The Morning Sun

It’s one of those mornings that should’ve been like a zillion others, yet it isn’t.

But I remember what came before the morning. Not like a zillion.

And now: Sun rays through the window as I do a quick dishes. Enough to make me squint. But also to smile. And I usually hate the sun here.

I usually hate doing lunch boxes, too: A peanut butter-sandwich for Michael and fruit only for Emma. Water. Some juice. That’s all. All that which I could usually hate.

But I don’t. I feel light. Like it all has taken on some hidden meaning that I was only too blind to see before.

“I get off early, I could pick up the kids,” Jon says while scrolling through today’s news on his phone with one hand and absentmindedly harpooning the bacon with another.

Jon never picks up the kids on Fridays. But never is far away this morning.

“That would be lovely,” I reply and the light continues. I put the last dish on the tray. Now everything will look neat when we all get home, and until that washing machine repair man can get his ass over here. But he doesn’t have to hurry, it seems. I got it.

And lord knows, I have got enough of this on my job. In 40 minutes and counting. But at least the car works today. And I have that, too.

The small blessings. Of the morning sun.

And not like a zillion.

Why can’t we have more in our lives of the things that make us a light inside?

 

Ancient Melodies

Michael screams as I try to take the Mars bar from him:

“Gran said I could have it!”

” – Granma shoulda asked me before she gave you that. It’s candy day every Sunday, not every weekday. And you can’t take that with you in class. It’s not allowed.”

All the arguments – I run through them like a machine. A tired machine. And then I think about choking mum. And not inviting her for Christmas. Or both.

“Michael – come here. Right now!”

But off he runs, his 6 year old-feet tapping along the sweltering pavement. In the wrong direction.

“Emma – stay here. I’ll be right back.”

Yeah, sure.

So I leave my oldest daughter, staring dumbfounded after her mother, chasing after her little brother. Oh, well, she’ll only have to stay there, at the bus stop and take care of herself and be the butt of jokes from the other children, who have some good reason for taking the bus, instead of our reason which is that Jon couldn’t fix the car “in a jiff”, like he said he would last night after I threw something at him. I don’t remember what it was, I think it was heavy enough, though, to make an impression.

“You hear me – stay there, Emma. – Michael!” Continue reading

When They Asked Me If I Knew You

I had a strange dream last night – one of those dreams that doesn’t evaporate into the mist of your mind when you wake up.

It’s been a long time since I dreamt something I could actually remember when an endless day repeated itself all over again, as if God had decided to have fun and make every Monday loop:

As in … getting the kids up, clothed and fed; Emma for school, Michael kindergarten; exchanging a few routines with Jon before he is off to patrol, reassuring myself that he will be home again tonight as always. As if nothing bad will happen to him if I just pretend that this is completely normal work; and finally getting my own behind hauled off to the nursing home.

If only I could have done something important before my life got sucked up in this routine.

If only I could have done something out of the ordinary.

I know it sounds pathetic because I’m only 32, but don’t you have the feeling sometimes that the race is run?

That this is all there is: … Rat racing …

Sometimes I feel so worn out already that I think I should be a resident in the nursing home, and not the one giving old Mr. Porter a hand to safely traverse the distance from wheelchair to dining room chair, and then making sure he doesn’t spill dinner all over himself when trying to get it to traverse from from plate to mouth.

Perhaps it’s because it’s Friday, and after another 9 hours there will be a freedom, of sorts, for a whole two days. Freedom enough at least to up on the Everest-sized piles of laundry and maybe get that last paint job done in the old barn. And maybe, if the kids fall asleep early, Jon and I could … you know.

But then again, since it’s the end of the week there is every chance that both he and I will fall asleep early, too.

I didn’t last night, though.

And perhaps that book had something to do with it. Continue reading

Like Grace From The Earth (III)

“Jon is gonna be so pissed.”

“Have you tried calling him again?”

“I’m working on that part.”

“I’m sure he’ll understand.”

“I know he will. But he is gonna be pissed at first.”

The new bus had come to Salton City and apparently it was not going on from there the next 2 hours.

“Gotta have my scheduled break,” was all the new driver had said. He was a big black man with a left eye that looked like it once had met a boxer’s fist. Ernest H – ‘Your God’ had gone back to Bakersfield, when the new bus came to pick them up at the parking lot outside Palm Springs. All the passengers were weary, but some were not too weary to complain loudly over this new, unexpected stop.

“And I’m due in Mexicali for a meeting,” a pale-looking, freckled woman of about Carrie’s age snorted, but didn’t say anymore as if inviting everyone to guess how important the meeting was but not why someone who were due for an important meeting had to go to it in a Greyhound bus.

A fat Texan man in a crisp white shirt and tie argued for a long time with the new driver until he, too, had to give up to the imperatives of regulation.

“Look here,” the driver said with finality, “I’ve been going on for 10 hours until I had to pick up you lot up in Palm. Do you want to be in Mexicali 2 hours later, or do you want to be in a ditch somewhere because I feel asleep behind the wheel?” Continue reading

Like Grace From The Earth (II)

The bus was going nowhere – again. Another problem with the engine, Ernest growled from his driver’s throne. Carrie went out the bus and over the parking lot for more water.

There was a McDonalds at the other end. Most of the others went out, too. But Carrie came back in again. It was like entering an oven. She tapped the air condition. It was as dead as the engine. The old woman – Anne – didn’t seem affected, though. Not yet.

“Sorry if it’s not too cold,” Carrie said and handed Anne her plastic bottle. “It looked as if the fridge in there wasn’t working properly.”

“Thank you, honey,” Anne said and drank.

“Damn,” Carrie muttered under her breath. “Jon’s not gonna think the world of me if I come late back to Yuma again. He’s drowning in work these days and first Emma had the flu and Michael – “

“The bus will probably be going again soon,” Anne says quietly. “I don’t think you will be too badly delayed. Was he very upset when you called?”

“No … in fact he sounded very calm about it. But that’s usually a sign … that he is biting on something.”

“He has a temper, your Jon? Some men do.”

“You know,” Carrie said, very still, as she sat down again “ – he is so controlled, at home – usually. But then there are these small eruptions … like he’s holding something back. God, it would be easier if I had a job … then the bargaining would be more equal, if you know what I mean?”

Anne nodded, while looking out the window. The carpark off the highway was almost empty. “It is important to feel equal,” she then said. “Even if you’re not. Hans and I used to fight a lot.”

“What did you fight about?” Continue reading

Like Grace From The Earth (I)

A blond woman in her early 30s scrambled to make the bus before the door closed. She wore old jeans, t-shirt, short jacket, and carried a rucksack. Her hair was slightly messy and thin lines were showing under her eyes. It was a desolate Greyhound station in Bakersfield, California.

She got into the bus and thought that she had to hold on to something, because they would be driving any time now. The bus did not move. So the woman began looking for her seat instead. All the time checking her ticket which, it seemed, she had great difficulty in reading.

She found an empty seat – it was one of two in the entire bus. On the seat beside it an old lady was seated already. She had completely white-gray hair and was dressed in a blue nylon dress that looked at least 30 years old.

The dress also looked noble in a strange kind of way, the young woman thought. Then she thought about her troubles again:

“ … this ticket is unreadable,” the young woman mumbled. “Is … is this seat taken?”

“No, it is not,” the old lady answered. She had a faint accent.

The young woman sighed deeply: “Oh, thank god … I’ll just have to move if somebody comes around. But there should be at least one seat for me in this bus.”

“Of course there is,” the old lady said. I have taken the bus many times. So many never show up. You will be fine.”

“With my luck,” the younger woman said, “it’s probably Mr. Texas Ranger down there.” She nodded at a red-haired Chuck Norris-type, slouched in his seat a little further down the aisle, seemingly guarding the only other remaining empty seat in the bus. “But I’m not gonna go and ask him… not until I have to.” She smiled hesitantly. Continue reading

When The Moment Arrives

I didn’t think she’d come. And frankly, I didn’t know if I wanted her to come.

But now – when the flight from Houston is actually marked as “landed” on the screen up there … now it is for real. In about 30 minutes, max, she is going to walk through those doors and back into my life. And I’m still not sure if that’s the right thing – for both of us … Can a 15 year black hole in a friendship be mended just like that?

In the years that have passed, I’ve thought like crazy about the ‘why’. Yeah, she got married, with kids and all like the rest of us … but that wasn’t the entire explanation. And whatever it was, to me it was ultimately betrayal. After the accident everybody said I was not to blame, but in their hearts they felt I should be blamed. ‘Two careless kids playing on the cliffs … ‘ – that’s what they thought. One chases after another. And suddenly the world ends as we know it.

Few people stop to wonder why there is a chase to begin with, perhaps because they don’t want to acknowledge that kids can be so cruel to each other. ‘It’s a period of innocence, don’t spoil the picture …’ But Siné said she trusted me – that she would always be my friend – even after I locked myself inside myself, after coming home from the hospital. All the more reason it hurt like a knife twisted in your gut when she stopped writing – only a few months after we had fled from Scotland, back to a Cleveland family that didn’t really want mum to return.

And now … do I want her, to step through those doors? Continue reading

In Spite Of Dreams

“I can’t believe it! How can she just… ask me that – after all these years?!”

Jon’s expression is a study in puzzlement:

“Why can’t she ask you what?”

I shrug angrily:  “You know…!”

Some things don’t bear repeating, especially not to my husband.

“I ‘know’….?”

Jon raises both eyebrows in that charmingly innocently inquisitive way that completely diverts attention from the fact that my hubby supports himself – and me – by arresting people who crawl over fences and try not to get shot.

Maybe it’s a good ability for police-work as well as marriages.

“Just forget it, hon.”

“Right… “

He hoists himself up from the old armchair – with such a mock-effort that he almost knocks over the stale red wine on the small table. He hasn’t really touched it.

I thought we were going to have a romantic evening. Of sorts. Continue reading

Like The Wind Through My Tree (I)

“That’s the problem with being in love,” Hammond said, “most guys don’t want to admit it.”

“What makes you an expert on that?” I quickly shoot back and chow down some more fries. And cola. And then more fries.

Anything to concentrate on … just concentrate on eating.

Hammond leans over the diner table, conspiratorially:

“I have figured it out,” he half whispers. Not low enough so it’s completely certain she doesn’t hear. Even with all the noise from the rest of the noon-time diner.

Asshole.

“What have you figured out, amigo?” I say, but keep my eyes where they are supposed to be:

The food …

My bulky partner grins. It is easy for him.

Eric Hammond: Ready to tell me some bullshit, to rub me the wrong way as usual. In his sweaty trooper shirt, beard stubs and unkempt hair. Like some Burt Reynolds movie’s version of a cop – too fat, too slow, too sweaty.

He is anything but.

That biker he stopped from cleaving my skull yesterday, baseball bat-style, is still in Flagstaff Med Center wondering if he’ll ever be able to propagate his genes again – so we can have more alcoholic bikers with a grudge against the rest of the world.

Not the first time he’d done that. And I’d do the same for him. Every time.

So I let him BS me.

Every time.

“You know,” Hammond says, “I was always crazy about some chick when I was a teen, and then 10 times more after that. I never said a word.”

I look up from my cola, which is empty soon. But I am not going to call her to come get me a new one.

Maybe …

“Just because you were awkward when you were young … ” I start.

“Don’t give me that,” he interrupts. “I wasn’t finished. It’s not just me.”

“Keep it down … ” I say, breathing heavily and wondering if I can chow down more fries before we have to leave. I want to do something not to leave, but not eat.

“We have to do the round between Kachina and Sedona,” I continue, trying to make this all business.

Which is all BS, too, of course.

Hammond takes one of my fries, the last one. Eats it like it was a delicacy.

“Jon, my man – we’ll get there soon enough. The question is why you don’t want to talk to her.”

“I do. We have talked. I drove her home from the gym.”

“Yeah, and then you want to come here every day to have lunch. So you can talk about fries and ketchup with her. Great way to keep a conversation going. I’ll say it again: You don’t have the balls to ask her out!”

“I don’t want to – look, you don’t know shit about her. You don’t even know if I want to ask her out.”

“You have only been talking about her the last two weeks. I know what the hell you want.”

He winks at me: ” … amigo.”

“Stuff it.”

“Oooh … ” Hammond’s eyes widen at me, mock-like. Then he turns in his seat, before I can stop him.

“Honey – we’d like some more to drink,” he calls out.

And she comes over.

Carrie is a natural blonde but doesn’t look the part, if you know what I mean. Oh, I realize how that sounds but you should see her eyes, man – you should see them. Like they are looking at all the world and like there is a world behind them. But that’s where the problem comes. I’ve seen such beautiful eyes before.

I’ve seen the pain and strength which are there at the same time in such eyes. Because she knows that everything she dreams about, everything she really is inside – all of her world – it may never be part of the world outside.

The fence is just too high.

“What’ll it be, gentlemen … Another round of Larry’s the best?”

She means the fries.

Hammond is polite enough not to stare at her breasts as she leans a bit forward and you can see that she also has got all the right curves beneath that dull waitress uniform.

It’s not because he is married, you know – the a-hole is busy looking for my reaction.

“Eh … ”

Yeah, I get off to a great start.

She smiles and I am lost again.

“Maybe you want to,” she suggests, “but don’t really have the time?”

“Something like it!” Hammond quips and grins broadly at her.

She nods, she understands.

“I can get you some to-go. It’s gonna be a long afternoon, right?”

“Yeah, right,” I say and mean to get up. “Just get us the same as we had … Carrie.”

I hesitate on all counts. On saying her name. On getting up. On finding out where to look.

This is … not right. I’ve been in serious relationships for fuck’s sake. I chase bikers and drug dealers for a living. I know how this works.

And yet … I don’t.

I don’t go anywhere, just lean back and don’t even bother to hide how tired I feel.

Now it’s her turn to hesitate.

“Will I see you at the gym, tomorrow?”

That was not for Hammond.

I go for the cola but it is long empty, so I put the cardboard cup down and …

“Yeah,” I say – fully aware that I am not myself right now – “yeah!”

And I look up and smile. And she smiles.

And I have never really seen anything that makes me more happy. Even in a run down diner waitress’ uniform.

“Ha-ha!” I hear Hammond go, mouth full of his last fries. As if he had saved those for this moment.

“You got something stuck in your throat, hon – ?” she asks with accustomed ease.

She has been working here for months, I know. She must get all the shit from all kinds of …

Hammond wipes his mouth with the back of his sleeve. Leaving grease spots on his own uniform, to join the rest.

“I’m fine, thanks.” He nods vigorously. “I’m fine.”

“Look,” I start, manning up before this gets out of hand. “I’ll be there. As usual.”

I say it to her, and I am still not myself. Who is talking? How did this guy who can say these things to this woman – how did he suddenly get here?

I dunno.

But I’m glad he did.

She smiles again and takes our trays.

*

The problem with ‘the guy’ who just offered me help in the diner is that he is … not a regular.

He comes and goes.

Kind of like that self-confidence you are depending on when you are out to arrest people. Especially dangerous people, with guns and not a whole lot of resistance against using them.

Then you prep with your colleagues and you remind yourselves that you have a ton of experience doing this. You just need to remember it. Everything will go well.

But then you are out in the field, and something goes awry and you forget. And you begin to get those shakes or that cold feeling in the stomach. And you do your best to hide it, and just get it over with.

Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it happens even if everything goes according to plan.

I guess things went according to plan this time, in the diner. At least I did not screw up.

But I feel like I screw up every time I talk to her, even if it is just small talk.

So I come there, usually with Hammond, for lunch. And I get like I don’t want to be there, and I feel like something in me is taking over and looking for all sorts of distractions, even though what I want most is … to be there.

And then, sometimes, ‘the guy’ shows up and I manage to have a normal conversation with Carrie. Even if it’s just about what we’ll have, and if I’ll show up for gym the same days as she plans to.

So maybe ‘the guy’ is not someone else. Not some secret courageous Cary Grant living inside me.

Maybe he is just normal me.

And the true impostor is that feeling that takes me over and makes me feel like … she’s out of my league.

*

“Are you that skittish in the gym, too?” Hammond asks, as we drive out I-17 towards Kachina Village. “I mean, when she’s around … ”

“Maybe you should start coming to the gym,” I say, “then you can see for yourself.”

“I bet you are doing fine,” he says, unperturbed. “I bet you work out there and everything is fine. With talking to her and all … ”

“I bet you are right. It’s just … small talk, though.”

“That’s a start. Why not more?”

“You begin to sound like Dylan from the gym, Ham. It doesn’t really help.”

Hammond’s voice shifts, a tone that doesn’t help. And I know I did that.

Fucking stupid.

“Listen,” he says. “Don’t compare me to that chatty man-baby. He just messes with everyone, he tries to draw them into talk about all kinds of crazy stuff in his mind.”

He then looks at me, dead-earnest:

“What’s on my mind is you, partner. You haven’t been yourself for weeks now and it’s beginning to … ”

I know. He doesn’t have to finish. I am a liability now. Ever so small, but still.

And partnerships and, heck, friendships don’t need that.

Especially now.

We drive on in silence and the trees seem to grow more shadows. At the Dollar Store we pull in and Hammond gets a new package of smokes – for later, of course.

I don’t comment anymore – of course.

I just wait in the patrol car, watching people a little bit but really, I am watching the shadows between the trees in and around Kachina Village.

My bro explained it to me last fall when I took him here for some R&R after his illness, and why not – he is much more into shit like that than I am:

Kachinas are spirits or personifications of things in the real world. These spirits are believed to visit the Hopi villages during the first half of the year. Kachinas are understood as having humanlike relationships; they may have uncles, sisters, and grandmothers, and may marry and have children.

I remember Dave looking at me in a strange way, when he walked between the trees one morning, just a little away from our cottage. I got out and asked him what he was doing, it looked as if he was feeling his way through the forest – with closed eyes.

What was he looking for?

Maybe what everybody who has almost died of hepatitis – or anything else – is looking for?

Dave looked at me and said something I don’t remember about the kachinas. And then he said something I do remember:

” … kachina has to do with the idea that there is life in everything in the world – rocks, trees, people. Everything has an essence or a life force, and we have to connect with that life force.”

“Or what?” I asked, in good spirits, because I had just made coffee, and it was a great morning and Dave looked a bit comical out there among the pines in his bath robe.

Obsessing about our imagined Cherokee ancestry, like he always had.

But then he looked at me in that strange way and said:

” … Or we die.”

Hammond came back with cigarettes and colas and off we went again, looking for things on the road that violated some regulation or other. Like people, cars.

My mind felt hazy. I let Hammond do the looking, and take care of the radio. I just drove on.

That’s the way I’ve done life so far, alright. I just … drive on.

Whenever there is something by the road that makes me jittery … or makes me feel like a million bucks … or just really, really fantastic … whenever there is that …

I drive on.

*

Let me tell you about Carrie Sawyer. Let me tell you what I fear about her.

First of all, I fear that she is too wonderful. That she is … someone so special that there is no way in hell I could ever deserve her.

I dunno why there is that feeling. It’s just there.

It was never that way with Kim, and we did have some good times. Or with Maggie. Or Shay.

I don’t think I’ve had any other relations with a woman that was worth mentioning. Not in my 30 years in this fucked up world …

And Shay – oh, man – we were hardly out of high school. That was just … a fling.

It’s not that Carrie is your almost stereotypical good-looking blonde. It’s not that. She’s got it where it counts, sure. She’s got those ice-blue eyes and that nice long hair and some curves that are really, well, beautiful.

But all that is just … nothing. It’s not what really counts.

I mean, it does matter that she is … you know … that she has those looks. But she is hardly a model. Her face is a bit like some soldier I once saw in a movie.

I know that sounds odd, but I think it is beautiful, too. I talked about models before and they are all smooth as silk and look like somebody drew them with a feather pen.

Carrie has got the looks all right, but there is a roughness about her that comes off as more sincere.

Heck, I don’t even know what the hell that means …

I guess … I guess it means that if you put some of those models that I used to fantasize about when Dave and I were kids – if you put someone like that in a snow storm and ask her to find her way home, she would either not come home or she would come home and look like a doll that somebody had hit with a sledgehammer. She would be just like that.

Like somebody who looks like who had been hit by a sledgehammer. And who would never go out again. Anywhere.

Carrie would come home and she would look like she had been in a snowstorm, but she would be tough. She would be there. She would be beautiful.

She would be able to go through another snowstorm.

And I guess that’s also what …

There’s something about that strength I see that makes me think it’s not all roses for her, or it’s never been. It’s the kind of strength that’s either genuine, and really beautiful when you have it and you are as beautiful as she is – as a woman.

Or it’s a cover. A cover for something that’s as messed up as I am sometimes. And as I know Dave is.

And which is probably because our mum died and left us with that asshole for an old man.

And then all sorts of other shit. And it’s a wonder I ever got accepted as a cop, you know … but that’s another story.

I’m proud I got this far, but I feel like I have been in 3 of those snow storms to get there. And I feel like … I can’t really go through another.

I need some years where I don’t get into all kinds of shit with people I love. Or people I am supposed to love.

Don’t get me started on my old man …

Don’t get me started on all the crazy arguments Kim and I had at the end. She wanted someone who was going to be … refined.

Or just all right, I guess. No baggage. I don’t know what kind of movie she saw, but it was different than mine.

We didn’t think so at the beginning, but that’s the way it turned out.

*

“You want a cola?”

“No thanks, buddy.”

“It’s late.”

“I’m turning back to Flagstaff at the next roundabout.”

“Good. I’m starving.”

“You’ve been fucking eating for the last hour.”

“I asked if you wanted something.”

“You did… ”

*

I come home to my condo and I don’t turn on the light at first. I just go into my living room, which is the only room and I sit down in the couch and look into the darkness.

And I think about her, of course.

I’ve never felt … so close to anyone. And yet we have barely talked.

Mostly about weights and push ups.

And ketchup and fries, of course.

What if she is the real thing?

What if she is not?

What if she is from somewhere as shitty as Dave and I?

That would mean I am not really in love, right? I am just looking for someone to share my own messed-up-ness with. Some kind of crazy sympathy …

No.

What’s crazy is that I don’t even know that. About her.

I don’t really know her.

And yet … I know I have known her all my life.

Carrie Sawyer.

With that quirky accent that she can’t really hide. Where is that from anyway? Wales?

Fuck it.

I reach for the remote. A safe option. There is a program about …

Scotland?!

WTF?

On Fox. Of all places.

So maybe she is from Scotland.

And maybe I should steer clear.

I should.

I am thinking that maybe she is too beautiful for me, because she is beautiful and tough.

And maybe she is tough because she is as big a mess as me.

And I’m not tough. Only when I do my job …

It’s not a good combination.

Kind of like two people, with the same messes, feeling they have something in common. And they do. But what they have is not love.

It’s more someone to share the loneliness and the messes with.

Not a good combo.

I’m going to bed.

Fuck it.

I was pretty close there for a moment – believing I ‘knew’ her.

Yeah, I probably do. But for all the wrong reasons.

And I’m not coming to the diner anymore. Or the gym.

I’ll be doing us both a favor.

*

Continued

 

The Finland Station

Girl:

The sweat is everywhere.

It’s in my hair, on my brow, cheeks, throat.

It’s under my arms.

It’s in creases and folds of where my jogging trousers touch my legs.

It’s between my breasts.

Crotch …

I ignore it.

I push – lift – push – lift – push … and keep going until it feels like my arms are going to break.

I try not to look at everyone in the room.

It’s not as if I just committed a sin or something, though.

It’s a gym. We’re all used to each other’s war cries. And the smell of sweat. The smell that doesn’t get better when it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit of scorching merciless Arizona-sun outside.

In here it would be a boiler, if the fans weren’t running wild. Great big rotor blades making the whole ceiling turn, like they want to heave this suburban concrete-carcass turned fitness center into the heavens.

Fat chance.

I look at the others, without looking. I don’t want to be seen. Just alone.

Glistening sweat, war-cries, bulging muscles, bulging fat, big asses, skinny asses … it’s all there. It doesn’t look back and I am glad.

I want to be alone.

But I have to move when a lady sometime past her 50th b-day over and asks politely if she can use the machine.

“Uh, yes, ma’m. Sorry for sitting here, counting the stars.”

“That’s okay, dear. Was it a tiring workout?”

“It was hard enough. I put on a bit of extra weight – on the machine, I mean.”

We both smile politely.

“That’s good, dear. That’s good,” she says, slams her skinny ass in the seat and puts on some extra weight, about 10 pounds more than me. And begins lifting. I try not to look.

Damn. I’m only 26 but I already feel 26 years older than that lady. It’s not as if I don’t run around. It’s not as if I don’t move. You should try waiting tables all day in a Flagstaff road-side diner.

But it’s not as if I’m getting any skinnier. Still a few lumps too much around the belly and hips. Others might call me a hysteric. ‘Typical women’, you might cry. But I’m not. I’m not one of your ‘typical women’.

I really don’t care about the pounds. It’s as if I’m trying to wash something off. That’s why I keep at it, after a long day at the diner, when I really should just worship telly.

Those two Latinos are watching me. While they pump all the iron in the gym. Thinking about pumping the little blonde? Probably. I’m still good-looking enough for a mag or two. Others would say slim. Only I can see the extra lumps. So, yeah, they think it for a second:

‘Is she in on something – with us?’

If only they knew. If only they found some of the shit on the internet from my past life. I don’t think they’d be so eager not to conceal their staring. Continue reading