Friday, September 30, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

You stare at it too much, that’s why it seems like it’s not moving. That’s why the hands creep and the hours pass like cold honey, thick and slow. The clock can be your friend, but it’s usually my enemy. The boring stuff takes forever. The fun stuff is over before I even realize it. 

I have a few watches, but I don’t like to wear them. I wish I did, but it feels weird, carrying time around with me. It gets heavy, and my arm feels tired, not from the weight, but from the pressure of the watch watching. 

If you ignore time, you’ll probably be happier in some ways, but life will be hard, too. You won’t pay your bills on time. Late to every party. You might forget to eat if you’re not that bright. I don’t know how bright you are, but most people aren’t very. 

Don’t get me started on DST - I abhor the change in the time. I’m convinced that someone will crash into my car on the freeway, thinking about that hour of sleep they lost. Wondering how they’re going to spend their extra hour. Not watching the road. And I hate being tired. In general.

I would prefer to live in a world with no clocks. Wake up when I want, sleep the same way. Eat when I’m hungry. I’d have to get everyone on board though and you can’t get everyone to agree on anything. 

I guess we’re stuck with clocks, whether we want to be or not. The hands keep creeping. The numbers keep climbing, and we’ll keep organizing our lives around the little circles on our walls and wrist.

Friday, September 16, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

She is different, and this puts a sign on her back. They say she is a witch. Say they see her late at night in the woods where no innocent woman belongs. I say, maybe she just likes the woods, but I don’t say it loud. I don’t want that target on my back.

They say she can see in the dark like a night animal. They say she can read minds, speak curses. Some say she controls the weather. The floods. When a child is stillborn, they look to her, but they don’t look too directly. That would be inviting the dark arts. That would be plain stupid. 

She’s beautiful in a way that is hard to look at. Her eyes are icy and grey. You can feel her stare like a burn on your skin. She will send her familiars if you aren’t careful. This is one of many reasons that everyone in town knows better than to taunt a raven. 

They would kill her if they had the guts. They don’t. Instead, they will chip away at her with rumors and sideways glances. They will blame her for the crops that fail. They will claim she is responsible for the wandering eyes of men. They will pin their personal disasters to her, and they will feel better for doing it. It’s handy to have a scapegoat. It makes things easier. Kids misbehaving? Couldn’t be that they’re punk-asses. Must be witchcraft. 

Her blood will cease flowing eventually, and they will take things that belonged to her. Hair clips and journals and bolts of fabric. They will consider these things to have power. And they will be right. Everything has power if you give it power.

Even a witch.

Friday, September 9, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

I'm the best. Others will claim more greatness, but they can't suck the farts out of my ass. I'm elite. I'm chosen. The Queen died, and I don't give a shit. I guess two years singing God Save the Queen didn't mean much to me. No, scratch that. It didn't mean anything. We sang Morning has Broken, too, and that one had some jam to it. None of that prepared me for anything. I'm a lone soldier. I am fighting at the battle of Me, and I will win because I drip excellence, it's oozing out of my pores. 

I used to think that there were other exceptional people out there in the world. Nope. It's just me. And maybe Steinbeck, but that fucker is dead. Long dead. RIP if I believed in that. Instead, I just like to imagine how Steinbeck would set the scene of his demise. I fantasize that he's describing the worms that feast on his remains. Like: A golden light broke over the graveyard. The seagulls screamed their demon shrieks while the town grieved. The old bar was closed, and the liquor store sold out of old tennis shoes. The worms and crawling creatures that inhabit the soil rejoiced, feasted on the body of the only writer anyone has ever heard of who called Salinas home. 

It's not easy being to superior. There are drawbacks. I can't read anything without thinking about how much better I could have written it. Especially that bit of Steinbeck emulation. I can't play recreational sports because no one can compete. I can't even hold a conversation. My intellect is so above and beyond anything you can imagine. I'm computing complex math riddles in my mind while I ride stationary bikes. What do you do? Watch TV?

I was just born special. I'm the ubermensch that Nietzsche was looking for. I break boulders with my hands and gravel the driveways of the destitute. I feed all the homeless from a trough in the back of my quaint mansion. My medical expertise is second only to my artistic ability. I am a prodigy. I am gifted. 

This has been the best thing you ever read. You will obsess over it. You will print this out and cut out the words and paste them around your apartment. You will surround yourself with me and be better for it. What are you waiting for. Get to snippin'.

Friday, September 2, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

She gave me a flip of the hair, and I shot back a raised eyebrow. I think. I managed to raise it at first, but then it started to twitch, and I closed my eyes tight twice. Call it a tic. That's what I was hoping she would do, but she took an emotional step back. You could see it. Her whole frame changed, got real rigid. I took my coffee cup and found a table outside, but I didn't feel good about the whole thing. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Worse than coffee, even.

I devoted too much time to thinking about it. I'll admit that. The coffee didn't help my burgeoning paranoia one bit. 

I do this all the time. Something stupid happens, and my brain can't let it go. I mentally slapped myself. It wasn't like she was still obsessing about it, but...I was, maybe she was broken like me? 

I took a notebook and a pen out of my backpack, stared at them for a few minutes, but didn't write anything. I reached for my pack of cigarettes before I remembered I'd quit. I thought that muscle memory had died, but I guess not. I flicked errant crumbs off the table and watched the sparrows squabble.

I do this a lot, too. Watch birds, that is. Maybe it's a hobby. Maybe it's another obsession. Good thing is that birds don't care if you get nervous and your eyelids twitch. They're busy with their own shit, flapping around and eating. Shitting on things. Making noises that must mean something to another bird. 

The fog was starting to roll in, and I was getting that panicky feeling which means it's time to start drinking for the night. I'm not an alcoholic - I only drink in the evenings. I may white-knuckle it through the day to get there, but I'm not one of those sad fucks doing a shot before they can tie their shoes - my old man was like that. He died in a southern prison. I live in the prison of my mind. In some ways, the apple always falls close to the tree. I was determined not to get chopped down, though. Why? I don't know why. Call it inertia. 

I had made up my mind I was going to talk to her. Ask her if I could buy her a drink at the end of her shift. I had the whole thing scripted in my mind. I was just about to stand up when I saw her hustle out with her bag over her shoulder. I checked my watch. Five. 

She was gone, true, but it was drinking time, and I knew the liquor would explain the whole situation to me in a much more palatable way. It's good at that. It spins things around for me. 

By the time the bottle was half-empty, I was a hero. And I knew I would live to fight another day.