Fisherman’s Special

Fuck, this salsa is mild.

Potato chips make shitty replacement for the tortilla, but I need something to snack on during time travel through people’s minds. Fewer things are grosser than feeling tiny grains of salt over the keys, so I’m keeping a damp towel nearby for my fingers. Scouting new logs turned up the usual results, tonight: “Hello Journal. I’m bored”, the classic “let’s post unoriginal material” and one very lonely dead end, “I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore”. It reminded me of my own evolution and childish antics pulled in space. Thank you, those who put up with the questionable personality. I’ve stripped away all decorative code before, disabled comments, refused to show my face, whined and cried that I was invalid, and pretty much performed every annoying move online.

You’d take up surfing too, if your memories were like the ones I acquired today.

The owner of a motor home passed by our property one summer, musing, “What’s this, the Fisherman’s Special?” loud enough for Dad to hear. Friends who lasted more than a handful of visits eventually had to ask, “Why is your dad always out there?” My dad stays in a trailer beside our house because my mother wouldn’t allow him to drink or smoke around her children. He moved in there shortly after my mother’s evil domestication had shaped her husband’s garage into another bedroom. He needed a new place to play his rock and roll.

Waking up and hearing Bob Dylan music blasting from outside is a common reassurance that it’s another normal day. A string of Christmas lights glow all year long across the windows, and the refrigerator is full of beer cans and a bottle of Tabasco sauce. I’ve learned not to go too deep – under the confetti of speaker wire, coupon clippings and trinkets are the kinds of things you regret digging up. You’ll be holding handwritten letters to no one, about shell shock or how he should have died with his friends, running across a folder of files from failed AA, or lifting the lid off a cooler of pornography and think, “God, I wish I hadn’t come out here.”

Dad has strong hermit behavior and a tendency to be paranoid. Every year, it gets a little stronger and he’s currently convinced that our cellar’s canned goods are being sold for drugs. (As if a dealer is going to hand my brother a joint in exchange for cream of chicken, or something.) Needless to say, he hates company. Problem is, Christopher has been allowing friends to come by in the early morning hours and wander around the property, making my dad’s blood boil. He’ll sit in the trailer and stew about how his family is trying to make his life miserable on purpose. It’s always a 50/50 shot, which side of him walks through the door, but Roy’s presence should have kept me on guard.

“If you hear him coming, you can always duck into my room, you know,” I say, as we’re dressing hamburgers. “Whether I’m here or not.”

Roy nodded, snatched his plate and scooted into the haven with lilac carpet immediately. We began discussing the severe sunburn on his shoulders, my dad’s obscenities causing us to laugh nervously. Steady visitors have gotten used to my dad’s outbursts, and we kept on the topic of fried skin until the noise didn’t sound at its healthy level of dysfunction. My mother started screaming for help and Lacy was barking.

One second later, from having had a year without schizophrenic episodes, I heard Chris snap. I can’t remember what it sounded like for the life of me, to describe. It was impossible to see him jump my dad, but I was on my feet and running. Whatever he did – pounded, stomped, yelled – I responded as though our progress was never there. Suddenly, I’m standing in the kitchen and see my family is in a pile, on the floor. My mother is making attempts to strike my dad, who is covering Chris to the point that I can’t even see him. Now, Chris is crying for help.

“Get off him, you bastard! I’ll call the police!” was all I had to go by when I started screaming orders for my dad to “let go of Chris and stand up!”, and struck my dad until he released my brother. As soon as I stepped back, Chris zipped out and Dad fumbled to his feet.

“MOM, GET OFF HIM NOW.”

There was a lot of screaming and attempts to collide, so I was shouting commands to “shut up!” and shoving people off one another. For the first time, 3 of us at once seemed to be in this strange state of confusion, and they each stood kind of hunched over, zombie-like and more dumbfounded with every gesture I made. Finally, no one was going to try to kill anyone tonight.

A dinner plate was thrown against the stove and slices of ceramic and lettuce littered the floor as additional, unnecessary aftermath.

“Oh, nice stunt. No stunts!” I warned behind me, as they relocated to separate ends of the house. Lacy was mopping the food off the floor and I became worried that she’d lick up a shard of plate that would slice her throat open.

“Come on, Lacy, outside you-“

Looking down, I froze at the sight of my companion of 98 dog years having her top and bottom teeth wrapped around my arm. Didn’t even hurt. Didn’t believe it, at first – my brain started accessing information-

maybe she really wanted to eat that food
maybe she’s going blind and doesn’t recognize me
maybe she’s sore and I’m grabbing her too hard
maybe she’s in shock

The same dog who got her head smashed in by a truck and let me touch her face with a wet towel was now telling me how the story ended.
The same dog that used to distract my mother long enough for her to take a good kick or slam instead of me, was working her teeth through my flesh.

“After all this time?” or something like it, staring into her betraying eyes.

The first thing I said when I reached the lilac was, “So what were we talking about?” and Roy had frozen in the chair, a tight grip on the sides and eyes as wide as dinner plates.

* in an attempt to aid those with ADD, several words were made bold for easier concentration.

From deep within my room on this day of rest…

Though I never took an interest in dolls, I coaxed many a friend of Little Brother to my room for dress-up. One boy in particular would play along musingly, strutting his stuff down an imaginary walkway while I laughed until it hurt… He’d sit on my floor, wide-eyed, asking me to sing while he played with a little cassette recorder.

From years-old tape recording:
One for the PCC.

Ryan Throne grew into a massive jock with a monster truck. One of my cheerleading girlfriends had thrown the line after seeing the JV lineup, “Shit, I’d sit on his throne.” When I saw him again, he admitted being rather elated I’d never photographed him in women’s clothing and makeup in the event that the exposure could have changed the fate of his class’ star quarterback.

“I didn’t know Chris had a sister and I had to have been over there a bunch of times. But then I heard you singing,” he recapped for me, a much deeper voice.

Daniel stopped by today. He stayed long enough to take over at the keyboard and harrass several instant message buddies while I sat on the floor’s mattress dressing him in hair clippies and random strokes of blush and body glitter.

Continue reading

Not Retired Yet.

I have memories of cheap, black masks lying around the house. My dad would buy these Lone Ranger looking things, some 40 cents a pop, from the local drugstore. To him, they were as styling as a pair of sunglasses… I’m not sure if there’s any way to explain it. It just suited my dad. It made sense, that we had them.

“Your dad was a superhero?”
I answer instantly and honestly, “Yes.”

My mother was cleaning out cluttered places today, and tossed an old mask into the garbage pile. Dad stood outside the accumulation of Goodwill and trash, sorting anything he might want to hang onto. When I came walking by from my 3 mile jog, I noticed that Dad had discarded the old thing, as well…

I snatched it up out of the garbage bag and took a pair of scissors to it. First I sliced off the bottom part that covered the nose, and then I made the eyes larger. Dad walked in while I had it on and was playing a video game.

“Hey! Nice mask. I had one a lot like it…”
“Dad. This is the one.”
“…but today I threw – what?”
“I just cut it up a little.”

He stood there and beamed a huge smile, “I thought I’d put that on for the last time, today…” I imagined my father standing outside while sorting the junk, having put his mask on to say goodbye.

No, Dad. I didn’t want to see a part of you go.

An in-depth tale of constipation, or, just getting your attention.

Last Summer, I was trying to wash the morbid poetry off my recently-diagnosed schizophrenic brother’s walls, threatening to total one of my father’s cars with myself inside it, bawling like a child in front of strangers at my grandpa’s funeral, fasting uncomfortably, involved with severely warped individuals and pacing back and forth at a hospital after my little brother had been driven into a tree.

It’s a good thing, not having misadventures up on my thought log, this time around.

What is rotating around my head like stock marquees aren’t what I’d call necessarily interesting to other people. For one thing, I’m a little bitter that pouring my heart and soul into a written entry will generate 0 comments, but slapping up some photos will keep them rolling in days after. Suddenly, I’m getting a dozen notices that so-and-so wants to private message me.

“Okay, we should be friends, now” is about the most pretentious, one-sided idea anyone can propose. And just as equally bloated a question, whatever happened to someone else, catching my attention? Where are your goddamn dreams? I write brainteasers and spill my psyche until it’s dangerous – what the hell is pumping blood through your body? You wanna give someone a fuckin’ clue?

Then just get the fuck out. **throws you your handle from her friends list** Here, take your shit and leave.

“What are you thinking” is one of those antics corralled with female behavior that I must own up to. I saw a senior citizen stand with his arms at his hips, as he looked out from our little rest stop over the Shiawassee River. All by himself like that, having lived so much longer than I have, it was enough of a glimpse to make me want to ask the dreaded, “What are you thinking?” as our car passed him by. His brain looked so much more interesting than everything else around me at that moment in time, like I could smell his skull glowing inside.

You hear some of the best stories from people who are running out of them.
You take in some of the best breaths when you realize you might not have many more.

If I were a ghost, I’d see some interesting things. Places you scan but don’t normally access for one reason or another, like car accidents. My translucent body would be sitting passenger side of an upside down car, taking in the damage and hoping for a conscious driver. I’d ride fire engines and trail police cars. Other ghosts would haunt Florida beach houses and call me nuts.

It’s an exciting time to be alive, with our currently divided nation. Newspapers are printing different renditions of wedding cake grooms holding hands with other grooms, the political race involves choosing one of two undesired candidates (hint hint – if someone would care to send folding money my way, I may* be easily persuaded), humans are on the verge of pumping out souls with science, and – oh my gosh – Britney Spears is like, engaged!

“W00t! W00t!” as the fucktards would say.

“That was an inappropriate remark. My son is a fucker and it does not imply that he is a tard.

Yeah – when the imaginary townspeople in my head start talking, it’s time to close up shop.

Definitely not for the map, but I put it there anyway.

“Look, it’s our babysitter,” I say to Ericka, and hold up my drawing paper. Colored pencils have scribbled a stick figure with black hair and brown eyes, looking a pissed totalitarian. We’re all sitting at their kitchen table doing artwork and the son has just been assigned to return to his room forever.

Nick grabs the red and scribbles squiggles of hair, “Look, girls, it’s Autumn.” I’m saying in a word bubble that only I am old enough to read, “I’m a bitch”.

Today I was taken through a barn with chickens and rabbits, brought a slobbery ball, and shown several varieties of bear plush, all named “My Teddy”. With no plans for the day, I took my friend to his babysitting spot and not without my Care Bears II movie (rattling VHS style) with a few storybooks that all came in handy.

Mandi’s baby sister would often greet me when I came to her house. She’d be playing on the lawn and catch a glimpse of me pulling into the driveway, and then Ericka would take off running. I have memories of her charging across stretches of dandelion with her arms out, calling my name. Though my friend was waiting inside, I always dropped down into the grass.

It felt like cheating when one of their names finally registered with me, at dinner… I remembered previous Ericka holding up four fingers to proudly release how many years she had been alive thus far. Here I am again, back here, only now you’re a brunette. Kinda made me sad, because I miss that family if my guard gets too low on quiet nights.

The little things burn right into me as focal points, for some reason. Removing the shoes before you go inside. The printed note taped to the entertainment center, “put the DVDs back when you’re done, they’re getting scratched. Love MOM”. A pilates kit on the floor with rolls of nickels and dimes. Refusing ketchup with their fries.

I drove home in an incredible lightening storm that kept my path lit. It seriously challenged early July’s fireworks display and released endorphins. On top of it, everything has just seemed to be going right.

I’m crawling into bed with crayola battle marks on my legs, streaking reds and pinks. They run vertical in a bittersweet cycle, like veins still carrying Ericka to my heart after all these years.

One Dick Too Many, or, One Happy Lookin’ Tard

Scrounging around, I was combing the kitchen of my requested-controlled enviormnent. Every shelf gets routine checks from my hand, reaching out to it and feeling around in spider formation. Every few days, I curse myself for having asked my parents not to bring sugar into the house.

Fingers hit the back of a low cupboard, feeling no cookies stashed there. Having thrown open dad’s cabinet, I immediately zeroed in on a bag of jelly beans! I snatched them and ran off to my room.

5 minutes later, the high is still strong. I usually have anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of guilt-free euphoria, still too stupid to regret having swallowed 100 beans of sugar in about 5 mouthfulls.

“That was INTENSE. I was hungry,” says addictive
behavior.
“I will starve you to death someday,” I say, the written account apparently hacking away at the glory of fruit flavors.
“Woah, someone’s a bitch. I’m not here, remember? Don’t beat yourself up.”

I glare back at the part of me trying to puff up into an
imagination of ghost. Persuading like the bargaining devil, one arm goes around my shoulder and the other pats the wallet in my pocket. That kind of thing.

“You know…technically, we still want ice cream.”

My face scrunches up. It’s still scrunchy. Goddammit. It had a point.

Speaking of heights, I saw an interesting book the other
day, all about drug experiences. I should have pulled it off
the shelf to see if anything was similiar to the opaque kalediscopes I’m always looking through. Instead, I think I pulled out another book and quickly shoved it back with akward clumbsiness, realizing it was homoerotica.

Something about 2 penises, on pages slanting
down as
poetry
often
does!
GAH!

Confused, I stepped back and learned that the social science department welds right into lots of gay books.

—–

Tired of alienating readers, I slapped some codes back into my override box and even designed at 1000x rez instead of 800. It’s a little creepy, though…because I’m looking at the same place I am at right now. Theme inspired by Bowie album “Station To Station”.

For the fourth, I saw an amazing fireworks display that blew my mind. Fire fucking reigned down on top of me and I was on the verge of asking if it was all an impossible dream. I love explosions.

There was a live band jamming and someone’s mentally disabled daughter was dancing her heart out. She had these freedom beads around her neck – clothed like you knew fashion was ridiculous in her world. A young man and his friend were watching, dressed in jerseys and long, silver necklaces. They were laughing like we were, but took it a step further and got on the floor in possibly the most embarrassingly hilarious scenario I have ever seen.

I couldn’t stop thinking about how the girl and some of those heavily intoxicated people could just… do that. But the longer you stood there and watched them – and especially at the guys pretending to look cool – you wanted to dance.

“No. Fucking. Way.” was the verdict from Dan.

When one of the boys reached out and waved me to join him, I couldn’t. Our cities had all gathered there and was watching around the pavillion. I smiled with teeth but shook my head. A few seconds of insisting, with his friend beckoning, and I suddenly felt bad for declining.

“She raised the roof, did you see that?!” Dan asked, staring at our tiny dancer like she was a traffic accident. The band’s setlist was horrible, but that girl kept on getting down like no one’s business.

It was weird. Cause despite the fact that she was making me laugh, inside I knew she had something up on me – the joy of doing stupid-ass things. And I admired it with all of my heart.

Fractured Thoughts

* * *

You’re a ticket distracted and left unsigned
Now write up whatever comes to mind.
—–
The most extreme jokes aren’t funny no more
Got bashed by good things till they left the skin sore
I’ve caused steady sailors to change course and bail
The phantom of the opera cringed and turned tail

All the sunshine is bringing some ill games to mind
And I’m not even counting those I’ve left behind
You’d say that I fight it with all of my might
You’d say that I revel, I’d say you were right

As the vanishing mind is made more aware
It will begin to see things that are really there
To the insane a cure, to the drowning a breath
Unfortunately to the dreamer, your death

* * *

I am a little red virus, sitting in quarantene
Someone is talking of needing to purge
They should just try to eat lean.