Category Archives: long stories

The Reoccuring People – part III

Part III.1 (the second part of this will be added during the week)

Sometimes I feel like I’m desperately trying to hold on to the information I have. If I’m not constantly exposing myself to it repetitiously, I will lose ahold of everything that I know. If I don’t constantly think about the dead, they will be lost. What is anything if we don’t remember it?

This is where I spend most of my days.

Because of all my social anxiety I was forced to build myself a library of my own, and this is where I keep my collection of books. Why is it that we can watch the same movie, read the same book, again and again, and that somehow satisfies something in our brains. The repetition. So, I’m sitting in here, smoking a cigarette, in this room full of books, because I tried to quit once, three years earlier, but that was over once the stress came, a year ago, after my twenty-ninth birthday. Lately I’ve been constantly judging myself. It’s a whisper in the back of my brain, rippling through the forefront.

There’s a knock at my door, and I know it’s Bizz, because lately she’s the only person I still talk to. Mostly, because she’s aware of all my social phobias. It helps. Sometimes the time travelers stop by with their weird cryptic messages, but it’s difficult to get excited to see people that always bring troubles with them.

When Bizz comes in she’s carrying in some of Deschutes’ Twilight Summer Ale, and I’m thankful because I was getting thirsty waiting for her to get here.

“The Mountain Goats are playing here next week,” she tells me, as she opens two beers and I meet her in the kitchen. “You know how I feel about being around groups of people,” I reply, because she does this all the time, tries to lure me into social awkwardness with my favorite musicians as bait. Last month it was Jason Webley. The most difficult one was Neutral Milk Hotel, because I really really wanted to go to that show. But, the panic had me, and once it strikes there’s no turning it around. After these shows pass, I look them up on YouTube, my internal dialogue finding reasons to be grateful that I didn’t go, such as considering how packed a show is and being relived that I didn’t have to deal with strangers brushing up against me.

Have I mentioned I used to be an atheist? Before everything, that is. Before the time travelers, and the reoccurring people. Before them, I didn’t believe in a goddamn thing. It’s funny how life reveals it’s truths to you. The way the shadows are revealing themselves behind Bizz, sprouting from her one true shadow and darkening the room. The dizziness comes with them, like the alcohol spins mixed with too much Vicodin. And I’m nauseous in the gloom, as I fold in on myself.

I have these “black outs” often. At least I have lately. My head swimming with more information than it is capable of processing.


The Reoccurring People – part II

Part II

I start getting weird when I spend too much time alone. It’s always been this way. Suddenly I’m posting missed connections on Craigslist for Seattle, Portland, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Denver, and Missoula. I’ve made a few friends this way. If you live in a smaller city like I do, Missoula, for instance, half of the missed connections posted will be some guy writing about a Walmart cashier that you will now easily be able to pick out the next time you’re there. You don’t really want to shop at Walmart, it’s just that their organic sugar is so fucking cheap compared to everywhere else. Those cashier-stalking posts are not mine.

Sometimes I post in casual encounters instead, these tend to be more adventurous, if adventurous is a euphemism for really taboo fantasy that is only popular with certain types of people. You won’t see men the same after you read the replies (with pictures) you will receive from the most random variety of men ever to agree on something. They all want that perversion that’s a little too far.

Another great thing about living in a smaller town, like Missoula, is that you’ll start to recognize these same people from their pictures they sent you.
You’re at Bagels on Broadway, and look over to the table next to you, and there’s a twenty-something-year-old sitting there, who you know has pierced nipples and uncut foreskin. His dick is about the size of a cucumber, hard, and he has the nastiest skat fetish you’ve ever seen pictures of. When you leave, you’ll pass an older man, in a cowboy hat and mustache, whose cock looks like a doorknob. He wants you to call him daddy while he bends you bare-assed over his knee to spank you. You’ve seen all the photographic evidence to prove that some men enjoy meat, warmed melons, dress-up, or their desire to watch you suck off a buffalo. Every taboo is accompanied by a picture.

It feels something godlike, to know these secret desires. I keep a folder in my gmail for each city. I’ve started collecting photos of these people from when I run into them in real life situations. When I complete a set of photographs, I like to print them and put them in this scrapbook I’ve been keeping since I started these postings. I carry it in my bag so I can reference back if I’m having trouble making a match.

I’m cutting and pasting when Bizz walks in the front door. She’s breathing heavy, like she was just running. She locks the door, turns her face towards me as she steps away from it. “Where the fuck were you?”

“Um, in my goddamn house? Where the fuck was I supposed to be?”

“I’ve been trying to call you all morning. Do you still have that ouija board?”

“My phone is off, assface.” I blew on the page I just glued, as if that would help it dry any faster. Then, got up, and headed to the hall closet. My dad gave me this etched glass ouija board last year on my birthday. My 27th. I keep it in the box with my cardboard Parker Brothers one, to protect it. The oracle is also glass, with blue felt padded feet, in order to slide across the board.

Bizz offers me a cigarette, somehow forgetting that I quit a year ago. I watch as she opens my fridge, scanning the emptiness, pulls out a beer, my last, as she says I need to buy more beer. We walk to the Good Foods store, we grab a four-pack of Cold Smoke, and a six pack of Summer Honey. She buys a pack of cigarettes with the beer, assuring me that I’ll be bumming them off of her by the end of the night. As we were checking out we heard a loud noise coming from outside the store–something like lightening and whistling air.

In the parking lot, it became clear what all the commotion was about. There was a junky red van taking up two parking spots. Well, the van looked like it had been red once, but now it was only red in places, rusty in others, silver, brown. When the passengers had stopped the vehicle it made a sort of clunking sound. As they exited, smoke billowed out of each door. This is how I first met the time travelers. Although, I’m still unsure if they actually time travel or not.

One was short, female, young– about eighteen years old. Her hair composed of bright green dreadlocks. The other, a gangly man of forty, with John Lennon glasses and facial hair. They were looking right at us, as they walked towards us. “We have a message for you,” said the young female, close enough now I could see her freckled face and blue eyes. By this time I was wearing my confused face. Bizz told her we’ve already heard the good news.

“This isn’t some Jesus bullshit,” said the girl, “we were sent here to warn you.”

I laugh, because this bitch is obviously off her fucking rocker crazy. She’s pretty much unfazed by my amusement. I ask her who they are, and this is when she tells me they’re the time travelers. At that point, I’m grinding my teeth together to keep my face deadpan. Apparently her name is Enid, and his is Garth. They tell me they’re from the future, but the girl does most of the talking. Dave mostly whispers to her and fidgets. I fish into my bag and pull out a doob-tube that I had thrown in there that morning. I pull out the joint and light it. Probably my current lack of THC is fucking with me in this situation.

By the time the joint is gone, we’re all walking towards the van. Only now I also have an open beer in my hand, and Enid is telling me she has a lot to tell me.

The Reoccurring People – part I

Part I

If you were abused as a kid, you might be prepared for how shitty your life can get. But, even that is not without its own measure of delusion. You think you’ll finally be free of it once you become an adult, and start living your own life. Wrong. There is a pretty good chance that once you start having relationships you’ll find a similar douchebag that will treat you how you’re used to being treated. It’s comfortable. You’ve grown accustomed to the abuse, and it’s now how you perceive others as caring for you.


What’s worse than that is if you become that percentage of child-victims that later become abusers themselves. How the hell do you live with/like that? You’ll find a way to justify it, don’t worry. If not, you’ll find ways to numb what you’re feeling.

I’ll take anything to turn my brain off.

“When you’re forgetting more days than you’re remembering, and drinking to the point of drunkenness pretty much daily,” said Bizz, “that would be what I call an alcoholic.”
She ashes her cigarette on the red brick planter my grandma used to let me plant flowers in when I was a kid. Since I’ve been living here the planter is all dirt and cigarette butts. I’m a terrible tenant. Bizz opens her beer, and begins to chug, putting her cigarette out in the dirt of the planter, next to the rest. I shake a Camel Red out of my pack. My lucky. I light up as I open my beer.

Sometimes it becomes difficult for me to get at the truth of things. To discern what’s real from what is not. To understand the great deception we play on ourselves. It gets confusing deluding yourself.

“We should head to the store to pick up more beer,” Bizz says, because we’re drinking the last two, and we’re only slightly buzzed. I don’t want to get too wasted, but telling her that is pointless. Telling myself that is also pointless.

When I smash my cigarette into the planter dirt, I pick up my pack off the bricks, sorting through it for one of the four joints I mixed in with my smokes. If I have to go anywhere public, I have to smoke. People frighten me. It sucks. And since we have to venture to the store for more beer, smoking is necessary. 7-11 is just down the street, but their selection is shit.

So, we walk to the produce market, which is a little further, but they carry a large local brew selection. While there, I grab some peaches, apricots, plums, rainier cherries. Summer fruit. My birthday is in a week. I’m turning twenty-five. I’m feeling like this may be the mid-way point in my life. I’m not sure if I even want to live past fifty. I’m unprepared to get old.

Bizz sets a twelve pack of Moose Drool, and another of Stella into the cart. She’s trying on some cat’s eye sunglasses when I notice this guy that looks like my dad. I mean, exactly. Only my dad died five years ago, and that was in California. Shit, he’s even dressed like my dad. My mouth is probably hanging open when Bizz finally looks over at my awestruck face. Her eyes follow my gaze, then echo it. What the fuck. So, this man who looks exactly like my dad, but couldn’t possibly be my dad, finally looks over at us, confused by the ridiculousness of our expressions. He waves, and continues shopping.

Bizz and I look at each other, then begin to follow him through the store as discreet as two stoned ladies in their mid-twenties who are trying to keep their buzz going can be. I open a beer, chug it while we’re in an empty aisle, watching my dad at the other end sort through the produce.

“I’m gonna go hit on him,” says Bizz, “get to the bottom of why your dad is alive, and here in Missoula.”

“Shut the fuck up, Bizz, that’s not my dad, no fucking way. Also, gross.”

She heads towards the end of the aisle, the produce, his cart. I follow because I don’t really believe she’ll even talk to him. I am wrong, though. She walks right up to him, shucking corn, and putting it in a bag. “You look super familiar, have we met before?” Uttering the most generic thing you could possibly say to open up a conversation with a stranger. He looks at her, laughs the same laugh as my dad, and then speaks in his voice.