The Power Lines

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.

The Couch

sofa

 

4/2/2009 

For Sale: Like New Couch $150

Purchased this couch from an antique dealer last month for $800. Couch sports a rounded back with real wooden frame. Complete with claw feet and down padding, this gem would make a fine addition to any home.

The couch has a slight vintage scent to the cushions, possibly from incense or cigarettes, but goes unnoticed fairly soon. The stripes are lined with gold thread, all hand stitched. While precise in design, there are some tiny holes toward the back frame. Fingernails are easily removable.

Couch has plenty of character and adds an ambiance you and your company will never forget.

Immediate offers only. I can deliver for an extra $50.

 

24/11/2013

Seeking Professional: Need My Couch Fixed

I need my couch fixed. I don’t want to pay much money, but willing to trade. Couch is rough, but solid. Friend gave it to me last year and it smells a little like citrusy bubble gum. There’s some feathers coming out of the back, but I patched it with garbage bags. Still needs help.

I’m willing to trade VHS tape collection, stack of Tom Clancey’s or non-working Vespa.

All four legs work. Two legs missing.

 

18/9/2018

$20 COUCH: corner of 8th and Springfield/PICK-UP ONLY

I’m moving next month, but I had to get the couch out. It’s a nice couch – pretty stable all things considered. Couch has been in the living room for a couple of years, kept meaning to replace it, but never did. It’s comfortable and there are no springs. Smells a little spicy.

There are a few minor details: The thread on one of the stripes is unraveling. Two of the legs are a little wobbly too. On the top right shoulder there are 3 stab marks, but the down is still intact. All down has not been removed from when I bought it. Original down is vintage and does not smell.

Will not deliver anywhere. Must pick up immediately.

 

22/6/2020

Missed Connection: Striped couch by 7/11

I thought I saw you. First I thought, no way, it can’t be the same couch. But then I saw the garbage bag patch-up you taped to the back. I tried to move it off the street, but the legs kept breaking off. First the front one went and I thought, eh- that one was always crap anyway. But then the second one flew off and I couldn’t grab it fast enough. I threw most of the couch into a cab and tied the remaining half to the door. The driver said it was in violation, but we almost made it home. I don’t know what happened to the other half. I’m guessing it’s by the chicken place. If you find it, let me know. I’ll pick it up for free.

The Fabric

jcrew

How is this possible? You’re telling me, I can’t sit on the grass, collar popped and comfortably breathe in the fresh air? You’re telling me the polo match is canceled? What about the vineyard itself? Is it, too, closed to the public?

And what is “public” anyway? Children in stained shorts? Walmart? What about the private sector? What about the natural, organic spread of pure material? 100% wool vests? Unmixed cotton? You’re telling me we’re no longer invited?

I demand a refund. I wasn’t made to sit, holed up in some closet, only to wither away from society. The public pool may be closed, but my family owns a house on the lake. No, not the lake you’re thinking about. The lake. I’ve been going for years.

You can’t tell me to close up shop. I live in Tyson’s Corner. I was born for a high end lifestyle and I won’t tolerate quitters. You think you can tell me what to do? Who’s your boss? I want to speak to the manager.

The Lamp Post

mistletoe

Here I am again. Hanging out on the street corner. Every year it’s the same thing. Someone strings me up on the lamp post and 5 hours later, someone comes back with a girl they position underneath me. “Look.” He’ll point. “We’re standing under the mistletoe.”

The girl will glance up. She will give me the same look she gives the someone beside her. Ah yes, I can hear her think. How did I end up here again?

I am the only mistletoe around for blocks. Yet everyone knows I exist. The lamp post, while beautiful in its own right, both resents and enjoys my popularity. At first, the pointing feels good. Basking in the glow of his own light, he feels a surge of pride from the strangers looking at us.  Then comes the eggnog.

Early December is not so bad. The Christmas music is at a comfortable Mariah Carey intimacy. Mid December and the shoppers are getting more hectic. By late December, Perry Como has peaked and the eggnog, while once a disgusting choice of raw egg and cheap alcohol, suddenly makes an appearance.

Loud after-work parties and sloppy caroling seem to never end. The lamp post isn’t pleased. Teenage boys with dog-like tongues kiss the girls they like best. The lamp post glares at me. Come January first when I should be taken down, it’s just me and the post-Christmas post.  Here I am again, wondering whether someone made it home with someone else.

The Roller Skate

rollerskate

 

I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, but I am nobody’s key. 

They rolled in hot pink bubble gum, but stuck to the sides and bleed. Roads for miles with streets past the corner, the ground is stretched on neon. They roll past gravel and pave plumping stickiness until nobody is left to deceive. 

I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, but there is no actual key. 

They could leave if they want to, but actually they can’t because people can’t roll the same way. People head home. People go to work. Their feet got stopped up in sweetness. 

“I’d go if I could, but I just can’t move.” The path is too pretty to leave. 

The Vintage Jacket

jacket

On a long and chilly night when historical readings seem ideal, a distinguished jacket is imperative. With overcoats now joining the needlessly pompous, a subtle, yet sophisticated look is in order. Like John Adams and a glass of bourbon, vintage jackets at the local bookstore go hand in hand.

While some may still consider second-hand clothing to be used, this faded chocolate beauty is vintage in all the right ways. Dry cleaned and unwrinkled, its slightly slanted pockets keep your elbows proudly bent at an angle. You don’t just walk through the streets of Beantown in a 1970s zip-up: You fly.

Tan, faux suede, elbow patches are properly sewn to the fabric creating an authentic, non-ironed, professorial appearance. Whether you’re talking 1930s Bulgarian economics or quoting Yeats, crossed arms are a must. For a more pronounced approach in academically-inclined body language, try a sitting posture that includes a lifted forearm to the chin. A marginally cuffed sleeve exposes only so much of the wrist, leaving you covered for the times you need it most.

For only $67 this jacket has an original 1970s scent to go along with its impeccable taste in style.

The Rat Poison

poison

 

The bellies of the beasts with the sickness and the death mated from each other’s navel gazing.

“Look how beautiful we are,” said the first to the second.

She was long and sleek with the coat of a fox. She had a head like that of a peacock. Tall feathers sprouted from her scalp like bright ideas pointed high. They were out of reach. All she could think of was the beauty of herself and the ideas, like her feathers, moved beyond her.

“It’s almost too much.” The second stared at his expansive chest made entirely of beating hearts. Thumping in unison, he was a strong and steady rhythm. His body marched only for himself. With the blood of a thousand sons, his energy spiked mountains. His body was a gift from the Gods. He stared at his stomach, swollen from a feast, but suddenly noticed a hole.

“What is that?” The first said to the second. She pointed at her own belly in shame. She, too, had a tiny hole and it was tunneling to the center of her core. She was sure she would have noticed had it been there before, but absent of its memory, she gazed. A dark emptiness went straight through her gut. Coldness was hiding.

The second stared at himself. His worry was starting to grow. Poking their eyes as far inside themselves as possible, each beast could not find what they were looking for.

“Do you see anything?” The first asked the second.

“I see nothing.” The second said to the first.

The idea of a vast emptiness in the pit of such perfection was enough to make a grown beast cry. They curled their claws, reaching and prying into the depths of the nothingness. They reached for themselves and when they couldn’t hold on, they reached for each other in vain.

“I think I feel something.” The second said to the first.

After digging into the crevices further against her flesh, he felt the sudden movement of acid. Unlike possible organs nourished in the blood of a belly, this was a wetness that was cold.

Frantic with a mix of repulsion and curiosity, the second beast tried to melt her.

“What are you doing?” She asked with no answer. He was finding himself inside.

The acid crept closer to the ridges of her body, but it never once warmed to his touch. When it stung the sides of his clawed and gnarled fingers, he immediately retracted in pain.

The acid was out. Trailing against his skin, it tunneled through his stomach for the safety of an easy spot. His own body was contaminated. Like a hollowed out fish with a lifeless disposition, he could feel the clearing of his hearts.

One heart stopped beating. And then another. His strength began to fade.

“What have you done?” He said to the first, but she had no answer to give him. “You’ve infected me. You’ve made me sick. You’ve given me your own disease.”

She stared at the beast, now scrawny and deflated and shook her head side to side. “I’ve got nothing of my own. I’ve got nothing to give. What are we without our disease?”

The Fire Alarm

fire-alarm

 

5 things to understand about your fire alarm

  1. Some things need more attention than others. When your alarm screams, flashing everyone in sight for seemingly no reason at all, it needs you to understand: You are his whole life.
  2. Fire alarms are sensitive. Sometimes when they go off, it’s scary. To the fire alarm, even the most innocuous threat seems real. Without your full attention, the fire alarm may feel ignored.
  3. Fires are unnecessary to sound an alarm. If peace and quiet has occurred for an unusually long period of time, the fire alarm will warn you. Under the guise of “it’s better safe than sorry”, random shrieks may be heard.
  4. If a fire alarm ceases to carry out its duty; you will not know. Like the silent, but deadly killer of carbon monoxide, a defunct fire alarm stays quiet. Instead, fire alarms may sulk, pretending everything is okay for months at a time.
  5. Fire alarms will die for you. Some may consider fire alarms dramatic. Others think they’re their hero. Either way, when taking a fire alarm for granted, there will be repercussions.

The Brush

brush

 

“You’re so beautiful.” And the brush was good. 

When the brush was tiny, a comb with sharp teeth, he snagged against thick tangles in the morning. Large women with curls like a slinky proved the comb was not strong enough to fit. He pulled and he clawed, but he ripped at the root. He snarled until the women all screamed.

He was a small plastic comb that looked sharp, but was flimsy. With too much stress, the comb would snap, so he hid in the hair of many. Maybe she’ll forget about me, the comb started to hope as he buried himself further toward her scalp. 

The further he tried to disappear, the harder the women yanked. Stuck and clingy, he had nowhere to go. He bared his teeth again. 

“This is useless!” One woman shouted early before dawn. Her hair, heavy and wet, was too much for the comb to handle. With one jerk of her bangled wrist, the snarls of teeth and hair broke free. The comb was no longer. The mornings were bad.

In its place, several days later, the comb morphed into its softness. He had bristles like horse hair. His body was a spoon. No longer were there hard edged teeth and the small compact frame of something rigid. Instead, he embraced the shine that all women want. And there was evening, and there was morning. And it was good. 

The Trash

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.

 

Sincerely,

Your dumpster fire