The Microclimates Of The Shrimp King / 1 May 2001

This past weekend, finally setting April aflame — the rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear — out in the sun documenting the town, jarring temperature shifts depending on which side of the street we’re on—

—It’s freezing in my office. —I’ve gotten complaints from the cubicle farm. —About my freezing office? —No, they’re too hot. —This place has sinister microclimates. —Murray’s working on this PowerPoint thing already. —For the thing this afternoon? —He says we’re going to generate our own fog banks by the end of the week, this keeps up. —For reals. Who’s Murray? —Guy I just made up.

—walking the docks, the water is murky emerald — beautiful soup so rich & green waiting in a hot tureen — boats low and heavy. I squat against a shuttered shack at the end of the pier, no wind to send the cards flying. Calls himself the Shrimp King which has provided no shortage of joke ammo over the years. Yessir, he says, cutting with one hand, the way Pop can. When’s the next game, I ask him, and he says, Who’s asking, and I notice that naked ladies adorn the cards, and I say, J. G. Allen, and he says, Any relation to D. D.? Or maybe he says, Any relation to Deedee? And the real answer is boring so I say, I say, Yeah. And he says, We maybe got one coming together on Wednesday, and I say, But Shrimp King, you know that’s Free Ice Cream Day, and he shrugs and says something about being able to get free ice cream whenever he wants because there’s a girl who’s sweet on him, blah blah, and I say, We playing with the Jack of Diamonds? And the King looks like he wants to clock me good and says, You come down to the docks, you play serious Hearts, you read me, J. G.? And I hop to my feet, just giving him a hint of my agility, and say, Things are going to change around here. He pulls a card from the deck and shows it to me — a brunette with a pointed bob — breasts like a cluster of grapes — and he says, Is that your card?

And it was!

Joshua Green Allen

Fireland is a rickety old website by Joshua Allen.

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The Sexiest Sentence Alive, Fireland Broke My Will To Live, The Black Pill Diaries, and a sampling of Old Fireland Designs.

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