Thursday, July 31, 2008


Out from a sunny day, I walked into the house and the first thing I noticed was that I was blind.

I waited. The glare resumed. Louie looked at expectantly.

I said, "What? What?"

Louie sat down at looked up at the top of the 'fridge. Biscuits.

"You deserve 'em?" I asked.

Louie wagged his tail fiercely and shot a snatch over his right shoulder. He'd heard the resonance of the Approaching Ollie.

Ollie bounded--jingled--into the room, all fat glorious black-and-white-and-tan coloring. His tail was a speeded-out metrenome.

"Sitcho ass down," I said.

Ollie acquiesced, gazing forlornly at the top of the ice box.

"Gimme a second," said I.

I reached to the top of the food-retardant and both dogs shimmied on their haunches. I selected two Milk-Bone Gravy Bones and I fed my sons, one and then two.

Louie--the best dog ever; I'll hear no debate--had the first Milk-Bone.

Ollie wagged his tail into a blur and I took pity on the fat fuck. "Here, Ollie," I mumbled, shoving the biscuit towards his mouth.

Gently--almost pristinely--Ollie the beagle toothed the treat. He waddled off and--frog-dog--lay and crunched the treat.



" coming back to this bitch, reincarnated."

So speaketh, Tupaceth.

Man, the guy died too young. 25 or six years old when he got gunned down.


But. The guy asked for it. He "rapped" about his virility--"shot five times/ niggaz don't die"--and he played the roulette game.

But, my only fear of death is hurting. I don't want to suffer. I'd rather a hole in my head than Linger In Pain.

Why am I writing this? I dunno. No reason. Just kind of a stream-of-consciousness type thing.

I respect--have much love for--Tupac's genius. And it is genius. Was. Whatever. The guy put together driving bass beats and samples and he tied them all up in a bow with his beautiful lyrics.

You don't agree that his lyrics were beautiful? I challenge you to listen to "The Best Of" from Tupac Shakur. The guy was a fucking Light, man.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Have you been to the DMV, lately?

I had to go there to fix something with my CDL today.

Here is what I hate: I hate the fact that there are all facets of humanity esconsced inside a seventy-by-seventy. But, what I dislike more, is that the groups of chairs are set facing one another. Facing one another. Why?

It's a human thing: no one wants to make eye-contact; everyone is staring at the ceiling or out the windows or at the passers-by.

I want to ask just one measly question: why could not the seats be set up like a third-grade classroom? Hmm? It'd be great! All seats facing one way. Towards the teachers (the DMV lovlies) and there'd be no uncomfortable eye-contact! It's a win-win! And they could have little posters on the walls. For instance, they could have a kitten clinging to a tree branch and the caption could read "Hang in there, bub." Or they could have another one of a walrus, all tusky and shit, saying (in a talk-bubble), "What? Me worry?" It'd be great. And then maybe also they could have sheets of scrap paper and crayons of every color. That'd be boss! We all could color!

But. No.

We have to sit there, not-eyeing each other for--at the least--thirty-three minutes.

And then, if one has to take a snapshot for his or her license, he or she has to shake off the thirty-plus minutes of stranger-gazing, and look good for the computer camera. It's just bad business, in my humble opinion. It is hard to do.

One thing I like, though? I like that they--perfunctorily, at best, but, sure, yes--they show you the snapshot of your mug and ask you, "Is this aw'ight?" You have a millisecond to persuade them to take another shot. Um.

Me, though? I don't give a hoot. Whatever. My license pictures always suck, so why the heck would I want to "buck the trend," as it were? Exactly. I wouldn't dream of it.

Today, I went there after seven hours of PURE sweating--the other hour was transit time. I was dirty and sweaty--and perhaps smelly--but I didn't care a whit. I smiled like it was the Fourth of July or New Years. Big red-faced teethy smile/snarl at the web-cam.

The woman asked me, "You like?"

I said, "You know what? It's better than the las--wait a second! That's actually not too too bad! Cool."

She informed me that the license would be coming in the mail a couple of weeks and I said, again, "cool," and I walked out the door, free from the prison of El Dee Em Vee.


blow an eyelash off of your fingertip
and make a wish
wish for happiness wish for
glassy-eyed glee
wish for homeostasis

wish for renewed equalibrium and wish for
the strength of ten men

wish for clear bright eyes and
glowing skin and wish
to be absolved of all smirking sin

wish for rewind and wish for
wish for family
and wish them some wealth

blow the eyelash off of your fingertip and
watch as it scuttles through the air
and then becomes an anvil
to be lost amongst the dust-bunnies
at your feet

happy wednesday!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Read this. Slow deep breaths, indeed.

You're welcome.


I feel like eating a pizza tonight. I am thinking Pizza Hut or Cottage Inn. Hell, maybe I'll even go with Jet's Pizza. I'm thinking of getting a half-and-half: half supreme and half all-meat. I'll have them cook it extra, to make it crispy. They can keep their damned breadsticks, though. That's what the crust is, for God's sake (rice wine, served hot, nasty, do not drink it).


It is hot here, in Michigan; the temps are reaching the high-80s and the humidity is something that one could pluck from the air, if one so chose. That translates to one thing for me, at work: sweat, sweat and more good sweat. Hell, I was dripping before I even picked up a shovel! And, no, it wasn't because I was excited.


Better humid heat than earthquakes, though. So-Cal experienced a tremblor recently, and--damn. If I lived in Cali, I would be preternaturally-aware of the china in the cabinet rattling. Yikes. Thoughts and prayers to all (especially my Uncle Jimmy and his fam dambly, nestled in Berkeley, CA).


(fiction interlude)

"I beg you."

McCallaster holstered his revolver. "Shut up," he hissed. "You're dead. Dead men don't beg for nothing. They don't talk. They just bleed out and then puff up and then shrink down. Make like a ghost, Joe." He paused, stroking his handlebar mustache, and looked at the skeletal trees. "And disappear."

Joe scrambled to his feet and nodded in acquienscence. "You'll never see me around here again, Mac," he said, running into the woods, holding up his pants from the waist, moving in prancing jackrabbit steps.


Creativity is frustrating. I wanna be a novelist, I wanna be a cartoonist, I wanna be a poet, I wanna be a painter, I wanna be a sculptor--but, too often, I am just too fucking lazy.

Where the hell is my sense of creative ambition? Huh?

Couldja answer that for me? Or do I have to answer it for myself?

I listen to Mozart, I read subdued brilliance by King, I listen to the bass-driven lyrics of Tupac, and I think to myself that I could do that, too.

And then I tell myself, "Adam? You could've done a lot of things, man, had you cultivated your Ambition Gene instead of letting it curdle and drip into Coma."

Then I think to myself: one, this world is a fucking journey; who knows what the next curve holds? Two, every day is a new slate, believe it or not. Three, I think to myself, I am happy and healthy and full of fucking energy (no jokes, please). That's gotta count for something, right? Four, I forgot what four was for, but five--five!--I'm alive, alive, alive. And six? Pick up sticks, hit some hicks, eat some Twix, sit betwixt--whatever...just do it.


Have you ever played Grand Theft Auto: Four on the Xbox 360? It is my favorite game, ever. I'm not even really doing the missions. The fun part, for me, is just driving around and wreaking havoc. Maybe it's my slightly curdled creativity that makes this so fun. I drive into people, send them flying over my windshield, I purposefully get into a fender-bender just so that the other driver will get out of his (or her) car, and then I blast them in the chest with a sawed-off. And then I kick their corpse and take their money and then outrun the Liberty City police so that I can do it again.

Listen: I am a grown man. One, I shouldn't be playing video games, right? Well, wrong. Two, for all those people out there who say that a video game will cause someone to...wait a second...Bill from next door is trimming his hedges. I think I may have to..... Wha' was I sayin'?


"The mind is a terrible thing to taste."

Who said that? Wasn't it a title for a Primus CD? I think it was. I'm not sure, though.

Anyway, I don't think that's holy, man. As a title, fine, whatever, but it is gleaned from the NAACP's motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," and I am in whole-hearted agreement with that assertion.

Down with racism and bigotry and homophobia and xenophobia and sexism and ageism and intolerance.

Aren't we all carbon-based life forms? Don't we all hurt, sometimes?

Let's try to love one another. Let's try to spread good feeling to everyone we meet. Let's co-exist harmoniously.

It really ain't all that much to ask.

Am I naive? Of course, I am.

But I can dream, can't I?


Remember Barbaro, the horse that broke his leg during a horse race? (I think it might have been the Kentucky Derby--no, the Preakness.) Anyway, Barbaro busted his leg and, contrary to popular practices, he was not instantly "put down." No, he was soothed and taken immediately to a vet and--lo and behold--horse enthusiasts (and anyone that loves animals) were overjoyed when it seemed that he could, in fact, come back from what is usually an instant death-needle. He survived for months. Anyway, the only reason I bring this up is because every time I heard his name, Barbaro, I thought of this guy, Barbaro Garbey, a Cuban bit-player with the utterly-dominant 1984 Detroit Tigers baseball team, who led wire-to-wire and captured a World Series trophy.

My apologies to the equine Barbaro, assuredly an icon in his sport.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I looked over at Seth. "What?" I said.

"You heard me, braw. Shit's fucking blurry, man. Where'd she get the cabbage?"

"Oh," I said, flicking a cigarette butt into the remnants of the Thai food. "Jezelle got it from Hand." Hand was a son-of-a-pop from the East side of Detroit. He was fond of walking the streets at night, in his leather checkerboard jacket with a Gat shoved into the front of his pants. I was always amazed that he'd never blown his johnson off. The guy was careless, is all I am saying. Oh, one more thing: more times than not, he "spiced up" his "cabbage" with pistol-shots of Weed-B-Gone. Ironic, sure, but he always had return customers.

Jezelle: hmm. Yeah. Jezelle. Jezelle was a substitute teacher for the Eastpointe school system. During the day, she lectured little fucking punks about George Washington and nuclear power and some fucking Greek's hypothesis (okay, theorum) and, at night, she baked herself good, shimmied her tight little ass into black dresses and hit the streets of Detroit for some top-notch fun. And...she also supplied us with the cabbage.

She'd found Hand--I don't know how--but Hand was more prompt, more eager and more prolific than the dealer she'd had before. (It had been some jock with whom she had scraggled in high spool--he never thought Big.) I don't know. The shit the jock had supplied was some good easy grin-wide shit. Hand's poison was like a trip.

Thus, the blurriness.

Seth was talking to me.

"...and the pig, man, the fucking pig."

Seth had always--for as long as I had known him--hated the police. He called them "pigs"--sure--but he'd also had an almost-preternatural gift to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was his gift; it was his curse. Arrested four times before he hit twenty-five. Sucks to be Seth.

"What about the pig, Seth?" I said. My eyelids were feeling heavy. They felt as though Wile E. Coyote had sandbagged a couple of three-ton Acme weights on them. "Wha abou the pizz, Se'h?"

"You're not even listening, you asshole," he said.

I gestured at the TV screen. "Play sah Maddah, mang." My ass rested comfortably in the leather armchair and my smoke was ergonomically-sitcheeated. "Doan brodder me no mo'e with yoah tales, doo."

"Fuck you, Ethan," he said. "How long we been friends?"

My eyes slid shut and I shrugged in slow-motion. "I dunno. Fi'teen thousand years?"

I heard the clatter of beer cans as he gained his feet. "Yeah," he said, "that's right. Fucker. It's been too long for me, too." He paused and I could feel his gaze tearing through my brow. "You know, cock? I feel really shitty about this fucking blur that I'm getting. I could be overdosing--"

"On weed?" I mumbled.

"Prick. Yeah, on weed. Yes, on fucking weed! What the fuck! We both know that Hand splices his cabbage with bullshit!"

"If ya know," I said, "why--why?--keep on smokin it? Y'slow learner, man?" Seth had been a worrywort since second grade. I couldn't keep holding his hand. "Just fuckin...ride it out, man."

"You're a dick, Eet," he said, as he walked out the front door for the last time.

"Yeah," I said to the slam of the door. "So I been tole, doo."


Later that morning, when I got the call from Jezelle, I was half--no, three-quarters--asleep.

"Ethan," she said, her voice slippery with incredulousness.

"Jezzie," I said.

"Have you heard about Seth?"

"Seff? Who?"

"Seth. Your best friend since second-fucking-grade?"

"Yah," I said. "Seth. That fucking pussy. What's he up to, now?"

There was silence from the other end of the line.


"Ethan," she said. "Seth's dead."

My eyes shot open. "Fuck you," I said.

"Fuck you, too. Seth is dead."

"April Fool's?" I grinned.

"Seth?" said she.

"Yes?" said I.



"He had some kind of...I don't know...neurologically-induced meltdown of his organs. I really don't know--the fucking doctors aren't letting me in. But, yeah--fucking shit--the Sethster passed away, Ethan."

I sat up in bed and dragged a palm over my head. I rubbed my neck; a knot was forming. "Come on, you kidder. This is an April Fool's joke, right?"

From the other end of the line came, "No. It is August 27th, Eet."

My stomach flipped. "What the fuck happened?!" I asked. "Did he just maybe feel sick and puke and shit and pull a Jimi and suffocate on his own vomit? What? Did he step into the path of a fucking Mack truck? What happened? Bull-fucking-shit. This is really a fucked-up joke, Jezzie. You should be ashamed of yourself."

"No." She paused. "No joke. You saw him last, Eet. Did he seem sick, or something?"

Blood pounding in my ears and a red flush traversing my cheekbones, I said, "Fuck you, you dimwitted bitch," and I hung up the phone. And pulled the cord from the jack.

And then I cried and shuddered and shuddered and cried for the next three days.


On the fourth day, I was combing the streets for Hand. I was jonesing for some cabbage. And? Truth be told, some Smack.

Smack me, Mama, I be bad.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Back to work.

After nine days off--trip to Pennsylvania with my sisters and my Poppy--today was that dreaded day in which one must, mentally, cast off all illusions of cocoon-ism and rejoin the rest of the world as they--we--slog through, primarily, eight-hour shifts so that we can have money/clams/greenbacks at the end of the week. (Or bi-weekly...but that's just confusing.)

Two words: it sucks.

I was really digging spending the time with my dad and my sisters, Alexis and Melmac th' Great (Melissa). It was great to hit the road in the Cherokee and drive through the hills of Pennsylvania and to meet family members of whom I have just the barest recollection. It didn't hurt that all of the kin that I met were kind and overly-hospitable. They just were.

I felt like an honored guest. And--shit!--the food was delish! Good ole home-cooking: can you beat it? The best home-cooked meal that I chewed and swallowed was served at my second cousin Kevin's house. He and his wife, Sue, are both successful real estate agents and so their house is a fucking beauty. Located in the historic district of...oh, shit, I forgot the name of the town. But, anyway, it's a hop skip and a jump from the Deleware River and, I have to admit, I felt the sting of Jealousy as Kevin gave us the tour of the house. Yeah. They're rich. And I'm very happy for them. Seriously.

But, anyway, the food. Sue cooked some pork loin and made a salad and they grilled about 1300 ears of sweet corn on the LP behemoth in the backyard, located right next to the immaculate in-ground swimming pool, said pool spruced up, redid, for the low low price of 30 grand. Yikes!

But, anyway, the food. It was fantastic. Throughout the whole trip it was fantastic. I gained eight pounds. :-O That's fine, though. It was for a good cause. Hell, they were offering and I was eating.

Speaking from a colon's point of view, the food was a bit--how to say?--heavy on the system. Just meat, meat and more good meat. (And also, sometimes, potatoes.) Texas-sized shits. But! Speaking from a tastebud's point of view, it was alllllll good. The marinades, the garlic...yum.

I have to say something about the B****** Farm. Established in 1913 and located in Waymart, Pennsylvania, the B****** Farm has been the meeting place for scores of family reunions, starting in 1915. My dad has gone to the farm since he was a boy, some sixty-plus years, now. There are a hell of a lot of memories bouncing around those hundred acres. But, the main thing, for me, is that when I go back to the farm, I am imbued with the feeling of coming home. Surprising, actually, as I am not coming home. I was born and raised in Royal Oak, Michigan. But the farm is so cool. They have cows and geese and pigs and barncats and, seeing as how I am a die-hard fan of all things Animal, I have a good time. Sure, the pigs stink. So what? I think that if I were around said sows and piglets for a couple of weeks, I would not even begin to register the permeating manure-smell. But, basically, the farm is nice place to visit, seeing as how 100 years of B******s have traversed the landscape, eaten in the kitchen, dropped loads in the bathrooms (and the outhouse). Family melts off of the walls. Generations of B******s. Tres cool.

While we were visiting, my dad's Uncle Tom said to me, "We've a quad. You want to take it for a spin?"

Now, seeing as how I have ridden a four-wheeler once in my lifetime--two weeks ago in Luther, Michigan--I felt more than qualified to take the 2008 Polaris automatic for a spin. I think--know--that I scared the shit out of Aunt Jean when I, somewhat unfamiliar with the Power o' the Polaris, gunned the thumb throttle and kicked up some gravel. I adjusted nicely, though. In no time, I was flying down B****** Road at about 40 miles per hour, enjoying the wind in my face, the sun on my bald pate. Quads are fun! But. I asked my cousin Tommy--42 years old if he's a day--how much he shelled out for the '08 Polaris. "Um, something like 9800," he said. "But it's got all the bells and whistles." I nodded sagely. I'll not be getting one. (Besides, I live in the Concrete Jungle of metro-Detroit. Where the hell would I ride it?)

Anyway, the trip was fricking great. It was great to see my dad hobnobbing (not a dirty word) with his cousins and his aunts and uncles and it was great to spend time with my sisters, whom I see far-too rarely, and it was just fucking great to get away from work for a week. Now, though, I am out of vacation time and personal days and I have no sick occasions, either. That's all right. I'd take a week off with no pay to experience Family.

Money comes and goes and bills are omnipresent, but quality family time is priceless. It really is.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


And so...

what do you say when you
look into green-blue-gray eyes
and your gut feels all flippy?

you make a joke.


what do you say when you
gaze upon long auburn locks and
full red lips?

you flip a phrase.


what do you say when you suck in
a luscious body, full, sexy
in all the right places?

And you know that the love you feel
is reciprocated,

And you know that everything is golden
and love is fucking tangible
and that love is as natural as
morning dew?

You blink.


And then you thank the God in the Sky
that you could be so lucky.


[I love you, Meagan.]

Monday, July 07, 2008


Life: four simple letters. El-aye-eff-ee.

Death: five letters--two vowels and three otherwise--that have terrified most human beings since written--spoken--language was applicable.

I went Up North this weekend, with my girl, Meegie, to around the great Manistee National Forest in the upper knuckles of the Mitten, and, meanwhile, on Saturday, I received a voice mail on my overpriced cell phone. I couldn't understand the message, seeing as how she and me was in the Boon-Docks. All that I gleaned from the message--the phone kept cutting out--was "Lake Huron" and "metal-detecting" and "today."

I couldn't understand, so I let it go from my mind; I'd hear the message in full once I was back in civilization.

Well, yesterday, Lisa, a friend from work, called and I answered.

Hi and hello completed, she said something like, "Have you heard?"

"Heard what?" I asked.

"Tom Weaver passed away yesterday."

I think I said something like, "Uh, what?!"

"He died. He drown."

Now, listen: Tom was 39 years young. He was an ex-Marine. He was a big dude--247, maybe?--and he was as strong as an ox. Tom...died? He drown?

"Oh, fuck," I said. "What the fuck happened?"

She said, "He was out on Lake Huron, metal-detecting, and--I guess--he got caught in the undertow...he called for help, and people came, but they didn't find him until 20 minutes later. He was taken to a hospital, but he was dead."

I still don't believe it. I do, I do, but--shit. 39-year-olds, with two precious children and a fiancee--to whom he was to be married on Valentine's Day--39-year-old ex-Marines shouldn't die like that.

Metal-detecting: is there a more seemingly-innocuous pastime? How the fuck does someone die metal-detecting?!

I worked with Tom a few times. He was a lineman and I rode with him during my training. He was a good guy. He could talk a fucking mean streak--talk your ear into putty--but he was a damned good guy. I could tell.


How does this kind of shit happen?

In the title, I mentioned surrealism. Maybe that's not the best word. Shock might be. Incredulousness might be. Shit. Fucking sorrow might be the right word.

Apparently--and the story is still sketchy--Tom was out on Lake Huron on Saturday, bubbling happiness to show his kids how to metal-detect in lakes (Tom was a member of Michigan Treasure Hunters and he had found two or three keepsakes that he got back to the rightful owners)--and...just wait a second.

Life--that four-lettered word--ain't fair sometimes. Death is even more of a bastard.

Anyway, apparently, Tom realized he was in trouble and he called out for help from the people on the beach. Around a hundred people formed a human chain, hands linked, but they found him when it was too fucking late. The guy drown in four fucking feet of water. How the hell does that happen when the guy in question was about six feet tall? Was he wearing waders which could have filled up with water and dragged him under? (People say that he was in a wet-suit.) Did he suffer an brain hemorrhage? Or a heart attack? (Then how would he have been able to call for help?) Did he caught in an undertow? In four feet of water?! The guy was as strong as a bear, he was an ex-Marine...don't you think he'd have been able to bull his way out of the maelstrom?

I don't know what happened. And it's making me very very sad. My heart hurts for his soon-to-be-wife and his children. Things aren't fair, sometimes.

And I've heard this, today, about a thousand times: "When it's your time to go, it's your time to go." Shit. I've said it myself.

Bullshit. It wasn't Tom's time to go.

I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that the guy that I just saw four days ago is now dead, drown. He ain't on vacation and he ain't taking a sick day or two. The guy is dead. He passed on.

Passed on, my ass. "Passing on" seems so damned peaceful. I'm sure Tom's death wasn't. I'm sure that there was bafflement and then determination and then, finally, mortal panic.

And then Peace, hopefully. I hope that he--or his mortal brain, or his soul--accepted the inevitability of the situation and that he thought of the love of his life and his kids...though I see myself as empathetic and able to think as others do--or would--I think that that is a pipe-dream. I think that, when one is in a life-or-death situation, no thoughts pervail. I think that basically, it is an animal instinct, it is a fight for life and no thoughts are bouncing except for the crocodile brain of Survive.

And that fucking sucks, man.

That really fucking sucks.

I have never had a co-worker--at least one with whom I worked--die unexpectedly.

Winking, blue-eyed. Big-dude golfer, captain of his Marine team. Possessed the gift of gab. Had a big heart. Eccentric. Metal-treasure-hunter. Had a big heart. Tom.

I'm so fucking sorry, man.

Please rest in peace.

God, this sucks.

"In an unrelated accident, a 39-year old Wixom man identified as Thomas E. Weaver drowned in Saginaw Bay Saturday at the Caseville County Park Beach.
According to the Huron County Sheriff’s Office, Weaver was wading in about 4 feet of water while using a metal detector to search for valuables, when he suddenly called for help several times before going under the water.
Weaver was discovered about 20 minutes after he went under and was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Izzy tagged me to do the book meme.

The rules are: Grab the book nearest to you and open to page 123. Find the fifth sentence and write down the next three sentences and then tage 5 other people.

Okay. My book is Marathon Man, by William Goldman:

"I do, I know, goddammit, believe me--"

"Why should I?--ever--pawing the hell out of her and then putting her on a goddamn rack--"

"That's a business tactic, you soften somebody up first, get them off guard, it means nothing--"

Yeah. That little exchange was between two brothers. The younger one--Babe--had wanted the older one--Doc--to meet his new Scandinavian sweetie--Elsa--and so they had met in a swanky restaurant, whereupon Doc had too often put his hands upon her, perhaps regaling in his Dos Passos-like bronco-busting world-wringing Stock Brokerism. Ostensibly a stock broker--I should make that clear.

It's a good book. I recommend it. Right now, in the book, I'm at the point at which Babe is being tortured for information by the blue-eyed "dentist" after his (Babe's) brother's [redacted]. It makes me cringe every damned time I read about the good dentist jamming a needle into Babe's cavity, into the live nerve.


But, again, I recommend the book.

And I tag: Meagan, Jay, Bunny Bleu, Nighthawk Nan (if she would ever begin blogging again) and JenBun. (Oh! And Frank.)
[Sorry, kids--my hyper-link seems not to be working.]