Thursday, December 29, 2005

disgracing myself yet again

I’ve got nothing pushing me.

***
searching for
something anything the thing
that will make me feel
something anything the thing
that will complete  
me you us everything

there isn’t one
***

There is no way for me to explain away the restlessness.

The middle years are easy to write.  It was preteen/teen angst and the glory of the awkward.  I knew I wasn’t good enough for any of them and so I never was and never tried to be.  I was always going to “show them” in some indefinite future.  I never did.  Not much has changed since then.  Instead of hiding behind the quiet, plotting in silence, I hide behind the loud, boisterous nonsense.  And no one is fooled.

***

It was the sixth grade dance and I didn’t want to be there.  Amy, the girl I had a crush on, had a boyfriend, Rick, and she was here with him.  And I didn’t need to see that.  What was that going to help?  It was only going to make me more miserable.  Not that I knew anything of “misery” but let a kid pretend to know what it means to have a broken heart.  But somehow I got suckered in.  My mom was one of the chaperones.  Not of the dance part, thank reputation.  But since she was going to be there, I had to stay.  Awkward.  So there I was with Dave, walking the dance floor.  We weren’t dancing.  We were neither cool enough to actually feel comfortable dancing nor lame enough to dance anyway.  We had just spent a good twenty minutes by the punch bowl talking about how we should have brought something to “spike” it.  We didn’t really know what that meant.  But we knew that we would be a lot cooler if we did.  And we knew enough to pretend.  But the punch bowl got old.  And it was a little too close to where the chaperones were standing and hating themselves.  So we were heading out to see whatever else this shit dance had to offer to suave and sophisticated men as ourselves.  This, unfortunately, meant that we had to cross the dance floor.  But I wasn’t thinking about that.  I was commenting in the ironically detached way that would become my trademark that this was a really lame party.  Then we were accosted by this pretty young thing.  She normally went by the name of Allison and she normally sat two rows over and one seat up from me in class.  Not that I had a thing for her.  Because I didn’t really.  She was pretty.  And she did have a boyfriend.  (I have always had a thing for unavailable or uninterested women).  But I was into Amy at the time.  So I hadn’t really given Allison much thought.  She asked me to dance.  Me.  Not Dave.  Me.  Did I mention that she was pretty?  I, however, was an idiot in 6th grade.  A trait that has not changed in the slightest.  I made a joke about her boyfriend.  And a comment about how I didn’t dance.  And then we kept going.  On our way out.  To nothing in particular and one of the most memorable regrets of my young life.  

***

The World is completely indifferent to my existence.  And I am starting to share the opinion.  Cries of hate are better than I could hope for.  When they hang me, no one will come.  Even the crows will disregard my putrefying corpse.  If nothing I will ever do will ever make a difference, why haven’t I given up yet?  You can see some things better in the dark.  The screams waiting within me will never find their true release.  And then I wonder why I my thoughts venture toward the darker things.  It is a feeling of abounding uselessness.  And not in the good Taoist sense.  But in the Western purposeless and drifting sense.  I have lost my anchor.  I am drifting out into the madness of my own creation.  And yet?  There was something I was supposed to do before I left.  And it won’t get done now.  And the world will suffer.  As it always does.  And yet.  It remains completely indifferent.  Not that my plight is in anyway unique.  Nor am I in any way unique.  It’s all the same bullshit.  Over and over and over and over.  And then what happens?  The crowds who once cheered you hang you for a murderous traitor.  I don’t care if they hate me.  I just need some attention.  Accept me.  Acknowledge me.  Don’t let me die alone.  Everyone dies alone.  Bitch all you want.  It won’t help.  It won’t fucking get you anywhere.  Same end.  No one lives forever.  This is not the way it was meant to be.  This is not how it was supposed to turn out.  My Muse failed me again.  As she always does.  As she always must.  Contentment is the nemesis of creation.

Writing usually helps me.  It helps me vent, control my feelings, get control of myself.  It isn’t working.  Jealousy was never my kind of girl.  Not that she ever stays long with me.  But she fucks me up while she’s here.  And leaves me a shell of myself.  To rebuild and find another.  As I have time immemorial.  I really should find a better racket.  One that actually works.  I can’t believe I have stuck with this fucked up shit for so long.  It never worked.  It has never made me happy.  I don’t even believe in happy anymore.  I don’t think it’s possible.  At least not for me.  Look what I have become.  I held such promise in my youth.  It has slowly drained from me.  And left me like this.  And no one can tell.  And no one can tell.  Or if they can, they don’t care at all.  And I think that is probably worse.

Mommy never wanted this for me.  And she doesn’t know how it happened.  I hid so much from everyone.  Over all the years.  It’s no wonder she never saw it happening.  But slowly.  Slowly.  I lost myself.  My essence drained away from me.  The failure for me to become one of them and the failure of me to remain myself.  Failure.  Always failure.  Always regret.  Always.  My Muse.  She has always let me down.

And no one fucking understands.  How could they?  How could they?  I barely understand.  I am drowning in myself and my disappointment.  I was meant for so much more.  How did I end up like this?  I could have been somebody.  But now?  Now, I don’t know who I am.  But I know I’m not somebody.

***
“Do you need anybody?  I just need someone to love.  Could it be anybody?  I want somebody to love.”
- The Beatles, “With A Little Help From My Friends”  

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy St. Zwintscher's Day!

St. Zwintscher’s Day: A holiday celebrated on the Fourth to Last Day of the Year named in honor of Zwintscher, the first and only Pirate Saint.  Soon after his canonization, followers of St. Zwintscher declared that the Fourth to Last Day of the Year be set aside to honor the great man.  Early celebrations included tapping kegs of rum, drinking till blind drunk, then raping and pillaging.  While these practices were toned down as the years progressed (modern celebrations have been altered slightly to replace the raping and pillaging with a rousing exchange of gifts and consensual sexual favors, and a preferred spirit is often substituted for rum) there has always been a strong undertone of drinking, debauchery, and rebellion present in the celebrations.

St. Zwintscher, Captain of the infamous pirate ship Grin of the Albatross, was the scourge of the Seven Seas at some indeterminate point in history.  Indeed, records of his activities date from as early as 721 and as late as 1855.  He and his crew were said to be of the most unsavory of sorts; misfits and malcontents that sailed the world doing as they would, taking as they pleased.  Rumors of his exploits ranged far and wide.  He apparently ventured as far as the nations of China, India, and Japan and had amongst his closest associates a Ninja Master known as Shogo, a Taoist Sage that took no name, and an adventurous sultana of surpassing beauty.  It was also said that there were a great number of dark magicians in his employ.  Of all the rumors that circulated, however, the most popular was that he was impossible to kill.  

Officially canonized by the rogue Black Pope in the Year of Our Lord 1147, Saint Zwintscher has always been a countercultural hero.  Records and details of his life are drawn from a fragmentary reference in the Book of Broken Shadows, an apocryphal history of the dispossessed.  It was said that he left behind memoirs under the title Black Sun Rising referencing his flag: the rising black sun on a field of white.  There are no known copies extant.  It is interesting to note that his flag has been adopted as the flag of the literary movement the UnEnlightenment.  Moreover it was members of the UnEnlightenment movement that revived the modern celebration of St. Zwintscher’s Day.”
- The Encyclopedia of Both Good and Bad Things

***

In the dark of the night, daring the World to do something; anything.

Somehow I have always known that I would make my stand alone.

They weren’t the ones that I was waiting for.

I lie here listlessly, wanting little more than to carry out acts of ever increasing violence and unspeakable depravity.  “But I want to break free … Oh how I’ve got to break free.”  Something needs to happen.  Soon.  I don’t know what’s to become of me.

***
“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, – and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”

- The Shakespeare, “Sonnet 29”

Saturday, December 24, 2005

building to something...

I’ve got it all right here.  The source (a book of Bukowski poems).  The source (a scotch and soda).  The source (loud music of various sorts).  And yet.  Nothing is coming.  The words aren’t ready to flow.  Or I’m not ready to let them.  And yet…

There are a lot of things that I am not ready to say.  So that holds me back.  I have never been good with timing.  I never know when the right time is.  I can often tell when the time is wrong.  But I am never sure if it is right.  

Love and Alcohol.  Because it would seem that that is all my life ever boils down to.  

I don’t know why I write so much misery when I really have no miserable experiences to speak of.  I suppose misery is easier to fake than happiness.  

Fuck it.  I’m getting nowhere with any of that.  End of legit post.

***
“Don't be concerned, it will not harm you.  It's only me pursuing somethin' I'm not sure of.  Across my dreams with nets of wonder I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love.”
- Bob Lind, “Elusive Butterfly”
***

And then the rest…

He was always a quite child.  He never felt that he belonged or that his opinion mattered to the general consensus.  He let the others have their way and kept his thoughts to himself.  It was as much his fault as theirs that he never felt in.  But he knew that.  He knew that he could change it all.  He knew how to do it, too.  But he was scared.  Dating was a big deal in 6th grade.  Not that his reputation could be hurt.  New kids don’t have reputations.  No one looks at them twice.  Once they get over that “pick on the new kid” phase, anyway.  So now he was going to make his mark.  He was going to vault himself into popularity.  He was going to be somebody again.  Like he used to be, at his old school.  Her locker was 634.  It was across the hall and a little down from his.  But still close.  They were in the same class.  He sat behind her most days.  He used to sit in the front of class.  But that was at his old school where everybody knew him and didn’t call him a nerd for sitting up front.  They knew that his eyes were bad but that he didn’t like to wear his glasses.  There was no way that he was going to sit in the front of class at this school.  Or wear his glasses.  One whispered remark and he would be a nerd for the rest of middle school.  And that would ruin everything.  She smelled nice.  Like flowers.  He always found it hard to concentrate on class when he sat behind her.  It was a sacrifice he was willing to make.  Besides, he was way ahead.  He could do most of this in his sleep.  Not that he would let on that he was smart.  Smart kids never got the girls.  He had seen enough movies to know that.  It was after English that he went over to her locker.  Her friends had just headed off to their next class and she was standing there all alone.  The timing was just right.  The Universe was pulling for him.  He cleared his throat.  He was nervous, but he fought the feeling.  Now or never.  Death or glory.  It was too late to turn back.  He would look like an idiot.  And that would be worse than rejection.  She looked up, pushing a strand of her long blonde hair out of her face.  She smiled.  “Hi, Isaac.”  She knew his name.  A good sign.  “Amywillyougooutwithme?”  

Thursday, December 22, 2005

alternate beginnings

There are times when I think a great deal of myself.  Then there are the other times.  

The sun was shining.  It was Tuesday.  I went to the coffee shop.  I used to work there, long ago.  That story was about a girl too.  But she’s long gone now.  She moved on with her life.  Made something of herself, from what I hear.  I suppose it was about time I did that.

Anyway, the coffee shop helps me focus.  There’s nothing for me but the writing, here anyway.  And I feel comfortable.  Like this is my place.  Like it used to be.  There’s nothing quite like dwelling in the past.  But to understand that story, and any other in my life, you need to hear about Juliet.  Everything else is, in some way, because of her.



It was what I would call my “defining moment.”  I doubt anyone else cared that much.  She probably doesn’t even remember it anymore.  Most likely it was just an insignificant blip on the vast landscape of human history, as far as the rest of you are concerned.  But I’m going to tell it anyway because that’s my prerogative and don’t worry; I’m pretty sure the trains will still run on time.  If you care about that sort of thing.  Ok, wait.  Start over…



My memory is ambiguous at best.  I’m a drunk and my existence has always had a tenuous relationship with reality.  Fading in and out as it were.  It fades.  Everything fades…  But most of my life faded while it was happening.  Just one big fucking haze.  And there was never anything else.  Nothing before.  Nothing after.  And nothing to look forward to.  I think sun was bright that day.  Overpowering.  Unless it was raining.  It was one or the other.



Most call me Isaac.  And there are my good friends: Hanover Kingsley and Janus Clockwork.  Janus and I work at this bookstore, Tanaka’s, but mostly we just sit around, drink beer, and wax philosophical.  We don’t really get many customers.  It’s sort of a specialty bookshop, used books, rare books, foreign language books, &c.  It leaves us a lot of free time.  So we mostly just do whatever.  So long as we are there, Tanaka doesn’t really care what we do.  He’s usually passed out drunk in his office, anyway.  Kingsley is a trust fund baby, so he doesn’t do much of anything.  But he’s free with his money and buys rounds all the time.  I don’t know if he is interesting or not.  But he has his uses (as a feller says).  That’s about all we got.  Oh, and then there was Juliet.  I don’t want to talk about her, though.  We have a history.  I don’t want to get into that, though.  Messy.   And this is our story.  My story, really.  I find that all stories end up being my story.  In the end.  And like every story about me it begins with a girl … and ends with regret.  



Regret, ah yes.  My troubled Muse.  How fondly I now think of you, so long have you stayed in my house.  Regret.  Of those things done and those left undone.  Mistakes made, paths not taken.  But this was the big one.  At least, so far.  I don’t know how important it will seem down the line.  But I dwell on the past, not the future.  And so I will continue as I began.  Once it ended I did everything I could to forget her. It didn’t really work.  She may have been my Juliet, but I’ll never be her Romeo.



The trains ran on time.  It was raining.  I don’t really know what time it was, the sky was too overcast to tell.  But at least the trains ran on time.  Somehow, their regularity seemed to sooth the pain in my heart.  I figured that at least something was working the way it was supposed to.  Actually, that’s out of order.  Yeah.  I need to start somewhere else.



But there was something about that day.

His name was Napoleon V.  He was a midget.

Napoleon V was the last to join.  With him, we became four.  In Japan, the number 4 is considered unlucky because of its association with death.  Hmm.

I don’t remember when I first met Napoleon V.  But then I don’t really ever remember meeting most people.  Unless she’s hot.  Unlike Narihira, I did not show favor to the ugly.  I try to remember all the “important” moments with the attractive ladies.  That way I can dwell on them after everything has fallen to shit.  But seeing as I fade in and out of my own life, it is only fitting that everyone else fades in and out of mine.  Or me into there’s or whatever.  It doesn’t much matter how you look at it.  Perspective is so absurd to begin with.

But when he was there (Napoleon V, that is), he brought out the worst in all of us.  Clockwork became more meticulous, more focused, more depraved.  The Fair Ophelia reveled in what should have been her shame.   More than she would have.  A lot more.   She was so much prouder of her flight to the bottom.  The Fair Ophelia, our beautiful mute, not since Dorian Grey has such a pretty face hidden such disturbing secrets.
And I, well, you’ll see what happened to me.  This is my story after all.

And no, the Prophet does not go blind.  That comes later.



Juliet seemed so perfect when I first met her.  Of course, I was really drunk at the time.

I never loved her.  I can see that now.  I think.  I’m only sure when she isn’t around.  Then everything gets confusing.  Janus loved her.  Well he might have.  He at least was capable of loving someone other than himself.  Not like Kingsley…  Or me.  Maybe if Janus had met her first.  Though she did have those certain “appetites.”  That would probably just have fucked up Janus instead of me.  And he wouldn’t have handled it as well.  But I never loved her.  For a while I thought I might.  But that was only because I thought I loved every bitch willing to show me even the slightest attention.  Because clearly that meant they loved me.  Even the whores.  Sometimes especially the whores.  And then there was Juliet.  She loved us all.  She loved only herself.  Goddamn Juliet.  She fucked me up real solid like.



I had never killed a man.


I don’t know whether that should surprise you or not.  I mean, killing isn’t really something most people do a lot of nowadays.  I am not and have never been a soldier.  Or a communist.  I’m not really much of a fighter in general.  I am no Mersault.  I am the Prophet.  But that is beside the point.  Drinking beer in the hot sun.  It wasn’t the sun.  And I wasn’t drunk.  Just to clear that up.  

You don’t really need a reason to kill a man.  Having a reason helps you deal with the consequences; helps you rationalize your actions.  But you don’t really need a reason to kill a man.  I’m not a violent person.  In general.  I mean, there have been times.  Everyone has times.  Not in years though.  I don’t know how to release the rage anymore.  It just simmers now.  Don’t get the wrong idea.  It isn’t going to boil over or anything.  I’m not a threat.  That’s not what this is about.  It isn’t about me.  Strike that.  Reverse it.  It is about me.  It’s all about me.  But it isn’t about my problems or my rage issues.  I don’t have any.  I don’t.  This was all cool; rational.  It had nothing to do with rage or passion.  It’s about reality, life in general.  And why it doesn’t work.  It doesn’t.  But that’s also a digression.  I have a difficult time staying on topic.  It happens.  I was just saying, you know, to clarify.  But, no, I didn’t have a reason for killing him.



It’s mostly a small place.  There is an office in back where Tanaka sleeps all day.  It’s full of shit and we tend not to go in there.  Tanaka doesn’t much care for being disturbed.  He wouldn’t likely notice, but fuck it.  Why risk it when there’s nothing in there worth taking anyway?  Then there is our desk or table or counter or whatever.  It has a register on top of it.  And it has drawers with things in them.  And next to it is the mini-fridge with the beer.  So there is that.  Our chairs are of questionable comfort.  But we get by.  Whoever gets in first gets the not-wobbly chair.  As it is, what with me having to open the store and all, I tend to get in first.  Janus comes in about 2-3 hours after me.  I’m just glad I don’t have to sit in the wobbly chair.  That is the kind of shit that really gets to me.  Oh, and then there are the books.  They take up most of the space.  As would be expected of a bookstore.  There are a lot of books and there isn’t a lot of space.  So it gets a little haphazard at times.  There are piles and piles of books that just don’t fit on the shelves that we have no better place for.  And there is a cluttered look that kind of hangs over the whole place.  But whatever.  We don’t have any reason to change it.  It’s not our store.  And we aren’t paid enough to act as if it were.  We are paid enough to sit around, drink beer and bullshit.  But only just barely.  It’s not a great place, when you get right down to it.  But it smells like books and there is plenty of beer.  So I have no real reason to leave.



It's not that I believe in fate; or Fate, or however you want to put it.  As if this was something that I had to do and couldn’t have done otherwise, blah blah blah.  I don't.  It wasn’t.  And I don’t blame Juliet either.  Even though she shouldn’t have dumped me.  Not like that.  Especially not like that.  This wasn’t about her.  Not everything has to be.  I could have done otherwise.  We could have gone anywhere other than the park that night.  But we didn’t.  And that is that.  I’m not in the mood to argue philosophy at this point.  This is not that kind of story.  It’s just that there was something, I don’t really know how to put it, something wrong with the day.  It was almost as if Reality itself had changed.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but still.  We had urges to do things that, well, were wrong.  Immoral things, despicable things, things you don’t write home about.  Urges we didn’t normally have.  All exept for Naploen V, maybe.  And I’m not to sure about the Fair Ophelia anymore either.  But still.  I don’t know how else to put it.  It was as if reality wasn’t Reality anymore.  It was something more; something different.  And well, we followed through on some of them.  It was a good thing for everyone we only followed through on some of them.  Laugh if you will.  I would if I were in your position.  You weren’t there.  You don’t know what it was like.  How it felt.  What it made you feel like doing.  What it made you do.  I don’t feel the need to apologize for my behavior.  I am what I am.  It is what it is.  This is just what happened.



I go nowhere.  And nothing changes.  The Prophet does not beg.



I would have to say that the courtship was the best part of our relationship.  It just went so well.  Every sly look, every come hither stare was noticed and reciprocated.  Every joke was a winner.  Every innuendo was understood and surprisingly appreciated.  And for a man who has no touch for subtlety, I was able to convey how I felt for her, how beautiful I found her without telling her.  I still told her.  She was beautiful.  Of course I told her.  But the thing was we just connected.  We fit together.  Our flaws canceled each other out.  As things progressed, I was sure it was “meant to be” or at least that this was going to be a meaningful relationship.  I guess I’m a bad judge.



Normally I get into Tanaka’s around 10:30, 11 am.  I open the store, but frankly Tanaka doesn’t give a shit when I show up as long as I get there before he does.  It’s not like we have posted hours or anything.  And since he usually stumbles in mid afternoon, I come in early enough that I might catch one or two customers before he shows but late enough that I don’t have to deal with rush hour.  The trains are much too crowded for my taste.  But today was different.

It was 2:37 before I even dragged my ass out of bed.  I had a wicked hangover and the world was still fuzzy.  I looked at the clock.  “Fuck!  Tanaka hates it when I’m late.”  Not that I rushed.  I don’t rush.  Plus, my head hurt.  I got down to the store around 3:30.  

I pushed open the door; slowly let my eyes adjust to the dim interior, still trying to think up the appropriate apology.  “Hey, where’s Tanaka?”

“Not coming in today.  Sick or some shit,” Janus replied.  “You’re ass is one lucky son of a bitch.  The fuck happened anyway?  You know I almost didn’t bring my keys in today.  Then where would we be?  Fucked is where.  So seriously, what the fuck happened?”

I just groaned.  I grabbed a beer from the mini-fridge, collapsed into the wobbly chair.  “Juliet dumped me yesterday… so then I sort of drained half a fifth of Black Nikka and a liter or so of shitty sake.  And I don’t know what else.  I just got up like an hour ago.”

“Fuck, yo.  I thought you guys were getting on great together.”

“So did I.  But I fucking guess not.  I was walking her to her train after dinner…I lean in for the good night kiss and then she stops me, pulls back and … fuck I don’t even remember what she said.  But she made damn clear it was over.  After the shock wore off, right to the combini and the whiskey.”

“Wait, right on the fucking platform?”

“Yeah.  Fucked, huh?”

“Damn.  I thought she had more class than that.”

“No shit.  And after I spent a fucking shit load on dinner.  I went to that really nice sushi place we hit up like 2 months ago.  Everything was fine during dinner… fuck, man…  So I drank till I couldn’t feel feelings.  And then some.”



There are somes that calls me the Prophet.  I suggest you join them.



At least he was a bum.  A lush we found in the park wrapped in newspaper and dog shit.  We had paid him earlier in the day to dance for us, Clockwork, Napoleon V and I.  It was hilarious.  Or at least we thought so.  It was Napoleon V’s idea.  He always was something of a bastard.  We got a few dirty looks from passersby (not that any of them made a move to stop us.  So few people willing to back up their beliefs these days.  No wonder I lost hope.).  I don’t know that that makes the situation any better.  He was still a person.  Most of a person.  And if you believe in basic human rights, then what we did would still be considered wrong.  As to the rest of it … ? … Fuck it.  I make no apologies for my behavior.  Not anymore.  Not after that day.

I can't say that it was planned.  Honestly, no sane person would plan shit this fucked up.  And yes, we are sane.  Or, we were.  As far as sane goes these days, anyway.  And no, we weren't on drugs.  We weren't.  We weren't drunk or high.  We weren’t the ones that were altered.  Reality had altered.  These aren’t just excuses.  I don’t feel the need for excuses.  Things weren't what they were; what they should have been.  They were ... who knows. Who knows what the fuck they were.

It was night.  Of that much I am certain.  There are many things that I cannot discern anymore.  But night and day are … actually …  It was dark.  I know it was dark.   I am certain that it was dark.  It might not have been night, but it was dark.  Which was important.  He was asleep.  Which was also important.  Or rather, it would be, later on.

Janus broke his kneecap with a hammer.  That woke him up right quick.  We wanted to hear him scream.  And did he ever.  For a junk sick black-livered shitheap, the man had lungs.  I started pummelling his head (I was wearing some sweet ass brass knucks).  The sound of his skull shattering was beyond sublime.  But you should have seen the fucked up shit the Fair Ophelia was getting into.  She was nearly as bad as Napolean V.  And his shit was simply unspeakable.  

We danced in his screams; drank in his agony.  In his eyes we saw the truest knowledge Man can posses: certainty of impending death.  The bum had an epiphany; we had brought him the Light.  Then we fucked him up until he bled out.  We were drunk on rage and glory and madness bled through our souls.  Then…  Then I can’t say what.  Having never killed a man before I couldn’t have known what to really “expect” … but when you kill a man, he doesn’t die as someone else.  That, I know, doesn’t happen.  Except…

When we looked at the body, it wasn’t him.  It had been him.  But it wasn’t now…


Tanaka is a used up man.  He’s a drunk who hates his life (like the rest of us) but he’s also old.  He doesn’t have the future to look forward to.  He has no reason left to hope.  We all say that we hold out no hope for out futures.  But, deep down, we all know that we have big things ahead of us.  Deep down, we all fear that we will end up just like Tanaka.  Tanaka owns his own bookstore.  It isn’t what he wanted out of life.  But he sort of fell into it.  It was part of his family’s attempt to brush him under the rug.  He was something of a black eye on their perfect record (what with them being a rich and important political family).  He was going to do other things while he was at the store.  He was going to write or paint or something.  It was artistic.  He doesn’t really talk about it anymore.  And recently he has started doing less and less.  Mostly he just comes into the store drunk, passes out on a little cot he has in his office, wakes up several hours later and goes out to drink away another night.  I don’t think he goes home at all anymore.  Though I am pretty sure the reason for this recent spell is that his wife was having an affair.  So that might be the reason for never going home.  He has never needed a reason to drink his life away.  Not since I’ve known him anyway.  Like I said, Tanaka is used up and broken man.  I don’t know if there is anything left for him here.



Looking back on it, it was the perfect place to have my heart broken.  It was so cinematic.  It was so ridiculously out of proportion with respect to the rest of our boring relationship.  It was an epic ending to 3 weeks of passion and 6 months of nothing that special.  It did start off with a bang.  You know the whole cheating on her big man about town boyfriend deal.  I always liked that.  That she felt that I was better than that sellout candyass.  It made me feel for once that I had chosen the right path in rejecting all that common conformist bullshit.  She did break my heart.  But I don’t think I loved her.  I’m not really sure anymore.  I’ve tried to forget.  And I’ve tried to make the break up scene even more cinematic.  That’s what you do if you’re a writer.  Well, not exactly.  That’s what I do, though, as a writer.  I have to make my life interesting or nobody will want to read about it.  How very Tayama Katai of me.  It did seem like a good scene to put into a love story.  I mean there I am standing in a crowded train station with my girlfriend waiting for the next train into the city.  The sky is gray and gloomy.  The rain is pouring down in sheets.  I look over at her and smile.  She looks back and says matter-of-factly, “I’ve found someone else.  I’m sorry.”  And then she walks away.  I’m stunned to say the least.  I mean I know guys always say not to break up with all that bullshit like ‘let’s just be friends’ or ‘it’s not me it’s you’ or some other line, but it really just stuns you when they are so blunt.  That’s when the train left, right on time, and she went with it.  I was still stunned.  Alone on the platform.  The rain was pouring down.  I look at the train schedule.  I look at my watch.  “Great, the next train doesn’t come for another 20 minutes.”

Looking back on it, I should have punched her in the face.  Or pushed her in front of the train.  Or raped her right then and there.  But I am a man of words and I have never been a man of action.



Maybe I should tell you a little about Napoleon V.  He had painted his face blue.  Felt it better expressed his personality.  You see, Napoleon V hated himself, life, the universe and everything.  And it wasn’t just his diminutive size that caused Napoleon V to grow so miserable with the world.  Things never seemed to go his way.  Until he started taking shit into his own hands.  Sins of the Father.

Napoleon V grew up on the streets.  He was abandoned.  His parents didn’t want him.  And then he ran away from a bunch of foster homes or whatever.  He grew up mistrusting everything.  Or something like that.  I cannot truly speak to his experiences.  He never told me about them.  He doesn’t like to talk about him self.  But there is a lot of anger there.  Rage.  He once told me that the other street kids used to call him the Grinning Sadist.  

I have never seen him smile.

Napoleon V wanted to piss on the body.  He wanted to hang it from a tree and use it as a fucking pinata.  He got into an argument with the Fair Ophelia about who would get to fuck it first.  He wanted to set up a funeral pyre in the middle of a public park and bask in the demonic radience of the flame.  I told him that was a bad idea.  We had caused enough of a scene as it was.  A crowd was gathering.  Reality was shifting, but there are some rules you never break if you don’t want to get caught.  He still didn’t want to go.  He reached into the body, pulled out the heart and began to eat it.  Blood dripping down his blue chin onto his rumpled suit.  We had to drag him as we left, striding off into the rapidly darkening mists.

Napoleon V left two days ago.  We won’t be looking for him.  He was becoming too unreliable.  He was starting to enjoy it too much.  He was going out on his own.  And his thirst was growing.  He was fucking up Bateman style.  Besides, a sadist is grounded in reality.  A twisted reality.  A violent reality.  But a firm reality.  And I was beyond that.  He was becoming an anchor weighing me down.  I don’t know where he is now.  Or if he is.  Still.

They came looking for Napoleon V yesterday.  They had traced him back to the scene of one of his “walks in the park”.  Stories of a blue midget with a hatchet eating people’s eyes or some such.  I sent them on something of a goose chase.  I needed a change of scenery.  And fast.



She was, I don’t know, 5’8” or so with long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes.  She kept her body fit and trim (likely with the manic trips to the gym that I only became aware of later on) and liked to show it off.  Her pants were always skin tight and she loved drawing attention to her perfect ass.  Her shirt was just long enough to show off her belly button ring that was perfectly accented by her tiny nose stud.  To say that she was vain would be an understatement.  She was drowning in herself.  But it was her smile that seemed to draw it all together.  She had a smile that could stop a man in his tracks and make him think that they were the only two people in the world (she still has that effect on me).  Her smile was so genuine, so sincere, so misleading.  

When I met her I was drunk and I didn’t care.  I wasn’t so drunk that I wasn’t aware of things (a few beers and some tequila shots) and when she came down into Cliché, my life came to a screeching halt.  That was my watershed moment.  Now I classify my life in terms of before and after Juliet.  Juliet came in with Kingsley’s boyfriend (they were old friends from “back home” or something) but when they got there, Philo went to find Kingsley.  Leaving her alone.  I wanted to go talk to her, but wasn’t planning on it since I often make awkward first impressions – I have a tendency to fuck things up.  Also, I was drunk.  I figured I would let another guy go in – I didn’t want a pretty thing like that to be wasted (The Universe could never be so cruel as to waste a beauty like that.  Mankind could never recover from such a blow) – and that way I wouldn’t have to make an ass of myself.  
I went for another beer and all the guys in the bar went for Juliet.  But for some reason, one after another, she coolly dismissed them.  Seeing that she didn’t have a drink and not wanting to be the only guy who wouldn’t be able to talk around the damn water cooler tomorrow about how this bitch turned him down (I do love my conformity).  So I walked over.  “The lady will have another … ?”  I looked her way “Extra dry martini.”  “And bring me another shot.”  What the hell, let’s do this shit – and I struck up a meaningless conversation.  I don’t really remember what we talked about – it didn’t really seem important at the time – but unlike all the other guys, I seemed to hit it off with Juliet.  I didn’t get any of the normal ‘I really don’t want to talk with you just because you bought me a delicious beverage” signals that normally occurred when I talked to girls (and it wasn’t just because I was drunk either – ok, that I can’t verify, being as I was quite drunk, I might have fabricated much or all of the incident.).  I’m sure it was the normal things – what we do: jobs and otherwise, interests: what movies we like, what actors we hate, random filler – but I can’t say for sure.  Whatever I said, it must have been right because as the night faded into morning we shared a cab.

I was, of course, more than willing.  She was beautiful and any excuse to spend time with her, even something as pointless as taking a cab in the opposite direction of where I should have been headed was to be taken up without hesitation.  I don’t know what provoked her to share a cross-town cab with a guy she had just met.  It could have been the booze.  Or she saw something I don’t.  But when we got to her place, I had no expectation that I would be invited in.  The thought never even crossed my mind.  While I’m sure I was thinking how beautiful she was and how I would like to get with a girl like her, I can’t imagine that I actually considered it seriously.  She was way way out of my league.  I was likely thinking about how expensive this night was turning out to be and did I have enough money for the cab.  I did.  But not for the return trip.  So then I was wondering about where the nearest train station was.  But when we got to her door and I was anticipating awkward silence, she casually invited me in.  I was too stunned to even consider refusing.  

Her sheets are much softer than mine.

(gratuitous sex scene)

I awoke the next morning early and slightly disoriented (waking up in strange places isn’t that unusual, waking up in strange beds slightly less usual).  Slowly looking around, I saw Juliet by her mirror applying her makeup.  She turned and smiled.  I still couldn’t tell you if there is anything more beautiful in the world than Juliet when she smiles.  It lights up the room.  Even now she can get my heart fluttering.  

“Hey there sweetheart, I was wondering when you would wake up.”  I smiled.  

“Sorry to have kept you waiting.  I hope you enjoyed watching me sleep.”  She laughed.  It was a beautiful lilting laugh.  Not a care in the world.

I got up and started looking for my clothes.  They were all over the place.  And I was missing a sock.

“Oh, I don’t really want my boyfriend to find out we fucked – he’s kinda possessive.  So you’ll probably want to keep this quiet”  

“Boyfriend?”  She had to be joking.  Obviously she wouldn’t bring me back to her place if she had a boyfriend.  That kind of thing just doesn’t happen.  I mean, I’m a sweet dude and all.  But that shit only happens to James Bond or in the fucking movies or shit.

“Yeah, I don’t know if you know him – Jesse Danbury?”  

“No, but I’ve heard of him.  Something of an important man about town or something.”  She really does have a boyfriend and a douche bag at that.  I couldn’t believe it.  That Jesse fucker was such a goddamn tool.  How had he pulled this shit off?  How had I?  It was starting to look like I wasn’t going to be asked over again.

“So you’ll probably want to keep this quiet”  

“Not a problem.  I’m down with O.P.P.”  Silence.  “Don’t worry, we don’t really run in the same circles.”  

“Right.”  She walked over to the bed, leaned over and kissed me, “So, when can I see you again?”  I guess you could say I was confused.  

“What about the boyfriend?”  

“What about him?”  Good point.  Why should I care about a fucktard like him?  Except that if he ever found out I might be in some trouble.

“Whenever you want.  I’m not really that busy most days.”  

“How about Tuesday?”  So long?  That was three days away.  How could I go three days without Juliet?  It wasn’t humanly possible.  I declined to think on the fact that I had gone my entire life up until now without her.  It lessened the drama of the situation.

“Tuesday works.”  

“Excellent.”  She kissed me deeply and then turned to leave the room.  “Bye sexy, I’ll see you on Tuesday.”  I was stunned.  Sexy?  Yeah, I guess she was right.  I am a pretty fucking hot motherfucker.

I would have said something, but she had already left the room.  I found the nearest station and caught the train home.  I needed a nap.

She broke up with Jesse not too long after that.  Or he broke up with her.  I never really asked for the details.  She caught him cheating on her or something.  Sleeping with his boss or his secretary or both.  I would expect anything from a jackoff like him.  Regardless, he went off with some other little thing and she came home to me.  Everything was right with The Universe.  Or so I thought.

I fucked the Fair Ophelia yesterday.  Nymph.  In her orisons, were all my sins forgotten.  Can she ever show you something.  I don’t care if she doesn’t talk.  She says enough.  She took me away from myself.  Juliet was quite upset.  Too say the least.  She still felt that I was hers.  That I would always be.  Whether she kept me around or not.  As if the Prophet can be property.  She had danced her way into my drunken heart.  But now she can dance her fine ass back the fuck out of my shattered heart.  The pieces will be better for her not being there.  Shadows and memories.  They never helped anything.



Ask Clockwork: there is nothing like precision timekeeping.  The trains ran on time.  Despite everything else.  The trains always ran on time.  Through it all.  Damn fucking trains.  He uses a scalpel on our “nightly escapades.”  I guess it suits his meticulous nature.



First impressions mean a lot.  But they aren’t always right.  When I first saw Juliet I thought that she was flawless.  She was the most beautiful woman in the world.  She was perfection in a box.  I ammended that view a bit over the length of our relationship.  I mean, she is beautiful.  I still think so.  But she isn’t the “most beautiful woman in the world.”  There is no such thing as the “most beautiful woman in the world.”  She has flaws.  We all do.  But I never really minded them.  I thought the relationship was going fine.  Why would I mind a few minor things?  I didn’t think it would make a big difference in the end.  I’ve been wrong before.



When I need to think I go up to my study.  Or whatever.  I don’t know what you would call it.  It’s sort of my thinking room.  I don’t figure most houses have one.  But I’m a writer.  I do shit a little differently.  That’s what I tell myself anyway.  It doesn’t help the creative process if you think everyone is doing the same unique things you are.  And I have enough trouble with the creative process as it is.  The room is always dark.  I took out the lights long ago.  And I leave the blinds closed for effect.  I light candles and incense.  It helps me relax and unfocus.  As the (likely misapplied) Buddhist sentiment goes: I don’t need think up the solutions to my problems, I need to remember the answers that I already know.  The room helps with that.  When it doesn’t put me to sleep.  Though the naps often help just as much on their own.  And I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.  I’m one to sell a gift horse to glue manufacturers for a shit load of cash.  Like I said, I do shit a little differently.



I get asked a lot why I would waste my time in a place like Tanaka’s or in a bookstore at all.  But, honestly, anyone who would ask me that doesn’t know me at all.  Books and beer: what a masterful combination.  Lax rules and sitting around.  Working with a friend.  The only thing that would make the job any better would be strippers right there in the store.  And some more money.  But we would need customers for that.  And I don’t need any more work.  So I am willing to make the sacrifice.  It’s not like I have a whole hell of a lot of expenses.  Kingsley pays the rent and buys a lot of the groceries and shit.  Tanaka buys the beer at work; well, we charge the store and he hasn’t complained yet.  And I can usually get a girl or three to buy me drinks when I go out.  So really I have nothing to pay for.  Except my college loans.  And that’s nearly more than I can afford.  I suppose you could say that I am just scraping by.  But it works for now.  So there’s that.



  • Isaac, you are so emotionally guarded, I can’t get through to you.

  • What?  What are you talking about?

  • You never let me close.  You never let me in.

  • I let you close all the time.

  • Emotionally.  You never let me close emotionally.

  • Oh great.  Not this speech again.

  • It’s important, Isaac, it’s important if we are going to have a future.  It’s important if you don’t want me to leave.

  • Juliet, I’m trying to write.  Can’t this wait?

  • No.  It can’t wait.  I can’t wait.  I’ve been waiting for you for too long now…

(intermission)

  • You’re breaking up with me?

  • It’s nothing personal.

  • The fuck it isn’t.  You’re breaking up with me.  How much more personal does it get?

  • Well, you had to know this was coming.  I mean, we don’t have anything in common.

  • We have tons of things in common.

  • You know what I mean. (getting flustered)

  • Yeah, I know what you mean.  (pause)  So are you fucking someone else or just being a bitch?

Ophelia is different.  She is straight up fucking crazy.  Off my kind of deep-end.  Drowing in our collective unconscionable.  She lets me violate her.  Forces me to, really.  She lets out the beast in me.  And I love her for it.  It’s a good goddamn thing I don’t care about her at all.

I had to change my scenery.  So I did.  An island.  Margaritas in the hot sun.  Salt on the rim.  Life slowed.  It got hazy for a minute there.  The sun was so bright.  I couldn’t see what was happening.  Stopped.  Did you say something?  That’s right… no trains on this island.  Freedom.  Sweet blissful freedom.  Nothing happened.  Nothing needed to happen.  Everything was still.  Sigh.  Content.



I woke up on a couch this morning.  I don't remember how I got here.  There was a hammock.  And the sun.  The bright and brilliant sun.  Nothing ever stopped the sun.  And the ocean; so blue, so perfect, so vast, so empty.  But ... I don't ... remember ...

Was there something else?  Something that I have forgotten?  

There is always something else.

Find me.

Thing 1: You’re going to die.
Thing 2: Today?
Thing 1: Or tomorrow.
Thing 2: Much the same.
Thing 1: I suppose.
Thing 2: Are you certain?
Thing 1: Certain?
Thing 2: Of death.
Thing 1: Death is always certain.
Thing 2: But today?
Thing 1: Or tomorrow.
Thing 2: Much the same.
Thing 1: I suppose.

Inaction is the bane of my existence. It’s not indecision. I know what I want to do with my life. And roughly, I know how I want to get there. Or at least I have something of an idea. I know where things are or should be headed, what I need to be doing to get there. And then, as to the things that have little to do with my Future, great and fearful though the concept may be, there are some other things that I know I want, know I want to do. But I don’t. For one reason or another I never get around to doing all the things I mean to do; saying all the things I mean to say. I seem to like to bottle things inside until I get drunk and let them out in a barely coherent rant. Which I would advise against, it not being the most effective means of doing anything. I guess it’s that I’m afraid. Of life of my future of fucking all this shit up of everybody in the world not loving me they have to love me everybody has to love me why don’t you love me? Look at me, deer in the headlights. I’ve decided which way to jump. I just don’t know if I am ready. Maybe if I wait for the car to hit me I won’t have to follow through on anything. Or maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.

Thing 1: I think it’s going to rain.
Thing 2: Rain?
Thing 1: Yes.
Thing 2: Soon?
Thing 1: Possibly.
Thing 2: I don’t have an umbrella.
Thing 1: Perhaps we should go.
Thing 2: Aren’t we waiting?
Thing 1: Is that what we’re doing?
Thing 2: I always thought so.
Thing 1: For whom?
Thing 2: The Cat.

***
“Hold me closer tiny dancer. Count the headlights on the highway. Lay me down in sheets of linen. You had a busy day today.”
- Elton John, “Tiny Dancer”

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Catastrophony


And so he slinks back into his cave, so well known.  Deep within the darkness and the warmth there is safety.  There is the familiar echo of his voice.

Her: You know the only reason I brought up other guys in front of you was to make you jealous.  I hoped it would, you know, light a fire under you.  Get you to ask me out.

Him: It only ever made me depressed.

I would have to say, for my taste anyway, a real martini (that is, a gin martini) is better than a vodka martini.  Shaken and strained.  With those little flecks of ice floating on top.  So good, so cold, when it hits your lips.

Have you ever burnt yourself in effigy?  On that note, I have never actually burned anyone in effigy.  What with being a pyro and all, you would think I would have gotten around to it.  At least a Guy Fawkes.  But no.  And I think that’s sad.  I would cry if I were the crying sort.  No, that is a lie.

The wheels are in motion, but I don’t know who is driving.  It isn’t that my life is completely stagnant.  Not quite.  Not yet.  Things are happening.  Or I am working on making them happen.  It’s just that I am in one of the worst parts of the transition.  I think.  If I am wrong then this is going to get much worse.  Did I mention that I have never really cared for holidays?

Oh, well.  Welcome back.  And here’s to 300 more.

***
“Home, where my thought’s escaping.  Home: where my music’s playing.  Home: where my love lies waiting silently for me.”
- Paul Simon, “Homeward Bound”

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Drinking for Truth; whatever it may bring

It’s not that I am miserable.  I’m not.  I’m doing just fine.  Not that “just fine” is anywhere near where I would like to be.  But that is mostly how things are and I am not in a fighting mood right now.  If you had not realized it (and I try to keep it hidden, so I don’t know that you would have) I am quite prone to mood swings.  I often fluctuate quite easily from ebullient to pissed off to bottom of the bottle depressed.  And I have little control over it all.  The littlest things will set me off.

But right now I am finding myself in the most truthful of moods.  Well, perhaps not the most truthful.  There are still some lies that I would tell.  Still some truths that I will not reveal.  But I am in a very truthful mood.  So here it goes.  Here are some things that I probably should have said a long time ago and just didn’t, for one reason or another.  I am not really good at this kind of thing.  Anyway:

Misa, I really care about you.  I do.  And I know you find it hard to take me seriously, well, so do I.  But I do have my moments and this is one of them.  If I had lived nearer to you I would have asked you out ages ago.  I can only hope that you would have given me at least a chance to prove that I am worth your time.  But as it is that I live so many hours away, I felt that it would be a waste of your time if I had pursued you.  Especially since I have never found myself very good at the practice.  There are innumerable other girls you could ask to verify that statement.  But as it is that I have been in a depressed mood this evening and then drinking quite a bit to top that off, I find myself in a position that simply will not let me rest on my laurels.  So here it is, plain and simple.  I know we live a long ways away from each other.  And I would not ask you to drive or fly that distance, as it is both costly and time consuming.  But if you want me too, I would drive (I can’t really afford to fly) that 4 or 5 hours (whatever it is) to see you.  Hell, my dad did worse.  He drove 9 hours to see my mom after they first met.  If not, I understand.  Distance is a mother fucker.  And I can take it.  There is a girl around here that I am thinking of asking out.  I don’t know her quite as well, and she may not be as suited for me as you are (I really don’t know, I haven’t gotten to know her that well yet) but she doesn’t live so many hours away.  I realize that I am I likely overstepping the bounds of propriety at this point and if I had anyone to hold me back, I don’t doubt that they would.  But fuck that shit.  Like I said, I am depressed and I have been drinking and I have decided that it was about fucking time that I said some of the things that I have been meaning to say.

I am not so drunk that I am incoherent.  Nor am I so drunk that I will reveal all things.  On the off chance that the girls I know in Vegas are reading this I will not reveal any more on that topic.  It’s just that I have grown tired of wallowing in the mire of my own ineffectuality.  I was made for so much better than this.  And this stagnant lifestyle is not meant for me.  And I will break out in any way I can.

In case anyone was wondering: 2 gin and tonics, 2 extra strong scotch and sodas.  And misery and loneliness.  Don’t forget that.  It’s a good thing I am not thinking about the consequences of my actions.  Because I am starting to think that they are not going to be so good…

Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.

I hate lukewarm coffee.

S > 0

Clearly I need you more than you need me.  Though I am loathe to admit that I need anyone.  And I suppose I would get by without you.  And you would easily get by without me, that is beyond question.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t need you.  That everything wouldn’t be better if you were here with me now.  It would be.  That is, until I fucked it all up.  

***
“I am just a poor boy, though my story’s seldom told…”
-  Simon & Garfunkel, “The Boxer”
***

I am generally just depressed right now.  Everything is just falling apart.  I am falling apart.  Nothing is really working out like I had hoped.  I had such bright dreams of how coming back to Vegas was going to be such a fucking sweet trip.  I was going to get some job or another that was going to pay not only all my bills but leave me enough to go out most nights and party on the strip and in the bars and whatnot.  And do it all in style.  I have yet to go out in Vegas.  It has been 6 months.  I don’t really have many friends.  None that want to go out with me.  Or that I want to go out with.  It’s always one or the other.  I should have expected it.  I should have seen it coming.  I mean I hadn’t talked to my friends from high school since high school.  So that didn’t really work out.  And not going out by myself I wasn’t really meeting any new people.  Not that I can really afford it anyway.  I don’t have much money as it is now, and then with the grace period on my loans being over, I am going to be basically broke.  And I can’t see that anything is going to change.  This is going to be one fucking useless piece of shit year.  I am going to be glad when I get the fuck out of here.  Lie to me and tell me it’s going to be different when I get wherever it is that I am going.

Ok, that was a little to close to a diary entry.  Sorry ‘bout that.  But I needed to vent.  Life isn’t really going my way right now.  And I don’t seem to have the balls to do anything about it.  I suppose I should go ahead and ask her out, get rejected and move on.  After all, there’s nowhere else to go from here.  I really need to get the fuck out of this shit hole.

***
“Left to his own devices, the Prophet would surely have self-destructed long ago.  Lucky for all of us, help came along just in time…”
- James Walsh, the Life and Times of the Prophet (a work in progress)

Monday, December 12, 2005

deeper in, deeper down

The sun was shining.  It was Tuesday.  I went to the coffee shop and got 8 shots of espresso over ice.  I suppose that seems like a lot, but well …  No, it is a lot.  I’m just used to it.  Built up a tolerance or whatever.  But is not a story worth telling.  I used to work the joint.  So they still get me my shit for free.  Most days anyway.  Some of the new kids will charge me.  Fuck it.  I’ll let them.  Not their fault they don’t know.  and they tend to catch on soon enough.  Coffee these days is mother fucking expensive.  

Lot of memories in this place.  Most of them dull useless memories of hours of endless tedium.  But that’s how most things are I suppose.  And then there was her.  She was important enough that I stuck around a lot longer than I expected to.  Longer than I should have, probably.  But that’s a whole other story with a completely different girl.

I sat down and started writing.  The coffee shop helps me focus.  There’s nothing for me but the writing, here anyway.  And I feel comfortable.  Like this is my place.  Like it used to be.  I slowly drained my espresso, losing myself in the story…

Well, it’s a start, and I headed back into the sun.  I put on my sunglasses.  Never much cared for the sun.  Makes a fucker angry.  Give me a rainstorm any day.  Now there’s some decent thinking weather.  Unusual, perhaps.  But I’m a desert kid and desert kids always love the rain.  Now to begin the show.  I will try to remember; to recall and tell … to the best of my ability.  

I am a revolutionary.  No, that’s a bad way to start.

There are times when I think a great deal of myself.  Then there are the other times.  But that doesn’t set it up right.  

It was what I would call a “defining moment.”  But that was just for me.  I doubt anyone else would care.  Most likely it was just an insignificant blip on the vast landscape of human history.  But I’m going to tell it anyway and don’t worry; I’m pretty sure the trains will still run on time.  If you care about that sort of thing.  Ok, wait.  Start over…



Most call me Isaac.  And there are my good friends: Hanover Kingsley and Janus Clockwork.  Janus and I work at this bookstore, Tanaka’s, but mostly we just sit around, drink beer, and wax philosophical.  We don’t really get many customers.  It’s sort of a specialty bookshop, used books, rare books, foreign language books, &c.  It leaves us a lot of free time.  So we mostly just do whatever.  So long as we are there, Tanaka doesn’t really care what we do.  He’s usually passed out drunk in his office, anyway.  Kingsley is a trust fund baby, so he doesn’t do much of anything.  But he’s free with his money and buys rounds all the time.  I don’t know if he is interesting or not.  But he has his uses (as a feller says).  That’s about all we got.  Oh, and then there was Juliet.  I don’t want to talk about her, though.  We have a history.  I don’t want to get into that, though.  Messy.   And this is our story.  My story, really.  I find that all stories end up being my story.  In the end.  And like every story about me it begins with a girl … and ends with regret.  



Regret, ah yes.  My troubled Muse.  How fondly I now think of you, so long have you stayed in my house.  Regret.  Of those things done and those left undone.  Mistakes made, paths not taken.  But this was the big one.  At least, so far.  I don’t know how important it will seem down the line.  But I dwell on the past, not the future.  And so I will continue as I began.  Once it ended I did everything I could to forget her. It didn’t really work.  She may have been my Juliet, but I’ll never be her Romeo.

My memory is ambiguous at best.  I’m a drunk and my existence has always had a tenuous relationship with reality.  Fading in and out as it were.  It fades.  Everything fades…  But most of my life faded while it was happening.  Just one big fucking haze.  And there was never anything else.  Nothing before.  Nothing after.  And nothing to look forward to.  I think sun was bright that day.  Overpowering.  Unless it was raining.  It was one or the other.

The trains ran on time.  It was raining.  I don’t really know what time it was, the sky was too overcast to tell.  But at least the trains ran on time.  Somehow, their regularity seemed to sooth the pain in my heart.  I figured that at least something was working the way it was supposed to.  Actually, that’s out of order.  Yeah.  I need to start somewhere else.



But there was something about that day.

His name was Napoleon V.  He was a midget.

Napoleon V was the last to join.  With him, we became four.  In Japan, the number 4 is considered unlucky because of its association with death.  Hmm.

I don’t remember when I first met Napoleon V.  But then I don’t really ever remember meeting most people.  Unless she’s hot.  Unlike Narihira, I did not show favor to the ugly.  I try to remember all the “important” moments with the attractive ladies.  That way I can dwell on them after everything has fallen to shit.  But seeing as I fade in and out of my own life, it is only fitting that everyone else fades in and out of mine.  Or me into there’s or whatever.  It doesn’t much matter how you look at it.  Perspective is so absurd to begin with.

But when he was there (Napoleon V, that is), he brought out the worst in all of us.  Clockwork became more meticulous, more focused, more depraved.  The Fair Ophelia reveled in what should have been her shame.   More than she would have.  A lot more.   She was so much prouder of her flight to the bottom.  The Fair Ophelia, our beautiful mute, not since Dorian Grey has such a pretty face hidden such disturbing secrets.
And I, well, you’ll see what happened to me.  This is my story after all.

And no, the Prophet does not go blind.  That comes later.



Juliet seemed so perfect when I first met her.  Of course, I was really drunk at the time.

I never loved her.  I can see that now.  I think.  I’m only sure when she isn’t around.  Then everything gets confusing.  Janus loved her.  Well he might have.  He at least was capable of loving someone other than himself.  Not like Kingsley…  Or me.  Maybe if Janus had met her first.  Though she did have those certain “appetites.”  That would probably just have fucked up Janus instead of me.  And he wouldn’t have handled it as well.  But I never loved her.  For a while I thought I might.  But that was only because I thought I loved every bitch willing to show me even the slightest attention.  Because clearly that meant they loved me.  Even the whores.  Sometimes especially the whores.  And then there was Juliet.  She loved us all.  She loved only herself.  Goddamn Juliet.  She fucked me up real solid like.



I had never killed a man.


I don’t know whether that should surprise you or not.  I mean, killing isn’t really something most people do a lot of nowadays.  I am not and have never been a soldier.  Or a communist.  I’m not really much of a fighter in general.  I am no Mersault.  I am the Prophet.  But that is beside the point.  Drinking beer in the hot sun.  It wasn’t the sun.  And I wasn’t drunk.  Just to clear that up.  

You don’t really need a reason to kill a man.  Having a reason helps you deal with the consequences; helps you rationalize your actions.  But you don’t really need a reason to kill a man.  I’m not a violent person.  In general.  I mean, there have been times.  Everyone has times.  Not in years though.  I don’t know how to release the rage anymore.  It just simmers now.  Don’t get the wrong idea.  It isn’t going to boil over or anything.  I’m not a threat.  That’s not what this is about.  It isn’t about me.  Strike that.  Reverse it.  It is about me.  It’s all about me.  But it isn’t about my problems or my rage issues.  I don’t have any.  I don’t.  This was all cool; rational.  It had nothing to do with rage or passion.  It’s about reality, life in general.  And why it doesn’t work.  It doesn’t.  But that’s also a digression.  I have a difficult time staying on topic.  It happens.  I was just saying, you know, to clarify.  But, no, I didn’t have a reason for killing him.



It’s mostly a small place.  There is an office in back where Tanaka sleeps all day.  It’s full of shit and we tend not to go in there.  Tanaka doesn’t much care for being disturbed.  He wouldn’t likely notice, but fuck it.  Why risk it when there’s nothing in there worth taking anyway?  Then there is our desk or table or counter or whatever.  It has a register on top of it.  And it has drawers with things in them.  And next to it is the mini-fridge with the beer.  So there is that.  Our chairs are of questionable comfort.  But we get by.  Whoever gets in first gets the not-wobbly chair.  As it is, what with me having to open the store and all, I tend to get in first.  Janus comes in about 2-3 hours after me.  I’m just glad I don’t have to sit in the wobbly chair.  That is the kind of shit that really gets to me.  Oh, and then there are the books.  They take up most of the space.  As would be expected of a bookstore.  There are a lot of books and there isn’t a lot of space.  So it gets a little haphazard at times.  There are piles and piles of books that just don’t fit on the shelves that we have no better place for.  And there is a cluttered look that kind of hangs over the whole place.  But whatever.  We don’t have any reason to change it.  It’s not our store.  And we aren’t paid enough to act as if it were.  We are paid enough to sit around, drink beer and bullshit.  But only just barely.  It’s not a great place, when you get right down to it.  But it smells like books and there is plenty of beer.  So I have no real reason to leave.



It's not that I believe in fate; or Fate, or however you want to put it.  As if this was something that I had to do and couldn’t have done otherwise, blah blah blah.  I don't.  It wasn’t.  And I don’t blame Juliet either.  Even though she shouldn’t have dumped me.  Not like that.  Especially not like that.  This wasn’t about her.  Not everything has to be.  I could have done otherwise.  We could have gone anywhere other than the park that night.  But we didn’t.  And that is that.  I’m not in the mood to argue philosophy at this point.  This is not that kind of story.  It’s just that there was something, I don’t really know how to put it, something wrong with the day.  It was almost as if Reality itself had changed.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but still.  We had urges to do things that, well, were wrong.  Immoral things, despicable things, things you don’t write home about.  Urges we didn’t normally have.  All exept for Naploen V, maybe.  And I’m not to sure about the Fair Ophelia anymore either.  But still.  I don’t know how else to put it.  It was as if reality wasn’t Reality anymore.  It was something more; something different.  And well, we followed through on some of them.  It was a good thing for everyone we only followed through on some of them.  Laugh if you will.  I would if I were in your position.  You weren’t there.  You don’t know what it was like.  How it felt.  What it made you feel like doing.  What it made you do.  I don’t feel the need to apologize for my behavior.  I am what I am.  It is what it is.  This is just what happened.



I am more or less than I was before.  I have come round and I am changed.  The world changes, but not really.  Everything stays the same and I move on.  I cannot stay the same.  I cannot remain.  I cannot be the last of my kind stuck in the mire of impossibility.  I move forward or backward or from side to side, ever straining against my fetters.  I cannot stay here.  I don’t know where here is but I know that I cannot stay.  Mine is not to stay or settle.  Mine is to move to wander and to be forever lost.  And yet, I go nowhere.  And nothing changes.  The Prophet does not beg.


Normally I get into Tanaka’s around 10:30, 11 am.  I open the store, but frankly Tanaka doesn’t give a shit when I show up as long as I get there before he does.  It’s not like we have posted hours or anything.  And since he usually stumbles in mid afternoon, I come in early enough that I might catch one or two customers before he shows but late enough that I don’t have to deal with rush hour.  The trains are much too crowded for my taste.  But today was different.

It was 2:37 before I even dragged my ass out of bed.  I had a wicked hangover and the world was still fuzzy.  I looked at the clock.  “Fuck!  Tanaka hates it when I’m late.”  Not that I rushed.  I don’t rush.  Plus, my head hurt.  I got down to the store around 3:30.  

I pushed open the door; slowly let my eyes adjust to the dim interior, still trying to think up the appropriate apology.  “Hey, where’s Tanaka?”

“Not coming in today.  Sick or some shit,” Janus replied.  “You’re ass is one lucky son of a bitch.  The fuck happened anyway?  You know I almost didn’t bring my keys in today.  Then where would we be?  Fucked is where.  So seriously, what the fuck happened?”

I just groaned.  I grabbed a beer from the mini-fridge, collapsed into the wobbly chair.  “Juliet dumped me yesterday… so then I sort of drained half a fifth of Black Nikka and a liter or so of shitty sake.  And I don’t know what else.  I just got up like an hour ago.”

“Fuck, yo.  I thought you guys were getting on great together.”

“So did I.  But I fucking guess not.  I was walking her to her train after dinner…I lean in for the good night kiss and then she stops me, pulls back and … fuck I don’t even remember what she said.  But she made damn clear it was over.  After the shock wore off, right to the combini and the whiskey.”

“Wait, right on the fucking platform?”

“Yeah.  Fucked, huh?”

“Damn.  I thought she had more class than that.”

“No shit.  And after I spent a fucking shit load on dinner.  I went to that really nice sushi place we hit up like 2 months ago.  Everything was fine during dinner… fuck, man…  So I drank till I couldn’t feel feelings.  And then some.”



There are somes that calls me the Prophet.  I suggest you join them.



At least he was a bum.  A lush we found in the park wrapped in newspaper and dog shit.  We had paid him earlier in the day to dance for us, Clockwork, Napoleon V and I.  It was hilarious.  Or at least we thought so.  It was Napoleon V’s idea.  He always was something of a bastard.  We got a few dirty looks from passersby (not that any of them made a move to stop us.  So few people willing to back up their beliefs these days.  No wonder I lost hope.).  I don’t know that that makes the situation any better.  He was still a person.  Most of a person.  And if you believe in basic human rights, then what we did would still be considered wrong.  As to the rest of it … ? … Fuck it.  I make no apologies for my behavior.  Not anymore.  Not after that day.

I can't say that it was planned.  Honestly, no sane person would plan shit this fucked up.  And yes, we are sane.  Or, we were.  As far as sane goes these days, anyway.  And no, we weren't on drugs.  We weren't.  We weren't drunk or high.  We weren’t the ones that were altered.  Reality had altered.  These aren’t just excuses.  I don’t feel the need for excuses.  Things weren't what they were; what they should have been.  They were ... who knows. Who knows what the fuck they were.

It was night.  Of that much I am certain.  There are many things that I cannot discern anymore.  But night and day are … actually …  It was dark.  I know it was dark.   I am certain that it was dark.  It might not have been night, but it was dark.  Which was important.  He was asleep.  Which was also important.  Or rather, it would be, later on.

Janus broke his kneecap with a hammer.  That woke him up right quick.  We wanted to hear him scream.  And did he ever.  For a junk sick black-livered shitheap, the man had lungs.  I started pummelling his head (I was wearing some sweet ass brass knucks).  The sound of his skull shattering was beyond sublime.  But you should have seen the fucked up shit the Fair Ophelia was getting into.  She was nearly as bad as Napolean V.  And his shit was simply unspeakable.  

We danced in his screams; drank in his agony.  In his eyes we saw the truest knowledge Man can posses: certainty of impending death.  The bum had an epiphany; we had brought him the Light.  Then we fucked him up until he bled out.  We were drunk on rage and glory and madness bled through our souls.  Then…  Then I can’t say what.  Having never killed a man before I couldn’t have known what to really “expect” … but when you kill a man, he doesn’t die as someone else.  That, I know, doesn’t happen.  Except…

When we looked at the body, it wasn’t him.  It had been him.  But it wasn’t now…


Tanaka is a used up man.  He’s a drunk who hates his life (like the rest of us) but he’s also old.  He doesn’t have the future to look forward to.  He has no reason left to hope.  We all say that we hold out no hope for out futures.  But, deep down, we all know that we have big things ahead of us.  Deep down, we all fear that we will end up just like Tanaka.  Tanaka owns his own bookstore.  It isn’t what he wanted out of life.  But he sort of fell into it.  It was part of his family’s attempt to brush him under the rug.  He was something of a black eye on their perfect record (what with them being a rich and important political family).  He was going to do other things while he was at the store.  He was going to write or paint or something.  It was artistic.  He doesn’t really talk about it anymore.  And recently he has started doing less and less.  Mostly he just comes into the store drunk, passes out on a little cot he has in his office, wakes up several hours later and goes out to drink away another night.  I don’t think he goes home at all anymore.  Though I am pretty sure the reason for this recent spell is that his wife was having an affair.  So that might be the reason for never going home.  He has never needed a reason to drink his life away.  Not since I’ve known him anyway.  Like I said, Tanaka is used up and broken man.  I don’t know if there is anything left for him here.



Looking back on it, it was the perfect place to have my heart broken.  It was so cinematic.  It was so ridiculously out of proportion with respect to the rest of our boring relationship.  It was an epic ending to 3 weeks of passion and 6 months of nothing that special.  It did start off with a bang.  You know the whole cheating on her big man about town boyfriend deal.  I always liked that.  That she felt that I was better than that sellout candyass.  It made me feel for once that I had chosen the right path in rejecting all that common conformist bullshit.  She did break my heart.  But I don’t think I loved her.  I’m not really sure anymore.  I’ve tried to forget.  And I’ve tried to make the break up scene even more cinematic.  That’s what you do if you’re a writer.  Well, not exactly.  That’s what I do, though, as a writer.  I have to make my life interesting or nobody will want to read about it.  How very Tayama Katai of me.  It did seem like a good scene to put into a love story.  I mean there I am standing in a crowded train station with my girlfriend waiting for the next train into the city.  The sky is gray and gloomy.  The rain is pouring down in sheets.  I look over at her and smile.  She looks back and says matter-of-factly, “I’ve found someone else.  I’m sorry.”  And then she walks away.  I’m stunned to say the least.  I mean I know guys always say not to break up with all that bullshit like ‘let’s just be friends’ or ‘it’s not me it’s you’ or some other line, but it really just stuns you when they are so blunt.  That’s when the train left, right on time, and she went with it.  I was still stunned.  Alone on the platform.  The rain was pouring down.  I look at the train schedule.  I look at my watch.  “Great, the next train doesn’t come for another 20 minutes.”

Looking back on it, I should have punched her in the face.  Or pushed her in front of the train.  Or raped her right then and there.  But I am a man of words and I have never been a man of action.



Maybe I should tell you a little about Napoleon V.  He had painted his face blue.  Felt it better expressed his personality.  You see, Napoleon V hated himself, life, the universe and everything.  And it wasn’t just his diminutive size that caused Napoleon V to grow so miserable with the world.  Things never seemed to go his way.  Until he started taking shit into his own hands.  Sins of the Father.

Napoleon V grew up on the streets.  He was abandoned.  His parents didn’t want him.  And then he ran away from a bunch of foster homes or whatever.  He grew up mistrusting everything.  Or something like that.  I cannot truly speak to his experiences.  He never told me about them.  He doesn’t like to talk about him self.  But there is a lot of anger there.  Rage.  He once told me that the other street kids used to call him the Grinning Sadist.  

I have never seen him smile.

Napoleon V wanted to piss on the body.  He wanted to hang it from a tree and use it as a fucking pinata.  He got into an argument with the Fair Ophelia about who would get to fuck it first.  He wanted to set up a funeral pyre in the middle of a public park and bask in the demonic radience of the flame.  I told him that was a bad idea.  We had caused enough of a scene as it was.  A crowd was gathering.  Reality was shifting, but there are some rules you never break if you don’t want to get caught.  He still didn’t want to go.  He reached into the body, pulled out the heart and began to eat it.  Blood dripping down his blue chin onto his rumpled suit.  We had to drag him as we left, striding off into the rapidly darkening mists.

Napoleon V left two days ago.  We won’t be looking for him.  He was becoming too unreliable.  He was starting to enjoy it too much.  He was going out on his own.  And his thirst was growing.  He was fucking up Bateman style.  Besides, a sadist is grounded in reality.  A twisted reality.  A violent reality.  But a firm reality.  And I was beyond that.  He was becoming an anchor weighing me down.  I don’t know where he is now.  Or if he is.  Still.

They came looking for Napoleon V yesterday.  They had traced him back to the scene of one of his “walks in the park”.  Stories of a blue midget with a hatchet eating people’s eyes or some such.  I sent them on something of a goose chase.  I needed a change of scenery.  And fast.



She was, I don’t know, 5’8” or so with long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes.  She kept her body fit and trim (likely with the manic trips to the gym that I only became aware of later on) and liked to show it off.  Her pants were always skin tight and she loved drawing attention to her perfect ass.  Her shirt was just long enough to show off her belly button ring that was perfectly accented by her tiny nose stud.  To say that she was vain would be an understatement.  She was drowning in herself.  But it was her smile that seemed to draw it all together.  She had a smile that could stop a man in his tracks and make him think that they were the only two people in the world (she still has that effect on me).  Her smile was so genuine, so sincere, so misleading.  

When I met her I was drunk and I didn’t care.  I wasn’t so drunk that I wasn’t aware of things (a few beers and some tequila shots) and when she came down into Cliché, my life came to a screeching halt.  That was my watershed moment.  Now I classify my life in terms of before and after Juliet.  Juliet came in with Kingsley’s boyfriend (they were old friends from “back home” or something) but when they got there, Philo went to find Kingsley.  Leaving her alone.  I wanted to go talk to her, but wasn’t planning on it since I often make awkward first impressions – I have a tendency to fuck things up.  Also, I was drunk.  I figured I would let another guy go in – I didn’t want a pretty thing like that to be wasted (The Universe could never be so cruel as to waste a beauty like that.  Mankind could never recover from such a blow) – and that way I wouldn’t have to make an ass of myself.  
I went for another beer and all the guys in the bar went for Juliet.  But for some reason, one after another, she coolly dismissed them.  Seeing that she didn’t have a drink and not wanting to be the only guy who wouldn’t be able to talk around the damn water cooler tomorrow about how this bitch turned him down (I do love my conformity).  So I walked over.  “One frozen margarita for the lady.  And bring me another shot.”  What the hell, let’s do this shit – and I struck up a meaningless conversation.  I don’t really remember what we talked about – it didn’t really seem important at the time – but unlike all the other guys, I seemed to hit it off with Juliet.  I didn’t get any of the normal ‘I really don’t want to talk with you just because you bought me a delicious margarita made with premium top shelf tequila (like Corazon perhaps or Cabo Wabo) and Grand Marnier and real lime juice’ signals that normally occurred when I talked to girls (and it wasn’t just because I was drunk either – ok, that I can’t verify, being as I was quite drunk, I might have fabricated much or all of the incident.).  I’m sure it was the normal things – what we do: jobs and otherwise, interests: what movies we like, what actors we hate, random filler – but I can’t say for sure.  Whatever I said, it must have been right because as the night faded into morning we shared a cab.

I was, of course, more than willing.  She was beautiful and any excuse to spend time with her, even something as pointless as taking a cab in the opposite direction of where I should have been headed was to be taken up without hesitation.  I don’t know what provoked her to share a cross-town cab with a guy she had just met.  It could have been the booze.  Or she saw something I don’t.  But when we got to her place, I had no expectation that I would be invited in.  The thought never even crossed my mind.  While I’m sure I was thinking how beautiful she was and how I would like to get with a girl like her, I can’t imagine that I actually considered it seriously.  She was way way out of my league.  I was likely thinking about how expensive this night was turning out to be and did I have enough money for the cab.  I did.  But not for the return trip.  So then I was wondering about where the nearest train station was.  But when we got to her door and I was anticipating awkward silence, she casually invited me in.  I was too stunned to even consider refusing.  

Her sheets are much softer than mine.

(gratuitous sex scene)

I awoke the next morning early and slightly disoriented (waking up in strange places isn’t that unusual, waking up in strange beds slightly less usual).  Slowly looking around, I saw Juliet by her mirror applying her makeup.  She turned and smiled.  I still couldn’t tell you if there is anything more beautiful in the world than Juliet when she smiles.  It lights up the room.  Even now she can get my heart fluttering.  

“Hey there sweetheart, I was wondering when you would wake up.”  I smiled.  

“Sorry to have kept you waiting.  I hope you enjoyed watching me sleep.”  She laughed.  It was a beautiful lilting laugh.  Not a care in the world.

I got up and started looking for my clothes.  They were all over the place.  And I was missing a sock.

“Oh, I don’t really want my boyfriend to find out we fucked – he’s kinda possessive.  So you’ll probably want to keep this quiet”  

“Boyfriend?”  She had to be joking.  Obviously she wouldn’t bring me back to her place if she had a boyfriend.  That kind of thing just doesn’t happen.  I mean, I’m a sweet dude and all.  But that shit only happens to James Bond or in the fucking movies or shit.

“Yeah, I don’t know if you know him – Jesse Danbury?”  

“No, but I’ve heard of him.  Something of an important man about town or something.”  She really does have a boyfriend and a douche bag at that.  I couldn’t believe it.  That Jesse fucker was such a goddamn tool.  How had he pulled this shit off?  How had I?  It was starting to look like I wasn’t going to be asked over again.

“So you’ll probably want to keep this quiet”  

“Not a problem.  I’m down with O.P.P.”  Silence.  “Don’t worry, we don’t really run in the same circles.”  

“Right.”  She walked over to the bed, leaned over and kissed me, “So, when can I see you again?”  I guess you could say I was confused.  

“What about the boyfriend?”  

“What about him?”  Good point.  Why should I care about a fucktard like him?  Except that if he ever found out I might be in some trouble.

“Whenever you want.  I’m not really that busy most days.”  

“How about Tuesday?”  So long?  That was three days away.  How could I go three days without Juliet?  It wasn’t humanly possible.  I declined to think on the fact that I had gone my entire life up until now without her.  It lessened the drama of the situation.

“Tuesday works.”  

“Excellent.”  She kissed me deeply and then turned to leave the room.  “Bye sexy, I’ll see you on Tuesday.”  I was stunned.  Sexy?  Yeah, I guess she was right.  I am a pretty fucking hot motherfucker.

I would have said something, but she had already left the room.  I found the nearest station and caught the train home.  I needed a nap.

She broke up with Jesse not too long after that.  Or he broke up with her.  I never really asked for the details.  She caught him cheating on her or something.  Sleeping with his boss or his secretary or both.  I would expect anything from a jackoff like him.  Regardless, he went off with some other little thing and she came home to me.  Everything was right with The Universe.  Or so I thought.

I fucked the Fair Ophelia yesterday.  Nymph.  In her orisons, were all my sins forgotten.  Can she ever show you something.  I don’t care if she doesn’t talk.  She says enough.  She took me away from myself.  Juliet was quite upset.  Too say the least.  She still felt that I was hers.  That I would always be.  Whether she kept me around or not.  As if the Prophet can be property.  She had danced her way into my drunken heart.  I had paid my way into her soulless cunt.  But now she can dance her fine ass back the fuck out of my shattered heart.  The pieces will be better for her not being there.  Shadows and memories.  They never helped anything.


Ask Clockwork: there is nothing like precision timekeeping.  The trains ran on time.  Despite everything else.  The trains always ran on time.  Through it all.  Damn fucking trains.  He uses a scalpel on our “nightly escapades.”  I guess it suits his meticulous nature.


When I need to think I go up to my study.  Or whatever.  I don’t know what you would call it.  It’s sort of my thinking room.  I don’t figure most houses have one.  But I’m a writer.  I do shit a little differently.  That’s what I tell myself anyway.  It doesn’t help the creative process if you think everyone is doing the same unique things you are.  And I have enough trouble with the creative process as it is.  The room is always dark.  I took out the lights long ago.  And I leave the blinds closed for effect.  I light candles and incense.  It helps me relax and unfocus.  As the (likely misapplied) Buddhist sentiment goes: I don’t need think up the solutions to my problems, I need to remember the answers that I already know.  The room helps with that.  When it doesn’t put me to sleep.  Though the naps often help just as much on their own.  And I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.  I’m one to sell a gift horse to glue manufacturers for a shit load of cash.  Like I said, I do shit a little differently.



I get asked a lot why I would waste my time in a place like Tanaka’s or in a bookstore at all.  But, honestly, anyone who would ask me that doesn’t know me at all.  Books and beer: what a masterful combination.  Lax rules and sitting around.  Working with a friend.  The only thing that would make the job any better would be strippers right there in the store.  And some more money.  But we would need customers for that.  And I don’t need any more work.  So I am willing to make the sacrifice.  It’s not like I have a whole hell of a lot of expenses.  Kingsley pays the rent and buys a lot of the groceries and shit.  Tanaka buys the beer at work; well, we charge the store and he hasn’t complained yet.  And I can usually get a girl or three to buy me drinks when I go out.  So really I have nothing to pay for.  Except my college loans.  And that’s nearly more than I can afford.  I suppose you could say that I am just scraping by.  But it works for now.  So there’s that.



  • Isaac, you are so emotionally guarded, I can’t get through to you.

  • What?  What are you talking about?

  • You never let me close.  You never let me in.

  • I let you close all the time.

  • Emotionally.  You never let me close emotionally.

  • Oh great.  Not this speech again.

  • It’s important, Isaac, it’s important if we are going to have a future.  It’s important if you don’t want me to leave.

  • Juliet, I’m trying to write.  Can’t this wait?

  • No.  It can’t wait.  I can’t wait.  I’ve been waiting for you for too long now…

(intermission)

  • You’re breaking up with me?

  • It’s nothing personal.

  • The fuck it isn’t.  You’re breaking up with me.  How much more personal does it get?

  • Well, you had to know this was coming.  I mean, we don’t have anything in common.

  • We have tons of things in common.

  • You know what I mean. (getting flustered)

  • Yeah, I know what you mean.  (pause)  So are you fucking someone else or just being a bitch?

Ophelia is different.  She is straight up fucking crazy.  Off my kind of deep-end.  Drowing in our collective unconscionable.  She lets me violate her.  Forces me to, really.  She lets out the beast in me.  And I love her for it.  It’s a good goddamn thing I don’t care about her at all.

I had to change my scenery.  So I did.  An island.  Margaritas in the hot sun.  Salt on the rim.  Life slowed.  It got hazy for a minute there.  The sun was so bright.  I couldn’t see what was happening.  Stopped.  Did you say something?  That’s right… no trains on this island.  Freedom.  Sweet blissful freedom.  Nothing happened.  Nothing needed to happen.  Everything was still.  Sigh.  Content.



I woke up on a couch this morning.  I don't remember how I got here.  There was a hammock.  And the sun.  The bright and brilliant sun.  Nothing ever stopped the sun.  And the ocean; so blue, so perfect, so vast, so empty.  But ... I don't ... remember ...

Was there something else?  Something that I have forgotten?  

There is always something else.