Tag Archives: Breakfast

A Proper Breakfast Though Alienated

close up shot of an english breakfast
Photo by MikeGz on Pexels.com

I woke up with a Kodak moment in my guts. The sun was shining bright, harsh, with a gauze on a wound sparkle that I had not experienced in what seemed like centuries. Yes, I am alive again in a modern age, but I come to this place from such a long time ago. I know it makes no sense, but I believe it has something to do with reincarnation or resurrection after a long metabolic pause. Something akin to those little creatures the Russians sent to space to test their toughness against solar radiation and the chill of the star soup — the tardigrades.

But I am not a water bear or a moss piglet — I’m some kind of an altered human being sitting on a red vinyl stool pad connected to a silver pole in a diner that itself is silver and red and all the waitresses are made to wear pink uniforms and heavy lipstick in order to replicate some slice of time when they actually did do those things on Earth.

I looked down and there was coffee in a white cup on the counter. I reached a trembling hand to grasp it and lift it to my waiting mouth. I could smell bacon and wet eggs cooking. I could hear the clink and clank of dishes, the liquid voices of cooks and busboys scrambling about upon the Astro vinyl and stainless steel of the universe. I looked up at a clock on the wall and the numbers were all out of order. The 9 was where the 12 was supposed to be, the 3 was where the 7 was supposed to be… and so on and so on all messed up like that.  

I wondered if I was perhaps invisible or maybe in a dream. I raised a hand to get the attention of a raven-haired waitress with a Garden of Evil apple mouth and eyes that glowed orange like ripe fire. “What’s it going to be then, heh? What’s your pleasure, Johnny Oh?” she said when she noticed me.

I wasn’t invisible after all. “A proper breakfast served in an improper way,” I said, and then for some reason I laughed like I was out-of-control high on grass. I brushed something away from my silver suit.

She looked at me like I was the strangest man on Earth which I probably was. She leaned in and shook her chest at me. “You mean like this… With my tits up in your face?” She withdrew and scowled, then suddenly smiled when a menacing busser the size of an ancient Malta giant brushed by her from behind and palmed her backside. “Ooooh,” she squealed. “Knock it off, Rapture Jones. I’ll report you to the boss for ass grabbing.”

I reached into my pack and pulled out a book with a shabby cover. I put on some Welsh readers and began to flip through the pages as if I was in a library instead of a silver and red diner in the downtown sector of Pandemonium Linear North. It’s a place like on the far outskirts of London but in perhaps a false reality; it was a different planet or maybe even a dream, someone else’s dream. Jennifer’s dream? It was hard to keep track of anymore these days. My life recently has resembled fizzing chemistry and often bright colored clouds of magic and it almost seems like yesterday that I was riding my horse through the dismembered town of Van Norton that lies on the shores of the great Sahara Sea. I suddenly felt sand in my teeth, and I took a big gulp of the coffee from the white cup. I felt the grit slide through the valleys of my soul.

The waitress slid a large, white, oval plate in front of me. The food looked wonderful. I set the book aside. She took interest. “What are studying, Johnny Oh?”

I removed the Welsh readers and looked up at her. “It’s a book about the most beautiful woman in the world. Her name is Jennifer, and she spends most of her life sleeping in a big bed high up in a castle that sits on a lonely hill overlooking an ocean. Some people think she’s actually a cat because she sleeps so much. But she’s not a cat. She’s a woman. A very beautiful woman.”

The waitress made a contorted face, and she wiped her hands on a white apron tied about her waist. “Doesn’t seem very exciting… I mean, reading a story about a woman who just sleeps. Don’t you have better things to do?”

I cut up some of the sausages and ruptured egg yolks with the pieces and then ate. She studied me as I worked my mouth and then swallowed. “It’s much deeper than that. It goes into her crazy dreams and her longing for real love. She has a very complicated mind.”

“But how does everyone know she is the most beautiful woman in the world if all she does is sleep and never go out?”

I took another bite of sausage dipped in warm yellow yoke. I wiped at my mouth with a paper napkin. I took a careful sip of the coffee. “It has something to do with blind faith,” I said to her in due time. I scooped up some beans. I gnawed on some mushrooms. I began to cut into a peppered tomato slice. “Wait a minute… I hate tomatoes. Why am I about to eat a tomato?”

The waitress scoffed at me. She shook her head. “You’re so weird, Johnny Oh. I might need to pass you off to someone else. I don’t think I can take you much longer.” She laughed in a teasing way. She scrunched her nose like something smelled bad but good as well and then she walked off.

I sat on a bench near a fountain in a park across the street from the red and silver diner that I mistakenly hadn’t told you had the name of The Oasis. The sun was bright, warm, brilliant, dazzling, nearly blinding. The growing heat of the day was beginning to make me fidget. Soft traffic ran along the street between the park and the diner. Tall, thin trees, like green hypodermic needles, lined the street on both sides. The street had the name of The Capshaw Veranda. Some quibbling birds gathered at my feet in anticipation of crumbs. “I’m sorry,” I said to them. “The only seeds I have seem to be locked away tight in my soul… Too far down for me to reach and toss out among your kind.”

A woman sitting with a young girl on the lip of the fountain’s circular stone wall leaned in and said to her: “That man must be crazy. He’s talking to himself, my dear. Don’t look over at him or he might get the wrong idea and follow us home. We don’t want that, now do we.”

I could hear her speaking perfectly. It was as if she were whispering the words in my very own ear, where the ocean roared. Then the young girl moved her mouth and said, “No, mama,” but then disobeyed her mother or aunt or legal guardian or whoever she was anyway. She glanced at me and halfheartedly smiled. The woman tugged on her arm. “What did I say!?” Then she slapped the girl’s face. The crack of the impact startled the birds at my feet to flight. The girl began to cry. A circus motorcade crawled along the street. People cheered. The girl asked if they could just leave the park and get a red balloon or maybe an ice cream. The woman stood and then reached down and yanked the girl to her feet. “Red balloons are a tool of the devil! Why can’t you ask for a golden balloon, girl. Golden balloons are the champagne blood flow of our universal god.”

 The girl looked up at her. She rubbed the tears away from her face with a small fist. “The one that comes in the bright light in the sky at night… Oh, heavenly night?”

The woman went to her knees to be on an equal level with the girl. Her heart was suddenly heavy for being angry with her. “I’m sorry.” She kissed her forehead. “You’ve been seeing the ships again?” the woman asked.

“Yes, mama.” The girl turned and pointed right at me as I sat in wondering stillness there on the bench. “That’s when I saw him last time. He came out of the light. He’s following us after all.”


The Infinity of Gilligan, Godzilla, and Gruyere


One million beings ring the rings of Saturn while one million more stands in the stuffy queue for a chance to eat mediocre breakfast. And still one million trillion more stands in line with their exhaustible consumables, and I sense a vagina in the wind, an overly impatient man is holding a fuselage of Pick-Up-Sticks and chewing watermelon gum and one must wonder if he has a gun beneath that long rubber coat. On the other side of town, a beautiful woman fills her belly with a ham and gruyere omelet before breaking ferocious wind in a disheveled but crowded Target store. People run as if Godzilla were attacking. All is laughing gas madness as she denies it to the judge who deems it off-handed assault. She gets 43 years in the penitentiary and a lifetime supply of Ivory soap for her crack.

A man sits on an uncomfortable bench on Dillon Beach Road waiting for a bus that will never come. He reads a glossy Hollywood magazine. The pages flap in the sea-salt air. He’s wearing a Gilligan hat and suddenly becomes hungry for sausage and coconut. He wonders how the Professor gets so much action. Then he realizes it’s easy. The Professor is so much better because he himself is so much worse. No woman wants a Gilligan. He’ll never be able to compete in the game of love and therefore will die alone. They’ll roll him up in some sailing fabric and stick him in a cave. The Skipper stands in front of a mirror in his bamboo and grass hut and practices his imitation of Oliver Hardy. Then he starts to cry when he realizes his “little buddy” is gone forever. He can never be happy, not ever.

What else? What else?

The blades of a helicopter chop at the wind. Monster Magnet is playing the song Space Lord as they ride a green comet around the planet. It’s an unfruitful war and pirate eye patches and Wilford Brimley talking about oatmeal kind of day in the universe. Karl Childers from Sling Blade is now the man in the moon, and he keeps talking about biscuits and a book about Christmas… Mmmm hmmm. Nothing seems normal. There is no normal.

I know about the universe. But just exactly where is the universe? When I go outside to pee off the edge of the porch, I enjoy looking up at the sky, the stars, the planets, the satellites I think are UFOs. And yes, I always wonder, just where is the universe? What is outside the universe? It’s such an incomprehensible question. There is the unfathomable vastness of the universe, but then there must be more, and then even more… It’s infinity at its finest. It just goes on and on and on and on… And if there is infinity that carries on forever in front of us, then there must be anti-infinity that trails forever behind us. Do the two infinities ever meet up? And what if they did? Or what if they do? Maybe it’s all just an endless loop stuck on PLAY. But who pushed the button and now refuses to release it?

Under the Light of The Rutabaga Lanterns

Counter at diner with soft yellow light reflected

The Hell Diner

In a place called Hell, Texas, over there in the western part full of desolation, flatness and fire, a man called Excalibur Bobbs sat in the Hell Diner chewing on a piece of triangular toast slathered with melted butter and cold grape jelly. He was looking over the front page of the local newspaper, The Hell Beacon, as he ate and had his coffee in the quiet surrender of a new day out in that place that sews desperation into a man’s ripped up soul and makes him want to run.

A television was playing in the background somewhere, but the volume was low and lonely, and he paid no attention to it because he was trying to think of something to say to the person who sat across from him whom he could tell was growing more impatient by the second.

“Well. What the hell you call me over here for? It’s so early. I don’t know how you can get up so early. Makes my insides feel hurt and alone and cold just thinking about it.”

Excalibur Bobbs set the newspaper aside and looked across the table at him. “These early morning times are the best times for my thinking,” he said. “There’s no sense in burning up good daylight being lazy in bed.”

“I’m not lazy.”

“You sure as hell are lazy. You’re the laziest one I got and so I’m going to have to let you go.”

The man’s light brown face crumpled. “You’re firing me?”

“Got to. I need people who put in an honest day’s work.”

“But I do,” the man said, panicked and anxious. “I mean… I’ll do better. I swear it.”

“You had the chance to do better, and you fucked it up. How would it look to all the others if I just let you slide on by on your ass while they are all busting theirs to pieces. It isn’t fair. I can’t allow it. It makes me look weak and ineffective as a leader. One bad egg like you could infect the whole carton. Like I said, I can’t allow it. It’s nothing personal.”

The man looked down at the table, and for a moment, Excalibur Bobbs thought he was going to start crying. “But I really need this job. My wife is sick and the kids, they need medicine for all kinds of different shit that I don’t even know what it all is. We’ll be done for. We’ll end up on the streets.” The man quickly crawled out of the booth and looked down at him. “Thanks to you!”

Excalibur Bobbs didn’t watch but just listened as he stormed out, got into his beat-up old truck, and tore out of the parking lot in a cloud of gravely dust. The waitress came by with a coffee pot and refilled his cup. She looked out the window. “I don’t know how you can play with people’s lives like that,” she said.

He looked up at her. She had orange hair, and her lipstick was far too red and heavy. Her nametag read Lucy. “I don’t know why folks like you are called redheads when your hair is actually orange,” he said. “You have orange hair. Do you realize that?”

She touched her head and nervously looked around and then back at him. “Well, at least I have hair,” she snipped. “And you’re changing the subject.” She slid into the booth. “Why do you walk around town acting like God, huh? People do the best they can with the cards they’ve been dealt… You’ve got to take that into consideration. Not everyone can be the same. There are different circumstances going on in the world.”

Excalibur Bobbs lifted his refilled cup of coffee to his face and sipped. His swallow was annoyingly audible. “None of that wishy-washy garbage flies with me,” he began. “When you take a job, you take on a responsibility and you’re obliged to it. That’s what I pay people for. I don’t hand them a check and say ‘Thanks for sitting on your ass for the last two weeks. Have a nice day.’ Like I said to that young man who just got up out of here… I can’t allow it. If he really cared about his wife and kids he would have worked harder. But he didn’t, and that was his choice, not mine. I merely corrected the situation for the sake of my own livelihood. Believe me, Lucy, he’ll be far better off in the long run with this lesson under his belt.” He winked at her and took another deep sip of his coffee.

She just looked at him and slowly shook her head. Her face was pale, but her cheeks were artificially blushed with rouge, and it made her look like some kind of a creepy sex doll found in the dusty corner of a serial killer’s attic, but she wasn’t ugly, just different. “All I can say is, I couldn’t do what you do. My heart and soul are too soft for that sort of hateful nonsense.”

Excalibur Bobbs squinted and pointed a finger at her as if he was about to lecture her with the most important thoughts that ever cropped up in a man’s brain. “And that’s the whole problem with this damn country… Everyone’s too soft. Nobody wants to work hard for what they get. They just whine about it. They expect a free ride. You can see the collapse of our society right before your eyes. Just take a look out there.” He gestured toward the window with his head.

Lucy looked out the window but all she saw was a flat land full of emptiness, sparse trees, pale gray ghosts of wind, a lonely road beneath a cold blue sky intersecting lonelier streets in the forgotten downtown of Hell, Texas – littered canals of century old red and white brick, bowed walks, empty parking spaces, For Lease posters in dusty windows of sun-stained glass.

“I think you’re wrong, Mr. Bobbs. The problem isn’t there’s too much softness. There’s not enough.”

He scoffed at her remark. “What is this. A commercial for facial tissue?”

The door jangled and a couple of young ranch hands in blue jeans and with cowboy hats atop their heads came into the diner. They were laughing to themselves and smiling about something.

“I’ve got customers,” Lucy said, and she got up out of the booth and snatched her coffee pot up. “You think about what I said, Mr. Bobbs. I’ll be back around to check on you.”

He watched and listened as she went over to where the two young men sat and put on her waitress show. There was some laughter, a womanly squeal when one of them tried to pinch her ass, and then she strutted back behind the counter and stuck a ticket on the silver wheel there and yelled out to some invisible cook in the back, “Order in the window, Clyde!”

When Lucy returned to Excalibur Bobbs’ table, she topped off his coffee and sat down again. She looked at him and she could tell he was thinking deep things but not things of true or romantic substance. Lucy considered him a scoundrel, but at the same time she was attracted to his rugged straightforwardness, the steel blue eyes, the sandpaper scruff the colors of a gloomy, yet soothing day in the Scottish Highlands, her long ago homeland that she sadly regrets leaving nearly every day.

She watched his desert-colored lips as he spoke. “Why is it folks don’t order dessert after breakfast?”


“I was just wondering why folks never order dessert after breakfast,” he repeated. “We do after lunch. We do after dinner. Why not breakfast?”

She gave him a look that blatantly revealed she was confused by his question and wondering why he even bothered to waste her time with such a mundane subject. Instead, she wanted him to open up his heart and offer her a night out with a nice dinner and maybe a good movie over at the Hell Theater. She wanted him to touch her and love her.

“I suppose because so much of breakfast is like dessert,” Lucy answered. “And they don’t ever put it on the menus.”

“But what if a man just has eggs, some meat, and some potatoes? You would think some dessert would be in order after a breakfast like that.”

She sighed and twirled her hair. “I don’t know, Mr. Bobbs. It just is what it is. The world is full of mysteries.”

He grunted and looked at her for a moment. His eyes fell to the point where the shirt of her pink uniform parted and revealed the upper curve of her pale, freckled breasts. He wondered what the rest of her body looked like.

He glanced at the watch strapped to his wrist. “I suppose I better get going.” He slid himself out of the booth and stood. He retrieved his wallet, flipped through some bills and threw the money down on the table. “I’ll see you around, Lucy.”

The Prophets of Profit

Excalibur Bobbs pulled his run-down Toyota sedan the color of faded red wine into the same spot he always parked in on the side of the square, squat, and unimpressive building. The driver’s door groaned as he got out. It didn’t fit properly so he had to slam it. He walked around to the front and put a key into the lock of the glass and metal door. He moved inside and went directly to the alarm pad and touched a few numbered buttons. Then he watched to make sure the green light illuminated indicating he had properly deactivated it in time.

Before going back to the tiny office to count out and ready the two tills for the new day of business, he paused in the dim light and quiet of his Hell Dollar store and took a deep breath. The plastic smell of foreign-made discount retail merchandise for the oblivious masses filled his nose and pleasantly spilled into his guts. He walked up and down each aisle to make sure everything was in order. He meticulously straightened some laundry detergent bottles that were slightly askew and ran a finger across some of the shelves to check for dust.

Excalibur Bobbs went to the office and unlocked it. He reached for the company vest that hung on a hook near his desk and put it on. He switched on the store’s stereo system so that customers could bathe in soft, soothing shopping music, sterilized so that it would never offend. Once he got the tills prepped, he took them out to the front counter and inserted them into the cash registers. He carefully pressed some buttons so that the day’s sales would be properly recorded.

Once he was finished with that, he went to check the condition of the public restroom. It was clean and he was satisfied with the flowery aroma. Before he went out, he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror there and paused. He stood before it proudly and straightened the plastic nametag that read Excalibur Bobbs, and beneath that, Store Manager. He leaned forward and gently kissed his own grinning reflection. “I am somebody,” he said, “And I am powerful.”


The Egg Girl of Earth

Morgan Jane Solvent was clad in all creamy, sparkling blue, like a cornflower in the hot rain, that day I stepped into the restaurant and ordered a big bushel of breakfast because it was time to do such a thing.

Morgan Jane Solvent was the egg girl. Her fame came in the form of eggs on plates, plates cradled in spindly arms, plates delivered to tables uneventful. Her dirty-blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail and it flopped around wildly, left to right, as she walked and bee-bopped about the place. Her face was small and cradled fractured features — evidence of meth abuse sprinkled about: darting brown eyes sparkling like dying stars; a pointed, English nose; lips the color of bruised blood; a broken porcelain chin of delicate doll stature; skin like whitewashed buttermilk.

She resembled a puppet — a devotchka Pinocchio subtly panting to be split in two — as I could tell, as she talked rapidly, nervously about her favorite sexual positions and needing snow tires for her groovy love van because she was planning a drive to Albuquerque for the luscious holidays — she was nervous about that, it weighed heavy on her mind — the great pass, the snow, the ice, the treacherous conditions that could send her reeling over a cliff to crash and burn.

Even so, Morgan Jane Solvent was always giddy — somewhat too giddy, like huffing gas giddy. She smelled of perfumed sweat and steamy eggiwegg breakfast because the Yokester Café of Elicott West was always booming and banging, and Morgan Jane Solvent was always moving; swinging and swaying she was, as I watched her all along as I ate a Belgium waffle and a cup of mixed fruit — mind remnants of the olden days Oasis gig in Atlanta and the long, hungover crawl home to Oceanside bungalow and deep, disturbing sleep.

Sweet n Sour Chicken Morgan Jane Solvent would always try to make tippy conversation as she poured more coffee and nervously smiled, those not so sparkling lady choppers gleaming with too much spit when she talked through all the brokenness.

That particular sunrise spreading, some grand duke of douche at another table grabbed her hand like in a dream and yanked the wee jewel she had there on her ring finger. He dropped it into a cup of coffee — kerplunk. She looked at him all wild-eyed with passionate mouth gaping wide with luscious glory and wonder.

“What the fuck, man!? That’s my wedding ring, asshole!” The restaurant went to dead silence for a moment. Even the coffee was stunned.

I never heard Morgan Jane Solvent curse before; she had always been so polite, like fine pie; nothing like the dirty mouth that now spewed horrific ash at the customer who went too far.

Then the man blatantly used the Q-Town love van mind trick on her small brain with a slight wave of his hand.

“You don’t need to be married anymore. He’s a bolshy bastard and a twit,” he sneered then laughed. He reminded me of Bluto from Popeye. He even dressed the same — a tight navy-blue T-shirt, a sailor’s cap atop his head — and his black beard was wild and scraggly just like the cold seas he sailed upon in his fat boat.

He slurped at his coffee like a dime store hooker and sucked the hard ring into his mouth, swirled it around a bit, chewed on it, like a piece of sexy hard candy. Then he spit it back out on the table, it spun across the faux Formica like a toy top, shooting off shards of shine into the eyes of all that wandered there in the den of eggs.

“What time do you get off work?” he boldly asked Morgan Jane Solvent.

“Umm, 2, no 2:30 … why? What are you doing to me?” she said, suddenly pressing a hand to her forehead and swirling around in a panic attack.

A sweaty fry cook back in the kitchen was madly pounding on one of those little silver bells with his greasy spatula because some other order was steaming away beneath the red, radiant glow of the heat lamps that sat atop a shelf there.

“Morgan! Pick up!” the obnoxious prick yelled from the hectic back of the house.

She rushed away from the Bluto redux, and I relaxed in my place at the booth. I looked at my favorite Christmas watch — it was 122 after 112 — and then looked out the big, big window at the town and the city, the steaming, vibrating wreck of it all with a few squirts here and there of some decent stuff, but mostly slutty strips of shops, the fast-paced flickering neon, glass, cement, brick, asphalt, autos, traffic lights, billboards — too much mad rushing and shoving of petty shit in the faces of all the peoples that live here with I and the Egg Girl and all the other inhabitants — her now buttering warm toast with a big, oily broom back in the back all laughing out loud and groveeting with her co-workers, touching everyone with her fingers and her face like some needy drug fiend, shoving her awkward, wooden ass into everyone’s crotch and blowing kisses like a real piece of work. She was a social butterfly when she wasn’t being insane, and every damp crotch was a gas lamp, every smile a torch, every warm hunk of human flesh a bonfire for her to swarm and spit and spread.

Some Fiona Apple song started blurping out of the speakers wired invisible inside the ceilings they had there. It was that familiar sound of soft anger. I bit into a mushy grape and then a piece of unsavory honeydew melon as I listened to Apple, me then grasping a pen in the free hand, holding it to my jugular real careful, like a tattooed Picasso all hopped down on the fringe of drink ready to fill the veins with octopus ink so that I could write a novel all mad with eight tentacles and suction cups to keep the pages in distinct order on the walls of my place uptown that was now burning to the ground. Ass and ash, such is life.

Morgan Jane Solvent snuck up on my daydream and smecked some question like “More coffee, more anything?” her breath radiating like a dragon, all boozy with the scent of grape bubblegum and powdery drugs, and she held the jostling coffee cup and poured, and she poured too much, and some was spilling over the rim and the pointy pen was uncontrollably doodling all over the skin of my neck.

“Morgan Jane Solvent,” I politely, yet sternly, said. “You’re spilling coffee all over my new shirt and this pen is about to pierce my throat.”

She looked at me kind of funny.

“What’s the matter, you don’t like how I do my job?” she said with an innocent, smile and the fluttering of dumb midnight falsehood eyelashes.

“You’re doing your job just fine, but don’t you know that coffee burns. Coffee burns baby, coffee burns baby. You know, like that movie Rain Man.”

Some guy butted in, shaking his head at me like I was stupid. “No, no, no. You got it all wrong. It wasn’t coffee, it was hot water in the bathtub. He was burned by hot water because Tom Cruise was too busy thinking about chicks. He was being irresponsible.”

“Who in their right mind takes a bath?” I replied, turned away, not caring to hear his stupid answer.

“I love this song,” Morgan Jane Solvent said, looking up at the ceiling suddenly as if Fiona was right there singing from inside the light bulbs. “It makes me want to get in the back of my love van and do all sorts of dirty and animalistic things.”

“I’ll be on my way soon,” I warned. “Do you want to drop the eggs and go to the Green Head Storm with me and look out at the lonely sea?”

“I don’t know what that is. You make so little sense… But you don’t want to do dirty and animalistic things to me in the back of my love van?”

“We’ll find someone to pump you full of lead and then some later. You’re not my type. Besides, a zodiac-painted psychic told me that some beautiful angel with ocean water eyes will be crash landing into my life any day now, and I must put my faith in only that. Right now, I just want to get out of here, walk around a bit, get some fresh air for once. It’s all noisy and congested and hot in here. It’s bugging me, man, like that old guy Bono says. And I think you need to get away from this chaotic scene for a while.”

It was brisk outside and Morgan Jane Solvent clutched at herself tight inside her puffy pink jacket as we walked through a tempest of crinkled leaves and ice chips toward the Green Head Storm shore and the abandoned seaside piccadilly arcade there. It was one of my favorite places to just go and get lost for minutes or hours or days, the white brick tunnels cold and wet and hollow — the glass like broken mirrors, broken teeth, and beyond the cold sand leading up to the ferocious ocean with its lullaby churning making life lonely and sad or maybe even perfect for someone like me who longs to be alone in the mist, but then again, on this day down at Green Head Storm shore, a human calliope of piped espresso encased in uptight skin trailing behind in the blustery 100-acre wood wind and part of me just wanted to run, run, run mad like Tarzan swinging on the last thread of life and not really giving a damn about anything anymore in the boiling jungle down below.

Inside the old buildings that sat like the unworn clothes of a dead life, full of holes and hanging in a closet untouched for eons, with the cracking cement, the creaking floors and steps, and there were the musty smells of old wood and old time and old paper and old carnival food and the stale perfume of ghosts all mixed together in a burnt dead electric orgy of flashing memories inside someone’s fading mind and it made my bones and soul feel good and sick at the same time, made me feel like home where I didn’t live, made me feel like time standing still for once, the cuckoo all fluid nonsense in reverse now, not like all that constant rushing about in the hateful real world where sucking is success and slime ball stupidity gets you a ticket to a platform to rally the idiot masses, and for some reason not unlike fear I keep going just to get nowhere but the present-tense spinning and spilling in big, boring circles, merely catering to the flighty and ungrateful souls of chaos.

Once inside the lifeless caravan of once great architecture, Morgan Jane Solvent wandered about with wild-eyed wonder. She looked all strung-out and overdose blue and with a flair of elegant fail, all cracked bedazzled and full of dream flashbacks as her distorted face scanned the places we strolled along.

“Wow. I’ve never been to such a lonely and forgotten place such as this,” she said to me, spinning around slowly, and then nearly toppling over. “I don’t understand your attraction to this place… It’s so broken.”

“There is something great and peaceful about abandoned history,” I told her. “I know it sounds crazy, but what the hell, I’ve never been anything but crazy. It’s like a time machine for me. That’s my favorite movie by the way — The Time Machine — the one from 1960. It’s about a man who wants to escape his own time because the slice of it he has been forced to live in has gone completely awry.”

I looked over at her and she hadn’t been listening to me at all. There’s yet another reason for me to seek another time… No one ever listens to me. She was just taking it all in and I was invisible and then she cupped her small hands around her small mouth and shouted out “Hello! …” and her voice bounced and echoed throughout the place, for it was indeed empty, long abandoned like I had made clear earlier, dust covered and legitimately raped and ravaged by time. And I had the skeleton key that fit perfectly inside the hole buried inside my very own head.

Morgan Jane Solvent screamed loud like a lunatic and then laughed; then some great seashore bird flew from its perch somewhere in the shadowy ceiling like a molasses dappled spaceship, startled by her slaughtering, murderous voice, and out it went through a hole in a dome of broken glass above us, out to that aluminum sky rolled in bruise-colored sugar.

I leaned against a cold wall, and I was down, down, down, all of a sudden, like a light switch, like magic, like the snap of old, broken fingers.

Morgan Jane Solvent took notice of my despondence, and she then came closer to me and looked at me like was some freak in a human zoo surrounded by scarecrows with cabbages for brains.

“Why do you look so dark sky bleak all of a sudden?” she asked.

“Maybe I really do need a doctor to cut into me.”


“Something is not quite right.”

“What? What is it?”

I clasped my hands to my own swimming, tortured head. “This whole end of the world thing… I don’t think I can take it. It’s really gnawing on my root bitter nerves.”

“None of us can take it. It just is the way it is. But I do believe you are being a bit overdramatic. Time machines… What a silly notion. It doesn’t work,” she grudgingly scoffed.

I looked up at an old clock hanging down from an upside-down post. It probably stopped 43 years ago. “Tell that to time,” I said.

And a wave of something all broken then washed over me like the sea gurgling all bitter out there in the beyond of us and the old, ravaged arcade and its once bustling adjoining café and trinkets parade. I thought about all the ones I knew; the ones I loved, laughed with, held, kissed, wiped tears away from their faces, and I could taste the salt of their own broken hearts running down my soul and mingling with my own sovereign eternal ache and there was nothing left to do about it, but swallow and spit the blood. Love and joy all misguided. Love and peace a wayward missile. Love of life, a moment under street lamps at midnight, cigarette ash smiles caught in a wind tunnel, all that electricity will soon come to an end, like the last drop of water in the Dead Sea — and we just had to kill it all then, eh? — you baboons, you bastards and all your wayward ways — too hot to heal, too cold to kill, but kill it all you do, and now this, time takes its final breath in one cacophonous inhalation, like colored bulbs popping out one by one at a carnival, finally, the ride ends. No more puking, no more cheating, no more under-the-weather comas and promises coated in blood strawberry lies.

I finally looked up at her concerned face — that raspberry mouth made raw by the kiss of a winter’s invisible bludgeon twisted in sheer puzzlement.

“Oh, by the way,” and I had nothing else to say but this, “There was a big hunk of shell in my plate of eggs this morning. I hate that.”

“Really? I’m so sorry,” Morgan Jane Solvent, the egg girl of Earth said with real concern. “Well, next time you…”

And she stopped in mid-sentence.

I looked at my beautiful Christmas watch. It snowed in seconds and minutes. “There will be no next time for me,” I said, and that’s when everything began to move and fall as the Earth suddenly decided to flip over on its side, it wigged out, and then like in an instant, there I was swimming through the stars with everyone else, like drunken angelfish dizzily soaring through the wet womb of endless space with swords clamped in our mouths; it was the transition from this world to the next. We were relocating, on our way to a new home, way out there, with new bodies and minds, with new reasons to live and without these bullet-holed hearts — all of us now, on our way to a place with peace and quiet and a better breakfast.


The Puppets of Kudzu (2)

Franco Dellaronti was lying on his bed in a very dark space, and he was in a state of horrible depression and self-doubt because of his failure as a kudzu pie entrepreneur. He scrunched his eyes and wrapped his arms around his belly because he was in so much pain. The he heard the faint sound of someone slowly opening his bedroom door. He sat up on the edge of the bed while trying to settle his raging heart that was now pumping with fear. “Who’s there!?” he cried out. The door creaked open wider. Franco tore a drawer open in a nightstand near his bed and pulled out a gun. He shakily aimed the revolver toward the invisible menace hovering somewhere in the door frame. Whoever or whatever it was moved closer. He felt it.

“I’ll shoot! I swear I’ll shoot!” Franco yelled out.

“Don’t shoot! It’s me.”

“Cheise Karn Mouise?”

“Yes!” He reached up to a light switch and flipped it. The room became painfully illuminated. “What the hell are you doing? You could have killed me!”

“I’m sorry. I was half awake and very sad and my head wasn’t very clear. I thought you might be an intruder or a rapist.”

“I’m not an intruder or a rapist, but thanks for locking me out of the house you big goof. I think I got sunburned.” Cheise Karn Mouise walked across the floor and hopped up on the bed next to the man.

“I’m sorry about that, too. How did you get in?”

“I broke out a basement window… I didn’t know you were a gun owner.”

Franco was frustrated with himself. “Yes. I don’t know how to use it very well. It’s heavy and makes my wrist hurt.”

“You’re just being a pussy,” Cheise Karn Mouise bemused. “Are you sure you’re not a girl?”

“What? That’s a horrible thing to say. Of course, I’m not a girl… And why are you suddenly being so snotty?”

“I had a pretty rough day and I’m completely sunburned, and it hurts like hell,” the little puppet man complained.

Franco looked at him and felt bad for locking him out of the house. “Would you like me to rub some pain-relieving aloe vera gel all over your body?”

Cheise Karn Mouise was confused. “Um. What did you say? What do you want to rub all over my body?”

“It will help soothe your sunburn. I bought it at a Greenwalls pharmacy in Cortez, Colorado after I went on my hiking sabbatical in the high desert without the proper clothing and sunscreen. It really does help ease the pain, but you may smell like mouthwash for a while.”

“I think I’ll just deal with the pain,” Cheise Karn Mouise said, and he winced as he adjusted himself on the bed.

Franco tried to convince him. “Are you sure? I really want to rub this all over your body.”

“What the hell is wrong with you!?” Cheise Karn Mouise snapped.

“What? I’m just trying to help.”

“You’re acting very gay.”

“Gay?” And Franco thought, then said, “Even though I’m pretty upset about the whole kudzu pie fiasco, I am generally a very happy person.”

“Don’t you know what gay is?”

“Well sure. It’s like how it is when I’m so light on my feet that I could just jump over a rainbow. When I’m completely joyous about life. When I feel gay, gay, gay!”

Cheise Karn Mouise shook his head, looked around the room, and then stared at the floor and mumbled. “Okay… You can rub it on me but do it quick.”

The morning was filled with the smell of coffee and bacon and gross wet eggs as the man and Cheise Karn Mouise sat at the kitchen table and awkwardly ate breakfast together. Franco looked over the rim of his cup at the puppet that had come to life by the power of kudzu pie. He loudly sipped to get his attention.

Cheise Karn Mouise set down his fork and looked at him. “Must you do that?”


“Slurp at your coffee like a dime store hooker.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You sure are sorry a lot,” the puppet snapped. “You should probably do some research on that and figure out what is wrong with you.”

“I pay a shrink to do that.”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot.” Cheise Karn Mouise scoffed. “I’m afraid you’re wasting your money.

Franco was hurt by the comment and tried to turn the tides of the conversation. “How’s that burn feeling today?” he asked.

“I think it’s better. That stuff really does work.”

“Good. I really enjoyed rubbing it on you.”

“I um… Enjoyed it too. And you’re pretty good at rubbing.”

Franco was pleased with himself, but bashful enough to change the subject. “I thought today we’d go down to the puppet store and get you a new outfit. That one looks very dirty and gross. Then maybe we could pop over to the mall.”

“Today? Not today. I want to stay home and watch some football games I recorded. I haven’t gotten to yet.”

Franco fluffed his hand in the air. “Football all day? No. We’re going shopping.”

“Why are you being so gay again?”

“What? I’m not very gay at the moment. You’ve upset me. And I think organized sports is just a ginormous waste of time. It’s barbaric and merely weekend fodder for the brain-washed masses.”

Cheise Karn Mouise threw his napkin on the table and crawled down. “So is shopping,” he snipped, and he disappeared into another room.

It was then that the doorbell rang, and Franco Dellaronti huffed, “Oh good big balls who is that!?” He got up from the table and walked toward the door and yanked it open. There was a serious man standing there and he wore a navy-blue suit with a red tie and his hair was clipped short and neat and was the color of vanilla frosting and even had the swirls in it like you might see on cake. He was holding some kind of computerized tablet. “Are you,” he began, and he looked down at the tablet and squinted his eyes a bit. “Franco Dellaronti? And are you the owner of this property?”

“Yes, I am. And this is my house. Who the hell are you?”

“I’m from the city and I’ve come here to control your life. Is that your smashed up lemonade stand littering your front lawn?”

Franco peeked over the official’s shoulder. “Yes. It’s mine. But it’s not a lemonade stand — it was a kudzu pie stand.”

“What the hell is kudzu pie?” the city official wondered out loud.

“It’s a delicious pie made from a sprawling southern vine. Would you like to come in and try some? It would be no trouble at all to plate you a nice fat slice.”

The official hesitated and looked around and sniffed before stepping up and in. “It smells kind of weird in here, but I guess I can get past that for a piece of delicious pie.”

“Oh, that’s my roommate. He has a problem with personal hygiene. My apologies. But please, come sit down.”

Franco led his guest to the kitchen and offered him a seat at the table. “Would you like a big glass of milk to go with that delicious kudzu pie?”

“No. I can’t. I have that lactose intolerant thing. Do you have any beer?”

“Beer? They let you drink beer while you work?”

“Sure. Everyone drinks on the job at the city,” the official teased as he looked up at the man’s confused face. “I’m just kidding. I can’t drink on the job,” he said, and then he winked at Franco. “But I do it anyway.”

Franco fumbled around in the refrigerator. “I’m afraid I don’t have any beer, but would you like a frosty wine cooler?”

The official scrunched his face. “Hell no! I don’t want a wine cooler. That’s gay.”

Franco rolled his eyes and grumbled. “My smelly roommate has been saying that to me all day. I just don’t see what’s so wrong about being happy. Why is everyone so against being happy?”

“I don’t know, but I think you may be a little confused… Anyways, forget the drink and let’s get down to business. Now, the broken stand out in the yard is considered refuse and city code #32-HTBF-43C clearly states that any refuse on personal property must be stored in an approved refuse container which must in turn be stored in a garage or other location which renders it hidden from public sight. So, I’m afraid you are in violation, and I’ll have to fine you.”

“Fine me!? How much?”

“It’s 600 dollars.”

“That’s preposterous!”

“I’m afraid it’s the law.”

“Fine. Let me go get my purse,” Franco whined.

“What? Now that’s gay.”

“Seriously? Can I not be happy about one damn thing today!?”

“You really carry a purse?” the city official wanted to know.

“Yes. I carry a purse. So what!?”

“But you’re a man for crying out loud! Use a wallet like the rest of us.”

“Purses happen to fit my personal needs better than a wallet. I could wear a dress if I want to. It’s nobody’s choice but mine!” Franco exclaimed; his hands now high in the air.

“Do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Do you wear a dress?”

“No, I don’t wear a dress! I just like purses. I have a lot of shit to haul around, and I need a purse. Now, can I just please pay the fine so I can get on with my life!”

The official sighed and printed a piece of paper out of the handheld machine, tore it off and gave it to Franco. “Sorry. I can’t take any payments. That would be too efficient. You must come down to city hall and pay in person, but you can only do it between 10:30 and 3:30 on Mondays and Thursdays, unless of course Monday falls on one of those fake holidays, then you’ll have to wait until Thursday. Also, the office is closed from noon until 2 to accommodate our staff’s completely impractical lunch period. And if you’re late on your payment for any reason, they’re going to tack on an exorbitant fee that no one is willing to explain to you and a warrant for your arrest will be issued. So, yeah. Sorry about that, but I’d suggest you get this taken care of as soon as possible.”

“That’s all so completely ludicrous. So, on Veterans’ Day for example, the government takes the day off to honor the same people they don’t give a shit about when they come home from one of your profit-making wars?”

“I work for the city mister, not the federal government. If you got a problem with war, take it up with President Orangutan Assface.” The official laughed and dragged his rough fingers across his scratchy beard. “Hey. What about that kudzu pie?”


Read the previous part of this story HERE.

I’ll show you my cereal if you show me yours (With Poll)

I’m someone who eats cereal at night. I’ve never much enjoyed cereal as it was intended – a breakfast food to kickstart one’s day. Not for me. I’m not really into kickstarting my day. For me, cereal is much more of a snack food, a bowl of deliciousness cradled in my lap while watching House Hunters or My 600-Pound Life in bed with my wife.

I have to admit that I’m a sweets guy. I like sugary cereal. That’s unfortunate for me because not unlike the late, great Wilford Brimley, I have DIE-A-BEETUS. The Lucky Charms leprechaun is literally killing me, or rather, I’m letting him kill me. But what a way to go. Maybe more on that struggle later. But it’s the weekend and I thought I would just do something short and simple and fun today.

So, choosing what my favorite cereal is not an easy task for me because there are so many I like. But I’ll narrow it down to my Top 10 – in no particular order:

Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries

Lucky Charms

Corn Pops


Sugar Bear’s Golden Crisp

Post Raisin Bran (Has to be Post because IMO it is the best)

Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes


Apple Jacks

Cocoa Pebbles

And there you have it. Now that I have confessed my cereal desires, what about you? What’s your favorite cereal? Check out the poll below and vote for your favorite.

But before that, I guess it’s only fair that I share my worst cereal experience – and that would have to be: Cracklin’ Oat Bran. I’d rather eat avocado smeared atop a piece of tree bark.