Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ponderations

Corner booth, all alone feeling kind of blue, as the earbuds stream Portishead into a groggy skull. Slowly sipping warm chai as the day flies by, nurturing pain, as chill rain drums against the windowsill and the world outside grows dark dark darker… tired eyes reflected in glass starin' back. collecting thoughts like I used to collect slugger cards when I was young. Lookin back I remember how I'd scatter them about on the floor in a tangled heap then "order" and re-order and re-order them by position, year, team... then once I got bored, which I eventually did, I'd abruptly shove them back into an old cigar box for another month to rot and grow dust.

It's the same thing now cept I'm older and wiser and I organize thoughts instead of cards, and I tend to think with newfound wisdom comes newfound problems… a whole meticulous host of 'em. Sorting and re-sorting. Ordering and Re-ordering. And my disorder now has a name, it seems, OCD. The damned spot just won't rub out. And I'm tired. Every night. Every day. As time flies by I find I grow more disenchanted, more disgusted, more distant, disheartened, demanding.....and the D-list goes on and on. Same song with the same hooks I sang all last year but in a slightly different key, a different set of notes.

Oh and I'm still broke.

And I think the more I think - the more I unthink. Unraveling like a kite spool into a chaotic spill of gossip, turmoil, and knots.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Realizations

" He's returned. He's back in town."

The stone crawls across the water, the light reflects off the smooth surface causing it to shimmer like a fairy skittering through the dusk air. You turn and look up at me, another flat stone in your little hand and ask, " So where did he go?"

" Oh don't you know? He takes every summer off. He just... sort of... disappears. Vanishes. Like a virgin on prom-night," in a confident matter-of-fact tone as I sidearm another one across the still pond. " Hey, six skips, not bad eh?"

" Do you know where he goes?"

" Yeah, I do. Or at least I think I do." My eyes scan the ground looking for the perfect skipper. " God damn, where are all of the rocks?"

You ignore my question by asking another question. " Where does he go?"

I turn and face you locking my eyes on yours. " You ever hear the tale of the monkey who climbed the tree and then deemed himself tall?"

Pause. Some silent thought. Then you bluntly reply: " No."

I snicker, " Ok I guess it wouldn't hurt to tell you...." My eyes narrow, " You see, every summer he drives long haul."

" What's that?"

" A trucker. Says it's the only time when he gets a chance to really think. Or to create... When he's by himself on a long, lonely stretch of desolate road. He calls it his "idea time." I know this because I used to do it with him many years ago. It was my idea originally, in fact, a quick cash scheme... anyhow, he continued our tradition whereas I gave up on it."

" Why did you stop?"

" Because this monkey realized he wasn't tall. Rather, he came to the realization that perhaps he's stuck up in a tree and it is time to climb down."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Message from the Author

Haven't been around all that much. Been camping-out along the muddy banks of Lake Champlain for the past few weeks, camera in hand, hoping to catch a glimpse of Champ.

So far no luck.

I've been chasing fleeting shadows. Reflections on the water.

Ignis Fatuus.

However, I know he's out there. The lake can be extremely deep at certain points. There are countless submerged caves where he probably feeds and sleeps...

I know my persistence and patience will eventually pay off.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

where everybody knows your name...

He slams back a shot of whiskey. And then another. And then another. And then another. In quick succession, in the wink of a hummingbirds eye, he burns through forty dollars worth of booze. He wipes his sleeve with a mischievous grin, looks up at me, "another."

I set down the bottle of Kentucky's finest and ask " And why shouldn't I cut you off? In a civilized world, you'd have been cut off a long time ago."

Without saying a word he whips out a wad of cash - I can only surmise a roll of hundreds - he carefully peals one off and gingerly sets it on the bar next to the half empty bottle and the row of empty shot glasses. He looks me square in the eye and replies: " Because the gravy train has rolled in... and I'm the conductor."

I match his gaze for a split second, feigning thought... feigning internal struggle... but it's for just but a second and it's just for show. I deftly snatch the bill off the counter like a coked-out stripper grabbing a five spot. " O.K, have it your way chief." I pour another shot.

I continue, " So what's your story? You've been sitting at my bar for several hours now pounding drink after drink with no end in sight. Let me guess... assisted suicide?"

He slams the shot of whiskey, pauses, then suddenly coughs... the dry, raspy cough of an unrepentant chain smoker. " Suicide? No." In a hoarse voice. " I died a long time ago. I'm a ghost. A whisper. An afterthought. I'm the cool breeze on the back of your neck. I'm the fading dream you hope to forget."

" Ooh, I love dramatics." I toss my dish-towel under the bar and lean forward, my chin thoughtfully propped up on my fist. " You have a name?"

" Do you have a name?"

I point at my chest. " Says so right here on my tag."

" Marvin? You don't look like no Marvin."

" And you don't look like no ghost."

I pour another shot. His pale eyes widen. " Uh-uh, this one's for me my friend."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Encapsulated

There was a time my emotions were turned inside out, when I’d selfishly air my dirty laundry, with an impetuous shake, for the entire world to read with just a few strokes - a litany of triumphs, a host of low notes, and cleverly disguised key players frozen in time, mid-pose, like characters in a Rembrandt. Never me, never mind, but leaving just enough clues hinting at what could be.

Wandering, machete in hand, through the capacious undergrowth of sticky vine - a jungle of unsorted, unfiltered, undiluted memories. Memories. Sweet yet at the same time bitter like a twist of lime and a dash of salt. Salvation comes in many forms. Such as shot after shot of cheap whiskey lined up in a neat little row, or the small mountain of Pabst cans chilling in a rusted tin washtub sweating in the noonday sun, or a syringe full of lethal, blissful, bittersweet junk. Salvation waiting but never appearing, eyeing the horizon, waiting and waning as wave after wave of tumultuous memories slap me across the face... and only turmoil remains. Failure to act. Failure to "see things through" as my daddy used to always say. A handsome young man, impetuous and brash, never realizing what he had until the day he awoke from life.

A dream. As phantasms… no not phantasms but headless voices, wander in and out through a revolving door. Characters in a play appearing as if on cue and then exeunt with a bright flurry or conversely, without speaking a word. I used to interact with these characters speaking in tongues like a Delphic oracle round and round together through the motions. But now I dumbly sit and cradle my arms, my emotions have now shifted outside in. And lately, only numb. Zoloft , Prozac, and Paxil cloud my thoughts like a gray curtain of dense fog.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

tiny shard of kryptonite

Helpless. You are the one who haunts my waking dreams with racking visions of loss and death and regret. I arise in the night and peek over your bars and watch you sleep. I listen to the hypnotic beat of your breathing thump, thump, thump of your new heart. I'll rub your back and cradle your feet and pray you dream of play and fun and everything in between as you jump from star to star in the company of angels from afar. Quiet stolen moments in tranquil stillness just you and me and everyday I'm grateful your mine til the end of time. You and me and boy do I have big plans for us. I love you kid, so much, even when you fuss with kicking feet, pinches, and mouse bites.

" Have you talked to your cousin?"

" No, I haven't."

" Why not? You two were so close?"

" He's changed. Well, naw, not really - I guess I have. You see, once upon a time everything I ever did was for me. Now... well, everything I do is for someone else. Work. Traffic. Life's perpetual bullshit. It's all for someone else. Everything my cousin does is not."

" That's too bad."

" Not really."


Scared. My mind is flooded with "what if's." What if something happened how would I cope? Could I cope? It's a gray morning and I play "Tears in Heaven" over and over and I'm wondering why. I'm really fucking scared something might happen to you and this is really no way to live life continuously dreading what may pass or regretting what has already passed and completely ignoring or failing to pause and relish the "now." Every day you're growing up. I flip though photos really fast like a flip book and watch months pass in a matter of seconds and isn't that what it really is... seconds? The mind, memory, is a master illusionist. Time is a sneaky fucker. And again, more what if's? What if it was all a dream and one day I'll wake up in my bed and you never existed? How would I cope? Could I cope?

My life can be summed up in seconds. Twenty eight years of memories neatly packaged in a can complete with a label. Your life, reads volumes, and I love you for that. Your infinite, quiet, shy wisdom and a dreamy glint in your eye suggesting so much fucking more than this. You are my immortality. You are my totality.

You are my morality.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

this girl I know...

She loves to cook, often experimenting with exotic dishes. She paints her apartment bi-yearly in bright shades of tan and red and re-arranges her furniture every month on the dot. She loves court TV and documentaries about Tsunami’s. In fact, she’s convinced a killer wave will take her life some day, or even more far-fetched, one took it previously… thus the utter fascination I would think. She loves all animals except roaches and spiders, which she claims are evil. Sometimes she’ll wake up at night screaming like a banshee, swearing a gigantic arachnid is clinging to the ceiling. She owns a spoiled, black cat with yellow eyes, his name is Dorian Gray. He looks like the cat from the Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen painting. She says they’re probably related. She’s addicted to cigarettes, gossip mags, and ‘Sex in the City.’ She loves cocktails, salsa dancing, and drama. She never drives at night, insisting she suffers from ‘night blindness.’ Or it’s probably the two previous DUI’s and she’s being really cautious… or possibly it’s the fuzzy navels tucked away in her pocket. She’s quick-witted, creative, and well-read. Her comedic timing is impeccable, always dead on, and she’s caustically blunt. She always says the right things at the wrong time and truly doesn’t give a fuck. She has a gay best friend named Nathan and they constantly bicker about fashion. And I always tell her she needs to stop stealing my oversized Willy Wonka sunglasses. She’s the most brilliant writer I’ve ever red, yet she’s unable to add basic fractions in her head or follow simple driving directions. She’s always late, her bed is never made, and at night she sits on the sink and picks at her face. She claims she suffers from ADD, OCD as well as a multitude of other abnormalities, if you ask me she’s a classic hypochondriac. She’s a tiny girl with beautiful features. She has the most amazing, fitness-model body but somehow puts away more meals than I do. She throws hysterical fits if I slurp my food. She claims she hates all "mouth noises" great and small. She’s a ditz, drives like shit, and nitpicks the way I do dishes. She gets really annoyed at my two-hour bowel movements.

However… despite our differences, similarities, bickering, and infighting... despite our mutual adulation, adoration, and her host of bizarre eccentricities... we both could not, nor would not, picture life without the other. We go together like ‘peas and carrots,' 'Peanut butter and jelly,' 'Batman and Robin,' or 'Tom and Jerry.'

Thursday, July 13, 2006

raison une

“ All right, let’s do this again. So… why do you write?”

“ I don’t. I haven’t, no, not for awhile now.”

“ Why not?”

“ Well… how can I explain this… uh, well, o.k you know that television commercial where the guy is sitting at his computer? He’s sitting there surfing along and all of a sudden he gets an error message saying he’s reached the end of the internet? Well that’s me. I’ve reached the end of my memories. The end of imagination…”

“ That’s absurd.”

“ Is it? Is it too difficult to believe there’s nothing left?"

" Yes."

" Or, let’s put it this way: there’s been a hostile takeover in my head, and the right side of my brain has assumed control. I've completely lost all of my creativity.”

“ What about all of this bullshit you used to spout about blogging being the ‘new new?’ About how you loved to interact with other writers and anonymously and instantly exchange ideas/compliments/mutual dick sucking? What happened to all of that?”

“ It’s got old. Fuck, I don’t know. I’ve got so much other shit to worry about these days."

" Yeah, I check your website everyday for updates and everyday I find nothing."

" Let me ask you something... what happens when you overtap a maple tree? It fucking dies. Thats what happens. I don't want to force it.”

" Bullshit. According to you, when you actually do write anything nowadays, you're already dead. Give me a better reason."

" Boredom? Laziness? Lack of time? There's three. Who was it that said, 'it is what it is?' Well... it is what it is. There you have it."

“ Yeah... whatever. Hey, congrats on your new promotion by the way… You're playing in the big leagues now kid.”

“ Thanks. It's my time.”

" It is what it is."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Still life

" What do you see when you close your eyes?" She asks through creeping tears behind a veil of swirling smoke. I hold my breath, momentarily ignoring her. I exhale two white plumes through my nostrils as my entire body tenses. I remain erect with my back straightened and my eyes closed inhaling and exhaling with rising and falling shoulders fighting back waves of nausea. As the feeling to wretch subsides it’s replaced by growing numbness. It spreads through my body prompting my muscles to completely slacken. I rub my tongue against the roof of my mouth savoring the complete lack of feeling. My eyelids grow heavy. It feels as though weights are attached to my long lashes. I manage to hurriedly pass her the straw and the small square of foil moments before I collapse into my chair. I sit staring at the opposite wall, my hands firmly rested on the armrests with my slack mouth hung agape.

She repeats, " Baby, what do you see?"

I look over at her with squinted eyes, lick my dry lips, and reply: " Nothing. Gray matter lined with silver. Sparkling strobe-flashes of marvelous light - sparkly sand. Nothing…." I click my tongue as my head drops, my chin jockeying for position on my chest. I mutter, " Nothing, just feeling really good. Kinda’ tired, and good…."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Delusions of Grandeur

Corner booth ordering bottle after bottle of hot sake in a black suit and tie like some fucking big-shot as the rain pours down in cascading sheets pitter-patter timpani. Summer-cold nagging ear-ache throbs like a swollen red toe in a Looney Tunes cartoon or like a claymation Rudolph’s nose... what have you. Depressing day and I need to get fucked up nice and good.

A friend of mine described it as "sweet sake drunk." However, drinking shot after shot like a thirsty impetuous wino "sweet sake slow suicide" might be a more fitting metaphor… or would that be a simile?

Rushed thoughts flit from one topic to the next, from one person to the next, from one emotion to the next, in rapid spitfire succession. Unable to press pause or rewind consequently I’m unable to closely study or articulate one or the other instead I assimilate them all as one frenetic fucked up liquid cacophony. The interesting mix of Actifed, ephedrine, and alcohol result in delirious loopy paranoia. I’m reminded of my crack smoking days and all the fun shit that comes with: carpet diving, lying, and stealing out of grandma’s purse.

I remember once I hid from a cop under a hoopty car dripping hot oil on my bare back in the middle of winter. Pig prick shining his mag light in the trees and in dark corners ready to cuff me because I looked "suspicious." So I stashed my bag of rock deep in the frame, rolled out from underneath, and ran like Carl Lewis pumping my fists as my thighs burned with unholy pain. A block away cop’s partner tackles me, frisks me, and finds nothing except pocket lint and some pennies. I was ticketed for "criminal mischief."

As I sit in the corner slamming sake shots and Kirin I think back to this moment frozen in time. A half smile slight shadow flashes across my face for the briefest, imperceptible instant replaced by the usual scowl.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Got Karaoke?

Saturday night karaoke fever. Hole in the wall joint on the east side of town. I’m feeling good… feeling loose. I bought three methadones off of a junkie I know at three dollars per pill. Cool and clean buzz keeps me light on my feet like Fred Astaire. I’m flitting from table to table with a disingenious smile dispensing fake compliments like the condom machine in the shit-stained bathroom at a quarter a pop. Corona, painkillers, and prime-time cigars: the holy feel-good trifecta.

I’m here with my buddy, Bruce. He’s big in the karaoke scene, or so I hear. He’s wearing a 70’s style ringer tee and the front of it asks in small unassuming script: “got Karaoke?” The back, in very large, in-your-face, oriental-style font proclaims: “Karaoke Bruce!” He had it custom made at the t-shirt shop for twenty dollars. He has numerous versions of it and he asked me once if I wanted to buy one. I graciously declined. We’re sitting at a table with another karaoke fixture… “Rocker Joe.” He’s a throwback to the hair bands of yore - a living fossil. As far as Rocker Joe is concerned, it’s always 1985 and the beer is always cold and the chicks are bitchin’ and the bands are kickin'. Rocker Joe’s wearing a t-shirt that reads “I’m here about the blowjob.” I told him I really liked his shirt and I asked him where he got it, he refused to tell me. Instead he offered to hook me up with one if I gave him some cash, fucking wino. I declined and said I'd order one off the "internets." Also at our table sits Joe’s on-again off-again girlfriend/booty-call, Jill. She keeps giggling at my stupid jokes and inconspicuously placing her hand on my thigh.

The place is crawling with various sorts of white trash: cowboys, bikers, rockers, wiggers, strippers, and, of course, the Karaoke royals. Bruce keeps asking me what he should sing and I keep telling him to sing whatever he wants, just as long as it’s not Bon Jovi. I think that’s why he keeps asking me is because he WANTS to sing Bon Jovi and he’s hoping I’ll change my mind. I told him I honestly don’t give a fuck, it makes no difference to me. Bruce asks me if I’m going to sing.

“ Yeah, I think I am.”

“ Whoa. Really?!? What song?” He leans in closer, very intrigued, ready to base my entire existence off of my song selection.

“ Jill and I are going to sing a duet, isn't that right Jill?”

Jill absently nods, unable to hear a single word I just said over the loud music.

“ Oh, ‘Summer Loving'... Grease?" Bruce persists. " 'Photograph' by Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock?"

“ No... 'Me so Horny’ by 2 Live Crew.”

Friday, May 19, 2006

Brothel

I remember how red your scarf was that evening many years ago in Berlin. Each thread a dense implosion of fiery pigment gleaming in the candle-lit, jazzy, smooth snare-drum mood. Me and you alone in a booth as I scoot my ass inch by inch closer so I can get a whiff of your fragrant black hair teased back into place by a mess of bobby pins, loose strands and all. You smile and tell me to relax as you pour us a couple of glasses of cheap champagne. I straighten my shoulders and loosen my cravat three notches, if that's possible, acting cool like I know what the fuck. Low-tempo slow-mo slow-down every second ticks by like a still life vibrant Cezanne and your tan skin looks so exotic. Jimmy asked me how many fingers I'd give you and I replied my entire hand. He said he'd give you two fingers... he'd cut off two fingers to bang you for a week... well - never mind that, just macho posturing guy-talk. Growing nausea like cancer starts low in my stomach and works it's way up my throat as I raise the flute to my parched lips and drink in your striking eyes with one unsure gulp.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wing and a prayer

If you could take the remaining half of what's left of me, and leave me there empty... Would I finally, somehow be complete?

It is rumored the Roman poet Catullus wrote over twelve thousand poems all devoted to one single woman. I think you've stolen twelve thousand thoughts. Twelve thousand hours. Twelve thousand regrets. Twelve thousand grams.

Regrets that finally fade away like invisible ink.

Thoughts. Come and go through a revolving door at a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet. Flying at night. What did you describe it as, with that sly half-smile? "Spurts of civilization?" I gaze out the porticullis searching down down and then up. Searching for stars. .. a star... a single one. One free wish and yet I see none. And what of heaven? I feel close but never close enough but never closer than I do now.

Spurts of civilization. Clusters of twinkling lights spread out among the rocky wilderness. Settlements. Small town Americana. And there's always one flashing light. Could this be a starry-eyed child? My son or maybe me... once upon a time... Beaming a flashlight toward heaven. Toward me.

Toward God.

Sending out an S.O.S

Is emptiness better than fullness? It's symptomatic of loss, yes that's true, but it can also signify hope. An empty vessel, patiently waiting to be filled again. The simple beginning of a marvelous journey... as I gaze toward heaven, or a lack thereof, at 32,000 feet shrink-wrapped in an ice-cold steel chrysalis. And the homefires burn. And a new life begins anew. Wow, what a trip it's been.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Arrivals and Departures

Two hours until take-off. My traveling companion keeps to himself, which is a good thing. In fact, he seems to want absolutely nothing to do with me. Great. As long as I'm insured usage of the rental car in the evening and he asks no questions.

I remember how I used to come to the airport when I was younger and simply "hang out." I'd sit by myself and watch everyone coming and going, coming and going, coming and going. I'd often wonder where they were off to and whom they were planning on seeing. My friend Mark told me once about how he met an older woman at the airport, she was married, while waiting to pick up a friend of his and they fucked. I've heard many similar stories. Perhaps this was my motivation back then. Today, I'm hoping I may somehow score a bag of blow.

I also wish my traveling companion wasn't such a square.

Layover... OR things to do in Denver when you're dead...

Feeling numb. In lieu of an actual lunch I opted to buy two Corona's. $4.50 per bottle at Denver International airport, what a fucking rip-off. Desperation causes us to do stupid things though like spend money we really don't have. The firm doesn't reimburse alcohol so I should have bought a Taco or something. But instead, I slammed the two bottles back to back and now all I have left ahead of me is a 2 hour wait and a cool buzz shrouded around ringing ears like a blanket. On recommend of Ruksak, I'm reading "Hunger" by Knut Hamsen. I'm about 30 pages in. It's about a starving writer living in Oslo at the turn of the twentieth century. This poor fuck owns nothing, he's pawned all of his worldly possessions so he can eat and make rent. He's starving and flat broke and on the verge of complete insanity.

I can relate. Somehow.

"Hunger." It goes kind of like this ---------> Empty belly dull throbbing ache comes and goes in pulsating waves. Keeps me alert and distrustful. Luckily, I ditched my traveling companion, Josh. He has to take a different flight than I do. I earn a brief respite from his beady eyes unblinking reptile gaze so full of judgment - that dumbfuck. Next to me a fat man inhales juicy bacon-burger goodness smothered in dripping cheese. My knees knock and shake like I have to piss really bad. Tap dancing like Sammy Davis Jr as I stare at his burger like a hungry dog licking it's chops with wet, intrusive slurps.

God, I'd love a couple of Lortabs.

I brought my ipod but I haven't listened to it. I have yet to figure out the soundtrack for this trip. See, there's always a soundtrack - a specific tune or an album. I'll remain patient. We'll see how things go in Dallas. I sure hope there are some interesting people in my training class. I'd like to hit some local bars or clubs during my downtime. Meanwhile, I'll continue to take advantage of the hotel's shitty work-out facilities, high-speed wireless internet, free continental breakfast, and complimentary coffee.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Quick and the Dead

When the weather is this beautiful, even the rats and roaches dare to venture out.

A Spring afternoon and I find myself at the grocery store buying some lunch. I'm standing in line reading a gossip mag as my basket rests on the floor at my feet. I'm behind a tired looking Mexican woman with two screaming kids. I'm tuning them out though, rocking the ipod with some “Buena Vista Social Club.” In my basket I have a banana, an apple, some sliced turkey, a couple of rolls, and a 40 ounce Miller High Life... we used to call these over-sized bottles “cauguama's.” I'm not really reading the magazine, I keep thinking about that day in 2003 when my cousin and I drove around all day looking for opium.

“ Why do you want opium so bad?”

“ Why not Cabron?”

“ But why opium? Why don't we pick up some blow and a couple of beers? Opium?! It's not like we we live in the fuckin' orient.”

“ Orient... What's that? What are you talking about?”

“ Fuck it, nothing.”

We drove around all day. My cousin had me on the horn calling everyone I know and making them, in turn, call everyone they know. For some strange reason, tracking down some opium that day in 2003 was like finding the lost Ark of the Covenant. We finally decided to bag it and instead wound up scoring some snow and then getting tossed out of the strip club, battered and bloody, because I decided to light up one of the bouncers

As I'm walking out of the store I'm shaking my head and silently chuckling to myself when a bum approaches me. I can't stop staring at the billions of tiny beads of sweat, like a micro-universe, on his forehead and all over his greasy neck.

“ Excuse me sir, do you have any spare change?”

I peer at him from underneath my over-sized Willy Wonka shades. I always get so fucking annoyed when the homeless pester me for money.

“ Maybe. What do you plan on buying?”

He opens his mouth, ready to give me his usual rehearsed, bullshit story. I interrupt him mid-sentence.

“ Be real with me. If you plan on buying some booze, or dope, or whatever just tell me. Don't lie to me or I'm not giving you shit. However if you tell me the truth, if you're real with me, I'll give you five bucks.” I set down my bags and pop the white buds out of my ears.

Next to us some seagulls squawk, fighting over a bag of discarded French fries.

“ Well...” He speaks very slowly now, carefully choosing his words. “ I need bus fare. My mother lives across town and I promised her I'd come and see her.”

I lower my shades and study his features, gazing at him through squinted eyes like a poker master who carefully reads his opponent. I'm not convinced. I bend over and pick up my bags. “ Nope, wrong answer bucko. You're lying to me.”

As I begin to walk away he holds out his hands and quickly closes the distance between us. He starts stuttering, stumbling over his words now. “ Hey, wait, wait, wait. Where are you going man? I told you the truth, I swear to God! I – I r-r-really need to see my mom, I do need bus fair. I need some help h-here man. I... “

“ All right shut the fuck up!" Pause. " I'm giving you one more chance. You can't con a con you ever hear that saying? So this time, you tell me the truth if you want to make an easy five bucks. Oh, and maybe you should put that shirt back on, your track marks are showing.”

He looks down at his arms then quickly shoves them into his pockets, the insides of his forearms are pressed tightly against his sides. His face turns beet red. He doesn't answer.

I turn away. “ Good luck.”

“ All right! O.K, O.K ... I-I needed to buy some smack. You happy now? I need to buy some more junk... a-and fast.”

I smile... a victorious, contemptible smile. I whip my wallet out of my back pocket and tear out a five dollar bill. I reach out my hand, the fiver folded in half sticking out from between my index and bird finger. He quickly snatches it out of my hand like Oliver Twist grabbing a roll from the workhouse headmaster.

“ Thanks man! Seriously, I really appreciate this. God bless!”

His gaze drifts to a bald, fat man climbing out of an SUV so I peel out a ten dollar bill and lazily wave it around in a circle in front of his face to hold his attention. His mouth slackens and plops open with a wet smack. His eyes widen, pupils dilating like dissipating blood in a syringe needle. He doesn't say anything at all. He just dumbly stares at me in disbelief and I coolly stare back. Our eyes carry on an unspoken conversation.

We're really starting to communicate now.

The sun beats down on both of us as the salty breeze lazily blows asphodel blossoms about creating a swirling snowstorm. We face each other in silence like two gunfighters settling a score on an abandoned, dusty street. Beads of sweat begin to creep onto my own brow now like a crackling blanket of army ants slowly invading a sleeping newborns' crib.

The shrill scream of a dying spider then a thump, followed immediately by the slow shuffling of a million spiny legs covered in tight wire-hair approaching Bethlehem - to be reborn again and again. My head's pounding. I can hear the distant drums luring out the beast who lurks in the jungle just beyond the reassuring torchlight... a sequential, slow coaxing.

“ He dead you know. Oh yes, oh yes, yes, yes...” The old Indian turns and repeatedly mutters through rotten teeth as he hides behind a swirling smoke curtain. Mexican desert wigwam peyote nightmare, the old man's head is spinning really really fast now and all around me stuffed dogs nip at my tattered clothes. Tired, so tired. “ Ha! That bastard thought he knew... that son of a bitch thought he had it figgered out. That God-damned maggot... Maggot!”

Somewhere in a quiet operating room a reticulated, squirming mass is held aloft like a human sacrifice as a c-sectioned mother wails to heaven in desperate horror...

The day started out so nice. Today was one of those days when the weather was so beautiful, the weather was so friendly, so accomodating, even the rats and roaches dared to venture out.

Junkie and I, we face each other and my jaw clenches and unclenches matching the beat of the drums. I stutter, now in marionette trance-mode:

“ I - I'll give you this ten and possibly more later if... and only if... you find me a bag as well.”

Friday, April 14, 2006

Appearances

I’ve started carrying around a “messenger” bag. A handsome black number I picked up at one of the superstores. It travels with me everywhere I go, slung around my neck with the black strap resting just above my right collarbone. I don’t particularly have any important documents to tote so I’ll typically toss in a sandwich, my camera, and an empty notepad. Everyone I know keeps asking me: “ So, what’s with the man-purse?” And I smile, more like a half-smile really, and patiently reply: “ It’s called a messenger bag.” The other day my little sister followed this statement with another question: “ Well what’s your message?”

I was at a loss for words. The answer is I truthfully don’t know.

Perhaps this thusly explains why my notepad still sits untouched neatly packed away in my bag on the floor next to my feet. However, some might argue, the absence of writing could be a message unto itself.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

a kite tale

Amir brings the jalopy to a slow stop and we sit in silence staring at the dilapidated house. We do not speak. The only sound is the soft tink-tink of the engine cooling under the sweltering Afghani sky. We are both lost in our respective thoughts as our eyes carefully study the old house flitting from window to window, from room to room. It’s like seeing a fallen Titan, a once mighty deity, a grandiose figment of our memory that fell from heaven and crashed into the dry earth engulfed in flames, and now… just a stinking rotting corpse. The house we once knew in youth destroyed by Taliban gunfire. The house Baba proudly built brick by brick, from a conceptual rough draft scribbled on a blueprint to later become the glorious envy of the neighborhood, now a ruinous heap covered in indiscernible graffiti. Shattered glass and splintered wood. The gardens we meticulously tended long ago overrun with dry yellowed weeds and dirt and strewn garbage.

I hear the creak of leather. Out of the corner of my eye I vaguely see Amir’s silhouette restlessly shift in the approaching gathering dusk. His voice sounds cracked and distant.

" Hassan, they say those who drink from the same breast are united as brothers. They say… there exists a kinship that not even time can break… ”

My eyes remain fixed forward. I cannot muster the appropriate words so I allow my silence to speak for me. Amir coughs and continues.

“ Hassan-jan, I need to tell you this… I must. I… I’m so sorry… for everything. I truly am. It is as though I’ve awakened from a dream - nay a torturous nightmare, and I now realize you have taught me everything I will need to ever know. You have taught me how to live. Through your eyes, in your heart, I have discovered blessed salvation.”

I swallow hard. I remain silent.

“ I…I don’t know what to say. Usually words come so very easily to me. All I’m asking is that you forgive me. I ask for your bakhshesh. Please, for fucks sake, forgive me Hassan-jan! I am sorry and I grieve and I hurt and I….”

Amir hunches over the steering wheel, his body racked with convulsive sobs. He punches the dashboard in frustration and angry guilt.

I see Amir's pain, it glows like a dull blue aura. I understand why he hurts. I have always understood Amir and I always will. I gently lay my hand on his shoulder. I feel his muscles slacken.

“ Amir-sahib. I could never remain angry with you. I forgive you Amir and things may one day be the same as they were but it will take some time. We will have to wait but it will be worth it in the end. I pause and Amir looks up at me with tears in his eyes. I meekly smile. “Remember, Amir-sahib… sour apples.”

“ So you forgive me?”

“ For you… a thousand times over.”

Friday, April 07, 2006

Escherian

A year ago today...

It's pretty scary being completely broke.

The other day I got a post-dated check loan at a place cleverly named, "Check City" which is smack dab on the boulevard of broken dreams, criss-crossing wino alley. I always swore to myself I'd never take out one of these ridiculous loans, yet here I am, slapping down my car title for an extra 200 bucks so I can eat.

Upon completing my business I quickly leave. As I'm getting into my car a homeless man approaches me and asks for money. He can tell by the pissed off look on my face that I'm put out. So he quickly follows his initial query with "I mean no disrespect, but if you have even a quarter you'd spare so I can buy a burger or something I'd really appreciate it." Coincidentally, in my center console I had 2 quarters, some pennies, and a pocketful of lint which I was saving specifically to use at the car wash. I hand him the quarters and say:

"It looks like you could use this more than me."

Nothing has changed.

I'm still poor. I'm still hungry.

Here's to another year on the moebius strip super-highway.

Monday, April 03, 2006

like riding a bike.

I’m immersed in Reggaetón bass lines. I stand in the shadows watching sweaty bodies grind and twist to the primitive beat. I think I’m falling in love with this music… with this scene… once again.

Faces, people I knew back in the day appear out of the darkness to shake my hand and buy me a drink. They all invariably ask the same two questions: “ Hey, where have you been? You lose weight?” I politely smile and give the same simple answer as to avoid any unnecessary confusion, overlapped stories, or lengthy explanations. “ I’ve been traveling.” The reaction is universal. A quiet nod and three words: “ You look good.”

For most of the evening I hide near the back of the club leaning against the bar chatting it up with one of the cocktail waitresses, S____, a stunning Bosnian girl I used to date. She asks me why I’m not dancing and I ignore the question. She persists. “ Have you noticed that all of these girls keep looking over here? Why don’t you get out there and dance?”

I sharply inhale ready to give another rehearsed answer. S___ reads my eyes and continues.

“ …and I know you know how to dance, don’t deny it.”

I pause and lower my Red-Bull/jaeger in mock defeat. I lean in closer. Her eyes playfully smile at me under the low lights of the club. There’s no cocaine in my blood, yet my heart beats rapidly against my chest and my senses are heightened. I'm fully aware of my surroundings. Her sweet perfume swirls in my head along with the smoke of my clove. For the first time in what seems like decades I feel alive. The rusted gears and cogs have begun to rumble to life.

I narrow my eyes and grin at her from beneath the brim of my vintage fedora. “Because I’m too old.”

She leans in close, playing the game expertly. “You can never be too old to dance.”

“Yeah, who told you that?”

“ Someone I used to know... somebody wise.”

Friday, March 31, 2006

a moment

I’ve been clean now for five days. No booze, no rock, no coke, nothing at all except bottled water and sleep… lots of sleep. I’m exhausted. Thursday I called in sick and spent the day sleeping. Friday I worked half a day and drank ten cups of coffee and I still snoozed like a preemie in an incubator.

This morning I find myself at my favorite coffee shop slowly savoring a vanilla latte. In between sips I surf and try to write as I unsteadily click on a friend’s laptop cause this joint’s equipped with blue-tooth wireless. My eyelids feel as though they have ten-pound weights attached to them. Most of my concentration is going toward keeping myself from nodding off. I feel like a narcoleptic and my body aches. I popped a couple of ibuprofin 800's to stave off this biting migraine.

My ipod holds 10,000 songs yet I have only one continuously on repeat. It’s one of those tunes you just can’t get out of your head once it finds a place there to stretch its legs, curl up, and kick back like a lazy cat.

Strangely, despite my overwhelming fatigue, my mind feels at ease and the desire to light or shoot up seems miles and miles away. I truly hope I can remain strong. Today is Monday and my agenda tonight is to go out with some old friends, have a couple of cocktails, some laughs, and nothing more than that.

Beautiful dawn - You're just blowing my mind again. Thought I was born to endless night, until you shine.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

soup kitchen blues

Saturday afternoon and I’m serving up bowls of hot soup at the homeless shelter with a buddy of mine… Heath. He asked me to help him out cause he’s got a deal going on with the guy who runs the kitchen that any hours his friend's wind up working will be added to his community service log. Heath got popped with two back-to-back dui’s and he’s damned lucky he didn’t have to serve jail time. Instead, he got strapped with hefty fines, ‘alcoholics anonymous’ classes, a revoked license, random drug testing, and a shit-load of community service hours. So Heath struck up a deal with me that for every hour I work with him he would pay me ten bucks cash so he can knock out the community service hours as quickly as possible. I’m pretty hard up for funds right now so I agreed. I figure: ten bucks per hour untaxed, three hot meals, and the chance to meet some interesting characters… hell, why not? Plus, I don’t have much else to do on Saturday besides get high and lay around my shit-hole apartment thinking about how hungry I am. So here I am resplendent in a hair net, gray dickies, and a mechanic's shirt I bought at the thrift store with a name patch that ironically reads: “ Jesus.”

Heath’s been working the soup kitchen now for several weeks and he’s in good with the transients, bums, and junkie regulars. I met a few of them while on break standing around the front entrance smoking Pall Malls. I’m pretty bad with names and the ones I actually can recall all have zany nicknames. For instance there’s the crazy tweaker named “Arkansas Dave.” He has a 3 ft long scraggly ZZ Top beard. He seems normal enough in conversation, as normal as a tweaked-out meth addict will be, but when he’s alone the guy will completely fly off the handle shouting at the top of his lungs at the imaginary demons of his past. There’s “Jim Crow,” a 300 lb former member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Very scary dude at first but once you get to know him he’s a really down to earth guy - a stand-up guy who’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. There’s “Betty Boop,” a former stripper heroin addict who has most of her upper front teeth rotted away and a lazy eye. There was a time she’d get by on looks alone, bouncing from man to man, from sugar-daddy to sugar-daddy. Time ran out for Betty Boop. Her looks faded. She became a junkie. Her kids were confiscated by the state. And the rest, as they say, is history. She still spreads her legs, bounces from man to man from cot to cot, but now it’s because she’s sickeningly lonely or needs to get a fix. In fact, she even tried to come on to me by the back storage room and I graciously declined her offer.

There were a few more but these were the ones that stuck out in my mind. I promised Heath I’d do a couple more Saturday’s with him so I hope to sit down with some of these guys and collect some stories to share.

Monday, March 27, 2006

paved with best intentions

Tonight I find myself at another dive outside city limits named the “Batters Up” club. Old school, hip-hop, and rap is spinning on the tables and beers are two dollars a draft. The place is crawling with cholo’s, jaina’s, and even whitey’s who think they’re down with la raza. There is an uneasy tension in the air. I see it. I can read the signs… huddled conversations held in dark corners, menacing backward glances, and brazen macho posturing. Every guy has a shaved head, sports a moustache or a goatee, and wears an oversized football or basketball jersey. Every girl in the place is dressed like a fucking hooker in too tight, too revealing, disposable clothing.

Everyone is overweight.

I’m an outsider here. A couple of guys I know at work invited me down for a couple of drinks. Tonight I am a guest in their world. But it’s obvious I’m out of my element. The choice of drink I ordered, the way I sit in my stool, the nervous glint in my eye… these are all dead giveaways. I wouldn’t dare venture in here alone. I’d surely get jumped, robbed, and left out in an alley to hopefully bleed to death and die. I’ve never understood the banger lifestyle. I was never truly a part of this scene. I had way too much book smarts and not enough street smarts. I always had too much to lose.

Up until a year ago I always told people I met, with confidence and flirtatious charm, that I was a student at the university. That I had a future. I always told people I had only 36 credits left to graduate.

Every year since the age of eighteen I’ve had only 36 credits left to graduate.

Every evening spent passed out on some strangers couch, or asleep in an alley, or catatonic on a park bench… I’ve had only 36 credits left to graduate.

Every failed relationship, every fuck up, every time I walk the line I have only 36 credits left to graduate.

Every wasted day I spend at my brainless, degrading job taking orders from inept, stupid-fuck managers I’m 36 credits away from graduating. Every second spent blankly staring at a computer monitor… working just hard enough to remain employed… a clock puncher… an order taker… a yes man… flying below the radar and slightly just above it… snorting coke in the company bathroom… a loser… a failure… a tweaker… a drunk… I am and always will be 36 credits away from graduating.

I could have graduated from college. I had half of my credits completed upon graduating high school. I could have finished college but I couldn’t get up in the morning or go to bed at night… I was too damned lazy. If I had I would have gone on to graduate school and you wouldn’t be reading these words right now because I’d be out driving around in my BMW changing the world one lawsuit, one surgery, one bestseller at a time. And my life would have had more worth… or not. I’m thinking I would have wound up doing the exact same thing I’m doing now but worse. Wealth would guarantee easier access to drugs and women.

I’d have fallen farther and harder.

So I find myself here at the “Batters Up” or “McPhie’s” or “Jim’s Tiki Lounge” or “Dee Jay’s” or “the Barbary Coast.” So I find myself hiding in these dive bars among the cast-off’s and riff raff and I don't have a clue from what. I’m another face among the drunks, the tweakers, the dreamers, the bikers, the winos, the bangers, the lost and the hopeless. And without doubt everywhere I go, to everyone I meet, I am forever considered an outsider...

... does this mean there might still be a place waiting for me in the “real” world?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ballad of Father William

It's three a.m. I should be sleeping.

Tonight I smoked some blubonic chronic. A perfect, purple bud lined with yellow hair that would probably shine like Kryptonite if I held it under a black light. I methodically picked it apart and spread it out, nice and neat, on a worn, torn, year-old issue of Rolling Stone. I packed the bowl tight. Ninety-nine cent gas station Bic click-click-clicked sputtering to life. Radioactive stupid-smoke filled my lungs as I tried hard not to cough. Held it in making sure thirsty capillary bags absorbed the sorcerers' THC magic. Closed my eyes as the high gently lapped over my brain like a rising tide.

Lost track of time. I can't decide whether it passed me by or I'm thinking too fast for it to keep up. A thousand thoughts, all of them profound, in the span of one commercial break. I zone out for a moment listening to the white noise, television snow as my dumb ears are now perfectly in tune to the nether-frequency where the dead speak...

Earlier Conan O’Brien made me laugh and I think he's gifted. Fucking brilliant and quick witted - and I know he's performing just for me. I watched him verbally fence with guests and I'm wearing paranoid liars' goggles.

I see fake people.

There are moments in this alien advanced state, this barren waste, I question my life - a life less than ordinary and hardly extraordinary. I'm alone drifting along in self-induced seclusion. I'm lazy and un-ambitious, exquisitely reckless and unabashedly unapologetic. God knows I've fucked myself up beyond recognition and I'll probably continue to do so again and again and again and again.

It begins to rain outside and I hear sirens.

I flip the channel to Springer and immerse myself in other people's drama and problems as mine shrink away to the size of Mike Teevee subatomic micro-particles. The numb sensation slowly returns and again I don't give a fuck what may come... as long as I have my remote control and a tasty bowl of “Honey Bunches of Oats."

Monday, March 20, 2006

Ridin' the Rails

St. Patrick’s day is a lot like Thanksgiving except instead of eating, you drink. Instead of making the rounds, traveling house to house seeing family and friends, you buy some rounds and hop from bar to bar. St. Patty’s day is a drinker’s holiday. Of course, a drinker doesn’t need an excuse, such as St. Patty’s day, to drink. But it sure is nice having everyone out with you getting belligerent fucked up.

Friday night was a blur.

Somehow found myself at a gay club meeting up with some friends and we wound up staying. A total dive, bottom-rung bar. An old warehouse half-assedly converted into a dance floor and a tiny stage for the occasional drag show. I’m fucked up beyond comprehension. Shot after shot, line after line, and three breathy hits of rock make my heart race and twitch with rapid-fire palpitations. Nervous twitching, and I don’t give a fuck where I am, just enjoying the taste of Red-Bull and licorice. Around me tanned shirtless fags in baggy pants gyrate to house and progressive beats with a Madonna track or two thrown in for good measure.

There’s only one bathroom in the joint. I’m waiting in line to take a piss. All the stalls are occupied with dude’s fucking and sucking or giggling fag-hags snorting coke, and I really do have to pee bad. I’m dancing, but not to the music. An old Navajo standing next to me who’s wearing too much base and a suit of faded denim, matching jacket and jeans, keeps smiling at me. He smells like soap and flowers and his face is riddled with pot marks. He asks me if I’m here with anyone. I tell him “yeah, with some friends.” He asks me if I have a boyfriend so I ask him if he’s got any go. He says no so I say yes and that’s that and I turn away. I finally get sick of waiting. I go outside to pee. I stand alone in a dark corner, a long trail of steaming piss trickling out of my dick. My eyes roll back in my head, it feels so damn good. A group of Mexican queens walk by and strain their necks to stare at my junk. I flash one of them a toothy grin and they all snicker. " Aye Papi!" I stay outside puffing a Primetime sitting on the curb alone with my thoughts enjoying my high, the steady bass line shaping and molding my frenetic emotions.

I show the door guy my stamp and stride back in on wobbly legs. The nice thing about this place is the bartenders don’t cut you off. I order another Jaegerbomb, light up another cigarillo, and lean back on the bar by myself to people watch. A super-hot, little blonde fag-hag asks me for a match. I oblige and open my Las Vegas playing-card zippo with a clink and light her up like a film-noir tough-guy. Her arm’s tatted so I ask her about her work with glazed, dilated eyes. We awkwardly converse for a while with raised voices until I lose interest and saunter off without a goodbye looking for my gay friend, Nathen. He’s on the dance floor with some trailer-park fag bumping and grinding to 50 cent's "Candyshop." He has the glass vial of blow in his pocket and I’m fiending so I work my way out to the center of the floor twisting and writhing around sweaty bodies. I feel a hand grab my crotch. I jump back with a start but no one steps forward and I’m not about to make a scene. I finally reach Nathen and he hands off the blow with a sly handshake just like a mob boss tipping a valet.

I wait in the restroom line for another twenty minutes or so quietly listening to soft groans and the occasional lip smack. Once a stall opens up I aggressively claim it as mine and deftly kick the door shut and lock it with a sneakered toe. It’s fucking disgusting. The toilet has overflowed and my feet suction to the sticky, shit-smeared floor with every step I take like a midget in a David Lynch film. I spread the powder on the toilet paper dispenser, cut up two rails with my Visa check card, and roll up my crisp fiver and enjoy. I stand back for a sec counting ceiling tiles. “I say GOD-DAMN!” Head rush giddiness followed by a wave of cocky calm as the drip works it’s way down my throat - acrid fairy-dust drip, my favorite part. I think about it all the time even when I sleep, or work, or fuck, or dream.

I walk out of the bathroom and again I see the same old Navajo waiting in line. I wink at him as I walk past as though I’ve known him my whole life.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lacking

Writers block. Forcing these words is like forcing a turd riddled with clumps of corn. I squat before my computer screen red in the face, eyes squinty, palms sweaty. Writing should be fun. It should be pleasurous and it should therapute and it should cathart. (Note the made up words because real words escape me and are ill fitted to my purpose) So I throw up a prayer and turn on a tune. I type out a paragraph of perfectly pure, tru-blue bullshit. And then predictably delete the whole horrendous heap with a couple of resonant clicks. Yes, words escape me. Other writers intimidate me, better writers, including myself. I reread old pieces of mine and shake my head in disbelief at how slick I might have once been. Sparing use of simile and metaphor. Subtle techniques meant to engage the reader, cause God knows the typical blog surfer has the attention span of a hyperactive field mouse on crack. Hell I even expertly used words I presently don’t know the meanings of.

My record is 75 comments. It happened sometime in July and I was at my flirtatious best pounding out pseudo- romantic, pseudo-edgy, pseudo-intellectual tripe. I still am, though with a lot less romance and a tad more morosity, monstrosity, and abject moronity. Pretentious as always, don't worry. Where have all the comments gone? I stepped out of the game. I left the mutual back scratching, dick sucking, and disingenuous complimenting by the roadside holding a sign reading: “will write for praise.” Thinned links and trimmed fat tossed behind my back for hungry dogs to fight over with yip-yelping teeth gnashing. It’s a Darwinistic struggle for survival, for the highest spot in the blogospheric ecological system, or ultimately, that fairy-tale book deal.

I heard someone describe it as the whispering of ghosts... these friendships... these crushes. These love affairs based on words written on a page that could or couldn’t be real. Am I real? No. Yes. Maybe. Or I might be a machine randomly stringing together phrases stolen from other people’s writings - a thief of the mind. A kleptomanic pocketing the abstract stealing away in the night with a duffel bag full of non-things. A satchel full of non-ideas I’ve come to peddle like a central park drug dealer with a mouth full of shrink-wrapped crack-rock.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Art of War or General Tso's Chicken

Saturday night. I'm sitting down to dinner with a buddy of mine, Jimmy. We're at this hole-in-the-wall Chinese joint I know. A great little place: nice ambiance, reasonable prices, and fantastic food. It's a family-owned Ma and Pop establishment. It's one of those places you really can't, nor shouldn't, tell anyone about because it's your little secret. Your own private Idaho.

Jimmy's filling me in on some shit that happened earlier.

“ So this guy is tailgating me the entire way. We're talking seven or eight blocks. I'm starting to get annoyed at this point...”

“ Uh-huh.” I casually poke at my kung-pao shrimp. As usual, it’s absolutely perfect - spicy as hell, plenty of peanuts, hardly any celery. I believe Chinese restaurants that overload their entrees with celery are cheap. Jimmy ordered the Almond Chicken. I notice that he keeps adding soy sauce to his dish.

“ So what did you do dude?"

“ This fat fuck keeps riding my ass right? I tap my brakes a couple times. His bumper is still literally inches behind mine. This fucking creep knows I'm pissed and he intentionally starts getting closer. I'm going ape-shit.”

“ No shiiiiit. What a fucker.” Outside our window we hear a junkie shouting at a Ferrari. I blow on a steaming spoonful of egg-drop soup.

“ Yeah. So check this out. At the next stoplight this piece of shit is sitting there shouting at me and flipping ME off... like I'M the one who fucked up you know?”

“ What did you do?” I take a long pull from my beer. I look up at Jimmy and again I notice he's dumping soy sauce onto his plate. I hear a woman two booths behind me giggling uncontrollably.

By this point Jimmy's pretty animated - he's waving his arms around as he tells his story, wildly striking and jabbing at the air. “ So I grab my gun out of the glove box and throw open my car door. As I approach him this dip-shit is halfway out of his ride so I kick his door in as hard as I can. He's squeezed in there like he's caught in a god damned vice!”

“ Whoa, nice.” Jimmy's grinning like a Cheshire cat. He pauses for a moment intently looking outside. I then see him reach for the soy sauce.

“Jimmy, hey would you mind?!”

“ What?”

“ You keep dumping soy sauce onto your food.”

“ So what?”

“ It's annoying. Why the hell did you even order the almond chicken? You could have just ordered a plate of steamed rice and ate that with soy sauce.”

“What's your problem? Calm dow...”

“ Do YOU think the chef intended for you to completely ruin his creation the way you have? Jesus Christ, you have no fucking class. No sense of culture at all! How about asking the waitress for a bottle of ranch next time?!”

“ Are you kidding me? This is a joke right?”

Two minute dead silence as we stare at each other across the table. The entire restaurant seems to freeze up... turning red as it holds it's breath. And I'm a race car in the red. I exhale a loud sigh and take another swallow of my beer. I turn back to Jimmy and hold up the bottle.

“ Yes... I am kidding. Just breaking your balls.... Salut....”

“ I hope so motherfucker. You insult me in a dream you'd better wake up and apologize... Salut.”

I grin and finish my Kirin.

I toss my napkin onto my empty plate. As I rise I slide the black plastic tray holding the bill over to Jimmy's side of the table. “O.K Charley Bronson, you're buying... let's go get us some of that Saturday night fever.”

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Good Times

Jukebox belts out tired, tried, and true tunes: Seger, ZZ Top, some Skynyrd. Low light dive bar I know outside of town where all of the bikers go. Classic joint just like the one in “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” right down to the long line of dusty Harley’s, a humming neon sign that irregularly blinks on and off, and the occasional tumbleweed slowly sauntering by.

White v-neck tight t-shirt and classic 501’s complete with a dangling chain. I look like a greaser. I even got the pompadour mutton chop sideburn and Errol Flynn Robin Hood style goattee combo going on. Full wanna-be poseur regalia but I’m still blending in. I’ve earned my wings. I’ve ridden, fucked, and fought alongside a lot of these guys.

I’m here with my buddy Dave.

Took the day off work today so I could have him help me fix up my bike at his shop. Burned daylight drinking Bud, snorting blow, and shooting the shit with Dave and his motley assortment of dirtball customers. I also managed to crack open the gunked-up carburetor case, de-rust the gas tank, and swap out the chain, sparkplugs, and battery. I’m determined to ride this year. No chance in Hell I’m going to waste another summer on the sidelines stroking my dick watching the world pass me by. Dave’s always cool to help me out when he’s got the time. The only repayment he asks for is that I buy the beer and clean up the shop. This includes sweeping up the joint, dumping out the oil into a huge drum in the back, and putting shit away – tools and parts. In return he helps me wrench but more importantly teaches me how to repair my ride. Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance and all that shit. It’s a nice arrangement.

The place is poppin.

There’s electricity in the air, the good and the bad kind. You see the beautiful thing about this spot is you never know what’s going to happen next. One second everyone’s slamming shots and toasting the good life and the next all hell breaks loose: guys talkin shit, fists flying, and chairs breaking. The funny part is after everything settles down, when the dust clears, the barkeep pours fresh steins and everyone is cool again hugging and back-slapping. That is… until the next drunken altercation.

We rode in Dave’s pick up. He’s not drinking because he’s got to be up early tomorrow to see his kids so I have carte blanche to get royally fucked up tonight. I’m up to my eyeballs in Red-Bull jaegers, Lucky Strikes, and hard-bodies. I’m yakking it up with a super-hot brunette named Cami. I know her from way back. We used to party quite extensively in the day and she’s got the night off from the pole. The only reason she’s even in this greasy joint is because I promised her I’d be here. So she made the drive out to the desert with a couple of her friends. She’s classy like that. And she’ll most likely be stumbling out with Dave and I after last call. The usual routine: we’ll fuck, she’ll puke, and then we’ll sleep off our buzzes on Dave’s pull out. And then tomorrow we'll say awkward good bye's and go our seperate ways and that'll be that.

But for now, as we hide behind grinning masks and like stage actors half-assedly run through our lines... but for now, between playful body shots, stolen kisses, and earnest glances... but for now, as we clumsily grope each other in the dark...

we are assuredly in love.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Groundhog Day

The weather is getting warmer - downtown park and I find sleeping junkies underneath groggy trees as cool breezes rustle soggy leaf puddles. It's t-shirt season and I’m in torn 501’s, Chuck’s, and a black zippered hoodie. A green military cap pulls back greasy uncombed hair falling in frizzy curls around my neck hiding the white buds feeding Cat Stevens into thirsty ears. Wearing over-sized Willy Wonka shades that pitch the world in tones of gray I sit on a park bench chewing gum.

I remember when I was small my mom would tell me to chew gum as the plane took off rocketing us into space. She said it'd “pop my ears,” she'd say this, and I didn't have the faintest idea what it meant but I'd chew and chew. I'd chew and stare out the portcullis hole watching the world grow smaller and smaller to miniature proportions like a tiny electric train-set landscape. I used to think the roads and highways far, far below were the state borders as you'd see on an atlas or Rand McNally map. Naive thoughts of youth. I remember I also used to think the world was black and white back in the day and that's why Mr. Bogart, Mr. Gable, Abbott and Costello, and the l'il Rascals were always cast in high contrast shades of crackling gray. I asked my Grandpa this and I remember he laughed and laughed... and then he played along so I thought the world was black and white for another year.

And maybe it was... sure, maybe it was... except in Oz.

Gum chewing, neck jerking... nervous habits like biting my nails or always locking car doors. Headache coming on like a rider on the storm and I'm sitting on this filthy park bench waiting for some guy I met through a guy who's now an hour late with my eighth. Wad of cash burning a hole in my pocket and I'm starting to get nervous. Starting to trip hard as bums approach like zombies... a slow relentless advance. Tweaker jaw tweaking and eyes flicking about like a lizard tongue zipping 20 feet to swallow a stink-beetle. Cops lazily circle round and round staring hard through smoked glass, mustaches, and mirrored aviators.

And a tsunami quietly advances on a white beach somewhere.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

listen carefully...

The old man was true to his word. He promised to bring me back a bottle, which he did. As he also promised we’d drink together again. I read his face. Expressionless. Hardened. A swirling sea of swirling lines - a mess of memories. I met him a year ago in the usual spot at the usual time as I told the usual tales to nobody in particular.

Shimmering subconscious shadows flickering across the silver screen of falling snow. A surreal scene, so synthetic, like a Japanese anime. Frozen water floats by suspended in mid-air slow-mo magical calm. Yellow smiles rotten teeth and bloodshot eyes as my companion and I sit in stillness in the dark on a park bench shivering cold passing the brown bag back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. As we spoke in tears of fifteen years of wasted life.

Have you any dreams you'd like to sell?
Dreams of loneliness...
Like a heartbeat...drives you mad...
In the stillness of remembering what you had...
And what you lost.


Numb.

Numb.

Junk dreams. Set scene: twitching arm, torn couch, rotten bowl of Cheerios and the shivering sound of a twisting coil of maggot. Alcohol burn meth-rage replaced with numb. Need to sleep. Needle full of junk. Need to sleep. Crushed Thorazine fairy dust dripping down my throat and it tastes like shit. Need to sleep. Stupid eyes as Bugs Bunny and friends flicker across dead retina. Rods and cones refuse to fire… only white noise across miles of rusted wire. Deeper and deeper in space and a million miles below… so damned cold. Listening to the steady beat of leathery wings.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I’m hunting rabbit.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Reunion

Hipster coffee-shop downtown. I sit in a shadowy corner booth sipping chai tea nursing a stubborn winter cold that won’t go away. Bundled up like a beatnik Eskimo in my bespoke shearling lambskin coat, fingerless gloves, and colorful scarf an ex girlfriend knitted. Hair’s grown out now to nappy mod-60’s-shag proportions complete with complementary 70’s-style sideburns and every third Friday of the month is open mic poetry night so the place is jump-and-jiving with pretentious artsy types so I blend in well.

I’m chilling with an old high school buddy who’s in town for a few days. He’s all grown up now, a professor. He teaches literature in upstate New York and every time we meet it’s bittersweet. He embodies what I could have been and I embody, to him, the quintessential Nietzschian figure. Tragically fallen from grace. He believes I chose the wrong path and threw away the “gift.”

Which I most likely did.

“ You really should be in Manhattan taking pictures. You know, it’s not too late. It really isn't. You're still young...” He tells me with patient optimism, in between sips of espresso, as though he’s a father addressing a volatile child.

I pause and sullenly gaze at him from beneath my oversized Tyler Durden gas-station aviators. And again I remind him that I'm broke and that I pawned my camera off a long time ago so I could pay hospital bills after I crashed my bike. Of course what he doesn’t know is that I actually drank that money away. Of course what he doesn’t know is that I've given up. That I'm disenchanted. That I'm not the same eccentric, bright-eyed, funny kid he knew in High School once upon a time. Perhaps he doesn't realize I simply don't care anymore.

Or perhaps he does know and he’s too polite to call me on it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Aeternitas

I am a vampire. I am ancient. I thirst. I hurt. No words today or perhaps ever. I seek inspiration. I need reason. I need a life-giving infusion, a spark, that deep inhalation of acrid white smoke filling my lungs and super-charging my brain. For I am hollow. Dry. Brittle. I am undead re-animated flesh.

Nine-inch spikes tear skin and sinewy tendon, bore through bone. Thoughts of salvation. Redemption. Regret. Damnation. And I turn to you and through clenched teeth with raspy breath ask you:

“ remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom.”

I think of her.

Images click through my mind in split-second succession: her eyes, her hair, her skin, her hate, her pain, her death. She is incorruptible. I see her swathed in white satin looking angelic a hundred years from now, a thousand years from now, entombed beneath glass. Breathless. Cold. Untouched by the hellish wrath of decomposition. A saint. Wearing red lipstick one might expect to find on the base of a penis. My sweet. O’ may I lay down with you and join you in your sweet sleep. My Ligeia. As suffering and time and worms march across our still eyelids. Statues locked in a stiff embrace never to be re-awakened for all eternity… or until Christmas… or whatever comes soonest.

Now.

Reeking of dried shit, piss and clammy sweat. The needle zeros in with deadly precision, like a gps guided missile, finding a spot along the vein void of gangrene or bloat or dried blood. The magic spot. The big G. A garish red “X” painted on in marker. The pirate booty. Buried therein a time capsule housing millions of cells housing millions of years of evolution and survival, marked by this one moment of de-evolution, of self-mutilation, of self-destruction. And the Darwin award goes to…

Yes, I confess… I lie. More to myself than to you, yet I lie nonetheless. For I have sinned. Again and again and again. I’m a liar and a cheat and a junkie.

“ And I’ll tell you things that you already know so you can say:
'I really identify with you, so much.'
And all the time that you’re needing me is just the time
That I’m bleeding you, don’t you get it yet?”


That’s why you hate me. That’s why they love me. They? I am the pied piper of Hamelin and we are legion. The disenchanted. The lost. The drunks. The fiends.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Legend

Drunk, horny old dude leaning next to the bar with a lecherous smile tells every girl who walks by: “ Damn. You’re hot.” Same line over and over like an LP belting out Beatles tunes on crackling repeat. Black and white visions of John and Paul, with nappy mop-top haircuts, running through a sea of sobbing girls and flash-bulbs.

But that was yesterday.

The chorus of screams has died down. The hysteria of youth now replaced with a dull, barely-audible buzzing sound as his ticker struggles to pump blood through expired veins and clogged arteries. He’s an old tin can in a ratty bag full of tin cans collected next to a busy freeway overpass. Obsolete. Yesterday’s model sitting on a dusty thrift store shelf marked ten cents. No man’s treasure, every man’s trash. Whiskey-dreams and faded memories fuel his courage. Nothing to lose at this point, everything to gain. His pride sleeps in the bottom of a dumpster in a sticky puddle of garbage-juice. A pride long ago abandoned by it’s owner.

Yet in quieter moments, when he's alone in the bathroom taking a whiz on wobbly legs, when he's introspectively gazing in the mirror at his grizzled reflection, he swears he's still the same high school football hero who fucked the homecoming queen.

He's even told me, with misdirected trust and beaming pride , that he looks like Johnny Lawrence.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Artist

“ So kid what is this website you're maintaining? This... blog?”

“ You seen it?”

“ Yeah I read it every now and again.”

“ Well, it's a collection of paintings.”

“ Paintings? They're just a bunch of stories.”

“ No, they're paintings. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph is a brush stroke.. a burst of color. Interplay between light and dark – chiaroscuro. And the page itself is a blank wall where all of these paintings, all of these canvasses, hang for the entire world to see. To enjoy or to hate or to ignore or to piss on or what have you.”

“ Paintings of what?”

“ My life.”

“ Are they real?”

“ Yes... No.”

“ Which is it? They're either real or they aren't.”

“ None of it's true yet at the same time all of it is.”

“ OK Edward Nigma, what does that mean?”

“ It's physics.”

“ Physics?”

“ Conservation of energy. Those stories didn't just spontaneously generate. They came from somewhere. They came from my life... from my experiences. Converted from one form of energy into another. A cathartic metamorphisis of raw emotion, be it pain or joy, into an abstract collection of words that tell the tale of said experience... or any similair moment experienced by anyone under similair circumstances.”

“ I don't get it.”

“ Maybe I'm not explaining myself very well. I'm hungry.”

“ And you publish these stories for complete strangers to read?”

“ Who better? These strangers have no idea who the fuck I am. There are no preconceived notions except those I place on the page. No stereotypes except those I allow them to formulate in their heads. No boundaries except those I create for myself to adhere to.”

" Playing God?"

" No. I stay within the realms of the true. I cannot write fiction. I never could. Yet some of the settings are fictitious. The characters are real yet names are changed. None of it is chronological. Yet it all happened. What tale I tell depends wholly on my mindset... or what's playing on my radio."

“ Sounds fun.”

“ It is. You should start a blog.”

“ Nah.”

“ Why not?”

“ I ain't got time for that shit.”

Beautifully Broke

Matters of money, as with matters of love or getting fucked, will invariably ebb and flow. “ Feast or famine,” says my buddy Kenny with surety and conviction in his voice. In the meantime I count my crowns and pesos piled up in neat little rows like Bob Cratchett in the cold counting house through fingerless gloves in dumbfounded disbelief like some fucking dumb-ass idiot glancing at his pitiful excuse of a paycheck. I lay in bed watching MTV and VH1 as celebrity spender’s and trust-fund bitches jetset to exotic locales, snort coke, and wash down pills with chilled Cristal and my fridge is bare. I’m getting skinny now you know. Perhaps it’s the hours of blank jogging on my treadmill as my downstairs crack-head neighbor who looks like Grace Jones tippety-taps the ceiling with a broom. My cheekbones protrude and my veins stick out as if I’ve been reborn at sixteen years old. Too bad heroin-chic went out a decade ago. God, I hate being hungry. All I can afford at this point is my gym pass and a bottle of Ancient Aged I shoot alone as my landlord quietly listens by the door checking to see if I’m home cause I’m 2 months late on rent.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

some thoughts jotted on a napkin

The bass line drowns out my depression and all else as I sit and gently stir my Red Bull/Vodka under the neon black-light hullabaloo circus. She dances seductively-trashy maintaining eye contact hoping my gaze will flit down to her glowing French-manicured fingers as they outline her mound which “aches for me so.” Licking of lips, witty pick up one-liners, and a quick wink. Hoping. Tempting. Wanting. Waiting for the green shit to be thrown up on the counter, mindful of the no-touching rule, one… two… three… four… fueling men’s dreams…give or take a five-spot or a rail of white shit or a shot of Patron or some Oxycontin. Dealing in pleasure and false hopes and one-night-stand hot threesomes with her and her girlfriend trippin’ on Ex as the trance/techno ticks the time away. Double up rubber armor donned in awkward haste racing to beat the premature ejaculation thinkin’ about Mother Theresa and rotten road-kill dead-dogs whom were once loved but now gone, lost, and forgotten. My cousin sits awestruck hypnotized by round ass and tan lines jiggling like Jell-O fruit salad which he swears he’ll toss. He’s a filthy motherfucker, my cousin, that’s why I love him. My wingman. My dog.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Snowman

The snowfall is as thick as a supernatural fog. In the swirling clouds I see shadows. Faces appear to me, jump out at me, like fun-house phantasms and then dissolve as quickly as they came. Perhaps they recede back into the cavernous emptiness of my memories.

Silence. The only sound is the cruel whistling of the wind and the occasional flip-flap of my hood. The world is dead as my soul is dead. I stand alone. Like Rip Van Winkle I’ve awoken from a hundred year ethereal sleep only to find desolation. Only to find deserted streets. Vacant eyes framed in brick peer down as I gaze up at the breathing, zig-zagging sky. My legs tremble beneath me like I’m tweaking. Lucid lithium dreaming. I feel dizzy. The strength and vigor I once knew as a youth has escaped me. I think it runs through the trees with the whispering dryad ghosts.

As I walk on I can hear the soft crunch of the snow beneath my feet. Can the dead who rest in the ground below hear my footfalls? In their shadowy slumber through lidless sockets, they see pitch black - even blacker than black my glimmering shadow floats by as a distant train billows smoke into the nuclear sky. And the dead forever grin through lipless smiles.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Cognizance City

Dying mumblings of an old man send me west. Four hundred ticks beyond the desolate Necropolis, the city of dead words, lies the bustling port-city of ideas. This is the meeting point- the crux. It is the final edge, or rather the beginning, or rather the still-beating pulse of this land: where reality gives way to the fantastic... or vice versa. The silk roads converge here. It is here where the world's mysticism is reinterpreted, repackaged, and then carted east by sharp toothed merchants to the dry outlying wilderness. It is here, in this sprawling city, lie scattered large halls where scribes exhaustively record and transcribe all thoughts, fantasies, passing notions, and ideas into infinite volumes. Materialization of pulses, these ideas, that float and hover around us unseen... into words. These texts are sent north, to the great royal libraries in Seraphim, to merely gather dust and be forgotten and then to ultimately die.

Or so I was told as a child... Or so I was sung as the flickering candlelight made the shadows dance and play.

I arrive into the city at dusk. All around me are the sounds of commerce. Shrewd exchanging of hands. This is a mercantile city, an ancient city, where might is measured not by the sword or by gold, but by thought. I arrive penniless and defenseless and my mind is still ill at ease. The journey was arduous and my caravan is exhausted. Yet I push on. I progress deeper into the metro-bowels and my bewilderment increases. Blank faces. Everywhere I turn I find emptiness, completely void of conviction or direction. No purpose. Something has alarmingly changed. Distrusting eyes weave in and out of the shadows. The occasional glint of firelight off a gold tooth or an ornate buckle draws my attention away from the task at hand. Strange men with even stranger smiles beckon me into dark alleys promising fame, fortune, and earthly pleasures. " A girl for you? We have young ones too, cheap, one great idea and she's yours for the night. Or do you like boys?" I ignore them and turn away pretending not to hear.

I seek something but I know not why. Or how. Something rare and coveted... inspiration. Before he passed the old man said I might find her here. “ In the heart, by the great hall, where only the wealthiest men - the thinkers, languidly sip wine and play chess.” These were his final directions, cryptic instructions. And here I am in the center of the city and I find only inanition. A deserted hall. Deserted streets. Empty minds. What once existed now doesn't. Or perhaps never did. Or perhaps the tales of old lie. Deceitful fables intended to mislead and fuel dreams and spawn hope. In fact, this entire city is a lie.

Or perhaps, just maybe, I am in the wrong place.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Fellatio

“ We call them nodders. You know what I'm talking about. You’ll almost always find them standing in the front row during team meetings.”

“ Nodders? What, as in “nodding” off to sleep?”

“ Hardly. As in nodding in complete agreement. They hang-on to every word... every fucking syllable... uttered by the boss. Ass-kissers.”

“ Example?”

“ O.K, I witnessed this just yesterday in department meeting. So J____ says: ‘ Hey guys, we’re down 20 basis points. Unacceptable. You hear me? This is totally unacceptable. This has to change immediately... ’ And P____’s sitting there in the front row nodding away like a fucking baboon with Lou Gherig’s disease.”

“ No shit.”

" Then J___ goes on to say: ' For the next two weeks we'll all be working mandatory overtime. Until the job is done.' Again, more nodding. Fuck! P___ - what a cocksucker!"

" Fucking lame man."

“ Tell me about it. Then J___ finishes this bullshit diatribe with: ‘ ...and all of you are a bunch of dickless shit-head faggots. I should do us all a favor and fire your sorry asses.’ And there’s P___ nodding his head yet again fucking agreeing with him!”

“ What the fuck?!? Really?”

“ I swear to God!”

“ *chuckle* I call bullshit dude.”

“ Well, um... yeah... all right, the last part is. But it COULD have happened."

Friday, January 06, 2006

Nowhere Man

Another chilly day as we huddle outside on smoke break in a tight circle shooting the daily shit. And there you stand outside of our circle with an oxymoronic expression of rapt attention and feigned disinterest. Like a dog craving the affections of its master you crave to “belong” to our group. To any group. You cautiously wait for the ideal moment to jump into our conversation: to throw in your worthless two cents. Of course, the moment never presents itself. Perhaps the conversation doesn’t suit your tastes. Or perhaps, you simply don’t have the courage. You’ve realized you have absolutely nothing of interest or value to say. You’ve accepted your role, and it’s a dismal one.

Or maybe, WE’RE the uninteresting ones. After all… it’s your world.

I watch you sometimes. You’ll often sit alone dreaming of bygone days when you used to get by with your now faded good looks and repertoire of witty one-liners. We rarely talk. But when we do I’ve noticed the course of our dialog is always carefully steered back to the same tired topic(s) again and again. You. Yes, I am well aware of how much you may have bench-pressed in high school. Yes, I am aware of the fact you used to drive a Lexus. That you hold two degrees. I realize you fuck a lot of women. That you are a fixture in the club circuit. That you have connections all over town, including with the mob. And that you can easily hook me up with any drug of choice. “One call, that’s all.” I’ve heard all of your two-bit stories.

And I don’t believe you.

You tell me things you think I’d want to hear. Like a skillful salesman you establish common ground. You align your interests with mine. On the fly you tweak and modify your personality. And just as quickly change your story when you speak to the next guy. You’re a disingenuous fraud and a fake. A half-baked fabricator of senseless ridiculousness. You are a hollow man. A sham. Smoke and mirrors, lipstick, and glam. A picture-perfect specimen of an aging fucking loser. A nowhere man. You belong in the Smithsonian behind glass right next to wax sculptures of club-wielding Neanderthals, Australopithecines, and various other genetic dead-ends.

I honestly think it’s time you get a fucking clue.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Glimmering below

Machete in hand I hack away at the never-ending onslaught of prickly vines and leaves. The steaming jungle buzzes with life. Although I can’t see any animals I know they’re out there. I catch movement. Dark figures dart and bound about in the shadowy canopy above. The shrill call of hundreds of birds and giant cicada’s drown out my thoughts. Perspiration bleeds down my face into my eyes blurring my vision. My feet sting with an unholy pain. Dirty water, sweat, and a ponderous army of flesh eating bacteria slowly march into my raw exposed blisters that have turned into cuts that have turned into lacerations. Soldiers call this “jungle rot.” I shudder to think how my feet will look when I remove my boots. I quickly force these thoughts into the back of my mind as I numbly tread on.

The hours endlessly drag. I stop to rest mindful not to drink the microbe-infested water. My shirt is soaked through with stench and grime. I remove it and toss it into the river. I watch it drift away caught up in the current. I can’t help but wonder if gigantic crocodiles resting far below in the river’s murky depths silently watch me with their cold, un-gazing, reptilian eyes. I splash cool water onto my face and onto my chest and shoulders. I subconsciously welcome one of these prehistoric killers to suddenly jump out of the water with a loud splash, snatch me up in it’s gaping, powerful jaws, pull me under, and death roll me. My wish is never granted. Under my breath I curse God as I continue onward.

I arrive into a clearing. Scattered about I see crumbling statues. Below my feet is the ancient foundation of a once glorious temple erected by a once glorious civilization. I inspect the sculptures around me. I can vaguely discern ornate patterns and tales of love and hero’s and loss long ago chiseled into the stone faces. I see your eyes, or rather a fading memory in the nondescript, weather worn rock . Decrepit monuments that once represented your beauty, now corroded to dust and tangled up in spider webs, moss, bird droppings, and animal piss. Another structure, an old pillar, represents your heart. Another sculpture, of a woman, represents your dreams. Another, of a shield, represents our solidarity. I pause and look up into the sky. Heavy, dark clouds begin to gather. I hear the muffled boom of thunder break somewhere far, far away. I turn around and the statues have vanished. I see only jungle. I wonder if you even existed.

I wonder if I even care anymore.

I gather my breath, blankly shrug, and limp away. The bowels of the jungle enfold me. The ganglions, nerve-clusters, and gray matter envelop me and deeper into the darkness of my mind I wander.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Creeping

Everyday when I return home after a hard day's work I typically find an empty house. Just the way I like it... as I am a loner. Everything is exactly the same as when I left earlier that morning. Just the way I like it... very messy... as I am a slob. For instance, the coffee maker is still turned on, and has been for days. The dishes are piled up in the sink. The T.V is tuned to CNN and the toilet remains unflushed. A solitary stinking log abjectly floats there with thoughts unto it's own. Every single object has been left undisturbed and untouched. The pizza continues to slowly rot in my fridge. The thermostat is set to 72. Just the way I like it... as I prefer the air cool.

Yet I know you were here during my absence.

Subtle clues only an anal retentive, overly-observant asshole such as myself or possibly a crime scene investigator would pick up on. Fresh tracks in the backyard. Greasy fingerprints on the countertop. Some of the books on my bookshelf have been misplaced. The bedroom door is cracked whereas I always leave it completely closed. A pen is missing from the coffee mug on my desk. I count 9 whereas I always leave 10 in there. The bottle of whiskey I keep in the freezer has been placed on the second shelf. I always keep it in the door. Someone has been sleeping in my bed. It smells funky.

I know you were here you fucking piece of shit. I know you've been rummaging through my things. Prying into my life.

Perhaps it's my fault for leaving the back sliding door unlocked. Perhaps it's my fault for graciously allowing you to stay at my place at one point or another. Now, like a stubborn case of herpes or genital warts, you just won't go away. You keep coming back. And you're sneaky about it too. Cautious. You try to cover your tracks. You try to leave no clues. But I know you were here - your work is sloppy.

You've stayed your welcome. And unless I take decisive action I know you'll keep coming back. You see... to you, it's now an expectation. You EXPECT my door to always be open to you, and your loser friends, and you no longer even bother to leave a couple of bucks on the counter or a “thank you” note before you leave the way you used to. You think you can just show up at my place anytime and simply "hang out" free of fucking charge? Well guess what asshole, you can't. You're no longer a part of MY inner circle of trust. You're no longer a friend. In fact, at this point I deem you an enemy. I think perhaps it's time I start dead-bolting my house and once again assure the sanctity of MY domain. Perhaps it's time I board up the fucking windows so your prying, beady RAT eyes may no longer keep tabs on me, or what I'm up to, or who I'm with.

Maybe it's time I move to a different neighborhood.

OR maybe... just maybe, I think it's time for YOU to go the fuck away and never come back.

This ain't no peep show.

Fuck You.