Meanwhile, 500 gallons of nitric acid are flooding the registry. My coworkers and my boss are all in agreement that I shouldn’t take Musette home. Sleep on the couch, they say. They’re even excited about me bringing my dog. So I had to lie and tell them that I took them to my father in law’s, who also lives downtown.

Truth is we’re too lazy not to sleep in our own bed.

Tomorrow I’ll be down to one puff per moment, and then I’ll start dripping moments as the days progress, until I’m out.

I’m all about saving time in the end. You’ve got to kill to live.

Airborne Toxic Event. Three pumps of Flonase to prime the tank. There should have been six. All the same, I snored the whole night through. It’s not like I was aware, but after a certain point, Musette got up and went to the couch. She was in a bad mood when she woke me up. I asked her if I’d done anything wrong.

No, she said. I had a rough night’s sleep and I have to work with Ulric (the manager who stabbed her in the back.)

Doing everything I can to eradicate sorry from my vocabulary, though I did just apologize to Jamie-Beth because she got upset with me for leaving the counter unmanned. The tension of these moments breaks me.

Call me what is right and natural.

You’re the way that things should be.

Self-portraits of poetry, they hurt me in how pertinent they are.

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Bug bombs ignite from six different locations in the store. They are sitting on stools covered by brown crate paper. We’ve got plastic trash bags covering the coffee pot and water spout. The bomb that I ignited was in the bathroom. We’ve seen a lot of roaches in there. They’ve got points of entry, and the smell of poop is a lure.

The accountant was the one who dropped the bombs off. She had sent me a text, asking if I could go and get them during my lunch. I waited until I left to respond, because I never know what my lunch is going to look like, even though it’s the same every day: pick Musette up, get something to eat, and take Musette home; but the accountant wrote me back and told me that she got them.

She had called a couple of times, but I didn’t answer because I was on my lunch, and when I’m on my lunch, I don’t have to do anything work related. It’s just another one of those accountant things, always trying to micromanage, always trying to get us to do more than we need to. She’s got issues, you ask me. I mean, I know that she just had a death in the family, and I know that she had to attend two funerals in the same amount of days, but let’s be real, I can smell the alcohol on her breath, and I publicly disputed her case against me not delivering messages by bringing up the fact that she had in fact been informed of one on the eve of the pig poet and the worrier event.

I’m not going down without a fight. Every moment is a battle. What the accountant doesn’t understand is that she’s part of my narrative so long as I keep writing. It’s how I stay in control. It’s also why you can read Lolita and root for Humbert. I’ll slay her because I move with the spirit. It’s another aspect of divine grace. Giving into God and letting Jesus take the wheel. The accountant doesn’t write anymore, and as such, she’s already lost. I’ve got a grip on the situation through my filtration system. I’m pumping blood through my windowed veins. That’s how I know that I’m taking on the form of the old manager. Which is why Estelle lets me know every time she’s going to take a break. I mean, let’s not get too full of ourselves and our zen like abilities. I’ve got the beard, the glasses, and my position in the store. He left, and I came in. It’s The Santa Clause. It doesn’t take a genius to see.

The pool at my mother in law’s has opened, and I don’t have any trunks. Musette’s dad lets her know that he’s got a couple for me.

Are you sure they’re going to fit, I ask.

They’re large.

Musette is wearing my old swimsuit, even though she doesn’t even but just barely fit into it herself, and I’ve got a big pimple sticking out from the middle of my belly. It’s like Musette’s protruding navel. Everybody’s going to laugh at me, I say. I don’t want to go. I’ve only had one cup of coffee. I’ll bottle one for the road, but then I’ll want another, and I’ll want to keep drinking them until I fall asleep.

The dog is in the backseat. His face looks small on his little head because Musette shaved it, but she didn’t shave his body.

The clippers are like night and day, she says.

An intense pain launches in her stomach. She has me press on it, and I am able to feel the baby moving around. The pain goes away when she rolls over.

It feels like I went on a long hike, she says.

The shorts are Adidas. They’ve got the signature stripes. They are eight inches, her dad says. They have a liner, so you don’t have to wear underwear, which is good because Musette didn’t pack any for me.

It’s not her responsibility. I hear you say, and I totally agree, but you have to understand how tired I am all the time. I feel like I’m surfing on death’s door. It’s all the ditch digging, and don’t try to tell me otherwise. This is the true price of currentivism. And the rewards, the so-called spoils, nothing I’m ever gonna see. You see, that’s the great sacrifice, that I’ve got to be gone for any of it to come to fruition. I’m praying for it to benefit my estate. Maybe it will help my daughter. The goal has never been to hurt her, neither Musette. I’m doing what’s natural, and it’s not my fault that the world isn’t prepared to handle it.

@

A cinnamon chip muffin sits on the couch. I thought they were chocolate, says Musette. I don’t care. It’s good to have variety. I need quick and easy things, anything that doesn’t make me gag. I’m a grains and nuts kind of guy, to be honest with you. Keep fruits and vegetables away.

There’s only so much that I can do, and I’ve got to start somewhere. Everybody tells me that nuts are better than meat but that if you eat too much of them, you’ll get a headache. I’ve got a lot of work to do, and I can’t be suffering with those kinds of trivialities. I don’t have an assistant, but I have something of a publisher. I’m not so much on my own anymore. Let’s not forget that I’ve got a therapist. I’ve got a friend in her. But I don’t feel right pushing more responsibility her way. She’s got a lot on her plate already. She’s got some new Irish writer on her mind. Recently divorced. Hunk of hot stuff. I still haven’t figured out how to loosen up the audience. How to turn single cells viral. Spread the infection.

I’m not supposed to eat anything this close to going swimming, but all I’ve had is the cinnamon chip muffin – the last of them, and all of my cereal is gone. I go through it faster than Speed Racer on the salt flats. My wife eats it too, but I fill my bowls to the brink, and I always eat two.

.,.,.

There are a few families at the pool when we go and check on it. My mother in law is at the grocery store picking up a prescription. There’s a hot little jewess leaning up against the side, talking to another mother. I can see her butt through her tight, purple bikini bottoms. Two donuts, one of them painted like a donut. A boogie board with dolphins on it. It’s a cruel trick having to take my glasses off, but I put them back on once my wife’s twin surprisingly shows up by looking at my father in law and saying, if you can wear sunglasses, then why can’t I wear my glasses?

There are little droplets on the lenses. The pimple is extending off my belly like a boner. Gut. Pizza. Three boxes. One Mug. 3 liter. My wife’s twin likes the name Arizona. Musette likes the name Oakley. There are jalapenos on my slice. They got me a whole pizza, but it was gone by the end of the night. Violence a vegetarian. My father in law is almost full veg, but if someone offers him a meat sandwich, he’s not going to refuse.

Would anybody eat humans, I ask.

The Scent of a Sweetened Sharing Zone

Rococo by Arcade Fire is playing. My dog is getting a trim. His penis hair is getting shorter which will make him pee on his feet. He will scoot his butthole against our hardwood floor, bringing his back feet close enough to his mouth to lick. Beethoven’s piano sonata no 23 has started. My wife’s twin has a large, flat mole on her left thigh. I’m trying to get a picture, but I’m having trouble getting good angles and opportunities. To tell the truth I’m not a big fan. I wish that it was smaller. It looks like a mess the way it is, and she doesn’t even take her top off. It’s another point of progress in my imaginary pursuit. She’s luring me further along beneath the prayer that her dad and younger sister are in fact the comedic relief that I think they are, and that he is younger than me, she and him being the hilderstern and gildrestein of our group. Her mom being the one that I’ve really got to keep an eye on.

Thirty one weeks on the chalkboard, but I am thirty years. We’re all making fun of Cozette’s baby names. She likes names like Golden and Omerozone. Bardot. Violence is doing her hair light blue. She couldn’t come to the pool, and even if she did, she seems like the type to wear a one piece with shorts on top.

The mom, my mother in law, is taking pictures. They are talking about me and the disjointed stare that I’m gawking around the room. Yeah, I know I’m the main attraction. I like to put on a show. I’ve got this need to impress. I’m playing the piano upside down. The dumb look on my face is accompanied by the smell of toast. People are pressing my wife’s belly button and strumming it like a banjo. I’ve got to roll with this and not get self-conscious because the most insignificant of things have a way of becoming great. A voice in my head has me looking at the moment through the corners of a unified mind space, and I’m making it personal between us, crafting inside jokes out of the oh so common clouds that people still can’t seem to be able to get enough of. I’m here, fingers wrapped around the reins, encircling the mist and turning it into the backbones of the conflicts that we are trying to resolve. Enemies, allies, the reasons that we move across this heartfelt heartland. Feet and fingers rifling through play boxes, the moment scraping long and fast. My concerts are in sync, the baby is dancing, currentivism is set in line to be the next best thing. Hot and sweaty. Hot and ready. Her mom asking if she can be my mom. You’ve got to tell her that you love her, says Musette.

I’m staring up dumbly, the fan creaking somewhere else inside of me, and there are those that say that we shouldn’t be talking about poetry in our poetry, but I don’t care what they say, because I’m on my own quest, and i’m dancing to the beat of my own drum. There is a bit of a king in my neck. I’ve got to keep going, and her dad is eating his wife’s banana. Someone is having a leash on the littlest nad. Someone has their banana in a bunch, safely, smelly, and quite right nice. Mom is asking what it’s called, and my sister is telling us that she doesn’t want to tell her because she doesn’t want us to be influenced by the brand. She is smiling like a basket of oranges. She’s shaving her mom’s smell it, and she’s asking if it is one of the best smells that she’s ever smelled, and her mom is saying that it is one of the best smells that she has ever smelled, and Musette is saying that she would like it as a perfume. I would like to have this be the greatest gift of my honeymoon. Super french. Violent and floral. Stella. And, I’d like to put this in the diffuser, she says.

The twin wants to know how Violence gets her money. The bells of the piano are ringing. I’m sitting in the middle of Salt Lake’s data center feeling my private rising publicly. Please change the name on the invoice, I say, so that mine is on the marquee.

Case files upon case files are merging through the cabinet, becoming the case itself.

Your wife’s not feeling well, says the preceptor. Morning sickness.

Every week, it’s always like this, I say. The same shit, over and over, forever. It renews itself with every sunrise. And then there’s me. I’m continuously undercover, boy. There is an unrelenting burden on my shoulders. I’m not upfront about it, but this is play acting. It sucks submitting to the powers that be, but that’s what I’ve got to do to avoid getting thrown over. I’ll stop complaining, bro… It’s my short day. We’re going to the hospital, I tell Jamie-Beth, at 2. There will be an ultrasound. The baby’s still in the 22nd percentile. They’ve got to check its progress.

We have to be in this for the long haul, I tell Atticus, walking through the sliding doors, my arm around his neck. And I’ve got control of the music. They all love it when I bring it around, and as such, they love us. I’m the lucky one making you luckier, I say, pointing a finger into his face, and the music is always playing in my head. I don’t have to wait for myself like you do. I can dance behind the drawn shades of my day.

I pat him on the back and stare. Musette is on the couch, asleep. It’s nine-thirty. The baby is progressing right along schedule, her foot still in front of her face.

I don’t got no friends, I say. Don’t want no friends

What I want is to feel the wind beneath the wings of my heart again as I’m approaching the dark corner of suburbia’s high school bridge that wraps around the old mental hospital and the church park barbecue pits. The fog of uber futures is where I should feel at home, but I am a boy buried in tree roots who has passed the end of his twenties. I’m sucking on a tailspin, but you never know what’s going to happen around these moments, not when you’re dealing with a primadonna and a sick fashion sense.

Come on, bibles. She’s throwing up over the side of the bed, says the preceptor.

I’ll get the radish.