Beware of half-ass mystical stations of magical desire.

What the hell does that mean? Well, it’s a little complicated but still rather simple. You see, the soul craves what the spirit seeks, am I right? So it just makes sense that there are your usual gainful opportunists out there in the ether with their carts or wagons or whatever ready and willing and irritatingly able to deal you the mystical goods. It’s like when you walk up the path to see The Great Wall and every two feet someone is trying to sell you a poorly made doodad. I think that happens too at The Alamo so you see what I mean. But instead of brick and mortar history I’m talking about essence and aura here. So you’re strutting through your spiritual life looking for one of those big important sources of immaculate supply and you’ve got all these dungaree wearing ding dongs hawking two-bit gewgaws that they assure you are just as good as the real thing. Which they aren’t. You might as well ram a quarter in your ear for all the good these pieces of detritus will do for you. You see it in the tavern too when you have some handsome lady or well swabbed dude sitting at the bar just so ready and willing and annoyingly able to bend your ear and get you to sign on the dotted line for some emotional time share in imaginary magical Cabo. Disclaimer: I dig the beach. And I dig my soulful elegance. And if I could marry the two into some kind of cosmic inside out vacation I would. But some buckaroo with a nice watch and plastic teeth who buys me a Manhattan and lays a brochure or a pamphlet or a whatever down in front of me and says I can get just that for only $999 down, well, what can I tell you? Actually, let me tell you, I get sick up and out the wazoo. Of course you’ll say there should be a law and I’ll say yes there should and various representatives and legislators will pretend to agree and they’ll form a committee and bring in experts and do some polls and draft some pedantically bloated thing and we’ll all get so excited and ready to finally receive our souls most nourishing gifts and graces without any fucking fine print and here we go and now we’re on and okay alright have at it and…

Radio silence.

And the bullshit keeps raining on down.

Like it was London in the Fall of ‘40.

I don’t have any answers for you here at the end of this grand essay except to say that knowledge is power especially when it comes to you knowing you and believing just what it is you learn about said you and most probably the truth or the serenity or the whatever it is you’re seeking is highly most likely available to you gratis via and according and available inside you somewhere and small wins add up and some of those W’s that get chalked up and posted on the big board are most definitely for absolute real when you don’t do something like give your hard earned spiritual cash to some soul stealing huckster in a stained and wrinkled cheap suit.

Keep your money.

Smile on.


Contumely is as Contumely does.


“Stand the fuck up straight up and think for a fucking minute you stupid goddamn idiot asshole fucking fatherfucker! I mean it, get that burned out piss cooled lump of brain coal out of the goddamn flaming anus of whatever god you’re stupid enough to pray to and focus for one fucking goddamn second!”

I looked at her, noted her brick and mortar figure, but for whatever dumb reason still answered asking, “What are you ragging on me for?”

“You see anyone else I should be ragging on?”

I looked around. The gymnasium was mostly full. Mostly full of people all of whom were quietly pretending not to be totally fascinated with my exchange with–ah shit, what was her name again? I’m pretty sure she had bellowed something at us while we’d queued at the sign-in table–

“They don’t call me Big Chief Lady McMaam because I’m ignorant!”

“Did you say McMaam?”

“Ask me my goddamn name you sour soaked son of a flatulent fuck!”

“Are you for serious because–”

“Ask it!!!”

The gymnasium was now mostly full of people quietly not pretending in the least not to be fascinated.

“Uh, okay, uh, what’s your name?”


I had to admit that was the somethingest kind of something. And by something I mean affecting. And est I mean most seriously. Both physically and emotionally. I nodded and said, “Lady McMaam–Chief, sorry, I mean Big. Big Chief, yes fine I hear you.”

“You what?”

“Hear you. As in understand.”

She pulled a cigarette from one of the many many many pockets on her vest and rammed it into to her mouth and chewed it up like it was an entire rope of red licorice.

“You understand?” She said.

“Yes. That your name, however ridiculous it may be, is McMaam.”

The cigarette shot from her mouth like a sick and twisted and spit soaked meteor into my face. The impact stung and together with the absolute surreality of the action it sent me reeling back like I’d been bit by some kind of biblical snake. I tripped on my duffel bag sitting on the floor behind me and tumbled back and back and back flailing through the silent circus and my stocking feet lost purchase on the polished hardwood and I went airborne, the entire butt-fuck ballet in a dumb and shocked slow motion that ended abruptly as I slammed down on the floor hard on my ass, an inverted avalanche of pain crashing up from my glutes to my retinas. The world went white then blue then red and I leaned back slowly to lie on the floor. I stared up through the flashing colours at the basketball net floating in the sky above.

I was never good at basketball, I thought.

A shadow shaped like a cinder block eclipsed the rim.

“Wipe that ball of shit off your face and stand up!” She hollered.

I touched my face and discovered a wet wad of disgusting stuck to my cheek. I took a bunch of shallow breaths to retard the vomitous tremors in my guttocks.


“My grandfather had a mule farm,” I said as I eased myself up to standing. The cigwad slid down my face and plooped down onto the floor.

“Well, I thank your grandpa for his service to humanity and then I ask the question DID HE HAVE SEX WITH THEM MULES AND IRRESPONSIBLY MAKE THE CRIMINAL THING THAT MADE YOU?!” She said. The hard smell of curious fear was everywhere, coming from everyone. Even I had to admit that that was the most damn hell of a question.

“I never met him so I never had occasion to ask,” I said.

“Then clean up that goddamn mess on the floor and get  your kit together and GET THE FUCK ON THE BUS!!!”

She turned on her heel and marched through the ranks of the pale and frightened and she re-took her position at the entrance to the gym by the sign-in table. I looked down and rolled the ball of masticated cigarette with one foot on the top of the other and then shuffled back to my duffle. Picking it up off the floor and slinging it over my shoulder I painfully eased my way toward the trashcan by the exit to the parking lot and the waiting cheesewagons.

I reminded myself to never use that travel agency ever again.

But whatever, you know, because next stop DAYTONA BEACH!!!