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Can you find it now?
There will be times you sing off key.
Birds shit on your best suit.
You fall down and skin your knee.
Things won't go your way.
Uncomfortable silences will abound.
Something itchy needs medication.
You know you'll get knocked down.
It just ain't goin' your way.
Nobody's there to hold your hand.
A hello is met with a frown.
Water melts your castle made of sand.
This isn't the way.
Happiness is here, don't you see?
A silver lining hidden deep,
There is nothing more you need to be.
Even if nothing goes your way.
On the day I wed I felt very happy, true happiness to be with this person. When things in my head start heading south, I try to recapture that feeling. Wrapping it around me like a warm blanket. My security blanket, as it were. Call me Linus Van Pelt.
In essence, what I was searching for was to be secure. I was feeling rudderless and awash. Now I feel that I can deal with what is out there in the world. A haven is available.
But, will I still feel the need to run away on occasion? I hope not.
A little arched bridge made of stone, oriental in design. Spanning a pond of small orange Koi, lily pads and lichen. To sit there starring at this scene, under the shade of one of the trees will always be paradise in sun, rain or snow. A beautiful feeling, unending quiet, meditative, it envelops you.
Some days the noise in the city appeals more. Honking. Sirens. People abound, with garbled talk, conversational snippets assaulting the ears. The cars flowing by, the streetcars jammed to capacity. Store window upon store window trying to satisfy any consumer desire. Lose yourself in the ruckus.
She has never seen where he lives. Never seen the rooms he inhabits. The books on the shelves along the wall. Those stations memorized by the television control box. The bed he sleeps in, night after night. The spaces where his smell pervades every corner. She has never seen the white cat that lives there. Would she be surprised at the deep love that he exchanges with this feline? She must picture something in her mind, but it would never be the reality that exists. Does she only picture him in the rooms and beds she has known him in?
Here I am outside your window. Starring in, I see you asleep. Quietly, I'm beside your bed. How I got here is immaterial. My hand reaches out and strokes your hair. The curls catch between my fingers.
When you shift in your sleep, I stretch out beside you. My chest against your back, my arm slips over your side, holding your chest. My legs curl in unison with yours. To me, your hair smells like incense.
I'm cold from being outside and your body heat warm me. My eyes grow heavy, drifting off, I whisper my secret in your ear.
My watch broke. First the strap went then the battery died. At first I felt lost with out it. What was the time? Was I on time? Am I late?
Then I got use to being with out it. Did you know the pay phones display the time for you? Parking meters, too. I got in some trouble when I couldn't or didn't find either. I lost track of time.
Needed something different, but not unlike before. But, like before, there are few numbers. 12, 3, 6, 9, with guesses on the in betweens, but, it has cost too much.
As with the beginning, there is always a kiss for me. Seeing you is never without at least one (well perhaps one time, but that was all my fault), they are all special to me.
The second time we ended up at that upstairs bar, I went to leave, you jumped up, kissed my cheek, said we should check out that lounge overlooking the lake.
Sushi lunch by the water, you kissed my lips for the first time as I got off the elevator, but almost missed, promising better next time. I wish we had played hooky that day.
I want a straight line starting here and going there. I want to be able to see from here to the horizon. That's how straight the line would be. No hills. No valleys. No jogs. Everything laid out in front of me on a nice two-lane blacktop highway.
There would be signposts. Green, white, reflective in my headlights. 50 kilometres to the next point of interest, rest stop, food and gas. Yes, life wouldn't be as much fun that way. Free will would not exist. No surprises. No tension. Dullsville.
You could really open her up and go real fast.
It is something that you feel deep down in your bones. I've always felt this way. Drawn to it. As a child I had the pat answers; I want to be a fireman. I want to be an astronaut. I want to be a biologist.
There are portraits, in pencil, that my mother saved religiously.
Papa, by Kupka, age 3
Mommy, by Kupka, age 5
Art camp was one summer. Arts and crafts at sleep away camp, another summer. High school made me fully aware of it. I want to be creative. I want to make art, paint, draw, photograph.
Untitled (I love you, but not that way)
Untitled (Fucked up again)
Untitled (Where's the beef?)
Untitled (Sing a song of six-pence)
Untitled (What the fuck do I do with these emotions?)
Untitled (Chairman Mao)
Untitled (Sit down!)
Untitled (I need to fuck up my mind)
Untitled (For chumps!)
Untitled (Just you shut your mouth)
Untitled (Where's the fuckin' rye?)
Untitled (Near death is funny)
Untitled (This is bullshit!)
Untitled (Fuck! Fuckety fuck fuck FUCK!)
Untitled (Shafted again)
Untitled (What's in a name)
Untitled (PISS, SHIT, ASS)
Untitled (Mr. Fur Pants)
Untitled (Boredom, Boredom, Boredom)
Where were you when Kennedy was shot? It is the question that marks my parents generation. They were both studying for high school exams. When they heard the news and watched it on TV. It marked a historical point in time, a turning point towards adulthood. Innocence lost.
The footage of this event is shown over and over again through out the years, to subsequent generations. Funeral. Arrests. Trials. Conspiracies. Films. Questions still remain decades later. Grassy knoll? Multiple shooters? Open holes. Never to be answered to anyone's satisfaction. It becomes legend.
So, where were you on September 11, 2001?
She always had said she loved him, though once she slapped his face. There was an ever-present fear that she would leave. Throw in the towel. Losing her was a palpable heart wrenching fear.
I'll reject you first, is such a great Bowie lyric. Save being hurt more deeply by striking first. She won't care. I mean nothing to her. He deludes himself in to thinking there is nothing there. It was what it was. Now it is the past. Ashes. Memories.
Again he tries. I love you! I need to get over you. I can only do it alone.
Nineteen was too young to be a parent. I couldn't tie either of us down that way. Thirteen years later, I'm still not ready for that type of life.
Will I ever decide to be a parent? The chances aren't good.
I've been careful in my sexual encounters. Making sure that I would never have to consider reliving any of those events that had to occur that autumn. I haven't cried much about those choices, but this year they bother me. Life is settling down. Perhaps I'll just chalk it up to all the adult commitments that I've made recently.
From one small red pepper there grew ten plants. From ten plants, there remains only one. With water and lots of light it has produced one pepper.
It started out small and yellow. Growing, it turned orange. The mature fruit will be deep red. The contrasting colours are spectacular, flattering to both fruit and plant.
Minute steps. The impatience for more reds within the greens. Multiples. This would demonstrate a green thumb.
Subtle changes day to day reflect the slowness of life. Yet, Friday green, Monday orange, shows the speed at which some things can happen, when not being observed.
On Fridays we use to get in to trouble. Lunch would be at noon and go to one or one thirty. We'd sit, talk, have a couple of drinks, and chat about what ever was on our minds. What was going on in our other lives. After lunch, we'd work for a while. Trying for as long as possible not to pursue the one thing we both want.
I would love to get my fingers in you, would prompt a disappearing act.
We never go caught. Got locked in the basement, once. But, not once did they question the disappearances.
When I walk in my room, it stands tall, waiting for me. The beech wood is a smell I already love, like turps and linseed.
I've owned others, flimsy ones that served their purposes. Then I was experimenting, afraid of making a full commitment to the calling inside me. This investment in sturdy beautiful wood is serious. It can't be hidden away in a closet.
Staring at it longingly, I still haven't taken the first steps up to it. Partial pieces are waiting to be finished. New ideas are waiting to be expressed. Like other endeavors, I'm afraid to move.
- Kupka, is the creativity gone? You aren't yourself.
- I can't clear my head. There is nothing, but a big brick wall.
- How did you clear it last time?
- It has never been like this before, doctor. Last night was the first moment of clarity I'd had all week.
- What were you doing?
- Arranging my studio. I fiddled with my easel. Rearranged my supplies for easy access. I found some gouache paints. Did some online research about them. I think I'll get some more.
- Did you use your easel?
- No, but I'm going to soon.
- Tell me more about the wall.
Friends from high school, I haven't kept a one. I just didn't fit in with those kids. Culture shock.
There was the guy my sister married, but he's dead now. A guy had a severe crush on me, but he's married with a kid now.
One gal tried to get me to be a Mormon. That's a good reason not to keep in touch. I last heard she was living in Utah. Go figure!
I do remember one friend. He died just before I graduated. His leukemia came out of remission when someone beat him up for kicks. Miss him.
My father wanted sons. He had names picked out for sons, even before my sister and I were born. Nothing prepared in case of daughters. When we got old enough, I'd say around puberty, he stopped taking interest in us.
He wasn't a bad father, just a non-existent father. He did teach me how to throw a football. I've still got a pretty good spiral.
The older I've gotten the less interest you seem to take in me, my career, my life, although, as things go, I take little interest in yours. But, why is that? I wish I knew.
I stood in front of you, with my back to the kitchen. You said to me "My answering machine is stuck with the same message. Today would be a good day. Do you want things to stay the way they are, or do you want to have great sex?" "Option B," was my response.
You grabbed my hand to lead me to a bedroom, but I turned in to the kitchen. Two people were there. I gave them breakfast in that white kitchen with the clean dishes in the dish rack.
When you reached for me I said Not yet.
We set out to discover secret places in the building where we worked. Twelve floors up, four floors under. There were uninteresting spots and spaces. There were fascinating nooks and crannies. We loved the up up up, and the down, down, down, where few ventured to go.
In amongst the chairs and paintings, you touched the dark marks on my skin. The thrill was mutual.
After afternoon adventuring, you brought up the work affair. We were now having one, you said. I had been fine with things until you said that, deluding myself, thinking we were just friends.
I can't work today. While I sit here, in my office, work is not getting done. My fatigue and disinterest has grown to the point where I am paralyzed. I need a cure for a life of boredom.
Nothing meets my high expectations. This job should have been ideal for me, it wasn't. I look to return to where I'm not doing this. To do less would be better.
My heart leans towards the slacker mentality. Always has. Do the minimum. It is easy to just do a little above what is deemed necessary. Today, I can't even do that.
Happy birthday. No, it wasn't exactly what you wanted. Couldn't top last year's present, 'cause I didn't have the time or the luck.
Jealous of me? I got more recognition than you this year. Yet I did not set out to.
In the end, you got what you wanted. Your happiness came from closeness, with family all around.
Again you remind me of what I wasn't able to do for you; that I got more. Suck it up and realize life ain't fair. In most cases, I never got what you did. I don't constantly remind you of that fact!
If you don't contribute to your retirement plan, by the time you retire you'll only have $250,000. If you put in say another hundred dollars a month, you'd have over $1.5 million. Now wouldn't that be nice to retire on? As well, you are pre-approved for a $10,000 line of credit.
You see, I owe you guys for my student loans. Until those are paid off, which takes $600 a month out of my income, how can I contribute more? My job only pays so much. And when I still owe $17,000 why would I want more debt?
A day for whine
Something is wrong with the engine of my car.
You can't meet me for fun.
My head is full of nothing.
No one stayed for my presentation.
I bruised my shin on the corner of the table.
There are no more pickles in the jar.
It's 4 a.m. the cat has puked.
Sexual gratification is hard to come by.
Inspiration has fled.
Not depressed, just bored.
Someone drank all the sod-y pop.
Handouts should be given out at the beginning.
My heart hurts.
The entire jar of Dijon mustard dropped and smashed.
It don't get better.
Tossing and turning at 3 a.m. I'm making the right choice! The pros out weigh the cons.
Co-workers who share my profession.
Other co-workers will be helped by me.
Lunch will be taken.
Things will be seen and done.
Work days will last a little longer.
Commute times will increase.
Dedicated reading time will increase.
Daily tasks will change.
Salary will decrease.
Health benefits will change.
Pension contributions will change.
Yoga will occur more frequently.
Spouse will be watchful.
Time with friend will be rationed.
Downtown is better than the suburbs.
I will know where I fit.
Sitting there, I look around the circle at the people. Good people of...
My body finds itself bolt upright in my bed in my bedroom. Heart pounding. Did something blow up?
Honey? Honey are you okay?
Wha, wha, what happened? Was there an explosion?
Hm? I don't understand. You were sleeping very soundly. Barely moving.
I'm awake now. Was there something loud?
Um& I sneezed.
You sneezed and scared the living crap out of me? Your sneeze blew up my dream. I thought the world was ending!
Just a sneeze, nothing more. Go back to sleep, dear.
A fancy copyist, is that the most I'll ever be? My hand reproduces the forms in line and shade on the clean white page. I've missed that section. Not enough room to fit it in. The proportions are off, just a bit.
How to capture the shading? Nuance. How would the artist have originally done that? How much water mixed with the paint? The line is too thick. The words are too plain. The paint is too dark. Ah, look, consistency similar to what I see.
Perfection is my aim, never to be achieved. What is perfection to these arts?
What you say, I take as truth. My honesty to you, I always assume, is reflected back to me in your response. Perhaps what I've heard is true; never trust someone who creates fictions. Then the same could be said for the fictions written here, for my honesty could be dually questioned.
Lies are not always successful. Holes can be seen, doubts created, when the stories don't jive. You need a better memory to make your lies work with me. If you tell one story, then a couple days later, tell another. Don't think I won't remember the first heard?
He feels no anger at her lie, only sadness in the situation. In his adulthood he has been lied to many times by many different people for many different reasons. Her lie was a minor trifle. Did she think that it would be easier for him if she made it seem like there was somewhere important she needed to be?
He finally stopped looking for what they had before. Her companionship was what he had sought and missed.
In the end, he had changed his plans. Though, the trip on the boat would have been beautiful this time of year.
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