They All Ordered the Yirgacheffe
She read to him in hushed tones, her voice quavering like a burbling stream. The rise and fall of the sudden vowel, the atrophy of consonants, the vibrato of dialogue spilling fluidly across the café. His oaken hands were clasped before him, his eyes hollow and milky. Every few minutes he would raise the paper cup to his mouth and suckle at the warm, bitter steep of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. He tasted honor, history, community, and backbreaking labor. He tasted commerce and trade. He tasted freedom. He tasted the before times, before he lost his sight, before his hearing had started to go, before he felt so…dependent.
Sometimes I go swimming alone, at night. Under the silvered scree of moonlight, I undress and pad quietly into the cool shallows. In September, the fog rolls in, an ancient cue for impending winter and the solid freeze known in the north as Ice Down. I will lean back, float serenely, eyes trained on the slivers of light that breach the overhanging pines. I imagine I am young, a girl in the throes of teenage angst, rebelling against the oaken crush of an overtired single mother. I imagine I am in love, arms twisted around the muscular shoulders of an older lover, a sensual tryst in the chill of autumn. I imagine I am strong, stronger than his pressings, his pleas, his sweet whispers and platitudes in my crimson ear.
At 18, I wanted out. Home was Underrated. Parents placed unjust Demands on teenage zeal and black Swan wings, felt slick with ire and judgment.
“Are you sure you turned off the coffee maker?” Jan asked, a little too harshly for a Sunday. “I told you three times already that I did.” Matt retorted sharply, a bit sharper than necessary for fall in Vermont.
Echoes spill across the frothy waves As I sit cross-legged, waiting, Or, not so much waiting, as wondering, staring out
A First Date in the Bronx
“Hey Terry, I’m headed out.” “Okay Micky, where you going?” “Down to Donovan’s.” “At this time of night?”
Dinner for Two
He saw her for the first time from the patio. She wore one of those flowery dresses that signal spring and absolutely simmer in the brutality of Florida’s July high season. She was just standing, staring out across the green-blue horizon, gazing upon the eternities and follies of life that tiptoe that dark mirage known as the future. He gripped the white metal rail of the balcony, listening to the heady gusts whistling between the rusted welds and jittering steel.
The difference between the violent man and the psychopath is the brutality of the act. Where the violent man is reactive, the psychopath remains personally absent, separated from the act itself, and thereby immune to its brutality. The psychopath is not a slave to rage or emotion. He is not prone to violent outbursts or a tidal wave of triggers and fissures. He is an equalizing effect in a society rubbed raw by two extremes: passivity and violence. The psychopath is not an inherently violent man, he is a calculating, rational being, and that is why he is so fucking dangerous.