I’m always thinking how to escape death. Somehow, like that Mesopotamian maniac, the mythic prince who asked for tips from his barista before his story was written in clay; we’ve heard the screech and the scrim of the snakes shedding skin that proves it’s not simple to grant a desire.
It was raining cats and dogs when we ducked into Le Carafe. Ted said it was the oldest bar in Houston. He ordered a Lone Star on tap, made a beeline for the john.
I wanted to live on an alley when I grew up. My nose flush against the cool glass, shadows cast over darkened brick, bottles broken, and the shuffle of running feet, the smell of sewage and greasy food waving into the room, mixing with the bunanabun of the Law & Order score.
A heatwave smothers Texas like a ten-gallon hat so I abandon the three fans rotating in the apartment and speed out the door, my Dallas Stars tee-shirt as damp as warm teabags.
Ben sits in the back of the car, chewing popcorn so it squeaks against his teeth, and little Janey sits up front, sucking on a peach.
Dear Apollo C. Vermouth: I heard “Miss Daisy Hawkins” recently at a Red Lobster in Clear Lake, Iowa.
Up far above, I was worthless and small. Bouncing from cloud to cloud, the cold winds carried me for miles.
I am not special either. Maybe this is why she chose me. She said, you are going to help convince them that I’m real. We go to protests. Rallies.
The morning sun warms our one-bedroom apartment. After bouncing from relative to relative, it’s just Mommy and me.
My dry cleaner proposed to me at El Matador Beach, over Malibu Country Mart’s second cheapest bottle of prosecco. We sat on a bench in the blufftop parking lot. I was queasy from the motorcycle ride.
When we shut the front door behind us, we shut up Tinsel Cake alone in the kitchen to gaze upon fresh, cooling Gingerbread. This is Claudia Fleming’s Gramercy Tavern gingerbread made with a cup of stout and a cup of molasses.
I go with Gary from Housewares up into the hills after work. There’s a comet coming, the news says, and Gary’s promised to show me the stars.
Charlie, Mitch, and Bob worked downtown at the big insurance company. Charlie and Mitch liked Bob because he knew things about life they hadn’t even thought to learn.
On the day Samantha found out her cancer hadn’t metastasized and was still in remission, there was a fire in the house.
The man who is unable to love has left his girl again, vanished like a feral feline. ‘I hate the way that Pancake stares,’ he said before he left, complaining about how the cat would glare at him with unblinking eyes.
The old man fell asleep in his car, his nostrils pressed softly against the steering wheel, but the car kept going, because the old man’s foot was not asleep, was still pressing down hard, and later they would say, it’s not really his fault, he’s such an old man.
I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.
In the barren cold camp, you wear a dusty cape and top hat, wave my cane as if it were a wand and tell me your dream-stories, one after the next, your words spun and tossed like tethers into the air.