December 02, 2007

December 2007, Vol. 6, Issue 12

1. Santa by Paul McGuire
Santa nodded off on the subway. He did that often, always after he copped. Friends would often tell him that they saw him passed out on the subway. They’d try to get his attention, but he was in his own world... More

2. Christmas Eve Dinner by Betty After Dark
Her legs still weak and her stance a bit wobbly, I wrapped my arm around her and led her out of the restaurant. The hotel was just a few blocks away. She was shivering. Was it the cold air or the orgasm?... More

3. Kelso McQuire by Johnny Hughes
The gamblers always stand in the back at West Texas funerals. In the middle of Kelso McQuire's funeral, Ice House Henry was whispering around and telling this fifty-year old story about Kelso, that not one living, breathing soul had ever heard before... More

4. Scared Santa by Dwayne Williamson
This amorphous blob of blood red fabric and snow white hair would release these grunts from its maw that shook my rib cage, causing me to tremble even more violently than before. Because Santa Clause scared the holy hell out of me... More

5. The Hunt by Gary Cox
When the son was young, the Father went deer hunting every year for a week at a time, right before Thanksgiving. The boy badly wanted to go with him, but was never considered old enough. He saw in his Father’s eyes how much he enjoyed that time, whether it was the actual hunt or the solitary time spent out there in the woods... More

6. Monday Evening LIVE in Theater! by Sigge S. Amdal
A middle-aged, disillusioned, smack-ridden woman in a wheelchair bemoans her disability when the subway seems one step too far. By the touch of a button she whirls off into the distant tunnel like the depart of an ancient ghoul... More

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...

From the Editor's Laptop:

Welcome to the December issue of Truckin'. This year end issue has a couple of holiday themed stories including a spicy tale from Betty After Dark. Johnny Hughes returns along with everyone's favorite Norwegian writer Sigge S. Amdal. This issue also features the debut of two new authors Gary Cox and Dwayne Williamson. And I have a little Santa story as well.

If you like this issue, then please tell your friends about your favorite stories. It takes a few seconds to pass along Truckin'. The writers certainly appreciate your support. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you know anyone who is interested in being added to the mailing list.

Thanks to the writers who exposed their souls to the world, and did it for free. Thanks for inspiring me and taking that leap of faith with me.

Thanks again to everyone for wasting your precious time month after month with Truckin'. See you next year.

Happy Holidays,

"Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it." - James Baldwin


By Paul McGuire © 2007

Santa nodded off on the subway. He did that often, always after he copped. Friends would often tell him that they saw him passed out on the subway. They’d try to get his attention, but he was in his own world.

Of course, Santa was not his real name. He was born Marvin Carver in a small town in Missouri outside of St. Louis. Everyone he grew up with called him Junior. He was named after his father Marvin, a carpenter from the rough streets of East St. Louis, who migrated to California to build gliders for the Army. After the war, he moved his family to New Mexico, just on the outskirts of Santa Fe.

When Marvin Jr. first moved to New York City in 1949 and began playing the local jazz clubs in Harlem, the musicians called him Santa Fe Marvin, since there was already another Marvin in the same band. Within a year, they just called him Santa.

Santa was a promising up and coming bass player and had the opportunity to sit in with legends such as Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Mingus. But Santa was also a very weak person and fell into the wrong crowd the second he arrived in New York City. He met the wrong woman, a waif-like dancer from Detroit, named Nancy. She was bad news from the beginning. She sweat Santa for months before she finally gave him his first ever blow job. The two moved in together in a boarding house in East Harlem. She drank too much and fooled around with other guys whenever he was out of town doing gigs with the Philly Jones All Star Band. She not only stole most of his money, but she also broke his heart when she ran off with one of his rivals.

Unable to cope with such a devastating loss, Santa turned to heroin. For years he avoided junk and occasionally smoked reefer. He was afraid of needles, especially because a lot of young jazz musicians thought heroin helped them play like Bird or Miles, and that was never the case. Coltrane got hooked, and so did dozens of Santa’s friends. They shot junk into their veins and awaited a miracle. What usually happened was that they got sloppy and addicted and the next thing they knew, music no long mattered as much as the craving to get a fix. Quickly. Before the shakes started, and the queasy stomach took over and the skin began to itch everywhere...

Santa was also hooked instantly as his career slowly deteriorated. He was a functioning addict for all of the 1950s. He maintained a steady income, enough money to keep his habit going, but never got too fucked where it prevented him from showing up to work. His addiction finally spiraled out of control and it got ugly when he agreed to do some gigs in California in 1960. He was hired to play with Ornette Coleman’s band and they had a two week run at a club in Los Feliz. Santa had a tough time finding decent junk in Los Angeles and he got sick. In order to get rid of the shakes, he started drinking and taking downers. He would get severe hangovers and when he tried to drink through; it just made him sicker. Santa got fired in the middle of a gig when he puked onstage during My Funny Valentine.

When Santa returned to New York City, he was in bad shape. He caught pneumonia and nearly died. When he was in the hospital, the doctors told him he was going to die if he kept it up. He vowed never to touch heroin again. Twenty minutes after he got out of the hospital, he was on the street looking for dope. Over the next few weeks, he got deeper and deeper into smack. He got kicked out of his apartment and he eventually hocked his bass for drugs. After a while, he stopped playing altogether.

It usually took Santa most of the day to wrangle up enough cash to buy a couple of caps. His mother told him that God blessed his fingers and that’s why he was an amazing bass player. Santa soon discovered that his amazing fingers also gave him the ability to pick pockets with relative ease. He’d wander around Penn Station in the mornings hoping to lift a wallet or a billfold from a businessman getting off one of the trains. Some days were better than others and when he found a nice score, he’d get as much smack as he could and shoot up for several straight days without once venturing outside.

As soon as he stole or begged or figured out how to get his hands on cash, he headed uptown to shoot up at Slick Fleming’s basement apartment on 122nd Street. He’d stumble back to the subway station, get on the next train headed downtown and within minutes he’d nod off. He’d frequently miss his stop and spend most of his evening high and slumped in the corner of a subway car. He’d eventually wake up, stumble on home, and shoot up the rest of his dope before passing out and waking up the next day to repeat the process.

Within a few years, Santa’s fingers were not so magical anymore. His talent faded at picking pockets. He got sloppy and was not as agile as he used to be. The junk wore down his reflexes. Plus he would walk around totally disheveled. When he first started out, he’d wear a suit and newly shined shoes. No one ever expected he would roll them. Now, he looked like a bum and obviously stuck out. Potential marks could see him approaching from far away. And he could no longer sneak up behind them. His foul stench tipped them off before he could get close.

It had been snowing for a couple of days and Santa had a tough time scoring. Slick Fleming went out of town to visit his family for the Christmas holidays. The other two guys he usually scored from were nowhere to be found. He heard one of them got busted. He tried to hit up some old hotspots, but could not find anyone to sell to him. Riddled with sickness, he bought a fifth of whiskey and drank the entire bottle over an hour. That calmed his spastic shakes down a bit, but he still couldn’t stop the itching and burning sensation underneath his skin. Santa remembered a store down in Chinatown that sold cough medicine with codeine. He threw up a couple of times on the subway but when he arrived in Chinatown, all of the stores were closed for the night. He had lost track of time. It was nearly midnight and he was out of options.
Santa passed out and on a set of stairs in front of a building. When he came to, a figure stood over him and said, "Get the hell outta here!"

He didn't see the policeman take out his night stick and cock his arm back. Santa did not have any time to move before the policeman unleashed a series of vicious blows to his head. Blood gushed down his forehead and some of it clouded his eyes. After the policeman beat him senseless, he left Santa in the cold to die.

The eventual cause of death was frostbite, but when the coroner took one look at the trackmarks in Santa’s arms, he concluded his report that it was an accidental overdose of heroin that killed Santa. A bit of irony perhaps that Marvin "Santa" Carter, Jr. died on Christmas Day in 1963.

Paul McGuire is a writer originally from New York City.

Christmas Eve Dinner

By Betty After Dark © 2007

One of our traditions was Christmas Eve dinner at some fancy restaurant. Just she and I.

Going home to separate rooms at my parents’ house became an increasing drag over the years, so this year, I got us a room at Shutters on the Beach. She loves the ocean. Sleeping with the sounds of the waves, and waking with the sun.

Dinner was at the nearby Ivy restaurant. I told her to pack an overnight bag and be ready by 6 pm.

She embodied the essence of simplistic elegance as she glided down the stairs. A sweater-knit form fitting dress with slivers of straps that I imagined would give if I stared at them long enough, dropping the dress to the floor and exposing all of her.

I kissed her cheek; she smelled like violets. Her hair falling softly around her ear. "You look beautiful," I whispered and gently brushed my hand down her side and across her ass. "You're not wearing anything under that, are you"? She didn't answer but her eyes said everything.

Dinner was fantastic. Our friend was the bartender that night and as the place began to empty out, he sat down and shared in an after dinner caffè corretto. Fine grappa, perfect espresso and my girl next to me with nothing but a weave of fine yarn between my touch and her naked skin.

Under the table, I moved my hand up her leg. Our friend telling stories of the rich men who come in with their 20-year old mistresses. She widened her eyes at me, that look that said stop and don't stop in the same glance. I pulled my hand away. Our friend excused himself and brought back two more of the hot liquor infused drinks for us, and her favorite, Creme Brulee. He had to finish closing up the bar so we were left alone.

We made a game of guessing the relationships of the other couples still left in the restaurant. Why were they there this late on Christmas eve? What were they avoiding at home? An older gentleman and his much younger female companion sat three tables away. They were leaning into each other, she tossing her hair with each forced laugh. Were they the type of couple our friend had told us about? She looked like she was there for his money. He wore a wedding ring, she did not.

I watched as the man's hand disappeared under the table. The heat of the espresso sent the grappa straight to my head. "Do you think he is touching her?" She looked in their direction as the woman fed him the raspberries off the dessert with her fingers, leaving them lingering in his mouth.

"Oh, you can be certain he is touching her," my girl replied.

My hands were warm from holding the hot cup, and I touched her bare leg again. Making circles with the tips of my fingers on the inside of the soft part of her upper thigh. She didn't brush my hand away this time, instead, she opened her legs to allow me to make my way further up and towards her pussy. She slowly lifted the cup to her lips, focused on the cup. As she put it down it clanked against the saucer and spilled a little. She giggled in that way she giggles when I bite the inside of her thigh. She says it tickles when I do that.

Our friend came back to check on us and she clenched her legs together but this time I didn't budge. She tried to move my hand but my finger got loose and brushed her clit. She shuttered. The friend left and she opened her legs again for me to explore. She was wet and creamy like the Creme Brulee we had just devoured. She couldn't speak. Breathing shallow and controlled. As controlled as she could be. I pushed my fingers into her. One. Two. My thumb circling her clit, standing at attention wanting me.

Her breath ceased. Stopped dead. I knew what came next. I quickened the pace. Fucking her with my fingers, pressing my thumb against her clit. She writhed in her seat, trying not to draw attention to us, trying to hold the orgasm back. She couldn't. She shuttered and let out a faint squeal. I felt her pussy tighten around my fingers as she exhaled every last bit of breath.

I pulled my fingers away, across the napkin on my lap and lifted them to my face. To smell her, to taste her. I licked my fingers and called for the check.

Her legs still weak and her stance a bit wobbly, I wrapped my arm around her and led her out of the restaurant. The hotel was just a few blocks away. She was shivering. Was it the cold air or the orgasm? I wrapped my jacket around her shoulders and held her close, like I hold her when we collapse in ecstasy. It was late, the street was empty and we made the shortest bee-line to the hotel we could. Jay-walking and cutting through the alley behind the hotel. It was pitch dark and I had to get our bags out of the car. The light from the trunk was the only light for miles. I didn't know the city could get that dark.

I slammed shut the trunk and she just stood there. "We should get inside, you must be frozen," I said.

"I'm not cold anymore" and she slithered towards me. She unbuckled my belt and undid my pants. I had stopped wearing underwear some years back so there wasn't much in the way of her wrapping her hand around my cock. It was so hard. I had barely contained it in the restaurant and luckily the cold night air had kept me in check, until now. She didn't need to touch me much before I was a rock. She leaned against the car, lifted her dress and guided my cock into her still wet and creamy pussy. She was so warm inside. I wrapped my arms around her, under my jacket and the heat from her body instantly warmed me.

She pushed up on her toes, and I thrust deep into her. Harder and faster. She lifted her leg and braced her foot against the stone wall, the backside of the hotel. She moaned and squealed in my ear and grabbed my ass, pushing me deeper. I couldn't hold back any longer and I grabbed her waist, lifted her off the ground and pounded her until I exploded and collapsed back against the wall. She pulled her dress down as I let the wall hold me up. My dick, covered in her juices, glistened in the moonlight.

"You might want to put that away," she said and glanced to her left, towards a light. The light from the back door of the hotel kitchen where a man, in a white chef's, uniform lit a cigarette and stood watching us. She picked up the bag as I fumbled to get my pants secured.

We walked away from the man, towards the hotel entrance, and she looked back at him and coyly shouted "Merry Christmas!"

Betty After Dark is a writer, probably stuck in an airport, dreaming of being home.

Kelso McQuire's Christmas Secret

By Johnny Hughes © 2007

The gamblers always stand in the back at West Texas funerals. In the middle of Kelso McQuire's funeral, Ice House Henry was whispering around and telling this fifty-year old story about Kelso, that not one living, breathing soul had ever heard before.

Henry is causing a bit of a ruckus. They always sing "Amazing Grace" but Henry kept right on talking about Christmas Eve, 1957.

Kelso was known as the "little man with the big mouth." When somebody lost a huge pot, folks would know to mum up, but Kelso would pop off, "What looked like a light at the end of the tunnel was a train." Old jokes. Folks would get hot at Kelso and he would back right down. He just could not seem to learn the cardinal rule, never rib a loser.

"I didn't mean anything by it," he said countless times. Tougher gamblers spoke up to protect Kelso over and over. Kelso never weighed over 140 pounds, keeping trim with foul-smelling, menthol cigarettes. He drew bullies, even in grade school. Sometimes his warped humor got him in trouble. Sometimes it got him out of trouble.

Hershel Rountree was an all-day sucker beloved by all forms of gambling joints. He carried his ex-jock's extra sixty pounds with pride. His Daddy left him a ton of money or Hershel would have starved. Hershel was around all the dice games and poker games where Kelso was trying to eke out a living as a gofer, coffee server, some-time cook, shill, bookie errand boy, stake horse, and any other thing he could think of to keep from being a square John, a nine-to-fiver.

Hershel picked on Kelso constantly and nobody much said anything. Being the big producer, it would have been alright if Hershel shit in somebody's hat. Hershel kept riding Kelso one night at Reverend Pruitt’s crap game. Hershel said, "My Momma didn't raise no fool."

Without thinking, Kelso shot right back, "Then who raised you?"

Iron Drawers Shaw goes to laughing and couldn't stop. Hershel Rountree got so outraged that he made the Reverend fire Kelso.

Christmas Eve of 1957, Big Fred had a come and go party at the Shop. He'd made several of the old brokes that owed him string popcorn and cranberries and buy some colored lights to decorate the gambling joint. They get into it and steal a red colored Christmas tree from the Girl Scouts. A lot of gamblers that didn't usually come around dropped by for lots of free food and drinks. Somebody got up an Ace Away game, first anybody had seen in a while. The poker cranked up early. The Mule won three dimes in thirty-five minutes and hopped the game. The poker game was a lot bigger than usual but got slow really fast since everyone had to go home to be with their families.

Big Fred left Kelso to run the poker game and lock up. Being drunk and in the Christmas spirit, Fred even stakes Kelso. Hershel is really on Kelso, verbally abusing him and making actual threats. There is nobody there to stop him. This runs off a couple of live ones. Carney Carl begins to take up for Kelso and now the hot score is between Carl and Hershel. Everybody is unreasonably drunk and morose. There's this string of red Christmas lights right behind Hershel and it adds to his evil. It was down to four-handed and Ice House Henry was there.

Suddenly, Carney Carl is on his feet with a .38-caliber, snub-nose revolver pointed straight at Hershel's fat gut. He screams at Hershel. "You ain't no kind of a man. I don't want to waste a cap on your sorry ass but I will."

Hershel rolled over on the floor and fired his own .38 hitting Carl twice. Carl got off one shot which hit Hershel high on the right shoulder, his gun hand. His gun slid a few feet on the concrete floor. Carl was dead. Hershel was squealing like a pig stuck under a gate.

Kelso started to pick up the chips and the money on the floor. Then he picked up Carl's pistol and shot Hershel in the middle of his forehead. They called the laws. Ice House Henry and Kelso both took a Gambler's Oath that these most recent residents of Hell died in a two-way shoot out. The laws bought it. Merry Christmas to all. Silent Night. Silent Fifty Years.

Johnny Hughes is the author of the novel, Texas Poker Wisdom.

Scared Santa

By Dwayne Williamson © 2007

There's a picture of me stored in a family album that my mother likes to pull out at any awkward opportunity that presents itself.

It's one of those childhood photos, nestled right next to the ones with me naked in the bathtub, which she loves to show off because she knows it provides optimum embarrassment for me.

In this special moment in time you'll find my mouth stretched open, locked in a tortured scream that no doubt alerted everyone in the mall from the Sears to the JC Penny's circling back and echoing around the food court, as I was giving every ounce of my little boy strength to push myself out of the lap of this fiend that my own parents were apparently attempting to sacrifice me to.

This amorphous blob of blood red fabric and snow white hair would release these grunts from its maw that shook my rib cage, causing me to tremble even more violently than before.

Because Santa Clause scared the holy hell out of me.

To me he was an immeasurable beast of a man, mounted on a throne that I suspected was made of the bones of disobedient elf slaves.

The ones that died after he whipped them too many times because they couldn't assemble toy trains fast enough.

They tell me that he made his home in the desolate landscape of the North Pole where no one could reach him and even though my tiny little brain was still absorbing all the new knowledge of the world, I already learned from the stories about my Uncle Jimbo that if you live in the middle of nowhere, it's usually because you're hiding from the law.

So it didn't help at all when my parents told me he was going to break into our house while I was asleep that night.

And I just stood there frozen in fear, imagining waking up in the dead of night with his hot breath tunneling through my ear.

And he would say something like "I've been watching you all year".

From what I gathered as my parents spoke to me in those paralyzing moments of pure panic my only hope of survival was appeasing the monster with a snack.

So before I was put to bed that night I stocked the mantle over the chimney where he would slither his way in with three packs of Oreos and a gallon of milk.

I wanted to make damn sure that if he came in hungry he left satisfied because judging by his girth I was afraid he would wander into my bedroom and attempt to eat me alive.

As I laid in bed at 2:38 am, sleepless, clutching my aluminum tee ball bat and letting the Tasmanian devil alarm clock that was parallel to my pillow burn vibrant red numbers into my brain, I heard a sound like some rustling down my darkened hallway.

I realized that I only had two choices in this situation, either I could continue to lay there hoping he would have his fill and solder off into the world, or I could make a difference and save millions of other helpless little boys and girls.

The air was still that night, my friends, I could feel my nostrils flare as I breathed it in, and I felt this rush of adrenaline surge through my adolescent body like the spirits of all the fallen elf victims rushing to my aid in a terrible vengeance.

I charged through the hallway, in an awkward little kid gallop, welding the bat over my head until I caught sight of the shadowy figure kneeling next to the Christmas tree.

I closed my eyes and held my breath as I swung my weapon blindly like a madman until I heard a sharp crack reverberate from the end of my stick.

* * * * *

On the way to the hospital, as my father was nursing a head wound with a zip lock bag containing two teeth resting in his lap, he decided we should have a little chat so we could avoid any further complications like this.

And that's how I found out Santa Clause doesn't really exist.

Dwayne Williamson was raised by a group of traveling ninja gypsies that trained him in the art writing and rocking the fuck out. Currently he resides in Austin, TX and can be located over the interweb thing at My Space and Disortion.

The Hunt

By Gary Cox © 2007

Backstory: He grew up in hard times, the son of a hard Dad and a hard Mom. Part of that was what made him the hard Man that he had turned into. No two people knew that better than his wife and his son. His son was an only child and grew up at the hands of an attentive, but very hard Father.

The Father wasn't mean on purpose, that much he knew, but it often times appeared mean to the outside world, to his Mom and even sometimes to the son. The son tried hard to measure up and to never disappoint his Father, but as is often the case during the early years, those disappointments always came.

Fast forward ahead some 30-odd years and the boy is grown with a family of his own. The Father is retired now and sickly, very sickly. So sick, in fact, that he is on the transplant list for a new kidney. The son offers his own kidney, but the Father will hear none of it. No chance, not going to happen, he says. The son knows his Father well enough to drop the subject, because his opinion is not going to change. Not now, not ever.

Five more years go by and the Father dies from the kidney failure. His wife, the son and his family, at his side. After five or six years on the dialysis machine, his heart finally gave out and he had a massive heart attack and died the next day with the son holding his hand as he took his last breath.

A month or so prior to his death, the son and Father spend a weekend together, talking about the future and the past, about things accomplished and things left to do. The Father has a very specific list of things that the boy is to do after he is gone, number one being to take care of his Mom.

The Father goes on to open up about years past and about some very specific moments when he was most proud of his son. The son is speechless, with tear filled eyes. He has no idea how to take this, never having seen this side of his Father in 36 years. One month later, he's gone.

The wife and the son handle the business and soon enough, four and a half years have passed. It seemed like only yesterday at every turn:

Thanksgiving, Christmas, their Anniversary, the Anniversary of his death and his birthday. All these events triggered memories in the son and made him miss his Father even more. He hadn't shared a close relationship with his Father until the last few years, but those were the most enjoyable years of all to the son.

More Backstory: When the son was young, the Father went deer hunting every year for a week at a time, right before Thanksgiving. The boy badly wanted to go with him, but was never considered old enough. He saw in his Father's eyes how much he enjoyed that time, whether it was the actual hunt or the solitary time spent out there in the woods, he didn't know, but he did know that his Father very much enjoyed going hunting.

Finally at the age of ten, the boy was allowed to go with the Father for a weekend hunt. He sat in the woods with a little pellet gun and fired at squirrels, hitting nothing, but he was out there, with his Father, trying in vain to find out where the allure was for his Father.

The next year, he hunted in the stand with his Father. It was the only time he could ever remember not seeing his Father with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. The smoke, you see, would give away their position, so he chewed tobacco during the hunt. Some memories stick out much stronger than others and the image of his Father without a cigarette was etched in the boy's memory right then and there.

Again, fast forward 30-odd years and the boy is sitting in the woods, just two short weeks ago now. It is the opening day of muzzle-loader season in his home state and the boy is hunting with some good friends. It is his first deer hunting trip in 28 years and first ever without his Father at his side.

He sits there in the middle of the woods, before the sun comes up and the memories are flooding over him. There is no hunting to do yet, just remembering. Remembering how much his Father had loved that part of the day and the fact that he loved being out in the woods. Remembering how he fidgeted in the stand waiting impatiently for the first light to see if there were any deer around. Remembering everything about his Father during those times so vividly that it felt like he was sitting right next to him on the ground in those woods.

Suddenly, the sun was up and not 30 minutes later, the boy had his first deer on the ground. He had made a fairly difficult 60-yard shot through some trees and dropped his deer on the spot. The Father would have been so proud, he thought, if he had only been there to see it.

After thirty minutes of the ugly part of deer hunting, he was back in the stand, awaiting more deer to show up. He sat there for nearly four more hours, waiting and watching, but mostly basking. Basking in the fact that he now knew why his Father loved it in the woods and knowing that his Father was watching over him, every step of the way. Not just in the woods, during deer season, but throughout his day to day life.

He felt his Father's hand on his shoulder and saw the wide smile that was so rarely seen from him in the past. He knew his Father was proud and this time, there was no denying it. He felt like he had gotten to sit in that deer stand all morning with his Father and the memories and feelings he displayed were something foreign to him.

You see, the boy had grown up hard, the son of a hard man, and he rarely, if ever, showed his emotions either. The realization that he was just like his Father came over him in a flood of tears later that day. Of course, he shook it off and nobody else saw it, just like his Father would have done before him, but nevertheless, he realized something about himself that morning out in the woods.

Yes, his Father was a hard man and was hard on him, but you know what, that's okay. He never wore his emotions on his sleeve and he was never a hugger, at least not until right at the end., but the boy realized something else about his Father that day in the woods. He loved him unconditionally more than he loved life itself and you surely cannot ask for more than that.

Two thoughts for you if you've read this far:
1) If your Father is still alive, call him on the phone or go visit him. Do not let the time slip by because you are "too busy" or you have "too many things going on." You will regret that you didn't spend enough time with him while he was still alive, I promise you that.

2) If you are a Father, let your kids know that you love them unconditionally right now, don't wait for a specific moment that might never come. Do it now, hug them and kiss them every single day of their lives, because you never know just how long that might be.
I spent most of my life as the boy in the story above, searching and "hunting" for ways to please my Dad and I never truly realized that I had achieved any of that until it was too late for us to enjoy it together. I was always "too busy" during my adult life or had "too many things going on" to stop and spend time with him. Don't let that happen to you, love your family and make sure they know that you do.

Gary Cox is a writer and poker player from Oklahoma.

Monday Evening LIVE in Theater!

By Sigge S. Amdal © 2007

A middle-aged, disillusioned, smack-ridden woman in a wheelchair bemoans her disability when the subway seems one step too far. By the touch of a button she whirls off into the distant tunnel like the depart of an ancient ghoul.

'Mind the gap, oh desperate one,' I mumble to myself before she goes.

Pity not your existence wretched woman! Whatever be your ills they are petty to non-existence. Wail thee more and I shall prove it to you!

On a river of blood and blinking metal, here arrives the tube, ladies and gentlemen. Fashionably late, of course, just in time. The soulless torture of electronically powered steel horses comes to an end as the sleeping beast eeks to a halt. I enter. I enter like a red cock prancing victoriously about in the ring while the ruined loser picks up the feathers of his shattered future! You couldn't do worse than that, old friend. No more drink for you, Rodriguez. I scan the cart for danger, surveillance and easy company. They are all of the wrong sex, all enemies, my cellular phone jumps out of the pocket and into my hands to kill time.

A peach enters the wagon.

Modest, Modesty, Mother Theresa; a faggot (en. bassoon) – the instrument – slowly fades the carpet in, we fumble like midgets on speed, the carpet opens again while "Hush!" es dampen the lively chatter of the doomed and worthless. Johann Strauss unfolds his Blue Danube like a baboon's buttocks to the National Geographic film crew.

I rise, I fall, I rise again. I pray my love to dance avec elegance in the artificial waltz of the railroad tracks' turns and curves; "Come, come, my love! Don't be shy, I'll make you blush like your ma!"

Sudden cold, my love evaporates like dew on a cold bottle, glass sweat, window tears; no more here. I am somewhere near the cathedral now. And there! Hiding behind innocent scaffolding, the red-brown bricks are unmistakably shining with glee, taunting the blue as in blues the blue as without you horizon with its dull red glow. That's why all the vampires have gone.

None but righteous men and lost men are allowed passage here, haunting the square with the angels and hookers who intertwine and collapse into singular entities.

The music stops. I hear church bells. So much death near a religion, so much dread near a church, so little hope in the folded hands crushed to oblivion by iron fists. I dare say I understand the undead when they don't want to see the church or the cross, only the orthodox believe Iesu of Nazareth would enjoy the sight of it, the crucifix.

I nail my head to the window impatient. "Patient, be patient, we are soon in passing, soon forever onto our journey into the night."

I look down on my thigh, "HOLY MOTHER!" is it blood on my khaki pants?

No such epiphany, what's mere tomato juice is only a stern warning, a threat.

We round the corner into the second half. The women are fainting and the children are gassed to death by the odours of boredom and silence enforced on playful minds. Bars! These are prison bars in your child's mind!

Another stop en route. A new peach; not bright like a star, but red in all of black's colours, inviting eyes, beautiful waistline, dark makeup and brown top. She dulls her appearance down to suit her poetic self-image. Dramatic, no doubt, but look at those thighs! How I long to come between them, like a love triangle, torn between and drawn towards the two of two sisters, inseparable twins. Inseparable, you say? Sounds like a challenge, methinks.

I confront my reflection through the tunnel. It is speechless to my arguments, how can I know whether it be from fear or from awe? Strauss returns, the cheeky monkey, and relieves me of all personal doubts and fear; what bodily harm can come to the open pursuer of clean, housebroken love-making in conventional form? That's how I always disguise my surprise.

"What are you writing on?"

She looks up from her battered notepad and puts down the Nobel prize. With the teasing air of a tombstone she reluctantly informs me that her treatise deals with the insubordinate interruptions of strange men on the night train. How peculiar. How coincidental.

"How come?" I say, as if picking my next pet snake from a cluster bare-handed.

She scoffs politely. Something tells me she enjoys the role play involving set pieces of severe and unusual punishment. In that case, I am up for it.

"Tell me now, dark-painted girl-child; how will you breathe life into your poetry by looking out the window? Your emotional scope thus far has only played a single note, and I have played a thousand just watching you. Can you describe the bits of white flesh that separates itself from the body to die, in a manner that makes me want it like ice cream? We all scream for ice cream! Where is your footing? Fact or fantasy, please don't say both when you know perfectly well what I'm asking."

The choir resonates in the walls of the cart, all the singers are sounding on in-breath, until it culminates in primitive panting.

"Will you sleep with me if I guess correctly the colour of your panties? I am horny like a street dog here."

She replies from statistics, not confidence; "Yes."

"All right, let me think."

Let us see, the subject's sub-twenty, she's adopted the view of her older friends that she is mature, all the while knowing her own age and feeling the urge to play. I have never seen black panties under all-black robes; they must be screaming.

"They are pink," I conclude.

"How did you do it?"

"A poet would know."

The doors open, arrogance pulls me out, and proud steps in the drunkard night echo 'tween the hostels and shooting galleries as the sound of the night train disappear into memory; "Take me home, trusty feet. Your master is weary."

Curtain falls, the audience engage in enraged objections, the children are trampled down between the seats, money back was guaranteed; You'll find me in the hall of promiscuous ballet dancers.

Sigge S. Amdal is a word wanker from Oslo, Norway.