Thursday, February 21, 2013


(Summer 2006)

Perhaps too much could be said with silence, and perhaps too much can be seen with distance.

That voice, she really had a sexy voice, but not sexy like Hollywood: red lipstick smoking (she did smoke), blonde hair, and looking dangerous sexy, no, it was something that had no uniform and words to form a crude substitute for something that had it going on.  I fell forwards and nestled my boyish face in her American flag shirt and just rested there for an entire summer.  Or I wished I had...

Her name was Lizard, she didn't have scales nor did she need the warmth of the sun to disgust.  She was bad for all the best reasons and she walked without an attitude, she just simply was.  We had made up stories of how we actually met, one was that I was getting off work when I saw her and pointed to her shirt and then to mine, we both sported the American flag.  That would be the story we'd tell people, as if the truth was so bad it could not be known.  Her eyes would stare right into mine and I'd look down, hiding from the brilliance.  I was older than her but she could see I was still a boy.  She smoked.  My mother told me she would avoid dating smokers in her day, she never told me exactly why but it seemed to imply it was because of a bit of attitude, a bit of smell, and bad taste in your mouth if you kissed them.  She wrote poetry and when she read her stuff I was surprised it was good, not that I was an expert nor great at it myself but she had talent.  She danced and had that dancer's figure, her hair would cover her eyes and they'd bleed through.  I still couldn't look for too long.

During that summer I must've written a hundred poems for her, along with at least two mixtapes, and took many photographs but years later, once I am more than twice removed all I can remember is what happened once summer ended.  And so the rest goes, somewhere in Markham or was it Richmond, at a particular Chinese food restaurant, with my two sisters, and my uncle and his family, I remember receiving a text message followed by another.  I let them come, one by one and returned to the table, and fell silent in thought.  I did a lot of thinking that summer, I lost hours of sleep almost every night just thinking, and all with one cause.  Lizard.  That and I was really making progress in my fourth attempt at Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  And eventually I got a call, my pocket vibrated and I looked around the table, I had to get it, and so I left the restaurant, and listened to the voice coming from within my hand.  Her voice wasn't the same, that sexy beyond words was the same, she wasn't the same, and yet her voice wasn't different from how I remember it nor was she.  She wanted to see me, after failed attempts to meet, after I had waited long hours at this meeting point and that, and going home after an hour sometimes two, and having nothing to vent my frustration, just some tears into a pillow, perhaps a few punches to my mattress before falling asleep.  That voice on the line asked and I can't remember what I said and I would like to think I said nothing and that she knew I was done. I remember the pillar, the warmth of summer, that bush-like plant in a planter looking over a strip mall parking lot.  The clap of my flip phone echos till today.  I hadn't stopped caring for her, nor did I never want to see her again, I had transcended my need to be the boy who fell in love with her.

That night I finished Zen and was left with a great accomplishment.  I wonder today which one was harder, ending a sad story or finishing that book.  The person that was born by that pillar on the warm summer, with Chinese food on his breath still lives on today, and never has a moment been so sharp in my memory of how I came into being.

For long after that summer of the Lizard I wondered if I could ever love, if it existed within me, and if there was such a human being to help me find it.  I think deep down inside me there was a voice that hadn't been listened to in a long time saying, "Yes, YOU WILL.  YOU WILL FIND LOVE, AND BE OVERWHELMED BY IT, AND IT WILL END ONLY TO BEGIN AGAIN, AND IT WILL END, YES, ONLY TO BEGIN AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN (echo-echo-echo)...I'LL BE BACCCCKKKK".

Sunday, February 3, 2013


(That Foggy Night in Galveston, TX, 2004)

Something in the falling time where all is quiet and shut into small little boxes.  Each moment passes, and it is all too fleeting to wonder right then, what is the meaning behind this?  There is that sand covered smile, interrupted with spitting and hair in the eyes.  The air is just right, the crashing waves, the sober gone and replaced with a stupor welcoming me.  My hands don't know me anymore and they just let go, dangling without dangling, holding on to something, and I watch myself from far away.  People pass us by and we carry on uninterrupted.  The sunsets and the glow of fire is all around.  Nothing.  Dig a hole in the sand, and bury us deep, and so we go.

I can't repeat this.  With each it's unique, and with each is only the once.  I wonder what my grandpa used to say when something fell over and someone was reaching over to pick it up.  I never knew him well but I'd imagine him saying, "What has fallen can fall no more than it has already."  And so the broom would just rest there, the photo album on the ground, the chair tipped over and unbroken in one piece, resting there too, on the ground.  Once the sound of the crash echoes down the hall and into the ears of whoever is around, after all that whatever damage was made is made and can no longer grow or recede. 

It took five months to find every bottle and flask my grandpa hid in his house.  My uncle shown me one of his father's flask and told me it was his father’s favorite.  Out of all the flasks he owned this ordinary one, dull from being in his breast pocket for decades, dull from being thrown around and taken to this place and to that, and perhaps was even as old as my grandfather's time in Ireland was his favorite.  I often wonder how much liquor that flask carried over the years, where it had been, but most importantly how it looks from inside as I searched for the light outside reflecting from within.  Like the legs of a pier the salt of the sea along with the motion of ocean have taken their toll on anything man-made.

Not. This. One.  Repeated each and every time.  Not this one.  Sometimes a please is added.  Who was I talking to (God, myself, the person that made those words within me?)  When I act cool, when I appear to be relaxed, contemplative and composed I am at best a good liar.  When I fail to speak when I had so much to say prior to that fall in silence it means I want to say something honest, that has been on my mind a long time, just now, or maybe a few days, and everything but that thing I wanted to say is irrelevant, small talk to the big-big talk.  I lock up, the brakes kiss the machined surface, as I try to figure out how to say it.  Eventually the silence fades, I either say what I needed to say and carry on embracing the future, or you pick up the pieces and carry on for us.  It's just when you look at me like I haven't been looked at in a long time, that attention, that depth, and then...

We get out of here.  We take to the road to meet up with Buggaboo out on an island three hours north. There is something about that car you drive that just seems to scream good times.  Good times beyond the times we had in it, that I know you are constantly having good times in it with every trip, even when the good times are bad times, good times (if that makes any sense).  We share various fruits and drink one giant Arizona and we forget about it and it spills over my camera.  We stop to run on some old country road by a water tower, marked with wherever we are's name.  Passing cars slow down, first seeing the car doors open wide and then me running at full speed and finally finishing the narrative with you running ahead.  What is the meaning behind this? 
I remember the sunset coming in through your window and it was one of those images that cannot be photographed; red glowing sunlight bleeding through your hair, the reflection bouncing off the rearview mirror and on to your eyes, the tree line breaking up the sun rapidly.  You looking off to the road ahead unaware of the beauty of the moment, looking like you're used to this sort of thing, or maybe it’s just all me.  We stop for food along the way and I see you eat meat for the first time.  Night falls by the time we arrive at the ferry.  The moon is out and I can see that famous shrine of a portopotty by the port station house.  There in the distance is the ferry, the car is quiet now that the engine is off, we look to see the moon hovering close enough to the sea to see the ripples of moonlight.  And in that moment I see many others: there is Galveston on those many evening rides out there but most of all I remember that one time in particular when the fog came in and swallowed southern Texas whole.  The crew and I drove throw the fog with only a few feet of visibility in front of us, Beck's Sea Change was playing, I was glad Shea let me switch up the Sublime for that ride.  When we arrived at the seawall it was like there was nothing beyond the fog, as if the world ended there, an impossible distance.  
There was that time I was with my father waiting for hours for the ferry in South Padre and when we finally got on the ferry at 1am the moon also hovered low.  The ocean met with darkness and that darkness was breached by the moon creating these shiny ripples.  Now there was this, the ferry arrived, we drove on and parked and went upstairs.  For a moment we held each other like an old couple, the moon and us.  There was this feeling of knowing that there was this beautiful and indescribable moment about to happen, happening, and I knew it was coming, and I knew it was here, and I couldn't tell when it started but all I knew is I never wanted it to end.  We threw pennies on the lip of the ferry in hopes it will join the many others that have landed there and somehow managed to stay.  We wondered what the "Muster Station" was and soon the island was amongst us.  On the island the sky was illuminated with a yellow glow as clouds passed over the moon, taking their time.  We finally arrived, and yet I wished we could've kept on going, from one moment into the next, and other things indescribable.  

The War on MORE.  It is a story about one person's encounters with things sad and things wonderful and how the sadness kept coming like a soft-serve ice cream machine that filled the cone but didn't stop, it just kept pouring and what was once delightful was a messy frustration.  Then there are wonderful moments such as the main character falling in love with a stranger off the street, they get to know each other, and at first they spend as much time with each other, dropping out of their social spheres and getting little sleep, but then they have to go back to their separate lives, getting a healthy amount of sleep, working, and seeing their friends from time to time.  The protagonist longs for this new thing that came into his life and that gave everything a glimmer of delight.  He longs for it, and soon forgets the wonderful things that lay fresh in his memory and to cherish them, to remember what he had gotten.  It is a bit of cheesy story, the romantic elements are predictable and you don't really like any of the characters enough to really relate to them but for what its worth it made me realized what I had.  Sometimes you need to have things shaken up, and that there are wonderful and sad moments to be had, we need to observe them, give them air to breathe and to let them be absorbed into us.  The sad moments help us realize the good times, but they also test our strength and keep us lean of baggage.  And then there are the wonderful moments that stay and stay and stay with us.  And though sometimes we might not realize at the time how wonderful they truly are, it is best to enjoy them as they happen, without thinking too much, and once they pass let them be, and be glad they ever visited.  That is when they becoming meaningful.  The story ends with this line: It is the same as it is better to have loved and lost than to never to have loved at all but to go further; to be graced, to have experienced, and to come out of that knowing, the new person is within you as a seed in time grows…love this person and not the memory.