Archive for the ‘short story’ Category

Last Tango in Detroit

November 1, 2019

Rick asked Tony to watch his house for a few days, feed and let the dogs out and bring in the mail. Tony didn’t mind the idea of camping out at Rick’s house for a while. There was beer and food in the refrigerator and they had the Center Ice NHL package on Direct TV. Tony loved it. If he wanted to watch any game going on, he could- Vancouver, New York, Montreal Las Vegas… All of them.

Tony played hockey, sold hockey equipment, coached a youth hockey team and then more recently, a woman’s hockey team. Rick’s wife entertained the idea of being the women’s team goalie but hated the idea of being shot at, putting on so much equipment and having to stand in front of the net while everyone else got to skate around. Rick told Tony that his wife wasn’t too keen about many of the women on the team but one in particular who just happened to become Tony’s girlfriend since he became the team’s coach. Her name was Susan and she was tall with red hair. Susan liked to go to hockey games and listen to live music. She was a lot of fun but outspoken when it came to shitty goaltending. Part of why Rick’s wife Donna decided to quit was Susan’s comments such as Donna couldn’t stop a cock between her legs anymore than she could a puck. Tony shrugged it off. Hockey is not for everyone and everyone does not like everyone.

Tony had a men’s league game later one night. He boiled a pot of pasta and could only find butter to put on the noodles. The only television at Rick’s house was in the master bedroom. Tony put the television on by hand since he could not find the remote control. For about 5 minutes Rick stood there manually holding the button for the channel to go from 5 to 770-1 for high definition. Detroit was playing Edmonton. Edmonton was off to a good start and Detroit was about where they have been for the past five to six years- nowhere. Tony balanced the soupy plate of pasta while changing the channel to the Islanders against Carolina when the whole plate of pasta fell onto Rick’s bed with a black fitted sheet. Tony swore a bit and scooped the pasta back onto the plate and ate it without a thought. He fell asleep that night on one side of the bed while watching the highlights of the day’s games. Tony’s team lost earlier that night but he was a plus 1 and had two assists playing defense. At the next game, Rick thanked Tony for watching his place and taking care of the dogs. He had one question though for Tony- what the fuck did you do in my bed? Tony thought about telling Rick the truth but created a funny story instead.

“Susan is an old film buff and so she brought over a copy of Last Tango in Paris and we watched it in bed. I then went and got your Land O’ Lakes out of the fridge and rammed it up her ass while recreating the scene after watching Marlon Brando do it… I didn’t use the whole stick of butter. I put back about half in the fridge.”

Rick smiled but was a cross between shocked and jealous. He then thought about having toast that morning with the butter that went up a woman’s ass. He couldn’t remember tasting a difference.

At the end of season party, the boys on the team showed up to the apartment of one of the transplants from Boston. There they all were on the roof of a high-rise drinking and waiting for the lobsters to be boiled. Donna stood glaring at Susan and Tony who were talking quietly to one another and kissing a bit. Donna had just enough drinks to feel brave enough to confront the couple.

“You know what? I might have sucked as a goalie but you suck as a human… Both of you actually. What kind of a tramp allows a man to put a stick of butter up her ass, then fuck her in the ass of a friend’s bed, make a fucking mess and then not have the decency to take the sheets and simply wash them… That’s not enough! Then take the stick of butter and put it back in the fridge. It’s disgusting at a minimum. Kinky and exciting for my husband but repulsing for me…”

Susan studied Tony’s face while he nervously laughed and smiled. Tony had two women angrily looking intently into his face. Susan demanded an explanation.

“Babe… It was watery pasta that fell off the plate while I was watching hockey one night. That’s all it was plain and simple. I hate to pop Rick’s bubble but there was no anal sex… But I thought it would be a funny story. I can tell you this- Rick loses his man card for telling his wife something so lurid such as that. Somethings like that are better left untold between men…”

Make it Easier and Easier

October 25, 2019

Wilbur sat in living room of his apartment trying to watch METV on an old Zenith television that he had inherited from his mother before she died sometime ago. He also got a few bucks and a nice couch and Lazy Boy recliner too.

 

As a man of fifty years of age, Wilbur was a wreck.  He was morbidly obese; he needed medication for his blood pressure, for diabetes, for his enlarged prostate and his depression. He lived alone with three cats and a lot of mice. His apartment was nothing but tunnels from room to room. Once a year, the poor janitor would have to get a dumpster and clear out all the shit Wilbur collected so that he could pass Section 8, so that the owner of the building living off the board walk north of South Beach in Miami could get his guaranteed money from the government.

 

Wilbur called the Police to report that the new tenants above were constantly playing loud music, drinking and smoking weed. The compassionate dispatcher explained to Wilbur that all were legal now.

“I don’t know if you are aware that playing one’s music loudly is a culturally acceptable way to enjoy music today.  You may not enjoy it so loud but many do. It is no longer illegal to play loud music. Your complaining impedes on their ability to enjoy music in their own home the way they are accustomed to. Marijuana and alcohol is legal too. We will not send officers out for something like this. I suggest you get some ear buds and listen to whatever interests you… Okay? Have a nice day…”

Wilbur began to cry tears of frustration as all the glassware in his place rattled. He could hear all the lyrics to the song. It wasn’t quite Rap and it wasn’t quite singing. It was sort of whiny droning like a Gregorian chant with reverb, heavy bass and a pitch corrector.

“Bitch… How do I wanna kill you and love you jus the same. It a thin line between choking you and loving you, girl. You take my shit and I love you but I cain’t be with you and I need you… Yo pussy, you ass, making love an then sodomy, my homies say I need a lobotomy cause I love you girl, my precious dichotomy… Pain and ecstasy when you laying next to me… I jus might marry you after they arrest me…”

 

There was a knock at the door. It was his food delivery service. Two double Whoppers with Cheese, large fry and a large Diet Coke. The delivery guy was holding his nose while standing in the doorway of the apartment. The place was one big litter box and the pungent smell of cat urine was overwhelming. The cats cried as Wilbur ate his meal, watched Jerry Springer on mute while listening to progressive radio. The topics of the day ranged from three year olds declaring their gender identity as “Gender Fluid”, allowing profanity in public places and in the media for emphasis, the elimination of any presidents on money or the word god on anything in public. Wilbur thought about the time he ordered via Amazon some really large Victoria Secret lingerie and wore it for a while to see if it would make him feel pretty, attractive and possibly more positive about who he was. Wilbur walked around the apartment listening to music in peach colored fuzzy slippers, a peach robe, a peach brazier size 45 DD and matching thong. Wilber wore the outfit for days until he saw a bunch of females model lingerie in high heal shoes on television, hawking sexy lingerie and dongs. The pretty thing parading around in lingerie with her cute dimple holding a 12-inch black dong brought Wilbur to reality. They were so elegant and thin and Wilbur felt bloated. Wilbur reasoned that he might get some homophobic fireman unwilling to give him CPR someday because of how he was dressed and so he went back to wearing his Cleveland Browns jersey and a pair of sweat pants.

 

It was getting late. Wilbur spent a whole day doing not very much and tomorrow there will be about the same for him to do. He eased into his Lazy Boy chair and hooked up the catheter to a bag of peritoneal dialysis solution to cleanse his failing kidneys while he slept. He then hooked up CPAP device that helped with his sleep apnea. Leave it to Beaver was on. Wally and Beaver were called in from the garage where they were working on a soapbox car for a race. They sat down to dinner. Ward with his suit jacket off, slicked back hair with a hint of gray. June with pearls and bright lipstick and a smart dress with an apron on was doling out mashed potatoes. Wally and Beaver told their parents how “swell” the soapbox car was coming along. Wilbur fell asleep thinking that maybe way back then, that’s when things were really, really good. Nah… So many things to make life easier today and it keeps getting easier. After all easier is better, right?

Hockey Men And Their Softer Sides

September 21, 2019

Jake worked late the night before, got home to a eat a beautiful pork chop with Italian bread crumbs, walked the puppy for the night and came up to bed to find his wife and daughter asleep in bed. His daughter had one leg and an arm over her mother who lay in bed like the letter X. Jake thought about sleeping in his daughter’s bed with it’s springs about to poke through the mattress or going back down to the couch and risk the crying puppy wanting out of the cage to be with him. Instead he climbed into bed with barely enough space to accommodate him on his side. He dozed off watching polar bears chase sea lions and penguins hatch eggs and protect their young from the cold. Shit… Speaking of penguins. Jake had signed up to play at 6am with some men who rented the ice before the figure skaters and the learn to skate kids. It was nearly 2am. He would have to be up by 5am, walk the dog, feed the dog, stop for coffee and a Kind Bar, get dressed and ready to play at 6am.

Jake dozed off and woke. He looked at his Fitbit and dozed back off to the soft sawing sound of his wife’s snores and his daughter’s mouth breathing. 2:53, 3:38, 4:12, 4:38 and then the alarm at 5am. The street was empty except for a few obsessive-compulsive joggers in the dark. The dog took a shit next to a minivan packed with shit from some travelling hoarder. Think of Jack Kerouac with some mental quirks requiring medication. The man slept in the front seat of his van on the passenger side with a surgical mask and the car covered in bumper stickers.

 

Jake caged the dog, got his coffee and dressed in time to get on the ice. The cool air and coffee jump-started him. He played defense with a guy with a Michigan University Jersey. He asked if he went or played there. He said his money was going there to pay for his daughter. Jake had several assists and was a plus 3. He got home before anyone was awake and took the dog for a proper walk. At the park, he ran into his hockey buddy by the name of Corey. He was wearing a T-shirt with the sleeves cut off from his girlfriend’s Yoga studio. Jake was wearing a T-shirt from his wife’s ballet studio. Jake and Corey’s eyes met. Nothing was said at first. Corey spoke first.

“We must look like two fucking bitches wearing chick shirts and walking our lady’s fucking lap dogs…”

Jake smiled showing a chipped tooth that was nicked blocking a slap shot a while back with his face.

“Um… I’m walking a Husky… You have a Poodle with puffs on his tail.”

Corey came to his own defense.

“This is the giant Poodle kind. Not the pussy types you could field goal kick. Namaste is a bad ass actually in the dog park.”

“The dog’s name is Namaste? What the fuck?”

Corey was covered in tattoos and had a good natural tan going on the first full day of fall. He was a fighter on the ice with a heavy slap shot. Jake was the wiry, slight built defenseman who saw the ice well. Corey had a fall out with the Saturday morning guys. He boarded an older guy who hooked him and then had a fistfight with two guys at once on the ice in the first ten minutes of a pick up hockey game. Corey was banned from most men’s leagues and drop in hockey in just about every rink in the area. He spent the morning playing one on one with a guy who was too winded to keep up at a rink in the city. The goalie went home after Corey wound up and hit the goalie in the cage. He called Corey a dumb fuck and went left. Corey asked Jake to try to get him back in the good skate with 20 skaters and 2 goalies.

I’ll try, man… But you have to take it easy. You know what I mean?”

“This fucking game is getting like basketball. You can’t touch nobody anymore…”

“Well… You might be right… I’ll see what I can do but really… No more fighting. Guys can stay home and fight with their wives. They don’t wanna drop the gloves at 6am.”

Corey hit the gym and then welcomed women into his girlfriend’s yoga studio that was having an open house. He walked around handing out Dixie cups of smoothies and green tea. Across town, Jake was an usher for the twinkle toe ballet recital for four and five year old students at his wife’s dance studio. Like most men everywhere- a little of this and a little of that.

Raider Nation in a Green Bay Tent City

August 24, 2019

Wayne would watch the people traipse across his lawn during football season to the Mecca of NFL football stadiums- Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He wondered how he could extract some of that cash that was flowing freely on game days. Sell beer or peanuts? Allow people to park their cars on his front lawn? Sure that would be good for $20.00 and maybe two cars could fit over the sidewalk. The idea came to Wayne to put up a tent in his backyard and post it on Airbnb. Picture a tent, a big tent and then picture a house you would not want to go into.

Wayne was a Vietnam veteran who was 100% covered by the government for his exposure to Agent Orange. Wayne would walk through the jungle devoid of foliage after a plane would drop the defoliant. At the time, it was no problem. He was under 20 year of age and vibrant. As time went on, he had crazy mood swings, inability to concentrate and problems procreating. He lived in the house with a mail order bride who could not speak English. She could speak Thai. The house crawled with bugs and the bugs didn’t bother Daisy, the Thai wife of Wayne. She kept the house clean except for the room where Wayne slept with the three German Sheppard dogs. Wayne had a hard time sleeping and staying asleep so he slept in what would have been the family room if they had a family on a mattress on the floor. Wayne watched graphic porn and Westerns and slept with loaded guns under his pillow in the family room with the dogs. Daisy slept upstairs in a clean room with a clean bathroom. During the day, Wayne would rough fuck his wife who he could not speak with and then he would go to the gym. Oh he would scream things in English with the logic that if he yelled loud enough, she would understand.

 

Wayne was indifferent to football but understood that it was a religion in the area and thought to make enough money to pay for him and Daisy to go back to Thailand to see her sick mother.

There were blow up beds and beanbags and a black and white television that only pulled in two channels locally in the prestigious tent. There was a plastic pool in the backyard with a fire pit and he got Wi-Fi as the bonus for whoever decided to pay the $200.00 a night when all other options were not possible.

It was a beautiful August evening in Green Bay. The Packers were playing the Raiders. Jaime, who did jail time for offenses with an unregistered gun as a young man, learned automotive in jail and opened his own garage in Oakland. Jaime was that rare success story. He wore a black hair net under his Raiders hat with a straight brim cocked to the right. He wore a plain white tank top shirt under a starched white shirt with only the top buttoned. He wore baggy trousers and shiny black dress shoes. Jaime got a ticket to Milwaukee and hired an Uber driver for $200.00 to drive him 90 minutes north to Green Bay. There were no rooms to be had practically down to the Illinois border due to vacations and the Packer game. Jaime settled for the tent.

Jaime looked at the accommodations with his wife Teresa and made a declaration.

“Mother fucking pinchy Hillbilly motherfucker is charging $200.00 a night to fucking camp out in his backyard… And motherfuckers like him went to the moon? I say bullshit to this bullshit…”

Teresa was used to their small stucco ranch in Oakland that was kept immaculate. The lack of screens on the window and the barking of the dogs scared her. The naked lady magazines on the floor of the bathroom that had piss stains on the bowl, shit like concrete splattered on the bowl, whiskers in the sink and chunks of meat pulled from between Wayne’s teeth were stuck to the mirror.   Shock and horror.

After the game, Jaime stood in the backyard talking to his help at the garage back in Oakland. He was telling his guys to get right on one car and tell the old bitch with the Oldsmobile that they were waiting on a part. Wayne sat in the backyard in a lawn chair drinking a beer, glaring at Jaime, who was wearing a Ken Stabler jersey over his Cholo clothes. The Raiders won by a field goal. Wayne attempted to make conversation with his guest but it went wrong, as was often the case.

“Do you and your senorita come from Mexico or did you make the trek from Guatemala? You people all look the same to me. I went to Tijuana once back after the war. I got the clap down there banging the broad who starred in the donkey show… They still got the donkey show down there?”

The ridiculous stereotyping and ignorance incensed Jaime

“Motherfucker… Did I see your white ass in Deliverance? Where you the dude fucking that fat motherfucker in the ass? I was born in Oakland. I am as American as your white ass and let me ask you something, pendejo… How does a motherfucker like you land a 12-year-old bitch looking like fucking Beetlejuice? How much you spend on yo woman?”

Wayne laughed at his houseguest, excused himself and returned with a case of Wisconsin beer and a bottle of tequila. Over the course of six hours, Wayne learned what it was like to live on the mean streets of Oakland as a Mexican gangbanger who did jail time and then became an entrepreneur. Jaime learned what it was like to have served in a really bad war and what it was like to kill people, take drugs and just try to make it day to day in a foreign land as a teenager. Jaime learned what it was like for someone like Wayne to have done something for others that wasn’t appreciated or wanted. They found common ground outside an Airbnb tent in Green Bay… And lived happily ever after. The end….

Anything Goes

August 23, 2019

JP met Curt some time back at an early morning skate. Curt didn’t like his name so he had everyone call him Bouddha. Curt was unaware that he spelled Buddha wrong. He even got a tattoo with “Bouddha” on it. JP was the separated and went to live in an apartment with Bouddha. They were an odd couple to be sure.

 

JP held out hope that he would get back together with his wife.   She wasn’t interested. JP got word that his wife was seeing a hockey player from another men’s league team. It was a terrible scene. JP checked the door open with his shoulder to find his wife on a futon in a studio apartment watching Slapshot in bed, in the arms of another man that he was familiar with. JP beat the man for a while until his hands hurt and then grabbed a souvenir 5030 Sherwood wood hockey stick that had been once used by the actually Paul Coffey. He snapped it over his knee and clubbed the man who lay under a sheet naked like a baby seal. JP heard his wife calling the police in the other room and decided it was time to depart. Before leaving the apartment, JP grabbed the television and ran at the living room window and pushed it through. The television hit the concrete from the second floor and sounded like an atomic bomb exploded in the serene night air. Waiting next to the minivan practicing stickhandling with a golf ball was Bouddha. Bouddha was wearing a white leisure suit that he bought at a thrift shop and had some spiffy white shoes to go with it. His platinum dyed hair went well with his ensemble.

“Oooh damn… Hot damn! Did you shoot off a gun?”

“No, man… His television had an accident. Let’s get the fuck outta here.”

The two went a Polish nightclub where cleaning women looked like runway models by night. Bouddha found a woman who looked a bit like Renee Zellwenger from Bridget Jones Diary. Bouddha kept calling her Bridget and they danced and drank. Bouddha took off his suit jacket and silk shirt with big lapels and danced in a tank top under shirt. White of course. It had holes all over and looked like a rag. One of his nipples poked through the shirt. Sitting alone drinking a rum and Coke was JP, replaying everything that he saw and did. Bouddha came up to him with Bridget and a smaller woman and forced JP to dance with the woman, a friend of Bridget’s.

 

At 4am the bar closed and the sky was becoming light blue. They all went back to the apartment of the smaller woman named Linda. She could sense that something was on the mind of JP. She invited him to her bedroom but told him that there was no way that he would be getting some. She rubbed his back with some sort of essential oils with his shirt off and he fell dead asleep. Meanwhile in the other room, Boudhha made something as close to love as he ever would make and then wind milled his nuts and cock while they listened to Van Halen loudly at about 6am. Bouddha packed the musket several times and pounded Bridget like he was a prizefighter. Love… Or something close.

 

The next evening at hockey, JP and Bouddha played a game with the police team even though they weren’t police. Bouddha scored two goals and JP played defense and passed the puck a lot. The cops beat the firemen and after the team went to a local watering hole. JP confided in a cop named Percy what he had done and wanted to know if there would be a warrant for his arrest. After a few drinks, JP and Bouddha followed Percy to the station to look up on the computer if there was in fact a warrant for his arrest. They sat across from Percy who was rubbing the scruff on his chin as he looked at the computer screen with a furrowed brow. He shook his head a few times and then looked up at the ceiling.

“Listen… I gotta take you both into custody. There is a warrant for both of your arrests. JP… This clown who was fucking your wife pressed charges and you Bouddha… It says here you got into a fistfight at a bar on Western last year. You gouged the guy’s eyes and then stuck your fingers up his ass… I shit you not. They got a warrant for your arrest. Assault and battery as well as sexual perversion… I’m going to have to arrest both of you. There’s cameras everywhere and they know I looked you two up on the computer… I have to arrest you both. Listen… I can bond you both out within an hour before they send you to county. I just gotta get to a cash machine.”

JP and Bouddha were handcuffed and put in a cell alone. After 20 minutes, Percy came back and uncuffed them. They both thanked him profusely for bonding them out. They asked how much it cost. Percy had an answer.

“Priceless… The look on faces of you two assholes was enough for me. There’s no warrant for your arrests. That bastard knew he had a beating coming and took it like a man… And you, you blond disaster… You couldn’t remember if maybe you put your fingers in some guy’s ass during a fist fight?”

“Well… Sometimes… Anything goes.”

Saudade or BS in English

August 2, 2019

Elise waited for Bill for about an hour at the bar of a new gluten free, vegan restaurant in that hip new area of the city where anyone over the age of forty, looks out of place. She had two organic wines from a small winery in Oregon and felt safe knowing that there was no DDT, herbicides, pesticides or Agent Orange in her wine. She was rail thin with long, straight hair that she constantly put behind her ears as she read from her phone.

Bill posted pictures of himself on a dating site. Bill was not a thin mountain man looking guy. He was sort of a chubby man who loved to correspond with women he never met and had no intention in meeting. After hours of writing back and forth with Elise, poems and even a song he composed on his acoustic guitar, the time had come to meet. Bill forced the meeting when he descriptively described what he was going to do to when he got Elise in a bed. It went something like this-

I will cover the bed in rose pedals. Carlos Antonio Jobim will be playing softly. The aroma of lavender will fill the air from the candles that will alluminate the room just enough for you to see my face and I to see yours. Nothing will need to be said. I will start kissing your arms so gently that it will feel as though I’m hardly touching you. I will kiss your neck so softly while holding the base of your neck. I will gently kiss your top lip and then your bottom. We will become one. I will whisper sweet things in your ear in Portugues- É pau, é pedra,
é o fim do caminho
É um resto de toco,
é um pouco sozinho
Elise read and re-read the message that made her a bit moist every time she read it. Bill had no intention in showing. He knew no Portuguese, owned no candles and lived in the basement of his mother’s home. It was all just a game to him and he thrived on the correspondence. Nothing more. While she waited for Bill, he dropped the bomb on her. In Portuguese. Loosely translated- I found another woman. I ain’t coming.
Eu encontrei o amor da minha vida … tristeza profunda para lhe dizer.

The bartender who looked a little bit like the 1970’s relief pitcher, Rollie Fingers or Salvador Dali with a ridiculous waxed mustache. A skinny man with a healthy libido who saw an opportunity to land another good looking sad chick sitting at the bar having a melt down. He asked Elise if he could read what was written. Two more wines and beet salad on the house and the Uber driver whisked them away to the studio apartment of the bartender. He happened to play ac

acoustic guitar. He happened to know Jobim songs in English. His neighbor had a rose bush and he had one Yankee candle that he lit that smelled a bit like citrus that masked the smell of unwashed clothes. Was love found and nurtured from that day on? I would have to say no. There are many men who set the table just for other men to eat upon.

Catfish… Yum or She’s Perfect on Paper

July 10, 2019

Jake had friends that had met women from other countries on line and it really worked out well for them. There was Chuck who corresponded with a Thai woman working in Cairo at a hotel. Chuck back around the time Morsi was deposed by the military in Egypt, went to collect the love of his life and bring her back to his two-bedroom palace in Detroit. It didn’t matter that for six months his wife needed her phone to correspond with Chuck. A whole lot less fighting.

Paul went to Bogotá in Columbia and found a beauty of a woman who liked to cook and liked to clean and do whatever Paul was in the mood to do. Being twenty years his junior was a strong plus.

 

Jake decided to try his hand. Jake met Ann on a dating site for intelligent people. Jake was so intelligent that he never stopped to think that maybe corresponding with strangers in Dubai, might not be… intelligent.

 

Ann- Hey, my name is Ann. I saw your profile and you look totally for what I’m looking for in a man.

 

Jake saw a tall, thin, woman with a beautiful face and was hooked like a fish.

 

Jake- My name is Jake… I live in Milwaukee. Where are you?

 

Ann- I am the daughter of a Basque fisherman who lived in Belgium. I grew up speaking Basque, French, Flemish and German. My Amona, that is Basque for grandma, would have me all summer in San Sebastian. What about you?

 

Jake- We went to Door County a lot. It’s in northern Wisconsin. Your English is really good.

 

Ann- Merci

 

Jake stood at the computer waiting for Ann to say something and then after a few hours, she gave her telephone number but claimed in didn’t work in Dubai. They kept corresponding via the site. Jake had a few drinks one night and received a picture of Ann in a bathing suit and was out of his mind with desire. Ann would write to Jake often and then not for a while. Jake would stare at the screen like a dog watching a door for their master to return. After weeks, things seemed to be heading in a positive direction and the desire to meet Ann grew so strong that Jake was consumed all day long with thoughts of being with her. It was like those men you hear about in jail that receive letters from women on the outside. Those men are willing to break out of jail just to meet those special women. Jake was of the same mindset.

 

Jake- Listen I have free time and have always wanted to come to Dubai. I have a passport and I think you and I have something special between us. I dream of you with my eyes awake.

 

Ann- Oh my god! I totally feel the same way. I want to serve you breakfast in bed and massage you. I want to come to the states and eat at Outback with you.

 

Jake- Outback?! Um… I don’t go there ever. Have you been there?

 

Ann- Well we can go somewhere else too. Hey, I don’t want to spring this on you but if you do come, would you mind terribly taking care of something for me?

 

Jake- What’s that?

 

Ann- I have some money that I left in an account in Kenya that I cannot leave the country to get it. Would you mind terribly making a stop for me? I will tell you which bank to go to and they will give you the money we need to start a new life together. I cannot wait to leave Dubai and begin our new life in Milwaukee. I want to eat sausages, eat cheese and drink beer. When you get here, I am going to make love to you until you beg me to stop. I cannot wait to feel your hands all over my body. We will be one and it will be the greatest experience of our lives. Hurry my love.

 

Jake would have gone to the moon for her and just about did. He hopped on a flight to Nairobi. Upon landing, he grabbed the first cab he could find. He woke up hours later with his hands tied behind his back. Across the room were two men watching a soccer match on a small television, both were smoking. Jake asked what was going on. A large man with braids and a large gap between his front teeth stood and rubbed his belly.

“I am more attractive in a bathing suit… Let’s talk about getting some money.”

Love is often not what it appears to be and that is sad when you think about it.

Going Against the Grain

June 19, 2019

Marsha wept as she rhetorically asked John where they went wrong with their son Gore. Gore seems like a crazy Goth name to give to their son at the time but actually he was named after Al Gore. Around the time of the 2000 elections, Marsha stopped dressing like Siouxie from Siouxie and the Banchees. She made John start dressing like a man who could make money instead of a over grown kid in ripped jeans and offensive Punk shirts from their high school days.

 

Marsha was a stay at home mom and the head of the PTO while John became a realtor. They had a swell home and every five years, they bought one that was even bigger and more expensive. They raised Gore to respect people of all colors and to not make fun of fat children or over the top effeminate men, not torture small animals ect… Marsha was way ahead of her time back in the early 2000’s. She explained that we are all equal in god’s eyes even though Marsha decided that there was no god. Marsha was raised Catholic but rebelled in high school. It was about the time she wore Doc Marten boots with her Catholic school skirt, died her hair jet-black and wore black lipstick. John met Marsha at a Black Flag show and fell madly in love with her. They had so much in common. They hated their parents, society, Ronald Reagan, Michael Jackson and Madonna. They were against anything that their post World War II parents were for but over time like most Americans- they had to get on board, become a cog in the wheel of the dynamo that is these United States.

Gore was against everything that his parents were for too. John and Marsha were Chicago Cubs fans and Gore liked the White Sox. John and Marsha liked their Punk Music from the 1980’s and Gore liked Country. John and Marsha got paunchy and sedentary and Gore ate healthy as a teenager and lifted weights until he was the biggest and strongest guy in the school. Gore wrestled, played football and ice hockey. John and Marsh had been anti-jock back in the day.

Gore had a graduation party with friends that were going off to the military or college. They hunted and owned rifles. They drove American cars and trucks. They all seemed more at home in Nebraska than suburban Chicago. Gore took off his shirt before jumping in the family pool. On his back was a tattoo the length of his back that had Donald Trump making the “OK” sign with a circle between the thumb and index finger. Trump is wearing a suit with a red tie and is winking. It read- Donald Trump 45th president of the United States of America. Made America great again.

 

Marsha was horrified. Her girlfriends from something called the “Fight Club”, a group of moms angry about the election and their husbands were in attendance. The members of the fight club sat drinking wine and eating chips with dip. They had been talking about mundane things until they could not help noticing Gore looking like an underwear model with his shirt off. He was a like a Greek statue with a six pack, strong arms and chest. What was tattooed to his back sent them heading for the exit. The moms protested the president by wearing cat hats downtown. They had lawn signs that said things like love is love and no human is illegal and science is real. There was no way they were staying any longer at the party.  Marsha was horrified and filled with anxiety of what might happen next.

Sitting in a lawn chair with a Fedora hat on, holding a beer was an old man. It was the father of Martha. The moms all left close to suddenly and said nothing to Martha other than they needed to go. Martha worried that one of them might go on an open forum of suburban moms and let everyone know that her son was a pariah, a xenophobe, homophobe, misogynistic racist, a Trump loving… Republican. Marsha was tearing eyed as boys and girls jumped into the pool listening to hillbilly music. Her father laughed. She turned to him and asked what possibly could be funny.

“Oh I was just thinking about when you brought John over for Christmas dinner way back when. He had a safety pin through his face and his Mohawk was orange. He wore a t shirt with cut off sleeves… I’ll never forget that shirt. It said Killing Joke and underneath it was the pope on a German military truck being given a Nazi salute by German soldiers on both sides. My mom, being a woman who never missed mass, cried for a month when John Kennedy was killed. She got up and left. She couldn’t believe that I let you date that guy. She told me that I had to stop you. How likely was that? Well you married him.”

“And what is so funny to you exactly? That my friends are going to make me wear a scarlet letter by posting shit on the internet?”

“Come now… You can’t control your kids entirely. They go against the grain… I think you should get a tattoo of Bernie Sanders shrugging his shoulders with the caption- What Hath God Wrought.”

Your Expiration Date

May 22, 2019

Picture that you knew the day you would die. Think of it as being born with an expiration date. The young ones who pass as young children would get smothered during their short time on earth and those who knew they wouldn’t go on until age 90, would live reckless. Nobody would have to ponder how much time they had left. They would know.

Spencer married at an early age and had children early because his parents were told that he would die 2-8-91. He had two small children and had even discussed with his single brother that he would eventually marry his hot wife and raise Spencer’s children as his own. They had a party for Spencer back in 1991 when he was 24 years old a few days before his expiration date and then nothing happened. There was no car accident, no heart attack, no random gun shooting or nothing. He reasoned that maybe something got screwed up on the computer. These things do happen, you know.

Spencer went on for years thinking that everyday was probably the last and then one day when he was drunk and reading Sartre. Spencer’s wife had taken off with the kid’s basketball coach and he was alone. Spencer started to think that there was some sort of a mistake and the date of his death was probably going to be 8-2-19 and that all the numbers had been scrambled. Spencer was pretty sure that the date is coming and with it being late May of 2019, he had to get some things done and cleared up before cashing in or out.

All those years of anguish and anticipation of the inevitable really prevented him from really living. Spencer bought a motorcycle, joined Internet dating sites, he travelled the country watching sporting events and talking to random people in bars about really deep shit. He got on Facebook and found that girl that he secretly pined for in high school. She looked like the lead singer from the band Bow Wow Wow and liked surfer-looking guys with Van Shoes and OP shorts. They had long stringy hair and liked to skateboard and surf. Her name was Melissa and she was Filipino and she was so pretty that it was hard for a pimple faced Spencer to ever get the nerve up to approach her, to talk to her, to ask her to go to the movies, to be his girlfriend. Spencer had gotten himself in the best shape of his life even though he was pretty sure that the end was coming in August. He reasoned that the grass would be cut and the house immaculate on the day the house gets repossessed.   Spencer hired a detective to find out as much as he could about this girl that was trapped in his head from back in 1985. Here is what he found out- she married three times, had six children, is a big time gambler in Las Vegas and lives in an apartment in North Hollywood, California.

Spencer got off of his motorcycle clad in leather like Mad Max, holding a bouquet of roses. Sitting in a lawn chair of the kidney shaped pool that belonged to the apartment building was Melissa. She was not the thin thing that he remembered but Spencer didn’t see that. He saw the beautiful face that he fell in love with as a teenager. She was looking at her I-Phone with a furrowed brow when Spencer’s shadow cast over her. She looked up and could not make out the figure through the sun. Spencer presented the flowers and got down on one knee like a knight with his helmet on his knee.

“Time is short but there is still time and for my whole life, I’ve wanted to be with you… I won’t leave here today without you.”

Melissa gathered up a few small things and got on the back of the motorcycle. There were a few young Mexican children playing in the parking lot. Melissa tossed the bouquet to a group of young girls and they drove off towards Las Vegas listening to a song by Bow Wow Wow called Do You Wanna Hold Me.

Do you wanna hold me, hold me tight
And I cry all night, there’s only one solution to this life
There’s someone there to tell me what it’s like
Do you wanna hold me, oh yeah, do you wanna hold me, oh yeah
Do you wanna hold me, hold me there.

To Be Honest With You…

May 9, 2019

Roland was a no nonsense sort of guy. He was sort of one-dimensional when it came to ice hockey. Hockey was everything to him. Whether it was the NHL or five and six year olds playing in the park district. Roland was also fixated on the truth and living an honest life.

Roland’s daughter was married to guy who was really a great guy and he got along well with his daughter Cassie. Russ, Cassie’s husband started Internet dating with a woman from Brazil and just up and moved. There was a letter about how much he loved Cassie but there was something better for him in another country and when it came to love and true happiness, it was necessary to be selfish. Roland left his home in Detroit to live in suburban Chicago near his daughter. Roland talked Cassie into letting Roland enroll her daughter Gwen into hockey a few years back and Gwen was becoming a formidable player.

Many people talk about hockey’s old days but Roland lived it. Roland played in a semi-professional league that had Saturday night games in towns in Michigan like Marshall and Battle Creek. He would make his $50.00 a night and show up to work on the Chrysler assembly plant Monday morning. Twice Roland stitched up his own face between periods. He had a chipped front tooth and several scars on his face.

On the first day of spring league, Roland was astounded that eight and nine year olds were so beginner. At eight years old, most young hockey players have been skating for four years. Roland was going to have to start at square one with many of them.

“On face-offs, we all have a job to do. Standing there waving to grandma is not one of them. Waddling around like a penguin is not one either. There is no right field in this sport so we don’t walk out to a remote outpost… Am I reaching any of you?”

All youth teams put their hands in the middle at the beginning of the game and between periods and had a obligatory cheer. The coach asks things like- who are we? Monsters! What are we gonna do? Win! Roland had them all put their hands in the middle and then asked them who had ever been in a fistfight before.

“What’s the best way to win a fist fight?”

The players looked at him like they didn’t understand English. Nobody answered but Gwen wanted to because she had been asked this many times by her grandfather since she began skating at the age of four.

“Gwen?”

“Um… You wanna get the first punch and then you don’t wanna stop til they stop moving and if you get them by the nutsack, you wanna squeeze til they scream.”

“Right… On the count of three, yell squeeze… 1, 2, 3… SQUEEZE!”

Gwen had a hat trick and three penalties for hooking, tripping and checking in a non-check game. She would often tell her grandfather that she was going to get a Gordie Howe hat trick for him- a goal, an assist and a fight. Roland’s team lost 9-3. Roland got on the kids about not trying hard enough, about positioning, about trying to skate out of their zone with the puck and turning it over, the lack of passing and lack of determination to get the puck. As Roland left the locker room, a mom approached Roland.

“Hi… We haven’t met yet but I’m Stevie’s mom.”

Roland thought about Stevie coming into the locker room with the English au pair acting like he was a dinosaur, making dumb sounds and not getting dressed until Roland yelled in his face until his lips quivered. That only happened once.

“I wanted to ask you what you think of his skill and effort and what he can do to improve because he really loves the sport…”

“To be honest with you…”

Most people, who begin a sentence that way, say it to give them time to lie, to water it down and be less than honest with you. Not Roland.

“I would start with boxing or martial arts to toughen him up. He’s afraid of contact and this is a contact sport. I would then tell him that to buy all the equipment and pay to be on a team is like equal to buying a used car and for the money, do you really wanna do this? I could go to Jamaica for two weeks comfortably for what it costs to outfit you and watch you walk around the ice instead of skate. I would then tell him that if he does not push himself to his fullest, you’d pull him. I suspect between Mary Poppins who brings him to practice and the games you rarely make, this is sort of like babysitting for you. When hockey is played correctly, it should sound like a symphony… This team is out of tune and no tempo… Stevie is blowing clams out of his horn… You get where I’m going?”

“Wow… Is this how you see it?”

“Listen… Nobody just wakes up and decides they are going to play hockey unless they can skate and I mean skate well. Then when you got that down, you have to develop hands and a skill like chess with your heads so that you’re not constantly giving it away… Hockey is like a foreign language. To have a conversation, you have to learn the language… To be honest with you, Stevie isn’t practicing his horn… Many on the team are learning to say more than their name… Stevie doesn’t much care if he has an accent or if he even learns to speak Dutch… You following me?”

Yes, but not happily. But for sure… honestly.