Sunday, October 19, 2008


She reads faster than anyone I know but she hates to write anything down. She tells me it has something to do with making the fleeting permanent and the auric tangible. "When you write it down you can't pretend it's just a passing thought," she says. "It's there. it's real. You can't take it back."

I start to wonder if she will even commit me in ink to the book of her own history. I would be happy to spend my remaining days as a subtle little footnote on the last strands of paper that close out the chapter on 2008. "xxvii: Tayden made the days between losing the last boy and finally leaving town for good less than nauseating." Of course that would make me real.

When you refuse to write it down it means that it might still pass. That feeling. That thought. It can be ignored in your mind and crowded out by other tasks. but write it down in a old black journal or type it in a little white box and you can never deny it's existence no matter how much you change (and not matter how much you want to).

I, on the other hand, can only wish to make everything that much more real. I'll grab as many pieces of everyday as I can. I'll cast them into the shapes I want to remember for a long time to come. I'll cement it right here: Your timing is so terrible but I already know that you're one of the best thing that's ever happened to me.

The trouble is..sometimes it's much less messy when you just never write it down.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Story 2

It seemed, at first, like a great idea. My room was sparse on decorations and my life a bit sparse on inspirations. I'm not really up for any bird killing but it seemed like the right time for a good rock.

So I rounded up pictures. My Pictures. Pictures of Moroccan sunsets, of my family, if my closest friends, of a beach somewhere far away. I printed each photo with a white border, glued them to neatly cut black posterboard and strung a wire across the sloping wall of my room just below the attic of my two-story house. On the wire I hung each photo, spaced the equally and crossed to my bed on the other side of the room to survey the work. Perfect. just before I put my head down to rest each night I could look across at the photos and grab a little piece of all these wonderful places and magical people.

In some uncharacteristic and hopelessly romantic way I had hoped to divert the uncontrollable currents of my dreams into the photos. Maybe, just maybe I could pick a one out of the lineup, stare into it just a few minutes before sleep and find myself careening down a familiar ski slope or thousands of miles away.

But what happened next was some mutant baby of my idea. I would look at the pictures, my eyelids would grow heavy, I would switch off the lights and my dreams would take me away. Their destinations, however were always those of their own design. The photos made an appearance, just not in the way you would expect. I would be off piloting a vessel in the north pacific, waves crashing over the hull and for a brief moment I would look down to the ship's steel deck just long enough to see the string of photos, still on the wire, lying evenly-spaced at my feet.

I would be two thousand miles away at the foot of some skyscraper and rather than crane my neck to see the top I'd bee looking down at the photos on the ground. And worst of all there would be that epiphanal moment(it's my blog and I'll make up words if I want to) when somehow the subconscious me stand there inside the dream inside my own head laying in my bed across from the true photos would think out loud, "Fuck. Well there's the photos. I guess they made it in my dream one way or another."

And of course that moment never fails to be followed by the next moment when my eyes snap open just before i can grab the steering wheel of that dream and take it out for a ride.

Story 1

It's not like I go looking for the metaphors. I'm mostly the kind of person who plans to keep to himself. It's just, well, something about this world keeps drawing me out to people's front doors and smiling face. The metaphors for life, they just kind of jump me.

Like the story of Dick, and the people he tries to love. dick is a not-too-distant but not-too-familiar member of my family. The droop in his shoulder and the round scoop of his belly place him well into the second half of his time here on earth. His suits fit well with the big leather seats of the steak houses he frequents most nights a week and his big, black Mercedes.

In fact, that car might very well be the key to understanding Dick. For a good many years he tore around town in that car (or some previous year's model) as if it's phallic significance wasn't quite enough to assert his dominance over pretty much everyone, he had his own name printed squarely on the license plate in those state-regulated capital letters. There was no mistaking when "DICK" rolled around town.

He must have known the aura this black carriage created for him. In fact, I'm pretty sure he relished it. As it turned out, the trait most people associated with Dick wasn't his business prowess, his financial success or his imported suits. It was his complete lack of social subtlety and willingness to spout off about whatever he thought at any given moment about any plethora of topics that left it's most lasting impression.

How Dick came to marry into my family by way of the nicest, most elegant and most kind-heated woman of our clan is a mystery that I imagine stretches back to a time before the X's and Y that would become my generation ever had a chance to meet. Perhaps it was the money, the sense of security or the social status. But there they were. A relationship full of one-sided fidelity. I vaguely remember their house with a pool and the little automatic golf ball return novelty and the funeral where I learned that the nicest woman in our family would no longer encourage the reckless combination of back-to-back eating and swimming

After that time in Dick's life a few other wives came a went. The license plate changed. The suits needed to be let out. But something much more troubling began to occur. This man, who had no ability to connect with people, who had no idea what it meant to listen and be gentle with the criticism, needed someone to do just that.

You could see somehow behind eyes that he wanted to connect. It just that the only tool belt he carried is one full of frowns and wry comments and the other tools barely recognizable even to his family as something to latch onto. some kind of hope.

So the man who had built his lonely castle found that the only tools he wanted were a sledgehammer and a pickaxe to break it down again. I guess I just don't have the heart to tell him that if he hasn't found those tools by now it's nearly certain he never will. But then again, maybe it's something about my heart and his that keeps it this way.

I mostly try to keep to myself and sometimes that's not the worst thing you can do.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What Cliff?

Have you ever felt that thing? The minute where you sit there and start to think to yourself "well this is pretty good." you have to say it to yourself just to seal the deal. Something like, " You know, this is not so bad."

Remember the wave? Oh yes. When everything's cruising and it's too good. you can't help but admit it and, of course, as soon as you admit out drops the bottom.
You can fight it or you can just relish the fall. Money? Don't need a whole lot of spending money. Future? Not too sure about the future. Wheels? gas is cheaper but whether the horn will beep when you mash is is really anybody's guess. Women? Sure I'll take you for some sushi and follow it up with some Guinness and some laughs and some footsies and some ki...wait, where did you say you were from again? Utah? Oh really? The mountains? And are you a natural blonde? So you were raised in what kind of household?

And here's the kicker. You can watch your life savings disappear and it's no biggie. The roof springs a leak and you might not have a job after Nov 4th and oh god so frustrating getting cut off without a honking horn. But then one word and the bottom drops out.


And that, my friends, is how you lose your shit.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I live in the west and out here we build things. Out here we drill things. Out here we mine things. Or rather they do. All the tall men with broad shoulders and big hats, made by the mountains. I remember feeling something different when I returned a while ago. I couldn't put a thought to the feeling much less words to that thought but over time I started to see the invisible lines that had separated me for so long. This is a land of engineers and oilmen. An economy that churns on the output of material and the use of those materials and thinking up new uses for the material that someone put out. Maybe it's the reason I left in the first place. All the blank stares. All the rolling eyes. All the emotions sent out but never received.

I always privyed myself a builder. My structures were built on the blocks of abstracts, milled by the deeper desires and supported by words that might never be spoken. I must have learned at an early age that no one else saw it that way. saw the emotions and read between those lines. I must have tried to lock it away. It's a tough and lonely existence when you see the world in a way that can't be shared. It's the everpresent irony of that someone who can read people so well must lock his own traits away lest someone else translate him.

But today I know there are places where that all makes sense. It's where words make the mountains and, just like back home, the mountains still make the man. Here. Right here. You don't have to travel to the cities of arts and thought and emotions anymore. They will travel to you. But that's not to say I wouldn't mind a few days in New Amsterdam right about now.