Fuck

So this guy comes in, dripping wet,

Like he’d never heard of an umbrella, 

And he says to me, “Where’s the restroom?”

 

This guy looks like something the cat dragged in, 

And he’s got this look in his eyes,

Like he’s a crazy man or something,

But rules are rules, so I tell him, 

“No.”

 

And what does he do,

He takes off his jacket, 

And it is dripping with water,

And he shakes it out, 

And there’s water flying everywhere

And now I got customers lookin’ real upset.

 

So I tell the guy to get out,

But he just won’t go.

 

I signal for the bartender and he comes around the corner.

 

He grabs this guy by the shoulders,

And spins his wiry butt around,

And he throws him out on the street.

Harlow

I have been witness to stranger sights than I hope you are ever called to witness. I have saved the lives of every man, woman, child, dog, and cat on this planet more times than I can remember. I didn’t start out as a great hero, of course. That wouldn’t make for a very interesting story; no, I just started out as a stupid kid in way over his head.

I was 20, going on 14 when I first met Harlow. You don’t know her yet, but she’s the hero of this tale (and many more, at that).

I remember running across a rooftop. I was running, building up speed, preparing to jump from this rooftop to the next. As I was doing this I thought this isn’t happening, this kind of thing only happens in the movies. Then a bullet drove a hole in the tar not 6 inches to my left and I stopped thinking. I just ran, and then I just jumped.

I was in the air for an extraordinarily long time and then I crashed into another rooftop. I did this with all the grace of a crash-test dummy and it cost me a bloodied knee. The gunshots were not far behind and 1 even came close enough to draw blood from my ear before I got to my feet and started running again. I honestly had no idea at the time who was chasing me. Harlow would tell me later, and I wouldn’t believe her for another day or so after that. On that night it didn’t matter who was chasing me, it only mattered that they were chasing me. And they were armed. And they were exceptionally adept at firing their guns while running and jumping.

I was approaching the end of another roof and, it seemed, of all hope. The next building was quite a bit taller than the current one, and there was no way in hell I was going to make that jump. I took a split second to decide which was preferable: death by sudden stop, or death by head-shot? I opted for the head-shot and stopped just short of the edge of the building.

I turned around to face my pursuers, wishing to die like a man. I reasoned that any man would also squeeze his eyes shut, wince and beg them to make it quick. I waited for the shot to come, it was somewhere between 10 seconds and 50 years, but it didn’t come. Instead I heard a groan, followed by a thump, and a very distinct “Oof.” I have played this scene back in my mind (and for others) many times, and it was definitely those three sounds, in that exact order.

I opened my eyes and took my first count of the pursuers. There were 3 of them, though 2 of them were lying on the rooftop, dead. The 3 stood, dressed in S.W.A.T gear and leveled his weapon at my savior. It was a strange sight: a large, well-armed, fully armored man pointing an automatic weapon at a small, red-haired girl in a flowery blouse and bike shorts. She wasn’t more than 5 and a half feet tall and couldn’t have weighed more than 100 lbs, yet this man was shaking. I watched in awe as she traced an arc-like path across the roof, and he backed out of her way. She stopped walking once she was directly between the man and me. My hero.

She looked me in the eyes, even in the dark of night I could clearly make out the green of her irises, and made a gesture for me to be quiet. There was no problem there. What would I say even if I wanted to? Then she turned to our mutual enemy and motioned for him to approach.

He dropped his weapon, only to reach behind his back and produce a very frightening knife. There would be no mistaking this for a kitchen knife, this was designed to kill, maim, destroy. He came at her quickly, dropping low and making two measured lunges with his blade. Harlow easily sidestepped the first, and on the second she struck him. With just two fingers driven quick as lightning under his shoulder, she disarmed him.

He grunted his dissatisfaction and very quickly spun around, swinging his foot in a wild roundhouse kick. I couldn’t believe my eyes when she caught his foot in her hand, then displaying almost no effort, she broke his ankle. She twisted his foot around 180° independent of the rest of his leg. He let out a blood curdling scream the likes of which I hadn’t heard since an hour before, when this same man pushed a splinter between my thumbnail and thumb. I am not ashamed to admit that I screamed, I cried, I begged him to stop. But then again, so did he as Harlow walked up onto his chest. He begged her to spare him, but she didn’t seem to hear him.

There has only been one instance in my life where a sound has provoked me to vomit, and this was it. It wasn’t the sight of blood, or the pure, primal act; it was the gurgling, sputtering sound as she reached down and tore his throat open with her bare hands. He died slowly, painfully, with a horrified expression imprinted on his face.

When he was finally dead, she jumped down off his chest and wiped her hands clean on his shirt. She looked at the three bodies, then at me, then back at the bodies. She tut-tutted, and spoke quietly. It seemed to me that she thought we were being listened to. And maybe we were.

“You’re never going to be safe now. You’re marked and they’ll hunt you down to the ends of the Earth.” She turned back to me and I could see she was starting to cry. Not for the men she had just killed, not for the things her and I had seen that night, but because she was sorry for me. Sorry I had been dragged into her problems, and sorry that I was now her responsibility.

“If I’m going to keep you safe,” she came to me and put a hand on my elbow. It was warm and comforting, it was a very humane gesture. “You’re going to have to come with me.”

And so there, on that bloodied rooftop, under a quarter moon, I uttered the words that would change my fate forever.

“Yeah…OK.”

Naked Killer

You’re drawn in by her smile,

Or so you tell yourself.

Truth be told;

It’s her cleavage,

Pale,

Freckled,

With a healthy bounce to them that beckons you, “come and play with us.”

 

And so you do,

Clumsily pawing,

Pinching, pulling, licking, biting,

Failing at every step to achieve your desired goal.

The back-arching orgasm.

 

She, however,

Is a master.

She tugs,

She tickles,

She scratches (but not too hard),

And she drives you inexorably toward the point-of-no-return.

 

“Fuck,”

It escapes your lips even as your seed passes hers.

You are no longer in control (were you ever?).

Your fate is in her deft hands,

And she works it,

In much the same way as she works your semi-hard cock.

 

Your work is done,

Well, not done, so much as unfinished.

She is unsatisfied in a way you’ll never understand,

But that will soon change.

 

Your sacrifice is greatly appreciated,

Every little bit helps, you see.

Ah, yes, just a pint this time.

Something to hold her over.

Just a little pinch,

A small mark to awkwardly explain to your wife,

And then your business is complete.

 

 

#1

The starter pistol exploded, and Gideon Young took off at a jog. No need to push myself right off the bat, still 26 miles to go.

The midday Sun beat down on the runners, a great herd of muscles under cover of nylon and neoprene, as they left the starting point behind. Young could already feel the sweat running down his forehead, the back of his neck, the now bare place where his sideburns used to be. He resisted the urge to reach up and wipe it away. There would be much more where that came from and he couldn’t afford precious energy on the constant wiping. Better to focus on the task at hand.

Finish the marathon, Gid, then you can bathe in ice.

____

He had actually detested the nickname “Gid” his whole life. That is until he met Maggie. From the very beginning he’d been taken in by her bright smile and not-quite green eyes. Her curvy body and penchant for spontaneous dancing certainly didn’t hurt things. She’d called him Gid on the first date. He meant to correct her, to explain to her that his neglectful, drunk father had called him “Gid” with derision and he wished never to hear it uttered again; but he was already under her spell.

They sat in a coffee-house in the collegiate part of town, quietly sipping their coffees when some obscure album track by the now-forgotten Live came on the radio. Maggie stood up from her chair and began to dance, slowly, sensually. It was part belly dance, part middle-age hippie sway; and the very introspective Gideon found it a little embarrassing in a 19 year-old coed. He also found it amazingly erotic and despite himself rose from his chair and danced next to her; coming up beside her and singing quietly in her ear, “Talk to me now, oh vicious crowd…”

Not the most romantic song, but you don’t always get to pick your first dance’s anthem.

Nine years, a doctorate, and two masters later, they married. It was a night to remember. There was wine and song, more food than their 104 guests could possibly have finished; and to end the evening the couple took to the floor and slow-danced to Mother Earth Is A Vicious Crowd, much to the confusion of all in attendance.

_____

The first muscle cramp came at around the three-mile mark. It was in his abdomen, a sharp pain that soon spread through his whole midsection. He felt his pace slowing, and struggled to pick it back up. A woman half his age passed on the right, then back tracked to keep pace with him. “Are you alright, sir?”

“Yes,” a sharp gasp, “I’m fine.”

“I’ll tell you what,” she seemed to have no trouble keeping pace and conversing with him, he envied her, “My name is Meredith, Meri if you like. I’m not in this to set any records, I’m just raising money for a friend. I’ll try not to leave you too far behind. OK?”

He didn’t answer her. He was focused on the task at hand.

“Alright, well if you need anything, I’m a doctor, and I’ll be in earshot.” With that she pulled ahead; far enough to give Gideon his space, but within sight.

He allowed himself a glance down at his aching gut, and the number pinned to his t-shirt. He was runner number 344. And in the upper right-hand corner a smaller number on a piece of note paper. It was his youngest daughter’s handwriting: #1. He smiled despite the pain, remembering who he was doing this for.

After five miles he grabbed a bottle of water from an outstretched hand. It was cold and refreshing, yet burned in his chest as he swallowed. He coughed, sputtered, nearly tripped over himself. Meredith was listening closer than he’d thought and slowed her pace until she was neck-and-neck with him. “You ok?”

He gave her a thumbs up, then as she sped back up, he flipped her the bird. I’m doing this for my little girls. I don’t need your help.

_____

It was two years ago that Gideon had come home from the doctor’s office and collapsed on the couch. Maggie ran to him, running her fingers through his dark, curly hair. “What is it, baby?”

When the doctor had told him, in his oh-so-clinical fashion that it was cancer, Gideon reacted stoically. “Oh, I see.”

“The placement, more so than the size of the tumor makes you a poor candidate for surgery. I’d like to start you on radiation therapy as soon as possible.”

“Oh, I see.”

It was only with his head cradled in the lap of his beloved Maggie that he’d allowed himself to cry. It was a hard, body-shaking cry, full of fear and pain and anger.

They decided, after much discussion, to tell their daughters about the cancer. They kept no secrets from the girls.

Christine, the youngest, patted his hand gently, “Don’t be scared, Daddy. You’re strong.”

_____

At fifteen miles Gideon could barely see straight. His muscle cramps had spread throughout his entire thorax. His shoulders burned, his arms ached. He was more than certain that several blisters had formed on his feet and subsequently burst. His right shoe filled with blood, squishing between his toes as he continued to jog.

He congratulated himself for not having slowed much since the beginning. He had discovered a previous unknown tolerance for pain when he started the radiation therapy, and it served him well now. He reached out for another bottle of water, and noticed that the spectators were fewer. The running herd had thinned out considerably, as well. The sun had moved across the sky and was beginning to disappear behind the taller buildings. Streetlights began popping on. Gideon powered on.

At twenty miles his legs gave out and he tumbled forward. The concrete bit into the thin flesh around his knees and he left a piece of himself behind for the crows. For an agonizing minute he thought he might not make it back to his feet, and that body shaking cry began to creep back up his spine.

No, you bastard, shake it off. Shake! It! Off!

He lifted himself up halfway to standing, his legs shaking under his weight and his short time. He was about to collapse again, when a pair of hands caught him under one arm. “Come on, man, don’t give up on me now.”

Meredith helped him the rest of the way to his feet and looked at his knees. “You’ve got some nasty abrasions, but you’ll live. Are you going to keep going?”

I’m sorry for flipping you the bird. “Yes,” he pointed to the handwritten number on his chest, “I’m number one.”

He started up again, barely faster than a walking pace, but he was moving.

“I’m right behind you, sir. Don’t worry, I won’t let you quit.”

It was almost midnight when Gideon crossed the finish line. The officials had almost all left, just a hefty woman with reddish hair taking note of finishers; and of course, his family. They stood to the right of the finish line, half asleep, but there. His older girl and Maggie held up a banner he hadn’t known about. It read: YAY DADDY! YOU’RE OUR #1!

 

 

 

936-442

Gavin Killam gripped the little slip of paper tightly in his fist. Maybe too tightly, he thought for a moment. He didn’t want the ink to smudge from his sweat. He loosened his grip, then thought better of it, and shoved the paper into his jean pocket.

The number on that little sheet, just a corner from a newspaper, was very important. It was probably the most important piece of information to ever pass from one human to another.

The barista’s phone number! He had finally worked up the nerve to say more to her than, “Grande non-fat Macchiato.”

It wasn’t easy. It took nerves of steel. And a bottle of Killian’s Irish Red at the bar down the street. But he’d done it.

“Good evening,” he said, very cleverly as he approached the counter. She ran her fingers through the hair that drapped across the right side of her head, the left side was buzzed with military precision, and responded with a very telling, “‘sup?”

‘Sup! They carried such weight, those three letters. She could’ve stuck with the barista script, and simply asked him his order, but she said, “‘Sup?”

Gavin hadn’t planned for that eventuallity. It left him stunned, stammering, and struggling to come up with a witty retort. He found it in, “Not a damn thing.”

She smiled and took his order, then she took his cash. Their finger tips touched, and he could’ve sworn that she held the contact longer than necessary. Another very good sign.

There was no line behind him, so he felt confident in taking his time. Ease into the seduction, Gavin. “So…what’s up with you?”

He was proud of that, it kept the conversation going. “I’m making your coffee.”

This time she was deadfaced. No smile, no twinkle in her greenish eyes, no flare of her small, pierced nose. Undaunted, he carried on.

“Did you hear about Letterman?”

“Who?”

“Dave Letterman.”

“Did he die?” She moved to her left, gathering the ingredients for his beverage.

“No, no, he’s retiring next year.”

“And?”

And this is where he could feel it all coming apart. Gavin had not contemplated a point in the conversation where he’d lose her interest. There was no plan for this. Of course, that didn’t mean he was going to back down. The Killams where not quitters! So he leaped into the abyss of the unknown.

“What time do you get off?”

“Why?”

“I want to buy you a drink.”

Another smile, and flushed cheeks.

“Not tonight.”

“Oh.”

“I have classes in the morning, but tomorrow night I would love to.”

“Oh!”

She reached across the counter, grabbing at a newspaper some careless patron had left lying there. She was close enough to smell. Coffee, sweat, too-sweet perfume. Those were the scents of the barista. She tore a corner of the newspaper off and jotted down her phone number. Her fingers, long and cold, reached out for his hand and placed the paper in his palm.

“Don’t lose that. Call me tomorrow afternoon, we’ll figure something out.”

“Great, talk to you soon.” He said, with charm. He had come out a winner, and turned to make his exit.

“Hey, wait!” She called to him, missed him already.

“Yes?”

“You forgot your drink.”

“Oh.”

He was barely through the door of his apartment before he began to dig the slip of paper out of his pocket. He held it for a moment, reverentially, the unfolded it like a spoiled child on Christmas.

He read her number out loud to the empty rooms. “9-3-6-4-4-2.”

Then he read them again.

And again.

And then he realized, it was time to find a new coffee shop.

Too Little, Too Late Movie Reviews: The Fellowship of the Ring

I just got back from Middle Earth, and boy is my ass numb.

13 years ago a little gem from dying studio New Line graced screens everywhere. EVERYWHERE. The title, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, was a mouthful; and the film itself was nothing less than a grand epic. But maybe, just maybe, it was a little too epic?

I started watching Peter Jackson’s  ode to Viggo Mortensen’s five o’clock shadow at noon and finished at sunset. I understand that the source material is long, and that Jackson managed to leave almost half the book out of the film, but I think there really was some more room for cutting. The first film of this trilogy (there are two more?!) carries on longer than the entire Harry Potter series combined. That’s a verifiable fact, look it up. Complaints about the length aside, Jackson did a fairly competent job with The Lord of the Rings.

Competent, not great. I know he has a following, I know I may come under fire for this, but this is America and I’m entitled to my opinion. I didn’t really feel anything special about Jackson’s vision. I didn’t feel the connection to the world, the way I wanted to. I’ve read the book and I came away with a very dark feeling. I had to keep all the lights on in my apartment while reading about the journey through the mines. This film did not inspire any emotion in me, aside from impatience. Thank goodness for the mediocre CG effects.

Ah, there I go again, knocking Mr. Jackson, and along with him, his precious Weta Works. I will be the first to say that nowadays I would choose Weta over ILM any day of the week, but this movie was not created nowadays. I was taken right out of the world, its tenuous grasp on my imagination shattered by some poorly done CGI. And while we’re on the subject of special effects; this movie is chock full of wizards, and the greatest amount of magic we see is a make-believe shoving match? I thought I was being punk’d.

I’ve been going pretty hard on this little flick, and I feel bad about that. I should lighten up.

Frodo Baggins is our hero, the brave little Hobbit who faces the horror of Mount Doom. So of course, you want to cast a really fantastic actor, with a wide range of emotions at his disposal. Or you could cast Elijah Wood. And Sean Astin. Now, Ian McKellan was a brilliant bit of casting, that fella was born to play Gandalf the Grey, mighty wizard. And as I’ve mentioned earlier, Viggo Mortensen’s facial hair did a splendid job of setting scenes.

Overall, I actually did enjoy this film, despite my complaints. It was a fun adventure, and damn Viggo Mortensen is greasy.

My one gripe: Where the hell is Tom Bombadil? That could have been one of the greatest sequences ever put to film…or one of the worst. We shall never know.

 

 

Dream #1

Her

An unconventional beauty

Pointed nose

Elf ears

Red cheeks

And crooked smile

 

Him

Shy

An introvert with dark eyes

A man who knows what he wants

But lacks the strength

The power

 

Their marriage unseen

A thing known

But never experienced

Muscle memory

Instinct

The hint of a whim

 

His heart is pained

He knows she is lying with another man

He knows this

But he is unable to stop her

Powerless

Castrated

The lowest he’s been

 

His phone is a maze

Apps confound him

In his mind, itching at the back of his skull

She is laughing

The sound comes to him

Distant

Strained

 

Not an evil laugh

The “mwahaha” of a scheming villain

But rather

A gentle giggling

Settling on him

His heart/mind search for her

In a daze

 

He finds her

Not alone

Surrounded by admirers

She drinks in their affections

She is empowered

Her eyes slice

Shred

Him

In half.