Monday, August 31, 2009

All My Friends Are Losers

(Losing Myself, Moloka'i, 2009)

This problem started a few years back, and has traced each and every day with the same feeling. Today is the third day of my fourty-third year, and I feel the worst I have ever felt. My stomach is swamped with a turning sea, my eyes stare into whatever is placed in front of them until I lose focus to tears. I sometimes wake up sitting down in a chair or bench, sometimes I awake standing in an elevator or waiting in a line, and every time I am surprised. I am surprised at this world, I am confused at first; losing the thin line that separates me from my dreams. Deep breathes is what the doctor told me. He also told me to have more fiber in my life, to run a mile each day, and to eat a grapefruit daily. And at first I did, I listened, and I acted; each day I woke up, ran, had my fiber, then grapefruit, and soon a year had passed. I felt no different, I saw the days fade into each other, mistaking Tuesday for Monday, sometimes for Friday, and then I just started using the term yesterday for every day after today, and tomorrow represented an uncertainty I lost touch with.
Mary was a coworker of mine, and she had felt the same, and when we had our talks in the breakroom, she showed me her scars, and I showed her mine. In perfect detail we described our injuries as if they were yesterday, and in those thirty-five minute breaks we lived each and every fall, car accident, stabbing, drug addiction, and gun shot. In that short piece of time we managed to intoxicate ourselves just before being noticed, and when we drank we sang, we locked the doors, and sang our jolly and depressed faces off, and ripped the muscles from our cheeks as tears fill our bones with sorrow.
The break eventually ended, we would recompose each other, adjust one another's tie, and kiss each other on the cheek to smell the odor of alcohol in each other's mouths. It also helped to settle any sexual tension generated, that was the last thing we wanted, crying during sex.
Joel, or Jimmy to me, was hired four years ago to replace my position when I was promoted. We took to each other well; exchanging stories of our childhood, mixed in with long awkward moments as we both acted to reminisce, only filling in the gap about how sad we were. Our time together was spent in my office, and once Jimmy cried once, right there in that chair. His father had died when he was nineteen, and the last words he said to his father two months earlier was, "I don't fuckin' care anymore, I'm leaving this stupid place, idiot". He told me he wanted to kill myself for those words, even before his father passed away. After his father's death he felt nothing, and so he attempted to kill himself by drinking Everclear with sleeping pills. Since his story, I grow goose pimples to the sight of that chair, and have placed thumbtacks all over it's cushion to prevent anyone from sitting down in my office again.
I kept the chair for my own reasons, and when I am sick of filing reports I just look deep into each crack on its leather skin, and Joel's thumb prints on the stainless steel frame.

Chuck was an idiot, no one liked him, and he once sat in my thumbtacked chair when I was away on vacation. But to spite his stupidity, we went fishing together, and I often imagined him tipping the boat over, and drowning as I look to his lost face, then to his watch as I look at the second hand stops the moment he is dead.
To spite Chuck's personality and actions, we were friends, and when I mentioned our relationship to my shrink, she was it was because I needed someone to look down on, and make me feel better simply because I was not him.
Cindy was my shrink, and though we aren't real friends, the friends that see each other without being paid, I would like to think of her as a prostitute I didn't have sex with. She was there whenever, sometimes at 3am in the morning, as long as she got paid. She would smile all the time, and though I felt she was completely phony and full of doggy doodoo, she always had a genuine smile. I'd sometimes pause in-between sentences, as I lost myself in a staring contest with her smile. I told her everything, and I knew nothing about her. From the ring on her finger I knew she was married, but she also had rings on each of her fingers, so she could be single. I wondered if she talked about me and my pathetic life to her lover(s) after sex, and then imagined myself as one of her lovers and how her faces looked when she was having an organsm. I wondered if she had a genuine facial expression then, I wondered if she cared.
I am fourty-three years and three days old now, and haven't been found, haven't been lost, or have seen anything wonderful. When I return to my house after a business meeting, I could smell the musty scent of slow death. I worry I am growing old, and I haven't done anything with my life, probably the only one I'll ever get. I spent the whole time working hard, trying to get to a point of comfort, never reaching it, and to have enough to support a family.
I tuck myself into bed early tonight, I look up at my ceiling and see a spider make its way across the upside down painted desert. I look close, and see only a fuzzy resemblance. The glow from my bedroom window dimishes and I am left in darkness. My bed beneath me falls apart, leaving me in float, and my blankets bleed on to my flesh burning my clothes in vapor. I feel a film of moist air cover my naked body, and I cry. I cry, and I laugh, and I yell, and I choke and I cough. I try moving, I try leaving, I want to run, I want to escape. I am being held down, the air from my lungs is leaving me with each curse, each name in vain, and I dip my tongue into the abyss and say one last thing before I go...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In The Time of Being a Tick

(Forest Engulfed in a Passing Cloud, 2009)

I was a tick once, it was far away from now, when the world was covered by long blades of grass and deer and wolves roamed the earth along with the other animals. People think of ticks as bad things, blood suckers, they’d say over and over. It is true, I wanted your blood, I would sleeplessly wait on some nights, waiting, dying for your blood, but blood is different for ticks. Blood is our one and only love, like exquisite foods, drinks and fancies you humans enjoy, blood was that! There were different flavors of blood, even from dear to dear; each had its own different push of salty pitches, different textures from different viscosities. Like Inuit people have a hundred words for snow, blood had many different meanings to ticks, though we never used words, our thoughts and ideas of blood were the same for humans for different fruits. We would live in one area our whole life until you would come along; take us away like adulthood does for children. Our lives were decided by the steps you would take. We would burrow deep within your hair, seeking the warmth and cover of hairy legs would provide. We would take slow steps when we got close to your pulsing skin, the only thing soft and tender within this forest of hair. And then without your permission we would come close, and closer, and we would kiss. First starting with soft kisses then a sexual current would take us as we bit down. Did you feel me kissing you? My mouth will suddenly fill, blood sinking my valves, expanding my core. I was filling up, being overwhelmed by you. Did I have the heart for this? How were my lungs doing, I’m getting too heavy, I must stop, but how? I am sorry I had to dig my hands in deep, I’m sorry I made you irritated. I was too much, I took too much, but I only took all that you gave me. You didn’t know, you would never know of this love affair. And just as fast as I can to be with you I had fallen. I hit the ground, full of myself, and bounced. I quickly hobbled to a blade of grass and sat there, fat and wasted, on the base of my new home.

You were all I could think of, your rosy skin after we kissed, that beautiful red blood. I wanted only you and you alone for the rest of my life.

Over the days and weeks to pass I grew smaller. You filled me so well I didn’t need any other thing but you. It had seemed like years since I last saw you, how long have I been living here at the base of this blade of grass? I was finally light enough now so I decided to climb up. At the top I waited for you, I waited and waited. Then when I was done, I waited more until the yellow-green glow of the grasslands faded to black. On some nights I would fight with my thoughts, telling myself you were never going to come back, that you were a million miles from here, being kissed by others. I demanded silence in my head, and silence was given.

The days felt longer without you, unplanned, and alone. Love has always been a funny thing with me, it was something of mystery when the moment of love would happen, and I would be so overwhelmed by the feeling I’d forget all about the world outside this feeling, the same world that gave this indescribable feeling a name. It is only in the moments after this feeling, sometimes another life time away, that I would know that I had felt love, that it wasn’t a dream, it was real.

The wind blows and I sway the same way the frame of a kite would, attracted to something greater than one’s self. I feel the might of it all, the air stinking with energy and the cicadas are singing the song of summer. And the only thing I could think of is if you can hear all of this, to feel it all, and see beyond these grasslands where we first made love and smile because there are no words for this indescribable feeling.

In the time of being a tick, I wait for you.

(I waited a while to post this, about a year, which can only mean my head isn't in the right place, it just might, very well be, still on an island somewhere in the Pacific, and to you stranger, you're not off the hook yet! Expect new words soon, how soon, idontknow.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You're Next, Dick

(Graveyard #05, Wailuku, 2009)

Sometimes I give too much credit to my own personal demons than they deserve. They take more than they give, and they completely lack manners. Worst of all, they don't look after themselves, leaving me to clean the food from their faces, wash their clothes, give them bathes, and even wipe their buttons. I keep telling myself as I carry 20lbs of red and black suits down the street to the mat, I shouldn't give in like this. All my neighbors think I have a horrible taste in fashion walking around with their clothes, not to mention how dirty I must look to them. But I can't help but care for them, they're idiots, they don't know how to take care of themselves, and without me, my personal demons would most likely die.
At times I hate them. They can make me so angry, but then I calm down, and reminisce on the special times we had. I remember the time I was dumped by my girlfriend of two years, and they tripped and hog-tied me, and threw me down the river where I struggled for breath for miles before I went over the waterfall and broke both of my legs. But once I was relieved from IC I was bathing myself, and I even learned how to walk again. It was those first few steps that made me believe in miracles, I could hear the voices of four different doctors telling me I was never going to walk again, and like those movies about someone who gets hurt and can't walk, my moving and standing legs proved them all wrong. And though there was no way for the doctors to ever know I was walking again since they probably didn't care, they will never have their faces smeared with human triumph.
Without my personal demons I would have never realized how much I valued something as simple as walking or how useless being broken up by someone's departure from your life is. Of course I could never tell them how much it all meant to me in fear of them just doing it again. And so once my hate was dissolved, I resumed my care and longing for them. I got up from my couch, ran over to the bathroom, missing the cat by the whiskers of its face, and looked in the mirror. At first I tried to remember everything I was thankful for in my reflection. I looked deep in my eyes and thought of everyone I love, and loved, and I wished them all well. I thought of every girl I ever loved and wished them well, and vomited out the names of others as my hate left me completely. I said out loud to myself that I was happy, and then spent two minutes trying to produce a genuine smile. I gave out a fake laugh, and I froze the reaction of my facial muscles and held it as I examined its stillness. I wondered if I'd make a good Joker, they needed a new one for the next Batman. I wondered if this was what Smilin' Bob does in his trailer before he enters the stage of another Enzyte commercial. The birds were singing at my window sill, and the dogs barking all down the street. The wind blew the curtains in a flutter, and knocked off the picture of a dead relative, and shattered glass all over my floor. When I returned to my living room I saw spelled out on the wooden floor in sparkling pieces of sharp glass the words,
You're Next, Dick.

In my hand was the picture of Uncle Albert, a naturalist in his day, who was murdered by a gang of wolves. I slept well that night, knowing I knew perfectly well how to kill a man with my own hands, and wondered how different wolves could be from humans. Just before I reached REM, I called to Albert, telling him to stop sending me messages from the grave.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More Than A Woman

(Untitled, The Return to the Abandoned Island, 2009)

There are some stories you try desperately to keep to yourself, and away from love ones, but somehow they reach fame through the internet one way or another. In this case I had trusted a friend and coworker named Philip with the saucy and forbidden tale, and I guess the moral of this story is trust no one, Mulder was right.
Philip and I worked the night shift at Wallmart, restocking the shelves, running around with big lifts, sometimes even the motorized ones, and we had our fun to spite having to sleep off the daylight hours for minimal wage. In those days, it didn't matter what job you had, and how bad the work was, as long as you had a friend, it was fun. Philip provided me with that, and I believe it was mutual as we both seemed to find the same deviant pleasures in running controlled chaos in America's largest discount department store. At the end of the day, even if our managers caught us racing at 25 mph down the junk food aisle, we got the job done, and we never hurt anyone doing what we did. And we were their primary supplier for questionable goods, pot.
It wasn't all the late night fun that made us best buds, it was in our off-time when we got together and went to the strip club, and drank out in the boons, hunting for anything that moved. No matter what, as long as Philip and I were together, it was good times, and with that comfort came many stories shared. Philip told me about his time in the Gulf, and even had a stab wound, a casualty of friendly fire (or rather friendly stabbing). I had seen the side of his stomach where he had the scar before, but never noticed it within the sea of tattoos. Philip as a joker had gotten a tattoo of a woman, naked, and spreading her legs, and guess where the tattoo was. Anyhoot, we shared many of our favorite memories between our friendship, and had seen the Lewis Range of Montana, the holy rocks of Utah, the starbucks-drinking hookers of Seattle, the breasts of Ireland, and the orgies of Berlin, sometimes all in one night after a good day of hunting. In those days we didn't catch much, and it was more just about the feeling of being a man with a large gun (courtesy of Courtney in the firearms dept.) surrounded by undeveloped and untarnished land; it felt damn good. My only regret is we only did peyote once out there, but it was hard to score it at the time, even from our Indian friends.
That peyote was sure something when we had, I remember being taken away, the sound of my shirt being ripped off, my shoes falling back to the Earth as my body floated on a mystic journey filled with blood rain, civil war battles, Scooby Doo, and Charlie Chaplin fighting Hitler for moustache rights before the court of George Washington. I woke up to Philip slapping my face, saying it's been two days, and we were supposed to be at work four hours ago. I had pissed myself, and Philip did worst; waking before me, and disposing of his briefs several hours before eventually sobering up enough to wake me.
The ride back was uneventful, and the only thing you could see was 40ft of gray road, lined with two bars of yellow and the faces of trees all being lit by headlight. I didn't know why I said what I said at the time, but it just felt right, and I had nothing better to say over the silence of a broken tape player.

Phil, man, did I ever tell you the story of Julia?
Julia, who; that young one that comes in in the morning to work cash?
No, no, Julia was this person I met a few years ago, before I moved here, in my old stomping ground of Tennessee.
Nah! nah, man, come on and spit out, brother.

Julia always wanted to move to New York, she'd blab on and on about being a dancer there, and she made me promise we'd go there. I was totally confused when she told me because I had been paying her for sex for the past week, and had no intentions of anything more; it was business, I wanted it that way.
Anyhoot, so I said, sure, why not, and we carried on like we always did, the bj before the ds, ds before the bs. For a hooker she was a really passionate wet one in the sack, and she got me hard the instant she dropped her pants, and walked with her hips gyrating as if there were two pistons pivoting from her vagina; it was the sexiest thing I had ever seen. And it was the reason why I was half-serious about going to New York with her. I imagined the road head for a thousand and something miles. I even imagined her dancing before an audience; all dressed in three-piece suits and evening gowns, watching her in the Opera House, dancing, and slowly remove her clothing in a sexy manner and whipping her thong at the rich old dude who resembles/or is George Burns in the third row.
She would stay with me after the sex, and she would just talk and talk about all of her dreams until I slipped into sleep, holding her. At some point of the night she'd peel my arm from her chest, gently exit the bed, and take what was hers from the wallet in my pants, and kiss my forehead as she left me unconsciously; being careful with the door. It had only been a week but I had really started liking her, she really cared for me, and I took care of her, providing her with an income, and I was a good listener too.
It was either before or after I got the tattoo that I realized I must've loved her. It had been two weeks now. There was something about her. I looked for the something in our paid time together and I often looked out the window at the slow blinking red lights of radio towers in the distance, waiting for an airplane to crash down on the hotel parking lot, and end our lives together in that explosive moment. I was absent from her, in an off-world colony mining space dust and fighting wars with laser guns and star destroyers. What was it about this woman that made me call her each night, and use up every other paycheck to keep her here. The feeling was mutual when she told me during sex she loved me, I didn't really know what to say, no one had ever told me that, at least said it and meant it. I saw her cry, the tears dropped to my hairs of my chest and became one with my sweat, and I just kept my mouth closed, looking straight in her eyes until I was done. That was the first night she left early, and it was the only night it cost me nothing for her time.
It would be the last time I see her, and after a series of attempted to reach her I gave up on calling her, showing up at her usual places, the corner of Bellevue or Kerr, and I had no idea where she actually lived; we were always at my hotel room. Eventually I got the balls to talk to her pimp, and asked him where she was in more tone then he wanted to hear that night. I ended up with three broken ribs, and the answer I wanted. I remember being on the ground, tonguing the blood from a loose tooth, and coughing when the 6' 8" leprechaun in a brown glazer and pin-stripe pants told me she was a real special one, and spat on me. I could still hear him saying, "She sure fooled you!" as it echos in the corridors of my memory. And after those words I tried to forget their following, a straight pain in my ribs and heart, "She is more than a woman, she's a..."
Damnit Philip, you got 6,800 hits. I clicked around on his blog, and noticed nothing as personal about his own life, and perhaps that is the moral to the story:
Since Julia, or Julius, Julian, or now Julietta, and maybe Juliana, I haven't paid for sex, at least directly and since that blog post of January 27th, of the year 2002 on, I have yet to reveal more than my name, the places I have lived in, and a carefully orchestrated ensemble of stories that lead the listener to no conclusions about me, my history, or the many shameful things I have done, or the people I have loved, love, or loving. Some things should be buried, such as a part of us, or those we have known, and let those ground remain sound, unaltered, and blessed in silence. May we forget who were once were, as fools, and as cowards, and listen to who we are today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Relationship Between The Sea and The Forest

(Florida 1992)

Would it be foolish if I wrote a story about us, you as you, and me as a forest?

In this story I will be withering away, with fallen trees, some young and unnaturally dying, and
peppered throughout are sprouts of hope. I could hear your voice from behind the curtain of falling leaves. You sound like the ocean, as my memories of being a seed come to me in sparks and discovery. I was once just a small vessel on the ocean. I had no memory of being born, or the small time I spent with my parents. The wind had taken me from familiar grounds into the highest of planes and I traveled with her for a while. She taught me how to love in joy and sing with my heart, and while I was trying to enjoy every minute, I had lost that wind. My body fell from grace, and I plunged into the sea. I dove deep and deeper, and my skin broke apart. I was lost. And before I could realize how deep I was I was drowning in darkness as my broken body felt colder and colder. I talked to the darkness, asking it for forgiveness. I called for the wind to take me far away again. No response. I told the darkness of all the greatest moments of my life, and how the wind had taken me so far in so short of time. And I felt warm. But it wouldn’t last long for that warmth to fade as I rediscovered each crack in my hull and how painful cold dark water could be to open wounds. I called her name over and over in my sleepless nights. But all I could hear was the absence of wind in my abyss.

To forget the wind.
When all hope is lost.

I believed again, I felt my body move forwards then upwards. My ears were flooded by the sound of cavitation as my body felt the rush of life move throughout me. It was you I said, and I drank more ocean. You moved me in a dance, with my body together with yours as we passed through the darkness into sunny waters. My spirit was now floating, and I looked to you to see if you can tell. You smiled, laughed, and called darkness sons of bitches. I held on as best as I could and then you threw me back into the air. I had forgotten this feeling, thank you, as I raced through the air. I had forgotten how to believe in miracles, thank you, as I eyed for land to rest my withered body in. I had forgotten my life before this one, as one moment passes into another. I started to live again, and as I grew stronger I grew roots and broke the ground. I held you in my flesh thinking of the current that brings live to the sea. I would grow larger, and see the years pass by. I still held on to you in hopes for your return.
I felt you every time it rained. I let out my arms and took you in as much as possible. You were the strength that helped me grow into a tree. You were the joy that brought on my sprouts. And what of this love that made this forest, without you, nothing would be of this place; just an empty desert.

For a forest, you have in your name, as the you as you, walks amongst me, and me. I’ll whisper you my secrets in return for your stay. And I will call the wind to yell your name louder than my leaves cracking beneath your feet could ever. Sing me a song, I’ll remember each tone and kiss as you carry on.
Take my roots and keep me away, for the story of you as you, and me as traveler continues.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Does Destroys Us

(Test composition for Untitled Work, 2009)

This is stupid.

Why did I let Charles do this to me? He had used my email to setup an online dating account one night, filled in all the info about me unaltered by lies and humor, and by using my computer for this entire plot threw in a collection of images of me, a couple decent, and some that haunted me with bad memories and often just the image of the event and my scared face made me take shelter in solitude on a weekend night. But the truth is, once Charles had made the account, I never once physically tried to stop him, I just moaned on and on, like a little boy having to do the dishes before watching cartoons. And as I examined the big stupid smile on Charles' face, I noticed a glimmer of hope in those pearly whites, I was in his hands, nestled by his awkward grace, and he was lifting me up to reach for the first branches of the tree of life. The bastard was dead serious, and I didn't realize at the time but he hadn't laughed the entire time. He told me he had "friends" who used it and just like in the dumb commercials they found someone won-der-ful. I didn't know at the time but Charles used the dating service himself to find his current fling, and if he told me at that moment I wouldn't have believed him, Charles never had a hard time with women, and in fact he was in-general, a lucky bastard.
A few days after setting up the account, each day I contemplated both the cancellation of the damn thing, but also of the female possibilities, I had to emit, I was kinda of excited about what awaited me, who awaited me, and what can turn out from all of this. At the time, I had no hope but this micro-strand of thread that connected me to the vast sea of e-romance, and its volume and mass beyond the physical realm of the previous reality to dating.
I was still recovering from a bad breakup, with Charles knowing each and every heartbreaking detail, made him intervene in my love life, and of course I was stubborn, half-sober, and smoking for the first time in my life. Truth be told, that online account was the only thing I had, and so when the first email came in it created an overwhelming glow to everything I looked and stared at. Without a name, without a face, I knew she was the one.
Her name was Linda, and it was the most wonderful name I had heard.
The way service was setup I was able to be contacted, and my profile able to be seen, but my interaction with those who wish to speak to me, who giving me a minute of their day, and who might even admire me from a far, were restricted due to my free account, and so my curiosity to Linda's appearance ran wild into the library of females of my life, and Linda's reflection had become "The Best Of"; featuring Julie's nose that would tweak up ever-so when she took a strong breath in; Hannah's eyes that appeared to float like islands of paradise in a sea of milk; Charlotte's little hands which resembled a widow's own mournful as narrow; and Carrie's body small and skinny that fit perfectly within mine from hugs to snugs to midnight tugs. Linda, to whom I have built you up to crystal castles and divine love, I hold you as a baby to birth love in my heart again.
With each of Linda's words, careful in how much she said, I could read a loss of hope in her words and how she was searching for love with everything she had by the way she placed commas and ended her sentences. It was the language of the hopeless, and while reading the rest of Linda's words, I was holding her hand, telling her she wasn't alone, over and over. I reached the end of the message, and sat there at the edge of my seat, saying holy, holy, holy, and in the glimmer of my computer screen I saw what resembled a smile.
Immediately I responded in a flux of passion, matched with impulse, and after two minutes I finished my love manifesto. Sent was pressed, and I navigated back to my sent folder and reread my email to Linda. I first saw all of my spelling errors, writing look instead of like, and was afraid of miscommunication. These first words were all she had to truly get a sense of me, not the person frozen in Charles' selection of images of me, but me speaking with my own voice, it all my horrible grammar and pronunciation. And once I finished reading, I sat back in my office chair, and looked through my window to the city below and wondered if one of those lights was Linda's. And maybe she was there at her computer, smiling and reading my words on that glowing screen.
In the next couple of days we would exchange a few more emails until we agreed to a Saturday evening, dinner at John's, and from there we'd decide the itinerary for the rest of the night. I might have set myself up for trouble, knowing if the evening ends after John's there goes this one. Another one bites the dust.
Eventually, after three days of waiting, it was Friday evening, and I had finished my work out, and was now just sitting on the edge of my bed, thinking of a million ways tomorrow can turn out. I formed dialogues with Linda in my head, and I was charming, witty, and full of humor. I practiced the sequence of our first conversation, and it was going well, I think I hit all the right cues, and she was flirting with me. I turned off the light with the slap of my hands, and pulled the covers over my sore body. I don't know how long I stared at my ceiling, lit by the city that burns outside of my window. I admired the red light of my fire alarm, thinking it was a warm little star, keeping me safe. I kept dreaming of her, moving around until I lost all my pillows, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable, but I was too tired to get out of bed. It wasn't until I got up to take a piss; I looked in the mirror and noticed I looked weird, as if I was looking into a distorted mirror. Who was this looking right back at me, is this how I look to others? I drank some water from the tap, and jumped in bed with the salvaged pillows in my arm, and waited until sleep came back to me.
The next day Charles and I had met up for lunch, and he apologized for stepping into my life the other night. I realized he didn't know I had used the dating service, and so I brush off my lie with a no-biggy, every-thing's-cool. He took the bait, and we just talked about work, and prospective traveling plans. He then asked if I had deleted the account he made, and I said ages ago. I didn't want to talk about it, and he sensed the troubled waters ahead so he diverted to the problems he's having at home with Sheryl. I didn't care, and I was no longer in the same room as him anymore as I stared out to the street, seeing strangers pass by and those women that catch the eye for the moment as they walk in a slow motion just before they disappear from view. I smiled and said I had to go. I threw some money down without looking at my hands, Charles asked me to sit down, and by the time he finished those last words I was gone.
I started to walk, and then I picked up into a run. I ran faster and faster, feeling the liberating wind run its fingers through my hair and the sound of it breezing by my ears. The sun hit my face, and my feet felt bare, grabbing the concrete, and scratching the callus flesh away. Only a few more hours I repeated to myself. Only a few more hours.
The sweat ran down my face, and my hair was greasy. I jumped in the shower, talking to myself as if Linda was on the other side of the conversation. I looked down at my hairy legs and watched the small rivers of water run from my head to my toes. I realized how desperate I was, how much I have built her up without even knowing her, or seeing her for that matter. I created the universe of us in days and the city streets with our names, mark by mark, we ruled it all. Everything had been destroyed and remade to fit our plans together. I knew she was lonely, it was in her tone, written before me, with each fragmented sentence, each question asked, she wanted more and more and as I continued the one-way dialogue with her in my head, she spoke softly, interested in everything I had to say, and I asked her how she was going to rule the world, and she replied, by conquering you first.
By the time I realized I had to get ready, I was falling apart. I was impatient, I couldn't last long, and my stomach turned like Moby Dick's sea of rage. Closing my eyes, I could only imagine the fineness of her body, the lovely oddity of her face, unique and endangered, wild and moist with freshness. I wondered if she was thinking the same about me, I looked down at my getup arranged on the floor as if the person who last wore them had vanished into a parallel universe. I wanted to be there right now myself, all this waiting, all these images of who she might be overwhelmed me, flooded my every thought, and I worried my voice and my thoughts would not synchronize when it came down to saying those first few words, Hi, hello, howdy, how are you, nice to finally meet you, you are lovely.
I haven't met you, but your effect is already profound. I am pushed to the ground; speechless, breathless, hopelessly, trembling, taken in, nurtured and tortured, simultaneously; destroyed and recreated, flying and falling, jumping and tripping, soaring high above, in windless skies, carelessly, breaking apart, and landing into your hands. Waiting, waiting for you, does this destroy us both, to fail with you, to drop out with you, oh Linda, you have no idea, and yet you know me more than anyone, and we haven't even met yet.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Milky Way

There isn't a photograph for this one, it still waits undeveloped in a ziplock bag in the freezer. But can I provoke within you an imagination of what the photograph entitles?

I was driving down the mountain with my mother, when we had hit a cloud of mist, and everything 7-9ft before us turned into diffused white. I slowed down, and as we hit a turn I looked out on my right hand side and saw a small concentrated forest of Eucalytus trees through the mist. I immediately pulled over, hitting the rough shoulder as my mother yells from her cellphone conversation, "watch it!". I grabbed my camera, turned off the headlights, and checked the road for passing cars before I got out, walked to the edge of the road and hopped the guardrail. I walked down the hill, knowing where the forest was, but could not see it through the milk of mist. The closer I got the more detail I was given of a forest, and it was like each step I was controlling the opacity of these Eucalytus'. I pulled my camera out and looked down through the viewfinder and didn't see my shot, I had to get closer. And closer and closer I got, each progression I checked my viewfinder and still didn't see my shot. At this point the forest was visible, with it's depth vanishing behind it. It wasn't until I was close enough to touch it I took my first shots. It felt like I had discovered an animal I had been studying for years, like when Sam Neil's character in Jurassic Park sees a real dinosaur for the first time. Well, maybe not that excited, but it was a search that had found some reward. I dove down to the grove that met the condensed trees with a soaked lower half, and couldn't believe what I was seeing.
It was like a dream, no, it was like being in a dream with a camera. And as cliche as it is, it was being surrounded by a misty perimeter that made it dream-like. Maybe it was the isolation the mist made with my surroundings, or maybe I remembered those misty nights in Texas, when I used to wander the streets, as if I were sleepwalking.

When I think back at that moment, I think of having experienced it to its fullest. With a camera in hand, it felt like being excited doing work, and though I was there, I was living that moment, a part of me was absent, thinking of photography, of what depth of field I wanted, or how to better compose this moment, and lastly, how this place will look as a photograph. I came to a crossroads of being a tourist armed with a camera, and a person who needs to document his memories because he's afraid of losing them.
Over the next few days, more or less this has been all I've been thinking of. I think of those I know who hold and tell such great stories, and how I too have seen some crazy shit in my life time, but there are chunks meeting here, and chunks meeting there, and picture isn't a picture but a cloud of mist where I know it is. My retrieval of memories doesn't work like others, I need the right cue, and a very particular cue to rebirth certain memories. And as I brush off as shy, or awkward, the truth is only a few people have the ability to open my library as I share with them my favorite memories. Those people know me better than anyone else, maybe even more than my mother.

"[As it] fades into the milk of dreams." - Jorge Mulally

Monday, August 3, 2009

Frozen Lake

(Pallet Yard, Wailuku, 2009)

There is a frozen lake that isn’t too far from where I grew up, and my sisters and I used to skate on it. Our mother would warn us that the ice may be too thin for skating, but we still went to, everyday no matter what. The days were filled with frozen cheeks and joy, and we forgot the time as the sky turned blue before black, and we would see the sun sink behind the tree line. We were in a place with no memory, where our summers here were forgotten to the winter wonderland of our backyard. And it was in all of this wonder, skating alone, that the ice beneath my feet had failed, and I had fallen beneath the surface. I screamed with all of my heart’s fear, I spoke to anyone, asking for help, to save me, to help me, and yet to hear nothing as the cold water filled my ears. I felt lost from the world as I was diving into another. What world may this be, of fiction, of nightmare, with shadowy figures that look like those who I have known. Where were you now I thought, and then a moment froze into another, and like a clock on its last legs. It was then, in all my despair, I saw before me a white brilliance.

Had my voice that once screamed been heard by an angel, I said I wasn’t ready yet and with no words she took my hand. I said I hadn’t seen the world, and with no words she took my hand and lifted me. I said I was too young to say goodbye but too old to say hello, and with no words she look into my eyes. I wasn’t ready, and then I said, I could never be ready for such…and with no words she carried me above the ice and then above the land, and my skin felt warm again, my heart felt life running through it again, and my eyes rolled back and then returned to see hers. I fell asleep, waiting to wake up. My eyes are still closed and yet I feel her arms lining my back, as our bodies both jump from each step she takes, I feel her hands hold tight to my body as she takes another step, I wished I was lighter, I wished I hadn’t taken so much of life into my bones and into my flesh, and she takes another step. I wanted to walk again, to walk beside her, to have the strength to take each step with her, and yet she takes a step. I could feel her strength, and it felt endless, and she takes a step.
I said stop. And though my voice was low, and though my voice was weak, breaking apart like dry leaves she stopped. A moment before a moment I realized I hadn’t planned on my next move, that I said stop because it felt right. We hovered there; in the indecisive moment, and I saw her foot was just before a step, and I said, let me down. And so I came to meet her at my feet. I didn’t know what was next, I just felt like being on the ground with my two feet was right. I took her hand, and placed it over my heart as I placed my hand on her chest, and felt her heart. I felt my hand move farther away from her heart then closer, and with one deep breath I matched her breathing; our hearts were now in tuned with each other and her foot was just before a step. I knew it was only right to place my hand where she had hers. I knew it was only right to ask of her name. And I wondered, and I longed to hear her speak.

I closed my eyes and waited to wake up, and I have yet to open them. And then I heard an angel speak.

And what did this angel say?