National Obituary Review, The Written Word

DPD Emeritus: Prince – A Remembrance

Comments Off 21 April 2016

Needless to say, sad day here at The Shade HQ. On the heels of Bowie and Toussaint I found myself asking ‘When is enough, enough?’. I paced around the house for hours chasing shadows. Not even Mingus could help me sort things out. I found myself in my rocking chair, cat on my lap, wrestling with the same questions about the passage of time we all do. What the fuck?

I can distinctly remember Prince at every transitional point in my formative years. Starting with Linda. I was 14 and had no job with parents that wanted me out of the house. The idea of a few bucks in my pocket seemed appealing. It was early Spring and my pal Steve had a job filing at some small potatoes appraisal company. By small potatoes I mean the business was run out of a slowly falling apart converted home with a pile of concrete in the back lot.

I had no idea what filing was really but Steve was starting baseball season and leaving the job. I could walk right in and take over. All mine. A few hours a couple of days after school and I’d get $40 a week. Big money. Believe it or not that was plenty back then.

I showed up, got the walk through from some dude that worked there:

  1. When you come in there’ll be a stack of files there
  2. You take them, sort them alphabetically, by name of client,
  3. Then put them in those cabinets over here.

Pretty easy. I was on my way. Then a curve ball. A file with no client name. Back then my problem solving skills weren’t what they are today.  I heard some conversation from the front room so I figured I’d check it out and ask my question

I come around the corner and see these women really hootin’ and hollerin’ with the stereo way up. I guess they didn’t hear me coming because as I approached I startled them. One of the women – Linda – caught my attention. While she was probably 50 she was all dolled up with tight jeans and dancing practically out of her seat. She had teased, dyed blond hair that would have been stark white otherwise and plenty of make-up. Lip liner, TONS of lip liner.

Without the slightest interest in answering my question she asked me if I was into Prince as she turned the volume up on the CD she was listening to. I wasn’t but I sure as hell wanted to be. At that time in my life I was into Kurt Cobain and the teen angst that came along with that. Back then, at no point did it occur to me that girls listen to music and get all hyped. At that point, and moving forward, it did – thanks to Prince. So I looked into him.

Short Stories, The Written Word

America At It’s Best

Comments Off 08 April 2016

I left a meeting, got in my car and tried to start the bastard. Lo & behold the goddam thing wouldn’t turn over. At first the radio worked, which was perplexing. What could it be? The first thought – the battery; but why would the radio work? It couldn’t be the starter because it wanted to turn over.

Luckily (I guess) upon further tries the radio stopped working so I knew I needed a jump. I panicked and called a lifeline asking for a hand-out. She had better things to do but, most importantly, I could figure this shit out on my own.

I thought – ‘Why not walk down to the gas station?’. They probably have a garage. Get a mechanic, offer some $ and he’ll drive down and jump your car. On the walk to the corner I called Cornish to see if I could catch him on his ride home.

Cornish was still at work and the gas station proved to be pretty limp. Luckily I saw a cab at the gas station. I walked up to the window and offered $10 if he came down the street and gave me a jump.

He hesitated at first then, ultimately, agreed. Would an uber driver? I jogged back down the street, he followed, and he graciously helped jump my car. Almost pleading with me after ignition:  “Don’t turn it off. Whatever you do, don’t turn it off.”

I was happy to give him $20 for his time. To his credit, when I handed him the $20 he started looking for change. No need. In a forward thinking world caught up in being in the future this was a throw-back experience. He took 10 minutes to do me a solid and, some would say, I overpaid. The favor really helped me out and I’m sure he was satisfied with the compensation.

There’s a simplicity about this situation that often goes lacking. America at it’s best.

 

Sexy Memoirs, Top Ten

Top 10 Things To Do In February to Buck Up

Comments Off 11 February 2016

February stinks. Football is over, Valentine’s day is depressing and/or expensive plus it’s got a smug, silent letter. It’s the only month where the number of days are mucked around with on a seemingly random basis. Speaking of – no leap year has been skipped since 1900 and no others will be skipped until 2100. Spooky.

What gives with this goddam month?

We don’t know either, but we’re 100% with you on having a case of the frumps. Staffers have been moping around the HQ doing the sad dad dance now for going on 2 weeks. SO, we called a staff meeting and put our heads together to come up with the Top 10 Things To Do In February to Buck Up:

10. Learn some swear words in Esperanto

9. Watch the Coldplay halftime show for like the thousandth time

8. Do Djokovic-approved squat thrusts

7. Use your finger in a way that maybe you haven’t

6. Try a new Salad dressing (salad dressing Raphael perhaps?)

5. Read Sexy Memoirs Chapter 5: Brown House with Pink Shutters 

4. Work on new candle scents like “post nasal drip” and “moldy box of playboys”

3. Start research for your cell phone upgrade

2. Celebrate a holiday you have never celebrated before and go big.  Maybe host a party?

1. Intertwine things you want with things you need

The Written Word

Sexy Memoirs: Chapter 10 – The waiting is the hardest part

Comments Off 20 September 2015

I could still smell her lust on me…i take a deep breath and the memories prompted by her scent is the closest thing to a time machine since doc and the Delorean. Our desires have been fulfilled but already our patience for the next encounter is busting at the seam like a plus size woman shopping at Victoria’s Secret. The Snapchats and text messages temporarily fulfill each other’s appetite but nothing short of her getting her hands on my king size Snickers will leave us satisfied. It seems as though time slows in anticipation but speeds up during participation. It’s a cruel reality that most people who enjoy things will experience. So until I can move freely thru the past, present, and future I’ll be impatiently waiting while both of my heads are filled with the hope that our bodies touch again in the not so distant future.

Poetry, reins

The Eugene-Gate Files: A Dream Sequence

No Comments 01 September 2015

We rented a rundown banquet hall on the other side of town for my farewell party and made it on a Monday from 2- 3:15pm in hopes that nobody would show up.  Just in case I sent my stand in.

I was in the back alley behind the Family Dollar enjoying a case of Stroh’s with Randy; the one arm pretend Vet that’s been in every branch of the military and been in every war from the crusades to the gulf conflict when he retired citing irreconcilable differences.  That’s when I got the call of a lifetime.

My neighbors, Anthony and Allie, bought me a stretch limo for my drive West.  They thought it would allow me to bring more of the sentimental items I love so much.  They couldn’t have been more right; I crammed the shit out of the limo.  Another surprise was they equipped it with a GPS attached to a Web link so everyone could see where I had been.  The best part was I could log in and drop pins to let people know the places that I stopped, what I did while I was there and what I didn’t like about it.  If it wasn’t for my fear of losing moisture I would have shed a tear.  Besides my hickory handle hatchet it was the best gift I’ve ever been given.

The trip was going great.  I stopped at the glass museum in Corning, NY and the spoon factory just outside of Dayton, OH.  As I crossed the Iowa border into the picturesque backdrop of Nebraska I noticed a car speeding up behind me.  It soon crossed the double yellow lines and pulled up next to me.  It was Anthony and Allie and they had diabolical looks on their faces.  Allie pulled out what looked like a controller for a remote car.  When she started fidgeting with it my limo started shrinking.

Before I knew it I was wedged between the steering wheel and all of my sentimentals.  The limo was now smaller than a Smart car and Allie had it spinning out of control.  When it crashed into the corn stalks there was a Michael Bay-like explosion and I was burning inside the condensed limo.  It was then that I woke up and looked around.

Everybody Loves Raymond was on and I couldn’t have been more thankful to not be in Nebraska.  I ate another slice of pizza, finished my Dr Pepper and went back to sleep.

Poetry, reins

A Glimmer of Light Through the Black Sun

No Comments 01 September 2015

Devastation can lead to triumph
Bad intentions, good intentions, no intentions
Can all lead down a dark road if not carefully monitored
It’s what is done when the road is at its darkest that makes the difference
Hopefully someone or something will provide a pinhole of light so the next step can be found
Hopefully that pinhole opens up to deep blue skies
And the road is easier to navigate
Not without time and effort

 

Reins.

The Written Word

Chapter 8; Persistence & Consent

No Comments 24 June 2015

Her beauty is what kept me coming back to this joint, bellying up to her bar and ordering the same shitty quesadilla just to interact and catch a glimpse of that sexy smile but I needed more.  After a steady 2 months of becoming a regular I happened to be there at the end of her shift.  She mentioned wanting to grab a drink before going home so I took advantage of the opportunity.  She hops in my car which is always stocked w/a cooler of beer and a bottle of goose during the summer days and forego the bar for a party in the Toyota.  The rate in which the spirits & key bumps were being consumed made the sexual tension between the two of us contain more anticipation than a waxing gibbous bursting into a full moon

It was at that point I knew it was time to shift phases. So I grabbed her roughly by the neck and initiated the loss of self control.

In a blurred moment our clothes were off, exposing her pierced nipples as well as the type of freak she is.  As I work my way down her body she starts to give in as her “no’s” become faint and few and far between.  And It’s at that moment I knew it was consensual.

reins, The Written Word

Reins’ Inbox- It’s All Natural

No Comments 18 June 2015

Hi Reins!

It’s Alex—your most favorite intern ever!!! I just wanted to say “hi”. I hope all is well. Quick question for youuu: I saw a bird today. It was big but not too big, brownish color but not too brownish, and it had 4 wings. Any idea of what it could be?? I really need to get your input on this concerning topic……..

I WILL SEE YOU TOMORROW.

Sincerely,

Your FAV Intern.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Hi Alex,

This seems like it could turn into quite an inconspicuously canoodling conundrum that, if left unanswered, could turn one into quite the curmudgeon. Let me see if I can help$

A) That’s what we call a car. A 1987 Ford Tempo to be exact. The “wings” you refer to are called “wheels” and they make contact with the road and, hopefully, lead you back to your abode.

B) That is the ayahuascan sparrow. He is know to be prominent with the ingestion of the gift root. He can see the songs you’re listening to so make sure you’re Floyd heavy. Start with Meddle, Piper or Saucerful. Maybe Animals. Nah, fuck it. Meddle. Can you send him back over here? He’s not usually gone this long.

C) I think you walked in on 2 birds getting their stew on. Coitus as it’s known in some circles. If you want to be cliche about it turn up Marvin or Barry then back away slowly, grab some popcorn and watch nature happen. You know me; I’m going with anything from Iggy Pop’s catalog while getting stewed up.

D) Who is this?

Thanks for participating,

Reins

The Written Word

American Slice #34

No Comments 14 June 2015

Public bus

3:37 p.m.

Friday, Boston MA

Girl: I just need a glass of wine then I’ll clean the house.
Lady: I’d need a bottle.
G: not before I go out! Everyone will think, (giggling) “what’s wrong with her?!”
L: I’m always at my best after a bottle
G: not me. I just get….sad.

Awkward pause

G: (points to construction site) who will go there?
L: the crater? I know, I don’t know why [the bus driver's] stopping here.
G: no I said what. What will go there?
L: oh, a star market?
G: there’s a star market right there. They wouldn’t build a star market right next to another one, Gail!
L: hmph.

Features, The Written Word

Letter From An Army Jacket

No Comments 12 June 2015

Dear Editors of the Shade,

It has been a while since I have made a submission, but I found something today that I think should be shared among the editorial staff.

I was looking at a camouflage jacket that I have in my possession. A few years ago,I stole it from a twenty-something named Pikul. He did some shady body work on my girlfriend’s car after I sheered off the passenger side mirror trying to avoid a shadow late one Saturday evening. I didn’t trust the kid, but needed the work done cheaply and quietly. I gave him my business but I stole his jacket as some kind of moral collateral.

I wore the jacket to one campfire and then forgot about it in a heap of life’s detritus. I was going to bring it down to the thrift shop today and here is what I found in the pocket while cleaning it out:

boyce letter

I saw you made the police report Saturday night. I hope that cop had an ear for detail and got it correctly when he quoted you as saying “fuck you” to both the police and citizenry of Watertown – well done.

While some people look down on run-ins with the law, I never understood the stigma. I say if your not running a line between getting put in cuffs and just having a good time than you’re just standing still while the world moves away and around you.

It’s what gets good people in lockup overnight. And ultimately it’s the poets job.

*In a way you were doing your job, and they did theirs. No one right, no one wrong, and both parties get to feel accomplished – if the “fuck yous” were warranted (and they always are) don’t regret.

The revolution is coming – keep adding to the spirit.

[M. Henault]

The letter, like so many, went unsent and sat forgotten. But I think I made good on its purpose. I folded it back up and placed it in the pocket of Pikul’s jacket. I didn’t bring it down to the thrift shop though. I drove by Pikuls old house, where he did the work on my car, and threw it onto the lawn. I’m not sure if he still lives there, but I don’t think it really matters.

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