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The Killards Are Coming

Every damn day in Religion Class, Sister Anna Banana yapped about the Soviets revving up to start a nuclear war with the new president, Ronald Reagan. She said after the cities burned to Holy Hell, there’d be something called “nuclear winter” that would kill all... 

Double-Strength Demon Dogs

Fantastic Freddie was the only altar boy from the Red Brick Alley. He was always consecrating Ritz Crackers and trying to make us eat them like communion wafers. He light-fingered incense from the sacristy, and he blessed water from Old Lady Tully’s spigot...

Laser Loop

I couldn’t see over the tall green school bus seat except when we hit a pothole and I bounced up in the air like a Pop-Tart jumping out of a toaster. Nobody at Saint Augie’s could believe I was allowed to go. My first school picnic ever. I was good from the day I handed in my pink...

The Boy Wonder

How the Hell did Jaggerbush get himself up there? He was clawing his way up into the open window above the Science class door like a real-life gargoyle. The blockhead of a wooden mallet stuck out of the back of his Toughskins where his butt crack was. He wore three...

About The Author


Robert Roman grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where he sold newspapers to cars from a concrete island. Read more→

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  • Robert Roman

My Own Private Ulysses: Live from Exile. Confession of Deadly Sin #2 – Pride

Pride, the Deadly Sin of the castaway Professor, will get you expelled from the ivory walls of James Joyce Facebook Groups lickety-split.

If only I had never written A Logic to the Lunacy.” A proclamation that the twelve prayers of the Daughters of Erin in the Circe episode are also log lines for the middle twelve episodes of Ulysses.

But I did it. I tossed my bottled message into the cyber sea of love. My eyes locked onto the curvaceous notifications bell in the upper right corner of my window onto the world. I quivered with anticipation.

The ding-a-ling flared crimson. An alert! I have known the ecstasy of having my like button touched. It’s happened tens of times over the years. This was different. A comment! By a gentleman caller.

Like good girl Gerty MacDowell, I felt "the warm flush, a danger signal always…surging and flaming into my cheeks.” I slipped into a fresh outfit and petted the bulging, blushing, bell with my cursor, revealing the mysterious comment.

“Number six doesn’t fit.”

So sharp. So confident. So, so manly. His Alpha-ness was overwhelming. My suitor was testing me, “One of love’s little ruses.” I could feel in my heart of hearts he was tall.

Anyone with eyes can see how Joyce played perfect matchmaker with the Daughters of Erin prayers and the Odyssey episodes.

“Kidney of Bloom, pray for us” and the Calypso episode were made for one another.

“Reprover of the Citizen, pray for us” and the Cyclops episode are a match made Heaven.

The other prayers and their compatible episodes slip and slide together as lovingly as vegan sausages and Voodoo Doughnuts. Except that one. Sinister number 6.

“Wandering Soap, pray for us” and the Scylla & Charybdis episode do not conjoin smoothly. The only thing this snug squeeze needed was a bit of tender loving lubrication.

I took an ice-cold shower and responded, “Thank you for the comment. I do have a theory on that. But what do I know? I’m just a lonely boy who writes hangman puzzles for a living.”

His retort came hot and heavy.

“Let’s hear your ‘theory.’”

My soul swooned. “A fair unsullied soul had called to him and, wretch that he was, how had he answered? An utter cad he had been!” I tried to ignore his macho, negging quotation marks. No wonder Joyce called them, “perverted commas.” What power those petite symbols have.

My finger caressed his like button below his captivating comment. I did not want to make the fatal mistake of over-eagerness like in the past. It took every gram of self-governance to grant him a white-rose thumbs-up, instead of a red-rose valentine.

I would prove myself worthy with a proper response. I sought out Earth’s greatest Thought Leaders for guidance.

I binged-watched the classics of coupling: “Sex and the City,” “The L Word,” “The G Word,” "The Unsafe Word," “The Diphthong.”

I rummaged through my hope chest and re-read the masterworks of mating: “The Rules,” “The Five Lust Languages,” “Men are from Hell, Women are from Heaven,” “Mashing in Captivity,” and of course, “Fight Club.”

I bettered my body through rigorous regimen: Pilates, hot pink yoga body sculpting, Jazzercise, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, no-gi, with eye contact!

After a long, harrowing digital fast, I finally felt ready. I composed my epistle.

But since my excommunication, I no longer have access to the words I’ve posted on the illustrious group’s timeline. And I would never, ever defile my own humble website with unchecked speculation, let alone our most-distinguished social media platforms or the time-honored World Wide Web itself. "Beauty is truth, truth beauty."

So, sit tight. I will find the keys to their little locks and search my dear diaries and cobble together a respectable re-creation of that horrid reply that resulted in my banishment. Time is required to heal this wounded heart.

Curse my damnable pride!

Stay tuned sadists, more masochistic confessions to come.

Same shameful time, same sorrowful channel.


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