the subway smells like a wet dog

Tires over wet cobblestones.

Dead pines on sidewalks, the smell so good the smell. (Or are they firs?)

You are good at smiling. Better even than that yellow dude with dots for eyes and a circle head who will live forever. I will give you money.

Something nice on a not nice day.

Lip mittens and belly hats.

Past glass bottles of upstate milk, lopsided pies, bubbling cider and crayon vegetables under tents.

A glove off one hand each in the cold cold cold.

To touch skin to skin, too to warm.

An old woman who probably won't live much longer offers her seat to a young man on the train. He takes it. They are both good at smiling.

Be glad that kids still leave the hologram stickers on their Yankees caps to prove they are really Yankees caps and not not Yankees caps.

Listening to women speak Russian makes me want to snort lines of fish eggs in a steaming bathtub filled with vodka and snow.

A little girl kisses her hockey stick. The hockey stick smiles, but not as well as you.

A woman in a fancy cocktail bar only orders bottled beer. All night long. There is a lesson in that for all of us.

I am wearing pinstripes and a tie that wants to choke me to death if someone would just lend a hand.

Gimme a dollar and you will feel better about yourself. That is the second-best way I can help you right now. Maybe tomorrow I can let you do something else for me as my way of saying you are welcome.

I walk you home.

We hug.

"You are going to die."

I smile. You smile.


14 x like a billion = how much I love you:

ana c. said...

i'm going to choke your tie
then i'm going to choke a wet dog


Mariana Soffer said...

As usuall I liked a lot your text, it is amazing.
The description of the subway. The smile sign.
The description of the last good deeds a poor human does to
fell good for herself.
Let me tell you that hockey stick smile ironically that is why they are not so nice.

How offering to accept charity as if you needed it indeed calms guilty consciences.
Take care dear friend

rollerfink said...

i will give you a dollar (obles) but it is an australian dollar so really more like 89 cents.

~otto~ said...




~otto~ said...


As always, thanks. I like your take on guilt and charity and lying smiles.


~otto~ said...


I'll take it. Times are hard.


gamefaced said...

beautiful words. i love wanting to read things more than twice.

~otto~ said...

Thanks, gamefaced. That's about as high a compliment as one can receive.

xTx said...

your shit always makes me feel so berso. I too, read it twice. First time with my hands off myself, second time with hands on. (only because i know what's coming and can increase friction at the best parts)

Chick said...

I like the lesson here for all of us.

~otto~ said...

xTx: mmmmmmmm

~otto~ said...

Chick: I like that you like that. Thanks.

TC said...

How very wonderful it is that in this most bought of all seasons something real and free would be given. The one moment of the year in which we are actually tempted to take a chance on the legitimate possibility of warmth existing between adults. In the next moment of course this feeling will be gone.

This is what makes you such a fine writer, you always do catch the reality of the moment. Usually the reality of the moment comes across (understandably) as Life's a bitch. But wow, Otto, how cool it is to see the range of the spectrum expand, with all these other colors... even if it's here today gone tomorrow.

So's everything.


~otto~ said...

Thanks, Tom. Your comments always make me take a second look at my own writing. I usually write off feel and konven, not very conscious of what I am doing, and your eyes on these words is wonderful gift.


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner