Friday, October 17, 2008


Alyssa was a kind girl of twenty-six. She started as a temp, working as a receptionist for HomeCore, an inner city based assisted living agency, and after several pay increases became a full time staff member. She resented establishing permenance with the company, but she didn't show that face to her clients. They only knew the gentleness of her smile, a beauty that was so accessible, more often than not she'd have to change clients. Unwanted comments were common from the older men, it was what the women said that made her uncomfortable. Jealousy and lust still loom, even when time's presence had been well established. But not George. She loved George as any woman would love their disabled child. His simplicity, his gentle mannerisms always put a smile on her face. He never asked for much. A kind word, some assistance with his art, a guide for his routines, that's all he asked for and she was more than glad to give it.

As she spoke to him in on the process they go through each and every day, socks, slippers, breakfast, soap, shirt, slacks, shoes, teeth and door, she thought of the rest of the world. Of the news that perpetuated violence, a world of terror and destruction that he hadn't the faintest clue of and of how nice that would be.

How pleasant the world would be if ignorant of him.

Of the Dirty Street Trophy Killer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Story: Ingenuous

His name is George. Simply George, no last name to speak of, at least in his own mind, to the rest of the world it is Markham. George has several psychological issues that force him to need a caretaker for his day to day activities. He has a simple job working on a dock exactly one block down and one block over from his house. Every day when George goes to work he counts his steps, to the exact number of 1,482, timing his pace perfectly. At home he has the hobby of creating works of art from Starburst wrappers. He has a dozen roommates, each with their own distinctive personality who generally operate outside his scope. That wouldn't be very difficult to do.

Today is a very special day to George. It's hot dog day and that means more to him than anything else that could possibly occur on Wednesday. Nothing could satisfy George quite like a hot dog from the Greek vendor that arrived at the dock every Wednesday. There was something about the way the Grecian fellow made the hot dog, whether it was the spices he used, the tzaziki he smothered it in or the feta he used that struck George's palette that was normally a home to the most fundamental of sustenance choices.

George left his apartment going through the same routine he has gone through since the passing of his mother twenty years prior. George had a poor sense of time passing so in order to compensate and appease his infinitely patient boss, he developed a routine, guided by his caretaker Alyssa.

Closing Time

And now I know what it means. What he meant when he said "I just want to be a good friend." I thought that was a given, something that was understood, that didn't need to be put into words, but that makes sense. I never gave a thought to anything in my life, simply accepting whatever came my way, including her, at face value.

Why did he have to die? Why did he have to leave this plain before I could make amends for the wrongs I had done? Did my poor karma spill over into his life until his spirit could take no more? Oh how many times I acted to the disappointment of others, motivated by some awkward sense of self preservation or pure selfishness. But I know what to do now and my purchase won't suffice. This is what it takes to make amends. All my other alternatives left with her, through her, in her. I will never be able to see my son, she turned into what I always knew her to be, what he knew her to be and I chose to ignore it.

This is my new beginning.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


I know why. I suppose I always knew. As I pull up to my driveway, I bring to attention my own esteem. The fact is, though admitting it now is a moot point, that I was never very good at being a good person. That is not to say I was a bad one, just not necessarily a good one. I think a characteristic such as selfishness is only really brought to attention internally well after the fact. People don't really contemplate their actions, they simply do. Any real motivation is subconscious, relating to the core of that person, who they are. In my case.......I was selfish. It's not a selfishness anyone can really notice, per se, but I find it hard to describe it by any other terms. I never went out of my way to help my fellow man. I never did things for people. I was never the guy that threw parties, or cooked dinner, or helped connect people, I was simply there. I took up space. I interjected with a bit of witty banter. I added my two cents, but never anything tangible, nothing lasting. It was all a defense. What easier way to sever a connection than to never have an established line? It really is a testament to my own selfish, defensive nature. Why give any of myself, commit to anything when their is always the possibility that I will be hurt? That I may expose myself in some fashion to another human being?

And that's what I did. I kept myself from him. He held me in high regard, never asking a thing of me except to be a brother, and I couldn't be that. I chose her instead. I invested everything into that woman and of course I'm a fool. A fucking fool. Instead of attending to that aspects of my life that matter, the ones that give a shit, I focused my attention on a woman. A fucking woman. The worst part? I've done this all before. Forsaking friendship for some bitch that ended up breaking my heart anyway. High school is a cruel mistress, filled with pupils, eager to fuck you up in fashions only an ignorant adolescent mind could conjur. I put quite a bit of faith in the notion that the second time around I would be more accurate. So much so, I gave up any real connection to my past. Friends simply fell by the wayside. As I've learned, severing the connection to another human being is quite simple, but more often than not, there will be casualties.

Monday, July 14, 2008

It would be difficult to frame our relationship without misconstrued elements of homosexuality being present. We live in a culture that thrives on friendship and mutual presence yet, given the current societal state, it borders on the impossible to communicate what it means, to give it definition without hints of effeminate or outright deviant tones. Women are given to addressing their others as girlfriends, yet the same by no means applies to men; curious isn't it? We are the boys after all; the guys; men. We aren't given to such lofty notions as companionship, we don't seek out someone to communicate the troubles of the world, we grab a fellow at the bar, at the party, in class etc ad infinum, then discuss matters of utmost importance: beer, women, drugs, sports. The general consensus is that if the subject at hand isn't somehow tied to one of those four, we are at a loss, incapable of communication until the prior subjects resume. The sick sad fact of the matter is I have found myself in that very loop more times than I really care to acknowledge.

I threw the cord into the backseat of my car, pondering its future. Will a home be provided or will it simply be caught in the same loop of being owned and re-owned until he no longer has a use, then left to rot, but never really die. I feel a chuckle well up but only allow a smirk to surface. I can't help but wonder back to the topic of manliness. Is that what I did it? Was it simply an extension of my own sodalital senses?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


How does it feel? The question is posed on an indefinite, intermittent loop, rolling with the time of day and people I come across. Anymore, fine is insignificant. i go to work only to maintain continuity. I work in a state of complete decay. More robotic than the machinery I use, or that use me at this point. I am far past despair, entering a form that can only be described as having Pavlovian origins. The public school system never really gave me the privilege of knowing Pavlov, he did. The man who bettered me. Guided me. Though a year apart, it felt more times than not like he was ancient, imparting wisdom to me when the situation arose. Often times, I took our friendship for granted, going about my life as though perfection finally found its place among the tragedies of my life. In retrospect it should have felt unnatural, this idea that I could spend so much time with my significant other, reaping the benefits of my aptitude for attachment, and the moments where she was working or otherwise preoccupied I could easily (for the most part) find myself in his company, enjoying whatever tastes arose or simply discussing the politics of existing. He found me a job. In that respect he helped house me and escape the self-imposed perdition that was my father. Always a smile between us with not so much as a squabble arising.

"That will be 32.50 Mr. Barlowe." I handed her two twenties and told her to keep the change. Not like I wanted it anyway. My thoughts were elsewhere.