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Bogdan Dragos Jun 2022
"He started writing," she
said, talking
about her
"He's an old man now. Had
me when
he was in his
late forties. You'd think
late forties would
be enough to realize
that a man is crazy, but
well, not my mother
I guess. Or perhaps it was
the craziness that
attracted her to him. I'll never
He says that writing is
something you can
do until you drop
dead, unlike
sports where you can only be
truly good when you're
young, in your prime.
Also, he's
one of those artists who
believe that
one must suffer for art. I tried
telling him that's just
plain stupid,
but despite all my efforts he
still sprinkles
razor blades on his bed
when he goes to sleep. He moves
at night
or course
and of course he gets plenty
of cuts. All over his body.
And every time he gets a cut
he stands up,
turns on the light,
and sprays rubbing alcohol on
the cut.
He says it works 100% of
the time.
Instantly he gets inspired,
grabs the muse by
the throat, as he puts it.
There's a laptop on his nightstand,
ever turned on,
and he immediately starts
writing as the
blood seeps out of
the wound. When the inspiration
wains he grabs the bottle
of rubbing alcohol and
sprays some more. There's no
writing without pain, he says. And
of course
all his stories are
about pain and suffering.
He's even got one in which
this old guy
who never did anything worthwhile
in his life
finds himself paralyzed in
his armchair
from the waist down.
How he can't do ****
and just cries
and begs death to take him
already. But he doesn't really
want to go. He knows that all
his life has been lived in vain.
He never made one
soul happy as long
as he lived.
So he gets this idea that if only he can
make one soul happy
before departing forever
he had not lived in vain.
In part two of
the story he
starts cutting pieces of his own
flesh, from the legs
in which he's got no
feeling, and throws them
out the window for
the mongrel dogs and
street cats to feast on. Then he
dies in peace,
knowing that he'd made at least
a few souls happy."

"Did he really write that,"
I asked

"Sure did," she said. "And many
more. He doesn't care
about publishing
though. He just knows that
the world will discover his
art after he'll be gone. I guess
he made his
peace with this."

"****," I said, "listen, could I
read that story myself?
Or any other
of his?"

"Like I said, he won't
share his
writings with an audience. Only
postmortem, he says."

Well, after that evening
every time I met her
I kept asking
about her father.

He was still
alive and

He also got diabetes
from all the
glasses of coca-cola
mixed with
six or seven spoonfuls
of sugar he drank
to replenish his blood,
but that was
all right, apparently it only
made him write better
now that he had more
suffering in his life

he also refuses to see
or be seen
by any doctors
or psychiatrists

Well, I don't want much
from him, only
to know that
he's got a big fan
in this world
Bogdan Dragos Apr 2022
there was a dog outside and it kept
barking for some reason
Ah yes, it was chained
and the chain was terribly short
and the poor animal was hungry

Mother wouldn’t bother feeding it
No, mother wanted it
to die
because it had been father’s dog,
inherited along with the
house after father died

Mother forbade feeding the
poor thing

Her child stood next to the window
and listened to the poor
thing barking outside

It was better than listening to
mother drinking and
talking ugly words with her

He opened the
and the dog saw him immediately and
barked at him

He wanted to cry
Tried talking to the creature
but it wouldn’t listen. It kept barking

“Mother would cut my hand off
if she caught me
stealing food for you.”

But he was
a smart kid

He leaned over the window
and ****** *******
down his throat and
vomited before the dog

It was just close enough for
the tortured soul
to reach with its tongue
and that’s what it did

and the barking stopped
Bogdan Dragos Apr 2022
other than
the **** out
she didn’t know how
to feel about it

so she read the
words again


The words were written
with a black marker
on a $100 bill
that someone threw at
her in the
while she was
stripping on the pole

Could’ve been a ******
but $100 was a bit
too much to spend
for laughs

She tried to
remember the
faces of all the men
who gathered around
her and howled
as she did her number
but they were
simply too many
and too bland

Later that night
she asked the
management to remove
private lap dances
from her list of
services for a while
the request was denied

Well, when you make
it big
in a small world
you either carry the
weight of fame
on your shoulders or
get crushed

At least the
money bought a good
dinner for
her little daughter
and the two cats
Bogdan Dragos Mar 2022
these days a lot of
people call

They claim to be able
to feel what
other people
are feeling
and suffer with them

"I cheated on my boyfriend
with his brother," some
girl said,
“and being the empath
that I am
I started crying along
with him when he
found out. It's hard
being such
an empath."

And there was
the guy
who got into a bar
brawl and
knocked another guy's
teeth out
and held a hand to his
own mouth and made
pain noises

I guess he
was an empath too

If you have a
social media account
and don't describe yourself
as an empath
people will think you're some
kind of monster,
a psychopath, they'll compare
you with ******

Yeah, it's a good
reason not
to use social media

If you actually
needed another
Bogdan Dragos Feb 2022
at night
with the

the world is finally

he fills another glass
and toasts with
the window pane
"Here's to normalizing
being awake at
night and sleeping
during the day!

the moon
smiles back
in agreement
Bogdan Dragos Jan 2022
‘You’re going to be
the prettiest girl at the
he wanted to tell her
as he watched
that dark outfit that
resembled a maid for sorts

but it wouldn’t be
an appropriate thing to say
when the funeral was
for her father

Not that she displayed a lot of grief
either. She was more concerned
with the goth maid outfit
and how it would look on her

“My daddy would love to see
me in this,” she said

And then
her boyfriend said, “Who

She eyed him from
across the room
and said, “My mom... Eh, but to
hell with her. If I’d listened
to her, I’d be a nun
now. In fact, if I weren’t an
adult able to make decisions
for myself right now, I’m sure
she would’ve arranged for me to
go to some monastery or something
like that, wherever nuns go.
And she dares wonder why I
reserved all my love for daddy and
gave her nothing. Every time
we’d get close
she’d get in the way. If I didn’t know
better I’d say she’s the
entity behind his death, really.
My daddy was a loving
man, this I know for sure. He was
all good and I... I miss
him so much already. I just wish
I could... Wait!”


“I got an idea.”

He didn’t like the tone
with which she said
that, nor the grin
on her face
as she reached into her *****
and pulled out her phone

He had many questions
for her
but there was no time
to ask. She moved in and grabbed
his hand and dragged him
out of the room and long
the corridor
all the way to the room where
her father sat in the
casket awaiting to be
taken to the grave

“Here, hold this,” she said
as she handed him her phone

she climbed onto the casket
and stretched herself
along her father’s body
“C’mon,” she said, “take a few

Her boyfriend did. When you have
too many questions assaulting
you at once, you
give voice to none, just
play along

The funeral that followed
was a short one, with
few mourners

The loudest cry came from
the wife of the departed
after some unknown number sent
the pictures to her
Bogdan Dragos Jan 2022
217 days
without speaking
or seeing each other
and suddenly she shows up
knocks on his door and says,
“Hey, we’re still together, right?
Still a couple?”

He didn’t answer,
just ushered her in
through a curtain of smoke
and moldy smells.
His small apartment
looked more like a cave
than ever before.
The walls were dark and irregular
with buildup of grime.

The cockroaches were long dead,
poisoned with cigarette smoke
and ashes

26 years her senior,
he was a modern caveman
Still lived in a cold, dark,
and gross cave,
but he had a laptop
and internet connection.

The screen
was the only thing
alive in the cave.

It showed a compilation
of short videos
featuring brutal executions
from all around the world.

“So how have you been?”
she asked.

His reply was a grunt
as his gnarled hand
reached into his breast pocket
and fished out the pack
of cigarettes and a lighter.

He placed one between
his lips and lit it
and then offered her one.

She took it
and as she stretched
her hand for it
a neat row of self-inflicted scars
shone from her wrist to elbow

“I take it you still haven’t
managed to publish
your writings,” she said.

It drew another
grunt from him,
a louder one
this time.

“So nothing’s changed
in all this time,”
she continued.
“You didn’t make it,
I didn’t make it,
and the world made it
without us.”

Another grunt from him.

He sat down at the desk
and paused the gore videos
that ran with black metal music
playing in the background.
The image that froze onscreen
portrayed a naked man
on his knees, hands tied
behind his back,
while a chainsaw was about
to dig into his belly.

“I was thinking,” she continued,
“you know how people make
those silly promises
that sound something like,
‘if we don’t find partners
by the time we’re so and so years
old we marry each other’?
Well, I was thinking,
what if we make a promise
just like that?
Only, not about marrying
each other.
Rather, if in two years’ time
we don’t make it.
That is, if you don’t get published
as a writer and I still can’t
find a good man to marry…
we suicide together.
What do you say?”

Puffing on his cigarette,
he watched her,
studied her from head
to toe and back,
and after another grunt
and a much needed clearing
of his throat he said,
“Aren’t we already dead?
What’s the point of
suicide now?”

They were both silent
for a long while
and then she said,
“Did I tell you about
the time I aborted
your child?”

He shook his head.
“Pretty sure it wasn’t mine.”

“It was yours,” she said.

He dismissed her
with another grunt
and a slight shake of his head.

Then they smoked
in silence and finished
the whole pack,
letting the ashes fall
straight to the floor
where they joined a gray desert.

He resumed the gore videos
but turned down the volume.

“Some days ago
I slept with a guy
only so I could use his computer
to check out stories of yours
on the internet,”
she said eventually.
“Aside from three or four
very short ones
there was nothing new.
Why did you stop posting?”

“I stopped writing,” he said.


She came behind him
and they both watched
some poor homeless man
being held down
by a gang of teenagers
as two of them used a brick
to hammer a long screwdriver
up one of his nostrils.

He turned the volume lower.

“Well, I haven’t stopped looking
for a good man,” she said.
“I just hadn’t found one yet.
I thought that maybe if we make
that two-year promise…
maybe it’ll motivate us both,
but I see you’ve already given up.
You are already dead,
aren’t you?
I’m speaking to a ghost.”

He grunted
and lit another cigarette
from a new pack
and offered her another.

They watched gore videos
for the rest of the night
and smoked.

At some point
she said that she
had a loose tooth
and fiddled with it until it
came out of the socket.
There was no blood
and no pain.

She placed it on the desk
and he silently
took it and put it
into his breast pocket
with the pack of cigarettes.

In the morning,
she was ready to leave.

She borrowed
fourteen dollars
and two cigarettes
and stopped by
the corner store
to buy razor blades.

The cashier wasn’t any
more alive than herself
and the modern caveman
she’d left behind
for the final time.

“Say, you wanna marry
in the near future?” she asked
from across the counter.

The cashier just replied
with a grunt.
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