Monday, March 17, 2014


There's a man.  He's shouting at me.  I think he's shouting at me.  From up ahead.  Should I change my route?  Cut down the next street?  Cross the road?

It's so damn grey out.

I squint at him through the mist and convince myself he must be crazy.  That he's throwing his hands above his head in madness.  In sheer insanity.  Pacing and turning in obsessive urgencies.

I turn my head to the park.  The scattered trees.  The swing set.  The monument of someone on a horse.  The cold morning dew perched on each blade of grass.

Then he's yelling again.  Spit sprays from his mouth in the orange light of the street lamp.  His beard is wild.  Like tangled vines.

I'm a block away now.  My breath has quickened.  Maybe my pace.  Why haven't I turned?  I'm being pulled in.  A whirlwind.  A vortex.

His words are garbled.  Confused.  Rampant.  They barge out before he can put order to them.  Arrange them at all.

I step over the manhole cover in the center of the road, then onto the sidewalk he dominates.  His back is to me and I try to time it so I can slip by without him ever knowing my presence, but he turns.

He turns so swift and suddenly half his beard trails over his shoulder.

Then there are screams.  From him.  From me.  A panicked fumbling.

And I catch glimpses of my misfortune.  I catch glimpses of my body being found hours later on the curb.  Bludgeoned to unconsciousness.  Maybe death.  Robbed.  Crippled.  A mess.

But as I bolt down Cedar Drive I hear something.  Something familiar.  Something my brain recognizes.

I hear words.  And they're saying: boy, slow down!  Boy, slow down!  You're crazy moving that fast this early!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


He can see someone approaching out of the corner of his eye.  As he cradles the can of colas intended for the vending machine, he sees someone approaching.

And he doesn't turn until she's there.   Leaning close to him as she speaks.  Her dark brown eyes grow bigger before him.  Her smooth skin toys with the soft lighting of the cloudy day.  Her straight black hair blankets her chest.

Excuse me, she's saying with a slight bow, can you please assist me?

And he takes a moment to glance at the Hello Kitty iPhone case in her right hand.  The sleek black purse over her left shoulder.  Her tiny ankle boots lined with animal fur.

He blinks at her.  Nods.

I need to find Forman Hall, she says, leaning closer, pressing into him with her curious gaze.  Do you know where it is? She asks, tilting her head to the left.  

But now his attention has traveled to her jawline.  How defined.  Her neck.  How inviting.  Her tight lips.  

She straightens up.  Do you know? She repeats.  Eyebrows raised.  Quizzical.  Eager.

He blinks a few times.  Reorients himself.  Places the first cola can into the slot labeled A1.

Forman Hall? He asks, coughing on his words.

Mm, she says, nodding her head.  A patient smile.

He looks behind them at the courtyard.  The red bricks of Friar Library.  The vending machine before the Hanley Building at the other end.  The circle of students smoking cigarettes by the big oak tree.

No, he says, no, I don't.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


There's mold in the shower.  He pushes it with his forefinger.  
It's slimy.  Like snot.
He rolls it between his forefinger and thumb.  Makes a mold noodle.  Then drops it.  Watches it ride the rush of water down the drain.

Then it's back to cleaning himself.

He massages shampoo into his beard.  It makes his chin tingle.  Probably the peppermint, he thinks as the burn intensifies.  

Saturday.  This is Saturday.

He can hear his cat screaming from outside the bathroom door.  
Complaints.  Wails.  His cat does not meow.

Shut up, he mumbles as water streams down the back of his neck.  Pours over his face.  His nostrils.  His mouth.  His eyes.  

Please, shut up, he repeats.

Magow, the cat calls.  Magow.

And the wind pushes so hard against the window he wishes it would break through and swoop him up.  Spiral him into the air.  Throw him about with such spontaneous speeds and velocity that his senses would pause.  They would brake.  

And when he'd land he'd be unknown.  And the land would be unknown to him.  And he would keep that relationship as long as he could.