Two buildings, almost touching, stand next to each other on a skinny side street. They are stained with the shadow of phone lines, but the connection is lost. From the alley crack smooshed between them, a paved road separates one from the other.
Two cups sat one on top of the other, upright and full to fat. They bulged, the top hanging over the bottom, while the bottom cup burned underneath. If the kettle was like other kettles, there would be only one. Each cup could be separately cherished.
Curled together with vines that twinkled, they thought of themselves as bright. Too bright to be in this predicament. But too tied to get away.
One afternoon, when they were shuffled out to a low sitting table in the den, the cups felt heavier than normal. They would never belong to a woman’s full attention. They would always share their afternoon in the sun.
The bottom cup lurched to the kitchen and felt its liquid shift. The top cup moved away.
“Move toward the one that loves us most.” The top cup said to the bottom.
The bottom cup looked at their guest. Bored, chewing at her nails, a half-eaten bear claw remained on the dish.
The bottom lurched. It inched closer to the sink. From a slant, the two began to topple.
When they faltered and staggered, splashing tea to the ground, it was the bottom cup that finally cooled off. It was mopped up and drained out, but the cups remained dazzling. Their love was now filled from their shapes.
Interested in: User
About Me: I grew up all over the world. Did you live in Texas? Bulgaria? Wherever you are, I can be there.
I am extremely loyal, outgoing and trustworthy. Some of my friends describe me as having a secure presence. Do you like security? I like security. But if you don’t like security, I’m cool with that too. I live for the energy of others.
My Ideal Date: Someone who knows what they want. Or what they don’t want. Either way, I’m totally flexible. I don’t want to play games just to figure out who you are. But if you like games, that’s also cool. Whatever you want, really.
I’m straightforward and optimistic. Most people think I’d make a great partner. Are you interested in a strong connection? If not, it’s alright. But if you are, I can be as intense as you want.
I like a person that’s fully available. I’m available 24/7. If you need me, I need you. Just tell me where and when.
Favorite Book: The Missing Link by Brandon Meyers
Favorite Song: I would die 4 U by Prince
Three Things I Can’t Live Without:
- A strong connection
If you’re interested in messaging me, know that I will always get back to you. My response time is immediate.
Check out my book, Object Relations, for more stories.
Deep in the desert, it almost looked dead. Beige dirt and tufts of bushes were all the eye could see. But below the eyes and below the brush, mutated life still lived.
The best mutant, a tiny rodent-like piece of fur with lizard eyes and a sandpapered beak, tried to make itself invisible.
Nobody will see me under the brush.
The mutant curled closer to the roots. In the daytime this worked well and he could watch the others scatter as they pretended not to be scared.
There were big ones. The size of basketballs with rubbery mouths and black tongues. There were tiny ones. Insects with 9 legs and a limp. All of them to be carefully avoided.
At night it was cold. Freezing winds and chattering teeth, the mutant needed a break. Any break. A hole in the wall of a cabin. The inside of a hanging cliff. He knew there was nothing available.
In the distance there was smoke and the round mouth of stucco. An outdoor fireplace. A bellow of gray. A kiva.
You can use me to keep you warm.
The kiva said.
I have a fire in my mouth that won’t go out. Sit, stay awhile. It will be fun.
The kiva said.
The fire didn’t look out of control. The warm glow from inside reminded the mutant of a perfectly proportioned potato, but with spark. He’d heard of the fires before, untamed and spreading throughout the brush. This was not half of that.
You’ve come such a long way.
The kiva said.
But then the mutant remembered the skulls. Wide, gaping mouths hollowed out as if they were screaming. They were littered throughout the desert. Some were cows. Some were undefinable. The distinct smell of char lingered.
You must be tired.
The kiva said.
The mutant noticed a few dead mice at the corner of the building. Their mouths, too, were open. Gray mice. They were not black. Not charred. They must have died from something else.
The mutant shivered.
What will you do without warmth in the night?
The kiva asked.
The mutant could not find an answer. He saw nobody else like him for miles. Except for the one possibility of another who had been ripped by something else. A simple beak stuck out of several weeds. It could have been trash. It could have been plastic.
I don’t know.
The mutant said.
I really don’t know.
The kiva illuminated the desert with one bright smile. Mutants scurried in the wind. Bigger mutants. Prickly puckered mutants with six furry legs and giant yellow teeth. They would eat him. Without a doubt. For dinner.
Why not just stay here? You can get warm and figure out something else for tomorrow.
The kiva said.
Climbing up the brown structure, the flames flickered higher.
Just on the edge, the mutant thought. I’ll just sit right on the edge.
In the corner space of the mouth, the mutant sat on its ledge.
It was warm.
He was happy.
There was nothing else to be said.
“Like” used to be more optimistic. It was happy with high school reunions, weddings, and job interviews. Nestled at the bottom of something grandiose, it was a humble smile. A thumbs up for success.
“Like” made its way through family albums, 18th birthday parties, and dinners with old friends from college. “Like” was there for the video of your friend playing with the lobsters before supper. It was a funny gesture, something admirable. “Like” valued this.
But then “Like” became popular. “Like” hung out with girls in stilettos. “Like” went to see My Morning Jacket in an abandoned warehouse. “Like” started focusing on other people’s boyfriends.
Everyone wanted a Like for their party. That smiling selfie you took, gazing up at a cell phone camera with newly applied makeup? That was liked. A filter with cat eyes and pointy ears? “Like” enjoyed the stalking.
“Like” showed up to all the biggest parties.
The Halloween bash where your friend threw up all over the backseat of your mom’s car? That party was liked. The obituary of a distant relative that was met more than once? That was liked too.
“Like” became snarky. Hard edged thumbs felt more like middle fingers. That trip to Nantucket? Liked after three days. Kids dressed as NPR hosts for a costume party? Liked at 1AM.
After years of polite smiles and bouncy enthusiasm, “Like” had finally met its match.
Dislike was approaching the horizon.
Noise Complaint Filed
Washington City Park
Loud sounds coming from the field behind Jungle Jim. Second report in 2 weeks. Suspicious activity noted.
Full name: Grey Poupon
Date of birth: 8/12/1988
Disturbing the peace
Does not take responsibility for Britney Spears music. Says screaming was due to unruly guests and denies wrong-doing. When asked name, he gave Grey Poupon. He is yellow and in a packet.
Full name: The Can Opener
Date of birth: 2/17/1999
Attempt to flee the scene
Appeared very angry and in an agitated state. Was still at said “picnic”. Did not show any remorse for hitting baby one more time. Battery appeared fine, but bruised.
Full name: Battery
Date of birth: 4/25/2000
A boombox was destroyed between 12pm and 12:39pm. Apparently direct damage was not intended. When battery left, the music died. Noise is kept at a minimum.
When Neighbors Start Walking
unREALcouchpotato1966: New to 8th street
I’m new here as you can probably tell by the moving boxes set out on the curb. I was going to call someone to remove them right away, but then I thought about the neighborhood. I thought, why get rid of my old treasures when somebody else might enjoy them just as much as I did?
So here’s what we’ve got.
- A rainbow throw blanket from the 70s. This is real. The guy I used to live with gave it to me when he was in college and there’s minimal damage. Blanket may need a wash, but I’ve found a lot of people like the scent.
- Round pillow speaker. I don’t know if you remember, but these were really popular about twenty years ago. You can fall asleep listening to music on a soft plushie. The speaker still works, but there is a high, whale-like, sound every few minutes. I think Britney Spears had one.
- Gold. This might not be real gold, but it could be. I found it inside one of my pockets the other afternoon and I’m guessing one of the kids from the old house shoved it in there. But it could be real gold.
- An assortment of buttons, coins, and movie stubs. These are antiques. The only reason I’m not saving them is because of my allergies.
Again, I’d totally call someone to haul this stuff for me, obviously it’s not a cash-flow issue, but I just figured, sharing is the neighborly thing to do.
SarahDandtheKttens: Are you the house with a metal rocking horse in the front?
AnneCommings1953: Isn’t there a dumpster on 7th?
UnicornMadness: I don’t appreciate the depiction of horses as simply tools for riding. I have a horse and she is very intelligent.
AnneCommings1953: I really think the dumpster is empty. Nobody uses that dumpster. You could put the horse in there too.
LampShade: Are you selling the buttons individually?
1 Room Gingerbread House
550 Pinstripe lane
Enjoy a safe distance away from the bustling streets of downtown Bangor with the perfect home. This cozy studio-cottage has all the charm of Christmas. All year round. Located near the Blueberry School for Boys, this district is highly coveted for its snow removal program.
Pinstripe is a friendly neighborhood. Although the area is not currently on the Bangor power grid, this means little to the community. Many houses are connected by an old-fasioned “string and dixie” line. This fascinating form of antique communication involves only two cups and a long string to attach to other houses of your choice. Since most communication is nonverbal, many neighbors still prefer to nod or wave from their own property. Either style creates a socializing haven for those outside Bangor.
Speaking of property, this gingerbread house has one of the best lots in the area. Underneath real walls of ginger, the cottage sits on authentic, stone slab. This slab was originally used in Bangor for tourist season. It is now a symbol of growth and development.
If interested in a one story gingerbread house with high, lofted ceilings and frosted windows, please call one of our agents ASAP. While the current tenant is still there, he is extremely flexible.
A love story.
There was once just one. A long skinny line strung up in the sky carried voices. So many tunneled in. It seemed there should be two.
Two lines of communication running parallel could do the trick. One could carry half the load. The other, the other.
One kept quiet. When the other wondered about their share of the conversation, whatever was said remained silent.
Inside the telephone wire there were people with problems. Casserole recipes. Questions about estrogen. Their friend. Their friends. Their other friend’s friends. All day both lines heard the frequent chatter of others.
“As big as a watermelon.” One voice recounted.
“Babies are too fat these days.” Throughout time they transferred information to each other.
But the wires were quiet. Side by side they did not intersect. This was because one was the other. And the other was the other just the same.