Thommy Lemolo parks her car in Newtown Cemetery’s small lot shortly before 8:00 A.M. on a Tuesday. It’s a fine July morning, not yet sixty degrees, nary a cloud in the deep azure sky. For two weeks the weather had been uncharacteristically stagnant in the Pacific Northwest; jungle muggy, slick and greasy. But yesterday afternoon a series of wild thunderstorms had blown in from the Puget Sound and gave the region the equivalent of an atmospheric enema. Several lightning strikes had been reported in the vicinity of Torqwamni Hill—especially at Newtown Cemetery. One bolt was said to have hit the ancient oak tree inside the cemetery, yet it hadn’t left as much as a scar. Thommy’s “colleagues” at The Torqwamni Sun didn’t believe it; the pushcart bozos (not one checked up on the claim, mind you) believed that the three independent witnesses had been mistaken. Although Thommy had kept her thoughts on the subject to herself, she is confident that an A-bomb could detonate in the oak and not dislodge as much as an acorn.
Ace told Tangee he had a surprise. They took the bike path up Embarcadero to the Port Beach. Cars passed on the left as they hugged the curves and rode in sidewalk gutters, chains circling as their feet pedaled. Small silver waves broke in the ocean beyond the chain link fence.
At an early age came discovery; left-handed it might have come, but it was discovery, the way a fairy tale casts sloganed light on a subject. Early on he’d earned his own laugh at “light without batteries.”
My friends thought it was a big deal that I was flying out to Los Angeles for a call back on a film. I had the initial audition when the director was in New York. A month later, he called to see if I was still interested. I was. I didn’t have anything else going on. The trip would also give me a chance to visit my father. I hadn’t seen him in years.
Sirens blared nearby, but as James sat, they sounded distant. Distorted. Like a baby’s cry from a monitor. People rushed by, screaming, sobbing, but the world was silent and still. His heart slowed as emotion slipped from his body. All that remained where he sat were functioning organs under worthless skin.
I have to thank Nik for his exemplary job in standing in for me last week. He was witty, intelligent and articulate. I hate him! I bet he doesn’t even hold grudges!!
Now folks, I want to explain something, we don’t have any hierarchy at Literally Stories, we all have our roles which to be truthful, we have just sort of fallen into.
When he was a young boy, he had pictures of cartoon superheroes taped to the walls of his room.
When he was in high school, his walls were covered with pictures of great athletes.
In college, he had posters of movie stars on the walls of his dorm room.
When he got his first job, framed pictures of fancy sports cars were on the walls to motivate him.
As he moved up the corporate ladder, his walls became almost completely covered with personally autographed pictures of celebrities he had met over the years.
On the day he retired from his position as the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, he packed up his belongings all by himself. He went back to the office one last time to take down the only remaining painting left on the walls.
I was woken by weak fragments of sunlight seeping through the cracks of the plastic tube slide, at the center of the park where I had spent the night. I lay for a while, listening to mute sounds of dripping water and distant traffic. I thought about squirrels, what they do when it rains, if the trees provided enough cover. Then, I pushed myself down and out of the slide, my jeans wetted by the small puddle that had accumulated at its base, and headed towards the distant sound of cars. I kept walking until I reached an intersection. I stood there for a while, watching the cars go by. The sounds of tires ripping across asphalt like wet Velcro. I thought about what it would sound like if someone got hit. I thought about a wet sponge being thrown at a brick wall. Then I turned and continued down the sidewalk.
A guy I know had the telly on one evening, wasn’t taking much notice of it, and then one of those telly chefs came on. That made this guy get out of his chair and kick fuck out of the thing. He’s a happier man now, so everybody says. In fact, I don’t know him, but I think I believe it because telly chefs, they have to be a sort of conspiracy to piss people off, isn’t it, a sort of programmers’ revenge on the people who put them where they are. Think about it this way: you dream of a life in television, want to make your mark on the spirit of the age, and they make you set up a programme featuring a telly chef?
My early morning beach run on sucking, squishing, hard-packed, shifting sands marks the ebb and flow of my wrong way life.
I race up the dunes to my rental cottage ending with a lung busting, leg killing suicide sprint.
I sense them before I see them. There’s no red dot on my chest, a head shot maybe, easy ending, no pain.
Not this time, but soon.