Monday, October 31, 2011


Lite-r by Lyle

Lite’r up, he said staggering slightly. Nothing unusual yet. Click click of the translucent red lighter.  The hangover is the worst, he said. Thought whirring in the air; the hiss of lighter. This was unusual. Something was going on here and I didn’t like it already.  The car lit up in the night. The Lite locks shimmering for just a moment. I know I’m going to feel it tomorrow, he said. Too far in the future, I thought. The fire engulfed the vehicle and we stepped back, him hitting a rock with his heel and tipping over backward. Lone Star on his pearl buttons. Shook himself off and stood. Self-immolation, I said and he nodded. He said, Self-immolation. I could feel the hangover already starting. The fire burned on late into the night.


Taps by Forrest

On Don’s last birthday, we gift him our grandma Plymouth with the beer tap handles from the Kosmos Klub, now sitting boarded-up by Sanderson Park. Of course the jerk doesn’t know what to say, so we help by taking him for a ride, locking his passenger door with a swift punch down on Old Milwaukee while I shut mine with PBR. See here, we say as we run what was our usual gauntlet through the neighborhood, every time you cruise in this, you’ll think you’re still in the bar—you’ll wake up in the front and on either side are your old friends. There’s a smile on Don’s lips trying to come out. We take him to the Dubliner, but nothing doing. It’s like he’s ready to cry or something. Then he keeps driving his beermobile out to Sanderson Park and we won’t find him until late next morning by the curb, all awake. He’d ask us why we didn’t drive him home. Then the cops cite him for loitering at Sanderson. Then the cops arrest him for propositioning an undercover on the other side town. Then we let him chill in holding while figuring how to get the beermobile out of the impound. We spring him out on bail instead, and walking back with us the jerk, the asshole ingrate, says he’ll hitch back to his place—and sure enough he flags down a blonde, the kind who’ll push the passenger door open for you just because you look like some kind of a better rider than driver.


Lite Cosmic Relevance by Bill

One of us claimed his favorite was Crunch bar, so we decided that wasn't a real candy bar by ruling that Candy bars need 3 components, and this has forever created an unbridgeable cultural divide between Mounds and Almond Joy, very similar to Ladyhawke. The movie fell apart shortly after that when we all realized the director’s girlfriend was right and the lead actress would never sleep with the character the director was playing and without that love scene the movie had no heart, and neither did the girlfriend apparently because she broke up with him right after that so he threw a full case of beer through her parent’s sunporch and crushed their cat. Ladyhawke falls apart because any movie that relies on an eclipse for its resolution is simply too buried up its own ass (Pitch Black being the notable exception as the eclipse is the inciting incident). A few of us stayed in touch and my brother ended up dating the director’s ex when they both moved into my place in the city to get established in better paying jobs. Their relationship built into a geosynclinous rise but ultimately subducted when he refused to quit his game because he wasn’t at a place where he could save after she got sick eating 7 lobster rolls in one sitting.


You Would by Alan

Like a jigsaw puzzle piece fits accordingly in a given space (in a corner, because of such variables as hue and shape, etc.), some things were meant to go together.  A Chevy and dreaming.  Beer and beginnings.  Sunlight and reflection.  You and me.

When I first started writing about this, I knew that you would disagree.  You would hang your metaphoric tapestry and turn off the phone in a contrived attempt to create some distance.  You would begin one of those elaborate designs that keep you up at night.  And later, in your struggle to keep your eyes open, you would don that cap that would help you find that singular definitive move.  The one that would set you apart from the rest, all, me.

Tomorrow, the neighbors would start talking.  And then the neighbors’ neighbors.  And then you would start talking.  Finally.  After hours of silence.   You would start talking because you finally got it right.  And I would begin to hate you for it.  You bastard.


Done Chrysalis by Johanna

She should have known to slow down when the tires slipped going under the overpass. She might have pulled over for the night, but she had an irrational need to get to the Corn Palace before putting the road to bed. The soft rain had just begun, winter dark just fallen. She must have been doing seventy when the tires slipped again. The Jeep spun a one-eighty and rolled onto the roof of the passenger side where her buddy Jim was shielding his head. The roll continued onto her side, tossing them around in a state of blank suspension. Glass shattered in her hair. Somehow, it  landed on all fours, on the other side of the gully, perpendicular to on-coming traffic.

To her right, headlights stared her down. She could not open her door. Her left hand was fucked up. She felt for her left pinky, bent back from the top knuckle and grabbing it, snapped it back into place with painless adrenaline. Jim managed to get his door open and she crawled out his side. He was cradling his right arm to hold in the bone jutting out of his elbow.

The first responders found them there in the ditch, in the rain, broken and huddled close. She kept asking them to check her hair for glass as they covered them with blankets. When the paramedics finally arrived, they wrapped her neck in foam and strapped her into the gurney. Sirens preceded their arrival. She was half-way to the hospital in an ambulance swerving and sliding along the icy back roads when she was struck with a moment of clarity. Shit, she thought to herself, I'm really fucking high.