the state of the world is pretty much a reflection of us. i may just be some kid watching from the sidelines, but i can see it. so, if the world reflects us, then how we act would manifest, right? when you’re lost, the only thing you can do is change your perspective. prove that wrong science!
If you’re reading this, awesome! This is the book I’ve always wanted to write but never got the chance. I’ve always wanted to write but never got the chance. I always wrote with a voice inside my head, always did, and it wasn’t until these last moments that I realized it was never my voice. It was always an English dude. Think Hugh Grant or Hugh Laurie. (coincidence, and props for a dope name) Pretty regal. That inner voice sat well with me because it made the words I penned sound much more sophisticated. But alas, it ain’t, babe.
When I was growing up, that is, in my nascence, I was an adult. I really was. My parents emigrated here from some other place. Non-natives of this land, some may say. You could tell because we didn’t look like you do. My folks spoke a different language, their skin was a different color, they ate weird shit. But, here, in America, your parents’ parents’ parents’ spoke a different language, had different
coloured colored skins, and ate weird shit too. America proudly gloated her oiled and nubile body to the rest of the planet about how she was the land of the free and home of the brave. Well, she was just young and just could not be rude to strangers and yall’z took that as an invite(-ations). Can’t a girl just be nice without those frothing mouths? Just take, take, take and loot, loot, loot of whence thou camest, when ye wanteth! Geezeth louiseth! I digress. (I love using that one, makes me feel as though literature is still alive and isn’t evolving.)
Back to my youth turned young manhood. (The only good album by those lion boys, imo. I forget their name as my fingers are a-flamin’.) My father was taken away. I was about 5 years old then and my baby brother was 2. So there we were, an immigrant family from the ice and snow with the midnight sun and the blah blah blah- sans a padre in a place that divided us all like genres in the library. You know, as in the one you’re probably thinking about closing down due to funding? The one where my only friends (that showed patience with my dyslexia, by never saying a word), babysat me before my mom could get off her second job to pick me up on the (hel)LA metro.
My poor mother, of whom spoke less than barely a lick of English, had to work two jobs while making sure I went to school to sire some semblance of a prime American education and having to ask my diabetic grandmother to watch my baby brother, David, and walk me to school and back (when she could remember things) ; as she woke before the sun at 5 in the flippin’ morning to get to her first job a little early to make an extra 5 dollars. For ten hours straight because people called her an illegal alien. She looked like mom to me. BTW, that’s just her first job. Her boss from her second job was a straight up creep, and I looked like a chubby Asian kid adorned with all the stereotypes we’re all secretly thinking. Myself included. It’s okay. (It’s the egg shells beneath us that drives those situation south, I forgive your colorblindness if you can first.) Anyway, that guy was a creep, and he paid my mom dirt. I always thought she was stupid for finding some way to smile. I’d have given him a solid gold bitch-slap if I was tall enough. But it’s okay, I’m the man o’ the house! Ladies and gentlemen don’t gotta pull that sheeet! As I wrote that down, I just realized I could have been less of a little bastard to her if I had known why she smiled to that creature. She was only 23 at the time.
I understood later, in my 20’s, why she had pushed me to go to school as relentlessly, tyrannically as she had. Some stereotypes are true, I’ll admit, she wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor, but that doesn’t stem from some innate sliver of elitism. It came from a place much darker than the sunshine she always showed me. If the flood were to happen, she’d push my up on that ark so fast I’d be into next Tuesday. Oh like I was Jack and she was Rose!! That’s funny! You’ll find out in a bit! See, she said she never went to school.
As she said that, I thought to myself, “oh, rub it in, you lucky… expl.” Only, I realized she had meant to say was that she wanted to go, as punctuated by that rare site of her watery eyes, but was denied the opportunity. I hardly ever saw her cry… but the noises in her room late at night behind the just behind the door, made sense. Right this moment, it clicked. I could’ve been less of a brat! …digress… Her father was a classic mysogynist of the old ways. She was the fifth daughter out of three girls and four boys. (My pops also came from a family of six and as I found out towards my late 20’s wasn’t blood related to them. Grams found him on the street when he was a wee lad, because she saw something in him. Don’t see his side of the famz at all, but that’s another tale.)
We’re all practically estranged now except for an obligatory holiday phone call now and then, and that’s okay. We’d taken flight and foraged for ourselves, solo as cramped, caged and clever crows could only do in this country. No one seemed to know if there were better ways, if they had, I suppose the message got lost amidst the shouting. We all just sort of hatched into a nest, and had to hop outta the nest right away with open wings not fully comprehending what self doubt was yet. (They put a pamphlet on your windshield later!)
So, my mom’s pop’s isn’t my pappi because not only did he treat my mother like she was subhuman, he didn’t see why he should pay for her, then went ahead and paid for her younger brothers to go. He’s lucky because knowing my mom, she’d have forgiven him. Blood or not, it’s what you do and how you treat others that matters. I didn’t even know grade school cost money and that she had paid a price for me to learn the things I had.
As a lil’ bastard, I was the man o’ da house! What I learned in school in the US, I shared with mom. I didn’t realize she was silently learning too. She still smiled as she watched her lil’ man get a lil’ white washed. I don’t know what she thought as she witnessed me orbit farther and farther away from my native tongue. (I speak it with an accent, but the spark is still there, and I still look the part! but I who’m I kiddin’?) I was still a lil’ bastard because I still had this intemperate urge to huff and puff at the slightest agitation. And the slightest exaggeration can spill the kettle of love. The worst was when the government letters came in.
She couldn’t read a squiggle of that judicial jargon that came at her from the page like a thousand annoying mosquitoes. (She could barely read in her own language!) Of course the brat o’ the house came in. Quite reluctantly, I dictated and wrote her please for that bit of financial assistance for us to just get by. 5 years old, ungratefully in school and my first bed time stories were legal government documents I could barely read, let alone fathom, to ‘X’ an assload of boxes signifying how much money we didn’t have. (sometimes, how much money we’d never have, but at least my English is capable.) Baby brother, D, fast asleep beside us by the glow of the snow on the t.v. set.
I feel at this point I will interject with why I keep regarding myself as a lil’ what… sourpuss. Not only was being the man o’ the house at a tender 5 such a taxing duty, being a student wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either.
You get special treatment! Professional courtesy! …when you don’t look like everyone else. (Imagine going through one of the most impressionable stages of your childhood with the mantra, “why can’t I just be like everyone else…” You learn that when you get your first job foldin’ sandwiches and scoopin’ ice cream, forgetting how hungry you are.) And kids can be the cruelest little creatures of the entire animal kingdom. It’s because empathy isn’t something you just know how to use. (listen up yallz, take a knee) Empathy is a weapon of mass inclusion. (Yeah yeah, I know.) -and it’s harnessed at birth. Look up from your apples and androids before you take another click, girls and boys! You see any jerk babies? Boom! Do u c ne?!😀 Of course not. Prejudices are taught and learned. Only. I’m not the smartest cat, I admit it. I wiggled through highschool, and maybe had a semester of community college. (I studied what I wanted, I googled the junk I didn’t, learned that trick from some dude.) But the fact I learned that much, makes it time well spent in the institution. Of course, it must be told that I did not learn empathy simply by being bullied, teased, threatened, ridiculed and so forth; I finally learned what empathy was when the opportunity to lay down my own sweet vengeance (upon some fools that burned me sick!). I learned the hate dies with me, and only me.
3 decades old and I firmly believe I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life. That isn’t necessarily a stigma on my character, lots of people don’t know what they’re doing. However, what differentiates us as individual millenials from classical philistines is that we’ve come to terms with that. Opportunities are always afoot, and we need only to seize them. I’m comfortable and satisfied, and that goes a long way. Happiness is within the eye of the beholder.
The road was made of cobblestone, was winding and as far as the eye could see. Nothing was at the end that the eye could discern. Yet, some mason was there to piece and mold each stone. I had the wrong shoes on, of course I had the wrong shoes on to walk this bumpy stone path. Nevertheless, it was the only path there was.
There was something on the path in the distance. The only difference in the scenery was that alluring shine. Yellow, almost gold. As I approached it it began to take the form of of a key. A gold skeleton key type with a bottle opener as part of its bow. I placed it in my left breast pocket to take with me to seemingly nowhere.
Soon I came upon a cup. More like a chalice, gold in color and it had had been lain on its side with all its contents spilled. An empty chalice with different gems embedded within a black band around the rim. I debated whether or not to take it with me. I thought I may not have had enough room in my bag, but I may be able to barter it at some point. It seemed unlikely that I would run into someone on this road let alone have this someone possess anything of which I wanted to barter for. But I stuffed it in my bag, just in case. I walked on.
The next thing I saw was a tree. It was an adolescent orange tree. The trunk was long and thin but I recognized the leaves. It yielded no fruit yet, but I was able to rest a moment beneath its shade. Still wearing the wrong shoes. I thought, ‘what a dope fucking tree this is gonna be one day, I wonder if I can come back. With the right shoes.” I moved on after a time. There it was, finally, the end of the road. Almost as if it came from nowhere. It was a wall. The wall was made of cobblestone too. The same kind I walked on to get here. There wasn’t a gate or a door at the end of the path, just wall. ‘Did some asshole spend his time making this prank? Miles and miles of it?’ It’s a good joke. But I immediately pulled out my key and began searching every crevasse between the stones for a keyhole. There has to be a trapdoor and I would find it. I kept looking and a giant cobblestone wall simply stared back.
the cocks of the Spaniards and the Greeks were okay,
and my grandma had boils
What’s his name came up with the heliocentric theory and
We still rent vans and trucks to help a friend move
three blocks down the street
What are cities without racial profiling
places condensed with weird fuckers?
Tutankamen would’ve loved bacon
and nobody says shit about
what happened on the hills around Rome
Babe Ruth still called that smack and
Menenites were burned
we got Beethoven
and even the Jews
don’t really give a shit
I heard coyotes
and a small caliber pistol
with its trigger pulled
I was taking a dump
The shortest distance from my poop to
the piñata in the park gets
On my way to work
Half collegiate and half ass
Rebecca is a lesbian
Allie has a new baby
Rachel is discovering how to
fuck up life
The perfect place to hide
from the rain
Is to be
in the rain
the coyote howls
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 both had black eyes.
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.