Monthly Archives: November 2012

8 Things That Make Me Realize I’m Too Old For Thought Catalog

  1. I’ve been getting mail from the AARP, and I’m starting to consider opening it.
  2. Pondering the state of my relationship usually goes no further than: “Am I going to yell at him for leaving that dirty pint glass on the counter?”
  3. I have underwear in my drawer from the Bush administration. And that’s the “sexy” stuff.
  4. I graduated college the same year that the average Thought Catalog contributor was being potty trained.
  5. I have a Pinterest account. I use it for recipes.
  6. I am regularly addressed as “ma’am” by baristas.
  7. Was that a hot flash?
  8. I remember a world in which Jabba never appeared in Episode IV, and Hayden Christensen was nowhere to be found in Episode VI.

California I’m In

California here’s you
As I know you
Rooftops, late nights, everyone

With a story, people claiming
Their name is Midnight
Wanting their story written

It’s always a movie, the bars
The art, every waitress
West of the freeway every

Waitress north of orange county
With headshots and a treatment
Every loft with a renovation

On promise, every short film
With a chance for my big break
And a free cookie, every Craig’s list ad

For a new and barely used sofa
And a roommate in the valley
Or a poolhouse cabana but please

No smoking, a yoga mat rolled
Under their arm and a joint
Rolled under their breath

Wanna get some air
And a free magazine in the lobby
You probably have to pay for it

Soon and parking behind the building
With the chance nobody’s aware
These parking guys are there

Charging for parking
And a traffic cop on the Metro
And none on downtown streets

Purple- shirted city patrollers
Turned life counselors
For the endless homeless

And beaches that stretched
Into beaches and parties
Where corn chips and salsa

Made it know this was their turf
And a beach fire and a sun tan
And a frisbee and a jeep

Surfboard optional but at least
Know how to stand up bro
A spare couch to crash upon

And sometimes spare surf boards too
Usually a story of how you got out there
Or else a story of how you were born there

Or grew up there or moved there so long ago
You can’t remember anything
Anything but the glow of the tans and the smiles

You can’t remember anything
Anything but the ocean, the ocean, the ocean
As the waves roll in, that’s the state of California I’m in.

sullivan station, 9:55, saturday night

there is something truly magical about

the Schrafft’s building

ablaze in an Orange glow while

fogged-window buses roll along

through Charlestown in an empty evening

of tired and hungry workaholics.

Ustaphors

The clouds across which two young lovers fly.
The ancient mistakes historians cite.
A bird whose song echoes through distant friends,
or rather the echoes, lost in the night.

The fields upon which two young lovers lie.
The recent mistakes the newspapers cite.
A cat whose shadows climb a crooked fence,
or rather the shadows, lost in the night.

The shoulders on which two young lovers cry.
The frequent mistakes mothers like to cite.
A tree whose branches creak like lovers’ beds,
or rather the lovers, lost in the night.

The Crash

They were fighting when it happened. Nothing, of course, just a little couples’ spat. They were driving home from a wedding in Danvers for one of His old bandmates. Some girl was saying shit about someone in the bridal party, some typical caddy bullshit but just the kind of thing that She could not abide by. So later that night, She made sure to spill a red cocktail on the caddy girl’s dress when they were both out on the dance floor, said it was an accident. Those were the kind of moments that had made Him fall in love with Her so swiftly, those unabashed displays of take-no-bullshit attitude, the moments She reminded you that She wasn’t just some passive pretty plaything.

When it happened, He just stayed back and watched, soaking in the moment and willing himself to sober up for the long ride home; She, of course, kept drinking, because hey, open bar. By the time the reception ended, He felt more than fine to drive, although as He’d later learn, physical sobriety and legal sobriety were two very different things. But She, in Her heightened state, was fairly upset with Him for not having Her back.

Like I said, it was one of those stupid fights. Every couple has them.

They were traveling down Route 1 and by the time they reached Chelsea, the fight had to come to an impasse, with both side asserting stubborn silence. The accident happened shortly thereafter, at the Junction of 16. It was late enough that there weren’t many other cars on the road, save one that they saw coming towards them in the opposite direction that had left its brights on. He flashed the highbeams twice (the universal sign to let the other guy know his brights on), but nothing changed.

The traffic light held green as they approached the intersection, so He kept driving, when the white hearse appeared, heading east on 16, and ran straight through the stop light and careened into the driver’s side of His car, sending it spinning out with enough force to leap the barrier. The trunk of His car collided with the oncoming car in the opposite line, knocked it directly into a telephone pole.

When His car stopped spinning, it was situated back on Route 1, mostly facing North. He peered out the driver’s side window, but it seemed the hearse had already escaped.

He then looked to his right. She was killed on impact.

The Regulars (part III)

Fresca Tortilla on Ditmars had the best Mexican food in Queens. Well, it probably wasn’t the best by any sort of strict culinary standard; but it was our favorite. The owners were Mr. and Mrs. Wong, a very jovial and welcoming couple that barely spoke English. (“Their English is better than my Chinese,” Mike would snap anytime someone dared to make a comment.) They used to run a regular Chinese restaurant that never really made any money. Then they closed for a month and reopened with a tortilla machine and a whole new food selection. Even though they couldn’t pronounce three-quarters of the menu, they quickly became one of the most successful restaurants in the neighborhood. None of us lived all that close, yet we ate here at least twice a week.

Jenny rapped her plastic fork and knife against the table as if keeping the beat on a big orange and brown drum, her hair bouncing slightly as she talked. “Frank still wants Mark to put in more money for Keyspan because of the space heater incident. There’s no way in hell Mark’s doing that. He’ll get another heater first. They should have known when they moved in there that this is how it’d shake down.”

“Wait…who?”

“Mark and Frank. Two of the guys from Stern.”

“Oh.” I had no idea how Jenny got to know all these random people, but she seemed to be friends with about half of Brooklyn and a third of Manhattan.

“Number four. Extra Jack.” Mrs. Wong put my tray down and smiled. Her other hand slid a second tray between Jenny’s rhythmic utensils. “Salad, Taco.” As she bustled away, I removed the tinfoil from my quesadilla in my usual manner: in little circles as if peeling an onion. Jenny already had a forkful of lettuce in her mouth.

“Hey,” she mumbled around her food, “do you know that guy at your place, Nate S-something?”

“Nate Sampson, the project manager?”

“Yeah. What do you know about him?”

I chewed slowly, a piece of grilled chicken resting on my tongue. “He’s a good guy. Kind of quiet and ponderous. Really nice. A little too nice, actually. Like maybe he’s really a date rapist.”

“So you don’t endorse him?”

“I don’t not endorse him. I don’t know him all that well.” I chewed some more. “He’s probably not a date rapist.”

“But you never know.”

“Exactly.” I forked a piece of chicken out of its foil home and reached across the table to drop it on Jenny’s plate. On the way back, I scooped up some of the ground beef product sprinkled throughout her salad. “Why are you asking about him?”

“Oh, no reason. I know this girl, and he’s someone she might be interested in. But I wanted to ask about him before I said anything.”

I threw my hands up in mock outrage, splattering melted orange cheese across the next table. “Why don’t you ever ask about me?”

“I know all about you.”

Because You Know

Some African tribes
Had two doors
For their huts

Though you know
African exit portals fade
Green paints to wood

Perhaps they know more
Of Star Wars
Or Harry Potter

So I compare you
Not to a summer’s day
But the saints of pop culture

Your smile framed
Not by African exit portals
Green paint sun-faded

On the wooden frame
But by the fame
Of the silver screen

A woman waiting for a train
A man tipping his hat
The rain  as it falls on a free man’s shoulders

Though African exit portals
Might better capture
The sentiment I feel

Something saved
Marking visits
Color moved with each passing

The heat of your body
Forever changing
The world around you

I compare you
To meeting Sally
Or getting mail

To being sleepless somewhere
Each airport gate
Like an African exit portal

Taking you
Somewhere
New.