Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cacoethes Scribendi

Boredom is not my most inspiring muse, but she is the only one visiting me. I'm halfway through the last 3rd of my workweek.

I'm just going to write about my aspirations, to give you (dear reader) some idea of who the hell I am, what the **** I want to be and how I plan to do it. If you have read my Mobile Blog then you may read this as a detailed breakdown. meh, maybe not so detailed.... nor a breakdown.

So if you find the mundane and trivial to be interesting, Bon App├ętit!

First of all, I'll paint a picture of where I see myself 1 year down the road.
I will be walking into a sunset, my silhouette sharp against a desert sky, a long desolate highway at my feet. a horny toad will cross the road in front of me and I will pick my polished black boot a little higher to avoid crushing it.... they cry blood tears, you know. I will probably pay attention to the minutest bit of dirt on my sequined mariachi tuxedo, dusting it with my monogrammed handkerchief.

I will probably have a little cash in my right hand-pesos-and a 20Q game in the other. My spurs will clank and spin every time I step, and my polished black boots will most definitely be run-flats, guaranteed to last another 100 miles after being shot out by the Federali.

This will probably not last long at all.... I will get picked up by some big-hearted vacationer, who will drop me at the next border town where I will explain to the border patrol how I ended up on the south-side of the border (A mis-hap while setting a new land speed record in Utah's salt flats), how I had to hitch rides on farm trucks, play mariachi versions of Nirvana and Greenday on the street corners with a cracked and faded classical guitar with no G-string. And how I hustled the locals with my little orange friend, the 20Q ball, by telling them it was a "compacto crystal ballo" that "El tells yo what tu art thinking of-o".

They will welcome me back with open arms and a unfurled flag, maybe even play reveille or taps or something. load me up in a camouflage Jeep and expedite me to California, U.S.A where I'll take an apprenticeship as a tailor, in a wee shop in a back alley paved in cobblestone by the name of "Herbert Lee Draper Clothiers & Cobblers". I'll work for a meager pay and food and lodging. After a short 3 years I'll take my earnings and say my goodbyes. And embark on an adventure that will change me forever.

7 years later

I have become a sea-faring man, accustomed to the swagger and sway of the "R3doubtabl3", A ship known for it's fearsome posture on the vast waters of the pacific, casting a shadow on the glistening blue blacker than the heartless void in each of the greedy and bloodthirsty men aboard. The ship prowls the seas with the silence of a hunting puma. It creeps under the new moon like a shark in shallows at midnight. the sails whisper a chant of doom and many have prayed they had never heard it. The creaking crimson-stained timbers of the bow sounding more like the tortured souls of those who died begging the mercy of the cold-blooded crew. The mast ornamented with the skulls of many a weak or unwary captain who met prows with the R3doubtabl3. Stern ladders crafted of lengths of sweat-stained lanyard and rungs of shin bones of fallen sailors, densified by long years a'sea. Swabbing the deck is forbidden, lest, in your efforts, you immortalize the souls of those whose blood has stained the planks, the salty drink gives new vigor to their souls and restlessness ensues.

The Redoubtable was once named the Irreproachable, the newest part of the naval force, run by men with snooty words and trained in tec'nicality. Their uniforms so stiff and proper that the soldiers were afraid to perform their duties, lest they should muss their knickers. This made them an easy prey to that band of buccaneers who took over the ship, two hours time there was not one man dressed in a primly starched uniform as was not caked in crimson and serving as foothold to the new crew. The new crew took about immediately transferring their arsenal and quarry from their former abode. After bunks and booty had been claimed, the men began relashing the knots and tackle. The navy's pulchritudinous, hindersome entanglements were traded for shrewd-and-efficient-if-quite-slipshod-and-inordinate hitches that required less effort and a smaller crew to operate.

The captain raided his newly-gained quarters. Where he indulged in contents the spirits kept there under lock. when he was sufficiently inebriated he took the last bottle, probably the most impotent, and made his way to the upper deck and took his place at the helm, he turned to his eager men and stated "Men! we now we prowl as the crew of the REDOUBTABLE!" He dashed the bottle over the bow as the men raised a chant of Ra's and Ho's and men scurried up the netting and tackle to lay claim to their new post. The trusted first mate became captain of the old ship, now dubbed the R3missabl3. A few of the best hands stayed with the old ship. To them it was home, and they would stay with it till a time when god saw fit to send them to hell. Unspoken were the hopes and desires of becoming the new first mate.

That was the birth of the R3doubtabl3, twice my lifetime ago. Now, not one man from the original crew is living. The captain was caught by the navy 3 years later, in a drunken stupor, in a tavern on the pier, here in Frisco. He was given as fair a trial as his captors deemed him worthy of. He was gullied.

Now we a carry on the tradition. We level our muskets at a lone and ambitious trade ship. to appealing for its own good. and far too few men aboard to wage a decent defense against our greed. we draw closer still. Our prey is a fish, the sea is our barrel.

Monday, October 22, 2007

All good things must....

All... good things must come to an end.

At the risk of sounding simple minded, I feel this quote is probably one of the most profound(maybe even profoundly forlorn) truths I've ever come across. Nothing lasts. It's not the way the world works. If
there were exceptions, things that had the potential to regenerate indefinitely, the nature of the world would be to find a way to destroy it.

In my personal life. Good things are infinite, but too often they are short lived. I get a new pair of shoes, I have money for the rent, I am caught in a moment of inspiration. all these things tend to wear out quickly, and be replaced by other trivial and abundant Good Things. If I want to evaluate my quality of life, I sound (at least to myself) like a 5 year old.

I'm grateful for my books
For my bottleneck slide,
for new socks, for my music,
head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Eyes, ears, mouth and nose.

Then there are the big things. Right now those things are pretty shallow, but I'm grateful for them because I've either never had them, or I had them but they were not "good" for me before. They consist of things like my job, money to spend, a car, a place to lay my head. These things are a huge part of my quality of life. And I know my car will crater sometime down the road (please, not too soon). I'll move out. I'll outgrow my job. Before long money will become one of those things that I theoretically earn, but before I see it, it will gone again, paying my tuition, then a mortgage, remodeling, baby diapers, clothes and binkys, a tricycle, and then all too soon, tuition again. I'm okay with reality, really. I'll admit that sometimes I tend to forget the inherent nature of the world, and maybe sometimes I think it must be revolving around me, and aligning itself against me.

And then there are the things that are so much of my life that I hate to think of them as things... because that mortalizes them. Friendships.

I'm not saying that I have hundreds of friends and that my life would be meaningless without them. not quite. I have very very few friends that I feel are part of my life but those few that do have a profound influence in who I am, affecting how I live and how I see the world around me. I won't try to explain how I don't value the views of strangers(when I say strangers I mean causal friends as well), and yet put so much concern into the views of my close friends. It scares me to think that I am simply a complex combination of all the people who are in my inner circle, past and present. Some of those friendships have come to an end, and I was devastated with the loss of some, and I initiated the ending of others. But in the grand scheme they were all "good". And I have those relationships to thank for what I esteem in myself.

I have noticed that I am only given as much as I can handle when it comes to good things. I don't feel short-changed. I'm just noticing the balance to it all. I will lose one thing and gain another and maybe I wanted one more than another, or all, but I needed what I got. I had a meeting with my boss. I am in the process of moving up at work, making more money, gaining more authority, learning to become high functioning and an effective leader. But hours later, an ending. something I would have given up A LOT to keep. But it's not the nature of the world to make things easy. No way to cheat and see what's coming up, when to poise yourself, when to pounce. for all the planning in the world, sometimes you just have to watch and take what you get. The trick to learn is knowing which.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lovely Contemptable

She met me for a drink and left me parched. My lips tremble as I think of it now. She was beautiful, she knew it, and yet she indulged me. Playing off of my fantasy that I wasn't a means to an end. I knew she was playing me but I couldn't resist, regardless the premise. I can't pile the blame on her. After all, I knew going into it that I would be taking a plunge. She warned me, but with an air of reassurance that it would be worth it. That's what I heard. She wanted revenge. someone had to pay for the death of her lover. I made promises and went about delivering on them. The body count is four now. Three of them had nothing to do with this sordid ordeal, they were reasons not to do what I knew to be imminent, I was buying time with innocent lives... If any one is ever really "innocent". I used my last bullet on her. I knew all along that I would have to. But up till that moment I couldn't do it. She was so warm against me. She held me with a persuasive, silken touch. She had something in her eyes, in her voice, that angelized her. But I knew. She's gone now, there will be one more when I'm done.

Now here I am, moments from death and she has stolen the serene bliss I should be slipping into, The coma calm.

Here's my confession before I go. She took me for a fool and I became one. She wouldn't have taken me otherwise. She told me what to think, already knowing how I felt, certain it would guide my reasoning. I knew I was kidding myself the whole time through. Just a way to stay close.

I'll take the fall for her now. Why not? I'm going down anyway.... She was grieving the murder of her lover when she came to me in desperation, and I felt responsible for the situation that her grief was born out of.

Yes, I shot him. In the back I might add. But I had no idea the chain reaction that my finger triggered. He fell headlong, He groaned, blood escaping from his chest. He turned and looked at me with those hollow eyes.... I've seen them before, No question pose in them, no plea, no remorse, no judgment... Just watching. But then, in the instant between his last two heart beats, I saw relief sweep over him. He was shed of a burden, escaping a demon.

At first, confusion. then doubt and disgust. I spent a moment on my knees wondering what his plight had been. I've shot down men who had nothing to lose, I've executed men with everything they desired. they never faltered from their calm as death enshrouded them. Why this man? I left the scene in a trance. His eyes had been fixed on mine. I was certain I had been involved in that mythical, ethereal experience of a spirit ascending.

I know now that it was purely relief, I only hope that that comes over me when I hit the end of the line. She had swallowed him up, He was slave to her will. She had turned him into a fiend. he would do anything for her. She had eaten his soul. I had freed it.

I never did tell her it was my bullet.

Since I tend to spend hours-even days-writing blogs, I decided to try something out. I went to the library, where I am limited to 90 minutes of computer use, and just started writing. It's an excercise... it's supposed to help me stop setting such a high standard on my writing, or else prove that I really do need 3+ hours to write something good.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Afraid/Not Afraid

There have been times in my life, times that I remember from a long time ago, when I was at total peace with the idea of dying. Not a death wish, not suicide, just a total calm with the idea that someday, or even that day I would or could die.
Other times, like now, I think of death and I am overwhelmed with a wave of uncertainty and fear. I'm afraid that I'll miss out on something good. My mind reels, desperately trying to think of anything I have done that will leave my legacy behind. I fear that too much of who I am will be a mystery, even to my closest friends. It's something I have always done, I've been reactive to others rather than outward with my own feelings and thoughts. I want to speak freely but something in me shuts down when I try to verbalize my emotions. something in me downplays my passion when I talk about my interests. I end up waving my hands franticly picking at thin air for the words... or maybe I'm just trying to show my feelings-illustrate them. I choose instead to write things down, maybe put them in a funny wordplay that distracts from the purpose of the words themselves. Or I will project my thoughts into someone fictional (bear with me, I'm not schizophrenic) that has what it takes to say how he feels. I play with these people in my head (really, I'm not crazy) and give them their lines and actions until I feel they are a fair representation of my own thoughts. then I give them A world to live in. and sometimes a larger than life goal to accomplish... then I write script summaries so if I ever decide to write them I can dig into my mental vaults with a fairly efficient filing method.

If I died today-even instantly-I would die with a lot of regret, a lot of words that I'd never be able to say. I would probably die in agony, but it would be a pain that I've come to deal with in recent years. It's the pain of being so scared of rejection, that I give no grounds for it. I am only as much myself as I deem others to accept me for. this changes from person to person, and varies from total introvert to loud, obnoxious or even offensive. my silence is directly proportionate to my esteem of those around me, divided by my fear of disappointing. I don't feel like I act like someone I'm not. I feel like I act like I'm not someone, or I am only as much as you can handle. Like I said, I only do this around someone I'm afraid to be candid with, lest I should scare them away If I don't esteem those around me, I don't censor myself.

I want to know before I die so I can plan for it... maybe that's the only ultimatum that would have me tell my truths, deathbed confessions of love, hate, shame and pride.

Some things about me that I'm tired of hiding.

I really do think I have an uncanny sense of perception. I know when people are lying, I know what people are about to say. I just put things together... my track record even has a few predicted deaths. but includes everything from new coworkers that aren't going to cut it, to knowing the day he was born, that I wouldn't have a good relationship with my youngest brother, (at the time I thought he would die, but it turns out I just left home before he was 2.) It's about 80% or higher that I'm dead on.

I feel like I very well might be the most caring person in the world, but I squelch that because it's creepy. all my life, when I've seen single mothers I have thought... you know, I wish I could take care of them. If I were able I would marry them out of... I dunno charity I guess.

thats all for now. I'm not bearing everything.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Story without a plot.... don't ask.

A hundred quiet conversations, laughter, crickets, warm music, all here in this garden. There is mood setting in with the setting sun, a spread of contentment. The lights in the mansion are low and they glow out through large-paned windows and onto the lawn. Inside, there are silhouettes of suits and gowns standing in small groups, an occasional gesture, or glass is lifted. Tuxedoed servers seem to glide in and out of these circles carrying trays of refreshments on white-gloved hands. Big band music is floating out from the darkened recesses of the open upstairs windows; a light but steady breeze holds the curtains out over the sills.

Candles flicker in the center of the tables around the garden, illuminating already beaming faces, and creating a myriad of dancing shadows across the garden floor. I’m sitting back in a patio chair and gazing at the reflections in the fountain beside me. I lightly stroke the rim of my glass. The hum makes a call to an evening bird somewhere beyond the hedged boarder of the lawn, and it responds after a pause of suspicion. My acquaintances from this evening are admiring the architecture of the fine home, and the landscaping that meanders down the hillside and onto the beach. They relish the champagne and hors d'oeuvres. Good food, good mood and an opening toast makes any man a gracious host. I watch as guests continue to arrive, most in stylish cars that the valets are obliged just to get behind the wheel of. at the bottom of the hill I see a steady cavalcade of headlights making their way up the scenic driveway.

The stars have begun to emerge. Likewise, an array of fireflies have resumed their plight. Couples begin to rise and slightly sway to the music, holding each other close, moving in harmony. The music softens more still, and beckons all within its reach to join the starlight promenade. This is my cue to get up and do some wandering, to satisfy some restlessness and curiosity.

I decide not to fight the traffic of the back door and opt to start my tour in the cellar. The entrance is on the right side of the house, smartly hidden by a meticulously trimmed hedge. I scale down a few stone steps and make a left-hand turn. All becomes pitch black as I reach the small landing. The heavy door is almost invisible, I trip the latch and a musty, damp draft greets me. It’s a pleasant stench, almost nostalgic. I enter eagerly and close the door behind me. There are excess kitchen utensils in one of the Dutch ovens on the shelf to my right, along with rows of cans and jars. The walkway is lined by wooden crates and cardboard boxes. A broken chair in a pile of kindling and firewood sits by the staircase that leads up to the kitchen. There are probably some potatoes on the shelves that reach beyond the feeble light of the bare bulb in the center of the room.

I take a moment to appreciate my solitude, I listen to the mixture of sound. Coming from outside there is still a faint hum of conversation, and the trill of a saxophone complimented by the sonance of laughter. From above me, in the kitchen comes the muffled din of productivity, plates and bowls clattering against each other, the thud of a cleaver, the hiss of hot water. And from here in the basement, there is only the sound of my breathing and the buzz of electricity in the light socket above me. For all of the clutter here there is a notable lack of cobwebs, but as I inspect the stone doorway to the left of the stairs, out of the way so as not to attract attention or absorb undue light, I find plenty of dust and cobwebs to go around. In this room there are 5 Isles of narrow lathed racks which comprise a modest wine cellar. The aroma is so rich that it almost trickles down my throat. There are a few dozen empty bottles in wicker panniers on the floor. I breathe in deeply one last time before ascending the stairs.

The light stings my eyes as I reach the top of the stairs, my sudden emergence attracts the stares of the workers in the kitchen, for a moment everyone pauses. Then, almost as if compensating, they jump back to their tasks with renewed vigor, their heads hung a little lower, their hands working more quietly. The pudgy Hispanic woman at the sink washing fruits looks at me with a glimmer in her eye that says to me "silly man, what are you doing here?" She seems amused, maybe a bit impressed. I nod to her as I head for the door.

In the hallway there are two of the servants against the wall. The man is leaning in close to the girl, resting his hand beside her shoulder, not in an intimate way so much as intimidating. They are having a conversation in low tones. I hear the young woman speaking of some irreparable issue between them. Her eyes are moistening, she is cowering directly under the light and the tears glisten like small diamonds as she looks up at him. The young man is notably affected but none the less intransigent. His mannerisms are telling of someone who doesn't take 'no' for an answer. I don't care to know their quarrel, nor to interrupt them. I duck my head and offer a benign wave as I pass them, feeling a little guilty for imposing on thier privacy. Aside from a slight pause to glance, they take no notice of me. I take the first door to my left.

Into an swanky lounge, vacant for the moment. The large polished black oak table is bare. the seats around it are extravagantly upholstered in red and gold. There's a full bar in the corner, crystal shined and waiting. The billiards table already racked and ready. This was a speakeasy at one point, now and exclusive joint that will no doubt be filled with cigar smoke well into the early hours of tomorrow by Our Gracious Host and his closest cohorts.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Why I Moved to Utah (and how).

I guess, in all my ignorance I thought "Aha! Utah! Salt Flats! Mountains! Sundance Film Festival! Indie Film Scene! PERFECT!"

And then I thought, "Well, er... my brother is living out there doing the whole married scene... and... er, I want to move somwhere I have, uh.. family and I hate Memphis. oh yeah, and I don't to be stuck in Oklahoma anymore." See, I had moved out, I was living like 3 1/2 hours away in Norman, where my older sister was going to college and my older brother was working. In the 2 years I was there my parents separated (that was happening when I moved out in the first place, but it became official a year or so later). My mom was living in Memphis and my dad stayed in our mansion in Oklahoma, all alone. (we call it mansion because before we built it we lived in a 2 bedroom barn. 7 of us. Plus it really is a mansion compared to most houses there (trailer houses.))

My sister broke up with her beau and started hating men. My mom was a new convert to the hating men scene at that time as well, so my sis went to keep her company in memphis. Two little monkeys jumping on the bed.

My brother was living across town from me in Norman and he'd met this girl while working as an EFY coucelor over the summer. they talk alot and are in like with eachother (also, Austin never liked girls ((seriously... worse than me)) and I think this girl was his first interest.) They were reading scriptures together everynight (over the phone). I guess he thought "well, er... I got this job, but I'm also paying this rent... and uh, my dad is pretty alone in that mansion..I'm uh.... I'm thinkin' I just might move back home and save up to relocate to Utah and marry this girl." And thats just what he did. One little monkey jumpin' on the bed.

It's to late to say "...long story short..." but I'll try. I was living alone in Norman. And anyone who really knows me knows that every year I get this itch to drop everything and have a big adventure. Usually this means moving to a new location and starting everything over again. I was pretty well overdue for that change and conditions were perfect.... there was nothing on TV, My mom was going to a family reunion in California and my brother was now living in Utah and counting down the days before the big date. I put all my stuff in storage and packed pretty light, I asked my mom to drop me off in Utah. She obliged and I lived with my brother for a few weeks, the day after he got married I decided that things weren't going so hot for me in Utah and hitched a ride back home with my dad. then I moved to memphis to live rent free while I saved up to move to California ( I was thinking "Big City! Beaches! Hollywood! Movies! PERFECT!") and went to an adult education class to get my G.E.D.

I ended up getting stuck there for 10 months, consequently getting incredibly depressed. I stopped working and just hung out with my new best friend, Jared. now without alot of money I had blown my chances of going to California. So I decided to join the carnival. I worked in the carnival for a month and some change and it ended up being the best paying job I've ever had. I made enough money to dig myself out of banks of the muddy mississippi. My brother offered his spare room to me in Utah and my dad offered to drive me and all my belongings out here. I took 'em up on it.