Spite

After soldiering through the funeral arrangements, he arrived home to the empty house. “Alone at last,” he shouted, throwing his coat down on a chair. Now he would see, now he would learn the truth about all the little things that had became maddening. He would see who it was who always left the lights on, if it was her who didn’t pick up, didn’t clean after herself when she cooked or baked, her who  left doors unlocked and wasted heat and energy. Now he would see. He’d always believed it was her and now he would prove it, because now it was only him. And then —

Stopping, he looked around the silent house. Moving slowly, he picked up his coat and hung it up. Then, just for spite, he turned on a light, and left it on.

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Without

he’s an edge without a blade

rain without a cloud

a dance without a song

a steak without a knife

 

he’s a foot without a leg

a beard without a head

pupils without a face

fat without a bone

 

he’s an object without shape

sweet without taste

sour without texture

swallowed without chewing

spoken without thought

buried without mourning

morning without light

coffee

without beans

 

 

Undefined

don’t judge me wit crayons

or color me

on Insta

Face

tweet

 

you adult you

 

e’s and blue screens

ceilings and fans

t.v. and sports

song and dance

coming and going

 

in

fan-tah-sy

compa-tish

shun

 

hiddin by a fence

you see there

i see it

don’t

you correct my words

for-gettin’

’bout my

 

e’s and blue screens

ceilings and fans

t.v. and sports

song and dance

coming and going

 

in

fan-tah-sy

compa-tish

shun

Petty’s Song

trans

pan

bi

straight

another city

another country

another –

face

none this is me

i’m all this

don’t try to touch me

don’t seal me with a kiss

touch on skin

touch on lips

touch on face

touch on spit

touch on love

touch on hate

touch on kiss

touch on grace

touch on

touch on

touch

on

touch

Awkward

He considered it a sign of his life that this shit happened.

First, he’d outlived his friends and family. Said good-bye to all of them. By the time some died, they’d noticed that his hair remained shiny and full, wrinkles didn’t mar his skin, and that he remained energetic and athletic as a twenty-year-old. “Good genes,” he always said, even to his parents and siblings. “Why didn’t we get those genes?” they wanted to know. “Good question,” he replied.

Now, they were alive again, not because of his good genes, but because he’d awakened back in time. “Impossible,” he told himself.

But there they were. He wondered if he’d have to say good-bye to them again, or would they finally watch him pass away.

Either way, it could be awkward.

Mr Gander

Mr Gander rolled into the noisy sports bar, grunting and waving at others while signalling for a PBR. As Gander’s ample weight found a stool, Tilly observed that Gander seemed down.

“The wife.” Gander pointed his eyes at the TV and sampled his beer’s head.

“What ’bout ‘er?”

“Nothin’. I have little complaints ’bout ‘er. They’re so small, you could say they’re shards of complaints.”

“You ever tell ‘er ’bout ’em? Maybe that’d help.”

“Naw, man. If I tell ‘er my complaints ’bout ‘er, she’ll tell me her complaints ’bout me.” Gander sipped his beer. “Who wants to hear that crap?”

Unchanged

She’d thought about using a computer but decided that she didn’t want to. That would have been cumbersome to learn, as would changing her phone. The green wall phone with its rotary dial and long cord was sufficient.

She kept her old color console television, bought from Sears in 1969, because it still worked, so why buy a new one? She had to buy new furniture in 1969 because the old stuff fell apart, but once the gold and green brocade stuff she bought started falling apart, she kept it, even though the fabric was torn and worn, stuffing was coming out, and the frames were coming apart.

Her hair-style was unchanged from 1968, which is also when she started dying her hair brown, so she looked much the same in this century as she did the last. She loved Campbell’s tomato soup and had it almost every day for lunch with a grilled cheese sandwich using Kraft American Cheese Singles, along with a Heinz dill pickle. Her breakfast was Quaker Oats followed by two cups of Maxwell House coffee that she made in her old percolator.

Days were spent reading Dick Francis, Nancy Drew mysteries, or Agatha Christie while watching Fox News. In the evenings, she watched The Family Feud and The Price is Right followed by Murder, She Wrote, The Andy Griffith Show, The Big Valley, and Perry Mason. Once in a while, she watched a movie, like The Sound of Music. For treats, she ate Little Debbie Cakes.

Not much had changed in her life, and that made her happy. Being happy, she saw no reason to change.

Change

“Keep the change,” he said, turning away from the cashier.

“You always say that,” his friend said as they walked away as the cashier put the coins into the tip jar and said, “Thank you, sir, your order will be right up.”

“Habit.” The other shrugged. “I don’t want change.”

“But it adds up.”

He was about to reply when his friend said, “Hey.”

As he turned, his friend flipped a silver coin at him. He caught it without thinking, mostly as protection to keep it from hitting his face. Within a second, he raised the coin and looked at it. Seeing it was a nineteen seventy-eight quarter, he said, “Fu — ”

Then he was gone.

Puzzled, his friend blinked at the empty space. He’d lost the thread on what he’d been doing. He’d  had a quarter and he’d been thinking…something…

Rubbing his head, he tried to remember. There’d been something there, but where that something had been, it seemed like there was now a hole.

Sighing, he told himself, it’ll come back to him. He was getting old and forgetful, like his parents. Turning, he hunted for a table, sure that he’d forgotten something important, growing less certain that it would ever come back.

 

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