This Sunday morning seems different for some reason . . .
Tag: short fiction
“The kids are full of sugar,” Martin’s teacher announces at pickup time. “They had cupcakes for Kyle’s birthday.”
I suppose this explains why my son and his toddler cohorts are roadrunning around the classroom and catapulting off the low leather couches . . .
The floor was covered with Timothy’s blood when Maurice came down the steps from the dining room to see how things were moving along . . .
You tiptoe through the dark labyrinth of the Hive until you reach the tiny room where you’ve spent every Thursday night for the last couple of months toiling away to no avail. The stench of Gouda, Kathleen’s patchouli, and the tang of potentially unfulfilled dreams waft through the air. A metal chair screeches against the gray linoleum when you pull it out, causing everyone to gawk at you. Kathleen rolls her eyes but does not relent. The weak smile spreading across your face fades as you remind yourself that this is the last time you’re going to see these people—your people. You promise yourself that you won’t sip wine or munch crackers or make small talk when this is all over. Saying goodbye is hard enough without all the empty calories and tedious chatter. You swear to yourself this is going to be the last time you pay to play. Your pocketbook and soul can’t take it anymore.
I look at my belly in the mirror, swollen to the size of a basketball at seven months pregnant . . .
I was born in 1962 in Stuyvesant Town, a middle-class housing development located on the East Side of Manhattan. When I was young, I used to see an older kid who rode his ten-speed bicycle through the neighborhood. He always wore a Superman costume, and he steered the bicycle with his feet, with his hands always high over his head and his red Superman cape flapping in the wind behind him . . .
Les’s twenty-foot RV was parked in the gravel drive of a little house with a sagging roof. Plastic deer nestled into the flower beds around it, among clumps of zinnias and cracked planters full of wilting petunias. Some friends of Les’s lived there with their ailing grandmother, no doubt appropriating her Social Security checks and pain meds. I’d only met them in passing, a lank-haired woman and her scraggly-mustached boyfriend.
I hated myself for being there, but I parked next to a dirty old Toyota sedan and hauled myself out of the car anyway. Fuck it, I told myself. Are you really trying to be one of those dorks with a clean life and an office job? Who are you kidding? I sank down beneath my guilt and worry, settling back into the comfortable hog wallow of my ignominy as I mounted the stairs of the RV.
The door rattled when I opened it, and I stepped in, very nearly falling back out again when I found myself at the end of a pistol . . .
I have no toys.
I was hoping that at this stage of my life, as both husband and father, I would have some pretty cool toys. But I don’t. Instead I have four daughters, and this is why I have no toys . . .