Jerry’s Mouth

April 2nd, 2017

Either I’m going to kill my husband for lying or whatever’s growing in his mouth will do it for me. God only knows what that slut gave him on the night he didn’t come home, but I’ll be damned if I’ll let him go to the doctor for it. The last thing our family needs is the nurses down at that clinic talking about how Jerry’s been fucking around on me again. I’ve got leftover penicillin from the infection he gave me two years ago. He can have that. Continue reading “Jerry’s Mouth”

The Incident at the Train Station

Jan and I got there seconds after it happened. People were still shouting with surprise and dismay. The body lay in tatters on the tracks.

“Oh God,” Jan whispered. “That poor man.”

“What happened?” I asked the guy next to me.

“Suicide,” the guy said. “He hopped off the platform right when the train was coming by.”

“Christ,” I muttered. I wondered what our options were. There’d obviously be a delay while the police and paramedics attended to the scene. From the looks of it, Jan and I were going to be late for our friends’ wedding in New York that evening; people were already scooping up the remaining taxis to take to their destinations. It looked like we’d be stuck there for a while. Continue reading “The Incident at the Train Station”

I never told the real story about how my uncle Liam died.

It was just too awful. Too unbelievable. People would think I got scared and made something up because I was a kid at the time and that’s what kids do. Everyone knows he had a few too many beers while he and I were fishing. Everyone knows fell out of the boat and drowned when the weather got bad and the water got rough. Everyone knows I couldn’t pilot the thing by myself and it went into the rocks. That’s what I told the police and that’s what they believed. Didn’t matter that they never found the body. Fishermen go missing all the time. Their bodies don’t get found, either. The current around here sweeps everything away. Blood included. Continue reading “I never told the real story about how my uncle Liam died.”

Something horrible is happening to me on Grindr.

So. Many. Penises. Since Eugene left me, I must have looked at a thousand of them. Cut, uncut, black, mocha, tan, pink, beige, thick, thin, long, hairy, shaved, trimmed, veiny, smooth, micro, macro, and even the elusive gargantuan. I’ll be honest with you, though: it’s not even like I was open to the idea of a hookup at that point. It was still too soon. The emotions were too raw. That said, I wasn’t going to be ashamed of myself for looking at pictures of dicks to help pass the time. I like dicks.

After a few weeks of browsing, I started involving myself in actual chats. You know, more than the basic “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine” type of stuff I’d been doing. Most guys didn’t really want to talk about much; they were more interested in meeting up and banging. I wasn’t ready for that, though. I was polite enough with my rejections, and most of them were cool with it. Not all, but most. Continue reading “Something horrible is happening to me on Grindr.”

Smokey, the Dog I Rescued

I was out on a hike when I discovered a dog in the forest. She was in bad shape. She didn’t have a collar, but it looked like she’d had one in the past. The fur and skin around her neck was terribly calloused and infected. She was skittish and didn’t want to come near me, but when I gave her a chunk of jerky I’d been carrying, she changed her mind.

She loved the stuff, so I used that to lure her out of the woods. When she got out from under the trees and I could see her in the sunlight, it was obvious she’d been neglected a long, long time. Every rib was visible under her mangy coat. She had a couple sores near the remains of her tail. Her left ear was missing, too. It looked like the poor girl had had a very difficult life; I got the feeling that if I hadn’t come around, she wouldn’t have lasted much longer. Continue reading “Smokey, the Dog I Rescued”

Never accept a job without knowing what your work will be used for. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for being part of something like this.

As one might imagine, a degree in Film doesn’t immediately lead to job offers. At the age of 23, I was desperately looking for a job – any job, really – but if I could find one that used my talents and my passion, I’d be ecstatic. When I refreshed the job section of Craigslist and saw, “Cameraman Wanted” with an email address, I shot off an email as fast as I could and within an hour I heard back.

After a brief email exchange, the next day I ended up interviewing with a thin, well-dressed man in a beautiful midtown apartment. The man, who introduced himself as Andrew, was polite and straightforward. “Do you have any moral issues with homosexuality and filming homosexual acts?” he asked, studying me for a reaction.

Continue reading “Never accept a job without knowing what your work will be used for. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for being part of something like this.”

Great Potential

When I was growing up, I was always the girl everyone said would make a great mom. It made sense; I love being around kids. I was a babysitter for the neighbor’s children when I was ten, and they liked the work I did so much they recommended me to their friends. When I finished high school, I was one of the few people who knew exactly what she wanted to do after college: teach! What better way to enjoy children than being a formative presence in their young lives?

After I got my Masters, I was lucky enough to get a job as a kindergarten teacher in the city. Growing up on a farm in the Midwest was something I’ll always be proud of; great people, strong faith, meat and potatoes meals, and all that, but I really hoped I’d end up in a big city. Lo and behold, my prayers were answered. Continue reading “Great Potential”

The story my grandfather told about why he got sent home from Vietnam might be the worst fucking thing I’ve ever heard.

I’m sharing the story because I was forced to sit through it during New Year’s Eve dinner and I’m so freaked out and god damn itchy that I need to get it out of my system. I’m sure some of you are going to breeze on by this little tantrum here and go right to the meat of the story because you’re thinking, “hey, I’ve got a strong stomach.” Well, go for it.

Boring stuff out of the way: he was drafted, and since he was short and skinny, he was a perfect tunnel rat. Those were the guys who wriggled their way through the ridiculously narrow tunnels the Viet Cong used to transport personnel and weapons, set boobytraps, and all that. And when I say narrow, I mean narrow. Here’s a pic.

So, gramps was wriggling around in a tunnel one day and a few bad things happened. First, the two other people with him got killed by a solitary VC while they were standing around the hole. Being a few feet underground and about twenty feet through meant grandpa couldn’t see who attacked them or know if anyone survived. He later learned he was the only one left alive, but he assumed the VC attacker would soon start throwing grenades into the tunnel and he’d be done for. After a few minutes with no sign of any incoming attack, grandpa breathed a sigh of relief and starting moving forward again. A little while later, though, it starting pouring rain. The tunnel began to fill with water. Continue reading “The story my grandfather told about why he got sent home from Vietnam might be the worst fucking thing I’ve ever heard.”

Comfort Food

My wife lost her battle with bone cancer a year ago. I have no one.

I’ve worked from home for the last six months. My employer has been sympathetic and accommodating after everything that happened. Too many workplaces neglect and end up getting rid of disabled employees. I guess I should feel valued.

Breakfast was mac and cheese left over from the night before. I hadn’t made enough for the meal to be even remotely satisfying. Stock prices and quantitative analytics spilled from my computer monitors as I tried to concentrate on work. My eyes kept drifting over to the picture of me and Brynn on our wedding day. I have no attention span when I’m hungry.

I groaned as I lifted myself into a standing position. My knees were shot. I made my way over to the kitchen pantry and got a bag of chips and a bottle of soda. Coughing as I trundled across the office over to my desk, I’d already opened the chips and was pushing them into my mouth. As I walked by and saw my reflection in the glossy murk of my hibernating television, I could swear I saw Brynn standing by my side. When I blinked, she was gone. Just like a year ago. Continue reading “Comfort Food”

Sprouts

My sunflower seeds started talking to me last month. I couldn’t believe it; I’d been lonely for such a long time. It felt good to have friends. I bet it was my mom who asked them to keep me company. I miss her terribly.

The clearest memory I have of Mom was when she told me that all the beauty in the world grows from something small. I was helping her in the garden, and we’d just planted sunflowers. My favorite. A couple days later, she showed me the tiny, burgeoning sprouts that would eventually become the towering, yellow flowers I loved so much. She repeated what she told me about beauty. I remember being amazed. I’d wake up every morning and head outside and check their progress. Each time, they were a little bit bigger. Continue reading “Sprouts”