There’s something nice about rock bottom: every star is on the horizon. But I’m the type to hit bottom and keep digging.

There are no stars in these catacombs.

Only bones.

I Don’t Like Xaviers

The name “Xavier” has been ruined for me.

When I was in kindergarten there was this twat rocket named Xavier. I really disliked Xavier because he was filthy and I’m pretty sure he was a paint huffer at the ripe age of five because that kid was in Lala Land. It’s pretty bad when I say someone has gone off the deep end because I’m pretty kooky.

Anyway, there was a particular day when Xavier had a cloud of shit vapor about him. The kid was busting ass about every three minutes. Since kindergartners aren’t socially adept, most of us were straight up like, “XAVIER STINKS! EW! NO! GROSS!” so my teacher, sweet Miss Andrews, went up to Xavier, gagged, and asked, “Sweetie, are you okay?”

“I gotta go dookie,” whined Xavier while shifting from foot to foot. I bet he was clenching his ass cheeks from an onslaught of shit. Damn, that kid stunk.

“Xavier, we say ‘I have to use the restroom,’ okay?”

“Yeah… I gotta go dookie.” Miss Andrews just gave up and ushered him into the restroom. This school (Hollie Parsons Elementary School in Copperas Cove, Texas, look it up) had a single bathroom within each kindergarten class so no child would piss his or her pants on the walk to a stall. Unfortunately, Xavier was wearing overalls and had not yet mastered the intricacies of the overall buckle-clip-thingy.

There was a loud shriek and then something that sounded like a camel getting its balls kicked. Miss Andrews flung open the bathroom door and there stood Xavier, crying his eyes out and doing the truffle shuffle. We all stood there looking to see what was wrong with the kid. Had he smashed his head on the sink? Had he impaled himself on the coat hook? And then a thick perfume of shit stank hit everyone crowded around little Xavier, that fuck.

Everyone hit the deck. I’m sure someone screamed while another began to sob. “Oh sweet Jesus,” I muffled. I didn’t even know who Jesus was.

While most children don’t understand social norms, most understand that SHITTING YOURSELF is pretty damned bad and shameful. Xavier cried harder, huffing and blowing snot bubbles in a fit of embarrassment and rage. He reached down to his ankle and, sweet Jesus, he picked up a log of shit that had sidled down his trouser leg. I experienced true fear. It’s one thing to have someone say “I’m gonna whoop your ass”; it’s quite another to have someone hold a handful of poop while he’s under extreme duress. I thought he was gonna fling it at us.

Instead little Xavier bellowed a loud battle cry too deep for his undropped balls, ran at the wall, and smeared a ten foot trail of dookie around the tiled interior of the bathroom. “GET IT OOOOOOFFFFFFFFFF!” He crumpled to the ground undoubtedly smothering the poo into his clothes and skin. I don’t remember what happened after that. My eyes had been blinded by the shit-induced veil of tears. Sweet Miss Andrews probably scooped him off the ground and called his parents. Oh god, yuck. We had to use the bathroom in the classroom next door for a few days until ours had been sanitized. It still smelled like Xavier’s ass… or maybe my mind was playing tricks on me.

Anyway, this is just a story of what I think about whenever I meet a dude named Xavier, that poopy pantsed shit flinger.

Secret Aunt

When I was a youngin’ my parents had to slave away to keep us all fed and clothed. We qualified for welfare but my parents’ senses of pride tongue the fine line between dignity and hubris. Sad to say I eventually found out how good welfare cheese tastes, but my belly was full.

Anyway, 엄마 and Pops were out of the house a good part of the working day and since I was so young and we couldn’t afford a caretaker of some sort, that meant Dennis was in charge. He made weird-tasting food just to see if I’d eat it cooked, he cleaned, and he made sure I didn’t die. Unfortunately, Dennis was at that age when it wasn’t cool to have a kid sister skipping along after you. I don’t blame him for thinking I was a pain in the ass because I was. I cried, I ate dirt, and I seemed to ALWAYS have to pee. How did he not leave me in an orphanage? He’s the real MVP.

It got to the point when Dennis would turn on the television and leave me at home by myself. He told me not to tell, and I didn’t… until there was a fucking Huckleberry Hound marathon on Cartoon Network and I blew a gasket. If people wonder why I’m weird, it’s because I got my brain melted by listening to a blue dog shittily sing “Oh My Darlin'” for about three hours straight. HOW CAN YOU EVEN MAKE THREE HOURS’ WORTH OF HUCKLEBERRY HOUND EPISODES?!?! 엄마 came home from work, she said “Jeshka, what you do today while Mommy away?” and I said “I HAD TO STAY HOME WATCHING A DUMB DOG SING BAD SONGS ON TV WHILE DENNIS WAS AT TIM’S HOUSE!” And then she blew a gasket. Ass whoopin’s were handed out, there was lots of crying, we had an awkward, silent dinner. Then my parents sat us all down in the living room, and my mother told us a story.

My mom had a lot of siblings growing up; she was one of seven, third oldest. She had to take care of the younger ones since her mother and father were often busy. This sounds familiar. Her two older sisters shirked their duties as caretakers, so my mother shouldered the responsibilities of taking care of the fourth child (I don’t think the youngest three had been born; perhaps a couple were infants.) My grandmother would yell, “Chong Yon! Take your little sister with you!” and my mother would grudgingly oblige. Wow, this story REALLY sounds familiar.

One day 엄마 decided to go to her friend’s house to play, little sister in tow. They arrived, and my mom’s friends said they wanted to play with sand and that she should fetch a pail of it. She left her sister with her friends and went to bring back some sand. While 엄마 was away her friends began to chide her sister. “We want to play with Chong Yon, not you.” “Why do you bother Chong Yon so much?” “Go away!”

My mother came back with the sand but her sister wasn’t there. “We told her to go home,” they said.

On her way home, my mother’s kid sister had been hit by a car. She died on impact. She died thinking her older sister didn’t want to play with her. She died thinking her sister didn’t want her around.

Dennis never left me at home again, and I’ve never watched an episode of Huckleberry Hound since.

“I bet she’s said ‘Screw the condoms; just press record,’ on many occasions. She’s lucky no man about to fuck believes in STDs.”
“Jess, you ever thought about becoming a writer?”
“Nah, I can’t handle mind games and emotional pain like writers can. I’d rather be beaten like a normal person. I already have to drink a pint of the devil’s piss at the exact moment the sun goes down to keep the demons of my mind at bay.”
“Sounds like you’re halfway there.”
“Christ wept. Bukowski’s laughing.”