Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Time Does Not Fly

They fall like dry leaves, these tufts of paper, subject to the slightest puffs - he raggles another jagged piece out of the wall he is building. It is hard work, and he is tired. Soft hands cover his face. God, it's so dark.

He wasn't always this way. He had never planned to be old and, now, gray hair and the noises he makes involuntarily, and there is so much time. Everyone says it like it's a blessing. Some golden reward for a life lived, if not lived well. Now, you have so much time! It's true, but time for what? Time to sit in an empty apartment tearing cocktail napkins into ribbons? Time to check the clock and think: Holy shit. It's not even noon!

There is a sweet, rotten light sneaking through the gaps in the curtain, the gaps in the wall. Even the sun is corrupted, covered in gray misery, plumes of smoke and all manner of bullshit. At least I've still got plenty of time to enjoy it. He tries to smile.

It is at times like this that he wonders if anything could have changed the trajectory. He could have had kids. He could have worked harder. He could have chucked it all long ago and lived like a peasant, chasing enlightenment.

We are all victims of our choices.

There is a sound in the apartment. There are times when he can almost convince himself that he is going crazy. Finally. But the noise is there. It is the noise of desperation. Some gnawing, scrabbling something. He tries to ignore it or enjoy its company. Failing at both.

He has become a man who names the birds outside his window - he does not know if this is some form of penance or something to be proud of. There is so much he does not know. And folks lay it on him. You have all the time in the world, now! So, what? He should start learning about steam engines or stop eating gluten or do yoga in a sauna? People say these things to him and he blinks like a man who has spent the day in a mine. And they look at him with sad, long faces while he thinks of violence.

There is a scrap of paper taped to the bathroom mirror. It is the first thing he sees every morning. He does not remember when it arrived there. It is written in his handwriting, though, so he reads it.

It says:

LIFE IS A CARNIVAL. NEVER TRUST THE CARNIES.

He reads this every morning and nods resolutely. The woman who sells him coffee must shave her beard. The men climbing poles will walk the power lines, one after another, crossing the city in grid-flash daring. The girly show is everywhere, but they never show it all, no matter what the barker says.

He looks at the clock and taps his fingernails on the table and charts the pain that starts in his left temple and goes all the way down his back, to his thighs - hot, sharp pain. This is it. This is everything and everything is nothing. 

Outside, the birds sing and he resists the urge to throw crumbs out the window, cooing the little names he has created, the lives he has created. He knows that if he were gone tomorrow, it would be a blip in their recognition, if that. And just last week he woke to a goldfinch on his steps and he had cried the rest of the day, mourning beauty lost. Cursing the neighbor's cat.

It is time to do something with all this time, but what? He wishes he could donate it. Give it to some young go-getter with plans and a glint in his eye. Let him use the time. Maybe he could do something with it.

Time passes. It may pass slow, but it does pass. He can't stop it. He can't speed it up and he can't slow it down no matter how it feels or what his third grade teacher said so many years ago.

Time does not fly. Not for him.

Friday, August 29, 2014

2 minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. Every Friday we do a fun free-write. 

You can write whatever you want in the comments section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. BREAK THE BLOG! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play. 

If I open this up, I don't know if I'll be able to close it, see? It's like a vault, and it's filled with all kinds of ugly detritus. I imagine cracking the door and watching spirits shriek out into the night. Or maybe I saw Indiana Jones too many times. Point is, once you open it, you can't close it. 

Don't get me wrong. I know there are old women with weepy eyes wondering who the man beside them is. I know that man is sobbing. I know there are mothers, wringing hands, staring at their perfect babies and worrying. I also know that there are women looking through that same window full of bassinets, wondering what the fuck they did.

I'm gonna open the vault. Partly out of curiosity's sake. Mostly, I just figure there is only so much shit you can cram in there until all hell breaks loose.

Thanks for stopping by! 400 views for '2 Minutes' last Friday. Getting bigger every week. See you next Friday. 

*BTW, feel free to put your pieces on your blog. A lot of folks have started doing that, and it's COOL. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rolling the rock.

My eyes open, gummily, and it starts. I can almost hear the starter pistol - it's aimed directly at my face and they shoot blanks, but they sure are loud. I wish they'd be more considerate. The noise rallies the panic. Everything goes tight, and I fear some kind of implosion. I turn my head, searching cool spots on the pillow, but I can't find one. My face is hot, chasing the cool away.

I remember when I woke up feeling refreshed. Barely. It was years and years ago. Now, I wake up feeling like I wrestled a gorilla. My neck is tight. My back is fucked. My jaw aches like I've gone round after round with my hands down. I am always tired.

Plugged into it now, I try to think about the fake people I need to work on and how I need to drown out the pounding in my chest.

Sometimes, there are days and weeks and months like this. I am lucky that I have secret weapons. They are wise and they know how to speak to me. Not all of them. Some of them just have small, soft hands that rest on my face while tiny lips kiss my shoulder and tell me to feel better.

And sometimes I do.

Friday, August 22, 2014

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. Every Friday we do a fun free-write. 

You can write whatever you want in the comments section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. BREAK THE BLOG! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play. 

Silent underneath the wooden slats, he sits. He has been sitting. Not resting. Sitting. It is an activity that requires thought, contemplation, introspection - the man does not sit carelessly. 

He is listening. Not for any one thing, but for all things. For the smudge-wing gulls and the terns to cry out. He is listening for the sound of chatter, laughter. He does not think of himself as a guardian, but he should. He cannot guard the terns. The sand. The sun. This freedom. This chatter static. He guards the notion of simplicity. He runs his hands through sand-chunked hair. He closes his eyes and watches panoramas pass before the gentle lids.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next Friday. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This is mine.

This is mine. I own this shit, and I'll do what I want with it. I figure it's an electronic shovel, and I'm gonna sweat more than John Henry. I want to be down deep in it, farther than six feet in it, down in the dark, moist heat of it. I want to compost myself.

Composting is important, but maybe you don't care about the earth, you fucking dick. Not that I compost, or care about anything, but you're still a dick. That's undeniable. You smell like Nixon, I'd imagine. He's dead now, so he probably doesn't smell as slick. Splitting hairs.

So, like I said, this is mine. You can try to take it from me, I don't care. It'll be nice to get some fresh air.

We're all on the same team! You can keep saying it and we can keep smiling about it, but I gotta say - sounds like the makings of a very damn boring game.

I keep a knife beside me when I write. It is for cuticles and apples and bits of string. It is to hold and caress. It is there to slice through epidermal armor, into the slop and meat of myself. I've got to put my hands in there and get the feel of it. I want to feel the wet squish through my fingers, hold my heart and feel the thump.

Or I'll move on down the line, handful of dimes. Bagging. Sack the village. Burn it. The bridges, too. There is no going back.

Friday, August 15, 2014

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. Every Friday we do a fun free-write. 

You can write whatever you want in the comments section on this blog post. You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play. 

Jenny sat on a crag of rock, perched in a sideways squat, thinking. Above her, there was sky, miles and miles of blue. Beneath her, there were waves pounding the rock. The waves were a promise of death, but she could not move. 

Why? Everyone would ask why. She wanted to explain. About the pebble. About how it was different, gold flecked and half-white and just ... magical. It hadn't seemed far. Now, pebble in her pocket, Jenny felt her fingers tearing and shut her eyes. 

She felt herself falling, the wind, indecent, taking liberties with her body. There was no splash. She opened her eyes to find herself hundreds of feet in the air, body soaring, soul screaming, hand clutching her magic rock.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next Friday. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wind

You are in it, caught up, red-handed, dust-devil drawn - light sketch lines. There is so much above you, but you don't look up. You do not see the swift-winged swallows tear the sky to ribbons. You are aware of clouds, but you do not look to see them - you take their shade and ignore the beauty they sculpt into the opal sky. You promised. The words echo in your head - the echoes are loud and frantic and you picture her face. You think: well, yeah... You promised, but there is something childlike about her disappointment - you have lived too long in the world where promises are like sunny-day popsicles, overly sweet and easily broken.

She steps out of the crowd at the bus station and it breaks your heart, truly. There is an ache inside so acute it frightens you - you wonder what a heart attack feels like. You want to run, but before you know it there are air kisses and she still wears the same perfume and the wind won't scatter it fast enough, and you're angry. You didn't ask for this. This taste of perfume thick in your mouth.

She talks so much and you wonder if it's natural. It sure doesn't seem like it. Seems like dexedrine. But that's not your business. Everyone has their secret crushes. Their secret crutches. Yours makes you quiet, withdrawn. It works out well. You stare at the space between her eyebrows and let the words soak you to the bone, not understanding. There is nothing to be understood.

Do you want to talk about it?

Your mind closes, and you feel loathing like syrup in your lungs. Of course. She called because of the funeral. It must have been in the paper. For a brief second you are back, standing in a raucous patch of sunlight wondering why. Why? And now it is all too clear. She felt obligated. That's all. It makes you feel lost and selfish and sad.

You shrug your jacket on. She's still saying things and the things are still too fast. She grabs your arm and you shake it away with a ferocity that is surprising to both of you. It turns her face large, smooth. She is still yelling after you, shrieks of guilt, slick along the broken buildings. It doesn't matter. You don't want to talk anymore.