Friday, January 24, 2003

This was one I wrote almost two years ago about the last place I lived. I hope it treats you as well as it treated me. Whatever that means. xoxo

"Buffalo for Jesus 2000"

I wasted five years trying to curry the favor of a woman I no longer know.
In that time I tasted the flavor of life more than I ever had before.
So maybe I shouldn’t say it was wasted, I guess that’s not the right word.
But it’s true I lost track of myself at the time,
could have used a lo-jack to find me before it all became a blur.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you look at the world all skewed.
If your heart doesn’t die after something like that,
it will rise like the Phoenix to make sure that you get screwed.

They had to use the jaws of life to pry me from the wreckage.
My soul circled overhead watching my twisted body twitch
like some St. Vitus vs. St. Valentine grudge match fought in a steel cage.
Since I stopped watching wrestling in 6th grade,
having realized it would not encourage others to talk to me,
I went for coffee instead.

I watched TV with the owner and her very large cat,
the ironically titled show “Popular.”
Very few people disturbed them that afternoon,
just like they did every other afternoon.
It was a punk rock vegan coffee shop with a smoking section and a bar.
The smoking helped keep away people like my ex,
catering more to people I might call friends.

We drifted apart the way lovers often do.
I knew it was over by the bored look in her eyes.
She never really had a sense of humor for the absurd or the dark.
I felt we were in trouble when she stopped
pretending to laugh at my jokes.
She started falling hard for another man,
who was my only friend left in the town.
Tall, dark and handsome, a fugitive from Iran
Nicest guy i ever met, lived with a beagle named Peaches.
I lost visiting rights when the shit hit the fan...

Driving down Main Street was the surest way to pick up the blues.
All the closed-up storefronts told the story
of urban flight and suburban sprawl,
everyone shopping only in suburban malls,
and two fat old white guys protesting Planned Parenthood everyday.

I got stuck doing time temping in the mailroom
of a large HMO-slash-health insurance combo-corporation.
Conflict of interest was never really discussed.
Customer Service were chained to their desks,
their headsets were always on.
Never met so many suburban housewives
who were either pregnant and/or smoking.
I think it was the only way they could get out of their chairs.
All the women were named Barb -
it was the surrealistic phase of my life.

One day I was strolling on my way to work
doing tech support over the phone
(where I tried to explain to the average Joe or Jane
why that Zip Drive no longer functioned -
which is extremely difficult when
they can’t even find that elusive reset button)
when a walkman fell off a minivan and into the street.

I picked the radio up and cleaned it off,
asked the man in the van if it belonged to him.
He said “Thank you very much, you are so kind,
you must be a true Christian.”
I shrugged and I smiled because I didn’t have the heart
to tell him I was a Jewboy.

Undeterred, he said “Whether you believe in him
or not, God wants you on his team someday.”
I laughed on the inside as I said my goodbyes,
and continued on my merry way...
Entertaining thoughts about being Christian,
as in Christlike, at least for just one day.

And the most popular bumper sticker was
“Buffalo for Jesus 2000.”
How can you argue with that?
Can you really argue with that ?
You can’t really argue with that.
“Buffalo for Jesus 2000.”

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Greetings From Howard Johnson’s Asbury Park, NJ

I wrote this over the summer...

Greetings From Howard Johnson’s Asbury Park, NJ

I’m sitting on the patio of the last remaining Howard Johnson’s in New Jersey...beautiful downtown Asbury Park, right on the boardwalk overlooking the ocean... this location has been run by the same family since 1959!! If you don’t believe me, come on down and read the freaky fun facts on the menu! I am eating what was intended to be a chocolate ice cream cone. Apparently, they are out of chocolate and out of CONES! Styrofoam doesn’t taste as good as a sugar cone. Go ahead, debate that with me! It is chilly and raining now. The cute girl who was sitting here drinking beers with her friends is gone now (I will see her later, during the Descendents’ set, with her boyfriend. ugh.).
Inside the Convention Hall, music is blaring from every orifice of this building. The acoustics in the lobby were not meant to showcase live music. I feel bad for the bands who have to play this stage, worse for the rest of us, whose ears are forced to bleed. Why did I spend seven dollars to eat a slice of Domino’s (imitation) pizza and drink a 20 ounce Mountain Dew when I could have gone outside and got a hot dog or something and a can of soda for 2 bucks? Why did I eat so much today? Why is the entire boardwalk dilapidated except for ten feet of new boardwalk? Why is Howard Johnson’s the only thing not boarded up? Why is HoJo’s still open in this ONE location, with all of New Jersey to pick from? How can I, in good conscience, call Buffalo a vast wasteland, having been to Asbury Park, NJ? Sorry Bruce, but now I know why you had to get out. Speaking of, the cd player in the car just kept skipping when we tried to play “Thunder Road” as we were leaving....broken down American Dream, indeed.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

This new blog is going to be for more writerly endeavors, like excerpts from my book, and less about me ranting of the top of my head, unless that ranting has been previously formatted and found to be worthy of going to "the next level" or something.