Friday, November 5, 2010

The fire was mostly embers, and the ash from the picnic plates was like a snow flurry, the warm wind whipping it about, and making the trees do ocean sound impressions.

"Dad?"Bello asked (who else?) "What's the point?"

"Of what?"

"Dating. Girls. Life." He poked at the embers, meticulously cleaning the marsh mellow residue of the poker end. "I dunno. Whatever."

"Me either, but. I dated, I'd say, over one hundred people before your mother and I got married."

"Didn't date?"

"Not really."

"Just married."

"We were friends first. Then one day -"

"Night," Bello corrected.

"One night, sure." His father laughed, "One night, we clicked."

"Fucked."

"Watch your mouth!" But he laughed.

"And that was it?"

"And that was it."

"But first, you dated, like, a million other girls?"

"People."

"Gross."

"Whatever."

"That's what uncle Tony calls your man-whore period."

"I'm going to have to tell Tony to watch his mouth around my son now, am I?"

"Dad!"

"You know? He told me he was going to enjoy telling you about that."

"It is pretty funny, some of the stories he tells."

"Don't repeat them to your mother." They locked eyes in the near darkness. "I'm serious." And he was. Bello's dad finished with, "She doesn't like to talk about the past." And they were quiet for a long while after that.
When he was nine, his father had the tree in their front yard cut down. It turned out, the tree was riddled with an ant warren, and the last big cut cross sectioned the main hive area. It was fascinating, watching them scurry about. He imagined they were as bleary as when his mother opened the blinds in his room on Sunday afternoon, and asked him why he was still in his work clothes, asked him when he'd gotten home.

"Those poor ants." He said. And his mother, momentarily pale and tight mouthed, had poured two kettles of boiling water into the tree trunk. He said, "It's a good thing we can't hear ants scream."

"They don't know what pain is." His mother replied, and went back inside.
The coffee shop, and in his opinion this was never a good thing, was cheerily bright, even at one in the morning. He sat down and pretended to choose something from the menu. He smiled and greeted the waiter, and when he finished the glass of water, he got up and left.

The early morning was verdant, and, somewhere in an apartment above the shops, someone was smoking some serious, green, weed. He sniffed. Figured out the apartment and considered climbing the drainpipe and making some new friends -then decided against it.

"I walk to much," he said, mostly to himself. "I should get some sleep, I've got work tomorrow."
He sat on the cardboard recycling dumpster, and watched the slow revolution of his ex girlfriend's cigarette: hips, tits, mouth; tits, hips. She squinted at him, but neither of them had anything to say, so he hopped off the dumpster. He half smiled at her, and when he brushed the hair from her eyes, she opened her mouth -she had a pretty scowl.

Still no words between them.

The smile faded from his eyes, and he walked away.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lost in the basement of a food mall.

What a horrible fate to endure. Especially if you're looking for the bathroom. Especially if it's. . . no, wait, that's redundant.

What if zombies were chasing you? Would that make the eternity better or worse?

What if . . .

Monday, November 1, 2010

This story, and it is not unique in this --indeed every story ever, is my guess- hinges on certain moments of serendipity. Apart from that, you'll find the characters more or less humanely rational.

Step one: being born to a set of aloof, socially misbegottens who managed, somehow, to stay happy and gainfully employed while the rest of the world collapsed around them.

Step two: realizing the important lessen, as a young man, that sports and poetry, fucking and liking, are not mutually exclusive.

Step three: being something of an old soul.


* * *

Bello was not, in actuality, a loud or shouty young man. Quite the contrary. In addition to his quietus, he was tall, in high school, and on the swim team.

Freemont, California. Nothing to do with anything in this story, oh no.

This story is set in and west of Detroit, Michigan. The cracked tower (of academia) and it's snowy, crumbly bedrock.

Where does Bello live? In the middle of course, in a deep country side, with a sheep, some chickens, three cats and a dog. All the neighbors, both that there were, also had dogs.

The dog's name, the dog being a huge orange beast of a mastiff, the dog's name is Kitty.

Bello has a sister named Ellis, but she's much too young for this story. (Which is not to say she doesn't have stories of her own. . . just not this one.)