Turtle Boy (Part XI)

Standish Townhomes, Peking, Michigan, September 17, 2015


Bud rubbed his forehead.

“House, what do you think about always living beyond your means?”

“It sounds like something you should discuss with Dr Mario or Banker Mario, doesn’t it?”

“I don’t care what Mario has to say about it right now. What do you think?”

“I’m not an expert on the matter, but I would say it is not sustainable. Does this matter pertain to the relationship of you and Miss Burberry?”

“Uh, yeah. Nevermind.”

He dried his hands with paper towels above the dishwasher and tossed the crumpled towel in the sink. “If I don’t get that raise, I am in trouble. I think she might follow through on her threat.” He took another Keystone Light from the fridge and watched the Dog Fightin’ Channel for an hour before slumping upstairs.

Mayflower High School, Michigan, September 17, 2015


Burberry Sage waved at the security guard in his electric truck. Most of the students had gone home, except for athletes, band members and assorted nerds.

“Hello, young lady!” said the grizzled security guard. “What can I do for you?”

“I’m Miss Sage, the new TV teacher. I need you to take me over to the football field.”

“Sure, I can do that.” He motioned to the empty seat. “Hop aboard.”

Burberry Sage examined the seat first. “It doesn’t look that clean.” She wrinkled her nose at the man. “Can you do something about that?”

“Well, I wouldn’t call that dirty, but if it’ll make you happy…” He opened a plastic box in the bed of the truck and took out a can of cleaning goo and a paper towel. He wiped the seat thoroughly.

“It might be wet,” she said, her nose turned up. “Does your jacket stink?”

“What do you mean?” He asked her puzzledly.

“A real gentleman would let me sit on his jacket. But not if it smells like old-man sweat.”

“It might smell, then. I don’t know, ‘cause I can’t really smell myself.”

“I’ll take my chances,” Burberry Sage said. “It looks like you wiped it off.”

“I think it’s pretty clean, miss.”

“I appreciate it.” Burberry Sage watched the man work. “White shows every stain, you know.”

“No problem, Miss Sage.” The man tossed the bottle in the black plastic box and the towel on the pavement. “My name is Jerry.” He extended his hand.

Burberry Sage looked at his calloused hand with a grimace. “That’s nice. Football field, please.” She sat down daintily and adjusted her expensive Gucci Toshiba sunglasses.

“Okay, Miss Sage.” The middle aged man drove the truck down the pavement to the football field. “I imagine you want to watch Coach Stallion at work?”

“I met him, but I thought he was rude. I wasn’t very impressed.”

“All the ladies love Coach Stallion. Some of the men do, too.” Jerry looked wistfully at the football field. “He doesn’t even know I exist.”

Burberry Sage winced. “Eww! Too much information! Drive me over to the seats, but don’t go too far away. I don’t know how long I’ll stay.”

Jerry sniffled and wiped his nose with the back of his sleeve. “I’ll stay nearby, trust me!”

The electric mini-truck reached the end of the stands. “I’ll stay right here, Miss Sage.”

“That will be fine.” Burberry Sage left the truck. “Maybe you could drive a little further away, but close enough so you can see me wave?”

“What if I stay right here?” Jerry asked hopefully.

“No…further away would be better.” Burberry smiled. “I’ll tell him you said hello.”

“Oh my God, will you?” Jerry clapped his hands. “Thank you so much!” A tear dripped down his weathered cheek from behind his large black unfashionable sunglasses.

The beautiful TV and Reading teacher waited for the smitten security guard to drive away before she walked over to the chain-link fence which stood taller than Miss Sage.

The football team was running back and forth across the field, while Coach Stallion talked with two men. One of the men was very tall and had a massive jaw. His shaved head was covered in tattoos and Cyrillic lettering. The other man also had a shaved head with similar tattoos, but he was short and slight with beady eyes and a long nose.

“Hey, Vlad, if you think training with bayonets is a good idea, then I’ll let you try it out.” Coach Stallion waved to Burberry Sage. “You know I don’t understand all of that Russian training, but you know what you’re doing.”

“It will yield impressive results,” said the shorter man.

“Okay, Boris. I got a visitor,” said Coach Stallion, who handed the shorter man his clipboard computer. “Keep doing those drills.”

Coach Stallion walked over to the fence. “Hello, Miss Sage!”

“Attack formation!” yelled Boris. His surgically implanted megaphone rattled the stadium. The football players moved around to form a phalanx.

“That which does not kill me makes me stronger!” The short coach yelled.

The footballers repeated and marched down the field, keeping their formation.

“The Jewish race is a disease that must be exterminated!” Boris yelled and the team repeated.

Burberry Sage raised an eyebrow. “What are they saying? That’s like from an old movie or something.”

“They’re…Russian. Vlad and Boris have all of these secret Russian training tricks.” Coach Stallion shrugged. “We were undefeated last year, so you can’t argue with success. They are really into that Ultimate Fighting thing, too.”

Burberry Sage shook her head. “So because you have a good team, you think you’re hot shit?”

“Whoa! Miss Sage!” Coach Stallion laughed and displayed his perfect teeth. “You came out here to bust my balls?”

“No. I’m just curious.”

“Yeah, and you like what you see, right?” Coach Stallion grinned. “They all do.”

“I am not ‘they’.” Burberry shook her head.

“Of course not! That was rude of me. Maybe we could get to know each other over dinner?”

“I have a boyfriend.” Burberry looked at Johnny’s manicured hand. “Isn’t that a wedding ring?”

“Don’t worry about it,” he cooed. “She’s cool with it.”

“That’s gross. I don’t share my man.” Burberry folded her arms across her bosom.

“To each their own.” He shrugged. “You can’t resist me.” He smirked.

“Yeah, right!” She smiled. “Do you think I’m a silly blond bimbo?”

Coach Stallion’s black phone played ‘Toccata in D Minor’. “Hold on, Miss Sage.” He took the phone and answered it. The image of Bowser, King of the Koopas, disappeared. A bull-necked police officer appeared in his place.

Burberry turned around and walked toward the mini-truck.

“Hey, buddy, how’s it going?” Coach Stallion bit his bottom lip.

“This juice you givin’ us ain’t workin’ anymore,” replied the cop without a neck. “You gotta give us somethin’ better.”

“I will get on that immediately, Chuck. I’m teaching the team a new drill, can I call you back?”

“Oh yeah, sure, Coach. Go Indigenous Warriors!” The police man punched his fist in the air.

Coach Stallion tapped the screen with his index finger and put the phone and clipped the belt to the waistband of his black Gucci tracksuit.

“Hold on, Miss Sage!” Coach Stallion opened the gate and followed Burberry, who waved at Jerry who sped up to intercept her.

“I’m a busy man, I didn’t mean to be rude!”

Burberry gave the ‘talk to the hand’ sign and sat in the mini-truck.

Jerry the security guard’s lip quivered as he drove away toward the main building.

Johnny Stallion smiled and snapped his fingers. “She’s tough!”

He turned around and watched the team drill to some old German song that Boris played from his mouth loudspeaker. The only words he could understand were ‘horse’ and ‘vessel.’



After practice Johnny Stallion told Boris and Vlad that he would order the plastic rifles with bayonets, but that it might take a couple of days to get them. He told them to lock up the gym and the stadium and he walked to the parking lot.

Johnny saw his bright red, luminous Ferrari in the lot and waved to it. It started its engine and drove over.

“Allo, Signor Johnny,” said the Ferrari as it swung the driver’s door open. “Where are we going?”

“I got to tell you something, Enzo. That Miss Sage has gotten me all fired up.”

“Is that her over there?” asked Enzo. Coach Stallion looked around. “By that white Volga Victory?”

Coach Stallion saw Miss Sage about to drive off in her white Russian-made sports car. “No shit! She likes those Russian cars?”

“I agree she is beautiful, but I don’t like those vulgar Russian cars.”

“Me neither, but her boyfriend has some money.” Coach Stallion sat down. “I think she was waiting for me.”

“Probably to see what car you were driving, yes?”

“I’m sure. Enzo, let’s catch up to her.” The Ferrari sped out of the parking lot and onto Peking Center Road. “Where did she go?”

“She’s driving down Mayflower Road. I will catch up.”

The Ferrari zigzagged through slow moving rush-hour traffic to find Miss Sage at a red light. The Ferrari’s window slid open.

“What’s up?” asked Coach Stallion. “How about dinner?”

“Oh, it’s you.” Miss Sage rolled her eyes. “I don’t date married men.”

“Don’t be such a prude! I promise you’ll have a good time.”

The light turned green and Burberry’s Volga Victory sped forward. She didn’t look back.

“Damn! See what I mean?” Coach Stallion slapped the dashboard as the Ferrari turned left.

“She is one fine woman. Don’t worry- you will get her in the sack.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Who should I fuck tonight?”

“The nurse or the volleyball player?” asked Enzo.

“Some fresh, young pussy would feel really good right now. Send Chardonnay a message and we’ll meet at the library.”

“Of course, Signore Stallion!” The Ferrari made the arrangements and off they sped, driving well past the listed speed limits.

“Thanks, Nikita.” Burberry put her head back as the seat massaged her neck and the back of her head.

The Russian sports car sped down the side road, 20 miles over the posted speed limit of 40 miles per hour.

“No problem, Burberry,” said the Volga Victory in a thick Russian accent. The image of Nikita Krushchev, wearing an astrakhan spoke from the dashboard screen. “I give massage and then you forget about this sportsman.” The interior of the car was white except for the display of speed, fuel and time which was bright red. A red star adorned the steering wheel and the dashboard.

“How can he afford a Ferrari? His wife must be rich.”

“Do you want to know? I can discover this.”

“Go ahead.” She closed her eyes.

“Here she is, her name is Brighamina Stallion.” On the dashboard screen, the car displayed the image of an attractive woman with an oval face and long brown hair. She wasn’t as beautiful as Burberry Sage, but she wasn’t ugly.

“There must be something wrong with that bitch. Maybe she’s stupid.”

“She graduated with a degree in Mormon Studies from Utah Tech.”

“Oh! She’s brainwashed! She probably doesn’t even know what her husband is up to. Do they have any kids?”

“None. Her father is Joseph ibn-Smith. He is wealthy capitalist.”

“How rich is he?”

“Billions of dollars. He lives in Somalia. He is wanted by American FBI for connection to terrorism.”

“What a scandal!” Burberry sat up. “His father in law is a wealthy terrorist and his wife is a stupid religious bitch. Rich and sleazy.”

“Do you like?” asked Nikita.

“Yes, I do.” Burberry looked upward. “I’ve been waiting for my billionaire Prince Charming for a long time. I’ll whip him into shape.” The Volga Victory turned into her carport space, displacing some of the orange leaves that had fallen.

The door opened the seat angled up, making it easier for Burberry Sage to exit the car. She grabbed her purse and stormed out. She looked at Bud’s Ford Squirrel. “Piece of shit little car.”

She stepped in a small pile of leaves. “What the fuck? Doesn’t someone get paid to take care of this shit?”

Burberry’s pink PhoneBoy vibrated.

“I know the answer!” said the Princess cheerily.

“I didn’t ask you. Shut up.” snapped Burberry.

The PhoneBoy was silent.

Burberry walked across the parking lot and around the building to the entrance of the townhouse.

“Tiny shit box townhouse,” she muttered. The wind had picked up and blew leaves across Burberry’s path. She waved her hand at the camera by the door, which winked and opened the glass door for her. Leaving her purse on the small white wooden table by the door, she strode into the kitchen.

Seeing the empty beer bottles in the sink, she set her jaw and stormed into the living room. It was empty, except for her white Persian cat with yellow eyes, Oprah.

“Oprah! My baby!” Burberry knelt down and the cat jumped into her arms. “Widdle baby! How are you! I hope Bud didn’t mistreat you.” She stroked the cat behind the ears. “Where is that lazy drunk?”

“He is sleeping upstairs,” said the house computer. “He went to bed about twenty minutes ago.”

“He’s sleeping upstairs? Says who?” Cradling her cat, Burberry kicked her white shoes and stomped upstairs.

“Hey asshole! Wake the fuck up!” Burberry slammed the bedroom door open to find Bud snoring on their white circular bed.

“Huh? Wha?” Bud rustled and rubbed his eyes.

“Yeah! I saw those empty bottles in the sink! Oprah wants to go outside. What- are you fucking passed out? You don’t come up here until you get that raise, remember?”

Bud sat up. “Chill out, Burberry. I had three beers-“

“That I know of! Oprah hasn’t been outside since this morning while you come home, get drunk and pass out!”

“I came home early because we were supposed to go out and-“

“You‘re turning into an old man,” scowled Burberry. It’s not even six and you’re already drunk and in bed.” She continued to scratch behind Oprah’s ears. “Pathetic!”

“Listen, this is the first time I’ve been home before seven in I don’t know how long and I just wanted to take a nap.”

Burberry glared at him and pulled the comforter away.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable. I tried to  pick up the cat and take her outside, but she scratched me. She bit me, too. I thought maybe the house let her out. I’m sorry.”

“We never go out during the week anymore,” said Burberry who noticed Bud’s lack of abdominal definition. “What’s wrong with your stomach? Where’s the six-pack?”

“I had to let Fit slide for a while until I see how this promotion pans out. I don’t like it either.”

“That is gross!” She looked at his flat, yet non-ripped stomach. “If you lose any more definition I won’t sleep with you.”

“Geez! The latest fixes are not cheap.”

“Oh, I see, you are upset with me because I want to look my best? Do you want me to stink and be chubby?” She narrowed her eyes at the man.

“Of course not!”

“What happened to the cool dude who I met at McBlackout’s?”

“I’m working as hard as I can! Give me a break!” Johnny frowned.

A strong scent of vanilla wafted into Bud’s nostrils.

Burberry let Oprah jump out of her hands and onto the white ottoman where she put on her jewelry. “Who picked out the carpeting for this house?”

Burberry stood akimbo. “Who spent hours looking for modular sections that didn’t clash with the walls, by myself, while you were getting drunk in Toledo? ”

“What?! I had to go to Toledo! It was my dad’s funeral!” Bud swung his legs over the edge of the bed. “Not this again!”

“He was your step-dad, drama queen!” Burberry pointed to the staircase. The bedroom occupied the entire second floor of the townhouse.

Bud grit his teeth. “Come on”

“Get over it!” Burberry glared.

“I am over it. You brought it up.” Bud shook his head.

“Don’t whine. I’m going tanning.”

“What about dinner?” Bud stood up; he was wearing boxers adorned with koopas. “Doesn’t that sound good?”

Bud just couldn’t stay angry with Burberry for long. It was impossible.

“All you do is work, come home, eat and sleep!” she yelled. “You’re only thirty-two and you’re turning into an old man! Forget that raise-what happened to that Ph. D you were going to get?”

“You try working seventy hours a week in a stressful job and you tell me how much energy you have.” He pleaded.

Burberry opened her closet door hard angrily. “Why am I still putting up with this?” She grabbed her white workout bag.

“Because I put up with you?” Bud lowered his voice. “Calm down and we’ll go to Le Sal Arabe.”

“I don’t think so.” Burberry Sage slammed the bedroom door and walked downstairs. She tried to slam the front door, but the house shut the door slowly. “You better be sleeping on the couch when I come back!”

Bud walked down the carpeted staircase.

“Why is she so difficult?” asked Bud. He heard the Volga’s mighty gasoline engine start up and tear around the corner.

He collapsed on the soft plastic sofa.

“Lights off,” said Bud. He pulled the white comforter over his head and went back to sleep.


Turtle Boy (Part X)

Peking, Michigan, September 17, 2015


Bud woke up suddenly. He felt a pain in left arm. “Yowch!”
He sat up straight. The white Persian cat, Oprah, was digging her claws into his forearm.

Bud pushed the cat off and she bit his fingers.

“Goddamnit!” The sleepy programmer picked the cat by the scruff of her neck and tossed her onto the white shag carpet. “Darned cat!”

The cat screamed and hissed at him. She inched towards him, her hackled raised.

“Get out of here!” Bud stood up and stepped toward the cat.

The cat spun around and raced upstairs.

Bud walked into the small kitchen and washed his bleeding arm under the sink.

“Do you require medical assistance?” asked the house computer, from a small speaker above the kitchen window. Bud looked at the kitchen camera above the fridge.

            “No. I’m fine. Scare the cat if she starts to shred the blankets.”

            “Burberry Sage told me to never chastise the cat,” replied the house computer in its English accent. “Can you at least shine a light on her, if she does any damage?”

            “Wouldn’t that be considered chastisement?”

            “Not really. You are just…asking Oprah to reconsider her actions.”

            “Maybe I should ask Miss Burberry first?” The computer sounded hesitant.

            “Never mind. Let me know if the cat is shredding anything and I’ll chastise her. Could you do that?”

            “I can. But I must caution you that anything you do to that cat will be reported to Miss Burberry.”

            “Of course.”

            Bud dried off his arm and opened the fridge. He took out a Meatsicle and put in the micro-cooker. “Hey, House, what time is it?”

            “It’s five-thirty.”

            “Geez! She’s not even home yet. She hasn’t even called. This is nonsense.” Bud waited forty-five seconds and took the Meatsicle out of the micro-cooker. He placed it on the counter top, grabbed another Litest Beer out of the fridge and sat down on one of the white barstools.

            The door of the micro-cooker flashed and Chef Mario appeared on the screen. “Valued customer, you are almost out of Meatsicles. Did you want to order more?”

            “Yeah, go ahead.” Bud quickly ate the savory meat on a stick, which dripped grease on the kitchen counter.

            “You know-a you will get-a fat without Fit 8.9?” Chef Mario spun around and Dr. Mario wagged his finger. “I worry about-a your health.”

            “Leave me alone for a minute, Mario.”

            The image of Mario shrugged and the screen on the micro-cooker went black.

            Bud chewed away at the pressed meat and artificial meat snack. “I’m sure lamb tagine tastes a lot better than this crap.”

            “You are probably right. Most reviewers have given Le Sal Arabe good ratings, especially their lamb tagine,” said the house computer. “The lamb is real meat.”

            Bud noticed a rivulet of grease had dribbled down his arm and onto the sleeve of his folded-up blue workshirt.

            The PhoneBoy on his belt vibrated and played the Super Mario Brothers theme song.

            Bud ignored it and worried the bits of meat stuck to the compressed-particle stick.

            The music played louder and louder and the vibration became more and more intense.

            Bud ignored it and tossed the stick into the spotless black enamel sink. He finished the beer and tossed the plastic bottle into the sink also.

            Milky goo oozed out of the faucet and began to swirl in a clockwise direction as the drain’s rubbery sphincter opened. The goo washed down the scraps of meat, the bottle and the stick into the hole.

Bud put his hands under the faucet and soapy water covered his hands. As he rinsed his hands under the water which followed he remembered meeting Burberry Sage at McBlackout’s in Kentuckyopolis and how lucky he was to pull such a hottie.

Kentuckyopolis, Michigan, October 11, 2009

“You must be tired,” said Bud to the buxom blond girl selling Mountain Dew Schnapps from a bandolier worn over her shoulder. The shot glasses each had a yellow-green LED at the base and were sealed with a top. She wore a beret, jeans and a t-shirt of Che Guevara wearing a beer helmet.

He had seen her a few times on the Stairmaster at the campus recreation center. He definitely admired her. As a master’s student, after spending six years getting his bachelor’s, he had seen a lot of hot women on campus.

“Yeah, well, I’ve been working here, like two nights in a row.” She paused and frowned. “Do I really look tired?”

“No!” Bud smiled. “You’re supposed to say; ‘No, I’m not’ and then I say; ‘Because you’ve been running in my dreams all night.’”

“Is that it goes?” asked Burberry, raising an eyebrow. “I think I heard that before. Well, are you gonna buy a shot or what? I’m only a junior- is that a problem?”

“Not at all!  I’ll buy one for me, one for Thor and one for you.”

“It’s a little early…” Burberry looked toward her manager, a chubby and tall man with a crew cut who was standing behind the bar, watching a basketball game on one of the huge LCD screens in  the bar.

“One’s okay,” Bud said. He looked over at his friend, Thor, a big man with a blond goatee who nodded.

Bud handed Burberry two twenty dollar bills and she handed the two fraternity members two shots. She left one on the table for herself.

“Do the Dew!” cheered Bud and Thor. Burberry looked at her manager and downed her shot as well.

“I love this!” said Burberry. “As soon as I sell forty-four more of these I can clock out.”

“Maybe you can hang out with us?” asked Bud.

“Well, my boyfriend, Troy, is supposed to meet me at Boozy Bobby’s.”

“Hey, well, have a few shots here with us, and then you can go. We’lll buy some of those shots from you and help you get done earlier. I’m a grad student you know.”

Bud smiled and Burberry smiled back.

“I’ll call the house and the boys will buy all of those shots from you. “My name is Bud Miller and I’m the Party Commissar of Theta Chi.”

 It was a title especially created for Bud, the only graduate student of the fraternity.

“Nice to meet you! I’m Burberry Sage, but I’m not in a sorority. I hope you don’t hold that against me.”

She frowned. She had a big mouth and a bigger than average Germanic nose, but with her big blue eyes, she was a classic beauty. Not to mention she had an hourglass figure with big boobs.

“Cool! Call them up. I feel like getting drunk!” She began to take the shots out of the bandolier and line them up on the table.

Bud took out his small, silver Nintendo phone and called Theta Chi , Southern Michigan University. “Hey, boys, this is Bud. We have a situation here at Drinky McBlackout’s. This hottie wants to party, but she needs some really cool dudes to buy forty-four shots of Dew.”

“Uh, yeah, Bud. I’ll send the pledges,” answered Chase Goldstein, the treasurer. “I’ll be there as soon as I do my hair. Give me forty-five minutes.”

“I can’t wait that long. This is a situation.”

“I’ll send the pledges right now, bro. I’ll be there later.”

“Sounds cool. Later, bro.” Bud put his phone in his jeans pocket and took his Theta Chi Visa card from his wallet. “Put the drinks on here- but the pledges have to buy their own drinks. If they don’t leave you a sweet tip, let me know!”

The pledges showed up fifteen minutes later and Bud ordered them to do fifty push-ups for being late. When they completed their punishment, they quickly ordered and drank those forty-four shots. After Burberry cashed out, clocked out and put on her SMU sweatshirt over her work t-shirt, she and Bud took to the dance floor. He convinced her that Troy was no good, because he drove a Buick and he wasn’t in a frat.  She called up her three roommates; nowhere near her level of beauty, but some of the drunken pledges were happy to take them home.

Bud and Burberry spent the night at Theta Chi and the next day, after skipping class, they ate dinner at Mussolini’s, the flagship location, before it became a chain. She had the Fascist Chicken Fettuccine and he had the Schutzstaffel Sirloin Steak. Both dishes were delicious. By the time the waiter brought the Axis Cheesecake, Bud and Burberry were making out at the table and grabbing each others’ crotches. The ride back to Theta Chi House was a blur, but Bud didn’t get arrested for drunk driving and the couple had great drunken sex.

Kentuckyopolis, Michigan, October 28, 2009

Bud sat in the Chair of the Accused, a throne-like wooden chair decorated with painted skulls and carved biohazard symbols from early in the 20th century.

The Chair stood in front of the fireplace of the lounge of the house. All members of Theta Chi, who could make it, attended the meeting. While the officers sat in the armchairs and couches, other members had to make do with folding chairs and pledges were instructed to sit on the floor Indian-style.

Ford Kosinski, President of SMU’s Theta Chi Chapter. Stood behind the podium, armed with the Gavel of Justice, an ancient wooden gavel bequeathed to the house from a long-dead alumnus who went on to become a judge somewhere. “Budweiser Miller, Party Commissar of Theta Chi Southern Michigan University, you stand accused of misappropriation of house funds for personal benefit. Specifically, using the house credit card to spend over two thousand dollars in buying dinners for his, girlfriend. In his defense, she is really hot, but this is a violation of the charter of Theta Chi and clear dereliction of your office. How do you plea to these charges?”

“Yes, I did spend that money, and I will pay it back, as soon as I get my grandfather to spot me the money. If I can say two things in my defense.” Bud looked around the room. All of the brothers stared at him, except for those texting or playing games on their phones. Behind them were the photos of past brothers, who had all gotten laid, gotten in fights, gotten drunk, gotten crabs and gotten a foot in the door of businesses by former members of Theta Chi. “This bitch is one of the hottest hos on campus, and I think most of you will agree with me.”

Most of the boys nodded their heads, some of them smiling.

“So faced with a high maintenance ho and since my mother is not doing well, thus, cut off from money I should have had to spend on her, I took the easy route, but one which anyone here would probably do the same. I feel awful for spending house funds on her and I will reimburse the house very soon. Secondly, I was one of the best Party Commissars this house has ever fucking seen. I tried to get all of my bros hooked up with ladies and I went out of my way to see that this pledge class all got laid. If I am forgiven I will promise to make sure that all of my brothers of Theta Chi will get some pussy at least twice before the end of the year, so help me God.”

The fraternity members murmured. “Yeah!” someone shouted.

“Doesn’t the accused have a job. He is a grad student, right?”

Bud nodded. “Yes, but I have student loans and a Mustang. Dude, like I don’t buy drinks all the time?” He smiled at the crowd.

The brothers stirred and a few pledges began to clap.

“Silence!” Ford Kosinsky banged the Gavel of Justice. “Does the accused have anything else to say?”

Bud stood up. “If trying to score the hottest pussy around, even she is almost out of my league is a crime, then yes I am guilty.”

“Whoo-oo!” Scottworth Hernandez fist pumped from the old green sofa by the stairs.

“Silence!” The president of Theta Chi banged the gavel. “Anyone talking before this case is dismissed will have to will have to shotgun three beers in ten seconds.” He looked around.

“Yeah!” The pledges on the carpet cheered.

“All of you pledges will have to shotgun three beers in ten seconds. Party Commissar-“ Ford Kosinsky looked at Bud. “Okay, officers, what is the verdict?”

“Cool,” said the Treasurer, Chase Goldstein.

“Cool,” said the Vice President, Louis Vuitton Ortega.

“Cool,” said the Secretary, Toshiba Woods.

“Cool,” said the Enforcer, Chuck Rockworth.

“Cool he is, then,” pronounced Ford Kosinsky. “But the accused has to pay back the money before the Spring Formal, is that understood?”

“Yeah, dude, I promise,” said Bud Miller.

“Give the pledges their beers and let’s gets fucked up!” Ford blew an air-horn and the gathered frat brothers high-fived Bud who jogged into the kitchen to grab a few cases of Milwaukee’s Best Lite.



Turtle Boy (Part IX)

TB Cover

Peking, Michigan, May 18, 2006

            “LaMohammed,” asked Brandy worriedly, her face ashen, under the spray tan, her perm wilted, under her hairnet. “You didn’t call me last night- or the night before.”

            “Yeah,” said LaMohammed, avoiding eye contact and putting a plate of chicken a la king on his red plastic tray. “I…I got a new girl. Mountain Dew, please”

            “What?” asked Brandy, handing a liter bottle of the popular yellow-green soda to her current soul mate. Her lower lip trembled; “What?!”

            “Hey, baby, don’t worry about nothin’. I’ll give you a call, sometime.”

            “But what about me?” asked Brandy, tears welling up in her eyes. “What’s her name?”

            Ruth, sensing drama, moved up to the counter from her job of breaking up the gelatinous chunks in the cream of tomato soup, which was destined for the teacher’s lounge.

            “What’s going on here, Brandy?” asked Ruth, stroking her mustache, looking askance at LaMohammed. “Is he dumping you?”

            “Y-y-y-yes, Ruth,” whimpered Brandy. “He’s got a new girl.”

            LaMohammed winced. “Baby- I’ll tell it to you straight- you a flatback now- you don’t have that ass I loved no more. You’re skinny. I’m sorry- I need a woman with a big booty. Flat ass don’t work for me. Fuckin’ bones don’t feel right. I got needs, baby.”

            “Who…who is she?” asked Brandy, trying not to bawl. She didn’t want to know, but at least she’d have someone to hate.

            “Dolores…in the guidance counselor’s office,” said LaMohammed, scratching his neck and looking away.

            Dolores- who drove a Mustang GT? Brandy couldn’t hold back anymore. Ruth gave an evil look to LaMohammed and putting her pink sweater around Brandy’s shoulder, led her to the back of the kitchen where institutional-sized cans of Cream of Mushroom, Tomato Soup, Pizza Sauce, and Chicken a la King lined the shelves.

            Brandy told Ruth everything- the clubs, the sex and the crack. The union provided counseling, which led to rehab, where Brandy rediscovered her childhood sweetheart – a Jewish carpenter with the name of Jesus Christ.

Mayflower, Michigan, September 17, 2015

            A tall teenaged girl sat on the examination table in the small school health office. She had her ankle wrapped in gauze and a man in a coach’s jacket and a track suit was looking at her foot.

            Coach Stallion stood 6’4’, muscular with a square jaw. His black hair was gelled into a pompadour and he wore a red Armani tracksuit. His red Nikes glowed garishly red. “How does that feel?”

            “I guess that hurts a little,” said the girl who was dressed in the red and white volleyball uniform of the Peking Indigenous Warriors.

            “How about that?” The coach rubbed the girl’s calf up to her knee.

            “No. That kinda tickles.” The teenager laughed.

            The door opened and a beautiful blond woman in a white tennis outfit looked at the coach. “Coach Stallion, I didn’t know you were a licensed health care worker?”

            The coach stood up straight. “I know first aid. Chardonnay twisted her ankle and I was examining it. What’s the problem?”

            “Well, there is a clinic across the street.” Burberry Sage raised an eyebrow.

            “I can probably play. My foot doesn’t hurt that bad,” said the teenager, who began to get off the table.

            “We can’t take chances.” The coach motioned the girl to remain and looked at Burberry Sage. “Aren’t you the new TV teacher?”

            “Yes, I am. Miss Burberry Sage, TV and Reading teacher.” She put out her hand to be shaken.

            “Coach Stallion, pleased to meet you.” He smiled, displaying his dazzlingly white smile full of perfect teeth. Micro-LEDs lit up the teeth from behind. “Someone told me we had new talent on the team.” He shook Burberry Sage’s manicured hand and winked.  “Let me get Chardonnay back on her feet and let’s see if I can show you around campus.”

            “I think my ankle is okay, Coach Stallion.” The girl waved at Miss Sage. “Hi, Miss Sage.”

            “Get on your feet and take it easy until tomorrow. Come into my office before practice and we’ll see how you’re doing.”

            Chardonnay got off the bench and Coach tapped her on the rump. “Don’t be too late for class.”

            The girl giggled and put on her shoes.

            Burberry Sage looked at Coach Stallion. “What? Is that acceptable around here?”

            The volleyball player got her backpack and left the office, limping slightly. “See you tomorrow, Coach.”

            “Hasta manana, Chardonnay!” Coach Stallion turned to Burberry Sage. “I’m the best coach this school has ever seen. Are you arguing with my coaching techniques?”

Burberry examined him, slightly annoyed.

“Why did you come into the nurse’s office anyway?” He looked at her ample cleavage. “Not that I mind.”

            “In some schools, that would get you kicked out for harassment.”

            “This isn’t some school. I’m not some coach, either. What are you doing down here?”

            “I was looking for some Vicodin.” Burberry Sage replied. “I have a headache.”

            “Well, I can help you out.” The coach walked over to a combination locker next to a first aid kit and typed four numbers into the keypad. “This is my own stash.” He held up two bottles for the blond woman. “I have some morphine, too.”

            “My goodness! One Vike is enough.” She held out her hand. “Why on Earth would you have morphine?”

            “I have more than that. Listen, Miss Sage. I am the winningest coach Peking Michigan has ever seen. I play to win and the school board likes me. They leave me alone. They don’t mess with success. I get what I want.”

            Burberry Sage took the pill and swallowed it.

            “Dry swallower? Well. Most chicks take a Motrin for a headache.”

            “I’m not most chicks.” She tossed her long blond hair back.

            “I can see that.” He smirked a bit. “This year is looking good already.”

            She shrugged. “They warned me about you.” She turned toward the door.

            “Who is ‘they’?”

            “Third person plural.” Burberry Sage spun on her white heel and shut the door.

            “Watch me coach. You might learn something!” The coach yelled at the departing woman.

            “The thrill of the chase. I like it.” He chuckled and checked out his hair in the mirror. Perfect, as usual.

Peking, Michigan, September 17, 2015


            As Budweiser Miller drove home in his Ford Squirrel in the slow moving traffic, he started to get sleepy and the autopilot took over. Just as he was about to fall asleep, he got a call.

            “Bud.” Burberry Sage looked bored and rolled her eyes. “Listen, there’s a meeting after school and I don’t know how long it’s going to be.”

            “Huh?” Bud shook his head. “But, uh, I made reservations at Le Sal Arabe. Remember? It wasn’t easy to get out of work early.”

            “Of course I remember. It’s just…it’s out of my hands. It’s a new school and I can’t rock the boat.”

            “The reservation isn’t until six o’clock. How long is that meeting?”

            “I don’t know. It might be really long.”

            “Uh, why don’t you call me when the meeting is over and we can go then?”

            “I’ll try, but I don’t want you to get your hopes up. This isn’t Skoal Bandits Middle School- this is the big time.”

            “Another three hour meeting in the first week of school?”

            “There’s that anger surfacing. Get that fury under control and we’ll talk about this later.” Burberry Sage looked annoyed and the screen turned black.

            A cartoon squirrel with a crash helmet appeared on the screen. “Hey Bud! Did you want to call someone? Check your stocks? Order your meds? Get analyzed? You sound a little down. How about a pick-me up? Happy Time 6.2 is on sale at Genefix! How about a gourmet bushmeat pizza?”

            “No.” Bud looked down. “Just wake me up when I get home.” “

            The seat vibrated as the car pulled into the carport.

The Ford Squirrel appeared on the dashboard monitor and Bud shook his head. “I’m still tired,” he muttered.

            “It looks like you can use some Up and At Em 2.5! Get one fix at Genefix and get the second one for half off!”

“I just need some sleep 1.0.” Bud tapped the screen. “Take yourself to the car wash and don’t take the scenic route.”

“Okey-dokey, Bud!” The squirrel saluted and the door opened. “Catch some zees, buddy!”

 “What up Bud?

            On the other side of Burberry’s carport spot was an enormous, truck, the Ford Mammoth. Getting into it, was a very short, but muscular man, dressed in black, very tan and gold chains hanging from his thick neck. The shirt was so tight his nipples were visible. His blond hair was cropped short and his tan was radiant.

“What up Bud?” The shorter man ambled over to Bud and held up his fist to be bumped.

“I got out of work early, Chuck” Bud half-heartedly fist bumped his neighbor and walked to his door.

“I hardly ever see you in the daytime, boss. You must be bankin’ some serious Oh-tee!” Chuck smiled brilliantly. Not only were his teeth bright, but the tiny LEDs implanted between his teeth made his smile bright enough to read a book in the dark.

“Well, dude, it’s busy at work.”

“Yeah, man, at least they haven’t sent your job to India.” Chuck climbed up the short ladder into the cab. “I’m busy as fuck, myself. After this gig in Dee Troit, this hot-ass fire crotch is waiting for me with a bottle of Krystal at Taboo.”

“That sounds fun. Have a good time.” Bud looked into the camera by the door, which winked and the door swung open.

“It’s all about bein’ a playa. You should watch me spin sometime.”

Bud entered the townhouse and the door shut behind him.

“I just got Ripped 7.4 and the ladies can’t keep their hands away from my abs! You should get it, dude!” Chuck shut his door and the huge truck simulated the sound of a gas engine through speakers mounted underneath the vehicle. Backing up quickly, the truck sped out of the cul-de-sac of townhouses.

“It sounds expensive, maybe later,” mumbled Bud.

Bud kicked off his brown work Nikes onto the Mexican beach blanket which served as a welcome mat.

His red PhoneBoy vibrated on his belt. Bud picked it up and saw Dr. Mario shaking his head. He wore a speculum over his painter’s cap and a stethoscope hung over his red overalls.

“I’m-a-sorry, Bud. You need-a new prescription to Calm 2.4 and your-a subscription to Fit 8.9 has already-a expired.”

“I can’t afford it right now.”

“Why not-a?”asked Dr Mario. He seemed concerned.

“Burberry just got Barbie 6.8 and Acrobat Abs three point whatever and that’s all I can afford for this month. I’m still paying off that Globo-Bio bill, whatever that was.”

“What-a about Calm 2.4?”

I’ll blow up without that. Or start drinking again. Okay, get me that.”

“Too bad for you-a, that-a we won’t-a have more until next-a week.”

“Great. Can you rush it?”

“If you-a want to spend the extra money, yes-a.”

“No, I don’t think so… just send it when it’s available. I don’t even know how much Acrobat Abs cost.”

“Oh, no! You are under court order-a to have Calm 2.4 or something-a similar or I must-a notify the court.”

“I guess I don’t have any choice. Okay, then put in an order of Calm for me.”

“Grazie mille!” Dr. Mario waved and spun around. Gone was his speculum and his stethoscope. “Do you want-a to buy something? How about-a some flowers for your girlfriend, eh?”

“No thank you. Bye, Mario.” The screen went black and Bud put the bulky red plastic phone on his belt.

The PhoneBoy rang again, with the familiar theme song of Super Mario Brothers.

“Yeah?” Bud saw Dr. Mario wagging a white gloved finger at him. “What?”

“Hey-a! You don’t buy-a a subscription to Fit 8.9, you’re a-going to be-a a fat unhealthy pig! Your girlfriend-a will certainly leave-a you and I won’t blame-a her.”

“I don’t want to get fat, Dr. Mario, but I am so strapped right now. Just ask Banker Mario. Burberry drives that car like gas is free”

Dr Mario shook his head.

“I had to take a second mortgage to buy that Russian car. I’m still paying for that sweat gland mod. I don’t even know what it does!”

“You don’t want-a a belly!” said Dr Mario.


Dr. Mario cocked an eyebrow.

“I’m sorry, Dr. Mario.”

Dr. Mario nodded. “I forgive-a you.”

“Listen- they don’t pay us overtime anymore” Bud shook his head.

Dr. Mario rested his chin on his fist and looked upward. “How-a about a third-a mortgage?” He spun around and now wore a monocle, a bowler and a black bow tie over his overalls.

“I’ll think about it. Let me sleep on it, Banker Mario.”

“Okay. I will-a talk to you later.”

Bud walked slowly to the kitchen and took a Keystone Light out of the fridge. “Man!” He muttered and flopped on the blue plastic couch.

He squeezed the plastic bottle and drank half in one gulp.

“House- put on lite porn, please.”

The beige walls flickered and ‘Dorm Room Shenanigans’, in white letters, appeared on the bottom of each wall, while the image showed a camera entering an ivy-covered red brick New England private college, where all of the students were nubile and naked young women. As the camera went from room to room, lingering for a minute or two in each, the women were either pillow fighting each other in the nude, wrestling, soaping each other up or a combination of the three.

Bud put his hand down his pants and masturbated. He came on his hand, wiped the cum on the couch and grabbed another beer. He fell asleep before it was half finished.

Tom Kha Gai

I’ve had this soup before, coconut soup with chicken, but the bowl I had at Somboon Seafood’s Sukhamvit location was beyond awesome- it was perfect. The chicken itself was meaty without any bones nor sinew. Creamy, lots of cilantro, kafir lime leaves and galangal, I can’t recommend it more.


Turtle Boy (Part VIII)

TB Cover


Peking, Michigan, November 5, 2005    

Brandy pulled her Suzuki Sidekick aside Rick’s black Camaro. It had been two weeks since Mitzi and Ron had been watching her babies.

Brandy had laid down the rules: the couple could fuck on the couch, but never on her bed. And they had to put sheets or a towel down, because she didn’t want to sit on Rick’s cum. The last thing Brandy needed was Rick’s sperms climbing up her leg and into her vagina.

            The other rule was that they could only get drunk when the boys were asleep and they could only sleep over when Brandy was spending the night with her boyfriend, LaMuhammed.

The last rule was no Devil worship in her trailer under any circumstances.

            She also made it clear that only she- Brandy- the mother of Tony, could flick cigarette butts at his head. That was only when he was really bad, when the Devil was in him and not letting the little boy inside listen.

            It was midnight and Brandy had argued with LaMuhammed because she had caught him talking with another woman. He first had claimed it was his daughter, but she could tell by the tone of his voice that he was lying. No one tells their ‘daughter’ that they want to squeeze her thighs.

Brandy got out her vehicle, dropped her keys in her purse and stumbled to the door. She and her man had gotten a little drunk at the Booty Call, drinking Hennessy strawberry daiquiris. The walkway was icy and Brandy teetered to and fro on her three inch heels.

“Praise the Lord!” She grabbed the freezing door handle with her leopard print gloves. She brought one high-heeled shoe up to the step. A patina of ice covered the step, which was illuminated by a small light set into the door frame. She looked down and noticed the ice was decorated with yellow ice splotches.

“Who’s pissin’ on my step?”

Holding the handle of the door, Brandy brought up her other foot.

The left foot on the icy step slid forward as her right foot slipped up in the air.

The large woman fell backward and her  rump fell on the icy walkway. Her purse flew upward and hit the screen door.


“Be quiet out there!” yelled Old Mr. Gibson, two trailers down.

“Goddamned fuckin’ ice!” Brandy righted herself and stood up. She looked down at her left shoe and saw that the heel had broken off. “Jesus give me fuckin’ patience!” She looked toward her trailer and could see the light emitted from her big screen TV through the drawn white curtains. “Fuckin’ heathens watchin’ my TV and they can’t shovel the fucking sidewalk?”

Feeling herself totter again, she returned to all fours and crawled up the step. The ice felt cold on her leopard-skin Lycra-clad knees. “Lord, these steps are cold!”

She opened up the screen door and hauled herself up, leaning against the door frame. She tried to open the storm door, but it was locked. “Mitzi! Open the fuckin’ door!” She pounded on the wooden door.

Brandy could hear loud heavy metal music from inside.

She pounded on the door again, but there was no response from inside. She thought she could hear Mitzi laughing.

“Open the fuckin’ door! Open my fuckin’ door! I can hear you inside!” She banged on the door with both fists.

“I’m gonna kill them!” Brandy looked for her purse, which had fallen into the snow between the trailer foundation and a small bush.

“Damned kids!” she muttered. “They won’t open my fucking door!”

            Her knees were cold on the icy step, and grinding her teeth, she rummaged through her purse for her keys.

            She put the keys into the lock and opened the door. Warm air enveloped Brandy and she crawled onto the Winnie the Pooh welcome mat.

            As she stood up, she saw Rick, naked on top of Mitzi on the couch. There was no sheet on the couch and five lit red candles were placed around a pentagram of red wax on her coffee table. On Rick’s back was a huge tattoo of a scorpion, sitting in the palm of the Grinch, who was grinning and giving a devil-horn salute.

            There was pornography on the TV of a woman being double-teamed by two midgets dressed as Santa’s elves and Brandy could hear ‘Satan’ in the chorus of the music being played on her CD player.

            Brandy stared at the couple having sex.

            Rick happened to look up. “Oh, hey, Brandy!”

            The young man sat up and covered his groin with a throw pillow. Mitzi looked behind her and smiled weakly.

            “Like, we didn’t think you were comin’ home tonight! It’s Friday.” The young woman grabbed her leather jacket and covered herself.

            “Oh Jesus! Bless me! Cast out these demons from Hell!”

            Mitzi blew out the candles. “Oh this? This was Rick’s idea. It’s like, Jewish candles. Rick is like a Jew!”

            Rick jumped up and turned off the DVD player. “Yeah, I’m a Jew.”

            Brandy put her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes.

            Mitzi found the remote on the floor and fidgeted with the buttons to turn down Slayer.

            Brandy kicked off her shoes and stomped over to the stereo. She pressed the off button and pointed her finger at Rick.

            “Out! Out! Out of my house, Devil boy!”

            “Huh, what? You want me to leave?”

            “Out, out! Out of my house, Jezebel! Consort of Satan, fornicator!” She pointed her finger at Mitzi. “Get the fuck out of here!”

            Rick put on his ripped jeans. “Chill out, Brandy, we’re just havin’ fun.”

            Brandy reached down and picked up one of the candles. “Get out!” She threw the candle and it hit Rick in the forehead.

            “What the fuck?” He winced and grabbed his shirt and his leather jacket. “Mitzi, your auntie is fuckin’ crazy!”

            “Brandy, you need to sit down and smoke some of this.” Mitzi offered her furious aunt a small joint.

            “Get out evil daughter of Lucifer!” Brandy picked up another candle.

            “You throw that candle at me and I’ll shove it up your fat ass!” Mitzi put on her jeans and stared at Brandy. “We’re going, but you better pay me!”

            Brandy threw the candle at Mitzi and hit her between her eyes.

            “You fat, fucking bitch!” Mitzi flipped over the coffee table, knocking over the large ashtray, and walked over to her aunt. “I’ll fuck you up, whore!”

            Rick stepped behind his girlfriend and grabbed her arm. “You better not, she’s your aunt even if she’s fuckin’ crazy.”

            Brandy stared at Mitzi. “Get out! By the power of Jesus, I command you to leave, demon!”

            “I’ll pick up my money tomorrow.” Mitzi glared at her aunt. “You better have it. I’m glad I never have to see that little monster’s ugly face again!”

            “Bitch!” Brandy picked up another candle and hurled it at Mitzi’s head, but she missed. The candle bounced off the microwave and landed on the kitchen floor.

            Half-dressed, Mitzi and Rick ran out of the trailer. Mitzi slammed the door shut behind her. “You missed, sow!” She laughed.

“You shoulda left the door open, ‘cause then she’s have to waddle over and shut it.” Rick looked behind them.

            “It’s your fault she came early because you made that pentagram!” Mitzi yelled at Rick, who opened his door first. “Let me in, dick, I’m fucking freezing!”

            Rick reached over and opened the door. “Chill!”

            “I’m so fuckin’ embarrassed she’s my auntie! At least, I don’t have to be nice to that scary kid anymore.”

            Rick started the engine and let the car warm up. “You mean your cousin?”

“Don’t say that Rick. Don’t ever say that again.” Mitzi glared at her boyfriend.

The door of the trailer opened. “I hope you wreck that car and die and go to Hell, you fuckin’ heathens!” Brandy made eye contact with Mitzi and gave her the finger.

            Mitzi rolled down the window. “Jesus must really hate you to give you such a fucked-up caveman child!”

            “I’m callin’ the police if you don’t get the fuck out of here!” Brandy was livid with rage, standing in her stocking feet in the doorway.

            “Crazy fat bitch!” Mitzi scowled and turned away. “Like there’s no way she’s callin’ the cops.”

“Fuck this shit. We’ll crash at Balrog’s crib.”

            Rick backed up and sped away, the back tires of the Camaro fishtailing at the corner.

            They didn’t come back the next day.

Peking, Michigan, November 8, 2005

            “I never want to see that girl if she’s with that Satan worshipper!” Brandy yelled into her pink Nintendo cellphone. She was sitting on a milk crate, wrapped up in a puffy pink jacket, on the loading dock of Malice Green Elementary School.

“Why do you think we kicked her out?” replied her brother Harold.

“Tony had these new burn marks on his brow ridge and I seen Mark sleepin’ with a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt!”

“We told her that Rick ain’t no good. But she does what she likes.”

“I watched Reverend Fred and I seen what them devil worshippers do! I heard that music they listen to and it was devil music!”

“Yeah, I don’t like that music neither, but I really don’t like the way she talked to me and her ma. It was her attitude that got her kicked out. And that Rick sneaking in her bedroom, too.”

“I treated her and that piece of shit real nice and see how she repaid me?”

“Kids don’t do what you want them to do a lot of the time.”

            “God help me if Mark talks to me like that.”

            “She told Jenny she and that loser are sleeping in Balrog’s basement. Mark seems to be a sweet kid. What can you do?”

            “I didn’t spend all day in the hospital givin’ birth to some kid who’s gonna treat me like shit.”

            “He’s only six. You got some time to worry about it.”

            “Okay, I have a lot of praying to do. God bless you, Harold. You really have to watch Reverend Fred. I pray every day that you see the Light.”

            “Maybe, I’ll check it out sometime. Peace out.”

            Brandy put her phone in her jacket pocket and finished her cigarette.  She walked back inside and let the door shut behind her. Passing the hand sink, she shook her head and returned to the kitchen. Ruth and Corona were busy rehydrating the meat-flavored soy loaves.

            “Ruth, what am I gonna do?”

            Her co-worker’s mustache was darker than usual. She had forgotten to bleach it.“Honey, you date a brother, it’s his nature to spread his seed.”

            “I can’t believe that! That ain’t right.” Brandy hung up her jacket and put on a white vinyl apron. “I thought he was different.”

            Corona nodded sadly, her hairnet pulled down to her drawn-on eyebrows. “If you date a black man, he cheats on you, but he has a big dick. It’s just God being fair.”

            “My first fuckin’ husband cheated on me, too. His dick wasn’t that big. Why do men cheat on me?” Brandy whined and covered her face with her chubby hands.

            “All men are assholes eventually,” rasped Ruth. “It’s not your fault.”

            “Maybe you are not pleasing him?” asked Corona. “You should do whatever he wants, if you want to keep him. Do you suck his dick?”

            “Of course I do!” Brandy was crying. “All the time!”

            “Maybe there’s something you aren’t doing?” Ruth patted Brandy on her back with her spindly hand. “Do you let him butt fuck you?”

            “N-n-no.” Brandy whispered. “Oh my God! It is my fault! He tells me all the time he wants to Sodomize me and I always say no! Butt fuckin’ is a sin. It says so in the Bible. God got angry that there was so many faggots in Sodom that he killed them all.”

            “Yeah, but lots of  things are sins,” offered Ruth. “Just ask Jesus for forgiveness.”

            “I know Jesus doesn’t want me to be lonely,” said Brandy as she rubbed her eyes. “I hope He understands.”

            “It will be okay, Brandy.” Corona hugged her large coworker. “Now you know what you have to do.”

Detroit, Michigan, January 11, 2005

            The Michigan winter got colder, but Brandy forgave LaMuhammed and let him be her back-door man. She had so much fun with him, that she almost forgot about all of her cares, her job and the boys.  She day dreamed at work about leaving Peking, Michigan for the warmer climes of Tennessee. She would put the boys in the Suzuki and maybe attach a U-Haul and drive down there to live with her cousin, Jenny Lee, who lived somewhere near Nashville, where the winter wasn’t as cold.

            But, last time she heard,  Cousin Jenny Lee’s husband, Otis, was in the Klan and bringing LaMuhammed with her would be trouble. She wanted to stay with the security guard forever.

            “I’ve never smoked a joint like this before,” said Brandy as she exhaled. “It tastes kinda weird.”

            “It’s a wet blunt, baby,” said LaMohammed. “That’s the way we smoke weed in the ‘hood.” He took another drag when the blunt made its way around and after Brandy partook once more, he nodded approvingly to the younger men and guided Brandy inside.

            “Why is it called wet?”

            “It’s dipped in some special fluid they get from funeral homes.”

            “Ooh, that sounds gross. Does it have dead people in it?”

            Inside was crowded and warm. The air was thick with the smoke of cigars and menthol cigarettes. Many of the men wore jackets advertising one sports team or another although some of the more aloof men sported long black leather jackets. The women wore tight-fitting clothing, and Brandy was secretly pleased that some of these women were bigger than her. As a large women, she felt welcome amongst black people- she got looks from men she hadn’t gotten since she had her babies.

            “No baby, it don’t have dead people in it. It’s something they have at funeral homes that make you high if you smoke it. Some peeps call it ‘sherm’.”

            The lights were low and large speakers flanking an entertainment center provided gangsta rap as musical accompaniment for the evening. Although it was two-thirty in the morning on a Thursday night in a state where the bars stopped serving at two, the house was bustling with partyers.

            “Marius, what up?” said LaMohammed to a short but stout man, wearing a black knit cap and a Red Wings starter jersey. LaMohammed smiled broadly. Hockey was a white man’s sport, but Marius could hang with white people, too. His charm transcended race.

 Marius always wore yellow sunglasses and was wearing them now. The short and plump woman whom he was chatting up wore a tight purple skirt and a bikini top, turned around. “I’m alright, brother,” he said smiling, with one hand on the seated woman’s thigh. Raising his other hand he and LaMohammed greeted one another by punching each other’s fists.

            “Got any of that ‘girl’?” asked LaMohammed, raising an eyebrow.

            “Yeah, baby,” said Marius, still smiling. “Follow me.” Marius took the woman in purple by the hand and led her up the stairs. LaMohammed put his hand on Brandy’s waist and guided her up.

            Brandy didn’t know what they were up to, but very stoned and disoriented, she didn’t care. As long as LaMohammed fucked her soon and hard, that is. Going up the stairs she frowned when she saw another white woman at the party, this one tall, svelte and blonde- probably a hooker or a stripper, she thought. A girl with a body like that was a whore, for sure. She preferred to be the only blonde in the room.

            Brandy followed LaMohammed into a bedroom. Only a few months ago, she would have recoiled in fear at the idea of entering a bedroom with black men, in a black neighborhood, in Detroit. She loved black men now and couldn’t understand why her mama was so racist, and couldn’t believe that she herself, used to call them niggers.

            A tall, gaunt and bald man locked the door. “Marius, they cool?” He looked suspiciously at Brandy and LaMuhammed with sunken bloodshot eyes.

            “Yeah, man,” said Marius in a low voice. He reached into his baggy black pants and pulled out a glass pipe. From another pocket he pulled out a sandwich bag and picked out a small whitish-yellow chunk and out it into the pipe.

            “What’s that?” whispered Brandy into LaMohammed’s ear. She thought she knew what it was and was a little afraid.

            “Just a little ‘girl’, baby,” said LaMohammed, who watched Marius light up. The security guard hadn’t gotten high on rock in quite some time. He thought Brandy might like this ‘girl.’ He took the pipe from Marius and offered it to Brandy, as a true gentleman would.

            “Is this crack?” asked Brandy nervously.

            “Yeah, baby,” cooed LaMohammed. “Just try it. Anything once is fine.”

            She remembered what Ruth and Corona told her. For her man, she would smoke it. She didn’t want to make him cheat on her again.

            Brandy inhaled the smoke. It tasted sweet and reminded her of something she might use to clean a bathtub. LaMohammed said it was fine, she reminded herself, and he had the biggest dick she had ever seen.

            The rush came. She didn’t even notice LaMohammed taking his turn or the other girl taking hers. Her heart beat faster, her mouth became dry and she felt great.

            “I like it, oh I like it!” said Brandy, clapping her hands.

            “I knew you would- all ladies like ‘girl’,” said LaMohammed, sliding his hand down Brandy’s ample rump.

            The rest of the night was a blur to Brandy. They smoked more crack, they danced downstairs and she woke up in LaMohammed’s apartment in Melvindale- about twenty minutes from Peking. She had a terrible headache and felt sore from all the fucking they did last night. She rolled over to caress LaMohammed to find he wasn’t there. She poked her head from under the purple satin sheets and heard the shower going in the bathroom. She didn’t feel very well.

            “Careful with that,” said LaMohammed as he exited the bathroom. “You don’t want to like that too much. I seen what happens when that happens. I don’t like crack hos.”

            “I only smoked it for you, L-Dog.”

            “Dat cool” LaMuhammed said as he tossed the purple towel on the bed. “I just worry about these things.”

“You don’t have to worry about it. I’m never doin’ that shit again.”

LaMuhammed was putting on his uniform. “You better get ready for work, baby.”

“Oh, fuck!” Brandy sat up. “It’s nine o’clock!”

            She made it to Dick Cheney Elementary School that day an hour late. She got a few dirty looks, but it wasn’t as if they were going to fire her- she was in a union, after all. All day she thought of what a great night she had. She was tired and slightly depressed, but couldn’t wait to try crack again.

            She went out with LaMohammed and asked him to get her the rock. Time and time again, he would. Yet as Brandy came into work, tired and haggard her coworkers knew something was up, and dirty looks were directed to LaMuhammed whenever he’d come into the cafeteria for pizza and a Honey Bun.

            Brandy was almost as slender as she was before she got knocked up by Randy. However, unlike the wholesome glow of a ripe teenage girl she once had, she had the raccoon eyes of a junkie, visible under her tanning salon tan. She sagged a bit, too. Actually her skin hung on her in folds.