"Parking Lot Grackles" by Gabino Iglesias
I bet some people feel really good sometimes. They probably feel like majestic great white sharks, effortlessly gliding through a world where they don’t have to fear predators. I’m sure that’s awesome. That’s not me though. I sometimes feel like an animal, but not a fucking majestic great white shark with an endless supply of sharp teeth. Maybe being brown prevents me from ever feeling like great white anything. Nah, you know what I feel like sometimes? I feel like that mangy grackle limping around the parking lot in front of the dollar store, collecting cigarette butts thinking they’re fries someone dropped. And it’s fine to feel that way. It really is. When I start thinking it’s not, I find a mirror and tell myself “Hey, grackles are really resilient!” That makes me feel okay with the whole thing. At least for a couple hours. I just hope grackles are as resilient as I imagine them to be.
"Two Hot Dogs and a Polar Pop $2.99" by Gabino Iglesias
There’s something about the shitty coffee small gas station in the middle of nowhere with Elvis and John Wayne in the window next to the busted ice machine aesthetic that has always appealed to me. Maybe it’s the smell of broken dreams or the quality of the bathroom graffiti (which always makes me feel better about my own writing). Maybe it’s the silent cancer trapped in those meat-like products they sell inside. Or maybe it’s the wonderfully kitsch shirts and virgins and glass shots and ugly hats collecting dust on the shelves. I really don’t know. The point is I take to the road every chance I get. I know I’ll never have enough money to go to Venice or Paris or any of those other places that look so amazing on Instagram, so I go to dead towns and poke around to see what pops up to bite me. It always works. Sometimes a homeless person tells me a story. Other times I’m reminded that the gasoline dispensed at those pumps is oxygenated and will reduce carbon monoxide pollution from motor vehicles. One time I said “Man, Crowns are $4.39 per pack if you buy two or more. Wish I smoked” and then laughed. You can’t tell me you’ve lived until you’ve cackled madly by yourself at a gas station in the middle of nowhere at 3:00 in the morning. Anyway, most of the time I just read the walls and the advertisements and the lines in the faces of the cashiers and think “Two hot dogs and a Polar Pop $2.99? I’m too broke for that. Shit, I wouldn’t pay $2.99 for the soul of most of the people I meet.”
"Thirty Seconds in My Brain #123" by Gabino Iglesias
There's definitely something in the attic. Antlered women praying to tiny gods they keep in aquariums. Be psychologically astute, but do it with style, mufucka. Contigo en la distancia. Some creative processes are as glamorous as butchering roadkill, and that's okay. Ultraviolent movies are comfort food. The problem of desire. Blurry trains. Sandy memories. A canary that sounds like a bullfrog. Oh, the eternal skid row of the soul! Stay quiet and inhabit the dreams of blind men.