i just got back from my mother's condo. stopped by to pick up some leftovers and drop off a brand new sewing machine someone i work with found and didn't want. i figured at least the colombian chick that takes care of my grandma during the day might want it. it was a breath of fresh air to be able to go to my mom's in short sleeves for the first time in awhile. she finally knows about my sleeve, i had been playing the hiding game and sweating my ass off for the past few months. i couldn't take it anymore and the opportunity to spill the proverbial beans presented itself last weekend when two of my friends came to my parent's house in the mountains. there was no way in hell i was going to rock longsleeves all weekend so it was a good way of forcing myself to show her my newest and most expensive piece. naturally i still had to booze myself up beforehand on the way there so i had some of the "fuck it" in me. i did some post-work barstooling with my apprentice buddy friday, then brown bagged it in the car on the way upstate (real friends let you drink in their vehicles). letting her see wasn't as bad as i had anticipated, but most things aren't. that can't be true otherwise i wouldn't be wasting my time with the keyboard. but anyway, she just walked up, looked at my arm, and said "let me read you." my mother is the only woman who can do that effectively, at least without stalking me online. she sees through these big brown eyes more easily than i like to think. she probably knew that i had more tattoo work done well before i came out of the ink closet too since she knows i normally wear t-shirts in january. at least that's one less thing i have to hide from her. someday, maybe, i'll tell her what i really went through in college. not to sound morbid, but that long story is best reserved for deathbed confessional time. after greeting my mom and stepdad i climbed the steps to see my grandma. we had the usual conversation about the status of my laundry and where i was eating dinner. then she grabbed my arm and asked what i did to it, meaning where did all of those silly pictures come from? my faulty spanish suddenly became even more broken as i backpedaled. don't remember quite what i said, and i'm sure the verb wasn't conjugated right, but i know she asked "why?" i said i didn't know, smiled. she pulled my arm closer, rubbed the leaves and face carved/painted in it, smiled back. she could've shat on me like any other 87-year-old with a third-grade education from a small god-fearing island would have, but she didn't. i guess i owe her some prime arm real estate when she eventually passes. knock on wood.
it's bizarre that another more dangerous vice, smoking, was easier to tell her about. i stopped making sure i was freshly showered and doused with cologne before seeing the fam a couple months ago and have been much happier ever since. i mean i don't smoke in front of them out of respect (unless we're all drunk and don't care), but at least i feel i can be myself to some extent around them. it was so uncomfortable having to keep so many things a secret for so long, or go through the motions of doing so for everyone's sake. she kissed my cheek tonight and smelled the recent smoke on my face and gave me the obligatory "quit smoking!" in her best motherly voice. i told her to do the same and it became awkwardly silent. i chimed in with a perfectly placed "good talk" after three seconds and headed home. i got sent to my dad's for two weeks as punishment for getting rid of my mom's stash when i was fifteen. that was always one area where there was some serious reverse parenting going on. one thing i can honestly brag to Saint Peter about is that i never smoked up, not that it'd kill me. fuck, it'd probably help mellow me out. i know now that my mom is the type of person who literally needs marijuana to level her personality. she's so uptight and stressed out at home with all the cooking and cleaning and finances and babysitting my senile grandma and alcoholic stepdad. when she's a little on the blazed side she gets to relax, i understand that finally. like last weekend when my friends and i visited her and my stepdad in the mountains, she was a totally different person in her own pleasantly chronified atmosphere. it was nice to see her smile for real, even if her glazed eyes gave away what they were doing up on the deck before we invited them down to hang with us and drink by the fire. i guess it's a sign that i'm growing up. i don't judge people as harshly anymore just because the majority of society deems something wrong. to each his own, to some extent. for fuck's sake, i wrote about my amazing drunk driving adventures in the last entry. i'm well on my way there right now; well, not the driving part. i was going to hold off on the writing tonight and chill in my man's bedroom across the hall tonight since his last night here, but i changed my mind. i'm sitting here with my freshly installed air conditioner blasting as he plays songs from a band that i loved and he hated from high school, shouting inside jokes and obscenities when appropriate. (i just hit him up with a perfectly placed "...that's what she said" worth at least eight points on the "ohhhhh shit" scale.) the fact that we can even do these things now shows how far we've both come as individuals, let alone friends. i decided that this was a more appropriate way of spending his last night in this house since this is how we spent so many others. "i'm going to the kitchen on an impenetrable mission to make a drink." "hey now, if anyone knows about impenetrable missions it's me." haha, i'll miss that kid being around every night.
another friend just showed up and laughed hysterically that he was able to sneak up the stairs (which is ironic since he weighs about 320, no joke) and caught me blogging hard as hell. all three of us starting cracking up because he made such a big deal of it and tried to make me feel like a tosser for my pseudowordsmithing. rolls of loveable fat gyrated as he shook his pointer finger in my general direction and yelled. it honestly felt like i was getting caught masturbating because he always makes fun of me about my writing habit, so strange. i diffused the situation by telling him to go downstairs and make a bourbon and coke because it makes me equally uncomfortable to see such a jolly guy without a drink in hand. i think i'll join him. oh no. whiskey. this will end in tears, haha.
the three of us just went outside for a smoke. on the way down we all smelled an atrocious stench of stale smoke. at first i thought it was from my other roommate grilling before, but as we approached the front door i realized what it was. my last cigarette break was not so responsible, i failed to fully extinguish the butt before tossing it into the flowerpot-turned-ashtray and it smoldered for an hour or so. whoops. way to almost burn down the house. it was almost my last night here as well. thank goodness the urge sucked me outside for some nicotine when it did.
i just realized i say "but" too much, idf;,mbasrglk'asehtlk(someone just commanded me to leave that) i'm always contradicting myself mid-sentence; and "realized," i'm always claiming to find things out; and "at least," i try my damnedest to pretend there's a silver lining on those hurricanes. i also just sent the link to this miserable bullshit to someone i probably shouldn't have. DMX is talking about fucking a corpse, i really have to go.
forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do. or who they screw. probably whom, but this bottle of yuengling doesn't care any more than i do so fuck it. i'm starting this right by starting it how i went wrong: with a few too many beers and some background music to fuel the...whatever it is i'm feeling...just go with it, that's why you're here.
it's become a dangerous game, even the whole secret blog thing. you let a few people know your innermost thoughts and feelings, and then those people become a part of them and you realize there was little to no point in the stupid secret blog to begin with. you're not about to start censoring yourself for safety's sake, and you blew your own spot by letting the cat out of the bag or the gimp out of the closet, so what are you to do? speak in code so only you and one other person understand you? yeah, that's worked before. but your track record ain't so good, kid, and you might as well start being honest. don't worry though, i won't drag any "innocent" bystanders into it. one of the latent functions of any of this is to make them understand you better, to possibly change the course of history by letting them know in prose what you can't in conversation. true, it hasn't worked to your advantage before; if anything it's gotten you in trouble: soured friendships, pissed roommates, lost loves. but if they can't deal with the truth, or your version of it, then fuck 'em. hang 'em high, right? you wish there was a time machine that allowed the appropriate people to travel back to this record of your state of mind two, five, ten years from now, and maybe change their actions and thereby change history. maybe he'll stick around even though it sucks, maybe she'll grow up a year early and save him from the search, maybe they'll accept their son as he is. but that won't happen, the wrinkle in time was only hypothesized. so you write, and you write as honestly as you can, and anyone who can't take it can go shit in their hat.
or on the toilet seat, whichever they prefer. i came home from work today and freaked out. i cleaned the bathroom yesterday since it was a mess after sunday's party. figured the sanitary state would last awhile, but i was wrong. i walked in there today and saw the shit stains on not only the inside of the bowl, but the fucking seat of the toilet. like, where people are supposed to sit and stuff. i know i'm not the perfect roommate, but i at least try to be respectful and leave things relatively close to how i found them. and when it comes to cleanliness in common areas i am quite adept; my mother raised me to be courteous of others, i was not raised in a barn. you can see why such a gross intrusion would aggravate me. for christ's sake, even a second grader knows better than to leave shit on a fucking toilet seat. but right, you're dealing with people so absorbed with their own petty lives that they can't take the time to consider someone else's. (i say "people," but don't necessarily mean the plural.) anyway, i refused to clean it up and chose to voice my agitation. definitely left two post-it notes right on the damn toilet seat: "whoever did this and left it is FUCKING DISGUSTING," and "i just cleaned the bathroom yesterday, try to show a little respect... -mike." somehow that made it ok for the time being, i said what i had to. but jesus, who raised people like that? common fucking sense, let alone common courtesy. so yeah, then i went to band practice and proceeded to drink heavily, and here i am. typing away, beating at the keys, hearing doors slam downstairs because they're pissed at my post-it notes, and not caring. fuck you, i make sure that i always win. even when i lose.
after a grueling practice which entailed working out an incredibly complicated new song i opted to swing by barnes and noble for some more bukowski since i only have one of his books on deck. it's a little sad that the bookstore is one of my drunken destinations; hey, it beats winding up between the legs of some naive cunt i don't care about! vahsen the conqueror, isn't that what he called me? lately i've been learning to choose not to "conquer" all the time, but we'll get to that later. anyway, i drove my inebriated ass to b & n and made a mad dash to the poetry section, trying to avoid eye contact, trying to see if there was a silver altima in the parking lot, trying to be anyone but me. i grabbed the book that suited my fancy, walked to the register, scratched my head when the clerk thanked me for using my barnes and noble member card to save ten percent, did a queer little finger wave to the girl that works there that knows Myself, and got the fuck out. maneuvering my vehicular down the main drag was easy despite the alcohol pumping through my arteries, but i remembered seeing those three cars pulled over in my town this afternoon and realized it was no coincidence that it was the end of the month and quotas had to be met. i was not about to be a statistic, dwi or not. which, i might add, isn't even fair. they should have a separate drunk driver's license in which you have only to obey all traffic lights and signs while managing to stay between the white and yellow lines and avoiding pedestrians and personal property. i know a lot of people that drive better "drunk" than some people do sober. but i digress. anyway, i didn't wanna get pulled the fuck over, lose my license, have problems getting to work, etc. so yes, i took a right at the T intersection and took the back roads home as to avoid the cop hiding places. made it home ok, obviously. fuck. FUCK. i lost it.
no i didn't. i just didn't see where it went. i still sleep with it and hold it when i'm trying to relax. "a lock of hair you said would prove our love would never die, well ha ha ha." fucking bright eyes. fucking women. i found it. i'm ok again. or at least as ok as i was. sounds can be just as comforting as feelings, though. just killed my beer, opened a new one, bent the cap in half, and dropped it into the empty. the clinking sound of the cap bouncing off the bottom of the bottle made me feel relieved. it means there's another 12 fluid ounces left to numb me, i've been here before. and it's even a quality beer. but fuck, there's a sound i don't like to hear at a time like this: a text message. and sure enough it's her, the first time in a long time. she's apologizing for blowing me off the other night when i drunk-dialed her from the house phone at my parent's place in the catskills. i just wanted to know if she missed me (see previous entry for further explanation). i had had a few and was "pondering life" and such, as my old partner at work used to call it when i zoned out and started daydreaming about these types of things. where was i going with this? oh, right. i'm almost out of wheat thins, which sucks because the last solid food i ate was a BLT at nine in the morning; more importantly, however, i'm on my last beer. i have some canadian club left and could mix it with coke to make my favorite cocktail as of late, but this would be even less intelligible if whiskey were to get involved. oh lord, this wasn't meant to be. none of it. please make it stop.
remember when you used to duke it out like this, kid? remember when it mattered? do it more. drink it more. punch those keys. he's on your arm right next to your mom, make him proud.
fuckin balls. i need a cigarette. i'm surprised i made it this long without one. i deserve it. i deserve every slow death that comes to me. smoke break, be right back.
this is me. this is me breathing and stinking and drinking and trying to convince at least one of you to be the underdog's cut man. but none of you will, no one really cares, and who can blame them? i'm out of beer and it's late and i need another cigarette and have too much to say in the amount of drunk time i have left to make it count. i'll get a twelve after stupid plumbing class tomorrow night and pick up where i left off. i should be doing this more often anyway, it's who i am. there's a line or ten about that in 'the captain is out to lunch...' but i won't bore you with a wiser man's words tonight. and she's not coming over to tuck me in, no surprise. she never did and she never will. people ask me my greatest fear and i tell them it's dying alone. i will.
fuckin A, i've been putting this off for over a week and realize now that i can sit here all night if i wanted to. it's twenty after nine, i've still got time. i'll let out as much as will come without being forced; a verbal beershit of sorts, pardon my french. i planned on making it short, sweet, and concise, but the first song that played on the cd i just popped in blurred my monitor a little and made me admit i have more to say than i'd like to cut out. it's the song that reminded me of how it ended several years ago now. i understand how pathetic it is that i can no longer even lie to myself and say "a few years ago" anymore; no, it's moved into the "several" range, and i still have the occasional nightmare. the fact that i'm currently working so close to where she lives doesn't help any. the ride to and from work every morning reminds me of braving the snow in that '87 monte carlo at one in the morning back when we were together, and how worth it was to risk an accident if it meant being able to spend time with the girl i thought was gonna be it. how naive of me to think i could have lucked out so early in the game. i was thinking today how odd it is how people come and go in our lives so easily. more specifically, how unfair it is that there's usually one poor bastard in every scenario that winds up being affected by the parting for much longer than the other. not that either party ever gets away totally unscathed; i know we all do our share of hurting, but the worst abandonment issues usually only fall on the shittier end of the stick. you stop and think, does that person even think about me at all anymore? do certain road signs, certain ice cream flavors, certain expletives remind them of me like similar haunting tokens remind me of them? something, anything, even if it's not the best memory. i just don't want to be forgotten entirely. nobody does, no matter what they say. even if i only served as a lesson in what you don't want, don't let me fall into the "total waste of time" category, right next to polishing the brass on the titanic.
fuck this, i need a bogey before i type anything else.
fuck that, my bogey break was cut short by the fact that the bastard child of Mothra and Nessie decided to flock to the light on my stoop. i just said "stoop." i don't live in the city, what the fuck?
but the city is definitely an interesting place to visit once in awhile. my best friend (i'm weening myself off of the "roommate" tag since he's moving out this week) went down there the weekend before last to visit our friends in manhattan and brooklyn and to go to the on the might of princes reunion concert. it was the last of a series of three shows, and quite impressive since they hadn't played together in almost five years. it always bugged the shit out of me that i got into them after they had broken up and never got to see them. their songs got me through a lot of nonsense and fueled a lot of drunken living room mosh pits just after midnight. true, most people's taste in music changes over time, but i'll never deny their masterful use of song dynamics, their brutally sincere lyrics, or the passion they played with that oozed right from home stereo speakers as much as it did from their amps on the stages they played for far too short a time. that's why i know i'll never regret the "where you are and where you want to be" tattoo i got in their honor. i also found out, after i had already gotten it, that the lead singer has an anchor tattoo in the same place that i have mine, the back of the right tricep. needless to say i peed a little. anyway, the weekend went exceptionally well and the hammered laughs filled the night like the tired faces that filled the subway trains that brought us from destination to destination. my buddy and i got to meet the singer of the band as we all smoked cigarettes outside before their last set ever. we were apprehensive about approaching guys from the band at first because we didn't want to come off as superlame groupies, but once we got a few beers and gin-and-tonics in us we said fuck it. it wound up paying off in spades, as we came to find out that our idols are down to earth as hell and incredibly grateful to be appreciated as much as they are, especially for such a small band. the singer was gracious and humble and "forced" us to give him a hug before he had to throw his butt down and get back into the venue. even invited us to share some drinks later on. my friend and i were on cloud nine from there on in, and the band's set did not disappoint at all. i bought a beer for the singer as they finished their first song since his was painfully empty. getting to the front of the crowd to deliver it wasn't all that difficult, since i was drunk, determined, and easily seventy pounds heavier than most of anemic little hipsters present. he was much obliged for the beverage. i repeated the act of alcoholic chivalry by fulfilling his request later on in the set, once again working my way right to the front where i was close enough to see the sweat dripping off the band members' faces and tears coming during a speech given about how lucky they are to have been a part of our lives in some way. not everything was so pussified while they played, though. there was some serious physical activity breaking out during the heavier parts of their songs and i had to save a few crowd surfers from busting their asses since twig-armed scenesters aren't exactly great at supporting things heavier than their buddy holly glasses. i hoisted half a dozen kids up onto the stage during the singalong parts and opted to hang back to prevent anyone from falling off during the parts that i knew would lead to people flying back off the stage. one of said parts during the second to last song worked out to my advantage, however, because i was able to fight my way between a few limbs to grab the set list that was typed to the floor next to the mic stand. i shoved it in my back pocket, it's on the wall in my room above my bed now right next to the lyric sheet from one of their albums. the crowd rushed the stage during their last song and the cables connecting both guitars to both amps were disconnected in the chaos, but the bass and drums and fleeting ecstasy shared by the die-hard fans present were enough to satisfy me. i could say a lot more about that weekend, and was originally going to, but maybe i should leave it at that. what happens in brooklyn stays in manhattan, or however that saying goes.
last week was rather shitty other than that weekend. i feel like i don't have any time to do what i want because my weeks are always basically scheduled the same after work-- monday: dinner and laundry at mom's; tuesday: beer and band practice (used to be dinner with dad, but we don't talk anymore. awesome.); wednesday and thursday: stupid plumbing class, which is no longer preceded by four or five tallboys of bud since my apprental friend can't make it to my place in time anymore and i can't justify drinking alone while it's still light outside; friday and saturday: drunk, usually at rob's or a bar, also usually ending in mcgriddles; sunday: recovering from friday and saturday and prepping for the next week of hell. it sounds counterintuitive, but i somehow feel as though i have less time now that i'm single. maybe it's because i subconsciously find activities or substances to take up the time that used to be spent with her. what's really been pissing me off is that i can't seem to keep my eyes open long enough to read anything more complicated than some bukowski. i started the dickens novel with a bang one weekend, but have become increasingly lethargic since then and can't seem to fight my way through the damn thing. then again, i think it's been so hard to put good ol' hank down because i missed him so much. i had already read over fifteen of his books when i decided to pump the brakes for a bit so i don't tap my favorite writer's catalog dry prematurely. sure, his is the kind of stuff you can revisit later on, but i'd need more eventually. pretty soon i'd be trying to sell extraneous organs on the black market to try to outbid other rabid fans for rare and out of print books on e-bay. granted, i love reading different authors, but hank's the guy i can always go back to. i have to treat his books like a rich dessert that can only be indulged in small increments so i don't burn right through them; a story in bed before sleep or after a bad day when i need to be reminded i'm not totally crazy, a few poems on the shitter or while brushing my teeth, etc etc. i'll end the buk rant now or this will never end, and it's already been two hours since i sat down to write because i keep getting distracted.
fuck this whole pants thing, i'm strippin' down.
last week at band practice my co-guitarist started bitching about a nearby caterpillar's presence as we had a smoke break outside his garage. one of this guy's many cleverly annoying catch phrases is "what am i doing with my life?" i figured i'd throw it back at him on the insect's behalf by using that against him. i told him he's just jealous because the caterpillar knows exactly what he's doing with his life: he's turning into a goddamn butterfly. the four of us (five, if you count the butterfly) laughed uncomfortably for a few seconds, but then i think it dawned on us that maybe not knowing our fate is a little more frightening than we'd like to admit. my friend poured some of his beer out on the caterpillar to reiterate his frustration with it. i tossed my butt to the ground and extinguished it with a pivot of my sneaker(the cigarette, not the caterpillar). if you would have told me this is where i'd be and what i'd be doing six years ago i would have laughed at you. this is "where i am," but it's not quite "where i want(ed) to be," that's for damn sure. am i going to be this stupid searcher forever? is it gonna be a constant trapeze act from one failed relationship to the next? is everything i touch going to continue to turn to shit? will i ever become a competent plumber out of necessity, even though i don't want to? all that thinking made me envious of that lucky caterpillar too in a way, until i stumbled upon a stanza lawrence laid out for me well over half a decade ago:
Then, then comes the great moment of choice.
Oh, life is nothing if not choice.
And that which is choice alone matters.
it somehow managed to put things into perspective, to make me relieved to not have my life's course set in stone like a common creature. i may not know where i'm going, but if you have the time and patience i'll tell you everything about where i've been. i think i should finish telling about this past particular weekend tomorrow though if i really want to do it justice. good talk.
"the captain is out to lunch and the sailors have taken over the ship" by charles bukowski.
"great expectations" by charles dickens.
i'm still not sure how i managed to only have two unseen typos in last night's entry, even after the sadly focused attempt at proofreading through the whiskey-drunk haze. apparently, according to my computer, the last song i listened to during the whole process was 'everybody hurts' by r.e.m., which i definitely don't remember, let alone want to admit. i also forgot to include a few other pertinent things that i had originally planned on mentioning, but that's expected as the level of liquid in the tumbler lowers; like how i was rummaging through the papers and random objects strewn about my dresser and found the two thin metal discs that were once part of her earrings. we drank two large bottles of white wine (i know, but it was her choice) during a movie and the night didn't end well. past sins were rehashed and wounds were reopened. we both brought up painful things that the other had done, but she totally flipped out on me. cursed at the top of her lungs, wailed on me with her clenched fists, scratched me, bit me, etc., and her earring broke as i tried to restrain her. (ok, i won't play the saint. i do remember spitting in her face at some point during our pissing match that evening, but it you would've too if she had said those things to you with that smug look that warranted far worse than some saliva.) i had my female roommate and her boyfriend drive her home since neither of us were in any state to operate a motor vehicle. when we spoke the next day and apologized to each other she said how upset she was that she woke up with my blood on her white shirt. i think we stayed apart for about a week after that fiasco, which is sickening. you'd think we would've taken the hint that we shouldn't have been together, but no. we tried to make ice cream out of shit (those lame construction phrases really rub off on me) for far too long and stuck it out through some scenarios that any sane person would have left after. i found the remains of her earring a few days after the brawl and told her i'd try to fix it, but never managed to find the clasp and therefore never lived up to another of my promises. it sat hidden on my dresser for months and months until it reared its ugly head the other night conveniently as the alcohol was coursing through my bloodstream.
shit like that's been happening more and more lately, those stinging little reminders of the good and bad times that we spent together (and drinking on weeknights as a result). i'd sit here and list them, but they wouldn't make sense and it's really unnecessary since i'm sure you already know what i mean. besides, sharing those kinds of things tend to cheapen them, and if i have to live with all of those mistakes i'd rather have them still retain some sort of value. no matter how much a past love interest pisses you off you always carry a piece of them with you. it's just a matter of for how long, and in my case...let's just say i have some issues with letting go of things, good or bad. a bit of an emotional packrat, if you will.
but i won't discriminate, we can't forget about the physical scars. i'm sitting in my car during lunch break on the new jobsite last week and look to my left. parked next to me is a beat up old mercedes with rust spots from at least fifteen years ago that some guy in their twenties who wants to claim to have a benz would buy. i glance at the person lounging the in the driver's seat, establish that my assessment of the vehicle owner's age and sex is correct, look back down at the book in my lap, and abruptly do a double-take. no, it couldn't be him! i feel my blood rise as the puerto rican temper comes out in me, i reach down for the 14-inch pipe wrench sitting on the floor of my car, my knuckles whiten around its handle. his windshield beckons to meet my heavy wrench. i promise myself not to use the tool on his body, just his vehicle, since his body will be taken care of by my fists. my fingers slide into my door handle as my foreman drives by the front of my car and smiles at me. i come to my senses and remind myself that it's not worth losing my job and possibly going to jail over this weasly little punk. i shoot a look at him again, he doesn't notice because my car is slightly further back from his. putting the pipe wrench down takes me back to reality. i look up into my rear-view mirror, see the scar across the bridge of my nose, rub it a few times with my hand which is still shaking from the adrenaline. i hadn't seen him since the one night i ever did, the night at the bar two years ago when he broke my nose with a heineken bottle. if you're reading this then you probably already know the story so i won't be redundant. basically, homeboy came up to my friends and i and started talking shit as he stood behind us at the bar. i tried diffusing the situation nicely twice, but when he insulted me after the second time i said i couldn't hear him with all that cock in his mouth and he hit my nose with the bottom edge of his bottle. yeah, real brave, tough guy. anyway, i couldn't believe this bologna bandit was really on the same job as me. i always swore i'd settle the score if i saw him in a bar sometime, but never dreamed i'd have to see him excrutiatingly sober and while i'm working. he still hadn't noticed me by that point, and doubt if he would've anyway. my hair was longer two years ago and i wasn't the lean, mean, plumbing machine i am now. besides, we were both so wasted and it happened so fast that he probably wouldn't even remember what i look right off the bat. lunch ended and i nonchalantly walked back to the area we were working in. my foreman and coworkers asked why i seemed so pissed off and out of it all of a sudden so i told them. their faces soured and they started asking where this guy was now, suggesting different gruesome means of exacting their punishment on them. no one messes with their beloved 'shakespeare!' (yeah, of all the nicknames to be given...i knew i shouldn't have told them i used to be an english major before i fucked up.) we all realized how ridiculous the situation was, laughed, and calmed back down. my supervisor and current work partner, dave, who loves me so much that he tried (repeatedly) to marry me off to his (fat) daughter, approached the general contractor on the job later that day and asked who the asshole in question works for. ironically, he is the plumbing inspector for hannaford. needless to say it seemed as though we'd be seeing more of him and things could possibly pop off. i spent a couple days after the initial surprise thinking of how to handle the awkward situation. true, i don't want to jeopardize my anal virginity by doing jail time, but i think i need to at least address the bastard and let him know that if he were worth it i'd be more than happy to remind him that things would've ended a lot differently that fateful night at the bar if i weren't sitting down at the bar with my back to him as he sucker-punched me with a fucking heinie. i can't walk up to him and say something because then the man code would require me to make something of it, fistocuffically speaking. i settled on a more passive approach. if he walks by me, which he hasn't, i will reintroduce myself with one of my witty remarks: "how were those eight months in orange county jail?" or "wanna try to hit me now that i'm not sitting down with my back to you?" or "thanks for the monthly restitution check for a hundred bucks!" or, if he makes a comment about the pipe we're laying, "what was that? it's hard to hear you with all that cock in your mouth," at which point his jaw would drop. i guess i'll take it from there. something tells me he won't have much to say, let alone do, because i'm a lot taller and thicker than his scrawny, pale ass. be the bigger man, but defend yourself if need be. a couple days ago my apprentice buddy and i were sitting in our cars looking at him doing paperwork in his haggard "mercedes" and laughed hysterically when he started the loud hunk of shit up and drove off the site. he hasn't been back since that day, it's been a different hannaford rep on the job. i'm starting to wonder if he recognized me and requested to be redeployed elsewhere for his own benefit. it's a terribly small world, folks. and, of course, at the end of it all i wondered what my old nightly sounding board would have said about the ordeal. she would've been more pissed than me and told me not to worry so much about consequences for once (while sober). fuck, it really always does come back to a female somehow in my life. kinda hate that. arnold was right in "terminator 3" tonight. "you'll find a way to destroy her," says john connor. the schwarzinator sets him straight with "unlikely, she's a far more superior design." maybe not more superior, but definitely more resilient. i tend to dwell. just a little bit. no, really, i know it's hard to believe and all. balls.
i met the old friend who first taught me to play at barnes and noble the other night. i had already sucked down nine beers at band practice so i was pretty much three-quarters of the way in the bag when i got there. (you know you're really hip when you go to the fucking bookstore ripped.) i threw down forty-three bucks on some much-missed bukowski books since i halted my collection expansion a few months ago so i wouldn't run out of material of his to buy too soon. i made it home ok and found those two metal discs from her earring as i disrobed and threw the shit from my jean pockets onto my dresser. yeah, it sucked, but what sucked more was that i couldn't find another decent bookmark to use for my bukowski since my other two are already employed. in my half-a-glow stupor i had a brainstorm. two inverted five-inch strips of electric tape with two stupid metal discs at either end later and i had myself a goddamn appropriate bookmark, especially for something by good ol' hank. i read a few of his short stories before passing out and chuckled over my ingenuity as i turned out the light. rebuild as best you can from the scraps left behind after the fallout. that's the best you can do with a lousy hand.
the lies inside the fortune cookies i ate tonight.
it was good to be able to go out to dinner again and not have it be awkward, but what else should i have expected? it's not like there's anyone who understands me better, beats me to the punchlines before i do. the laughs were needed, the food was decent, the beer was just what the psychiatrist ordered. the ride home was equally poignant; he's the only one who'd understand why; the reclaiming of the album thing. it was one i hadn't heard in awhile since it conveniently lost itself for a few months in the cluttered backseat of my car. i found it this morning and decided to pop it in, partially because i missed it and partially because i wanted to see if i could take it. we had played it nonstop several times over the summer on our failed camping trip in the catskills. i say 'failed' because her idea of a campground is my idea of a tourist attraction hell, and besides, we came home after one noisy sleepless night due to the rain. we wound up giving the remainder of our firewood to the drunk white trash that kept us awake all night with their drunken revelry. the one redeeming factor was that i almost taught her how to fish. i say 'almost' because the moments still weren't quite right, just as forced as the other two years. i need to stop explaining my word choice almost as much as i need to get off this tangent. so the ride home tonight was enjoyable and he enjoyed the record as much as she did, but i know i won't regret burning it for him like i do for her. good music is one of those funny things that you regret sharing quite easily after you realize the person isn't worthy. i say 'worthy' because...fuck, wasn't gonna do that anymore. if i had a nickel for every time i said that i wouldn't be here, though.
he's blasting 'holy diver' by dio across the hall and my uncontrollable laughter isn't helping my respiratory infection. but then again neither are the beer or cigarettes. it's too warm in my room, my socks need to come off. i'd turn the fan on, but it'll muffle the music coming from the haggard dj's room over yonder. the price you pay for memorable evenings spent together on respective computers. but it's worth it, since there won't be too many more nights like this. fuck, i need to empty my piss bottle soon. my turn to be dj now. i'm opting for weezer's 'pinkerton' cd. the first track gets turned way the fuck up for both of our sakes; there isn't a more appropriate nerd rock song for right now than 'tired of sex.' my moral half, at least, agrees with that sentiment. the drunken text messages and shameful late night meetings suggest otherwise. (i wanted to use 'rendezvous' there, but the general concensus was unsure of whether or not the plural form of 'rendezvous' is in fact 'rendezvous.' she would've known, all the pretentious assholes took french in high school. the cool kids took spanish. i just realized that this digression has been far too long to warrant the parenthesis, but the killian's doesn't care any more than you do.) my numbers are rising again, though there have been a few recycled sources of (sub-par) orgasmic entertainment. i reached an all-time low in one respect...ok, so i reached it twice...that is far too embarrassing to even mention here, and if you know me you know i'm rather transparent when it comes to my foolish endeavors. the mood just changed here at the mansion, two female friends of ours showed up and lightened things up. platonically, of course. but the music has been turned up and the drinks are somehow going down easier. one of them just came into my room and made me run my hand through her hair to see how nice it feels today. little does she know that's an obsession of mine. it's because when i was a baby my mom would put me to sleep by letting me play with her hair. the sense of comfort it provided has carried over into adulthood somehow. i think that's why whenever a serious girlfriend of mine and i break it off she tends to chop off her hair. it's more than the typical act of female post-relationship redefining, it's an act of revenge. i know what you're thinking, i have issues with assuming the world is against me; more specifically, the female demographic. but understand that it's how i contend with the bullshit. if you assume they're all your enemies, you won't let your guard down for long enough to get hurt. typing that out just made me realize it's not how i operate at all, though it sounds effective in theory. i'm more of a practitioner of a term i coined tonight (while still sober): 'passionate indifference,' though maybe 'indifferent passion' is more appropriate. i'd elaborate on the difference between the two and their applications to my life, but something more relevant just happened. one of the girls heard a song coming from my room and said it was the third consecutive good song i have played this evening, thus crowning me talented dj of the house. little does she know it's more than the four-chord pop-rock song most people hear it as for me since it was the one playing when she im'd me that fateful night three years ago just as i was becoming dizzy from the pills. one-way ticket home from school, kids, as soon as the seven-day stint in the ward was up. after that song played just now another under the radar hit came on that she appreciated. "wow, you're so awesome!"..."i guess people just don't give me a chance."..."yeah, i know!"..."thanks."...followed by his laughter from the other room, and mine. you can't help but roll with the painfully true punches sometimes, the backhanded compliments that remind you why you are who you are and you are where you are. which reminds me of 'where you are and where you want to be,' the words tattooed on my right bicep in a tasteful cursive and the second album by my favorite band, on the might of princes, who is playing a reunion show this sunday in brooklyn which my two friends and i will be attending (drunk people don't care about run-on sentences). i can't wait to be there, far away from all this dreary monotony. a weekend in the city with two of my best friends, and another reunion of sorts aside from the band's show. i hope she's the same as i remember her, but they never are. never. we put them on pedestals to make it seem like times were better once and can be that way again, but it's only a mechanism to prevent us from realizing that this is as good as it gets for most of us. call me cynical, but settling for what's attainable is the unrecognized sign of growing up. again, call me cynical. just fucking call me. please. i miss you. you're not even reading this, because i pretend i don't want you to by keeping it a secret. this paragraph is too long and random, i shall start another.
they just left. they invited me to go with them, but that town's too far away and i don't feel like going to work on four hour's sleep again like last night (see also: drunken text messaging reference in previous paragraph). he was going to go with them without telling me, but i called him while he was on his way out and he told me he was leaving. i asked what happened to the stiff whiskey drink i made him (canadian club and coke) and he said he put it in the fridge. i knew it would never be imbibed once the ice cubes had melted and i can't support alcohol abuse so i asked him to bring it up to me and he did. it's gonna be a longer night than i anticipated, and the fingers move faster as the blood-alcohol-content increases. which reminds me, i love the fact that he beats me to the "...that's what she said" punchline more often than not. this new medium seems to have turned into a shrine to platonic manlove, but if that's the case then so be it. it is what it is, that was my intention. ***no, it wasn't. none of this was your intention. you didn't want to go crazy. you didn't want to drop out of school. you didn't want to have a career in the building trade. you didn't want to hurt that many innocent people (you're not as cynical as you present yourself). you didn't want to finish that last drink since you made it too strong, but you did. and now you're starting on the next. the next. the next. you're always so consumed by the notion of 'the next' that you fail to be thankful for 'the current.' you want that false sense of security that says there will always be another to come when this one is ruined, you always play it conservative when it comes to some things, you always kept your checker pieces on the back row. and you hate the fact that when you can't take the criticism so well you speak as though you're addressing someone else. but really, you are. she just hasn't found this yet. does that explain the message in a bottle tattoo? you knew there was a reason.
what frightens you is that it's so easy to picture. the prelude, the words to live in infamy, the act, the gore. anything drastic and permanent is so much more frightening when you can break it down into a few simple scenes. but then you think of all the years of simple scenes you'd be missing out on over nothing, or what will seem like nothing soon. you look at the map of the united states he gave you tonight. it used to hang in his room, but he won't need that kind of filler to make his old room feel like home again. you look at the different designations for the different patterns on the map: desert, grasslands, deciduous forest, population. you notice that the latter is merely a splotch of dirty yellows and browns, depending on the extent of human corruption present in the specified location. new york city is the darkest spot. you laugh at the irony of the fact that the landscape is literally littered with the human race and establish that maybe you're not that far off in your assumptions about people.
this drink is almost done, and so am i.
i just stumbled in(to a few pieces of furniture on the way in) from smoking the night's last cigarette (which was a bad idea since i've been coughing up my lungs with this illness). the whiskey is gone and i'm glancing at the trash can next to my desk every few seconds like a friend i might need if the booze doesn't sit right with me. the soda and bourbon are dripping down my chin and sheryl crow is playing so i know i'm really hammered. the smoke went well, i should get used to having them alone. before staggering outside i grabbed a chocolate chip cookie to make the cigarette taste better than it would have otherwise. the package had been left open and the cookie was stale. why is it that things that are supposed to be hard are considered stale when they go soft (cookies), and things that are supposed to be soft are suddenly deemed stale when they get hard (bread)? i'll tell you why: human nature. we don't want to be content, we don't know how. that's why so many double-standards are prevalent, even in the culinary world. overanalysis, i know. that's how i roll. anyway, while outside smoking i blew a snot rocket directly into a tulip tree as a moth fluttered up my bare back and i felt ok with my current state: a haggard (yes, i used it twice in one entry) construction worker still in love with the written word, and maybe even life sometimes. don't let him fool ya, he's in it for the long haul.
'great expectations' by charles dickens.
'south of no north' by charles bukowski.
you see a blue austin healy sports car with a white racing stripe and think of how your dad used to tell you it was his dream car growing up. too bad he only visits you in nightmares now, and your older coworkers have taken his roll in a bizarre way. and now even the coworker you were recently separated from is giving you nightmares because you miss him so much. maybe it's because you know he covers up the pain with laughs just like you do, even though his father and sister burning in a house fire when he was a kid is a far bigger cross than you'll ever bear, hopefully. you become envious of his son and wish your own biological father, "the Sperm Donor," as your mother used to call him during her fits of rage, was half as cool as he is. it's fitting that the damn small penis mobile was driving away from you as you saw it today. it's been six months since you've seen or spoken to him and he hasn't responded to the heartfelt letter--the letter whose delivery you had to make alone ultimately convinced you to leave such a selfish person.
you see an ad in a magazine for a cell phone with an elderly demographic and think of how funny it would've been if you could still text her with a picture of it in remembrance of the laughs you once shared. too bad you can never end anything on a good note, even for the twenty-first time. speaking of which, you hope her new age is treating her well and the new guys at the new bars are buying her fresh drinks. even the ones you inadvertently turn into enemies deserve to have fun. but that term is relative; capote said that "the Enemy was anyone who was someone he wanted to be or who had anything he wanted to have." try to deny your jealous nature all you like, the dead men always seem to sum you up better than you'd like to admit; the ones worth reading, anyway.
and you can't even seem to focus on that anymore, your supposed favorite hobby. you force yourself through a hundred pages a day on weekends to make up for your sins, but it's not the same. you roll around in your bed with your nose in the pages in between naps for the forty-eight hours that used to be designated for other more productive ventures. but there's really no one to see anymore, at least not until night falls and you buy a case of beer with a denomination higher than twelve and hope it's enough to get you through the night, at least until three in the morning when mcdonald's starts selling your new favorite vice: sausage egg and cheese mcgriddles. the beer isn't the only substitute which has developed a tolerance, though; it now takes three of those breakfast sandwiches to fill the void for the evening, each at forty-five grams of fat. which you are starting to feel, between all the grease and beer and lethargic hours spent wasting away in--how did she put it once?--"your prison cell of a room."
which only reminds me that you're right and they're right and you hate that they know that they are. you can't escape this, even though part of you never seems to want to anyway. the Misery has become a joke, an association you're almost proud of, though you'd never admit it in person. you can't change that the past is always there to laugh. your best friend chuckles with you as you both drive past a billboard that says something to the effect of "learn to love history." the sideways glances are enough to express the shared notion that neither of you ever well, the skeletons will never stop tapdancing in your respective closets, and you might as well have them perform at your next party. the party, you realize, that will be bittersweet for you because he's leaving for real and you don't think you can cope with that. it was convenient to have that safety net, it outweighed the "Alternative" that taps you on your shoulder and winks on those melodramatic movie script days. who else will ever understand you like he does? the ones you think you did sure didn't. you see the drunken, lazy-eyed pictures from the party and realize it sums you up perfectly. then you see the one where the ink can't quite hide the scars because of the lighting and realize you're not fooling anyone anymore, you're a lush and a crybaby and a bit of a hypocrite, but at least you're still trying.
but trying for what? exactly what you swore you'd never do again? waking up fully clothed in your own piss and vomit? is the hendrix death appealing to you? and what happened to avoiding the entrapping nature of the headboard notching game? and the break-up sex and the make-up sex and the "how many drinks is this going to cost me?" sex and the whiskey dick "let me try again in the morning" sex and the "i'm really sorry, but it was just sex" sex that makes you feel shallower afterwards than you did twenty agonizingly awkward minutes before the five-second orgasm. you see the love-stains on your sheets and smell the different perfumes in your pillowcase and change them all, though you'd rather just burn them.
ironically, that's all you truly want: to burn for someone, and to hope someone will burn for you in return. she claims to never have seen the passion, but it's the one thing i feel i've held true to all this time, during all these phases. i am dmitri karamazov, my good intentions are flawed by my blind willingness to sacrifice anything to achieve whatever it is that fuels me at the moment. ok, so "whomever" is probably more appropriate.
but maybe all isn't lost. you see the last message she sent and try not to let yourself get too excited. someone as sincere as you? someone as beautiful and dark-featured as the one you (and your ex) knew you really wanted to be with, like the mystery girl whose face you have tattooed on your arm? someone as poetic, or pseudopoetic? as well-read? as intelligent, or quasismart? but, most importantly, as hurt. because it's no fun living if you can't laugh at death, can't acknowledge its presence and its grasp on your fragile state. it's coming--like a slow train or a speeding bullet, but it's fucking coming, baby. and you can't wait to take that other train...the one to see her again in a few weeks, for the first time in a long time. cross your fingers kid, it's helped you before. and hey, capote was right yet again: "the compulsively superstitious person is also very often a serious believer in fate."
"in cold blood" by truman capote.