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--- C O L E T T E   D E D O N A T O

We were so ugly in our Sarasota sadness, burned out like suburban kids' minds, wasted on shampoo and conditioner and cable-TV paranoia sunrise. We had no there to go to in our big, broke-down blue-car inertia.

We were like seaweed washed-up on the side of a kidney-shaped swimming pool.

In our hungrier moments, when coincidence looks like chocolate, we were seduced by the sandy waters that washed and fed our sun-browned skins as children.

We'd spend the whole day watching Moe Paler and his big-wheelie ego try to make the sky turn backwards, uploading his articulations.

But today it's Tequiza and A/C by the multiplex, surrounded by moms whose fourth marriages and stale, chlorinated hearts keep time with the sequestered wisdom of FM radio.

Earlier this week, I took a walk on the shoulder of the afterlife's straight, long highway. There were a lot of junked-up dreamers waiting outside gas stations along the way.

A dollar in the vending machine doesn't mean you get your m&ms or your wish. Sometimes you have to kick it.

But I've got better things to imagine than that.

Another year of probation and the whole thrash-core strip-mall universe is mine again, minus the job at Appliance World.

I'd tell you more, but there are certain tropes I can do without.

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