Dream Weaver

I woke to hear the radio DJ explaining to those folks up at 6 am that should they win the 540 million dollar lottery today they should 1. Get a lawyer. 2. Set up a Trust so no one could get to your money; and 3. Remain anonymous. Apparently this joker was wasted or must be a born again Christian with temporary amnesia regarding the oft rendered refrain of their lot “What would Jesus do”, along with being clinically half way to a retard because those are the last three things I’d do.

I would need a lawyer? Why, because they are so trust worthy? A Trust would allow me to tell anyone asking for money that it was tied up; labeling me forever the world largest sphincter muscle. The thing any normal person would want to do would be the thing that would by far be the most fun; start doling it out in million dollar chunks to anyone who had ever been even remotely nice to us and to do it before they ask. And three and probably tied for the most fun with number two is the “HI Mom” moment you’d surely get on Piers Morgan; priceless. For me anyway the challenge would not be who to give how much to but resisting the urge to use the power the money would give me to screw my enemies; such as they are.

I often think about distributing vast wealth when I can’t get to sleep so I’ve given it some thought. After the obligatory million dollar gifts to the aforementioned folks; friends and family and the charitable donation of a wing to the Saint Jude’s Medical Center (that one’s for you Mom) I have the hedonistic vision of buying several fancy hotel/restaurant/spa retreats in exotic locations where friends would have an open invitation to visit at any time; all on the arm. You won’t even need to bring your swim suit and tooth brush; everything needed will be available gratis in the gift shop.

A couple of houses; Pacific Heights in San Francisco and another on the other coast; say one of the Tony boroughs in New York City; Tribeca maybe so I could hob knob with DeNiro and Scorsese and, you know, discuss funding their next project (I will accept a cameo; preferably a love scene with Rosaria Dawson) and maybe something on the ocean in Malibu as well. Add a nice chauffeured limo in each local and a wardrobe designed and fitted by Hugo Boss himself (if he’s still alive) and I’m good to go. I suppose I have to admit the desire to ring up those women who thought they’d find better prospects elsewhere and say “how do you like me now”?

Not too much left; the obligatory world tour on a private rented Lear and a cruise across the pond on the QE2, upper bridge deck please, and anything else that packs as much fun into every hour left while having a pulse and being above ground. There must be a couple hundred million left and anyone who holds onto that much bread when billions starve had better hope that their personal god has a sense of humor.


Third Eye Blind

 “Beauty is truth and truth is beauty; that is all you know on earth, and all you need to know”John Keats

 I didn’t think I knew twelve people but when I tallied up the names I invited to follow my madness that’s where the number rested. A few stragglers aside I’ve only had one hold out; guy I’ve known for twenty-five years. He says his inbox spills over and he doesn’t want to upload any words he doesn’t already agree with; kinda’ like saying once a thing is known and believed it can’t be unknown. In any event I’ve got about as much chance of changing his mind as Bill Maher has convincing Ted Nugent to hand over his firearms. “You can have my beliefs when you pry them from my cold dead brain”.

 He did say he’s pulling for me and that’s more than most have said so there’s that; enough to give him a pass without feeling a bit wounded. Maybe I caught a break with the number. Christ had twelve followers and look how that turned out. The one guy he was closest to, Judas Iscariot, turned out to be just a tad too close. It’s still a common tale; the falcon flying too far away to hear the falconer.

 Anyway, I’m a man standing on a whale fishing for minnows; what with Kardashian waving her ample rear end around the web and Madonna’s new album and the best of the lot Mad Men; I’m lost in obscurity. When I published my first book they said there were 175,000 new books published every year in America alone and the only way to penetrate that mass was to hire a Publicist and they start at $3,000.00 a month so these words shall also rest in shadows since there must be ten times as many Blogs as books what with no barriers to joining the self-important. So I suppose short of getting mentioned on CNN for threatening someone important I’ll have to rely on an inspired act of god to turn my art into cash.

 Jimmy Mac, a force of nature friend of mine, has written a book (Onto Old Earth) in the fantasy genre where structure and concise narrative, keeping tract of the arc of the characters is paramount and I’ve no doubt he’s going to snatch the golden ring since he has in spades the most powerful thing a man can have; Will. My own personal neurosis has self promotion stinging of bad form.

 I can’t write that way or live that way. Victor Hugo said that “genius was the ability to burn and to fly”. I have to get off, get high, burn and fly, shed a tear with every true sentence; write to quell the beast but also to ask the questions that escape those traveling through life so fast that the nuanced subtleness of artistic expression just gets by them. Pouring out the word is self-administered therapy; a way to solve the problem of THE, and my, human condition. It’s a Krishna kinda’ thing: “The best way to help humanity is through the perfection of your-self.”  

 I do enjoy Mad Men though since I almost went that route back in 1968 when I was twenty years old with wife and child; the salad days. I could have been my version of Don Draper; that would have been easy. Woody Allen’s quip about the phenomenon that drives me to that conclusion is spot on; “80% of life is just showing up”. But something, well everything, it was 1968 after all, told me to pull over to the shoulder and reconnoiter the situation. So I did and decided if I went that route I’d end up with my feet nailed to the floorboards. So I took a hard left and never looked back.

 As a result I have no visible means of support; that quality that back in the day with vagrancy statues on the books and plenty of room in the jails was a crime and got you arrested and sent to jail. But uncharted paths build character; that trait that can only be forged in the crucible. Character is a man’s invisible means of support; not to be confused with reputation which is what others think you are but character; what you really are. Strip away all of mans visible means of support; wealth, possessions, family, friends, lovers, success, power and even education and he’s left with only character.

 I used to think you could judge a man’s character by how he stood in the perfect center of a tornado; personal, professional or public. How he summoned character to hold him self in the true middle of the storm where it’s serene and calm while all around is chaos and danger and destruction. Or maybe by the way character is built by the ability to deal with the indifference of a woman whose put the hook in you so deep she’s your own private Afghanistan; where its said “great powers go to die”; or in the way the Generals explain that sinkhole to the troops “it’s a shitty war boys but it’s the only one we’ve got”. But later when I heard that Abe Lincoln said “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”, I yielded to his sentiment. Character is our most valuable asset but it can’t be bought. It’s our essence; the sum total of our value.

 Helen Keller mused articulately; “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved”. Perhaps we can draw a line from Henry Millers honorable hang-dog protagonist Willy Lomans’ quest for celebrity and wealth and the notion of style over substance first visited for us all in one of the three great American Plays; “Death of a Salesman”; directly to the current fascination with Hunger Games.

 We are all Willy now; pitching ourselves on Facebook and all the other self promoting devises have made us all salesman; creating propaganda for whatever existence has forced us to become; romanticizing the corner where we’ve been placed or placed ourselves; putting wrong-headed emphasis on the ability to sell, to charm, to convince; has led directly to the vicarious thrills of reality TV; and I’ll go you 6 to 5 that phenomenon, just like the parable of Hunger Games; will not end well.

Existential Errands

Barbara had a high I.Q. and a low-cut dress and both made Lucky flair his nostrils like a three to one favorite thoroughbred at the starting gate of the Kentucky Derby. Every time he saw her he wanted to knock her over and consume her. He hated her as much as he loved her and she felt just about the same. They’d had a real wild romance; a kind of lovers death match, one he knew he couldn’t win. The only way she could find out how high she got him was to watch how far he’d fall when she’d put the knife in and twist it to watch his pain which he tried to hide but couldn’t, so what came out was always anger. Then just when he’d manage to get her out of his head she’d reappear, glide right up to him like some avenging angel and say; “Baby, let’s try again”.

He had no defense for her intoxication, no muscle to flex to defeat her or conquer her or arrest the thought of losing her. As much as Lucky tried to pull away she always came crashing back into his door like she’d never even gone away. He couldn’t stop loving her, couldn’t stop falling in and out of her arms again and again. It was their spiraling dance, their great figure eight; their tiny infinity circle.  

Barbara knew just what Lucky needed and when she gave it to him he always surrendered to her. She played on his mannish arrogance and boyish charm. She projected all her dark sexuality into him like an erotic witch. They made a kind of violent love that night with each one, as they almost always did, trying to dominate the other, and when it was over Lucky lay awake shattered, watching her sleep like a child. Barbara  was the war of his life but tonight he had to crush the thought of her. There was a real beast out there tonight, one he had to face; one that could not only take his heart like Barbara; but one that could take from him everything. He’d lost all his pride to Barbara and tonight he’d lose all his innocence. 

He’d borrowed a car the guard at the door wouldn’t recognize so he could arrive unnoticed. Inside lazing half zonked out on sumptuous beds sucking on opium pipes lay his nemeses; the Dwarf and the Jew. They’d be easy prey now if he could get close enough to push the button. They’d just gotten a fresh shipment and it was that new Taliban dope, uncut, the stuff Osama gives his guys just before they take their trip to paradise.

The Dwarf had recently married and his new lover had made him fat and slow, fatter and slower than when he was dangerous. The Jew was the real treacherous one of the two, shrewd and merciless, but he too had become consumed with a woman and his constant desire for her mound of Venus juices had made him weak. They were together tonight and they were slipping. The thought passed through Lucky’s mind that with all of this trying he’d still end up dying. So he thought he’d just as well have that moment on his terms. He wondered if tonight would be his time.

His breathing slowed and a serene calm came over him but there was a silent scream inside his throbbing head. He was wired and tired. His mind and the streets of Oakland were full of blood from the war that had raged now for almost an ugly year. He would end it tonight. He pulled into the parking lot a good distance from the entrance where he would not be detected and silently listened as car tires sang on the highway all around him.

The Clown had paid a pretty penny for the Croatian demolition experts to wire the place with enough C-4 to blow their comfy beds to paradise. He checked his gold Rolex wristwatch. It was five minutes to midnight when the white van pulled in; right on time, it circled the parking lot and slid up to the entrance about 20-0 feet from the door. The guard approached the Van and Lucky heard the muffled sounds the silencer made of the pistol shots. When it was over the men would enter the clubhouse and abscond with the valuable contents. Lucky clicked off the toggle switch safety just like they told him to and pushed the little red button.

The muffled sound of the explosion masked the hum of his engine as he turned the key. He put the car in drive and gave it some gas. As he turned from the parking lot onto I-880 he glanced in his rear view mirror and watched the flames shoot up through the skylights all tangerine red and Halloween orange.  Lucky headed back to his apartment knowing Barbara would still be in his bed where he imagined he’d slide in next to her and once again feel her warmth and safety; where he knew he’d never feel innocence again.  

Pisces Rising

Angelica sat at her dressing table mirror with her brushes and perfumes and took down her hair. She looked over her shoulder and listened as Angel approached. She felt the darkness as he swallowed the light on the stairs.

Angelica and Angel slept unaware until the sound of the milkman’s bottles clinking together on their stoop stirred Angel. He threw an arm over her soft breasts and tussled with the single muslin sheet that covered them until he was pressing his muscled body fully against hers. Angelica felt his warm brown arm against her chest and as her eyes opened she noticed how the moonlight made his dark sheen contrast her milky white skin. They said not a word as they made tender love and then silently fell back into dreamland wrapped in each others pulsing arms.

A few hours later a golden light burst through the tattered shade engulfing the bed where they lay entwined in their cathedral room and bathed them in sunshine. Angel pulled his weary body up and flung a leg over the side. He felt his toe brush against the cold steel pistol as it searched for his slippers. He made his way to the kitchen and filled her grandmother’s heirloom china tea-cup with cooled water from the chilled Mason jar they kept there. He wrapped a cloth napkin around it and brought it to her.

“I had a dream”, Angelica said. “Tell me”, Angel said. “I dreamt that the world was on fire and I was an angel dressed in a pure white robe flying around the globe putting out the flames with a silver fire hose that had a nozzle shaped like a woman’s head with the mouth wide open. It spewed a torrent of white love light and I sprayed away at the orange flames and put each fire out one country at a time. The love water came out of my hose with so much force that I could barely hold it and when I looked down to see the source so I could turn down the volume I saw that the hose was connected to my heart. You were down there in the crowds of people. I could see you with your gun getting smaller and smaller”, she said.

Angel held her a little tighter. “You’re thinking beautiful thoughts again Baby”, Angel said. “It was like free energy. It just kept coming and coming so strong I was afraid I would drop it”, she said. “My friend who knows about such things would tell you that you just made the first mistake my sweet; nothing is free” Angel said. “Love is free Poppy. It is a fountain that never runs dry”, she said. We push it out in a constant stream all of our lives” Angelica said in a whispered coo.

Angel pressed his lips against her ear and asked; “Who do you love baby”? Angel thought she’d say “you Poppy” like she always did when he asked this rhetorical question, but this time she said, “Everyone; whoever is in front of me. I love them with my firehouse, powerful and constant”, she said. Angelica caught a sudden shiver and whispered in his ear as she moved his rough hand down between her soft damp thighs. “If you don’t want to get wet she said as she pressed his familiar hand against her flesh; don’t stand there; you’ll drown in it”.

Sense Memories

       “What fresh hell is this”Dorothy Parker

I only saw the demon come out of her one time. It scared me like nothing had before or since. It was simultaneously the most nerve-wracking and the most wonderful, magical day of my life. If you have a son you know what I mean.

The nurses coaxed me into the delivery room just at the moment of her worst contractions when I found myself in the pivotal scene from “The Exorcist”. If you’d have asked me before that moment about her I’d have said when she goes to the bathroom she leaves behind Tiffany cuff links. The voice that came out of her in that moment was summoned from somewhere south of Hades “You did this to me “she shrieked.

It was 1964; I was sixteen and she was seventeen when she appeared before me like an apparition; a vision, the most beautiful human being I had ever seen. I was hiding behind the Bar in her parents’ basement recreation room, a runaway, brought there by a mutual friend who found me sleeping on the wooden bench in the Downers Grove, lll train station next to his on that cold and fateful morning. She smiled and laughed and brought me food and drink. For the next five years we never parted.

We were Bonnie and Clyde. Once; we broke a friend, AWOL from the military, out of the local hospitals psych ward. Not ten minutes after we dropped him off to safety the cops and the military MP’s armed to the teeth pulled us over and with shotguns trained on the trunk; popped it open. Surprise suckers!

We tooled around that county in her daddy’s red Ford Falcon completely free, alive and wired with the adrenaline of youth. It wasn’t too long before we became each others first lover and since it was a more innocent time I still didn’t even know what a condom was. Not long before that some older guy asked me what a prophylactic was and I said somebody who wasn’t catholic. I thought he meant protestant. So, after the trauma in that hospital she gave us a son. We got married down at the courthouse and then again in the church with our new baby boy welding us together forever; which turned out to be five years.  

When we met I was fresh out of spending a year as a guest of the State of ILL at their less than accommodating juvenile reformatory so I wasn’t used to soft treatment and no one outside my family had ever treated me as good as she had so I fell in love with her before I realized she treated everybody that way. Everybody I knew loved her and she deserved it. She was the kindest person ever assembled. What a lucky boy was I. Those next few salad years where some of my best; when all that mattered was that her warm body was waiting for mine at the end of every otherwise meaningless day.

What made her so good? Perhaps it was a result of her beginnings. Five days after Christmas in 1947, still wrapped in her swaddling blanket, her mother asked a woman waiting for a train in Chicago’s Union Station to hold her baby while she went to the bathroom. Her Mother never returned. The Carmelite Sister that answered the policeman’s knock on the door at St. Vincent’s orphanage, with the precious bundle in his arms, was Sister Melanie and that’s how she got her name.

It’s hard for me to image carrying around dis-ease like that for a lifetime; not knowing who you are or where you came from. This alone made her always tougher than me. Most women are but she was so on another deeper level, on some spiritual plane; gladiator tough.

And then she was gone. We both faced south to watch the setting sun. She took a left and headed for the Big Apple and fame and fortune while I took a right and didn’t stop till I felt the waters of the Pacific Ocean on my toes. We each clung to our respective lands end from then on. We’ve been separated by the entire North American continental land mass ever since; even now she’s in Florida. Had we ever gotten any closer to each other we’d have probably got back together. There was always passion between us both good and bad; but never indifference.

The word shot across the wire today. She can’t walk anymore or sign her name. No one knows why or how, only what; a tumor is attached to her brain and it is growing. The doctors say four to six weeks. I want to face that tumor and tell it “you may kill her; but when she dies you die; you fucking spawn from hell”. I seem to want to shatter something valuable; to break something that can never be repaired. I want to tear out my teeth. I don’t know what I want to do. How can something so vile kill something so beautiful?

She’s in a five-star hospice where the rich go to die with our son by her side as he has been 24/7 for the past eight months. I don’t have anything else to say about this except to note that the others close to me that have passed over to the other side have taken a moment to stop by and  say goodbye to me after the fact. It’s a bit disconcerting, I know. But nonetheless; I’ll be waiting.