from In Which The Passenger's Seat is a kiln for every fire
One of the last functional American cigarette machines broods in the corner of the saloon. The display boxes almost creak, unsmoked, untouched in fifty years. Winston Lites and Virginia Slims permanently study the dancefloor, now dormant in the midday slump. The neon Budweiser sign excuses the day drinkers, simulating a tipped bottle, lights clicking back and forth, interrupting the staleness in the bar. I eye the menthol Camels but I have no cash and end up bumming one from a guy in a green Gators jersey. Earlier, I forgot it was St. Patrick's Day until my father walked out of his room wearing a plaid, buckled kilt.
from Burnt Toast
I was 17 when I got over my fear of sharks. Great Whites had haunted my dreams and lurked in the corners of my mind when flying over any body of water or before jumping into a pool. (Not that I ever went in a pool because you know, sharks…) Time and again, I would wake up from a nightmare clutching my arm or leg thinking it had been taken like in a Sharknado scene (haven’t seen it) or worst of all Jaws (haven't seen that either). Do you know that saying you are more likely to be struck by lightning than bitten by a shark? I’d never been comfortable with those odds because I knew I could be next.