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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Thank you

Got a tax statement from Amazon.  I'm still blown away that people are buying my Kindle releases.  Thank you all so very much.

And I'm sorry I barely respond to your messages.  I just don't know what to say. 

But if you are caught in that loop, I wish the best for you.  You can free yourself - if you want to.

I reduced both books to $.99 because I can't actually give it away for free.  One of you guys made a pdf and shared it with others.  I strongly encourage this.

Thank you. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pieces of Paradise

La'aloa beach.  White sand, a tropical sea, perfect weather.  He knows a lot of the people on the beach.  They mingle with faces he doesn't know.  But at least everyone's local.  No damn tourists.  Such a beautiful day, he thinks.  

And he's been waiting.  

No idea how long.  Like time is stuck.  Sometimes his watch beeps.  But it's broken.  When he looks at it he can't tell what time it.  When it stops, a glow of approaching euphoria slips over him.  His body sags, warm and content.  So sleepy.  He closes his eyes and can hear the soft hiss of waves kissing the beach.  Trade winds rustle through palm trees above.


He looks out the window and sees her.  Zoe.  His daughter.  His life.  A sweet relief like washes through him.  Tears come to his eyes but he blinks them away and gives her the same cocky smile she grew up with.

"Hey," he nods.  "Girl, what took you so long?"

"Me?" she asks innocently.  Same laughing eyes she had as a baby.  Dark brown, full of sunlight and mischief.  "Dad, I've been waiting for you."

"Well hell girl, get in," he says.  "Been too long." 

Zoe shakes her head.  She steps back and smiles.  A sad smile?  

"No Dad.  You need to come out to me."

Sol realizes he's still in his truck.  Without a second thought, he opens the door.

"Ok girl," he shrugs.  "But I still want to go surfing with you.  You still remember how to surf, right?"

"I never forgot any of it, dad," she says.  

He steps out and straight into his daughter's arms.  The sun is so bright.  And Zoe is little again.  Her face is buried in his stomach.  He feels the warmth of tears as she hugs him fiercely.  

"Hey," he says softly, "everything's ok."

He smiles and closes his eyes.

In the dripping, morning gloom of a cloudforest, a digital watch beeped.  When he killed the alarm, the ringing songs of crickets filled the air.  Piercing notes from coqui frogs piped in.  In the trees, roosting myna birds chirped and whistled.  Down the mountain, a rooster began to crow.  

Sol stared dully at the tent fabric.  It's still dark in the outside.  Still cold.  With a groan, he crawled out of his sleeping bag and wrapped himself in grandma's quilt.  Still smelled like her cheap cigars.  Crazy old Molokai woman.  Sol unzipped the tent, stretched and looked at the camper.  As usual, she's already up.  He can smell fresh coffee, toast and her shampoo.  Love.  He opened the door.  She looked up from her phone and smiled.

"Hey," he nodded back.

She returned to her phone, laughed and tapped the screen.  Sol sat down.  Music from the mainland played from wireless speakers.  He leaned back and looked at Zoe.  
Their haole genes are strong.  Like the music, her style is from 2500 miles away.  Forever dressed in black, Sol knew she got picked on.  But nothing phased this kid.  Always finished what she started.  Always top of her class.  Hyper competitive.  Sometimes Sol sees his brother's intense glare in her eyes.

Danny.  Last time he saw his brother was when he first met Zoe.  He was putting his surfboard into his truck when a convertible rental car pulled up and honked.  He looked over and saw a baby standing up in the passenger seat.

"Soledad Tomo Sakai!"

Sol looked at the driver and grinned.  He knew his brother had a kid but Danny lived in Oahu.  Kid had no mom.  She went back to the mainland.  His brother didn't know where.  He's not even sure about her name.  She called herself Crystal but Danny thought that's just her stripping name.  Or maybe because she liked meth.  Just another crazy haole from the mainland.  

Danny yanked a beer can from a six pack stringer between his legs and tossed one to Sol.  Then he opened the passenger door.  The baby peeked out.  Uncombed hair, dirty face and filth stains on her clothes.  Grubby.  Like no one gave a shit.  But neither did Sol who laughed when his brother asked him.

" Sol asked.  "Wat?  You crazy, brah?"

The baby scooted out the door, grabbed the seatbelt and carefully lowered herself to the ground.  Then she stood up, casually looked around and walked away.

"Call a hospital or a cop or something," said Sol.  "Not me, brah.  No way."

"No one else I can trust Sol," said Danny.

True.  Their parents were dead.  Grandma's dead.  They knew the names of a few blood relatives on the mainland, but never met them.  


For a moment, his brother looked pensive.  But then his usual asshole grin popped back up.  

"Yeah, brah.  Zoe's smart.  Potty trained herself!  No need no teacher.  She just needs love.  Like mom and dad kine love"

Sol looked at his brother.  
Fucking Danny.  Moves to Honolulu, bangs some crazy stripper and comes home with a kid.  And Danny was serious.  His older brother always did what he wanted and left others to deal with the mess. 

"Where you going?" asked Sol.

"Away," shrugged Danny.  "Sol, just give Zoe a chance.  She's good.  Special.  You'll see."

Sol nodded.  He looked over at the baby.  Now she was on the beach.  She tripped but caught a papaya tree before doing a header into the lava rocks.  He looked back at Danny.

"You ever coming back?"

"C'mon," smiled Danny.  
They watched the baby squeal and point at a sea turtle that surfaced for air.  Danny leaned back in his seat and pointed his beer at the beach.  "Who'd give up that?"

But that was exactly what Danny gave up when he put the bullet in his brain.

Zoe was his kid.  No more dad.  Never knew mom.  Man, what a couple of dumb fucks, think Sol for the millionth time.  

"Oh, hey," said Zoe waving her phone.  "I need your card."

Sol sighed.  Damn thing costs $70 bucks a month.  Connects Zoe to the world.  Not sure if that's good, but she says it is.  And it does have good surf reports.

"Mm," he nodded digging out his wallet.  "What's the surf report?"

"Northswell.  3-5 feet.  But forget Pines" she said squinting at the swell map.  "More west.  Try Lymans or Kahalu'u."

He frowned.  Not much Zoe does bothered him.  But her squint bothered him.

"Eh!  Where da glasses?" he demanded.

"Do you mean," asked Zoe slowly as if addressing an imbecile, "where are my glasses?"

He rolled his eyes.  Zoe speaks the same way his mom from San Diego spoke to him and Danny when they were her age.

"Yes.  My apologies," he fake smiles.  "But you appear to be neglecting the use of your corrective lenses.  And as you may recall, Dr. Wu was most insistent that you wear them when looking at your phone.

Zoe laughed and slapped the table.  "Brah!  You talk li one dumb fuckin' haole!"

"Just wear the glasses, Zoe.  Damn things cost a fortune."

"Yeah, yeah" she said digging them out of her backpack.  "And father, it is good we can converse like this."

He looked up, suspiciously.  "Why?"

"CPS interview next week."

Anger and misery flash like a storm over the sea.  Sol closed his eyes.  Goddamn Child Protective Services again.  He looked at Zoe.


"Yeah," said Zoe.  "Got the letter."

He looked at the folded, piece of paper.  An innocuous looking thing.  But it's a knife.  A knife that cuts things apart.  He rubbed his eyes and looked at his watch.  They have to leave in six minutes to beat school traffic.  But his mind is here. Now.  No decent clothes for the interview.  No steady job.  No shoes, no socks.  No birth certificate.  All he had was this perfect kid.  

Zoe put on her glasses and slid away the phone.  She crossed her arms and stared.

"Should I be worried?"

"Nah" he smiled.  

This happened every few years.  His surfer buddy was a lawyer.  Their guardian angel.  But the kid needed more.  So they came up with an escape plan.  It soothed Zoe's nightmares when she was little.  

"Ok," Zoe frowned.  "But remember what we said, yeah?"

"I remember," nodded Sol.  "If anything happens-"

"-just run away.  We'll meet at La'aloa," they finished together.

She looks at his urn.  She can tell it's carved from an 'ohia tree because the artist left a band of natural bark.  Leis woven from flowers, orchids and maile vines are draped over it.  Floral scents from the jungle mix with the tang of the sea.  Kahalu'u beach.  Water so clear, she sees a school of yellow fish from her chair in the pavilion.  Tourists in snorkeling masks explore a calm reef while surfers ride the waves outside.  An auntie who's name she has forgotten finishes her speech and shouts something in Hawaiian.  Enthusiastic clapping, hooting and hollering erupts from the audience.

And now it is her turn.

Stuck in a dream, she walks up to the podium.  Fear of speaking in front of crowds, fear of relatives she left behind, fear of fucking up trembles through each step.  But as she gets closer, a wave of calmness spreads over her.  Soothing love, aloha.  It holds her gently, like a child.  She begins to speak.

"Grandpa.  I owe you everything.  For my life in Hawaii after mom died.  For the life I have today with my children."

After those words, her speech was forgotten.  How many times did grandpa take her to this beach?  How many bento lunches did they eat here while he told her stories about mom as a kid?  Her past returns.  Like the waves on the beach.  She was sixteen when she moved.  She didn't want to.  But everything changed the day mom never showed up.  She remembered getting bitchy.  Talking shit about mom to other kids.  But when the police car showed up, her life in California was taken away.  Traffic accident.  Simple as that.  She never had a dad and now she didn't have a mom.  

But she did have a grandpa.

People called her mom Dr. Sakai.  She was a director of media.  Forever on her phone, forever staring at screens.  On any given day, mom might be compiling code, drafting a press release or kissing her goodbye before flying off to China for a conference.  Everything revolved around tech.  But for every vacation, they'd fly to Hawaii.  Grandpa's house had no TV.  No wifi.  None of their screens worked in his tin-roofed, jungle shack.  Nothing to do but sit on his lanai and look at the sea.  And talk.  Mom and grandpa had their own language.

"Eh, girl" said grandpa.  "You like go surf, or wat?"

"Shoots" smiled mom.  "But I need sunscreen."

"Sunscreen?" frowned grandpa.  "How you figgah?"

"Well father," she winked at me, "scientific data backs up sunscreen as a viable preventive for various forms of skin cancer.  To go without UV protection beneath a tropical sky is crazy."

"Ahh," nodded grandpa looking at me.  "Health concerns.  Wise.  Yet you work 60 hours a week in a cubicle for some soulless corporation.  You never see the sun and look like a cave fish in your bikini.  Now that, my dear Zoe, is crazy."

No make fun.  You da lolo," huffs mom.  "Are you still drinking yourself into a stupor each night, dear father?"

"True dat," grins grandpa opening another beer.  "Ah, Zoe.  How I've missed you!"

Her words poured out.  When she was done, her face was streaked with tears.  Her kids looked up at her nervously.  They didn't know Hawaii.  They never knew this part of her life.  But the audience began their rowdy cheers and foot stomping.  As she stepped down, a cousin she actually remembered stood up to hug her.  Kaleo.  The jerk that hid geckos in her clothes and laughed at her mainland accent.

"Beautiful, Honey Girl," says Kaleo hugging her.

"Honey Girl?" grins her eldest child shooting a look to her brother.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hey thanks!

First off, I am fine.  Healthy, hardly productive and very happy.  Mahalo for the concern!  

And I am seriously AMAZED at all the emails I still get from you guys.  Or that people still read this blog.  Or buy the books.  Crazy.

I'm sorry if I never responded to your email.  I've always been a bit of a recluse so forgive me.  Because I am lazy, here are the answers to the questions I get asked the most.

Will I write again?  Technically, this is writing so, Yeah.  

Will it be Tracks 2?  Not for awhile, if at all.  But I won't give a definitive Yes or No.

When will you write a new story?  Maybe soon?  I have stories in my head but probably not what you would expect...

Take care out there and Aloha,


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Group Therapy Girl ~~~~!Also get a FREE book!


I got so many nice messages, I forced myself to make time to write a story.  Is that vain?  Anyways, I've been slammed with life so I thought I'd make Stories From the Moth People FREE.  Download it for free on August 5, August 6 and August 7.   


Download Stories From the Moth People  

NOTE: International readers must use their own country's Amazon.  Like Canada uses or UK uses


Group Therapy Girl

Jeanette sits in a circle of empty chairs.  She stifles another yawn and rubs her eyes.  It's been a long day at work and now this crap.  Since it's only Wednesday, she tries not think about it too much.  Wednesdays.  The asshole of the work week.  Mondays and Tuesdays are tolerable.  Thursday has Friday to look forward to.  But Wednesday?  

Ugh, she sighs.

"Hi Jenny!  Here's roll call!  See you at the follow up!" chirps Cassie the unbearably joyful boss of this hellhole.  In Jeanette's professional opinion, Cassie is completely insane.  Never trust ridiculously happy people.      

She glumly accepts the clipboard and mutters, "It's Jeanette", but Cassie never hears her.  She's already fluttered off to the other grumpy counselors.  Jeanette looks at her list and sees six CMs, three MPs and one V.  The usual mealy lot of losers.  Most of the names are familiar but two are new.  The CMs are Court Mandated, hence roll call.  Jeanette has to take roll call twice.  At the start and after the coffee break.  It's not uncommon for CMs to go out for a cigarette and never come back.  When this happens, Cassie will cheerfully pass the news on to their parole officers.  The MPs usually make it through the whole session.  They have incentive, for MP stands for Methadone Program.  To keep their doses coming, MPs are forced to sit through group counseling just like the CMs.  

Cynically, Jeanette thinks counseling is why a lot of CMs and MPs sneak off.  Not only are they forced to be here, but group session is a hornet's nest of relapse triggers.  Tale upon tale of wistful euphoria.  No one pays attention to common sense or cautionary tales of depravation.  But when someone goes on about heroin in pornographic detail, everyone leans forward eagerly.  Must be a potent poison, thinks Jeanette.  So many of them are willing to go back to jail for just one more hit.

The V's are voluntary.  Mostly people who can't afford rehab clinics.  They hope to discover the cure in this Salvation Army storage room.  But Jeanette knows that help is minimal and probably not very helpful at all.  For example, Jeanette is a professionally trained marriage counselor.  Only the terms of her parole keep her here.  If it wasn't for the third DUI and community service requirements, she would be at home, sipping her wine.  The closest Jeanette can relate to heroin addicts is she once took two Vicodins after spraining her wrist.  The only addiction recovery training she received was a manual from Cassie.  It looked suspiciously similar to the manual in her court mandated traffic/alcohol education class except the word 'alcoholic' was replaced with 'addict'.  

Initially, Jeanette was assigned to alcoholics like herself.  But the library needed the room back for senior citizen bingo.  The drunks were moved to the rec center and Jeanette was transferred to the Salvation Army.  Now she works off her community service surrounded by dope fiends.  After the initial, shocking glimpse into their lives, Jeanette grew bored.  Heroin addicts are like lemmings stuck in a loop.  Somehow they always find their way back to the cliff.  Jeanette sat through story after story.  Always the same story.  Always the same cliff.  They are doomed because most of them don't actually want to quit.  They just got caught.

It's enough to make you want to drink, thinks Jeanette. 

It's 5pm.  The mopey drug addicts shuffle in.  Many seem to have an aversion to soap and water because the room fills with the reek of unwashed humanity.  Everyone looks depressed except Cassie who kicks things off with an inspirational speech.  Jeanette stands with the other glum counselors as Cassie leads the room in prayer.  None of the counselors bother to bow their heads.  Dr. Maven, a psychologist who was arrested for tax fraud, openly glares at Cassie.  Jeanette sighs.  Time for another round of lemmings that never learn.

Cassie herds the addicts into groups.  This should be easy, for the court assigns them a group letter.  Group A, Group B, etc.  But there is always confusion and ten minutes is wasted getting people settled.  Jeanette makes eye contact with everyone in her group before she begins.  Time to introduce herself and do roll call.

"Good evening" she nods.  "Most of you know me.  For the new faces, my name is Jeanette Peters.  Welcome to group therapy.  First order of business is roll call.  Then we will briefly share our recovery progress.  At 6pm there is a fifteen minute break.  Meeting ends at 7:30pm.  Any questions?  No?  Let us begin."

She places the clipboard on her lap, looks down and frowns.  An unfamiliar CM with a foreign name is at the top of the list.  Her first hassle of the night.  She clears her throat and gives it a try.


"Don't hurt yourself" interrupts an irritated voice, "just say Kym."

Jeanette looks up into the face of a girl wearing too much makeup.  Thick outlines of black eyeliner frame blue eyes.  The girl looks hostile and frowns through glossy, blood red lips.  Sheesh, thinks Jeanette, how long does it take to cake all that makeup on?  Beneath the girl's black leather jacket is a dress that reveals her bust is powdered to match her face.  A long brazen slit opens from her thigh ending in ridiculously high platform heels.  

A slut, thinks Jeanette who ignores the interruption and continues.

"Kaaa-hadja Ameeree?"

The girl grips the armrests on her chair, leans forward and swivels her head back and forth like a snake.  "K-y-m" she says slowly, "Amiri."

An unfamiliar man sitting next to her chuckles.  Without turning to face him, the girl suddenly lashes out and punches him.  As he doubles over, Jeanette realizes they are a couple.  And he is the V.  Jeanette studies him for a moment.  Filthy, greasy jeans, black combat boots and a tacky orange shirt that says 'I got lei'd in Hawaii!'.

"If you're gonna fuck around" growls the girl, "then fuck off!"

"Well, I'm sure I'm sorry" responds the guy insincerely while squeezing her knee.  She slaps his hand away but cracks a tiny smile.

"Ok, ok" says Jeanette who drops into her professional counselor voice, "let's stay focused.  We have simple rules.  No judging and definitely no hittin-"

"Can't we just start?" demands the girl.  "Why do we need names?  I mean isn't this supposed to be secretive?"

"Anonymous" corrects the guy in the orange t-shirt.

"Whatever!" says the girl.  "I'm here because I didn't want to go to rehab AGAIN!  So my fucking dad called the fucking cops!  I got pulled over and went to jail for two days!  Can you fucking believe that shit?!"

"Wow.  Two nights?  That's fucked up" says a CM shaking her head.  "I'd lose it if my dad did that to me."

"Actually it was only one night-" starts the guy in the orange shirt again.

"Shut UP!" commands the girl elbowing him.  "Like you ever had to shit and puke in a cell!  I took like ten shits in 24 hours!"

Jeanette grimaces.  The way drug addicts frankly discuss their bodily functions never fails to disgust her.  She clears her throat, "Okay now-"

One of the MPs leans forward and points at the guy in the tacky orange shirt, "Dude, kicking in jail is NOT easy.  It's freezing in there, the guards suck and it smells nasty.  It's pretty harsh."

"Yeah!" chimes in the purple haired girl.  "And they impounded my car!  Who knows when I'll get it back?!"

"Damn girl" says another CM shaking his head.  "Your dad's an asshole."

Jeanette frowns.  Group session is not going well.  The new CM hijacked the meeting.  Hmm.  Look at the way the foul-mouthed harlot dresses.  She obviously loves the attention.  Another narcissist defending an eggshell ego.  Let's give it a poke, thinks Jeanette.

"How do you feel about this the rocky relationship with your father?" asks Jeanette.  "Do you feel he is disappointed in you?  He was forced, after all, to call the police."

"Rocky?" snorts the girl.  "We're good.  He's just like, super old fashioned."

"So..." says Jeanette pausing for effect, "You feel betrayed by his disappointment?  How did you feel when you found out it was your own father that called the police?"

"The cops?  Shiiit!" laughs the girl.  "Where my aunt lives, if they catch you with drugs, they'll shoot you and charge your family for the bullet!  I'm just bitching because this is supposed to be group therapy right, Jenny?"

"Yes" agrees Jeanette with a thin smile.  "Through our group discussions we find common ground, including pain.  And it's Jeanette."

"Yeah ok whatever" continues the girl waving her hand in a dismissive manner.  "If anything, I think all drugs should be legal."

"I think that's a terrible idea" says the guy in the orange shirt.

"Why?" asks a CM twirling her hair.  "At least people would be better informed about what they're getting into.  I've seen some nasty, preventable wounds on the street."

"I think we're straying-" begins Jeanette but the girl with purple hair talks loudly over her.

"Like Fat Pete!" she blurts out.  "You ever see that guy in the park?  Skinny hippie guy dragging a swollen leg around?"

"You guys ever get an infection from skin popping?" asks a MP.  "Leaves pus holes."


"Ok" says Jeanette using a firm tone.  "Let's get back on-"

"Hold on Jenny" says the purple haired girl, "you're gonna love this one.  I once saw an abscess on this grimey train kid...and it was as big as a fucking lemon!  I shit you not!  The best part is he popped it on a dare!  I was like five feet away and it totally smelled like sweaty ass crack and cheese!  I puked strawberry Boone's all over the place!"

Jeanette leans back in her chair, throughly disgusted with her life.  She looks down at her watch.  Fifty more minutes to go.  Then maybe a twenty minute of follow up with Cassie.  Goddamn Wednesdays, she thinks looking at the dope addicts.  They're all smiling and laughing like the doomed little lemmings they are.  The guy in the orange shirt is the only one not participating in the girl's repulsive narratives.  He looks up at Jeanette and their eyes touch for an instant.  He shrugs and turns back to the girl.  


Available on Amazon

Stories From the Moth People is now available on Amazon!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Morbo and Me


First off, let me assure any worried people I am A-Ok.  No, I did not relapse something awful and crawl into another hole.  I went on vacation and got super busy with life.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I checked in to see so many messages!  That was really touching and neat so Thanks.

The Morbo thing is kinda toxic because I'm clean and trying to move on.  As many of you know, that can be a monumental struggle.  So when I went off to surf and hang out with my family -I left it all behind.  Then I decided it's time to move!  Again.  So now that fills my days as I look for a new life in a new land.  

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I would/could write anymore Morbo stuff.  I enjoy writing but some of the messages scared me.  I am not pro-drug.  I am not anti-drug.  Historically, people will do whatever they want to do regardless of me.  That is life.  But I worry.  I see Morbo stuff as tales of love set in random universes.  Not a manual on bad behavior.

But they are fun to write.  I enjoy putting in connect the dot stuff in stories to make it all one tale.  I have a few ideas I never explored.  So maybe soon?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Marketing Scum Relapse

I awake to the embryonic hum of fans.  Without any good drugs, I need the white noise from a box fan to sing me to sleep.  The ceiling fan soothes my body temperature spikes while sleep purges my poisons.  The fans also makes the puddle of oily sweat beneath me cold and uncomfortable.  How long did I sleep this time?  Maybe two hours?  Three?  I look at the clock.  It says 7:27.  This means nothing to me so I pick up my phone.  7:27pm, Tuesday.  I did it.  I slept for six hours.  Healing sleep without heroin.  Looking back, each withdrawal I go through is more intense.  This one was insane.  I almost called 911 more times than I almost called the Gargoyle, who is my dealer.  When I wasn't shitting or puking, I exercised until I started shitting or puking.  In between I guzzled Sprite, beer and Nyquil.  This was one of the worst withdrawals I have ever experienced.  But hell, I say that each time I get hooked again.  

I haven't done dope in six days.  I am clean.

The physical withdrawal is pure agony but I'm no stranger to pain.  Pain from shattered bones.  Pain from not having medical insurance.  There are worse things than pain.  The real struggle is in the mind.  The taste of euphoria lingers forever like the memory of love.  But I don't think about that.  I tell myself how easy it is to kick while I make another peanut butter sandwich.  Yes, I have an indomitable will.  I feel pretty good about myself as I mechanically chew the food.  After I eat, I get sick almost instantly.  The ordeals I face in the bathroom leave me exhausted.  I stumble back to bed to hibernate some more.  I feel like crap again, yet I'm smiling like a madman.  Each time I wake up, I am stronger.  It won't be long now.       


She approaches the door.  It looks like all the other doors in the condominium complex.  Dull gray paint, peephole, unit number.  This door says #13.  Some people add a potted plant or tree to showcase their individuality.  The only unique characteristic for #13 is on the ground.  Long, black smears of cigarette ash mixed with spit.  The bush where the butts are kicked into is wilted and sickly looking.  Sera opens the door with his spare key.

"Hello...?" she calls out politely as a wave of air conditioned cigarette smoke hits her. 

Sera walks in with a gift under her arm.  A painting wrapped in brown paper.  She kicks off her work shoes, sets the gift by the door and dumps her handbag on the console table.  She has been away for five days.  Three days at Burning Man with her old college friends and a work conference in San Jose.  Naturally, he did not want to meet her friends, much less go to Burning Man.  And he never called back about San Jose.  Sera looks around and whistles.

Empty Gatorade, water and cough medicine bottles cover the dining table.  The recycling bin is full of beer bottles and Sprite.  A jar of peanut butter and bag of bread are on the counter.  Sera can't decide what's stranger.  The empty Cheez-It boxes stacked neatly on the couch or the empty Pepto-Bismol bottles that form a pyramid on the floor.  And the coffee table should just be swept into the trash.  The ashtray is so full of butts, it caught on fire.  Again.  Since the whole thing is clumpy and wet, he doused it with either beer or soda.  Sera sniffs it.  Definitely beer.  Work clothes are strewn all over the room like he danced wildly and stripped off his garments one by one.  And oddly enough, an exercise ball and two 15 pound dumbbells sit in the only clear space on the floor.  Quietly she walks towards the bedroom.  The door is open.  She peeks inside and sees him curled up in a fetal position in the exact center of the bed.  The comforter is wound up beneath him like a discarded cocoon.  The sheet kicked to the floor.  He's sweating, nude and completely passed out.  

Well, thinks Sera, I'll ask him later.        


I feel good as I walk down the hall to shower.  Had some fucking crazy ass dreams.  Talking statues, deserted malls, owls.  Without opiates, I am so out of it I fail to notice my condo is clean.  Fresh air, not a nicotine fog, breezes in through open windows.  Hm.  My bathroom door is closed.  It opens.  A nude Sera walks out wearing only her glasses.      

"Oh!" she blushes.  Sera always wears glasses because she is legally blind without them.  

"I didn't know I had company" I smile.  The rest of the conversation takes place in the shower, in the bed and finally on the couch.

"Oh my god, I missed that!" says Sera loading up her bong and taking a hit.

"Me too" I lie.  

I actually haven't missed anything but being high.  But why mess with her good mood?  Plus, after six days of opiate withdrawal, my animal nature has returned.

"Oh!" coughs Sera looking at me, "I got you a present!  Hold on!  Here!"

She hands me the bong which has a loaded column of smoke.  I inhale.  She comes back with a paper wrapped square.  I tear away the paper and pull out the picture.  Two angels resting on their elbows.  Alas, I am a philistine.  I don't get it or care.  But I know I've seen it before.

"Wow" I say because my penis was just inside her.  "Thanks."

"It's a detail from Sistine Madonna by Raphael.  Their far away eyes remind me of you."

"Yeah it's..." I struggle to think but without the pills, the false compliments come slowly, "very nice.  Yeah."

"Can we hang it over the couch?  It's the perfect spot and the unstained, maple frame matches the leather."

"Sure" I agree.  "Yeah.  That'd look good.  I'll hang it up later.  Court says I can't be naked and wield a hammer."

Sera squints at me confused for a second and then smiles.  "Oh, ok" she laughs.  

Then she leans against me.  Her body sags into mine as her arms fiercely encircle me.  I hope she doesn't say it.  Sera is too dear to lie to.  Those three words she offers up every now and then...but she she just rests there.  Finally she sighs.  

"I have a favor to ask you" she says.



Sera is an executive admin.  Good money, easy job because her boss likes her.  But she has a nonsensical notion of getting into the dark world of marketing.  Marketing is an even lower form of life than sales.  But Sera is good to me, so I agree to go to a dinner hosted for all the job candidates.  Unlike most dinners at fancy hotels, this won't be enjoyable.  I can feel it in my bones.  Not sure if Sera realizes this is another test because she's happy.  But then again, she's always happy.  It's kinda weird.

Thinking about Sera's dinner, I discover I'm nervous.  This is usually not me but these are unusual times.  My guts are still purging toxins from the withdrawal.  Shitting like a seagull at any given time is a curse that lingers for at least a month after you quit.  Trying to quietly pass gas could lead to horrible public shame.  My bowels are uncontrollable.  Sera walks in wearing tight silver pants with a wide, garish belt.  Her blouse is too small these days and the buttons are stretched in protest.  When she turns sideways, I can see her bra and belly.  

"Does this look ok?"

My guts twinge.  I need to get to the bathroom.  But before I can stop myself, I blurt out, "Only if you want them to laugh at you."


I rub my face.  What the fuck is wrong with me?  I look up and smile.  

"Sorry Sera.  Still grouchy from my uh, stomach flu" 
I say quickly while wincing from intestinal pain.  "But this is not a friendly dinner.  You guys are on display so they can study you.  Wear something more grown up...Uhm, more formal."

"Ok" she shrugs as I lunge around towards the bathroom.

On the toilet, I shit out my soul again.  Mostly Cheez-Its and cookies.  My soul is a piece of processed crap.  I crawl back into the shower to remove the filth.  Jesus.  I can't do this.  My tongue is black from Pepto-Bismol, I keep breaking out in a stinking, oily sweat and I'm so sleepy, I might pass out.  But I said I'd go.  Plus on paper, I'm a decent date.  I have a business suit disguise and since I work in sales, I am an accomplished liar.  But how?  I select the one clean suit still in the garment bag from the cleaners and stare at my shaking hand.  Jesus, I can't do this.  Or can I?

And it happens so fast.   Just like that.  No second thoughts, no regrets.  I leer at the twisted face in the mirror.  

"How's this?" asks Sera.  Now she's wearing some sort of two-piece purple office suit.  If I recall, this is about as formal as her wardrobe gets.  I fake smile.

"Good.  Hey can I use your car?  I gotta make a quick stop before we head out."

"Ok, but-"

"Don't worry" I assure her.  "Just get ready.  I'll be back in time."

"Well, ok" shrugs Sera handing me her keys.

"Oh and can I borrow like $200?"


It was a complete disaster. Sera felt humiliated. The other job candidates were dressed to kill. They either flaunted athletically sculpted bodies in tiny dresses or strutted around confidently in expensive name brand suits. Most were blond and all were better at the game than poor Sera. There are three openings for Marketing Directors at the magazine. It was obvious Sera was not going to be one of them. At the condo, I pour her a coffee cup of whiskey.  She holds it in her hands and stares glumly into the amber liquid.

"To you, Sera" I smile toasting her, "the only 100% human who applied."

It was a pathetic joke about the other applicants.  They were fake.  Fake hair, fake tits, fake smiles.  In short, they were much better suited for a fashion magazine job than Sera.  So I rub her back while she sulks because I am in a GREAT mood.  The Gargoyle hooked me up with my old friend Roxicodone.  One 30mg pill completely erased all the pride I harbored for kicking my habit.  For the poppy spoke to me.  It planted this seed in my soul and said, 'Yes, you can quit anytime but what do you want to do right NOW?  I wanna get high.  Higher and higher.  So I took another on the car ride over.  To push myself to the edge of the dream, I snorted a half pill in the restroom.  As my head whipped up from the lines of powder on the toilet tank, I gasped with greedy, orgasmic pleasure.  My meat is so weak but my soul soars with the sky.  As I checked my nose in the mirror, a tiny, insignificant voice in the back of my skull buzzed in anger.  Outrage at all the pain and work down the drain.  Or up the nose.  But fuck that guy.  Fuck the world.  Fuck you.  I'm high...  

Back in my element, I worked the room.  Not sure how Sera felt about that one.  She didn't get introduced to the executive team that hires.  But I did.  I shook Ed 'The Guru' Dalton's manicured hand.  I schmoozed behind my mask that glowed with that euphoric energy unique to oxycodone.  The prime rib was good, the drinks complimentary and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.  I had to tear myself away from the fake conversations so as not to abandon my frumpy date in her ill fitting clothes.  She never moved from our table.  Her mouth was a thin line.  When I saw tears edged around her purple eyes, I knew it was time to go.  

Sera left my condo when I showed her all the business cards I collected from the bimbos and executive jerks.  I don't think I was showing off, but maybe I was.  When you're in sales, this sort of behavior becomes second nature.  But it was rude.  Especially the phone numbers from the women I met under vague business pretenses.  I know how awkward Sera is around people.  She misses social cues in conversations and can't read faces at all.  She's just Sera.  While she majored in marketing, I don't think the plastic life is for her.  She's far too innocent.  

So I sit alone as my high grows dim like a fading star.  I miss her inane chatter but maybe my empathy is kicked into overdrive because of the pills.  Unconsciously, I reach into my suit jacket and remove the tiny plastic bag to study the contents.  Still only two pills left.  Maybe next time the Gargoyle will have some black tar I can buy.  But my bank account is empty and payday is not for a week.  I already owe Sera money, but I'm tempted to ask again.  I pour whiskey into my body hoping it enhances my high so I can sleep.  I sit in the silent gloom and think.  Tomorrow I'll visit Sera to feel her out.  If I can't get money, maybe I can get some of her painkillers.  I hope she feels better.  Maybe we can go eat brunch or do one of those stupid Sera things like walk around a flea market.  

Ahh, poor Sera, I think popping half a pill into my mouth and chewing thoughtfully.

Poor you, laments the voice in my skull.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Not a quitter

Sorry for a shit post but I am horrible with dates.  But the internet timestamps it forever...which will allow me to laugh when my future-self fucks me over.

I quit smoking 2 weeks ago.  I waited 2 weeks before saying I quit because I am not a quitter.  More of a repeat offender when it comes to addiction.  But as of, June 6, 2016 - no smoking!  Just a lot of gum and caffeine.