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.