Claro que si

The blog knows no Borders. This blog goes across the nation. It's Carsonation. So, I'm writing all the way from New Mexico. For the first time? Yes, I think so. It's dry here. Warm and windy. Typical New Mexican weather. Not so hot as to go loco. But, windy enough to delay games of table tennis. Bright enough to close my eyse. Not so bright as to never open them again. Bright enough to block them with my not-so stylish aviator sunglasses. Where Portland is green, Albuquerque is brown. When I feel close and tight knit in Puddle Town, the Duke City is spread the fuck out. When PDX makes sense, ABQ is confused. When River City riffs, Burque skips. I find it hard to come back, but respect this as my home. The diversity here, the history, the culture is something you can't ignore. I don't hate it, don't always agree with it. In the Rose City I don't need a car and do just fine (thanks for the ride). In Nuevo Mexico, if I didn't have a coche here I'd be up the Rio Grande with a turd for a paddle. Pinche VW. I'm here for a short amount of time, so better make the most of it. Eat more green chile, consider more nicknames. In the 503, I the future to look forward to. In the 505, it's the past that's still here.

Adios, mi amigos.

When the dead come to your dream’s door

"Scooter," a whistling whisper said to me last night when I was in bed. The voice came in clear. I can hear in my dreams. I knew exactly who it was then, but had no idea why he said it.

It was Poppa. Dead for almost two years, hearing his voice is something that I’ve been waiting for. I’ve tried to write like I have. But you can’t fake fiction.

Scooter was a name that my father called me – he had tons of nicknames for his son – and a name the brother of a friend I once had called me. But Poppa, who was mostly deaf, never called me Scooter, and probably never associated the word with me, his youngest grandson.

My one-time friend Mike Stone had a brother named Jeremy. Unlike Mike and his other brother Derek, Jeremy was skinny and weak and coughed a lot. He was born with a disease that makes you shoot blanks, Mike told me at the time. Jeremy was always glad to see me, nice when he didn't have to be. I think about him often and know he is residing in the better of two afterworlds.

The last time I saw Jeremy alive was at University Hospital in 1996. He seemed OK with knowing that he was about to die. He was happy that I came with Mike to see him, and we played some card game that I don’t remember, and, before I left he said, “Goodbye, Scooter.”

I saw my grandfather alive for the last time in Presbyterian Hospital, the same one I was born in.

It was two years ago, and since I’ve been waiting for him to talk to me, waiting for his words so I could type them down. Remember them and live by them. He was supposed to be the voice inside my head that told me how to live – he lived to 99. He was supposed to say what I should be doing, how to spend my time, which way to go. But I’ve had to figure things out without him. I don’t blame him; I just wanted more of his words.

When I was waiting for his funeral service start, I found a tape that he talked into. That weekend I transcribed what he said. I wrote the story he told. When I turned off the recorder I hoped he would continue to speak to me. I always wanted more words from him. But they didn’t come until last night.

I'm in bed when someone looked in my room to check on me and said, “Scooter,” in a whistling whisper that I recognized as Poppa’s voice. And that was all. He referred to me by a name he never called me, but one that I recognize as me. One of my father’s nickname, a name I was also called by the now-dead brother of a friend I no longer speak to. "Scooter," Poppa said. He never called me by it living, but spoke it to me in my dream last night.

When the dead talk to you, you write it down. You remember what you hear and the voice stays with you. The dead aren’t around to give you advice. Just to remind you who you are.

What does River City mean to you?

I wake up in the morning remembering that I don't have a ride to work. I scramble to make up time. Second-guessing how I will get to work. Do I bike or bite off another "happening" for showing up late as all hell? Fuck, my bed is so warm and my eyes are so heavy. How did this happen?


A friend fired.

It doesn't make sense to me. I only have half the story. Where's the other half? Missing. Miss-placed and unfound.

I curse as I step out of bed. There's some anxiety. My heart pumps my blood faster and I find the light switch. My eyes burn and I really want to hop back in with my mate. My single pillow. My queen (sized bed).

And my back-up ride. I have another friend, who's kind enough to pick me up in the morning. One not fired. One fine. One I think about: "Where do we stand?" She's off this morning. Regularly is on Thursdays. Will be tomorrow, too. Her vacation has started. And I knew this would happen. And I wonder, "How am I still standing?"

I move.

I make sure I have a job.

Money. I'm not going to lie, I'm doing this for the money. I want to eat. Am hungry. Will work for food. Is this how it's suppossed to be?