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Dec 22, 2005

Pre-Christmas Poverty Ramble

Yes! It's the 22nd of December, thirty-six degrees out there. Had to take my car into the mechanics today to have the car "winterized," oil changed, etc. Oh, the check engine light loves to pop on every three months or so, meaning that had to be attended to as well.

Faulty O2 exchange reader or something like that. It's a part that Hyundai needs to order themselves, so they just reset the error code that caused the engine light to come on. I'm taking bets on the week it'll come back on. Apparently spokes were poking out of the front tires, wore them rubbers down right to their core nearly. Mr. Mechanic said I'm lucky I didn't have a blow out while on the highway or something. So I needed two new tires.

Now I'm indulging in the Rent soundtrack cause I like listening to people singing with hope about being poor. But see now I am poor cause I got like $19.97 right now and the net bill's due on the 30th and the rent's due on the 5th, and I ain't got nothing on me but a pack of cigarettes. I have cash coming on the 6th maybe.

My dad told me story about how he was poor in college, and I didn't feel so bad. Ramen Noodles. Mac and Cheese. Ramen Noodles. Toast. Water. Macaroni and hot dogs. Ramen Noodles. I have a bit more variety than he had. His choice staple was bologna. I'm out of bread and noodles though.

I'm tired of Christmas already...I got shit from a lady at the store cause I said to her "Happy Holidays."

"Those fuckin' liberals," is what I imagined she thought.

I think I've learned a lot in these last six months. Things can always get a little worse. And they can always get a little better. God, if you're up there: If and when I have money, strike me dead if I do not use it to better myself and the lives of those around me.

Dec 19, 2005

What to Write About When I Don't Know What to Write About

Friday Dec. 16th 6:43p.m.

I stand and wait in Brian's living room while he changes. We'll head to Milwaukee for a friend's twenty-first birthday any minute now. The walls are a yellow-white, and the house is decorated nicely with antique plates, pictures, and china. There's an old piano against the east wall when you walk in. A parrot named Diver, perched on top of his square metal cage, talks with me.

"Diver want a cracker?"

I laugh. Diver laughs back. Then he gives me "the whistle," like I've got great legs or something.

I cannot believe how human he sounds. For another blog on parrots, see another parrot story.

Friday Dec. 16th 8:13p.m.

Brian, Bubba and I sit in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant. Mr. 21 isn't done eating yet, and the three of us have a problem. The taillights on Brian's Jeep will not go off, even after we remove the fuses. We decide to drive back to Mr. 21's to assess the problem.

Friday Dec. 16th 8:56p.m.

We cruise down North Avenue. Such a dilapidated street without much to offer, other than a liquor store every half block. When heading east on North, one comes to an intersection that leads back to 43 North, and on the wall of a building at that stop is a large mural of African-American arts and heritage. It portrays musicians, dancers and painters doing their thing. For some reason this time I look closer at the building, and above the front entrance are the words "Milwaukee Inner City Arts." Such a beautiful view to be had in the middle of that brick wasteland. What a point of refuge. Then I saw that the windows and doors were boarded up. Here's an essay about the dying arts.

Friday Dec. 16th 10:04p.m.

We've made it out. Caan's is our first stop, and Mr. 21 takes a long glance around the place and takes mental note of what he calls "the potential." Jameson, Rumpleman, Jack, and Captain get in his way. They get in everyone's way.

Saturday Dec. 17th 2:39a.m.

I'm staring at the back of a cab driver's head. My vision's blurred and I don't know how I made it to the cab. I don't know who's riding with me either. I think it's Mr. 21 and a girl he knew from one of the clubs. The cab driver speaks in a slew of Arabic, a very fluid language, and at first I'm startled as to what's happening. There's about twenty bucks in my wallet.

Saturday Dec. 17th 2:59a.m.

I'm no longer in the cab, and I've noticed that my kinesthetic abilities are nearly non-existent. Mr. 21's driveway is a little bit icy and somewhat slanted, and I've given up trying to climb that mountain. The driveway is cold and hard, but still I lie down. Reverse peristalsis is what my high school biology teacher called it, but I'm just glad to get it out of me at this point.

Saturday Dec. 17th 12:09p.m.

I awake on the couch in Mr. 21's living room, fully clothed. I decide immediately that my brain is infested with tiny gnomes who are chiseling their way out of my skull. Either that or this is the worst hangover I've had. It's gotta be the gnomes. My wallet is empty. I might've paid for the cab ride.

Saturday Dec. 17th 6:15p.m.
I'm at Wilson Jr. High in Manitowoc. The wonderful lady and dance classes she teaches are putting on their Winter recital. I glance around the decent sized auditorium in anticipation, wondering which pair of these folks are her parents. I'm sure of the fact that I saw at least one sister on the way in.

I meet mom.

Saturday Dec. 17th 7:49p.m.

Dad approaches, asks if I am who I am. I tell him I am. He greets me with a hello and a thick handshake, and instructs me to follow him backstage where she is. And she is beautiful. She's traded her dance outfit (sorry don't know the technical name) for blue jeans, though still her face sparkles and her hair in curls melts me.

Saturday Dec. 17th 8:58p.m.

We're back at her place. The rest of the family gets back and Dad's brought me some Bud Light. The first one kills my hangover. The rest is X-rated. Kidding!! It's
XXX-rated...nope that's a lie too. We watch two episodes of SNL, one on E! and the other the live show...and I see her again for the woman that she is...and fall further.

Sunday Dec. 18th 12:32a.m.

I get in my car, unsure of how to hit the highway from her place. I guess my navigation successfully. I drive away from the only place I want to be.

Dec 16, 2005

End of the Week Ramble

Well then....finals could've ended for me on Wednesday, but I am a devoted believer in the Doctrine of Procrastination. Of course I exercised a ritual or two over the past few days, and instead am now finished with everything I need to do for this week. Done. Completely.

One more semester to go, then I'm gone. And I don't feel like writing about any of this. I lied. It's not a ramble. It's a dud. Probably shouldn't even post this stupid shit. Now that I've opened up a larger window to my current mental state than I had previously intended, I'm done.

Dec 11, 2005

Not Quite Ten O'clock (Not a Poem)

In this moment I'd love to write,
but the words are elusive
as God's been.

My mind feels
like a naked tree
the gnarled branches
and synapses connected
at the center reach
out and yield
nothing.

Blinded by a sun,
I can only drop
to my knees and
worship.

Dec 7, 2005

Is Negative Two Degrees Normal for December in Wisco?

Cause that's what the thermometer said this morning. Negative two. That's just ugly.
Two more days after today, then it's finals week. Things are looking nice though. Finals week this semester isn't as bad as the week before finals, and I'm more than halfway through that as I write this. Here are five things I've learned this week, in no particular order:

1) It is possible to study while sleeping.

2) Never urinate immediately after coming in from the cold. I won't elaborate.

3) The end of the semester is a ripe time to fail at attempting to quit smoking.

4) Foul language really is an appropriate topic for a high 300's level language course.

5) My shower will never be as warm as I'd like it to be.

I'm checking out...peace...and good luck!

Dec 4, 2005

The Elusive Muse

It's 4:22 p.m. on this cold, December Sunday. Outside, it's fifteen degrees, and the ground lies underneath a very fine, flaky covering of snow. It resembles the fake stuff they pepper the foam landscapes with at "Santa's Landing" or what-not in your local mall. We may be hosts to a white Christmas here in Wisco . . . white but for the brownish schluck on the roads, specked against the curbs and up the sides of cars.

In this rambling I meant to briefly break from the "homework" (do you know there really is no such word in this blogger spellchecker dictionary) and write about something that came to me early last night. But I told her (the cute little muse) to chill on my shoulder until I was ready to write about her. As she often does, she flew away, and I'm left alone sitting here in a "damnit" type mood.

It was going to be a funny piece, the first in a series. Something along the lines of "things that they should tell you as a Wisco native, but you usually learn about the hard way". Had the first one all lined up in my head. Now it's gone.

So today I'm remembering good advice about the muse: Grab onto her as soon as she's in the room. Carry a tiny notebook if you have to. Just don't lose her. Gotta do that before anything else. So you want to become a writer? How nice.

Then write.

Dec 2, 2005

Heading Somewhere

Some lyrics to a bluesy song I wrote called Headed Somewhere, which is the fictitious story of a man cut short from being on the run.


Woke up that mornin' quite early and my chest dropped
And I just might die
Looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the face
The face that won't be smilin' no more.

I'll go to the station but first I must pack a bag,
But it's her that I need
As soon as those wheels start up rollin' I won't look back,
I'll be gone so far from home.

I'm gettin' on that train
Headin' over the hills
On that train
Rollin' over the mountains
I'm gettin' on that train
Headin' somewhere

She says that she's sorry but I know it ain't her fault
Why I gotta leave this town,
I tried to be quick cause it kills me to see her cry,
One kiss, a kiss turned to one damn long goodbye.

And I missed that train
It's headin' over the hills
She made me miss that train,
Rollin' over the mountains,
I missed that train,
And I'm heading' nowhere,
I will be headin' nowhere.

While we were restin' in walked the other man,
and she wouldn't take his side.
Without my jacket and hat all I could do was frown,
While he shot, he shot this lover down.

Now I'm on that train,
headin' over white hills,
He put me on that train
Rollin' over the mountains,
I'm on that train
And I'm headed somewhere;
I hope I'm headed somewhere.

Well I told her in a letter
I'd sign with the devil's pen,
That hell has this upside:
I ain't ever feelin' the chill of death again.

I'd like to keep on prayin'
Lord knows I won't do that.
But don't you give up prayin'
'Case I ain't ever comin' back.

Those fiery gates are startin' to worry me,
And all paths seem to lead me nowhere.
And it will be awhile
since I'm never gettin' out of here.

I'd like to keep on prayin'
Lord knows I won't do that.
But don't you give up prayin'
'Cause I ain't ever coming back.
I'd like to keep on prayin'
Lord knows I'm never comin' back.