Sunday, November 26, 2017

1143. The Jockey

To anyone who could be bothered, the broken-down old jockey was known as "Cutter".
Depending on who you asked, he'd been trampled by a horse in 1939 or when he was thirty-nine.
He used to sit in the jockey club looking disinterested but listening for tips.
As I understand it, he's not allowed in the club anymore--not since getting wound up in one of those race fixing scandals that is periodical to our business.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

1142. Out in the grey and blue

I raised my shaggy buffalo head and looked out over the dunes to the sea.
A teacher had wondered once how a great shaggy buffalo head had ended up on the body of a boy like me.
Out beyond the dunes, I could see a ship crawling against the horizon as it hauled salt from the mine.
My mother had taken more than five thousand photos of this ship and others in her lifetime.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

1141. Thank you for your service

Tom was a jerk.
We all knew that.
In 1990, he did nothing but drive through town blasting Creedance.
He used to stop at drive throughs, order nothing, and thank the teens at the window for their service.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

1140. Subtle indicators of power

At five, Toby padded whisper quiet down to the basement, where the treadmill lived.
She laced up her shoes slowly, methodically.
As she ran, the light through the basement window grew slowly more intense.
When she finished, she thought she could almost hear the quiet sigh of a thousand thousand machines as the city slid back into darkness.

Monday, September 18, 2017

1139. Detergent

I was sitting on the floor in the closet swapping our old door knobs for modern silver ones.
The air was thick with the smell of my clothes--a mixture of the deodorant I always used and whichever laundry detergent had been last marked down at the supermarket.
This reminded me strongly of hiding in my parents closet as a boy and the smell of my father's clothes; deodorant and detergent, yes, but also the deep bass note of aftershave.
I was there the whole of the robbery, officer, trying to remember which brand he favoured.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

1138. Brad has been to a seminar

“You’ve got to understand the basics of ‘the personal brand,” Brad was shouting.
“Trust me; I’ve been to a seminar!”
He’d been to a seminar.
As we watched him waving the red-hot branding iron around the conference room, it wasn’t clear Brad had learned the basics of ‘the personal brand’ from his seminar.

Monday, September 11, 2017

1137. Hyatt and his brother, Pep

Hyatt has a brother, Pep.
Presumably, he has some other brothers, and maybe some sisters.
But, Pep’s the one what concerns me.
He shot me – here in my leg – and made off with my valuables.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

1136. Ghost ship

They’re bringing up the wreckage of my great grandfather’s ship.
They found it two weeks ago, bouncing sonar at the bottom of the Great Lake; two years it must have taken to search those grids of theirs. 
A DNA test, they said, from my father or me, would sort my great grandfather from the other bones they found.
We could keep his bones, they said, and do what we would with them.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

1135. Gemini adjacent

My twin sister is two years, three days, zero hours, and two minutes older than me.
There's no magic or mad science involved here.
It just is.
My dad says things just are sometimes.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

1134. Iowa Caucus

I've been thinking lately -- daydreaming really -- about driving a car through a cornfield.
There's a couple of ways you can go at this.
You can either go straight on at ninety degrees, or sidle up to it at some oblique angle.
The thwap thwap thwap sound of six-foot stocks against metal; I can't get it out of my head.