And I’m fed up with shoveling out advice to people who are barely literate enough to put together a letter. I’ve been on a bender. It’s true. I’ve been holed up in this hotel room numbered 260 for the past three months and I have been drinking my face off. That’s why I’ve put up these past three months worth of stories and introductions and outlandish claims to being George Bush, a sled dog in Alaska and Osama Bin Laden. I’m drunk. I’m tired of giving advice about love or spoons or whatever garbage it is that I’ve been writing. The drinking works! I’m forgetting all those stupid letters. Booze forgets. You look into a bottle of JD and you’re looking straight into an ocean of forgetting. Booze works. There’s my frickin’ advice for all of you today. I’m Dear Abby and I’m drunk. Long live booze! 

Etiquette of the Heart and other Organs

    You live too tightly bound to the present, he thought as he struggled over his choice of cheeses. Either one will do. He put back the Havarti and placed the Edam into his green basket. 
   That evening she’s impressed by the dinner, the candles and the Bossa Nova. She’s particularly pleased that he served her Edam, the cheese which they’d nibbled on during their first date two years ago. She falls asleep with her lips moving through different stages of a smile.
    The next morning he throws up as usual. He barfs up some content from his night’s dream. Some small momento covered in dinner detritus that lays at the bottom of the bathroom sink. He turns on the hot water until steam rises from the bowl and then he turns on the cold. He picks it up and takes it into the shower.
   She joins him.
   “What’s that ?”
   “It’s a tire from a Hot-Wheels car that I had as a child.”
    “Wheely ?” she jokes but he hates all manner of baby-talk. He’s a different man in the morning, governed by knowledge of dislikes and irritations. He doesn’t want any kind of baby-talk in the relationship because this will push things in the direction of a baby. He supposes. 
   She squeezes liquid soap onto her scrunchie and rubs it down her arms.
   He wonders what the connection is between wheels and cheese until he remembers the lesson from the previous day.   
   He lets go of wondering and presses the tire into the belly of the bar of soap. It scratches a little as he rubs it up and down his arm. Then he rubs the bar down the side of her leg.
   She smiles.