Stories that have no right to be as short as they are collected here.

It’s late. It’s more than late, its tomorrow already. My brain is in overdrive despite it being under-fueled and underfed and according-to-oh-so-many-people, underachieved. My impoverished mind is screaming out, get down from here, get to bed, sleep. You have school in less than five hours, I’m saying to myself, and you haven’t slept or done your homework from today’s – yesterday’s – classes. You’ve screwed yourself. My rational side isn’t very nice. But it’s right. I get off of my chair and then set my laptop down on the floor and push down the off button with my toe, and then, with foot that is holding said toe, pull down the top of the laptop and shut it. I’m ready to go to bed and then I reach towards my lamp to darken the room and remove its lazy little yellow bumblebee tint from the walls, and then of course, I get hit by inspiration.
Inspiration: like a light bulb. No, not like a light bulb; it’s nothing nearly so cliché. It wouldn’t be a light bulb anyway, not really. There is no proverbial “switch” that I can metaphorically “flip” and then automatically, at the speed of my lazy little bumblebee tint colors my walls every night when I set down to work/play/vent at my laptop, watch as my brain is filled with otherwise impossible sequences of word and language that comes together to form the perfect sentence, the perfect line, the perfect anything, really, because inspiration, it doesn’t work like that. Inspiration is more like that feeling you get when, for the first time, you’re finally kissing that girl you’ve been looking at for months now, that girl who you aren’t sure knows you exist, that girl who everyday passes you in the hall, and though you’ve never spoken to her or waved or flashed a smile her way – because, come on, you DON’T WANT TO CREEP HER OUT – you watch as she walks right past you and the world slows down for a moment, that moment, and at that moment you and her are the only two people in the school hallway and you? You’re invisible to her, and you wouldn’t have it any other way, or so you think, but now, you’re kissing her! You’re kissing her, and you don’t know it then but it is THE BEST KISS OF YOUR LIFE, not in that week, that month, that year, but that life, and now it’s happening and you realize you don’t want to FUCK THIS UP so you run your hand from that safe place cupping her why’s-it-feel-so-right? waist to her face and you feel the heat, the electricity, the fire, the DESIRE and suddenly you realize what the hell The Velvet Underground meant when Cohan said “Like a dirty French novel/Combines the excerpt with the vulgar/It’s some kind of love” and, despite it being two different songs, you are sure that you have found your Sweet Jane. And then? Then you get interrupted.
That’s inspiration.
I turn on the laptop again, wait for it to boot, and then begin to type.
I check the clock.
Tomorrows going to suck.

He woke up in a dream, and rubbed his eyes, wiping away the yellow and crusty dust from his eyes, and when it stuck to his hand he wiped it on the back of his pants. He saw in the mirror the purple circles under his eyes that had become etched into his skin. He walked past the mirror, and into his mother’s bedroom, immediately, and he saw his mother, lying on the bed, her skin gone, and he said, to his mother’s muscle and bone, where is my mom, and his mother smiled. I am your mom. She was smiling, she couldn’t help but smile, the skin was gone from her face, and her head rested on her pillow. No you’re not. She sat up, still smiling, naked and leaning over, her breast muscle hanging from her chest like a dead cat in a dog’s mouth, swaying, swaying, swaying, she said Then who am I? He rubbed his eyes, and admitted that he didn’t know, and then the woman in his mothers bed got up from out of his bed and pointed to the window. They were now standing together, back in his kitchen, and his mother, or the woman with the muscles, chuckled, he thought, and screamed WHAT ARE YOU BUILDING IN HERE?
He woke up, into consciousness this time, and his room was still the same, and so was his bed, and the sleep in his eyes, but the alarm, the clock he had set four hours ago, was blaring and he slammed over to shut it off, and looked at the mirror, then the time: he still had his shaggy hair and the blue under his eyes, and it was 4:00 a.m.
The insomniac went to shower, and get ready to work.

She started off smiling, like every lunch. She was happy, she had her friends, her breath didn’t smell, she wasn’t eating, and not only that, but it seemed like her friends weren’t bugging her anymore about that. They all ate, and laughed, and smiled too. She was happier than she had been in a while. Then, as her friends sat around the school lunch table, all eating and laughing, she got up, and said she was going to use the bathroom. The boys in the group smiled and nodded, but the girls of the group, knowingly, didn’t have the same reaction. Two carried worried looks on their faces and as she got up to walk to the bathroom no one stood up to go with her. She smiled at this too, and continued to the bathroom.
She stood in front of the mirror, running her hand across her face, her chin and cheeks, her neck, looking for acne or something else, and her arms hurt, her elbows were bruised. So were her waist bones, but you couldn’t see that. She opened her mouth and inspected her teeth. She frowned, wondering, and watching herself in the mirror, put her crossed her arms across her thick chest. She wrapped her fat fingers around her fat upper arm, and frowned harder. And then, looking in the mirror, she saw her chubby eyes darken, and she felt hungry.
She turned to one of the bathroom stalls, and ran in, bending over the toilet bowl and once the vomit didn’t happen, she made it come. White and clear, the vomit splashed into the cool toilet water, and she felt a rush of air from this that didn’t smell and did cool the sweat on her forehead. She leaned on the toilet bowl with thin arms and sighed in relief, and then she stood up, washed her hands, focusing mostly on her right, and after replacing a nice smelling piece of gum walked back to join her friends at the lunch table.
She sat down, leaned on her thin bruised elbows, and smiled.


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