Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Cop

Jake Speed wasn’t a man to trifle with. He was a man who dealt in absolutes. You were either a bad guy and deserved to be punished or a good guy to be left alone to continue your law abiding life. There was no grey.  Jake chomped on his comically oversized cigar as he drove through the busy morning traffic. The siren wailed overhead as Jake pushed his Impala to its limits, swerving through the other cars like a banshee over the Cliffs of Moor. He rubbed his grizzled, whiskered chin as he made a hard left in front of the bank and slammed to a hard stop.

He leapt from the Impala and walked confidently to the Captain’s car. Jake’s custom cowboy boots clomped audibly on the asphalt, louder than the near-by hovering helicopter. He removed the cigar from his mouth and spit onto the ground.

“Speed, glad you’re here”, said the Captain.

Jake growled low in his throat.

“The robbers have 25 hostages and are threatening to kill them all if we don’t deliver them a bus to take them to the airport”, said the Captain.
“We’re not giving them a thing”, snarled Jake as he clipped his police badge to his blue jean waist band.

He pulled his massive .45 caliber revolver from his shoulder holster and adjusted himself in his pants. He spit again and squinted at the one visible bank robber near the front entrance of the bank.

“What are you going to do Speed? I don’t want this to be messy! By the book Speed, by the Book’, shouted the Captain as Jake started walking toward the front doors of the bank.   

Jake held the hand cannon up to his side as he approached the front doors. He had seen this situation too many times before. It was just another day in the cop life. He’d stopped caring about his own safety long ago. It might have made him reckless. But deeply, he’d nothing left to live for.  It was after his lover plummeted to his death on New Year’s Eve that Jake Speed became a man on a mission. Brett had hit the concrete so hard right in front of Jake’s eyes and there was nothing he could do. Jake told Brett not to wear six inch platform heels. He’d blow up the world if that mean justice.  

“That’s close enough copper!”

Jake stopped and put his weapon down on the sidewalk.

“I’m just here to talk, to find out how we can help you get out of this situation safely”, said Jake.
“You’re that super cop, Jake Speed aren’t you”, asked the masked bank robber.
“I’m just a cop”.
“Oh, well, we give up then”.
The bank robbers dropped their weapons and started marching out of the bank. Jake picked up his weapon and started walking back to his Impala.

“Great work Speed”, called the Captain after Jake.

Jake had to fight the impulse to cry as he got into his car and gunned the engine. He still had to get to the cemetery to put flowers on Brett’s new grave. It was going to be a long Tuesday. 

Monday, January 30, 2012


I harbor no illusions regarding my problems. I know I am not the only one with them. I know plenty of people with my problems. I’m like, “Hey! What are you doing with my problems? Those are mine”! And they flip me the bird and then run down the cobblestone streets of my imagination like a paper boy from the 1930’s. I know that my problems are not unique and that there is help available. However I tend to think that money is the only thing that could really help me. Of course, that is a common problem with us all. It’s a cyclical hell.

Maybe it’s the work I pretend to do on a daily basis here in my cube. Well, that’s not exactly true, I actually do my work but there’s nary a shred of me that enjoys it.  It’s truly a level of insanity we are all engaged in and I can’t figure out why. I suppose that would drive me even further insane. I know it’s bad when my eyes are constantly tearing up as I walk to the train in the morning, or sit on the train trying not to think about all the pointless crap I have to do, or now, as I sit in my cube, trying to convince myself to work.

I’m sure there’s hundreds of thousands of people at work right now, staring out the window, or at their machine press, or arm deep in the rectum of a horse, that dream of being somewhere else; of doing something else with their lives. Imagine if we all did what we actually wanted. Would the world be better? I don’t think so. Trains would crash together, planes would fall from the sky, there would be random hot air balloon bomb attacks I’m sure of it. Nothing would get done, everything would cease to operate. No one would want to be a septic/sewer repair tech or a human waste disposal operator. No one would want to be an ox testicle surgeon or rabbit stuffer. (As you know, all of humanity hinges on the performance of these jobs) But if we all did the job we wanted, we’d ruin everything.

“Oh, look 800 NASCAR drivers just crashed into the building, Awesome.”

Even though I’m being a little humorous about it, there are times I’d rather be a human waste disposal operator than shovel any more of this insurance shit. It’s why I can’t wake up in the morning; it’s why I feel the need to drink to excess at times. It’s unhappiness and it’s rampant in our society.  It’s rampant in me.

This is not about the clinical depression that goes undiagnosed in me. I’m sure it isn’t. I just don’t confront the problem because that’s what I was taught to do with bullies. Ignore the bullies and they’ll go away. Life is a bully, unsatisfying work is a bully, unrealized potential is a bully, and yet the more we ignore it and hope it goes away it gets worse and worse. Pulling our pants down at the pep rally in front of Christie Hotpants and her friends, making us talk uncomfortably about sex in front of the jocks, questioning our sexuality at a comedy club, laughing at us when we miss our train, setting unreachable goals the majority can’t meet; life is the biggest bully of them all.   

But then, maybe I’m just lazy and should get over it. I suppose that’s the most common trait we have these days.  Indifference and mortality. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blue Line Beauties

I rode the blue line train this morning on my way into work. The downtown station is actually closer to my office than the Metra station so my walk over isn’t as taxing on my poor withering body.

The train was extremely crowded this morning; crowded with incredibly cute and beautiful women. I was quite shocked. I had no idea there was such a treasure trove of lovely women riding the blue line in the mornings. Blondes, brunettes, mixed color hair, all of them fresh faced and wide-eyed. It was lovely. Of course, I didn’t talk to any of them. It just didn’t seem right. There’s such a feeling of, “don’t breathe near me”, vibe on the blue line. I did offer my seat to one of the young ladies as I am still a gentleman, but she declined.

That was the extent of any conversation that could have been had. I’m really out of practice with talking to women in a, “we’re not in a bar”, type of way. I know I could do it. I know I could easily say something witty, get her to smile and introduce myself like a total tool bag. But it’s the after that I hate. I have a vivid and evil imagination which causes me to imagine the entire relationship I might have with one of these beautiful women in a matter of a few seconds.

We meet, we smile, we have dinner, we date, we go to a few family parties, we visit South Carolina, we think about living together,  she realizes I’m not the man she thought I was, she yells at me about the state of our apartment, she apologizes for her freak out, I apologize for mine, but the ice is already too thin at this point and one morning she tells me that she’s met someone else whom she has a real connection with and she’s leaving.

The train gets to Monroe and she gets off and I feel sad to see her go, even though we never actually said a word to each other. I miss her already. I think it’s a terrible condition I have and it makes me feel pretty depressed a lot of the time. My imagination has gotten me into more trouble than I care to remember.

I try to live in the moment. I try to just go with the flow and be a man riding the ebb and flow of whatever situation, but I’m getting too old for that crap. It’s a struggle not to let my imagination run wild over the course of an imaginary relationship. I want one of these blue line beauties to see me and imagine how wonderful our lives could be and convince me that it’s not all doom and gloom at relationship station.  

But I do like riding the blue line train. I think I’ll have to do it more in the summer. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It always gets me

I love the State of the Union Address. It always gets my patriotism going and my desires to see America rise to the challenges before us. I thought President Obama presented an honest and pragmatic view of The U.S. and it was refreshing. It gets me excited to hear a President discuss the roll of common sense in government.

Common sense is something I’ve noted before as being quite lacking in American politics. That and the whole rebuilding our infrastructure thing I’ve been talking about for three years. But common sense, which seems so uncommon now, is as the President noted our best path for mutual success. (Mutual meaning between the parties and the wealthy and the poor)

I have to say I didn’t quite appreciate the Republican response, Gov. Daniels asserted the President was being divisive and encouraging a “class war”. I was displeased with that statement, if anything the State of the Union was the President’s plea for Congress to work together to create opportunities for Americans that want to work hard and achieve. He didn’t ask for hand outs for the poor, but the tools to help the poor and the middle class reach the heights and opportunities their grandparents had.  Gov. Daniels said that it was not about have-nots and the haves, but the haves and the don’t-have-yets. That was possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. There are have-nots in this country without the means to achieve and are being left behind.

I think the American people need to put the games of politics aside and stop talking about birth certificates and who is trying to take their guns, and focus on housing and the welfare of us all. If the poor are healthy and safe, imagine how better the middle class is, then imagine how much better the successful are. The tree of liberty needs strong roots and not a heavy top. It’ll topple if there are only liberties for the upper branches and none for those supporting it. A powerful trunk and root system will keep liberty’s tree soaring skyward for as long as history will allow.

The State of the Union almost always makes me wish I could do more, like I should jump out of this insurance gig and start working for some energy company actively trying to make the world and America a better place. I often don’t feel like I do my part to help. I vote and spout off on a soap box every so often, but that’s the extent of my actual activism. Usually after the State of the Union I start looking at Green Jobs and positions within government service. I’d like to do more, but being middle class does have its limitations. I’ve got bills and rent and groceries to buy. I’ve got insurance and car payments and birthdays to plan for. My budget is stretched pretty thin as it is and I couldn’t chuck it all and start working for the Forestry service. I’m too old to start again.

I guess I’ll just have to run for President. I’m of legal age so, yeah, I guess it’s time. Need to find me that First Lady too. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I’ve seen a few movies in my day and it occurred to me that I should keep a screwdriver in my bathroom. How do these two things go together? Excellent question. The reason is, in a lot of movies I’ve seen there is always some scene with the hero getting handcuffed to something in their bathroom. Be it the shower curtain rod or the leg of an old sink; there’s always something to get hand cuffed to. So wouldn’t it be wise to keep a screwdriver in the bathroom?

I’m not saying I’m some sort of, “plays by his own rules”, maverick street cop, out to clean up the scum with fiery and blazing justice. I, of course, imagine that I could be. Like all men, I’ve seen myself with the Mel Gibson hair a la Lethal Weapon, running barefoot down some rainy street carrying an assault weapon screaming after the bad guys because they just kidnapped the president’s daughter but she’s really my daughter because the First Lady and I had a thing before she met the now President but she couldn’t handle my in your face justice and had to leave to follow her career in Washington and take my little girl with her.

Sure, who hasn’t imagined that scenario? So that’s why I think I’ll keep a screwdriver in the bathroom. I’d hate to be at the mercy of Columbian and German drug kingpins as they rifle through my meager shack looking for those computer disks I allegedly had that could take down their whole criminal organization. There were never any disks. It was all just a ruse, and thanks to the screwdriver in the bathroom I was able to unscrew the shower curtain rod and get my bazooka and rain hell on those that wish to harm me or my grizzled partner.

Although the whole thing would be blown apart if they handcuffed my hands together around the shower curtain rod instead of just handcuffing me to it; then I couldn’t reach the screwdriver and the safety of the world would be completely compromised. But I’m sure that new sexy female cop will crash in through the wall in my old pick-up truck and save the day. Until she gets knocked out by a strong breeze and then needs to be rescued by me and a robotic dog named, S.N.A.P.S.

I only hope I remember to pack my fire-proof suit in the trunk of my partner’s car because I’m sure sneaking into the bad guy’s lair will be filled with Japanese American terrorists with flame throwing assault weapons.   I’m sure there will be some need for a long fight to the death in which I’ll be seriously injured but still come out on top. I might even show mercy as the ninja slips on the edge of the building and I grab his sleeve at the last second because I’m not a vicious killer. But the ninja struggles and tries to throw an explosive dart at me and when he does I lose my grip on his sleeve and he falls to his death into vat of super combustible acid.

But yeah, keep a screwdriver in the bathroom.

Friday, January 20, 2012


The page was dry
waiting to be
with liquid

The fountain
of thought
had little
to offer.

And nothing could
sate the throaty
for relief.

It took too long
to make it,
it took too long
to fake it.

So the page dies
the letters won’t
The fingers won’t

The page is
the Sahara
and the words
are nomads.

Choosing not to camp
here today,
on this barren

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Isn’t it a struggle?

This morning I could not get up. My mind had to literally drag my body from my bed like I was a corpse. As if the two were separate beings, one, wide awake Mind pulling and heaving the cold dead Michael’s body from the bed as if Mind was trying to hide it in a panic from the cops coming up the stairs.

“C’mon, c’mon, get up man. Get up”, begged Mind.
“Shnumun up miserrisrableable somnabetch”, groaned Michael’s corpse.
“You have to get going. You have to get to work”, pleaded Mind.
“Wornk iv for panseysmfrigber”, muttered Michael’s corpse.
“Fine. You’re on your own. I’m going and I’m not coming back”, threatened Mind.
“Goo”, said Michael’s pillow muffled head.

So Mind sits in the living room and waits for the usual corpse panic to set in, which it inevitably does. The corpse is electrified to life at some late hour, practically crapping itself with fear.

“Damn it! Why didn’t Mind try and wake me up”, thinks the re-animated corpse of Michael.

It’s always Mind’s fault. He’s just not determined enough to get Old Corpsey out of bed.
Mind will just stand there in the bathroom doorway, mouth open, shocked that he was once again thrown under the bus. But after so many years, probably 20 years, of the same old thing Mind has just given up arguing. It’s always the same.  Alarms go off and Mind tries to pull corpse Michael to the surface of his drowning dreams, only to fail at the last second and allows the lifeless body drift deeper into the dreamy blackness.

So the re-animated corpse of Michael rushes about the apartment, trying to get out the door in time to make his train so he won’t be as late as he has been in the past. Mind will eventually rejoin the body, usually about the time Michael reaches the train and will then let guilt and shame join the party.

By then Michael is already planning on getting up when he first hears those morning alarms, but Mind knows it’s all a lie and stays quiet because sometimes the truth doesn’t have to say anything at all. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mythical Morality

Morality and ethics are a byproduct of a society trying to make money off your existence. It’s just not good business to murder, rape or act like savages. Civility was born out of the powerful wishing to control the conquered masses. You can’t exactly tax people if they’re always fighting and raping and killing each other. Again, it’s just not good business. So you set up some rules and laws creating a certain code of conduct, a Hammurabi’s Code if you will.

Out of these rules of control we developed ideas about what it is to be a moral and civilized society. Each society of the past had about the same types of rules, don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t be a hassle to your overlords, etc., most of the penalties for breaking the rules was death. Plus when religion got into the whole moral code thing, along with a physical death you could wind up in hell. Societies quickly fell into line.

Right up until today that is. Recently some viral footage of several teenagers assaulting the hell out of another teenager in a Chicago back alley surfaced on the internet. This video shows the human animal at its most base form. A greedy, vicious animal bent on taking whatever it wants because it’s strong enough to take it from someone weaker. There’s outrage over this video all over the news and internet demanding the teenagers be brought to justice. I agree that the teens should be brought to justice. I think they should receive the stiffest penalty possible (save death) along with their parents or guardians who provided the moral vacuum for these little beasts to fester.   

I question what justice is in this matter. Since one of the assailants posted the video themselves, looking for some kind of approval from their peers, shouldn’t justice then be something done to the assailants also shown over the internet? To show that dumb kid’s peers that this kind of violence is not how things are done in an ordered and civilized society. But then, what would that do?

Should punishment of the offenders go viral? I’m not sure locking the bad guys in stocks in the town square was ever really a deterrent to crime. There are always those that willingly and wantonly skirt the laws of society for their own personal gain.  Public hangings were large draws for the public, but lawlessness continued.

It makes me wonder if humans are merely designed to constantly bash their heads against the desires of personal gain over the betterment of all mankind. A civilized society controls the bad eggs, the ones that don’t wish to participate in the betterment of us all, with laws and a code of ethical morality. But true enforcement of those laws is up to us. It’s up to us to demand safer streets. It’s up to us to demand a better life for the downtrodden. It’s up to us to try and rise against our baser animal desires and do what we can for the prosperity of our species. Just like the early societal leaders wanted.

Or bow before your new oppressor with a new code of morality. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday is not here to make friends

Tuesday flicked her Samurai sword to clean it of the zombie blood and slowly and ceremonially returned it to its saya. Seven zombies fell around her and their heads rolled down the near-by staircase thudding loudly as they tumbled to whatever hell awaited them.  She slowly moved through the dark corridors of the old factory, looking for her sister, Wednesday.

She moved with a super natural speed and silence, a gift from her father she assumed. He had moved stealthily through the weeks without ever really being noticed and she was lucky enough to inherit such a valuable trait. She paused at the end of the hallway and calmed her beating heart. She slowed her breathing as she was taught and used her ears to listen to the darkness around her.

She could hear more damn zombies shuffling clumsily in the next room. All the damn zombies roaming the Earth, a curse of science and man trying to play God; a god gone mad. Tuesday took a deep breath and reached for the Tsuka of her Katana and felt the woven cord wrap of the Tsuka Ito. She felt the pulse in her hand, as if her sword was truly a part of her.  Tuesday stepped from the around the dark hallway corner and into the zombie filled former office area of the factory.

The zombies could smell her living flesh and they turned to her and snarled. She unleashed her sword in a flash and the first two zombie heads went flying and crashing into an old bookcase, their bodies dropped to the floor squirting black dead blood into the air. Three other zombies lunged at Tuesday, but she stepped up onto an old desk and flipped into the air, swinging her blade back over her shoulder, slicing the zombie heads in half. She landed soundlessly in a cloud of dust behind the remaining four zombies. They growled and stumbled over the bodies of their zombie brethren toward Tuesday. She stood and held the sword in front of her, poised to strike with a controlled fury.

Her sister was lost here in this old pharmaceutical factory and she would do anything to save her from a hell of undead existence. The zombies closed in on Tuesday, trying to surround her. She lowered the blade and with a practiced skill sliced the nearing hands and arms from her attackers. The lifeless limbs fell to the floor, stunning the zombies for only a fraction of a second. It was all Tuesday needed to adjust her footing and swing again, slicing all four heads cleanly from their rotting necks.

The bodies fell, the heads rolled; it was becoming to routine for Tuesday. This zombie killing business was too easy, no challenge for a warrior like her.  She sheathed her katana and turned her attention to the next room. It was a storage room where Wednesday was supposed to be gathering supplies for the other survivors back at the camp. There were boxes piled above head level on both sides, a lot of them were toppled, as if the last people in the factory we scrambling to find some cure, some protection.

Tuesday closed her eyes to adjust to the darkness and listened. Water was dripping from a pipe somewhere, a broken window was letting in a nighttime breeze, but there wasn’t any other noise, it was classically too quiet and that was a bad thing. It was this part in all the horror movies when something terrible would burst out from all the boxes and Tuesday would be crushed and eaten. But this wasn’t a movie and she was a far better warrior than any of those Hollywood fakers.

She stepped as deftly as she could through the maze of boxes and broken prescription bottles. Her hand was holding the Tsuka as she moved, it was comforting and reassuring. She had practiced with her grandfather and father for many years to attain a swift unsheathing of the blade. She could remove it faster than you could blink.

A noise caught Tuesday’s attention. Something in the air changed, it became acrid and heavy. The clouds moved outside and the full moon shined in through the broken factory windows. In the moonlight she saw, the crumbled bodies of the factory workers on the floor, partially eaten or rotting. She saw Wednesday’s back pack just as the clouds covered the moon again. A growl rose from behind her.

Tuesday didn’t wait. She unleashed her blade and spun around, beheading the foul creature in one fluid movement. She re-sheathed the sword and turned back to her kill, the head had rolled toward her feet. She looked down and it was as she feared. It was Wednesday; or at least the thing that had become Wednesday.

A tear started in Tuesday’s eye but she knew it was far honorable to die at the blade of one’s sister than suffer the injustice of living death. She heard another rattle from behind the boxes and Tuesday refocused. She wasn’t out yet. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ice Cream Heart

I have to first of all thank my friend for planting the seed of this idea in the fertile fields of my mind. She said that she wished loving someone was as easy as loving ice cream. I couldn’t agree with her more. I do think love and ice cream have a lot of similarities.

Often, love can start out pretty frozen and hard, difficult to bite into and occasionally a little cold in the mouth; over a short time however it starts to melt and gets to a point that is easy to eat and you can experience all its full and robust flavors. It becomes a special joy to eat and sometimes one scoop or bowl isn’t enough. But then, if it’s not eaten quickly enough or it’s left out too long, it gets all runny and becomes a sloppy mess all over the counter. It’s sticky and if left out even longer becomes hard and difficult to remove even with some of the best household cleaners.

So I can say that love and ice cream do have quite a lot in common; although the differences are easily more numerous. Who ever heard of ice cream keeping you warm under the blankets on a long winter’s night? One is a cold sweet food and the other picks you up at the airport at three o’clock in the morning with a hot cup of coffee ready for you. If you really don’t know the difference then you’ve got more problems that this article can help you with. .

Loving anyone is never easy. In fact, if it’s worth doing, then it ought to be difficult. Love is the most misused and misunderstood of all the complicated emotions we experience in this life. I still can’t say I know all that much about it. I’ve been in love several times, each time was a little different than the last and the next time I’m sure will be different too. I can say that each time, it’s been marvelous. No matter how awful the heartbreak afterwards I’ve been able to value the experience and I think in each instance it made me a better person.  I’d like to see a McFlurry do that.

I do know that love is worth it. (Unless that love treats you like a bag of monkey scat and throws you at the tourists as they pass your cage) But for the most part, love is totally worth it. Even if it ends, it was still worth the experience and the knowledge gained.

Ice cream can satisfy you for a while and cause the release of endorphins in your brain when the deliciousness touches your tongue. But it will never compare to the simple hand holding that loving intimacy can bring, or even how the thought of the person you love can release a warmth and comfort in your stomach and head. How that feeling can stay with you long after that person is gone. In both cases you’re usually left with something to clean up. You can wash the bowl out in the sink and pick a new flavor from the freezer or you can clear your head and get on with the next stage of your life. Either way, there's work involved and it takes time and patience to get it right. All I know is ice cream will never love you back as much as you want to love it.  

Then again, I hate ice cream. 

Friday, January 13, 2012


I didn't go to work today. Last night's activities prohibited any real productivity so I decided I'd rather live a little than suffer through the injustices of cubicle life. It's provided a good opportunity to do a few of the domestic chores I've been putting off due to boredom and mild depression.

The thing that makes it all okay is music. The music I've downloaded into my super duper future iPhone device pushing itself through the ear phones has made it all that more bareable.

So I'm keeping this brief, because Louis Armstorng is singing about sitting in the dark and I can't sit here and type. I have to dance around a bit while I do my dishes and smoke too many cigarettes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Since I took the time to spell it several times today already I believe I’ll use it; abominable.  I suppose I could have gone with Yeti but that might be a little too Himalayan for some. Are there any other animals out there with such a distinct name?
Sure, the Great White has a well deserved reputation, but The Abominable Snowman? No one has ever even seen one for sure and yet, he’s abominable.

I feel bad for poor old Yeti. He got a bad rap without ever being verified as actually existing. It’s alleged some newspaper man in the 1920’s mistranslated some Tibetan words for an article, perhaps for a little more colorful story, and coined the phrase. There were other names that pre-dated it though, like Miche` which was a, “Man-bear”, or the Migol, translated to mean, “wild-man” or, “Ted Nugent”.  The pre-Buddists called it Bon, a “Glacier Being”. But it was Abominable that stuck. I certainly think it’s better than, “Glacier Being”.

“Oooh, did you hear that?”
“That blood curdling roaring out across the snow?”
“Yeah, I think it was a glacier being.”
“Stop being lame and eat your elk.”

See, that doesn’t really strike fear into anybody. But if you change it to Abominable it takes on a whole new category.

“Oooh, did you hear that?”
“That blood curdling roaring out across the snow?”
“Yeah, I think it was an abominable snowman.”
“Let’s get the… AHHHHHHHHH! IT’S GOT MY ARM!”

See, much better. I’d run for my life for sure. But then there have been many variations on the demeanor of the Abominable Snowman; from gentle nature loving giant to violent blood drinking orgy attendee. It all depends on who is telling the story. Either way, no one has proven its existence so it’s all just winter speculation in the end.  Yet, people are still driven into the snows to find this elusive beast.

I wonder if there are Abominable Snowmen scientists working on the mystery of the hairless ape that keeps climbing these mountains and freezing to death. I can imagine it pretty clearly, a snow cave laboratory, with test tubes and beakers all filled with snow, while one Yeti in a lab coat and bifocals examines yet another vial of snow against the light.  Maybe there’s another Yeti sitting over an icy microscope looking at snowflake patterns, grunting that they all look the same to him.

At least they don’t have to work in a cubicle, now that would clearly be abominable. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stop making me crazy

I am completely not interested in the training conference call/web site thing I should be listening to right now. I take that back, I have the phone up to my ear but I’m clearly working on something else. I really couldn’t give two mouse farts about the new Audit requirements for the service expectations. I’d rather drive into a mountain filled with explosives and double edged razor blades.

Although, I’ve been in the working world long enough to appreciate the web based training. Years ago all the employees would be corralled into a big conference room while some proctor guided us all through a procedure with hand-outs and a primitive power-point. Maybe some slides.  I remember spending most of those meetings doodling on my notepad. Lots of three dimensional boxes doodled in those training meetings. So to have the ability to now participate in a web training session where I don’t have to leave my desk with a phone up to my ear and type this article is completely appreciated.

The down side however is that management feels we need this web training on nearly every aspect of our jobs, but not on the things we really need to know. I guess that’s always been my problem with any sort of education I’ve received; I only want to know what I want to know. This extemporaneous gobbly-gook is slowing me down. It’s always slowed me down and it makes me insane with the reality of my boring ass life.

Last night I sat on my couch and lived vicariously through my TV. I watched Toy Story 3 which made me miss some of my toys; at least I know they’re in my mother’s attic. I’m not ashamed to admit that I got pretty misty over it. I watched and laughed at Dr. Strangelove and then stayed up too late watching Network. Thank you Turner Classic Movies. I never watched Network as a grown-up and unedited. It’s one hell of a prophetic movie. It was released in 1976 (just like me) and I am amazed at how little things have changed. They make references to the wars America is involved in, the gas crisis, the depression, joblessness, poverty, social inequality and underground terrorist movements. (What? Those are the same headlines as today) I thought to myself that I have never known a, “Golden Age”, of America. I’m not saying America isn’t awesome. It’s pretty bad ass. But personally, I’ve never seen this America my grandparents or even parents bore witness to.  

This conference is still going on. It’s been 20 minutes of detailed descriptions of each audit change. There are 70 audit questions. We are on #45.  I’m not sure how I became this. A guy on the end of a telephone listening to a woman drone on and on about the number of points a particular audit question now has. Where did I lose my mind? I let it wander once and it never came back. It got drunk and fell off a truck in front of an insurance company and wandered in thinking working there would be a gas.

Little did they know how bat shit crazy the whole thing would make me and how little I would end up caring. There’s an emotional vacuum working at an insurance company, it sucks.  All told, I’ve let my life somewhat slip away from me and have ground my bones into paste in the pestle of a giant corporation bent on making money. The whole thing, everything, is all about making more and more money for the stockholders and the shareholders and the over the shoulder boulder holders. (That last one is a bra).

So yeah, it’s all making me crazy. That and I can’t seem to meet a nice girl…, no wait, I have met lots of nice girls, but none that want to devote any time to the business of me. Probably because I’m so crazy, which I can understand, but frankly, we’re all pretty frigging crazy. So why can’t my crazy find an equal crazy to be absolutely insane with?

I shouldn’t have stayed up so late. Perhaps I should have written a poem or another story. Perhaps this is too much for a Wednesday in January. Well, you’ve read it now, you can’t un-read it.

Oh, the conference call is over. No one had any questions. I can hang up now. I thank you Jesus for the smallest of miracles. Now, what are the lottery numbers? I need to buy some crazy shit. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Made it

The morning arrived and Chet couldn’t believe it. He’d been up all night long practically pissing himself with every creak or thud of the aging house. It was still strangely dark in the Andersen place, as if the sun couldn’t penetrate the filth and grime covering the windows. Chet was sure it was morning when he heard the birds chirping outside. That’s only something that happens in the mornings. Meaning he’d made it.

Chet dropped the axe he was holding for self defense and used his foot too push open the closet door. The closet had provided him with a safe haven while the house tried to swallow his soul. The others hadn’t been so lucky, Becky, Sally, Roger, all of them were gone.  The house ate them and crapped their bloody bones out in the basement. Chet saw their skin stripped from their bodies as he cowardly ran back up the stairs, leaving them to their hell. Chet didn’t know where Jessica was, she was trying to burn the house down at some point. She had been in the creepy old witch’s bedroom. She was probably dead too. Chet tried to get to his feet, but the gash on his left leg was too painful to move.

It was all Becky’s fault anyway, if she hadn’t started playing with that clock and doing all her Goth shit none of this would have happened. She had to push it. Chet just wanted to break into the Andersen place to make out with Jessica and drink beer without getting caught.  Chet imagined his whole high school quarterback career was over, college was over, just because Becky had to try and play witchcraft and not let Roger get in her panties. If she’d just made out with him and had some of the whiskey they’d all be alive.

Chet heard something shuffling upstairs. He held his breath and tried not to panic. The thing that cut his leg, the golden eye dog thing with the six legs that snapped at him, or the ghosts that swirled around his head after that cop that mysteriously showed up and exploded, it could be anything out there. Chet reached again for the axe and held it close to his chest.

“Chet, Roger”, called a thin, pale voice.

It was Jessica, she had made it. Chet exhaled and called out to her.

“Help, I’m in the closet and I can’t move my leg!”
“Chet is that you?”
“It is Jess, it is. How did you make it?”

Jessica pulled open the closet door all the way and saw Chet laying in his own piss and filth and blood. She was covered with blackened, charred skin, still smoking slightly. Chet tried to recoil in horror.

“I didn’t make it Chet. None of us will”.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I wanted to write a Western story this morning. I was thinking about dusty sun baked main streets, tumble weeds and emptiness. I had the image of golden sands blowing into a once thriving town. My imagination pictured your basic Hollywood back-lot Western set for some show like Gunsmoke or Bonanza, abandoned. A community now bereft of life to be reclaimed by the lands that surrounded it. I probably shouldn’t have watched Rio Bravo twice over the weekend.

I started to write, to try and formulate some kind of story about the goodness and decency that could be found in all of us, but I got sidetracked by the people around me talking about work or their lives or shootings that took place in their own real life neighborhoods over the weekend.  The idea of a just and righteous cowboy riding into town to save the fair mayor’s daughter from the clutches of the evil railroad baron just seemed silly. Pointless even. Plus, all that talking was really distracting.

We’ve lost something I think too. Hearing my fellow workers talk about a guy getting shot in their neighborhood and no one knowing anything about it. Or not even all that concerned about it. We’ve lost the preciousness of our life it would seem. In the West, life could certainly be cheap, but people still struggled on to make something of themselves. Knowing somehow that while they might not get to enjoy the fruits of all their labors their kin might have it a little better, a little easier than they did.

I still want to write a Western themed story. I think there are a lot of stories to tell that incorporate the examples from our collective past that can show us the folly or joy in our present. The story of our independent spirit. Imagine hitching up a horse and just riding from one town to the next and starting over as often as you liked. We seem to live in a time wherein your college degree is more important than your character. It’s too bad we aren’t judged more often by our character and less by the work we are not content to perform. I’d like to think I’d be a man of means if I were in the West, instead of a cubicle cowboy.

It is fantasy of course; life was incredibly rough back then. I like the creature comforts of modern life far too much. I mean, indoor plumbing and toilet paper are pretty awesome. I do like bathing everyday and being clean. I don’t know how well I would have done back then. I probably would have died from that abscessed tooth I had last year.

So now I’m writing this, the sun baked streets of my mind, are like a ghost town of character. I’m bored with the path my life has taken and I do wish to hitch up Old Dollar and ride off into the sunset with my trusted Remington and see what kind of old world romance I could find. A mayor’s daughter that needs rescuing perhaps. Who am I kidding, the Natives will have me scalped and left for the coyotes in less than a week.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

You have the power, I have the light

Listen, quickly, I haven’t much time. The reason we ask you women to wear something sexy is because it shows you care about us. Serious, if you just toss on the least wrinkled article of clothing off the floor and expect us to buy dinner or open doors just because,… well, you’re right, we will, but that’s what we’re supposed to do. But we do like it when you show us the time and consideration to try and make our silly boyhood fantasies come true. So we like the garter belts and the lingerie.  The make-up and the affectations of sexual interest; even if you’re not all that interested. We still like it.

This is probably one of the most male things I’ve written but I just want to remind women that they usually have most of the power in any relationship. If you throw on a skimpy little top that we can practically see through, then yeah, we’ll probably take the garbage out when you ask us. A little skirt and heels to ask us to take the car to the garage for an oil-change; that job is done.  I used to do extra credit work for a pretty teacher just because every so often I caught a glimpse of the camisole she was wearing when she bent down to talk to me.

“It’s a hassle”, as a dear female friend of mine noted and I agree. It is annoying to try and put all that nonsense on, only to have a man act like the wolf in the Tex Avery cartoons and tear it all off. But it shows you care a little bit about how you want us to perceive you. And that we’ll do anything you say for a nice pair of legs and heels. That's power.

I have to keep this short since I’ve already been thrown under the bus once today at work. If it was a bus wearing high heels and thigh highs like a 1940’s pin-up girl, I wouldn’t have mind so much, honestly.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jet Fuel

The coffee exploded in my cup
and then exploded in my brain.

While pouring it in, it splashed
violently into my little white
styrofoam cup. It seemed
angry and rebellious and
ever more attractive.

I wanted to drink this elixir of
go juice more than any other
beverage I could remember.
It’s audacious Columbian spirit
flagrantly flipping the finger
to the mundane and mild.

It was hot and burned my lips
just like I knew it would.
It was mean and harsh and
wouldn’t just go quietly or gently.
It wasn’t it’s nature.

In my brain, it started a fire,
it burnt down a bridge and
stole from orphans.
It crashed a car and shot up
a cantina.  

It loved passionately
It played in a punk band
It did drugs
It tasted the neuro-marrow
before burning out as
brightly as it entered.

I don’t think lunch
will be half as

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Superman’s sewer adventure

When I was in third grade I had a Hot Wheels Superman car. It was the classic blue, red and yellow, emblematic of the Superman costume. There was a clear plastic bubble for the cockpit and you could see a little Superman sitting in the driver’s seat. It also had a little button on the back that when pushed, two little fists would poke out of the headlights. It was quite an impressive little piece of machinery for a toy.

I thought it was pretty damn awesome. Although I could never really understand why Superman, a being that could fly and smash through any materials known, needed a car. I mean, I’m pretty sure he didn’t have any pockets. Where did he keep the keys? Then again, would you really steal Superman’s car? Still, it was a pretty cool little toy for a third grader.

I did make a mistake with it though and, even at my age, it still haunts me a bit. I was thinking about it last night in fact as I was trying to get to sleep. I lost that Superman car during recess. I dropped that little toy right down the sewer that was in the parking lot where recess was held. Growing up in the city, you didn’t get to run around a grassy field or climb a jungle gym; you got a parking lot to run around in like a little mad man.

I don’t remember the circumstances of how my Superman car found his way into the sewer. I don’t remember if I was trying to show one of my school mates and my third grade bumbling fingers just dropped it or what, but I remember it dropping and falling into the sewer. The friends I had at the time, we all stood around the sewer and imitated the adult men in our lives. I remember, standing there, surrounded by three or four other little boys all staring into the sewer, hands in our pockets. One kid suggested maybe it hadn’t fallen too far down and we could get a stick or something.  Another suggested that his dad had a magnet and maybe we could put it on that stick and get it out. I just stood there, on the verge of tears, but back then, boys were forbidden to cry so I didn’t.

I didn’t tell a teacher about it because we weren’t supposed to have toys with us anyway so I didn’t want to get in trouble. Recess came to an end and I had to abandon all hope of ever retrieving my lost Superman car. I remember looking back at the sewer as the boy’s line trudged back into the school building for more Catholic indoctrination.

I did learn a lesson that day and never brought another toy to school. I also think that lesson filtered through my entire life and to this day I have a hard time bringing something valuable with me anywhere. It might also explain why I’m not all that materialistic, but yet, really hold onto the things I do have.

I still miss that little Superman car. I hope it’s had some incredible adventures. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Remember to face the sun

Reagan was freezing in her apartment. The temperature had dropped steadily all night and she could almost see her breath when she woke up. She swung her feet off the bed and onto the floor and gasped. The floors had ceased being wood and were now made of ice. It seemed her whole floor was like the inside of a freezer. She imagined that boxer movie guy in the other room punching a side of beef. She couldn’t remember the guy’s name. One of her ex-boyfriends made her watch it and it was stupid. But she did remember the guy punching the meat in the freezer.

She grabbed her bathrobe and quickly tip-toed across the frozen wood floor tundra and into her bathroom. At least the heat had been on in there at some point during the morning hours. She turned on the hot water and looked at herself in the mirror. It’d been a long weekend and it had taken a serious toll on her hair. It was knotted and mashed into a curly blob. She sighed and considered getting a bob haircut.

She got in the shower and the hot water barely seemed hot enough. It was tepid and it seemed to take a long time to get going. The bathroom was fogging up too fast and that would make using the bathroom mirror a damn near impossibility. She cleaned herself up, skipped the leg shaving, and did what she could to get the knots out or her hair. She was sad she had to turn the water off. The hot water had just started to feel good. The chill in the air was brutal and she was shivering as she tried to dry off.

She put on her robe and went back to her ice box of a bedroom. She finished drying off and then remembered how awesome the new hair dryer was and how great that would feel. She looked at her clock and saw that her time was running short. She had to really get a move on. She had managed to develop a pretty standard rush action plan and she followed it to the letter. Blow dry, dress, scarf, coat and boots, make-up would have to be done on the train. It was a pattern she’d developed over the last four years.

She checked the weather on her iPhone right before she left her apartment. It was about as warm outside as it was in her bedroom. She took the elevator to the lobby and rushed through the revolving doors. She swore to herself that she would move somewhere warm very soon. She was not a winter person at all. She liked the summer and the sun. She didn’t like a lot of summer clothes, but she made due.

The walk to the train station was windy and freezing. Reagan wished she had grabbed her knit scarf instead of the thin one she was wearing. She walked fast with her head down against the cold. She started to get mad about her station in life. She’d worked at the same law firm for five years and wasn’t getting anywhere. She just couldn’t get motivated about it all. She wished she’d followed her painting passion, but her dad had talked her out of that.

The wind blew hard and right down her neck and it sent a vicious chill over her body. She cursed her rotten apartment and her life and all the stupid things she let herself get involved with. She was grumbling as she reached the top of the stairs at the train station and walked out across the platform.

The sun met her at the top stair and she had to squint against it. She stepped forward and suddenly didn’t feel as cold as she did before. The sun felt blazing against her face and in that moment, things just didn’t seem all that bad. Maybe could tough it out and try to stay positive. Maybe life was like that sometimes and you just had to keep you face toward the sun, feel its warmth and know that you can go on.