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A Decade of Entropy

The sheets are damp from the sweat of a nightmare that I no longer remember having. They cling to my calves. My pupils retract as focus is slowly restored onto the strange shadows of my room's ceiling. Little preparations are made. The wind creeps through the bedroom window. My eyes have been open for months and these waves feel so cyclical and tired.

I am tired again. Re-positioned through various zip codes, various circadian routines, familiar and not so familiar heavy and heavier sighs, rerouted down strange paths and cities in familiar and not so familiar miles driven in familiar, or not, predispositions. I've been here before, I think, as the image of an ex-girlfriend fizzles in and out of my memory within a passing instant. Her name? I strain, What was her-

Their faces must have all aged by now. The cemented image of a person that has been recycled over and over in my mind is no longer alive. I am no longer alive.

So where am I? The street signs look familiar, the blankets feel familiar, the feeling of the keys beneath my fingertips seem familiar. But they're not so familiar. Each and every cell in my body has been recycled and replaced. The bones have weakened, the skin loosened around my eyes, the hair has grayed. The person in the mirror looks familiar, but he is not so familiar; the light is dim and the darkness is deep. The memories haven't been written down so they feel as real as old fables. When does one own's history become fiction?

Don't lose yourself in the entropy, you think they said. You don't really know who they are anymore. You know less than you've ever known.



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ACMU Part IV

You and your salty shores, bitter and sarcastic demeanor. No, I remember quite well. Nights spent in the back of my Jeep, listening to the waves crash and roar against the lighthouse. I swore I could hear you laughing between the tides. You were just as vicious then and you're equally as gorgeous now. Time rarely makes favors for anyone, be it a city or a snarky girl, but damn if you weren't so stubborn that Santa Cruz gave in and let only you in on all its secrets; you now have the city and the boardwalk, its suburbs, and the large ship that ran ashore in Aptos. It conceded its mysteries, idiosychrancies, and quirks.

You weren't leaving so the city gave you Pacific Avenue. It gave you Mission Boulevard. The city gave you the 1, highway 9, and often forgave when you strayed through the 17 to leave its bubble. It knew you'd always come back. But did it know I would? Santa Cruz maintained its hold like a jealous ex boyfriend. It stayed the same because you said you refuse to compromise, so neither did it.

And with a glimmer as gorgeous as that, ink draped along the small of your back, depicting the graveyard you only started getting worked on when we first met, a snarl so sinister the city knew that you and it were one and the same, how dare any man come back and try to take you away.

I'm back, Santa Cruz. And I'm after your girl. You've had your run, you've whethered her skin, calmed her demeanor, and your cool yet humid ocean climate frizzled her hair.

But I'm back, I'm here for the girl. We can do this the easy way, or...



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Hotel Durant

In the north-east bay your ex slams on the brakes to make a right on your street, skidding to a stop as his wheels thrash the curb. His car stalls at his destination, right in front of your house. He chokes back another drunken sob. Your daughter sleeps through it. You hear the commotion outside so you run down the stairs and open the front door. 'My early twenties are coming back to haunt me,' you think, as you contemplate whether or not to 'temporarily' return to your parents house after the lease is up.

As it stands we can only see each other when your ex is taking care of your daughter. Once a week, tops. If you move in with your parents, you said, it could mean possibly even less.

"Don't go."

In the south bay I press the accelerator in deeper, ninety is the new eighty. I can't drive fast enough because the air is colder and the trees are slowly drooping and the wind is picking up, there isn't much time. I've overstayed my welcome, the bay doesn't take kindly to unwanted visitors. I roll down the window and think, 'I never much cared for it either. I don't want to be here anymore than you do.'

"Stay."

I pull into the store to pick up something you told me you once liked. I'm a provider. I must be the provider. I'm doing this for you, you know.

"Don't go away. "

If we were to give it a chance, who would break first?

"See these things just happen when you're dealing with the hands on a clock of a woman. Cause it's enough just to know that I won't ever hold you close. And I won't ever smell your skin, again. And I know how I'm supposed to feel. But here I go again, singing, 'Don't go. Stay. Don't go. Don't go away.'"


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eyes bw

The Bridge, part deux: Death and All of His Friends

"Come over, just be patient, and don't worry. I don't want to battle from beginning to end; I don't want to cycle or recycle revenge. I don't want to follow death and all of his friends. So come over, just be patient... and don't worry."

Summer twisted the city in knots. Traffic backs up as the ground shook and car alarms howled from abandoned lots. The rush is upon us, take cover. The leaves grow restless, they're shaking and whistling above you, can you hear them above the noise of wheels whistling through traffic?

I can. Perched just one story above the grass played on daily by understimulated yet overloaded children, my face is dimly lit by a quarter square foot of a fluorescent and artifical glow. I bury my face into this smart phone much like you do. This is how I connect. Can you hear me calling above the hum? Can you decipher the rhythmic pattern beyond the white noise of our century?

I can. The diagnosis is read off of an LCD screen rather than a faxed document yet the prognosis is little changed. So how can you lecture me on our era? How dare you say we've advanced and beaten our oldest nemises? When our cells grow so fucking tired they grow mad: reproduce and split like animals. How dare you compare order to a world without any? We are our own worst enemy and if we don't kill ourselves, our bodies will do it for us. Pussy.

We put up a fight against this cancer. We inject toxin into our bloodstream. Oh you'll beat it alright. You're going to beat it, they say. Can you hear the sound of cells dying? Can you hear the Oncologist read numbers off of a chart, assuring you they're getting closer? "Just a couple more sessions and we'll fucking fry those fuckers clear of your system... be patient." Can you hear the maddening, deafening call of your cells exploding, of mother nature growling, howling, madly laughing as you destroy what's left of what you call an identity?

I can. There's a battle and we're losing. Our own worst enemy stares at us through our mirrors, waiting on our next move. Who will pull the trigger first?

Jump.
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“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it" -Albert Einstein

Half past six in the morning and I step outside to a crisp, cool morning greeting. Hello San Jose. Pleased to remake your acquaintance as well. It smells like a forest after a refreshing rain, with the sweet tinge of charred wood. Somewhere last night there was a fire. Not only near the bay but in Los Angeles as well. The smell of recent rain is a fallacy however; California is thirsty, its tongue dry, lips chapped and body charred. Its residents would all be dancing in hopes of rain if we weren't so jaded, if we didn't all think we knew better by now. Sometimes faith had it right. Sometimes you just had to believe.

Like with love. Believe and it shall come. She said I wasn't in love; that it was just an idea. I stand outside and smoke a cigarette, blow my smoke toward the south, ash on the dry land, and smirk. Life was the idea, some of the greatest accomplishments in human history started as ideas. All it took was an idea and a little faith, and the possibilities were endless. The limits removed. Picture it and it will come.

I refuse to be jaded to the point where I give up on ideas. I still wake up every morning don't I? I still dream of impossibilities and am always grateful and in awe of what these silly ideas are capable of turning into reality.

So lift your head up off the ground J. Look up. Imagine a world where your head spends some time in the clouds. And you never know, maybe a cleansing, refreshing rain will start to form, gently washing over your past, shining a dim light where there was once nothing but darkness.

Maybe it takes a leap of faith, but isn't that precisely what we are all here to find out? Because what would the future be if we simply resort to repeating the past, simply comfortable because a melancholic memory of a familiar bed or lost feeling is easier to wrap ourselves into than the possibility of a different future; one filled with the embers, the spark, the obscure clarity and heart pumping possibility, of ideas.
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The Bridge

The car struggles against a headwind, heading north towards a dirty bay. Two bridges span across the fog covered salty sea, and every year two dozen people make their final plunge into mother nature's icy grasp below. They let go, the noise above fading into a crash... and then a soft, fleeting hiss. Broken vertebra, fractured wrists, dislocated shoulders, and lungs that slowly fill with water. Flat line. Seagulls fly by unconcerned, a ship's foghorn is blown, a crowd gathers above, all eyes downward, their minds already working out how to tell the story later at a cocktail party where the gazes dart from one end of a room to another, searching. The San Francisco bay is now closer to home than I ever wanted it to be. Los Angeles has been left behind. How many cities have crossed my path like ex-lovers, jealous and full of envy or disgust.

Dot dot dot. I haven't written in ages. My voice has been stolen and recycled. The pages have been left blank and maybe I should just leave them that way. Let someone else carry on a forgotten, unappreciated legacy.


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"How Very Garbage of You." - ACMU Part III

A mess of a February involves waking up with a neck brace in an ambulance. The MRI is loud; its beeps and bangs obnoxious, the monologue in my head pretentious, I no longer write because it has been nothing but drivel since the beginning. Emotional boy.

She said, "Gonna cut out the inane prattle for a while." She had to get back to work. I laughed. Bravo.

I told her I'd use it as the closing lines of my vows someday. But enough of this inane prattle, let's just make out.

She fell asleep after the second period. I didn't have to use my alarm, which I had set around midnight for 4am, because I never fell asleep in the first place. I never fall asleep anymore. I watched TJ Oshie shoot over and over and over and over and I could have been going through some insomniac delusional state of deja-vu, but it happened; I caught it on the replay that aired right afterward.

It's almost noon. I still haven't slept. But enough of this inane prattle. It's time to ice the shoulder again.shopify analytics ecommerce tracking
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The Medal Count

Gay men stand outside of a fast food restaurant in Hollywood. They yell at the patrons daring to walk inside. They yell at the sign holders across from them. They fight, straining their vocal chords, letting go of the inhibitions that they carry on their shoulders daily. It's Wednesday, slightly after noon and I'm on a couch lowering the volume on the newscast that sensationlizes this story. I can't take it. I can't take the constant, everlasting and neverending debate. People disagree and they disagree so fucking strongly and adimately that any sense of humanity, or togetherness, oneness, all-one-or-none, fades. How do we carry on, minute by minute, in a world with so much disagreement? Why were we designed this way? It's obviously just a question to a God I struggle to believe in, a "benevolent being" I know does not exist, as the concept alone defines this surreal being as existing completely separate and disconnected from me. All one or none. If we are all one, then we win. But we're not winning.

London 2012: we're clawing at our opponents. We're devouring our competition. We're eating ourselves right up, gold medal and all. It's a race toward the highest tally. Soon we'll realize we're simply left stranded at the finish line, looking about for another soul to confide, celebrate, and enjoy this moment with. Yet our yells of triumph are left unanswered, our calls fall on deaf ears. We're raising our hands in celebration in front of a desolate landscape. No one cares when you're alone at the top.
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Freedom

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It takes nearly 400 pages of build up and Franzen, in his brilliant recent novel, can make me break down with the words "It's me. It's just me." And I fucking lose it. My dog comes over to see what's wrong, she's licking my cheek, which are now glistening under the stream of tears. I'm sorry, I say to her. And the book hangs awkwardly between my left thumb and forefinger, tilted heavily to its left side, sagging under the weight of frantically read pages over the last two weeks. This is what its like to dive back in, to fully immerse yourself. 2011 was a hiccup, a momentary lapse of judgement, a year I'm glad to have had only in retrospect, when you figure you must pick up pieces, survey the damage, and carry on.

I don't know what's going to be of the years to come. I know less than I did several years ago on this touchy subject of destiny, fate, or finding ones place within an increasingly entropic world. And maybe that is precisely the key. Maybe it's through this unknowing where a life truly begins to take form; slowly mending itself into something recognizable, something tangible, something fluid, liquid, formed by years of unwept tears, finally being released onto the final pages of a novel, onto words written innocently enough: "It's just me."
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Shadows

Thirty or so thousand feet down is untouched land, riddled hills and peaks of the Sierras, their shadows like statues. We start our slow, gliding descent, carving the dry altitude air, leaving our trail so no one dare forget we were once here. Northern California stunk of used women, heart wrenching memories, highways I drove a decade earlier and hope to never drive again.

The wings are level, the power is pulled back. I've put many of women in the same seat I'm in now. They landed but never stayed.

Thanksgiving hurt. Christmas is coming. So batter up, I hear the skies are friendly this time of year.
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You win; here is your signed armistice.

I feel more lost, more broken and far more empty than you do or will. For you must remember darling, you were the one that left. You were the one that cut the lines of communication. You are the one that moved on. You are the one that holds this grudge, one that eats away at you, while I sit in our bed, in our room, alone. I want to put a period at the end of our sentence. I want to reconcile, apologize, forgive, and move on. Here is my signed armistice.

I want to give you a hug and tell you I still love you, and I want nothing but contentment for you. I want to be there in case you need someone to talk to, a shoulder to lean on, a forgiving, gentle, and kind voice when you're frustrated beyond reason. But I know you'd never have that, so I stay quiet. I may be the cause for half of your pain and a scapegoat for the other half, but I'm willing to take it all, or whatever it takes, so you can shed yourself of your past and move on... hopefully turning your anger into indifference, and your wrath into inspiration.

I'm sorry beautiful, you deserved better anyway. At this point, the one thing I want beyond and above everything else, is for you to stop hurting.

Ill carry the weight. Just pile yours ontop of mine. Ill carry it for you, and you can go on, lighter, ataractic, and free.
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Honey, wake up. The news is on.

A girl moved to hollwyood and took up fucking for money, but she did it on camera, so it wasn't frowned upon. She pulled in several thousand every few weeks, she did fine. But it doesn't stop there. It never does. She befriends an actor at a raunchy strip club one evening and he invites her over. The night she arrives there are 5 others just like her waiting, and the actor invites them all to his theater room to watch adult films. For her time she is offered a Bentley, worth several picket fenced homes in rural America being foreclosed because paying the mortgage is just too hard after 2 years out of work. She's owed. 'After all, I'm twenty-two years old and getting tired of producers' demands,' she thinks, as the actor is being wheeled away to the hospital.

In Egypt they tear their hearts out and scream bloody murder.

In Mexico they're racing to the border, their wives bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head after refusing to give up their car to a cartel.

In Angola they spend their dying days gazing at western headlines at the bazaar, reading that George Clooney successfully beats malaria.

In Uganda they brutally murder a man named David because he believes a person who likes another person of similar sex does not deserve to be murdered.

Throughout the world, servicemen in the American armed forces think, Fuck it. They die more by their own hands now than by the hands of what they were told is an enemy.

Someone here has to be right.

"War all the time."
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The Eclipse

Last year around this time I was in a record breaking blizzard in DC, paying a vigilante close to $200 to drive through the snow in his 4x4 to get me to the airport. I was flying to LA.

This year I'm in LA. During a record breaking rain storm I'd usually welcome the weather, but the moon is being shadowed by our earth tonight, putting on a show for the nation, while California is left in the dark. I went outside anyway.

Looking up, the rain splattered across my face, soaking my sweater, splattering drops on my sandals. But it was worth it. Because this year is different. This year promises opportunity, beauty, and the prospect of everlasting love. The final moments of 2010 breathes possibility.

The moon disappears for an hour or so tonight, and I stand there staring at the clouds. It obstructs my view but I know that just beyond what I can see there lies a beauty, a love, a possibility, or something that I could never normally imagine. And being comforted by this thought, this prospect, is just enough that I smile, rain crashing against my teeth, content in a future that, for the first time in a long time, looks brighter than any star.
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Rumors

Scantily clad laid back on the bar stool looking up at the row of liquor bottles, she squinted her eyes at the top shelf. It was her third night out in a row; it was becoming habitual, something had to give. She gave up trying to read the labels when the bartender approached her. She pushed herself up closer to him and whispered, "Chopin and diet coke, please. No ice." She hated how the ice came from buckets in front of the bar, probably covered in bacteria from all the cups that were constantly crammed into it, left over bar food that had found its way across the counter, dirt and piss and shit from mice or ants or whatever the fuck the bar had hiding behind its walls. It wasn't a classy joint. But ordering Chopin, she hoped, proved she was a classy girl.The bartender made her repeat, "No ice" three times. What is it with guys? Their paycheck comes from two tasks: listening and pouring. It's one-half of the job, she thought, try harder.

The bartender turned his back in order to pour her drink. The back of his shirt read RUMORS. It was the name of the bar. She wondered who came up with it, but instantly lost interest in the topic. She was one of five patrons yet she assumed it was still pretty busy for a Monday night. The jukebox has been silent since she stepped in, but she wasn't the type to pick songs and force an entire room of strangers to listen to what she thought was good music. Let another sap put in the two dollars. She didn't care what played but she was starting to get a bit creeped out by the silence. Any sense that is unstimulated is dangerous territory, it gets the mind going. Maybe she should have asked for a double.

It hit her then, just as the bartender was topping off her glass.
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Nation of Jealous Lovers

It's dark, but blistering. 2AM doesn't mean the same here as it did there. The stale latent summer heat still lingers around, robbing me of the little extra oxygen I used to take advantage of back home. Wherever home was. Back west, anyway. The district could care less about what I've been used to. But I've learned to live alongside its indifference. Let the heat rob some oxygen from my lungs, I'll smoke my cigarette anyway... and I'll inhale just as long and deep as I did in Santa Barbara, and I'll cough in its face. You can't break me, god dammit, not yet, anyway. Fuck your metropolitan suffocation. I'll deal with your four flights of stairs and creaky wooden floors and overused air conditioners. I'll deal with your crime rates and rolling eyes. I've got some stamina yet; so I'll beat you, god dammit... I will.

Because otherwise, we both lose. Don't we? Tread carefully. Santa Barbara, as timid as she is, remains a jealous ex-lover. And I still love her dearly.
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The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

"So pace the stairs to your apartment like it's where you want to be." -tbs

The humidity whets my appetite. The road rage seeps my anger. The stairs to the 4th floor apartment drains my energy. And the late night double vodka cokes soothe the culture shock. DC shakes in its own shell, riled up by the thunderstorms. It downpours its exhaust. But I take it in slowly, letting each drop morph a tiny, small piece of me into this new label of an East Coaster. The Atlantic is now home, the Pacific a long lost memory. My gaze slowly migrates from west to east. The horizon is as big of an enigma as it has ever been.

Last blog I spoke of a condom bag. The bag still exists, but it's shoved between boxes and crates buried beneath extension cords and speaker wire. It's technically as useless as it was near my bed in Santa Barbara. But it carries less weight now, hidden beneath chores piled so high I tend to walk around. DC wins, beating me down to the most strict and elemental necessities. Warm water, cold water, a roof over one's head and a sheet under one's body.

I close my eyes. But every time they open I'm slightly shocked; surely this must be a dream. What am I doing here? Where do I go from here?

A bed is on its way but its far too big for me. Just like old times. Let's find someone to share it with this time around, let us give faith to an opposite coast, and by anyone's God, reap in its potential glory.

Cheers to the district... ?
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Patient Zero - Swine Flu (H1N1)

One hundred miles south of Mexico City Edgar looks up at the camera and smiles. An adorable five-year-old child's eyes stare at the news cameras. Edgar you don't know what you have started. Sanjay Gupta, who happens to be the lead resident doctor of CNN, explains. You are patient zero, you were the first to contract this horrible H1N1 flu virus. Edgar, you've been playing around with the livestock, haven't you? Yes, you have. But it's not your fault. You did what any five year old would do with time in Veracruz, Mexico. So be it. Edgar, live another day, as you strive toward recovery. Edgar, did you know that thousands of miles north there is a man who cooked a dinner, with the help of a friend, for five other friends, in Santa Barbara, California? We did it clean, neat, and it took hours while taking the name of a famous movie. We made Ratatouille and, Edgar, it turned out great. One of the patrons, although showing up too late for dinner, intrigued me. She lay stomach down on my bed and her Jameson whiskey was laying on the floor in front of her. She didn't finish it, so I did, just now; when I got back home. Edgar, did you know she just went through a tragic divorce? She's as cute as the button you'd expect your grandmother to design. But both of my grandmothers are dead buddy, so what's left for me to compare her to? She's golden like a medal given out at the Olympics, but she cares not for the Chinese and she's simply laying on my bed joking about this "imminent pandemic" just like the rest of us. Like we all are. Edgar I think I could fall for this one, if she's willing to fall with me. Sometimes the only thing left to do is jump, and I know you know what I'm talking about Edgar, it's like you had no other choice. Sometimes it'll present nothing but miraculous opportunity, and sometimes you'll be blamed for ending the world. I get it, Edgar. How do we keep things cordial? How do we keep things fluid and appropriate, while at the same time, getting exactly what we were looking for? Let me know, you're healing just fine, but many are dying. This is typical. We're in this together.
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Bouloor

She sips a beer before walking home after working a 9 hour shift. She yawns, looks up and stares at the fog as it rolls in from the coast and towards the city. There were times she'd consider running for it, rolling head first into the ocean and losing herself in the thick marine layer as her feet strike the sand, losing her bearings amongst the shore and loving every second of it, the only sense of direction coming from the salty offshore breeze as it hits her nostrils. And she can look around and feel the wet and thickness of the atmosphere all across her body. But the beer is almost finished and her home is only three blocks away. So there's only one real reasonable decision to be made, so she makes it, of course, puts her head down and heads for home. Tomorrow is a new year according to some calenders. She knows it. But she can't, for the life of her, really feel it.

Quantized Time

There is beauty in twenty-seven. Out amongst the tips of the hills to the north the clouds roll in like an ancient invasion, the wind teases and chills down to the bone, and the feeling is nothing but anticipation and memory. And it says, as clear as the full moon, Remember it, because it means so much more this time around. There are only so many days left here, in Santa Barbara, in youth, in life as a whole. So go in stride, keep your head up, play things tongue in cheek and go through the motions and if you trip up then get right back up and keep going.

I sat in front of my computer at 5am last night, while she laid on the couch behind me, reciting thoughts that I transcribed and I didn't agree with a word but the irony nearly floored me. Yet I obliged, regardless, because that's how the circle works. That's how things come around. We've come to this point because it was the one probability we couldn't conceive. And it collapsed in on itself, just like quantum mechanics says it should.

But all for naught, or all for the greater good? Either way, it makes sense in some strange way. The way little screws rip through little planks of wood and struts are built, one by one, and connected in what seems to be chaotic indifference only to create a superstructure that couldn't have made sense any other way. We build our own destiny like this, with this.

It's the middle of the night, whether its a second past midnight, 4 in the morning, or getting a call from a girl you haven't spoken to in three years at noon on an unsuspecting Monday. It's always the middle of the night because we're stuck in flux, unable to comprehend even the slightest twist in an unfinished plot in what we consider should be our fluid narrative. But! But! But it's just like time, it's not fluid, it's quantized. Physicists recently understood that the smallest measurement of time is 1/1025 seconds. So what, exactly, happens in between?