Sunday, January 31, 2010

you've got a lot of nerve (pt 7)

I'm standing on a street corner waiting for no one, watching the people passing and can't help but want to shout, “What the fuck?” Now I'm all worked up and have no way of releasing it, so I turn back and head towards the convenient store to buy a couple of cans of beer, which will hopefully subside the beast within.

I walk in and surprisingly find Rex at the hot dog counter. “Hey man,” I shout to him as I head towards the cooler.

“Hello there.”

“Yeah. I'm sorry about leaving you at the ATM. I just . . . didn't . . .”

“It's okay. The woman called her daughter to come get her because I wouldn't let either of them leave until they started acting right. I talked to the daughter and we're going to have dinner tomorrow. Beautiful girl, named Mariela, she lives in your complex. You know her?”

“Yes. Yes I do.”

Rex moved past me with his hot dogs and headed towards the cashier as I walked back towards the cooler. I took a couple of cans of beer out and turned towards the chips. As I contemplated my options, a hunched over man wearing a dark suit and a Bill Clinton mask comes waddling into the store waving a snub nose .38 around.

Fuck, it's Cheney, I mumble to myself.

Dick's keeping the gun moving. Going from the clerk's head to Rex's, which is really starting to piss Rex off.

“Give me the goddamn money!” Cheney barks at the clerk.

“Sure thing Mr. Clinton.” She responds with the thick sarcasm of a someone who's been robbed by someone pretending to be an ex-president before.

Rex's jaw is clenched and based on the tight fists his hands have become, he's moments from making a stupid move. As the cashier, takes all the bills out of her till and puts them on the counter, I reach the decision that this whole robbery situation is just stupid. This guy, who may or may not be Dick Cheney is robbing a convenient store, Rex is about to do something very stupid that could get him and the cashier killed.

Fuck it. I say with a sigh before stepping out from behind the chips and tossing a can of beer at Cheney's head. It hit him as expected, slightly off catching more the back half of the side of his head than the front half but it spun him around and knocked him silly all the same.

After he hit the ground, Rex was on top of him, holding his lifeless but still breathing body against the floor while the cashier called the cops. I put a couple of bucks on the counter for a can of beer and promptly left before either could try and stop me. It had officially been a long and trying day and I was ready to head home, maybe smoke a little ganja and drift off to sleep.

Heading home, I think about crawling into bed and sleeping the rest of this strange evening. I'm moving toward paradise, I think to myself, a comfortable bed, warm blanket, perfect pillow, letting myself get lost in a series of dreams.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

you've got alot of nerve (pt 6)

I walk out into the frantic world of sirens and people moving up and down the street. For some reason I feel safer out here than in the bar. I light a cigarette and look up at the sky. It's become something I do when I leave the inside. There are no clouds. It occurs to me, Rex never came to the bar, and I begin to worry that the mess I left him in the midst of, may not have turned out well.

I walk over to the pay phone outside of the convenience store next to the bar. I don't like cell phones and I refuse to get one. I figure I'll call Pete to see if he's heard from Rex. If not, I'll tell Pete to apologize to Rex for me. I'd try Rex myself, but I don't have his number and I don't want to get into anything.

There's a guy on the phone already. His head and shoulders are deep in the phone box. I stand behind him, as still as I can, but I'm drunk. Not so drunk that I'm drawing attention to myself, but drunk enough that standing still isn't the easiest of tasks. I try not to pry, but I can't help myself, so I listen to his end of the conversation. In a voice wobbly from nerves and anticipation he says, “Hello, yes, Mariela, my name is Dick, your profile seems perfect. We seem to both be in the same place. I would like to take you to dinner some time. Again my name is Dick. Give me a call. My number is 879-0973.

It can't be, I thought to myself. No way that this guy is calling . . . impossible. He notices my presence as if my thoughts were so loud he could hear them. He steps away from the phone and turns. Still a little hunched over, he looks at me, makes eye contact and straightens up. My eyes move around, taking in his facial features. I realize the man standing in front of me might be Dick Cheney. I'm pretty drunk and it could very well be Richard Dreyfus, but I'm pretty sure it's the real deal. He gives me a smug half-grin as he shakes his head in total disgust at my very existence.

“You've got a lot of nerve standing so close to someone while their on the phone. It would make someone think you're up to something or that something is seriously wrong with you. You're not a foreigner are you? You're legally in this country, right?”

“I'm as American as McCarthy, apple pie, and baseball,” I reply.

“That's good to hear. You just need to learn to respect people's space . . . their privacy.”

“Yes Dick. I'm very sorry. I'll try and do a better job of keeping to myself.”

“Good to hear. The phone is all yours.”


Dick straightens himself, upright, proud, and everything in its proper place. He is full of hope in the possibilities that personal ads offer and walks across the parking lot and down the street.

I pick up the phone, listen for the dial tone, then drop a pair of quarters into the slot. I punch in the series of numbers that will connect me to Pete. As the phone rings, I think about how we're defined by numbers, height, weight, age, social security, phone number. Our whole lives are marked by numbers. Time itself, just numbers that ultimately define our existence in the flesh, the day we're born, the day we die. Six rings, voice mail. I want to leave a long message about numbers and time, instead I say nothing and hang up. My thoughts feet obvious and irrelevant. Why bother?

Why bother with any of this? These connections that lead to so many wasted nights and dead ends. Disconnect. The line of communication simply goes dead. Sometimes quick and virtually unnoticed. Other times it's a slow and painful estrangement. The chaos of life can be so loud and overwhelming that it causes an anger to swell inside of me and so I must grow a beard and go into hiding. The speed of these modern times has lead to the dead eyes of addiction, the blindness of insecurity, the rise of the shaman of the prescription pad.

Then there's love. It's own noise and confusion, a symphony of brass and bottle-neck blues, it's own seductive language that leads us along like the Pied Piper's song, to a fairy tale promised land. At first it's always magic, and romantic notions, and then it turns deep and profound, commitments need to be made. Simply put, that's the fucking beauty of it, but it's that very thing that terrifies me, and is the cause of why I force myself to live trapped in the corner.

And I see all these people hustling, driving tense and aggressively, heading for somewhere, nowhere, lost and found. What are they all searching for? What do they want? Why do they live with so many secrets and lies? Going so far as to even bury their desires deeply underneath all of these secrets and lies we hold so dear.

Friday, January 29, 2010

you've got a lot of nerve (pt 5)

I've been steadily drinking for the last few hours and feeling like a real asshole for leaving Rex to deal with those two and possibly the cops on his own. I know I've only known him for a couple of hours and I've done far worse things to people I've known for years, but he seems like a genuinely nice guy. The incident did shed a little light on why Pete may have wanted Rex and I to meet. The guy definitely has a problem letting things go, but is my general passiveness any better? I guess not much to be done about it except order another drink.

While I wait for the bartender, I look over at the guy next to me. He's been here for about an hour. I've never seen him before, and thankfully he hasn't tried to talk to me. He's been drinking his drink and scanning the room, staring stealthily at the pretty girls as they come and go. He's been locked on one girl for awhile now. Normally, I wouldn't pay a guy like this any mind, but he keeps fidgeting as he tries not to stare too long at the girl on the other side of the bar. Then he does the last thing I wanted him to do. He leans over and talks to me.

“Damn, isn't that girl over there hot.”

I look at her. She's pretty. I wouldn't say beautiful, just pretty in a very conventional way. Shoulder length dirty blonde hair, pale green eyes, and smile that took thousands of dollars to create. There are half a dozen of her in the place right now.

“Go over and talk to her,” I say to him. He isn't bad looking guy but she's still out of his league. More than anything, I'm curious to see if he'll actually go up to her.

“I can't talk to her.” He responds, shocked that I even suggest such an idea.

“Why's that?”

“She's not gonna give me a chance.”

I shake my head in a contemplative manner. I feel a little bad for the guy, he obviously has self-esteem issues. Not that I'm a solid example of someone who has a very good opinion of himself, and I understand the staring and adulation, it was the sum total of my adolescent sex life, but now I would have no problem going up and talking to the girl.

“You know what I'd like to do with a beautiful girl like that. I'd like to kidnap her and take her to my apartment . . .”

My mind is not sound enough to hop aboard this man's delusion train so I interrupt him. “I don't think women like to be held against their will.”

“It wouldn't be against her will!” The guy next to me became angry and defensive. Everything about him turns sinister and he stares me in the eyes, deciding whether or not to smash my face with his glass. I watch his eyes and hands carefully. A few deep breaths later, he calms down enough to finish what he is trying to say.

“Once she saw my place, she'd realize how cool I am, then she wouldn't want to leave.”

Maybe I'm wrong about the self-esteem thing, I think to myself. But these are still the desperate words of a very strange and twisted man. What does one say to a desperate, drunk, crazy man?

“You should leave that one alone. I've heard she's got syphilis.”

“No. A girl like that.”

“Yeah. A friend of mine got it from her. Terrible stuff, man.”

“That's horrible. Some people.”

I feel like a huge asshole now. I completely leveled this poor guy's fantasy, burned it to the ground, and just for good measure, I made sure he was in the house when the house burned down. I got up off the bar stool and threw some money on the counter. If it was short, Paul the bartender would make sure I paid up next time. I have credit here, but it's not very good anymore. I left the guy next to me to ponder his rotten luck. The one girl he falls in love with today, probably has syphilis. Truth is, I don't know if she does, I don't know her, but I felt compelled to keep her from having to deal with him, twisted logic I know.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

you've got a lot of nerve (pt 4)

Rex and I are standing in line. In front of us is a Hispanic woman, maybe sixty years old. In front of her, using the machine, is a hippie type kid with long hair, a tattered t-shirt, and worn, dirty jeans. The kid is having difficulties working the machine. He seems to be staring at the screen, doing nothing. Maybe he really stoned or tripping, I consider. The lady in front of us is mumbling to herself, making noises, looking back at us, saying, “Ay dios mio.”

“I'm planning to go trout fishing out west later this year,” Rex says, in what feels like his first attempt at small talk all day.

“That should be fun,” I reply.

“Last year I went salmon fishing in Oregon, but I've heard good things about trout fishing in America.”

“I've never been, but I've also heard great things about it.”

The woman's limit has been reached and she is becoming unruly. The kid doesn't seem to have made any progress with his transaction either.

“Hurry up you dirty hippie. Stop smoking the dope and get a life,” She yells at the back of the kids head. She turns, looking back at us in order to gain our support and assist her in getting this kid to move on.

“Ma'am,” Rex begins, “you shouldn't call him a dirty hippie. He's a person too, and doesn't need to be called derogatory names.

A perplexed look forms on her face and she looks to me for an explanation. I have none, so I let my eyes drift to the ground. I glance back up, she has a stern look on her face and is eyeing Rex down as the kid finishes and walks by us.

“That's right you old bitch, you shouldn't call me names,” he says as he passes. Rex reaches out and grabs the boy by the throat and holds him still. He looks away from the woman to the boys and says, “You should never call anyone a bitch, and you should have more respect for your elders.”

The boy looks like he's about to crap himself as he shakes his head slowly up and down until Rex releases his grip. The woman, high on the empowerment Rex's actions have just provided her, begins cursing at the boy. Rex, completely aghast by the woman's attitude, puts a finger to her lips, aggressively shushes her, and then says, “You need to learn to respect other people.”

I'm stepping away from the scene, slowly and backwards, because I don't want to miss anything. I'm figuring at this point though, it's got to be over. Then the boy makes the mistake of laughing, which earns him a smack in the mouth. I shake my head at the futility of what is going on.

“Hey Rex, man, you get this straightened out, meet me over at the bar,” I shout trying to be heard over the three of them. Rex doesn't acknowledge me, I split anyway. As soon as I'm ten feet away, I'm filled with guilt. I know I shouldn't be leaving Rex in this situation, but I've never done anybody any good, so why should I start now.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

you've got a lot of nerve (pt 3)

A man in the doorway is half genuflecting. I assume it's his way of apologizing for any inconvenience he might be interjecting. “Hello, I'm Rex,” he says, smiling.

I'm staring blankly. I know who he is and why he is here, I'm just wondering, why now? I use this silence to take in his features. He's got a rugged masculine face, and solid bone structure. He's clean shaven, and it doesn't seem right. For a moment I think about asking him if I can color a five o'clock shadow on him.

The look on my face distresses him. “You're Pete's friend Tito, right?”

“In a manner of speaking.”

“Tito, in a manner of speaking or Pete's friend in a manner of speaking.”

“Little of both.”

“Pete said you'd be expecting me.”

“Sounds like Pete.”

“Is my coming here a problem?”

“No. It's not that.”

“You wanna get some coffee?”

I nod is acquiescence and we walk to the restaurant near my apartment.

“I don't tell many people this . . . enough people think I'm crazy as it is. I like to talk to rocks.”

“Why rocks?” I ask without any judgment because I myself talk to almost every inanimate object in my apartment. It comes with the territory, I convinced myself long ago. I suffer from incredible social anxiety, and I just can't relate to most people. These things are all I have left to talk to. This was the gist of the conversation I had with myself some years ago.

“Of the few people I've told, you're the only one who's asked me, 'why rocks?'.”

“Why then?”

“It's because they are fragments of something else, something larger than themselves. Within them in an entire history, but they know nothing of it. They're like us in that way.”

“I guess that's true,” I respond.

We're on the forth cup of coffee when Rex's attitude changes. He's looking out of the window, down the street. I follow his eyes as they drift down the avenue, to the last intersection that can be seen before the pavement rises like a rolling hill, blocking one's eyes from continuing on until the edge of the world becomes soft and blurry. To me he seems gentle and enlightened, an Eastern type of enlightenment. Nothing like most of the people I know. He is beyond the cynicism and rage that dwells in others. They all have learned the world is corrupt and ugly and can't get past it. It gnaws at them and has left them with a weight upon their shoulders. Rex is no different, no edge or bile. He's evolved beyond it, seen the ugliness and through his own willpower has forced it to recede.

There is a wisdom, a calmness about the man sitting across from me that I'm envious of, and I can't figure out what it is that Pete thinks I have to offer Rex. Maybe that's what this is really about. Pete didn't set this up for Rex's benefit, he did it for mine. That bastard, I think to myself, while Rex peacefully swishes the last sip of coffee in his mug around.

All the caffeine has made me anxious and I need a drink to smooth things out. Rex agrees to join me, but first we have to go by an ATM so he can get some money.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

you've got a lot of nerve (pt 2)

The demons have been evicted from my guts after another long night which ended in me coming home alone from a dark, sex-starved bar.

I'm stoned, sitting on the back porch of my apartment. I'm on the third floor, dreaming of the West. If I squint my eyes just enough and use every bit of my imagination, the rising pointed tops of the apartment building in front of me look like a series of mountaintops. Around me I imagine the sprawl of burnt red tile roofs on houses that have been built atop the thickets and cracked brown earth. I see yards of shimmering rock and occasional green grass, neatly cropped and watered constantly to prevent it from being scorched, turned brown like the earth.

My ears fill with voices from somewhere in front and below. The Western dream fades. I look towards the apartment complex pool, situated a hundred yards directly in front of me, I light a cigarette and drag. The nicotine mixes with the THC as I watch the gorgeous woman from the apartment building next to mine stroll around the pool as she talks to a friend. The gorgeous one is Mariela, her friends name, I don't know.

My eyes linger on her profile, then she turns back towards me as I gaze longingly, lovingly at her muscular, glistening thighs. I watch them clench and relax as she moves from beside the lounge chair where her friend is sitting, to the pool. She slides her long foot into the blue water, stepping knee deep. The water ripples and kisses her golden skin. Facing me and her friend, she brings her hands to her hips and continues conversing, but too quietly for me to make out the words. I am lulled by the rhythm of them.

Somebody begins knocking on my door just as she immerses herself into the cool blue. I've already decided I'm not going to answer it. I'm going to stay here and watch Mariela swim. Then again, a knock. I'm trying not to let myself be distracted from watching her beautiful body glide through the water. The third knock, gets me up out of my chair, stepping slowly towards the door, still deciding whether or not I'm actually going to answer. I flip the lock and turn the knob. There's my answer.

Monday, January 25, 2010

you've got a lot of nerve (pt 1)

“You've got a lot of nerve . . .”

The radio screams contempt as I watch two girls with delayed smiles and lustful full eyes pass-by in the wake of a young thug. I continue watching the threesome as they move in the direction of the afternoon sun. Sometimes I think I've been living vicariously through a weaker specimen. Other days, I'm a afraid to leave my apartment because of the parasites. I've been waiting for Pete for what seems like hours, but it's barely thirty minutes later than our predetermined meeting time.

There's a lunatic at the window of the car I'm sitting in. It's Pete's car. I'd borrowed it last night and we planned to meet at a gas station, my present location, when I was through using it. The guy at the window asks me for a cigarette. I hand him three. He asks, “You need any blow?” My nose fills with the scent of third rate narc. “May god have mercy on your soul for what you're doing to people,” I reply. He stares directly into my eyes, cocks the left side of his mouth into a smile, then tells me to have a nice day.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, but my girl was giving me troubles and as you know, I never leave angry. Sometimes making up takes time.” Pete informs me as he gets into the car. I shrug, having little to say on the matter.

“You want a drink? Pete asks rhetorically.

The two of us pull out of the gas station and head west on Overflow Blvd towards the Nite Owl Bar.

“Hey man, you ever met my friend Rex?” Pete asks me somewhere between our second and third beer. I hadn't, and wasn't sure I wanted to. Some of Pete's friends were people I didn't want to deal with.

“If you don't mind, of course, I'd like to send him your way. He's a real interesting guy. The people he's around are kinda screwed up. I think knowing somebody like you would do him some good.”
I found this almost offensive. “What's that supposed to mean, somebody like me?” I ask Pete.

“You're good people. A little cynical sure, but pretty interesting to be around.”

“Yeah man, sure, whatever,” was all I could muster. I guess I hadn't had enough beer to be indignant.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Nothing to soundtrack my daily adventures.

Nothing to go along with
rubber soled shoes
finding a perfect rhythm
perfect pace.

Every song that has played
so far feels like a cheap suit
two sizes small or large.

Blue Monk off

I pass bye the woman who hides
left eye
in darkness
while right sees the light.

She is the prophetess of furthermore.

Blue spiral bound notebook
contains secret history of her watchful gaze,
written in careful blue ink.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Interview @ In To Views

Check out an interview I recently did @ In To Views

the royal pecos

“Don't be surprised if your life comes to a bad ending,” his dad told him, over their first dinner together after Dora Mae, wife and mother, abandoned them. “There's no escaping it. Look at your grandfather and me. Your great grandfather didn't have it any better. It's just the way it goes.”

Clay Mabry is in the Royal Motel outside of Pecos, Texas, sitting on a solid wood, burnt sienna stained, chair with the pads of the seat and back covered in brown Naugahyde, that is starting to crack in a couple of places. He's beside the window, peeking out through the blinds. It's a little past noon noon, the sun is white hot, and the world on the other side of the window has this unnatural stillness that Clay's granddaddy always told him was rooted in fear.

The pavement sparkles like the sea. All eight of the cars that were in the parking lot last night are gone. Luther drove away in theirs and he's not coming back. Across the road, a mile out, are two large hills covered in wild grass, that's brown and dead now, but comebacks beautiful and lush every spring. On the other side, at the foot of the hills, is a ravine that is the town's garbage dump. This isn't Clay's first time in this town. He dated a woman named Judy from here, she used to wait tables at a diner down the road from the motel. He wanted to marry her.

He pulls his fingers out from between the blinds and lets them snap closed. He looks over at the snub nosed .38 Luther left on the table. He studies the cylinder, thinks about the four rounds left in it.

Every time Clay thinks about running, he reaches down and rubs what remains of his left a leg. Hip to mid thigh He lost it just outside of this very town. He and Judy were driving back to her place after seeing a movie and were hit head on by a driver who'd fallen asleep at the wheel. Judy was killed instantly. Clay had been in a coma for a week, woke up to find his leg gone and his girl dead. The other driver had also been killed, five years ago, this last past October.

Clay ran into Luther in a bar two towns from here. They hadn't seen each other in 9 years.Luther looked like he'd been up for days. He was in need of cash and asked Clay for a loan. Luther was given $300. Clay would have given him more but the rest had gone to paying for a top of the line prosthetic he'd been saving up for. They were supposed to be going out for breakfast after drinking, playing darts, and trying desperately to get laid. The desperation was on Luther's part he'd been trying to fuck any woman who was willing after his wife left him last month. Clay had become more careful about who he went to bed with, since the night about two years ago he took a girl named Beth back to his place, who in the midst of giving him head stopped and began to lick the scar tissue on the base of his left leg, before mounting it and rubbing herself against it until she had an orgasm. Clay watched her, puzzled, and for the first time since the accident, he realized that he was different person.

Luther stopped at a 7-11 for cigarettes and decided to rob the place. Five robberies later, Luther was gone with the car, the cash, and the wheel chair, which had been in the back of the car.

Clay was convinced the cops were on their way. In his mind he was guilty. He'd only sat drunkenly in the passenger side of the car while Luther went on his spree, but he didn't try and stop him, and that's what made him guilty. Part of him wanted the cops to come, at times it was if he tried to will them to this crappy motel so he could get out of there and this would all be over. Worrying about it was worse then whatever was going to happen to him. When he feels the burn in his stomach, he thinks back to nineteen, when he was convinced he had an ulcer, but never went to a doctor, because he grew up believing real men carry their burdens quietly.

Clay was tired, he hadn't been to sleep yet, he was also tired of his life. Being the poor cripple in a small town got old quick. At first everyone bent over backwards, poor Clay and whatnot. A couple of pity fucks and then Beth. No matter how this played out, as long as the cops showed up, he'd be better off. Either he's going to go down as an accomplice or a kidnapping victim. Clay began to worry that he might have to do time, so hoped he could convince the cops he had been kidnapped.

Three cars passed in fifteen minutes. One gray and two blue. Clay worried the cops weren't coming. Then he worried they wouldn't believe he'd been kidnapped.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

summertime by the river

Grieving by starlight,
with the moon reflected in her eyes,
sings her favorite melody.

her secret identities
erotic salutations
written on thank you cards

I can see her amongst the sunflowers
beside a river that doesn't move

Hot rush of blood.
She thinks of me every afternoon.
Moments shrouded in secrecy.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

the everywhere of nowhere (pt 4)

“What did you do to get kicked out of the family? My wife left me because I wouldn't stop doing coke. I spent everything we had on that shit.” The third man says shaking his head, reveling in his disappointment.

“Must we hear about your filthy drug problem. I know I certainly don't care and I'm sure our friend, who was almost a king, doesn't care about your provincial habits.”

“Who the fuck are you? Nobody has the right to talk down to me. Especially not another dirty bum. You ain't no better than anybody.”

“I am certainly not a common bum like yourself. I am a man of refined taste and high intellect. I just happen to also be a man of leisure.”

“My ass. You're a bum like me. We both sleep on the street. We're the same.”

Things between Bumsworth and the third man are reaching a breaking point. Bumsworth fearing the third man's anger moves towards Horatio, stands slightly behind him, and grabs a hold of his shoulder.

From behind Horatio, Bumsworth goes on the offensive. “I'll have you know that I am a great friend of this man.” Leaning in, he whispers into Horatio's ear. “Sorry, my good man, what was your name again?”

“Name's Horatio,” he responds looking at the third man who's beginning to fidget as he tries to suppress his rage.

The third man extends his hand to Horatio. “Nice to meet you Horatio. I'm General Butler Sparesomechange.”

Still behind Horatio, Bumsworth starts in at Sparesomechange. “As I was saying General Whatever, I'm sure you're no real General anyway. I am a personal friend of Horatio, the man standing before you, who was once almost a king, and that makes me more than just a common bum like yourself. By the way, I am W.J. Bumsworth III.

Sparesomechange has had enough of Bumsworth's attitude and steps towards him. Horatio moves out of the way and takes a few steps in order to escape the inevitable. Sparesomechange and Bumsworth are nose to nose, filled with rage.

“I've had all I can take of your crap you candy ass motherfucker. If you say another word I'm gonna kick your ass.”

“I should have guessed that a common filthy animal like yourself would resort to violence. But be warned, I am a trained pugilist. If you know what's good for you, you will kindly walk away and go smoke some crack.”

“I've never smoked crack in my life you fruit.”

Bumsworth reels back a few steps and then charges the General, sending a weak and meaningless blow to the jaw of Sparesomechange, who grabs Bumsworth, holds him in place before pushing him a few feet away.

“I am a man of God and he doesn't want me to fight, so just shut the hell up and stay where you are.”

Bumsworth remains where he is and looks to Horatio for help, while Horatio smokes and idly watches the whole thing unfold, the way all human drama does.

“I am sorry, my dear friend, that you had to see me lock horns with this dirty thug. How about you and I retreating to your home and forgetting this terrible night?”

“I should probably get out of here before this fruity bum calls the cops on me and I spend the night in jail. Horatio, man, do you think you could lend me some money for a place to stay tonight. I swear it's for that, nothing else.

Horatio looks over at the two of them, shaking his head. His despair quickly turns into rage.

“Both of you, come here,” he commands. Like obedient children, the two step forward.

“You damn fools, have you learned nothing? Is this what your lives amount to? Look at yourselves, a couple of beggars is all you are. I have no home. No money. No wife. Nothing. I sleep on the streets the same as you, but because I don't beg or ask for charity you assume I have it all and that I'm ripe for the picking. Here then, take it! Take all I have left!”

Horatio reaches into his pockets and pulls out wads of napkins, paper, condiment packets, cigarettes and what not, throwing it at the two men, who are standing rigid, shocked by Horatio's sudden emotional outburst.

With pockets out turned, Horatio, breathing heavy, a string of spittle hanging off his lips, kicks what was the contents of his pockets at Bumsworth and Sparesomechange, then storms off.

“What got into him?” The General says to Bumsworth.

“I'm not sure, but you obviously said something to piss him off.”


“Of course you, I didn't say anything.”

“What about . . .?”

“Never mind that. You want any of this stuff.”

“I'll take the mustard and I guess the paper.”

“Fine.” Bumsworth says to Sparesomechange while picking up the cigarettes and some of the napkins. “He seems like an alright guy, I hope he gets some help.” Bumsworth concludes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

the everywhere of nowhere (pt 3)

The third man shakes his head in disbelief at Bumsworth. Horatio is pacing around. After a few moments he takes his pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and offers them to the gentleman. Bumsworth takes one while the other man politely declines. The three are silent, which agitates the third man, so he begins to tell his story.

“You know, I once spent 10 grand in eight days. 10 fuckin' grand. I spent it on coke. When I ran out of coke and money, I flipped out. I started pulling my hair out. I knew I had fucked up bad. I went out into the woods and lived there for eight months. It was just me and this bag.” He holds the bag up and shakes it at Horatio and Bumsworth. “I was all alone in the woods, just praying and thinking about what I'd done. I was waiting for God to tell me what to do. Now, I'm his servant.”

Horatio eyes the third man carefully after he finishes speaking. He ashes his cigarette, takes a drag, exhales.

“You remind me of a girl I knew from Illinois. She was wild and salacious and did crazy things like you. 'The time of the world will unwind', was something she used to say. Her mother was royalty but gave it up to become an actress. I too was once royalty. My ex-wife was the daughter of a king . . .”

Bumsworth interrupts Horatio before he can finish his reflection. This irritates Horatio and the third man.

“Royalty, eh.” Bumsworth begins. “I knew there was something about you I liked. When I saw you I thought to myself, Bumsworth, old man, there's something about that man over there, he's the type you need to become acquainted with.”

“I'm not royalty anymore. In fact according to her family and probably the rest of the country for that matter, I'm dead.” Horatio responds, contemptuous of Bumsworth's thin veneer.

“No matter my good man. You look to be doing quiet well for yourself, even if you are ex-royalty.” Bumsworth says, realizing he's annoyed Horatio.

The third man, with a shrug asks, “So what was it like being royalty? I bet you had everything you could possibly want.”

“I guess.”

“You must still be well off. I'd imagine they gave you a nice sum to disappear forever,” Bumsworth managed to interject.

Horatio remains silent, smoking a cigarette. The other two weren't willing to let this die.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the everywhere of nowhere (pt 2)

“I may have had my hands around his throat, but that doesn't mean I killed him.”

The third man comes up to the other two who are still smoking their cigarettes. Bumsworth decides to take this opportunity to engage him.

“Well, don't you appear to be a bit rough around the edges. This might not be the best of neighborhoods but you really should be dressed better. And for Christ sake, you could take hygiene and grooming into consideration.

The third man feeling antagonized responds, “Cigarettes are the worst drug in the world. Yet, the government keeps forcing them on you. Those cigarette girls that go around . . . you know the ones I'm talking about . . . those girls are death dealers.”

Horatio and Bumsworth nod in agreement before taking good long drags and forcibly exhaling.

Bumsworth turns his back on the third man and speaks to Horatio directly.

“Sir, I hope you don't think I'm like this gentleman with his rhetoric and his cheap, just out of the dumpster look. I mean what political figures would claim to have associated with the likes of him. I mean really! If the illusion of it tells you it's a dog and the police insist it's a dog, then there's no reason to believe it is not a dog.”

Horatio chuckles and asks Bumsworth, “What if this one time it's not a dog?”

The third man jumps into the conversation.

“That's some government mind control conspiracy right there. They probably put mind control drugs in those cigarettes you're smoking. That's how it begins. And you know the cops are in on it too. They don't hassle you when you're standing around smoking a cigarette, but if you have a beer in your hand, well then shit, you're a fuckin' criminal.”

Bumsworth is deeply agitated by the third man's presence. “I don't understand why people are so obsessed with conspiracy theories and all that ridiculous nonsense. Who cares who killed Kennedy, he's dead, nothings going to change that.” Bumsworth says to the other two men.

“Don't you care about all the fucked up stuff the government is doing? It's the fucking CIA that's bringing coke into the country. That's why I switched to beer.” The third man responds.

“Haven't you heard beer causes impotency. It's the silence and smell of loneliness that attracts the cops to you. Then there are those desperate measures. I remember once as a child, I was riding on a carousel at a fair, and the seat in front of me was left open. The ride began and something told me that the horse was left unoccupied in memory of a boy who died while riding on it. But who was that boy? Why did he die?”

The third man quickly cuts Bumsworth off before he can continue romantically waxing poetic.

“I had a horse when I was a kid. We lived on a bunch of land in Washington state. I loved that horse. One day, my dad got drunk and shot the horse. I've hated him ever since. You know what else, he was a smoker. Fucking government killed my horse.”

Bumsworth begins to feel sympathetic towards the third man. He now understands that tragedy is what caused his decline and mental unrest.

“That's a terrible shame about your horse. A man was telling me that these are the end days. I wouldn't worry though, the cold has stopped, and the message was clearly for those who need deliverance. I'm not one of those. My lot has been cast.”

“You know they cast lots for Christ's few possessions. I couldn't imagine having my shit taken from me. My whole life is in this bag. I'd fucking die if anything happened to it. If anybody tried to take it, I'd kill them.”

Horatio's closes his eyes. He'd been in this situation far too many times. One person brings up God and it all goes downhill from there. He just can't predict if it's going to be a Jesus based tirade, or an argument between the two. He turns away from the two men, watches the feral cats in the alley, becomes depressed by the neon lights burning soft and sad, as another cycle of green, yellow, red passes; the light reflecting on the pavement. He hears something from Bumsworth's mouth that catches his ear.

“There are first times and times of firsts. I had once made the acquaintance of one Faye Dunaway. Yes, the actress. Anyway, she agreed after much cajoling on my part to be my first.”

Horatio's back was still to the other men. He chuckles to himself, but tries to remain motionless, uninvolved.

“I lost my cherry to a chubby girl named Denise. I've always loved plump girls.” The third man adds.

Horatio could now feel their eyes on him. He knew what was coming, but which one would say it. Bumsworth of course.

“And you, my friend, what delightful little lady made you a man?”

“Her name was Cordelia. She was my future ex-wife's sister.” Horatio responds, wishing he'd walked away.

“Man, you were married. I was married once. She left me. What about you man, you ever been married?” The third man interjects, directing his question at Bumsworth.

“Why do people insist on riding headlong down the slippery slopes of life? Have you learned nothing from our forefathers?” Bumsworth responds.

“Are you crazy or something?” the third man asks Bumsworth.

“Certainly not. I have loved many a lady in my day. You simpleton, my point is that marriage is a phony institution, and a man of my character can't be persuaded to fall in line with what society dictates.”

Monday, January 4, 2010

the everywhere of nowhere (pt. 1)

In those dark, lonely hours after all the action has gone home and the sun is still hiding itself, three men of no consequence ran into each other on the corner where two streets named after states meet. The first to reach the corner is a man named Horatio. Without direction, he pauses at the corner to light a cigarette and figure out which is the right path. After a few drags, a man approaches.

“My good man, would you happen to have an extra cigarette?” Horatio is asked.

Horatio acknowledges him with a nod and takes a cigarette from his pack, handing it to him. The other man begins to stroll in tight circles near Horatio, which makes Horatio nervous. But without direction, he feels he must stay on this corner until he has a revelation. Sensing the tension, the other man decides to try and break the ice.

“I once knew a delightful girl who ate nothing but lemons and daffodils. I won't bore you with the details since you gave me a cigarette. I am forever indebted to you or at least until I've had a chance to repay the debt. Right now is no good. I have very little to spare.”

“Keep it. I have a feeling you're going to need it. Whatever it is you have, it will cost you too much to lose.” Horatio responds without looking at the other man. He's afraid that making eye contact with him might lead the man to believe a bond has been formed, and then he'll never be able to get rid of him.

The other man takes this opportunity to get closer to Horatio. The two are now a normal conversational distance from one another. Horatio rolls his eyes as the other man speaks.

“I believe, kind sir, that you might be right. What you have said rings a certain truth. May I ask your name?”


“Horatio, a fine name. I am W.J. Bumsworth.”

Horatio vaguely nods in agreement. The two ash their cigarettes as a third man approaches.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

3rd day blues

Another night dissolves into morning.

Dawn is the moment of possibility.

The early birds shutter,
take flight.

And the baby that wailed at the stars, is now quiet.
The first pink hues of the sun at dawn on his cheek.

And I walk along streets where the homeless sleep.