Closer than you think

Closer than you think.

I knew that I had to get up early this morning but, I still drank till I fell asleep on the couch with all the lights on the night before. There are little yellow stains of whiskey on the kitchen counter where I miss the glass, like there are yellow stains around the bowl where I miss as the mark when I piss it back out.

The alarm went off at 428am. I pulled myself out of bed. My apartment was cold and I plugged in the little heater and parked just outside the bathroom door as I showered.

I was on the road by 545. The sun was still on its way. The coffee house wasn’t open yet. But there was still heavy traffic down the road. On the way in I listened to old songs. The ones that made me sad I changed the station.

I wondered about the other drivers. Were they only there to get in my way. Did they drink too heavy the night before. Did they hate their job too. Was their kitchen floor as cold as mine under their bare feet at 430 in the morning. Or, did they leave behind someone wonderful still asleep in their bed. Did they kiss them goodbye and their lovers lips and morning breath arouse them. Did they fondle their sleeping plaything before reluctantly finding their way to the same damn road as mine.

I made it to work on time. There were others there before me. They brewed coffee. I sipped at my cup so not to burn my tongue. I leaned with my back against the wall. The coffee warmed my hands through the paper cup. But the sun still hadn’t shown. And I decided that I should probably keep a flask handy for mornings like these.

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Eyes are mine

Eyes are mine.

I want you to know that I won’t want to go. My mistakes have haunted me to the point of wanting to hide from the world like a pig hides from the sun and the flies. I’ve been a fool. Cruel and bad. My teeth ache, as do my bones. My fingernails are too long and slivered at the tips. My hair falls into the bathroom sink more and more each morning. My heart is a dead and dried honeybee that I leave on the kitchen window sill. Whiskey. Tequila. Weed. ‘Used to wash it away a little. Now all that drink only keeps me up at night. It shows in the dark circles under my eyes how much I drink, how little I sleep and how much I hate my job and the traffic. The phone does not ring. Someone else is mowing my lawn. It needed a good running over. Long and overgrown. All the music is still the same. In the end no one will notice. Likely not give a shit if they did. In my mouth my tongue will be dry and more thirsty than it will ever have been. In my throat will be all of my tears, and the last of them too. In my eyes will be every good thing. Every kiss. Every laugh. Every smile. Every time I told you that I loved. And the last time too.

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It’s getting harder and harder to scratch out anything worth the ink and paper. Even more difficult to diagnose the problem. Is it being stuck in another mind numbing job. No social interactions. Lack of a truly good piece of ass. Likely all of the above. Coffee on my ride into work makes me think I’m happy. Same way whiskey works when I get home every night. I haven’t heard myself laugh in some time. I wonder if I could go back and right my wrongs would my spirit be lighter. Would my smile come easier. Like the full moon draws on the tides. I don’t know. So I’ll just have to sit here and think about it for the time being. Wait till there is something worth writing about. I wonder if you’ll wait with me. We can have a drink as we wait together.

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A lonely street at night

A lonely street at night.

It’s 930 Saturday night in Los Angeles. A police car came roaring around the corner and down my street. It’s tires made a searing sound as it halted at my feet like a TV show cop car stop. The cop leapt out and rushed toward me. He had his right hand on his gun.

Show me your hands, he commanded. The asshole. I was lighting a cigarette when he stopped me. The cigarette was in my mouth and I held my hands open. What are you doing here, he asked.

I took the cigarette from my lips and said, smoking a cigarette.

Don’t be a smart ass. I’m not in the mood for bullshit.

Neither am I officer. My cigarette smoldered.

Show me your ID.

I don’t have any. I left it inside my apartment.

Bullshit. What’s in your pockets.

A lighter. Chapstick. And a pocket knife, I told him.

You’re armed?

No, officer. You’re armed. I have a pocket knife. Look, I live here. I came out for a smoke. I’ve lived here for almost 15 years. My neighbor, whom I believe to be a lesbian, a very nice lady, but a lesbian, has lived in her place for 20 years. My landlord is Filipino and lives in the apartment above me. There is a pretty French girl that lives in the little house behind me. I think that she is also a lesbian. I finally have a job with weekends off. I spent the morning doing laundry so I can spend tomorrow morning watching football. After laundry I had lunch with my son. And then I started drinking since 2 this afternoon. Before I walked out here I poured another. It’s a sad and lonely life and the whiskey, cigarettes and warm night is helping me get through it all. My ID is on my dresser and you’re killing my buzz. That’s the long and short of it. Do you still think that I’m the guy you’re looking for?

He got right in my face. He looked around as if someone might be standing by listening. I could swear his breath smelled of beer. I’m thinking PBR. He said, Sir, you are an asshole.

I told him that I know it. But it’s completely unavoidable.

He turned and got back into his car. With a hard clunk, he shifted the car into reverse and backed it up. Clunked it into drive and hauled away. A helicopter chopped through the air overhead and circled away too. I finished my cigarette and flicked the spent butt across the street.

Back inside, I had another shot and I could hear the helicopter’s rotor whipping through the sky again through the kitchen window.

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Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk.

She told me that she was once bit by a rabid dog. The dog was her uncle’s hunting dog. She was just a young girl. She and her family were on vacation visiting her mom’s little brother in some mountain town in Arkansas. It was just like in the movies she said. Her uncle lived in an old busted trailer with a woman and their three kids, all boys. Broken down cars, cloths line, chickens running loose and a torn up couch in the yard. They got there early that morning and her uncle had been calling for his dog all day and into the night. That’s when it happened.

Everyone was out in the yard, sitting around a fire. They ate fish caught by her young cousins. The grown-ups ate squirrel. She wouldn’t try it because seeing it with its paws, black and curled by the fire’s flame scared her. Her uncle said that he and the dog were hunting a few days before. The dog had a bloodied nick on its nose when they came back. He’d seen that sort of thing happen to the dog before. Sometimes while hunting the dog would run off chasing down some random scent. Usually raccoon. Raccoon get mean, her uncle said. If they’re big enough, they’ll fight a dog. No problem. But the last day or two the dog started acting weird. He’d suddenly disappeared that morning and not been home all day.

Just as her uncle was finishing his story, they all heard a growl from under the trailer. The uncle instinctively stood and pulled a big and heavy stick he’d been poking at the fire with. The dog tore out. Dust and gravel scattered from its paws. Her mom shrilled and she remembered the hair on her arms and the back of her neck stand up. The uncle went for the dog and struck it hard with the smoldering stick, but the dog was unfazed.

One of the boys ran inside to get a rifle. The uncle snatched the gun and tossed down the stick to the boy. He tried to take aim as the dog ran through the yard and chased them all, running and screaming. The dog suddenly slid to a stop, falling over its hind legs. For a split second it locked eyes with the little girl before it bound full speed for her. She said she felt its bite sink hot into her arm as she raised her hands to shield herself. Then she heard the loud crack and echo of her uncle’s gun and the dog was down and dead. Also, just like in the movies, it lay in the dirt with its eyes open, teeth still in a snarl and foamy drool seeping out.

That was her, “I was once bit by a rabid dog.” story. I lay there in her bed and listened. We were naked after a half-decent drunken romp. She was twenty years younger than I. Her red hair was thinning were she wore the part down the middle of her scalp. It felt good to have a young, naked girl snuggle into my side in the dark. She was only stranger and as she kissed my neck with soft little suckling kisses, I couldn’t remember her name.

Until that moment, I hadn’t felt so homesick since I was a boy. In an instant she was asleep. And I wondered how her uncle felt about killing his dog, if he still had that same woman, or if he still had that same gun.

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Tuesday’s no different than Friday

Tuesday’s no different than Friday.

Sometimes there’s nothing more to say. Sometimes, even if there were, no one there to listen. I just got home. I poured my first drink. Kicked off my shoes. On the couch in my socks, shorts and t-shirt. Work is 37 miles and an hour and a half behind me now. Heading back to the kitchen to pour another. I’m going to keep pouring them till the night is all poured away.

No radio tonight. No t.v. either. The neighbors’ cat isn’t snooping around my porch. My dinner comes wrapped paper most nights. Sleep evades me. The morning is more cruel each new day.

In my bed I stare up into the darkness. The darkness stares back into me.

I listen to the night. I hear a planes’ engine echoing high and far way. I hear the angry car horn violently being smashed by some poor desperate fuck. I hear the girl in the apartment across the way humping herself in her sheets.

Sometimes I think that maybe I should wish for the morning to never come. Sometimes I hold on on tooth and nail that I see the sun again.

I guess the night wasn’t so easy as I’d hoped. Thank the Lord that I picked up that second bottle to finish the job, and finish it right.

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Somewhere in the valley

Somewhere in the valley.

The neighbor’s cat likes to climb up to my second story balcony when I’m out watering my plants. She has a pink collar with a little bell. She’s a grey tabby. Her black and brown stripes remind me of an old cat I used to have.

I like to keep humming bird feeders on my balcony. The feeders are too high up for the cat to reach. The humming birds too fast. So she sits tense, on the ledge and watches with wide eyes as the birds buzz in and out.

After I’ve watered my plants, I slip back inside my little two bedroom apartment. The cat stays out and watches the birds.

In my apartment, on the old and worn couch, in front of the t.v. that usually sits blank, a nearly naked and unbathed long haired blonde and beautiful young woman reads a book.

I go to the kitchen cupboard and pull down a bottle of Irish whiskey and pour us a drink. The cat and the lady, I know, are bored with their own lives, so they both come to be with me.

The cat hops down from the balcony and slinks into the kitchen. I know what she wants. She rubs herself against me. She meows and rubs some more. I open the freezer door and she stands on her hind legs and paws at my legs. She wants ice cream. Vanilla is her favorite. I always keep it stocked for her. I pull off the top of the 1/2 gallon tub to scoop her a big round serving. I set the dish down and she sits, shoulders pinched and back hunched as she licks and licks.

The lady on the couch looks up from her book. She is lighting a cigarette and she says, “You’re a slave to pussy in every way.”

I pick up the drink I’ve poured for us. I bring her hers and I kiss her mouth. Her breath is bad. Her lips are dry, but the kiss is wet and gets my cock to stiffen.

I say, “But it’s your pussy that’s got me whipped over any other, you cunt.” She laughs. And I nudge her legs open wider with the hand I’m holding my drink, with my free hand I pull open at the space between her thigh and the boxer shorts of mine that she’s been wearing for the last two days. The fur of her muff is thick, matted, soft and dark blonde. And I’m in love with her. And I am glad to be alive. I snicker to myself, “Good Lord, it’s good to be a man. It’s good to be a beast.” Then, we kiss again and I spill my drink. The cat in the kitchen laps at the bottom of her dish. And the birds buzz back and forth on my balcony. And I don’t don’t care if tomorrow never comes.

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Kicking away the chair

Kicking away the chair.

So much time has passed. When I haven’t heard from you, I knew that you’ve gone and kicked your heels in the air. You’ve gone and let loose on who ever’s been rattling your cage. I could see it in your eyes. It was in the anger in your voice. I could see it in the way you stopped keeping your hair.

You have nothing to lose. Your pistol is loaded. It has been for months now and you’re ready to blast a holes in the walls. You’re holding on tight, one hand holding the other. Your teeth are gritted. Your jaws flex. Your feet planted firm. You squeeze. Bang. Bang. Bang. The sound rings in your head so loud that you can’t hear anything else.

Your mouth is open wide. Your teeth bare. Your throat is dry. Sweat rolls down your tits, from your nipples to the sheets. And you wonder why you waited so long. You’re not sure whether to laugh, scream or cry. You do something in between.

The weight of the body atop of you presses heavy against you. But you’ve been crushed by far less. Nothing in the room, nothing in the night, nothing before this moment will ever measure up to the tears of complete pleasure rolling down your face.

How wrong you have been. How many years lost, you wonder. Then it all starts up again, and you grip tight and hold on. And you smile in the dark, knowing that you’ve lost nothing, as long as this fuck keeps pumping away at you.

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The Moon Got In My Eyes

The Moon Got In My Eyes.

He was weird. Didn’t really matter if you’d only met him briefly, or if you really got to know him, he was a strange one. Nevertheless, you liked him. No tricks, just the truth. That’s what he’d try to convince you to believe he was about. It was all just a distraction. That was his expertise. He was so good at it, that you’d let him run with it. You’d let him take a twenty from your wallet and shred it and toss it into the air, while you were told it was magic. You’d let him buy you drinks all night and then when you’re too sloshed to do anything more about it than laugh and slap him on the back, you’d let him make out with your girl right in front of you. 

He had the best stories to tell. Some would be be too crazy to believe, but you knew in your heart that they were true. Other stories he’d tell would have you and ten others listening laughing harder than you could remember ever laughing. And at other times, he’d have you almost on his knee, telling the most heartbreaking story that you ever heard, bringing you to tears, then he’d end it with a joke, as if tossing the world itself to the wind.

He’s gone now, but you’re still here and so are your memories with him. You think about him almost all the time. You hear a story or run across someone that you both knew and go for the phone to call him to hear what he had to say about it all, but then you remember. You remember that all there is of him is what you hold between your laughter and your tears. He is only there in that frog in your throat when you realize how much he meant to you. And you wish that what he wished for could be possible, that he could live forever.

You heard him say it many, many times, but you didn’t fully understand what he meant by it. He’d tell you in those drunken melancholy moments, shuffling out of some pub, or fireside in his backyard or at someone else’s funeral, that it’s the tiny things in life that pinch at his heart the most painful when he thinks about death. He’d tell you that he’s going to miss ice cream. He’s going to miss hearing that slap, slap, slap of the young and beautiful ladies feet smacking in their flip flap sandals as they walk away from him. He’s going to miss the stomping and stumbling of watching a little baby who’s yet not mastered walking. He’d tell you this while you were both ripped drunk, so you’d just let it go as more of his rambling. But now, you understand. Now he’s gone. Now you start to count and gather what you find a treasure in your own life, and what you can’t take with you when you too get snuffed. Your light will be out and you’ll never see or know the smoke trail left behind. That will be left for those that loved you, but never knew you as fully as they’d wished they had.

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Cherry. Grape. Orange.

Cherry. Grape. Orange.

Tonight it’s hot. It’s always hot in October. People seem to forget that every year.

I fell asleep on the couch almost immediately after I came home from work. When I woke up it was dark in my living room, but the sun hadn’t set and I could see its light through the curtains.

My head was heavy and my thoughts were slow. I’d kicked off my shoes before the nap, but slept in my socks.

I dragged myself to take a piss before I clicked on a couple lights in the apartment. I sat on the couch again and sweat rolled down my neck. I had to take a ride out to Venice Beach to look at a used car. I liked the car and I made an offer.

Once home, I had a late dinner and watched a documentary of early film. It was late now and I knew I’d have to try to sleep soon. My nights are fitful. I will see the morning and be exhausted.

I walked to the store for a box of popsicles. I like to eat them in bed. This helps me relax.

On my walk to the store I carried in my hand a whole lemon I had in the kitchen but never ate. Its rind was getting too soft so I took it with me to throw as far as I could. From my driveway and all the way up my block I could smell people smoking cigarettes from their upstairs patios, porches and one guy sitting in a parked car.

I walked up the street. I waited till there were no passing cars and I hurled the lemon onto the 3rd story roof of the building across the street. A homeless man on the sidewalk witnessed the throw and acknowledged nothing when I walked passed him.

Many times in the store there are pretty young ladies. Not tonight. I bought two boxes of popsicles.

On the way back home, there were more people smoking cigarettes. A group of four people were walking ahead of me. Two large and sloppy men, both smoking. One short sloppy woman, also smoking. And one thin and amazingly beautiful bodied young lady. She wore very short and tight jean shorts, a white t-shirt, calve high socks with red stripes and white canvas sneakers. She had no cigarette.

People can either become disarmed or angry in this type of early fall heat. Some times people have no control of their actions under this type mocking swelter. I always try to keep them from my back. They complain and asks why is it so hot this time of year. They seem to forget. Maybe they choose to forget.

I don’t forget. I will never forget.

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