Monthly Archives: January 2012

Away from the Numbers

I locked up my bicycle on Colorado Boulevard. Off to the side of a parking garage on Fair Oaks Avenue. Lining the boulevard are buildings pregnant with restaurant and retail establishments. The city of Pasadena parades these buildings as being historic which meant either they probably meant something once or that they were simply a century old and historic by default.

People ate and shopped on the street all through the day, but with a strange sort of skillful seriousness. They were culinary connoisseurs and professional purchasers of an inspiring vacuous conviction. Then they’d retire as a new boulevard would be birthed beneath the blanket of nightfall; inseminating the luxurious little lane with nightlife. Then the city’s beauties binged on bottomless bottles of beer, booze or bubbly in babe-abundant bars where bitches bounced their booties to the bass being bumped. There was a bar for anyone, any scene and were at your fingertips. If you could find a parking spot.

Parking garages were plentiful. They had to be in order to accommodate the plethora of tourists. You could find one around every corner and would probably regard them with honks, fist shakes, screams, and smacked steering columns. Then you’d find yourself still honking, fist shaking, screaming and abusing your steering column as you’d tread through the parking garage til you found a parking spot. Getting past traffic signal-handicapped tourists to the parking garage was only the first part.

It was easy for me to dismiss the luster of Colorado Boulevard. It’s convenience may have been a part of it. It wasn’t a trip away, a plan away nor even a drive away for me. It was a train-stop away, a bike-ride away, a walk away, or even a song away. I couldn’t discern the street’s splendor from the adjustable basketball hoop in my neighbor’s driveway. (The hoop had a potential to raise my self-confidence by granting me one slam-dunk in life, however this remains hypothesized until I cure a misunderstanding my neighbor had of me, of which had ironically impeded any attempts of my doing so. Access to the hoop was denied indefinitely.)

My apartment was only a few blocks away. Of that I was grateful. I was unable to see the brilliance of the boulevard others saw because I saw this: at least 90% of people walking the boulevard that day will be bitch-slapped by a fee for a parking pass. Most visitors and virtually every tourist had no idea where the real parking spots were hidden. They either purchased the pass or paid a parking violation because they just weren’t clever enough to outsmart the street signs. There was more parking enforcement than law enforcement. It was both saddening and amusing to see that it wasn’t the historical buildings in Pasadena, but the huge, hollow buildings that really made the most money in ratio to the amount of effort they required. I never did know much about business. People were sent to institutions by their loved ones and some went as far as to send themselves; with a common endeavor to become educated with whatever the actual ideology of business was -It ain’t me babe.

I just hoped business wasn’t just about numbers and the accumulation of it. I saw the numbers. I never appointed an importance to them. I never had the desire to become wealthy. I was okay with being poor like I’d always been. I was pretty good at not having any money. I didn’t give enough of a shit for business to try being good at it.

I was always bad with numbers. Never had I felt comfortable around them. The multiplication table mocked me. Enduring the abuse of business felt unnecessary. It would’ve threatened me only with poverty which I’d already been well-acquainted with. I just wanted to live simply and simply love, not flashily but whatever was enough for Goldilockshold it! she’s gets eaten! …right? As simple as these aspirations appeared, they weren’t. I was too busy being bitch-slapped by life and love, smacked like it was none of my business. I wasn’t sure why this was. It never seemed to be very fair. I’d already learned these life and love lessons, several times over. It was almost as though I was being beaten for entertainment. There were times I’d been reduced to having an Elliott Smith album on repeat as my body was locked in fetal position on the tile of the bathroom floor. Though sometimes, the abuse was funny. Sometimes.

Perhaps, when you boiled down life and love, they’d also be revealed to persist through the accumulation of numbers. Ergo, I wasn’t good at life and love because I was terrible with numbers..? This sounded rough, but sounded about right. I haven’t even mentioned how terrible my luck was. Let alone mentioned the menacing bully that was my mind. hey, chubcheeks, listen… i’m right fuckin’ here! don’t be sayin’ shit ’bout me!At least, not yet. Looking at the parking structures on Colorado Boulevard always gave me an image of people everywhere being backhanded, which incidentally reminded me to set the lock on my bicycle. -a cheap combination lock I picked up which would lock or unlock with the right numbers. 

[This is the introduction to the novel I’ve been working on.

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New Years Err-ve

shalom

Your last few minutes before the imminent actuation of 2012 were probably expended on the disintegration of your own liver through [a hopeful] self application. Or, as I had, had done anything else inconceivably bland. Like disassociating reflections irrelevant to a conducive purchasing of a new calendar, because you had spent the afternoon voraciously venturing anywhere the free trains found a track to roll upon,  while a concealed half-empty booze bottle blackmailed my thalamus to transform my more tranquil temperaments to those that thwarted the terror of singing aloud to my Regina Spektor playlist in the style of Jonathan Richman with a veracious sincerity to move passengers. Of this endeavor, I’ve an obligation to impart a word of advice; “project your voice as thunderous train rails will big-league your thunder on principle. Try the candid musical at Whole Foods! …My concert didn’t move anyone. Expect to move their narrow-mindedness away.” 

Of my last minutes of 2011:  spent swallowed supinely by a subterranean silver serpent, spanning seven serially spacious cylinder-shaped stomachs. Counting down the demise of 2011 with unacquainted patrons on L.A.’s Metro Goldline, was a disproportionately grievous but accurate reckoning of my lone dejection. I had already been privy to the dejection. And I hadn’t stigmatized an opposition to gang-related public countings. …or chantings. 

It was a reminder of the dejection to be on that train anxiously wanting to negate it by being somewhere among people I just met but knew the signature laughs to, subconsciously suffocating because of the possibility of 2011’s implosion engrossing the train into an ink-blackness, billowed broodingly the looming nebulous darkness deflating downwards mocking the touchdown of a buoyant balloon toward the pinch left of that little white promise. Fostered, finally by my indolent yet conscientious cerebral constitutions. I had no wishes to be reminded of these or other things behind the sun before I had my coffee from the fresh pot of the new year. …But their merriness know no mercy! Further exasperated by an unflinching off-key acapella belting of Auld Lang Syne in the key of ‘Contentedly smug assholes’, whilst the more musically declined of intoxicated invalids, will have exponentially expressed evident existential enjoyments to a greater degree than my own, as their overwhelming voices slurred every other word of theirs into my charitable coherence. Finally, they impart insensitively echoed  cheers and chants condescendingly commanding me to “have a happy new year…” 

“‘have,’ is an interrogative!” I’d always wanted to clarify. …cavalierly!

I prayed midnight would not catch this train. Moments before my physical boarding of the train, I’d sent my roommate a text asking his fetching of the phone number to the coffeehouse of which, laid at the ends of my cross-hairs of my steel serpentine missile. I warned them of my impending tardiness. “By 2 minutes”, as specified by my infallible meticulousness.

I had gone to work earlier that day which, coincidentally, was also a coffeehouse. The difference between both cafe’s was a corporate dictatorship, of which mine had lacked warranting my merriment as opposed to counting down the cooking of 2011’s goose behind a cash register. An earnest elation emanated from not having to tiptoe around an invisible ladder of hierarchy. But during my shift New Year’s Eve easygoing-ness, I inadvertently noticed a pattern, perpetuated amongst peculiar patrons; their collective consensus to adorn an indifference to the induction of the new year, 2012.

Ironically, I’d have imposed an indifference of my own caliber towards the discovery of a mass banality under ordinary circumstances, but this banality had especially fingered my fancy as it inconspicuously instituted intelligibility. Indifference was the answer. The essence of life was a dim corridor of endless possibilities to be revealed by the light. But high-up above the essence of existence, the chandelier of chaos swung subversively, illuminating innumerable flickering candles of curiosity infinitely over innumerably transparent possibilities, indifferent to a possibility’s consequence coveted by your necessities.

Having expectations sprouted a salacious susceptibility to somberness. Frowns and grimaces issued. But not having expectations didn’t do that. And contrary to popular banal belief, not having expectations did not prohibit our capabilities to comprehend cheerfulness. Flashy smiles and grins! An indifference instigated an honest humbleness alongside an extinguished egotism.

Upon arrival to the stop, my watch had sweetly slipped some spare minutes to me. But it wasn’t enough to implore my running. My evening’s habiliments included a trench-coat, of which, a contraband whiskey water bottle cooperated with, a sweater vest, fitted slacks and,  finally, pointed Italian boots which merited a significant level of respect, possibly higher than the deterrence of my lone dejection.

I was 2 minutes from the coffeehouse which of whence commenced the hooting, hollering, honking, whistling, clapping, slapping, hugging, kazoo-ing, laughing, screaming, crying, burping, dragging, lighting, spitting, facebooking, smoking, splashing, calling, texting, twitting, screeching, emailing, singing, scratching, clawing, brushing, caressing, kissing, …to the consistent clicking pair of Italian heels on the pavement.

Pacing perfectly, obstinate to stay on-beat, the clicking was immune to twinkling notes in the crowded chords. Perhaps it were the chords who saw no twinkling in the clicking? The enchantment of the crowd’s casual camaraderie seemed inexplicably indiscernible to the piano’s careful chords, chaotically conforming celestial crescendos. The stark clicking continued as the chords always twinkled it’s keys behind his lead. It only click with absolute certainty in time. The meticulous metronome clicked consummately but had always leaded clicks ahead of the keys. The clicking time of which it was a virtuoso, but the chords twinkling of keys gracefully followed behind wherever it went, cursed only ever to hear them nearby, never beside their grace. Never else, besides the clicking.

I found myself mangled among a crowd of friends at the coffeehouse and had forgotten to devise an exit strategy. The sight of it illustrated the clustered cords collected behind an affable entertainment center of a living room of which my disentanglement deplored dusty discouragements. The schemed departure was a quirk of which I’d conditioned myself to prepare aiding my avoidance revelation of my really being a fleshly incarnate of ineptitude abominable in crowds. In hindsight, allowing myself to fall victim to such a state to begin with, exemplified a higher degree of cowardice in comparison to the requisite of a delusional vindication for a fallibly foreshadowed flee of your own prevarication. (enter dream sequence below!)

I stood, shuffling and fidgeting anxiously around sipping my water bottle of whiskey a few minutes in repose,  while they indecisively deliberated among themselves about going to a bar, to which they decidedly went after all. Confessedly, I wanted to join them. But embarrassingly there was a longstanding fear I had inhibiting my being among a group of real nerds. I had the mental aptitude and meticulousness for detail that real nerds possessed, though it demanded more. The preconceived shortcomings I had among them germinated from never having dedicated the incomparable amount of time they mantra’ed into endlessly effortless eccentricities.
I was afraid my arrest would be demanded to justice, or the hauling to the gallows of my malnourished flesh-bagged bones, and spilling of my blood would be chanted for if I had, say,  mistaken their dismissal of my presence to be subtle acceptance and, out of a displaced sense of courage, expounded an obtusely vague reference in regards to some sort of basement pop-culture wonder, errant of a minor detail, I’d be tossed to the repressively enraged mobs o’ subordi-nerds in which they’d have a frenzy inthe defiling of my body!! And those nerds! They will defile me with an overt courteousness, I’d have an inclination to shake they’re unsatisfied hands as I picked up my shuffled, tattered remains of my wits! And poker cards! This floor was filthy! …no it’s not your fault, Craig. I forget the nerdy public brandings! Imagine it! being forced to stand publicly in place! My posture is guaranteed to receive not an smidgen of envy! …and the nerds that setup  the display of your sickly body! They say ‘please’ and are dressed stereotypicall-y! Real nerds are to lazy to have a big bang theory! …or a little bang! …sorry, it wasn’t directed… yeah, I know… well how would I…? Digress now! Okay! I will if you promise to continue wearing large t-shirts! with the logos that can’t be paid a single cent  for it’s lack of sense! …and it’s pastel shade from overwashings!

Digressed. ‘would you mind‘?! They ask me! the nauseating formality! Certainly not! It was implied I had no choice! but your tone! So gentle and exudes a gracious politeness! …I feel bad for not having a choice!”  AND THEY STAMP!  Stamped with such stamping! The atrociousness absent! …fingerless fingerpointing! Devoid of detriment! you misunderstood monsters!  fraud!  They say…? at me? poseur!  one of them murmurs, but he’s hiding his face! I can’t tell if he’s actually trying to talk to the guy next to him.  infadel!  Bravo! I yell back at him. I did not not anticipate your originality! ‘Why thank you!’  he yells back a moment later. and stamped with black sharpies the exact opposite  fury exemplified during the holocaust. A full-blooded nerd could be compared to a German Nazi to some degree.

Of course, that statement would be pushing the boundary, but you wouldn’t think so after witnessing the kind of passive, unobtrusive contempt so mercilessly managed, it’d flabbergasted you to anomalously deteriorate into a state of catatonia to which even the thought of suicide seemed as feasible as cutting down a tree with a piece of bark. Fuck that shit! I’ll spend New Years alone with the shitty whiskey in the water bottle.

Even the whiskeyed water bottle in solitude to the fantastical Pulp albums on New Years morning presented a deficit in the standardized quality of torment my fearful fortune favored. I counseled a relationship till 4. (Rather than embellish the rest of that in full detail, which included hours of hysteria, a secret cave off the train tracks, a search for a little girl’s stuffed animal, and a chocolate breakfast burrito, I’ll summarize.) 

Notes from counseling (I basically had to reiterate these few lines multiple times in order to get the message through. I think they’ll help someone… if you listen to the words you use.)

-Irrational arguments are ones you make excellent points… that are irrelevant to the topic. They only sandwich more layers into your shit sandwich, but with gummy worms and waffles. (Plus, you sacrifice validity and maturity by reintroducing an already digested topping.)

-pedantic arguments are the ones where the past is brought up as ammunition for a new argument, which is also a repeat performance. And sometimes, this is done accidentally and will snowball into something else if you have Stubborn’s Disease.

-childish arguments are pedantic arguments, but have become childish because of your employ of, “I wasn’t the one who started it.” or the ‘shut your mouth when you’re talking to me!” and my favorite:

“you did this to me once remember, I’m doing the same thing back.”  the ol’ i get a freebie because this fight had already been had, but we’re not going to learn from it, nor any of the other fights we had and will ever have. -Then followed by the consequent, “how can you be mad at me for doing that?! I was going to use the freebie i think you know I technically justified.”

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