Friday, August 27, 2010

Still Dreaming

A Beautiful Dream”

You once told me “I will dream for you a beautiful dream” and it was beautiful. Thank you for the time we had. I hope you find what you seek. When: Monday, June 21, 2010. Where: In passing. You: Woman. Me: Man.

The sun once shone through my window; that’s what would wake me up. And there’s a part of me that knows where that sun has gone. But I don’t know if I am aware of that facet of myself—that layer of my personality who wants to wake up in the morning. That part of my personality was probably with you when you left. Maybe it stole away in your suitcase with all the ironic stickers, or your guitar case that you were carrying when we met. I remember when you told me of the things you saw when you closed your eyes at night, and how they inspired me. I remember.

We’ve gone down different paths now and I know you will be happy. That is, I think you’ll be happy. At least I can hope. There’s a part of me (a different part) that thinks you can never be happy without me. The part of me that knows you can be happy without me was in your glass pipe we used to smoke out of and watch silly things; it was in your teddy bear that often slept between us at night. I want that part of me back, damn it.

It was cold when we met, right at the start of the New Year in Eugene, and the frost was debating between melting away or sticking around to watch everyone take their Christmas decorations down. It was definitely watching me as I was doing just that, right next to the café where you were playing that guitar. I was too worried about the slippery ladder I was entrusting my life with to hear you singing about your deepest thoughts. You finished your once-steaming mug of black coffee and put away your guitar, hoisted the case behind your back and walked back to what I assumed was home—right past my house.

Now I don’t remember the date, but I do remember you calling out to me, saying something about how you didn’t know anyone actually took down their holiday decorations before the month of March, followed by the typical regional cry of “Right on man!” I heard you compliment me and it made my day. I then had realized that somewhere in the back of my mind I had heard you singing just a moment ago, and I was going to compliment you back, but you were gone before I got a chance to. So I sighed and continued with my chore.

I finally saw you again nearly a month later at Horsehead. I had rationalized to myself that I wanted to go out for Happy Hour not because I wanted to drink for drinking’s sake, but because the whiskey would warm me up. That and I couldn’t afford to turn my heater on at home. I walked by you and waved, but you didn’t look. I was feeling shy or maybe generally expecting you not to remember me. So sitting alone outside with my book, sipping away at a hot toddy, puffing away at a cigarette, the day was ending and night beginning. It does get lonely though, to lose myself in the dream of a book surrounded by all of these characters, only to look up and see my empty drink and table. Though this time I looked up and saw you coming back out from outside and you waved. You had remembered me! You waved me over to your table and I met some new folks.

We talked about art and music and objectivism, but not about love or lust, which I covered by internal monologue. Happy Hour turned to Witching Hour and you ended up on my porch, playing that guitar that I heard you play. I heard you bare your soul before I even saw your face. I don’t think many lovers could say that about you, or anyone. In whichever case you played your music and I loved it. You asked me to sing along and I said I didn’t sing but you were doing well enough for both of us. You sang a song about Christmas lights which made me smile, and I asked you if you had taken yours down. You said you didn’t bother with those kinds of things, and I said okay. You asked if you could spend the night in my bed; if you were motivated by the cold or by the whiskey, I’ll never know. We slept together—no just slept together—and it was amazing.

I offered to drive you home in the morning, and you declined. You liked the walk, you said, plus you had some thinking to do. I didn’t want to seem too clingy so I let you go wondering if I would ever see you again. Completely unexpectedly, you kissed me on your way out. Then I knew I would see you again. I had forgotten to ask for your phone number but you seemed so “out there” you might not even have a phone.

A couple of weeks later, I was sitting on my porch sipping coffee and heard you playing music again. I walked next door to the café and sat with you while you finished the song you were improvising. You smiled when you saw me and your hair was fluttering around a little in the breeze and I liked that. We sat and talked about global politics and stickers and kindergarten, and you made my day again. I asked what you were doing today, and you said you were planning on scaling Spencer’s Butte alone, but would rather someone else come. I was off of work that day and joined you. You said you’d drive and your car was right outside. We got in the rattling old VW bus you said was yours and hit the road. The back was packed full of your things and I kind of guessed it then, but before long we were at the Butte and ready to do some chilly climbing. I almost slipped and you saved my life. It was still a little frosty near the top and I wasn’t expecting it, but you had a feeling and grabbed my arm as a threatened a deathly tumbling act.

We sat at the top of the Butte and talked about our lives and how you wanted to become famous for hating being famous and how I wanted to help people in some intangible yet necessary way and how you loved your mom but your dad was dead and how I was once in love but she passed away. Talking of death as I had just narrowly escaped it felt strangely gutsy, as if I was becoming stronger with you. Or maybe not stronger but definitely better protected. You told me about how your car was your home and I knew I had guessed it and offered you room in the empty side of my bed, though the only heat I could offer was from my own body and you smiled and kissed me and I kissed you back and next I remember we were inseparable. They call it puppy love, right?

You moved in that day and I didn’t regret it for about two hours. I realized after living alone for so long I was set in my ways (I lied: I knew I had taken down the Christmas decorations on January 3rd, because that’s when it’s always done) and you may not buy into that. Maybe my being an extreme creature of habit was something that needed to be broken, or maybe you needed some structure in your life. I wrote it all off as over-analysis and cuddled up next to you, both dreaming beautifully. Our love was perfect. You wrote songs about me and I cooked you breakfasts; you brought home a fifth and I brought home a paycheck. You kept me feeling alive while I kept you alive.

As these things tend to do, our love decayed at some rate about proportionate to my last relationship. Except this time it didn’t rot underground but above; it putrefied in your heart metaphorically rather than physically. At least we made good use of the love before it was expired, but past its due date you never said much to me. Maybe I cared too much, or maybe I didn’t care enough to look outside of the box. I hate talking about this vile yet requisite decline of something as amazing as what we had, so I won’t. I’d rather just get to the end of this sob story before you all lose interest.

At any rate you found it fitting to leave in your bus with an audio cassette taped to the refrigerator with my name on it. I put it in and you sang me a song, a song about a beautiful dream you would make, a song about the things you and I had longed to happen in the world and how you would make it so, a song about love gone yet everlasting. I listen to the tape every now and again and think of you, of course, but what I don’t know is that you made a copy for yourself as well. It gets more use than mine does.

Dreaming away”

I saw your ad. I’m still looking for solutions but think of you. Hope you see this and know why we can never see each other again. When: Friday, August 27, 2010. Where: Halfway across the continent. You: Man. Me: Woman.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


It had been a few weeks since the city had been plagued by any of those individuals. You know, unhip people. Folks who wouldn’t learn what was in and what was out. The last time anybody like that had lived here they had been scared out by the extreme ostracism the townies had shown. If you didn’t get with the times, no one would speak a word to you.
At least the social climate was better than it was in the 60s. Back then in Gregricksburgh, the Un-Participants (as they had come to be called) were forced into tiny ghettos where they couldn’t get any work. They couldn’t even work as house help for the wealthy and popular elite because they didn’t have the correct French Maid costumes; they couldn’t get into the clothing stores because they weren’t dressed appropriately. An Un-Participant would have been most lucky to scrounge up money for a bus ticket out back then.
Now things were better. The Un-Participants trying to come into Gregricksburgh were merely chased out. Mostly they didn’t want to come anyway; why would anyone like them want to? Besides that, there were screenings at the age of sixteen for all children of residents, if they wanted to stay. If you decided not to take the test, or failed, you could be sent out. Sixteen seemed to be a good age—kids were just starting to catch on. The quick-witted ones, anyway. The rest wouldn’t be happy in Gregricksburgh, at any rate.
The streets were currently painted pink and orange, as of five years ago. The constant changes created many local jobs and kept the city fresh and clean. Residents were supposed to wear colors contrasting either pink or orange (or both, optimally) and so downtown and surrounding areas were alive with vibrant colors. All restaurants were required certain menu items and disallowed others. And clothing stores were heavily scrutinized by the Listmakers, of course. Currently, coffeeshops were run by the local government and were on every other street corner, so citizens could enjoy the best drinks at the right times. Before bands could begin having shows or even practicing audibly they had to have an audition in front of the Listmakers.
The last Un-Participants to show up, as has already had been stated, were chased out. Before they were, however, they made quite a mess. They had been disturbing the peace by playing their strange music (loudly) wearing ugly clothing and having unauthorized kinds of pets. Gregricksburgh wouldn’t stand for such ridiculous displays of individualism, especially when it was done in the most incorrect way. Gregricksburgh was too fine of a town for that. Too polished, too perfect. Nothing would tarnish its glamorous reputation as the Most Tight-Knit, Most Perfect City.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I was trying to do a post of a drawing I did yesterday, but I couldn't figure out how to scan it with Alexander's scanner and I couldn't borrow a camera.

This space reserved for when I can post the drawing.

I'll do a story post later on tonight, after work.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rip Current

A couple things:
1. I didn't write yesterday because I was really sick (aka hung over).
2. You should vote on the poll. I'm going to be writing about it at the end of every week. I'll explain this blog's setup later at the end of this week. "Ego" week, that is.

Now, onto today's story.


Janice hasn’t been there in so long that she had forgotten how it made her feel. Sometimes she would wonder if she would ever go back. This place inspired in her a deep melancholy and pure happiness, all at once.
The tide was slowly drifting out. It made her want to get in and be absorbed into the giant mass of water, never to be seen again. No one would ever be able to hate her anymore. Her life could end, and with it all the sadness she carried, like so much dirty laundry. A waste of a person. She shouldn’t waste the precious resources that more beautiful human beings need. She could just go.
Janice knew that she was almost a miscarriage. Placed in intensive care from the moment she was shoved out of the womb. She had always suspected that her parents blamed her for their extreme poverty. Hospital bills still came in; the interest built faster than they could pay. When Janice had tried to move out of her parents’ house at the age of 18, they had made her get a job and stay to help them pay. Her mother had threatened to transfer the debt onto her if she attempted to leave.
The last time she had been to the beach was with her old friends Sara and Margot. The three of them used to hang out all the time. Well, until Sara had started dating Fred, and Margot got with Jolene. Fred and Jolene were best friends, of course, and so the four of them began hanging out all the time. Janice started feeling like an unimportant tagalong and stopped spending her days with them. Janice didn’t have anyone to turn to, so she then just filled her time elsewhere. She accumulated online friends that lived hundreds or more miles away.
The lack of face to face human interaction might have driven her to severe depravity and self-degradation. She had decided to come to the ocean today because none of it was really worth all this pain. The water was a bit chilly—it made her hair stand on end. Maybe, hopefully, the last time it would ever do that. The sun was on its way down. Maybe she would wait for it to set, and then start swimming towards it.
A sandpiper was flitting nervously across the sandy terrain. Janice noticed that it had four children excitedly following behind. She smiled. If only life was that simple. If only she could experience such a simple joy. If only, if only.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sallow Susan

She had only last planned driving down the highway. She didn’t know where she was headed, but it didn’t really matter. Things just needed to be made right, and if anyone was going to do it, why not herself? She needed to escape. All that mattered was that she put as many miles between her and Chicago as possible.
A familiar sound buzzed through the car. Text message. Good thing the traffic was slow at three in the morning.
suz u r in NO condi. to drive…that shits gonna get fucked thats MY car tu no
“Bullshit!” Susan screamed, all of a sudden. Her voice was a little scratchy due to not being used for nearly an hour. “Bullshit bullshit bullshit!”
Susan felt as if she had helped make at least half the payments on the Plymouth she was sliding down the highway in. But José didn’t give a fuck. He didn’t give a god-damned shit. She would just hand him the money. He probably didn’t even spend it on the damn car; he probably got laid every fucking night by a different girl, leaving her at home by herself. The creditors were always calling. He didn’t answer the phone because he was always gone, doing something mysterious. If she even asked where he had been he would just tell her to shut up, goddamn it. Sometimes he wouldn’t even speak English for her.
She had always wanted to want to escape. She just didn’t think it mattered all that much, for a long time, whether she stayed or left. Susan had a very high boiling point. Like copper, or something, right? That stuff takes forever to boil.
“Who gives a fuck!” Susan’s frantic voice again. “It doesn’t even matter what I do now. I’m stuck here on the highway. I have nowhere to go! No one to see! Fucking, goddamn son-of-a-bitch no one!”
Susan usually made it a point never to curse, but these sure were extenuating circumstances. She had nothing but the car, her CD case (“Ironic” by Alanis Morissette was playing medium-softly), her cell phone, a duffel bag of clothes and a toothbrush, and the vodka she had under the passenger side. She didn’t even have her wits any more, it seemed.
“Shut the hell up!”
The road was empty on I 80-W out of Chicago. Cars weren’t out at 3 AM, they all respected themselves well enough to be asleep at this time of night. They had jobs, friends—pasts, futures. You know, everything that everyone wants. Like a sitcom, like a Hallmark card.
She figured she could make all the way to Iowa City. Start fucking fresh. Maybe she could make things right this time. No more stupid relationships. No more stay at home and live off the trust fund. No more no life. She would change her name. Blanca. She had always liked that name, for some reason. She wanted it for her and José’s child, but it had turned out that she was infertile. So if she couldn’t give the name away, she would keep it. Hold on to it tight.
All of a sudden she remembered what he had said, two nights ago. “I don' t da una mierda maldecida dios qué usted hace con su vida! Aren' ¿t nosotros en esto junto? Pozo no más. I' m en esto para mi uno mismo de mierda ahora,” from which she could only figure out tht he was switching between Spanish and English, his alcohol intake sure was showing, and that he didn’t care about what she did anymore.
So she left. With nothing to her but some collected items and a beautiful, beautiful name that almost fit her, she left.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Adventures of Horace Greeley

Marcus Greeley. What a name. It really looked good in gold on his prurient desk. City commissioner. What a job! He was in charge of safety, mainly, but he liked to work around the title a little bit just to get the ball rolling on some important issues. Like last week when he cut the ribbon at the mall’s grand reopening. Really, it was Horace Sneedler’s job, but he couldn’t make it. Marcus wanted the Pineview Mall to be a safe place, and so he cut the ribbon. Newspaper pictures and everything! He loved his name, especially in print. Marcus Greeley. It just sounded right. Very upright.
He always thought of himself as a man of principle, and strived to make things right according to his own virtues. Like last month, at that used car lot. He didn’t let that waste of a man Vicks Misstoman sell junk cars to an unsuspecting woman. She was just looking for a car to take grocery shopping, but that garbage wouldn’t have made it halfway back to her house. He sold Janine Larson his own second car, even though he loved it, just to ensure her safety. Things like this always reminded him of what a good guy he was. Mrs. Larson sure was a great lady herself. He thought of her as a wonderful wife, and a respectable woman for that. She didn’t feel the need to stir up any controversies in town, and her house was always one where safety was valued.
Marcus Greeley knew this because he was around pretty often. He felt quite at home in her house. Gregory Larson and he were golfing pals. Marcus was sure that they were such good friends because even though he always outplayed Greg on the course, he never gave him any trouble for it. Only subtle encouragements. A little advice here and there, but never a quip or bite of sarcasm escaped his lips. Sometimes he would chuckle a little chuckle to himself, but never audibly. Even last Saturday, he remembered, he had outplayed Greg by 40 strokes, and not an ill word! Marcus did wish that Greg would take his counsel, if only to improve his game, but Greg was a prideful man. He would always push away at Marcus’s tips. Marcus really enjoyed Gregory’s self-assertiveness; it made him just the right kind of man for Marcus’s company.
Afterwards they would always hit the “19th hole” to get a couple of beers and relax. The unstated rule had always been that the player who played their personal best for the day bought drinks, because he would feel a bit happier about how the round had gone and the day been spent. Marcus could always spend a little more on drinks, so he always made a point to. Sometimes he would pitch in a bit more when it wasn’t his turn to buy, so the two of them could get something nicer. He just wanted his friends to have the best and the safest. He felt it important that they never drove after golf because it wouldn’t be very safe to drink and drive. Janine would always pick them up.
Sometimes he wondered why he didn’t have the best of everything. He aimed for it, but he felt that he would never have as good a family as the Larsons. He looked at them with such envy. They had a little boy on the way, the most adorable cat Whisper, and the most loyal dog, Yeller. Named after the classic, of course. The Greeleys might never reach such a harmonious balance. His son was always off to a bit of mischief, and his daughter was with a new boy every few weeks. He tried to raise them right but he was always so busy with his work as the city commissioner he never got to be home. Being a single father, parenting was quite the challenge for him.
His wife was dearly, dearly departed, leaving only a note behind. The note appeared long yet was made nearly illegible by dark crimson stains. Only one segment could even be called readable.

n won’t ever fucking know the pain I felt, not even now wh

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hey, can I talk to you for a second?

Nel’s pregnant. You might think it’s funny now, and honestly, you wouldn’t be too far from correct. I mean, about a month ago, she thought all those pregnant teenagers were hilarious. She would take cheap shots at their once cute clothing becoming ill-fitting, along with their jumping hormones. Especially June, the girl that Nel hated ever since the second grade. Not to mention Stacy, Rachel, Catherine. But you’d think that Nel would try to distance herself as much as possible, to the point of wearing condoms at least.
Maybe Nel’s worries went further than you’re assuming—maybe she was just hating those girls because she was jealous. But that’s silly, I mean, really. Who wants to ruin the rest of their life just for some ridiculous babydoll fantasy? Nel didn’t wear dresses, or makeup, or talk about boys. She wasn’t any kind of typical girl. Though in her non-normality she was a regular type of girl too. You know what I mean: the “I’m-so-much-better-than-them-they’re-stereotypes” kind of gal. Nel really means well for herself, which is why she goes to parties and makes herself known. She was the girl that wasn’t the others. You wanted to get to know her and she’d push you into a muddy puddle. Basically the opposite of June, the pregnant prom queen. The inflated balloon of a popular girl, floating over the proverbial Macy*s Day Parade of Homecoming Week, or whatever special goes on at school. You know I don’t pay attention to that crap.
Maybe it’s because you think you’re so suave, but I know what you’re wondering right now. Was it you? Well, what if it was, you bastard? Ron’s party was a ton of fun—a double-kegger. You got drunk, I got drunk, she got drunk, we were all way past driving condition. But we left and this is where things get even more hazy. Nel doesn’t remember where she went, and neither do you. I know what you did, and I’m going to tell the entire junior class right now, the entire lunchroom, if you don’t take responsibility for what you did.
Why do I think it was you? I could hear you, upstairs. My bedroom isn’t far from Nel’s, and being a typical little brother, I know exactly how to be on top of everything that’s going on. I know that you were “on top of” something else, and that something threatens to inflate just as much as the giant June. But I won’t let that happen. You’ll go to her during sixth period, and you’ll tell her to get an abortion. You’re not going to take care of the fucking kid, so don’t let me catch you not doing what I say.
What do you mean, you think you can handle it? You can’t take care of a kid. You’ve heard the phrase “a child having a child” before. I’m not going to be connected to that at all. I’m going to Harvard, god damn it, and no one is going to ruin my run for the Presidency with some stupid high-school-level scandal. One day, I’m going to be on the big stage, and I don’t want to answer any questions about what you did way back when. How you ruined your son, you didn’t take care of him, I had to pick up the pieces. That doesn’t sound all that bad, but I need to get everything in my life done before age 36. The youngest President ever…can you see it now? My name in lights. That is, if you don’t ruin my chances now. Get on with it, lunch is over now, sixth period is coming up.
I’m sick of you talking back to me. I’ve got some good dirt on you and I’m not afraid to spread it. Don’t think I couldn’t hear everything last night, especially the bit about you apologizing for the size of your dick. Don’t think that didn’t fuck with me too. Don’t think I don’t work hard for what I want to accomplish. Don’t think I really give a damn about your future, or Nel’s, for that matter. Get out of my sight. You disgust me.