Kindness of strangers
I staggered into the shower-tiled wall at Park Street Station. The Wronged Man made a beeline for the stairs, disappearing with all The Not Involved People. He was trying to outrun his fist, which probably stung courtesy of my skull.
Hey! On the far platform, across the electrified chasm, The Last Complete Stranger of the Morning Commute was gripping my olive green fedora. He mouthed the words, You okay? while nodding at me, then he pump-faked the hat like a Frisbee.
I must’ve been wagging my tail like an abandoned beach dog, since he launched my hat good. Across the void of outbound and inbound Red Line tracks, the hat wobbled like a drunk flying saucer and skidded into my meat-colored shoes. The crown was crushed bad, but if and only if I wore it backwards maybe I could hoof it to work on time.
Holding up any number of fingers, I got the answer right. Tuesday. The train to Braintree squealed up. From outside and inside, I screamed at the closed doors.
Empty truck at the nursery
You can crack any lock by walking around it. Like butter we slice through chain-links by a Bic lighter’s light. Me and the moon have the night off. In neutral, we shoulder the pickup through our handcrafted passageway. The doors splay like broken wings creaking a thousand threats.
Hoisting a giant vat blind means dirt fills your shoes. Flowering crêpe myrtles weigh 200 pounds easy. You need three guys. We’ve got two.
Halfway up the tailgate, everything rolls. Both doors echo. Our toes are lucky, outrunning floodlights, disposable skin, blood.
“Could’ve snagged small ones.”
Father disagrees. “Mother deserves better.”
Steering wheels are removable
The twins are three and hitting the road. Their birthday car is packed. A sticky backyard stick, covered in ants, is dragged to the driveway – mud torn through grass. Dad’s hammer, Mama’s clippers, vacuum hoses, no room to sit. Screaming travels to Great-Gramma’s. They’ll never decide who drives.
Somethin’ something new
Maxwell pumps on the stereo. His croon slides the mood toward love. It’s an anniversary with no traditional gift. Wikipedia says “Musical Instruments.” No one gets a gift, but fart jokes are abundant, as are accompanying sounds, smells. This is nothing new.
Bass rumbles in our throats. We try not to repeat dinner.
Sandpaper hands whisper apologies. A swan neck appears bedside, plastic, to honk on demand. Hypoallergenic and slick, we are prepared for anything. The cold, mesh bra out-squeaks the mattress. This is nothing new, either.
Someone finds an idea. Radically, lights light up.
A new mole is discovered.
JR Walsh is the Online and Fiction Editor at The Citron Review. He has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boise State University, where he now teaches English as a Second Language. His writing may be found in fine publications such as Litro, Juked, NUNUM, Rougarou, Blink-Ink, Alba, Timber, The Sheepshead Review, Esquire, and B O D Y. For a more complete list of publications: itsjrwalsh.com.