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Sep 29, 2006

Just Like Heaven

A slow, drizzle of rain. A bashful, orange sun, out from cloud cover, then a retreat to within. The droplets splatter on the pavement, their echoes enhanced between the stone structures and red-brick buildings. What should this day bring, riding on the tails of each day already passed?

The leaves are starting to turn color, a forest on fire. The flames fan in the wind but will not recede for weeks, the brilliant orange, piercing red, and soft yellows, the song of Autumn. The sun peeks, and the blaze only seems to feed on the celestial light, each tiny flame making a mosiac of a thousand shades of color, waxing, waning, and waxing again in the coaxing breeze.

So much of the majestic to take in with a head not angled toward the ground. But how far to look before stumbling upon that which is detestible, vile, and ugly? Regrettably, not far at all.

Is it then time now to outline all of the shit bubbling and boiling across the face of the planet? Surely it will be met with shouts which draw attention to all of the good, all of the beauty, by optimistic aesthete. Look around. There is a disease spreading.

Is that balance, then? The divinely inspired and the humanely grotesque constantly swirling and swimming in a cesspool, vying for that equilibrium, always fifty-fifty? It seems that there is quite more underway than a slight imbalance.

It seems that earth is actually hell, and over the continuum, that fact has been forgotten. What supposedly takes place in the eternal flames happens here daily, underneath the watch of the vulgar and the virtuous, the wise and the wretched. What has been done in the collective of former lives to lead to the melting point? Is the earth just as an element, it's half-life preordained, the decomposition inevitable?

This is not pessimism or paranoia. It's reality. Only it is the job of the strong to make this as much like heaven as humanly position--more for others than themselves--during the short, ever-trying time in this large, spherical cell.
I maneuvered my car out from the underground parking. Late nights make for sensitive eyes in the morning. Even so, this morning was an exception. Just thinking about it makes my eyes water. No sooner than I pulled out into the lot was I greeted with a blast of sunshine that felt like two one-thousand watt flashlights were pressed up to my face; or maybe a thousand tiny spiders with feet of a thousand thorns were dancing on the delicate, squishy surface of my eyeballs.

Spiders. I went on the offensive against two of them the other night. Passionately I believe that one day insects and humans such as myself can co-exist in a world together in peace. However, it is not this day. I noticed that a fuzzy, cocoon-like structure was forming in a corner of my apartment where the wall meets the ceiling. For a few days I simply let this go on, monitoring it casually.

Finally, one night I was moved to scrutinize the webbing. Not good. There were two spiders inside this thing, and a brown spherical object smaller than a poppy seed in the middle of the cocoon. Is it a cocoon, I wonder? Do spiders do that? I thought they only had webs. A half-hour spent on the internet would've given me an answer I'm sure, but there wasn't any time for that. Unbeknownst to the spiders, their life would end within that time frame.

I corralled a djembe drum to stand on in order to gain a closer look. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, as I did lose balance once; as a reward, I got a closeup view of the carpet. Needs to be vacuumed.

The second attempt provided me with what I'd feared: confirmation that something altogether creepy was taking place, and if I didn't act soon, these two transparently yellow spiders would multiply by a hundred. Sickly looking things, snot in spider form.

I tend to deal with insects in desperately creative ways. The nearest weapon I could find was a bottle of glass cleaner. I sprayed their mating sack a few times. One spider fell to the floor, and an instant later had no life coursing through those eight frail legs. The second spider remained, motionless. The guardian of the eggs.

I'm often visited by ladybugs, flies, bees, spiders, and the occasional cockroach. Am I putting on a false front that all these insects are drawn to me, and once in refuge, I end their lives with a swift swing of a newspaper, or with a bottle of cleaning solution? Sounds sadistic when presented that way.

No. Fate delivered them all a bad hand. I'm just a messenger.

Sep 21, 2006

Zagawaggin' All the Way to Dad's Place

Zagawag. Might as well put such a random equation to good use. I guess unconsciously I've been meditating on it since it appeared in the comment verification.

Zagawag: extreme physical and mental exhaustion.

I am zagawagged. The road'll do that to you. White lines after white lines. Crazy drivers. And I get to leave it all tomorrow morning. It's a week like this that pushes me, makes me long to sleep under the stars with nothing but a crackling fire and some good company.

Most likely, I'll stop by dad's. He's been in contact with me nearly daily since I've been out on the road. Even though I've grown up, he still worries about his little boy. That's just the way he is.

He invites me over to dinner with him and my step mom weekly, and I try to make it there. From time to time, he'll make comments about how he doesn't want me to feel obligated to come over. He knows that I'm a busy guy. But something about him saying that never felt right. If I'm feeling obligated to go over to my parent's house, something's wrong.

I wrote him back, saying that I never felt obligated, and I love coming over. I told him, you're still my father. You can command me to get my ass over to your place because you want to see me.

Then I said: It's just now that I'm old enough to refuse that order.

His response: I love you man.

I love you too, Dad.

Sep 19, 2006

Ramblin' Man

It's a title that I can loosely give to myself. No, I'm not a rambler. I have friends who've been ramblers. But I've had a taste of their main dish these past two days, and the next two have only more in store. Not going to bore people with the details of admissions here. Just an introspective update, I suppose.

A genuine excitement pulsed through my veins as I made the drive down here Monday afternoon. But after the driving, and the evening, I made it to the hotel around ten at night, and was out by seven the next morning. It didn't really feel like a stay at all.

Travel for work sucks. At least it sucks when you're going to an unfamiliar area. Possibly I'll have better things to say next Spring, when I return to this place. But on the road, my hours are lived from street sign to street sign, and anything in between is lost in the blur.

Everyone here seems to be in a hurry. I couldn't help but joke to a dear friend on how I'd bet that the sex lives of the poeple here was just the same. No time with a dose of haste on top. Two-minute men, where are you? They'd love you down here.

And such a contrast in landscape. It's not wildlife, and nature with man-made tenaments interspersed. It's roads, and skycrapers, highways and traffic lights, with a park, or a dug-out pond placed awkwardly. You cannot possibly escape the commerce; it's literally everywhere you turn, or don't turn. They drive their SUV's while capitalism drives them.

My groove is in the heartbeat of the earth; the wind soughing through the tall grass, the clouds sweeping the sky. Not the mechanical drone of rubber tires supporting overweight, metal machines on the highway.

When I returned to the hotel this evening, I felt exhausted. My head pounded like I'd been staring at a computer screen for hours without blinking; the signature residue of intense concentration, at least for me.

Had a couple of beers and a burger at the bar in the company of some fellow travelers. One of them was an older man, I'm guessing sixty. Shave Santa's beard and clip his hair off at the nape of the next and you have this gentlemen. I learned by eavesdropping that he'd put 100,000 miles on his car in the last three years. Fuck, is this guy Santa?

Then I learned that his name was Mr. Burns. How freaky.

I'd come in after he'd been drinking awhile. It seemed to be his duty to pass his infinite wisdom on to the rest of us. Apparently, twenty-five or so years after I get married, my wife will become celibate and there will be a clear moment where I realize this. I will snuggle up to her in bed, but "it will be cold." I'd hate to draw a correlation between his road hours and his home hours and the amount of booty he gets from his spouse.

He illustrated this point with a joke that I know I've heard before.

"Honey," he says to his wife in bed on a Saturday morning, "is it going to be the golf course or intercourse?"

The wife replies, "Sweetie, it's cold outside. You'd better take a sweater."

An old Mr. Burns telling me how the passion is destined to flee from my life without looking back. Speaking of that, where the hell is my wife? Which side of the twilight is this zone that I'm in?

Sep 14, 2006

The Flight of Shoeless Jane

The text message came in just under the strike of midnight. It read: U alive?

Airic Burns scratched his head, and steadied himself against the wall. The swooning came from the alcohol, consumed too quickly that evening. He knew it, too. The bartender's course he'd taken the year before had taught him: One drink per hour to stay sober; anything above and beyond that, there are accompanying risks.

He texted a response: Riding home from the bar.

Within a matter of seconds, a response came in: I'm on my way.

Dammit! Airic thought to himself, but at the same time, his judgment was skewed, like he existed then and there in a sort of dream world. The weight of consequence was lifted from his mind.

The response: OK.

Jane Manolo was the sender. Airic had dated her eight years back, when they attended the same college. They served eachother's purposes well; he treated her like a nineteen year old woman wished to be treated, and she introduced him to sex. Real sex. Not the kind teens normally attempt in high school, the clumsy fumbling that takes place in a carnal conversation when neither person knows the language. This girl Jane brought Airic to new horizons. And it was under this arrangement that they were able to carry on as a couple for over a year.

Running congruent to Airic's habit, he soon became bored, and his interest waned. He knew he was fully capable of treating almost any female with respect; at least until he became complacent and disinterested with what they had to offer. He was quite the shallow person in this regard, but up until this point, he'd been able to sail with it on relatively calm waters.

In the minutes before she arrived, he scurried around his apartment--a dingy, one-bedroom place with what seemed like more flies than there were spots for them to land on--in order to tidy up some of the chaos, which was an attribute of the place just as much as were the flies.

Once, after returning from work, he killed fifteen of them before he retired for the day, satisfied of the work, sure that he had vanquished the very last one. To his dismay, the next morning he noticed that there were at least four more flying around the place, those black specks in start contrast with the white ceilings and undecorated walls. He didn't bother with the insects after that. For the years he lived there he could always count on their presence, even deep into the winter months.

During the cleanup, he thought about this minor preparation for her, this make-up, this fabrication. He wondered then if he really did give a shit about what she thought about him. How long had their fling been going on, a month?

What were they, after all? Friends with benefits? Recurring one-night-stands? Fuck buddies? These last questions scurried around inside his skull like a cockroach trapped inside a bathtub. These creeping thoughts would often intensify before, during, and after their meetings.

The doorbell interrupted his thoughts, thoughts that, though he didn't know it yet, would return in full force by the end of that evening. Airic hated that doorbell. Doorbell isn't the right word, he'd tell his friends. It's a doorbuzz. Like a mosquito hovering inside your ear canal intensified to the tenth degree.

He waited by the door, then hesitated and took a quick walk around the room. For some reason he felt self-conscious about standing there for the fifteen seconds it would take Jane to traverse the hallway to his place; a combination of not wanting her to know that he was waiting there for her as well as his own confusion as to why he was standing there in the first place.

Then, three soft knocks.

What greeted him in the backlit door-frame began to sober him up. On the surface, sure, it was Jane there. Her dark curly hair and short stature were immediate tip-offs. It's how any one who knew her could recognize her from far away in a crowd. Noticeably short with a commanding presence. Around her neck was a plastic ring that glowed green. Aside from the superficial normalcy, there was something much different brewing underneath.

Timidly, she stepped inside. There was no emotion in her face, so it seemed. Airic thought he noticed confusion, but wasn't sure. If at some point in the impending years he would've been able muster up the courage to tell his friends about what had transpired that night, he'd have described her then as a plane on auto-pilot. No-one behind the wheel.

She tottered in with the finesse of a drunken elephant, and Airic wasn't sure if this was because she'd gotten annihilated at the clubs earlier that night, or if it was because of the fact that she wore only one flip-flop. An untainted judgment snuck through and told him it was combination of both, and most likely, her state of mind could explain the absence of the shoe.

Half comically, half seriously, Airic asked, "Where's your other shoe?"

Jane looked to the floor, slowly lifting up her bare foot for examination while steadying herself against a wall. She mumbled something that Airic was sure she herself understood, but he didn't catch it. She didn't seem too concerned about it. Airic knew to take this as a horrible omen. He could feel the uneasiness brewing in his stomach, and slowly creeping up to his throat like vomit. Though he wasn't sure how this would all spill out.

They'd gotten together while drunk before. Times where, if he was half in the bag, then she'd been in it for hours, and had ripped right through the bottom.

The next thing Airic could think of was how he didn't want her abandoned sandal to be left out in the middle of the hallway in his apartment complex for his neighbors to wonder about. He stepped out into the hallway, and peered down the long, narrow corridor.

Nothing.

Relieved, he went in and shut the door behind him.

Once inside, Jane grabbed him by the belt and started to pull him towards the bedroom.

"Come on," she said. Airic heard those two words over and over on the way to his room inside his head, and how the "C" seemed to catch in her mouth like her tongue was stuck to the roof of her mouth.

Fuck, Airic thought. She's really drunk.Once they'd passed through the doorframe of the bedroom she began to wriggle out of her clothes. Back inside a dream, Airic took off his shirt, undid his belt, removed his pants, and then the rest. It was all without thinking, but methodically, mostly in response to the short woman in front of him. Seconds after he'd seen her, all conjured images of passion and lust fled his mind and left behind only a bad taste that signaled to him loud and clear like a Public Service Announcement: Don't Do This. This is a Fuck Up. Stop Now.

Too late. By the time the message registered wholly, they'd already gone horizontal. And she was ravenous from the start, and treated Airic like he was the first meal she'd eaten in weeks; it was a complete devouring.

Once inside her, Airic's mind began to stray. He'd done this before, hundreds of times over, with different women. His thoughts rested on a conversation he'd had with Jane in bed, the last time they'd been intimate before this.

"I don't know if I can do this anymore," he said to her.

"What do you mean?" she asked.

Airic wasn't sure how to explain himself without making them both seem like whores. That didn't stop him from continuing, for it was how he'd felt for a while.

"It's just this-" and he sucked in his breath, leery to continue. "Sex," he finally managed to say.

Out of the two-thousand words he really wanted to throw out at her, those were the only four he could manage. Jane waited for Airic to continue, growing impatient after seeing that he wasn't speaking at all.

"Yeah?" she asked, an annoyed tinge riding on the wave of her voice. "What about it?"

Airic told her in stilted language that he didn't want just sex.

"Do you want a relationship?" Jane asked.

Airic delayed his reply, but only for dramatic effect. He'd acted this part before, and knew she'd be asking that question before the words lifted off of her tongue, and even before that, he'd known how he'd answer. He was a sly fellow, a manipulator of sorts; he knew how to play this game. He could've written the book on How to Get Rid of Your Significant Other in Fifty Words or Less.

In the most sincere voice he could conjure, he said, "No. That's no it. I don't want either." Even if the tone of what he said wasn't honest, he knew the message was. He might've just as easily told her in a cold voice, followed by an invitation to be let out, but this situation was, well, delicate, he figured.

"Why?" she asked, and Airic could see that this genuinely confused her. Such different animals they were when compared to one another. She needed a penis, all right, while at the same he was growing tired of having one.

He wanted to tell her about how he felt, how random sex wasn't doing it for him. But how could he explain to this girl that his entire state of mind had changed since their last rendezvous? He wished to tell her about how this all made him feel airy, and brittle, like a worn and ratty blanket. Stretched, too, like trying to encase a refridgerator in a square yard of cellophane. But metaphors were wasted on the woman.

Nevertheless, she caught the message behind his feeble attempt to elaborate.

"Don't tell me this is the last time I'm going to see you," she said, now even more annoyed, and a bit frustrated.

Yes,
he thought, Yes, that is exactly what I'm trying to say to you. But he couldn't verbalize that base fact. That was for her to deduce, and hopefully adhere to. Behind the iron curtain of his sexual prowess and confidence, Airic was a coward. If he could make his point in a vague way with no blood spilt, then it was a victory. The man wouldn't walk within 1500 miles of direct conflict.

He followed with "No that's not what I'm saying," and as soon as the words left his lips he mentally kicked himself in the crotch for possessing such a liquid spine.

His thoughts halted there, and he returned to Shoeless Jane. Back inside of her, he knew for sure that the one sentence he'd uttered the last time they were together, that measly fucking cop-out, had a direct cause in the situation he currently found himself in. Jane, beginning to notice Airic's deflated interest, started to gyrate more wildly, and speak frequent, graphic things into his ear. It was the only way she knew how to get a man back in the mood. Might work for some, but Airic wasn't having it. And now, she could feel it.

"Are you done?" she asked.

He managed to grunt a "No."

"'Cause if you are, that's ok."

"No, that's not it. I just can't do this tonight."

With a quick puff she blew the hair from her face.

"Fine," she said, "then we'll just lay here."

Airic wasn't able to read the emotion behind that statement, and momentarily, the deep sense of foreboding that accompanied him into the bedroom left. They lay still, wrapped in eachother. How much Airic liked this. So much different than sex. Just honest, human touch.

Jane had started to stroke his back with her small fingers, lolling him into sleep, a false sense of a security. It was s sensual, innocent massage that led into a dream that would soon become a nightmare.

No sooner than his heart calmed was he jolt back into full conscious. Small fingernails raked down the rear of his neck, to the middle of his back. Not a seductive raking, but a violent one. He paid this no mind at first, as he knew her to be quite physical in the sack. But then it happened again. This time the pain made him twitch, even wince slightly. She must've taken this as a sign that he was back in commission. He looked up, partly to make her think it didn't hurt, and partly to see if he could read her face.

Nothing.

She slithered a hand down towards his groin area. Instinctively, he crossed his legs.

"What?" she asked.

Airic looked directly into her brown eyes, forced a smile, and closed his eyes. Again, she went for him, and was twice denied by the same indifference, the same smile. She inhaled deeply, expelled quickly. He felt her shoulders shrug in the vibrations of the mattress. The coward inside him had gotten the best of the lion. He turned over on his side, faced away from her.

Her hands returned to his back, and up through his hair, softly at first. She raked again, and this time he caught the expression on her face. It filled him with dread. It was a face that he knew then she didn't want him to see. Her face, not a blemish on it, looked evil. Her jaw was clenched, her brow tightened, and she wore a slight "Fuck you motherfucker" smirk. He knew that she knew exactly what she was doing. Though it was futile, he believed he could play it off as nothing.

He'd never admit it, but the actions and the face frightened him. Afraid to the point where, even with his strength and height advantage, he wasn't sure whether or not he held the upper hand. One without the other might not of bothered him, but the combination of both sent his placid heart into a frenzy.

He was frightened, that is, until the deep scrape across his skull. The one that drew blood.

Airic deftly grabbed her arm and flung it off to the side, harder than he'd meant to. He made sure to meet her gaze, but only this time, he wore the expression: fire behind the eyes, brow clenched, jaw tight. His thick eyebrows curled above the dark eyes, and his cheekbones flared. I'm not one to fuck with. That same glare had silenced men who were twice his size.

He wanted her gone, and he would've screamed at her so, if the years hadn't tamed him. To him at that point, she was nothing more than the feline you play with that paws at your hand until it grabs hold, claws tearing flesh, and takes a vicious bite. All you want to do is grab it by the scruff of the neck and throw it against the wall as hard and fast as physically possible.

But Jane, though, wasn't stupid by any means. Fully aware of Airic's sensitive spots, she'd push those buttons whenever she didn't get what she wanted. In high school, it was attention, phone calls, and other things of the sort, but now it was all just sex, sex, and a bit of sex. She was well aware that Airic wasn't prone to violence, but to provoke was pure folly; his path was not one to cross.

Still, Airic's caution came partly because he wasn't sure what was behind this madness: the alcohol, or the furor of a woman denied. Either one wasn't to be messed with. Both made her unpredictable. He realized then that never once, not since they'd rekindled their flame, nor when they were together all those years ago, did he deny her. Not a single time.

Airic again had his eyes shut. When he was a young child, he knew that simply pulling the covers up over his head and shutting his eyes would spare him from the monsters, witches, and demons.

Fuck. It's not gonna hold true on this witch.


As if the gods heard his prayer, the feat seemed to work.

"Fine. You know what, I'm going to leave," she said, and these words softened Airic's mood. He slid his legs over the side of the bed and sat upright, greeted by a dawning of relief. He didn't bother to turn around to check on Jane. His ears told him that she was dressing.

He bit his lip, stayed silent, trying to pass away the duration of her presence there. He turned around in time to see her walking towards the door. Not bothering with clothes, he got up to follow her. Airic needed to make sure that she was really gone.

Jane had gathered nearly everything: her jacket, purse, and the one shoe, while opting to leave the green necklace. Just as a still-naked Airic reached for the door, she dropped her purse with a deliberate effort that he could smell without even looking at her.

"Let's no do this," she said, taking him by the arm. "Let's just go lie down or something."

Frustrated, but willing to bend on this issue, Airic decided to honor the request.

"That's fine," he said, with no effort to hide the irritation in his voice, "as long as we do just that. I have to go to sleep."

What didn't cross Airic's mind is that what she said to him was an order. He followed her back to the bedroom. Thankfully, she kept most of her clothes on. He hit the pillow and sighed deeply. The bed now carried the scent of her perfume, and warm bodies. The room was silent save for a small fan in the corner.

Airic checked his phone. Two-thirty in the morning. This had all gone on much longer than he'd noticed.

Suddenly, as if a taser had been fired into the middle of his back, his body went rigid as she dug her nails in farther than before, this time without a warm-up caress.

What could he do? He wasn't going to physically assault this tiny women, no matter how much he would've loved to at that point. There was no reasoning with that monster, one who wouldn't listen to what he was saying. Here he witnessed a one track mind. It was like dealing with a young child who's focused themselves on some trivial goal.

Mommy, mommy, I want a balloon, I WANT A BALLOON!


But with Jane, it was Daddy, daddy, I wanna fuck.

And she was like that, too, especially when she'd been drinking. It scared the shit out of Airic, more than any invented monster ever had.

What he needed now was a diversion, to get her mind off that god-damned balloon, but everywhere he turned he came back with pockets empty.

Was she really trying to turn him on? Or was this pure vindictiveness, full of malice, the result of a sexually spoiled, drunk little brat not getting her way? Since he had nothing else, he shot the glare at her. He thought about the Incredible Hulk show he watched as a child, and struggled to keep his composure.

This is me gettin' green, bitch.

It didn't matter whether or not there she sensed a bite behind it. She realized that whatever her intentions were, they weren't working on him.

This time, Airic got out of bed first. His clothes were the farthest thing from his mind. He just wanted that fucking woman out. She stood up, too; by then, the alcohol had further infused itself inside her veins and began to fuck even more with her motor core. She swayed, and as if her head carried twice the weight of her body, she leaned, then a bit more, and finally fell swiftly, crashing into the wall.

"Whoops," Airic said, and he'd meant it sadistically. He was grateful for this retribution--the karma--acted upon this little harpy. He'd have done a dance if there'd been a little more distance between them. She examined a finger she'd scraped in the wall for a minute, but never did Airic move nor did he think about moving to help her up. Finally, she rose, then turned towards the door.

Methodically, in an extremely uncomfortable and real deja vu, he followed her to the door.

All Airic wanted was that bed, and to shut himself out of consciousness for the next eight hours. But even that bed had become less appealing after those last three hours. There was a certain taint to the mattress now that even Airic couldn't shake. This wasn't the first time she'd left while he remained feeling awkward. But this was also much different. The gravity of the situation couldn't be compared or computed next to the others.

"Can I have a glass of water," she asked, and all Airic heard was "glass" out of the whole sentence. On his way to the cupboard, he prayed that there were plastic cups left. He didn't want to place anything in the woman's hand that could potentially cut him open.

"I can't believe we're doing this," she said after downing the last gulp.

"Yep, well," Airic stalled, "another night."

"That's what you think."

Airic had to smirk at this, as he imagined how out of her mind she must be in order to act that way. Part of him hoped that this would be her three-hour blackout.

"Where's my shoe?" she asked.

"What shoe?"

"My other shoe?"

"You came with one." She squinched her brow at this information. It wasn't registering.

She shouldn't drive. Airic knew this, and he absolutely hated that he knew this. Why couldn't he be pissed drunk, rude, loud, and obnoxious, and just throw her ass out? He should make her stay on the couch. He trusted that less than her driving home. For Christ's sake, he thought, that was assault! People get arrested for that kind of shit these days!

Airic remained stone. "You had only one shoe when you got here."

"Whatever," she said, and when she opened the door he hid behind it so that an unsuspecting tenant who might be in the hallway wouldn't catch him naked with this short, drunk woman.

Right before she went out, she took off her one shoe and threw it into the garbage can in his front hallway.

The only salutation Airic offered her was the click of the lock after he'd shut the door. Fuck. It's done, over, finito.

The next morning, part of him wished that he'd been too drunk to remember the night before. The ugly memories lifted him into consciousness, and he just wanted to go back, not there, not to last night, but to sleep. This is worse than a hangover, he thought.

All the evidence was there to remind him as well: his clothes strewn across the bedroom floor; the green necklace that had since ceased glowing; the talon markings across his back; and of course, the sandal in his garbage can.

Before leaving the bedroom, he noticed that there was a missed call and a text on his phone. Both had come in minutes after Jane's departure. Though it didn't surprise him, seeing that they were both from her made him a bit queasy. She didn't leave a voicemail, but the text message carried these two words:

My shoe?

He laughed. The he burst into laughter that was purely hysterical, so full and loud that his upstairs neighbor's dogs began howling. Tears streamed down his face while he rolled from side to side in the bed, clenching his stomach. He laughed for two minutes straight, well aware of how loud he was, and of the dogs. He didn't care.

He strolled out of the bedroom, red-faced, and famished. He saw the green necklace, still on the end table. He looked in the trash. Check. The shoe was still there. He inhaled slowly, and held it until he couldn't any longer, and then expelled it like an orgasm.

He grabbed an insert from the newspaper off the counter and in one motion swatted a fly that had landed on the wall over the garbage can for a short rest. What wasn't left on the wall fell into the can, on top of her shoe.

Flies rely heavily on sight to survive, and the common household species will live from two weeks to a month after leaving the pupa stage. Airic wondered what day this fly was on, and what sort of fate had steered it into this room, it being destined to leave this world as a wing and a streak of blood on wall?

Airic smiled.

"It's all in the trash."

Sep 13, 2006

Sunshine

Grey skies, these last few days, led to a melancholy weekend. The horizon, a confused and confounded one, not sure of light or night, day or evening's haze. Instead, a solemn murk, cloud streaked skies the color of roadside slush after a few days of dense snowfall.

So, I create my own sun by dancing and singing in my office when moved to. Does this freak out my co-workers, make them think I'm crazy? 'Course not, as they all understand me fairly well and have already realized that crazy's how I came; the phenomenon isn't something which happened recently. Sometimes I wish there'd be less windows in my office; at least that way I could keep the rest of the campus guessing.

Ah. Just the perfect remedy for this ailment, and I generously prescribe this sort of medicine to anyone with grey skies in their day, whether the clouds be literal, or otherwise.

Sep 7, 2006

Improved = Better ?

Over the summer, electronic paper towel dispensers were installed in each of the three bathrooms inside the building where I work. These are some of the most recent devlopments in the technological pursuit by advanced countries. We've gone from those small, brown paper towels at the sink side, to the "hands free" hand dryers which were great for sticking your pants underneath when confronted by errant sink spray.

Then, great advancement was achieved when they built paper towel dispensers, the ones where a person pulls down on a little handle, and out from that tinted plastic box on the wall comes a nice sheet of towel to dry one's hands on.

Now, the greatest dreams have been realized: the new dispensers require a human being to simply wave their hand in front of the machine, then voila! the machine spits out a sheet of paper towel.

Proof that humans are fucking lazy and would rather have it so that they could simply flutter their hand at whatever problem came their way and like that it would be resolved. I understand the idea between this simple upgrade, but utility? That's further from my grasp. The need? Can't figure it out.

First of all, it takes longer to get the paper towel. You are made to wait for the machine. Secondly, these machines run on batteries, WHICH HAVE A LIMITED SUPPLY OF POWER. They run out of juice, require replacement. This is an added cost not present with a manual dispenser.

Also, last I checked, one of the prerequisites for a person to be physically capable of using the bathrooms here is that they must be a living, breathing human being. If you've got enough energy to squeeze out a shit, then you can surely pull down on a little lever for the cloth to wipe your hands. So it's not like the inventor has really done anyone a favor.

Sep 6, 2006

The Dog That Can Bite You

Late this afternoon, I ran into a professor who was in the office building where I work because she had a meeting there. We talked briefly about a student that I had personally enrolled into her class.

He's a bit of a unique case.

The student had enrolled at a different private school in the state, and simply wasn't feeling it. About midway through the first week of classes here, I received a desparate call from his mother. She wanted to know if there would be any possibility that her son could drop out of his current school and enroll here. By the book, I knew the answer was no, which was a difficult realization in itself because it meant one of two things: either the student finishes out the semster at his current institution, and consequenly his state of mind might adversely effect his academics, or he drops out for the semester and starts college fresh in January.

Luckily enough for him, the student did well in high school. This is solely what saved him, and I was sure to make a point of it. Late registrations are no new thing to college admissions, and most of the time, those are the kids that turn and kick you in the balls; the ones you do the most work for, give the most effort to. They come in tardy, unprepared, and you hold their hand the entire way. Then they up and duck out a couple of weeks later. Too many variables in these cases.

But I felt for the kid. We've all been in places and situations where the most we could say about them is that 'they didn't feel right.' Impossible it is to put a finger directly on it, whether it is indeed a place, maybe a relationship, or even a lifestyle. After speaking with both the student and his mother, I equipped myself with two pieces of information--he wanted to be in college and he didn't want to be where he was--and met with the directly of admissions on his behalf.

On the last possible day our students can add or drop classes, we facilitated a process that normally takes a couple of months, squeezed and packaged it into a frame a no more than a half of a day. I was exhausted when I got home that day; didn't want a woman, didn't want food, or beer, only Excedrin.

So then, the reward came through with the knowledge that yes, the boy's doing fine. Though he started nearly a week behind his peers, he's caught up now, and has even been participating in class. Attendance is required here, and many students will give the bare minimum. Professors love the ones that talk, and help them move the class along.

"I got rid a few of the lugnuts," the professor said, "and then you give me Peter! Send some more of those students may way if you've got 'em in your back pocket."

By God I wish I did. The chance I took when going to the plate for this kid was one that bugged me all weekend long, but now I know if I would've been there on the kid's behalf, he would've either been at home this week playing Fifa '06 on the PS2, or trudging across the campus of a school he couldn't stand to be in.

Chalk one up in the column of didn't-come-around-to-bite-my-ass.

Sep 5, 2006

You Would Complete Me

Now, with title like that, most sensible people might write a piece about their significant other or would-be lover, but I on the other hand intend to write about the more mundane: a kitchen table.

A kitchen table would complete me. "Would" being the modifier here which implies that the acquisition of said kitchen table has not happened yet. And I'm not asking for much, no donations, no care packages, 'cause the perfect idea sits fresh in my mind: No wider than two and a half feet, no longer than four feet. I could place this width-wise against a wall in the kitchen and this in effect would section the area off and fill the giant cavity that is the space between my livingroom and kitchen.

There are practical reasons for this desire well above the aesthetic. It'd double my counter space. I stand at the counter next to the sink and eat, and that would end. I'd cook more meals for myself. I could even have people over!

Following that line of thought, drawing conclusions, I could only begin to think of other things whose absence might be explained by this simple, wooden eating surface.

Cause cooking would happen more if I had a table. The meal would feel right, instead of preparing it while standing, then not being able to sit down and enjoy it. Once I started doing this for myself a handful of years ago is when a new appreciation for my mother grew inside me; that woman cooked almost every night, and a full meal at that.

I, on the other hand, couldn't cook every night. The people who made cheap frozen pizzas, and frozen TV trays in the box had two types of people in mind at the cultivation of their idea: single guys and poor people. Being both, I love frozen pizza, and can get by on frozen dinners from time to time. They fit into my stomach and my budget almost effortlessly.

Though, night after night, I do grow tired from this repetition. The soda cans, beer bottles and cardboard circles will mount up, then I'll clean it only so that I start all over again.

Eventually, I will get a kitchen table. Then the real fun begins. Sit-down dinners. Conversations. Possibilities. For the while, I refuse to hurry, but I've realized that cooking for one can be a burden, too.