Friday, August 17, 2018

2 Minutes. Go!

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This is how your mind gets broken. It starts like most things. A crack. A worn spot. A sharp knock to the head. A sharp knock to the heart. There are so many ways to get broken, it’s amazing any of us work. Amazing we aren’t all in the shop begging the mechanic to buff out the scratches.

Shit deteriorates. Your brain is looking for ways to betray you. You hear warnings from the central nervous system. Fight or flight shit, but you freeze – trying to unravel the knots in your string theories. For a smallish ball of goop, the brain can be very, very loud. Mine screams at me sometimes. Sometimes, it is chill. Often, it is screaming.

Some people deliberately damage their brains. Ask me how I know. Most people do it by accident. The world is full of brain traps. You are constantly under assault. Breathing carcinogenic fumes and dodging Kardashian bullshit. Some people shut down the whole works. We feel bad for them, but maybe they found the fix they needed.

Brains ain’t simple, see? Not one damn bit. We don’t even really know how they work. We’re just glad when they do. Glad when we haven’t had so many concussions that life becomes the enemy. Glad that we didn’t spend our high school years huffing oven cleaner.

Shit smells gross and isn’t good for your demeanor.

I want to remove my brain and turn it into a punching bag. Do my fast work on the frontal lobe. Beat that shit senseless.

Is there anyone not broken? That’s a fair question, but it kind of depends on your definition of 'broken'.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

2 Minutes. Go!

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You gotta act like it’s the most important thing in the world or they’ll get wise. You need to borrow a paper smile because you cannot do the origami yourself – they are laughing at you. Mocking you. You are lost in it. It’s not hard to pretend for a little while, but then the pretending becomes indistinguishable from not pretending. Play it off. Count on peoples’ self-interest and self-absorption. Because most of them are like you. Running in the hamster wheel of their own mind. They bluff.
Don’t call their bluff, but be aware of it.
Secrets are death. You need to be careful. You start keeping too many secrets and everything will go to hell. Right straight to hell.
And I don’t mean hell as a place because I don’t believe there is one. I mean they will eat you. Corrode you from the inside. They will corrupt you, and you will be neck deep before you know it - with those secrets weighing you down.
Pulling you under.
We live in a world of caricatures. Everybody has their role to play. The friendlier ones make you happy. The others make sure you pay. 
I want to lay a golden egg and throw it through the window of your house. Your apartment. Box. Tree. Whatever. I want to make a noise loud enough that everyone will have to stop and take notice. I need more soapboxes. I feel so dirty. I’ve got to purge it. Blow it out of my brain and onto the page, oozing. I need to stand in front of a crowd, pure rage. I need the world to not go bonkers every time I turn a page.
You turn a blind eye? I don’t have much sympathy for you. There are times in life where you have to remember that what’s right is right even if it is inconvenient. Surely.
Please…

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Friday, August 3, 2018

2 Minutes. Go!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! 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.

I don’t know this area too well, so I’m not stopping. I’m not stopping period. Maybe for gas and Slim Jims. I fucking hate Slim Jims. Those things are fucking disgusting and, if you like them, you should be publicly shamed. Puritan style. Wear a Scarlett SJ on your shirt, you sick bastard. If you’re going to eat pig asshole, at least have the balls to eat it fresh like God intended. But, point being, I’m not stopping. No matter how many times you tell me. No matter how many times I tell myself. I’m stubborn.

I put my feet on two shoes at a time like everyone else. Who’s got time for laces? Not me. You got time for laces? You ain’t living your life right. Take a chance. Rob a liquor store. Shoot some heroin. TRY. Do something. Write a screenplay. That’ll drive ya fucking crazy. Just don’t stop. Stopping is for quitters. 

Shoot the stream of water into the painted clown face. And you wonder why we all hate clowns. Same as mimes. They just try to entertain us and we want to shank them with ice picks. What the hell is that? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’d shank a clown or a mime in a heartbeat. Do as I say…

I’m saying you can’t just throw your hands up. Yeah, you’re in debt. Yeah, the government has become bad satire. Yeah, we may be spiraling towards some kind of Apocalypse. But you could just be really high, too. This could all be a greenout dream. You might just need to go to Taco Bell. Shit’s not always that serious, dig?

Except for right now. Right now, you should take things seriously. And you should not quit. And you should try not to stick your head in the sand even though I’m guilty of the same. As I say, not do, remember? We got enough stuff going on right now without you stopping. We need more people starting. Reading. Bands. Revolutions. Turn us right round, baby, right round. 

I’ve got damaged drywall for brains, and I’m not giving up. It takes me five minutes every morning to remember how life works and calm the pounding in my chest. No one gets out of this without bruises. Nobody wins. Nobody loses. It may all be for naught, but it might not. And you’re never going to know unless you keep slamming your face into that wall. Even if it hurts. The cracks will appear, and I’ve spent my life slamming my face into bullshit I don’t agree with. 

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Friday, July 27, 2018

2 Minutes. Go!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! 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.

I'm still shook by it, straight shivering. How much bad news can one man be delivering? I have parcels and packages. I have bins and bags and big ass truckfuls of anxiety. You want some? I'll share. It looks like marshmallow and tastes like napalm.

It's a big play to call. I didn't have my protective gear on. I was still in my chrysalis. 

Sisyphus. 

I keep on climbing and getting exactly nowhere, man. But don't pity me. I'm cool. I'm doing alright. I've got a shitty car and some credit card debt, but I got real good karma. I'm not even trying to brag. I've done a few important things that no one will ever know about but me. 

But me! But me! What about me? How do I separate the genuine compassion from questing hero status. It's pathetic. Put on your sweater. You know a breeze can kick up any second. 

You're never going to be really safe. Not as safe as I want you to be. I want to cover the world in felt and pocket lint. I'm never gonna do it. I've got a cross to bear, and I'm stuck to it. 

So, how do I stop my hands from shaking? Not the tremor. I'm used to that. It's genetic. I mean this "hard to type" shake that is born of the terror of an unknown future. The fear for small people. 

It's such a big world. 

I'm tired. I didn't sleep last night, and my eyes are gritty, and my mouth tastes shitty and I have one of those headaches that truckers get staring at the white lines on the highway. I wonder why mini-thins always made your head feel weird. No? Maybe it was just me. A kind of squirreling tickle. 

I guess I'll go now. I don't have much to say today.

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Friday, July 20, 2018

2 Minutes. Go!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! 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.

The moment the door closed and the doctor was out of the room, the old man took a cigarette from a pack well hidden in his backpack. The sterility of the room was driving him crazy. The cigarette would make it a drive to crazy with a tiny distraction.

“Jesus Dad! Are you fucking kidding?”

“What son? I’m dying! It don’t matter anymore. The ship has sailed. We have crossed the Rubicon. We didn’t pull out in time. Calm your righteous indignation.”

“Even if it doesn’t make a difference for you, this is a fucking hospital. You can’t even smoke next to the building outside, let alone in the goddamn examining room!”

“So, what? They’ll call the cops? Give me detention? Refuse to do the surgery? I’ll just look innocent and start calling the doctor by your name. I’m sorry, Billy. I just get so confused sometimes. I’m so scared. I don’t mean to be a burden on you and Ma. They ain’t gonna do shit. One of the benefits of being old.”

Billy dragged his hands down his face. He wanted to start smashing the beeping machines around his old man, but he didn’t.

“Dad …”

“Son, Jesus Christ. I never tried to push any of that ‘be a man’ stuff on you ‘cause it’s bullshit, but have some balls. Believe me, worse things have happened in this room than an old man smoking.”

“Are you trying to make a point or something?”

“I think the lung cancer made the point, son. I’m just letting it know that I got the point and don’t give a fuck.”

“Why? Why don’t you give a fuck?”

“Because it’s too late. It was too late before I had a chance to stop it. You think I’m a coward? An idiot? You think I wouldn’t drop this cigarette forever if it meant one more minute with your beautiful kids? Goddamn, son. You’ve known me a long time.”

Billy tried to smile, but the smile got stuck on condescending. He could feel it and he hated himself for it.

“OK, Dad. You never told me how to live my life. I’m not telling you how to live yours. But I disapprove. For the record.”

“Let it be shown that the firstborn has registered his moral quagmire – let the record show that Billy Winthrop is incensed!”

Billy couldn’t help laughing. It was his father’s most powerful weapon. Ever since he was a kid. It’s hard to be mad at a man who never gets mad at you. It’s hard to place judgment on a man who never placed judgement on you.

“Henry was really sorry he couldn’t make it. He’ll be here with the kids next time.”

“Good. Henry isn’t as uptight as you are. You balance each other out. I feel like I’m talking to your Mom. Come to think of it, Henry probably would have done your mother a world of good. About the only thing I feel proud of when I think about being a dad and husband is that I knew you were gay before you did and it didn’t change one damn thing. If anything, it made me respect you more.”

“Respect me? What the hell does that mean?”

“It means some people come out of the closet slowly. Some come out with a look of shame on their faces. Some inch their way out so they can dive back in if necessary. Not everyone kicks the goddamn door to splinters and then sets the closet on fire.”

“Aw, come on …”

“Hey don’t bullshit a bullshitter. You told me with a straight back and a straight face and you meant it. You wore a white t-shirt with “I am gay” written on it to fucking SCHOOL. There’s no one I respect as much as you.”

“Dad …”

“Hey, listen. You take the nice things I say and believe them. And remember them. How much longer you think I got? Not long. You’re going to hear everything about yourself, your wonderful husband, and your beautiful children until you stop denying it. You’re a good man. A better Dad than I was.”

Billy froze, mouth open.

“Dad! You were the greatest dad a kid ever had. You ever wonder why every kid in the neighborhood spent their weekends at our house? They had assholes for dads. Or guys that didn’t care. Weren’t invested. Some of my gay friends lost their fucking Dad the day they told the truth.”

“Alright, alright. I didn’t say I was a bad dad. I just think you’re better at it.”

“Then I owe it to you.”

“The fuck you do. You don’t owe no one nothing. You never did. You came into this world the most beautiful thing I ever saw. Your mother and I loved you so hard it made us love each other more. You were a gift. I owe you everything. You made me a better man.”

Billy was not trying not to cry now.

“Dad …”

And then the door opened. The doctor looked first at Billy weeping and then at his father puffing lovingly on a Marlboro.

“Sir! There is no smoking in my hospital.”

“Let the record show that I accept my reprimand and that it is no fault of my boy’s. He thinks I’m an asshole too.”

The doctor looked shocked. Even moreso when they both burst out laughing. Tears rolling down their faces. Billy kissed his Dad on the forehead.”

“I love you, you stubborn old man.”

“I know you do. And I love you, you stubborn young buck.”

The doctor cleared his throat. Billy smiled.

“Alright, alright. I’ll be in the waiting room. Be strong old man.”

Billy did not know that part of him would be waiting in the waiting room forever. Because his dad came out covered in a sheet. He never had a chance to say goodbye to Henry or the kids.

The kids took it hard. Achingly so. But they knew their Granpa loved them. And they knew they were as lucky as their own dad had been.

They had been given a gift.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

2 Minutes. Go!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! 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.

I’m thinking about what I’m trying to say. I’m wondering about the sullied ideas that like to come and play. They don’t ask permission. They tramp through my flower beds and shit on my porch. They have no remorse.

I am not a psychopath, but there is a haze of darkness sometimes. I feel old, polluted, force-smiling … I feel like Anaheim. I fucking hate Anaheim.

Your face comes to me uninvited and it makes me happy and horrible. Sad and seditious. I want to be different, topped with whipped-cream. Delicious. I want to melt inside your mouth. Or on a hot sidewalk. It doesn’t matter so much where. I just want to melt.

I think I would look good as a hardened puddle of human.

You know I love you, and I know you love me. I know I’m not incarcerated, but I never feel free. I second guess myself constantly. And wonder what is wrong with me.

I can paint a pretty picture, but I can’t seem to frame it. I have some weird neurosis, but I don’t feel the need to name it. I live with it. I came with it. Or it was installed at the factory of my childhood. Shit.

Now, I’m not sure. Not one damn bit.

One dam bit the water clean in half. Progress, they said. With a river full of fish that are half dead. With farmers facing growing season with ever growing dread. Fuck progress. We need to go to the future and work backward instead. 


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