Friday, September 25, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

They are vermin, and they are devouring us from the inside, these thoughts, this hate is corrosive; look at the spittle-flecked faces, screaming. See the veins throb in their temples. Man, we all just need someone to hate. Someone to love? Fuck that shit. Hate is potent. It feels good. It's real. It's truth. Scoop some enmity into your brains, folks. Don't stop spewing ugliness until you feel clean. 

How are we ever going to recover from this? Say the white folks. They just want to go back to being able to pretend that their pretensions of equality mean something. The government? Please. Put Nancy Pelosi in a locked room with the President. Keep 'em in there; they are opposite sides of the same coin, and it's fucking disgusting. Let them eat cake. Let them have home haircuts. Make Chuck Schumer and Pence trusties. 

Misery loves company and half the country ain't about to get comfortable unless we're all fucked. It's so unreal, this death spiral. All these "patriots" with their boots on the neck of our country. All these pickup-driving Luddites with axes to grind, trying to make the world back into a Boo Radley nightmare.

Mostly, I'm tired of being so disappointed in the stupidity folks use to buttress themselves. We can't agree to wear medical masks. We can't agree who matters. We can't agree that bitching on Twitter doesn't do shit. The future revolutionaries are going to be embarrassed telling our stories.  

They're gonna say, "2020, man. American jumped the shark."

Friday, September 18, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

It was a time of change, 2020. A time of silent staring into the corners of the room. You walked down hallways and heard gentle crying. Or a child talking to her doll, explaining (hoping) that everything will be OK. It's just a lot of smoke. It's just a country that is being torn apart. It's just a president who doesn't care. It's just our darker-skinned neighbors being maligned and murdered. It's just pandemic. It will be OK. You hear this coming from an eight-year-old, and it hurts. It burns in your chest. Eight years old is old, man. They're going to remember all of this. They're going to know. 

It's hard to wake up to a nightmare every day, reaching for your phone and hoping things got better. Hoping things get worse? Man, it gets twisted up when you're stuck between destruction and Resurrection. It's like those college relationships you keep trying to fix when what they really need is a long, lonely walk. Let's just say fuck it, and blow the country up. Let's all hug each other and try to understand. Let's start fires and accelerate this shit. Let's bury our heads in the sand. Let's all commit suicide. 

I hear the Trashcan Man laughing all day long, and it's hard to take.

And why did I quit drinking? Seems almost cruel to make someone go through all this fully conscious of what's going on. I'm OD'ing on fear and anger. It's inside me and it's burning me out. It's like when you open an old battery compartment and inside it's just rust and what used to be batteries and you wash your hands real good and throw that shit away. That's what it's like inside me.

And I know that I am one of the fortunate ones. I live in the Bay Area where we try to love each other and be decent humans. I'm white. I'm a man. I'm tall. I'm 42. I have a family. I'm a big, old, white man with a broken heart, who tried telling anyone who would listen that this was coming. 

And here we are. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

There is no horizon; everything is oatmeal, but without any positive connotations. It ain't gonna warm you up, keep you full, sit like lead in your stomach. No, man. This oatmeal air is gonna strip the paint of your car, poison your lungs, make your eyes burn so you look stoned all the time. But you don't feel stoned. You feel anxious and trapped and pissed off and stupid. 

This air is gonna get inside you and sit there for years. 

You ever look outside in the morning and wonder if you're getting cancer? You ever think, aah, smells like premature death and chronic lung problems this morning. Want to hit the beach? And it's like we're punching ourselves in the face because we still fucking live here. Maybe we should bail this smoking ruin and move to a part of the country more dominated by hate?

Our fuckhead president won't even acknowledge what's going on. That we watched our friends lose the house they poured their heart into. That kids are wheezing while their stressed parents are putting together boxes full of birth certificates and baby pictures and grandma's jewelry. That folks are trying to stay safe while some of our fellow Americans are all, "yeah, but it's just California. Fucking commies." Good luck getting along without California, you fucking idiots. Good luck. I'm sure y'all will start growing your own produce. 

The left side of the country is on fire. That's it. It's not like you don't know, even if the Prez ain't talking about it. You see it. It's there. And if you care, you care. If you don't, I don't give a shit. I'm done trying to explain it. 

There's not enough air.

Friday, September 4, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

All I want to talk about today is TIME. The way it works and the way it doesn't. The way it slows to a trickle and then comes at you hard like some kid figured out how to get into the hydrant. Today is a pretty important day because my firstborn is twelve, and that feels real old. Feels like I've never not been a parent at this point. I know I used to be a social deviant, but now I'm all Dadded up - can barely remember it.

 It's fantastic. It's also intense. It's been many years since people were excited about my parenthood. No more, "how is it being a parent?" with excited smiles. No one mentions it any more, like you're so deep in it no one wants to address it because it could be awful, could be so hard, could be leading to a divorce. Thing is, it's amazing. Every second of it is so fascinating I can't look away. My family is tighter than a championship team. We're firing on all cylinders, and we coat everything in laughter. 

Sure, we get mad. We cry and we get frustrated because that's what people do. More likely, we're telling stories or singing or building something together, even if it is made of imagination. My daughter likes to be all: "Tell me about when you were a kid!" and I want to say: "Screw that boring nonsense, tell me how it is for you being a kid right now!" So, then we tell stories.

I can't imagine motherhood making me love my wife any less. We're definitely better as parents than we were as "adults." We don't adult that well, but there is a surprising lack of adulting required for raising kids. Much more important to have empathy and some creativity. Anyway, my wife was wonderful when I married her, and the kids shine a spotlight on the best parts of both of us. Maybe I never grew up. Maybe I hope my kids never grow up either. So it goes. I don't care what you think.

Time does go by fast. It's true. So, I'm going to keep slowing it down. Breaking it into pieces and stepping back to see how the light reflects off the shards. You can go ahead and keep thinking years in the future, America. I'm gonna think about today, today.

Friday, August 28, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

I'm tired to writing the same old things, but the world won't change. Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe I'm just like kids down at the beach - loud, confused, hyper-focused. I don't know, man. Maybe I'm trying to put rules into a game that wasn't designed for them. Maybe I'm hoping the dog will learn how to talk, but the dog keeps shooting people in the back. Fuck if I know, little old me. Full of punk rock indignation, staring at my contemporaries who look at me like I'm a simpleton. Like, dude, you never stopped being an asshole and being an asshole doesn't pay

I'm like, check your definition of asshole, asshole.

I don't want to play this adult game of moral compromise. I can't. It's not in me, and I don't want it to be. I don't care how many jobs I lose, how many friends back away, how many doors close before I get my hand on the knob. I don't want to be part of the club. I've seen inside it a few times, for real, and it's fucking disgusting. Plastic-surgery freaks geeking on money and power and fetishistic-power-shit. Paper skin over poking skulls, wet, yellow eyes, tongues darting. 

Fuck that scene, man. 

I'd much rather hang out with a bunch of tired folks. Sore backs from working. Grease under their fingernails. The kind of folks who find someone to love and hold onto them, because that's what really matters and it's free. They sleep like puppies, and they smile in the morning, and those are my fucking people. Black, brown, white, tan, what the fuck ever. Singing songs and telling stories. In languages I understand and languages that make me sit back and go: God, that's beautiful. Maybe I could write in that language. Read the stories. Maybe I could learn. 

That's where I want to be. I'll be there if you want to join me. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

The Blue Jays are tripping the fuck out, man. They don't like the smoke, and they're not shy about letting everyone know. They're like, man, what the fuck are you guys doing inside? You should be getting the hell out of here; y'all don't have wings. You're slow, landlocked. We can jet when we need to. 

The dumb-asses are planning trips to the beach. If their house isn't currently on fire or in the direct line, they want to get away from the smoke. Tahoe? It's gonna be rough for all those folks fleeing their burning homes. Hope traffic ain't too bad. 

The unhinged are giddy. They are thrilled to watch the world burn. Some of them make the fires worse, start new fires. They are powerful in the chaos. They feel bigger than the flames. 

A lot of folks are shit-scared. We've got a virus and fire and we're waiting on the swarms of locust. They're probably coming soon. We know the President is laughing, and it's hard to swallow. Go ahead and let it burn, that land of fruits and nuts. Liberals roast up real nice. 

I guess I'll pack a bag today. Hug my girls as often as I can. Make sure all the windows are still taped up. Check the fire reports. Hope we don't hear the siren from our phones that means get the fuck out. I wonder if we'll move this year, leave this once-a-year-fire-festival.

Just like everyday, we'll smile and pretend the world ain't going up in flames. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

It's a glitch. It's a malfunction... That's bullshit, it's truth peaking out behind the sly magician's instruction. It's the way it was designed, only you can see all the working parts if you squint. See the malice behind the intent? That's collective consciousness, and that's shit is for rent.

They come right out and say it if you're patient long enough. Senility brings changes, exhumes all the ugly stuff. The racist mumbo-jumbo and the crimes that need confessing. Soon you find that all those smiles were simply window dressing.

The game was always rigged, it's a facet of design. You'll never know when you cross it, if you can't see the line. They're arbitrary, changeable, hateful little things. Why don't they ever listen when the caged bird sings?

America is drowning in a bed of its own making. This is simply fallout from all the selfish taking. There are just too many cowboys and too much fenced-off land. There now comes a time every day where you have to make a stand. 

We can't sit by and watch while it all goes down the shitter. America is a lot of things, but we've never been a quitter.