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Archive for the ‘Bodily Fluids’ Category

Richard Cox

Add Intensity, Subtract Limpness

November 6th, 2009
by Richard Cox


The other day I was walking down Market Street, enjoying a rare day of calm winds and clear, sunny skies, when a stranger approached me. His hair was brown and coarse, like horsehair, which he clearly hadn’t washed in weeks. Maybe months. He was short and swarthy and wore a thick, bushy moustache and a black trench coat that was too big for him. I tried to walk around him, delete him from my life, but he swerved to intercept me. This is what always happens. You can’t get away from these guys.


Matt Baldwin

Six Chambers

November 4th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin


On a late spring day in 2001 my sister’s drug-dealing ex-boyfriend crashed the pool party she was throwing at our house in the suburbs and shot two people on our front porch. He used a small, snub-nosed revolver from a distance of less than ten feet, firing off all six rounds. Five of them hit their mark.


Megan DiLullo

The Piss Museum

October 31st, 2009
by Megan DiLullo


It was located in the basement of an old craftsman that had virtually no ventilation, directly across from the elementary school on Pine Street. When you walked down the stairs and into the dank space the air was hazy with dust particles that shone in the sunbeams that had bullied their way in through the highly set windows. The fractured yet cheery sunlight being the only reminder of outdoor life to the subdued musty feeling that hung in the underground quarters.

The house itself was a rundown rental: The small front yard was an odd mixture of overgrown weeds and patches of dry bare earth. Plaid couches, rescued from various dumpsters around town, littered the crooked porch of the sinking haven. Discarded empty bottles of whatever cheap alcohol someone managed to shoulder tap and smashed beer cans lay strewn about the base of the discolored sofas like barnacles. Really, the exterior appeared much like the interior, sans the heavily used and abused musical equipment and beer matted shag carpeting. The windows sat askew in their rotting wood frames like the crooked smile of a child who had just lost its first tooth. The filthy glass was covered in punk rock ooze, creating a darkened hue, that you couldn’t see in, or out of. (more…)

Ducky Wilson

Possession Is No Laughing Matter

October 28th, 2009
by Ducky Wilson


A bead of sweat pools on the tip of my nose. I want to wipe it, but I can’t move. Light pinwheels around my eyes like a kaleidoscope at a carnival. I hear my breath quickening, but I don’t know why. Other sounds morph into a distant drone punctuated by organ interludes.

Am I in church?


Through pinholes in my delirium, I can see Father Tassio talking behind the pulpit, his hands working the sermon like a potter would clay on a wheel. Behind him, I can see the cross where Jesus bleeds, the holes in his hands pulsing dark tunnels to another dimension. I look away so I’m not sucked into them.


Matt Baldwin


October 6th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin


I’ve been thinking about blood a lot lately.

Blood I’ve spilt, and blood I’ve seen spilt. The red fluid gushing out of a beheaded rattlesnake’s body, sizzling as it splattered onto the hot Mexican soil. The crimson seeping out of the crushed chest of a fourteen year-old boy, opened up like a book as the doctors tried to massage his heart back into life. We cut the snake into strips and fried the meat over an open fire. And as for the boy, there was simply too much of him smeared across the front grill of a wrecked car, and his poor heart had nothing left to pump. (more…)

Ducky Wilson

The Pizza Hut Massacre

October 5th, 2009
by Ducky Wilson


“Someone lost his mind in there,” I tell my dog Tonya as we walk up the sidewalk to the abandoned Pizza Hut. I want to see inside.

Tonya yips at me as we approach the building then cocks her head low the way she does when she’s nervous about something.

“It’s ok,” I tell her, but I can feel it, too. The air turns heavy as we walk past a shrine for the people who died that September night. I realize that today is September and a chill skitters over me. Tonya gets one, too, for when I look down at her, the hair on the scruff of her neck bristles like a mane.


John L. Singleton

Chicken Wing Floozie

October 5th, 2009
by John L. Singleton


I left home when I was in high school without a diploma and shacked up with a floozie. I call her a floozie not just because my mother called her that, but because she was a floozie. She was a floozie to end all floozies. If being a floozie was anything like being in the Army she’d have been a general. And instead of painting skulls on her helmet to represent vanquished opponents, she’d have painted dicks, to represent vanquished dicks. And to accommodate all the dicks she’d need something like a million helmets and a whole convoy just to transport them.


Litsa Dremousis

The Shameless; an Inflatable Fake Phallus; Bouncer Thugs: a Look Back at Hot for Teacher Night (Yes, That One)

October 2nd, 2009
by Litsa Dremousis


The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, I covered Hot for Teacher Night at a craptastic sports bar in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square district for sexual anthropologist, Susie Bright (Esquire, Rolling Stone, Salon), of whom I’ve long been an admirer.

Said night featured the infamous Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau and its announcement received nationwide attention. Bright and I are Facebook friends and she asked if any of her Seattle compadres would be willing to attend and report for her blog; I tossed my hat in the ring and was one of two she chose.


Peter Gajdics

Running After the Hands

September 28th, 2009
by Peter Gajdics


Flipping through a recent issue of the local gay newspaper, I noticed two advertisements on facing pages. On the left was an ad for the local gay bathhouse with a picture of three young, hairless (at least clipped), muscled, and implicitly virile men tangled like weeds in each other’s sweaty but greedy arms; on the opposite page was a picture of another (young) man—blue-eyed, with three-day stubble, in a flaming red shirt—advertising the latest AIDS medication. The message, whether the marketers were aware of it or not, was powerful: have fun, and if (when) you get sick, buy our medication. Sex sells, even with illness looming offstage. (more…)

Adam Cushman

A Thousand Words: Grandmotherland

September 15th, 2009
by Adam Cushman


Vaselina operates five port-a-potties next to Kazanskaya Cathedral off Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg. In Russian, she’s a Babushka, which means grandmother. Whether Vaselina really has grandchildren makes no difference. She’s one of an army of old post-Soviet women who pour down streets and sidewalks with pocketbooks clutched in one hand, plastic bags of raw meat in the other, linebackers who will, without question, run you the fuck down if you step in their path, especially if you’re inostranetz (foreigner).


Bryan Richards

A Thousand Words: One Fat Baby

August 31st, 2009
by Bryan Richards


I was a fat baby.

My mom loves to remind me of this fact. I was so large that strangers used to ask why this toddler of hers was having such a hard time sitting up on his own. It pained my mother to have to tell them that this toddler was actually a six-month-old baby, barely old enough to digest solid food.

Apparently, not only was I something closely resembling a small hippo as a baby, I was also riddled with terrible skin; acne so bad that she had to keep a hanky on hand to collect the ooze and scabs that would erupt throughout the day. She frequently recalls the many times that she would carry me home after a day of shopping or a long walk, crying in shame and anger at the fact that so many folks felt compelled to remind her of my minor deformities.


Dawn Corrigan

My Day

August 24th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan


When I got home from the hospital, where I spent approx. five hours wrestling with my grandmother so that she would not either:

1) Rip out her catheter; or

2) Climb out of bed and break her other hip

I found this notice waiting for me on the front door:


Megan DiLullo

A Thousand Words: The Toilet Incident

August 18th, 2009
by Megan DiLullo


I had the flu. Well, maybe it wasn’t the flu. It could have been stress. There are times, when I am excessively stressed out, that my stomach hurts and I get nauseous. I feel as avocado-green as a 1970’s kitchen appliance.

At first I thought that I had eaten something questionable, but after two days I had given up on that notion. It had been going on for a week. I didn’t feel bad enough to stay in bed but I didn’t feel good enough to actually do anything, let alone do it effectively. So I whined on the inside, annoying only myself with my self-pitying inner monologue, while externally powering on with my daily life at a maddeningly slow and completely ineffective pace. (more…)

Matt Baldwin

What You Do When A Stranger Tries To Knife You In The Face

August 17th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin


You have just left work for the night, backpack slung over your shoulder as you make your way back to the car. It is 4:30 a.m. and still dark, the early spring air already laced with the coming summer’s humidity, and as you walk a fresh patina of sweat fills the void between your T-shirt and your back. Though the nightclub you work at is closer to the Canal St. side of the French Quarter, you habitually park on the far side off of Esplanade Ave., congratulating yourself on once again outfoxing not only the overpriced parking lots but the draconian New Orleans meter maids.

Four nights a week you make the half-mile or so trek each way down Decatur St. You find the stroll allows your mind time to unwind from the stress of work, and if it needs assistance, well, there are plenty of good bars along the way. The boisterous tourist crowds have largely vanished by this hour, and the few individuals you encounter are service industry employees like yourself, off the clock and looking for a little fun. You’ve got an early afternoon meeting with one of your professors, though, and a few blocks past Jackson Square you turn onto a darker cross-street, hoping for a short cut.

As you come round the corner a knife dances out of the dark, headed for your face.


Simon Smithson

Sex Talk

August 15th, 2009
by Simon Smithson




So. Of late, certain Scullys of my acquaintance have been pointing out that perhaps ‘Simon Smithson Territory’, or ‘Simon Smithson Syndrome’, as it has become known here on The Nervous Breakdown, is not quite the synchronicity-laden Bermuda Triangle I’ve been selling it as. They point to probabilities, they objurgate me with odds, they calculate chance and causal effect. They say ‘Hey, it’s just coincidence that you dreamed of your dead grandmother and she was mentioned the next day in conversation. It’s just coincidence that you dreamed of your friend Richard getting it on with a model, and he then called you the next day to say he was at an audition directly next to a model casting shoot.’

Be that as it may, should my younger self join the Brazilian soccer team, make a game-winning goal in the final seconds of the match, and go on to celebrate with the rest of the team by stealing a train, we’ll know for sure that my recent dreams can accurately predict the future. (more…)

Dawn Corrigan

A Thousand Words: Rubbing Off the Wrinkles

August 10th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan


Since March 2007 my grandparents have lived in an assisted living facility here in Gulf Breeze. My husband and I moved down a year later, in part so I could spend time with them.

My grandmother has fairly severe dementia. On the Global Deterioration Scale, I’d place her at a Level 5/6.

Lately she’s been seeing my parents on the TV. From the way she describes it, it’s as though she’s tuning in on them while a conversation is already in progress. She always expresses astonishment when she tells me about these occurrences. “I didn’t know they could do that!” she exclaims.

“I didn’t either, Nan,” I’ll say.

But the odd thing, of course, is that I do know they can do that; it’s only my grandmother who doesn’t know. It’s like her imagination has independently invented the web cam.


Don Mitchell

My Rolex

August 1st, 2009
by Don Mitchell


I put on my forty-year old stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual when I need to impress someone. I take it out of the drawer and shake it a few times to get it running, snap the metal clasp in place, trying not to catch any arm hairs in it, and I’m cool. Guys nudge each other – check out the old dude with the Rolex. Wonder what he deals.

Shya Scanlon

Five Thoughts Upon the Eve of my 34th Birthday

July 27th, 2009
by Shya Scanlon


On Water

I’ve become pretty water-savvy over the past few years. Who hasn’t? Spring water, sparkling water, water from the quickly disappearing glaciers of Alaska – we’ve all been drinking more bottled water. I know some people who have stopped drinking tap water altogether. They say they don’t like the taste, but I think it’s actually a matter of trust. I drink it, but I probably shouldn’t. When I order tap water in restaurants, it’s slightly embarrassing. Can’t I afford the bottled water? Am I making some kind of statement? (Sometimes when the refrigerator in my kitchen kicks in, the lights in my apartment dim a little, and I feel my eyelids dip to match the encroaching darkness as though they’re struggling to blur the line between what they guard and what they guard against.)


Peter Gajdics

The Runaways

July 23rd, 2009
by Peter Gajdics


My eldest sister, Sara, was sixteen years old the night she ran away from home. My two older brothers and other older sister and I were in the den, sitting on the multi-colored shag carpet, watching “The Brady Bunch,” when Sara walked past us, clutching a bundle of laundry. No one paid her much attention; but as she walked through the room I looked up and she looked down and in that moment, that fractured, timeless glance, I saw her eyes, a searing, searching look inside her eyes. I have to go before I die; I can’t look back or else I’ll cry. Then she was gone, around the corner and down the stairs and, as I learned later that night, out of the house and our lives like an unwelcomed guest taking flight. (more…)

Stefan Kiesbye

A Thousand Words: Happy New Year

July 22nd, 2009
by Stefan Kiesbye


“The best models are those you’ve slept with,” was a line from one of her teachers that Ulli liked to repeat. ‘Happy New Year’ is what she called the picture, and you could buy it as a postcard in souvenir shops and book stores around West Berlin. This was 1988, when the city was still surrounded by Communism. The Wall was still intact. So were my dreams of becoming an actor. I was 22.