Tuesday, August 30, 2005

There's a bad wind blowing tonight

I pour a short Jameson on the Rocks.

I feel edgy. There's a light breeze flowing through my windows, but I'm sweating, nervously.

Earlier in the evening, the neighbor's kids kept running in and out of their apartment, slamming the door.
I involuntarily jump.

The mom is yelling at someone, arguing. Tension leaks through the stairwell and under my door. Tapping me on the shoulder with its chilly finger.

I've got this creeping suspicion that something is Terribly Wrong. I've screwed up something at work or in some relationship. Or something horrid is soon to be upon me. My palms sweat, damp with Liquid Fear. The Blue-haired Demons are working their way to the surface again. The black crow cries tonight: someone's going to die.

I'm scared a river is turning back upon itself, going the wrong way. Overflowing its banks; hiding, drowning My Path.

Packs of teens are roaming the streets, back and forth. Shouts and violent, unintelligible, words bark back and forth. Bitter laughter. White T-shirts and Blue jeaned black boys. The Birchwood/Wolcott Boys are Wilding tonight. Stay indoors.

There's a Bad Wind Blowing tonight.

Well, I tried

I tried to get a bad guy caught; however, it didn't work. This morning, when I walked to my car for work, I noticed a silver Focus had its driver-side front window shattered. It wasn't like that when I came home last night.

As I thought about last night at work today, I realized I've seen this Fucko twice before. Once, after a Thirsty Thursday at The Lamp Post and, the second time, when I parked late at night after closing work. Walking along the curb, checking each door handle and peeking into each car's windows.

I want this Fucko caught!

Mac takes a bite out of crime

So I'm leaning over the kitchen sink, smoking a cigarette during halftime of my Madden 2005 Raiders vs. NY Giants game, and I hear a strange crinkling sound. I peek over the plant in my window sill and spy some black kid in a Denver Broncos jersey reaching through the already broken window of the car parked there. I window is covered in plastic, and the crinkling sound is him reaching inside to unlock the door.

Fuck that, punk!

I lower my head and voice and say, "Keeeeep walkin'"

He scitters off....to another car three cars down! Asshole!


I hope they catch him in the act...before he comes to my car which is about twenty down the line.

[1:00 a.m.--a cruiser and detective patrol are talked on the corner, then left. I think I heard a window break in the distance...please, let it not be mine.]

Plain white T-shirt newest symbol for gangs, cops say

The Suntimes article

I noticed this the minute the weather turned warm in my neighborhood.

And figured out the reason on my own, thanks to (as I refer to them) The Birchwood/Wolcott Boys. If you need some smoke, keep your eyes peeled for the lone guy on the bike, trolling past my kitchen window after eleven o'clock and park on the corner by the fire hydrant, or double park in front of thier apartment building.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Best quote of the Afternoon

"Hulk carry egg across finish line in spoon"--Doodlehead.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Virtual Saturday

M. and Doodlehead came over today. In between pizza, Chex Mix, smokes, coffee, tea and chips, we ran around and destroyed buildings and slaughtered the masses, sucked out human brains, and ran around The Grid Iron.

Unfortunately, Motodd wasn't able to attend the violence as The Man required his presence. :-(

The Man annoys use, but he pays.

Phone rings.

* * *

And now... I'm going bowling with Arsh and her friend in from NYC, Jewel. If there are any brand-new "we fuel Osama bin Ladin's Jihad" silver Honda CRVs keyed or "accidentally" bumped with Mazda 323 in Lincoln Square tonight:

It wasn't me.

I'm gonna win the Beer Frame. Hands down.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Bleary-eyed and groaning

Though they tasted good at the time, upon reflection, those last two beers were a mistake.

The street re-paving woke me up three times this morning. Breakfast consisted of aspirin and orange juice. There are Jumbo-sized Black Body Bags sagging below my eyes. Lilly's meeeoows rip through my brain like a lightning bolt dipped in poison. My kidney's are considering seceding from my body, and my back is throbbing under their revolution.

It might feel like a long night at work this evening.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thirsty Thursday Tonight

solid rock church
Originally uploaded by Kevin Yezbick.

Even Jesus wants to come. Here He's pleading with His Father to let him go to The Lamp Post Tavern.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My Matthew Brady moments:

I've finished uploading the latest wave of photos from recent(ish) Road Trip/ Wedding onto Mac's Flickr Photo page.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

What to do? What to do?

I am bored.

Of worrying.
Of this blog.
Of my writing.
Of having nothing to write about.
Of looking at women (lie).
Of wishing for a girlfriend.
Of searching for one.
Of driving myself crazy yearning a living.
Of there not being anything on TV.
Of not calling someone.
Of not having anything to say.
Of sleeping alone.
Of Lilly.
Of eating shitty food.
Of not eating shitty food.
Of not eating.
Of thinking about myself (My Self).
Of the non-conversations at work.
Of selling crap to people I don't give a crap about.
Of not having sex.
Of drinking.
Of not drinking.
Of reading other people's blogs.
Of not dating.
Of trying to date.
Of being nice.
Of complaining.
Of watching the world walk by.
Of not swimming in the Galactic River.
Of sitting on the Shore by myself.
Of smoking.
Of not doing drugs.
Of wanting to go out.
Of work.
Of looking for my Passion in Life.
Of taking pictures.
Of not taking pictures.
Of politics.
Of Iraq.
Of National this and National that.
Of the news.
Of not watching the news.
Of Friends re-runs.
Of feeling lonely.
Of whining about Everything.
Of not being creative.
Of race relations.
Of Religion.
Of marriage, the idea of marriage, wanting marriage, not wanting marriage.
Of watching children play at the Mall.
Of being scared.
Of giving a shit.
Of finding meaning in It All.
Of not kissing.
Of wanting people.
Of staring at the moon.
Of sitting in the sun.
Of being sad.
Of looking for Happiness.
Of tears.
Of holding onto the Past.
Of looking for a Future.

Just fucking bored.

It's too late to call someone. I don't want to go to The Lamp Post Tavern.

What to do? What to do?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Brett Easton Ellis in Chicago!!!


I'd like to try and attend this (work schedule permitting. Bastards). Let me know if anyone would care to join:

From Gapersblock:

The return of Writers on the Record
As its first season wrapped up earlier this year, host Victoria Lautman expressed concerns that 98.7WFMT's Writers on the Record would not find the funding necessary for a second. Fortunately, the monthly series, which brings major contemporary authors to the Lookingglass Theatre's space to be interviewed live on air, has been revived for another go, and in exceedingly fine form, at that. Bret Easton Ellis will appear in September, followed by Louise Erdrich and Frank McCourt in subsequent months. The tapings are free and followed by book signings; all you have to do is ring 312/832-6789 to reserve tickets. - Matt 17.08.05 ~ Books/Authors

[update: 12:00 (noon?) Live from Lookingglass Theater: "Writers on the Record" with Victoria Lautman--Her guest is Bret Easton Ellis, author of Lunar Park.]

Go Gang Green!

It'd be nice to actually watch a game this year.

Stupid-can't-afford-cable wages.

But a man can read.

Someone stole my Sink

She's gone.
My little guard kitty has disappeared.
Please find her and bring her home.

I miss my Sink "The Pink" Kitty.

She smiled at me every time I came home.




Thursday, August 18, 2005

I hear the Beast of the City calling

I'm heading out for a Thirsty Thursday at The Lamp Post Tavern, in like ten minutes.

Feel free to join me; I'll save you a seat.

They serve Wild Turkey in Heaven, right?

This is great.

When I die, use this as a core in the planning of my funeral.

Donate any and all of my usable organs to hospitals (anything not blackened, dying, rotting, etc.), burn this Skin Vehicle I've been slumping around in, and put me in 3 little black and green colored bags. And Road Trip.

Have plenty of Jameson, Wild Turkey, and Guinness on hand. Bring a DJ with all my favorite tunes and dance around the bonfire. Kiss your wives, husbands, significant others, and strangers. Party like it's 1992.

If no cannon is available, just hand sprinkle a third of my ashes at my Parents' house, Commons Lawn near The End of the World, and The College Green by the War Monument.

And remember the Good/Fun Me.

I'm no Joiner

So, I did it again.

I blew off the Ghetto Clinic's Depression Support Group today. Last night, I went to bed a little early fully intending to attend.

This morning, however, I slept through my alarm, jumped up, showered, got dressed, packed up my backpack, and still had enough time to get there on time (if I ignored one red light); but, as my hand touched the knob on the back door, I stopped.

I didn't want to go.

It felt like such a waste of time. I always get there on time (which is apparently considered early for the other sad-sacks) and only one or two people show up. If you don't speak first, you don't really speak at all since the first person takes up the bulk of the time allowed. And we go over the hour, and I got to get to work. And the people there are way off worse than me. My recently upped meds are kicking in nicely (Suicide: don't do it! Yay!). A touch of confidence is ever-so-slowly creeping into my yellow spine, bad events don't send me spiraling into a Hole as horribly as in the past, I have some energy, my mood is maintainable, I can nearly see myself opening up/ taking a chance at trusting people/someone, I faintly envision a Future ahead, and I don't get physically ill when leaving the apartment.

Can one ask for more? (well, yeah, but nevermind)

I get more "therapy" from forcing myself to walk to Dominick's (like I did instead this morning) for food, actually remembering to eat, smoking a cigarette while watching mocha-flavored women walk by my kitchen window, sipping a Jameson on the Rocks with a friend and oogling the bartender, hearing the kids who moved into Zilo's apartment play Hide 'n' Seek, listening to the rain with John Coltrane on the stereo, getting Lilly to purrrrr (this is a lot harder than you people can imagine!), or getting a stranger/co-worker to laugh at work. And a million other insignificant things normal people do and maybe take for granted.

I just hope my playing hookie doesn't get me booted from the program. That would be bad.

If anyone knows a cheap (individual) therapist in Chicago (Northside), let me know.

Okay, must get ready for work. Another Cursed Thursday with the Zoo Crew: bring on the Jagoffs and Moronic Mall Zombies. May they buy a lot tonight to fill their own Bottomless Voids.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Feast your eyes

I updated my Flickr page a little today. Click "Mac's Flickr Photos" to take a peek.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Looking for Momentary Relief

I'm feeling weird lately (and by lately, I probably mean, since 1979).

Looking. Scanning strangers eyes. Possibility for Temporary Connection? No.

Sadly, as a simple man, the solution for most of my problems is simple: I just need a $1500 G.F.E. to get me to the next level.

Feel free to click the Paypal button to donate to the fund in order to get me this Temporary, Momentary Relief. And add any Chicago recommendations in the comments section.

(Has it really come to the point to change my name to "John"? Ha ha ha (?))

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Pour one out for my Dead Homie

I am in deep mourning.

My good friend, my best friend, my Soul(less)mate died a couple of days ago.

My best pal in the world, Gonzo, lies lifeless and rotting on my dining table. Blank eye staring at the couch, his shell of a torso awaits the Men in White Coats to scapel in and take his guts for others, so that they may hum on without him.

I think I will survive. After a few days without Gonzo, I went to Best Buy and bought another buddy. I'll name him Gonzo, in Tribute. So, after much trial and error, I am connected to The Blogoshpere again. And you my friends.

If you commented, I responded.

I need you all to re-send me your email address as my Address book, for now, sits trapped in the ancient computer on the table. If you sent me a email, and I didn't respond, you now know why. Please re-send or email me fresh.

Don't tell Gonzo (one), but I think I love Gonzo II even more.

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Thirsty Thursday Complete

Muggy air. I walk past The Ho. The neighborhood is silent, but for the swish of cars passing in the rain covered street. And I walk into The Lamp Post.


M.C. sits at the bar between a firefighter and a Chi-caw-go-ian-looking Blonde, saving me a barstool. The Softball Boys (fucking Au Jus) gather around the end of the bar, screaming along to The Boss and pounding the bar. Their shouts and howls are annoying. They're taunting James' team or the team. James is drinking a pint of God-knows-what, later moving down the bar away from the Frat-boy racket. Jackie smiles, dimple teasing my eye.

"A Jameson on the Rocks?" she asks, and I ask for a Heineken, and I feel bad when she snaps her fingers, "shoot! I thought I had it."

She doesn't hear me change my order, and bends over to pull a beer from the cooler. "3 bucks." And that smile again, one eye hidden behind Hippy blonde hair.

"You're right, man, she's smoking." M.C. smiles and sips a whiskey and coke, short glass, natch. I watch the denim skirt move from one end of the bar to the other.

"That drunk fucker is a cop. Serve and protect."

"You come here because you like this place?"
"It reminds me of hometown bars, and I can walk, and Jackie charges me a dollar less than James."

"Are you staring at those milky, motherly breasts?"

"You editing your response or processing?"

"Why do guys like you love Apocalypse Now?"
"What the fuck you mean 'guys like me'?!?"
"You know: Hunter S. Thompson, Dead Kennedys, The Wall, Anti-authority...you know...there has to be a scene for you."
"I could probably be classified as a Hipster Snob, but there is no classification for you."

"Wouldn't 'Brain the Sack' be more appropriate than 'Sacking the Brain'?"
"Well, they try to put it up as close to your head/brain as they can."

"So I said, '....and then I fucked a goat' and they got all quiet, no one laughed, so I followed with, 'uh-oh, one of you fucks goats?' and they still got all quiet. I mean come on, if you don't find that funny, you're dead."

"Born in the U.S.A. is actually a very critical view about America, didn't some Republican fucker use this as their presidential campaign song?"
"Just because no one hears the lyrics, just the chorus."

"Are we square, did I pay you?"

"I bet you have two white lighters in your pocket." Thief!

"You can pick any Nationality in the world and accuse them of being heavy drinkers."
"Irish: Guinness and whiskey."
"Polish: Vodka."
"Hispanic/Latin: tequila, beer."
"Yeah, but what about Muslims and Jews?"
"Those are religions."
"Oh, yeah, my bad."

"I hate honkies; they are so loud!"
"But what about the people in my neighborhood."
"That's just ghetto. These guys are Honkies, they're the fucking Mainstream."

"I come here because it makes me feel better about myself ha ha ha."

"I stand out as different here."
"That's why Jackie smiles at you."
"Nah, that's the smile she uses to get bigger tips."

"Her writing is like a sixteen year old's diary."
"That's one point of having a blog."
"Man, whatever, I wanted to go off on her, but didn't."

"Mine's the lighter with scratches on the bottom."
There are 3 lighters on the bar.

"Wait, your dad has problems, too? I didn't know that. Well, that makes you a bigger asshole!"

"You're not like either of your parents when I met them, and where were you? Doing laundry?"

"You should get a job where I work; it'd be good for you. If you think you're crazy now, what until you get a load of these guys: they're crazy."

"Au Jus guy dances like an ape."

"If I got on the bar and started dancing would you ever come back here again?"
"Yeah, but not with you."

Shots Up!!!
"That's a tradition here. If we get offered a plastic cup, we are soooo in."
"We didn't get a cup."

"All men look at women. They still love their girlfriends and wives, but they still look at other women; and, any one of them that tells you different are liars."
"And they probably got a secret porn stash."

"She just doesn't know what she wants."
"That's what my mom said."
"I'm just saying."

"So this Dog guy is really fat. I don't think he could even wear jeans, just sweat pants. And I'm sitting at the After-Hours, drinking cups from the Kegorator, and he's sitting across from Pandora, Darcy, and me. And I look down at his cut-off sweat pant shorts. And there's two holes in his crotch. And one of his balls is poking out of each of the holes right at the 3 of us. And I don't know whether I should tell Pandora and Darcy."
"Did you?"
"Yeah, so he turns to yell to someone to get him another beer from the Kegorator, and I nudge them and point and they scream and we have to leave."
"Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum?"
"Gemini is too obvious."
"Deuces is too obvious."
"The Orbs? Cross-eyed Jack? No, you'd have to twist them. Ouch."

"I don't want to go to work tomorrow."
"Me neither, but at least The Croatian Gyration Sensation is working, she's fun."

"Okay, fuck Cuneens tomorrow, we're going to The Ho!"
"Oh God, see you later."

I follow behind a guy checking a row of cars on Winchester, trying to find an unlocked one. He leans against a tree, and then bends over to "tie his shoes." Oh fuck, I think I'm going to get jumped. A hot black chick in a full on maroon jumpsuit, looking fine with long wave blondish-brown hair, walks out of the park onto the sidewalk ahead of me. Cool, a witness, so the dude backs off and crosses the street. I try to unlock the first gate to my complex, but the key won't turn. She's at the next gate, heading into the Complex.

"Watch out for the drunk," she says referring to the guy.
"Hold the gate, please," and I walk in behind her.
"Yeah, there's a skunk over there."
"Yeah, he stunk up my living room!" She laughs. "Have a good night."
"You too," she says and wiggle walks to her apartment.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Might not be the best music for this

I'm nervously (and in total vain) typing up a plea/argument for Full-time status to present to my Assistant Store Manager. Even though I know this is going to go over like a lead balloon, now is the time to throw it out with hope as one Full-timer is stepping down to Part-time status. The spot this opens is probably not to be filled at all, but I need to at least try just for my own sake, just to know I tried.

Interestingly, though, I am listening to N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton. Probably not the best soundtrack to listen to as try to type up a Corporate Cracker sounding paper. I might slip up:

"Fuck you, Strawberry, give me what I want, or I'll slap you with 9 inches of limp dick!"

That'd be bad.

Bang your (Late Night) head

Throw up the Goat, suck down a 6 of Bud, and hurl Grandma into the Mosh Pit.

This made my week (thanks Motodd)

A Zombie among The Mall Zombies

That'll be me today. Ugh.

I couldn't fall asleep until after 3:00 a.m. this morning. And kept waking up. People walking around and shouting in the neighborhood like a Friday night. Lilly kept squawking and meowing all night. My body looks red and clawed by a tiger, the inner itching flared hard. Stressing about work, angry about full-time vs. part-time policies, thinking about people, lack of benefits, Ghetto Clinic today, my parents, I could almost hear the tick of the clock two rooms away, wondering if that French woman I bumblingly asked out last Sunday thinks of me, thinking about things I need to change or hold on to, trying to figure out if (as my mom put it) someone is worth "wasting my time," agonizing over whether the New York Jets will make it to the Superbowl this year (okay, not really that one).

And then wide awake at 6:45 a.m. Ugh. It's muggy, and Lilly continues to squawk at me, annoyingly. The new neighbors who moved into "Zilo's" place are talking about something, probably their boy who's laying on the bench underneath their kitchen window, looking sad and lost, or in trouble. I met the dad and daughter, Henry and Lauren, last night on the back porch when I came home. They seemed nice enough, maybe a Haitian or Dominican accent.

I'm closing again on a Cursed Thursday (someone always calls in sick or we get waves of serious Jagoff customers). A Zombie among the Mall Zombies.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tonight I am un-wine-ding

So no real post.

I wish I had a bucket of spare cash to give WLUW because they're the best radio station in Chicago.

A Thirsty Thursday, anyone?

I am considering hitting The Lampost after work on Thursday.

Who's with me?

Email me (on my other one), or call me at work on Thursday, as I may or may not go home first. Or may not go at all, depending on how work goes.

Group Therapy in the morning, group (?) therapy at night.

Rock 'n' Roll.

This strangely hit a nerve

Greg the Boyfriend: The poisoning of the mind.

I'm not one hundred percent sure why. But I have an itchy idea in the back of my head. A culmination of recent-ish events (the moon, a wedding, conversations with parents over the years, my own inner-biological clock, my fears, my mental health up/down, my genes, how I've been digging watching kids play over the last two years at work, lack of dating [why and what it means], how I've changed [not completely] my "standards" when checking out women, and God-only-knows what else) probably led me to this post to which I've linked; a series of Winding Paths, narrow Dead Ends, and glimpses through the Heavy Black Trees, but no clear way through to the Other Side. The Blue-haired Demons are to blame, in part, for my not being at the Milestones I thought I'd be passing, achieving by now when viewing The Future from the time of My Youth. Youth is wasted on the Young. Youth is especially wasted on the wasted, low-self esteemed, shy, sheltered Young.

I've seen some city's/people's Underbelly, but only from a semi-safe distance. I've never fully dove into the Weirdness of Youth, not as deep as I always wanted to plunge. And, for fuck's sake, never alone. In some cases good (it's good to have friends backing you up when the Screwheads and Fuckos mess with you...thanks B.C.), but in some cases bad. Bad in the sense that through all these years, I feel like I haven't Experienced these years, I didn't develop and learn Needed Lessons. I'm stuck in some kind of arrested development around the age of twenty-five trapped in a thirty-four year old body. And that miss-mash of ages is still a wasted, low-self esteemed, shy, sheltered Youth (with aches and pains). All talk, no action. The Risks Never Taken (the ones that count) add up, snowball into a massive Ball of Regret that sits heavily in the pit of my gut, which rolls around inside all these years, stirring up Guilt that kills something inside necessary to progress to the Next Level of Me, the True Me I see in dreams during the night and day.

And with the Guilt comes its partner Fear. Together, they make you hide, cower. You start self-sabotaging. You become afraid of succeeding. You talk yourself out of doing things you Know you should do, things that you'll benefit from doing (Successful or Failing, either way, the Experience is important): applying for that job, asking that woman out, going somewhere you've never seen, telling someone "no" or "yes," or whatever, a million situations. You fall into a Hole, look above to the sky, sniff the air occasionally, and sense that the tear on your cheek is twinkling in the sun or moon light shining down from, oh so high, above. After so long, all you can do is claw at the cold cold mud of the Walls, trying to keep your head above the rising black waters seeping into the Hole from below.

I guess, like Greg, I freak out, but only because TV, movies, writing, and media has told me to freak out. That, and the fact I am broke as hell and convinced myself YEARS ago that I do not want children; I fear passing these genes that causes mental pain sadness no interest in Life shyness self-hatred physical ugliness self-doubt down to a pure, innocent baby. Let the curse stop here, within my skeletal frame and soul.

But then: I look at some of my friends, married and/or married with kids, and I think, "that's not so bad." And I think, "maybe..." And then I do something stupid and realize I am mature enough to know I am not mature enough to do that. And am a lazy, selfish Bastard.

But I talk to women, and I hear their questions. I know, in part, we're just talking, getting to know each other, passing time. But sometimes it comes across like An Interview. And I suck at interviews, proven time and time again. They "see" the Potential I am "wasting." I've heard that downturn in their voice, that subtle click of disappointment when I honestly answer, "I don't know." I fail the Interview. Every. Time. But I don't want to lie.

Should I fudge my "resume"? Everyone does, right?

"Just someone who we get along with who will treat us right." That's the bulk of what I'm looking for in a relationship. Someone who makes me smile, and who gets my humor. Someone who, in a crowded room, looks at me with big round eyes and sees me. And when I look at her, we speak a thousand words only we can hear. In one gaze, agree that it's time to go and curl up within each other. Lose each other in each other's lips for an Eternity. Till Death Do Us Part.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Did I win?

Last Tuesday, I went to The Lampost for a drink. I felt edgy and angry. Things weren't working out, or I wasn't letting them work out. Frustrated with a touch of Cabin Fever, I headed out to be among people.

The bartender, smiled and served me my Heineken after carding me (nice!). She talked to the boys at the end of the bar. I eye-balled the two Heavy Metal Sports Arena looking chicks at the other end of the bar, and discussed the St. Louis Cardinals for 33 seconds with the Brunette who moved from the H.M.S.A. chicks to the barstool next to me: a better view of the ESPN Highlights. I give no shits about baseball.

I overheard the bartender telling the Brunette that James (the owner) wasn't in that night because his grandmother just died.

Last night, I dreamed I went into one of those mom 'n' pop soda and chips stores to buy lottery tickets. James was working the slurpy machine and sold me three Irish Lottery ticket and a big brown lottery ticket, all scratch offs. He said he doesn't usually sell that combination to people, but he'd make an exception for me. I stood at the counter and started scratching the big brown ticket first with a nickel.

And then I woke up. Did I win?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Swimming in the Mud, looking for Honey

(one, two)

I feel bad, and I've felt worse
I'm a creep, yeah, I'm a jerk

Come on
Touch me, I'm sick

I won't live long, and I'm full of rot
Gonna give you - girl - everything I got

Touch me, I'm sick, yeah
Touch me, I'm sick

Come on baby, now come with me
If you don't come
If you don't come
If you don't come
You'll die alone


I'm diseased, I don't mind
I'll make you love me 'till the day you die

Come on
Touch me, I'm sick
Fuck me, I'm sick

Come on baby, now come with me
If you don't come
If you don't come
If you don't come
You'll die alone

Mudhoney Touch me I'm sick

I'm back

Hundreds of miles of dusty Ohio and Indiana highways, hundreds of thoughts, hundreds of cigarettes, gallons of Gatorade, and I am back in Chicago.

Time to make some changes. To let some things go. To get some things back. To not care anymore about some things. To care more about other things.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Yin-yang. Two fishes swimming in a circle.

I feel like a dot in the middle of a circle: surrounded, but touching Nothing.

I need to start crawling for the Edge of the Circle.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride

My Cube will be silent until sometime next week. I'm on the Road to Nowhere (hometown) and Cleveland for my cousin E.S.'s wedding. I'll be the drunken Guest+Zero mumbling to himself at the table with chicken or beef stuck in his teeth or screaming,

"What?!?! No Jameson?!?!?"
"Love Stinks! It's a pain in my ass!"
"I am already dancing, just in the seated position."
"Marriage is a hollow institution! Why all the pressure to get married?"
"I want another beer!"
"Who are you?"
"No, I don't have a girlfriend."
"Fine, mom, I'll just meet some chick at The Empty Bottle, get drunk, and knock her up; so, you can have a grand-baby."
"Sorry, I don't dance with anyone who's arm is bigger than my waist, thank you."
"....mumble, smile, mumble, yes, congrats, is the bar still open?"
To the bartendress, "How you doin'?"
"Yeah, Chicago, yeah, it's fucking great."
"Is Circus-Circus still open?"
"I'm crazy and poor, but you're a bitch!"
"Oh yeah, sure, C/B rocks, great stuff, yeah, 3 years, sure, uh-huh, great..."
"I savor being the only single guy here, really, wanna make out in front of your husband?"
"Another, please."
"I wish Grandma and Grandpa S. were still alive."

Thank you, again, M.C./C.C. for checking up on Lilly.

See you all next week.

Trying to catch up My Cube

I just went through and responded to all your comments posted from July 18th through today; so if you left a comment, I tried to leave a reply. I'll be more diligent in the future. I think this 13 day Bender I'd been on slowed me down.

Today is Day Two of Not Smoking again. Not too bad after smoking a pack a day for 13 days (The Lost Weekend plus) compared to a pack a day for like fifteen or so years. If I bite your head off in the next couple of days, I apologize in advance.

Group, today, kind of a waste. One other guy and me. Talked about the weather. How the other guy has someone using his Social Security number. How he goes to church twice a week and his "brothers" meet for Bible Reading/Discussion another day a week. How he's lost a load of weight in the past year. And how his 38 year old neighbor across the street walks around naked with the shades all the way up, and gestured for him to come over. He declined. Nice!

Aargh, off to work.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The more I'm myself

the further people pull away.

I offend the ones I most do not want to offend.

I'm considering going to The Lamp Post.

Through the Amber Glass Darkly

A delayed recap of the weekend.

Went to Chumps to bid adieu to Backseat B., congrats to "Honey" A., and good riddance to Evil Fannie. C.P. and Sully were there. S.R. and companion. (ex) Boss Frantic. The younger half of the Blondie Twins. A couple of husbands and "Cousin Bob, (who is Bi)" of "Honey A.'s (rumored to be bi) fiance. E. the Greek (tipsy-ed up and eyeballing "Cousin Bob"). And P-diddy with her bag of novelty gifts for Backseat B.--a whip, a box of No-Doz, and Depends Undergarments (because when she laughs hard, she sometimes "I think I just peed a little.") Later, the Greek Goth showed up and sat by me, tired and quiet after a 10 hour day re-designing the store. And T.O. arrived and is still not talking to me and S.R. for some mystery offense we have done, whatever: high-maintenance suburban princess.

I grabbed a 22 oz. beer and settled in with S.R. and Ex-Boss Frantic. Evil Fannie had called into work "sick" and also didn't make an appearance tonight. Whatever, good. I raise a beer in "hello" across the table to "Honey" A. and I remember a morning last week. I rarely talk to her, but apparently we hit it off at some point because one day we were scheduled as countermates (a rare occurrence, rarely even have a chance to say "hey" during busy days). 10:05 in the morning, she shouts "hey" and gives me a big hug in greeting. This is weird, right? I do the equivalent of a physical stutter and moved in for a hug and rubbing of backs thing. Okay.......what?

Not much to report except for a longish conversation with Sully about blogging and writing. I disagree with some of thoughts, but it is nice to attempt to get back into that frame of mind again. Too much time has past, my wheels are rusty. My Muse is still in a coma. Here is a glimpse into the conversation (but she actually began four? years ago). That's right, man, "slice a vein and splash blood on the page." I stand by that and struggle to do it.

Predictably, the crowd broke up early. I hugged Backseat B. sincerely good-bye ('cause she's sweet and funny), tapped Ex-Boss Frantic on the shoulder and said "good luck" because I had a tiny "love thy neighbor" buzz going on, and waved to the rest of the stragglers.

I headed home.

With a head full of hops and an itchy feeling to get the Hell out of the apartment, to be with people, I called M.C./C.C. for a drink. I yearned company. I didn't want the night to end drunk alone yet in the Corner Quad.

M.C. and I went to The Lamp Post: "Man, I wish we had a better local bar!"--M.C. Seriously, but I'll work with what I got. I always do. I fully intended a beer night, but when we sat at the bar, James looked at me a said, "Jameson on the Rocks with a water back, right?" How could I say no? Don't want to hurt the owner's feelings, right?

We sipped Jameson on the Rocks, Vodka tonics, a Jaeger Bomb, water, Basic Lights 100s, Camel Lights (Mike! They weren't out, the knob is stuck!), Quest 3s, and talk talk talk. It felt good. The conversation wandered, twisted and turned. A woman, stories of friends, medication, therapy, drumsticks, Acid, Mushrooms, marriage, music and my (unaccepted) apologies to he and C.C. for being a Lame-Ass Friend for the last 3 years (or more).

The bar closed and we took our conversation to the corner for a few more minutes until we parted ways. I stumbled home feeling a little better, but still confused, about Life.

A cookout "Non-Birthday Party" at M.W./M.B.'s house for Doodlehead. Beers on the patio, burgers, Kewie Pie, veggie dogs, yummy salad, and more. My friends know how to do it right. Their food keeps my Body and Spirit as One. N.J. and wife, C.T., M.C. and C.C. (freshly back from Italy!), R.S., B.H. and wife S.T. with the lovely Baby A. (God, I love that little one's smile), the dogs, J.W. and wife L.W. came in from Indiana (Hi, move back here!), and I filled the patio with talk and laughter. The conversation eventually (always) turned to music. Try beating this crowd in music trivia would be like challenging Jesus to a Water into Wine contest: you'll lose, but learn something in the process.

Near the end of the night, the beer was giving me a headache, and I felt weird being around all married people. I have a good time, but fall into that "twisted thinking" of comparing my Time Line with others. Something M.C. had said the night before came to mind. Something about better to meet a girlfriend through friends, more likely to have more in common, a better match. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." What if all the apples are accounted for? What if you don't feel a part of the Tree? What if you haven't sat under the Tree for a while? Would the apples taste as sweet. I felt Alone in the Crowd. An Outsider within the Circle.

The hives started kicking in, so I gratefully left when R.S. asked for a ride home. Time to leave. And, of course, what did R.S. want to talk about? His date he had planned the next day, Sunday, a biking date that came so easy for him. I wish him luck (what else can you do for a friend?), and went home.


[French woman]
I get off early from work to go to a benefit here. It sounds like a good time with interesting music and free wine. And I get to spend time with Her...

And you're late getting off work, so you fly home, drive NASCAR like, weaving between fucking silver SUVs and blue Fords. You freshen up, and worry about what to wear because God-knows you want to make a good impression with Her and her friends. Then you fly down Ridge and curse the old lady in the Oldsmobile ("fucking go!"), and turn on Foster in time for gridlock traffic. You're smoking Camel Lights like back in University because you're nervous and impatient. It takes the edge off as you blow smoke out the window with the vents on full blast to get rid of the smell. You find parking just around the corner and walk to the door.

She lets you up and you feel okay. "Just friends, just friends, just friends." And you're cool with it again. You walk into the door to Her apartment, door left ajar, and say "hello" looking around. She's in the bathroom getting ready, washing her face.


You may not be cool with it. The sight looks familiar and pure, and She smiles and says "hello" and then busts you for smoking "I can smell it on you" and you go into an ah-shucks mode because you feel guilty anyway about it and especially now. You sit on the couch as she rummages around a tote for something, snap Her picture that captures Her smile with a loose curl of black hair touching her nose. Essence caught.

She offers you a Diet Coke and you take it because you haven't eaten for hours and need Something.

At the benefit, you meet Her friend who has the same name as you which cracks you up. He's cool. Reminds you of L.C.'s ex who played with the Poster Children (after they weren't cool, sorry H., no offense). And you get/give your ticket and find a seat in the grass for the blanket. More introductions. Say "hey" to pretty R. Lounge on the blanket. D. says let's get wine. Your hero.

White wine in plastic cups. D. and Her catch up. You sit in the middle and get to know D. You like him more and more. At one point, during the Israeli dancers, after many plastic cups of wine, you tell D. "I'll be Kerouac, you can be my Neal Cassidy." He laughs. You keep looking at Her. You like sitting on the blanket, you want to lean over, but know that would be a mistake.

You barely talk to Her because she seems quiet and you've fucked up before. You want to say the right thing. You want to trade secrets. You talk to D. all night: Safe, and good guy. Eyes open wide at how fast you gulp the wine. You pass the camera around "take all the pics you want."

She says, "I think I'm going to go out with that Sean again." And you knod like it's cool, but it's like a meaty punch to the gut. You knod and watch the band. What are you going to say? You get another wine.

You "sneak" cigarettes by the playground equipment. Curse yourself for getting hooked again. You bum a smoke to and talk to Josh, a drummer for the belly dancers. Nice guy. You drop Zelienople's name for conversation. You end up talking (and floating him smokes) a few times during the event. You meet the husband of the director, and he's worried the event isn't going to make any money, what with all the booze and wine and food. And you watch a small boy in khaki shorts and striped shirt play on the playground equipment and stand up to grab him when it looks like he may fall off a ladder, but Daddy rescues him in time.

You pour another Dixie cup of wine, take a swig, and spit it out. Someone has pulled a Reverse Jesus and turned the wine into water. So you switch to keg beer. You pump the keg for a guy filling a pitcher, who remembers you later and pours you a glass from his pitcher with a smile. You realize you are having a good time. Laughing, with Her (in any form of relationship), with D., with R. etc.

Then the Caribbean band starts. And you're sitting on the blanket, tapping your foot to the beat, smiling, remembering some band you saw on the Cruise ship back in January. You're so glad you came. D. has left, so it's you and Her sitting on the blanket. R. asks Her if she wants to dance. No. R. asks you if you want to dance. You say "no" but wanted to ask Her if she wanted to dance. You couldn't bring yourself to do it. You don't remember how. You remember the terror you feel on the dance floor after 1993. You realize you haven't danced since the early 1990's. You don't remember how. You'd look like Elaine on Seinfeld. So, you lose yourself in the beer and music and looking at Her. You drink in the beer and Her face.

You and Her leave. She says you drink too much (you do). You say we're from different backgrounds (we are) and you're not offended too badly. She drives you to Her apartment where you left your car. You walk Her to the building door. Thank Her for a great night (which it was), and turn to leave. She says, "what? No hug good-bye?" And you turn on heel immediately. You feel Torture and Pleasure in the embrace. You're glad that happened.

You drive to The Lamp Post for a nightcap. You need some time to think, still need human surroundings before the empty Corner Quad. 3 guys and the grumpy bartender. A Jameson on the Rocks and a water back. They have "Over There" on the TV. Americans killing Iraqis, people killing people, and the sound's messed up where you're sitting. You feel stupid and alone at the bar. You think about why people go to war and come up with no good reason. You're tired of hate.

You go home.

Monday, August 01, 2005

You could hardboil eggs in my boxers

It's hot.

All my muscles hurt from work.

My camera refuses to "communicate" with my blue-screening computer.

I'm pissed.


My rent is going to be late


"How time doth flit, oh shit"--Dorothy Parker.

Belated Happy Birthday!

I said it in person on the day (July 30th), but if you all didn't:

Please click over and wish my friend Doodlehead a Happy B-day in his comments section.

A dream last night

In the dream:

I am with a woman, who I see only in the corner of my eye, we are walking into my kitchen (my kitchen, but not really my kitchen. You know how dreams are.) to get more drinks. The apartment is dark except for candles (way more than I actually own) and the glow of streetlight through the blinds.

I am in the middle of the kitchen and she stands four feet away, leaning cutely against the sink. Someone, just out of our sight, is getting arrested. We guess about 6 cop cruisers are involved, guessing from the intensity of the blue light flashing against the apartment building across the street from the kitchen window and splashing crazily into the room.

I say, "Hey! A K-mart Disco!" and start going into a really bad John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever impersonation: hips wiggling, finger pointing to sky then ground.

And we laugh, her bright eyes glowing like moons and black-blue hair streaming down, silhouetted in the window.

I awoke feeling confused, but smirking.

If I make you laugh hard enough

you throw your head back
you squeeze your eyes tightly shut
then you only see what I said
I feel happy
you don't see me
as the ugly creature I am.

[originally written on 7/18/05, just forgot to hit "publish"]