Stale Piss

Unknown

The breath of early June is in the air, so sweet, so warm——-laced with the scent of lilacs.  The evening breeze ruffled through my hair, for me, this is the fairest time of day.  Thinking back, her face resembled someone with a hybrid pedigree, part French, part gypsy——-a precocious child of the Greek God Hedone.  She hid unspoken promises and dirty secrets behind her waning smile.  She must of thought I was a pervert because when she noticed me staring at her, she gave me the stink eye. 

I liked the way she stroked a pool cue and the way her cleavage was exposed when bending over the perfectly lit pool table.  She took her shot with blue cigarette smoke hallowed around her. She spoke softly with an exotic accent from an unknown foreign land. It didn’t even matter what she had to say, I just liked listening to her hypnotic voice.  Then she screeched, “What are you looking at weird-o?” I knew right then and there, this was not going to have a 1940’s happily-ever after movie ending.  But I was already in way too deep to back down now. The shot of tequila burned the back of my throat. I knew I wasn’t going home until either I made her, or she made a fool out of me.

She was like an old fashion vinyl record, something that needed to be treated with reverence and handled with sensitively——-to hurry and fumble with her would only leave an indelible scare on something of such perfection. She’s a song I’d never grow tired of.  Pretty girls grow old, but good songs never do.  She had me humming “Girl From The North Country”. 

Her rose colored lipstick clung to an empty shot glass. She wasn’t one of those chardonnay sipping bores easily impressed with stock-market babel, she craved the excitement that came with jazz musicians, black magic dealers and men who knew what they wanted and how to get it. My palms were sweaty, my heart pounding as my libido pushed me forward.  I prowled about in a circle at the edges of her perimeter.  I threw back another shot and walked on over to her and with a pandering voice asked her to dance. She shook her head no.  Shaken and perplexed I blurted out, “Okay, how bout an an arm wrestle?”  She didn’t answer, she just spit on her palms, rubbed her hands together and then stretched out her small manicured fingers——-at least I was touching her flesh, even if it were in a contest of strength and courage. She dipped her head down and then locked her eyes on mine in an intimate manner. Neither one of us allowed ourselves to blink.

Her hand felt soft and warm.  I applied pressure and she responded with a quiver in her grip.  I felt the momentum moving in my favor as her forearm began to falter. From under the cocktail table she allowed her soft warm inner thigh to rub up against my knee. That poor cotton summer dress didn’t stand a chance, inching up closer and closer, slowly giving way.  She looked up at me with those fucking eyes——she wasn’t playing fair, she played dirty——Goddamn, losing never felt so good. From the jukebox the song “Bitter Sweet Surrender” blared—–her leg began to mercilessly move in rhythm with the song. For God’s sake, she was taking advantage of me, breaking me down.

My forehead glistened with sweat, my bicep began to tremble——my trousers grew even tighter. She had me, she knew it——-She teased me——moving in a little——moving out a little—there was a wave of tension leading to a singe point of no return.  She was unexpectedly much stronger than she first appeared to be—–isn’t that the way of all woman.

They tore down that old bar where we use to hangout. It was a place where we spent many a night laughing and getting drunk.  I have a memory of us dancing beneath a streetlamp at two in the morning. She had the power to turn a dark dank alley into a place where broken glass, dumpsters and the sound of screeching car tires became a stage for danger and romance.—— Yes, I said romance, minus the stench of stale piss.  

odd-balls

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Why do they call it therapy.  Why not call it emotional prostitution? All it really is, is paying someone to be still and listen, handing you Kleenexes while you’re sitting there shamelessly sobbing.  Ya see, you can pay someone to have sex, but you can’t buy intimacy—–or the algorithm to true love.

Figuratively——I sat there, bare-ass naked on the therapy couch, exposed, vulnerable with no small talk or false bravado to hide behind——its’s just me paying a stranger to listen———to help me make sense of the tangled knots that make up the shitty things that occur in life. Isn’t it odd, we find it easier to talk about our deepest fears and heartaches to a total stranger rather than a lover or a friend.  (The following voice coming from somewhere inside my head) “If everyone knew how fucked up you are, they wouldn’t like you anymore.”  (An opposing voice from inside my head responds) “Here’s some free therapy kid, stop giving a shit about what others may think of you———being who you are is nobody business but your own.  This world is full of copies, posers and phonies. Be your inexcusable weird self——-those that break-trail must be stronger than those who follow, but they’re the first to plant their flag at the top of the mountain.” 

I can pay someone to listen to me spill my guts, but I can’t buy their companionship, someone to like me, to care about me———to be my friend.  There are things money can’t buy. I think the best therapy is fellowship, someone to walk beside me, at a common pace, to not just hear me, but to quietly listen, to share the breath of difficult words———-someone who won’t make me feel awkward when my faults and flaws are exposed. We all need someone to share life’s private jokes, to smile when we smile, to cry when we cry, somebody to carry us through the darkness when the days become too heavy.  I could be that for you, if you’d let me——cause in spite of  all the changes we’ve been through,——I’ll aways be your friend. 

I have a photo of you and I on the mantle above the fireplace. We’re posed arm and arm——it’s strange to see how young we looked back then. We carved our initials in the trunk of that big old walnut tree in my parents backyard, we were gonna build a rocket ship and fly far away, we made up secret handshakes and pledged to always be brothers, the world smelled like rain in late June, the summers lasted an eternity——-my therapy back then was playing make believe and pretending to be a cowboy or a pirate.  Maybe we’re all pretending to be something or someone we’re not?

My therapy now, is no longer pretending to be normal, cause I’m not. I’ve embraced my weirdness. There are certain memories, people and things I’ll never be able to let go of———and you my friend are one of those things. I’m old fashioned and sentimental that way.

The therapist nonchalantly looks at her wristwatch and clears her throat “I think we’ve made some good progress today.  I’ll see you next week, right?”  I respond, “No, I don’t think so——-I’m fine with keeping it weird.”

 I offer this open letter to my fellow odd-balls.

To be one, is to love one.

 

Magic

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Soundtrack “Comatose” by Sierra Eagleson.

I have my fathers temper, stirring just below my skin

And then there’s my mothers compassion, lingering in the marrow of my creaking bones

I’ve made my camp in this flag tattered crossfire 

It’s always been a battle of attrition

I’m forever at war with myself

It’s trench warfare, two steps forward

Two steps backwards

Where’s god in this circular calculus

Beware, history is written by the winners

For the rest of us, it’s white flags, white crosses and unmarked graves

On guard!—-Touche! 

I may offer you an olive branch with a hug 

Or perhaps a sucker punch to the nose

I’m a danger to myself and others

A classic case of 51-50, 

I’m the static clinging to the radio station, while you’re straining to hear your favorite song

We don’t get to decide if we are born

Who’s to say when it will all come to an end

That’s fate, destiny, god’s propagative 

But in between birth and death 

There’s much to lose, much to gain

Refusing to choose, is choosing

There in lies the hazards of freewill 

Anything is possible

Nothing is promised 

Surrender to the openness

Do what inspires you

Love’s an imperfect science 

It’s the art of misdirection

Sometimes you pull the rabbit out of the hat

Other times a rat……

Regardless, don’t give up on the magic…….

Abracadabra 

Fred

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Soundtrack “Just For The Record” by Ruston Kelly

Dear Jeanne,

Thanks for the invitation to attend Fred’s celebration of life event. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend. On August 3rd I will be thinking of you and Fred. Fred was a rare breed, a man of principle, integrity and one who always made a stand for the less fortunate. In these troubled political times we could use more activist and hell raisers like Fred. He was a force to be reckoned with and one not to be trifled with. I’ve always been a sucker for uncompromising son of a guns and men who go down swinging.

He loved his family, enjoyed his beer and was a damn good fisherman. Fishing is a great sport for a beer drinker, cause there’s plenty of downtime waiting for a bite that can be filled with relieving one’s thirst—-“If ya know what I mean” heh heh. A wise man needs time alone staring at a rushing river to watch the passing of time. He can once again find himself there—————so I’ve been told.

I think of you and your family often. I spent many a hot summer day at your Briar Lane home, swimming in your pool, hanging out and cracking stupid jokes——(somethings never change). God, weren’t we some of the fortunate ones to have grown up there within those loving walls of our Briar Lane neighborhood. Sometimes when I go back to Yuba City I cruse by the old neighborhood and put the pieces of “then and now” back together for a moment. When I was young my mom use to shake her head and say “Where does the time go?”. I too don’t know where time goes, but I know that it only knows one direction, forward——-with or without you.

Thanks for being such a good role model and a tolerant adult durning my squandered youth. You were an excellent teacher, therapist, and a strong woman who’s priority has alway been family first. I fondly consider you to be my second mom and me your insolent step-son.

So, have a great day reminiscing about Fred and all the things that made him unique and special. I’m not sure if I was anyone special to him, but I do remember him planting a few lip locks on me that kind of took me by surprise (damn near made me question my sexual orientation, heh heh). He surely wasn’t one to hide his emotions, and that I respect. So much wasted time spent worrying about what others think. Life, like love has a precarious shelf life, so curse the assholes and kiss those who bring ya smiles. And Fred, god bless ya and your ability to make us smile and cause the conservatives to stammer and become a-gasped at your choice swear words……I can hear ya now saying “Fucking hypocrites”. You’ll be missed, but we’ll carry on as you’d expect us to do.

I’ll leave you with this quote I like by Charles Bukowski and one I believe Fred would appreciate.

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

Love Victor
AKA Brud

Amazing Grace In Reverse (exploding popcorn)

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Soundtrack “Son Of A Highway Daughter” by Ruston Kelly.

I messed up again, got drunk and pissed everyone off, let myself down with a thousand discarded and broken pledges, I’m wanting morning light at this 3:03 am, its the darkest of corners to turn in the middle of the night, the sheets have become untucked and tangled, the room is stuffy and hot, I’m mad at the likes of me for being a poor version of what I might have been, I’m pleading with the dark shadows and demons to stop coming round and convicting me with a movie reel on repeat, revealing me and all the stupid shit I’ve ever done, my sanity meter is starved for another quarter, for a shard of clarity——the walls are closing in=====Oh my god, where are you now, my holy ghost has gone MIA

I’m nervous all the time, my breath stale beer and bitter nicotine, people can see through me, I never learned how to be coy or clever, my bravado has caved in, I’m teetering on being too far gone to come back again, I no longer belong anywhere or to anyone, everywhere I go I feel out of place, people stare at me like I’m a two headed monster in a nickel and dime freak show——can’t you see, that under all this ugliness it’s still me

I’d call you, but at this hour it would be a selfish thing for me to do——-I wish I’d never worn you out with my rants and ramblings, I’m afraid I’m gonna drag you down with me—— a drowning man with arms flailing, we played hide and seek one too many times with our emotions, and what was once found is now lost. it’s Amazing Grace in reverse——-I’m sorry I painted you into my landscape, you’re far too pretty to be sketched within the same canvas with the likes of someone like me

Holy shit,

People want to choose relationships the same way that they pick out corn on the cob. They secretly peel back a small portion of the husk and take a quick peek to see what’s on the inside. They take a hurried look around to see if anyone is watching and then hastily decide if it’s a keeper or a throw back.

I wonder what becomes of the cobs that have been discarded and left behind, their husk pulled down exposing all their flaws, for all the world to see. Maybe some are fed to the pigs while others are sent to the popcorn factory.

And now you know why popcorn explodes—–