Are you repelled? Don’t avert your eyes.
Do you see the discoloration? Like bruises on roughly handled fruit. Like mold on peeling wall. A lack of splendor. Well past the sell-by date.
Come closer. Inspect me.
Do you see the infestation? Like maggots on a rotting corpse. Like termites on dilapidated wood. Constantly gnawed at. Constantly being less whole.
Look closer still. At what is inside.
Do you see the attrition? Like mountains eroded by rivers. Like iron corroded by rust. The crevices run deep. Furrowing all the way to the heart.
The morbidity of it all. Succumbing to the only true Arbiters. What? Is that blasphemous?
There is one significant difference. You do notice it, don’t you? The impermanence of the damage? Apparently it all can be healed. And the scars will barely show! If only you could accept and not recoil in revulsion.
Her name is Avaricia.
You have heard about her numerous times.
Although you openly show your contempt for her shamelessly seductive ways there have been times when you have secretly craved her. For she appears to be beautiful in your visions.
But in truth she is ugly. Underneath her mascara and her concealer and her foundation, her skin is wrinkled. Underneath her designer dresses she has torn and dirty undergarments. She is fat and bloated.
Her leather purse bulges with her life’s debris, junk that she will never need but can’t seem to part away. Maybe to compensate for her life that is empty.
Don’t pity her, she preys on weakness.
Avoid her. Judicio would.
The doctors hadn’t given up even though there was very little hope for the boy. Hope was not a word they were used to using. They were used to using words like blood loss and trauma and hematoma.
Had the boy’s little sister been there outside the ER she would not have recognized the screams from her mother. She would have barely recognized her mother’s face, contorted as it were by grief.
The little girl felt a bit guilty. After all it was her kite that got snagged on the power line. Downwind drag. Her brother gallantly volunteered to free it using several iron rods tied end to end. Little did he know about the physics of electricity and conductors.
Two years back, when she was just 3, her father had replaced their dead beagle with a pup beagle. Identical tan and white colors. Father told her Dash had gone to a better place and had now come back as a younger Dash.
Anything is true if you believe in it strongly enough, right? Damn the evidence. Water turns to wine. Dead come back to life. Amen.
There was a loud bang. The boy was thrown several yards from where he had stood with his contraption of rods. It was not the electricity that did him in, although that did leave his fingers burnt to a crisp. It was the rock on which he landed, leaving a concave imprint on his skull.
When her father tucked her in that night she asked him, Did Paul go to a better place? And will he now be back as baby Paul? There was hope in her voice, oblivious to the welling tears in her father’s eyes.
I suffer Every day
Wondering why I talk to
My demons, instead of You till I fall asleep
Leaving me Late at night
All alone to meditate To your thoughts and
Keep me up till dawn To wonder what if
Even though I quit You stayed for
The addiction Just a little while longer
I don’t have anything against this Manolo guy, so it is not personal. Hell, I wouldn’t even know about him if not for my girlfriend shopping for shoes. If I said ugly things about him it is not because of the fact that we wasted a better part of the afternoon shopping shoes either. I would have said the same things comfortably seated on my couch at home with a beer in hand. I mean, any way you slice it, spending a grand on a pair of shoes is ridiculous. All I said was any one who designs these shoes to be sold at that price, Manolo or whoever, is a shameless robber. OK, granted I used stronger language than that. But still, it’s just shoes, albeit super expensive ones.
I don’t know why this makes her mad. It’s not like she knows this Manolo guy either. But I know she is mad even before she says a word. I know she is mad even when she smiles while she says I should stop being jealous. I know she is mad because she looks at me between my eyes. All these little clues you subconsciously learn. If she looks at my ears I know she is lying.
Stop being jealous of his success, she says. Jealous? No. Honest. I would tell it to his face that what he is doing is daylight robbery. Not that he would care for what I have to say. But still, a man’s got to have integrity.
Apparently people can tell if shoes are the genuine thing or cheap imitation. And apparently if I can’t, then I either have no taste in shoes or need my eyes checked. Maybe because my frames are not Cartier, I joke. Not the funniest of jokes to laugh out loud like I do but still, not so crass as for her to call me an ass.
I am not sure why I am even in this store with her. More likely than not we will break up before the end of the month. She’s pretty and smart. Mostly. But still, she shops for shoes made by an unscrupulous robber.
The bright lights are coming back to focus. The yelling of the crowd is getting clearer. I feel hands pulling me back at the waist. I see I am punching someone. There’s blood all over. From his face for sure but also could be from my knuckles. I am not sure. I stop punching and let go of my opponent and he crumples to a heap on the floor. The crowd is cheering me or booing me. Depends on whom they put their money on I guess.
I turn away from the makeshift ring and don’t look back at the body on the floor. That was not me that did that. I was somewhere else. I was a dog, a bull terrier. Bred to fight. Full of rage. Snarling. Ready to tear everything in front of me to shreds. And if I failed to, if I was the one knocked out, my breeders would put me to rest for I would be useless to them.
At least that’s what I convinced myself this night.
Next time I might convince myself that my opponent insulted my family and threatened to kill me. Or maybe that he is a scumbag rapist that deserves justice. Doesn’t matter what. All that matters is I disengage myself from reality long enough to pummel a complete stranger to within a few blows short of death.
It is always a split second that makes the difference. My left jab connects with his jaw but he plows through it. He is fast. Before my right hook can connect and floor him his right elbow has swung over my left arm. I can hear the crunch before I feel anything. My nose is definitely broken and worse is to come. Both his arms are free and swinging. After a flurry of punches he takes a break to catch his breath and to admire the damage. To his shock and to the shock of those who are close enough to see my face I am smiling. If you can call it smiling. My lips are torn but definitely curled up.
The trick is to disengage from reality. And today I am a vehicle. Careening downhill, too fast and out of control. I am going to crash and burn but I am going to lay waste everything in front of me. I spit out blood, take a deep breath and charge.
I was walking with my head down,
my hands in my pockets,
whistling a tune,
when I came across the lug nut.
There it lay staring back at me,
willing me to pick it up,
round and shiny.
What is your story, I wondered.
He’s on her, thrusting and panting. She wants to make sounds and say dirty things like she has seen the girls in the x-rated videos do because she thinks he likes that. She wants to tell him to fuck her like she’s the last woman in earth. She wants to tell him to tug her hair and call her his slave. She wants to tell him to use her like his sex toy, rough and hard. She wants to tell him to ravish her like an animal while they do the doggy, the snail and the butterfly. She wants to tell him not to stop till her knuckles are white from clutching the sheets. She wants to tell him not to stop till her words are a jumble of vowels. Ooh, baby. That’s all she manages to blurt out and even that feels dirty.
The blackness of the night
Silently strips the rose
Of its dress of pretty petals
The stillness of the night
Epitomized by the sedan,
Sad to be lonely and cold
Above it, a swarm of insects
Do their dance of confusion
Around their God, the street light
And the boy staring out his window
Studying, instead of Frost and Whitman,
The rose, the sedan and the bugs
If only they didn’t write in tongues
So he could complete his paper
And get a deserved good night’s sleep
The cloud shields the sun
Cool, I smile, but the poor worm
Never saw the bird