BY BUD SMITH
The Fire Station
2 stars ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
We never noticed how often the world was on fire until we lived by the fire station. Station 9. The other night around midnight there was a screeching so diabolical outside the window that my wife did a back flip out of bed and screamed too. This woke me up and my heart was exploding with adrenaline, and the room was a rotating merry-go-round of red light and it usually isn’t. A fire truck outside. She yelled, “I thought it was a fucking banshee coming to kill us!” She slammed the window down and the banshee noise came again, the siren wailing, the fire truck easing its way into traffic, leaving, going off to save the goddamn world from burning down. Anyway! I’ll probably give the fire trucks five stars when they come here because we are melting from doomed fire, but right now we are doing fine. This place has walls that are probably solid concrete. We had a painting of a leopard we were trying to hang in the living room and I went to hit the nail in with the hammer but the nail sling-shotted across the room and almost got lodged in her skull. I had to get the cordless drill and make a starter hole. Concrete walls. I’m telling you.
Being Half Deaf
3 1/2 stars ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
It’s not so bad when there’s a fire and the fire trucks are whipping around out there. I Just put the ear I can hear out of down on the pillow so no noise from the outside world leaks in and destroys my dreams. Also, I never have to listen to anyone’s criticisms about anything, I just turn my head a little and the criticism goes away. Isn’t that nice? Sure, I can’t enjoy surround sound, but any movie I’ve seen that everyone makes a big deal about being in surround sound is a movie with a bunch of robot cars slamming into each other and sticking nuclear weapons up each other’s tail pipes. I’ve never been able to appreciate music on a nice set of headphones but neither did the entire human race that died before 1960. Brian Wilson was also deaf in his left ear and Brian Wilson did just fine.
1 star ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Food was fine. Service was fine. They mail you all the ingredients; you cook all the ingredients. It annoyed me I had to cook it. Canceled and was hurt they sent a simple thank you email and didn’t fight for my affection. Didn’t try to woo me with free chicken taco with fairytale eggplant and cashew slaw.
When The Shakespeare Recital Got Ruined
15 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
On Saturday morning we were walking to the BBQ place, because fuck Blue Apron. I’m not cooking on Saturday. Well, over in the church’s courtyard, they were having a Shakespeare reading, oh god, a full grown adult in yoga pants, holding a plastic skull. I just stood there on the sidewalk and listened to the asshole in the courtyard yelling in olde English thinking what the hell could be worse than this? I turned to look at my wife and share my disgust and she was smiling and leaning and listening, and I said, “You’re enjoying this? Really?” She said, “YES I AM! BUT NOT ANYMORE!” We started to fight there on the sidewalk andjust then here came the fire truck from the station and as always the fire truck got stuck in traffic and its siren began screaming out and honking the horn and all the people doing the Shakespeare reading had to stop reciting MacBeth and they looked over so annoyed at the fire truck like oh wow if they could shove a nuclear weapon up its tail pipe they would.
Bud Smith reports from Jersey City, NJ. Twitter: @bud_smith www.budsmithwrites.com. He wrote F250, Calm Face, and Dustbunny City, among others. He works heavy construction, and lives in Jersey City, NJ.