m i c h a e l    j    m a r t i n



“Ohgodohgod, please just strap me in just kill me.”

I strapped her arm to her other arm and adjusted the mouthpiece. There were still her legs and waist; my back was a concentrate of heartbeats because of flag football on Sunday. I gave up.

Her sister did it for me. Her sister Hannah was deceptively fragile. I added my hand to the list of aches after I shook hers. She smiled at me, conscious’d, and then it vanished.

Hannah returned to the chair near the door.

“Ready Amelia?” I turned out the lights. “Start naming every vegetable you know in alphabetical order.”

Georgia Magic.

The beer here was drenched from the most expensive mop ever patented. I was drinking sick genius. Or I was drunking rick’s penis. ,Or.—Olga held my cheeks with both hands, close:

“You pontificate like a little bitch.”

I couldn’t speak. Olga nodded in approval.

She asked what I did for a living, again.

I told her a type of inquilinous ant, but she didn’t get it.

The travel agent that probably lives downstairs invited me on a discounted trip to see The Big Burger. “You look stressed,” I offered.

He told me the same thing.

I left the A/C freezedried so the apartment tightened my nipples before I reached the window—let some heat in. I usually couldn’t dread outside enough. I usually usually my usuallys to the usually store.

I woke in the office finishing a report at 3:37AM. They warned me that could happen. Warned me not to get too hammered. The whole thing was bullshit but the money. I checked out a luxury leather website. Even the money was bullshit sometimes.

Tomorrow is today and today’s project is Remuneration. Brett required a sense of entitlement to survive, he never had “it”, and superimposition ain’t cheap. We charge enough that my niceness is damn near condescending. I measure my chuckles and grins for no other reason except we’re allowed tips. Brett let out a defeated whimper,

“I love everything. I truly do.”

I believed him.

“You don’t believe a word of it but I love so many different colored tables.”

“They’re just.”


“So beautiful.” I waited. “You know we haven’t started yet, right sir?”

He swallowed. “I just don’t know if... how do I get everything back?”

“Don’t think about it. Just take a deep breath.”

Brett’s chest pushed toward me.

“No, you’ll want to take a deeper one than that.”

Project Remuneration went 11 into OT so I was rotated out. I spent the weekend blaming my pet bat for the world’s banana deficit. Monday, Olga dropped me off at work and picked me up to her house. We heated up on the couch and ordered a movie.

Charles Dean Arthur, my supervisor’s TOC, conferenced me in five minutes later. He thanked me for my three years of service, but, “We’ll sadly have to promote you.”

I asked about the new position. Whether I would have to continue the regime. Charles stated the days of dosing for my weekly projects were over. That I would be designating the doses now.

In the break room, Connie registered a blink when I mentioned the promotion.

“Congratulations,” she said, “You’re fucked.”

My office spanned three normal ones. The marketing executive referred to the americas as An Organization. He referred to the sliding scale in his hand as night falling everywhere else. I requested 80 boxes. The secretary gave me a missive regarding our successful integration ratios. Throughout the night the sliding scale kept sliding, the calculator broke to pieces and I counted on my fingers and toes until the missive shaped up.

Georgia Magic pulled a rabbit out of a coffee pot. Olga clapped for the rabbit.

I turned to her: “I’m allocating pretty hard right now.”

She changed the subject to amphibious words, and I felt myself slip.



MICHAEL J MARTIN is the son of D’artagnan Martin, former New Orleans Saints defensive CB. He lives in Los Angeles, studies quantum theory in his spare time, swims in the bathtub and has Italian friends who understand not to bother him sometimes while he's eating. @gogogadgetpoet

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