Dented Like a Junky’s Dream

A ribbon of smoke curled out from the sunroof.  He stubbed his cigarette out in an overflowing ashtray and immediately lit another.  Palm trees hung over the street like professors reading your test.  He drove casually, as if Time were a disposable toothbrush he could wash the teeth of nothingness with and throw out the window.  The sky was blue steel.  A harvest moon, dented like a junky’s dream, planted itself above the mountains.  The knife was discarded in the backseat.  His cell phone rang but he ignored it.


The wind whipped leaves through the street.  A raccoon darted into a storm drain.  Something was coming but nobody knew what.  There was a new flavored Blizzard down at the Dairy Queen.  An oil stain on Route 53.  It was football season.


“What if we call our kid ‘Three’?” She asked, eyes smokey like a feral cat’s, a dollop of methamphetamine on her lips. “You know, for the two miscarriages.”

It was then I should have known to walk away, but love is blind.


Every kid loves robots and astronauts.  But my dad was a plumber.  One time after a church spaghetti dinner I clogged the downstairs toilet and he said it’s the best he’s ever seen.


She opened a window so that the breeze would blow through the house, lifting the curtains like a ghost passing through the room.  She would watch them flap and daydream about chaos.  On the floor of the room was a pair of red high heels with one broken strap.  When I meet my prince, she’d say, I’m sure once I kiss him he’s going to turn into a toad.


“Why don’t we call it a poop beetle instead of a dung beetle,” my 5-year-old nephew asked me.

I didn’t have a good answer. I told him to look it up on Wikipedia.


All eyes in the bar followed her as she made a path towards me.  I swallowed hard and steeled myself.

She positioned herself in front of the counter and waited for the bartender.

“I must confess, when I saw you walking over here, I tried to think up a way to pick you up,” I told her, “but you stumped me.  You’re too much.”

She didn’t even glance over.  “Is that the best you got?”  She asked.

I didn’t have anything after that.  “I’m afraid so.”

The air around her was cold, like the milk aisle in the grocery store.  “You can’t write yourself a pickup in this one, Art.”



The experiment went bad.  The monkeys escaped.   Luann hasn’t been seen for days.  Somebody send bananas.


The seasoned hunter had the bull deer in the middle of his scope.  Its antlers were massive and stately.  He unlatched the safety when the deer did something the hunter remarkably had never seen before.  He took a piss.  An acrid, stanky piss.  The hunter got a fecund whiff of the foul odor and gagged. The deer bolted for freedom.


“You haven’t written a word.  You stare at the screen like it’s going to tell you what to say!”

“The words don’t come because I haven’t earned them.”

“Oh, you’re full of shit,” she yells, tossing things out of her way.

I only have the courage to mumble.  “Well, at least that’s something,” I say.


The school was snowed in on Friday.  Nobody woke up Mr. Humphries.   They found him on Monday.  He smelled like moonshine.  “Where’s everybody been?” He slurred.  Sally Worthington in the second grade let out a shriek and ran out onto the melting snow.


The bottle washed ashore.  There was a note inside from shipwrecked survivors.  But the island was uninhabited.



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