August 16, 2016

Get in the car Helen


August 16, 2016


“I’m not sayin’/there wasn’t nothin’ wrong/

I just didn’t think you’d ever get tired of me”—MB Twenty


So it’s August 16th again


I’m fine with it


Just put the parade back in your pants

about it, will ya?


Because that parade looks miserable


The floats don’t seem to be floating

The marching band’s been replaced by

a trombone full of rats and

what the hell have you been feeding those balloons?


August 16th, home of cold Taco Bell and insomnia

land of these long assed shark infested serenades


A lot of things have happened on oh 8 sixteen

over the gut shot course of all these years

some substantially less heart breaking than others


Bukowski/Madonna/Paul Soter was born

Elvis died

I married Helen


Probably in that exact goddamn order

I don’t know

I’m too moody right now to do the math


August 16th 2003, that was a big day


She stitched the date in the back of my shoe

I still have it

(not Helen, the shoe)


I still have the shoe

and the memory of sitting

in a Westport hospital waiting room

next to a long haul trucker with a busted arm

and an unattended head wound

who really loved Elvis


That’s how I know Elvis died on the day he did

This busted armed trucker told us all about it

while I sat there with Helen waiting to get our blood drawn

so the state of Connecticut could confirm

that we didn’t have syphilis


Because for some reason it’s the law out there

You’re only allowed to get married in Westport

if you can provide documented proof

to Paul Newman’s pastor that you don’t have syphilis


“Do you have syphilis?” I asked Helen, after she’d

told me the news that the government wasn’t going

to let us get married if we happened to have syphilis,

between shots of Canadian Mist


“I don’t have syphilis. Do you have syphilis?”

Helen laughed back. Damn she was amazing.



“I don’t think so.” I told her. “Let’s find out.”


[Historical Note: By ‘find out’ I meant let’s have sex

right now and see if our private bits fall off’, not

let’s go sit in a waiting room and learn a whole bunch

of stuff about Elvis]


So even though we were pretty damn sure

we didn’t have syphilis there we sat

in that medicinally scented waiting room

waiting to find out for sure

waiting for the blood to be drawn

and the tests evaluated

so the doctor could bust through the door

with chocolate donut stuck to his face

smiling with his arms spread wide

and declaring in a voice loud enough

to project across the tiny room

“Good news, you two! You don’t have syphilis!

That’ll be 50 bucks each. Good luck on your std free new life together.

You can pay the lady I’m definitely not banging

at the front window on your way out.”


[Historical Note: She was totally banging him. The entire office literally reeked of cliché]


The Elvis loving truck driver congratulated us

on our living in the modern goddamn world

and not having syphilis, the entire time looking like

he should have bled to death hours ago


I mean fuck, that head wound

it was Viva Las Vegas


But damn, I liked him

and he knew a lot about Elvis


Did you know Elvis Presley

was actually allergic to peanut butter

and his favorite band was Matchbox Twenty?


His favorite color was Pricilla

and he only slept on his left side

because if you sleep on your right side

all the time you’re gonna eventually run out

of right, which only makes sense, right?


Becaise what happens when you run out of right?

You start doin’ wrong

and when you start doin’ wrong you blah blah

blah blah blah


and then fuck, what do I know?

Tonight she’s been gone for the exact amount

of time that we were together


What’s that got to do with syphilis?


I don’t know anymore

It’s fine

Just call me nostalgic


Because if nostalgic means

a person who’s overly sentimental

about certain things that are irrevocably gone and also has an

abnormally large penis then sure,


Fuck it

I’m nostalgic

You win

2 thoughts on “August 16, 2016”

  1. Full disclosure, I totally ate nachos from Taco bell on the day this week. (no sour cream. gross). And I’m from Holland. Isn’t that WEIRD?! And this is really good and funny and gut wrenching. #syphilis Makes me want to watch Out of Africa 🙂

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