Category Archives: allegory

Shake me, Skyscraper

before I start. I don’t usually have dreams. In fact I haven’t had a dream in a long time. Years. I suppose it’s safe to state I don’t have dreams. Sounds a bit grim, but it is what it is. Lately, I’ve been able to have these lucid dreams.  The interesting thing about that is… I’ve never had lucid dreams before. They’re the dreams where you can control your own body instead of watching it unfold like a movie. I was surprised when I’d learnt there was even an option like lucid dreams. All of my previous dreams felt like a rip-off only I knew I couldn’t get a refund. But alas, dreams are just dreams. I knew of a guy who had a dream once. He was killed because of it. So I guess that inducts dreams into having a hand in reality. Go figure.

So in my dream, I’m a homeless man. A bum. The sort that traveled from place to place. A real bum is a traveler, but a bum is a homeless person that still hangs onto the hope of a home so he sets up a cardboard makeshift shack of some sort with most of the features of a home, and is strangely territorial about it. A tourist in his own life. A traveler is not a tourist. I digress.

I found myself in a metropolis of sorts. It’s night. It looked and felt like LA. It probably was. Light to mild traffic, so I’d say about 10-ish. There’s very little foot-traffic so it must be a feared area. You know those areas a seemingly normal person is afraid of walking trough? Homeless persons and bums congregate these areas. You can identify them if there’s a bus stop or a bench you feel you shouldn’t touch with your bare skin or nice clothes. I was about to go to sleep on one of these said benches. I know, I know -who dreams that they’re about to go to sleep? This guy. It was a nice cool night, I’d been walking a long distance and there was an empty bench. I figured I could catch a wink or two before a cop car rolled up, shine a flashlight on me to see who I was, then tell me I couldn’t sleep there and to go home. People do exist who are terrible judges. Most are. So I closed my eyes.

Not more than a moment later, the sound of clicking boot-heels come tick-tockin’ up the sidewalk. ‘Here we go,’ I thought. I sit up. I had the bum uniform fully on; the dirty white sneakers and cologne of hard knocks, if the copper was mildly perceptive it should be a quick shooing. I direct my eyes straight ahead refusing to acknowledge the officer with them. It’s not that I’m a disrespectful person by nature, but let’s face it; he was gonna kick me off a street because I already looked guilty. I smelled guilty. The heels stopped. He said nothing. A power play. A tough guy. It never matters.

To cut the shit I decided to turn towards this tough guy. This tough guy turned out to be a girl. That was a strange development. She looked to be about my age. Minus her dark, thick eyebrows she had an attractive face. She was almost as tall as I was, and almost as gangly. She looked healthier. Probably was, compared to my state. She was probably teased when she was grade school. She looked nervous. But that could also have been due to the fact I was a smelly hobo which made me wonder what she wanted from me. So I asked her,

‘What do you want?’

‘Sorry to bother you, but can you tell me how to get to Union Station?’

‘I’m not bothered, I wasn’t doing much anyway. You have two options. One, you walk straight down this street for 9 or 10 blocks then cut a right about 2 or 3 more blocks.’

‘Wow, that’s a long walk.’ She said un-enthused.

‘Which brings us to option two. Take the Civic Station Metro on 1st and Hill to Union Station.’

‘Okay, where’s 1st and Hill?’

You see this corner we’re both on here?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Well, it’s on the opposite corner of this block, but two blocks that way.’

‘I’m sorry. What?’

‘Umm… let me think. Okay, got it. Go two blocks that way, and go one block to the left. There should be a bunch of Mexicans gathered around the entrance. They’re nice, don’t worry. They’re all getting off of work and just waiting for the buses.’

‘Okay…’

‘Hope that helps.’

‘It does. You almost lost me with the whole opposite corner of the block, two blocks over thing.’

‘Yeah… I don’t know why I said it like that. I may have been out trying to impress you. Subconsciously, I mean.’ I admitted. She gave a courtesy laugh.

‘Well, thank you.’

‘Anytime you can find me.’

She started a few steps toward 1st and Hill and then stopped. I’m a sucker for legs and will say I could watch her walk forever. Then she started towards me again and almost caught me looking, but my quick thinking shot my eyes forward again before she noticed.

‘Excuse me, sorry to bother you again.’

‘Still un-bothered and still not doing much.’

‘Well, I was wondering if you could use a few bucks.’ she said nervously. It’s a sight people don’t see often on the streets. Someone nervously offering a few bucks to a bum. In bills.

‘Sure I could. I could use some soap.’ I said. She laughed again but stopped herself and started digging into her pockets. They never can tell when I was cracking a joke. I don’t believe elephants belong in a room.

‘I meant, for like, food or other stuff.’

‘I was joking. Well, I was serious, but it’s a joke too, see?’

‘A serious joke, really?’ she mused.

‘Oh I take nothing more serious than joking. And what do you mean, other stuff?’

She ummed in search of the least narrow-minded answer.

‘What? Like booze and drugs?’

‘Well… if that’s the kind of stuff you’re into…’ she conceded forgetting my oath to oracular humor.

‘I’m joking again,’ I relieved, ‘I was actually serious about the soap. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m incredibly filthy.’

‘And pungent.’

‘And pungent.’ we both laughed.

What sort of dream consists of a bum talking to a tall girl? This one. Don’t make that face, this was only the beginning. Sometimes a good conversation is an adventure in and of itself. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you haven’t had a good conversation. Think on the times you spoke with your loved ones. Now subtract the arguments and the trivial trifles and you’ve got a good conversation. Full of laughter and chuckles because of an absence of ego. An ego lacking of both sides with nothing to gain but the connection to another person. Another mind. Honest. Honest because I knew I was a bum, and she wasn’t. It’s sad what the segregation of classes can do. Can still do. This is the world we’re forced to live in. Well, in the USA, at least.

It turned out she was on her way to North Hollywood to stay with some friends. She found herself closer to friends than she did parents. Her parents made her uneasy. She disagreed with them on different aspects of life. We all do. It’s like there’s a shield that divides better ways of thinking from the old presumably proven ways which time still has yet to prove i.e. separation of class. Old money vs. all else, that kind of thing. Then again, what do I know? I was just a bum who couldn’t even dream. She and her friends just wanted to have fun and enjoy themselves. They were mostly jobless, but jobless because the job market is a tough place to enjoy yourself in. Those with the jobs were actually the ones who were more miserable. They were mindless jobs that paid like a warm hungover turd. Satisfying, yet still shit. But they bought the drinks anyway because there was nothing else they could do. She had dropped out of school because she couldn’t afford it. Instead of asking for gas and food money like she did when she was 15, she asked for bus fare and beer money at 25. Omitting the beer part because hardworking voters feel directionless youth don’t deserve to drown worries they have no right to have. Of course, I’m not an expert. I never read any government studies or anything. Again, I’m just a bum in the dream. Before I knew it, I was walking with her to the train station. I made up something about making sure she got there in one piece. Which isn’t fully a lie because it isn’t safe in any city for a woman to be walking the street alone. Not all homeless people are as easygoing as me. Some still have wants and desires.

I stopped her from purchasing a train ticket to get on the train because I knew the patrols change at night. The coppers won’t be at the stops checking tickets at night because there are more crazy people at night. The crazy people seem to target cops or other uniformed authorities over ordinary people. If the option was there. We walked straight through toward the platform. There weren’t any cops as I’d predicted. And there weren’t crazy people either. Now this is the part of my dream that became a weird dream. In my lucid dreams I could control my entire body, but I don’t realize it’s a dream. I hear you’re supposed to know it was a dream, but everything seemed normal to me. That’s why I said it was probably LA. It was a bit more scifi-y.

Union Station wasn’t like Union Station where the platforms were off to either side down this long wide hall. This Union Station towered towards the heavens. There were about 3 or 4 platforms on each level up the cylindrical tower. I wasn’t sure because I didn’t count. I didn’t count because it seemed normal to me. She and I were going to the 11th floor, platform 3. Orange line, I think… Or was it platform 4’s blue line? It doesn’t matter.

We decided to take the stairs because the elevators had lines. But we’d gotten into one of them, they’d seem to elevate over the city from the outside of the building because the lifts have only a pane of glass separating you from being in the view. It was gorgeous at night as I’m sure it would have been on a sunny day as well. We still got to see the view going up the stairs. But we got to feel the wind too, which I thought was better. I also think we both secretly enjoyed each other’s company and the best way to optimize the short amount of we had was to hike a flight of stairs.

It seemed hard to believe at the time that this woman would hike 11 flights of stairs with me, a bum. I’m not going to use the excuse of this being just a dream, because of my aforementioned friend who was martyred for his. But I believe that there are some people out there that are genuinely appreciative of another person with a good heart because a good heart is only the mask to an even greater soul. What moron doesn’t want to be in the company of someone of that caliber even just for a moment. Knowing both our situations I can safely say we believed we would never see each other again. The only thing that seemed unrealistic were the floating trains full of potentially great people I hadn’t met yet that flew to and fro in all directions of this tower that was Union Station. Unrealistic, so far, at least.

‘What made you homeless?’ she asked.

‘You say it like I was forced into it by something else.’

‘It was by choice?’

‘I was forced into it.’ I mused.

‘What was it? If you don’t mind me asking.’

‘I don’t mind. It’s because of people like you.’

‘What do you mean?’ she sounded shocked.

‘Not in the way that context sounded. A better way to say it would be, “for people like you.” I gave up everything I had because they drove me to push on in life.’

‘You don’t mean you’re just waiting around to die, are you?’

‘Nope, not at all.’

‘Then, what do you mean?’

‘You’ll think I’m crazy if I told you.’

‘I told you about the crazy shit in my life.’

‘True, but some of my closest friends even thought I was insane, and I don’t even know you.’

‘You care what they think?’

‘At first I did, they were my friends. But now, not so much.’

‘Then what makes you think you’ll care what I think?’

‘Hmm… touche, young lady. I won’t and don’t.’

‘So… tell me.’

After some thought, I conceded, ‘Alright. I didn’t want to push on in a life that I didn’t agree to living. I don’t mean to say that I wish I was never born. Quite the opposite, actually. I’m glad I was born. I didn’t see why some people seem to have authority over other people. We’re all so dependent on these people to govern our lives.’

‘Everybody has to work.’

‘Everybody does have to work. But nobody has the right to work everybody over.’

‘So your homelessness is a form of anarchy?’

‘Nothing so idealistic as that. I don’t think at least, I mean I never liked punk bands. Or anything.’

‘Punk music isn’t the same as punk sounds.’

‘Touche again. Jonathan Richman was the Godfather of punk. I love that guy.’

‘I love Jonathan Richman!’

‘No way.’ I stated skeptically.

‘Roadrunner.’

‘Everyone’s heard Roadrunner.’

‘The soundtrack to There’s Something About Mary. The Berserkley Years. And I love Jonathan Goes Country, which was pretty dark despite sounding to uppity. Filled with heroin references like most of his songs.’

‘Holy shit, you’re really a Richman fan.’

‘Of course. I can tell what good music is on my own, thank you. Half the Modern Lovers that started with Jonathan split and joined The Cars. The other half joined… what was it…’

‘…Talking Heads!’

‘Yeah!’

I’d always hated talking to people about music because whenever I’d tried to I would find myself stuck listening to someone tell me about what the members of the band did instead of the music itself. Those conversations just made it apparent that they wasted time finding out what the lyrics meant to the person that wrote it instead of finding out what a song means to the listener personally. A real artists creates for others rather than themselves. Good songs are fundamentally the same, because it’s the same message throughout history. What that message is, is for each person to discover on their own because no one’d believe it if you told them. Once you get it, you get the poetry, which we’ve all lost somewhere down the line. There are people who listen to music, there are people that write and or play music, and then there are people who believe in music. Now I had no idea whether or not this woman felt that way I did about music, but there she was proclaiming her enjoyment of one of my favorite creators no one has heard of. Get back to the dream! Alright, alright, sheesh.

‘See? You’re a little punk. An unorthodox punk.’ she established

‘Shit does happens that way, I guess.’

‘haha, it really does.’

‘Alright, so now that we’ve established I don’t want to firebomb society, I just saw a more simpler way of dealing with it.’

‘Becoming a bum.’

‘No. Well, yes. Passivity. Instead of arguing with the people in charge about our rights, I figured it was easier to just ignore them.’

‘You think the government would go away if you ignored them?’

‘Me? Not really. But if we all just stopped working for one day, they’d be hit very hard. They need the people in order to have authority. If we all just turned our heads and said fuck this instead of fuck you, they’d crawl right back to us.’

‘People shouldn’t fear the government, the government should fear the people.’

‘Yeah, that thing. Philosophy was the people’s plan B since the beginning. But some of us are too hotheaded to see it.’

‘I see your point. You’re saying if we all just stopped giving a fuck, we’d stop getting fucked.’

‘Not immediately, but that’ll at least force them to finally listen to the hotheaded ones. They’ll naturally take charge because they’re too pissed to not do anything.’

‘Saving the Economy, by anonymous bum of America.’ she joked.

‘Pretty much, but i’m not assertive. I don’t handle resistance very well.’

‘Haha, that’s so like you intellectuals. Always thinking but never having the balls to do anything.’

‘If you see it that way. But I had the balls to give everything up to become a bum and to cease condoning the grip they’d had on us since birth. You yourself can’t afford school, yet I can tell you’re not an idiot. I’m not too foolish but I can’t exactly land a job, along with your other friends. Your friends who hate their jobs, want to kill themselves until they get off of work. And your friends that are happy with a job, well they’re emotional states go up and down just as quickly as these elevators, ready to snap at any moment like a paperclip. I’m not doing anything about it? I shit the system out of my life which is the best thing any of us can do. The best part is, I step over no one to do it.’

That struck her silent.

‘You can say so if you think I’m a crazy homeless man. You were warned.’

‘Well… I’ve never spoken to another homeless man before. So… I don’t know where they stand.’

‘Me neither… some smell worse than I do.’

‘Yeah, you do smell pretty bad.’

‘Yeah, pungent, was the word I believe.’

‘But, there’s a lot of sense in your what your saying, but I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired of these fucking stairs.’

‘I was hoping you’d say something about that, I’m completely beat.’

‘My thighs are on fire. How many floors did we make it up?’

‘Um… 5, I think.’

‘Really? That’s it? Fuck.’

‘You want to take a break?’

‘If you don’t mind.’

‘Mind? Of course I don’t mind. I’d have been sleeping by now. I didn’t even have to come here.’ I joked while over-exaggerating my hyperventilation. We both sat on the steps.

‘I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude but could you sit a little farther away?’

‘Oh yeah, of course. That was inconsiderate of me.’ I moved two steps up.

We sat there breathing and rubbing our own thighs. She offered me a cigarette but apparently, I wasn’t a smoker in my dream. And I also wasn’t any tougher of a person in my dreams because she and I heard footsteps coming up the stairs from one of the platforms below us, and I got scared. We looked at each other as the footsteps neared, and I gave her a look that reminded her that I wasn’t a crazy PCP-smoking hobo. Then the shoes came around the corner and planted in those shoes were the feet of another homeless man. He was black and older, and… mangy was the best way to describe him.

‘Hi!’ I said surprisingly afraid.

‘Well, hello there,’ said the black homeless man, ‘and to you, young lady.’

‘Hello.’

‘Lemme axe you a question.’

‘Uh, okay.’ she said.

‘Would you like to buy some tape? Each roll you buy comes with a tape gun.’

‘Oh, no thank you.’

‘Now hold on a minute, you ain’t seen my tape yet. It’s good tape.’

‘That’s alright, I’m not really um, in need of any tape right now.’

‘You’ll change your mind when you see the tape, just give it a chance.’

‘Alright. Let me see your tape, I guess.’

‘There we go!’ the black homeless man pulled out a ratty used cardboard box full of tape guns from behind his back. ‘There’s two rows, twelve tape guns total, you can even have the box.’

‘Those are nice tape guns but I don’t really need them.’

‘What? Which one you don’t need?’

‘Well, sir, I don’t need all or any of them.’

‘Come on, I’ll tell you what, I will give you all twelve for the price of one.’

‘I really don’t need tape right now.’

‘How do you know you won’t need tape later? Now this is a really good deal, young lady.’ he look to me, ‘tell her how good a deal twelve for one is.’

‘Uh… well statistically, that is a good deal.’ I stated. She then shot a look at me. The one with the eye.

‘Alright, how much for one?’

‘Ten dollars.’

‘Are you kid… I’m not paying you ten dollars for twelve tape guns I don’t need now! Or later! Probably.’

‘Now hold on, that’s just for the one tape. but if you buy that one, I’ll give you the gun that it comes with, along with the other 11 tapes, with the guns for those. For free. That’s a good deal right there, see, I’m the one that’s lost money,’ he looked at me again, ‘tell her I lose profit.’

‘Uhhh… well technically…’

”Shut up! Alright, I’ll take it, but I’m only giving you 2 dollars.’ she yelled.

‘Are you playing me?’

she glared at him. ‘2 dollars.’

‘Make it 5 at least.’

‘If i give you 5, will you stop talking and just leave us alone?’

‘Sure!’

They made the transaction. Then the black homeless man insisted he wrap it for her. She was too haggled for more debate so she gestured for him to do so speedily. He took a tape gun, with the roll of tape attached, and began taping the entire box shut. She gave it one look and shrugged her shoulder as though this couldn’t be happening. But I was watching. The guy looked like he was enjoying it too. Then he gave her the box and purported the resistance the box now had of the rain and other doings o’ nature. Then he left. She then glared at me, the other homeless man. I tried to look in any other direction than in the direction of her eyes.

‘Look at me.’

‘No.’

‘Why?’

‘Because you’re armed with twelve fully loaded tape guns.’

We found ourselves bursting with laughter a moment later. We started upward again leaving behind a pair of tape trails spiraling up the stairs.

‘Do you believe in God?’ I asked.

‘In a way. I believe in our intellect to decide whether or not we want to believe in things.’

‘Well, I mean like Jesus Christ and his old man and things like that.’

‘You mean whether I’m a Christian or whatever?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Then no.’ she stated

‘But you believe in him in another way?’

‘I don’t believe in their idea of hell and Satan or anything like that.’

‘You don’t believe in the eternal abyss of despair of Dante’s Inferno?’

‘Ha, no. Dante wrote that because he was imprisoned for not believing it. So he wrote the book personifying the 9 circles of hell that was the church. That was his revenge, and his skill comes from mocking his captors right under their noses. But I don’t think he ever intended for the church to begin using the 9 circles to scare people into converting. So he sort of screwed it up for the world too. But I like Jesus, he seems like a really nice guy.’

‘Hold on, is that stuff true?’

‘Of course it is. I like history, and I always do my own research now that I can’t afford schooling. I think it’s always why he named it the Divine Comedy. He never did anything wrong but have his own beliefs.

‘Wow, I never thought of it that way before. You know, I’ve always thought that. But with the bible. I think they took it seriously like the bible was a non-fiction book.’

‘That’s exactly what they did with it.’ she confirmed. ‘I hope I didn’t convert you into the dark lord’s army.’

‘Oh no. I don’t believe in the dark lord. If anything, I feel for the guy. It seemed like he was punished for having his own beliefs too. He never had horns or red skin and goat legs or anything. He was a regular dude with wings who thought for himself. Everyone called him crazy.’

‘Everyone calls you crazy! You’re the devil!’

‘Yeah, right. I’m the homeless devil that supports non-violent anarchy and reads Thoreau.’

‘Haha. Well it’s hard to believe when we find out the Romans just rewrote the Greek pantheon.’

‘Find out?’

‘My own research again.’

‘Touche, I do my own research too. Call me crazy, but does Prometheus sound a bit like Satan to you?’

‘I’ve always thought that too! Call me crazy!’ she exclaimed with genuine excitement.

‘Hey crazy, I need a need another gun, this one’s out.’ she tossed me a new gun.

‘Do you believe in God?’

‘I guess you could say that, but plural.’

‘Ooooh, a polytheist?’

‘Stop that. Nothing like that.’

‘You believe in many gods, right? Like the eastern religions.’

‘Well, sort of. I don’t think the stories are meant to be taken literally is all.’

‘So what do your Gods do?’

‘Umm… some of them sleep I guess. Until they wake up.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Well people like Ghandi for example.’

‘You think Ghandi is a God?’

‘Stop using the word God! It’s really a silly word to use.’

‘What would you rather?’

‘I don’t know, a Lover. not in a sexual way, but a lover and believer in mankind. Like Ghandi and whoever else that was really for the people.’

‘Alright, alright, you call your Gods, Lovers, is what you’re saying.’

‘Okay, now you’re twisting my words and making me sound like a weirdo.’

‘You already are a weirdo! and those were your words.’

‘Okay, fine. FINE. People like Ghandi and Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr and Nikola Tesla, loved mankind people. I think every century, people like these come along and get snuffed out by some jackass. But it’s not that they loved mankind and said a few words, but they believed in mankind to the point where their deaths were seen as martyrdom. In the olden days, they would saint their asses or deify them almost immediately. We’ve sort of done that to them to, but we cut out the sainting shit a while ago. But they were still great human beings. I can’t rally people like they can cause I like a good rum and coke now and then, but I live their words everyday. Before the saints became saints themselves, they were the Greek gods. They didn’t have superpowers or anything, they were just regular dudes and ladies like you and me but they weren’t afraid of doing great things that another person would be afraid of. I don’t know, but it just seems infinitely more logical than what the cloth has done in the last 500 years.’

‘Oh that’s those New Age weirdo things isn’t it?’

‘In a way, yes. But I’ve never met one that didn’t sound pompous or didn’t channel some dude from the bible. Maybe they can, I don’t know. I’ve done some weird shit too I guess.’

‘Like what?’

‘Oh, come on.’

‘Tell me!’

‘No way, I’m already sounding like I’ll drink the kool-aid.’

‘So you guys DO drink the kool-aid!’

‘What? No! we don’t even meet. I’ve just read some of the shit they post on forums. What am I saying, They’re not assholes or anything, they’re actually very kind people. It’s just to an awakened person, that’s what they call it when you’ve seen the light or whatever, it’s easy to spot out which are still sleeping and which aren’t. And people have been waking up in droves these last few decades.’

‘Are you awake?’ she asked

‘I’d rather not say.’

‘Oh why not?’

‘Because I know there’s nothing to be sure about with things like religion. I just want to be the most neutral guy ever.’

‘Haha, can you channel Jesus or Noah or Apollo?’

‘This isn’t funny.’

‘Liar!’ she shouted. Some of her saliva hit my eyeball, ‘oh my god, gods! I didn’t mean to spit in your eye!’

‘Haha, it’s alright. You’re right though. It is kinda funny. I don’t know if I’ve channeled those guys.’

‘Whoa, hold on. What do you mean, those guys.?

‘…Nothing.’

‘Oh no you don’t! Tell me! Are you awake?!’

‘Calm down! Sheesh! I am, I am. Why else would I go full throttle and bum it on the streets talking about love? I’m not crazy you know.’

‘Um… I plead the fifth right now about what you just said.’ she joked.

‘Okay, okay.’

‘…So?’

‘So, what?’

‘Who can you summon up with your little seances?’

‘You’re really enjoying this aren’t you?’

‘Would it really matter?’

‘If you’re happy, I’m happy.’

‘Then tell me, you filthy lovebum.’

‘Haha! Lovebum! That’s funny. Alright. He or she goes by the name G.’

‘What? G? Just G?’

”Just G’

‘Okay… and what does G say to you?’

‘Um… what I need to hear I guess. G’s sort of like my personal… er… whatever G is.’

‘Is it a voice inside your head? Like Joan of Arc?’

‘Not really, it’s strange. I sort of have to piece the messages together from artistic things people create and random things. Like, they trigger an old memory I had of something else that the symbol  reminded me of. From then on it’s like word jumble. When I figure out the correct message, I get this little vibrating feeling inside me.’

‘I’m sorry, G puts a vibrator inside you when you get it right?’

‘Fuck you! You know what! I’m done talking about it!’

‘I’m kidding! So touchy! Why you mad?’

‘I huffed a moment, but laughed anyway. ‘You’re right on that burn though, I so set that one up for you!’

‘Haha, yeah you did!’

‘Okay so this vibration feeling, don’t laugh…’

‘…promise’

‘…feeling let’s me know the answer is right.’

‘What if the vibrator…VIBRATION… is like a wrong buzzer going off inside you.’

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath before I answered, ‘because I know in my heart it’s right. I’m not sure what it is exactly, they say our spirit guides are a higher form of our consciousness or another you from another dimension or some shit like that, but I do know for certain that G and I are tied together very strongly here and now. I never feel lonely anymore. G’s my best friend, is funny, and is much, much smarter than I am. G’s always with me, even though I have no idea who G is. G even watches me poop.’

By now we had been standing at the 11th floor platform waiting for the no. 3 shuttle, the one she needed to take after all. The tower was 33 stories high and didn’t feel like regular stories at all. Over the ledge we could see that we were far higher up than we would in a normal 11th floor.

She looked at me without a word, only smiling. She was probably dumbstruck by the insanity I’d just spewed out of my mouth. She spewed back,

‘Have you ever seen Vanilla Sky?’

‘Are you kidding? That’s my favorite movie.’

‘Me too,’ she said not surprised, ‘it’s not like, the greatest movie in the world, but something catches me about it.’

‘Like it resonates with you.’

‘Yeah. I mean, I’ve always wondered if we’re not all David Aames in the movie. Just waiting to wake up. And you come along and tell me you’re awake and have a sidekick named G.’

‘Well I never said I was awake awake because I’m still not sure. It sounds crazy but it makes sense to me. There’s this thing called the Dark Night of the Soul. It’s like a test your guide gives you. G gave me this test. And it’s every bit if not more grim than it sounds.’

‘And what happens with this, Dark Night of the Soul?

‘I’m not sure if it was the same for everyone because we don’t talk about it to each other, but you’re basically tested to see whether you’re willing to live your life for the good of the world, the universe rather than continue living your life for yourself.’

‘How did G test you?’

‘Let’s just say I passed.’

‘No, no you can’t drop a bomb like that on me and expect not to get some of the radiation! You have to tell me.’

‘Argh…. how about I say, G tested me on whether or not I would die for the world, the universe. I think people who fail this test go nuts.’

‘Whoooa, Some real Gethsemene stuff, huh?’

‘Yeah, I guess so.’

‘How do you know you passed?’

‘I… uh… was reassured?’

‘HOW?’

‘Stars were doing weird stuff that night, and believe me, I know. I felt a strange surge through my body, a sense of relief like a load was lifted, and I felt the spirits cheering, like I’d graduated college or something, I dunno. I was by myself of course.’

‘And this is why your friends think you’re crazy.’ she stated as a matter of fact-ly.

‘…Maybe.’

‘What if G’s an evil spirit that came here to fuck with you, and you’re just cursed? I mean, you do smell like a dumpster and sleep on benches. AND I caught you looking at my ass when I came back to offer you money.’

‘Whoa! I was looking at your legs!’

‘Liar!’

‘I haven’t lied to you all night!’

‘I’m wearing jeans!’

‘They’re shapely!’

We both started laughing.

‘As for G,’ I continued, ‘G doesn’t ask me to do anything that hurts or induces fear upon anyone else. G’s always been there to keep me calm and confident. G back’s me up when real people turn their backs. I trust G. I trust G with my life and I can honestly say, I’ve never been happier. Can you imagine a world where no one scared you with bullshit or hurt you for some irrational reason? Everyone’d work because we all have to work. But we work together. We’d have no need for money. We already had all the power we needed in the world. There’d be no ego because we’d stop giving a shit about transitory things like cars, shoes, and apple products. G helped me murder my ego that night. It was the greatest feeling I’ve ever had.’

She’d walked around the platform because the shuttle hadn’t arrived yet. I followed her and noticed she was walking toward a candlelight vigil. They set those up when someone unjustly dies, and usually for a stupid reason. She stood over a 4×6 framed photo of a young girl. As I walked closer a few tears had fallen onto the frame obscuring the face. of the young girl in the photo. I didn’t know the girl in the photo, but my attention was more drawn to the fact the tears that had fallen on the photo were as black as ink. Maybe she was pouring ink on the photo. She then picked up the photo and did a weird skip dance.

‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m living my life with love.’

‘Put that picture back, it belongs to someone.’

‘Yeah, it belongs to me now.’

‘I’m serious, don’t disrespect the dead.’

‘You know full well we can’t disrespect the dead by loving them.’

‘Now you sound crazy.’

‘Really? Let’s ask G if I’m crazy.’

‘…’

‘What’s the matter? I was just kidding’

‘I don’t know. I can’t breathe.”

Then there was a rumble and upon the platform was the number 3 shuttle coming in.

‘You’ll be fine.’ she said, and just like that, I was fine.

‘Whoa, that was weird.’

‘You never asked G whether or not I was crazy.’ she reminded me. Suddenly a horde of people came pouring out of train, all faceless, and wearing black suits or dresses. She asked again, ‘ask G quick!’

‘I can’t right now…’ and suddenly I was caught in the waves of the exiting passengers and separated from her like the tide pulls away from the shore.

‘Ask!’

‘What?!”

‘ASK G IF I’M NUTSO!’

‘I TOLD YOU I CAN’T! WHAT’S YOUR NAME?!” the wave of black separated, some for the lifts and the others down the stairs. It was more like a wave because it barely seemed like anyone was walking, I could’ve choked on someone’s tie or bonnet. Bonnet?? ‘YOUR NAME!!’

‘YOU REALLY DON’T REMEMBER ME?! ASK G!’

And I suddenly woke up to the song Turn, Smile, Shift, by Phantom Planet. I usually listen to music all night when I sleep, because it feels more soothing than meditating. I never meditated more than two minutes, on the toilet. It was such a nice dream, let alone any at all. But the employed Phantom Planet song has this heavy note of despair in it, which was appropriate in it welcoming me back into this world. Was that woman in my dream who I think it was? I’ve no idea.

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The revolution begins and end with you

There’s a little voice inside my head that tells me to tread carefully for fear of mucking things up. That little voice seems intent with my protection in the world, keeps me in place. What if I don’t get this job?! What if she/he doesn’t like me? What if I’m wasting my time? Why is this happening to me? We know that voice. But what about that other voice?

We all have this other voice that condones our more carnal urges. I want to sing out loud! I wanna play with my food. am I the only one that thinks that’s funny? Both voices clash ideologically, though they have this in common: fear.

The first voice fears the dilapidation of the ego. As though a part of who we think we are is chipped away when something doesn’t go accordingly. Onsets of depression and disappointment are but venomous. They serve to reconstruct your ego until the second voice is only scorned upon.

The second voice is fearless. It is the voice of your psyche. Or soul. Or whatever the hell your passion comes from. Once the who of the first voice is snuffed, the psyche’s voice takes over. You’ll do, DO the things you really want to do. You don’t need the rules of everyone else to tell you who you’re meant to be. Man wasn’t meant to be grounded. We’re here because we’ve lost or way. We’ve lost or magic. We’ve lost our love. Even the pious had the right idea when we were riddled with the skies to be or limits. Of whom on earth is closer to godliness than they who fear not the death and demise of themselves.

An atheist doesn’t believe in the powers that be, an agnostic is close to solving their riddle. A gnostic looks for the right words to speak the truth. The amazing thing is, it is the atheist that is closest to god, than they know. Not to believe in a higher power is just a backwards and secular way of saying they don’t believe in life, a=a/1=a(1), they don’t believe in death. No heaven, no hell. What’s left is that second voice, telling you who you really are.

I used to be such a cynic about spirituality-hippie-shit, but a cynic is only cynical about the things they don’t understand and don’t have. Understanding chaos is the first step. It shimmers in infinitude in the starry sky despite the veil of a blue sky on a sunny day, but its secrets are howled to you in the wind. If you think this sounds far-fetched you must ask for which voice is telling you that.

Your courage and wisdom will wake you back up to the life you were meant to have. In an imperfect world, courage and wisdom wouldn’t count as currency. If you’re one that thinks its all going to shit anyway while you lifted not a single finger to help, just keep your damn mouth shut while the rest of us do real work. I was that guy. Then I found a bargain and bought a whole universe for the price of my one material world.

”we were brought up on the space race, but now they expect you to clean toilets. When you’ve seen how big the world is, how can you make do with this?” -J.C. Pulp

”when they lied, I knew it was just stable children, trying hard not to realize, I was standing right behind them.” -J.C. The Strokes

Well if you were me and I were you, then I’d use your body to get to the top. You can’t stop me no matter who you are.” J.C. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

which voice do you think is creating art? Take a second look at the things you enjoy, for god’s sake, sister. This is the last of my betrayals to the art of subtlety. the metaphors miss me… but I did this because I miss you.

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Excerpt from new novel: Jeanne Mercury

This is an excerpt from one of the chapters to a novel I’m working on titled Jeanne Mercury.

________________________________
”what’s the matter? I came down as fast as I could!” said Jeanne bursting into the foyer with a rum and coke already in her hands, to a frenzied Kate checking and un-checking her cell phone.
“God! You couldn’t have taken any longer!”
“Well, aaaafter I got your message, which was pretty hard to understand on account of the hysteria in your voice and the band soooo conveniently placed next to your phone, I had to fight traffic on the 101 ON a Saturday night, and then feed a meter 50 cents because all the parking lots around the theater are overpriced-”
“-That’s nothing compared to the hell I’ve been in so far!”
“I didn’t get to the part about FINDING a fucking meter! Another good story ruined!” Jeanne joked taking a gentle sip.
“I don’t have time for one of your stupid jokes right now! I’m about to kill myself!”
“But that’s the best time for a joke. By the way,” toning her enthusiam,”is there anyone interesting watching the bands? Guys, I mean.”
“Jeanne!” Kate pleaded. She pleaded with such a degree of seriousness that it seemed as though the very wrinkles of her frown dragged the corner of her eyes, and the rest of her face for that matter, down toward her ankles.
“Alright, alright… they say the same shit all the time anyway. Okay, what’s the matter?”

“Okay, so… there were three bands scheduled to perform tonight for George’s party.” stated Kate.
“Who?”
“George! The love of my life…?”
“Still?”
Kate gave her a look. “Anyway… the first band already opened the show and the next one’s already started their set… But the problem is the manager of the the band that’s headlining tonight! He’s got an old phone or something because I can barely make out what he’s trying to say and he refuses text! Who doesn’t text!?”
“Was he hysterical?”
“What? No!”
“Oh! He was standing next to a live band!”
“He was at his hotel!”
“You were next to the band then!”
“No, you bitch! I have no idea whether the last band is showing up or not!”
“Then the current band better be a good one or else tonight’s gonna be full of a looooot of unhappy and uninteresting guys. And you know where that could lead.” Jeanne replied solemnly. Both Kate and Jeanne then peered through the double doors to count the number of bobbing heads in the audience. Kate huffed and throwing her body away from the double doors and began violently checking and unchecking her phone again.
“Fuck, Jeanne! They looked bored! Shit!”
“Not all of them, simmer down a bit now. Some of the weird ones seem to like the song,” and after a thought, “I’m kind of digging it too, actually.”
“What am I gonna do, Jeanne…”
“Well, let me start by saying; its not your party anyway and what’s more is that you’re not even the event coordinator, you big lush!” Kate gave a calming gaze as Jeanne continued, “you can either go; home, get yourself a drink which I’ll help you with, or you can keep trying the manager from way the fuck out here. Let them sweat it out. So, what do you want to do? It doesn’t matter which you choose because my stupid jokes and I are going to follow you to the end of the night, anyway.”
Kate was still watching her. And it seemed Kate’s eyes had been widening incrementally as Jeanne spoke. Then, all of a sudden like the burst of a solitary ray of sunshine paying the fare through the overcast gloom, a smile happened upon Kate’s now frown-less face.
“Where the fuck have you been?” Kate rhetorically said, lightly confusing Jeanne as her arms had stayed open for Kate’s response, “this is the Jeanne everyone’s missed!” Our girl’s back! …and she needs a refill!”
“…and a cigarette!”
“And a cigarette!”

Kate watched Jeanne giggle the same way she did when they were both younger. When they were just girls. At that moment, Kate realized Jeanne had really gone to hell and back in the last 15 months, yet there she was, cracking stupid jokes, and severing the unnecessary worry that everyone subjects themselves to. ‘she came back a real woman,’ Kate thought.
Kate was right. Although Jeanne’s return to her old self had been a blessing, she returned with the wisdom of eternity masked by an ever-enchanting candor of youth. Jeanne no longer had a fear of time or death: for she danced with them into tomorrow from tonight,forever.
Together they walked over to the bar and filled their lonely hands with cocktail glasses and all at once, Kate ceased mooing over the uncertainty of the next band’s attendance, and decided to enjoy the not-too-shitty one that was already playing.

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‘Hello,’ lions and lionesses! (and I DO mean ‘Hello’ by Lionel Richie, but no one would have gotten that.)

Just hurry the fuck up. I’ll be ready in 4 minutes.” demanded Katherine, my lanky, buxom-less, beloved, platonic roommate. Her eyes hadn’t wavered in my direction: they were only ever locked to the screen of her laptop fixed on her lap, not unusually.
“Okay. I’m gonna hop in the shower.” I responded. Katherine sounded a grunt in acknowledgment and admission. Even she knew her face would still be basking in the glow of the laptop after my shower.
The heirs to the Age of Aquarius are all tanning to the waning shine of the screen, ‘hello to you too‘. I thought as I let the gradually warming water run from the shower head. I played a game on my cellphone while waiting. I was catapulting disgruntled fowls into the homes of discolored swine, pooping piously.

Last night, my horoscope advised me to seek out someone helpful in keeping me focused. I have a natural knack in wandering from my day’s itinerary regardless of importance. I normally check the next day’s horoscope most nights because I don’t want to curse as bad as I do. Being unprepared for surprises while being poor only leads to this. Once, I cursed so profanely, it was like an exploded sewage line. I had lost my job despite having an excuse with a medical emergency. Admittedly, I could have made the effort to check in once, at the very least, during the 8 squandered hours I spent in the emergency room. I was loathe to believe having a torn scrotum was punishment enough. It looked like a tight vagina beneath my penis. My spewed curses circulated around the subject of the lost job and the gaining of a vagina. Now I check my horoscope the night before despite being called a poof. I already had a makeshift cunt. Katherine happened the role of my P.I.C. (partner in crime) today, of which I deemed affectionate because she was lucid for once.
During the second time Katherine drove us back to the printing place that day, I noticed a woman I wanted to meet. Katherine and I had to go back a second time because I had forgotten which folder I’d saved the resume into. Also, I’d forgotten the USB drive to print it from. The woman I wanted to meet wasn’t present the first time, fortunately, but had missed a joke I had cracked earlier. I debated cracking the same joke again, but I feared everyone else possibly catching onto my scheme. She had a poster of fractal art printed. I wanted to meet her anyway. I printed 3 copies of my resume which came to a total of twenty-three cents I almost didn’t have. I said quite audibly, ‘thank God for pennies,’ because it seemed like it could have been funny and winning at the time. I fled soon after. I thought, now she’ll never know that a complete stranger had fallen unconditionally in love with her and her eccentricities for 5 whole minutes today, and it didn’t cost nearly as much as my resumes had. This made me sad, but soon I remembered how I had to do important stuff instead.

That’s what I said! Girls hate each other these days. It’s all war.” replied Katherine as she lit a cigarette, sending a text to her boyfriend, all while maneuvering her car through traffic. Katherine saw something another girl had posted on Facebook in which she regarded with as being, ‘stupid as shit!’
“The sisterhood is a sham,” I said blankly, pressing buttons in her car, “bro-mance is true though. Platonic friendships are totally possible. But, only until some bitch wiggles her way in. That’s the only way I’ve lost homies I didn’t want to ignore.”
“They always do. Fuckin’ always do. They’re so childish; it freaks me 
the fuck out. They come in as a girl first, but they always exit as a bitch. I can’t stand girls. Always scheming.” she agreed. Then she giggled at a text her boyfriend replied to her. Probably a happy face or how much he misses her or both, I thought enviously of them. Katherine had the mind of a man in the body of a Playboy Bunny; I enjoy bouncing ideas with her and being envied by other guys that happened to see us hanging out in public. When she’s lucid.
“I blame Civil Rights. Race-wise, equality, of course.” I said still diddling the buttons.
“Yeah, course.”
“But now that women are empowered, the end of days is nigh and shit. …Do any of these buttons do anything?”
“Oh, they’re broken …and that’s bullshit. Women should be empowered.”
“I’m not saying they should still have the lack of rights they did back in the good ol’ days,” I took a breath and thought about restating the set of words I had just uttered but changed my mind, “I’m saying that some of the more fem-friendly laws should be revised.”
“And so they can live in fear of men again?! What the fuck, Danny?!” Katherine shouted.
“No, that’s not what I’m saying. There are so many effeminate dudes out there now, have you seen a movie recently? Seriously. I feel pretty emasculated on a daily basis …sometimes. Only sometimes. But I’m saying 
revised so that the men don’t have to live in fear of women… like we’re doing now.” I said with an unconvincingly subtle staccato.
We pulled up to the restaurant that I needed to hand my resume to. Katherine abruptly parked. It was almost like slamming a door. I trembled. The ergonomical strategist that is my mind jacked up the price of courage when I needed it, despite having realized my mind was what I needed my courage to defend against. It reminded me of my middle school gym coach who encouraged me to lose weight by referencing large animals when he called upon me. I’d have been okay with ridicule if I had a drink then. The courage of a lion came to me with only a single beer, even. This was because my indecencies would be forgiven and found funny instead. But I was dry right now. My indecencies became unforgivable. My opines became misanthropic, even when they were philanthropic. My sardonically toned insight was mistaken for pompousness, My ass will be handed to me again. But Katherine knew me well enough, I hoped not soon enough.
“BULLSHIT. You lean towards misogyny because of that ex-cunt of yours.” she said monotonously.
“She, uh…actually, stopped mattering a while back …actually. I just think 
neither gender should live in fear, but …bitches have more power.”
“We’ve earned it.”
“Sure …did. Yes. Sure did.”
“We aren’t abusing it like men have in the past. We’re surrounded by little bitches.” Katherine stated absolutely. Then she took a breath. “Fuck it. This is about how we need to get those managers into thinking you’re worth hiring. Danny, go hand in your fucking resume to the manager. Be persistent. Sound confident. You’re gonna need to try very hard, but I’m here. I got your back. You need to have the kind of confidence like you do when you pick up a chick at a bar.”
“Right.” I said after a moment. Was I to trick them into believing I had any worth, I wondered. I feel I’ve wondered this too many times.
I got out of the car and walked toward the entrance. I decidedly omitted the fact I had never successfully picked up a chick at a bar because I Katherine would have growled at me some more. I’d seen a thousand movies on the subject anyway, I thought, it didn’t seem difficult to be an ass with a hard-on. I turned back to look at Katherine as she encouragingly pointed at the entrance, like television mothers did to disobedient kids. Through the back window I saw her mouth the words, ‘
be confident, you little bitch.‘ I took a breath and began walking. I thought briefly of the cunt-shaped hole I had in my ball sack, then decided Katherine had actually been an excellent choice for a P.I.C. I was the most uninspired person I knew, but I feared Katherine enough to effort otherwise. This kept me mentally acute in constantly revising my thoughts before expounding them through my teeth. As a matter of fact, I still don’t know which gender she was and/is liege to, though I had never really cared for the rights of either party.

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fecalosophy

There were better things to do than to feel upset over something I couldn’t control. I needed to regain my composure. I also needed to find better things to do. There was no way I could have predicted the morning sun to take a hot dump on me. Then, very calmly, I went to the bathroom to smoke a cigarette as I took a serious, sunny shit of my own.

There was no point in complaining. If we had been aboard an airline flight, then maybe. But we couldn’t to be upgraded into a better seat in life. There were the people like me: certain never to get out of coach. Bullshit is unsavory and ubiquitous -this is a fact- and it is and will be delivered fresh evermore. Even to first class. The shapes and smells were all from the same variety. A better seat on your flight furthest from any form of feces could never exist. Wrong flight if you believed otherwise. The turd’s transcendental tyranny threw the truth to those that were still alive: as long as their worlds’ continued ticking alongside their dreams, it’d still be full of the shit that riled us into kicking alongside our screams -construction of all worlds were erected on amorphous foundations of perpetuating poops. Your shit fueled life. ‘shit is all around me, it’s everywhere I go! if you’re really shittin’ me, come on and let it show!’ It’s foolish to be angry at the steaming glory of it. Someone who despised defecation confused me as much as a someone who loathed love. There was as much love as there was shit all over the world. passion’s a funny thing! best not to question it!

In the past, I would try frantically to avoid bullshit. I’d be lathered in feces quite often. Caked in crap. A tiered wedding cake of crap I couldn’t pop out of. I didn’t think I deserved anymore, naturally. Tried everything I could think of to avoid shit because it made me abhor living. Shit and life were one in the same. Both were mandatory. And both always tracked me down. It was the world bequeathed to me. This fact followed me everyday and everywhere. Bullshit and I were practically best buddies and it kept me too busy to make any real ones. Then, a strange epiphany came to me during one of our outings. A burning bag of a blessing, even. -I happened upon the sight of some old guy trying stomp out a flaming bag of poo.

There was a genuine fondness I had for the witnessing of clichés in real life. I remembered feeling as though nothing could have been more gratifying than watching the old guy’s shitty struggle.

stomps with such passion! kicking at it too! kicked the turd too far..? mail is thrown at it for recovery! good save! coupon catalogs! and a lingerie one too..? got a ton o’ mail! ..tons o’ shit to throw! at the shit! ain’t as easy as it looks! it takes skill! he spits at it! here and there! outta ammo…? boom! hot coffee comin’ through! beatin’ the bag with a shoe! his own! finally he brings out the trump card! the welcome mat! smoking turd, flattened! crap ain’t welcome! evicted!

It made me think of Benny Hill. I was still standing there watching him with my buddy. The old guy pulled out a cigarette, lit it, turned to me and gestured with his head as if to say, ‘what’s up, kid?’ I was trying to hold myself back from laughing. I didn’t think he’d have been too keen had my laughter escaped. Then he spoke,

The best thing to do is to leave it alone, unless it came in a bigger bag. It just burns itself out, otherwise,” he said exhaling the smoke. I stood frozen from the shock that he had said anything to me at all, then continued, “it was funnier for me to fight the shit… right? …I saw you watching, kid. It’s alright to laugh.” I stood there aghast with my own idiocy. Then something strange happened; a smile slowly erected on my miserable mug of a chubby face as one grew on the old guy’s. Then he began a contagious chuckle immediately infecting me and we both laughed. The old guy finished the rest of his cigarette back in the house, his porch still covered with shit. It was alright to laugh. Then I realized it was never a matter of whether or not bullshit was deserved.

It never singled me out. Shit is sporadic, shit’s spontaneous, shit’s feeble, shit’s fucked up; and it could happen to anyone. Everyone and everywhere. I learned to laugh at the sight of it. It’s everywhere. stink lines steaming from the scattered poo! From my humility, I salute the hilarity of nature. I salute the person who takes a dump in a paper bag. for those about to shit, I salute you!

The natural order had never once made a promise to anything. Never planned on it. no passion toward futile indulgences! The hopes and promises we’ve convinced ourselves to have, seemed no more significant than a flaming bag of poop. There weren’t any better seats than the one you’ve already had. By the poo. Best seat in the house. I giggled gleefully as an arresting aloofness floated to me like a helium balloon as I witnessed and realized the solitary certainty that morning. Good things can happen, bad things can happen, but something happens because nothing never happened, and you can always laugh, learn and or move on. This fecalosophy was smeared all along existence.

The odds rationally were never in your favor should you attempt to act on your repulsion to the spicy poo you were going to step in. Nor for the steamy poo you’d already stepped in. The poos weren’t leaving. Ever. They’re by the best seats and also by the shitty seats. Flaming bags of poos were essences in life, rewards -a life without poo had no flame. A flight without a first class. A game show without a prize. A joke that didn’t get a laugh. hour and a fucking half late! …ha! you sunny rascal! you and your sunny balls! It truly was alright to laugh.

Walking through the busy main street made me feel like a ghost. A ghoul that haunted the pavements watching everyone walk hurriedly in all directions, worriedly checking their watches. Time terrifies us though it is a terminal disease of which we’ve all been blessed. We make the most of each ticking moment, and never remember to treat it as if they were our last. Postponing the possibility of our last moments by stretching our yesterdays through a quick pace by constantly checking the clock. Learning from history was never a skill mankind could crochet into it’s web of life. We were crocheted to repeat ourselves.

I walked into the vintage store I’d recently begun to frequent. Something about old worn clothing seemed to have collections of bits of soul threaded into every button. There were brand name items on the racks every now and then, but I couldn’t care less about those. My generation was a collection of nic-nacs left over from preceding generations. Some of us knew that. Of who were the ones collectively conscious of their birth into the wrong decade. What little soul there was left in this salvaged new world, could be unearthed among the tattered trinkets from the days of old. This belief, silly or not, this was evident: this world didn’t need anymore shit to ignore.

[p.13-15. The Alexandrian Condor, book in progress.]

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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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