14 July 2008

Things I will say to my daughter in 15 years

This is another old one. Maybe three years or so I wrote this for some now defunct literary magazine in Chicago.

Look sweetie, I wasn’t always like this. I know. I know you’re embarrassed of me now but I used to be a pretty cool guy. I used to have big plans and believe it or not YOU kinda sorta changed things. I used to make things. I used to make things with my hands for no real reason other than I felt I had to make things with my hands. Actually the first bed you slept in was made by me. I was even going to sell the things I made. I thought people might want them at one point I guess. I thought people might see them and open their eyes a little more and tug on the arm of their wife and say ‘honey, you GOTTA see this. THIS is amazing. Have you EVER seen anything like THIS?’ and that would of course lead to them throwing money in my lap for them. Then I could embrace my eccentricities. Then I could phone it in. Stop working for anyone else and just make things, out back in the new workspace I’d have built with the money I made. With a sign on the door so everyone knew not to disturb me when they heard loud music and machinery coming from inside. And I’d crack the door if someone knocked, my hair all messed up and full of wood shavings and paint and ask what was so damn important. I’d be able to sleep in until noon everyday and when I failed to meet my friends out for coffee they’d just ‘understand’ because I was an artist, man. I was just a loose, brilliant mind and my mood shifts and unusual way of speaking was all just part of who I was. They understood, and everyone else would too because they had SEEN these things I had made. And what had THEY ever done? Nothing like what I was doing RIGHT NOW.

Did you know I even used to keep every single letter I wrote? Thousands of them. Books and hard drives full of nothing but letters. Believe it or not but back in the day I used to write EVERYTHING. I had tons of ideas. SO many ideas I couldn’t even get to HALF of them if I tried. SO many ideas it was almost frustrating because while I was working on one I’d have three more waiting and if they had to wait too long I’d lose them because I was just FULL of ideas. I even had a notebook full of YOU, though that seemed like a long time ago. Like my hair, those notebooks are getting thinner and thinner.

And I know you hate to be seen in public with me. I know how much you hated us both going to that Tom Waits concert but I listened to him long before you did. I used to go to those things way more often than you have either. I used to mingle and I used to have all night conversations with poets and musicians. We used to sit up until the morning drinking warm beer and trading war stories and love stories. We used to flick cigarette butts into the yard and talk about god as the neighbors were getting up to go work. You would faint at the things we talked about back then. FAINT.

And I don’t regret the things I’ve done, and I don’t regret the things that have changed. I don’t regret you, even. Do I wish I could have done things differently though? Well sure. I would be a liar if I said otherwise. I wish I would have left a bigger mark that’s for sure. But I’m not sorry about it. Wish I would have maybe told that girl that I loved her when I had the chance. That might have changed things, but it’s too late now. I still love your mother but, well, you’ll understand someday the difference between love and LOVE. Wish I would have blown more money on trips. I’ve never been to Asia. I had the chance but I needed to float this loan for the house. Seems kind of silly now. Wish I would have shot that film I had written. It seemed too damn expensive at the time though, and I had to work. Wish I would have spent more time on the important things to me and less time on the things others thought I should consider important. I guess that’s regret though.

I hate to tell you this but I actually find most of the things about you rather pedestrian. You seem really shallow. I know you’re young and trying to fit in but I don’t excuse that. I know you’re not that smart either. Did you know I was put in a school for gifted children when I was young? I read Oscar Wilde and played the piano during school and we were allowed to because we were special, because they already had faith in us and our intellects. Because we weren’t so hung up on trying to dress cool or seem important. Is that what you think? That you’re somehow important? You’re not really. You’re AVERAGE. You’re an AVERAGE girl at a public school with boring friends and dull passions and no personality. Look I don’t know why you’re starting to cry. You’re going to have to face these realities. You still have POTENTIAL. Maybe. Maybe you don’t.

I guess it’s my fault. I wasn’t really prepared for you in case you didn’t notice. I guess I should have seen it coming but I didn’t. What can I say? I guess I don’t LOVE you. Not in the way that we talked about earlier. I love you as far as it goes, but it’s more like the way I love your mother or I love the dog. Please stop. You’re getting hysterical. I’m not going to LEAVE you. I don’t think I have it in me anymore. I THOUGHT about it. Around your second birthday. Sweet Jesus were you obnoxious at that age. I literally stayed up nights, staring blankly at the TV set but thinking about throwing a suitcase in my car and taking off in the middle of the night. But I had nowhere else to go, honestly. You start to lose your friends after a while. You start to lose touch with everyone. And that girl I really loved is probably married or dead.

Well, listen, you need to get ready for school and you’re probably going to need some time to wash up now. So I’m going to go back downstairs. It’s just, the paper didn’t come this morning so I didn’t know what to do with myself. Have a good day sugar and I’ll see when you get home. Hug?

11 July 2008


Not really chilling. Or a conclusion. But it's the last one I wrote. I planned on doing a bunch but, well, you know how it goes. FART.

A Lost Girl On The Mother's Tomb!
Current mood: Shazbauth! What is this?!

I tossed a vitamin pill in my mouth and it let it grind down my dry throat before stepping out of my quarters and into the cold, damp air. Too many days without sunlight and nothing to eat but fish and salt and my blood was feeling thin.
She was standing there beaded with mist and looking nervous. The majority of the crew had given up and had went back to drier confines as they could ply no information from the girl, with eyes wider than the horizon and clutching a dead rabbit to her chest.
“Okay,” I began. “You have to talk to someone if you want us to help you. So please, at least tell me your name.”
She glanced up at me.
“I think I lost my way,” she sniffled.
Indeed. Here we were 13 days out to sea, miles from coast and not a light flickering distance each night. But this girl was dry, relatively, and showed no signs of the malnourishment that was beginning to grow inside the rest of us. And her skin was dark like she had been in the sun. The sun which hasn’t broken through this rainy haze since we left port.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
Then she stopped trembling and something slithered down from under her raspberry colored dress and into a knot in the planks. I dived after it and wedged my fingers violently into the hole, digging and scratching, but came back with a hand full of barbed splinters and cracked fingernails.
It was in the oven because I heard the pipes creaking from the kitchen. I turned on the gas and struck a match determined to roast the thing alive but by the time I found one that wasn’t soaked I had lost interest. Back upstairs I marched, frustrated, and grabbing her by her cotton collar, held her up in the air. I would have thrown her back to sea in some animalistic frenzy when she vomited onto my shoulder and I saw the eggs for the first time.

10 July 2008

Sea Blogs: Number Two and Three

A Stowaway is Discovered! Me!
Current mood: A great burden has been lifted!

"Well boys, whatta think we should do with 'im"
"Toss 'im into the drink! Let the seagulls sort this one out."
The others didn't look so sure, but no one else had spoken up. I knew if I stayed quiet my fate might abandon me on the way to the bottom of the salty sea! Yet I could think of no words to plea my case, for only ten minutes earlier i was sleeping peaceful and calm, enclosed in soggy, coarse fishing nets.
"Maybe we ought to see what the captain thinks."
Yes! Ah hah! The captain! Bring him to me you foul-smelling urchins! Let’s hear from a stalwart man of command! Surely he would understand my plight and be able to find appropriate means for me to reciprocate my stay on his ship.

Captain McDonigan was closed up in his quarters, as I would learn many weeks later to be a common affair, but this warranted special attention so he was brought forth. He was a slender fellow and merely 5 feet tall, but carried with him a presence that kept the rowdy fisherman quietly respectful as he paced the deck in front of me, stroking the stubble of his chin.
“Well what need have we of you?”
“Well sir,” I spoke with a hint of arrogant pomp though my situation gave away the better of me. “I can bait the traps or keep them clean, I can cook and I can clean, make the beds and boil the tea. Give me a task, I’ll do it, you’ll see!”
“Our traps are baited,” the Captain bit back. “And O’Leary here keeps our stomachs full, the quarters are spotless and you don’t look like one to patch a hull. What else can you do?”
“I can sing”
“You can sing?”
“And this old accordion below deck will too, tonight, and every one after!”
Captain McDonigan furrowed his brow and thought it over, an odd response no doubt but I was out of ideas and knew naught the first thing about shrimping!
“I suppose we could use a break from some tasks, and the head needs to be cleaned and there’s always fish to be gutted.”
“He stays?” asked the burly one who had discovered me and had stood behind me the duration.
“He stays.”

The Winters Carnival Comes Too Late Again.

If the carnival is no cure for a broken winter heart, at the very least it will shake some warmth into the crew; too many pre-dawns cracking ice from frozen nets while trying to keep all ten digits intact. They fan out and weld into the crowds like children, I stand back by the entrance with Captain McDonigan, who is smoking the yellowed butt of some cigarette he pulled from his shirt pocket.
“Maybe you should go have your fortune told, those gypsy girls can always cheer you up,” he suggests.
“I don’t much feel like it.” And I walk away.

In an unmarked door where the trails of wires come together I seek respite from the throngs of the deliberately happy and concerned mothers. The room is dry and warm and I shuffle down past unmarked crates and plastic wrapped shelves and pile my bitter bones on the top of an ugly blue trunk. Flittering a now useless gold ring between my fingertips, I stare at the jars behind the plastic drape in front of me. Stillborn sheep and pigs and deformed fetuses. Two-headed boy and an albino girl with blood red eyes reclining in their brine watching me as if waiting for me to speak.
“I tried everything I could,” I pleaded. “I tried what I thought was best. While keeping me safe from harm. It’s hard. It’s very hard and I just don’t have the resources to make it last.”
They returned their silence, doubting my honesty, doubting my emotions, doubting me.
“It’s not that I would sabotage something like that on purpose, I mean, look at me now. You think I enjoy this?”
But they do not budge nor avert their gaze and they know all the horrible things I said when they weren’t around. They won’t be played for fools.
I stand up to leave and can’t keep eye contact with the two of them.
“I’m sorry. I know I fucked it up, everything, but I’m too tired and too beaten to change it now so it will just have to stay in my throat and I’ll just have to learn to live with it, for however long that turns out to be.”
They don’t say anything as I walk away and they don’t forgive me.

09 July 2008

Sea Blogs: Preface and Number One

This is the beginning of a series of themed blogs I was going to do. I guess kinda like how this blog began, but this particular one I was a stowaway/fisherman character from an indeterminate time period. This was probably when i was watching the movie Cabin Boy every Friday and hanging out at this horrible oyster bar every Saturday. :\

Preface (The Adventuring Begins!)
Current mood: I am going to begin again a FISHERMAN!

It was the 16th of December when I took my leave from the cold, clammy fishing village I had called home for all those years. Feet stumbling along the knotted, wooden dock as I harried myself toward the hull of a pockmarked shrimping boat. The cold ocean wind on my face peeling membrane and muscle tissue from my visage, until I made that last leap, eyes closed, and tugged my face free from the splinters of the hull.

Huzzah! For had I not but found myself a few inches short I would be soaked to the bone and once again the laughing stock of the old men on the harbour, huddled around the vodka bottle for warmth. I climbed up the side of my new home, faded paint flaking under my fingernails.

07 July 2008

Luigi in 2008!

Mario CLAIMS he cares about saving the Princess, but where is she? In the clutches of this man: Bowser. And where is Mario? In World 2-3, relaxing on the beach, swimming with Cheep-cheeps. If Mario REALLY cares about saving the Princess, why hasn’t he done anything about it?
Mario: The WRONG choice for Princesses.

*Luigi SAYS he’s concerned about collecting 1-UPS, but why do so many seem to go RIGHT IN THE PITS? Maybe if he wasn’t too busy trying to time his fireworks he would wake up and see how much his liberal 1-UP wasting policies are costing us.
Smash and spend Luigi: Reckless with 1-UPS.

Look at Mario. Now he’s trying to tell us he’s GREAT at beating levels. And that he’s beaten way more levels than his opponent Luigi. Well if Mario’s so GREAT then how come he has to continually use Warp Zones to get anywhere?
What’s the matter Mario? That Latuka level too hard for you?
Mario: He’s the one who sucks. Not Luigi.

*There goes Luigi again! Claiming he knows some special spot where he can bounce on a Koopa shell and bring HUNDREDS of 1-UPS into our economy. Well where is this ‘secret spot’ and why can’t you tell us about it, Comrade Luigi?
Luigi: Liar.

Mario PROMISES he’s going to ‘get the Princess.’ We’ve heard that before. And Mario SWEARS that he can beat Bowser. But he can’t even GET to him without throwing the controller and swearing!
Mario: Weak on defense, weak on firepower. And still, the princess is in another castle!

*Luigi. That cheating piece of shit! How many times is Luigi going to CHEAT to get extra men? Doesn’t he know that it’s CHEATING to bounce on that Koopa shell over and over? Maybe someone should teach Luigi a thing or two about this country and its LAWS!
Luigi: Cheater.

Mario is CRASHING AND BURNING. He claims to be the ‘man for the job’ but look how frustrated he’s getting trying to beat level 7-3! How many times is he going to JUMP in the SAME PIT over and over again? You think he’d learn. He barely has any men left, and yet he has the NERVE to question Luigi’s careful approach and to accuse him of CHEATING?! Mario, Mario you’re losing your cool and the whole country can see it.
Zero Progress Mario: Oops, there’s that pit again!

*Luigi is distorting the FACTS about Mario once again. First of all Mario DID beat that level. And second Mario has PLENTY of men to get the princess. Luigi is just a liar, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. And an idiot. And he’s GREEN.
Luigi: Fuck him.

Now Mario is attacking Luigi for his color. For SHAME Mario! Maybe Mario should just put down the controller and TAKE A BREAK. Maybe rescuing the princess is TOO HARD for Mario. Maybe he should take up tennis.
Mario: too weak, too inexperienced, too angry.

*Maybe Luigi should just shut his cheating mouth up already before it gets personal!
Luigi: dead man.

Maybe Mario should stop choking me with his cord like a CHILD and fuck off already!
Mario: I’m telling mom!

For Real This Time

OK, I'm seriously going to start using this "blog" (haha I just can't get over this crazy internet slang!)

To get it "rolling" (haha!) I'm going to start by posting some old stuff I had written. Some of it's good, some not so much, but it will get things going since apparently I won't ever be able to write anything clever ever again.