Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This is a citizens arrest

As in this should be illegal. And when did my blog turn into the poor man's cute overload?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Colder

Fall burned before our eyes, quick and blinding.
Incinerating summer
In yellows and oranges, now turned brown and gold.
We hear winter approaching
In the crackling brush we crush under our boots.
And see it in the naked branches
That frame the gray sky like delicate capillaries.
It punctuates our words
That last longer in our breath than in our ears.
We have sub zero dreams of mesmerizing landscape
And taking cover together during a white hiccup in time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Those are the things we used to say

Acceptable: $890 Miu Miu bags made from calf skin.
Unacceptable: $4.38 lb. of skinned chicken from a small cage

Acceptable: Debating what type of drapes Michelle Obama will order for her new home.
Unacceptable: Avoiding the "real" issues.

Acceptable: Flying in your private jet to ask Uncle Sam for a handout.
Unacceptable: Champagne taste on a beer budget.

Acceptable: Recycling
Unacceptable: Taking your children to Nebraska so that someone else can have them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Glamorous Life of the Unemployed

Peering out of the depths of job search sites, virtual stacks of cover letters and Internet k-holeage into my dark living room is the groundhog day that is life for me these days. Not going to work on a regular basis is a guilty lifestyle. Thank God I was raised Catholic. We're totally used to this stuff.

In unemployment purgatory there is no room for pajamas and dried-up zit cream after 10am, 45 minute-long phone conversations with happily-employed friends, or catching up on Celebrity Rehab. What? In fact, I feel like any pleasure/leisure I indulge in before 5pm qualifies as treacherous behavior. Most days I feel if I am not "jobbing" I should be exercising at the very least. This feels like hell and Denise Austin is my Grim Reaper.

If you happen to be reading this, send out the good vibes of employment for me. Now, back to those leg lifts...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Compelled

So amazing it hurts. Literally. Saw Deerhunter here in the Minneapolis a couple nights ago. As of recently, I cannot get over the musical/aesthetic geniuosity that is Bradford Cox. (Photo courtesy of threeimaginarygirls.com.)

I am internally scheduled to marvel over him at least once or more times a day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Teenage Beast

A muffled thud competed with the clanking and chattering dining room at Roscoe’s. Sudden, unpredictable punctuations of noise from the overcrowded, old, peeling Formica tables made the energy in the room volatile and uncomfortable.

Adam stared straight ahead into the chaotic, prime time mess of the fluorescent kitchen. Cloudy, gray dishwater seeped slowly, like an oil spill, from the swinging, metal doorway. Gross, he thought as he watched one of the dishwasher’s wet tennis shoes land squarely on a soggy biscuit that oozed with the dirty muck.

Across from him, Claudia continued talking with no inflection in her voice. Her words hung over the table like flat, colorless forms on a felt board, dry and one-dimensional. (Thud)

She must have practiced this, he could tell. But he didn’t hear anything that followed the first presumably rehearsed sentence. It hit his ears, stunning him for a moment, like a bird that has flown into the tinted glass of an office-building window. It makes a sickening thud. Adam had been on the other side of that glass once. When he looked to the ground, forehead smearing a grease mark on the perfectly polished window, he watched the bird twitch on the frying pan sidewalk below.

“Adam?”

He could tell without looking at her she was getting irritated but he didn’t answer.

Adam watched their waitress fill the coffee cup of the well-dressed, lone diner at the table next to them. When they sat down earlier Adam momentarily felt sorry for the old man, even though someone eating by them self rarely means what people think it does -- He’s lonely. He can’t get a date. His wife is dead. -- Adam knew from many nights waiting tables this was rarely the case. It’s more uncomfortable for others than it is for the assumed loner.

“I said, I don’t think we should do this anymore,” said Claudia. Again. (Thud)

Adam’s eyes began the painfully slow journey from the apron strings cutting into the plump mounds of lower back flesh escaping through their waitress’ yellowing, cotton polo.

Doesn’t that hurt? And they had been sitting in this depressingly lit, shitty restaurant for at least 35 minutes without the food they ordered before she could work up the nerve to tell me this?

His tongue swelled instantly like it did when he was in the car accident during high school, and again when he got caught shoplifting Swisher Sweets and Juicy Fruit at Perry’s Liquor, and when his mom told him his Uncle Bertie had died of cancer.

“You’re telling me this here.” He would have posed this as a question but the answer was obvious. This statement made the sarcastic observation all the more bitingly delivered. He thought, although Claudia wasn’t phased.

She had been doing this off an on for months now. This meaning -- attempting to end their relationship. It happened at the most inappropriate times. Last time was at her parents’ house for dinner. Who does that? He was avoiding her parents by standing outside with her while she smoked a cigarette. Every word that came out of her mouth was accentuated by a barely visible puff of smoke. After she was done telling him she didn’t love him anymore the smoke lingered on his clothes, in his hair. That smell was a constant reminder of the words he tried to forget. He carried those pungent phrases around on him for hours, days.

But they stayed together and she constantly annoyed him.

She was the type of girl, if she could still be called a “girl,” who lived more lives inside of her own camera than in the here and now. She had posed so many times it was as if she had lived a thousand of them. She was her own paparazzi. She went to parties, restaurants, vacations, and art shows to be photographed. Not by other people, although that would be something she would talk about for days. “Can you believe that jerk took my picture and posted it up here?” she would say, seemingly annoyed. But everywhere they went, she was constantly thrusting her camera into Adam’s hands. “No, wait. Ugh! Do that over!” Her whole life was a photo op, according to her.

Like right now, she had that crappy, dented-up camera on the table in front of her, in anticipation of having her picture taken at an authentic, ironic-to-her waffle house. Tomorrow morning it would be on MySpace.

The time before her attempt to break up with him in front of her parents was the morning 9/11 happened. That was the first time. But, like the last time, they didn’t break up. It felt sacrilegious. Adam wondered how many unhappy people stayed together after that day. Were they still together?

But is there ever an appropriate time to tell someone you don’t love them anymore? Maybe when you don’t have any plans together for a while, or when you’re dropping them off at the airport before a long trip? Or maybe when they’re sleeping so you can let their dreams do your dirty work. In Claudia’s defense, perhaps she had already tried this. Adam wondered who would take her picture if he weren’t around anymore.

He looked directly past her into the slight greenish-hue of the dining room just as a redheaded college kid at the other end of the restaurant hunched over and threw up all over the table in front of him.

“I’m sorry,” said the thin voice across the table. The space between them was now a no man’s land, riddled with the remnants of the wadded up straw paper casualties they had been throwing back and forth at each other. Claudia sounded robotic and heartless, like she always did.

Adam stared as a bout of cheers from the vomiter’s table erupted. “Yeaaaaahhhhhh!” like a homerun at a baseball game. His friends were beating the table with their fists now and chanting something Adam couldn’t make out. (Thud, thud, thud, thud)

The barfing kid made eye contact and smiled at him as a long, thick, line of neon yellow drool traveled slowly from his open mouth to the tabletop like a sickening spider web. Adam didn’t flinch.

Claudia, finally sensing the disruption, wheeled around as a waitress (thankfully, not theirs) came slipping frantically out of the kitchen carrying a small, gray office trashcan with no bag. She thrust it at arm’s length toward the unashamed kid and lowered her head from the gaze of the rest of the people in the dining room, as if the situation had happened more than once.

“Oh, that’s just great,” said Claudia. “Disgusting.”

Adam was winning. The conversation wasn’t going to happen here.

A woman a few tables over pushed away her plate of grits and macaroni with a look of disgust. Another was at the register demanding repeatedly to speak with a manager. Nervous glances ping-ponged between the employees behind the counter, as if they were waiting for someone (not one of them, obviously) to do something. Chaos was happening all around them.

“What is going on?” asked Claudia, even more annoyed now at the distraction.

“Do you really have to ask?” answered Adam quickly.

“Should we leave?”

“No.”

Just then, a busboy in a drenched plastic apron decorated with indistinguishable bits of wet food slid their plates in front of them. His fingers were pruned, white and puffy. Adam smirked at Claudia as she looked down without an appetite for her food or heartbreak. Some other time then.

Adam began to eat, marveling at his good fortune. “Don’t you want me to take your picture?”

Monday, November 10, 2008

You're Gonna Wake Up One Morning

Is it really possible that nothing I say here means anything anymore? I am struggling with walking the fine line between frivolity and some serious shit. No, I am not having one of those self-important ME crises. I think it's just the fact this life and hard times is starting to have an impact on my homeostasis. Please someone find me a job and a big bag of money.

Ps: Since Obama has been elected, and I don't care what you say, mindless chatterings about "this and that" are beginning to lack effect in my book. What do you think? Nothing seems that important anymore unless it really is something important. Let's streamline the bullshit and get right down to business. This blog is about to be renamed Straight Talk or Give It to Me Real or something as equally as reflective of the way I'm feeling these days.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I am a believer

in the American will for change. We can never turn back. I can't wait to wake up tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

These are scary times

I am literally on the edge of my seat right now. Will we be crying tonight or giddy with delight? I need the next 12 hours to move faster.