Nothing Happened

It happened to me again, the third time in a row with nothing, no grace of god I don’t believe in, in between. They say troubles come in three. I say hogwash; could have been four or hundred had I let that happen, but I decided no more, never again, as they say, enough is enough, finita la commedia.


It came back at me with the inevitability of the next wave once the previous crushes, with the exact same feeling as twice before, which I wouldn’t even call sadness because sadness makes you think about something sad, but what do you call something that never was? What do you call the white, mute terror of facing the absence of the thing you hold dear which was never made?

Fine, I’ll make it easier for you to understand. Imagine a cute newborn, all eyes and love, looking at you, and imagine the doctor give it a light slap on the gentle butt—or is it the other way around?—and the baby cringe his face, the eyes turning into blue ponds, open the mouth as wide as you wouldn’t think possible and…nothing, no cry, no scream, not even a peep like…remember that crazy painting Scream? A creepy piece of work for sure. Has that very feeling, nagging and creepy like a pimp’s stare, not that I’m into whores or anything, just saying; the feeling as if you’ve swallowed a STOP sign, and it’s lodged inside you forever, and you’ll never breathe freely again.


It started as always; same script a different take. Like a dance whose moves you know but don’t want to dance but dance nevertheless since it’s the only one you know. Her large raccoon eyes made me want to look in them all the time, shine or rain, dead or alive, so beckoning and warm they were, ready to softly take you in.

Sure, it was over a girl. What did you think? Geez, did I have to explain? You should only see her smile, wet, open, and inviting; inviting straight to hell, pitch-black like her wild hair framing the silky white neck flowing down to the dizzying riches.

Sure, it started as fun, and it was fun at first, I have to admit. We laughed and laughed some more and she looked as she was having a good time, and I took her places and stuff. Nothing crazy, you know; went to the movies, had some drinks, ate Mexican food, at first Mexican then a more…how do you say it?—more refined, expensive stuff but I didn’t care, didn’t care about nothing for I was happy. Yes, I was, and you can call me stupid, and if you do you’ll be right on, for I should’ve cared about a thing or two because I knew.


I knew what was coming and did nothing, and if you had already called me a fool it’s well-earned. Even as I was happily goofing off like a jester on the rope before the king, the queen to be exact, I knew how she’d say that which she was going to, but honest to god, I don’t believe in, I had not known I did. Not until the feeling was there. “In the beginning was the Feeling,” you know, the nagging feeling, the metallic taste of the STOP sign in my mouth. The taste that woke me to the smell of truth, the heavy creeping smell of cold ashes, and then…then her words dropped on me one by one as though her mouth turned into a sledgehammer, brutally cute and radiant.

“I’m sorry.”

I didn’t bother to ask what for; I knew and was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Only no shoe it was.

“I really like you and all but not in that way,” smiling coyly and ever sweeter.

I said nothing, just kept on showing that cocky, devil-may-care attitude, which we all do, as the train I was riding was coming full-speed off the rails, promising no survivors only smoldering body parts.

“I understand,” I lied. What does it even mean, “not in that way?” There is no other way, girl, there never was since the dawn of time.

“Thank you,” she said tilting her head and giving me the warmest and sexiest smile I had ever had shine on me, with mischievous sparks prancing about the corners of her baby raccoon eyes.


Settled snugly like a surgical tool in the agreeable softness under the chin, the .45 barrel was tilted at 45 degrees, the exact angle to hit the brain stem with its control centers for the heart and lungs, and its general power switch; the best caliber to blow the whole thing out clean sending you on an instant trip to the great beyond, faster than surprise. My stiff, rapidly growing numb fingers unwillingly cocked the revolver. I didn’t want to do it; I had to. Don’t ask why. If you don’t understand, no explanation will do. I was losing the sense of my body as I was sitting there looking at my phone on the dining table, as in action movies, they hang on a cliff or rooftop by the fingertips of one hand, as ice-cold paralyzing knowledge that something unimaginably wrong was about to happen was fast sapping strength off my whole body. Only the heart was beating like crazy trying to outrun the knowledge and what was coming after it. In the final spasm of the drowning will, I jerked the trigger. There was no time for surprise as there was no one to surprise, that is

nothing happened.

A Girl with the Ears

She met him with the usual hug, soft and scented like an Arianna Belle pillow. Her round dark eyes looked straight as if taking aim. All aim, no fire, he thought, smiling back. He’s sweet and gentle, thought she.


She nodded, and off they went.


In the Fires, fires were dancing in the wall, mirrors all around faking some sacral sacrificial grounds with nothing to sacrifice, and on the floor, people were dancing, people called “customers” or “patrons,” although for the Fires they were nothing but tippers. Humming to the tune, she trotted right in, joining the dance. He trailed her, looking stiff like a bodyguard trying to blend in. He liked watching her dance, but not the dancing, which made him stiffer than a bodyguard. “I looove dancing,” she often said as if trying to convince someone in the obvious. He watched her body fire the music off with its every nook and cranny, savoring the sight of the nooks and more so crannies.

“I looove dirty martini,” she said when they went to the bar to cool off and rest.

“Um, it’s just a drink, as good as any, I guess,” he said stroking casually her shoulder while wanting to kiss her. He was public-shy despite believing he didn’t care who thought what, and he, indeed, didn’t; just didn’t like attention, that’s all. “Cute,” she thought of his touch, “and gentle.”

“I looove drinks.”

“Then, you’re an alcoholic,” he again held back from a kiss.

“No, I’m not.”

“Then, you’re not.”

They again went dancing: she—dancing, he—staking out her space. She didn’t like things, she loved them. “I looove onions,” she would drawl sitting back as she ate a guisada, waving her hand before her mouth to tame the hot sauce, but then she liked herself. “I like everything about me,” she would announce, “I like my eyes, my hair, my nose, my lips. Not the ears, though. I don’t like my ears but…they are there. I may just put nice earrings in.” He agreed that they were there on both sides of her face, though he wasn’t sure if ears were considered part of the face or its accessory, nor was he sure if he liked or disliked them or even how he would know which. They were out of step with her face, being too round and sticking too far out. Together with her dark button eyes, they reminded him of a raccoon’s face. He didn’t know if he liked the raccoon face, but knew he liked hers.


When they came back for another martini, he thought it was the right time.

“Here, this is for you,” he slightly blushed giving her a small black box. He was unaware of blushing just felt a throbbing pressure in his temples, maybe from the loud music.

“Awww,” her eyes grew more round from curiosity, “I looove it. What is it?”

“Um, look inside.”

She flipped the box open to find inside a pair of silver earrings with emeralds. Green was her color. She clicked the box closed and dropped it back in his hand, and looked sideways as if for an exit.

“What’s wrong?” he was struck by the sudden change in her face, as if she, indeed, turned into a raccoon; it felt creepy.

“Nothing, they are cool and all, thank you.”

“What’s wrong then?”

“Nothing,” her voice hardened, “Is it what you think I need? Because…”

“Because what?!” he pleaded.


Without looking at him, she started back dancing. This time fiercely, as if it were her last.


Playing with her phone, she was thinking of him. “Please, don’t say anything. Just drive me home and let me be. Okay?” She drew the window open to have the wind cool down her face and neck, and fill her ears with its rush.

He pulled in her driveway, put the gear in park, and was about to shut the ignition off as she quickly said, “Don’t you want to turn around?”

It wasn’t a question, so he obeyed. She sounded like a stranger, whom one knew not to approach.

“What’s wrong?” he felt his voice quiver like a falling leaf.

“Fuck you!”

It hurt. He felt a pinch in his chest behind the sternum and a sudden urge to cry but didn’t recognize it; it was too long since he had cried last. He was eight then, crying over a toy stolen by a neighbor boy; not even over the toy but the boy’s refusal to admit to stealing, which felt so utterly wrong that he couldn’t even fight the boy, for the boy denied there was even a thing to fight over, and tears just ran, and Mom didn’t seem to listen, and he cried louder, and then it came. A quick dry smack upside his head.

He stopped immediately, looking up at her with his round puppy eyes still filled with tears that he was now holding back.

“You’re a man,” Mother said, and she, too, sounded like a stranger.


She slammed the car door and walked to her condo. There, she went straight to the kitchen to see what she had to drink and saw an open J&B; she figured she didn’t want to drink and went to the bathroom. It felt calming to sit on the cool toilet lid, releasing a warm gushing stream, listening to its murmur after all that deafening, throbbing music; such a private gentle murmur like…she flushed and looked in the mirror, turning her head from side to side to inspect her raccoon ears. She shrugged wiping her brief casual tears, blew her nose, and washed the hands.