Monthly Archives: November 2012

an accounting of my irrational fears.

fear that delivery men and women will show up while i am home but not ring the bell or knock on the door and instead leave a “sorry we missed you” note rather than leaving my package from amazon.

fear that someone is planning to use the laundry machines RIGHT NOW and if i don’t IMMEDIATELY RUN TO THE LAUNDRY ROOM TO BEAT THEM, i will have to wait 3 hours to do my laundry.

fear that moments after i leave the party something amazing will happen and/or everyone will start talking about me.

fear that i stayed way too long at the party because of this.

fear that i can’t possibly see all of the movies ever made, listen to all of the music ever recorded, read all of the books ever written, and/or eat in all of the restaurants in my city, let alone the world.

fear that my perception of myself as “whimsical” and “charming” and “eccentric” is inaccurate and that what i consider “whimsical” and “charming” and “eccentric” others consider “annoying” and “loudmouthed” and “assholish.”

fear that this list will get any longer.

Meta What For

not exactly a wet blanket, but certainly damp
heavier than it should be

dragging a bit, fraying
snagging on random brambles

collecting dust and dirt and other
disgusting blanket muck

old and torn enough to let in the breeze
holey but still somehow burdening

weighted at the edges
weighted at the shoulders

tangled about every appendage and digit
limiting, inhibiting, insert another synonym

yet somehow keeping me warm
or maybe the warm is keeping me


We begin, as all things do, with building: ambient noise and the revving of a motorcycle engine, before ascending piano notes come up, repeatedly rising up the scale without ever truly resolving. Soon the feedback begins, and the heavy, distorted guitars follow in suit, guided by the steady crash of cymbals and booming snare drum snap. The lead guitar comes in wailing, spilling feedback and harmonics all across the soundscape.

And finally, nearly two minutes later, everything stops. A moment of calm, accompanied by a gentle piano, tapping out a loose and airy I-IV-V progression, as our hero makes the first of his anthemic refrains: “I would do anything for love.” And so he proceeds to describe in detail those very things that he would, to the harmonious twinkle of ivory. “But I won’t do that,” he finally concludes as the electric guitars come ripping back into the song, ringing out their reverb in steady whole notes while the snare drum sets the pace with on every 2nd and 4th beat. The louder instruments temporarily pull back as the song drops down to the relative minor, suggesting a darkness within as our hero articulates the struggles he has faced, the constant challenges he has been forced to overcome in order to do those things — any thing — for love that he claims that he would do.

But then it returns, ever so briefly, to a soft, piano-led plea, returning to a major key, before returning violently once again to the Ionian mode, battling cacophonous feedback as our hero casts aside his hardships and howls out a solemn vow against a painful diminished chord that as long as he lives, he will always make good on that aforementioned:

“I would do anything for love,” he reminds us, returning to the soft lilt of the piano, this time with a slightly more rhythmic weight behind each note and a gentle chorus of angels lifting up his voice. And each phrase is punctuated by a bombastic burst of guitars as the chorus turns around and resolves once more to his oath: “I would do anything for love — but I won’t do that” and we don’t even care what “that” is because we’re him, we believe him, we believe in him. He repeats his mantra more and more as the soft tap of the hi-hat cymbal continues picking up velocity, until the chorus of raucous returns to carry him through that declarative refrain, accompanied by the glowing harmonies of seraphim.

The phrase repeats, and repeats again, until you’ve almost had enough — when suddenly the song returns to the unresolved Ionian buildup that we heard at the beginning, only driven this time by a steady rock n roll pulse. And again, the song pulls back to a quiet accompaniment as our hero returns to the darkened thoughts of his own internal struggles. But his voice carries on, the snare drum gets louder, and louder still, each hit positing an exclamation mark upon his words. Once again we progressive through the familiar patterns of the song, heaping greater and greater upon the reverb of every word, until finally, that diminished chord returns, its dissonant vibrations sending sickening waves through our skin as the drums pull back to slow down the reveal that yes, he would do anything for love! And the chorus cries along, their rich harmonies ripping through the heavy wall of raucous sounds, bursting through the air in halftime as if thrust into a climactic slow-motion moment, a frozen frame against all odds, against the violent volume of sonic chaos shunted into some melodic order, and for just one moment, the world stops spinning and we see true love in its finest form.

As the dust clears away, our hero finds his mate, and she sings along with him, taking in his melody as if her own breathe and returns it, finding affirmation in the sound. Until finally, as the song and the world fall apart around them, he makes it abundantly clear, through all her hesitations, uncertainties and exceptions: No, I will not cheat on you for love.

And that’s the one fucking thing he won’t. He won’t fucking cheat on her love. Which is such a fucking cop-out, because of course you’re not going to cheat on someone. That’s like the basic fucking rule of being in love. You went through 12 minutes of some of the most glorious fucking operatic rock n roll music ever written — just to tell her that you wouldn’t cheat on her to make her love you? How would that even work?

I’ll take the words right out of your fucking mouth: fuck you, Meat Loaf.

Marked As Spam

Subject: Re: bed for sale
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2005 10:02am

hello, i saw your ad on craigs list and i am interested in your bed. i have a few conditions:

1 the bed must not be lumpy as i refuse to waste eight hours of my day sleeping on a lumpy mattress, that would be just stupid.
2 the bottom of it should not be ripped and unattractive because i do NOT like it when things are ripped and out of place and i dont need that in my house.
3 the frame should really be black and not dark brown, a lot of people say black when they mean dark brown and it pisses me off because when i want a black bed i want it black.
4 it must actually be nice, i hate it when people use words and dont mean what they say, itd be ok if the bed was not so nice but if you say it is then i really want it to be nice. im not saying you are a liar or anything, ive just been burned before and its really really frustrating.

if all of these conditions are met, i will give you your $50. if only three of them are, i will give you $35. any less and i am not interested. please call me vito and not mr. spazini. thank you.

Subject: one change
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2005 11:16pm

upon further consideration and reviewing your ad one more time, i would be willing to give you $18 if two conditions are met. but not the ripped bottom. i cannot stand that. this is vito.

Subject: sorry
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2005 2:18pm

hey what’s up, this is vito again. i wrote you earlier about the bed and i sort of went off the handle i guess. i just wanted to apologize, there was no need for that. im sure your bed is very nice and you arent a liar or anything. its just been a rough week and well i guess you can tell im not in the best place. im sure you arent that interested in selling me your bed now cuz i sound crazy. but, anyway, sorry for all that.

ps: my sliding price scale is still in effect.

Subject: thanks
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2005 9:12pm

hi. it’s vito. i just wanted to thank you. i know that you could have like reported me or whatever, but it means a lot to me you didnt. im sure you already sold the bed and that it was great for whoever got it, and you werent lying about it at all. i appreciate that honesty. i dont see it often. anyway, i know i apologized, but i havent slept well. i guess that won’t change. you can keep not writing back. i know you are supportive anyway. it’s nice to get that sometimes. good luck with your new bed.

Gumdrop Meets Spider

“Tell them they’re Go for separation.”
– Gene Kranz

launched together
for the express purpose
of detachment –

reunion prevents
a fiery re-entry.

Darwin Packs For Two Years At Sea – An Early Draft

From the desk of Charles Darwin,
17 Spring Gardens,
London, England
November, 1831
In preparation for the occasion of the journey
Aboard the H.M.S. Beagle
The following items are in need of purchase:

Hard tack – one year’s supply
Tea bags – twenty-four month’s supply (3x daily)
Hourglass – one, able to resist ship’s tilt of 30 degrees (minimum)
Quills plus ink plus inkwell – appropriate for four paper reams

Parchment paper – four reams
Matches – three boxes of five hundred
Candles – with spare wicks, twelve boxes of one hundred
Night mask – cloth-and-silk, pref. silk only

Spyglass – collapsable, brass-only
Calendar  – monthly pages for two (2) years
Sextant – in nautical miles
Trunk for contents – one, metal and leather, weather-proof, rust-proof

Brush – general purpose
Umbrella – sturdy leather
Trenchcoat – suitable for gales, gusts, blustery weather
Map – one, scrolled

Leather desk-topper – 100cm width
Magnifying glass – 14cm diameter
Belt – reptile, pref. same (one piece) – one piece, waist 75cm
Sporting cap – medium

Waistcoat – one, blue, else corduroy brown,  gentlemen’s tall
Hunting knife – one, large
Jars – mason, seven dozen
Limes- one bag

Evening sweaters – two, cable-knit, one red, one blue
Slippers – one pair, fur-lined
Leather jacket – sturdy pockets with reinforced stitching
Grooming kit – nail trimmers,  beard scissors,

Suspenders – one pair plus repair kit
Boots – two pair, Wellingtons preferred, else a mid-calf
Butterfly net – one, plus net repair kit
Pocket watch – one, brass with chain

Lap blanket – sturdy, weatherproof, (one that’s made for rain)
Flintlock pistols – two, box set of, with one bag powder, one box balls
Sleeping outfit – one, one-piece
Dining set – knife, fork, soup spoon, cloth napkin, bowl, plate, two each of

Monocle – large with chain and accompanying ear piece
Scrap book – three, one hundred pages per
Socks – a must, thick-knit wool, seven pair, sturdy fabric for nautical travel
Trousers – three pair, brass buttons only, pockets – front AND BACK

Addendum: make the socks black
Undershorts – seven pair, medium, white
Cheese wheel – one, yellow or orange (not white)
Undershirts – four, white, mid-sleeve

Paste – for teeth
Cravatte – one, ruffled, else neckerchief
Rum – Captain’s grade (special occasion’s only) – twelve month’s supply
Barometer – English made ONLY

Button-down Oxfords – five (if budget allows)
Spice assortment – one pound (salt, pepper, various)
Silver chalice, one – polished and stainless steel acceptable if no silver found
Doubloons – Spanish, remainder of funds

Addendum: Compass
Cod Liver Oil

All further considerations to be added below.


page 35 of that novel you never wrote.

and to be perfectly honest, none of us thought he’d amount to very much either, yet here was tommy mccarthy getting out of a lexus and here was i, hocking loogies onto the sidewalk in front of the store 24 in medford square. i squinted my eyes, fully aware of the forming sneer on my mug, while he opened the passenger door real gentleman-like to escort some leggy blonde out of his car and into my dreams.

“tommy!” i shouted out from across two lanes of traffic, “hey, mccarthy!” and he must’ve heard at least one of those three words because i watched his head jerk and his neck crane for a split second before handing his keys to a chump in a red vest and walking briskly into the sushi joint.

after watching the vest jockey gingerly maneuver the silver status symbol to a corner squeeze between a jeep and a beamer, i stamped out my butt on the pavement, kicked a half-filled coors can into the dumpster, and traversed main street without a walk signal in sight. i wasn’t jaywalking, i was jaytrotting, and if you can get away with it, it ain’t illegal.

the sun was long gone at this point, my keister had been parked in front of the store 24 for over an hour now, so the sushi joint was a fishbowl; no glare, no problem, i could see right into where good old tommy mccarthy was cockily grinning and bowing his head in an effort to impress – who? – the blonde? no, the soft and slight japanese girl who was grinning and bowing right back, paid to turn an overpriced meal of uncooked flounder into a dime-store oriental fantasy.

i banged on the window. i was drunk.

“hey! hey tommy!”

the waitress turned her head mid-bow. the blonde twisted and grimaced. the hostess left her podium and headed for the door.

“tommy mccarthy, you halfwit! tommy, you scumbag! mccarthy, you douche!”

two waiters beat a hasty path to follow the hostess. in short time there were no fewer than three japanese people standing outside and shouting at me and while i couldn’t translate most of what they were saying, i at least understood the words “police” and “drunk” and “asshole.”

tommy appeared unperturbed. i should’ve been mad about this but instead i was laughing. the taller of the two waiters grabbed my shoulder and pulled me off the window.

“tommy!” i shouted, “that bitch is hot! i thought you only fucked guys!”

in the morning i knew i’d have a few angry emails from the old gang. “what were you thinking?” and “you need help” and “you owe me fifty bucks” and stuff like that. but for now i was feeling pretty good. well, pretty good until the other waiter got an arm around my leg and made gravity his friend, introducing the side of my face to cold and unforgiving concrete.

“my fucking face,” i moaned, half-amused, while i waited for either sleep or the cops to