Hollywood Glitter Kitty

I dress like a mannequin, speak like a faucet,
I got three rocks in my pocket, a broken window
in my future, and my tattoos are leaving
for other bodies, other arms, other nights
of sneaking in while your parents are asleep,
dreaming in their sleep, deeply
dreaming of their other lives.

It was an apocalyptic April.

You and I were just crustaceans
mustering the motivation
to grow legs and grow
out of the moat,
and hope
that one day
one of these
dirty legs
learns to hope
for more.

I’m a soaked poet
floating on dope.

I got algae bloom in my dark room.
Taking photos of blank walls and
roses in trash cans. Backwards
backspin on the chalkboard,
I wrote all my poems in glow in the dark.
I followed fleeting phantoms
unscrambled eggs in my Easter basket
I’m just a kid, just a bastard.

Countdown to the last man standing
window fan bowing down to me,
sitting in the heat and humidity,
Hollywood glitter kitty. Slick
Gothic creeping bougainvillea
These bones are the buildings
of this city. This imagery
graffiti on my breastplate
rests on the template
that we’re all just
simple and kind
and we’re all
just looking
for a nice
place to
dine.

Photo on 7-26-16 at 7.39 PM

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A Beautiful Thing Part 844

I wake up late. I have so much to do I don’t know where to start. I go outside and the sun is shining, people are moving about happily, flowers are reaching for the sky. It gives me anxiety, everything being so beautiful.

I walk to buy a coffee. I hope this will kick in some work ethic, take me out of this vague discomfort. I have so much to do.

There is a man reading the paper at the coffee shop. He looks so peaceful, his glasses teetering on the edge of his nose. I stop and read the paper once he leaves it behind. After an hour I look down at my watch and realize I am not wearing it. There is a pigeon nearby. We regard each other briefly and then carry on with what we are doing.

There is an article in the paper about all these people fleeing a war and all these other people worrying about what they are going to do with them. I read half of it and start to worry about it too, then fold the paper and put it under my elbow. Just like that, problem solved.

A man drives up in a silver Mercedes. He looks about my age except he is wearing a suit which makes him look ten years older. I feel incomplete, like I should be wearing a suit, or driving a Mercedes, or just doing more than ignoring the plight of refugees. It reminds me that I have all these things to do, but makes me so upset about not doing them that I decide to walk to the mall instead.

When I get there the sun is at a low angle and makes it hard to see. I weave through the crowd like a slalom skier, blinded by the sharp rays. I have a ton of stuff to do today, but none of it involves being at the mall. Hey, life isn’t a to-do list I tell myself, go with the flow.

I see a crowd surrounding a fountain that is blaring music from a movie I remember vividly but can’t place its name. I decide to join them. Maybe this is the key to feeling normal, just join the crowd, watch the spectacle, don’t think too deeply about…. anything?

They are smiling and talking and taking pictures. It makes me hate them all, which makes me hate myself for hating them. We’re in a goddamn mall, I want to shout, get a hold of yourselves! You robots! This isn’t life! We’re outside a fucking Banana Republic!

I can’t do it, I can’t be normal.

Why did I come here? This mall is an exploitative, demoralizing attack on my character and my art! And what is my art? Those flimsy, flitting phrases and prose I put on a computer page. Shooting them in an ethereal void — just like a million others. Maybe I’m just a robot too?

It makes me think about my bedroom wall. I have a collection of mix-matched artwork placed sporadically upon the wall. Sometimes I look at them and half of them look crooked, but I can’t ever figure out which ones. Something’s wrong, but I can’t find the source.

I burst into a department store and converge quickly on the beauty products. I take a sampler of face moisturizer and squirt a large dollop into my hand. I smear it all over my face, leaving it thick like sunblock at the beach. I feel strange today and I can’t escape it. The urge to have people to look at me like the strange man I am fills me up.

I leave and walk through the mall like that, face covered in white lotion. I don’t feel human, not right now. But the thing is, even though I look like a flesh walker, like a spirit captured in a body that just happens to also be mine, nobody seems to notice. They continue on as if I’m invisible, swinging their shopping bags and taking selfies. It’s like I don’t exist, as beset with sadness and odd-angled as I feel, they walk on by like I’m a ghost.

And for the first time all day, I start to feel alright.

Salamander Days

I’ll be good, I say, half-meaning it, half-threatening.
My phone is on the charger and I leave the door unlocked.
I’ll be fine, I say, half-lie, half-alibi.
Los Angeles, your crucifix, my dominatrix…
my self-portrait’s a pirate’s mosh pit.
I left without saying goodbye
because I was never good
at spinning a yarn.

My camel is drunk.
My wallpaper is weeping.
We’re all face first in the scraping.
We’re all mixed-up with the leaping,
lunging leopards chasing their spots,
and the ducking, darting dragons
hiding from their warts.

I’m a wizard and a wayward wanderer
wondering where my wand went. I’m an artist,
an alarmist, and an anarchist attacking
the artifice, 3/5ths of the populace are
standing in soda pop and propaganda.
I’m 13 ft. tall eating lizards.
8 miles down a derelict daydream.
I’m covered in mud marauding down
maudlin lane.

I’ll be fine, I shout, half-serious, half-accusatory,
doing emotional acrobatics with a backseat full
of paperbacks and matches.

Caveman graffiti and goose down feathers.
Swallowing your makeup and Instagram feed.
I’m unzippered and undone under a silicone sun,
dwindling and dawdling through these salamander days,
a marionette on Percocet, splintered and unkept,
staring blindly into the rhubarb pie, a perfect aggregate
of animal and food and animosity.

wizziees

Hand Drip

You’re like hand-dripped coffee, expensive and time consuming, eyes blooming like night jasmine, your hand on my thigh wakes me up. We met at an art opening, your arms folded across your breasts, leather jacket, Michael Kors watch – the best in the catalogue – a part in your hair every guy wanted to stroke. I watched from across the room as advances bounced off you. I zoomed in, said something cheeky and laughed as your iris responded to my summer breeze.

The first night we went to The Bazaar and had Tapas, the next day you were topless. I confessed I was a mess and vulnerable, you laughed and said, ‘stop it.’ It was the wine speaking, but you told me you loved me. You’re crazy, I replied.

Two moons later The Killers were playing on my stereo. You made fun of me because I used the word stereo. You chew on your lip when you drink too much, and make random grocery lists. I tell tales like the salt-worn wood of beach cottages. You’re gluten-free but drink whiskey. My mindless mind-tint at midnight scribbles odes to Heath Ledger. You bought me moisturizer with SPF, told me to use it when my face is damp. I stood in the doorway listening to you talk to your agent. You don’t want to play a mother. “Babies aren’t sexy.”

I’m a Scrabble tile fallen to the floor. You’re on Sunset Boulevard, illuminated on a billboard.

Poetry pages in the sheets. Farmer Market Sundays, with your wide brim hat and glasses; still, everybody sees behind the lens, past your rutabaga and your waxy air of sensuality, to the droll doll you dragged on the floor when you were young you’d one day become. Nights extolling the virtue of collapsed galaxies, as we peer into the endless abyss of our drifting conversations, each one expanding farther away from the day we met. Farther/further, father/fuhrer.

There was that modeling shoot and then the three-day movie role in Vancouver. I stayed to work on that article I hated. We barbecued endangered fish. We swam in quicksand. I got a tattoo of a viking on my inner arm. You flew first class, batted your eyelash like a pro. There were fireflies in an old jar of spaghetti sauce, random texts from co-stars, sandwiches with crunchy bread that cut the roof of our mouths. Los Angeles devoured us in extravagant pleasures, high-end demons masticating the masquerading marionettes like dapper termites. We paraded ourselves like a Woody Woodpecker balloon in front of Macy’s as everybody around us shot darts at us.

We were beautiful and terrifying. Like a flood.

We hurled ourselves into the play. We had no director. We were winging our lines. We were our own audience and critics and when the curtain went down we were alone, together, two high pressure weather systems colliding over Kansas.

You told me I made sense for a while, we did, until we no longer. I replied, your fickleness is your most attractive quality. I told you the red carpet is to cover the blood. You joked that my wit never ceased to make you cringe.

I’m always planning the end before the middle. Like a good writer should. That way nothing can take you by surprise.

You walked off scene into a blizzard of flashbulbs. The nation applauds. I don’t answer your calls.

I’m with my keyboard, talking to the screen. The hottest fires burn the quickest. You’re nothing but a character now, a made-up antagonist. Everybody’s dream lover.

There are lessons from the leaving: I don’t drink enough water.

DSC_1808

Square Root of 144

1:12 am

This always happens to me. I’m lying in bed, reading, or more like trying to read because I’m drifting off to sleep every two paragraphs, so I give up, close the book, turn off the light, lie there two minutes, three minutes, seven minutes, and realize I’m wide fucking awake.

Partly, I’m up because, although I’m 99% sure I set my alarm, I’m worrying that I set it incorrectly. I don’t want to get up to check because then I’d definitely be wide awake. Unless I’m three sheets in a hurricane, I have to lie completely still in a pitch black void to slip into the house of nod with a very Zen like brain of no-brain, but worrying about being late to work in the morning is keeping me up.

A severe predicament.

A cranial cat’s cradle.

An insomniac’s conundrum.

I don’t know if I have insomnia, I might just actually have FOMO. Fear of missing out. Some girl used that term with me a few weeks ago. Everything has an acronym these days. SMT. Stupid modern times. It was a deal breaker, her saying FOMO. I have strange deal breakers. Like sparkly phones. Juicy sweatpants. Stage three bitchdom.

So I stay awake watching American Dad or Bar Rescue or whatever else mildly interesting appears during my channel scan. I try to stay awake as long as possible because I have tinnitus and unless I’m absolutely ready to fall asleep in the perfect conditions, like I mentioned above, I’ll just be stuck in the purgatory zone of non-sleep mixed with dream-like half thoughts. Not a bad state for two minutes but torture for two hours.

I give up and crawl to the edge of the bed and check the alarm on my phone. It was set, right time, and everything.

1:22 am

The ringing is ever-present, a loud, buzzing, grating machine-like scream that only I hear. So is it real? It’s an odd question to ask oneself because it’s keeping me awake and I am unable to escape it, so of course it exists, unless I’m at the beginning stages of some vague madness, which is the state we all naturally exist in, per my core philosophical belief.

I go from thought to thought, each thought is a little neuron firing around a brain highway, those neurons are the vehicles that carry thoughts around: happy thoughts are hippie vans, intelligent ponderings are school buses, bitter jagged thoughts motorcycles. My half-dream state conjures up this imagery. I don’t know if it would make sense to anybody not stuck in the miasma of insomnia. Or FOMO, or whatever this damn middle ground of consciousness is.

I wonder how long the average thought takes? I conclude the answer is five seconds. That means we have 12 different thoughts a minute, 144 in 12 minutes, as a dozen squared is 144. I come to my conclusion because it took me about five seconds to do that math.

I’m thinking about succulents now, how popular succulents in coffee cans are becoming. I know this because I see them all the time at the Melrose Trading Post. The Melrose Trading Post is like a flea market, with vintage clothes, used furniture and general bric-a-brac. But it’s in the heart of “cool” L.A., so it’s filled with girls in lacy dresses and frog-eyed glasses, guys wearing flannel although it’s 77 degrees. I love it. It’s my Sunday morning indulgence. I’m a total wannabe “cool” person. I bought Chuck Klosterman’s Killing Yourself to Live last Sunday from the Trading Post, which I’m basically aping in this post, making myself a total poser, but since I mentioned this totally vulnerable personal admission I’m kinda cool? Like a geek who knows he’s a geek so he plays up his geekdom, thereby cancelling said geekdom (probably not). I’m a poser, but I’m self aware, therefore more intellectual than poser-y. Right?

1:43am

Maybe I can’t fall asleep not from the ringing in my ears but the pain of my seriously injured heart. I’m still figuring out how to live after the love of my life and I split up. Certain clichés you thought were dumb prior to experiencing such an episode now seem entirely plausible and real. A piece of me died. The light has been extinguished. I’ll never love the same again. You know the deal? Even if the words are recycled, the ache inside is wholly real and unique to you and my personal brand of heartbreak doesn’t help me relax enough to slip away. I can’t stop thinking about her. She’ll always haunt my thoughts, whether it’s been two months, two years, or twenty. She’ll always be somewhere in my brain, driving her thought car around. I realize this is probably false, and I’ll be alright, but when you’re lying in the dark and your brain is churning its brain butter, it’s hopeless to fight against what comes out of the froth.

1:46 am

I realize that writing is as much about selecting when to italicize, when to start a new paragraph, or when to bold a word. It’s as much about style as the content of the words.

Know what I’m saying?

1:48 am

I realize indifference is the one way to approach love, unless you want to be tortured by love. And isn’t love really just finding somebody you’re willing to be tortured by? Or is that obsession? But aren’t they somewhat the same thing? Can you have love without obsession or torture? I really don’t know. This is what keeps me awake some nights, my totally uncool, obsessive love jones.

I’m not cool at all. I’m anything but cool. I’m anxious, jittery, fragile and needy. But I find it difficult to imagine trading my mind or soul (setting aside the completely valid question ‘what the fuck is a soul?’ for the moment), except perhaps Josh Ritter’s. If I’m going to trade souls with anybody they should know how to play guitar, because I certainly can’t, and be able to write lyrics that stir passions and bring tears to sensitive eyes.

1:58 am

My thoughts are tensile, cartoony rambles. Wandering streams of disconnected flotsam. 12 thoughts a minute. Keourac, or however the fuck you spell his name, wrote On The Road in 6 days supposedly. I could never spell his fucking name (My mom’s voice telling me never to curse because it makes me sound like a bastard interjects here). Kerouac (I just googled it) must have typed as fast as he thought for that to happen. (I never knew if my mom understood the irony.) (I also realize I’m waaaay overusing the parenthetical right now.)

2:15 am

I’m on the verge of sleep when I hear a voice. It sounds like somebody is on a ladder and talking right outside my open window.  I hear traces of what he is saying, something about needing to get higher and to the left, so I start to imagine that he is instructing somebody to direct the ladder closer to my window. I think somebody is trying to break in. I leave my window open at night so perhaps somebody saw an easy target and is now on the cusp of sneaking into my apartment to abscond with all my prize possessions.

I get out of bed and walk to the living room and check out the window. Nobody is there. I look down at the street and a man in a sharp suit is on the telephone. He looks up and notices me. “Sorry, man. I’m not touching your car. I’m not messing with your car,” he slurs. I don’t say anything. I’m not 100% sure he’s talking to me, but I’m pretty sure he is. I just want to go to sleep. I should say, “Dude, I’m just trying to sleep, shut the fuck up!” But I’m a coward, so I move away from the window and he goes back to his phone call. He’s now just a disembodied voice. A well-dressed drunk.

2:26 am

I’m thinking about a group picture I took the other day that was pasted on Facebook and a stranger I didn’t know complimented another man in the photo, and not me, calling him exceedingly handsome, and I got jealous, exceedingly jealous. I want to be the best looking person in every photo I’m in. I’m very vain. I’m take pride in my vanity, except when it makes me feel like a shallow piece of shit.

Truth is, I wish I was an inch and a half shorter and that inch of a half was taken out of my neck. I have a very long neck. To be honest, I realize I am only okay handsome, but not exceedingly handsome like the man in the photo was described. Even without that extra inch and a half in my neck I would still only be okay handsome, because, spite of all my, and modern science’s, efforts I am getting older and tripping over my prime — thanks to the stubbornly linear progression of time. Thanks a lot, wrinkle machine!

2:34 am

For some reason instead of my brain turning off it’s recalling a memory from a many years ago, a slow sputtering memory.

I met two girls in a bar and we fell into a weird conversation. They told me that they met in a halfway home, one was a sex addict and the other was there for depression and an eating disorder, although I may be adding the eating disorder. She was there for depression and something else, I don’t remember what. Does it matter? The depressed girl was obviously melancholy and drank her vodka slowly. Her eyes were fixed on her glass as she brought it to her lips. The sex addict was probably close to three hundred pounds and had a tattoo of a rat above her left tit. For whatever reason this memory was triggered first by the recollection of the rat tit tattoo.

Now, I’m thinking about how rat tit tattoo sounds like the name of some teenage punk band from Boise or somewhere in Missouri. Three boys that can’t play their instruments but excel at disillusionment and rage.

3:13 am

I wonder why lesbian porn is so popular. Lesbian porn does nothing for me. I need dick in my porn. This sentence now strikes me as pretty damning if taken out of context. I spend the next two minutes wondering if disliking porn sans schlong implies some latent homosexuality in my psyche. That means I’ve levied 24 thoughts on the subject, but I just don’t enjoy girl-on-girl erotica that much. Find it boring. It’s like watching tee-ball versus real baseball, something’s just missing.

3:22 am

I’m overcome by the fear that I’m a “writer” just like every cute girl is a “photographer”. Is it a mask for an ugly soul? Do I just possess a deep yearning to appear more intelligent and creative and wise than I really am? To hide the fact that I’m as shallow and petty as the worst of them? Writers can’t stop writing,I can barely get going. But I AM CREATIVE and I AM INTELLIGENT! I spend 18 thoughts, a minute and a half, trying to convince the nagging self-doubt in the part of my brain I wish would shut up and let me sleep that I truly am a creative soul. That self-doubt is like a downstairs heavy metal drummer with no respect for the other parts of the brain he shares a domicile with. Using the metaphor from 1:22 am this neural thought is a loud, exhaust-spewing, dented roadster terrorizing tranquil suburbs with the roar of its engine. The thought that I am creative and I am a writer is a little Volkswagen bug from the 70’s with a shoddy paint job and lopsided tires. If they race, the roadster would surely win.

3:33 am

The Farmer’s Market is my favorite place in L.A. because it feels nothing like L.A.. It makes me feel like a tourist in my own neighborhood, but walk 100 feet away and you’re in The Grove, a place that could exist nowhere else but L.A..

I was there this morning, getting my morning cup of coffee from the girl with the furry sweaters and necklaces that dangle between her breasts and the smile that can make the guy from Memento remember her name for a 100 years.

On my way out there was a promotion for the Disney Radio Station. A cheery, too cheery for 11 am, young Latino was imploring little kids to do the Electric Slide with him while a four-foot speaker pumped the familiar song into the atmosphere. Damn, this was sorts of wrong. I couldn’t place exactly why but it made me incredibly mad that this hullabaloo was happening, not only happening, but interrupting my placid morning coffee routine with this weird modern spectacle.

Lying here unable to sleep, the reason I hated coming across the Disney Radio promotion became clearer, along with the cause of so many of our modern ills. You see, there is no fucking reason on Earth there should be a radio station dedicated to kids. Kids should never listen to the radio. Why? I’ll explain…

  • Kids don’t drive cars.
  • Kids don’t work in offices.
  • Kids don’t tinker around in garages.
  • Kids don’t buy anything. (Advertising: the reason radio exists)
  • Kids shouldn’t make decision about what other people listen to… ever!

And for this reason the entire world is fucked. Fucked, I tell ya’! You see, when a 5-year old can dictate what everybody else in the car has to listen to — saccharine, bubblegum, kiddie shit — then why would we ever expect them to grow into adults that take the rest of the world into consideration, who exhibit humility, who don’t blather loudly into their cell phones at the Fresh & Easy?

Disney even has a Cruise ship line so families can spend their entire vacations making their brats happy. Cruise ships aren’t for kids. What the fuck do they need a vacation from? Their entire lives consists of play. They don’t work. They don’t pay bills. Cruises are for getting away from the grind of daily life, gorging on elaborate meals, getting pissed drunk, engaging in regrettable sex, and praying you don’t get diarrhea.

But it wasn’t the Disney Radio promotion that I’m thinking about but how when I was at the Farmer’s Market getting a coffee a woman in the hot dog stand happily shouted, “Hi, friend,” and it took me a good ten seconds to figure out that it was the woman who used to serve me every day at the donut shop just fifty years away.

“Oh, hey,” I replied, “You’re working here now?” She shook her head and told me it paid more and after that I didn’t have much more to say so I told her it was good to see her and left. The thing that is troubling me now, also keeping me awake along with a billion other thoughts, is that I couldn’t recognize her out of context. She looked different to me, unrecognizable, all because she simply had an apron with a different logo on it. It was like when you were young and your mind was blown when you ran into your teacher at the mall or somewhere and you couldn’t figure out how this person could possibly exist outside the classroom you saw them every day.

When I was older I had sexual relations with a teacher who was younger than me. That too blew my mind. Not just because said teacher was ridiculously hot, with an impossible body designed by God when he must have been rolling on X, but also by the idea of a teacher having hot, sweaty sex, and also, the fact that same teacher was younger than I was at the time.

Damn, wrinkle machine!

3:47 am

Thinking about vacations brings me all the way back around to thinking about her, and all the places we were supposed to go together but never got around to. The vacations-never-to-be feel like some great loss, like a dead dog buried in the yard.  (Maybe that’s why dogs bury bones, so they have something in the afterlife to find when they’re buried nearby? Just like why I write this blog. This blog is my dog bone. Something for the other side.)

This brings me around to thinking about Italy, which makes me think of pasta, and I drowsily imagine one long noodle, 1,142, 673 feet long, that stretches all around the world however many times that super large noodle would stretch around the world. We all go up and take a bite of this super noodle when we’re hungry, and because of this nobody is ever hungry, and there’s a blue sun rising over Mt. Kilimanjaro when I’m cresting the summit where a naked Buddha is sitting there laughing at me and he said “Well, it’s about time, asshole,” and it’s the last careening thought I shed before my mind closes down and… finally… shuts… off.

sleep

Buy Yourself Some Love

Whenever I’m feeling blue and kicked in the shins, when some perceived  injustice has befallen me or a turmoil of the heart has me in its grip, I battle this insatiable urge to spend money on new clothes. The mall calls me like a sweetly singing siren. I guess it’s better than the bottle or the needle, but maybe not any cheaper.

So it was in the throes of one of these retail binges, shuffling potato blue-eyed through Nordstrom’s, I found myself trying on a pair of plum jeans and appraising myself in the dressing room mirror like a real estate agent on Valium. Oh, yes, quite nice foyer, love the Moroccan tile, too bad I’m just completely dead inside or I’d show you the backyard. Concluding I was being silly and didn’t really like them anyway, (plum jeans? Really?) I decided to just smother my face in some face cream from the tester tube and continue my somnambulist wandering. As I get older I need moisturizer with SPF, Eye therapy, Shaving oils, lip balm with aloe, and other necessary enhancements for this decaying face.

Vanity’s a bitch!

Everybody’s beautiful in L.A. I try to stay up there with them but it just makes me feel ugly inside. Men with immaculate face stubble and Scotch & Soda sweaters abound, women with faux furs and Louis Vuitton glasses amass. It’s a festering mob of beautiful people. I’m sure somewhere nearby somebody is waiting for a call from their agent and somebody else is thinking about the gym.

Arcade Fire was playing through hidden speakers and I couldn’t tell if I was living in a Photoshopped dream or some weird David Lynch nightmare. We are nothing but the collection of our references. Kobe Bryant’s twitter feed…

I needed to get out of there.

It’s cold outside, for Los Angeles, so a scarf was choking my neck and my hands were brittle. If you shook them vigorously I’m sure they’d shatter — or just feel like it. Everybody was bundled up in pea coats, beenies, and expensive boots. It made me feel like a million Zimbabwean bucks. Worthless.

I went to Barnes & Noble and searched through the Fiction section for a book I didn’t know I was looking for. I needed some kind of reassurance that I was meant for this world and so I decided to find where on the shelf my novel would land. S… T… U… V…

I finally found the W’s and spied Infinite Jest. I smiled, thinking how great it was that I’d share a shelf with David Foster Wallace, but then realized only if that shelf happened to be 20 feet long. As it were I theoretically would be across the aisle from Wallace, right next to Virginia Woolf. I never read any Virginia Woolf but I guess I should if we are going to be neighbors.

But I’m no novelist. I’m a shitty blogger at best and kind of a hackneyed poet at worst, shedding daggers and aloe blood. The soul of an armadillo. Life looks aflame from afar… whatever.

“Mercury is in retrograde,” they say. Fuck off, I reply.

I cotton on to these dreary doldrums like a miserly old man pinches pennies, holding them close and snapping my jaws at anybody that tries to steal them from me. Lugging this heavy heart around, my miserable muscles bulge like Indian Mounds in old St. Louis. I’m the King of the Sparrows. James Dean of the pity party.

“Cheer up.” Go to hell.

“It’ll get better.” I’m happy being miserable, now leave me alone, imaginary friends.

Sometimes all you have are your sad thoughts. If sad thoughts were monetary, I’d be the melancholy Bill Gates. If depression were currency, I’d have an accountant advising me to invest in Elliot Smith records.

I picked up and read a depressing Junot Diaz short story about hopeless love that made those plum jeans seem less plum and more awesome. I should never have picked up that book. Now the bookstore was starting to close in on me. Rachel Ray grinning up at me from the cover of a cookbook with a handful of carrots, totally smiling and evil. A whole collection of Twilight knockoffs placed on the next table to remind me that being in love and torn up about it is nothing new, but every person thinks they’re the lone survivor of these wars.

Fuck it.

I set out to Nordstrom’s to buy those plum jeans after all. Well, I wasn’t going to buy a Twilight knockoff, was I? We all need our drugs. Don’t judge.

Walking through the crowd I got stuck behind a couple pushing a stroller. Happy and beaming parents and I hated them for it. The passenger, a little girl with blonde curls and snowdrift cheeks turned around in her seat and stared at me. I swear she read my mind because she stuck out her tongue and glared like I stole her American doll out of her innocent, devoted embrace.

Women!

IMAG0344

Kiwi Bird in California

I’m a kiwi bird, mister.

I’m not from California… I’m from New Zealand.

I ended up on a ship. It’s a long story, but I won’t take up too much of your time. I thought it would be funny, you know, to climb into a crate of kiwi fruit.

You know… ‘look at me, I’m a kiwi bird in a box of kiwi fruit,’ that old gag, but I didn’t realize my family and I were at the port, and that a crane would take that crate of fruit, with my girlfriend and I unintentionally stowed inside it, and put us on a ship that was going to California — a trip that took almost three weeks; where, in addition to separating us from our beloved families, we barely found enough invertebrates to live on and scarcely slept from the rocking of the ocean, it’s a miracle we even survived!

To sum, my friend, we’re stranded here, as, even though we’re birds, we’re flightless birds, and can not, thus, fly back to our homeland — as so many have suggested before.

It is an unfortunate situation, you can image. And that’s why we don’t have any money for gas… also, my girlfriend is with egg, as we say, so I have to take her to the vet — we kiwi birds lay very large eggs for our body size… poor lass.

Then we both have to incubate it…

What a drag!

I hate to ask this — it really is not my avian way — but do you have a couple of bucks to spare? It would really help us get on down the road, mister.

You do? Oh, thank you, thank you, god bless you; I mean, chirp.