Here you will find a record of all things fiction and the thoughts generated through clear lenses. All posts older than 12/16/2013 are works of thirst-quenching fiction you should explore freely, while everything onwards becomes what has struck the bell in my brain and turned into words. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bram Stoker, Colorado Bounty Hunter

It was a stark, cold Wednesday afternoon.
But it was Wednesday everyday to Bram. This one was just colder.
The morning rain gave way to dew, which gave way to freezing that bestowed an icy kiss from the tips of trees to the grassy roots, a gentle ashen shell. Thermometers refused to wake up, leaving even the most ‘reliable’ weathermen a few degrees short of predicted lows. It was the kind of cold that made the air heavy in metal or smell more like the ocean, you could never tell which. A disgruntled ambience blanketed Townwide as people who dressed warmly, now not warm enough, walked faster and drove slower wishing for mittens. Hands moved quicker and there was more nudging, as if the permafrost iced manners as well as grass. Chlorophyll filled ice spears jutted heaven bound on the front lawn, awaiting an impatient heel to test their firmness, releasing a healthy crunch when it did, then yawning back up in stout resolution as fresher treads brushed off ice queen illusions from the dying rose hedges ahead.
He really should put in a walkway to the steps, getting tired of playing cold-feet through the driveway everyday. As easy as slapping down slabs of stone. Throw up a lawn gnome or two and you could call this place a home, or it’d give a better impression of one. Increase property value too, probably. A little paint, some floral d├ęcor and who knows. That’s what people wanted nowadays anyways, as if the world lost it’s third dimension around the same time the last cannabis crops of ’69 went up in smoke and everything was just the way it looked. What you see is what you get. And if it’s different than what you expect, you left a negative comment on the seller’s eBay account.
Some might not be happy with the direction this Wednesday was heading in, but to Bram Stoker, it was just another Wednesday, though it might have been Thursday, because Thursdays were just like Wednesdays, which were just like all the other days of the week. Whatever Wednesday this was decided to be colder. Tough. Can't change the weather, but the weather wasn’t about to change Bram. He had worn sandals everyday since he stopped wearing shoes. He owned a pair of black sneakers; they guarded the front floor tiles and received the loose change too lazy to turn itself into a candy bar or tic-tacs by the time it got home. Cold, cold was for penguins, geriatric patients, and guys who wore patterned scarves. Bram would claim he learned to conquer cold when he walked the length of Colorado, the diagonal way, South to North, and came to settle over in North Cali for good. In telling the story, it was his resilience that weeded out the cold from his nerves—not the massive amount of chemical intoxicants he may or may not have smoked, shot, snuffed, or otherwise forcibly administered to his blood stream through a range of orifices. Sure Bram was, was still, and would be a hippie at heart, but he didn’t have to be a pansy about it. He never’d hug a tree, he’d probably say it was in the way of something, or punch it, or say something crass about its mother, depending on his level of intoxication at the time. This could be the same reason, despite the sandals, that his footfalls on the front lawn were more then the wintry grass beneath braced to bear. Bram crunch-crunched his way to the curb and paused briefly, almost stumbling, to see his morning paper stuck to sidewalk.
Bite me Wednesday. You ain’t special. Just cold.
After slipping the ragged sandals off in the cockpit of his ’86 Monte Carlo, Bram sat on his seatbelt, kicked the ignition on without warning, choked into reverse, gave the tires a healthy spin for a few rotations, and took the road on his way to the County Sheriff’s office.

Poem, Milk


Nestled in the valley
Rolling barley hills to caramel banks
Honeydew streaks if sunlight stroked with the firm swish
Of a brush dripped in divinity
Like skyline highlighters drawing the eye
To the sweet river lolling in its own coolness
A river of milk
Spawned from holy utters
Of cows with dignity
Who moo in French
But live in India
This creamy moonshine comes from other creative sources
Goats, Sheep, Water Buffalo, and Yaks
Horses, Reindeer, Donkeys, even the Camel (yes, the Camel)
All dancing in time, bound by the same
Supreme pearly devotion to nourishing goodness
In their riverside pens
Their happy energies overflowing
A milk river
Fed by tributaries of vivacious mammaries
Of mothers who care
Symbol of that caring connection
Between mother and young
Life itself (& breasts)
Proteins and antibodies and love
A life giving lactation
Did Hera really spill milk from that Greek bust
And give us the milky way?
To swim past the primium mobile and into raw beauty
Not to mention the blissful byproducts:
Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, Cream, and Yogurt
And what’s not better with butter
Each a demi-god worthy of its own clergy
Though let us no forget—the cheese
Elysian clouds assuming physical form
The pleasurable balls, wheels, and wedges
Motif of wealth in luxury
Reoccurring theme in fancy
Floating all into a lactic ocean
Though don’t let this distract
From its origin, the milk
Leche, Lait, milch, Gyuunyuu, “melk”
Life-giving, life pleasing
Most likely the base of distilled ambrosia
We must not let imposters fool us
Acidic coconut water, rice and almond concoctions
And there is no soy milk
For there exist no soy nipple upon any soy titty
It’s soy juice veiling it’s own vileness
Masking itself as the
Luscious, Delicious, Viscous
And don’t tread on that word, viscous
Ringing of slime and science
It’s more than an emulsion of butterfat globules
It’s what gives milk the kick to tingle upon your tongue
Mustache-worthy flavor quality
A worldly bond to inspire
A love for your milk-drinking neighbor
And a taste that has shape and color
That ivory alabaster sensation
To stick
To your palette
To your heart & soul

And on adding chocolate—
I’ve seen, I’ve tasted
Though it is a beautiful medley beyond description

Sarah S.

        So I wait 40 minutes past 10:00. I had gone out in the hall, seen her door open, knew she was there now, but not before. It wasn't too long before she finally came in. Asked if she wanted to go for a walk, it was my job to decide what to do, it was hers to show up. Said she didn't want to, too cold. Went to her room. Sat. Got back up. sat again. Talked about her night. Made mention to mine. Trivial conversation back and forth, I can't recall. All of the strain I had put as to the importance of these moments made me focus intently, and in turn I have a diminutive recollection over what was said. Talked about her family, her Mom's side are Harvard graduates. Dad is an alcoholic, she says, and she has multiple little brothers. One is considered mediocre, one is a good athlete, but she bears burden of proof. Told early on that she was too fat, pointing out her arms, her hips (which of course is ridiculous, she has the best hips I've run my hands across), told she needs to fit into a size 2 dress for modeling. Her Dad tells her she'll look good twenty pounds from now. Tries committing suicide three times, obviously no success. Went to college for a year at a Hawaiian University, she says 'Hawaiian' like Hawaiians do. She is photographer, tour booker, coffee shop barista, and full time student, always busy, always over worked. Had an abusive pot-smoking boyfriend, and at 14 she was more like 20, though she has always had low self-esteem (despite my pointing out that all her wrongs were being made right and she's beautiful). Likes corsets but doesn't wear or own them. She has a MySpace for networking, she knows about Buddhist monks being killed in Nepal, she is an English major and won't let me speak in grammar improperly, almost had me when she made me spell 'all right', and I guessed correctly. We talked about other things, of which I can't exactly remember, of which I can't even recall, either they were pointless or didn't stand out. She spent a summer in London and traveled many other places on tour with death metal bands, didn't rush a sorority because she's afraid of being around too many girls, and I said she'd never be happy--happy implies a satisfaction and she's not wired for that kind of feeling. Maybe not-not happy but she'd never be content because she does so much already and always strives for more. She will get tattoos on her feet, a swallow for her best friend on her left foot and latin banner behind her right ear saying something about dust and shadow and it will memorialize her grandfather, along with the logo to her own company, 'Surfer Fairy', on her on her back, and also a tree branch that traces her nerves to her fingertips. All of this planned is out, just not done it yet, and this pulled her out of the back alleys of her mind back into the now where she has much to do, so we'd have to stop hanging out, but I wanted to make a last minute impression (I asked why she let me stay in her bed), and she said because she just did, when I asked her to clarify she wouldn't.
         I got my hand in hers and started rattling off some things I thought sounded good, I really wish I could remember, they were actually really good, or if nothing else they were in the good in the moment. They got her eyes to be unblinking. I spoke of how I believe she will be a success, how she will follow what she wants to do until she gets it, and I more than hinted to how beautiful I believed her to be, inside and out, how many others say they will do things, how she actually does things, viable things, and is already a success, how she has the mental conviction and drive to always do anything and stay herself, and she should, she should stay herself, because I've never met anyone like this and--the whole time she looked and at me and she has the most beautiful soft blue-to-green eyes with little pores of black where the color fades, and I could tell I was getting somewhere by the look on her face. Mr. Fixit at work. I said more things because I could feel the moment, and I drew it up to a conclusion, my hands are wrapped at her sides--but I can feel a resistance, and she doesn't wrap back at all, she stands completely still, arms at her side, but doesn't rebuff me when I move in, touch my nose to her (and say that if I didn't know better, this would be when I kiss you). No real response, and I can't remember what happened in the middle, but she looked over and asked me if those pictures meant anything to me, indicating the ones of Nathan, her man, in her mind, who she had plastered over the wall with her in his arms, and I said that they did because that was one of the reasons primarily things were confusing, and sometime later after talking about him, and his band, the horse band, not Band of Horses, I asked again why she let me sleep alongside her, and she wouldn't tell, she said it would be cruel and selfish, I said tell anyways, she said because I cared, at the time, and I was placeholder (not going to lie, that's not wonderful to be told). I asked her why she let me be so close to her and why she told me all this if I was merely placeholding, she said I seemed harmless, and by now she's crying, let soft tears stream down, talking about the man she couldn't be with, though remained dedicated while he was away doing whatever-wherever, I hugged her gently, arms encompassing, she stood completely still, showing no opposition but still no reciprocation, asked my why I hugged her, I said it was the same reason she let me in her bed, I pointed out how she considers herself completely single. Said she made him get on that tour bus, that she wouldn't let him quit the band, and that they would both follow their dreams separate basically, but she was, she is, so attached to him, in love, her heart is his, though she won't be chained down. I said there are no chains in my hand. Before all of this but during this moment I said I was the center of the universe, jokingly, she said no she was, I brought up the poem I had written about geometry and how everyone's a center and we just can't connect, but we stay on the edges flirting with one another's perimeters. I said I love a good mosh, but otherwise kept to the edges, watched, like on top of a building during the zombpacolypse I had talked about previously, and how most are in the center of the ocean, she says she loved it there, I say that's because she's the center, I'm on the shore, watching the waves hit (and it went over better in my mind than out loud). She commented about caring, asking me why I cared again, because everyone wants something for nothing, and no one does something for nothing. I said I had never asked for anything. Things get hazy, not sure where I was going now, can't convey feelings into words here, not sure what I was going for then, but the connection was so definite, even we were still oceans apart because she said how she won't let me chain her, and I ask why she stands the way she does, very straight, arched back, hands nailed to her sides, feet together. I can't remember what she says back, something about feeling safe, I wish I could recall, but I can't, I lose it here, but she keeps that pose, I can't stop her, but I wish she would feel the want and act to wrap her arms back when I pull and hold her close, but it's like hugging someone who is undergoing a willing paralysis, just accepting it, but it relates to him, and how she won't let herself be chained down, even in the dialogue this point remains unclear. I say she is chained, chained to him, not too him, to the idea of him, how she shackled her own wrists, she says the weight is bearable and she doesn't know if they'll be together, he gets off of tour two years from now, and she plans to wait until then to find out. From the very beginning of this moment happening a warning was spoken that I will not find what I'm looking for in her. Seconds stretch in silence, I put a finger under her chin as I have done before, so she has to look into my eyes but it seems she moves without the motion as if anticipating the end result and asking "what?" I tell her to smile, she says she won't, not now, she'll smile when she wants to smile, I say how smiling makes you better on a chemical level, she says she will go through pain to make herself stronger (I need to make her smile now, it is of utmost importance), I say that I've already said the banana and how many na's joke, [I hate having to write the word 'banana' 'cause I can never remember how many na's it has, like ready, go: Bana. Nope. Bananana. Dang. (Thanks, Demetri)]. So instead I quote "I saw a wino eating grapes, and I said, 'No man, you have to wait." It works (Thanks, Mitch), she smiles and remembers the duck in Subways, I say she's smiling, she acknowledges that, I say in opportunities like this, moments in need of celebration (her smiling, sarcasm), I would recite slam poetry for her, and maybe someday she can book me on a tour, but she only books who she likes, so she better like me (this is much more lighthearted), I hold her close, she accepts but does not return, but I understand, I say that there aren't enough syllables in the word 'understand' to make her believe me, she asks why I am trembling, I say my Mom's genes and because I've been standing a long time, even though the truth is the emotion and so much of it within me from her and within her too, like I got a body made of magnets and there all clamoring to stick around, but she doesn't need to know that, I forget how and why this ends, but it felt like the time when I probably could have stayed, but if that moment lasted longer than that I would have become old hat, though it was on the brink where I could have stayed longer and extended the whatever-this-is (but you got to leave them wanting more right) and I know she felt it to because she made no further reference to her being busy, only I did, but as I drew her back from embrace, in a semi-mechanical fashion, I moved to her side, placed a kiss of gentlest sorts on her right cheek, trying not to make it be deftly not cheesy, and said "I'll see you soon?", to what I believe she said what, so I reiterated stating how she is very busy and all, and I would see her soon, I backed away-- it wasn't easy-- let my hands drift from her body, and made for the door, and in the mirror before I opened it I saw her standing in the same pose she had been for sometime, hands at her side with feet together, but I don't know if she stayed that way for more than a few seconds because I didn't look back, I walked out the door, shutting it firmly behind me as I turned right and walked down the hall.

Some Things Janitors Told Me in College

Many late nights hiding out in various academic buildings means the occasional parley with the custodial staff. Inexplicable, and without context, these are the wisest words from years of janitorial experience:

"I once told a dude about this one dude, and that dude took my money. No questions."

"If I had a nickel for every dime I heard, there'd be money coming out my ears, 'cause that's what I'd be hearing, it would be money."

"Can I look at that? *Hands a pen* I remember these. Way back when. Ain't you got robots in your fingers yet?"

"What I can teach you is all that I know."

"One time I saw these kids, and they were chasing some other kids with foamy swords, and this is a college. Is that what they teach you? What the hell happened to chess?"

"Please don't throw things at my face or any other part of my body."

" 'The only thing to fear is fear itself.' I think a guy said that once."

"For the price costs to keep a wife, I could have bought a bottle of Jack Daniels every week. Then all my headaches would make sense."

"Where's that one thing?"

"What're you supposed to look like?"

"Can you tell I'm wearing make-up?"

"Think about your Dad."

"I went to school. Now I'm picking up your banana peels. Scary, huh?"

"The lunar landing? Nope. I know the guy who put those rocks there."

"Why did you do that?"

"You're not one of those 'stoners' are you? All I ever hear is about your 'grass,' whaddya do, eat it. The only grass I care about is the kind that's on the ground."

"I never had a horse growing up."

"I ain't doing this for love or money. I just doing this. What are you doing?"

"Make love, not war. But don't make trash either."

"My brother, he works in Congress. They throw away the nicest things, and he sells them on eBay."

"Roy, Lewis, Mavin, Lenny, Howard, Brucey, Doctor Mingles..."
'Who are they?'
"Oh, the 'coons on campus. You can tell 'em by the tails."

"Smoking is like nature's way of making people to shut up sometimes."

"My mother never let me near a stove. I wish she had."

"I haven't had a movement since yesterday."

"Fortnight is a cool word. I never use it, so the only time I use it is when I tell people how cool it is."

"Are you going to finish that?"

"In the can!"

"I think you could fit in this thing."

"Make me proud."