Monday, March 31, 2008
"Set me down please, I'm thirsty. Please pour me a bowl of water."
I grabbed a bowl and ran it under the spigot. The tap water was dirty, looked like dish water with floating clumps of oatmeal and mushy brown rice. I dropped the bowl in the sink and reached for a new bowl. I filled it up with the remnants of my Dasani water bottle. My bunny lapped it up and squinted his happy eyes. I remember the lingering fondness for this bunny, and deep rooted sense that I would lay my life on the line for his survival.
Interpretations are invited.
The party took him all the way to Vancouver. Into an abandoned Sushi and saki place, once called “the Squirm.” Now left barren and empty, with a few dusty chairs in the corner. Sam was ready to join the club. He did his research. Found the group that would suit his tastes, and after much self motivational speeches to his own face in the mirror, Sam bought himself a plane ticket to Vancouver. Two suitcase were his companion. One was filled his regular street clothes and toiletries. The other, just barely fit his costume.
The costume was a different story. The costume was very important to his involvement with the group referred to by itself as Paddington Underground. The thing he found in his research was that Paddington Underground forbade two of the same members. And if you know anything about Paddington Underground, you will know that that means no two persons can wear the furs of the same species. Paddington Underground also forbade fake, Halloween-esque costumes. The group demanded authentic furs, and the furs were not to be purchased. Part of initiation is proof that you were the one who slaughtered the animal you were about to possess in the groups ritual. Proof most often came in the form of camcorder footage of the murderous hunt.
Sam saved his money, and was able to pay local gang members to help him break into the zoo, where he first offered the lone panther five pounds of ground beef, drenched in sedatives. The panther’s hunger was by luck alone satiated by the beef, so he left Sam alone. But the chemicals began to take effect rapidly and the panther fell into a slumber. That is when Sam approached the animal. The kill was sensual. He felt the furs, and allowed himself time to become intoxicated by the animal’s naturally occurring, pheromone saturated perfume. Then he had the animal carried out by his gang member friends. Alone, in Sam’s own basement did he drug the animal some more, to induce the animal’s death. The objective was to not spoil the animal’s fur. The fur was to be preserved.
When Sam first arrived at the festival in “The Squirm,” all eyes were on him. And very soon all hands would be on him, for the panther perfume was also preserved, etched into the fiber of each pore. The hooves of a most gorgeous doe were the first to caress his left leg, slowly sliding up to where the tickle began to loosen him up and make him feel like a true member of the club.
Malarky was dishonorably discharged from the marines after a quarrel with his superiors. The quarrel came to blows and ended with Malarky’s jaw being cracked, of course Malarky did not instigate any physical harm towards his superiors, as the records say he did. But when you have the word of three commanding officers against one fucking little shit ant of a man, well there is no second guessing the odds of who is going to win.
Malarky got out of the service, and the only thing keeping him from imprisonment for assaulting a superior officer was the mercy of a colonel who knew Malarky’s dad, a purple heart war Veteran. The colonel shat his pants with glee however when he imagined the pathetic skeleton of the man Malarky high tailing it home with his tail between his legs, telling his daddy he was a failure at serving the family dream.
The first thing Malarky did when he was kicked through open gate onto free land was piss on a mail box. He recited a rant against the USA to himself, in his head, with all thoughts ceasing when a metal rake scraped up against the side of his head.
“You’re on private property,” hissed a red bearded fellow.
Malarky sprinted off. It was miles between the basic training camp and any sort of civilized township. Scattered homes of confederate loving country men well equipped with weapons and rakes and hatred for fuck ups.
Malarky was always getting kicked out of organizations. Classroom, baseball team, golf team, cross country running, student council, drama club, the school bus, parties, bars. It was as if Malarky wore a bright red, ten gallon hat, with the words “I am a fuck up, chase me out before I catch” stitched on the fabric. His father coerced him to serve the country. And the alienated young man agreed that his marshmallow social skills needed to be hardened. And just as he thought he was shaping up, Malarky finding some pride, some courageous marble solid core to his own being, that bright red hat with the stitched words, “I am a fuck up. Chase me out before I catch,” flew right back a top his skull.
Officers started picking on him. And Malarky was now a man with a bit of a back bone, ready to lay down his foot for justice. But his foot was repeatedly kicked out from under him.
Malarky drank some bad moonshine the night he got out. A little too much of a beverage poorly brewed. He died of alcohol poisoning in front of the same gates to the same basic training base he booted from that morning. Inebriated, he staggered 4 miles on dusty road because this time he had the spirits in him to pick the fights he had been accused of picking. With his legs swimming in booze blood, he knelt recklessly to scoop up large stone. Like David fighting Goliath he cocked his arm. Before the guards could pick him off, his diluted blood failed him and he fell face first to the dirt. Before anyone could race out to see who this nut was and what business brought him here, Malarky stopped breathing American air.The basic training camp could never successfully train soldiers from that point on. Not due to any disease of reputation, but because there is a ghost, subliminally making a mark. In the night’s cricket song Malarky can be heard faintly shouting around the perimeter fence. His dissatisfaction echoes in the ears of those who cannot sleep. The nare du well has taken off the bright red ten gallon hat which projects “I am a fuck up. Chase me out before I catch,” and placed it upon the roof of this base, which became the culmination of all his rejections. Fights broke out, and sicknesses feigned. “Get me out of here,” thumped in the hearts of all of the trainees. Each night the crickets would get louder, and so would Malarky. Louder than the American flag that flapped.
A Caucasian man sits at a table in a Chinatown restaurant. His family, wife , young son, and young daughter eat lo mein while the man is engaged in a cell phone conversation. Between the man's phrases we hear a garbled and unintelligible audio response on his cell phone which lies on the middle of table, speaker phone enabled.
Man: Sitting in some dark basement freezing.
Man: and it’s not just-
Man: I would like to go to the lake.
Man: It’s not just some gook!
Man: The absurdity if it.
Man: Seriously, duck dumping, not hot.
Man: I’m not getting some kick.
Man: And it’s up to 30 bucks!
Man: It’s absurd.
Man: It’s wrong.
Man: The rainbow is substantially more expensive.
Man: In terms of food quality, this is-
Man: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
Man: Poor people!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
The Chef never stops wearing his bear skin during winter. He is always cold, even while cooking, bent over a brick oven fire. The surrounding woods have lurking creatures, and The Chef has developed within himself a potpourri of understanding on the complimental relations between certain herbs and meats. The Chef is a meat eater. Meat for three meals a day. The Chef lives in the woods, 30 miles from one of the finest, five star restaurants in the world, Frowals. The Chef spends most of his time in the woods, hunting, gathering herbs, experimenting with different savory concoctions, testing them out on his audience of wife and young son. If a woman and a small child devour it with glee, it will surely be a hit on any menu. The Chef is head chef at Frowals, chief inventor of everything on the menu.
Thanksgiving approached and The Chef was hell bent on setting up the most succulent of all Thanksgiving meals. Wanting to set out of the finest white meat, The Chef was after a muscular turkey, none of this fat dark meat shit for him. The Chef draped on his battered bear skins and ripped his way through the forest to seek out the fastest turkey. The turkey that gave to the quickest chase, would be the one with a greater concentrate of fast twitch muscles.
On his sojourn, snow flakes began to drop from the sky. Big fat, fluffy snow. A blizzard ensued. Massive, cold, biting precipitation made for a viscious hunt. Eventually he came across a huddle of wild turkeys. He charged towards the cluster, not realizing the mean spirit of wild turkeys. They all perked up and went from the defensive to the offensive with greater speed than a fast twitch muscle. The Chef slipped in the freshly fallen snow, and crashed to the ground. Down for the count, the wild turkeys, seven of the them to be exact, jumped on their victorious opportunity. The Chef was attacked with beaks, partially protected by the bear skins. Thanks to the bear skins he was able to retain some strength against the sharp pain of many pecks. He reached up and snapped the neck of one turkey. That turkey was defeated, how ever his hand received a bitter lasceration, dripping bright blood onto the snow. With his other hand he was able to snap the neck of another turkey. He killed off two of the slower turkeys, and was encircled by five wild turkeys. The turkeys stopped for a second to consider the danger that was posed to them but realized they still had the advantage. In the few seconds of truce, The Chef took off running in the opposite direction, pistol ready. The turkeys gave chase. It wasn't long before the fastest turkey caught up with him. With split second reflex, The Chef spun around and nailed a bullet into the face of the alpha turkey. This was his dinner. The Chef stood his ground as the last four turkeys charged at him. He pegged them off one by one.
The first turkey he shot, the fastest, was dragged home by the fist of The Chef's bloody, pecked up hand. The blizzard soon buried the remains of the the other six turkeys, which would have been tasty enough to send off to second rate restaurants. The Chef prepared a practice feast with the speedy turkey. Baking the rascal stuffed with a mash of turnips, breadcrumbs, onion, carrot, wild rice and twenty one different herbs. The Chef and his family ate the hearty beast and bellys filled to the brim with satiating glee. Pleased, The Chef, son, and wife took to the woods the following bay, prepared with pistols. The goal, to defeat three alpha male wild turkeys, the ones that displayed top notch speed. Frowals would then prepare the three in the exact recipe conjured by The Chef in his practice meal, for a wildly successful Thanksgiving buffet.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Gorgeous weather follows
You like a tail of the
Aura of the pleasant.
Your rainstorm clears out
What blocks my joy.
And in your absence,
I thirst for the freshness of your fog.
You haunt my dreams; I'm stirred awake.
I feel my nerve endings go in circles.
I can't help but fear the worst,
Because when your face fades in
My mind's eye, my vital charge
Sinks to the bottom of the pool.
Waiting for it to be stirred by the
Swirling dip of your toes.
Down in the pool
Where I bob in anticipation.
I see you plunge from the sunlit
Water weave into the cool density
Of this existence where gravity
No longer exists
Suddenly we are lighter than
we could ever imagine to be.
She claws a greasy bag.
Grease has stained right through it
To where I can the contents in
She reaches that big hand of hers
The rustle noise drowned out
By her caucophonous gab.
A pile of food is thrust into her mouth,
And the intensity of her gab
Becomes all the more obscene
As her speech works through sliced potatoes.
Later she will leer at me
Through a secret window.
The beast, will pop out from around
The corner, bellowing
A gender role reverse of predation.
Passing by she will touch my hair
With those greased up talons.
I send out my apology
To every girl that I may
Have gazed upon for a moment
I realize the cringe.
-Excerpt from a journal entry I wrote back during the summer of 2005.
That experience seems somewhat fond in comparison to my recent exposure to... do I dare announce it to the world? Quite embarrassing, but here it is, I will be honest, don't judge, it's an epidemic, increasingly more and more common and could happen to you very soon if you make fun... my apartment building is in the midst of fighting a little infestation of bed bugs. I feel like the kid who got sent home for having lice in grade school. That was also a big fear of mine as a kid, to be told during a lice check in front of the class, you got lice. Here I am, as a grown man, with actually a very clean, sanitary apartment, finding I caught some bed bugs. A very uncomfortable feeling if you ask me. "Don't let the bed bugs bite" is not so cute.
I woke up a week ago, and found a few little blood spots on my sheets. Strange. I have no cuts. Why would I be bleeding in those places? Do I have the goddamn stigmata? Tired, I shrugged it off as, maybe I had a bloody nose and thrashed around in odd, difficult positions. A couple days later, I noticed I had two red spots on my hand. I passed them off as a possible chemical burns from photo chemicals. Then one morning, I awoke to a little bug crawling on my chest. I crushed it and flushed the speck down the toilet. Curious, that night I investigated online. To my horror, that little bug matched a sketch of a "bed bug." I looked between the mattresses, and to my increasing horror, more bed bugs, hanging out in a little community of at least ten.
I investigated all of the procedures to take in the event one has bed bugs, to the tenth degree.
Those mattresses are history. To the curb. Along with the sheets. And pillows.
Luckily my old roommate left her mattresses, which have not been infested because they are right up against the heater, which is generously cranked to the max by the building engineers, and as I read online, bed bugs do not like heat. So I still have a bed.
Vacuumed the fuck out of the place. Called my apartment management company right away. They were good, they brought an exterminator out promptly and sprayed. They will be steam cleaning the carpet to suck up any eggs, and also re-spraying in a couple weeks if there is a "hatching." Evidently the apartment below me had a big bed bug infestation and I probably got it from them. By my bed there is a slight crack in the corner where the walls meet, and old paint is dried and cracking in spots. Cracks large enough to fit the edge of a credit card, which according to the Internet, is wide enough for a migration of bed bugs. We have found an entry point. The apartment below me has also been sprayed.
I did a shit load of laundry tonight.
Do not freak out and shun me, if you hang out with me at my place you will not get bed bugs. They have been exterminated. I am writing about this little mishap so I can laugh about it and move on, and I hope you'll with me.
So now, in my Chicago apartment dwelling experience, I have experienced rats back when I lived in a basement apartment in Wicker Park a few years ago. Big ass nasty rats. I saw a few cockroaches when I lived in The Manor in Rogers Park, in that doomed storefront where eventually it wasn't legal to perform in, and wasn't legal to live in. I must say out my experience with different apartment pests, the bed bugs will haunt me the most. They are vampires. They suck you're blood in the dark of night, while you sleep under the moon and city lights seeping through the blinds. Rats, I do not want them in my home, but I see them as living beings doing what they gotta do to make it in the city. Cockroaches have a gross underbelly with all of those little arms squiggling, and they will never be welcome in my abode. But if I see one on the street, I wish him a solid crumb. Bed bugs however, I have no feelings of humanity towards them whatsoever. I feel an inner blaze that would have the potential of reigning terror on the world population of bedbugs. Bedbugs are soulless. They should fuel the pits of hell. I never want to see another bed bug ever again. I would rather sleep in a field of cow shit, then to lie down with a colony of bed bugs. I can accept getting rats back when I did, I was a twenty one year old, constantly drunk and living in filth. I can accept getting a few cockroaches when I did, I lived in an old storefront with an uneven floor and a gaping whole in the wall where pipes were exposed.
But now, when I have finally learned to do dishes and clean regularly, to live in a state of adult cleanliness with impeccable daily hygiene activity, in a pretty nice mid rise apartment building, paying a pretty penny...to get fucking bed bugs?!
Fuck bed bugs.
I am laughing about them now.
Tonight I sleep the sleep of victorious kings. Fresh sheets. Fresh bed. Free from lurking vampires in the cracks of night.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Soothsayer of doctors.
Your brain will fix itself
if you lie in bed and remember
A trinity of ambition
will wake you and retire your sleepy
eyes and tendency toward catatonic gorging
with another complicated veil to
stiffen the train of thought
and spin a tick tock
gobble of a time
well spent doing nothing.
Eyes frozen. The ravine blurred in the frigid sight of the amateur stunt devil. On a pair of rickety cross country skis, the amateur stunt devil jumped to a glide down the steep, steep ravine. He could not see where he was going. Balling bodily, he became a boulder of a man with less control then a tipped rock off a cliff. Tumbling, breaking every bone and slapping every internal organ, stirring up the soft top layer of snow into a wicked avalanche. The amateur stunt devil lost all of his points.
Washed up Olympian Alejandro Maphers was in the midst of enjoying his brown ale when his CB radio crackled the report of missing skier. Alejandro’s sense of adventure resided in these rescue mission. After years of obtaining Gold medals pursuing the Bi-athalon in the winter Olympics, he grew addicted to being a world hero. After he was kicked off Spain’s Bi-athalon team for blood doping, Alejandro Maphers felt he had to prove his worth to the world that he was still a man of power, action and solid character. He jump started The Alejandro Maphers Outreach Team, and established this rescue squad first in Colorado, and then branched to other world class ski locations throughout Scandinavia and Canada. Alejandro Maphers has dedicated his life to training an elite group of skiers, in the fittest of conditions. They are ready to survive in the harshest winter wilderness for days. Shooting guns and Nordic skiing was all that Alejandro Maphers was ever good at, so how natural that without the arena of the Olympics he would invent another avenue to apply his talents. He utilized Nordic skiing as a way to plunge into and explore the dangerous arctic terrain, and of course guns were needed to fend off packs of wolves. Most have forgotten his blood doping scandal, but there will always be the wicked that seek to see this legend fall and judge him at the corner of every life test.
The amateur stunt devil is one more test. If that battered body isn’t found within 2 whole days, well, there will be some judgment passed and gossip stirred about the decline of Alejandro Maphers.
Alejandro snaps on his thermal underwear, jump suit, boots, goggles, and steps out into the blizzard. He charges through the freshly fallen snow, skating his way on a pair of rugged Madsus. Detective, paramedic, and ranger of mishaps in extreme winter sports, he knows he has everything at steak in this mission. By protecting the illusion that thrill seekers are safeguarded, he ensures that his sponsors will forever support the Alejandro Maphers Outreach Team.
The troubleshooter exists in his chemical world. Cloaked in a heavy, yellow radiation suit, he spends days straight plunging into the high pressure task of fixing the overworked wiring in the battery center of an ill designed space station. Chemical leakages dance around him in the zero gravity hub of the information technologies where battery acids concoct the spark that keeps the place, buzzing, flowing with oxygen, aqua vitae, and toilets purging waste into the dark vacuum of space. The troubleshooter takes 3 pills a day with a full glass of water, and twice a day he will drop an effervescent tab of high concentrate nutrients into distilled water. He sleeps very little in a plastic tomb that buzzes him awake when tech trouble is detected. He is permanently on call, and will always be called for the space station was slapped together in haste to win the race, and again we must mention, ill designed. The troubleshooter will have one day off coming up this month. He will be dropped off to the planet Earth by shuttle and has 24 hours to do whatever the hell he wants. When inquired as to what he wishes to do on his day off by a colleague, he responds in a detached, hoarse voice, with eyes cloudy, trance-like and fatigued, “I want a big hearty breakfast: ham, bacon, egg and cheese on a biscuit, sausage links, some chocolate chip pancakes, a big glass of orange juice, and a cup of coffee. That’s all I feel like doing goddamnit!” A smile begins take lighten his eyes, for the pleasure of the sheer contrast between his work-a-holic drive towards burnout and his insatiable love of breakfast keeps this man from stagnation.