People Person

•December 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

When you’re mad at someone, you are more inclined to notice and criticize their behavior.  But then someone you are not mad at will engage in the same behavior and you won’t criticize them.  Not only that, but sometimes you don’t even notice the person you are not mad at behaves that way.  What then?  You talk negatively about the person you are mad at behind their back with people you are not mad at, all of whom are doing the same thing with the people they are mad and not mad at.  Do you feel better?  Temporarily.  Being mad is temporary.

You are no longer mad at the person you were mad at, and now you feel bad for talking about them negatively behind their back with people you weren’t mad at at the time.  Now you are mad at one of them for saying a lot of bad things about the person you are no longer mad at.  You will make it up to the person you are no longer mad at by being mad at one of the people you were not mad at, and with whom you talked negatively about the person you now are not mad at.  How could the person you are now mad at be so mean?  Plus, there was this one time a while back when they did a bad thing; now that you think about it, that was a really mean, bad thing.  This person you are now mad at only cares about themself. 

You meet up with the person you are no longer mad at to talk negatively about the person you are now mad at behind their back.  The person you are not mad at agrees and suddenly has a lot of very true observations about the person you are mad at.  There is a lot of behavior to criticize and the two of you talk through it.  You don’t say anything to the person you now like about the bad things you said to the person you used to like about the person you now like.  You think to yourself you didn’t mean those things.  The person you now like understands, even though they didn’t know it happened because it happened behind their back.  But the person you no longer like has definitely behaved badly.  That person only cares about themself, and that person says one thing but does another.  It’s sad, you and the person you now like think.  It’s sad because you thought you could trust this person you no longer like.  Now the person might as well be an enemy.  Now everything they said and did is whisked away in uncertainty.  It’s a good thing you have the person you now like.  The person you now like is trustworthy and you understand each other. 

You and the person you used to not like but now like part ways. Later that night, lying awake in bed, you stare into the dark ceiling crying and thinking about how everyone is mad at you, including the person you now like.  You apply every criticism you’ve had about the behavior of people you are mad at to yourself.  You are mad at yourself and why would anyone not be mad at you?  Who are you but a collection of everyone you are mad at?  Before you know it, you are awake the next morning.  You are meeting the person you now like for breakfast.  You walk into the kitchen and begin preparing a waffle for one.

John Loves His Cheese

•December 10, 2012 • 4 Comments

A packed train car is silent but for one woman’s voice talking into her phone. Everyone can hear her side of the conversation and is politely not reacting. To whoever is on the other end, she mentions recipes involving various kinds of cheese.  Fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, sharp cheddar, from extraspecial grocery store whats-its-name, and she says, “Well, you know John loves his cheese.  Every day he eats a cheese sandwich.”  Does he?

She hangs up the phone and there is silence.  The massive metal and plastic train creaks on the tracks beneath it.  Intermittent multi-tone horns yell into the air near intersections.  If attention is payed to these noises for several minutes, one feels a sense of dread.  A robust imagination might even recall sensational descriptions of the end of the world, or of the sun exploding.  Well, you know John loves his cheese.  Every day he eats a cheese sandwich.

A different passenger behind me begins chewing on things that crunch like thicket sticks under slow heavy boots.  These items are being eaten one at a time, disintegrating in a trap of vertical grinding and a swarm of digestive juice.  It is all over for the items. Many men of the past made machines to cut such items by the million. Many men of the future operated and oiled those machines, cared for them as if creatures to sustain. This lady on the train fulfilled the purpose of the items, and her own, according to a small crew of executive humans of the past, who themselves played by true rules as old as the oxygen they breathed. Lit paths are taken through the night. What does an original thought feel like?  Well, you know John loves his cheese.  Every day he eats a cheese sandwich.

Things at Rest Observed

•December 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Shaun Gannon has written a very nice ebook called Brown Fuzzy Words.  You can read it here.

Here are some descriptions of cool art I have displayed in my apartment:

1.  An old, fragile, wooden nativity, measuring approximately 6″ x 6″ x 4″, with a cassette tape of Dr. Dre’s single Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang lodged in between a small shelter and two figures bowing down to worship at the manger.  The nativity was a gift from my aunt during the period of my life when I was questioning my faith.  The cassette tape was purchased maybe two years ago for one dollar or less – I don’t remember – at a thrift store on impulse.  Not long after purchasing the tape, I decided the two would make a riotous combination, and I have not separated them since.

2.  An exact mold of my teeth that was taken minutes after my braces were removed in middle school.  The upper jaw and gums piece is separate from the lower, but instinctively, I have always rested them one on top of the other, as carefully as possible.  I often forget I have this teeth mold prominently displayed at the edge of the top of the highest of my three bookshelves, facing the only door in or out.

I don’t feel like looking for any more “displayed things” in my apartment to write about, so those’ll do.  I have a lot of things just sitting around.  Tools.  Like slippers and guitar equipment and dishes.

I also have an empty Digiorno frozen pizza box inside an empty pizza delivery box from T.D.’s pizza down the street from my apartment.  “It’s not delivery; it’s Digiorno” a garbage picker will someday say.

Today is an Example of Every Day

•December 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I have an imaginary telescope on one side of my head pointed at an imaginary microscope on the other side. When I look through the telescope, which looks through the microscope, I examine the electricity I find. It is innocent and I do not attempt to provoke it. I watch it move and interact with other entities, making note of what I observe. It notices me. I panic, and it becomes agitated. It rallies the bad specimens in the background and bribes me with subtle gifts. The gifts are like warm hands. I have little control over their effect, as they fill my deep secret wells with bath water. The freedom of observation is shut off and my attention is turned to a bag of candy. I position one piece at a time between my teeth and chew like a half-starved wildcat. I rest and ponder nothing and focus on the way my mouth feels. It is exquisite. It is concentrated. It is temporary. It is done. The candy is gone. I wonder what I am thinking.

Identification

•December 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A pristine bird-jet floating in
and out of low hanging clouds.

It is my job to know it is still
there when hidden.

Grave New World and Cheerful Emails

•November 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There were five or six flashing police cars, and there was an empty clean stretcher.  A situation was underway.  An event happened.  Near the stretcher, a small crowd of policemen and non-police people gathered around a man sitting on a metal bench.  The man was staring straight ahead.  He wasn’t doing anything.  An incident occurred which demanded numerous police cars, all of which were spraying blue and red light on a train station parking lot.  I got off the train with the usual crowd of hundreds and we all walked by the police cars and the man sitting on the bench.  The action of the situation was finished.  Nothing was happening anymore.  Now it was only sitting and what appeared to be coping with facts.  Some of the people who were on the train stopped to watch and find out what was going on.  I walked by and I looked at the man on the bench for several seconds. He didn’t move or talk. Something bad happened and the motionless guy was involved.  That’s all I knew.

Yesterday, I got an email from AT&T informing me my monthly bill was ready. I cancelled my service with AT&T a while ago, but they asked for another 43 dollars. It took several phone calls, speaking to several people on each phone call, to cancel the service. Real humans on the other ends of the phone calls said they were sorry to see me go.  They asked me why I was cancelling my service and I said I now have it with another company because it is better, and even though it is more than 43 dollars a month, I can now afford it.  AT&T kept saying they were sorry, like they were truly ashamed of something they did wrong. I knew they were just saying that as a formality but after hearing it so many times, the sum total seemed genuine. Now I had to call them again and convince them they did something wrong. I didn’t call AT&T yesterday because I didn’t have the patience to navigate the automated phone labyrinth and then talk to one or more people who would whip more apologies at me. Just please let me say No I don’t want it anymore, so a bureaucrat at a desk can press a red button.

Today my mom sent me an email with the title Be Careful and Aware. In it she said, in effect, people do bad things to other people all the time, so watch out, and she pasted the link to a news article. The article was titled Man’s throat slashed, car stolen in [train] station attack. This was the scene I almost witnessed the day before. My mom just wanted to remind me that, at any moment, no matter where or when, someone might come up to me, slash my throat, and steal my car. I should be careful and aware of this. I should be prepared for some crazy unexpected shit to happen whenever. That’s her advice. Hey watch out, someone might snipe you today, so be careful. Investigate your environment for signs of unpredictable extreme human behavior afoot. If you see someone not acting tame, keep an eye on them. This is my form of protection for you, my child. Lurk with fear. You never know what’s going to happen, so think about sudden violence being inflicted on you as you participate in society. Oh and happy holidays. Your brother’s child said his first word. He said Hello!

After doing some pushups and pacing my apartment for a while, I opened up the AT&T bill email, looking for a link I could click to cancel modern civilization and my basic internet service. I went to my profile page to check out the details about this supposed new bill. In big red letters I saw the words This is your final bill. I looked at the billing dates. Oh. This was from an older billing cycle. There is always a delay from when the billing cycle ends and the bill is delivered. Alright then. I paid the bill.

Do Art for Me, Angry Cat Art

•November 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Attention people who draw and/or paint. I will give you money in exchange for a large drawing/painting of an old crotchety cat, like a street cat that eats garbage to stay alive, with ten “Happy Birthday!” helium balloons tied to each of its fully outstretched paws, floating above cars in a traffic jam, and there is one guy standing on top of his car trying to reach the cat and help it down, but the cat is hissing and trying to scratch at his outstretched hand, but struggling to swat its paws downward because of the balloons. By large I mean at least bigger than an 11×17 sheet of paper, preferably much larger. Probably the most important detail is that the cat’s paws should be fully extended, uncomfortably, perhaps even painfully, and its torso should sink below the height of its paws, due to the upward force of the balloons. Also, the perspective should be pretty close to the cat, enough to get a good idea of how frustrated it is about its circumstances. This is not a joke. I would like it to look realistic and high quality. I repeat: I will give you money. I am not cheap. I will pay decent money for this, especially if the end result is big and nicely done.