I had been driving for about 7 hours. I was tired, the sun was just beginning to set and my old dog was getting restless. I heard Joshua Tree gets packed early, so I decided to scope out a good spot before paying for my site. It was still sweltering hot out with no shade, so I left my old dog in the car while I set up my tent. My dog was just about dead by the time I finished, so I cranked up the A/C and headed to the pay station in my car.
The ranger woman behind the desk scowled as I walked up. I smiled. She didn’t. She was tall with a serious no-bullshit disposition.
“Would you like to pay for your entrance fee here?”
“Yes please, and the campsite as well.”
She looked annoyed. “There are envelopes down by the campsites for you to pay for the site.”
No shit, I thought. “I saw the box but y’all are all out of envelopes.”
She hated every word coming out of my mouth. “Well, I can give you an envelope here.”
“Actually, can I just pay for both with you?”
She wanted to kick me in the face. She let out an over-exaggerated sigh, “I guess that’s just fine. It’ll be 40 dollars.”
My ears got hot and I began to roll my neck. An exercise I learned as an adult to try and calm my aggressive tendencies. It didn’t work.
“40 dollars! Wow that’s an expensive campsite!”
She slammed her finger down on the map. “That is because there are restrooms.”
“Am I paying for the monthly water bill? We both know that’s a racket!”
She rolled her eyes. “Debit or credit.”
I snapped sarcastically, “Let’s put that shit on credit. I don’t want my account to bounce over a campsite.”
“I don’t need your sass little lady.”
I laughed. “Seriously though, would you pay 40 dollars for a campsite with no water or shade in 100-degree weather?”
She leaned into my face. “Joshua Tree is well maintained and a world renowned National Park. U2 named an album after these trees for god’s sake!”
I slammed my hands on the desk. “Exactly! Just the fact that I have to try and not think about that shitty album while I’m here should make it cheaper! Fuck Bono!”
“Well fuck you too! Oh yea and you’ve just been banned from the park. Here’s your receipt for 40 dollars now get the fuck out!”
“Jesus lady you’re a savage.”
“Right back atcha’ sweetheart.” She threw the receipt in my face.
It was the town I grew up in, small town called Comfort. Comfort. What a load of shit. There’s nothing here for me anymore. Purposefully forgotten friends, family moved and the only reason I’m back in this piece of shit, is to take care of an old speeding ticket. My plan was to show up, pay the outstanding bill and scurry back to the snug pocket of Austin, Texas.
Instead, as soon as I gave the unhappy women behind the desk my name, she smirked and asked me to sit down for a moment. Being the idiot that I am, I did.
Thirty seconds later two fat pigs opened the double doors and threw me on the ground. My chin smashed the concrete floor. Not entirely necessary I thought. My redneck ways have taken a hiatus since I moved. The day I left, I took a piss on thetown football stars face while he was passed out drunk. I can’t even count how many girls I knew that woke up confused next to his repulsive ass. A fitting goodbye.
I was the moron who thought I could just pay off an outstanding ticket turned warrant. In Austin, they would have just happily taken the money. In Comfort, because the cops spend their days jerking off in their cars to high school girls, this was the most action they were gonna get for a while. Face still smashed on the floor, I ran my tongue across my front teeth and felt a piece crack off. I spit it from my mouth.
“My fucking tooth you pieces of shit. I’m a small woman, what the fuck are you thinking?”
“Ma’am don’t resist. We are just doing our jobs.”
I recognized that voice. I looked up at the one with his knee against my neck. Seth Miller.
“I guess having to live with the fact that I sucked your tiny dick when I wasn’t even close to legal, ain’t gonna get me outta this one is it Seth?”
He smirked and picked me up off the ground. “Ha, not unless your ready to get suckin’ again Mel.”
Blood was dripping off my chin. Seth and I were childhood friends. He was always in love with me. I completely ignored him after the drunken felacio. I guess he’s still pissed.
They took me to the back of their shitty jail where a real dike of a woman stripped me naked and checked my ass for drugs.
“You got anything good in there sweetheart?” Her voice was deep and rapey.
“Just my sweet pussy, which is obviously good enough for you Rambo.”
She kicked me from behind and my forehead cracked on the wall. Stars. A familiar feeling. My sharp tongue has always gotten me into trouble.
I gathered what memories I could. Just earlier I fed my dog, I swept my hallway. I picked up an organic green juice for my morning drive. I listened to Neil Young’s Harvest Moon. I stopped for gas and yelled at some construction workers for gawking…I felt warmth dripping down my face and when it hit my lip I tasted the blood. A seemingly normal start to my day and now this pile of shit.
“Wheres my fucking phone call dike?”
“Bend over for me one more time sugar and you’ll get your phone call.”
I’ve played this game before…many times. I slowly stood up, wiped my bloody hair out of my face, smiled, spread my legs and touched the floor.
She smacked my ass. “I‘m actually married….to a beast of a man honey and I looove dick.”
I laughed wiping the blood on my already soaked t-shirt. “Touche!”
Just because I live in the city doesn’t mean that my small town discriminations don’t blow up in my face at times. That’s healthy, I thought. She handed me the phone and I dialed my work.
“Is Jamie around? Yea I need to talk to her…Hey Jamie, I‘m not going to make the meeting. I‘m actually in jail in my piece of shit hometown. Yea I know. I came to pay a ticket and it’s a warrant. Hey, have we figured out if our insurance plan is going to cover dental? I got a situation going on over here. Some fat fucking pigs chipped my tooth. Yea, thats right you, you fat fucking pig I‘m talking about you. Okay girly yea I‘ll let you know. See you soon.”
I sat in jail for the weekend. Seth came for a visit.
“I‘m sorry Mel I didn’t realize it was you.”
“It’s cool Seth, sorry for ignoring you after that whole dick sucking situation.”
“It’s okay I was a pathetic boy. I understand why you did.”
“Well I can see your not pathetic anymore tackling a tiny woman over a speeding ticket and all.” I smiled sarcastically as wide as I could.
“You still look pretty with a chipped tooth.”
“Thank you Seth. Stop being such a dick though man, you used to be a sweet kid.”
He looked at the ground. “Yea I know I get it. I’ve learned my lesson…And you know I can help with the dental expenses if you—“
I interrupted, “Shut the fuck up. I know damn well what your salary looks like. I‘ll take care of it.”
He smiled. “Hows your mom?”
“Oh you know still pathetically chasing after married men, the usual. Your dad?”
“Still dying of liver failure. The usual.”
I had almost forgot that I was still in jail. “Hey when the fuck am I getting out of here?”
“Oh, actually last night you were free to go. I just wanted to make sure and see you before you disappeared for another 10 years.”
“You savage. Somethings never change.”
“Hey if it takes throwing you in jail to see your beautiful face and talk to you, you know I‘ll take it. That hasn’t changed.” He handed me my chipped tooth.
I went back to work that week with a broken tooth and a busted head and chin.
Seth died in a drunk driving accident about a month later.
I sat on the edge of a rock smoking a cigarette and looking at the water. My dog, off leash, close to my side, smelling the air. Beautiful sunset, cold hands and cigarette in mouth, I put on my gloves while smoke burned my eyes. I put my head between my legs and squeezed my eyes shut to stop the burning. I thought about how nice it was to be alone, actually alone. I left my phone at home to excuse myself from all the text and phone calls from my siblings. I love them, but fuck. They have always been this way. Overbearing, nosy, opinionated, but right now? All I want is quiet. I guess feeling connected and arguing on like normal makes it easier in their grieving process. They, after all, have spouses and children to fill up their time and space. I have my dog. It’s been like this for years. Lovers sometimes. Maybe I prefer to be alone, I’ve chosen it for so long. I am at an age where children could happen. I love kids, I think I may have wanted them more than my siblings, but nothing has seemed right enough for me to take that leap.
I looked back at the sunset. A good one. A type of numb hurt that shouldn’t make sense. My dog got up and started trotting towards another person with a dog. The woman was stiff to his presence, hell probably stiff to everything. “Excuse me,” she yelled. “Why is your dog just running wild?”
Exhausted I answered, “He’s not aggressive I promise, just wants to meet your dog. Is your dog aggressive?”
“Well no, but your dog should not be off leash, your being a negligent owner!”
“Excuse me?” I snapped at her cunty stamina and accusations.
The woman shifted in her tight panties. “It needs to be on a leash and I saw you flick your cigarette on the ground. This isn’t your own trashy backyard you know. You can’t just do whatever you want.”
“I’m sorry ma’m is this your property?”
“No, it’s public property and it’s for everyone to enjoy.”
“Oh it’s not your property? Then mind your own fucking business.”
Tongue-tied, “You, you have some nerve young lady. I’m going to call the police.”
I laughed a crazy laugh. “You think the police give a fuck about me and your yuppy ass? Be my guest. Besides, don’t be jealous that your dog is an idiot and can’t be trusted off leash. He’s probably disloyal because he wants to run away from your snoopy, anxious, self righteous ass. I don’t blame em'”
Shocked and a bit deflated she snapped, “Missy it sounds like your mother never taught you any manners! I feel sorry for her.”
“Well you should you intrusive hag, she was murdered two days ago. Now fuck off!”
It has been months since I’d slept with him. Hell, we haven’t even talked in weeks. It’s true that no matter who you marry, they inevitably become a gaping wound that disgusts you.
I went to the grocery store on my way home and picked up some wine to share with him. I guess you could say I am trying to make something happen. I want to get drunk with my husband and get to know the man I use to love. We are strangers. I used to enjoy sleeping with strangers, so maybe this can work. Maybe we can fall in love with each other again. Maybe I am fooling myself.
I skipped my workout class so I could buy some lingerie for him. I miss being touched. When we first met there wasn’t anywhere we wouldn’t fuck. I want to get back to that.
We don’t have children. I guess the idea of combining our genes became hideous to the both of us and instead, we focused on our careers.
I met him at a bar in east Austin 10 years ago. While I was getting a beer at the bar I noticed him staring at me with an attractive woman at his side. She didn’t seem to notice his wandering eyes as she affectionately rubbed his back. He immediately broke eye contact to her touch and focused his attention back to her. I was appalled. When she left for the restroom he approached me.
“I want to take you out sometime. I saw you walk in and I couldn’t help myself, you are stunning. I could smell you as you walked past and I couldn’t help myself. I’m sorry.”
“You smelled me? I don’t think your girlfriend would appreciate you saying all this.”
At that moment, she walked in between us and put her arm around his waste.
“Who’s your friend honey?” She looked me up and down.
Quickly, I replied, “Oh, we are not friends. Actually, I don’t even know him.”
“Well, you two seem to have something going on with how close you were speaking to one another.”
He interjected, “Sevi, it’s okay. Nothing is going on here. I was just asking her for matches.”
She waited for my reply impatiently.
“Matches, yea? Okay, yea he was asking me for some matches…Wait, you know what? Fuck this, he was asking me out actually. I think it is important for you to know what a tool your boyfriend is. You can’t even take a piss without him trying to fuck another woman. Have a good night!”
She grabbed my arm, “Boyfriend? He’s my brother. Sorry, I just wanted to fuck with you.”
They both laughed and my sassy stance turned sheepish until I eventually started laughing as well.
“Now I really have to take you out.” His eyes fixated on me as if he wanted to swallow me whole. I spent the evening with his family, who were incredible, and we’ve been together ever since.
Now, 10 years later here we are, cringing at having to share space with one another. How did it get to this? How have we allowed ourselves to become these people?
Today is the day that I am going to break this unbearable silence. After all, it isn’t others that I want, just him. The him that used to awe over me cooking a fucking egg. I want to show him her. Me. The her that felt like a lifetime wasn’t enough with him.
So here I am sweating uncontrollably on my way home to re introduce myself to my own husband. I listen to Conan Mockasin for ten minutes in the drive way and pull the tags off all my lingerie. The armor in my battle to save our marriage.
I walk into the living room and find my husband burying his face in the tits of my best friend. I quietly slipped back out the door and into my car. They didn’t notice.
I guess sometimes it’s bad timing for everyone. And I also guess that’s my last attempt to save my marriage.
I was walking to the store when he slammed on his breaks at the sight of me and rolled down the window. He whistled and made kissing noises and I screamed “Fuck off!”
If your a woman you know this is just an average Monday morning. I’ve heard the argument of “Why aren’t you just flattered, there are so many ugly women out there.” To you, I say fuck you man, yes of course you are a man. It’s rough growing up as a girl, your sexuality constantly being thrown in your lap when trying to go about doing average things.
I remember running into the corner store to get my mom a Diet Coke when I was 13 and I was groped by a man in his 40’s while reaching into the cooler. I ran out of the store and told my mom. She popped the trunk and grabbed a tire iron out with the quickness.
“Honey, what does he look like?”
“He has a cowboy hat, he’s the only one in there.” I was terrified.
My mother, 110 lbs ran into the store and took the tire iron to his knees. She skipped out and threw her hair back behind her neck. When she got in the car she threw the tire iron in my lap and sped out. “Looks like we’re gonna have to get a diet coke somewhere else.” We both looked down in my hands and found that I had, in fact, stolen the Diet Coke in the midst of things. We both laughed hysterically.
Thats the day I realized that this was no above average encounter for a woman. My mother was barely phased at the fact that she may have just broken a man’s legs. Although this may be an average encounter I decided, like mother, that I didn’t need to have an average reaction.
As soon as I said “Fuck off” the car screeched into the corner store that I was walking into. “Get over here you fucking cunt,” the man jumped out of the truck. I carry a gun on me at all times, one because I’m from Texas and I can, the other because I have to deal with assholes like this on a daily basis and I want to be prepared to defend myself. The gun I had on this particular day was unlicensed and virtually impossible to track back to my name thanks to my cousin Eddie.
The Pakistani man, my friend, that owns the corner store saw everything. I slipped an average size pale ale into my hand when the guy rushed in and grabbed me by the back of the head. I had no time to grab my gun. Right as I was about to swing the beer , Abdul shot the man in the arm.
“Abdul, thank you.”
“My friend. Are you okay?”
The man was rocking and moaning and holding his arm. I took the bottle to the man’s head and knocked him unconscious. “Yea I am good, you have a rag?”
Abdul threw me a rag and I wiped down my gun and placed it in the man’s right hand and shot at the ceiling. In the other hand I placed a candy bar.
In the news, the title read “Brave Woman and Pakistani Store Owner Fight Back Against Vicious Thief.”
Pakistani man hero? Definitely a win in this country. Woman hero? Win. Vicious thief. You lose fucker.
Oh I loved you from the first day we met. So well read, cynical, my type. I decided to take you up on a date once we were both eventually single.
We went to my neighborhood bar. It’s a fancy place, dark, nice cocktails, beautiful staff. You looked at me as though you wanted to eat me alive. I’d never seen that from you so I was a bit put off.
Being my neighborhood bar, I often sat there for hours and wrote and eventually became well acquainted with the bartenders and servers. One of them came over to say hello and check if we needed anything. You shifted your body right next to mine and put your arm around me as soon as he came over. You might as well just pulled down your pants and started pissing all over me.
“Hey Mel, how y’all doing over here?”
You interjected scowling, “I’m with her.”
The bartender laughed, “I see that…Ok well let me know if you need anything.”
I said sorry with my eyes and immediately threw your arm off of me.
“What the fuck was that?”
“Why are you acting like an asshole right now? He came over to say hi and you treated my friend like shit for no reason other than your own insecure ideas of what this is.” I was confused by your actions being that I’d known you for years and never seen you behave this way.
“What do you mean?”
“Give me a fucking break you know what I mean. You have completely embarrassed me and I want to go home, I can walk.”
“I can drive you.”
When we got to my house you sat at your wheel like an idiot. “Can I come in?”
“Fuck no, what makes you think I want you to come in after the way you acted tonight? I’ll see you at work.”
I’ve been out of a job for 3 months. I got fired from a juice bar for stealing a vegan energy bar. They caught me on camera. My parents cut me off 3 months ago on my 18th birthday, which is why I got the job in the first place. It lasted 3 days. I searched for jobs through Craigslist. I’ve always wanted to be a personal assistant. Seems easy enough, picking up someones clothes from the cleaners. I like easy, I do well with easy. Most times that is…
I saw an ad stating “Full Time Personal Assistant Needed.” The description was non-specific. “Retired botanist, looking for someone to help with basic chores and duties, watering my rose garden and such.” It sounded perfect. I sent over my resume and he immediately replied for an interview.
His house was huge, tucked into one of the most expensive parts of Austin, Tarrytown. No rose garden, maybe it’s in the back I thought. I pulled up in my 1990 Acura Legend, got out and rang the bell.
He was in his 70’s, in a robe, half opened with his chest hair hanging out. I’ve been told I’m naive by many close friends which leads me to believe this is the reason I walked right in the door. I don’t know I just figured, “hey, he’s fucking rich, he can wear a goddamn robe at 3 in the afternoon if he wants.” Thats what I would do if I was filthy rich. Made sense to me.
I sat down on his plastic covered couch and he sat across from me on his plastic covered ottoman and crossed his legs, allowing his balls to hit the plastic in my perfect view. I shifted a bit in my seat.
“So why are you interested in being my personal assistant?”
My eyes twitched away from the sight of his balls, “I’ve always wanted to try it out, I feel like I’m good at pleasing people. No project is too big or hard for me to handle.”
He nodded his head and smiled. “How much do you charge an hour?”
“Hmm, I don’t know I guess $18? Whatever you think?”
“Well that depends. Do you believe $18 an hour is what you’re worth?”
“Yea I think that sounds fare.”
He stood up and untied his robe, letting his semi hard old cock swing slightly. I screamed and stood up. He began walking towards me, arms open wide and I grabbed the vase from the table and threw it at his head. It cracked him straight at the temple and his bones fell to the ground. He moaned holding his bloody head and I just stood there unsure of what to do.
“Fuck! What the fuck?” I yelled down at him, he wasn’t moving.
I began running towards the door when I saw his wallet from the corner of my eye on the top of his shelf. “Fuck it.” I reached in, grabbed the wad of hundreds and took off in my car.