Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bleach, Campbell's soup, council, dream, exhaustion, lottery, monkeys, shadow
I’m taking psychology this semester, and it makes me sad. Sciences ruin mysteries.
The world inside me is a cupboard filled with cans of condensed soup. Every person who walks around inside that world is a can with different contents, but the same manufacturer. Sometimes each can has a different purpose: for soup, for casserole, a thickening agent, a flavor. The can has to be opened, then the cooking begins. At night, my brain becomes a kitchen, and waking up – as if the act is eating the feast that I’ve prepared – makes me forget.
I remember when he, one of the characters (whom I will refer to as shadows, because how else would these people be imagined by another if they cannot see as vividly as I do), joked about a monkey opening cans in the soup kitchen of the mind. I like the idea of monkeys making presents out of thoughts and sharing them back and forth with each other between neurons, other parts of my brain.
I wonder: if I complained to authorities that a crime had been committed and I wanted to describe and identify the perpetrator, would a state commissioned artist be able to match the vision in my head based on my blurry description? Could another person sharpen these shadows?
And who decides if we do keep our minds? Is it really up to us? Is there a lottery involved? Do we all have numbers? When a glowing woman in a royal blue sequined dress pulls a numbered ping pong ball out of a juggling container, does she smile with those bleached chicklets and announce that it is another person’s turn to go before the mind council? Who and what decides if we keep this blessing called “mind?”
For part of spring break I’ll be going back to Batavia/Buffalo. February is a short month.
What Make Me Think About You
Mark city blocks,
Keep cars off sidewalks,
Cast shadows on the ground,
Light the city,
Shine through trees,
Glow in parking lots
And keep me awake
When the light is too bright.
Beth has been gone for the last three days.
“I’ll build you another machine, and if you ever decide that you miss me, or you’re tired and can’t go on, climb inside this machine — this box right here — and push this button and go to sleep. And you’ll sleep all the way forwards and backwards to me, where I’m waiting for you. I’ll keep on waiting for you. I love you. And so they make love and they make love a few more times and then he climbs into his time machine and whoosh, he’s gone like that.” Kelly Link Lull
Something for studio.
Julie bought a bag of weed and we drove out into the country. We drove down Stegman road after we got high. It’s a winding, shoddy road that follows the path of a creek. There are cornfields, big, white farmhouses with horses roaming around behind them, and blue grain silos. On Stegman Road, Western New York becomes a sparsely-settled Midwestern farming community. It feels like a sin to drive a noisy gas-sputtering car past the horses peacefully chewing on grass.
At the suggested twenty-five miles an hour, Julie’s car hugged the curves of the road. It was hot that night and our windows were rolled down. Frogs hopped from the field on one side of the road over to the creek, and gnats swarmed the headlights. Julie turned up her stereo because the song playing was about to command, “FEED YOUR HEAD,” and Julie supposed that I should learn a thing or two about why we were in this car together, driving into the country to evade law enforcement and parents.
We’d spent the summer working for a greenhouse. A few times we had to pick flowers in a field. From our designated rows of zinnias, she told me about what college would be like in the fall. Holding a bunch of the red and orange flowers in her hand, wearing a bandana to protect her bright pink hair, she said the words “journalism,” and “freedom.” I picked Sunflowers alone for a week before it was time for me to go back to high school.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Battery Park, Drinking, Godliness, Tissues, Walking, Willoughby
I’m trying to think of words that are important. Here are a few:
Hours, Nothing, Make, Keep, Home, Hand, Course, Thank-You, Count
I was up drinking until four in the morning again last night. Everyone came to Willoughby for awhile. Between the six of us, we finished three bottles of wine, a twelve pack of pbr, and a six pack of red stripe. Gillian, Scott and I all went back to lower Manhattan where Gillian is living in a very nice apartment. We looked out the window a lot.
Scott and I went to Battery Park and talked for a long time until we were cold and couldn’t bear to drink another beer. My memory is shoddy. We’ve been talking a lot. We got in a cab later on.
Boots with my legs in them.
The walk home: A broken asphalt road with ditches on either side. We speculated how mortifying it would be to find dead migrant workers in the ditches.
A woman stood before her husband and rolled her thumb and index finger over his collarbones. She imagined they were handlebars and that he had once been a bike.
Coming home is in itself, a nervous breakdown. I’m not quite fixed. I have to go back to school for that to happen.
I’ll be back in time for my 9:30 class tomorrow morning.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Barnacles, Buffalo, Hotels, School, Shoes, Showers, Whales
Once when I was working at a hotel front desk during a wedding, the matron of honor stopped by and asked if there was a bathroom on the first floor. I said, “Not today.”
A faded pair:
Wide slits, mouths.
Gum stickies the pair to the wooden floor.
Laces wound through reinforced holes trap feet.
You’ve no place to wiggle.
I fear whales becase they are big. They could swallow me without chewing and I’d die in their molten-hot stomach acid. Or I’d drown in it. Or if I was swimming in the ocean or involuntarily stuck in ocean water during a shipwreck, I might touch their barnacle covered skin with my feet and it would feel like walking on a floor covered in vomit. I would get sick.
My mom went whale watching when I was a kid, and she brought home books about the whales. It freaked me out. I didn’t know what these things were, but they reminded me of sharks which I knew could tear me apart. Jeanette and I were deathly afraid of sharks. So much so that when either of us were using the bathroom, one of us had to stand guard for the other to make sure a shark didn’t bite our asses from the toilet.
When I closed my eyes in the shower, I worried that the bathtub would turn into the ocean and that I would be standing on a whale.
My tendency towards hoping everything is beautiful. The thought of something being put in and taken away over and over. Abolish the shoddy, horrible thoughts.
Remember what you used to do when you got home from school?
People like him are why there is abortion.
A boy with lots of fat hanging off his body in places like his stomach and neck, who also had hair that was bleached blond, gelled, and standing on end from the roots in his head sat in a desk that was almost too small for him if he were fifty pounds heavier. The fat boy with a bad dye job sat in his film class participating in a discussion about the composition of a film and techniques the director used. On the lighting of the film, the fat boy Josh said, “ It was just really excellent. The lighting was like … the greatest I’ve ever seen in a movie. Just executed so well.” Josh stopped listening when the teacher responded to his comment because he didn’t care so much about what he had to say. He started to concentrate on the feeling of hunger that was expanding in his stomach above the pizza, nacho chips and frappuccino.
Josh turned his head and looked out the window of the classroom where he saw a sandwich floating above the windowsill. “Awe, shit. I’m a sandwich!” said the sandwich. Oh my God. Oh my God God God. Josh tilted his head to the side as if to ask the sandwich if he could see him too and the sandwich nodded in the window. He took this as the opportunity to ask the sandwich something.
“How do you feel sandwich?” he asked.
“I feel okay. I’m dead.” Said the sandwich.
“How can that be if you’re dead?”
“It’s okay. I’m okay.”
“Yeah.” Josh faced forwards and tapped his fingers on his desk and felt his stomach stretching out and going back into place like it had a mind of its own and that it had a secondary control over what he did with himself.
“Can I eat you?” asked Josh.
“I’m dead.” Damn, damn, damn. Josh thought all was lost and that he would have to face his hunger pains for another twenty minutes until there was a break in the class. A robot on a hovering disk floated over to where the sandwich was suspended in the window. The robot saw that Josh was upset and noticed the sandwich. He was the trashbot and he held ownership over 22% of New York City’s trash.
“Damnit. Sandwiches need to stop rising from the dead and tempting fat fraternity brothers.” The robot circled the dead sandwich on his hovering disk.
“Fuck. I know. Someone made me and I just want to stay made and dead. I’m past my expiration date.” A furry piece of green mold fluttered in the wind off of a corner of the dead sandwich’s crust. Josh noticed the mold and began to scrutinize the sandwich more closely. White bread. Lettuce. Tomato. Salami. Mayo. Mustard…something is missing.
“Listen. We cant have food going to waste when there are starving children in Darfur.” Josh thought his comment wise and persuasive until the sandwich replied.
“Nice INSPIRED shirt. I thought the Gap only made those for chicks.”
“Man, I’m raising awareness for social injustices and genocides.”
“And capitalism, and sweatshop labor, and”
“I earned this shirt.” Josh was growing sluggish – the dead sandwich, more mold.
“You mean, your got good grades so your dad bought it for you with his credit card.”
“Hey, fuck you sandwich. What do you know about my dad?”
“He’s a vegetarian.”
“Then he’s a pork rind eating BBQ lover from Texas. He has dying muscle tissue on his heart and he thinks potatoes are vegetables.”
“They aren’t?” If the dead sandwich had a mouth, he would laugh. The trashbot laughed. Josh curled up the side of his face. “Hold on, I just remembered I had a red bull.” Josh reached into his pocket to pull out what appeared to be a hand held battery. “This will give me more energy.”
The trashbot and the dead sandwich talked about sewage treatment plants, trash compactors, and the East River. “Once I saw a homeless woman wearing a nun’s habit. She was fishing for crayfish in the East River. She caught a few in a basket, then I saw her put them in a old soda can that she got out of a nearby dumpster. She shook the fish around in the can with pepper and ate them raw.”
“Sick!” The sandwich jolted upwards and sank slightly in the air. Josh finished gulping the urine-colored acid from the can and faced the dead sandwich again.
“Hey sandwich. I’m still hungry and I know how you feel about me eating you, but I was wondering if you wanted to buy a Darfur awareness bracelet to end the war in Iraq.” The trashbot quickly turned to catch a reaction from the sandwich, then looked back at Josh. “I mean, the profits from the bracelets will be divided between the refugees in both Iraq and Darfur.”
“This might be obvious, but I don’t have money.”
“Yeah I’ve heard that about ten times today.”
“I mean, I know some people are opposed to charities because they want to know where the money will be directly going, but you have to trust Phi Kappa Sigma on this one.” The sandwich grew tired of the fraternity brother, Josh, talking to him about nonsense like Darfur and Iraq. The dead sandwich grew angry when people took things too seriously, and because people took things too seriously he developed sarcasm that no other dead piece of food could match – not even chicken sandwiches from McDonalds.
The trashbot put his spatula hand on the small of the dead sandwich’s back and led him away from the window. The dead sandwich resisted a little, but he gave in when he realized that he was ashamed of carrying on a five minute telekinetic conversation with a fraternity brother through a classroom window.