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Archive for October, 2003

 

Why do you people allow these things to happen to me?

I want pretzels and there are no pretzels in this house!

Not just any salty treat will do, either. I wants me some pretzels, preferably in little sticklike form.

How in the holy fuck can I be expected to study in these heinous, pretzel-free conditions? I can’t, I tell you, and it’s absolutely preposterous to think otherwise.

Have I ever mentioned that waking before six ay emm makes me incredibly nauseous? That, and oysters, but I’ve not eaten oysters in years.

Bleh. BLEH!

Mathias, who ran a very scarily high fever all yesterday and slept like a rock for much of it, is feeling much better now, thanks. Getting-up-at-four-ay-emm better, as a matter of fact. He keeps running in here during commercials to proffer up pithy conversation to me, Resident Zombie

Mommy, I hadda popseekle; I got one whenna doctah poke my fingah and i say ‘ow’ annit bweed.

(yeah, I was there, puddin’) and to wrap his arms about my neck, kissing my cheek fiercely. I don’t deny him his shows of affection (“Thank you for not letting me die in my hour of neeeeeed, mother!”), but I can’t help but chant a somewhat liturgical mantra both to myself and the Almighty:

I won’t get sick. I won’t get sick. Please don’t let me get sick; I have a ton of tests this week!

Since you’re here, I’m assuming you don’t have much to do, so let’s dabble in linkage this early, early (so early and painful!) Sunday morn.

The Gospel of Supply Side Jesus. I haven’t the words.

Don’t go around maligning the neighboring farm’s peas, don’t defame their corn! At least in Alabama, anyway. There’re laws ’bout that sort of thing.

I’m truly torn on this one. Part of me’s all, “Oooooooh, sah-WEEEET,” and the other part is like, “Get a grip, sister, you poseur dorkwad.” Maybe it’s just that guy’s goofily-cut soul patch, because ’sweet’ is sorta winning out.

Relevant or Irrelevant? is the coolest blogconcept I’ve seen in some time, especially in light of the last post. Proper hero-worship allus wins points, in my book.

Take THAT, pesky vegans!

Speaking of pesky vegans, you are totally missing out on a good time if you’ve not yet caught ‘Surviving Nugent‘ on the telly. Sarah and her histrionics are almost as entertaining as the Motor City Madman himself. I wish I’d've known about this show while they were casting! TED FUCKING NUGENT braising wild boar for me? Waking me in the morning by making his guitar wail the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at teeth-grinding decibels? Daily nonsensical Mayhemian Pursuitstm? I would be SO there! I’d have to bust that rude, illiterate Big Jim fucker square on the kisser, however: “Jim, meet Jett’s boot.”

Catholic Fingerbanging: defies explanation, sort of. However, best quote of the week goes to Spike:

Its FRIDAY and that means I have an unusual craving for fried fish dipped in beer batter…

HELP ME!!!
IM CATHOLIC.

These are entirely gorgeous. I love it when there is a marriage of art and wearability. I’m especially enamoured of the ‘Greenman’ and the ‘Phoenix’ models.

The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Viva la Gorey!

I can tell by looking at you that some singing horses are in order. hint: after they load fully, click each dorky-looking critter to turn on and off

How Much Is Inside….I love that place!

There are more, but I’ve simply run out of steam. Have a goodun.

 
|| October 11, 2003 || 11:38 am || Comments (9) ||

Licensed to preach.

I contacted the DMV to see about getting plates printed up that say BWARE ZLOTS N SUVS, but alas and alack, they told me that my message is simply too long to put on twelve-by-six inches of mashed tin.

Oh well, on to my next mission.

 
|| October 9, 2003 || 11:24 pm || Comments (7) ||

A punk worthy of remembrance.

So I was talking to Sydd, resident girlhero-best friend and partner in many past debaucheries, tonight. She is pregnant again, you know, and very, verrrry surly, but sometimes the surly hormones wear her out and she gets suddenly melancholy. It’s quite unexpected and gets away from her quickly, like kicking over a bucket of mopwater and helplessly watching as it seeps everywhere, defying containment and demanding to be cleaned up all at once. Sydd’s not like this normally (read: when she is not marinating a baby boy in her midregions), so it’s funny for everyone else to watch, which is all the more infuriating to her. She cannot wait to birth this child, whose future name is so objectionable and heinous to me that I cannot even type it here.

This makes me a rather poor Godmother, I know, but I’ve a bit of time yet to gently nudge her around to naming the wee bairn something less, ehm, assholey.

So anyway, Sydd and I were talking and she asked me if I knew that Mark had died.

“Mark? Which?” I asked, thinking she was referring to the choreographer/fashionista that I mentioned here last year.

“Little Mark,” she said to me, “music Mark.”

“Oh, holy shit,” I said, feeling a little breath-sucked. Hell, I still feel that way.

I don’t exactly remember how Sydd and I met Mark, how he started coming around and hanging out at our house. I think it was one of those things where she ’sorta knew him’ from one place and I ’sorta knew him’ from another and we both remarked on what a sweet, funny little guy he was and suddenly he was just there priming up the bong, perusing the underground papers for good shows that we might attend.

Mark had these horrible, horrible seizures that scared most everyone and embarrassed the shit out of him. He would come out of one, saliva and snot trailing down his face, and ask everybody around him, “You okay? You okay?” He never wanted to make anyone else uncomfortable. That was just Mark.

“Maaaan, Mark,” I’d say to him, “For someone with questionable health, you sure do ingest alottttta chemicals.” And he did.

“It’s the only time everything just flows, Beth.

“It’s the only time I feel right.”

I knew exactly what he meant, but from a different perspective. To my way of thinking (both then and now) his reasons for ingesting whatever he could get his hands on were a lot more powerful and valid than mine; Mark wasn’t running from himself or reality, Mark was just trying to be. A little bump made him feel even; hallucinogens made him feel free. And, for the record, I never, ever saw him have one of those bone-rattlers when he was lit. Not once, and I spent a lot of time with him.

His car was old and boxy and Japanese, a late-eighties model Nissan Sentra or something, and was covered in stickers from obscure bands that very few people (most especially the locals) had ever heard of. One especially used to make me laugh: PUNK AS FUCK. Here was this little bitty guy (he looked like a twelve-year-old that had glued a thin little thatch of headhair to his chin in a sorry attempt at a goatee) in a button-down and reeboks, meek and funny, hands in pockets, flashing a PUNK AS FUCK sticker loud and proud on his car. But he was, he really was. Mark was one of the punkest motherfuckers I’ve ever known without ever having to raise his fist or his hair or his voice. Mark didn’t have to screamsing ‘rock n roll nigger‘ above the din, he lived it in his quiet and unassuming way.

The first time we ever took my car somewhere, he near-bout went apopleptic with euphoria over the one sticker at the top of my back window: “HOLY HELL, THAT IS A … 7. YEAR. BITCH. STICKER!” I eyeballed him a little sardonically, smiling and glancing toward Sydd as Mark danced around the back of my car. She just cocked one eyebrow, shrugged and grinned lazily out the side of her mouth.

“Mark gets off, man.” Yeah.

He was forever getting tickets because he wasn’t supposed to be driving; Mark’s condition wasn’t conducive to the DMV wanting him to have a license, so they denied him one over and over. Still, he drove: “I got places to be. What, I’m supposed to sit home or bum rides all the fucking time? Noway, noway.” He worked at his grandparents’ store, he went to school, he led an active life that required him to have wheels since we have no real form of public transportation here on the mountain. Ticket after ticket, fine after fine, court appearance after court appearance and I was always amazed that he never landed in the pokey. Even though he had not an ill bone in his body toward anyone, even though he said “Yes sir” and smiled shyly at the judge and magistrate, he should’ve been sent there over and over.

You couldn’t put Mark in jail. You just couldn’t. Mark was one of the Good Ones, and Good Ones don’t have any business behind bars, confining their goodness. They roam free, sprinkling the Fairydust of Righteous Vibe without abandon and with equal opportunity over every path they cross.

We sat on the porch late into the night once, and it was then that I found out the source of Mark’s seizures. It seems that he was the target of a stepfather’s rages that started when Mark was about eleven, to the best of his recollection. He endured beatings of varying degrees for five years; when Mark was around the age of sixteen, Mister Fucko (as I’ve so honorably dubbed him, hope you don’t mind) started tapping Mark on the head a bit. Toward the middle of Mark’s sixteenth year, Mister Fucko gave him a particularly solid whomp on the head with a blunt object, dropping five-foot-four, one-ten-if-he’s-a-pound Mark like a puppet with its strings suddenly slashed.

Welcome to neurological hiccups.

He held no bitterness, absolutely no ill will for this man. I didn’t understand that, and he didn’t try to make me understand. He was busy living his life, doing his thing and there was no hint of anger or wishing it away anywhere in his bony little body, as so many (not excluding myownself) would practice. So there was this core of protective love in my affections regarding this manboy, who was only three or so years younger than me.

I was some four months pregnant with Mathias when Mark strolled into the music store I managed one afternoon. Low-key and smiling, he asked me for a job. He’d always wanted to work there, but my boss would never hire him. As quick as the bossman promoted away, I hired all sorts of people he had turned away previously, including Mark. They were an exceptional crew, funny-looking by all conventional standards, but they were exuberant and byGod knew their music; knew it inside out and backwards and from the ground up. The girl in penny loafers and tweed skirt? She knew every milestone in the history of rap, could tell you all you wanted to know about reggae and then some. The d00d with the crunchy, overblack hair and razor-sharp fingernails? Yeah, he knew metal in all its incarnations, but nobody I’ve ever known has had as thorough a knowledge about classical (save for my music nazi professor in college, Doctor Betterthanyou) as he did. The slouchy Radiohead fanatic knew blues, blues you’d never even heard of. The Barbie with the overshiny lipstick? Her fortes were country and old, old soul; she’d run off a litany of every song ever recorded by Sam Cooke (sah-WEET!), even though she couldn’t put together two and two to save her fucking life. Nobody matched and everybody knew music and Mark fit right in.

He told me when he asked for the job that he was saving the last bit of money that he needed to go to recording school out in Arizona. I’d not seen him for some months prior to him coming into the store, and I was glad to help. He worked hard and well and before I knew it, it was almost time for him to leave. I was near-bursting one night when we were working catalog side-by-side, two other employees at the front of the store tending customers. Without any warning –save for Mark getting a little bit quiet all of the sudden– he began to walk in circles, stiff-bodied, babbling gutteral-sounding nonsense. He started to convulse, and I was afraid he’d hurt himself on the wire racks or metal bins, so I quickly got behind him. Just as I was reaching for him, he began falling, loose-limbed and jerking, and suddenly he was flopping deadweight in my arms, mashing on my too-full belly. I strained with him, stuck halfway between standing and kneeling, not wanting to drop him and locked into place, unable to go up or down; my pregnant bulk and his lack of control limited my mobility and threatened to topple us both.

I have no idea how I managed to mash the button on my headset to calmly call up front, but I did, and Christie and Heath covered the yards of store between them and us so quickly that I couldn’t fully turn my head to look for them before they were there. Heath lowered Mark gently to the floor, Christie said, “My GOD your face is red; that can’t be good,” while trying to help me unlock my tensed body so that I could come out of the half-crouch and waddle to the racks to lean on them. Breathe, girl.

Some three weeks later Mark collected his final paycheck, headed finally to Arizona, and some two weeks after that Mathias was born, long-limbed and quietly turning his murky eyes to me, all peaceful.

Hope for everybody (funny, I just typed that as ‘everyboy’).

Sydd tells me that Mark came home just a couple months shy of graduating, so sick that he couldn’t finish up out there in Arizona. About a month later he died in his sleep, seizing so hard that vessels were burst. Apparently he never woke up, never knew he was having a seizure, never knew he was dying, according to the cousin who relayed all this information to Sydd when they ran into one another at Wal-Mart.

And so.

Mark was a sweet, beautiful guy, and I’m an awful person for not keeping up with him, even if I did think of him often. He has a great big comfy spot in the beyond, I’m sure, and it’s covered in stickers of obscure bands that never were and are yet to be. He still smiles copiously, humming whatever melody passes his consciousness at any given moment, just like always.

His stepdad? That skinwaste of a fucker has a special place reserved for him in hell, where he’ll be struck about the head and shoulders with some regularity, never allowed to die. When he’s not being beaten, he’ll seize so hard that he heaves over and over, spewing the bile in his soul all down his front as testament to his sins.

I have to title this poem, but I have to say ‘eff you’ to Wretched Dee first for making fun of me in my title implementation.

So, now–

We are not what we once were

Then there was no fear, no conscious effort

We could just hold hands and stare

Overcome

You used to stop the words at my lips

Today they are like pebbles in my mouth

But I cannot spit them out

Rolling them there smooth and heavy

Dumb

You could pull open my jaw,

Digging into the flesh of my cheeks

Poke your fingers in there

Clumsily extracting the rocks, disgusted

Cold

Saliva and my heart spilling all across

My chin and your palms

I can still picture cleanly

The way the one used to hold the other, both upturned

Warm

 
|| October 8, 2003 || 1:04 pm || Comments (17) ||

New and improved…NOW WITH TITLES!

I’ve been thinking about something lately.

Imagine that.

I’ve seen several webloggers say that their ‘one-hundred things’ was/is a difficult task. And you know, I totally buy that. I totally buy it because so few people really, really know themselves. Or, for that matter, want to. They’re afraid of the broken stuff on the inside, of the icky stuff, of the scary stuff. And good LORD, write about it, even in a cursory, passing fashion? Yeah, right.

Me? I want to be personally acquainted with each and every one of my flaws so as not to be shocked, dismayed or (Heaven Forbid) hurt when someone else points them out to me. I’m about as fucked-up a person you could ever know. I’m the first person that will tell you that. But you know, I’d re-sole your shoes with my favorite leather coat if that’s what you needed. I’ll hold your hand and laugh with you, I’ll let you call me and cry like a big ole titty baby, I will pet you and curse your enemies.

But I’m the girl you can consult if those enemies get to be too much. I’m your gal if you want to know Fifty Ways To Ruin Their Weekend And Perhaps The Rest Of Their Lives. I’m the girl who can teach you how to take a punch and still laugh like a fucking idiot despite the snarl under your belly-skin. You know the laugh; you’ve seen it in movies and it fucking scares ‘normal’ people.

My one-hundred came pretty easily, because I just did the stream-of-conciousness thing that I learned in sixth grade writing workshops. Woo, freewriting! Woo, ‘bubbling’! Wooooo0000oooo, non-punctuated, no-holds-barred brainstorming! My one-hundred came pretty easily because I know myself. That one-hundred doesn’t even scratch the surface. I could prolly whip out two-hundred more without busting a sweat, a nut, or even scratching my head. It’s not vanity, it’s self-awareness.

Self-awareness might be scary at first, but it’s a useful tool, one that I highly recommend. Write those one-hundred things, even if you never show them to any of the rest of us. Write them without fear and without judging yourself. Know thyself. Others like you and highly recommend you, why not give yourself the same courtesy? You’ve miles to go and your internal dialogue may be your best anchor and keeper.

pee ess….I really feel like I should apologize for the last entry, so (a first here at [Abuantg.]) d00d, I’m so sorry I posted that long-ass thing for you to slog through!

 
|| October 7, 2003 || 11:57 pm || Comments (7) ||
This is me, learning to make a title line.

and there you have it.