Rebel rider

Cops. Fuck, is what I said when I got to the MAX station. I'm not running from the law. I haven't mo-murdered any fools. I'm no thief. It's just that, well, I don't exactly pay to sit on the train that is going to move with or without me and my bike. I'm a rebel rider. And I've never been caught. Wait. There was this time when I bought a two-zone ticket. I gave it to the cop because he asked me for my ticket. And on that day I actually bought one. The problem: I was in zone three. Well, I walked from there. Was close enough. Didn't have my bike rolling. Now that I ride, I hang it from the rack at 4:53 a.m. downtown, when I catch the first Blue of the morning. And back, usually around 2:43 p.m., the Red or the Blue. I only ride for three stops. One of the stops shouldn't even count. It's like a 1,000 feet underground. In the middle of nowhere. So, it's two stops really that I need to ride. And, as stated earlier, the MAX is going with or without me. If anything they should pay me to ride. I'm pretty much the only sane and (sometimes) showered one on the thing. OK, so cops are at the station that I need to catch my train today on the way back from work. They're hassling everyone getting on and off. And there's no way they'd let me get on. And here's the problem: I've got no money. I do. Some. In the bank. (I should have more, but the fucking jerk I kicked out of my house hasn't paid the money he owes me for the bills.) So, I'm thinking I'll use my debit card at the machine and buy an all-zone ticket to ride the three stops so that I don't get hassled by these cops. The problem is the ticket machine won't take the card I normally use at the ATM(achine). (Ticket) Machine says, Can't contact bank. I say, What in the shit is this noise? Now, I've got to go to Trader Joe's and buy something so that I can get cash back because there's no ATM(achine) anywhere in sight. I get a sushi roll and a juice of some sort, and five singles back. I scarf it (the sushi) down and head back to the tracks, where the cops have wrapped up their trap. Have called it quits. Are done for. I think about not buying a ticket, think better, buy one, and then head off to my final physical therapy appointment, paid for by worker's comp. Good thing too. Yesterday I put in my two-week notice. No more health care. No more MAX worries. At least not at 4:53 a.m. At least not without a ticket.

Take good care. And remember, tip your caregivers with kindness.

Maybe you've heard this one

"Did you hear the one about the girl who was deaf in one ear, but then brought hearing back with yoga?" I asked the girl who was leaning up against my car -- when I had a car -- that was parked in the garage.

"Nah uh," she said, but looked completely interested.

And so I told her.

"She was under a lot of stress in middle school, like we are. Just going through changes and lost hearing in her left ear. There was no medical reasoning for this. It just kind of happened. Still, she loved music. Listened, sang, experienced it. She fell in love, lost love. She loved life. Experienced it. She loved herself. She knew what she was good at. And, although she could only hear out of one hear, her thoughts were coming in loud and clear. Her head, as she said, was a fun place to be.

“If you’ve heard this one then you know. You know what happened when she started practicing yoga. Her happy mind took her places that explaining to you couldn’t even come close to describing, picturing. If you haven’t heard it then you don’t get to hear it from me. You’ll have to find her; I think she’s still in the Denver area. She’ll explain to you what I can’t -- I have hearing in both ears. How she transfixed her mind to manipulate her hearing sense, giving her balance. She’ll take you there if you let her. If you find her and get to know her -- it’s not hard -- she’ll most likely invite you back to her place to smoke a bowl. You should let her bring it up, though, the hearing thing. The story will come out naturally. If she doesn’t, don’t worry, don’t persist, don’t question her about it, but spend time with her and be patient. This is a story you want to hear from her if you haven’t heard it already.

"If you think you already heard this, chill, this could be a new version, there's more. So, she’s teaching this course at the State University. It’s a communication class – I know ironic, right? Cause she’s deaf in one ear. She’s an amazing teacher, though, and has amazing verbal communication skills. I guess she can write too, though I don’t know for sure because I haven’t read much of what she’s written, some, but not a lot. If she writes anywhere near as good as the way she tells some stories, you know, makes sense of situations and such, I’d bet she’s a damn good writer is all. She’s teaching this class, well she’s more like the lab instructor is what she is -- she doesn’t do the lectures is what I’m trying to say. Dr. Lindsay does those. Her name isn’t Dr. Lindsay. Lindsay must be her first name, but that’s what everybody knows her as and calls her, so that’s how I’ll refer to her, now. The lab instructor, though, the partially deaf one, is teaching the lab one semester and this boy is taking the lecture and the lab and has her.

“Well, he’s kind of unique in his own way, in how he communicates, too. He’ll say stuff that’s on his mind. Things pop into his head really fast and come out of his mouth almost as fast and be funny. Sometimes. They’ll be sort of thought provoking, too. Like you’ll hear him say something sort of literal and literary and link it up with something like the breakfast food that you had this morning or about a news piece you read recently. He’ll be kind of quick and humorous, but it’s the kind of humor that you don’t always laugh at at first but if you think about it, later you’ll smile and maybe even laugh out-loud at yourself at a time when nobody will understand why or even who you are.

“He’s not sure how he got this way but it could have had something to do with the amount of marijuana he was smoking that freshman year. Also, he credits his intuitiveness from his darkened vision in one eye. But his smoking was like her practiced yoga. He didn’t always do it with others, but sort of developed a mono method. His breathing was therapeutic; we know this to be similar. Seen it in others’ cases; it improves clarity, makes members limber. He says he smokes to forgive. And to forget. He’s been wronged once or twice. Has had terrible luck with some things. And this therapy, his self-prescribed regimen that he does, helps him cope. Puts the files in their proper drawers, he’ll tell you.

“Smoke a bowl with him and he’ll tell you that when he was little, like seven or eight, he was at summer camp, and that he was blasted in the head with a muddy stick that was thrown by another camper in a classic game known as throw mud and rocks and sticks, and sometimes muddy, rocky sticks at each other for fun. If this was a game, and it seemed to be, according to his story, he was the loser. See, he caught this one muddy stick in the eye and went down hard. When he came to, boys were over him, and he was in pain. He tried to open both eyes but couldn’t, could only open one. And if you can picture this 8-year boy, who's on the ground being helped up and has a swollen over eye, well I just wish I could describe it better. But he’s our only witness, so what I’ll describe, because I’ve heard it from him, is what I picture. Hear it from him, and this is what you get: There's a handful of boy campers hovering over him – very Lord of the Flies – wondering who to call for help, wondering how to undo what can’t be undone, wondering who threw the fateful stick, and him: helpless and asking for his mother, and blood flowing from his left eye ball.

“His vision is limited, and well…

“There’s a scar, of course. He doesn’t notice it always, it’s not like he is totally blind to this day, but there was damage done. He was wronged, struck with bad luck. When both eyes are open he can hardly tell. His right eye is real good and maybe over-compensates, is what I think. He can read. Reads a bunch. Likes to wear glasses because it helps, but doesn’t always because it’s not like glasses take away the dark spot that remains centered in his left eye’s vision field.”

"When we smoke we think. We close our right eyes to get the perception of who we have become. Sometimes, it’s a dark reality We tend to forgive the boy who threw that stick at my eye because what happened happens, and, really he didn’t mean it. We were just playing this game. There’s no vengeance. We forgive but we don’t forget.

"Evidently, nonsensically, these two, the girl with no hearing in her left ear, and this boy with limited vision in his left eye, met. In the class. She was his lab instructor. He, her student. She smiled at him – at everyone. That’s communication. They laughed a lot, and that’s communication, too. They began talking for real. Became friends, first. Then they split ways to experience parts of life. They were re-united once, then again, then again. When they got together, he’d talk to her in her good ear. When they shared a bed, she looked into his good eye, as he was on his left side. Their relationship changed as they got closer, but remained apart. Life was happening all around them, to them, without them. Birthdays kept occurring. And plans changed.

“'I fell for her,' he’ll say if you ask him, 'then she fell for me,' he thinks was the order. Either way, it happened. And, although he loved her for what she was to him, he says he’s happy that she was able to find another, even to couple without him.

“We tend to be experienced when we meet. Damaged, maybe even some. If it’s our hearing, our sight, our looks, you could be scarred emotionally as well as physically from life forces. I mean, accidents happen. People have bad luck in life,” is what I said to the girl, my captivated car leaner.

It’s our senses that create the memories of our lives.

a polished poem

It’s because she’s leaving
and that I just met her
that I’ll have to make my own Mitra
from these not-forgotten parts

I’ll start with the mouth
so we can say stuff
eat meatless breakfasts

She has a great smile
and that’s how it began

Her nose I’ve felt with mine
it will re-form, I think as I inhale

To get the ears just right, I trace hers with my fingertips
they are small, intricate in design

I lose my hands in her hair:
it’s soft, straight this day, and everywhere

I see her shape, get a feel for the face
that I’ll remake from my memories

My hands are found and function
they kneed her shoulders like dough

I stop, for now, to study, to steal a kiss
If I must remake I have to taste her

We cold-water kiss cheeks
and necks
and mouths
with eyes open, with eyes closed

I squeeze her bones to my body
we roll round so I can get an imprint

Her fingernails, I notice, are nice,
in good shape
white tips of equal length come out
to her fingers’ ends

Connected, of course, too
to darling digits

I hold and shake her hands many ways:
the Soul;
the Secret;
the two-handed and solid;
the boyfriend / girlfriend

Skins slide by, and
held hands pose as images are recorded

I turn myself upside down to look at her from this other angle

Touching her toes, I feel her feet
This woman walks

I cradle her calves with my hands
to the touch they’re smooth and cool

It’s these legs
that I have to duplicate at a later date

Sitting and standing and lying down
my make-believe Mitra, here with me

Her intense eyes seep into mine
that smile, that Great Smile
laughs at something silly just said

Her body next to mine
Under cover and in an unmade bed

My mental-image Mitra looks at me

She smiles, does not cry
for she’s happy for what she’s had
seen and felt

Not sad for what she’s lost
can touch no longer

Soon PIRG free

I guess you COULD get confused by this: "I'm going to have you move out." You COULD take it, "I'm going to have to move out." Say it to your self. Are you confused?

If you are, were, than I wouldn't want to live with you anyway -- you just don't get it. So, days pass after I've served walking papers to our little brother. I told him he had to move out. I told him briefly why and by when and then I told him if he wanted to talk about it to call me. No hard feelings. Just get out by the end of the month. We need a change around here and it isn't going to be me because this is a house that I found and it is I that has the relationship with the landlord. My name that all the bills are in. So, why is it that he thought that I would be moving out? And if he seriously thought that, then why wouldn't he think to ask what the deal was because THAT scenario certainly doesn't sound right?

Flip mode? Was that the argumentative tactic? This isn't an argument, I had to tell our little brother. I've made the decision. Dems da conditions. You are moving out. Clear enough for you, I hope.

It took some time, but I think our little brother understands. He'll be mad at me, but it's for he best. I felt good after making this decision, so I know it was right. PIRG free we will be come September.