Chad Miller

Chad Miller is a queer artist living in Austin, Texas, writing a novel about a forgotten kiss and a second chance. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in No Tokens, Cosmonauts Avenue, Columbia, Jellyfish Review, Gone Lawn, Wigleaf, Elimae, Electric Literature, Flavorwire, and more. You can visit him at

PISS by Chad Miller

Every time I piss myself, I get the job. Every time. It’s a fact. The first time I pissed myself was in the restroom at the office park with the ring of palm trees, before an interview. Let’s just agree my stream was spirited and leave the cause. Piss ricocheted. I cleaned what I could at the sink.

I got that job back-coding home remodeler websites with a soaked crotch.

I wore gray slacks.

The stain became a black hole the recruiter must have hoped to gaze my dick through. That hope, or is it the smell, that hypnotizes every hiring officer?

Hell, I don’t know.

Every time.

Opie, welcome aboard.

Opie, when can you start?

That coding job.

The arcade job.

Managing here.

It’s like the one time when I was a kid.

A friend and I were chasing his younger sister’s friends. Our car lights interrupted them wrapping their house in toilet paper. I grabbed his floorboard bat. A neighbor with a shotgun in his yard called cops on us.

I caught up to my prankster but did nothing. He was an island boy, homesick probably. We walked backed side-by-side to the house and flashing circus. I used the bat as a cane. We didn’t speak.

Anyway, the police officer yelled at my friend every time I back-talked. The boy was silent, respectful, but I quipped at the cop. His fetish get-up, the baton. I tease more often than I piss—I’m funny with it—but it was setting the officer off.

The boy got the brunt of the cop’s ire and I dodged it all because he dressed like a punk and I look like a television star. Blond hair. Crystal eyes. So lean any muscle I have looks like a bulge I worked after. I wear polos and khakis. My friend dressed like a punk. Bandanna over black spikes. Waffle thermals under a skull tee and cut jean shorts. Flannel tied at his waist, a suburban kilt. Boots that could pin your throat.

I sass a cop without repercussion. I piss myself and get away with it. Even get a job for it. I’m homegrown, homemade. The stank of an all-American boy. I’m scratch-and-sniff TV.


That’s my nickname.


It’s not one bit a part of my real name.

Opie’s a character from TV.

A small-town sheriff’s kid on fifties TV.

A ginger kid in black and white.

The time I pissed myself at the shitty concert with the sprawling band of wind instruments and chimes, when I got the prepper copy job right at the bar from a stranger, that guy called me Opie without even knowing it was my nickname, that’s how fitting the name is. How fitted.

Everybody loves an Opie.

Every body.

It’s mob mentality.

I one time took a receptionist job away from a clean black girl even though I pissed the CEO—right onto his wingtips while we shook hands—so I know my privilege is messy.

The girl stepped in my pool. Her flats whined to the elevator.

We made awful comments.

This job? This job I pissed myself for almost a day and still got it, with a signing bonus. Didn’t clean myself up. I wasn’t even awake enough to. What’s the point anyway?

People think I’m together even though they know about the pot and the cocaine and stealing alcohol from a couple of jobs, the DUI, the time in jail for possession, for dealing, for hit and run. I hit my father when he wouldn’t hit me. I owe everyone who’s given me anything. I’m very open and honest and write everything down on my applications.

Everyone smells redemption when I walk into a room. They’re intoxicated by the arc they see me on.

Like they’re watching TV.

The fifties sheriff show had other characters. All white, but a fair cast. There was the aunt the widowed sheriff and Opie lived with. Plump. Like she was swinging a cauldron under her housedress. And there was Opie’s teacher, the sheriff’s love interest. And the mailman. There was the barber and monkey-dumb mechanic. And there was a drunk who slept off the worst of it in jail, Otis.

No one calls me Otis though.

I’m not an Otis.

I can’t be. I can’t.

Otis is dumpy.

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