My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Archive for July, 2009

New York: Squares, Dirt and a Bar

July 29th, 2009 | Category: Life

So, we’re trying to catch a cab to Union Square for our first outing into the city. We’re staying in Times Square, it’s probably too far to go on foot. We’re walking up and down the sidewalk, no takers. A woman comes up to us, she has that “I want to say something, but I’m not sure what to say,” look on her face. She walks up and says, “Hi… weren’t you on tv?” I say, “yes,” with my eyebrows. Last year, I was on an episode of This American Life. She says she loved the episode, that she’s so glad to meet me. I never know how to feel about these sightings. Part of me is always flattered, it’s definitely fun to feel like a minor celebrity. Still, deep down I know I’m just a nobody. I still haven’t accomplished anything that I consider important. At any rate, my fan says her goodbyes, and we actually find a cab.

Union Square is sort of a trendy hippie area. There’s a lovely park, and on this particular day there’s a huge outdoor market. People are selling fresh fruit, vegetables, freshly laid eggs. There are bad artists selling bad art, and some good artists selling good art. We’re walking by these vendors, a woman screams, “Johnny Depp! Hey, Johnny Depp!” Being that I don’t talk, he was my tv voice. I’ve been celebrity sighted twice in one day. We walk around the park a bit, it’s gorgeous. The sun’s hot on my face, the whole day’s ahead of me. Before leaving Union Square, I have to take care of a little project. In Kim’s purse is an empty child-sized Absolute vodka bottle. I have this person who couldn’t come with me, so I figure I’ll bring my favorite parts of New York back to her. Dirt, in a tiny empty bottle of my favorite liquor. Kim scoops up some Union Square dirt, we’re on our way.

Now, on this our first day in the city, we don’t really have a plan. We’re sort of just wandering around, taking in the city. This suits me fine. I don’t want plans, or schedules. I don’t want a list of action items. I’m in a beautiful place, I want to be lost. We walk from Union Square to Washington Square, somewhere a little more historic, less offbeat. There’s a big fountain in the middle of the square, little kids are splashing around in the water. I have this coin in my wallet from the 1800s, a fellow gave it to me a few years ago as I was leaving a movie. He said it was good luck. I have Kim toss this coin in the fountain, hoping she doesn’t put out some little kid’s eye. I make a wish and wonder if the coin could be that lucky. As we’re leaving, Kim adds a little more dirt to my collection.

We wander more. We stroll Broadway. We pass by Grace Church. It’s a gorgeous gothic building, it looks so sacred, so holy. I wonder if God’s there, and if He minds the people eating pizza on the church’s front steps. I also wonder if He minds me having Kim stuff consecrated ground into a dead liquor bottle. We walk to this trendy area of seventh and eighth street known as St. Marks Place. St. Marks is all thrift stores, coffee shops, bars. We walk to the East Village, to one bar, the Beauty Bar. It’s a vintage beauty salon, the bottles of hair-dye replaced with bottles of that liquid that makes life feel spectacular, if only for a little while. There’s a lovely woman sitting down the bar from me, we make eye contact a few times. She always smiles. I buy her a drink, give her my card. I tell her, “one day, I might be a famous writer.” It turns out that she’s also a writer, we talk a bit. It’s always interesting talking to strangers with the alphabet, and not my computer. You learn right away how smart and patient a person is, she’s both. I know I’ll never see her again, that doesn’t matter. I bought her the drink, I’m talking to her for the experience. This trip is all about creating experiences.

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New York: Conception, Travel and Arrival

July 27th, 2009 | Category: Life

A few months ago I’m sitting in this smoke-filled dive bar with my friend, Kim. We’ve just met for the first time outside of the internets. So, we’re talking surrounded by a host of drunk people, she tells me that she’s been wanting to go to New York on a train, but nobody wants to go with her. Now, at the time, I’m fairly functionally depressed, but that night, I’m having fun. I like the idea of a trip to New York. I have this Things to Do list, and a post-trache trip without my family is one of my Things to Do. I figure, if I still dig Kim’s company in a few weeks, maybe I could figure out a way to go. I’d need a new assistant. My current best assistant, Sarah, would be gone soon enough, definitely before I could throw a trip together.

Skip ahead to early July. I’m still friends with Kim, I have a great new assistant, Katherine, who does everything I need perfectly, and I’m having nothing but trache troubles. Between late-June and mid-July, I’ve had four different traches in three weeks. One particular morning, I’m coughing like crazy, I’m not breathing well at all. I have to hike it to the e.r. in an ambulance. I’m in the e.r. thinking about a certain woman, how much I love her, and if it matters. I also decide that when I get out, I’m going to text Kim and tell her we’re hopping a train. I get out, I text Kim, we book tickets.

On July fifteenth, Kim, Katherine and I are set to be on a train bound from Tampa to New York. That morning, my family flips out a little bit, they stage something like an intervention, the consensus being that I don’t know what I’m doing, that I have no business trusting this assistant that I’ve had for just two months, that I don’t really know how to take care of myself, and that if I go to New York alone I’m going to die. None of this surprises me. I also find it a little ironic, because in my head I’ve been calling it “the suicide trip.” I mean, I’ve had nothing but trache trouble, I kind of feel like shit, I don’t really know what to expect, but I don’t care. I just keep thinking, fuck it, I’m going. It’s not that I want to die on this trip, at all, but I’m not going to let the simple fact that I could die stop me. I feel like I know what I’m doing just enough. Eventually, thanks to some counter-intervention from another friend, Celeste, people calm down. Celeste has a hatchet tucked under the front seat of her car, which pretty much says that she’s ready to handle any situation, especially zombies. I get on that train.

The ride takes twenty-seven hours because of delays. The biggest delay being that before the train picked us up in Tampa, it hit and killed a fellow. We start calling it “the murder train.” At around midnight that first night, I ask Kim and Katherine, “have either of you ever seen the movie, The Midnight Meat Train?” Kim says, “oh God, don’t talk about that.” I laugh, quietly. I type an old-school offline letter to someone I’m thinking about who’s getting further away as we go North. I write…

So, right now, I’m on the train, not online, but writing to you anyway. It’s night time, the car’s dimly lit, people are asleep. I’m lying on a cozy cushion, on the floor, it’s a nice big area by a window. I’m all lazed out under my fluffy red blanket.  The motion of the train under my back is the sort of thing that relaxes me.

I’m falling asleep now, thinking about you.

I’m definitely glad to be away from Tampa, but not entirely. I figured I’d get on the train and think, “later, Tampa, it’s been real!” I do think that, but not as strongly as I expected. I haven’t missed anyone in this particular way in a long time. It’s a good feeling, a good feeling mixed with melancholy. I think of Elliott Smith songs, and Aimee Mann songs. Songs about things that don’t work out the way we want. Part of me tends to think that Elliott and Aimee are entirely right, while another part of me just won’t accept that life has to suck. This is why I’m a ridiculous romantic, and why I’m in love again, and why I’m on a train that’s crawling toward New York and my possible demise. I do things on the off chance that I’ll experience something good. I’m a dark optimist. I fall asleep. it’s a really good sleep.

We get to New York late on the sixteenth, the folks at Penn Station are quite nice. A fellow hauls our forty-seven bags to street level, we start trying to hail a cab to our hotel. Now, the thing about New York City cabs is that they don’t seem to like picking up wheelchair people, or perhaps it’s just my crazy looking chair. Either way, getting a cab takes some doing, especially because my sort of cab has to be a mini-SUV, or specifically “accessible.” Oh, and I forgot to mention the luggage. So, we need two cabs, at least one big enough to fit me, my assistant, my vent, and my chair. Two cabs finally stop, both big enough to suit us. This is when we get our official “welcome to New York.” There’s this woman behind us, a resident of that particular street corner. she’s swearing at random passersby. We’re getting into our cabs, I get the hose temporarily disconnected from my neck while my vent gets loaded into the car. The woman screams, “oh my God, you pulled the tube out of that child’s throat!” She’s screams, “get that child out of here!” She screams, “I’m calling the police!” Kim tells crazy lady to relax. Crazy tells Kim, “I’m gonna burn your car.” We’re definitely in New York…

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The sort of city

July 18th, 2009 | Category: Life

New York is the sort of city where people seem to say whatever’s in their heads, it’s something I love. For example, I don’t walk, or sit up. I have a hose running from a machine connected to a hole in my throat. I mean, I dress nicely, I don’t drool or stare blankly into nothingness, but it’s definitely not common to see a fellow like me wandering about the streets of Manhattan. However, in Manhattan people’s reactions are abundant and rather extreme. I get, “holy shit, what the Hell is that?” I get, “oh my God, what happened?” A woman screams at us, “oh my God, he’s dying! why do you have him out like this?” A fellow says to me, “Jesus, I hope you live.” A fellow says to his friend, “no, man, that’s not real, it’s a doll.” I actually get the doll comment a lot, but it’s usually from drunk or high people. I guess in New York, I even look fake to sober folks. I think a lot of people think these things, but New York is the sort of city where people say whatever they want, to whoever they want, out loud. New York has no filters, no censors. Everything’s so “out there.” New York’s harsh, and friendly, and ugly, and gorgeous. There’s nothing fake about New York, it’s so totally alive.

New York’s the sort of city that says, “I could kick your city’s ass.”

16 comments

New York: The Beginning

July 17th, 2009 | Category: Life

So, right now, I’m in New York taking care of one of my Things to Do. I’m at the Fairfield Inn in Times Square, after a twenty-seven hour train ride. I’m going to write about everything, but not yet. For now, I’ll note that I’m with my assistant, Katherine, and my friend, Kim, and we’re staying in room 1407. 1407 is a lot like 1408, it’s astonishingly cold, the faucets run with blood, concierge calls to encourage suicide, but the door doesn’t lock from the outside. So, it’s still an evil fucking room, but we can leave whenever.

I wonder if I should try to post nightly, or just at the end of everything…

8 comments

Everything burns

July 09th, 2009 | Category: Life,Opinions

Ever since I choked on some pineapple juice, died, and woke up not being able to talk, it’s been very apparent that nothing lasts forever. Girlfriends leave, and come back, and leave again. You meet new people, they feel close, and they don’t, and they do again, then they don’t. You get high, and it fades. Liquor feels amazing, and then it doesn’t. Alanis Morissette once wrote, “you will learn to lose everything, we are temporary arrangements.” There’s a line from Heath Ledger’s Joker, he says, “everything burns.” Heath’s dead now. Everything does burn, nothing lasts, aside from possibly the written word. Still, the people behind the words don’t last. We’ll all be as dead as Heath eventually, and there’s not a Goddamn fucking thing we can do about it. Aside from suicide, our ends aren’t welcomed, or genuinely expected.

Everything burns… it’s such an honest thing to say. The idea that everything burns is frustrating, at least to me. Aside from the times I’ve wanted to quietly slit my wrists, and those times have been genuine, I don’t want to die. Really, I want to be happy. I want to write well. I want a woman to love me, and I want to fall asleep holding her. I want the life I have in my head. The idea that everything burns makes me a little insane, it crushes me, and it drives me. It’s why I write the way I write, it’s why I try things that scare me, it’s part of why I have it in me to drink too much, it’s part of my depression, it’s why I revel in new experiences. Last night, I looked into a woman’s eyes and said, “I really want to kiss you.” Saying something like that is kind of terrifying, but I can’t not say those things, because everything burns. I know everything burns, and I tend to make a lot of decisions because of that knowing. Right or wrong, it’s what I do. I let people carry me up flights of stairs at goth clubs, I drink like mad sometimes, I flirt like crazy, I write like there might not be a tomorrow. I do these things because everything burns, and I can’t not know it, not anymore.

I might be astonishingly physically fucked up, and I’m going to burn, but you know what? You’re going to burn just the same. Life ends for everyone. That’s why right now is important.

10 comments

And he made a whisper out of you…

July 07th, 2009 | Category: Attempted Poetry,Creative Flash

You were always there, always in his head.

You were a one way conversation, incoming words remembered.

You were I love you, I want you, stay with me, I miss you… leave me…

Your voice, a loop in his head, a circular song leading nowhere.

Lifeless lifeless, going nowhere, but he knew the one thing he could do that’d make a whisper out of you.

A razor down his wrists, bleeding out on paper, liquor and opium to make it all a dream.

He closed his eyes, the world went away, and he made a whisper out of you.

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I’m in Bedlam

July 06th, 2009 | Category: Life

So, the folks at Bedlam Publishing were kind enough to pick up three of my flash fiction pieces, and what a shock, they’re about suicide, sex, and religion. Those are a few of my favorite things…

Hit their site, read my flash along with some other great fiction.

1 comment

Choose your post

July 05th, 2009 | Category: Life

So, I’m going to give you all a few post titles, and I want you to choose which one gets written first…

• Everything Burns

• Words create reality

• A Distorted Reality is a Necessity for Writing

• Living in a Plastic World

• A lovely fiction

• And he made a whisper out of you

Only post your votes in my blog’s comments, please don’t use facebook.

15 comments

Another June has gone by…

July 04th, 2009 | Category: Life

So, I’ve been writing this particular blog for two Julys now. Last July was definitely different. I posted about this song, but I was in a very different place. I wrote…

So, today’s the Fourth of July, another June has gone by.  When they light up our town I just think what a waste of gunpowder and sky…

That is the beginning of the saddest, most grammatically correct song ever written about the Fourth of July. It’s one of my favorite Aimee Mann songs. Last year, Sara and I were broken up for the Fourth. We broke up before the holiday, but that song was actually playing when she said her good-byes. Things are much better this year. We’re separated again, but only by physical distance. It’s weird, I’m not sure how to word this right, maybe I can’t. Being apart like this is a painful experience, I miss her on some level all the time, but it’s not an empty pain. It’s a pain that promises something better. It’s almost like getting a tattoo. It’s a constant stinging pain, but when it finally stops, you’re left with something beautiful. It’s a pain that’s a prelude to something that you know is worth anything. It’s not a loss, not an emptiness. It’s not Hell unending, the complete and total absence of God.

Life’s really not easy, but I think it’s always worth the trouble in the end. Happy Fourth…

Things have changed so much in two Julys. I didn’t end up with Sara, we broke up, again. Well, she broke up with me, again. After the second time, I really did feel empty. For a very long time, longer than I care to remember, it felt like endless emptiness, endless loneliness. They say that Hell is the absence of God, that is why Hell is supposed to be so bad. Supposedly, we are all a part of God, and without Him, it’s the worst pain, the worst emptiness, a feeling beyond our imagination. That’s how I felt every day without Sara, just lost and empty, for months and months. It really felt like it would never stop. I blamed myself, I thought of this song. I felt like I screwed everything up, again. I felt like I didn’t try hard enough, again. I felt like too much of a fuck up to be with anyone else.

It’s taken me almost a year to quit blaming myself, almost a year to start over and feel, not always better, but at least different. I know that I feel different about what happened, that it wasn’t my fault, not entirely. I did say to her, “what would it take?” I did everything I could, but it just didn’t work. I accept that now, because there are certain things a fellow just has to accept. I bet big on one person, and I lost big. It happens, you learn from it. I learned from it. I have the same goals, the same basic wants that I had last July. This July, I’m not as good as I want to be, but I’m not as bad as I was, not so empty. People go, new people come, and maybe the new people stay. The maybes are enough to wake up in the morning, not always, but usually. That’s as honest as I can be this 4th of July.

I have interesting things ahead, but they’re not ready to be written, not today.

2 comments

A beautiful fix

July 03rd, 2009 | Category: Attempted Poetry,Creative Flash

She’s beautiful lying next to you, her arm across yours. She’s peaceful, gorgeous.

Looking at her just now, her so close, so warm, it feels better than morphine. She’s a perfect fix, she’s a high that isn’t lonely.

You want to lean over, to gently kiss her cheek, the side of her neck. You want to wake her with your lips, to look into her alluring brown eyes and tell her that you love her, that you want her. You run your fingers down the side of her face, you let her sleep.

She’s beautiful lying next to you, and you want her to stay, but just like any fix, she’ll be gone by morning.

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