Tag Archives: yellow mama

When you Sleep

October 11, 2016


The police report is dated June 17, six months ago yesterday. It was Friday night, and school was out. Tim and I were in my Dad’s car, cruising around the lake, on the far side of the tunnel where it crosses under the parkway. That’s where I killed her.

I wasn’t high. Tim was smoking a joint, and maybe I’d had a hit, but I was fine to drive. The problem was Tim: he kept messing with the car stereo, even after I warned him off. So I smacked him. Just a little whack on the side of the head and all hell broke loose. He got up in my face, yelling at me, and then WHAM, I saw a flash of color on the passenger side and the wheels thumped, like when you take a speed bump too fast.

I slammed on the brakes. Across the street, there was a woman in her front yard, screaming. Her mouth formed a big O, and I nudged Tim to look. We both laughed, she looked so funny standing there, like her hair was on fire.

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Son of a Circus Clown

October 11, 2016

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My father loves children. Everybody knows that, even the Elephant Man, and Helga the Armless Wonder. He loves their sticky smell, their laughter and limitless potential. One night after too many beers, the Great Zambini said that my father must have been a nursemaid in a past life, or perhaps a pediatrician. In this life however, the one we currently inhabit, he is Binky the Clown.

Binky loves the circus too, but not as he does the boys and girls who come to see him here, to cheer his name and laugh at his foolish antics. And he loves his little car. It hurts his back something fierce, but still, he lives for the applause of the crowd as he climbs impossibly forth three times a day from within the car’s cramped interior. That car is my father’s five minutes.

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On the Interstate

December 15, 2012

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Despite the blizzard, Will accelerated down the icy ramp. He grabbed fourth gear, too soon; beneath him the big diesel shuddered and groaned. Thirty, thirty-five, now forty, the transmission whined in protest. He ignored the truck’s mechanical complaints and slid into fifth.  The Kenworth lumbered onto the deserted Interstate, the last cold light of February shining on Will’s brow.

The pavement was glass. He regretted now not replacing that left rear tire back in Bismarck. He could feel it back there: slipping, grabbing, slipping, each icy bite making the truck groan and yaw in a great quarrel of reverberating sheet metal.

Beyond the heaving mounds of troglodytic ice and snow crowding the highway’s narrow shoulders, visibility was but a few hundred feet; beyond that, the landscape revealed naught but an obscure pall of white gusting across the ghosts of desolate farm fields, the dirt and snow painting hazy zebra stripes down the silent rows of October’s forgotten cornstalks.

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