Coco & Peanut

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Usually the very thought, the nascent inkling, the inchoate conception of Latina Lesbians would stir his loins. But these two across the way with their Chihuahuas, Coco and Peanut,  just weren’t doing it for him. Not today. Not ever. Well at first. But now not ever. Here’s why.

Patterson was in the back seat. Sitting upright on the driver’s side. His left arm resting on the window sill. His one good eye bulging like a red water balloon being squeezed from back at the knot. His other eye…well it was starting to look like rotten fruit as much as smell like it. If that was what was causing the smell. The driver, our hero,  had the window down and had just started smoking Camels so his olfactory senses may have been on the blink. But his eyes were good and looking into the rear-view he saw Velasquez dab the receipt from Denny’s into the fetid, green-orange pulp. Here’s looking at you melonhead he said unceremoniously. The receipt was for three grand-slams. Patterson’s breakfast sat untouched in a to-go bag on his lap getting cold.

So then there were two. It started out as three. Went to five (seven if you counted the dogs). And would end up as one. The driver, Walsh, checked his pack for cigarettes and looked at the gas gauge. He’d have to time it just right to get smokes and gas. If he drove far enough, hard enough something would come to him. Something to erase the thoughts of those two women back there, those two yippy little rats and all that blacktop ahead. He counted his breath, trying to bring himself into the moment like they taught him down at the community center where he met Patterson. If life was a TV he would have turned it off before they met Velasquez.

Walsh thought If I make it out of here, then admonished himself for negativity, when I make it out of here, I’ll never use that taco joke again. In front of anyone. Didn’t matter if they were Mexicans or dykes whatever. He was done. It just didn’t pay going through life thinking everyone got your humor and fuck them if they didn’t.

Words hurt you motherfucker one of them said and swung the ball peen right past his nose as he drew back and it went flush into Patterson’s ocular region. Patterson who had been drinking Rumple Minze and Goldschlager all day like a boxer between round chugs water but swallows instead of spitting just kind of wobbled. Then he slumped against a fish tank. Walsh held his tongue about that but what did that account for now? No credit for keeping your mouth shut only a shit storm when you open it up. Life. Velasquez. By the time it was over they were slip sliding over the linoleum like city kids skating on a frozen pond.

Walsh thought about the bag in Patterson’s lap. Velasquez caught his eye in the rear-view. They smiled at one another. Easy, Walsh said to himself, keep your mouth shut.

Was, Is

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All things being equal

Which, of course,

They never are

But equally different.

 

It takes a long time

To grow old

But it goes

So quick.

 

When Mozart was my age

He had been dead half his life.

No, wait,

What I meant,

 

What I really meant to say

Was, is this:

I woke up this morning.

And evidently, so did you.

Talking Dogs

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“Dammit,” he exclaimed slapping his right hand on the battered, oak kitchen table-slash-work desk, stacked high with neglected mail offering coupons for oil and lube jobs, new homes for $500 down, credit card receipts (which all now slid with a slight seismic shift into smaller piles for even Everest is diminishing over Time), a to-do list written on the back of a religious leaflet in the guise of a check drawn on THE BANK OF ETERNAL LIFE (RESOURCES UNLIMITED) Pay To The Order Of “WHOSEVER BELIEVETH” (John 3:16)  $ Rom. 6:23 THE SUM OF Eternal Life By Jesus Christ, a full pepper shaker and a nearly-empty salt shaker which now both wobbled like bowling pins, the spare in an interminible yet precarious limbo, the veneer scarred with syrup stains and indelible teardrop-shaped sharpie tattoos like the mug a long forgotten convict who always manages to fuck-up right before parole and has finally surrendered to that void of recidivism we all eventually inhabit slowly crowding one another out from the under the beneficent umbrella of the military-industrial complex which mushrooms in the rain yet never quite protects all of us i.e. there always seems to be a few weak who get nudged out to the margins in this One Nation, Under Gawd Invincible with Liberty, “…in my next life I’m coming back as a Professor of Japanese Literature!”

 

The thunderous thud startled them both at their kibble troughs.

Jesus, here we go again, said Addie.

Nutmeg burped, I liked him better when was drinking.

He’s a dry drunk.

Hi my name’s Addie…Hi Addie…

Very funny. Yeah. Not drinking isn’t sober. Trust me. Would you rather do something well that you didn’t enjoy or keep trying to find that skill but muddle through like our buddy here?

We have a choice? I’d rather he take us out. I gotta pee like a racehorse.

Addie sneezed. Contemptuously. Nutmeg knew.

Why does it always come around to stuff like this with you?

You never want to play or scrap. I take your chewy toy from right under your snout and you just watch me. Trust me. I do my best to engage.

I like the new food. Do you?

You ask me that every day!

Yeah, well maybe sometimes its best to take things day by day, you know?

Hey, I was with the program. Not sure it transfers, though…just the same..

You get all philosophical but frankly sometimes you crawl up your own ass.

I know…its just a nice day outside I can smell it.

That was me, said Nutmeg sheepishly, I gorged on onion grass last night.

Addie went low trying to bite Nutmeg’s hind leg.

Oh Jesus pick a side and stay on it Nutmeg said shaking free.

Maybe that’s my approach? Its called inclusion. Everything matters to some degree.

Wasn’t that a John Cougar album?

Here we go…

Wait, what?

Addie started stamping her paws and wagging her tail. Nutmeg heard the leashes rattle. Finally, she exclaimed, I can almost taste it.

 

“You want to go out?” He asked.

Is a pig’s ass pork? replied Addie, Jesus Christ is life one big rhetorical question?

Small Talk

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Far be it for me, I said, Not being a “boots on the ground” type of guy, you know?

She laughed. Burped a little merlot out of the side of her mouth.

One of us had been recently divorced and the other recently separated. Neither of us sure which was which or who was who. I like boots, one us said injecting a little more irony into the discussion, probably me.

Oh really? She replied so it must have been me. Really, I said, But for all the advances isn’t it ironic that technology can disconnect suggesting the idea that Life Is One Non Sequitur After Another?

She giggled. Put her fist to her mouth suppressing the first of several hiccups. Pancakes!  she declaimed.

One of us was getting aroused. Not sure who. Ok, it was me.

Reading An Obituary, Missing the Bus

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I have fewer secrets

The older I get.

Fewer, but choicer, meatier, damning.

Though I may be confusing it all.

 

Age tends to do that.

We acquiesce to Age like a bully.

Meekly, wanting to sleep in on a school day

For fear of running into him on the playground

 

By the swings or teeter-totter yet

Off to school we go daily building lives

Best we can If we’re that fortunate.

Still Life kicks our ass when it wants.

 

People can change but most don’t.

They try to stay young by keeping secrets

That can’t wait be told anyway

And simply disappear with their telling.

And Bingo Was His Name-O

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The privacy shifted in the low-octane revival. My eyebrows felt like feminine napkins trying to stanch the menstrual flow of the universe. That’s when I knew to be lost was really just waiting to be found.

I strapped on my caffeine goggles and ground my feet into the key-lime shag carpet. Your God may be forgiving but mine is a blue spark waiting to happen. The children gathered outside the compound like feral cats waiting on the tuna fleet’s return.

How could I tell them what we found in the mountains of mole hills? In the streams of consciousness? In the phantasmagoric diaspora of broken brittle tongues where the only music was the sound of souls descending to Hell?

Suarez…where in the fuck was Suarez? I gave him twenty coins of the realm, more than enough for the props and gadgets necessary. He better have my change.