anxious to add to my life resume. Quite abruptly, however, it became very apparent to me that I needed to vomit…quickly…perhaps even immediately. At once, I decided to get up. All 6’ 2,” 210 pounds of me overturned the coffee table, a floor speaker, and the 5’ 4,” 105 pound girl that was riding me, as I arose and sprinted to the bathroom, where I started violently heaving into the toilet, buckets of the vilest puke I’ve ever puked in my life. Once I had vacated my stomach completely, I continued dry-heaving until my ribs felt like they would crack. Then I fell over onto my left side, resting on the bathroom floor. I was still very alert, still drunk, still high, but alert. Each time that I tried to rise, the room spun, I felt sick, and fell back onto my side, nailed to the floor, wrists still bound to each other with the silk scarves. I believed in my heart that death was imminent, though my rational mind knew that wasn’t the case. In a few minutes, the two women, both still naked, started coming into the bathroom in intervals to see how I was doing. It occurred to me that I had officially stopped an orgy. I was naked in the fetal position, on my own bathroom floor, groaning. At some point somebody covered me with a towel so I wouldn’t be cold. Those are the sort of sweet gestures that separate good friends from casual ones. I made note. I passed in and out of consciousness a few times. I remember my girlfriend coming in to piss, with me still at her feet. She apologized, and hoped that I wasn’t awake to notice. I was, but didn’t care. After about an hour, it was apparent that there would be no more screwing until the morning, and that we should all just go to bed. The only problem being that there was nobody in the house physically strong enough to move me. With assistance from the group, I was helped to my feet and guided up the stairs to my bed. My wife was back with me in our bed, and three good hours of sleep transpired, at which point I woke back up feeling pretty straight. So I brushed my teeth. We swapped beds and picked right back up where we had left off.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Early Friday Evening

The sky is bruised as if somebody had threatened it with terrible violence and then made good on his promise. Now badly beaten and broken-hearted, it’s about to weep. The air is cool. It smells like fall and somebody grilling hot dogs. It’s magnificent. “Brick by Brick” is throbbing through my car stereo. “We’re the undefeated. Always undefeated...” Window all the way down. Driving past a gas station, I can see a girl walking through the parking lot slowly, like she’s got nowhere better to be than in front of this gas station. Her hands are in the back pockets of her jeans, and her elbows are splayed out wide. Her hips and ass are almost perfectly spherical, and moving smoothly, like she’s dancing. I begin to think about how I wish my hands were in the back pockets of her jeans. Now it smells like fall, hot dogs, and gasoline. Life doesn’t get any better than this. Further down the road, there’s a man in a wheelchair crossing an ugly intersection. His legs are very small and atrophied. He’s wearing a tank top, and his arms are lean and muscular like Bruce Lee's. He looks to be about 50. Mustache and a balding mullet, his head gently convulses with each violent thrust of his arms. His chair jerks across this intersection. He stops at the grassy island in the center, changes directions, and begins his way across the ramp and onto the sidewalk which goes across the McKees Rocks bridge. It’s a long fucking bridge, and he’s a better man than me. His heart is stronger than my legs. It’s amateur night at Silky’s. Same price to get in as any other night, but inexperienced girls on the stage, instead of the usual trained professionals. They have shitty all-you-can-drink beer on tap. The leaves are starting to turn, and I’m thinking about growing a beard.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Asleep At the Wheel

My best guess is that he simply fell asleep at the wheel. We were driving home on a Sunday afternoon from a weekend with our friends, traveling down a three-lane highway. The little silver early '90s Nissan, driving in the left lane in front of us, drifted off the road into the concrete abutment. The rear driver’s side fender kissed the abutment, throwing sparks and dust. The driver must have awoken immediately and promptly overcompensated, going out away from the divider, and then slamming back into it. After the second impact, he swerved out much farther across the right lane. Fortunately, the man driving the rig which occupied that lane had seen the preceding spectacle and accelerated out of harm’s way in ample time, leaving that lane vacant. Likewise, riding in the left lane, behind the little silver Nissan, we decelerated and dropped back to allow him room. After crossing over two lanes into the right lane (and nearly off the road entirely), the driver of the Nissan overcompensated again and apparently stood on his brakes at the same time, nearly rolling the car over as it spun back across both lanes. He drove nearly straight into the same concrete abutment he’d sideswiped initially. He collided with it slightly less than head-on, just towards the passenger’s side of the vehicle, which was unoccupied. The car came to rest pointing in the wrong direction. The rig pulled over immediately, and we pulled over shortly thereafter, just in front of it, about 250 feet from the wrecked vehicle. I got out and looked back towards the wreck. The trucker was already out, talking with the young man, who was also standing outside his vehicle, apparently unhurt. The trucker was on a cell phone, presumably contacting the police. Traffic was already beginning to move past the event. Everybody was okay. Not wanting to add more people to the confusion, we got back in our car and drove off. It was a strange end to a strange weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Coffee and Gasoline

Coffee is wonderful. It should be consumed in great volumes, without cream or sugar, undiluted, and in the presence of a strong smell of gasoline. It’s best accompanied with a three-pack of Zingers and some beef jerky. A long car ride, a book of Charles Bukowski’s poetry, and loud music are also helpful accompaniments.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The only clean thing in the room is the window. Everything else shares our guilt. Everything else was an accessory to what we all did. The window was the only thing in the room that tried to betray us. It tried to let somebody know. It’s 4am, and everything is quiet. Everybody has had their fill. There isn’t a drop left in anyone here. We’re all done for the night.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mustang Sally’s

Mustang Sally’s is a bottle club. You bring your own beer and the girls get completely naked. Weird state laws prevent fine establishments such as this from selling alcohol when the dancers are totally nude. Most of the time you find clubs where they either sell alcohol and the girls wear pasties or you bring your own alcohol and the girls get completely naked. On our way there, on the winding narrow roads whipping through the backwoods, my girlfriend’s husband was driving us at seventy miles per hour. It was terrifying. I was in the backseat with all the windows open. It was making me chilly. Normally I enjoy being a little chilly, but this was just a little too much, just enough to be uncomfortable. The air was roaring.

When we arrived, the parking lot was full of trucks, men, and coolers. The building looked new, with a huge, impressive neon sign. Upon payment and entrance, you are given a plastic cup. They come in a few different colors. Mine was fluorescent orange. Neon pink and green appeared to be the only other options. It was also screen-printed with the black outline of a sexy-looking, cartoon cowgirl standing between two galloping horses, all in front of giant flames. The logo sat beneath, drawn in rope. Below that was the phone number of the club and its web address. The main stage was big, and lit dramatically. It looked like every other stage I’ve ever seen in a strip club, only newer. The spot where the brass pole met the ceiling looked like it had been peppered with buck shot. The little holes from where the girls’ heels had punctured the drop ceiling formed a halo in the panel around the top of the pole. Bad, radio-friendly metal from the late '90s throbbed over the PA. The girls were all in good shape. Many were quite athletic, and did things that made me dizzy. They smiled a lot, and looked cute and occasionally innocent in the neon glow. At other moments you could see their detachment. I watched a girl get on her hands and knees, point her ass at a man, spread her legs and pump her cheeks and crotch in his face, which was just inches away. He stared into her vagina like money was going to fall out of it. While she did this, her face was pointed away from most of the patrons. It was apparent that she didn’t think that anybody was looking at her face, as she looked utterly disinterested with what she was doing. Not uncomfortable, just disconnected. I generally feel disconnected from what I do for a living. How was this any different? It didn’t spoil the experience for me. I actually felt more intimate with her as a result of it. I felt like I had actually seen something that I wasn’t supposed to see, and that’s the very reason you go to a strip club anyway. I felt like we had something in common. It was humanizing. Later, the same girl came over and pressed her breasts against my face—a nipple in each eye—and shook them for a few seconds. I tipped her.

Eventually most of us got drunk and we all decided to leave. My wife’s boyfriend resumed driving duties, as he hadn’t been drinking. I got blown in the backseat on the way back to their place. He drove with no less abandon than during the initial trip, which made the experience that much more exhilarating.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I’m not supposed to be here. So I’m hiding behind the bed, below the window. I am a large grown man, hiding like a child. Her father and brother are here. They’ve dropped by unannounced. They don’t know that I exist, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t want me here if they did know. I’ve got nothing to fear from them, but I am hiding myself simply as a courtesy to her. I am a large, naked, embarrassing toy with a hangover, nipple rings, tattoos, and a retreating erection. They are walking around outside her house, gathering up some assorted things they need from the shed. Tools, wood, a can of gasoline. They don’t know that she is also here. She is hiding with me, also naked, behind the bed. We are mischievous children. My wife and her boyfriend are both out walking around in the woods or something, and the only way this could get any cooler would be if they return from their date as her father and brother discover us hiding behind the bed. There’s a nihilistic part of me that just loves that sort of calamity and dysfunction, even if I’m a casualty of it. After about five minutes, the men outside get what they need and leave. No event. No consequences.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Weird Egg-Shaped Porch Swing

I drove into the woods with my wife and a trunk full of booze. We drove deep into the middle of nowhere. She was a mirror. I was all cream, froth, foam and insanity. I was overflowing, spilling out the car doors onto the road, leaving a trail. The sky was vibrant, plum purple. Everything that was not the sky stood neutralized, in humble contrast to it. We went far. We were running from everything behind us, though nobody was giving chase.

When we arrived at their place, they were happy to see us. The sun descended the rest of the way down. We fell right in. My wife went inside with my girlfriend’s husband, and I stayed outside with my girlfriend. We talked on their porch. They live on eight acres, surrounded by nothing but woods. Beautiful. It was a cool night, and the air got moist. It began to drizzle, and we retreated back under the overhang, though we didn’t want to give up the outside air and didn’t want to interrupt what was most likely going on inside. They had a weird porch swing. It was made of white tubular steel with one spring suspending the weird egg-shaped chair, just under the overhang. It was meant to seat one person. She sat me back on it, and pulled me out through the zipper of my pants. She lifted her skirt, pulled her panties to the side, and sat back on me. Neither one of us is very heavy, but nonetheless I was relieved to discover that the swing held us both without any problem. The drizzle picked up a bit, and the air smelled beautiful. Not a drink yet or any weed. We were just bouncing gently in the weird egg-shaped porch swing. We both came, her and then me. Then we remained right where we were for a bit. Neither one of us wanted to move. I had forgotten about everything I had been running from earlier in the day.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Standing before me is some kind of creature – skinny, naked, and not mine. We have different circumstances, needs, and expectations. I am an emotional cripple and a living cancer. I don’t always like to be touched, though I will tolerate it like a well-trained dog. She is in love with life, and she is the embodiment of joy. She is all things buoyant, fun and absolutely absurd. Ridiculous poetry. She is a mouthful of pure white sugar, nothing but whimsy. She struggles to offset the old coffee filter full of used grounds that is me. And I just don’t think there’s that much sugar in the whole world. But she likes to try. We’ll meet halfway. I’ll fuck her like she’s a skeleton, and she’ll hold me like a piece of raw meat. We will do it well, hard, and often. I will be everything she needs me to be. I am an image, an animal, a bottle of Jägermeister, and a jackhammer. She’ll tear my back apart, pull my hair, and ask for it again and again until I can’t give any more.

Friday, October 2, 2009


This hotel room smells like every other hotel room in the world. She smells like cigarettes, Chap Stick, and lots of old buried abuses. I’ve poured what must be a gallon of beer into her, and fucked her silly three times already. That only seems to increase her appetite. She thrives on that, and I love her. My wife and this woman’s husband are back at the house for the night. Regardless, this woman’s head is overflowing with dream analysis and other whimsical things. She’s got lots of bad memories and good reasons. Her ass is perfectly round, and there is not one hair to be found around her anus. I can’t determine whether it is naturally that way, or if she has groomed it thus. Regardless, it looks cute when she’s bent over on her knees, and I pull her hips closer.

Since the four of us who had formed this group had all been thoroughly blood-tested for diseases and had all agreed not to stray from our tight little square, we had all quit using condoms. Both of the women were on birth control pills. It probably wasn’t the safest way to operate, but it made everything that much more intimate. The idea that we should actually spend this night in two separate places was mine. It started off as a lot of fun, though by morning I missed my wife and felt mildly ashamed of myself for hatching such a depraved plan. I didn’t feel badly about anything that had happened. We’ve each fucked plenty of other people in front of each other before. Jealousy really wasn’t a factor. I just felt like an asshole for wanting a night away from her. Thus far, we had only spent evenings in separate rooms, under the same roof, or all in one big pile. Our close proximity to each other had always been a point of security for us. My plan had compromised that, even if the only person bothered by it was me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wilted Bouquet

The garbage can beside my bed is a wilted bouquet of used condoms and wrappers. The woman in my bed is not my wife. My wife is out in the living room, on the fold out couch, fucking the husband of the woman in my bed. We met them at State College about a month ago. He’s a nice guy, good-looking, courteous, well-mannered, respectful, and polite. He’s the kind of guy that you can let fuck your wife without any apprehensions. Apparently, I am also that type of guy. We’ve made an unspoken game out of trying to make the other man’s wife cum louder and more frequently. I don’t think that anybody is actually keeping score, though.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Too Good to Be For Me

God never wanted me to have anything this good. If he had found out, he would have taken her away. I felt like I’d done something dishonest to have her. I felt like I was undeserving. She was bright traffic lights reflecting off the pavement on our way home, drunk in the backseat, enjoying the night. Her legs were tied around my head like a blindfold, and I drank in the night. She was a good buzz and a wispy brown mohawk wrapped around her pubic bone, leading down in between her legs. Hot and salty, she tasted like the meaning of it all, and I was her puzzle. I was 1,000 tiny interlocking pieces, all looking the same, but subtly different. I was a casual toy, a frustrating novelty that gradually revealed itself through sustained effort. Miles of complexity to recreate a simple image. I was (and still am) a colossal waste of time, disguised as an intellectual exercise.

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