Love and Terrorism at the FIFA World Cup

Love and Terrorism at the FIFA World Cup

New story up on Flash-365 about this woman from some Russian TV channel trying to marry my girlfriend and I at Fan Center for the FIFA World Cup in St. Petersburg. Also, made it a bit more weird cause, I can’t help myself.


pigeonsA group of Iranian soccer fans shouting “olayolayolay” at 9:00 am is not my alarm clock of choice. The FIFA World Cup has come to St. Petersburg.

Y and I head for the Fan Center. At the gates they confiscate a spoon from Y’s purse before letting us in. We stop for a drink at one of the stands. Y buys a cola.

“Can I have the top?” she asks.

The man behind the counter shakes his head.

“What? Why not?”


We continue on through the crowd. There are hippopotami walking two-by-two all around the blue and red barriers hiding the fans from the streets. I don’t notice any little yellow birdies. It is loud that it is obnoxious. The type of obnoxious-loud where instead of saying “fuck—it’s loud here!” you just end up looking around and saying, “seriously?”

Y tugs at my arm, saying something. “WHAT?!”…

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Cheese and Handcuffs

Cheese and Handcuffs

The story that started our 365 Challenge and still one of my favorites.


I sit on the windowsill of Nikita’s old high ceilinged bedroom and stare at the wall.

“What is that?” I ask him. On the wall opposite the window is a large painting a bit like a tree’s rings. There are different designs that wrap around and around from a dot in the center. Each is in a different style and has different designs inlaid.

“Everyone who lives here paints on another ring. My ring will cover the whole rest of the wall when I leave. And I will paint over that last person, it is ugly.”

I look at the last ring on the circle and contemplate how little I understand art. The rest of the room appeals to me more. The walls are crumbling and cracked, and you have to sweep up old lead paint chips every time you open a window. Nikita looks up at me from his…

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hijacked amygdala

Getting a haircut in a foreign country is like going to the dentist anywhere in the world; it sucks. Yet, I’d live in a dentist’s office before resorting to a man-bun, so I do what I have to do. I can tell that they can tell I am American before I open my mouth.


I nod. They lead me over to the sinks. They place a large black plastic robe around me and sit me down. As always, there is no position that is pleasant for my neck and my head is so far back that I can’t comfortably breathe. They wash it twice, three times.

I sit in front of the mirror, wet. I sigh.

“Style?” The woman asks. Embarrassed, as always, I find the screen shot on my phone of some much better looking man with much better hair than me and show it to her. She…

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