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I met Moses in Hollywood. He's not what you'd expect. First, he's black. He has enormous, pale eyes which see. He carries a magnificent staff. I told him about my mother. He took my hands in his, there in the street, said a prayer. I had tears in my eyes. He understood.
I could feel people's dis-ease. I tried not to allow their small thoughts to cripple me. I did well, but still, it took a toll. This friend who died on the phone with me wrote: if you want to talk to today's real visionaries, talk to the homeless.
Damn it! First my soul! Now my sense of humor! Straddling the uncomfortable edge of epiphany.
Family wreckage...weight...wait... Again. Still. Always. Crowded with old furniture. That gold couch. Marble coffee table, glass top, shattered by my enthusiasm. Anticipated wrath. One of the rare times you did not fail me. It's not my fault.
"Can I put it down mom?"
"I just want love," said my mom.
"Can I put it down mom?"
Becoming divided from reality, but ONE with the universe. Go to the light. Let's be orbital together. As long as we don't rob any banks, we'll be ok.
"If you'd said, 'I'm not drinking, not smoking, and don't want to talk about that man,' I was going to say, get me the hell out of this town." Cigarettes, chilled rosé, kicking in.
"Come, let me feed you, I love you."
Trying to make room for the fondue, my glass fell, shattered. An ambulance howled by. I screamed. Everyone laughed. Finally feeling good, we'd thought. The conversation turned.
"Jesus, that's not the answer!"
You looked away. Nothing more to say. I tried to convince you, but you were already gone to me. You'll really do anything for a baby.
When I see a dog afraid of umbrellas I don't doubt the meaning or blame the dog. Your child, Mom. Little - girl. Unbridled enthusiasm. Love. Joy. Wet smiles. Innocence and potential. You beat it out of me. With blow-dryers, shoes. When the police came, you lied. Said I was out of control. Cried and begged their help. The inhumanity. Utter wrongness. Injustice would propel my once tiny self through time and space, down the stairs, desperate, screaming - Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! They'd grab me. Believe you. Every time. You'd think they'd learn, have a file, something. I have an unnatural fear of blow-dryers.
"Are you sure?"
"Well good for her."
"I can't believe it."
"Yeah, I can."
"What are you going to do?"
"Right," pause, "You should go."
"Really. She did."
"Is it really?"
"Um, yeah, dude."
"I guess. I dunno. You told me, 'Go after your girl.'"
"Look how well that's worked out."
"Hey fuck you."
"I'm trying to help here."
"I know, it's cool."
"You should go."
"'Resounding click,' she was always talking about that."
"What's that shit?"
Mr. Sardelich PT/MA/MAC/QI/UR/Dir., was the subject of a recently published article in a little-known, under-funded, left-leaning, agricultural-zine entitled:
Goats Are People Too Gosh Darnit!
Some local correspondents, ordinarily preferring to stand blindly by the side of the road chewing grass, could not help but notice, in fact vaguely benefit from, the magnificent exhaust exuded by the well-tuned Karmic engines belonging to Mr. Sardelich. One baffled and bemused goat was quoted, "It was the strangest thing. Normally it's all dark, poisonous smoke, you know? SUVs/Lexus's, when this guy goes by and his exhaust doesn't stink. It really makes a goat think."
Awake 7am. Fly to the kitchen, start coffee. Return to bed, re-set alarm, 7:30. Reach for pad, eyes closed. Yawn, stretch, appreciate life. Wait for the inspiration which ordinarily flows when I take my time in the morning. Nothing happens. Momentary perplexity, worry. It hits me. I smoked yesterday. Day before too, come to think of it. Shit. Cigarettes. Evil bastards. Guilt and regret wash over me, no way to start the day. The numbness. It's why we do it, but we forget, it's an indiscriminate numbness. A massive, heavy, wet blanket. Grey. Even coming is harder when I smoke.
They are sleeping in my room, with my disloyal bastard cat. I slept on the futon. They are in the flow. I rush about. Nowhere fast. Britts, just arrived America, via India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand. Eight months, odd jobs, movement. Puts my three months to shame. We met in Sumatra, The Jungle Inn. A spectacular place, in harmony with jungle, river, orangutans. Home-made yogurt. They smoke roll-ups. I smoke roll-ups. The beauty, freedom, clarity of the road. I feel the pull, we share the bug. "No, not SARS you idiots." This nation of fear wears me out.
100 words, every day, 1 month. Inspiration, commitment. No problem, I thought.
Problem - It's not the commitment, but the inspiration. I'm blocked, prevented. I didn't want to write boring fucking journal type entries, here, like oh, shit, I'm smoking again...blahfuckingblah. Truth is, that's the truth. I'm edgy, irritable, uncomfortable. I'm not myself.
I was in the midst of greatness, I was. And not feeling up to the job. All because of some lousy god damned cigarettes. It's interesting, though. I've learned, clearly, when I do things which make me feel like shit, they block/prevent inspiration. Smoking closes the channel.
I could talk too. Spill it. Drown us both. I could. What will kill us first? Fire or flood? Oh the heat, the heat, I'm so cold. The timbre of your voice, the way your hands move... Words are foreplay.
"I remember you, from long ago."
Stop, I can't take it. I've lost so much. Truth is, I hardly remember you, anything. Too many cigarettes. Now I see. Yeah, now. Fucking now.
I want what I want what I want what I want!
You once said I am brave. I think we're both cowards. God I want to touch you.
I'm thinking about all the things we do to disconnect. About how disconnection is a way of life, and how terribly mistaken we are to spend so much time numbing ourselves. We watch mindless television to avoid thinking, we drink caffeine to wake up, we take sleeping pills to sleep, we take anti-depressants instead of changing our lives, we stay in bad relationships for bad reasons, we smoke cigarettes instead of quitting, we drink. The answers can not be found in the bottom of a bloody Mary. There are better ways. When I figure them out, I'll pass them along.
Everything went wrong. One person asking another person for directions. He jumped in the car. Had a gun.
Her son was in the backseat.
"Everything's ok honey."
"Turn left here Bitch," he whispered.
"Please don't hurt my son."
"Don't want nothing with him Bitch."
She drove, mind racing.
"Get out of the car."
She did. At least her son wouldn't watch.
He broke her tooth forcing his gun in her mouth.
"My dick's gonna hurt less than that gun."
"No." She said. "You'll have to kill me."
"Are you fucking stupid bitch?"
It's expensive being a woman.
It will take a day or two, perhaps three, of feeling too much, to get back to feeling only that which I'm supposed to feel. That's the price of not feeling for awhile. Coming down from cigarettes is not unlike coming down from a long night of blow. It fucking hurts. You gotta do it, but you know, a little more, would put it off, just a little longer. Once you're past those early stages, ahhh, the release, the freedom. It's impossible to imagine ever going back. Why would you ever go back? Over and over and over again, back.
Don't blame me for your junky choices. You say I'm a bad friend? Don't understand? But I do. You said it yourself, sometimes you don't like me because I know you so well. Your love is unwavering. You said that too. Of course, you don't answer my calls when you're sucking that pipe. When I slide, you use that to justify. Say I'm a hypocrite, and take pleasure in my weakness. Look, my grip is tenuous at best, but I'm not fooling myself. I know what I am, junky to the bone.
Ring me when you want a real friend.
Breaking down, I asked for the update. The fit has hit the shan. Beware the shan man.
My mother returned home, after two months in hospital. Everyone trying to help her. She headed straight for the behemoth-sized bottle of Vicodin, which I said should be cleared out, back when I was still trying. The new caretaker has already quit. Now mother's off to the psych ward, whose fully-trained staff, can't possibly know, what's about to hit them. She'll arrive, kicking and screaming, via limosine. Always in style.
It is not me, I am not it. I'm putting it back down.
An old man had a heart attack at the wheel, his car plowed through a crowd at the Farmer's Market in Santa Monica, California. 5 women, 2 men, one young child, killed, 45 wounded. A dangerous mob formed, headed his way. Someone, stopped them, it was not his fault. Just a horrible freak accident. No negligence, no vicodin.
My mother passed out at the wheel of her car, on the freeway, removing 40' of guard rail, going 100mph. It's a miracle only she was hurt. She'd taken too many pills. When she went home, she headed straight for the bottle.
My Euro houseguests are leaving, with them, my excuse to smoke. My head swirls. Space and emptiness come together. A surge of hormones, crucifixion, resurrection, another beginning. Time to re-open the channel, move forward. No more backward sliding, running in place. The so-called easy path, never easy. Anything worth having - worth fighting for. I know the rewards. Connection, inspiration. Impulses will enter, and pass. We shan't have everything we want. Learn this, and get everything we need. Live simply, so that others may simply live.
I will miss my new friends. Let's smoke a few more for the road.
I want an electric channel opener, which I can press at will. Open says me, close says me. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. We open and close according to our actions, and occasionally the actions of others, who we choose to allow in our lives, meaning, we choose it all. I never expected the Russian Fulbright Scholar I was working for to come onto me. Just when I thought I'd found interesting work, a mutually-beneficial arrangement...someone who'd value my talents, possibly even be interested in helping me cultivate them.
I saw him with his pants down. It ruined everything.
He was the most beautiful specimen of manhood I'd ever seen. We sat down, lit cigarettes, started talking. He'd been robbed in Hong Kong, hadn't sorted his money yet. I offered to share my room, you do that on the road, besides, I was vacating at 4am, standing-by on another over-sold flight.
I didn't get on. I trudged back up the stairs, knocked on the-door-that-had-been-mine. He opened it, shirt off, soft, brown skin, sympathy.
"You didn't get on!"
I started crying.
"I've got to get back to my life."
"This is your life," he said.
I rolled into his arms.
Fantasies about another man I cannot have, meanwhile clubs are forming, men I do not want. We don't speak the same language, but thanks for the thought, really. Rodrigo was right, I need sex. Just not with him. I need love too, but sex's easier to come by. One language might be alright, tonight. Maybe fate is on top of it. I met Tim in Thailand. We might have had a thing, but I'd already started another thing. He's in South America, making his way here. The thought washes over me; I remember rhythmic African melodies, and balmy Bangkok nights.
I was in a crossed-legged seated position arms outstretched, trying to go up. Gravity was pulling down. Pulled in opposite directions. I felt hands on my wrists, pulling. I gave a gentle push with my foot, relaxed, let go. Suddenly I was rising, flying, safe, guided towards the light. Every cell in my body experienced total bliss, revelation. I was thinking, this is it, wait 'til I tell everyone.
Up and up, a rushing in my ears, capillaries, the sound of everything, the sound of ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. In my dream I was thinking, this is not a dream. This is real.
My father was an engineer for Hughes Aircraft, who grew up using slide-rules, and never learned to stop his VCR flashing 12:00. (However, he took notes on the procedure outlined in the owner's manual.) He worked at the Pentagon during the Cuban missile crisis, advising whether we could shoot Cuban missiles out of the sky.
Today I heard Cuba is blocking the radio propaganda the US is transmitting into Iran. We thought it was the Iranians blocking the transmissions, then we traced it to Havana. We're accusing the Cubans of shooting our missives out of the sky.
Their answer, "Que?"
Writer, Photographer, World Traveler
Objective: A Job That Does Not Suck
"Karen helped put this dotcom on the map. She was instrumental in building it from a dodgy sex-toy operation with two employees, in a farm house in Southern Illinois, to a profitable industry leader, with fifty employees, now located in the sex toy capital of the world: Los Angeles."
-J. Tucker, CEO
-Extremely diverse background
-Cynical, witty without being overly-jaded
-High contacts in low places (discounts & hookups possible)
-Proven tolerance for dysfunctional relationships (professional & personal)
-Excellent written and verbal communication skills (diatribes & rants)
"You're not always like this," he said, two years ago. He didn't know me well, but he'd figured that out. He was referring to how completely open I was. Running from a broken heart when we met, he gave me back my smile. He had soft skin, a concave indentation in the center of his chest, perfect for resting my cheek.
I toyed with the idea of it being more than a holiday romance. But what could I do on a tiny Greek island? That's my problem. I always want more.
My phone rang early this morning. It was him.
I woke up, and could smell you on me still. Delicious. 2 years before we kissed.
"It was on the menu," you said.
Am I as much a revelation to you as you are to me?
I ache to be myself, without fear. To be seen, loved freely, offering the same. The light around you last night was orange. You are an unexpected gift. I've never been so at ease with letting things be whatever they will be. It is liberating, exhilarating, life. A series of connected moments. I am present here, now, but with the palpable memory of you.
Proud poems that rhymed,
Typed neatly, minus corrections, into pretty books,
Hopes, sorrows, bound together,
Posterity, with happy endings,
Some small sense of entitlement,
The innocence of little ones,
If only in fictional finales,
For pretend people, because
Someone said there were options,
Other ways, and I believed
For a really long time, but
Pages disappear, gone
And we wander, alone
Looking for certainty,
Until extraordinarily flowers,
Find cracks in the pavement,
One lousy word at a time,
Completely inadequate, imperfect
Unfair, way too late,
Whether I can or can't,
I must, and am,
All those lost rhymes.
"What do you do?"
"What do you do?"
"Normally evade that question."
"It's that bad?"
"It just doesn't feed my soul. I feel I'm selling a piece of my soul with each job."
"Jeez, what do you do?"
Rolling my eyes, "I work in commercial production, making TV commercials."
"Shit, wait 'til you hear what I do."
"What do you do?"
"I sell weapons systems to Southeast Asian countries at cut-rate prices."
"You have to learn to separate yourself from what you do."
"If I believed that, I'd have lots of work to do."
I thought I'd be helping with his manuscript. He needs help with his life.
I'd set up the appointment before, so they could assess his transit needs. He missed it, because they waited for him at the curb. I was incensed. He's in a wheelchair, and they couldn't look for him? This time I was there, to point at the driveway. He wheeled onto the lift. They strapped him in, elaborately. It was downright painful how long it took.
He reached out. I took his hand with a smile, sincere but strained.
"Thank you," he said.
"You're welcome," I said.
Oh God. Here we go again.
I had a moment, one unfortunate moment. I resisted most of the night, then I fell. I’d been bumming cigarettes for my friend, who's shy, plus I'm a good host.
Someone handed me two, assuming. I took them, handed both to my friend, took one back. Thinking, not thinking, thinking, not thinking. I reached for the candle on the table, looked at the flame, thought, this will close the channel. I paused. I closed my eyes, leaned in, lit it, feeling sick, doing it anyway.
I'm sorry to bore you with this shit again.
I was fidgety all night, uncomfortable in my skin. The food, wine, ambiance were perfect though. He said if he were to die tomorrow, he'd regret not having had a family.
"A wife and kid."
Then he said, "I recall a pact we made with the devil."
"I remember. At what age did we say we'd marry each other?"
He brought it up, but didn't answer.
He also talked talk about "hotties" and "honey-pots." I was slightly offended. Thought, he's not thinking what I'm thinking. He stayed the night, as planned. He didn't make a move. Wonder what he's thinking.
I place a high priority on being open. Sometimes it's hard. Like when my long-beloved friend showed me his pictures from the Iraqi war front. He's a foreign service officer. He collected information, interrogated and captured "High Value Targets," fed puppies in the desert, bought children in Baghdad ice cream.
"Winning hearts & minds."
I am a "peacenik." He likes that about me. He, too, is open. We are an ironic juxtaposition. I paused the slideshow, retrieved some of my photographs from various peace rallies I'd attended.
"Just balancing the scales a little." I explained.
"I like that." He replied.
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