Tag archive for "american slice"

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.

The Written Word

American Slice # 29

No Comments 24 September 2014

August 23, 2014

Saratoga Springs, NY

Traverse Cup weekend

8:37 a.m., slightly cloudy

Location: Dunkin Donuts


What can I get you?

Medium coffee

And make sure there are 7 creamers in the bad

Not like last time


And I want an AARP discount

And a senior citizen discount


You can’t get both

You can’t double up discounts


Oh yes I can

I did it earlier today

At the other place


Well you can’t do it here

You either get a free donut

Or a discount on your coffee

What’ll it be


I’ll take the discount


Actually, give me the donut



Shades of Gray

American Slice # 10

No Comments 25 March 2014

American Slice # 8

December 23


Wired Puppy Coffee Shop, Newbury St. Boston MA

Two old ladies having a cup of tea


So I only fell once.


yea but the mail man caught me

on the steps?

no no working here in town

I didn’t fall completely. Cynthia was there too but she figured she’d let a pedestrian help me.

Something about her back.

From the steps or were you in back of ‘em?

Yea, the steps.


The city needs a lot of work because of that head woman.

No wonder you’re tired.

Yea, she gave us a coffee because we were there for over an hour.

Well thats, thats……she’s trying her hardest. Nothing’s gonna happen she just wants to prepare for that.


She was saying, like, you’ve gotta little bit of alan in you which you’ve got to get rid of.

(laughing) whats a little bit of alan?

Well, I kind of offended her b/c I said…I said her family are immigrants, she’s the first born here. so…I….

How did you offend her?

Well today I kind of…I was talking about… I was role playing with her and…

Did you apologize? You didn’t hurt her feelings did you?

Oh no no no. she was trying to help me verbally talk to somebody for help and even myself I don’t ask for help with the right words. So that’s why she was role playing with me. And I explained how these words come out of me and she could understand afterwards. And she said there’s the right people to work with and the wrong people and you grew up with street people. The ones that used to hang around the corner. There’s the right talk and the street gang talk. I know more street gang talk because I hung around the corner. Versus public people so…. she was trying to teach me the difference and now I understand. Like she told you what to write…

With the doors?

Yea, with the doors and stuff like that. She figures sometimes its good to have knowledge but you have to realize sometimes you can’t have broad knowledge, you want to shorten the knowledge. You know, simple

Yea shorten the knowledge, simple.




You see lucas isn’t in the show anymore?

Doesn’t matter.

They need to have him.

No no, in soap land. my cousins friend, the writer, says in order to have a good soap line you need to have a triangle of, um, interference. He writes for General Hospital


Yea and some other soap. You gotta have the conflict, you gottta have the agony and you gotta have the heroism. he says once……once they go over the obstacle. Because EJ is going to eventually marry nicole so in order to have a triangle between the two you still need to have the two of them.



Its too bad we don’t walk like that every day

Well its not always possible


We’re not going to crate and barrel today

mmm no

We might just make the 3:05

Shades of Gray

American Slice # 4

No Comments 11 February 2014

American Slice # 4
Berkshire County, Pittsfield High School 1:06 p.m.
November 16, 2010

dogs fluent in czech
sniff through our hallways
scratch at our doors
seeking out the transgressions
of the now generation

they are nervous
of things they haven’t done
or might have done
or thought once of doing
locked in a school
learning through experience
what the third reich
taught their dogs

someone farts in the silence
and against the plastic chairs
it echoes through locked down walls
yesterday the room would erupt
but no one laughs

a boy thought about smiling,
but then a dog in the distance
barks in czech

Shades of Gray

American Slice # 3

No Comments 01 February 2014

American Slice #3

November 15, 2010

8:45 a.m. Tremont St. Boston MA

I don’t think she was talking to me but she was looking at me, slightly staggering. A large black woman with a disheveled look and an aggressive demeanor. I walked towards her and was about 15 yards away. As I approached she said:

“ I can stand here all goddam day. I ain’t got no car. I ain’t got no ticket.”

I acknowledged her claim and moved on.

Tell us about your American Slice at getintotheshade@gmail.com



Shades of Gray

American Slice # 2

No Comments 15 January 2014

January 4th, 2014
2:46 a.m.
Newport, RI

Tuxedos, cigars
someone turning
a spit,
homeless guy asking for a plate
ask me about my vision.


Tell us about your slice of American at getintotheshade@gmail.com (or don’t)

Shades of Gray

American Slice # 1

No Comments 08 January 2014

#73 Bus, somewhere between Watertown and Cambridge MA 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday

She was visibly uncomfortable; squirming, sitting on the edge of her seat, groaning. Volatile. I wouldn’t say her unease was contagious – because no one really gave a shit about her – but it was evident. That’s not true actually because there was a gentleman next to her that showed an apathetic interest in her. Her mane of grey hair wasn’t quite sure if it wanted to be gnarled or frizzy so it was doing its best to leverage the best of both worlds. Her sky-blue Sal’s garage sweatshirt was a little ratty but her hot pink, tapered sweatpants where the envy of the bus.

For a little context the #73 bus route is its own trail of tears. Constantly late, routinely packed beyond the legal limit and always, ALWAYS over 90 degrees. My daily commute has accelerated my aging five fold and at times has brought me to my knees both questioning god’s existence and asking for his/her help. However, Cambridge is a populous place with lots of people making the commute into the city. A 2.3 mile ride into Harvard Square takes anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. Us daily riders understand this. We take whatever means necessary to numb the misery. We’ve been broken and just want IT to end as soon as IT starts. We commiserate with a glance or a nod, very rarely talking. We DON’T like the occasional riders being vocal about the misery. We know it, we get it, we live it. Enter hot pink sweat pant lady.

“ I can’t believe this traffic. Its 9:30 and there’s so much traffic. Why’s there so much traffic” she squeals turning this way and that, forcing herself on people occasionally glancing at her watch.

Why is there so much traffic at 9:30?”.

An old lady trying to mind her own business decided to weigh in. “Its not 9:30 its 8:30 and rush hour”. Pink sweat pant lady looked at her companion for confirmation. He closed his eyes, nodded and whispered “she’s right”. I was so close to all this the extra breath it took to make the “S” sound hit my face.

Sweat pant lady sat back perplexed. In her mind that didn’t account for HER having to wait in traffic. All this thinking must have made her antsy b/c all of a sudden she got up and announced that she could “no longer so no mo”. Instead, she decided to get up, spin around (very similar to a dog trying to mat the grass where he intends to lay) and continue to question the traffic to the extent where she wasn’t sure where she was any longer.

On any giving morning, because of the packed house, a person had barely enough room to bend over to get something he/she might have dropped let alone all this extra activity. Luckily I was diagonal from her and the poor bastard standing next to me (and in front of her) got more than he bargained for this morning. At first her spinning around was essentially shoving her head directly into his face which, judging by his look, was vile. But as she began to question where she was, she started to lean over and wipe the fog from the windows to try to familiarize herself to her surroundings. Her bending over was giving my neighbor some type of perverse lap dance that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Then came the light.

“Why is everything stopped?”

“Its the light at the intersection. At this time of morning it usually takes 3 or 4 cycles to get through” her companion replied patiently.

After her spinning, wiping of the windows and a few grumbles “ it can’t be this light, we’re not moving! We might be stuck here! We’re not moving!”

“Its the light at the intersection. At this time of morning it usually takes 3 or 4 cycles to get through”

This exchange went on for ten more minutes. The rest of us pretended to be reading but I was completely entertained. At least pacified by the communal suffering. Some of the other passengers were perhaps not.

Finally through the light, we had smooth sailing into Harvard Square. Not for sweat pant lady though. She’d had enough. She demanded to be let off. The bus driver obliged and pulled over. As she made her way through the thick crowd of people. She tripped and on her way over clutched a man’s jacket knocking the book out of his hand. THE GROUP helped her up and she eventually made it off. With the main attraction over with I went on reading.

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