Archives For Lunch Hour Stories

I can’t really remember buying anything there.

Not anything substantial anyway.

I may have slouched through the line once or twice with some unbleached coffee filters or a jar of veganaise.

And oh, there was that colorful soap phase that I went through.

But I mostly went to look.

To cross paths with people that shopped with systems in place and medicinal reasons requiring a $14 grapefruit.

They probably didn’t enjoy underground parking as much as I did.

Shocking is not being able to prowl the Whole Foods on Sunday mornings.

It’s not the succulent fruits, wide aisles full of tasty organics, or taps that fill growlers that make me miss living on the east side of Milwaukee.

It’s the “where did you come from and where the fuck have you been hiding” eye opener that would slap me with every passing patron.

Missing your shiny floors, bevvy of ambiguous smiles, and my weekly patrols.

tompkins square park

I recently spent some time in New York and obviously felt my lungs and eyes awaken. While I won’t bore you with all of the particulars, the two most memorable snaps of time were:

walking past Tompkins Square Park, the place where Jean Michele Basquiat spent many nights in a cardboard box, homeless


walking into the Chelsea Hotel, now a permanent residence that doesn’t allow random history seekers to stroll in, only to find 3 residents milling around the lobby – 2 junkie looking types mildly appalled that we ignored the obvious sign declaring we weren’t welcome and an older gentlemen, wider than he was tall, passed out in la-z-boy with his dog at his side and a portable record player screaming dixieland jazz.

In a city full of bright lights and tall buildings, it was the brief glimpse at some of what’s beneath its fingernails that I’ll remember most.

Galoshes [Not Sad]

September 17, 2012 — Leave a comment

I cried all of these tears and now I don’t know what to do with them.

I suppose if you really want me to quantify it, I guess I cried all of these ounces of tears.

17 of them to be exact.

And still, I don’t know what to do with them.

After mixing all the sad ones with the happy ones and the complacent ones

I’ve decided I love them all.

They’re mine.

All of them.


Topsy Was a Flip Flopper

September 11, 2012 — Leave a comment

Have you ever heard someone complain about having too many friends?

Have you ever heard someone with a full calendar and little oxygen complain about having none?

Topsy was a flip flopper.

It was always one or the other.

Too many friends to fill up his free time or smiling faces he could only classify as people that he drank with.

Topsy was a crazy complainer.

Everything meant everything and it also meant nothing.

Topsy died alone.


July 10, 2012 — 2 Comments

We went to the woods to escape the failures that suck out your breath.

The ones that arch your back

And cave you in.

Surrounded by natural sirens and winded walls we skipped stones across the gentle waters.

Your index finger slid into my palm and with serenity all around,

the internal shouting subsided.

Trigger, ?

June 22, 2012 — Leave a comment

Trigger, older than he looked and a proud father, was a Zepplin fan. So much so that he demanded he be called Led but since we usually went out of our way to do the opposite of what people asked-we called him Trigger.

What was he good at? Laughing. Spitting. Chewing tobacco. Finding the exact spot to drop the needle on his favorite song- George Harrison’s “Apple Scruffs.” Oh, he was good at explaining its meaning too.

Austin, 22

June 21, 2012 — Leave a comment

Austin, 22 and paranoid, would lie awake and wonder. Nervously. Every woman that had mistakenly ended up with him after last call could hear him quietly murmur – “Are You coming for me tonight?”

A thrill seeker before midnight – but closer to twilight … You could sometimes find him sitting against the outside of a local tavern, digging and scratching at his skin; working tirelessly to scratch away the blue ink that constantly reminded him – Carpe Diem.

Conflicted by conscience.

Shiver, 43

June 20, 2012 — Leave a comment

Shiver, 43 and a terrible drunk, got his name on account of the fact that he would shiver his entire shift at the local lumberyard. Weather wasn’t a factor. Winter, spring, summer, or fall – that smiley lush would shake rattle and quiver the day long no matter the temperature.

Short timer, though. Fired for running into a little kid with a forklift the same week he miraculously stopped shivering. Must’ve been his Old Crow empties under the stairs.

Patio Joe, 55 and constantly smelling of swill, got his name because he sold and stocked patio furniture at the neighborhood Kmart. With his pockets full of dusty rags and crushed Old Golds, he’d daydream about check out girls.

But I suppose you’d have to call them check out women. Lord knows any girl still considered a girl had only used good ole Patio Joe to buy them smokes and fifths of liquor.

He’s useless for anything else.