Friday, November 30, 2012

poem of the day 11.30.12

above average

the science behind it
says that the average woman
should only have one drink per day

the average man two

but i’m thinking they aren’t factoring in
holding down a job
or having to take the 5 p.m. bus
with people shouting into cell phones

surely those experiences are worth
another shot or two

still for a guy like me

who’s always been below average in love
below average in art
and quite possibly below average in life

it’s nice to think that
as i reach for my third, fourth, and fifth drink
of the night

that i’m above average
in at least one documented category.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

poem of the day 11.28.12

bukowski convention

i had a dream that i was at a poetry reading
that turned into a charles bukowski convention
and suddenly all of the poets there turned into white dudes
with beer bellies and facial hair
eyes that weren’t narrow and squinty suddenly became so
and all of the women there turned into twenty-three year old red heads
with great tits and tight asses
and each of the poets who got up to read
talked with a slight lisp
and they read their poems about their red headed girlfriends
with great tits and tight asses
their long legs in fishnet stocking
when they weren’t threatening to fistfight the audience
some of the poets walked around talking about
trying to get the word down
everywhere you turned it was about the word
the word
and we all worked terrible jobs
some were janitors or file clerks or factory workers or librarians
there wasn’t a college professor amongst the lot of us
which was good because we would’ve eaten a professor alive
we all had our poems on stained paper
the words we’d found while walking though the fire
our poems about fucking our red headed girlfriends
with great tits and tight asses
shooting our sperm like whales
poems about our apartments in the slums and ghettos
poems about our shitty jobs and our tyrant bosses
poems about hangovers and vomit and taking steaming beers shits
no one had a sonnet about true love or nature
but i swear there were a dozen poems about being stuck in traffic
or listening to mahler while drinking cheap wine
reading celine and fante and hemingway and hamsun
to try and stave off the madness
fighting with the wives and girlfriends
and all of the poets at this reading that turned into a convention
were stumbling around drinking cans of cheap beer
calling their women whores and bitches
in their lisping cadence
challenging each other as to who had it worse
who got the word down better
that precious word
the whole bunch of us more like playground bullies than poets
asking each other where we’d been published
talking shit and taking names
making connections
challenging each other to fights in the back alleys
fights we hoped to lose so that we could write
immortal poems about being brave yet downtrodden
wearing nametags that either said buk or hank
and there wasn’t an original soul amongst us
just a bunch of poets
doing the same tired and retreaded act
over and over and over and over and over again
until it was time for the convention to convene
for a lunch of hard boiled eggs and fried chicken gizzards
served with two bottles of german white wine
for each and every one of us hardcore, badass bards.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

poem of the day 11.27.12

age 20

i was a late bloomer

i had my first girlfriend
after a lifelong drought

she lived thirty miles away
and because i had no ambition
still lived with my parents
still drove their car and ate their food

and still lived by their rules when i didn’t have to

every chance to see her
became a battle royal over gas money and authority

one summer week
her parents went away
to visit her older sister in ohio

i stayed with the girlfriend
because she was scared to be alone

and we fucked all over her house
soiling her carpets and her parent’s bed with hungry sweat

drinking like bacchus and making food

walking around naked
watching o.j. simpson race for his life
down los angeles freeways

and on days that i worked
she drove me into the city for my library job
like we were a cute little married couple

later we’d go back to her parent’s place
for more food and more sex
more playacting away from the world

it was an eye-opening time in my life
a confusion that i never knew was so good

until my mother found out
that we’d be alone all week

she read me the riot act over the phone
made me drag ass home for a proper dressing down

and the girlfriend didn’t understand
even though she was in the same situation as me

we went from fucking fiends
to arguing all over her house

that week between us wiped away by our own chains
two dumb kids too scared to know the power that truly wielded

but the one thing that i remember about that week
above the sweat and debauchery
and the misery of family and love

was her friend’s white convertible

driving down suburban highways
with the roof open and the air breezing in

making waves with my hands under blue horizons
as i was being driven home toward my fate

for a moment feeling so full of hope and youth
feeling so goddamned free
that i couldn’t help but smile like a dumb fool
when there was no reason to

that poor girl sitting next to me
holding my hand

thinking that it was her that was making me so happy

when it was everything

everything else in the world
that was still coming to me

once i figured out how to shake
all of these people off of my back
and really learn how to live.


Monday, November 26, 2012

poem of the day 11.26.12

peanut eater

the peanut eater
sits in the back of the bus
breaking shells and burping without a care
it smells like a circus on this thing
or a grade school cafeteria
and winter is coming again
and i am going mad with the smell of my own failures
mad with tiredness and the bleak tangle of the years
thinking suicide is too expensive a proposal
after all of this wasted time
that it is better to frail and dwindle
into my final rest
and the peanut eater
breaks another shell and laughs
throws it onto the floor without spite
as wars rage in the middle east
pitting zionist upon zionist
in this decades dimwit death dual for dirt
as america surrenders its loose decorum
to twinkling lights and saccharine songs
careening toward another black friday margin call
of stampeding flesh
fat with turkey flesh and canned pumpkin pie
full on their own dwindling largesse
primed to kill each other over telephones and big screen tvs
just to prove that they exist
as we make our way toward
mayan doomsday predictions
and apocalyptic fiscal cliffs of insanity
only the peanut eater
seems so calm in this madness
cracking shells and spraying peanut dust
all over this societal mess
i wonder how he does it
sitting serenely in the back of this bus
as i clutch myself and stare red eyed and crazed
out at this neon smeared landscape
wishing an end so slow and painless
smooth like peanut butter
spread on warm bread
under gray skies
threatening only that a light rain
is sure to fall.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

poem of the day 11.20.12


bobby mueller had these
two doberman pinchers
that he’d sick on us
whenever we walked passed his house

you’d hear a whistle from the porch
and then these two salivating beasts
would come tearing across the yard

smacking off the fence
foaming at the mouth
trying to get at you before you knew
what was happening.

no one knew what made bobby do this

he was troubled people said
there were family issues
the kid was just a world class asshole

when he wasn’t sicking the dobermans on us
bobby would ride around in his old man’s car
and throw his garbage at us

mcdonald’s bags full of half-eaten food
the carton of eggs he’d bought at foodland
or WD40 canisters from his backseat

in the winter he throw snowballs at us kids
that were laced with rocks and other sundry items
just to give them an extra sting when they hit
off of your cold and red face

or he’d toss icicles like they were darts

but nothing was as bad as watching those two
goddamned dogs come charging at you

looking at the mueller’s weak fence as it shook
the gray foam on the beasts’  jowls
their yellow fangs snapping at air but hoping for flesh

listening to bobby’s laughter on the porch
as he chain smoked winstons
and asked you if you’d pissed your pants yet

knowing that you probably had before you tore off back home

his slick laughter trailing you
the convenience store and baseball cards be damned

when bobby took his own life on new year’s eve
in that devil car with the motoring running in the garage

a lot of us kids
were more relieved than saddened
as our parents sat us down to make sense of it

it was like a war had ended
peace had somehow been restored
our trivial civilization saved
from strawberry milkshake molotov cocktails
snowballs with rusty razors hidden in their core

or the snap and strangle of those dobermans
who now stayed in the mueller home most of the time
looking out of darkened windows

or when they were in the yard
paced around the muddy landscape
with thick chains around their necks

while all of us emboldened bastard kids
taunted them like paper tough guys

happy to have the vigor and fight
drained from their stealth and murderous bodies

now that their master was gone to heaven
like all of those fat priests said he had.


Monday, November 19, 2012

poem of the day 11.19.12

unusual rain

i’d given her
my jacket
and umbrella
on the walk
home from school
hummed her a song
in the cold and unusual rain
but that still
didn’t stop her
from talking
about my friend
the whole way home
so finally
i gave up
caught a stinging drop
of water
on my tongue
grudgingly wrote her
out of my heart
as i wondered
new miseries
the next year


Friday, November 16, 2012

poem of the day 11.16.12


he reads my essay on atheism
and writes me a note

he says i’m too hard on the religious

that he likes the religious

reading this
i think this is such passive bullshit

to like everyone
is to like no one at all

he wonders if i’m a bigot
because of how i feel about religion

do i think i’m better
than the people who have god?

i think about not writing him back
but then i do

i tell him
that religion is bigoted and vile
that i equate religious speech with hate speech

and that if hating the religious
makes me a bigot then so be it

then i tell him thanks for reading the essay
and i hope you look forward to the next one
which will be on baking

and no one can be a bigot
neither i nor the religious

about chocolate chip cookies
and cheesecake.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

poem of the day 11.15.12

president’s day weekend

drinking white
in a wool hat
by the
i keep
watching his breath
coming like
little volcanoes
as he hits
a pit bull
with his cane
the pit bull’s mouth
to his german shepherd’s neck
the old dog
kicking and crying
its end
the old man
grunting and shouting
as the pit bull
stands there
as regal as a world leader
calmly collecting death
and waiting
on the spring.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

poem of the day 11.14.12

jesus cross in the garbage

i threw a small jesus cross
in the garbage

i felt good for about a minute

then i dove my hand
into all of that trash

pick it out and placed it back
where it was

realizing that no matter what i did
those bastards still had some part of me

and that they’d probably never let me go.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

poem of the day 11.13.12

seeing the famous comedian

seeing the famous comedian
in a theater named after a famous poet

and the kid next to me doesn’t care

he’s too busy typing away on his cell phone
texting his friends about seeing the famous comedian

updating his facebook status
with the famous comedian’s old jokes

this kid is so preoccupied he’s not even laughing at the new ones

maybe the famous comedian has lost a step
gotten too soft since getting married and having kids

maybe he’s only funny in the context of his fame

i mean i chuckled a bit
and i’m certainly not bored like this kid next to me

but i’m not belly laughing either
like the assholes sitting behind me are

i’ve mostly been thinking about the subway ride home
or if i have enough whisky
for three stiff ones and a spit before i hit the bed

this kid next to me has his earbuds in
who knows what he’s thinking about

it’s certainly not the famous comedian

maybe we’ve lost a bit of our humor as of late
having gone through a hurricane
a presidential election
and a nor’easter in in just under two weeks

that’s a lot of shit to undertake

and try as he might
the famous comedian with his famous long island whine
and observationist humor
cannot get this kid and i out of our malaise
can’t lift our spirits
like he’s done so many times before

i think i’m going to give the famous comedian
a cursory snicker or chuckle

maybe a huge belly laugh if i can get it right

this kid can go on typing away on his phone
missing this and everything else

times have been so tough lately
i just feel like i want to be a part of something
just once

like seeing the famous comedian on a thursday night

and i don’t give a good goddamn
if this kid sitting next to me
wants to be so selective and aloof.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Sandy Beaches

damn near rejected by everyone......but i like it.  so i'm retiring this story and posting
a rare one on winedrunk

Sandy Beaches

Milo Dabrowski awoke in a lounge chair overlooking a vast span of cobalt colored ocean.  He stared up into the sunny sky.  It was just as blue; the hot sand around him a rich beige color.  Milo got up and looked around.  There was nothing but paradise as far as he could see.  It was humid as well; the kind that made you ill.  Milo hated this kind of heat.  He passed summers indoors, happily destroying the Ozone layer with air conditioning.  To him the sun was a flaming ball of carcinogenic gas in the sky.  He’d once heard that the world would end in exactly eight minutes if the sun ever burned out.  Milo imagined those eight minutes as one long and glorious symphony of time.

There were a few other people wandering the beach.  Nestled above were rows of condominiums painted pastel.  Milo looked at it all and sighed.  This was paradise to some, but not for him.  It was like he always said to his wife: give me an overcast world with a daily chance of rain and maybe, just maybe, I could believe in heaven.  He loved the gray.  Milo had no clue how he’d gotten on this beach.  It was surely not by choice.  Greta must’ve dragged him here on another one of those marriage saving vacations.  He stretched and yawned, covered his eyes with his hand, saw a bamboo cabana alcove in the distance, and went trudging through the hot sand in search of a cold drink.

            “Hello, Milo,” the voice next to him said.  Milo had just gotten his bottle and settled his lounger near a sliver of shade that seemed to keep moving away.

            Milo set down his beer and looked to his left.  Resting right next to him was an overweight man, naked to his waist, a plate of Buffalo wings on his bulging stomach.  It was Edgar Patterson, his boss.  Christ, Milo thought, taking in the fat, grinning, shirtless man with his red babyface and those man boobs that stuck against his belly.  Had he gone nuts?  Was he on some kind of working vacation with Edgar Patterson?  Milo put down his beer.  “What in the hell are you doing here?”

            “What do you mean?” Patterson asked, in that doughy way that he had of talking.  He took a wing, sucked off all the skin and fat, the chicken meat, and started chewing and snorting.

            “I mean what are you doing here?”  Milo gestured toward “paradise.”  “While I’m on vacation with my...wife?”

 “You’re not on vacation with your wife.”

            “I’m not?”  Milo smiled.  “If I’m not on vacation with my wife then who am I on vacation with?    
“Do you even know how you got here?”

            “Not a clue.”

“What’s the last thing that you remember?”

            “I remember making love to a beautiful girl.  It was the best sex I’d ever had.  She kept begging me for more.  I’d never had a woman talk that way.”  Milo felt no shame or embarrassment.  It would be good for the fat bastard to hear a tale of unbridled sexual pleasure.  “And then I woke up here on the beach.”

            “She was paid to act that way.”



            “Then she deserves an Oscar.” 

Patterson had another Buffalo wing, taking the whole thing in one slurp.

            “Can I have one of those?  I’m starving,” Milo said.


Milo took a wing off of Patterson’s plate.  But it tasted like nothing to him.  “How can you eat this?”

“Frankly, I’m a little disappointed in you,” Patterson said.

“About the woman?”



            “I’m just kidding.  I’m all for infidelity.  In fact, I encourage it.”

            “You?”  Milo didn’t even know that Edgar Patterson had a monogamous sex life to speak of, let alone the hutzpah to endorse extra-marital affairs.

            “Why not me?” Patterson said.  “Besides it’s good for business.”

            “You mean at the office?”

Patterson waved his arms around.  “Here.”

            Milo looked around at the sand, the blue water, and the blue sky.  He leaned in closer to his boss.  “What do you care for here?”  Then Milo got a creepy feeling inside of him.  “You haven’t gotten us involved with sex tourism.  Am I some kind of guinea pig?  Because I swear I tell them that you drugged me and had me dragged down here.”

            Edgar Patterson sighed.  “For goodness sake, Milo, haven’t you figured it out already?  You’re dead.”

            “Dead?”  Milo said.  “That’s one-hundred percent not possible.  If I were dead my wife would’ve texted me the news with about ten joyous emoticons.”

            “Think about it.  Would you be in a place like this with me?  Would you be here at all if you were still alive?”

            “True,” Milo said.  Then it hit him.  He remembered making love to that beautiful woman, working harder and harder to please her.  But then he had to slow down once the pains started in his left arm and in his chest.  And then?  Milo slumped in his seat and put his head in his hands.  “This is just terrible.”

            Patterson put his stained hand on Milo’s shoulder.  “It’s not so bad here.”


Patterson laughed.  “Guess again.”



            Milo grabbed his waiting beer.  He drank the thing until it was gone.  Then walked back to the alcove and ordered another one from an angry looking bartender.

            “Be careful with those,” Patterson said, when Milo returned.  “There’s no alcohol in the drinks we serve down here.”


            “It’s all a part of the experience.  There’s no taste to the food, no alcohol in any of the drinks, and you’ll always stay sober and hungry.  You should see some of these people.  They eat and drink all day, thinking that’ll help them numb some of the sadness.  But, of course, it just hits them harder.”  Patterson shook his head.  “You should see the complaint letters I get.”

            “You know this does nothing for my lifelong ethos of atheism.”

 “Sometimes it pays to believe what you can’t see.”

            “How could I believe when it seemed as though everyone spouting the word of God was some kind of right wing psycho, or a nut job in the subway?”

            “Blessed are the meek?”

            “It’s the Catholics fault.  They were always going on about when you die, if you lived a good life, you’d go to heaven and there’d be everyone you ever knew just waiting there for you.  I thought who in their right mind would want to die and go somewhere and see all of the people you spent an entire life trying to get away from.”

            “That’s a good philosophy,” Patterson said.  “It’s wrong, but it’s a good philosophy.”

            “So you don’t see everyone in heaven?”

            “You’re more likely to run into those people down here.”

            “Great.  Like who?”

            “Ex-girlfriends and wives, neighbors that you had problems with; bullies from your childhood; tax auditors; people who talk in movie theaters.  There are a lot of players from the Dallas Cowboys down here.”  Patterson smiled.  “Old bosses.”

            “So you’re dead too?” Milo asked.

            “Nah,” Patterson said.  “I’m simply the manifestation of Edgar Patterson, your old boss at Roadways Travel Agency.”

            “But the real Patterson will end up here one day, right?  I mean the man should have his own island in hell.”

            Patterson laughed.  “He’s not coming here when he dies.”

            “Edgar Patterson is a lazy, slothful individual.  The man sits at his desk for hours playing solitaire and eating bags of potato chips by the dozen.  He sleeps all afternoon while I do his work.  And then he takes all of the credit for it with those guys up in corporate.”

            “He’s never cheated on his wife with a prostitute,” Patterson said.

            “That’s because no woman would take him.”

            “You’re just mad at him because he put you on probation.”

            “I was only making fun of Jesus Christ.  How would I know that it would offend him?”

            “He’s a sensitive man.”

            “He’s a Jew,” Milo said.  “He doesn’t even believe in Jesus.”

He got up off of his stool and began pacing.  Milo looked down at his clothing.  He had on Khaki pants that were flooded to the ankles, and a tight red t-shirt with the phrase, While You Were Staring at My Butt, I Farted, written on it in puffy blue letters.  “I don’t believe this.  I die and I’m stuck in hell wearing these clothes, and Edgar Patterson gets to live on eating wings and farting in his chair.  Let me ask you something, if this is hell, why is it a sandy beach?”

            “Because you hate sandy beaches.”

            “I really do.  And sun.”  Milo stopped moving and felt his sweaty brow.  “There’s no shade and the heat is almost unbearable.  I gotta hand it to you.  This is actually what hell is for me.”

            Patterson smiled.  “I’m pretty excited by what we came up with.”

            “So are you the devil?”

            “That’s kind of hard to explain.  Let’s just say that there’s one main devil, and a bunch of us who act as his conduits.”  Patterson thought for a moment.  “Think of the devil as kind of like a company president, and the rest of us as his board of directors.”

            “Great.  Corporations run the afterworld as well.”


            “Will you always be in the form of Edgar Patterson?” Milo asked.

            “Except at your home.  At home I’ll be your wife.  Only forgive me if I nag you constantly.  I have to.  It’s in the contract.”

            “And I don’t get to meet the real devil?”

            “He’s mostly retired now.  He takes on the big ones when they come down here.”

            “Like Jerry Fallwell?”

            “Fallwell went to heaven.”

            “You’re shitting me,” Milo said.

            “I shit you not.  He did Gore Vidal though.”

            “Vidal is down here?”

            “Most artists are.”

            “Where is he?”

            “He’s wherever his hell is.”

            Milo sat back down on his lounge chair.  He picked up his beer and had a good pull.  The brew had quickly gotten warm.  “I’ll never see another gray day.”

            “Or feel cool air, or see an autumn leaves fall, or see a Super Bowl….I could go on if you’d like,” Patterson said.

            “Why not?”

            “Don’t you want to be surprised?” 
“Would you want to be surprised in a place like this?”

“True.  Let me think.”  Patterson bit his bottom lip, letting his big yellow teeth fall over the flesh. “You’re going to have to get a job.”

“Doing what?  Carrying large boulders up hills only to watch them come back down again?”

“Nothing as Sysiphisian as that.  You’ll be working back at the travel agency with me.”

“Who needs a travel agent in hell?”

Patterson raised an eyebrow at Milo.  “Lots of people do.  Especially all of the families going to Disney.”

“They have Disney here?” Milo said. 

“They practically bankroll the place,” Patterson said.  “But that’s not all.  We’ve got constant traffic here.  Smog.  We’ve got undercooked food with E-coli and Salmonella.  There’s no aspirin or good drugs.  We play twenty four hour news networks and reality television all day and all night on warped tube sets that never shut off, that seep through the walls and floors and ceilings of your noisy neighbors.  Our cell phone connections are bad down here.  There’s no WiFi.  All of our prostitutes are diseased.  There’s no pizza, but there’s a McDonald’s on every block.  Dogs bark non-stop, and babies always cry.  There’s…”

“Okay, enough,” Milo said.  “I think I get the idea.  But if this is my personal hell, why are there all of these other people around?”

Patterson laughed.  “People aren’t that original.  Plus there’s simply not enough room for you to exist in your own world.  So some aspects of hell are shared.”

“Like that bartender back there?”

“A failed actor,” Patterson said.  “He spent years telling everyone how famous he was going to be, and how he’d never have to bartend again.  They really hated him at his job.”

“What happened to him?”  Milo watched the bartender slamming down glasses and throwing bottles, none of which broke.

“Got shot.”


“He was on his way back from an audition for a show that would’ve made him a star.”

            “What did he do to end up here?”

            “Made a deal with the devil to become famous.”

            “But he never became famous.”

            “Are you kidding me?  His murder was scandal in the L.A. rags for months.”

            “That’s a trick.”

            “So is life.”

Milo was silent.  The weight of his situation began to bear down.  “Look, I understand that I might’ve cheated on my wife one or two times, but was that really enough to land me here?”



“You cheated on her ten times, Milo,” Patterson said.

“That’s impossible.”

“You gave her a venereal disease.”

“A touch of hepatitis C.”

Patterson pulled a piece of paper out of the back of his pocket.  It was stained with ketchup and Buffalo wing sauce.  He handed it to Milo.  “That’s a list of everything that got you placed down here.”

Milo began to read the list.  “It says on here that I broke eight of the Ten Commandments.”

“You did,” Patterson said.

“And this stuff about the neighbor’s dog.  I only gave him Benadryl.”

            “It wasn’t just Benadryl.”

            “I fed him a sleeping pill or two.”

            “Or the whole bottle,” Patterson said.

Milo looked at the list a second time.  “Running red lights?  Aren’t you getting a bit petty now?”

“One of those caused an old lady to die across town because the person you cut off was so angry that they drove without thinking and hit her.”

“So you say.”  Milo handed the list back to Patterson.  “Isn’t there somewhere I can go to dispute this?  Like to some kind of lawyer or mediator?”

“All of the lawyers are in heaven,” Patterson said.

“Figures.  So there’s nothing that I can do to try and get out of here?”

“Well,” Patterson said.  “You remember how I was always a big Revolutionary War buff?”

            “You used to talk my ear off about that stuff.  I got addicted to Excedrin Migraine as a result.”

            “You never listened.”

            “Hell no.”

            “That’s a shame,” Patterson said.  “Because there is a way for you to get out of here.”

            “What?” Milo said.  “Anything.  I’ll take it.”

            “It’s a little something that the boss has us do to all the newbies.”

            “The suspense is killing me.”

            Patterson smiled.  “Milo, I’m going to give you three questions from the Revolutionary War.  If you can answer two out of the three, you get to leave here and go up to heaven.”

            “Two out of three?”


            “Bring it on.”

            “Okay.” Milo sat there in his stupid get-up, rubbing his hands in anticipation.  This should be a snap, he thought.  Milo was no patriot but three questions about the Revolutionary War should be a cinch.  “Name the French aristocrat who became a general in the Revolutionary War.”

            “French aristocrat,” Milo said.  A statue in Union Square came to him.  He used to meet this blonde named Charlotte there.  They had some of the best afternoon trysts of his life.  But they always met by this one statue of a general.  Milo would stare at it as Charlotte prattled on about her job, reading the name over and over and wondering when they’d leave and go to her apartment to have sex.  “Lafayette.”

            “Score one for Milo,” Patterson said.  “One more answer and you’re free to go.  Are you ready?”

            “You bet your life, big boy.”

            “Name the Massachusetts statesmen who nominated George Washington for commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.”   

            “John Hancock,” Milo said instantly.

            “You don’t even want to think about it?”

            “Think, schmink.  I’m one up.”

            “That’s too bad because it was John Adams who nominated George Washington for the post of commander-in-chief.”

            “Damn it,” Milo said
            “Last question,” Patterson said.  “Ready?”

            “As I’ll ever be.”

            “On what day did the Revolutionary War begin?”

            “Are you serious?” Milo asked.  “That’s your last question?”


            Milo laughed.  “Well, get ready to pack my bags buddy, because this boy is heading uptown.  The Revolutionary War started on July 4, 1776.  Even the dumbest kid knows that.”  He got up from his chair.  “Feel free to send someone along later with my bags.
            “Not so fast,” Patterson said, grabbing Milo with another of his wing-stained hands.  “The Revolutionary War did not begin on July 4, 1776.”

“Yeah right.  Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to bullshit a bullshitter, Patterson?”

“I believe you told me that.”

“Well, it’s good advice.  Now where’s the train out of this joint?”

“You’re wrong about the date.”

“It’s July 4th.  Independence Day.”

Patterson chuckled.  “That’s when the Declaration of Independence was signed.  The war actually started on April 19, 1775, with the battles at Lexington and Concord.”

“Take me to a library and we’ll see who’s right.”

“There are no libraries,” Patterson said.  He got up off of his lounge chair.  The space of flesh where his man boobs had rested was now red and sweaty.

“Get one of your history books,” Milo said.

“I don’t have history books because I’m not the real Patterson.”

“How do you know I’m wrong?”

Patterson sighed.  He chuckled again.  “It doesn’t really matter.  I was pulling your chain.  There’s no three question contest to get out of hell.”

“You lied to me?”

“Are you surprised?”

“I guess not,” Milo said.  He sat back down and slumped into himself.  Total resignation took over.  His fate was accepted and sealed.  Milo took his beer.  He downed the whole thing.

“I told you to be careful with that,” Patterson said.

“I know there’s no alcohol.  So what?”

“You’re still going to wake up with a massive hangover,” Patterson said.


“They always say that.  But when the vomiting starts they sing a different tune.”  Patterson smiled.  “See you at work tomorrow.”

“But tomorrow is Saturday,” Milo said, as Patterson began walking away.  “I….shouldn’t I be learning some kind of life lesson here?”

“Be kind?” Patterson said.  Then he shrugged.

“But…” Milo began.

Then he just let the fat man go.