The closing parenthesis

We spirits gather around you today to wish you a solemn deathday. You are turning -21. You can’t see us and you are completely unaware that today’s date is more significant than yesterday’s or tomorrow’s, but we are the ones who have been with you since you the day you were born. And we are the ones honoring an anniversary that is yet to come. So we celebrate your life — all that you’ve done with it and all that you have left with it.

March 23, 2035


The Final Letter from Peter to the Brethren

Peace be upon you, Brothers. I am writing to inform you that the hour of our prayer is coming. Soon our enemies will be crushed by the Left Hand of O-r. Jubilee! Jubilee! All Holiness will be revealed to those who stand strong, for we are the arms upon which the Left Hand rests. For it is written that steel is stronger than flesh, so we must fortify ourselves in advance of the hour. Beware false allies who would betray you. Beware those who would ply you with love in exchange for your complacence. They do not want your love in return. Awake, dear Brothers! Awake to the bugle of my words! The path to the Universal is a treacherous one, but one that is well marked to those with opened eyes. Lift your feet and march!

Yours in Life,
Brother Peter
A Prophet and Clarion of O-r

The Erotic Mr. Twoombley

The erotic Mr. Twoombley awoke from a night spent slipped between satin sheets. The spring breeze breathed through his open window and the bird songs signaled morning. He rose. He sleeps in the nude. He strolled to the freshly cut flowers kept in a vase and inhaled their fragrance of life. After a luxurious bath, the erotic Mr. Twoombley dressed in white linen pants and a white shirt with the top four buttons left unbuttoned. He went to work and presented each lady there with a single rose.
When the erotic Mr. Twoombley makes love, he does so slowly and tenderly in a bathtub lined with rose petals and candles. He adores her like a goddess. After their union is fulfilled, he doesn’t call for a taxi. Rather, he sends for a horse drawn carriage and sends her home with the wistful memories which come from an evening spent kneeling before Love’s altar.

* * *

Every morning, that weirdo across the street stands naked in front of his window, waiting for someone to look at him. He wears the same clothes every day and reeks of cheap cologne. I heard that when he goes to work, he makes all of the women uncomfortable by handing out carnations and making innuendo.
I knew a girl who once fell for his act. She described an encounter in which he groped her awkwardly as they fumbled in a small bath tub of questionable cleanliness, all the while her back bumping against the faucet. It was mercifully over soon, but to this day, the scent of Yankee Candle triggers flashbacks. And after all that, he never even called for a cab. Instead, his gimpy friend with the missing teeth waited outside with his bicycle rickshaw and asked for her address. She walked. What a creep!

Sketch for television

Lecherous Lenny and Slow Sally are alone in a sparsely furnished room, standing near a doctor’s scale.
LECHEROUS LENNY: It’s just a formality, but we do need to obtain an accurate record of how much you weigh.
LECHEROUS LENNY: And, of course, the most precise measurement would be how much you weigh without any clothes on.
SLOW SALLY: You want me to get naked? I’m not doing that! You can forget about it.
LECHEROUS LENNY: (after a thoughtful pause) Well, if that makes you feel uncomfortable… what if, instead, we weighed you with your clothes on and then subtracted the weight of your clothing?
SLOW SALLY: (thinks for a moment) Okay, that sounds like a fair compromise.
LECHEROUS LENNY: Great! I’m glad we can work that out. Please step on the scale.
Slow Sally gets on the scale. Lecherous Lenny weighs her and writes down some notes on a clipboard.
Slow Sally gets off the scale.
LECHEROUS LENNY: Okay, now I just need to weigh your clothing.
Slow Sally gets undressed.

Uninspiration Point

The blandest sunrise I ever saw left me wanting. It’s like the hours I waited were wasted on nothing. The dullest of colors were trudged out reluctantly. And shrugged ordinarily across the sky. Until the blues were in place and hazed over with white. Oh New Day, what will you bring me?


I was walking along a dangerous sentence when I slipped into a comma and slid into the next line. When I came to, I was quite disoriented. Others had to fill me in on all of the words I missed.
Over time, appearances worked their way back to normal again. Still, I get a sense of trepidation whenever I encounter a new paragraph.


The tv screen is filled with its regularly scheduled programming. With a blink it disappears and is replaced by an image of the White House while “Hail to the Chief” blares. A voice announces, “We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special message from the president of the United States of America.”
Cut to the Oval Office. The president is seated with his hands folded and rested on top of his desk. “My fellow Americans,” he starts. He pauses. A confused look creeps across his face. He looks off to the side, turns back to the camera, and takes a deep breath. “My fellow Americans,” he repeats. He pauses again. He bites his lip, runs his hands through his hair, slaps his hands on his knees, and exhales loudly. “Shit, I forgot what I was going to say.” Cut back to regularly scheduled programming.

After a few minutes, the regularly scheduled programming is replaced again with the White House and “Hail to the Chief.” The same voice announces, “We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special message from the president of the United States of America.”
Cut to the Oval Office. The president’s desk is empty and nobody is visible. A commotion can be heard in the background. From out of the camera’s view, the president yells, “No, not now! We’re not ready yet!” Cut back to regularly scheduled programming.

After a few more minutes, the regularly scheduled programming is replaced yet again by the White House and “Hail to the Chief.” The same voice announces once more, “We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special message from the president of the United States of America.”
Cut to the Oval Office. The president is sitting behind his desk. The vice president is sitting on a chair next to the desk, smiling at the camera. “My fellow Americans,” the president restarts, “Earlier today, the vice president and I were discussing our schedules and when I asked about his upcoming appearance at an animal shelter, his response was `I cat wait.’” Both men try to stifle their laughter. “`I cat wait,’ get it? `Cat’” the president repeats as the vice president succumbs to his own giggling. After taking a moment to compose themselves, the two begin to sense that no one else across the nation is laughing. The president clears his throat and sighs, “well, I guess you just had to be there.” Cut back to regularly scheduled programming.