Black and Blue

The property management lady looks at the signature on the lease. “We rent mainly to young urban professionals like yourself, but we have some older tenants like me who have been with us for years. You should really enjoy living here.” The last is said with a stern stare that says, If you don’t enjoy living here, something is seriously wrong with you.

“I’m sure I’ll like it just fine.” John glances at the keys she holds to his new apartment. He’s signed the lease and given her a check, but she makes no move to give him the keys. Instead, she just makes him uncomfortable by staring at his hairline. “Is there anything else?” he asks.

She pulls her gaze from his hair and smiles at his face. “No, nothing at all. You’ll fit in fine.” She hands him the keys, then rises to shake his hand. “Welcome to the Portland Towers.” Continue reading “Black and Blue”

Hot Pants

the scorpion and the frog - hot pantsThe job was suit-and-tie stuffy, but, still a rebel after years of conformity, Will fought the dress code by wearing Sex Pistols T-shirts under his white button-down shirts and leather thong underwear that made his butt crack itch. He felt the itch was more than worth putting up with considering what it said to the world about who he was. Will was in his thirties and living a dual life. He worked for the DIP Corporation. They manufactured everything from baby formula, sold for consumption outside the U.S. only, to the plastic heel tips on women’s shoes. Continue reading “Hot Pants”


Dave parked his car in the far corner of the liquor store lot and sat behind the wheel with the wipers on intermittent. Since being in recovery, he went there to put his life in perspective, where he’d been, where he was, where he might go. As he sat in the warm car watching the wipers push the rain around his windshield, his girlfriend’s car turned into the lot and parked in front of the neon Budweiser sign. What was she doing here? he wondered as his stomach knotted. Continue reading “Cheating”

Faking It

“Come on, sugar tits, how much for a blowjob?” the john asked, almost whining. He was balding, going to fat at thirty.

She squeezed her bare knees together underneath the small café style table. “I already told you. I don’t do that anymore. I quit.” She was in her twenties, attractive in that private college sort of way.

“You don’t quit being a whore, baby. Once a whore always a whore.”

She’d been sitting alone in Starbucks studying for her beautician’s exam over a coffee when this former john sat down across from her. It happened sometimes, the johns from before when she worked Sandy Boulevard would recognize her during daylight hours, but the norm was that after their face flashed recognition, then shame and guilt, they’d look away and pretend she was just another stranger, which she was, aside from that she’d had their penises in her mouth. Continue reading “Faking It”

The Mud Test

the scorpion and the frog - the mud testShe was blonde. She was cute. She was sitting alone at the bar. The bartender would come over to her and say, So and so sitting over there wants to buy you a drink. She’d say, Fine by me, and order a nice glass of wine, something just above what she would normally pay for but not too expensive. It was a way to try new labels she might not like.

Within moments of her first sip, so and so from over there would be at her elbow saying something like, It’s not good to drink alone, or, Drinking alone is bad for you, or, I hate drinking alone. She didn’t mind drinking alone. It was better than drinking with someone she didn’t like. She would shoot So and so down, letting them know they didn’t have a chance, and they’d return to somewhere over there. But not the last one. Continue reading “The Mud Test”

Silver Elvis

“I like raw sugar sprinkled on my nipples,” Heather said, smiling, her lips glistening with maple syrup from her pancakes. Her voice matched her name, subtle flowers covering a hillside. Her last name was Honeysuckle and her perfume scented the air around her like the flowers in spring. She took another bite of pancakes and chewed. People at work, including Jonathon, who sat across from her in Weber’s Diner, wondered why she wasn’t morbidly obese. She ate whatever she wanted whenever she wanted it; chocolate maple bars, fresh baked cinnamon rolls, banana splits overflowing with whipped cream. Instead she was a tall waif who eschewed flaunting her looks. Continue reading “Silver Elvis”