Tuesday, December 7, 2010


once there was a man, or there is still a man, or it doesn't really matter.. or maybe there will one day be a man, and there once was a man, or i guess a man who perpetually exists somewhere on this rock, living forever by passing through human vessels; when their bodies wear out, he shifts somehow to the next... no, no, no. once there was a man who existed for a single moment in time, but that moment was infinite, a singular moment of space, time, awareness, what-have-you.

this man was me, or you. or someone we know, or we don't know. but what's important is that he lived in a place we are all familiar with; wherever, whatever, that place may be. it had all the objects, distractions, thrills and disappointments of an american city in 2010, or a european city, or an asian one, or maybe in 1950. none of this is terribly important. i'd rather you just select your own setting; whatever template you consider to be normal.

one day this man was part of a subtle event. the instigator or the victim, it will never be clear. it could be physical injury, or a disease. it could be heartbreak or a reaction to medicine. it could have been the death of a loved one. this event struck him, and confused him, and shifted everything slightly to another sphere of perception. but any evidence that this event had occurred was invisible, or elusive, or so all encompassing that it worked itself into every mechanism of his living world, so he could not decipher what details had existed before the event, or what came after. this event was most like a traumatic dream, un-remembered upon waking. but it definitely, definitely, was not a dream.

this man had lost all perception of curvature, though he did not realize it. his world had become a lego world, and he, the lego man. all matter, once compromised of atoms, molecules, what-have-you... now consisted of only blocks of varying colors and sizes. all elements had condensed into one.

buildings of pure rectangles lined the streets, as cars motored by, lifting and falling, jaggedly, on square tires. it was as if god had reformatted the universe to be unencumbered by the burden of pi. all surface areas and volumes had become instantaneously easily and accurately measurable, and this fact afforded the lego man a small amount of pleasure.

however, smiling as we know it, was impossible.

Monday, December 6, 2010

you will be remembered for a month or so....

from the very first second i saw the mouse, i knew the mouse had to be killed, which meant i wanted to kill the mouse in the way that we desire to fulfill our destiny, not that it was anything personal between and the rodent. what had to be done, had to be done, the mouse was no more innocent than i, we were merely two species randomly placed in an unfortunate situation, the outcome of which was predetermined. as time went by, and the vermin evaded the various traps i had placed, i became more comfortable with the idea of murdering the damn thing, instead of trapping it and releasing it in alien terrain (which would lead to a slow, frustrating death). i would invent a better mousetrap, i would use human intelligence, the most powerful tool in the animal kingdom, to give this creature a quick, painless death. but as i awoke this morning, and wandered into the kitchen for a drink of water, fate took the wheel. i was freed from the guilt of murder by pure happenstance. the little critter had scurried underneath my right heel at exactly the wrong moment, leaving a small, red pool on the hardwood floor, and a small, red dot on the bottom of my foot.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


there is no one on the lower east side at night but barons and beggars. a circus of contrived romance and unintentional art. young money on old streets, still busy with immigrant ghosts of mule driven carts and poverty.

cabs bounce over uneven pavement. one of those cabs is your cab, but you may not know it yet.

attractive women holding court on orchard. musicians dragging amplifiers down ludlow. poor penniless bums!

an aristocracy of the predictably hip. a brave union teetering on the line, always just a broken heel and a cocaine nosebleed away from dissolution.

businessmen buy homes. carpenters build homes. beautiful people are given homes. artist paint homes and gamblers win homes.

but for you kid, any gutter should suffice.

Monday, November 15, 2010

carlos and nicole in the coffee shop

nicole lowered her mug from bright red lips and placed it on the shaky blue table at which her and carlos were seated. the table itself was not fit for a poor elderly couple's backyard, but it's gaudy blue pastel shine fit right in with the decor. another coffee shop in an affluent neighborhood modeled on a misunderstood notion of salvation army chic.

"i like this place," said carlos, "it reminds me of cambridge."

nicole thought of brooklyn and cambridge as being somewhat interchangeable, but felt little need to delve into any sort of discussion of geography, especially with someone as opinionated as carlos was on those matters.

"so how are things?" she inquired, "how are you doing without nancy?" carlos, seemingly willing to overreact to an expected query, replied, "rough. i just didn't see it ending like this. y'know? i guess i didn't see it ending at all."

"no one did," nicole lied, "you were so good for each other."

nicole thought of all the things she had said about nancy, hell, all the things everyone had said. nancy never even acknowledged any of carlos' friends, and they were all pleased with news of the break up. when carlos moved to boston to be closer to her, they had all reacted like he had been hit by a car.

"you know, she really wasn't that attractive..."

"oh," carlos interrupted, "you think that matters to me?" he seemed more insulted by nicole's statement then she had planned.

"no, of course not, i was just saying... i mean..." she drifted off, there was no saving that remark and she knew it. but seriously, she thought, wasn't she doing him a favor even being here to help him cope? hadn't he left town and left everyone behind? barely saying goodbye, off in pursuit of another bad decision...

nicole righted herself internally and steered the conversation back to a steadier course.

"are you going to stay in boston? how are things going with your job?"

carlos did something related to books, or the internet, or maybe it was financial. nicole never cared to ask, and if it was not to save this conversation from falling off a cliff, probably wouldn't have.

"i think i have to stay because of my job, i like my apartment... but i don't know, sometimes somethings just seem like they belong to another person's life, like they never were dreamed by me, like i jumped on another train's rails..."

carlos trailed off and took down another gulp of coffee. he was drinking it black. nicole remembered he always enjoyed it with a healthy dose of cream. she wondered if he was trying to prove something. instantly she decided that yes, indeed he was.

carlos turned the conversation,

"so how are you? are you still seeing what's-his-name?"

nicole briefly hesitated, then replied,

"yes, alan is his his name."

"ahh, right... alan. good?"

"things are going well, we kinda take it day by day."

things with allen were actually fantastic, but nicole didn't want to seem like she was rubbing it in. her mind drifted to him, momentarily replacing carlos' presence. her and alan had made plans to go to mexico in the winter. alan was due to spend thanksgiving with her and her parents. she realized how accustomed she was becoming to all of alan's idiosyncrasies; she realized her train was still running on a rail that she herself had built.

"you guys have been dating for awhile, no?" carlos silently wondered how serious they actually were. he smiled half way, raised his mug, and glanced a hundred miles slightly over nicole's right shoulder. noticing his impending detachment from whatever reply she offered, nicole though an extra second and decided to answer with a shrug of her shoulders and a returned half smile.

nicole and carlos had made out once, after a party in college. that was three years ago, and when carlos asked her to meet him for coffee, she worried he might want to rewind back to that night. she thought that he was handsome enough, and instantly felt shallow for thinking so. anyway, she was with alan, and thing were almost perfect.

"carlos, it's good that you're here, and i, everyone... we want to help you get through this," nicole continued, "you can always come back if boston is too depressing. y'know, things happen for a reason," nicole didn't believe herself, "nancy wasn't the one, but the right one is out there for you, you're such a nice guy. anyone would be lucky to be with you."

"thanks, that does make me feel a little better," carlos said, "it's just a shame to lose a year and a half of your life, to have missed out on whatever you all are doing down here. i want that time back, i, uh, i want.. i don't know, a redo or a do over."

nicole states, "yeah, but you can't have that."

"carlos," she reaches across the tacky blue wobbly table and places her hand on his forearm,

"you can begin today, you have your freedom. besides, if we had do overs, there would be no point to anything, right? wouldn't everything eventually end up perfect? and perfection would be normal? and normal is boring, right?"

carlos doesn't answer, but instead checks his phone for the time. he must leave if he is to make his train.

"will you walk me to the subway?"

"of course."

"will you come up to boston one of these days?"

"i'd like to."

nicole immediately regretted saying that. not that alan would mind, he was understanding and they trusted each other. but it seemed weird at her age to travel that far to meet a platonic friend. she thought the only way she would make it up there would be if things went south between her and alan. she was ashamed that thought crossed her mind, and instantly felt sleazy for thinking so.

at once they both stood and took steps towards the door. a dozen or so paces out of the cafe, and nicole speaks,

"you know why you feel like the train you're on is riding rails placed by someone else?" she doesn't wait for him to answer, "because you're a romantic. romantics don't ride on tracks they build, they ride on tracks built by fate."

carlos understands. nicole is right. and sometimes those tracks take you three years back in time, to a late hour, perhaps after a party in college. however, when you finally get to the station, you realize that, due to budget cuts or just lack of ridership, the station has been permanently closed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

he went to see her

  he woke up around the usual time, late for someone who had to work that day, but early for the unemployed or those who had the day off. his first thoughts were of seeing her, but he knew he required a few hours to right himself before he walked out the door and across the narrow, ancient, footbridge that separated the aging town; then a quarter mile down elliot st. in the direction the river flowed, past the post office, past a small bakery, past a bank, right turn at the stark methodist church, and he was there, a place he was starting to consider a second home... but for now he had to wait.

  he entered the kitchen empty handed and emerged about 10 minutes later with breakfast. one egg cooked over easy, a thin slice of wheat toast from the above mentioned bakery, and a pool of ketchup that by volume equated to about half the meal. a small cup of coffee and a tumbler of o.j. complimented the feast perfectly, and when he was finished, he felt as if a tiny valve had opened, allowing more blood to flow towards the brain; as if an auxiliary pump had been activated that helped his weak heart circulate ch'i almost effortlessly.
  he flipped open an ancient laptop that seemed to date from the days of the above mentioned bridge. as it's fans, disks, and other mysterious moving parts rattled and screamed to life, he glanced out the window and noticed the sun shining brighter than it had in days. he would still bring a jacket when he went to visit her, but it didn't seem necessary, he would just carry it unless the temperature dropped. briefly, he hallucinated himself a man perpetually burdened by a carried jacket on a warm sunny afternoon. this thought both angered him and caused a slight chuckle to slip through his coffee stained teeth.

  he spent about 20 minutes doing the electronic equivalent of flipping through a newspaper to see if anyone important had died, and about 15 minutes doing the electronic equivalent of flipping through a dentist's office magazine pile, to see if anyone famous had died. this morning, it seemed, no one of note had perished. a quick steamy shower later, he found himself pulling on a pair of fresh pressed pants, a clean white undershirt, and then the warm blue sweater that he had worn when he first met her.

  out the door, and the air hit him like an animal that had never been discovered; never tracked and caught, never even observed before. never butchered and delivered to a master chef, never sold for it's delicate hide, never morphed into a cartoon to teach the dangers of forrest fires, never morphed into a cartoon character to make millions of dollars for disney. never suffocated to extinction by the pollution of modernity, and definitely never dissected by scientist and given some fancy greek name. he walked confidently through it's arms.

  he wanted to hold her as the air does, impossibly surrounding her, and being drawn in and out with every breath. he held his jacket between his right elbow and his body, and tapped a senseless rhythm on the railing with his left hand. the old bridge beneath him seemed sturdier than ever, as if time had petrified its wooden planks. at the end of the bridge lied a general store of sorts, selling among other things, fresh cut flowers. he bought a rose, obviously for her.

  a few cars rattled down elliot st., but only slightly diminished the peaceful mid-spring afternoon. he thought that the school must have just let out, but there were no children around. he let that thought escape without cadence, as the smell of the above mentioned bakery overpowered his mental capacity. he was almost in front of the bank, the above mentioned bank, his bank. he chose this bank because he could make an excuse to see her whenever he had a banking errand to run. he had never considered banking anywhere else, or buying bread anywhere else, or, in a related thought, buying flowers for anyone else.

  he turned right, past the church. he could only imagine all the fire and brimstone that had been preached from the pulpit in there. all the hells, and all the little people sentenced to them. he thought that if he was going to hell, at least he wouldn't need this damn jacket, which momentarily seemed like a fair trade for an eternity in pain. seeing her gate in the distance, his pace slightly quickened. he lifted the rusty latch and slipped through the iron.

  several long strides and he had arrived. now down on one knee, he gracefully placed the rose directly in front of her gravestone. he slowly traced her name with his right index finger, then checked over his shoulder to see if anyone was around to catch him. not that it was criminal to mourn, but he always felt slightly embarrassed being with her. he thought of when they were young and got caught kissing by his father. it was that kind of embarrassment, and although he found this notion to be sweet, and he even cracked a slight grin, he still checked over his shoulder from time to time.

  soon he is standing again, and thinking of walking home. he never knows how long to stay with her. part of him never wants to leave, and part of him wants to show her he can. she taught him so many valuable lessons in their years together, that of course he can carry on. he wants to tell her that he is part of the same eternity that she is. but he doesn't know how to say it, or even really understand what it means.

  as he turns to leave the grave he realizes the afternoon is passing. the breeze, absent when he departed, has escalated to the point where the trees, with their infant leaves barely attached, start to slowly sway. he thinks of her once more and, though they are parting now, how soon he will see her again. perhaps on sunday after the church crowd has cleared, or tuesday, when he will have a paycheck to deposit.

  he slides on his jacket because the sun has ducked behind a cloud, and the temperature has dropped.

Friday, November 12, 2010

moving in...

hello internet! hello world wide web! hello conspiracy theorist, pornographers, music thieves and pop up salesmen!

hello penis enlargers! hello free credit checkers! hello christian, hipster, amputee, and std positive dating sites!

hello no money down! hello name your own price! hello auctioneers, over-stockers, dent and scratchers, and repo men!

hello NSA! hello jealous ex-girlfriend! hello mom... on facebook.

man, it seems there's already a lot going on.

i hope you all won't mind if i rope off a few megabytes of cyberspace to call my own.

hello neighbor.