Wednesday, July 31, 2013

They Lie

The lies start early. They tell you that it isn't going to hurt, but it does. They tell you that you'll have fun once you get there, but you don't. They say if you are nice to people, they'll be nice back. They say if you study and work hard you won't have to go to sleep every night with a lump of panic in your throat.

Try it and see if you like it. Seems reasonable. But allow me this: allow me to assert that there are many things I know I won't like whether I try them or not. Alright?

They tell you that girls find "funny" sexy. That's fucking funny. I don't think think David Beckham has to be funny, dig? So, thanks for that set up. I guess it was funny. For the girls at least.

The American Dream is a lie. Live a life worthy of reward and the reward will be yours...not in my experience. They tell you life's not fair. That's one of the few things they're honest about, but it stands in such stark contrast to the lies that all it does is confuse your insides. Twists 'em up. Makes 'em bleed.

They say that things will get better. Better than what? What the fuck does that even mean? You are drowning in platitudes.

They try to make you think that they've figured things out. They haven't. There is nothing to figure out because everyone figures different and you gotta respect it. That's the other thing. They tell you to respect people. Respectful people don't tell you to do anything.

They want you to love the flag like it's your dick. I don't give a shit. It's been a long time since I've looked at the American flag and thought only good things. Now, I think about drones and the blood that soaks our soil. They tell you to hate the Nazis and get real quiet when you ask about the Trail of Tears. They want you to think that because kids like rap and baggy jeans now that there aren't still ghosts hanging from trees in Mississippi. They want you to like everyone...pretty much everyone. Except the gays. I mean, you can't say you hate fags, but wink, wink. Right? Fuckers.

They say violence is wrong, but they don't believe it. They must think we're fucking stupid. They want you to think your 'elected officials' have your back. In actuality, they have the knife ready for that tired back. The one that works too hard for too little while Madonna drinks the blood of infants to stay young. I'd like to see all of them beaten by gay Indians.

Friday, July 26, 2013

3 minutes. Go!

She was nineteen and tall. She could wear clothes. Some people have that gift - she always looked like someone should be handing her a drink off a tray. You remember; she always smelled earthy, but sweet. Like when the sun rides high over a mushmelon patch. You were thin and dirty and you knew she wouldn't look twice. Girls with boots like that...

But she did look and y'all talked and you roped yourself into a tilt-a-whirl insanity that had to end. At least it ended well. No broken limbs. No one lying limp beneath the snowcones. You stood in the sun and watched her go. And you knew, through the lump of pain, that it was right. Her boots were made for walking. And that's just what she did.

Friday, July 19, 2013

One Minute. Go!

Her hair was dark black. It smelled like some kind of fruit. One of the things I see at the supermarket and am too afraid to try. Too afraid to admit I don't know how it works. That's the thing, see. I don't understand how it works. Here you are, black hair and flower scent and I don't know what to do with you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


From under the slats of the old wooden porch, John watched the other children playing. He was playing his own game. Their game was colorful and involved much yelling and chasing. His game was in his mind, and it was a game of scenarios. He could go over and join them. He might blend in seamlessly. They might force him away. He could ask to play. It would not work as it showed weakness and a kind of antiquated moral system that would be mocked. He could stay under the porch with the beetles and ants. The decision was all his.
            Above John and above the other children, pigeons circled in lazy, looping swoops and drops. Cars backfired and the smoke from BBQ’s settled in amongst the hot green pine needles. It was one of those days that you don’t appreciate until years later. Decades later. When memory has erased the heat and oppression and the constant questioning…what to do?
            Really, the answer was simple. John knew he would decide to stay under the porch. He could already feel the relief that the finality of his decision would bring, but he was writhing in the last moments of indecision. His skin was on fire. He could feel tickles up and down his spine. He felt sick to his stomach.
            So much had happened in such a short time that it made John feel dizzy. Death, the funeral, the move…everything different, talking to each other like they were in an after-school special.
            “Tag, you’re it!”
            John could hear the children, but he was also listening to the preacher’s words. He was trying to wrap them around memories of his father, but the edges would not mesh. It was like the suit that was just slightly too small. He pulled down one sleeve and revealed an inch of white, pressed cotton on his other wrist. The man was talking about someone else. But no one said anything. John began to understand and, even if he appreciated the gesture, it angered him.
            The adults were drinking beer and becoming louder. He could hear them now, too. Their voices tangled with the voices of the children. John thought of every swear word he knew. He took out his yellow inhaler and took as many puffs as he could hold in his lungs. His vision blurred and the whole world pulsed. Helicopter chop. He shook his head. His lips were numb.
            He thumbed his pocket knife and imagined that he were the kind of boy who should have a pocket knife. That it was a fearsome thing. That, with it, he could cut down the thicket of confusion that was slowly making him deflate. Fuck. He did not know what it meant. He said it again and again. Fuck, fuck, fuck. He held the knife above his hand and imagined everyone running to see the blood. He was scared. He put the knife away.
            The sun was on a dimmer switch. John closed his eyes and squeezed them tight. He knew that soon his mother would be looking for him. She would be angry about his clothes being dirty. It would be time for bed, but he would not sleep because his mind was full of games.

Friday, July 12, 2013

2 minutes! Go!

She floated by on whistled tune and windsong. Around her, the city made it's usual blips and burps and smells. She was above it, or something. A forcefield. She wasn't even sweating. He watched her from the safe corner of an outdoor cafe, hoping that she would pass back by. It was respite. It was hope. She was a sanguine promise from the summer heat. He tipped his glass and stood up slowly. She might come back. Might not. Sometimes, you take what you get and don't push your luck.

Friday, July 5, 2013

3 minutes. Go!

We look at the world from tiny screens that cut out the context. I am sitting and listening to the birds and the bad banda music, and I wish the birds had sub-woofers. They try though. They sing their guts out. But I like banda, too. I'm not talking shit. I can barely even see you from behind the little screen. I have a slow, dying animal where my brain should be. I picture it, ape-like, flinging its shit in desperation, hoping that some of it will hit the right person. Flailing. You look at me, and I can see the sadness in your eyes. We will not handle our grieving the same way. None of us will. It will be one more thing to drive us all apart. To put a wedge where the humanity used to be. Just make sure you slam that thing in good, I don't know if I could handle it otherwise.