Showing posts from January, 2023

Hot Mama Seeks A Zucchini

Mine eyes scrutinize the packaged, pre-washed greens; mine fingers leaf through the spinach packs, seeking out a Use By or Best By date that’ll satisfy my strict standard of fresh.  And this woman,  a fellow shopper  (although not a fellow fellow),  likely ten years my senior,  double-takes me.  “Nick?” she says.  Now,  what should’ve come out?  “Yes! How are you?”  Instead, my mouth goes,  “Huh?”  (As in, “You talkin’ to me ?”)  She says,  “Are you…  Is your name:  Nick?”  And my stupid mouth it  does it again with,  “No.”  But it’s a “No”  with a smile.  Not embarrassed,  at least not overtly,  she says,  “You look like my son’s teacher.”  My stupid head nods;  my stupider mouth spits out,  “Oh.”  She’s a suburban,  middle-aged  soccer-mom kind of beauty. *   No,  she wouldn’t meet central casting’s criteria,  but I’d certainly consent  to a “roll in the hay”  with her.  So what she’s a little plump?  Her knockers are watermelon-ous.  The next stupid thing  out of my mouth?  “It h


Leo took a break from his grandpop’s delirium. Let Betty, the old man’s “lady friend,” play the nurse for the afternoon. Leo, he’d been up every other hour during the night during the past five nights. He’d spent a lot of that time listening to the old man recount and relive any number of hallucinatory and out-of-body experiences.  Leo found himself repeatedly lifting a pile of “branches” that had landed on the old man’s chest. How they all at once crashed through several stories of hospital without anybody taking notice remains a mystery. But once that was done, grandpop would appoint, or re-appoint, Leo to some Board of Trustees involved with endless hostile takeover bids from invisible corporate raiders.  One of the nurses calls it “sundowning.” But Leo’s grandpop doesn’t have dementia. His delirium doesn’t get worse when the sun sets. It gets worse the longer he stays cooped up in a hospital room. Leo thinks it’s more like an acute case of cabin fever. The cure has always been to g

The Porter

[Take heed: This post is not for the faint of heart.]  Pop’s mechanic’s porter shakes my hand every time we meet. He drives me back to Pop’s house, then picks me up when the Caddy’s been tuned-up, patched up, or whatever. I ride shotgun and we chitchat. This porter tells me he’s seen fifteen dead bodies. No, not all at once, but that’s quite a few stiffs for a dude who’s still in his twenties. I’m at least a decade older and I’ve only seen one. And, no, this guy isn’t a war vet. His folks don’t run a funeral parlor, either.  This porter, he’s all muscular bulk. His black hair is crew-cut short. His arms are tan and hairless. Besides being the porter, he’ll change oil and wash the cars. He’s not interested in being a mechanic, though. He’s only doing this to make ends meet. He’s got a wife and kids in a suburb north of here. He grew up in Chicago, but he doesn’t want to raise a family there.  Where the Russian mafia haunts and where the Polish mafia haunts, that’s where this porter’s f


Alright, yes!  I am a glass of orange juice.  Rather, the orange juice itself.  The glass is merely for containment.  Though perhaps it’s something of a fashion statement.  But yes,  that’s right,  one hundred percent,  fresh-squeezed,  pure Florida orange juice.  Absolutely,  positively,  not  from a concentrate.  Even so,  please,  I beg you,  refrain from consuming me.  Yes, your eyes indeed deceive you. These appendages, the clothing, the face? Simply a disguise. You haven’t a clue as to what it’s like: Every morning—people staring at me—a thirsty gleam in their eyes; and then, every evening, terrified to go to bed; fearing that ever-recurring nightmare where huge unwashed hands grab at me and spill me all over the kitchen floor—so that a big dog named Butch can lick me up. I was perfectly happy housed in a peel.  It’s dangerous propaganda, I tell you, all this talk about the benefits of fluids. You end up with no identity. You’re just…  juice,  no longer individual, no longer

S T R E A M # 1 4

This is fine. This is good. This is the way it’s going to be. This is not a curse but a blessing. This is not a prison but a sanctuary. This is peaceful. Green. The skies are blue. Frequently, you only hear the birds, or the crickets. There are, however, intruders: unwanted noise from lawnmowers, leaf blowers, home-improvers, and home builders. And then, of course, you’ve also got the commuter trains. None of this is new. This has been the way of things for decades. And this will continue to be the way of things for decades to come. And I shall now attempt to dispense with the word: “this.” That is, at least, for the remainder of  _ _ _ _  page. Now, then, where would you like to go to school? Do you want to go somewhere far away? Or would you prefer to be close to family and friends? What do you fear? If you were to go far away, would you fear the possibility of not making any new friends? Would you fear being taken advantage of? Would you fear the possibility of getting lost? What yo