Did you know?


It's a fact that I've been in Portland over a year.
Carsonation celebrated its one-year anni this month.
I'm 26 and have all my teeth, though a couple are chipped --fucking beer bottles.
I live with three other males ages 22-29, and I'm not in a frat.
I have a dog, Heidi.
As of this summer, I have no car.
Now, I ride my bike.
I ride the bus/MAX/streetcar more.
I have two jobs and get paid for only one, making a mere $8.25/hour sucking the corporate cock.
It's raining out. Or will be within the hour.
I'm 5 feet 11 inches but sometimes tell people I'm well over six-foot.
I've weighed 140 lbs. for the last decade, despite it all.
I'm certain this will catch up with me, so am watching what I drink.
There isn't one particular girl in my life.
Thanks to Maury, I found out that I am NOT the father.
I got everything I asked for for Christmas, except for the X-box 360 (Fuck you too, Santa.).
I smoked a Cuban cigar on Christmas with my friend Maria; we had a cigar seance, attempting to communicate with Che. To no avail we talked to one another instead.
I talked to my two cousins on the phone for the first time in years; they both referred to me as carsonation, so I'm certain they'(ve)ll read this, and do in fact owe me a phone call.
Despite my offers on this site, no one requested a gift from me this Christmas.
It is my pleasure to publish your comments, whatever they may be. So long as they don't attempt to sell things/services.

my gift to you

And so it seems that some things I write won't get published for the weekly paper I'm working for. Little space. No room for my insane stuff. So--my gift to you-- the goods are all yours. I'm happy to share, the hard work I'm not getting paid to write for you or anyone. Tear it apart like ten-year olds on Christmas opening gifts they don't deserve. Love you.

There are tree lovers, huggers, and anti-tree toppers --in Oregon we love
our evergreens. We’ll chop them, hock them, sit atop them. We'll prop them up in
our homes. But holly forbid we agree on a name to call them.
The tree is on our cars’ plates—does that make us Christmas people? We
send more trees out of state this time of year than any other state. We
should really own Tree, register a trademark, dot com it--If it's not too late.

This year holiday stole the tree from us, and from Christmas. Holiday took the tree from Christmas, which stole it from Solstice, which was invented before Christ
was around to insist we celebrate. Now, there’s just a holiday season--the
holiday tree shades more of us.

A drunk Portlander was recently arrested for reselling trees he stole, but it’s the
tree that stole the my Christmas time attention. Wait a miracle,
has the Christmas tree dried out? Are we dropping Christmas from Christmas
holiday? Or are just the trees falling?

"Rev." Jerry Falwell heckled Boston’s mayor for calling its tree a holiday tree,
but does he own Christmas? Do Christians or capitalists?—not to be
confused with those on Capitol Hill who argued the name of the tree in
D.C. –now there are two, a Christmas and a holiday tree.

For most—85 percent of the U.S. population is Christian-- the tree is the
gathering spot for consumer celebration on Christmas Day, this year Dec.
25. It’s the Christmas tree – there aren’t holiday menorahs, or Christmas
menorahs for that matter—that’s a staple living room or city square decoration. It was a Christmas tree that Charlie Brown bought and gave meaning to, and a trip
to the Christmas tree lot on A Christmas Story, where we first learned the
word fuuuuudge. So why does it seem that this year, more than any other,
there is a drive to steal Christmas and give it the holiday name?
Well, retailers don’t want to offend; politicians want to maintain constituency.
I suggest Adam Sandler's name for the once-living, add sugar to your stand’s water, foliage that we light up--and gather around: marajuanic-ah.

Enjoy your holiday.

I wanna be your shopping-mall santa

There is no waiting in line here. Sit on my lap? It's not going to happen, however, if you want to hear from me this holiday season and you want something from me, here are the rules:

1. It's got to be a book, CD, DVD, or something that can be found at a Borders. (this is where I work; I have Borders Bucks, and that is all I can afford to spend. I may be crafty, but not for you, not this holiday season.)

2. Contact me. E-mail is best: kitcarsonsmith@yahoo.com. And when you do, be specific. Type titles, authors, bands, ISBNs, UPCs. These things I understand. The more specific you are the better your chances of Saint Kit coming down your chimney. (I got to write that!)

3. You must do this soon. Sometimes it takes me a while to do stuff. I'd hate for you to have nothing under your tree from me. So hurry; get me your list.

4. And I was kidding when I said list. You should ask for one special book or CD. Maybe you should have a back up. You won't get both. You'll be lucky to get one. I will try.

5. Your addy is required. I'll need to send you this gift. Unless you come to me... Plus, if you get me your location you just might get a card or something written that tells you more about me. Or some complete lie like that.

6. I'm the final judge on who gets what. If I don't like what you want, you don't get it. If I have any problems finding what you what, ziltch. If I don't really know you, chances are I'm spending your Bucks on someone I do. Other restrictions do apply. But I won't go into those at this time.

Dems da conditions dat prevail. Nuff said.

Bus stop banter

In the City of Roses, singles' eyes meet each other's by chance. At bus stops, on streets, in stores. I think, here more than anywhere I've ever lived, there is more of a desire not to be alone. I'm still unsure why that is, and right now I'm like Wilco: It's good to be alone, but here you can see it in others, they do not. They are reading on buses, in coffee shops, at home, where you can't see them but can understand them, and they're alone and don't want to be. The problem is most of the refugees here, the fugitives, the self-absorbed, the sweetly artistic, yet somewhat darkened beings seriously find a richness in not finding another person. The joy of being alone for them is getting along with the one person that they want to share with another. And that's when the throat gets sore. Around us there is so much to take in: it's tasty but it's also poisonous. Fill you mouth and follow through with a gulp. Send it all down to where it will set in the stomach, in the cells, in the soul. Shared with others, these bodies of myth can take on a new form. Dangerous to a degree is what keeps most from allowing the possibility to exist.

The roses are gone. It's getting cold(er) out. Find a warm cup and fill up with something that makes you feel good inside.

overwrite is really an insert

Now I know.

I remember early on in my typing a frustration I had. It was that damn insert button. I would push it and then make mistakes of course, try to re-type and end up losing stuff. For a while there I couldn't figure out the overwrite. This time I purposfully do it. I'll make a post to overwrite my last.

It's not that I regret things that I write. I have never been one to pull anything that I've posted here. I just feel I could do better. I'm here at a cafe, have access to the machine and am going on.

Good news to report: I got an internship at a weekly here in town. I'll commit three month -- without pay -- to a learning experience. Free journalism lessons is how I look at it. I'm thrilled about this as it falls on my one year anniversary. I look forward to a graduate school prospect as well. And the possiblity of saving some money with both a roommate or two moving in, and being too busy to spend any of my hard-earned, book shelving dollars.

I'm giving up women for amibition, an attractive trait, that I've lacked for a little while.

Wonder Woman, wait and see.

If I quit this...

I can't quit. I'm good at it, sure. I've quit lots of suff. There was gymnastics. There was piano lessons. I quit learning spanish. I gave up on algebra. I quit working at a relationship once. I tried to keep, but ended up quitting a job that paid me pretty well. I quit going to church. I stopped writing for awhile. I quit caring. I quit smoking, then quit quitting. I quit flossing, though I'm starting to think that that would be worth starting up again. I guess you could say, I'm a quiter.

Oh well. Funny word, that quit.

There is quite. Like Donovan says: Quite Right.

There's quiet. I've been quiet for too long -- silent Kit.

There's Quo -- what's your's?

And now I'm no longer making sense. As for carsonation, well it's not quit-tionation. So I think I'll keep posting. Let's be nice to eachother, alright bitches?

Oh, I forgot to mention. Caught Death Cab for Cutie last night. Good show. They play again tonight. I have to worth, though, and I'm afraid they blew their load this first night anyway. I recommend listening to them, or one of Ben's other projects: Postal Service, All Time Quarterback, Post Nasal Drip, etc.

Other music recs include: Wolf Parade, Broken Social Scene, Of Montreal, eels, the new Danger Mouse...

...I quit...for now.

comment no more

Fruit Stripes Gum! You fools are out of control. No wait, just out. There will be no more personality tests on this site. I expell you. Shit's re-fucking-dick-you-lass. I hate. Comments bigger than blog? More brutal? That's the last thing I want. I get the last word in. I'll walk away from this, so help me God, if you keep frightening the others. There are better things to write about. Other places. I know it.

But for now...

Girl troubles continue in carsonation. I wish I was Jay-Z. I wish that a bitch wasn't one of my 99 problems. But I'm going to have to go ahead and say that what keeps me up at night, the last two anyway is two particular bitches. And since they probably don't read this, I'll write about them.

Thought I found a cute one. Maybe not the One. But an one. OK. So I met her at a party. She reminded me of that. Funny thing about memory. I remember her by her tatoo. And maybe I've told you this before, when I saw it, our conversation came back to me. So we meet again. And again. It's our third date and we're in my bed. She says she wants to be honest. I remind her that in bed we are supposed to lie. She tells the truth anyway.

There's another guy, she says. He knows about you and doesn't have a problem with it.

If there was ever a mood killer, a turn off, a time when I wish she'd keep comments like that to herself, it was then. I couldn't go forth. And called it a night. She wanted more. Wanted to me to say that nothing changes. Can't, I say, not my way. I don't play that game. And suddenly I'm synical. So be it.

I must have failed sharing in kindercare.

Same night, I shit you not, I get a call that I shouldn't have answered. At 2:15 in the morning with a former showing herself on caller ID, it's best not to answer. Little lesson for the kids there.

Surprise, she's dunk.

I'm not going to share all the details. It wouldn't be right. You wouldn't get it, anyway. But, I'll tell you one thing said. One thing that kept me in bed the next two hours without a wink of sleep. One thing that got me to work on time but with heavy eyes. And it was this:

You hate me because I don't love you.

When I get mad -- and I don't hate -- I just turn sad.

26 Red Alert

The weekend of my birhday proved to be entertaining at least. I was looking for a roommate, and more found who I'd rather not live with.

My first applicatant -- who just followed up -- was a girl that was the safest from me falling for. She was not unattractive. But I wasn't attracted to her. She comes in with a puppy, expecting a father. But Maury told me this: you are not the father. So I had to pass. I told her on the phone today that a friend showed interest, and that he would probably be moving in. Which isn't entirely untrue.

It's true that a friend of ours wants to move in. He's shown interest. Unfortunatly for him, he's shown us too much of what he's interested in.

The second caller was a girl I'll call Katie, even though I know her only as Katherine, but was actually probably Kathryn. She was a cutie. Checked out the digs and sat on the couch for a Q&A. I think my roommate scared her off, though. She looked like a Katie that he dated. Acted a little like her. It could have been her. Maybe a clone. He freaked her out with his shocking stares. We said she could move in at anytime. That we were ready for her, and that was probably a little creepy. She said she'd call us, and has yet to.

Back to our friend who, drunkenly tells us both on Saturday night that he's a shoe-in. I say, yeah, but what about your girlfriend. She brings mad drama with you. He agrees, but we insist that that might not be the worst thing in the world.

The third and final girl that comes over is named Libby. I liked Libby. My co-interviewer wasn't around though and I had one comment for him: She looks like your sister. Nope, she's out. Hmmm. I guess sometimes it's a good idea not to say those types of things.

Meanwhile, my drinking friend and potential third roommate is suggesting we go to Union Jacks, one of Portland's many strip clubs. And if it wasn't for the Beam, if it wasn't for the girls that also wanted to go, if I hadn't been at the Matador right before, I might have argued that this wasn't a good idea. But we went.

I saw a naked girl for the second time in as many weeks. Happy Birthday to me. Skinny ones, tatooed ones, tall ones, small titted ones, hot ones, ones I feared carried diseases I don't want, and, finally fire breathing ones.

This one stripper ate fire. She blew fire. She lit herself on fire, and as her finally she tried to light the strip club on fire. It worked. The place didn't burn down, but it caught. The fire eating stripper caught the smoke eating machine on the ceiling on fire and I thought we were going to die. I had my birthday scarf over my breathing holes. I was scared though. I didn't want to leave. I hopped there would be a free lap dance out of this. I was wrong. I did see another show, though. I saw my drunken, potential, now off the list roommate make out with a girl I assumed would marry me. I was wrong.

The attraction for a girl pretty much disappears when you see her making out with a drunken friend at a strip club. You friend pretty much loses his chances of moving in with you when he does such things.

That, and too many babies are having babies. Too many babies having grandbabies. JD. No, JB.

birthday eve.

I was wrong when I said it's never too late.

I was a fool when I said to myself, I'm too tired. I was right when I said you're hard to replace. And you were right to say that it was wrong to think of it that way. We were both right, I guess. Sometimes were were wrong. And maybe we were both right and both wrong and maybe even both at the same time.

It's fine for me if you'd rather not speak. I'd understand. It could very well be the best thing to happen. I'd be lying if I said that I want it this way. I never did. You'd know I was telling you the truth if I said it to you directly. You know when I'm being honest. It's possible that I've mades some sense in my saying. That if it's made sense to you, too, then it's a fact that I'm still here, and growing older, 26 years tomorrow.

Numbers can be fun

Having a handful of girlfriends may be a good way to pick out the best, but when a new one comes into pay, it's those relationships that may keep me from the one I want most.

That, and the latest seemed to have a few qualities of girls of my past rolled into one big batch of cookie dough. Don't get me wrong: cookie dough is good. Cookies are better. Together with a tall glass of memories is the best snack.

A Katrina victim, neither the accepting victim nor the looter, is a good idea for a Halloween costume. There's too much pain.

A young, erratic mother, perhaps in her teens, always looking for her baby at the party, is funny, but a cross-dressing commitment.

The tweaker, a twenties something meth addict, is a play off of the classic hobo costume.

Maury Povitch, has two shows: DNA testing and lie detecting. I'm still trying to figure out which is more accurate.

After lettered names in the six Hurricane lists comes Greek letters. Beta's a bust.

I'm awkwardly successful.

All we do in bed is lie.

tis the reason

Nice work all you for using my blog comment space to talk shit about each other and me. I remember when I created this mess that that was indeed my intention. Run with it, sheep. Lists of for housewives running off to the store to buy me fixings to feast on. Find it in your heart to fuck yourself.

We all have a little more to learn. That's why I'm going back to school. And, yes, to look at some females. Hey, you would too if you weren't tied up in the bed of some truck. Go clone yourself.

For a good time check out:


...a new blog favorite of mine.

More stories when the shit talking stops.

"Killer wants to go to college"

I think it's a personality thing. Or maybe it's something with authority. I can't follow lists. Numbers next to words kind of confuse me. The last think I need is someone telling me to drink whiskey. Sorry to my loyal reader.

I used to be about the fame. Then it was helping people out. Later, I did it because I was hungry. Now that I'm broke, I'll do it for the money. There's no glory in this. But as The Donald has taught me: money is the only way to judge yourself against others. Right now there is no comparing me.

No military.

No volunteering.

No money for the booze.

I've got to learn to float before I can swim.

Little ambition. Even less confidence. I'm going to go to the only place that people can take refuge from the storm of life. Sure, New Orleans seems like a great idea, maybe do some time with Peace Corps. But no, Killer wants to go to college.

I'm too old.

I'm too tired.

I'm too fucking blind.

Clearly the Hamm's has gotten to me. I'm acting stupid and have to take a cheap-beer crap. Better print out my spam to wipe with.

Check back...

Sorry, sirs

Maybe now I can go on...

The days are numbered. Soon I'll moving past the quarter century mark into my 26th year on this planet that I'm on, and supposedly on to try to make better. Hard to imagine making this a place better at the rate of destruction taking place. For what could I possibly do? When I leave this God-for-saken Earth it is next-to impossible to imagine that it will be better off than it was in 1979. It'll get worse before it gets better. More people will suffer. Polar caps will all be gone. People will die not knowing me. For how could they? I'm but one man, of over six billion. With one voice and a limited vocabulary.

Which brings me to a trivia question: Is it possible that more people are living than have ever died?

I'll read up on that one. I'll try and make my head a better place than when I found it just some time ago. More imaginative. Organized. Clear and focused. And calm.

Am I being selfish or acting lonely? It's no longer a question about what I can do for others. For how could I help out others if I'm in clear need of resolution?

I close my eyes, and my geographic education helps display a mental map. Outlines of states emerge, lines, indicating roads, wind, and shadows show relief, and I'm left wondering if this is where I'm supposed to be. I struggle and pick up a pen. I attempt a skyline. City: where I should be. Fine, I'm in one. There's a new message in my inbox, an e-mail for a job, perhaps. A buzz on my cell phone comes from a girl I hardly know. Is this where I'm supposed to be? To early to tell...

It'll get warmer before it gets colder.

And, three days off

I'm off...

After working 11 of the past 12 days, I'm ready to take a little time off. Three days. Not nearly long enough to go anywhere, but just long enough to get into some trouble. We'll see what happens...

Not enough readers. Getting tired of spamers. Thinking about giving it up. It's something I've done in the past and something I'm not afraid to do again. It's the way out.

They say everyone has a myspace. Not sure what that is all about and not sure if this is considered myspace or just my space to play in. Can't really say that my space is better than this myspace, but think I might be able to get more readers there. Maybe the wrong ones, maybe more, maybe the same amount. I still don't know. I guess I won't sell out to it. Seems like the trendy thing to do. And if it's cool to go there, I won't. Just like if it's cool to not go to Starbucks, then I will go to Starbucks and order my grande half double decafinated half-caf. And if you don't like it, you can add an extra shot of goo in your hair. And believe me, the hair is the last place you want that stuff.

Did I mention I'm a friendster?


Portland: oddly a fun place to be in all it's grayness. Lots of attractive dirty whores walking around, ready to suck the cock of your boss, have a threesome with your co-workers, screw with your mind. In all my time here -- it's been almost a year -- I've never heard of such crazy shit.

Man walks into a job interview. Boss says: Hey, how do you feel about relationships at the work place. Man says to Boss: Eeek, Sir. I don't think it's such a good idea. Boss makes a funny face and man looks underneath the table. There's a woman done there, not unlike the dirty whore as described above. Woman has her mouth full, but looks up at the Man, then looks at the boss. Then goes back to work sucking the cock of the Boss. Boss tells the Man that they'll be making their decision and will keep him informed. Boss doesn't get up when Man leaves the room. Why would he?

I should have known better.

The last thing I need is less sleep.

Lesson: Less is a mess, and fewer is a number.

The other night I woke up several time. I've been having short dreams as of late. Not very good, and less fulfilling. Practically with no meaning. So, I'm dreaming about this girl that I knew 7 years ago in college, Kim Coffman. She was in my English class freshman year and I thought she was cute. She had a boyfriend at the time, and as I've mentioned to loved ones before, it's hard to be friends with a girl when you have a girlfriend. Hard also to be friends with a girl with a boyfriend unless you are friends with the boy. I wasn't. In my dream I'm re-united with Kim. I know it's her. She's more tan now. I don't know why. We kiss and she tells me she loves me. I don't know why. But it makes me happy and we kiss. It's a dream. I'm woken by my barking dog. Heidi won't let me get close to anyone. So I wake up from this Kim Coffman dream to violent barking. I don't know what's out there, but Heidi is right by my window telling me something. I look out, fearing terrorism or worse. And I see it. There something on the fence. A cat? I'm not sure. I tell Heidi to go inside and she listens. Back through the doggie door into the garage. I look back at the fence. Fuck, what in the hell is that? I don't know. Not a cat. A rat? It's big for a rat. The tail, rat like, whips wildly. It's dark out. I mentioned that. I can't make it out. The face kind of turns to me, it's lighter and it fears nothing. It's not a rat. It's got to be a wolverine. I don't know. I've lived my whole life in a city, and it's this not knowing that has made me almost wet my pajamas. This this thing, it's still on the fence and not going anywhere. I'm thinking like a caveman now and am considering taking a baseball bat to this unknown creature. I could at least get it off the fence. I might have to do this, I fear, if I don't it could follow Heidi into the garage, through the doggie door, and confront the barker. If it kills Heidi it would come after me. I check to make sure my door is closed, and it is. I'm still wide awake and want a better look at this thing. I can't see shit but the whipping tail, and green-turning eyes. Wolverine. I think flashlight, but don't know where to look. I turn on my overhead. That doesn't help. I can't see anything outside. That does help. I close the window. Shut my blinds. Fall back into one of my shorts. The next time I awake it's gone. I didn't dream it, there was something there.

Possum, my friend tells me the next morning. I believe him because he makes sense sometimes. I think back to everything possum I know. They have little possums that ride on their back's, right? Just as creepy. Small. Babies. Wolverine like. They are nocturnal, I find. Out at night and a scary sight. Stupid, possums are. Mostly roadkill. Now I know. So, I try not to fear the possum anymore. Evidently, my neighborhood is a Possum Kingdom... Possum...Possum...Possum.

Fewer dreams, less sleep. Damn possum.

you, me, and Big Brother make three

For as long as people are reading, I'll write. Thank you whoever, and thank you Orwell reincarnated one. For I thought that it was only the people I poach internet off of that were able to read what I type. I thought that the government had access to my thoughts. This is new. Comments are welcomed, appreciated. Cheers to me. Cheers for three. Keep 'em coming. I'll try and do better next time.
Latest adventures in Carsonation: A Trip to the Clinic, Imitating Indiana Jones, a run in with a Max Marshall, another female who doesn't want to live with me, and, parting words with my former self.

One month till I'm 26, better get checked out. I went to the doctor. Couldn't have done it without free health care. Might not need it if I didn't earn a wage that kept me up at night, gets me up early, makes me stress. So I go in and have all of my hypochondriac assumptions shot down. Older people in for flu shot. Maybe next time, I think, maybe never. I get shot with a needle and get three vials of blood removed from my right arm. Checking for everything, I assume. Results pending...

Before this, though, there was the last Thursday of the month, something to celebrate here. A new bar, the Mash Tun, has this patio with a garage door separating it from the interior. At exactly 11 p.m. the door starts to shut. I think that means last call or something. From across the patio, I race to the closing door and fling my arm underneath, ala Indy, and reach for something, anything. Amid the slid, I scrap. Now my hand has a mark that looks eerily like the bite Spiderman got before morphing. Change continues...

Not in roommates. Still have the one. Still looking for another. In the meantime I'm paying a ridiculous amount of money for a lonely life. The last potential female to look around the house seemed interested. She e-mails: (I) realized this weekend that I actually have to be on the road most of November (I think I'll be in Portland for only two days). I've decided not to get a new place and just put my stuff in storage. If I were staying, your place would have been my first choice, but I'm going to have to pass on it. I enjoyed meeting you guys and wish you luck finding someone else.

No longer looking for luck, looking for lunch.

And what else? I spoke to someone I used to be. Funny thing about looking at who you were. You see you, and you are thinking different thoughts that you know you couldn't have thought when you were. I sat down with my former self and here's the script.

Current Me: Silly.
Former Me: I am? Why?
CM: So foolish about stuff. Don't you know what matters?
FM: Thought I did. But I guess I don't know as well as you. Why? What's up?
CM: It's too late for you. I'm you later. And I know now what you should by now. Trouble with you is, you're done with. You can't change because I'm now you, and only I can.
FM: So I can't do anything to change the future?
CM: Of course not. Nor the past, so don't try.
FM: Do you hate me for doing the things I did?
CM: I don't. It's okay. I have to admit, though, that things could have worked out better.
FM: Better for who?
CM: Me and you. We're one in the same. There are things I now know that you don't. But, there are still uncertainties that we both might have forever.
FM: Yeah.
CM: Yeah. I'm accepting. I'm willing to work. My bounce is back.
FM: I lost that. I'm sorry. I don't even know how.
CM: That's not what you should worry about. Let's just try to hang onto it.
FM: Deal.

This morning I stepped off the Max (transit system), was met by a marshall and warned to pay next time. A deal's a deal. Done.

Reconditioning the Recall


I should have said something else. When I was sitting there at the bar, looking at my friend and told her that there was a moment between us that I had recalled in my mind, I told her it was comforting. I probably should have said something else. There had to have been something else I could have said, but just didn't.

It was true. An image, a feeling did reoccur in my head after a previous moment took place. But that moment was mine and I let it loose, giving it words, and sharing the thought. When it was mine the cushion was softer. Shared, the feeling faded and becomes less intimate. Blown: the memory is less memorable. And not just mine.

So, what do I do? Keep it all in and share nothing? No. Maybe it's best to share things with people that don't know the other. Bring in an independent third party for feeling interpretation. It might mean something else. Or nothing at all. I'm clueless when it comes to this. Result: the only girl in my life is a four-year old, four legged, fur friend.



Growth process

The garage door was open to Rudy's, the the barber shop up the street from my house. This, my day off, seemed like a good day for a haircut.

Judging from haircuts I've been in Portland for sometime, close to a year. As you may or may not recall -- see A haircut buzzed if not -- I've paid for cuts before here. I've paid for several haircuts (3) and I'm not just saying that to make you think I'm not a deadbeat. My last haircut, however, was given to me by a friend, alcohol induced. Me first, then him, in my garage after a barroom discussion.

"Sean, shave my head," I get out as beer runs down my chin.

It was free, and left me feeling loads lighter, ready to become something different. A friend shaving your head when you are drunk is a completely different from visiting a shop. It's cleaner, feels like change is about to occur in your life, and satisfyingly so. You want to change, and are ready for new beginnings. It's a birth with experience to come.

I tell Lindsay, my clipper today, that, "I'm recovering from a shaved head incident." She smiles and goes to work.

What feels good about a haircut, when you're getting one, is the way a female touches, holds, and trims with gentleness. It helps if her smell is intoxicating, and smile sweet. A paid cut, a scalp sculpture, is the experience. You don't walk away wanting to change, ready to be reborn. The experience seeps into your scalp and leaves you changed.

"Some curls back there," I say to Lindsay.

"Yeah," she says with a that smile. "It's a funny growth process."

A few more snips and she was done. "That was nice," I say, referring to the time in the chair rather than the final outcome. My hair looks good; I feel good, it's as if the haircut cleaned up the inside of my head as well as the outside.

I've been here almost a year, and have had four haircuts. I'm different now, sure. From experiences. Because of haircuts.

Life: "It's a funny growth process," Lindsay voice re-peats in my head.

two lists to twelve

Too many know. Don't ask me what. The problem is too many know each other, of each other. This isn't going to work. It couldn't possibly. Unless...

Here's what to do:
1. Run.
2. Change name, facial hair.
3. Be somewhere where girl falls in love with you.
4. Make matters worse, by faking a feeling.
4. Become annoyed.
5. Frustrated.
6. Change mind a bunch.
7. Fall in love with others by looks alone.
8. Make a fool out of yourself in front of them.
9. Piss off the former.
10. Scare the latter.
11. Run back to where you came from.
12. Rest up for the next outing.

Feel free to follow these steps and re-peat if necessary. They'll start to get to know eachother if you don't move fast enough. There's no chance in capturing when you do. Stick around and rick lives. Better yet...

Sip your coffee. Smoke your cigarette. What ever it takes. With the live business: take care of it. Make sure you know where you are. Know who they are and don't get caught up in surreal surroundings. Not when you've had too much to drink. OK good. Now we're getting somewhere. This could be it...

1. Stay where you're at.
2. Let life continue.
3. Watch it carefully at first to prevent sillover.
4. Stir constantly to prevent sticky situations.
5. Breathe deepley, oxygen is best, marijuana substitute in cool climates, alone or with those most comfortable.
6. Think about it.
7. Act upon it.
8. Don't look back.
9. Say what you're thinking.
10. Fa-la-la-la
11. La
12. And be gone.

Good. We've got something here. Maybe not a code. Perhaps a cure. A curse? Shutch jor mouff.

And I'm out.

The devil's a liar

Heres me: I think I have to throw up. Theres a topless girl next to me. And when I say girl I don't mean 12 year old you sick fuck. She's more like 20. She doesn't make me ill. She's good looking. But I think: I'm ill. I run to the bathroom where I'm met by the devil. The smell in the bathroom alone is enough to set me off. Huhhhghh. Followed by other, less productive heaves. Here's the devil: God hates you. Me: Liar. My eyes are red, teary and my skinny, naked chest trembles. I'm not afraid of you, Devil, I think. And I'm not. My throat hurts. The devil has some power, I'm convinced. I'm ill, aren't I? And I am. My throat kills and I can't tell if it's from my short stints with smoking or from hacking up last nights beverages. Either way, the Devil, convinces me that neither could possibly be good from me. Except he places the blame on God. Liar, Devil, I tell him as I flush the toilet and watch him whirl counter-clockwise down the whole. Me, to myself in the mirror: What was I thinking?

There's a girl in my bed, and I'm both glad I wasn't thinking clearly (how else could she have gotten there), and glad I was thinking well enough (I didn't have sex with her). See, here's the deal. I knew her. It wasn't like I just met her at a party and clubbed her over the head and dragged her back to my cave to snuggle up next to her. I'd seen her at my house before. She had slept with my roommate Steve. I liked her, however, he had stopped talking to her. She liked me too, I think, she offered to talk me to the coast. Too bad I just flushed the devil, too bad I felt like I got the death blow.

Yeah, it's strange. But not that surprising. We went to the coast. After another encounter with the devil in the bathroom, I recovered from the death blow and we took off to the coast. Heidi came and kept us sane. We had a great time. It was perhaps my best day on the beach. We enjoyed each other's company. But it was too good to go one again. She's moving; she slept with my roommate. Shit. It'd never work out. Well, maybe. She texts: Are you busy? I'd love to borrow you and Heidi for a little while?...

Here's me to my roommate: Does it make you feel uncomfortable that I want to spend time with girl mentioned above? He says: Kind of. And that's all that really needs to be said. I feel bad for her. I liked spending time with here, but roommate was just going to make her uncomfortable. No, I was never going to sleep with her -- he had done that. We were never going to get married -- she was leaving. But Heidi and I could use some other company right about now. And that doesn't seem like it's going to happen with this one.

Girls: there coming into my life as quickly as they are leaving from it. Awaiting the next.

"you can't see tits on the radio"

This is a conversation I had in my head with Linda Carter .

"Hi, Linda," I pretend say. "I don't want to come across pushy..."
"But you are pushing," Ms Carter responds. And I removed my imaginary hands from the made-up her.
"OK. This may seem a little psycho."
"This is all psychological," Ms Carter says in my head.
"And I'm not meaning to be desperate."
"But you are," Ms Carter says, stepping back.
"Can we go out," I say, and put towards the end, "sometime."
Ms Carter sort of snorts in my head, but not in a way I hear, in a way that I see and feel.
"I can't stand that you believe I'm wrong for you."
Ms Carter shakes her head. Still no.
"It's you that's right," and I seem to know this.
"Your not ready to impress me," Wonderwoman confesses, and I know better than she that it's true.
"I can't help to think that you've realized I'm..."
"Living in fiction," Ms Carter wonderfully finishes for me.
"Fiction is the only part of me I can look at with conviction," is all I'm saying in no way arguing with her, which in a sense would be myself. I'm just saying.
"Sure. It's sad but true," gift-giving Ms Carter goes.
"I know you," I quickly add.
"Now," Ms Carter says losing patience.
"Love you." I tell this to everyone who comes into my head.
"Not the real me," not-the real Ms Carter says.
"Miss you." I'm down to two-word sentences.
"TV me," she too it seems, with less letters.
"Still want you, but can't have you," I conclude.
"Shouldn't." And I think she's serious.
"But where are you going today?" I say as she goes around the corner and out my ear.

She'll always be Wonderwoman to me.

According to those familiar with the situation

There are millions of Smiths out there. There are pages and pages of Smith very close to you, in your local telephone book. Can a Smith date a Smith? A certain surname?

It's a common name, says someone who'd like me to be happy. It's almost as bad a dating a co-worker, though. It sits in your mind every time you see, think, say something to her.

No. It's strange, says someone familiar with the situation. That's true. But is that the only reason? No. An excuse. It's something you say to yourself. She's four years younger. Age doesn't matter, according to someone familiar with the situation. So I think of other reasons. Can I kiss someone that I know has kissed someone that I know? I'm almost disgusted by it. Yes. But this isn't the real reason either.

You can't be with anyone right now because they are not on your mind at the time, say sources close to home. They don't have your attention. They aren't talking to me, but to someone staring off, looking out the window, contemplating the madness of the world. Or worse. This is unfair to others, assures someone who's been there before. You put yourself in these situations. Sometimes on purpose, I'm told by a by-stander. You make matters worse by making matters that don't really matter matter. I trust this person because of his proximity to me at this time.

Or maybe I'm just not attracted to this girl. Wouldn't come up with excuses, wouldn't look out the window if I was. But how do you tell someone that? Direct them to your blog, an immediate family member mentions.

Just let me know where

There's a ways to go yet.
Way to go, Champ.
There's still a way to go.
The Way? Which way? Stay.
That's something.
If anything says, 'do nothing,' it's stay.
So say, nothing does happen? As of today, which way?
I know. Which is what I'm doing.
Then go. If you say you're staying just to stay, go.
I can go. There are placenames.
Place a name: (here).
Yeah, I could do that.
Map 'em.
Well, we covered stay. That's here.
Plotted that point.
There's go...
North. To an Alaskan adventure.
Alaska, huh? End of the roads?
No. Anchorage. To live with a Keil.
O.K. Where else?
Home. I could always go home.
To Albuquerque? Already?
Yeah. Home is where I reset.
Regret is more like it. Regress. Retire.
There are more places. That's just an option. A point.
Other directions from here?
Not so far north, but north still, there is a Love.
I thought it was over? You said, 'It's over.'
We say a lot of things. It's what you feel.
Can we get on with this list?
Here's where the map goes gray. Denver's on the map... Some place in Cali... Idaho makes her mark... Santa Fe, maybe?
Gray? More like a light black.
There's no light black. There's Portland.
I see no difference.
There is. I'm looking on the map and see: Stay, Seattle, Anchorage, or Albuquerque.
You need a compass. And a geography refreshment course.
And there's a countdown.
And a clock.
I'll have to think. And work.
Time is of the Menace.
So, when will I know? You know, where you go?
As soon as I do.
Just let me know where.

I'll have some coffee and a potato please

Even when I'm in need of sleep -- well, after some coffee -- I get these sentences. Ideas. Lines. Sparks of light. Then, that's it. It's no idea, really. Nothing that would changes my life. Nothing big enough to form a story around. A spark that goes back to black. I can't complain. Their fun things usually. I Keep 'em for a while. Dwell. Spill. I forget them but not before thinking about what it all means. I guess, then, that they do mean something. They are little moments that change my life. When added up. When compiled into a log, I'll have something.

When I drink the coffee my hearts starts beating faster. When I think thoughts, my heart beats. I feel it and don't think it's that normal. I worry that it's working harder than it needs to be. That I'm pumping too much blood. And don't need to be doing that. I rest and try to breathe. Slow it down. Sometimes it works. Most times I worry about it, and that usually makes my heart start beating faster. Worry waits as I consider fate. Fuck it. Fate's no fun. So I start to think about things not-yet done. And I don't know what to do. So, like the environmentalist, when you don't know what to do, do nothing. I drink coffee to sharpen my mind. It works and I once thought of my conscious like a screw. Loose, it's tired and capable of going dark -- to sleep. Tighten, I'm bright. Have insight. Can type.

I can't think of it like that anymore. Because I've counteracted. I'm loosened on purpose. Tighten just to get back to where I was. So, now, I'm thinking of it this way:

My head is a potato. Seeking a rebirth, I unearth it. It's dirty, so I hold it under cool, running water. I rub it with my hands and feel it's character. I try it off and get the peeler. I go beneath the surface, open up the pores. It's bright. The skin is off. It's clean. It's white and alive. I look in the sink and see the skins. The catcher has trapped them, not allowing them down the sink.

There's regret. There's a past and mistakes. There are episodes in my head play and rerun. There are moments that I can't take back. Words that I've spoken too soon, with too little thought. There's time wasted and wishes worried. There are dark spots and depressing thoughts. But there's this:

These things, all of them, I can mash like a potato.

Why separate knob?

Why did I think I could make it to Seattle and back in my 1989 VW Jetta when I couldn't even ride my roommate's bike back from a bar four blocks? The day I left for Alaska -- Wednesday, the 16th -- I spilled a bike all over the a street near my house and got some on a trailer that was parked in my way. I came away from that with a black eye and a fucked up shoulder. The bike crash was only the beginning.

So, that morning I drove to Sea/Tac airport with fewproblems. A problem was finding a place to park in the 8+ story parking garage. I managed but was having trouble shifting by the time I found spot 7F-92 (Floor 7, Row F, space 92). I thought my car just needed to restp; I didn't worry about it or the cost of the parking ticket as I boarded my flight.

Alaska was great. I saw my brother for the first time in nearly a year run a marathon in less than four hours. My folks came and we all toured in an RV just like a family should, with little argument. We saw family in Anchorage, friends in Wasilla and Fairbanks, and scenery along the way (Denali National Park). I separated from the fam to come back to work. In Fairbanks, I was to fly to Anchorage to catch a connecting flight to Seattle, but the plane was late and I arrived in Anchorage ten minutes after my flight took off. The airline worked with me, rescheduling me to leave seven hours later. Instead of arriving in Seattle at 9:52 that night, I was to red-eye it and get there at five the next morning. I was on the schedule to work this particular day, so I called my manager the latest and told her my latest. She said try to make it in by the afternoon. I said Fuck after we were cut off.

The trouble with drinking to pass the time in the airport is that eventually you have to get on your plane. To sober up after two beers and three El Presidente margs, I had a coffee. When I should have avoided alcohol and caffeine, I didn't and consumed both. On the red-eye to Seattle I sat next to a redneck with a crying puppy, and seated behind us was his fussing family. Things couldn't have been worse.

Things get worse before they get better. At the airport, now five a.m, with no sleep, I'm on deadline to work in 11 hours. I called Lacey before I left Anchorage and she told me she'd meet me for a coffee. I was tired and a coffee would do me good. Seeing and spending time with her would be good to. Make things better.

Unfortunately, my car wouldn't start. I was on that seventh floor unsure that I would make it through the day. I sat and tried to start it. No luck. Things could be better, I guess.

I found valet, and paid theArab ten bucks to jump the bastard. And guess what? It worked. The battery kicked into action and the engine turned over. I was humming. Still, the shifter wasn't moving around the way I would have liked it to. I got out of the garage for $105 in third gear. I couldn't get it out of it, however, and wouldn't stop moving until I was in Seattle. Picture me: third gear, fifty miles per hour, left lane, five thrity in the morning, knowing that the next time I stop my car would be the last time I'd stop my care. Exits go by. I get greedy. Next one. Next one. Once I get close enogh to City Center, I get it into a spot, put the car to rest, and I called Lacey.

It remains in Seattle. I, back from my extended vacation, returned to work to see newfaces. One new guy in particular concerns me for my job security. He works the same hours and, no shit here, goes by the name Carlson. Are they replacing me? Is that possible? I get called in to a informal meeting, told that there were other options out there for me, specific examples provided, contact names and numbers given. Should managers do that?

A funny thing is, one opportunity I have is for an airline in Portland. I could be working at PDX, an airport I should have flown out of in the first place.

An Adams Hall Survivor

Skip Perterkin had been in the dorms at New Mexico A&M only a week, but for Skip it seemed like longer. He was already missing his family and his home. Skip had never been away from home longer than six days when he went to Cloud Country, a summer camp fifty miles from his home town of Lovington. Now, he was living in Las Cruces, a city eight times the size of Lovington. And despite all the extra people Skip felt more alone that he ever had in his life.
He was a freshman and boarding in Adams Hall, a three floor prison like dorm. In fact, he heard that Adams Hall was designed by a dead white guy, who designed a prison in El Paso, some forty miles away.

Skip’s roommate, Chad Parker, who Skip both envied and despised, was sitting on the bed next to his. Chad was reading the latest Sports Illustrated with Randy Moss on the cover which he thieved from the New Mexico State library. Chad told Skip that he had played sports in high school, but when Skip asked him if he was going to go out for any of the sports teams this year, Chad snorted and shook it off. “I’ll probably join a frat,” Chad said thumbing through the SI. “I’ve got a buddy who’s going to rush me into Lamda Chi Alpha.”

Skip was pretty sure he wasn’t going to get a bid from any of the eight fraternities on campus. On Saturday he went to a Lamda Chi party with Chad. He didn’t understand it and didn’t have the money to learn about it.

“How bout you,” Chad said, “you gonna pledge?”

Chad didn’t want, and didn’t have to wait for an answer from Skip. He knew Skip wasn’t going to get a bid. Skip was shy and only talked to one of the girls at the party, one he recognized from his Econ class. Mostly he paced the party looking down when guys asked him the same questions: Where you from? What’s your major?

Chad went on flipping through the pages of his magazine. The phone rang, like it did when Chad was in the room. It was for him, of course, but he motioned for Skip to pick it up, which he did only because he was sitting at his desk, where he had wired a second phone.

“Yeah, Chad. What the in the hell ya doing?” the voice said for Chad to hear.
“Hold on a second … Chad,” Skip said looking at his roommate who was pretending to read an article.”
“Yeah?” he said finally looking up. “Who is it?”

Skip didn’t answer and the two looked at each other for a moment. He finally closed his eyes and raised his eyebrows to show the sign that he didn’t care and he wasn’t going to bother to ask. Chad picked up the phone that was hanging on the wall above his head before Skip hung up.
Skip pulled out some papers from a binder he had in his backpack. He pulled out his Economics book and looked at the reading he was supposed to do by tomorrow. “Macroeconomics, an Introduction into the world of Economics.” Suddenly, he lost interest, but he didn’t have anything else to do, so he’d read it. He didn’t want to appear like a nerd in front of Chad, who was busy making plans for the evening, but he was here to go to school.

Chad hung up the phone. He put the Sports Illustrated on his nightstand, turned off the light above the bed and said, “I’m going to Shap’s.” He slammed the door shut, which rattled Skip’s CD’s and then left a silence. Skip didn’t like Shap, Tom Shap, from the first time he met him. Tom Shap was a slimy guy and reminded Skip of a guy in a movie he had seen. He was a real shit weasel who wore a white Notre Dame cap and always walked around with a wife-beater on. Skip knew he had money and didn’t understand why anyone with money would dress this way. One day, he saw Shap pull out of the dorm parking lot in a new Toyota truck.

Skip looked at his Macroeconomics book. He flipped through the pages and began comprehending the boring text. Skip liked reading, but not textbooks. Not economics text. He read and understood. He was a fast reader and it didn’t take him long to bust through the 15 pages of text called the Introduction. He didn’t think college was as hard as he thought it would be. Skip was a good student in high school, but hadn’t done well on the standardized tests. He couldn’t get into the schools of his choice, and it wouldn’t matter that he did, his parents couldn’t afford to send him out of state. So, he got a scholarship to NMSU, a school he had visited only once in his life, nine years ago. It wasn’t far from his home, and he didn’t have to go home every weekend, but he could if he wanted to. Lately, he didn’t want to go home, even though he was lonely. He missed his family but he didn’t want it to seem like he didn’t have any friends.
His real friends were in Lovington. They weren’t students like he was and they decided not to go to college. His best friend, Jimmy, enlisted in the army and was shipping out in November. Skip knew the army would be good for Jimmy, who lacked discipline and sometimes got them into trouble. One occasion Jimmy and Skip got caught setting off fireworks around the house of Old Man Marion, who lived down the street from Skip. He liked the old man but sometimes his grumpiness got the best of Jimmy and Jimmy convinced Skip one day to piss off the old timer. The Old Man came out as the two mid-schoolers were running from the smoking firecrackers and followed them down the street. They didn’t run from Marion but walked briskly and walked to Skip’s house. They looked out the window to see disappointed Old Man look at the house, shake his head and return to his home. They thought it was over when they were laughing in Skip’s room that afternoon, but Old Man Marion returned in the evening to pay Skip’s dad a visit.

Skip wasn’t grounded because his parents understood it was Jimmy who was responsible. But; from there on out, they were always suspicious when Skip said he was heading over to Jimmy’s. For the most part Jimmy was a good kid, a good friend. He wasn’t the best student, but that didn’t bother Skip. He wanted the best for Jimmy, whose parents always told him he was an accident.

Signing Off

Years later he would be alone in his home, standing in front of the TV that’s on FOX NEWS, channel 37, basic cable provided by Comcast, watching the world end.

“Man, I sure could go for a cigarette,” Timothy would write on a scratch of paper on top of the wooden entertainment system that housed the sacred box of excitement and information – the television that notified viewers of their own death, during the final News Alert.

Competitant Timothy Edward Endfinder, Eddy as he grew up with, had stopped smoking. He didn’t really want a cigarette, but his body told him otherwise, he needed one. He went to his laptop that was connected wirelessly, usually. He poached free service from his neighbors when he could, but this day, the last day of existence, he got the message that no wireless networks were found in range. Fuck. He couldn’t write a last blog. He couldn’t get his last thoughts down on his laptop, his friend, his communication to the world. Instead, he had scratch paper and he had already used it to write his want for a cigarette. It was too late. He couldn’t go out now. Wouldn’t waste his last time on earth seeking out an addiction he had beaten years earlier.

When in college Eddy was a smoker, kind of. He bummed, he bought a pack when he went out. He didn’t really smoke because he thought he’d live a long life. He wasn’t sure, though he suspected, that the world would end this way, so soon. He didn’t suspect that he’d be alone. He wished he wasn’t. But he was and he wished he had a friend, at least a cigarette. When he bought a pack, nights he went out, Eddy had some left over, usually half a pack and they were his friends until they were gone. When he was alone, he could smoke and not be with anyone but himself and that would be OK. Then he quit. It wasn’t hard. He never wanted to smoke in the first place. Smoking was an addiction, became one, and addictions are a funny thing.

He went back to the television and watched Sheppard Smith, on his final broadcast, tell the world what to expect. “Gather,” Shep would say, “around those you love, tell them that you love them, be with them at this time, fellow Americans.” Eddy looked at the screen and told Shep, “I fucking hate you.” Shep had given him bad news before. Not like this. Before, FoxNews told the world that the United States was under attack. That was scary shit. It was September 11th and the U.S. feared the worse. Though nothing more happened after that day besides the scares. There were no more attacks. Then, FoxNews broadcasted the bombings. The United States attacked a nation not responsible. Eddy was angry about that one, but excited just the same. This was big. The U.S. was taking charge.

This was the time that Eddy was the general manager of his college radio station. He had work to do. He ran around the studio, watching the broadcast, but also trying to figure out which songs the station should play, not in relation to the war that had just begun, but what was hot, what he liked at the time. DJ’s were in the station, some watching the bombings broadcast, some not giving a shit. It was so far-a-fucking way. It didn’t matter to them, their lives. It didn’t affect them.

If affected Eddy. His step-dad was in the military. Eddy was vested. His step brothers might loose their dad. His mom, Eddy’s own mother, might loose her husband to combat. And that mattered to him. He had a station to run, so this was only in the back of his mind at the time. Not the front, where he was thinking about passing classes, running the station. Going out that night. For the bright, there’s light, there’s darkness also, virtues and vices. Deeper stronger than those weak and dull. So, Eddy opens another beer. He works on a buzz that he started four hours ago at happy hour. And it’s then the urge to smoke again goes away. There are more important issues to think about.

A moment alone

“Just Breathe,” Charlah said to herself as she closed the door to her bathroom, even though she didn’t have to go. She sat on the toilet without lifting the lid, and then reached behind the tank for her glass pipe. There was still residue in it from the night before, so she struck the Bic she pulled from her pocket. As she inhaled a mouthful, she stood, leaning toward the door making sure the handle was latched, and then flicked the switch for the fan; she exhaled everything in a long strand of smoke. After the smoke was out of her lungs she pushed more air out. Looking up at the fan grinding – metal-on-metal – Charlah made sure the smoke had ventilated before settling on a thought: Who’s coming over? Recall Who: Besides Aunt Beth, who Charlah was living with and her husband Dan, a poor uncle, breathe, her mom would come, but not her sister, Marsha, who had picked studying over a Thanksgiving Dinner with the family, just breathe; Aunt Beth’s neighbors would probably show, Art and Carol, and Carol would bring Sammy, their dog, because Sammy went everywhere, breathe. Charlah felt dizzy and nervous at the same time. She turned off the light because if she wasn’t downstairs Uncle Dan was going to be sent up to look for her and she didn’t want that, breathe; an awkward few seconds with him would ruin Charlah’s appetite, just breathe. Leaning forward with the sink for support, Charlah made sure she was together; she hated company; straightening, she yawned as she did when she was nervous.

Here's a real shitty blog I love


writer run-ins

I've had a few recent run-ins with writers. First, there was Wordstock. I set myself up for that one. I met Richard Ben Cramer who writes non-fiction. Politics. Biographies. Books like that. I read his Joe DiMaggio book and loved it. He read about Isreal and Palestine and had some good ideas about what to do. He'd been there plenty. He was funny, dry, serious and smart. Afterwards, he sat at a table and signed copies of his books. I didn't buy one. Didn't have a reason to talk to him. I walked out of the hall. I saw him later asking a woman which way to the bathroom and I walked with him there. I told him he reminded me of a scene from his DiMaggio book, signing autographs. He reminded me that Joe would put a dot over and under the "i" in his last name. I asked if he had a trick and he said he was no Joe DiMaggio. He thanked me for being a reader.

The next day I returned to Wordstock to see Ivan Doig, Susan Orlean and Alice Sebold followed by Russell Banks. I had read Rule of the Bone by Banks and fell in love with his style. The coming of age book was inspiring, entertaining and a family favorite. My bother introduced it to me and after I was done reading it I gave it to my dad. He took it to Romania, read it, and enjoyed it so much he gave it to me the following Christmas, forgetting the fact that it came from me, originally from my brother. Returning it to my father, it's in his collection. I wanted it again and wanted Banks to sign it. I wasn't disappointed when he read from his new book and probably should have bought it, but I bought Bone again for fun and with a reason to talk to him. I had a chance to visit with him before he read, I recognized him on a balcony of the convention center smoking an American Spirit and talking to a couple of kids who were working the event. I recognized him, but didnt' want to be a star fucker, so I avoided the situation. I was also trying to quit smoking at the time.

Chuck Palahniuk came into Borders last week when I was working. He signed some of his books and I got him "autographed copy" stickers. I talked to him a bit, but I was working and customers kept bothering me. I found out he still has a house in Portland, but lives elsewhere so he can get work done. I didn't tell him about a house in my neighborhoond with a sign out front that reads, "Rules: 1. don't talk about fight club. 2. Don't talk about fight club." I told him I was new to Portland, but I didn't mention that I was a fugitive and a refugee, nor that I have two lives but am still looking for my third. I held off explaining those things, but asked him to personalize his new book, Haunted, for me. He said of course, and wrote: Mister Smith, the keeper of many secrets. The book is fantastic and I wish I told him I wrote poetry.

I was playing darts
with a girlfriend of a guy
this is how it is.

I talk to girls with
guys with issues with myself
my bad? or bad world

Holy shit. I'm it.
I'm the one that has to deal
with reality.

Coffee house conversation

Unsure where to go from here, I sit and look at someone, a girl, who seems to be doing the same thing. On a break from her book, processing what she'd read. I'm tired, but trying to progress, I tell her as much. "Things seem simple and I'm scared that I'm not doing it right, " I lean over and tell her. "I'm not doing enough and that's why there is an ease about this. If I had too much to do, something to fulfill my time, I wouldn't be sitting here scribbling thoughts, I'd be struggling to make matters more."
"Very well," she tells me. "You took a wrong turn somewhere. Chosen a path not yet cleared and are apparently lost."
"But what is lost, really?" I answer back. "And, am I wandering or just exercising possibilities?"
"Don't get lazy on me," she replies as if knowing my work ethic. "This isn't the way it was supposed to be."
"Then, how was is to be by now? Is my uncertainly making me insane or are these questionable times part of a phase of finding?"
"Don't look at me for the answers. I don't seem to be doing much better. Or much at all. Why do you compare yourself to me?"
"You're right. I shouldn't do this." So I stop and now just look at her, not for inspiration, but for fictitious thoughts, sights I store for later. And this makes me feel better.
"I'm just me. Just here and just alone to figure it out, too."
"But you are here with me. If you weren't then who would hear, who will read what I write?"
"It doesn't matter. I speak for myself, and not that much at all."
"But I, I write to be read, to get the words out of my head -- the voice -- onto paper, and for the record. I want you to read. When it's read by others, then I'm heard."
"I will still question what you really mean."
"I know. I wonder myself, if what I'm doing here is time well spent or me just making matters worse."
"Just in time, you will have learned your lines and this won't seem so much like a rehearsal, but the real deal."
And with that, she put her book in her bag and walked outside into the rain. I watched her from the window walk around the corner and on with her life.

She smiled

I stopped typing and caught her eye. She smiled. The corners of my mouth went up for a split second and she looked away. I looked at the screen. She looked at me again and then back down at her book. That was it.

At first look, you're hot;
I see you again and not;
third time and you're mine.

Guess it wasn't meant to be. It's crazy how many times we experience these encounters. Me, all too often with nothing happening. What could have been, but doesn't and most likely shouldn't.

every time I turn
around I see something that
takes my mind way back.

I figure I'm trapped in the past. My mind anyway. It's there. I'm physically here, but that doesn't seem to matter much. I wait for the moment when I snap, come back to reality and get my present.

I drink by myself.
Nobody gets hurt this way,
nobody but me.

Mind slips and I feel neither sad nor mad. I'm not happy or glad for anything in particular. I feel like myself. Flat. There's no up. No down. My face doesn't smile at a sound. Doesn't turn a frown, but it's bound to when I sober and think of true love, may have happened for a reason, but doesn't seem to exist any longer. Without it, I'm neither weaker nor stronger. A year goes by, neither happier nor sadder. I'm not mad or glad about this. I just feel like myself. Ready to go any which way.

I put the glass down,
this time for good, or for now.
This shit's getting old.

A new day could bring bright things. I'll see when I wake and it's dark but not late. It'll be early; I'll be in a hurry and won't have time to pray that this new day will go my way. That could cost me, so I'll pray ahead, from my bed the night before. I'll implore wishes, wants, forced feelings on others.... Hard to believe that at one point it wasn't like this. I wasn't a mess, but doing my best and things seemed certain, not possible, but probable, expectations not needed to be met and no real reason to be upset. Ah, regret.

Brand New (to you)!

The following post breaks rules, but please read it. It's a rewrite. It was originally hand written. It's part of a book, water logged but still legible (these pages anyway). It's edited. It was started over two months ago. Finished today. It's a long story. This, that and the following.

Thank you for being a reader. I've missed you and look forward to writing again soon, explaining more.

I leave you with new haikus.

Stop. Go. No, you go.
I can't walk; I'm a shy guy.
You first; best for us.


I am wireless,
and for the very first time:
write in this no more.

full mind, full tank

I run with memories in mind. Like today for instance. After sending an e-mail or two at Kinko's (remember my internet is still down) I went east to 24th, north to Thurman, then west to the top of Thurman to an old logging road now closed to cars and used by runners, walkers and dogs. This road has become my training grounds for a race I'll probably never run.

I begin today like I have two other days this week with Heidi off the leash, which I've thrown over my left shoulder and buckled around my torso to my right hip. Fuck, I think, I've got my keys still but no pocket to put them in. I should have left them in my car like I have done with my wallet and phone. But I brought them even though my car is unlocked. After Heidi shits and I bag it, I spot at a rock, and, with a quick look, lift it up and put my only set of keys underneath. I look up and there's a runner behind. Has he seen? Does he care? I start running ahead of him.

I have a goal today which is unlike me. I want to run to the three mile mark without stopping. Yesterday, I made it there but walked a bit. I also made the mistake of stopping to catch my breath when I got to "3". It's so much harder to start running again after you've stopped for a while -- this day and in general. You get going alright once you do but you have to get started again. Yesterday, it took me a mile and a half to get going again. I started jogging again even though I was sore because it was faster to run and I was bored with walking. Today, I'm running and feel good. Heidi's with me and is one engine. Her leash, chain links bumping my chest, is mt second. I run and tell myself I can't stop. I run a mile in no time and tell myself I'm a third of the way. My mind moves to New Mexico and I think of a trip to Las Cruces. If I was driving, and was a third of the way from Albuquerque, I'd be in Socorro.

Before I moved to Portland I turned down a job at a newspaper in Socorro. El Defensor Chieftian is a small paper. I would have been a cub. But fucking Socorro was a shithole of a town and my clutch went out there.

I down shift. I'm going uphill on this one-time logging road. I just passed mile-mark "11/4". I jog on breathing the clean air of Forest Park. Keys-under-rock guy is behind me and I feel the need to make us both work. I feel him then a burn as i turn it up a notch. He comes up my left anyway, and I cruise. Heidi chases him for a second, then with a series of snaps returns close to me. The man, about my father's age of 58, runs on and I find it easier to look at him forward than feel him from behind. I follow and we get to "11/2". The road is now natural. Once paved it now narrows -- single lane and dirt and rock. The man ahead stays on the side and I learn why. It's softer there with moldy leaves and moist, rockless soil. I try it, and I find it comforting to my shins. Two women near mile two are sitting on the side. Heidi approaches as I knew she would and is greeted kindly by her new friends. They say she's cute and with two snaps she catches up to me, now approaching "2", or on my route to Cruces, Truth or Consequences.

Just north of T or C is San Antonio. I, along with four friends, were once told never to return there. I have since, and have gone unrecognized by the man at the gas station we tried to run from after filling up in high school. "2". I'm feeling good. Haven't stopped. Past the point where I stopped yesterday. I'm not done. I run to "21/4".

South of T or C is Las Palomas, Heidi's birth place. Where I found her. She doesn't catch on to this as we pass the marker. She does, however, drink out of the mud puddle until I snap my finger and tell her to "get out of there." We run on. As we get near "21/2" I feel my lungs, inside my ribcage, curl. I picture them. There's black mud underneath my feel. I don' stop, but imagine myself doing so, grabing a handfull of black mud and caking it over my white lungs, blocking the breathing pores that make it all possible. I try to spit. It's loud and not very successful. It's sticky and doesn't all come out. I spit again , trying to detach ths mess. I finally grab it and toss it to my right, wiping residue on my shirt's sleeve. The white wooden post reads: "23/4". I'm almost there. We're almost there: Heidi, the man and me.

The engines work and I'm confident as I approach "3". I think a couple of things: I don't want to stop; must keep going; and, Las Cruces -- my one-time-home-away-from-home. I spin around at the post as the man goes on. 'I tried,' I think, 'but you've been running longer. It's been fun, thanks.' I let Heidi know we'll be making our descent. Snap, snap. "C'mon." It hurts but I keep moving. Must.

In a minute I see someone else to follow. A girl in red shorts. She's running at about the same pace, but must have turned around at "21/2". I'll trail her for a while until she pulls off to another, smaller path. I think she became annoyed by my noises. I was breathing audibly by this pont and spit too. Not to worry. Her out of the picture, I pick up the pace. I'm going to run six miles, today. Down to Las Cruces and back to Albuquerque, non-stop.

The two women are still on the side by "2". Heidi reminds them who she is and they enourage her, "keep it up, soldier," they say. I think about me looking like a soldier with the leash like a sash of bullets over my chest. I run, thinking many memories: I put half-and-half in my coffee this morning. New Mexico State Basketball Coach Lou Henson used to put hal-and-half in his cereal. He's ill. Hunter S. thompson, near Lou's age, just shot himself in his kitchen while his wife was at the gym. He's dead. I am well.

I'm alive and running, and really not in that much pain. The natural road will turn paved and I'll find the brown rock with chocolate swirls that is covering my keys. I'll run to the end and stop. I'll be surprised, sweating, and red in the face. I feel fine, though. My soul is inside hugging itself for finishing, for starting, for being here, for being alive. For having memories and remembering memories and for Heidi, my running partner, who finished the run like she could have done more.

I'm back in Albuquerque, where I once ran.



I made it to the library. Now what? Haven't checked e-mail in days. Don't like what I see. A lot of spam. I delete without opening. What's next? Must find shelter. Craigslist for house search. Find some. Some only have e-mails. I don't know when I'll return here. Could be a while. I jot down phone numbers, number of bedrooms, locations. I check my blog. I hope folks haven't given up. Some have. Others never will. I must communicate. Must tell a story. So I sit. And I think. And I...must write something -- anything. Put it down. Let them know you're back. You'll be back again soon, not to give up -- I'm alive. And I can't think of anything else. So I look out the window. It looks gray, but that could be the tint. It's getting dark out. I've done what I could. I didn't do shit. I'll try harder next time. It's Friday and I'm awake but barely.


Blog Taking a Break

List of Reasons my Blog is on Hold

My computer got infected.
Tabitha is taking her desk back.
I starting reading more; writing less.
I am looking for a place to live.
I work too much.
I'm not spending enough time with my dog Heidi.
Can't afford internet access.
Still don't have confidence in my voice.
Not getting enough comments.
I've been making people angry.
I've confused the masses.
Readership is down.
Advertisers bailed.
I'm full of shit anyway.

I need to re-evaluate my priorites.

I'll blog again so help me God.

My biggest fan,

cup-a'la-Q's for yous, and a week's Fe-mail

cup-a'la-Q's for yous

We check our voicemail,
Hey, call me; it's primary
e-mail, and friend-mail.

Made it up Marshall,
from Burnside, MLK, and
Hawthorne and 18th

Heidi's life is mine,
I'm her's too, and have a life.
Say double-feature.

I'll give you a bone
can pick it for what you will
I've taken my turn

I'm a boy, really.
Sure as hell ain't the father.
Are you serious?

Water's fine for me.
No, I'm good on whiskey, thanks.
Merlot was enough.

a week's Fe-mail

AUG: I'm whoring myself online still going after a new job.

utmrb: Very excited to say that I am now an employed member of society; Wish you were here to drive me home from celebrating-he he."

AUG: Carson, you are a gem. You are a gem ... against my better judgment to drunk e-mail.

utmrb: I believe he invited himself toPortland...room for two? Let's talk soon-tootaloo

TMB: subject: friendsters no more...

Kari Chisholm, Progressive Happy Hour: Come... bring friends... pass this e-mail along... and remember politicos that drink together stay together!

SusanKeil1: I'm wishing you were here, of course....

SusanKeil1: I don't usually forward messages, but after I wiped my tears, I thought I'd send this along ... It was good to talk with you last night. I hope it is a good week for you.

I Love you all, and good night.

a haircut buzzed

I got a haircut today and came away buzzed.

I walked into Bishop's on 21st and Flanders because I needed a haircut. I have probably needed one for sometime, haven't had one since I left Albuquerque in November, so I was getting a little shaggy. I have been Skywalker before. I almost went that far. But now it's gone.

"There," my friend told me the other day, "they serve beer at that place when you get your hair cut." We hadn't seen each other in a month and she had just mentioned that I had a fro going.

Getting your hair cut is a big decision. For some it's hard to know when it's the right time. I knew for sometime but wasn't sure where to go in Portland. I haven't lived here long. And I think you need a connection to a place or a person before you commit. I won't let just anyone that close to me.

As of late I have been shaving my head fairly short. Doing it myself, or letting a friend or family member clip it. How can you fuck up a buzz cut? This was mainly to save money, but I also did it because it's hot in the desert. When I had money, and when I had let my hair grow long enough for a worthwhile haircut in Albuquerque, I would got to Eldorado Barber Shop in Eldorado Square. It's a man's barber shop and always a good cut-- using clippers, of course. I started going back there -- went there for flat tops when I was ten or so -- after my neighborhood barber, Mr. Polaco, died. His son, Vince, had always been at his side and tried to keep it going, but it was never the same after the old man died. There was nothing like getting a haircut from Mr. Polaco. He would always ask about your non-existent redheaded girlfriend. And always go for the peanut butter and jelly sandwich under your shirt with the vacuum. He was part of the neighborhood and a childhood icon.

This day, however, I wasn't in Albuquerque. Even if he was alive I couldn't visit Mr. Polaco. I couldn't see Des or the guys at Eldorado. But I had a haircut on my mind, so I went where they serve beer and where they cut hair, Bishop's Barber Shop.

I was a little worried at first that the barbers would be drinking. That would be kind of fun, but it wouldn't be a good haircut. Luckily, I worry about a lot of things that turn out to be fictitious. When I saw the Miller light in the window I knew I was at the right place. I read the sign out front: buzz cut, $10, style, $20. I didn't want a buzz -- I could do that. I didn't think I was going to a beer-selling barber for a style either. So I went in and didn't mention either of these key words hoping for the best. I sit. I turn and read the sign: sign in. I stand and sign in. I put my name down and am asked if I'd like a drink.

"...What do you have?" I respond.

"Beer or water."


And since I'm in Oregon, "I.D."

No options. Just beer. That's fine. I love the High Life. I wait around the counter for a second wondering if I was supposed to pay. I'm ignored and take that as a sign that it's either free or on my tab.

Pssshhh ... Ahhhhh.

I hate waiting for a haircut. Get it over with, right? But, if you have to wait, and it sucks when you do, do it with a beer, my friend. I can wait anywhere with a cold beer. I'm flipping through some magazines: Tikkun, a bi-monthly, that featured an article on Phish's last show, not very good; and, I looked at Esquire, in it: George Clooney tells us what he's learned. My name was called, loudly over the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack. I was a few glugs through my beer and was feeling good about my barber. She was attractive and led me to her chair. I sat and took a drink.

"What are you going for?" she asked.

"Uhh...," I knew this was coming, and this was my best answer.

"How much do you want cut off?"

"Use your discretion."

Funny look.

"I guess I'm trying to keep some length, but would like to clean it up." That's the best answer I could give any barber.

She plays with the hair over my ears. I was going for Peter Fonda in Easy Rider but wasn't there. "Off of the ears?" she aked.

"Yes." Do men get haircuts and leave with hair still over their ears? That doesn't sound worth it.
"I'll cut it and give it some texture."

Texture? It's hair. "That sounds good." I didn't know what that sounded like.

I took off my glasses and this woman -- I didn't catch her name -- started cutting, and I wanted to marry her. She used scissors. No clippers. This was going to be, as a barber in Beacon Hill, Boston once told me, a scalp carving. She knew what she was doing and I felt relaxed. Maybe it was the beer buzz, buut I was feeling good about this one. She snipped. I sat. When she took a break, I sipped. I got comfortable and spoke up.

"You know you're my first," I said. "I mean, this is my first Portland haircut." As if this meant anything to her.

"Where are you from?"

"New Mexico."

"Why did you come here."

"For a haircut," kidding. "Ahhh, change, I guess."

"I've never been to New Mexico, but I think I'd rather be there than here."

I don't get it. "It's bright there," was all I had.

She snipped; I sipped.

She leans in front of me -- cleavage, quick peak -- "Close your eyes." Hair was brushed from my forhead with a gentle brisk.

Snip. Sip. And she was done. It looked good.

"It looks good," I told her.

She wasn't convinced. "I'm going to dry it and put some product in it."

"O.K." Whatever.

She starts blow drying my hair. I don't think I've ever had done that.

"Do you ever dry your hair."

"Not really."

"First time for everything."

I don't get it. She goes to get something.

"This is..." more cleavage at eye level ... and she says something else that I didn't catch.

She rubs what looks like Turtle Wax in my hair and gives me a faux hawk.

"I like doing this," she says with her hands in my hair "It makes the blonde shiny and brings out the texture."

Texture? I was starting to get it.

"Is it O.K. or do you want me to put it down? It'll probably come down anyway."

"Oh no .... It's O.K."

"You'll pay her," she says leading me. I polish off the High Life and put it somewhere.

"A short cut," she tells the woman who gave me the beer, and who is also running the computer register.

Short cut? That wasn't on the board.

"This is what I used (in your hair)," she tried to sell me. "You're not a hair product guy, are you?"

"No, not really," she walks to her station to sweep up my hair.

"Nineteen dollars."

Not a buzz, not a style. Both? I guess that deserves a tip. Three? Sure. I hand it to her, making eye contact and while avoiding the cleavage peak. "Thank you," we both say at the same time.

Groundhog Day

We sit.

We walk when we want. We look at those around, perhaps also walking. We share glances but don't talk. Our expressions say, 'hello,' and, 'nice to meet you.' The rest we must make up and do so in our heads. We find out about them, but we find out more about ourselves. They bring out good in us and we smile without being funny.

We wonder.

Our imagination puts us in different lives. And in different places to live. With different people, not yet met or that we'll never meet. We'll be someone else for a sec, but then we'll be us again. The warmth of our new, make-believe houses, new lives chills and we're outside again. Wind makes our vision tear to blur.

We blink.

We search and make eye contact with another. We'll do it all over, and then we'll come back and sit. Our hearts tell us to be with someone, anyone. And we try. We fail at that because they're not right. We hurt for ourselves and for them. We don't want to be alone but we can't be with anyone. We try again. We fail. So we stay alone for a while.

We sleep.

We awake to a new day. We do the same thing. We live Groundhog Day. We don't want to, but we do. We try not to but can't help it. We cry for change, hurt for a new life. We work at it like a third job. We become obsessed with not being us, with being someone better. We know what's wrong, know what's better. So we try that.

It works.

Oh, how it works. We change for the better and feel better. We make amends with our old selves and don't live in regret. We look forward to new, knowing what we've learned. We sit, then stand. We walk, then talk to someone, anyone. We walk a different way, then meet someone different. This is what we do. And we are who.

part of the problem

Maybe not everyone should have access to my thoughts, which lately are coming out in the form of blog -- sometimes blah. I mean, maybe somethings aren't blog worthy. And, then again, maybe everything is and should be.

A girl of my past, one I still talk to, e-mail, think about, wrote and said she might be coming to Portland for Spring Break. I was a finalist.

'Great,' I said, 'I'm for that. Stay with me, however, I might have moved by then -- see previous blog. What? You don't read my blog? Don't know carsonation? I'll send it to you. You can read what I've done since I've been here, since I left you in Albuquerque.'


'Wait ... fuck ... ah, shit ... maybe ... you shou-.' Damn. Too-fucking late. Message sent.

Two days pass. I write a haiku while sitting on the john:

We check our e-mail,
our voicemail and mailboxes;
we turn but don't talk.

She writes me again.

"Interesting...sounds like you're not only having apartment problems, but girl problems...that sucks. Anyways, had mentioned my spring breakpossibilities to a friend and I believe he invited himself to Portland...room for two? Let's talk soon-tootaloo."

He? Who's he?

What did I do? I don't know. That's part of my problem: I don't know.

Apartment next to me

So I've got this neighbor. I've got several, but I've only got one next-door neighbor. And if you know who she is, would you please do me a favor? Would you ask her, "what's the deal?" She's a part-time hater. And from what I heard last night, she's a part-time slut. Maybe I wouldn't be so confused if I had actually met her. But I haven't. She, being my only neighbor, never welcomed me into the complex. I don't hold it against her, good walls make good neighbors, right? But what gets me is the writing on the wall. OK, not the wall but my door. I've gotten a couple of notes from her taped to my door. I know what you're thinking, I said she was a slut, she must be coming on to me.

Wrong. Dead wrong.

Here goes:

Your dog barks nearly the entire time that your are gone. Please do something else with it when you are unable to tell your dog to be more considerate.
Someone more considerate

Nice, right? That was the first one. Next, taped to my door, this:

PLEASE TAKE your dog when you leave. It barks NON-STOP the complete time (all night) your away.
Your Neighbor

Seriously, forget the fact the bitch knows nothing of contractions. Also note the use of capital letters, and underlined caps? C'mon. She's redundant, but still sincere. She's getting angrier. Another:

Your Fucking dog is keeping everyone awake. Next time you leave it alone and it barks all night, I'm going to let it out. Perhaps it will find a master that gives a shit.

Then my sincere, yet never present neighbor, was kind enough to download a letter from the Department of Business And Community Development Animal Control Division for Multnomah County Oregon. I won't bore you -- anymore -- with the details, but basically it said this:

Dear Pet Owner:

Your are receiving this letter because a neighbor [my only] is concerned about a barking dog at your residence...The law state "It is unlawful to permit any animal to unreasonably make disturbance..."'Saving Pets One At a Time'"

Wasn't she the one who threatened my dog? Breaking into my apartment and "Letting it out"? That doesn't sound like Saving. That to me sounds like Harming. If not the dog the herself. I'll admit that I had a problem with my dog, until I followed the advice of the downloaded letter -- five pages in all -- and bought a device. The Bark Controller.

Ah, yes. The Bark Controller, available at Petsmart ($24.95), works. It took time. But I know it works. It gives off a high pitched sound heard only to the dog when it barks. The dog learns and ceases to bark. It took a couple of tries with it but now I'm sold. And by tries I mean one more letter:

You have got to do something about your dog barking! I don't want to have to make a report to animal control, but I will if I have to.

I failed to mention that I'm home six nights a week. I go out about once a week. I guess I'm averaging just under a note a week. Not bad. Anyway, back to the slut. Yeah. I heard. I heard her getting taken last night and I wasn't sure if she was enjoying it, but it was definitely audible. Gross, I know, but true. So, do I write her a note. I don't, but if I did it would say:

You have got to do something about your panting, your moaning, your yelping self. You are keeping everyone (ME!) up all night.
Your not-so sincere-neighbor

No, it didn't last all night. I went to sleep after the five minutes her boyfriend put in. But still. Is it time to move?

an ad

Current bookshelver seeks employment elsewhere. Male, 25, with limited skill, in search of new job within the Portland area -- willing to relocate. Able to work full time, but would rather not. Single, and with few issues. Has not been fired in just under a year. Salary requirements: over current wage of $8. Bachelor degree in Geography -- whatever that means. Well groomed, though I may need a haircut. Has transportation...for now. Considering graduate school. Has personnel problems with psycho bitches, fake fucks, ass-kissers, corporate mongrels, supervisors, and anyone using me to step up the ladder. For the most part responsible and on time. Casual dress preferred. Please respond with comment.

An epic

Diagnosis: Neurosis.

We worry a lot. We make stuff up in our heads and we believe it. We fabricate symptoms. We believe we are plagued. And we're neurotic.

It's for a reason though. It tells us something. Keeps us in check. Let's us know where we stand. Suggests we should change. Even when the writing on the wall turns out to be invisible ink, we search for it. We touch the surface, try to feel it. We pull meaning from the texture we touch. It's physical. And we ... We're mental. We can actually will ourselves ill. And we can breathe us back to life. We make it all better and then we do it all again. And why? Because this is what we do. Maybe not all of us. But some: the thinkers, the worriers, the faith-deprived, and the neurotic.

We'll get better. We'll try. We'll have to get disciplined and we'll have to work. We'll have to take care of ourselves, one another. Reaffirm. Show concern. Make better. Be honest. It won't be easy. We'll probably fuck up. We have in the past. We will again. We'll say sorry, and we'll mean it. We'll make sense. We'll be right, but we'll also be wrong. It happens; it happened.

We can work it out. If not for each other then for ourselves. It's best to think of ourselves in a time like this anyway. I'm most important to me right now because if I don't take care of me then I won't be able to take care of you. Same goes for you. Please. Please take care of yourself. That's my wish. Don't hurt yourself because it also hurts me. It's got to be about you. I'm a man, but I'm only one man. And I'm not you. I want to help you, but if you help yourself you'll help me too. You'll help us all.

I'm not through. Not with you. I want to make it work. I need to work to make it work. I ask you do the same, and if it doesn't work out between us then we'll never be able to say we didn't try. That we didn't give it a shot. That there wasn't a chance.

Will this go on forever? It won't. Nothing is forever. We're here for only a short time. And then gone. Gone to somewhere else. Maybe somewhere better. Now, however, we're here. And this is real. As real as it's going to get.

Forest Park on a day much like this one Posted by Hello

on a walk today

A few blocks from my sometimes confining apartment is Forest Park, the largest forested city park in the United States -- it's 5,000 acres. I go there sometimes, but not enough. When the weather is bad, or I'm feeling gray, it is easier to go to Chapman Elementary -- two blocks away. But when I have an hour or more, which happens, I'll make the journey from Marshall to Thurman (think Alphabet District, where a block represents a letter), 26th to 3oth. Then I go down some cement steps, and some metal steps under a bridge, to the Lower Macleay Trail of Forest Park. This is a small trail that takes you to a stone house -- once a restroom -- in the far southern part of the park. The trail intersects with Wildwood Trail at the stone house. Wildwood is the longest of the Forest Park trails and winds 40 or so miles. Clearly I've only seen a small portion of this park. I will hike more, but from what I've seen I know this is the place for me, at least for now.

Heidi, my three-year old Aussie Shepard Basset-Booze Hound loves blazing these trails, jumping into the stream, which parallels Macleay, greeting other hikers, just being in the outdoors. This is why she moved here. She loves it. I guess you could say the same for me. I feel good in this place. The smells of damp dirt, the sight of moss covered trees, the feel of the cool moist air, makes me happy to be here, even if it is just me and Heidi. I walk the trail and have time to observe Nature. I see an uprooted tree, dead but with growth on it, and I realize that there is life after death. I laugh at Heidi and call her crazy for jumping into the cold stream. She shakes it off, heads up the trail, letting me know that I'll never understand. All I get out of it is that we're here to have fun and enjoy now. And though this is a strange time, this isn't such a bad place to spend it.

National Geographic did ZipUSA on my zip code:97210. Check it out at: http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0309/feature6/

The faucet drips and I'm pissed

My faucet drips and I'd just assume it wouldn't. I guess things could be worse. But if one is in fine health even the slightest disturbance can make him feel fair. So it drips. And I sit. I listen. I try and type in rhythm. I ignore it. But it drips, oh does it drip. There are screws that should be tightened and have. I am the grandson of a mechanic. I have the tools. I plumb. But it drips, Jesus Christ does it drip. And, I patiently listen. It's constant. I'll tighten it with all my might and it will slow. But it will also drip. Still fucking dripping. It's water. It's nothing. Wait, water is everything. I should respect it. Appreciate the drip. Thank God it's not a gush. I just wish it would hush. I'm tired of the drip. I close the door on the drip. Pray that the drip stops. But the drip doesn't stop. The drip has never stopped.

My toilet used to run. It used to whine. I went to the hardware store and I bought new toilet insides. It took me some time but I replaced most everything in the tank. I calmed the cry. I stopped the run. As mentioned before, I plumb. And now when I flush it all down I appreciate the quiet. I go to my dripping sink, wash my hands and smile at myself in the mirror. I walk away forgetting the drip.

There's a ventilation fan in my kitchen. I never use it. Even when I'm burning stuff and smoke fills the place, I won't turn it on. It works, but I don't use it. I have. When I did turn it on -- it's up on the wall -- water comes down from it. I don't know what's up there, but it's water and for some reason it comes down when I turn the fan on. So I don't turn the fan on, I open the window or the door. I take the battery out of the smoke detector and I stay dry.

Some how, some way, water forms a puddle under my oven. Now, maybe it comes from the same place that the water from the ventilation fan comes from. There's a sea somewhere. But I'll be walking through the kitchen and step in a pool of water, get my socks wet, curse the world, and then laugh. "Ah water, you rule the world."

I guess it has to do with Portland. It rains a lot here and water has just collected in my run-down apartment building -- I'll live -- but, that doesn't explain why the faucet is still dripping.

My feet are cold. I'm going to put on some socks.