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"Cease the Day," short story excerpt

Thursday 6/16/22

I tell all the girls I date the same thing, because they’re not going to be much good to me without this. If I’ve lived, I’ve learned, and I’m standing here breathing, aren’t I? You know what I mean. I tell them to keep their holes clean. To always have their holes ready. Because you don’t know when I’m going down there. So bring a packet of moist towelettes. If we’re out and you go into the bathroom, I need to know that you used that moist towelette in addition to the other portions of the ablution. It should always be like you just got out of the shower. I shouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I might do a sneak attack, pull down those pants and panties, put my mouth everywhere, and you won’t see it coming. I don’t want any surprises. We’re not doing this forever, so let’s make it work.

Why are we not doing it forever? Because I haven’t met the right person, and I don’t think that girl is out there. And what am I supposed to do in the meanwhile? Break my wrist from overuse? It’s hard for me to overstate how dumb most of these girls are. I’d have to brainstorm, like you do in school when the teacher says, “Say anything!” You run through some dumb shit, but then you start covering all there is to cover.

There was this one girl the other day and on her dating profile she kept writing her little motto. They all have their dumb motto. Usually it’s live, laugh, love. I think, blow, bang, cum. You can’t say it though, hilarious as it is, because they tattle to the overlords of the app and get your ass banned over nothing, then it’s goodbye, holes. Am I supposed to go up to you at the Starbucks? Unrealistic. So I swallow some of the best bits.

A lot of them say that life is too short to take it serious. I bet they don’t even make 50K a year, those girls, and yet there is at least some value in them thar holes, and who wants someone from Yale who is going to talk your face off about all she’s overcome and who you have to drive to therapy and try later that night to pry her legs open with a crowbar and you end up sitting on your own on the couch watching a boring ass baseball game wasting a summer Friday night. Fucked up.

This one got so depressed that I was certain she didn’t even brush her teeth. I got off the couch and masturbated into her sink. It was Friday. I came back Sunday, and my cum was still there. You could tell she hadn’t even run the water. I broke up with her. What she called a break-up. I was just thinking to myself, “What did you think we were doing here? Were you about to call up your dad so he could arrange a tee time for the two of us to get to know each other? Meet the future son in law?” I was just blowing through holes.

Anyway, like I was saying, this one girl does her little motto thing, and she keeps writing, “You have to cease the day.” Un fucking believable. “I always cease the day.” I write her and say it’s seize not cease. Because I couldn’t take it. She was hot, and I wouldn’t have written her if she wasn’t, because you never know, and the hot girl gets more rope. I know you’re supposed to pretend that fat chicks are beautiful, but come on. Last I checked, we still had DNA.

She writes me back and says, “thanx I didn’t catch that.” And it’s like, you didn’t know it, you dumb bitch. What am I supposed to say here? Good for you? Or, “You’re amazing. You deserve someone equally amazing. How’s your Thursday?” A bunch of them will write me and say I’ve peaked their interest, like the mountain peak. You’d think these were the girls on food stamps, but a bunch of them are nurses. I want to respond by saying something about the peak of my dick, the big old, squirty knob, because again, what else are we doing here? We’re going to get married, have kids, the kids will leave, and then it will be me and this girl until we die? Best case scenario then would be that I get dementia early, and that takes the edge off so we can get along. Fuck that. Seriously, man. Fuck that.

I have a cousin who is a social worker, which means she is a pain in the ass and nowhere near as smart or necessary as she thinks. We hooked up when we were in college and she came to visit me freshman year. Whatever. She’s adopted and I barely knew her growing up because we lived on opposite coasts and her dad is a classic example of what used to be called a Nancy boy. I’m not saying he’s gay. I’m saying he’s a pussy. Not the kind of man you respect. He wrote a book on Ezra Pound, and I didn’t know who that was until I Googled him one day when I was bored at work. Wasn’t like he wrote a book on, I don’t know, Joe Montana. How many copies of a book on Ezra Pound can you even sell? Like seven? Okay. Go get ‘em, big guy.

There was this family reunion when I was maybe thirty. I didn’t want to go, but my mom pressured me because that was when my dad didn’t have a lot of time left. He kicked my ass as a kid, would literally knock the shit out of me—you know what I mean—when I fucked up. Total soft touch with my sisters, though. Cuddle bear. Never raised his voice with them. But you know what? I was grateful. He helped make me what I am. I don’t live in the kind of condo I live in without my dad and what he brought to my life when I was a young man. And I was always a young man. I was a young man at seven. That’s how he’d refer to me. It was never as a boy. My dad was strong. When he was dying, though, he became someone else. He actually read that book on Ezra Pound. Not just that, he underlined parts. You know what he told me? He said that he admired my uncle. He regretted how he treated him.

Your time comes, and you say what you need to say to yourself, I guess. My dad had hard hands. The skin was hard. Even after he stopped working, his hands remained the way they were. But when he was dying and in his coma, I held both of those hands—because I sat on different sides of his bed, depending on who was there when I came into the room and where they were seated—and they each felt so soft to me. I told him I loved him, which we didn’t do. We didn’t have to, because we knew how we felt, and when you know how you feel, you don’t have to say it. That’s why it’s called a fucking feeling and not a saying. You don’t say, “I’m having a saying.” Feelings are what you have, sayings are what you do. But I needed him to hear then, just in case we’d gotten anything wrong. My dad always told me to dot the i’s, triple-check your work.


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