[Full clips can be found here.] 

From White Boy Boricua featured in The Rumpus

After staying inside the entire first day, we headed into Naguabo in the morning to stop at a restaurant to find a phone signal and check the weather map, searching for one place on the island where it wasn’t raining. And it had already been twenty-four hours, and we still hadn’t had any Puerto Rican food.

But when we got into Naguabo Central, the only restaurant we could find was a goddamn Burger King.

Yeah, a Burger King, like every Burger King you’ve been unfortunate enough to be in—because let’s be real, that shit’s terrible. Instead of eating alcapurrias, I ate a crossan’wich.

In Puerto Rico.

While it rained. And worse, when we ordered, all I could say was: “Quiero numero dos.” Those were literally all of the words I could say in that language I don’t speak. Even though I’m Puerto Rican. But! At least the cashier responded to me in Spanish! She talked to Gibson in broken English and gestured a lot. My white friend Gibson, she’s super white. She’s got skin like fresh merengue and though we both craved it, the Puerto Rican sun would’ve probably melted her. As we ate, we checked the map, planning to drive to the beach or hiking trails or anywhere on the island where it wasn’t fucking raining.

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From Junk Mail and Hospital Bills, featured in Wyvern Lit

When Matt found out that he had leukemia, we all met up at his house bringing bottles of wine and cases of beer and the special whiskey we kept above the refrigerator for special moments.  Matt wanted to throw a party, bought a few pizzas with the works, sat on a stool wearing a bed sheet around his neck and had us take turns preemptively shaving parts of his head.  His apartment was small, a one bedroom, but we all were comfortable enough being close to one another.  Especially now, though Matt didn’t want anyone to be sad. 

“They caught it early,” he said. “I’ve got good insurance.  This is a party to tell leukemia that it can go fuck itself.”

When the evening started winding down, when most of us were too drunk to do anything other than collapse in a cuddle puddle on the couch, legs and arms intertwining, Matt and I propped ourselves up against the kitchen walls, slurring memories about college and that time and what’s her name.

“Kevin would have loved this,” Matt said, running his hand over his smooth skull.

“Kevin loved everything,” I responded.

“I fuckin’ miss him, you know?”

“Yeah.”

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From Empirical Evidence, featured in Hypertext: Love Bites

I.  Halloween night, possibly 2008.
     A. Consistent with my states of Being In College and Having Little Money, and as it was a night typically reserved for drinking too much while in costume, it was fitting for me to rip up old clothes, smear fake blood all over my face, and go as a Zombie to a party in an abandoned apartment building in Pilsen.
          1. The party would be busted by the Chicago Police Department approximately thirty minutes after arrival.
          2.  The building was, in no uncertain terms, probably abandoned. I mean, there was a board that someone had to move out of the way to allow entry into the building.
     B.  Since I lived on the far north side, and all of my friends who were also attending this party lived in the dorms of UIC, we—that is, my live-in girlfriend and I—rode two train lines in order to get ready and pregame with the rest of the Future Party Attendees (FPAs).  In our friend George’s dorm room, we drank Southern Comfort and Sprite, waiting for the appropriate time to head to the party.
          1.  My live-in girlfriend would go on to date the guy who threw this party
          2.  after we had dated for four years (give or take), gotten engaged and
          3.  broke up after my fear of commitment manifested itself into an undying
                                                                                            4.  longing for a college freshman.