“Prodigal Blues” by Reggie Scott Young

Transit Authority regulations required drivers, young and old, to wear bland gray ties around the collars of our bland gray uniform shirts in addition to gray regulation sweaters and jackets, but after checking in for our routes for the day and transfer books many of us hotshots replaced our ties with tropical bandanas as a way of putting a little color into the city’s frequent gray days.

Review: “To Hell With It: On Sin and Sex, Chicken Wings, and Dante’s Entirely Ridiculous, Needlessly Guilt-Inducing Inferno” by Dinty W. Moore

“The lesson in Moore’s father’s biography is that you don’t have to be deep in the bowels of the earth, buried upside down, gulping mouthfuls of excrement to be deep in Hell. You don’t even have to be dead; a few feet below the surface is enough. You just have to be riven with guilt and committed to numbing the pain,” writes reviewer David Gottlieb.

“True Neutral” by Nathan Stormer

On their first date, my friend’s fiancée talked about her job. She’s a mortician. She prepares cadavers for a funeral, cremation, or whatever is decided. She cleans the cadavers and replaces their blood with pink embalming fluid. If she has to apply makeup, she does. She thinks of herself as an artist. She makes clean portraits. She said that word a lot. Cadavers.