I guess it all started while sitting at my desk staring at the clock watching my life tick away. Each tick marked the passage of time, a moment in my life I would never get back. Averting my eyes from the torturous clock, I tried to focus on my work but found myself reviewing my life and tracing the steps that led to me sitting at my desk. Surrounded by dull gray walls, fluorescent lights, and off-putting blue carpet.
It may have started on my first day of school. My mother sent me one day early; kindergarten was supposed to start on Tuesday, the older kids on Monday. I can still remember arriving at school with my backpack and “teenage ninja turtle” lunchbox watching all the other children get assigned to a line behind a teacher and seeing them walk off, leaving me clutching my lunch box and tearing up wondering why no one had picked me. My first taste of rejection came early. It wasn’t until an office assistant found me while walking to the bathroom that my mother was called to pick me up. Maybe that is too far back. Maybe I was put on my current path in High School where I didn’t apply myself or even take the SATs having resigned myself to community college, which my father referred to as nothing more than an extension of high school. Needless to say that after twelve long years of mandatory, boring, tedious public school, his words did not excite me. When I got to community college, it was as my father said. It was high school but with a price tag. I spent my time there dicking around and smoking weed, a lot of weed, like an ounce a week. For all the money that was spent on my higher education I learned how to pack a bong, a bowl, a pipe, roll a joint, make a godfather and always learned to check to make sure there were no seeds in the hit. Then one day I looked in the mirror and wondered aloud, “What the hell was I doing?” I was a D-A-R-E graduate after all. I tried to become a cop, even graduated from the academy, but in the process, I became a health nut and ditched my law enforcement ambitions for that of a personal trainer. Who also was a grocery stocking lackey at night. I use to regret that choice, but given the current reputation of the police, one they earned by murdering unarmed minorities, I think I made the correct one. I badge might as well be a bullseye right now. Gone are the days of Andy Taylor and Barney Fife, if they even existed at all. A sheriff without a gun is now is the equivalent of a pig walking up to a butcher already covered in barbecue sauce.

It was during this time that I tried to live the American dream. You know the one, where hard work and determination equal success, bullshit. Dreams don’t pay bills; only a full-time job will do that, or wealthy parents. Since I didn’t have the later, I had to get the former. I wanted to move out on my own. It’s hard to seal the deal at the bar with a girl when eventually you have to say, “We’ll have to be quiet, or we’ll wake my mom,” it’s emasculating no matter how you say it. Plus I didn’t want to be one of those losers who lives with his parents in his hometown. Waiting for the holidays when your old high school friends come back to town and you try to convince them and yourself that everything is going your way, that you have a lot of irons in the fire and your just waiting for one of them to heat up. I briefly tried to become a machinist, a terrible idea since I’m about as handy and Michael J Fox, you know because he shakes about due to his illness. I can’t even assemble IKEA furniture without several extra pieces that should have been used ending up in the odds and ends drawer. Luckily I did have an iron in the fire that led to me becoming a shipping agent. I won’t bother to explain what the job entails because you won’t understand. Hell, some days I don’t understand. I moved out, became independent and finally had my life on track. But quickly I realized that my new found freedom was just another cage with thicker bars made of bills, taxes and laws, responsibilities and social expectations. All of which are designed to keep me on a pre-determined path that will lead straight to my grave. At this point in my life, I should be getting married and having children to offer as sacrifices to the mundane. I would, of course, be expected to support them for at least eighteen years and probably longer than that. Which means I would need steady employment, most likely doing something where I start wishing it was Friday on Monday. A job that rewards you with a paycheck just large enough to keep you coming back for more abuse. All while trying not to go insane and waste your hard earned money on a shrink, therapist, mind monkey who over charges so they can tell you it’s all your parent’s fault. If I ever have kids, I hope their therapist tells them I’m the source of all their ills so that when they confront me, I can tell them to fuck off. That would make their next appointment very interesting.
This is what life in America is supposed to be. T.V and movies tell us to grow up, accept our mediocrity and be satisfied with the small things.
I’ve accepted it, but before I give up and settle into my fate, I want to experience the freedom promised to me as an American. It seems every year they take a little away and find new ways to restrict us. I want to throw caution to the wind, pedal to the metal, go big or go home. Just once before I fade away into the middle class, I want to experience the freedom our founders promised me. So I took all my vacation time, got in my car and pointed it towards the wildest place I could think off. New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I considered going overseas somewhere, but I don’t have a passport, and the line at the customs house in Philadelphia was too long. California floated through my mind, but all of the so-called progressives, hipster douche bags and the rest of the self-aggrandizing bores out there would aggravate the piss out of me. New York was also an option but the one time I had gone left me unimpressed. But New Orleans, the Big Easy, the future sunken city and popular scuba diving destination was perfect. The party city is known far and wide for its relaxed drinking laws, drive-through daiquiris and magic beads that compel women to take their shirts off. Where else in America?

“Are you done,” the voice of my passenger brings me back to the present. I sit up and twist in her direction. She’s leaning against my car smoking a cigarette. They do make you look cool. She’s a brunette with short hair, alluring eyes, and olive skin that makes you wonder if she has mixed parents. She is the girl next door that every teenage boy wishes he had. She wears cut off jeans that allow just enough of her ass to peek out to draw stares. A pink bra peeks through a plain white T-Shirt that says “Pink.”
For some reason, I can’t recall her name. I know her webcam name, “Sexy_Summers,” but I’m blanking on her real name,”If we stay here too long a cop is going to come along,” She added while pulling down her oversized sunglasses to look at me. The word cop put me on my feet. The idea of jail or prison doesn’t frighten me so much as the prospect of being fucked up the ass. That may sound tantalizing to some but not to me. She offers me a puff of her cigarette which I accept. I’m not a smoker but what the hell, I just survived some kind of heart episode. Plus she’s hot, and you always do what the pretty girl says. Lame I know, by hormones and an overactive imagination, will make you irrational.

Before I get back in the car, I pop the trunk and grab a new beer from the cooler. A craft beer this time, just in case the worse should happen. Suck it M-A-D-D, also known as mothers against drunk driving. I also grab the bag of weed I had hidden in the ice for good measure. I still remember when those nasty old hags came to my school right before the prom to preach to us about the dangers of drinking and driving. They should have come earlier before all the kids had bought their beer and liquor. As it happened, we didn’t lose anyone to drunk driving. We did lose one to texting, but that was before anyone cared about texting and driving. I’m surprised the old hags haven’t formed an offshoot call M-A-T-W-D. I guess they realized millennials would never put down their cell phones no matter how many assemblies they hold.
I pop the tab on my beer, toss the bag of weed to my passenger and buckle up. I’m not entirely negligent after all. I turn the key, stomp the pedal and pull back onto the road without looking behind me. The beer is cold; the foam tickles my nose as I down half the can. I can only drink on the left side of my mouth due to an extremely sensitive tooth on my right side. They say I may need a root canal. Next, I fumble with my phone trying to select the correct playlist. My Passenger rifles through my glove box, “Do you have anything to roll this in?” she asks while holding out the bag. I don’t; my silence answers the question. She points to a sign as we pass it, “Pull off at the next exit, there’s a gas station.”

To be continued…


I was driving home from work; the scenic route so I could stop by Chick-fil-A before heading back. I had been thinking about their spicy chicken sandwich all day and just had to have it! It’s while I’m driving that I do most of my thinking. I don’t know what it is, the vibrations of the car, the music in the background; whatever the reason it gets the juices in my brain ebbing and flowing. Today they flooded towards the morose picture I saw of Trump’s super bowl party. Please insert your air quotes.

At first glance, you’d think he was at a wedding. I worked many weddings while in the employ of a catering company in Southern Maryland during my high school years, and the picture screamed wedding. Notably the chairs. Had it been one then it wouldn’t have been weird, it would have been pretty typical. But when I saw the caption that said Trumps Super Bowl Party I just dropped my head. Who has a super bowl party with a dress code? Everyone, including the children in the pictures I saw, was dressed in formal wear. I don’t care if the invitation came from the President, if I opened it and it said Super Bowl Party, suit and tie required, I would toss it away, take off my pants and watch the game alone in my underwear like a real man.

It got me thinking. Does Trump own a T-Shirt? On my drive home while taking just one more waffle fry out of the bag over and over, I started filtering through the jpeg file in my brain. I could not recall one image of him wearing one. I couldn’t remember him wearing jeans either, which is strange. How can anyone make America great again without a good pair of jeans? I remember during the Iowa state fair when he wore a jacket without a tie and a few pictures of him dressed in a polo shirt, but not a T-shirt. When I googled Trump and clicked images, every single one had him wearing a suit. I didn’t hit the “Show more results” because everyone knows if it’s not in that first group then it doesn’t matter. When I tried “Trump T-shirt” I got pictures of Tump merchandise. I tried “Trump in a T-shirt” and got nothing. “Trump wearing a T-shirt”…nothing. Well, nothing real, I did find a photoshopped one, and it was disturbing.

What’s the deal?

What does he wear around the White House or his hotels when he is relaxing. Does he always wear a suit? Even Barney from “How I Met Your Mother” was spotted a few times in a T-shirt. Trump seems to be taking “Suit up” to another level. But oddly enough he will wear a cheap looking ball cap.

If I thought the package had any chance of getting to him, I would send him one. Nothing fancy or embarrassing, just a neutral colored plain T-shirt from Walmart. So that he could try it out, who knows, he might loosen up a bit. Perhaps his serial suiting is the cause of his anger. As a kid, I always was in a better mood once I was able to take my church clothes off. All though looking back my change in attitude was probably more because I was no longer at church. What kid wants to spend five days in school and then go again on Sunday? “Street Sharks” was on! If he liked the T-shirt, we could slowly move him on to brighter colors and eventually ones with words. Not big words, but three or four letter words he could understand.

Trump already doesn’t drink, smoke, do drugs or do anything fun, except golf, which I find rather frustrating.  I would be angry too if I were him. Not build a wall angry or alienate religions angry by maybe lash out at celebrities on Twitter angry.

Before the Trump train pulls into the station in four years and we all can finally get off and kiss the ground, I would like to see him wear a T-shirt. Who knows he might even start to pass as human if he can change his orange complexion.


Monster -Part 1

I’m somewhere between Virginia and Tennessee when my chest goes tight; my left arm stiffens, and my neck and jaw explode with pain. I jerk my dark blue; four-door used Japanese car to the other side of the two-lane road. A chorus of car horns accompanied by the distressed curses from my passenger clears my head long enough to realize…holy shit, I think I’m experiencing a heart attack! I put my beer in the cup holder and grip the wheel with both hands. With great effort, I white knuckle the mechanical beast back to the legal side of the road, clipping a stop sign in the process, “That’s going to leave a scratch,” I think to myself as I skid to a stop on the shoulder. Grabbing my beer, I scramble over my passenger, my elbow grazing one of her breasts causing my pants to tingle.
I tumble out of her window on the second attempt after greeting the window with my face on the first. The sound I make when I hit the ground is that of a raw steak, a thick porterhouse falling on the kitchen floor. Something cracks when I hit the pavement. Hopefully, it’s not my phone, maybe it just bone, I’ve got two hundred some of them knocking about, but only one phone. Soaked in sweat, swamp ass in my shorts, pit stains on my t-shirt. The heat of the pavement makes me feel like an egg, fried or maybe scrambled. I roll onto the grass to escape the skillet.

It’s the end I thought to myself, I’m going to die. Here on the shoulder of a road between two red states with only half a beer. Not even a good beer, but a cheap beer that’s only fit for NASCAR fans who don’t realize that there are other beers beyond what’s advertised in the commercials that break the monotony of the longest left turn you’ll ever see. I close my eyes and try to remember what I learned during my brief stint as an E-M-T. Somewhere in my heart, the blood flow has stopped due to damaged muscle, or maybe there’s a block. I didn’t pay much attention during the class, for god sakes it was at six-o-clock in the morning! I can’t even have a decent bowl movement that early. My colon doesn’t get up until eight or nine.

After a few minutes of controlled breathing, it occurs to me that I haven’t had a heart attack. My heart’s still beating. It’s fast but regular, at least as normal as possible considering my situation. I should have known; twenty-five is too young to have a heart attack. Those are for fat old bastards who don’t care about themselves. I’m years away from dying on the toilet while surfing the net. All though I hope when I do go that it’s during rush hour, so I snarl traffic. I want to inconvenience as may people as possible.
I stay on my back for awhile and look up at the sky trying to find shapes in the clouds and thinking about how I got to be here on the side of this road holding a cheap beer

– To be continued…