Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Here and Colorado


Mario’s Pizza, Gunnison – June 4th

In our booth, in our wooden alcove. I can’t see. I don’t have to see. The Tapout shirt. The retiree with the tucked in t and no belt. Clothes inspired by bad tattoos. Things bedazzled. I love these booths. I want all restaurants to have them. And the waiter. This guy. I wish I went to high school with him. I’m not sure why. He talks like a VJ. I think he would’ve been fun in study hall. Maybe that’s it. I can’t see them and so I can pretend. So I do.

An orange glow. Then a streak. Now a tint. I am with Sonja and Devin.

The electrical synapse corrodes, it flickers. Orange. Orange-ish. A guy Sonja knows comes up to us. How did he see us? He compliments my shirt, then says “no homo” and laughs. This makes me not like him. He leaves. We talk again. It flickers. I take a drink. Sonja says she guided with him a few years ago. His name is Chase. Sonja has a sister named Sasha. When I see her, I say her name with verve. She seems to like this.

I go away. I spread out in the booth. I have my side to myself. I wonder if they notice I’m away.

A polyester jacket, with a chenille letter I earned, myself. I-vi-IV-V all over my record player. Not cause it’s hip; cause it’s all we have. I’m here. The orange is from a light in a mine shaft. How I imagine it looks that is. The light of ’55.

But I’m back and my hair still cool from dipping it in the reservoir. And the stones I tried to skip. And the mud now on my cuff.

Last night in the hot water. I looked at Sonja. Sonja and the stars and the smell of sulfur. I got so thirsty in there. We played chicken with Devin and Claire before. I love these booths.

I saw her then; Alana: specter of tweed-clad college, hard-bound. At least in my mind, sometimes in person, sometimes with elbow patches. She was range roved and her blanket, madras. With the embroidered letters. It really was madras. Those years were madras. Madras and embroidered. She’s ingested so much bad since school. Mostly guys. Dudes. Some dudes.

It was a thousand miles from here. In blazers. Collars popped when it was cold. As pillows in the spring. On a madras blanket. Thinking about my books. Reading books. Thinking about my iPod battery. Blocking out time for studying. Not for this. Pencil skirts, mackintoshes, saddle shoes, duck boots, toggles. Her eye lids; perpetually gibbous. Lined. Out lined. So bored and so excited. At the same time. Only her.

She was bored though. Her that is. Herself. Roman candle bursts of thrill. It’s not enough. No one’s surprised at what has happened.

Now, on the way past me to her own panels of wood. To her own waiter. Her own food. I don’t even think it’s weird. I heard she was here. Kinda here. Here and New Zealand. Here and New Zealand. New Zealand and here. Microfibers and the North Face.

Not here exactly, but a hundred miles close. Gust that breathes for you when it’s warm, chill that takes it away. Alana. Who? Alana! She.

That won’t stop. It’s good I can’t see. There’s orange grease on my fingers that I lick and leave. She can’t see.

Youth Lagoon - Montana

Old Town, Ft. Collins – June 24th

The rain split, but the lights are still distressed. Kinda lo-fi. Smudged. So many amateur photos of this.

It’s summer, so the populace is sparse. It’s like a painting awaiting people to be added to the scene. Still wet like a painting not yet dry.

Streaked rubber, dabbed tar, splattered oil. We cross the street. It’s nice it’s night.

On the corner, a man stops us. He says he wants to ask us a question. I prepare to explain the universe to him. He sprays us with cologne. I toss water with my shoe. I am bored. He is nice. He is hard to shake. We leave. Dominic and I leave. He was nice though. We had to say no. Why would we buy cologne on the street? He made references to clubs. We really couldn’t.

Along we walk. Snaking neon, fields of brick, hedged by eaves. Cagey stares from underneath awnings. The wet slips, yet remains.

Dom points to a place and says he knows all the waitresses there. No one cares. I ask him if he knew Kendall’s aunt owned that place. No one cares. We double back. The same looks. Mirror neon. New shadows. Back. Guys dressed like middle schoolers in entry ways. Skater clothes.

We cross the street again. Halfway through, I begin air high-fiving the walk light cautioning us. This place is just dripping.

We head east of College Ave. To the promenade. The town square. Shops mostly closed. Bars and restaurants mostly open. A few persons hung about on shelves of benches and ledges. Maybe it’s the water, but I walk to the beat of waves.

An imprisoned bar. A stoplight inside. A fog light of color. We pass, but in the swirl we hear our names. It is Brittney. Or Britni. I forget. A black ribbed tank top with the bar’s logo. I wonder if she ever wears it for fun. A belt of flesh. A black skirt. Do they even make long black skirts? A black apron that’s longer. She’s a year younger than us. From school.

4th grade recess when my friend asked if she had been dropped on her face as a baby. Then ran off crying to the teacher. In 8th grade and I was a freshman. I talked to her and her friends when they came to the football games. Junior year summer when we pretended over text to be closer than what we were. College when we didn’t talk for years. I hugged her when she graduated. It feels good to see her.

She had been outside talking to the bouncers. They sit on stools. They are in black too. She talks to us now.

Her tartan is stark blonde highlights over subtle shades of brunette, traces of purple. She talks much. She mentions a boyfriend occasionally. If I had to guess, I would say he has a large truck, but is emotionally unavailable. He is some night-club promoter. How is that even a job? There’s always a market for morons. I always found her attractive.

Her face seems worse, but her body is better. I feel like her laugh is now licensed for commercial use.

She says she does modeling too. A big smile. Shows us photos. Why does she have photos on her?

I tried to hide my reaction, but she caught me. I couldn’t whip my judgment of her behind my back quick enough. Casually hide it there. Slip it into my pocket. Before she ever noticed. She could tell though. I couldn't help it. It was quiet and late and they were sleeping, but the wood still creaked when I moved. It happened. I moved. It creaked. Like that.

I don't like seeing old friends anymore. When they see me they stare like a test question they hadn't studied for. I am glad to see Brittney or Brittany. Maybe it is Britni. I hope I don't make her feel like that. I hope I didn’t. Dominic sometimes siphons his personality from others. I feel bad. She seemed happy.

Snailouse – Living the Dream

Outlets, Silverthorne – July 10th

Oh magic fabric! You, imbedded with a thousand microscopic Hebrew slaves waving palm leaves on my skin. Bailing sweat off in buckets. Making Egyptian cotton seem like Kevlar. Making a regular 50/50 shirt seem to be a disadvantage. Even you appear to be a good idea in here. We’ll never work out for more than a month. But, still. For $12. And, wait…you were $30? As I lift you in my hand, you make so much sense. It’s too much!

That shiny thing though! I see you too. Savant water bottle. The thing is: I could carry you wherever I go. I’d barely notice you. Until I needed you. When my throat calls to you. What a marvel you are! Apparently I could run over you. I could press the tonnage of a car down on you and you’d hold strong. You wouldn’t even hold it against me. You’d forgive me and my car! You’d look past the incident. You’d still honor your contract. Continue to aid in nourishing me. You’re swell. You know that? Well, I don’t know though. I’m not really in the habit of running over water bottles. I’m really not. Still though. $4! You seem like such a good idea too! I need some air.

What is this place? Shouldn’t people be adjusting insurance claims in here? Calling people off of boy band microphone headsets. Why am I here? What are we doing here Sonja? When can we leave? How can we get out?

These lights. This place. Whitewash. I want to leave this whitewashed place. Fluorescent lights. Fluorescent retina.

The whitewash makes it seem like a dream. My memories all seem like dreams now. I no longer recall them in my body; only in my head. They are movies. Not memories. Whitewashed. High brightness, low contrast.

I can float back into them. Merge. Invade the background until I’m unnatural white too. And it’s like I was never there at all. My life a dream.

Who are these nice people, Makeala? Makeala and company. Makeala and her family. From the hamlet of Atlanta. Months verging on a year since Sonja and I have seen Makeala. Never since I’ve seen her family. Her Christmas card family. Her dressed in white and khaki on a beach with a wink of sand fence and scarf of sunset family. Whitewash.

A little brother. He annoys most and does much; thankfully keeps us adults from talking directly to each other often. A sister who looks both older and younger. Who acts both older and younger. I think she’s older.

A mom; pruney and water-logged. Permanently sunglassed. Perpetually exhausted. Sleeps on a Pumice Stone. A dad who wears Turtle necks. He spent too much on his glasses. I get the feeling he’s gone the majority of his life with a goatee. I do not respect him.

It was awful nice of them to let us come up though. I’m glad to be up here. In this lacquered world. Varnished. Sanded. Finished. Wilderness, right?

It’s nice to escape. To stay in a different room. To dream the lush foreign dreams of a new bed. To have experiences that’ll feel like dreams. That’ll fade into nothing. The whitewash.

I watch Makeala make her dad buy her things she doesn’t need and then it fades to white. I see Makeala’s sister roll her eyes and then it fades to white. I see Sonja become tired as only doing nothing can make you as it fades to white. I come out of the white to make a joke to her brother about the song playing in the store and then dive back in.

Makeala: your sister with the tulips pouring from her mouth. Pearls from her ears. Her face blurry with makeup. She tells your mother she’s bored, but she cc:’s everyone within ear’s reach.

These kids are not impressed. They are not impressed. They are the cliché kids of an early oughts PG comedy. They want to go back to the house to watch a movie. The house the company owns. That the company lets senior management use. In that house I had my choice of beds. I went with the one on the left. In a room of the digested West. Wampum. Moqui stripes. Sarapes. Bones. Bones animals vomited from their heads.

Makeala, remember our bike ride? You, me, Sonja. Just this morning. I couldn’t adjust the seat. I used the soles of my shoes as brakes. We got out and rode before we remembered how much we loved sitting on couches. I think of it.

Nice of them to let us come. I doubt Makeala’s parents remember my name. Why should they? Who are we? Who are we to demand to go to the Outlets? Who are we to demand to go watch a movie? Who are we to tag along? No q & a. No cue. No queue. It wasn’t my idea. None of it.

Who are we? We are dictators all of us. The light turns on when I tell it to. The information is there when I want it. I summon who I want to communicate with. I don’t wait. It happens when I want it. Patience is quaint. We are all dictators.

We don’t understand when things don’t go our way. We need attention, admiration. We are cold, uncaring. I am bigger than you see me. You are smaller than you see you. You are paranoid. You are too sensitive about yourself. You are a brick wall to anything pertaining to others. You are rigid. You are paranoid. You don’t know how any sane, good person could have a different opinion on abortion. You are a dictator.

You get mad at the car taking a second too long to start once it turns green, delaying your diplomatic envoy to McDonald’s. You get mad when they put on ketchup at McDonald’s. Don’t they know who you are? If you can change your Yahoo wallpaper to be whatever you want, then why would anyone think differently on the economic crisis?

You take 50 pictures of yourself. Find the one angle where you look how a famous person should. Where your asymmetrical face, long nose, small mouth, too close eyes, fumbling hair, look antonym. You pretend to be that person the rest of your life. In your mind you are that person. You plaster that picture like propaganda anywhere you can. You never have to look in a mirror again. You have that picture.

The distance between who I am and who I think I am grows. They are now two people and take off to two different lives. I feel the gulf. It lives in every sentence I say and thought in my mind. They'll meet occasionally throughout the rest of their lives. Like old friends. One time at Christmas. Once on a vacation. Another time after rereading a favorite book. A few times when they find a new hobby. When the current of truth that runs through everything aligns and the person I think I am climbs back inside the person I am. I miss it. I miss me. I miss you. Even if I don’t know you that well. I still miss the person you used to be.

Now in a rented minivan. GPS to the house. Sonya, Makeala, me in the middle. Talking amongst. We throw our conversation on the Roulette Wheel. Every once in awhile it lands on the first 12 and feels like old times. Other times. It’s whitewash.

Gauntlet Hair – Top Bunk

10th St, Boulder – July 29th

Kiddie pool in the front yard. Iced and flush with drinks. People on the lawn. On the porch. Inside. Out back. Everywhere really. And I among them. Inside.

Out of all the things to do. The things I could be doing. The things I’ve done. A view I climbed to see. Strumming a guitar. When I punched Daly. Running till air gnawed through my neck, lungs, and muscles. Nothing extends to every cell like talking to you, new friend.

You here now. You who I discover I like. Who I like talking to. Who I probably won’t be talking to in twenty. I’ll continue to like you for a day. For longer too. Maybe. You, girl. With your too many bracelets. With your loose, long tank top. Your waterfall hair.

I’ll project a life unto you. Times you’ve never had. I’ll assign a first boyfriend to you. Favorite bands. A quirky taste for Mexican sodas you can only find in gas stations. I’ll assume that you’d adore the things I have to say after we leave a show. Love the way I look with my hood up. Love the way you look with a hood on. That we’ll have a unifying love for public transportation. That your confidence in clichés will make up for me being too embarrassed to believe in them myself. Don’t worry yourself telling me. I’ll figure it out myself. You don’t mind, do you? Thanks. It really makes me happy. I’m actually doing it right now. Yes, that’s correct. All in an instant. All without words. All in one feeling.

This could go on for awhile, couldn’t it? But what exactly? Sidney, she says.

Then there’s you. Who currently resides in the corner of my eye. My older friend. My friend. You whom I came with, but am not talking to. I will be talking to you in twenty. You, for whom I hide an occasional disdain. For not being exactly what I want at some exact moment. For not leaving enough room for my imagination. For us knowing each other too well. Not well enough. Brooklyn, you are.

I am for the faint of heart.

Music comes from the upper corners of the room. Upstairs someone plays along to the beats on a drum kit. When they hit the cymbals and hi-hats it’s metallic rain.

I have been in this house before. Not this one. This house though. My friend Louis lived in a house like this. The Formica. The green. The linoleum. I spent the night there. His brothers and sisters thought I was so funny. He had a bunch. I did impersonations of Louis and mine’s friends.

He came and picked me up with his mom Teresa. He kept telling her to turn up the bass.

The bass took over for my heartbeat. It rolled through the room. A storm. Kick drum thunder. Snare drum lightning. It settles. It surrounds. Is in us.

It’s turned down. The drummer keeps playing. Though.

I’ve left Sidney and am back with Brooklyn. I came with her. She’s chill. I think she’s great. I think she’s terrific. That’s what I say when I'm fond of someone, but I can’t put my tongue on why exactly. I wish Sonja was with us. We both like her. She likes the both of us. She doesn’t live here right not. Not in this area code anymore.

This couch is swallowing me. And Brooklyn. The twine from the stitching comes up and ties us down. I don’t mind.

I’ve been in a stable string period the past couple weeks. I haven’t been questioning. Getting up in the morning makes sense. It’s nice. It’s starting to wear off though. Tonight it is.

I look around and the only color my eyes seize on is red. Red patches floating all over. My eyes tighten the image and I see they’re cups.

I see they’re in control. The cups. Cylindrical spaceships towing around their human cargo. Tugging them to the outer reaches of the galaxy. The cup is a brain. It has a human tail. A parasite that has taken a human host. Taken over. Consciousness has been outsourced to it.

The couch and the cups bother me now. I ask Brooklyn if she wants to go upstairs for some air. I smile at my sentence. She laughs. There’s no more drumming. Took no notice of it stopping.

I go every other and jiggle the rail. Brooklyn behind me. Some people in the hallway. They stare. Take the place of family photos.

I look for and find the room with the drums. It is empty of people. I sit on a lawn chair. Brooklyn bounces small and steady on a fitness ball.

Then I get up. Survey the room. I go to the mirror. Ticket stubs. To the Fox Theater. To the Rocky Mountain Showdown. There are pictures. Edged into the frame. Of my friend Jordan. This is his room. I don’t know who he shares it with. I’ve seen these photos before. On the internet. It’s weird to see them now. Folds, fingerprints. Creases, no captions. Google Art Project. Wikipedia. Then I saw them in real life. Uffizi. Louvre. Musée d'Orsay. The British. Prado.

It was green downstairs. Older, lime. It’s fresher in here. Vivid. Alive green. Not plant green. Electric green. Popsicle green. Electric popsicle green. It shoots through here. Crystalline shoots, striped across the room.

It’s the bunk bed. I love the bunk bed in here. I love bunk beds. I never had a bad night in a bunk bed. I never spent a night in a bunk bed with someone I didn’t trust. I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag next to Louis’ bed. I slept in a bunk bed at Trenton’s. It was metal and shook. This bunk bed. Golden wood. Benign right angles. I sit again. I marvel at the bunk bed. Brooklyn bounces away.

I’m glad Brooklyn is here. She’s a better friend to me than I am to her. I put my feet up on the bottom bunk. I lean back. I fall.

As I lay on my back with the light sliced by the ceiling fan to which streamers have been attached and the bunk bed as the bottom border of my vision, I have an existential reboot. The Apple start-up music. The Windows login music. I have no awareness of being alive before. I am not me. In a day when I understand time again, I’ll see this is the best thing that’s happened in awhile.

Then Brooklyn is over me. She’s not laughing, she just smiles. Her hair drops down, whispers and sweeps my skin. We’re in a cave of faces. I imagine she’s on the top bunk, looking down at me on the bottom. Right before we go to sleep. A cave of our faces.

Indian Rebound - Sitges

The Fillmore Auditorium, Denver – August 9th

Chandeliers always put me in a good mood. Never too good of a mood. Just right. The same way walking over a wooden bridge does.

We were raised in the smell of hairspray. And between shoulder pads. Jackets with them. Disciplined under them, wrapped in mesh. They tricked us into reading. Made it into some Pavlovian experiment. We got pizza out of it though. And now we are here. Standing. Aching. I twist in my tube of personal space. My barrel of 88% social nicety. Stretch, rotate, release. As many micro-movements as I can fit. In. We are under chandeliers. It’s usually a good sign if you’re under a chandelier. Good decisions lead to chandeliers.

We stand like tall grass. And when we like what we hear, it's like wind moving through us. The opener made me move like airplane turbulence. Now we’re rustling you could say. Being raked like leaves.

Ceiling of clouds, roof of sweat. In it. We were all so annoying before we turned 20. Right before. How we secretly thought we'd never be as cool once we were no longer teenagers. The realization that we’d never be considered prodigies. The fear that nothing would ever come naturally. That we hadn’t been discovered. That it’d all get harder. What's the ratio of minutes worked to minutes enjoyed? How many minutes must I suffer for every minute of perfection? I don't remember my last perfect minute. I have had some though. Two Fridays ago I guess.

It’s bad though. Here. When I look around. I don’t mind the flat bills. They don’t ask to be taken seriously. At least not in the same way. But the fedoras, military caps, newsie hats. Why are you here? Why are you on? Fedoras. Shouldn’t you be at home recording acoustic covers for YouTube? And military caps. Go back to your coffee shop. Go edit your digital nature photos. Go have an adventure for me. Go feel something for me. Then report back. Preferably by blog. Make it easier for me and link back to it on Twitter. But first you must guilt me into following you, by following me. Hurry though! You only have a month before I unfollow you without you realizing it. In your mind I will always be following you. And newsie caps. Continue thinking people like you more than they do. They don’t. Everyone's a little disappointed when that guy shows up. Subtly self-conscious about wearing his new cap.

We are colloquial, we are quaint, we are provincial. Not!

I don’t get it. It’s more relatable to say I hate reading. No one gets it when I say “no thanks!” They talk about their best days. Doing nothing. Having to do nothing. Sitting on the couch. I have the evidence if you don’t believe me. That half has preprocessed experiences, the other half have fake ones. Flat bills and fedoras. Very few experience. You can tell them though. They're the ones not telling everyone else.

I don’t get these people. They say they love natural beauty. Colorado. Why are there so many tattoos on them? More per square inch of skin than anywhere else. Denver.

Has the music hit our bloodstream yet?

We shower in news clippings. Personal and professional. And so we don’t know anything. Really. I only speak rumors. Not from knowledge, understanding. Just things I’ve heard. Friends of friends. News Sources. Secondhand at best. Rumors. Does anyone know what they're talking about? News. Knowledge.

Those chandeliers though. Later, if bored I shall use you to imagine myself at a ball. One where there are prescribed dances that have already been planned out for me. My sentiments outweigh my vision and so I am trapped. All for socio goals.

That’s the thing though. I was tricked. We were bamboozled. They duped us. They said there were no limits. Unlimited options. Not true. They are just better hidden.

They said I could dance however I wanted. It could flow through me. I can’t though. I can’t move in every way. Not even as well as him. Or her. I can only do so much. I wish I only had to dance how they told me. That way, I could focus on making eye contact with a lady love. That way, I wouldn’t have to think about if that accidental brush was intentional. I want to do the dances that have already been figured out for me. The ones that make me less of an animal. The ones whose lines help me to see the lines that make up me. Distinguish. Distinct.

These limits are there. My dad couldn’t get me a car nor your internship. They’re just better hidden. It just makes it that much more confusing when one confronts them. They said they weren’t there. Some buried electric fence they hoped you’d never test the boundaries of.

We all say the same lies. A few fortunate souls have destiny’s luck that prove them true. They’re not. They got lucky. With so many combinations someone was bound to get lucky. Now they seem larger than life. Passion is the lottery. Talent is pedestrian.

They made so many plans for us. Then gave us too many options. I know it’s my fault. I know. Where to start though? Anyone know? Options...

Satellite Stories – Helsinki Art Scene

Here’s the thing though: everyday feels like a dress up party. What are these costumes? What is this ’49 haircut I have? This 80s print on my shirt? The 60s cut of my shorts. The same shoes I wore as a kid in the 90s. Now on my same feet. Only bigger, the both of us. Huh? What did you say? Come again. Sorry, I still didn’t catch that. Whatever.

Costume party. Us. You. From who did you steal that mustache? It is not yours. It’s New York’s. Oh? You heart NY. I see. That’s cool. Well, what of your shirt though? Your tank top is from California. Striped planks from the boardwalk of the Santa Monica sunset. Cali. Yes. Them. Those shoes. They are of the Algonquin’s deer in Mass. A 1/16th Cherokee? Who cares? What difference does that make? And your cut-offs from the homeless of Wichita. I’ve been there. I’ve seen them. Have too. Your homage to them is charming. Libyan rebels dress like you too. Take a look. See for yourselves. And you sir! Why a backpack? That requires an explanation! It must. Your apartment is a museum. I bet. A real collection of treasures from indiscriminate middle-class humans of the past century. Especially pack rats. Especially ones with mothers who were good housekeepers. Good stewards. I’m sure all of your apartments are. Either that or plastic.

We aren't people. We want to be plastic. We don’t want DNA. We want to choose a mold to be poured in. We aren’t people. We are create your own players. We are a higher vitality and a lessened morality. We were 10 pts for a beard. 50 for muscles. I can switch my outfit. I can switch my vehicle. We were so close to turbo. We are limited. I am an a la-carte. I am not real. Someday though, we could be.

Until then. I need you. And you and you. I need them. You guys too. Y'all. Vosotros. Us I guess. I need those coins and tokens you put out. Place them and I will follow. I will seek. I will jump, overcome obstacles for them. Battle bits for the bits. They're more horse bits, aren't they? Decimals of confirmation that add up. Decibels of corroboration. Quicker than you think.

You can even choose your own problems. It’s made up. When someone tells me they have self-destructive tendencies, all I hear is that they’re taking a shortcut to significance. The lazy way out. When there’s blood you must matter. When your stomach’s pumped you must matter. When your friend is making sure you get home safe you must matter. Lazy. Made up.

There, there. It's ok. I know how you feel. I feel the same. I do. The exact same. I feel just as stupid. Our subconsciouses agree. When the door is heavier than I expect, when the doctor's form is impossibly hard to fill out. When I sneeze and no one says "bless you." When I sneeze and three people say "bless you." When I actually meant to type "too." When I realize that you feel the same. When I see that you think you're just as special. Just as destined.

But that's what makes it ok. It's what makes it significant. Justifies. Our own newspapers. That's why we follow, like, add. The more; the less it can be true. And with each crumb it is validated. It hides "have a nice day," "good, how are you?" It hides when water goes down the wrong pipe. No more squeaky leather. The currency does drown us though. The currents are too much. It's exposing us! Why isn't everyone else embarrassed?

We are trading cards. If maybe someone would put me in their spokes. I’d have significance. A use. The famous have it best. Even their gum sells for hundreds...

I promise you I feel the same though. If you'd just believe me, we could stop. I feel the exact exact same. Seriously. Seriously. Seriously. The same. Admit it. Let’s admit it and leave.
continue reading...
DreamHost deal