Nov 18, 2005

I laugh

Sometimes I think of things that are funny. Things that make me want to laugh out loud, when it is inappropriate to laugh out loud. Such as when walking down a long (three city blocks long) rather (misleadingly) quiet by-way (I don't know what else to call it) at work.

So, even when you think you are alone (in such a by-way), I've learned, you are probably not alone. There is always someone. Someone just behind a file of walls or a pretend fireplace, waiting to pop up. And enquire as to what is so funny.

They're always there.

But I tend to want to laugh inappropriately in places populated with people, too. Like on the subway. Or when I'm waiting in line to purchase my bread, lentils, or levis from the black market every third Sunday of the month. Either way.

But never in church. I never laugh in church.

Because I never go to church.

But it happened when I was in grade school. Then, I attended church nearly every day.

And all of us were laughing, back then, at one point or another.

Because, children, by adult standards, are insane.

They expected us to laugh. In church. They knew. They remembered. They. Those that were in charge of us. They had punishments for laughing ready and waiting. They were smart that way.

And we fully expected to be punished. But that was ok. It was out of our hands. We were laughing because the whole thing, though we were conditioned to accept it, was insane. Particularily in contrast with the rest of the school day.

The sheer height and drama of the buttressed building, versus the drab, yet very clean smelling, institutional part of the building, where we attended classes.

In the church there was the surround of stained glass. The enormous cross. The blood red fabric on the alter. And the body of Christ (waffers; sometimes pancakes)
and the blood of Christ (a nice clairet) offered up for consumption.

The whole Gothic-German-Holy incredibleness plopped down right smack on a regular street in a suburb of Chicago. Just like a million others.

It was a very pretty church.

Ornate yet sparse. Replete with songs sung in a language none of us spoke. With ideas imparted to us that none of us questioned.

Wrapped up in a Medieval universe all unto itself. Every detail meant to create an indelible thoughtform. An inspiring yet slightly terrifying experience. One that would stick in our brains forever (and ever). So that we might become better human beings.

And I'm sure it worked.

On the way out, the older boys would splash each other with holy water from the font, and yell, your mama (this and that) at each other.

Good kids. We were.

I liked the regularity with which I attended church as a child.

Church. At some point between Math and recess. It was nice. I never told anyone that I liked it. That would have made me an asshole. But I liked it. It was pretty. And wrought with mystery. If not promise.

And it was frightening.

So I laughed. I couldn't help it.

Nov 9, 2005

it takes the cake

But the cake is ok with that.

There is this thing, this hulk of plastic that plugs into the wall. Sounds come from it. And, I don't know why, but I'm really starting to like this thing.

I plug it in all the time.

Now I do. It took some time to get to that point.

And there's this other thing. It makes sounds sometimes, too.

I don't know what it is, but when I hold it up to my ear I feel that I am part of something.

Something bigger than myself.

And I like the way it lights up. But mostly, I like holding it up to my ear.

I get it now. About this thing. I do.

Sometimes I feel like doing one thing, yet I do another.

With both the initial feeling and resulting action being authentic manifestations of my will. Though, the two might seem inappropriately matched as items. For instance:

I'd like a cupcake = I avoid a cupcake.

To the point where one might think that I would hate to have a cupcake.

Where in reality it's:

Wow! Cupcake!

And I am very happy when I see this cupcake. It's good. Everything about it. The way it's not just another jelly doughnut (Ich bin ein Berliner.. Indeed I really am). The way it's not trying to be anything more than a cookie or a scone, yet is so much more (than a cookie or a scone). It makes my day.

I think, ..this cupcake, it's something else..

So, naturally, I feel compelled to approach this cupcake.

I say, just go over to the cupcake. It's ok..

And all I really want is to just go over to the cupcake. But then I freeze. I stop dead in my tracks. And for a beat I am paralyzed. And then I run away. In the opposite direction. Whatever that direction might be. Even if it is into a wall or another person.

It isn't beyond me (in moments such as this) to push past my own denial. No. I am keenly aware of the power that this cupcake has over me. But, I think, time. Next time, I won't run away from the cupcake..

But, it's no use. Next time comes and goes. And it's always the same thing. I run away. Even if the running is actually walking; even if the walking is actually just pretending to be suddenly distracted by the state of my own hand and fingernails.

And I realize that I'm crazy. But no matter what I do, or how much I promise myself not to allow the cupcake to confuse me, I continue with this kind of behavior.

It's nonsense.

And the whole thing gets out of hand. And takes on ridiculous proportions. Now I am not only disturbed by the cupcake situation, as it were, but by my lack of ability to cope when confronted by the cupcake.

To the point where I avoid not only the cupcake, but anything that might lead up to the cupcake. As the appearance of the cupcake (sudden appearance - the cupcake tends to appear suddenly) only leads to my distress.

I've gotten good at outwitting the cupcake. If any individual ever needed to learn better methods for avoiding a cupcake, I guess it would be in their interest to contact me.

Because, somewhere along the line, I developed an innate or heightened sense. I just know when the cupcake is about to materialize.

emergency: cupcake approaching. I repeat..

And on and on.

This, without having any logical reason for knowing that the cupcake is nearby.

It's crazy.

And my unnatural response to the cupcake only reinforces itself with each subsequent cupcake encounter.

(cupcake + avoid) x (me) = 1.8333 (etc)

And that's a problem.

Not that I have any problem with the cupcake itself.

Given that:

(cupcake + cupcake) x (cupcake) = cupcake

and that:

cupcake = good

it has to be that:

cupcake = ok

It's science.

Nov 4, 2005

people + people


People. They are misunderstood.
They are well understood.
Either way.


People waiting for the train. People waiting for a sign. People signing papers. People with too much paper. People with too much anger. People without recourse. People without imagination. People drying out. People going out. People coming in. People breaking down. People breaking promises. People breaking other people's dishes. People making brownies. People making love.

People with ideas.

Ideas that they embrace.
Ideas that they cultivate.
Ideas that they hone.
Ideas that they apply.

Ideas that they abandon.

Sometimes people live their lives.

Sometimes people throw other people off of the scent.

People. They have chocolate, they have rain clouds, they have blank sheets of paper.

They have gasoline, plastic sandwich bags, pumpkins, diamond jewelry, and intuition.

They have subtlety, integrity, canned peas, sideways glances, inference, and departure.

People. They have sweater sets.

People ring bells. People wear rings. People wear thin.

People. They pray. They swear. They write poetry. They go silent. They go crazy. They give up. They let go.

Sometimes people give in.

People. With dead batteries. With dead cell phones. With dead ideas. With crashed computers. With crushed flowers. With fallen hems or fallen empires. With magic. With a smile on their face. People that are face to face. Eye to eye. Nose to nose.

People with their hands pressed together.

People. With things remembered yet not learned. With things learned yet not practiced. With things practiced yet not felt. With things felt yet not expressed. With things expressed yet not remembered.

With things surpressed in their minds, but not in their hearts. With things expressed in their gestures, but not with their words.

People. With things pressed between the pages of a book.

Sometimes people want things. To get away with things. To rearrange things. To repair things. To understand things. To remember things. Sometimes people want less things. Better things. To admire things. To search for things. To search for meaning.

Sometimes people pause to look in the mirror.

People. They are seen. Sometimes no one sees them. Sometimes people see people and they think no one sees them. Sometimes people spy. Sometimes people know they are being spied upon. Sometimes they let it happen. Sometimes people see other people from a distance. Sometimes people look for people. Sometimes people are seen right through.

People seek beauty. People look for flaws.

People can't tear their eyes away from horror.

I disagree = I know
I wish = I fail
I try = I apologize
I hate = I assume
I attempt = I ignore
I admit = I lie
I avoid = I want
I love = I lack