Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fall Storm

Thousands of baby rats streamed out of the corners and cracks, their tiny pink bodies soon covering the dirty walls and floor.
He bolted awake onto an elbow, breathing heavily and blinking away the huddles of baby rats he saw laying on the carpet.
He laid back down onto the couch and wondered why it was still so dark, though the clock said it was 8:30am. These after work naps where usually the easiest to fall into, with his body and mind exhausted from another night of dull and pointless work.
Then he heard over the radio murmurings of the cattle and crop reports the quiet peal of thunder.
He closed his eyes and tried to make up his mind: try to sleep again or catch what may be the last good storm of the year?
Blindly he reached up and opened the window, feeling the cool Fall breeze blow back the light curtains and fill the room.
He would lay there and wait for where the winds took him.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Only Logical

Woah, get a load of this guy, dragging his peacock around by the tail like some sort of screeching clawed land anchor through the city streets.
People point out that the tail is the prettiest part of the peacock, and what he is doing is making no sense.
He replies that he knows and it makes perfect sense.
If people were allowed to see the the beautiful tail they'd be talking about the peacock, and not about him.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


See honey, nobody is here, just like we said.
Oh, I'm here alright.
But I saw him. He was right in the corner.
Honey, it must have been a shadow. Or a dream.
No, it was me.
But I did see him!
She's such a sweet girl, would a pretty face like that lie?
We know you think you saw him, but trust us, nobody is in here.
No! He was! He was tall and ugly and smiling at me!
That hurts my feelings, darling.
Ugh, Tabitha, for the last time, you need to lay down and go to bed.
Yes, Tabitha. Daddy needs his alone time.
Can I sleep with you tonight?
No. What I mean is...daddy and I want you to try to be a big girl tonight? Okay?
Yes, little girl. Maybe I should show you what they mean.
Okay, now back to bed you go.
Don't worry. I'll take care of her for you.
Okay honey, sweet dreams. We love you.
Make sure you guys shut the door.

Monday, September 17, 2012

John Peters is So Cute

That Feels doll, full pale head but only partial body. No arms or legs, just a pink torso with four teats and white detachable suckling pigs. 

It was a steal, the associate told me, the last one they had in stock or would likely have. 

I took it and walked to the register, often checking the price on the tag which was constantly rising.
$69.95 did seem a little high. 

I set it aside and checked out the clearance box. I finally settled on the collection of a young girl's notebook diaries, with their neat scribblings and dream like drawings.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paving Potter

Horace “Paving” Potter was the most feared and respected man in the whole town.
When people spoke to him they spoke respectfully. When they spoke of him they spoke quietly.
Horace wasn't rich, or a criminal, or even a politician. But he did know all of these.
You see, Paving Potter was just that, a paver for the city that had laid nearly all the streets in town.
And once you knew that, you knew where his power resided.
You see, he didn't know just what it took lay every city street. He knew who was buried beneath them.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Something To Do

Bored, Trevor started to focus on the problems with pressure in his head. It wasn't so much like a vice, but a metal band slowly squeezing inside his skill. 

The doctor couldn't find anything, gave him a placebo, and sent him home. The pills didn't help with the pressure, or the visions. But at least it got him out of the house, and gave him something to tell people in the forum.

Eventually, he learned to live with it, just like the ringing ears, aching jaw, and vertigo. 

It was something he could deal with until the last day when he was on a rare trip outside, and right there on the sidewalk his head imploded.

Those nearby only heard the sound of grinding bone and splatting blood.

A crowd slowly formed around the sprawled body of Trevor, his headless neck spurting brown blood onto the dirty sidewalk.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Life As I Know It

Future me
Hates present me
No matter how much I apologize beforehand
(he'll understand)
Every goddamn time.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Cruise

The pool room on the Titanic was a din of excitement as I walked in. Keith Richards, dressed in swim trunks and leather vest, did his best to adhere to the sensibilities of the time.
He smiled as he handed me a rounded crystal bottle of wine. He then playfully slapped me on the back and did a poor cannonball into the full pool.
Knowing Keith's history, I kept the lip of the bottle far away from my lips as I poured directly into my mouth. I missed badly, with most of the wine splashing wildly on my shirt.
“Not bad.” I thought to myself as a rash developed on my chest.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Glory Hole

The oil dripping robotic arm burst through the wall and wrapped its rough fingers behind my head. He slammed my face into the already broken tile above the urinal until I thought I would finally see my attacker face to face.

But I never did get to see him, and he wouldn't stop until I slipped five dollars through the slit in the wall.

Some times are worse than others, but the first time is usually the worst.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On Auto Care, Poverty, and Priorities

The car is leaking oil. Not really leaking but more dripping. Slobbering. Drooling. But the good news is that it's only when it runs. I think. It's hard to diagnose these things on your own.
I just can't bring myself to tell anyone. For a guy, a car problem you have no idea how to fix can be as bad as a medical one.
My big leaking anus, sitting in the driveway, dribbling that black fluid down my leg.
I keep giving it vitamins (a quart a week) and finally got some cheap stop leak for gaskets in there. So that should work (if that's what the problem is) in 200 miles or 3 days.
(200 miles? Do they have any idea how long it takes me to put 200 miles on that thing? I pray for 3 days)
You can tell my path to and from work by the black dot trail.
The pile of oil soaked lawn clippings where I park is approaching an environmental disaster. (The rains do nothing to kill it. Its rainbow blood flows down the driveway, yet the body remains)
My hope is to have it fix itself before my landlord notices (or gets fed up).
I should just take the car in, and pray for the cheap miracle fix (something that only happens in movies). But forget it, I've got trips (family trips, friend trips) planned for next month.
And I know the mechanic doesn't make payment plans.
So I'll go in when I get back and really am broke. So I can legitimately claim poverty when the diagnosis comes.
And then?
I might end up still buying toilet paper for my leaking anus.
But at least I'll know what the problem is.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Living Room Wildlife

The shoelace on the floor picked up its head and started writhing its way across the matted carpet. The Drunk sat on his couch and watched, sipping from the bottle.

He'd noticed it had moved from place to place, but just figured he'd done it with his feet, or in the lost moments.

He looked for the shoe amidst the clutter. It might be fun, to lace a writhing shoelace.

Would it bite?

But just as he found the shoe, the lace fell limp and lifeless.

Clutching the shoe and bottle, he intently waited for it to return to life.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Saturnalian

The good people over at The Saturnalian, a new site dedicated to publishing flash fiction, have published my short story you know as Free Lunch.  Or, as it is now known across the pond, The Kindness of Strangers

There are a few minor changes besides the title, but such is the life of High Literature. 

So go over, check them out, and perhaps submit some stories of your own.  They get back to you very quickly with your submissions, and are generally kind even if the quality is sub-par. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Summer is Cancelled

He got an envelope with his sign up sheet and money returned to him. “Lack of interest in the summer league”
It explained. 

His heart dropped, and quickly felt foolish. The anxiety over deciding to join, the imaginary future conversations, even the jogging to get in shape; they all seemed very stupid.

He was glad he hadn't mention it to his family yet. Or maybe he had learned to expect something like this.
So to them, he'll have another lost summer, spent like very other one in the past.

But they won't know it wasn't from lack of trying.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The Man’s lights tempted epilepsy as they bounced off the buildings and our eyes on the once quietly-profitable night. As Brown Beverly thundered through the burnout street we knew the crackdown had begun.

Treev kept a keen eye on the road as he threw his paper hat out the window and tore the magnetic ice-cream sign off the side of his door.

“I told you it wouldn’t work!” I yelled over the blaring sirens of the cop car and jingling bell music of Brown Beverly’s stereo.

“Of course it worked,” Treev replied, watching the rear-view mirror; “it worked for a good half-hour or so.”
I turned in my seat to scan the back window and was nearly blinded with dazzling lights of whites and blues in every sort of flashing and blinking pattern. “I’m not sure that’s a good measure of success,” I replied.
“Well how was I supposed to know some fatty kid would turn rat on us? What’re they doing out this time of day anyway? Where’re their parents?”

The crackdown by the Prohibition Police had begun in earnest when the mayor’s son bought a nicotine product that was not even of the quality reserved for enemies or informers, and was forced to spend his entire horrible spring break sick and in bed.

Naturally the Pro-Po assumed that Treev had sold him the offending sin stick–an assumption that would have been obvious if it was true.

When we reached Stronghold Bergstrom Way, Treev violently jerked the wheel and with a loud rubber squeal we turned onto the street, which was packed with the usual mob of dead ends and wasted gestations. These were the lost souls that even Pathetic forgot and had nothing better to do on a Tuesday night but aimlessly wander the streets like scattered trash blown about by the breeze of human existence.

“I dunno,” I yelled over to Treev, grabbing my armrest and listening to loud-speakered commands to pull over, “maybe he just wants to buy some ice-cream.”

“Ditch it!” was all Treev replied, motioning first to the back seat and then out the window to the stumbling horde of hopelessness.

I turned again in my seat and grabbed fistfuls of sin stick packs, tossing them out the window onto the street, watching our profits get taken away in the winds of our desperation.

It was then that something began to happen.

I’m not sure if it was the blaring of the bell music or the lights and the sirens or the tossing of tempting treats, but something was knocked loose in the addled cobwebs of the mass’s mind and the people on the sidewalk started to act as if we were the lone members of a parade of some sick holiday long forgotten. Like a seeping sludge wave, closer the people edged towards our car, hands outstretched and clapping. Faces that just minutes before had been caked in despair were now washed clean by grinning and laughing.

There were more than a few thumps on the car as some wandered too close to our impromptu parade. “By Svenpooly, these freaks are worse than the Feral Deer!” Treev exclaimed while trying to keep control of Brown Beverly.

I turned and watched with relief as the distance between us and the police car increased. The crowd had completely surrounded the blaring light show, slapping dirty hands and bearing rotten teeth into the cruiser’s helpless windows. Handicapped by compassion for his fellow man, the poor Pro-Po had to stop his pursuit, left mired in a mass of confused jubilation.

When it became clear that we would be safe, Treev eased off Brown Beverly’s suicidal speed, and as we watched the lights quietly die in the mirrors we exhaled in our sweat-sodden seats.
Treev dug around between our seats, found a cigarette and lit it before turning off the music. The silence of the road prevailed as we took a right onto the Frey-Weichel Bridge, heading home after another long night of working.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Summer Romance

The train whistles echo through the concrete valley into my open window. I'm trying to air out the place, after winter months of funk building up you can feel it on your skin.
The last time I left the window open while I went to bed I woke up with a toothless, loose skinned girl on my couch.
She was nice for a few days, and knew how to pay her way, until I came home from work with my television missing and a turd floating in my fish tank.
Some say I'm crazy, but I really miss that girl.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Growing up, spring was always welcome, but was a sign of dirty work to come.

Before the drifts could fully melt our father would come to us, tools in hand, and command us children put down our new things and follow him. 

With childlike zeal we would dig into the snow and pull out the naked bodies. In case anyone came by, we would store them under some brush until the ground was soft enough for digging. 

I never figured why father was so paranoid, if we had summer visitors we could just take care of them like the rest.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Free Lunch

Our meals were placed on the homemade wooden table by the wife as our host, right arm under the table and left hand slowly turning a beer bottle, continued to talk about his hogs.
We've learned that if you travel freely and want to eat, you have to listen to stories.
“Yes sir, hogging can be dangerous business. You turn your back once and bam! Everything can turn on you.”
“Have you ever been injured badly?” my partner asked as we unfolded our silverware from our napkins and started to dig in to the slabs of white meat laid before us.
“Oh yeah, had this mean old sow, just meaner than hell. Just up and almost bit my arm off. I mean, she had half my damn arm in her mouth! Teeth got down to the damn bone.”
I bit into a slice of my meal. It was more tender than a pork chop, but wasn't as tender as ham. My mouth was confused at the expectations of my mind. What else would a hog farmer serve wandering guests than a nice piece of their hardship?
Then I laughed inside to myself. If there was anything that my partner and I should have learned by now in our travels, it's to expect anything. Or as was most often the case, nothing.
“Damn,” my partner replied trying to pick up the speech of our host, a useful tactic to put them at ease. “Did it scar very bad?”
“Well, why don't you take a look for yourself?” The farmer replied and held up his mangled right arm. It was a brown mess of blood and clots from his fingertips to halfway to his elbow. Exposed muscle twitched against dried fluids of infection. All the skin had been removed, cleanly, expertly, by someone who had done it for a living their entire life.
Our host seemed to enjoy our disgusted silence.
“Of course we didn't have to take all the skin off, but if you look right there,” he smiled and pointed at my plate “you can see where the teeth went through the flesh.”
I looked down at my meat and saw there, neatly placed in the middle, three clean holes. I glanced at my partners and you could see that his piece had ragged and burnt ends like fingers.
“What?” the farmer asked, putting his arm back under the table and leaning back in his chair, the light from outside enveloping him “you fellers think you can just ravage your way through the countryside and no one will pass on word?”

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shiraz Economy

Early afternoon is an awful time for shiraz, though I'm not sure if it's the time of day or the wine.
Nasty stuff, really. With an aftertaste that only moderately hints of household cleaner. (which I suppose could be blamed on my drinking mug, but I never clean that)
The whole thing tastes of being fermented in some prison. (and seeing as how it was made in Australia, makes sense)
But it gets the job done, I suppose. Makes me forget the light head and numb right fingers with the mystery bump.
So I'll stick with this 16 dollar jug of shiraz until it turns my teeth purple. If I'm going to pay the 75 dollars that my shit insurance won't cover for every teeth cleaning, I'm going to get my money's worth.
You gotta squeeze every penny in this economy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lost Moment

Victor had enough. The parties, the loud talking, the trash thrown into his yard.
For 6 months he lay in bed, trying to sleep. Couldn't call the cops, they'd know it was him. Couldn't go himself, who knows what would happen.
Sometimes he'd get brave, and throw the trash back. When they weren't home.
He figured like all smart adults, they'd figure it out.
They didn't.
Enough was enough.
Finally, he worked up the righteousness. He walked up to their door, but saw the pink eviction notice.
Stolen of his brave moment, Victor walked back dejected.
Next time, he swore.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Assault Knives: America's Hidden Scourge

Recently an 18 year old Oklahoma woman made the news for shooting an intruder while on the phone with a police dispatcher.  The woman was home alone with her baby when a 24 year old man armed with a 12 inch knife attempted to break into her home with an accomplice.
            This story has risen a number of questions about American freedoms, the most controversial of which is always: How long will America continue to ignore its problem with assault knives?
            Yes, it is stated in the 2nd Amendment that the people have a right to “bear arms”, but that was also written in a very different time in history.  In those days, the average American may have needed large knives to protect themselves from bears, Englishmen, and bandits.  But today, the bear has been relegated to the zoo, the most aggressive Englishman plays a doctor on your TV, and the police are there to protect us around the clock.  
            Realistically, for what purpose does the average person need to use a 12 inch knife?  What could possibly be so large that you need an entire foot to cut through it?  The largest head of organically grown lettuce can easily be bisected using two cuts of a 4 inch knife.
            Sure, a large knife may have been needed for hunting, or in colonial kitchens for the purpose of cutting breads, cheeses, and meats.  But again, the times have surpassed the knife with all foods coming in the form of can, slice, box, or shredded. 
            When we look at the facts, there can be only one purpose for such weapons, but the Big Knife lobby continues to keep the American people in danger by pulling the wool over their eyes and lining the pockets of legislators.  Big Knife has been successful in blocking any legislation that would even slow the selling of assault knives.
            Knowing it was futile, I called my local sheriff and asked him the number of knives sold in our county.  He simply nervously laughed and hung up the phone.  It's not that he was hiding anything, he had no need to.  
            The fact is that are no age checks, background checks, or even accounting of knife sales in this country.  Any man or woman of any mental mind frame can simply walk into a local Wal-Mart, pick up a package of assault knives (Ooh! 2 for 1!) and walk to the register.  Oh yeah, while while they are there, why not pick up a couple sharpeners?  Never can tell how dull a knife will get after a full day of stabbin', you know. 
            How many crimes have been perpetrated due to the assailant holding “courage with a handle”?  Would this wayward young man have even attempted this home invasion if he had, say, a perfectly safe and reasonable electric knife?  Sadly, we may never know.  The bloody hands of the Big Knife lobby is covering the ears and eyes of those who swore to protect us.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Super Bowl 42 Truth

Now that another Super Bowl between the Giants and Patriots is just a few days away, I think it's time we take another look at what happened the first time they met.
I have posted this on other sites, but nobody is willing to see the truth. 
I, the humble truth teller, laid out my reasons for questioning the results of Super Bowl 42 as such:

The world was shocked by the events of February 3, 2008, but if you look closely to what happened, there are a number of questions that arise that challenge the "official story" of the Giants Super Bowl win.

*Has a 12 point underdog ever won the Superbowl?

*Despite universal predictions that the Patriots would win, how could Plaxico Burress not only predict the Giant's victory, but also predict almost exactly the correct final score?
*Notice Tom Brady's nervous laughter to hearing Buress' prediction. Is he afraid that he had let the cat out of the bag?

*After his bold prediction, what are the odds that Burress would also score the game winning touchdown?

*How could a player who had not caught a touchdown all season catch one in the Super Bowl against the best team in the league?

*How could a team that beat the Giants only weeks before by three points then lose to them by three points?

*How could the leagues highest scoring team only score 14 points?

*Despite running drills and practices against passes all season, and for two weeks specifically against the Giants, why did the defense suddenly "fail" on January 21?

*Eli Manning was the winning QB in Super Bowl 42, Peyton Manning was the winning QB in Super Bowl 41. Their connection? They're brothers.

*Why were the Giants wearing hats declaring themselves Super Bowl 42 champions IMMEDIATELY AFTER the game? There's no way that hats can be made that fast.

*Why was Tom Brady seen wearing a cast on his leg the week before the Super Bowl?

*Why was Bill Belichick quoted as saying after the game "it is what it is."?

*Why has there been a complete media blackout of anybody questioning the official story of Super Bowl 42?

As of yet, there is still no official inquiry into what happened at Super Bowl 42

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Black Out

Two Mankato pizza delivery drivers where arrested at gunpoint near downtown this Saturday night. And while the assailants were eventually apprehended, it raises questions among residents if these crimes would have even been attempted if we still had our favorite local vigilante. 

The pizza driver heists, the summer art walk defacings, these were all crimes where, until recently, a hero would step in at the last second and save the day for the decent people of the city. He was a man the people could count on, even if he couldn't be counted on not soiling himself. He was a man that came to be known as Black Out.

Black Out, the drunken knight whose real identity is unknown to all probably including himself. With raw drunken strength and an inhuman imperviousness to pain he would stumble unto the scene of the crime just as all seemed lost. After overcoming the criminals with a raging berserker attack that no sane man could summon or simply receiving a beating that left attackers thoroughly exhausted, Black Out would reject the thanks of those he had saved and stagger off into the night slowly suckling his bottle.

Witnesses had no clear description of Black Out. All they could agree on was that he was around 6 foot tall, white, with brown hair and the dilated black eyes of the man who had long ago crossed the threshold of consciousness. His costume was never the same twice, with it seeming that he hid his appearance with whatever items he found at hands reach. The only other real clue was that witnesses would report the strong stench of alcohol and pine scent air freshener just before he apeared. 

At first the police and other traditional justice outlets didn't know what to make of Black Out. Sheriff Brad Peterson at first vowed to hunt him down “If I have to chase him down a bottle of whiskey”. They were going going to toss him in the detoxification center in New Ulm until he lost his taste for either the booze or fighting crime. 

But the traditional justice outlets never found him, and with every interrupted misdemeanor they developed a tolerance for him which grew into a grudging respect. It is even reported that on more than one occasion the good deputies of Blue Earth would find him sleeping it off in the bushes near the crime scene, and after giving him some sports drink they would drop him off at any location he desired. 

The streets of Mankato can be a dangerous place at night, and Black Out knew its pulse like the flow of his toilet. But the days of the sotten vigilante are apparently done here. Did he suddenly wake up on his couch one morning battered, bruised, hungover, and finally decide to give up the drink? Did he get a job that keeps him home at night getting a full nights sleep? Does he even know the hero that he was? 

We may never know the answer to these questions. And what is worse, if we knew who to ask, he might not even know.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Don't Always Rant (podcast alert)

But when I do, it's on a podcast.

Yes, I've expanded my horizons to podcasting.  You know, for when I'm just too lazy to write things out. 

You can agree with it or not, but *Spoiler Alert*

it's about a girl bragging about getting regularly tested for HIV on Facebook.

Some things just catch my eye.  But not always.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ass Beard

Ass Beard wasn't a pirate, but people treated him like he was. Thief, liar, murderer, scoundrel, he wasn't any of these, but once people heard his name they couldn't help but treat him as such. 

He tried his best to prove people wrong. He saved children who were retrieved by scared mothers, opened doors for cowed and shivering strangers, he loaned money that was repaid with obscene and unasked for interest. Nothing Ass Beard did could change people's minds about him, or his name.

Alone at night he would stare at the stars, and wonder if there was another world out there. A world where people heard the name Ass Beard and let out a giggle, instead of a moan.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mankato Snow Gangs

Unseasonably warm weather has been a problem for the Mankato snow shovel gangs, with some saying it has led them to resort to intimidation tactics and and outright war for survival. 
            The gangs, who can typically be seen roaming the neighborhoods of the city looking for sidewalks or driveways to shovel, have become increasingly desperate for sources of income.  And some say increasingly brazen in their methods. 
            “It was unreal.” Said Cindy Bakerstaff of Thompson Ravine Road,  “They all came to my door, seven or eight of them, dressed in t-shirts and sneakers.  They asked if I needed my driveway shoveled for twenty bucks.
            “I said “That's nuts!  There's not even any snow!' but they didn't say anything.  They just went and scrapped their shovels along my driveway like they were really shoveling snow.  They wouldn't leave until I paid them.”
            Shovel gang members are typically males with ages ranging from teens to middle age.  Most picture them as broken, desperate men who have lost everything but their shovel or wandering youth lured by the romantic gang scene.  But the members themselves, like Big Scoop of the Lower North gang says that in these tough economic times, they are just guys trying to survive. 
            “We didn't make this weather, but if we have to hustle to survive it, so be it.  I don't see the mayor or governor sending us any snow, so I guess we just do what we have to do.” said Big Scoop from the Lower North's clubhouse. 
            Others have said they have witnessed sights much more horrifying than mere intimidation.  An anonymous source on Blue Earth Street says he was witness to two gangs who had wandered into each others path. 
            “It was horrifying.  They were going at each other with shovels and thermoses.  They were even riding on slow blowers like horses and charging into each other...the sound of those  teeth locking's something that will haunt me the rest of my days.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mutual Agreement

Finish a small project, and pleased with myself step outside for a celebratory cigarette.
Inhale deeply, and adjust myself. 
Perhaps too aggressively. 
Too late I look around and lock eyes with a pair of teenagers in the neighbor basement stairs.
They are smoking,
hiding from the school.
I exhale and continue with my adjustment.
Who are they going to tell?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Article Gig

After a series of  intense negotiations, I have agreed to be a featured writer at a new website, Secret Laboratory

(I'm not sure of the exact details of the agreement.  I asked my agent how much money was in it for me he and he just replied that my days of murdering the prostitutes was over)

My first article is about the Scourge of Assault Knives on our society. 

I could re-post it here, per the agreements made in my contract, and I probably will later, but I figured I'd be charitable and let Secret Laboratory have exclusive first week rights. 

Also, if you click over to my article here, you will be able to see a real-life photo of me. 

And I just know how the ladies out there love that.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year

Guy comes in. 
Large and a bit disheveled, but still well kept.  Dark blazer, khakis.  Tan lines from expensive rings.
The scent of women's perfume and alcohol. 
Reaches over the desk and grabs a pen.  Asks for a room and starts to smooth out a single wrinkled check. 
We do have rooms, but don't take checks. 
He's not disappointed, he'll just move on with The Plan.
His glassy eyes tell the story.
One too many crashes, defaults, layoffs, and downsizes.  He wasn't going to be broken, we would break himself. 
Pawn the rings, walk away from the house, empty the account.
He was going out in style, and one hotel not accepting his last check wasn't going to get in the way of that. 
This was his year.
As he stumbled into his damaged rental car and sped off, I envied him.