Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thinking of My Old Apartment

A party, maybe 5 or 6 years ago, 2am, summer. 

A man I don't know, very drunk, looks to my friend Sean and says, "Nice beard, you fucking loser." I , too, am over beards, but I say nothing. Sean smiles and thanks him and continues his conversation. "Your beard is stupid!" the man shouts. Sean closes his eyes, sighs, and continues talking about whatever it is he was saying--a new guitar pedal, saving up to record on analog, reel-to-reel instead of digital. "How nice would it be to record on actual tape?" he asks. "I bet it's so big and warm."

The other man shouts nonsense. Sean's younger brother Leonard tells us to hold it. He twirls around and pushes the drunk man. "Leave my brother alone or I'll kick your ass," he says. Screams, really. He's escalating it. Leonard has a ponytail and owes another one of my friends about $500, but that's not this story. 

"Fuck you and your brother," the man says. 

"That's it," Leonard says, "that's it!" He takes off his leather jacket. "Sean, hold this!" he says, and he throws the jacket to his brother. Sean makes no attempt to catch anything. The jacket lands on the floor with a thud. Leonard winds back, slaps the drunken man hard across the face. I wince.

The man makes a whimpering sound and leaves. 

Some of our friends return from a late dinner with a bag of tacos. "What'd we miss?"

I dislike violence, but the dropping of the jacket--that gesture and the memory of it are prized possessions of mine.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

The News from March 6th

The prayer plants look dead in the day, but they come alive and night and lift themselves. It is like lily pads in the air.

Talking with one of my teachers last January, Cheever, was so gratifying that I forgot I was hungover. When the conversation was over I was still hungover.

An advertisement before a music video is another music video.

Dinner with my parents and Brianna, learned that my mom got a tick in a New York state field and bedbugs from a dumpy hotel around the same time that I, across country, got bedbugs, too. A dumpy motel. I slept in the fetal position with my socks tucked into my pajamas and a hoody over my head. I still got bit, though less than she. If I could choose, I would take those bites on her behalf.

The more assignments I grade the more I’m convinced that grades are toxic. Of course all teachers know this. I’m at that age when I’m arriving at what older people always knew, when I’m like, Oh, this is what you were talking about.

The pain of knowing that Morrissey will never layer his vocals. (After hearing some jangly twee pop group on the internet radio at Bowtruss coffee, where the people next to me were having filthy conversations while I was trying to grade. God bless them, it being a free country, etc. and sometimes home to Morrissey, too.)

It was Nelson Algren who fell out of a friend's car and hopped back in without her noticing. (re: last post)

Dreamed I was biking on a superior version of Chicago Ave. It was 80s Chicago. Better signs, older stores. I recognized Henry Rollins from behind. I know that crew cut and those blooming shoulders anywhere. He walked into a camera shop. Old cameras with flashbulbs. Henry would do that! I thought. I made a distinct choice not to talk to him. I try not to bother famous people. Told myself, too, that I would not write about dreams, which are insulting in their lack of coherency.