If I am repaired, can we meet again for the first time, in all of the places I have feared to go, and then, again, in all of the places I will have forgotten, if I am repaired?



Sunday, July 15, 2018


It was not an educated guess. Edward (Bun Bun) Taylor’s formal schooling had promptly ceased after a miraculous, possibly fudged, graduation from the State-required Eighth Grade. Not for any practical reasons. Edward just didn’t ‘get’ school, is how he put it. In fact, if eight years had not been required, Edward would have removed himself sooner, which, in truth, would not have upset the teaching staff at Middleton Elementary in the least. They didn’t ‘get’ Edward either.     
     But Edward didn’t need a higher education to determine, from a single glance, that his mother was dead in the passenger seat of his father’s ’05 Caprice Classic. 
     She'ad fallen asleep, as she always did, ten minutes into the trip home, doped up and exhausted after her weekly visit to the doctor. On every other occasion, the seatbelt had engaged when she lolled forward, limp with sleep, restraining her in a mostly upright position, where she would simply nod in silence as Edward navigated the Caprice homeward.   
     Perhaps her weight had deteriorated beyond that which the seatbelt’s catching mechanism could recognize. She was so tiny, light and frail that Edward himself had begun to see her as one of those mosquito-like creatures he called Gallinappers, a winged manifestation of dust, dried air and cobweb.    

     Whatever the case, the seatbelt hadn’t caught. Edward’s mother had listed steadily leftward, toward him, until the belt reached its full extension, where she had come to a stop, suspended just above the Caprice's center console.  
     She had rolled in her downward journey, and when Edward glanced at her, his mother was looking up at him, like some kid, goofing, her mouth agape.  
      Edward (Bun Bun) Taylor looked back to the road. Traffic was light. He sensed his mother swaying gently in the harness beside him, her eyes opened and rolled back white behind her Solar-Guard sunglasses. He listened to the steady click of his father’s Caprice Classic, its rings long burned from lack of oil, lowered the visor to shield his eyes from the sun and drove his mother home. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018


It was the trees. 
     In April of 2023, Neil Patterson made the discovery. But by then, the Earth had been nearly cleared of humans, the soil rich with their decomposition. 
     Neil had had a hunch. In full respiratory gear, he studied pollen taken from Deciduous and Conifer alike. Maple, Oak, Beech, Pine—all of the samples registered quantities of an allelopathic chemical once found only in leaf sap, a mild herbicide rained down as a means for clearing the soil immediately around the tree of competition for nutrients and water.
    In the pollen, however, Neil tested the chemical at nearly one hundred times the potency of what it had been in the sap. A single blossom, he found, had the capacity to inflict irreparable damage on human lung tissue. Springtime became a massacre.
     The aged fell first, the infirmed and young children.
  They thought it was a virus. Ran tests. Declared emergencies. Countries were quarantined. The dead couldn't be buried fast enough. Five years and Neil began to wonder if he had the Earth to himself. 
     From the quiet of his back porch, he watched now their gentle movements in the breeze, the sway of shadow over the unkempt grass. It was nearing fall. He was safe, for the moment, and smiled, remembering how helpless he had once thought they were, remembering the ambitious young tree-huggers he had known. He wondered if any of them had survived. If, now that the predator was removed, the chemical would weaken and return to the leaf sap—if the gift of clean oxygen the trees had once given freely, would become safe again to breath.
     Six months.
     He could only wait.  


Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Garden Found

It was only upon request that Richard Tinder would actually divulge information on the needs specific to the flora that consumed his slip of gardened yard—sunlight, soil requirements, pruning tips and what have you. 
     Those out for a stroll, who found Richard at work there and made the mistake of asking for a brief tour, would quickly find that his wealth of horticultural knowledge, his green thumb and keen eye for balance and foresight in planting were all incidental when compared to his great love of the acquisition unrecompensed. 
     Richard would positively beam as he explained how every single item in his garden had been scavenged in one manner or another. The cuttings, the stone, the bird feeders, the bench seats, all of it acquired through some means of his cunning, the details of which, would unfold as tourists brushed past beds rich in Gladiola and Snapdragon, Aster and Peony. 
     'Keep your eyes open,' Richard would advise as they neared the exit gate. 
     'Your garden is out there,' he'd say, pointing with plucked weed to some untold wealth beyond the immediate rooftops. 'Waiting to be had.'

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Pinewood 8

There are seven apartments at the Pinewood 8, all of which are ground level and rent month-to-month, weekly, or by the hour. 
     Click Larson stands outside of Unit 3, door opened behind him, on the concrete stoop Pinewood 8’s rental agreement designated as ‘patio area’, and whose maintenance he was responsible for, at risk of losing his one hundred dollar cash deposit. 
     In the same practiced and slightly absent manner a long-time smoker might coax a final strike from a Bic lighter, low on fluid, Click is shaking a squeeze container of French’s Hot Dog Mustard, his stare intently eastward. Click has rented Unit 3 for the week. 
     Against the mold, monochrome and dark silhouettes of the apartment’s sparse furnishings encased in the doorway at Click’s back, the bright yellow mustard container is a splash of cheer, a lone Daisy growing through the cracks of an eight-lane Interstate. 
     Cheerful as it is, Mark ‘Piles’ Brandon, wonders no less what the fuck somebody would need mustard for at six-thirty in the morning. He pours a second cup of de-caf and watches Click as the coffee cools enough to sip.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Rough Sketch of a Greeter

Angela stands at the entrance to the self-checkout, hands at her sides, fingers splayed, as if the paint on her acrylic nails is freshly applied and drying.
          Aside from a pair of brilliant red lips, she is accessorized entirely in shades of blue and yellow, the colors that compose her pants and vest—the uniform in which she works. The acrylics are yellow, bright, as are the laces of her walking shoes. Her hair shares not only the shade, but also the same ambiguous shape and stale, sodden qualities of carnival popcorn. Her shoes are blue. Her eyes, hidden in the color, three or four sparkling variations.
          She wears golden rings on every cobbled finger, bracelets on her wrists, a brooch, her name tag. The word 'dish' comes to mind, ballroom floors, though the whole of her is like a piece of silken furniture left at a window for years, silted and brittle and faded by the sun.
          She smiles. Her teeth are long and white, flecked with the red of her lips.

          “Hello,” she says, batting lashes, long and stiff as plastic. “How are you on this beautiful, beautiful day?”

Monday, August 21, 2017

On Potty Training and The Missing Clue

If you didn’t already know, I’ve acquired another dog. Silky. She’s a puppy. We’re potty training.

  This is a first for me. The other dogs came full-grown, well mannered and with clear methods of informing me that they need to be let out, for whatever reason. Silky is not so readable. That’s where we’re at presently: Me learning her language ... the signs. 

  My house is small. From where I sit at my computer, I can look to my right, through a doorway, and see, not the door itself, but the area immediately in front of the entrance to the bathroom, the Foyer de Jon, if you will. 

  It’s to this foyer that Silky comes, not before, but immediately after she relieves herself (On potty pads, fortunately. She does understand how they work). Silky doesn’t go into the bathroom; she only looks inside, and then to me, back at the bathroom, and then trots off to resume whatever chewing she was involved in prior to said call of nature. 

  There’s some logic here. Some pattern to which I am missing the all-important piece ... that cue prior to the squatting that is the simple difference between Silky doing her business in my living room or outside in the backyard. One hundred and fifty potty pads and counting. Believe you me, I’m watching her every flutter and flinch. We’ll get this figured out, she and I. Soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017