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.  

Owning Your Days

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Soundtrack “Burst Into The Air” by Ruston Kelly

Where have all our good morning gone
Where have our goodnights gone

We sleep on our assigned side of the bed at night—-separated by long lost pleading desires
And we fuss and fight over the nothings that slowly evaporate a love

What’s happened here, what of all those brave forever words spoken all those years ago—till death do us part—–Who’d of known that forever could lose it’s grip like oil sliding through ones desperate hands

You can live with someone you no longer love,
But you can’t live with someone you no longer like

Missed opportunities, living without, so quiet, like bodies that go untouched for years
Mornings and nighttimes, consume what’s left of this fleeting life

The first snow, of another, coldest of seasons—- on this divided journey
Sometimes it’s better to say nothing, rather than to be wrongly accused or predictably misunderstood, I’ll need to scrape the ice from my frosty windshield

morning coffee, in my favorite worn out slippers
my cat asleep in a sunbeam, the clock ticks at me
my favorite part of this trip is having nowhere to go
And nothing to do, it takes courage to own your days

I’m no longer sorry, I’m not even mad
Now I’m only sad for our poor excuse
of what we’ve come to agree upon
as to what’s love
Her voice sounds like a stranger
such an angry tone of someone I no longer know
My heart bleeds

Time is short, lifetimes pass quickly
Such a waste, what a waste

My lazy cat yawns
I’ve come to understand him
So at peace in his solitude

Good morning my love
Goodnight my love

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—–

Peeping Tom


soundtrack Idaho by Gregory Alan Isakov

And maybe this is all we get
A few years on a blue spinning ball
circling around an ordinary star
We’re god’s orphaned children swinging from monkey bars

In what feels like a not so ordinary life

Take my clothes off in the dark
I wonder where this is all leading
In my sleep, you invade my dreams
memories swinging on worn-out bedsprings

I took a wrong turn last night
and drove past your house with its backdrop of fading sun

Your house, with children toys on the front lawn
I wonder what having a family with you would have been like

I suddenly felt pathetic, like a stalker, a trespasser
Like a sleazy peeping tom, I’m fueled with shame and excitement

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Father-Son-Mother —(A Letter To Me)

Soundtrack “Colors” by Amos Lee

I have few regrets, but I sometimes feel a sadness when I think how you and I were never able to connect or understand one-another.  Perhaps Freud was right, that we become who we are at a very early age and we find ourselves locked into a fixed script.  And sometimes this makes it difficult to express the things that go unsaid. So, I want to say this, having you as my son has been and always will be the finest of gifts.  My favorite memories is the time spent doing little everyday things with you and your sister.  It’s funny, how it’s all the small things that comprise a full life.  I try my best to remember this in each draining moment.

I see pieces of me in you and I wonder if you see parts of you in me.  These days, I just carry little pieces of you from a distant past.  There are memories of that little baby I once held.  Then there’s the little boy whose hand I’d hold on walks in the woods. I carry the memory of teaching you how to tie your shoes and how to ride a bicycle.  Summer drives in grandpa’s truck down country roads lined with peach tree’s and blossoming almond orchards. Sharing holiday dinners at Nana’s old wooden dinner table. Goofy face photographs. Days at the beach and neon lite nights at the boardwalk, the smell of fried corndogs and sticky cotton candy. Waking up to a snow day with no school and skiing on fresh powder. Hikes in the Sierras and the scent of campfire smoke, musty tents, penny ante poker, Monopoly and watching the family dog sleep next to you. And, then there was a teen boy in a hurry to go out and challenge the boundaries of his world. When I turn down all the outside noise, I find myself asking, where has all the time gone?

As hard as one may try, you can never bring your children home again.  They have their own dreams and troubles that they must navigate.  So, I fight the current of time and want to try to make right the things that I may have missed or failed to do.  The middle years of a man’s life can often times be wasted worrying about careers, bills and trying to make something of himself through hollow achievements. Such deceptive mirages we foolishly chase. 

It’s a strange thing, me and my dad never really saw eye to eye.  We were just different in ways neither could explain. But, I knew he loved me and would do anything for me.  He made sacrifices for me and my sisters that I never understood until I was much older.  In spite of it all, and buried beneath it all, we had a love that only a family can share.  I feel this love towards you and wanted you to know that.  And that’s the simple truth.

I remember when my mom passed away, and how at some weird level I was relieved.  This thought left me feeling guilty.  I vacillated between anger and a morose acquiescence as she became weak and frail. She never complained even though she was in a huge amount of pain and relying on morphine to stave off the misery.  I should have been braver and held her hand.  I should have told her how much I loved her and that she was the best mother I could ever of had.  I should have told her that if she needed to go, I understood and that she would always be missed.  I should have told her not to worry about me and that her family would be fine.  But I hid behind my fear, believing she must already know these things, pretending I’d still have time to say the things that needed to be said——-how fucking stupid was that.  

I apologize if this letter comes off awkward and overly forthright.  I suppose I wrote it as much for you, as for myself———You see, this letter is an exercise in trying to find ways to be more courageous with my love.  

“All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.” Ecclesiastes 3:20

What kind of holy book explains life and death in such a flippant manner? I don’t understand.


Beauty Out Of Cruelty

Soundtrack “Stop” by Joe Bonamassa.

 

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It takes space to give a person or a thing a fresh perspective.  Time tastes like expensive bourbon—–at first a cozy burn in my belly, then a flushed buzz across my reddened face, followed by a grimace and a wince.  Yesterday and tomorrow remain the same and open to interpretation. Everyone changes, some for the better, others for the worse.  I’ve always contended that to be understood is to be loved.  But, you can’t understand someone until you let go of your relationship with their relationship. There is often much truth in what appears to be a bizarre contraction.

People are complicated, relationships are messy, normality is a mirage—-we’re all blind to our disfunctions. One man’s crazy is another man’s fetish. I wonder what parts of me are living in you? And, what parts of you will always be withheld from me?  Cause if I’m gonna love you, I gotta touch, taste and feel all of you. I’ve walked around in you, I awoke inside you; what a beautiful world. There’s much hidden in the fog of what we desire verses what we get and who we wanna be verses what we’ve become. I wonder how you’d privately describe me to your girlfriends. Woman talk about men as if they were capital.  They estimate their earning power and their value on the free market.  “He buys me whatever I want. You ought to see his portfolio.” Men talk about women as if they were property, as if they were a new sports car.  “Look at what I own, look how shiney and pretty she is. She does whatever I ask her to do, and I mean anything.” I swear I’ve felt you walk through me, what a strange world in which to lose yourself. The record skips at the same old place every time, our steps go in circles, yet as hard as I try, I still step on your toes—–

Out of thin air we found one another, our chemistry volatile. Desire is like a rubber band.  If never stretched it will become brittle and one day break when most needed.  Or, if stretched beyond what it’s capable of handling, it will abruptly snap.  What we expected isn’t what we hoped for.  What we get is karma and karma reminds us of what we deserve—–So, you better stop.

I have this ex-lover I carry around with me like a faded legend. I have these movie reels of us taking up space in my head. In one we’re in a stark white room and we’re both wanting to be touched by the other, but instead we keep poking our fingers into one another’s soft spots.  And then there’s the reel of us driving down a flat endless desert road and were fighting over the steering wheel.  The brakes fail us as we careened out of control.  The horizon becomes a cliff we fly over into oblivion. I’ve been told that oblivion is where new stars are born from the explosions within dying stars. Now, isn’t that the way of nature, creating beauty out of cruelty, birthing new beginnings from our finalities.  

Laughter is the orgasm of the soul….God smiles knowing the punchline lies within us all………