- Never double-check the contents of the box. Only then can you can blame missing parts on the packers. Marriage is about finding common ground—like a patsy on whom you can redirect all of your vitriol and blame, until you are calm enough to find that washer where it was all along, stuck to your left sock.
- Always wear shoes.
- Tape a piece of paper over the nearest floor vent, even if that vent is thirty feet away and in another room. All screws fall into floor vents. It is a law of the universe.
- Sometimes there are extra parts. Sometimes there aren’t. But extra pieces erode confidence. If you think you might be heading into a future with spare parts, throw them into the fish tank before your spouse notices. If you later need them, then you become the hero who thought to check Sanjay Guppyta’s tank. Win/Win.
- Unauthorized power-tool usage, like cocaine, feels immediately wonderful but ends in destruction.
- Drink heavily before, during, and after.
- Enjoy your furniture. One day it will make excellent kindling.
Michael Piafsky is the director of creative writing and an associate professor of English at Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Alabama. His recent fiction and nonfiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, Jabberwock Review, Bluestem, Ocho, Meridian, Bar Stories and elsewhere. Earlier this year he was a finalist in the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers and was a finalist in the 2012 Tuscany Prize for Fiction.
Michael Piafsky’s new book:
All the Happiness You Deserve
An Everyman searches for truth and meaning in a life fraught with unsettling challenges, joyful milestones, and the unconscious awareness of the passage of time. The seventy-eight evocative cards of the Tarot deck frame the narrator’s story as he journeys through the phases of his life from childhood to old age.
Where to find it: Prospect Park Books