Friday, August 12, 2011

Life is not the only thing worth living for

I think the most important thing in life is to party, but not to have fun because those are two different things. Lana and I were standing on a deck.

“My dad’s girlfriend wants our band to fail,” I said. “Now we have to succeed just to spite her.”

“No we don’t. Your dad’s girlfriend is actually really nice once you get to know her.”

“You know her?”

“I did. Five years ago. I don’t think anyone has since then. She started a band and wrote really eclectic music that drove her insane. I have picture of her playing a drum.”

When you’re standing on a deck near a street look inside the cars. You’ll see people. Immediately stop looking; it was just a mirage or one of those half-asleep thoughts. You stopped just in time. Keep playing these games until your band takes off, then accept the mantle of rock stardom and write important music. But your band won’t take off because

For me playing Magic: The Gathering is about exploring new worlds, like doing drugs and getting addicted and exploring alleys.

“I once gave Magic cards to a kid and he was like ‘I don’t play Magic anymore!’ and his voice was really bitter and that was when I first realized I project an outer self that others judge, so I hit him with a jug.”

“It’s okay, I accepted in 5th grade that people are products of their circumstances and don’t do cruel things on purpose. I don’t accept it now though; I just blame myself, but since the self cant be isolated to a single entity I'm on shaky philosophical ground so I generally just let it go.”

I never have fun at parties, but I understand their importance in getting people to stand on decks and notice how nice decks are and buy one for their own home even if they don’t need them.

“When you’re playing guitar do you ever pretend God is watching you?”

“I see someone human, not eternal. I don’t like being watched by someone who can see my corpse. Looking at corpses is almost pornographic, but not quite so I let it go since I’m a moral absolutist.”

I was depressed so I sat down. It was the kind of lawn chair you could sit on and pretend you were running from the police or being the police or being a rogue detective who isn’t on the side of the police or the criminals: the kind that is the size and shape of an alley from a police film.,

“Someday I’ll get better at being confident in myself playing guitar,” I said. “And things will be like they were before.”

“I don’t know, at some point we have to move on. We can’t keep watching that dog run on the treadmill forever. At some point the dogs legs will fall off or he’ll get tired or bored.”

“I don’t mean watching the dog. I mean being happy.”:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Swimmer

“This is what you wrote on my swimming instructor evaluation form,” Lana said. “’I’m alone and afraid, please help.’ I know I’m your only friend and you idealize me, but knowing something and seeing it on a swimming instructor evaluation form are two different things.”

“Sorry. It was the drugs letting me talk.”

“I hope by ‘drugs’ you mean steroids.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“You guess what, that you mean steroids or that I hope you mean steroids or that hope even exists?”


We parked a couple blocks from the YMCA in a lot hemmed in by white buildings and chain-link fence. All day parking was whatever you could afford – for a poor man, $5; for a rich man, a machine that shrinks camels and spits them through the eye of a needle. As we neared the pool I felt anxious. Maybe it was the acid. Or maybe it was the place itself. We passed faded wood signs, bright pink banners, battered sandwich boards, glowing neon lights. Girls in bikinis, guys in shorts and bikinis. Slick tans. Gray faces. No sign of life.

“There should be a separate hell for boring people.” Lana said. “It’d be a room with my swimming instructor bar exam in it. They’d have to work on it all day, even though they’d rather be eating or watching a movie or breathing because the air would be sawdust. Honestly though, the torture isn’t important; I just want to keep boring people out of regular-people hell.”

“You mean the realization that the world will end in 50 years, and unless you adopt a healthy lifestyle you’ll miss it?” I said.

The first glimpse of a pool is terrifying. The longer you’ve been away, the more it grows. The more it grows, the more you shrink. The lens of chlorine, tracing earth’s finitude, makes you feel puny, like a bug on the toe of a dinosaur. I couldn’t see the pool yet, but it saw me and was smiling. The air was heavy and weightless, bodacious and without any mass.

“I don’t hate Eskimos because I’m racist,” Lana said. “I hate them because I’m evil. There’s a difference. A lot of good people are racist, like Archie Bunker or Mel Gibson.”

Why go to the pool? Everything is supposed to be better there - sex, drugs, even books. Also, they say, it’s serene, an enema for the mind. Stare at the diving board, that glassy plane of nowhere, and your thoughts disperse. And while you’re there, the party line goes, get molested. You haven’t relaxed unless you can prove it physically with a piece of paper explaining a lawsuit.

Lana and I had been friends for eight years. She knew me better than anyone. She also knew swimming. She’d been doing it on and off since high school. Once she swam less than five minutes after eating. She said all the evil in her body turned to water, so she tried to shake it off. “On the DANCE FLOOR?” I texted back. She didn’t answer.

"One time while cyberswimming my deck exploded," Lana said. "My head crumpled like a napkin. It took me ten years to learn how to learn again."

People! People everywhere. A mass exodus of people, scrabbling for the pool like chumtoads. It looked like a hidden cutscene you can only access by unlocking everything in a video game about swimming. My hobbies when not swimming are looking at things that aren't girls' eyes and Extreme Anything (that isn't looking at girls' eyes).

“I wasn’t born with an ounce of swimming talent,” A swimming professional said. “I just swam my ass off every day. But that didn’t work either, so I took these steroids.” He held up some steroids. “They have side effects.”

“Unquestionably unconstitutional,” the cashier said. “You’re banned from my poolside snack bar forever.” He turned out the lights, walked around the counter, past the register, through the prep area, and into the kitchen. On the floor, next to the grill, was a hose, black, with an l_shaped chrome nozzle, attached to a metal block with a red switch. He bent down and hit the switch. The pump juddered to life with an electric roar.

… And maybe tonight. Maybe tonight you’ll be gone.

There was a hollow slurp as the last oil was sucked from the grease trap. He stared down at the nozzle, thinking about the swimmer and his story.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

If it bleeds we can kill it

Puns are the lowest form of humor which is why Shakespeare was the Carrot Top of his day. I'm sitting in a car waiting for someone to come back with drugs and reading the Shakespeare play that Carrot Top's name and stage persona and prop comedy is based on - Chairman of the Bard - and going through drug withdrawals.

Reading helps my anxiety. Anxiety is rooted in real-world fears so it's good to read about things with no real-world referent like love and compassion. Anxiety is also caused by insomnia. I wish I were a vampire since they don't have sleep problems. Last night I was up all night thinking about a story about VHS tapes. Vampires never have this problem because they don't write: they've been around long enough know words are futile. I don't write either - the writer being dead because of Roland Barthes - but I want to and desire is my weakness.

I put down the play in disgust. Shakespeare is at worst Satan. Everything decays; thinking one can make a lasting document of the humor of Carrot Top is pure egotism.

To buy I drugs I took out two mortgages - one on my blood and one on my future. If I default, a repo truck arrives at my 29th birthday party. A repo person climbs out and grabs the cake with a pair of ice tongs, revealing a sinkhole that the things that will replace my existence shoot out of: trees, air and sections of walls.

"You're a whore." I tell her.

"Why?"

"I want to tell my friend he's a whore but he's not here so I'm telling him by proxy. Anyone with an IT job, a girlfriend, enough money to live comfortably - who still feels some non-specific malaise - that's their conscience telling them they're a whore. I have a soul sometimes, just not my own."

The repo person cries. Lana turns to Ari.

"What's that person doing?"

"Her or his job."

If I don't default, the birthday goes fine. I open my presents and blow out the candles. I want to wish for a magic amulet, one that will grant me infinite powers, even though due to karma it will cause my soul pain and suffering in a later life. But then I realize I already made that wish in a previous life. So I wish for a horse. Not a pony because ponies are for girls or homosexuals.

Some addicts I know hate looking at clocks. They're idiots. Clocks are the most important instruments in the world; they verify that time is working properly. People who hate clocks probably hate stepometers and gauges on planes. They probably hate the display on Coke machines that says "Vending." Probably hate their own pulse ... No wonder carrot top is unpopular; no wonder we have culmination theory, like Red Box and think peeves are our pets and not vice-versa.

There is not a crate big enough to throw at all the people who need a crate thrown at them tonight. (Turn to page 56)

Friendship is still there when you turn out the lights, like a skull that glows in the dark. (Turn to page 82)

Heroin. (Stare at page for 6 hours, then read again)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Click here for less information

I associate all people with a person named O. O is the essence of everything I hate about her or him. She or he really badly hurt myself (reflexive pronoun intentional since I realized on acid that I’m God and therefore the agent of all actions). The beekeeper at the podium spoke:

“Ever since a man in a bathrobe described Mos Eisley as ‘a wretched hive of scum and villainy’ ‘hive’ has been a pejorative. The loss of revenue to beekeepers has cancelled our proposed beehive prison where paraphiliacs are detained by forcefields made of honey.”

“This is so much better than last year,” Lana said. “I’m so … what’s the opposite of sadness?”

“Denial,” I said – I was sad because my entry in the Beekeeping convention flier cover art contest – a tuxedoed bird standing next to an old mattress spitting springs at some bees and the bird – was rejected because I misspelled my name on the raum-nuff [intranslatable: closest is “Snowman”]. Earlier that day I had written “I felt like a van covered with bumper stickers no one could read” as a lead-in to my review of the HoneyMaster 30 beehive. There was a time when the buzz of bees set to music made pictures dance in my head, but standing in the bank line, beehivereviews.com check in hand, I realized I was an O, turning phrases about beehives like a hooker turns tricks.

A school bus filled with people in lab coats pulled into the parking lot. “Judges,” the person next to us said. “We’re trapped in dreamspace pending a perfect 10 on our performance as convention-goers.”

“What do they evaluate you on?”

“You is a sexist pronoun because it refers to me as a separate entity from the hive and therefore a male because the hive is a matriarchy.”

“The queen is just a figurehead. The real decisions are made by the springs in her mattress. Their tensions control the alignment of her spine, determining the cerebrospinal fluid level in her brain: too little and she dies; too much and she gets executive functioning disorder and declares war on beings of inexistent colors whose atoms spin counterclockwise.”

Everyone goes outside; the person stays seated.

“Aren’t you going to see how you scored?”

“No point. Even if we got a ten, there are two other halls down the road that have to score a ten simultaneous. We’re no more winners than an scientist can measure the thickness brown adds to a TV screen.”

Lana points a gun at the person. “Go! It’s all you have!”

[1] <---------------------------> [2]

Until Honey on Demand goes live, honey is only available in packets at the McDonalds drive-thru. The unmediated space between the two windows is the closest thing drive-thru customers have to freedom I feel myself drifting farther and farther from reality; a few more feet and I’ll be somewhere in the wall between the manager’s office and the crew room, the one the lockers are on.

“I’m getting adopted by a refrigerator mother for my egodystonic neurotypicality.”

“Aren’t you a little old?”

“According to physicist Bill Cosby, parenthood is nonlinear.”

The lab was abandoned after the test. McDonalds’ scientists thought they could eliminate inter-window space by mashing the windows together like lesbian cunts. It worked, but the cashier and presenter discovered they had magic rings that when touched grant eternal happiness to every person ever, a process that takes longer than the test allowed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Date Gun

It’s a brick tenement, three stories, with a lighted archway over the entrance. A cloud of moths circles the bulb like drunken atom trying to hold itself together. I find the button and press it. It takes most of my thumb strength. It’s the grimiest one on the panel and feels like it hasn’t been pressed in a long time.

I wait.

Drug week was a huge success. Real(I)ty flattened out like a movie through 2D glasses ... Ernest Hemingway is the Ernest Hemingway of torture porn in this reality. He was molested as a child and writes torture porn because the body is a perfectly good dying machine ruined by eating and drinking but mainly as a form of self-therapy. Fatherhood. "How do you know it's for me?" I said to the cashier, at which point she continued laughing.

But I didn't care. But the important thing to remember is shadows shuffling, whispering.

Scientists in charge of studying the ocean and coming up with scientific names for those studies have discovered the nineties are hiding in a trench in the Atlantic, and while they aren’t sure how the nineties got there or what to name the committee they plan on putting in charge of not being sure, they are finding mounting evidence that the ocean is sick of the nineties, like everyone else, and in 50 years or so will vomit them onto the east coast in a disaster to end all disasters or at least the ones that have names.

"Pop quiz: How did France win World War II?"

"Airplanes?"

"Actually it was economic sanctions and a gun that makes people become overburdened with dates."

"Okay, so metaphorical airplanes made of sanctions and technology."

I know its face is in there somewhere, along with the explosion and the Sega Genesis game and the year book. Inside the physical warehouse of memory, wind-torn and salvaged in the postcard gleam of port cities and unmoved receivers, desolate of kindness and wanting the finite touch of wisdom to set it aloft. Lana got a tattoo. We can't dream of anything that we can't hold in our four hands until inhuman voices sedate us. The return address on the postcard read:

Six-Legged Deer
P.O. Box 11
Rome, GA, 30161

and corporate logos and infomercials ... blue lines killing the jagged red ones, which I sometimes pretended were high school bullies or people on the internet who attacked my posts about Kevin Smith movies with specious logic or strawmen. Someday I’d defeat those people and their falsified argumentations – just as soon as I got back in college and quit my fast food job, which was going to be any day now.

Road trip. we saw a nuclear power plant that I thought looked like a giant boob. I told this to Lana, who said I’d never seen a boob, which was true; my concept of boobs was mostly extrapolated from a drawing of one I solicited from a caricature artist at the last state fair I was allowed to attend.

I smiled a

but inside I was still kind of sad, and a little scared because I actually take radiation poisoning really seriously. Death might not be how we feel when we're alive. It’s probably like It’s a brick tenement, three stories, with a lighted archway over the entrance. A cloud of moths circles the bulb like drunken atom trying to hold itself together. I find the button and press it. It takes most of my thumb strength. It’s the grimiest one on the panel and feels like it hasn’t been pressed in a long time.

I wait.

Drug week was a huge success. Real(I)ty flattened out like a movie through 2D glasses ... Ernest Hemingway is the Ernest Hemingway of torture porn in this reality. He was molested as a child and writes torture porn because the body is a perfectly good dying machine ruined by eating and drinking but mainly as a form of self-therapy. Fatherhood. "How do you know it's for me?" I said to the cashier, at which point she continued laughing.

But I didn't care. But the important thing to remember is shadows shuffling, whispering.

Scientists in charge of studying the ocean and coming up with scientific names for those studies have discovered the nineties are hiding in a trench in the Atlantic, and while they aren’t sure how the nineties got there or what to name the committee they plan on putting in charge of not being sure, they are finding mounting evidence that the ocean is sick of the nineties, like everyone else, and in 50 years or so will vomit them onto the east coast in a disaster to end all disasters or at least the ones that have names.

"Pop quiz: How did France win World War II?"

"Airplanes?"

"Actually it was economic sanctions and a gun that makes people become overburdened with dates."

"Okay, so metaphorical airplanes made of sanctions and technology."

I know its face is in there somewhere, along with the explosion and the Sega Genesis game and the year book. Inside the physical warehouse of memory, wind-torn and salvaged in the postcard gleam of port cities and unmoved receivers, desolate of kindness and wanting the finite touch of wisdom to set it aloft. Lana got a tattoo. We can't dream of anything that we can't hold in our four hands until inhuman voices sedate us. The return address on the postcard read:

Six-Legged Deer
P.O. Box 11
Rome, GA, 30161

and corporate logos and infomercials ... blue lines killing the jagged red ones, which I sometimes pretended were high school bullies or people on the internet who attacked my posts about Kevin Smith movies with specious logic or strawmen. Someday I’d defeat those people and their falsified argumentations – just as soon as I got back in college and quit my fast food job, which was going to be any day now.

Road trip. we saw a nuclear power plant that I thought looked like a giant boob. I told this to Lana, who said I’d never seen a boob, which was true; my concept of boobs was mostly extrapolated from a drawing of one I solicited from a caricature artist at the last state fair I was allowed to attend.

I smiled a

but inside I was still kind of sad, and a little scared because I actually take radiation poisoning really seriously. Death might not be how we feel when we're alive. It's probably like delirium tremens or licking the vinyl off a couch or a really mediocre orgasm that takes forever. Until then, all I’m left with is the smell of this leather jacket and a book on how to beat a plethysmograph test.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chairlift Repair

A man was driving to a business meeting when he saw an abandoned ski area. He pulled over and walked up the hill. Halfway up the hill, he saw a gear and picked it up. When he got to the top of the hill, he pried the panel off the chairlift motor and inserted the gear. There were still several parts missing and the motor had no gas and was covered with rust. It was dark, so he walked into an abandoned shack and slept. The next morning he drove into town and sold all of his belongings except his car and clothing; using the money, he bought tools and parts and a year’s supply of food. He worked on the chairlift until sundown and then retired to the shack. This was how it went for several months. Then one day while replacing a gear in the motor, he cut himself badly, forcing him to return to town and check into the hospital. After a week of hospitalization, he returned to his work. A few more months passed. Slowly, he made progress on the chairlift; he fixed the motor and began refurbishing the chairs and restoring the pulley system. It was September and the nights were getting colder. He’d lie on the floor of the shack, swaddled in an old tarp. Shivering. One night, a bear entered the shack and began eating his food. He threw a wrench at the bear; it hit the bear’s leg. The bear grunted and kept eating. He banged a hammer against a pot. The noise scared the bear away. The next morning, he installed a deadbolt on the shack door. The bear never returned. He continued his work on the chairlift, attaching the restored seats to the cable and welding support struts to the towers. One day, his welding mask fell off and rolled down the hill. Too tired to retrieve it, he welded without it. The next day he had welder’s flash – his eyes itched and he saw white spots. He walked to a stream and splashed water in his eyes. This alleviated some of the itching, but he still couldn’t work for the rest of the day. That evening, he noticed that mice had eaten a substantial amount of his food. He had no money, so in order to buy more food he would have to get a job. He went into town the next day and applied for a job as janitor at a community center. The interviewer said he was overqualified and asked why he was applying for the job. He shrugged and said he didn’t know. The interviewer said he had two other applicants to interview and that he would call him back when he’d made his decision. He said he didn’t have a phone. The interviewer said that in that case he was not hirable because the community center needed a means of contacting its employees in the event that someone got sick and they needed to call in someone to cover their shift. The next place he applied was Wendy’s, but they weren’t hiring. It was almost dark, so he returned to the ski area. That night, he forgot to lock the shack door and a cougar came in and ate the rest of his food. The next day, while driving back into town, his car ran out of gas. He abandoned it and resumed his job search, applying at several department stores and a hardware store. One of the department stores hired him as manager after reading his administrative qualifications on his resume. He got an advance on his first paycheck and rented an apartment in town. The job was easy and paid well; after a few months he had enough money to buy a new set of tools. He made several friends at his new job, one of whom found the impound lot where his car had been towed. He called a cab and went to the impound lot and paid the fee, which he could easily afford. It was winter now and the mountain was covered with snow, making work on the chairlift impossible, so he spent his free time researching chairlifts on the internet and posting on chairlift forums. He chatted online with several chairlift experts and acquired some valuable tips. Using his employee discount, he bought a desk and office chair and office supplies from the department store and set up an office in his apartment in which he planned the remaining chairlift repairs. When spring finally came, he moved out of his apartment and back to the ski area. The chairlift was just as he’d left it, aside from some water damage to the motor which he quickly repaired. The chairlift was almost in working order: he just had to adjust the tension on the cables and call the state chairlift inspector to inspect it for safety. For the next few days he worked feverishly from dusk to dawn. He initially miscalculated the tension on the cables, but with the help of one of his online friends from the chairlift forum he was able to correct his error. The days were getting longer now, allowing him more time to work. At night, he’d build a fire outside the shack and watch chairlift repair videos on his portable TV. He had no reason to fear animals now because he had several guns and a hunting knife. After testing the strength of the cables and running several other miscellaneous tests, he called the inspector. The inspector came the next day and was very impressed. It only took him 20 minutes to pass the chairlift, awarding it a score of 78 out of 80. He said it was the best chairlift he’d ever seen and that the restoration was very impressive. After the inspector left, the man got on the chairlift and turned it on. It worked perfectly, taking him up the mountain, then down again. The chairlift repair was complete.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Arena

The Arena was created by post-post-structuralists in an attempt to prove that language isn’t arbitrary. Upon entering, the combatant must say a word; they then have to fight a physical version of that word in a gladiatorial match. Words with anthropomorphic letters that can easily wield weapons should be avoided at all costs – t is generally considered the worst.

I said the least fearsome word I knew: “Be.” The uppercase ‘B’ is just a sideways ass and the lowercase ‘e’ a half-circle with a tail that it hops around on like a pogo sperm.

Unfortunately, I forget about the IPA pronunciation symbols, which despite their small size are vicious. I was defeated quickly.

“To be or not to be?” Be said as it stood over me holding a spear. “Isn’t that what your William Shakespeare said?”

“How the hell should I know?”

“What if I told you that Shakespeare was missing something? That there is something in between existence and inexistence, something which holds the key to the ultimate mystery of the universe.”

“Why anyone would willingly listen to System of a Down?”

“You don’t take me very seriously, do you?”

“Well come on, you’re Be for Christ’s sake. Quit talking shit like you’re Chris Jericho.”

“The words or the wrestler?”

Be stabbed me. When the pain began I didn’t think it was the spear wound; I just thought I had a different perspective that allowed me to see some fissure in the human experience. I realized that at the end of the Western road there is just a cat. A cat staring at you. Either judging or forgiving you. I knew I’d never write poetry again, since poetry is dancing with language, and the pain of spear wounds prevents one from dancing. Sometimes the most powerful artistic statement is none at all.


After recovering from the fight I became addicted to painkillers, but I overcame the addiction by listening to music. It became my anti-drug. But like all things that have the word “drug” in them, anti-drugs can be dangerous in large doses. After suffering a near-fatal case of rickets at a Marilyn Manson concert, I vowed to never abuse music again.

If you ever think of doing music, think of your friends and family. If, while trying to think of your friends and family in a darkened room where objects lose their scale and deep structures and smallheaded owls scuttle down an ugly cave of words in fractured sirloin cadences, you realize you don’t have any friends and family, read a book. But not one with the following words in it: