Tales from a Cocktail Napkin

The drawers in my desk, the books on the shelf, the pockets of coats that I haven’t worn in years- they are all filled with scraps of paper and crumpled napkins stained with beer and lipstick. They are thoughts from bar tops and moments from elevators. They are things to pass as poetry.

Sometimes I use them. For the most part I ignore them. I never throw them away. They are a time capsule, a tattoo, a stepping stone. Someday they might be a story. Someday they may turn to dust.

I thought I would share some with you, not because you asked, because you didn’t. I thought I would share them because I owe it to myself to put them out there, despite their impurities and long forgotten meanings. Sometimes it takes time to be heard.


He found himself barefoot, walking the sand covered purgatory that is the blurred stretch where Santa Monica and Venice Beach meet and middle class tourism collides with alien life forms.

Teenage girls in bikinis found themselves beached, drinking schnapps by the mouthful and calling them shots. They spread like sun-dried, leather leaves in the afternoon heat, letting the scents of sin and promise climb through their uncrossed legs and lure stoned surfer boys from the sea. The tide raked them into piles, primed for the burning of life.

He kept walking. Slowly.

Oh God she said when the door opened and they both glanced towards the now empty bottle in her hand. His eyes were as dark as the river at night, gray and still, hiding the depth and strength of the current that lay beneath. Calm and powerful.

Religion is for Sundays and the weak he said. Outside thunder echoed across the sky. Game will be rained out. He walked to the icebox, despite her offers to do it for him, and opened himself a beer. He never looked at her.

For a moment she saw him. She saw the boy that she fell in love with before he disappeared and became this living breathing figment of her imagination. She looked right at him, and then he walked away. There would be other games on the television.

If you want to read actual stories that were actually published and may or may not have made me money and may or may not have won awards then look over in the “Press & Writings” heading in the sidebar. The top three links are to stories that may or may not offend some people. Other stuff is in other places. I know, that’s deep. I can feels it.

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