I dream of the baby. Crying in the subway. Room to the side of the station with blue carpet. Legs up by her face. Unfurling her, and holding off her tears, as I pull her to my chest. She is wearing a little outfit with a yellow hat that my father in law gave to us. The hat cost fifty cents.

Yesterday, Musette trimmed my beard, shaping my face. I fought her because she was sitting in front of the tv. That night I had been lying on top of her stomach because she had been looking for a way to keep me from lying on my back. When I lie on my back I snore. If I keep snoring it is going to keep the baby up. None of us will get any sleep, and if the baby doesn’t get any sleep, it will die.

With everything going as well as it has been, it’s hard to imagine anything going wrong, but Musette did switch over to a midwife, or better shall I say “the midwives” because there are a whole bunch of them, like twelve, that a person might end up seeing. I guess that they kind of circulate around the hospitals. And then of course I’m going to rebut by saying to myself, why are you guessing? Aren’t you supposed to know this kind of thing? Isn’t that why we come to you, our writer, to get the answers to these pressing life questions? There aren’t a ton of people on twitter who have had babies. But just remember that your body was made for this, says pretty much every doctor that we’ve gone to see so far. But damn dude, that obgyn was beautiful, and she was all set to do a swab of Musette’s pussy and anus before we switched over to the midwives. It would have been the first time that a doctor had seen my wife’s hemorrhoids. I’m finding it hard not to think that that’s going to throw everything off. There’s no way to give birth in her condition. Her asshole is already halfway out of her body. Midwives aren’t able to perform surgery, so if she needs a c-section, there’s a high chance that the hot doctor will be called in. I imagine her cutting Musette down the middle, ripping the pest out, and being like “we are the ones who deliver, and don’t ever challenge us again.”


When the answers come, will we have really wanted them?

Everybody hates me today, and it feels good.

I may have been marked from birth, but there is no way for me to remember.

Well, I mean, it’s the life, having an infinite stream of content to pull from. Shutting up for one second and capturing the next thought that comes into my head, and when it’s quiet, I am able to lean my head back and relax, falling into an empty space, the destination of meditation.

Six weeks until we’re due. I say that’s less than ten, and she says, yes of course it is. I couldn’t even remember that it was June when in the car she told me that Father’s Day was next week, and I still haven’t gotten her a locket, and we haven’t gotten my mother anything either, so I don’t know what the plan is as far as a combined holiday is concerned, but it might turn into another one of those giftless visits where we don’t even mention the fact that we didn’t bring one.

Youtube keeps popping up, telling me that it’s not responding, getting in the way of sentences that I’m working on, forcing me to close it.

Thank you Taylor Swift look-alike for helping me get through my morning ritual. I’m not talking about Kanye’s wax figure, though that has helped me accomplish the task in the past. I’m talking about a girl who probably isn’t Taylor, standing with her panties around her thighs, checking to see if she has any bush remaining.

Don’t get caught. Don’t die.

My idols are dead, and my enemies are in power.

It’s frequently a question of how fast I can take a shower. The faster we go, the better we get at being fast, but there is also an aspect of slow and steady, accuracy, precision shots with a calculated degree of not rushing the grace of God, that gets the job done. The front counter being cleaned. The other Musette coming in tomorrow to go over new book ordering with me. My position is not in danger, the accountant tells me, but how can any of us trust sixty days or however long it is that they’ve agreed to give me? She wants to know if I want to come in and check in on the place during my time away, and I’m not sure, maybe give me a couple weeks of absolute solitude, or the best that I can hope for with my expanding family, and then we’ll see if it’s something that I’m up for. My wife is telling me that I’m looking bulkier, like a football player, and I would have to agree. It’s because, as much as I want to downplay it, and as small as it may be in terms of potential, I’m pregnant too. Every word that I write is going into the book. Manwell knows what I’m talking about, and that’s part of what makes him so great. I didn’t straight tell him that I was sorry about not being able to go to the Bay area, but I’m sure that he understands. He called me out for my so-called “sub-tweeting”, but not in a way someone such as Chuck Broncos would have done, getting me gut sick. Manwell does it in a friendlier fashion, negating the pain, which deserves to be subtle, with his gigantic sense of humor.

I’ve begun unfollowing all of them anyways. I don’t need it, don’t want it in my life right now, and I’m not getting any real joy out of it anyways, especially from that Carl Joseph Cankles. Always talking about clouds and stuff, a mustache on his fingers and his face. Leaves on the sidewalk. Sun in the sky. Apples like you have never seen before! Melony giving him all the hearts in the world so that even though I’m no longer following him, I have to keep seeing him. How’s that for torture? You know what I mean? Ramming it down your throat. The future of advertising. I mean, I’ve got people more than happy to have me come to their turf. I’m throwing them a welcome mat, telling them that I’m here in theirs if they want to come here in mine.

We all love galaxim. I’ve got no qualms about saying it, and I’m not telling anybody to shut up and die. I’m not calling anybody a faggot or whatever. I’m just saying that I’d rather not look at you. You are reminding me of my student body presidency, which I tried to be a part of but was voted off stage for in my dinosaur costume, surpassed by a girl who broke the rules by passing out candy. So forgive me for being bitter, but this is my career we’re talking about. Just because I don’t show my face doesn’t mean that I’m not writing.

My computer wasn’t working when I went into work today. There was a homeless man sleeping in the alley. A person without a shirt stuck his head in and asked if we bought books. I didn’t respond. I’m not going to yell back across the whole store just because he’s not wearing a shirt. You’ve got to be kidding me.

There’s going to be quite a bit smaller portion of this left once all is said and done, so I might as well be more vulnerable. The vulnerable bits are what will end up remaining. The craft of creating takes a degree of madness, says Manwell. I’m mad most of the time, I tell him. The apple picking pansies are on my tail. They’re hell bent on knocking off the Nazis. It’s like, I’m asking you to follow my lead, and if you’re not interested, don’t follow. It’s easy. I know that it’s been done to me. And am I bitter, sure? but I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do and maybe you’re a fan of bitter apples. Don’t matter. I’m not here for them anymore. I’m after you. It’s a long road ahead of us, and we’ve got to keep walking. Don’t get bogged down by all the little stuff. My father-in-law is soon to be a grandparent, and all of the people at the grocery store are treating me like a second hand citizen. Why? because I’m bulky as a football player and my hair is long and tied back in a white scrunchy, a word Jake hasn’t said since the nineties. He’s one of them, and I’m older than him, but he’s been at the store longer than me, which is why I’m so submissive to him. He’s going part time soon, around the time that I leave on paternity and Franny goes to school in Chicago. He’s going to take film classes at the community college. He does not think that the director who had an event at our shop is Lynchian. Lynch was an artist who became a filmmaker, he says, not wanting to sound too much like a snob. The guy who had an event at our shop tries to insert his own sense of humor into his films, and it’s not for me. The West is not dead, I say. There are still sparks of what was in Edward Abbey and Charles Bowden. Reality, says the film director, always pulling out his camera and capturing what is right in front of him. The wise stranger. Don’t shut yourself out to them. Thirty minutes of straight flow at bed. My lover is asleep without sex. She is not holding me. She is pregnant with my child, but you all are more than well enough aware of that. I sat up in the mezzanine and watched a guy watch a short wearing long legs, hiding behind the bananas, going back and forth between produce. Made me want to masturbate, and I don’t know who was watching me watch them. Don’t care. Long hair. Built like a football player. Always wearing my jacket from the corpse. Another time. I’m undercover, and I can’t let them catch me. The separation from the e-cigarette has separated me from Jamie-Beth and she is a militant feminist. Gotta watch out for her and Jake especially, not to mention Franny, and Estelle, who knows about the new Musette. It could be a trap, but if she’s anything like the original, I should be fine. But don’t show her my writing. Everyone is always after my writing. If they catch me in the act, they’ll impale me on it. I will be killed by what I love. Live by the sword die by the sword style. Don’t even know what I’m after anymore, but a little bit of print would be nice, and maybe once it’s out of me, I’ll start dropping a few. Hard to say, man. People are heavy. Ask Celine, and then even kick me off of twitter. Artistic expression, it’s gotta be sincere, but if it’s evil, we’ll kick you right the fuck out. Literature used to be for that, but this is new money, son. Talk about American Gods. Who made the deal with the devil? The wickedness has escaped the page and taken place right here in the atmosphere. You might not be able to see it. But you can breathe it in. Don’t do too much of that there though, because it will kill you. It’s poison. Look what it’s turned me into. I used to have big dreams. Thought I’d be where they are by now, but I’m down here, with my tattered clothes, taking my shirt off, waving it like a flag, opening the door and asking if any of y’all buy books. I am an ex-pat. I am an outsider. I am lower class. There are more of us than you may think. And everybody needs a writer.

I can’t escape the Rolling Stones, and I’m so tired of them. The song “Young Mums up for Sex” is the one Country Teasers that I didn’t want to hear. The fact that it came on was a slap in the face.

The harder that I go after something that is wrong, the more I am trained towards doing what is right.

She gotta wait. I gotta wait. There ain’t nothing wrong with the way that the construction crew filled the hole in the intersection that my work is on. Musette said that she could see pipes under the asphalt. How can people drive over a hole in the road without falling through, she asks, having rescheduled our doctor’s appointment for ten o’clock on Monday morning. We can wake up that early, I say. We’ve got jobs now. Granted Musette starts hers before I start mine, but I wake up to take her to hers, and I don’t go back to sleep when I get back home.

There are metheads walking by. The woman says that she’s going to make wallpaper out of a faggot like me. I ignore it because she keeps walking. It’s not every day you get such a direct stab of negative energy shot your way, and sure, there’s a part of me that wants to pursue and kill this woman. Her aggression almost justifies it. You can’t say that she’s innocent in all this. But I follow the better voice within me, the one that most of us follow, which doesn’t mean that it’s the only voice or that the other voice doesn’t exist if we just don’t acknowledge it, but it takes me home to my couch where I can freely set a bag of pretzels on my dick.

The unborn baby is touching her toes with her nose. She looks a little like Musette and a little like me. That’s just what we’re guessing. An ultrasound can only say so much. Supposedly the white fluffy stuff by her head is hair. I release myself from trying to guess the kind of person that she’s going to be. Going to work helps me keep my mind off of it. I’m spending most of my time training my replacements. I’m not concerning myself with doing such a good job. I want there to be a place for me when I return.

It’s good not to have you be the only person who knows how to do something, says the accountant. You’ve got to think about the store at large, not just yourself.

I turn my attention back onto my dog, throwing him a pretzel. Little did he know, he was going to be a big brother. The baby’s going to ride you like a horse, I tell him. You better take care of her, says Musette. You’re all she’s got. Show good discipline. Show a little relaxation and love. That’s the gospel truth. That’s the gospel truth, Carl.