Friday, July 31, 2015

Sonoma City Party, 2015

An invitation to go to a party at the square arrived via mouth yesterday. So, the boy and I packed up a bag of popcorn, some paper towels, a bottle of wine, the camera, and headed towards a stage of aging rockers. Once there, we found families of kids and one half of the parents - almost all moms - lounging about and enjoying the ending day with music as a center point.

An all female choir group did a semi-erect version of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." After that, each song faded from one into the other, perhaps trying to hide itself. Nowhere in that song does it say, "People, keep on pushin'…" 

It's just not part of Wonder's message.

The evening was a success, though. I need to get out and do more with Rhys, let him play with kids his own age. He only has me, and while I often match his maturity level, I know that he needs kids that can run as fast as him without breaking a hip.

My new romantic interest pointed out to me that I'm the oldest man she's ever been involved with. That's always a nice thing to hear. I win! The honorable prophet Elijah Muhammad would consider her too old for me, but what can one do, I have not even yet converted to the Islamic practice, much less faith. I sit on the fence between all religions, afraid to put my foot down.

My girlfriend is making me clothes for Burning Man. It had better be a series of assless sequined chaps, but I'll leave that entirely up to her. I like to sleep face down at Burning Man. It's the only way that I can relax.

Aren't we already just too cute?

I don't care how many readers this thing costs me... I like this girl. I'll be gushing for some time about her. 

Get used to it... I feel as if I'm being tickled; can't stop giggling and wouldn't want to get away.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blue days, all of them gone….

(Skies, smilin' at me)

 I swear I did not use Tinder:

Just like this, and just like that... everything changes. While I was looking the other way a tremendously sweet girl landed in my lap, all full of giggles, sugar, and soft whispers. It looks as if she is here to stay, and I say that before she has even fully arrived. She comes from a great but not terrible distance in less than two weeks, as eager as. 

We'll also see each other at Burning Man. If it can last through that then it was meant to be.

The wolves will be howling with us.

She is an eccentric like me, though we somehow seem to offset each other gently. We even share a common name. Do you see how much we already have for each other? It was kismet, we agree, and she and I charmed Turks.

I would post a picture here, but I'll wait until I have one that I've taken. It is a form of black magic in which I steal a piece of her soul. She seems eager enough to oblige. We also share a matched intensity to give, to talk, to etc. and etc.

I enjoy her in exciting ways. She is the reason I haven't been able to write lately, and the one that I haven't been able to write about. Now she is both object and subject.

Check back here periodically, if you wish.

That is, if you can stomach a grown man, giddy with the tickle of having just discovered the seeds of love.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A fictive personality

(My Camp at Lake Burning Man)

Everybody has advice on how to conduct or combat your feelings. Some of this guidance must be good, if only by its sheer volume and breadth. There is a complex interworking of codes and conventions, presented as suggestions, designed to prevent you from doing whatever it is that might make you happy. There is an order, a symmetry if you will, to nature and its unfolding.

Recovery is progressing, moving along the abdomen. Health is trying to find its way back in by whichever route is available. The doctor gave me two prescriptions for pain pills, opioids. I filled the second one first and then realized that I had not filled the first one first, which had an expiration date on it that must have expired before the first. So, I went to the pharmacy and presented it for their inspection. They asked when I would like to have it filled and I enthusiastically told them as soon as possible, that I was in enormous pain and not to worry about addiction issues.

A few minutes later the woman defending the sweet chemicals told me that my insurance company rejected the prescription, saying that it was "too soon" from the previous one being being filled. I asked if they believed themselves to be more informed than my own doctor. The gatekeeper said that they can't really communicate back to the insurance company, they just get codes letting them know what they can and can't do. 

I stared at her wart.

I then carefully explained that my car ran out of gas on my way to work at Sea World and its up on the interstate now and I walked here and all I need is six dollars to get to work or otherwise I'll lose my job and I have seven kids and I'll suck your cock and lick your ass. Please, I need crack, man. I need crack, now. 

I have what is known as an addictive personality.

I love it when people say this to me. Truly. It's a way of saying that they've never tried things and don't really ever care to. Nobody of interest has ever uttered the sentence. I'll usually follow up their declaration and admission with a short speech about retirement funds, the benefits and pitfalls of good cross-market diversification against moderate high yield investing. Or, why it's important to avoid any meal that shows up with an "All You Can Eat …" preceding it.

I have a few personality quirks, I've been told, and am familiar enough with the systematic disorganization of the senses, but I don't believe I have ever looked anybody in the eye and claimed to have an addictive personality, unless maybe in jest. 

Wait, you have an addictive personality. Is it safe, being near you? Are you communicable? Does it ever hurt? I mean, I've never found your personality to be addictive at all, not even interesting, actually. Are you sure you have this dreaded malady?

What can one do. The only hangover cure that works for some is abstinence.

Yesterday I confirmed my usual last-minute plans to go to Burning Man, a sort of celebration of the idea of radically addictive personalities. Things fell into place. Things often do when there is a woman to consider. The universe smiled on me, though that might have just been the arc of the Milky Way moving by. I checked with the ticket holder, verified the time off from work, made sure that the previous wife could watch the boy while I wander high across the playa flats in search of someone's spirit animal, then looked with interest at my bank accounts, considered transferring cash from one imaginary place to another, pondered places to shop for the Burning Man Casual Couture Collection, etc., etc.

So little to do, so much time.

Yes, I will return again to the high-plains meeting place, the agreed upon spot where we will organize to dismantle the plans of yet another year's heist.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Caitlyn Conrad's Courage

The surgery was a success. The world will have less pain in it. Though for me that blessed state is still a few days off. I wish to share the story but the flesh is still too tender where once there was one thing and now there is another. The doctors generously provided opioids and I have found the semi-eternal solution for all of my sleeping problems: propofol. 

This is the drug that Michael Jackson used to do the last moonwalk. Conrad Murray spent almost two years in prison for the designer death of Michael Jackson. That's less time than the album Thriller spent in the top 10.

Bill Cosby did nothing wrong.

No, wait. I don't feel like writing that type of post today. That might just be the pain-killers talking anyway, asserting the presumption of innocence. I did just awake from a late night Cosby-nap, with my entrance to the Inferno still aching as if from a ten day weekend. 

Let me start over. I swear to Hades that this time I'll take things more seriously. 

I awake in a rambunctious mood, often with acute priapic urges that tell me to do either awful or sweet things to those near me. In that regard I'm like a Cosby skit that has fallen out of sequence. 

Okay, I'll stop it. I can stop it, I swear. I need a time out. 

Rachel gave me a ride to get the surgery. Who else would have done it. We were chatting on the drive there and I mentioned that I had not had to give the boy a time out in a long time, a month or more. She seemed surprised but was encouraging. Certainly there had to have been something he had done wrong that deserved a time out, I had only missed it, and perhaps she is right, but I don't find myself having to use much motivational speaking with him any more. We have an understandment.

I love that faux word and wish that I could claim its invention, but I arrived on the semantics scene far too late. 

The Ten Lost Understandments.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Playing the Angel's Advocate

(Dad's glasses)

The weekend passed far too fast. They often do. Unless you're alone, of course. Then, a weekend might pass like any other two days. 

We had a suburban time. We ate lunch at Panera Bread, the Starbucks of sandwiches. The boy seemed happy enough with his Mac-N-Cheese. I swallowed my culinary regret in small, dry bites. Then, we went to the Macy's Furniture Store. I have needed a bedroom dresser for some time. The pile of unfolded clothes on the floor against the wall where a dresser should be has begun to speak to me. 

Modern furniture is all crap. The fronts are made of wood, the backs are particle board. I couldn't spend a thousand dollars and honestly look myself in the vanity of any of them. I want a waist high dresser with a mirror and am willing to pay for it, but I want all wood. 

Target. There were things I needed. I encouraged him to run crazy in the toy section, picking out some colorful plastic that he developed a seemingly immediate attachment to. He found a Batman belt and mask, and also about $100 worth of other rubbish that he simply must have. It was like watching somebody on a bender. 

Kids don't know how to shop. They just want what they want. There is little dissuading the convinced mind - it sees and feels and it knows. I was trying to direct him towards other toys, there were so many, but he had latched on to his preferential choice and seemed quite happy with his decision. So, I was happy for him. 

He proved to me once and for all that "Batman has a sword!" He had been making this claim for a while and, sure enough, there on the racks at Target sat a plastic Batman Ninja collection that included a sword. I had been telling him for weeks, "Buddy, I've known Batman for a while and I just don't think he has a sword. I've never seen him with one."  I was, of course, very wrong, and I should know better than to argue with the informed.

He begged me to buy him the Batman Ninja Sword, but I couldn't do it. All of the stuff in that set were weapons. I explained to him that weapons are only used to hurt people, so we can't have that. He retorted that, "Swords are used to hurt the bad guys!" Smart kid, with a quick mind. I assured him that we were in no immediate danger from the bad guys, and that too many times swords end up hurting the good guys also.

He was running around in the store with the Batmask on and I kept calling out to him, "Batman!" At which he would take off the mask and say, "No Dad, it's just me, Rhys-boy."

I told him, "Batman also shops at Target, so it's an easy mistake to make." He took my claim credulously, peering around as if at any moment the Dark Knight would appear there in the Tupperware section, prepared to handle the villains. The boy seemed willing enough to assist in any super-heroing that needed to be done.

The day was a mild success. China will keep sending over toys, at least if the boy and I have anything to say about it. One wonders what the Chinese children making the Japanese Batman Ninja collection for the purpose of sales to children in America must think about such things, if at all.

It's impossible not to recognize how brief these days in his life will be. In another few years he will have moved on from this to some other fantasy. I try to breath it all in deeply and remind myself that these golden years are as transitory as they can be, a weekend stretched across a season, then gone.

He came home and ran through the apartment courtyard dressed as his version of the heroic bat. I could detect within his stride a strong belief in flight. So, I sat and watched, and believing is what I did also. 

(Bat Power)


Sunday, July 26, 2015

… they first call promising

Some experience chaos and then work their way through, others make themselves regularly available and even seem to invite it. You can guess which one I am, the one that causes it from an overflowing supply. My curse was always one of abundance rather than paucity.

Some find the night long and painful, others awake in the morning where the stab of loneliness is felt at the moment where most find hope, at the mind's recognition of a new day.

Something about birth of  something…. other words, so hopefully postered to the souls of many.

Few things will remind one of loneliness as much as loneliness. The feel of its grip triggered by any number of specifics - the sound of an air-conditioner turning on in silence, the seasonal songs of birds and their attending noises just beyond the window, the rustling of legs alone under sheets, the discernible turn of a ceiling fan in summertime, the click of a key in a door, a voice inside the heart, anything, anything at all. The grasp of loneliness is vague, its reach long. It holds in a fog that follows, only to better jab with its details. Loneliness and depression seem to find their way back to one another, where they reconcile and work through their differences. 

Many have the most tremendously helpful antidotes. Why don't you go outside and get a little exercise? Wouldn't that help? Nodding and smiling, head tilted forward, animatedly emphasizing the optimism they hope to share. Few things insult the depressed more than the herpes of optimism.

And it might just help, exercise. It would if it could reach. Activity first begins far outside the body. It arrives from some distant place that has been announcing its coming as if from memory. The horns of Jericho circling some neighboring city. From such tremendous distance does health announce itself.

I am neither depressed nor particularly lonely right now. These are just recurring thoughts that I have been considering, like a junkie playing with an old bent spoon. 

Whom the gods wish to destroy they first grant their wishes.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Nothing, nothing more

An endless day of traveling yesterday. I arrived home at 3am PST, awoke for the day at 3am PST the day before to start my day. I upgraded to first class on the flight from Chicago to SF and tried to sleep but couldn't get comfortable. My head is too large to ever relax. If it falls to one side my primal mind believes that I am being choked. In a way, I am.

I arrived to get the boy to start our weekend but he did not want to leave mom's house. It's difficult, the feeling that he is being taken from one parent, especially from mommy. It's easier when one of us picks him up from school. The transition is more natural, less an act of separation.

So, now we require an adventure of some kind. I'll lure him to the store with promises of shopping for pool toys. Then, a day at the swimming pool. 

Nothing, nothing more.


Friday, July 24, 2015

The mind-forg'd manacles

My last day in Wisconsin. I've enjoyed it. As simple as it sounds, it has been nice to meet many of the people that I've only known through electronic means. The people of Wisconsin are pleasant, disarmingly so. They cause me a slight unease for my brusque New York-ish sensibilities, and in a way that few from California possibly could. It must be nice to live in a place where one is not challenged to comply to a way of being in which you have never subscribed, to which you have never really agreed. 

I like it here. There are no alligators. That's a plus. No one should live in a place where a lake swim includes the threat of sudden, violent dismembering.

I guess I have typed the word Madidon one too many times in my phone because it stopped trying to correct me. I thought it was funny, and sounded like a dinosaur that had yet to be discovered, some hideous reptilian beast that would eat modern alligators as cocktail shrimp.

I haven't been able to write about what I would like to most. The subject is tender and new, as unapproachable in writing as it is approachable elsewhere. The most unexpected thing has happened. I have few words for it, but much thought. I will write about it soon enough. I suppose. 

Tomorrow, I will see the boy, am looking forward to it greatly. We will find some new adventure, vanquish the many monsters, both before and immediately following our afternoon nap.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

"I had a rough night and I hate the fuckin' Eagles, man!"

(enthusiastic fan of politics)

There was a concert on the capital lawn last night. I had thought that it would be classical music but it was some retarded tribute to The Eagles. What can you do. Desperados will be desperate.

They didn't do "I can't tell you why" It is the band's best song and the strongest imitation of the Bee Gees ever written, at least for a song that isn't an actual cover.

Before it started I walked with the birthday girl to the wine shop and then to the cheese shop where I bought salami and crackers and of course cheese. It was all delicious and what Wisconsin is famous for. That, and lately Scott Walker also.

I drank much wine and its behavioral effects became pronounced as the evening meandered on. I stopped in a local pizza shop near the hotel and a guy behind me in line got pissy with me for reasons I failed to understand. He challenged me, but he must have been on drugs and backed down pretty quickly. His aggression disappeared when I offered to test it for him. It was one of the oddest interactions I've had in a while. I hadn't even noticed him at all when he seemed to get angry, accused me of "having a problem"…. I offered to let him find out for himself if I indeed did have a problem, or if I did not. 

Young men. What the fuck is wrong with them. He must not have realized that I went to the gym just two days before.

I leave tomorrow. The week has gone by far too quickly. I have enjoyed it, but am looking forward to going home. I miss my son. A three year old boy does not yet understand absence, can only feel its effects. He shows signs of frustration towards me. Love is not all you need. It is but one of many qualities. 

He is reaching the age where he keeps imploring me to, Look Dad, look! Then, he will jump into the pool in the exact same manner that he has twenty times before. He'll then get out of the pool, run back to the same spot and do the exact same thing, again pleading, Look Dad, look!….

So, that's what I hope to go home and do: watch a three year old jump into a pool, as happy as the day is long.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Morning came and morning went"

I finally got around to using the hotel's amenities last night; gym, swimming, hot tub, etc. I slept for seven undisturbed hours afterwards. Now I am hesitant to get out of bed. I am just working here from the lap of luxury, propped up against pillows, craving coffee. I will motivate and take a shower and make the short walk to the office here momentarily.

At the gym I only did cardio. It had been a while. The sweat that came from my body was the good stuff, the stuff that you're happy to be purging. I have had to take a break from exercising and am ready to get back into some physicality of some type. Something, anything.

So, when I did a search for Madison yesterday for some reason Google showed me Madison, IN. This happened even though I was searching the word "Madison" and my IP should have reflected that I was in fact in the city of Madison, WI. Might have been the VPN. Who knows.

I have resolved all of my time-traveling dilemmas for the time being. Now, my crises appear to be more informational in nature. 

I have had to cancel my camping trip in August. It is unfortunate, but there is nothing that can be done. Perhaps I will just take a local trip. Maybe the boy is ready, nearing his summer long pre-training cycle, camping in the backyard. Perhaps he is ready to do an overnight tent excursion.

Okay, I have nothing to say, clearly. This post is going nowhere

(Do not do this!)

I don't care 
How many letters they sent
Morning came and morning went
Pick up your money and pack up your tent
You 'aint going nowhere….



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Curdish Politics

(All Basic Food Groups)

Well, I made it to Madison, spiritual home of the fried cheese curd. A thing which I tried again last night, just to be sure. I went to a place called "Old Fashioned" where they unsurprisingly and unironically specialized in making the "old-fashioned." They do it both the old and the new ways. I had a bacon cheeseburger with an egg on top that I couldn't finish, and as many fried cheese curds as my silly conscience allowed, which was about twelve. One for each disciple, and in double honor of my two favorite commandments: the one about not coveting your neighbor's oxen or slaves and the other one about not letting any other gods walk before yours.

That's just basic manners. Your god should always enter the mall first.

I walked from the hotel to the governor's square where Scott Walker hopes to conquer the mind of America. He does not seem to be particularly adored here in Madison. One wonders how he has been voted into office. I suppose the state is large. Nobody here in the mini-metropolis of Madison seems very impressed with the fact that he pulled himself by his own bootstraps and managed to obtain a high school degree without anybody's help. I have touted his educational victories since arriving here, just to see if I can find any challengers to his political legacy.

Best governor of Wisconsin to not have a college degree… and still, to achieve all that he has… He's a real thinker's thinker. How can you even argue with a guy like that? He's got gumption, and he's got my vote!

His political pedigree is unsullied with intellectual formalities of any kind. 

But alas, there were no argument takers. The people here are far too nice for any of that nonsense. They just look at me as if I'm suffering a stroke, offering to get some help, a glass of water and a comfortable place to collect myself. 

I kept asking, Now, is he the same guy as that Rick Scott fella', or is he a different guy? He's not the gay one, is he?

I would slap the bar, laugh out loud unexpectedly, burp, then demand to have another one of those Old-Fascisms! 

Somebody will shoot me before I am able to leave town on my own. They might let me go with just a grazing, a semi-permanent limp.

My entire dinner came to $29. I could live here for months, just on what I have in my pocket.

I walked back to the hotel while the sun was still up, setting across Lake Mendota, and took an iPhone picture through the screen, which resulted in mostly screen.

My evening was much more pleasant than I've been able to convey here this morning. I'm too lazy to go get coffee, or take a shower. I'm waiting for the world to wake up and am in one of those time zones that is neither the east nor the west coast. 

They claim to be in Eastern Standard Time, but somehow they're still an hour behind NYC and two ahead of SF. 

I blame that Rick Scott fella', the gay one.

Monday, July 20, 2015

They're still working on the "Quality" portion of this franchise

(amateur air-traffic control)

My trip to Madison is not going as smoothly as I had hoped. Not yet, anyway. My flight out of SF was delayed, so I missed my connection flight through Denver. The overworked United employees did what they could to route me through Chicago this morning, but that option barely improved my time for arriving in Madison and risked more delays. 

I awoke at a Quality Inn after having eaten dinner late last night at a Denny's by the interstate. I skipped over the cheeseburger / patty melt pages and opted for what they described as an Alaskan Salmon. It arrived somewhere at the uniform point where pink and grey intersect, as if too many watercolors had sat together in a cup. Aridness and moisture were fighting their respective fights on the depressing battleground of some dead fish. This particular animal might best have been described as brackish salmon more than Alaskan, though I do not know what rivers flow between Denver and the Alaskan coast which would allow this Denver Airport Denny's to be the lucky beneficiary of it. 

Ah, sweet travel. 

At least there was wi-fi on the plane. I was able to converse freely. That's all that I wanted: to have access.

I just went downstairs and had the "complimentary" breakfast. The only thing it was complimenting was a trash bag. It didn't taste much different from what I would have had at Denny's, it only cost me five dollars less. I've never had the feeling that any food I'm eating at Denny's came from the state I am currently eating in. Even if it were available it seems that it all arrives in a proto-frozen condition from at least two states away. I wonder if seeing a Denny's 18-wheeler rig makes other truckers hungry. It seems that it must, if Pavlov is to be believed at all.

Soon enough I'll be at the Denver airport, where all fine dining finds its center and flourishes. United  Airlines gave me two meal vouchers. When I looked at them this morning I noticed they were for $7 each. They want you to eat, you see, they just don't want you to be happy about it. Precisely what they are vouching for remains an indeterminate mystery. 

I spoke with a friend last night and he cautioned me not to make any sudden or sweeping decisions. He could hear the newly formed enthusiasm in my voice. He is a good barometer for my moods, a stable friend if ever there was one. He reminded me that I married Rachel after not having spoken to her for three and a half months, that I had ceased speaking with her.

Just imagine what you might do with somebody you barely know… The possibilities are endless, but the tragedy won't be. 

He wants to keep me safe from myself. I wished him luck.

Well, I have been looking at the clock on my computer, which I forgot that I had set to not change based on time-zone, for reasons that indicate a laziness of mind more than anything else, and I just realized that my phone is now stuck one hour in the future and I am in the middle. 

I feel as if I have jet lag on a daylight-saving time morning. I've lost more than just a single hour, I'm sure of it. Traveling west will not ever bring those hours back again. If I stand still here in this hotel too long then the past is likely to catch up and overtake me.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Moist Panties

It almost alarms me, what the sudden attention of a woman can do. I am out of practice, not quite used to it. I am flattered, and glowing. I spent yesterday being obnoxious to Cato and his two female friends as a result. The girls were both twenty-eight years old, so they endured it. Had they been any older they would have womaned me into silence. I tried to warn Cato that he wouldn't want to be trapped with me all day. They wanted to go to wine tasting rooms, a thing to which I have an in-built aversion. So, they suffered me. I bought them oysters afterwards as a reward.

This morning I go to breakfast with Rachel and Rhys. It will be the first time that Rachel and I have sat together and chatted for months. I wonder if I will feel anything for her, and if those feelings will have any effect on me. I want to see the boy before I leave for Madison for a week. I want to experience every possible moment of this period in his life. It is a marvelous thing to witness, this formation of a person out of the parts that he has been given and those he continues to collect on his own. His considerable boyhood sweetness is a thing for which I can not seem to get enough.

He told me a few days ago that all the bees are dying. I wondered who would tell a three year old such a thing, and why. Of what use could this information possibly be to him at this age. He said it was one of his teachers at pre-school that did it. So, that adds yet another person to my list of people to choke.

I took the camera out for the first time in quite a while yesterday. It felt good to take pictures again. If I weren't so lazy I would transfer them to this computer and show you a few... Okay, I am transferring  them now. I make no promises.

With the two included I have further documented my well known perversions involved with the feelings of titillation when peeking up a girl's skirt in the hopes of seeing her panties, or what they hold. Particularly when the girl involved is "in" on the act. What a simple thrill is mild public exhibitionism.

Yes, panties. Get used to it. It does not infantilize anything. If at all, it pubescents them, which I'm totally fine with and you should be also.

A word that pairs quite well with panties: moist.

For some joyless reason the world, or some of those within it, wish to rob us of these two words. To deny us their use, to steal them from the hearts of men and boys, as if…. I have heard some speak out publicly against the use of the first and have seen others openly cringe at the use of the second.

There are few greater joys in life than the articles described above, and the process by which they came to be describe thusly.

I remember it all again, now. So many things are flooding my mind lately; thunderstorms in the lower gardens of Eden.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

"Little puppet made of pine, awake…."

("I'm a real boy!")

One or more of los nin├Ás de la barrio came into my apartment yesterday, stole a baking sheet, and then turned my oven on. It makes no sense, but children are unburdened by the requirements of logic. I had to piece the evidence together to come to this conclusion, but now that I have arrived at it no other explanation quite satisfies the evidence. Accusation always scratches the right itch.

I thought that maybe I had just misplaced the baking sheet, but it is far too large and I had looked repeatedly in all of the places where it might have been. It's entire life cycle - from use, to cleaning, to return use - occurs in less than a one hundred square foot area.

I had made the boy and I a pizza the night before and thought that maybe I left the oven on, but it was not on at the same temperature. It was at its default temperature and I had made the boy and I breakfast in the morning. I would have noticed that the oven was on, the heat, the light.

I don't mind if it was a few of the silly girls, but if I find out that it is any of those mean-eyed little boys then I will have to beat their unlucky asses to a pulp. A frenzy of unexpected and uninvited violence. Gringo-Power, etc. It's a territorial thing, and I must speak the brutish language of territory. I put a Puerto-Rican flag on my front door to gain their trust.

With the girls, however, I would invite them in and have them bake me something. It is the new feminism which I have embraced.

I read the boy stories before he goes to bed and have used this time to perform an unstructured analysis of international culture. With very little evidence to support my claim I have determined that the Italians are almost as fucked up as the Germans. Pinocchio is some twisted, dark nonsense to fill a child's head with. If you have not read this story, or even an abridged version recently, then do yourself a favor and do so today. There are some demonic things going on there.

I should be more careful.... I have loosely used nationalities here as the easy descriptors that they are, adopting and shedding them for myself without sufficient documentation, nor approval from the respective embassies. If I am not careful... then the readers here will think me indelicate, or even worse.

However, the story of Pinocchio is a monstrous, dangerous, perverse, and stupid series of things to tell a young child. The boy simply loves it. I explain that a marionette is just a possessed harlequin arranged on sticks and strings like a Blair Witch that has escaped the forest.

I offer that I would have left that old creep Gepetto in the whale's belly for all of eternity and that Jiminy Cricket is fucking useless, best dealt with through insecticides.

Who tells children that starting fires is an act of heroism that will somehow please their fathers?

Pinocchio: Are you my conscience?

Jiminy Cricket: Who, me?


Friday, July 17, 2015

Set Tinder on Stun…. Range: 25 miles

I have a date. 

I met a woman tonight through Tinder. She's the first person, so far, that I was able to have a normal conversation with. All texting, but it launched as naturally as if we were conversing face to face. We traded phone numbers and some personal details. And she's super cute! I'm like a little Dutch schoolgirl. I'll buy some new underwear this weekend, throw out some old ones. I've been writing her name on my spiral notebook and circling it with Valentine hearts and arrows, appending my last name to her first, etc.

I want to write her a note, in my best cursive:

I like you. Do you like me? (Please check one)

_ Yes 
_ Maybe

I'm a little bit giddy. I feel as if I've had a glass of champagne. 

I was supposed to have a date tonight, north of Napa in St.Helena, though I was incurious about my counterpart, and relieved when my son's mother texted letting me know that her flight home was delayed. I would need to pick up the boy. It gave me an easy way to cancel. The kid and I celebrated by going swimming.

Though... with this new interest, I was ready to drive to her tonight. She is not so very far away. That is how the app works. It is based on preference and proximity. It's simple math. 

I prefer her and she is near. 
Soon enough, I will be there.

Life is just magic awaiting a spell, a swiping incantation, a meeting across the dark.


What Drugs Have To Do With It

(Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?)


…in regards, and to replies

Perhaps hike a hill with a jug of wine and an empty notebook, rid the mind of its terror and some of its chaos, breathe what there is to breathe in from the top of a perfect day. Return with the story of seeing off to faraway distances, past the autumn waters, beyond the hills across the bay, and to the sun. To treat observation of the world as a sort of open invocation, to feel the wind as a type of listening, to regard silence as its reply.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hunger, etc.


The piano sounds better. There is that. The three chords I played on it did, anyway. It needed to be tuned. It was worth the money I spent, which wasn't very much, a few hundred dollars. When overtones matter... who would not likewise toss a few hundred dollars into the desert winds, an approaching storm.

My life is complicated, too much so. I am trying to keep it simple but it is not easy. I won't bore you with the complexities. I have bitten off more than I can chew in almost every area and I am alone. The nights are dark and long, the years uncounted and becoming uncountable. 

I worry too much. It feels good when I stop, but the concerns pile up on me when I start up again, as if I am behind on my homework, which I must be. I shouldn't be writing here, detailing recurring nightmares. The psychic shocks of love. 

There are stacks of papers on and beside my desk that require some sort of attention from me, yet I ignore them until they are lost, ready to be set aflame. All interactions now require one to create an account and then login. I don't want to login. I don't want an online account. I don't want to interact with any poorly designed online system, only to get a sticker for my license plate that says "2016" on it in a new and easily recognizable color to help the police not notice me.

Every agency wants to be the IRS, or worse. They all want to take things from you for your convenience. It is easier to let them rape your paycheck than create the account which would allow you to login monthly and pay them some other way. 

In the future, everyone will be defeated for fifteen details. 

I spoke with an old friend on the phone while I carried the puppy out so that it could crap in the neighbor's yard. I tried to explain to him the unexpected joys of having a child. The sound of my voice became absurd, arriving from far away as a foreigner entering an unknown village. He agreed with me while laughing. There was no hostility or derision whatsoever in his laughter, just an understanding that he had chosen not to have a child. The rewards I listed, while quite true, must have seemed silly, remote, even preposterous. 

There is a new baby in the barrio. It cries, of course. I have heard voices suddenly and loudly telling the baby to "STOP IT!

These are the voices of women, matrons of the young child, I assume. 

What is one to do about such a thing?

Almost everybody is allowed to yell, or scream.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Vamos a Ver

(Tinder-Tastic Profile Pic)

Well, the piano tuner arrived and promptly broke a string. It is not his fault, the piano is quite old and the strings are a bit rusted where they coil on the tuning pegs. More money tossed from the train, trying to tempt the cavalry away from our trail. Always, there is the urgent need for escape. That, and then there is the boredom.

The piano guy created what is known as a tuner's knot. I was impressed with this handy fix and greatly preferred it to replacing the string. We shall see how well it holds tune. I play the piano like the percussion instrument that it is. 

I have implemented a new system for washing clothes, one that works equally as poorly as the previous one. I wait until I have no more clothes that I can possibly wear. The shirts are all too small, or have too many holes in them, or they smell; the pants are from when I weighed much more, or even too much less. Socks and underwear are easy: buy more or go without. This system has resulted in me having three completely full laundry baskets, all now awaiting my labor, time, and money.

I tell myself that life would be different if I had a washer and dryer in the apartment, but I know that it is an untruth of the obvious order. The piles would simply have a centralized place in which to form. It would only magnify my domestic deficiencies. 

I need a woman in my life. I know this. I do not mean to suggest this as to have someone to do my laundry. I simply function better with a woman around, in close proximity. Self-reliance is for ugly people, or for difficult people, which is just another form of ugliness.

This imaginary woman would be to have sex with, also. Tinder has produced some patchy results, so far. Something about each of them seems to spin slightly out of orbit. I can only guess at how I must appear to them. I know that women and men assess each other very differently, so we offer different attributes as our most salient selling points. Perhaps my mention of swilling Dom Perignon on the bow of my yacht as my lead-in on my profile page is a bit too cash-forward.

Veremos, mis bellezas, veremos.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Minions, capsules, the gods of sleep

Saturday, I took the boy to see the animated film. Minions. It is nearly a mantra, the word.

Some encouraged me that "Inside Out" was the one to see instead, though it was miles away. We live in the country. Think globally, cinema locally. 

The boy loved it. It was his first feature film in the "Feeder."

He kept asking me about the "Feeder" and I thought he meant the hummingbird feeder that we had been gifted, to which no flying marvels ever arrived, a thing I attributed to the fact that we live in an ugly, flowerless, place. Our rather, we live in a content rich environment, and they have little use for my sugar offerings. I looked around and realized that where I had hung it, and where I live, is a place that few hummingbirds would look for sustenance, few humans either. A depressing realization if ever there was one.

The boy was saying, "Theater" though I couldn't translate well enough at first. It was a great and complete pleasure for both of us when I finally did. We were together in adventure, on the same verbal page.

I am committed to adding some flowering and non-flowering plants to my back patio area, to see if I can seduce some backwards-capable flying nature towards us. If not, I will likely re-gift the feeder to Rachel, so the boy can at least enjoy the evolutionary marvels that it will likely attract there. There are many people in close proximity there with gardens and flowers of all sorts, a river even runs through it; a hummingbird paradise, one would guess.

Hummingbirds must have descended from the most crafty of dinosaurs. They seem to be the marvels of the Aves class. Them, and the swifts. Excellence in hunting seems quite conventional in comparison, brutish, even at its most impressive. Backwards flight and and the beating of wings at 50 times per second, now that is a thing that should astonish even the dullest of minds. The human eye can only process 10 to 12 images per second. The ear can only distinguish a hummingbirds flight as above its discernible frequency range. We can hear it, but we can not distinguish its individual actions. Only the mind, in an electro-chemical sense, can compete with the wings of a hummingbird. So many neurons searching for a synapse.

Hummingbirds will hopefully take over where the bees once were. They are not so far apart.

Why do even the most hopeful of all thoughts lead to doom. Is it because tragedy relieves us of the responsibility of hope; hope has such vanishing place there. It is why we feel purged and exhausted when it is over, because it has relieved us of the thing that we could not relieve ourselves. Tragedy can be cathartic, otherwise it is only sad, or contemplative.

Okay, I am trying a new sleep aid tonight, hoping for the best. It is a psychoactive hypnotic benzodiazepine. If it works then I will be appealing my new case once again to my doctor. I know that he wants to help. He has emphasized how dangerous a lack of sleep is in a high stress life. He knows that temporary pain that is the immediate cause. Pleasure can also cause a lack of sleep. It is contentment, induced or otherwise, that these times call for. Rest, even the gods know its wisdom.

When I discuss the last few years with him, and how I feel now, his eyes soften and he tells me what these things might mean for me. He knows the ruinous power of anxiety. I try to convince him that within it there is also the occasional insight, the uncontrolled interval moments of epiphany, eureka, of flight.

He asks soberly, When you write it all down and look back at it after a good night's sleep, is it then what you thought it was? 

Well, no, but it is at least a residue of something close, a glimpse of something that had been invisible. 

Don't let it be only remnants. Don't depend on chasing fragments… He cautions. 

The dance of Shiva also includes unexpected spins. I thought.

I told him that I used to write more poetry. He asked if I knew any of my own, any that I had committed to memory. I said that I did, but committing something to memory is not committing it to recall. 

Coy, but vain, I tried:

twice this night I knelt in silence,
asking the sleeping earth to show me
a new and benevolent mercy

a kinder way of living,
a more patient and composed passion

twice I slipped from the pliant hands of the dream
the neutral breath of nature leaving me humbled

indifferent yet itinerant spirit
please slow this human life

gently gypsy, wander less.


Sunday, July 12, 2015


I wouldn't describe our camping adventure as a complete success. We'll need to scout another location. Out of convenience we used the ex's backyard. It is wide open, surrounded by trees, has access to a bathroom, and also has a creek running through it on one side, all of which approximates many campsites elsewhere. It was the access to the bathroom that became our undoing. Sometime after 11pm the boy woke me up to tell me that he had to go potty.

Okay, that's normal. I understand. 

Instead of just having him squirt pee in the backyard as I should have... I led him inside. The problem was that Mom was home. She heard the sliding glass door open and asked down from upstairs who it was. The boy heard her voice and that's all that was needed. I spent the rest of the night sleeping in the tent. The boy went upstairs to his bedroom.

It's my fault, of course. I was just trying to familiarize him with how things work. I suppose that I accomplished a little bit of that, though he and I waking up in the tent was meant to be a part of it; the novelty of unfamiliarity, the trust that dad can take him places and he'll be alright, being out in the elements, etc.

I don't mind sleeping in a tent. I like it. The air mattress and new sleeping bag have made the experience not so very different from anywhere else. I was warm and cozy. I slept more than usual, about eight hours, which is probably a record for the summer so far. In short, my sleeping situation for camping is nearly complete. It has cost me close to a thousand dollars, but I doubt you'll find many people who have any better situation for sleeping outdoors. My tent was designed by the Ritz-Carlton, etc. 

Now, I sit downstairs at her house writing this, drinking a cup of her sugar and cream and coffee that I made for myself, looking through the mail that has accumulated here for me (which included a check for over a thousand dollars), wondering if she still likes to have sex first thing in the morning, half asleep. Not that it matters. I am curious about most all things, with concentration on areas of specificity. 

I must assume yes, she does, without there being any substantive proof to the contrary. The only available evidence is that she does not enjoy having sex in the mornings with me. This is not very useful information, statistically. It functions more in the civil and interpersonal realms than that of statistical mathematics. A negative sample of one gives rise to the question of discernibly useful outcomes.

Well, now the challenge is to break the tent down and get the boy out of this house to prepare for our sailing trip on the bay. I don't suspect that will be entirely easy. We try to avoid circumstances in which he is with both of us and then must be separated. It has proven to be difficult, situationally, in the past, one not short on emotional stress. Try separating a boy from his mother and tell me how you feel. 

I have moved on to my second cup of coffee and noticed a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator.  She has purchased a piano, an upright, presumably to replace the one that I moved to my place. It is, in part, to replace me also, as I was the only one who played it, at least for others. There are beginner practice books on top of it, though for whose use they are intended I do not know. My guess is the boy, though I did once come home to hear mom practicing scales. 

I picture myself finishing off the bubbles, directly from the bottle, playing one of my favorite songs, singing along at what is intended to be an acceptable volume. I do not image that my previous musical charms would be received in quite the same way now, though. Such a thing might be met with derision, or even crossness, though I am accustomed to that, even somewhat impervious to it.

Well, they just woke up. She and I are estranged, neither of us even bothered to say Good morning to one another, which doesn't surprise me at all. I question if I like to have sex in the mornings any more, either. 

Now have a seemingly useful statistic: 100%.



Saturday, July 11, 2015

The arrow of time always flies from the bow

(El Nino, en preparado)

Ah, sweet weekend… and what else would we work for if not this. 

Last night, the boy and I went to the camping store (REI) and picked out two sleeping bags and two lanterns. The air mattress arrives today. We could be ready for an experimental tryout of camping in the backyard as early as tonight. The boy was so excited that he wanted to sleep in his sleeping bag in his bed last night, which I of course let him do. He remained so excited that by around 8:30 - 9 pm he had to be put in my bed where he finally went to sleep. He could hardly compose his excitement at the idea of camping. He was ready to start "roughing it" last night.

Maybe tonight. I'll have to check my 401k.

I depart for Madison next Sunday. I will be there for a week for work. Wisconsin was listed as one of the best places to live in a recent magazine article I was looking at, which was presumably based on a study; an index of happiness, opportunity, and cost of living. Something tells me that this little proximity-of-divorce bubble that I am in will not last. Who knows. I almost wish I still knew anybody that speaks with my ex.

The piano gets tuned on Wednesday, so I have committed to mastering the guitar. During last weekend's camping trip it became clear to me just how much my fingerboard prowess had atrophied. I struggled to remember songs, to change chords deftly, to fingerpick, to sing, to stick with a chosen key, etc. Somewhere along the way in life I stopped singing. My Buddhist friends tell me that might be a good thing. My Christians pray for me. My yogis charge me to stretch. 

Fuck, there is a friend that still speaks with the ex for reasons her own, and she is also a karma yogi (I think she is). I can't go back and edit now out of self-consciousness. You know who you are... this post is coincidental, nothing more. Most days I don't even bother writing too much into my writing. It would be a mistake to read too much into it.

A friend with whom I am planning a trip North with the boy in late summer emailed to tell me that one of the better American Pinots shares a name with my son (Do you capitalize varietals, or only regionals…?). He referred to it is pricey, so I doubt it's within my reach, or grasp (just verified, it is beyond both). 

I try not to be one of those "special occasion" purchasers, but one becomes so easily and perhaps mistakenly sentimental once they have a child. Time's passing and all that implies acts itself out in the life before you. Out of nearly nothing emerges this person, new in all ways, yet as old as history. You get to see and feel the gallup of youth at full stride, incapable of "looking back" and without need of same.

It could be argued there is never need for reflection, though writing is in part an act of just this, nothing more. It invites consideration, anyway. It is one of the ways by which we measure loss, document hopes and fears, successes, failures. I use the terms loosely, of course, loss and consideration. I mean only time and thought. 

Writing is a human thing to do, coincidence or otherwise.

Well, all of Google's services seem to be struggling right now, which is as good a sign as any that the universe doesn't exist unless you are observing it.

Until then. 

It is mainly gravity that makes time move only forward. Well that, combined with the fact that entropy does not occur in a symmetrical way. Time is the opposite of a polarized force, a thing which is already its own opposite. 

Time to make the donuts!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Hey, Poppy!

Another nearly sleepless night, spent alone in pain. 

How long, Oh Lord, how long? 

I went to see the doctor yesterday and said all the wrong things. He lectured me on the dangers of habituation but kept his finger out of my asshole, so I think we achieved a truce of some sort. There will be more tests on Monday morning. After that, the finger may announce itself. 

The pain medicine is never good enough. They provide synthetics, wishing to keep me as far as possible from the stuff that works. Morphine, 30mg tablets, within 60 minutes the angels appear and are flapping their wings in full stride. Pixie dust is for pussies.

I don't presume to deserve the liquid. We are, of course, all of us, chronically dying; most of us not just yet. They wish to avoid addiction, at least until death is more certain.

My maladies do not quite qualify, he cautioned me.

You'll be fine… 

When? I begged. When!

I demanded that he check my pancreas for cancer. I pointed uncertainly towards my abdomen. It is the "silent killer," so it's nice to get a jump on that one, just in case. I promised to keep the precious morphine pills in hiding, waiting, stored in a cool and dry place that no one knows about. I begged him to look in my asshole. I arched my back and made it seem as inviting as possible, I think.

Nothing worked. He could detect my hopeless need. I should have worn underwear. I knew that was a mistake as soon as it became apparent to everyone in the room, just what I had done, and why. The medical community is not prepared to dispense its natural healing elixirs to a babbling, pleading, disrobed wretch with a chubby.

A semi-erection is an odd thing to display publicly. It contains within a single glance the qualities and virtues of ambition and yet also unfulfilled promise. It seems to be expository rather than inciting incident, yet somehow it is both and neither. It makes few promises and is usually not a threat, implied or otherwise. One needn't be exactly shy about it, though few have ever requested to see one without specific cause. It can be participatory only in direct relation to circumstance. It does not make a complete sense, in and of itself, yet fills most any room with shocked anticipation. It is among the most titillating of a man's qualities, because it exists between two states with scant likelihood of remaining there for long. No one can ever be quite sure about its meaning, perhaps its owner most of all. The question of its arrival or departure is one that can only be answered directly, and with the senses.

I explained to my medical team that I had only just recently found Jesus, in the car, and all of this that's happening right now is just terrible and I know that, but I have been forgiven, and I want everyone looking at me to think about that for a moment. I am in pain, I think.

Now, I would greatly prefer morphine, though for reasons mainly unrelated to this specific office visit. I don't feel that I should have to ask again. Anyone that has ever tussled with the existential miseries would understand. I have tender sensibilities, and the universe much too large. 

Nobody has ever died from too much oatmeal, my doctor encouraged.

He sent me limping on my way, my tender partial stuffed back into my blue jeans.

The insurance company called as I was trying to get in the car, just to see how everything went. They probed me about any lingering or questionable prescriptions the doctor may have conceded. My head was swimming. I couldn't think. I wanted so badly to be at home where masturbation is not such a crime.

To wit, I sit now in the darkness sipping a glass of morning claret. Morphine it is not, though in small doses it can on occasion induce sleep. If I only slip through the last window of opportunity just before the sun emerges. Nearly anything to stop the inane reeling of the hapless, helpless, sleepless mind.

"… for he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man. " - Samuel Johnson


Thursday, July 9, 2015

"Birds flyin' high…."

When it is not the runaway thoughts then it is the dreams, and the uneasy dreaming.

Another restless night, another X on the calendar, one more cup of coffee.

I await for the boy to wake up; the light of my morning. He really is a tremendously sweet kid. He and I have fallen in love with swimming in the pool after school and work. I go pick him up and we can hardly contain ourselves, knowing what a joy is a cool pool in the summer. I stand in the center and he jumps towards me with arms outstretched, bursting with the triumph of leaping. Few things make me as happy as his unselfconscious laughter.

All that we lack is a puppy. The roads ahead would then be paved with giggles.

This weekend we go sailing, a few hours touring the SF Bay on a catamaran. Also, we will go to the camping store and get some stuff to help round out the experience for us. It is becoming easier to parent the boy, in degrees, though I know that this age disappears quickly, never to return. Things might not always be so easy... It is both hard to believe and somehow impossible to deny.

Well, I just bought an air mattress for the tent, one that fits in the tent more sensibly and will accommodate two people. It will be here by Saturday, which makes it possible for us to camp out Saturday night. Now, we will go to get sleeping bags. One needs special, insulated fabrics to love nature well.

Perhaps I was a bit too harsh with my criticisms of Nina Simone yesterday (in the comments section). Though it's true that I have never cared much for her. She sounds like a man. She strives for a stylism that she often fails to achieve. It gets annoying after 30 seconds or so. It doesn't seem to bother others the way that it does me. Though, there is this album, which I like even though it seems to highlight the very things that I like about her least.

She strives for a stylism that she often fails to achieve.

Maybe that's what bothers me; the echoes that remind.