MORE by Tyler Dempsey

MORE by Tyler Dempsey

Servants scatter. The psychoanalyst enters the room. He regards his surroundings: Apollo’s wife, Aphrodite, scrolls Facebook. Her Admirers lounge. Various articles—bedside tables, a rocking horse, bowling pins, Fruit Roll-Ups—lay adrift across the floor. Aphrodite refurbishes goods, like Fruit Roll-Ups, from thrift stores.

Apollo enters, his humor betrays immense slaying. He approaches an Admirer, slays him. Tosses a bloody scimitar to the recliner. The Admirers scoot over. He sits.

—How do you feel?


He cracks a Pabst Blue Ribbon, gallantly. Loosens his golden codpiece. Apollo props his heels on the dead Admirer.

—I was whipping adversaries. The sun was angling, hitting clouds, casting them in that special glow of honey and Fruit Roll-Ups. The leather cracked in my hands, I thought: we never capture what we’re worth.

The psychoanalyst writes in his notebook. Aphrodite ‘likes’ a video of two kittens attempting to nurse from a pot-belly pig.

 Apollo glares.

 She opens her blouse. A spray bottle. Sprays oil. The Admirers shift uncomfortably.

—Your marriage, has been, on the rocks?

—He doesn’t love me an adequate number of times. And I’ve told him of the inadequacy. This, took our relationship from blended, to on the rocks.

—How often?



—2 to 4 times, monthly.

He scribbles maliciously in the notebook.

—Your job, Aphrodite—does it, fulfill you?

—I’m 27. How many husbands, can someone who’s married, expect to have? Refurbishing’s stable. Still, a career out of what most respectable people do while they’re in college?

—You’ve no interest in college?

—I tried three times.

An Admirer sketches a nude of Aphrodite. Another approaches to stare intently at her breasts. They are wonderful. I’m a mineralogist for the U.S. Department of Minerals, he says, Capricorn, half-kitten, half-pot-belly pig, I play Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 in F major, on a yo-yo.


—You were born in Lubbock, Apollo—is that right?


—What was that like?

—Deuteronomy 4:9 says: Be careful, watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children, and to their children after them. Lubbick.


The Admirer shows the sketch. Beautiful. Beautiful.  Beautiful.


—Tell more of your unhappiness. We’re all-ears.

—We dislike, different things, he and I. I strive for: the dubious, equivocal, faint, fuzzy, hazy, imprecise, nebulous, obscure, uncertain, unclear. He doesn’t. He unequivocally doesn’t strive for those things.


—Call me old-fashioned, Doc. I endeavor for biscuits and gravy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, that dog’ll hunt. The 401(k). Dirt road, dirt floor, dirt mini-mall. All-Things-Eastwood. Every night, at 9 p.m., I brush my teeth with a Model A Ford.

She rips a bit from Nora Roberts: . . . they implement relatively simple processes of template matching and pattern recognition, that is, processes that are paradigmatic cases of perceptual processing . . .


—Aphrodite suffers from Present/Post-Present Befuddlement, the direst of today’s situations, listed in my D.S.M.

 Aphrodite sprays oil.

—Certainty’s robotic. Not malleable. She’s expressing, non-robidity. Searching for, searching for, searching for.

—Any hope?

—Wallow. General wallowing. Anguish. Agony, Grief. Heartache. Heartbreak. Misery. Sorrow. Suffering.

He kicks a Corinthian helmet (purchased from Lubbock Pawn) out the window.

—My Code of Conduct, tattooed on my manly codpiece, spells happiness. It’s striving. I’m nothing. Failing lifts me upward, to Heaven, where Apollos who came before me . . .

—She hates dim-lit diners, oil pipelines, shoulder-fat, Deuteronomy.

 Aphrodite stabs a trident in Apollo’s leg.

 More, she says, more.

Tyler Dempsey is the author of 4 books. He hosts Another Fucking Writing Podcast and lives in Utah with his dog. Find him on Twitter @tylercdempsey or here.

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