Thursday, June 26, 2014

fleetwood mac

I had something I was gonna write regarding something she said. I can't remember. It was a compliment about something. She was talking about sitting next to someone she was so in love with they couldn't even look at each other. Shaking. That kind of love. I'm glad she called to have tea and say goodbye. It restored something that previously had only two polarized sets of interactions, the best and the worst. It proved that another kind of interaction exists outside of the duality. A spirited exchange.

A very young slender dark-eyed woman with matching dark hair was on her Spanish tile balcony in white underwear and bra, and the woman she was with asked if she spoke French. She did, and the sentence fluttered across the block or two off Melrose like an owl. She looked at me, fearless, unbothered, warmly. I don't think there are any beautiful girls left anywhere else, cuz they're all here.

I was watching a Nova special on the tsunami in Japan, this young man who lost everything said something that read in blocky transcript, The wave of black water flowed between the houses. This morning, this woman next to me spilled her coffee drink from the counter, it splashed like the end of the world. There was a purity in its disarray. The wave of black water flowed between the houses.

I'm feeling everything, and it is enormous, everything.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 49

The animal kingdom has no pity. I remember this kid I made friends with from Texas. He was my roommate's brother. We went to the beach one day and he was stunned by the breeze. He said it was the nicest breeze he'd ever felt. I walked out of this stuffy morning cafe today, unhinged, and he was right. It was cooling and almost undeserved. But the animal kingdom has no pity. So I closed my eyes and drank it in between my cells.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I Knew I Needed A Break

It was the uneven-eyed drunken leer at the blurry woman that gave me away. I could feel my left eye going crooked. The thermometer on the CitiBank had said 91 degrees. Sometime in May, unusual as I sat atop a green padded barstool at the Farmer's Market.

I don't write FADE IN anymore but when I first started writing screenplays it was a comfort, getting the first two words.

In the parking lot that afternoon outside the Johnny Rockets there was a beige '85 Super Diesel 300 Mercedes. The same car my mom bought after she divorced my dad. Goodbye Chevrolet Conversion Van. There were five of us kids so we didn't all fit. We'd squeeze four into the backseat but one time the police in Malibu pulled us over and my mom was reprimanded. One morning the alarm broke and the Mercedes started howling unpredictably for minutes on end and it was too expensive to fix. So my Mom would pick us up from school and we'd just hope it wouldn't go off.

The guy who wrote Gladiator said his main job was to write dialogue for actors. I liked that, because he did big movies with an opposite intention.

We'd know our mom was getting home by the squeaking of the German brakes. The music of the metal groaning its own warning song and resolution. It was a sequence of unique mechanical pain different from all the other cars outside on the highway. The way it cried. And we'd scatter like those mice living with us in that rundown beach house, turn off the tv and try to appear busy, cleaning or doing homework.

My sister's friend said to us the other night, that now that she's become a parent she gets why her own mother would yell, it's because on certain days there's nothing left.

We eventually moved to a plot up in the Santa Monica mountains. She eventually got a black F150 with front bench that allowed us all to fit. I remember looking out of my bedroom window one afternoon and seeing my mom behind the wheel of her parked truck, in our dirt driveway. I could hear a Gloria Estefan song blasting from her stereo, and through two panes of glass I watched my mother shaking her torso in wild abandon, getting it all out, there alone behind the wheel.

All screenwriters do it, none that I've yet read are too high and mighty to deny the pleasurable relief that comes with writing the words FADE OUT.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I envision a scenario where I quit this app. A farm. Blueberry patches. Calloused hands. You and I smelling of faint cow manure, no matter our tireless scrubbings with that soap from the general store. A life fraught with hard labor but little to lack. Evening and we're chuckling over lamp-lit dinner about how we met so very long ago. Eating one of our favorite chickens, because it's our anniversary. And your delicate post-menopausal golden mustache glistens across my red worn eyes. Tinder Love.

*my 500 character bio on Tinder.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dogs and Jail

One of my brothers is in jail. The other one doesn't like dogs. When I tell this to other people, they're usually caught off guard, that one of my brothers doesn't like dogs. Because people tend to like dogs more than they do people. And we tend to project favorable human characteristics onto dogs because they can't argue, like people do. And perhaps this very good that we attribute to dogs is really just an overwhelming good that we also have and are too afraid to see in ourselves. And maybe if we did see it, maybe if we did call other people things like "loyal" and "unconditionally loving", maybe less of them would end up in jail.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

orange umbrella

There is an analog beeping. A scratching. Intermittent with no rhythm. I'm letting music play loud in my earphones not to hear it. Everyone is so friendly to me. Yet I feel uneasy. I don't know how to save another person. It's so big, I can't surround it or I'll blow up. My principles are disoriented and no more. There is a flexibility which requires going beyond what's safe. It makes a person ready for the next pose long before he's understood. It defies feeling where, being present for another person used to be the answer to everything and now it could mean the opposite. I'm not familiar with how to make it better.  I'm not familiar with the guilt. I'm not familiar. All the while, always, an underlying current runs eternally undisturbed by the chaos of form. It is known. Unifying. Even if I don't want to hear it. Even if I do everything to find noise. Even if wave after wave crashes on top of my head as I'm about to rise. The only resolution is to keep going, hungry for life like an uncaged spirit.

walking home

At night the palm trees are ink blot silhouettes against wax paper sky beneath the streetlamp moon as I make jokes about yuppies in my head and Janis Joplin intones "you're out on the street lookin good but baby deep down in your heart..." And I can choose the past present future or I can just allow the beauty.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

shining on my knees

The numbers are solving and collecting themselves in one long formula and we are them. Divided, multiplied, added, and subtracted. The equation is always finding miniature resolutions within the larger. I don't know enough about math to get into this subject with any depth of know-how, but the numeric likeness to the way we live our lives is becoming more and more evident. It's obvious that I am rolling through the violence of finding an answer and so are the people next to me. And maybe it's why we had to learn algebra in school.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Aunt of the Bride

I watched the people dancing. Shimmying. I imagined a matronly in-law waving me over to the dance floor to nurse a song or two. You've seen it before. Two lonely hearts at vastly different points of their reproductive years, defying predicament together. The two of us, generations apart, dancing together in lively unison at a wedding. One unlucky in love duo showing friends and family a glint of optimism despite it all. That all we have is the moment.

There she is. She is, big hair, big jewelry, big dress. And it is happening. She is asking me to dance with her, offering the aforementioned opportunity to throw caution to the wind. Let me start by saying, I am not that easy. I will not go quietly into mass movement. I have my limits where mutual motion is involved. Which is why I'm first refusing her with a smile and side to side head shake like "no, better not". Not tonight. Like I'm charming or something. But Surprise, Surprise. She, the matronly in-law, is not easily dissuaded. She responds without hesitation and waves again. Like, get over here mister! It's only just begun. There is an engine on this woman. She is throwing everything at me but the kitchen sink. Her focus is zeroed in. She is the Washington Wizards version of Michael Jordan and I am the long retired Toni Kukoc. She is casting a dazzling spell with mustered torso gyrations and still-got-it hip thrusts, albeit limited in their range of motion these days but still potent. Potent in the way they draw authority from the eye. Watching her amplify her sexuality from the near-bottom floor of post-menopause, is almost like being involved in miracle. A resuscitation not unlike CPR in an episode of Baywatch. I can't precisely explain the phenomena. It's almost like the stacked against cards of her diminishing biology seem to imply a gigantic reason to indulge a lady, or G-d. But I have my reasons. I'm stubborn too. I've told you that. I will not go quietly into mass movement. I've told you that. I'm cooly responding to her by miming that it's very much appreciated but still a no-go. And I'm almost sorry on the inside. I'm almost sorry.

It should be over soon.

Then it turns. She decides to play dirty. She's winning over the crowd's attention. Their faces are like floating masks. Indigenous floating masks of festive island people. Like the discombobulating movements of insects. A fluid cavalcade. A wasp's nest broken open and spilled outward. Their warped expressions communicating assuredly that I'll soon be joining them. It's only a matter of time. She is the de facto queen, by virtue of her energy, and I am a flower, by virtue of my roots. What a woman. She is brash and confident. She is pushing all of her chips into the pot. It's all in. Checkmate. I am cornered. I am as good as hooked. She is sauntering towards me like, c'mon, it's just one song!

The final move is grace, and desperate, and perfection. She is Hawaiian luau side-stepping between the tables and never missing a beat to the music. It's all in harmony with the wedding universe. Two forces must meet and now she is inevitably close enough to me that she's bridging our distance with an outstretched hand, nails done, about to arrive on my arm. And me, I can hear myself. It sounds like someone else but it's coming from deep inside. I know this to be true. Rattling my lungs. Altering my foot sweat. I'm yelling, way too loud for privacy but defiantly angry, NO! I said NO! What don't you understand about that?! Before I know what's happening I'm yelling NO!

And me, I'm standing there. It's silent. You could hear a cuff link drop. As men do in movies, I'm buttoning my blazer buttons, top and bottom, and then unbuttoning the lower one. I am not Don Draper. I am looking around like, the gall of some people. And she is, she is crouched and side-stepping away, wounded. And me, me I'm withdrawing a comb out of my back pocket and brushing my used car salesman head of hair. The follicles feathering up in soft waves.

And the party, the party is still quiet, band stopped, you could hear a life of broken promises and domestic agony drop if not for the messy gigantic body-convulsive-weeping of the tender-hearted, matronly, in-law who only wanted a young man to come out of his shell, cut a lil rug, and make a memory or two. And there I am, getting escorted from the premises by a usually good-natured uncle who smells like martinis. And there is applause. You make me wanna shout. Kick my heels up and shout. Throw my hands up and shout. They owe it to the night, to themselves, to forget.

I snapped out of it and watched them dancing. Shimmying. Having imagined this premise, I could hardly contain it. And so I walked outside, where people were smoking. And I imagined one of the grandfathers asking me to dance.