Power Kicks

by Jeff Glovsky

The homeless guy’s asleep on the subway platform.  He doesn’t beg.  He doesn’t speak to anyone:  just lying there, a giant duffel bag of cans beside him, he obstructs, perhaps, the sense-pleasing aesthetic of the subway platform…otherwise, harms no one.

A cop loving his job comes over.  Gun drawn, kicks the homeless gent (though gently), yells at him to beat it.

Grinning, the homeless guy agrees.  “I was just going to,” he slurs, wanting no trouble.  “I was just going to.”

He gets up, shambling to his feet…gets kicked again for good measure, picks up his clanking cans and moves on.  “I was just going to,” the cop repeats after him.

“I was just going to,” he sneers…

Violator

by Jeff Glovsky

“Hey, what’re you doin’ in there?  Jesus Christ!”

He pounds on the door to what looks like a rest room.  “Ya’ doin’ alright in there?”

“…Occupado.”

“I know it’s ‘occupado’, I been waitin’ nearly twenty minutes!  What’re you doin’ in there, f’chrissake?”

“Just a minute (be right out)!”

“Jesus Christ!”

The holy man spins on his heel now…actually does a little dance.  “Jeez,” he sucks under his breath, shakes his head…sort of snorts and seems to stamp a little.

“You stunk up the place!” he hollers, stepping in to take his turn.

I’m Not the Monster

by Jeff Glovsky

The chair tips and the child howls…Bangs its head on the edge of a table.

“HaHaHaHaHA!”, staccato, high-pitched burst of another one.  “That was funny!”

The first child’s in tears.  “Elena!  Sssh!  That wasn’t funny,” Elena’s mother reprimands.  The girl keeps laughing…pulling on her crotch, sucking her fingers, giant, gap-toothed vacant smile…

“HaHaHaHaHA!” it goes.

The mother, afraid of becoming embarrassed, stuffs a pastry in her mouth…pulls a hot swig of her coffee-free barista “drink” and snaps again, “SShhh!  Elena!”

The girl explodes.  Dancelaughing, lapping up the air, red tongue out, clapping happily.  The first child’s mom, embarrassed too, shouts to her child – still crying from banging its head on a table – “Get up!

“What is wrong with you?”

Smacked Down

by Jeff Glovsky

I went around in a woman’s coat one winter.  A leather number … Hourglass-shaped, fur collar and a hanging leather strap, or belt.  I didn’t care!  It kept me warm.  Plus, it was in decent shape.  It didn’t have holes in it … the buttons were all on and the zipper worked … Its owner, before me, used to say it fit her like a glove.

So I’m wearing this ridiculous wrap one winter – and a suede beret, which I found in a hardware store – and this diner guy intimates I’m a fruit.

“You’re a fruit,” he intimates.

No, admittedly, he was a bit more subtle.  Stares for a minute before taking my order; double-takes toward the counter girl, who’s smacking gum and chuckling to herself.  Looks back at me and wisecracks loudly, “He likes girls!”

The counter girl – lust, full-bodily – smacks bawdily, “Ha!  I don’t think so!”

New Season(ed)

by Jeff Glovsky

The snow in April tapers off …

He lightly brushes off his collar, shakes his hood, removes his gloves.  He’s cold still, as he pulls the zipper down on his vast jacket.

Though it’s spring now, he’s got sweaters on.  The first, with hair, and bacon smells, drips heavily above the second:  green and sleeveless, covering a red plaid woolen shirt.  He shrugs the first one off.

Sits down now in his sweater vest … Crosses polyester limbs and orders coffee, and a cup of fruit.

He lights a cigarette and puffs in peace, another morning.

Diner

by Jeff Glovsky

Trying to sit and have breakfast in peace.  Construction slobs scream, laugh and howl … The little bell rings constantly.

I order a plain, light-toasted bagel.  It’s instantly slid across my booth – apparently a mistake for someone.  Or else it’s been prepared in advance of the loud and shrieking onslaught here.

A waitress coughs and blows her nose … stares wildly in my direction.  “Atkins diet to crullers!” a voice cuts through.

The waitress serves a sickly grin.

Exterminator

by Jeff Glovsky

He stumbles in, excited looking.  Looking for a rest room, or acknowledgment of some sort … His walkie-talkie crackles and his uniform’s too short.

He shuffles … looking left, then to the right (his Lincoln-looking beard and eyes bright); searching for a rest room, or a consciousness to plunder, he stands shuffling, waiting, hoping for a lingered glance his way …

But look away!

The pest might leave then.

Disgusting

By Jeff Glovsky

Now let’s examine how lives get ruined.

“Want me to hold you?” he asks the fat girl.  Playful, conductor on a train, as it pitches …

All aboard losing their balance a little.

“No, that’s okay!” she smiles off-guard, as the train, rocking, swaying, pulls out of the station.

Now end of the line:  conductor is finishing up his shift.  The fat girl trundles off the train, pokes up some stairs with everyone else.  Conductor notices her, and she him.  Brief grins of friendly recognition … “That offer to hold you’s still good,” he jokes, winking.

She laughs.  Acknowledges the remark.  “Maybe next time!”

Platform empties, train doors close and everything goes about its business.

Now here, we examine how lives get ruined (lawsuits sprung, and wars begun):

I run into her about a week or so later, this same fat chick sitting on some grass.  She’s sitting with a friend, it seems, who’s attractive … got some rollerblades on …

“So he says to me, ‘Can I hold you?'”  Then she smiles; she seems to enjoy the recollection.

I smile too.  It’s indeed the same fat chick!

“I was like, ‘Noooo?‘” this same Fat Chick continues, wrinkling her nose a little bit.

Her friend, though (attractive, with rollerblades on), is thoroughly not feeling or digging the whimsy.  She wrinkles too … only she sucks her nostrils up into her face!  Clucks, “That’s disgusting!”  Clucks again.

The fat chick’s grateful grin and happy recollection freeze frame.  Now “I know!” she’s suddenly concurring.  Encouraged thus, the friend continues, “No!  If I were you?” she buzzkills.  “… I were you?  I’d tell him, ‘That’s disgusting!!'”

“No:  Seriously!  You.  Really.  Are.”  She’s kneeled up before the fat girl … Seizes beefy arms and shoulders, shakes and stares into her eyes.

“He followed me up the stairs,” I hear the fat girl tell a lie.

Disgusting!!”

Need to Know

by Jeff Glovsky

I sit down beside her on the train, and overhear this conversation (She is drunk, it seems, and willing, and the poor guy who’s beaten me to her blows it!):

“What’ve you been drinking?” he mutters (afraid to reveal he’s making moves) …

“Does it look like I’ve been drinking?”  Smiles.  “Wine, liquor.  Then hard liquor … Not good!”

“What’re you celebrating?  Where’s your friends?”

She looks right … looks left.  Smiles, shrugs.  “My friends are gone,” she intimates.

There’s at least a fifteen second pause … into which I would’ve dove without holding my breath!

But not he (our simple hero).  Asks instead, after this pause, if she has lived out of the city long.

Inanity ensues.  He comes from Newark, she stays in Hoboken.  Her roommate is a cat … He shuffles, mutters, I can’t quite hear … Another train screams by, his lips keeps moving, like an Asian flick!

This pretty, drunken chick, she lolls her head now, tired of feigning interest.  Right, then left … done eyes grip mine.

She rolls them at me, shrugs and seems to indicate the simpleton.

We have to change trains then, she and I.  The guy stays on to get to Newark …

“A pleasure to meet you, Melissa,” he mutters … sliding a hand up her ass as we leave the train.  “Fuck off,” I smirk, victorious.

I traipse across the tipsy platform with her.

The doors of the train to Hoboken close behind us as we stumble on.  Now she can be all mine, think I …

We stand and stare and sway (there are no seats), we grip each others’ eyes … We hold fast to our gazes, and we bop in gentle rhythm to the rocking, loco motion …

But she doesn’t recognize me!

Lids her eyes shut, open … stares unsmiling at me, like contempt unknowing me!

Then spies a seat and dips beneath my gaze and arm, and pours into it.

I hang there standing … clinging to an aisle pole, pretending not to be hung up.  I turn around after a few and look toward her; she’s dozing now.

Approach her …

Tap her arm and mutter, “What’ve you been celebrating?”

Fainting

by Jeff Glovsky

The old blonde Russian twists her ankle.

Sits down on the pavement, pulls and strokes it, purring angrily.  Her husband, or maybe the limo driver, tries to make it better; “Let me help you up,” says he.

“No!  I can do it!  Oh … ”

“Magda!”

“I’m fainting!  Leave me be,” says she.

The man extends an arm and hand, and tries to lean while lunging.  Thusly gallant, he stands posed that way:  one foot up, knee bent, on the curb …

She doesn’t take his arm and hand.

As dead as chivalry itself, she stares, and screams again, “I’m fainting!”