Three Fictions
Barry Graham


That first thirty seconds. You feel Niagara falling and raging and spitting and foaming. More powerful than love or God because it controls our lives in a way that neither of those two have proven capable. Then nothing. Then poorly taken photos and plans for dinner and Asian fetish porn on a flat screen television in an overpriced tourist hotel. Beauty lasts thirty seconds. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Rolling down the falls in a goddamn barrel. Pretty fucking stupid, but still. Something. Not as awful as a honeymoon. If what you really want is a way out, fuck the barrel. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Take the fall naked, lying down, feet first, arms open wide like a bloody messiah unable to bare the burdens of his doubters. Go overboard, see how the rocks treat you.


It's always the eyes that betray. Crying or fucking or baking chicken for a family that stopped feigning concern while the dead cat rests comfortably on a couch cushion in a forgotten corner of the basement where wine was once stored. We used to read books and play board games and watch home movies but now the cat's dead and he won't give us our space back and we're not really sure what to do with him now. A blanket maybe or a garbage bag or a hole in the backyard beside the busted bicycle frames and bruised tomatoes we picked and discarded after the bugs took their turns. A strange girl sobs in an attempt at dignity that no one else wants but we watch her tears and play some music and eat the chicken that came out dry even with barbeque sauce. We eat in silence while the girl dries her eyes and takes off her sweater and closes the cat's eyes before kissing them. She puts the sweater over the cat's body and asks us to hold hands and we do and we want to because its been awhile and we know if the cat had nine lives we stole eight of them and his eyes were a shade of yellow we all loved and that's something isn't it. A bond or a lifetime of moments we all stop sharing so long ago we forgot why.  After dinner we walk to Frosty Boy for ice cream and smile for a few minutes and it feels good and the cat is in the trash can when we come back and the stranger is gone and none of us ever want to stop feeling good.


The three day old pussy juice I haven't bothered to wash off. I keep rubbing my hand against my dick to smell it. Things in my life have gone terribly wrong. Taking hits of Albuterol to medicate an obsession with breathing no one but my dead father can fix. How do we begin again? Crumbs from stale sugar cones mix with bits of dried leaves and they both get washed away with a dirty dish rag from a second hand kitchen table like an unreliable clock with cheap batteries no one cares to replace. We've all been taken for a ride. It's too late I'm certain. Like an original buffalo wing whose recipe has been improved on and has nothing new to offer but souvenir glass mugs and a legacy only tourists are proud of. Locals no longer mention it in Christmas cards and letters they stopped forging for the sake of technologically based advancement. I've lost focus. I think that was my point originally, but more than that, it's an idea I can't get rid of. God please make it soon. I can't do this for much longer. Shotguns and suspension bridges aren't really my style but disappearing is a form of magic I'm eager to master.