Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jokes and Trials pt. VI

(Untitled, 2011)

I got her back. That's all that matters, the moments leading up to seeing her face, curvy blown hair running over her face, sleeping, gone, goner, and her body in fetal, silent like the night she met. I tried to imagine nothing had happened in the past forty-eight hours, but it did, I felt it everywhere, my blood still carried the signs of distress, and wondered how fragile this very moment was. I sat at the edge of the bed and ran my fingers through her hair, they caught and I gently removed them. She budged a bit, as if digging her face into sand. I tucked her in and started cleaning the room, then the rest of the apartment. After that I went out to grab a few things: food, a couple of books, and some fresh fruit grown from all around (they were there for the taking).
After San Juan and I parted ways, which was sometime after the hospital visit, we met back up that very night, we returned to the bar lost in the valley, and this time we met no resistance, it was clear and obvious Sandy was there, I knew it the moment San Juan led us there the night before. The bartender from the previous night wasn't there, the bouncers were though, and instead of dog-eyed stares we were greeted with passive exchanges, like we somehow gained their respect. San Juan approached the replacement bartender, I was introduced to Carl G., but we never shook hands, he just led me up to the rooms upstairs. San Juan stayed downstairs, and Carl G. stopped at the top of the stairs, pointing to the open door at the end of the hallway. As I approached the door I took small breathes, thinking that she might not be there, I had to ready myself for disappointment, like I often do and I am not proud of it it's just a mentality I've gained over the years; self-defense. Through the doorway flesh met the eye as a toe grew into a foot a foot grew into a leg a leg grew into a bum and a bum grew into a waist and the rest followed. I was reminded of the first time I had seen her, she had a wicked bod, enough to fall for, but I didn't, I resisted it as I made my way over to talk to her first, feeling like there is much more. There was more. I entered the room as if it were a crime scene, I pictured a camera panning overhead like the climax of Taxi Driver, though without the blood or dead bodies, just the discovery of something that happened throughout the night.
I carried her on my back all the way up the mountain path, had to take breathers now and then, put eventually we made it. I laid on the bed, watching for any sign she was able to move, to grab my hand, to even blink, she just stared endlessly into my eyes, crazy eyes. She gave me some signs she was still with us, she spoke softly, with words rolling off of her tongue delivering every statement as a question. They were the words spoken, broken through the philm of one world into another, a sleepwalker, errr, sleep-rester in her case. She'd roll over to one side then to the next, her movement seemed foreign, and occasionally she'd get up to go to the bathroom and return back to bed. Everything scared me at first, like she was possessed, something else was powering her body as it moved, her words were otherworldly, and though I had found her she was still lost.
In town I checked the PO BOX, in there I was surprised to see a letter from an old friend. When was the last time I had heard or seen Philip, the memories between then and now rushed by me in a gust of wind, in that vision I saw a long and windy road which represented my runaway with Carla, the cities we saw, the hotels we stayed in, sleeping in the bed of my El Camino, the endless and monotonous road, then it crawled into darker regions, the end of one life and the beginning of another, Sandy Beaches, that one was still fresh, still slapping around the boat trying to escape, I bite it by the neck and held on for while being slapped in the face, the pain reminded me my hold is an illusion eventually it will have to be let go. I headed back to the apartment and read the letter on my walk.

Dear Jorge,
First things first get ready for an unpleasant letter. As you hold this piece of paper you may or may not be ready to read what is going to be said, in the mean time I'll just lighten it up with my formal response to you. Thanks for your letter, it reached me, and I looked up to the moon and howled a bit. It has been too long, amigo. I don't want to say anything generic here, but I hope you're doing well, I'm sure you're in trouble, the good kind of trouble. You remember that saying, I remember you strutting down the street, singing then whistling, "Trouble with a capital T, ya know you don't wanna mess with me-he-he-he". I miss those days, and the one thing that keeps all those memories from fading is I know our time, our good times are no where near to end. I'm sorry I can't make it out to you, not now, not for a while, I got too much work on my hands, and I got myself a girl too. No kids, no where near that, but you know, bro, eventually, right? So with that outta the way, the rest of this is shit, it will probably ruin your day, and I hope with me telling all of this it lessens the stock.
Carla is dead. Car accident. Ran off the highway, off of a cliff. Nowhere near here, no, this was far away, and the only way I found out about it was a letter I received from the state trooper's office in Nebraska saying your car had been destroyed, and that the person in it was now deceased. There were more details, I included that letter in the attachments. They did find alcohol in her blood, but the way it happened it could have been a plain out accident, that she just didn't see the road, it was a dangerous one too, I checked on streetview. Look, I am sorry to have to tell you all of this, but I knew I had to tell you, for you to know, you must know, she was your past, and your past never dies.

Come visit, me and the guys miss you, you should see Theo, wouldn't recognize him.


I stood there, lost, confused, something deep down inside of me which laid dormant and silent woke up. The lower half of my heart felt a sharp pain. I continued to walk, lost in thought. I had twenty minutes to forget all of that, my past did die, I did not want to enter that room with any of it on my hands, on my mind, in my heart, no not my heart. I found it hard to remember Carla's face, her smile, the way wind moved her dress as we drove on. The feelings never did come back, just the shivered ends wiggled around on the ground like fallen power lines. I had successfully cut that part of me, now all that remained was a bitterness in its place, an alcohol produced from an end of terms. When I reached the apartment I reached a peace with myself, all I wanted was to honor our cherished moments. Hidden away a box of photographs collected dust in the closet, many of which were taken on the road with Carla. I looked through them all. I saw the photos as an outsider, I was a different person then, this, as I pointed to a picture of myself smiling, wasn't me, nor the one with me pissing off the side of the road, he was old familiar someone I used to hang out with but now I couldn't stand him, or what he believed in. The fool.
I don't know what possessed me to show Sandy a part of my past, especially an old dig, but those moments still meant something to me, it made up who I am today, through success but mostly failure. Sandy barely moved, I just set things down beside the bed. At times I'd have to leave, something stuck the sadness in me, seeing her like that, the glow was gone or too dim to see. I knew it wasn't the end, no, it was the valley between two peaks, where we're both lost, and yet we're still in it together. Mud and all, stick by stick.
It had been about two weeks, I started to work a week ago, I made my rounds by the apartment as much as I could, Sandy remained the same, confined to the bed. In hidden moments she looked through the photographs and did the best job she could making sure it appeared to be untouched. I knew she was moving around, she wasn't dead, she just wasn't herself, or perhaps the self I wanted her to be. At night I'd take these walks, walking up the mountain, it was a little scary but at the same time I felt safe, like no harm would come even if a panther suddenly appeared out of the bush it would look me in the eyes and I'd look back, telling it I did not fear the reaper in a moment of telepathy, we came to terms with each other, a sort of momentary respect as I understood his kingdom of the jungle and he understood my kingdom of the village. Dark circles were gone, replaced with longing, oh I longed, and longed I did. That spark, that feeling we had, put on hold, she was the beginning of my summer, she was the end of it as well. Alpha and Omega, cosmic tango, electric field safari, come fly me to the moon, and spring on Jupiter. I closed my eyes, set myself up for sleep on my half of the bed. I looked out the window until all was gone, I felt myself drift away.
A light switch flick sound, soft foot steps, a dip in the bed, and arms suddenly around me, her face pressed up against swallow of my back, an energy which took me, I was taken, I was flying. My heart ran a steady slow tick as I felt her fingers interlock with mine, no words, no thoughts, just silence, just this. Like a surfboard catching the wave, it starts to glide over water like butter on hot toast, it is the perfect grind, friction, friction-less, the feeling that rushes your toes, makes its way to your heart, it pumps and it goes, oh-oh-oh how wonderful, like kissing the blades of swelling water and being a part of the force for one moment, for one ride, I turned around and faced her, I was absolutely sane, I was totally insane, for her.
We. were. back. And so ended summer, frozen moments shattered, a tidal wave crash, a mystic moon on the banks of the horizon, hovering and diving, diving, dip and float, the air in the night, the mountain so high, I can feel it all, yes, I say with my smile, singing like some scene from the Sound of Music, I am Julie Andrews, these are my kids, let us dance, and sing, under the stars. The Hills Are Alive (with the sound of music). And These, my friends, are a few of my fav-vor-rite things.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Edge of the Pimple


(a picture of a waterfall from a distance, shrubs and flowers in foreground, bright day, a house resting just above the waterfall farther up the cliff, 2011)

Holding on to the railing, feet locked into the gaps, I looked beyond and what I saw is water falling from great height. I didn't take me much effort to get there, no hiking involved, I didn't even have to drive (my father did). I made my way passed a vendor, a man with his belly out selling seashell creatures, after a few exchanges of the eyes I moved on to the railing, there I just stood there, looking. Around me were tourists, not much different from the ones earlier, to the other waterfall we had visited that day, also requiring no walking, just parking, which was at capacity. I looked and I looked over the edge of the road at rushing water, cameras snapping all around me, I wondered what this site meant to them, what it will mean to them when they upload their images, look at them on their glowing computer screens, maybe this site will end up as a desktop background, maybe they'll even print it, it might even end up as a larger print, a whole 11x14 printed on canvas will spill over on the edges. Just maybe. And what will it be then, what that image will be when floating in their living room, on their desktop background, will they remember their time away, maybe the love they had or had not in their hearts, their resort room, the beaches, chasing waterfalls, or will they just see a waterfall, just some water finding the path of least resistance and then plummeting to a small lake where it gathers, collecting itself, and moving on in a river like matter. What gathers so many people to places like Niagara Falls, so many newly-weds, what do they see in falling water, or perhaps its the place, it has been manufactured for their devotion, to make the best of their time, the landscape has bent its back backwards. Perhaps that asteroid from space that hit the Niagara region some x-amount of years and attributed to the formation of the Escarpment had love in its interest, that it was a love stone being thrown at fearsome and fiery speeds towards the not-then-but-is-destined-to-be the US-Canada border.
I once biked that region, it's damn hilly, hard if you're not used to hills, which I'm not, and harder after a long day of biking, not fun. But it is beautiful, it is something to behold, to see in your lifetime at least once, if you can get around doing so, I mean don't come all the way from China to see it, if you live close then sure, come check it out, not the town, but the region, do some hiking, make sure you come in the summer, but make sure it's not too hot, there's surprisingly a fair amount of hikers, or rather tourists that decide to walk for a few miles, that die of dehydration, which reminds me, bring plenty of water, the right shoes, or rather hiking boots. Leave only foot prints, unless you seen a fancy rock, and you're the only one doing it, and make sure no one sees you doing it because you might just start a trend. That rock will sit in your pocket, it shines, it shimmers, it is a deep black and reflects a rainbow like oil in water, a dark water at that. I once found a rock like that myself, up in the foothills of Navajo Lake, CO, I was running around, and exploring nature as a kid when something called to me, I dug my hands into the a pile of pine needles, loose leaves, and smaller rocks and pull out that same exact rock. I knew without a doubt it was a meteorite, I knew what those things were and looked like, I was all about space, aliens, fearing abduction, and korn back then. It was heavier than any other rock its size, it always felt cool, it was metal, but yet it was a stone. What it also was was smooth, and gentle on my hands for something so hard. I looked at it in my hands the entire way back to our house in Gallup, NM, about 200 miles south of the lake. We were driving this Dodge Ram van that my father and I turned into a RV, I remember my sisters not being there on that trip, and I had the entire living room/dining room/backseat to myself. I laid back, and fell asleep as the boat of a van rocked and rocked on the asphalt sea.
Somewhere in space, that rock, the same as the one the tourist that likes to walk for a few miles has in his or her pocket travelled far to get there, in his or her and my childhood pocket. It made me think of how every atom in my body, and every atom I'll ever encounter in this lifetime has travelled far to get where they are now, and how when I think of a romantic time on the beach, I think of how that girl and I travelled the cosmos together without ever realizing it, we met in space I whisper into her ear in my sexy voice, she doesn't hear me at first and says what, "What". I begin again, and wind blows sand into our eyes, we kiss, and that's the end of the story.
Why do people chase waterfalls, why, why, why?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jokes and Trials pt. V

(High and almost above the Clouds, Just Not Yet, 2009)

I kept having that dream, over and over. Sometimes twice a day. I'd hover out of the room, float down the stairs, out through the bar, down the road, over the water, into the water, through an impossible tunnel of air, into the ocean, then I'd die. I piggy-backed on Jorge's back as he hitched me back to our little apartment. In his eyes it dawn on me how sad that place must have been for him without me there, I was caught in a moment where I wasn't sure if I was being selfish or having to take care of myself. At the apartment he left me on the bed, I could not move my body, I think I was paralyzed. For the next couple of weeks my only sights were out the window from bed-height, the books Jorge would provide me (mostly upon my own request), a growing photo collection, and my dreams. It felt like I was sick at home, my mother would take care of me, leave for work, and check in on me throughout the day, as I lived on my bed. Three times a day he came home, never late never an appointment missed, he'd move me around to prevent bed sores, and it felt nice to feel someone touch my body, my flesh laid there motionless, it needed some stimulus. He was also really good at massages, though I could tell he was getting boners every time my body was between his legs. I could tell he was hungry, and I was afraid I could not give him more than some kisses.
The dreams in repetition started to blur my sense of reality, I slept twelve sometimes fourteen hours a day, day became night, night back to night. Occasionally I would wake up at 3am or 4am, restless, watching Jorge sleep, unsure where I was, if he was a dream, or if the dream was a dream. I'd read for a bit, looked at the photos Jorge took or found from the day, and I'd study them. Each image gave me a sense of escape, I felt like I was walking down into the grove, approaching a farmer, looking at his face, seeing each and every wrinkle, his voice was my own as I imagined what he had said, how his day was going, the weather, where his kids were, how he buried his wife, and how he was surviving, alone, no, he said, he's got plenty of help. Most of the photographs were taken far from this island, places Jorge had lived and visited, the people he cared and some that he loved. An El Camino at a cliff with a road that vanished, a Mexican man with two boys sitting in the back of a truck smiling, a baggy of joints with finely written comments on them (too small to read in the photograph), a man standing beside Jorge both holding rifles behind their heads (they both had red eyes), mountains obscured by clouds, a woman smiling (she looks breathless in this moment), a dog with three legs, a sad-looking apartment, some strippers working the poles (I don't know why he gave me that), it just comes on and on. I wondered why kind of life he lived, I've seen some of his world, what he chose to show of it, to keep with him, and each photograph meant something to him, that they were dear, and if I were to lose just one he would feel something deep down inside of him be lost. He trusted me, he wanted to share his life with me.
The dreams aren't all the same, the pain of dying is less and less, and though I feel like I'm definitively dying each and every time, I find a calmness growing. The impossible tunnel burrows deeper each time too, and a few nights ago I noticed the tunnel doesn't just end when it reaches the sea floor, it now curves back to the shore. I started to sleep more, I was working that tunnel with my mind, I knew it, if I stretched out I could expand it, only to die in the end. Somewhere in the chronicles of my life I remember a web-based game that was popular in the early twenty-hundreds (2000s) where you controlled a skier going down hill, you can hit ramps and catch some major air and you had to dodge trees. No matter how good you got, how far you reached you'd be eaten alive by an abominable snowman. I kept playing that game over and over, feeling like I got farther each time, death didn't bother me, I felt that there was the faintest possibility of not dying, of reaching the finish line, and when I did get there there would be no abominable snowman, nor a crowd applauding me, I would fade to white, the game would never end, I would ride on forever into infinity.
When Jorge grabbed my dead body at the bottom of the sea I noticed a cloaked door that replicated everything around it. All but the edges showed the slightest signs of distortion. I tried to tell him, to move my arms to point to the door, he was beginning to ascend, I wasn't going to let him, I screamed as loud as my non-working vocal cords could muster, I forced my limp body in every direction it go, and finally I heard Jorge say ouch in the most nonchalant way, he stopped and looked at me, I then motioned to the door. Jorge in his deep-sea diver suit lifted the door, which worked more like a portal, the water stopped at its opening. He grabbed my still limp body and gently laid me on the grounds of a dark, moist, and dippy cavern. It was pitch dark but we could see enough, as if we had night vision, and so on Jorge's back I was carried down hell's hallways. At the end we reached a stairway made from volcanic rock. With each step I could hear Jorge's breath pant as he continued to carry me higher and higher. I wished I could walk, to even help him up the stairs but my body was still a life-less mess. Time was frozen as it appeared, the darkness gave no signs to the passage of time, it just gave the impression it was endless, like the void itself. Jorge took breaks every so often, laid me down on some steps. I couldn't even talk to him, I felt like a mermaid, he was a man from the world of land, he had caught biggest catch of his life, he was taking me home. Taking me home.
We reached the top and met a hatch door, with the last remaining strength he had, Jorge gave it one heavy hit to loosen it, then he pushed it open. We both when blind from spilling light, we reached the surface, we were out of the darkness, there was air. My eye balls were on fire, and by the time my eyes recovered I felt my hands over my eyelids, I was able to move them again, I tried moving different parts of my body and they too moved. Joy rushed throughout my body, I was alive again, and in all my excitement I had forgotten about Jorge, my savior after all. He laid flat on his back, one arm covering his eyes, I moved his arm to recover his face, it fell lifeless down in a giant thump. His eyes were teary, and that's when I realized he was now lifeless himself, that perhaps he had given me his strength. I didn't know how to help him, he was too heavy for me, even with all my strength back. His eyes looked into mine, his face was frozen with that stupid serious face he does, and I could tell he wanted me to continue, to continue for the both of us. I didn't want to anymore, I wanted to stay there by his side. He said go with his serious face, GO, be free. His face disappeared, his body vanished soon after, all that remained was his deep sea diver's suit. Alone, I looked around me, all white, I wondered if it was some sort of heaven, and as that thought occurred the white veil lifted to a semi-transparency, I was on top of the mountain. Down beyond I could see the valley, directly across was the western mountain, and south of that was the mountain Jorge and I lived on, and then I realized I was on top of the Eastern Mountain, which had no access to being too steep and rocky to climb. I thought I might have been the first person on top of here but then realized that someone must have built that twisted little passage up here. I continued to look off, I wondered for a long time, with my back to the viewer my eyes ventured to the unfolding landscape before me, I held a contemplative stance as the sea of clouds passed by, what a marvel it was, the stuff of dreams, or in remembrance of Jorge, The Milk of Dreams. Yes, The Milk of Dreams.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jokes and Trials pt. IV

(Smell Ya Later, 2011)

I swear I could hear his snoring, him rambling in his deep sleep, I awake and see there is no one there. The room is unfamiliar and I realize I am in a hotel room. I turn to my side and look out the window, the sky is bright already, I can feel the sea breeze hit me. I just want to stay here all day. I grow chills from last night, that feeling, it was inside of me, it has always been there, but now it was awake it had a face. I couldn't shake the feeling, it distracted me from whatever it is I was going to be doing today.
I close my eyes and wondered back into that familiar realm.
I feel my body lift into the air, it hovered in place for a moment, but then is taken down the hallway, down the stairs, into through the bar, no one there paid attention to my hovering glowing body as it exited the building and ran down the off-road path down to the bay. There it decided which path to take a fork, it goes the unbeaten path, it is alright I am floating in mid-air after all. We arrived at the shore, it is day, the magic that was last night isn't there anymore, instead it felt dream-like, like I was looking through someone else's eyes, remotely. My body continued to hover out into the sea, then stopped. I lingered there, wondering what is going to happen next. I felt my body drop and instead of hitting the water I hit more air, looking up I see a tunnel of water form Mose-like as I decent. I try to maneuver my body to see what was ahead, if the water was being parted before my body or if there was a large tunnel already cleared away for me but I couldn't move. The deeper and deeper we go the more I wondered how deep this tunnel goes, I was sure we'd reach ground, we weren't that far off shore, I've dived from out here, it's not this deep. I wondered. Stop. I waited for what happens next, did we reach the sea floor? The opening to surface was far now, it was a smallish hole where clouds pass by, a window into another world. The sea around me moved normal, with the occasional fish passing by, curious. All of a sudden my stomach ached, I knew something was wrong, that's what my stomach does when somethings off, like a cat running away just before an earthquake. I looked up to that window to the surface, my eyes teared up, it vanished. What happened next was broken up into bits and pieces, I remember the roar of the ocean, the air being squeezed out of the tunnel, it was like hearing thunder for the first time as a child, it rocked your entire. Some flashes of drowning, struggling, then giving in.
Instead of waking up I died. My body rested there, with an entire sea weighing it down. Somewhere in all that darkness I thought of Jorge. I saw him in a deep-sea diving suit circa 1930s, brass and all, looking like he belonged in an aquarium. He held me in his arms, I felt safe, safer than I had in a long time. Since I could remembered... My body was light, the rush of water on my flesh gave me life again as we ascended. I smiled uncontrollably, I was happy. What was taken, what was realized what was lost, what was missed, what was reconciled, and what was found all rushed by me, the ocean sounded louder and louder, flooding my ears with a mixture of water and air cavitating. When we reached the surface we never stopped, we were flying high, then higher. Jorge's deep-sea suit disappeared, his hair was longer, golden, his body more built in the dreamiest of matters, and his face was covered in beard, also golden. He sung something beautiful, holding me in his arms as we ascended to the heavens above. It sounded something like Con Te Partiro, but I couldn't tell, it was beautiful. In the brilliance of a new day, our bodies, high above contoured to each other, we were slugs, we were forming one, but at the same time we were two, just perfectly fit within each other, and then a glow started to flicker from the briefest of gaps between us, it formed a flower, it grew and grew and grew and and and...
When I woke up I heard his snoring, I turned over on my other side and pulled the blankets he had stolen from me somewhere deep in his sleep. My last thoughts were what will I dream of this time...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hot Dog

(What A Mess, 2011)

There are certain things, a lot of things, omitted. Mostly because it becomes too personal, without the abstraction of fiction hiding what is said here. The truth is I am a good liar. Because I don't realize I am lying anymore. With the words to follow after that statement, I need you to trust me again. I've been telling the truth this whole time. I keep telling myself that. This is all true, down to the last ridiculous detail. The names have been changed to protect the identities of the people involved in each and every story. Their new names manifest a life of their own, and in turn start to grow beyond the memory of the person they are based off of. In this process they are immortalized, continuing to change, to speak, to live. They will travel the world, they will fail, they will fall in love, they will lose it all, only to come back at the end. It is all about that, the end. Sometimes you can write the most nonsense things, and as long as you wow them in the end you're safe, you're ok, you're doing fine, you got them, they leave the theater to realize it is night, what they are feeling is good, satisfied, with new thoughts in their heads. They just sat down through 100 minutes of garbage, but they last remember the 20 minutes of everything coming together, finding peace, everything is resolving, the world is fixed again, it all makes sense, we can love each other. The end is never complete, it leaves you wanting more, or it leaves you full enough to carry the story away, to let it continue to live, to change, to develop in your mind, as life continues to grow and die and grow and die, one dying cell being replaced with a new cell, and it goes back and forth forever.

Somewhere in all this I meant to say you are here, will always be here, and you are there, and you may or may not always be there, but you'll always be here. (Right here).

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jokes and Trials pt. III

(Test image from The Barking Wall, 2011)

We have something in common, you and I. I held his photo in my hand, I would say his eyes were his best physical feature, hazel and clouded in mystery. Jorge had something deep and secret about him, and at the same time he was the most honest person I had ever been with. If I saw this same photograph before I knew him the way I knew him I wouldn't have imagine myself running away with him, he looked unique but something didn't pop him out from a crowd. He used to say he never encountered any problems crossing the border, has never even had a traffic ticket to spite being pulled over a few times, there was something about his face, his demeanor that could do no harm. And perhaps that was the trouble, when he goes on like he does, goofing around, never really serious, and when he is with new people I'm never quite sure when he is going to be shy or the life of the party. What took him out of the crowd was how easy it was to talk to him, he had a cool-without-being-cool presence, and I know he felt most comfortable around me. Why I decided to leave in the middle of the night was because we had been living with each other, unplanned-just-happened-upon, for over a month, I didn't think I could go back to that lifestyle, not now at least. I had lived with someone for years and years, having them always around, I always had that comfort but at the same time I didn't have my solitude, even when I was given my solitude, the place we shared when I was alone always felt like something was missing. And even though I knew what that something was, it still felt more ambiguous than it really was. It was when I realized it wasn't my boyfriend at the time who was simply missing from the empty apartment, it was the fact that I felt empty towards him, and so I left. I wanted to disappear for a while, start dating again, be free, maybe even be wild. I danced around in my panties one night singing girls just wanna have fun (I didn't really).
When I met Jorge, he seemed to be that wild that didn't cramp my style, he wasn't heavy, looking for a relationship, he was fluid, we were both fluid, looking to flow, go with each moment, never over-planning, just enjoying what time we had, and when we said goodbye he'd awkwardly say goodbye and linger for a moment then leave.
I left him in the middle of the night, I escaped the same time I usually left for my evening run up and then down the mountain. But this time, I didn't run up or down that mountain, I decided to leave for a while, just wonder. I didn't know if I was coming back, but I left all my things anyways, I didn't need anything I had enough on my mind. I ran toward the valley, hopped a few fences, and made my way to Locos, a local bar lost in the valley where not even cops venture to. I checked into a room and took off to the beach at the bottom of the valley, there there was a black beach. I took off all my clothes and ran in, carelessly like the wind. The moon was full, and the surface of the water formed a conveyer belt of blades sparkling in the night. For the first time since I can remember I felt free and alone, in my own space. I didn't have someone holding me, kissing me, telling me sweet things, I was just here, goddamn it felt good. If I had clothes on I'd rip them off at this point so instead I just screamed at the top of my lungs until I started to cry. The waves crashed over me, my body lost all the urge to stand and I felt my body crash to the bottom of the sea. When I surfaced I floated there for what felt like infinite, watching the moon shine through passing clouds, water flooded my vision and made the moon, the clouds, the milky luminance look even more beautiful in the distortion. I felt my heart crush, I whispered to myself, I am, I am, I am, freeeeeeeee....[splash, splash, splash, happiness!]
The ocean returned me back to where I belong, I awoke on the shore, it was what Jorge called, The Hour of the Wolf, or coming to the end, I could see a deep violet just beyond. That deep violet moved higher in the sky and what replaced it was a red, then orange, and yellow. I wondered if Jorge could see this, he was probably still sleeping. I thought to myself, if I were to return he probably wouldn't have noticed I left, and that all of this, would just be a secret I would keep to myself.
I return to the bar, went to my room and slept. There wasn't time for thought, or to appreciate the firmness of the bed, I just fall asleep like a stone.

We are connected somehow, there's something about time spent with you that I can't quite quit, if it wasn't for our bodies our days would be 48 hours, even longer. I think I needed someone like Jorge, he was there but I could be here, and I think that he was fine with that, no lingering, no longing, we could survive without each other. I think. For the first time in my life, I missed him.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lonely Boy (B&R.I.S.D)

(Meghan, 2011)

There will be no sequel after this. Mark my words.
The old man shut up, grabbed his cane and walked away heading back into the desert. It was becoming dark, and I wondered if I'll ever understand that old kook's words of wisdom before it was too late. Tonight, I told myself will be a good night's sleep. It wasn't, for the more part, I tossed and turned, finding no comfort in a comfortable bed that no one found more comfortable than me. My mind was filled with poison, I starred at the swirling fan above, it moved so fast and yet it made little noise, it was one of those modern conveniences you don't realize until moments like this, when everything is disturbance. I can hear that damn dog across the street, it's barking again, dark images flash in my head, then the street light reigns into my room, like it always does every night but tonight it was unbearable. When the morning came I found peace then in knowing there were fourteen good hours to spend, that they had no value and as I took my shower I started to sing Just Like Paradise. I got out, put the running shoes on, listened to Bob Marley on the run, and I felt further and further from last night's sleep. I cut through Fort York, a historical site just behind the building I live in, and I realize it is still very much summer, that notion, automatically, made everything that much better. I dreaded the thought of the cold winter ahead, feeling the cold from last winter hit me, I realize I biked in some of the most ridiculous conditions, and now that I stepped away from it I realized how insane I was. I decided to think of lighter things, warmer things, thoughts of winter are forbidden on times like these. I looked ahead, smiled, I couldn't help it, I felt great.
With no work today I decided to write a few letters, I took the old typewriter out and started to click away. The sound reminded me of when I had a curfew on typing in a place I lived in as a student, nowadays I just typed freely, but it made me realized I wasn't so into it anymore, I just used it because I didn't want to buy another printer ever again in my life. When I typed, I thought of what to say just seconds before I typed, I was trying to keep up with my fingers, and that's one thing I like about typewriters, you can't type fast, therefore your thoughts are more concentrated.
A flash came across me, it was from months prior, when I was at home, visiting my parents. My dad asked me to come along with him to see him skate, I was reading a book, and knew I had to do some work on the computer, I didn't feel like bringing all my things there, I was too warped up. In retrospect, I regret that, it wasn't one of those moments you realize you will regret it when it is happening, but one of those moments that take time to give you that turn in the guts, I wish I could have done it differently. I remember writing a paper on regrets in my first year of university, I was all philosophical then, starting off the paper saying I had no regrets, that every decision was made the way it was supposed to be, it was preconceived, I felt freewill, and did what felt right or within my ability at the time, but it was all an illusion. I look back, and see myself today, writing that same paper. Regrets, what I didn't do with my father was one of them, another one was now changing the course of time, making distances harder to bare, and setting two hearts on fire. Of course I didn't have this ability, but the thought lingered, I could have done more, with fun and smiles, I could have been less timid. I wondered why I hesitated, the moment was barely there, but it was there, and yet I let it slip by, waiting for some sort of sign, usually the right eye contact, but that rarely happens. When things are going so well, why change them I told myself, but there again, the timidness spoke. I looked down at myself in that memory, covered in dirt, laughing, I couldn't even see through my glasses.
Often the universe is in place for us, that everything is in the right place at the right time, and we don't realize it. We see the things happening now, and as the universe plays a cosmetic-scale magic trick we are focused on the slight of hand, looking to his left while his right hand is doing all the work. With our eyes adverted we never see the carpet slip from under our feet, and we fall, or our watch is temporarily stolen, that is our card, and the rabbit that had disappeared moments before which vanished from the universe is still alive and is in front of our eyes. Trying to make sense of this magic trick is puzzling, if not maddening, and to put the stick down and stop examining the dead body that washed up we'd be better off not knowing, not trying to figure out the universe let alone our lives, there are things that happen that make absolutely no sense in the scheme of things, that they are meant to throw us off, only to remind us that we are trying too hard to figure it all out. I take my shirt off, then I drop trou, I throw my body into bed and land in the exact spot I had planned to. Will I dream or will I not, will I find sleep or will I linger, linger, find dark circles of the universe, and fall into them until I find sleep. It doesn't matter, the day will always end, and the night will come, and then the day will be born again, and with or without us it will keep on happening like this, over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. It keeps on going on and on and on and on. Strangers. Avenues. Streetlights. Midnight train. Going. Anywhere.

Jokes and Trials pt. II

(Hurry, The Night Is Coming, 2010)

Tired, beat, hungry, and getting delirious I yelled to San Juan ahead, I told him this mountain is not where Sandy hides, lives, rests, or even lying dead in, she simply wasn't there. San Juan takes a deep breath through his nose and holds that for a while. Longer than expected he eventually exhales with jets of cool air turning to fog. He nods and we reach an understanding. Something tells me he knew already, that he knew even before we came to this mountain, that he agreed to help me, and that he didn't once voice his opinion about how he felt, nor what he knew about coming here when there was nothing to be found, he saw through my blind stubbornness like a hot knife through room-warm butter. When I felt like arguing I would argue for the sake of arguing, I get it from my father, my gut feeling get obscured in moments like this, and that night spent in the mountain searching for her was only just a cool off for me. San Juan knew this as he kept his cool, like he always does, and when I was down to his level, when I was chilled out, he asked me what I felt, and just before I could ask him what he meant he took another deep breath through his gapping nostrils, I knew what he was saying then. I emptied my thoughts, they would only betray my feelings, these feelings that brew deep within all of us, and when I closed my eyes I saw a swirling light, and as I approached the light I felt a direction form. The wind took up and I felt my hair being blown part and soon I heard the palm leaves rustle, I turned my head in the direction and there it was, the valley below, with the moon found perfectly between two mountains like a silver dollar necklace between two large breasts. I looked to San Juan, he smiles, I was learning, man I felt like a man.
We take off to the valley below, we gave chase to a woman we're not entirely sure will be there, the only thing we got are our guts, and perhaps that's all we ever had. The mud splashes everywhere, and I call upon another memory to give me fuel. In the valley ahead I remember one single moment best, and I use it as my guide to give my feet and endurance strength. We took this hike out there, Sandy and I, I knew the path, but it had been a while since the last time I took it. We travelled close to the river, I told her this valley is haunted to see if it gave her chill or spook. Nothing. I tell her about the hour of the wolf, the hour before dawn, and how the dogs all howl during that hour, every night. The legend goes that the spirits rise to the sky, they are being freed like they always are freed every night. The image in my head is of the original Fantasia with the Night on Bald Mountain sequence, it scared me as a kid, the combination of the Mussorgsky and the visuals demons, ghosts, and skeletons hovering in the sky, in all of that darkly-lit and eerie animation that could never be made today. The night before I had to leave the bed we shared, I wondered off to the rooftop, I rested on my back looking towards the full moon, I watched the clouds crash into the moon, saw how the light shattered across the clouds, and remembered when I used to worship the moon, it seemed to always be there for me. I was looking at the most beautiful scenes of my life, I realized there could be no words, no photograph, or video that could ever quite capture this. The dark circles that had kept me awake disappeared for that moment, I sat there for a few more minutes and made my way down the ladder and back into bed without Sandy ever realizing anything had happened. The next day we found ourselves against the rocks, her face covered in her hair, and all I could think of was one thing. My words jumbled, I didn't care for them, they were air, filling in the gaps. I parted the hair that had fallen in her oral region and fired away, and at first I hadn't felt anything, silence, no response, I fought the dark circles from living in the daylight and went again. Something caught, the wind of the valley shot by, it almost spoke, I guess this is da kine I wondered. On the corner of my eye I thought I saw ghosts rise from the white water being stirred in the river. She didn't believe me, I saw it with my own eyes, I wanted to believe and so I saw something to believe in. We walked back to the car, with little words, I felt her hand grab mine, and suddenly we both felt safe, from what, the ghosts of the valley (did she believe a lick of word I said, I wondered...).
We took off in San Juan's jeep, he hit the fog lights and the rocked our way down a path only he and few locals knew. The car made all kinds of noises as the overgrown branches and palms hit the sides of the car, and crashed into the window leaving artificial scratches on the surface. The sky was starting to grow a deep purple, the day was still a concept then but it was dawning on us. Before I realized it San Juan took us to all the way, without a peep from me and my intuition, we made it to a saloon like bar with a bed and breakfast, there were a few trucks parked outside, and some high-heeled woman in sequin dresses, their faces looking slightly distorted, I couldn't tell if they were once beautiful or just strange in that strange way that attracted strange men to them, they were made for each other. Inside San Juan warned me not to ask questions, it felt like one of those bars in movies where everyone looked at you, even wanted to start a fight with you, and that I should proceed to the pool table and make sure I had a pool stick just in case. We went in, it was empty, a few fat mexicans sat at the bar, never looking back, they just seemed to not care about anything. San Juan smiles to the bartender, she has jerry-curled hair and a demeanor like she had seen a lot of people go throughout her life, and in my head I pictured her seeing all the loves and cares of her life come and go, she always stayed there, working the bar, with her dreams behind the counter, hidden from the client. I was introduced, her name was Clarence, I said my name, she looked uninterested, and then realizing she was done giving me all the eye contacted needed to be introduced she looked back to tall strong San Juan and asked what he will be having.
"Dry tonight, looking for something."
"Oh yeah" (runs her long red finger nail against his manly hand resting on the counter) "What kind of something?"
"A woman"
"Oh!" (surprised and disappointed at the same time) "What kind of woman, there's plenty of meat hanging outside"
I come into the conversation, I put my foot down, and look straight into her eyes, she gives me her eyes, and then I tell her how it is.
"Sandy, tell me where she is"
I thought of this person I had become, I wasn't really sure what to think, all I knew was that I knew what I wanted and had no time to play games.
"Well...", she replied, "Let me see, Sandy, S-a-n-d-y, doesn't ring a bell".
Another foot gets put down, I am close to her face, with a fiery determination glowing in my eyes".
"Now I'm going to ask you once, and I'm going to ask you nice, WHERE THE FUCK IS SANDY".
My words echoed through the bar, the music must've stopped at some point because it is deadly quiet, and I start to step away from my words. The message was received, and it was received well because the three fat mexican fellas got off of their seats and slowly approached San Juan and I, one popping his knuckles and I couldn't help but want to warn him that habit will cause arthritis but I don't think it mattered anymore. San Juan whispered real close to me, telling me to follow his next move. His next move: he looked down to the stool behind him, and gave me a nod, I was ready, my adrenalin was running, all that aggression stored deep down inside me was finally being let out. The first hit was dealt by San Juan, one after another, when one of them tried to come in with a cheap shot from the side I grabbed the stool with full force and landed it on the center of his back. He shot up with pain painting his face and landed on the ground, one of them saw this and ran over to him, San Juan finished the one he was working on and pushed him down. We both realized one of them was seriously injured, and he looked to me, I gave an awkward smile before we both looked down again.
"My brother has a bad back, man, you hit him too hard."
"Well, shit man, what do you expect, coming into a fight with those conditions..."
"Hey man, that's our job, bad back you still gotta make a living, got mouths to feed."
"Listen, I didn't mean to, had I realized..."
"Shit, it don't matter now homes, we gotta get him help"
San Juan and one of the bouncers helped the fallen bouncer into the back of his jeep, and we took off to a doctor's house on the other side of the island. The two bouncers thanked us in an awkward moment where once we were in a fist-fight then suddenly helping out complete strangers. The fallen bouncer slept for most of the way, when he spoke he spoke like that of a daydreamer, not realizing he was speaking to an audience on the other side of reality, then he fell silent again. San Juan told me his name was Cesar, and he didn't know about his back problems. He told me not to feel bad for hitting him in the back with the stool, it was the right thing to do to end something that wasn't right. It was just too bad about sleeping beauty Cesar in the back knocked out.
We reached the doctor's place, an old run down school that was once painted white but was covered in volcanic red dust. I knocked on his door three times and waited, looking back at the two waiting at the jeep, headlights on me. Just as I started to knock again the doctor opens the door, San Juan waves, and the situation is realized by the half-awake and irritated doctor. The doc grabs a plank of wood, and San Juan and I lift Cesar on to the plank, and with all three of us we carry Cesar off into the schoolhouse. The doctor named Phil tells us to wait outside, and so we leave. Outside we watch the sky transform into morning. I can't remember the last time I saw this forgotten portion of the day, just like I couldn't remember looking up at the stars before I moved to this island. And even then, I often forgot them. I remember a morning once long time ago, when a stranger came into my life, and in one of those moments happen when you're tired, but stay awake with them, talking the whole night through, dozing off here and there, and then you open your eyes again and it is the beginning of the day. You have that moment shared, and because you're sharing it with someone else it becomes something that is given from the nature of things, the majestic and the wild, the happenstance and chaos of life, see through two different eyes at the same time, the same light that has travelled across the solar system hits both of you at the same time. I turned to San Juan, and ask him what will be get ourselves into today, the word, Today seemed to trail off into the landscape being painted by pinks and oranges, and a bit of yellow, in a cyan-cast, another moment impossible to capture with any camera.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Aftermath

(Joe, 2010)

For years I used to say friends taste was something I could lose if I had to lose a sense. I didn't care for fine tasting food, gimmicks worked just as well, some $50 steak in comparison to a good $5 burger were the same, they satisfied, but one didn't leave me broke, one had cheapness added to the flavor. I could live my life without taste when it came down to it, up until a point. The taste of another human being, no I wasn't eating them, the taste of their alive flesh, their spit, in combination with all the other senses created a memory of someone, and since you had your hands on their breasts they were close to you, that secrets naturally unfolded, and memories deep down inside from a small portion of the deepest recesses of your mind were recovered and explored. You could be you with those types, that you no longer had to put on a mask, or dance a certain way, you could go wild, real wild, the wildness, with that particular human being. I was calling about the wildness, I was doing all the ripping and tearing, I was hungry for more. My patience was being tested, and I grew to know my limits as a man, as a human being. I got into new age methods from my mother, I'd close my eyes with my legs crossed like a yogi, hands resting with pinches at the end of my fingertips, the soft sound of a native american singing something ancient and timeless was playing in the background with the occasional sound of a synthetic meteor shower. I was transported somewhere far, far away, in a time of old, where all the most beautiful landscapes of my life are forged together making the ultimate terranova for my spiritual feet to explore. I would spend days here, in silence, playing in the garden with kids that sported tibet-monk gowns. My father started growing worried of my behaviors, wanting to take me fishing, I said, when I did speak, that I no longer eat fishhhhh as my words trailed off in something profound. I felt like I gained the ability to float, my feet just seemed to glide from one end of the house to the next, I didn't even open my eyes, I knew exactly what was coming my way, where I was going, not a thought in my conscious mind. I made it to the kitchen, cut myself an organic apple, and then thanked the apple for giving itself to me. I roamed the garden to feed the fishes, I whispered to them how much we loved them, the "we" was suggestive, and meant, the universe, which had found itself within me over the week. I drew cosmetic scenes, sang Andrea Bocelli on the roof with the morning doves. I swore I was the happiest I had ever been in my life. I was bald, I wore sandals everywhere, my pants were all hemp, I even met the farmer who harvested the hemp, and his son who made a business of making itchy clothing, they were both sweet humans, I wished to spend a night on their farm, camping, and helping them with their labor but they said they had all they needed there. I bid them farewell, and that was the last I saw of them. My mind echoed a certain rhythm that dictated my day, and before I realized it, I had forgotten what all this way for, all of my ways, my new vision, what it all meant. After two weeks of living like a new ager, I realize it was only because I needed to distract myself. I looked down to my hands, they were dirty, I had spent the entire night in the garden planting an herb garden that would last all year long. I wondered what I was doing, I told myself, Jesus I had lost it. I longed, yes, I was lost, I was independent, but felt empty. Alone on an island, people come and they very much go, those who remain are either unwelcomed guess or here to roam the desert and hills, with a red powdery sand beneath their eyes. They call them the zombies, I call them the locals. I bore a tan and a beard, I tried to talk like them, breaking up my words and using slang, I felt like a white person from the burbs trying to rap. Here is where I did not belong. I tried to remember my life before this one, and it didn't really call up any sort of cohesive reality to judge one life from another. I was lost, as I said. The jungle heat, the desert heat, the sun's heat, all had melted my mind, I didn't know what was before or after. I danced in a voodoo trance, I saw the devil and spoke only to be spoken to, I dared not to look into his eyes, and when he said something in satanic verses I understood he had no interest in me and that I was free to go. I hopped on to the airplane, told my folks I loved them, and vanished into the thin air, literally. In the sky I thought of a week of wildness, how it transformed me from beneath my radar, that I was charmed, and somehow managed to keep my cool, I was a boat rocking over the ocean, pure coolness. The rest of my time I spent doing something I'd rather not mention to my friends back home.

Jokes and Trials Pt. I

(Lookout!, 2011)

Have we not found enough. Are we not worth saving. Is this where one path ends and another starts. I close my eyes and feel a change start shifting, I am complete and yet I am unfulfilled, the parts of me I know, knew, are fading before my eyes, I am being replaced with a newer I. I look to the future, yes, that brimful of asha, still smoking, still jivin' after all these years. I call up to San Juan, a tall mexican fella of 6 something-high, he looks down at me and gives a giant of a giant's smile, looking all stupid and sweet at the same time. He grabs me and puts me on his shoulders, from here I could see just about everything I couldn't see from below, my eye balls must be at 11ft, what a different it makes to be this high. All around us is a milk of fog, we were looking for Sandy, who had disappeared into the mountain the night before. She had gotten herself into climbing this mountain, alone, at dark, without a flashlight, and though I had complete confidence in her and her ability to navigate through the woods, and along the mountain path in all but moon light she had never gone away for this long. Maybe in all that panic and worry I also was selfish, feeling something missing before my very eyes, the world felt too quiet for too long.
For years I lived close-to-a-hermit, not in proximity, but in lifestyle. I worked in town for most of the week, I did all the photo transfers for the paper, it paid well, and I spent most of the day alone, in a room only I entered and worked in. When I finished work I'd occasional meet up with the guys, we'd hit up the peepshow, make a round of catcalls, then drive drunk home, which was one long stretch of nowhere going nowhere (not to sound poetic, it just was). I lived just outta of town, had the boons to myself, my place more cabin than house, full of hunting and fishing equipment, had a video camera on tripod in case I found myself a fancy. I got into making videos of the women of my life, nothing erotic, though the camera on tripod in the bedroom wasn't rare, it was the most intimate place in my cabin-house, where we'd laugh, re-enact our favorite movie scenes, and get drunk and kiss and all though things to follow. I wasn't much of a lover, just had love to give, but not a lot of those to give it to. Often called, AHARDMANTOUNDERSTAND. I didn't think so, my heart was either in it or it wasn't, I had no choice to spite the gal, how charming she was, or wasn't, no matter the beauty or the breasts, I worked in ways I didn't even understand. Anyhoot, about these videos, well I used to use a Hasselblad years ago, gave it to this young photographer starting at the paper, and never took a photo again, in video I was able to capture something closer to the real thing, there was life, there was honesty in motion. And though I couldn't stare at it for hours on end, and hold it in my hands, hide it in my wallet, I liked the fact that for a brief moment I saw a flicker that once happened, and then it ends, like a real good record you can't just have in the background while you iron your shirts or take a bath, no, you gotta give it your full attention because when it ends there's nothing but a world of static (reminding you it is over, for now, goodbye, until we meet again). Never got too big on re-watching 'em videos too much, only once in a while in a pit of loneliness. I didn't mind how quiet it was up there, nor did I mind being alone, it's just nowadays that I can't stand it. When something comes around and colors your life with something, something with all the poetry I read, wrote, and was planning on reading and writing, nothing could explain nor define what this something was. I guess I could just let myself be careless, wonder the world with a hand in my own, and be a teenager, be an adult, be whatever, whenever, disregarding any rules I made, any plans I had, and sometimes even friends, I call her my great distraction.
I hit the earth hard, San Juan asked if I was ok, I said yes, and I followed him as he cut down a path with his machete. If anyone knows this forest, or nature in general it was San Juan, who can man-track like no one else, he made for some of the best company camping, and he also knew the right drug to take depending on the location, the time of year, the weather, the energy that would resonate between us and nature, and something to do with the stars. He was a real mystic, claiming to be half Aztec-descent, with a bit of Spanish and Navajo, and he had some of the most beautiful brown eyes I had ever seen, they were deeper than any ocean, and upon a daze of mushrooms I made sure never to look into them, swearing to myself I'd lose my soul in there. A whack, a crack, and the sound of leaves being step on carried on for endless moments, time was slipping from my conscious with thoughts of where she was, what she was doing, and was she okay. In a chest of worry, I put my insecurities in there, hollow doubts and ponders of who I was, how important, and did I do something wrong, all into that chest. I buried it a few yards behind us, and carried on. It made me feel lighter.
We reached a clearing, where a crown of trees gathered. We were high enough for the clouds to hit these fields, and with them a deep fog covered the land. I remember this place too well. All night I had been slipping in the mud, but I had brought hiking boots, and it was dark and I was too distracted to see nor care about all the mud on my boots, pants, and ass. I remember the first time we came up here. I remember being alone, hiking, climbing altitude and finding my breath, but never once stopping the conversation I was having with her. We had all this around us, it was unbelievably surreal, and yet, disappointing if you were looking for a dream, some sort of escape because the very ground we stepped on was firm, hard, taking to your weight, and we were not floating, this was real, and in a way it only made it better (I was done with dreaming). I was a man before those moments, but I was still a boyish dreamer. I know the exact date I stopped being a dreamer.
In a waste on the side of the highway, Carla and I had been a sour mood all day, we fought the days before, I saw her cry too many times, and I remember the last time I saw her cry, and realized it no longer hurt me to see her cry, that I was too mad, too furious to feel that spark, and need or want to cry myself. We found ourselves a hotel for the night, on the second floor, and she wondered off in the middle of the night. She had gotten herself stuck on the roof of this building, and when I found myself in a frantic conversation with someone who lacked any rationality. She had gone over the edge, lost all sense of sensibility, and was a ruin up too far from my reach. All I had were my words, I called to her, to tell her to stay there, that she should not try to climb into the window (the window that was impossibly too far to reach). I told her to promise to me to stay there, to wait for me to return with a ladder. I had her promise on me, on all we had (a shitty El Camino, a few dollars, and some bruised hearts). When I returned with the ladder she was gone. I looked around, in fear of finding her body somewhere, all mangled and stock-shit-dropping-with-a-bottomless-pit-in-the-guts, but she was no where to be found. I looked up, called her name, nothing. A pair of hands covered my eyes, there was cheeriness to her voice when she said, "guess who". I peeled her hands from my eyes, put my hands into my pocket without ever looking back and proceeded to the hotel lobby. I checked out, then walked to the dinner across the street and sat there sipping coffee for oh-i-don't-know-how-long. There wasn't a thought in my mind other than what could happen any minute, Carla coming into through the door, saying something about being sorry, I had planned to give her the keys and say, "It's all yours". If I could I'd rip my heart out from my chest and hand it to her, but knew it would never be enough for a gal like that, never enough, chasing a dream. The word of the day was somewhere between Fuck and Idontcarenomo'. I was a stone. But to spite all those feelings stirring around, I felt relieved. Something had been lifted from my chest, I felt free, realizing I wasn't free for years prior. I believe they call those moments, moments of clarity, some call it Eureka, I call it being a moody blue rolling the stone don't the street, and I wasn't Flashy Jack-Jack-Jack, I was just outta of gas-gas-gas. I never looked back from that day. And since, I have become not necessarily stronger, but better, getting to know the self of me that was meant to be. I felt right.
Lost in the clouds, we helped each down the mountain, we were covered in mud, everything but my white shorts. It took Sandy and I almost twice as long as the climb, but I didn't mind, it was all worth it. In the end none of us fell, to spite all the slips and running mindlessly down hill, we got back to the car with something profound within each one of us. It was different for me as for her, and I knew that right then and there I could never fully realize what it was. Even to this day I still don't know, perhaps I will once I see Sandy again, wherever she was, lost on her merry way, she may not even be on this mountain, she could be far away, in her own corner of the world, alone and full, sleeping, talking, writing, and reading, learning, and losing, losing it big, and losing it small, gaining it all, all, all back, and over and over, someday we'll find you, I'll hunt you down, down, down.

San Juan takes a deep breath, this is the first time I hear him sigh.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


(Jonny in the Magical Garden, 2011)

"I think I needed to see how small the world is"






(whispers) Are you ready?

The microphone is extended over the crowd, I can no longer sing the rest of this song, a song I've been singing for a long time, long enough for you, the crowd of mixed ages, genders, and races, you that got into me yesterday, today, back-in-the-day, and never heard me before, I need you to help me, lift me, raise me, across this stage, and across this place, and dump my body once I'm there, where is there, there is there. There there.

Cooling out by the beach, if I smoked cigars now would be a great time to smoke cigars, instead I keep my head down, looking at my shadow being cased on my notebook. I am writing. I think of the many memories shared this past week, I whisper to myself, "oh boy...what a time". Yes, what a time indeed I reinsure myself. If I could I'd pat my back, I'd sing a song worth singing, but I don't know anything that go beyond just the chorus lines, nor do I know how to sing. I used to rap, but now I write. I stripped all the gimmicks out of my life, I rest bare, naked, hairy and hairless, I am a boy, I am a man, I call to no one, I call to you. I ache from pain, yes I do, I feel hollow, sometimes I do, today, I say, "Today", yes, "I am alive". I tell myself this every morning, I am alive, just to remind myself I am not dreaming. Carlos once told me he made a girl pregnant, he said he told the girl he was fine with that, he was old enough, probably too poor, but he was ready, the girl never ended up having his baby, nor did they end up together, having a happily little ever. No, instead he realized he was an adult, for the first time in his life he knew that his carelessness had a limit, his vision reached beyond just the horizon, and that he was happy. Happy for what I asked Carlos, he replied, "oh, you know, life". The words, l.i.f.e, rolled off his tongue with a slight mexican accent, it stirred and echoed in my mind, I wondered the deeper meaning to his subtle and sample words and dug for something hidden. His demeanor left me empty, thirsty for more, but Carlos never goes too far with his words, he's the sort of meet-you-half-way fella. To think of him now, with his two sons is to think of a boy in comparison to a man, they were once the same person, they are two different people.
Sandy came to me in a dream. I knew her before we met. And those first moments of seeing something you've seen before but seen with a different set of eyes take something away from you, you're watching a previous image be replaced with a new one. Slowly everything I would knew of Sandy would be replaced, and replaced again, with almost each day, each moment a different shade explored, a new face. Now, in this moment of contemplation I think of that sunset from high up above. We stayed at the top of a volcano once, we felt the rumble of the earth rage beneath us as the sun fell beyond view. We could see the entire world from up there, along with a hundred tourists, with the occasional flash firing off in the distance. I grabbed a blanket from the car and put it around Sandy, I whisper something like, "cause I like you hot", into her ear, and disappeared into the darkness. I sat there at the edge of the earth, the sun was now gone, and I felt alone for a moment. I remember thinking to myself how beautiful she looked with that sunset glow on her face, and then I thought I better remember that site for sorry eyes because it was one of those things you can never photograph. The chill of my shirtless back froze me in spot, I wondered if I could freeze time, I wondered what Sandy was thinking, knowing that for the first time in our lives we were looking at the same sunset. The tourist slowly disappeared with the light, I approached Sandy and told her we had to stay, that the best moment was about to happen. She stayed, we stood watching something beautiful transform into something even more beautiful, the darkness of space was fading to the orange of light being bent and slowed down, the deepest of violet took the sky, I held her hand with fingers crossed and folded within each other. In my heart sang a song of a silent heart beat, I didn't know at the time but this heart beat was an ancient rhythm of times long past my very own existence, the beat carried on for days to pass, it would dance blood throughout my body.
The night came, we found our campsite, and I started a fire. It was the first fire I had ever made, I struggled over it for twenty minutes and knew with each and every minute I could lose, I could lose real bad, and then there wouldn't be a fire. Something so simple meant so much, I fought as quietly and peaceful as I could with those embers, I wanted to see them grow, to burn brightly, to have kids, to build a house, to burn it all down, I wanted fire to engulf us all, only for a moment, only in that little campfire just so we can have the glow in our eyes, only to feel like a real man. A real man. We drank whiskey with the stars, we listened to horrible jams coming from the bros across the way, it would've been impossible to shut them up, we felt sorry for the foreign family camping beside them. I pictured myself dressed in a fur suit, face painted black, with red glowing eyes, I wanted to bark at them from a distance, let them catch my silhouette in the moon light, only for a moment long enough to stir up myths of creatures that roam these legendary woods. I knew I wouldn't stop there, that I would keep on returning to their site, just before my legend faded from their consciousness, I'd return and take one of them. One by one they'd disappear into the woods. Sandy would tie them down as they came, knocking them out with a large log or a rock. Soon with only a few left they'd try calling their pickup on their cellphones, but they're no reception, no one to save them now, not even the pissed-off foreign family, they want your blood just as much as we do. But we leave them there, just the three of them, with their radio off, sniffling, crying, calling for their mothers, yes, Sandy and I tell ourselves, we sure taught them a lesson of camping in peace. We rest, and have the best sleep ever.
In the morning the ranger wakes us up, she sits me down and tells me about the law I just broke, that there's no campfires here. Somewhere in all that talk I could already tell I wasn't going nowhere, getting into no trouble, I had this feeling, it was there when that fire first started to grow, no, it was there long before that, it was this feeling like there could be nothing that stands behind us, I rose up from my seat with the ranger, I told her my name, where I was from, and she told me everything is fine, that there was no trouble here, that I and I alone was allowed to start campfires here, and then she left, disappearing into the woods where she came from. I went back into the tent and said nothing. I wanted to close my eyes but I was too awake. I just grabbed Sandy and held her, I knew that it was the beginning something wonderful of a day. I knew the feeling, I was the feeling, here we go.

(In the far distance a faintly glowing pair of eyes wonder off, they are the same color as blood, they were hunger, they were gone, gone, gone. Fade to black.)

[Fade to Black]

Da Boom Na Da Noom Na Namena

(The Bridge to America, from That Bike Trip to Montreal, 2010)

A static. No. A lack of sound. No. I can hear the buzz of the fridge, I can smell myself, and myself alone. All is quiet, it is now too quiet. I can hear a child playfully yelling at something from the house across the way, I can hear the wind of cars passing by from a distance, the geckos chipping, and what may be a bird but I'm not quite sure it is dark outside calling.
A wave has hit me, crushed me, pushed me aside, over and over, the ocean has run through my body, leaving me sea-salty and wet, and most of all tired. As if the ocean's current absorbed a certain type of energy from me, and though I can walk and talk fine, I can even run if I needed to run, I feel tired. Something hit me hard, harder than the wave, and the surge has left me with a feeling that is too complex, too new, for my brain to start unravelling. I want to keep it collected, organized in its current form, but I know it will come undone, and expose a light that is from many bright and enduring moments. For now I hold this crumbled up map of experience in my pocket, I feel its warmth entice me, I feel light in the head, I feel like something is there but isn't, watching me but as I turn the corner it is not there, I feel it, and yet I cannot place a name to this feeling.
A blind man approaches me, he is guided by two young fencers, they look about twelve, the blind man somewhere in his forties, he is handsome, and at first I don't realize he is blind, just looking down (I think it's because I'm used to the Ray Charles sunglass-wearing blind). In the air of this moment, and in their presence, I feel a static, it strikes my flesh with an impulse of manliness. I rip my shirt off, I roar at the top of my lungs, I look down to see the three in fear, I get on all fours and start to chase. The two fencers run and the blind man remains, his face unchanged, he is aware of my hasty approach and yet he decides to stay. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do when I reach him, nor do I know why my legs and arms are in such a rush, all I have is a feeling that is unmarked by experience nor classification. I am now moments before meeting this man head on when I look up from his knee-height and see his pupils. The thought races through my head that perhaps I am the first to have ever seen his eyes, and in this current moment, sitting on my laptop on my couch at my parent's place at 9.20pm, I cannot remember the color of his eyes, nor if they were strange looking either, all I remember is a large flash, followed by a cloud of gray smoke, and once all the chaos cleared he was gone.

When I got home I put on a new shirt, and started yelling all types of curse words. I am bad at goodbyes, I am bad at goodbyes. Mainly because when they are needed, when they have a build-up to them, and you know something is about to end, like a really good book that takes you on this epic adventure full of beautiful landscapes and a flurry of emotions, or a movie that does the same but with visuals, and sounds, and special effects, well you don't want it to end, you want time to freeze in place. Just before, just before it ends, and to have one more day, then tell yourself the same the next day, just one more day. Until infinity is achieved, and the world ends, the world which surrounds you, but a bubble remains, that's for you and whoever you want that moment to continue with. This is a moment. This is a feeling you share. This is a to-be-continued, and you're now holding the arms of your armchair firmly with your hands, your mind is in a fuzz, and you are cliffhanging on a cliffhanger.

The curtains fall, the truth is revealed, and that moment that carried into another moment, upon another moment ends. It ends. It stops. It ceases to exist. And true it has stopped in its tracks, that the gravy train is now cooling off somewhere behind us now, it is growing skin, and crystalizing. Eventually it will start up again, it will no longer be gravy, nor will it be a moldy mess, but it has taken on a new form, it is something completely new, and when it arrives into town, it surprises you with how familiar it is, and yet how new it feels. Refreshing, yes, refreshing with an "ahhhhhhh", yes, "ahhhhhhh I know this, and yet it is refreshing, emphasis on the fresh".

Friday, August 12, 2011

Learning To Love Yourself (More) pt. 18

(The House, The Bat, That Man, his Family, and Such a Horrible Thing-to-Have-Had-Happened, from We Soon Be Nigh!, 2011)

The Future is Uncertain

Today, yes today, right now, yes now, in this moment, with the sun shining, or the lack of sun shining, in this now when you are breathing, your eyes are open, and there is air around you, realize this, that air that surrounds you, is neither good nor bad until you give it a value. That this day is just the same, it holds no value until you give it one, and just like the outcome of today, it holds nothing until you wish it does. Perhaps not wish, but the mind chooses one. Hold tight, forget that you have no control over how you feel, what your day is going to be like, and just hold on to this feeling, a feeling of being able to change, and change, and change even after that. That you are able to make any day a good day, even if someone close to you dies, don't let that ruin anything, sure remember them, but remember they probably didn't want you feeling down about them dying, that if anything they wanted you to feel happy. Feel happy, whatever happiness is, just coat your vision, your feeling with the general sense of everything is going to be ok, everything is going to be good. You have to have hope for the future, even if you can't see it, it will happen, and when it does happen you have to be ready for it.
This future I talk of is something vague, ambiguous, formless, and bewildering, you can either fear it, or embrace its difference or lack of difference and see it as not a threat to your now, but an evolution. And in the process you will lose, you will lose hard, but lose something to gain something, and that my friend is knowledge, son, knowledge, in knowing that all your years of life has made you the best you could ever be, until the next few years pass, and then you'll be even better. Perhaps this is a statement with a view that progress is positive, let me strip that value of progress away, and leave it grey, blank, and uncertain again, and let you give it a value. If anything I want to be Patrick Swayze's hands guiding your Demi Moore hands as we form a pot, or rather what was going to be a pot before things got outta control, and we just went with it, making a love child of ceramic. That pot is our future, our hands are what weld that future, and what happens in-between is up to us. For me, it's thinking the Righteous Brothers are constantly playing in the background of my mind, making me feel good inside. They reach down to a point where my flesh is not the flesh of an adult but of a boy, a boy who knows little of the world but knows all he needs to know with his imagination. I traded probably half my imagination for fact, fiction, and science fiction and hold whatever remains deep down inside, not letting the world change that for a bit. What do you mean unicorns don't exist, nor ghosts, nor the devil, ridiculous!

(repeat after me)


(A galactic high-five of kissing palms shake the space around it, this is as amazing as frightening, and for a time we remember when being scared was fun, like all ghost stories, our curiosity is stirred, it fills our bellies with mystery and uncanny uncertainty. Let's not stop believing, you and me, let's never stop believing.)

Floating in space is a child, or rather, a fetus, that has a face of a child, and eyes of an adult, and say that is us, our next step, and that we have made it, we have touched the void that is a large black monolith, and we have evolved beyond anything our past selves were. Sure I can be positive, see the world in a certain light, and hover in a state that is what I define as good, but the struggle is getting you to be there with me, to know that you are on the same page, I will try, I will continue to try, and all I want from you is to promise to me that you will try, and be, yes, to be, the thing that comes after trying, the becoming, you have become positive, you are able to hover, and that we are on the same page, seeing the world in two completely different ways, but have somehow defined it as being positive, good, better than before, getting better and better by the day, and as we see this growing peak, this constant of betterment, we see the future, yes, it is uncertain, and will always be, but this uncertain doesn't have to be this unknown that we fear, or dread, or rather not know because we don't care to think about the future, and what it may hold, no, this uncertainty has no value, it has no face, until you give it one. And perhaps that is for the best, to give it nothing, to let it exist as a formless, shapeless, void of void, and let our hearts and minds not sink, but be enlightened. To be intrigued, to even be enthusiastic about it.

Let's be enthusiastic without being blind, let's forget about old notions because they are old, the opposite of the new, and future-new. Let's piggyback on what we got to reach high enough to reach the stars. Yes, those giant balls of burning energy, those stars.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On Second Thought

(A House By The Church, Aurora, ON, 2011)

I close my door before I close my eyes. I transformed my couch into a bed, it is ready for my sleep mode, I am ready for my sleep mode. The person on the other end of my internal conversations is you, you being you, and you know who you are, you. Tonight, rather than pondering on past memories, of our moments together, I think of the future.

A sudden chill hits my skin, and though it is a cold thing that came from nowhere, all of sudden like, it is not a foreshadow, or at least not a deep dark (dark being bad) shadow, but rather a feeling of not knowing and feeling like something good is going to happen. When I close my eyes, when I rest my eye lashes against my eye lashes and they form a dying curl that dying spiders do, I think of another wind. This wind is strong, strong enough to blow you across the ocean, but doesn't push you over, no, it agrees with you, dances with you like a beautiful stranger at a tropical-theme dance party that is filled with good vibes (in other words, the best kind of dance party). On a hot day, it cools you just right, it even smells amazing for something that doesn't particular have a smell, it is kinda like water, something flavorless that has flavor because bottle water can never compete with a refreshing glass of water. Mixed in with the breeze is the scene, the sky, ocean, not a building in sight when you look up. The rustle of leaves from palms and such, the sound sand makes when it is being blown across a sandy beach. The sun, the way it melts things, colors them, brings a different life to things, how it gives you another life. I think of the difference of sun from where I am now, in Toronto, to the sun in India, how it just gives this glow, this color, and illuminates like no other. It is the same sun, but in different places, and perhaps that factors into the difference between cultures in a globalized world, the sun and the atmosphere. I can't help but let go, let go, let go of my old ways (OLD because I no longer be with them, OLD because I have grown over that old flesh of thought and method with fresh flesh, OLD because there are now rings over my rings if you were to cut me whole and see the log-like life I have lived, here see (lifts shirt, lifts skin, muscles and such, and even bones to show you a woody-core of man I am.)). Here, no longer in Toronto, no longer in the place you are in, is different, you see up there (points to the sun), don't look too deeply, but listen (comes closer), ah (speaks softer) here we are in a place that you cannot help but take it easy, to take one step then the other and never think or over think that next step, a simple 1, 2, 1, then 2. Life slows down, and here is where old folks can grow older because life is really slowed down. The sun is smiling like those Coke Cola cartoons, but I can't tell if he's where sunglasses (wouldn't they just be glasses to him?).

The swell of the ocean, I look at the sand stuck on your flesh, we're both baked, this feels good, it is absolute, no more cares, no more worries, everyday is everyday. Now sing it with me. Come-on come-on and do the local motion with me.

I pick up a seashell, it is big enough to swallow my ear whole, I tune out the rest of the world and listen deeply.

(you whisper, "come-on, come-on...")

The rest is history.