The Cones

Usually, traffic cones are orange so you can see them at night. However, while I was walking back to the hotel, I saw a green traffic cone.
I picked it up and carried it back to the hotel, and I wore it as a hat for a selfie in the bathroom mirror.
I let it sleep on the other bed.
When I went down to the registration desk to check out, I left it in an elevator.
There are a lot of websites that sell traffic cones, but I don’t really want one now.
It’s just the moment, you know.

Stars in the sky

It has been a long time since I last went to the planetarium.
I remember going to the planetarium when I was growing up in Chicago.
I always wondered why there were so many more stars inside the planetarium as opposed to the actual night sky.
“Light pollution,” said my grandmother. “Too many lights.”
Nowadays, the planetarium does a lot less science, and a lot more rock and roll laser light-shows.
The audience is made up of stoners and kids dropping acid.
“Puff puff pass,” says my grandmother’s ghost, reaching for a joint. “Didn’t your mother teach you to share?”


I bought a headset that delivers a mild electric current to spots on my head. The electrodes are on ports that can be adjusted to various angles so the current stimulates different parts of my brain.
I turn it on, let it do its work, and then write down how I feel.
Since it’s hard to map these things on paper, I take photographs of my head so I can remember what this thing does to me.
This position makes me happy.
This position makes me angry.
This position makes me… me…
I think I need to take a shower.

Hate Fills

Hate fills my body. It oozes out through my skin like sweating garlic, and my stomach turns angrily.
I run to the bathroom.
Dry heaves.
It’s still there. And getting stronger.
Fill the tub.
Hot? Cold?
Try hot first.
See if it works. Try to wash off the rage.
Scrub. Scrub hard. Scrub harder.
It’s not working. It’s only getting worse.
Maybe if I drink something?
Water? Beer? Wine?
Vodka. I’ll drink vodka.
Lots of vodka.
It won’t stop the hate. It will make me too drunk to do anything about it.
I drink, and lay back in the tub.

Kona Wired

The owner of the company came back from Hawaii with a suitcase full of bags of coffee.
This isn’t suspicious at all to airport security. They just perform the usual agricultural inspection.
He gave me a bag of ground Kona as a gift.
I thanked him, and when I got home, I brewed a cup to try.
That was eight hours ago. I’m sitting in the tub, wired beyond all capacity to sleep.
It was only one cup. And what a cup it was!
I think I’ll have another.
It’s not like I’m going to be able to sleep, right?


Tracey was the best tattoo artist in the world. Nobody ever came close to her skill, and she invented all of the greatest innovations of skin art and body modification during her day.
You couldn’t tell from looking at her, though. She didn’t have anything on her skin… not a dot anywhere on her body.
She didn’t trust anyone else with her skin, and she just couldn’t turn her own needle on herself.
Piercings, though… if you could hang a stud or ring through it, she had it done.
Flying can be a problem. Trains, buses… she’s in no rush.


After years of experimentation, Dr. Odd determined that the best remedy for a hangover is not drinking as much the night before.
When he woke with the worst hangover of his life, he built a time machine and went back in time to convince himself not to drink so much.
But instead of convincing himself not to drink so much, he saw how much fun his past self was having, so he got drunk with him.
Both his selves woke up with hangovers.
He started to build a time machine.
“Can you do it quieter?” his past self groaned.


You know how child actors turn out badly?
Well, that Peppermint Lane show was one of the worst for the kids who starred in it.
Instead of going to school, they had tutors on the set, but they were paid to give the kids passing grades.
All they knew how to do was be a child actor. And that doesn’t last.
Some got into drugs and alcohol.
Others lost their money to greedy parents and turned to crime or other ways to get by.
The puppets made it into museums, or on toy store shelves, envied by the surviving few.


Sesquicentennial is a silly-looking word, but we here in Ocean Falls take everything serious.
Miss Liza has been teaching the schoolkids to count to 150.
That counting came in handy for the whipping of Fred Murks, the town drunk. The kids counted out loud with every crack of the whip.
Except for Little Fred Junior. He screamed in horror at the sight of his father covered with gashes and blood.
Fred only took seventeen lashes before dying.
“There there, Little Fred,” we said.
And then gave him a bottle of gin.
You know. So he can practice. For the Bicentennial.


Stage one cancer is localized.
Stage two is locally advanced.
Stage three has spread throughout that organ.
Stage four has metastasized to other organs and systems.
Stage five spreads to your family and loved ones.
Stage six goes after your neighbors, the mailman, and the guy who reads the gas meter.
Stage seven will steal your car and rob a bank.
Stage eight is when it spreads across the city. It may even run for mayor.
Stage nine rots the country, ten infects the planet, and eleven the entire universe.
For the sake of existence, turn your head and cough.