fiction, life


chris-r-0334 Image by Christine Renney

The day after his eldest brother had taken his own life the boy’s dad drove into work. The boy was eighteen, a man but watching his dad from the passenger seat he felt like a child. His dad, braving it in the faces of the speechless, made no demands that day. And the boy did what he did, which was nothing.
Over the next few days the boy’s dad heard from the others. They all said that nobody would have, that nobody could have, known.


Paper Defences

The moment he met her for ‘that drink’, he knew he would be fucked. Her eyes would burn away his paper defences, and in the floating motes of ash he would see the end of his life, a reveal of a future cast in black shadow, pain and intolerable pleasure. For now her only hooks in his flesh and soul were her words, but it was already too much. 

art, fiction

The Repenter

Mother and I got off the T at Fenway. The homeless roamed about outside 711. There was one, a bit off from the horde, sitting on the ground, eyes closed. Mother told me to go to that one. I did. The smell was thick and unpleasant.

“Excuse me, may I talk with you for a minute?” I said. He looked up. He was young. His beard was all patches, crowding his dirty face.

“Okay,” he said; his voice clear and pleasant.

“I have an assignment for school. I have to find someone less fortunate than myself and ask them how they ended up that way.”

The man frowned.

“So you think you are more fortunate than I?” he said, looking around himself and smiling. My cheeks burned, but I managed a half-nod.

“Hm. Well, good. If you must know, I am this way by choice. I am punishing myself.”

“For what?” I asked.

“For what my soul has done.”

He chuckled at the confused look on my face.

“I have the soul of Adolf Hitler,” he said without humor, “do you believe in reincarnation?”

I shrugged. “I think Mother does.”

“Smart lady. Well, I spent a long time exploring the idea of reincarnation. That led me to this festival, here in Boston. It was a sort of communal meditation to feed off of each other’s energy and see our past lives. And, as you might guess, I saw Adolf Hitler. I didn’t just see him. I felt him, all of his hate.

After that, I came right here to this spot, sat down, and here I will stay until the universe feels penance has been paid.” He smiled again, awkwardly.

“Penance?” I asked.

“Yes, payment for my sins. I thought about chopping off a limb or perhaps burning myself a little to speed up the process but, it seems Hitler was a coward as well.” He sighed.

“Oh, okay.” I couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Is that what you needed?” He asked.

“I-I think so.”

“Lovely, well, have a nice day then.” The man who was Hitler laid down onto his side and began to snore. I turned around and found Mother standing next to the street. She saw me and quickly dropped her cigarette behind her back. I rolled my eyes and walked towards her.

“Get what you need?” She asked, chewing a bit of gum.

“I guess.”

“Great! What should we get for lunch?”

“You choose.”

“Sushi it is!”



Miraculous Mistake

In my dream there had been a terrible or rather brilliant mistake in which you were in fact still alive but had just been in hospital for a while and I said Oh dear, mother threw all your stuff away so your flat is empty but don’t worry we can buy you new stuff, it might even be fun, and you were asking about my brother and my writing and if I’d been going to therapy and then wanted to know if I’d got your money, keys, phone, glasses, medicines and well you were pretty pissed off at the whole thing to be honest and didn’t understand how or why we thought you were dead but I was so indescribably happy that you were okay that nothing mattered and I said Wait, so if you’re alive, who the fuck was inside that coffin we burnt? and we laughed and laughed and got a taxi down to your empty flat and when we got inside you looked around and lit a rollup and said Ahh it feels good to be home babes but I couldn’t quite believe you were really there so I held onto your arms because I thought maybe it was a trick but you were warm and alive and moving and breathing and talking and in your flat and you said you were Feeling a bit tired actually so we sat on the floor and I had my arms around you and I was saying You’re safe now Daddy, you’re safe, you’re safe now, you’re safe, you’re safe, you’re safe and then this morning I woke up to the sound of my voice saying “You’re safe” and I genuinely thought that you were alive until I saw the little shrine I made for you by the window and then I remembered that you’re not here anymore and my little heart broke all over again and my God I’ve never wanted a crazy miraculous mistake to happen as much as I do right now


1) Quit, 2) Shave, 3) Do Nothing

Step One: Quit

I quit today. Or at least I gave my intent to end my current job – my last day will be 31st January 2017. When I hit send on the notifying email I felt a surge of happiness. Sure Mr.Corporation, I need your money coming into my bank account, but I don’t need your shit. I smiled for the first time in weeks – I felt like a new man.

I have neglected myself of late, but handing in my notice was the first step to doing something I want to do with my life – trouble is, I have no idea what is that ‘thing’.

Step Two: Shave

I shaved today. This may sound a small step, but I always find that shaving my head is another indication of change within me; a reminder when I look in the mirror each morning; to stay determined, move forward and not tread water. I may get another tattoo.

In the shower I continued to other parts of my body. When the razor took away the last few hairs from my neglected scrotum, the feeling of the smooth, lickable skin of my ballsack and shaft made me smile – I was feeling a new man, in more ways than one.

Step Three: Do Nothing (for as long as possible)

I am taking February off from work, but I do not know what to do with myself; how best to use that time. I suspect I’ll shave again during this month, but other options are welcome – any suggestions for me and my smooth balls?