Turn Smile Shift Repeat
Like someone that’d say veranda instead of porch, I woke up this morning in an angry bed. All six comforters, both feather beds, eight pillows and three stuffed animals wrapped around me. Playing melodramatic, all distraught at my misfortune, I wrangled an arm free and lit a cigarette (don’t tell my landlord), but it stuck to my lip and as I slid my split-fingers down the shaft I pulled the cherry off. The orange-red coal landed on my forearm. I chose to watch it burn. A curious smell, like a well-ridden saddle. It was easy to watch it burn, to feel it burn. On the radio, Howard Stern was officiating a “World’s Largest Hemorrhoid” contest, the winner to receive ten thousand dollars and corrective surgery. Six contestants made the finals, five men and a pregnant woman. And as each dropped-trou the room fell out—gagging and pleas to God for mercy, someone screaming, It looks like the lips and tongue on my Rolling Stones shirt! I couldn’t reach the remote and the bed would not let go, so I lay there, arm smoldering, nauseated shock-jocks tossing breakfast—. We all ask why…we all ask how. Why did you let it go so far? How do you wipe your ass…with course grit sand paper? Why don’t you admit you’re afraid to show that to anyone? How the…is that a thumb reaching out? Why do you do this to yourself, do you want to go back to the hospital with wire in the window glass? How do I pick a winner when they’re all so damn sick? On escape from the bed I didn’t turn off the radio. In the shower I thumbed the new red flower on my arm, turned the hot up way too high, and didn’t close my eyes when I shampooed.