20 PGS.

"Here's the Bible that should be in every motel room in America. Makes me think of black coffee, a shot of whiskey, a piece of meat, apple pie with a slice of yellow cheese on it, more coffee, a cigarette. Doesn't make me think of dope, though there is a lot of dope in the stories. Bitterly funny, touchingly innocent. Words of love. Read your Bible!"

- Jack Pendarvis



My wife's in love with our white Siberian tiger, Charlie. She spends all her time with him. We don't even play Tuesday-night charades with the Goldbergs, anymore. And you can forget Bingo down at the community center, or classic movie night at the drive in.

"What's the deal?" I say one night after TV dinners. "I feel like I'm losing you to the tiger."
"Charlie and I have a special connection," she says. "You wouldn't understand it."
"But he can't even talk."
"That's the difference, Bob. Charlie listens."

I can hear Charlie in the next room ripping into a zebra. She smiles at this, but I'm the one that'll scrub the blood out of the carpet when he's finished.

That night she lets him sleep in our bed, right between us. I wake up and Charlie's spooning me, tiger drool running down my neck. I can't take it. I drive down to Opal’s and order a beer.

"She's got him sleeping in our bed now," I tell Jimmy.
"Sounds to me like your woman needs some sugar."
Jimmy was in the navy. He’s knows.

I drive like hell, ready to give it to her. But when I get home and flick on the lights I see Charlie's beat me to it. They do it like dogs. I slam the door, run outside and puke all over the driveway. I sit on the curb wiping the sick from my mouth. The moon is ugly in the sky and then I feel a hoof on my shoulder. It’s one of the zebras escaped from their pen. She snorts and licks my face. In her eyes I see the orange light from the gas lamps. She gestures something sexy, then puts her arms around my shoulders as if to say, "You ready for this, old boy?"