Saturday June 17, 2017
Phil Stutz and Barry Michels
What’s the point, Milo thinks as he squints at his computer screen. The usual flood of dark worries is worse today because Justin quit and now he doesn’t even have eye candy. He wonders if the dimensions of his cubicle add to his feelings of claustrophobia. He wonders if he actually called his family back in Denver if the week might start a little brighter. All the numbers on the screen start to blur. Um, Milo thinks. He closes his eyes.
Thursday June 1, 2017
Monica makes the sign of the cross and sits down at her desk. She wonders if she’ll have the courage to do it today. The phone rings.
“Dr. Kent’s office, how may I help you?” Her voice sounds different here than at home, when she’s talking to Bozo or singing to the radio as she makes dinner.
“I need to speak to Dr. Kent right away,” says the woman on the other end of the line.
“Dr. Kent is with a patient at present. Might I pass along a message?” Monica reaches for her green tea and sips it. It’s cold.
“I just read something online about how stress hormones can cross the placenta and reach the babies? I’m freaking out! This has been the most stressful three months of my life. It’s bad enough to give one child issues, but two?! I need to speak to – ”
“Take a deep breath. In through your nose and out through your mouth.” Monica rolls her eyes.
Friday April 14, 2017
from a business card
Barry is my boss and also my father. He does not let me take home extra envelopes or paper clips. Once he said I could have the left over pinapple from the staff party, but other than that he’s a pretty big stickler for the rules. He’s the middle child so I guess you could say he was a big advocate for justice. Things always needed to be fair. Barry is a good boss and a good father. He sends me letters when I travel, he walks me all the way to the baggage drop off at the airport. Barry has a picture of me in his wallet singing into a toy microphone. He tells his other emplpoyees very little about himself. I’m the only one who knows his birthday.
Monday March 6, 2017
Of course he asks what I’m working on the moment I leave my work to check my Facebok account.
“Nothing really,” I tell him, because saying, “well, I was working on my novel, and before that the pitch for my television show, and before that I was busy securing some income so I was working on that” just sounds like an excuse train. In this very moment, no, I am not doing anything, and at least in this very moment, not doing anything means also not lying. I don’t need Facebook although I tell myself I do. It’s filled with opinions and videos of cats and maybe some event information that otherwise NOBODY would e-mail out. It’s filled with endless scrolling down the lives of others who are also not doing anything right this moment because they are on Facebook too and have posted an article to their wall to make it seem like they are working very very hard.
I imagine him giving me a pittying smile and saying, “oh, yeah, of course you are” with a snide undertown of prentiousness since he’s already been off Facebook for a month and a half. He doesn’t smile at all. He says nothing.
Saturday February 11, 2017
Vancouver Tree Book
Ellen leans back in her new office chair, trying out the arms over the head posture.
She looks around the room and notices that this exact view she has of her office now is the same one she had envisioned when she told herself that she would make it here some day. Ellen has made it and it feels good. The making it she expected. The power she half-prepared for. But the goodness that it created–the light–was unfathomable. Remarkable like staring out at the top of a mountain after climbing it for years. After years climbing a mountain that nobody thought could be done.
Sunday January 22, 2017
from a tweet
And then we cried and
then we cried some more because the road, though paved with many,
is a long one and we will travel it far…
But then we wrote
and wrote and then
we wrote some more
because the pages were begging
new history books in the making
New essays to recount and remember
new letters to fight
New anthems to cling to
New poetry to heal by
We wrote out our deepest hurt
and bled the deepest
We told ourselves in cursive or in print to remember
Wednesday January 18, 2017
from a Google search
He was selling used cars on his uncle’s lot
working the graveyard shift at Tim Horton’s
crossing his fingers
dotting his eyes
dressing up as a Smurf for a promotions company
working as a phone sex operator on his sister’s landline while she was at work
selling cannabis products at the dispensary near his house
raking leaves at the cemetery
hosting murder mystery dinners
taking photos of his feet and selling them on Craigslist
teaching creative writing to the elderly
selling lemonade on the side of the road for 25 cents a cup