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It seems every two years I get the bug to do 100 words. So here starts this months 30 days of drivel. What? You expected something profound. I’m too old, too tired, and too cranky to come up with anything worthwhile. Things have changed, I have changed. I know longer look like someone stuck in my twenties. I’m getting old. I accept that but I’m not happy about it. I look back on my first 100 words and laugh. I was so young and yet so jaded. That first 100 words devoted to girls I had known. Now they’re gone.
Last night I dreamed of life with a harem. So many women living so serve my needs. No Scheherazade weaving a story a night for me. My desires are much more carnal. 1001 Arabian uses the oldest trick in the writers stable. Recycle old short stories by using a frame story. I’m guilty myself. From Venice to Milan is a repository for the stories that didn’t sell, or were too weak to stand on their own. I figure if it is good enough for Chaucer, it’s good enough for me. Perhaps life is its own frame story, composed of vignettes.
Write porn. That's right, write porn. Why? One of the hardest things writers have to deal with is getting over the fear of showing their writing to others. What does that have to do with porn? Even if you write terribly, even if your dialog is stiff and unnatural, and your plots are too fantastic to imagine, if you write porn you will get fan mail. It doesn't even have to be good porn. Evidently the appetite for porn is so great if you write it they will come. In more ways than one. Porn yet another gateway to writing.
I wonder what goes on in her head. She’s lovely. No, she’s more than that. She’s stunning. A Helen amidst a chorus of commoners. And yet, there’s something more. When she smiles her beauty is indescribable but when she relaxes her mouth naturally turns into a frown which makes me suspect a hidden pain. Her long slender neck seems to invite a kiss, or more. Yet she is somehow unapproachable. To regal, to perfect, to sad, abducted by her Paris she found life in captivity unbearable. Perhaps I could make her smile forever and remove the pain with a kiss.
Those happy golden days. I remember them well. The cabin was called the trout and sat on a narrow spit of land across the bay from the recently closed paper plant. This was before development discovered Port St. Joe, before the expensive houses appeared, then it was only a few cabins, a bunch of tents, and a twenty minute drive to the nearest grocery store. No tv, nothing but us being with each other. Sitting on the beach all day and gazing at the stars all night. There are days when I think I will never be so happy again.
Past lives. The soldier, a sandal-clad legionnaire marches through Syria. Master of all he commands. The brute, in a dark time a ruthless man used his might to survive even though others paid a price in blood. The victim, she died buried under a moving hill of oriental mud. The sailor, in a time where the england ruled the sea he served with pride. The defiant one, he was robbed of his humanity, his family, even his name and yet he resisted. The loser, never able to come to grip with his past he condemned himself to relive it.
Last night I dreamed I worked for a super-secret organization of super-villain spies. Our plan was to move earth out of its orbit. And it worked, Earth sun out of control through the cosmos. Days and nights became shorter as Earth spun ever faster and as I stood outside and wondered what we had done I looked up and saw Jupiter and Saturn above me larger than the sun. Although I knew we had condemned everyone on Earth to die as I looked up at the great planets dangling above me I couldn’t help but think, how beautiful.
Another night another dream. I was rowing a boat with Kull the conquerer on board. He suddenly jumped overboard and warned me that a tidal wave was coming. I followed him into the water only to discover that it was only a few inches deep. The water withdrew as the 100 foot wave bore down upon me. I crouched in a ball and held my nose and the water crashed over me, pushing me down and across until I washed up on the steps of the house I lived in when I was 12. I opened the door and entered.
The dream continued. I opened the door to my old house and entered but it wasn’t my old house on the inside it was Sacred Heart Hospital. I find JD and Turk waiting for me, they don’t seem to mind that I’m soaking wet. I ask if Elliot survived the tidal wave and instead of answering they hand me Turk’s baby Isabella. Suddenly I’m happy. The baby looks at me and I at her, I remember how good it feels to be loved by child to hold and protect them, they never tell you that you have to let go.
The immortal: Born to farm and raise the great life giving wheat from the earth he watched as first his parents, then his wife, then his children and grandchildren die. They died and yet he continued to live. He moved to greece and taught his students about the perfections of form. He marched on India with Alexander and stayed their a while. He led the Roma back to the old world and then turned north joining the last of the great viking raiding parties. Stayed in the Danelaw. Then suddenly he felt himself growing old. Death at last took him.
They came slowly at first. Taking our place with such subtlety that we never noticed. They gave away our stuff, took jobs that we could not stand and settled us into lives of quiet mediocrity. I was one of the first to go. Giving up my dreams for the certainty of a paycheck. How was I to know that I was killing the old me and giving birth to another. Another who didn’t care for the things I loved, he wanted only certainty. Certainty it’s like a drug. You get a little dose and then you want more and more.
My lips floated just above the back of her neck. No that’s not right. My lips brushed the skin on the back of her neck. No, maybe it was the side of her neck. Maybe it wasn’t my lips, maybe it was my teeth. My teeth gently pinched the sensitive flesh on the side of her neck. That can not be right. It was my tongue. My tongue flopped lazily on the side of her, no, no, no, no. I kissed her. Absolutely wrong! Our lips approached each other but then a spark of electricity jumped from me to her.
It starts with a cough, then a sniffle, then my head swells, just like that I’m sick. I don’t get sick often but I hate the feeling. Rest and fluids. Soup and juice. A warm blanket and healthy dose of nyquil and I saunter off to sleepland in search of rest and recuperation. How hard must life have been for our ancestors who had no medicine, no blankets, nor even soup. Sick on the savannah of africa, the tribe (was it even a tribe perhaps it was more like a pack) do they help you or leave you to die.
The pencil moved across the paper faster and faster until what ever forms may have been drawn were obscured by thick black marks. She ruined it. I never understood why. She was the kind of person who was never satisfied with anything she did. She wasn’t great but she was good. She just didn’t see it. Or maybe she did see it and was unsatisfied because she wasn’t great. Some people just aren’t destined for greatness and she was one of them. And because she could never be great she just gave up, stopped trying and put it all away.
We shared a car in a train from Venice to Milan. Her name was Maria, she was from some city in Sicily, I forget which one so I always say Palermo. We talked, she laughed, as night fell we drew the curtain and made love. When we got to Milan she made me promise to visit when I came back through the city, I promised but I knew it was a lie. I still think about her, her dark eyes, her smile, the soft sounds she made in ecstasy. I imagine a life together, the smell of grapes and joy.
I landed with a thud on the tarmac of a central american runway. I cursed whoever had planned the drop, got my gun, and tried to get in a defensive position. I saw a Panamanian walk up to Harris and shoot him in the head. Then I raised my rifle, I held the butt tight against my shoulder, held my breath and fired. The Panamanian fell dead. I waited to feel somehow different, but that never happened. Very early in life I had come to accept death, now I was an agent of death, and I could live with that.
There’s a small thud thud thud as the bow rides over the light chop. It splashes vainly against the plywood hull of my love. The ropes creak as the wind gusts. The canvas moans as it stretches and pulls me along. I breathe deep the salt sea air, savoring it. The almost hypnotic slosh of the rudder makes my eyelids droop, until I drift off leaving the skiff to find it’s own course. Sometime later I awake, land is nowhere in sight and my skin is beat red. I should be angry or scared, but I’m not. This is life.
I looked around my tiny craft. I had no compass, no radio, just a few bottles of water, a half of a sandwich, and a life vest. The sun lying low in the western sky whispered to me which way was north. The wind was blowing from the east so there was easy sailing on a beam reach with the little boat picking up speed until I needed to spill some wind from her sails. Finally I saw the white sand beaches, the stone jetties, and a lonely figure standing on shore. She cried and hugged me, I felt loved.
There’s something magical about working with wood. The intoxicating smell of the fresh cut as it fills a room. The satisfying thud as two pieces come together. Being a carpenter is a good life. It is a pity I suck at it. Still I love to try, the router, the saw, the way sawdust spills on to the floor like a wooden waterfall. Covering my shoes, hiding in the cuffs of my pants, little hitchhikers that later will reappear to my surprise. Hammer against nail, wood and steel. It’s a good life and good work if you can get it.
Posxto en esperanto. Cxio estas Esperanto? La interna ideo de Esperanto estas: sur neŭtrala lingva fundamento forigi la murojn inter la gentoj kaj alkutimigadi la homojn, ke ĉiu el ili vidu en sia proksimulo nur homon kaj fraton. La baza ideo de Esperanto temas pri subteni toleremon kaj respekton inter homoj de diversaj popoloj kaj kulturoj. Komunikado ja estas esenca parto de interkompreniĝo kaj se la komunikado okazas per neŭtrala lingvo tio povas helpi al la sento ke oni 'renkontiĝas' je egalaj kondiĉoj kaj respekto unu por la alia. Mi amas Esperanton. Jes, mi sciias tio mi estas stranga. Gxis.
Guilty pleasures: Dairy Queen, Varsity Chili Dogs, SEC Football, Horatio Hornblower, the Simpsons, stolen kisses, when the Trinidadian shampoo girl rubs against me, the scent of a woman, the laughter of other peoples children, ribs, lots and lots of ribs, the Soup, doughnuts, musicals, Gilbert and Sullivan, the smell of burning leaves, running your hands through a pan of freshly shelled peas, shucking corn, boiled peanuts, roasted peanuts, peanut butter, eating peanuts in front of someone with a peanut allergy, laughing a stupid people, merino wool, jeeves and wooster, fry and laurie, dr who, spaced, monty python, a sip of ...
Doosdays cant being altimes the same, unliking gregsdays whichin being gregsdays iz altimes the same. Everyperson are lovin gregsdays causin they smellin an being an altimes. Im rememberin backwhen gregsdays wont being gregsdays an werein morein like doosdays. Buts thiin gregsdays came to being gregsdays an they bin the sam ever since. Somepeople theyn lovin doosdays an wants im to be likey they wuz. Me I lovin freedays cuz everyperson being workin for freedays. When freedays come roun everyperson evin thoze who lovin gregsday are filled with glad. till momsday comes roun a gin, then I waits for next freeday.
My greatest hits volume 2: It was called Boarding Pass. It was my screenplay. The story was a guy trapped in an airport on the worst travel night of the year trying desperately to escape his soul-crushing job and his domineering girlfriend. He wants to run off to Paris, like Hemingway. But somehow he winds up being chased by the Russian mob while trying to fall in love with a beautiful French gate attendant. It was going to be quirky like After Hours. The only problem was it sucked. Perhaps that’s too harsh. It was ok but not great.
My greatest hits volume 3: Dirt, written for the Creative Loafing fiction contest Dirt was the story about how my brother, my cousin, and I found an old car buried on my Aunt’s farm. She then told us the story of the banker who ran off with all the town’s money and one of the most beautiful girls in the county. It was supposed to be a vaguely southern gothic piece, but it felt flat to me. There was no tension, it just came and went. Sometimes I think about reworking it somehow, but I’m not sure if I can.
My greatest hits volume 4: How I Became a Canadian, oy I don’t even know where to begin with this one. It started out as a challenge to write something funny. So I penned a piece about a struggling writer who lands a job at a fishing magazine. He struggles until under the pressure of loosing his job he writes a column about using cigarette butts as bait. The column of course is a hit, which lands him in trouble with the EPA and so being a smart guy, he decides to run off to Canada. Yeah, it wasn’t funny.
I am prone to deja vu. I think it’s because I have a terrible memory. I forget things, people, jobs. It is not my fault, I try I really do. Perhaps I spend too much time daydreaming and not enough examining the world around me. Perhaps not. Maybe it’s because so much of life is so boring I can’t focus. Perhaps not. Maybe I just don’t care that much anymore. I getting too old to pay that close of attention. Perhaps not. I can’t say, what was I talking about again. Who knows another rambling post assembled for your pleasure.
I no longer look ten years younger than I am. Middle age pounced on me like a Bengal tiger. Like a tiger it’s torn me apart. New aches, new pains, they appear everyday. When we were married I was incredibly lean, I ran five miles a day, and we made love all night. Now I run a mile and sweat pours down my aching body. What happened when did my age catch up to me and why did it have to? Ah to be young again. It’s true what they say, youth is wasted in the young. It’s not fair.
Memories: the first snow in 72, nixon resigning, President carter, sesame street, the lady bug twelve, Spidey super stories, easy reader, Superfriends, scooby doo, a tonka truck, my first bike, steve austin, a dead pope, staying up late to watch soap, the muppet show, hostages in Iran, morning in america, cub scouts, soviets in afghanistan, olympics without us, goodwill games, tush, night tracks, mtv, mix tapes, learning to drive, first kisses, alienation, learning to drive, sun bug, tracey in chemistry, joy in history, val in english, bagging groceries, graduation, newhart, russell hall, uga, california, desert sky, skye in the desert
Could someone explain to me what the hell is hip hop harry? I mean who was on crack when they came up with this show. Back when I was a kid we had wholesome shows like sesame street. I Love New York, don’t even get me started. Flava of Love, sigh. Perhaps it’s time to throw out the TV. I’ve got a great selection of books that I’ve read over and over again. Sigh but I could never live with you my love, warm giver of life and radiation. You’re a tricolor joy that has made me who I am.
So another month gone, another 3000 words. It was harder than I remember, at least I didn’t write any porn filler. Once I was sleeping outside in the Canadian Rockies, beneath the stars in a sleeping bag without a tent. I awoke to feel moisture on my face, it was snowing in July. I just laid there transfixed by the sight of thousands of snowflakes descending from the heavens. It was magical and beautiful, I never wanted that feeling to end. But it did. It’s one of those memories I cherish a secret that I don’t share, it is mine.
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