Friday, September 10, 2010

Respect my worry.

Work is a second life and a second skin. It's not me, but it is. I'm in here, somewhere. I know the tasks and what they mean to "us," to "we" the company. I'm in it. I used to be a different man but with the same flaws. What's changed in me is the worry.

I'm old enough to know that failure doesn't take a lifetime.

Monday, June 14, 2010

No strains.

I'm the second set of eyes. Work is done and put in front of me to dissect. Tear apart to find its faults. There is no optimism in this. There would be no point in looking for the good, you cannot approve upon the "good," and there is no enjoyment in looking for it. It's there, out of the way.

It's the faults that hinder the view. Those mistakes that people make that ruin the shine of life. In being the second eyes I am not the good and I am not the fault, I am the tool that attempts to bring them together in the hope of making a perfect world.

A world where everyone shuts their mouth, and minds their own business so I can tend to mine.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

All Knowledge is Accounted For

The world is indeed flat, ideal for the constant run of technology. It is a hub, connecting life into itself. Beneath this landscape are millions of strands of pulsing fiber optic cables deep in the ground, quietly relaying our speech and thoughts from home to home and then up, rays of data into the atmosphere, deeper, into the far distant yawn of space.


I hadn't worked in months and had found a job at the telecom company in a customer service position. It was all complaints of poor reception, lost minutes, and over charges for text messages and data plans. After a few days of answering phones the managers pulled me aside, if I wanted to keep working I would need to move down to the Interiors Building. I agreed and they stuck me in front the Interference Monitor, a lone computer that's only function was to blink when the main satellite lost signal.

"So, I just stand here?"

I had been guided through the building by an interiors prefect, a huge man of fat, bone, and latticed muscle. He smelled of cinnamon and burnt toast. The screen was fed data by the sea of satellites that hovered above us, invisible. Our department received a stream of information from these satellites in the form of radio waves telling us the strength of cell phone reception across the country. These satellites, twisting in the Godless sky, rang with the ghost voice of American chatter.

"Sit."

"What does this satellite do?"

"Pasha."

"What?"

"The satellite. We named her. She's Pasha."

"What's Pasha do?"

"The usual. Reads the global strength of her brother satellites. Passes along phone calls and text messages. Pure generic civilian data. That’s what we call it. Pointless intel."

"That's it? Seems like a waste to have it floating in space just to bounce around phone calls. It could be out there looking for life. Water. Stuff like that."

"Oh, she does."

Each day, nothing happened. I drank coffee and stared at the screen, waiting for the satellite to speak to me. It was a mindless job, but it kept me away from people and I was paid well enough. They couldn’t have a machine watch another machine since they hadn’t figured out what would happen if the initial surveillance machine was faulty. They would need a never ending chain of electronic eyes; all watching each other, but that would cost the company too much so they opted for me. Human to machine contact was the cheapest option.

The big man came and went. His position gave him access to all the company had to offer and he was free to wander the departments, free to touch anything. He would drop by every few hours and during my graveyard watch I would get phone calls. A few days into the job, boredom set in and I tried to keep him on the phone with questions.

"What does the satellite see out there? Does it tell you anything?"

"Yeah, all the time. Pasha is always sending us information back beyond what we need.’

“Where does the information go?”

“Another building somewhere. We have years worth of space mapping and data compiling stored in mass storage. Every inch of space is accounted for."

"Really? So what's out there?"

"Nothing, man. Nothing at all."

My phone went dead and the screen blinked once and for that second of time, a million cell phones lost service.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The one hundred percent.

Mediocrity seems to be where the bulk of humanity exists. You would think a better word would be made for it; some sort of beautified version designed by the relentlessly growing average majority. Perhaps the word was devised long ago by someone of higher intelligence, greater success and superior luck who made the negative connotations stick. I believe in greatness in man and I do not see it in everyone, let alone myself but there has to be a goal to strive for so I do but my current visions, outside of my inner-fantasy of living as a wonderful being, fully understands the word "Mediocre" and its current connotations because I live it everyday.

Those that are of average existence are corralled into a bin of inadequate feeling. A place that lets us know that this world isn't for us and what we are here to do is to clean the muck and stay out of the way of those that can actually do amazing and beautiful things because, for us, the mediocre, are not capable of doing or creating anything beautiful. We are the clerks. The accountants. The ticket takers and assistants of those who are golden.

God, if there is one, created mankind ninety percent eyes to the ground, and created the other ten percent eyes to the heavens. We, the mediocre, can raise our eyes to heaven but heaven will not look back upon us and that is our curse. We are left alone, amongst ourselves, the many, to remain, to feel and be, eyes to the ground, where we will all end up. All one hundred percent of us.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Concerning the eyes.

After roughly one hour of being at work, sitting at the desk, front staring at a screen I begin to feel something in my eyes. Wet and heavy at the corners and there's a chill within them, a sort of tired that doesn't come from a good night's rest or a night spent tossing and turning. I recognize this softness in my head. It is the outward and easy breath from time spent crying with a face puffed from tears and weak from heartache and why I feel this way in the morning I do not know.

My current plan of action is to videotape myself sleeping. There should be an answer in the logged camera time. What happens to my face, to my eyes? I can only hope I don't catch myself crying in my sleep, the embarrassment alone would only add to the mess. God, let me wallow alone in whatever this mysterious hurt is that only hits me in dreams.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When only the names change.


Some called her "Doodie" and others "Dods." "Dots" was common but most of us, those that knew her, just shouted "Dorothy" when her breasts came out beneath the colored lights of The Casbah.

She was the only girl there who bothered to dance, who tried to smile. She had a touch of the gymnist in her so she twirled and bent. There were steps of flamenco, high-legged lifted foot stomps and arched back moves with a face stern with false yearning.

That one always got a laugh from the crowd.

The scattered voices in the dark would caw and shout, "Doodie drops!" and Dorothy would bolt onto the brass pole and hold herself erect, her arms strong and her body stiff, levitating two feet from the floor. Her legs would begin to rise into the splits and she would hold that pose, all reference to the ryhthm of the music gone. It was her whole time and space now, we shared in that pause, mirrored across the colored darkness of the club. Once silence hit the crowd Dorothy released her grip on the pole and dropped and with her legs in that floated split and just as she was to hit the ground she would grip the pole once again and come to a complete stop like a televised car crash put on freeze frame before anything bad could happen.

The voices bellowed and barked, deep sounds like sudden fog horns and then "Let's hear it for Dots!" would shout from some obscene voice within the walls and the crowd, the men, would drift off into the restrooms or trace the room for a girl available for a few minutes to bounce topless on his lap in a coffined box while the steady drone of drumbeats erased all reason to talk.

I'd go outside to smoke.

I knew her name because there she would be, not on the street but up in the alley, covered in a heavy pea coat and wool cap, doing a crossword like always. Dorothy. She'd pace the room of men and if there were no buyers for a dance, she'd get out of the club through the side door and wait until her next time on the stage.

"Did you need a cigarette?"

"Need?"

"Want a cigarette."

"No thanks. I'd rather die slowly, the natural way."

"They're not bad for you. Not anymore."

"Who told you that?"

"I heard it on the news."

"You shouldn't trust the voices of people you don't know. Or the ones you do."

Her voice was bigger than her body. A monotone husk. Somewhere, I knew, she could sing.

Dorothy was an attractive girl, perhaps beautiful. I'm not sure. Her body, all the skin and bones of it, was tall and stiff. The frame of a young twentysomething raised somewhere healthy where the sun beat down and the earth grew her meals. She had no trace of city, but no trace of country either. She was collegiate and academic. When you saw her, if you had the chance to, you would see that she tried too hard. It wasn't the same as the other strippers, the ones who tried too hard to be sexy, Dorothy's was another form. She tried to hard to not care.

"Making good money tonight?"

"Do I ever?"

"Tonight could be different."

"Never is."

"Good response in there."

"They laughed. They always do."

"You're consistent."

"I know."

She could smile when she wanted to and it was a wide, brilliant smile; all white horse teeth, perfect in size and shape. Her nose dipped low and ended in a small marble that could touch the deep red of her puffed lips. There was blood of Eastern Europe in that nose and the bright green of Ireland in her eyes. Her face was awkward. Fanned ears and dull brown freckles, a mane of thick brown that shot straight out in twists when cut too short.

Inside the club the men stayed away. After her second turn on the pole only a few dollars rested on the edge of the stage. She walked the floor offering private dances, and no one said "yes." It was in her face and her walk. She was as naked as the other girls but her body didn't strut or stroll, she didn't glide like them, she moved like something more industrial; a crane or an ocean liner carrying cargo.

"Twenty bucks for a dance. Ten bucks for an extra song."

"Nah. Can I take you for tacos? Good place around the corner."

"I don't eat tacos. Too many onions."

"You don't have to have onions on 'em."

"Then it's not a taco is it?"

We walked the streets together, hoping to find a diner that was open late. In San Francisco and climbing its hills that curve through the neighborhoods, you can lose your sense of direction. We headed towards the water and the Golden Gate Bridge. A cover of fog wet our faces and coats, and in the mist the street lights gauzed the world, the trees and storefronts faded away.

"Around this corner, I think there's a pizza place. By the slice."

I've walked with girls before, but Dorothy was different. I bought her dinner and then we walked, mostly in silence with the occasional, "Hold up" or "Let's try this way." The air was crisp and damp and she marched on steady, pea coat buttoned high and her wool cap tugged below her brow. Her cheeks glowed pink and her lips shrunk down in the cold. Water crested at her eyes yet she didn't complain and there were no comments about the weather. Her arms swung at her sides, hands scarecrow long and blotched white and blush. I wanted to take her hand in mine, warm it up and race my heart but that was wrong. She marched on, so I marched along at her side.

"Here."

It was past two in the morning and we were in the empty streets of the wealthy, where only churches and hotels stood. Built deep into a wall length stretch of brick and mortar was a metal service door.

"Go in."

The room was long and narrow with a ceiling of water pipes that twisted and curved overhead in a maze. They were painted black like the ceiling they were rivited into. A wooden bar stretched the distance of the room, a barman stood behind, hundreds of bottles at his ready. From what I could tell we were the only ones there.

"Come on, there's a place in the back."

The floor gradually sloped until we submerged below the city, beneath what must have been a hotel or a hospital.

"What are you drinking?"

My voice came out weak, cracked and hollow from the cold. It was the only sound beyond the hiss and sput of the pipes.

"Hang tight."

The barman brought us two glasses of scotch and took my twenty dollar bill and walked off.

"The man likes to tip himself I guess."

"It's past three in the morning. He can do whatever he wants."

Dorothy took her wool cap off from her head, the burst of hair flattened with rain and sweat. Her blue sneakers had turned black from the slow rain and puddles in the streets. Our first drinks gone, another round was brought. Dorothy was now a being at rest. Her bones loosened beneath the fight of muscle and she sat limp in her chair, at ease in the damp musk and hum of the bar. I didn't need to be there but I stayed and we didn't talk. The light from a desk lamp on the barstand at the side of her chair was sucked up in the black painted walls but what was left of that amber glow hit Dorothy. She unbuttoned her pea coat and it fell around her sides like a blanket. She was nude under her coat, only her green bikini bottoms covered her up. The night's mist and cold soaked into the wool and her skin was pale and damp, the air around us a gentle stink of wet dog.

She sat naked and sprawled, inked in the cold sweat of the walk and drip of alcohol. I can still remember her in that recline, her breasts and the formation of her freckles and moles across her sunken skin. At that moment, no one knew where I was or what I was doing, I was lost and there was closeness between Dorothy and I but also the load of her cold and awkward self. She was in the moment with me, but not having it herself.

The romantic in me thinks she's dead now, killed or overdosed from some unknown drug addiction. The realist in me knows she just left the city, moved on. Found a job elsewhere or returned home, wherever that is. She's gone, but not. All I have are made up, false, memories. I'm some vague hero, wandering to and fro, holding hands and letting go.
Dorothy, I know, I disgusted with our adventures in miniature. They're pointless and didn't get her what she was ultimately after. Money.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Forward, always forward.

I have lost my job, lost it, and now I have to find another. This job I lost I had held for five years and worked very hard to get and now it's gone and I do not want another like it because in hindsight, it was not a healthy or rewarding career to have.

So here I am. Months without work and the career path I'd been following since junior high has crumbled and I don't have the desire to piece it back together again. Now I'm tired all of the time. I want to sleep in late and go to bed early and those hours that I am awake I wonder how much a gun costs and if showers clean well. Work shouldn't mean so much to me but it does, I'm lost without it.

I will find something else, I'm sure of it, but how often do you stumble upon a job, a career, that's the love of your life? Hopefully it happens more than once.

San Francisco is now gone for me and I live south, down in the heated valley where technology breeds. I am not a technologically minded man, I use words and this skill is useless I've come to find unless you know the languages that build the invisible worlds of servers and databases.

I will march on as always, going forward, always forward, and I hope that again in hindsight I will find that this lost patch of my life was necessary to get somewhere far greater, far more fulfilling than where I was headed before.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No more solid hours.

There are no more solid hours. Time slips and clumps together, dripping to the floor like sunlit jam. I gave up coffee so now there is no way to know when the morning is over. I fall asleep only hours after sundown, so the night disappears.

I've read that every life has a purpose. When this statement is said, it is always by someone who feels it is their purpose to tell people that they too have a reason for being here. Those are just words. There is never any help, or understanding, of what any of our lives are for. It is easy to be a cynic when the optimists have nothing behind their words.

I still believe in that image I've always held of a great golden statue, tall and proud, standing for the perfect American life. There are ideas why this statue should exist, but there is no reason for it.

This statue of man has no purpose.

So now I mingle about my new city. It's freeways, highways, and side routes. Dinner in the strip mall. All my shopping done in a giant "under one roof" superstore. All of this to simplify life, but now what? Was life so complex before? What is there too really focus on? The truth is I want to find something to focus on. Something to discover, nuture, and build. "Something" that I pulled from myself. "Something" that gives me purpose.

It is an odd feeling, I must confess, to be out of work.

Friday, August 14, 2009

...

Silence. Is it golden? A virtue? A testament from the meek? A malady of the tongue-less? I have no idea. I am not the one to ask, and I don't know who is. Maybe it is one of those questions that only get answered when you die and if so, I hope it is a long time before any one of us find out the truth.

But until then. I will do my best.

To keep quiet and listen to what those who know it all have to say.

It might be good for a solid laugh for when I hit my deathbed.

People love a laughing corpse.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In a sudden heat.

It's drier than it should be. I think. I can't say for sure. I have no facts and I know next to nothing about weather systems but what I can be certain of is the fact that I walked two miles, past the railroad tracks and the parking lot of the apartment complex and by the time I reached the main intersection I was dehydrated and cramped in the knees. All the water in me sweated out.

I am home these days. Sitting. Drinking water, face in a low-speed fan giving a steady drag of air the temperature of an armpit. I sweat and think I need a haircut. I'm supposed to have a job, but I don't. I should have a career, but it's gone. Now I have family and friends and that is fine. There is money in the bank, but there is also money to be made.

The sun and its horrible heat drops from the sky only after I am asleep. The sun, it hangs. The heat, it sits as a dense invisible fog. There must be oven grates below my feet. A heated copper wire running through the trees, stuck close like ivy. Nothing moves here because there is no air, only heat. No breeze from the sea because there is not sea. No pockets of melting snow finally making its way to us, because there are no mountains. There are no hills and no creeks. Just flat. Just freeway. Apartment complexes and antennas dug deep into California's arrid roadside.

Maybe they need tending to. Perhaps there is a job there, a need for a man who can play witness to the existence of satellites and solar panels because I can do it. I can sit and watch. Clean and maintain. Interact with the sun on its own level. A solid give and take.

And those antennas facing skyward, reading truth within the atmosphere, they must have some information about what is going on here because I certainly don't.

I can only sit, sweat, and repeat again, "What is going on here?"

Friday, November 21, 2008

She is the one, when there is no other.

I have followed the seasons closely, and I have reached the point where I am prepared to put new windshield wipers on my car, as well as replace the fuse that gives power to the speedometer. I will be driving more, in the train less, and my walking will be drastically cut. Mute footed, coasting through conditioned air, I will be covering a greater distance from home to work, as "home" is being redefined. My new roommate has breasts and a love for me in her heart.

I am moving back into the suburbs, swallowed into the stream of highways that spit you out into strip mall'd towns, down river through cul de sacs and tree lined streets like grocery store aisles. Home, again.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The great pretender.

It's just weight. It's just a puffy face, or full cheeks. No jawline, it is all shadowless patches of beard hair from the ears into the collar of the shirt.

This is from a lack of exercise and the near constant flood of alcohol into my belly. I am a full grown man of middle-age proportions, body size and financial debt finally at a meeting point, each avoiding the topic of suicide which as been hard to ignore since childhood.

"I was waiting until 11:30 to see if you were going to say something, and nope. Nothing."

"I wasn't not talking."

"If you have nothing to say, fine, but at least talk to me about it."

Traveling by car is always best done alone. With a passenger; family, friend, or lover, there are requirements put upon you. Entertain. Be entertained. Laugh. Instill interest. Persue vacant thought for topics of conversation.

You must enjoy singing along to the radio and bobbing in place of dancing. Most of all you must leave your own thoughts behind and feel the grip of the wheel only and ignore the longing for the future that this trip will not bring you closer to. You must enjoy the simple thrill of being alive for no reason at all.

It was George Orwell, among others I'm sure, who saw the life of a tramp as proud and true tradition of life. The poor. Those that are trapped in empty existences due to lack of money and an employer that frees them enough to go after more fulfilling work. In my case, I am a tramp, I am the poor, because I lack the skill to do anything other than what I am doing, and not doing all that well.

As a child I always dreamed of greatness that now I look at and cannot name it. I cannot see why I thought I would, or should be great. What was I thinking I had to offer? What great skill was it? Some unnamed artistic pursuit? Was it singing or drawing, painting, writing? I think it was all of these wrapped inside the skin of a golden boy with a mouth for charm and charity. A strong and clear mind.

I sleep on the floor of my studio, neighbor upstairs plodding along the ceiling. Dense steps of human earthquake. The front door, crooked from the forever fog that glides up the driveway. I sleep and hope it takes me. I know this all must stop. I know I cannot go on like this. Tired. Sleeping and drunk and growing fat from uselessness.

I can see now why people feel the need to get married and make children at thirty. It gives a useless life purpose. As of now, I'm trying to make use of myself, for myself. Then, and only then, will I have something to offer another love, a child, and this world.

Monday, May 12, 2008

When the bow breaks.



"Is this how you meant to live your life? Doing nothing?"

It wasn't out of anger. Her voice quivers when she's quick with spite. This was disappointment. Possibly frustration. Her little boy, last child of her womb, had managed to stay long enough to achieve common goals. College, career, friends, and love. Each of these events had happened, but with no semblance of success.

He had proved it was possible to work hard and get the very basics of an American life, and still be a failure.

"I should go. I'm tired."

His mind had wondered about from overwhelming uselessness. It was still there. It had always been there and there was nothing to do about it. Now, he just wanted a drink. Anything that could burn his throat. Liquid smoke. The couldron of tempered meats that was his stomach. He should stay and argue, he thought, put up some words that would take her time to get through. Minimal defense at best, he knew. It would only prolong the situation where he would have to say the words to her, that yes, she was right.

His studio grew dim, the day ending in that generic way. The science of stars and rotating moons, distant planets, and the ground beneath his feet. It didn't hold the wonder it should have for the man. It was just night into day, sleep into the waking hours into the work into money into sleep. Yes. Sleep. That's all he needed. Soft dreams, a world held in cotton. Those faces and bodies of women that made him feel alive, but only in sleep. They were formations of past faces he knew, voices from the television and bodies from magazines. Creatures of heaven'd sleep.

That's all he wanted now, was that sleep and those creatures. Those women and their arms opened, voices of language yet written.

He just wanted to sleep forever.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ageism in the vital city.

The summer is settling into the City, even as it rests months off shore. I know what will happen. Trips to the beach. Drunken afternoons on stoops, patios, and residential streets. There will be talk of vacations, that will end up not happening. Towards the end of the season I'll begin to feel morose, dead inside with a swirling rot, as my birthday approaches in mid-September.

I will do my best to keep at my dreams, and what hopes I can comprehend I will hold dear. The desire to move and see a new coast with its own distinct summer, and its own individual repeating cycles. It will all be new to me and the flying insects and their metallic squeals will set a scene for a life I've never lived.

There is a lot to be said for the strains of "all work and no play." What is play? What is work? Each man has his own say in his own life about what it all means. I just hope to figure it out before it gets too late and I've stood between two granite monuments, believing in neither until I realized there really is no choice. They're both the same.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

To call out what you want out.

My memories and past highlights are slowly slipping. It takes longer now to remember how I was as a boy in elementary school. It's all going away, the ability of recall. I was not born this old, it has just set in and when I look in the mirror I no longer see the boy I was.

It is not that my childhood was any good. I am thrilled to have it over and never return. All of its anxiety, depression, anger, and paranoia are things that are not good to have in the growing body of a boy, and even though I am older and still worry over these things, my body is big enough now to shift and scoot these feelings into the cartiledge of my elbows or at the bottom of my feet.

On the train into the City, a group of fourth graders held the rails and stood the length of the city streets to school. There are certain parts of me that can still feel that small, that can still feel the clench of a tight backpack on my shoulders and the cold fear of sitting in class facing an unknown future. The only thought of an older me was the sense that I would be dead by the time my twenties hit. I had no reason to believe this, but I did and it was a comfort of sorts. Life is best played out over time, I understand, but without a sense of purpose it can slosh still in time, just age happening, and nothing else.

There was a moment when my father drove me to school and I had to do something after. But what? Day care? Did I walk home alone, eating junk food and watching cartoons until he stepped in from a day at the office? I know the facts, but the details are fading.

Knowing this does not make me feel one way or another. I care. I think. I should care, but the reality is that it feels good to have some memories disappear to make room for the new, especially when the new could out do what I've ever done before. Life, a work in progress. You die when the machine is fully constructed and thrust into the earth.

I was a child at one point in time, but I'm going to leave those memories to my parents now. They seem to have more interest in that distant self of mine than I do.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Mouth done tricks.

Some people make the words they say and speak into fancy antiques. Guilded placards on high steeped walls, trivial mantras of vague language and custom-built hubris. To them I say good job, well done, and fuck off. Poetry is for eulogies from mothers of dead sons, war criminals, and murderers on death row.

Poetry. Empty words of voiceless hearts. Keep your generic thrills to yourselves, and I will mine own.

Eat shit and die. Modern poetry is the sitcom everyone's seen.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Gentle miles.



The darkness of morning should be explained to me, but not now. Now, I have calls to make to police stations and ambulances to warn of crashing trees and ponds flowing on the freeway. The yellow lines disappeared in waves of red break lights. The sixty miles to the office slowed to a puttering of black wheels in a slack mist.

My car, with its floors of sanded mats and dashboard coated in miniscule debris, has not left the City so often as it has these last few months. My centered life is expanding, first over bridges and now across miles and miles of freeway, where signs hang above, city and street names made of glittered sticker so you will not forget. So you will not get lost.

I sit in recline and the car drives. Pushed, pulled by the wind. The car drives, thrusts of gasoline and fire through piping. The hum of oxygen and water. The sweat of oils in truncated pipe. I do not know how these pieces work but they do so I leave it at that. I know to steer and shift and watch as we drift through the carved landscapes of the hills, making my way to the City of splinters and shards of glass raised upward, outward towards the bay. All I have to do is sit and be with my thoughts, whatever I want those to be. Until I leave the car I am whatever I make myself out to be. I slowly transform into the worker bee, or the lover, or the friend. At times I become the beast when I slam the door and give the parking attendant the keys and a twenty dollar bill. Bound for the bars and the streets of the City at night, yes I am the beast until it is time to return and drive home, simmering in alcohol, back home in the car, again becoming, the lover or the silent mule.

Slowly simmering, slowly becoming anything.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

All bills paid.

As has been said throughout modern life, money comes and money goes. Like water, it is always there, at our feet, above our heads. In our bodies keeping us alive. This last thought might be going too far, as money cannot help you stay among the living. It makes life easier and without it, death could find you far more quickly once you are out of your coverage of currency, but it does not do the same for you as your blood.

In thirty seconds I will be a new man. Not reborn or rugurgitated, but a slightly older version of myself.

All bills have been paid but many debts remain. This new me will have to deal with that when the time comes. I will have to answer for my former self's lack of planning and general short comings as a person in this world.

So I will sit here calmly, shut my eyes and let the air in my body exit and enter, exit and re-enter. In thirty seconds I will open my eyes and start new.

Starting now.

Friday, August 10, 2007

City flat lines, water charms.


I've grit my teeth into dog fangs. Low and spreadwide, the horizon line of distant mountains. The base of my neck, slipping numb from the peak of my hair. The slow pain of the jaw is horrific at times. I fear I'm slowly dying, minimal pain by minimal pain until I grow so used to it I'm walking cancer and lose my objectivity.

There are moments in the day when a pause inside of me strikes and I feel the breath in me. I am alive and walking the world. I don't know how it happened, even more so, I wish I could stop thinking of it. To quit the worry of a serious life.

There are men out there who have moments after moments, small events that end when the job is done. From school to internships to the workplace, I have lived with only a career goal in mind and now approaching thirty, I am no longer tryting to get my foot in the door, but I am in the door and I have found my chair. The problem that has arisen is, I do not want this. I've put more and more of my loves into hobby form.

The question is always asked of the young, "What do you want to do with your life?" Career is implied, not truly what you want to do with yourself. It's as if I've been in the military my whole life, working hard for another's well being, not my own.

I'm ready to disappear. I'm ready to retreat and fall beneath the crowd and be less American and more human. There is always the option of suicide and I must say never trust a man who has never considered taking his own life. Someone who has decided to not kill themself is someone who has chosen to live, with all of life's minor charms and sour heartaches.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Summer fields.



It happens with every girl you love. The first moment alone, summer light, holding her close on the rumpled bed. These kisses are new, these lips have never touched before. Her breath, somehow you compare it to that of the other girls and at that moment there is no comparison. She’s here now and real and it might be love, you want to say it’s love so you do. You love her.

Her hair, you remember her hair. Not so perfect now, it dangles like the overgrowth of southern trees. Whispers muffled, she lifts herself up enough to pull her shirt off over her head and with two crooked arms, she twists her bra off and there it is. What is forever hidden is now yours to see. And at this moment disappointment sets in because, you, because I, want this moment to be important, moving towards a powerful future, and all you (I) can think of is, “How many other boys have had this experience with her?” You might be number seven. Higher. Lower. You are not the first and likely not the last.

This moment, however exciting and monumental it is, is truly not unique. You question your love for her, if it is there or if it is growing. You assume. You feel. You assume she wants you. You assume she feels something for you. You assume because you want it to be real enough to actually be a moment and here it is, another example of mindless giving away of yourself and you never wonder if she’s thinking the same things about you.

For every girl you love, you pray it is your last. That every experience together brings her closer to you. She understands and digs deeper into you, wanting to be your light, and you hers. In this modern world, these ideas are romantic and out of date. Love like this died long before you were born. We've let go of our spirit, our souls, so only our bodies are left and without that anchor tethering us to something higher, we are free to roam the earth, it being made of dirt and rock until we too are nothing but dirt and rock. Nothing entirely unique.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We all ask forgiveness.

It's been summer for weeks now, but somehow I've missed the heat. The sun is not doing it's job. Each morning I leave jacketless, with a stiff chill up hill the to work.

The office. It's left me empty. There is the promise that hard work pays off and makes you a better person, but in truth I have no idea where I heard that.

There are planes leaving this coast regularly. At some point I will make sure I am on one of them, without a planned return. An escape. There are too many failures and acidic memories that won't leave me alone. Everything reminds me of what could have been. This landscape. My own voice. I need to be in a new city and be mistaken for someone I could be.

If words worked, or if God was real, I would ask to be a different man. This life I was given doesn't seem to be one I can make successful, but I will keep trying. The biggest failure a man can achieve is giving up on himself.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

As the body grows.



I have no cares left in this world. In fact, I would find it hard at this point to declare my true love to any living thing, not even myself. My stomach has grown fat. My body fights between sleep and boredom, neither getting the upper hand, but hanging mid-air, arm in arm.

I could see how someone might say this is over a girl. There was a girl, then she left. This I understand. I can also see how someone might say this is due to my oncoming thirtieth year of life. Again, I understand. One more spark is my work life. Career. This is a more subtle tease that might have contributed to my current state. My job, of course, is rather interesting and fine. The pay is not what I would hope for, but I always told myself being happy at work is more important than making a lot of money. I regret ever saying this. I've decided it is better to make your riches and worry about your nine to five happiness on the weekends, when you can afford to do the things you love.

I do have a large variety of skills as any man should, but mine are far too personal to bring about a substantial paycheck. Music and writing is all fun for the brain and empty weekends, but where do they fit on the resume?

The resume. The obituary of your living years.

In this City there is constant talk of the great outdoors and the beauty of this coast. How we are all lucky to be here. Luck. Pure coincidence. I could argue that we are all free to leave, and anyone is free to move in. That is not luck but choice. So I choose to be here, I've decided on this piece of land. I do dream of a larger city, one on the opposite coast cut by the Atlantic. It's foresight that keeps me here, knowing I would go and just want to come back. Perhaps I need that experience to revive my blood in this City. At times I'm too big here, or too invisible. Too loud or too poor. There are no corners or streets where I belong. In this great earth, what made me think I belong here? Could be laziness, most likely is, since I am too complacent to search for the answer. Added, searching requires money. Legal tender to pay for passage and to pay for time spent somewhere I don't own a thing.

That is the stage of this man.

I have seen some sort of light. There have been stories of men on ships pushing out ino the black water to fish for aquatic meat. They never sleep and they never tire and their minds go blank and numb as they focus on the task at hand. They come ashore and drink and count their money before heading off into the land. There are girls waiting for them. Women to love. Women to care for them and pray for the safety of the men they love as they let the oceans push them to the edge of the world.

It would appear that all it takes is love to make one happy. I wish I had the capacity to not think, and only taste the simple things and be fulfilled in my life, but it is not so. Television and dining out and only watching the waves does nothing for me. I want to create the show and grow and cook the food and ride the waves with my frail body. I want inside of everything. I want what burns inside of me to be within another.

I want this love for her to be returned since I cannot kill it myself. Alcohol has not the ability to put it out. There is no work on this planet that can take my mind off of her. Now there is only danger and risk left. To fill myself with fear and feel the pull of ocean, the way it wants to take us under. It wants to drink us all, so stand at its mouth and fight to get back alive. I need to care more for my own life than someone who has given up on me completely. If only all women knew their power, the way a man's love never dies. Once her love for us is gone, the only thing left to do is get rid of our own, but it does not leave too easily. Some men drink, some men find themselves with lesser women, but if your true love leaves you, I am sorry. There is only the risk of death to truly wash the heart clean. And it does need to be cleaned, because as they say, life goes on and in turn you will meet a new woman, a new love of your life. It would be impolite, and improper, to carry the weight of love for another that has long since gone. So for the future, for my future and for the future of the woman I have yet to meet this is for you. I am out here in this world preparing my mind and my heart to accept you.

Although if history proves me anything, it is that none of this matters. She will not care, for she will have enough weight on her to keep me from being able to fully love her. We try to love, and each attempt makes the next even more difficult. Reborn from certain death would do us all some good.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The din of our harbour.




Some could say life is a series of mistakes you either learn from or are destined to repeat. In a broader sense, this one life we live might be a link in a longer chain of our existence. These are the simple questions I take into account with the passing of the City out the train window. I see a girl standing at the door, "That girl over there. Maybe she'll find me interesting. Funny even." This could be thought because she shares a likeness to a girl I once knew who, at one point in time, was fond of me. So I gave my feelings of a past acquaintance to this unknown face.

I have easily fallen in love with countless girls over the course of a week, from only a look. It has taken a good number of years of experience to understand one thing, females just have something special that defeats logic and reason. Volumes of words written about them as a subject could never fully explain the beauty and awe that a woman brings a life. Once this is understand, my thoughts turn to me, of course. Does a woman see the same thing in a man? Am I a being to be in awe of? To draw inspiration from? It does not take long to see that in the history of the world the pedestal was made by man, not for him. That is the balance.

So every night I stand in the bare dining room, two stories up, and from that height I can see to the ocean. It is not hard to see that a few rebel waves will destroy this coast. A violent storm, a tsunami, something tidal, will wash us all away. So I drink to the ocean, because it gives me something to fight against.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

For those that dream to leave.

There are times when you are with someone and you wish to understand why you want them there. There is the feeling of love, but most love is accomponied by pain and doubt. The fear that the other will read you, and know you wonder why they're around.

Things to question all the time. Infinite thought dutifully processed.

She hadn't wanted me around for months, almost a year, before she realized she had no idea what she was doing. Each past moment, where there was anger or hurt, I took the blame for. "It could be me. My fault. Sorry." This worked to a point and now she is gone and we both no I was wrong. It wasn't me. It wasn't my fault.

She's waiting for the answer of what to do with herself. I wait too for her answer. For a decision. To see if she can love with her full heart, without fear. I have to make a decision as well. To be stronger. To not accept fault or defeat or take on someone else's drama, that only exists inside of them, realized or not.

I let her fear become my own, and blame myself for it. Life was easier spent alone.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Signed and released.

I wish someone would mention the day. The hour. Count off the seconds just so I know where I stand. How I exist in the constant timeframe. It's always pleasant to know that time is moving forward, keeps the mind and heart alive knowing things can change at any minute.

It was Friday when the train stopped, full capacity of commuters, and I walked off. I was tired of standing, of pretending I did not hear those around me. Ignoring that I was pressed against the strangers of this City. Instead I walked a new neighborhood on the edge of the freeway. Fresh contrete stretch into a two lane on ramp. New parks pocked with the roaming homeless, eeking out a life on recenlty planted soil.

The wind had picked up as I stood outside of apartments, waiting for something, or someone, to happen in front of me. There was a bar, as there always is, where I drank too much and returned later, in the night, to the train. After sleepless hours in bed I forced myself to throw up and out came the beer and whiskey. I had forgotten to eat.

In the morning I remembered someone with a guitar. He sang and played in the bar and perhaps I was overly grateful with too much praise. I loved everyone. Or at least him that night. Anyone who would listen. New faces with names I lost, gone, in the toilet, or in sleep. But then in the morning I did not care anymore. I did not love anyone. The music from the night before was a simple drone of buzzed strings. I can't recall. She had gone out too, with friends, so I had made my own. New friends that lasted as long as the alcohol did. She left me alone and out of fear I felt abandoned and forgotten.

There is no simple way of explaining, or of acknowledging one's own truth. One's faults. They always are free of blame. Movement in the gut lets you know you are right and have been wronged. If those two poles even exist anymore. In the morning I called to tell her I loved her, and like always she didn't say it back, but said she would be over in a few hours.

It was up to me to think no more of it. To see her coming to see me as her way of saying "I love you." Some would say actions speak louder than words, but I promise you, nothing speaks louder than both.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Of things we love.

In the last month I found that weight loss coincides with subtle acne, and I don't know why this is. These two might not be connected but the way the mind works, I assume they are.

The beard came off and the baby face revealed I look as young as I am. The only shame is the lack of love it gets.

In every moment that comes, even in love, there is the emptiness of being infinitely alone. This feeling, similar to hunger and tiredness, is alive in me at all times. All I want is to be with this love of mine. To experience being with her as a dream should be. It is blocked in my head and in my heart. Nothing fights. Nothing competes. I cannot win. I can only pray she stays and waits for me to grow into a better person.

For me to change.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Corners.



In where we try to be happy, attempt to create the joy of living. It is there, I've seen it other people's lives, and always wondered why it was not in my own. I traffic in distant emotions, misplaced ideals that no one can ever touch, to keep the world at the fence. A safe horizon of backlit ghosts I will never know.

There is something to being human that I do not know, or understand. It cannot be named, or it can, just not by me. Paranoia, I know. There is a way to make it personal and rationalize all the mystical and false actions that people make, or never did. I could say I've been hurt but I cannot remember by whom or when, or even if it really ever happened, but I can feel it.

These are my breaths, the ones I wish to share but cannot. She will not take them and I don't know how to keep them to myself without the crush of lonliness. She still loves me. "Still." Even though I am not the man I wish to be and since there is no way, no scientific or magical way, for me to extract her wishes and dreams of me - I do not know if she accepts me as I am, or as I portray my future self to be. For I am all of these men, singularly. I am the present, future, and real me. The imagined and dreamed me. I am the self-imposed martyr of the empty darkness and vanishing light. I wish there was a way to call myself pretentious and horrible and accept that as truth and move on into generic manhood, so I can smile and laugh and keep her love close to me. I attempt this in constant prayer, and it lasts as a spell, for hours perhaps, them fades at the returning weight of the truth.

It would be easy to call myself a mess, a monster, a weak man-boy, but it would do no good for the future. I seek the future and aim for its goodness. To be able to look back at my life now and mock my limits. My brain. My heart. My skill and my purpose. If only for her, God, for our love, I want to bring about that change now. Rush me through the initiation. Carve the trophy out of my ego and paranoia.

I just want to sleep knowing everything is alright. I only want to sleep next to her and understand her simple love. Her unspoken love. I just want to adapt to her and never ask her to change, for if she does, she just might disappear.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This is a new, yet sudden, machine.


As it turns out the aging process, the "Growing Up" of a human life, as simple as it physically is, takes a toll on the emotional state of said life. There are walls you hit as you realize whatever greatness you dreamt of as a child is now, still there perhaps, but not getting any closer and might in fact be moving farther away.

I have the love I have dreamt of, but not the confidence to keep it. I have the potential for a good life, but not the intelligence to gain more experience to actually get there.

There are issues of money. There are issues of titles and responsibility. There are issues of not wanting to being the thirty year-old baby in the room.

There are issues of jealousy that creep into the brain, my brain, into my heart. Almost to the blood. There is no real - no true - answers to anything.

There is only one thing in God's Mighty Universe which deals us all in. That is time. Time passes and we can't help pass with it, be pulled along with it. A finite jetstream of intertia, it's only up to us to push ourselves into the the life we want to hit.

Some of us, like me perhaps, are not strong enough but we come close.

Coming close to what you want to be is the most agonizing of failures a man can experience. What better way to say "you are not good enough" than being surrounded by the life you want to lead, the others there, doing it, how? There is no "how" just the fact that they are and you, well, you are not.

Enjoy the playground. Enjoy the weekends. Just enjoy, because meaning has passed you by.

I mean, passed me by.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What gives you, gives me.



There's a fever to a new year. This one, is a cold sweat. I stay bundled. Wool covered arms. This is fine. There are two moments in the year when this happens. Birthdays and the changing of the calendar year.

Both are a mess of headaches and common faults. Those ordinary slips and falls that we all take but hope the pain is truly only ours. "There is no blood to spare." A private war against whatever it can be named. The future. The continous timeline that can only end in your simple death.

All this says is, "You are not special, so don't bother to worry over your fate."

There were many days spent loading a small car with small boxes. Steady trips through the avenues to a studio apartment where a friend had once lived, but moved on, with a girlfriend, for that next tier of adult-life. It's underground and the windows are for watching feet in the backyard, but somehow this is considered a step up in the world for me. I can be naked and leave the bathroom door open, unflushed for days, burning coffee pot in the corner. My new life.

There should be sadness here but it is a state of stunned disappointment I feel. When I first arrived in the City I was doubtful of my own success, possibly only fantasizing about what I could become. I cannot say I have even come close to becoming that these three years later, but I am something. Something else all together. Not the Man of Business I wished to be, but a man under the stairs, a man tucked in brick offices. A man of spent bus tickets. Even worse, a boy still attempting to be a man. Faking it. Pushing my way into places that do not know my face and will never remember my name.

I am a lower pegged monster.

I've slowly forgotten how to speak, but it will return. It must or I will never get to that place I want to be. If only I could remember what it was called.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The end of the lifted bells.



The rain hit in the early afternoon. Light with the stink of burning wood and wet wool.

"Raining?"

"Looks like it."

"Always does."

Summer hadn't been spoken of in weeks, even as the heat remained for the weekends, prompting the lonesome suburban rush from the inland to crowd inside the City. Waiting, speak thinking, "Now it will happen. Now it can make sense." We were all people in the midst of personal progress, every day making ourselves a little better. Sharper to the touch. For some, the idea of the City, or any city, was that it was different from their own lives. It was a television dream of a population of interesting and diverse lives. A mystery on every tongue. Late nights of foreign speak and flights of stairs in unknown buildings. Couples envisioning lost hours at private cafes with single names not found on every corner.

This was theirs, our, common secret. The truth was that nothing special was ever found, it was always made.

The City had grown older and youthful at the same time. Those of the age married and made children, then moved to the lower highway towns, where space was available. Those that stayed grew old in cramped loft spaces, one bedroom apartments above drugstores, outside bus stops and laundromats. These were the lives of unfulfilled dreamers. Those that left by their planned escape of career and family, took pity or looked back to wish it was them. The youth riding bus and train, foraging for quarters for a can of soup. The romance of constant blank thought. It's all too simple to see when it is not you.

I keep watching the rain. The water turns the blue sky gray and the buildings a static hum of the real world. Once in it, crushed by its perpetual weight of falling distance, you forget your next step. Your next thought. But your body knows to keep moving, so it does. Soon your flailing body dances as it runs through the living earth, mind a pin, body a machine of single movement.

The only mistake a person can truly make is not understanding that they can be wrong.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

There is peace when peace is to be found.

"I remember I found you drunk, and I think, you found me naked?"

"That could be right."

"Sounds about right to me."

There was a death to summer, when the heat wained, it could not stay, and a draft of stiff ocean air sat on the beaches of the northern California coast. People still came, tourists, to run from their other fear, that repeating boredom of dinner and movies. So there we were, and with us the unspoken hope that it mattered. That staring at the water was so sublime it gave meaning to itself, and in that meaning grew purpose.

Our lives now had purpose.

She remembered to bring a bottle opener. The inside of my thumb was still scarred, I told her, from the last time I drank away from home.

"Are we supposed to do something here?"

"I don't know. I don't think so. This might be it."

"Like take a picture, you know? Paint something. I wish I could eat this view."

"You can't take it with you."

"Memories only do you any good when they're the bad ones. Hospital visits and broken hearts."

We drank and then the sun set, like it always had and will continue to do. Her shoes were full of sand, twin buckets of coastal earth. When she closed her eyes I walked off and left her there, to find her another time. There was no point in holding on, friendships sometimes last hours, some never build.

I counted the things that I could not live without, those items that gave me back my life. She was not one of them. A memory perhaps, of a former me that no longer existed.

A quick thought and, woosh, it was gone.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Given light.



Sometimes I forget my name. I walk around the apartment, pause, and cannot recall my face. In the mirror it's darker than I imagined, or lighter, difficult to say, to find the answer. The truth. You lay down in bed because that is what you are supposed to do when you need to sleep. If this sleep doesn't come you can turn the lights on and wait for morning to come, never mind the moon black night, just watch the light bulb from the ceiling. This is the light. This is the focus right now as the world around you breaks breaks breaks your inner bones. Your skeleton of constant thought.

I wished it were raining. The slow and heavy drip of the sky. There is only the dead water air off of the Pacific. There is only the soft beats down the hall from the roommate's room. Work used to keep me safe. Linked to tasks and other people's outcomes, but that is over, not over but drifted, drifting, and I stay inside too much. Inside this body and inside this mind.

If there is to be love, why bring the worry? Who is this question too? God? Sure. He is out there. Hovering. Cloudlike. Who am I? Bound to rock and shifting under-earth plates. Organic and bubbling human life. Physical. So we build boxes and raise bridges. This brings the calm. This brings an ease to the mind and spirit. Joining our life to his. And so there is love. Someone there to stand beside, golden hands melding to one solid fist. Together we are a trophy. Together we are the never-ending promise of the after life and the fight against a growing darkness.

But in the night you close your eyes and it is the same as if they are open so you open them and the room becomes your body. Inside yourself inside yourself. The hallway, a vein of stale blood. I want safety, but where is the safety of love?

Who is this question too? God? Yes. God. I am asking. Prayer is not a survey. Prayer is not a billboard of passing thought. This is a look in the eye. This is a sheet of paper, "Do you like me? Yes or no." I cannot wait. This pain and this thought has shattered my bones already, tonight it will be my spine. Soon corroded, poisoned, my inner-flesh will turn to butter and my skin will burn. All I can say is, I cannot be beaten.

I cannot be beaten because you will leave the heart and I will be recovered. Rebuilt. I will not be destroyed.

This I promise, Amen.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

There is good in the world, pray.



I'm more tired in the mornings. When I wake she rolls to my side, and grabs my pillows. the one that fell on the floor with the case half off, I place it behind her back. She is sheltered in cotton. A coccoon of ending sleep. What I want to do is wake her, so there are kisses on her shoulder. What I want is to hear her say something sweet in the morning, so I hold her cupped hand.

What I want is to leave my body and become someone else. A man with quiet thoughts. A man that could give her all she wants. All she needs. These men do exist, I believe, although I have never met one. This is because they are a dream. An ideal. The perfection of life that all men should work for.

That I awake every morning hoping to be a concrete version of myself is what keeps me alive. That I want this concrete version to be a towering statue, unmovable and eternal, is what keeps me inside of heavy thoughts that I cannot escape.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A battle for hums.


My only sickness, really, is the constant throb and hum of my body. It is in perpetual need. There is no relaxing, just a pure drip stimulus. It needs bars and freeways. Books and paintings. Foreign nude bodies, women with shouldered hair. Women with a lost language of rolling breaths and warm huffs.

What I want right not I cannot have so I look to the future and want that portion as well. I want the 25 pounds I can have at this moment, plus my coming years of 25 pounds, but all today. All now. My demands, they are never met.

This constant need leaves me disappointed. I might be the growing monster. An ego, an appetite. Crush. Want. Drink the blood, eat the body. As I might evolve from childhood to adulthood, I might evolve from man to monster. In a matter of days I will have claws. A jawbone I can dislocate to take in more food.

My eyes, they will see in the dark. Smell the fear.

This is a disassociation with the world. With reality. There cannot be monsters here because they lack the desire to talk. They ravage.

A monster built the Empire State Building. A monster built the Empire State. Made ships of wood and set sail across pitch black water. Who knows what I am, what I will become, but a dream of mine is to end this much need. To feel satisfied someday. To find that moment of calm, and live in it for the rest of my days.

Friday, July 07, 2006

What we seek. What we find. What we are.



In the bed was a private mess. Nothing that has never happened before, but this was ours. This was physical. Hot sunshine. Curtains faded light. The floor, twirled wool blankets and loose pillows. The sweat of my back made her hands slip, running up the spine to my neck, oiling the hair around my ears.

Things fell when I spoke. When I remembered things I was never a part of. Places I'd never been and men I had never lived as. These were her experiences, and at our age they were bound to exist. This is life as the imperfect universe, the years of trial and error, common enjoyments and mindless fun. My true life wasn't like that. I had spent my time remaining tight, away from flash and away from people that would lead to unknown circumstances. All the girls, they went away. All the friends, I left behind. This was my life and I would go alone, one year by one year growing into something larger, a giant of a man, beyond this culture and above the cities. I would become something more, something outside of human. Mythic and invisible.

When I died my corpse would be an animal in a casket. A lion head and an iron body. A former living statue. A fairy tale'd monster.

This was the plan, to evolve in a single life span. To turn tears and hurt into oceans and fire. This was a goal that had been set from the moment I could think enough to set goals. I had faked love and I have played the part of the admirer. It was important to live up to certain male standards. We all have parts, and at a certain age you need to find someone to admire for the sake of going through the action so the proper muscles get moved. Promotes growth. Girls need boys to look and stare. Flatter. Emotions should never play a part in youth. This is a line of thought that sets one up for mistakes, in order to set you up for the years of regret and forgiveness.

Something broke. Somehow I failed. An attempt at the perfect life is bound to fail, because even if you reached a point of the perfect, you would have failed as a human, which I never wanted to be. So here it is, this thing, this love, this moment that I must accept all that is in the world that tried to get around, see through and float above. But man cannot fly in that sense. So she holds me and I speak and break whatever clings her to me. I shatter feelings with pure thought. The more I want her inside of me the more I feel and the more I think. This all comes out in words that crush and carry to great a weight.

She's breathless and tired. I'm heavy and breathing fire.

A new goal. A new movement towards a new perfect future. It is for her. For a proper life. A joyful life of loosened thought. It is the future we work towards because we cannot work on the past. It is over and children must be born of honest love and pure blood.

It is the blood that is moving, the blood that keeps us human.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Common silences.


There are common silences. These are church prayers. These are moments of ecstacy. The cold air of a silently beating heart rushing over your tongue. The church, as a saying goes, is all around us. The open air. The bedroom. The coccoon of the living world, which is the world of everything. This makes us all holy.

This makes you holy, free of sin.

Just remember, every word you speak is in prayer. Nothing lived can be discarded as unimportant. Existence gives it weight which you must carry, best make it a pleasant passenger. After all, it is your life.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

There is the quickness, and then there is the pace.

If I try and think about anything else, there is that empty feeling of hunger but not knowing what to eat. There is a pause, a lag in memory as the brain tries to recall anything to latch onto. What kept my mind busy for all of these years without her?

It takes a moment to understand what I thought about most of before finding her.

It was me.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

In times like these.

Someone asked how babies were made, as a joke in a crowded bar. He wanted to hear the words associated with the task; the dry obscenities over the open public air. A table of fifteen friends, associates, familiar faces he'd seen every Monday through Friday for the past five years.

"That girl over there," he thought, "I want to hear her say vagina."

No one offered him an answer. Perhaps they didn't know how babies were made, the biology of it. All they could mutter would be terse words, "Sex." "Fucking." Beyond that, knowledge of blood and seed were non-existent. Babies weren't made, they thought. They come forth. Tear themselves into the world. A bundle of joy, a bag of bones. Holy and monstrous. The disaster of sex and boredom. A leash of flesh, a wet voiced piece of you and of an other.

His joke rested inside of them. They were getting older. Aged past their prime and kids still scared them. Drinking was easier than explaining children. Having children. Bringing them up with guiding light.

He needed someone to play along. To stand up to the task of being obscene in the dead space of the bar. All he wanted was a few words, brief descriptions of love making action.

He needed to know he wasn't the only one who knew it existed.

Friday, March 17, 2006

You want it here.

Granted, your dead body will take up space when that time comes, but it is not that time. Not yet. There is no good guess when this will happen, but no one is eternal. There is enough time in the day for the thought of your own inevitable death to ride, to play around with scenarios which result in your falling body, out of life. This would not be wise. There are plenty of possible occurances to daydream about. Places. People. Futures.

Some girl passes and her face lasts for five minutes. She has no voice, not yet. That will come if the thought needs it.

A car. A bag of money. Your future presidency. All of this is better than death.

There are those minds that sleep and wake to the thought of when it will all end. There is a man that I am made of, my father, who was born an infant. I try to remember this when I see him now. He was a newborn that didn't speak or move, and only God knew his thoughts. From that point on he grew into a child, of course, and then a teenager. Something happened here, some action or event that changed the course of his life into the man I know now.

Of course there was also war. The Navy, floating around shores of Europe and Asia. There was the meeting of my mother. The birth of my sister, then myself. The divorce and the quiet years of words behind a heavy beard.

And now the fear of hospitals. The closed eyes to the death of his sister. He's prepared somehow in all of his silent obsession. He's draining the joy out of his life, so when he finally goes he won't miss a thing.

So now I fight for everyday, and why not? It is mine to fight for. Every face I pass becomes a friend, if only in thought. Those trips to countries and foriegn castles can be mine, be made and lived in. With enough effort I can fill my father's hours and his pockets with simple daydreams and make him say, "I want it here."

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Come on, come in.

Everything is tight from my belly button up to my neck. If I'm not careful I could have a heart attack before I'm thirty.

There are no drugs here. Just empty nights filled with grease and endless stillness.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sleeping pockets.



It's cold out so I grew my hair long. It flaps in a steady sheet around my ears and neck. I've joined a gym with the intent of feeling it sag wet from sweat. Four days of beard growth and I can vanish into nothing. Mass of hair and human growth. The night before last I spent $40 on a haircut. The woman took her time, over an hour, trimming and shoving my head around the burring razor. The details were that of building a car. Reading the floor plan of a future cathedral.

Now it rained a dry rain of warm and violent streams of water. An earthly shower that shattered glass and left welts on naked skin. This is the thrust of individual cleanliness. Blow yourself up mammoth-sized in outgrown skin and hide under what your body grows. This is the world you see everything in, every opportunity and every chance. Then those observations become too many and none seem or feel right, your hands are too big to hide where they need and your vision sits too bright against the back of your forehead.

You cut yourself off. Tigthen your life. Stiff and regal. Each step meant to be placed on the patch of earth it drops upon. Narrowed sight of what you need. A pipline of one hope and a singular dream. The steady ride and gallop through rain and snow, day and night. Burning lungs and weightless head from days spent awake in action. Too much of this and your eyes go black so you must squint to see anything at all.

So you plump up and release, to be in your tightness again, later next year.

To become a king you must choose the life you want to live. There is no back and forth of wasted years. Your skin can only fit one man. If this cycle goes on much longer, I will be of nothing of any importance at all. A simple castaway who never made the choice of the life he wished to live.

Because there is the life the world will readily give to you and the one you must make yourself. As much as this world shapes each of us, we to shape this world, so you might as well give it the curves of your hand.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Let us, both of us.

Know that I only need a pretty picture. An estimatable distance to cover. A design for crash and burn. Show me what I cannot have and I will quietly work my way to her feet. The move of a snake. A too shy tyrant in the making.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bring the bricks.



It was a steady year. Curving and bowing through the calendar. It ended, of course, and I made a list of things that needed to be addressed. Those failed attempts at growth that were to be taken on again. There are people asking, "What are you doing now?"

These people are parents. Family and the ritual of blah blah blah.

Where is my girl. Where is my love.

"This is the future, you know. This is the might and strength that will keep you alive."

Love, as they say, will keep you going. Get you through hard moments and difficult years. If you can't get through these on your own, I say, you don't deserve any love. Any girl at your side is wasting her time. There is something about weakness here. There is something I can't feel.

I don't know what it is. If it is anything at all.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Form'd words.

We can listen. Stand in the streets and ride the hum. Mannered lives in generic audio mess. When we speak our voices take like light and fill windows and tops of trees. Turn corners to soak in brick alleyways. You could say your voice feeds the city. You could say this vibrant wash over downtown erases the meaning of each of your words.

So stop talking. Build a new form of communication. Cut your tongue. Hold my hand and smile. Bow and step aside as each one of us grows bigger. Because just once I would like to meet you and not say my name. Could you follow? Is there anything I could do that would show you I care?

Think movies. Film. Cinema. In the night a man in a room opens a window, the wind blows his hair into his face. He pulls a comb from his pocket and brushes it back. He has yet to turn on the light. This could be vanity. Self conscience action. All you have to do is watch the face.

Don't worry that your life is a constant hiss. A shouted static when no one listens. This is the way it goes and goes.

Monday, January 09, 2006

For those hours.

A paycheck comes and bares its weight. This is work in its vagrant form. The face that turns you into a beggar for more.

"When will it end?"

"It never ends. There are going to be jobs in heaven, there are jobs in hell."

"The same ones?"

"More esoteric and laborous. Moving rocks. Raking. That sort of thing. Real caveman-esque."

"What do you get paid in? The currency?"

"God's almighty smile. How the fuck should I know?"

The words, "Can I have a raise?" are on the tip of my tongue, but I have no real authority to ask. I usually enjoy the tug and stall of the work place. The higher aboves and transerred phone calls. Lunch at the desk. The curious prose of wondering if my facial hair is really working out.

The bottom line is I need a new place to live. A new apartment and set of walls, minus the people. I am ready to live alone and face the fear that I will live that way for as long as I live, because once you close the door there is not anyone coming in.

I've considered the Army. Some regiment of men doing a solid movement, marching and raising flags in empty dirt. This would pay well and keep my life abstract enough to remain interesting. If I don't ask for a raise I should at least mention that they forgot to include my e-mail address on my business cards. How will anyone find me in my favorite way? Remote and disconnected. A series of digital letters without my stuttering voice. A mode of contact without the realness. Minus paper these things are never said. A computer shuts down. A hard drive becomes non-existent in its lack of power.

We were never even here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dead futures.


What the wooden doors tell you, as they bow into the hinges not letting you out is, this is a place where they just don't care. "We have fifteen beers on tap," they will tell you. All but four have been dry for weeks. Yes, they have whiskey. Wild Turkey only. Maybe a bottle of Jack somewhere, but it's the last one so it only gets pulled out when certain cheap regulars arrive. These are old men drinking during the hours they can't, or won't, sleep. A room built on refusal. This is where I find myself now most nights.

There are certain things I don't want to see anymore. No more boys to men in suits too large and ties too long. No more young girls dressed like forty year-old women. Age has disappeared for the working class and become so non-existent that it only repels when it is actually seen. If you are too young, you must age yourself a bit. If you are too old, then you must try, and you will fail, to seem a few years younger. When you don't try to be something else it is obvious what you are. A boy. A old man. Those on the way out and those trying to get in, or at least fighting stay in. There are beautiful women in places like these. Those after work bars that cater to the newly minted City folk. These beautiful women have conversations. They talk. They speak to young men in loosened ties and short hair. A style of life found in globally scanned photographs of celebrities with vague meaning.

A bartender will know my name. The waitress, she'll hug me when I leave. After two beers, my third is always on the house. A girl over there, with her friends, or not friends but co-workers but they might as well be friends to her because, she's growing older and she just can't stay close to those she knew growing up. I have nothing to say but what I want to say, and it is too angry and bitter that I know I might as well shut up. So I do. I always do.

Have to stay tight to not seem insane. Have to not speak or else I will say what I want.

I was supposed to be satisfied by now. I am not supposed to be anxious anymore. The last person to ask why I wake and dress to get ready no matter the day didn't understand, I do it so I am always ready to go, because I am never doing what I wish I were.

So these old men tell me to get a wife. Meet girls, have a girlfriend at least. A one night stand. Anything but a whore, but a whore would be all right because at least it's something warm and human. "You need that. You need to know how a woman breathes. How she sleeps and pushes her arms against you when she's restless, getting comfortable. It keeps your mind healthy."

So for my health.

There are other things I want for my life that outwiegh love. It is greed, of course. A slim life of perfect movements. Of money and empty houses on islands I will only see in the summer months. Days spent creating, building, working, on that which makes me complete. At these other bars, the after work children, the youthful adults that hold a limp world on their shoulders, they have the materials that give them the appearance of having all I want. There are the products that only money can give, but they miss out in their faces. It is just not there, that greatness I would expect them to have. Only in the old men, the fathers and grandfathers do you find that hard work and focus bring a calmness that cannot be forced. It is built over years. A life time. Never ignore the aged, never throw them out, they are the noble floor and we are the pale wood. Broken tools.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Shallow evenings.

She was the last girl to go. I had to call her because it was late, too dark to think of anything else, and she knew she had to ask, "What's wrong?"

This is how it goes. I play these games since I know how. She reads my voice. She also knows the moves she needs to make, but after ten years other things crowded into our lives. She was mine once, then someone else's and then another. A line of men that are never as good as me. Of course this is how I see things, the scales tipping toward me, the gold piling into my own mouth.

This night she knew my jealousy and saw my pain, not for what it was but how it sat there in front of her begging, and for what she did not know.

I can say I never wanted to love her again. I can say that right now, that after the first year I tried to leave her behind but without knowing every girl I met along the way was compared to her.

And none measured up. There was always something. Some got angry too fast. Some didn't pay attention when I wished they would. Some didn't hold me right. Some I just didn't love.

But the night came and I took to the beach hoping the sound of wind and water would do something for me, do some good, anything besides keep to their natural states. Where are the rising waves and circling winds that bind people together? Those wooden ships breaking among the low coral. I wished and prayed for violence. A sudden hurt. Unexpected and jolting. The slow and ever constant hurt of another's love grows old. I needed out and needed to breath again. Freely.

"Can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

"I don't want to sound like I think I'm great or anything, or self-centered, whatever, but, but do you think we'll get together? That's the only thing I can think of as to why you'd be rude to my friends or frustrated with me all time."

"No, no I understand. I guess I do. I don't know why, but I guess I never stopped hoping, you know, the hope that you'd come back. I know it's stupid."

"No, it makes sense now."

I didn't tell her what I needed to hear her say. She never found out that all I wanted to hear her say was, "I don't love you. I never will. There is no hope for us, ever." This is what I want to know, to have and to hold and use against any flashing moment of desire towards her. This fucking knife or gun of truth that can kill that part of me, that fucking glowing part of my insides that remains to say, "Don't give up, there is hope."

So there is hope and I will have this for awhile longer, until she marries or I do. But I won't. I know this already. No one will compete with her and I can't grow to get anyone better until she is gone, out of my life. Yet she remains still, perfect. The cast of woman that God hoped for me to find, perhaps only to struggle over and in the end, grow out of.

Love. Ignored. I try to fill myself with work and minor projects. Things to see me through , perhaps this is something to get back to, and leave the world as is.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Medicine chimes.

Breakfast is out and the dim light shines gray on the kitchen sink. A bowl of cereal. Glass of milk, tinged blue with lack of fat. There was a girl here, I have to remember, that wouldn't want to see me this way. Standing at the counter eating. Bottles around the floor. Stuck onion peels blackened on the linoleum. We are men, I say. This mess is our mess. We own it and when we are done here this stink will rain gasoline and burn where we stood. Everyday glory. A morning war.

But not today. New boxes are in the hallway. Not mine and not the roommate's. Someone else's. A bra strap pokes from the folded top, teal and full of gloss, looping into itself. My roommate decided his girlfriend should move in. He said it wouldn't affect me. She'll be in his room all the time. Buried in her belongings, a pet with its own box in the corner. Already we have more candles than we did before. We have less talking space. The quiet is gone. She fills it with her laughter and constant smile.

Yes. I can hear her smile.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Girlsmoke.

This room is filling up with promises. As each girl leaves, her words stay behind because I keep them. Tucked away somewhere, simple charms I can't let go of. This does me no good, they stack up so high there is no more room. Anyone new cannot fit. It is a fog now, of all those voices in whisper, telling me exactly what I wanted to hear. Leaving me only to believe in each sentence and wait for them to be true again.

And I do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sleepless Children.


It's growing cold again. More blankets for the bed. It's best to keep cooking, since the wall heaters don't work. It makes for restless sleep. This winter might be my last in the City.

The work here is all there is for me. These are transitional years, I know. I've fought to stay and make sense of it and I have. This current time is for the future when I sit in a different room on a different bed and look back and say, "That wasn't fun, but it needed to be done."

But that is now. These growing experiences are based on work. Accomplishments that are never seen. Those that I have beaten won't show up and vouch that I gave it to them good. It is difficult to find the trophy in all of this.

So I sleep. I eat. I rest in bed and look back. What was once good that ended. Those years of girls, the short one the tall one. The one who's last name I forgot. Middle names and dry hand holding. I have the pictures to prove it all happened, but the decision has been made to forget them. Destroy them all somewhere. A fire. Mounds of taped paper dropped on the side of a ship. I'd need a ship first and that's a whole other fantasy.

Too much free time releases these fantasies to me and I find myself smiling. Content at what this alternate life has become.

But it is not the real world. I've never travelled across the oceans on a large ship. I have not spoken other languages or even spoken to a nameless woman in a foriegn city. All I have done is work.

Made my from school to school. Minor steps into work.

All things. Minor.

I've planned for the East Coast. Boston. New Hampshire. Small coastal towns of New England. New York City to disappear and reconnect as the fake life I've imagined all along.

To take this minor life and make it grand.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Swollen tide.


Sometimes she would go by "Candy." Other times not. Depended on the person. Blood and knowledge. Depth of years. She kept a tight circle around her. Family was the only thing allowed inside. There was a viciousness to her voice towards others. Regular people. She smiled, becuase she always smiled. She swore she couldn't sing but she had control of her vocal tones. Pitch. Breaking confidence and hope in people who wanted her to trust them.

Her beliefs were born of blood and time. Calendars of birthdays she followed and understood. Mother and Father and what happend when they made love. The beauty of being born. A Mother's secretion. A baby with a name.

"What are your plans?"

"For when?"

"Later. Tomorrow. Times after that. Years even."

"I can't say. It doesn't exist yet."

It was a simple exchange of loves that brought us together. She wanted someone to add to her family, to build that small shape of baby faces that reminded her of her mother. There were dreams she had of being a young mother. Of staying home most days, leaving for the store or to take the kids to the park. Smiles and sex. Bedrooms and the empty garage to store the lawnmower and rusted tools.

My paychecks were substantial. My college degree was arriving soon. But I won't say this mattered. I won't say that she thought of our love as an investment.

I placed these things on a mantle and gauged their weight. What could last and what was about to expire. Love. Passion. Desire. It could be said that the man that can control his desire is a man that does not have enough. The point here is the control, not the shortage of desire.

Control.

There was an image in Candy's dreams of her future life, with a man that existed the way men used to. Strong and rough, hard working men that built things in the rain. Fences around the yard, basketball courts in the backyard. A man that hated wearing a suit but would look grand when wearing one. Everything she painted in her mind for herself was the world I wanted. To be this man was my own goal. To fit that shape. Ignore my faults and tendancies to assume the life I wanted.

But this could only last for so long.

My voice. It was too high.

One afternoon I spent making phone calls looking for work. Candy called to check up on me.

"Hello."

"Is that you?"

"Of course."

"You sound different."

"In a good way?"

"In a very good way. I didn't know your voice was so deep."

"What do I usually sound like?"

"You're sister."

Every morning I would need to remember this. Speak deeper. Lose the highs. Other moments added up as well, so my morning list grew.

Don't be so friendly, you're girly when you're friendly.

Don't hug your male friends.

Don't watch cartoons.

Don't call your friends just to say hello.

Wear dirty tennis shoes more.

Don't comb your hair.

Spend more time with your dad, less with your mom.

Don't groom yourself so well. Leave imperfections.

Don't be so shy.

This was a position I built for myself, to better myself. I had found a place I wanted to fit and there was this girl, Candy, who would watch over it to make sure I stayed with it. But she didn't know this. She thought this was how I had been born. That we were the same already. This experiment of mine, she didn't understand.

And so that was that. Her circle closed again.

Sometimes she would go by "Candy," sometimes not. It was saved for those of blood and depth of years. Now when we speak, I'm not allowed to call her this. She has a new name now. One she uses at work. On forms. It's on her mail. It is a name saved for those like me. Outsiders.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Speak and be well.

In the waiting room someone mentioned fall and the changing colors of what nature gives. In the City you need to find the coastline to see the seasons take shape. This is where the mouth of the park sits, the forest of deep greens and rain soaked browns. Where those slivers of toppled trees cut through the dirt path. Only in here does nature breath a restricted sigh in the City. She wants to say that this is a sad thing. She wants to believe that we need less buildings and less cars. To stop the growing streets and highways.

"There are only a few places in the City left that are untouched from the first wave of settlers out west. You know that tree? The one that's all twisted out on the water? The trunk is straight but the limbs are all swayed back from the wind. Yeah, that tree. Hundreds of years old."

"It's only a tree."

"It's been there forever."

"Maybe it's something elses turn."

"It shouldn't have to give up its spot, if the wind can't blow it down after centuries it earned the right to stay."

At the door my boss watched. The man who photographs cranes on his holiday. The man who is saving his money to build a log cabin on the plot of land he purchased in North Dakota. All he does is watch me. All he does is shift his eyes to her and say, "You ready?"

So the season is changing and I know it from the colors of women's hair. The false blondes returning to a toasted brown. The returning scarfs and shawls. Summer is gone now this says, may you find peace in fall. The tree she spoke of, the strong trunk and swaying limbs, I have seen it. It is across the street from my apartment. I park my car under it most weeks. Tourists take the walk from the rubble of old bath houses and seaside wrecks to photograph the tree with the Pacific Ocean in the background. It makes a perfect postcard. A sentimental poster for a library wall. Maybe this tree is old and fought this long, but it was the choices of men that let it stand. I can undo centuries of growth with fifteen swings of an axe. This is nature as well.

As the woman leaves she smiles and waves goodbye and I don't mention the seasons or the tree. I don't say that I want to invite more cars and buildings, just to inspire men to design greater bridges and a tunnel system developed on the maps created by moles. I want to tel her this is nature too, and no spin of the planet changes any of it, this is our fight against the winds and the shaking ground.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The man in the corner. Part II.


I can't drink. Not anymore. The doctor recommended I stop. When I told him my symptoms He said that my pain is only bothersome. Nothing serious. My pain is something I will have to live with. Soon it will grow dull as my body realizes it is there forever.

This is my rotting stomach. It is nothing serious.

At the start of the week I saw a dentist who measured my mouth, photographed my teeth, and promised the headaches could be taken away. Eased out of my head. A realignment of my jaw to push my bottom teeth closer to the front. There are covers for my teeth to to help with the grinding as well, or else there are other treatments to look into.

A woman placed a grip of plastic inside my mouth, pushed into the ridges of my gums and x-rayed the distance these teeth need to move. The plastic film cut against the top of my mouth and pushed itself into the flesh under my tongue, sending the tongue back into my throat, choking me. After this the dentist explained I have a small and narrow mouth. It can only move so much. I have a child's mouth.

I ignore my health and keep moving, but recently I found I have no more movement and felt my body again. The twist inside my stomach. The soreness in the back of my head and across my neck. I've bitten my cheeks until they've bled.

This is nothing serious they say. Only stress. The threat of responsibility. So I've traveled the trains home and followed the edge of the water up to the cliffs. I've closed my eyes and spoken to myself calming mantras. Drink more tea. Move slower. Speak with a passive voice. Smile more. But it's all false. None of it is what I want to do. Each doctor says I'm still young, I can avoid the problems of aging if I focus on prevention. But prevention means a death to the person I am trying to become.

I am so close. I almost have it in order. My life. My body will feel the pain, then accept it. This stress and aggravation is only temporary. Meditation will muffle the sounds I want to make.

They're right. I am young enough to prevent the problems of the old. Unlike my parents I will not runaway. I will stay true to what I want. I will find my happiness, and accept the pain.