Senior Week – Chapter 2

The final leg of our drive was easy enough. We stuck to the coast and went south. Mission Beach begins as California’s coastline narrows into a scraggly peninsular strip, awkwardly wedged between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay, a butterfly-shaped coastal cleft of saltwater arteries and rocky outgrowths. Before long we were seeing billboards imploring us to ‘visit’ SeaWorld.

“Friends?” Boris inquired in an overblown British accent, holding his chin like a thinker. “Might there be any interest in visiting the alter for and expression of our peculiar mammalian pride, wrought as it has been in the great fiery quest to overcome marine life and tame it for our amusement?” he asked in a single gasping breath as his lanky legs jittered epileptically, pounding the car’s floor mat like a ritualistic drum beat.

“Nah, fuck that,” said Justin. Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter 2

Senior Week – Chapter One

I know you won’t believe me if you look back and read this, but I swear it felt like there was nothing else for us to do. It all began on a Friday afternoon. I had just taken my final college exam. So had Arnold, my roommate and best buddy.

“John, can you believe it?” he asked as we walked back to our apartment. “We’re fucking done man! Fucking done! Ahhhhhhh,” he squealed excitedly, shaking my shoulders and looking to the heavens with gratitude.

“I know! It’s un-fucking-believable!” I cried.

“What should we do to celebrate?” he asked.

That question was answered when we entered our apartment. Boris, our other roommate, was waiting for us with a freshly loaded bong and a cold case of Coronas.

“Boys,” said Boris dramatically when we entered. The lights were dimmed and classical music was blaring from the speaker. “Welcome to the post-graduate lair. Tomorrow, it’s San Diego for Senior Week. Tonight, it’s this apartment –  a boy’s night out! Not out out, of course. We’re gonna stay in and get absolutely fucked, and I’ll have no protestations to the contrary. I’ve talked to people – of course, of course – and everyone’s playing it easy tonight. So fuck it, we’ll make our own party! Now, enough explanations. Somebody hit this fucking bong, I just smoked a bowl all by myself.” Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter One

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.”

Continue reading Cars and Pedestrians

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