Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Watch People Die

Her face is lovely. Freckles and eyes. That smile, warm like the tiles on the side of a pool in the summertime. I dangle my feet over the edge and watch her slip under the water. Her skin, so white it's green, soft and her hair is a jellyfish; the tentacles dancing in their pyjamas, laughing and jumping on the bed with no grown ups and the boys are downstairs watching TV. She crouches down on the bottom of the pool and I want her to stay there because she's happy and I want her to live forever, ever down there where everything is in slow motion, a dream. But now she's launching herself up through the water and her head is born again into the daylight and she's splashing me. Laughing but she's dying. I can hear it in her voice and see it in the goosebumps on her forearms. She's cold. The other girls in the pool, too. The boys. They're changing, the water now draining from their faces like blood. I won't tell her, though, what she doesn't want to know. I'll say something funny and pretend to fall into the pool. I'll cradle her like a bride over the threshold and we'll spin around and kiss. We'll share a lemonade and lay out in the sun with the radio on and we'll talk about a book that she read and when she sleeps I'll sneak away. I'll go and watch some other people die.  

Friday, July 23, 2010

Snatch Match Dot Com

So many of my friends are single and AWESOME and for one reason or another they are having a hard time snatching up the perfect mate. That's why I've invented! It's a scientific-based, patent-pending calcularization machine that is guaranteed to help singles snatch up compatible (and AWESOME) partners before they are whisked away by some dude/lady who is NOT VERY AWESOME!

So if you are single and AWESOME then simply answer the questionnaire below and you will be connected with someone who is just as AWESOME as you! Or don't. But if you don't you will probably end up with someone like my friend Mitch (he's definitely NOT AWESOME! but he is my friend so don't say anything mean okay).

  1. What's your favourite episode of Quantum Leap?
  2. [FOR GUYS ONLY] Do you consider yourself more of an A.C. Slater, Zack, or Screech. Keep in mind that A.C. Slater allegedly raped that one girl. And Zack used steroids to pump up but that was back in the SBTB days. And Screech is a douchebag but he allegedly has a huge penis (okay, not allegedly; I've seen it and it is very big)?
  3. [FOR WOMEN ONLY] If you were in a gang would it be "The Knuckle Sluts," "The Vadge Hammers," or the "The Sarah Jessica Parker is Attractives"?
  4. [FOR RICKY SCHROEDER ONLY] What's Alfonso Ribeiro really like? He seems like an okay guy but you can never really tell with celebrities.
  5. Who was the boss?
  6. Delicious bananas with a slight tinge of green on the skin or gross bananas with disgusting brown spots on the skin?
  7. Dudes who say "Bro" or bros who say "Dude" or both (Matthew McConaughey)?
  8. Golden Girls or Gilmore Girls?
  9. Sexual fantasy: something to do with onion rings or Michael Winslow doing helicopter noises?
  10. Perfect date: dinner and a movie or dinner and a movie with Elliot Gould in it?
  11. Julie Andrews showing her boobs in the movie "S.O.B." (essay question)
  12. Sexier: Mel Gibson on a racist tirade or Robin Williams in the nude?
  13. If you met Ian Ziering in real life would you pronounce his first name like Ion or would you just go ahead and say it like Ian even though you know he prefers it like Ion.
  14. Does this questionnaire have too many references to TV shows from the 80s and 90s: yes, no, or Mayim Bialik?
That was easy wasn't it? Now sit back and relax while your results are calcularized. You will be snatchmatched to your perfect AWESOME mate in no time!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Putting Things in Other Things

I suppose everyone puts things in other things to some degree but for me it's a compulsion. Not a sickness so much as a way to push through, to belong, to get on with all those people who walk and work and play and touch my life in random ways, completely unrestrained. I dread the mornings, that moment, the very second I'm awake when thoughts and dreams remain, not yet reconciled, scattered on the floor. "I'm in my room, in my bed, behind the door," I think to myself and then out loud I say "snakes eat mice" and it's that advice that allows me to sort my life into folders. Trapper Keepers for things to do, for feelings felt, for ways to start the day. "I'm okay" I say as I put my legs in underpants, feet in socks, then in sneakers, cereal in a bowl. Sandwich in a bag. Body in the car. Now I'm the buttons in a jar that I used to collect when I was two. The coins in a box, or found feathers that I stuffed in a pencil case, zipper closed to keep them in place.

But the containers are dropping, they're falling, now spilling, I'm spinning out of control. The mouse has escaped, or been set free by the snake, oh my snake is a girl. I know who she is, and I am the mouse. Still, I'm falling, not floating, closing in fast on the ground. I'm not in my car and my stomach is dry, no shoes and no pants, no time to ask why. I can see my house now down below, no roof and no walls, a sound I don't recognize. This is nice. The zipper is opening, the feathers have spread, the girl, she is my wife, waiting naked on our bed.  Hovering just above, my thoughts are now clear, nothing in anything as far as I can see. She's saying something, my wife from the bed. "Put yourself in me," she whispers and I will. She's the only thing I want or need to fill. That night my dreams and all those random thoughts, they converge and intertwine, neat but not sorted into files. The next morning she rolls over and touches her fingers to my eyes. "Go back to sleep," she says and I do, for once knowing that everything is fine.

Friday, July 16, 2010

She Sits in the Corner

She sits in the corner, with a notebook scribbling, reading, thinking, bleeding, and I wonder why she isn't beautiful when she writes. No lights tonight but the TV is on with the sound turned down and it's hot. She's not drunk but she's drinking wine and not eating the grilled cheese sandwich I made for her with tomatoes in it. I've eaten mine. She'll take her shirt off in a minute and I'll look at her breasts, dripping with sweat, and then I'll probably take the rubbish out and check on our daughter. She asked me once, our little girl, why you can't fill a net with water. I thought the answer was simple at the time, because of the holes in the net, and yet here I am, asking the same and now I think it has more to do with the water, the way it flows, the way it knows where it wants to go.

Now I'm in bed and it dawns on me, while she's out there, left hand tangled in oily hair, right hand clutching the pen too tight. Ever since the night we met she's been swirling around and through my net and when she sits in the corner with her notebook scribbling I can see it in her eyes. The anger and the fear, not hers but mine. She is beautiful, in fact, divine. I am the one who is ugly when she writes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quarter Past Nine

At all times, in his briefcase, by his side, he carries with him secret thoughts of suicide. A certain sadness, a Rubik's cube, and a lunch box packed with food that he doesn't like. Words scrawled on a notepad that he can't remember or understand. He tries to read between the lines, "everything's fine" but it's raining now, not water from above but lies, he's soaking wet, not dead yet but drenched by her betrayal. It's hard to distinguish between the love and the pain, both so heavy, he switches the briefcase over to the other hand, fingers slipping in the rain. He wants to set it down, to sever the ties but instead his veins are calling his name in a voice that sounds like hers.

It isn't her, though, he knows that briefcase was a gift at birth. Oh, the days that have begun and ended with crying, the nights alone, the dreams of dying, pondering the difference between life and nothing. Walking the earth, under the dirt, buried while all those people float on by in their balloons. Just once, when he was a boy, when he was a man, he wanted one of them to reach down and take him by the hand. Lift him up and carry him along, teach him the words to their impossible song. They tried, some of them did, some of them ran, some of them hid. But there were friends and lovers and strangers, too, who laid out plans, who drew Venn diagrams, who scribbled pictures of sunny skies. And he was happy for days and weeks and months and years or maybe not happy but okay. But like kids in the park he keeps coming back to that slide, scorching hot from the sun, the one that burns the backs of his legs as he begs for his feet to land on the ground but somehow on the way down he always flips back around and lands upon his head. Then the briefcase tumbles behind and there it is, always is, and it opens his mind to those ever present thoughts of death.  

Then on the train he overhears a kid with a giant face, a Muppet with messy blonde hair say that life isn't fair and suddenly it all makes sense. Everybody's going to die, it's just a matter of time. And now his watch says it's a quarter past nine.
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