Tuesday, June 20, 2006

and we move, again

two helicopters are what it takes to fly the victims from the wreckage and as they pan the skyline above us, everybody on the burm where i stand, everybody on this highway in rural pennsylvania, everybody turns. looks up from their games of catch, their sunbathing, their dogwalking, brows glistening on the frypan blacktop to offer condolences, silent or otherwise.
the man in front of our bus, one lense of his glasses wrapped with electrical tape, his son at his side mounted on a phonebook, seatbelt tight around him (country carseat) chuckles as i muse at the poor saps staged on the highway just badside of the accident, that empty plat of highway in sight, carnage at their feet, boxed in Until.

the path is cleared and the blood wiped clean and we move, again.

and i muse on my own accidents:

- falling from the tree in bellingham. it was summertime and the tree, it was rotten, root to dead old buds, and i climbed climbed and then fell (every branch on the way down) on my head, later to be positioned on the couch in the living room at a window that exposed that awful, conniving tree i'd fallen victim to.

- the beach on the oregon coast, where we rented a house for a week in june, when school let out. the "mish-mash" house. kool-aid smiles and Us3 "green onions". we ran on the beach, and eager for the flying, soaring just-beyond-my-reach frisbee, back-pedal, back-pedal, Turn into a mound of sand--indistinguishable from the rest--that stopped me, pulled me violently to the ground whereupon i fell on a stick (my sword...?)
my sight flashed yellow, then black. i spit sand, i saw sand, i bled from my eye. my eyelid, cut. if not for that initial impact of the bank of obtrusive sand, i would surely walk now with the insecurity of a barren equilibrium, and an eye patch.

- my first, of many, car wrecks. (i am Accident prone. I fear sometimes, for my cocky blunders and that they might cause my Untimely Departure.) there was a panic i developed young, in preschool, when my mother arrived so late there'd be a whole new batch of afternoon unknowns would arrive for playtime, naptime, lunchtime. a pain not to distant from pleasure, in my pelvis. a deep unsettling tickle that would cause me to push there on myself, knead like bread.
this was a panic i felt as i crawled out the passenger side window onto the roots of a tree, onto salal berries and how i looked down the steep bank, the cliff there, onto the beach and the cove and the quiet unperturbed lapping of the waves, the ringing in my ears, the engine still ticking. my brothers and i stood back from the car. (1979 subaru station wagon, maroon.) we saw the under wire, the twisted axles, the narrow V cut into the hood, the grill, by that simple, unmoved sapling.

- and now, hit by a car. fuck flatbush avenue. fuck whatever i've got that They attribute to youthful cockiness. "i'll live forever." fuck pretty corpses and burning out.
it would be a hot day. couldnt see The City from brooklyn for the smog at 9am. flatbush, a river thick with metal and gears and concrete and spinning rubber couldnt be more inviting. Take Me On, says the beast. With Relish, says i. the overhand brakes on my bike dont work, but are easy to reach. i've got no helmet on. i'm beating The River, i'm quick in the current. i see this jeep, facing the other way blinkerblinkerblinker, ready for that left turn. i've got a green and so does he. i take it. so does he, and he pumps the gas to pull him from the oncoming Rapids and i've got no recourse but to turn into him, broadside, bite the window, the wheel well and just spin. Spin. like you wind the camera too quick and it breaks, and i'm twisted up in the handlebars, my bag, the bike chain and my torn and achy little body.
i untangle. walk my bike to the curb. bystanders, and only one ventures to speak, are horrified. "that looked bad," she said. i hold up my arms, "am i bleeding?" she shakes her head.
my thigh twitches. trembles. i hope she doesnt see. put my hand there. my hand shakes. i get on the bike.
humbled by That River. tail between my legs. time to get a helmet, i think. there's only so much luck you get served up. and i doubt there's seconds.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

what follows is not an approximation of the events that took place on that recent night in the month of june, no, not approximation, but exactitude.

• Yahtzee
• A plant with lingering flowers that, if bloomed, might look like bats
• Square glasses and a bowl cut
• “shuh-howwza!”
• “Caliente,” my new bike
• wet bike seat, too wide
i. incurs sore ass
• metropolitan to north 6th, past Bedford
• hipster party, records, skipping needle
i.) konoko no. 1
ii.) Richard hell and the voidoids (scratched)
• Moustached ex-boyfriend
• “we’ve met before” (no handshake) “at the johnsons”
• Porno pics glues to glossy 8x10 classic car posters
• Sweaty blackshirt un-hipster, “I water-ski naked”
i.) “don’t you bounce around?”
ii.) “softened my knees, water up my asshole.”
a. “a colonic”
b. “made me wanna shit.”
• Moustached ex-boyfriend, cont’d.
i ) Watery-eyed stare
ii ) ‘trapped between door and stereo.’
a. Richard hell and the voidoids, scratched.
iii.) ‘I want nothing more than to leave.’
iv.) Shake hands with his wingman, Machiavelli.
a. Dirty, careless grin.
b. Limp, clammy hands. Mine.
• “Thank God Almighty, I’m Free at Last.”
• Caliente in circles, intersection of Whythe & 1st ave or so.
i.) see the lights across the river, of alphabet city, like orange glitter. The projects where they say, “don’t go there”.
• Ride away, let them fight.
• “South on Bedford?” shrugs, “yes…?”
• Bedford to Atlantic.
i.) tires are soft
ii.) brakes are weak, slow on the uptake
• The clock tower in brooklyn, my point of reference.
• Ooh, dean street. Take that route.
• Clock tower obscured.
• Ooh, the ghetto.
i.) My bladder is full.
ii.) My bladder hurts.
• Frightened piss in a street off Dean.
• “My bladder hurt, after all.”
• Ooh, the Ghetto, cont’d.
i.) ‘am I afraid?’
a. ‘no, just confused.’
ii.) ‘will this be the last they read about me?
iii.) ‘am I in queens, for chrissake?’
iv.) (message machine) “Hey Jeremy, it’s tim,” (cheerful, optimistic) “I’m in the ghetto, on my bike for the first time. I’m lost. On Atlantic, under the train. Do you know where I am?” (cheerful, maintained) (panic, tingles)
• Clock tower, re-emergent. In the wrong place.
• The gas attendant sleeps on the other side of the glass.
i.) I push the button. No response.
ii.) His eyelid opens, slow.
iii.) “prospect park?”
iv.) he points down Atlantic.
• I fear my tire will flat.
• Finally, Atlantic to Union, then 6th, then 7th.
i.) bodega
a. 2 beers, Budweiser. Bottles.
b. 1 pack cigarettes.
c. Cold sweat subsides.
• Finally, home.
i.) Crazy Monica (neighbor, insensitive to time and space).
ii.) Shitty reggaeton.
iii.) Sleeplessness.
iv.) Porn.
v.) Exeunt Wakefulness.


Friday, June 02, 2006

In with a lion

He sat in the corner, window to his left, an awfully painted mural to his right. Eight-fifteen in the pm in late may, so it was still light, but not much. The neon beer advertisement, then, was beginning to glow, and so affected his face in red. He was drunk by eight-fifteen almost every night and so neither of his sons, on either sides of him, were surprised that he talked now, like he would.
“Do you know the story of Daniel in the lion’s den?” he asked them, massaging his beard, pushing whiskers aside from his lips, and also the foam left by the beer.
They looked at each other, the brothers did, and that familiar grin passed over them.
“Back in old times, biblical times, the kings would throw these guys to the lions.”
“Slaves—“ the older son interrupted.
“—Slaves, yeah. They would be fed to the lions for sport. Well Daniel, he was tossed into the arena—“
“Coliseum—“ the older son interrupted again.
“Yeah, the coliseum. He was let in there, and he was not afraid to admit, then, his closeness with God. He said, ‘I am close with God.’ And he fought the lions and he wasn’t afraid. When I lost everything,”
And now he was talking about himself, “I was Daniel. I lost my land, you know when I got caught smoking pot, and then this thing with the neighbors happened.”
He gulped his beer. “Slow Bill Lucky, he kept a mason jar full of pot in his kitchen, in the cupboard. Everybody from Chuckanut Drive on out to Highway 2 knew it. Slow Bill was everybody’s favorite pickup smoke. And every time, with open arms, that guy would let you in, tug a few off. But one day, somebody took a handful and left a couple bucks in there. This wasn’t a community stash or anything, his private thing. So I’m walking up there, stop by his house; find a bunch of folks there. Laura, his wife, you know, Ruby’s mom, crazy bitch, and then Amy and Lyle were there, and Mitch and Ricky Stones. I walk in, and they’re thinking I did it. Laura was the only one who directly confronted me or anything, said, ‘Jim, did you take it?’
“They told me, somebody, who ever did it, left a couple bucks in the mason jar. ‘No,’ I said, ‘I don’t even have two or three dollars to leave in that mason jar.’ Well they didn’t believe me, no way. And so I lost all my friends. Just that simple. They were my only friends in the world, and they just shut me out.”
He finished his beer, pointed at his pitcher and addressed the younger of the two sons.
“Do what you’re good at,” he said. The boy poured him a beer.
“So I haven’t got any friends, so I had to look to myself. And if you close your eyes, do you ever close your eyes? What do you see? Black right, but it’s not really black, but grey, and there’s all these points of light, all these stars. Well what I learned this one time from a marriage counselor—your mother and I went, ‘we have to say we tried’ I said and when we got there, she said, ‘no, wont do it’—this marriage counselor told me, you close your eyes. Put together all these points of light, into one. So I did it. She had me lay down and she got on top of me,”
The boys laughed. The older one said, “The marriage counselor?”
“This is the marriage counselor. She gets on top of me, pins my arms, tells me to close my eyes—“
“This is a therapist?”
“A marriage counselor in training. Then she says, ‘sigh really heavy four or five or seven times,’ and I did. She was really helping me.”
“Yeah she was.” Said the older boy.
“But she told me to close my eyes, to put those lights together like that. And you look really close, you know what you see?” The man leaned forward on the table, looked from one son to the other.
“You see a man. A human, standing there. Call it Jesus, call it what you want. This was myself, though, this was my friend. When all my other friends kicked me to the curb because they thought I took a handful of pot, left a couple bucks.”
“You know it’s somebody on the inside, one of those people in the room, when they just take a little, just a handful and leave—“
“—Like an insult”
“Yeah, like an insult, just a couple bucks.”
The father drank his beer again. “But I found myself. My friend there, when I focused like that, on those lights.”
The older boy looked at the younger one, pointed at the father’s empty pint. “Do what you’re good at,” he said.