Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Little Song For New Years

So yeah. Here we are as in olden days.
What a fucking year.
Death Fear.
Love and sickness.
I feel a million pounds with lead and blood in my chest.
Wine Veins.
I'm in love with my girl and sometimes I get all Jim Morrison about it.
Yeah Jim Morrison about it, like I say things like "love my girl" and "yeah my girl is looking good". Stuff like that.
Of course that whole thing has paralyzed my ability to write moody, alcohol drivel about longing and wanting girls and being nervous and paranoid and lonely and depressed about girls who were too busy with whatever.
That's quite alright.
All that shit was boring anyway.
I mean I'm still nervous and paranoid and occasionally depressed.
But not about that shit.
No no no that column is checked off.
Now I get to work on the internal shit.
It's weird.
It's perspective and I'm new to it.
Nicolas Cage is pulling people out of a burning plane on tv.
And I'm wine drunk.
Sort of.
Sort of sick sort of drunk.
A new stack of books waiting to be read.
A new blue idea in my head I want to spill out one night in pages and pages of frantic electric nonsense.
I want it all down.
I have no idea how to exploit any of this.
I try.
Sort of.
But it's okay for now.
I don't have to worry bout things
In the new year.
We'll all be better off.
We'll all get around to it.
We'll all figure out where we went wrong.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Manic on Election Night; Set Adrift in the Red Sea.

Oh Lord another Election Night.
Election Night always reminds me of Hunter Thompson. I blame him for getting addicted to politics. Books and books of articles on Nixon and eventually Bush and Clinton and Baby Bush before the big brain blast to the head after we green lit 4 more years for W.
People like Thompson and George Carlin had been through the brutal years of the late 60's and early 70's and watched the hippies become yuppies and Reagan Democrats and realized the whole thing was a joke or at best a sport. It's hard not to wonder what ol' HST would have had to say about Katrina, or the financial meltdown, or Obama, or the Tea Party. There are some fine writers (Matt Taibbi in particular) doing great work but it's not the same. It's not through the same prism of weirdness that gave you a little wink into how ridiculous it all was. Even if the bastards won you felt like it was a fluke and that we all knew it and sooner or later sanity would be restored, eventually. But apparently eventually has come and gone.

It was a weird feeling the night Obama won two years ago.
It seems like a hundred years ago and people on both sides, in retrospect seemed to have made too much of it. Sure there was the historic relevance of a minority holding the most powerful office in the world, but Obama was held up to be such a super hero to the people who supported him that there was bound to be a letdown no matter how much he achieved. No matter who ran on the Blue ticket in '08 they were likely to end up in office if for no other reason than the great collective sigh of relief that the Bush reign of terror was over. I think where some of us were mistaken, or at least where I was mistaken, was that we were flipping the script over and that the dominoes of the last 30 years of Right Wing Christian businessmen looting the economy and spouting their morals had finally all fallen down.
But this is a monster that grows it's head back no matter how many times you cut it off and often that head is something more hideous than the one before it.
Nixon became Reagan became Bush Jr. became the Tea Party.

The results aren't in yet. The Republicans already have the House, and supposedly, (according to so it could have just been one of their i-Reporters texting it in) the Democrats who have managed to win or retain have gone directly against Obama. The Senate is close 47-43 for the Dems last I checked. I don't really feel like checking again.

I'm getting a cold. I had a horrendous cold a decade ago and didn't make it to the polls but I managed to stay up until 3 or 4 a.m. wrapped in a quilt slugging from a sticky bottle of NyQuil when the news couldn't decide on a winner in the mess that was the 2000 election. I was so convinced that Gore would win, if for no other reason that it seemed so obvious Bush was caricature. Of course we didn't find out until weeks later that it was official George Bush was our President. I was at a Diner with Evan Toth, (the Empress I believe) when the court finally announced there would be no more recounts in Florida. I was a little dumbfounded waiting for some kind of 11th hour miracle that never came.

I was at Toth's house in 2004 for the election results; a complete set up of maps, multiple televisions and an ample supply of victory booze, but was again caught off guard when Bush repeated in stunning fashion. Deep down you knew the dirty tricks and fear-mongering were going to pay off, and they did, though W. as with most twice-elected Presidents had a rocky 2nd term and it almost seemed like John McCain was served up in 2008 because Republicans knew they had no shot at winning and why waste a viable candidate when they could offer up an old lion to take his turn in the spotlight and go down swinging against the fresh new face of the Democratic Party.

Most reasonable people would probably agree it's easier to tear things down than it is to build them back up, literally, metaphorically, whatever. Obama had a short honeymoon, but he went after a lot of what he wanted in his first two years. How he was supposed to fix the mess he was left with in such a short time while trying to build bridges with an opposition that questioned everything from his religion to his status as a citizen, while supported tepidly by his own party, some of whom though he wasn't Progressive enough, is beyond me. It's amazing he got anything done at all.

There are plenty of things Obama has done wrong, the worst of which is keeping the war in Afghanistan going but at least it felt like, for a little while, the boat was getting steered in a different direction, but now the Tea Party has mutated from the psychotic-fringe to legitimate players. How a movement comprised of "average Americans" in what's left of the middle class can consistently bark mantras and back candidates who support the interests of billionaires is fucking mind numbing. But this is their moment. Eventually the balance will snap back the other way and every time it does things get uglier and more contentious.

I can't help but thinking back to 2000; being immersed in the debacle of that election and listening to Kid A on a loop. That set the general tone of the early part of the 00's. Paranoia and uncertainty. No happy endings. The 00's eventually ended and here we are again staring at a fresh decade that looks like it's going to get driven until the wheels come off. Right is Center and they dress it up and call it the Left so they can pull it further Right.

Toth asked me "Who's even watching?" when I told him I was disgusted Rand Paul won. Two hours later he texted me to remember that "38% of the people voted for Carl Paladino". He can't help it, this stuff is addictive.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Rocktober Post: The Depths of Self Important Mental Health and Whatever Else May Come Up

It's 100 degrees in Bricktown on this late October evening. 100 degrees, I promise. Sure there's a cool breeze blowing in off the water but there's always a cool breeze blowing in off the water. It's October and it turns out the weather is haunted. We had 247 feet of snow down here last winter (a new record as it was recently proven the 253 feet of snow from the winter of 1959 were all due to Dr. Laurelton's weather machine which promptly disqualified '59 from the record books) but now here it is on the cusp of another grizzled old Halloween and I'm questioning my logic in having taken my air conditioner out.

So it's warm for October (Hotober?) but it still sort of autumn-y out. I'm flaking out on seeing Back to the Future in the theater as we speak which should feel like more of a shameful failure on my part but the thought of leaving the house right now just feels like an exhausting waste of time. Not that writing about it isn't a waste of time, just not exhausting.

and man is it easy to keep the bullshit coming when you're pissed off and not really in any mood to try and claw yourself out of the mundane miseries of everyday 30's-dom.

There's a real a sense that the days of the great wide open are closing up fast and I'm too old and fat and slow to squeeze under the door before it slams shut. And fuck all that. I don't subscribe to little hints about bowing to certain aspects of getting older. Not that there isn't some truth to it but I reject the idea that it's just crankiness or the aforementioned exhaustion that slows you down and takes you off the field chasing weird nights. I'm still up for a good night of ending up on a hammock a stranger's back yard in Elmwood Park at 4 a.m. while a house filled with half eaten orange and black cake and fading masking tape holding up streamers and decorations hung with good intentions for a night that blasted apart hours ago and lead everyone involved into a hollowed-out, bleary-eyed state, sleeping in any dark quiet corner of the house hoping they wake up early enough to sneak out before someone asks them what the hell happened the night before, or worse asks them for help cleaning up.

Anyway....and enough about all that shit. I've spent far too many paragraphs waxing about romantic drunk evenings and all the hollow feelings and headaches that pop up afterwards. No, I'm done fuck it. Occasionally you hit an evening that just ends up being a lot of weird devilish fun, and sometimes you don't realize it until later. So good luck in your quest trying to catch one should you in fact be chasing one.

Onto other business: I'm writing a book. I've been writing a book for about a year. Somehow it seems to be a little sci-fi-y which I guess was kind of inevitable. I guess it's kind of Back to the Future-y (shit have I mentioned Back to the Future twice in this thing? That's bad writing. Of course this is just a blog, not some polished piece of work I'm submitting to the Paris Review) in that it's not really about science but it plays a part in it. And it does go back in time. And it goes back to the 80's but but but but there's not a lot of "HEY WHERE CAN I PLUG MY CELL PHONE IN.....OH YEAH IT"S THE 80's" kind of shit. It's really more about isolation and displacement and happy stuff like that. So I'm almost done with the second draft (I've been saying this for about 4 months by the way) which is painfully slow because I'm starting to genuinely hate it. Once that happens I'm going to send it out to a few savvy friends and find out of if there are any gaping holes in the plot which I'm fairly sure there probably will be, and I may start posting it in chunks either here or some NEW AND IMPROVED BLOG sorta site.

Yes it's time to get this money machine moving. I'm either poor or disinterested in most other endeavors in this life so I figure it's time to try to get myself in some kind of position to have more than a few kind souls read whatever bullshit falls out of my head at late hours. So I don't know there may be some kind of new blog and possible even ranting podcast that might take the place of posts like this, coming in the future. Actually there will probably always be posts like this no matter how ill-advised they might be.

I'm starting to think this version of "Dead Man's Party" is a cover. The music is spot on but the voice is a little non-Elfman. That drives me nuts. Fucking Blip. Always has what you're looking for until you click on it and realize it's some creep turning on their web cam so they can play you THEIR amazing acoustic version of Tears in Heaven or whatever. My favorite are the ones who sing over the song while it's playing through their computer speakers while they stare all glass eyed right at the camera. I usually watch those to see if they end with a pistol in the mouth. They usually don't. I don't understand the end game on those: I can ALMOST get the guitar ones because sometimes they're instructional. FINE. It's annoying but I kind of get it. But what the fuck is the point of singing over a song and posting the video? What are you hoping someone stops you in the hall before Botany class the next day and says "Yo Phyllis, I saw you singing that Cindy Lauper song on You Tube last night. It was amazing, you're really good"? Ugh. Go watch Glee and hang yourself. I should start re-writing my own versions of famous books and selling them online for free (we'll call them Book Covers!!!!!! Actually fuck it I might just do that anyway) Anyway enough on that. Sorry for yelling. I don't really hope anyone watches Glee and hangs them self.

Of course I suppose it's no worse than writing a self important blog.

I kind of like that Book Covers idea.

And in closing let's get to another pet peeve shall we? People who block a letter out of a bad words on Facebook. F*ck. Sh*t. That's usually it. It's usually when people are angry about something like traffic, or the weather or something that happened on Grey's Anatomy. They're so angry but they just can't in good conscience let that vowel slip in there and have that whole bad word staring back at you. Drives me nuts. If you're angry enough to convey the sentiment then write it.....oh what do I care really? In fact the more I think about it the I think I hate the Facebook Status about cancer that pretty much calls you a pussy if you don't repost it as your status. Those people are weird. Like Tea Party weird.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Further Down

It's damp and cold and dark and all the things I start worrying about the great hereafter being like start creeping into my head. It's not quiet. This is worrisome. What if there's just as many distractions when you're dead? Of course you can't really do anything about them then can you? And what is this little cycle of thoughts about? Sounds like bad high school poetry. I start fiddling for my flash light because I hear that high-pitched whail bellowing. The one that sounds like Thom Yorke on "How to Disappear Completely" a quick shitty copy of which is jammed into my walkman. I fear that I left it playing and that the batteries will eventually die. But no, the tape's not playing and I realize it's just one of the rotten sounds that permeates out of this place. They have CD's for these things. Women screaming and men howling, sounds of random violence. Ghosts and goblins and black cats. All that shit.

It's dark down here. They actually dug holes this year. Right into the ground. It's OCtober and it's freezing. It feels like it hasn't stopped raining in two weeks. It's cold but not winter cold. Just the kind that tackles you out of your illusion of warm summer nights. October is cold and weird. It's weirder in an artificial graveyard. It's important to drink enough to make all the weird and scary things look level.

They bring groups through and it's fun for a few seconds: the guide brings them up to the exit and gives them a speech about this being a haunted graveyard. I actually no the whole speech because I've heard it at least 50 times already this evening. And there's been a lot these kind of evenings over the past 4 Octobers. I pull myself out of the hole, through the flaps of turf that make it look like an open grave. I crawl slowly at the people and then I quickly claw at them and hiss and pull myself upright. This isn't always the best strategy as a girl freaked last week and gave me a reflex kick right in the head. But I think it looks kind of cool, and it usually scares people a little bit. Which is much better than having them just stare at you while you wait for the guide to take them out. Then I go back to the hole or if it sounds quiet I sift through the black plastic tarp mazes and head to the dining room where some pseudo pagan ceremony is usually going on.

Ryan and BLumes are there doing their act and I hang behind one of the tarps and get behind the line and when they notice me they jump a little bit. Ryan and Blumes and I do a little banter, full of inside jokes that no one really gets but no one is really listening anyway. They just see a man caked in blood and makeup carrying a big metal post that he repeatedly slams into the table. Eventually they scatter out and we talk about groups that went through or what we're going to do later.

And the girl is gone. She took off with a bottle of vodka and later I find her passed out behind my tombstone looking like a dead angel. I sigh a disgusted sigh and throw a jacket over her. She'll disappear back to whatever movie she came from in a few days and in the end all I'll remember about her are strange little scenes like this.

It's the last night. Halloween. Busy with fratboys trying to prove that no one working here is really a zombie and girls who don't stop screaming from the second the lights go down. There's parties going on and bars with costume contests but we'll probably just go to a diner and drink coffee and smoke cigarettes until 7am like we do every weekend this month. It's easier that way. The last night, last chance for all this nonsense. It's like going to high school in a nightmare. An acid-trip down memory lane. But it's over.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Alright, Nobody Freak Out Or Anything

The jitters.
I have the jitters. I'm jittery.
I feel like some kind of fire breathing alien is about to uncoil itself in my chest.
Not literally.
I'd go to a doctor if it was that bad.
I'm anxious and it appears the older I get the worse I am equipped to deal with it.
I'm awake in a dark bedroom.
It looks like a hotel.
There's a little bit of blue morning light peaking in.
The sheets are cold and the air conditioner is humming.
My head hurts.
I'm a little confused.
I'm kind of hoping I'm in New Orleans.
That I can slide out of this bed, throw something on and crawl into any bar and it will be roaring like it's just after midnight.
The drunks don't go to sleep in New Orleans, they just take cigarette breaks.
At least that's kind of how I remember it.
The scenesters are tourists and treated as such.
Everyone who talks to you eventually wants to borrow a few bucks.
Yeah I hope I'm in New Orleans.
Nope. I'm not in New Orleans.
I wake up again. It's cold.
The windows are open.
I hope it's winter.
I hope it's snowing out and it's Sunday.
I hope there's nowhere to go and watch tv all day.
I want to make the conscious decision to watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, or go Star Wars happy or even plow through the entire series of Deadwood again just because I know there's too much weather outside to do anything besides maybe scrape a shovel against the pavement.
It's not winter, and it's not snowing.
I wake up again.
There's some sun screaming in from the shades.
I hope I'm in California and still stoned with no particular agenda.
I want to start noticing all the little things and wondering if I can deal with them. I want to take little mental pictures of the skylines and remember them every time things go to shit that I can fantasize about some sunny Eden that I can slip off to and be a new slick and silver version of myself.
And then I wake up and it's 1968 and there is vinyl spinning and crackling on some old player.
Outside in the gazebo. In Paterson.
It's October. It's autumn and the night is haunted.
There's people hiding behind the trees.
And fake plastic goblins streaming up and down the sidewalks.
The sky is red and someone drew black trees on it with crayon.
Breathe in a thousand pounds of smoke and gasoline and fog.
And then I'm in Manhattan in some decrepit staccato building vines crawling up the side. Bass thumping through the walls of some piss smelling bathroom. "how the fuck'd I get here?/ This is awesome" fight for prominence in my head.
And then I'm awake in a dark bedroom.
Just the blur of a television glow.
Tense and death obsessed.
Not that it's really that deep.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Sports are dumb. There. I'm glad that's out of the way. I kind of hate them. I hate the fact that for some of my formative years I allowed the outcome of sporting events to alter my mood. I hate the fact that when I think about the year 2004 it feels all weird and disgusting because I remember the Red Sox beat the Yankees after being down 0-3. That never happened before. Oh yeah, I root for the Yankees. Those evil capitalist pigs who outspend everyone in the game and win because of it. I used to root for them just because they were my team, I think in later years I started rooting for them because everyone else hated them. Don't get me wrong; Yankees fans are some of the worst slime you will ever meet. They strut around like they are responsible for the 26 World Championships. No, they're terrible and I don't really associate myself with them. However, there is a far worst beast out there in the realm of sports fandom and it's the whiny "Why Not Us?" fans. If there is anything that can take the charm out of an underdog it's a fan base that whines about teams like the Yankees making it impossible for their poor team to catch a break. This reached it's crest with the '04 Red Sox who were riding a wave of sentiment like "My father may live his whole life without ever seein' the Sawks win the Series" or of course the aforementioned "Why Not Us?" Well they finally won it. My life wasn't ruined. In fact the deciding game was pretty much decided by the first inning, and as I sat there sucking down a six pack at my pal Horgan's house we knew before hand it was over. You can feel these things coming sometimes. But our lives certainly weren't ruined. If you flipped the calendar back a year the two teams were in the same situation and the Yankees wound up winning on little Aaron Boone's home run in extra innings. It was a fun moment, it was exciting; I was with friends at a diner and we got caught up in it and hurumphed and whatever else. And then an hour later we were still drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes talking about something else. Didn't change my life, it was just a nice memory.

Now, I assure you I'm not really trying to make any point here, if anything I'm really just trying to get to the bottom of this here rant where I countdown my personal top three most embarrassing moments in sports, but I feel like I want to get this out of my system. There is a long held belief in certain circles that competition is a good thing, and maybe that's true. That it brings out the best in people, that it motivates and drives people and that its a good thing for kids to learn. But it's not really competition any more is it? At least on a professional level? It's a bunch of millionaire jocks playing each other, and while there are certain exceptions of players who are driven mad by the idea of what their legacy might be for the most part these fucking guys are going out, playing their game and hitting clubs with each other afterwards. Meanwhile Charlie from Queens on the carphone is calling up WFAN because his world is falling apart because the Mets aren't going to make the playoffs this year.

I love sports radio. I listen to it on late night drives to keep myself awake. Oh man, the hosts are mostly hyper-active man-boy-snobs; quick to shoot down callers points or condescending if they have a differing opinion. And the callers are mutants straight out of science fiction novels. My personal favorites are the ones who can't get the question out. They're too busy saying weird shit like: "Hi Mike first time caller, long time listener". Who in their right mind gives a shit how long Elmer from the Bronx has been listening or how frequently he calls? And those are always the creeps who spit out gems like "Do you think the Yankees are going to sign Derek Jeter to an extension?" Real stupid shit. The thing that drives me nuts, that makes me question my sanity the most is the guys, and occasional gal, who call up and talk about their team in the first person: "Do you think WE got a shot at Super Bowl this year?" I'm not going to insult your intelligence, dear reader or poor lost soul, with a cheap, "Oh yeah what position do you play 'Marv' from Paterson?" joke. No, no, no. I'll just let the sadness that comes with someone diluting themselves so much that they need to verbalize some kind of connection between them self and the group of millionaires playing a children's game like they're all in the same club, linger out there for a while.

So anyway what's all this about? Nothing really. I just kind of realized I'm sick of sports insofar as being a fan. The Yankees won the World Series last year and while I was glad, I really don't give all that much of a shit. They spent an insane amount of money after missing the playoffs the year before. Got all, ALL, of the best free agents and they won. They were supposed to win. And they did. Good. No, I think I'm kind of enjoying sports more from a combative standpoint now. If you're upset about teams like the Yankees then how bout this: If your poor team (oh let's just say the Mets, who had the highest payroll in the National League for years and managed to do nothing with it) can't afford to keep up with they Yankees then you should stop going to the games, stop watching the games, stop buying merchandise and demand whomever owns your team to sell it to someone with more money. A Russian BILLIONaire just bought the New Jersey Nets for Pete's sake. Someone out there with enough money can use the Yankees as a business model and overpay for excellence until everyone is priced out of the game. By then you'll have a whole line up full of players with size 10 heads because they'll be pressured to live up to their billion dollar contracts and shoot HGH until they're dragging their foreheads on the ground. It'll be wonderful.

Now, anyway, that you've indulged me in that misguided rambling nonsense let's get down to business. This was supposed to be the meat of the piece with a little bitching about sports at the top, but it appears I got carried away. Must be in a bad mood.
So anyway, IN ORDER, my top three most embarrassing sports moments.

#3. I don't know what year it was but I know it was the first year I played soccer as I tried my hand at Football and well it didn't' fit. (see #1) Anyway I was on the dark blue team. We were good. Well, our team was good. It seemed like every team had at least one Latin American or European kid on their team who was the only one who can control a ball. Now before you accuse me of being a racist I'm only saying that because they introduce soccer at a younger age, so calm down and stop point your finger you reactionist. So anyway, the kids who really had no idea what they were doing and weren't fast were defenders. I was a defender. I knew that if the ball came to me I could kick it (toe ball) pretty far, or at least I thought it was far. But for the most part I was the kid who was pretty terrible but had to play at least five minutes because, you know, there are participation rules. So I should mention that my all time grade school crush was on this team. Her father was an assistant coach and the head coach was my 2nd all time grade school crush's father. They were both laid back and as chill as a 10 year old could want a soccer coach to be. So anyway a ball comes rolling up to me with no one around it, I get ready to kick the hell out of this thing, really make an impact in the game. GET THAT THING AWAY FROM MY GOAL! and then maybe throw a wink at one of those two gals; "Hey, see what I did?" But instead I was called off by the goalie who shall remain nameless. A good guy and more importantly a good goalie, who would scoop the ball up and punt it away, presumably further than I would have. So, dejected I let the ball roll by, I turn to watch him kick my chance at soccer immortality away and like a black and white checkered comet the ball lands right in my head. The next thing I remember people were standing over me. My mother slapping me lightly in the face (her "if it's not bleeding I don't want to hear about it" policy in effect) I was helped off the field to light applause by the coaches while their daughters giggled to themselves.

#2 Ok this took place in my second year in minor leagues. In Little League you had to play one year in the minors and then you could get drafted to the Majors or linger in the minor leagues until you were 12 presumably playing like a star against kids younger than you to boost your esteem. So I didn't make the majors my first year.....or wait shit, did I? I can't remember. No maybe I did. This isn't even like an ego thing I just can't remember. Well let's just say I know I was either 10 or 11. Probably 11. I was catching. I always wanted to catch and it was the first full year I did. There was a girl on the other team. She was tall and pretty and I think older. There were a few girls who played Little League but most of them played in the completely un-sexistly titled Princess League right behind the Little League field. So this girl was already attractive because she was good. Anyway, somehow she ends up in a rundown between third and home. I chase her up the line and dump the ball off to the third baseman, the pitcher covers home, I get behind the 3rd baseman to take the next throw if she decides to change directions again. The pitcher dumps the ball to me and she stops and takes off for home no one is covering, so I decide to do what any self respecting Thurman Munson type would do and I lunge at her with the ball in my glove. I missed. Probably by a lot. But I did manage to land on the glove with my stomach knocking the wind out of myself for the first time. I could breathe out but not in. "I can't breath, I can't breath" I yelled frantically. Everyone freaked and ran over. Again I'm on my back with parents and coaches and classmates looking over me. Well I was ok in about 2 minutes. But I came out of the game anyway, and I spent the rest of the evening trying to explain how freaked I was and that I wasn't being a baby. but I might have been. Anyway, somehow I ran into that girl after the game, in street clothes she was all glamoured up and she gave me a peck on the cheek which was sweet, but I think of what would have happened if I would have caught her, and I lunged at her; probably would have either bruised her back or knocked her over or God knows what, and how do you live that one down? So there was a good chance this could have been #1. But it's not.

Ok so we had my first black out and potentially harming a girl with a baseball glove, but those both pale in comparison to the heavy weight champion of embarrassing sports stories:

#1 I was 7. Pee-Wee football. Almost everyone on the team hates me. The coach is the father of my arch nemesis from school. (We'll omit his name because he is no longer with us which will probably be the topic of a future rant but lets stay on topic here). I've been beaten up in school by some of these kids. We scrimmaged against the older kids (the terrifying 8 year olds) And I kept getting knocked down from one kid in particular and he stepped on my hand with his cleats. I didn't know anything about football then, and I didn't even particularly like it, I had no friends there, I really have no idea what the hell I was doing there. (I should also mention that this spurned me to embark on my soccer career which, after #3 I did go on to be a fairly decent goalie, sorry I'm trying to keep a smidge of dignity here). We were finished practicing one day. It was kind of hot and I was slamming through Gatorade even though I'm sure I probably didn't deserve it. We didn't have our pads on, I had my jersey, (Green with yellow numbers #25) and green sweatpants on. The coach get all Vince Lombardi and starts giving an intense speech about our "road game" against Oakland. I had to pee. There was no way I was going to interrupt this speech. This man was going for an Oscar. He transcended football, fuck Lombardi he was Patton leading his troops into battle, and you do not interrupt a general while he's giving marching orders to ask if you can go pee. So I held it. And I held it. And I held it, and then I stopped holding it because it was running down the front of my pants. These were "light" green sweats by the way so there was no mistaking that something was amiss in the front of my pants. I did what any 7 year old would do when put in an impossible social situation: I raised my hand, stood up and started crying in front of the whole team. Holy shit my spine is shivering just thinking about this. It was almost a quarter of a century ago. (alright I just scared the shit out myself with that math) So anyway, the coach, to his credit, was great and lead me over to the wooded area to dry out and went to find me another pair of pants. I stood there, grabbing the warm, wet waistband and tried to find a way to maybe "air them out". One of my fellow teammates went over to pee against a tree and asked "You alright?" and I, now relaxed, "oh yeah, they're starting to dry out a little now," like this kind of thing happens all the time. Oakland wound up kicking the shit out of us that weekend. Needless to say that was it for me and football.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

and in a weird moment of terrifying clarity.......

see the thing is I think I'm trying to figure out if I've already missed the chance to do what I want to do or if I'm still taking my swing. not sure. scary stuff.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

on the upside

the 1990's live on a video tape in my New Milford bedroom.
Dusted up and put in some kind of order that made sense to me back then.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How's About Now, Steve?

I don't really like Steve. We're related and all and I guess I like him enough in that sense but there are things that he's done, that it's just hard to get over. I don't know him that well and I guess that has something to do with it. He seems to have two distinct characters that he plays well: Selfish Prick and Poor Schlub. Schlub? Is that even a real word? Well even if it isn't we'd have to coin it for Steve.
Steve gave me a hug on Christmas Eve last year to thank me for a DVD box set of Ice Road Truckers I got him. "Hey thanks bud," he said and came in and gave me a guy hug. You could tell he really wanted to have a 'moment' but he was so awkward he hardly got out the 'thank you' part before I was wrapped up and getting hard pats on the back. Before I could say "No problem Steve" he was off to his bedroom.
And whatever. I don't really need any moments with Steve. I accept his presence as a fact of life and occasionally we'll get along alright but seldom is it not tinged with a similar uncomfortableness. Hanging around Steve is kind of like going out for a beer after work with your boss, you can never really relax and say what you want to say because Steve will try to find some way to relate to it and then you're left in the wonderful position of deciding whether or not you want to try to explain what you were actually trying to say or just let him think you're a moron.
Oil Spill.
Me: "Oh look BP's prices are lower than everyone else's, guess they're trying to do some PR control."
Steve: "Yeah well, don't forget they had that big oil spill in the Gulf."

I pause for a moment when things like this happen: Does Steve really not think this is what I am referring to? Oil Spill in the Gulf Stever? What spill? Oh is that what all that hullaballoo on the news has been for the last FOUR FUCKING WEEKS? Oh maybe you're onto something.
It would probably be easy enough to say: "Yeah, that's what I'm talking about." Except I know that to continue down this line will ultimately just lead to more little hiccups like this, so I just settle on a "oh yeah". Steve can think I'm an idiot. I am ok with this.

I've found sports to be a reliable weapon in this area. I'm familiar enough with sports to carry on a conversation that will take up the bulk of a car ride. This works on two levels: 1. It eats up a lot of time. Especially during baseball season. I can steer the conversation to weeks worth of news just from random tid-bits I pick up from stray headlines in newpapers or blab I hear on sports radio when I need a good laugh. I've filled up damn near an hour just talking about how bad the Mets' starting rotation is, a subject I couldn't give a fuck about. 2. It steers the conversation away about talking about anything real. Like family problems, the future, what he thinks of so-and-so. I don't want to know. Because sooner or later it's going to lead to a big heated argument. Which I might add is long overdue between Steve and I. Plus I guess it creates a fake sense of male bonding. Guys talking about sports. This does backfire every once in a while when Steve decides he wants to take me out for a beer.

I don't want to go out for a beer. It's Sunday morning, well I guess afternoon, but I'm hungover. I need a ride because I had too much to drink the night before, I don't really want to go and have another one. I don't feel good. I don't want to keep pouring booze on things. But Steve is adamant. One beer won't kill ya. Well alright Steve, I guess I'm in debt to you for the ride so lead away. We end up at a biker bar. Steve is wearing short cargo shorts and sandals. He apparently frequents this bar because he always mentions people that go there or work there like I went to high school with them, this is the only reason I don't fear we will be beaten upon sight once entering. Steve enters and is welcomed with something less than a giant "Norm" cheer. It's more of a "hey Steve" followed by the patron staring back down at their beer. It's an older set. One guy looks distinctly like Santa Clause if he was altered for some douchey Harley Davidson shirt. He's wearing a red shirt which makes me think he's aware of the comparison, almost inviting it so he can smash a bottle over someones head for mentioning it.

There are a couple of younger, less distinct bikers sipping beers around the small bar. The woman behind the bar recognizes Steve right away. He makes some crack at her and she smiles in a way that suggests she's tolerating the joke, not participating in it. Steve is an outsider here and he seems to be the only one who is unaware of it. He introduces me to everyone but he does it like he's in a shitty action movie where the Colonel introduces his elite-squad of daredevils: "This is Johnson Killjoy; you need something blown up he's your guy".
"Hey this is Larry, what is it early Larry? You're usually onto shots by now, haha," he pats Larry on the back and Larry looks slightly amused by the fact that he's not punching Steve in the face.

He goes around the bar in this fashion and I, not wanting to be there but resigned to the fact that I am, politely nod or raise the tip of the bottle towards them. I don't talk much just gaze back and forth between television sets. No games on yet. That would make life easier. No just Fox News. I hope no one is watching it ready to spew off about how great Palin or Beck is or how Obama is submerging America into a Communist cesspool or whatever else. But the talk eventually gets around to politics. Some colorful adjectives get shot around and Steve looks uncomfortable but doesn't do anything to counter them. And neither do I for that matter. What's the point? I stopped arguing politics a long time ago and I figure this isn't the best place for a spirited debate.
Besides these guys aren't bad people as far as I can tell; they buy rounds for everyone (which Steve initiates in a move that smacks of desperation) I just don't agree with anything they say.

Mercifully the conversation steers elsewhere, about other locals, Steve without hesitation jumps in even though it seems rather obvious he hardly knows the people in question. Maybe I'm reading the whole thing wrong, but I don't think I am. The whole longing to belong here makes me feel kind of bad for him, it makes me think that maybe when he was kid he didn't really fit in anywhere and it just kind of stuck and maybe that's responsible for some of his more bitter moments. Then I snap out of it, like I'm becoming too desperate to humanize this guy. Maybe things are fine with these people, maybe it's just an early Sunday afternoon and everyone is sitting back, maybe on a Saturday night if Steve showed up he'd be sitting center rattling off stories about how he got drunk last weekend and told some cop to go fuck himself, and high fiving everyone. How do I know? I don't want to know.
We leave a little while later, 6 beers in and I'm just starting to get comfortable.

A few hours later dinner is ready. Nothing fancy, chicken and noodles in lemon pepper sauce, green beans. I'm sitting with a tray watching TV and then Steve goes and does that thing. Dinner is literally just off the stove. He is notified of this but chooses to finish his game of Spider Solitaire on the computer, which admittedly is addictive, but c'mon STeve, it's dinner. He meticulously picks his food and then places it in the microwave. I find this infuriating.

At first I wanted to believe that there was a story behind it; like when he was in the Army he always had lukewarm meals so he decided if he ever got home he would make sure all his meals were HOT. Then I remembered Steve never was in the Army, so I made up a story where his mother was never home for dinner and used to just heat him up leftover in the oven, and that's just how he got accustomed to eating dinner. It made him seem a little less like an alien. But that was bullshit. He makes a show of it, as if to say "You don't cook things hot enough for me" he pulls his plate out and then curses because he burns his hand on it. He turns the ceiling fan off even though the air is warm and thick from the oven because he insists that it cools off his food. He walks to the table and trips over his own sandle, the plate spills onto his foot and he curses and throws an angry fist at the wall denting the drywall in a what looks like a perfect circle. He curses some more and cleans up the mess. He takes some more food but this time he doesn't heat it up. He goes into his bedroom and returns to his game of Spider Solitaire. He comes out to inform us he wasn't mad or cursing at us, it was just that the food was hot.
Yeah no problem Steve. Relax man. Have a beer.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Here Comes Nothing

Oh man I had that little bubble of energy this morning. I was going to get things done today. I've really seen too many movies in my life because I'm waiting for some upbeat number to slowly fade in from the speakers in the sky and motivate me to start cleaning, building, writing or whatever else I should be doing. I want a montage that ends with me rolling in a pile of money laughing hysterically. In a tuxedo with tails. And a top hat.
And it's not about the money really, it's about not having to worry about money. I assure you I will find other things to worry about.
It sometimes seems I am incapable of accomplishing anything without a gun to my head, or a serious case of the miseries. The everyday hum-drum shit is just enough to get me to bitch about but not enough to actually every do anything about. And here is where the big fuck up comes into place. The big fuck up is anyone who tries to give off an air of normalcy. Now I'm not getting into some punk rock thing about normalcy, that's just as much bullshit as barbecues and ballgames, I'm not talking about hating the guys wearing pressed slacks and polo shirts on a Sunday afternoon just because I can't feel comfortable in anything other than old t-shirts and baggy jeans. No way sir, I'm past all that garbage. I'm talking about the idea that things level off. Adulthood comes and you have a job and you get married and have kids and things are swell. Things slow down. Goals are apparent. Because, I think, for most people that is not only not the case, its never the case. THere's always more time around the corner. THings are going to change, if I can just get
SO yeah.
Here comes more stress and anxiety wheeling itself around like a moving landscape. But whatever. THis is life I guess. I guess I guess.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Everything Grim on a Sunday

Hung up in the quiet apartment, I feel like a stranger in some one's hotel room hoping the door doesn't suddenly open. Keeping myself occupied with old magazines, random Internet checks and the bracing flinch that reality is beginning to settle in under me. We're beginning our landing. Friday night blazing at a thousand miles an hour, in full stride on Saturday, now I just want to enjoy the peace.
The town swings by outside.
Breezes blow by.
The fan hums.
Her boots are thrown on the floor, her dress hangs over the doorknob. This is her place.
I make the bed. I'll do some dishes and try to straighten up, a little penance for hanging around all weekend.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Long Overdue Blabfest About the Cultural Trainwreck/Genius of St. Elmo's Fire From the End of the World

For as long as I can remember I've had a touch of insomnia. I think I blame Miami Vice. I remember sneaking the television on once when I was no more than 6 or 7 and seeing Crockett and/or Tubbs violently blow some guy away or maybe it was Salazar or whoever the big drug dealer was kill an informant. Something like that. Either way I remember not being able to sleep and it kind of stuck. I also now can not hear "In the Air Tonight" while in my car and not pretend that I'm driving towards some kind of extremely dangerous drug bust showdown.
But the point is that recently, knowing that I had to wake up early to catch a train recently I attempted to find a movie to fall asleep to. No Con Air or Rock, no Nic Cage at all, then I came upon it. St. Elmo's Fire. This movie has always fascinated me. Furthermore I have warm and fuzzy moments of being 12-ish, and watching that movie in my old living room late at night after a 4th of July party while fireworks crackled down the street and the industrial powered air condition blared away. But little 12 year old Shaun didn't really understand all the insanity that was going on in this film at the time. No, he just thought coked-up, crimped-hair Demi Moore was hot and you know, I wanted to hear the theme song.
I guess, and this is only a guess, that the concept of the movie is supposed to be like a post-high school Breakfast Club dealing with shit. And there they are a few Breakfast Club stalwarts (Judd Nelson as the former party animal who's getting all Republican and shit, Ally Sheedy as his girlfriend who has no discernible personality and Emilio Estevez as a sociopath, more on that later) and a few other Brat Packers, actually the only ones who would go on to any kind of career Rob Lowe and aforementioned coked out Ms. Willis-Kutcher. And Mare Winninham though I'm not sure what the hell she's doing here and I don't think she knows either. And of course Andrew McCarthy, pre Weekend At Bernie's. He's a writer who everyone thinks is gay because he's apparently told everyone he knows he hasn't had sex in a year. I'm glad these people aren't my friends.
Anyway, so the movie is about how all these friends are dealing with life after graduating college. Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy (I'm not doing character names because 1. I don't remember and, well no, that's all) seemingly are at the top of the food chain of this group. Oh but there's trouble in paradise: Judd Nelson (I just realized I do remember some of the character names but that would just make this more confusing than it probably already is) is cheating on poor Ally Sheedy. Rob Lowe can't hold a job down because he's a party animal, and props to Lowe for rocking the Mel Gibson-Martin Riggs-Almost-Mullet almost a year before Lethal Weapon came out (I think. I'm not fact checking this thing) Anyway he's got a wife and a kid, but he's a drunk and sort of a coke head but he's got a heart of gold, sort of, etc. Demi Moore is pretty much Girl-Rob Lowe. You figure they're going to get together but that would be too obvious for high concept shit like this. No no no, Demi is doing her boss and has a coke problem and is just overall a fabulous woman of the 80's who talks about sex frankly.
Everyone else treats both of them with rock star worship one minute: "Oh Rob Lowe and Demi Moore you guys are so out of control, I wish I didn't have to go to work in the morning or else I'd have that shot with you" and the next minute are pulling the righteous indignation card "Rob Lowe and Demi Moore are out of control they need help." I'm paraphrasing of course.
Who else is there, Mare Winningham plays a 22 year old virgin which I don't know, doesn't seem like a big deal to ol' prude McGann except for the fact that she looks like she's 35. In fact she almost looks like the librarian at the beginning of Ghostbusters. Rob Lowe is supposedly in love with her and she him, ya know because they're complete opposites, but he keeps getting drunk and pissing off her strict father.
There's Andrew McCarthy who is a writer who can't get published ( I hear ya buddy) and is stuck doing obituaries, while Demi tries to hook him up with her gay neighbor because she is convinced he's in love with Judd Nelson. But wait SPOILER ALERT, no sir, he's actually in love with Ally Sheedy. Amazing no on considered that. There's a real tense scene where Ally tricks Judd into confessing that he's been sleeping around and goes home with Andrew McCarthy, he confesses he's in love her, they sleep together, and tell Judd Nelson. It's all very silly. It results in a scene where Ally Sheedy comes to the apartment to get her stuff and they divide up the record collection (NO SPRIGNSTEEN IS LEAVING THIS HOUSE) it might be a good scene but it feels like it's there so someone in the audience automatically goes "Oh my God I've been through that". Of course the scene ends with an awesomely awkward moment where Judd throws a football across the room and yells "WASTED LOVE" and, what I am convinced was completely improvised, "I just wish I could get it back," there's some hammy Brando-esque arm gestures as he delivers this line that really tickles me.
Who am I missing? OHHHHHHH
King Emilio steals this fucking movie.
Sure Rob Lowe wears a cool jacket in it and he blows his 80's sax in such ridiculous fashion that I'm sure John Coltrane was would have beat him to death had he ever seen that scene, but Emilio Estevez is really the star of this movie.
I might have mentioned earlier that he plays a sociopath and I wasn't kidding. I don't' really know what the hell he does in the movie, he works for a Japanese business man I think, I guess he's an assistant or something. I do know his name is Kirby Keeger which already screams psycho. He falls for Andie McDowell. She's a doctor and she gives ABSOLUTELY NO HINT THAT SHE IS INTERESTED IN HIM. None. She's polite that's about it. He throws a party at the Japanese Businessman's house (he's conveniently out of town) because he wants her to think he's successful. Which you know, is a great plan because should she fall for him I'm sure she'll take the fact that he's not rich just some fucking nut hackey assistant very well. Anyway he tells her he's having the party and invites her. She doesn't show, she is a doctor after all, and he fucking freaks. He keeps calling her apartment, he shouts at the operator when she tells him that his SECOND EMERGENCY BREAKTHROUGH on the line was unsuccessful. He announces that he threw this party in her honor and she didn't even show up, which sends him to her apartment where her roommate yells down to him that Andie is out of town. Well where? Why should I tell you, you're nuts. (I'm paraphrasing up until here) "Because I'm not responsible for what I'll do to ya if you don't." That's an actual line delivered with a cold death stare of a man who will kill. I guess it was supposed to get a laugh cause the roommate has annoying voice and is kind of frumpy looking so ya know she's blocking true love from happening.
Turns out ol Andie is up in the mountains skiing and this fucking lunatic drives up there in the middle of the night shouts at the cabin and realizes: Uh oh she's there with a guy. He freaks and goes to leave but gets stuck in the snow. They let him spend the night. He does and the next day Andie's boyfriend not only digs him out and lends him a pair of clothes, but for some strange reason decides to take a picture of Emilio and Andie. Little does he know, while he went in to get the camera Emilio gave the mouth business to his woman. I can only imagine this guy was so supremely confident in his relationship with Andie that he was just messing with this crazy kid with a crush. But wait, when he takes the picture there's a gleam in Andie's droopy southern belle eyes. So whatever. Emilio pulls away farewelling them with "later dudes" and does a rally cry as he drives down the snowy mountain road.
In the end nothing is settled. Ally Sheedy is going to take time to make up her mind between Judd Nelson and Andrew McCarthy who are both fine with that. Demi Moore tries to kill herself by wearing nothing but a shirt and leaving all the windows open because ya know it's cold and windy outside and she'll freeze to death. Eventually. (I think they're in Chicago so it probably is really cold and windy but it's still fucking stupid). Rob Lowe, her male version, explains some life lesson and goes all Carrot Top with a bottle of hair spray and a lighter and talks about St. Elmo and she's ok and they close the windows and everyone is happy. At the end they decide not to meet up for a drink at their favorite bar, St. Elmo's, because there's too many kids there, they'll just go to brunch on Sunday. Get it they're grown up now.
Joel Schumaker directed this movie and he killed the first run of the Batman franchise. I mean turned it into a rubber fetish, neon comic book for either dumb children or men with adult baby complexes. I guess for an 80's movie he goes pretty Hughesian here, and it's kind of fun in a dumb 80's way. And of course there's the song. Who could forget the song? John Parr you fantastically mulleted bastard. I hung in there for the whole movie just to hear GONNA BE A MAN IN MOTION ALL I NEED IS A PAIR OF WHEELS.
Yup. I was doomed. No sleep for me that evening.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Broken Windows

Ahh, new experiments in sleep deprivation, lack of oxygen, anxiety drenched breaths. Blood pressure spikes and anger rushes turn into quick cut flash backs of every one who's ever wronged you. Any slight and put down and cruelty. Well I can do that better than you can.
And I often do.
All those slick muthafuckin hipsters who don't have a care in the world. The way they dress, and smoke, and look. Make it look easy. Good for you.
I can't dress like that or smoke like that or look like that or fuck like that or whatever. And I'm getting ok with that. They're not even really there anyway, Cardboard cut outs for the scenery. I got pains and aches and fears and nerves and panic and all that good shit, so I don't have any time to sweat all that. I got other stuff too. I mean let's not get too negative here. There's other stuff. I think there's other stuff.
Ohh, but this is getting bitter-ranty elitist.
And the shadows are crawling on the air.
Things are falling over.
Some guys are out at a club in expensive clothes, grasping fancy drinks throwing sharp eyebrows at every pretty thing that walks by.
Other's are 80miles away from where they'd rather be, spaced out on a couch, instead of staring at a screen, listening to Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and alarmed at the potential of what every tap, rattle and scratch was.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

At The End (Dead Flowers Practice)

So if I'm a creep I can't help it. Somtimes late at night after the booze has settled into your brain and you're sitting on the dead-green plastic benches, you can't help but stare at the copper lights drenching the night all the way to the city while you wait for a metallic box to arrive and slither down coast, getting you closer to the safe bubble of home and the hope of thinking quiet thoughts for a few hours before it all starts again.

Sometimes the air is just the right mix of the warm promise of summer and the cool blanket of fall. You can smell it/you can feel it.
And you don't want to stare at it alone anymore, you want some there to lean on, to grasp hands with, even to tell you that she doesn't see what the big deal about it all is.

You want it to be her, but right now it isn't. So you suck in that beautfiul New Jersey night-air cocktail, gaze out over the city and make up your own story as another train screams by.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

All the Sick Ones Sing Along

All the cards are turned over.
Worrying about no more late-night,hazy-eyed,rooftop,stare-downs with the moon.
Sweating through the sheets, mired in bleak memories and all the chances we never met and things we don't regret and awkward moments that carry us to the next morning.
Then you sit back and wait for someone to tell you it's all a joke. Some weird invitation setting you up for the big reveal: everyone was in on everything. Every strange moment, coincidence, gentle nudge of de-ja-vu, and night filled with panic and desperation that you were doing everything wrong was just one big practical joke but now they're letting you in on it. And as angry as you'd be when the floor drops out, wouldn't it be a relief?

Everyone's a stranger.

Cling to the nights when you're in it with someone else. When there's someone there to hold onto while everything falls apart. Nothings going to fix the glitches or stitch those old scars that won't close.
"Doesn't it ever get better?" she said, not really asking.
I don't know.
Probably not.
It's not always bad though, is it?
It's just lonely when the walls creep closer and closer and everyone is staring in to see what you do about it.
So stay up late, and smoke and drink and burn. Blasting and singing songs about how sad it all is, giving you little flecks of hope that you might find someone to help you claw your way out of the box that's closed in around you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Tries Too Hard

So I was already pissed off by the time I walked into the place and saw this rust colored Wayne Newton clone sipping what I had to guess was an apple martini and cackling a fingernail/blackboard death-shriek of a laugh while sitting in my usual spot.
Well, I don't really come in that much to really claim it as "my spot" but the three or four times I've been in here that's where I sat so to me it's my spot.
I let it go and find a spot in the corner booth where I have little doubt the waitress will not visit frequently enough to keep up with my pace.
The bar was about half full, it was late, I guess, I kind of expected the lights to come up at any minute. but the band was still playing.
The band was called Back to the Future, and I instantly hated them for sullying my fond memories of their namesake while they pumped out ironic, punked-up covers of "Walk Like an Egyptian".
Wayne Newton and his date stood up and started dancing cheek to cheek like some old Sinatra song was being sent directly to their heads only.
Paul and Calro slunk into the booth.
I was probably drunk.
Legally speaking.
I felt safe believing that I was still sober enough to acknowledge that I might be drunk.
I drove over separately from them because I was fairly certain that Carlo was drunk. I did my honorary human duty to try and finagle his keys away but there was no point. He was 14 years older than me and he wasn't going to let me show him up. Of course, the rational thing to do would have probably been to call a cab, but I was out of rational thoughts.
When I pulled in I realized I had a head light out which would pretty much make me a magnet for the hornets nest of hungry officers just waiting to hand out some tickets and throw some one in the clink.
I don't really use words like "clink" unless I'm in a certain mood.
I sat back and reviewed the groin-kick of a day it had been.
From the ice water shooting at me in the shower after the handle fell off to accidentally throwing a red pillow case in with the rest of my laundry morphing my wardrobe into a wonderful cascade of pinks and purples.
Stupid, pithy shit, but enough to annoy you. Enough to make you sling some whiskey and drop $20 in the jukebox on songs you have in your car.

The night is dead.
It's over.
I'm just hoping one of these two don't suggest going to a diner.
I'm done, just trying to summon enough energy to get up and slip past any road blocks so I can hit my bed hard, wake up and try again tomorrow.
I'm staring an uncomfortably long time at Wayne Newton again.
Don't know why he just seems to be having a good time and I guess I'm envious.
He notices and comes over.
I'm not much of a fighter.
I mean in the wrong head I'll talk shit, but I'm not really a fighter.
But here comes Wayne.
I look around the bar.
It looks like they want it to have a saloon vibe when the lights are turned up. Old barrel tables and wood paneling.
It looks old.
Wayne looks like the sheriff coming over to ask if 'we got any problems here fellers?'
How does he know I won't kick over the table and come out blasting?
I mean I won't, but how does he know that?

"Hey guys how you doing tonight?"
"Good," we all grunt in various levels of audibility (think I just made that word up).
"Mitch Prescott, I own this place. You having a good time?"
"Yeah, a fine time," I answer with as much sincerity as I can muster.
"Look you guys look a little tired, you fellas drive here?"
"Yeah," I looked down shamefully.
"Well how bout this I'll get Joe at the bar over there to call you guys a cab, we're closing up in about ten minutes so it should be here by the then."
I looked at the other two. No one seemed to be inclined to make a decision.
"Sounds good. Thank you. Really like the place by the way, Wayne."
He looks confused but rolls with it, " Oh well thanks, anything else I can help you guys with?"
"Yeah, I think I'd lose this band."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

doom beckons from around the corner

Walks out the door; still smiling, smelling of her. cigarettes and perfume. Still can do no wrong.

Still smiling, blasting that October song like a soundtrack on the breeze, down the street, hoping it creeps in through her window for a second. (moron teenage misfit)

Driving, still smiling, shaking off the sleeplessness and alcohol grip you find yourself in, hoping for a minute of invincibility.
Sleep- after the adrenaline dies and soft goodbyes. Dragging out digital volleys just to see if you can still stand me.

Still smiling.
Soul slowly sinking. Not sure why.
Fast forward to the end in my head of a girl filled with sympathy/regret but bored to death. of me.

Still smiling while doom sings it's siren song just around the bend.
And hope she's still smiling when you talk to her again.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Long Forgotten Prom Queen of Ridgewood High Class of '79

Another new, Sunday morning stare down with that old judgemental sun burning back at me like it's asking "what are you doing up so early?"
But I'm not alone standing on the platform while I wait for a train to drag me away from the same old stupid suburb and slither down the coast line.
First there's a nice, young couple dressed in perfectly neat jogging gear, surely on their way to do nice, young things. For a minute I wonder what I could have done differently to end up looking so nice and fresh on a Sunday morning instead of an unkempt mess who looks like he just crawled out of an ashtray.
Then a group of Mexicans ride up on their bicycles. They're laughing and rapidly shooting insults in Spanish at each other. I start wondering if it's racist to think that they're probably going to work. Then I feel like a shit because they probably are going to work while a brat like me is just trying to get home to sleep off the contamination of the night before.
Then a few small groups of people in black coats and baseball caps start filling up the scenery.
But there's one woman who sticks out in the forefront of the shot. You can tell she's pretty but she looks like she's been losing rounds against time. She's decked out in a short brown dress with black stockings, peppered with runs and a stray hole, that go all the way down to a worn looking pair of black leather boots that were probably expensive when they still had a tag on them. She's shivering a little and bringing her long painted fingertips to her fading red lips to take a drag off her cigarette. I make a bet with myself that it's menthol, I don't' know why. Then she runs the other hand through her black/grayish Brillo hair and flips on a pair of dark glasses that seem to cover half her face.
So the joke is that I may look the mess, hair tossed in ten directions, clothes wrinkled, and of course the stale taste in my mouth of a few drinks the night before. But otherwise I feel fine. I feel good. For once I'm waiting for an AM weekend train without any hangover or lingering doubts about things I might have done or said the night before. No frantic scrolls through the SENT MESSAGES menu on the phone to make sure I didn't accidentally end a friendship or scare off a girl. Nope, my conscience is clear.
Don't know about hers.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Drowning in the Atlantic (DeadFlowersPractice)

"So what's her name again?"
"Anne," I answered flatly.
"Anne Kennedy?" Calvin sprung up.
"Yes, it's Anne Kennedy, the girl you took the prom ten years ago who moved to Nebraska with her girlfriend, she came back and now works as a hostess at the diner, is somehow, miraculously three years younger than she was when she left, is straight now, and I'm trying to get a date with her, but I didn't bring up the fact that we went to school together for nine years because I figured it would freak her out."
"Oh yeah she moved."
"Yeah she's gone."
It was late and I was tired. I was always fucking tired.
Calvin couldn't sleep and he wanted to talk.
He was smoking and the blue plumes of smoke made their way over to me and all I could think about it how much I missed cigarettes.
"So what are you going to do?"
"Yeah, look I don't really want to talk about this because I'm going to think about it, over-analyze it, or it's going to sound stupid out-loud or whatever and I'm going to get embarrassed, so can we please just leave it alone?" I pleaded.
"Well I just want to ask one question," Calvin pleaded back.
"Fine, what?"
"I mean is this like something you just are thinking about doing, like asking her out or does it seem like she's into you?"
"Um," I had to stop and think about that for a minute. There's something to be said for living in your own little bubble where the only questions that surface are ones born of your own neurosis, "I don't know, man, can't we just drop this? What's going on with you? How do we always end up on me?"
"Well let me just ask you this.."
"No, no more just asking me this, let's just change the subject."
"Did you get her number?"
At this point I realized there was no point in arguing with him and the only defense I could think of was to be completely childish: "Well let's just say I'll never kiss a gun street girl again."
"The minister's daughter's in love with a snake."
"What does that mean?"
"I'm just going to talk in lyrics until you change the subject."
Calvin retreated back to his cigarette and a creepy grin crawled across his stubbly face, 'Hey buddy, it's gonna be alright."
It was then that I came to the conclusion that from here on in I will only deal with people I know after first achieving a proper buzz.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

six or seven

Chasing down the man in the rose colored glasses, lungs filled with smoke and random aches and pains.
"Hey man," he says "have a seat," and he sits down on a bench in the park.
Dim blue neons crawl across our faces.
"I can't sleep anymore. I feel like I've been awake for a month,"
"I think I'm hallucinating,"
"Hallucinating what?"
"Hallucinating everything. Seeing things, hearing things, feeling things."
"Feeling things?"
"Yeah, like aches and pains I think I'm dying."
"That's kind of weird."
"Yeah I know, and I can't tell if it's real or not."
"Well what do you want from me?"
"I want you to leave me alone."
"What makes you think I had anything to do with this?"
"I'm angry all the time, I cant' sleep, I'm afraid of everyone and everything, I think that is covered under your umbrella."
"I suppose that's fair."
"So if you would please leave me alone."
"I wouldn't worry about it."
"Well the old time thing."
"What old time thing?"
"Time is all relative, so this has all happened already, everything has already happened and is happening right now. You're alive in your best moment and your worst moment and being born and dying all at once. So none of this really matters. If it's even happening at all."
"Oh." I didn't really have anything to say after that.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

and on and on and on

I feel like fashioning a giant stake to drive through the heart of this week. Rotten Sunday bastard bleeding slow. March. Warm enough to give you a little hope on the breeze but it's still cold.
I want to hire October to kill march.
I feel draining-ly miserable. It's like fucking exhausting.
I also realize I've been trying to describe misery off and on for the last 10 years.
It always feel like a brand new gut shot. Like there's something lurking and you spend the day trying to distract yourself from it but you know it's there but if you don't acknowledge it maybe it'll go away. Of course it's like trying to get through the day ignoring a gunblast to the shoulder, but maybe if you drive around or go for a walk or take off in the middle of the night it'll somehow magically evaporate.
But there's nowhere to go.
I don't want to be here but I can't really think of anywhere particularly better to be. Everything kind of seems sad everywhere I can think of. Can drive around the same old streets or highways sit and stare at the ocean or fantasize about that old midnight jailbreak airplane that'll land me somewhere far away and quiet. Where all the noise will be new. But it's all a fantasy.
I almost did it this week.
It's always almost.
Yikes is this turning into a 17-year old's angst-ridden live journal?
I don't' know.
It's a rotten thing being constantly aware of how you sound or what you think or how you feel. Especially when you need to foolishly spout off about it.
Oh Jesus sometimes I can't keep it to myself.
Fucking weak willed ninny.
And sometimes you just aim for tearing everything down in one swing.
Wrecking ball.
Like somehow everything is going to be better on the other side of it.
But it's not. It's not yet anyway.
This'll all fade.
Sooner or later.
It feels like forever right now. I'm at least smart enough, now, to know this moment will get blurrier and there'll be fresh new hells on the horizon.
But that doesn't do a shit ton for me now.
Ugh and then it gets worse.
Then you try to verbalize it or relate it and it just sounds like the most boring minutia that's ever been spun and you realize you're living in some kind of glue trap lined with miserably grim pop songs and you can't tell anymore if they're helping you deal with something or if they're actually dictating how you feel.
But now I gotta figure out how to pull myself out of it.
I don't know how to do that, I thought working on something madly, all through the night would help, but it's still there.
At the very least I think I'm probably done trying to spew nonsense and drivel that sounds like a rational thought about how to climb out of this dizzy sludge pit.
and so on and so on.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Suffer All the Walrye

So I got home from nowhere in particular. It was late and I wanted to go to bed but my ears were ringing and my head had slipped into that weird desperation where every nerve is vibrating and your brain is sunk in some blue cocktail of frustration, confusion and love and whatever other deliberate emotions rear themselves when you can hardly tell if you're awake anymore.
Wow that bed looks good. I just want to drop my head into a pillow and wake up sometime in the future, and I don't mean tomorrow. Who wants to wake up tomorrow to daylight where the world slows down with enough time to analyze and compute and wonder. No not tomorrow, I mean some other era, where all these things have already passed. Some futuristic future world that looks like the future is supposed to look like. Where David Bowie is a prophet and walruses play an important role in everyday life. Maybe they have an ambassador. The Walrus Ambassador. Or maybe people just ride walruses around, maybe the world has sunk into the ocean and the only way to get around is hop on the walrus saddle and glide from glacier to glacier. Maybe the walruses can fly. A future of flying walruses. Maybe it's their time to shine all ruby eyed and white fanged. A world full of red-eyed Walrye gliding underwater, slashing through the skies and worshiping David Bowie.
Or whatever.
RIght now it sounds better than tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Past Newark and Already Drunk

It's too late now pal.
I already feel like I'm made of glass and I'm just waiting for the inflated sense of self confidence to kick in.
No point in making this trip if I just came here to see sights.
The same old songs blasting in my ears.
Trying to stay interested in a book while the guy sitting across from me with the small kids flashes me a dirty look every time I lift the can shielded in a paper bag to my lips.
LIke somehow his kids are going to watch me sipping a beer and remember that "really cool guy on the train" and raid the liquor cabinet.
Fuck him, I put the book away and go back to the window.
I pick out a song: Fairytale of New York
There's still some Christmas lights out on some of the apartments and stores so it almost feels appropriate.
Like the end of a movie or something.
Or maybe the down turn before the happy ending.
I guess that's kind of what I hope it is.
Nah, this is too dramatic.
Something else.
Eh, just shuffle.
Any Dylan, Tom Waits or Nick Cave murder ballad about scary women and roaming will do at this point.
And I'll just keep watching the lights streak by and hope I don't get too tired before the night even gets started.
And just when everything feels right.
"Hey buddy, last stop you got to get off" the ticket ripper says slowly and deliberate just in case I don't speak English.
Oh well.
Maybe I'll get it right on the way back.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Agent Crowley and the Mailman

I knew something was wrong because I couldn't stop calling everyone "Agent Crowley" and I had no idea why. The mail man, Gene or Pat or something, I can never remember his name was the biggest victim of this curse. He'd hand me the mail and I'd say "thanks there Agent Crowley" and shoot him with my forefinger like pals do. I don't think he found it amusing but I couldn't really help myself. I also started referring to my cats as Agent Crowley: "Wattsamatta Agent Crowley? You hungry?" stuff like that, I figured I'd just picked it up from some television show or movie that I fell asleep to and didn't really think about it.

About a week later I went out to get the mail, and I should probably explain that I hate the mail because it's usually bills or some kind of bad news. Maybe, occasionally, like when Netflix comes, I'm looking forward to it, but usually it's just a credit card or a phone or car insurance or the town or the hospital looking for money from me. However, today I wasn't really thinking about it. Somehow my trip to the mailbox perfectly coincided with Agent Crowley arriving in his mail truck.

"Hey there pal" he greeted me sunnily, "you know that Harry Potter book and Richie Tennenbaum sunglasses you ordered are sitting by the doorstep over there," he motioned with his head, "they've been there for like two days surprised you didn't notice 'em since you've been waiting for them for two weeks."

"Oh yeah" I said casually noticing the small box drenched with melting snow, "huh," I turned back to Gene or Pat or whatever, "what you got for me?"

He handed me a heavy stack of envelopes, no junk mail in here, just envelopes that said things like 'Geico' 'Meridian Health' 'At&t' and 'Chase'. I rolled my eyes: "That it?" I asked.

"No, actually" he leaned out of his truck a little to get a look behind him and then cautiously whispered: "just to let you know, there's a monster roaming around down the street."

I looked at him for a moment waiting for the punchline: "A monster?" I finally asked.

"Yeah, keep your voice down, just so you know, be careful Agent Crowley" he shot his finger at me and drove off.

I thought little of this, too distracted by the bills and that sinking feeling of impending poverty that leads to other sunny thoughts like "Where did I go wrong?" and "How come my friends seem to be able to get on in this life so easily?" so I sat around and sulked until noon happened, and then I made myself a sandwich and read yesterday's sports page. The winter is a bleak time for sports. Writers ringing out every boring story from the last week of football like a slimy dishrag and trying to drudge up any possible stories from spring training. I didn't' even bother finishing any stories, I just chewed my sandwich and glanced over some story about job creation.

It started snowing. Again.

Everything was already covered in white, and it was the kind of grey-day that looked like it might start raining or snowing again, but this was a heavy snow, one that the trusted weather center at told me not expect until Saturday. "Well, they're just lucky I don't have anywhere to go today or they'd be getting a slice of my mind in their inbox" I thought.

I dropped the paper and gazed outside, there's something peaceful about heavy snow as long as you're not driving in it or walking in it, or outside in general I guess. Through the windows of the warm confines in a house you didn't pay for with a nice heat floating through the air though it's quite lovely.

Then I saw something. A giant black figure pass by the window on the street. It made my stomach sink because as soon as I saw it I knew there was something unnatural going on. I sprung from my seat and tried get a better view from another window but I saw nothing. So I sat back down and assumed it must have been a car or anything else. Then I saw a shadow float on the floor from the window behind me. I turned around to see a giant, and I mean like 12 feet high giant, hooded figure looking in the window. Well I'm assuming it was looking, I couldn't make out a face.

I sprang from my chair and out the back door, bathrobe wildly flailing in the wind, work boots ready to fall off my feet. The heavy snow dusting the ground the made it slippery and I fell and banged my knee on the cold ground. I thought about the cats I'd left behind in the house, but they were on their own, they were cunning enough to get out of sight for hours on end when the vacuum came out so I would assume they could fall into their emergency hiding spots now that an honest to God monster had presented itself in the middle of the day.

I made it to the woods behind the house and stopped behind a tree to evaluate if the monster was still coming after me.
"Agent Crowley?" a low voice droned behind me.
"Oh God" I turned around slowly, too panicked to take off again, "Yes?"
"hello," he pulled his hood back slowly to reveal a balding head with a shock of white hair towards the back of his skull, it was Gene or Pat or whatever, the mailman.
"How did you get 12 feet tall?"
"Nevermind that now, I'm here for a reason," he smiled, but in a way that told me he had regrettable news.
"what? What is it?"
"I'm here to take you to see AVATAR," he said somberly.
"But, but I don't' really want to see AVATAR" I answered nervously.
"I know that, but you really should see it on the big screen or else you'll never be able to properly judge it," he reached out his hand, "now c'mon let's go I'll buy."
"But, can't we, I don't' know, can't I just wait for cable? I'll make sure I watch it on an HDTV, I may even have one by then ya know?"
"I'm afraid that won't do, and besides we both know you'll still have that little shit box you're watching now until it breaks. No you have to see it in the theater I'm afraid, though, don't worry you may like it, you see it's about a primitive culture, you know like Native Americans."
We started walking off, the snow stopped falling but everything was painted white by it.
"Can't we just go to something else? Even that Mel Gibson movie that looks like shit? Just until after the Oscar buzz has died down at least?"
"Nope.Sorry Agent Crowley."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Porno Winter

I just deleted everyting. I'm kind of sick of the sight of my voice. (get it? clever right).
Sallinger is dead which is kind of weird because I figured 1.He's been dead for 15 years and it would just never be announced as to enhance his already bizarre legacy. or 2. He was never actually going to die.
But he did, at least according to his agent or publicist, probably agent I don't think he's ever needed a publicist, and let's hope this doesn't mean that we're going to see Catcher in the Rye, or any of his other works for that matter, rushed into production with whatever glossed over fleeb they can pluck from the Twilight cast to skulk through Holden Caufield and dillute it for future generations.
Oh but what the fuck do I care really?
I've got all kinds of other worries about the future.
Wait. Let's just no bother about all that, aye?

Yeah the present is just as scary a place.
My friend texted me today something to the extent of "not having any luck with ladies lately" and he might as well have been speaking for me.
It's a porno winter.

Might as well ride it out and wait for the spring.
I hate to optimistic about anything as cliche-drenched as a season change, but usually around this time of year you can start to smell a little spring in the air, and I get a little anxious for nights that I can hope to spend drunk and listening to vinyl while a thunderstorm starts kicking up beyond the screens.
That's what I'm aiming for right now.
The present is a scary place.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Post Holiday Depression/(Getting Over Sex)

There is a moment after the holidays when I decide I am going to leave certain Christmas lights up all year. Not so much for the festiveness but just because I like falling asleep to yellows and blues and twinkling white lights. Maybe my parents were staring into space or at the sun while I was conceived, though I'd rather not think about such things.
I bet two of my friends on New Years Eve in 1999 that one of us wouldn't survive the decade. Well so much for that,not that I didn't come close a few times, though I think that whole morbid idea spawned out of the fact that a few people my age had died rather suddenly around that time, not so much out of any attunement to the spirit world.
Nope everyone for the most part is still on the ride and I'm starting to adjust myself to the idea that 2000 is no longer part of the modern era, that sitting at home and watching Netflix on a Saturday has become just as common as going out getting drunk and ending up at a diner until 6am, or, in better cases, creeping out of some girl's house as the sun comes up with an overtired, disheveled feeling of invincible excitement. Been a while since that feeling has popped up.
And that feeling isn't really rooted in sex, well maybe but it's not all about sex because I've had just as many times driving home afterwards cursing myself as an idiot. So let's agree that's some of it is the sex but some of it, most of it I think, is the naivete of thinking that you met someone you're going to cling to for an extended chunk of your years.
But as you get older and the number in the decade turns over yet again that all dissolves, and maybe it bubbles up every once in a while in the right state of delirium but now it's easier to squash should things go south.
And there's other considerations now that I'm older, grossly out of shape, and off my first overnight hospital stay. The fact is that for the foreseeable future I feel like it would probably be better for my state of mind that if I have to have sex I should probably save it for someone I'm not all that in to.
Now this really has nothing to do with any veiled attempt to spare my feelings or the old, tired cliche of "not wanting to get hurt". I actually did say something like that to a girl once and if I could travel through time and kick myself in the temple to spare myself that cringe inducing memory I certainly would. No, my reasoning here, behind having sex with someone I don't like, would be that there is a fair chance I might drop dead the next time I do take that deep sea saltwater plunge and while I know it's popular for guys to say that that is the way to go but I certainly don't want to leave someone I care about with the lasting image of me clenching up and going into a death gaze while I stiffly collapse on them and they spend half an hour screaming hoping the maid or the police can break down the door and pull this stiffening behemoth off before she suffocates. No sir, that's the kind of thing you want to save for someone you could care less about.

But in the end that's the trick. Getting over sex. Choosing tv or books over bars or clubs or bookstores or wherever the fuck people meet. I almost put "wherever the fuck people meet nowadays" but I think I'll hold off on that language until I have to take my teeth out at night and soak them and ask people to scratch my back because I can't reach it. Getting old is fucking weird, but you don't really get old, things just change. I mean physically yes your hair gets thinner, your ass gets bigger your skin starts to sag like Obama's popularity (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA TIMELY HUMOR!!!) but who gives a shit? According to several reliable sources there's always someone out there who will fuck you, which I'm not completely sold on but I'm getting closer to believing it. So once the panic of that is taken out of the equation what else is there to sweat? Money,health, happiness I guess? I don't know. Right now it looks like 2010 will be the year I burn out my DVD player from over use and line my pockets with money I saved from not jumping at every chance to dive into some evening chasing every elusive bird who ever sent a kind eye my way.
We'll see.