Monthly Archives: September 2009

Summiting the crest

He drove north on the PCH, skipping from left lane to right and back again as appropriate in order to divert his magnificent ride from the lollygaggers and Sunday motorists, the slow-footed slackjaws with their right feet firmly held in mid-air just a centimeter above the brake, and the gentlemen and ladies – often ladies, often of the Asian persuasion – who simply didn’t see the need to drive any faster than ten miles below the speed limit when there are between 50 and 100 yards of space between themselves and the next closest car.  Drivers of minivans, old people – all of them he passed, zipping back and forth between lanes – never changing with acceleration, never cutting people off, never driving with untoward aggression or malice.  Simply driving as with as much focused, progressive intent as the conditions would allow, and always, of course, while using turn signals before changing lanes.

And, with those guidelines satisfied, speed limits be damned.  Or at least, gently adjusted upwards by fifteen to twenty degrees.

He passed the lush grounds of Pepperdine – the gorgeous Jesuit college on a hilltop, the only Christian school worth knowing, situated as it was with a majestic view of the Pacific Ocean and the beaches of Malibu – and pressed onward.  He knew beauty to be waiting just before him, just on the other side of the ridge.  And it was.

He crested the hilltop doing fifty, just as he did, his lower jaw slid down.  The road turned to the right, because the ocean jutted in; before him, as he turned lay the very sea.  He looked at it, because that was all he could do; his eyes were transfixed by the brown of the sand and the white of the surf, but more than anything else, the blues and greens, cyans and emeralds, of the water that spread just ahead.

His eyes barely registered the slew of leather-clad Harley riders who passed in the far left, heading in the opposite direction.  The surfers, he saw, but neither his eye nor his brain dallied long enough to register the notion of a surf competition – of not just a couple of surfers, but organized packs, seated on their fiberglass floaters in the middle of the ocean, waiting in heats for the waves that they would ride to glory before judges, peers, and fans.  No, he would see no wicked tricks.  Instead, he simply saw the water – lush, bright, and rich.

He sped on, for he had to – he was a driver, after all, and no driver worth his salt would ever slow down in the middle of the damn lane just to get a good look at what was going on.  That was for rubberneckers and highway accident causers.  No, he didn’t slow, not him.  But he did his best to take it all in – all being the ocean, and aside from minor framing details like the fact that there was road and the fact that there were mountains surrounding and the fact that it was not raining and a Sunday, nothing else.

And then he rode on.

NEMAWASHI

Greetings! {this is the only only time i will use this salutation, so, hello. and if you generally disagree with the word, ‘vast’, continue reading}

today’s top google search: myles brand.  you may find this information at google.com/trend.
we love sports
followed by entertainment
followed by pretty real life ivy league murder mysteries
this is a’merica
where sense of humor is more derived of insults than most

if you visit wikianswers and pose “what is a good idea for a fictional essay?”, you’ll find two things. one—someone already has; two—no one has answered.  this is all true.  lying is a bore and wastes valuable mature, teenage kim kardashian sex-tape-time with lucy pinder, rosie jones, vicki blows, and miley cyrus {aka, hannah fucking montana}.  thought this may give the site a little more google-boost.  a bit more thrust.  so while we’re at it…Anyone catch that leaked, behind-the-scenes video of a pregnant-looking megan fox riding that donkey into an inter-racial Bethlehem while shooting the new messiah birth movie?  ya, me neither, butt i hard she put on a couple pounds, and along with the heavy, leather straps on the ass underneath her, the animal was burdened with quite the massive load.  so don’t lie.  it’s boring.

“i’d like to write a beautiful story about love”

Heavy boots kick snow trailing a note under the door.  I did all the things that lead to unfolding it.  The boots remained.  I didn’t look at the lock, just the floor, keeping time in tarmacadam.
“‘I’ll tell you what’s true as I stand before you. There’s three things to believe in: Believe in yourself. Believe in what’s better than yourself. Believe in the one you love.'”

That’s what the goddamn note read.  I burned it.

His father had failed to make the age old mistake of turning him into the man he’d never been.  His mother was just enough to turn him into the man she never got.  He would be no Saint Exupery.  He chose his luck wisely, carefully, never ploddingly, attempting the impossible balance between lust and the perfect brain to make ‘forever’ its equal.  His efforts proved as fruitless and naive as every author’s former line.  He told himself he’d grown tired.  Said he was done, to everyone else.  Lied that she didn’t exist.  She did.  No guess.  No delight.  No sentiment.  He knew.

This was not false belief predicated upon a desire, making it fact as opposed to it being one.  She was breathing.  They waited while they lived.  She knew too.  They had loved others.  She was real and would come to find him beyond his created point, first-time terrified.  He’d find her feeling likened to, and consequently seeing herself as, Dolly’s bargain store.  Dolly was now happy, ancient, constantly hit with lights, aided by tech, and sexful.  The store’d been passed on to others via song and was now, la-di-da, a healthy chain.  Heads of the hydra, ya lop one ya got ten more.  With the age of war-babies, meds, and klosterman’s false love they we’re growing out of control.

However, from his first mouthed ‘wow,’ she’d never feel it again.  She’d calm him like whatever it is that makes us settle.  Jaws drop, ears dog, lids tighten open wide, heads cock, chins point, blink, move, look, drive, house, door, light lock lightoutkissarmsclothes.  Hellos.

Hell still burns; heaven’s been switched.  Anything near them changes and knows it.  They fight for fun.  Nothing is ever disgusting.  No ‘If only you knew me when’s; no attempt to plant each other in each others’ pasts.  Nothing is sacrificed, though many are lost.  Some regretfully so.

One’s body dies.  The other molts.

Is that what you want?  What you really want?  You must upset each other accidentally, and deeply, at least once.  You have to feel that star-matter sucker punch pit you didn’t realize you’d swallowed empty yer guts and live there for days.

Another letter.  This one through the slot.  This one from J.W.  She and boots take a walk.  It’s a list and reads as follows:

“1. Love is just a trick the brain plays to get us to cooperate for long enough to raise the next generation.
2. Love is a trick we play on each other to get safety/security/social standing/lots of presents.
3. Love is a trick we play on sex – we want sex so we settle for love.
4. Sex is a trick we play on love – we want love so we settle for sex.
5. Love is a trick I play on myself.  Believing I might find it is like looking for life on another planet – something to do when it gets dark.”

I burn it again. It’ll be back.  Ashened vellum and breaking soot-brick sprinting with itself hot-through, and away from itself cold-out, of chutes is the only thing makes the Fall smell better than itself.  They’ll turn into somethin new, in that door’ll kick, out’ll go that match.

“…sentiment is an echo of violence.”
-Joseph Campbell

{next week will be 365 words, as this is 835}

My Friends Who Don’t Have Student Loans

Marco said let’s get away fly away my dad took me once
this place man so cool I’d love to go back check it out I met
this girl there oh man so hot seriously hot body like holy
shit you would not believe let’s call her up hop a plane grab a

drink go somewhere Hong Kong Beijing Bangladesh who cares let’s go
let’s jet get away cool off blow some steam can’t take this man this
shit this school job life shit so lame so done I need this you need
this weekend week tops couple weeks get away Thailand Bangkok’s

nice man see that girl get you one get you two shit man fine then
somewhere else anywhere Venice good no maybe Istanbul
Kathmandu somewhere mountains monkeys temples monsoons let’s go
let’s see some shit some crazy shit Great Wall Taj Mahal someplace

while we’re still young no wife no kids no bills no rules this is life
let’s go live abroad couple months year tops anywhere anywhere
do it now tell our kids grandkids neighbor’s kids write books stories
man before we’re dead too old too married let’s say we did

pyramids outback Singapore Shanghai Burma man Auckland
somewhere raise sheep tend bar climb shit see shit how about eat bugs
ride camels fight bulls snake boats rickshaws jai alai just us guys
this weekend maybe summer maybe cricket maybe picture:

you me
backpacks passports
slowly learning
elephant polo.

The Morning After

When the daggers stabbed my eyes, I knew
the blinds had all concaved, allowing light to roll
around their curves and permeate
through the smallest cracks, dragging me
to consciousness. My dry lips
parted, peeled off duct tape
and breathed that putrid air,
thick with sweat and some other
taste that burned the whole way down,
down,

Down the hatch.

My natural response was to lick the outside
edges of my mouth, moisturize the desert skin around
it like I’d been told so many times
not to do. As my tongue drew circles
all within its reach, my eyes fell
towards the ground; my muscles weren’t
in shape to hold them up. I made a mental note
of all the labels, clothes that littered
the hardwood floor like debris from
a plane crash, still smoking, left for dead.

I tried to sit up and give
my spinning head perspective,
but my arm was pinned down
by the weight of the porcelain,
glass, smooth and hard, that screeched
like nails on chalkboards every time
I wrapped my arms around her curves.
I conceded, I exhaled a stale breathe,

held within my steaming cheeks so long
that it fermented, stained with the sweetness
of artificial fruits like chapstick smacked,
smeared, and shared from one mouth to
another. The shock hit me hard
once it reached my head, but
it was my gut that churned first.

My head spun quickly around the room
once I gave in to momentum, kept vertigo.
Go.
Going.

Gone.

I mumbled some excuse below
my breathe, found my underwear,
and limped to the bathroom to survey the marks
and battle wounds that I’d received the night before,
cleansed my palette, and finally crawled
back into that strange bed. Hard and small
though it may have been, it wasn’t
a couch, and I wasn’t alone.

London Calling – The Clash

The bike ride back from the record store in the summer of 1998 was quite possibly one of the most invigorating and influential of my life. Middle school was full of musical discovery in the form of the “Compilation” section of Music Box, your typical privately owned record store with the bare minimum of obscure selections. On this fateful day in July, I would slip a CD into my well used and slightly damaged Discman, throw on my backpack and jump on my bike. The CD spooled up and my headphones filled with a strummed bass line followed by the booming reverb of the drums. The song skipped, stuttered and exploded into a fast paced ballad about an aging Punk-Rock band longing for the days of basement shows, friends, cheap meals and beds disguised as hard-wood floors. I was 14 and knew I could experience what they longed to re-live, and with that knowledge I rode my bike home, sat down at my father’s drum set and began my suburban punk-rock adventure.

This music was new and fresh to me, a surefire way to rebel against my parents by using a weapon they couldn’t understand. This music was fast, equally serious and satirical while toeing the line between harmony and hollering. I had spent years previously listening to music my father had played with his band, listened to in his car and in the house on his stereo. This new music was obscure, something I would have to painstakingly explain to my father, something he might never understand…so I thought.

Summer passed and 8th grade started. I came home after a long after school bike ride spent loitering downtown searching for benches to grind and friends who might have a better idea on how to occupy idle time. I walked in to the familiar sight of my father sitting on the couch in his postal uniform after a long day at work. In a bag next to his foot rested two records against the leg of the coffee table. Through the thin plastic I could see the familiar image of Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar in front of a stack of amplifiers. My father proceeded to pull out both records. One was London Calling by The Clash and the other was Elvis Presley’s first LP. Both layouts were exactly the same, pink and green letters lining the left and bottom of the frame with an image of the artist in the center. My father used this to explain the term “influence” Basically, music is just a fast paced evolution which is influenced heavily, if not entirely on ideas which have already been previously conceived. I still spent my high school years heavily into Punk and Hardcore, but my father made sure I knew there were only two kinds of music, good music and bad music.

Alternately, here is a little fun fact. One of my father’s favorite musicians was the drummer for The Clash. He also thought “Topper Headon” was a badass name.

David

Michelangelo slew the
pre-Renaissance with a soft,
white chunk of rain-battered rock.
His sling was over two years
long, and with a wind-up thrust
out naked marble, church-bound,
Florentine. Large stone hands, bare
feet upon the ground, well-hung
giant-killer slung over
his shoulder—young man’s weapon;
all paused, awaiting his wars—
Philistines bearing fig leaves,
men and wives yet to conquer—
before he displeased the Lord.

A Rose for Emily p3

Now ideally, I’d have waited to speak until something more eloquent, more fitting of a Lord than, “Well, shit,” had come to mind, but in the interest of full disclosure, I must concede: I’ve a terrible dust allergy, you see, and uttered the very first words that entered my head so as to overpower the growing sneeze I felt approaching. Can you imagine?

    “Ahhh-choo!”
    “Bless you.”
    “Thank you. Now where was I? Oh, right! Everybody’s fucking dead in what looks to be a massive, orgiastic blood bath! Oh man, did she gets the tits chopped off of her or—no, wait, that’s a man. How are you then, dear survivors of this batshit crazy massacre? By the way, now that everybody’s dead, I hereby declare myself as the undisputed sovereign ruler of your fair and primitive country. Now, who’s up for a game of cricket then?”

So you can see why “Well, shit,” was my preferred opener. When the left with the choice of coming off as an insensitive fascist bastard or just “kind of a prick,” I’m partial towards the latter option (and you would not believe how many times I’ve been faced with that decision. Trust me —kind of a prick is much the preferred path).

But really, if you look at the whole situation from a detached, objective point of view, it’s all rather hilarious. I’m serious. Think about it. Arrogant bastard prince (not literal bastard, mind you) of a neighboring country, one whose Daddy issues even have Daddy issues, shows up to conquer new land in the name of dear old Dad and finally prove himself to be a man and not something Daddy should have left on the toilet seat or Mommy’s back, and what happens? The whole damn royal court took care of the hard part and slaughtered each other, only moments before he arrives! Well that was easy then, wasn’t it? Especially since, if history is any indicator, my fighting prowess is about the equivalent of a limp dick on steroids— it might feel huge and manly, but at the end of the night, it’s still a limp dick. Not my limp dick, of course, but you get the idea.

And the most bitter irony? I never wanted to be any King at all. Hell, if it were up to me, I’d have never even come here in the first place. It smells awful, and everyone speaks with a wretched accent not unlike a retarded Russian child trying to speak Polish. No offense to the retarded Russian children, of course. Or you. It’s just that of all that lands that one could conquer, of all the places to claim in the name of your father, or any Father, Denmark would fail to rank on anybody’s Desert Island All-Time Top 5 Countries to Conquer, which, of course, people do often compose such lists and I of course have read most of these compositions.