My girl asked me if I wanted to be cremated or buried.
I told her I want to be wrapped up in 1000 thread count flammable sheets and set out into a lake on a boat and I want the 89 year old version of herself to shoot a flaming arrow into the boat and then sing our favorite Ed Sheeran song in her frail, old voice.
She said I’ll just cremate you.
I remind myself that I’m no good. Slouched over my computer with a straw just pounding cold coffee into my face. Write. Just write goddamnit. The fate of every sentence on this page is to be deleted. None of this will ever be read.
Well, this will. But the seven sentences before it were aborted before they ever reached punctuation. I’m tempted to take the easy way out. Take a couple’a words and smash ‘em together in a poem. People eat that shit up. I could rhyme in my sleep but I just want to write. Tell stories. Make people chuckle on the bus as they bury their eyes into their cellphones.
Today’s stories are composed of the exact same components but just rearranged. I could summarize every young adult NY Times bestseller right now by saying it’s about a girl conflicted between loving two guys and at least one of them could do considerable damage to her. Young women love knowing there’s a guy out there who can’t decide if he wants to love her or beat the living shit out of her.
But I don’t want to write Young Adult it’s just that I’m not sophisticated enough to write real thrillers or romance novels. Maybe if I drink more Merlot and less Riesling. Start wearing a suit and say goodbye to the jeans and T. Change my haircut from “Medusa” to “Bond”. I could write adult fantasy, but that’s not really an accomplishment because every grown man turns into his 8 year old counterpart when he reads about dwarfs, knights, elves, and all of them fucking each other. There is no distinction between adult fantasy and teen fantasy except that the latter is written for girls and involves more vampires and the prior is written for grown men and involves more dicks.
Stories feel so washed. I don’t want to write another predictable plot twist.
Her breath’s in my neck. Her spine twists under my hand. Her skin is vibrating, her heart pounds into my lips as I trace her collarbone. Beads of sweat catch the light and prism like little diamonds lining the dips and bends of her body. Her voice is raw. Scraping against the corners of her throat. Like waves crashing into hard rock. Wild rhythms contorted by tender control. We move like we’re composed. Accelerando. Precipitando. Music beating into the walls like a perfect metronome. Stretto. Stringetto. Her fingers seek anchor and grip around the nightstand. The lamp dances and knocks over. Doppio più mosso. The grand finale. Atomic. Allargando.
Ten hours a week pushing bars and lifting plates. Grunting from point A to point B. Producing enough salt from the crevices of my skin to give the ocean a run for its money. Am I Ryan Reynolds yet? I’m lifting twice as much as the group of protein monkeys next to me but I’m half their size. You could be born yesterday and probably make gains faster than me. My body looks like the result of an experiment on peapods – long and lean and little balls of muscle visible for about forty minutes post-workout. Then they disappear, so my mirror selfies have to be snapped ASAP.
It’s easy to blame my genetics, but I guess my actions aren’t always conducive to my goals. Coming to Starbucks to swallow cups of ground energy and sugar and putting words on paper was never really the ideal post-workout shake. You don’t see infomercials about four hours of sleep a night because the rest of your time is occupied by endless conversations or roaring orgasms. Men’s Magazine doesn’t post articles gushing about the nutrient rich benefits of Riesling.
No, my genetics probably are the least to blame. I guess if I ate pre-portioned food, got eight hours of sleep every night, and drank protein shakes three times a day I’d have the body to show for it. But is that a body I’d really be proud of? I drink too much coffee and wine and sleep too little and work too much and I have the body to show for that.
I’d rather people realize I’m too busy being passionate to be committed – that’s the body I’m proud of.
Just kidding, I’m still really insecure about my body.
*not a picture of me
If you have ten minutes to pry your eyes away from instant gratification paragraph length poetry and flash fiction, here’s a post with 10x the value waiting to be read.
I’ve got words just grinding through my skull, the thirst for rhyming is absurd but I’m sure that if I resist my chest with just burst, my ribs will go first, popping out like tics out of fur, that shit’s sure to hurt but what exists is no cure, I mean no cure exists, these words are ripped out and reorganized like hits on a playlist, I’m struggling to admit that my writing’s shit, but I’m far too cocky so I persist in my efforts to match letters that fit together and spell out wit and pleasure or exist just to rhyme and turn and twist my piece into something it isn’t, keep on track, but keep a rhythm, maintain the proper algorithm, that word’s cheating because I’m just repeating the same meaning and it’s things like that that make me feel like revealing the fact that I’m reeling in hindsight, deleting the meaning in favor for stealing a rhyme, the words need to sound similar so I’m keying rewind, I try and retry, I want to write poetry, die don’t resign, I want to be brilliant like Tes or Einstein, no numbers, just letters will lead me to mine, no slumber I’ll sleep when my six feet are assigned, so I’ll write and rewrite, till my cranium is fried, I’ll continue to align words till my fingers won’t comply, till arthritis takes its toll and makes them look like the roots of a pine, I’ll keep trying to capture the prefaces that settle in the crevices of my mind.
Starbucks. A cyst of network marketers, aspiring authors, and old men falling asleep reading the newspaper on the cushy chairs. This is my office. I spend hours curled over rustic tables under the yellow mood lighting and get paid roughly four to twelve likes a week. These likes afford me no food, no shelter – but they give me more pride than any job I’ve ever held.
Next to me there’s a guy yelling at a member of his down-line for not recruiting the right people. To my left there’s a guy watching a movie on his laptop, and a guy who’d recognized him and started talking to him. I hate it when people interrupt me so I sympathize. His words, not mine: “If I buy you a drink, will you look up something on your computer for me?” This is the first line to a future episode of True Crime. I don’t trust anybody who doesn’t have their own functioning computer.
I want to move. I need to move. My laptop is at three percent till K.O. and I need an outlet but the only one in this Starbucks is clogged with the excess flaps of fat hanging from two people talking over coffee. Don’t they know that’s the outlet table? Don’t they know you can’t sit there if you’re not typing? I want to go over there and tell them they fucked up. They parked in the handicap spot. Tow their clogged arteries to the doughnut shop next-door. The people next to me are now talking directly to me and I’m ignoring them. Typing their words and pretending I’m too in-zone to hear them. “He’s got a real laptop. He’s just typing away, he don’t care. That’s cause he’s got all the money. That’s a good laptop.”
If they try to steal my laptop I will break their fingers.
Two percent and I feel panic. I need that table but they’re still talking. Still not drinking. Finish your drink. Finish your conversation. You’re too old to be on a date but too ethnically different to be related. If you guys are friends then I hope you’re having an affair, but if you’re having an affair I hope it’s just holding hands because sex with those bodies is an insult to the art. I hate these two people. I hate them, but not as much as the men talking about my laptop next to me.
The network marketer is trying to recruit a different network marketer who is not suave and not confident like him. She’s trying to recruit a different guy but now he’s lost interest. She’s flustered. This guy’s still confident. He’s the walmart of the network marketing world. He will run your small insurance scheme out of business. And I STILL DON’T HAVE AN OUTLET.
One percent. Should I go home? I should’ve spent these last three percent writing my post for Sunday. I look for another outlet. The guys next to me can’t figure out how to access a website. Like cavemen trying to start a fire. Their knobby, clumsy fingers looking for keys like a newly blind man trying to learn brail. They ask me “Hey, can I see your
My brother and I used to wake up at 5AM or something. Early as hell – before the sun’d risen. He’d come into my room and wake me up and tell me it’s time. I’d get dressed and he’d pack our backpacks. A water bottle each, granola bars or trail mix, and a gatorade. Yellow. Always yellow. He’d be smiling, even though the night before he’d been up since 2 doing homework. He’s never needed much sleep. Too busy moving and accomplishing. When I was ready we’d carry our bicycles down the steps of our apartment and set out. The clicking of gears adjusting and the chain ringing over the sprockets. The cool early morning air crisp against my cheeks. A few birds chirping. I’ll never forget that. We’d bike through the city, uphill, drifting between traffic and hopping up and down sidewalks. Couple of punk ass kids in jeans going harder than the cyclists in their spandex and aerodynamic helmets. We’d get to Red Rock by sunup, sit down and munch on our granola bars. Then we’d climb. Up and up and up. Sometimes we didn’t make it to the top, it didn’t matter. The journey – never the ending. But when we’d reach the top it felt good. Saw eagles and our tiny bicycles in the distance. Talking about our dad and our future. Laughter. Sometimes somber understanding. Sometimes just silence. The way back was bliss because it was all downhill and we’d stop by a mcdonalds or a pizza place and carb the fuck up. We’d get home and my legs would feel like jelly. Most of the time I could take a nap, but not my brother. He’d be leaving for work or to meet with his girl or doing more homework. Too busy moving and accomplishing.