A Prologue to the Beginning of the Beginning

A Prologue to the Beginning of the Beginning I just drove eleven hours away to become something extraordinary and I’m sitting inside The Waffle House wiping boogers with my sleeve, trying to stop myself from crying. What the fuck is this, I kept thinking to myself while I combed my fork through an unknown substance at the corner of my plate. The bacon and two eggs over-easy appeared normal, but I was too distracted by this gray, foreign, gunk to take a bite of anything. My stomach continued to shoot vibrating ammunition up and down the right side of my torso which I was sure could be heard by everyone in the restaurant. I’m starving but these are not hash browns. Whatever they are, it reminds me of all the terrible infections I’ve googled throughout the years on nights I believed I was dying. Poking at the diseased plate, I kept choking down tears and hoping that the waitress wouldn’t recognize my misery. But she’s a waitress. She knows misery. I ate all of the bacon and some of the eggs, then paid eight dollars. Jumping down from the counter stool, I pulled at my sun dress to make sure my ass wasn’t showing. “Oh you mean that twig of a thing from New Jersey that cries like a baby and prances around half naked?” I envisioned them saying in their southern accents after I left. I got into my car and started the engine as if I were in […]

A Bloomsburg Story (The Only One I’ll Tell)

  A Bloomsburg Story   “Oh, you went to Bloomsburg? My nephew goes there.” Some bald-headed man questioned as I was about to exit the deli. Other than the bleach stained Bloom-U sweatshirt, I was wearing the same lime green leggings I woke up in that morning along with paint covered boots. It was near noon on a Tuesday, but I looked like the product of a sloppy Saturday night. Devouring the bagel sandwich tucked under my arm was the only concern on my mind and I almost pretended not to hear the strange man. But I’ve never been any good at ignoring people and even a deep love for bagel sandwiches couldn’t change this part of my character. I turned and told him, “Yes but I transferred sophomore year. Back in 2010.” “Well why’d ya do that? My nephew loves it! Beautiful campus.” I listened to the brown paper bag crinkle under my palm as my nerves took over. I stared at the little bald stranger’s face and tried to remember. *** We were walking back from the Bloomsburg Fair as I crossed my eyes in an attempt to see the surface of my nose. I wanted to know if the sun was casting shadowy patterns through the holes of my new cowgirl hat. I could have asked Robert but I didn’t. I preferred the unpleasant sensation of making my eyeballs go crooked into my skull over such a thought. We walked next to each other on Main Street. […]

Lost in a School of Swamp Fish

Lost in a School of Swamp Fish “Eleven is the number we need to remember, in case anyone is wondering.” Simon said after doing a head count on a street corner somewhere in Brooklyn. I glanced over at Mark and shrugged my shoulders before mouthing the words, “What the fuck is going on?” He didn’t have any idea either, which almost made me feel comfortable about the situation. Levon was somewhere in the middle of the group, wearing a tie-dye shirt and mud splattered pants. He also had four medals draped over his neck that jingled when he performed certain movements. Every time the medals clanged together, I felt my purse and checked for my tambourine. It wasn’t there. I watched Simon float across the sidewalk with his long, curly hair still dripping wet. “Who takes a shower before a paint party?” I remember someone laughing before we left the apartment. He didn’t care. Simon didn’t seem like the type that is bothered by much of anything. On the subway earlier, he was discussing potential super powers. He began speaking passionately about freezing time during a cum shot, and failed to notice how uncomfortable it was making the blonde lady sitting to his right. After rolling her eyes in disgust, she decided to find a seat elsewhere. Simon didn’t notice. This was his world. The opinion of outsiders was insignificant. Billy, who is Levon’s friend from home, also the reason we were on our way to a Swamp Party, ordered […]

Allergies before Alligators

Allergies before Alligators As soon as winter ends and the first bird begins singing, the rest of the world slowly starts to join the song. You begin noticing people outside of their homes, wearing gardening gloves while tending to yard work. Soon they are everywhere, teaching children to ride bikes and going for jogs on the main roads. It’s fascinating what a season of bitter coldness does to society. Hibernation becomes necessary because freezing temperatures cause discomfort. Then as soon as the sun decides to share its warmth again, the world comes back to life. My allergies have been bad the past couple of days. I’ve never had allergies before, or maybe I was just too distracted to ever notice. But since the weather has changed and the air has grown more inviting, the pounding in my head has grown too. I’m allergic to sprouting life. I’m allergic to the world’s blossoming beauty. Perhaps that is the purpose of allergies. Physical consequences of a new season that force us to remember the one that came before. Maybe allergies are the world’s way of reminding us that even in the dead of winter we were still alive. The cold didn’t make our brains pound, or our insides itch. It simply made us uncomfortable, and we chose to hide from it. *** Levon just messaged me and asked what I was doing before our plans this evening. “Writing.” I told him. “I should have known.” He wrote back.  Tonight we are going […]

Blood and Bukowski

Blood and Bukowski   I felt the lids of my eyes start to swell as I reached back into the cab and grabbed the three crumpled dollar bills my drunken friend left behind. The ride was already paid for, but she felt it necessary to throw more torn currency against the leather seat while we stumbled onto the pavement. Clutching her arm, I did my best in navigating us through the entrance of “The Yotel”. It was dark here too, almost as dark as the bar had been, only rather than a crowd of drunken countenances, neon lights flashed across my vision and made the room glow in angry shades of violet. I attempted to choke down my tears for the moment, but it’s nearly impossible to swallow such feelings when your throat is the heart’s closest neighbor. So there we were drunk, in the middle of an enraged purple room, and I was trying to stop crying while my friend was trying to remember how to walk. One of the hotel attendants, a short man wearing designer glasses and an unkempt beard, immediately noticed our state of belligerence. He silently motioned with a head nod to a row of computer screens. I almost found this comical even through my misery because his beard protruded off his face like a curly arrow as he nodded. This was where we were supposed to check-in. I should have known. It is 2014 after all, and we were standing in the middle of […]

Levon, Andrea, and a Disney Princess

Levon, Andrea, and a Disney Princess   I arrived late because I spent the majority of that day trying to write a story. Levon invited me to drink beer at the fire pit by his lake around 6 P.M. It was now 10, and I fumbled as I tried to carry two six packs while navigating. Where’s James when you need him?, I thought. I was wearing the same outfit I’d been wearing that morning, the same pair of jeans I’d worn all winter, and a faded green button-up that my Mom may have purchased for me back in seventh grade. I was also wearing glasses that I recently bought but had already been scratched. I have terrible vision along with no sense of smell and trouble hearing, and sitting in front of a computer screen all day made my contact lenses prune out of my head. So I squinted out of my glasses that were scratched, while I carried the six packs. I wondered if the scratch was as noticeable as it seemed. “Whoa, why is there a huge mark in the shape of a tree on your glasses?” I pictured them saying. “Sex. I wear a lot of bracelets and sex.” I would answer. I stood in front of the house. I was sure it was the right address, but I heard whistling from somewhere else. “Come down by the lake!” shouted Levon’s voice. Hoping for the best, I walked through the woods without most of my senses. […]

Looking for Something Different

Looking for Something Different             Exiting the garage with a keyboard in one hand and notebook in the other, I was surprised by the early morning light. It was 5:30 AM, I was aware of the hour, yet there was still something shocking about the break of day. Another dawn crept its way into existence, as the relentless fury of winter was replaced by a symphony of singing birds. I listened to their song and felt grateful for a new season as I hoisted the keyboard into the trunk. I sat in the driver’s seat, and strangled the steering wheel as if it possessed some sort of secret inside its leather. Loosening my grip, I decided to take a deep breath and survey the condition of my car. The passenger seat was covered with coffee cups, articles of clothing, notebooks, restaurant straws, nickels and pennies. I turned my neck, almost fearfully, toward the back seat. It was worse. Where the floor should have been, drums, more notebooks, a tambourine, multiple pairs of shoes, an entire winter wardrobe, more restaurant straws, a box of cereal bars, a couple tubes of toothpaste, colored pencils, and a Chinese wishing lantern, sporadically littered the area. My friend Levon emerged from the garage to spike a piss on the side of the building. I rolled down the window and said, “If the cops pull me over right now they are going to think I’m a crazy person with all this shit in my car.” I AM […]

Arthur’s Choice

Last week when I was at the bar for Clay’s going away gathering, a group of us were seated at a table in the back room. Everyone engaged in small talk while sharing appetizers and sipping beers as I sat there silently watching a middle aged man. He was alone in front of the T.V. and seemed to be paying close attention to whichever college basketball game had been playing. Occasionally, he would stand up from his bar stool and start pacing around the room. He was extremely tall, and I thought maybe he used to play basketball when he was younger. I decided to find out. His name was Arthur. After introducing myself, he told me that three of his nephew’s friends were playing for Virginia. He pointed them out and we continued talking. “I feel so sorry for your generation. I really do. You’re all fucked. It’s not fair.” He told me while speaking of politics and the economy. “I know. But hey, even if that weren’t the case, I’m pretty sure there would be something else fucking us instead. There’s always something.” “Which one of these guys is your boyfriend?” Arthur pointed to the table. “None of them. I’m twenty-three and I’m still trying to figure out how to maintain a healthy relationship with myself.” I gulped some beer. “You’ll fall in love someday.” “I fall in love all the time. You asked me if I had a boyfriend.” I said. “Let me tell you something…” He […]

The Rain

Is it strange that after such a brutal winter, I was more excited to feel the rain today than I was to see the sun yesterday? I suppose I felt the sun a bit too and genuinely appreciated the warmth it finally had to offer, but there is something different about the way rain makes me feel. Maybe it’s because when the rain touches you, if you’re paying proper attention, you can actually see it moving on your skin. And if you take a moment to outstretch your palm and really look, each drop curves differently as it travels across the lines of your hand. You don’t see that with UV rays or even snowflakes. Snowflakes do possess a certain individuality in each of their shapes, I suppose. Not all of them are exactly alike as they fall, but most have a similar sort of geometry. And then when they float onto your nose-or palm, they vanish almost immediately. They all vanish the same way too, turning into vague traces of water-then nothing. The wet spots that snowflakes leave behind cannot be compared to the wetness of rain. Unlike snowflakes, raindrops do not possess any individuality in their shapes as they fall. But when they land, and you stick your palm out and really look, rain travels in unpredictable direction, as it trails across your palm making patterns that cannot be mimicked by drops that came first or the drops that will come after. Rain creates- really begins to CREATE […]

Sunita

She was a writer too and her purse was made out of Argentinian transportation bus seats. We sat together speaking of being writers while indulging in our last glasses of wine. I was actually drinking beer out of a wine glass, but you get the picture. She told me she was originally from Chicago-then Brooklyn- now she was here in Asheville. Where are you from? New Jersey, I told her. What brings you here? I’m not sure. I woke up at six this morning and just left. You mean to tell me that you were in New Jersey this morning? And you just woke up and decided to come here by yourself? Yes. You’ve been called, she said. We continued to talk and she confessed that she had never met a twenty-three year old like me. I was flattered by this- -I liked her and could tell she was beyond wise. One of those rare intellects that are aware of endless facts and possess countless extraordinary experiences of their own, yet still see you with eyes that listen and expect to discover something new. I learned her name was Sunita, and she was forty-one years old which took me by surprise. She was gorgeous. It’s genetics, she said. We then exchanged phone numbers right there at 1 Page Avenue. While doing so, I noticed as she fumbled through her bus seats looking for her cell phone, she had no ring on her finger. I was tempted to ask about her […]