International Writers Magazine: New York Stories
belonged to him. Only the dry mouth from the shots at The Sky Bar
on York last night, but that was changed with his toothbrush and
a coffee with milk within the hour of swinging his legs around and
stepping onto the pre-fabricated oak floor.
Dan came out from
his bedroom. In a high-rise building in New York City on the 36th
floor, apartment # 11-B has the divorced men living with drooping eyes
and grieving erections. They need specialized drugs to keep their Charlies
hard until the finish. Ed is a mans name but today its
referred to an older mans dick that has erectile dysfunction.
Their medicated dicks keep them in their pre-marriage lust in the lie
of excitement even Johnny Walker wouldnt interfere with
a woody now.
Prostate triggers unknown and they vow to get theirs checked as the
urge to frequent urination keeps them with their zippers down.
The old men in the cave on the East River cry into the internet searching
for female contact. They recreate their personas to heroic creatures.
Aiding poor, sad dicks that no matter how hard they get, how hard they
try, they cant find a home
Im a nomad, Vincent said to Dan - who at 68-years
old would only date 30- year old women. I need
too much with that shit.
I need the place to myself tonight. Vincent stood up, his
dick not even hard in the morning before peeing. He was heavy on top
and his stomach blown-out like a fat mans, bird-like legs bending
under the balloon. He waddled side-to-side walking to pee into Dans
toilet. The same plumbing and sewage that the tenements had on the street
was shared with the fancy building with a view of Queens. It set Dan
back $3,400.00 each month for a one bedroom and a living room with a
Ill stay with Sonia, Ill call her
a bit bitchy
but I think shell let me stay... Dan ignored Vincent.
couple of drinks and Im in like flint.
Bill banged on the door, Barney scratched. Stop that goddam scratching,
that goddam dog. Together Bill and Barney weighed 400 pounds.
They hammered any loose planks in the oak floor back into place with
each step they took. Barney barked at Vincent who immediately
grabbed the animals nose.
You were in my dream last night, Vincent said. Dog
jumped right out the window.
Thats terrible, Bill said covering up Barneys
Stop treating that animal like its human, said Dan.
Vincent took his pants off the back of the chair. Lets get
coffee, he said to Bill. Dan stood in the doorway scratching
his ass and watching. Bring me back a large, he said,
and a cruller. The door was closed.
When is he going to remember they dont have crullers there?
Bill said. Barney looked up waiting for the smack on his nose
from Vincent. Bill shook his head: Dont do it, he
said. The avenue smelled like dead fish in July. Ah yes the smell
of bad fish and shit
Vincent said. Can I stay with
you tonight? on the floor, anywhere.
You can stay. The Jap comin over?
its just not me
he wants me out
Whats happening on the Island? Vincent went after
Barney tapping his mouth from side-to-side.
Its drugs and its dog shit all over the house
not my house any longer.
When are you going to sell the damn thing, seriously sell it already.
Barney barked so loud his front legs went in the air with him.
More papers to sign. I cant believe my yard is destroyed
the plants look out of control growing like a bums beard.
It was a fine drink last night. Met a sweet woman I want to see some
more of her.
Vincent has no money. No job. No prospects only the deed to a house
on the Island. At 60-years old he had no reality of a new life
the old one was the only one he wanted. The wife, the 3-kids and
2-dogs the high powered job on Wall Street even the ride home on the
train to his now rotting house. I met a pretty woman, a
nice woman you know the kind you cant get out of your thoughts?
Smart and kind; special.
Your divorce wasnt enough?
Doesnt matter shes nice, nice like real people nice.
He threw his head up to the sky, I miss them but with the drugs
my kids are no longer my kids their adult addicts now.
The drug scales, marijuana smell in the house from his sons room,
the tiny, tiny bags with white powder and rocks and more tiny bags empty
waiting to be filled with cocaine and sold to young noses. Sniffing,
partners the children of hard workers and hard drinkers like Vincent.
He wanted to be out of the life he was living. His beauty was now in
his pain. From this walk he found compassion, always thinking that he
was the new version of homelessness. Im a kite with
a pain in my belly, he said to Bill.
Pet the dog youll forget where you are.
Dont want to forget, I just want my family back.
They are not kids any longer, theyre adults whove
Ive lost her too.
She made her choice
wives grow and change
She defended their drugs
Right, like I said, she also changed.
Vincents kids died in front of him. He flew out to the FDR Drive
by the water, the current of the East River took his brain and turned
over. He wanted to eat. He would eat anything now-peanut butter and
jelly, turkey and cheese but no money for his hunger, no heart for his
loss, no alcohol for his pain to drown. The river below wrapped his
name in white caps. The call was in from Dans son, there was another
death of the unnatural kind. His mother had jumped out the 11th floor
window in her bedroom. Where could he cry now? No place to sit and sob
and wash his wetness off his face. Filthy streams washed down and he
wished that the tiny dancer he met was next to him now. Close to him
sitting across from each other in the night when deep kisses were only
inches from their rattling tongues. Vincent ran his heart over her body.
She felt it from him but it was in between two sets of skins. The pulse
was like a long distance race in the snow. Vincents wine became
His kids plucked away from his heart one failure after another. His
heart rhythm getting slower and slower as each kid took a petal from
his flower. Tides disappeared from the way he lived in cycles with the
moon and women and a pay check every week.
Bill tied Barney to the traffic meter post on the avenue, The two big-daddys
walked in for their morning hits of coffee. When Dan leaves are
you going with him?
Im homeless again. Nowhere to go. I can stay with Marie
on the beach house.
No imagination, what can I say. He opened his coffee lid
and waited for the hit. Barney whined and barked. Dry. Shes
a good egg though, you know that. Im goin to call the tiny
dancer from last night. Small and sweet, sensual I can tell. Ooh baby,
sit on my lap and dance.
Dan opened the door watching them walk toward his place. Where
the hell did you two go and why so slow for a coffee and a cruller?
They dont have crullers, how many damn times we gotta say
it? Have a donut, a crème filled thing
Get that goddamn dog out of here he stinks like shit.
Vincent threw his head down. You sound like my mother, you know
that? She called him a son of a bitch bastard and that he
would never amount to anything, just like his father.
Get outta here, Dan yelled. Goddamn coffees
Its called Ice Coffee, its July. Im taking a
So the Japanese girl is coming tonight? Bill said. Better
change those sheets
Yeah, she dont like flannel, said Dan.
Silk, she likes silk, Vincent said turning on the shower.
Gimme the phone.
The City again?
Yeah, the York Tavern asked me about the illegal Mexicans in the
basement of the flower shop, they are cooking all night long with no
violations all over the place. They only got a hose
and hot plates. Theyre gonna have a fire down there.
So you get to be the boss again? said Dan.
Yeah, I do. Recapturing his power against the immigrants
the identity he now understood. An American but a fish-out-of water
in his own land. Wall Street and made-to-order navy blue suits and red
ties over fine white shirts. All those threads now hung in a closet
on Long Island. The big Irishman who now wore a cowboy hat and confederate
shirts was hit with the hammer on his Wall Street Analyst head when
he was layed-off. He held his joints together with imagination. His
balls so sweet his clean hard Charlie where thoughts of the tiny dancer
gave him a whimper of what he once could do without Viagara.
He went in to the shower. The pain in his belly came again and he waited
for the kite. It came and it was blue. He doubled over and crunched
his 220 pound 6 foot 2 frame into the tub. He held his gut. His eyes
wrinkled in the corners. He heard his mother over the water and the
kite was now his for flying, so he grabbed it until his face stopped
squinting in the windowless bathroom. The steam was a fog in the clouds
and the bathroom light was the sun on the beach where he had a summer
house with his young children and wife from years ago. He heard them
laughing. He saw his two boys. And he went to see them again.
Maxwell March 2008
With the Trees
We pushed off from the side of the lake with Jonathans strong
arms and his paddle extended onto the shore line. We paddled into the
center on our way, to cross over, to the other side. I sat straight
with the paddle in my hands grasp.
winter are alive in Montauk. You can hear them under your boots;
easy to confuse with small tree branches or bones
More Dreamscapes Stories
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