Friday, April 28, 2017


The Fifty-third Calypso:

Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park,
And a lion-hunter
In the jungle dark,
And a Chinese dentist,
And a British queen--
All fit together
In the same machine.
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice--
So many different people
In the same device.

Rest in Peace, Rory Langley. She didn't go out with a bang bang
A pool-pah was coming and all of the members of the Victorian had become wrang-wrangs. My zah-ma-ki-bo was calling and I knew it was time to fly away way. 
I grabbed my belongings and walked out the door, I could no longer stay stay. 
I waved to Ellen as I took my leave 
She was to busy hiding her heart in her sleeve 
I flew to Ellis crossing and looked down at the tracks
Without a second thought, I stepped across and never looked back. 

Silent but deadly

I could've told him that my mother had died on Ellis Crossing when I was 11. I could've told him that I was so distraught with my father leaving and my mother's death that I threw myself off Rainbow Bridge to escape it all... i could've told them that before I hit the water wings had sprouted from my back and I opened my eyes to bright blue sky. I could've told him that my best friends were some homely little rats with wings. I could've told them that despite the ability to fly I had never left the confines of the city, and hardly even the Victorian, because I couldn't bring myself to cross the tracks of Killer Crossing. I could've told him everything. But I didn't. 

We had been walking around the park for hours. We had gotten a slice of the World's Best Pizza to go but Carter still hadn't taken a bite. He seemed hesitant to ask questions and anytime he hinted at it I changed the subject quickly. We climbed a tree and watched the Lunar Eclipse. After minutes of silence, I kissed him on the cheek, said goodbye forever, climbed down the tree and walked home by myself. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Flightless Turd

Gasping for air, Carter James is looking around wide-eyed and terrified. His clothes are soaked and he's lying on the rooftop of the Victorian, dumbfounded that he's still alive. The last thing he remembered was falling, falling, falling and then darkness.

Was he in heaven? Or could he be in hell? He had this strange memory of a dark angelic woman sweeping down to his rescue, like a raven in the sky he thought he was to die. Remembering her soft brown hands firmly grasping him under his arms and being lifted upwards. The only real recollection of memory he has is the singing of the only folk song, "I'll Fly Away", in his head as he his eyes began to dim and his breathing began to slow down.

"I'll fly away, fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away. If I die, hallelujah by and by, I'll fly away." Convinced he had been dreaming, he's awoken from his unconscious state by a startling bolt of lightning strikes the top of the building next to the Victorian. It begins to pour.

Without thinking about what I'm going to say, I decided to step out into the open, wings retracted of course. I don't know how much he saw or remembers. The frightened expression on his face he gives me when I come out from behind the electrical box.

Lightning strikes again and my face is illuminated by the flash. He starts to sputter out verbiage.
"Ittt it it it was you, wasn't it?"
Before I can say anything  a bolt of lightning strikes the electrical box and a fury of sparks fly sending me tumbling forward and all the lights in the building to go out.

I get to my feet.
"maybe we should go inside and talk things over, I'll cook."

"So. How are you feeling?"
I say as I pop a frozen pizza in the oven
After a long silence he starts spewing questions out all at once.
Sighing heavily, I remember that the power is out and my pizza is not getting any warmer.
I take a breath, focusing in on his forehead which is perspiring with sweat. My stomach growls. Flying makes you hungry.
"Let's go get some food." I say. Walking out the door, not waiting for Mr. Carter James to follow me out.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Flying Feces

Another pleasant surprise left for me to clean from my so-called friends.
"Oh buzz off pidgey, if you're gonna fly around and poop on the roof at least do it when I'm not here!"

I'm sitting on edge of the rooftop of the Victorian, l'm looking up at the stars as a group of 3 pigeons encircle my head. We've been friends since I was in middle school.

"Sorry Jackie! Duty calls!" the bird chirps
"Jackie you're a janitor! This is your job." another cries
"Don't worry pidgey, I'll be taking a load off in a minute! Besides, jackie sees junk 10 times the size of this everyday." the very plump third bird says

All the birds cackled with laughter

"Oh shut up will you?" I say, trying to hold back a smile.

I come up to the roof to clear my head and hear what the birds have to say but tonight they seemed to be a little preoccupied irritating me.

"I thought you guys were supposed to be helping me?" I say

The thin bird chirps in and says, "Jackie, whoever this Mr. jimmy jam james character is, he's the first guy to really seem to like you for who you are. You have to tell him about the accident with your mom or you'll never get any closer. You have to let him in."

The other birds chirp in agreement. Someone begins to fiddle with the door.
"Quick, scram you feathery fools! Someone is coming!" I cry.

The birds fly away and out of the door comes Mr. Carter James.
"Hhhh-h-hey" he stammers
He never seemed like the type of guy to get nervous.
"What are you doing here? How did you find me?" I say
"I asked the lady at the desk where I might find you, grumpy old thing that one is."
I let out a giggle and then pull myself together and remember I'm hesitant to let him get to know me. His dark brown skin bring out his white teeth, shining in the moonlight.
"What happened Jackie? I'm sorry if I did anything to upset you, I was just tr-"
"Stop. You don't have to apologize. I just...those train tracks. I should go" I say and make for the door.
"No please don't." Carter says
"You were already up here, I'll leave."
He begins to walk away.
"Wait." I say
He turns around
"Come sit down, I'll tell you everything."
He gleefully walks over and plops down on the edge of the roof. As he places his hand down he accidentally smears his palm with the lovely white present the birds left.
"AHH!" with a feminine scream, Carter jumps up and stumbles backwards, toppling off the roof.
"AHHHHHHHHHHH!" he cries
I gasp and then let out a sigh of frustration. I step out to the edge, take a breath and without hesitation jump, large white wings sprouting from my shoulders as I fall to save the damsel in distress.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cold Clean Up

I’m sitting alone at Olive Garden… fucking Olive Garden.
“Would you like to try our eggplant parmigiana?” the waiter asks for the fourth time in three minutes.
“No I don’t want any of your greasy garlic food Mr.….Elliot.” I said impatiently.
“Uh well excuse me.” The waiter said with disgust.
He then takes a piece of garlic bread out of his pocket, defiantly ripping a piece off with his teeth and marches back to the kitchen.
Not sure whether to be offended or amused, my attention turns to the front door as Sir Carter James comes strolling in.
“Hey there! No worries, you’re only 45 minutes late. I was just leaving.” I say as I start to walk out the door.
“Wait, Jackie. I’m sorry, I got caught up at the office. Please let me make it up to you.” He says, following me out the door.
Turning around, about to say some rude remark and walk off, I look into his eyes and see that he genuinely is sorry.
“What did you have in mind?”
He smiles…

“Ice cream in January huh?” I say as we walk through the park holding waffle cones.
“It’s never a bad time for ice cream.” Carter replies with a grin.
Suddenly something rustles in the bushes.
“What was that?” I say startled
“I’ll go check it out, stay here.” He says hesitantly walking over.
A man in rags emerges…
“AHHHHHH!!!!” Carter screams.
“AHHHHHH!!!!” the rugged man responds.
“Wow how courageous of you to protect me.” I say with a smirk
“I was just…uh defendi-“
“Hey is that you Man Low?” I say squinting in the dark at the strange man.
“Uh why yes, I’ve been called that in the past.” He says stumbling to the ground and letting out a drunken hiccup.
“You know this guy?” Carter says?
“Yes..well sort of.” I say
“He used to live at the Victorian but Ms. Davis kicked him out after not paying rent, he fell off the grid after that.”
“What will come will come/Even if you shroud it all in silence!” Man Low says with a cry pointing at me. Then shuts his eyes, slumps over and begins to snore.
“Fell off his rocker too I suppose.” Carter says.
We keep on walking and get to Rainbow River.
“How did you know that guy?” Carter asks
“I know everyone at the Victorian.” I say
“And all their secrets too.”
Carter looks at me questioningly
“Oh yeah, like what?”
“Well, Elliot Varane keeps garlic bread in his pocket at all times.”
Carter laughs
“Well everybody knows that.” he says
“Okay well did you know that Harvey Potter is in love with Ellen Davis? I sometimes look through the letters he writes but never gives to her when I clean his desk. Also, Jamie Medina has a crush on Sasha Tary but Sasha doesn’t feel the same and is a little creeped out so she got Wren Henry to punch Jamie in the face…

“Haha well that’s all interesting but what’s your secret Ms. Jackie Wackerman?” Carter asks.
“No secrets here.” I say quickly.
We walk in silence for a bit and I gaze into the river, looking at my reflection. For some odd reason I can still hear Man Low’s drunken prophecy in my head…
“What will come will come/Even if I shroud it all in silence.”
Looking closer at my reflection I see wings coming out from my back. My hearts starts to beat faster and I’m transfixed by the water. I lean closer and closer, reaching out to touch the reflection.
“Jackie!?” Carter says
Suddenly I lose my footing, and plunge into the river.

Hypothermia is a bitch. I’m not sure I have it but if it’s worse than what I’m feeling right now then it must be one hell of a bitch.
“Hey, my house is right across the tracks, I can take you to my place and get you some warm clothes.”
I get a sudden chill down my spine not from the river but because of the railroad. We pull up to the stoplight at the railroad tracks on Ellis Crossing…the last time I was here was in the second grade leaving town for the first time with my mother. After that night it was known as Killer Crossing and I had never left the city since.
“No that’s fine, if you could just t-t-take me home that’d be great.” I stammer.
“Oh please I insist. You don’t have to stay” he says as the light turns green.
The car inches forward.
“NO!” I scream
Carter slams on the brakes.
“What’s wrong? I’m sorry I won’t push it I’ll just take you home.”
I begin to cry
We get to the Victorian and I jump out of the car and rush inside.
“I’m so sorry Jackie, I didn’t mean anything by it!” Carter yells

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Dry Dump

Have you ever tried to wash a toilet without water? Oh wait, you can't! Ever since the water pipes busted I have been scrambling for all the wet wipes I could find in the jumbled janitor closet, having little luck. I scrubbed and spit and scrubbed and spit on the on the windows of the first floor, trying to busy myself with work until I awakened from this arid nightmare.
Jumping at the startling slam of the door behind me, I whipped around to see Ms. pretty ditty Gaia Lux strutting down the hallway. I went up and tapped on her shoulder and got a "HUWHA!" in response.
"Oh sorry, I was just wondering why you slammed your door so hard, you could have broke it." I said.
Ms. Lux responded with a few snide remarks and complained about the water but before I could develop a coherent sentence in response, she had stomped off. Flustered, I thought to myself how funny it was that one time I had pretended that Ms. Lux's toilet had been clogged for 6 days just so I could sneak those delicious little cookies she stores in a jar in her kitchen. After reminiscing about the succulent ooey gooey chocolate chip circles of joy, I went back to work.

An hour had passed and I had just finished all the windows on the first floor when Ms. Lux came a striding around the corner. Her pretty make-up caked face was in a slight frown but her expression oddly softened when she laid eyes on me.
"Hey Jac-"
"The water is back on," interrupting her and not looking up from my cart.
"Thanks a lot Jackie, hey I'm sorry about how like not like nice I was earlier, how are you doing? Any boyfriend you're not telling me about?"
Considering we hadn't had a conversation that was hardly more than a sentence in months, I was a little taken aback by the notion that Gaia would ask something like that but not wanting to make her feel bad I hesitantly replied,
"No. Not really. I don't like to go out on the town like some of us."
"Oh come on!" Gaia said.
"There's gotta be some cute plumber boy or something that can help clean YOUR pipes."
Appalled I responded with a resilient, "NO! There is no pipes to be cleaned. Thank you very much."
"Whatever you say," Gaia said with a flamboyant attitude.
"I guess janitors just aren't really in the game."
"I can be in the game if I want to!" I barked back, frustrated.
"In fact, a guy just asked me out the other day. Carter James from Southern Living Magazine."
Gaia looked amused.
"Ooooh Jackie, you go girl! Well you know what, I got to go but you'll never get to see what's out there if you hide behind this cart all day. You should go on a date, and who knows maybe one day you can be Jackie James instead of Jackie...Wackerman." she said with a sniffle.
Before I could utter a word in protest she had slammed her door and left me out in the hall, leaving me with a my head buzzing and stomach yearning for some ooey gooey cookies.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

not your routine runs

Rolling out of bed and letting out a tiresome moan, I stand up. Looking at the clock flashing 5:30 I hit it a few times until it stops beeping. Having an argument with my sleepy self on whether or not to get 15 more minutes of sleep, I drift back into bed convincing myself I'm just resting my eyes.
I jolt awake, looking at the clock: 8:30
I scramble to get my uniform on, tuck my hair into a bun, throw a breath mint in and run to the door.
A young man with a clean cut suit and well-trimmed stubble stands in the hallway with notebook in hand. He looks up and his piercing green eyes light up as I open the door.
"Greetings, I'm from Southern Living magazine an-"
"And I'm late." I say, quickly rolling by the the strapping young man with my not so upstanding janitor cart.
"Ummm well I'm here to cover a piece entitled "15 Southern Towns Making a Comeback" and we'd like to get to know the people that live here a little better. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself...Jackie?" the man says as he follows me down the hall and into the elevator.
"How do you know my name?" I ask suspiciously, whipping my head to look up at the gentleman. He points at my breast where my uniform
"Well there's not much to tell about me and not much to tell about this so called comeback town. I think a comeback implies we were once something special so you might be out of luck."
"Well..that's a gloomy perspective...there's gotta be something a pretty girl like you can find to do in a little town like this?"
Taken aback a bit, I stared intently into his eyes trying to detect hints of sarcasm but I found none. I hesitantly responded,
"What's your name?"
"James. Carter James," he said
I was so appalled that he introduced himself like James Bond that I hadn't realized the elevator had arrived at my floor.
"Well Carter James, I've got a lot of work to do so with all due respect agent 007, piss off."
I was halfway down the hall when he cried, "Wait!" as he came chasing after me. With an exasperated sigh I whipped around and was about to shove my mop up his until he said,
"Would you like to maybe get something to eat sometime?" he asked
Speechless as I was to the audacity of this "Southern Living" character, I could do nothing but stand motionless.
"Tell you what, here's my number, if you're interested give me a call." he said and with that he got back in the elevator and waved goodbye with a cheesy grin.
After about 7 minutes of trying to analyze what just took place, I finally gathered my wits and rolled my cart into my first bathroom of the day.