Category Archives: Writing

Working Class Junkie

“The problem with addicts,” said my aunt, “is they have no will power. If they had any sense at all, they would stop using. They all need to grow up and learn that life can’t always be one big party.”

            I was too dope sick to argue. It wasn’t really worth arguing, either. No amount of logic would change her mind; she was committed to her ignorance. I wiped the sweat from my forehead and pulled my black beanie over my ears. My Carhartt jacket was warm enough but lacked a hood, and it was a frosty, mid-November day in Nevada. The dawn sky was fretting gray and threatening snow. I felt a chill creep up through my bones as I stepped into the garage to leave, but that didn’t keep a steady stream of sweat from forming on my face. I was faintly sick and hungry. Even if I’d had money for food, I wouldn’t have eaten. Who knew if I’d be able to cop before I started puking?

            Anxiety gnawed on me like an abused dog—my thoughts chased each other in useless circles despite my attempt to breathe deep and calm the fuck down. I just had to keep it together until I could fix. What choice did I have? It wasn’t like anything was going to get better if I rested a bit. No, I’d be immobilized sick for a week or more if I went cold turkey now, and I couldn’t afford to miss that much work. There was nothing for it but to soldier on.

            The Aveo wouldn’t start in these temperatures without a blast of starting fluid, which meant popping the hood and unscrewing the cover to the air filter, then putting it all back together. First-world problems, right? It wasn’t my car, but I’d been driving it long enough to have become more or less efficient at the starting process. The need for me to find my own vehicle now that I lived far out of town weighed heavily on me, joining the wolfpack of anxiety running down my sanity.

            I drove the unregistered car thirty minutes to Reno, quietly thanking God for letting me pass undetected by highway patrol. I made some phone calls as I drove. It was too early for many drug addicts and dealers, but I might catch some still up from the night before, some may have even been up for days. The ones who worked construction, like me, were already at work for the most part. I had been laid off for several months, but had managed to stay busy with a friend of mine hustling side jobs for cash while drawing unemployment. My drug habit had grown quite expensive. Coupled with the sky-rocketing cost of gas, food, and especially rent, my life was completely unsustainable financially if something didn’t change. Yet another wolf in the pack. Some party, huh auntie?

            I showed up to Jimmy’s house, where we met each day before work. I went directly to the garage, where he was lighting the wood stove.

            “Morning,” I said. Jimmy looked up.

            “Morning. Not feeling well?”

            “Is it that obvious?” I asked.

He chuckled and returned to his fire.

Suddenly, my stomach heaved, and I gagged. I snatched up the wastebasket and violently dry-heaved over it, producing only a few tablespoons of frothy, yellow, evil-tasting bile. It was like a stain on my tongue. Again I grew hot, started sweating profusely, yet as soon as I slipped out of my Carhartt, the moisture on my neck and face seemed to freeze into ice, and a chill washed over me from the inside out. I yawned, suddenly feeling completely enervated.

“Can you get anything?” Jimmy asked. He knew what I needed. I always tried not to let dope sickness keep me from working, but once it got bad enough I was useless as a carpenter. Just as I was about to answer in the negative, my phone sounded a bamboo knock, indicating I had a new text. Thank fucking God!

“Tito’s gonna front me some blues. I’m gonna bounce and pick them up. I’ll meet you at the job.”

“Okay brother, see you there,” he said.

On the freeway, my nausea returned. All my symptoms were intensifying. I couldn’t pull off the road, and I didn’t want to puke in my lap, so I rolled down the window frantically, holding my vomit back with straining lips.

Belly mustard exploded out of my mouth, but at freeway speed it blew instantly back in my face—covering my sunglasses, cheeks, hair, and both the inside and outside of my buddy’s car door. At least I didn’t crash.

I arrived at Tito’s, feeling less nauseated, but boiling over with anxiety. My body ached like I had the flu. Walking up his shoddy porch steps winded me and left me with fever chills. I was soaked with sweat.

Tito sold fake pills made to look like 30mg Oxycontin, but which were actually fentanyl. That’s why I wanted them: they were strong enough to overcome my tolerance. They were also killing people who didn’t know what they were taking.

Tito served me up, and I promised to pay him on Friday. He still fronted me because I’d never burned him. A lot of dealers won’t front, especially the ones who serve fiends. And I don’t blame them. But Tito and I had a solid dealer/junkie relationship. Hell, he used more than I did, and that helped me feel less taken advantage of then if he strictly sold them.

I loaded one on a square of foil and melted it down, sucking up the burnt-popcorn smoke through the cut-off body of a Bic pen—a “tooter”. I held that sweet, savory smoke in as long as possible. By the second hit, I felt worlds better. My nausea vanished; I stopped sweating, and my anxiety lessened, one predator at a time until only the echoes of wolf hounds drifted into a soft background static. My body aches dissipated. I actually felt a smile emerging. I was ready to go to work. A sense of relief washed over me. I thought about my aunt, then, as I left Tito’s to work for the day. I thought about her enjoying the kind of party I’d had that morning so much she wouldn’t be able to stop, and I laughed for the first time that day.

Kamikaze Love

The fight was bad. Angela asked when she could come get her stuff. I told her the sooner the better, then made sure to box up any gifts she’d given me along with the handful of personal items she’d left there. I thrust the box at her when she pulled up.

            “Oh, that’s real nice,” she hissed in that quietly venomous way she had when she was monstrously angry. I raised an eyebrow and attempted to maintain a mask of boredom, like she wasn’t tearing my heart out of my chest by leaving me. She took the box, dropped my one-time gifts in the green, driveway trash bin, and hopped back in her car to drive out of my life for good. Or so I thought.

            A few hours and a several Coronas later, my cell phone rang. It was Angela.

            “Hello,” I answered.

            “Hey. I’m sorry, but I didn’t know who else to call.” Her voice was softer, shaken, not at all the way it was when I’d last seen her.

            “Why? What’s up? Are you oaky?” All the trite bullshit surrounding our argument dissolved in the face of whatever real-world tragedy must’ve prompted her to forget her initial anger and call me.

            “I’m okay, just a little shook up. I was over at Joy’s house when her husband came home drunk and started yelling at us and punching the walls. He threatened to hit me and Joy, but he didn’t. I knew he was a pussy.” She spoke tough, like she always did, but I knew she was no match for Joy’s husband, who was a pipefitter and supposedly some kind of martial artist. I’d met him once, and the thought of him threatening my girlfriend, whether or not we were currently together, filled me with rage.

            “I’ll be right there,” I said, any trace of resentment toward her gone. I jammed my car into drive and kept the needle at ninety all the way there, the possibility of a DUI never entering my thoughts. I pulled into the riverside trailer park that Joy called home. Her husband’s absurdly lifted truck was nowhere in sight. I located the girls.

            “Thanks for coming,” Angela said as she hugged me. Joy stepped forward to hug me as well, but I turned abruptly away, pretending not to see what she was doing. Angela’s hug felt like absolution from our earlier hostilities, like there were too many people against us in the world for us to waste time fighting each other.

            Joy’s husband had been drinking with his friend, who’d left his Volkswagen Bug parked in the driveway, so we knew they’d be back. We had convened to inside the trailer, and busied ourselves with passing a glass meth pipe between us. I felt my beer buzz retreat in the face of the stimulant. My previously dulled senses sharpened right up. I was ready for a fight.

            I waited outside, partially concealed in shadow, while the girls took a loop around the park in Angela’s car. They let me know via text that her husband and his ridiculous truck were headed my direction. I felt relatively calm despite the ice I’d smoked, and the possibility of impending violence. The girls beat him to the trailer, but not by much. Two men stepped out of the truck, one about my height and wearing coveralls and a beanie, the other slouching and goblin-like, his hair springing from his head in greasy curls. The taller one, Joy’s husband, stomped straight at me, while his sidekick wormed over to my left, attempting to flank me. I could hear Joy yelling something behind me, like some kind of evil cheerleader.

            “Don’t come any closer. Just turn around and go home.”

            He didn’t slow his advance in the slightest.

            “Don’t come any closer man, I’m telling ya.”

            He started to say something, but I was too busy closing the distance and hitting him on the side of his face to listen. I heard Joy yelling something like “not so tough now” and “kick his ass J—”. He staggered and fell, and I followed him to the ground and kept hitting him in the head. Joy’s cries changed to “stop, stop” and “don’t hit him anymore”. Many people think violence sounds like a good idea until they see the reality of it. His buddy was still slinking off to my side, getting closer to Angela and Joy than I cared to have him.

            “Watch that fucking guy!” I yelled and pointed at him. I was up on one knee perched atop Joy’s semi-conscious husband. Believing the sidekick to be more dangerous than he was, I decided to finish Joy’s husband as quickly as possible by driving my knife into the base of his skull. I reached for my knife, which I always kept clipped to my right-side pocket. Luckily for me, it had fallen off in the tussle.

            Before I could figure out what to do, Angela menaced the sidekick with a self-defense spike she kept on her key chain and shouted, “Back up motherfucker or I will fucking stab you!” I believed that statement more than anything she’d ever said up to that point. He took a couple steps back, obviously he was a believer as well.

            I’d been in plenty of fights because of girls before, but this was the first time one ever had my back in a street fight. The moment I heard Angela’s promise to ventilate that dude, I fell instantly in love. If we weren’t both divorced and disgusted with marriage, I may have proposed to her then and there.

            I let Joy’s husband up, and the two headed back into the night, a little bruised about the face and egos. I found my knife laying in the driveway. I picked it up, shaking a little as I realized how close I’d just come to spending the rest of my life in prison over a dumb-ass fight. Angela and I left Joy there and went back to my house and fucked each other silly. I always thought that was the best way to make-up after a fight.

To My Sons

My heart feels like a bomb from the pressure of my devotion.
As if it would burst from intensity of emotion.
When I see a game or book that in your childhood you knew,
tears stream down my face, thinking how fast you grew.
You’ve watched my every move, learning more than what I’ve taught.
I pray you don’t inherit the demons I have fought.
I wish I could give you everything, and spare you both every sorrow.
Instead I must trust from seeds planted today,
you’ll reap abundance and joy tomorrow.

The General’s Head

“What is it now?” damn he’s annoying. All I want to do is finish my nap.

“I’m having a problem with him again. He won’t eat his gruel. Says it tastes like monkey poop.”

I want to fly out of bed and lock my hands around Jason’s skinny neck and squeeze until my fingers snap. Instead I take a deep breath and whip the covers out of my way. My pajamas are thin as rice paper, and I feel the cold air shriveling my nuts. Why did I get chosen to work in a stupid cave? What the hell did I ever do to anybody? I mean damn it anyway, I’ve sucked more ass than a gay mosquito, and still I get stuck babysitting a freaking head.

“I’m gonna drown that moron in his gruel.” I take long strides, setting Jason’s stumpy legs scurrying to keep up.

“You shouldn’t talk about the General like that. He’s a great man. Without him, the slugs would’ve got us for sure.”

Jason’s sniveling slithers into my ears, threatening to drive me to rash acts. I stop and pivot sharply. The little rat bounces off my chest and stumbles back. As he tries to catch his balance I crack him a good one on the mouth with the back of my hand. He clutches his already-swelling lips and cowers as I make to smite him again.

“Don’t tell me how to talk about anyone, understand? Everyone thinks it’s so goddamn funny that I’m the Head Nurse, don’t they? Even you, you whinny little turd. I’ve caught you snickering behind my back! You can’t even feed the freakish thing, and you’re gonna tell me all about how great the General is? I’d rather the slugs have pulled me down into their stinking hell with the rest of the Southsiders. It would have been better than playing caterer to an ungrateful, gangrenous head. Now get yourself together, shut up, and let’s get this over with so I can get back to sleep.”

The twerp quivers like a wet chihuahua as he stands up and smooths out his muddy smock. I really don’t like Jason. I never have. We proceed the rest of the way to LAB 7a in cold silence. I slide my level one ID card through the slot and the laser instantly decodes the information. The reinforced steel door before me swooshes open, and like always, I feel like I’m in a goddamn episode of Star Trek.

LAB 7a greets us with the usual potent stink of formaldehyde and rotting flesh. I just never get used to that smell. My stomach jerks and tries to liberate my lunch. My mouth waters and fills with pre-vomit bile, but I force the whole delicious mouthful back from whence it came. I spot what’s left of the General.

General Justin Cornhower Jr., decorated war veteran, began his career as a draftee in the Conflict in the Middle East and soon discovered he had a penchant for military service. He rose through the ranks in the subsequent and frequent wars at an uncanny pace, finally landing himself inside the upper echelon of the Pentagon. About a year or two later the slugs came. It seemed a much-anticipated meteor was going to strike the Earth after all, but don’t panic they said, it’s much smaller than originally thought. What they didn’t say however, was that it was infested with colonies of semi-solid parasites that bore an innate hankering for human blood. Within a week, half the population of the southern hemisphere had been turned to gelatin and sucked into the ground. They drank us like soda pops on a hot day. General Cornhower, while de-escalating a nuclear pissing contest between India and Pakistan, fell victim to a slug and remains the only survivor of a slug attack to date.

He was subjected to considerably less of the body-dissolving goo than most victims, and some folks account his miraculous and gruesome recovery to this fact. And there are those still clinging to a tattered faith in a benevolent omnipotence that feel he was chosen by the Grand Wazoo to lead the human race to victory. Some even whisper that he’s the second incarnation of Christ, come to crack a few sinful skulls. Whatever he is, all he’s got left is his own head, pumped full of brain-stimulating chemicals and shocked to life every ten minutes. Since his attack four years ago, he’s learned to tune into the primal hive-mind shared by the slugs. All the science geeks figure it has something to do with the residual parasites still feeding on his flesh. He’s a living detection system and the sole early warning system for enemy attacks. All that aside, he’s a stinky, hateful prick.

He’s thrashing around on his serving platter, wallowing in overturned NutraGruel and howling as a surge of life-sustaining electricity rips through him. What’s left of his thinning hair stands straight out from his scalp, like gray needles stabbed into a pin cushion. I suppress my laughter with some difficulty.

“General, sir,” I choke out the words, trying not to sound like I want to play basketball with his moldy melon. “Jason tells me you’re giving him problems with the gruel again. We’re not going to have another incident, are we?”

“NutraGruel tastes like monkey poop and you know it! Christ in Heaven! Don’t we have any chicken noodle soup around here?” His words issue from speakers wired into his vocal cords in a disturbing, mechanical voice—kind of like a trash can trying to talk through an amplifier. Watching his head rock back and forth with the motion of his jaw makes me queasy, so I avert my eyes.

“Sir, as I’ve stated countless times, NutraGruel is the only sustenance you can intake when you’re lacking things like a lower body and a stomach. What the hell are you going to do with chicken soup? Slurp it up and piss it out your neck?” As I speak, I feel my tenuous control over my anger dissolving further. “You need this paste, and you need to let it absorb under your tongue. Like it or not. And if you’re not going to eat it on your own, I’m going to stuff you like a Thanksgiving turkey full of the nasty stuff.” That voice I try to ignore in the back of my head hisses at me that I’ve gone too far, that after all, he is a General. Too late now, I guess.

Gen. Cornhower shoots me a look born both of hatred and shock. I feel him willing me to die, trying to kill me through an act of sheer mentation.

I snort and force a grin.

“So how ‘bout it? Are you going to eat your dinner or choke on it?”

Silence. We stare at each other for what seems like an hour, locked in a kind of old west showdown. High Noon, just me and the head. Finally, I break and scoop up a double portion of monkey poop in my right hand and advance on the General in a semi-crouch. I see the strategic fires leap up behind his eyes, plotting, conniving. Damn, this isn’t going to be easy.

“Touch me and I’ll bite your heathen fingers off, so help me Jesus,” he barks, snapping his teeth together to emphasize his threat. That’s when I bolt forward and try to snatch him off his tray with my other hand. Why is he grinning?

Ah, no, the shocks! How could I forget about that? Just as I grab a handful of gruel-greased hair, electricity rips through the both of us. I swear I hear him laughing.

I can’t scream. All my muscles contract at once in a burning symphony of galvanism. My teeth feel ready to crack in the vice of my jaw. I want dearly to let go of the General and punt him like a football, but my hands only clench tighter. The electricity ceases, and I collapse, hair smoking and nerves aflame. My last thought before I fade out is this: It’s not quite as funny from this end.

I open my eyes to behold Jason’s weasel-like mug grinning down at me. My body is blessedly numb from a morphine drip.

“I guess I’ll be spending time in the brig, eh?” I grunt more than speak.

“No, the General said you were helping him eat when the LifePulse fired out of sequence,” he says and his thin grin wriggles back into place.

Well I’ll be dipped. I thought the old stump would’ve ratted me out and asked that I be drawn and quartered.

It’s then I realize the General is a great man. Now the two of us get along fairly well. We have an unspoken understanding and mutual respect. I keep all that to myself, though, at least around Jason.


It was one of those days—a dark and stagnant day, devoid of joy or reason—black and cold and empty as distant space. Jeffrey marshaled his feeble resources and forced himself to take a shower. He wondered how a task could one day be mundane and common, yet the next take a feat of will power to accomplish. It was one more joyless thought in a stream of hopelessness. He had so much that needed doing—cleaning, writing a resume, finding work, finishing side jobs, making payment arrangements for his unpaid bills—and by late afternoon he had barely managed a shower.

Coupled with his emotional malfunction, Jeffrey was developing a monster headache. What started out as an uncomfortable pressure behind his eyes and tension at the base of his skull crescendoed to a brilliant star of a pain blazing in place of his brain. The slightest stimuli, be it sound, light, or motion sent lightning agony tearing through his head. The pain was enough to bring nausea.

The headache was an odd comfort, however, because it replaced the haunting apathy with something palpably wrong, which alleviated some of his spiritual angst despite the immense pain. By midnight, he longed to replace the headache with depression. Whatever comfort it had been at first had long dissipated. He lay perfectly still, not wanting to risk a chain reaction of misery by turning his head or adjusting his body. The tick of the clock and his ragged breathing were the only sounds inside his cold, dark apartment, and the clock crashed like thunder to him with each passing second.

Sleep came to him like an angel of mercy. His dreams were pained, relentless episodes of being overcome by quicksand, by vines, by bills, by death. He had a vague memory of birth and light upon awakening at three AM, but it faded like candle smoke in a gust.

The pain in his head had subsided to a dull ache, which was blissful by comparison. He thought it odd how the absence of pain could transmute into pleasure—but he was immensely grateful to feel any measure of joy: it was like a single breath of air to a drowning man—ephemeral as it was invaluable. For the first time in hours he was able to rise from the couch. He turned up the thermostat and listened to the heater kick on. He was surprised to find himself hungry. He’d been so devoid of desire the past thirty hours, the presence of it felt momentarily alien. But humans are nothing if not birthers of desire.

Eventually his hunger outgrew his apathy and motivated him enough to dress, find his keys and wallet, and venture out into the winter night. Unable to afford the registration and insurance on his Ford Fiesta, he opted to walk to the Latino corner store.

It was warm inside and clinically bright. Primary colors assailed his vision—rows of shampoo bottles, stacked next to beans, arranged next to a rainbow of hard candies. One shelf, six rows high, consisted of nothing but various hot sauces. Despite the low volume of the radio, a laughing shout accompanied by frantic, polka-like music was clearly audible. Cheap shampoo and bleach merged into one cloying scent.

Jeffrey paid for a frozen pot pie and a bottle of cream soda. There was no one in the store except for him and the cashier, and neither tried to bridge the language barrier, though Jeffrey did notice a widening of the cashiers eyes when the man looked up at him.

He left the store, followed by the electronic ding of the door and noticed the pain returning to the very center of his head. He caught his reflection in his front window as he unlocked his door and understood the cashier’s expression: his head was starting to swell. It was as if a grapefruit were pushing up beneath his scalp, right out of the top of his skull.

He hurried to the bathroom mirror to examine it more closely. It was red, hot, hard, and sore to the touch. The pain was steadily increasing. He wrapped some ice in a towel, leaving his pot pie, forgotten, to thaw on his cluttered kitchen table. He sat down on the couch, holding the ice to his head and worried. As his mind conjured fantasies of cancer, his free hand subconsciously touched the needle scars in the crook of his arm.

Though it did little for the swelling, the ice numbed the pain some, and his mind wandered from worry to day dreaming. A spark of inspiration glowed within him, and he discarded the ice pack to retrieve a notebook from atop his tv. A pen was clipped to the metal rings of its spine. He wrote slowly, neatly.

When? When I’m haunted

When the clock ticks thunder

When hope dies

When I long for escape

When I pray to Oblivion and observe the needle rites

When I lose reason and forsake joy

Then I wonder: When?

Just as he finished writing, a flash of blinding pain seared the inside of his head—enough to elicit an involuntary yelp from him. He clutched his head in both hands and writhed on the couch, squirming like a spitted worm.

He heard a sickening wet rip as his scalp split and glistening skull emerged like an egg. He had the surreal experience of hearing a scratching both inside and outside of his skull simultaneously, but the feeling was quickly forgotten in unbearable pain.

He screeched and convulsed as a sharp claw broke apart the skull from inside like a beak pecking apart an egg. First two, then four jointed, spider-like legs squeezed out of the hole, then trembled as they pulled a fist-sized, bright red, spherical body from his skull with a soggy pop. It was free now, perched on top his opened head on eight legs supporting a perfectly round sphere of flesh, in which an unblinking human eye was set dead-center. The eye looked frantically around before the creature scurried down his back and under the couch.

As quickly as it had appeared, the pain subsided. Jeffrey, still in heavy shock, reached up to feel the certainly fatal wound he’d just received, but felt only a deep gash where he expected to feel his brain. When the shock subsided some, he convinced himself he’d fallen and cut his head. He was already feeling better. Even his depression had subsided.

It watched from beneath the couch, waiting for the cover of darkness, to make its way into the world.

See Which One Fills Up Faster

I remember the very moment I fell in love with writing. I was young, not quite a teenager, and my imagination was splitting the seams of my skull. I could alleviate this pressure somewhat, as well as occupy my time alone (and I was a lonely child), by conducting large scale battles between tiny, imaginary soldiers. I don’t remember what these soldiers were—no doubt gargoyles, ninja-vampires, and beasties of that nature—but I remember seeing them vividly. I picked up on language quickly, and soon enough was able to manifest some of that experience that had been previously confined to my head.

The first thing I remember writing that I liked was about a wizard strolling into an encampment and making warriors drop their swords because the hilts had grown red hot with a wizardly flourish. Pretty cliché stuff, yes, but not to me, not at the time. To me writing about that magic was a magic in itself. It was pure joy. I was delighted. The possibilities were fucking intoxicating. I could create anything I could imagine, and my imagination was snorting and virile as a young bull.

That love affair with writing has been a difficult one, however. I remember someone in high school saying to me, with a hint of jealousy, that writing came so easily to me. Oh, how wrong that person was. Because I had a knack for it, I felt responsible for developing it as much as possible. And I don’t care who you are: learning to write well is hard. If you don’t think it is, I’d wager you’re not pushing yourself. In fact, at times I was so focused on trying to write well that I lost the joy of it. This magical pastime that I thought I loved because it gave me such delight was suddenly a maddening burden. I have always felt compelled to write, though I have not always written. This state is one of discord—I feel guilty about spending my time engaged in non-writing activities. My angst builds, I berate myself for being lazy instead of just getting to work and that spiral adds to my other spirals. Once I discovered the sweet oblivion of alcohol it was a wrap.

I’ve always considered myself a writer, even when I wasn’t writing. Kind of like a non-practicing Christian or something I guess. When I am writing, especially when I’m writing in a disciplined and frequent manner, I feel like I’m utilizing my time the best I can. When I’m not writing, I feel like I am wasting valuable time. As I approach my mid-forties, I realize how limited that time really is, and I regret how much of it I have squandered on hangovers and recovering from psychotic drug binges. Regret is useless, and I don’t engage in it often, but when I do it’s because I’ve lost time with my children or my writing.

I have recently renewed my commitment to the art of writing, which had become very difficult. So difficult I felt I’d lost the ability to do it well, and the joy that stems from that. Watching your dreams die is bleak indeed. However, I haven’t given up yet. I kept writing whatever I could, sometimes just a few chicken-scratch repetitive thoughts in a journal. If I couldn’t rub two thoughts together enough to write due to black depression or apathy then I’d read. Reading is brain food for writers. Eventually, I started building stories again. Parts of them anyway.

Tonight that persistence has rewarded me. I caught a creative wave rolling out of the ether and rode that bitch with the almost-forgotten childhood joy of imagining. I’m as happy and fulfilled in this moment as I am when I spend time with my children. And bothers and sisters, it is a god damn refreshing breath from that wasteland sensation of inevitable failure. I wish each and every human being the experience of absolute joy in whatever endeavor he or she engages in (provided you’re not hurting anyone in the process—if you are I hope the world around you corrects your error and quickly). I think the planet could definitely benefit from a little more happiness, and a little less suffering. But you know, wish in one hand, shit in the other…..