Saturday, October 30, 2010

It was the depth of his eyes that initially made me stop and take notice.  Not to glance as one would in public or at a social gathering, but to really Look at him.  There was something writhing below the surface, something old and intense.  Lunging forward and then retreating ... teasing ... luring ... asking for an introduction.  Something unlike anything I had ever encountered.  I had heard stories of such characteristics ... in fiction.  Kind of like a fairy-tale creature ... lovely notion that you hope to eventually see, but know that you won't ... maybe.

His manner of speaking was a complete betrayal of the pseudo-wisdom that peered from beneath the heavy dark lashes.  An overdone southern homeless drawl; its origin a toss-up across multiple state lines. I didn't even hear his words ... entirely. Something about stale cigarettes and coffee ... and my ass.  

Subconsciously, I adjusted my stance.  

The aged look of his face was a testament to a mis-spent youth that had been heavily anesthetized in a cloud of excessive drug and alcohol use.  I would later learn that his mid-life years were composed as a blur of recovery induced by a catalytic half-baked prostration in the gravel church parking lot up the hill. There is something about waking, disoriented in the shadow of a 30-foot cross ... "It'll save you or destroy you," he hissed. 

Bitterness frothed amidst his words as he spoke of a daughter long lost to the care of a psychotic ex who was nothing but a money-grubbing-bitch, but then aren't they all? A marriage that succumbed to the seductive invitation of another ... dissolved in accusations and arguments. And, yet, as he spoke there were gaping holes; his eyes twinkled mischievously as though his words were an intricate, demented allegory intended to be pieced together over time.  He wasn't speaking of domestic disruptions, failed relationships ... his meaning was much broader ... more complex.  He was testing the waters.  Trying to determine where I stood ...and how I may react to the Truth.

It was then that it dawned on me ... I had made a mistake.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It is odd how quickly we can become disillusioned.  Distracted.  And then be gently brought back to our original purpose, focus, and intent.

I have spent the past few weeks fighting battles on several fronts.  Not that anyone out there really cares, I know that I wouldn't be too interested ... but that aside, I have found it remarkable how some of the best-laid plans can be shunned aside in order to deal with mundane, aggravating, and sometimes downright crappy circumstances.  For the mere fact that they are just so annoying that they may no longer be ignored.  Something must be done.  I have chosen to re-channel the energy ... compartmentalize ... But on the flipside, there are always rays of light that shine through to help us along the way.  No worries, I am not going to get all spiritual or philosophical ... its out of my system ... moving on ...

My intention several days ago, well, exactly a week ago now, was to post another portion of the fiction I teased with in the previous entry.  

The mania has consumed much more than I had anticipated.  With the newfound freedom, the release of the albatross (so to speak) has unleashed a new fount of creativity, determination and exploration.  That being said, to some out there, no, I am not making excuses.  I find myself starting projects and inevitably a shiny something glimmers from just off the peripheral and I squeal, "Oooooooh!" and Away I go.

Now, since we have established that my attention span has shrunk to that which may be donned by a gnat ... here we go.

What was born to be a short work of fiction (essentially a short short -- 500 words or less) has grown to a short story, to a serial, to a novella.  And yet, even in its infancy, I anticipated more for the tale-o-noir.  I have struggled, beaten and cajoled with the words upon its pages ... er, glaring back from the screen ... and, yet, I fear that it is still unable to stand freely.  I have promised, promised and promised the beginnings of the tale to a dear friend ... promises upon which I will deliver this week, but I know that despite the story's "coming out" that it may yet again go under the knife.  Wait and see what type of reception it receives.

I am pleased to let those who read it know that the inspiration for the tale has yet to find rest.  It is kind of like dealing with a split personality that has an equally short attention span.  Just when you think that the song is over ... another verse screams from the dusty speaker.  Crackling in the background is the faint noise of days-gone-by ... its only purpose is to provide a context for the images peeping up from between the blurred lines of black ink. Occasional capital letters and penned markings disrupt the anticipated story that has waited patiently to be received.  Alas, here we are.

And as I write these lines, my phone continues to belt out the opening of Mr. Tambourine Man ... an anonymous caller on the other end ... or so he believes.  If given the opportunity, those who believe themselves to be so slick will eventually foul up ... and tell on themselves.  If you give them enough rope ... 

Sitting back enjoying coffee and conversation.  As I look into the distance I am amazed at the persistent nature of the distant, cold and prying eyes of a heavy heart.  An alarm for my consciousness ... You have this moment.  Make the most of it.  In the end, all our moments lessen ... I have reached a point where I become so consumed with such a sense of urgency that I want to scream lines of poetry ... brief, fictional glimpses ... at the top of my lungs. Yell for the world to hear that things are constantly changing ... Accommodating ... Morphing ... but into what?  And, yet, there never seems enough time ... words ... or attention.  After all.  People will only listen for so long, till something shiny comes along ... something bigger, better, darker ... something to reflect that nature, which they spend so long trying to shun ... 

It is still early in the evening. 

And as I start to sign off, I realize that my dear Musings still exhibits minor shudders of life ... Occasional gasps reassure me that it is still among the living, but barely.  I intend to change this. Somehow.  And I believe that the cure lies in purpose, persistence and understanding.  Maybe from this point forward I may be able to provide the cure that is needed.  Besides, sleep is a luxury ... 

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Are you ready for a journey?" he asked holding the glistening blade flat against my thigh.  His eyes flashed a mysterious knowing as he traced the seam of my jeans. The exhalation that escaped his crooked grin stank of a cocktail bred of stale cigarettes and the wan, aromatic vestige of whiskey greedily downed years before.  Mirroring a distorted image of the autumn stars that shone above, the bone-handled knife pressed my trust, incited my curiosity and blunted my reason.  Had I known then what I know now, I would have answered differently ... 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Manic Ramblings ... Back Momentarily

In my manic dash to make up for lost time, I have allowed myself a few moments' guilty pleasure.  

Met with a good friend last night for java ... actually, as the fates would have it we were in the right place at the same time.  Anyhow, spent the first few minutes in a bit of awkward silence ... guess one could consider it a strange reflection of the past few weeks of non-communication.  But the interest and sarcasm were alive and well.  We talked and laughed once the thaw was complete. And it was so nice to be able to laugh comfortably ... no expectations, no guidelines ... just conversation and java in the company of someone whom I have known for quite some time. Course there are other factors at play here, but this is neither the moment nor medium for That discussion. 

So odd how dreams morph fluidly into expectations and then seem to squirm uncomfortably into the guise of reality ... especially when one is ill-prepared to witness the troubling transformation. Course, that generally happens when actuality does the situation no justice at all.  But that is neither here nor there either.  Where was I?

Suffice to say that I have always felt a kind of kinship to this individual and we have always been able to speak on the same level with nearly identical interests and backgrounds. Difficult to find in this part of the woods really.  To make obscure references to British comedy and things, knowing no explanation is necessary b/c the other one will get the joke was really cool.  Being able to be sarcastic, deadpan, etc. and never missing a beat.  I don't know where this is going. Guess I felt obliged to include a few comments about that.  I'm done now.  On to other things.

With newfound awareness comes a renewed interest in those things for which I have unfortunately long neglected.  For example, my fiction writing.  

For a few months now I have been working on a short short that a dear friend is anxiously waiting to read.  As is the case with any writer, no piece is ever truly finished, though I have set myself a deadline ... steadfast deadline ... of this week to finish the piece and get it in the hands of my fellow java junkie.  With any hope ... er, luck, he will read it and still want to meet for coffee on occasion.  Not only is there contest deadline creeping up in the background, it feels really good to be able to sit down at the computer and type away without the heaviness of masochistic tendencies weighing about my shoulders ... I know that I am clinging to that phrase for some unfortunate reason.  Guess it seems to fit at the moment. I have discovered that many of our life's lessons are rooted in self-loathing at times that we allow to unnecessarily cause pain.  But that is another story.  This is not the time for depression, oppression, or other ill-timed discussions. Anyway ....

Yes, I am working to finish the piece and with any luck, there will be many to follow.  Who knows, I just may publish some excerpts here.  Maybe.  

Until later.  I have much writing to tend to.  


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Masochistic Novice

Alas, I have deprived my soul long enough.  

It is odd how we often thrust ourselves into the path of an oncoming bus not for the sheer thrill of dodging the experience of being shuffled loose the mortal coil but for the knowledge that we have survived and now possess the authority to speak first hand and warn others of the  danger of placing our hearts, minds, and sometimes our principles on the line in the name of love .... or lust.  

And on we go breathing deeply in the wake of sheer disappointment, fear, loathing. or relief.  Coming up from the depths of depression and oppression only to breathe as one who has been held below the water's surface for far too long.  And yet some of us still harbor a sense of guilt ... "Over what?" one may ask? I dunno, silly things I would suppose ... though not silly to the one experiencing it but to the casual observer who shakes his or her head in dismay that one would place his or herself in the situation to begin with.  Some try to save the world ... others try to save one another.  

And here we are.  You have returned to see if I have posted further, and as you arrive I rise to the surface from the depths of a self-induced darkness and deprivation that is unhealthy even for the most Seasoned Masochist.  

Not that I enjoy whips and chains, I think it is more of a perverted fascination with the effects of continuing to embrace my "syndrome mentality".  Yet again, I have survived.  I have dodged the train, stumbled across the tracks to land in seedy gravel only to momentarily curl defensively and lick my still-fresh wounds.  No worries.  I shall rise to stand full height once again and stronger than before.  I reclaim my intent, my focus, and my dreams.  I will get there ... and this experience only serves to reinforce the motivation I have silently cradled all along.  No one shall hijack my destination.  Not this, not anything that mere mortal man may place in front of me shall rob me of that.  

I don't mean to speak in riddles or confusing allusions.  Suffice to say that recent situations have reached their boiling point, boiled over, scalded my hands and forced me to drop the pot of sopping stew of negativity and discontent to the shining floor below.  Momentary discoloration, a slight mess.  Nothing a mop won't cure. I take responsibility, for it was I who dropped the pot. 

What good would it do to hold tight to something that is not fit for consumption and cannot possibly be passed on to anyone as "good for you" with any degree honesty whatsoever?  That is false advertisement, morally wrong, and demeaning.  To further ingest this festering conglomeration of sour bits and pieces would only trigger additional "feel bads" and massive regurgitation. It is fine to initially try to add your own set of spices and herbs to make the gruel better ... maybe give it a more appealing flavor, aroma, and texture.  But it is still gruel. 

Ah, already I tire of such analogies.  Until later .... 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blah ...

Blank pages can be intimidating. You merely whimper at its dominance and then growl it into submission.  Huh?  Yep, that is shear loss speaking.  I wanted to write something totally and utterly brilliant ... and then I thought to myself, "Self, what shall we say today?" And then it dawned on me.  This quandary is probably the same that gives many in the MSM fits as they habitually bang their heads until something even remotely feasible and worthy of relaying to the masses manifests ... slow news day.  Self punishment is sometimes a good thing.  And what better thing to humble one than to take responsibility for their part in the perpetuation of "news"? 

Alas, I am dreaming.  In the age of Citizen Journalism and the advent of the Blogosphere TRUE, Responsible journalism is on life-support.  Course, True objectivism is a near impossibility ... always has been ... it is human to be biased ... whether we like it or not we are ALL biased. Disagree?  Take a moment to inventory the simple choices you make in a given day ... that, my friend Is Bias.  Now expand that to a story that garners your attention, listen to yourself as you recount the story to another ... notice anything?  

Course, it only works if you actually Relay the story ... not a condensed version.  It generally takes more than 140 characters.  And the full effect is only experienced if the transmission occurs Verbally ... I know, it feels weird ... but it does work.  You know, Discussing things ... through that archaic medium known as Speech.

We have become a society who feeds ... lives off 10 second sound bites and headlines.  The average newspaper was once written at an 8th grade level ... now, we are reading at a 5th grade level. Before long, the news will be relayed as a comic book.  Must keep the attention of the masses. There doesn't seem to be any room for compromise; there is no thinking for one's self.  If people have to work for it, it may die.  

There is no interest other than the bare essentials.  And besides, most view the news as all horrible, bad, and essentially terminal.  

There is no cure for the rampant superficial assumptions, ignorance, and disregard for all that was once held in esteem ... everything has damn near been reduced to 140 characters or less, packaged as "easy access" media and information available On The Go ... it is emphatic laziness run amok.  That is all.  

We have done it to ourselves.  All in the name of "convenience".  Where will convenience lead when our society dumbs itself down to the point that a 30 second news story ... presented through the ease of the Tube ... is no longer enough.  You know it is coming.  People barely have enough time to stop and have a conversation In Person.  It is easier to tweet your thoughts ... All thoughts ... post a Facebook update ... ("Leaving mall.  Gotta pee, more from stall.")  WTF??? 

During my time in college I actually met incoming freshmen who could not construct a grammatically correct sentence.  The idea of verbs, nouns, predicates were Alien concepts ... They considered sentence construction in the same light as journalists view advanced math ... with tremendous wailing and gnashing of teeth ... But they could sure Text and Tweet. 

I get so aggravated when people go on and on about the virtues of our modern "society".  Many of the conveniences are just that a convenience, nice to have around.  But when did we lose sight of those things that make us Human?

It would seem that we are merely a bunch of people living together, houses squished together, cars zinging past one another, and people shoving their way through crowds of their fellow humans and not once taking the time to see that we are losing the "connection"  there is no "society". There are a bunch of strangers battling for dominance and power amongst themselves with regard for nothing more than whomever accumulates the most power and wealth by the end of the game wins.  And many wonder why instances of mental health issues have dramatically increased comparably with the rise in availability and ease of "technology"?

Ah, that sounds so drab.  I don't mean to be a downer, really.  I just don't understand how it is that people are not seeing the big picture, OR if they are, they don't care.  And if so, why not? Take another Xanax and let it ride?  

Much of what we are seeing today has been in the works for decades.  As many know NOW, the internet was not a new concept ... new to the people ... but not New New.  It was born of "defense", "convenience", "strategy", "preparation" .... essentially a tool or medium for violent retaliation ... so it has been said.  But what else is new.  It is packaged so nicely ... kinda like a bite-sized candy cane.  All the flavor and festiveness presented with On the Go convenience. Pay no attention to the warning label printed in microscopic type on the toxic label in which its wrapped.  

People are eating up all the conveniences like candy ... forget the cavities, deal with those later. (Hopefully the government run dental program will pay for the fillings.  Maybe?)  No one seems to understand or care that our humanity is being crippled by the conveniences with which we are being baited.   I don't mean to sound like some sort of paranoid loon.  I am merely tossing out ideas.  And, Yes, I have read 1984 AND Brave New World.  But then ... I have also read the Bible, too.

Just because you see things in print doesn't always make it true ... same with the screens at which we stare ... Take a leap.  Turn off the tube.  Pick up a book (... A real one ... made of paper and glue ... It has binding (aka a spine) and sometimes pictures.)  Then open your mind and allow it to do its thing ... Consider and Think. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Coffee Tinged Stuff

Jacked up on coffee and thoughts are running a gazillion miles a minute ... momentary lapses where the screen stares blankly back, allowing time to process the keystrokes ... then ZAM ... the words magically scream across the blank field before me ... Krall crooning in the background does little to mute my manic state.  It's all good.  Freewrite ... worked for Hemingway and so many others, course, probably got a few into trouble too.   But that is another story, eh?

Ever have one of those days where you have so many ideas vying for your attention, and, yet, when you offer up a few minutes to entertain certain notions, those thoughts that were jumping up and down shouting "ooh Me!  Pick me! Pick me!" suddenly lose interest and scurry off into the darkened recesses of your mind?  Or simply wear themselves out and seek a quite place to nap for the moment, leaving in their wake an annoying, quivering silence ... No? Well, I have been experiencing it all day ... and I don't think that the coffee has helped much, just needed a little pick-me-up to get the creative juices flowing and now it has turned into a complete, incomprehensible tidal surge of fragmented notions, underdeveloped characters, distressed headlines begging to be recorded and other ideas that merely wait to be fleshed out before taking that first breath only to lay in wait for a few days to see if they survive or meet with the ever-so-seductive delete button with which my right ring finger nurtures a completely unhealthy attraction and combustible relationship.  You know how it goes, "i love you," "i hate you" "i love you" "screw you" "No, screw you" and on and on and on it goes unchecked until finally I give up, close out the document, and turn out the light ... as the shouts of characters and ideas become nothing more than muffled whimpers hushed to silence in the softness of the pillow on which I lay my head.

So on to other things.  Financial reform has passed, certain portions of the hellthcare bill are prepping themselves for their close-up, and people are jumping up and down about the usually suspects, you know, oil, incompetence in washington, whining, bitching, moaning, laughing, crying, and sitting by anxiously in the looming presence of all things political and social ... waiting to see what falls next from the restless sky. Personally, I am waiting on the frogs to start falling.  The way things are going, I would probably bank on the frogs before anything truly honorable ... you know, something founded in actual thought and reasoning.  We are just like the frogs in a way .... sitting idly by until suddenly we find ourselves in an alien position subjected to unnatural acts that violate all the given laws of god, nature, AND man.  And as we are hurled forth, we look at one another in complete amazement and confusion ... Just wait.  One day, these manic notions may make sense in some sort of metaphorical ... hell, maybe even literal, sense.  

While I was filling up this afternoon, leaded coffee of course, don't do the unleaded stuff ... that is just Wrong ... no point, anyhow ... took a few minutes to entertain the fragmented conversations of my fellow caffeine junkies and OH MY!  Keeping one's eye on the ball is a completely alien concept to some of these people, but I learned the hard way to not try and sway or educate them in the ways of screenwriting meets illusion meets the tube meets ordinary consumption.  Using one's powers for Good and not Evil ... though notions of such do vary by user ... discretion is a valuable tool ... Wait, what is discretion???

THUD ... was the sound such an attempt made recently when I unwittingly found myself in the midst of a debate over healthcare, immigration, financial reform, and the Clinton presidency ... how the hell that happened I have yet to figure out ... how Uncle Bill got thrown into the mix ... I got thrown in the mix if the debate b/c I have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut sometimes ... a compulsion I desperately need to learn to control ... it only dawned on me later ... One of those observations one makes and then shoves to the bottom of the pile b/c for all intents and purposes it is really of no value ... but anyhow, that tidbit peeped out to remind me that a vast majority of the right-wing foundation holds Clinton in not-so-flattering esteem ... it all started when he was in office ... I, personally, don't know and couldn't care less.  I was still in high school when Clinton got elected to office and at the time I had more pressing concerns than his foreign policy and "intern dilemmas" ... but, I digress ... that happens quite often ....

Too many irons in the fire ... can't locate the marshmallows ... my tofu dog met with a horrible end amidst the embers ... and I have had too little sleep ... all personal problems, I am well aware ... but makes for interesting conversation ... throw a critical coffee buzz into the mix and Whaaaaa -LA! A blog entry that challenges and cries forth ... (fill in battle cry here).