amra

Comfort in life is strange. Among other things. Personally, comfort involves bits of the strange and the stress. What is life without that anyway? Probably a waste of time. I have a hard nine to fiver that I got strictly of luck as my work. Work as in it providing sustenance. Then I have the job which is that artistic expression you must execute in order to stave off madness. The work and the job. It’s 2014, and we either go on or go crazy.

So I have a job as a waitress in a sort of truck-stop diner, though trucks don’t stop here and I’m a man. It just falls into suit with the description because that is what it feels like. I don’t loathe my job, in fact the pay is quite hefty in comparison to previous jobs. I literally do as little work as required and that’s more than enough. If I were to guess, I made as much as a tradesman or any other that specialized in a specific field. I was simply a waitress, but I knew what the fuck I was doing.

This didn’t just come across me, though the hiring and the result thereof did feel like it fell into my lap. The last time I had an incredibly comfortable position, I worked for an Armenian man that drove a proverbial beamer and smoked the fanciest of cigars. [He also owned a cigar shop] I was his product supervisor and I assumed aggressor because I had my own office and I only had to make our products sound necessary. Antivirus and all that other shit about computer security. I gave less than a shit about it. But I was efficient. Logical. Legal. All that shit. I even had my own office. An office! I was right across from a yoga studio. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my lunchbreaks very much, especially during the dirty dog stretch. …I mean the downward dog. Well… who gives a fuck. But I eventually left. For the 7 months I was there, they were the 7 most unproductive months of my life.

I suppose that’s why comfort in life is strange. Okay, I don’t suppose it because it’s true. I’ve been moonlighting at this quaint little bakery as a baker. I’d never baked before. After two days, I was offered a position as the head baker. Full-time. A full-time position anywhere is a blessing of sorts. Shit sucks fucking dick everywhere because no one can get a job. We’re aware that the government statistics of unemployment were low and getting better but that’s only because they’re not including the people that are officially bankrupt. They’re actually excluded from statistics. They’re broke as fuck. Classic loophole. Well played, assholes, well played.

As a moonlit baker, I refused any pay they tried to give me. Yes, it sounds stupid and borderline insane, but I literally don’t have to give a fuck what you think. Thing is, most of us are under an illusion of what’s good or great and it’s something to live by. But that basically means somebody else has standards that were so dope that you decided to live by them Who’s standards were you supposed to live by though? Another’s? Yours? Jesus? Cock and balls, man. Or woman. …Don’t give a shit. We sell ourselves short if we try to come off like anyone else.

Work or job? It’s literally up to you which one you wish to delegate your life. But fuck you, anyway.

-Love,
you in the future.

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black eye

I took a walk. Living on a hill usually means it’s a hike so walks seldom occur. There was a man at the bus stop with his dog. We recognized each other and started talking about his being at a bus stop. Neither of us really cared but empty conversations are how real conversations are started. He had a black eye. So did I. His story was normal, involved a misinterpretation at some point in his time at a bar. I didn’t have one. I told him the truth. I woke up with it. I wasn’t at a bar but I had been drinking. I’d spent the last three days inside my cave of a room living off peanut butter, shit movies and gin.

He told me about his one man theater show as we both walked up the hill. I told him I was wondering if I still had a job. He laughed. Everyone always laughed because they always thought I was joking. He was on his way to see his girlfriend whom lived a few blocks from me. I told him I hadn’t had a girlfriend in four years. He told me he was in the middle of remodeling his house. I told him I rented a room from an ad I’d found on craigslist. He told me he could put me on the list for his show. I told him I’d hoped that I would be working. We waved each other goodbye as we got to his girlfriend’s. We both had black eyes.

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Yucca Valley

Mari picked me up at my place at 3:34 in the afternoon., after my shift. I’d sped back home on my metal blue mare. The night before, I was rendered sloppy. I’d started drinking at 3:35-ish, after my shift, a recurrent theme apparently. Hadn’t noticed. Mari and I had a sensical conversation, to my recollection, though she later explained how slurred my sentences actually were. How words seemed to merge with one another toward the end to form a new, incomprehensible word. With aid from her indulgence, my rant lasted ten hilarious minutes. In my opinion. Or defense.

My car had been misplaced. The other barflies tried to help and one even called the cops for aid. There was a warrant for my arrest that I had to explain to him that I neglected to and instead took off to the train station. “To Highland Park!” I thought to myself as I recklessly boarded. Mari lived there. Filthy. Cheap. Cheap being the highest selling point for youths of sensibility. I spent the night on her couch which incidentally was infinitely more comfortable than my own bed. My own bed consisting of an ancient Japanese floor cot which was basically a thick blanket on the hard-ass-fucking floor. I began to dissolve the clues within my mind during REM sleep to logically deduce where I was parked almost immediately. Didn’t happen. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle couldn’t do that. I awoke at about 5:15, walked to the station, and hopped it without paying. Like Bobby D. would’ve. My situation warranted feckless illegal actions I thought and believed. “To Memorial Park!”. Six miles from where I was and would’ve walked it if my better cunning hadn’t gripped me so necessarily. Got off at the stop around the pub and walked. Walked a block different than I had the night before, prayed to Julius Caesar, and there she was. In all her rusty, metallic, silver-souled glory. No parking ticket. This city is often an asshole about parking tickets. 46.90$ I thanked ol’ JC, went home, changed, then went straight to work on the metal blue mare. Mari and I were supposed to hit Yucca Valley that afternoon.

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Passover

This has got to be the strangest month ever. I feel confident that everyone has those. The kind of pitched where nothing goes your way. Let me tell you about my month.

First, I dreaded it before it happened. Then again, I already had the dread itself before it began. I had a court arraignment. In California. I’d you haven’t yet, just believe me when I say it’s outdated and just as severe as everyone makes it out to be. On the most minimal of charges, I still went to jail. 4 days. At my arraignment, I got sentenced to 8 days. Luckily or unluckily, my 4 days counted as 8 in my sentence. But I was requited to serve 26 days in AA sessions. Plus not get in trouble for an entire year. Not with the law at least. The next week, it was suggested I plead guilty to a DUI charge. The result was 62 AA sessions within the same time frame. Twice a week plus 390 in fines. If you don’t know how fines work in court, I’ll tell you: it’s fine plus extra charges. 390 equates to about 2500$. I choose incarceration as payment, at a future date. 24 days, they said but I would realistically serve 10 percent of that. But I choose to turn myself in on the Friday of memorial day weekend in the hopes of not serving at all courtesy of the over crowded system. Aside from that, I have to schedule a day to look at dead bodies for 8 hours through the HAM system. (hospital any morgue) and an evening with MADD. (mothers against drink drivers) this was all because I stopped the car only one foot over the limit line. They stopped me for that.

Two things I learned; deny ALL tests they want to subject you to,  and pull over to where there’s overnight parking or that this get away with just a parking ticket. Cause it’s 500 to get your wheels or of the impound the next day if you’re lucky, and 2500 if you’re unlucky to get a 30 day hold put on your car. My mandatory AA classes start at 6 am on Saturday and Sunday. AM., BTW.

Then I got my Vivano 1500 Univega stolen. A rare road bicycle with a fantastic paint job. On a Thursday. I just shrugged it off and said, “what the fuck else could happen?” The response was, “more.” the following Sunday I bought a rusty vintage Raleigh with shot gears and a crooked handlebar. I lowballed the fellow to a hundred bucks from twice that and he said yes. I’d always been a decent haggler, just know what you’re bullshitting about. I took it home, then took it apart to put it back together. Correctly. It ran like butter on a hot skillet. I decided to give it a test ride after lubing the chain, switching through all the gears seamlessly until this yellow VWBug turns the corner ahead of me. I saw it coming too, which was the sad and almost pathetic part. My first thought was,  “this is it.” he hit me head on bending the front forks of the bicycle backwards while forcing me a somersault. My front tooth dug into my lower lip, my arms stressed and tore at the friction from impacting the yellow steel hood. As I slammed into the pavement I heard the bug screech to a momentary halt. Then I twitched and began to help myself up. That’s when he there it into first and blasted off. I was there on the street, lifted my new bicycle of 7 hours old whilst covered in blood and shouted, “come oooon” towards the heavens. No one came out of their home to help me.
I had owned that bike for no more than 7 hours, got hit by a car that took off, went to jail, got an illogical sentence, blue a hundred bones- all in a month. Technically it happened in two weeks, though.

Now at first I chalked it all up to bad luck. It seemed the most sensible conclusion. But thinking about something so much will only manifest it whether it be good or bad. All neutral thoughts become dark with enough time. We’re naturally dark. It is a chore to be good and stay good. Sometimes, I get to see my limits and want to stop it all. Then at the last possible moment I remember how funny it all really is. I mean, what could happen next?

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low battery

I’ve been waking up around 3 a.m. lately. Then I toss and turn all night until I have to get ready for work. There’s no good reason for it. It feels cruel some days, but that’s just the way it is and there’s no going around it. 3 a.m. and at the snap of a finger, I’m awake.

The first thing it reminds me of is in the movie the Exorcism of Emily Rose, though I don’t smell burning or the presence of strange invisible intruders. There’s nothing evil about it besides having to toss and turn the next few hours before I make myself pretty and presentable. And I highly doubt higher powers would want a person with my track record to be martyred for any reason. I have no ties to anything, not even my own past. Things are live and learn, and shitty things would become experiences to be learned.

I never did aspire to be much of anything. Not to be rich or famous, or financially well off. I just wanted to be okay. It seemed the only sensible aspiration to me at my youth and even now. I’m not a pessimist, nor do I just focus on the bad things, nor am I one of those bleak realists whose philosophy is, “why bother.” I severed the ties to my past and hold nothing against myself in regards to the future because they, along with the what ifs have never happened or already have. Everyone’s got demons, but not many of us become pals with them.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’m simply waiting for something, and the great philosopher Tom Petty said, “waiting is the hardest part.” So here I am, doing strange random things to see if any dormant passions within fulfill themselves. I went rock climbing, to a renaissance fair, busked in a subway, ran a marathon, fed the helpless and homeless, worked a suicide hotline, coached illiterate kids, started a book club, counseled crap relationships, etc. And nothing. I get nothing. Have I become jaded? Jaded by what? Is there something wrong with me? My perspective? Hippies say your perspective manifests your reality, but I gave it a chance, a real good chance. And so, these hippies don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about and never have. Just an idea. A dream. I knew of a guy who had a dream once. Dude got shot.

Patience by Guns n’ Roses eventually ends.

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prick with glasses

This guy comes into my work, suit and tie sort, crisp, chubby, orders epresso or something like it. He keeps his eye on me, I wasn’t taking his order, but I made his drink. He talks to me over the glass. People normally do, I normally gave half-aired responses and throw in a few funny one-liners. Not with this cat. He takes off his silver-rimmed glasses and starts polishing it as though it could get any shinier. Then he asks, “what are you doing? I mean, with your life. Answer me in one sentence and I’ll tell you if it’s lame or not.”

Shit. How does anyone answer that? Isn’t life just a pass-time of which we’re all passing through? I heard that in a lazy song once but decided that song spoke some harsh truth. So did this cat. It was a simple question. Why couldn’t I answer? I thought about the bullshit I would have said if I was on a first date but he could’ve been a salesman and seen right through it. I thought about telling him the truth and that would’ve either shut him up or would’ve had him conclude I was joking, inviting further conversation. But he got me. On the first try. That’s hard to do. So I avoided answering his question, pretending like I was busy, spitting jokes. This cat laughed but then said, “no really, what are you doing in life? One sentence.” Fuck this cat in his fucking suit, I thought.

After he’d gone was when I really thought about his question. What was I doing with my life? I feel I’ve accumulated enough knowledge with a balanced sensed of philosophy to make a difference. I simply lacked the motivation and the initiative. They were not so simple in contrast to a futilistic outlook. I inherited one of those. Everyone wants to be famous, advertise themselves on the internet. Not me man. I wanted to disappear and live in the real world. But this cat really put it into a blunt inquiry that may or may not have been a manifestation of my own subconscious. Fuck this cat. But he was right. What the fuck was I doing?

 

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Fantasies

The best years of your life, they want to steal. Your youth is the best time to assemble a disreputable past. Sure, your relationships have fairytale notes… on paper, but believe me, fairytales were never real. Those are trumped up expectations embedded into us in our youth to keep us good and predictable. Get out there and make some fucking stupid choices before you run out of time. Because I promise you your future selves will wish the same thing.

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