Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fifty Shades Of Gray From Still Another Point Of View

Gray flips on the light and stomps into the bedroom like storm clouds approaching Tennessee. I can tell he's angry even before I see the leather strap. His fists are white, his thin lips are bloodless, his undone bowtie hangs limply from the collar of his tuxedo shirt.

I know what's coming, but I have absolutely zero regret. He spent the night out. He left me here alone while he did whatever the fuck he wanted. So, I did whatever the fuck I wanted too.

He yanks off the covers and exposes my naked body with nothing but contempt in his eyes. I'm cowering in fear, suppressing a whimper, but a shiver of excitement runs up my spine.

I knew what I was doing. I could have stopped myself. It might have looked like a spontaneous act of frustration, but it was well thought out. I knew the consequences; I knew I was opening this Pandora's box -- so is he in charge, or am I?

He lifts me up in his unforgiving hands and splays me out over his knee. My foot rests against his crotch and I feel soft flesh beneath the Italian wool. Is he not excited, as I am? I brazenly slide my foot across the sleeping mound, hoping to coax out some feeling from this marble statue of a man, but he gruffly holds me in place. My body is under his control, and I can do nothing but await his sentence. As the recipient of his unbridled fury, my humiliation will be complete.

He raises the paddle to shoulder height. I should be afraid, but I'm not. Does he notice my shudder of excitement? His ruddy complexion betrays no evidence. The paddle approaches my soft nethers in seemingly slow-motion as my mind clears. I care nothing about kibble, or squirrels, or chewing on his Tod's loafers. I'm panting, I'm drooling, my left leg is twitching like I'm scratching at nonexistent fleas. HIT ME! I scream in my head. YES, I WEED ON THE COUCH!

I'm too ashamed to tell him what I want, so instead I just say, "Arf." Arf. Arf, arf. ARF ARF ARF A MILLION TIMES ARF!

Afterward, we're both spent. We lay together, me in my bed and him mostly on ceramic floor tile. Sweat discolors his white shirt. He cuddles me. That's why I love him. "Sorry I had to do that, Chutney," he says, and I lick his face in forgiveness. I've learned my lesson. My bottom is red, but I guess it always is because I'm a Pomeranian.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Joke For Old People

MAN #1: My new girlfriend dances at the Music Hall.

MAN #2: Flapper?

MAN #1: Only when she complains!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Incidentally, it might be worth noting that this advert appeared in Elle, a magazine that in 2013 announced it would be “rebranding feminism”. I’m going to assume, judging from the magazine’s decision to publish an advert featuring a seemingly distressed and very skinny young woman, that this continues to be a work in progress.

Friday, June 19, 2015

This Weekend In NYC

Rob was my first real best friend. There'd been others, but they'd all been "better than nothing" types. Rob had an incredible, bizarre sense of humor: I'm still trying to decipher half the things he said to me, like "Growing up in Ohio it used to rain so hard the food stamps stuck to my lips." He was also so smart the professors at the University of San Francisco went to him when they didn't understand the curriculum.

We were neighbors in the dorm and quickly became inseparable. It was the perfect symbiosis: I was a freshman, and he was a grad student. I was young and naive and he was a cynical old soul. I was attractive, and he looked like a Doonesbury cartoon character. I worshipped him and he loved being worshipped. With his zen friend Steven and Larry, a disabled musician, we became a foursome. We were like San Francisco's version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles if Donatello's power was finding great drugs.

The roommate I'd been assigned was Roger, another senior and Rob's best friend. Roger was a rarity in San Francisco: a real man's man. He went camping. He went fishing. He was tall and broad-shouldered, easily identifiable with his long red hair, bushy beard and plaid shirt. Leave me alone for an hour and I'll eat a muffin and wonder why my t-shirts smell musty; leave him alone for an hour and he'll build a coffee table and rescue six cats from a tree. They say it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one. Me, I figured rich was out of my league, so I went with the guy who could rebuild the engine of a VW Bug.

I think Roger was envious of my popularity. He'd spent a few unremarkable years in San Francisco so I think it surprised him to see that seconds after arriving I'd grabbed hold of the city with both gay hands and shaken it until the fun fell out. It seemed like every time I set foot outside, Jefferson Airplane would be playing on the Panhandle and hippie couples would offer me daisies and drug-fueled three-ways. I dated business executives, stockbrokers, bankers, and politicians after just turning sixteen. San Francisco was a small pool but I was making a little splash.

One night I met a man on Castro Street and I went home with him. Since this was Gay Central it wasn't exactly a rare occurrence, though "home" usually wasn't a gated estate in the Napa Valley. A few days later when he dropped me back at the dorm I was shocked to find my placid roommate freaking out.

"Where have you been?" he asked. "It's been days! I called hospitals. I even called the police."

"The police?" I asked, surprised and worried. "What did they say?"

"They didn't sound surprised. They said, 'Oh, we're already looking for him.'"

I appreciated his interest so I figured I'd ramp it up on my side. One night when we were both in separate beds I didn't have to twist his arm.

ME: I think everybody needs to try gay sex just to see how they stand on it.

ROGER: Really?

ME: Absolutely. I mean, nobody's entirely gay or straight, so you need to experiment to find out where -- "

ROGER [leaping in next to me] Okay. What do we do?

The next half hour is a bit of a blur. I don't think it was crazy to assume Roger would take charge, but he didn't. Instead I had to deal with this giant pink thing waiting for me to make the first move. I went with the basics. Afterward Roger didn't exactly give me rave reviews.

ROGER: Is that all there is to it?

ME: What do you mean?

ROGER: We just rub our dicks together? Wrestle around while making out? Basically gay sex is just masturbating while lying down?

ME [peeved]: How the hell am I supposed to know? I've just slept with three guys more than you.

This incident confirmed to Roger that he was hetero and confirmed to me that I was in love with him. It was classic "negging" strategy: criticize my sexual prowess and I'll want to do it again to prove that I can do it right. Roger was hot and hunky and apparently knew how to fuck; me, I was struggling for one out of three.

Unfortunately, Roger soon found a girlfriend, which meant I now had an ex-boyfriend I loved (1) living with me, and (2) fucking women in our room. This wasn't quite the party atmosphere USF had promised. I begged the Resident Advisor to find me alternative housing but being straight he absolutely could not give a fuck. Roger and I yelled, screamed and hollered until Rob intervened.

"I don't care that Roger has a girlfriend," I said. "He can fuck every woman in San Francisco for all I care. I just don't want to meet them, and I don't want them fucking in our room."

"What's the problem?" Rob said. "Roger's a single straight guy. Why shouldn't he fuck around? It's not like you two slept together."

"No," I said, "we did."

I didn't see Rob for a while after that. This incident cemented the fact that he was being left out of non-cerebral life. Luckily, the school year ended. Roger went back to wherever he was from, and then Rob announced that he'd found a house to rent on top of Potrero Hill.

Once again, it was one of those things that only happens to the chosen few. Rob had just happened to run into a gorgeous 19-year-old blonde, and he'd just happened to enchant her, and she'd just happened to mention that she owned a spare house on Potrero Hill that we could have rent-free. Larry, Steven and I knew the deal: she loved his brain and he loved her body. "But who knows how that'll end up?" we thought, drawing straws for bedrooms.

Christine took to all of us, and soon she was hanging around our house more than her own. I'm still not sure of her story. She claimed to know everybody famous, even recounting how Mick Jagger danced around her fireplace on her last birthday. I'd have doubted her stories if she'd been poor or plain but rich and gorgeous means anything goes.

No matter how much people like each other, factions develop when there are gays in a house of straights. We all ate dinner together but after dessert it was time for the tribes to separate. "I'm going to go get a drink or two," I announced. "I'll see you all tomorrow."

"Can I come?" Christine asked.

I thought for a second. It'd probably be okay. Forget Folsom, with its punk rock and leather daddies. Forget Castro, testosterone-fueled home of the Clones. Polk was female-friendly: lined with dance clubs, it was almost bisexual. Fingers crossed that she wouldn't cramp my style too much, I said, "Sure. That sounds like fun."

The night wasn't just fun: it was like being royalty for a night. I thought I'd been treated well as a hot young guy, but add a sexy blonde to the equation and the world is at your feet. The gay clubs didn't just ignore the fact that we were both underage: the bouncers literally begged us to enter and then we drank all night for free. Our baccanale lasted until the sun came up and then we drunkenly staggered back home.

The same thing happened the next night. Christine cooked us rabbit for dinner, maybe trying to prove that she was simultaneously domestic and wild, and stood up before I did. "Are we going out again?" she asked.

"Sure," I said. "Great!"

Grumbles came from around the table. Clearly the heterosexuals hadn't had quite as much fun as we'd had. "Can I come too?" Rob asked.

"You'd hate it," Christine snapped. "It's all glam and glitter and loud music. Too loud to talk, and half-naked men. It would drive you nuts."

Though her assertions were correct I wasn't convinced of her conclusion, but Rob got the hint. "Okay," he shrugged, and Christine and I hit the road.

Once again, the night was spectacular. Every door opened for us, and every attractive person fell at our feet. When we finally stumbled back to Potrero Hill at daybreak we felt like Meryl Streep after the Academy Awards. This time, however, Christine followed me up to my room and dove onto my bed.

CHRISTINE: I think everybody needs to try hetero sex just to see how they real stand on it.

ME: Really?

CHRISTINE: Absolutely. I mean, nobody's entirely gay or straight, so you need to experiment to find out where -- "

She was game and gorgeous so like anybody else in the universe I thought what the fuck.

ME [leaping in next to her] Okay. What do we do?

Christine took total charge, giving me instructions down to the last detail. I'm not sure how our housemates didn't hear the screaming, though maybe they just assumed I'd found a Chuck Norris movie on TV. A good time was had by all, though her thin, smooth, buxom body proved to me that I played for the other team.

The next morning I woke up to a knock on my door. Rob entered and sat on the edge of the bed. "Christine wants you to move out," he said.

Fuck, I thought. Fuck.

"She wouldn't tell me why. Did something happen last night?"

"No, nothing. It was terrific."

"I tried to talk her out of it. There's still a chance she'll calm down. I mean, you guys were getting along so well. It's bizarre. Out of the blue. I mean, it's not like you slept together."

"No," I said, "we did."

As I packed my bags to head back to Los Angeles, I knew my adolescence had come to an end. I'd simultaneously discovered a bright new world and had its inhabitants throw cold water in my face. I never talked to Rob again: I knew he conspired with Christine to get rid of me, and I felt completely betrayed. I Googled him so I could write a followup to this piece and immediately regretted it: Google said he was a lawyer, a doctor and a Harvard professor.

It made me feel awful. How could I go on hating him when he still hadn't gotten laid?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

Christian, suffering from cancer? It's not all bad news. Research treatment options by clicking this link and the American Family Association will make a penny or two:


Remember, God has a plan, though with you it's confused. We've got our fingers crossed!

A Lost, Directionless Jeb Bush "Wanted To Make It On His Own" So He Took A Job With One Of His Dad's Wealthy Friends


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The media is waging a war on hipsters. It's easy to figure out why: they're doing what their audience wants, and what they want is to stop feeling jealous. They need the media to attack everyone who's better than them and take them down a peg or two.

Hmm: but how do you trash hot young creative types? You can't criticize their looks, or their intelligence, or their age, or their success. You can only criticize the unseen: their motivation, and their germs.

Motivation is attacked with the "wannabe" tag. Which, when you think about it, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Because what exactly is a "wannabe"? It's someone who wants to be successful in an unconventional field. There aren't wannabes in other professions, like architecture or journalism: no, they're called "apprentices." They're called INTERNS.

Why doesn't the media target wannabe doctors? Here's a hospital scene you won't see on ABC:

NURSE: This man collapsed on the escalator at the mall. His pulse is shallow and rapid and his BP is 172 over 95.

INTERN: Thank you, Nancy. I'll take care of this.

DOCTOR [pushing him aside]: You wish, you wannabe!

Why doesn't the media accuse high-fallutin' professions of being wannabes? For instance, I remember back in the 1800s Alexander Hamilton was all, like, "Hey, if George Washington is gonna be a Founding Father then I wanna be one too!" What did Einstein do when he had a Beatles haircut and nobody gave him the time of day? We all know the answer to that. And I remember reading this in Mother Teresa's archives:

Dear Diary,

What should I do? I really want to be a nightclub singer, but damn if Florence Nightingale doesn't get the hunkier dudes.

Oddly, though, nobody cuts hipster interns any slack.

RECORD STORE CLERK: What do you think of the new National record?

HIPSTER INTERN: I'm not really into it. It sounds exactly the same as the last record. And aren't their allegedly "poetic yearnings" just pseudo-romantic tripe?

RECORD STORE CLERK: Okay, that's totally unacceptable. Get out of Brooklyn, charlatan!

So, we get an endless stream of ridiculous studies that make couch potatoes feel better about being far away from the cutting edge. "At least I'm blazing my own trail," they think as they shovel down another handful of Doritos from that butt-sized depression on their Kmart couch.

The latest is a claim by some ABC affiliate that says most hipster beards have traces of poop in them. Clearly from the outset this was designed as a slam job. Because what else are you going to find if you search somebody's beard? Cassette tapes? A Miata? Slices of pumpkin pie?

In this study, exactly one researcher wanders the 'hood swabbing every beard he finds. He checks under a microscope and voila! There's poop in almost every one.

Once again hipsters morph into laughingstocks. They thought they were so hot and so young and so fashionable when actually they're all wearing little toilets on their chins! Tell me again how great homemade mustard is, Mr. Poopoo Face!

It doesn't take a genius to realize that this attack can be easily turned around. ABC's cup may be half-empty, but ours is definitely half-full. Here's how the headline in The Daily Hipster would read:


There. The same study, with an equally valid conclusion. Mr. Smug ABC Viewer, let's see Doritos get you out of that.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Jurassic Park is now a reality, except it’s called Jurassic World in an attempt to dissociate it from the tragedies that resulted from the attempted launch of the original park.

Oh. Okay. So three separate times a "Jurassic Park" has opened. At each of these places there has been a horrible accident where the security systems failed and all the dinosaurs got loose and either tore apart or stomped or ate all the visiting tourists. Worried that nobody would come to the fourth "Jurassic Park" -- though the third was wildly popular, apparently -- the park operators have dubbed it Jurassic World.

Personally, I'm not convinced. I'm not sure that's good enough. I mean, if you want to tell people that you've got nothing to do with the total idiots who opened those three previous disaster parks, you probably want to change more than one word in the name, especially when the remaining word has never been used in actual human conversation.

If I decided to build a tanker to carry oil around Alaska, I wouldn't call it the Exxon Valdooky. If I was a food manufacturer who had a horrible reputation for unhealthy, low-quality junk food I wouldn't create a new product called Hot Packets. If my parents had named me Adolf Hitler, I wouldn't head to the courts and say, "Your honor, this is unbearable. I can't take it. Please, let me change my name to Adolf Garfinkel."

Me, I'd give the new park a totally different name. Something like, "Uncle Bob's Raucous Dinosaur Village." Or "Brontosaurus Brachiapotamus And Beyond." Or mayxj8717ou ]\[)(& Pterod*^%# poius \\][powu Woreorh .253.josid977^*

Shoot. Guess that's it for now. I don't know why but I've been having real problems with this new Time Warthog Cable.

Friday, June 5, 2015

One night when I was fifteen there was a knock on our front door. It was strange for a couple of reasons: first, because we lived way out of town, where houses were cheap. Our neighborhood didn't have any street lights, and just barely had paved roads. And second, because we'd lived there for years and nobody had ever knocked before. I grew up assuming that people just never visited each other rather than realizing that crazy people like my mother have a hard time making friends.

My mother answered the door and saw a well-dressed trio: a dark-haired, fortyish man in a gray suit, a perfectly-coiffed lady in a stylish dress, and a plain but friendly-looking teenage girl. "Hi," the man said. "Our daughter Cynthia goes to the same high school as your son Roman, and she has a question she'd like to ask him."

Mom's eyes flashed like a slot machine as the reels in her brain spun and then stopped. Rich people. Want something. From us! Mom plowed a path through the discarded newspapers and magazines and clothing from the front door to the couch, then pointed at depressions in the sofa where two of them could sit down. They glanced at one another. Their smiles didn't budge but their eyes asked, "If we back out slowly, can we pretend we were never here?"

I liked them. Welcome to my world, I thought. In this insular environment I didn't often get my opinion confirmed. And this was even before seeing the girdles hanging up in the bathroom, or the pinhole glasses she'd purchased that allegedly improved her vision but also made her look like a cross between Betty White and Kanye West.

Mom offered snacks, which the people politely declined, but she ran off in search of them anyway. Good luck on that, I thought. See, we were in an odd financial bracket you might call "Allegedly Poor." Every time one of us kids wanted something, we got a lecture about the sad facts of life. It wasn't fair! We didn't have a cent! Damn our deadbeat dad! We couldn't afford food, or entertainment, or even new pants for me, so as I grew taller Mom sewed rings of castoff fabric around the cuffs of my pants so they'd reach the vicinity of my shoes. Her unhinged optimism wasn't convincing: not only were the pants brighter and more cheerful than the usual ones, she claimed, but if you counted the rings you could guess my age.

Oddly, though, whenever my mom wanted something, we suddenly had the cash. Furniture from Robinsons, dresses from Bullocks Wilshire, face cream from Estee Lauder. It left us kids in financial limbo: were we poor, or weren't we? We envied the black-or-white destitution of the folks in National Geographic. I mean, in Uganda everybody agrees they're starving. The kids don't yell, "Hey, how about buying us a sandwich instead of more Time-Life books?" My chubby sister Clarissa further muddied the waters, but you can't judge a whole family based on a girl who'd stare at a strange man's crotch until he offered to buy her food.

Being a single working mother was part of the problem, but a close second was the work of Clarence Birdseye. When we were flush, we had frozen entrees that came sealed in plastic bags that you dropped in boiling water. They were widely heralded as a technological marvel though a few years later a federal court would rename them

Along With A Little Something That Fell Off The Side Of A Goat

Most of the time, though, our meals came from twelve-cent boxes of Kraft Mac N' Cheese. Which caused endless arguments: my sisters not only lacked the ambition to do their homework or make friends or clean up, but they also found it impossible to commit to six minutes of boiling water. They lolled around on their backs waiting for food to appear, and then attacked it like hyenas.

With pot lids and meat tenderizers I kept them away from my cooking before devising a less-combative solution. If I randomly adulterated my cooking with things they found disgusting, there'd be leftovers for when I was hungry again. Mac N' Cheese with raw onion lasted nearly twelve minutes, with Stella and Clarissa fighting to get it down like baby birds choking down garter snakes. With a cup of cilantro thrown in, though, it lasted three hours. It was disgusting, my sisters claimed. Like eating soap. Apparently they thought their complaints would banish the herb from my repertoire rather than prompt me to add it to everything from instant pudding to apple pie.

Six foot six and a hundred pounds, I knew exactly what was in the kitchen at all times. On this night there were two envelopes of cherry Jello and one box of unmade Mac N' Cheese, but these posh folks didn't look like their meals often went through the powder stage. Rather than running to the kitchen, though, Mom went for her bedroom, reappearing with six boxes in her hands. "Cookies, anyone?" she asked excitedly. "Anyone like Pepperidge Farm?"

"That sounds lovely," the wife said. "Don't mind if I do." Mom dumped a small pile of each cookie onto a plate, then dashed back into her bedroom and fetched bottles this time. "Sherry? Or would you prefer a dash of port?" She half-filled two Baccarat tumblers and passed them out to the adults.

"We don't want to disrupt your evening," the man announced, unaware that we usually spent nights watching Matlock and trying to decide if Mom was lying on the floor because she wanted attention or because she was dead. "But prom is coming up, and our daughter Cynthia hasn't yet chosen a date. We saw a photo of your son in the yearbook and agreed he was a nice-looking lad."

I didn't wait for details but immediately said yes. It didn't matter that Cynthia was as pale and awkward as I was, or that I was gay and would have preferred slow-dancing with her dad. I just knew I liked these people. They were polite. They were clean. They probably stopped and second-guessed Cynthia if she headed for the bus stop with fifty cents in her pocket and a hand-drawn map to Disneyland.

With $20 budgeted for new clothes, I bought a blazer at J. C. Penneys: the salesman insisted it was the finest corduroy, and both of the colors were really hot that year. On prom night Mom dropped me at Cynthia's house, glaring angrily as the happy family met me the door. They took a few dozen photos and then we piled in their car with her dad.

I struggled to recognize the freshly-scrubbed faces, though they were all painfully familiar at school. Well-dressed and surrounded by chaperones, these idiots, jocks and hoodlums suddenly looked like adults. Suddenly they had better things to do than chase the fat kids with briefcases. Cynthia and I danced at arm's length, chatted about the weather, and then I ran off to get us punch. When I returned she was talking to a tiny Grace Kelly, complete with diamond necklace and tiara. "This is my best friend Barbara," Cynthia announced. "Barbara, this is Roman Hans."

Barbara offered me her hand and for a second I was tempted to kiss it. Instead I shook it and said hi. We could have been different species: her hair was hand-twisted and lacquered and arranged, and mine was hacked by a trainee at Supercuts until it looked like bean dip at a Superbowl party. I couldn't give a fuck, because it wasn't even close. I had nothing to offer but attitude.

The next time Cynthia and I danced, she leaned in close. "Barbara likes you," she said. "She wants to go out with you. Would you go out with her?"

"Of course not," I replied.

"Have you ever been to Clarkwalder Beach?" I shook my head. "Her name is Barbara Clarkwalder. The beach is named after her."

With those words, the thought of tossing Cynthia aside for bigger fish took root in my brain. Sure, she lived in a nice house, but buildings are just cement and bricks. A beach is part of history, drawn on a map. It moves you out of the society pages and into the history books. Imagine your name turning into a noun. "Shall we go to Hans this afternoon?" parents would ask their children.

"YIPPEE!" the kids would reply. "Hans is my favorite place in the world!"

A couple of hours later we were giddy but exhausted, and Barbara herded us into her limo. I assumed we were going back to Cynthia's house but we turned off La Cienega into the parking of Lawry's Steak House. I was easy-going so it didn't bother me: I just knew I couldn't order anything with just a dollar in my pocket. In the back of my mind, though, a thought bubbled up. This was a date, a little voice said. And don't guys pay for ladies on dates?

Instantly the bright lights of La Cienega started swirling around my head. The night had gone so well, and now it was going to end with policemen handcuffing me while well-dressed people struggled to distance themselves. "I just saw his picture in a yearbook," Cynthia would say. "I didn't know he was the type who'd go to fine restaurants when he couldn't afford a Burrito Supreme."

I mean, I knew I wouldn't have a problem. I could order potato salad or cole slaw, then hide a crumpled single under the pile of cash collected at the end of the meal. Cynthia, though, looked hungry. And why wouldn't she be? She'd just danced for six hours straight, and she wasn't footing the bill.

Sweat seeped into my blazer as I scanned the padded menu. It was even worse than I'd suspected. Somehow we'd reached a point in American history where fifteen bucks was reasonable for a steak.

"You know what?" I barked at Cynthia. "I'm still stuffed from lunch. I think I'll just get an iced tea."

Cynthia didn't get the hint. She ordered appetizers and soups and salads, then a steak and dessert. It didn't have to end tragically, I thought, as she ladled BĂ©arnaise onto her Porterhouse. I'd just have to come up with a polite way to say, "You know you're paying for what you order, right?"

Cynthia, Barbara, and Barbara's date didn't even flinch when the check came. To me it might as well have had a neon sign atop blaring, "ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO VENTURE HERE." I was deciding between playing on their pity or running for the exit when I felt a hand brush against my leg. When I investigated I saw it was attached to Cynthia, and it was offering me a wad of bills.

I exhaled for the first time in two hours. She was a great girl, that Cynthia. In fact, if she'd dropped to one knee and offered me something simple with maybe one big diamond I'd be Mr. Cynthia right now. I counted five twenties into my lap as Barbara's date grabbed the folder holding the check. "I'll get it," he announced. I looked skyward. Mentally I shook my fist at whoever was up there and hollered, "Now you're just FUCKING WITH ME!"

Cynthia and I cuddled in the back of the limo as we headed back to her house. Was this how the world worked for regular folks? I wondered. A little struggle, a little worry, but everything worked out in the end? I could get to like a world like that. "Hey, about -- " she said, and I gently touched her lips. "Hush," I said. "Let's remember tonight exactly the way it is." I memorized the tinted windows, the fluffy tulle, the gemstones in Barbara's anklet. Sapphire onyx emerald. Sapphire onyx emerald.

I reached back in to check on the wad of bills in my pocket. Everything had changed. The future was bright. I'd need every cent of this cash to leave for college a few months later, but first I had cilantro to buy.