Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Volunteer and The Gargoyle

Valerie never misses an opportunity to do good. She volunteers for Meals on Wheels, aids the nurses of the helpless, sick babies in the NICU at the Children's Hospital, walks for every cause from the cure for Breast Cancer to the annual fund raiser for Multiple Sclerosis. She even competed in a triathlon for such a suspect cause as finding the cure for Death--she had just wanted to make a point to her competitive siblings about how committed she was to doing good for the world.

Her only vice? Stone India Pale Ale, a local brew that is only served on tap at one ale house in town, a dive called The Gargoyle.

Tonight, after completing all 17 actions to reduce energy use in her household, Valerie craved A Cold One. So she hoofed it over to The Gargoyle. She nearly fell off her bar stool when she noticed her best friend, Babs, sitting in the corner of the bar nearly passed out.

"Babs, what in heaven's name has gotten into you?" Valerie slid next to Babs in the booth. The bourbon on her friend's breath reminded Valerie of painful nights spent caring for her own drunken mother.

"I'm taking your keys." Valerie shuffled through Babs's purse. "I'll take you home." Valerie practically dragged Babs out to Babs's car. She regretted it was too far to carry Babs home on her back. How would Valerie pay for the debt this drive would incur upon her own carbon footprint?

As for Babs, she never could tell Valerie about the secret affairs that inspired the drinking binges. Hell, Babs couldn't even admit to Valerie that she sometimes left the water running when she brushed her teeth. Now Babs was too intoxicated to scold herself for having chosen this bar to self medicate tonight. Valerie's bar. But Valerie went out drinking so seldom. What a fluke!

Babs immediately passed out when Valerie started the car. During the ride home, Valerie reached to wipe sweat from Babs's brow; she only had one hand on the steering wheel and wasn't paying close enough attention to the homeless vet who was limping across the intersection of Washington Avenue and Kilaguy Street. Valerie hit the man, and he died instantly. After Valerie heard a fleshy-boney thump on the hood, she told herself that she must have hit a large, stray dog because what half sane person would even think of crossing such a famously dangerous intersection where there were no pedestrian walkways? Valerie continued driving, too concerned for her friend, too oblivious and not at all interested in investigating her error more closely.

After cleaning her friend up and putting Babs to bed, Valerie walked back home all the way across town. The next day she woke early and headed to the soup kitchen to do her part to help feed the hungry.

Weeks later, Valerie heard from another mutual friend that Babs had been charged with a hit and run. Valerie "Tsked" with her tongue and shook her head. That fateful night at the ale house, Valerie had already decided she needed to find herself a new best friend, and it wasn't because her friend drank too much. Babs became Valerie's ex best friend when Valerie discovered Babs had chosen the wrong drink.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shave It All Off

Ramona Galhare used to write erotica. She used to own dozens of dildos, various vibrators, and countless other phallic doodads. However, Ramona had not felt sexy in over two years. And she didn't feel sexy now. She didn't feel sexy or sexual or sexed or sexist or sexsational or sex-crazed or sex-starved. Sex sucks. Ramona had been pregnant and given birth to two kids who continued to get up in her grill long after any memory of her ever having had an orgasm had faded. Now Ramona needed a father's day gift for the man responsible for making her a chuck wagon, any gift that might make daddy feel big. So, she walked into a boutique in the Fashion Valley Mall called The Art of Shaving.

A beautiful salesgirl helped Ramona. The girl's name was Leila. She had the grace of a ballerina and the lips of a goddess. Her hair reminded Ramona of the setting sun.

Leila gave Ramona a well-rehearsed pitch.

"I even use this balm in my Bikini area!" Leila explained to Ramona about the after-shave balm. Leila rubbed a bit of the balm on the back of her hand to give Ramona a sniff of the sandalwood scent. Ramona had never sniffed a more majestic little hand.

Ramona looked Leila square in the eyes with her own bedroom eyes. She cocked one brow and bit her lower lip. Then Ramona's voice deepened and she said, "Is that so?"

Leila blushed only slightly as she returned Ramona's sentiment by inhaling, tossing her head back a bit to expose her slender throat, and exhaling so gentle a sigh of pleasure that only a pin-drop pixie could have heard it. Ramona heard the sigh and said, "Bet his philtril dimple feels smooth as a babe's ass after such a perfect shave."

"His what?" Leila asked, cracking her salesgirls' promiscuous smile.

"His philtril dimple." Ramona repeated slowly, and she stretched out her index finger to rub over the groove on Leila's upper lip. It was such a sensual, intimate, and unexpected gesture that both women nearly wet their pants right there in the boutique.

Ramona left the Art of Shaving store with a new, fancy kit for her man. She had also gotten Leila's phone number.

She drove her husband's Audi back home that day with the top dropped and her tennis skirt flipped up. She hadn't worn panties that day. In fact she had ditched all her panties when she'd moved from New York City to the West Coast. She had given $3,000 worth of lingerie to the Salvation Army after conceding that bras and panties felt way too restrictive in a beach town. This drive home now from the Fashion Valley Mall assured her that parting with all the panties had been the right decision, indeed. Upon entering The Five, she shifted gear, passed a Vons truck that had pictures of fruit painted all over it, and Ramona indulged in the pleasure of the San Diego Freeway rushing up her cunt.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Last Words

Ralph raced to the book club meeting on his bike. They were going to discuss Joan Didion's classic, Play It As It Lays.

In an attempt to feel as desolate, as fatalistic, as beautifully nihilistic, as that novel's main character, Maria, Ralph drove eighty miles an hour. He felt the rushing wind was like a barbituate as he crossed five lanes, and relished the feeling of having no blind spots.

Tragically, a less careful driver than Ralph overcorrected. The SUV was merely scratched, but the driver claimed he never saw the motorcyclist as the medics were peeling the boy's body off the pavement.

What an aweful way to go, and what an aweful last novel to have read! Not that the novel is bad, but you really wouldn't want it to be the last piece of fiction you read in your life.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Busker

Lita performs contortions. Her hair and limbs twist together around her legs. Looks like wily serpents tempting all of humanity to fall further. A crowd whoops. Lita's eyelashes tickle the small of her back. She balances a bowl of fruit on her belly. She twists again, jumps up, and swallows the sword that had balanced on her pointed toes.


Adam Cross stands behind the crowd and wishes he'd never divorced Lita. He wonders how she lost all that weight and where she learned these acrobatic tricks.

Lita doesn't notice her Ex studying her from his distance. But her guardian notices the bearded abuser and plans a quick way to take care of Mr. Cross. No one should remind Lita of her past, or else the experiment will fail.


Lita bows. She notices a new couple in the front row holding hands. She makes a wish and throws flame. Some of the observers toss her a buck before moving on to the next distraction.

70 degrees and low clouds in this Southern California town today. Not a soul suspects the cosmic drama playing out amidst these ordinary days' events. Another earthquake in Baja. No human felt it.