Wednesday, December 31, 2003

This is almost 3 years old. I found it while digging. There's lots of treasure in my old notebooks. I like most of this one. Figures it was about the first crush I had on someone after moving back to New York. The bright side is that I see her every now and again and it's always awesome, if too infrequent. She and her boyfriend will never break up, and I think I prefer it that way. They are both amazing and talented people, and I love them dearly. But this kind of thing does make for good copy. ha ha. Enjoy.

PS The formatting is gonna be messed up, as it is supposed to be centered, but I don't know html, so deal with it. Also, if it sucks, let me know. Please.


There are pictures in my mind of
you and I traversing the boardwalk
hand in hand, discussing
many topics with great enthusiasm.

Images akin to scenes from
“Kissing A Fool” where Jay and Sam
slowly fall in love in a montage of
similar shots.

I could see that happening, and
I don’t know if i should be happy
or sad. Maybe it is just
confusion over what a friend is
versus a companion.

I shouldn’t be jumping into this,
I need to wade in the kiddie pool
with my water wings to keep me afloat.
I’ve drowned before,
I cannot suffer that again.

I wanted to remain friends, but she
disagreed. I will not lose another
person in my life before they even
enter it. Please, do come in, though.

I promise to behave myself,
and not try to whisk you away
from the manor just yet. I know
this infatuation can only
worsen over time,
as we
where things
get weird -- I’ve
been there before and lost.
I really want you in my life
and close to my heart.

This time I want to be inspired by
how much one woman can do --instead of
being depressed to the point of
immobility. Please humor me and be
my muse, and I will amuse you
to the best of my abilities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Excerpts From A Thinly Veiled Journal Entry:

Scene: Cut to a bedroom at 6 am on a Sunday morning. A man and a woman are engaged in desperate, passionate, prolonged foreplay. Heavy-duty heavy petting... Lots of deep, penetrating eye-gazing occurring. The one glitch -- the woman is not who you think it is.

(sounds of needle being dragged across a record as video starts rolling horizontally)...

Narrator: So, you may be asking, “What’s so wrong about this picture?” What ISN’T wrong with this picture? When we left our now-Lotharioesque protagonist, he was agonizing over what had just happened after finally kissing the woman he had tried unsuccessfully to woo last summer. This was a mere two days earlier.

After a few kisses of the closed-mouth variety, and just when phase two -- open mouth, no tongue -- was to begin, she pulled away, looked at him with crazy eyes and a Mona Lisa smile -- well, it was wider than that, definitely more smile than smirk, but just as mysterious. A little less toothy than the grin of a Cheshire cat, but seemingly a combination of the two. That was it.

In another breath, without another remembered word uttered between them, she drove off into the night while he stood there scratching his head, literally. What just happened? What did this turn of events mean? Was she smiling because she was happy? After all, isn’t this what she wanted? Why else was she thinking about him when he called, while she was on the road, heading in his direction? Why else would she answer the phone “Holy shit!” when his number came up? Not “Hey, I was just thinking about you!” but “Holy shit!” Certainly, there is a subtle difference in these two approaches. Why else did she stop by that night? She KNEW this would happen. She WANTED this, right?

How come this never happened before? After the mix CD with the collage cover art in the DVD case, with the 80-line poem written especially for her, perhaps... but why now? Months had passed since he felt but more than a sigh at the sight of her. He had moved on, gotten another crush, been rejected yet again and gotten over her, too, by this point. He had promised himself never again to play the role of smitten schoolboy. Too much pain endured for too little personal gain. The only thing that didn’t suffer was his art. He had by now gathered enough stories to write a book based solely on his misadventures in the realm of romance. Every mistake chronicled, footnoted, revised, reworked and refined after several million recitations to friends of varied interest over the years.

In fact, he had secretly been pursuing someone else. he had decided to play it safe by not letting himself get all worked up about it. If something happened, that would be that. No more hapless romantic making a mix CD a week for someone who wasn’t looking for the same thing. After all, he had his books and his poetry to protect him. Shielded in his armor -- which consisted of many of the saddest songs in the Modern Age of the Western World. Something DID happen. She made out with his brother on a trampoline at a Fourth of July party. “Well,” he thought, “that’s pretty fucking weird, but at least I hadn’t gotten all retarded for her first.” Clearly he was making progress.

It was right around the time of his decision not to get anymore schoolboy crushes that she started IMing him regularly. Some of the conversations were interesting, indeed. They started discussing the act of making out and how things didn’t have to be awkward afterwards if it didn’t lead to coupling. She then suggested they meet up and go out dancing in a couple of weeks. As with most plans they’d made in the past, the dancing didn’t happen. But that was okay, he figured, because she had at least WANTED to get together -- perhaps even make out. It would be soon.

Time passed. She accepted a job as a live-in housekeeper at a mansion closer to home. She needed some help moving and a place to crash on a Saturday night. He had an extra ticket to a rock and roll show. It was kismet. fate. He had a couch, he had a bed. She needed someplace to rest her weary head. They loaded up their cars with her worldly possessions and then went out to get some Indian food. Then it was off to the subway, Manhattan-bound.

The subway was all farkuckt and they ended up on the wrong line in disguise. So they walked from the West Village to the Lower East Side, enjoying each other’s company very much. She laughed maniacally at his jokes and they were both making random weird noises -- all in all, this was typically what occurred when they got together. The first time they had really hung out, they both started humming the same imaginary tune while looking for the car in the parking lot. But this night seemed different somehow. Things really seemed to click. He knew they were both changed from last year at this time; more complete in themselves than before.

She half-jokingly suggests they walk across the Williamsburg Bridge after the show. He greets the idea with much enthusiasm. All during the show, they are pumping each other up for this. It is one of the best nights of his life, just being with her and being close; the two of them talking and listening intently. Why can’t life be like this more often? The only thing that brought him back to Earth was when he awoke the next morning and realized that he had missed not one, but two opportunities (at least) to kiss her. Dumb ass.

“Here it is, one year later, and this rush of feelings for her came back like a ton of bricks. What the fuck is that about? I honestly figured that it was so over. But when we got together, I was so giddy. I’ve never been happier helping a person schlep their stuff anywhere. And we had a crazy adventure in the city. we crossed the Williamsburg Bridge on foot and walked all the way back to her apartment in Brooklyn. It was amazing. It was such a beautiful night out, too. Why did I not stop her in the middle of the bridge and kiss her, as the passing Hassidim gawked? Because I am an ineffectual loser. The only way to fix this is to kiss her somehow. I came so close last night, while tucking her in as she went to sleep on the couch (I offered her the bed, just for the record). Our cheeks were pressed against one another, but I was bent over awkwardly, so I pulled away too quickly, retreating to my bedroom with my tail between my legs, so to speak.”

That was exactly two weeks ago tonight. The long-anticipated kiss was two nights ago. He still had no clue as to what exactly happened Thursday night, or what it meant. Is it always so cryptic?” he thought.

“So what’s all this, then?” you may ask. I couldn’t tell you. Even if I wanted to. All I know, is that he was at a party, drinking heavily, flirting with this girl, sticking his nose into everyone else’s business; which was followed by a viewing of “Playmate of the Apes.” They were each drinking a beer to help sober up during the course of this fine feature film, while leaning on each other and holding hands.

Back on the deck afterwards, she picked up his book and started flipping through it. She was actually engrossed by it, reading intently in the dimly lit environment while he sat next to her and made asides, giving insights into the stories like a color commentator for the televised broadcast of his own life. She read a good amount of the book, considering the hour and the occasion.

Later, she admitted to having asked about him, that she had been curious, and that the book sealed the deal. “Well,” he thought, “it’s not everyday I meet a good-looking woman who is drunk enough to tell me that I’m hot.” He walked her to her car and they said goodbye while kissing each other slowly. Note how this kiss actually lasted more than thirty seconds. It seems as if this first kiss between two people who were practically strangers was the very essence of what
he had been hoping for all this time...

Scene: Fast forward to a bedroom at 6 am on a Sunday morning. A man and a woman are engaged in desperate, passionate, prolonged foreplay. Heavy-duty heavy petting... Lots of deep, penetrating eye-gazing occurring. She has to be at work in three hours and hasn’t even slept at all...

Monday, November 17, 2003

It's been almost 4 freaking months since I've posted here. What the hell? I'm sorry. A little sorry to anybody who still checks this page with even an eighth of a fluid ounce of hope that I may have actually updated. A lot more sorry, however, for myself, for being such a poor example of successful time management. I can make all the excuses I want, but despite my crazy hours, I am still the thing holding me back. If friends are just enemies who don't have the guts to kill you, then I am a good example of a friend to myself.

Having said all that, I'm posting a brief article that is truer yesterday than the day I wrote it. The neon sign line actually was uttered to a dear friend of mine after she told me that she didn't, and couldn't ever, love me. And I made HER cry. Oh, I have just noticed that this means that the last two posts are connected, even though they are clearly posted 4 months apart. Some topics never let go of you, I guess. Just to clarify, though, I have seen lately that I am more complex than I paint a portrait of myself in this piece. It did take me a couple years to realize this, though, as I was 28 or so when I wrote this. Enjoy!


it seems like everyone i know is complicated except me. i feel like i have no substance most of the my emotions are either A or B. everyone else seems to have more letters in their emotional alphabet... which is why i don't understand other people, i guess... i keep trying to figure out what it is about me that prevents people from having real feelings for me and if it is indicative of some flaw of my own and not a reflection of the headcases i am invariably attracted to...

why am i only attracted to people who won't reciprocate my feelings? are my feelings really real, or is that the catch? meanwhile, i feel like i am getting older and scared of living alone all my life, of becoming that bitter loner who lives above the convenience store with the flashing neon sign that reads "OPEN 24 HOURS!"

i'm wondering what it will take before i realize that love is bullshit and doesn't really exist for people like me...

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

It's been way too long since I posted something here. I've sort of assembled a book of things that I'm not too embarrassed by to let other people read them all. I'm going to try to to exhume a few poetic corpses and do a little slashing, but I think an anthology of my poetry and prose not related to my novel will soon be forthcoming. In the meantime, take a gander at this slab o' words, which I wish was a piece of fiction. But you know what they say about truth. I don't think the person in question has ever read this one. Don't get too depressed, though.

It’s Not Important

I said “I love you” as the sun came up, a reply I neither expected nor craved. She simply exclaimed “Oh, Jesus!” and her sigh punctuated the air. It was followed up with a disgusted look, then she rolled away and wouldn’t let me touch her. I asked her what it was that was wrong and she said flatly “it was nothing.” But nothing always means something, it’s just something you don’t want to know.

She stopped staring at the wall, but not to look at me. Instead she gazed up at the stars; the phosphorescent ones stuck to my ceiling... placed there by my brother, when he was much younger, before I left the house and lost the lease on my room.

We’d shared many moments in the course of winter months, which I’d taken to mean that there would be more. I had already lost my heart to her, confessed how I felt, told her I’d been trying to play the hand I’d been dealt, but by her response I could tell she wasn’t impressed. She told me she didn’t love me and doubted that she ever could. I know I heard what she said as her eyes and mine were locked in painful embrace, but my heart and ego were plugging their ears.

She was crying up a tempest when she made me leave that night. The rain fell hard on the hood of my car as I drove speeding home in pain, screaming along to the Get Up Kids, punching the ceiling with my fist, wondering if I would see her with the same eyes again.

My feelings grew stronger and the days just got longer, no matter how hard I tried to fight it. Despite the things she said and her poker face, I kept thinking I could beat the house. When she told me of another, whom she wanted for a lover, I figured she was just confused. After all the (mis)adventures and the times we had kissed, when she said she missed me I assumed her mind was made up.

She never said she loved me, she made that painfully clear. She always insisted that we were just friends, something I never truly believed to hear. It seems like every time she told me something else that should have stopped me dead, we just slept together again. Third time was the charm, the one that did her harm; she quickly drew the bath so she could smoke and cry. She intimated that she missed him, though it was me with whom she’d been, and my heart rammed into my intestinal wall.

Despite all the damage she caused, I can’t really blame her for mistakes that I made. Follies committed in the nature of love - that human weakness for connections, for ties that bind. I knew it was wrong, but I could not extricate my heart from the wreckage-to-be, even though my head kept telling it that she won’t be the best one I find.

She rocked me like a hurricane then docked me like a dinghy, left me floating, tethered to the dock, by a string wrapped around her pinky. I’m cutting it, I’m cutting it, now I’m hopelessly adrift in the middle of an emotional ocean... godfuckingdammit.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

This one is dated 2/19/00... about six months after landing in Amherst, NY. The title refers to the manintenance guy's name in our apartment complex. It was a very nice apartment. Very spacious. Lots of room for my stuff. My records were in an easy to access area, right against the wall in the living room. I wish that apartment could have been transported to anywhere I wished it. It is actually bigger than the house I am moving into next door to here. The living room was huuuuuuge. If I had had friends, we could have had a big party there. Well, we could have if Christina didn't exist. Then again, every party has to have a pooper. So, yeah, this little piece of prose has to do with feeling down about being 26 and feeling that potential is being wasted. That much hasn't really changed in the ensuing three years and change. It's hard to get off of the "treadmill of suck." But I'm trying.

Butch the Maintenance Guy

Just sitting here wondering what I should be doing with myself and my time. I feel very unproductive right now. I have most of my second solo tape finished, I just need a few more well-placed and well thought-out dialogue samples and to finish an instrumental track. I haven’t touched these tracks in at least a month. I always find some excuse to not work on my music. At times like these I wonder what my artistic idols do... for example, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. It seems that he’s always up to something worthwhile - all the SY albums, the solo albums, collaborations, the books of poetry and journals, the trips to Jajouka and Morocco - the time he’s spent writing, and modifying (fucking with) his guitars and building assorted effects. Am I doing anything near that calibre in my bedroom by myself? Or how about the Elephant Calf recordings? I have more confidence in Xina than I have in myself sometimes, which is probably why I have such an affinity for her words and voice that grace our tapes. For some reason I don’t like my words or voice, even though the music is still flowing within me and without me, though there is a different vibe to my solo stuff. I really want to do a collaboration with Andre, I want to work on a CPDY2K project. I need time off to work with the boys down on Long Island to get this complete. I hate being stuck in remote locations - at least if I could get the world to come to me...

I’ve reorganized my studio setup now - it’s on wheels! All I need is a few rackmountable effects boxes and I’m set. This TV cart has tons of room on it, just waiting to be filled with wonderful hi-tec gadgets galore.

Listening to the Ranaldo/Hooker/O’Rourke cd “Clouds” - damn this is wonderful - skronking sax, Wm Hooker’s musical drumming, Lee’s hum & squeal - the interplay, the wordplay, the way it crescendoes. I’ve been reading his book jrnls80s, full of his writings, lyrics and whatnot from his high times and lowlights of the Youth’s “indie years” on the road and at home. I know he was doubting himself at times, low points seeming to culminate around his 30th year on earth.

I couldn’t imagine not having to work some punch-the-clock job to get through, to be able to concentrate on my music, my writing, my website-to-be; to be able to afford a nice audio setup for my computer - nothing a few grand wouldn’t fix! I’d really like to meet Lee Ranaldo - hang w/ him, talk over coffee, jam out -> I think I’ll send him a tape of some of our stuff... see if he digs it, ya know? If I send it to Hoboken, maybe they’ll want to spread the word? We seem to travel down similar paths, although he has helped pave the way for me, even if the tracks are still fresh and undisturbed. His love for Kerouac, Sun Ra, DeLillio, Carver, et al -> my love for Kerouac, Sun Ra, DeLillio, Carver, Sonic Youth, et al -> the affinity for minimalism and maximalism, impressionism and sheer will of expressionism... I feel a bond that I’ve never felt for another musician/writer since I realized that Lou Reed, as talented though he may be, an asshole by any other name would smell just as foul.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Making Time, Losing Car Stereos


Now that I’ve gotten your attention, maybe I should back up a bit. About five seconds before this not-atypical outburst, our hero’s friend, and tonight’s concert going companion, Forsythe, had asked Simon why his car’s gas-tank-cap-door was unhinged, pointing out the obvious fact that it had not been like that before they had entered the club. The moment he had started to mention this little detail, Simon looked in his window, where he could do little but to stare in disbelief at the gaping hole in the dashboard where his car stereo had been just a few hours earlier. Simon would soon be mustering up all his cosmic energies to let loose a torrent of obscenities, but first, a moment of silence in remembrance of the fallen dashboard savior. This was where you came in. Let’s go to the videotape, shall we?

He looked down at the pavement, where several cards from his VH1 Pop-Up Video board game lay scattered like the autumn leaves with which they were now intermingled.

“Fuck! They got into the trunk!“

This he knew, as the switch to the gas-cap door was located next to the switch to open the trunk. They weren’t huffing gas -- they were feeling around for the trunk switch. He also knew what would be missing from there -- some cds of friends’ bands that were intended to be sold on consignment at the record store he worked in. He wasn’t expecting them to take the toolkit, however. Nor the board game.

“I can’t believe they took the Pop Up Video game... Those fuckers!”

Simon walked around the car, inspecting for damage and possible missing things. He didn’t see his backpack, the one that went everywhere with him (well, I guess NOT everywhere).

“Damn it, not my backpack!! I was right in the middle of Miss Wyoming! And I hadn’t finished reading that issue of The Baffler, either. SHIT!”

Also missing was the brand new portable cd player he got from his parents for his birthday exactly one week earlier. They even took the broken portable cd player. That, he thought, was amusing, especially when added to the fact that they went a little wire-cutter happy, and simply didn’t just unplug the cord to the cd player. That was about the only ha-ha funny element of the crime. One day, he will actually remember to detach the detachable face instead of leaving it attached and visible in a fun neighborhood, parked beside a pile of amputee bicycles.

At this point, the frustration overtook him, and as the bluestreak of obscenities continued to shoot from his mouth as if it were a Howitzer, he felt myself turning green and suddenly attired in a ripping collared button-up workshirt and torn purple pants. He started lifting and tossing the limbless carcasses of bikes at the park fence, as if they were dwarves; swinging them at trees, trying to exorcise the these demons... or maybe just being plain damn angry.

“Chill out, man. Take it easy. Just calm down. Be cool, alright?”

“Fuck fuck shit fucking fuckers, lousy fucking motherfuckers fucking car stereo goddamnit!”

Music -- the one thing in his life that means anything. The one constant. Music has always been there -- and now, there was a gaping hole in the dashboard, where the music had once been. Simon wanted to cry. This was worse than Bryce Hackford singing Smiths songs for half an hour (or was that an eternity unto itself?). He’d had friends whose cars had been broken into (even in their own driveways), but this was his first time. He’d had his apartment robbed once, five years prior, and several virtually irreplaceable cds were taken. No trace of them at the local record stores. Not a trace at all. Eighty-eight miles had been put on the odometer of the stolen rental car -- the thieves sure got around. He checked stores as far as Bellevue, and left a list of missing cds, complete with police incident numbers. Nothing ever turned up. Oh well, he thought. Material possessions, no big deal in the overall scheme of things. Just a blip on the screen of the big picture, right? At least they didn’t break a window or fuck with the electric. That would have been worse for sure.

As for the girl; how did she fit into this puzzle? When was the radio taken, and did she have anything to do with it? Could she have? He tried reconstructing the scenario in his head: he had just exited the club with Forsythe, and two new acquaintances, Jared and Ann Marie. Jared and Simon were discussing random musical groups, when he happened to mention The Creation’s song “Making Time,” the UK Freakbeat anthem that was introduced into the American conscious thirty years after its initial release by its inclusion in the soundtrack to the film “Rushmore.” All of a sudden, a pretty, but obviously intoxicated, woman enters the discussion.

“’Making Time!’ Are you talking about ‘Making Time?’ That is such a great song! I was just thinking about that song and then I heard you mention it. Oh my gawd! That is soo amazing! To think the same thing as some random person on the street!”

She said her name was Emily, and that she was a massage therapist. She also shared with us that she was currently living with her ex-boyfriend until she could get a futon to sleep on in her own apartment. He couldn’t help but wonder if they still had sex with one another. She seemed really nice and was quite attractive. Was she really that excited about The Creation? Simon hoped so. He also hoped she would ask him to come home with her to Brooklyn, get a cup of coffee and talk all night. He had seriously been missing out on all-night talks since the end of the whole mess with Naomi. Well, late night conversations and... sex.

That would be a welcome distraction from the tedium of the current routine that his life had become: work late --> watch television --> check e-mail --> sleep from three until eight am --> lather, rinse, repeat. He kept thinking to himself “Please, please, please ask me to walk you home. You can trust me. Screw Forsythe, he can still catch the 1:46 train home. Pick me, pick me!”

She prattled away some more, handed him a cd of Hawaiian blues music, then disappeared into the misty city night. That was that. She was gone. If she was indeed their patsy, that wold have been the coldest thing ever. How would they have known it was his car? How could she betray someone completely randomly like that? She couldn’t have. He struck the thought from his mind. Maybe she just really liked that song? It’s possible. More importantly, would they meet again some sunny day? Maybe for coffee? Or something...

Simon thought about how much he was missing out on by living such a long drive away from Manhattan. How many chance encounters per week he could be having -- instead of all the usual missed connections and narrow scope afforded him on that ridiculous sandbar. If only he could get himself some bullshit overpaying job requiring minimal effort, he could get himself a decent-sized studio apartment where he could keep all his gear set up to record whenever the mood struck him. Above a record store that he owned. Oh, to live the perfect life.

Simon was brought back down to Earth suddenly, focusing on the newly present musical void in the dashboard. The ride home would be even longer this time. He tried to talk to Forsythe as much as he could, while still in shock from the evening’s tragic turn of events.

“What a fantastic show. I’m glad we went.”

Saturday, May 17, 2003

This is an old one, folks. Dated June 15th, 2002, an entry from my notebook. It is kind of fitting, since tonight I ended up at Nappertandy's (what the fuck kind of word is that anyway?) with some friends of mine, for reasons that are still blurry to me. But I was treated to a couple of shots, so it made the experience less painful. I mean, how bad is it when pretty much the first thing you say to a friend after being someplace for five minutes (or an eternity, whichever one it feels like when they start playing a Sean Paul marathon, which totally disproves the existence of God, mind you) is "Wow, so this is where those people I consider wastes of space go at night when they leave their jobs. I feel like an alien here." And now on to the journal entry. Enjoy.

Last night, I had a dream I was hanging out with some people, and I remember that I dressed like I used to when I had my tech support job -- collared shirt, in this case, it was my Apple Computers shirt, and slacks. I wasn't having much fun... that, I remember. On the third night, however, I reverted to my usual clothing -- band t-shirt and jeans. Some damn preppy jerk was asking me why I dressed like a slob (ie, not like him, as I had the previous two days). I told him that I was uncomfortable wearing collared shirts and slacks. I am not that kind of person. I very much prefer t-shirts and jeans. I gave him a big speech about how I am an individual, and that he and his preppy/jock scum asshole friends could keep their collared shirts and fucking stupid khakis. I called them names and trashed their lifestyle... And that's when the mob started chasing me....

Thursday, May 01, 2003

People, Props, Extras

I find it amazing how there are all these people surrounding us every day, whom we will never get to know, or care to know, but yet they all exist. Endlessly circling our own orbits with theirs; maybe even touching the lives of those we actually know to exist. It’s almost as if they were all just extras. After all, how many people can we honestly get to know and care about? I mean, half the time, we aren’t even in touch with our own feelings, how can we care about anyone else? Especially, those two-dimensional extras that pop up everywhere we go.

And isn’t it a strange event to witness when an extra morphs into a main character with a speaking role? All of a sudden, this black-and-white, silent cardboard cutout comes to life. All of a sudden, you realize that this is a person, just like you, but different. A person with feelings, just like you. And it blows your mind, because you’ve never thought about it. I mean, they always seemed barely there -- no color, no emotions. Then...blammo! One day you wake up and they are now real...and starring in your movie.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Well, as promised many moons ago, here is another excerpt from my forthcoming (evetually) book. I hope it was worth the wait.


I first encountered Geo at the Sunset Inn -- a non-alcholic dance club on my college campus, which I would later student-manage for two and-a-half years. We talked about music for a while, but the only artist that stinks out for me is Nanci Griffith. At this point, I wasn’t listening to anything remotely country, so I wouldn’t have been into her just then. He figured as much.

He was older, I think he said he was 24, and he had been in the army, and was now going to school on the G.I. Bill. Geo was a short, cute guy who looked kind of like Neil Finn from Split Enz and Crowded House. We also talked about the Kids In the Hall. When the club was closing at 2am, he mentioned that he had some Kids In the Hall episodes on tape at his house off-campus. Being the big Kids In the Hall freak I was, I took him up on his offer, so he drove us to his house.

We got to his house about 2:30am, and it was freezing inside. This was, after all, the middle of winter in upstate New York, mind you. I’m not sure what kind of freaky Hobbit he was that he didn’t need heat, but it was freakin’ colder than a well-digger’s ass in there. I did all I could to keep warm, but it was no use.

After declining his offer to partake in the consumption of one of his M.R.E.’s (Meal Ready to Eat, Army issue), I asked if he would mind starting up the Kids In the Hall viewing, since that was my whole motivation for being there. Mysteriously, as I sat on his bed, anticipating my favorite sketch comedy show, the TV set was not functioning properly. “Hmmm...” I thought to myself, “This sure is odd.” Since I was freezing my tuckus off, and there was no Canadian sketch comedy afoot, I decided it might be best if I got myself back to the mild warmth of my dorm room before I lost any extremeties to frostbite.

And that is when he sat behind me on his queen-size bed and started giving me a backrub. Now, I wasn’t the most experienced lad at the time (I’m still not, really), but just then I got one of those weird feelings (not the good kind). Of course, nobody had ever attempted to touch my back before, so I wasn’t sure if this was a come-on or not. Nonetheless, I was sufficiently eeked-out, and instictively used the tried-and-true”I have to get up early for work in the morning” excuse that every guy uses. This was true, however, but also incredibly convenient.

“You can sleep here tonight. It’s okay. I’ve got plenty of pillows and an extra blanket...”

“No, thanks. I should really just call a cab and get back to campus.”

After spending several awkward minutes fidgeting in silence, the cab finally honked its horn, ready to whisk me back to my warm dorm room, where the only physical contact my roommate would make with me were some drunk “you are my best friend” hugs and the sober fist-fight we would eventually get into before the semester was over.

I bumped into Geo occasionally after that -- the first being at our friend Gretchen’s trailer one night for a party. I can still see the way his eyes lit up as he dashed across the room and sat on his knees all excitedly when he arrived and saw me while scanning the room. At this point, I hadn’t yet put two and two together, though there was a nagging feeling I couldn’t quite place my finger on...

Another time, I bumped into him at the Price Chopper, with some guy. It was then, while watching him grabbing and feeling the produce, and interacting with his friend, that I made the connection.

So one night at the Sunset, I asked my friend Anna, who was a townie, but also a freaky vampire girl, “Is Geo gay?” She replied in that “duh, moron!” tone quite bluntly, “WHY DON’T YOU ASK HIS BOYFRIEND?” Mystery solved. I think I tried to explain to her why I was asking, because it wasn’t like I just went around randomly asking if so-and-so was into guys.

I don’t recall seeing too much more of Geo after that. I hope he’s happy, wherever he is. Also, I’d like him to know that I now enjoy the music of Nanci Griffith. And also, if I had swung that way, I would totally have gone for him. I’m still waiting for a woman that cute to be so forward with me. Sigh.

Friday, March 28, 2003

I honestly don't know where two weeks goes when I look at this and see it hasn't been updated. I must discipline myself better. But anyway, here is a BRAND NEW poem, I just wrote this morning.

Untitled (because I haven't thought of one yet, but "Yay! A Poem" was suggested)

My eyes have only seen you
through the thick, tangled trees of reason;
cold rationality perpetuating a sort of
distant closeness; friendliness without fear that
something lurks in the tangled stickerbushes --
a passionate otherness previously blocked from
thought amongst friends during business hours.

The night I remember meeting you,
bright eyes pierced through my walls from
behind a radiant, drunken smile I’d never seen.
I remember secretly hoping I was the cause,
the catalyst for such devilish gleam and grin.
Not really knowing the person behind it,
I kept my first impressions repressed,
locked inside a music box with songs unheard.

I can still see every scene from last night,
undistorted through the lens of drinking glasses.
I view myself less restrained, though I have
far too many inhibitions than I can drink away
physically. I blurted out suppressed truths,
tossed you compliments, unsure of my intent.
Shocked by my seemingly random candor,
you took it quite well. It was by far our longest talk.
I wonder if you will remember it in the morning.

Friday, March 14, 2003

I can't believe it's not butter! Please forgive me, it's been six days since my last blog. This is something I wrote in October, sitting at a Borders Café. I was just so taken by this struggle. It's such an everyday thing, but it plays out in its own beautiful way. So without anymore jibba-jabba:

A Play In A Cafe´

Francine leaves her glasses on a table in the crowded cafe and orders a drink. She then picks up her glasses and takes them with her while setting the coffee on the table -- the only one not occupied at the moment. She disappears for several minutes. A girl walks up, looking for a vacant table at which to sit. She picks up the seemingly abandoned coffee. Feeling its warmth, she sets it back down in its place, and walks away.

Enter the boyfriend -- his turn to look for a seat. He ventures to the very same table, the only one appearing empty, and picks up the same fresh, hot coffee, makes a face and then walks away, looking for someone to possibly tip him off as to the ownership of said coffee, and the whereabouts of its possessor. He looks around intently, almost pleadingly. Do I volunteer this information? After all, it would clear up any confusion and quickly resolve any potential conflict. No, I will leave it alone. Let them fend for themselves while I watch it all unravel before me. A private performance, with myself as the lone spectator. How grand. Am I a bad person?

Coming back a few moments later, with girlfriend in tow, he decides to go for it.
“But Isn’t someone still here?” She asks.
“Somebody must be rich,” he responds. “It doesn’t really matter, anyway” he mutters, while displacing the controversial object from the table to the nearest windowsill. “Do you want anything to eat, Jill?” He walks to the counter to wait in line. She follows.

Francine reenters the café. She is looking for the table with her magazine and coffee, but it is no longer there. Should I tell her where her coffee is, who moved it and who the real gunmen in the John F. Kennedy assassination were? No, I have already decided on my role as the impartial observer -- I cannot change my part in the middle of the play. I am here simply to watch the drama unfold, to be the only witness in a possible standoff.

Francine has determined that she is not insane; that her coffee is NOT where she left it, after all! The lines on her face can barely conceal the contempt rising below the surface. She thinks to herself “Where is my drink, and who is to blame for this?” She places her choice of reading material and her glasses on another table, as she goes back to the counter to get a replacement drink, having lacked the fortitude to continue her quest for the missing beverage.

A couple of minutes pass by. Jared comes back to the table, picks up the orphaned coffee from its new perch and throws it in the dustbin. I wonder if he is being presumptuous, or just a downright asshole. As Francine prepares her replacement beverage, Jared sets up shop next to her. Have the two parties communicated with each other offstage (I cannot see the coffee counter), or are both events still occurring independently, parallel to one another, unaware of their personal conflict?

As Jared takes his seat next to Jill, and Francine sits at her new table, I am truly disappointed at the lack of animosity. I was fully expecting a showdown -- some yelling, a raised voice -- anything.
Jill sneezes repeatedly. Jared sits there, unresponsive, reading a magazine silently. She sneezes some more. Not one single “Bless you” or “gesundheit” passes from his lips. What a freaking’ douchebag! Francine should have clocked him. Instead, she picks up her coffee and walks gently into that good night. What a waste of my time. Why did she not rage, rage at that freaking douchebag? That’s it. I’m out of here.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

I can't believe it has been three weeks since I updated this last. Unbelievable. I mean, I have a vast archive of material to post here, and this is the site where it's supposed to be easy for me to just go "Bam! Here's a thing i wrote one day in Buffalo when I was alone drinking coffee" or "Here's some shit I wrote in Seattle, while drinking coffee alone" or "Yeah, here's something I wrote in Borders Cafe a couple months ago, while drinking some lonely coffee." Without further ado, let me submit to you something I wrote on a cold day in Buffalo in the year 2000, while getting coffee, alone. I think it contains some hopeless optimism sorely needed at a time when we are now faced with the prospect of war, so that people can die for oil. Needless to say, this was my naive hope in a world gone cynical. Okay, fine, with a little bit of ado, I present to you: "Jello Biafra For President"

Jello Biafra For President

Riding on the Metrorail reading Ray Bradbury’s "Something Wicked This Way Comes," when I notice the man who sits down next to me. More specifically, I notice his fingernails. His nails are longer than any Christ-boy I’ve ever seen before -- and they ick me out. He looks like a vagrant, but he has nice corduroy pants. He’s wearing a ski-cap pulled down over his face, covering most of his long hair and hiding his eyes from those prying train people.

My eyes flit away from my book as I check the stop, and i feel as if this could be the type of person who would not only picket an ob/gyn counselling center, but also go that extra mile and cause some death -- hunting an endagered species out of season. Visions like this one and the very existence of a bumper sticker that says “Buffalo For Jesus 2000” make me hopeful for a candidate like Jello Biafra to get elected.

Even if he was to win, he would never get Congress to pass any of his bills. Even Clinton, the most right-wing Democratic Prez yet, was reviled by those crypto-fascist Republicans in Congress, if only because he was just like them, only he called himself something different. Even so, Jello as President would definitely stir up some excitement. He could replace all the talking heads in the Cabinet with real people, I’d like to see that. That would make the state of Kansas shit their collective brick! Maybe the South would finally secede from the Union. Maybe California could become two states --> Crunchyfornia (North) and Fascistfornia (South)... That would liven things up.

Friday, February 14, 2003

It's been bugging me that I haven't updated my blogs in a few days, and by days I mean weeks, so I decided I would at least put something here to tide you all over, since the idea of this blog was to put things I've already written on display for all to see. So here is something from July of 2002. I think it only fair to mention that some of the dialogue contained in the second section was inspired by (and lifted pretty much verbatim from) a conversation I was having with my friend Bridget at a Bar-B-Que Party in the park earlier that day. And to almost no one's surprise, it all goes back to my life seemingly revolving around "High Fidelity." Note to those who haven't heard the news -- I quit working at Tower Records in November. I no longer work at a record store. Oh, and thanks to Matt Dallow for saying that had it come out first, my book (the one I'm working on now) would have been better at being "High Fidelity" than anything Nick Hornby could write.

...Much like the fictional Rob Gordon (who may as well be my alter-ego, be it slightly older and less mature, but pretty much the same character as myself) put it, for the longest time I thought it was about what you like, not necessarily what you’re like. Thusly, I found that I kept throwing in my lot with women I had no business being with in the long run for various reasons, but especially due to their personalities being so destructive to my own. Recently, it has come to my attention that I’ve had it backwards this whole time. Especially after the Naomi disaster. Dating an 18 year-old. What was I thinking? Maybe we could have been good friends, but focusing so much attention on her was just a bad idea. I really should have known better. Too cool for school, barely capable of dealing with emotion. Just because she liked all the same things. I made her out to be so great because of what she liked. Meanwhile, the one thing she didn't seem to like was being involved with me. Oh, how we overlook minor details, eh? Nevertheless, I’m a better, more equipped person after the whole ordeal. And yes, I had fun. I wouldn’t take back most of it, but I’m not going to repeat it anytime soon.


“I think men like to have a string of relationships, to give themselves something to refer to...almost like accomplishments...”

“I don’t think so...well, not everyone. I don’t like having to refer to moments in time by who I was with, but sometimes, the events or episodes you’re relating leave little choice but to mention the person who was with you at the time, and hiding it with euphemisms, or playing with pronouns, saying “my friend” or whatever just doesn’t help the flow of the narrative.”

“I just don’t want to be a part of someone’s back-catalogue, like a record or something. I think it’s degrading and insulting.”

“I completely agree with you, but I just hate the process of meeting people and dating and stuff. I just want to find someone I am comfortable with and hang out. I’m not sure I really need anything more than that right now.”


I like being alone sometimes, and I like not answering to anyone, not having to make decisions for two people all the time. I just finally got used to sleeping alone, I think...Unless the reason I never go to bed early enough is because I am still afraid to sleep alone. And I can’t just get used to that again if it just going to be an ephemeral experience like the last time. I need the feeling of semi-permanence - something I can settle into, rather than a flash-in-the-pan.

I am not good at letting go, and I get too quickly attached. Not a good combination, I know. I’m loyal, like a stupid puppy that you can slap around a lot and it will still lick your face. It takes a while before I wake up and smell the rotting corpse of long-dead romance. I don’t have casual relationships or one-night stands. I don’t know how. I can’t meet that many people to simply use them once and discard quickly.

I like to surround myself with people who are like me, in varying degrees. I’ve met people who are nice enough, but unless we share common musical or cinematic tastes, I feel distant. I also need physical contact to feel close. I am very big on hugs from everyone. That’s just my nature. I’m a hugger. And a damn good one, so I’ve been told. Just give me a smile and a hug and talk to me about music and I will probably take a bullet for you.

Why is it all so complicated? Why do we get so wrapped up in emotions anyway? They don’t make sense. Our brains and our bodies share the same house, but they disagree on everything. I can talk to someone, feel like I’ve known her all my life, develop affections for her, think that it is mutual, but then a completely different story gets read back to me.

Do I make it all up in my mind? Or do I take one moment and try to use that to define the present? Is it real for that moment, but only that moment? Is an event defined only by that moment in which it occurred? Does it not carry forward to other moments? Am I the only one who carries a torch for repeating emotions from moments passed? Do passed emotions stay only in the past, or do they still hold validity in the present? Do they just vanish when that moment is gone, or do they linger?

All things begin, thus they must end, as long as the middle is worth the time you spend miserable. I never knew her mind from day one, never understood what I was to her. The field of play seemed to constantly change, I never got a firm grasp of the rules...kind of like playing a new game with a little kid who constantly cheats, knowing full well what an easy target you are.

All the times she said I was lacking confidence was all because she kept changing the game. When I realized how I felt for her, I only wanted her to feel the same. But she didn’t or she wouldn’t and it just made me feel really dumb. I don’t think I will ever say those words again unless the other person says them first.

There are so many questions I can’t ask her that my mind wants me to. But I know she will never talk to me if and when I do. I don’t know why that bothers me so much. I know I would be better off if we both stayed out of touch. But I am drawn to her like a moth to a lamp, I’ll get stuck to her and then I’ll burn.

I know torturing myself won’t help heal my heart, I knew it wasn’t going to work from the start. The more I tried to fight, the more I started to fall. And now I’m Timmy O’Toole at the bottom of the well. Like the Bart who cried wolf, if I was being truthful how could you tell?

I can’t turn off my feelings with a flick of the switch. How does that work? Did it just seem like a good idea at the time, and now it doesn’t? If it wasn’t a mistake, why does it upset her? If the feelings were real, what kind of feelings were they really? For a moment, I felt close to her. For another moment, I thought I was important to her. The next moment, she acted like I was nothing. Nothing can erase that, not even the memory of the other moments. I still am kissing her and feeling her supposedly genuine affections in a nonlinear form of time, like Billy Pilgrim with Montana Wildhack in the zoo on Tralfamadore while being on top of the stairs in Ilium, New York; I simultaneously feel her scorn and derision - telling me that talking about emotions is self-indulgent and for the weak-minded. These moments all coexist now, I cannot enjoy or feel the hurt of one or the other at will. I feel it all at once, and it ties me in knots sometimes, and it scares me, and keeps me from wanting to share any more moments with anyone.

This mood I’m in is all my own doing. It’s not about her, it’s not about anyone; how can it be? Other people can sometimes affect our moods, but how seriously can they affect our well-being? To what degree is it normal? How much is too much? When does it teeter on the brink of obsession?

And if it is because of her, isn’t that indicative of a larger problem within? Besides, I always get like this. Obviously, it’s some sort of internal turmoil; the rest is either catalyst, coincidence, or something in-between. But it’s easy to blame it on external forces. I’m not going to this time. No, really.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Tonight's piece of archival J-Ro clippings is called "James Taylor Is The Jesus Of White Liberals." The title came from an ex-girlfriend, who was musing about how much James Taylor symbolizes many of the problems casued by the Baby Boomer generation, and their subsequent cannibalization of society, molding it in their own image. This is intended to one day be a spoken-word piece, recited in a Scottish Burr just thick enough to sound cool, but not too strong as to make the message unclear. I have yet to record the music for it, because I have yet to find a Scotsman to read it for me. Maybe you know one? Maybe you are one? Drop me a line... Now on with the show:

james taylor is the jesus of white liberals, do you know what i mean? he’s made it through things like divorce, popularity, drug addiction and getting his hair ripped out of his head while riding a motorcycle, so now he looks like a skeleton skarekrow with a guitar, singing the same 60’s and 70’s songs about fighting drug addiction, getting married, getting divorced, being bald because of losing your hair to a motorcycle, colonizing “third world” nations with white, “liberal” do-gooders who don’t understand that by “helping” these people, they are making them dependent on a foreign way of life, much as the missionaries from europe did to many “uncivilized” people all over the globe in the majority of the last millenium. the same kind of thing that damaged entire family structures in the 70’s & 80’s, by telling african women to use carnation powdered milk instead of breast milk, only they needed water to instantly “create” the milk, and the water was tainted and the babies all got sick and died. I await his official coronation and subsequent crucifixion.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

It's been too many days without something new. So, here's something that is most likely new to you, even though I wrote it in February and July of 2002. The second part is a work-in-progress... a snapshot of a conversation that never happened to me, but darn well could have. I don't know where it came from. Enjoy.

Does a series of events related in detail describe and give form to the individual? Or just paint a picture of a subject without character surrounded by character the likes of which he or she will never possess?


“I’m sorry, I just can’t deal with you anymore. This has to stop. We can’t keep living this...this...lie!”
“It’s about the lint in my navel, isn’t it? I can clean it, I swear! Just don’t go!”
“What the hell are you talking about? Is something living in your bellybutton? Honestly, i don’t care if that’s true or not...I just can’t live with YOU anymore. Do you understand me? Of course you don’t. If you understood me, we wouldn’t have to have this conversation, now would we?”
“I can change. What do you want me to do? I’ll do it. For you. Just give me a chance to prove it.”
“That’s just the point, though. You shouldn’t have to change to suit my tastes, to satisfy my whims. Be your own person for once. Stand up for yourself. You’re not afraid to be by yourself are you? Be a man, not some cowardly lion. If you could think about yourself a little more, you might be able to satisfy someone else as well.”
“I’m not afraid to be myself, I just don’t particularly care for it all that much. If I wanted to be alone, I would live in the desert and never bathe, and subsist solely on Funyons and Mountain Dew.”
“Are you talking about being alone, or dying before you hit 40? I just can’t communicate with you anymore. It’s like you’re speaking a different language.”

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.