Wednesday, May 26, 2010

J is for Janet...

Our eyes met across the room. No, it was across the bar. You had the loneliest tv blue eyes I had ever seen. Actually, they were the saddest brown eyes. You tossed your head to move your hair from those eyes, or maybe I brushed your hair behind your ear when I leaned in to kiss you. These details seem to get jumbled up, mismatched and confused from the event to my brain to the page. One night we fucked, or slow danced, or made love, or maybe we drove towards the ocean, debating on stopping as that cliff got closer. Was it worth it, the brakes? My mind says yes, my heart, well, it is still thinking about all the other things. Opening the front door to you and angelic rays from heaven, or was it you normal with friends and acquaintances that I would never see again. The trials by fire, the gauntlets of arrows, or the explanation of intentions in dark rooms, crowded rooms, empty streets or busy beds. Maybe my heart is wrapped up with conversations from time zones away, counties with shared borders, or that one really rough night when I escaped to the driveway and locked my self away outside so I could figure out where you stood, where I stand and where I fall.

It is now about twelve years ago. I am spending time in a jacuzzi watching movies in black and white. Then I am swimming in the longest slimmest pool of my life. I am kissing girls, my pants are wet, my hair is a mess, and I have absolutely no way of showing or explaining any of this to you. I stop thinking about all those friends I lost. Back to you, Janet.

There is a bar in Santa Barbara. There is a dance club in Tijuana. There is bowling alley in Chicago. There is a house in Oregon. There is a bed in Texas. There is a lake in Oklahoma. There is street in Gainesville. There is a cul-de-sac in Seattle. There is an ocean that is not the Pacific. All of these are you even when they are not, baby steps in the creation of an adult, a human, a piece of shit who secretly functions as the one with the deepest valleys of a heart until they are filled with all the things that have gone into them these last few years.

I'll take my chances with beds and dreams. My heart, head, and mouth are conspiring to honesty. It feels as close to perfect as I can remember.

I'll see you tomorrow, if only for a second...

10/26

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I is for Inventory...

Your flowers have been safe
for fifteen to twenty years
stories packed away in boxes
lining the ceiling of your home.
Forget that they catch your prayers.
Forget that they muffle your cries.
Forget that they block your path to heaven.

Keep those boxes full of
exes, letters, dresses, dreams,
pvc pipe, brushes, photographs,
recipes, lovers, and my best wishes.

Move them from house to house
to house to house to home.

Cross out the names,
change the labels,
mark everything as X-MAS LIGHTS.

My heart keeps rhythm with
the lights blinking on your tree;
One and Two and Three and Four.
Breathe.
Repeat.

9/26

Sunday, May 23, 2010

H is for Hollow...

I was standing outside of a bathroom door. I had to empty the last of my drink into my gut. The night was winding down, or maybe, just getting started. I could smell the chain smoke on my fingers. I looked out, through the dark, over the bar, past the white lights, around the tables and into the dance floor. A little girl twirled. That is all they do, twirl. Then they get older and break your fucking heart. The bride danced, her new husband head and shoulders above the crowd. The breeze had died down, but the cold still hung around. My empty cup joined some distant cousins on a crowded post. Men in nice suits and cheap tuxes shared stories that must have been about conquests or drunken choices; their eyes and laughs gave them away. Some friends of mine huddled around a low table smoking, drinking, smiling and dancing just a little. I made myself promise not to forget the scene: the lights, the air, the joy and my heart beating in my head. The door opened and I walked in. "I'm going to sit here on the step, it is warm in here." I leaned down and kissed her.

8/26

Saturday, May 22, 2010

G is for Guarantee...

"I guarantee you I will screw this song up"

The word guarantee always reminds me of that quote. It's from Nirvana's Unplugged album. How that relates to this and the rest of things, we will see.

I am in Reno, Nevada, it is the summer of either 2002 or 2003. A friends aunt had just been married. The bride, groom, men in suits, women in dresses, little kids twirling, drunk cousins and my friend are milling about. We are at the Peppermill in some suite. There's a jacuzzi tub and wet bar. (Actually, it might have just been a bar. I'm not sure what a wet bar is.) There is also a big curved black couch. The decor is total 80's-coke-party-Vegas-Lifetime-movie-shit. A drunk cousin comes bouncing in with two bottles of vodka he swiped from another suite that had a maid in it cleaning the bathroom. I am sitting on the couch. I am suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that the bed that some little kid is bouncing on will soon have all sorts of other similar but different movements happening on it. I hear water being drawn in the bath and there is talk of a baby taking a bath in the jacuzzi tub. This is supposed to be a wedding reception. My friend's mother taps me on the shoulder and asks if I am ok. I had been sitting next to her on the couch and when she touched me it occurs to me that I had trailed off in mid-sentence. I tell her the Coors Light must be getting the best of me quicker than I expected. I am peeling at the label to distract me from the strange reception that I am at. She puts her hand on my thigh, our eyes meet, and she hands me the label from her beer.

"You know, if you give someone an intact label peeled from a beer then they owe you a sexual favor."

7/26

Friday, May 21, 2010

F is for Forever...

I am listening to a mix I made for a woman in my life. As per everything up until this point it is complicated. And it also makes me happy. Whatever. It isn't for forever.

Forever for me has been many many different things. States, counties and cities. Homes, houses and apartments. Fiances, girlfriends and fucks. Heartbreak, loss and indifference. That has been forever.

I am spending multiple minutes of multiple hours convincing roommates, friends, best friends, coworkers, ex-lovers and the occasional lawyer that I am fine. Amanda got me a little bit ago, and it still stands true...

YOU are all I ever want. I am a hopeless romantic. (This blog has just officially lost any street cred by that lame exclamation. whatever. street cred is for assholes and I am a hopeless romantic) All I look for is Family; Struggle.

UGH.

This isn't where it is supposed to be...

Forever is something I thought I understood; I do not anymore.

I am so close to putting my foot in my mouth it is almost hilarious.

Don't worry, you will totally see it happen. Shit, it might have already happened tonight.

So it goes.

6/26

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

E is for Elizabeth...

There have been multiple people, men and women both, in my life that I have treated less than satisfactory. This is for Elizabeth. She was one of them. I hope she knows I am sorry, or at least forgot about me.

Of course we worked together. We always work together, don't we? We bought a six pack of Anchor Steam at a beach-near liquor store. It was the time in my life when I thought that more expensive beer made me feel better about the shitty decisions I made. I'm not there these days. No beer makes me feel better about my decisions, and they aren't any excuses left. It is honest; it is nice. You had driven to that beach city. We parked between a harbor and the beach, between a comedy club I went to once and patch of sand I lost one of my many parts of innocence in. There was a blanket, yellow maybe, it doesn't matter. I had recently gotten back into the swing of things, as someone might say. Everything was new. It was as if I had just woken up from a coma, shaved off my huge beard, and tried to stumble my way through a sexual encounter. It was sloppy, uncoordinated, and earnest. I will always remember one moment. My lips found your left earlobe. It was soft, had a bit of give to it. It didn't taste like perfume, or lotion, or anything; just flesh. I sucked it in between my lips and gently bit down on it. Where this technique came from? I am not sure. But you thanked its parents with your breaths and moans. We had a late start, that night, and we left soon after. I also remember a long straight drive, on another evening, to your place. It was out where the wind was even less forgiving then the rest of that god forsaken valley. You had your own place, but only showed me your living room and your photographs. You were probably the first photographer I fell for once I could understand photography. I owe you that, thank you. We slept together that night, underwear and spoons. Everything in that house, the few times I visited, stayed in the PG realm. That was fine. That is fine. We figured the rest of that out later. That is where things get bad. I don't care to revisit them on these pages, not today at least. But know I am sorry. And yes, yes, in the past I told the story about how the end of our sexual encounter on your birthday was less then satisfactory, especially in terms of me as a lover. And yes, I took you back to you car as the sun was rising. And no, I had nothing to do that day. I am selfish. It is not an excuse. Maybe a back story, but definitely not an excuse.

Funny thing about all of this. It is two in the morning, and I am writing a belated "I'm Sorry" letter to a woman I talked to for the first time since 2007 about two months ago. In a virtual chat. And I am drinking beer alone. And to the best of my knowledge she has a loving husband and beautiful child and lives three hours ahead. Congratulations Elizabeth, you pulled it together. Me? Well...

5/26

Monday, May 17, 2010

D is for Don't...

Don't is the only advice I get lately, from family, friends and from myself. Don't drink too much. Don't go to that party. Don't invest in foreign currency. Don't call him. Don't send her that text. Don't forget that birthday. Don't sleep with someone just so your bed isn't empty. Don't wear your heart on your sleeve. Don't show any emotion. Don't cry. Don't fight. Don't hate. Don't scream. Don't sing out of key. Don't believe everything you hear. Don't skip work today. Don't take a nap. Don't borrow money from lovers. Don't collect keys. Don't keep doing the same things and expect a different reaction. Don't seek sympathy. Don't over-react. Don't talk to any Asian women. Don't save slow dances for anyone. Don't smoke. Don't try to match. Don't put food and drinks on the same tray. Don't make that person cry. Don't give up. Don't sell out. Don't get married. Don't start a family. Don't plan for the future. Don't paint. Don't waste any talent. Don't listen to that band. Don't blindly recite quotations that you can't put your heart into. Don't dance. Don't forget postage. Don't sleep on your arm. Don't waste your time. Don't waste your life. Don't talk to strangers. Don't tell anyone how you feel. Don't be so honest. Don't like her. Don't let him in. Don't invite them over. Don't take those drugs. Don't eat those pills. Don't settle. Don't fucking settle. Ever.

4/26

Sunday, May 16, 2010

C is for Chances...

There are never too many chances to give or too many chances to take. There are never unnecessary chances. I take chances. I give them too. You are welcome to them, as many as your heart could possibly desire. I'll need a basket full too, if you have them to spare. I've known people to give them to men, women, sports teams, organizations, political theories, pants, parts of this country, other countries, wives, husbands, children and grocery stores. One of these days soon I won't need any more chances. I will wake up to just before the sun rising and not fall back asleep. I won't need coffee or amphetamines or the hair of the dog. I will put on my favorite shirt, the one that is in all of the pictures, and it will be soft, soft like the skin of the woman I am leaving alone in my bed. It will smell like her, and every bird, every song, every thought and every crack skipped over for the sake of saving backs of women I will be forever in debt to will remind me of her. Flowers. Dinners. Rage. Tears. Museums. Sandwiches. Love Songs. Appliances. Wine. Poems. Paintings. Sweat. Baked Goods. All of it. Everything. That day all of those things, and things I failed to mention, and things I don't even know about today will take the place of all of the chances I've been burning through like matches behind the gym at some Midwest high school. Chances. Second Chances. Third Chances. No need. No need at all.

3/26

Saturday, May 15, 2010

B is for Bending...

The idea is to bend, not to break. I will bend my morals. Wait. Do I have morals? Hmm. I will bend them if I do. I will bend a situation until it fits me exactly how I want it to. I will bend your words to fit what I think you should be saying. I will bend my plans to include you. I will bend my history to hide the bad parts. I will bend my walls to let you in. And I've figured all this out. I don't worry about hearts breaking, especially my own. I don't worry about habits breaking. I'll make new habits and just throw the other ones away. I'll bend for you, wherever you are, whoever you are.

2/26

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A is for Anticipation...

(Yes, I DO always think of The Rocky Horror Picture Show when I hear the word anticipation)

There is a that moment, or rather series of moments strung together, where the anticipation of what is going to happen next is brutal. It's right after your phone vibrates in your pocket and you anticipate that it is a message or call from that person you've been waiting to hear from all day and then just before you find out if it is them or not. It's that quiet moment right before a kiss, especially a first kiss, but also, to an extent, the moment right after a kiss. More? Fingers crossed. It's that stomach drop of "I need to talk to you" or "I have to tell you something" or "Please keep all arms and legs inside of the..." The heavy breathing. Is it hard enough? Is it too soft? Am I in the right place at all? It's opening the door to a new house, a new room, a new backyard. It's walking into a party and knowing it is only a matter of time before something, anything, happens. It's the knocking at your front door. Or, if you are lucky, the doorbell ringing. It's the lights dimming in the club, the bar, the stadium, your room, your life.

1/26

Friday, May 07, 2010

I blog in a tie because I care

I played dress up today. I woke up with the sun, let the water heat up in the shower while I picked out a soundtrack for the day. There was lathered body wash and shampoo for my freshly cut hair. The coffee pot had already been turned on and was doing its job. A razor was placed to my face to make me presentable to the people I would present myself to. Underwear in case things go terribly wrong. Black slacks, skinny enough to question, dark enough to show how serious. Leather belt with a truck belt buckle from my best friend. Grey shirt, buttons to the top, sleeves rolled down. Black tie from a wedding. Skinny, but not hip skinny. Black socks, of course, hidden by the skinny slacks and the black square tipped dress shoes. Hair was brushed, shirt tucked in, glasses on and the overall appearance judged in the mirror. I held the coffee cup to my lips and thought "Here's to something" and drank.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The few times I bother telling time

I know when it is late. I can feel it in my heart.
I know when it is early. I can feel it behind my eyes.

I don't really need a clock. It helps me get to work on time. And it helps me do other things that are dependent on that.

But the only time I look at the time these days are when I'm waiting to hear from you.

I know you are asleep.
Or you are at a party.
Or work is running late.
Or your car broke down.
Or it is your brother's birthday.
Or you are seeing your ex.
Or you are making a three point turn in a grocery parking lot.
Or you are on your way to see your new home.
Or you are the third car in a funeral procession.
Or you are sitting outside.
Or you are flying over more states then I have stepped foot in.
Or you are taking baby steps to destroy my heart.
Or you are reading this and might be sad that this is what always runs through my mind.
Or you are laying next to me, and that fucking sun is rising too quick.

I still check the time.

Just for you.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Somewhere between Tuesday and Wednesday.

The blinds to my windows are mostly open. My light is on and I am listening to music and thinking about this and the last few days. I wonder if any cars drive by and think "What is happening in that room that the light is still on at one in the morning?" If they only knew.

I am sitting alone. The money has almost all ran out. My legs are covered in cuts, scratches, dried blood and scabs. The music isn't as loud as I want it to be, but at this point I have decided to be considerate. I stayed up for twenty four hours yesterday breaking laws and doing things my friends and parents would both be proud and ashamed of. Most of the muscles in my body ache. My eyes are almost closed. There is fire coming up from the pit of my stomach. I tried to put it out with the last couple gulps of warm champagne from yesterday. That didn't work. So I put forty ounces of malt liquor on top of it. There is probably still a fire there, but I don't seem to notice it, or care. I think I hear footsteps outside, someone coming to my door to get me out of this fifteen minute funk and run their fingers through my hair. Or they have a pocket full of pebbles and they are going to toss them at my window one at a time, just hard enough to get my attention, till it draws me outside to cries of love and proposals, or at least a kiss. There are horses on the television running through the desert in black and white and I have more in common with them then I do with the text messages I received today, or at least their senders, or at least what I care to admit. Those horses don't know where they are going, and everyone else is on their way out of town. Days, weeks, or months it is all happening. It might be the next exodus.

Or it could just be me being tired.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Me and bodies of water.

I was within an arms throw of the ocean today. Not my arms throw, by no means, but someones arm. An arm as strong as the pounding that has been leaving my heart and heading full force towards my skin. If my feet are on the ground, which lately they are not, that ground fucking rumbles and shakes. Things fall over. Women change their thoughts on the quality of their lovers. Men change their underwear.

Like I said, I was within an arms throw of the ocean today. I didn't see it though. Honestly, I didn't even bother to look. I'm always looking this way or looking that way at some large body of water that I think is going to change my life, give me all the answers, at least keep me hydrated. They don't. It won't. I'm fine.

So today I didn't look. Today it didn't hold anything to me. I think the change I needed, this THING that I'm always asking/looking/hoping for, was to my left. But then it was to my right, or at least what used to be my right. Fuck. It could have been behind me. But it was definitely not in the ocean, not today, not tomorrow, not yesterday, and, fuck, not ever.

Maybe this is a reaction to the thing about baptism. Or maybe it is a reaction to my love of symbols. But maybe sometimes a baptism is a baptism only for Jesus, and maybe that short reply isn't that you are mad, but you just don't know what to say.

I am not everyone. Actually, I am barely myself. But I do things that other people would never think of. I don't mean (insert sexual act that at this point would surprise or repulse my readership), but rather my initial first reaction to what life throws at me.

I'll quit. Or fight. Or cry. Or feel like dying.

Whatever.

I spent time in a small body of water today, and next to it, and at times I felt like I was bearing my soul. Or maybe I was just telling stories. And maybe there is no difference. It all still hurts. It all still makes me smile.

I was asked if I should be followed, when things get like this, and I said yes.

And then I was asked to do the same.