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‘Cause you had a bad day, you’re taking one down. Sing a sad song just to turn it around…

Why, yes, that is the seminal (and I mean the liquid kind of seminal) classic “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter. What in the high fuck was that doing on the jukebox?

First guess: Maine. Second guess: White people. Third: A summation of the previous two.

I wouldn’t get to the right answer until halfway through a bottle of well gin. I may be on vacation–like kinda vacation. I mean, I’m signing a will or something but I’m in a different city and I’m not at work so, I’ll take what I can get–but I still ain’t rich. And rich Rich (read: my wealthy AF brother who can’t pick up my check EVEN ONCE!) decided he’d like “Just water, please.” It’s like, you have to try and not hate life if you want to not hate your life. This is elementary school shit. Ms. Frizzle taught us this.

Walking into Lillian’s part of me felt at home. The sort of trashy “I’m a failure so may as well fail” part. The low-lighting was doing us all a favor and aside from a few weird grunts from the locals, it seemed welcoming enough. Lillian herself was bartending, so I came to discover, and she greeted at least Justine with a smile.

Brown-hair and big eyes, Lillian gave off the vibe of a predatory house cat. Not necessarily accustomed to the wild but she’d eaten her fair share of canaries.

“You’re lost,” she said, not a question mark in sight. “And don’t play this whole ‘What, how’d you know?’ game. It’s late, I’m tired, and you’d be full of shit.”

“Well he’s always that third one,” said Justine. Her smile caught Lillian’s and I knew we were safe for at least one round of luke warm beer.

“So, where can I point you to?” said Lillian. She reached under the bar pulling out a tattered map. “This far north I’d say you’re looking for either the adult superstore down the highway or the ocean.”

“The ocean?” said Rich. Somehow the words screeched out between his veneers and manicured five o’clock shadow.

“This time of year? Oh yeah. People are looking for a little Sylvia Plath action,” said Lillian.

“Pocket full of stones, kinda thing?” I said.


“Neat, but alas, we’re here on business.”

“The stones ain’t going anywhere, my friend.”

Lillian turned and grabbed a bottle from behind her. It was dusty and full of dark liquor. Not my usual vibe but a welcome change from the seemingly endless stream of gin and tonics I’d swallowed over the past eleven years. If I’d been a good gay, I’d of had a vodka soda, but alas, my crippling WASPy-ness overtook my desire to stay swimsuit ready.

Setting out four shot glasses, Lillian eyed us another time and poured.

“What sort of business?” she asked. She kept the glasses close to her, just a bit out of “Here, take this. It’s for you” reach.

“Signing a will,” I said.

“We’re not signing a will. We’re reviewing a will. What in the world do you think we’d be signing?” said Rich.

“Sorry,” I said, turning to Lillian. “It’s the first time my parents have died. Out of practice.”

“You’ll get the hang of it,” she said, taking her shot. “You sure you’re in the right place? Death isn’t too common around here.”

I want to say I noticed something weird at this moment, but if I had, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Instead I said…

“Must be all that fresh air.” 🙂


“We’re here to settle up an estate,” said Rich. “Our parents’ lawyers sent us a letter to come up here and take care of everything. Do you know where the McVaughn offices are? I want to get this done first thing in the morning.”

“They sent you a letter? To where?”

“New York. Well, I live in Manhattan like a civilized human. Rich and Justine are living out some Catcher in the Rye bullshit in Brooklyn.”

“You got a letter? In New York? From Carlisle, Maine?” said Lillian.

Now if you’re following along at home, this is ONCE AGAIN, a point where I shoulda been like, “Oh, wow. How fucking cryptic?! Let’s go. Instead, part deux…

“Yeah, who knew that mail could still, like, mail, ya know?”


I want to blame the drinks. I want to blame the tired. I can only blame myself. 

“Well then I guess you’re where you need to be. Best of luck to you,” said Lillian. She served us our shots, pouring herself another.

“Cheers!” we said, swigging back the burning liquid.

“And may the gods have mercy on your souls!” said Lillian, smiling all the way.



Next Post: Waking Up in Carlise

Previous Post: The Arrival, Pt. 1



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