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Piss-shyness is a bitch. I've suffered from it for longer than I care to remember and recollect painful episodes at nightclub urinals muttering nonsense as dick-proud sentries on either side of me stood like rodeo performers, one hand on hip, the other on dick. Gut envy at unleashers gushing away like elephants back from a night at the waterhole. Pit-stops at motorway service stations turned into protracted waits for a cubicle lock to be freed up. What doesn't help is having a young Croatian guard on the border with war torn Bosnia stand behind you with a loaded automatic rifle pointed at your back telling you to get a get a move on.


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The Stream - An International Writing Collective
26.05.2015
Arriving at the Day of the Dead Scott Archer Jones filing from Ocate Plateau, New Mexico

In Mexico, they get Death right. Mexicans blend cemeteries with Life.
19.05.2015
My Opening Skin Jeffrey David Stauch filing from Middlebury, VT

I knew in the summer of 2012 what I knew in 2004 when I first started abusing myself: that the first abuse would start a pattern of abuses, and that things would get a lot worse. Whether hitting myself in the head with a frying pan, or slicing into my forearm with a Swiss Army knife, as soon as I used a technique once to cope with the anxiety and anguish, I would do it again, and again, and eventually escalate it to more dangerous methods.
19.05.2015
Rebel with a Cause Rudy Ravindra filing from Wilmington, NC

My advisor, Professor Saxena (Like many in this article, a pseudonym) suggested that I extend my seniorís work on ovarian steroids of the hamster. I studied my seniorís bulky thesis, made copious notes, and at end of the semester came to the painful and exasperating conclusion that there was nothing new that could be added to my seniorís methodical and comprehensive work.
19.05.2015
Tuesday Throwback: Letterman on Fracking The Editors filing from Prague, Czech Republic

As the retirement march continues, we thought we'd bring you this enlightening little snippet from the mind and ire of David Letterman. It a simple presentation on what makes Letterman the king and a glimpse into why he lost the ratings war. Hint: It has something to do with integrity. 
18.05.2015
One Hundred Years Worth of Cocktails in Two Minutes The Editors filing from Prague, Czech Republic

If you drank one hundred years worth of cocktails in two minutes, you'd be dead or Carson McCullers (in which case you'd be both). Considering how much we like you alive, it'd be a much safer journey to travel those one hundred years through the drink-making magic of this skilled constable of the bar top. 
14.05.2015
A 661/2 Mustang, John Steinbeck, and Me Christian Fennell filing from Ontario, CA

I was living in LAóVenice Beach, Ed OíNeill (Al Bundy) had just separated from his wife and was renting a parking spot next to mineóhim, a Porsche something, me, an aged Volkswagen Jetta. We had some great talks, one of which was, never get married. I wasnít, and had no immediate plans to be.
13.05.2015
How Substandard Closet Design Inflamed My Chronic Dread Cris Mazza filing from Aurora, Illinois

People lose things when they move. Losing things is a habitual worry. A worrisome habit. This is one reason for scienceís relentless struggle to control chaos. Or itís my persistent effort. Mercifully anxiety over losing things is soothed by the very method that helps not lose things: order, precision.
12.05.2015
Bus Faces: Belgrade Constance A. Dunn filing from Belgrade, Serbia

She mumbled a half-hearted thank you and didnít make eye contact. She didnít make eye contact with anyone else on the bus either. She wore a green coat the color of moss with the sun shining on it. There was purple on her handbag, so she has a sense of complementary colors and uses them in her attire. Her face is nervous and she rides the bus as if suffering through a necessary torture.
10.05.2015
Selfie Sean Hammer filing from New York, NY

ďI actually donít take many photos anymore,Ē she said. She stared out the window at the inky ribbon of East River unfurling just below the highway, seemed to squint into the bright red of the Pepsi-Cola sign flooding neon over the far bank of the water. ďI find taking photos inhibits my ability to really be present in the experience Iíve come all that way to have.Ē
06.05.2015
Not Her Tyler Durden Wryly T. McCutchen filing from Seattle, Washington

I met Mitch in January. I was drunk and freshly crushed by another failed relationship. We kissed on the dance floor. The tension of our lips broke after we'd exchanged a few affirmations about our mutual sway and a bit of nervous butt holding. His mouth tasted of menthols, which reminded me of a girl in college I was too afraid to kiss. Mitch tasted like I imagined she might. He was also the same height as Holly. I love dancing with a shorter partner who's hellbent on leading.
05.05.2015
A Gaze by Any Other Name Skye Makaris filing from Winooski, Vermont

I donít do body image. I donít watch Dove commercials and Iíve never heard ďAll About that BassĒ. I am the cynic that more optimistic types shush for talking in the metaphorical library, because I live to ruin other peopleís fun. And few things wring the rah-rah fun from body positivity like pointing out that no, not everyone is beautiful. Nor does everyone have to be.
05.05.2015
Tuesday Throwback: Carson McCullers Is on a Boat The Editors filing from Prague, Czech Republic

The great and immortal Carson McCullers in a rare interview . . . on a boat. We just marvel that she'd ever leave the mainland with its ample supply of whiskey. 
04.05.2015
The Seventh Wonder: The Riddle of Babylon's Hanging Gardens Vishwas R. Gaitonde filing from San Diego, CA

But this is where the tale gets tangled: the Hanging Gardens are not mentioned in any of the thousands of ancient cuneiform tablets recording the history of Babylon. All the kings of Babylon kept extensive records on tablets detailing their achievements, including their architectural feats and innovations. In addition, there is a composition called the Topography of Babylon, five tablets long, which describes the city extensively, naming each gate and shrine, temple and edifice. There is no inscription about a hanging garden in any of these.
30.04.2015
Keep it 100: The Henry Miller Edition The Editors filing from Prague, Czech Republic

Like the man with more than one piece of jewelry 2 Chainz once said, "Keep it 100." Henry Miller kept it one hundred in a lot of ways. One of those is this list right here. His books often read like love letters to those authors and works who sparked his mind and heart with the literary fervor to create, create, starve, coitus, create. And read. 

30.04.2015
The Little Book You Havenít Read, But Should Christian Fennell filing from Ontario, CA

The story is told, rich in Christian, Greek and Native American symbols and mythologies, however, a good bookóno, a great book, must be far more than its collection of symbols and meanings; it must hold us and take us with it, taking care in its knowing of us, our condition, our dreams and our fears; it must enlighten us, allowing the progression of our greatest possibilities, saying: yes, I see.
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