Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm Not There Yet

(Panorama from Nocturne, 2009)

Jeffrey said it was silly to believe Thomas was still alive. It had been four days out in Washington, so far and so deep that our compass serve as digging tools at most, and fail to even do the task well. Jeffrey was looking pretty good to eat, but I held on to the last of my will to survive with the both of us intact.
The passing crows seem to be waiting for one of us to fall to call the rest of their flock for a feast, but our bones still supported our weakened states. The spit in my mouth grew to an acid and thinned to drool from the side. I tried daydreaming, bikinis and surf, mounds of food, stupid with grease and excessive flavor. Jeffrey hated me, and would tell me this every time I gave him the look of hungry for fellow. I hated him because he hated me. Perhaps Thomas' body would've united us both in relief, but now it was too late, we had no hope.
There was a time when I could say I was a brave man; a sensible and reasonable person, but those times were tested, and the walls to my strength have been breached. Fallen to a dreary state just before zombie, I call my fellow, and tell him a story all so close in resemblance to our scenario.

John and Walter found the Greenberg river that runs for a thousand of miles from Washington to Southern California. Their recognition usually ends there, but what they endeared was every 1409 miles of that river with pain, and unbearable weight upon their shoulders. What was forgotten to history was that their horses and ox were eaten for their own fuel, and they had become savages as wild as coyote, feasting on raw flesh, and berries. With their clothes ripped and half nude, and their eyes sunk to their skulls, what kept them as outsiders to the beast was their journey. John and Walter, close to insanity, without a human outside their pack for six months carried out their passion of discovering the start and end of Greenberg. And perhaps today their fleet doesn't strike amazement but the cities that were settled on the Greenberg would not be, and those families and businesses would be nonexistent without their efforts.
I would like to think that John and Walter, without hope, had something that could be even beyond the shimmer of hope, they had their drive, their passion, and their strength to broaden their spirits and wills to survive and conquer. Today, I feel the spirit of such explorers in my attempt to survive, without hope, with just my hands and my feet, and my friend.
An eagle pierces the sky and catches a young crow midair, the sounds of struggle carry off beyond the treeline, and I can hear the sound of running water, and for a moment there I feel free. Free.

Monday, December 21, 2009


(Untitled, Return to the Abandoned Island, 2009)

*sometimes it's the lack of words that speak more than if anything was spoken at all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New State of Mind

(I Wish I Could Take Your Sadness Away, from Reminiscence, 2008-2009)

You're tired, and I'm restless. You're a tomato and I'm a tomato pronounced the other way. When thrown: we'll hit the wall, or we'll hit the floor, we'll roll, we'll splatter, and what we won't do is turn sun-dried. We were made to last long, but we won't because it is better to smash a new vessel with a full and unopened bottle than an empty one. We'll become the fade to black that romantics fancy over sideburns and bitter bastards. Call a road, home, I'll fit the stick with all I'll need in a tied bandana (red and white checkers). Smoke, drink, fight, and lose everything we made only to learn once we lost it all we have each other. Blow smoke in my face and you'll get slapped, pour beer on your pants and I'll get punched, break your heart and you'll break the bottle in half, and fit me with the rest.
We have made our terms, we're blind-sighted, and marching. To an endless step, and in the high noon. Pistol wiped, pussy wiped, crazy and alone, each other, and desperatos, eat the dirt, and I'll drink the worm. Crazed; the smell of your breath in my mouth; the quicksands of your eyes, and how is it you're suppose to survive again? To give up, my body to your science, my cause for your affect, and the rest we can forget until we meet again. We're on a fifth time going, and I'm all for sequels, Sidekick.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How To Say Goodbye

(Daniel Before the Ocean, 2004)

It's an end of something. Something stops. No longer able to change and what is sadder to fade away in memory or to fade before you? So many moments frozen, at a standstill, and I wait almost to expect to see you again. Perhaps I still don't believe, with all the evidence before me, I feel like I'm being fooled. I don't know how to address death, and I'll never put your face on it. To me, you're still alive, you're still living a life, and more than ever, you're living a life at its fullest. We'll receive postcards in the mail from all the locations you've been to, with excerpts from the stories you have created with strangers along your travels. Paris will never look so beautiful, Tokyo filled with shimmering bulbs of a city that never sleeps, you'll share it all, but for now, you're gone, away, on some adventure. Where to next, Daniel.

Rest with the most peace you can ever find, you'll always be a Shananaganger.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shadows on Parade

(October 28th, First Sighting, from Nocturne, 2009)

There's that feeling when listening to a new song, a beautiful song, for the first time or whenever you listen to it afterwards; a feeling of intense emotion, unplaced, and now, without a face. Yes, this feeling was once you, but now, I don't know, it is just a feeling, and I am alone on it. I can imagine you up, I can create you from every love of my life. I'll scrap away and cut the fat right off the best of times, the best of yous.
Placed in wooden boxes, burned black, and smokey cigar smell, I left you here for too long. The ground beneath my feet hurts, and I jump to a moon-less sky only to never return to where I came from. I have forgotten, I have been misplaced. Hidden in the grass, sunken to the depths of an absent Hades, it isn't much warmer here, but there's no wind. The forest grows in my empty shoes, the animals piss on my clothes, and I grow fur from back to toes. Creature I am, craving the flesh of deer and the backs of coyotes. Oh, this tree is right for my body, so I'll take it apart and form one branch to another until I am lost in what I have done. What have I done?
Half-off the bed, half-awake, slipping over just before I fall back to dreamy beaches, glistened and nameless, to each I have called some sort of paradise. To each useless now as my dumb eyes see skies of dark and shitty, I say I really hate this city. Take me away, to cabins lost in forelock tails and fallen trees. Quiet be a name to call this place, dark-dark with shotgunth sky, let's just sleep here for a while, arms for whatever, dead and heavy, light and floating.
Before I change my mind, before I turn stubborn, and wonder off with thumb in suckle and boy blue. With a cowboy voice, I say here we go, rumble in the gut, I say it once more, and that's that. So are ya with me, or against me, terror. scare, or fear not, for we can have each other, for however long this song last.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Afternoon Delight

(A Ghost Is Born, 2009)

In times of sunken ships and sailors looking for land to call home. In times of desperate need, and for friendship that can last a life time; the storm will take you, the storm will take me. To the depth it will, I say, but we'll be together on it. In turning seas and death kisses on the brow or on the cheek, we will survive (just about anything). Plunge, plunder, and pulverize until pieces are made, until dust is all that remains. Take what is left and send it by sea, or by air, to all those we have known. Let our bodies be that reminder of ventures too dangerous for most folk, and let our particles be freaks of frightening things for even Ridley could not believe.
Away under palm-shaded skies, sipping a lifetime of paradise amongst the crashing waves that hiss and thunder in the most beautiful ways, we live, we survive, I with a beard, you with a bikini. Pinky swearing of our stay, pinky swearing for the rest of our days. To never leave, to never be discovered, this is just about the just of it; the best of it, and I don't think we could ever get sick of it. We'll build monuments, I'll dedicate mine to you, and to your everything, and you'll build what you build, and I will be taken, and inspired through the eyes of bending light, of new wave and avant, of each of your impressions to mark a stone and to carve a branch. What grace have you here, I am small, hidden under your belly, and yet you make my likeness in truth, I never saw a reflection so dearing. Once we are done with our hands, we will destroy what we have created, we will burn it all down only to do better tomorrow. Let's just say tomorrow together, right now, really, the story ends here.

T O M O R R O W.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So Much For Words

(Living as Twins, 2009)

So much can be said, but silence can be even more spoken than words themselves.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Boston, New Zealand

(Welcome To The Jungle, 2009)

I'm a really bad liar. I'm also really bad at this. Picking up the shards of my favorite cup, I wonder if someone had just died. My pocket vibrates and it's my mother, this is too weird. I let the phone pulsate in my hand until my palm is numb.


It seems that life is random, and my broken cup, my favorite cup, is a lost cause, and not a cause at all since it has nothing to do with anything. I once tripped and fell over, broken my pen in my favorite pants, and soiled my pocket with ink. When I looked to see what had caused this accident, there was nothing, when I questioned the stability of my legs, they looked fine, they felt fine (besides from a slow-forming bruise above my right knee(the bad one)). I looked around me to see if anyone had seen my embarrassing moment, and a young woman smiled at me as she towered above. She came closer, and just tripping over my fallen body, she stepped over me, and left. Two years later, I would meet her again, and upon our reunion, I would say, and she would say, and then I would ask, and she would say, yes, we heard it all before, it was fate!

The date went well, and we would continue seeing each other for a few months, and then I moved away, and the letters we promised each other would dissolve, and soon we were reduced to commenting on each other's internet pictures, and then just "liking" them, and finally, the once a year (twice a year for both ways) there were the happy birthday messages, and a how-are-you-doing,-it's-been-a-while.

I think back on the day I fell for no reason, and where I once put a red string, a string of destiny, I now put a solid piece of dark matter. I stopped writing love songs, and I started to write about the stars and black holes. I could be found quoting Hawkin's, and I do I really mean impression of his computer voice. People will laugh, and eventually they will sigh since they all, including myself, hope for his health.

A rock once fell from the sky, fell a foot before me, and I realized that if I didn't stop smoking cigarettes the day before, then I would've been stroked by that falling rock from the sky (the sky is falling?). I stopped all my bad habits from that day on, and slowly over the months, I regained most of them, including a few extra pounds. The next day, the woman I had left, appeared at my door, and she said in a whisper to my ear, "surprise".


How do I hold on to these things, how do I call you friend, before an enemy, how do I know to step foot into my fading future before me, and when shall the sea decide to not roll back? When will the greatest monuments fall, and when shall we forget each others names? Only when you think of me again, that random, that fateful occurrence, o'eureka,, and (one) one-thousand, for one is the lonely number since five, four, three, two, one...


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sung or'Hung

(The Sea Before Kalaupapa Valley, 2009)

It's like watching a ship go down, those final last breathes of a captain and his lady bubbling up to the surface, and the bubbles burst with sounds of screams and cries. I would like to say his last words were I'll never be a legend, or I'll be back (in a half-gurgling sound). He was a friend, and now that he is gone, and the crew and I were on the ship of our captors, there was this void feeling of loss, mixed with the bitter taste of defeat. No, we're weren't "pirates", atleast not in that romantic notion so saturated in modern cinema of the twenty-hundreds, we were Filipino robbers and thieves, that happened to have a neck for ships and maritime, roughnecks that really cut throats, and were criminals. Juan has four counts of murder under his belt, and how he escaped prison with nothing but his one arm, and rotted teeth alludes me, I think the captain picked him because he reminded him of how wonderful Rick Allen of Def Leppard is at drumming.
Carlos was a ladykiller, he really killed them, but he also was a good-looking gentlemen, he was just messed up in the head. And Lif, the newest member of our crew was twelve, and knew how to tie a knot that would rip a man's flesh with the slightest amount of struggle, and he was the only one of us that learned how to disable the technological advancement of tanker or freighter's secruity system.
Sure, we were wild, wild and scary men, that the rest of the world feared, but what we were up to in those seas, what made us who we were, and what accounts of this and that such crime was our passion. The world looks at Napoleon and his manifesto, Che and his journey, and that guy from Catch Me If You Can with dreams, and wishes of their own. Everyone's a sucker for the romantic notion of leaving the rest behide, and becoming wild, and free, whatever that freedom is or was. We were dirty, we were sick, but most importantly, we were free...up until an hour ago, and now awaiting to be hanged (I still argue hung sounds better), by the people we robbed from, the people we'll never see, and only a hand upon a hand will be the last of our accounts at our journey, from when we were young, when we first stole fruit and bread to eat, then moving up not down, stealing bigger and better, and all for survival until it was too rich in our blood, it was in our spit, in our eyes, in everything we longed for, we were thieves of pleasure, like a magician alluding his audience in mystery.
And where do all my last words go, when I am gone, when I am longer, who will speak of my legend, of the places I have seen, the people I have stolen from, or even put to waste, there is no author of my immorality.
I would like to think one day, my story to serve as a lesson to those of my hometown, of fear and shame, to never step foot in the shoes of Vincent Santos, for you will be HUNG to death.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Sound of Her Voice

(November 4th, A Tree Base Stripped of Its Skin By Unknown Origin, 2009)

There is this sound every once in a while I remember as clear and as piercing as the day I heard it. It is the sound of a ghost that appeared one night every January in my room and my room alone. Every year it was something a little different, the first time it was some weird noises and glowing hand prints on the door, the other was that rustling and another ringing noise. Each year, another noise, odder and more frightening than the last. What separates the noise I speak of, the last one I heard was how it groaned from a place outside of anything I knew. It was the fear of the unknown itself that was struggling to breath, and so it just cried in a haunting matter, and let a thirteen year old boy lay on his bed, covered in blankets and with eyes pointing to a dark corner of his room where evil and demented sounds are originating from what could be an opening to another dimension.
I still get goose pimples when I think of that distorting sound with metallic textures and human vocal cords, and how it was straight out of a horror film, but it wasn't a movie, and it wasn't a nightmare, it was real, and unexplainable, real unexplainable. Even to this day, I wonder what that noise was, and I still believe it had to be a ghost, demon, or animal spirit of some kind (coyote, wolf, or owl?). The evidence is all there, a lady had died in that house, in January, and she probably died in that corner of my room, and my room alone, and I could only hope the new tenants aren't being disturbed, aren't being awoken in the middle of the night by a calling from another dimension, and fear that it will strike, that it will take you away, but not before it rips you apart, and steals your soul, not before that, please, not before that.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Every Morning

(Untitled, Nocturne, 2009)

In a time not too far from now there was something in the place of a missing chair, a cabinet to the left, and in my chest. I called it by name, and now that name is lost to me. In my hands are the same wrinkles that I had when I was a boy; my future is the same, my hands are just bigger now.
In the wake of a year, the parallel of the seasons I feel empty. I shall burrow in my gut, feed from the flesh, and become one again. Yes, alone again.

Time has told me with so many words, how meaningful can be meaningless like a shell or skin of an orange, missing it's fruitfulness. Of longing of things passed, and of wanting of things to come; patience is a blessing I call the impossible. Like dreams upon waking, I drift away in sunlight, and I call to the day speaking of the milky-way. Like stars, like the moon, afloat in the darkest of seas, swallowed whole, and alive still to shine through.

Maybe another day as I drift to sleep, of possibilities, of nameless strangers, and for chance to play. I'll call you Tomorrow.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Dog's Love (for his owner)

(Suck It!, 2009)

My first dog's name is Tumbler, he was clumsy and often stumped his paw on this corner of furnishing or that leg of that furnishing. He got excited every time I came home from school, he jumps, he barks, he tries to bite my fingers, tries to bite them softly; just enough to tell me with the slightest pain that he is really happy I am home. And it is nice to be home with him, he loved me like no one else. He has knocked over enough of my mother's china to build a broken bridge to China, and he gets it from my mother. He tries to learn only to fail and do it all over again. My mother continues to put her China out on display, with a new cabinet every so often with hopes this one is the one and only she'll ever need to protect what is dear to her. But all of her memories of fancy luncheons and her travel souvenirs are lost when Tumbler's get lost in excitement leaving substitutes of how things once were.
It is a dog's love I tell my mother, but she knows best, he is a good but bad dog, and tries hard to listen and do, but fails to keep her memories unbroken, and he would show more remorse if he wasn't so happy. My father doesn't bother with Tumbler, he has The General, an old german shepherd that has gone on every hunting trip my father has gone on in his adult life. The General sees my Tumbler as young-and-dumb I'm sure, but there's enough respect there to keep them living under the same roof.

Tumbler died in the coldest winter I could remember, and it was a day I felt a deep sense of something leave me. I still don't know quite what that was, but there is a deep and sharp hole in the middle of my chest, and it is the color of dark red against white snow. My mother had enough I'm sure, I was old enough to take care of my dog, and when Tumbler being Tumbler excited as his puppy days knocked over the one and only cabinet, breaking the remains of her china and the memories they served, killing the cat, Stanford, and almost hitting my baby brother, Jeremiah, enough was enough. I wasn't home of course, and in a way, it was easier, and I feel guilty. I feel guilty for a few more things while I'm talking of guilt, and then I think of today, how it has been three years since, and I feel guilty moving on, and often forgetting the name and memory of Tumbler in the last years of grade school, and the world becoming a much different place than I had thought as each Spring is marked by the sound of birds returning and the new leaves on the oak trees that line the walk from home to school, and school to home, and over again.
My father doesn't talk much of him walking the dog in last few steps, and how it was surprisely not hard to lose the dog far enough to aim and fire. Or how Tumbler just sat there, confused, longing for his owner to return, and for a moment he was graceful like a watch-maker fitting one tiny gear in perfect place to fit another even tinier gear so that everything around it will function in perfect harmony until everything becomes rust.

I try hard not to be clumsy, I try hard to speak clearly, and to not to get so excited. I try hard not be a mess, but the truth is you drive me crazy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lay Down, Slowly

(Lay Down, Slowly (documentation shot), workinprogress, 2009)

Pushing the tall grass over, and making crop-circles, I hope you find this one day and decide to lay down. I want you to come here, I want you to take a load off, I want you to find peace. Rest with fallen leaves before it is too cold to press your face to the earth. Look up to the sky and see the sun shining between the trees. Over there is someone's home, and just along the path there are folks speaking of how wonderful this day has turned out. Enjoy it while it last, and remember the peace you found by sitting down for a moment, and breathing it all in. Lay down, slowly.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Learning To Love Yourself (More) pt. 10

(Mother, 2009)

Easier Said (Then Done)
It's that sorry that isn't as much a sorry but a word to fill the required response. Tell her anything, you no longer matter. Hold her hand, and think hard on something nice, something wonderful that is far from her pain and sadness. Speak on impulse, speak of hope. Tell her everything is going to be ok, and leave it at that.
But something's missing, she's still sad, she's still crying, and your heart aches the more, and the more. Power slips from your smile, your eyes are useless, she lives in her shadow, alone and lonely. Nothing to say, and nothing to do, but you cannot leave, nor do you wish to. Help her through this, take her pain in your body, and leave her empty of it. Run out the window, smash through the glass, and on to the street, taking your life in a Hollywood ending. If only, you think, if only you could...
This time will last, and it will fall. Her color will return, and the dark times will be soon forgotten, and in its place will be something you both missed, and both didn't realize how much it mattered. These are the good times, holding and holding on. These are the good times, taking in every last detail, for you never know how long it will last.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


(Mr. and Mrs. Jew and Their Garden, 2009)

Ridiculous times call for ridiculous literature. I'll be back with some more, like a squirrel gathering nuts, for the winter is coming, and I don't give a jack frost for cold weather.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Than Ever

(Robin Baker's Workshop, Moloka'i, 2009)

The ocean was all around us, pushing us up from the right, and setting us back down on the left. Occasionally a shower of sea water would rain on us as we made our way to Moloka'i. The journey there seemed longer than just 40 minutes, and it all started the day my mother told me of the lepers of Moloka'i. *

*this story still sits within me, waiting to be written, and I want to give it the time to be realized to its fullest. Until then I'll hack away at a stone, crafting it into foundation I will use to speak of one of those profound moments in the summer.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two Men Dancing (from across the way)

(Sum in his Garden, 2009)

Right now, there are two middle-aged men dancing with each other from across the street in the apartment facing mine. One is bald and shirtless, and drinking and smoking. Once in a while he sits down in front of what appears to be a computer and adds more intensity to the moment, and in my head I think the Bee Gees are playing loud and proud in that apartment. The music echoes down the narrow apartment and bleeds from crack of the front door into the hallway, where it appears faintly to other tenant's doors; if one were to be listening with their ear resting on their door, hearing word for word of what a disco inferno is.
The man with his shirt on is dancing, and even if his partner is stopped, with eyes scanning the computer screen for what next to add to this moment, he keeps on dancing and dancing, with no need for a partner to dissatisfy him. In his motion he seems to never want to stop, that the music of the Gibb brothers is too enduring, their voices in full wale too striking, as he enters into a trance of sweat-beading full body motion. Let this moment never end I imagine him thinking to him, maybe even yelling with the Bee Gees, and cries a little while he takes a drink of his beer. Maybe he was singer once, maybe he was a dancer at a time. And if he failed at one or if he failed at both, he was now, in this moment, very much a singer, and very much a dancer.
The light from the apartment below turns off, and a glow engulfs the room in a cobalt blue and in a fuzz of shadows I see a person set down to rest with the city filling his room with soft light. What moments could these people see of mine, with windows open and lights on; forming an aquarium for their eyes, as they watch in silence, observing me and my company, dancing, kissing, drunk, and passionate with all of our failures and all of our pride behind us.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm Running Away With Your Wife

(Panoramic of Haleakala Crater, 2009)

Dear Mr. Shepard,

I have taken the liberty of packing your wife's things, along with my own, and have disrupted your family of four, and left it without a mother/wife component. The following is an apology without saying sorry, and I have carefully detailed what has happened since the last time you have seen your beautiful, young, and too crazy for the both of us, or any other man to hold down, wife.

Carla had been seeing me for a year and half before we ran together, and every patiently-waited Tuesday we'd meet during her work break, and stay with each other for two hours in my cheap hotel room, in the scent of mildew, fake flowers, and that lingering smell of morning air. I used to work down the hall from your wife, and before we met in person I had left her anonymous love letters. I grew obsessed with your wife, from her smile and laughter to how her eyes stared endlessly into mine, I hadn't experience that caliber of spirit and character your wife had, and I was endlessly devoted to her without even knowing her name.

After a series of love letters and with the last one, ending with this note, "I want to run away with you." She couldn't take the mystery anymore, and perhaps I was too slick for her, passing by without change of face or mood; I was a stone fox, with my romance novel devices. Finally, one day at work, after receiving my last anonymous letter, she simply got up from her chair, stood high enough so half her body was peering out from the top of her cubicle walls and said loudly and sternly, "YOU WILL STOP, AND SHOW YOUR FACE NOW!"

I looked down from the hall, and saw this crazy, beautiful, and impulsive woman in all her beautiful for the first time, I coughed, and when I caught her attention she looked over, and I smiled like all wolves do before they run in for the kill. She was mine now.

She was the first woman I made love to in a bathroom stall, and during the act I was there with her, hearing her voice, and the voice between her thighs, and wondered what had just happened. I was with the most incredible woman of my life, and had a hard time adjusting to the placement of desire and reality. I pulled the biggest catch of my life with one of the cheapest baits a fisherman has, and yet it was never about the bait, but how the fisherman pulled his line, ever so slowly; keeping the tension high, and the mystery unbearable.

The day we left hadn't been planned for more than a day, and was devised by your passionate wife at work one afternoon. She called me up the day before our departure, telling me to meet her there tomorrow at that time, 3:30pm, sharp and ready with everything I owned that mattered. I had been previously fired for reasons I could imagine, and often wondered why your wife hadn't received at least a warning; perhaps her charm was her greatest defense. I had received the call while I was working a forklift at the warehouse I worked at, and I almost hit my best friend, Philip, backing up, who was also tired since we usually worked the night shifts and was completely nocturnal at this point. I remember jumping down to Philip and yelling, "I'M FUCKING LEAVING!", and I smiled and hugged Philip hard and took off into the blinding light of an open giant garage door. Philip called me on my cellphone two minutes later and said we still had four more hours and he wasn't covering my ass again. I said I quit, and he was a little pissed off but took in a deep breath and said, "Go get her, bitch." I felt my ass being phantom-slapped as I kicked off into mid-day sun in my brown and gray El Camino.
On the road I called Phil back for my last night here drinks, and I knew I was going to have to get really hammered since it was going to be hard to sleep that night. Philip got off work at 6pm, had to run home to have dinner with his girlfriend and son, and then he'd meet me at 8pm for our ceremony. I had a few hours to kill so I drove upcountry to the shooting range, and just listened to the firing rifles and handguns echo across the land and up the mountains just before they're resonance stopped. I smoked a few cigarettes with the locals and ran into Carlos, who I hadn't seen since Gabriella left me years earlier. He felt something profound in seeing me again, and cried like men do when it has been a while since you've seen a good friend, and we hugged like men who had lost a connection to our past in our present. He invited me to have dinner at his place with his wife, Sofie, but I had told him I was going for drinks with Phil, and that it was my last night in town. Carlos pulled out a sack of weed and rolled up the largest joint I've ever seen and then made another one equally as fat, and said, "Take this for the road, and we'll smoke this one now".
Carlos told me of how Sofie was, how they had their second child a few months ago, and he showed me a picture he held a deep sense of pride on, out from his breast pocket was his second and beautiful son, Theo. I wanted Carlos to come out with Philip and I, but knew he would and he had a family waiting for him at home. Carlos was a hardworking and loving man, and our time as wild coyotes was now and has been over for years, he did the growing up for the both of us. The joint was burning our fingertips and we looked down to the ground beneath us, and said, “Well”, at the same time as each other and turned to see the landscape weeping before us. I felt a chill run through my back and in my hands at the sight of those cold and still mountains. I thought it would be poetic to just walk off towards them, waving my hand behind me to say goodbye to Carlos and our time in Helena but Carlos got up, and said, “You’ll be back, man. And when you do return we'll spend some proper time together, and you’ll have to tell me of my time away.” I said deal, and hugged him one last time. "Until we meet again, amigo", said Carlos.
As I was pulling out from the parking lot, I looked to Carlos' truck, and stopped. I left my car idle and ran up to the big red F-150, and opened the passenger side door, and left the joint Carlos gave me earlier on the seat with the words written on it, "Until we meet again, amigo".
I was twenty minutes early when I arrived at the bar, and decided to started drinking before Phil. Everything felt different. The journey hadn't begun, I was still in the same spot, and yet I was on the road with the love of my life, I have changed to someone of risk and adventure; I am a traveler with love in his heart, I was a bandit stealing your wife.
Philip arrived five minutes late, and I wouldn't have noticed if I had been watching the clock tick down the time before tomorrow at 3:30pm. Philip and I ordered pints of the finest Mexican beer the bar had, and down them one after another recalling our many adventures in hunting, and the women we had loved, or just slept with during our friendship. Between us there were eight or so dead rabbits, two raccoons, and one deer. There was Sally, Rebecca, Kim, Mary, Lindsay, Georgia, Kelly, each with a sudden feeling felt by the sound of their names being presented before our Dos Equis', and each had their own pint this night as we drank to forget, and we drank to remember our best of times, in drunken laughter, in sick jokes, and wild animal sounds and domesticated dog barks.
The night was rolling to end when Philip stole a kiss from our too-friendly bartender and she told us both to fuck-off, as we threw bills around where we were sitting and stumpled out the door into the cold Montana night. Philip said in a drunk and stupid voice that he loved me, that he really did love me, and then acted like he was going to kiss me too, and then all of a sudden he sobered up for a moment and cleared his voice, and said, "I really am going to miss you dude, seriously". At that moment Philip looked like the most together person I have ever drank with. He hugged me, and then got in his car, and left. I was too drunk to drive home that night, so I just slept in my car.
I woke up that morning to tapping at my window. An older man who said he was the owner of the bar was there and said I should leave now. I heard her voice say her first words of the day, “Who was that?” I looked over as if I had found life in a cup of coffee, and there was the bartender, using my coat for a blanket. I asked her what happened last night, and she said that her boyfriend was too drunk to pick her up and asked me if she could stay in my car until he sobered up to come get her. She then told me he would be here any moment now and fell asleep again. I panicked, and then told her I'm driving her home. She got up and gave me back my coat, and opened the passenger door and gave me a kiss on the cheek before she closed the door behind her. "Thanks", she said through the frosted window as I started the car.
For a moment I left like pulling up beside her and asking her if she wanted to come with me, and when she asked where I'd said anywhere but here. I realized it may be a while before I am free to the vast world of women, with each a different shade of me will resonate, and be lived, and we'll learn the hard way to live with each other; failure. I was running away with your wife now, and she was mine, as I was hers, and it scared me. I had never been married before, and though each relationship I had I was loyal for the most part, I felt for the first time in my life that she was the one.
I looked at the bartender from my rear view mirror, fading to the distance as I drove to nowhere to kill the six hours I had left. I thought of the people I would like to see, and many places to just sit and admire the landscape but was overwhelmed by a city that has known me for too long, each place had a certain significance with a certain person. I watched my memories of Helena pass me by as I drove on, and when I arrived back at my hotel I thought of the first time I made love to your wife, how it was still so hot rich in forbidden pleasure and secrecy. Inside that cold place I realized I couldn't have lived here another day without Carla; that this place was depressing without her warmth, and that in more ways then I knew at that time, we had built a home being lost in each other's company as one world ended and another started.

All my things were useless to me now; a collection of used books I had no interest in reading again, a half-broken stereo, some dirty clothes I had washed in a couple of months, and my old drawings I only kept because Carla liked them, telling me they were each special to a particular moment. And so that was the only thing I kept, everything was thrown away, and I wanted to start all over with your wife.
I fell asleep on the floor looking at a collection of Polaroids I had of Carla, and woke up with only two hours remaining. Everything felt vital and instrumental in the moments before our departure, as I looked from the blinds to view a cold and overcast sky and the city sitting idly beneath it all; I didn't need closure, I was finished with this place.
With the time remaining I drove around, and even passed by your house to see that forbidden fortress you had Carla all to yourself in, with your children from your previous marriage, and I felt the sadness of that place. I wondered if it was why Carla wanted to run away, to be in mixing it up again, and being on the edge. Perhaps she was never meant to be tied down, and I saw a future of misfortune coming my way the day I get tired of the secrecy of our love, and being on the road; without a place to call home. Will I fail Carla like you have, and will I lose her the same way.
Towards the end of your street I forgot all about you until today. It has been a couple of months since Carla and I have been on the road. On some days I am too tired to keep going, and it seems to disappoint Carla but she says ok, and we rest, and each day I see how much I can take. On others days I feel like I can do anything with her, my love is endless. She still makes me smile, and I love her more and more each day to spite my tiring spirit. She is doing well, I think this was for the best.
Eventually my time in Helena was over, having been filled up by the landscape and memories that may have been relived for the last time, I appeared in the parking lot of your wife's work, and waited for twenty minutes before she appeared. She hadn't brought everything, and I worried she'd want to run back home and grab a few things. I had forgotten about her car, and she had opened the trunk and looked at me, waiting for me to wake from my thoughts before I got out and helped her. “What about your car?” I asked, and she said a friend had paid her already for it, it was going for cheap, and she had left the check at home for you to cash. I thought it was an unfit way to say goodbye to your husband of five years, but then thought running away out of the blue was also just as bad, at least she didn't burned the house or something worse.
So there we were, in an El Camino with a full tank, and an endless road before us. I had no regrets, and I could say neither did Carla. We were and are living our lives the way it should've and always been; without borders and boundaries, without ties and routine. Some people weren't meant to be put in the system of everyday; that they're bodies and minds are too free to be confined to a cage, or house of cards. And as I finish this letter, I cannot ask for the end of bad feelings, for you not to hunt my very existence down with thoughts of violence and even worse, I just wanted you to know, how I felt, what has happened, and to give you a reason to feel the way you do, now knowing the truth. I included no return address for reasons you and I need not explain, and Carla and I would rather not be seeing you anytime soon. We hope to be forgotten not forgiven.



Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sadbastard Monologues pt. I

(Denn and Sum on the Cliff, 2009)

Come here, I want to tell you a story; a story of growing up, and growing strong, but not without falling down a few times, and learning who you are each time.

When I was your age I used to run all over the place, from one person to another, and every love I had was different and exciting and came with its own complications and beautiful imperfections. I learned to walk on my hands, and smoked cigarettes once in a while without ever telling anyone. In fact, you're the first to know, can you keep secrets?

I was moving so fast through life that years would pass me by, and I had forgotten the names of the many faces I'd meet, seen, and left or left me, and it would only be on a sad Sunday afternoon I'd remember their names, and see their faces, and want to contact them that moment in hopes they were thinking the same thing as me; I wanted to be missed when I realized I missed someone in my life. And this would happen over and over, and I'll call her or him and wonder where they had been, and what they had done only to realize that time is unforgiving, some hadn't changed, or perhaps it was our situation hadn't changed; frozen at the bottom of a lake, preserved from the moment we last spoke. How many times do I have to say goodbye, only to say hello not knowing if they'll still be there.

The sun is setting, and the light is diminishing in golden rays and flares on my spectacles. I feel warm to be alone in this moment, and cold to be alone without someone to surprise me, in full mystery, in nakedness, and in endless love. I see a world of memory, and slowly as age catches me restless in a fever of youth I see my life before me now. I have lived and relived all my saddest memories to the point of an analysis that renders no further information, and I am desperately searching for relevance in my life, as an older man, as an aging tree; sloped, sloping, willow in the fall.
I forgot who once said that we tend to see the bad in things, we look for imperfections, and seek an escape to associate with failure. I have taken so much of my life and put it into cardboard boxes and had forgotten the room they were stored in. Along with all those sad memories are the greatest moments of my life, the ones that make me realized I was happy, and I should have never let that happiness escape me even though those I share memories with are no longer with me now, let that moment be relived, and that person who I once loved, once cared for is still alive in that frozen water slipping through the wrinkles of my hands.
The minor details escape me now, and my childhood is all but a few memories. My time as an young adult is vague, mistaken for yesterday's dreams. I once called to the wind asking it who I was, and though I never heard anything back, for years I would call and sometimes yell that same question until I forgot why I was asking it in the first place. I grew tired, and before I realized it, I was an old man, holding on to a cigar box of every love letter I had ever gotten. I sealed that box a long time ago, and I forgot the faces attached to each of those letters inside. I wondered if the scent of her and her were still on the pages of her heart. It wasn't until the last of my curiosity had me pull the nails from that cigar box apart, wall by wall, I destroy the format of my most precious memories.
All that remained was salty pages soaked with tobacco leaves and faded letters eaten by the sea. I searched for any and every sign of life on those memories and found nothing in my hands. I tried to remember her appearance, seeing a blinding glimmer too bright for my weak eyes. I looked at my fat, rough, and wrinkly hands and saw disgust. Nothing. Nothing at all.
The years passed by, and in dreams I had lost my connection to what was real and what was of my own fiction. I had lived my dreams like I lived my life, and as I dissolved I turned to salty white water; an estuary of my memories real and makebelieve. Which I keep and which I have left a long time ago escapes me, and I have learned to appreciate what is now before me, with its ability to grow, to fall, and to get back up. With each moment, with each voice, I hold a face to know each one for a moment; the moment we shared, when we were both fools, when we're both in love, and saw time as an endless thing.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Bestfriend Got Eaten By A Shark

(The Road to the Sugar, 2009)

I met Marco in Oahu, when I started to studying art history there. We met at the first day, and his humor attracted me to start talking to him, and soon before I knew it we were buds.

Marco had grown up in Hawai’i, and spoke in animal sounds. I was the only who understood him, and so that might have led to our friendship, but I’d like to believe it was more than just that.
We had classes together, and often we’d escape, and just walk around, joking about everything, and life in general. We had only known each other for a week, and I already thought of him as my best friend, he was always good times, and he was the company you wanted in any condition, at any time.

When Carlos with his dumb Mohawk had provoked a shark at the dock, Marco and I thought it was funny to tease the great white by presenting our feet just before its giant jaws. I was holding my balance with my left foot in front of me and over the sea, I realized how stupid this was, and this moment of forgetfulness is usually how you end up doing something you’ll regret; only after it is too late. And like clockwork, Marco was laughing and took a misstep into the water.

It all changed at that moment, my world was warped, distorted, and flipped, and I felt disoriented for the shortest of moments, but long enough to feel the world was a scary place. I reached for Marco, and didn’t see the human-qualities he had anymore like the ability to walk upright and talk with a whale of sense of humor, instead I saw a killer whale in its environment, and for the first time it felt unnatural to see a whale in the sea. I pulled Marco up and he managed to kick off the shark, but I couldn’t lift him back on to the dock. He continued to splash and call in his whale tongue something I could no longer understand.

I pulled as hard as I could as a gathered crowd to watch all the excitement of the sea before them. I managed to get Marco on the dock again, and we were both breathing hard, and the fear hadn’t settle in both of our eyes and hearts. I knew I was losing a friend today, and in a way I feel like I had. I looked over to Marco, and saw nothing in his big black eyes, and that was when Jaws II came from the side of the dock, and grabbed Marco by the tail fin and took him back into the sea. I held on to Marco for as long as I could, and with all my strength I pulled, not wanting to lose my friend. The shark ripped away at Marco, and I felt my grip slowly fading, like a butterfly falling in the sky.
The sea turned red, and I was on the dock, alone, and I felt lost. I looked down at my hands, and they were still red from the previous struggle, he was gone. I lost my bestfriend today, and there was nothing I could do, he belonged to the sea, and I belonged to the land.

In a flash of memories before me I saw a montage of the best moments Marco and I had together. His sense of humor will live on I told myself as I got back up and looked at that useless crowd and said in the voice of Marco, “Oh Well”.