trashbag tumbleweed

Not role model material. Moi. Nearing the end of my line and that’s usual. Some people out there think if you just put it out there, our hopes/dreams, it’s out and about in the universe, and who knows..? It’s something typically let out with a side of prayer/pleading (sorry, i’m unclear on the difference.) because you’re gambling… believing. We hail from different regions so we might cope a little different. what? Don’t have that kind of conscience to encourage others to believe, though, had to run tests and mods. Here we are in this galactic quadrant, dawn to dusk looped, and once in a while, countries war, traject probes on comets, Amelia Earhart, the 60’s, a man had a dream once and a call to arms for civil rights is still ringing and peeps are iffy about penises in the girls room. Everybody copes all the same, just in different spaces because we have to look out for ourselves first and foremost. It’s not making an impact on the world and imprinting your shoe on a drying sidewalk. Yeah, kind of have to save the world now because, well, let’s just put that near the top of the list and see how far we can get. Go team, earthlings! I’m serious. I just made it sound corny because saying it aloud is different. I’m not a role model. Maybe a foot model, I got feet. Weird feet. Fetish level stuff.  

The crap that swirls around my head reads poetically and sounds deep, so naturally I inflate that to throw at women by appearing deep and burdened so they can dig me back up. While that’s true, it never works and my stuff reads at least somewhat witty. I got that, at least I got that. It makes me feel better than you. I don’t chug gin on the daily anymore so I have to trick myself into staying alive. Like how I try tricking women into talking to me. Never works. I live, if it can be called that, with my parents, pay no rent and spend money on illegal drugs in place of those I’d get legally if I was medically insured like a pu*sy. Copa Cabana! I can’t get my pecker working normally for a while now and keeps me from confidently trying to meet someone instead of just being a weirdo. I’m a regular at the f*cking friendzone. I bring flowers and wash behind my ears when I masturbate, it’s the closest I can get to dating without booking a table. I’ve never wanted to book a table at a mediocre place more than I do now. I’m basically a virgin, but I don’t know if they’re treated better than I treat myself. Or a pool cleaner, I don’t know how much better they’re treated than I am either. I’d suggest a virgin pool-cleaner as a role model over me by default.

Role models are people you try to emulate. Like a molding cast you stuff all your experiences into so it can shape you into something that appears to have their shit together. I don’t know who you are, a curious sort if you’re this far along. The things swirling around my head gather momentum and it takes everything apart in terms of emotional and neurological stability, the command center that balances and regulates my stability goes offline, everybody screams panics and the city is in ruins. It’s never the same when rebuilding, but I don’t even remember what the original looked like. I just rebuild. But that once in a while smooth one-liner that pops up while I’m cleaning, I shine it up, nurture it, and I’m alive again. I forgot who I was before I got here and that’s that. Then the sentence breathes resuscitate some old part of me submerged. That pisses me off somewhere. It pulses a shape of my existense. Like all the pieces of Mr. Potato head scattered and waiting to be reunited. I lost a boot once. I don’t know how to fix this place… my study/sleep area, my lack of vitamin D and potassium, my credit score. I’m fairly up to date on my pop culture references but don’t have the drive to socialize. And I definitely don’t know how to fix the things that went another way than I’d have liked. I want to make up for lost time like the next person but I’m not yet ready. I’m generally chivalrous, but even that’s chipping away because it’s a sweater and it gets warm around noon. One time I gave half my money away to a homeless guy. It wasn’t much, but I needed it. An old part of me smiled somewhere. I used to make fun of hippies. I had my own flower power, like sunflowers leave no scent. But I left it in my coat pocket, turned to dust, but it didn’t matter.

Things aren’t like the movies because we watch the movies. It shifts in real life because we fret easily over misunderstandings and it’s easy to blow the proportions. Squashing beefs or old grudges is hard to approach and it’s more convenient to just not attempt it. circulate next bff. In the movies, you kinda see where it’s headed unless it’s some arthouse piece. In life, we generally have the storyboard in our heads, except have to improv the plot, script, budget and breaks for evermore. Cast/crew; family/friends. Your life airs live on location. Sometimes we play back scenes that keeps us rolling through hard times because your friends and family back you up. They’re right there with you and you gotta pull yourself off the ground because. Still not that guy that’s gonna say, “believe you can do it!” Tons of those, just elsewhere and of bred better maybe. Because sometimes we remember that time where nothing went right anymore and your palms sweaty palms becomes a thing and don’t show up for air. A future comeback always an option. You can’t edit anything out of life, they happened. The extras, bonus features, easter eggs and even director/producer commentary is going on. It’s not like a movie. Movies could be like role models. Movies and virgin pool boys. I watched Mission Impossible: II twice in a week once, nobody cared. Same storyboard as Face/Off. Same director. Vanilla Sky.

Yep. I never get the girl in the end, and the costumes are usually snug. I didn’t aim mine, come to think of it. A role model…

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murmurs

Playing the keys so soft, a heavy chord. I’ve felt many many things but the one thing I’ve felt only once in my life in a significant style was beautiful. As a man, it feels strange to say that. You can keep your money and your dreams and your bouts of happiness and contentment. I’ve tried all those and many more but to try for that beautiful life all the ornaments that come up by the waist trickle away. What do you want in life? Just eyeballing it. A cello and a violin. A long life is meaningless in a drowned city with people charring the sidewalks just to be okay. Happiness is as vague as love and I am not bitter.

in the city turned backwards. everything looked the same, like watching a movie on a black screen. it looked like real, but it wasn’t. effects and all that. but someone saw. someone else saw, and soon. he tried very hard to help and could only hope he wouldn’t fall asleep. didn’t know who to trust, but he had plans. and what a plan he had.

 

I don’t know what happens in the eye of a storm. The tv’s always showing how fast a hurricane is spinning and where it’s dense but you never see any video from the center. Just a storm and a center and projected trajectory. Could it be mayhem and carnage in there? Or could it be like that calmness where you don’t know whether the storm has passed or not?

Do you brace yourself again for whichever end of the storm is coming? I’d wonder if all the choices I’ve made were the right ones. Not like I should’ve done this or that but whether or not I could believe in something more than having no control. Am I here in this moment because of a choice I made? Could I have done something different? And for whom? Was I a good person? Was I a jerk? Or was I specifically designed to be. It’s like I’m in the eye of some storm when I wonder if I had some greater purpose. Then the wind howls around me. I begin bracing for impact. As that’s when I wonder what I’m not doing right. The wind is like a turbine and I’m a machine at letting anyone down because I can’t get it right! How did I get here?! I’m afraid to even itch!

I’ve never seen a hurricane. Just the projected trajectory with images of aftermaths from the news and online videos. And I’d wonder about the choices I’ve made in life and whether or not I’ve had lunch yet.

the man behind the dumpster

He kissed the goth steampunk girl once. It was the last time he ever tried to hang out with her. They always flirted when he saw her because she worked at the coffeeshop at the corner of his apartment. It must’ve felt like asking someone out from work. He went to the coffeeshop to write his stories all the time. He thought it would make him look busy. All the cool people were busy and it doesn’t matter with what. So he tried to be busy. To look busy. To look cool. Flirting with someone gave him confidence and with it, he would try things.

He didn’t care much for careers or planning for the future. And he didn’t feel any different from when he had money and when he didn’t. Some people hate being poor and hustle for that life, and some people got used to being poor. Harry was used being poor. I’d never heard him cry about being broke. He heard near everyone else though. If he had enough for a pack of smokes and some change left over he was fine. I saw him pick up a butt from the gutter and a small ‘yes’ uttered like he’d gotten the window seat on a bus.

He looked for jobs when it got to that, but he didn’t fall into depression and start praying for work and dancing for quarters. He figured out different ways to survive as though he were in the jungle. When it got really bad he came home at 1 in the morning with a garbage bag full of discarded meat from the Burger King.

“I had to wait 30 minutes inside the dumpster area and wait for the closing shift to take out the trash. You hungry?” he placed the bag in the center of the kitchen like it was the grocery.
“Nah, I’m good, that shits dirty, man.” as I placed a cup into the sink.
“I brought my own bags and a flashlight this time, so it’s only the good stuff.” he pulled a few empty food containers he’d prepared from the fridge and started filling them up with beef patties and chicken nuggets. “I don’t think I’ll have to go back for like, a week.”

I left the conversation quick as I can. I would’ve given him some money if he asked, but he never did. He had cigarettes or was picking up some longer butts and knew how to stretch the change in his pockets. Probably for a small coffee to look busy to that girl at the goth steampunk girl.

I think flirting was his drove his survival in the city. We had regular jobs and are trying to save up for this or that, and I have never asked for change on the sidewalk before. He didn’t complain about being actually broke, didn’t even joke about it. He was great when it came to making fun of himself, so it was strange when he didn’t joke about it. Who could laugh at that? But he didn’t seem the least bit distressed.

In times of despair and bleakness abounded and we hoped, begged and prayed to survive through it. Normal people. But Harry lit a used cigarette, showed up early, remembered to bring a flashlight, and uttered a small, “yes” like he got a window seat.

He only tried to look cool when he was trying to impress a girl. He spent a long time flirting with that goth chick before they finally kissed. He didn’t care for her personality really, and didn’t have any fetish. And he said that kiss was pretty pathetic when it happened. I heard someone else call him Jesse once, but he didn’t answer me when I called him that. I kept calling him that and pulling on his shirt, but he just ignored me and kept on pretending he was busy.

 

the missing book

The book he made for himself after watching the instructions looked like neatly stacked pages. He sized it so that he could slip it into his back pocket with ease. There were stitches on one side to bind it, but there was no cover. He wanted it to be special so he hadn’t made it yet. But he was eager to write in it as soon as the pages flipped like a store-bought book. He cared for it and wrote only with a blue gel-inked pen. He drew diagrams, took notes, and summarized well-known stories. It was his canvas and companion that hade about 7 or 8 signatures and a ton of leaves. signatures were folded sections and leaves were the pages, and gives books the shape they have.

He left it at the parking structure one day and lost it as he watched trains while smoking a cigarette. It felt especially sad because there was no path from the moment he realized it was lost for anyway to look for it. It vanished the moment it left his mind. Like a beautiful girl that he never said hello to. He didn’t try to make another one, well, once more, but nobody knows what happened to it. He went back to buying regular journals to document. The book was nearly filled in, but he can’t remember much of what was in there but some doodles and a story about Deucalion he summaed at the top of the parking structure one day. He wrote a little more with every flight of stairs he descended, like he knew who Deucalion was.

He was like that, whenever he got something new to mess with, he doted on whatever it was until he was sick or tired. Whatever it was, he made it an extension of him, like a person’s dress-style or the brand of cigarettes you smoked. He had a fondness for it and talked to inanimate objects like they listened sometimes. It usually got a laugh out of you if you were there because he made it look so normal. With Jes, you wouldn’t describe him as weird, you would say he was Jes.

…We’re still talking about the same cat from the last passage right? What was his name that time? It couldn’t be Harry because Harry came after the day he took a family photo of a random family at the park. The lil’ blue hatted kid yelled, “I like red bikes! I have measuring tape!” I think Jes always had a soft spot for mixed raced couples because he was Asian and always had to be reminded of it.

He ignored major things like that because he didn’t care about things like race. Growing up a minority, he felt it best just to leave that an elephant unmentioned. Once he said,

“It becomes rote. Like walking over lego pieces at night to avoid stubbing your big toe.”
“What?” was the usual response to his Jes-isms.
“What?” he’d say back like it was a fact of life, “I’ve never announced to anyone, ‘I’m asian.’ I just was.”

He go on with a joke about feeling more like an Irishman and ask you if you wanted to get a beer because he really didn’t enjoy talking about race. Unless it was redheads. He stopped anything he was doing to drop his jaw when a redhead gleamed on a distant side of an intersection. His sight was impaired but he had falcon vision for gingers. This was the most I remember of talking to him about his Far Eastern heritage. And looking at it now… that’s ‘murrica!

Also, I think he started going by Harry because he wanted to say his full name was Harry Wang when he got the chance so he could giggle like an immature schoolgirl. That book he lost was like losing a hand. His first attempt and making something. Not like making dinner or a funny, but trying a craft that generations specialized in. Like cobblers and or tanners.

He admired dying trades like that, and blamed it on technology making amazing advances. I bet he played a pretty quiet tune when it came to his his favorite porn sites. He was always private about his sex-life. I’ve never heard him talking about the night before with some chick when he was with the boys. He just listened to the stories and said “whoa!” And it wasn’t like he fought for women’s rights either. He had this idea that there were some women out there that were clever enough to bypass equality and get even more out of the system. A beautiful, clever woman was a weapon, he said because it’s what he would do if he had tits and no cock, and not even bother with feminism. If Jes had learned how to believe in himself he would’ve ended up a very different person than he had.

Everyone loved his humor, but he hid behind it at times. You couldn’t take him seriously when he was. But he wanted those around him to hear and laugh more than they listened to him when he spoke. He was a great bringer of peoples together, and he was great at seeming cool. So nobody notices he was loved for that. For something he had to keep doing and nobody knew how to take him seriously. We remembered vividly the odd little things he said and did, even bad jokes, yet still can’t be sure about his name.

I’ve heard it’s not smart to love someone for the wrong reasons, but this is a very different situation. Because then you’d have to wonder if he did what he did because he loved us too.

Deucalion, as it was later googled, was the son of Prometheus. But I could almost swear he was reading about the deluges because he thought it was a cool word. He knew about Gilgamesh and Noah, but the word deluge was new. And no, we still don’t know where Deucalion came from or why it was in his book. I’m done, my head is all over the damn place right now. I’m not even going to come back to edit this later I’m so pissed right now.

the alexandrian condor

He rented a video on bookbinding because he wanted to make his own journal. It’d be filled with bad poems and funny little things he notices about people. People because he liked the quirks that garnished a personality, and bad poems because he thought he could never fall in love again. Spent a lot of time at the library because he was unemployed again. Instead of getting back on the job hunting horse like a regular person, he took month long breaks just lounging around watching movies and reading books. It’s free at the library and having to go somewhere in the daylight made him look like a regular person with things to do and that was good enough.

His liver must’ve been magical because if he wasn’t buzzed by noon, he was high on amphetamines. Cannibis only pissed him off so he couldn’t chill with the stuff, but amphetamines let him carry regular conversations with people and got him to do more responsible things, like searching for jobs or doing his laundry. The thing with the amphetamines though, he had to keep secret from his friends because nobody has anything good to say about meth. he had a few screws loose in his head, but he was more than a capable kid, he knew how to manage his irregular orbit.

There was a book he was trying to write, “The Alexandrian Condor” and it started off well enough, but he’d stopped his drug use and tried to write a la the Bukowski method, which left 140 pages of contemporary plagiarism to let sit around as a mock accomplishment. The kid drank domestic beer while Hank had a very specific mix. Of sensible role models he could have had at the time, he chose a dirty old man. But being a sloppy drinker wasn’t what made his book shit, it was shit because he tried forcing words into the thing just to impress a girl. He was the type of mess that fell apart when one part of his mental tethering falls loose. And without valid health insurance in the U.S. for a medical diagnoses of schizophrenia, adhd, and anxiety, he had a meth dealer and a rewards card for the liquor store.

Things that were ugly before were worse when he was depressed. Sadly, it’s the only time his poems are any good.

days pasted around the middle
and buff out shiny at the ends
who cares about the middle
I care about the middle
it was the time of day where
i’m okay.
you’re okay.
we’re okay. how do you do?
Okay!
How’s the weather? it’s okay.
this carnival of okay.
and most had lied about being okay
because everyday isn’t okay
I’m barely hanging on
all the time
but am too busy
coming up with a joke
to help you really think
i was ok
nobody cares about the middle
but me

Someone found that on an old xanga blog he used to write on. They had done a search for his credentials and found what he said he did. Stories about stuff he sees and bad poems. But his better stuff is hand-written on random scraps of things he threw into a old binder that went missing. He kept his traffic tickets and state papers in there as well. This kid, early 20’s structured chaos, a closeted polymath, and beloved by his peers, who was there that he could talk to but himself? He was a lonely kid in disguise. I think he went by Harry at the time.