Thursday, April 5, 2012


I give up.

Ramona and Anthony have had the last name Hollister since they've been living in my head. That would be maybe twenty-five years... You know, even back in the days when Ramona's name was Katrin.

So this popular retail chain thing is totally fucking with my chi...

I'm going to have to come up with a new last name for them.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

You want to be with her right now. Janie. But you can’t because Charlene is here.

Fucking Charlene. Fuck me. Shit. Stop it.

Jack should sleep tonight. Fuck, I hope he sleeps through the night. Bad night. Has to be the left leg. Favoring that one again. God forgive me for the extra dose, but he took it so late because you’re here. He wanted to be awake. Company. When do we ever have company since we’ve been here? When does he ever look at anyone besides us? But the leg. Favoring the leg. Maybe he didn’t see that I could tell. Hope he’s sleeping.

Shit. Fucking stop it.

If I could just smell her. If I went to bed now it might wake him. Hell, it would probably wake him. God the look on his face when I fell asleep on the couch. But I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it, Jack. Come on, let’s see what we have for breakfast.


The skin between her breasts. The little line there, just a fine crease. How long has that been there? Beautiful. She laughs low in her chest and it rumbles through her ribs. Too many cigarettes.

I’m going to jump. From the bar top. She’s laughing in the background, which is so good, so enough. Catch me, Jack. Carry me up the stairs. Fucking laughing. She knew how much I wanted you.


Did I really let myself get this drunk? Am I even drunk anymore?

Remember that little while when everything just kept lining up? Planets, chakras. Remember when the pain was just background noise, and it was only sometimes that you had to smile though it? Remember when pain pills were for fun?

Fuck I would love a pill.

Can not take Jack’s pills. Where the fuck do you get a pill around here? Might help to make an acquaintance or two. Time. In time.

I miss home. That fucking huge bathtub. Did we really install that shit? Did we really make a haven in that monstrosity? All that beer we drank. Everything was so funny, just leaning back against the wall and watching you try to read how to do it from a library book. A library book. We fucking did that. I remember because I grilled you a steak for that shit.

Sleep through the night and it’s steak and eggs for breakfast, Jack. The girls will bitch to high heaven, but yes.

If I could just smell her. If she was just here, sitting at the table with me, I think my hands would stop shaking.

Quit it, Mona.

The renovating of downtown Dogwood has always happened in irregular spurts. Office buildings got coughed up first, when some genius decided to wrap a couple of old store structures in new windows and some sort of bland gritty substance. There are still a couple of those left, but the folks like my brother are edging them out slowly but surely. Creatures tend to prefer that the history not be rubbed off of their locations.

We have a blues bar, a couple of restaurants, a coffee shop in the reopened Galaxy Theater, and a bar that’s just a bar, but which is really adjacent to the blues bar. By we, I’m not really referring to my immediate family; I’m talking about, you know, those of us who are not them. There’s a used book store. We’re friends with the owners there, even though the Merc has a blue million used books as well.

Don’t squint or you might catch one of us. We’ll be arranging bluegrass at the gazebo or Shakespeare on the library lawn. Gutting an old ice cream truck for a mobile soup kitchen. Teaching a class at the Craft Shed. Comping a drink for one of the willing.

Maybe you saw me earlier today, walking back from the Galaxy with a recycled cardboard carrier full of frozen lattes I’d picked up as an apology for being such a sulky bitch last night when Ben told me that Stephen wants me to start drinking my supplement twice a day. Yes, I pouted, and I imagined that it bothered him that I was bothered even as he dolled himself up and then left to hook up with his latest mystery.

And yes, I did drink a second last night, but not before I crept into his room and sneezed into his closet. So today it was lattes on my tab.

You’d be amazed and appalled at what I have to do to make myself sneeze.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

“Yes, twice a day. He thinks it might motivate you.”

“Motivate me? What does that mean?”

“Look, Ramona, I really don’t know what that means. He just seemed to think it was important, and that I should be the one to talk you into it.”

Monday, June 27, 2011

There is so much color in the world. Living surrounded by second hand, I notice that the patina of age filters some of this color, creates washes and richness from it. This removes some of that feeling of chaos that can freeze me. Sometimes I feel myself ticking in the dust.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I spent over an hour today rearranging the pulp novel shelf in the book room. First I alphabetized, then even replaced the tape and marker labels I’d put up the previous time I decided that the shelf needed a makeover. After that, I sat across from it, squinting at my handiwork and sipping on my third coffee of the morning.

Sometimes I just need to be away from natural light for a while. Anthony frowns when I pull the blinds out front too early.

The book room is just what it sounds like it might be. It is windowless and filled with second hand books. When Anthony actually acknowledged that I was working for him, there was only a stepstool and an overhead light to cozy the place up. Since then, I have added the two saggy chairs that were left over when I moved out of the place on Merry. I have papered an end table with a falling apart copy of Jurassic Park, and smile a little every time someone snickers at the bad crafty of it.

“Just stop it,” Ben said, having locked the store for lunch and taken a seat in the other saggy chair.  “If you arrange it any more it’s going to look more deliberate than you want it to look.”

“You know, I’m thinking about slip covering these chairs.”

“You’ll get over that soon enough.”

I chewed the big mouthful of pasta salad I’d just forked in and tried to think of something clever to say to that. I wanted the room to feel comfier. I knew that I needed to stop myself before I dragged in a futon and set out to learn the fine art of bead curtain construction. Had I seen an ottoman in the spare furniture storage room?

“Or maybe lamps. Actually, I think it’s the lampshades that would make it just right.”

That worked. It brought the grin I was looking for. Sue me. Redheads have my number, even when they’re interfering with my nervous guilt parties. Anyway, he did bring me lunch.

“Seriously, Mona, do you really want people staying in here longer than they do already?” He waved his fork at me. “I usually close it off when I’m working by myself. Makes me nervous enough as it is without any of your candles in Chianti bottles.”

“You know, that’s a pretty good idea. The candle, thing, I mean.”

“Fuck you.”

“Anyway, I’m more likely to lock the front door and hide in here myself. And I don’t mind so much if there are people back here. Not like I don’t know what they’re doing. Hell, you’re on speaking terms with every rat and bug in the walls.”

“Someone’s gotta keep them in line.”

“Exactly, so you know what’s going on in here, no problem.”

“Be that as it may, it doesn’t change the fact that people who hide in the book room creep me out a bit.” 

“Like me?”

“Especially you, dearest.” Full on dazzler smile. “Most especially when you’re pretending to punish yourself while you’re at it.”

I stopped frowning at him when I noticed how scrunched up my forehead felt. “You look good in blue. You need to let me borrow that shirt. I probably look good in blue as well.”

“Very nicely diverted. Smooth, seamless.”

I thanked him.

“It would never button over your tits, I’m afraid.”

“It would. You’re just not taking into account your own big strong shoulders.”