After a moment she closed the drawer…slowly, gingerly.  She laid out her things on top of the dresser.  Then she bent forward, stretching to put on her stockings.

I closed my eyes and listened as she put on her clothes.  When I looked again she was standing in an evening gown, taller than I had ever seen her, her hair swept back.  Diamonds sparkled from her clavicles, her ears, her wrists.

She placed her phone in a pocketbook on top of the dresser. She snapped the pocketbook closed and turned around.

“Go back to sleep,” she said.

(Back Door:  Enter “Exquisite Stillness” into the search bar.)


Haley Minwood

Sailor lit a cigarette.

We were sitting on the stained concrete back step of The Palisades, a cheap motel in Calvert, Oregon, which is actually a cluster of trailers and a couple convenience stores way out on a state road that cuts northeast across the desert toward the turn in the Columbia River, just north of the Oregon-Washington border.  The first few hours of hitching and hooking our way up to Washington were long for me because I didn’t know the landscape…  Miles of power conversion stations and convenience store litter mixed with yellow-gray tumbleweeds.  I’d never seen so much beige in my life, stretching from the roadside to the rim of the sky.  I kept waiting to see the blue-green color of fir trees, the dark color of a deep river, lush grass, a change of scenery.

“It’s going to be desert all the way up,” Sailor said to me between drags.  “Washington’s desert on the east side, too, part of it.  We’re gonna turn hard for the east, though, at a certain point…get us up into the mountains.  Harlin won’t follow us up there…and then we’ll be free.”

I picked a cigarette from the pack Sailor waved in my direction.  She lit it for me.  As she leaned over toward me her jean shorts pulled away from the underneath of her thigh and I saw candy-stripe underwear hugging to her crotch.  A strand of hair fell out from where she had it pulled back into a loose bun.  She moved it back behind her ear with her fingers.

“Try to get your cigarette where the fire is, honey-bear,” she said, almost smiling.

A wave of embarrassment passed over me.  I pulled hard, exhaled, made a big deal of getting lit up.

I tried to flip things.

“Sailor,” I started, exhaling, “Is that your real name?”

“It’s real if that’s what I answer to, right?  Why, are we on television?”

“What’s the name printed on your birth certificate?”

Sailor nodded ever so slightly.  “Haley.  Haley Minwood.”

“Hm. That’s kinda good.  Why did you change it?”

“My parents had money.  A piss-ton. A fucking pipeline.  Dividend income.  Trust funds, nine digit shit everywhere.  That means you have two real options…anything else would be half-assing it.  You can either have a pert, square-cut little girl-scout pussy, nod yes and be good and go to law school on daddy’s dime…or be a Lindsay Lohan snatch, a spoiled, take-the money-and-run little trust fund druggie pretender bitch.  Both bad.   Doesn’t matter how fine your relationship with your parents is.  If you come from wealth, and you’re interested in personal integrity, annihilation of the entire construct is the only option…  The only way to author a biography that has any stock or guts.  Cut yourself loose.  No insurance, no phone calls to mommy, nothing.”

She French-inhaled, looked at me with narrowing eyes.

I leaned forward a little, tapped some ash out onto the ground, took another drag.  Sailor let one knee sort of loll out to the side, so now the gap between her jean shorts and candy-stripe underwear was in plain view.  She was wearing one of Harlin’s old dress shirts, and some of her hair had slipped inside the collar.  She’d left the first three buttons undone, so I could see where the silky piece of hair touched down on her collar bone, where the big tendon stood up when she dragged on her cigarette.   When she leaned forward to ash her cigarette I could see her breasts, the way they were cupped by her bra, which was just a little big for her.

I pulled my head up, and looked into her eyes.

She was waiting for me to do just that.

I said, “And this all adds up to your choice of name in some way?”

“Yeah.  Because I can’t stake myself on anything.  I’m a lost soul.  Out to sea.   And Sailor sounds like a good name for a girl who’s all about her own skin, which is what you’re thinking about anyway…not listening to a word I’m saying…”


(Back Door:  Enter Skinny Haley into the search bar.)

(Front Door: Enter Sideways into the search bar.)




Harlin Coke

So this is me, Narc, talking to you straight up…

That cracker who jacked that Buick and porked Sailor those times in Portland…his name’s Harlin Coke.

Harlin-Coke-the-CrackerDrugdealerFistfighterStonerArtistShizophrenicPimp…  That’s his full title.  Alpha cracker mother fucker with a bad respiration problem.  Said he’d been in some kind of accident when he was working in Northern Cali. He used to hock up plugs right in the middle of conversation; you could here ’em shoot through the tight “O” of his lips, Thpt!, little shuttles of mucus.

Harlin’s the one that pimped out Sailor and me after we left the city and landed back on the west coast.

Out of some sense of parity, I went in for it, too.

Parity…  That means taking it in the ass for cartons of cigarettes.  Once you get all lubed up and stretched out in the shower with a big dildo, it’s not so bad.  I used to do pushups when I got up in the morning…that shifted to the dildo and steam workout once I punched in for the career change.  And I’ll tell you this: it’s the people who fuck you; that’s what makes you sick in the cabesa…

Overweight white guys in their sixties with a bad diet and skin that smells like two-day-old Mitchum and Miller High Life…like fried onions and Chesterfields.  Just take out their penis, semi-hard, and make you work to get it in there, just oil it in, them sweating it out, their double chins all red and folded up, huffing and panting, their eyes all yellow and puffy with their glasses off, like they’re some ghost of The Man that got shucked off by the wayside, still operating with a mandate to fuck everyone…’til the mandate goes sour…starts to rot.  Embezzlement and kiddie porn.  You know what I’m talking about.  Old flabby white guys.  Leftovers from the system.

I used to joke with Sailor about how I would crack up if I ever saw one of those guys show up with a hard, curved bone.  I used to joke with her about how that would actually get me hot…about how I would draw a little face on it with a sharpie and do a puppet play where my hand was the dog catcher and I had to collar a rabid bulldog…    …just before watching the old man bust a milk-rope onto my shoulder.  Then there would be the cigarette afterwards, a Chesterfield; we would share it like two girls at a sleepover…and the old man would do a secret dance with his junk pushed back between his ass cheeks and then tell me he was Dick Cheney or The Reverend Dr. Schueller or something.

It was a weird triangle.  We were always pretending we were friends, like Three’s Company on some bunny-ears T.V. set in a cockroach motel by the side of a desert road in Nevada.  …and Harlin Coke, pimping both of us.  And us, the two hookers, fucking Harlin and each other hard and wet every moment we weren’t doing it for money…trying to burn off the bad memory, change the channel in our heads…

It’s like when you’re so sick you pray for vomit.  Not because you like vomiting, it’s just a needful thing…you’re just sitting there in a panic, waiting for the relief of cutting loose into the toilet with a good load.

(Back Door:  Enter “Motionless” into the search bar.  “Motionless” is the first post made to this page.) 

In Exquisite Stillness

Sailor’s phone buzzed on top of the dresser.  I wanted to know who it was, to sit forward in bed and peer up over the dresser…but I stayed my curiosity, and laid still.  Then I heard the light touch of her naked, hurried footsteps against the smooth wood floor of the corridor.  I laid my head back into the pillow, trying to reproduce the position I’d been in before.  She ran in with a dress in her hand, which she placed down on the dresser, exchanging it for the phone.

“Hello?” she asked, and paused. A man’s voice sounded from the tiny speaker.  Her body relaxed; she sank into one hip.

I opened my eyes completely.  I could see the curve of her spine in the lamp light.  I looked more intently.  I could see that her tattoo was a single picture, although the detail was so subtle, the light in the room so low, that I couldn’t make out the image.

“P.” She said, “I know.  I’m coming.”

She shifted to the other hip.  There was a softness, a sensuality to her movement.  I stared.

Then she didn’t move.  She stood there naked, stock still, with the phone to her ear, listening, in exquisite stillness.

(Back Door: Enter “Motionless” into the search bar.)

Vagina Envy

I kept my eyes shut tight.  The rushing grew, and hurt my ears.  Overwhelmed, I sighed…  I felt that I was being fucked, and let my head drift back, as if supported by a cloud…

Now, dear reader, I turn to you to say I know it’s absurd for me to say I changed from man to woman and came until I vanished…

…but all curiosity about sensations in the other gender’s skin…at the height and glory of a sexual act…

…all your womanly desire to have a red-hot phallus tip, and glide it, slippery in, while another woman cries, as if your clitoris thrived and squirmed at the head of an aching pillar, which you buried in her come…

…all desire to have your sex within you…and to have it driven to acutest points, as with the deepest, wettest envies of a man…

…all these desires and curiosities within me were so filled they escaped description, except to say the pleasure was so great as to annihilate the sensate image of one’s utmost erotic wish, causing me to question how I’d ever been a man…for this crying out, this flooding…this pounding, and opening of self…of genitals, and guts, and heart, and brain…this orgasmic splitting of my spine; it was so deep that while my spirit burned blue and and hot enough to melt all else before, and all else after…I came with neither dream nor memory; I  came as neither man nor woman, I came flat-out, as sex itself…

…and at that moment-

…when my skull was changed to liquid into which I was absorbed, and lost myself, my skin, my voice, my breath and bones, which melded, one with air, as ecstasy did express itself from every follicle and pore…

and my head became the sky, and the sky my head, and a lightning storm shot through all and lit the earth, passing through the gap between my legs, which gap in turn shot up my spine…’til my head burst open with pleasurable force, and my crotch did shudder me and shake me into atoms, into air, into purest fucking…

-I was GONE.

Warm Static

Behind Sinatra’s voice I could hear the warm static which is produced by a phonograph stylus on old vinyl.

I placed my elbows on the armrests of my chair and shifted back,  holding my glass of whiskey in both hands, so that I could feel the cold glass against my palms.  Having comfortably arranged myself,  I closed my eyes partway, tilted my head back, and listened…

The song ended.  The low hum of the phonograph became audible in the absence of music.  The enclosed space of the tent made the hum sound as if it were coming from inside my ear…

Then I heard the stylus click home.  I opened my eyes.  America had stopped the record.  He took his hand away from the stylus and turned to face me.

“Let me show you something,” he said.  He leaned to one side, reached into the hip pocket of his fatigues, and withdrew a massive billfold.  The billfold was enormous; it looked big enough to hold a checkbook, or a smashed pack of cigarettes.

America opened the billfold and produced a slug of polaroid photographs, which he handed over to me.

I reached out and took them.  I put my whiskey down on a small end table nearby, and looked at what was in my hand.

The photographs were in a solid mass.  I peeled the top one away and looked at it.  It was a standard tourist shot of the Statue of Liberty.  I put it at the back of the pile.  The next photograph was of a large car, which looked to me like an Escalade.  I considered it for a moment, then put it at the back of the pile as well.

“Your vacation?” I asked.

America puffed on his cigar.  “Remember the movie called Raiders of the Lost Ark?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said.

“The scene where Indiana Jones replaces the idol with a sack of sand?”

“Yeah.  I remember it.”

“Well, that’s me.  I’m always trying to take something away, but without making a disturbance…”  His eyes shined, and he looked at me inquiringly.  “You know that the Statue of Liberty rotates, don’t you?”


“Yeah.”  America smiled big.  Again I saw his dozens of small teeth, and the fine lines around his eyes.  He was almost laughing.  “Kid, I know you been travelling around the third world swallowing mushrooms and smoking hash, but wake up and smell the coffee.  This is how the world works now.  The Statue of Liberty rotates on its fucking base.”

“Why did they do that?”

“It’s America!” he shouted.  He looked slightly red in the face, exasperated by the fact that I hadn’t immediately understood.

The Liquor Cabinet

I leaned toward the liquor cabinet.  It was a low, ornamented wooden stand which rested on the oriental rug.  There were empty glasses, ice, and a selection of liquors on a marble tray on top of the cabinet.  I put ice into a glass and poured myself some whiskey, then settled back into my chair.

America looked at me, considering me.

“So how did you end up here?”

“This is a dream,” I said.  My heart pounded.  It was true.

“Oh, I get it.  One a’ those drug smokin’ hippy kids, backpacking around the world, expanding your mind…”

I took a sip of my whiskey, then moved the ice in my glass a little with an index finger.  I looked at America.  “No,” I said, “This is a dream.  I am dreaming this.”

America laughed big.  “You are a fucking trip!” he said through a broad smile filled with many small teeth.  Now he was taking a cigar from the pocket of his fatigues and clipping it with a cigar cutter he’d picked up from the small end table where he had his whiskey.  He opened a drawer in the end table, removed a lighter, and lit his cigar.


“No,” I said, and took a large swallow of whiskey.

“Yeah, I like you.  Fucking mushroom-tripping kids.  I missed that phase in my life.”  He smiled and put his cigar between his teeth.  He closed his lips and puffed it.  As he did this, I saw fine lines appear around his mouth; they were so fine that they disappeared again after the cigar came away.  He had fine lines around the corners of his eyes, too, but there were so many of them, and they were so shallow, so hard-edged, that they couldn’t really be called crow’s feet.  His jaw was hard, his skin tight.  I had no idea about his age.  More than thirty.  Less than 55.  After that, it would have been a shot in the dark.

“What about you?” I asked.  “How long have you been a soldier?”

“Oh, be careful,” he said.  His brow furrowed a little; he looked at the smoking end of his cigar, checking to see how well the light had taken.  He puffed a little more.  His eyes narrowed; he was avoiding the smoke without turning his head away from me, without breaking eye contact.  “Don’t call a whore a nun.”  He smiled.  “The nun will be insulted and the whore will think you’re crazy…”

I waited.

“I’m a straight up mercenary,” He said frankly, changing his tone ever so slightly.  “I kill people for dollar bills…”  He nodded a small nod, agreeing with himself, “I like democracy.  I like six figures.  And I like to shoot little people that don’t think America is for everyone.  America is for fucking everyone.”

He sighed.  “There’s so much to give.”  Then he smiled and sipped his whiskey.