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The Autobiography of J.Cruel


J.Cruel’s youth . . .

Sounded like: a Hummer’s engine turning over in the seniors’ parking lot, surf crashing, mall music, someone preaching the gospel, tires on the 5, seagulls, Gwen Stefani, coyote howls, tolling bells (they toll for thee).

Smelled like: yoga mats, Hot Dog on a Stick, sagebrush, oranges, Obsession by Calvin Klein, chlorine.

Looked like: red tile roof, white stucco, grass in a desert, ocean horizon, strip mall, palm tree, trucker hat.

Tasted like: fro-yo, fish tacos.

Felt like: a second skin of stretch denim from ankles to sternum . . . oppressive yet comforting.

Super-slim fit denim bodysuit with adjustable spaghetti straps and center back zip. Like your past, you will never escape it.

Reverie on Rivington


Angie knew when to say no, she just didn’t want to. Hunter told her that his band was going on at 10. Normally he played spoons in the electro-funk quartet Cobalt and the Beholder, but tonight he clapped quietly in the background of The Worship Potential, the Vatican II, alt-folk band that was really big on the internet. Angie cut the bottoms off her very best pair of leather pants, the ones from her Kitty Pit days, and painted her face tuberculosis white. Oh how he would love her tonight, the ghost of girlfriends past.

Hunter clapped well, if too loudly, tonight. The other band members glared at him at the end of the set, but it was in their nature to quietly forgive him and thank him before floating ethereally away in their khaki pants. Hunter wasn’t like them, but oh how he wanted Joanna, the squirrel-voiced singer who cooed her way through every song. He hurried after her, to the after-party in some grassy, moonlit field.

Angie saw him leave with her and she stood there in the darkness. The leather shorts were slowing turning her lower intestines numb. Crying, she started to slide down the greasy wall of the club. But she could only get halfway.

High waisted Jamin leather shorts with vintage snaps. Do not dry clean. 

But, Miss Ironbottom, I’m already wearing my P.E. clothes.


She’s not sure she likes your tone.

She’s not sure you get her, and she doubts you ever will.

She’s not sure she wants to make out with you in the closet anymore, down on the cement floor with the badminton set and the flag football belts and the mesh sack of dodgeballs.

She is afraid of being struck by a car while riding a bicycle and so always wears something that reflects the light.

Her mother was struck by a car while riding a bicycle.  She was wearing tweed.

She’s not sure who her father is.  All she has left of him is a mustache comb and a leather helmet with a label stitched inside that says “The Great Winkleton.”

She’s not sure what she wants to be, but human cannonball is high on the list.

She’s not sure you really love her.

You never said you did.

Suspender swimsuit in bicycle-safe, gunpowder-resistant silver lamé.