Also, check out the new showcase for regional writing I and friend Britt Fleming have created. http://www.northography.com.
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Burt was going to be generous again. Grand Marnier cut bitter with brandy. Damn that crass clown.
"And who gets off with me being drunk?"
I said it aloud, like I did driving there, tooling up Robert Street, gateway to West St. Paul, little Mexico. I had to stop for fire. The stars were keeping tabs on the widows and the widows on their broken victories. I took notice of them as I parked and made my way in. Two trucks in the parking lot, doors open, loud music challenging everyone. Of course a comment, loud enough to reach my ear, the kind not clearly directed at anyone, but whose intent is to trick you into making contact. I stare ahead, rummaging my pockets for money. I've lived here long enough to know which streets you cross on the light, if you know what I mean. I had people to meet and stogies to smoke and losing a couple of teeth was just not in the itinerary.
But somehow the comment hung in my middle ear, a burr in the mind's pharyngotympanic tube, the way it does when you're young. We might not recall the date, but the first time you feel threatened by your peers, everthing changes. The deflowering sting of malice. The thing your mother could not prepare you for, and your father always tries. But tonight it seemed merely a component of something more expanded, more complete - tailor made for the second bone of the ear, grown for hearing slander and love sounds. The nervous urgency came and went but its trail introduced itself to those widow-minded stars and became friends instantly with my nostalgia. My last failed love affair tried to use it as a reason behind my dismissal. Whereas just a few years earlier such a thing would have smirched an otherwise enjoyable, forgettable night, now the evening would have seemed incomplete without it. Mixing like time, if flowed through and ahead of me, to something Burt would say two hours from now, finishing his third glass of Brand Marnier.