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BY Michael

06/01 Direct Link

It is later than I think.  It always gets that way, the day squeezing itself into a vice, chipping corners off its knees in the process, not even taking the time to open the jaws properly, just forcing itself in like some blood-shot insulin crazed piece of greasy soft wood.  You are pounding it in with your fist already mashing the corners because you cannot take the three seconds to stop and open the vice another silly three-quarter turn.  This is how the piece gets ruined.  You have to be patient man.   You cannot make that crap without being patient.

06/02 Direct Link

That of course was what my father was all about.  He had this sign neatly tacked to the inside of his tool box, perfectly square, “Only those who take the time to do the little things have the patience to attain true perfection.  It was enshrined there inside his framing square with a picture of my perfect mother and a collection of news clippings of me.  Graham Junior places first in State on Senior Math test.  Graham Junior Takes National Merit honors.  My face in all of these clippings seems to be my first grade picture.  I can’t explain this.

06/03 Direct Link

As I sit to compose these sentences I sense I am a kind of mechanism lifting, turning, lowering and locking into place; again lifting, turning, lowering and locking   With every turn I am presented with a new view, a new complexity and without notice I am torn loose, the newly grown skin dangling between me and the oil-slicked platter below me.  I am turning.  My head is numb.  I can’t think.  I can think.  I will think.  I will not allow myself to not think.  I will …what was it?  Am I sleepy?  Was someone screaming?  Pounding on the door?

06/04 Direct Link

Well yes it is cold.  I think it is unseasonably cold even for Michigan.  We were all slightly taken off balance when global warming turned out to be something more like Global climate uncertainty.  Uncertainty is truly the bed partner we are all left with, wondering whether this is pain or not.  It feels like pain.  Yet so much of life is fog of one kind or another.  It is glucose fog, or you are going to sleep fog and this pain is so close to love and they said that god is love.  That was what we were taught.

06/05 Direct Link

It is later than I think it is because everything has moved by the time I have finished that thought, write it down.  It has gone somewhere else, already hiding from ourselves.  And that is a little thing.  It is hardly worth mentioning at all, but he was my father.  Oh hell another little thing you see he still is my father such as he is and yes I could have made more of him ok, but damn it my sister could have left me more to work with and I am still attending to little things to please him.

06/06 Direct Link

I still berate and belittle myself daily for not being the superior being my father was. “You are the superior being,” one day I finally look at him, “Why don’t you fix things?”   Oh but hell, who would I be if I did not do things to please others.  Oh this is so awkward and stupid.  It is put together so badly.  I should have written it with gloves on.  I should have typed it in the dark with mittens.  That would have pleased him.  So why didn’t you?  Eh?    He is smiling his superior smile beneath his superior mustache.

06/07 Direct Link

But it is later than I think and there is not much time left.  There is no time for boys to crumble beneath bullys.  There is barely time to snatch up burning fathers.  I have lost track of what time it already is, half forgotten what century, what millennium I have placed myself in, what rock I may have hidden myself under waiting for who knows what new housing development is about  to bury me in someone’s septic system.  It is later than I think it is because time has run out of bullshit changes as some angry young men once said.

06/08 Direct Link

However Time does not run out.  The burning fathers and begging sons alike are not saved.  Even the septic tank itself rots in time that white hot laser boundary that eats everything that passes through it --bullshit, change, iron, me, you or whatever.  It does not run anywhere.  It just stands there and slowly devours everything that passes through because no one is allowed to pass by.  There is nowhere else to go, no fence to crawl under, and no alley to shoot down. You want a look at true perfection, just check out the seal around that fucker.

06/09 Direct Link

My father’s “True Perfection” was just an idea, a bad idea with a trap set in it like so many other ideas.  We know there is a god and that he is a merciful god because he lets our bodies eat our brains as we get older to free us from ideas like that.  My father’s bad idea reminded me of the Buddhist’s “non-attachment” where they become so attached to non-attachment that they end up dragged behind the blatting three-wheeler of non-attachment, their hands bound behind their backs on some 100-plus-degree day with the hot pavement grinding their faces off. 

06/10 Direct Link

The universe will tempt you, if for no other reason than to distract you.  It will place magnificent things before you at the most inconvenient times.  Why?  I suspect I know and in saying so may have committed enough hubris to earn several lifetimes of darkness and ignorance.  But in working with systems and seeing how they function, how they distract the mind from the realities binding it in place, it is easy to imagine the universe as a larger system with a guiding intelligence capable of using an occasional sleight of hand to distract us from its true workings.

06/11 Direct Link

So my father became known as a “pain-in-the-ass” perfectionist as well as a bully, and a few other things.  I can only wonder what I became known as. The universe rarely lets us see what we have truly made of ourselves. I have almost become comfortable with this deceit.  I have lived with it all my life.  Nor am I foolish enough to believe that I have deceived anyone else any more than I have been deceived myself.  Here I would be more foolish than my father or my Uncle David who was so carelessly treated by the motorcycle thugs. 

06/12 Direct Link

I have taken to carefully making large omelets at noon or thereabouts.  I do not necessarily want them to be large but by the time I keep thinking of more things to put into them and so they get larger until they fill the pan.   I have thought about making them smaller, perhaps starting with one egg.  Perhaps putting half the mixture in the refrigerator for the next morning.   My day has shifted nearly around the clock now. The sun is coming down as I dump the eggs and shrooms into the plate and walk it over to my desk.

06/13 Direct Link

The desk, stove, and small refrigerator sit nearly alone in this room in in this old building where I often come when I want to be alone.  The floor is an old wooden floor, long 2x12’s spiked together to make some kind of factory floor for heavy machinery and then sanded and refinished about a hundred times.  I am fairly safe from interruptions here.  The light is glaring through a dirty window that has some kind of film on it that would have to be taken off with acid so strong that it would likely eat through the glass itself. 

06/14 Direct Link

The film intensifies the glare, building up layer upon layer and pounding on the window, amplifying the sun and I know I am going to wish I had closed that blind.  I think of the blind closed, its fly-paper orange color and that pinhole camera puncture in it where the sun bores in anyway. I think of that little round soiled coil of embroidery and plastic on the end of string dangling from the blind.

I blink but all I get are those floating spots, and I blink again and the spots float, but one of them is moving, restless. 

06/15 Direct Link

Oh, it is a great purple bruise of a blob has somehow leapt into my office from that idea of a blind and it is now resolving itself so that if I tilt my head just a little I can see that the Snake is sitting across the room from me.

People are always praying to god and complaining he does not answer and I that I myself have—must have prayed to god at some point for deliverance if for nothing else because I do not think there was in the end much that I wanted more than that. 

06/16 Direct Link

And I see people in the systems praying to god for this or that and the thing is that we or someone can usually give them whatever they think they want except that they are usually specifically where they are because they have specifically asked to be there with some pretty rarified exceptions, not that I am rarified or anything.  I tell myself I am not rarified.  I tell myself that somebody has to run the system, that somebody has to keep the electricity on, but I know this is a lie.  I just do not want to let go. 

06/17 Direct Link

Even now I do not want to let go even though my time is winding down and all the metaphors that I can think of are twisting themselves into a tiny hard point of rushes to be set on the ground to be bent over to point in this one direction and still, still after all this time I am afraid.  The alarm is sounding gently to tell me it is time to go and I reach out without looking to silence it.  Akina will be waiting, and many others, and this time I have promised.  There is no way out.

06/18 Direct Link

I am attached.  I would be found guilty and would be ashed by one of my own courts if they could find me.  I think.  I am not sure what they would do with me. I wonder if they even still know I exist.  I think some do, because every now and then someone comes blustering in all hot and panting with some exotic weapon and I have to come up with some way for them to go away.  It’s just not right I’m telling you.  It is not correct that these people should cease to exist in these systems. 

06/19 Direct Link

But I am sure they are ok, the dimwits who invade the system and get themselves flushed.  I believe they began with souls and even if they kept those souls I find I believe they have a real god who takes care of all that.  Is this what I tell myself to excuse what I may have done to my sister?  But what about my soul?  Your soul will be ok.  Your soul is eternal.  The system is not eternal.  Nothing is eternal.  Your soul will supersede the system.  I said that so easily.  I believed it too, didn’t I?

06/20 Direct Link

I don’t spend too long wondering how she got in, because wonder is an old habit and a new lifestyle.  I’m already remembering that pinhole sunspot that invaded my mind just a while back, sliding through a greasy brown shade that had not quite been pulled, but only thought of.  For any woman to get herself a name like that in this system takes all kinds of deeds and I am more interested in how I am going to get myself out but she has already seen me seeing her and I know that she is not here by accident.

06/21 Direct Link

She has come here or has been waiting here to see or do me in one way or another.  That is plain so I go ahead and sit down with the sun in my eyes. That was bad in the old westerns. Why had I not shut that blind? I had thought about it.  It was that thought that she slid in on.  She knows me that much? This is not going to go well.  I cannot even make out the look on her face as the sits there, an off-side spot boiling out of the corona of the sun.

06/22 Direct Link

I’m thinking maybe I will get up and go close that damn blind.  I’ll just have to lean over her a little.  It makes me feel queasy exposing my belly to her that way.  It is too close and there are too many memories and I am not safe.  The phrase Not Safe flashes over and over and over in my mind.  I’m thinking the blind is closed now.  That is how she got in.  Or is it open.  She closed it to get in. It was how she thought her way through things.  She started with the fly paper.

06/23 Direct Link

The sun is an oversized glob of melted something bad stuck on the hot skillet of the vacant buildings across the street.  Even the holes where there is no glass to reflect the image are plugged by the blind spot it has burned in the wall of my building.  Pretty soon there will be nothing left but crisp.   Crisp is pretty much what we left ourselves to live on by the end of the Last century. The Greatest generation they called themselves.  This self-adulation was a little premature.  Their grandchildren would curse them call them Demons and die of hunger. 

06/24 Direct Link

Maybe I will get lucky and she will only want money.  It is always about money.  That is what I have convinced myself to excuse my behavior, but I know it is not simple.  I know that they need the money, that we all need some form of it to survive, even here, to get here in the first place and even if it is the only goal, that everyone gets confused at some point in the game, in the negotiations.  Things stop being simple.  People become people: The scammers become victims.  The victims become hunters.  Things get turned around.

06/25 Direct Link

I realize I don’t have any money and won’t have any money until Wednesday.  I never have any money when she comes.  I have already given her all my money.  She has bored holes in my head and sucked out all the juice and the jelly globs and scraped the meaty stuff off the skull.  She has made me do whatever she told me to do so I have given her all my money and then I have signed over my home and possessions and I have borrowed to the extent of my credit limit until I was financially exhausted. 

06/26 Direct Link

It looked like a Medicaid nursing home spend-down.  Through the eye of the needle.  Dragging you through the jaws of that merciless die scraping off houses, cars, clothing, children, skin, eyeballs, fingers, oh hell, what can fit through the eye of a needle anyway?  Maybe your soul if you’ve got one.  In the end we all look the same.  Some have better accommodations.  But we are all in that tiny efficient room with that anonymous attendant and our assless bottom hanging out of that hospital gown with the missing tie down strips waiting to be transferred to the euthanasia group.

06/27 Direct Link

She will never believe me and it always feels like she is angry.  I had to be one of those boys who grew up wanting to please everyone, one of those idiots who also stuck his head into every buzz saw he passed.  I had to be one of those who would give a stranger the shirt off his back.  Go on, ask him.  He'll do it.  I've seen him.  It’s a gas. 

 It’s not that she will hurt me in any real way, well, not that anyone will see immediately… It is the sun.  Now that might hurt me.

06/28 Direct Link

That sun is burning holes in my retinas.  Or maybe it is the sugar.  I was always confused as to whether it was the sugar or the insulin that did the real damage, but I believe it is the sugar because it really went to town when your body could no longer produce insulin.  Long carbon chains of sweet acid burning holes in wet fleshy meat, frying the backs of your eyeballs, torching the bottom off your brain mass, sucking the nerves out of your fingers and toes like sweet meat out of the  broken claws of a boiled lobster.

06/29 Direct Link

The Crone said the Snake did not exist, that I was just still trying to find someone who had left years ago but who I was unable or unwilling to forget.  This person was more like a personal trauma I was told, so I found the Snake to torture me instead.  When you want a job done right, you hire a professional.    I had heard that she was in country on fake papers. I didn’t really hear.  I had sort of arranged, but honestly I think she spread some of these rumors herself to terrify the guys over in Hartland.

06/30 Direct Link

She pulled an extraordinary booger out of her nose, inspecting it as if it were a potential business partner…at least that was what I made out in the swimming sunspot.  My eyes wanted to go out for a walk by themselves. Wiping her hand on the arm of my chair, she waved it me with a sign of dismissal and said, “Useless.” Maybe I was supposed to have initiated some conversation.  Her English was not so good.  She unslouched herself from the chair and strutted out of my office with the door snicking shut behind her.  My door never snicks.