I've quit smoking. But, wait. There's a good reason for this lapse in faulty decision making. Bear with me.
It's simple. I don't have the money to buy cigarettes. That's right folks. Surprise, surprise. A good ole Kentucky boy is broke as hell.
But don't get out the pity party streamers and punch for me, please. This is normal for me. I've always been poor. It's just taking some time to adjust to working full-time and still being poor. Payday comes and, like everybody else, I pay what I can on bills, fill up the gas tank, etc. Then I'm left with nothing.
For two weeks it's like this strange real-life game of how to manage to continue living. I'm getting really good at it.
Well, not really. But who could be?
Point is this: generations back as far as spoken word history can tell me I'm from a bloodline that works hard every day and, somehow, stays broke. But it has shown us how to focus on other things. Work every day. Do the best you can. Then forget about it. No cigarettes. Cry me a fucking river! No food is the worst, and there's people who deal with that every second of their lives. I've been there plenty. No food is the worst.
Okay, that's my daily raincloud for anyone hapless enough to have wandering into Bent Country. Now, on to brighter things.
I'm thinking.....still thinking....okay, brighter things.....just wait, I'll think of something.
Ah, shit. Just think of sunrises or something, laughter, a lover's embrace, a full stomach, the smile a baby makes when you smile, an unexpected warm day in late November, a memory of playing with your dad when things were still normal, making the most of it, doing your best. Think of the little critter, your great and critter-like ancestor, that crawled through the muck and got upright instead of just laying there and dying like a bitch just so you could be here. Think of your obligation.
Think of people who love you hugging you until it almost seems okay to stop breathing.
Lincoln in the Bardo: George Saunders wrote a fine book that could have also been a fine short story but was a fine book afterall
George Saunders's Booker Prize-winning book Lincoln in the Bardo is a powerfully good book. One of my favorite reads this year ...
I've published for the last couple of years an online journal called The Airgonaut . I've placed a submission closed update there t...
Best Small Fictions 2017 Guest Editor Amy Hempel Series Editor Tara L. Masih Braddock Avenue Books (September, 2017) $13 (Braddock Av...