Sunday, November 11, 2012


things get commercialized
what was once singular becomes, now, banal
once upon a time the First Climb to the Waiting Area
was something to be treasured, something to "gear up for"

--now they have ladders--

and still I see Climbers spitting on their palms and rubbing
talc into the Lifelines of their hands
(because it is/was a  Challenge)

--now they have ladders--

and now, in the Waiting Area, I see TVs and couches and
women with babies in papooses on their backs
abercrombieandfitches here and birkenstocks there
and trash in the Area and
Trash on the rocks near the ladder to the
First Climb to the Moon

things get commercialized and
things used to be a Challenge

--now they have ladders--

it reminds me of Everest and
I'll never climb it again

Friday, November 09, 2012


Gotta love those drinking dreams.  (The best part of them is waking up and realizing that I haven't.)

In this one, I was at a banquet of sorts--I think it was a reception for a wedding.  At my feet, under the table in a plastic bag, were two 40s of malt liquor, but I think, at that point, I'd already had a few because I knew I was drunk, but I was playing it off pretty well and nobody had noticed yet.  I excused myself to go to the bathroom and, when I got back to the table, my late father had pulled the bag from underneath the table and was pointing at it wordlessly.

Cut to the next day with me lying on the floor in the living room of some indeterminate house.  My head was throbbing and I knew I wanted More but I also knew that some disappointed person would be coming over with a pill for me to take, a pill that would make me violently ill if I were to take it while intoxicated.  Fuck it, I thought to myself, as I prepared to gain my feet to stumble to the fridge where some booze was surely waiting for me.  I'm a-goan get me some.

The door was squeaking.  The door was Squeaking.  The Door Was Squeaking!


Oliver is upstairs, whining intermittently, telling me, non-drunk me, that he needs to go Outside to empty his bladder.  I'm awake.  It was just a dream.  A dream slashed with shame, but just a dream nonetheless.  My head is throbbing, though, but it's only because I slept with two pillows, a luxury that I just don't need, and a luxury that wreaks havoc on my neck.

Using dreams.  What a cliche.  But they do occur and they do suck.  The Booze Beast flies closest, sometimes, at night, when the Id is awake and watchful and the Consciousness is on vacation.  It's always nice to awaken amid a wild flurry of feathers.  Kinda like a sock-it-to-'im type thing.

Friday, November 02, 2012


Four years ago today, my Dad passed away after a valiant yearlong-or-so battle with metatastic (not-fantastic) Stage-4 cancer that had started in the fluid of the lining of his lungs and then had spread to his bones, his blood, everywhere. Cool. Cancer is way cool.

Though his body atrophied and, at the end, he was frail as a bird, he had an inner strength that I admire to this day. He was damned stoic about his imminent death; the strong silent type.

I miss him.

Sometimes I wonder what he would think about the direction my life took. The way I let booze bust up my existentialism, the way sometimes I just feel like giving up. But I have a streak of stoicism in me, too. Or, at least, bullheadedness and faith. And hope. I think without faith and hope, a human being doesn't have much reason to draw his or her next breath. I, perhaps foolishly, believe that every day is a clean slate. That is a good attribute to have. The trick is believing that axiom.

And I force myself, sometimes, to just believe. What could it hurt?

I miss him. I miss my adult years of seeing him as more than a father, but also as a man, a man who was strong and selflessly provided well for his family and was a responsible hard worker which allowed him to trot the globe after his retirement. I was over at my mom's house today--she's another strong soul--and she had gone through some cards and whatnots of celebrations and parties and shit for my dad. It was kind of a trip down Memory Lane. I remember him not ever really wanting to play Trivial Pursuit, pretty much a B_____ family tradition at get-togethers, electing instead to read a book and do his throat-clearings and his harrumphs. He was always clearing his throat, something I find myself doing quite often, as well. The apple doesn't fall that far from the tree, they say. I'm not sure. I guess I never knew him well enough.

Which sucks. But that happens, sometimes.

The summer before he died (none of this "passed away" or "passed on" bullshit for me; he died) we kids and he went on a trip to Pennsylvania, the homestate of his kin. I can't be sure, but it seemed like he was in constant pain, though it would have taken a crowbar to pry that information out of him. We visited relatives and saw old family haunts and farms and workplaces and I am pretty sure that it gave him some sense of closure. It was well-timed, because in Spetember his health really began to hit the skids and by the beginning of November, 2008, he was dead.

It always angered me that he died just two days before the election of the first black President of the United States, because, A, he despised Cowboy Bush, and B, sfter his retirement as an executive at a Major Three car company, he was a hard-core Democratic volunteer. He'd had loved it. Maybe he's looking down, now, two days before a tighter-than-tight Presidential election, and rolling his dice in the Dem's favor. Whatever. I miss him. But I feel his presence sometimes, too, and it seems to me that he is looking down--or through or into or whatever--and lettin' loose with a few of his two cents. That works for me. I love you, Dad. Peace and love, man.