The Good Word of Sprout

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Advice and Noses

Instead of judging, a friend suggested I might be happier just describing.

"As in your nose," I said.

"Yes," she said, "what about my nose?"

"It's so capable of of gathering and distributing a vast quantity of olfactory memories. Memories of your grandmother's house, memories of that night I adopted a baby skunk and later that night disowned it for sassing me."

"Are you saying my nose is big. Too big? You think my nostrils are giant repositories? Do you think...are you going to sell me to Dyson?"

"I don't think Dyson would buy you. You don't suck enough."

Not funny, apparently.

"Your nose is wonderful," I said. "I love it."

"That's judgmental."

"No, that's descriptive."


Monday, February 22, 2010

Problem/Solution/Com- plication

Problem: It's cold, and my long underwear bunches.

Solution: Constant clandestine adjustment.

Complication: The inescapable notion that pantyhose may do a better job.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Exploring sandwich delivery

The scratchy compassion in her voice comforts him, especially when he's mad with drink. He takes a breath and life lightens. She understands that he feels empty, that he is hungry, and that a pepper and egg sandwich will ease his pain, his pangs. She calls him "sweetie," and he feels better. Someone listened. Someone cares.

When the buzzer rings he stumbles down the stairs and meets the deliveryman halfway. He pays and tips and vaguely worries that he reeks and that his eyes are red and half-shut.

All worry ceases when he opens the sandwich and takes that first greasy bite: the pepper is the squirting phallus and the egg the ovum. He makes sounds that he only hears in internet movies and at the end of PBS cooking shows.

Oh, green pepper!

Oh, oh, egg!

Does someone have a towel? This napkin won't suffice.

Monday, February 15, 2010


It is the kind of clear day particular to autumn and winter that seems to have been designed for a higher plane. Lines converge beneath exquisite blue. People are creatures of light. The air smells scrubbed, clean. It is chilly but there is very little wind.

At the bus stop, her hair shimmers and dances, though she seems to doubt the shimmer and dance. This moment I watch. This moment is magical, part of her, part of us.

"Hello," I say.

"Hello," she says.

"Nice day."

She turns away. I should have worn a hat with a brim. Old-timey is less creepy.

With a squeal and a gasp, the bus pulls up.

I adjust my toupee and my erection. As she boards, her ass floats above me, blue with a sheen of gold. I lean forward, saliva filling my mouth, teeth bared, y-y-y-esss.

"Marv," a voice behind me says. "Marv Albert?"

As I turn, a man in a red satin Bulls jacket hugs me.

He whispers, "I loved your call in game 1 of the '92 Finals." His whisper is hot in my right ear. "Jordan for three!"

The bus doors close. His tongue probes my ear. Such is the price of celebrity.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Three Links

Work, play, love, death. Seems simple enough, though there's a lot of waiting in between.

These are interesting bits, in no particular order (well, in some particular order, maybe in all particular orders):

1) reading with expression

2) us

3) what is it like to be a giraffe

Best wishes. Winter is weakening. I can feel it.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Downstairs Neighbors Drama

In my apartment, the floors do not insulate sound.

They're at a bar. He's ready to go. She orders another drink and twirls her hair and chats with a group of strange men. They look at her. He stands apart, drinkless.

"She knew I was ready to go," he thinks.

At home later he won't talk to her, as if he's ashamed of her. He doesn't want to touch her. Though she pretties herself for hours, she feels unattractive, unable to use the reward of sex to shape his actions. Without that, she feels powerless. It's been five months since he went down on her. He doesn't seem to care.

Now he plays Xbox in the entertainment room, laughing and killing, and she listens to Garth Brooks in the kitchen. She knocks on the door to tell him she's going to bed. He tells her to leave him alone. He yells at her to leave him alone.

Much later she goes back to Wisconsin. Cheese is better than that man. Hell, butter is.

Monday, February 08, 2010


Check this out. Portrait courtesy of Bon at Dolly Asylum.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Problem/Solution/Com- plication

Problem: Death comes in threes.

Solution: After the first two people pass, and after you've thought about the sacrifices they've made for you and the wonderful ways they've affected your life, stay home.

Complication: A craving for buttered sourdough toast and apricot jam served hot in the bathtub.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Certain people feel more like roommates than guests. They get their own drinks and snacks, but not intrusively. They sneak a smoke in my office. Sometimes they dangle their bits and pieces out of their flies, waiting, just waiting, because who expects that? Oh, that's not them, that's me. What, there's no kids around.

You see why I'm confused?

Hospitality puts everyone at ease. The best way to relax is to eat. It gives the hands and mouth something to do. The hands leave the pockets and the mouth breaks out of its frozen smile. Even if the food tastes gross, it creates conversation when they spit out a half-chewed mass onto the counter. Oh, again, that's me. What, there's no kids around.

You see that I'm confused?

Or maybe you see why I have no roommates. And why there's no kids around.