This had been a difficult, disturbing year for me and I was exhausted as I fell back on my chair seeking the relief of a deep sleep, maybe even a permanent one. But as I tossed and turned on my chair, I opened my tormented eyes to see my past thumbing its nose at me from the chair across the room. I saw his demeaning face berating me, telling me I was worthless, his face contorted in a rage with veins bulging on his forehead.
“Can’t I even escape you in my nightmares?” I moaned in utter dismay.
Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was the master of my dreams. I could change my destiny by tweaking the circumstances, molding them to my needs and wants. I decided to get rid of the albatross that had been hanging on my neck for far too long. But I had so many fates to choose from. I decided that an unknown force would slice the artery in his neck and leave him suffering while he bled out. I laughed out loud, knowing that I would never have the courage to watch him die if I were awake.
The next morning, for the first time in many months, I awoke refreshed and feeling ready to face the future. I realized it had only been a dream but it forced me to realize that I needed to excise him, neatly, from my life forever. Getting up to start some coffee, I was horrified to see a large crimson stain on my chair. I hated knowing that I had to get rid of my brand new chair!
The lights flicker
Time to move quicker
Clock begins to chime
I’m running out of time
Can you hear the sound
Of my heart begin to pound
Lightning flashes in the sky
Hide, ah it’s too late to even try
What was that?
Oh, it was just a rat~
Uh, no I’ve been spotted
In the blink of an eye
The lightning strikes again
I love the smell of rain
I can’t breathe
Where’d that rat go?
I’m running out of air
Right in my own lair.
So, this is what I get?
I guess~ you never forget—
Is it too late to say sorry?
-*heart begins to beat very slowly*
I Have a Cat
I also have litterbox duties and a tolerance for the associated odor.
I also have a few neighbors in my building who have no appreciation for felines or their litterboxes.
This conflict plays itself out on a daily basis with the appearance of an occasional post-it-note reminding me of the smell in my trash or the as-soon-as-the-elevator-door-closes intervention explaining my building should be pet-free.
I can tolerate this pithy behavior.
What I cannot tolerate is the next level of dastardly deeds a few have decided to partake in.
Now, I receive nothing. One of my neighbors has decided to become a porch-pirate and make off with my delivered packages and (apparently) hold them ransom until I change my cat’s litter box and sanitize the entire 4th floor to a NASA/CDC/quarantine cleanroom level 8. If and when I accomplish this feat, I may find my packages released, under their own recognizance, to my care. If I fail, I will find only an opened box, sans contents, near the community dumpster.
It is war on the 4th floor and I have a plan.
Two days ago, I took a recent Amazon box, carefully lined the inside with plastic wrap, and introduced my cat to its new litter box. On day ago, I packaged the contents and printed out a new shipping label (correct dates and address). Before securing the contents, I rigged a small pull-apart firecracker (a firecracker with two small strings attached to the ends) to the inside flap and the bottom of the box. All I had to do was seal the box and place it against my apartment door when I departed for work.
I received a call from the building manager at noon and did not reply.
Soon afterward came a text and an email. I remained indifferent to the sense of urgency.
When I returned home, I learned about the “incident” with the “suspicious package”.
Someone else, who could not resist opening the box inside their apartment, learned about karma.
They also discovered the cost of cleaning their apartment to a NASA/CDC/quarantine cleanroom level 8.
Some boxes include the gift that just keeps on giving.
Look Who’s Laughing Now
Every day you hurt and teased me,
hit and laughed with all your might,
but the reason you do this is so you can be,
in the big, bright spotlight.
You threw all your food at me,
and shoved sand in my socks,
you slammed me with branches from a tree,
and pegged me with your rocks.
But when all the adults came,
you stopped with all your tricks,
instead you didn’t act the same,
and threw away your sticks.
But now it’s 10 years on,
and you live in a small flat,
and all my abusement is now gone,
your only company’s a cat.
I’m living in the world of fame,
because I followed my dreams,
and karma is a careful game,
and you lost, so it seems.
Gin & Ironic
After far too many years of reckless inebriation
I spontaneously decided on a complete cessation
SO I impulsively threw into the wind my entire gin and tonic
"No longer will I imbibe!" I said, without a hint of being ironic
"From this day forward, no more more booze will I consume"
It was an absolute decree, for equivocation there was no room
I said it out loud, as the liquid from my glass flew skyward
Even a devoted lush nearby, may have likely been inspired
But gravity is irrefutable and yes, my friends: karma is a bitch
For the trajectory of the hooch I tossed a loft, suddenly did switch
So instead of falling harmless in a direction that was south
The contents of that delicious drink, flew right into my mouth
“Karma’s gonna catch you,” my sister said. Her face was stained with tears, glistening in the dark room; they fell upon the remnants of the light bulb at her feet, nearly invisible. What really stood out to me, though, was her grimace; she looked angry, and she looked frustrated, and she looked so, so sad. “Karma’s gonna track you down and make sure you pay for everything you ever did.” She looked at me with such certainty that I felt a twinge of fear.
Then our mother walked in, smelling of cheap alcohol, and demanded to know why my sister had broken the light, and I laughed and laughed and never got caught.
To say I was a bad person would be wrong. I simply learned how to play karma like a fiddle, exacting it on everyone but myself. My mother spent all her time out, so I spent all her money on whatever I pleased. My sister tried to take her place, so I made sure she took the blame for anything I did. The cycle only ended when my mother stopped coming back. Some would call that karma, but for me it was simply inevitable.
My sister sat me down. She was older now. I was older too, old enough for her to justify making me leave. We both knew that wouldn’t happen; despite everything, she still held some sort of love for me, being the only family she had left.
“Did you do that?” she said, her voice tense. She pointed at the television. It screamed back at us. TERRY MILLER KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT, shouted the local news. BROTHER GRIEVES. SQUIRRELS LIVING IN ATTICS: PROBLEMS OR PETS? MORE AT SEVEN.
“I think there’s a squirrel living in our attic,” I told her. Karma, of course; I had let the squirrel in. My sister didn’t take care of the house well enough; the ceiling sagged, and the lights always flickered.
“Did you do that?” she pleaded again. My sister was white-faced, terrified. “Did you kill him?”
Terry Miller and his brother walked into the auto-shop I worked in. The owner was in the back, fixing the light he believed had broken on its own. I watched Terry as he dragged his brother throughout the shop. He had dated my sister once. Finally, he came to me, forcing his brother to explain how the scratch on his car appeared. I remember my sister bringing him home. His brother looked miserable. She had looked miserable, too, and told me never to go near him. I told Terry I’d fix his car myself.
No one could claim I had no sense of empathy, nor a lack of love for my sister. I was only making sure retribution was paid. “Karma caught him,” I told her, and the next day she was gone. Karma for loving him, I suppose, or karma for ever thinking she could take care of us all.
Karma could never catch me, I always claimed. So I can’t explain what caused me to wake up to the sound of glass breaking, of footsteps racing upstairs. I turned on the lights just in time to see Terry Miller’s brother come storming into my rotting room, drunk and angry with tears staining his face. He waved his gun around wildly before finally settling on me, standing frozen before him in fear. The only sound louder than my heartbeat was the squirrel's feet scampering above us.
“Karma’s gonna catch you,” he said. He grinned. “And I play karma like a fiddle.” I put my hands up in a gesture of peace, searching for the words to calm him down--
And then the lights went off, and he laughed and laughed until I couldn’t hear him anymore.
Turnabout and Thai Food
Giant glass aquariums partitioned the patrons in a restaurant that cost more for one plate than most people made in one week. The Asian fusion/Thai-inspired menu included ingredients and animals so rare they drove up the price per entree to ludicrous degrees. Such a restaurant befit a man like Sam.
Sam had spent five whole years taking his trust money and seeding it into a thriving corporate empire, investing shrewdly and avoiding risks when others tried to tempt him astray. He knew the future held uncertainty, yet some things remained eternal. Laziness, for one. Efficiency for another. Leading him to his meeting today with another potential buy-out, a small plastics competitor trying to peddle in biodegradable trash.
Trash being the key word. Biodegradable might sound nice on brown paper but the cost of such materials made no sense financially. Not when governments had yet to regulate such requirements, or when people listened to their wallets more than their heartstrings.
Sam ordered a water with lemon. His doctor had told him to watch his intake of sweet beverages, so he limited it to bourbon now. He perused the menu, looking for the most expensive source of protein he could find.
Across the table an aged sea turtle floated in the filtered water, its dead, glassy eyes staring back at Sam through the polished glass. Sam rolled his eyes back, scowling at the sea creature's ugly mug. Next time he should pick a fine dining experience with fewer live decorations.
His phone buzzed as the waiter set down a tall glass. Hitting the button he answered, "Hello, Sam."
"Sam? Hey, we need to talk. The quarterly report just came out."
Sam soured. "I know, and before you start I've already prepared a presentation for the board. These bag bans aren't going to impact us in the long run. They've done studies, people still go out and buy plastic bags, more actually--"
"It's not just the bans, Sam. They're saying the optics look bad from an advertising standpoint. They want us to look into more R&D on the recycle end."
"We've already done research on it!" Sam huffed, sweat forming on his brow. "There's no point in throwing more money at a problem that doesn't matter anyway - our plastics are 60% recyclable, that's more than adequate to meet most hippie demands."
"Still, aren't you meeting with that biodregradable company today? Maybe we can spin some PR off that."
Looking around the restaurant, Sam spoke low, "We're buying them out, not building them up. You know as well as I do this is a kill mission. We can't let upstarts take up our market shares."
"We can always keep them afloat for awhile until the press dies down. It won't cost us anything, their sheets are black."
Sam sighed and lifted his drink, still talking. "A quick death is the merciful way. If we delay shutting them down we'll risk litigation when we try laying off workers later on. It's cleaner to take care of it-- OW!" Sam hissed as the skinny straw he hadn't noticed in his drink suddenly jammed into his nose.
"Sam? You alright??"
Dropping the phone, Sam swore as the plastic stuck to his nostril, causing dribbles of blood to splatter and stain the overpriced linen on the table. He tried yanking at it, but each tug only seemed to draw the straw deeper into his nose.
His phone continued squaking on the table, "Sam? Are you there?"
Sam waved over a waiter to help, his breath coming in short gasps as he panicked. Not for his health, but for his embarrasment. His client would be here any moment, and here he was flailing like a school boy with a straw stuck in his face. The pain grew sharper as they tried twisting and tugging, desperately hoping to dislodge it.
The other diners tried looking away, yet several peeked over at Sam's table in morbid fascination as yet another waiter rushed over to assist. They tilted Sam back in his chair, trying to stave the flow of blood as they kept pulling on the straw. At one point one of the busboys brought a pair of tongs from the kitchen, but they were too large to grip the slippery piece of plastic. A concerned patron finally dialed for emergency services, unsure of what to say yet appalled at the strange accident happening in their midst.
Sam tried to keep calm but his heart raced and suddenly he felt a sharp pain in his chest, his breathing growing labored as blood sloshed through his membranes and down his throat. The crowd of support staff trying to aid him grew frantic as his eyes rolled back in his head, his hands clutching his chest.
"Sam?? SAM! What's happening?? Sam?"
As the chaos continued, the old sea turtle floated peacefully in its tank, its glassy eyes blinking slowly, a faint trace of a smile on its face.
I noticed you
Swaying as you walked,
As long as a highway
Swishing your skirt.
I wont objectify you
By whistling through my teeth
Because they're false
Like your boobs
And may fall out
Like your boobs
Tumbling out of you skirt's open top.
Have I mentioned your boobs
Too many times?
I should turn and look away, watch where I'm going...
As I turn
The lamp post meets my head
Just above my eye brow.
Blood gushes and girls giggle
Having watched my misfortune
And the reason for it.
Clutching my head I walk on
To the bar for a blind date.
Surprised to find it's you!
With your legs and your skirt and...
You send me away
Covered in blood.
And I dine alone.