CALIXIAN // Long Tails & Boozy Tales

Write drunk, edit sober.

I look at those empty cans in the trash bin. Then I look at the empty screen with its blinking cursor. So far it’s three to zero for the cans. Words are trailing far behind. But I won’t give up. It’s only a matter of time and patience. I open the next can.

“So, it turns out that the average number of blinks made by someone getting their photo taken is ten per minute. The average blink lasts about two hundred and fifty milliseconds and, in good indoor light, the camera shutter stays open for about eight milliseconds. Exciting, huh?!”

Oh, shit, really?

“This way, photographing thirty people in bad light would need about thirty shots. Once there’s around fifty people, even in good light, you can kiss your hopes of an unspoilt photo goodbye. Listen now, this is the most interesting part…”

Gosh, what a load of cack!

“To calculate the number of photos you’d need to take for groups of less than twenty, divide the number of people by three if there’s good light and two if the light’s bad. Hey, Calix, buy me a camera? Please, pretty pretty please! I’ll take a photo of you and Darwin!”

I take my eyes off the screen and point them at the tank sitting on the book shelf. The goldfish goggles at me from there, its own eyes pleading, magnified through the dirty glass.

“You got a smartphone at Christmas, didn’t you? Use that!”

The goldfish pouts and turns its luxuriously long tail towards me. I give a nonchalant shrug and get back to the throes of creation. I don’t have time for silly chitchats. It’s about one in the morning, four to zero for cans, and I’ve still no fucking idea what I’ll write for tomorrow’s advice column. Nasty egoistic sprat! Instead of babbling various nonsense about blinking and winking, it would be better if he helped me with the task at hand.

Absently, I pull a book from the shelf and open it at a random page.

He called out to the golden fish
and the fish swam up and asked him,
“What is it, old man, what do you need?”

Yes, I know what I fucking need now, but where can I find a bloody talking golden fish? This is life, silly Calix, not Pushkin’s fairy tales! I gloomily open the next can. At least the beer is real.

My last thought before my head droops on the table is that I need to wake up early and take out the trash. I don’t want Darwin seeing this mess. After all, every accomplished woman of letters has her own little secrets.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2018

DARWINIAN // Feeding the Fish

“Y’know, me dear old nan used to say that it isn’t normative for a god to reveal itself supernaturally. And she was a nun!”

Bleary-eyed and rat-mouthed, Ezra Darwin squinted up at the ceiling, wondering why the clock radio wasn’t there.

“Which begs the question: What would you do to provide for your loved ones in the event of your untimely demise? Would you leave their fates to fate, or would you step up and take charge?”

Oh. That’s right. It wasn’t normative for clock radios to dwell on ceilings. Ezra turned his head. His cheek rolled into the soft, fresh swell of a pillow. God. That soothing coolness felt so damn good.

“Death can come a-knocking at any moment, so instead of praying for resurrectal intervention, why not hop on the blower and give Miracle Life Insurance a call? We’re true blue, and we bloody care.”

And there it was. The clock radio was a bit blurry and a bit… vertical, but well within reach. Ezra extended his arm and arced it downward, silencing said device with a decisive thwack. Goodbye annoying ad, and hello annoying new day! Ugh. It was time for his morning wee.

Ezra rolled onto his side, swung his feet to the floor, and sat up. Okay, so he wasn’t going to throw up yet. His head felt like a block of marinated wood with buzzing, nightmare insects for eyes. Maybe he shouldn’t have downed that fifth Balkan last night.

He jerked to a standing position. Well, Ezra thought he was standing. He hoped he was standing. And why were the walls dancing around? Were they celebrating something? Surely it was too early in the morning for celebration? He tried not to move his head too much, and concentrated on aiming himself at the ensuite door. Once he was vaguely lined up with its somewhat sideways edges, Ezra lurched forward in one gangly, awkward motion.

It didn’t help that everything was too small in this apartment. Space was at an absolute premium, and there were boxes and other shit absolutely everywhere. Ezra hadn’t unpacked since his arrival nearly ten months ago. Time was slipping by at a rate of impossible deadlines and boozy binge sessions punctuated by episodes of extreme anxiety, and nothing had improved. There had to be a better way to make a living.

Ezra fumbled with himself. Shit. Was it just his imagination or was it getting harder to piss? Or was he simply dehydrated from the previous evening’s impressive, alcohol-fuelled train wreck? He should get his prostate checked. Prostate was remarkably like prostrate, which all of a sudden seemed like an outstanding career move. His junk still flapping from his trunks, Ezra resisted the impulse to fall back, and flopped forward onto the toilet bowl instead.

He was in the process of disgorging the contents of his stomach when he noticed the goldfish looking up at him.

Huh?!

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

DARWINIAN // Wonky Vision

So, I’m waiting at the lights for the little green man to stutter. That’ll be my signal to cross.

I’m late for the bus again, and my back is sloughing into the seat of my pants via a river of sweat. Sizzling in this heat and humidity like a piece of rump steak is no fun, and the light is searing its bad self into every cranny of my awareness so there’s nothing but blank canvas everywhere I look. Yup, I’m a squinting Mr Magoo at the Seeing Eye Olympics. On the face of the sun. Being spit roasted by Satan himself. Or I may as well be. Summer sure loves to make me its inelegant, sweaty bitch.

I can barely make out the couple in front of me. They happen, as it turns out, to be making out—I can make that much out. Oh, hang on, they’re not actually making out. They’re just holding hands, sharing adoration and kisses despite the sun’s brutal, disapproving efforts. How sweet! I can’t help but smile. Not that you’d know it was a smile. It’s more like a scrunched up, mortified towel really—one that’s been used to exfoliate Donald Trump’s junk. Well, abused more like.

We’re hearing the green man now, so we all step out onto the road. The couple are still hand-in-hand, swinging their arms in time with the endearing skip in their gaits and hearts. We’re halfway across when a horrible realisation hits me. It’s two men! Shit! TWO MEN! I immediately begin to panic. The squinting has to stop. Like. Now. What if they see my expression—the grimacey scrunch that reads nothing like a smile—and come to the conclusion that I’m hating on their public display of affection? God almighty!

I try to unsquint as much as I humanly can, only to be blinded even more. Jesus! Fuck! The pain! The light is so fucking aggressive… and, holy fuck, the tears! My face is contorting all over the place like an epileptic cow with a cattle prod up its arse. It’s a wonder I’m not staggering into oncoming traffic. Still, I’m certain there’ll somehow be blood and recriminations next.

We reach the other side, and it’s only at that point when I realise something. Not only has this couple failed to notice my wank-walk of over the top social maladjustment, they clearly wouldn’t give a damn even if they did. They’re so besotted with one another, and so at ease within themselves and their immediate surroundings that… well, so what if I existed? Hell, it’s not even remotely about me. Or about what I think, for good or ill.

I’m just lucky to have witnessed this unabashed display of affection without getting smeared up the road by a Mack Truck—you know, like red jam over toast. Gaydom’s so normal that I should be considering it a bore really, not something to be noticed and having judgements formed about. Yup, nothing to see here. Just two folks very much in love. All’s right with the world.

And that’s enough for now.

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

DARWINIAN // Body Shamer vs. Potty Mind

“Fuck. That’s put me off me dinner.”

I look up in time to see him and his cronies turn away in laughter. And then he takes another bite of hamburger anyway. And then they continue to laugh and laugh and laugh beyond any reasonable point of cruelty. What grade A cunts.

No. I’ve got that wrong.

At least a cunt is warm and inviting, and is usually possessed by somebody who’s glad you’re in the room. And they’ve willingly let you in. Why? Because you’re you, and they like that, and that’s okay. Makes me wonder why cunt has ever been used as a pejorative in the first place.

I wish I was with a cunt right now. Anywhere but here.

So, who’s the tool two tables over? Well, he’s the complete opposite of a cunt, that’s for goddam sure. In fact, I’d call him a dick. No, hang on… I like dicks! I mean, sure, not other dicks. Just mine. It’s not like I go around sucking random dicks or anything. And I’m not saying mine’s the best dick out there either. Dicks, by and large, are simple, unassuming things. In short, a dick’s a dick, and just as there’s nothing inherently wrong with cunts, so too with dicks.

Okay, so he’s not a dick or a cunt. Maybe he’s just not very nice. I’ll have to settle for that.

Note to self: Whenever in public food court, sit with cauliflower ear facing wall. Preferably mirrorless kind. That way, no one sees and laughs. Or sees and comments. Or worse still, sees then completely looks away.

I think my heart is going to kill me.

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

SWBA. WLA!

Hey-ho! This February is the month of exotic awards for me…

Firstly, I was honored by Prakash Hegade for the Premio Dardos Award!
Thirdly, I was honored by Prakash Hegade for the Versatile Blogger Award!
(awww… the luckiest #13… aha! Coming soon.)

Where is the second? HERE!

Secondly, I was honored by Into the Forgotten for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! Yay! Thank you, Katho!

(Hmmm… Tony Single, Cyan Ryan, Spahr Plops, PROSPERMIND, lordwalt... sorry, boys! It looks like you can have a rest today…)

To be honest, I don’t know Katho very well… but I know one thing exactly… Katho likes acronyms!

WTITR!

• TTBWNYALBTTS
• PTALOYB
• ATTQSTY
• NSB
• MALOTQFYN

LG!

1. If you were a musical instrument, what would it be and why?
IWPTBAV… IACWIHI
2. What is your guilty pleasure? IL
3. What is your favourite fictional world/universe? DOMFB
4. Why do you blog? WASQ! WDIB?!
5. What is your favourite movie of all time and what’s so awesome about that movie? LFDDAP… BIIJAM!
6. What is one thing you wish were true but isn’t? TWWB!
7. If you could Apparate (that’s right, Harry Potter style) to one place on Earth in this very moment, where would it be? NMLZ…
8. What is your life motto? DWBH!
9. Who is your inspiration in life? TP
10. What is your current favourite novel and why? HPATPS… BIRIIEN!!

MN!

1) all my unedited glory
2) EXPRESSING MY THOUGHTS
3) field of thorns
4) Insidethelifeofmoi
5) La Audacia de Aquiles
6) megdekorne
7) MENOMAMA3
8) THE SIXPENCE AT HER FEET
9) THE TATTOO TOURIST

9? IK! FTAT! IWTN9B!! MPFY… YAFFMQ

(OMG! If you’ll ask me tomorrow what I wrote… I can bet I will not be able to recall. So… ASK ME TODAY!)

Well, my dear nominees… The proper rules are here.

HAF. ILYA.
XOXO. YU.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2015