Honest Stuff I Make Up

Honest Stuff I Make Up · · Tucson


Bats. They’re all over the place here in Tucson. They come out at sundown to eat mosquitoes and other critters in the air. When they fly, they jerk around in the air like they can’t actually fly, like they’re dreaming they’re flying and that’s what flying looks like in their little bat dreams. Once when I was out for a run, a bat flopped into my forehead. Bats.


Illustration via Public Domain Review

Honest Stuff I Make Up · · Puerto Peñasco

The Spanish Word for Giddy

Each day at sunset, I navigate the discarded plastic Coca-Cola bottles and Doritos bags of the tragically beautiful Sonoran shores of the Sea of Cortez with my patented technology Shake Weights in hand. Shake, shake, shake! When onlookers point and laugh, I coax maraca sounds from the shiny dumbbells: Cha, cha, cha! Cha, cha, cha! Five pounds of cha, cha, cha! Then I look back at the gawking litterbugs and ask, “Who is laughing now?”

Well, we all are, of course.

Honest Stuff I Make Up · · Puerto Peñasco


At the Concertina Trailer Park Retirement Community for Anxious Libertarians, a suspicious confluence of unseasonal weather, satellite network programming changes, and other discomforting irregularities has residents changing evening plans. In light of these certain uncertainties, it is decided that the trip to Sam’s Club for dog food and cigarettes can wait until after The O’Reilly Factor, which should be on right now but isn’t. In its place is a NASCAR themed garden makeover special sponsored by an unpopular arthritis gel. And now everything just feels wrong in the current slot.


Honest Stuff I Make Up · · South Tucson

Strange Magic


It is early and I haven’t had coffee but it’s springtime and just about everything about springtime here makes me giddy: Ideal temperatures and humidity, the smells of all the acacia and citrus blossoms, the magical alignment of golden hour with bicycle rides at quitting time, and so on. This morning I am riding the number 18 South Sixth Avenue Sun Tran bus. I am staring at a young man’s socks for almost a minute before I notice there is amazing hair staring at me in the face. Red and black and stars and stripes and black and red. Two people I don’t know brought fireworks on the bus and now this bus is on fire. Now I have an inexplicable urge to download the greatest hits of the Electric Light Orchestra band. I am on my way to the border for my weekly hormone treatments.


Honest Stuff I Make Up · · Puerto Peñasco

Bree’s Lament

That spot is usually empty. But when someone springs for a party and hires a band, they put up the red and white blinds. Things get started and the children get stir crazy and run around outside while the grown-ups all dance inside. Except for the one brother who is in a funk and takes his Coke outside and drinks it right out of the bottle.

In the trailer park next door, unlucky snowbirds get the last spot available. Bree is upset with Howie because she told him to pack the wind sock, but he forgot. Now they are the only R.V. facing the ocean without a wind sock. Howie is in a bad mood too. The game is starting but he can’t hear a damn thing because of the party next door. “It’s too loud!”

Honest Stuff I Make Up · · Tucson



We have taken the train to a seaside village where access to the ocean closes at sundown. They make certain nobody goes to the beach after dark with a system of tiled walls five stories high.

The walls were originally built with lots of windows so people could still look at the sea on nights with full moons, but long ago the town leaders lost patience with everyone sneaking onto the beach through the windows and put up a tall stone wall in front of the first. It has no windows, just gates that lock and officers that arrest anyone who tries to hide in the snake and iguana filled canals running under both walls.

The daughter of the shopkeeping family in charge of locking the gates each evening flaunts her privilege. Wearing a white blouse, and her long black hair down, she crawls off the label on a tin of paprika where she spends her days and up into one of the windows overlooking the now forbidden shore. There she waves at the tourists and townspeople as her old mother and father herd us all out through the gate while we desperately snap blurry and poorly lit photos of her, her parents, and the reptiles underfoot.

Honest Stuff I Make Up · · Puerto Peñasco

Table for Two

I seduce you at a restaurant by telling you the details of a sexy dream. We make love at the table until the waitress suggests we be more discreet. We attach steak knives to our slickened genitals with napkin rings and walk casually to the nearest unoccupied booth. Post-coitus, our meal is cold and the waitress offers to replace the entrees. We are thrilled when she also brings more fries.