Wednesday, October 28, 2009

idle thoughts or perhaps idol thoughts

anagrams: have you ever played with words? noticed tonight, again, that sacred is scared. does that which awes us frighten us?

guess so.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Midnight Oil

The copter flies over again.
Past midnight, is it looking for my life?
The real one, not the one I'm leading.
It's back, wondering what I'm doing and what's going to happen next because
I don't know.
I didn't write the script.
I didn't even see the chapter outline.
Too silent now, whirring blades sucked the night noises after them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Project 6

Maybe the disarray was a warning. Yes, that was it. He'd sent her a message.

"Why do you keep them like that? It makes no sense and it takes so much time and you need a bigger case the way you sort them."

"You know I need everything ordered for my personal feng shui."

"Feng shui is room arranging, not jewelry or sock arranging."


"Say what?"

"They're alphabetic."

"By what? Color, designer, by who gave it to you? Because I swear, it looks way random ass to me, on this side of the equation."

"By stone or metal. See, the jade and next the onyx and the topaz. The metals are gold, silver, rhodium plated, titanium."

"Oh, I see! Amethyst, beryl, coral, diamond, I get it! That's pretty cool, now that you explained it. I bet no one else in the world does it like that."

The stones, they were grouped by color, and the plain hoops by size.

"Only you! That is so hot. You're a demented genius."

"Thank you. It's a carry over from my day job. I alphabetize my files, too." She winked at him.

"Yeah, but you do it by source, not by client."

"Works for me. Means no one else can access my files without me knowing."

Without me knowing. He wanted her to know.

"Suppose I put the garnet over here and the jasper over there? Then what?"

"Don't you dare! It'll freak me out."

"Just messing with you. You know I'd never hurt you. Ever. I know how you get when things are mixed up, how you have to put them right. I love you. I love your crazy brain."

He loved her crazy brain enough to warn her. She paused. Was the mess a warning or was it a message, too? Was there a second meaning in the disorder or was it just telling her to get out? How did he have them? What was the pattern? She had to remember how he'd mixed them.

She had to go back. She couldn't, but she had to know. She circled the lake and headed back to the home she used to know.

Flamingos? Why Does It Have to be Flamingos?

One flamingo, two flamingo, three flamingo, four...
How many flamingos does one person need, particularly if that person lives north of the Mason-Dixon line and not in a trailer park?
How many flamingos, indeed?
Please sir, I want some more.
Some more of those slim, long legged pink things, so sexy standing there, one foot twined around the calf of the other, rubbing it suggestively.
How many flamingos does it take to satisfy a craving for kitsch?

True Story:

We wandered the carnival, sun still up, ground not yet muddy, baby wide-eyed in her stroller.

"C'mon over here, win the little lady a bear! C'mon over, gentlemen, you can do it! Getcha little girl a bear! Just five dollars for three shots, getcha little girl a bear!"

C and G walked over to the barker. The counter held four sets of milk bottles, each set consisting of ten bottles stacked in a pyramid formation. The barker waved an air rifle at the guys.

"Only five dollars for three shots! Knock the bottles off the counter and win the baby a bear! Getcha little girl a bear!"

C looked at the pyramids and picked up the air rifle. "Three shots for five dollars? Gotta knock all the bottles off the counter and then we get a bear? Which bear? That itsy one?" He held it to his eye and checked the sight, aiming the front down.

"Or anything else the momma sets her heart on! I don't have no ordinary prizes here. Gimme a minute to get the rest out. This is a quality booth, great stuff for the little girl! I got here a penguin and check out this horse and I got a flamingo and a whale..."

Flamingo? Did he say flamingo?

"Lemme see the flamingo." He reached under the counter and held up a fix foot tall flamingo, bright pink, wearing a top hat, red bow tie and black high heels. He set it on the far edge of the counter and put a clip on it so he could hang it. I love it.

I took the baby out of her stroller and showed her the stuffy. "Look honey, it's a flamingo!" I turn to the guys. "I want that flamingo. Baby wants that flamingo. Get us that flamingo."

The barker smiles and lights a cigarette. "Ya gotta play to win, men. Which one of you gentlemen is going to win the little ladies that flamingo?"

C pulls out a five dollar bill and puts it on the counter. "I have to knock all the bottles off? All ten? Not just down, but off?"

"Yessir, off the counter. Win the baby a big flamingo! You're a big guy, you can do it!" I put the baby on the flamingo's back. She pats its head, grabs the bow tie and sucks on it. "Win the baby a flamingo, sir! Go on, do it!"

C settles the air rifle against his shoulder. Blam! He misses.

"Honey, I want the flamingo!" C shrugs, picks up the air rifle again. Blam! Nothing.

The barker smiles. "One more shot, guys. You gotta aim at the bottles, right at them. Don't worry, lady, they'll get you that flamingo. He just has to get comfortable with the gun, get his balance so to speak. One more shot, gentlemen."

C picks up the air rifle, sights it and sighs. He passes it to G. "Here, you take a shot. I just can't get it. Besides, it's your kid."

"Honey, baby really, really, really wants that flamingo. I want that flamingo. You have to win us that flamingo. Please, pretty please." I put my head next to baby's and flutter my eyelashes.

"It's tough. C already missed twice. These carnival games...." G shakes his head. "They're all rigged anyway, you know that. Why don't we just go down to Wally World and I'll buy you one?"

"I want that flamingo. That one, with the top hat and the red bow and the heels," using my most murderous, ‘you ain't getting anything else for the rest of your life tone'. "That one. You understand me? Capice?"

The barker smiles even more. "I have specials. Since the lady has her heart set on that flamingo and I know it's tough, not just getting the bottles down, but you gotta get them off, too,I'll do you guys a favor. I'll let you have eight shots for ten dollars, instead of six, or for fifteen dollars, I'll give you twenty chances. That's double! What do you say, gentlemen? Wanna get some insurance?"

C frowns. "We still have one shot left, right? It's okay that I give it to my buddy here? I don't seem to be having any luck, that's fer sure."

"Absolutely, sir, you let your friend go ahead and take a shot."

G lifts the air rifle and lays it across the palm of his hand. He runs his fingers along the shaft and grip. Flips it around in his had and points it down, narrowing his eyes as he checks the truing. He steps back and shakes his head. "I dunno, honey. This thing... Hell, instead of wasting money here, it's gonna cost a hunnert dollars easy, we could just go across the street. Besides, don't we need to do groceries?"

"I want that flamingo. You hear me?"

"Okay, then, here goes nothing." He raises the gun to his shoulder, closes one eye and then the other. "Here goes." He squeezes the trigger.

The bottles roll off the counter. All of them.

The barker stares. "But, but, but..."

"The flamingo, please." He pushes it towards me. G takes baby off its back and kisses her. I take the flamingo and put it in the stroller, upside down. I tie the feet up around the handle. "What my baby wants, my baby gets."

C pats him on the back. "Good job, guy. What was that championship pin you got last year? Or did you get two?"

"Last year, two. First in handguns, third in rifle. And I was top ten in black powder."

"You the man!"

"Get the fuck out of my booth," the barker says and slams the curtains down on the booth.

"Can we go home now? This thing is huge."

"You wanted it, deal. Besides, the carnival's only been open for fifteen minutes, we can't leave yet. We gotta have us some funnel cake and one of those big ole onion things. Us boys is hungry from all that shootin' and huntin' and killin' we had to do for you."

"Okay, then, we'll stay." Baby grabbed one of the flamingo's feet and chewed it.

New Project 5

"We go over hills, too."


"No, really, the sum is greater-"

"Stop it. Enough."

"The sum is greater than the whole of its parts," she finishes quickly and sits, quiet, for a few minutes. "I'm hungry."

"That's because something is eating you. What have you done now that it all pours right back out of you? What do you have that isn't yours, that you can;t keep?"

She doesn't answer, just gets up and goes to the lavoratory and locks the door.

"I know you're hiding something. I know you're not telling me the truth. It'll eat you and it'll keep eating you until you come clean. Lies are a tapeworm." He hears her vomit and flush.

New Project 4

Only a few more days and then it would be over. She'd get to pass the baton to the next unsuspecting victim. She was so tired, but the others, who had carried the burden for so much longer, for years even, who'd slept with it, ate it, endured it, without complaining, so her little piece, insignificant except to her, although they'd told her every piece was significant, each piece as important as the others, the sum greater than the total of its parts, so tired that armageddon, it all come tumbling down, boom, tra la la boom, didn't scare her.

There! By the back door! She hurried over and the gnarled fingers of a clown grabbed her wrist, nails biting into it. "Where is it? I want it."

"You? You're not the one."

"Like you know who the one is? You wouldn't know the one if he kicked you in the arse. You wouldn't know the one if he kicked you in the teeth and branded his footprint on your forehead. Gimme! It's mine."

"No, can't, go away!"


"You had your chance, now scat!"

"Mine! Mine!"

She kicked the haggard troll in the shins, but it wouldn't let go of her wrist. It pulled her closer, clasped her other hand and twisted her arm behind. It smiled with only half its mouth, the smile made even more distorted by the red lipstick smears on its face. Hissing, split tongue-surgery? accident? god's design alternative? tickled her nostrils, then licked her jawline. Caffeine breath choked her.

"Bitch. You'll see. You and your precious. Think you'll turn into a princess, all turn out happy ever after? You think it's all good, that you'll get your big, fat, just rewards? Oh you'll get rewarded, bitch. Fool. You'll get what you deserve all right, you will.

"You'll end up like me." It let go of her hands and disappeared into the foliage. "You'll see, bitch. You'll see..." echoed after the clown troll.

New Project 3

She looked up from her supper. "You know, the real reason I never told anyone about you, about us, is because if it turned out you were just make believe, that I was the only one who could see you, like I see the bedbugs, crawling things all over my skin making pretty patterns like Maori tattoos, then no one would laugh at me just because they couldn't see it too."

"But I am real."

"So you say. Can you prove it?"

"No. Proving it is just more make believe, I expect."

"Yes." She took another bite of her meatloaf. "Yes, just more make believe, more Alice through the looking glass. Poof. Smoke signals only I can see. Poof."

"Huh. well, can you pass the ketchup anyway, even if I am a figment? This meatloaf is awful dry."


"No, just the ketchup. Thanks."


"Do they itch?"

"Does what itch?"

"The Maori bedbugs?"

New Project 2

"Don't be angry at me. I can't keep up, but don't be mad at me about it. It's not my fault, it's just the way I am. I can't help it. The world is made up of people like me, people who can't keep up no matter what they do and people who wear the wrong necklace but won't change it because the chains are blowing on the hangars and most of all, people who hide under the beds because they're afraid to poke their heads out or they're too afraid to get out of bed even to get under it or turn on the light because whatever it is that's out there is just to scary even to get out so they'd rather lay there with the covers up over their heads until they suffocate but don't hold that against me, it's just not my fault!"

She stood there, hyperventilating, and stamped her foot again. "Don't blame me, I can't help it, I can't, if the light is out somewhere and it makes monsters on the ceiling! I can't, I can't, I can't, I tell you!

"There are so many layers of fear in this onion we inhabit and when you pick one layer off, there's another layer, ready to stink up on you and send you right back to whatever misery you were trying to escape, right back there!

"Besides, my bed smells funny. That's why I don't want to be in it, that's why I don't want to sleep anymore ever. So can I come with you, while you look for whatever it is you're looking for? I'm not brave at all. I'm afraid of everything. I'm even afraid of the sparks from the telly, but anywhere, anytime has to be better than here.

"I'll trade it. I'll trade it for a new fear, I will. Yes, I know I've lived with these fears for years, for my whole life even, they're really old friends, familiar fears, but they're getting worse. They're trying to climb in now, at night, and I'm too scared to shut the window so I guess it might be time to trade them in for a new fear.

"Please take me along. Please. I won't be any bother. Please.

"Don't leave me!

"Don't leave me!

"Don't leave me! Don't, don't, don't..."

"Alright then, fine, you can come along, but you must be quiet. We're on mission."

"Until we find Ekaterina? Until we find out what happened and why?"

"We don't talk or sing or name names at all. We don't laugh, either. If you can deal with that, fine, come along. I'm not going to leave you with the tree shadows, not when you're like this."

"They turn into things, into snakes and binders and things. Don't make fun of me."

"I'm not cruel. I said you could come. Okay, maybe a little cruel, but not much. Oh damn, that's why your bed stinks! You pissed yourself! Damn! You didn't even get up for that?"

"Too scared. And that's not true, I never wet my bed, not since I was a kid."

"Look at your legs."


"Your problem, not mine, except you can't get in my car like that. Come on, change up."

"I'll be fast. Thank you."

"Don't thank me. I don't know where we're going."

"Anywhere is better than here."

New Project

Her first time at this kind of event and it wasn't going exactly as she'd hoped, but then, she hadn't actually been at the event, she'd only been at the final gathering to collect the notes of support for the lucky recipient.

She'd even written one herself. "So sorry for your troubles. It'll all work out in the end. You'll see. Have faith. That's why we're here. That's why Prayer exists." And she'd signed her name. Just a scrap of paper, the words stark as tattoos on a virgin's backside.

Then she saw it.

Gathering the notes which had been laid out across the whole room, each individual prayer on ledger paper, business card, torn margins from shopping lists, covering the floor of this converted chapel, the single and double masked forms joined in one last hymn. They collected the prayers carefully, which would be passed on to whomever it was that had requested Prayer's assistance. She looked down and saw that familiar handwriting, the ultra-fine Rapidograph ink harsh against the lined notebook paper.

"I understand. I've been there, too. This will help you achieve in your own multiverse whatever you are meant to achieve, and then you can transport it over to this version of time/space. If you didn't endure what you did then, you wouldn't be learning what you are now." Ekaterina.

Ekaterina. That wasn't his name. There was no way she could be wrong about that handwriting, but that wasn't his name. She had to read it again, sneak the prayer out of the chapel and reread it, be absolutely sure. Closing her eyes, slipping the prayer into her sleeve where it burned her arm, she took a deep breath and blinked. Ekaterina.

Quiet does not make the heart grow fonder

Where have I been?
Not to London to visit the queen.
Not just playing Farmville.
Not just out, riding my ass off, watching the odometer click away.
Not just hondling, trying to raise money for MS.
Not just dealing with the IRS [Have you seen all the changes?]
but working on this...