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We've got to get in to get out

It’s better to best is all I’m saying, and not that he’s wrong at all. He’s one door away. Better to best. These things take time, the greatest changes always do, and in politics more than most things.
To narrow it down to a single door, “What could be simpler?” you say. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick narrows the problem of school shootings down to a single door but I say he is not going far enough.
If it were up to me, I’d take away that door. Dan Patrick’s last remaining door to the schoolhouse. And the windows. And any vents leading inside. I’d turn Texas schools into enormous, opaque cubes with no means of ingress or egress.
I’d paint them black but for the golden letters S C H O O L across their fronts. Or, maybe, E S C U E L A, just so that future generations can read it, if they can read at all, which, if you think about it, probably they won’t. The word “escuela” is more pleasing than “school” at any rate, from an aesthetic point of view, I feel. These are details whic…
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This is the part where I tell you about why I haven’t been writing.
I haven’t been writing. I have noticed this. You might have noticed this.
After two weeks working full days at the pro se assistance office, my brain began to rewire itself. I knew that my brain was rewiring itself; I could feel it happening. Of course I could. The dreams, you see they were a dead giveaway. Lots and lots of docket sheets. So very many docket sheets you would not believe it. Docket sheets have filled my dreams more than any person ever’s, maybe.
There was a night I awoke because, in this waking world, Astro was leaping off my bed and my dreaming self feared I’d neglected telling him how and where to file an answer to a lawsuit. But cats are sued only rarely and even more rarely represent themselves in court. It was just my brain rewiring itself. Like I said.
After three weeks working full days at the pro se assistance office, I stopped commenting on other people’s blogs. It’s just there wasn’t time: Forty…

Father Tom's field trip

It was Blind Father Tom got us into this. Me, Doctor Wren-who-says-dude-a-lot, and Blind Father Tom. Under the seminary, which is someplace only Blind Father Tom could get us, under the Cardinal’s house, he said there’s something we should see and Blind Father Tom rarely lies to me. He’s taken vows.
And the elevators were, well, they were like intestines, I guess you could say, and we kind of pushed down ch-ch-ch, only maybe not always down, in what felt like peristalsis. It got harder for me to read my book.
“I TOLD you you had to see this!” Blind Father Tom said and then the elevator doors came open and then we saw holy people all around. I suppose they were holy people. Some holy people you can pick out by their garments and their very specific hats. Others are richer with impressive pinstriped suits and you know them from the t.v. All of them were there and they’d all gathered around a cage.
At first, I mistook the man in the cage for my friend, Gerber, but it was not Gerber. He had …

Best just to imagine

I nearly said “wall,” I swear. I wanted to say “wall” and truth be told, I still do, in a way. “Fence” is maybe the right word here and I know this, but when one cannot see through, what then? O, to have reached this age without knowing the difference between a fence and a wall!

It’s the other side that concerns me anyway. Of this fence, I mean. This wall.
On my walks, it bows out and across the sidewalk almost. I cannot see through it. It’s twelve feet tall so I cannot see over it. It is wicked. It is tempting. It is wicked and tempting.
Bamboos peer out over the edge of it, the top – you should see them peer! – along with preternatural light and there’s something about the way sound carries. “Preternatural.” I chose that word, instinctively, just now, without a care, and I’m really having second thoughts about it. I’ll leave it.
What’s on the other side of this wall?
I checked it out on Google Earth and I was not satisfied. There’s just a feeling I get. It’s a mystery and I’ve got to kn…

Your information is secure.

This is an interruption. I am sorry. This is not the usual thing for here. I apologize. I spend much of my life apologizing, really, if you must know, and I hold some degree of certainty I will do so again before all this is over and finished.
This is a security check. It is necessary. I am sorry. (There I go again.) Your security – the cyber variety, I’m talking – is so important to us. Here at The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid. The most important thing there is, probably. Possibly.
I am Tom. You remember me probably. I worked at Myspace once and people saw me. Now I work here. At The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid. I have fallen behind. It has been brought to my attention that I have fallen behind. “Social media algorithms.” That’s a thing. I know it is a thing, Mark. If you don’t stay on top of a thing then you fall behind, Mark, I know.
This is a security check.
Your security is important to us.
Your information is secure here. When you think The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid, think “sec…

Doctor Wren who says 'dude' a lot

A Play in One Act

HARRY and BLIND FATHER TOM walk slowly amongst crepe myrtle trees. HARRY’s house is in the background. BLIND FATHER TOM wears sunglasses and carries a white stick, indicating blindness.
HARRY:(continuing a conversation we can presume is ongoing) …and I got nothing out of Flaubert’s ‘Anthony’-
FATHER TOM:Nothing at all?
HARRY:Not a thing. Nothing stuck. I’m not saying it’s Flaubert’s fault, but-

FATHER TOM:Now, Athanasius’ ‘Anthony’. That one would be-
HARRY:I have that! Inside the house… (motions towards his house)
FATHER TOM:I’ve searched and searched because I’ve heard such good things-
HARRY:It’s a very old hardback. I don’t remember where I found-
FATHER TOM:They don’t make it in Braille or books on tape, last time I checked, so-
HARRY:I’ve got a digital recorder, I could record um, it’s a short book, and-
FATHER TOM:If you could do that for me, Harry, I’d be forever gratef-
WREN appears, running from HARRY’s front door. She is heard before she is seen.
WREN:(waves her arms …

Gerber is your last chance

Chris Knapp was six-foot-two, which is pretty tall, really, but he seemed taller. Maybe he levitated then. We called him “Zeus” for he birthed designs and goddesses from his golden-locked noggin on a semi-regular basis. It’s true, or else it seemed true, which is nearly as good.
On Friday nights, Zeus would hold court at his parents’ house, and we’d gather ‘round drunk and starry-eyed like, well… what’s the word? Acolytes, maybe. Devotees. Young flesh everywhere. We were drawn to him!
But when I saw him last month, he was ordinary. A man. He was just like me, or maybe less. Did this guy even remember his former divinity? Did he remember 1990? I don’t know.
It was disappointing.
I looked for Nicky but when I found him, where the wonder had been, there were guns and conservative memes. No light lived there. And Richard – beautiful, angelic Richard with the violet skin, I swear he was like that once – looking at him now, you wouldn’t know.
Where does charisma go? I wondered. One only meets …