I wish I got paid to write - as it is I just do it out of some obscene compulsion to watch penlines blur together into some twisted psychedelic 3am nightmare. I almost got eaten by the letter 'H' last night because it adamantly refused to be seen in such an awful sounding word as 'horticulture.'

I changed the word to gardening instead. G's are more complacent (though it's a nasty little letter, too - it flirts like a coked-up drag act and is pleasantly curvy but built like a linebacker).

How does one land that kind of gig, and who, exactly, do I have to nail and/or kill to...appropriate...it from someone far more deserving? Or is it, like, a lottery thing? 'Our new editor will be chosen by eliminating the unworthy applicants in a STEEEEEEEEEEL CAGE MATCH!'

Retail makes me want to wander the streets in search of a pressure-relieving back-alley knife fight. And the sad thing is, I'm extremely good at it. I used to think I could only sell books because I could talk about, erm, bookstuff - themes and writing styles and whatnot. Turns out it's not even remotely true - I can sell anything. I sell thousands of dollars of completely worthless crap every day, smiling all the way, and trying desperately not to seize on the urge to throttle someone.

I want to be the aging writer who tells stories of working in retail, not the aging clerk who tells stories of when he wanted to be a writer. I know this because I work with a few of the latter and it's wrong somehow, listening to these guys tell stories.

(this is a thank you, in a roundabout way.)

The word Chucklehead will forever be stuck in my head as a sad association It's a silly word, so it makes it all the harder to hear.

When my uncle got married, I was fairly young. I remember my father taking my immediate family to the church's cemetery where my grandmother (who died before I was born) was buried. My father, choking back tears, said, "Well, Mom, the little chucklehead finally got married." They were about ten years different in age, and a world apart in interests. But they really loved each other.

A few years later, my father died of pancreatic cancer. It's one of those cancers that's just about incurable if it gets you the wrong way. I was in shock and denial for a long, long time. I wasn't really old enough to have bonded a whole lot with my father — I was only 11 years old at the time.

That scene at the graveyard is one of my few clear memories of my father showing emotion and love (which isn't to say that he was an uncaring or unloving person — he was one of the most caring people that many of his acquaintances knew), and so I have to hold on to it.

It's kind of hard having one of my very strong associational words be a silly insult, but I guess that's life.

The wicked sugar passes through my lips and touches the tip of my tongue. The most intense taste is at the tip – the taste buds with the best sweetness perception are there.

I chew on the troubling, perfect dough - it is so warm and cinnamony. The inside is wet and spiced, where the top is glazed white with a light crunch.

I gently pull it apart, tricky piece by tricky piece from the outer edge to the awful middle, which is the sweetest part of all. I regretfully pop the terrible middle in my mouth and quickly follow it with hot tea.

The sticky syrup is all over my hands but it smells so good. Snowflakes of white icing are sprinkled all over my clothes.

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