Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Night Tremors

Drowning in a relentless sea of late night infomercials. A barrage of junk aimed at improving the “value of life.” The next great innovation. The best of intentions, namely: the systematic elimination of inconvenience. A dollar and a dream, oh, and 6 very easy monthly installments of $39.95... if you're not completely satisfied send it back, shipping is free, and keep that set of steak knives... a gift, a token of our insincere generosity.

An old man with kind eyes touts the virtues of owning an electric scooter. He promises a better life. He promises increased mobility. Most importantly, he promises the self-given gift of independence. Dependent independence. Independence at what cost? Que flashing images of the smiling elderly scooting around the park. Or at the grocery store. Or alongside a grandchild first learning to ride a bike sans training wheels. Always smiling. So confident and secure and... alive.

Or it could be the anti-oxidants, B12 vitamins, and Viagra.

The elderly, the poor, the overweight... all easy targets. All sitting on social security checks, unemployment checks, class action lawsuit checks, insurance checks... so many nest eggs, so little time. All they ask is 30 minutes of your precious life. Here's the dotted line, sign.

And yes, operators are always standing by.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

And the feeling's right

He dances alone up on the stage ignoring all. Absorbed in the beat, he crazily waves his glow-sticks to the music like a maestro conducting a philharmonic.. to fucking Cher. Rivulets of sweat bleed down his face. He's short, toned, and from what I can tell, Asian. He's dressed in a policeman's uniform: striped pants, riding boots, mirrored aviator sunglasses, an authentic looking badge, and even a knight stick dangling by his side. I expect to see a biker, an Indian, and a construction worker at any moment. However, tonight isn't Halloween. It's a hot evening in the middle of September. This isn't a costume party or a masquerade ball. It's any Friday night at the club I bounce at.

What's on the menu? Usually an unrelenting barrage of repetitive house and trance music. Tanned, shirtless, roided out fags with perfect hair and perfect complexions aimlessly wandering about the club rolling their balls off, bottled water in hand. Drag queens and transsexuals with sexier legs than any woman you'll ever find. Blowjobs, rimjobs, and cocaine nose-jobs in every bathroom stall.

All of the freaks come out on Friday night.

They're harmless. Aside from catty fits of drunken name calling, finger pointing, and drink throwing, they never fight. Ever. Friday is the only night we can really relax. Instead of testosterone the air is filled with plur, celebration, and estrogen. A lot of the bouncers will drink or smoke weed. Why? Because we can. Because we don't have to be at 100 percent. We don't have to be perfectly in tune to the crowd, ears and eyes pricked to detect shit talk or a thrown punch. Being out of our heads, out of our consciousness, helps to pass the time as we're stationed at the different doors or left alone on our carpeted boxes surveying the odd display of excess taking place on the dance-floor before us. Everyone always seems to be in a more relaxed mood on Friday night.

It counterbalances the extreme homophobia a lot of the dumb-as-shit bouncers invariably wear on their sleeves.

A lot of beautiful women come in on Friday night. It's a great night for an enterprising bouncer or a resourceful bartender to hook up... believe it or not. You see, these pretty girls feel safe around all of the non-threatening gay men. They feel bolder. They become hornier. As the night progresses they get drunker. They all think they'll be “the one” who will convince their fag friend (every pretty girl has one, it's like a purse – an accessory) to bat for the other team. Light flirting and harmless innuendo turns into brazen, desperate begging and pleading. They realize their wily charms are having absolutely zero effect on the obviously homosexual men all around them so they turn their attention to the hetero bouncing staff. I've taken many girls home after my shift on Friday night. The key is to flirt with their protective gay friend who brought them. To build a level of trust. To slip their party a round of free shots.

We call these girls "fag hags." Ironically, so do the fags themselves.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Chance encounter

I spy you across the crowded room sipping a Vodka-tonic, your usual, standing amidst a buzzing swarm of pretentious, coked-out assholes, again... your usual. You pretend you don't see me but I know you know I'm here. In fact, you couldn't stop staring at me when I walked in tonight, yes that's right, here... in YOUR club.

How long has it been R____, two years?

Nothing has changed. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who's accomplished exactly jack-shit. It's comforting to know there are things that can always be relied upon in life such as gravity, taxes, the sun setting in the evening, and you. You and I, round and round we go.

When Narcissus gazed into that clear pool at his reflection so many years ago he fell madly, truly, deeply in love with himself. He remained seated by that pool until the day he died. The day he starved to death. Want to know why he really died?

A broken heart.

He knew he could never be with that person he saw coyly smiling back. It was a tragic, ironic, unrequited, comical love affair.

Like the love affair you have with yourself. Like the love affair I have with myself. Like the anti-love affair we have with each other.

When I gaze into your face, R____, what I see is a reflection of me. An incredibly precise reflection. However, unlike Narcissus, it's not love I feel. When I look at you I see the same fucked up, selfish, materialistic son of a bitch I face every morning. I see the same drug addled, angry, insecure weakling I see at night. I see the same arrogant, maladjusted, prideful prick I see gazing back at me in the john, after taking a piss... or upon jerking off for the umpteenth time.

Yeah... an anti-love to remember.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Lest we forget.

The final seconds recorded by the in-flight recorder, the black box, of United Airlines flight 93 on September 11, 2001 was wind. Seconds before that was the indistinguishable yells of triumphant desperation as the passengers broke down the cockpit door and physically pummeled the hapless remaining two terrorists with fire extinguishers, fists, and feet. The indispensable thought they'd never see their loved ones fueled their anger.

Such exquisite rage.

There were fathers, sisters, brothers, mothers, daughters, sons, husbands, and wives on board. Final “I love you”'s were left on answering machines, messages intended for unknowing, confused children, and stunned beyond belief loved ones. And then static blackness.

Yet these voices...these men and women... these hero's... live on.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Cave

In my experience I've noticed the best writers are succeedingly able to make the fantastic seem real, and the real seem truly fantastic. You'll believe what you read because you want to believe it's true... we all do. Like horses wearing blinders, we conveniently ignore the awkward man standing behind the curtain. Why? Because there is no way he could be behind this spectacle we see before us. There is no way the insultingly simple system of pulleys and levers splayed out before him could be controlling this wondrous machine. The man behind the screen is just too boring, too generic... too bland.

We, as readers, are given a set of clues, roadside markers. We then fill in the miles and miles of lonely highway. We connect the dots. Not necessarily in the same order or as skillfully as the next person, but in the end we are presented with a unique picture, a fictitious painting. A distorted reflection of reality in a shimmering pond. Or perhaps a shadow on the wall of a cave of an ideal image we think we know, but have never actually seen.

A marvelous piece of writing is like a constellation. Is it really there? Are we seeing what our neighbor sees or what we are meant to see? Half the time we simply agree and claim we can distinguish Orion's belt. Or a crab. Or a scorpion. We dumbly nod, ooh and awe, and marvel at how wondrous and beautiful and utterly complete this abstract, ridiculous, pitiful "thing" is supposed to be. And then you begin to question yourself, as you sit there all alone in the dark - eyes fixed skyward, tripping on mushrooms. Perhaps you just aren't creative or imaginative enough to "see" what everyone else is claiming to see... but really don't.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


The Darhad people of Mongolia every year will make the arduous three day trek to warmer, winter pastures. They pack their children in baskets that are in turn strapped to yaks. The elderly ride in drag carts behind stubborn oxen. Their food, water, shelter, clothes, cooking utensils, and every other worldly belonging is taken with them across the many miles through frigid mountain passes, forests, and across sub-zero, icy rivers. Not a spoon or cup is left behind. The land is seemingly undisturbed. They leave it the way they found it.

It is a desolate landscape... a desolate life... but it is their home. They know nothing else.

Their only company out on these barren plains are the stars, that sing to them at night, and the wolves, whom they hunt. They are a migratory herding people and masters of the horse. In addition to their belongings and their families, they will also transport packs of goat and sheep... their true wealth, their food. These obedient animals follow each other single file, ears perked and eyes forward. Should one stray the horsemen will quickly catch it and expertly steer it back to the flock.

The Darhad are the living descendants of Ghengis Khan; a proud people. They are also an extremely humble people - subservient to the gods of Earth and the ancestral spirits. They love each other as they love vodka and song... both of which warm their chilled bones.

Their lives have remained the same for thousands of years. Lives that consist of continuous change, continuous hardship and continuous movement. They can claim no place as home yet at the same time claim all of it as home, thousands upon thousands of sprawling, harsh miles. They know this land, have names for every rock, tree, river, and beast. When they kill their natural adversaries, the wolves, whom mercilessly hunt their livestock, they call upon their deceased brethren for strength, courage, and wit. Upon shooting a wolf they ask the fallen animal for forgiveness. Death, more so than life, is an accepted, almost welcome event. In a land where it is always winter, death is viewed as a rebirth. Life is cyclic and in a constant state of flux between the land of the living and the land of the dead where the ancestors dwell harmoniously with the spirits of the wolves. Where the stars kiss the earth and the skyline meets the distant horizon.

It is a difficult life... yet they are grateful. If one were to ask any one of these people what they were most grateful for they would quickly answer:

“ I am grateful for the work, and doing it well.”

Thursday, September 01, 2005

American Psycho

Marshal Law.

As I sit and witness our government's unwillingness and inability to act - to help these poor people who have been to hell and back... I am wordless. I am completely dumbstruck. I'm shocked, disgusted, and abhorred with this administration and furthermore, as a member of the middle class; as a member of the paycheck-to-paycheck , hand to mouth, pissed-on, pissed-off, piss-poor, cubicle proletariat all I can say is I am scared. I'm petrified. I'm scared my job will invariably be outsourced. I'm scared I won't be able to afford gas. I'm scared I won't see a penny of social security. I'm scared some crazy terrorist prick is going to slit my throat because of the mere fact I'm an American. I'm scared I'm going to get drafted, get sent overseas to kill innocent people in a meaningless, bullshit war...

I ain't no senator's son.

Wanna know what scares me even more?

20,000 desperate, angry people, young and old, crammed into the "Superdome" with no food, no water, no place to shit or piss, and worst of all, no power or lights tonight.

It's a powderkeg and it's ready to blow.

And no, I didn't vote for this motherfucker either, you douche bags. But nice job! You KNEW what you were getting into. You KNEW he would fuck it up yet you still voted him back into office you dumb-ass, redneck, brainwashed, hillbilly assholes.

For Christ's sake turn-off Sean Hannity and start using your heads... use some common sense. Open your eyes. Read the signs, they say "Help Us!"

I can't help but wonder if the California coastline had been struck, say... Hollywood, or the "O.C," or Malibu, or Beverly Hills... would there be more of a sense of urgency? Would the "governator" roll up his sleeves and personally "terminate" hunger, thirst, death, loss, and grief?

I'm sure he would.

The truth of the matter is these unfortunate people are receiving third rate treatment because they're "third-rate citizens." The majority of these displaced souls are poor and black. They're expendable. They're sub-human. In fact, they're "animals."

Wow, this nation has sure come a long way.

Fuck you Bush and FUCK your administration. I realize you're a puppet, a flagrantly stupid puppet at that, and the big-money Texas oil companies, the pharmaceuticals, the lobbyists, the tobacco companies, your buddies the Saudi's, the list goes on and on... are the real villains here.

But then again I could be wrong. I'm a radical what do I know?