One of my favorite smells is new rain on hot summer streets. If you put a rock in your mouth, it's the taste of that smell. The smell of that taste.
She slept on hot couches in hot rooms curled up onto the laps of hot people. When others asked her for advice she'd chew on their hands. She was born in a box next to a septic pond, the same pond where her owner drowned himself on purpose. He was mostly sad about his inability to render elbows in pencil on paper and sometimes wanted more than pornographic affection. She was born next to three others, one breathless, and spent the first day her life looking for a nipple. It was cold. It was rainy. When a truck pulled up next to the pond the sound of its stopping forever altered her perception of what ears were capable of. She avoided cars. She scurried under houses for safety and defended herself with a scream. Raccoons wouldn't steal her food. Children wouldn't reach for her tail. With one eye open she would watch her new owners pace back and forth in the bedroom. One wore tattered underwear and argyle socks pulled up to the knees. One spent hours scrolling through a time machine. Sometimes they talked about cyborg currency and sandpiper eggs. Mostly they managed the life of a smaller person who slept in a room across from theirs.
Was there was a nurse, doctor or EMT on the flight?
Two white men (strangers) talked about rifles, revolvers, scopes.
One had 75 firearms.
The other had 43.
They compared acreage, garage space, annual income.
One passed out on my shoulder.
The other pressed his face against the window, searched for stars.
A single dad.
Four months out of the year.
Tattoos of demons.
Speed metal blazing through headphones.
Bloody Mary mixer.
White powder sprinkled over bloodied vomit.
Ten rows up.