Friday, April 27, 2012

Cutting Off the Nose

My birthday was Sunday. I was born in West Virginia in the mountains. My grandmother and I went looking for the exact place a few years ago. We couldn't find it. There's a place called Hurricane, West Virginia. There's also a place called Nitro, West Virginia. The interstate is carved out of mountains. You can look down into towns if the fog isn't bad. Kansas City sits on hills, too, but no one outside Kansas City knows that. They all ask if the flatness makes me crazy, but I have to drive a little before I can even see the horizon. It's been a couple months since I've had a car to drive.

I've started having nightmares I have to drive a car and can't do it. The roads have changed and I can't read the signs. Josh has these dreams, too. He's a non-driver. I also dream of going back east this summer. However it happens, it won't be because I drove.

Every year, there's a family reunion at a lake in North Carolina. We swim across the lake and we're in Virginia. There's a little beach there and we try to be quiet because we go at midnight, but sometimes it's not possible to kill our joy. We swim back by way of a large rock where the water is cold and the catfish brush our legs. A lot of the family stay in the lake house they've owned for 30 years, but the house is sold now. I don't know what we'll do. I didn't go last year and now I won't go again, at least there, at that lake. I cried. Sue me.

Josh is in a play. I've told you that. You should go. There's a show tonight at 8 and tomorrow at 8 and Monday at 8. The tickets are 15 dollars. Monday night they're 10. Josh is the real deal, kids. I didn't know it, but I do now. I mean, Jesus, really. He can't drive a car, but he can be funny when he needs to be. 

I got news of a big story acceptance last week. I don't like saying where until it hits, so I won't. You'll know in June.

Josh and I walk everywhere and sometimes people in trucks whistle or yell. I get mad. There are stories I could tell. I'm too mad to tell them. What makes me mad is those people whistling and yelling are gay, too. In some way, they're queer and they hate it and so they hate Josh and they hate me. I hope they find a little quiet time to be men with other men. If I had one wish.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Snakes Alive

Walking all over Kansas City is one of the new things I do. Last weekend, I walked all over Kansas City with my friend. We got lost. We got found. We looked at houses and drank bourbon and ginger beer. We saw a bunch of cats. My friend said the best thing to come out of the economic downturn is all the outdoor cats. Any of them will come up to you and act like a pet because they all used to live indoors. My friend and I sat on my porch and a stray cat jumped in my lap and my friend said, "See. That's totally your cat."

Everywhere I go, someone is telling me a snake story. Everyone has a snake story. I tried to feed a snake out of my hands once and the snake bit me, of course. I'm not Snow White, though one of my friends has a bird who will fly across the room and land on her finger. My only fairy tale quality is that I have a really good sense of direction. Oh, and I'm the first son, which means I'm destined to make a fatal mistake involving my pride.

I made a molasses pie yesterday and it was nasty, but then I put it in the fridge overnight and today it has promise. I can see how I'll do it next time. Josh politely ate his slice and then said, "This is acrid." Yes, I used a strong molasses. I'll use sorghum when I try again. We can beat this thing together.

The weather was so good for a while. It got chilly this week, though, so the men of the neighborhood kept their shirts on while they mowed. One of them even wore jeans, which was sexy in its own way.

I'll tell you about a dream I have every year. I'm walking down the street and a dog runs at me. As it jumps for my throat, I pull its jaws apart with my bare hands. You may know my hands are strange and I probably couldn't kill a dog like that. My fingers have weird bends to them. I used to try to force them straight, but that doesn't work. Will never work. Has never worked.

I have things to brag about, but the only one of those things I'm comfortable bragging about is that I have a story up at Spork Press. Read it, I beg you, because I'm so proud of that story.

My birthday is soon. Get cracking.