One Hundred Years Of Solitude.

It was a strange thing to realize my solitude. I was confronted with it as if hit by a wave. Decades of hours and minutes ticked around in my head and days gone by re-lived themselves through a window I was looking into. There I was, a man in a black coat saved by his ability to write, yet fully aware of the nascent attitudes of the multitudes who refuse to read. I looked at my face reflecting in the window pane and noticed lines on my ears and hairs on my forehead that I had never recalled knowing. It was ironic to be looking at me when I was someone I had never known. Trepidation creeped up my spine like a lingering waiter and I suppressed two tears that could not wait to come pouring out. I left a time past alone in the window and went to the bathroom which is my favorite place to think. I watched grease form around my tub as if it was trying to tell me something and noticed a horrible ring around the toilet that could only be the result of months of neglect. A beetle made its way and I swore it was Franz Kafka reincarnated in my bathroom sink. I refused to let him live out his rotten life again so I turned the water on and watched the beetle fall away into the void of a bathroom drain.

All is well that ends well is what I often hear expressed behind closed doors and in graveyards where spirits refuse to say anything else. In my bathroom the sounds are rather extinct but as my solitude becomes more material I am willing to listen to the voices which are not there. Now you may think that this is the brink of madness, but I refuse to let a wrongful judgment come between the reader and myself. It is only the realizations of a man well aware of the nature of his malformed appendages that is willing to think of things in this way. Alone, in a bathroom a man is capable of such great feats that even the greatest of Greek gods grow nervous. I have a tendency to come up with my most profound notions while sitting on the pot, but my own solitary reality was never one of them. I was all too forlorn to come up with anything unique so I brushed my teeth, sorted out my hair in the muddied mirror and pretended that I was a holly man who was sound asleep.

In the kitchen I made tea and dealt with the cards that had been given to me. It was not a bad hand but I was disinterested in playing the game. My birds cried for air and so I set aside the card game and released my birds into the darkness of mid-day. Old faithfuls flying free with yellow stripes and furlong sweaters reminded me of my youth- a time when I could run far without fear. Now I sweat at the slightest notion of a jog and wonder away hours exhausted by the thought of my own solitude. There is air to breath but I am to busy worrying about a time when I will no longer have to worry about breathing. My birds elucidate on various themes as they wonder around my house afraid of a flight which has denied them in the form of a cage. One bird imparticular refuses to fly to far and the other does not mind the low ceiling that averts its flight. I suppose all is well that ends well so I put them back into their cage and remove myself to my writing desk.

On my writing desk are a few pens that refuse to speak and a pile of ideas that have not been written. My heart speaks of times that may never come if these ideas are not given ink, but for some reason my laziness refuse a potential that knows not what to do. It is an errant idea but one that I fool with now and then, if anything to keep my mind entertained behind the sheets which are dirty and cold. A mind is like a container in which dreams float. There are boats made out of tissue that carry these dreams around in the bloodstream. Sometimes these dreams touch the heart but most of the time they remain lodged in the head. All of my dreams have collected in my heart and after too many years of solitude, I am finally starting to realize that it is time for me to take this stack of ideas and mold them into form. It may take years, hundreds of years, but it may be that when we no longer know what to do, that we have come to our real work.

Full Catastrophe Living.

All my concern over sex, hookers, guilt, shame, money, health, spirituality, the environment and my car has taken its toll on my mental health. I was once a motivated young man with grand aspirations of fame and fortune. Now I sit at home, day after day with an empty bank account and an obsession for transgressive bliss. I stare at pictures of naked lusty women on my computer as if they could offer me a chance at salvation, but I know full well that I am escaping from the reality of “the job.”

I am not a big fan of “the job.” The only work that I really like to do is paint, write, read, meditate, sleep and look at the Craig’s List Erotic adds. Working to me is a labor which strips me of the time that I could spend doing the things I love and puts me into contact with people that I would normally never want to talk with. Work as a violation of the life I am trying to live. But rent is due in a few days, I have skipped many meals due to lack of funds and my wife is getting fed up with my habitual claim “that I have no money.” “Well you need to get a job,” she always replies. “I really do not want to get a job,” I retort. “What, are you just going to stay at home all day writing your ridiculous blog and expect that checks are going to show up in the mail?” she replies straightening her back bone like she is preparing for battle. I am wounded by her assault on my blog which I spend many hours preparing for distant readers I will never know. “The blog is valuable work, don’t pick on the blog. Pick on me and the fact that I do not want to Teach High school anymore, nor do I want to wait tables. There is nothing else that I am qualified to do and I have no ambition to do much at all,” I sob at her. “Well, this full catastrophe living has got to end. We have rent due in a few days and we need money for the bills. I can’t afford it all and we are going to be out in the streets if you do not get a job!!”

I could not disagree. I needed to find work. I had been applying to various jobs every day online but no one was biting the lines that I sent out. Each day I look at my email hoping that there will be a response but there never is. Just empty space. Sometimes I spend hours writing back to employers who have not taken a moment to respond to me. I write that it is bad karma not to respond to an email but that I understood because it was probably only a reflection of the way in which they treated themselves- with no respect. Sometimes I will get a screw you back or a what would you know about karma, you are out of a job? But every day I put one foot in front of the other and try to maintain faith that every thing will turn out well. It is important to be centered when you are engaged in full catastrophe living.

“You need to get up, take your resume and go around to various restaurants and hand it out. You can not spend the majority of your day writing away on your blog. I will not allow it.” This is how I awoke this morning, my wife standing over me with a stack of unpaid bills in her hand. I felt a stabbing pain in my chest as I made my way out of bed and asked her to heat me up some water for tea. In my office there was a stack of freshly printed up resumes on my desk, with a note “I have complete faith in your ability to find a job.” I thought that after I published my first book of short stories, that the writing life had belonged to me. No longer would there be worries about work and economy. I would be able to write for a living and not have to clear another table or teach a freshman how to read. I was free and I was also wrong. The moment I thought the writing life had begun was the moment that full catastrophe living kicked into first gear.

I dressed in a nice black suit, put gel into my hair and headed out into the rain with a stack of resumes wrapped in plastic under my arm. I went around to three or four restaurants all of which took my resume with a quick glance and sometimes a few questions. One lady asked me what I like about working in a restaurant and all I could do was smile and wish her a good day, as I made my way out the exit. I handed resumes off to a woman at a real estate office, a manager at a record store, the post office and a doctor’s office. Any place where money could be made. When I returned home that day my wife had opened my unemployment check which had come in the mail and said to me, “you are lucky again.” There was enough to cover the rent and bills and a few hundred bucks left over to feed my personal fancies. The rain was coming down, it was dark outside and I retired to my office to start writing this post. As I turned on the computer my wife came up behind me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, “what do you want for dinner, it’s my treat.” I looked up at her and said “whatever you would like.” I had not eaten all day and any food sounded nurturing. I gave her a kiss and as I looked at her I said, “see, full catastrophe living isn’t so bad after all.” She made no reply.

Why I Write?

I gave a reading of a short story I wrote at a small bookstore not far from my home. In a crowd of not more than ten, a young woman raised her hand and asked me why I write. I was stretched to find an answer that aligned itself with truth. I was silent (which was a truer statement than my reply) and said “because it is something that I feel like I have to do.” After the reading I came home with a feeling of uncertainty about my relationship with writing. I sat in my kitchen, drank a glass of red wine and pondered the question, “why do I write?” I took out a note pad and tried to write an answer down but was incapable of bringing forth any letters. I poured myself another glass of wine, and with a feeling of deep defeat I decided to call it a night.

I was awoken in the middle of the night by what sounded like coins being dropped in my bathroom sink. Ever since I was a child I have been afraid of strange sounds in the middle of the night but I put together the courage to go ahead and investigate. My mouth felt dry from dehydration and my eyes were having difficulty adapting to the dark. When I walked into the bathroom I was shocked by what I saw as soon as I turned on the light. I noticed what looked like individual letters jumping around in my bathroom sink. There was a Z and an M hobbling around on my faucet and a G, C and an L spinning around in the base of the terracotta sink. I rubbed my eyes and patted my cheeks to make sure I was not stuck in a dream. I took a deep breath and was certain that I was awake. I walked closer to the sink and looked down upon the words which danced around like some sort of vibration was possessing them.

I then noticed on my toothbrush a W and R. All over the floor were smaller a,e,i,o, and u hobbling around like they had returned from a meal in which they had eaten too much. I was perplexed, dumbfounded by this strange invasion of letters. I heard strange pattering sounds in my bathtub and of course I found more letters slithering around on the tub floor. I lifted up an H and a T and placed them in the palm of my hand. They felt warm to the touch and caused me no fear. I then picked up the W and the R and they quickly ran up my arm and into my hair. I repeated this with the vowels and before I knew it I was covered in words. I fell onto the floor laughing like a mad man…tickled by W and the Vowels which got stuck under my arm pits and in my groin. While rolling on the bathroom floor more letters climbed onto my body. They made their way into my ears and between my fingers. I managed to stand back up on my own two feet even though I was dizzy with laughter. My scalp felt like it was being massaged and my groin felt aroused. In the bathroom mirror I noticed a reflection of myself. “I am covered in the alphabet!!” I shouted out loud with a roaring laugh. They moved all around me like a pack of wild ants. I made my way over towards my bed delighted by the letters which had seduced me without the slightest hint of ill-will or malevolent intention. I laid out on my bed and watched the letters run all upon me. I saw R run around with T and Z jump off of my nose and a,e,i,o and u scramble around on my arm. I was so pleased to be lying on my bed playing with these letters like a child lost in his imagination- that I suddenly realized why exactly it is that I write.

Sole Food.

meI never knew what sole food tasted like until I felt the heel of her foot in my mouth. It was an accident that I found myself lying supine and naked upon the ground. She asked me if I wanted to “know enlightenment, straight up no chaser”, and I wanted to learn. “Directly abide by my words and you will realize that you do not exist, you never will exist and you never did exist.” “Is this a philosophy?” I asked her. “It is the truth,” she said as she took off her pantyhose. I was hesitant. I could not stop conceptualizing the scene before me. I knew we were separate identities but she wanted to make us one by sticking her foot in my mouth. This is how she found her identity, she told me- “by sticking my foot in the mouths of men.” With an almost unimaginatively subtle push I found myself opening my mouth and watching the sole of her foot make its way over my nose. My consciousness felt threatened but I held back the fear that wanted to get up and run. I focused on my breath and let her foot wonder where it will. “All sense of I is an illusion, a fabrication….and my foot is an invitation for you to find this truth out for yourself. You have no self until your mind inserts a self into it.” “I am uncomfortable,” I hesitantly spoke. “It is only a biological imperative that gives rise to your sense of discomfort, just focus on the sole of my foot and think of it as food,” she said with the calming tone of a spiritual teacher. She stuck the sole of her foot into my mouth and told me “now take your ego which is a defense against the realization of no I, or death- and lick the sole of my foot while keeping your attention away from your sense of I that may feel humiliated…..all that will be left is that which is.” With hesitation I stuck out my dry tongue and slowly began to lick what she called her “sole food.” “Lick, Lick and stop trying to conceptualizer the direct experience, just lick and soon you will be enlightened.” I licked and licked consuming myself with the sole of her foot for at least an hour and when I was done the conceptual formation of who I was- was gone. There was only an unconceptualized state in which my body felt full from consuming too much sole food.

The Zipper Maker, Part 1

My wife was called in to work so I found myself at a bar drinking my fourth glass of red wine. The night had been filled with rain and coming in from the cold, damp weather felt rejuvenating. My bones rattled and the only place in town than I could think of, which would harbor some warmth, was the local bar. The bartender and I talked of the futility of politics and the ominous events that had taken place in town the past month. He told me of his home which was without heat and causing his wife to slowly loose her mind because of the fragility of her flesh. “For my wife, the cold is like an ill omen,” he told me. We talked of hospitals and Spanish red wine. When I had finished my fourth glass of red wine I felt all the tensions and distresses which hung around in my body like a nest, slip away into some unknown region where they had gone numb. I knew that this feeling of relief was temporary, but some feelings are worth the repercussions.

I wanted to walk. To fully enjoy this wine induced state where I was liberated from anxiety. The rain had transmutated into a slight drizzle and I was willing to become damp in exchange for a brief walk. I smoked a cigarette and harbored no resentments towards the world. I watched my feet follow one another and noticed that my body was traveling in time without the slightest effort from my mind. When I reached a particular point, I decided to have a seat upon a bench and watch the night sky darkened by luminous rain clouds. I felt like muttering a prayer but instead smoked my cigarette until it turned red. I was not alone, nor was I lonely. Rather I was a man fully occupying the space of his body and mind with a contentment so warm that I could hardly feel the cold.

“May I sit by you,” an older gaunt looking man said to me with a cigarette hanging from his lips. “It is not often you meet a fellow smoker in the rain,” he said sitting down besides me before I could echo a response. “My name is Andre,” he said sticking out his languorous looking fingers and waiting for my eyes to meet his. “Randall,” I said with a disposition that was friendly enough. I noticed that Andre was impeccably dressed in a black suit and fine patented leather black shoes. His hair was parted to the side and he smelled like a time when kings were doused with cloves, cardamom and cumin. “My intuition tells me that it will be raining for some time,” he said with what sounded like a Romanian accent-“I believe it will rain until we realize all the ways that we have forgotten to live.” I thought this was a rather ornate statement considering the ordinariness of our situation- two men sitting upon a bench on a rainy night watching the world pass by.

“You are being rather laconic, are you not?” I was uncertain as to what laconic meant, but I turned to him and flashed a smile. Even though I was feeling as if my space had been invaded, I was feeling well enough to leave my negativity alone. “So tell me Randall, what is it that you do with your life?”

If you wanted to ask me one question that would start me talking, it is this. I love talking about myself once I am given the permission to open up. At times I almost feel as if I am the most fascinating subject that there is and my only concern is that the listener is not as entertained by my life as I am. Being that I had four glasses of red wine in my blood I was more than willing to talk, but before I could respond to the question, Andre began to talk about him self.

“I am a Zipper Maker. I construct Zippers for purse, jackets and pants. People all around the world wear my zippers which keep their private things safe. I have been making Zippers for as long as I can remember. Since I was probably your age. I was working as a Waiter in a restaurant and I was desperate to find some way to make a living which I enjoyed. My mind kept coming up empty with ideas and I drank more wine to keep myself from falling into the depths of despair. Then one evening I was introduced to a man who wanted to give me a job at his zipper factory. At first I was hesitant, resistant to change- but then when I heard that a Zipper Maker could change the world, I was inspired to learn the craft. I was taken under this mans wing for thirty days and shown all the different ways to construct a zipper. The ubline contort which is the zipper used for purses, the erexile divide which is the zipper for jeans, and the koobla mobile which is the zipper for jackets. I fell in love with the art form and have been doing it ever since.”

I had never heard of a Zipper Maker before. “I am not boring you with my autobiography, am I?” he asked me with a solemn look in his eye. “Not at all I replied.” “Making zippers is a meditation, an art form that has not only given me life but also improved the world,” he said with a look of pride upon his face. I was struck by the confidence with which he spoke about a craft that I had always considered insignificant. “Would you like to join me for a glass of wine?” he said putting leather gloves upon his hands. My wife would not be home from work for a few hours and the last thing that I felt like doing was being alone with myself in our cold home. “Sounds wonderful. I know just the right place,” I said. “Good,” the Zipper Maker replied rising to his feet lighting another cigarette. We began walking towards the bar like two bodies pulled together by the forces of gravity. There was a warmth that I felt walking besides him. The kind of warmth that one gets from a feeling of familiarity. “So tell me Randall,” the Zipper Maker said, “what is that you do with your life?”

The Big Sleeper.

me I have something deeply intimate to share with you. It is not necessarily information that will change your life in any way, shape or form- but I believe it to be important enough to share with the world. I am not necessarily proud of this confession, nor am I ashamed. It is simply a fact of my life that has become real enough to integrate itself into my way of seeing the world. My confession is simple: I am a big sleeper. No knew news to anyone who may know me. I live for sleep. I not only live for sleep, I work and strive for sleep. I am always traveling towards sleep. I am asleep a good part of the day and night. Sleep has become the only activity which makes much sense to me. All else is vanity.

I sleep on average of twelve hours a night and nap two or three hours during the day. There is not a person whom I am close with who does not hound me about the amount of time that I spend asleep. I will have plenty of time to sleep when dead or I am wasting the best and most productive years of my life- they pontificate at me. I listen with an open heart and sympathize. They are unable to understand the joys of elongated periods of sleep. I have never possessed a strong motivation to become one of great stature or to do things with my life that would move mountains. I prefer the slow contemplative life that seeks to absolve itself through reflective activities that negate the importance of action. I spend hours sitting in chairs trying to understand the body that I am sitting in. I focus my gaze on a sky that opens up eternity and I try to weigh my significance against this wide open space. I talk about the futility of action and follow the sun as it makes its course through the day. I often wonder if I am wrong in my conclusions but care not confuse myself more about what may be the correct answer. I eat little and dream about a time when I will live closer to nature and hear less human sounds. I wait patiently for the sun to set so that I can start preparing for my nights sleep.

When I am asleep my mind is at peace. I become a Yogi who is able to stop thought and exist clearly outside of time. My mind becomes so focused that there is no focus at all- I become a thinker without thoughts, a dreamer without dreams. Nothing interferes with the quality of my sleep other than a few noisy footsteps echoing forth from my neighbors upstairs abode. There is no worry coursing its way through my arteries, no fear trying to underestimate the quality of my experience. I am what some Guru’s or spiritual teachers may refer to as existing in a place of bliss, pure awareness of the nothingness of being. Sleep is my meditation, yoga and ashram. It is my temple and retreat center. It is my state of harmony and act of devotion. In sleep I am a fully enlightened being. It is only when I awake that I become the fool.

Many of you may feel as if I am sleeping my life away. I respect this claim but would retort by asking, are we not sleeping our life away anyways? Is life not one big dream? Do you not notice how quickly the future mutates its way into the past? We are all asleep in one form or another even while awake. There is no rhyme or reason to the paths we choose to roam while sleeping or living upon this earth. There is only time and the choices that we make about how we will spend this time. Some philosophers choose to spend their life sitting in a bathtub with books and a bottle of booze. Some choose to live in burrows beneath the ground. I choose to wrap my self up in the comforts of my blankets and sheets and fall away into a state of elongated peace.

The Shameful Life Of Salvador Dali.

get-attachment.jpgThe hooker in a tree called me this morning. I asked her how she got my phone number and she told me that it was copied to her cell phone from the last time I called her. “Would you like to cum up in the tree today,” Dawn asked. Strangely I was a far distance from feeling horny since my back still ached from my previous days fall. Last night my deep sleep was interrupted by hot flashes of pain triggered by every movement of my restless body. I had planed on simply staying in bed today but when she asked me if I would just come by and keep her company, I had difficulty resisting. “I enjoyed your company the last time,”she said “and today I am needing it.” I was still trying to resist when she told me that she would be naked and promised to swing from a few branches.

The first thing that I noticed after I slowly managed to climb up to the wooden platform (the hooker’s home in the tree), was not that my back and arms were throbbing with a metallic pain that made it difficult for me to breath, but that she had shaved her pubic hair (this has always been a particular turn on of mine). The hooker was pleased to see me and sat on the side of her bed smoking a cigar. “I know it is a bad habit, but my father turned me onto the pleasures of smoking a cigar when I was young,” Dawn said holding the cigar in my direction. “Oh no, thank you,” I replied as I sat down besides her. “You know not what you are missing. There is nothing like a cigar in a redwood.” I told her about my accident yesterday (see Sitting On The Buddha’s Head) and the difficulty I was having breathing. She was flattered that despite my pain I had decided to come visit the hooker in the tree. “Would it make you happier to touch my breast,” she asked me in a maternal tone. I declined not feeling much in the mood for anything but sitting still(even though I had an erection).

We drank mint tea and watched the squirrels and birds leap from branch to branch (Dawn threw a penny at a bird!). I felt a rumbling in my stomach that spoke to me about the discomfort I was feeling. Being with a hooker without desire was like sitting in a library without a desire to read. I was confused by what I was doing there as we both silently drank our tea. “Want to see a new movement I learned the other day?” she asked with an adolescent excitement. “Sure,” I said with a hint of apathy in my tired voice. On her oval butt I noticed a tattoo of Salvador Dali (his face). I had not noticed this before and asked her if it was new. It had been there for years she told me. She hooked both her legs to a branch and hung upside down so that her long brown hair swayed in the afternoon breeze. Beneath her was at least a hundred and fifty feet of empty space. She slowly began to do a movement that caused her naked body to move backwards, slowly. So slowly in fact that it almost seemed as if she was practicing Tai Chi. Before I could register what was taking place her body was rotating quickly in circles around the branch. She looked like a windmill with tits, moving so fast that her face took on the features of a Francis Bacon painting.

I clapped at the end of her performance, for which she took a bow. “See, these are the things I learn in my loneliness,” Dawn said making her way over towards me. She asked me to kiss both of her breasts for good luck, which I did with little hesitation (her breasts smelled like cloves). She dried the sweat from her body with a green towel and lay down on her bed placing the heels of her feet on my aching legs. “That was very good,” I told her. “Are you sure that you do not want to masturbate,” Dawn asked me. When I told her that I was sure she said, “how about a slow and gentle hand job to calm your pain, or I could lick your flute with my tender lips?” she said smiling at me with a look of seduction. A small pigeon landed above the bed and sat looking down at the two of us. The hooker immediately chased it away “because they shit all over the place.” “So why do you have a tattoo of Salvador Dali on your butt?” I asked her trying to change the subject. She stood up, walked to the other side of the platform and laughed. It was at the point that I believe she resigned herself to the fact that she was going to get no money from me that day. I had no money to give.

Dawn put on tight shorts and a t-shirt with a picture of Doctor Freud’s face on it. It was obvious to me then that Dawn was well-read and cultured in a self taught kind of way. She sat back down beside me on the bed. “Because he lived a shameful life,”Dawn replied to my question. I was surprised by her response and asked her to explain why this warranted tattooing Dali’s face on her butt. “He was a deviant, he lived like one not concerned with convention, he ate black grapes from the ass holes of young girls and claimed to masturbate and orgasm into a fig twice a day.” I was still confused as to why these biographical details would inspire Dawn to put a tattoo of Dali’s face on her butt. “Are not we shameful as well?” she then asked me. “What do you mean?” I replied. “Well I spend most of my time fucking or sucking off men in my tree fort and you, you like to watch naked girls get off while you get hand jobs or play with your pecker…..and your married!!” “I do not see this as shameful,” I replied trying hard to deny my true feelings. “Well, in America, this is not normal behavior and I would say that we are both leading the shameful life of Salvador Dali.”

Surprisingly I was not bothered by this assertion. In some strange way it felt good to be compared to Salvador Dali. I felt a respite from my pain and a comfortable sense of satisfaction that I was living a lifestyle that was shared by men such as Dali. This thought seemed to make me proud of the lifestyle I was living. I was walking in the footsteps of giants, icons and some how this thought eased my pain. For years I had known that greatness required certain sacrifices. The creative genius has to go beyond the conventional, the moral- in order to gain a unique experience that they can then create from. I had always known this- but somehow the comparison to Dali set it in stone. I suddenly felt myself fill up with a lust that must be the same lust that drives all creative expression. I looked at Dawn who was staring at the sky and smoking her cigar. I asked her if she would not mind undressing, letting me play with her breasts and giving me a gracious hand job. I told her that I was feeling shameful about my request but the shame made me want it even more. Sitting up like an excited nymph she told me that it would cost me $40.00 (which she claimed to so badly need) and I asked her if I could give her an IOU.