7.23.2007

this is why i don't pursue a career in stand-up.

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Publish Post

the other night i came home and overheard what was going on in my roommate's bedroom downstairs. her boyfriend was sitting on the bed listening as she drunkenly belted out show tunes along with the broadway musical they were watching in her room. this isn't the first time i've witnessed this psychotic activity. i don't know how he does it. i would've killed the bitch a long time ago, spiritually or physically, if i had to sit through that kind of wine-fueled supercaucasian nonsense. she's a sweet girl for the most part, but that there is one broad that is definitely safe from any failed romantic onslaught on my part; sometimes you just have to be thankful to know what you sure-as-hell don't want. love through process of elimination seems to be the name of the futile game during these perilous times of searching for what mockingly seems to be right under my nose. (she just doesn't know it yet. none of us ever do until it's too late.)

and a greater part of me would like to blame my old man for what i appear to be turning into, what she causticly cursed me with, who i never thought i'd live and die like: him. the nightmares where he comes back to criticize my life some more are becoming more frequent and vivid, i wonder if he ever dreams of his estranged son like that. after another night of intoxicated text-message frustration last week i ripped the chain off my neck that has the stupid gold ring he gave me right before we stopped talking and threw it against the wall as hard as i could. i woke up in the morning to find that the ring was now flat on one end from the impact. i guess it was as gold as our relationship was healthy. i knew i should have given it back. but one useful thing he once gave me suddenly went missing about a week ago. the tooled brown leather belt with two tan stripes and a buckle i picked out suddenly disappeared from my room one day. i had worn it the night before, taken my jeans off while leaving the belt in them, gone to work the next morning, and when i came home the belt was gone. granted, i had a couple beers the night before, but i wouldn't have taken my belt off and hidden it somewhere. i'm a creature of habit and always keep things in their designated places due to mild OCD. the search i conducted throughout the house left me no closer to solving the mystery. it's as if i wasn't meant to have it anymore since i'm clearly not meant to have him. fuck, here i go again. i just read in my book of ancient chinese war philosophy that taking things as omens should be avoided to squash fear. sorry, i can't help it. let me just blame the missing belt on the fact that i'm not the only person that ever sets foot in this house instead of some supernatural phenomenon. it's a lot easier to believe that some asshole just stole my shit arbitrarily, so that's what i'll try to convince myself of.

speaking of belts, what the fuck is wrong with me? why is it that i always loop my work belt counterclockwise around my waist, but my (now missing) "i am definitely not working right now" belt always goes on clockwise? it's just one of the many quirks i have and can't explain.

i'm pretty sure my face is somehow crooked. the last pair of aviators i had, before i sat on them in my car in a rush to leave stupid plumbing class, sat on my face oddly with one side pitched down. i figured it had to do with the fact that they were defective, but my theory has since changed. i recently bought two new pairs, one black and one red, and they both sit on my face in the same lopsided fashion unless i make a conscious effort to straighten them. it's one of those things that occupies my mind more than it should, but that i doubt anyone else notices.

kinda like how cigarette smoke is two different colors: blue when it's wafting up from between your fingers, brown as you're expelling it from your lungs. sometimes on the porch at night when no one's around to join me in my cancer habit and nobody feels like picking up their phone i just stand there under the light and make the smoke go blue brown blue brown blue brown blue brown until there's nothing left but the butt and maybe nothing left of my mind if such a trivial nuance, if it even really exists, fascinates me so easily.

ground control to major tom: you're losing it exponentially in a fourteen-by-twelve room, and this is supposed to be the "fun" time of year when leaving the house is all the more practical due to the weather. meanwhile, all i want to do is hide in my air conditioned cell and alternate between reading and sleeping and waiting for a message to save me from some horrible fate that i haven't wholly made up for myself yet. self-fulfilling prophecies be damned, this ain't exactly easy to break out of.

my mom and stepfather are going to florida for a week. my grandma's caretaker can't be at their house for the next three nights so i'll be filling in for her. it should be interesting, considering the old lady and i can barely communicate (recurring theme, i know) due to the language barrier. it's cool though, we'll get by. i'll take her for a walk around the block like she used to take me when i was a kid; people dig that coming-full-circle, cycle of life shit. we can watch tv, she laughs at sitcoms even though the dialogue means nothing to her since it's in english. but hey, there's always the other universal language: humor. let me give you an example. ok, so she's eighty-seven years old and pretty much has some form of early alzheimers, or is at least a bit senile. she can't remember what she had for lunch half the time. this means that i get to face the guilt trip every time i go there now. the sleeve on my left arm is always disappointingly new to her, and she asks me why i drew those things on myself and if they're permanent while scrunching her face up as if the sight of my ink physically hurt her. it gets awkward and i tend to make excuses to leave the room abruptly when it happens, but last week she cracked me up. she asked if that was a woman on my arm and i said yes. then she asked why i can't get a woman in real life instead of painting one on my arm, followed by the most sinister little brothers grimm fairytale witch cackle i'd ever heard. alrighty then, grandma's got jokes! i'm workin' on fixing that problem, dammit, but it's one of those things that just gets more out of reach the harder you try. eh, at least we both got a good laugh out of it at my expense. it's one of those moments that i'll remember fondly when she's gone. let me go knock on wood. balls, there i go with the superstition again.

7.12.2007

just go listen to "for meg" by on the might of princes.


but seriously, it's bad enough i took a nap for an hour and a half so i'd wake and be ready to down enough to get rhode island drunk and then start typing, but to have that be the first thing i see? this past week has been hectic enough, i don't need the added insult to injury. green may be her favorite color, but it's a hell of a color to see the world through all the time; wanting what you can't have, missing what you did. and maybe it's a little sad that this, for me, is therapy, but to each his own. drinking alone on a wednesday night may not be all that classy, but it suits me just fine. three people in the last week have kindly suggested i curb the habit a bit for awhile, and they're probably right, but i don't see the harm if it's used a productive tool to unwind in my room. i'd say it helps me imagine a better life, but it's no psychedelic. alcohol is clearly a depressant, but if used properly it can heighten the creative and painfully honest aspects of my inner being and thereby allow me to escape reality in a more direct way than reading. i really need to stop tossin' 'em back in other places as frequently, though. i don't remember the impact that put the small dent in the back of my car sometime over the course of the last week, but i can tell you i was probably extremely intoxicated and should not have been behind the wheel of anything with the ability to exceed five miles per hour. it scares me to think that i can sink that low at times when it can somehow be rationalized, and it's only a matter of time before it catches up with me like the rest of my mistakes. the whiskey tastes right tonight and the beer is cold and i'm ready to let go of form and go with the flow. i usually try to give my rambling some sort of coherent structure that segues nicely from one topic to the next, but i have so much to say that writing a fucking essay just doesn't seem feasible, let alone fun. it's sad that doing a stream-of-consciousness sort of rant is about as recalcitrant as i get, aside from the whole drunk driving thing, but i'm really not all that exciting most nights; a loud-mouthed lush at best (or worst), a boring bookworm at whatever you consider the opposite. a world of extremes i am, folks. no happy medium, no happy anything. but this part of it all makes it worthwhile, the putting it down in pretty little words that from a distance seem to amount to something. not that i want to have to do this for the rest of my life. no, i only do this right now because i feel i have to for my own dwindling sanity. i want someone to somehow find a way to make me want to put this drunken documenter side of me down: like a tired veteran putting his rifle in the closet, like an ex-alky locking the flask away, like a cleaned-up junkie burying his spoon, like a happy young man focusing all of his attention on the positive energy shared with his loving partner instead of having to face his fears head-on at night with a drink in his left and the mouse in his right and that ever-laughing escape sheathed just feet away. but let's be real, that day is not even on the horizon for me or someone like me. so for now, cheers. (i know what this paragraph made you think, and i don't have an answer: how many times will i try to say the same thing in a different way? there are only so many spins i can put on the same situation, the same desires. if i were you i'd stop reading too, or i'd try to do something about it. remember: it's not the accident that holds up traffic, it's the passersby turning their necks.)

i'll try to spare the majority of you (haha, only like eight people read this) by getting to what you're probably most curious about first. no, i have not hunted anyone down in the heat of the moment and broken multiple bones. even yours truly tends to simmer after awhile, though there was a period when pounding my right fist into my left palm and fantasizing about the plan of attack in the shower was not unheard of. frankly, he's not even worth it. no long-term good would come of revenge, and i think i made my point already, though i don't quite remember much after killing the bottle of hundred-sixty proof rum and dialing his number. there's nothing i can do now but learn from it, and be leary of trusting anyone again simply because of their alleged rank in my hierarchy of friends and acquaintances. when it comes down to it, the guy you'd have as your best man in your wedding would do you dirty quicker than the bum next to you at the bottle return sometimes. it's not a matter of fixed loyalty based on title, it's a matter of what people want and how much they're willing to sacrifice to get it. (and though, like i said, the ass-kicking daydreams have stopped, i still like to think about asking him the one simple question that always came from my mouth during those violent little mental scenarios: "was it worth it?") and the band is one thing i realized i'm not willing to sacrifice. i didn't realize how much i had missed playing during that year hiatus, and things were just starting to come together for us. we'll even have a bonafide singer soon since our top-secret future vocalist gave us his word he'd be ready to take on the commitment in two months. at first i thought i could let it go by the wayside, but after about a week i put the scenario into perspective. either i lose a friend and a band, or i just lost a friend. it's hard for me to swallow my pride and bury the hatchet, but i know i can maintain a professional relationship with him for a few hours a week at practice because i love the band more than i dislike him. at first i considered the notion selling out, and i guess in a way it is, but i see no other way of continuing to function at a somewhat healthy level without reaching some sort of compromise. as mentioned in my previous entry, there are far too many turds in this current shitstorm to convince me that being stubborn on this matter would behoove me in the long run. i can be a big boy, no dirty looks or menacing remarks. just don't talk to me about anything other than the music after the amps turn off for the night or expect me to ever want to chill one-on-one again; we've both lost that privelege, this is just making the best of it for the sake of one of the other entities both of us cherish. the tension will fade with time, it always does. it's just a matter of getting there. the always-applicable irony in it all now, the band we saw reunite in may and the album he introduced me to that saved my life and whose title is on my arm: "where you are and where you want to be."

the coke just stopped fizzing in the tall, tantalizing cocktail i just made. it's ready to be sipped now. ahhhh, the sweet taste of the cherry coke dripping from my beard onto my lips. manna from heaven, ladies and gentlemen. this is why i'm hot.

someone ran over one of the wild bunnies that runs around at the end of my road. i saw the flies buzzing around his cute little cotton tail the other morning and took it as an omen, as i tend to do in such cases. twenty minutes later i arrived at the plumbing supply house to pick up some fittings for my boss when a counteromen intervened. the dew was fresh on the seven a.m. grass as i walked towards the entrance of the building and a rabbit froze in its tracks a mere five feet from me. he looked my way as i said hello, then ran off around a corner. last week i went to the mall and got dinner with a friend whom i haven't seen in awhile. he laughed and walked away as i veered towards the small black rabbit in the display window of the pet store muttering the equivalent of cute obscenities to myself. it's something i always do at the mall, i instantly turn into lenny from "of mice and men" whenever there's a lagomorph (look it up) present. it's pretty queer that a six-foot, two-twenty puerto rican plumber like myself can have his whole day lit up by something so absurd, but i try not to question good things. that's why i've decided that once this temporary roommate across the hall moves out in august i'm going to go get a new dwarf rabbit and keep it in there. has to be black (so i can name it leroy), has to be female (so it won't try to hump me, and so the name leroy makes no sense), has to be better than the zero company i have around the house now. i know it will make me happy somehow, just like i know i will be having a stern talking-to with my roommate's obnoxious and carnivorous cat about what will happen to it if it ever so much as glances sideways at leroy. so it is written, so it is done!

my friend and singer from an old band who moved to the city and works on the production of the martha stewart show is drunk-texting me as usual. it happens about once every three weeks, mostly in the form of song lyrics. that kid cracks me up, i wonder how he lives from day to day down there. tonight he's telling me how he's drunk on wine and miserable and is going to a dive bar to try to pick up girls. i told him i wish i was there to be his wingman, i'd talk him up to them and say how he's martha's favorite. he said he's just her favorite because of his oral skills. i said that's because he goes the extra mile south. he said girls love that. i said good luck with the ladies tonight. sometimes the timing of a conversation is more important than it's depth; i just remembered i have friends who reach out and touch me once in awhile. god bless drunk-dialing, even though i'm pretty sure it's hurt me more than helped me in my past.

speaking of which (so much for the no segues threat), i was heading home from a three-hour stint with my side-job boss and stepfather friday and mustered up the balls to call her. i got her voicemail, as hoped for, and said what i had to get off my chest without getting sappy. i told her how i ran out of cd's to listen to in my car and popped the mix she had made me in out of desperation, and how all the songs suddenly made sense; it was in essence a break-up album, which is why the lyrics didn't click back then and just bummed me out to the point where i tossed it into the back seat and wished it wouldn't ever apply. but when i heard "how's it gonna be" and a few death cab songs and "leaving on a jet plane" last week it all came to me at once. three of the songs made reference to rain and storms and it just so happened to be pouring as i rode around listening to it and scratching my head, looking for the truman show cameras. i told her how appropriate the songs suddenly were, and that i hope she finds what she's looking for, then moved on to what i had really wanted to tell her: that i'm sorry i "embarrassed" her, as she said the last time we spoke, and that i am just as proud to have gone out with her now as i was during those early days of our relationship when we'd go to the diner and i'd be glad that people saw us together. i told her that ever since she said she regretted going out with me and i was an embarrassment i had hoped she'd call so i could tell her to go fuck herself, but that my feelings had changed. i could never do that, even after all the shit we put each other through. i told her i give her credit for not calling me first and that she's stronger than me, even though she doesn't see it, and that's one of the things i always loved about her. i told her she can hate me all she wants, but i don't regret a thing and i wish her only the best. i hung up and sighed in relief as i turned my car onto my road and headed back to pass out for a couple hours. once again, i need to stop driving drunk, but at least i slept knowing i said what i had to. she didn't respond, and i'm still not sure he has, but there was a strange myspace comment left by her brother's account on my page today saying "You just couldn't stay away......" (six periods, not three) and i'm thinking that was her. it was hard for the moths to stay away from the porch light during my last cigarette break, it's hard for me to stay away from anyone i miss. and though i try to pawn it off on just missing the feeling of being with someone, i do think that there are qualities in that raging bitch of a female that i will never find in someone else: namely, her total willingness to admit she's a raging bitch of a woman, just like my blunt acceptance that i can be a total asshole. birds of a feather, sparrows on our bodies. and how i said in a previous paragraph about misjudging friends: i may do that more than i know. during a serious conversation with someone who really doesn't know me that well i was called out on missing this one more than the rest based on what's been written and read here. i guess i have to take an outside opinion more seriously than my own in this case since i'm rather biased. it was hard to hear that it's not who i'd like it to be and who it was for so long, but it was good to hear that someone actually took the time to read into what i say more than i do. and to be challenged on my own battlefield by someone who barely knows me. sometimes it's an honor to be outdone. thanks, bro.

to be cropped out of a picture, and poorly: there is no worse a fate. for the love of god, don't leave an eighth of the person's face in. do you have any idea what the psychological effects of that are on someone? don't read into that too much, i just looked at someone's myspace and saw that they had done that and instantly recognized whose face had been slaughtered, and rightfully so since one night during my first few weeks of being single i mistakenly...yeah.

i normally try to remember certain somewhat important facts through simple devices. if i need to remember something in the morning i'll throw something from my dresser on the floor so i wonder why i deviated from the norm and remember why i did it, etc. i tend to do the same with lightswitch configurations when multiple lights are involved, but never bothered to do so in this house until tonight. previously, when going out for a smoke, i'd hit both switches until the porch light came on, but not anymore. oh no, friends, i now have it embedded in my subconscious that the switch closest to the door is the switch that must be up if i plan on going through that goddamn door. it's a sad way to have to look at life, but it's how i get by. simple associations like that are why i tested well in school, and how i used to help her study inane vocab words for her speech therapy classes last summer when i lived in the last house. it helped her as much as it did me, she always got those questions right. unfortunately, i failed the final. this wasn't supposed to be about her. stream of consciousness, right.

i've been working my ass off for my other boss. our company was pulled from the job last week by the union hall because our contractor didn't pay the hall what he owed them so my apprental friend and i went to work for my previous non-union employer who usually keeps us busy for a buck-twenty on saturdays. it was an important job because the wire plant we've been working in is shut down for two weeks and the system we were installing had to be up and running by the time the workers returned. that meant working last week, saturday and sunday, and a couple nights this week. burning the candle at both ends has been rough, but i can't let this guy down. he's relying on me even more than i'm relying on him and i want to keep his business afloat. he put a lot of trust in me on this job and left me to work my pipefitting magic even though i'm just a kid. it all paid off last night when he called me drunk to ask how our second-shift session went. i told him we finished a three-inch line and that we're in good shape. he stumbled through a few bud-friendly words and told me i'm doing great and he's proud of me. for a man of few words that meant a lot, especially since he told me at the bar a few days ago that at the fourth of july party my mom confided in him about my father's absence and how i look up to him and the union guys i work with. we've been being pretty honest with each other during our post-work barroom confessionals lately. on sunday, after eight pints and three shots, he looked me in the eyes and asked if i'm ok. i told him what's going on at my mom's with her and my stepfather and how it pisses me off to no end that he gives her shit over nothing and i have to hold my tongue. his green eyes looked towards the ceiling for a moment and even the beer couldn't talk for a few seconds so i knew his response was sincere. he was blessed with two daughters, but no sons, so i know that that's the way he sees me. he makes me count the cash he pays me in front of him because he wants to be sure we're squared up and never second-guesses my hours, he's that kind of guy. i just wonder if when i'm pulling those wrenches to make the both of us a buck he sees the scars on my forearms that i try to hide. if he only knew how funny it was that the factory we're working at is right across from my old therapist's office, and that i saw him driving a few weeks ago and wanted to flag him down for an impromptu roadside session. alcohol's great for that and all, but sometimes i like to make professional heads explode with the bad movie that is my life.

i told that same man a few weeks ago about the dream i had that night. i was running late in the morning and my mom was hounding me about it, saying i'd be late for school. i told her i wasn't going to school, i was going to work construction that morning. and in there was the sign: i'm not going back to college, at least not now, not for an english degree and a teaching profession. i've accepted my fate as a proud union pipefitter, and i'd rather do this if it means i'll make more money and be able to support a family more comfortably. now all i need is that family. or at least a good woman for future prospects of a household. haha. i'm an old man trapped in a twenty-three-year-old body.

what they say is true: what you learn drunk, you remember drunk. i hit the right light switch on the first try while going for the smoke break i just took, despite the numerous cocktails and empty beer bottles on my floor. the biggest mosquito i've ever seen hovered around my head and i went to swing at it, but played it off like i was just scratching my beard when i realized i would miss. as if a bug would call me out for being a drunken fool. driving to work in a few hours should be fun, i'll sweat it all out in the morning.

there's a pair of pants i want to write a very short story about. i have these blue plaid pajama pants my mom bought for my five years ago when i started college, as if i'd wear them. i kept them around since i'm a packrat and can't throw things out, even if i don't use them. ever since i've had them every girl who's spent (too much) time in my room(s) has wanted to wear them to bed every now and then (when they were on the rag). i've never had the heart to tell any of them that the previous girl that they automatically hated used to wear them, and that i never bothered to wash them since they were rarely used. it was pretty motherfucking ironic (i know, recurring theme) that they all gravitated towards these goddamn pants and i'm pretty sure i could get a decent couple concise paragraphs out of it, the way they feel so comfortable feeling like they're the first. well, honey, you're not. and you won't be the last. i'm not done searching yet, and even if i were i'd keep fucking it up until you left. that's how i roll. so much for the very short story.

and the only thing more embarrassing than having a peebottle in your room for drunken lazy nights is emptying it the next day when no one's home.

ok so i'm weird and have a hair thing and she cut me a few locks over the course of those two years. i'd always lose them after awhile, and sometimes they'd pop up. i couldn't get rid of them, even after she left, and i lost the one i knew of the other night. i woke up and checked if it had disappeared inside my pillow case and to my surprise i found a different lock of her hair that had been lost a long time ago. i pulled it out of the pillow case and took a look and saw that it was pristine. i must have lost it right after she gave it to me, probably in a card of some sort for some occasion. the hair looked like it had just been cut from her head, like it could have been resting on my pillow in early march with no problem. it was somehow harder to look at than anything i've seen in my life, it somehow brought me right back to reality. she was once here, she used to be real to me, she used to fall asleep naked against my body and we wouldn't worry about anything other than waking up in time for work in the morning. i threw it in my desk drawer and swore not to take it out again. i may be a packrat and a bit of a masochist, but i know what'll put me under.

fuck this. i'm going to bed. and waking up to go to work still drunk in five hours. i'm really not as bad off as it seems, don't worry.

if you turn the other cheek fast enough they miss.

7.06.2007

you can skin a sheep once, or you can sheer it many times.

it's twenty after one in the morning on a thursday and i can't sleep, a far cry from my lovely "independence" day when i slept on and off all day four fourteen hours. and it's not that i haven't been working hard; fuck, i say it's thursday but really it's wednesday because i work on saturdays, too. i've been busting ass for my non-union boss since my union boss is about to go under, especially if he loses two of the three jobs he currently has going as anticipated. i'll be alright for awhile because of the other guy, but it's hard work with never a dull moment. my body's tired, but my brain isn't. that's the worst kind. between that sort of unbalanced fatigue and my fucked up circadian rhythm and an assload of other telltale signs i know it's coming soon. and this time no one will be left to pick up the pieces.





my old "best friend" is a back-stabbing asshole and i more or less wouldn't piss down his throat if his stomach was on fire.

as a result of said asshole i am about to lose my band, the one thing i had to look forward to every week besides getting drunk, which isn't very productive.

work's been awkward because my alcoholic stepfather has decided to get off his lazy ass and put some hours in. we're not exactly seeing eye to eye lately, though i only find this out through my mother. he said some nasty shit about my uncle's being arrested for some minor charges last week and had something to say to my mother when i chipped in $600 to post bail. family is fucking family, i don't care. and apparently i'm not allowed to show face at my mother's home more than once a week. it's not even that i want to usually, i'd rather be doing my own thing than watching her slave in the kitchen for an ungrateful husband whom i have the same conversation with every week because he's a drunk. she makes excuses for me to stop by, be it leftovers that will go to waste or my grandma asking for me and where my laundry is so she can fold it. she told me some of the shit he had to say and i told her what i thought of him and said he should confront me about whatever his problem is instead of burdening my mother further with his vodka-fueled belligerence. craig, if you're reading this, you need to man up... and www.bigtits.com is probably not the most productive porn site.

not that my real dad's much better. i know it's beating a dead horse for those of you who (pretend to) know me, but i haven't spoken to him since thanksgiving and it's really taken its toll on me. right. my mom says it's not my fault and he's just arrogant and crazy, but part of me still wonders how he could just write off his son based on a difference in life goals and religious beliefs. what the fuck kind of christianity is that?

and now my mom's all upset because she realizes her third husband is just as much of a loser as the first two. she called me to come by and pick up some food tonight and i declined, which is out of character for me since that bitch can cook. she hit the nail on the head when she guessed why, and i didn't beat around the bush: i don't want to be somewhere if i don't feel welcome, even though it's not even his house. so now she's upset, but i'm tired of catering to people.

and talk about awkward, i felt like dickhead of the month tonight at a place where i usually feel at home. when i first walked in you could hear a pin drop, and all the seats were taken so i stood alone and felt like i was on a stage at a spelling bee and had just spelled my own name wrong. maybe he's right, maybe i'm not one of them. but what group can i possibly be a part of then?

i read a few extra pages in the hopes that it'd knock me out, but it didn't. i tossed and turned but couldn't stop thinking about all of the loss about to take place simultaneously in my life: the union job, the coworkers i've built bonds with, the friends, the family. and then to make matters worse my eyes had to adjust to the dark just well enough for me to see the big chunk of paint missing from the wall next to my bed. she'd done it with her fingernail during one of the last weeks of our relationship. i got pissed since my house was already falling apart enough without her help. later on, in one of my weaker moments, i told her she could chip the paint all she wanted if she'd just come back already. and as much as i'd like to tell myself i can't wait for a drunken text from her sometime so i can tell her to go fuck herself, i don't think i would. because i am so sick of sleeping alone with all of this on my mind and no one to face it with, no one but the trusty friend hiding under the bed who won't ever break plans. third time's a charm.





i need something to change for the better, i need to have some form of close relationship with someone i can trust again. or else there's really no point in bothering. bukowski poems are really the only thing that make me feel better anymore, and at the rate i've been reading them lately i'll be out in a few weeks. one of the last passages i highlighted was something about rolling over in bed and resting the bottoms of his feet against the back of his girlfriend's calves. i forget how good that feels, or that it's even possible to feel good more than one sloppy-drunk night a week.

i'm going to go stare at the ceiling and wait for my alarm to go off now. good fucking talk.





Currently reading:
"The Art of War" by Sun Tzu.
"Dangling In The Tournefortia" by Charles Bukowski.

7.04.2007

like, oh my god, it's totally "seventy times 77" by brand new!


it's been the day from hell. i slept until one, read for ten minutes, slept for another three hours, ate some leftovers and read again, slept for another hour. sleeping out of boredom is one of the signs i look out for before a case of it comes along so i know it's not looking good. i didn't even bother putting pants on, let alone leave the house. the wind, rain, and overall funk outside ruined the holiday for those planning on treating it differently from any other day by attending the fireworks to run into everyone they secretly still hate. i was supposed to hang out with the guys today, but that went by the wayside after last night's little revelation. it's amazing how a night can start so well and end so tragically. i guess that's what makes most memorable nights stick out in my mind, though this one was not my fault for once and caught me off guard right where it hurts.

it seemed as though it was going to be a fun evening. band practice was going exceptionally well with the kid who planned on singing for us once he moves back from texas in a couple months. the chemistry was definitely there and wide-eyed glances of excitement shot across the basement as the singer hit the notes we had heard all along over our songs. i was three sheets to the wind by the end of practice and wasn't surprised that the old flame i had been receiving drunken text messages from for the last couple weeks was not responding. she had been saying she wanted to see me and we had made tentative plans for her to come over after band practice which i knew probably wouldn't happen. once i realized this i proceeded to get too drunk to drive so the night would still end on a fun note. needless to say it didn't, and i'm out one shitty friend and one promising band as a result.

see, she finally decided to pick up the phone. she was drunk in a town an hour away and said she hated the people at the party and wished she had stuck to our plans. i tried to calm her down and said we could reschedule for another time when we were both sober enough to drive. that's when she dropped the bomb on me: she told me she'd feel weird coming to my place because she had already been there before, though i was not the one she had visited. i instantly knew what that meant and hung up the phone to call the cocksucker of a "best friend" who had gone behind my back. and it wasn't as though they'd met for coffee or something seemingly innocent, she'd been in our fucking house and probably fucked him. great.

i always knew he had a thing for her, even while we were going out a few years ago. i'd catch catch him at parties lurking in corners of my apartment sipping his beer and staring at her with that vicious case of the green-eyed monster. he settled for one of her friends one night after the drinking had stopped and lights had gone out, but i knew what he really wanted. finally, this past winter, he came clean about it indirectly. he told me that the two of them had been talking as of late and had gotten to know each other pretty well. i pretended like i didn't already know he was scheming, like other people hadn't warned me of his fucked-up intentions with one of the two or three ones that truly got away in my life. then he hit me with a question i never thought i'd expect to hear from someone who calls himself a best friend (though that status is based what day of the week it is, because he has about three best friends depending on his needs at the time). he actually had the nerve to ask if it'd be ok with me if the two of them hung out when she came home from school for break. i couldn't believe i had to explain tim why she was a different case for me and why out of the millions of girls out there he should have picked another one with which to try to have a cute affair. but i did, and it never sat quite right with me, even after he said he understood and respected me too much to do anything underhanded. well, buddy, you sure as hell put your foot in your mouth once again.

before calling him up last night i went visibly ballistic and explained the situation to my friends as they tried to mollify me. i was fit to be tied and no amount of coercion would change that, especially after i took a long swig of the hundred-sixty proof rum that was sitting on the table beckoning me. i was on the warpath and needed some of the fuck-it in my system. honestly, i don't remember a lot of details about what was said or done. i know that i was pretty heated and that i kept grabbing the phone of a mutual friend and cursing into it as he tried to warn the scumbag of the situation. i probably called him out for being such a spoiled little pussy who doesn't know what it is to struggle and has his failure funded by his upper-middle-class parents while crying the tortured artist blues. i'm pretty sure i brought up the girl who fucked up his head in college and cheated on him with his friends, and how he should've known better than to inflict a similar hurt on someone else he claims to care about. there may have been mention of the pointlessness of asking me if i was comfortable with him seeing her to begin with if he was just going to do what he wanted anyway. i probably wouldn't have been as mad if he'd never brought it up, but the fact that he pretended to do the right thing and then made an ass of himself anyway by contradicting himself ruined what was left of our dwindling friendship. i wasn't letting him get too many words in, i was too busy yelling into the phone. the few things he did say were muttered in his low, sarcastic tone that's only safe from a distance and makes me want to smack him upside his fucking head. the one thing i remember about his end of the conversation was that he "gave me the friends i have now," meaning the other two guys in the band and the group of people i socialize with on weekends. he didn't "give" me shit, not once in our friendship, least of all people. a lot of that comment probably had something to do with the fact that he notices that i've become closer with a few of said crowd than i am with him since he's so wrapped up in his own pseudo-misery all the time.

after our less-than-productive little chat i hung around my buddy's awhile longer and continued to berate the little faggot mercilessly as friends watched and listened silently as a lot of undeniably true statements were made by a very intoxicated, very pissed man. at some point i realized the futility of venting to them and decided to leave in search of the bastard. never in my life had i wanted to hit someone as badly as then, never had i felt so betrayed. needless to say i didn't find him and wound up driving home somehow without getting pulled over. i remember veering a few times, taking a couple turns too wide. i'm not proud of driving after drinking that much, but i had to sleep in my own bed last night.

i received two calls during today's hibernation. an old friend who was at the party called and left a voicemail asking if i had gotten home ok. the friend who had called to warn the guy about my state of rage called, too. i guess i feel the worst about potentially losing him. he quickly replaced the other asshole as my best friend and i was grateful. i can't hang out with that group of people if that backstabbing fuck is going to be there, though, so only time will tell if i'm ever called to chill again in favor of captain misery. and as far as the band goes i'm pretty sure that's fucked as well. it sucks having to walk away from something that i poured so much of myself into two nights a week for months on end, but i can't play music with someone i hate. i resorted to doing that in my previous band and it wasn't healthy. so, since i know drummers are a lot harder to find than guitarists, i more or less said that i'd understand if i'm not the one worth keeping in the group. the bright side is that i'll have more time to read and write again, though i do that with every spare moment as it is. ok, so maybe there isn't a bright side. i'm not going to hassle(hoff) anyone about songs i helped write, but the band's name means a lot to me so i'd hope that they'd change it. it wasn't that good in anyone else's eyes anyway.

it's eleven-thirty at night and i still haven't had a cigarette all day. i wasn't joking when i said i didn't leave the house at all. this is some kind of record for me. i haven't even wanted one. i'm pretty much running on hate.

i really hope she was worth it, asshole. if you see me i highly suggest walking in the opposite direction.

7.02.2007

the greatest plumbers were murderers first.


i called my drummer the other night to see if he wanted to grab a bite to eat and down a cold one somewhere. his answer was more disillusioning than i had imagined it could be. he went on to tell me, to my dismay, that he was driving with the other guitarist in my band en route to a play in some far off town. i good talked the shit out of them, hung up, and asked if they had called "no homo" before embarking on such a blatantly sexually ambiguous adventure. the only way such an activity is kosher according to the Man Code if there is an attractive female somehow involved in the equation, which there was not in this case. i hope it was free admission, beer was consumed before, during, and/or after the performance, and that lessons were learned about engaging in such questionable forms of entertainment without expecting ridicule. just kidding, guys, i still love you...platonically.

not that i can really talk. i've been rocking a D.A.R.E. bracelet pretty hard lately; you know, one of those solidly colored rubbery jobs that different causes have jumped on the bandwagon with: breast cancer, autism, erectile dysfunction/premature ejaculation, marrying sheryl crow when you're obviously not strong enough to be her man no matter how strong you claim to live, etc. i was cashing my check (well, trying to cash it, since it turned out to be rubber as rubber as the bracelet) and walked past a display table in front of a drugstore where some nice black man with shitlocks approached me about extending the D.A.R.E. program. i asked if he wanted a donation, he said it was more of a "gift" and i'd get something in return. i said i already had two t-shirts from the thrift store at home, he said he'd give me a bracelet instead. i started wearing it on the regular, but only in my civilian clothing (construction workers tend not to wear bracelets, especially bright red ones with a specific "cause" assigned to them). one morning i got dressed for work while still drunk from the night before and failed to notice that i had forgotten to take it off until i had already been at work for an hour or two. i discreetly shoved it in my pocket and hoped that no one had noticed. later on in the day i was digging my lighter out of the same pocket and the bracelet flew out onto the ground. a coworker who had asked to use my lighter caught a glimpse and asked if i was kidding. i handed him the bic, picked up the damn red piece of rubber, and found something to do in a far corner of the building. i'm not sure what the point of this story was, but there doesn't always have to be one. more hemingway, less eggers; more scorsese, less oliver stone (i love "platoon," but i'm a sucker for a good war story since that's more or less what this is.)

then again i really don't take anyone i work with too seriously. people piss and moan about stupid shit and forget that if they just went to work and did their job the best they could, no more and no less, they wouldn't have a problem. that same sarcastic asshole who busted my balls about the D.A.R.E. bracelet has little room to talk. he's in his forties and just finished the five-year apprenticeship program but has little-to-no common sense. i can work circles around him and i'm half his age and haven't even been in the trade a year yet. my foreman recognizes this and sends me on my own little pipefitting missions instead of sending the other guy because he knows i can get in done in half the time and won't have as many problems. i'm not saying i know what the hell i'm doing all the time, but i at least try to think it through and overcome obstacles the simplest way instead of "building a rocketship" (construction phrase used to describe making things harder than they have to be) like the other guy does. what really gets me is when i have to go back and fix his fuck-ups, though. last week my apprentice buddy and i were cutting in T's for some water lines in the grocery store we're building. we were up on the lift running our pipe as straight as possible when we noticed that the vent line the other douchebag had run first for the sink was crooked; it was obvious because the ribs in the metal roof decking are straight and his pipe did not run anywhere near parallel to them. he had already gone back and "fixed" the problem once, and the foreman wasn't around for me to consult, so i went ahead and ran my pipe correctly. a few days later the supervisor called me over and said it looked like shit. i explained that i did the best i could and the reason it looked lousy was because of the optibal delusion (that's one of the pathetically non-English phrases my mildly retarded boss uses) caused by numbnuts' pipe being crooked. he said it didn't matter and i had to fix the other guy's work regardless. it was after three o'clock and we were getting ready to leave. i got up on the lift and lengthened the run of pipe before the elbow by using two couplings and another short piece of pipe, thus straightening the crooked pipe. all three other guys stood on the ground and watched as i sweat bullets of rage at the fact that i had to work at the end of the day while they stood and watched. it pissed me off at the time, but the next day i told my foreman that i learned a lesson from it. next time i'll go ahead and fix the other guy's shitty work automatically so there won't be an issue to begin with. yes, i'll bust balls about it at coffee break, but i'll do it. he apologized for blaming me at first and more or less reassured me that there won't be a next time because he sees that i'm a much better plumber than the guy who's supposed to know better than to leave something that messed up. (ok, so the REAL reason i don't particularly care for the other dude is because he says "supposebly" and his his breath smells like someone shit in an ashtray and left it there for a week; sue me.)

that's not to say that my boss is the most admirable guy on the face of the earth either. the hypocrisy on the job abounds to the point where if i let it get to me i'd explode. he always preaches about how if someone breaks one of our pipes sticking out of the ground unintentionally they need to tell us so we can fix it, which they rarely do. then last week he's on the motorized lift at the end of the day and butchers the hell out of three trades' work in one swoop. he lowered the lift right onto the tin ceiling joists in the bathroom section of the building, which in turn caused our pipes running along the ceiling to fall, as well as the refrigeration guy's two copper lines. he tried to play it off like it wasn't him at first. i called him out on it at the end of the day by asking if he'd informed the carpenters and refrigeration guys that he accidentally demolished their shit. he said "fuck them" and walked away. as he stormed off, huffing and puffing, i reminded him how just the week before he complained that other trades never give us the heads up when they damage our pipes. my other two coworkers laughed and gave me an approving look for laying down the truth on a job loaded with lies from the higher-ups. it doesn't take much to fess up to your mistakes. just the other day i was coming down from working on some ceiling hangers and the bottom of the lift just barely caught the edge of an elbow attached to the end of one of the sprinkler guys' pipes. it bent the shit out of an eight-foot length of steel pipe and damn near ripped the threads right out of the joint. i shit my pants a little at first, but i immediately went up to the man and told him the deal. he said it was no biggie, sent his helper over to fix it, i let him use my lift since it was right there, and the whole thing was over with in a matter of ten minutes. i felt bad, but was glad i did the right thing. later on that day he approached me and said he really appreciated me being honest with him and that the same thing happened four times on the last job he did, but no one ever told him they had broken it. that's one difference between my foreman and i: i'm not afraid to admit when i fuck up.

though, i must say, he definitely has his own especially crude way of dealing with mistakes when he does make them, plumbing-related or otherwise. the one tattoo he has on his left forearm is about forty years old and looks like a rectangular green blob. i asked him why it looks so incredibly unrecognizable last week and he told me: it was his ex-wife's name, and when he left her a few years after their marriage he covered the tattoo himself with a sharp object and some ink. that takes something. then again, he's such a cheap bastard that it was probably more of a money issue than a symbolic act of defiance.

my mom wants a tattoo now. apparently i'm a bad influence. she texted me about it last week and i couldn't believe my eyes. she always used to complain about all the stuff on my arms, and now she wants some ink of her own. she said she thinks she knows why i get them now, and she wants to feel the pain. it freaked me out a little, but i guess that is part of the reason i get them, too. it's a very real couple hours when you're under the needle, there's no denying that you are doing something mildly painful and beautiful and, most importantly, permanent. no one can take that from you, unless they rip your skin off or something. she said she wants something on the bottom of her back. i warned her that this is called a "tramp stamp" and i will not allow it. she laughed and said she didn't realize the location had such negative connotations and suggested the hip instead. true, that's not the most original place either, but i'll let it slide. besides, i'd rather have my tattoo artist see my mom's abdomen than the top of her ass. gross. anyway, she told me she's not sure what she wants yet and she needs me to help her think of something since all of mine are obviously meaningful. i've been mulling it over for a few days and can't really come up with anything concrete. she's the strongest person i know and has been through more shit than most people in my life combined, her tattoo should reflect that somehow. if there's one phrase that always sticks out in my mind when i think of what my mom taught me it's "stick to your guns," but a tattoo idea incorporating that is a little too Hells Angels for a fifty-three year old woman. i'll keep pondering what she should get. it'll give me something to do at work besides, well, work.

a friend of an acquaintance recognized me as "that guy in the tight shirt a few weeks ago" at the bar saturday night. thankfully, i was stone sober at the time and brushed it off. i said i had no idea what he was talking about and casually retreated from the scene, though i'm sure it wasn't too convincing. hey, at least i wasn't approached by one of those poor girls who was suckered into having her picture taken with my stupid ass. not that i really care what they think anyway.

which is why i'm not going to bother fixing the small chip in one of my incisors again. i woke up after a hard night of drinking a couple weeks ago and noticed that it had somehow broken off for the third time in my sleep. the dentist can fix it with some magical fake-tooth compound, but it costs at least a hundred bucks and doesn't last very long in the mouth of a hard-partying, hard-working, hard-rocking tooth-clencher like myself. fuck it. if someone can't deal with my teeth being imperfect than they definitely can't deal with the rest of my flaws. i remember my mom asking if i wanted braces in junior high since it was the cool thing to do. i remember saying no, my reasoning being that my musical idol at the time, billy corgan, had very crooked teeth and he didn't seem to give a shit about what people thought of it. maybe a bald-headed egomaniac who re-forms bands when the money runs out is a bad role model to have, but the point remains the same. same thing with the beard: i think i'm going to let it grow back in for awhile. i honestly like having one, but try to avoid it most of the time because it makes me look like a haggard terrorist. i started shaving religiously again when i split with the last girl since i know i look a lot better clean-shaven to most people. it worked for awhile, same as the buzzed head. i clean up fairly nicely. girls started looking in my general direction again, i can't complain about the results. my complaint is that i don't want to appeal to "most" anymore, i want to be appreciated for what's behind the facial hair and the words that whizz by the slightly-chipped tooth. it's a lot to ask, but can't someone just like me for me? that's rhetorical, smartass.

that being said, i'm going to go "be me" for awhile by reading and going to bed in time to wake up for another fun day of work. welcome to the real world, it'll hit you too eventually.


Currently reading:
"Dangling In The Tournefortia" by Charles Bukowski.

7.01.2007

canadian whiskey with shotgun shell chasers.


let me give you the scenario:

i just got home from the bookstore with the guy who taught me to play guitar when i was in junior high. we had gone out to dinner with my new roommate, her boyfriend, and two of their lady-friends. it was pleasantly awkward, but my buddy and i made the best of it; by that i mean i had two tall glasses of stella and he had two lemonades (he's kinda straight-edge and stuff). the highlight of the dining experience was when our waitress brought over the first round of drinks. as she handed me my beer she informed me that my drink had been paid for by the man in the white hat across the room. i was pretty disturbed at first at the thought of a strange man buying me a drink, and was rather relieved when i looked over and saw that it was my fellow-apprentice coworker who's my best bud in the plumber's union. (shit, i keep forgetting to make the profession sound more prestigious by saying "pipefitter" instead of "plumber.") he smiled and laughed as his wife and three children waved from their table. it felt good for some reason, being recognized in public randomly and having a good friend buy me a tall one at the end of a long week. i went over and spoke to them for awhile, his wife said she saw my wonderful myspace photos from the night my "friends" dressed me up like a designer douchebag. i tried to explain myself, but gave up and changed the subject. the meal was decent, but i could barely finish my burger. one of the girls that came out to eat with us lives in a nearby town. she's pretty attractive and made good conversation, so i was a little disappointed to find out that she was not coming back with the rest of us to drink after dinner since she had a date with some guy at the riverfront. my friend was equally let down by the news, and we both decided to drown our woes at the bookstore across the parking lot after dinner instead of coming back to my place to "party" with my roommate and her boyfriend. i guess it wasn't meant to be. regardless, my friend and i cut our losses and had a few good laughs at the bookstore. i got a couple novels to put on deck since i've been reading mostly poetry and journals lately. we stalked a few pretentious literary women through the aisles until it was even less cool than originally and i decided to check out some books instead of some babes. the ride home seemed promising; it was still early and i'd be able to read and write as i had hoped to do before the whole dinner/"party" fiasco was proposed (and botched). that feeling of relief didn't last long. i got home, checked my away message, and saw that my Ex had im'd me for the first time in two years. when i say Ex, i mean The Ex. as in the one i went out with when i was eighteen and nineteen, the first girl i really loved, my ideal woman, the one that got away, the one that indirectly led to me dropping out of college (a lot of shit happened that year, but her breaking up with my sorry ass was the first domino in the chain of everynight whiskey sours), the one i still have nightmares about. she asked a two-part question about my tattoo artist, not the kind of thing worthy of such a random message. she must've been drunk, or getting there. her away message corroborated my theory with its reference to sam adams. didnt she read the bukowski poem in my stupid profile about how i cringe when ex's try to look me up or i see lookalikes in public? did she read my away message about how frustrating it is to have a good job and want to settle down but not be able to because most people my age are still living at home, partying most nights, and more focused on fun than responsibility? or maybe she did and wanted to talk anyway, even better, though not likely. i replied appropriately and asked a few friendly questions of my own. then i went downstairs and made myself a strong canadian club and cherry coke, saying "i wasn't even going to drink tonight..." to myself as i poured. i was a little amazed with myself for the consistently perfect estimation of alcohol and ice as the coke can emptied right at the top of the pint-and-a-half glass. i knew the night was headed downhill, and the day had already been pretty low. i called my straightedge friend again and told him the deal, Ex and whiskey emphasized. he said he'd be right over. when he got here he sat down on the floor, found two yearbooks from elementary school that recently floated to the surface and wound up near my bookshelf, and proceeded to read embarrassingly relevant signatures wishing me luck in obtaining a girlfriend by the next schoolyear. christ, was i even that obviously pathetic in sixth grade? apparently, because according to the damn yearbook i had planned on being an fbi agent or a marine (talk about polar opposites), and now i'm even worse off: a union plumber... errr, "pipefitter." fuck, i hope she doesn't respond. i might be honest. i'll pass out now and save the topics i had meant to touch on for another more sober, less traumatic evening. fuck, The Ex used to use "traumatizing" all the time instead of "traumatic" and it annoyed the shit out of me because one's a present-tense verb and one's an adjective and ahhhh fuck listen to me, maybe it really was doomed to begin with and i should shut up and go to bed now.


Currently reading:
"Play The Piano Drunk Like A Percussion Instrument Until The Fingers Begin To Bleed A Bit" by Charles Bukowski