the women with newport smooth hundreds walk the sidewalks, smoke sweeps into their lungs. heads dizzy with the chemicals they swing their upper bodies down over the bus stop benches, regretfully, and around go the hips, puff their lips out at the strangers, push middle fingers out at dangers. the drunks duck into meeting halls, intoxicated by sweet anonymity, the junkies escape the blistering heat of the valley, prayers and those who care, or want to care, inside open doors. tears of misery. tears of joy. the women born in the forties and fifties come out with abandon, pushing upper ages into push up bras with powder, in triple digit heat. the older they are the stronger. the men have become very kind and sugar sweet with old age. out with their canes, in wheelchairs, on walkers. ripened and unashamed to be weak after lifetimes of having to be strong. the heat has the strip malls and parking lots cooked, melting tar into rivulets dripping down where the rainwater is supposed to take the oils, the wheels they are spinning and change direction to avoid an ugly truth in the road, the film drips off of grills embedded in the pavement, the fishtails of boys in cars dragging the streets take water in through the gills. the ones been around the block stand there talking, don’t need to go around it again, the quiet ones come out to listen to the talkers who are talking to anyone and no one, the young ones quiet and listening but not for long, the young girls holding the hands of the young men and young women, smile and kick up the dust, the young boys are satellites who blush. the workers are working, the players playing cards, the surveyors, construction, on the job, hammering and drilling and surveying, connecting wires, hard hats on hard heads, staring at a soft ass passing by on the street, hard, hammering and measuring and shouting over the trucks, wishing they was talking to some honey, sugar sweet. the smokers are kicking snipes into the street, newports and kools and camels, dehydrated, rolling embers off the end of a half-smoked marlboro, rollies, talking shit, looking, the girls gossiping and looking and laughing a little, the men boasting and smiling, the punks smoking reds like joints. real estate agents taking smoke breaks on the hour. waitresses cursing into their breaks, called back in by a supervisor or line cook to get their asses inside and grab that fucking marinated mountain trout with rice and green beans. they sashay into the air conditioned dining rooms to their tables. waiters incensed by ten percents, dropping cans and butts on cold cement. then out on the streets, free, after they all punch out. #katyamills
Date of publication: May 3, 2020.
Trouble’99 by Katya Mills
available now on amazon.com @
Set in Chicago in 1999, four friends carry their broken hearts into the new century. Busking, drinking to keep warm, couch surfing…amidst a landscape of dot-com era corporate growth and nihilism. Walk alongside them in this cool and captivating story of love and music, heartache, misfortune, and redemption. An honest portrayal of a disaffected generation coming of age, from the mind of Katya Mills, author of Grand Theft Life, Maze, and Girl Without Borders.
Ebook available now.
Paperback coming soon!
ghost. tower bridge
you told me again how it happened. you found a diary from two years ago, and read me an entry from a single day. what you wrote came to pass. you got to feeling good about yourself. you were tired of living in a room and board. you stopped taking your meds when they ran out. before long, there would be empty bottles of vodka under your bed. you lost touch with reality. you stopped returning calls and closed your door, and began to drown. again…this is not the first time we have said goodbye. i make sure to hold on longer because i know how bad it gets when you fall. i am just a counselor, tangential to your life. you have worked so hard this time, i’m proud of you. you inspired the others. i hope we won’t see you here again but if we do, we will be family and embrace you.