Nicaragua (A Pre-Regulated Country)

A scurry of goats dip their heads behind the herder as their tin bells clang, hoofs clacking past the lichen-ribboned ruins of colonial hospitals and royal thumbs of ancient cathedrals now disused. Shacks have bloomed in the rubble because they are more necessary. Nicas barter over lumps of goods passed down from the 1st World,…

Wacko with Cheese

It’s hard to describe the sound the man was making. It’s as if he was yelling moans, I guess, the way I imagine a retarded demon would sound, but it was interspersed with a kind of infantile babbling. Whatever it sounded like, the man on line at the Burger King was convinced he was actually…

Burning Boy/Hippie Kids

The raging, dreaded hippie kids, swirled in by a technicolored tornado of glee, glitter and hallucinogens, sent by the hippie Goddess to anoint the unblessed with ointments and doses and liquor belted straight from the bottle… “…Chris…Christopher DOY-le…” Chris’ Subaru was slapped on the side of dusty street running along warehouses in the SOMA district…

One-Third Begging/Piss

I’m not saying that certain people don’t canvass for NYPIRG because of the greater good. I’m just saying that I was not one of those people. NYPIRG stands for New York Public Interest Research Group—it’s essentially a progressive lobbying organization. They’ve been heavily involved in fighting the natural gas interests that have been trying to…

Schizo

Logic told me that Bart hadn’t poisoned the gum, but that didn’t mean that he hadn’t. He had offered to it me, after all, and had never offered me gum before. I felt my heart twist and grow black, the paranoia sliding down the slip in my chest, down into my bowels, my intestines. I…

Weeping

Government institutions are funded by the public, which forces them to throw their doors open to the public, ALL of them, the destitute, the homeless, the mentally-ill and -challenged, those that can’t keep their heads above water in the free market. Those that would be chomped down by the sharks. I experienced this first-hand in…

Legal Drugs/Man vs. Swan

IN my experience, swans are assholes. Just THE worst. They’re like the pretty girl in high school who knows that she is attractive enough to forego the formalities of socialized ethics, so is just a raging bitch until she enters her twenties and realizes the rules are different out there. The problem is, being swans,…

Mission: Ronin

I looked up from my phone with that scientifically-inexplicable feeling you get when someone is laying their focus on you. There was a lady standing about 5 feet diagonal from me in the direction of Mission Street. Now, I feel it’s pretty rude to assume someone is a prostitute. So I’m just going to say…

Strange Sex

Fully cocked, 6 or 7 Olympia brand dollar-beers in, I tipsily swiveled back and forth on my bar stool with temporary abandon. 30 minutes till the end of happy hour, which, at the downtown gay- and homeless-friendly pub, stretched from three to nine. I swiveled again and almost tipped off. I looked up without embarrassment…

Scenes from Yosemite—Pt. II

Scenes from Yosemite—Part I The hybrid shuttle’s engine whirred down to a hum as it reached Stop #16 outside Yosemite’s Nature Center at Happy Isles. I could see several people already standing over the seated passengers, gripping the overhead rail, and there were more than a dozen people waiting with me at the stop. Room…

Scenes from Yosemite—Pt. I

The septuagenarian’s Swisher Sweet curled blue smoke under the brim of his trucker’s hat. He pensively exhaled, and the early-morning sun caught the cloud’s varied thickness as it laid itself across the edge of the blank parking lot and pooled into the fir trees. He was staring slightly upwards, as though making a study of…

Crackhouse

Sometimes you have to push yourself for a good story. Sometimes, the push is alcohol. …the thought I awoke to late one night while sleeping on the couch of my sister’s bougie Mission District Apartment in San Francisco. I had seen people hitting stems outside the Mission District’s thin hotels, their punched-up faces sucking scalding…

No Shirt

After a glorious, soul-warming morning spent hiking the verdant topography of Pacifica, some problems arose. I had ran down the mountain trail, and had apparently ran too vigorously, because the shirts I had taken off and stuffed in my pocket had been jogged out somewhere along the way. The only other clothing I had (other…