Modern Modernity Pt. 2

Suzanne carried Ariel in one arm, the baby resting on her hip. Her eyes were bright and her mouth puckered like she’d just sucked a lemon slice. “It’s been a goddamn hour and a half, Jill,” she said.

Since kissing Grover goodbye and watching his tan Escort rumble down the highway, I’d fought like hell to squelch the sadness surging inside me. I didn’t have the energy to fight with my sister. I simply told the truth: “Grover introduced me to his new boyfriend.” I looked down at my shoes, realized I hadn’t bought new ones in two years.


Modern Modernity Pt. 1

It’s stupid to fall for gay guys. That’s what my sister Suzanne said while she scoured the stovetop. But Grover is different, I told her. He wasn’t like all the men who fucked me over, men like Ariel’s father, whatever happened to him.

“Seeing faggot boy tonight?” Suzanne asked. She’d agreed to baby-sit Ariel while I worked the graveyard shift at Wal-Mart. She took another SOS pad from the box under the sink. A stickler for cleanliness, she refused to enter my apartment unless I vacuumed the rugs and washed the windows.


Potential Pt. 2

I lay on my unmade bed and admired all the women tacked to the wall. Over three years, I’d been adding one after another. Currently, I boasted over fifty drawings, pegged to my wall in stacked rows of ten each. Gary wasn’t being fair when he teased me about drawing the entire female faculty. I sometimes drew women that weren’t teachers. One drawing was of my mother, another of Aunt Suzanne, and another of the Hospice nurse who stayed with my grandmother during her final days. The youngest woman was still well into her thirties. Young faces never interested me.


Potential Pt. 1

Other guys drew cartoon characters with huge, floppy genitals or whatever model of car they wanted even more than the hottest cheerleader. The whole hour of detention, however, I drew Mrs. Simpson. The bitch of it was, I knew I’d have to draw the whole picture over again because all I had was a No. 2 pencil and a sheet of lined notebook paper. Coach Elliott didn’t allow me to bring my sketchpad or charcoal pencils into the portable building where all the delinquents waited for the clock to strike four. I’d convinced myself if I didn’t finish the picture in time, I’d never finish.


Infestation Pt. 1

Four months, no shame in that. Barton hadn’t intended to fall once more into its vicious and familiar embrace. When he clutched the tiny bag, however, no sacrifice seemed too great and no punishment too severe. He was on the tricky side of forty, his liver near collapse, his mother and teenage son distant as a star. Every line of crushed crystals barreling through the clipped straw brought him closer to the life otherwise only possible after death. Four months—no shame, no shame at all. Goof and Sister Pussy, eyes sparkling like coins at the bottom of a well, sat across the coffee table from Barton. Goof’s fingers massaged the shaved wonder between her thighs.


Fat Faggots Offer Drugs for Sex Pt. 2

After another minute of walking, Dewey departed from the pebble-strewn road and lumbered up the steps to a mobile home. He was tempted to glance over his shoulder and make sure Christopher hadn’t bolted. His guest, however, clomped up the stairs behind him. Dewey assured himself this man would allow Dewey to please him. I am not a freak, he told himself. I can attract a worthy man. Mama’s wrong about me. She’s wrong about everything.

“I’m gonna need to smoke a bowl or two to stay in this shithole,” Christopher announced, following Dewey into the empty mobile home.


Fat Faggots Offer Drugs for Sex Pt. 1

“What took you so goddamn long, boy?” Margene demanded. “I been calling your name since the commercial.” On the big-screen television, a perky blonde with dazzling teeth cooed about the efficacy of scented douche. Whenever Margene needed another wine cooler or wanted to empty the ashtray, she wailed for her son, Dewey, to leave his computer and assist her. He shuffled from the back of the mobile home, past all the piles of cardboard boxes lining the hall, and into the living room where Margene held court. Cigarette dangling from her lips and remote control clenched in her grip, she growled for Dewey to complete the tasks her sloth made untenable.


A World of Shit Pt. 2

The sitcom cut to a commercial and Garth picked up the pipe and a lighter. While we watched a procession of former lard-asses tout the benefits of a new diet pill, he lit the underside of the pipe’s bowl and waited for the blessed, wisps of white smoke to swirl and rise. He sucked in the smoke once it appeared, held it a few moments then blew it all out. It was a massive hit; ash-white clouds filled the cramped camper. Feeling a wave of relaxation from the hit, he pondered just how many hits of equal punch the bowl had left. After all, hadn’t Blackie urged him to smoke all he wanted?

Unfortunately, he still needed to take a massive dump.


A World of Shit Pt. 1

Garth hadn’t dressed properly for the frigid weather. He wore only jeans and a loose sweater over a black T-shirt. No overcoat, no scarf. He paced beside his green Nissan, waiting for Rufus. He’d arrived at Fat Dog Liquor at seven that night just as he’d promised Rufus. It was nearly seven-thirty. He fought the urge to take his money and just buy a bottle of rum to take home to Josh. Occasionally, one of the customers shot him a baffled or suspicious look. Garth considered waiting in his car but doubted his dealer would remember what he drove.

Tonight was special for Josh and him. After Josh finished his prison term for a minor drug charge, he and Garth plotted online for a time they could get together, get high and get naked.