Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dog From Hell

There's a feeling that I just kind of discovered today. Not that I was the first one to ever feel this feeling but rather I've just today conceived and registered it as a feeling that can be felt. You know it, too. It's that feeling you got when you were little. You had a friend stay over night and the next day, when they left, there was that utter dullness that was left behind. You were having a blast for a full 24 hours. You had a companion who was totally down to do whatever you wanted to do and vice versa and it was just constant fucking fun. And then it was over. It's like coming down from a high. Everything around you loses its appeal and your life just feels lame.

This is what's happening right now. For the time being, everything in this apartment is fucking dull. The guitars sit on their stands un-played and the books sit on the shelf un-read. The phone hasn't made any kind of noise in the past 12 hours. The fan is shaking its head, "no" in slow motion. Movies are too much of a commitment. I did trim my beard, however, for about half an hour. That was fun.

Honestly, I've become bored with writing this. I can't decide if I just want to publish it as it is or just delete it.

....fuck it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bees And Their Eternal Freedom

After returning from Illinois, I was greeted with a filthy car that had endured what appeared to be two weeks of endless dust storms and had accumulated a tree's worth of leaves in the cracks and crevices of the doors and the hood. And because driving a car that dirty in the glaring sunlight makes me uncomfortable, I chose to wash it. Which was fun. I take great pleasure in washing my car on a nice day with some music playing in the background and having no one bother me for the hour or so that it takes.

I finished washing the car. I wrapped up the hose, dumped the soapy water, and shammed it dry. After washing a car, I like to stare at it for a little while and admire the shine and the glimmer that seems to tarnish all too soon. As I did this, I smoked myself a cigarette and began thinking of my responsibilities. All of the things that can turn a nice relaxing afternoon into a worry-fest of unnecessary proportions.

This whole finding work thing is really getting to be frustrating. I, as well as many others, am at a point where so much is up in the air and it all resists falling into place. I received a deadline from my parents during this past visit. If I'm not absolutely and completely self-sufficient and fully employed by March (when my lease is up,) I am to move back home, work for a while until I pay off my loans and save up enough money to try again. Obviously, this can't happen. It really just can't. And so I need a job. Now. Give me one.

And then I think about my current apartment. (I'm still in Ventura because I dread having to go back to it.) Living in Koreatown has become one of my top three sources of stress. I didn't realize this until I went home and could spend two weeks just not giving a fuck about anything. I'm constantly worried about my car being parked outside. Every week I see a new pile of broken glass on the sidewalk where it looks like someone's window was busted out and I feel it's just a matter of time before that pile of glass is MY pile of glass. It's that or it's wondering if the fucking parking enforcement has made up some new restriction that I am unknowingly not in compliance with and decide to charge me ungodly amounts of money for it. Or it's coming home past 8:00 p.m. and having to drive around for 20 minutes looking for a parking spot. Or having to drive an hour to go five miles. (Obviously exaggerating.)

Anyway. The point is a lot is on my mind in this moment with my car shining and my cigarette burning and the sound of the crazy neighbor's police scanner from across the driveway.

And then comes this bee. It's a fairly large bee and it lands on my car on the crack of the hood. It starts walking along this crack, feeling shit out and kind of halfway falling into the crack from time to time. Walking the line. This went on for maybe three minutes. There was nothing remotely exciting about this occurrence but it had my full attention. I was originally interested in how much he was struggling to stay standing due to the crack he kept falling into. I said to it, "just move away from the crack and you'll stop falling into it. The solution here is so simple." But it's a bee. It's going to do what it's going to do. So then after falling into the crack one last time it flies away. I watch it circle around and above my car. It did some random zips here and there and then it finally flew over the roof and out of sight. I all the sudden hate that bee. Here I am, a product of the same mysterious nature that all living things are a product of, including this bee, and yet I have to worry about things like parking and gas prices and diet and cancer and war and people's feelings while this bee worries about...whatever the fuck bees worry about. It's not really fair is it? Yeah we're supreme. We're capable of a lot more than a bee is capable of but that all kind of becomes a burden. Bees and everything else that is not human live on the basic instinct to survive and that's all they really care about. When they're hungry they eat. When they're tired they sleep. When it's time to reproduce, they fuck. We obviously do all of that too, but it's just so much more complicated. We get hungry, we find food. But in order to eat that food we exchange it for pieces of paper with faces on it. But in order to get the pieces of paper with faces on it, we have to work jobs. But in order to work jobs we have to be educated and capable of performing these jobs. But in order to be educated we have to go to school for years and years. But in order to go to school you have to exchange for more pieces of paper with faces on it that comes from someone that's already been through the process. And then for the rest of your life it's all about getting more pieces of paper. A bee flies around a finds a flower and drinks its sweet nectar. There's no bullshit involved. To reproduce we have to develop personalities and interests so that we might use them to attract other people whose personalities and interests we are also attracted to. And then you spend a lot of time together and go through a bunch of hoops and hurdles and one day you decide to make a baby. I don't know much about the sex lives of bees but I'm pretty sure they just kind of do it. I don't believe there's much else to it. Bees just have it so easy and that's my beef.
So then, while I wasn't looking, a bird poops on my freshly washed windshield. That motherfucker.

So anyway, I was angry for a while, wishing that maybe I was a bee instead of a human. But then later I ate a burrito and forgot about the whole thing because burritos are way better than fucking nectar.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Excerpt from "Oil!"

Excerpt from Upton Sinclair's "Oil!"

~ He had a sudden fit of desperation; and instead of the particular kind of embrace which has to do with dancing, he put his arms about her in a way that made it impossible for her to dance. This was a crude procedure, no credit to junior classman and leader of fashion in a high-toned universtiy. Bunny knew it, and was in a panic. She would not understand - she would be angry, and send him away!
But no, she was not angry; and somehow, she was able to understand. There is an old saying, that fingers were made before forks, and in the same way it is true that embraces wre made a long time before words. Bunny became aware that his clasp was being returned - and by a pair of capable arms, that were able to hold a girl upside down in the air and carry her into the surf! It was all right!
"Oh, Vee!" he whispered. "Then you do care for me!" Her lips met his, and they stood there in the moonlight, locked together, while the organ music rose to a shout.
"Vee, I was so scared!" And she laughed. "You silly boy!" But suddenly she drew back her head. "Bunny, I want to talk to you. There's something I must say. Let me go, and sit down, please - no, in that chair over there! I want us to talk quietly."
There was fear in her voice, and he did what she asked.
"What is it Vee?"
"I want us to be sensible, and know what we're doing. It seems to me hardly anybody I know can be happy in love, and I swore to God I never would get into it again."

"You'll have to get a new God!" Bunny had managed to recover the use of his tongue.
"I want us to promise to be happy! Any time we can't be happy, let's quit, and not have any fuss! Let's be sensible, and not go crazy with jealousy, and torment each other."

"You'll be a plenty for me," declared Bunny. "I surely won't make you jealous!"

"You don't know what you'll do! Nobody ever knows! It's the devil's own business - oh, you've no idea what I've seen, Bunny! You're nothing but a babe in arms."

"You'll be good to me, Vee, and raise me up!" "How do you know what I'll do? How do you know anything about me? You want me, without really knowing what I am or what I'll do! I could have told you a million lies, and how would you have known? The next woman that comes along will tell you a million and one, and how will you know about her?"
"That's too easy, Vee - you'll tell me!"
He sank down on his knees before her, and took one of her hands, intending to comfort her; but she pushed away.
"No, I don't want you to do that. I want you to think about what I'm saying. I want us to decide in cold blood."

"You make my blood cold," he laughed, "telling about the vamps of Hollywood!"

"Bunny, a man and a woman ought to tell each other the truth - all the time. They ought to trust each other that much, no matter how much it hurts. Isn't that so?"

"You bet it's so."

"If that means they give each other up, all right - but they've no business holding each other by lies. Will you make that bargain, Bunny?"

"I will."

"And I want you to know, I don't want any of your money."

"I haven't got any money, Vee - It's all Dad's. That is the first painful truth."
"Well, I don't want it. I've got my own, and I'll take care of myself. I've got a job, and you'll have yours, and we'll let each other alone, and meet when it makes both of us happy."
"That's too easy for a man, Vee!"
"It'll be a game, and those are the rules, and if we break the rules, it's cheating."
Bunny could assure her that he had never cheated in a game, and would not cheat in this one. So he overcame her fears, and she was in his arms again, and they were exchanging those ravishing kisses, of which for a time it seems impossible ever to have enough. Presently she whispered, "Some one will come out here, Bunny. Let me go in, and I'll dance a bit, and then make my excuses and get away, and you come up to my room."