It is hard to meet new people when you live inside yourself.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The Following is a letter written by a psychiatrist at the New York Institute of Mental Health.

May 20, 1977

Dear Dr. Cunningham,
I have done an extensive evaluation of the patient that you brought to me. The trauma he suffered has severely impacted his mental functioning. He shows signs of depression, and possibly mild schizophrenia. However, with proper medication, I see no reason that he could not survive in society on his own. I would advise you keep up with the patient, as there is a possibility that he may have a psychotic break from reality if he goes off his medication. There's no reason for concern, as it is unlikely that the delusions of this timid and sheltered man would lead to any harm.

My best regards,
Dr. Cornwell

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Remus awoke with the morning sun shining in his eyes, amplifying the drum pounding in his head. He sat up and took in his surroundings. The first thing he noticed was the blood that was covering his shirt and hands. He thought back to the night before... it was his own blood, he remembered, from his broken nose. He reached a hand up to feel his face, but thought better of it. He stood up and noticed that he was in the rooftop garden. Remus ambled painfully over to the nearest bench, and took a seat. Josh must have carried me here, he thought.

Just then, the door to the garden burst open, and Josh stalked out carrying a black rifle in his hands.
"That motherfucker!" spat Josh, "That absolute son of a BITCH!"
"Josh, whats going on?" said Remus, alarmed. "And why the fuck do you have a gun?"
"Son of a bitch is gonna learn you don't beat the shit out of an old man without consequences."
"No, Josh, you can't. don't! what THE FUCK are you doing with that gun!"
"What the fuck do you think I'm doing?" Josh walked over to the edge of the roof, and looked down, mounting the butt of the gun against his shoulder. "I'm gonna blow the bastard's brains out, that's what I'm gonna do with this gun."


The shot rang out through the city, the sound bouncing and echoing off the buildings.
Remus ran over to the edge, and, at the sight of red splattered across the front steps of the police station, vomited.
"That was the bastard that beat you to a pulp last night. He got what he deserved." Josh sounded way too cool. chills ran down Remus's spine, and he vomited again, this time onto the ground between himself and Josh.
"Oh god, christ, jesus, fuck.." mumbled Remus as he clasped his head in his hands and sat on the ground.
"They'll find us! you can't murder a policeman and get away with it! And when they find us, they'll kill us! we were beaten up for defending our place in line, and that was nothing compared to this!"

Josh set the butt of the rifle on the ground and began to reload it. They heard screams from below, and sirens began to wail.
"What is that?" Remus said, suddenly serious and calm.
"those are called sirens, my man"
"No, that gun. What is that?"
"I thought you might recognize it. Fitting, don't you think?"
Remus stared at the black M16 as Josh slid the magazine back into the gun.
"That's my gun. That's MY gun! Where the FUCK did you get my gun!?" screamed Remus, becoming wildly incensed.
"Easy cowboy, I found it under your bed. I thought you might have a souvenir from your glory days, so I took a look through your place. I was surprised by it's condition, though. Through all these years, you've taken very good care of it, haven't you?"
"I got rid of that gun when I left the service. Before you came along, I hadn't touched a gun since the war! And then you show up out of nowhere, and now you've killed a man! What the fuck is going on!?"
"It is rather odd, isn't it?" said Josh. "I wonder if they're here yet?" He jumped up onto the ledge and looked down. "Oh, they're here alright. We must not have been too hard to find. Have a look."

Remus clambered up onto the ledge, and looked down. there was a cluster of emergency vehicles around the police station, and a group of police cars in front of Watershed Heights.
"Oh god, we're going to die. Why did you do this to me?" pleaded Remus.
"You did this to yourself. You've grown tired of this place, this world. You wanted to go out with a bang."
"NO! I DON'T want this! You don't know what I want!"
"Yes I do, old man. I know exactly what you want. I came here just to give it to you."
"I just wanted peace! All I want is for the pain to go away! I wanted to escape from the horrors in my dreams! All you've done now is give me another bad dream!"
"I've given you the solution, old man. I know you're pains. they're my pains, too. we have a lot in common, you know. we want the same things."

The door to the roof burst open, and several armed policeman rushed through.
"DROP THE GUN! WE'VE GOT YOU SURROUNDED!" yelled one officer.
"I understand you like no other. All you want is peace. You brought me here to show you the way."
"It wasn't me! it was him! he killed him!" pleaded Remus.
"Don't bother, they'll just think you're crazy." Josh pressed the gun into Remus's hands, smiled, and stepped off of the ledge into the open air.

"NOOOOOOO!!!" screamed Remus.
Remus looked up at the men as comprehension and pain flooded his head.

Remus pressed the muzzle of the gun into the space between his chin and throat, and pulled the trigger.

He fell silently backwards through the morning air, spilling life out into space.
Finally, peace.


Remus stared down at the people jostling in line for pie, like ants in line for a fallen piece of fruit. He could make out the faces of a few of his watershed heights neighbors, such as Takuda Hiroshi. Remus was standing on the rooftop of Watershed Heights, and he was in a good mood. Ever since Josh showed up, he had felt empowered; he felt more alive than he had in 30 years. Maybe it was his friend, Josh. Josh was the first friend Remus had made since the end of the war. so much time alone had wiped the memory of laughter and love from Remus's head, and the new feelings surged through his old body like electricity. He felt like he could do anything.

Josh climbed up onto the roof and came over to Remus.
"hey old man, you smell what i smell? whatya say we go grab ourselves some pie?"
"that does smell pretty damn good. i wouldn't mind a bite."
They made their way down to the crowd around the diner, and jumped into the mix.

after quite a wait, they were finally near the front of the line. their mouths watered, and their stomachs grumbled. After the long wait, they had become impatient.

They were next in line when a policeman sauntered past them to the front.
"Hey what the fuck man, we were next!" shouted Josh.
"Is there a problem, sir?" said the policeman, in a voice that said "give me a problem."
"Yeah, we were next, and you can't cut just because you're a fucking pig!"
The policeman grabbed Josh by the jacket, and threw him into Remus, knocking them both to the floor. Both of them jumped up, and Remus threw his fist into the policeman's stomach. The policeman pulled out his baton and slammed it into Remus's face. Remus heard the crunch of breaking bone, and felt the hot blood gushing from his nostrils. After another blow to the head, Remus passed out.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Remus had no idea where the weed had come from. Josh had showed up at his doorstep with a huge grin on his face. next thing Remus knew, they were on the roof smoking the dopest dope he had ever smoked. And there had been some potent marijuana in vietnam.

"Dude, I'm hungry as fuck!"
"I could eat a cow."
"don't be ridiculous, there aren't any cows in this city!"
Josh laughed, and Remus grinned. they were walking down a street. headed somewhere. it was looking more and more like that somewhere was gonna turn out to be a restaurant establishment.
It was. they had no idea what restaurant they were in, but the waiter had a funny voice and the menu had pictures.

"What can i get you fellers to drink?"
"can i just get, like, a drink?"
"..water.." rasped Remus.

the waiter chuckled and walked off. Remus and Josh looked at each other and giggled.

The ordering of the food didn't go much smoother, but they managed to place their orders. When the waiter brought out the food, it was a magical moment. Trumpets announced the arrival of the cavalry; the war raging in Remus's stomach could finally end. Joshua wept.
"here ya'll go. hold up a second and i'll bring ya'll some syrup."

by the time the waiter brought out the syrup, the waffles were already half gone. the arrival of the syrup induced more tears from josh, but Remus didn't even notice. The buttery waffle had his full attention.
"Oh shit that was so good."
"i know man, you should have put some syrup on it, it made it like ten times better."
"i don't think i could have handled it if it was any better man."

then the waiter arrived with the rest of the all star specials.
"oh shit i forgot about all this other shit!"
The pair dug into the eggs scrambled with cheese and hashbrowns scattered and smothered with renewed vigor. the only sound at the table for the next 5 minutes was the clinking of silverware and the groans and grunts from the men.

The bacon was next. it never stood a chance.

"yeah man?"
"i'm so glad i ate that shit instead of a fucking cow."
"i know man."

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Remus tried to stand up, but his legs were shaking so hard that they could not support him. He dropped the gun and ran his hands over his face, smearing vomit and blood through the sweat. Remus looked over towards the body on the ground, and a few tears trickled from his eyes. its been so many years, yet i still killed him without even thinking about it.

He took several deep breaths, then managed to stand up and walk out of the alley. near the entrance to the alley he found josh rolled up into a ball and trembling.
"come on kid, its over. you're ok." Josh sat up, but didn't say anything.
"come on, lets go back to my apartment and forget this ever happened." This time Josh nodded, and got to his feet.
"oh man, you really messed yourself, huh? its alright, its alright, we'll get you cleaned up. come on, lets go."
They walked away from the alley in silence, leaving the grotesque scene to fade into the night.

As they approached watershed heights, they heard a man cursing aloud about clowns, and did he say nuns? Well Remus didn't know shit about nuns, but he knew too much about fucking clowns. Now it was time to blow those images out of his head. Remus took Josh up to his apartment, and while Josh showered and changed, Remus went out and bought another bottle of hard liquor, vodka this time.

The next morning, neither of the two could remember anything about the night before.

Friday, March 18, 2011


The night was thick and dark, and the air had the consistency of tar. the only light came from the creepily bright carnival. the light seemed sickly, and didn't leave the confines of the carnival.
Remus walked out onto the street, and sniffed the air. It smelled like fear.
Remus took a breath and walked over to the gun and liquor store. The inside of the store was brightly lit, and there was a big black man behind the counter. Remus perused the selection of whiskeys, and settled on the cheapest available. As he walked to the counter to pay for his spirits, the clerk broke the silence.

"A lot of animals gone missin of late."
"oh yeah? thats odd."
"yeah man, must be somethin funny goin on. wouldn't hurt no one to be extra careful around town, if you feel me."

Remus turned to the handguns on the wall next to the counter, and lifted a weighty silver and black pistol from its resting position.

"I like the feel of this one. i'll take it."

Remus walked back out into the night, and came upon Josh walking down the street.

"hey old man, what are you up too tonight?" said josh.
"you know, same thing as last night and the night before."
"well you wanna come with me? i was just goin for a stroll, i wanted to feel this night."
Remus could feel the weight of the pistol in his breast pocket. the gun against his chest released him of his apprehensions. he decided to break from his habit of binging alone in his apartment.

The pair walked down the street in the direction of the carnival, with the glowing ferris wheel illuminating the horizon. they opened up the whiskey and were about half way through the bottle when a sound like crying came from an alley they were passing.

"did you hear that?"
"sounds like someone crying."
"we should go help them!"
"they'll be fine, lets just keep going." but josh had already started down the alley towards the sound. the alley took a turn to the right, and the light from the carnival disapeared. as they got closer to the source, it became evident that the sound was not crying. they both stopped in the half darkness and stared at a dark shape hunched over something in the corner of the alley. the cackling became louder as the shape turned its head, and they saw the face of the clown, its obscene make-up obscured by the blood around its mouth. the bottle fell from josh's hand and shattered as the clown stood up and revealed the dead dog on the ground behind it.

The clown pulled a meat cleaver from his blood splattered apron, and began to approach them. Josh let out a wail, and then vomited. Remus broke into a sweat and fumbled in his coat pocket for the pistol he had purchased.
"oh fuck! WHAT THE FUCK?!" yelled josh.
"shut the fuck up! Goddammit!" Remus barked as he clumsily shoved bullets into the cartridge. The perverse laughter continued as the clown came at the men. josh broke and ran.
The clown was feet from Remus, cleaver raised and arm cocked, when Remus lifted the pistol and fired.

The bullet hit the clown below its right eye, creating a dark pocket in its face, and blowing the contents of its head out into the night.

Remus fell to his knees and violently emptied his stomach.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


The first time Remus met Josh was on the rooftop of watershed heights. Remus ventured out onto the roof to watch the first snow of the year fall on the city. He hadn't expected to see anyone else, but there was a young man lounging on a bench with a bottle of whiskey in one hand. Remus contemplated turning back, but decided that the stranger was likely to leave him alone.

Remus settled himself on a bench across the rooftop from the man, and began taking off his gloves to light a cigar. As Remus hunched over his cigar in a struggle to get it burning, the stranger stood up and made his way towards Remus.
"It must take quite a man to smoke a cigar that big alone," said the man. Remus said nothing. "Sure you don't want a little help?"
"I'm quite a man," said Remus.
"Oh come on, I've got whiskey to spare, and you've got more than enough cigar," said the man, and he sat down next to Remus. "This ain't exactly top of the line, but it'll keep you warm. My name is Joshua. I just moved in here,"
"You down on your luck? That's why most people move here."
"I've seen brighter days."
Joshua handed Remus the bottle, and took the cigar. Remus took a long swig.
"Haven't we all. But you know what? It could be worse. You see that guy down there?" He pointed to a man entering the building who was dressed in wizard robes.
"The one all dressed up like some kind of queer?" said Josh.
"Yeah. He thinks he's magic. When things get bad, I thank god for my sanity. If you lose your mind, then you have lost everything."
"But if you have lost everything, then you have nothing else to lose. I imagine it must be very freeing. That man down there doesn't look unhappy. I bet losing your mind is like meeting your best friend for the very first time. You don't realize what is to come, but it just feels natural."
"Believe me," said Remus, "your mind is a sanctuary. When you cannot find refuge in your own mind, you cannot find any peace."
"You seem to have thought about this quite a bit."
"I suppose I have. I could say the same to you."
"I guess I have, too. Say, I never got your name."
"My name is Remus. If you live here now, then I guess I'll see you around." Remus stood up and went back to his apartment.