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Licking It
by Michael C. Keith

Damn mouth is bone dry with three envelopes yet to seal. Hate licking these frigging flaps! Not thrilled about writing bills and sending what dough I have left to billionaire companies either. Leaves me with next to nothing until payday. I always save the biggest bill until last . . . a habit of mine. This time it’s for $458 for fuel to keep my flat from icing over. Owe three months of back payments. Better make good on it or else no more goddamn oil delivery.

So at this point in the game, I got to pay up, unless I want to die from hyperthermia in my sleep. Come to think of it, that’s not a bad way to go. They say you just fall to sleep anyway when you freeze to death. I suppose it would be a convenient way of ending things. There’s some value in that.

Going without food for me is no big deal. A few crackers and a cup of Joe will get me through any day. But you just can’t make it without heat here in the Upper Peninsula, if that’s your goal. That is, to stay alive . . . at least not in January. Figure I’ll pay part of the bill. Keep them from cutting me off. Send them, say, half of what I owe. That should do it.

Jesus, why does the glue on their envelopes taste so gross? Couldn’t they flavor them somehow? People might pay their bills sooner it the flaps tasted like steak or lobster. Screw them. I’ll just send $50. That’s what they get for making their return envelopes taste so rotten. Do they care? I don’t think so. So why should I care? Wait a minute. Why send them $50? Okay, here’s a ten spot. No . . . no, a fin is enough for you lousy bastards. And I’m not going to lick your disgusting envelope either. Fold the flap inside. That should work.

Hey, if the payment falls out on its way to you, that happens. I’ll have to write you another check, but that takes time. In fact, why should I even put five dollars in the envelope? Who’s to know what was in there in the first place? Could have been for the full amount for all you’ll know. If your envelope adhesive didn’t turn my stomach, I would be more conscientious about paying my bill. You don’t make it easy. I hope you realize that. A bloody sticky wicket is what it is.