You imagined it clean, orderly, brightly lit; rooms full of yelping puppies, purring kittens and even, perhaps, chirping birds. They all plead for your attention. You hold the keys to their sustenance and to their freedom. At home, no one needs you; for practically all intents and purposes, you are invisible; your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, the goldfish, they pass right through you--unless you fail to take out the garbage or forget to wash the dishes or inadvertently leave the toilet seat up. But, here , amongst all the furry quadrupeds, you are in the spotlight, you are the star of the show. Some of them would like nothing more than to curl up in your lap for a nap. They even want to lick your face! Here, the spotless linoleum aisle that cuts through the stretch of stacked cages is your Red Carpet; every woof, every meow, every tweet is, essentially, an audible camera flashing in your direction; every growl, every whine, every squawk is but a pesky
Showing posts from March, 2011
SETTING POP'S bedroom. AT RISE It’s 9:30 a.m. on every morning since the Earth shook Japan to pieces. POP is lying on his bed, hissing out of sheer boredom. FIREVANEY enters with a glass of water and a dish of pills. POP Good morning. FIREVANEY Good morning! POP So. The world’s still here? FIREVANEY Last I checked. POP Last you checked.
She knocked on my door. Just now. Her door faces my door. It’s three, maybe four footsteps away. Maybe four and a half. Spitting distance. That’s it, her door is within spitting distance of my door. When I heard her knock, I got up, took a step, maybe two, I don’t remember, and I peeped through my peephole. I wasn’t expecting a knock. I’m never expecting a knock. But this lovely young woman had knocked on my door. What luck! I’m sure I never would’ve knocked on her door. If a fire broke out, maybe then, I would, but otherwise, I’d feel too creepy about it. So she knocked, and I peeped, and in clumsy haste I unlocked and pulled open my door and I say “in clumsy haste” because perhaps I was about to discover that there is a God after all--or, as the case may be, for me, a Goddess, after all. That’s right, I wouldn’t open the door for just any old deity, certainly not for Jesus or Muhammad (deadbeat deities, if you ask me), but if either had a pretty, young
Charney found himself lying on his back in the middle of the street. He was pretty sure he hadn’t been shot, but his ribs didn’t feel right, and the back of his head throbbed from having thumped it so hard against the blacktop. At least the drizzle felt good on his face. He thought he could see the moonlight breaking through the clouds. Moonlight, or a jetliner’s landing lights, or maybe, hopefully, angels were descending to collect him… Whatever it was, Killdare’s blur blot it out when he stepped into view. He chomped on his Hubba Bubba and grinned down at Charney. “Hey, Char,” he said, stooping into a linebacker’s two-point stance, “how many fingers ‘m I holdin’ up?” His hands were on his knees. Charney tried to speak but the best he could do was puff out a groan. Breathing was hard; thinking was harder. All he could really feel was the patter of drizzle dampening his skin, his hair and his clothes. Because it was soft, he didn’t mind that it was cold. Killdare chuckl
Eight years ago I found myself growing weary of City Life. The congestion of all that humanity, packed-in like sardines, left me gasping for space. Many people are invigorated by all of that condensed kinetic energy. Those are the lucky ones, I suppose. And I envy them. But I could not emulate them. I was already too old. Everything raced faster than my own untreated hypertension. So I slunk back to suburbia, where the only recurrent annoyances came from lawnmowers, leaf-blowers and bird droppings. And then, like the irrepressible progeny of every cockroach I’ve ever crushed or poisoned, bits of my past crept back into view… We worked out at the same gym. I don’t remember her name. I probably never knew it in high school. We never spoke. She wasn’t unattractive, but she wasn’t exactly my type. Back then, I was chubby and zity and exactly nobody’s type. I nevertheless had standards. My standards were unrealistically high. And they remain so to this day… Sh