Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Thursday Morning Orchid Thief

(a partial resolution) 

I have two close friends who share today as a birthday. I have always been slightly jealous of them for this. Halloween has seemed to me to be the best of holidays, though by many standards it does not qualify as such. We get no day off from work, the banks and many businesses remain open, but you do get to choose to be something other than yourself, briefly. Or, you get to be a hidden part of yourself, to inhabit a moving fantasy. Certain people seem to relish this function, and of course their chosen role in it. It gives them a temporary courage of sorts, though they tend to do the same things that they would do otherwise, which requires no real courage at all.

Some might say: If Miley Cyrus, then why not me?


For children, it is a yearly attack against the very idea of growing up, a full-frontal disguised assault against maturity. Candy illicits gathered from neighbors in darkness, then respectfully thanked as a running after-thought, goblins having been parentally reminded.

It's Catholic, I think. So, there is some resistance to its open acceptance. Mardi Gras is also a Catholic festival, like Carnival. 


If you have ever been curious about the spirit of New Orleans but do not wish to suffer the region during Mardi Gras then Halloween is the time to visit, says the ever-wise I. 

Many cities come to life on this day but the French Quarter is really something curious and strange; an empire of delicious faults, the genius loci of the big easy. There are notions felt there not felt elsewhere, mysteries of passing. Difficult to describe, impossible to forget; nameless matters moving around, and through. It is a place to which one must bring their fantasies, to give them form. There seems to be a thinning of the membrane that separates worlds, a shedding of the heavy integument. One can nearly touch the other side of something barely sensed, never seen. There is a great desire to give over to something unknown, to grasp gently an unsolved puzzle, the amorphous whispers of the enigma. 


'Perhaps,' I thought, while her words still hung in the air between us like a wisp of tobacco smoke - a thought to fade and vanish like smoke without a trace - 'perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our own search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow that turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.'

-Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Isis… she would even listen to the prayers of the wealthy

My life has become increasingly absurd. I go to sleep and also wake up long before most people on the east coast. It's as if I'm perpetually preparing to defeat imaginary jet lag, or maybe just suffering from its imagining. I am prepared to thoroughly dupe a trans-coastal journey east. I've been waiting for this fantasy flight for about a year now. I'm slowly moving towards UTC in body and spirit, the old Greenwich Meridian, the prime zone

I would have left for NYC this morning, but alas…. It was not written in the stars, not mine anyway. My stars are too often the falling ones, a constellation in sudden descent.

Though in ruins, I have been sleeping much better, 6-8 hours a night consistently. I awake early in darkness, flirting with the goddess Asteria. The watchful eye of Isis falling upon me from above, then past me in my dreams; friend to sinners and slaves, patroness of nature and magic. 

My kind of girl. 

It's really too bad she's Egyptian, though. They're having so many troubles, and such strife, over there. They have started taking people into custody

After that, what next?


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.
Fear of falling asleep at night.
Fear of not falling asleep.
Fear of the past rising up.
Fear of the present taking flight.
Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.
Fear of electrical storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek!
Fear of dogs I've been told won't bite.
Fear of anxiety!
Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children's handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they'll die before I do, and I'll feel guilty.
Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.
Fear of confusion.
Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.
Fear of waking up to find you gone.
Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.
Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.
Fear of death.
Fear of living too long.
Fear of death.
I've said that

-Raymond Carver


Monday, October 28, 2013

The Junior Deputy

(Fireman, J.)

It has been some time, probably since my mother's death, since I have felt such a strange alloy of emotions. In some ways I am relieved, as when the pain of another's dying ceases and that is somehow better than what led to it. There is also a happiness, associated with - though not dependent upon - that same feeling of relief. In yet still other ways I am not happy at all and might not be for some time, having to face significant loss and genuine uncertainty.

Soon, I will hopefully be able to write about things rather than merely around them, though essences are often preferable to specifics.

(Fighting Fire with Water)

Yesterday, we took my friends' boy to the local firehouse where the firemen offered a pancake breakfast. The kids and parents come from all over the county and get to look at the trucks on display, then ride on the antique ones with sirens and copper bells flashing. It was fun in the way that one can become truly happy for the happiness of another; watching the boy leap about endlessly in the jumpy castle. It is a contagious joy. He would have slept there if he could have, undiminished by repetition, fascinated by the unceasing buoyancy of living.



Sunday, October 27, 2013

"This train's not gonna wreck itself..."

Drifting is fine for a while. After that, one should either be traveling, centered, or lost altogether. Drifting works best when there is an occasional place to return, a center of sorts.

That's my wisdom for the day. 

Sunday's a good day for such sagacity. It has time to stretch its legs and find itself. Wisdom loves to barbecue on the lord's day, the Sol Deis, the Solis Invicti.

Sunday is the loneliest day, the one in which to fall in love.

Love, it's what we're told. One problem with love is its unregulated nature. Everybody has their own idea as to how it should be done. 

No, like this....

There's always a "No!" hiding out somewhere, particularly in true love. Thousands of them, waiting to be launched, from any angle. 

It starts with a seemingly endless series of yes's, the sound of hissing snakes. Well, then it ends.

... not with a bang,
but an ixnay


Saturday, October 26, 2013

As promised...

I'm posting from my phone now. You will receive the approximate wisdom of a text message. I could post from my computer but that would mean that I would have to get up off this comfortable air mattress. 

Seems unlikely. 

Last night, Cato took me to an Arabic fusion restaurant for my birthday. On the way, we discovered the SF Critical Mass (above). Dinner was delicious. Lamb and Calamari and Scallops and Ravioli. All separate plates but brought out two at a time. Then, some pyramidal chocolate and dulce de leche desert. 

As promised, I was in bed by 10pm. 

Chateau Cusick, it's like sleeping on air.....

Friday, October 25, 2013

540 Months

Five years past, I turned forty. I was still living in NYC and had no plans to move. Why would I ? A good friend threw me a nice dinner at her home and the next night another good friend hosted a party at a little club. Almost all of my friends were there. I remember it well.

"I never thought I'd need so many people...."

My, how life has changed. Now, I have a happy and healthy boy, many of my friends are still on the East Coast and probably still celebrating my birthday, tonight I will go to sleep around 9-10pm, and tomorrow morning I will finally get out of bed at 4am and then wait for the gym to open, one day wiser.

I don't have anything to say today. I am getting older, there is no mistaking that. 

I retain a willingness to laugh. There is that. 

The severest of truths require some sense of humor. 

Okay, I guess I have that to say today.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Desperate Measures


Desperate times.

It is getting cold. I need new shirts, a warm hat, a hoody. I have found a way to sleep outside, for free. I'm looking into the legality of it. There are public/private property issues to consider. There is hardly hotel wi-fi in the great beyond. 

This site may cease to be, unless I post from my phone. The pictures are never sized correctly. I always have to adjust. Always.

I have been looking at sleeper vans, rivers, government cheese, etc.

For today, I am a commuter again. I rode the bus from Fulton to Market. There was a man riding along with us that was horribly deformed. I was reminded of mammality. I did not want to be near him. I wanted him to leave the pack, a pack that I also desperately wanted to leave. But still.... he should go first. I watched him walk away after he got off the bus, into the early morning darkness. I could see his facial deformities even with his back towards us. They were that pronounced. 

I don't want to ride the bus any more. 

I wanted to pray for him but then thought better of it. I was afraid that I would ask god to keep him away from me.

We are all twisted. The idea is to find someone who will tell you that you are not, then hold on to them and tell them the same. Smile often. Kiss often. Etc. 

I have been reading a lot. James Joyce, Dubliners. Though I just read it somewhat recently, I will re-read Winesburg, Ohio again soon. I can feel it. I need to remind myself of a thing felt though sometimes forgotten. 

We are all twisted, and those shapes get locked up together like a wood and steel puzzle found in quaint roadside diners; meant to test the iq of children, to occupy the youngsters for a time. It seems impossible that the pieces could ever become separated, though the mind knows that it must be so, the mind feels it to be true. Why else would these games be placed upon the tables. The parents will give it a try for a while, then pass it over to the children. Within minutes, shortly after the parents have given up on it... Voilà! 

The parts are suddenly in pieces.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"The sky, too, is folding under you..."

almost, then nothing
backwards, lost, forgotten, I
miss the mysteries

mysteries of mind
there is one lasting question:
to love the enigma?


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Already out of time today. It moves too fast.

Up at 4am, after tossing from 2am onwards. Drifting is fine when sleeping or floating but thrashing is another thing. Where has the morning gone? No exercise, no writing, nothing at all. Just the recurring tedium of a new life moving around me.

Dullness is not softness in dreams. It is a stomach-ache that is hiding behind my eyes.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Irreconcilable Deficiencies

I've been trying to match my t-shirt color to the bathroom tiles wherever I go, as best as I can.

Vanity camouflage is the new trend in selfies. 

Has anybody ever tried to read poetry in a Mexican Restaurant? It is unbearable. Try it. The music is impossible. I've attempted to read Octavio Paz, it doesn't work. The music is maddening. Garcia Lorca is Spanish, of course, but his poetry reads poorly there as well. Telemundo blaring in the corner helps nothing at all. It only competes with the ever celebratory sounds of mariachi or conjunto norteño.


Sunday, October 20, 2013


Gravatar, in 3D.  Why do I go see these big Hollywood films. I made the mistake of trusting Jon Stewart. Never again. 

I mean, don't get me wrong, it was a movie. I like films, and even movies. But satellite shrapnel bores me after a while. One gets the feeling that we are meant be somewhat sad when faced with how much we're polluting space. I guess that's why it's known as a sci-fi flick. The Russians are still the bad guys and the Chinese can't build anything that's going to stay in orbit.

Sandra Bullock does look just like Tom Hanks though, they got that part right.

Okay, don't go see it, unless you like chasing the light from a flashlight along the hallway and barking at it as it moves up the walls.

I did like to see George Clooney floating out into space, that was nice. The entire time I kept thinking how much more funny the film would have been if they would have cast Sylvester Stallone in the lead role.

Perhaps I wasn't sitting in the 3D hot-zone. Maybe the film means something entirely different from that vantage point. There is a different "wow" to be had.

My one word movie review: weightless.

Well, we have a brand new Sunday here. What to do with it. What to do. What ever to do.... Maybe an afternoon movie.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

No more shall we

(photo of a photo, Di Rosa gallery)

My head is filled with details, memories. The biggest picture has long been clear. When the pieces of life fall out of place then the sorrow moves in, other details fill the gaps; awkwardly they arrive, searching the surface. The future becomes both clear and uncertain. One realizes that they have known all along the nature of the thing they now face. The past shifts and reveals again the telling moments that one has ignored, minuscule events that were hid for self or another, of love. It is not unsurprising, only insomuch that it took so long to appear. Though it might have just as easily gone otherwise, also. This life is made up of connected or lost moments and choices, not all yours.

Oddly, I feel good, even relieved. That, of course, will pass. 

In time, I will celebrate a new thing, find a former self and let life merge. The season will still move through the valley towards the sea. The past will become the past.

My left hand will become a little bit lighter.


Friday, October 18, 2013

The Memories of Acacia

I am re-using pics from last year, or the year before. Yes, it must be the year before. It was.

I feel like I'm living out my life through a Raymond Carver story, a very specific one. Frank Martin's place.

No, it's not that, the details are all wrong, though the remembered feeling of it is exact. There is always that, the storytelling. Before it's all over I will have a few of those. I will listen to a few as well, as they are presented to me. Some comedy, some tragedy. Ah, and of course, some melodrama.

Comedy is the sometimes private thoughts of the tragician. 

There'll be plenty of that, too. Comedy. Plenty of it.


Thursday, October 17, 2013


A slow drive down Sonoma Valley from the north. 

The world is beginning to show its yellows.

What else is there.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lost Highway

I'm a rollin' stone all alone and lost
For a life of sin I have paid the cost
When I pass by, all the people say
"Just another guy on the lost highway"

Just a deck of cards and a jug of wine
And a woman's lies make a life like mine
Oh, the day we met, I went astray
I started rollin' down that lost highway

I was just a lad nearly twenty-two
Neither good nor bad, just a kid like you
And now I'm lost, too late to pray
Lord, I've paid the cost on the lost highway

Now boys, don't start your ramblin' round
On this road of sin you're sorrow bound
Take my advice or you'll curse the day
You started rollin' down that lost highway

- Leon Payne, Lost Highway


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

At the end of pleasure

(Edward Ruscha)

There was no time for new photos. The other ones were locked away and none knew when they might be loosed again. He had only been coasting, he told himself. That's all it was. First one coast and now another. Not drifting, but taking it all in. Taking too much in, perhaps. 

He dreamed of Singapore and Bangkok. Myanmar. He had learned some, had grown a little. It was time, a different time. That part was quite good about it all. It was agreed upon. He was unsure to whom he was talking, who he had been. The voice was incessant, though it was not unkind, only energetic beyond necessity. 

- Motion was not so bad, once started, he thought.

- The world must be seen from different places, or what's a world for? He told himself that, also.

- Practice.

There was always the telling of something to oneself. It is the source of faith, and pleasure, and problems. Pain. 

He told himself those things as well.

Before this, he had been too long in too small a place. It was time to be in another place, on a discrete patch of earth, with different things to look at, people to notice. A place to ride a bike, to sip tea slowly. To read alone.

He began to dream again, mostly in his sleep. He saw things as they once were and woke up bluely. He had forgotten, his mind had not. His heart would rise in his chest at the suddenness. Though it was not his heart, it couldn't be, it was too high. It was near his neck, a sensation across the chest, an effect of odd breathing; age creeping into him. Fear, too. He fought it off in diminishing ways. The feeling was unmistakeable and yet unknown upon arrival. 

It was best not to lie on his back staring upwards. The arms have nothing to do.

It was all a constricting emptiness that grew when considered. Aging was not a welcome sensation, the newness of it. 

- Go away, he said out loud. 

His voice sounded strange, unfamiliar. At some point it did go away, it must have. He fell back asleep for a stretch, arms crossed. When he awoke again it was time for something else - to put on a shirt, to stand at the toilet and listen, to drink water and wish to return all day to a bed that held something other than him. 

He went into work early and some days stayed late. One day in particular he left at the expected hour and walked out into the afternoon sun, alone for the first time in years. Notoriously so. Surrounded by others and otherness. He crossed the main street and hopped lightly onto the curb. His knees both felt good. It was the running. There was a hill ahead. He could see it now, rising up evenly past view. 

There were cities beyond the hill, though not too many. He knew the names of them. There was a bay and then another. The coast along the one side he knew reasonably well from the passing road, the hills, the bridge.

And of course, he had always wanted a son.


Monday, October 14, 2013

City Lights

Yesterday with a buddy, a morning jog out of Nob Hill past the Ina Coolbrith park to Fisherman's Wharf where we ran the risk of being deep-fried and eaten and then down the steep five block hill towards the bay and back up it returning. Real-life exercise is nothing like an elliptical machine. 

There was a brunch in the neighborhood where I should have had what my friend had (below) but had a light Asian Salad instead. Then, a walk through Chinatown to City Lights bookstore. I wandered among the shelves without buying anything. I had a copy of Joyce's Dubliners and Alice Munro's The Beggar Maid still waiting for me at the unfamiliar place that I now temporarily reside. My friend bought a copy of Light Years by James Salter upon my recommendation. It is a book to read if you want your heart broken, or if you wish to feel that yours is not alone or even unique in the feeling of breaking. The pain of it is mainly special to you.

It turns out that I was quite right about Alice Munro. She won the Nobel last Thursday. It was reported to me by a friend across the phone.

I came back to the apartment in the afternoon and tried to read but couldn't. I was not able to focus, to sustain attention for any period of time. My mind jumps too much among the memories of the last few years. For the purpose of clarity I have been reading through old emails. The once enjoyed past is now troubling, or it can be, when you see first-hand the love and effort that goes into making the present, meant for the future.

I had intended to spend my time lying in bed reading but there was no point to it. Another friend called and we walked around until we found somewhere else to eat. We tried a fancy vegetarian place but the staff ignored us. We had Thai instead. We sat in the dark near the cathedral at the top of the hill, chatting until it became too cold. He asked if he should be concerned for me. 

This morning, the other buddy and I have promised one another to do the same jog again. In the dark and cold, without having to navigate the many waddlers. I wait for him to text and let me know that he is ready. 5:30 a.m. is the agreed upon time. (No, we just returned. Jogging in the pre-dawn is only darker, not any easier. My body still has not quite recovered from yesterday.)

People keep telling me to hold on, that this unsureness will pass, that things will fall into place in some sensible way.

"Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position, but certainty is an absurd one." - Voltaire


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Running Up That Hill

I took a morning walk down from Nob Hill to Geary, Starbucks. On the way I took a wrong turn and ended up in a neighborhood that I used to often visit. My friend, Jennifer, lived there for several years and I would stay at her house while here. One day there I watched Vertigo five times, accomplishing the intended effect. I could not walk without dizziness for days. It was the only dvd I had, television was and is abysmal. I was in the mood for it, I guess. I did not learn the lessons of the film, though. We never do. Maybe they are too vague. It is the fault of the lesson. 

No, that can't be right. 

We just rush in, assuming something close to love will somehow fix it. Dreamers all, blinded by emotion, reminded by reason.

As I walked along Geary I was also reminded of an old friend, departed, the rambunctious and directionless fun that we used to have. The vestiges of a time. I would write about it, but it would only be to distract myself, which would be unfair to the subject.

On the walk back it is all uphill, a steep one. The Nob, it is a nice neighborhood, where I would wish to live if I move into the city. Though it is well out of my price range. Everything is. I can not even afford staying here for free, there is parking and the cost of coffee to consider. Already well past my budget, which is currently nil. 

As I walked I started shedding shirts and the little Winnie-the-Pooh hat that another friend let me borrow, to keep me from the cold. I arrived back at the apartment I'm watching (again) sweating through the one remaining shirt I had left on. 

Now, I sit here and face the change in temperature, both earthly and bodily. It is good practice, change.

I wait for the rest of the world to start up, to hear the machination of a city come to life. Today, I will go with my friend and we will visit the free art galleries. I gazed through the front glass of a photography store on my walk where there were pictures taken of rock stars selling for hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. 

Impossible. I'll probably return there later to verify, and chuckle to myself.

To post this piece to my site I will lie down on my stomach in the carpet hallway, to get a wi-fi signal from his apartment. It feels silly, posting these ramblings, but it is still somehow better than keeping quiet about it all.


Me too

(Rhys, playing the piano)

Another day, I wake up with a single word floating through my mind, wondering how it got there. 

Each morning I write a few paragraphs, delete them, write a few more, delete them. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be writing any more.

Barely a breeze. There is a stillness but also a distant sound. I sensed it was coming but I hadn't believed it, now it has passed. This life requires a little faith, whether you believe it or not. Perhaps I will seek stillness. It is a state that I can move through where others choose to sit; an untroubled calmness. It is easy, as the buddhists teach us. You just perplex your mind and reflect, and there it is.

There is one less thing that I am now uncertain of, one thing added to a different pile of questions. I believe that. I have faith in it. It is simple inventory, an accounting of the accumulations of life. This might be very premature, but I have accepted it. It took a few days, even less than I thought, but silly faith in a thing wears off when it finds no corollary in another. By itself faith is madness, just look at anybody who believes in their own gods, or goddesses. It takes another silly fool to nod their head up and down in reverence for the thing to work at all. If two people agree on a thing then it is not madness. 

There must be a "me too" involved.

The nature of faith takes odd shapes. It changes your life but not always for the better. Putting your faith in the wrong things can leave you worse off than when you were just waiting, watching the world. I knew someone who put too much faith in fiction. It was me, or the character of me.

I was talking to a friend and he told me that if he were to ever get into a relationship again he would require that they had their own life, their own place to live, and he would see them whenever he could. He would also enjoy quiet evenings at home, alone. That sounded perfect to me. Where does one find such a thing, I wondered. 

Never forget that you are just a guest in another's life. You are also a guest in your own life. This is not to say that it's not "yours" to do with as you wish, but it's healthy to remember that we are all just passing through. All things are temporary but one. 

Do you see my new buddhist nature...

Then later, I was chatting with a few people and relaying the recent circumstances of my life. Comical and erudite as I was there was still something missing in what I was saying. It was as if I was in the gravity of a thing but could not name it. But it held me there, spinning in comical orbits, talking out loud. Then it occurred to me, luckily before I had finished my paragraph. So, I began another.

It wouldn't make sense to try to relay it here, it was a glimpse of revealed wisdom, and we know the dangers therein. 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

"... a whirling or spinning movement"

Well, here I am, still. No matter how late I go to sleep (11pm) I awake at 4am. Today is the second and the last day of the apartment-watching. I still have no wi-fi here. I will have to post this later, if I can.

Nob Hill is a great area of SF. My friend and I watched Vertigo last night and he name-checked all of the streets and corners and buildings, the ones that were still standing anyway, citing many of the new buildings that have since replaced them. 1958. Hard to believe how quickly time passes. Not that I would know the distance from 1958. But I know other times, other distances.

Vertigo's theme is identity, of course, and what happens sometimes when it is forced, false. Unhappiness is the common result, or worse.

Well, I can't write this morning. I am sitting here, staring at the screen, wondering… what next?

A song by The Pretenders keeps drifting through my head. 

I saw a picture of you…. oh, oh, oh, oh, oh oh, oh…. Those were the happiest days of my life….

If nothing else, I went to a different gym yesterday, a nice one. It is in a hotel. That nice. But the scale in the locker rooms confirmed what I have suspected with other scales. I have lost weight, 20 pounds of it. It took about 6 months. At that rate I'll disappear in about 5.5 years.

I would still like to lose a little bit more though, being under 200 pounds is my ideal weight zone. I know that getting older makes it more difficult, but I'm still not sure how I blubber-ballooned up to 236.5 pounds.

I am sitting here, thinking back upon experience after experience from the last several years. It is difficult, looking back in this way. Being honest with yourself at least has some benefit built into it, but being honest about one whom you love does not always carry the same value. So, you keep those truths to yourself, or you try to. But that's not the way that these things unfold. I know that now.


Friday, October 11, 2013

SF in the dark

(found image)

I sit here in the cold of SF. A last minute opportunity came up in which an apartment-sitter was needed for a woman whose father had passed away, a favor for the friend of a friend. She had to rush elsewhere. She will be in New York for another day, probably no more. I can't seem to get any warmer here. I'm afraid to touch things in her apartment and don't see a thermostat. I don't know how people in SF do it. California is beautiful, SF is wet and cold.

Man, I had a bad day yesterday. Nearly impossible to put into words, maybe one day I'll try. I took most of the day off from work and tried to understand it, tried to take as much of it in as I could, the rest I had to shelve, where - I do not know. It is all mysterious, each new day brings more. 

This place doesn't even have wi-fi, I do not think. I'm sitting here writing directly into MS Word. Feels strange, somehow more serious. There are more options to stylize in Word. None of which, I do not believe, will translate to this site. I have become used to having coffee in the mornings. It is a habit of middle age that I have adopted just in time to qualify. 

Though, it may also be a time for the shedding of habits, whether wished for or not. I never wanted to be a coffee drinker, the stuff didn't at first appeal to me. Funny, how the things that do not appeal to you become another thing altogether once the habit is formed. The things that might make you uneasy at first find their way into your system and make themselves comfortable, putting up shelves and shopping for couches, hanging paintings on the wall. They become the things that you love, and wish to hold on to.

Ah, such is life.

A novelty: I will walk to work today. I had to put my car in a rather expensive garage, being in Nob Hill there was no parking, and a "special event" of some sort was happening so they sensibly applied their special rates. We drove in repeated rectangles looking for a free spot, but there was nothing. It is best to leave it there for the duration. I am a city dweller again, for a little while. I will try to enjoy the feeling, see what it evokes. I must traverse the treachery of the tenderloin to get where I need to go.

The word rectangle sounds like my life feels right now.

A friend lives across the hall from where I am apartment-watching. He pays as much in rent as our mortgage, just to live in the city. Seems strange to me now, that. Impossible. Though when he moved here from Chicago he had planned on living with his girlfriend. He came out and got the place for both of them. Coincidentally, her name is Rachel. We went to dinner last night and mused at the accidental fluke of it over Thai cuisine. Well, I did anyway. They broke up before they got serious. It was not meant to be, I guess - and getting serious is a big step, one not to be taken lightly. All big steps are heavy, that's the very thing that makes them big.

Well, I'm going to go back to bed and see if I can conjure up a few old dreams, sleep is sometimes the best place for them.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

And though the news was rather sad

("I'll Follow The Sun")

I've tried writing but then erased what I had written and started over a few times now.

It is astonishing how differently you sense experience once it has passed. Reflections about the nature of things, or people, or yourself. These musings take on such different qualities as time counts on, day after day. Little attributes that you recognized or dismissed suddenly grow into invincible characteristics. All of life is held by single moments, all strung together like popcorn along a thread, spiraled upwards on a yearly tree. 

People are selfish and will act selfishly when given the opportunity to do so, count on it. Even the thought of the possible cost to others is a burden. Little things, daily activities that bother or unnerve another near you, they add up and then become insuperable. You just do them, perhaps recognizing the annoyance but not giving it too much concern.  It is just the way life is. We are reminded at times by the messages around us that selfishness is an occasional necessity. Though sometimes selfishness comes in single, lasting packages. We are left to live with it, or the thoughts of what is now missing, lost or taken. That's where reflections step in and take over. 

Memory exists with the luxury of being whatever it wants to be: giving, loving, caring... or ruthless, imaginary and cruel. Or, sometimes simply necessary, repeated in the mind out of a need to approach the truth. Memory gets to be whatever it wants to be, even if it is an addict. Life is a recurring dream in that way. We don't relive the thing, we relive our thoughts. We become lost in our inner addictions.

Then one day you wake up, fall out of bed, and read the news. Oh boy.

Somebody spoke and I went into a dream....


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Because I'm tired

Oh humanity, I have been doing some soul searching. There is no end to it, the search. It is like having insomnia in an endless daytime; thoughts in waning light, ever recurring. It is a day that never quite gets dark, or becomes night, but just keeps rewinding. The mind chasing itself, its choices that were still chances. 

What have I been doing, I wonder. Why are my epiphanies too often after the fact. They don't prepare me as much as they remind me, taunt me.

I know why, exactly. I am just thinking out loud here. I have isolated where most of my problems come from, where they go. As I look back over my life I can pinpoint the two common denominators: Me and what I do. 

One of them must go.

When I hit 40 I decided I wanted the second half of my life to be different from the first. Presumptuous that I might live until 80, I thought it was a sensible time to make the switch, but I ended up only lightly shedding a habit or two. Other habits hardened around me, closed in. The facts have spoken there. Denial has ceased to be an available option.

I had become resentful along the way. It is a dangerous feeling, the sensation of having been treated unfairly comes into it. Little surprise in that. Resentment is the soul killer.

Resentments take no time to easily find a thing that I have long looked for, the soul. It does seem unfair, but that's also part of what it leaves in you, the residue of imagined unfairness, then the remorse for ever having believed yourself. 

I was asked a simple question last night and my answer surprised me: "Because I'm tired of being an asshole."


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

That old chestnut

(Insert platitude in open space at upper-right)

Recently, my father told me that I spend too much time living in the past. I reminded him that it is the place where all my memories currently reside - and who else am I going to have Thanksgiving dinner with other than my memories? He did not find this funny. But, he's right, in a way. There are many internal holdings that I've never bothered letting go of; childhood memories or difficulties, the adult re-writings of same. I've held them all for so long that they've become something else altogether. Memories too often repeated become shape shifters, werewolves in the moonlight.

Some people are better at getting over things, other people seem better at getting into things. Trouble, for example.

"... never bothered letting go of..." 

Perhaps that's not the right way to describe it. The description makes it sound very easy, as if it is simply a matter of releasing your hand when it is filled with beach sand, the wind and the sun will take care of the rest. Just like giving your life over to the Jesus. I've never bothered coming to terms with incidents and episodes from my past. This site is an occasional attempt at doing so, but can only ever be partial in that regard. The mind holds things in different ways, memories slip in fantasies.

For some, maybe it is more like sand. I feel as if I've been reminded of this occasionally with inspiring framed pictures in people's bathrooms. A beach scene where we are told of the transience of life. This thought, somehow, never strikes the proud owners of the mini-poster as a horror, but rather as something to be briefly sermonized with a cursive quotation and an image of seagulls along the shore. The word cherish is often floating there.

I've always operated on the principle that - in any type of relationship - the other person's fears mainly reveal their own weaknesses. A person that insists all the time on the importance of "honesty" is often dishonest, either with themselves or others. A person who lives in fear of being cheated on is often unfaithful. One who demands partnership above else can hardly provide it. If you perpetually claim that somebody is in denial then there's a pretty good likelihood that you might be experiencing denial also, etc.

The list goes on and on and is never complete. That's what I've found: that life is incomplete. So, be wary of those who insist upon living life "completely." 

Absolutes barely serve as reminders when repeated so often. Until they one day hit you and you find yourself alone, staring at a framed postcard in bathroom, having an epiphany about time and how little of it there really is. So, you live life as completely as you can. There will always be others to let you know the parts you need to continue to work on.

Somehow, in all of this, you have to find a way of coming to terms with yourself, as incomplete and ill-equipped as you may be. The more you can accomplish that, by whatever route, the easier it is to not fret over others. They're going to do whatever they're going to do. They are also on a limited run, we all are.

If you find yourself, one day, insisting on apologies from somebody that is reluctant to provide them, then you might just apologize to them and let it go. It's very likely that they don't feel as if they've done anything wrong. Badgering them into an admission of guilt is a terrible waste of time. You're wasting time at twice the normal rate, yours and theirs combined, maybe more.

Knowing this won't always help you though. Practicing it brings you a little bit closer. 

Never claim that you've perfected anything. But also never claim that you are its imperfection either.

That is my wisdom. I want it written in a framed sky.

I listened to a conversation about modesty the other night. I knew what the word meant, but hadn't had much experience with it. 

It is an important virtue, deserving of its own poster. Though it's far too humble to ever ask.


Monday, October 7, 2013


I did it.

I'm finally below the weight that I was when we left NYC (pictured above, 219 lbs).

Self-doubt, it is a true monster - never so large that it can't fit into every crevice in your mind, if encouraged. If you feed it, then it will build up in accretions of flesh that surround you. Mine favors the flavor of bacon. 

That's part of it, anyway.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Another way to ease

I doubt sometimes whether 
a quiet & unagitated life 
would have suited me - yet I 
sometimes long for it.

- Byron

"... manic sex isn't really intercourse. It's just another way to ease the insatiable need for contact and communication. In place of words, I simply spoke with my skin." - Terri Cheney, Manic: A Memoir


Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Think of me and try not to laugh..."

(... and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden...)

Fall is here. There is a chill in the morning air, lingering into the day.

Yesterday was brutal. 13 hours of working, 3 hours of driving, and a brief handful spent sleeping last night.

No time to write today.

Anyway, my coffee's cold and I'm gettin' told.....

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

El Expreso de Medianoche

Up at 4am. Going into the city today. It will be a 17 hour day for me. Somebody should call the police. It seems illegal.

Never call the cops. That's what I've learned. The situation always gets worse when they arrive. 

In Mexico, I have been told many times, and found it to be true, that if the cops arrive, you just hand them $50, point at a Mexican and say, "He tried to rob me." Your troubles are over, and the troubles for the other fellow have seemingly just begun. They'll put him in the car and drive him away. I'm assured that they just drive him around the corner and drop him off. It is all for show, a mere pretense. It is not uncommon for them to buy the victim a beer when they drop him off, to show that there are no hard feelings, amigo.

Once, to test this theory, I was in Mexico with several friends. Some cops stopped the car and realized that there was a stinkin' gringo on board. They made us all get out and started asking us questions, separately. It didn't take long before this goggle-eyed group of dancing wayfarers started coming unravelled, babbling nonsense in a nonsensical tongue. They realized that there was potentially much more then $50 to be earned here. Justice must be served. So, they arrested me. They put me in the car and told my friends they wanted $500.

Now, I had a rather large bag of powdered ecstasy in my pocket. A thing that was then practically legal. Though it was not, in fact, actually legal at all. But it was neither denounced nor misunderstood in the way that "Molly" now is. I knew that I was potentially looking at a much larger problem, the complexities of which came at me in soft waves of fluctuating intensity. The situation, as it stretched on, started settling in and speaking to me through the little explosions of pixie dust that were occurring in my mind. 

I continued to sweat it out. All will be well, the drug told me.

My friends, luckily, had access to precisely this kind of money, but knew better than to just go get it, as the price would most assuredly go up based on some event in my behavior and the bloodhound-like sense that all cops have when they are in close proximity to cash. So, my friends were forced to beg and plead and make phone calls and put on an elaborate show, and then all go off in different directions, coming back at first with only half the money, bargaining more with the cops, etc.

My reasoning went a different direction. I began to see the entire thing for the farce that it was and suspected that soon I would be released. Perhaps not before the good guys got their full $500, but soon. At the time, they accepted both dollars and pesos, as was the custom. Now, only pesos.

They had not bothered handcuffing me before putting me in the car, the way that American cops must. So, while they were busy negotiating the terms of my release I reasoned that less evidence was preferable to more evidence and that my very pleasant, warm high was beginning to wear off. I had reached the drug's half-life. I did what any reasonable, thinking person in that situation would do. I ingested more. Not so much as to be dangerous, but enough to recharge my waning befuddlement.

Shortly after that the cops got in the car and we drove off, much to my surprise and increased concern. 

I know my way around Mexico City pretty well but not quite as well as the cops did. I couldn't tell exactly where we were going. I was made to understand that jail was our next stop. The cops knew just that much English. I started to worry through the drug's effect. I pictured myself getting raped by strangers while other strangers watched and cheered, while on ecstasy. Not them, but me. Somehow the vision did not satisfy the sensation. I'm not a racist, but being raped by Mexicans somehow seemed less preferable than what we are told to imagine will happen to you in an American prison. I would be an albino in that place and as such would possess special magical powers, I thought. 

Maybe I am a racist, it only took an imagined Mexican prison gang-raping to finally get it out of me. Perhaps it was the idea that being raped by those who understand my pleas for mercy would be somehow be better than being ridiculed to beg in a foreign tongue. Why would being mocked in a foreign tongue during this brutal act somehow be worse than understanding what was being said. I don't think compliance plays much of a part in it. Though understanding the specific nature of the command must come in handy at times. Otherwise you must be shown, taught how to be raped.

But there I was, on my way to years behind foreign bars, decades maybe. Why did I also suspect that a Mexican prison would not meet the standards of an American prison. Do we really think that we were so much better at everything? We really are despicable, I thought to myself. We can't even go to prison in Mexico without looking down our noses at it. We didn't even invent the prison system. I think it was the French, or the British. I believe they used America as a prison, the penal colony concept. Australia, Haiti, Louisiana, etc. Of what did I have to feel so superior about.

Well, at least I will have an opportunity to learn some Spanish, I thought. I will be quite the novelty there. They will all participate in my advancement, taking turns teaching me various phrases that denote submission and subservience to a set of unspoken rules that one day soon I will master and know implicitly. When I am finally released and return to America I will be able to get a job working in a kitchen, or gardening. Fuck, I don't even have my passport on me. I might have to sneak back over the border.

All of this bouncing around the inside of my skull cavity while the cops are driving me towards my doom. After about half an hour I realized that we were in the same section of Distrito Federales that we had just left. Sure enough, we were pulling back up on the very spot that we had just departed from, where my friends were waiting. There was some more negotiation, the handing over of cash, and then the official ceremony of my release. They opened the door and pointed for me to get out. I was not worthy to be in their car any longer.

I complied. 

I may have even thanked them, stopping just short of a nice warm hug.

(This story was told in the first person for the purpose of comedy and to maintain the sacrosanct verisimilitude of this site. The experience relayed here was actually that of a close fiend, fictionalized by myself.)


Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Shit. 30 minutes until the gym opens. Who knows what will drop out of me here. I haven't even had a cup of coffee yet. It's brewing. 

I posted last night anyway, was feeling some saudade

I had planned on going into the city to work today, but Rhys was a ball of energy last night and I didn't get to spend any time with him. SF will be there tomorrow, when I must go in.  

I got an email ad for a company today that, if I join, promises to bring me new readers. They claim to be the cause of my increase in readers the other day.  It is odd. I check how many readers I have most days but somehow feel that it's "cheating" to enlist a company to deliver more readers. I've had basically the same number with occasional jumps and drops in numbers for about 2 years now, maybe more. 

I never intended on structuring this site to be anything more than what it is: a place where I can openly discuss self-mutilation with my friends, etc.

Holy shit... If you ever tell yourself that you're experiencing a particular emotion, as I just did above, then just do a Google image search for the word of that emotion. Right away it will cure you of it. There are a handful of complex emotions that can be captured or conveyed through images, by some. Saudade does not appear to be one of them.

People are just terrible. 

Once I was at The Boathouse in Central Park with Rachel. We were trying to find a place to sit and have a glass of wine. There was a young-ish, dark-haired woman sitting at a rather large table by herself, looking out across the water reflectively. She was writing in a notebook. 

I will try to approximate it here:

You have left me once again in my lone coffin castle of solitude. You have hurt me, dear. You will never know what love treasures I had in store for you in my attic or basement. I am a woman of deep and drowning mysteries. The pain that you have caused me is like a knife through my plexus. I sit here among these artless Americans writing the words of my love where they are not deserved, will go unnoticed. Like our love that we shared so many times, over and over. You have hurt me so, dear. You stole my heart from between my legs.

And on and on, page after painful page of it... I wish I would have taken a picture of her staring out across that man-made lake in Central Park, filled with Google images. I should have offered to buy it off of her on the spot, then publish it under its appropriate title, license the movie rights. All of it.