right or wrong or good or bad

The subject matter of pictures that hang in museums is always random.

It’s not the predictability of life that makes it beautiful.

It’s more about the things that don’t make sense.

Thing’s that you can’t articulate.

It’s the moments when your brain tries to find an explanation for something that is incomprehensible.

That’s art.

The lines of motion and the dissonance between reality and representation.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth’s black pumps left depressions in the Persian rug when she walked.  She wore a black cocktail dress.  Elizabeth’s hair fell messy down her bare back.  Her young skin spread taut over her shoulder blades.  The soft light accentuated her young skin.  Her male suitor sat with anticipation in a black tuxedo.   Elizabeth thought that he looked handsome tonight.   Elizabeth moved her hips back and forth and raised her arms with a make believe difficulty, like she was under water reaching for the surface.  Her suitor was a recurring client but he still enjoyed the anticipation of the moment.  He wanted to be teased by a woman whom he already owned.  Elizabeth didn’t have a problem dancing; her hourly rate had already been established.

She grabbed onto his knees and pushed his legs apart before she slid her hands up his thighs.  Elizabeth looked into his wrinkled face.  He didn’t catch her gaze as he was pre-occupied with her supple young figure.  Elizabeth noticed every crevice that had engulfed his aging face; the crows feet, the hard horizontal lines across his forehead, the wrinkles that formed around his wry smirk.  Elizabeth turned around to sit on his lap.

“Are you ready?” Elizabeth said

He nodded without a word.  Elizabeth stood up and walked him into the bedroom slightly gripping his fragile hand.  She crawled on the bed as he stood over her.

“Give me a few moments to prepare baby.” He said

He took a seat next to her on the bed.  The sheets of the bed were Egyptian cotton.  Elizabeth didn’t know why it mattered that the sheets were Egyptian cotton or that the painting hanging over them was a Caravaggio.  She didn’t care that the Eames arm chair that faced out onto the skyline of the city was one of a kind.   Elizabeth didn’t gain a particular felicity in the opulent interior or the haute aesthetic of the penthouse.   Her client opened the drawer of the bedside table and grabbed a capsule containing a little blue pill.  One side of the small container was foil; the other side was clear plastic in a diamond shape.  Through the plastic you could see the little pressed pill with a capital V imprinted on the front of it.  Elizabeth’s client groped the small pill wrapper.  He pushed hard at the plastic part, trying to get the blue pill to breach the shiny foil.  Elizabeth sat on the bed watching him, her heels still on, puncturing the high thread count sheets.  She reached into her purse and pulled out a pack of cigarettes.  Three remained; she lit one and inhaled deep before releasing a satiable cloud of smoke.  Her client’s liver spotted hands were still trying to open the plastic container.  He changed his technique and now he was trying to peel the wrapping by sticking his long yellow fingernails into the space between the foil and the plastic.

“Do you want me to help you?” Elizabeth asked.

“No I can do this myself” He replied

Yet again his hands turned over the plastic container pleading with it to come loose.  The skin of his hands was loose like a turkey’s gobble yet you could see the bones of his hands protruding sharply as they worked over the small container.  Now he pushed with both thumbs on the plastic to get the pill to puncture the foil but to no avail.  Sweat began to collect on his brow.  The anticipation of romance began to be replaced by embarrassment.  Elizabeth put out her cigarette and reached into her clutch yet again, this time producing a small glass vial with a black lid.  It contained a white powder.  Elizabeth took the key to her apartment and used it to scoop a small amount which she lifted to her nose and sniffed with fervor. She repeated the motion to her other nostril.

“It’s ok baby just let me open it for you.” Said Elizabeth

No reply from the old man as he fumbled the plastic container and it fell to the floor.  Elizabeth watched him slowly bend over and reach his lanky arm down to pick up the pill.  The plastic of the wrapper was now mutilated with white spots but there was still no access to the medicine inside.  Elizabeth’s client breathed heavily, his thin white hair went about in all directions like he had stuck his head out the window of a speeding car.  She touched his back and his spine felt bony and abnormally curved like the wood of a bow.  He didn’t notice her touch; he just went on trying to separate the foil from the plastic.  Elizabeth reached for another cigarette, now she only had one left.


 

The problem with my stories is that they are short parts of longer stories I haven’t written yet.  I’ve never written from the point of view of a woman before.  Which is troublesome when trying to portray emotional depth in a character.  I think the deeper issue is I don’t understand women.

untitled

I followed a man leaving the movie theater the other day.

He was blind, at least that is what I gathered from the previous few times I had seen him.  For many nights during work he passed by and I caught every glimpse I possibly could.  He wore dark thick glasses and always swung a long white stick in front of him when he walked.  When the store was slow I would stare out and watch the people walking by on the sidewalk.  Occasionally the blind man would be one of them.  The first time I saw him; I was following him unconsciously.  As I was walking to work on the red bricks of the plaza I lifted my head and saw him in front of me.  The swaying of the white stick caught my gaze. It briskly grazed the ground ahead of him searching for an obstacle.  He always wore the same outfit; a green blazer made of tweed, black dress slacks and black non-slip shoes that made a ‘click clack’ noise as he passed.  He wore a black fedora pulled down to his thick black glasses that shaded out any discernible features.

 

A blind man with repose isn’t something that comes across you so often.  The acute accentuation of the other senses due to blindness could either drive one mad or make one more in tune with other frequencies.  What it could be like to see things with your ears.  To feel the vibrations of the fountain as it sprays in the air and falls back into the pool from which it came.  The miasma of a crowded room like thick fog you could feel brushing past you.  The remaining senses becoming so visceral.  For some, imposing like the doorman at the gates of heaven.

 

I decided to catch a movie after work.  I enjoyed watching movies by myself.  Conveniently the theater is located right next to my workplace.  I sat in the frigid theater and noticed a white stick coming out of the entrance ramp.  The blind man followed in the green tweed jacket.  He swung his white stuck down the handicap aisle and took a seat almost directly in front of mine.  He folded up the white stick and inserted it into his left jacket pocket.  

 

I couldn’t concentrate on the film.  I could only stare at the screen and the shadow of a fedora and wide shoulders against it.  He was so still, he couldn’t have been breathing.  I don’t remember the film.  I remember moving pictures supplemented with sounds.  I closed my eyes for a few moments and listened.   I thought about how we heard the same things but must have been listening to them differently.  The cold air of the theater sent chills down my spine and created goosebumps on the nape of my neck.

 

I sat through the credits, waiting for him to rise up from his seat.  When he did, I let him unfold his white walking stick and begin to swing it.  When he turned the corner of the partition out of my line of sight, I rose with haste and hurried to catch up to him.  I caught sight of him again just as he was leaving the darkness of the theater.  

 

I followed him.  The thick carpet that lined the theater muffled the sound of his black shoes.  We walked together silently, until we reached the elevator to take us down to the first floor.  He must have been a regular at this cinema, how did he know where the elevator was?  He swung his stick against the aluminum threshold of the elevator which made a small twang consistent with plastic meeting metal.  He reached with his right hand down towards the panel to hit the small silver button.  He had to search with his hands for a few moments to find the right spot.  I stood behind watching him, the button surrounded by a red ring of light.  We waited for the elevator together.  The aluminum doors separated and he entered first holding his white stick in both hands.  By now he must have known I was with him.  The elevator doors closed and we stood there together, hung in the moment.  I heard my heart beating in the steel cage.  He certainly heard the same thing.  Still, I watched him.  I felt sorry for him but in a way I knew he was content; like the burden of being blind was his alone to carry, like it was something he had to do.  His hands gripped the white stick as if it were to disappear randomly.  The skin of his hands was taut around his bones.  His knuckles reflected the fluorescent lighting of the elevator and they looked like they had white spots.  He smelled like my chess teacher in 6th grade.  Like oak and cherry.  It was an older man’s smell.  I knew my chess teacher must be dead by now.  
When the doors clanked open, he stepped forward one black shoe at a time.  Perpetually swinging the white stick he walked towards the double doors of the exit, towards the darkness.  I walked a few steps behind him as he thrust himself out into the darkness and turned left down the boulevard.  I crept out after him and watched him walk away swinging the white stick.  I pictured him with a thick, rich voice like a river of melted gold.  He had the air of a man who was born with vision but adopted darkness like an unwanted son.


 

I wrote the first draft of this story before I read The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe.  I thought it was interesting how the plot lines were so similar.  Stalking or following someone without their knowledge, especially someone who is disabled, is one of the more sinister things you can do.  The way Poe writes, with such lucidity yet focus, is something that I tried to emulate in the final draft of this peace.  Obviously his talent far surpasses mine.  I found myself referencing him unconsciously when writing the rest of the story.

Don’t ask me why I always write about love.

Please, if you know me, don’t read this

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A romantic is someone who has an idealized perspective of love.  Someone that thinks love to be this tangible thing that appears when two people connect with each other.  Two people who compliment each other perfectly.  Everyone, or most of us, seem to be looking for that one person.  That person who makes up for what we lack.  The person who carries all the ideals and values that we want a mate to have.  Some of us are vain and look for an attractive mate.  Some of us look for intelligence.  Some of us are looking for anyone to fill that void in your chest.  Say that you find someone.  Someone that has the qualities that you’re looking for.  They’re almost perfect.  You two fall in love and the flowers bloom as you walk past them.  The sun shines on your face whenever you walk outside.  You’re floating on a cloud.  Then out of nowhere someone better comes along.  Someone who has all the qualities you like and then some.  Then you discover someone who has qualities that you didn’t even know you liked until they came along.  Imagine this happening to you over and over again.  You would be treating love like a pack of gum.  You would be handing out a piece to anyone that came along and smiled at you the right way.  What happens when you run out of gum?  You buy a new pack and chew on your sorrows.

If you believe in evolution or even if you kind of think it’s possible.  You must agree that humans have evolved to the point where we no longer need to look for a mate based on the primal need to propagate the species.  We can be pragmatic, almost selfish in choosing a partner now a days.  Complimentary to that fact is that we now have access to hundreds of thousands of people.  Compared to the old days when you only had 4-5 options.  Let’s see there’s the girl that you work with.  The cute girl that works at the grocery store.  Your cute neighbor who always seems to be looking at you and that’s it(I only said girl but it was the same for men and women alike).  Back then it was easier to find love and make it stay because there was slim pickings as far as partners.  I’m not going to go into why it is a different ball game today, because you know why.

So what am I getting at?

Besides this cliche conversation that I always have with girls on the first date.  What is there to be learned about the modern romance?   One easy takeaway is, as we evolve as humans so has our relationship with love evolved.  Don’t think of love and romance as something that has to occur between two people.  Love is something that should flow from the deepest part of you out into the world.  Even in solitude one should be able to feel love and passion in themselves.  Love shouldn’t be something that is given arbitrarily to someone else.  Love is an antiquated term that used to be something that two people attained when they were together.  I’m talking about new love.  New love is found in the mystery of a person you just met.  New love is in their flaws.  New love burns at the end of the cigarette they gave you.  New love is that feeling in your stomach when they don’t text back.  New love is the sound of the wind that blows over you as you walk alone in the night.  New love is in the ink that flows onto this paper.  New love is that poem in the book they let you borrow.  New love is in the oyster that you eat that reminds you of a different time.  New love is in the oil that fills the tiny crevices in your hand as you massage her back.  New love is at the bottom of the whiskey bottle.  New love is the moon staring back at you.  Love should no longer be perceived as this grandiose idea.  New love is in the little things that you don’t even think about.  Things that you can’t lose because they will always be yours.  They are in anything that you do with passion.  The little things that make life beautiful, either in solitude or with someone.  Ask yourself, are you in love?

Men With Similar Interests

Men With Similar Interests

 

Northern Spain 1950’s

 

Francisco Alvarez sat on his boat on a warm August morning.  His schooner was docked as he awaited a group of Americans that had chartered his boat for a day of sport fishing.  He prepared bait and lines as his dog Bruno watched him pensively.  Bruno was an African Ridgeback he had purchased many years ago from a young French Yachtsman.  He never kept a deck hand or co-captain.  It lowered his expenses.  He made a living as a fisherman in the Bay of Biscay.  As the sun rose above the Cantabrian sea the city of San Sebastian became a hive of activity.  The bulls were running just twenty miles south in Pamplona.  This time of year brought in an influx of English and American tourists seeking to empty their pockets for a thrill.  It was a very lucrative time of year for Francisco and the small port town of San Sebastian.  The life of a fisherman is a simple one.

“We need you to take us out, we will pay you,” said a tall skinny man who was now standing over him.  

He hadn’t noticed the three men walk up along the dock to his boat.  The tall skinny one who spoke to him wore a very nice suit.  He had long blonde hair which he had slicked back.  His long nose and strong jawline made him look villainous.  From the way the men were positioned he seemed more managerial than the other two.  The other two men also wore suits but of lesser quality.  One of them was short and stubby like a thumb.  The other one looked like an average man except for he sported a thick black beard and was missing three fingers on his left hand.  

“Con permiso senor,” said the skinny man, “but we are eager to depart.”

Francisco noticed submachine guns slung around the shoulders of the other two men.  They were all carrying black briefcases.  They looked like Mafia henchmen in the midst of a turf war.

“I apologize but my boat’s been chartered for the day, the party has already put down a deposit,” said Captain Alvarez

“I’m afraid this isn’t negotiable,” said the tall skinny man

“How so?” said Francisco “I may charter who I please.”

The tall man lifted his jacket revealing a silver pistol.  He reached for it and pumped one round into the head of the dog.  Bruno lay on the floor of the boat in a pool of his own blood, still wearing his pensive face.  Francisco acquiesced to the situation rather than reacting.  He put his face in the palm of his hands as the three men boarded his boat.

“Take us north to Biarritz and don’t get too close to the coast,” said the tall skinny man.

Francisco Alvarez pulled his 28’ boat out of the slip in the dock and headed north along the Spanish and French coast.  They must be French he thought.  What kind of shady dealings were they doing in San Sebastian?  What’s in the briefcases? Money? Drugs?  The speculation and the sight of his dead dog made him queazy.  He could hear the sound of blood and water sloshing around on the floor of the boat.  The three assumed French men stood towards the bow of the boat discussing their plot.  He stood at the helm offsetting the current of the ocean with a subtle tilt of the helm.  Francisco listened to them converse with each other.  He could barely hear them over the sound of the ocean, they spoke French to each other.

“Why haven’t we killed him yet? The stubby one asked the tall one.

“Do you know how to pilot a sailboat?” Replied the tall skinny man.

They all looked at each other.

“How much did we get?” Asked the bearded man.

“Let’s not worry about that until we get to Biarritz.  I saw a row boat hanging off of the side.  Once we get anchored close enough to the coast, we will waste him and row to shore,” said the tall skinny man.

They continued talking but Francisco discontinued his eavesdropping.  He felt his heart and stomach drop to the floor.  He knew immediately what he had to do.  He thought about his family.  His dog still lay dead on the floor of the boat.

“I have some food below deck if you gentlemen are hungry,”  said the captain.

“We’re not hungry,” Replied the tall skinny man “but what about to drink?”

“Only Grappa,” said the captain “there are two bottles below deck in the cabin, you may help yourselves.”

The stubby one went down and came back from the cabin with the two bottles in his hand.  He uncorked one and took a long drink.

“Give it here you hog!” Shouted the tall man.

He snatched it and took a large gulp then handed the bottle to the captain.  Francisco poured the warm Grappa into his mouth like a man preparing to complete an unwanted task.  He was going to do something he didn’t want to do, but he had to.

“Do you make a good living as a fisherman?” Asked the tall skinny man.

“I make an honest living and I enjoy the tranquility of the ocean,” replied the captain. “I would never work just for the money.”

“Then why work at all?  What other motivation is there besides money?” Asked the tall skinny man.

“I do what I have to do to provide for myself and my family,” replied Francisco.

“We are men with similar interests then,” said the tall skinny man.

“I don’t agree,” replied the captain “I don’t fraternize with criminal enterprises and I don’t steal from the working man.

“It’s like you said captain, I do what I have to do,” replied the tall skinny man.

The sea rolled as the distance between the men and their destination shortened.

“Hey you!” yelled the captain looking at the stubby man. “Come man the helm for a second while I check on the engines.”

The stubby one walked to the wheel with the machine gun still slung over his shoulder.

“What do I do?” He asked the captain,

“Just keep her on a straight line, don’t let the wheel deviate, I’ll just be a minute,” Replied Francisco.

He glanced toward the bow of the boat where the other two men were standing facing the ocean.  They were passing the bottle of Grappa back and forth to each other.  Francisco turned around and descended into the engine room which was located at the stern of the vessel.  He felt a slab of concrete slide from his throat down into his stomach.  He reached down and opened his toolbox that contained his pistol.  The toolbox had carried the pistol for many years on the open seas and never came close to being used.  Francisco always wondered why he kept the pistol on the boat.  He realized that this was the moment it was meant for.  He was filled with nerve and he prayed the gun wouldn’t jam.  Francisco Alvarez ascended from the engine room and he got that cold feeling you get right before you kill a man.  The stubby one was still at the helm as Francisco approached him from the rear.  He raised the pistol to the back of stubby man’s head and pulled the trigger.  The muzzle was so close to his skull that it bounced off of the pistol as he fired.  He aimed down his sight at the bearded man and let off two shots in quick succession.  As he swung the pistol towards the tall man and pulled the trigger, he heard a shot from the pistol that killed his dog.  Pop! Pop! Pop!  Francisco emptied his clip at the tall man and simultaneously felt a sharp pain in his shoulder like someone was plunging a fire iron into it.   The impact of the bullet made him fall down behind the steering wheel of the boat.  He pulled himself up and leaned against the helm and waited a few moments to investigate the fate of the tall skinny man.  When he finally peaked over the steering wheel he saw two men lying next to each other in a pool of blood.  He walked over to the bodies and discovered the tall skinny man, still alive, and writhing on the floor of the yacht.  The tall skinny man was hit in the neck and had his hands clenched around his throat in an attempt to stop the bleeding.  Blood gushed from his neck and as he gasped for air you could hear it filling up his lungs.  Francisco felt the cold murderous feeling subside as he watched blood spray from the tall man’s mouth and his eyes roll to the back of his head.

Francisco felt no pain, only the cold wet blood running down his chest.  He put pressure on his wound but to no avail.  He didn’t feel an exit wound, the bullet was lodged in his shoulder blade.  He went down to the cabin of the boat and grabbed a small emergency hand flare that he never had the use for either.  Francisco unbuttoned his shirt and put it in his mouth and bit down hard.  He activated the flare which glowed hot and red even in the daytime sun and pressed it hard against the bullet wound in his shoulder.  All Francisco could smell was burned skin and blood and death and the ocean.  The adrenaline went away as he turned his boat back towards San Sebastian.  

The floor of the boat looked like the Nile river after the first plague of the Egyptians.  Francisco stared out at the ocean but wondered about the contents of the briefcases.  One of the briefcases sat down next to the body of the stubby man.  Francisco picked up the briefcase and opened it up revealing stacks upon stacks of crisp US dollars.  They were federal reserve $100 notes.  He immediately shut the briefcase and brought it down to the cabin with the other two.  Francisco then dragged the corpse of the stubby man over to the other two frenchmen.  His shoulder stiff with pain and his arm hung with limited movement.  He detached the rope with the anchor from the bow of the boat.  He ran the rope through the belt of the stubby man then through the belt of the bearded man then through the belt of the tall skinny man where he tied it off.  He threw the anchor overboard which assisted him in lugging the corpses of the Frenchmen into the ocean.  When he got the last body over he tossed the machine guns into the cold bloody water.  He kept the pistol which killed his dog.  Francisco wrapped the body of Bruno with a blanket and put him below deck next to the black briefcases that were filled with cash.  He would have traded all the money on the boat for the life of his dog.  Francisco thought about how money changes people.

As Francisco and his boat re-entered the port town of San Sebastian there was a boat similar to his passing close by.  From the deck of the passing yacht a dog barked at Francisco.  Francisco locked eyes with the captain of that vessel and they nodded at each other as they passed.  The acknowledgment of men with similar interests.  

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I drew inspiration for this story from an Ernest Hemingway book To Have and Have Not.  When I pictured the dialogue I wanted the characters to be speaking French and Spanish but for the sake of my demographic they are speaking English.   This is the first story I’ve written in which I’ve done actual research.  I don’t know anything about yachts or fisherman in Spain in the 1950’s.  When I was researching about the currency Spain used in the 50’s I found out they used pesetas which were coins of copper, nickel and silver.  I felt the aesthetic of Francisco looking into the briefcases and seeing stacks of cash was better.  I tried to tie in The Running of The Bulls in Pamplona and how the foreign currency most likely came from the Frenchmen robbing a bank there.  I tried to use a lot of implied morals and I left it up to the reader to decide what Francisco does with the money.

quicksand

This was supposed to be a poem that turned into more of a short story.

quicksand

I try to forget about her and the love that we shared.  But every time I see her I fall in love with her again.  I fall deeper each time like trying to escape from quicksand.  She is beautiful and from my perspective she is perfect.

There was one cold night when she lay in my bed.  It was dark except for a small sliver of light that shown through the blinds exposing her face and neck.  Her diaphanous features made my heart jump like a scared cat.  The pale light rested on her soft lips and as I rubbed her neck I stole a kiss and inhaled her breath.  I wanted to steal away with the bounty of her, but her defensiveness thwarted my attempts at rekindling a forgotten love.  The love that I squandered with immaturity.  The glass that I fill up with sorrow now has a glass next to it filled with regret.  Both goblets are brimming and glimmering as our bodies come close and our hearts seem to touch but only in the memory of a forgotten tryst.  It was like she left and I stayed foolishly.  When I finally made the decision to follow her the time had created a wedge in our energies.  I feel disconnected, indifferent.  Lost would be a slight overstatement considering I am still able to find love.  I want her to be mine but I don’t want to possess her like an object.  I just want to always have the idea of her as the pure and innocent young girl that I knew.  I only wish to supplement her beauty with tenderness and so that when she smiles it isn’t just her beauty but the emotion of love emanating from her lips.  Our connection seems to rise and fall like that hands of a clock and I can only hope that our love unfurls as the second hand strikes midnight.

hi

I wrote this a while ago.  It used to be a lot longer.  At first I had written this whole thing about how i am scared of commitment.  About how I am constantly running away from women, and responsibilities.  I figured out I am afraid of stagnation.  But when I was typing it out it just sounded like I was bitching and you don’t need to hear all of that.  So I trimmed all the fat and left a little bit.  More existentialism for you.  I promise I will write a story or some shit soon.

I felt the moon pulling me in, just like the moon pulls the tide.  It awakened my soul just like it awakens inclement weather.  The moons energy pulled me in simultaneously as I drove south towards it, towards Los Angeles.  The light of it reflected off the crinkled up ocean and gleamed up at me in ribbons.  It all created an a imaginary phone call to me, asking me to write something for heavens sake.  So I used the opportunity to exercise my creativity or recollection if you will.  Considering I had all of these words in my head already, I just had to find them.

Why do humans run when there is no danger?  Science must be set aside when talking about love and fear and life.  Philosophical questions deserve philosophical answers.  In Philosophy there are no wrong answers and I seem to always have no answers.  Only questions.  Something that helps and hurts my perception simultaneously is our perpetual insignificance.  We are but a grain of sand on universe beach.  Smaller than that actually.  Yet when I look inside myself I find things that I never knew were there.  My mind seems to have an endless supply of creativity and imagination.  The problem is translating that to words or paper.  The universe and your soul are congruent facilities.  There are answers inside everybody.  I haven’t found any answers yet.

Resolutions

12-29-14

The year is coming to a close.  At the start of this very journal I set a goal for myself.  The goal was to read and write more.  I can say that I am satisfied with what I have accomplished this year.  22 pages total this year on this particular journal.  I have been keeping another journal which is hand written.  This journal has a comparable number of pages.  I have read about ten or more books this year.  I have matured greatly as a writer in terms of my prose and my fear of showing people my writing.  My self consciousness has been somewhat alleviated since the start of this year.  I can’t say with all certainty that I am ready for the world to see what I write.  But i self indulge myself with hints to my social network of my blog affair.  As if it was some mistress that I cling to during the lonely nights of inspiration.  Only a few get the privilege to view it.  A privilege I’m sure it must be, because if a colleague asked me to read a similar scribe that they themself wrote.  I would find it a privilege to read and comment on such writing.

I enjoy this feeling.  I set goals for myself at the beginning of the year.  Now here we arrive at the end of 2014 and I have dove into a pool of retrospection.  I wrote,  I wrote with passion and with my heart poured into pages so that one might feel it in theirs.  I started my blog and I reached my goals in writing and reading.  It wasn’t a sprint like I hoped, it wasn’t a marathon like I was afraid it might be.  It was more like a steady increase in pace culminating into today.  What I mean is that I didn’t write and read madly all year.  I also didn’t take glorious gaps in my work.  Towards the beginning it was slow.  I would read a few pages, write a few wayward paragraphs.  Over the course of the year it started to materialize into something noticeable.  I read more books this year than I have in any year prior.  My writing has become more precise and clear.  At least from my perspective.  It is a joy to me that I still have much to improve upon.  More goals for me to reach, more for me to learn, it puts a smile on my face knowing that I have solely motivated myself into becoming better.

I have a wide range of interests and curiosities.  What is left when you take the monetary value off of anything especially when everything in our world has a price.  The answer is art.  Even though art is creative and brand new it can be refined through learning.  I want to know everything.  But I know that I cannot know everything.  I want to learn.  I want to learn as much as possible.  I want to learn how to play the piano.  I want my house parties to hosted by white and black keys.  Lull loquacious ladies like Liberace would.  I want to learn french.  Je veux connaître la langue de l’amour.  These hobbies must be treated as my writing this year.  With increasing pace I should come to find a checkpoint of progress.  I need not fear disappointment as the disappointment would lie with zero progression.  If I only learn one more word of french this year it will be a step forward.  If I am able to play one note I will be satisfied.

There is a variety of other mundane tasks I have appointed myself in this coming New Year.  The usual suspects, stop smoking, diet, gym, cut back on drugs and alcohol.  Charming little goals for me and everybody else.  I mustn’t scoff at them in that they do provide benefits.  Among the other clear ones like health and wealth, it will add clarity to my art.  My work is steady and constant, my family is loved and beloved, my social life always insists upon itself.  I will find my happiest time, my joy in life in my art and others who would be interested in partaking.  In this here rat race of life you must distinguish yourself from other rats.  Find meaning in the pictures hung on the halls on the way to the cheese.

rain

He was compelled to be out in the rain.  The drought had been around for at least seven years, he had been longing for it.  It had rained intermittently through the years this time was different.  He felt a strong energy roll in with the rain.  A vibrant inspiration with the grey light coming through the windows.  The day began in his apartment.  He was roused by a peculiar sound.  The upstairs neighbors have been a guilty party to many sleepless nights.  But his annoyance quickly changed to relief as he heard the rain running through the gutter pipes, drumming on surfaces of the complex.  She was faced toward the window.  The blanket only went up to her knees.  The curve of her body adjusted the soft light as it crept through the blinds.   The cold air made tiny goosebumps on her skin as she maintained her peaceful posture.  He fell asleep next to her silhouette and the sound of the rain.  “It’s been so long” he thought to himself.

He was delighted to awaken to it again and he shared his morning cup of joe with a smile.  He took breakfast alone in a small cafe on the corner.  After breakfast he got ready in layers of clothing to hike alone amongst the elements.  He kept checking the rain to make sure it didn’t desert him.   Despite the rain being audible it seemed quiet.  In his heart it brought a calmness unsurpassed by any other nature he had experienced in the big city.  He knew that the rain had similar effects on everyone.  The longing for it, the ability to stay inside all day and feel good about it.  Even though its cold outside it made you warm inside.

There was not a soul on the trail except for those left there looking for fame and stardom.  He felt excitement at first, not knowing what nature had in store for him.  The low rumbling of thunder in the hills and the crack of tree branches breaking away from their stump.  Sounds added to his paranoia that at any moment there could be a mudslide in his path.  He welcomed it though with some mitigated risk.  He felt the risk was necessary to feel what he had been yearning for and he started to feel it right away.  Flashbacks to stormy weather and mossy granite.  His brother hopping from rock to rock in a flowing stream.  The sting of cold wet clothes on his skin all made him more comfortable in his surroundings.  The rain not only brought transparency to the air, but clarity to his thoughts.  Rain brought him home in his mind.   The small climb he made was enough to see a few buildings with the thick grey fog blocking out the rest of the city.  He sat on the wet bench for a moment as the city stood still.

His infatuation with the rain had led him to introspection.  He always wanted to be a man of nature but lacked the confidence to.  He knows who he is now and he knows where to turn if he’s ever feeling lonely and afraid.  He may have been the only person out there in the rain but he felt like he was part of something much bigger at the time.  As he turned his face toward the sky and let small droplets of rain land on him he rejoiced for all the farmers and workers who are benefiting from the long awaited rain.  At the very least it inspired him to write this story.

quick

11/18/14

Anybody can be gracious in the presence of success. It is the struggle that defines you. The best work comes through adversity. Humans who have made something out of nothing create something truly beautiful. Humanity with their class society. “All men are created equal” seems to be past its time. All men are created. All men possess ability to make something of himself. All men have different starting lines. Someone who comes from a negative situation into a positive one is always good. If you were born into a positive environment it is vital to maintain that positivity throughout life. There is no reason to go from positive to negative. It makes no sense. Everyone has their respective struggle. Some start off worse than others. Admittedly I was born into a very positive situation and I am entirely thankful to my parents for that. I saw myself trending negatively for a few years after high school but I have seen the err in my ways. I try to always get better now. It doesn’t matter in what aspect of life it is. Any forward progress is good progress. I am looking to maintain and build off of the positive foundations given to me bye my mother and father. I strive to find conviction in my work for the simple reason that I want it to be good. Basic conversations about mediocre subjects never interested me. I am always forced into them. They seem to be a part of everyday life. Small talk that gets us through the day. We remain comfortable not talking our emotions or deeper feels than, What did you do today? How was work? I don’t care, chances are it was the same as yesterday. I want to know what your dreams are? What is your motivation to be the best person you possibly can? Are you complacent with the current state of things? Rhythm and routine seem to be the lord of masses without so much as a quiver in the thought process. That is just the way things are for people. We should be dynamic in our approach to life. Work and routine doesn’t have to be the centerpiece. Work should be a means to an end. A contingency plan to our dreams. A supplement to hobbies and creative expressions that every human must come to desire. After a certain age humans must begin to create. Add to a world full of art and colorful expression as opposed to spending money to destroy the world around us.