Friday, November 30, 2007

School day

Male student: I really hate the Disney Channel, anymore.
Female student: (taken aback) What? How can you say that? I love, love it.
Male student: (deflated) It just doesn't do it for me anymore. I can't take all that pop that they added.
Female student: (perplexed) Pop? Pop, what? Pop corn?
She laughs at her joke.
Male student: (unamused) No. Pop. Flash. Stuff like 'Look at this! Love this'. Pop.
Female student: (confused) Okay, but I don't know how you can't like 'Hannah Montana'. She is great. I feel like she is my little sister sometimes.
Male student: (contemplatively) Yeah, I can watch that show. She's going to be hot.
Female student: (flirty) Jerk.
She hits him on the shoulder and he lets out a chuckle.
Male student: I just don't like the Disney Channel anymore. I wish they would show some old stuff, like 'Mickey Mouse Club', or something like that. You would like it, it had Britney Spears on it before she was Britney Spears.
Female student: (annoyed) Yeah, I know.
Male student: Or, they should show 'Kids Incorporated'. I loved that show.
Female student: What show?
Male student: 'Kids Incoporated'. (singing) K-I-DS!
Female student: I don't know it, but oh! I wish they would show 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' again! THAT was my favorite show!
Male student: (deadpan) That was Nickelodeon.
Enter Professor.
Professor: Okay, we left off last class starting to talk about the roles that Artistotle's models for ethics and morality play in the determining the psyche of a mob's mentality.

red.ribbons.hot.chocolate.

V.
you're going to bed in your sleeveless shirts with your jeans still on, shoes even, maybe. i forget. you sleep downstairs now and once i slept on a couch above you and had to leave because what if i moaned your name in my sleep? when i was sleeping she said, "you better be doing it!" but we weren't and you said "just tell her we were and that it was so good." do you think i'm a fact checker or something?
IV.
we could take a walk or we could wait for snow and gaze upon the great green pine in our backyard from your bedroom window and watch white slowly, safely cover the colors and we could forget that there will be a tomorrow and act on every impulse because i know we both need soem sort of rejuvination.
III.
I told him "we're the weirdos of this town" and he got real excited and said, "alriiight!" it's getting to the point where i'm nervous to crack right infront of you and almost everyday, i almost do, but now there's competition and close watchings and winning overs, but i already have an enemy and i think "i don't need any more of this in my life" but if the chance arose, if i should be so graced with such ridiculous desires, i would probably jump off of some height to keep from stopping my mouth from saying "yes" or i wouldn't and i would feel the kind of regret he felt in the morning, or even one single second after. just sing with me. okay? that's all i want anymore.
II.
I think if you actually wanted to talk that we could for days without sleep but we'd have it to enjoy the comforts of this great life together. i really just need to get laid perhaps. and you're the only thing that comes to mind besides that black guy who was going to sing "superstitious" but didn't.
I.
it was windy. i was jumpy. i put the sound into your ears and you gripped me hard with those big dark fucking eyes and i knew the words that that woman was singing in your ears and your stare as you listened was full of shiny stuff.

Charles Dickens

would it be wrong (or really really right) to produce only potboilers? in essense, it's selling out purposefully, so if that's your goal is it wrong? to have a series of substanceless work. it could be so wrong it's right. so bad it's good. could that be geniune whatsoever?

a christmas carol was written to pay off debts. i can see it. doesn't make it less good.
we were in this car gang. not a mean one. just a group that raced cars for money. kevin costner was like the dad of the group. he taught us all he knew. some of my friends were there too. this really big, really great guy named murph, russo, heidi from the beagle club, and some others that i'm not sure of.
so we raced these skinheads won and then they invited us back to their groups house.
they were nice enough. included us in their rituals like whipping lightly in the face. thats was nice. i remember it hurting though. all was well when all the guys from both groups decided to go to the fare that was in town. while away i and the other girls started cleaning a little. i went to throw something away when i saw a 50 dollar bill in the trash that i knew heidi was looking for. when i picked it up i noticed there was more money in a small zip lock bag and more under that. i realized it was all of our money. they didnt believe in taking it, but they did want to be rude. so they threw it away. so the girls got the money and walked to the fare. russo and murph were walking together. i came to russo with the problem and he wouldn't let me talk into his ear because he though i was going to mess with him. murph was a little leery too, but finally he came in and let me talk. i told him that the skinheads had taken our moeny and i found it all in the trash. now you have to see murph for this to be a little funny, hes this really tall built guy with the most gorgeous blue eyes i have ever seen...anyway, i tell him and he starts to tear up. saying," they took my money?" while trying to chock back the tears. he climbs into this red wood wagon, balls into the fetal position and just quietly cries hugging his knees.
we get back to the house and wait for kevin costner to get back from the fair so we can all leave. i fell asleep waiting.

when i woke up "the murph" was gone. it must have been a dream.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What happens to a dream deferred?
It dries up
like a raisin in the sun.
And festers like a sore--
And then runs.
It stinks like rotten meat.
And crusts and sugars over--
like a syrupy sweet.
It just sags
like a heavy load.

It does not explode.

The Messianide Blow-Up

Ummm new track...
rough very early mix...
will sound more like the album, Siamese Dream, in the end...
The Messianide Blow-Up (Early Mix)

For the grunge record...it's the title track...
"Happy birthday! Is it your birthday? Hey mom, is this a cheese cake?"

science is my sanity
structures reactions catalysts
my body techniques
for investigating phenomena
emprical observable measurable
although, in my field of inquiry
objectiveness is frowned upon

Headlines

Did one too many lungrips before class. Listened to my music loud and felt like I was in a movie. I always enjoyed walking scenes in movies. They seem more realistic than running scenes. I've never run anywhere to make a dramatic change in my life. The music is more mellow too. It fits the mood of real life better. The "i'm trying to figure it all out" walk is am everyday occurence. It was the longest walk ever though. I felt like I could catalgue all my thoughts. Some girl involved in extracurriculars handed me a condom by the library. I though to myself "If she only knew."
I just told some University kids who are thinking of moving to Johnstown about the Collective. "There's been a punk-scene for years, but now there's even more" I said about the town.

(I thought you'd be interested because of your age and dread-locks.)

(They're blacksmiths.)

I drove up Franklin, by the Hospitals, and saw tumbleweed blow across the road.

At least we'll all die happy. Or ironically, as we try to improve ourselves.

Like the guy who had a heartattack at 30, improved his lifestyle, and dies exercising.

School day

Had to read an excerpt from a short story to practice for end of the semester reading. Had to use microphone in tiny room. The professor from across the hall came over in the middle of my reading and asked if "the volume could be lowered substantially."

2 new entries to the bathroom graffiti war. 1 entirely new voice.
Directly below my last entry the new voice wrote: "don't fool yourself, buddy, mommy and daddy pay for his ass to be sittin here"
A response from my original criticizer to his new enemy read: "shut up, fagget"
Number of responses criticizer has left: 2
Homosexual slurs left by criticizer: 2

Held the door for a girl who was walking unusually fast. She belched as she walked past me. She nodded in thanks, with no detectable embarrassment.

Smug fuck, glum fuck aging-hipster-professor canceled class today. It was the first class of his all semester to be canceled.

Saw an advertisement for an upcoming mock accident drill asking for volunteers to be "rescued" from the river via township firemen throwing ropes to you.

Heard computer lab technician talking to male student about the death of NFL football player Sean Taylor: "It fucking sucks, man. He was doing awesome on my fantasy team."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

sequins.cars.lemons.

III.
10 minutes left and i hope you're home. you won't be terribly excited to see me, but i bet you are a little bit, because you can feign an unsmile when you see me, accidentally. i do believe there's something so quiet there and unidentified, or perhaps even unfelt, but is waiting to bubble up and burst all over our fucking faces, turning our insides into suprise. this scarf smells good. just kiss me already.
II.
you say you're good at reading people and you look at me for at least a minute and i think, "really? could he really know?" i saw that you use the ones with the gold wrapper. i smiled and pulled exaggerated rumblings back inside eventhough i was more than excited to close your window; there was rain and cold coming thru. you still don't have any sheets on your bed. i have some pink ones.
I.
i'd like to see your squinty eyes in the morning, i'd let in light and with the little sight you'd have you'd see me and smile. squinty-eyed smile simply from sleepyheaded dreamer whose dreams are constellations connecting every loose piece inside his heart. sometimes i almost kiss you and when you tugged on my scarf last night did you see me crumble into a tiny pile, into tiny pieces of things you don't know about? you must have at least seen the fall. woosh.

this is going to be a song someday

well i could walk and walk the walk
until i've finally lost my way.
or i could talk and talk the talk
until i don't mean what i say.
but there has to be a middle ground
somewhere in the streets of this town
still asleep in the valley.
it doesn't even notice me.

i have absolved the sins of the world
so many times from my front porch.
but i always forget what they were
by the time i go back indoors.
laci says that i'm too forgiving
and i must be because i'm always forgetting
to even take her advice.
i've forgiven myself for that so many times.

but amanda used to be my best friend.
now she'll probably never speak to me again
and i think i'm okay with that.
i never thought it would be like that.
it doesn't even hurt that bad.
i never thought i would be like that.
but if i am,

is that going to bring me home in one piece or in a body bag?
or will they send my coffin back wrapped in a clean, white flag?

as the suits tell the hit parade,
"leave your cameras at the door.
we don't want the kids at home
to get the wrong idea about war."
then they lay me in the middle of the ground
somewhere right outside of this town
still asleep in the valley.
it doesn't even notice me.
i guess we'll have to wait and see
just how forgiving i can really be.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

things to do...

-don't quit daycare because i figured that i will only have to place the kids for 2 days, the 27th and 28th of december. i think thats acceptable and not considered screwing people over. i have the rest of the days off that week.

-also make a wind chime for chris
-maybe knit, or crochet...thats faster, a washcloth to go with the soap.

School day

Heard a girl tell a guy about her boyfriend's trouble with achieving an erection the previous night. Of course, it was conveyed in a much cruder manner.

Kid in front of me was chewing on his pen cap and spitting tiny shards of it off his left side. Was transfixed and mortified; couldn't concentrate on the lecture of the last part of Aristotle's "Metaphysics".

Saw a sign-up sheet for a Spring Break trip to Brazil. Was interested at first. Noticed the scantily clad girls with legions of beads around their neck. Caption read: "Rio is sizzlin'!"

Headlines

I grabbed the sweatshit today. At first I thought it was a bad choice, but after reevaluating things I bet, I realized that I made the right decision for once. I continued to think about it more than I should have after that.
At lunch I listened in on a conversation two girls were having about which dorms were worth living in the next year. I didn't have the heart to tell them that they are all shitholes. Of course, at the same time, I began to become somewhat reminscent and regretful. I should have broken more rules when I was stuck living in enclosed spaces. At the very least it would have been something to write about.
I can't think of a time when I had anymore fake friends then I did my freshman year of college. It was like normal thing to subscribe to persons who offered little to no intellectual creativity. Maybe I could blame that on the enclosed space.
I would probably have meaningless one-night-stand sex with 3/4th of the girls in this class. I should have written that down on my evaluation today.
What happened to H. Donald Cabinet? I thought we understood each other.

This house will be a parking lot.

Day 21
11.21.2007
3:07 p.m.

i like the fact that people i know are clicking the same "new post" button.
i think about that stuff a lot. i was on I-90 the other day and thought that it was neat that we know people that have driven on that road before. it was a really pretty drive. i saw 3 eagles...at different times. i didn't think i would ever get to see one. they had white heads... does that mean they were bald eagles? that would be really great if they were. washington is really beautiful. around spokane. i have never seen such thick pine forests. they get an insane frost too. everyday we woke up it looked like it had snowed it was so thick. i didn't have any film for my camera, but i don't think i'll forget that stuff.
December To Do List
-Quit daycare (because i told them i wasn't going anywhere for christmas. now i think we are, and i just feel like i'm dicking the parents around. either way i guess i am, but i feel like if i quit i wont end up doing it again.)
-tell the parents that my husband is cross training and we have to move...(so they don't think i'm just quitting. thats shitty. i do know that, but i can't make my self tell the truth if i think its going to make people mad at me or cause a confrontation ...color me irresponsible)
- find new daycare for kids to go to (of coarse if we're not going anywhere for christmas this is all just talk)
- make a quilt for "jesh" -make soap to give as christmas presents.
-set up and take christmas pictures. get them developed and sent out with christmas cards(give me your address and i'll send you one)
-finally make that mixed cd for________.(you wish you knew who)
-get rid of daycare stuff
-give it to carrie, or just take it back to the FCC office
-finish modules -make another wind chime(finally get back with melissa and see if she still wants some for her store in pittsburgh)
-make list of stuff to take to pa..if going -pay carrie and tony for using their phone that week. -get that $700.00 back from madison
-send all that stuff to stef -paint something for laura...if she still wants me to.
-make wind chime for katie

ps. stay motivated and please dont procrastinate.

The Harvest.

At around 9:30 PM I woke up from a one hour nap. During my rest I was listening to The Bitches Brew by Miles Davis. When I woke up I was at the 9 minute mark of Miles Runs The Voodoo Down. After laying in bed for several more minutes the word "Harvest" was placed in my head. At approximately 9:44 my friend Danielle called me to tell me that her father's favorite ambient record is Ambient 1: Music for Airports by Brian Eno. We talked about my recent liking of Pop by Gas and Time Machines by Coil --

Side Note:
At 1:06 AM, November 11, 2007 I stopped playing Miles Runs The Voodoo Down and started playing the album Times Machines. I now shut off all of the lights in my bedroom. Since I am very sensitive to light I am currently adjusting the brightness and contrast on my computer monitor. I have the contrast set to 57 while the Brightness is set to 67.

I started to discuss with Danielle my recent "body" on work. Last week I completed four projects: Six Steps, Twenty Steps, John Thorell, and Quartet for Explosive, Motor, Wind, Heatbeat, and Landslide in Two Parts. The entire time I was trying to explain my creative process the word "Harvest" was digging in the back of my mind. The last topic in our short phone conversation was a brief, abstract conversation about the harvest. When Danielle and I disconnected I did one single push-up. While I was lifting my body's weight I heard yet another external voice telling me the importance and dynamic of the harvest.

I called Dan Oatman and started to explain. I started to plant seeds on January 29, 2006. My life started on July 29, 2007. The previous night was the opening of 709 Railroad Street followed by a roof top party that conceived Siamese Dream. I spent July 29-30, 2007 throwing up. I now realize that was the first day of my life. From May 8, 1985 - July 28, 2007 my entire life was in pre-production. I was busy setting up the microphones, hooking up the camera, getting all of the lights and recourses ready. I now realize in the pre-production part of my life I was planting seeds for the harvest. I started telling Dan about my recent body of work. Six Steps to Quartet for Explosive, Motor, Wind, Heatbeat, and Landslide. I expressed that I started to feel like I was realizing obvious bodies. Here is a run down since July 29, 2007:

Body #1:
Siamese Dream I

Body #2:
Various Artists - House Party, Vol. 1

Body #3:
Siamese Dream II

Body #4:
Boy - blackbrowngreenred
Dan Oatman - 10.13.07

Body #5:
Sleeping Music
Walking Music

Body #6:
Billy Mack - Panic`er
The Naughty Naughty Nurses - Pabst Smear
Siamese Dream III
Siamese Dream IIII

Body #7 -- Harvest #1:
Six Steps
Twenty Steps
John Thorell
Quartet For Explosive, Motor, Wind, Heatbeat, and Landslide.

I started to tell Dan that each "Body" was a complete creative flow. When the creative flow was complete I would shut down until another body was started. During the elapsed time between Bodies I would sleep in irregular increments while listening to ambient music and/or noise. I continued to tell Dan that I now feel Bodies was and is and incorrect word to use for the release and creative process of my current work.

I'm starting to see everything as a harvest. As everyone knows a harvest marks the end of the growing season, or the growing cycle for a particular crop. Since I was born I've been planting seeds. Since my life started I've been experiencing the release of a harvest. The seed for Siamese Dream was planted on July 28, 2007. Siamese Dream had it's first harvest on August 6, 2007. Do you follow? The seed for Siamese Dream took 9 complete days to develop into a complete harvest. Once a harvest is done I will release the harvest in the appropriate manner. People may taste that harvest. Some may or may not enjoy the taste, sound, look, visual balance of the harvest. Everything is everyone's perspective. Everyone's Anyone. Do you follow?

When the harvest is complete it's alive forever. I'm starting to realize that over the past year I've been planting seeds almost everyday. On November 24, 2007 I woke up from a three hour nap at around 1:00 AM. Upon waking up I started hearing an external voice telling myself to start putting sounds together. I worked under this external force for about three hours. When I woke up in the afternoon I was startled to hear a new-complete composition entitled "Quartet For Explosive, Motor, Wind, Heartbeat, and Landslide." Tonight I realize that I planted the seed for this project in March of 2007 when I wrote the title down in a notebook. This project, like any different kind of crop, takes a different amount of time to develop, grow, and bloom. Quartet for Explosive, Motor, Wind, Heartbeat, and Landslide took 7 months to grow. We now have a beautiful ambient harvest that is over 1 hour long. It's full of fruit and people can taste the delicious sounds.

Since November 24, 2007 I spent most of my time sleeping to 1963-1966 Bob Dylan. Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited, and live recordings from 1966 and 1964. When I was tired of Bob Dylan I would listen to Miles Davis. When I was tired of both I would listen to ambient recordings. Starting today I got easily frustrated that I have a complete outline of over 30 conceptual ideas that need executed. Now that I understand the concept of the harvest I am at complete peace.

Last night I called my friend Ivy for no reason. I'm realize today that I planted a seed inside of her. We are going to start working on a project currently titled Tone Poems. After telling Dan Oatman about the harvest and starting work on our new project Seventy Seven, I called Ivy to tell her the exciting new and developments. We talked about the harvest for a short while then our project. I realized the seed that I planted in Ivy last night is already growing. I'm not sure when the harvest will be complete but as long as we water, feed, love, and respect our seed it will become beautiful long living fruit.

The reason I am writing this is not because of the harvest. It's because of a chemical reaction in my body based on a feeling, surrounding, idea, etc. Starting in January 2007 I started having strange chemical reactions to an idea. Late at night when I would be conceptualizing an idea when I started to realized how everything inside the piece would function in a natural and organic state it would release a chemical reaction in my body. My body's temperature would change and I would feel the sensation as though I was ready to cry. This reaction felt like a complete body orgasm that would sometimes last for several minutes.

As I presented in my opening statement "I feel like every second of the day I'm getting closer to a discovery. Right now it's 12:56 AM, November 11, 2007. Approximately five minutes ago I reached a short but substantial out of body experience due to today's overall dynamic." -- This my friends is what I am really talking about. Everything that happens to me is based on surroundings. When my chemistry changes it's changing because of an emotion that releases something very pure.

I'm starting to realize that I planted many seeds. I feel some of these seeds will take several years to develop. A few days ago I saw into the future. When I turn 55 something terrible is going to happen to my skull. I think someone is going to smash my face in with a brick. I know then when I am in my 60's and 70's I am going to have the most fruitful harvest of my entire life. The reason is some seeds develop over night. I've been calling these projects "Happenings." I feel that word is still a correct representation of the creative process. Some seeds that I'm planing right this very second won't harvest until I'm 30. Some of the seeds will harvest before the close of 2007. I think before the end of the year I'm going to experience 7-12 different harvest.

When I came to this discovery I was so excited that I wanted to communicate the idea to many people. I feel that writing this post / blog will be an appropriate documentation inside the themes and ideas expressed, and my current and forever creative process. Again, I am getting close to a beautiful discovery. Something huge will happen and all I need to do is water, feed, love, and respect the seeds I've been planting.

Brandon Locher

1:52 AM
November 27, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dating Leila Bennett Part 2

We got breakfast that morning and started to downshift in topics. The previous night was far too brief. I wanted to get to know her, figure out the intricacies, and yet I couldn’t see it as anything less than perfect at that point. It’s weird thinking about how little you know about somebody after you sleep with them. I knew I hadn’t fallen in love yet, just let the thought wander the dark crevices of my mind. She was flawless that morning. Her smile burned holes in my retinas. I couldn’t stop starring.
Work, love, money, passion, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The River, hometowns, best friends, failed affairs, dabbling in narcissism, running away from our own identities, ignoring phone calls from our mothers, the waitress (she was far too cute to care about the concept of good service), movies, things she hadn’t seen, I hadn’t seen, things we loved and hated, the concept of tipping, plans for the day, month, year, and so on. We were all over the place, managing to eventually come back down and grasp the reality of our current situation. We didn’t really know each other. Possibly we needed time to unwind, think about our lives as separate individual words rather than combined offbeat conversation. I paid and we took separate cabs back to our respective lonely apartments. A true artist has to be alone. I keep trying to remind myself of this.
I attempted to think about not calling her, possibly watching a movie, or calling Quinn, filling him in on my night, why I hadn’t walked back or slept on his couch. It was a strange occurrence, both of us managing to get laid in the same night. In fact, it seemed like it never happened. Needless to say I never went back up to the roof again. It made sense if I used that as the backdrop for our entire relationship. What the fuck were we thinking anyway? The rooftop party was designated for lonely people, or those sick of bars. She hated them, and I did as well. Never in my life have I met a worthwhile future in a bar. I see things differently than most, I suppose. By the time the glass is empty it’s either more drenched perspective or possibly a spinning ride back to reality.
We were better at being social with friends. Quinn fell for her faster than I did, as it seemed. It became strange, like a competition of sorts. Natalie only withstood the test of time for a month, and then there was Shannon, Wendy, and Lulu. She was the best one, despite the prostitute name. Her mother had an apartment across town where we would all escape to and hear stories about what it used to be like. Leila and I would exchange looks as we listened to her low voice and the background noise of some longhaired musician before he was past his prime. That’s when she knew him of course. Lulu’s mother knew all of them, had slept with a few, and others just given blowjobs to.
It boggled my mind the weekend we met Lulu’s father. He seemed so normal, more like my parents or Leila’s. Grounded in how the world was working and would continue working at least until he retired or died. There were new kids on the way, half brothers and sisters. Quinn had a lot on his plate. He couldn’t handle holidays and eventually needed some kind of escape. We haven’t really talked since he bought the ticket. I saw his name in the credits once, but I wasn’t completely sure if it was the same Quinn. They could very well be cloning them out there.
After our “couple friends” fell through, (there was her other neighbor, Janene and her boyfriend Samson, who managed to get killer substances, despite the fact that his speech was slurring with each flashback. Needless to say these two didn’t last all that long), we decided that hiding away from it all suited us better. Our schedules coordinated. She would wake up early to paint on Saturday mornings. I would fall in and out of consciousness, not wanting to see the product until it was finished by Leila’s own set standard, which was pretty simple to tell actually. All she had to do was say that she hated it, and then I’d know that the painting was done. I got used to being the reassuring, albeit somewhat nagging, voice on her shoulder. She did too.
Our apartment, which was my apartment that she moved into after some trouble with Janene (she stole things), became our own private outpost. We would occasionally go out for supplies or event that managed to fly past all the others we knew were only going to be a lingering disappointment. Work became a minimal diversion when both of us were there. I started to become creative in ways I didn’t know possible. We would still talk to Samson. He would stop by with baggies that allowed us to feel comfortable in our own skin, and also more than excited to try somebody else’s on for some hours at a time. I enjoyed it the most when it was just the two of us, losing our heads, and yet finding our true purposes camouflaged in acrylics on the wall. It was simple with Leila, despite the bullshit, and I suppose the more I think about it, there was quite a lot of bullshit.
Not at first, though. At first it was all very easy. We went on dates, the majority of them ending in a stay at one of our apartments. Eventually I moved in there, before we decided to move back to my place together. I almost forgot what it looked like as we opened the door that Sunday. It was still a shitbox, and yet once she unpacked, I found it a little easier to resettle. On her days off she would make the walls uniquely motivated with portraits of figures neither of us had ever met. They were people we made mental snapshots of while walking through the market or past the busiest of sidewalks on a snowy Monday morning. I learned to hate all of those faces, the ones that passed inconspicuously as much as the ones on the walls. All of them only offered sustained coldness and even more to think about.
I remember the world starting to slowly deteriorate around us, to the point where even the slightest intricate spec of Leila’s presence got under my skin in the worst of ways. I longed for those times spent alone, just me and my work. I’ve gotten too much done since she left, though. I miss the balance. I miss deciding to stay in or maybe go out and leave early. Leaving early became what those fake friends expected from us. The ones back home only met her once.
It was the day before Christmas Eve. I didn’t want to bring her home, but she insisted. The Thanksgiving before was our escapade with Hal and Ava. Dean didn’t come home. He had his future in-laws to cater to. It was more or less normal. I understood why she didn’t return often. There were girls in the bar who hadn’t quite figured out what the answer was. She would call the majority of them acquaintances, and yet the occasional hug between a bitter rival would occur just out of good faith that there wouldn’t be a bitch fight at the ten-year reunion. I enjoyed her talking copious amounts of shit on all of them as we drove back to her parents’ house, both of us just drunk enough to attempt other kinds of trouble. She let the smoke blow out her bedroom window. It felt strange hiding everything like we were still kids. I didn’t mind the tiptoeing in the hallway. It was a long weekend after all.
Christmas slowed down for the both of us. My mother pulled me aside often to ask where it was all going. I didn’t have the heart to tell her any kind of truth. Of course, I didn’t know then that we were drifting on different shards of ice. I wish I had seen more coming. Her being impulsive turned full circle into the same blood, coursing through my veins. I still haven’t quite lived it down yet, which is somewhat troublesome the more and more I think about. I’ve been giving numb looks to all of them at work. Mila probably wants to fuck me because of it. She met Leila once, right towards the end she stopped by work to return my TV remote. I looked up from my desk at the memo in her hand, and she understood. Of course, even as I dwell on the idea now, I realize that dating somebody from work is going to be an even bigger problem. A one-night stand would be out of the cards. She’s not that type of girl. I really just need to escape like Quinn. He understood that this city is just dead weight on the rest of the coast. Everything was going to eventually run out of breath underwater anyway.
My mother learned to hate her, while my father thought she was perfect. They enjoyed disagreeing far too much. Her parents hated me for my lack of direction and similar interests. Her father was a hunter, Republican with too many distorted views of what ideals were. We fought at the dinner table in front of aunts and cousins. It didn’t help that I was stoned. She cracked up laughing as if the firework display was only half over. I understood why she had to show me home just that once. I returned the favor only to later regret it. There were too many reasons why we were so good at hiding. Our roots were minor distractions, and it didn’t in any sense sum us up.
I suppose I can’t blame it on that then either. After we knew too much about each other, old possibilities started to reappear. A guy who was most definitely in love with her from college looked us both up just out of the blue. I hated Jimmy. He wasn’t one of us. I couldn’t talk to him like I had friends before. He hated me and I guess he had the right to. I mean, after all, he had known her longer, and yet she would complain about him constantly. It was pity, not love with those two.
I began spending more time at work. So did Mila. Nothing happened, at least not yet. I’m in a recovery period right now. I know she understands too. I’m good at pretending like Leila’s still there, even though she’s gone. She is still there, though. Maybe I’m over-exaggerating. I should just say something tomorrow, tell her the truth, be completely honest this time around. Or maybe I should take a drive. That might be easier. I could clear my head completely before running into her. I have a general idea of what her days are like now.
They start late. She sees beautiful things and thinks about how good they would look larger than life on a white surface, but these thoughts quickly distinguish as she puts her uniform on. Her apartment’s smaller than it was, but comfortable. There isn’t enough room for my stuff, which is a minor detail she finds somewhat comforting.
The drive to work is brief, a few lights here and there by the familiar street corners and memories from days spent with little to no direction. Then the office. There is some potential in his brown eyes, but she would never go for it at this point. It didn’t seem right, and would most likely end like all the others.
She began classifying all the men she’s ever met into five categories. There were those who followed orders and fell apart because of it. There were those who were guided by single one-syllable thoughts. Their eyes drawn to cleavage sitting on dim-lit bar stools. There were the ones that were successful and contemplated suicide. They didn’t know themselves, only what it meant to be alive on occasion. It hurt most of the time. The ones that faked it with the utmost accuracy. They still had somewhat of an effect. She always took the time to think about it, before wisdom set in. Finally there were those like me. Honest and creative only when destruction was involved. I was a mess of every aspect that she loved and hated. I was a person she needed to get away from, but at times couldn’t completely forget about.
We were too hard-placed stones on a mountain of descending expectations. We were responsible for ripping each other apart. We were bigger than the majority of spectacles we had seen in photographs. We understood all of those around us, and why they were who they were, and still couldn’t bring ourselves to completely write off all of the human race. It was such a common mistake amongst artists.
No, instead we let the benefit of the doubt become our catchphrase. I suspended disbelief and let inhibitions deteriorate and burn with flavored papers and glances from across crowded square-box rooms. I missed thinking about how easy it was to read her mind. I could understand everything, and yet still manage to fuck up a minor detail here or there. Mila walked by and set her number down on my desk Friday. I threw it away this afternoon and checked my account. I needed gas, directions, music, joints, and a lack of logical sense. She wouldn’t be surprised. It was the hardest thing, getting Leila to jump.
The End

School day

Heard the word "broceph" used by 3 different people 4 separate times.

Smug fuck, glum fuck hipster-professor had example sentences referencing Big Star and the Velvet Underground and also obscure journalist Stephen Glass, and got upset when no one responded after he asked how many of us had see Broken Glass, the movie based on his life.

No reply on the bathroom graffiti, I don't know whether to take this as a sign of victory, or going to far.

A girl tripped over the top step in the science building and she fell down, books flying everywhere. No one stopped, including me.

The black student who got offended at the use of the word "nigger" wasn't in class today. I don't know if she has been since the incident, because it was my first time being in class since it happened.

Counted 24 students wearing replica Steelers jerseys.

Listen up.

Listen guys, buck the fuck up. Life isn't life without conflict. We've got a renaissance to focus on.

Dating Leila Bennett Part 1

Dating Leila Bennett
It started out casual. I suppose most things do these days. You can’t just jump in like it’s the pool. Everyone has to gradually check the temperature first, and then go from there. She wasn’t that type of person, though. Leila was somehow different from all the other preconceived notions I had been dancing around the previous twenty-fives years of my life. She was like all the right elements from the middle class suburban girl-next-door types from high school, mixed with that irreconcilable edge of the city, bright lights and enclosed smoke-filled spaces, everyone breathing deeper and deeper breaths just so their heads can lightly reassure them that, yes, they are still living and this is not as simple as one would typically think. I shuddered to think what she was like in college. I suppose I could have painted a realistic enough picture.
Freshman year was pretty easy. A lot of guys with no redeemable qualities whatsoever hitting on her in a barrage of regular revolting ways. Invites to parties with cheap kegs and joints rolled from the bottom of bags, bought from brothers or cousins, best friends with connections or perfect strangers who lived across the hall. She would keep small bottles in the top part of her closet for quick fixes before classes. Her roommate hated her, for the simple fact that they weren’t in the least bit alike. She had a boyfriend back home. His name was Rick or something. Something that sounded like a boyfriend back home, having absolute perfect occasions in his working class job, and showing pictures of his bitchy one-dimensional girlfriend to sluts in bars before asking them if they were up for an adventure to his parents house, new sheets sprawled out on the bed in the basement, next to the lava lamp and old Led Zeppelin LPs. He was a sick individual and Leila only met him once, that one weekend she made sure to find another place to set up shop.
Classes were often skipped. She met those of little interest to her, all of her new college friends only offering a minor sense of fulfillment as opposed to all of those spread out across the state, or patiently biding their time back home. Girls with abusive parents and guys with all the right parts fury, left enclosed in small cardboard boxes and behind counters with registers with broken six buttons. It was a hellish region that she called home, and yet I saw how it was so much a part of her very essence. The place she needed to get away from, and yet still somewhat go back to, for an alternative view, wearing new boots, standing on snow-covered street corners, patiently waiting and looking to see if much of anything had changed. When I was with her, it was an inevitable no. Now, I’m not so sure. I find it weird that I still think about whether or not Leila’s hometown has changed. I suppose that’s just one of those subtexts that’s managed to stay with me, past the bullshit, and beyond the void of ex-girlfriend syndrome. With Leila it never quite felt like we were broken up, just inevitably waiting to get back together. I’m getting ahead of myself, though.
Sophomore year was somewhat different. She was very used to the swing of things. A Wednesday night felt like the weekend, and while there were a few jilted memories already frequenting bigger houses, nights of less than fulfilling drunken, sex on creaky bed frames, green soiled mattresses used in the sixties and continuing their job with indisputable further, always coming to mind every time she would see his brown eyes or that one’s new haircut, there was still the sense that that required liberal studies class was going to be a breeze the next morning, even with the spinning of memories from the previous night somewhat blurry and silhouetted by the darkest of circles under her eyes. It used to give me varying headaches every time I thought about her, which was all the time, even after we drifted to other more reliable staples.
This was the year she found Brock. He was good at pretending to be artsy, writing her cutesy poems on the back of homework assignment sheets, and occasionally talking about the idea of reuniting his shattered science experiment of a band, which played roughly five shows in his hometown, before deciding that they already got laid enough. There was no point in faking like they all had an artistic outlet in high school. Creativity didn’t exist then. Leila was the type of girl to write in her diary, or at least meticulously catalogue her thoughts from the past. When I was staying at her parents’ house, sleeping in her brother Dean’s bedroom, starring up at the ceiling and waiting for her soft knock on the door, I stole it from her. I was just as much in love with the high school written version of Leila, as I was the hypothetical college one. She had tons of bad experiences, similar to mine, if I were only a girl with a grocery list of insecurities. There were guys that didn’t give her the time of day, and those that did only to steal her cherished virginity and brag about it with their junky friends in the darkened purple and white stairwell. These guys were clones of Brock, all of them running off of the assembly line in linear perfection. They never had anything to say, just looks to give, and walls to lean up against.
She didn’t realize this of course, until her junior year. The summer was rough for both of them. Phone calls, and AIM conversations that neither of them wanted to participate in. He would wind up cheating on her with a girl from his high school. Her name was Sandra and she wasn’t attractive until her boobs got bigger. Some had a theory that she had gotten implants or possibly aborted ten months into the pregnancy. In any case, it wasn’t hard for Brock to fall right in with Sandra, and yet still go right back to Leila the second classes were back in. They fit together like a distorted hipster puzzle. Their hands would magnetically be drawn to one another at parties, or walking around campus, leaves falling like napalm in the background.
She never found out about Sandra. It was Elena who managed to fuck everything up for Brock, right before Thanksgiving. Leila returned home and fucked the first person who showed any sign of interest, and then the inevitable bedroom period, crying and trying to figure her life out. She had no sense of self as that semester ended. After talking to her parents, Hal and Ava, the religious nuts, they left her with a lack of options. She returned to school with no friends or direction. Classes took over, as she found other outlets. A twenty-first birthday brought with it bars and new forms of familiarity. An occasional late night here and there, blowing coke or smoking blunts with guys who she knew wouldn’t take her to the top of the world, helped her blow off all the right elements of steam. Life was a distorted figment of all of our imaginations, and Leila Bennett managed to glide on the clouds of every disappointment like hockey players on thin ice.
Senior year went by in a blur. She knitted snow hats in her lone apartment, and met a few that seemed perfect if she hadn’t already despised the human race, particularly the male facet of that race, for so long previously. A drunken lesbian experience occurred as if it was somewhere written in the bi-laws of college dating, she had to get it in sometime before graduation. Her name Susan and they were lab partners. The keg was kicked, all the beers in the fridge crushed, shots taken from less than empty bottles standing guard on the dirty white kitchen counter. They went back to her place and explored notions. That Wednesday, lab was beyond awkward. Neither knew what structures to build, what combinations of elements went together, bonded in scientific bliss. It didn’t get any better.
Then graduation. Hal and Ava were beyond proud. Dean fell asleep during the ceremony. I still couldn’t believe she actually went. It seemed strange; then again, Leila was never the type of person to avoid getting forced into anything. She would run up against thousands of brick walls with no clear and concise view of the other side. It didn’t matter, though. She could breathe underwater if she had to.
From there it became difficult to foresee where her life was going. She worked answering phones that summer, before packing her bags and heading for the city. A small filthy apartment on the lower West Side, before they decided she was a worthwhile contribution to the magazine. At that point she was twenty-four, dying her hair back to brown again. Blonde just attracted the douchebags and athletes.
The bar scene was full of minor distractions. She met a few hopefuls before deciding it was easier to be completely alone in such a cold atmosphere. Work became a life with zero hobbies. She missed out on a number of good films. Books didn’t mean much of anything to her. Music stockpiled and in vast number. She would always order between five and ten CDs every given month and see how they took. I found myself borrowing stacks from her more often than not.
I couldn’t make this girl a mix, a thought that still somehow plagues my innermost human feelings. I was never truly a fully functioning member of society with her, and yet at the same time felt less than complete when she was off doing her own thing, finding friends to fall apart with, or sitting on the sofa, meditating to whatever higher level God created this anomaly of a woman. I thought I was an atheist for the longest of times, and then it was somehow logical again. I couldn’t just blame it all on the drugs. That would have been poor judgement.
I met her on a Saturday night, on the rooftop of her building, every young and single artist looking for a variation of a perspective on how the world works, or an easy outpost to unwind from the week, throwing away time like tickets won at arcades with broken machines. My friend Quinn had invited me out of the blue on Friday. We were both at the bar, realizing that our failures with the opposite sex could be quickly drowned away in larger glasses and shots of impurities. His neighbor had invited him. They did it every week, went up to the roof and contemplated everything but suicide. People caught on quickly like it was Rocky Horror or Myspace. I could barely make out her distorted figure through the pulsing bodies full of remorse and feelings of absolute drunkenness, scattered on that roof. I had seen blurs all nights, and yet hers seemed to brighten my background. It was like a light on the tallest of hills. I was drawn to it for answers and bullshit conversation.
Quinn had already paired off like it was some sort of game. Her name was Natalie, and she was good at faking like she was an artist. I saw her photography at a cocktail party at Quinn’s apartment. It was her idea, and yet he had to host it. Already I saw the two of them meticulously falling apart. It was black and white, larger than life, and for the most part just pictures of women crying in dark corners. I called it chick art. It bothered Leila, and yet she understood. She wasn’t the biggest fan of those with cameras. She couldn’t distinguish between the two, photographer or future vanity project. Girls carried cameras like they were tickets to ecstasy.
She was done with her beer, looking for a casual way out. I was drunk and high, having smoked three bongs with Quinn prior to our search for the fire exit. It didn’t matter, though. We saw through each other, past the jilted rules and games of dating, that each had subscribed to previously. She looked at me and I became every aspect of who I thought I could be. Potential no longer floated away with grace and memories of nights spent in similar locations. I remembered everything when I was with her, every definition of Leila was somehow a term that I couldn’t forget. She had infected me, and it was only inevitable that the two of got lost in our own us-centered world.
I set my beer down and thought of possible topics, and yet conversation didn’t matter at that point. We were past it in the first five minutes, running away from familiar faces, and quickly back down the creaky stairs two floors, to her place. I could still distinctly hear “Train in Vain” as we turned off her bedroom light and searched for a place to fall apart. Talking was a barbaric ritual experienced by those who didn’t understand one another. It became like a board game. I rolled the die and saw what happened, never surprised or excited. Disappointment was a foreign extremity. We just got each other better than either of us thought we could. It became beyond addictive.
I stayed the next morning. She knew I would. It began like clockwork and ended in a dozen relapses. We should have known better. There wasn’t an escape, permanent good-byes or fond farewells, just time off. Time to think about how to remedy our distinctive problems with one another. I haven’t figured mine out yet. It’s taking long than expected.
We talked about all our bullshit that morning. Past experiences, times we walked out and later realized that staying was a better idea, or possibly ran for the hills with no sense of regret. Times we got hung up, couldn’t understand why, became innocently lost in the idea of it all. Times we just needed to forget, or run away, find answers in those that only wanted to figure out their own questions. All of it came naturally, like both understood there was no point in being that way anymore. Honesty became the best policy with us, and later could be accounted for our untimely demise. She rolled joints in record time. It always kept me awake, watching her evolve.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hunting season.






I'm cutting off entire body parts now, wishing none of this were here. While I use glue and tape to put them back, I'll wish there were better ways to repair what I so perfectly ruin for myself.

History 195 Assignment

I've spent the past hour meticulously looking through ads in an issue of TIME from 1954. All these mother fuckers are so goddamn smug. It's all smiles and families and progression and modern and leading and futuristic and a man's responsibility and exclusive and simplified. I want to vomit. Was life really this way? Everyone was under the impression that things were getting better, correct? They really believed that. What assholes.
I have to compare a TIME from the 50s to one from 2007. I'm focusing on ads because I can't be bothered to read actual articles. I'm pleased to report that the first five advertisments in the 2007 issue are for prescription drugs. One of them can cause "suicidal ideations." Nice. The sleeping pills do that. Apparently you'll wear yourself out trying to think of ways to kill yourself. The next few ads are about heart disease and diabetes. Oh wait fuck, they are about prescription drugs again. Here's one about a hospital. Here's one about poor people and here's one about the way we are fucking the planet and ourselves. Ovarian Cancer, Overactive bladders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Low Food Security, Energy Dependancy, and Mucus. "Together we can prevail." You really think?
Yeah fucking right.
It Started Early (I Go Back to You)

Only a kid
Cutting through the yellow field
Behind the woods

I stood in front of the cattle fence
Heard it hissing
Reached out touched it

Saw the white spark jump to my finger
Felt metal rattling in my mouth
Breathed heavily went home

Returned the next day
Deeper and deeper.
That whole post about independence was definitely a fucking figment of my imagination. Who was I kidding? The only thing that changes is how much ground is left under my feet.
And there's not much left. What were you thinking? What the fuck? What's wrong with you? How could you?
And I'm arguing with myself again. How can I win?
It just never ends. Never.

But tomorrow, I will feel different. Same with the next day, and the next..

blades like breezes

written 10-26-07

For one quick moment all I know is the wind that cuts my skin.
Invisible, in motion, the softest touch from deep within.
Gone with sorrow, gone with joy, stripped bare by the tender flow.
Contentment breeds an empty shell,
the only thing I long to know.

Pull my hair and sting my eyes so as to cry for open space.
Bellowing, eyes a'locked, the rosy flesh adorns my face.
Tension from transparent hands that wrap my body tight,
A flesh cocoon, the rapture felt in giving up the fight.

Holding close my skin, the wind's howling and dark tones.
The hatching of a butterfly and deep howling of my own.
Blinded by the evening glare and rumbles shake the ground,
The animal inside, the bursting rapture I have found.

Bolts of light and blades of wind that kiss my lips,
the tension as my flesh befriends a love that whoops and whips.
My wings ablaze, the flight I take that frees me from this sight,
Blades now breezes, soft and gentle, I illuminate the night.

Bolts of light and blades of wind that kiss my lips,
the tension as my flesh befriends a love that bares a whip.
My wings ablaze, the flight I take that frees me from ground's sight,
Blades now breezes, soft and gentle, I illuminate the night.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"So, what do you do?"
"I'm a writer," he said. "But you haven't read any of it."

Dear M.J., Thanks for the Help

I once wrote you a letter,
“I like the way you play. This is for class. I’m in fifth grade.”
You replied with a thoughtful invitation
To join your basketball camp. With, perhaps,
A few ads for sneakers.

You were concerned. I was never good at basketball.
Or baseball, or football, or soccer, though
I played a mean badminton in 7th grade.

I later learned from meat-heads,
Cheerleaders, and The Breakfast Club that
Nerds help you write papers, not members of
Any sports team.

This is a half-assed explanation
For my unwritten fifth grade paper.
But, Brian Johnson won’t write anymore.

When Space Jam came out –
Damn, that was bad – I didn’t buy.
It was better than Kazam

Should we even talk about Kazam?
No. I’ll leave it to Wikipedia as of November, 24, 2007:
The film received overwhemingly negative reviews
From almost every critic.
It currently holds a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Rest assured,
I didn’t buy it like I once bought your shoes.
I got my ass kicked in a mall
For wearing that pair of Air Jordan’s.

Later, I played my guidance counselor
With free Pirate’s game tickets in exchange
For writing me out of gym for two years.

I graduated; so, I’m assuming he bought it.

Enough about the past. We haven’t
Talked in a while; so, I’ll fill you in:

I am still relatively poor. Tonight,
In my apartment, I am wrapped in a gray
Nike sweat shirt; it’s six years old,
Once black, but faded,
The right sleeve is burnt.


My friend still has a ball
With your handprint, but
Tonight, I am thinking about
Smaller hands, two or three
To fill yours and still
Short of palming,
Feeling the garments they
Will never own.

It’s a joke, do you get it?
These clothes own us.

I almost look like everyone else.
If you look close though, and
You’ll have to with the hood up,
You’ll see it there. That ending;

The worn out socks
The small heels lifting and falling,
While walking that
Relatively uncomfortable stretch home.

Sincerely,
Me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I was feeling very anxious at work all day, begging the stupid arms on the clock to turn a little faster and stop this pussy-footin' around bullshit.
I slurped up the last drops of my coca cola like a vacuum on amphetamines and left the office, shutting the door, playing obsessive compulsive and making sure it was locked twice...i left the building, murdered elvis, and hit the glamorous little button on my keychain to unlock the car that my parents gave me cuz i'm a spoiled brat.

anyway, i found a parking place on my block, and walked through the door of my cheap, garbage scented apartment...my wife had set up an elementary rube goldberg machine.
when i opened the door, the tv set came smashing down on my head.

i preferred this to another episode of FRIENDS.

n/a



To Do List

This is a to do list. Things I'd like to do. This is about ideas, right? Not just finished projects. So ideas, yes, my ideas

-I was thinking about making clothing and jewerly. Heather Feather Designs. How adoreable is that name!? This summer I was all about making feather hair clips like the one the chick in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" wears. My hair wasn't long enough to wear one before, but it might be now. Anyways, I guess I want to make a lot of jewerly using feathers. I think they are so pretty. Plus, that really fits the name. Annnnd I really want to make shirts with molecular structures on them. I really hate organic chemistry but I really like the way they look. I think I'd really like to turn that big ugly courdoroy shirt that makes me look like a butch into a dress of some sort. I don't know if I'm girly enough to make all these things.

-A My Idea of Fun Food Book. I want to hear about food traditions, party food, food made when people had no money, date meals, cooking failures, comfort foods, family recipes, and generally anything about food. Not REALLY a cookbook, but sort of one. I want it to be more personal... I mean, we ARE what we eat. Food says sooooo much about who we are. I really hope Kelly writes all about the 12 foods her family makes on Christmas. It's some Polish Tradition. I really hope someone sends me a recipe for pot brownies, too. Ben said he'd write about his former Cheezit obsession. That's fucking perfect! I think I'll write about Byzantine Catholic Easter baskets and some culinary school mishaps. Other stuff too. I'll have to contact Rose about her gobs. Apparently they are legendary and they would fit in SOOO well! Hopefully she doesn't keep the recipe secret. I also hope that I don't get flooded with vegan recipes. That isn't what this is about. Hopefully people include lots of pictures, and not just of food. Hopefully dudes will contribute just as much as the girls will. I need to put more thought into this.

-I want to document the 6 years my parents were married without children. They took a lot of fucking brillant pictures. I'm not sure if document is the right word.

-Bedroom pictures. I want my closest friends to get all the shit that matters to them in their bedrooms, pictures of family/friends/cats, awards, trickets, lamps... just anything that says something about them. I guess they would be called portraits. Then, sometime down the line, say maybe 5, 10, 15, I want to track them down and take the same type of picture and see how it's changed. I'd contact them all at different years, though. That's gonna be quite the long term project.

-Shelving Unit. Our kitchen is really depressing and disorganized. I'm gonna try to change that. Kelly wants to help. I wonder if we'll be any good at this.

-Lounge songs written by Dane, performed by me. I'll have to ask him again if he wants to do that. If so, I'll have to ask him to remember that my voice is lower than his.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Becoming Modern Parts 7 & 8

She sat down at the table; both Ernie and myself surprised in different definitions of the word. He felt her radiance instantly. It transferred much better in person rather than on the page. I could never create a perfect parallel for Ramona James. She was always far too complicated of an individual. If an alien abduction acquired Ramona as their test subject, they would have to reconsider all previous research on the race itself. She was an exception of shear dynamic magnitude; a thought that never quite managed to work its way out of the cerebral cortex, despite all the endorphins released, and temporary flashbacks to times designated for those who were attempting to forget. I was always excruciatingly bad at such a process.
“Well, I know you’re thinking about how much of a surprise this is right now, right?” She said the perfect thing right off the bat, cutting through the bullshit with pure precision. I felt lost in an abyss that was far too familiar. I was searching for inspiration from all those who were less than charitable, and then all of a sudden, I was twenty-two, standing in smoke-filled rooms, watching refutable subjects fall apart in passing. Scared little girls crying in corner over guys who said they loved them. Guys on phones telling their friends to come over. Our eyes meeting like there was a war in the background. I wanted to run away again, and to simply forget about the concept of tomorrow.
“Yeah. I’d say that’s it Ramona.”
“Well, I was expecting to see you either.”
“Yeah, this is troubling, huh?”
“You could say that.” Ernie stared blankly at the two of us, talking and living off of our once doomed relationship. He was confused and would never completely understand. Even after running through all the grammatical errors and missing words, Ernie couldn’t see in the finished product what I saw once again in Ramona that night, and what I would continue to see, even if it was simply a mere blast of utter remembrance. I had never completely fallen out of love with her, just faked it like a true-seasoned pro with later conquests, and then saw things differently with Lorna. I didn’t think about missing her, or what she was doing. Serving tables and stuffing singles into her apron. I was a bastard of honest caliber.
“Uh… I’m sorry. This is Ernie, my agent. Ernie this is Ramona. A… An old friend.”
“Nice to meet you Ramona.”
“You too Ernie.”
“But uh… Ya know, I think I saw somebody I know by the pinball machine, so I’m gonna let the two of you catch up, and I’ll take a look at this, and we’ll talk in a bit Jude.”
“Yeah, alright.” For once in the long and troublesome period of time that I knew Ernie, he understood. He walked off to the other end of the bar, and began to start from the beginning, rereading the new chapters, and occasionally looking up to see if I was in the right frame of mind. We ordered shots and mixtures to which I wouldn’t completely remember the next morning. I began to crawl back into myself and see the family sloppy mess of an individual, being social with somebody who I almost vowed to never speak to again.
She laughed at my jokes like we never met. I caught up quickly. Arthur had fallen through months after my retreat, a testament to which she had to see for herself. It wasn’t enough for Ramona to simply listen to my warnings. I was no soothsayer of perceived discourses, but rather just the person who knew all of them too well. My friends didn’t come with me. They talked to Ramona in the same way when she was with Arthur. Given, I had run for the hills, my trunk full of sentimentalities, but in any case, it didn’t seem right. None of it was right. Even though, she had lived her life in a way that I hadn’t thought about, it still seemed like I was doing heroine or once again lounging in the lights of former loves.
I could see the younger Jude standing drunk and alone on a snowy street corner in the city reiterating softly to himself that it wasn’t worth it. She wasn’t worth it. We were over. A betrayal of Judas-like proportions. I wasn’t even close to being a figure like Christ. I couldn’t bring myself to be a martyr. It would hurt too much.
All inclinations were resurfacing. I went to the bathroom and thought about opening the window and hopping out. A few passer-bys would stare, but other than that I could live with myself. My reflection always managed to look exactly the same. I had grown older and my sense of self had diminished with parades of fuck yous from younger more fully functioning atrocities. I hated them all and for reasons to which I could never completely justify to myself. Oscar was far too social to be my son. There were mix-ups. Hospital faults. I wasn’t meant to be there with both of them. I should have ran back to her, and sent checks in the mail. Arthur was meant to fall through. Why hadn’t I thought of it like that? Why was I so much happier when I avoided the inevitable thoughts of the future? It didn’t seem like me. I didn’t know me anymore, though.
She re-ordered us drinks. I saw them on the table as I walked out of the bathroom. Ernie stopped me two steps, smelling like cheap perfume and vodka. He looked happy for once; more levelheaded in the sense that one could easily see how shitty he was when he was drunk. Not as if he hid it better when he was sober so much as missed footsteps and incessant leaning seemed to suit the figurehead of Ernie better.
“So uh… I met this girl over there. Tammy is her name, I think, I’m going home with her.”
“Alright that’s fine.”
“So are you going to be able to handle yourself? I mean, get back on track with the novel and everything?”
“I think I’ll be able to figure it out Ernie.”
“Okay, cool. Well, have a good night tiger.”
“Thanks. You too.” I heard them laughing like alley cats as I sat back down at our table. I didn’t want to drink anymore. Too much had sunk in for me that night. The perfect picture of what could have been was now only slightly disoriented. She told me things I didn’t want to hear about. The brief history of Ramona was a mess with zero breaks in-between. After Arthur there was a slew of losers with various occupations. Then the marriage. A friend of her cousin’s. They met on the Fourth of July and proceeded to make bad decisions together after that. She moved to a different city with him, before he cheated on her and she considered abortion. It was too late, though. Annie was already one.
They moved back in with her parents as she attempted to figure her life out. A college degree sat silently in a desk drawer for awhile as she worked in all the wrong places, before getting a call back from an agency, miles away from my current staple. Annie and her moved there that summer, and were attempting to become somewhat settled, just the two of them, a mess of indecisiveness. I felt shades of pity, portions of remorse, and above all else regrettable sympathy. I didn’t want that for her. She almost looked happy walking into the bar the night, as if she had it all figured out. I could have helped. I would have been there through all of it. It hurt to think about regrets that were only surfacing that night.
I wanted some aspects of my life to just be simple. I wished for it to be worse. However dull it was, I still had some things to fall back on. I wanted to be cut loose and yet knew that I would be no different from any of the others if that happened. I didn’t want to be Arthur anymore. I was perfectly okay with just Jude. He did the right thing, and I hated him for it, but it was what had managed to happen. Ideals from different foreshadowed figures all coming together to make decisions so much easier. I was Jesus and Buddha, my father and my mother’s son. I was drunk and lifeless. She would understand. I couldn’t be him anymore. It didn’t fit.
“So do you wanna come back to my place after this beer?”
“What?”
“Annie’s at some party. She met some guy and they’re there, but uh… Do you wanna come over to my place?”
“I’m married. I have a son, a mortgage, a shitty job, and the worst of dispositions Ramona. Why would you wanna sleep with me now?”
“I didn’t say we were gonna sleep with each other. I was just being friendly. Inviting you over for further conversation.”
“I told myself that I was done talking to you a long time ago.”
“I thought things change.”
“They do, and uh… I hope everything works out for you. There are tons of others who are down and out right now. You just gotta look around for them.”
“You told yourself you would do this if we ever ran into each other again, didn’t you? No matter what we talk about, how each of us feel, you wouldn’t fall right back in, would you?”
“You’re dead on again Ramona.”
“You always hated that about me.”
“Yeah, I know.” I paid and walked out of the bar. I can still see the image of her sitting alone at that table, like it was burned into my very soul. I was always the worst at walking away. In fact, it had never occurred to me to do so up until that point. It’s even stranger to think about now. I was crazy and still wishing to be twenty years younger. Nothing was improving other than my spite for all those previous incidents. They were somehow magically a part of who I was, and that was the last of them. I attended Arthur’s funeral on a Sunday. His brother called me out of the blue to fill me in. Ramona wasn’t there. Our lives had moved on at that point.
I drove home with little direction. I was dreading thoughts of the next morning, impending hangovers and half-finished sentences with little to no grounds for improvement. I saw two cop cars pulling over some teenager. It felt good to just drive by unnoticed for once. It brought me back to the way things were. I barely recognized him as I passed. I didn’t want to turn around, but knew I was going to have to. It was somewhere in the bi-laws. Even a drunken reminiscent mess of a father has some kind of responsibility.



“Hi Gina.”
“Oh, hey Oscar. I’m glad you could make it.”
“Yeah, me too. This is kind of crazy, huh?”
“Yeah, you could definitely say that. Where’s Harris?”
“He’s off somewhere with Elisha.”
“Elisha Whitman?”
“Uh yeah, that’s the one.”
“Are those two dating or something?”
“I don’t know really. They’re just kind of fooling around I think.”
“Oh, well… She’s a pretty big slut.”
“Is she? I wouldn’t really know.”
“Craig’s cousin said she jumps around a lot.”
“How would he know?”
“Both him and Craig were guys she jumped around to.”
“Whatever. I’m not gonna really worry about it.”
“Yeah, I guess you shouldn’t. It’s just that your friend might get hurt.”
“Getting hurt’s an inevitable part of life Gina.”
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right.” She passively paused, browsing the living room for further exploits. It was a mess of aspects displaying the human condition as a mere target on a dartboard; something that could be easily forgotten with enough alcohol and self-loathing. I would learn to break away from similar events and displays of partial affection later in life, but at that point, I was basking in the glory of petty and available escapism. I wasn’t the person who enjoyed parties. Later I would go for the sake of causing scenes, but at that very moment, I felt as if I was enjoying it, even if it was brief and superficially drawn out.
“So I think I’m gonna go talk to the guys over there. If I don’t see you later, have a good night Oscar.”
“Yeah, alright…” She walked away as if there was some sort of quota she needed to fill. I couldn’t provide any kind of interesting outlet for future endeavors, and while aspect of my former self felt as if my appearance at that particular social outing was a mere stepping stone in the latter developments which would inevitably occur between Gina and myself, the small vague whispers of a conscience which I had been regularly ignoring for the past few hours or so, began to reiterate all the known fact as if it were a monkey banging cymbals together.
This was how it was going to be for some time. We couldn’t simply transfer over to other sides, and while I saw sparks of firecrackers going off in the background of my head, she simply saw me as somebody who was a regular customer in her deadweight job. I began to slowly fall out of love with Gina Gearhart that night, a constant descending chain that is still violently fleeting to this day. I was a drunken fish out of water and alcohol.
I stood in line for about ten minutes before the football player four people ahead of me walked away from the kicked keg. I looked for Rosa only to find her tonguing with Malcolm Breyer by the basement door. Every person was pairing off like it was somehow a part of their disillusioned destiny. I tried calling Harris only to get his voicemail. I felt lousy, intoxicated and above all else utterly alone. It wasn’t even that late. Almost eleven during the summer felt like six in the winter. I walked out the front door, past some smokers and back onto the disheveled sidewalk.
I was becoming too good at recognizing disappointments moments before they happened. It was a trait that would stay with me through the thick lies and pleasant facades from girls with varying perspectives of the world and guys who only wanted to sound interesting for long enough to sleep with them. I could see through all the bullshit, and yet it only turned me into a less than likeable person. I would meet those who seemed as if they shared a similar life’s philosophy, only to have it quickly shatter in similar recognizable moments, myself stationed in the most admirable of corners in rented living rooms.
I would fall in love occasionally only to later have it flesh out into a mere infatuation. I would run away from stagnant plans of shallowness, only to later regret it while lying on the cold mattress alone, full of nothing but sequential answers to all the primordial questions. I would become uniquely alone, and later long for the days full of less than nothing to do. Lorna and Jude would have the basement redone my sophomore year, and I would eventually fall into place in first a city and later another hole. My sons would hate me, and my daughter would date every kind of wrong imaginable. I didn’t understand it too much then. It just felt like the inevitable sinking that goes along with youth.
My father picked me up on the side of the road, looking beyond drunk and somewhat regretful. It was a side that I wasn’t in the least bit familiar with. He was all of a sudden human again that night, as I rolled down the window to allow both of us the room to breathe out loud. His breaths were deeper, took longer, and seemed more fully realized. He was in another place all together.
“So should I ask?”
“No, don’t. It sucked. I don’t wanna talk about it.”
“Well, okay.”
“What about you?”
“Let’s just say I have a lot to write about again.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Yeah.”
“So Ernie’s not staying at our house tonight, is he?”
“I don’t think so. He met somebody at the bar. She looked like a regular, but it’s not like that matters to him. He comes into town to go to different bars and sleep with all the regulars.”
“Well that’s kind of fucked up.”
“Not much isn’t nowadays.”
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right dad.” We both silently listened to the radio after that. He stayed up in the office for awhile as I could hear the faintest sound of the keyboard in-between songs. Lorna came home late and the house became silent. His second book managed to go somewhere. I have yet to read it. There were so many others projects to work on. I couldn’t find the time to breathe let alone try and attempt to see things the way my father did. His protagonists always started out so unlikable. I hated the fact that I could relate to them so well at the start of things. Harris filled me in on the rest of the night the following morning. Our tradition of thoughtless suburban rambunctious tribulations continued the rest of that summer. Time slowed down to a crawl as we listened to some of the same songs on repeat. They always managed to sum things up better than the both of us ever could.
The End
What's the point of saving mementos that meant nothing?

Weekly Selections














Can I swing $80 though?

If I save $80 a week for the next 15 weeks I will have 1,200...I will leave for a month, March probably, and go to Chicago, Ohio, and somewhere else. Rent will be less and when I get back I will pay off my debt...or maybe I will do that before. It'll be good to be by myself.

n/a

ugliness.
i force myself over and over to
pry this thing apart from you,
but i know that
i have been manipulated in a way
that makes me scream without the sound,
so fucking hard and so fucking quiet,
and so much fucking harder because i scream
so quietly,
forcing any feeling to run faster than
the loudest beatings of that
stupid
fucking
thing
inside my chest.


there is a place,
a raging confined space inside,
made for the weakness it takes to hate,
and an aching void, begging anything outside
of it to step right in,
but nothing crosses the threshold,
because nothing is strong enough.
the nothing is biggest and truest
and my being longs to feel nothing,
to give nothing, to take nothing,
to not be moved by the hiding beauty
any longer because what does
movement mean when we are alone?

nights alone.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanks for letting me follow you when we climbed through Arthur Russell. My knees got so dusty and dirty, and I think my lungs did, too. You heard me coughing. It blended in with the record, and so I let my hands blend in with the loose boards. They blended into me and the result was all splinters. With all that dust and dirt, blending and splintering, I think I'd like to get inside Arthur Russell again real soon.
my idea of fun #12-32 feels like air.
wearethesea5: i'm the most productive when i'm depressed which is strange but welcoming
brandonlocher: well yeah --
brandonlocher: i don't know if i'm depressed.
brandonlocher: i don't talk to anyone really. i don't want to be around friends. i'll do things. like i re-arranged my room. put together 10 albums in my head. then i take a nap. i'll sleep for 3 hours in this in between sleep / awake state. right? then i wake up with new ideas. like someone is making me do stuff.
brandonlocher: i just woke up & knew how to make my room.
brandonlocher: and it's brilliant.
brandonlocher: it's like a post-modern masterpiece.
brandonlocher: i'm serious.
brandonlocher: i might take pictures.
brandonlocher: but now i'm sleepy again.
brandonlocher: so i'll bullshit online for a little bit.
brandonlocher: then i'll fall asleep.
brandonlocher: but still be awake.
brandonlocher: and think about the craziest things ever.
brandonlocher: but never remember them.
brandonlocher: sometimes i have flash backs.
brandonlocher: and it all makes sense.
brandonlocher: like i'm doing this photography piece.
brandonlocher: & it's going to be a photography.
brandonlocher: i might do it tonight? i need to find a way down to 709 with this massive wooden mirror frame. i mean, i don't feel like calling someone. but it's done. i'm a step closer. it's like i'm not even inside my body anymore.
brandonlocher: right?
brandonlocher: it's like this is all ready done.
wearethesea5: :-)

november 19th, 2007.

i just wrote my last my idea of fun release. for sometime in the future? it's already done. i know how everything ends.

brandon locher release 1,000.
my idea of fun release ?????.

i am making 1,000 albums --
+ other work? not bwl000whatever?

i love you my idea of fun.
brandonlocher: & all i do anymore is make work. and when i'm not making work i'll lay in bed in this half awake / half asleep state and listen to old releases to collect myself and make sure things are moving in the right direction.
brandonlocher: it's weird.
brandonlocher: i don't do anything else.
brandonlocher: it's very strange.
brandonlocher: i no longer do anything for enjoyment.
HIT THIS BEAT: yeah. I know how that feels.
brandonlocher: like this weekend i'm going on tour with endless mike & the beagle club + the naughty naughty nurses. and i'll enjoy myself, i mean. right? but i already have my project for this weekend already in line. i'm going to get house party vol. 2 done. right? it will be done. i feel like it's already done. it's so put together in my head and i know everything i'm going to do. it's so easy. i know who i'm going to tape, how it will sound, and how everything will be put together. the piece is already done. and i feel like i'm starting to see farther and farther into my future.
brandonlocher: last night i saw something happening to myself when i turn 55. i was watching everything and i couldn't move.
brandonlocher: i think i get my faced smashed in with a brick.
brandonlocher: it doesn't kill me.
brandonlocher: i'm not really sure what does.
brandonlocher: i feel i'm in the future. i feel disconnected from my body. i mean, right?
brandonlocher: i'm already in 2008.
HIT THIS BEAT: maybe you are.
brandonlocher: because i know everything that is going to happen in 2007. i mean, except for the projects that just "happen" -- but things are always just "happening." -- but everything is done. even the siamese dream record that aren't even written. it's strange. but i know how siamese dream 5, 6, 7, & 8 will be made. the sound college i'm making with dan oatman is done. we need a list of words. at the next 709 meeting i'll record everyone saying the words. then i'll sound college. the house party comp is done. my photography project called "throw" is done. turf wars with olivia is done. i just need to do it. everything is done. i'm moving so fast. i feel i'm moving faster than time.
brandonlocher: and i keep moving faster and faster.
brandonlocher: and i feel this progression will never stop.
brandonlocher: and i'll keep moving faster and faster.
brandonlocher: until i explode & never have to think again.
brandonlocher: i can't fucking wait to explode.

It has ultimately come to this.

I wouldn't hold your head in borrowed hands, let alone my own.

mother, best friend

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four new portraits from last week.




.

brandonlocher (12:35:32 AM): 201 sounds for cartoons. record cartoons.
brandonlocher (12:35:46 AM): something will happen to me when i am 55.
brandonlocher (12:36:03 AM): sometimes i think my brain is swelling.
brandonlocher (12:36:30 AM): sometimes i think people are telling on me.
brandonlocher (12:36:44 AM): sometimes i think someone is in charge of me.
brandonlocher (12:36:59 AM): sometimes i think someone is telling me to type this ---
brandonlocher (12:37:03 AM): and my brain is swelling.
brandonlocher (12:39:29 AM): i think i'm going to die.
ilmagnoliali signed off at 12:40:45 AM.

Becoming Modern Parts 5 & 6

Lorna and I barely talked that morning. She had to go to the mall and buy her niece Wendy a birthday gift before another long shift at work. I sat in the office, trying to piece enough of the puzzle together to get some variation of a perspective from Ernie. He was driving in that day, bringing with him more sustenance and hopefully some news of offers. All of it sounded like shit, though. I thought I was writing the occasional epiphanies. A lush thick phrase that would bring women who turned me down in high school to tears, and manage to make all those non-believers talking about my earlier moderate success being somehow circumstantial, falling down in complete awe. It was a bad habit to always surround myself in inevitable lapses in reality, but at the same time, was the only way I could handle the rest of the day.
I heard Oscar and Harris walk in the back door and quickly go down into the basement. They were most likely beyond out of it, as I could hear subtle laughs filtering down the hallway. I was missing the last joint I rolled the previous night. I couldn’t confront them about it, though. They would lie, and I would back down. I couldn’t discipline my own son, even when he managed to do something that at one point I could possibly consider wrong. I didn’t want him to think I was proud of him, because that wasn’t the case. I was just slowly becoming more and more aware of how shitty of a parent I was. This made things harder to write about, as there was far too much on my mind.
I saved what little progress I had, and printed out my newest chapter. I made sure to edit it enough to shut Ernie up. I hated it when he nit-picked away at everything. Occasionally I would miss a semicolon or forget a word. That’s what happens when somebody writes under the influence. He shouldn’t have cared. If he wanted Gone with the Wind, he would have found a more reliable clientele. There weren’t many of us. I was the most successful out of them, which didn’t necessarily make me feel better. Some kid who wrote poetry from Vermont and an old housewife who spun out a trashy romance novel about once a month. They always sold, and I knew her house was most likely bigger than mine. Ernie would always bring it up over coffee. He was such a fucking dickhead sometimes.
I went into the living room and began the inevitable flip. I was meeting Ernie at Ralph’s at six for dinner. Lorna would be working, which gave me the perfect leeway to actually discuss future endeavors rather than have it all pushed down my throat. Oscar walked up into the kitchen at the same time I was searching for food. Lorna hadn’t gone to the store in awhile. We had just been living off of the bare minimums, ordering take-out, or eating leftovers from the restaurant. I could have gone, I suppose. I just was never good at it.
I would sometimes buy food with the intention of learning how to cook it, only to have it later go bad as we would inevitably order more garbage again. It was strange to think about all the motivations I lacked in the summer. During the school year I had some sense of constructive living. Papers would pile up, and things like grocery shopping fell to the back of my head. Not then, though. We were living like slobs for no reason other than the fact that it didn’t seem at all worth it to try and rise up from our evolutionary chain. I didn’t feel like looking for game or learning how to make fire. I just wanted to wait for the others to figure it out.
“So you finding anything?”
“No.”
“Didn’t your mother bring stuff home last night?”
“That was breakfast.”
“Oh… Well, I’m going to meet Ernie in a little bit. I guess I can just wait.”
“Okay, whatever.”
“What are you doing tonight?”
“Going to a party, I think.”
“Really? That’s kind of funny.”
“Why is that funny dad?”
“I don’t know. Do you ever go to parties?”
“Not normally, but this is different. Tonight is different.”
“Well, okay. Are there still chips in the cupboard?”
“Harris and I finished them yesterday.”
“God damnit… Alright, maybe I’ll go to the store.”
“Whatever you wanna do.”
“I’ll go to the store. Do you wanna come?”
“I just came up for a soda.” He grabbed one out of the fridge, and walked back downstairs, giving me one of the normal looks. I felt like such a loser around him. It was weird, like no matter what I did, I wouldn’t live up to my own expectations of what I thought he thought of me. I grabbed a few CDs and walked out of the house. It was my first time outside all day, which was always some sort of strange phenomenon. It was mildly shocking, seeing the sun for the first time. I was on the verge of being a recluse my entire life. I would have easily quit the teaching job if I could have afforded it. Maybe if I had never met Lorna, or if we would have been more careful. We had so much sex when we lived in the city, like it was more than just routine. She would call off work, and I would refrain from phrasing. We always run out of condoms. It was a normal practice.
I could have been somewhere else completely if I had been more careful. There was a chance it wouldn’t have worked out with her. I would have found more illustrious women. Upper class sophisticates that were so full of themselves it would seem like a brash caricature when I told those friends from back home about them. I would vacation in the most remote spots, and we would escape to remaining places of sanctity and make love away from it all. It wouldn’t be love, though, just another stepping stone before I ultimately found the one, somewhere I wasn’t exactly looking her.
It didn’t seem worth thinking about, and yet as each cart wheeled past me in the multicolored aisles, I couldn’t help but imagine better places and situations with less than regularly accepted practices. I wanted to dare to breathe differently for once, not be so used to all the statuesque figures comfortable in their boring dispositions. I wanted to see it all from a higher pedestal for once, but my point of view never really changed. It just became more dulled by typical American standards, like I was taking a test every month to see if I showed any signs of improvement. My lower-level brain functions were deteriorating as a result of everything except the drugs.
I blankly stared at the cashier’s cleavage as she let each item slide across the red line. She was young, about twenty or so with the whole world right in front of her, and yet her expression screamed indifference. She looked stuck and lost with no clear outlet. She would most likely go out that night, get drunk with her boyfriend or at least someone who felt like he could fill the position, and then fall asleep after no orgasm and a less than stellar view of the trashy bedroom ceiling. I couldn’t help anybody. My words offered no inspiration. I was treading water, running in circles, and becoming just like everybody else. I didn’t bother to push my cart back to the store. I just let it sit in the middle of the parking lot, occupying the space where my car was before. The bag boys hated me for it. I knew that they would.
Ernie was sitting on the front steps when I got back. His shitty blue Ford sat in my parking spot, occupying more space than I would have liked. He smoked lights and sighed lifelessly as I walked over in front of him. He was wearing shorts and a Hooters T-shirt. My agent, the master of literary devices and poor taste. I tried to hide every facet of my lingering contempt. It would be difficult, to the say the least.
“What the fuck man? I thought you said meet here at five.”
“I said meet at Ralph’s at six, but it’s fine. Help me carry the groceries in.”
“Yeah, alright. Ya know, no one’s home.”
“Yeah, I figured. Oscar’s probably next door.”
“Oh, is there some cute girl he’s sticking it to over there.”
“No, just his best friend.”
“Oh, so Oscar’s turned fag on us now, huh?”
“No just uh… Get the bags out of the trunk Ernie.”
“Fine, but ya know this means I get ten percent of whatever’s in them.”
“Fuck off man. Stop being so useless.”
“Ya know, I just got here Jude.”
“I know, and already we’re like this. It’s gonna be a long night.”
“You know it.” I set the bags down on the table. No note this time. I didn’t care where he was. I felt better thinking about the hypothetical possibilities then knowing the truth. He was completely independent from us for the most part. It felt good to know we fucked up enough to have him simply feel like running away rather than sticking around to stomach us. Then again, the more I thought about, it the easier it was to realize that he knew Ernie was coming, and in any case, if I had the choice I would have easily hid across the street as well.
I put all the groceries away as he lit another cigarette in my kitchen. I didn’t have the strength to tell him to go outside. He sat at the table, rummaging through old newspapers, and bills addressed to the house. I didn’t understand Ernie for the life of me. Maybe if he sold more, I could have leveled it out, weighed the pros and cons evenly, but it was all cons at this point. He was like every idiotic friend I quickly dropped out of touch with once high school ended. There was no point in dabbling in temporal relapse for the sake of being friendly. I was tired of every intricate part of their stupidity. I was better off away from it all. I avoided the reunion, despite thoughts of a cheap affair with one of the gorgeous blondes who was most likely past her prime at twenty-eight. I was already too comfortable.
We didn’t talk much in the kitchen. I grabbed the folder with the new chapters, and handed them to him, before we both took separate cars to the diner. I needed to listen to other annoyances on the way there, plus if we took the same vehicle, I would inevitably be stuck wherever he decided to drag me later that night. I didn’t want that. I had my own corners to hide in. The office was lonely without me.
Lorna faked a smile as he gave her a hug. It made me uncomfortable, a reaction to which he would later explain as something I needed to further spin out better tales of pure emptiness. I ordered a BLT, and he got a steak. The same thing every time. It was easier for him to choose, because he knew I was paying. I even paid when I went to city, which was once in a blue moon, when he thought that some small hidden part of the literary world seemed strangely interested in my soon-to-be-dead passion. We bullshitted for awhile, before he gave me the familiar glare. The let’s-get-serious glare. It made my stomach turn inside out, and throw-up a little in my mouth.
“So how much longer is it gonna be Jude?”
“I don’t know. I’m going back and rereading a lot of the earlier chapters, and not really liking them that much. It takes awhile for everything to develop.”
“Well this new shit’s pretty good. It sounds like you’re close to an ending.”
“I don’t know yet. Part of me doesn’t want it to end like all the others.”
“What, you mean with your character being sad and alone, contemplating suicide or some kind of escape.”
“Yeah, exactly. It feels too used, ya know?”
“Well fucking everything’s used man. Not just with writing either. Fucking women, are so used all the time. I met this girl the other night at a club. She looked incredible, and then I get back to her place, start taking her clothes off, going down on her, and I see the scar from the C-section. Her youngest son walks out in the living room and wanders why my tongue’s in his mother’s vagina. I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night. I had nightmares.”
“Well, why do you insist on telling me these fucked up occurrences Ernie?”
“I don’t know. Maybe you can use that somewhere, ya know? Maybe put it in the middle for comic relief.”
“It’s not that funny, really?”
“Well, to each his own.” He always had the most elegant way of ignoring anything I was trying to say. Ernie thought everything he said was a good idea. I suppose it helped him sleep at night. Nothing else was. We finished sooner than I thought. I tipped big, while Ernie commented on how good Lorna’s ass looked in her uniform as she walked away. I hated how used to each other we were. I knew what was coming next as well. He couldn’t just drive back with some sense of where my novel was going. He needed to drag me into some ungodly dive and wait for real sparks to fly. It was supposed to help with the process. I always looked like I needed a night out. I hated how right he was sometimes.
I kissed Lorna quickly, before we both walked out. I followed his car mindlessly, smoking some of the new product on my own. It was sort of shakier than the shipment from the previous month. He had been losing ground somewhat with his connections. I could understand why. If I was a drug dealer, I could see it as an easier process to murder and bury Ernie in some secluded location, rather than continuing to sell to him, and have to listen to the timeliness of his disappointing life.
This bar was new. It had too many options and spectators. I missed the dives, watching Ernie hit on some toothless loss of dignity, while I sipped warm cheap beer and thought about why it all seemed to be so meaningless sometimes. Not this bar, though. This bar was a bachelorette party being loud and irritating in the corner, slipping singles in the waistbands of men hired solely for their looks. I saw lonely men huddled in groups, hitting on the bartender or calling for more support and comrodory.
We ordered pints and sat on a high table, both starring at dispositions. He began to thumb through the folder, reading what little progress I had made since last time over again. I suppose part of me was afraid to finish it. I had no new ideas coming in, and even if I did, they wouldn’t live up to previous incarnations. I had lost my love of the craft along with every sense of what it means to be somewhat productive. I tried not to stare when she walked in. I tried to look away and act like I didn’t notice her, like I hadn’t before when we were both stuck in the same places, pretending like we didn’t know each other, because the second both of us were willing to admit to it, meant that it was going to be all the more painful. Ramona hadn’t changed in the least bit. She was alone and like all the others. I still wished she hadn’t noticed me.



We were only halfway through the movie when Elisha called him. I walked back across the street with him as a similar scene of the previous night managed to come full circle right in front of me. I sat on the couch next to Rosa, flipping through the channels and patiently waiting for nine o’clock to roll around. She didn’t talk much, and just the fact that we now had to bring both of them to the party at Floyd’s, meant bad news. I wouldn’t be able to explain anything other than the looks from persons who barely recognized us. Spectators from Spanish class, or long lost friends somewhat diluted by the discourse of darkened blue and gold hallways. In any case, I was going to breathe and attempt to get past all of it. I had a million things to say to Gina, and less than zero to reiterate with Rosa. The two of us were just bad at dealing with each other.
“I can’t believe those two. It’s weird that they don’t think we know what they’re doing.”
“They know that we know what they’re doing Rosa.”
“Well still… It just seems weird, is all.”
“Whatever. I’m not one to worry about it. You really shouldn’t either.”
“I’m not worrying about it. I’m just bringing it up in conversation. I mean, I don’t know about you, but if we don’t talk about how shitty our friends are sometimes then what are we gonna talk about?”
She managed to somehow beyond right with this comment, and all of a sudden I felt myself strangely relating to Rosa. She was more than just a substitute, or a person to temporarily fill in the blanks. She was bigger than that. I would later think about how incredibly distant the two of us were every day after that one, and why I had been that way. It didn’t help to dwell in the past, put checkmarks by previous mistakes, and yet as I began to subtly hate everything that would later resurface, I longed for moments spent in basements with girls like Rosa, full of anecdotal vices that only provided half the answer. The other part was somewhat hidden, behind glass fa├žades and fixtures worn on the faces of every fake friend I ever made and knew I had.
“You’re right.”
“So is this party gonna be worth it or just suck like all the rest?”
“I don’t know. Have you been to any of the other ones?”
“Sam Brennan invited us to his lake house like a month ago. It blew hard.”
“Well was it the party or just the fact that you didn’t really connect with anybody there?”
“It was everything Oscar. I’m not really the biggest fan of social events, especially high school ones. I mean, when you think about how much you hate people in high school, why would you possibly want to reconvene with them during the summer?”
“I don’t know. Things get boring sometimes.”
“Yeah, I guess so.” It was the first shred of a real conversation either of us had. Of course, it wasn’t exactly helping the time pass. Our eyes met and I made a move to which I instantly regretted. She fell in place as we managed to become awkwardly comfortable on the basement couch. It was cute and brief. The time passed before our friends came back down. We heard their steps and stopped before they could take the time to discuss the inclination of possibilities with either of us. It wasn’t like that. I was just practicing a possible future technique. I wanted Gina to fall hard, and without much regret. It was more than a little idealistic, but that was fifteen at the time. I’m sure there were others who didn’t dream quite as big. I called them sadistic realists. They were everywhere.
Elisha and Harris held hands as we walked down the cracked sidewalk. The sun had just made its descent, and the day felt less than worthy of further conversation. I was thinking of topics she would be interested in, cooler, more reclusive drug-induced experiences that I would bring up just out of thin air, and make her all the more jealous over. I wanted Gina to melt in the air, to become dust and emotion. I wanted her to be more than the idea of what I had in my head. I needed her to be different from all the others.
The four of us were mostly silent on the way over. I wasn’t sure if I could consider the lingering hormones a part of it. It was a stranger feeling in the air, like fates were intertwining and little voices were whispering in the back of all our heads that this situation wouldn’t last. We would have falling outs and all manage to hate each other once we decided where we thought our lives were going. He would change majors. She would drop out. He would do everything perfectly and be left with even more to think about, and she would be called a slut by her friends when we all managed to betray one another in plain view. A repeat of an episode that elegantly reiterated: this is how it’s always going to be. Nothing will ever change.
It wasn’t so difficult walking in. Apparently Gina and some other lost and dazed babies had spread the word on the suburban working-class circuit, managing to make all the masses draw to one single empty stock of real estate like it was a magnetic perversion. They were all there, using parental prescriptions and estimating dosage. The hippest ones hid in upstairs bedrooms, smoke and ash filtering out into the hallway. The popular ones made it look like they mingled long enough before escaping to those dark rooms. There were those lost in the thick of it all. College offered no solutions. Some had already dropped out, while others were adamant about the idea of reconsidering there options. The attendants and bus boys, those with stubble and new haircuts, cigarettes in their mouths, and the most familiar of disapproving looks homing on the four of us as we walked in the front door.
There were those we knew for the longest of times, and had been through their own brash ceremonies of initiation. They were like all the rest now; full of stories that offered only small snapshots of what it was like to be an intricate part in the fall of modern civilization. They had to invite some of them. There were the older brothers collecting for the alcohol or varying stimulants. Those in the corner surrounded by wide-eyed inquisitors looking for popularity intermixed with mind-numbing psychotropic substances. My best friend from third grade danced like an asshole with the first girl I thought about when I masturbated. Surprisingly enough it wasn’t Gina. She would come in later; taking center stage, and occupying that particular corner of Broadway like it was Cats.
Harris and Elisha stayed close, first finding booze, and then a hiding place. I was with Rosa for awhile. I paid for her cup as we began to down foamy liquid in unison. Her eyes wandered and so did mine. I didn’t see Gina, despite the constant searching. I thought about her upstairs, moaning on her back, or passing a joint around with friends, all of them magically tied to whatever story she was telling. It could have been on the dullest of subjects, and yet that wouldn’t have mattered. I could have written chapters on her way of telling it. Her smiles and smirks, stares of subtle distance, and blurred nuances that managed to get to me in the worst of possible ways. They existed in the last place anyone would look. I couldn’t get the idea of her out of my head.
After about an hour of awkward corner hopping, the occasional look of “What the fuck are you doing here?” coming from all those who weren’t used to Rosa or myself, she quickly appeared in the living room, dressed in summer attire and ready to spark magnitudes of falling interest from guys like myself. We were all stuck in our repertoires and fixations, and like a moth to the flame I wandered away from Rosa and towards a sense of muffled destiny. It would prove less than cataclysmic. I was far too ready for shades of self-embarrassment. The summer had managed to make me somewhat forget the regularly accepted rules of the trade. It wasn’t that easy. It would never be that easy.