Button Jar #1

This story appeared in 2017 in the Beloit Fiction Journal.


by Chris Evans

 

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Happy gobblings

November 26, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Zero family on this most hallowed of passive-aggressive holidays. Friends from work included—with my gracious permission—two of Jemaine’s so-called platonic friends, one of whom crushes on him in a way that’s almost cute. Almost.

Feeling flushed and fat. Truly no regrets.

Beloit Fiction Journal Cover

Mom called drunk a little after noon but I let it go to voicemail. This is growth.

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Dog’s Life —> Party Avoidance

December 8, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

For a pittance, I walked four of the building’s dogs. A boxer (I think) from the old guy in 14, the two whatever mutts from 9 (smell like my old science classroom) and our own bubbly Bilbo Baggins. For the most part they all got along fine, thereby putting $30 in my pocket and paving the way to Retirement City. Bilbo B pulled on his leash like usual and I felt like kicking him but didn’t.

The frat boys or whoever at the party house were playing beer pong on the porch. I counted a dozen, plus more inside, not a double-X chromosome in sight. I worry that the poor lads shall never get laid.

One of them was hiding behind these sprawling overgrown hedges next to the sidewalk, taking a leak, and said something leery to me, Hey babe or something. BB went f-ing nuts and feral with these weird (but so cute) hackles in a little row leading right up to his brown spot, looked like an exclamation point. The guys at the kill shelter said the spot is a “vestige” of his “Dalmation heritage,” which means he’s a mutt with a little Dalmation in him. [Insert joke here about being Cruella Deville, ha.]

Dalmation? Dalmatian?

It’s been two days without a drink. I smoked a little weed, but Jemaine says quote Don’t sweat it, Desirée, lots of people do it that way. Lately he’s started calling me Desirée, which he says means She Who is Desired. Double-like.

Med-Jo won’t let you swear on here. What’s up with that?

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Chicks Dig Romance

December 12, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Jemaine works his g0dd—-mn dangle between my legs and thinks he’s getting me hot while my eyes remain emphatically closed. Finally I reached back and let him j>>k himself off just to get him to go to sleep, but then I slink to the bathroom and wipe myself down, so there I was at 4 in the morning running a cold washcloth all over my back and unable to reach the area just below my shoulder blades, where God knows how he shoots it up there. Eventually I took a shower, which also wouldn’t warm up, which meant I couldn’t get back to sleep, which means I’m in a foul mood. I close tonight, so that will be 21 hours awake unless I can calm my mind enough to get a nap this afternoon, and what are the chances?

No period yet. Last month I’ve got a few pinpricks of spotting but nothing more. Jemaine says that one of his (allegedly) platonic girlfriends used to take 5 htp, same as me, and once got her period five days late—so Jemaine tells me not to worry. I bought a pregnancy test anyway but I’m going to wait a few more days to take it. Probably everything’s fine.

I had a glass of wine two nights ago. Chianti left over at the bar after work, not enough that anyone would miss. Five ounces. Tim aka Tim the Barmaid poured everyone else shots but I had the wine. One glass. [Pats self on back.]

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NotSoBad Party Guys

December. 14, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

It turns out that the frat boys aren’t actually frat boys. Mostly they’re older, in their 20s, which is good I suppose. They can mentor me in the ways of burning out before my quarter-life crisis. (I’m hilarious.) Two of them were sitting on the step by the sidewalk way out in front of the house with a sixer of Allagash, which normally I find too tart but couldn’t see turning down for free. Just a beer just a beer. The guys were fine, Dave and Buster or something. One of them really was named Dave. He has one of those 5 o’clock shadows that you just know never goes away. He introduced himself as Dave Schnerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, drawing it out, somehow making what’s otherwise a truly ugly name cute. We split the beer—sorry, ale—three ways. Not-Dave made a joke about us having a three-way. (So he, less hilarious than moi.) (Plus immature.) I will slather on some praise though in saying that Not-Dave picked up the poop after Zip BM’d on their lawn, which is gallant practically by today’s standards. Not laying your cape across a puddle, but still.

I’ve lost two pounds.

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A Lassie named Collie

December 21, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Trippy old woman named Colleen hangs around Ethan and Dave’s house during the parties. She’s like a house mother, 45 or 50. Maybe older than 50. Last night she sat at the kitchen table and while we’re talking pulls out a canvass purse full of buttons—nobody even moved out of her way when she entered the kitchen and sat down—sometimes I think I’m imagining her—and she lined the buttons up on the table in vertical rows of four. Five rows in all, twenty buttons, plus two left over. She didn’t seem to know what to do with the two extra buttons. She turned them over and looked around the room like some of the guys might give her a clue about what to do about this clearly distressing conundrum of having two extra buttons. Collie (Dave’s nickname for her) always wears an oversized gray cardigan, large enough to be a bathrobe. Thin wire glasses. But pretty too in an old hippie kind of way. Not hipster but bohemian. She held one button in each hand like she’s weighing them on a scale, the nickel-sized one winning out over of the quarter-sized one finally. Both of them different shades of gray so in theory they could go on the cardigan she’s wearing except that they’re too small because the sweater has these enormous, sagging buttonholes. She wore a batik skirt and moccasins that I don’t think she ever takes off. Ethan tells me that I keep going on about getting myself a pair of house slippers for the Party House, too. He’s offered to let me keep them in his room.

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Whoopsie

December 26, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

You know what you did.

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Lassie Loses Her Lid

December 29, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

So Colleen grabs my arm apropos of nada hard enough to literally leave a bruise and she’s got the wild eyes, huge pupils, the right eye totally bloodshot and veiny and maybe pink eye—and basically yells at me “Don’t ever have kids! They’ll turn on you!!!”

Hmmmm … I shall take the suggestion under advisement.

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New Year’s Oops

January 3, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Stop stop stop it just stop it.

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Incoming Projectiles

January 17, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Collie’s pissed at me, no idea why. Apparently she threw her buttons and the jar barely missed my head and I started swearing like—oh, what’s less cliché than a sailor. Worse than Dave has heard me swear before, apparently. He tells me not to worry. “Blow it off, baby. Blow me instead.” Which is kind of funny but also No.

He says he kicked Colleen out of the house for the night, anyway, which I appreciate.

Bilbo B has started nipping at the other dogs. I swat him to no effect. Not that human-violence should be the antidote to dog-violence, but I have zero idea what else to do. Give him a treat every time he doesn’t nip at somedog? How does that work? The dog-walk clients are none too happy.

Sidenote: When my own dog nips at me, I do not handle it gracefully.

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Alagash-way

January 30, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Admission: I’ve been f—x—king Ethan and Dave. There it’s been said. Written down. Last night someone walked in on us and just stood there and Dave didn’t even break pelvic stride. For like half a second I thought the guy was Jemaine and just about had a panic attack and then for like another solid three seconds I thought it was this blond dude with the sketchy-thin Van Dyke but then Dave got in the way and Ethan flipped me over (or vice-versa) and he, I swear, the blond dude, had his phone out and recording. Later on Dave told me he didn’t see anyone at all and not to worry shh shh shh. But he had that smile like he gets.

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What the what, Jemaine

January 31, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Jemaine asks me to marry him. So that happened.

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Blindfolded so who knows

February 14, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Last night, I’m 95 percent certain I heard guys standing in the doorway and talking in low tones. Schner tells me I’m imagining things.

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What the what? II

February 22, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

F–*********-kerface came back to the OG at like 2 when he should have been home having disappointing sex with his wife to get his phone or something and found six of us around the bar doing our afterwork thing. We all get written warnings but it was my second and so I had to go upstairs the next day before my shift (which I’m not even sure is legal because I wasn’t on the clock but still had to sit in his office which smells like Cheetos. He sat there staring at my tits and told me he’d give me one more chance but only because he likes me. It wasn’t sexual harassment precisely and I wouldn’t know how to file a complaint anyway.

Carla/Karla, she of the immense breasts and supposed beauty mark that’s really probably a wart tells me there’s an opening at McGonigal’s Pub but have you seen the sad faces on the women in there?

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Literal harassment

March 6, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Collie keeps calling my phone and last night sent me a selfie showing her flipping me off in front of our apartment building. No one else seems to notice that she’s stopped coming to the house. Fine with me though because I hate hate confrontation. Especially with my elders. Insert pithy comment here.

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Fine, J. Fine.

March 7, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Just to get him off my back, I told Jemaine yes.

I can’t bring myself to step on the scale anymore.

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Thinking of myself as Janet Leigh

March 9, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Mom’s been flipping out and talking about cake-tasting and bouquets and my grandmother’s wedding dress, which I’d never wear anything of that crusty bitch. I like to think that I’d wear black (though who am I kidding). I wouldn’t have told Mom except that we could use the dowry for rent. What I figure mostly is that mom’s excited about tasting samples of expensive wines for the reception. In the end we’ll probably wind up with Franzia, ha. (But not really ha.)

During my nap yesterday, I had a dream of medium interest involving a guy in a Mustang convertible and then on what I’m going to assume my subconscious believed to be an actual Mustang, though who knows because I wouldn’t know a Mustang from a Clydesdale whatever. Upon waking and remembering my actual life I felt like Oh, right, suck. Up and down the emotional staircase. Saturday I forgot to take my medication in the morning and so took it in the afternoon but still got the zaps, which apparently you get with Wellbutrin the same as you do with Effexor. Lots of stuff combined to make me feel down about life. Weird combination: nicer weather bringing out the pollen, lack of rest, fact that I had to attend a work meeting scheduled after close, the whole staff, to listen defensively about what F………..k////…..rface believes to be a suspicious reduction/depletion of alcoholic product at the bar. He’s going to install cameras to spy on us after the end of the shift, something he presented as completely unrelated to his five-seconds-ago rant about the missing booze, saying that the cameras were a security measure for our own protection. In case terrorists strike the area’s pre-eminent Italian Franchise Dining Experience?

But it was before the actual meeting that I had that feeling of yech upon waking and some general despairy malaise. Smoked a blunt, which helped.

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Stork-Be-Gone

March 17, 12:00 a.m. – 1 comment

No period and we’re two weeks past due. Probably it’s the medicine.

Happy St. Patricks Day. Take it easy tonight.

Comments

 

RAPIDBOY69  Hey girl. Longtime reader, firsttime caller, haha LOL. I’ve been looking for you on YouPorn but can’t find the vids you thought that guy was taking, so probably you’re safe. What do you look like, anyway? Deets needed!!

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Maybe I’m just dumb

March 19, 12:00 a.m. – 1 comment

I still can’t figure out how to delete comments.

Comments

RAPIDBOY69  Aw girl, you wound me. Post some pics!

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Blocked the bastard

March 20, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

[This entry contains no content.]

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So long, Schnerrrr!

March 21, 12:00 a.m. – 0 comments

Dave’s out of the picture—my personal romantic picture—but of course he’s still around, hanging out with the other guys in the house, but as I know he’d say it’s his house anyway. He’s not paying me any attention but lots of the other guys are. Maybe it’s my imagination?  I’ve become re-aware that hardly any other girls really stay over like I do, a couple of them, non-friends I knew in high school who used to hang out in the smoker’s corner outside the cafeteria which I suppose I treated them like I was better than them but now they’re giving me the mean-girl treatment. I read once that girls triangulate, which is an awesome word for the b—-chy act of having two girls gang up against me. How far I have fallen. I talked to one of them who said I’m like a “fixture” around the house. Like a shingle.

Ethan tells me he’s going to take me out sometime, to a real movie like, but obviously no. Not unless it was to f>>>>>>>>>>>k me in public, which he talks about ALL THE TIME.

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With Ethan

March 30, 12:00 a.m. – 1 comment

IN THE HANDY STATION’S BATHROOM.

Ugh. Stop it.

Comments

RAPIDBOYY69  The one on Marshal or the one on Prescott?

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Stalk much?

April 14, 12:00 a.m. – 1 comment

Dear Rapidboy, was that you in the living room and the OG, because you should know that I have many many many man-friends who would love to K your a>>>>>>>>>>>>>s?

Comments

RAPIDBOYY69  I have no idea what you mean.  :”>

DANX  Careful RB. OP sounds serious, haha. … Sweet thing, is this you in the video?

[Link removed by administrator.]

RAPIDBOYY69  No it’s not “danx” Get a life.

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Shingle?

April 29, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

No period in five weeks. For whatever reason I can’t remember to take my pill so the doctor gave me a nuvaring but I left it in my car and it went bad and I got a new one, which probably insurance such as it is won’t pay for. Doc tells me I need to get myself tested. I’ve put on 11 pounds, which he didn’t have to tell me. One of the guys in the house has started calling me Shingle, not to my face but def to Ethan, who probably thinks it’s hilarious.

Note to self: Blocking online stalkers works only till they change their names.

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Dear internet ~ RAPIDBOY’s Name is Josh Summo

May 11, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

A——–le’s name is Josh Summo, 269 Prince St., tall with acne and likely heroin problem. Do not make me post your phone number here. You know the kind of sh*t you’ll get 867-5309 from the Internets? ….  Josh Summo we’re talking serious acne ALL over his face, oozing, probably down his back, do you get the impression that I’m not interested in seeing you lurking at the corner of my vision Josh because I’m not. Tim the Barmaid was not kidding when he said he’d call the cops and/or break your face.

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Whatever

May 22, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

Thank you Josh for f———–ing the f———- off and don’t expect that Tim will do less to you next time if you show up at work. Your friends should stop showing up too if they know what’s good for them.

Christ it’s like I have a whole fan club now.

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More douchebags at work

May 29, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

Two more guys in my section, third night in a row. One of them said I look just like in the video. I’ve tried to search but can’t get myself past the homepage. Which is gross.

Dave said he knows the site that every guy knows the site and that he’d checked but didn’t see anything.

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[No subject]

May 24, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

Spring has sprung. Whatever’s the opposite of an Indian summer kept snow around for way too long but finally it’s gone and Ethan actually took me out, kinda, Saturday afternoon, we went to North Beach and of course the water is still way to cold so we sat in a blanket and made out a little. Afterward he f’’’’’’’’’ me in the men’s restroom which officially wasn’t even open and hadn’t been cleaned since probably September but junkies must’ve broken the lock because the toilet was all stopped up with needles. Ethan loves doing it in bathrooms. (Understatement.) While he has me up against the wall I got fixated on this single solitary smudge of sh—-t on one of the toilets where the men stand up to pee, down low on the front of the bowl like someone did a #2 and cleaned up 95 percent of it but missed the streak on the front.

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A touch of bipolar, doc says

June 3, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

How does someone have a “touch” of a major mood disorder? Is “touch of” the clinical term. The doctor has the bushiest eyebrows I’ve ever seen with stray hairs black and gray going at all possible angles. He’s labeling me as alcohol-dependent and when I said I wasn’t he said “In what world do you see yourself not dependent on alcohol?” Snarky. I’d love this guy except for the pubes above his eyes.

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Tantrums aren’t just for 5-year-olds any more

June 20, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

Jemaine basically destroyed everything off my dresser. I didn’t see it until the next morning, but all my possessions are scattered: nothing but hairbands and stuff like that mostly, a stupid little jewelry box that I never used and my incense tray but also pieces of the glass dancer my mom gave me in junior high, which has survived six moves but now not Jemaine, which says something about Jemaine. Fine move out.

Mom gave it to me for my birthday the same year I got on the honor roll, which she made a cake for that and a cake for my birthday, two cakes in a week, two cherry chocolate cakes made with Pepsi in the batter, some weird recipe from the 50s or 60s or something, marketing advertisement for Pepsi but dmn I loved that cake. I’m surprised the dancer survived as long as it did. Crystal girl with her legs in first position dangling on a pewter stand, made me feel rich when momma gave it to me. I’ve thought of selling it a couple of times but never had for obvious reasons and now it looks like I don’t get to make that choice.

Qutoe: “I’m out of here you dumb junkie.”

Junkie?

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 [No subject]

June 24, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

Note at the bar left for me, smudged writing on what’s probably a McDonald’s napkin, reads Who do you think put the video up, anyway? Implying I guess that it’s Dave or Ethan and he can’t be trusted. But I do. He can. Dave’s been insisting on the blindfold though which I’m a long time ago over but honestly also got used to a long time ago.

Yes, Dave’s back in the picture.

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[No subject]

June 27, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

Mom’s threatening rehab. She leans forward over her coffee and says “We should go together, hey, we could be bunk buddies.” I cross my arms and give her the devil-stare, but she continued blathering: manic jokes about shooting a mother-daughter reality show inside Recovery House.

Seriously, she says we should do it. The reality show.

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B.B.

June 30, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

My eyes are red little pits. Bilbo Baggins was just a dog and probably he’s with Jemaine I mean probably Jemaine came by and got him while I was asleep because I’m almost positive like 99.999999999 percent positive that I didn’t leave the door open but it was completely open this morning/afternoon and but his leash is still by the stairs. But probably he has got to be with Jemaine.

We got our baby at the rescue shelter and for the first couple years were completely insufferable with how we’d saved him from certain death. We called ourselves Bianca and Bernard after the Disney movie, the rescuers, which mom had on bonafide VHS tape when I was growing up and no one else got the reference except for Jemaine and me. We loved that.

I remember when we got Bilbo B that they took him out of the cage and put us in the decision room (that’s what they called it) and he went straight for the jar of snacks and turned back to look at us and it was so cute because his body was still angled toward the jar but he had his head turned back to us so his whole torso was C-shaped and that’s when I knew we had to have him. Bilbo must’ve been in the decision room lots of times because he knew right were the snacks were and obviously someone took him out to consider getting him all the time, lots of different possible owners and lives before us, but they put him back when they realized he was deaf. Jemaine six or seven times did this high-pitched whistle that I can’t do and honestly I hate the way it slices right through my eardrums and he didn’t need to do it six or seven times because after the first one or two it was obvious that poor little Bilbo couldn’t hear a thing. Apparently after 101 Dalmatians, people started overbreeding them to meet demand and somehow most of them turned out deaf, plus with something called hip displasia (sp?) which means that his hips will go out eventually and he won’t be able to get up and down stairs. Honestly I thought that started a couple months ago because he wouldn’t follow me up the stairs half the time but the other half of the time he did just fine so I can’t be sure. (I got angry once when I came home after a couple of days at Ethan and Dave’s and he’d pooped right outside our bedroom door and he kind of slid down the stairs after I shoved him so …) He’s gone and no one in the building or the neighborhood has seen him and Jemaine won’t answer my calls. He never loved BB the way that I did and I know he took the little pooper to get back at me.

I never should have started this journal. But that wasn’t the problem. Leaving it up on our computer for when Jemaine came home, that was the problem. I am dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

Stupid dumb as he says stupid

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[No subject]

July 12, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

I found Colleen’s jar of buttons on my pillow. I don’t know if I put it there or if one of the guys did or if Colleen re-apparated and put them there like a ghost.

I don’t think I reported yet that Collie’s boyfriend aspirated himself to death over the fourth of July. She woke with the sun in her eyes and apparently thought she was still dreaming. She wiped him up and spooned with him till he got cold, all the way till morning listening to thunderstorms. I remember that night because it was the night Jemaine came back and made me leave, humid and crimson but also stormless. Probly Collie heard the fireworks on Lake Moore but her brain turned it into thunder. Crazy, crazy B, that C.

Jemaine refused to answer any of my questions about Bilbo B. He just stood there not even blinking.

Dave and Ethan say I can leave my stuff in their shed while I look for another place to stay.

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H?

August 2, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

Ethan says I should try it.

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O(M)G

August 3, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

I’ve got to leave the OG. I’ve had seven guys show up this week including one of them smoking by his car when I got off work, nearly midnight. F-face says he can’t do anything because they’re paying customers. I plan to report him to corporate for fostering a hostile work environment. I should leave I should leave I should leave.

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H

August 6, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

It’s like smoking 20 joints all at once but also nothing like that not at all. I’ve been sitting here 20 minutes. No metaphor could suffice.

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Encouragement

August 12, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

Mom. Email.

Sweetie, you’re the strongest person I know. A fighter. But things have never been easy for you. Remember that.

Honor that.

I remember once, when you were three probably. Almost four. I came to the daycare and asked where you were and this woman rolls her eyes and points to the door out to the playground and I ask her why she’s rolling her eyes and she says Just get your kid. She wouldn’t even look at me.

When I go outside, I can’t find you anywhere. I see kids all around running and playing four-square and everything, but for the longest time I can’t find you. When I do, you’re a mess. Oh my god such a mess. You came out of this group of girls and you were wearing your blue-checkered dress, the one with sunflowers around the hem that your grandmother made you before she passed, and these little girls are gossiping and laughing and you run out at full speed, tears streaming, what I thought was panic on your face but was really just  . . . Honey, I don’t even know what it was. Maybe anger. Or terror? If it was sorrow, then it was deep and bottomless. The way you leaned forward, fleeing. Fast as you could. You suffered that way in a way no three-year-old ever should. The ribbons around your waist were trailing behind you—I remember that dress so well, your grandma worked on it from the day you were born, I swear—you were in full-out flight from these monstrous children. As you know now, these girls are everywhere. They never leave you alone. You can’t escape. Even at 3 you saw them for what they were. You’ve always seen people for what they are. And of course that’s difficult. It makes life feel impossible, doesn’t it? But life’s not impossible. Don’t ever think of life as being impossible.

I complained to the woman who ran the daycare, but two sentences in she started throwing her arms about and shouting about you. About you! She said you’d thrown blocks at other kids and then threw a chair across the room. That was the day they kicked you out. I know it wasn’t easy living with me back then. It wasn’t the best time to have you in the house all day. My naps and, well, everything. I really am sorry. After your dad left—You didn’t get the attention from me that you deserved. Not the love you deserved. But I never thought you were wrong to throw the chair. Did you know that? You’re a kind of kid, perceptive. Like no one else. You see people for who they are. Some of them deserve to get chairs thrown at them, you know? Don’t ever stop doing that. Pick up chairs and throw them. Toss those damn chairs! Take the bitches out! Because you see them. And I see you. You’re a fighter. You can beat this. If anyone can, you can.

You’re not alone. You will never be alone.

Call me.

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McGonigal’s

August 23, 12:00 a.m. – Comments disabled

I start today Whatever whatever whatever

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__________

A note from your friends at MedJo:

We haven’t heard from you in six months. We miss you! Come back! Pretty please?

We’re a small community of screwed-up narcissists, sure, but since 1998 we’ve provided a space designed to help us and you work out our demons without judgment, without prejudice and without fees. (Shout out to the completely harmless herbal supplements that pay for our bandwidth.)

Speaking of bandwidth (awesome segue), yes, it does cost money. We’re no Facebook (yuck) or WebMD (pretentious!), and despite what “they” tell you, server space isn’t infinite. So, to reduce costs and keep things simple, we terminate (horrible word) accounts that remain inactive for one full year. You’re not there yet! Nowhere close, really. But we just wanted to let you know.

Please come back. We’re here to help. J

— Your unqualified non-doctors at MedJo

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Updates

May 22, 3:42 p.m

 – Comments are enabled. Click here to join the conversation.

What up, MedJo? Hate your new interface.

It’s been 22 days since Rehab Redux but this one didn’t take either and probably they’re done. Who knows? Maybe I’ll miss them. I’ve heard that you long for the ding of a hammer as soon as you stop smashing it into your skull.

Tay and I are living over the bar, which makes it a short commute to work but also convenient for the guys and friends to find us. Short commute for them too indeed, ha. McGonagal himself (not his real name, as it turns out) visits most often, but who can blame him it’s his place officially. He gives us our privacy when we ask. F-face comes up at least once every couple of weeks to get his kink on, consistently shame-wracked. He says he hired Jemaine of all people, who proposed to Karla last month. Sad, really.

(MedJo apparently got wise to people camouflaging curse words with punctuation or whatever. Way to up your game, MedJo.)

But good for Jemaine, sure. He should be happy. I’m happy for him to be happy.

A couple of months ago or more I filled out a form for CMV (ranked 202nd community college in the nation by don’t-give-a-…….. flip magazine) but the application remains stashed under the bar. I don’t know what I’d study. Cosmetology so I can work in a nail salon and get rendered infertile by the fumes??? (On a related note Sincerely no regrets about the abortion, tho plenty about this simplex 20 or whatever it is that I’ve got going on. Outbreaks few and far between just mostly phantom itching but still. Jackson John should have taken his sperm to the grave the same way he took my mom’s jewelry *up his nose.)

Mom isn’t returning my calls anymore. But I do not blame the bitch.

Officer Friendlies did three unsuccessful raids last month at McG’s, apparently never thinking to raid the apartment, which is stupid as hell for it lets us move the product safely out of the way till things blow over.

The downside is that business gets bone dry after the raids. We’ve been hovering at the beach and NA meetings. Statistically 93 percent of us don’t or won’t recover and what they don’t tell you is that 100 percent keep on going to meetings, most to score and the rest to deal. Apparently cops haven’t figured that the Turning Point Center is the hub that it is. Or maybe they stay away out of respect for the 7 percent.

McG’s has a party coming up this weekend. D#1’s turning 25, quarter-life crisis party. I’m looking forward to that for myself in not too long. (I’m getting elderly-ancient.) We have a stash coming in for the soirée. Lots of daddies likely too. (God I hate that word We’ve got to find a new word.) Should be a busy and profitable night. Retirement City etc.

~ ~ ~

Daddies. A semi-complete list: Jimmy from Jersey, Deacon from Duxbury, Paul from St. Paul. Tommy. Jayson. Ashton. Jonathan. Ryan. Armondo (plus his coked-up girlfriend Candy). Elliot (plus HIS coked-up girlfriend Gillian). Jack. Lev. Len. Frankie from high school. Max from high school. Gene from high school. “Bear.” “Duckie.” TJ. The six I doubled with Tay-Tay: Darren, Elon, Duke, Kyle, Lee and Bobby. Chad. Delbert. (Dilbert?) Rashid. Emil. Scotty. Otis. Willie. Mitch. Tristan. Everyone whose names I don’t know. And Bart. Good god, Bart.

I’ve just about filled Colleen Jar 2.0, a family-size pickle version from Costco. I made three scores in the past week from my, let’s say, boys(?): (1) a small clear shirttail button from Jack (2) a black replacement, huge, from inside the inner pocket of TJ’s leather coat (I don’t think he knew it was there) and (3) the best—every single beige button from this rich guy’s Burbury, which he didn’t notice them missing at the time and you can be sure he won’t be coming back for just that. Eight in toto. Pretty soon I’ll need a bigger jar. Is there such a thing as family-size-plus pickle jar?

~ ~ ~

So that’s my update, medjo. I’m glad I wrote this. I remember this feeling, getting everything out before it explodes my esophagus. (I’ve been regurgitating again. Who else could I tell that to, dear Emotion-Journal.) Writing feels good and I’ll do more. I feel like everything’s washing off. Rain, clean after a storm. It’s been a storm. But I get to end it. I’m God and the meteorologist rolled into one.

So I’m doing more. At least one entry a week. Probably definitely more, but for now I pledge to at least one a week. Every Tuesday or whatev. This I pledge. My solemn vow to myself.

There. Vowed.

Insert smiley face here.

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A note from your friends at MedJo:

We haven’t heard from you in six months. We miss you! Come back! Pretty please?

We’re a small community of screwed-up narcissists, sure, but since 1998 we’ve provided a space designed to help us and you work out our demons without judgment, without prejudice and without fees. (Shout out to the completely harmless herbal supplements that pay for our bandwidth.)

Speaking of bandwidth (awesome segue), yes, it does cost money. We’re no Facebook (yuck) or WebMD (pretentious!), and despite what “they” tell you, server space isn’t infinite. So, to reduce costs and keep things simple, we terminate (horrible word) accounts that remain inactive for one full year. You’re not there yet! Nowhere close, really. But we just wanted to let you know.

Please come back. We’re here to help. J

— Your unqualified non-doctors at MedJo

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Sorry, but this account has been terminated for lack of activity. If it’s yours, you can click here to access your archives at any time in the next 180 days. We’d love to have you back!

— Your unqualified non-doctors at MedJo

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Archives for this account have been deleted.

— Your unqualified non-doctors at MedJo


Download the PDF of this story from Beloit Fiction Journal.