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I.

 

A waiting room, a well-thumbed People magazine; John Travolta’s on the cover. Three chairs down a fat greasy bastard complains to me about his life.

Lousy marriage. Lousy job. Got this bad knee. And that lousy stinkin’ Obamacare. That don’t even begin to cover it.

John Travolta looks crisp, and clean. Like starched white sheets on a nice firm bed.

Yessiree bob. It’s a doggie dog world.

Fat greasy bastard lets out a sigh.

 

II.

 

They stood in a dry field, in the yellow grass beneath a light pink sky. Their manes were carved, some were painted in gold. Their nostrils flared and some had roses in their teeth. They did not rise up and down to jingle-jangle music, but they were still majestic.

They made happiness once and the fire was still in their eyes.

 

III.

 

She took off her shirt and laid it over the chair. You look familiar, he said. I’ve seen you before somewhere.

She unbuttoned her jeans. They say everyone has a twin. Maybe that’s who you saw.

She pulled back the covers. No, he said. I’m sure it was you.

She patted the empty space beside her. You only got half an hour, she said.

She was in all the papers a few years back. The Girl in the Church. Taken out of her home one warm spring night, by a large and feeble-minded young man.

She moaned and groaned. She went through the motions.

She picked up her shirt from the back of the chair. Zipped up her jeans. He lit a cigarette and watched her get dressed. I know where I’ve seen you, he said.

She put on her sunglasses. Picked up her keys.

She opened the door. No that wasn’t me.

 

IV.

 

There used to be a guy who sat in front of the grocery store, old blind guy, always wore shades. I say he was old, then again, I was just a kid. But he was always there, this guy, with a guitar that was short a couple of strings and he asked people going in or coming out of the grocery store for money.

He sat on a stool, and he had an old steel bucket. Besides being short a few guitar strings, he was also missing a leg.

One day I’m outside the grocery store, waiting for my mom to finish her shopping. The blind guy’s there and he stands. Pulls his pant leg up. He takes off his shades. Looks around.

He isn’t blind. He’s got a real leg. Two real legs, and a roll of bills that I swear to God could’ve choked a horse. He sat in front of that store every day; poor ol’ blind man, won’t you help a brother out. People tossed him their change or a buck or two.

Watching it all from behind his shades, there would’ve been moments he pitied them.

 

V.

 

A waiting room. A well-thumbed People magazine. Pictures of John Travolta inside, crisp and clean as a new choir robe.

Lousy marriage. Lousy life. And now my lumbago’s actin’ up.

Fat greasy bastard blinks and he sighs.

It’s a doggie dog world. Yesiree.

On the wall there’s a TV, tuned to Fox News. They’re running the clip from 2015, where Obama breaks into “Amazing Grace.” The Fox anchors look at each other and giggle.

Dog eat dog. The point is mute.

Fat greasy bastard doesn’t ask why.