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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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yrarenitI neewollaH sdrawkcaB
Michael Andor Brodeur

...previously published as part of THE2NDHAND's e-mail newsletter. To subscribe, send an e-mail to info@the2ndhand.com NOW: enjoy.

2:00AM: Remove mouse nose just before reaching sleep, yawn, grab at book of matches with toes.

1:30AM: Obscene tail swinging gestures while walking home in a howling parade of the Pabsted and very vocal, scurry away from friend dressed as cat.

1:00AM: Scream at winner of contest and feel weird jealousy over leather jacket first prize, notice with horror the pavlovian tug of "last call" (noticed, in all likelihood, because of the heavy reverb they're using).

12:30AM: "I'm sorry. I've been really bad and things are busy and..."
"(singing:) Oh Mickey, what a pity you don't understand,"
"Can I have a drag of that?"

12:00AM: "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit" [readers: if you say what I just said first thing every new month, guess what: good luck.]

11:30PM: Ask MC how many people are to go before me, obscene tail swinging gestures, gift of Pabst, oh come on Dave--dance!

11:00PM: Straighten Greta's wig, think about how she might have to donate her liver, how they regenerate, think of Prometheus and being chained to a rock and an approaching liver-hungry bird and shudder, for tonight, I am a mouse. Speed-Pabst.

10:30PM: Meet stranger dressed as cat and shriek in terror, watch as her face slackens in complete disgust that I've spilled my fun all over her, "I'm a mouse. I'm a mouse"

10:--PM: You're okay. You're okay. Patella-crack? You're okay. Tendon. You're okay. You're okay.

10:00PM: Do a falling on my knees thing in support of sexually geared dance with Greta, whose big pink wig is tipping, remember word: "patella", Pabst, try to remember just one of the cities from the cool silver Calvino book, can't, purchase towards state of "double fisting".

9:30PM: Kristy kneels behind me with safety pin and knotted stockings for ersatz tail, think of wet cement as makeup dries, a string of contextually flexible statements begins: "I'm so afraid she's going to get me in the ass," "I left my nose in her purse," etc., friend dressed as cat arrives.

9:00PM: Searching for tail in Greta's room, which is a mess, and my room, which is a mess, think of bad things: hospitals, lawsuits, moving. Counter with good things made of same elements: recovery, settlement, moving day. Become honestly upset at tail's disappearance, Guinness in a measuring cup.

8:30PM: Scan bank receipts to once again reassure self of available funds to cover massive check cashing that will soon happen in light of rental of new apartment, imagine mowing lawn with old school lawnmower, a car slows down in front of the house, call bank, rinse out mouse nose.

8:00PM: Stall coming out of 7-11 in momentary astonishment that slender can of Red Bull has been purchased without any hesitation, consider quitting school and selling computer, drink Red Bull.

7:30PM: Suzanne is upset, we don't get the poem, the room is hot and smells like: chicken soup, peanut butter cups, shampoo.

7:00PM: Eva shakes her head when we are wrong with our comments and goes into turbulent nods when we get it, it's like this horrible game of charades with no correct answer, the poem is definitely not about anorexia and yes, the doctor really was that blunt, and no, the speaker is at least 13. Think about childhood friend in neighboring hospital bed, him: diabetes, me: eye surgery.

6:--PM: You're fine. You're fine. You're fine. Sweat cools under wool.

6:30PM: On break from class. It's really cold and where am I going to get the money for all this? No, just tea, thank you. No, just the tea, thank you.

6:00PM: Despite the straying from the proposed theme of the bobbin, I find something satisfying about the extensive description of the sewing mechanism, I don't know anything about sewing. Think about 15 ft. truck and postulate how many trips it will take to finish moving.

5:30PM: Frown as I have forgotten to do my memorization, I will do two next week, I will memorize two next week, remember: I am a full 24 years old.

5:00PM: Nibble at mouth of carrot juice bottle, poem is read twice about an amber ring from Lithuania caught in a sink pipe, the ending says a bit too much, but I like it. Think of livers, how they regenerate, go to doodle planaria with top hats but realize there are no pens on my person.

4:30PM: A phone rings outside of class, but it's a long ring, it keeps going as though the phone were a hurt animal, five six seconds, fades out. This happens three times in the next half and hour. Papers fly around the table.

4:00PM: Not my usual seat but I'll take it.

3:30PM: Compare flowers at fancy corner place and flowers sold by cranky jerk outside my office: there really is a difference. There really is a difference in the quality of the flowers.

3:00PM: Water Humphrey, neglected plant outside office door, consider calling Payroll to apologize for sneaky misappropriation blunder, reconsider, remember pledge to drink at least 3 glasses of water today, remember: "Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit" for good luck tonight at twelve.

2:30PM: Lunch (l-r) Nick, brie sandwich, crusty juice pint glass, cup of today's black bean soup, cup of today's black bean soup, yours truly, basil sandwich, Bass, whatever that was Paul ate, crusty glass, Paul.

2:00PM: IM between me and M. Velick:
michael_m_motorcycle says: Stupid job.
velick says: Yup.
michael_m_motorcycle says: rrgh.

1:30PM: "You've just got to understand, she's sensitive, and you have to watch what you say to her, I mean, at least around here, in the office, I mean, I don't want to have anyone feeling bad, but you know this and you know, I'm new at this too and I don't know how-- I mean I can't say 'don't talk about this or that' but sometimes it's well..."

1:00PM: Mice have been eating the hot chocolate and I am squeezing each pouch to see what, if anything, is salvagable in the wake of such a disaster.

12:30PM: Staff meeting in the kitchen, I am late, "No Ron, it has to be in sheet form, that's all I'm saying"

12:00PM: Peek under sip lid of coffee cup that, as an experiment, has been sitting on my desk half full of coffee from three weeks ago, I see green and blue and the cup is almost full again, consider quitting school and moving somewhere else, write e-mail to that effect and fail to select a recipient.

11:30AM: IM between me and Greta:
sirbrodeur: you ok today?
itsyputsy: yeah Im ok
sirbrodeur: good
Think about livers, how they regenerate, what alcohol does to them.

11:00AM: "I left my nose in her purse" (the debut), a stranger dressed as a cat walks by three stories below, imagine running up and shrieking in terror, that would be funny, I'm a mouse.

10:30AM: Coffee

10:00AM: Purchase coffee, select honey glazed-doughnut, expensive glasses store, ATM, cold out.

9:30AM: "...this is Michael can I help you?"
"I'd l-- to ge-fff- sub in--fub---KSSSS"
"Hello, sir? I can't hear you."
"Is thi-ffffffffffffff, cag----- you---"
"Um, hello? Sir? Your phone is breaking up."
"Is there someone I caFFFFFFFFFFFFFF"
(hang up)
Consider quitting school and moving somewhere else. Chicago? Galway? Need coffee. Phone rings again, student worker picks it up:
"Hello? Sir? I can't hear you. Sir?"

9:00AM: Thank you (to the bus driver)
Excuse me (to the woman next to me on the bus)
I don't know (to the watchless man)
Thank you (to the bus driver for stopping)
Later (to roommate)
Think: I shouldn't drink so much, but my vices, oh will I ever shake them. Search bed for Calvino book.

8:30AM: This isn't my mousse. Vitamins on empty stomach = no no. No drinking anymore. No more. Clean room later.

8:00AM: Dream of running out door to work. Wake up to AM radio church service. Leap from bed. No more drinking.

7:30AM: Major stomping upstairs. Good morning. I have to move. Greta needs liver surgery. Maybe I should quit school. We don't have coffee. Where am I going to get the money for all of this?

7:00AM: *dream* A large blue wall, a big house, under the bed are the leaves for the fancy table, there is nobody at dinner but so much food. A leather jacket at the foot of a tree, a flock of storks.

Michael Andor Brodeur walks with his head tilted to the left (his left), dresses as a mouse at least once a year and has been referred to as 'dynamite with a laser beam'.

Please visit his maroon home at http://www.bothmagazine.com Or his yellow home in Jamaica Plain, MA. He may be contacted: editor@bothmagazine.com