Friday, April 23, 2010

Coolest Study Ever!

So the truth is that I don't actually care why these "scientists" strapped GPS beacons to birds, but I do very much find it awesome that these birds are wearing backpacks!

I like to think that instead of carrying GPS beacons the bags were full of books and the birds are on their way to a bird house somewhere that is painted up to look like a school.

Or maybe one of the birds is like the drug dealer bird and so he always has his bag. OR! Maybe they are going hiking. OR! maybe they are going mountain climbing! OR! maybe they are going camping.

What do you think that the tailor said when these "scientists" showed up and were all like, "Yeah, we need forty tiny backpacks. For birds."



I got a little excited there.

Read all about it here. At NPR. Because I'm pretentious.

And thanks to Violet for finding this particular gem. It's ironic though, because she hates pigeons. With a completely unreasonable passion. She steps on them all the time. She is a pigeon murderer. A murderer of pigeons.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Apologies for My Poetry.

So it is a shameful and regrettable characteristic of mine that when I am sitting in my Theory of Contemporary Poetry class I tend to get all inspired and start scribbling terrible little poems in the margins of my notebook.

Tonight was an especially bad night because I ended up writing FIVE crappy poems.

Yeah, I posted them below.

You know, I should probably stop posting bad writing on my website, since it is after all, a ‘writing portfolio’. I mean, some super busy and important agent/editor/publish might happen by and be reading along all smiling and carefree and then he might stop at one of these poetry entries and sniff disapprovingly and then throw up all over himself. He might say, “You know, I was quite a fan of this Bezerra fellow, but now that I see that his poetry makes people involuntarily yack all over themselves, I’m having mixed feelings.”

Anyway, the regrettable poetry is posted below. Enjoy mocking me in your head (you really are quite mean).


Poem #1.

The Agreeable Girl
By James Bezerra

Dear black-haired girl in class
stop agreeing
out loud
with poetry that’s
read aloud.

Stop nodding your head.
Stop going, “Hmmmm,
yes, right,”
like the imagery has touched your

Not every
should change your

Your every
is, in fact, not

And by the way,
your tattoos don’t


Poem #2.

By James Bezerra

The art has babies
And something


Poem #3.

A Missionary in Tanzania Comes Home To Visit
By James Bezerra

The Missionary-in-Tanzania’s
boyfriend -
who is from Tanzania –
went with her to
looked around
at her
and asked her,

The Missionary-in-Tanzania’s
blonde mother
bought the boyfriend
brand new,
very comfortable
The Missionary-in-Tanzania’s
was never more humble
or thankful.


Poem #4.

Her Hair, Her Boots
The Girl in My Poetry Class Wonders Why I Am Staring at Her Right Now
By James Bezerra

She is striking,
but only for

Her hair is striking, but only after

Red. Though not really.
Part gold
and orange-auburn-red.
It glows a bit
around her pale
skin and freckles.

Her green eyes,
just mint flakes of

then those moments pass,
her plush Ugg boots
her shrill Valley Girl soprano
her complete misreading of Robert Creeley.


Poem #5.

Why Do People Hate on Sammy Davis Jr.?
By James Bezerra

Sammy Davis Jr. Was Controversial?
Was called an Uncle Tom?
In 1963:
Nuclear bomb
in Cuba,
and anybody cared about Uncle Tom?

Sure he could sing and dance.
But did he prance,
sing and dance
for Whitey?
Some say so.

Sammy Davis Jr. was Controversial?
Dated Kim Novak.
Went Jewish.
Hugged Nixon.
But still had to come and go
through the kitchen.

The controversies
I never knew about
and don’t even see
and simply
never could have guessed
absolutely confound me.


I'm Like a Rock Star! But Only Like One.

So by now you are probably aware that I am in a totally fake band. We don’t play or practice or get together at all really. In fact only one of us can actually play what would be traditionally called an “instrument” (I play the variable-speed blender, for instance).

However one of my favorite things to do is collect words and phrases that would make good names for songs. I am very good at this. If you were to go back through this blog you would find enough song titles to fill an entire career.

Below are some new (and might I say, pretty awesome) titles for our next album:

Society of Excess

Bubble Gum Punk

Feeding Cows: Raising the Steaks

Instantaneous Lobotomy

IBM Helped the Holocaust

Greed & Grace

Machine Throat

American Dream Defaulted

Sturdy Girl

You Know You Should Not Trust

Erase Your Touch

Better People Than You Are Powerless

The Tragedy Tourist

Mad Like God

Delighted and Content (With Murder!)

The Long, Dull Story of Everything

Platonic Futility

The Happiness Study

Perpetual Motion Junkie

This is totally an album that you want to hear, right?


Red Heads Have More Fun. Or Something.

So if you have ever watched Mad Men, you fell in love with her already. For everybody else, this is Christina Hendricks and she was recently named by Esquire magazine as the hottest woman … of the year? Ever? I really don’t know what the criteria is, but since it happened in the world I like to think that I am allowed to post pictures of her on this blog because it is now culturally relevant or something. Because Esquire magazine is nothing if not culturally relevant … and stuff.

Look, what do you want from me? Here are some hot pictures of a talented and attractive woman.



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why I Miss The West Wing.

This evening President Obama was heckled by some gay rights activists. I wish that they didn’t behave that way because it makes the Left seem as dumb and loud as the Right, but I understand the complaint and I sympathize. Anyway, it got me thinking about gay rights in general and so my brain eventually circled back around to this scene from The West Wing where President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) excoriates a Leviticus-quoting stand-in for Dr Laura Schlessinger.

God, I miss The West Wing so much.


Now You Can Bother Me at Work!

So this is going to sound like the most lame thing ever, but I only recently figured out that people can leave, and have been leaving, comments on this blog. I swear to god, I thought that no one had ever read this thing (except my Mom, hi Mom!) and about a week ago I offhandedly mentioned in conversation that no one had ever emailed me or made a comment or anything and the people I was talking to were all like, “What the fuck are you talking about?”

Well come to find out that people HAVE left comments on stuff! Man, I am kinda dumb.

So first, I am so sorry if you have left a comment or something and I never replied or gushed over how happy I am that you are here and reading. I love you so much. Yes, you (I hope that doesn’t make our relationship awkward now).

Secondly, I am totally a jerk. And (obviously) quite dumb.

Thank you so much to the people who have written things. It means so much to me (this is the only gushing post I will ever write, BTW. We will shortly be returning to our regularly scheduled programming).

I have been reading over the comments (instead of doing important homework) and I feel so gratified and honored and stuff.

So anyway dear readers, thank you. I appreciate all five of you.

Oh! And I set it up so that if you leave a comment it goes straight to my phone, so now you can distract me at work throughout the day. Please do not abuse that power.


WTF Eyjafjallajokull?

Have you fucking seen this picture?

Is it god and the devil fighting? Is it a scene from the craptacular 2012? Is it a clear sign that the world is ending?

No, no, and yes.

Here is the story about it.

This is just another way that the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull is blowing the collective mind of humanity.


You Are Welcome.

So if you have any interest in going back to college and majoring in Creative Writing, there are some things that you need to know. I am not going to try to tell you about it all, but what I have done for you is start to make you a crib sheet for understanding what the hell everybody is talking about. It is not as bad as law school or anything, but it is significantly more subjective.

The list below is wildly incomplete, but what I have tried to do is translate a word or phrase that you might hear in an English or Creative Writing class and give you the actual meaning.

A special thanks to Chris P. who unwittingly has helped compile this list (Chris is a man among men, a champion among winners. He created “English Department Buzz Word Bingo” which is exactly what it sounds like. We play it during class).

So onward to the translation!

What we say = What we mean

“Thumbnail sketch” = A quick physical description of a character.

“Dialogue” = When people talk.

“Conflation” = Confusion.

“Plot” = The part that was like a movie.

“Exposition” = Boring.

“Poetic” = Pretty-sounding words.

“Motif” = Something that happens a lot, as in, “I like saying ‘motif’. Motif!”

“Deconstruction” = “I have had a Critical Theories of Literature class.”

“Autobiographical” = “I am too lazy/self-absorbed to write about anything but myself.”

“Fragmented Narrative” = “I ran out of time before class to finish writing this.”

“Theme” = “What I really want you to know about what I think about stuff.”

“Diction” = The words in this story.

“… Hegelian …” = “I’m an asshole.” (Anyone who ever invokes Hegel is an asshole).

“I’m a grad student.” = “I’m probably an asshole”

“(Your story) is structurally unfit.” = “I am an asshole with both a superiority and inferiority complex.”

“I’m not making a value judgment …” = “I am totally judging you right now.”

“Nouveau riche” = “I took a class where we had to read The Great Gatsby.”

“Tertiary Removal” = “I know lots of big words about stuff.”

“Authenticity” = “Why don’t you write like Juno Diaz?”

As I said, this is an incomplete glossary. I will work on it some more for you.


Critical Theories Demystified.

Only four or five people alive will find this funny. I hope that the rest of you will indulge me. Or at least forgive me.

Critical Theories Demystified
By James Bezera

Aristotle reads Jorge Luis Borges:
"What the fuck is this?"

Immanuel Kant reads Jorge Luis Borges:
"I have no fucking idea why I like this."

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel reads Jorge Luis Borges:
"This fucking guy isn’t German, is he?"

Jorge Luis Borges reads Jorge Luis Borges:
"What the fuck do you guys not get?"


Get Thee Short Story to a Nunnery!

So today in my Senior Seminar writing class I had a story workshopped. For the uninitiated, workshop is basically a dissection of o piece of your own work. Last week I submitted a story to the class and (presumably) they all read it and today they all talked about it in front of me. They talked about the strengths and the weaknesses and what I can change or fix. It can be an excruciating experience and often is, however I have generally been lucky enough to have good groups of people workshop me.

So my story was well-received, but that’s not really what I want to tell you about.

What I want to tell you abut is the fact that there is a nun in my class. That is not unusual in and of itself. This being the twenty-first century it isn’t really even that weird. She is a skilled writer and I think that she has a lot of potential and I actually like her quite a lot.

When I turned in the story last week I did it with a little trepidation because while the story was not dirty it had some colorful language and I was worried that she might look at me funny afterword and – you know – call the Pope or something (though he has bigger problems right now).

So I got to class today and she told me that she just loved the story and she thought that it was very funny (it was supposed to be, BTW) and that not only did she enjoy reading it, but she read some parts of it to her sister nuns

Yes. That is correct.

Nuns were reading my writing to each other, presumably in a nunnery or some such place.

I just love that. It makes me all warm and tingly inside because I think that it is the funniest thing.

I just wanted to share that with you.


"That's Goose ... with two Os"

Oh man! TOP GUN is on TV.

I love TOP GUN, though I really choose not to ever watch it. I like to remember it the way that it was when I was twelve, before I knew that it was the most homoerotic movie ever. Ever. I have seen gay porn that was less homoerotic.

Not that I have a problem with homoeroticism, it just isn’t my cup of tea.

Plus, I don’t have the time really to watch the whole movie. I know that you don’t either, so please just watch this one.

So awesomely gay.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dentistry + Suffering = Haiku.

So I had a long day yesterday. I know that you probably did too, but I’m the one here with a blog so why don’t you just pipe the hell down, huh?

That it was long was okay, a lot of my days are long, but yesterday I had to go to the dentist. That is not in and of itself a bad thing. Usually I half enjoy going to the dentist because it usually means that I am not at work. I get to just lean back in that nice chair that gently grips my head. I don’t even mind the whistle of the drill (I just try not to think about Marathon Man and how god-awfully-god-awful and awfully terrifying Laurence Olivier was). In fact, the last time I was there I nearly fell asleep while they were working in my mouth because the forced-sitting-still was so nice.

However, yesterday was a whole other bag of worms. Oh yeah, that's right, a bag of worms.

After they jammed the new crown into its spot inside my tooth, the dentist told me to bite down and I did . . . onto a couple of fat cotton balls.

Now I probably need to explain here. I have a weird thing with cotton balls. Not ALL cotton, just cotton balls. That weirdly over-processed cotton gives me the willies. I get goose bumps and it makes me shiver and get all tingly (in a bad way).

I shared this fact with Violet once and for months afterward she was shoving cotton balls into the pockets of my pants – like little fuzzy time bombs – and when I would find them later I would end up shrieking like a little girl. Violet is a devious and mean person.

I tell you that so that you understand that I am trusting you – dear reader.

So not only was it awful to find cotton suddenly in my mouth, but for the past couple of years the cotton itself invokes a truly terrifying image in my head. See, a couple of years ago I was having brunch with my friend Mike The Director and we had gone to the pier in Santa Barbara where I saw a tank filled with horrifying spider crabs (bigger than cats and all covered in spiky armor and filled with the desire to murder you) and over brunch I was explaining how much they freaked me out and he said, “Hey Jamie, I want you to imagine a spider crab spitting cotton balls” and I leapt from the table while peeing all over myself and I fled the scene and did not stop running. Ever. I am still running right now.

So yesterday the Dentist told me to bite down and I FELT the cotton balls in my mouth and the little hairs stuck to my tongue. MY TONGUE! And so my body started freaking out and the whole time I’m picturing spider crabs running around inside my flesh.

It was just terrible.

And so, I have done what one always should do when forced to endure unimaginable tragedy, I have written about it in Haiku form.

Please enjoy my suffering.

I dislike cotton.
Processed cotton; white as
Disneyland snow storms.

Bugs under my skin,
when cotton balls brush my skin
I freak the hell out.

So I shrieked out loud.
When the Dentist said: “Bite down”
on a fat white wad.

Is there a word for
a phobia of this size?
I suffer so much!

The earnest Dentist
jams it in my bloody mouth
trying to be kind.

Tongue quivers, eyes water.
Just get it out of my mouth!
It makes my brain shake.

Synthetic cotton!
Processed cotton! So awful!
Not hyperbole!

My whimpering grows.
The mystified Dentist asks,
“Why are you crying?”

My exclamation:
“You put cotton in my mouth!
Torturing Dentist!”

Where’s the sympathy?
The understanding of my
special condition?

Now that I have shared with you, please do not put cotton balls in my pockets (that is not a euphemism).


This is kind of a non-sequitur, but is it just me or does it seem like every wanna-be beatnik and fake hippie that I see everywhere has an iPhone?

I have no problem with the iPhone and if you gave me one I would use the hell out of it (I get lost a lot and some quick and easy GPS would rock my socks off), but it just seems to me that there is something philosophically anachronistic about some of the people that I see using iPhones all the hell over the place.

I’m not bitching right now. I have not yet formulated exactly what about this whole thing bothers me, but this faux grunge rocker in my poetry class was all busy with his iPhone in class and I realized that last weekend at this fancy bar Downtown I saw a poser with a full-on Mohawk and leather jacket fingering his iPhone. Is there anything less punk rock than an iPhone? Let me answer for you: no, no there is not. Kittens are more punk rock than iPhones.

Anyway, I’m sure that we will return to this one day soon when I can better articulate. So look forward to that I guess.

Am I coming across like a curmudgeon right now? Do you find that sexy?

Workplace Haiku! For You!

So I have been on a haiku kick today. This is unfortunate for all of us because I am so very, very bad at haiku (its 5 – 7 – 5, right?).

But sometimes I’m at work and I just get struck by the desire to write some embarrassing workplace haiku.

Here is some:

I work with Excel
and move numbers a lot.
So I can pay rent.

A spreadsheet is made
of lots of little white cells
and I am in one.

I drink cold coffee
and work quietly all day
and dream of quitting.

I will get a job
on a ship or herding sheep
anyplace but here.

But it’s not that bad.
The AC is nice and cool.
and my chair is good.

I try not to bitch.
Keep my nose to the grindstone,
but I’ve ground it off.

But back to Excel,
it’s waiting expectantly
for me to work more.

Back to work I go,
high ho, high ho. Tomorrow
I should call in sick!


For Your Radar.

So in the readings for my poetry class I have encountered a poet named Amiri Baraka. I had honestly never heard of him before, but apparently he was once the Poet Laureate of New Jersey (which is just dubious enough to be cool).

There are a couple of things you should know before I say anything else. Apparently he was part of what’s called “The Black Arts Movement” of the late 1960s. Some people in that movement were also associated with (and part of) the Black Power Movement, though not all of them were.

Baraka – while apparently not militant – wrote militantly and a lot of his work seems to be pretty mean. Though sometimes that’s how it goes with political poetry. In one of his poems he attacks Jews, the Irish and Italians. Also Elizabeth Taylor. He also seems to imply that African-American civil rights leaders were giving blowjobs to Southern sheriffs.

Anywho, I bring it up because aside from being kinda nuts, he is also an amazing poet.

I don’t know enough about him to be advocating for him, but the man can slam words together.

Here is his poem “SOS”. Don’t worry too much about the sentiment; just try to hear the words. It’s amazing.

Calling black people
Calling all black people, man woman child
Wherever you are, calling you, urgent, come in
Black People, come in, wherever you are, urgent, calling
You, calling all black people
Calling all black people, come in, black people, come
on in.

In his poem “Black Art” he tosses off some ditties the quality of which I seldom come across:

We want “poems that kill.”/Assassin poems, Poems that shoot/ guns.


Let there be no love poems written/until love can exist freely and/cleanly.

And if you really want to get challenged by some poetry, check out “When We’ll Worship Jesus” .

This is part of it that I like quite a lot (even though it is a bit cheesy for a man who is this angry all the time):

we worship the strength in us
we worship our selves
we worship the light in us
we worship the warmth in us
we worship the world
we worship the love in us
we worship our selves
we worship nature
we worship ourselves
we worship the life in us, and science, and knowledge, and
of the visible world

So like I said, I don’t know what this guy’s deal is (and he certainly has one) but I know that he is a capable craftsman of words and I wanted to put him on your radar.

Here is his website in case you find incredibly talented and somewhat crazy people interesting.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Academic Repossession

Dear readers! My friend Mike “The Director” Ervin has a short film up at the well-known and illustrious website FunnyOrDie and I think that you should go watch it and laugh. And then vote for it (please vote “FUNNY” not “DIE”).

You’ll remember Mike because he directed the very indie film that we wrote together called Strange Angel which is finally, nearly done!

For now, please enjoy his shorter and funnier work. Oh! Please don't just watch it on this blog. Please watch it HERE so that you can vote for it, otherwise it will die.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Short Story!

By James Bezerra

And they lived happily ever after.

Because she decided not to get on that flight to Chicago, where everything that she owned was waiting for her in boxes in an empty apartment that still smelled like fresh white paint.

She decided not to get on the flight to Chicago because of the way that he kissed her, right there in the airport, just on the public side of the security checkpoint. Everyone waiting in line, standing there in their comfortable shoes, turned to look at them kiss.

They all turned to look because just before the kiss, he had hollered to her, “CLAAAAAAARRRRRAAAAA!” as he came dashing through the terminal. Holding her ticket in one hand and her black, heeled slingbacks in the other, she turned to look at Roosevelt and she saw him running to her and she knew then, she knew that if he tried to kiss her, that she would let him and she knew that if he kissed her, she would decide not get on the plane. Because she had always been powerless against the kissing. Not just his, but nearly everybody’s. She was powerless against all of the kissing. Good kissing, Clara felt, was next to godliness in the progression upward toward perfection. Way better than cleanliness.

So it was that he didn’t say another thing to her after he ran to her. His heavy black boots had thundered on the flat expanse of cheap airport tile, his mouth gaped a little, sucking air. His scalp shimmered a little with a shiny sheen of sweat. He hadn’t stopped to look at her or assess her or wonder if his arrival would be welcomed. He hadn’t thought about what he would say or what he would say if she said no. It had never occurred to him that she might say no, but it had never occurred to him that she would say, I’m taking the job in Chicago. But she had just said it: I’m taking the job in Chicago. I’m in a cab, I’m going to the airport, on the voicemail that she had left him, which he had just listened to before jumping on his motorcycle, flipping the key over, kicking it to life, feeling the engine throb between his thighs and twisting his right hand all the way forward. He had flown, fast and illegal, all freeway physics, leaning into long turns, zipping up the narrow asphalt shoulders, blasting between slowed cars. His olive drab army surplus jacket billowing out behind him like a cape, skull and crossbones bandana across his face, heavy black goggles pressed down into his face by the speed, the shriek of wind and the growl of internal combustion filling his ears and the smell of hot dirty metal burning his nostrils. He’d left fear, vexation and anger in his exhaust-y wake and he’d kind of liked it. He rode like he’d always desired to. And so he was filled with the hot hot heat of adrenaline and the cold pierce of love when he ditched his bike in the garage and dashed across traffic, the wrong way up ramps, around cars and into the terminal and started bellowing CLAAAAARRRRAAA! And so when he saw her - slim, elegant, in her speckled white and red fifties-chic dress, with her thick black glasses, her golden hair up in a tight bun, her spike-heeled shoes dangling from her fingers – he didn’t think or stop; he engulfed her.

And they lived happily ever after.

Which is not entirely true, because it never is, because eventually, they had to stop kissing and while Clara understood that his sudden, dramatic, cinematic and nearly miraculous appearance at the airport to mean that he was sorry and begging for her forgiveness, Roosevelt had only intended it to mean, I don’t want you to go. For him it had been about overcoming the near impossibility of getting there so fast. For Roosevelt, it was the vast romance of his death-defying gesture that would save them. For Roosevelt, it was about his action in response to hers; his answer to her threat against their love. And for Clara it was kind of about that too. Had she purposefully given him just enough time to get there? Had she called from the cab instead of the airport so that he would have the chance? She’d known that he‘d be in a meeting that afternoon at the theater, he had the same meeting every Friday afternoon. She’d known that he would be unable to answer right away. Had she dawdled in the gift shop, trying on dark sunglasses? Perhaps she had taken too long in the bathroom, reapplying her dark red lipstick. Maybe she did linger near the end of the line at the security checkpoint for longer than she needed to. Had it all been a kind of provocation? Possibly it had all been a bit of a ruse. Maybe it had it all been a question: How much do you want me?

But maybe their happily-ever-after did start to decay before the kiss was even done. Like some unstable atom, sizzling and dangerously capable of consuming itself just to burn. Like some tiny, misshapen sun. Did Clara smile to herself because he made it in time? Yes. Did she also smile because she was so cunning? Also, yes.

Maybe all of it had crossed her mind when she accepted the Chicago job. They had offered it to her a week ago. Artist-in-residence at the Chicago City Dance Company, an avant-garde little collective in the Fulton Market District. Her dream come true, no restrictions, her own shows, teaching. They even set her up with a live/work space, a little apartment with hard wood floors and a floor-to-ceiling mirror. They had emailed her pictures and Clara had packed her life into boxes. It had not been hard for her. She hadn’t spoken to Roosevelt in nearly two weeks, she had only seen him when he’d come into their apartment – usually early in the morning – to get clothes and stuff them into his duffle bag. Clara hadn’t know where he was sleeping, but suspected it was at the theater, on one of the sofas in one of the basement dressing rooms. That had caused mixed emotions in her. She’d liked the idea of him down there in the dark, curled uncomfortably onto one of the worn sofas, staring up at the ceiling and pining for her, just pining endlessly away into the dark. Clara had spent her own nights lying in their bed, staring up at the ceiling and thinking about him pining for her.

But her emotions were mixed because she had memories of fucking him on those same sofas. She remembered the first time that she unzipped his tight pants and reached inside and held him, warm and wide in her palm. She had memories of him working loose all of the buttons on her checkered pencil skirt. She had memories of pushing him down onto one of those sofas – the green one – and climbing on top of him, the lower half of her body completely bare. She had memories of slipping him slowly inside of her own body.

She had mixed emotions because he knew that she was not the first girl he’d fucked on those sofas. And Roosevelt was good-looking, thin but with strong arms, arms that she could imagine wrapped around some other girl. She could see her dark red hair draped over the tattoos that spread across Roosevelt’s shoulders. She could see the metal stud in Roosevelt’s tongue slipping in and out of some other girl’s mouth. She could feel the stubble of Roosevelt’s cheeks rubbing against some other girl’s breasts.

So it was easy for Clara to pack because even though she had mixed emotions, she was absolutely pissed at him for fucking that red headed girl that she had imagined. Part of her brain began to excitedly imagine the new life in Chicago, being single, having her own place, meeting people who were genuine and artistic and who cared about stuff. She imagined the men she’d meet and what their eyes would feel like on her body. Or maybe she’d go back to women; find a supple dancer with a limber body like her own, but a little younger, someone she could love and tutor.

But the other part of her brain was waiting on Roosevelt. Waiting like an angry, simmering structure fire. Waiting for him to come back to her, to pour his guts out and gush about how he needed and wanted her. That part of her wanted him to turn himself inside out with longing and angst until his organs were on the outside and the thunder of his heart beating drowned out every thought in her head. That part of her brain was consumed with thinking about how devastated he would be when she would tell him, I’m taking the job in Chicago.

And that part of her brain ignited like when she saw him dashing across the terminal, sweat on his scalp, sucking in air, a wild flare in his eyes. That part of her brain went up like flash paper, like a roman candle, like a geyser of fire. It went off like cordite, smokeless and deadly serious.

And so when he engulfed her, she was already enflamed. Her lips were ready, her body taut, her every atom vibrating like a harp string.

And when he kissed her, she kissed him back hard. And their happily ever after started off on its half life.

When their lips parted, Roosevelt realized that that was the moment when he was supposed to say, Stay. But he didn’t.

Until just that second, he hadn’t been entirely sure what would happen after he got to her. It had not occurred to him that she might say no, but it also had not occurred to him that their kiss would end. His entire plan had been to get there, to rush to her, to be a man, a wrap her up in himself, to kiss her and devour all of her, but he had no idea what would happen next.

So yes, he had hopped on his bike the second that he got the message and, yes, he had merged himself with that throbbing black and chrome machine in order to get there and, yes, he wanted her to see how much he loved her and, yes, he wanted her fall back in love with him like a star falling out of the sky, but – for him – that was the goal. Finding her at the airport and just being there was the plan.

This is what I wanted, Roosevelt thought to himself as their lips mashed together and her body pressed into the shape of his. That moment was exactly what he had wanted; the merging of them, the transference of all the love and all the emotion and all the passion. It was all he had wanted for weeks, when he was hanging lights at the theater or fucking understudies on one of the sofas down in the basement, or sitting up alone at night staring into the darkness and pining for her, all he had wanted was for everything he felt inside his rib cage to collide head-on into her so that it destroyed her a little bit. It was the only way for him to purge both the fact that he loved her and the fact that he hated her for making him love her so much.

The emotional mixture was a lot like what he’d felt in his veins – part tar, part acid and part embittered sunshine – their last night together. When they’d argued, shouted, screamed, thrown things, threatened, cursed, cried and finally, grown quiet. The mix was like what he had felt right before he’d grabbed his army surplus jacket, all covered in the patches of bands, and walked out of the apartment. Only when he got to kiss her there in the airport did he realize that he felt almost exactly the same way that he had that night. Only now he wasn’t angry, he was excited and full of love and life and adrenaline and desire and so many giant emotions that they threatened to burst out of his body at the seams and explode in a wet gushing mess right there on all the cool airport tile.

But some part of him, as their lips started to slowly and wetly part, was already in decay. And he remembered what that girl had said to him – that girl Angela, the understudy for Helen in the theater’s Punk Rock Troilus and Cressida – she said to him – after he’d cum inside of her on the green sofa – she said – still fondling him absently with her fingers – she said, “The two of you are all big emotions and neither one of you wants to make room for the other’s bullshit because you have so much bullshit of your own.” Then Angela had wiggled back into her panties and her blue jeans and said, “But if you guys do get back together, don’t tell her about this, we get along and I like her a lot.” And then as Angela was starting up the stairs out of the basement, she turned back and said, “She is the hottest girl you’ll ever get.”

And, there in the airport, as their tongues and lips untangled and as Roosevelt looked into her dark eyes, all sparkling, Angela was flickering in his head. He pressed his lips together and he swallowed and he realized that that was it, their happily-ever-after had only been the width of a couple heartbeats and now it was over.

The cloud in Clara’s head cleared and the cool airport tile felt cold on her feet and made her think of the smooth bare boards of the apartment floor waiting for her in Chicago and even though she had decided - just tiny seconds ago - that she would stay and fuck him right there in the airport and get pregnant and marry him and raise a baby and be a mom and be happy forever and ever until they got old and withered and died asleep in each other ’s arms, she knew that their happily-ever-after was over.

“I’m taking the job in Chicago,” she said before getting in line, getting on the plane and flying to Chicago where she fell in love with her apartment, fell in love with her job, earned a favorable reputation, fell in love all the time and grew old single but seldom alone and always very happy.

“Good luck,” he replied before watching her get in line, walking back to his bike, riding back to their half-empty apartment, which he quickly moved out of in favor of a cheap studio which was rented to him by a woman with red hair whom he would eventually marry and whose withered arms he would die in while sleeping and smiling forty-three years later.

And they lived happily ever after. Apart.

Sofa picture respectfully “borrowed” from xgray’s Flickr.

Not Lost in Space Even a Little.

So this is a bit of a non-sequitur, but I just realized that I will never wake up and not know what planet I’m on. One day in the future, when faster-than-light speed has been perfected or when they get Star Trek style transporters up and running, it will be possible and easy to hop back and forth from one world to the next. Likely even, a good bachelor party cut a swath across entire solar systems, but I will not be a part of that. And neither will you dear reader. And I am sad for us both.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Does Boredom Excite You?

So I am always being begged by my adoring readers: tell us more about the mind-numbingly boring minutia of your life!

Well you’re in for a treat. Tonight I need to clean all of this crap off of my desk. There are three giant piles and I normally like to be a pretty organized person, so I am going to get all of this squared away and YOU dear reader, get to hear about every fascinating detail of the crap on my desk.

- A cable bill I recently had to pay, for $333.85 because Violet and I are not very good at remembering to pay the bills each month like we’re supposed to. INTO THE SHREDDER!

- Six months of paystubs that had been stuffed into the bottom of my work bag. These go into the drawer of my desk where I keep paychecks and all of my receipts, stuffed into envelopes. One envelope for each month for the last three years. Violet says that I can get rid of them, but there was a time when I was convinced I was going to get audited. I don’t know why.

- A check stub for the, not one but TWO writing awards I won from CSU Northridge last semester. I cashed the checks, so maybe I can frame the stub! For now I will tack it up on a bulletin board.

- My check from jury duty in January: $19.42 for two days that I didn’t get paid for at work.

- A flier for IndieCon. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it appears to be a convention for Indie filmmakers. Oh. And apparently it happened last month. INTO THE SHREDDER!

- Health insurance paperwork. This blog post keeps getting more exciting.

- My Progressive Direct car insurance online renewal confirmation. From September 7th 2009. INTO THE SHREDDER!

- My very nice and cool soft-cover Moleskin notebook (with graph paper pages). It is so pretty and cool that I can never bring myself to write in it. I just jot things down on post-its and stick them in the back. I don’t want to mess it up by scribbling in it. I always end up using a cheap 9.5 x 6 inch spiral notebook for the real work (though more and more now I go straight to a keyboard for most first draft writing. Can you tell?).

- Sparknotes for The New Testament, simply the best pocket reference guide for the on-the-go writer.

- “Holman QuickSource guide to Understanding The Bible” by Kendell H. Easley. This is one of those books that explains how much sense the Bible makes and how totally real everything in it is. I own it because, among other things, it has a color-coded day-by-day map of the week of The Passion. I know, you can hardly believe how much of a roskstar I am.

- “I, Rigoberta Menchu” by Rigoberta Menchu. This is a book that I have to read for my History class. It is about a Guatemalan peasant woman. It won the Nobel Peace Prize. Or something. I haven’t even cracked it open yet.

- Copies of a short story I wrote called “Deftron Goat”. I took them to an outside-of-school writers’ group and I need to go back and rewrite the end of the story. Some of these notes will be helpful.

- Copies of stories I need to read and comment on for my Senior Seminar Creative Writing class.

- A completely empty manila envelope.

- My folder of all of my court paperwork from Burbank (from my car accident and all of that other nasty business). Which reminds me, YOU need to remind me to go this week and pay them again(every month I pay $185 in court-ordered restitution). I would tell you about all of that, but it really is not a funny story.

- My label maker. You know it is mine because it has a label on it. That’s sooo meta, I know.

- An entire folder of paperwork from Chase bank. Why they need to give you 800 pieces of paper when you open a basic savings account is beyond me.

- Post-It pads that are mysteriously similar to the kind we use at work. Hmmmmm.

- A set of Shakespearean Insult Gum. Yes, that’s right. My youngest brother The Kinesiologist mailed them to me. Each of the little packages has two gumballs and an insult from one of Shakespeare’s plays. For instance, “Thy wit’s as thick as a Tewkesbury mustard” (Henry IV Part 2).

- A postcard from the optometrist office in Costco where I got my glasses.

- A donation card from HELPING HANDS OUTREACH in Lancaster. They are always hanging around at school and last week I gave them some cash and they gave me this card which entitled me to a free pancake breakfast at their shelter in Lancaster.

- A letter from the United States Department of Commerce telling me how important that it is to fill out the Census (which Violet and I have already done, because we are a couple of awesome Caucasians-of-Hispanic-decent).

- My rejection letter from the University of Iowa (still all warped and stained with my salty tears).

- My rejection letter from the University of Michigan (still all warped and stained with my salty tears).

- My rejection letter from the University of California, Irvine (still all warped and stained with my salty tears).

- My rejection letter from Cornell University (still all warped and stained with my salty tears).

- A letter from Progressive Direct car insurance telling me that I need to renew my car insurance. This is from sometime last year. TO THE SHREDDER!

- Some paperwork about my school loans. TO BE FILED!

- A receipt for $594.00 from my dentist for like nine different painful things that they did to me in February.

- One of the monthly newsletters I used to get from the debt consolidation company that I was using to pay off my credit card debt. It is all paid off now, BTW. I am very proud of that (it was mostly fees and interest anyway. In California, if you get past due, they can change your APR to 29%, which they did to me). The newsletter is called “The Road to Financial Freedom” which I always thought was kind of patronizing.

- A booklet of coupons from CORNER BAKERY Café. All of the coupons expired last month.

- A list of the 50 Greatest Movie Zingers of all time, that my Mother sent to me (thanks Mom!). The #1 “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Clark Gable, GONE WITH THE WIND, 1939.

- Paperwork about student housing at the University of Oregon (which later rejected me via email). TO THE SHREDDER!

- YES!!! JACKPOT!!! I did not know that I had this! A certificate of completion from my debt consolidation company. It has a gold seal on it! This is awesome. This is going on the fridge right new to my (three) Dean’s List certificates.

- My lab results from a physical I had recently. I am happy to announce that they checked the NORMAL box. My cholesterol is 162 (normal is less than 200), my HDL “good” cholesterol is 55 (normal is greater than 35), LDL “bad cholesterol is 76 (normal is less than 130), my Triglyceride level is 156 (normal is less than 160). Since my Triglycerides are on the high side of normal, Violet got on the Internet to see what the hell a Triglyceride is and it turns out that it has something to do with the amount of fat moving around in my blood. So basically, I have fatty blood. All things considered, I can live with that. I drink 19 cups of coffee (with cream and sugar) before Noon and then I general have a couple of Rockstar/Red Bulls throughout the rest of the day, so I’m happy that there is any blood in my blood.

- A green plastic bag full of random old photos that Violet and I bought from several thrift stores in Clovis several months ago. I hope to build a story around them one day.

- An unopened bank statement from Washington Mutual. Sad face. I miss WaMu. TO THE SHREDDER!

Well, that is everything that was on my desk. You should see it now. It is empty except for this junky old laptop, a cup of juice and The Kitten (she is a little Siamese terror, but when I’m writing she likes to nuzzle against the warm side of the laptop).


Body Shots and Blogs.

There are two things about which I should probably make you aware:

1) This is my Spring Break week from school. However, since I am an old and abysmally boring adult-type person, I will not being going to Cabo and doing body shots off coeds (though I am certainly willing to do body shots off of any coeds who would like to come over) (that was a joke) (sort of) (I guess that what I should have said was: I am certainly willing to do body shots off of any coeds who would like to come over, and, oh, by the way, can I move in with you? Because Violet has just kicked me out of the apartment for doing body shots off of coeds). But I have not told my work that this is my Spring Break, so I still get to leave at 2pm the next three days, only instead of rushing to school, I will be rushing off into the world to do whatever the hell I damn well please. Since, in addition to being an abysmally boring adult-type person, I also lead a very boring life, I will probably be coming straight home to write scatological blog posts. So look forward to that!

2) Over dinner tonight Violet informed me that part of the reason that no one reads my blog is because I do not participate in the world blogs. This, I will admit, is true. Violet made a salient point, which was, that I do not use the Internet the way that other people do. That is to say that I do not hang out on the Internet. I don’t have any games that I like to play and I don’t have a Farmville farm or anything. I kind of treat the Internet like a giant reference book. The Internet is, for me, a multi-media encyclopedia. Violet says that I need to get in the habit of participating in the digital world AND that I need to make my blog more a part of life. This blog should not, she suggested, be just a random collection of links to interesting articles (though it can be that too), as much as it should be about the person who is collecting these links. This is all to say that a blog is a diary and the Internet is primarily a voyeuristic enterprise. I think that she is right. So get ready to learn all kinds of stuff about me that you had no interest in knowing!

This is going to be a fun week.


Decline to State.

So recently one of Violet’s younger brothers was asking me about the stars on the American flag (he’s 6 and we were at a restaurant that had a lot of flags) and I was doing my best to (quickly) explain that each star is a state and that there used to be fewer states.

Well that seemed to go over pretty well, at least in so much as a six-year-old cares.

The perpetual dork in me was hoping that I would be asked to name all of the states (because I would totally be able to do it).

But then I read this article at and I think that I would have felt pretty silly rattling off the state of Desert or Lost Dakota or Transylvania.

A man named Michael J. Trinklein has written the book Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It.

I want to rush right out and buy it! I don’t really care about Star Wars or Twilight or video games or Apple products, but fake states? Yeah, this is the kind of thing that excites me.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another New Story!

Below is a new short story.

Miles Wide
By James Bezerra

Miles got drunk and stumbled outside of the little house where he lived with four roommates, one of whom was his girlfriend Josie who was a brunette and not at all a blonde or a redhead like he had always hoped that his girlfriend would be, but she was okay otherwise and especially at times like these when everybody was drunk and dancing around to music so pop-y that it would be embarrassing in the daylight. He stumbled out to the sidewalk and looked down the street, which dead-ended at the popsicle factory, the town’s biggest employer, except for the prison, but that wasn’t really in town. The night air – warm that night – was thick with the smell of blue raspberry syrup. Miles leaned against the telephone pole that stood – like a tall skinny bully – directly in the middle of the sidewalk in front of the house. He closed his eyes and pressed his ear to the wood and listened to the sizzle of voices as they passed across the thick telephone line and echoed down into the wooden pole. There were so many voices that at first it just sounded like an ambient crackle inside the wood, but Miles was just drunk enough that his mind was loose enough to be able to weave down into the crackle and pull the strands of the sounds apart.

. . . I like it when you haven’t shaved in a while because it feels good . . .
. . . they put too much syrup in Vat 5 and the whole fucking town smells like raspberry . . .
. . . I want you to come out here and be part of the world . . .

And that totally made sense to Miles and so he called out to Josie, who was in the house and dancing around with Jeremy, who Miles didn’t like because Miles knew that Jeremy was Josie’s man-in-waiting and that if Miles ever fucked up too bad that Josie would just kick his ass to the curb and Jeremy would step right up into position. Miles and Jeremy even wore the same size clothes so Josie could just kick Miles out of the house and he wouldn’t even have to take his clothes. Miles stumbled back toward the house. He pushed open the door and declared, “Hey, I’m going to go out there and be part of the world!” And everybody cheered.


Two years later Miles was two years older and still living in the same house with Josie and although some of the roommates were different, the life of Miles was virtually the same except that Jeremy had gotten a promotion at factory and so now he was Miles’s boss. Miles didn’t know it, but sometimes when he was on top of Josie in bed, she was thinking about Jeremy, who was about the same size and weight as Miles. But in Josie’s head, Jeremy was better, bigger and lasted longer. All Miles knew that when Josie closed her eyes tight and bit her lower lip, she went someplace else and wherever it was, they fucked better there.


Another year later and Miles was trying desperately to catch Josie cheating on him with Jeremy because then he could yell and scream at her and give voice and shape and size to whatever it was that seemed to be living in his stomach. He thought that maybe he had an ulcer or cancer and he thought about how if he had cancer then he wouldn’t have to get up every day and go to work and how he would get to sit in the hospital and people would be so proud of how brave he was being even though all he was doing was sitting in a hospital bed all day.

On his breaks at work he went out the back and smoked a cigarette in the shade of one of the tall vats and he thought about how when he finally caught Josie screwing around on him with Jeremy – who got promoted again and worked up stairs in the office now – then he would grab just a couple of things from the house and throw them in the military surplus duffle bag that he got at the Salvation Army and how he would turn to her and say, “I gave you my whole heart and I never looked back and I never lied when I said I love you, you bitch,” and then he would get in his shitty little car and drive away and he wouldn’t even call up to the office to tell them that he was quitting.

But then Miles would finish his cigarette and go back to work.


Six months later Miles started slipping out of bed in the middle of the night and he would always look at Josie and her brown hair and she always looked like she was having such a nice dream and he would go into the kitchen and take two fast shots of Popov and then go outside and put his head against the telephone pole and squeeze his eyes shut.

. . . and then he said that he really wanted to own a house and have two kids . . .
. . . he touched me though, like touched me, but I felt weird about saying stop . . .
. . . I have to go to Bangladesh of work, but I will be back before the funeral . . .

That really upset him. “Bangladesh,” he spit the word out because who the hell goes to Bangladesh? Somebody who’s trying to impress everybody by pretending to be all important by going to Bangladesh. Miles had never been to Bangladesh and didn’t know anybody who had ever been to Bangladesh and actually didn’t even know anybody who had ever said Bangladesh out loud. He had only ever been to St. Louis.


Six months later he was guzzling pink Pepto every morning because his stomach hurt so bad and sometimes when he tried to smoke he would hack up little drops of blood.


Six more months later he burned his hand at work. He slipped on one of the pipes leading to Vat 5 and as he fell, he knocked over a Quality Control cart with metal buckets of fresh, hot syrup. It all splashed on the ground and spattered the side of his face and covered his hand. The syrup was thick and hot and it made his skin break out in hot white bubbles. He couldn’t get Workers’ Comp, though, because he hadn’t been wearing gloves like he was supposed to be.


Six more months later and Josie said that they should get married and he said okay and that night when he slipped out of bed, after having sex with Josie, who had climbed on top of him and kept her eyes closed, he had two fast shots of Popov and then got in his shitty car and he didn’t even take any of the clothes like he had planned to, because they would all fit Jeremy anyway.

He drove West because it felt right. He drove West with no plan except to steer toward the darkest spot on the horizon. He didn’t even have to stop because he had a full tank of gas, a carton of Marlboros and a new bottle of Pepto.

He drove and he drove, with the orange light of the sun starting to crack open over the hills behind him until he could feel it reaching into the car and warming the air all around him. Miles just pressed down harder on the accelerator. The two lanes of black were flat and endless in front of him and he knew that they led out into the world, which was where he wanted to be. He blinked sleep away and ashed out the window and flicked the smoldering butt out into the air as the yellow stripes blinked by.

As the signs started to warn him that he was getting nearer and nearer to St. Louis, the land spread out wider and wider. It was yellow and brown and green and it had no edges at all, no periphery, no boundaries. The land stretched for miles and miles in every direction and no matter how much he drove, faster and faster, he felt like he was always in the middle. He felt like he was a single point surrounded by infinite distances and so it didn’t matter which direction he went or how quickly he moved in that direction.

He lifted his foot off the accelerator and let the car glide until it was barely moving at all and then he guided it onto the gravely shoulder and climbed out. He got out of the car and turned back toward the bright burning sun, which only ever looked down on him. He looked at the way it had lit up half of the sky in yellows and pinks and blues and he just couldn’t stand it anymore and he yelled at it, “I want to be out in the world! I want to be part of the world but the whole fucking world is flat. It’s flat. Look at it. This can’t be the world. The world can’t be flat! The world has altitudes!”

The sun didn’t say anything back.

Miles sat on the bumper of his car and smoked.

There were telephone lines strung along the side of the road, they were the only trees around. They an entire forest in a straight line. He pressed his ear up against one of them and he listened with his eyes mashed tightly closed.

. . . well what the hell am I supposed to say to you when you’re like this . . .
. . . we decided not to paint the baby’s room yet, not until we know . . .
. . . the treatments have really gotten a lot more effective in the last few years . . .

Miles realized that he was really far away from home. He looked at his hand, and then at his shitty car, which seemed to be sagging from exhaustion.

When he got to St. Louis, he found a pay phone outside of the drug store where he bought more Pepto. He dropped change into it and called home, but no one answered.

The phone pole sketch was respectfully “borrowed” from

Hilal is My Hero!

Weird: Saudi Arabia has a show like American Idol, only for poets. Weirder: A Saudi woman is using it to directly challenge Muslim extremists. Weirdest: A woman who has to wear a niqab might just be the world’s biggest badass.

Here is the article from NPR:
Hilal is my hero

This is a woman who, armed only with poetry, is going on television and standing up for decency. This in a country where women can’t drive a car, can’t talk to men who aren’t family and where they can be beaten in public if and when they’re raped.

There is some real bullshit out there in the world and this woman is doing more about it than I – or you – ever have.

Hilal is my hero!


Lost Junk = Found Magazine.

Check out this cool website!

Basically it has gone to school on the Postsecret idea, only with a sort of fifferent tone. This website is just a collection of stuff that people find out in the world. How cool is that?


Author's Note.

So that you know, I am going to try to post a lot of new short writing over the next week or so. I don’t claim that any of it will be profound and I doubt that any of it will really even be any good. However, it will be writing, brand spanking new writing and that can be interesting sometimes.

So enjoy! Or at least try, okay?



New Short Story!

Below is a story that I wrote. Just for you.

The Sun Beneath Her Skin
By James Bezerra

She’s an angel who thinks she’s a vampire. It’s kind of a curse, but also not that unusual. Because people got the wrong idea about God. God doesn’t look like Dumbledore or Gandalf, God looks like the Cheshire Cat, only way bigger. And with more mouths.

So why do you think it’s so strange that God made things that live off each other’s blood. Blood is like life and what’s better than living off life? It’s totally cleaner than how lions do it, all teeth and torn flesh. If anything, living off the blood is more elegant. Graceful even. Just a little bite. Barely a nibble. Just a sharp pierce. Intimate almost. Mosquitoes do it. Leeches do it too, their whole moist little bodies ripple when they do it, and they guzzle you up.

She does it, too. Evie does. Her perfectly white angel incisors filed down to points. People barely even notice it when they look at her, because she is so striking otherwise. Her skin is pale, but it almost glows a little from the inside, like she’s a paper lantern. Her face is delicate and beautiful and somehow otherworldly, like the skinny women who live on magazine covers and gaze at you. All waifish and hungry.

That’s how Evie is. And usually no one even says a thing when she gets close to them. They don’t even squeak when she nuzzles them. If she got that close to you – if any angel gets that close to you – you’ll feel them like a sizzle on your skin. Like a cloud of electrostatic distortion and all your hair will slowly stand upright and you’ll think you’re smelling lightning.

Evie wonders out loud about God. She’s in the back of a dark little bar. The walls are lined with sumptuous silk brocade. She’s reclined in the corner of a big curved red leather booth. Her little dress has a sharp, deeply cut neckline. One of her many thin metal necklaces has a chrome cross dangling off of it. It rests just there, cool against the skin of her breast. She’s a little lethargic. She sighs deep sigh. A young man – a boy really - is laying there, safe in the curve of the booth, his head laying there in her lap. He’s a little high off her static. His shimmery black shirt is unbuttoned, his chest has just a dusting of course hair. Evie’s two little pin pricks are on his shoulder, where she had sucked on him. She wonders out loud, “How do you think that god came up with blood? Where does that idea come from? That there’s something hot and wet and vital hidden just under the surface?”

The man in her lap doesn’t say anything. He just closes his eyes and luxuriates in the feeling of her.

If you walked into the bar right now, you’d see her there in the corner, illuminated by her own skin. She looks like a nightlight. Or a hot little firefly.

She says to the boy in her lap, “You know, God invented vampires before he invented jelly fish. I was there. Jelly fish seem all simple, right? Like they’d be easy to make. No skeleton, no brain, no central nervous system. But no, it took him forever! Because they are a completely different thing. Humans were easy. They’re just mammals. After you make a couple of mammals, it starts to get boring, you know? And we were just all there, sitting around, going, ‘Yeah, look at that. Another mammal’.”

She reaches for her purse. She takes out a silver tin and starts to roll herself a cigarette. She does it quick and deliberate, her fingers are nimble and practiced, even with her sharp, red-painted nails. When it’s rolled tight she brings it to her mouth and runs the edge along the tip of her tongue, wetting it and then smoothing it down. The blood still on her tongue leaves a little red stain on the paper.

She puts the little thing between her lips, reaches toward her purse for a lighter. But the she stops. She looks around. No one seems to be looking at her. She snaps her fingers and the tip of the cigarette bursts to life, glowing all orange.

She grins to herself and puts the tin back in her purse.

She says to the boy, “you know, God doesn’t look like you’d expect. He actually looks kinda like the Cheshire Cat. But with way more mouths.”

She strokes the boy’s hair absently.

The door of the bar is padded red leather like the booths. The door opens slowly and a man comes in. He is beautiful, but you’d never notice. His skin is dark, his hair is long and curly and hangs down around his face. You’d never notice that he’s beautiful because all you’d notice would be his eyes. But not even his eyes, really. Just the whites. The whites of his eyes are so so so white that you can’t notice anything else. You can’t notice the black Calvin Klein jacket, the DKNY linen shirt, the casual Kenneth Cole vest, the Lucky Band jeans, the D&G leather boots with straps and wide buckles. He leans up to the bar, brushes some curls out of his face and looks to the blonde bartender. Her heart melts a little bit just then. She goes for the tattoo types and their custom-made-motorcycle-TV shows, when he looks at her with those eyes, as bright as six month long Arctic days, she feels warm inside. He smiles at her. His teeth are just as bright.

He asks for a drink. She makes it and he grins and very quietly says, Thank you.

He always walks very slowly. He has all the time in the world. He slides into the booth next to Evie.

“Enoch,” she says.

“I tell people to just call me, E.” But when he says it, he draws it out. Like: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeh.

Enoch looks down at the boy whose head is still in Evie’s lap. “Angel junkie?’ he says.

“Vampire poser, actually.”

Enoch nods and drinks his drink. “Like you,” he says.

“So, I have a question,” Evie says. “How many mouths do you think that God has?”

He laughs a little blowing air out of his nose. “You know, I have counted and I have counted, and I have never been sure.”

Once Enoch was in love with Evie. It was a long time ago. Back when things were different. Back when the things were happening for the very first time. Back when every time something happened, it was the first time. Back before the world was all standardized. Back when there actually were great floods and talking donkeys and perfect gardens and parting seas and burning bushes that sang. The singing got left out when they wrote that story down.

It was back when things were more fun.

Enoch had loved her back then. He used to touch her. He used to touch her skin that glowed and he used to press his forehead to her forehead so that their noses touched and their lips were so close together. So close.

She had loved him, too. In a way.

They were together whenever they could be together. Their legs wrapped together in a knot. His hands on her thin, glowing flesh.

But angels are odd.

Not built for love. Not built for life. When Evie’s stomch started to swell and grow, they really didn’t know why.

All God’s mouths scrunched up in different kinds of frowns. Until that moment, he had not known that He wasn’t omniscient.

“Hmmmmmm,” He was all he said and then he went back to working on his jelly fish.
As Evie got bigger and bigger, she glowed more and more. She swelled with light. It nearly poured from her pores. It was a sun beneath her skin.

But something wasn’t quite right.

And when it came out, it wasn’t right at all. All twisted. Its wings overgrown with skin. Its misshapen eyes. Its sharp bones on the outside. A dry green light seemed to drizzle out of it.

They took it to him. He stroked one of his chins with his striped paw.
“Why?” Evie asked him.

He shrugged. It was not in his nature to apologize.

It was not long after that that vampires were invented. And something about that appealed to her, about the way that they lived off of life. That all they needed to live was life.

Enoch looks at the chrome crucifix as it dangles between her breasts.
“My eyes are up here.”

“I know exactly where your eyes are,” he says. Then he reaches into her purse and finds the little tin. He starts to roll himself one.

Just then the boy in Evie’s lap starts sucking in air. He sits up and looks around. He looks at Evie, who strokes his hair tenderly. “Did you have a good rest?”

The boy nods slowly, his eyes still a bit glazed.

Then the boy looks at Enoch, confused.

“Hey,” Enoch says.

“Hey,” the boy responds.

“You want one?” Enoch asks him, placing the finished cigarette between his own lips.

“No,” the boy says, “those are bad for you.”

“Yeah,” Evie says.

Enoch smiles and Evie snaps her fingers.