Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Cool Blue Goo

There are a surprising number of lonely old men who are true emetophiles and willing to pay Abigail Bustamante one hundred bucks just to watch her throw up. For an extra twenty she’ll throw up on you.  Another ten and she’ll barf in your mouth.  
     Abigail always wanted to go into show business and now look, here she is.
     Abigail Bustamante is twenty-two going on twenty-three, a full time student and part time waitress at Hott Diggidees. She studies economics at Boston University. She has a heavy workload and her days are exhausting, but her vomit-work is fun and easy and doesn’t seem like work at all. She honestly enjoys puking for men. And frankly, if she’s going to practice bulimia, why waste it? She may as well get paid for her gastric upheavals.
     It is late afternoon and Abigail is riding the subway to her next appointment. The client lives in Back Bay. She spoke to him on the phone and he sounded nervous, shy and embarrassed about his fetish. She knows the type. He is going to need gentle assurance that this is all perfectly normal.
     To get ready, Abigail eats several blue raspberry Popsicles (she carries them in a small insulated cooler bag just for the occasion). It is by request—he wants her to puke blue. Abigail doesn’t mind. Popsicles, like ice cream, taste good going down and coming up. Sometimes her clients insist on foods that burn when they come up. She charges extra to eat anything from the genus Capsicum.
     She gets off the train and finishes another Popsicle. Five should do the trick. She will heave liquid sky for the man. She flicks the empty stick onto the tracks and then heads west. The Popsicles are calm and cool in her stomach. At peace. Ordinarily, she can puke on cue, but this situation may call for Syrup of Ipecac. She carries a small bottle with her just in case but feels that using it is cheating somehow, like a porn actor popping Viagra.  She usually gives spontaneous regurgitation a try first, then the old finger-gag method before she’s forced to take a reluctant swig of the vile liquid.
    She looks at the man’s address on a folded Post-it Note. He lives in a fancy, upper-crust neighborhood. Victorian brownstones, actual trees. Sometimes she treks through bleak, bombed-out danger zones. Sometimes she is concerned for her safety and nervous. She is not nervous today.
     Well, not too nervous. Every time is a performance.
     She finally finds the location of the appointment. The client’s name is Roger McCullough. She presses the bell. A buzzer is heard and the door releases. She enters the building and finds the apartment but before she knocks she does her little method-acting ritual. She closes her eyes and opens her hands and listens down into herself. She has to portray a character now. Her character’s name is Faun Willoughby. She summons Faun and feels her rising inside her.
     Faun Willoughby is thirty years old. She was born somewhere in the Midwest. She works as a nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and just pukes part time. She cares about her clients and is glad to provide them with a service that makes them happy.  
      Faun knocks on the door.
     It takes two full minutes for the door to open. An aged face greets her through the narrow slice of open door. He is bald, his scalp pale and peeling and dotted with liver spots. His face is craggy. He smiles—a toothless but friendly red crescent. “Hello? Miss Faun?” he says. He has milk or something in the corners of his mouth. He hasn’t shaved in a while.
     “Yes, sir. How are you? May I come in?”
     “Oh, yes! I beg your pardon. Please come in...” The door halts against something inside. He struggles to get it open. Then he pushes it against the hidden blockage until it is wide enough for her to enter. Something topples and falls behind him.
     She steps inside and what she sees shocks Ms. Faun right out of her head.
     Roger McCullough is a hoarder. With a vengeance.
     A maze of packrat clutter confronts her: cardboard boxes, bundles of newspapers, towers of books, bulging trash bags, dishes and toys and clothes and unidentifiable junk and debris. The sagging wooden floor creaks beneath them. 
     “Sorry about the mess,” he says. “We don’t have guests very often...”
     “We? Is there someone else here?” The question comes from Abigail, not Faun. Faun is gone.
     “My brother Wallace. He’s the gentleman you’ll be vomiting on.”
     She follows him through the labyrinth; turning corners, stepping over junk, sidestepping through narrow, suffocating corridors. She can’t even tell what kind of rooms they’re passing through. There may be a kitchen hidden somewhere. Abigail isn’t usually claustrophobic but she begins to feel smothered, the walls of clutter closing in. She feels like she’s walking into a trap. The old man seems harmless, but she begins to feel burgeoning trepidation. The musty, mildew smells of the house are sweetened with a tincture of vanilla.  She can feel the thick, flavored air invading her lungs like a disease. The stagnant atmosphere has volume and weight. She can almost see it.
     All thoughts of Faun are forgotten. Abigail says, “Excuse me, sir? Where are we going?”
    “Just to my brother’s room. It’s right here.”
    They have arrived at a door adorned with a torn poster of the St. Paulie Girl.
     “But first, if you’ll do me the favor of eating these...” He presents her with an unwrapped box of blueberries. He has pulled them out of the air like a magician.
     She looks at the blueberries then at him. “What?”
     “They’re quite fresh, I assure you. I bought them this morning and, as you can see, the seal is unbroken. Nothing to worry about. Feel them. I’m sure they’re still cool to the touch...”
     He tries to hand her the berries but she folds her arms and says, “If you want me to eat those, it’ll cost you another fifty dollars.”
     Faun is back for the moment.
   “Of course my dear. Anything you say.” He reaches into his jacket pocket and removes a thick roll of bills.  He says, “Will another four hundred do?”
     “Give me the blueberries.”
     He hands her the plastic box of berries, grinning with pleasure.
     “That’s the spirit!” he says. “How long before you’ll be able to vomit?”
     “Just as soon as I finish these,” she tells him, popping a handful of blueberries into her mouth.
     “Outstanding!” He turns back to the door. “Excuse me while I get Wallace ready. Just knock when you’re all set.”
     He disappears behind the door. She continues to eat the blueberries. While she eats, she looks around the vast garbage dump around her. There is a stack of automobile tires filled with crumpled candy wrappers so old she doesn’t recognize the names: Blow Pops, Laffy Taffy, Licorice Babies, Zotz, etc...  She notices three old television sets with broken screens, a rotted piano with missing keys and piles of mildewed clothes. She hears something scuttle behind a wall of bundled LIFE Magazines and steps back. If she sees a rat she’ll fucking scream.
     She finishes the blueberries, feeling full. Spontaneous vomiting won’t be a problem. She wants to get rid of them already. No need for the Ipecac. She catches herself looking for a wastepaper basket. Dope. She places the empty blueberry box on a stack of warped, faded art books and then knocks on the door. She tries to summon Faun again.
     Okay, she thinks. Here goes.
     Roger opens the door, smiling, eyes alight. “All set?” he says.
     “All set.” She steps into the room, quietly amazed by what she finds inside.
     The room is clean, almost Spartan. No clutter, nothing on the floor. The walls are unadorned. The windows are open and she suddenly feels dizzy in the cool, fresh air. The only furniture in the room is a small mahogany table and a single bed. In the bed lays a naked, emaciated old man. He is motionless, cataract eyes open. He looks dead and she says, “Is that your brother?”
     Stupid, stupid question, she thinks and says, “What’s the matter with him?”
    The man’s crumpled legs are as thin as broomsticks. She can see his ribs, his collarbone. He looks newly-released from a concentration camp. Again, the idea that he might be dead occurs to her.
     “It’s a mix of things, I’m afraid. Polio, dupuytren’s contracture, rheumatoid arthritis. He suffered a paralyzing stroke a few years back...”
     “I’m sorry.”
     “Ah, but his mind. His mind is as sharp and lucid as it’s ever been!”
     She looks with uncertainty at the tortured figure in the bed.
      The old man claps his hands and rubs them together. “Don’t look so glum! This is a joyous occasion!” he says. “Wallace has been looking forward to this all day!”
     “How can you tell?”
     “Come over here next to him so you can vomit in his face.”
     She takes a deep breath and tries to climb back into character. She approaches the bed. Wallace’s chest suddenly rises and falls with excitement. He rotates his wide, milky eyes toward her.
     So. At least he isn’t dead.
    “Should I just go ahead and do it?” It’s not a question Faun would ask.
     “Yes, yes!” he says. He sounds impatient.
     She leans over, flexing her glottis, rolling her stomach. It only takes a few seconds for the blueberries (and the Popsicles) to gush from her mouth. She notices a smile just before the blue puke hits him. She heaves twice more, emptying her stomach.
     Roger cheers and claps his hands. “Beautiful!” he says, beaming at his brother.
     Abigail—and she is Abigail now—wipes her lips with the back of her hand and looks at the blueberry-covered man below her. He is ecstatic. The chunky blue goo drips down his face, collecting in a stained halo around his head.
     She thinks, This is good. This is worthwhile.
     Helping people.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Post Title

Flavored Band Aids

Picked up a box of those new EXTREME "flavored" band-aids. I’m not sure how they work, but if you place one over an open wound, you can “taste” the "flavor" of that particular band-aid. So far I’ve “tasted” coffee, coleslaw, horseradish, Swiss cheese, grape, escargot, Cola, hot mustard, bread(?), spinach, pizza, banana and thyme. It’s all very interesting but I’m running out of discreet places to cut myself.

Donald and Sherri at the Membranous Lounge, St. Patrick's Day

TELEVISION CUT-UP (random words from random channels):

I have freedom to live now. But if you work at it you can find it again. Plastic preschool and naturally fertile soil. And then off line. I’m gonna feed him like family. Information as it comes in. One officer opened fire. So damaged it had to be torn down. Killed while doing his job. You love your job, right? We guarantee the best prices. Focuses on machine learning. Epic fun is just a kid-click away. Girls from ten dollars. I can’t accept that. Trying to get ready for Easter? Under an early weather alert. That was a mighty nice thing you done, Grandpa. How many of you are there? For your information I’ve been putting on makeup since I was twelve. Do not miss out ladies and gentlemen. My compliments to the management.

Kooky snowbirds Ronda and Lizzy

Carol was poking around in the muddy field behind my house and found my old ColecoVision game console. Inside the rusted remnants, she discovered a tooth (incisor). It belonged to my friend Adam - god rest his poor, tortured soul. He gave me the tooth (pulled it out himself with needle-nose pliers) to seal an agreement we'd made. The deal became null and void after Adam was shot to death in Chelsea on February 4th, 2002. 😊

Trixie the swimming chimp!

Monday, March 19, 2018

I Found a Tumor On the Bathroom Floor

She is simply there, wearing a large black hat with an awning. I knew her once, a long time ago. Or rather, I knew a younger version of her. She’s in her early 60’s now, ravaged and depleted by a life of raising kids. Her name is Estelle.
     We used to work together at Bobber’s Fish Emporium. I can still smell the clams.
     “Estelle?” I ask her, already formulating what I’m going to say.
     She smiles and shakes her head. “No, sorry. My name is Kimberly,” she informs me.
     “Oh, I’m sorry. You looked like someone...”
     “Don’t we all?”
     An ostrich walked past us with its muddy dinosaur feet.
     And there you have it.
I chopped up the Sermon on the Mount with a razorblade and snorted all the words through a hollowed-out felt pen. Jesus’s words dripped numb in the back of my throat all day. Tomorrow I’m gonna freebase some Kierkegaard because snorting Kierkegaard is a waste. In the meantime, stay hep! because...

Monday, February 19, 2018


Doof sometimes wore sandals with black socks and he liked to believe that he was surrounded by  invisible angels, fresh from Heaven. They floated around him, observing his behavior, and taking notes. Doof hadn’t masturbated in years because of the angels. They would note when he committed an act of self-pollution (as his mommy called it). They would write it all down and show it to God. That would be really embarrassing.

     Doof stuttered like no other. Before almost every word, Doof would go “Ahahaaaaaaah.” For example: “Ahahaaaaa buh-buh breakfast!” and, “Aahahaaaaaa luh-luh lunch. It was a riot. He took a lot of teasing and ribbing in school. Doof would be a senior in the fall.

     Doof lived in a dark forest of pine trees and when he walked across the property, the pinecones crunched under his big rubber boots. The sound helped him in some vague way. It connected him to the Earth. He used to suffer from vertigo and when he had an attack he felt sure that he was going to fall into space and get lost in the universe forever. That would suck.

     He couldn’t smell the woods anymore because he’d lived there for so long but he knew the pine smell was there. He could feel it. It was a large but benign presence. Like the angels that followed him around.

   Doof lived with his mommy in a log cabin. It was an old vacation cottage that Doof’s mommy had renovated into a cozy little house.   On the other side of the pines was a small lake, Lake Leonard and people went there to swim or hang out. Sunbathe or whatever. There was a little stand that served hot dogs and French fries.

   Very often people would go hiking in the woods behind the lake and they would wander onto mommy’s property. It was a problem. Doof suggested KEEP OUT signs, maybe a fence or loud, vicious dog. Mommy had dismissed Doof’s ideas, probably forgot them as soon as she walked away.

     Mommy thought Doof was a big dummy. Any ideas he came up with were automatically rejected. Mommy thought everything Doof said was stupid.

* * * * *   

Doof, after pacing in the front yard for three hours, sat down, leaning against a pine tree. They didn’t have a lawn. Instead, pine needles blanketed the ground. Doof never had to learn how to work a lawnmower. They HAD one and they kept it in the tool-shed out back. Sometimes, when he was bored he would unscrew the lid on the gas tank. Then he would cup his hands around it and breathe in the fumes. Then he’d stagger around the yard, dizzy, strange blue lines in his blurred vision. Then he’d remember the posse of Angels hovering above him. Writing down his shit. He was sure Heaven was holding a dossier on him, full of every crude, stupid thing he’d ever done. Those Angels were tough. They didn’t fuck around.

     Doof, now dealing with the misery of a gasoline hangover, shambled into the tiny log-house. Mommy was at work; connecting little black plastic pieces to other little black plastic pieces. Doof went into the bathroom to look for aspirin. His head was killing him. Like a railroad spike through his gasoline-soaked brain.

     There was a knock on the door.

     Doof stood there, waiting in silence.

     Whoever it was knocked again, more forcefully this time.

Doof staggered into mommy’s bedroom to get her gun. It was a nine millimeter handgun she used for protection. She kept it in the nightstand, in the drawer. He opened it and there it was. Doof picked it up.  It felt good in his hand.

      He went to answer the door. They started banging again;  harder, faster, like it was an emergency. He tucked the gun into the back of his waistband.

     Doof opened the door.

     A couple was standing and sweating on the doorsteps. The woman was very pregnant, her countenance twisted with pain. She was gasping for air. Her face was wet with tears and sweat.

     “Please,” the man said.  ”My wife is going into labor. My phone is dead. Can we come in?”

     Doof shook his head. “Ahaaaaa nuh-nuh no.” His mommy didn’t allow strangers in the house. She was strict about that.

     “Are you fucking kidding me?” the man yelled.  “We’re coming in!” The man began to help his wife across the threshold.

     Doof pulled the gun out. “Aaaaahaha duh-duh don’t!”

     The couple stopped, looking at Doof with expressions of shocked incredulity.  

    “You gotta be shitting me,” said the man. “We need to use your phone! That’s all. You have to let us in!”

     “Ahaaaha  uh-uh I ahaaaa cuh-cuh can’t. Doof pulled the trigger, shooting the man in the shoulder. The woman screamed. Doof shot the man in his left eye. He gasped and fell to the floor.

     Then Doof shot the wife, hitting her throat. She gurgled as she fell. He pulled the trigger again, hitting her chest. Then the back of her head.

     They were dead. Doof looked at them. He had killed them both. He felt bad for them but he’d had no choice. They tried to break in. It was an open and shut case. It was self-defense.

     And then something happened. The woman was wearing gray sweatpants and a spreading stain of blood appeared between her legs.

     Oh shit. Even dead she was still having her baby. The angels were floating above them and he was pretty sure they were giving him demerits for killing the couple. He had to make good now.

     He had to deliver the dead woman’s baby. And it seemed urgent. He kneeled between the woman’s legs and pulled her sweatpants and underwear off. The sight of her bloody, dilated vagina made him want to scream and throw-up at the same time but he didn’t, he couldn’t. The woman’s belly moved slightly and for one irrational second Doof thought she was coming back to life. But no, it was just the baby struggling to be born.  That was when Doof decided to just reach in and yank the kid out.

* * * *

Mary-Ellen Richter parked her green Gremlin in the dirt driveway beside the house. Work had been terrible today. Her back ached. Her job was simple and repetitive but it was still hard. The first couple of days her hands had bled while she assembled endless components. Now her hands were tough, calloused. They looked like a man’s hands. Mary-Ellen lit a cigarette and climbed out of the car. She planned to pour a huge glass of Strawberry Hill and relax into a bathtub of hot water. She took pleasure from small things.

     Then she heard a baby crying. It was coming from the house.  She raced to the front door, pulled it open.

     Doof was on his knees, holding a bloody, squirming infant. Two dead bodies lay beside him in a huge pool of blood. Doof was covered with blood. The dripping umbilical cord was still connected to the baby and the dead woman.

     Doof finally turned and saw his mother.

     “It’s not my fault!” Doof yelled. “It was an accident!” He had lost his stutter.  The angels rejoiced.

     Mary-Ellen backed out of the house and walked under the pines until she could no longer hear her son or the squealing baby. He had put them both in another tough spot. That simpleton. Idiot.
     Doof was such a doof!