Thursday, June 25, 2009

Classy Gents Vol. 1

I'd had a Stella no more than twenty minutes before we got to the bar. I was halfway through my vodka tonic when (we'll call him Mr. Mustache) got up, sauntered all the way across the bar and brought me my second. I felt my eyebrows form a sort of half question mark across my face. It was met by the information that I am a slow drinker. Fair enough, but why hurry? We'll be here a while won't we?

The, er, gentleman sitting on a low couch across from me leans back, legs apart, and strokes his mustache, before shifting forward in his seat towards me. I was moving on to drink two and paused, swizzled the ice around with the straw 'till it formed a mini-maelstrom of carbonated vodka, waiting in the loaded moment for the impending words to fall out from under the 'stache.

"So, uh... how 'classy' are we gettin' tonight, mmm?"

Have you ever squirted vodka out of your nose? Neither have I, but I can imagine it would burn like hell. Luckily I'd waited to take that sip, or I'd be able to say exactly how vodka felt to the nasal cavities.

He followed his inquiry with- I kid you not- the double eyebrow shrug. That's both eyebrows- both eyebrows wiggled twice in rapid succession. Oh man. A single laugh forced itself out of my throat while my brain sinapses played tennis with words in some vain sporting attempt to form a response.

When I met him, admittedly in another bar, I'd been intrigued by the curled-up 'stache, the smooth dance moves and easy going conversation. The way he didn't seem to take himself too seriously. But now as my laugh was met by the question marks in two piercing, ice blue eyes, it struck me that it was I who didn't take him too seriously. But maybe he took himself more seriously than I'd assumed.

Laughter danced in my stomach like malicious moths fighting for freedom. I refused to free it for fear of offending.
I've since learned to be more offensive from time to time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

the Tug of War

Sometimes I feel my life would be easier lived as two or more parallel selves. This would be sure to eliminate the almost certain hypocrisy from my being.

I could be spiritual, and a hedonist. I could be optimistic and dark. Without being at war with myself. Without worrying about scrutiny over my actions- past, present, future- to be allowed a certain respect for my more professional endeavors without causing concern over my overall intentions, without the feeling I may need to censor myself- to make myself more fit for public consumption in word and deed.

I am facing the impending task of needing to carry myself with dignity and professionalism. I am run the risk of finding myself running amongst (or in my case amok?) a circle of role models, under some kind of behavioral microscope. Scrutiny. But maybe I'm over thinking all of this, as I am apt to over think most things. Still...

Professionalism. Dignity. Transcendence even? What does this mean?

Dare I attempt climb this higher path after enlightenment while dragging my mind behind in the gutter? How much public hedonism am I allowed now? And is private hedonism now some kind of secret breach of contract with my public self's image? How much of our humanity affords us the luxury to be a mess without falling apart?
Oh, The Id and the Superego, they war! They bend and stretch the ego, until it becomes quite thin and elastic.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sexual Tragicomedy

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to...
Well, in a way, I suppose seduction itself is not a far cry from deception. You bundle up all of the physical and personality traits that are your sexiest, and fling them at your intended victim like a really lacy thong. Or something like that.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Impulse Aquisitions

You know... those little bowls full of cheap, nickel-plated rings by the register, fancy air fresheners at Pep Boys, gum packs and magazines at the grocery check out... that kinda cute-ish boy at the bar after last call?
I'm really trying to cut back. A lot. Excess is just, well, so excessive... and all of those little tiny expenses, both financial and psychological, just start to add up until you wonder why you are so completely spent.
So far I've done well in most categories... except I still acquire too much treasure (a.k.a. "one man's trash...") often even for free. The hazards of working for creative people with similar tastes as my own... people trying to get rid of stuff...
The hazards of 50 % sales at the Salvation Army, Oh me oh my.
So now I have an old fashioned alarm clock (you know, the kind with the loud bells) that I just realized doesn't work. So naturally I should take it apart and use it for assemblage fodder. Only the screws are stripped. Oh life lessons!


I've found myself working some very interesting jobs lately, in my work as a freelance studio assistant. Helping a therapist pack to potentially move out of state (or not), and now packing up an entire lifetime of art journals to send to the Smithsonian as the artist has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. This woman is phenomenal, so open and frank about her situation, and her life. Courageous. She displays an honesty and sense of humor I find really refreshing and rare.

Although I have a reputation of being trustworthy- a reputation I am proud of, something I know I've earned honestly, I notice a distinction between trustworthiness and honesty. I find myself very trustworthy, and loyal, but not completely honest. This irks me. I lie... mostly by omission or just to myself... mostly just little white ones to justify something or to ease some kind of minor discomfort- but I find this kind of dishonesty particularly upsetting to see in myself because it's so cowardly. So meaningless. Sometimes we need to feel- or to let others feel- and experience the kind of discomfort and pain that honesty can bring with it. Sometimes it's necessary. My kind of dishonesty is based on fear and avoidance. I want to be bolder, able to tell it like it is. And maybe, once I cross that bridge, I'll learn to tell it like it is without cringing horribly.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Recycle, Reduce, Reincarnate and Close the Loop

I have always been entranced by the idea of reincarnation. After all, as the saying goes (a quote by somebody famous I believe) "Nothing which has been made can be unmade," and I believe this whole heartedly. What better use of a created and creative consciousness than to be recycled, an old spirit- a new body. For every death I experience (and boy, have there been quite a few lately) this belief gives me a sense of hope and passage, and I am comforted by the idea of death as downward arch in this beautiful and repeating cycle- like an ancient ritual. All very much along the lines of dream catchers and crystals and burning sage and the like...

I see the distinct possibility of reincarnation when I look into the knowing eyes of this amazingly sharp and perceptive child whose family I work for. Certainly this soul knows so much more than one expects from a four year old. Is it all just a perfect blend of nature meets nurture? Is it natural smarts, and prodigy level wits? Or has this soul been here before- has it maintained a grasp on the knowledge it's accumulated?

I do have an issue though, with the idea of reincarnation. If we've all traversed such a span of time, why haven't we got more solutions, only more problems. If we've recycled our very souls- our essences- why have we not reduced ourselves back to the basics, back to what's truly important and what works. For, to quote a lyric from Jewel- beloved by yours truly circa highschool- "What's simple is true." This is all my speculation, mind you, but according to this template of reincarnation, have we simply become overwhelmed by the experiences we've accumulated or maladjusted to the changes over the centuries? Why haven't we applied what we ought to know, and our we doomed to reapeat mistakes each lifetime, and flounder in these repeating patterns?

There is still so much doubt and waste and ignorance and hedonism and pride. In all of us, like it or not. And those who overcome these things. Maybe the more ignorant, the cruel the wasteful ones among us are simply newer souls, they haven't yet experienced the cycles enough to learn productive habits. Maybe the wiser and the kinder people among us are the truly old souls. They are our Saints our Prophets our Saviors and our Bodhisattva's.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blushing up the 405

I'm on my way to a job yesterday, and while switching lanes I drive over a long, undulating piece of plastic wrap type of material. Packing material or something that must've just blown off or out of a truck. "Whoah!" I exclaim as it flies at me, then as it passes under my car it soon fades from my mind. But as I near my changeover to the 710, I keep getting these fleeting glimpses of something swooshing around my car, in the corners of my eyes.
Sure enough, I finally catch a better look at the right time in my rear view mirror. This plastic bag- or whatever- is caught under my car, and trailing behind me! How embarrassing! It was the automotive equivalent of having toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.