I don’t know how I feel about the task I’ve undertaken. I’m about to tell you the story of Michael, a 62-year-old man who was cryogenically frozen at the beginning of the 21st Century and thawed at the end of the same century. He had been diagnosed with what was then an incurable form of blood cancer. It would have ravaged him within a year, so he decided that his best course of action was to be frozen and awakened when they found a cure. His cancer had been cured, but the thawing process proved to be more complicated than the cryo-researchers had realized. Michael was not the only person to be awoken to a cure and then given another incurable disease. To date, over 2500 people have been thawed and died within a year. Tens of thousands more are frozen and await the same fate.
Getting Robbed Six Ways from Sunday
published in Hamilton Stone Review, October 2016
This was the fourth bank robbery in 13 months in which Michael had been involved. No, he wasn't a bank teller. Not a bank robber. Not a guard or law enforcement officer. Just a regular guy who didn’t even go to the bank that much more than you or I. But here he was again, face down on cool marble, holding his breath, hoping everyone did what they were told. From his experience in bank robberies, he knew that, indeed, if everyone just stayed calm and did what they were told, they'd all get out of this fine.
A Tale of 5000 Erections
published in Wilde Magazine, July 2014
Your first erection comes as a surprise, age 12. You wake up from a deep slumber to find a tightness and slight pain in your pajama bottoms. Looking down, you see the cotton pants stretching where your crotch is, and you pull the waistband tight in order to see exactly what is going on down there. You see it. It no longer looks like your penis. It’s bigger—sure—and stiff, but it is also slightly elevated, pointing to just above your headboard. You’re used to it limply laying there, a dead snake or maybe just a really tired one. Now, it pounces in time with your beating heart. You’ve heard of these before and expected it to happen at some point, but you thought you’d have to be a teenager for it to happen. Further, you didn’t expect the head of the erection to be so . . . red. You also didn’t expect the ache that would go along with it. Nothing is like you expect it; this is a lesson you don’t really learn until later.
My oldest sister was a cat and I the catnip toy she played with. She played with me between her two paws, batting me back and forth and back and forth at will like I was a real mouse and not a fabric replica. I was helpless in this game. Yes, it was a game, one that she tired of quickly and then moved on to bigger things. A real mouse, a real bird. Not me.
The Cat, On Snow
published in Burningword, January 2013
Have you ever tried to listen to the footsteps of a cat walking through snow? He takes gentle steps, as usual, but the top layer of snow—like the crust of crème brulee—betrays him. I watched the cat walk across the yard this morning, after five inches fell last night. The yard is a wide expanse, barren of anything but grass during the other months. This morning, it was a canvas of snow, and I watched the cat from down the street walk slowly across my yard. In another universe, one where you stayed, you hate it, sad to see the pristine snow get ruined by small footprints.