Favorites (excerpts)

Letter

It was like a dream in the way that dreams often proceed according to some unassailable logic which then vanishes on waking, so that all you're left with is an intense but inexplicable mishmash.

Puppet

The officer who came was the puppet. He said that he felt bad for the family, who were terribly upset about their missing boy.

Grandmother

It was then that my father came up with the idea to replace my grandmother with an inflatable doll.

Helicopter

This particular helicopter had no awareness of being turned on, of his propellers spinning, of rising through the air and flying over the city.

Seymour

Although Seymour was lovingly made, his manufacturer had no way of knowing he would be suffocated all night, nearly every night, for thirty-three years.

Blanks

It's all a collection of artfully arranged blanks.

Underground

What finally wakes me is the way she's shaking.

Turnstile

I sometimes think it all still lives in me.

Fingers

For some time now, they've been still. It's as though they're thinking.

Burning

I sense she needs an audience for her anguish.

Vibrate

People say it's different when the child is yours. But if what this isn't true in my case?

Memento

What she is, is perfect, a version of K without any of the things that drive me crazy about her.

Done

One day, when I lose what little memory I have, I will believe I made up everything, only I won't be able to remember any of it.

Apple

If you die, will I get another dada who talks just like you, and does things just like you?

Asshole

Most people do not understand ASSHOLES and try to keep away from them.

Gumdrop

He spent most of his time at candy conferences looking for other candy to have sex with.

Post-it

The ghost of my father keeps leaving me post-its.

Inscription

In the kitchen Teresa was making tuna fish sandwiches. She wasn't the same Teresa she had been just a short time earlier. She will never be that Teresa again.

Difference

He says he can't heal because he can't feel time.

Person

The interesting part was coming home in a state of shock and noticing what that was like, how mixed up my thoughts were.

Decision

You can have any woman in the world you want, but you have to decide in the next sixty seconds and the decision is permanent.

Song 9

Songs I love I devour.

Skid Marks

While peeing I repeated a little mantra to myself: "Generosity of spirit. Generosity of spirit. Generosity of spirit."

Fireflies

At one point, head spinning, I went off in search of fireflies.

Regrets

While having sex we would sometimes say we loved each other, but that was different because we were having sex.

Lines and Arrows

I didn't say this at the time, but I totally respected her logic and in fact this may be why I kissed her.

Note

Went to a party tonight. Got drunk. Danced. Left a note in a woman's shoe.

Gone Away

Now they're in their car – an unpleasant place to be. He's about to drive over the cliff. Off they go.

Talk

I haven't forgotten that tenderness and don't think I ever can or will.

Syllables

Alone is two syllables. Equator is three. I can't get my fucking keyboard tray to work is eleven.

Falling

What if you suddenly see that you were mistaken, that in all this time of wishing, you never understood what you were wishing for?

Reverse

When you turn it around it seems impossible, the convergences and synchronicities necessary to make it happen.

Drunk

Her voice echoed the way voices echo in restrooms.

Wheels

That is where I will kiss you.

In the Event of My Death

Remind everyone how much I loved them. Exaggerate if necessary, but make it believable.

Dollop

A man in the future remembers a woman he saw as a child, before the outbreak of World War III when the human race was forced to live underground.

Elsewhere

HELLO, MICHAEL-READING-THIS-IN-THE-FUTURE.

Uds

Occasionally she stamps her foot, the left one, hard.

The Four Horsemen of Justification

When pressed to defend my actions, I invariably resort to the four-point approach listed above, which I have just now dubbed the four horsemen of justification.

Pool Hall

I ran into my grandfather last week in the pool hall at Mott and Houston. My grandfather's been dead over a decade now.

Dark

The voice is always the same: a kind of a barely controlled rage.

Death of a Snowperson

I was particularly proud of her breasts, one of which was slightly larger than the other, just like with non-snow women.

Doorknob

Somehow the vibe shifted from hey-let's-keep-this-going to hey-let's-just-get-this-over-with, and I don't know why. Worse, I sense she doesn't know either.

Shoes

All I can see is the bottom half of her legs and the top part of her left knee. Also, vaguely, some thigh.

Storage Facility

Back in 1999, Jaron Lanier proposed a revolutionary vehicle for archival storage: cockroaches.

Jesus

I recognize him immediately. He's the guy who drives like he's playing a video game, weaving between lanes at ninety miles an hour.

Volition

One can always claim that luck either is or is not on one's side. Andy's death is a case in point.

This Happiness Business

My heart went out to Gail who had nothing to do but wait while Dean mocked Kate Winslet's breasts and sold his kitchen to Bev.

Ladder

I can't be getting a collect call from Michael Barrish, because I am Michael Barrish.

List

I've lived in exactly forty-two forty-four houses and apartments.

Jolly Ranchers

Sadly, Odell Barnes, Jr. of Wichita County, executed March 1, 2000, never received his final meal.

Creases

There's something to be said for loving something to the point of destroying it a little.

Logic

The real problem was where to leave the note so that it would be found by the woman rather than her possible boyfriend.

Spinning

I ran to the car, tore off part of a paper bag, and frantically scribbled a note on it.

Face

How could I have failed to see something that, once you see it, cannot be unseen?

Bingo

Each week she sat there, alone, eating her cantaloupe. It was heartbreaking.

Insanity

Most serial killers are sane.

The Black Knight

Dot knew what mortality was, she knew that Al was mortal, but she could not complete the syllogism.