The Trash


Dear Trash,

I don’t know if it’s me or you.

Are you only attracted to something sturdy because you’re rachet? If I’m your last resting place, who was your first?

It’s always the same. Cheap white plastic drooling at the corners. I see you straggle in. You tell stories about parties while I hear who used you. Friends, you say. They’ll never see you again. You smell like flavored apple cigars, but the good kind.

How could you know the difference?

Empty boxes of cigarettes with the foil left shining almost look like chocolate. It’s a special treat., you claim. Every time it opens up, the packaging is still inside.  

Or maybe it’s me. I like to be the protector: the white night in the morning. I love the way you shine even when you’re empty. Don’t tell me you haven’t felt the way I hold on.

I know you hate everything, but you know you love me. 

I make you you belong.



Your dumpster fire

The Office Plant


Missed Connection

To: Plastic Mini Plant

Location: The Office


You: Firmly planted on the windowsill. Smooth as a Las Vegas card shark on a Tuesday afternoon.

I pass by your window every day on my way to the library. I love your low maintenance style.   I feel like you could fit in at a Walmart as well as an upscale boutique. Nothing gets you down because you are straight up chill. Doesn’t matter if it’s spring or winter, you always light up my day.

Don’t listen to people who say you’re cold. Being sterile and clean is a good thing. You’re not like some kind of clingy fungus. You’re the most independent beauty I’ve ever seen.

I know people call you fake, but you are as real to me as my love for you.

– Always Phresh

The Answering Machine


“Hey, you got me, but you didn’t really get me. Leave a message at the beep.”

You can get back home through the telephone wires. From city to suburb, follow the skinny black lines until your voice is my voice and our voice is here.


“Hey, you got me, but you didn’t really get me. Leave a message at the beep.”

Pick up. Where do you live now? Do you like your job? Who are you with?

Every now and again, your machine is full. Too many voices trying to get in. They push and they shove, but they stand just to wait.

I know, you’ll call me when you can.


“Hey, you got me, but you didn’t really get me. Leave a message at the beep.”

Do power lines still map the way if only cell phones are used? Invisible pathways going in a million different directions scatter the world apart.

Misplaced conversations. Lost words looking for a sentence.

Face focused on the front of the phone.


“This number is no longer in service.”





Redesigning Voice Mail :  The UX of the Missed Call

The Headphones



Dear Head Phones,

Some people find your personality distasteful. You’re loud. You’re raucous. You block out all others in a desperate attempt to be heard. All of these qualities however, are the ones that make me love you even more than I thought I could.

I remember our first time together. Your frame was bent like a hardened anorexic. Little puffs of black fuzz rested on either side of you, covering my ears from sharp undertones. Together we listened to The Supremes at full volume for an hour and a half. You Can’t Hurry Love made no sense.

Over the years you transformed. Your geriatric curves now bend from opposite directions. Plugs attach themselves to the ends of long skinny cords.  Your body sways and the music bends, but you’re still just the same.

May I never wear you out,

Your other half




The Office Chair


Dear Office Chair,

We’ve been together a long time now, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to call it quits. When we first met, I was young, flexible, and could handle anything. Even your rigidity.

When we touched, you were like ice. Cold and sturdy, you never caved. At first I thought your solidity was key to our success, but then something happened. I became restless.

My weight was too much for you and I could feel it. When I begged for comfort, you refused. You held fast to your position, making it clear that you would not budge. You would not cradle my body in your non-existent arms. You would not soften my aches and pains.

Last week, I met someone new. Someone who was both sturdy and supportive. You were my first and I will always remember you, but sadly, you are not my last.


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