Friday, October 16, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

Did the story hurt your feelings? Were the characters just like awful people you've known? Were you set back in you chair, reeling, processing emotions and contradictions that you didn't know existed inside of you? Were you transported? Did you have your assumptions challenged? Are you a different person than you were before you read that shit? 

Thank the fucking author!

Did the song make you cry? Did it make you miss your ex? Did it make you want to get up and fight? Did it make you want to lay down and die? Did it make you feel? 

Turn up the radio and buy the goddamn album!

Stop trying to force morality on everything or you're going to ruin it. And stop with the hypocrisy. Stop watching TV shows where kids get raped and then getting offended because a gay librarian used the F word too much in a novel you're reading. 

You're OK with your politicians being scumbags, but not the invented characters that are meant to entertain and enlighten you...what the fuck is that? Seriously? If you want to read Dr. Seuss exclusively and never turn on your TV, do it. But don't tell me you're going to spend six hours watching Tiger King and then get offended by a story. That's dumb. You gotta know that's dumb.

If you're cool with reality being a nightmare, but you want your internal fictional world to be full of bunnies and unicorns, there is something wrong with you. 

Get it?


  1. Replies
    1. Love it. It's needed in these times. Freedom of speech. Creativity either reflects reality or provides an escape, or both. Fiction is fiction. And interpretation differs. I think the bunnies and unicorns could totally take on Mr Tiger King.

    2. "You gotta know that's dumb." Where I get stuck too.

    3. I fyou can make yourself laugh, and make yourself cry, you're doing it right!

  2. “I used to have the most wonderful dreams,” I told the cat, turning in bed to face her. “Now, by the time I wake up, I’ve forgotten them all.”

    For a moment we sat in silence, bathed in early morning light, then she said, “Maybe this is a good thing.” With inscrutable feline wisdom she began grooming her paws.

    “Why? There have been entire stories in those dreams. Whole novels.”

    “If they don’t stay, they aren’t yours.”

    Sometimes that wisdom irritated the hell out of me. Like a bad mashup of fortune cookies and Zen cliches. “But…they were mine. I saw them. In full technicolor, with dance numbers.”

    She stopped, a sliver of pink tongue frozen between her lips, and gave me a baleful stare. “Dance numbers.”

    I blushed. “Well. Not big dance numbers. Nothing tacky. No Esther Williams or Busby Berkley stuff. You know. Tasteful.”

    “So, more La La Land and less Singin’ in the Rain.”

    “You watch too much Netflix.”

    “As if.” She resumed her toilette. “No opposable thumbs, remember.”

    “Maybe it’s my medication. Or something else. Stress?”

    “Are you searching for a truth bomb or is this more of your random outgassing?”

    “Boy, you really are crabby before your coffee.”

    “Have you met me?”

    I sighed. Stroked the soft fur beneath her chin. She lifted it and purred, then rolled onto her side.

    “Sorry,” she said. “Look. If you really want the answer, I’ll tell you. But knowledge comes with a price.”

    Did I want to pay that price? I just wanted my dreams back. So I nodded.

    “Your mind is protecting you. This is why you don’t remember.”

    “Protecting me…from what? I know that I dream. I know that they are mostly pleasant. So why would my mind protect me by making them evaporate?”

    “Your mind is what makes them…mostly pleasant, as you say. The evaporation is a different kind of defense mechanism.”

    I had no response.

    “I see I have not penetrated your odd human mind. So let me put this in different words. If you remembered what you actually did dream, you’d be very upset. Because the real dreams are quite upsetting.”

    “Singin’ in the Rain upsetting or La La Land upsetting?”

    “Xanadu upsetting.”

    This also quieted me. “The evaporation is so I won’t remember that my mind fakes the whole thing?”

    “I’ll take ‘Finally Gets It’ for $2000, Alex.”

    “I want to see them.”

    “Do you think you’re strong enough? Remember the last time I took you there.”

    “Apparently that wasn’t evaporated from my memory.”

    “It was for your own good. We would have had to take drastic measures otherwise.”

    “Yes.” I cleared my throat, sat up in bed. “Yes. I want to see them. Well…not all of them. Maybe start with one.”

    “One. We can do one. Fix me coffee and we’ll start.”

  3. Nature’s call

    This great responsibility,
    a personal address

    to the sacred being inside,
    the peaceful thinker

    lost to a history of thought.
    Footsteps in the park,

    stories beyond the lake,
    leaves strewn like tea

    telling fortunes to the sky.
    Oftentimes it pours here,

    raining unseen letters,
    pretty odes to nature

    and whispered secrets
    forgotten in time.

    Nature hears it all,
    gives a silent call

    to the speaking world
    to be less,

    tread lighter,
    and leave nothing behind.

    1. I really like this, especially the images of the leaves strewn like tea ... telling fortunes to the sky. Just so powerful.

  4. WOOL

    In the mirror you feel it,
    waters parting for your feet,

    this trickle of spilling out,
    a lifeforce slim and vital.

    Don’t spill it if you feel
    your life depends on it.

    This is the big unravel,
    your worries woven like wool

    into a close-knit ball,
    every end twisted inside

    so there is nothing to pull,
    make it all come undone

    so you can rethink it all,
    make sense of the mix

    and solve each strand
    with a separate ending.

  5. Somebody had to do it. Even if nobody witnessed it; it had to be done. The world would insist that someone commemorate the ending, the handing over of the baton to whoever took over.

    Ellis still had his keys, a set of small metal artefacts which had no meaning now. He’d forgotten which one was which – he’d always struggled to differentiate between the ones used for his front and back doors – but the others were easier to identify. The one with the blade like a fan had been the one for his shed, for example, his favourite being the one for his car. His car had been his pride and joy, the only thing he’d owned from new. He’d had an affinity for that set of components which transcended anything else he’d owned.

    He couldn’t remember the last time he’d driven. Nobody drove now. There were still cars in some of the streets, rusted derelicts in most cases, every one of them idle now they were obsolete. He supposed there must be a few in working order but without the fuel they’d need they’d all be junk, an affectionate reminder of world now passed. There’d been so many changes in a short time. It was inevitable that many things would be left behind.

    His car had been a Triumph, one of the famous models of the 1970s; the TR7 being an iconic design at the time. It had had a wealth of mechanical defects, not least an ineffective gearbox, but the style of it had brought the future into his grasp. There’d been no other car quite like it, its shape like something from a Buck Rogers film, and he’d regularly just sat and stared at it, its key in his hand.

    Times had changed a lot since then. The prices of fuel had rocketed, petrol giving way to hydrogen and fusion power. The promised savings to the consumer had never materialised, the government taxing everything until even air was metered, the world-encompassing pollution cloud eliminating all life on the surface. If he hadn’t been wearing his rebreather pack, he’d have been dead an hour ago, his arms curled up against his chest as he choked.

    It was remarkable how much life had changed since he’d been born. The future had been unexpected and not at all like the promises they’d been sold.

    1. Great details. I like that the car is a "Triumph." With a less than triumphant future.

    2. You caught my heart with this one. Only with me, it was a 72 Karmann Ghia. Sigh

  6. Part One

    “Ann Louise, you have to face the facts, darlin’. Your father is a hopeless alcoholic.”
    I didn’t agree, but this wasn’t the moment to say so, stuck as I was in the Al-Anon team meeting Mama sent me and Daniel to every Saturday night. She wanted to make sure she did right by her children, no matter what they thought of it. Not that she’d ever set foot in such a meeting herself, or allow her own reputation to be sullied by association know hers was the sacrifice we all needed to appreciate.
    The Al-Anon lady was looking at me, expecting expectantly. I nodded once worried cuticle instead. The truth was, I didn’t see daddy as hopeless at all. I mean, sure, he toed the line for a while, then fall off the wagon, and start the same damn pattern over. She’d wait until he dried out, turning up at the front door with flowers and a mouthful of promises, thinking every single time it was going to work out different, even though he didn’t change a thing. It’s kind of optimistic when you think about it.
    But then Mama always said I favored daddy just the way my brother Daniel favored her, but then it was always easier for her to get him to behave than me. Truth is, Daniel bought that whole Al-Anon thing hook, line and sinker. He couldn’t wait to broadcast to anybody who’d listen how he’d been victimized by our dysfunctional upbringing. As for me, I recognized a pulpit when I saw one and kept my mouth shut. Near as I could see, our family wasn’t any worse than anybody else’s, no matter what they wanted you to believe.
    You see, what they were really addicted to wasn’t booze or religion, but each other. They were kinda pitted against each other that way. He figured the world owed him something, then was real mad about about it when it didn’t turn out and she figured he owed her something, but that she had to make sacrifices in order to get it. Didn’t neither one of them have it all that bad, but they couldn’t turn loose of the contest they were in. It was like one of those monopoly games that go on and on and on until finally somebody accuses the other one of cheating. They get mad or bored and the whole works winds up on the floor. After they got divorced, though, things changed.

  7. Part Two
    First of all, we found out that he had a whole other family and they were the ones he ran to when mama kicked me out. Nice little house over the state line in Alabama with the pretty blonde wife and two little toddlers who never had a clue about us up in North Carolina. Truth is, coming from what they call a dysfunctional family? It’s pretty darn entertaining all around. I mean having a daddy who drinks is one thing, but a bigamist?We were practically celebrities.
    But even in that Mama wasn’t about to give up easy, she didn’t even bring charges. Instead, she started herself up a consciousness group for women, went platimnum blond and wore her hair up in one of their beehives. I got to sit around some of them women’s meetings and believe me, what you heard was quite an education.
    Brother Daniel on the other hand, pretty much kept to himself in high school and he was evangelical like Mama was. But he liked to paint himself as a victim, too, though of what exactly, nobody ever quite figured out, except that it was always somebody else’s fault. Before long he joined the Army for his own education and because he got to shoot things and not get into trouble for it. I guess that changed him though. When he come back, he moved all the way to Colorado. He lives up there now, making himself a whole fortune selling organic gummies with CBT and making his fortune on the legalization. Last I heard he was running for alderman. But that’s Daniel too, always did like the straight and narrow and find his way back in the end.
    And me? What’s that they call it? The road less traveled? Always like the sound of that, even if it does take me round in circles some times. Hell, I was on my third husband before I realized that maybe marriage wasn’t as much fun as to warrant a particular line of ambition. I did finally got my degree in life coaching and psychology from the community college, though. So maybe I am like my daddy. I was kind of a slow learner. Though I only wound up in rehab once after my second husband threw me over. I think I had to be 32 years old before I finally realized that everybody came looking to me for a shoulder to cry on. And I would give them my best advice and they’d ignore it. I finally figured out they just needed me to listen and so now I do. Easier on everybody that way.
    See the way I got it figured, how you came up hardly ever has much to do with how you turn out. Having kids is like planting seeds. It all depends on the kind of soil you throw them into, or the weather and whether the bugs or the other critters try to mess with how you grow. It was like that with me and Daniel. Maybe mom and dad did their best and maybe they didn’t, but I do know one thing: we all got some addiction somewhere. Give up one, you find another one quick as anything. Maybe it’s rage, Maybe it’s disappointment, maybe it’s because you got caught up in the drama of your suffering and don’t feel right unless you’re in pain and an you reach for something to make you feel better. But we got no right to judge, not any of us.That’s worth saying, even when nobody’s listening. Or maybe I’m just like my daddy. I’m addicted too. Somewhere along the line, I latched onto the idea that hope is always possible. It gives me pleasure to think so, anyway. And I’m addicted to that.


Please leave comments. Good, bad or ugly. Especially ugly.