The Day I Got Fired

I was bored and kinda sad too. I don’t know if it was Saturday or Sunday. I can tell you it was February. I remember thinking: “It’s hot as hell for February.” Really, it was those exact words. I know this because I also remember thinking: “I bet folks in hell are made to wear big puffy coats,” which I know I thought at one point because I see myself wearing a big puffy coat, and I can feel my hairy torso prickling with sweat as I hurry across the street and down the dirt-smeared stairwell, into a cramped, stuffy subway car where I say to myself, “I bet folks in hell are made to wear big puffy coats and ride back and forth on cramped, stuffy subway cars until the end of time.” 

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A Long Life

Alicia was only eleven when a nightmare rose within her. Days and weeks would pass, sometimes months and years, but the nightmare never left. In fact, two days before Alicia’s eighty-eighth birthday (incidentally, a week before she passed away) her nightmare returned after an eleven-year absence. The old woman was startled to wake in the dead of night, though no longer scared. Continue reading A Long Life

The Old Man and the Subway

It was just another day when the old man stepped into my life. I was on the subway, off to work. Frankly, I wouldn’t have noticed him if it weren’t for his hat. It was a light blue baseball cap with a flattened rim. The words Watching The Bay were painted on in big white letters, and flanked on either side by the skeletal outlines of two marlin fish. 

Even then, I felt myself drawn to the hat’s simplicity, but I couldn’t overlook the man’s toasted olive skin. It was worn and stretched, much like his tan leather jacket. The cuffs on his baggy jeans were rolled above his workman boots. On his lap was a grocery bag, stuffed with miscellaneous clothing articles and a big Ziploc bag, which itself was stuffed with a sandwich and what appeared to be Ruffles potato chips.  Continue reading The Old Man and the Subway

Cars and Pedestrians

If death is like sleep, maybe we want to die.

The thought kept Henry awake, bouncing around his dark room. The logic was too piercing to allow for more sleep, even if it meant he ought to fall back asleep.

“What’s logical is illogical and what’s illogical is logical.”

The words opened Henry’s eyes, bouncing around his dark room. Who said them? Harold. But when, and where? Last night… the club with the yellow-green strobe lights… or was it the jazz bar? Yes, probably the jazz bar. All he remembered was Harold wagging his bony index finger, barking like a prophetic madman: “What’s logical is illogical and what’s illogical is logical.”

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Backing Into Parking Spaces

“Mom,” said Jonah abruptly, breaking a long-standing silence. The twelve-year-old boy sat in the passenger seat with his arms crossed defiantly.

“Yes, honey?” asked Sarah, her vigilant eyes flickering from rearview mirror to side windows.

“Why do you back into parking spaces,” said the twelve-year-old boy. It was more of a statement than a question. His thin blue eyes gleamed with confrontation.

Sarah shifted into reverse and grabbed the steering wheel with her left hand, twisting her torso to peer over her right shoulder as she maneuvered her Jeep Grand Cherokee into the front-row parking space, easing up on the gas pedal and lightly tapping the brake, putting the rig in Park as soon as she felt her back tires colliding against the curb. She straightened her back, let out a sigh, and looked at her sandy-haired child; her blue-eyed baby; her all-American boy. Jonah looked back expectantly, still gleaming with confrontation. Continue reading Backing Into Parking Spaces