Is the Doctor In?

I’ve been waiting in this waiting room for what seems like days. It’s almost my turn to be seen and yet it feels like it isn’t. The nurse has already done the pre-exam checkups, all clear. She’s cleaned me up and got me all set, and now I’m waiting for her to call my name. It has been a crazy couple of days and I am glad the doctor could see me on such short notice, but this wait is inhumane. Granite the doctor has had a busy day too. There must have been at least four people seen since I have arrived and another five or six since then. This doctor must be really good to see this many people in one day and many of us on short notice. I wonder how much longer I have to wait though. It’s freezing in here and the music is terrible. That’s how all waiting rooms are though. There’s never anything interesting to watch or read and if there is ever any music it is never good. It’s always some simple piano notes with no lyrics. It couldn’t possibly be anything current or even pleasing to the ears. Not that the music nowadays could be considered good, but anything is better than this. I’d take some golden oldies at this point. Anything but this horrible sound combined with the ticking of the clock. I must be going insane from the sounds. I can’t believe someone was paid to create this torture. If I could move my foot I’d probably tap it to the beat out of boredom, but I can’t which only makes all of this even worse. The other people in the room seem to be as bored as me. I can’t really see what they are doing thanks to the rather dim waiting area. The doctor must be sensitive to light or something. God, I am just full of complaints today. I usually don’t complain this much, but I’m what some people call a mover and a shaker. If I’m not moving I’m either sleeping or dead. I hear the nurse shout next up is Skinner. That’s me Alan Skinner top medical supplies salesman in the district three years running. Last year alone I was the third highest salesman for the whole company. This year I hope to be number one. No, I don’t hope. I will be number one. Always selling is what my wife says. In and out of here I hope. I’ve got things to do and people to sell too. My favorite part of selling is the power of closing the deal and knowing I sold my customers the best products on the market. I enjoyed my job, which is probably a good thing since I have been doing it for twenty years now. When the nurse enters the waiting room to collect me no one moves or says anything.

She comes over to me and starts wheeling me into the exam room. It becomes brighter as she pushes me closer to the room. The exam room is nearly blinding as she pushes me to the center of the room. She pushes me right under the brightest light I have ever seen. Must be from all the time in the dim waiting room, but this room is so bright. Maybe he should turn the light down or I won’t even be able to see his face. He starts the examination right away by taking off my white sheet. His head blocks the light but only for a second or two. He feels around my rib cage. No hello, no how are you doing today Mr. Skinner just right to business. He must be in a hurry, which I don’t mind, but there’s never a reason to be rude. His hands feel very warm on my chest after all that time in the waiting room. When he finally finds what he is looking for he takes his saw off his side table and zips through my chest as if he is pulling a zipper down a jacket. He tries to comfort me by saying, “I hope that didn’t hurt too much.” His words are welcome after that rude excuses for an introduction, but I didn’t feel a thing. He takes out another tool. The extractor or the rib cracker 2000 as we call it at work. Top of the line model none the less. Placing it between the ribs is all he has to do as the tool does the rest. Separating my rib cage with ease. It felt nice to feel air touch my lungs once again. The doctor pokes around the outside of my lungs before cutting each one out. He places each lung gently into the metal tray next to him. He turns his body towards his side table and begins to inspect my lungs by looking all around the outside of them. He cuts into my lungs like they were a nice family meal. He tells the nurse that it looks like he was a smoker, but he must have quit at least ten years ago. Impressive I quit seven years ago for health reasons I try to tell him, but he only ignores me. His bedside manner leaves something to be desired. “Did you feel that?” The doctor asks the nurse. She shakes her head no, He moves on with my exam. He takes a dark mass that I believe is my liver. Placing it on his table he cuts pieces of it out. Checking each section as he does. “Not much damage to his liver. He was a light drinker if at all,” the doctor says. Each thing he says the nurse takes notes on her clipboard. The doctor continues, “His Kidneys look good for his age, no ulcers in his stomach lining, but there appears to be some sort of obstruction inside his esophagus.” The doctor cuts open the esophagus, “A piece of baked chicken. He died of  after the chicken got stuck in his trachea.” “How sad,” the nurse shakes her head in disbelief, “It’s so sad there are so many people out there that don’t know the Heimlich maneuver. What about his heart doctor?” “Wouldn’t hurt to look, but I’m positive he died from asphyxiation.” The doctor takes my heart from my chest. A bloody fist of an organ and places it in a fresh metal tray on his side table. After dissecting the bloody red mass he says, “The left and right ventricles along with his right atrium look fine enough given his age and weight. The left atrium, however, looks to have taken a lot of damage over the years.” The nurse continues her notes. “What does it mean doctor?” I ask, but the words seem to fall on deaf ears. “Is there anything in his pre-exam report about him complaining of chest pains just before collapsing?” The doctor asks. “No there’s nothing about that,” the nurse answers. “Well, I’m going to stick with my original assessment that he died from affixation. Given the evidence, I can’t tell if he had a mild heart attack because of the stress of choking or the other way around. Either way, this man would have died tonight. “I’m right here,” I try to say. “How can I be dead if I am right here,” I scream. The doctor’s words sink in as I try to get up off the gurney to no avail.  My body begins to heat up. I feel as if I have been set on fire. The confusion sets in deeper. I can’t be getting cremated. I didn’t ask for this. It’s not making any sense. I try to close my eyes, but I can’t. My vision starts to blur from the fiery pain that is consuming my body. “I wonder what set this whole incident in motion,” I can hear the doctor say what feels like miles away. Then just as quick as it came the pain washes away. I was no longer lying but rather floating next to the doctor. He looks right through me as he talks, “Who’s next?” The nurse puts my clipboard down and picks up another, “A Jonathan Murdock, self-inflicted gunshot to the head. There seems to be a lot of those lately.” Like a hangover the pain and the memories of my death come flooding back in to what can only be described as my “mind,” as I am neither here nor there anymore. I try to scream again more to see if I can than anything else. I find that I can’t once again. “Did you feel that? That cold chill feeling I felt from before. I just felt it again,” the doctor tells the nurse. The memories get clearer as I reach the door. I reach to push the door forward, but my hand goes right through it. Old habits die hard I guess. The nurse says, “I did feel something just now.” “This place can really,” I miss the last part of what he was about to say as I walk through the door. The memories won’t leave my mind. My life flashes in bits and pieces like a migraine that has no cure. Frustration and anger settle in with the confusion and yet I feel nothing at all. Passing through each building, each sign, and each person as I make my way in a straight line. Images of my children smiling, my friends cheering me on in grade school, my mother crying as I get married, and her. My wife’s face comes and goes with each happy image. Then it is as though it has been clear all along. I don’t know where I am, but I know where I am going, home. I remember the sequence of events that led to my sudden death, and it is as though I know nothing else. I want my revenge.

I was having lunch with my boss. We were discussing my future at the company. He offered me a raise and a promotion. If I was to take it I would have been, I could have been a regional manager of another branch. The meeting was going well and I remember things. Jokes, smiles, laughing, having a good time, and there she was sitting across from us at the restaurant. My wife wasn’t at home, but sitting at the restaurant having lunch with someone I didn’t know. Someone I couldn’t see. All I saw was their hair, his hair. I followed her arm with my eyes. In her hand, she was holding his. Everything began to move in slow motion. The streets are busy even this late at night. People walking through me as if I’, not there, and I’m not. I’ve stopped looking both ways as I cross the street. A sense of freedom I have never felt. I have no fear anymore. My thoughts slip back to my death. I can’t see the man clearly and honestly I don’t remember looking. Transfixed on my wife and her actions that day. Holding his hand, leaning in for a kiss, and her smile. God that smile, a smile I hadn’t seen in years. Has it really been that long since I have seen her smile like that? The rushing anger, the sudden jealousy, the slow creeping numbness of my left arm as I stand up. I try to ignore the obvious, I try to say something, but my heart would not have it. My chest tightens as I look down to my boss and I try once again to say something. With all that was happening, I had forgotten about the grilled chicken with lemon zest still in my mouth as I inhaled. The comedy of errors only grew as no one around me knew what was happening. Holding my chest and unable to breathe my vision begins to fade, my mind screaming breathe damn, and the impending feeling of doom as I fall to the floor. I hear voices in the darkness, distant, unclear. The darkness doesn’t last long. I’m still on the restaurant floor, but now I’m being rolled out on a stretcher. “Am I okay?” I remember asking, but no one answers as the white sheet drapes over my face. How am I seeing this? This must be a joke I think. It has to be. I feel them loading me into the ambulance. The feel of the engine as the vehicle is shifted into gear. There were no sirens, there was no rush to the wheels, so I must be fine I remember thinking. I’m only going for a follow-up, a checkup.

Outside on the streets and away from my head, I float in the direction I believe is home. Each person I pass has no idea how close to death they really are. I try to focus on something else besides my anger, but I can’t seem to let go of the pain. Passing by my neighbor’s homes with their manicured lawns and false pretense perfect lives all I feel is pain. I arrive at my home. The one that I paid for with my soul for her, for my family. All she has to do is read the will. There is a car I don’t recognize in my driveway. How long have I been dead? A day? Maybe two? Didn’t take her long to move me out and move him in. I pass my stuff sitting out with the trash. Memories I once had, but no longer need. Either it must be trash night or my kids don’t care as much as her. Passing through my red front door I can see the dining room from the hall. All those greasy dinners come back to my mind except now they seem more like plots to kill me than anything else. Who lets another person eat their weight in beef every night while they eat a salad? I float up my stairs to the second floor. Not even halfway up the stairs, I can hear her moans. Moans she hasn’t made for me in what seems like forever or if ever. I pass through my daughter’s door first only to be greeted by emptiness. I pass through her wall into my son’s room only to find the same. She must have sent our perfect children to her mother’s so she could “grieve.” Her moans pierce through the walls of the second floor. Leaving my son’s room and going into our private bath I make my way closer. A used condom lies on the floor next to the trash can. I storm into my master bedroom the emotion last in the circumstance. My wife begging for more. “Harder, harder,” she moans. I want to scream again. I want to tear her face off with the sound of my voice. I want to destroy her like she destroyed me. “Whore,” I scream with everything that I have and everything I am not. My words drown out her moaning and begging. My scream comes with a chill so cold I can see their breath. The man stops mid thrust, “What the hell was that?” They both turn to look at my direction. A blank stare comes across their faces. Again I scream breaking the silence. The look of horror and shame on their faces is indescribable, but it makes me feel warm inside. “It’s my husband,” she screams. “That’s right your husband you whore,” I scream with another wave of cold air. Somehow they can now see me, but only for a second. The man slips out of my wife as he falls to the floor. My wife stares at me from all fours a condom dangling from her poisonous cunt. “Something that obviously doesn’t mean anything to you,” I continue. My former self-flashing in and out of existence. My wife tries to cover herself up as if a stranger has walked into the room. The man begins to weep, “Sorry, I’m so sorry man.” “You don’t even know the meaning of sorry yet,” I scream. “Get the hell out of my house.” He runs naked to the bedroom door and out down the stairs. I don’t hear the front door slam and I don’t much care. I turn my face to my darling wife, “And as for you. There won’t be much left of you to even be sorry.” The bedroom door slams from the strength of my words and her screams fill the evening air. Maybe being dead won’t be such a bad thing after all.


Fuck the Lemonade and Chewing on Glass present: Lemonade and Glass

This collaboration is a bit unusual… well not really the project itself but the conception?… one night,  Lemons and I were suggesting songs back and forth for several hours… spur of the moment… no real order… no massive amount of thought… and then it came to me… was there any thought to our selections?… did we have our reasons for choosing that song at that exact moment?… pretty basic idea… some of the best always are… we shall see…

With this first month, we decided to pick ten songs each and kind of figure out what this is as a whole… being on different sides of the earth and of different brains, we are doing our best to make this equally our own… a blending of styles and thoughts… a trip beyond the song… a personal level buried underneath the music… each song means something different to someone else… that is what I wanted to explore with this project…

This night, which Mr. Glass mentions, was a great night. Lol. Mr. Glass was my glue that night and I am super grateful, not just for the time spent with a friend while I was in a shitty place but because something positive has now been birthed from it…

As we have found out, we have a lot of similarities not just with our love of ellipses… but also music. And even though we have similar music tastes there is a lot of bands and songs that neither of us has heard that we have now been introduced to… which is awesome! Any growth to our playlists is excellent.

We have also learned that, as we both like some “sexy” songs, neither of us enjoys listening to them together. #laughingemoji So, if you are here hoping for us to be “bringing sexy back,” you may want to bail now cause that is not what we are here for Ward Clever (aka Mr. Clever… if you’re nasty) and Mel (Melons… if you know what is good for you)

Let’s get this show on the road, Mr. Glass…

Totally forgot… this is all on Spotify… under Lemonade and Glass…  apparently, I can’t copy the link… so you will have to do it old school… on the Spotify app… all apologies… 

5-3-10-4 by Alkaline Trio (Glass)

I actually had three different songs circled in my mind for my Alkaline Trio pick… I knew I was going to pick one from them… which became this long listening fest of which one?… Steamer Trunk is my favorite song by them and I also love My Little Needle as well… Then I played this one and I felt that this track best describes my views on work… a common theme in my writing and my life… this line  “I’m so thankful that I’m not one of them,”… really hits home with me… Before I started working so early… I used to think well I’m glad I don’t do that… Then I did… and still, I think well I’m glad I’m not so and so having to do so and so… because there is always this idea that things could be worse… even when they are already at their limits… again see my writing for any more explanation… haha…


Fallen Leaves by Billy Talent (Lemons)

I’m not a huge fan of Billy Talent. Actually, to be honest, I couldn’t name any of their other songs… I’ve tried listening to them. They just don’t do it for me. But this song… there is just something about this one… It was one of those songs I fell in love with the moment I heard that beginning riff. And then, my brain said, “play this over and over and over again until you hate music.”

I also picked up the lyrics way before I stopped to think about the sad tale they weave. I have a complicated relationship with song lyrics…

My fav part to scream in the car (my car scream part) would be “I never once thought, I’d ever be caught! Staring at sidewalks, hiding my track marks! I left my best friends, or did they just leave me?” then it breaks back into that first riff… *enters bliss*

It has a vocal quality that reminds me of old school punk bands for some reason which I love trying to mimic.

A lit of the reasons I fall madly and deeply for a song boils down to the singing… the way the words and accents and notes feel on my tongue… in my throat…

This is one of those songs for me… It feels good to sing. And that is why I picked this one.

Go! by Killer Mike (Glass)

I was never big into rap when I was growing up… not because I thought it was bad… more to do with that it was popular… and also at this time when I was growing up rap had become basically a joke of itself… a parody… had I dug in deeper than the surface at that time I could have found things to like, but that wasn’t what rap really was at that time… it was all about hoes and bitches and exploitation of women… of a culture really… so I never got into it… enough to say I liked it… Always exceptions… Outkast has been a favorite of mine since I heard B.O.B…. but as a whole, I wasn’t a fan… Fast forward a decade later… I’m watching Bill Maher and here sits this guy… Huge… big bear of a person…. Wearing a t-shirt… if you haven’t seen Bill Maher’s show… he often has all kinds of people on his show and they are always dressed up… Killer Mike was like Nah fuck that… I’m going to be me… That had me right there… he expresses his views… and the whole time I am shouting at the TV… “Thank You”… something I normally do while watching that show is shout at the TV… a habit that my daughter has also started… by the end of the show… as Bill goes into the last word or whatever… the end segment is called… All I wanted was more Killer Mike… Who is he… they said he was a rapper… etc… google searched his ass like a broken-hearted stalker… I, of course, ran into Run the Jewels first… I could choose so many of their songs for a playlist but I wanted to spotlight what I think is the best part of that duo… Killer Mike… a genius in my opinion… a masterful poet… just an overall great mind of this generation… I don’t get in awe of a lot of people… celebrity type… I get it… they are people, but if I ever met Killer Mike… I might giggle like a school girl… and I think that is because he is not a celebrity… rather just an amazing person… favorite line in this song… “Got AK wordplay might put a pause on your life…. Just like a comma bitch”… I’m a real big fan of commas….

Mr. Brightside by The Killers (Lemons)

Oh man… this song kills me every time.

I love The Killers. This will probs not be the last time they show up in L&G (sorry, Laynes!)

It is such a story song. Jealousy is not an affliction I have suffered from (because I trust WAY too easily) so I tend to place myself more with the female of the story (not that I am a cheater either but, for some reason, cheating is not what my brain hears when I listen to this song)

It is so sensual. I know… I know I said no sexy but this song is not straight up in your face sexy… I think… is it… lol no it’s just me.

“It was only a kiss” and then repeated over and over again. You can feel the pain, this mister is really trying to convince himself… And makes me feel the feelings.

I’m of the mind that, even though lyrics are written and the artist who wrote them had something in mind when writing said lyrics, that song… those lyrics can mean something different to the listener.

That being said… it is actually obvious what this song is about, but my brain says different.

Car scream for this song is basically all of it, but definitely the ending.

I picked this one because I wanted something slightly pop-ish in here. Not that I see The Killers as pop, but they are a little more mainstream… aren’t they?

Jealousy is a terrible thing and it can destroy relationships. Also, it can just be your spidey senses tingling… Now, I’m just rambling… Next!

Taste In Men by Placebo (Glass)

Do you hear the fucking bass line?.. the bass and drum combo?… not sure I need any more reason to love this song… maybe the interesting lyrics… which growing up were very odd… growing up in an environment where people weren’t allowed to be themselves… especially gay… this song was very rebellious… felt almost dirty to listen to at the time… to blast in the car and drive around listening too… One of the things that I love about Placebo is their double meaning lyrics… or themes… this song is could easily be about a woman… or a man… great track… and the bass line… the drums… so good…

Mandy Goes To Med School by The Dresden Dolls (Lemons)

This song makes me click and strut every time it comes on. I turn into this swinging cabaret dancer in my fucking car, I love it.

I love The Dresden Dolls and I love, love, love Amanda “Fucking” Palmer. I have posted about her and her songs before.(Here) But this song just makes me dance.

The lyrics are… well… Let’s just say, intake this journey with Mr. Glass, I have realized that I have a difficult time in deciphering the meaning of lyrics, but that is part of the point. It is about the personal connection to the song.

This is another “upbeat melody/dark AF meaning” sort of songs. There are lots of hints towards abortion in here, and not just abortion but the dodgy “backyard” abortions which used to be a problem. (I say “used to” because I live in Australia, in a place where abortion is an easy thing to organize and it is even relatively cheap and the most you deal with is normally just one random crazy lady standing out the front screaming at you… I realize this makes me sound like I have had a tonne of abortions, but really I have always been that friend who everyone seems to want to take as support to their abortions… which makes sense… Cause I am a fucking nice person.)

I would make an educated guess that AFP is totes pro-choice so it wouldn’t shock me if I am correct here. With lyrics like “I’ve been feeling dull as a coat hanger” and “Put away those pliers, honey. Trust me ’cause I know the options. How about a nine-month-long vacation. And a two-foot coffin” … it gets dark…

So, despite (or because of) the dark depths of this song, it goes on the playlist. Car scream is probs the lyrics up there…

That was only 6 out of 20 songs… I think we might have bitten off more than we can chew… haha… Look out for more posts this month… that pertain to this subject… As the project goes we hope to get to fifty total songs on the playlist… If you have Spotify you can listen to the playlist as we add more songs throughout the month and the coming months… Lemonade and Glass… 

Let us know what you think… What are your favorite songs and why?… hope you enjoyed this… 

A Lie Preview

Classes Start

It’s ten a.m. and I’m nearly a hundred percent certain that I am in the wrong class room, but I have no plans of leaving. The teacher, a young woman who is probably a few years older than me with rather large breasts, passes out the syllabus to the class. A two to three page document detailing everything we are supposed to go over in the course of the semester. Fucking gag me, the syllabus is more or less an excuse to mow down a few more acres of trees in South America. Considering our teachers will flood our emails with the same shit anyway. I’m sitting in the far corner of the room, far away from everyone else. The teacher goes into a speech about showing up late, her breasts bouncing with each word. Is she even wearing a bra? I find myself more entertained with her bust line than trying to figure out where I even am. Her words bleed together and I can’t tell if it is me or her who is not making sense of the words. It takes a moment but I finally look down at the syllabus to figure where I am. The paper says that I am in public speaking and I can start to feel the blood drain from my face. Things only get worse when I start to realize that each student is standing up and telling everyone in the class their name and a little bit about themselves and why they are in college. Most of the students here are going for degrees in criminal justice or something as stupid as that. I can feel my heart rate go up and I begin to wonder if anyone else can hear the pounding of my heart like I can. It sounds like an Edgar Allen Poe story in here. Am I fucking dying or am I losing my mind? I hate speaking in front of a single person and speaking in front of all thirty people in the class is making me feel like I am having a heart attack. I can feel the sweat bead up at the top of my head and drip down my face. I was not prepared for this nor would I ever sign up for this. I calm my shaking hand long enough to grab my backpack and slowly make my way to the exit in a near crawl. How this isn’t any worse than just standing up and saying my name is beyond me. The latest victim stops speaking as the teacher asks me where I am going. I stand up from my crouched position and give her a blank stare before running out of the room. My heart is racing a mile a minute as I wander the halls for what seems like days. Everything feels as though it is in slow motion but I keep trekking on. Wandering the halls isn’t an unusual thing for me. I do it a lot. Despite the fact that I hate this school I just can’t seem to leave. I’m never in class, but I’m never not at the school on school days. As confusing as that sounds I think it is because I feel guilty for not attending classes and it also has to do with the fact that I can’t afford to put more gas in my car. So, I might as well stay here and make the best of it. It doesn’t hurt that my drug dealer takes a lot of classes here as well. He says it helps him expand his mind. “Always got to be smart for the streets man, always.” When really he is just going to the school to expand his business, which has worked out pretty well for him in my opinion. It is here in a class for retards that I first met him. The class in question was a basic English course that all students have to take if they didn’t score a certain amount of points on the assessment test to get into this prestigious college. It can’t be over stated that I never wanted to go here so the idea of even trying wasn’t an option when I took the test. I just breezed through the test selecting any answer without reading the question. I was hoping that maybe they would deny me, but nope they accepted me with cash symbols in their eyes since my whole first term wasn’t worth a single credit. I decided today that I will walk around the campus. No use going through another embarrassing first day. The first day doesn’t count anyway. I stop by the bathroom on the first floor before heading outside in the cold. The ground looks much more interesting when I’m high on drugs. The school uses a special kind of salt that is blue-green in color and it does a really good job of clearing off the sidewalks. In the center of campus there is a pond that has long been frozen over. I walk across the wooden bridge that goes across the narrow part of the pond connecting one side of the campus to the other side. In the summer this is where I like to stand, but in the winter the wind comes across the pond and hits me like a cold hard slap to the face. I’m starting to really feel the trip as I walk past the library and head for the main building. I’m making my way to the cafeteria to purchase the overly priced food I really can’t afford and steal one of the overly priced energy drinks. I usually don’t steal things, but I’m not paying three fucking dollars for something I could get for a lot less someplace else. Plus, what’s the worst they could do to me? Kick me out of school? I walk into the cafeteria from the side door of the building. This door is on the opposite side of the student union, a place I try to avoid at all costs. I can’t stand this school and I can’t stand the students that go here even more. Most of them are so pretentious it makes me sick. Half the time I get trapped in some stupid conversation with one of them, and all I want to do is scream, “Look the fuck around.” They all like to live in some fantasy world that they are learning or attending some place that is giving them a higher education and we are not. I get nauseous thinking of the conversations I could get trapped into, but it is probably only the food.  The cafeteria is nearly empty, there must still be classes going on. I walk up to the cooler and pretend to get a drink, but really I just slip one of the energy drinks on the lower shelf into my jacket pocket. No idea what I grabbed but it is that simple, and free and simple is the name of the game. Today’s menu is beef stroganoff prepared by the master chefs the school hires. The smell from the food is close to that of a bowel movement. I never get the prepared meal so I decided on a cheeseburger that I am pretty sure is made of ten percent rubber. This is more of an impulse buy than a decision after the glorified lunch lady asks me if I was going to get anything or just sit there staring at the food. Don’t get me wrong I like being high but it has its negative effects too, such as time and how much of it is not perceived by my mind. After dropping three dollars and fifty cents on a cheese burger even the shittiest fast food place wouldn’t sell, I head back outside and walk to the Art and Science building to eat. Once inside I pound the energy drink down as fast as I can, hoping that the shit tasting cocktail and the drugs will keep me awake long enough to get through the next class. If I decide to even go to that one. My eyes feel like anvils as I eat the only food I will probably have today. A nasty side effect of the drugs is that I don’t eat and in the last couple of months I have lost over twenty pounds. I have always been a little bit heavy set so losing twenty or more pounds really isn’t as drastic as it sounds. Since I can’t afford new clothes no one has really noticed either way, but for once in my life I’m starting to think that I look better than ever. Maybe I will get my own commercial on TV from all the weight I’m losing like that fat fuck did from that restaurant chain or those fat bitches from the eighties. Then again I will probably die and everyone will forget about me. Good lunch, now I’m all set for more drugs. It is best to not have a full stomach or an empty one, this rule stands more tested before bed as the odds of dying in your sleep on your own vomit increase with such activity. I randomly use nearly every bathroom on campus on any given day, I even use the women’s room in the main building once because the men’s was to full. I use the bathroom on the second floor before checking to see what my next class is. Despite my best efforts I am ten minutes late for class, but it is the first day so no one notices. I take my usual place in the back of the room. The teacher, this time a man, passes out the same piece of paper I’m pretty sure I already have detailing what we will be doing in class this semester. It takes me a minute to actually realize that I have in fact seen this paper because I have already taken this class. Maybe it will be easier the second time around, who gives a fuck. I’m starting to feel even more tired now that I know it doesn’t matter.

My drug abuse doesn’t allow me to sleep as often as I would like. My depression and my drugs have very different ideas on the topic, but when I do sleep I dream of many things. I dream that I am a woman in a minivan and I’m emptying a shopping bag onto the passenger seat so I can place it over the head of one of the crying children behind me. I scream things as I hold it there. The words don’t make sense but given the context what would it really matter any way. I dream that I am chasing a school bus in a place that I once lived. The sky is blood red and all I can hear, all I can see is the children laughing before vomiting gallons of blood out the window of the moving bus. The blood washes over me as I run with everything I have. I never reach the bus and it never stops. Wave after wave till finally I give up. I dream of her, touching her, feeling her, fucking her. I roll over after coming and fall off the bed into nothing. I can’t move as I fall and I try to reach for the bed that has long since disappeared in to the darkness. I just keep falling and falling with no end. Farther and farther, and I never stop falling, never stop feeling confused until I wake up. I dream in blood and I dream in liquids. I dream so many things that sometimes it is hard to figure out what has been a dream and what has been reality. I often wake up confused to where I am or if I am even alive anymore. I imagine myself standing in the middle of Times Square with a gun to my head screaming, begging for someone to help, but no one stops to help me. I imagine that I pull the trigger and I can feel the bullet digging into my skull in slow motion so, I can feel every bit of pain as it rips through my head and exits the other side. I snap out of my state and realize that I am now sitting in an empty class room. I wonder if I am awake or am I still dreaming. There is a note that sits in front of me. It is from my teacher, “Maybe next time you can try to make it more than ten minutes before falling asleep.”

I stop by the bathroom one more time before going outside to smoke. I decide to blow the rest of the day off and return to my tomb. I get into my car and I sit there. I can still feel the bullet hole in my head. It is twenty degrees outside, but I don’t turn on the car. I don’t do anything. I just sit there. I sit in my car until I can no longer feel my toes from the cold. I sit there and I feel nothing. I sit here and think of nothing. I take another hit and begin my trip back home.

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It will be spring in hell soon. In most places that means tons of flowers with birds chirping on every tree branch, but in reality, here all it means is bitter fucking cold that forces my dick deep within my body like a turtle hiding in its shell. In many ways I am like a turtle. I am hiding in my house like a drug addict, but that could be because I am one. Not entirely sure about that though, denial seems to be the first step in rationalization of my existence. Spring also means that new classes are starting back up and my hell just continues to warm up to my cold black heart. I’m becoming self-loathing, I can start to feel it again, maybe it’s time for another line or maybe I should just ride these emotions into a brick wall. The ups are down and the downs are up, but my heart keeps ticking until it’s time to self-destruct. Every now and then I find myself listening to certain bands, depending on my moods. Currently I am sad, hope that didn’t come as a surprise, and I have found myself listening to the glorious sounds of destruction, by which I mean Virgin Suicides. I found a long time ago that the pain of another makes my pain go away. When I am in a rare good mood I like to listen to Iell or Red Lantern Core which is strange in itself because they are death metal bands. For some reason I have always been drawn to metal even though my mother never listened to that kind of music or any of my old friends for that matter. Yeah, I had friends once but not for long, so I learned to live without them. If I told you my birthday is in the spring would you believe me? But which month of the spring could it be? Do you really care or am I just a character in your mind? My birthday isn’t for months but already it is weighing on my mind. Growing older is not a feeling anyone could actually enjoy. I am not immune of course even if the last year doesn’t feel any different from the one before it. Somehow I know that I have become older and it bothers me. My birthday isn’t a day I care to live anymore. Not since she left, not since the fact that our first kiss was on that day so many years ago. Yes everything has a way of taking me back to her. A line seems appropriate now and I will. Tears are harder to ignore when they fall next to your drugs. The line doesn’t help but I’m sure it does because I want it too. I was born in the fantastic month of April. If you ever have time to look up how fantastic April really is you’d realize more atrocities happen in April than any other month of the year. It may be a little bias but it’s a gift from God if you choose to believe that. I was supposed to be born in March, fun fact about me, but I just didn’t want to come out, go figure, and I was born several weeks late in the great month of April. Now twenty-two years later I refuse to leave my new womb, so my drug dealer was nice enough to come to my house. He usually doesn’t come to people’s houses, but with me he makes an exception, I pay cash. He doesn’t stay long, something about the rules of the game or some shit. The man fancies himself a gangster in a city of 25,000 old people. It’s quite funny when you stop to think about it. I wonder if he ever stops to think about it? Probably not. He thinks that he is the scariest mother the world has ever seen. Too bad he is a tadpole in a world of sharks, but don’t ever tell him that. In a way I kind of like him and he has become what some people call a friend. Though I think it has more to do with the drugs than anything else and he always brings plenty. I spent most of everything I have saved up over the last few weeks, but I should be good for a while. I will say one thing about the man, he has the best prices in town even if they are the only prices.



Time comes and it goes
It passes by ticking away
It slowly kills us from the inside
Time comes and it goes
Will you stay the same over time?
My mind is like an open sore
Constantly becoming infected by everything around me
Constantly becoming everything that I fear
Time comes and it goes
Where? No one truly knows



As If We Learn From Our Mistakes

I’m so hungry. I ran out of money and can’t afford food. It’s been three days since I have eaten anything of real substance, the last thing I ate was a box of Stove Top. I may have even eaten the box by now but the evidence of such actions are missing. I’m so hungry all I can think about is eating my cats. I won’t, at least not yet so don’t worry your silly little head, but it scares me that I can’t stop thinking about it. The real disturbing thought is which one to eat first? I could always eat their food but that seems wrong in so many ways. I now understand why we put a limit on canned cat food when we have a sale. The thought sickens me so at least I know I am still human. I feel down and out, but I can’t stop. I need help, but I don’t want it. I’m breaking down. I’m losing everything that I thought I had already lost. I’m hurt and alone, but I can’t stop. This is what it must be, what regret feels like. A harsh stab into the chest of nothingness. Tomorrow I’m going to try to sell some of my movies to a pawn shop or anyone who wants them. Nothing matters anymore, I just want the hunger pains to stop. I need them to stop. In the meantime however, I’ll just be thinking of the best way to serve my cats. Quickly realizing that there is no way or it would have already been done.



Paranoia is a Real Bitch

I feel as if I am going to vomit. But as in many cases where throwing up is a way to make it better this is not one of those cases. Vomiting right now would just make it worse. The nauseous feeling in my stomach is only making this trip go even worse than it’s already been. I’m lying in a fetal position on my dirty floor trying of all things to be sober, to make my mind fly straight. To be a normal human being, but only two snorts and a shot could make me feel such a way again. I took something really bad and it is fucking with my mind. I can see her watching me from the other side of the room. She is sitting on the edge of the bed naked with her legs spread. She looks like she is staring at me but she’s really looking past me. Past me, to the two guys she is about to suck and fuck right in front of me as if I am not there. As if she wants me to see this just so I know. I want this nightmare to end. The images play like a movie in my head that I can’t stop. I want to vomit but I can’t. I want it to end and it won’t. I begin to heave as she takes it from behind. Her widening smile as her body quivers with every thrust stabs like a knife. She gives off a silent giggle as she signals for the other man to join in. She looks me dead in the eyes as she takes the other man in her mouth. She is enjoying this and I want to die, and I can. I want her back, but I can’t. I finally vomit on the floor as I listen to her growing moans. I can’t take anymore. My eyes roll back in my head, and I black out. I’ve just survived my first encounter of why I should stop hurting myself.

I wake hours later to find myself lying in a pool of dried vomit. The smell is still strong as it brings me back to reality. The horrible film is no longer playing in my mind. I pick my head up off the floor and feel the blood rush back into my skull. My head is pounding, I can feel each heart beat pounding blood back into my brain. My mouth is dry, I reach for what’s left in the bottle next to me. The alcohol is bitter as it slides past my taste buds, burning my throat. I don’t know what I am doing anymore. I don’t understand what it was that I thought I had ever understood. I’m confused and I don’t know why. I feel myself wanting to get up, but I don’t move I just continue to stare at the wall and wonder why I do this to myself. Something is wrong, but I don’t want to admit it and I don’t want to succumb to it like I have with everything else in my life. I’m too proud to do anything about what I have made myself into. After what seems like hours of trying, I finally do get up, and I walk into the kitchen to get the dust pan. I clean up my mess from the night before and the days before that. My sobriety doesn’t last long however because with all things in my life my mind begins to slip back into my depression. I move as if I didn’t almost die. My life is in ruins yet somehow the drugs make it livable even if it just for one more day. I lay on the freshly stripped bed staring into the ceiling wondering how far off my vision from the night before is from the truth of what is going on. There is a theory that once two people are together long enough they begin to tap into some unexplainable plane of mind. The two beings begin to share pain or visions of thought. Is that what happened last night? Or was everything only in my mind? I try to push all the hurt away and call her again. I need her to answer. I need her now more than ever. The phone rings and rings, but no one answers. No one ever answers on the other end anymore. The madness grows like a scar over my mind. Harden, thick, but always destroyed, always ugly.


Purgatory Part 2

“You know who I want to hear from?” After a very long awkward pause the voice continues, “I would like to hear from Franklin. Would you like to share today Franklin.” “It’s Frank dipshit,” the man riddled with bullet holes stands up. “You don’t have to stand up Franklin,” Sylvia says before laughing. Frank slams his body back into the seat, “Do I have a choice?” “Of course you have a choice. Being here isn’t punishment. Being here is to help you.” Frank shifts in his seat, “Yeah okay cause it sure as hell feels like punishment. We either talk or we have to go sit out there with the rest of the freaks waiting to come back in here. Not a whole lot of options for us here. Despite her smart ass comments I’m with Sylvia on this place. This is all bullshit, but I want out of here so what do you want to hear?” “Why do you think that you are here?” the figure asks him like he just volunteered to die or that in some way this was all optional. Thanks for taking twenty plus bullets to the chest and coming here. Would you mind filling out a small survey? Would you recommend this place to a friend? I’m starting to agree with Sylvia more and more myself. “I am here because those pig fuckers shot the shit out of me.” Frank tries to grab his shirt to show the figure his bullet holes, but he can’t and he quickly gives up. “There has to be a reason they shot at you.” “Yeah cause I was trying to get a little cash for my family.” “Oh yeah that’s real rich their Frankie. That totally justifies the reason you tried to rob a bank,” the business man blurts out as he shakes his head in disbelieve. “Fuck you old man. I did what I had to do to get by.” “Well what you did was against the law that’s why they shot your ass.” “Howard please let Frank speak you can have your turn when he is done,” the figure explains. “I was simply commenting on what Frank was saying.” “The freak said shut the fuck up lard ass.” These people are insane and I try to stay calm through all of it. I want to start getting upset too, but I know that it won’t help any of this. Frank starts back up with his story, “Anyways I took a bullet or two and now I’m here paying for my sins or whatever.” “Is that what you truly believe Frank?” The figure asks him. “I said it didn’t I? So yeah that’s what I fucking believe.” Frank looks over at Sylvia, “You think the freak’s got a brain under there? Cause he is pretty stupid.” Sylvia still isn’t talking and pretends that Frank isn’t even talking. “That’s not a very nice thing to say Frank, but are you done?” “Yeah I am.” “Can I say a few things?” “Like I give a shit,” Frank crosses his arms. “You really need to stop holding in all this blame and anger towards others. Realize that you might be the cause of your own misfortunes. No one told you to rob that bank or take those people hostage Frank. You made all those decisions yourself and you need to forgive yourself before it consumes you any farther.” “I didn’t shoot anybody you fucking freak. I didn’t shoot no body and yet here the fuck I am,” Frank screams causing everyone in the room to jump a little bit. As we all watch Frank place his head in his hands I think that this all sounds rather familiar to me somehow. The figure says nothing back to Frank and Frank doesn’t lash out as he walks to the corner of the room. Another somber moment in a place that is nothing but.

Breaking the silence. “I have a question for you. What are you?” I ask the figure. The hooded figure sits motionless and I try to look under the hood. Looking for eyes, a mouth, anything that could confirm what it is. All I find is darkness. Beth places her hand on my knee, “You can’t ask it things about itself.” “Why not?” I question. “It is just the way it is sweetie,” she shrugs at me. “What do you think it is?” I ask the group. “I think it’s a freak,” Frank shouts from the corner of the room. “Yeah we know,” Sylvia shouts back as she rolls her eyes. “We think it is the grim reaper or our idea of a grim reaper,” she says to me. The hooded figure finally speaks, “Howard you had something you wanted to say earlier?” We go on as if no one had said anything at all about the figure. “Ah, yes I did. I wanted to tell the group my story.” “Oh dear God,” Sylvia blurts out before going silent once again. She stares at her gashes. She traces the outline of the cut on her left arm with her finger. “My dear Sylvia, such a pretty name, James has yet to hear my story,” Howard says before turning to face me. He locks eyes with me and I can’t help but to not look right at him for his story. I’m more interested in hearing Frank’s story and trying to figure out why it sounds so familiar to me. Respect for others forces me to put that in the back of my mind as I listen to this old man’s tale.

By the way Howard speaks to me and the rest of the group it is as if he is selling us his story. “I have always been a salesman. From the time I was a small child selling candy on the school yard playground and until the moment I found myself here. I sell that’s what I do. It is in my blood, in my DNA. Hell I even convinced my neighbor to purchases my father’s lawn mower once. Slightly used I told him. My father was so pissed. I had to give my neighbor his ten dollars back. That was a lot of money back then, but with everything there is always something to be learned. I learned right then and there that with a strong enough pitch, a kind smile, and a great deal you can sell anything. I also learned to not sell my father’s things as well,” Howard chuckles. “Howard how did you die again?” Sylvia asks and he ignores. “If this story doesn’t end with you choking on a dick. I know I’m going to be disappointed by this story.” I try to not laugh or move my face in any way. “Always be selling became my motto by the time I was out of high school. I was such a good sales man I didn’t even have to go to college. I had, had a job since I was old enough to acquire one, and with my great talent and passion I was able to move up to head of the sales team in no time. I remember the days of the sale, out there on the open road selling my amazing products from customer to customer, city to city. These were the days before personal computers, the days were a phone call was only used to catch up when a letter would not suffice. Not like today where you kids have your gadgets glued to your hands. You kids today could learn a thing or two from talking face to face the way God intended for us to talk to one another. No these were the good old days, the all or nothing days, the days when making a living meant working your ass to the bone and asking for more.” “We fucking get it old man, Jesus.” “How are you Frank? You could learn thing or two as well from my story.” “Yeah like what? Cause I’m already dead dumb ass.” “You could afford to learn a little thing called respect and about working hard. Not just sitting on your ass and taking what’s not yours.” “It wasn’t like that,” Frank walks back over to the group. “You tried to rob a bank to get money that wasn’t yours that’s how it was Frank,” Howard says to the group looking for reassurance. “Wait a second, that was you,” I say. “That was me what?” “That was you who tried to rob some bank in Atlanta?” “Yeah so what?” Frank asks. “It was all over the national news. That happened months ago or at least I think it was months ago. No one else saw the story?” they all stare at me as though I am crazy. “I meant before you all died?” “Well it was against the law that’s why it was all over the news and that’s why they shot you so many times. How many times do I have to say that before you understand?” “Shut up Howard I’m talking to the new guy. What do you mean it was all over the national news?” Frank asks me. “It was ever where or so I thought. I’m trying to remember what all happened. It happened months ago, but I remember hearing about how three or four cops were suspended and then fired for using excessive force because you didn’t even rob the bank with a real gun or something. Plus there was something about the fact that the dead hostage wasn’t your fault either.” “Who killed him then?” Howard asks. “Apparently one of the officers thought they had a shot or was trying to be a hero. Well the gun fire scared the old man and he fainted on to the floor.” “I told him to stay down, but he wouldn’t listen so I started shouting and then the noise went off.” “Right well I guess in the confusion the cops thought you shot him so they all started firing on you. Turns out the man would have been fine, but they shot him and injured three others firing on you.” Frank stands there stunned and silent. He looks as though some revelation has come over him. “Is that all that happened?” Sylvia asks me. “Was I on the news too?” “I don’t remember,” I tell her. “After that band killed themselves and everything that followed the news stopped reporting on suicides. They even stopped reporting on suicide bombers in the Middle East. Anything to try and stop people from killing themselves.” “That fucking band. That band fucking sucked anyways,” Sylvia crosses her arms and leans back into her chair. “What about my family?” Frank asks me. “What happened to my family?” “The last I heard they were suing the city along with the other families, but beyond that I can’t remember anything,” I tell him. “Frank how does that news make you feel?” The figure asks. “I feel. I feel better. For the first time since I have died. I finally feel better about everything. It might have been worth it. I knew what I did was wrong but I didn’t even have a weapon. I took a toy gun that I painted black. I figured worst case I’d get some jail time. I never thought that I would die. It was a mistake. It was all a mistake.” Frank turn to me, “Thank you James. Thank you so very much.” “You’re welcome Frank. I mean I didn’t do anything,” I say shyly. All I did was repeat the news on TV. Frank begins to weep and cover his tearless face with his hands. “Frank,” the figure says in a light voice unlike its self. Frank looks up from his hands and his face is covered with small streams of tears. “You may leave now Frank. Exit the room and continue down the hall. At the end of the hall there is one last door. It will look like a wall with a handle. Once you touch the handle you will know what to do.” Frank wipes the tears from his face as we all sit and stare. Everyone is very confused as to what is happening. Frank turns to me once again, “Thank you James.” The bullet holes, the blood, the wounds disappear as Frank stands up and walks to the door. The room is silent as he exits, but the second he is gone the whole room erupts with noise. All the noise is a collection of different questions with all the same intentions. What else do you know? Everyone is out of their chairs and standing in front of me demanding answers. “I don’t know, I don’t know,” is all I repeat. “Enough questions everyone,” the figure says in its usual tone. “James is not the reason behind Frank’s ascension to the next level. James doesn’t hold the secret clues or answers to why you have died or are still here. Each and every one of you hold those keys. That is enough for today. Next time we will start with Howard again,” the figure gestures to the open door. “What? Why? Let’s just power through this. I mean we made real progress today.” “Can’t we stay for a little bit longer?” “Yeah we want to stay.” “I’m sorry but we are done for today.” “This is bullshit.” “Give it a rest will you Sylvia,” Beth says as she stands up. No one waits for the figure to get to the door this time. Again I am the last to leave the room. “I’m sorry if I offended you earlier by ask you what you are,” I tell the figure. “It is alright James. You have questions that want answers. Demand them even, but maybe it is you who need to wonder what you are?” Confused I exit the room. The door slamming behind me.

Sylvia is waiting for me in the hallway. “That was some trippy shit wasn’t it?” She asks me. “Yeah I guess. This whole place is trippy if you ask me. How long have you been here?” “No idea, it’s hard to tell time in a place with no windows or concept of it. When did that band die?” “Sometime last year,” I say to her. “So I have been here almost a year.” “And this is the first time you’ve seen some one pass over?” I ask. “Yeah, it was. But I mean I’ve heard of other people passing over or going away from other groups. So personally this was my first. I guess this place isn’t a bunch of bull shit after all.” “What do you think happens after we pass over?” “Fuck if I know. I didn’t even think that this was going to happen.” “Yeah me either,” I say staring at the floor. “Cheer up will you. You are about to be pretty fucking popular here after what just happened. Word gets around,” she smiles at me. “How? No one even talks around here.” “Are you kidding me? Some people don’t ever shut the fuck up.” “Yeah okay,” I huff as we make it back to the waiting area. “Where do you normally sit?” Sylvia asks me. I point to the far right corner. “Yeah we all got to start somewhere. That’s the newbies corner so course they are going to not talk. Those people are scared. Not far from that we have Freaksville. That’s where the messed up one go after they have been here awhile. If you aren’t messed up than you don’t belong there so don’t bother going. Then you have general pockets of people that haven’t been here that long. See over here and over there,” she points. “Why are you telling me all of this?” I ask. “Why the hell not? Lastly that side of the room is mostly filled with the people that have been here the longest. They are not the nicest of people. Real assholes if you ask me,” she walks me over to where she usually sits. “If this is Purgatory than where are the children?” I ask. “No idea. Take a seat.” I take a seat next to her as I look around the room. Already there are a lot of eyes looking in our directions. Sylvia gives off a little laugh and a fake smile, “See just like I told you.” “You weren’t kidding.” “Nope, you are going to be very popular. Too bad you don’t have anything to show for it. Might here some good stories though.” “Who’s that guy sitting over there with all the tattoos?” I ask her. “The one who’s staring you down like you’re a piece of meat at an all you can eat dinner?” “Umm, yeah that guy.” “That’s Layne Ambrose. Stay away from him if you can. That man’s got some real serious issues. He’s already been kicked out of several groups. I heard he even tried to bite someone in the one of the groups.” “We can do that?” “Bite some one? No we can’t do that James were not vampires. Though that would make this strangely worth it all. The most we can do is touch, but it’s pointless because we can’t feel it. We can’t do much of anything in this hell hole.” “Tell me about it. What about those two girls over there?” I ask. “What about them?” “What’s their story?” “How am I supposed to know?” She punches me in the arm, “You got a crush?” My arm stings a little, “No.” “You didn’t have a lot of friends when you were alive did you?” “No, not really,” I say awkwardly. “Yeah, that’s because you ask too many damn questions.”

Drinking Bleach is my first collection of short stories from my earlier days… It is a mixed genre book filled with short stories, poems, micro stories, and more… From the early days of Chewing On Glass to the first story I ever wrote… This book covers a lot of ground… As always available on Kindle… Don’t have a Kindle?… That’s okay… Enjoy thousands of books right from your desktop, smart phone, or tablet with the Kindle app… Now available in paper back…

Purgatory Part 1

Purgatory Part 1

“The blood leaks from the holes in my chest. My white shirt fills with red, a stain I will never forget, as the bloody shirt clings to my chest. I can remember trying to raise my head up. I can remember trying to understand what is happening to me, but it is as though my body can’t function. Trapped, I feel trapped, and I feel cold. I feel so many things at once. Yet all I can do is watch as even more blood comes from my chest. Then everything goes blank. The thinking stops. The trying stops. Everything stops and the next thing I know I’m sitting in a room full of strangers to be what I guess is sorted. I’m confused and now I am here where ever here is, is where I am. I don’t understand why I am here. Why am I here?”

“Let me just start by saying that was some really good sharing James, and to answer your question. We are all here to work out our issues so we can pass to the other side.” The hooded figure continue to tell me something about this place and why I am here, but it is all too much. This is all too confusing to process in one go. Am I alive or am I dead? Is there anything such as death if I am here? I interrupt the figure, “Pass on where? Where am I passing onto? So I am dead?” The voice continues to talk from under the hood never showing its face or any emotion, “Yes James you are dead. We all are in this room and I can understand that, that may be hard for you to take in all at once, but I encourage you to ask any questions you might have. As far as passing on I really have no defiant answer to that question. I don’t have a say on whether you go to heaven or hell. I am only here to help you move on to either one.” The woman to my left who is probably more in line with being a girl interrupts the figure, “There’s no such thing as passing on to either one. We already died. This is all there is left. You just make us come here to this room and talk out our feelings so we can’t revolt and take over or some shit.” She gets absurdly angry and throws the chair she was sitting on at the wall behind her. “This is all just bull shit. Either that or you suck at your job. Which one is it?” She continues to rave at the figure without a face. The hooded figure never shows any sign of emotion as he talks to her, “Sylvia please calm down, you of all people should know that this is not helping you to pass on.” “Pass on? How the fuck long have I been here? Years, months, forever and I have never seen anyone pass on once. We just keep coming here and coming here.” “Sylvia there is no such thing as time. We have been over this before. It takes as long as it will take,” the figure says calmly. “Because there is no passing on you faceless fucking asshole. This is hell. This is fucking purgatory,” she screams at the figure. “That’s right,” a man sitting to the left on the figure says. “You are right this is purgatory, but this is not hell,” he nods his head in a matter of fact kind of way. “This is purgatory? I’m in purgatory. What the hell is going on? I’m supposed to be in class tomorrow. At least I think I am,” I interject. “Oh my god, yes you dumb ass. I already hate the new guy. What have you been here for like ten minutes and you haven’t realized you’re dead? You have three holes in your chest Brian. What did you pull the trunk and nothing happened?” Sylvia screams at me. “That is enough Sylvia. James has recently died and this is all new to him. In fact this is enough for now. Let’s all go to the waiting room and meet back here later,” the hooded figure doesn’t wait for a response as he opens the door. “Fine with me,” Sylvia is the first one to storm out of the room. She doesn’t look like she could be more than nineteen or could have been nineteen seems to be more appropriate. The next one to leave the room is a slightly overweight man dressed in a business suit. He tries to shake the hand of the hooded figure, but he politely declines. The man smiles none the less and wish the figure a good day as he exits the room. I still haven’t left my seat as the rest of them shuffle out of the room without a fuss. I can’t stop staring at my chest. My blood is still there on my shirt a stain that seems like it will never come off. “James you have to leave now. I know that this must be hard to take in, but it will get better the more you come here.” I stare at the hooded figure for a few seconds before nodding my head. I still have one more question as I walk out of the room. “How will I know to come back?” “I will page you,” the hooded figure closes the door without another word.

What is time when you are dead? There is no sense of it in this place. There is only waiting and it feels like forever. There’s no place to go, nothing to see, nothing at all. All there is, is a waiting room filled with chairs not the kind of chairs that are soft, warm, and inviting. More like those hard plastic my ass is going to hurt for days on end kind of chairs. The ones with the four bolts on the back and four bolts on the seat that are always dark blue. Even though I don’t feel pain I feel as if I do. Besides these shitty chairs there are the other people. No one is really talking to one another though. The ones that are talking seem less scared than the rest of us. We were all either taught that this place is for sinners or that to end up here was a bad thing. Some of us might not even have a clue as to what this place is. But here we all are good or bad we are all trapped in the middle, waiting. Every minute? Every now and then I guess there always seems to be someone new in the room. The room, Christ this room is larger than any waiting area I have ever been. It could hardly be called a room more like a lobby. Though there has to be more than one of these down here? Because there is no way that this is all the dead people. The size and scope of this place only adds to the crazy fact that it is nearly silent. I start tapping my foot which only seems to upset those around me. Scanning the room once again for anyone I might recognize I spot Sylvia. She sits on the opposite side of the room from me all alone. She is rubbing her wrist staring at the gashes. Her writs are stained with blood and each gash looks fresh. I didn’t notice them before probably because the cuts and the blood stains almost look like makeup more than flesh wounds. This all becomes more and more real. This isn’t a dream and not a nightmare this is my life now. The figure said it wasn’t permanent, but it feels more and more so the longer I stare at her. How long has she been here? How long will I have to be here? Even from this distance I can see the insides of her arms as she displays them out in front of her. She looks up and we lock eyes. Only for a second too scared she will go off again I stare at the floor. BY the time that I look up again she has moved out of my view. I search the room for her from my seat. I guess we all are having a hard time with this. I know I am having a hard time with all of this. It is like being in the most boring place in the world or being drunk with nothing to do. My mind tries to process new things or new thoughts but it can’t because I can’t stop thinking about my death. If I don’t try really hard to focus or think about something else my mind automatically goes back to thinking about the holes in my chest. I don’t want to think about that anymore. I want to understand where I am. All of this is very frustrating and makes being here even more horrible than it already is. I don’t see her so I stop looking.

Every now and then someone new comes in and it makes me feel that much more alone. Sometimes the new people are really messed up. Earlier a guy came in with a piece of glass stuck through his skull. His face was covered in blood. He looked like he could have been the singer for a death metal band or the winner for best costume at a Halloween party. Another guy was dressed in a uniform and I couldn’t tell which one because of all the burn damage to his body. If I could cry I would have for cried for him. His body looked like it had been hit by an explosive at close range. Part of his face was completely ripped back away from his skull. A flap of skin bouncing as he walked, as he turned his head, as he moved. His left arm was completely gone. Nothing left but a bloody stump made up of bone and burnt flesh. Most of his uniform was charred black like most of the still attached skin. We are all dead but most of us don’t look like a walking corpse. I felt bad for him. Even more so as I watched him try to cry but we can’t. We don’t cry and we don’t bleed. He didn’t deserve whatever it is that happened to him no matter what side of the fight he was on. No one deserves to die that way. No one should have to sit here with the rest of us looking like that, feeling like that. The more grotesque your death means no one wants to sit next to you in this room. Somethings never change even in death. The solider sits alone in the far corner of the room. There are a lot of empty chairs for the size of the room. Reserved for in case of a catastrophe maybe. Despite all the horror that covers most of us the room is extremely clean like in a hospital. This room is empty besides us and the chairs there is nothing in this room. No windows, no one to ask how much longer, no one to ask if we can leave, no doors to leave from, and nothing on the walls. I mean how many great artist have died since the dawn of time? They couldn’t get one to draw something on the walls? The room is next to silent unless a voice calls out names and what room to report to. The voice sounds very much if not exactly like the hooded figures voice, very calm and airy. I don’t believe it is the same hooded figure as the one I have met because there is more than one room being called out, but after what I have seen in my time of waiting anything is possible. I hear my name in the familiar voice and it tells me to report to room forty-six. I don’t get up right away, but when I hear Sylvia’s name get called I stand up and search for her. Turns out she had been sitting a few rows back behind me. I quickly shuffle off to meet her at the hallway entrance. I follow right behind her down the long and only hall way here. The hall way seems like it goes on forever. It is nothing more than a long tunnel with rooms on either side. Despite the fact the hall way is very well lit I can’t see the end. The end is filled with darkness and as we keep moving down the hall the darkness stays the same. It doesn’t take long until we arrive to our assigned room. The door is already open when we get there. The hooded figure is waiting by the door identical to how it was when we left. Its voice is the same as it welcomes us back as we enter the room and take our seats.

I pay more attention to the room this time around, but it is just as blank and bare as the waiting room. There are no windows in here as well only more of those damn chairs. There are only ten chairs in this room but I heard six names called along with mine. I am in the same seat that I was in last time I came here and so has Sylvia. The business man has taken a seat two chairs to my right and a thin woman who looks like she was in her forties takes the seat next to me. The thin lady is wearing a flower house dress with a massive blood stain in the back. It looks as though a knife was dug into her back. It is hard to make out all the cuts because of how much the dress sticks to her back from the blood. She sees me staring at her wounds and sits so her back is completely against the seat of the chair. Embarrassed I look away. A man in his twenty’s occupies a seat across from me closer to Sylvia. He looks to have died in a similar fashion as me. The front of his body is littered with bullet holes only unlike me he was wearing black on the day that he died. Had I known maybe I would have too. But what would I really wear on the day that I knew I was going to die? What would I have even done? Clothing is so strange here it is almost like it is part of us. We can’t take it them off or clean them or even move them. Though I did see someone who was wearing a jacket and they were able to take their arms out of the sleeves, but that was about it. Otherwise we have to sit in what we wore on the day we died and it makes me wonder if the bullets are still in me? Did someone take them out? Then I remember the man with the piece of glass stuck in his head. I looked to my chest and get lost once again in the reality of it all. “We are waiting for one more,” the voice informs us from the door. Out of the darkness of the hall a young woman walks into the room. The door like a granite slab slams closed behind her. At first she doesn’t know where to sit, but she take a seat next to me on my right. Despite the large gashes on her throat she is very beautiful and looks as though she could have been an actress or a model, and maybe she was. I never paid that much attention to things like that. Never really paid attention to anyone really. “Hello everyone, how are we feeling?” The figure asks us as it takes a seat at the head of the circle. Everyone lets out a strange noise in replace of a greeting before the figure starts to talk again, “As always I would like to start the meeting off with any questions any of you might have?” “Yeah when the fuck am I getting out of this shit hole?” Sylvia asks. “Language Sylvia, I see you are going to start up early with questions you already know the answers to, and you know when you are ready you can pass over.” “How will we know when we are ready?” I ask. “That’s difficult to say James. The goal here is to answer any questions, concerns, or conflicts you still have inside of you. In order to pass over any of those issues need to be resolved, so that you can enter with a clean conscious.” “How are we supposed to do that? I don’t get it,” I tell the figure. “I’m glad you asked. You and everyone here can achieve this goal by sharing with us your thoughts and feelings.” “That simple?” I ask. “That simple,” the figure answers back. “Okay, why am I here? That’s the only question I have.” “No it’s not James and you know that even if you don’t think you do. The idea is to look deep inside yourself. The process is never easy and it can take many visits,” the figure explains. “So you mean I could be here forever in a sense?” I ask scared and even more confused. “This is all bullshit that is all you need to know,” Sylvia blurt out. “Sylvia please some of us are actually trying to move on here,” the older woman in the flowery dress finally speaks up. “Very positive,” the figure reassures her. “Oh my god, Elizabeth you need to shut up. You don’t even think you are dead for fucks sake.” “That’s because I’m not dear and how many more times do I have to tell you to call me Beth?” “I don’t know maybe a couple more times Elizabeth.” “You know what you are young lady?” Elizabeth raises her voice in anger. “You are a snot nose little brat. That is what you are.” “Ladies please this is not helping,” the figure attempts to interject. “Well you’re a bitch Elizabeth and that’s probably why your husband stabbed you as many times as he did,” Sylvia fires right back. “Yeah well at least I didn’t have to kill myself to get some attention. How does it make you feel knowing it was all for nothing?” The beautiful girl begins to weep without tears. “That’s not why I killed myself you old whore. I killed myself because I was done with life and I was ready to move on.” “Oh whatever, you are such a little drama queen Sylvia. I am truly amazed that you were starved for attention.” “Ladies please stop this now, you are upsetting Karen.” “Karen is always upset,” they say in unison. Holy shit welcome to meeting number two it is no wonder that it takes so long to pass over. After that final outburst both Sylvia and Elizabeth refrain from saying or even looking at one another. The figure however continued, “Are you okay Karen?” “I’m fine,” is all she is able to whimper out after a moment of silence. Her voice is amazingly soft and quiet and I wonder if this is from her death or if that is her natural voice. “Do you feel like sharing today?” She shakes her head no and the voice moves on. The hooded figure never pushes any of us into talking. It simply asks a question and we have to decide how or if we answer. Sometimes the figure feels almost human with its soft calming voice. I wonder if it once was or is something else entirely.

Part 2 tomorrow…Skip ahead by picking up your digital copy or printed copy at Amazon… 

Broken Thoughts Love Edition


Quickly realizing I don’t write a lot if anything about love… Been digging through everything I have to find stories, poems, thoughts about love and I am coming up empty… Oddly enough Valentines Day is one of my favorite holidays… I like hearts… One of my favorite design logos is the main logo for Alkaline Trio… My two favorite holidays are Valentines and Halloween… Both are commercial holidays which again conflicts with my beliefs about commercialism… Commercialism is… Stop… Stop… must think about love… A bewildering emotion that comes and goes… Doesn’t last forever… but then does anyone really know?… Smashing my head into the keyboard…

Love is… a dangerous thing… it can make you do things you never thought you would ever do… Love can drag you through the depths of hell… it can make you feel as though heaven is a place here on earth… fuck it… today I’m not going to be cynical… I’m not going to shit on everything… I’m not in the mood… close your mouth…  prepare your anus… the cosmos wants me to tell a love story… then I’ll tell a god damn love story… 

My wife and I met when we were young… stupid… and had no ideas for the future… No plans… a few unrealistic dreams that have long since withered and died… I’m not a famous rock star… hell I’m barely a shitty writer… hang on to those dreams kids… the point is we were just being kids… we dated for about a week… I use the word dated very loosely… we hung out maybe twice in that week… haha… our first date was at my seventeenth birthday party… My mom threw a surprise party for me with everyone that we knew… all my friends were there of course… some of my mom’s friends… some people I knew around where I hung out… It was one hell of a party… but none of it mattered… because the one person I never expected to be there… was there… it was as though everything else didn’t exist… didn’t matter…

Jumping ahead… you need context… you need to understand… that this wasn’t just a random meeting set up by my mother and friends… I had first seen my wife a year and a half before… we lived in the same area… turns out across the street from each other… but we took separate buses… I’m early for everything… first to class… first to leave… first on the bus… I am the white rabbit… except I learned my lesson… never be late… so I’m sitting on the bus.. listening to my depressing music… and this girl walks by… slow motion… everything stops… the music disappears… catching a theme here?… as I watch her walk by… I memorize her face… I hope she gets on my bus… and I am crushed when she doesn’t… destroyed but only a little… tomorrow I will find out who she is… It was the first week of high school… I figured I’ll see her in the halls… then I didn’t… I looked… every day… never saw her…

The high school I went to was tiny… it was actually a middle school and high school all in one… Not seeing her in the halls is not all that shocking… I found out later that is because she is younger than me… so I didn’t see her… for a long time… so I “forgot” about her… started dating other girls… mostly older girls… I took advanced classes in high school… a year or more goes by and I see her from time to time… but still, I don’t talk to her because I’m shy… Because I’m in a relationship… because of reasons… then one winter someone I know… knows her and invites her to hang out… lucky for me it was cold outside… because I’m pretty sure my face was red the whole time… My shyness kicked in… my insecurities of how much of a loser I am… they were all on high that day… here I was hanging out with her… who was she?… who am I?… what do I say?… I say nothing… finally after all this time… I say nothing…

That was the best day on a long list of best days… but all that I knew at the time was that I wanted to see to her again… the search was on… I found out her name through the acquaintance we had… but I don’t run into her…. I need to run into her… so… the school we went to had its own email set up thing… it was really basic… shitty… and a pain in the ass to use… you young kids don’t know how easy you have it… So I email her… sent her my credentials for good old MSN Messenger… and I said something cool… like do you want to hang out sometime?… I was very smooth for my age… meanwhile… I got heavy into Nine Inch Nails and industrial music that year before… Shaved my head… everything except my bangs… which I grew down to my chest and dyed black… black fingernail polish… miss that so much… lip ring… and “arm socks”… fishnets if I was lucky… my mother approved of everything but the fishnets… whole other story… I waited days for a response… a lifetime in teen years… and all it said was… yes….

Then my birthday came up… my friends invited her to the party… no idea what happened at the party…because we were holding hands… honestly didn’t care about the party… I walked her home… and just before we got there.. we had our first kiss… I was already hooked on this girl… but after that kiss I was ready to die… it was as PG as you could get… but in my head… in my memory… it was like a god damn nuclear explosion… so when we broke up a week later it wasn’t the best time of my life… As much as I wanted to be with her… and turns out she wanted to be with me… the age thing got in the way… It made things awkward… Being older… “more experienced”… there were things I knew about.. hint.. hint.. that I was afraid would happen… I didn’t want her to feel pressured into things… turns out she didn’t want to be pressured into anything either… of course, neither of us knew that… the communication channel was basically shut down… we are both very shy… so when we were in person… neither of us would talk… had she known all that other adult shit didn’t matter to me… that I was happy just to be around her… we might have stayed together longer…

We still remained friends… she added me to MSN… we talked every night… then one day she had to move… leaving out details… but her parents found new jobs… common for where I lived and what our parents did for work… we were young… I’d never been in love… I’m sure she hadn’t either… I didn’t know I was even in love… I thought nothing of my feelings for her… thought that they were normal everyday feelings… until the day she left… until the day I never thought I would see her again… the day my heart was ripped from my chest… then I knew… I knew what love was… what it could be… who it was for… that I needed to be with her… it would be almost three years until I would see her again… and every day I waited was worth it….