— SIX WORDS (3/6/14)
Editing something down from 7000 to 5000 for a contest submission. Probably the longest story I’ve ever written and yet nearly none of it is fat. Hard to trim this one…
Anonymous asked: It's my sixteenth birthday today, and I would really love it if you could write me a sixworder. [Your writing is amazing and inspires me on a daily basis.]
Childhood is fleeting, youth is forever.
— SIX WORDS (3/5/14)
I’d just started there a few days before. I worked in the back, dishes. It was a small place, I think it’d only been open a few weeks. They made alotta different shit, most of it I’d never heard of. Ethnic food, y’know. Asian stuff. Not Chinese, though. Something else. When I got hired, I couldn’t understand a damn thing the manager said to me, but he seemed alright. The interview was short. He didn’t ask much, I didn’t say much. He looked me over and offered me a job that day.
The backroom, where I was, had all the freezers and coolers, the loose food, a prep station with a steel table and rinse sink, and then my area ‘gainst the back wall with a sink, sprayer, and dishwash machine. Like I said, it was a small place, mostly handwork. The wash machine didn’t cycle through most of the time, and I had to dry everything with linen cloth, no conveyor belt dryers or fans. I didn’t mind the work, though. It’s hard to find a decent job in Franklin County—probably like anywhere else, I’d imagine—so I don’t complain when I land something.
lovetothereandbackagain asked: Too young to be so disenchanted. Can I have a six word poem about finding love that doesn't hurt? I need some hope and your words are lovely.
Good or bad, love breaks hearts.
"What the fuck am I doing" - six word poem
Anonymous asked: do you drink coffee and if so, how?
Yes I drink coffee, and I do it with my mouth?
Seriously, though— I work at an Asian place and I’ve discovered that many folks, Vietnamese and Thai, especially, take their coffee with condensed milk. Aside from flan or maybe pecan pie, I’ve never thought about condensed milk. But guess what—it’s great in coffee. I use one good teaspoon per cup. Both creamy and sweet. Two birds with one stone; we could learn a lot from the East.
Below is a video on how to make the coffee the Vietnamese way. Also, the song is amazing and is featured on a very good jazz compilation called “Sounds of Siam”.
njallersvojcex-deactivated20140 asked: Ehi, I'm an italian girl who loves what you write. And sincerely, I love everything you wrote. I'm writing to you now because I want to ask you if you ever had an heartless misery. If you ever have it, can you explain what and why happened and how did you feel? Ps: sorry, i know that I have an horrible english, I hope you understand what I wanted to tell you.
I believe you are asking if I have ever been sad. Yes. I have. For me, personally, things are hardest in the long view. Of course I had silly things in my teenage years that felt so horrible at the time—but those things didn’t amount to much. I did some jail time and that still haunts me, but it’s also made me the man I am today; if anything, it was education for writing beyond that of any school. What has to be most depressing for me would probably be my relationship with my father.
My father and I never got along, but as I get older, I’ve started to see an emotional disconnect in him which I have as well. I can only hope I am not bastard he was. What makes that most depressing for me is the fact that, now, he’s trying so hard to connect with me. That has left me sad because it could have happened so long ago. So many years could have been happier. So many fights—mental, verbal, and physical—could have been avoided.
In fact, just last night, out of the blue, he called me. He was telling me a story about how a neighbor was stealing salt from us (in the borough my parents live in, salt boxes are provided to houses where snow plows cannot reach; they live in the last house of a narrow dead end road, so they have one of these boxes)—he was saying how people just don’t respect one another anymore, and how the entire town has slowly turned to shit since he was a boy. He then turned this into how he was proud of me for getting out there in the world, trying to make something of myself. He said he loved me and that, though he was a drunk asshole (his exact words), he did care for me, and always had…
Then he said he was going to go listen to the Cure, and hung up. He hid this incredible emotion, which I have so rarely even seen hinted at, within two very silly things. The Cure thing was that he has been going up into my room and taking old CDs of mine. This is his way of reconnecting with me, and he said as much a week ago, saying he never liked much of the music I listened to, but now he sees why so much of it is actually good. He said that with real regret. And he wasn’t talking about the music. He’s trying to make up for lost time, attempting to speak with the person I am now while recapturing something of the boy I once was. I know this.
What hurts is not only how so much pain could have been spared, but the fact that I’m not sure if I want to forgive the man. There are things I have no interest in discussing on here, but I can say that I harbor some pretty bitter feelings. The fact that he’s trying to sweep so much under the rug, the fact that he believes he can say one or two decent things in his entire life and ignore all the rest… It bothers me. It bothers me because he was the asshole and now he’s being a good person. That makes me the asshole. That’s cruel. Something about that is more vicious than any of the rest of it.
And it’s working. He’s moving on while I’m standing still in a past I’d like to forget but am refusing to. It stinks, really.
So, there ya go. That’s about as personal as I feel like getting right now. No more questions like this for a while, please.
— SIX WORDS (3/4/14)
Anonymous asked: Getting, "Be unafraid to bleed a little" tattooed down my spine. It's the perfect motto in my opinion. What inspired u to write that six worder? And do I just submit the picture here when it's done? Thanks for the inspiration and all your wonderful words. <3
Well, first off, don’t send this message anonymously! Let’s see who you are! Send pictures when/if you do get the tattoo! One other person that I know of has gotten ink of my work, and that was exciting—so let’s see yours when it’s done!
Do you have a link to that six worder, by the way? I cannot remember how old that particular one is. At any rate I can say, for a fact, that it was about the need for sacrifice in order to get things done.
Nowadays folks believe they are entitled to everything; nobody thinks they need to sweat, work, bleed, fail, and repeat that process ten thousand times in order to get one baby step closer to their goals/dreams. It’s disgusting.
Of course the world is unfair! It’s the world—when was it ever fair? It is, by its very nature, designed to trick you and kill you! The brightest berries in the woods are not food and neither are the animals. But we must learn; we must find these things out the hard way, not just sit on a stump, alone, and wait for help.
Anonymous asked: Hello, I admire your work quite ardently. I was wondering if you could write a short story about a summer love, that ended 24 days after the boy finally confessed his love to the girl.
She sealed the letter and drew a heart on the flap, in pencil; ink could run if a letter got wet from rain, so she used pencil always. He was less than five miles away, but the letter took three days to reach him. The waiting would often leave him drained, sometimes angry. Three days! An eternity!
When he finally got the envelope, he tore it open like a hungry animal because, yes, this was food for him. These words she wrote, they gave him nourishment. Each new letter made him stronger, each sentence, read out loud, rolled off his tongue and entered the air like so many lightning bugs. More was always revealed, and his excitement grew constantly.
I cannot wait! I cannot wait to see you and touch you— I want to truly, really feel you.
He could barely contain himself at that one, dead center on the paper, like the eye of a verbal storm. Every word before and after that sentence resonated further. He smiled and immediately began his reply.
We have spoken of lust and of being lovers, but I want to tell you more. I want to tell you how much you really mean to me now. I have withheld these feelings, not knowing if it was too much too soon, but your last letter has given me the strength, I think, to tell you that I love you. So…there it is. I love you.
If three days was an eternity than twenty-four was some kind of hellish vortex, playing with time and turning it into pure physical pain. A feeling surrounded him which he could not describe. Where was her reply? Maybe she was offended he had waited so long to tell her his feelings? Maybe something was wrong?
It came. He looked at the letter and it glowed a dark color. He carefully bit at the tape the guards used to reseal the envelopes after they checked the mail and made sure there was nothing prohibited inside. Only after they checked was he allowed to see his letters. Maybe she had something they mistook for something else? The bastards.
Sorry I took so long to reply. Almost didn’t at all, but Tammy said I shouldn’t leave you hanging. I guess she’s right. Thanks for your last letter, but I was just writing for the fun of it. Tammy said writing inmates might be fun, so that’s my fault for playing along with her dumb ass. Anyway, sorry.
He closed the letter, wept for nearly a minute, and felt empty inside. There would be no more letters, he knew. Not from her, at least.
He sat and waited for dinner service to be called.