Life in Shorts

Sometimes briefs are better

Damp Nasty

My sister’s hair is wet at breakfast. “Don’t go outside like that,” says my grandfather, “It’s damp nasty out.” What a perfect name for a female rapper. I imagine her as the Ol’ Dirty Bastard of Skeezers.


I’m in line at Marshalls when the woman next to me leaves her elderly mother with the cashier. “Don’t worry,” says the cashier, “I’ll babysit!” I imagined myself in her chair. Every wrinkle earned with age. And now she has to put up with this shit.

I’m Creepy?

I’m sitting shotgun as we drive through South Philadelphia. Half my body is hanging out the window because I’m looking at the buildings. A group of young black women wearing backpacks walk by. We meet eyes so I wave. “Who you waving at? Get your body back in the car Predaphile.” First time hearing that word; I should’ve paid attention in class.

Rocky Start

I’m visiting a friend in South Philadelphia. “I just don’t get it,” he says while giving me the grand tour. Two floors, full kitchen, big bedrooms - I couldn’t believe how cheap their rent is. Until I woke up thirsty, went to the kitchen, turned on the light and found the cockroach hoard & wild insect kingdom. Yo Adrian, I get it.

Define Awesome

I’m driving with my cousin and she pokes my facial hair, wondering - as many 11 year olds do - about the relationship between mustaches & beards. “What’s it called when the mustache connects to your beard?” she asks. “Awesome,” I answer, “it’s called awesome.”

Looks Like

I’m on an airplane. A few rows in front of me, a heavyset man was speaking a foreign language. I fixated on the back of his neck. Every turn of his head created tiny speed-bumps of gelatinous skin. The back of his neck looked like something I’ve been looking at for years. Then I thought about Kenny Loggins and it all made sense.

Say What

It’s 8 something in the morning and the bus is nearly empty. I’m tired and my eyelids close. “Is he a puppy or a full-grown dog?” The guy behind me is yelling into his cellphone. I want to strangle him. “KARATE?” Now the guy in front of me is on his cellphone and he’s more obnoxious: his speaker phone is turned way up and the person on the other end sounds like a muffled megaphone. Sure, I could have said something. But they’re middle-aged. Isn’t 30-40 years enough time to learn courtesy? So f*ck you both. I decided instead to record your outbursts and translate them as best as possible.


I made a new friend and tonight was our first get-together. Since we were meeting for the first time, I expected myself to malfunction. Normally when I meet a new female (even on friendly terms such as tonight), I feel snot dangling from my nostrils. It’s never there, so I’ve chalked it off as a nervous mind trick. Tonight was different. As we sat at the bar, I began to drool. For no good reason, my mouth produced excessive saliva. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but I have to use the bathroom,” I said. In the bathroom, I put a paper towel in my mouth as if it were a sponge. After making my way back, I could barely focus on our conversation. I worried that the excessive drool could be a sign of infection and wondered if my breath was bad. Bad breath is usually a tell-tale sign of being sick, so I discreetly breath-checked. It smelt of dirty asshole and diapers. I couldn’t believe it. The smell was rotten like old food in a dumpster. Could I be that sick? I checked behind me. There he was: a heavyset, hygienically-impaired man eating steak and breathing heavily. I’m in the clear; it’s just a stinky person, not my breath. My new friend continued to talk through my eccentricities. Relieved, I reinstated eye contact, opened my mouth and slowly made my way down to the straw. I overshot the straw, which went directly up my nose, touching close to my sinuses. I reversed slowly like a school bus. Somehow she experienced none of this. Not my drool. Not the ass smell. Not even the disappearing straw. But now that she can read the truth, will she spend our next meet-up waiting for me to malfunction?

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