Mad Men

I published this on Skirt Collective and I thought I’d share it here. It’s not an object piece, but I hope you enjoy! If you have comments, I’d love to read them, but if you could post them on the skirt collective site that would be a huge help. Thanks!

Policeman Statue

nigerian guys

Photo by: Tom Haynes

There was once a man who had all the authority in the world, but no one to talk to. He traveled far and wide across the country in search of a friend, but to his despair, found none.

He talked to the woman with the pretty green and white skirt. But when she saw him, done up in his police outfit, she was too scared to say hello.

He talked to the children sitting outside of a school playground. But when they saw his erect posture, they knew he was no one to mess around with. They too were too scared to say hello.

Finally one afternoon the man with authority talked to a salesman at a corner market off the side of a busy road.

“Would you like these magical beads? If you rub them between your fingers and make a wish, it will come true.”

“How much are they?” The man asked skeptically.

“Twenty dollars. They are good luck.”

Reluctantly, the man paid for the beads and rolled them across his fingers one at a time. I wish I had friends. I wish I had friends. I wish I had friends. He chanted silently. Ten minutes passed and nothing happened. Fifteen minutes passed and still nothing. After a half hour, the man felt stupid waiting on the side of the road.

After forty five minutes, the salesman smiled and asked him if he would like to go for a walk.

“It’s such a beautiful day out. We must enjoy it.”

“No, no,” the man said quickly. “You cheated me with these faulty beads. I have no choice but to arrest you.”

The man’s authority rang loud and clear until all he could hear was the silence around him.

The Straw


Photograph by Tom Haynes

Dear Potential Date,

I will let you know how I feel at all times. I’m very up front. I’m attracted to naturally red, full lips. No lipstick, please. I also prefer real beauty. I’m very picky when it comes to looks. If you’re older than thirty, please don’t reply.

I’m not the kind to call back right away. If we have a good time, I’ll let you know, but I’m not into that whole clingy thing. My idea of a perfect date is hanging out in bars that serve Belgian beer in a glass. No bottles for me. If you’re too cheap to buy your own drinks, please, don’t respond to this ad.

I’m looking for a carefree type. Not the kind that’s going to hold me down. Not the kind that’s going to get mad every time I’m with another. I can’t be tied down right now. I prefer more of the Bohemian lifestyle.

In short, shoot me an email if you don’t suck. (I already do that well enough on my own)

– The Straw

The Plant



Photograph by Greer Oharah


I used to live underground. Disconnected from sunlight like a used up pre-paid cell phone. I tried to call out, but no one could hear me. I panicked. I stretched. I clawed my way out. When there was rain, I was pushed back. When there were beasts, I protested. When I sprouted, I kissed the sun. Forever warming to her love that I needed so badly and yet couldn’t help resent, I flooded her with questions.

“Where have you been?” I gasped. “You couldn’t find me in my darkest corner.”

“I always knew where you were,” the sun said. “I just couldn’t get to you.”

“But why?”

“Because,” said the sun. “You had to come to me.”



The flavors of memory are different for everyone. When I find something to be sweet, I also taste the salt. The sting lingers a little too long on the sides of my mouth, but I keep going over it. Again and again with my tongue, I try to find the original richness of the first bite. I will never have all the flavors again.

What I’m left with is something vaguely familiar and dreamy. A summer afternoon in Maine. The lake water is cold and when I jump in, an electrical current flows through my body. When I swim up to the surface, my eyelashes are heavy with the purity of fresh water. The sun hits each drop, warming my face and clearing my vision.  I can see the forest of pine trees and a handmade wooden dock that extends out to me.

On it lies my mother in her black and white striped one piece. My aunt is lying next to her. Together they look like the same person with their hair pulled back into high pony tails and the orange tanning oil glistening against their skin. “Prime Sunning Weather,” they call it. Together they read murder mystery paperbacks with bubbled letters that rise right out of the front cover. Adult books. Something I won’t get my hands on until much later.

“Mom!” I shout from the lake. “Mom! Let’s play the Questions game!”

It’s my favorite.

“If you had to write a book, what would the title be?” I call out to her, but she looks farther away than I know she is.

She stares far out into the lake and smiles slightly. My sisters are nowhere to be found. In a few years they will have relationships and homes of their own. They will no longer come to the lake. A few years after that, none of us will.

“Drifting away,” Mom says. I can feel the sting that I will taste years later.

The Curtains


My curtains are worn out, but they keep dancing. A full blooming yellow, they are optimistic.  Light and soft. Old, but alive.  I open my window and they breathe, expanding material outward. Their shadows scatter for the corners.  Gray is a wall flower that’s never painted on fabric.

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