Those Fleeting Moments

During that long hot summer there was always a house to drink at. Boisterous, drunken affairs that always seemed to wind down to quiet conversations in small, shadowy corners. The air that hung over everything seemed dark and heavy.

She attended a few of the parties that summer but he never paid her much attention. One night he stumbled upon her as he stepped outside to take a piss. She was seated on a quiet back patio and she invited him to sit with her. They talked and got drunk as the warm night slowly cooled.

They eventually made their way inside to a smattering of bodies lazily draped across each other on couches, beds and floors. In a front room they held each other close and caressed one another until dawn broke pale through a picture window and he heard her snoring in his arms.

Over the next few months she was vigilant to be with him.

They sat outside her apartment one rainy night and he told her things he never told anyone. She held him and stroked his shaved head as the rain beat on the hood of the car. The windows fogged and their breaths steamed in the cool humidity.

Eventually she gave up on him and those meaningful yet fleeting emotions that seemed just out reach. She was the first person that gave him hope and made him believe in something bigger. His gratitude dissipated into the ether and he hoped she understood how much those fleeting moments meant to him.

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Contractors Don’t Eat Nachos

While working at the data slaughterhouse I kept a semi-regular notebook where I drew, wrote inane drivel and otherwise zoned out of meetings that could have been emails. Below is an excerpt from one such meeting with a particular consultant I held deep contempt for. Enjoy. 

Old man on teleconference. His voice echoes, cell phone breaks up. Is he taking a shit right now? His voice strains now as his aged bowels push to evacuate the Metamucil he choked down this morning. When was the last time he digested a solid meal? A steak, potatoes and some broccoli? French toast, scrambled eggs and bacon? A cheeseburger, french fries and a chocolate milkshake? Could his ancient, rumbling GI tract withstand a hard punch? I long to feel the pleasure of my knuckles connecting with his old, weakened solar plexus; his diseased stomach full of prune juice and bile rupturing into his bloodstream. I long to destroy his ability to digest even the feeblest of meals. The phone muffles and I imagine he arises from his porcelain savior. Did he just wipe ass? I’m happy I can eat nachos whenever I want.

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Comforting Cold

He awoke in dark bedroom laying in a heap next to a passed out girl he had never met before. They were both clothed, which was disappointing. He attempted to rouse her to ask her where they were. She didn’t move. He checked to see if she was still breathing and then stumbled out of the room and into the chaos of a raging party.

The apartment was small and packed with people. Music blasted making it difficult to think clearly. Smoke hung at eye level like an ominous fog. Around him he saw familiar faces. His body felt heavy, like a gravitational shift occurred the moment he walked out of the bedroom.

He made his way outside to a biting yet comforting cold. He walked down stairs and was surprised to see snow covering a vast parking lot. The flakes fell softly and quietly and the party became distant.

The quiet was almost deafening. He couldn’t tell if his ears were ringing from the party or from the silence. He trudged along in the snow and found his way to the street. It was deserted in both directions and the street lights cast a haunting glow over the white landscape.

He walked down the middle of the street for a long time, his feet crunching with each step. He fumbled in his pocket for a cigarette and lit it. He took a long drag and spit, his saliva seemingly freezing before it the ground.

He then cursed as he tried to remember what happened to his coat.

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The Senseless Emptiness

He stared across the bar as he took one long sip from a lukewarm glass of whiskey. The liquor in his system produced a wicked combination of agitation and unease and he felt the urge to light a cigarette and strike up a conversation with the drunk girl sitting next to him.

His friends were somewhere else in the packed room, and he enjoyed the brief, albeit loud, solitude. A thick layer of smoke hung overhead and he motioned to the bartender for another drink. As he attempted to light his cigarette, the drunk girl bumped into him and he dropped it onto the floor. He felt indifferent as it was ground into the moist floorboards. He looked over at the drunk girl and a wave of disgust washed over him as her head bobbed back and forth as she whispered “Sorry.” Her friend caught her as she almost fell off the back of the barstool.

He rubbed his eyes until they burned and tried to remember what day it was. Wednesday? Friday? The days were running together lately and he had almost forgotten what it was like to notice.

His friends were wrapped up in the night and drinking like conquering heroes completely unaware of who they were. The senseless emptiness of it all hit him hard as he walked back into the crowd with a fresh glass of whiskey.

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Burrito Man

While working at the data slaughterhouse I kept a semi-regular notebook where I drew, wrote inane drivel and otherwise zoned out of meetings that could have been emails. Below is an excerpt from one such meeting with a particular consultant I held deep contempt for. Enjoy. 

The Burrito Man is here. Like cattle we move quicker than we do all day long to inhale his horrible treats. To us chubby, chain-smoking, alcoholic welfare whores; his burritos are our cocaine. Pull that salsa out of your Ziploc bag, Burrito Man. Your burritos are garbage and I won’t even eat them hungover. Which I am.

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Corporate Angst

While working at the data slaughterhouse I kept a semi-regular notebook where I drew, wrote inane drivel and otherwise zoned out of meetings that could have been emails. Below is an excerpt from one such meeting with a particular consultant I held deep contempt for. Enjoy. 

His body surges with adrenaline as he leaps across the table and connects his fist to the old man’s lower jaw. A mouthful of blood and teeth spray on the meeting room window. Another blow quickly collapses the old man’s nose and a hard cracking noise echoes in the room as his sinus cavity explodes behind the velocity of his knuckles. His laughs maniacally as a flurry of fists reign down upon the old man’s now limp body. Blood streams in long, splattering waves over movements of wildly flailing arms and fists that result in sickening thuds. He stops when he realizes the beating hurts his swollen hands more than it hurts the old man. He arises, covered in blood, hair and tooth enamel to finally notice the horrified looks frozen on the faces of the employees in the room. The old man lay prostate on the floor gurgling incomprehensible phrases through fluid and broken teeth. He closes his eyes and feels satisfaction. He doesn’t hear the doors open. He doesn’t feel it when the police officers tackle him to the floor. In this moment, he realizes he is too pretty for prison.

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Dancing Into Oblivion

The first night he first met her he saw her dancing from afar at a party. Swaying drunkenly to some soft, emotionless, radio-friendly anthem that she later told him was deep and meaningful to her. As the empty pop music spoke to her, she turned the wood paneled basement into her private dance floor.

No one else at the party was dancing but that didn’t stop her. She moved across the musty carpet and people watched her as they absently drank watered down beer and cheap wine. Groups of drunk girls in dark corners took languid pulls from their cigarettes and whispered to one another. He imagined they were judging her because she seemed more free than they were.

She wasn’t smart, or unique, or even beautiful. But she seemed different.

He pulled her aside and struck up a conversation. Later she would tell him that night was filled with poetry and magic. In a dusty laundry room on a concrete floor, they came together over a pack of cigarettes and red Solo cups full of keg beer.

It started the way he imagined all great love affairs do. Late nights that turned into dark mornings where the reality of it all hung heavy in the dawn’s cold light. Long, sad conversations were spawned by the emptiness in the world around them. He never remembered anything they talked about of significance, but he felt in those moments she understood him. She loved listening to Mazzy Star and he pretended to love listening to Mazzy Star. They made love for hours and she often fell asleep afterwards. With her long legs intertwined with his and her dark hair flowing across his chest, he felt content for the briefest of moments. He enjoyed laying there in the darkness with her and listening to the soft hum of traffic while smelling her shampoo over the ashes of their Marlboro Reds.

When he was with her, his sadness and depression seemed to ease, so he lost himself in the time he spent with her and longed for more of it. He smothered her and she quietly slipped away. Those eyes that once appeared so warm and vivacious turned distant and he finally saw her for what she was: vacuous.

He soaked his heartache in alcohol, determined to drown the memory of her.

He stumbled down the steps of that basement not long after it ended and there she was, dancing alone. The lost faces around the room watched her and either yearned to be her newest conquest or pitied her. He looked around and realized the basement and those furious nights were never filled with magic or poetry. Disgusted, he walked back up the stairs and out into the cold night where the snow had just begun to fall.

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