Sunday, November 25, 2007

and Sisyphus walks down the mountain

There is a story told by old men round fires, hinted at in words that never reach towards meaning and thus never fall short. We are but a weak and desperate people. We know of riches, greatness, power beyond compare. We have seen these things, we have lost them. The Universe is capricious and indifferent to the plight of her most vain of all inhabitants. Thou shalt not challenge the gods. Thou shalt not beat the Devil in a fiddle contest.

Give me words, give me space, give me lies and the inkling of meaning. And I will spin a web for you, I will take your trash and detritus and in return I will give you reality. I will tell you what goes on behind the curtain and you will believe me. If there is no meaning, I can say whatever I want. If there is no meaning, I will make my own. If there is no meaning, I will give you meaning. Take it or leave it, but lies are the only game in town. And I’d like to think mine are more fun than theirs.

Unspeakable horrors. Let us then tell. Doctor? … You must have me mistaken for my brother. I swear we don’t look alike. Then again, who can tell anything ever these days? Blending into the nightmares are dayscape dreamrunners with highlighter tinted sunrises blasting through the shower curtain covering my windows, drowning out the less than silent competing rooster cock bellows and alarm clock mating chants as I try to fall asleep once again on my one free day of the millennium. But we maintain, because it is all our kind can do. That or die. Suicide? I guess, but it’s not really my thing. I know we’re all dying, but it’s not my time to go yet. No, not yet.

I try to carve out madness from the wreckage, wrest it from the unholy grasp of the industry. But my only tools are literature and booze and whatever scattered chemicals wander in my direction. And I find no madness I find no rest no solace no grave. I just get tired and then the desperation comes on bitter and reeling and I just get drunk and drunker and the fall all over myself and others dance of pathetic dissolution peaks in a bitter silence and I fall, unknown, unblessed, unwanted, asleep to bitter silent empty dreams. I wake with no memory, no madness, no enlightenment. Just the melancholy knowledge that there is nothing left for us. Nothing left to get away with, no country left for us to run to. They have taken it all, they have taken it all back. There is no freedom, no escape, no hiding, no peace, no country for young men. And sometimes a hangover.

I’m told that reality is what you can get away with. Or maybe that it’s just perception. I’m told a lot of things but I never really remember them. With flash mad editors excising sensibility. I don’t listen much. Or at least nowhere near as much as I ought to and so I lose a lot and I forget a lot more. I just have this casual relationship with causality, a drifter’s sensibility of maybe this and maybe that and sleep when I’m tired and eat when I can find food. Maybe the world of life is passing away. Maybe. But I don’t figure I’m dead yet, so I guess I have to keep writing for a little while longer. As the Winter’s Death creeps closer and the deafening silences close in, stalking one more innocent helpless vagabond. It’s hard not to believe your own lies when they have been screaming inside your skull for so many drunken misplaced years. I was older once, wiser. Better. Such vast immeasurable potential. Lost, drowned. Forgotten. Forbidden.

… … Oh, I thought you said the Great Bambi.

It’s hard to trust a man that won’t dance. What’s he hiding? What’s he afraid of? That joyous release, the freedom of movement, the revelry (and the hints and possibilities of a return to a past long forgotten never remembered whispered in dark corners in twisted garbage strewn alleys in abandoned warehouses begging to be converted into first artists’ lofts and then upscale apartments for the fatuous yuppies of a brand new soulless generation). One hopes for such things, but one dares not speak of it. It would be blasphemy, it would mark it a lie, a snarling impossibility, the junkyard dog of shattered historical remembrance. I don’t like strangers though. I am afraid of what they might represent, of who they might be, of who they might require me to be. I haven’t practiced my routine for them, I don’t know my lines. I need someone to ground my reality, someone to make sure that I don’t drift off into the dead static white noise nether realms of urban screams. But I’ll dance with you, if only you’d ask me. Or else I’ll just bop along with the group, pretending that I am having a better time than I am, but still having a pretty good time. Because I’m here and you’re here and it’s a beautiful Friday night and what the hell else are we gonna do?

And Sisyphus walks down the mountain.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

three feet deep in the desert sunlight i was todl of am amndlaktj

There is

“Inna gadda da vita” is playing on an endless loop, crushing my skull, frying my brains, freeing my decrepit soul. It’s not that the gods are powerless, it’s that they got bored of this game. Because even when you change the rules, the story’s always the same. A large caterpillar turns away from his bong and his haze of remembrance of things never was and asks me a question with no answer: “who are you?”

a house

She is the firestorm. She is the end of the world. She is the ghost on the whisper of the dying desert wind.

In New Orleans

Of course there are vampires, those around at the fringes of society to feed on the unwary, the week willed. Parasites that cull the herd to make it stronger, except that it doesn’t get stronger, it doesn’t get anything. the crippling mass of humanity is such a broken down mob of soulless drones and automatons that nothing changes anymore, nothing happens. They flicker on through life until they die and their bodies are reused by the system. There is nothing. If there ever was, it’s dead now. Dead, long dead. Only the dust and the desert remain. Only the dying and the oil. I have made fire. Now I will watch it all burn.

They call the Rising Sun

Well, demon blood of the orient. I am come again. I am born anew. I am going to have to get another drink. Bourbon. Neat, goddamn it, neat, you filthy fucking swine. But the lies… the lies? The lies. THE LIES!!! Oh, fuck. They’re all gonna laugh at you. Yeah, well, we’re still all gonna die. So what the fuck, man? what the fuck. “WHO’S THE BITCH NOW, YOU DIRTY SHEEP FUCKER?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?” “Deeper and deeper; way down.”

And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy

My pen keeps clicking; I don’t know where it’s heading. I don’t know what her name is anymore. Just that she was a lie from the beginning. More so that I was. As if that was possible. I still don’t believe it. And how could I? My entire public persona is constructed, a fabrication, a façade, what the French call a certain ‘go fuck yourself.’ How could she be worse? How was it possible that I finally found the one that was better than me and then got drunk and forgot about it all? Was I just drunk? Was that it? Or was there more? Again? Again>? agin?? Agoinds?

And, god, I know, I’m one.

Monday, October 22, 2007

But Wait! There's More!

The gods were not happy. They were not happy at all. Well, most of them were not happy. Jake, god of wine, women, and rock was still passed out and probably wouldn’t have cared anyway. In fact he probably would have just raised the devil horns on his right hand and exclaimed, “That is so punk rock.” Which he will do later on when he wakes up and has the story told to him by three naked virgins soon to be deflowered in a swimming pool of grain alcohol. But everyone else was pissed. This was the second time this week that Jeff Krol had stolen the flaming surfboard.

Jeff Krol, however, couldn’t give a fuck. He was too busy jamming on his guitar (fashioned from Satan’s own third skull so that it rocks harder than a masturbating ninja) and cruising around scenic Buffalo, New York picking up classy ladies to have sex with on the flaming surfboard and then leave at some random street corner where they may or may not be able to find their way home but won’t care because they just fucked the man himself. But then he saw the most heinous sight imaginable and couldn’t contain his rage. He stopped the rocking, stopped the cruising, stopped the fucking hot bitches, and straight up killed Matthew McConaughey with his thumbs in thirteen different and equally graphic ways. That will teach him to steal all the high school girls. Fucker. And then the real rocking began. Jeff Krol flew his flaming surfboard to exactly 1004 ft above the center of exquisite downtown Buffalo, very close to the HSBC Arena in fact, and proceeded to wail so hard on his guitar that every pane of glass shattered into three or more pieces even the bullet proof glass and shatter proof glass and a lot of miscellaneous plastic too. He wailed for no less than three hours while having a marathon sexcapade with a young 23 year old lady who he promised he would introduce to his connections in “the biz” later on that evening but who he would really just kick off the flaming surfboard after he was through rocking and watch her ignite and then fall to her horrific yet amusing death. What a man. What a man.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Better Nate than Lever; or, I left my harp in Sam Tran’s Disco and other antecedent lacking punchlines

We are all equally blameless.



good/bad/indifferent names for bands I came up with in five minutes

the good/bad/indifferents

Ezra Jetson, God of Rocks

Sunday Morning Exit Strategy

Brannigan’s Law

Bender is the Greatest

Unfortunate Tuesday

Afternoon Junky Dogpile

Toothpaste and Lies

the i coudn't think of anything betters



dialogue in one part (further development possible)

Hey. (Tosses beer)

Hey. (Catches beer, opens, drinks)

Sorry bout waking you up

Nah, man. Thanks for that. Can’t really afford to miss any more work.

Yeah. Taks ain't in yet. So you’re good.

Solid.

Bad night?

Eh. The usual.

Still hasn’t called?

Nope. (Finishes beer, cracks second.)

Fuck, man.

I know. (sighs, laments, fades to gray)


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

For Jeffrey Scott, in accordance with his wishes

In the crowd, in the story, but not of it.

Somehow we lost all the mystery in the world. Left it behind maybe as we hurtled headlong into the post-industrial post-capitalist post-postmodern iWorld.

Sage advice: learn to accept that sometimes you just won’t be able to remember.

Jacques Nouveau

Marcel Duchamp flipped over a urinal and called it art. I pissed in it because I was drunk and didn’t call it anything.

Deconstructing myself. Create an overarching absurdist surreal existential metanarrative the main characters of which will be a cat and a pair of brown shoes. Life continues.

There is nothing more detrimental to furthering the goals of society than pigeons. Not only do they “plot in secrecy” (Simon, Bookends) but they are miserable fucking bastards too. Going directly our reporter, a pair of old shoes left near a statue of a forgotten hero, we have this story:

Having served my purpose of covering the feet of a young writer/philosopher/poet/drunk/failure for a select period of time as was deemed appropriate (I found myself worn out and not longer fashionable), I was thrown out. In a despondent state I do not know what next happened to me or how I was transferred from a cheap black trash bag so full of holes as to be almost entirely useless but at least it served as an expedient and a means of getting the trash and me from the apartment to the curb to my current (or any possibly intervening) state. Rum soaked months later (for I did notice the surprising passing of seasons) I woke to a bitch of a hangover and minus one lace to find myself at the oxidized foot of this most noble of forgotten and unremarkable heroes. Then there were pigeons. I hate them.

Remarkable. Do you have a position, Cat? Ah, I see that we are out of time. We will convey the smiles and ridicule of the cat at some later date. Thank you for your consideration, and on the way home be sure to fornicate yourself with a decorative (fake decorative not quaint decorative or Orientalist decorative; and metal if possible) tree if you didn’t thoroughly enjoy the presentation.





( )

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

damn you, cineplex

The world is a dreadful, snarling place: umbilical … and choking. I left at last and laughed --/

Going to town on a Sunday is no more work than any other day, but the trains run different and the people are different and the rules change even though I don’t ... seem ... to.

The good mischief or the bad? The same in the the end or yesterday’s gone (tuesday) is the same day bleeding together like so many wasted corpses left out in the sun (to tan). Life is wasted on the living, as with everything else. and trying to figure it out is just so much wasted time and space and paper and language games that aren’t any fun and have no set rules and no one even gets drunk there isn’t a point take off your clothes or throw a pie or take a couple shots already!

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS!!?!! no. should i? it didn’t strike me as being important. in the least.

There was a story told in olden days about a man who went to market armed to the teeth but lacking severely in funds. He rolled into town without a care in the world just as the sun was cresting its peak in the glassy blue heavens; he probably was smiling a toothy grin (though one cannot be certain on this point). He killed one shopkeep and threatened the rest, ultimately leaving with all the goods that he desired (or at least as many as he could carry) proceeding to his hideout in the woods. Unbeknownst to him but knownst to us, the men from the market and the village and the surrounding farms got themselves together a posse/lynch mob and went after the murdering son of a bitch. Of course they all died because most farmers and townspeople are shit with the fighting (having only their young hos, sighs, and Satan’s hay tridents to fight with), the hideout was heavily fortified as per standard criminal forethought and as previously stated (in case you forgot or weren’t paying attention the first time) the man was a murdering son of a bitch. Lesson learned.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Chester A. Arthur used to be my hero, but now

“Now, that is a devil’s cup right there.”

I considered killing myself again. Or him. I think I would much rather kill him. But it would be far less economical. The world would replace him without trouble and I would have wasted a bullet on an assembly line douche. If I shot myself the game would be over. Simple. Mostly. I put the gun away and went back to listening to “Stairway.”

//

my thoughts come in fragments. they can build on each other, if i choose to take them in a particular direction for a while, but they are always undercutting each other. they are always subversive, as if they don't want me to take any one path, go too far down any one road. "It's my nature." - the Scorpion.

something about consistency. a story then.

In the half light of dawn, James almost mistook his hat for the garbage can and threw up in it anyway.

//

"To be a rock and not to roll." - the Led

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

the dancings of yesteryear

Napoleon V looked out over the abyss, over all of his creation. A rictus of a smile warped his scarred visage, his pulse and breathing quickened, his eyes furtively darting up and down the alley to see if he was being watched, he knew he was being watched, someone was always watching – and he ejaculated over the blood soaked corpse of the stray dog, finishing the desecration. He cleaned up slowly, deliberately, with a causal indifference and then, with an air of wicked confidence, moved back into the jostling crowds that wanted nothing to do with him, that he could never fully escape.

(and besides, it was a newspaper)

&c.

"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, the skulls of small children, and petrified cobblestones. The road to Heaven is an unpaved switchback up a nearly sheer rock face difficult to traverse without the assistance of a pack mule or mountain goat." - Isaac Aronson, Ramblings with Bacchus and Enoch

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Glorious Return of Napoleon V

will happen soon, but not just now.

instead, this:

On the way back to my cube from the pisser passing an attractive young resident of some other box in this soul crushing labyrinth I contemplate whether I should: a) act out a scene from Dilbert (though none come to mind quickly enough), b) find some means of articulating my sexual desire (the more effective in soliciting direct action the better), or c). I get back to back to my chair before a third idea arises and forget the whole thing.



You, you who once had dreams. Of glory, of passion, of life par excellence, or maybe just of writing something that people would read. But now what? This? This is what it has come to? Fine. I accept my fate as it is given me. If this be the choice that you would make, so be it. I am free. You are not the architect of my destiny. The hawk marks the passage to NoTime.

***
"Do what thou wilt." - Rabelais, Dashwood, Crowley.

23

Monday, October 8, 2007

a commonality with birds

He wears his decadence like a rumpled shirt left on the floor with the bottles of whiskey, the empty boxes of Chinese takeout; thrown on out of habit, thrown on cause it’s enough. There is a heaviness about him, a lethargy built of long silences and blank stares. He always seems to be on the verge of some exquisite or profane knowledge, some cosmic joke, like Zeno’s tortoise, just beyond his grasp. The nihilist cant chatters in his thoughts commingled with the fractured sights and sounds of the internet age; the visceral world receding further into the distance. He doesn’t smile much, frowns less. He is not unhappy.

content to be added shortly

I guarantee it.

Please direct your attention

to the shiny new site: Billy Prophet's Unexpected Vengeance. An alternative version of similar events for the purpose of deeper understanding.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

don't ask

Nothing pulls you out of the desperate shadows of drunken longing like a sweaty naked man pounding on your window. I had just begun setting into a bottle of Wild Turkey, washing away the stains of the most recent one night stand that didn’t love me back, that had vanished where I could not follow into the sunlight and afternoon breezes of her smiling swing set companions to play at businesswoman and productive member of society when the Ghost of Christmas Ugly showed up fucked as hell, bare to his hairy ass and desperate for admission into what was scheduled to be a solo flight to the depths of nowhere.

God fuckshit damnit, Ronnie, I’ll let you in. Quit with the racket already. I have neighbors that don’t need to see me letting a naked assclown into my home. They have a bad enough impression already. I, with pangs of silence and a most infantile separation anxiety, broke from my bottle, got up and opened the door. He hurried past glancing back worriedly as if someone was looking for him or maybe that he had been followed from some clandestine dead drop by communist sleeper agents, yet still was surprisingly conscientious enough not to allow his overexposed flesh to defile mine.

Not looking at his cock or feeling any repressed need to compare, I grabbed one of Q’s bathrobes from his room and tossed it over, Q wasn’t around, he wouldn’t notice and I sure as balls didn’t care. He picked it up from the rumpled heap that hadn’t even remotely been on target and quickly struggled into the ill-fitting flannel with a somewhat baffled expression of relief and resignation. Now fully dressed for the occasion, he grabbed a beer from the fridge, handed one over to me. We chugged in momentary silence, oh blissful sweet oblivion coming on so softly, but not yet, but not yet. I set my empty down and got back to business of drowning myself in the juices of despoiled corn. He tossed his towards the trash, missed, grabbed another and joined me on the couch.

“What’s on?”

“Conan.”

“Sweet.”

because sometimes routine is enough and sometimes it isn't

A young man walks slowly into a bar, after presenting his id to prove that he of a reasonable age to further abuse his liver in public, to openly defile his temple, he proceeds to a table and orders a pint and a double of scotch. He finds his waitress to be attractive, not exceedingly so, but Goldilocks just right in the pleasant manner of a woman with whom you could converse freely and experience the mutual exchange of jokes and truths without being continually drawn to the overwrought plasticity of her scantily clad body. To be plain: she was not a hooker. He thought of telling her so, or at least some more appropriate manifestation of his feelings, but decided not to. He had already constructed the whole of her life in his mind’s eye and her former football playing reliving the glory days still a meathead corporate automaton fiancé would not take kindly to the kind of attention he was seeking to offer. Saving himself the inevitable physical humiliation he simply sipped at his whiskey and thought deep and disturbing thoughts. He finished his beer and scotch and ordered a treble bourbon in adherence to his drunkard’s idiom, to finish off the Thorogood cliché, and to give himself one last chance to grow some balls and talk to the attractive young filly that was clearly not wearing either engagement ring or wedding band. He finished his drink in anguished silence cursing his inability to relate to people, women in general, and most specifically pretty single waitresses who get off in 15 minutes and would love to go to an all nite diner if only he would ask. Of course, we all know how this story ends. After all, it’s been playing itself out on a loop for the past three years.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A love poem to a seamstress: petty diversions to stave off stagnant patterns

A man walks into an office with a gun. There is only one bullet. He gathers together everyone on the floor and forces them to watch his spectacle. He claims he will now turn the 39th floor circus into his own private Russian roulette show. No one tells him his gun is an automatic. A window breaks as he dies. A secretary calls maintenance to fix the window. As an afterthought she advises them to bring a mop for the blood.

***

All things end, he thought. He was not the crying sort and would shed no tears over his loss. He thought he loved her. he thought she loved him. He was wrong, clearly. That was all there was to it, right? He began to drink. There was only half a fifth of Zdenka vodka and a jug of Sunny D in the house. He made do.

All things considered, he told himself in the middle of his oblivion, it’s better that she left now than later after I did something really stupid like give her that ring I bought. He cursed himself for not realizing she was fucking around on him. He was a trusting sort; he figured they really were just guys in her drawing class. He went outside for some fresh air and promptly got himself lost.

He couldn’t remember his name or how to spell but he was able to count out enough money to buy a pint of Early Times and stumble into a park. Correction: cemetery. He woke up with a mouth as dry as a crypt above the crumbling remains of one Ethel Johansson, loving wife and mother. He felt dead. He felt reborn. His right wrist was bleeding slightly. He wondered if he had miserably failed to kill himself with a broken bottle or if it was just a drunken accident. Not really giving a fuck, he wandered down the aisles until he found his shoes laid neatly as an offering to Carl Joyner: dead before his time. He put them on and headed for the exit, a beer, and the effort to rid himself of the last remaining cobwebs of his previous life. Today was going to be a very good day. And tomorrow would be even better.

***

Well, you certainly left an impression.
That was the idea.
So I gathered.
Was it a good impression or a bad impression?
Two guys are vowing to kick your ass; a few girls think they are in love…
Good to hear. Any bars in the area?
It’s not even 2pm.
I need breakfast. You’re buying.

***

A man walks into a room full of people he does not know. He insults them and leaves. Life continues as it did before. In the room there is much posturing and vows of revenge that will never be acted upon. They think themselves free as their cages shrink. Go to sleep, little birdie, I laugh as I throw the shade o’er the top. The man feels better about himself, continues walking, gets in a fight with a stranger over a matter of twelve dollars. Neither die, nothing is solved, nothing is changed. The man walks on with a black eye, time well spent, and a little bit more amused than when he left his apartment in the morning. It has been a productive weekend. He thinks he may actually return to work on Monday. Though he remains uncertain and unconvinced. He does not like his job and is considering whether or not Monday would be the appropriate day to go down in blaze of glory. Perhaps, if his horoscope is markedly appropriate. Or wildly inaccurate. Either would satisfy his sense of fate and destiny. All his father ever taught his was how to throw a fight and how to fail to impress a classy lady and end up owing a hooker and fighting a pimp. But he gets by and he enjoys himself. And that’s more than I can say for you.

***

Spectacle is everything. He is a people watcher. He sits and stares as the world passes him by. He makes notes in his journal, on napkins, wherever. He notices the way they dress, the way they walk, they way they interact with each other. He gets good at it and can pick up minor nuances. He can spot a new relationship, a best friend who is sleeping with the others wife, a dishonest accountant. He characterizes them all, writes everything down for further analysis, files them away for later. He makes up names for his subjects, they are often wrong, but more often than not more appropriate than the actual. He is very good at this game. He is very bad at life. he has no friends, less money, and will die within the week. But he does not realize that he should be miserable with his lot, and so he does not act as if he is miserable. He dies with a smile on his face and a house full of files on all the people he watched making a go at living the life he was too afraid to begin.

***

I never made her smile. It was a startling realization. We broke up two weeks later. There was a minimum of indecency and afterwards they went their separate ways without rancor. She died 67 years later. He never saw her again and did not think of her that often. As far as how her life turned out after that day, I do not know. I didn’t pay attention and don’t feel bad about the situation. That is, as they say, life.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

a little bit more (third notice)

I wasn’t sleeping, she didn’t wake me up. Though I doubt she could have known that I would be awake. That I would be on a drinking and writing bender. No sleep till the bottle is empty and the pages are full. Though I was having far better luck with the emptying than the filling. All I had gotten down was the beginning sketches of a story of the Good Doctor: a well meaning young lad in over his head and struggling for air, for life, for love. Deeply in debt to some of the right people and all of the wrong ones, desperately trying to win the love and attention of the dearest little barmaid lecherous drunks ever laid eyes and roving hands on. Not knowing what to do or who to turn to, the Good Doctor finally turns to his last resort: the Saint, a man of ill repute yet notorious for his “miracles” (the only thing that could save him now). The Saint was a man that no one knew, no one could fathom, and everybody feared. The Good Doctor had truly hit bottom. Whether this was the ladder back up or the road into hell, though, was anybody’s guess. It was a pretty crap story, to be honest. An idea that would be less than likely to flesh out into anything worth calling a tale and possessing even less of a chance at insight, skill, or merit. At least I had put the first of the cracks into the Aswan High Writer’s Block. I suppose that might count for something. I was startled by the phone ringing. No one ever calls me. No one to the point that I have forgotten my ringtones and was wondering how AC/DC managed to work its way into the middle of The Velvet Underground. I didn’t recognize the number.

***

“Hello…?” What the fuck time is it? 4 am. Who the fuck calls at 4 am? I mean respectable folk know that the only appropriate times for a telephone call are between the hours of noon to 10 pm. Excluding lunch breaks and dinner time and leaving a contingency for afternoon naps. Don’t they?
“Isaac?” A girl? Is this that Debt Solutions telemarketer again?
“Yeah.” Play along. Always the better course.
“This is Samantha…from the bar…um…” Ho. Ly. Shit. So, not a telemarketer.
“Oh, hey. What’s up?” Be cool. She called you. A good sign. An excellent sign. Just fucking be cool.
“We’re you sleeping? Oh shit, you were sleeping, weren’t you?” No, but shouldn’t you have considered this before calling? Does this mean that something is wrong? Is something wrong? I am not good at dealing with emotional crises. I hope she doesn’t expect me to fight someone for her.
“No.” That’s it? That’s all you can say?
“So you’re awake? Are you busy?” Busy? Who’s busy at this hour?
“Nope. Why? Do you need something?” Because I don’t think I can kick anyone’s ass for you. I’m something of a pacifist. Coward, whatever.
“Yeah, um… Could you meet me?” Are you in jail?
“Sure. Where?” Don’t say jail. Don’t say jail. Don’t say jail.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

... (being part the second)

I was waiting for the end of the world. I was waiting for the sun to rise in the west. I was waiting for my contradictions to resolve themselves so that I might get down to the business of living and living rightly. No such luck. If my first impression of Sam was one of condescension and professional disdain, my second was no better. Having been duped into a night on the town with the lads, I left the comfort of my apartment and my bottle for crowded bars and overpriced watered down drinks. While a heavy glass of amber poison would have contented me for the evening, I was instead blessed with the joy of inane chatter with lesser mortals and the sly come hither insinuations of scantily clad harpies wishing only for me to buy them drinks and jewelry with the money that my fashion and flair implied but did not conceal. And there she was, in all her glory, the queen of the castle, sitting court above us all deigning only to speak with the most promising of gentlemen and even then casually dismissing all advances with ease and grace. The room loved her. It is safe to say that I despised her immediately.

Damn all beautiful women. I drank heavily that night. Some in the bars but mostly when I got home. When I surfaced later in the week I was more miserable than ever; haggard, unkempt, and exhausted. I may have slept a few nights in the park. That might have been a dream though. I can never tell. My writing was still blocked. Fuck it. I cleaned myself up and went to see Chuck. If he couldn’t make things better at least he would have a better/new way to forget. I may be drowning but I ain’t dead yet.

It was a different bar the next time. We were finally formally introduced and spoke at length. Or so the story goes. While I was clearly there physically that evening, I have no recollection whatsoever of the events and unfortunately have to trust what little information I have been able to piece together from my detail deficient friends as to the true nature of the events. She was wearing blue. The only image from the experience that remains within the grasp of my conscious mind is that she was wearing blue. Blue to match her piecing eyes, her dark tresses falling loosely over pale bare shoulders and a smile promised warmth for a man so long alone in the cold and desperate winter winds of solitude, of exile.

She came up like she knew me the next night. My street cred skyrocketed with everyone who saw us together. No longer the surly degenerate leering over his drinks at the frolicking of unencumbered souls; anyone who was in with Sam was in. Fucking high school all over again. I went with it. What else could I do? She’s beautiful and I have no self-respect. We talked about her mostly: it seemed safer. She proved herself to be of far more depth than I had thought possible. It won’t stop me from judging books by their covers, maybe a glance or two at the backside, but it certainly improved the evening having someone intelligent and witty to banter with. I almost got the impression she found my posturing attractive (cute at the very least). I did not expect her to call at 4 am though.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Number in Wrong Place (first installment)

“What’s the deal with your clocks?” She’s a morning person. Fuck. I have a bitch of a hangover and was not planning on moving or speaking for another couple of hours. Looks like that idea has gone to shit. This whole thing might not work out.
“Wha?” Dazed/best I can manage.
“Well they all read different times, and …” checking her cell, “none of them are accurate.” I suppose I could come up with some tale as to how my notions of time and existential reality differ from that of the consensus. But that’s mostly bullshit. There is no reason for it, like most of the shit in my life, I just felt like it at the moment and haven’t worried about it since.
“Yeah…”
“It’s just that it’s a little weird. Doesn’t it bother you? I mean, not knowing what time it is…” No. Not at all. Does it bother you? They’re just clocks.
“I really don’t notice them.”
“Oh.” And now she'll never call again. Odds that this is the last conversation we will ever have: 20:1.

***

Samantha is a rising star in her law firm. Just a year out of law school and she is already starting to make a name for herself. Or, this is what I hear. While being attracted to powerful, opinionated, driven career women, I couldn’t give a fuck about their actual careers. I met her in a coffee shop and then again in a bar and then again in a bar and then again in a bar and then she decided to ask me out. I still don’t know how she got my number. I don’t remember giving it to her. Of course, there’s always been a fair bit of my life that I can’t remember.

Everything started out fine…

I hadn’t been writing, I was lost. I can’t write if I’m not settled, I’m not settled if I am not writing. I was in a spiral. When Sam bumped into me while I was waiting for my coffee I was spaced as fuck and had she not been startlingly beautiful, controlling the entire room with her presence, her glow, I might not have noticed her at all. She was on the phone, talking into one of those Bluetooth fucking earpieces as if it didn’t make her look like a preposterous fuckwit, as if she was granted an air of importance, nobility simply because she would now always be in the middle of the phone call of her fucking life. I sneered and thought less of her. Fucking drones and their jobs and their notions of “importance.” Fucking who needs it?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

go on, take the money and run

It's raining. A driving downpour that smelled of both death and rebirth. Underneath umbrellas, underneath a streetlamp, two seemingly inconsequential gentlemen are waiting.

"I'm hungry."
"Me too. But there's nothing as can be done."
"He's late."
"They often are."
"Are you sure he's coming?"
"Nope."
"So how long do we wait?"
"Until he comes."
"What if he doesn't?"
"Someone else's problem."
"But if he never comes..."
"I think there are some chips in the car."
"Oh ... I think I can wait a little longer, though."
"Probably for the best."

...

"So are we going to kill this one?"
"Probably."
"You don't know?"
"I wasn't told."
"Then why are we here?"
"To wait."
"And...?"
"The answers will come. Or they won't. No matter."

Headlights in the distance, approaching. A black luxury automobile pulls to the curb. The driver exits, leaving the car running, walks round and opens the rear passenger side door holding above it an umbrella. A man in the full length fur coat steps from the car. He and the driver are dead before he can fully straighten. The only sound is the rain and the whisper of the engine.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

conversations in idleness; more to come

Two seemingly inconsequential gentlemen stand in the shadows of Whitman’s derelict warehouse district; waiting.

“So, I’ve been reading this new book.”
“Is it another one about time travel? Time-traveling pirate ninjas maybe.”
“No need to be condescending… And they are time-traveling strippers.”
“Well that is much better.”
“Everybody loves a stripper. I know I do.”
“And what might these strippers be doing with their merry little time jaunts?”
“Trying to save Lincoln.”
“What?? What a horrible, ill-advised, catastrophic plan.”
“What do you mean?”
“Along the timeline that Lincoln was not assassinated, the one where Johnny Wilkes turns the gun on himself instead, the world goes to shit. Lincoln becomes the most fearsome tyrant in all of recorded history. Way beyond that petty orgies and making your horse senator kiddie shit.”
“Where do you get this stuff? You act like you know this for certain. Like it’s fact and not just some pulp novel I found discarded in a bus station bathroom.”
“Yeah, well. I read it in a book or something.
(awkward pause)
“You know, if they were traveling back in time to save Alexander Hamilton, I could support that. He should have lived. Fucking Aaron Burr. Plus old Alex would have loved to have been rescued by strippers. He was a big fan. Invented the g-string you know. Not that anyone wants to give him credit.”
(less awkward but equally pregnant pause)
“Want to hit up On the Roxxx later?”
“We’ll see if there’s time… Hold up, I think this might be him. Quiet.”

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sorry, Jeff, but this is part of it too/writing as therapy

I need a break from the crazy dull monotony we call life. I mean, shit (and let's be on our merry way). who actually wants this? To blend into this droning choir of halfdead dying soulless dumbfucks. The world is far too full of people doing nothing, shuffling on and off this mortal coil never raising their eyes to the heavens, never mattering, moving or contributing a verse to the powerful play. Accuse me of nonsense, lies or the crazy. do it, I have done it all myself. I no longer care. You hold none of the keys to the dungeons I desire. I have come from beyond the goblin city and ... you ... have ... no ... power over me.

My head is full. Snappy commercial jingles, books, movies, songs, words, thoughts, images, ideas, slander, prose, nonsense, insight, enlightenment, glory, bullshit, lies.

Growing up at the end of the world doesn’t do much for a body. Broken, shattered before I even had a chance. My potential lost I know not even what of. I could jump but I don’t even know if I would fall. Nothing is certain. That might be a problem. We aren’t sure. We are never sure. That might be a problem too. no one is looking into it. but the answers might surface in another one of those dreams that speak to me truths of events I have never seen, blending so well into my real life as to blur all distinction/maybe I’ve been drinking too much/spending too much time alone with only the voices and the lies and the signal(noise) to keep me company.

Look for a pattern. Always look for patterns. I have never been able to shed the analytical side of my life. I gave up math and science in college (I found that I was unsuited to putting forth the effort and I just did not give a fuck about all that shit you need to learn before you get to the good theoretical shit/same with some of that philosophy and so I fell into the books who will sell you their lies for cheap). But there is pattern recognition in my soul. That innate aneristic desire to order the goddamn world that went and got itself all fucked up. Of course, my order and Their Order and two completely different motherfucking things. We would be wise not to conflate the two. Fuck sure on that. I am not nor have I ever been a member of the ________ Party. Whatever. A passive sense of distrust towards life, the universe, everything, and ideology in general. I read people decently. They live by their patterns. I am afraid that I might do the same. And with all that effort expended on cultivating unpredictability, I would find that rather disappointing.

Speeding towards infinity, the balance is off and too many are dying for no good goddamn reason and the fuck of it all is I can’t seem to tell if I care. I don’t know anymore. But if it doesn’t happen to me/near me, does it matter? Does it really happen? Does life go on outside the walls of my skull? Because I know that I couldn’t imagine something this reasonable, horrible, and boring. Not my way. Never my way. I think, that is, that I have a way and so…something.

The thing is, there are answers in here somewhere. I see them in my sleep. I know things that I can’t couldn’t (shouldn’t?) know. but they vanish in that fleeting alarm fucked waking. It’s fucking killing me. this having a job shit. this waking up and going and doing someone else’s work. this is not my work. my work is here: with the bottle, the page, the signal, the noise, and everything so ever muchly much more. And I never get to it because the world is driving the sense out of me with its mindnumbing schlock and bullshit, its cleverness and stupidity, its failed attempts at meaning and usefulness, at relevance. The world is a endless collection of dying specimens of an experiment gone wrong. Clogged with drones and rotting flesh, I know not which way is up. I don’t know what I am thinking, I am not in control and the lunatics are on the grass (there is no room upon the hill, the moon or anywhere else the songs tell us to gather does that mean I am not alone, that others have gone before or that I am more alone than ever, that the signal was never meant for me and I got it all wrong all over again.).

Get all this crazy out now in the dark before you go back out into the sun and see people (you remember people don’t you?). am I just a misanthrope? A cynic, a liar? Or am I dreamer and a prophet who has lost faith and lost his way? Is there a difference? Can’t it be both? All these questions no answers not even proper grammar or punctuation no wonder I fear I would be unable to teach the language to foreigners. Just another lie to get myself out of this place going anywhere have shoes will travel.

Does anybody really read this? Does anybody really know what’s going on?

I wrote a short little piece not long after college and then I decided for fun that I would annotate it, that I would meticulously mark each deviation from the standard etc and the reason for it, each quote/reference and why I felt compelled to use such a line at such a moment. It took a while (it was only a short piece, it would be hard as fuck to say do it for a rambling shitshow like this (try it, I dare you/double dog dare you/I’ll take the physical challenge) and ended up getting longer as the annotations inevitably needed annotations of their own and so on. I’m sure I did not finish the job. I have no patience for such meticulous actions, no Danielewski I. I don’t know why I mention it. I suppose it serves to highlight the perils of influence or perhaps the nature of my writing style (perhaps even giving insights into my psyche/I wonder what it would be like to be psychoanalyzed/I wonder what they might find, if it would mean anything or whatever).

I lose track of things, fall off the page, digress, whatever, I know not what of. I gave up seeking all the answers. I never find



"What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know it's mine." - the Beatles

Fate, it seems, is not without an overdeveloped sense of coincidence.

(a late edition, not that you would have noticed)
It’s a tricky thing: being. I suppose it might get easier as times passes (time always passes even though it doesn’t even exist/never enough always out of) but I have no knowledge of that. if you don’t think about it or if you drown it in booze and other assorted chemicals you can come to an approximate state of ignorance and bliss. But that never lasts and like a shame spiral it takes you farther down to a hellpit that is nowhere near the bottom that anyone wants to be hitting. Not the good kind of hitting bottom like in Fight Club where they shed the bullshit of the material world for that sweet existential human reality. No one is desirous to be beholden to a master whether he be man, machine, system, or supposed leisure activity. “Freedom’s just another word for having nothing left to lose”/“Only when we have nothing are we free to do anything.” And life goes ever onward down that road that no one takes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It’s all reaction; I’ve got nothing of my own

***

“No one actually says shit like that.”
“I have.”
“To girls?”
“Surprisingly enough.”
“And it works?”
“Fuck no.”
“Ha haha.”
“I mean, it endears them to me and all. Gets them thinking I’m a swell enough fellah. But it sure as hell don’t make any of them want to fuck me.”
“Balls yo.”
“Don’t I know it. I’m just not a smooth individual. That making myself look good shit just don’t come easy to me. Don’t much come at all.”

***

“Isaac, I don’t even know you. How can you say that you love me?”
“I can say anything I want. Truth of the matter is, there some things you just know that don’t need reasons. This is one of them.”
“I don’t even know you. This isn’t going to work.”
“Fair enough. I get it. But we both know that’s not your real reason.”

***

“Who are you?”
“Who do you want me to be?”
“Who are you?”
“Does it matter?”
“Who are you?”
“I don’t know.”

***

“Where do we go from here?”
“Anywhere we want. Anywhere we can. Don’t much make no difference.”
“Home, then?”
“And where might that be?”

***

“Hey you … wake up.”
“Not yet. It’s not time yet.”

Saturday, May 26, 2007

the impossibility of being human

My life is clipped from glossy magazines (full of nothing, full of shit). Each bitter shred layered over so many others; all sense taken out, purposefully removed perhaps (or not) and all these garbled eggs covering over the emptiness or whatever passes for emptiness these days (I guess that would be commercials and prime time filler). Singing at the top of my lungs only when I am sure no one can hear me, because fuck them, because I want nothing to do with them (they might judge me, or worse, they might ignore me).

***
the night is young and so am I: a pleasant meandering for your enjoyment

It was a dark and stormy night and I just knew for fuck sure that I was going to wake up in a gutter. I wasn't celebrating and I wasn't mourning. I was bored and it was just one o' them nights.

Time was ticking interminably towards the grave and Bernie was the sort of man who made a point of measuring that sort of thing. He ordered a triple bourbon neat from Chucky at the bar and settled into his favorite little dark corner. Kat was going to be here tonight. He was sure of that. The rest was just waiting. Waiting was not, however, the sort of thing that Bernie was ideally suited for. So he was hoping for sooner rather than later and alone rather than with friends.

Jenny watched the three wanna be Abercrobie boys stare at her from across the room. Not even the slightest bit of subtlety. What did they honestly think was going to happen? That she was going to lie down on the floor right here in the bar and let the three of them run a train just because they paid $35 for a t-shirt with a stupid phrase on it or god knows how much for those jeans with all the cleverly placed dipshit tears? Her night was not looking up. She ordered another shot from Chucky and went looking for a real man.

He had stumbled into the place mostly by accident. Greg had just wanted a little break from the driving rain, but then he saw her and forgot about whatever else it was that he was doing before. He sat down at the bar and ordered a beer; surveyed the area. It looked like she was alone, despite the fact that he was not the only young professional planning on making a move. And he left his wingman at home with his umbrella.

Chucky poured me another corrazon on the rocks (lime wedge, salted rim) and I settled comfortably into the night. Jenny was in again stealing the spotlight from all the other girls, never really knowing why, never really wanting it. She had no idea how good she looked. Never did. I sipped casually and watched the dramas unfold. Why the hell not? I was waking up in the gutter, right?

Kat walked in from out the rain; drenched, beautiful.

And the story played out, just like I expected.

***

So I got distracted by a movie and decided to end it there. If you have a particular favorite way you think it should end, leave it as a comment. Peace Love Decadence.

Friday, May 25, 2007

it was something to do / I should have been doing something else

That's right, the song you just enjoyed was indeed that sweet summer classic: "Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out)" by Citizen King. It's been a while, but it was due.

This is Billy Prophet coming to you from out of the depths of the Ether. It is currently 12:35 in the am and here's to hopin' all y'all kiddies are warm and snugly in your little beds right now(alone or with friends/because what's life without friends). But for those of you still awake (working, boozing, or fishing for new relationships in that Thursday night party scene) here's a Beatles number to ease you on your way: "Can't Buy Me Love" off A Hard Day's Night.

Back in the studio again, I have a little question for all you pretty young things out there in the "real world" tuning in tonight (and no, it's not going to be another open invitation to a party back at my place). How do you deal with the crushing weight of reality as your dreams slowly crumble beneath you somewhere along your commute to a job you still can't figure out how you got stuck with? How, indeed? Keep those calls coming. I'll be here all night, because you know I don't sleep. Anyway, here's some more mood music for ya. Straight out of the bar scene from Top Gun, it's the Righteous Brothers, and it would seem you've lost something. Here's looking at you, kid.

"Olympia, WA" by Rancid
"Hotel Song" by Regina Spektor
and
"Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses

And we're back... I didn't want anyone to get tired of the sound of my voice. I know some of you aren't quite as in love with it as I am. How could you be? So, I let the music speak for itself. However, that does mean that we are right about ready to take caller.

Billy: Hello, Caller?
Caller: Hello?
Billy: You're on the air with the Voice of the Wilderness. What do you have to say for yourself?
Caller: Billy? Is that really you?
Billy: The one and only.
Caller: Wow. Awesome. I'm a big fan.
Billy: That's good to hear, sir. Everyone loves a fan. So what do you have to say?
Caller: What?
Billy: Do you have anything to say now that you are on the show?
Caller: I love your show! WOOOOOOOOO!
Billy: Ok. So that was productive. And in his honor, here are The Raconteurs with "Together"

Tag Team, back again. Do I dare take another caller? Yes, they dare.

Billy: Hello, Caller, you're on the air.
Caller 2: Hello, Billy.
Billy: Oooh, it's a lady. How you doin'?
Caller 2: Quite well, thank you. I was calling in regards to the query you posed the audience earlier. The one which raised the issue of how one was to deal with the toil of daily life while still maintaining one's dreams (or at least attempting to do so).
Billy: Indeed. And your response?
Caller 2: Well, the situation is indeed quite difficult. Fiscal responsibilities, social and familial obligations, and the elusive nature of "achieving one's wildest dreams" in general pose a serious obstacle to overcome. It is certainly easier to give in to the sea of troubles, to let it wash over and to drown in the conforming mass of humanity. However, I do believe that the possibility to rise above it all and truly succeed on one's own terms exists and it requires but one thing.
Billy: And that would be?
Caller 2: Luck.
Billy: A woman after my own heart.
Caller 2: On one final and somewhat more personal note, and I hope you do not find me too forward in saying this, I find you quite attractive and wanted you to know that.
Billy: Thank you, Caller. Thank you. And now to close the evening: Death Cab For Cutie and "I Will Follow You Into The Dark." I'm off to my warm bottle of bourbon and my cold empty bed. Here's to the silences.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I was born on a Saturday

it's been a while.

It's been a while since I sat down with a bottle and just let loose on the page. I've been writing. Not much stops me from that. But it's been so neat, so ordered, so predictable, so dull. I tried to be clever and I tried to be interesting. You know, say something that matters. As if I have anything to say that matters. Peace Love Decadence. And so, on a regular Friday evening in (I have a to be up early tomorrow and no one was answering their phones anyway) I have returned to the blank slate to pour forth my soul, my anger, my rage and frustration, my bilious screed calling for and predicting the downfall of humanity. The new Modest Mouse album is on the box, the fan is dying in the corner threatening to leave me sweating away in a lovely Las Vegas spring evening, and I have two glasses of rye sitting in front of me. Seagram's VO. It was cheap and I was low on funds and unwilling to pay 19 bucks for fucking Wild Turkey. The bottle promises that this is Canada's finest and it the label tells it true then I have another reason to hate our brothers to the north. As if the Sundowner incident wasn't enough. It was. Whatever. I figure it will serve. Though the Turkey would have done it better. It just sets that perfect mother fucking mood. Eh.

I don't know where I am going from here. Not having much to say and the mailbox letting me down again this afternoon, I am somewhat at a loss for deep thoughts and meaningful conversation. Lapsing into a convenient fiction...

I am a lost and lonely mother fucker. I am full of dislocated fear. I wander around the city streets at night waiting for trouble to find me. Hoping to find something anything that will show me the way undercut my sensibilities or force my hand. I never had to knock on wood, I have never been in a fight, and my mettle has never been tested. There has been no crucible in my life and I cannot say that I am worthy of anything/I do not know the measure of myself and measure is unceasing. Mayhaps I am as useless as I fear. Mayhaps I am a awesome as I dream and imagine. Yes, I did say 'mayhaps'. I will now cross the bridge always looking down, always wondering what would happen if i jumped. I have seen to many movies. I have to wild an imagination. I want my life to be cinematic, I want it to mean something and draw to the logical conclusion at the end of the twenty second minute. Thus far I have been continually disappointed. Shit didn't turn out like it was supposed to and the pilot failed miserably. Even in Japan. I guess I'll never get that chance to fly to Paris in a jet nowhere near as sumptious as what Ted Danson would merit. Life has gotten beyond me.

I would tell you I love you if I knew what that meant. So long have I been shuffling along this mortal coil, unseeing, unfeeling, alone. Unlove-ed? If I ever knew how to feel, and feel deeply, to draw from the wells of human emotion, to let myself feel and fail and be - if I ever could do any of that and tap into my innate sentimentality, well, I sure as fuck don't remember how to do it now. I think I could love. I think. I mean, I read about love and seen it on tv. I could be a great Chandler to your Monica (Sawyer to your Kate). If you gave me a chance. Maybe. I might just be saying that because I want to belive it, I want to lie to myself. Because if it isn't true then I have nothing to offer the world at all. I keep walking because even if the streetlights don't drown out the white noise and the lampposts refuse to tell me what they are doing, at least it gets me somewhere. Closer to you or farther away. Because it has to be one or the other. I hate it here in limbo, waiting, watching, taking that long walk to the mailbox in the quest for truth and my future. No one knows what Fate has in store for us, no one what knows how long the thread will be or if Destiny is bluffing the pot on a 4-7 off suit. But at least I would be comforted it I had a slight incling of where I might be sleeping in three months. It doesn't seem like too much to ask. But fuck do I know? I see through the glass but darkly. I miss you though. I miss myself too. I think I used to be better than this. I think I used to be more. I can't remember when that was though. And it isn't even because I drank the memory away.

I'm no good on my own. I realize that being a misanthrope precludes me from the majority of interpersonal relationships, and I accept that. I don't want anything to do with those. And I am not a sidekick or a follower in need of a Batman to gently direct me to which nook of the Batcave I am to hang my shiny green tights. I do like to think of myself as an x factor though. That one spice that if it wasn't there you probably wouldn't miss it, but when it's around goddamn but does it ever make the meal amazing. I've always needed an audience. The voices in my head are too easily impressed and too busy arguing with each other to notice much of what I'm doing. With a crowd I have a chance to shine. To impress, to amuse, to offend, to intrigue, and perhaps, if the stars are correctly aligned, to woo.

I hate money. Nearly as much as I hate not having any. I hate my job. This should come as no surprise to anyone who really knows me. But it's not so much anything about my job specifically that I hate. Ok, so there are quite a few things that I easily could do without. But I am quite certain I would find those in any job. Which brings me to my point: I hate working. Or rather, all the things that have come to be associated with working and having a job: a routine, the need to wake up at specific times in order to "go to work" and "be on time," the need to know what day/month/year/hour it is, the people that I am forced to deal with and the pleasant way I am forced to deal with them, dress codes and the other small indignities that threated to break my rebel soul (feel free to laugh at the absurdity/I don't really believe it anymore either). If only I could be paid to write as I would (full on explitive and innuendo/grammar be damned) and the rest of life simply allowed to fall into place. If it wasn't completly impossible and utterly unworkable as a job in the 'real world' I suppose this is what you could call my dream. The only other one I have is not being alone forever and you know, having kids, so that whatever other legacy I leave behind at least I could, with hope, have at least some positive impact. And to think, I'm normally a glass half empty kind a fellow.

It was 11:56 pm. Nearly the 13th. Nearly Sunday. So much of my life is defined by those four minutes. I've been nearly a lot of things. But I was born into the chaos of Saturday night. And there is just no escaping that. I hope you can love me despite my shortcomings.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

meeting a couple dames

The scene at Cole’s isn’t bad. A lot of old timey Buffalo memorabilia on the walls. Nothing I could really appreciate, but Jack knew. I could have asked him about it all, but I wasn’t too worried. The music was a little loud, which wouldn’t be a problem if they had a system capable of handling it. Instead it was tinny and warped and the cones threatening to blow any second. No one seemed to notice so I guess that’s par for the course here. Jack and I grabbed blue lights from the bar and mingled, checking out the vibe.

“Normally it’s more crowded.” Tuesday at Cole’s is supposed to be a big thing here in Buffalo; Jack’s been talking it up all week.

“Maybe it’s finals week for these guys too.” Wasn’t that the reason none of the other guys had been able to make it out tonight?

“Nah, that’s just for UB.”

“No idea. Maybe it’s just too early.” Is 11 pm too early? I have no real frame of reference. I don’t hit the bars much in Vegas. It’s easier to just get a case and hang out over at Dean’s. We grabbed a booth and a pitcher.

“So how’s Monica doing?” Picking up a 35 year old at a bar. Talk about smooth.

“Fuck off, Isaac.” I do believe I found my way into a bachelorette party that night. Somehow I don’t think they wanted me there. I don’t really remember what happened

“Was she not able to get a sitter tonight?”

“That was her babysitter on Saturday. The crazy blonde one you were all over.” Oh, right. Her. That was what happened after the bachelorette. That did not go well. I don’t think she even talked to me. Too busy dancing alone.

“Oh yeah. So who was watching the kids?”

“Dude, it’s not like I’m going to call her.” I know. That’s why she should have picked me. I would have called her back. No. No, that’s not true.

“Sorry, man. It is still a little funny.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“Well, we could wander around again. I mean, there are more people now…”

“With the pitcher?”

“I could carry it. Drink straight from it.” That wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. I could impress all these young coeds with my drinking prowess. Because that worked so well back in college.

“That would be your style.” I really need to change my style. That drinking thing is as much responsible for keeping me in this rut as everything else. Well, the job is probably a little more responsible. And I do hate living in Vegas. Fucking shit town.

“Or maybe I should work on not coming off like an alcoholic.”

“Probably a better idea.” You have it so easy, Jack. You don’t have to know that every instinct you have is wrong, that every decision you make you will ultimately regret. Just call me George Costanza.

“Any word on getting another pong game going?” Pong. The games of kings. Perhaps the most skill intensive drinking game extant and a glorious way to spend an evening. Or afternoon. Whatever.

“So far nothing. No trucks. No garages or rooms with high enough ceilings to really loft the ball.” Fuck.

“Beirut again?” Beirut. There is simply no comparison.

“I think it’ll have to be. Schmidt’s been wanting to get a game in at his place. After the Sabers’ game maybe.”

“Word. Want to get another pitcher?” My answer to everything: drink up. Yeah, I suppose it does get depressing. But it’s something to do. After all, there is nothing harder that waiting for the time to pass.

“Actually, I don’t really even feel like finishing this. I sort of feel like just going.”

“Yeah?” Really? Because this was my last shot at hooking up on this vacation. Last good shot anyway.

“Yeah. It’s too hard to pick up girls here if you aren’t in a group. It’s just the dynamic of the place. Groups meet each other here. We’re just too undermanned to do any good.” What a fucking excuse. I could go up to a group of hot strangers if you wanted me to. I could. What? I could.

“Too bad the Dawg couldn’t make it.”

“I know.”

“Alright,” finishing my beer and standing, “let’s be out of this bitch.” And after shoving our way through the now packed room all the way to the door, Jack turned.

“My phone.”

“What?”

“My phone. I forgot it back at the booth.”

“Awesome.” The booth wasn’t empty when we got there and the phone was nowhere to be seen. Not that I was looking. Now occupying the table were two rather buxom young ladies wearing low cut shirts which, from their sitting and my standing position, offered a rather nice view. The phone wasn’t my priority. Unfortunately, Jack was still a little too preoccupied with getting it back to fully appreciate our new friends.

“Excuse me; have either of you seen a phone? We were just sitting here and I think I forgot it on the table.” So which one do you want, Jack. Because I’ll take anything

“Oh, so it was yours.” The blonde is attractive, tan. She doesn’t look too tall though. More Jack’s type than mine.

“So you’ve seen it.?”

“Yeah. But I just gave it to one of the waiters. If we knew you were coming back we would have held on to it but…” Or there’s the redhead. Seems kinda quiet. Letting blondie do all the talking.

“Do you know which waiter?”

“Umm, not exactly. But I’ll be able to point him out to you when he comes back around.” Jack, forget about the fucking phone. There are more pressing concerns at the moment. Look at the situation we have here: no guys, no group. Work with me here. And then red, out of nowhere, kicked the conversation into high gear.

“Don’t worry. Your phone will be fine. We’re down with O.P.P.” Did she just say what I thought she just said? She can’t mean that. Shotgun.

“Oh really?”

“Yeah.” Did she just wink at me? In that case, allow me to sit down here next to you. I guess we don’t have to pick, Jack. She picked for us.

“I don’t get it.” Jack, what do you mean you don’t get it? How do you not know that line? You especially should know that line.

“You know, ‘other people’s property.’” She rolled her eyes. I commiserated. Jack still looked confused, but let it drop.

“So, hey, my name’s Isaac.” Insert mischievous grin.

“Caroline.” And she giggled. I shot Jack a look. He nodded back. Game on.

“And I’m Ramona!” Easy there, blondie. The spotlight doesn’t have to be on you all night. Jack took his seat. Everyone in their right place.

Caroline, despite her Naughty By Nature allusions, was often quite shy. It was like she was afraid of what she might say, but you could see the spark in her, that wicked troublemaking side just begging to be let out. Ramona, on the other hand, wouldn’t shut up. I don’t think her well went too deep either. Sorry, Jack. How could I have known? At least she’s pretty.

Turns out they were both seniors at Buff State. Which I guess should have meant something to me. Caroline an English major with no job prospects despite the looming graduation and Ramona a business/marketing major all set to join some family business or whatever. I can’t really remember what we talked about. I left the details of my life vague. They didn’t need to hear how depressing it was. Jack got his phone back. We shared a few more pitchers and everything went smoothly. We headed out just before last call. Jack and Ramona took his car and Caroline and I followed after.

We hadn’t cleaned up the beer cans and such from the last drink fest, so I suppose we should have been embarrassed. But, you know, whatever. They had already committed. They weren’t leaving now. With little fanfare, Jack and Ramona bid Caroline and I goodnight and retired to the bedroom. I set up the air mattress in the middle of the floor like I had every other night, spread Jack’s Bills blanket and we lay down together.

Caroline was still lying there next to me when I woke up. I wasn’t really afraid that she would have left in the night. But there is that moment just at waking when nothing is fully certain and everything is still half a dream and the worst crosses my mind. Her eyes fluttered open and she smiled at me.

“Hi.”

“Hi.” I heard Jack and Ramona stirring in the bedroom. They made enough noise for us to hear and waited long enough for us to get decent. How considerate. There was some talk of us all going to breakfast but Jack was quick enough to talk our way out of that and, upon double checking that we had correct numbers and a few goodbye kisses, they were gone.

Jack walked back to the living room, turned on the TV, and sat in the recliner. I grabbed the last beer from the fridge, popped it and took the couch. I cracked my back and my neck, stretched a bit, and took a long pull on the beer. Walker was on. Nothing quite like starting the day with a roundhouse kick. Thank you, Chuck Norris.

“That air mattress isn’t as comfortable as you would think.”

“I think there might be a leak.”

“Ah.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

sing a song of

It’s like having a dream you can’t remember. It’s like killing a man in the dead of winter with the afternoon sun shining and a gentle breeze at your back. It’s like going to work everyday because you can’t remember how to do anything else, you died years ago and your body just forgot to tell you. To be fair, everyone else is just as dead. You can’t kill a corpse, just flog it into submission. Wake up, Isaac. Your story hasn’t begun yet. Quit dreaming about places that don’t exist and people that don’t love you. Quit talking to yourself, it will make you seem crazy.

I’m trying to remember something I never knew. I’m trying to live a life that isn’t mine. Slowly, slowly it’s all draining away. I never had a handle on it, but if only and. WHY!?!

I’ve lost my youth staring into the Ether waiting for Life to happen. Empty, no point of escape or whatever (is left). Where do we go from here? Staring still, with such sad, empty eyes. No pain here, just that dull empty throb of boredom. Suburban, because that means something. And no one notices. And no one can tell. Of course he’s happy. Of course he likes his job. Of course he likes us. Of course. Of course. I stopped explaining. No one knew what I was rambling on about anyway.








No.

***

Caution: I am not microwave safe.

Sometimes you get lucky: sometimes you repeat something stupid enough times it starts to sound really smart. Who’s going to disagree with me? Who’s going to waste the time to care?

Nothing is an effort. It’s all a routine. Do this, do that, do the other. Shuffle to work. Shuffle to play. Drink because it’s there. Sleep because the bed is warm. Drift off because the current lost its focus, or its will to live. Who can say? None of us were paying attention either.

There are these moments where I wish I had the will power to actually go out there and engage the world/scream something anything from the mountain tops be it love or rage or the best recipe for cookies/disaster available this side of wherever. But I’m not a poet and I am too afraid to be a drifter. Just another guy smart enough to know he’s miserable, indifferent enough to stay that way. I can’t even meditate. Om mani padme huh? I understand far too well. One problem among many. So it goes (another one dies forgotten).

(insert pretty picture of a horsey - dead and in the process of being beaten)

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Lyrics to upcoming debut ep: "I lost my promise ring in math class"

I play bass in an avant noise rock conspiracy oft called Spurious Immolation. These are some of my songs or whatever…

Dionysian splendor. We forget much more than we remember. A record collection, I guess. And plenty of booze. I’ll race myself to the bottom of this bottle if you’ll race me to the bottom of the next. One line is much the same as any other. Sleeping isn’t the problem. Work isn’t either. No matter what I say. But I still don’t like you; please don’t talk to me. I’m going to hit on that blonde over there. Be my wingman. Another morning/what just happened last night?

Supposed nihilistic poetry. Stomp out the light. Don’t breathe in the fumes. If Dark Side of the Moon is playing. Fragment (consider revising). Keep correcting me in my carelessness so that I might exalt in my madness. Smile. Doubt. One can never be sure. Unless I’m dreaming or lying. And even then I might not know. Just another something or other to do while listening to music.

Purposefully inaccessible. It started out as a joke or an attempt to gain credibility I didn’t deserve by trying to be something I was not, I mean, I can’t say what I am with any certainty but I don’t think I am one of those self-righteous bastards. Look at me, please, as a middle child I must insist you give me more attention than everybody else even if I don’t deserve it / come watch Dumb and Dumber with me or I wish I had me one of those tuxedoes and just go, man, just go…

Just another drunken gate crasher. Even Peter forgot how to crow. Love is a wailing and desperate lie / crashing upon the rocks breaking into too many shards to count. To fall asleep (perchance to dream / dream of you / dream of you and me together): count backwards from three billion. The pull of emptiness can’t hold you back from … well, everyone’s got something to hold on to even when it’s just a stray clump of grass on the edge of a cliff with no root system to speak of. Hopefully the greatest lie ever told has at least some truth to it. Because if love is bullshit, what’s left?