Stories & Stories

Thomas. California.

I decided to take the ‘express’ bus to work today, which has a relatively higher fare, and its like a god damn limousine.
Everyone is quiet, dressed up to business casual, and the ride is more gentle with better cushioned seats.

Whereas my old bus was loud (sometimes just because of the road!) and crowded and unbelievably bumpy.

There’s also not a single nonwhite person on the new bus. Hm.

I miss my old bus; the characters to observe and the bumps and shakes. I could relax there because I was comfortable. Here, I feel I have a standard to upkeep. Its all public transit in the end, take that as you will.

Paper forges and mis-folds, or, A dedication to stained filters.

He couldn’t explain it.
He got sad sometimes.
The world was grey and a waxy film ruled over every sense.
Colors registered;
Vibrancy did not.
He got sad sometimes.

But then he was happy too.
Very happy.
The world was his and he traded the film for a magnifying glass.
The most minute of details and essences of changes
Would give themselves up to him.
And he took them.
He was very happy sometimes.

But the sadness turned black and the world did too.
The film was thick velum and the doom was already submitted in starved, scratchy delineations.
He was met with sorrow
And weight
And he no longer could stack and fold with
The little paper people that floated through his life.
He was without turgor and torn.

But then the happiness turned a scalding white and his mind did too.
Everything moved with uncatchable pace and he could not stop his legless thoughts.
He had trouble breathing sometimes because his chest snaked itself with flexed muscle and clogged capillaries.
His lungs wouldn’t work in the slump and sludge of panic.
He seared himself sometimes.

He wished then for the grey
And dull comfort, just as
He wished for the over saturated color
And proper folding of
Dotted lines
In times of soot.

All of his drying
And soaking
Made him brittle and wrinkled.
He lost his egg white sheen.
He accepted others emotional ink poorly
And when he did it
Feathered
And bled.

He always dreamed of crisp clean lightness,
The tender accepting fibers,
That used to be the pulp of his being,
That used to settle where his
Wrought jaws
Hinged on pig iron bones.

Teebs - Arthur’s Birds.
Nothing quite like Teebs on an eager bus ride back home.

The spoils of summer.

The spoils of summer.

Davis, California.

Davis, California.

Cast iron pizza we made last night.

Cast iron pizza we made last night.

Not all things age to value.

I threw away
some letters a few
weeks ago.

They had been
tempting
in the cusp of my bedside stand drawer,
sitting in an even bigger envelope,
a piece of protection against 
unwanted eyes and maybe even
the postman himself.

Each one had a name, someone dear
and each one filled a sloppy page
krinkled now from tireless review and the shucking of
hiding places.

They contained
a note for the wrongs I had committed
against them and the absence of my presence
now. 
Some had water stains, salted and dried
like a tough and stringy grab
of leftover meat
too old or sick or misused
to be edible,
but too precious to waste.

I looked for greatness in those lines
of smudged dust
but found only the call number
for a sad something I had believed
then and now again.

The proof is gone
and I won’t blame you if you don’t believe me,
anyway.

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Water to tea to warm air to empty cups.

I poured some hot water onto the crinkled tea bag that enamored my chipped cup.

The kettle had been quietly huffing over the hot, neon blue flame that I had started to inspire a whistle from that dull red and smattered hull. The water inside jumped, quicker and quicker, until it finally came to a steaming rest, imprisoned forever as a sweet and caramel brown liquid. 

The tea leaves didn’t seem to mind their eventual consumption and dispersion into a less concentrated nothing. A temporary fulfillment made out of an almost endless ideal and possibility. The tea could have been a million things, but now it was simply in my cup.

I hadn’t said anything that day. It was past noon and I had done just as I had said. 

I couldn’t sit still. The slow, tepid air had scratched my body and I could feel the lead of my shoulders swaying across my body from the dregs of sleep-needed. I slept 10 hours last night, but if this month has been anything, it’s been sleepless. 

At the start of the day, I had been checking that black screen for any sign of life but now that I had checked and checked and checked again that I was alone and without intention of being reached I gave up the inquiry and instead slipped into a quiet pensiveness that I knew was up to no good. 

I wasn’t bored, but I wasn’t doing anything, either. I was simply there. Running from the loneliness that threatened to splash up from the oven cleaned counter tops and scattered rooms and sheets and clothes tumbling

down,up

down,up

down,up

in the raising heat of the dryer. The AC kicked on but I put the temperature of higher. It was a hot day and I needed that.

I did anything to stop my voice and keep my mind from devouring itself because I hadn’t been truly alone in a long time. I could feel the well of tears unfounded hiding slyly in my ugly half closed eye that I called lazy but it saw all and worked vigilant and unclosing. I couldn’t stand looking in because I knew I’d find something quite like the cooling tea in my cup.

Something concentrated once, but now dispersed and liquid and only faintly resembling the high expectations I had set from the imagined greatness of daydreams and groveling nights.

I guess you could say I was sad but it was more than that. And less. It was a sadness in being and in slump and nothing in between it and the euphoria of living and knowing that I could potentially reach out and entertain and find importance to someone.

It was the potential that allured me but once again those expectations arose and reviewed my past and found that I really wasn’t that good at connecting and being with others. I was wretched, it seemed, and from that I saw a loneliness reserved for the crash of rock beaches unexplored and in the depths of a dump, long since filled and covered and planted. Dangerous? Maybe. 

down,up

down,up

down,up

Went the waves. And sitting, slightly off shore, I sat on a bed of seaweed. Terrified to look below for the sharks and poisons that startled there, but weakening for I was

forgetting how to swim.

I just realized I haven’t said a single word today.