Sometimes I pick up a pen to take notes before writing, but then I realize that the pen I’ve chosen won’t do, so I put it back and select another one. But I never throw the pens I don’t like away. And the ones I do like always get lost. So I remain with tons of pens that I never use, and a few that I do.

It’s just the way it is in the pen cup.

And sometimes when I enter my room late at night, when my wife is asleep, I keep the lights off so not to wake her. I rummage through the dark, taking off my clothes and putting on my pajamas, all the time pretending to be blind, imagining what it would be like. It helps me navigate better in the dark, more confidently.

But sometimes I still manage to stub my toe on the dresser pretty hard.

There are four markets all within walking distance of my apartment. Three liquor stores and a 7-11. I divvy up the amount I shop at all of them, choosing 7-11 one day, a liquor store the next. Why? Variety. And because I get bored easily.

But also, so no one learns how much milk I go through in a week. The truth is shocking. (I love Honey Nut Cheerios!)

There’s an intersection near my friend’s house in Highland Park that always makes me flinch behind the wheel. It’s an intersection like any other. One street has a stop sign, the other one doesn’t. Every time I drive through it, though, I picture a car running the stop sign and slamming into me.

It causes me to think about the scene in LaBamba where Richie Valens dreams about a plane crash, and then how later in the movie, with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, his plane tragically goes down in a snowstorm, just as his career was taking off.

So, because of this, interestingly enough, I tend to think about the movie LaBamba once or twice a week.

Every now and then a song comes on the Ipod, the radio, or whatever, that makes me wish my life was different, was actually someone else’s. My life isn’t worth singing about. Or at least it would make a pretty boring rock song.

I’m not sure who it is I picture. This other me that is worthy of song and poetry? Definitely a guy with a better haircut than myself.

I’m a strange bird that’s fascinated by weird things. Hugh Howser. Soviet Propaganda Art. Poultry hanging in butchers’ windows. I’m the guy sitting quietly staring into his beer, rather than shouting with the crowd. I love the L.A River and freeway overpasses and abandoned furniture.

One day there was a discarded, ratty, 1970’s couch by the L.A River.

It was an awesome day!

My point is that you just have to be you, no matter how silly you feel doing it, no matter how tough it seems sometimes. There is no one else to do that job.

The world needs you.


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