Tuesday, May 10, 2011

speaking english

I’d developed a very precise sense of smell that day for some reason I couldn’t remember, and I smelled a drowsy Mexico with it. That’s just before I saw the girl’s tit popping out of her dress top. But only just before it, like maybe fifteen seconds or so. I was also trying to think of something that rhymed with shelf besides self. This was another thing that I was doing. And, as well as that, I was wondering how soon it would be before one of my shoelaces next became untied. On top of that I was craving some sort of fruit juice bevarage with ice and a straw in it, something refreshing for a hot day.

The woman carrying the bag of oranges. She had all those oranges squashed in there. She was one of a group of people gathered on the street corner obeying a DON’T WALK sign. Idling. I just noticed her with those oranges for some reason. I don’t know why. One of those things. Something else: For whatever reason my calf had a bad cramp in it. It was really bothering me so I was walking with a limp of a sort. Sort of. I was thinking, also, of the people on the corner being lemmings. Now, lemmings don’t leap from high cliffs to their demise. It’s a myth. But still, the metaphor works for me. I like saying it. It’s better than sheep. I think. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a preference I have.

I needed something nice in my life that’d come along with t-ball location so I could send it where the grass don’t grow. But what can I say? I’m just a late arriving kind of guy. I can say that. Here’s something else: I had this thought that went, ‘I’m not done punishing myself yet, damn it!’ It was a loud thought, just like that.

One thing is, is that kissing elbows all day will wear you out. That I know.

This day I was walking around smelling things. The woman carrying the oranges in the bag was around, and then there’s the tit popping out too. Here’s one way to brighten your day. Plus, caring about enlivening my condition. It’s so-so. A tingle in my head or something. That gets me through with it.

There were the Crump brothers, who were twins, when I was a kid, and they still are, twins, the Crump brothers that is, but now I don’t know them. Not anymore. These twins were something else. Building forts was most of what they did together. All smiles. These guys. And also these two wore the same t-shirt a lot. One I remember pretty well now is one that said, “HOW’S LOOKING AT YOU?” The Crumps had a hard time controlling the twins. They had to be separated a lot. They were a couple of scrappers. The dad believed in Jesus. I think the mom had some kind of stomach issue. She always stunk, a little bit at least, of shit. Sometimes I’d have Taco Bell with the twins. Sloppy eaters. Those two. Always dribbling sour cream or with lettuce in their teeth and stuff. It wasn’t that much that I’d dine with them. Twice in a while. The Crump twins. They were really something.

All various and kinds of odors all the time, that day. Beachy, hayseed, Oil Of Olay, lizard skin, battery, sunflower seeds, swampy gutter, toasted hamburger buns, forest, laundry, canoe, Big League Chew, sour beer, zoo.

Just like that, you see, I turn my head, for why I don’t know. Just did it. And there’s the tit. Just like right there staring at me with a pepperoni eye. I stared back. That’s what I did. The girl didn’t know. Her attention was somewhere else. Another thing: I caught a hint of salsa. This was right when I eyed the tit. So there’s this tit. And I’m thinking about salsa. Also, I was planning out a route to get to the library that wouldn’t involved any stop signs, just lights. I don’t trust cars to stop at stop signs all the time. Occupied by this stuff. That’s what was going on. I was distracted by these things. The salsa. The tit. The library route planning. It was all jumbling. Motor oil. Tar. Junipers. Hamsters. So many things scenting the breeze.

Strolling brings me to a situation. Here’s the thing. It’s standard to do some judging. Waiting and then, there you go, something happens. And then you’re looking where you’re looking when this something happens. It’s a tit. Popped loose from a top. And it’s there. You look. Hi. There you go. And that’s it. You take a hack at what life soft tosses your way. Sometimes you bloop one between diving fielders. You take your chances and book around the bags. It’s, what? Something else.

I’m settled. A vaudeville of the senses. A scene change. Operation’s over. Done tipping pitches. All that business is for the birds, now. God, what we notice. Things we see and smell. I don’t have an option anymore. It’s this or not this. Or, maybe, just maybe, it’s that. But I doubt it. If I’m supposed to see only the things I notice, or happen to see, well, there’s nothing at all that I can do about it.

A topless sunbather is one thing. If she rolls over. That’s another. But a tit? Just popping out to say hi. That’s another thing.

I’ve got my suspicions.

Places to spit. Like me or leave me be. Just, as it goes, so I go wondering what kind of person I’m going to be this time around. Always different, each time around. Not a chance that fire engine’s will ever sing. Places to scout out. Things to draw on. Ballooning around. And codes, those too, that crack without any help from me. You see a miracle and then you sniff some dog shit, and then, well, and then you might have a chance.


The hollow sound of a fire engine’s siren. It’s murder in here under these lights. I rise early and never sleep. The sun does a few weak chin-ups and spills itself into the streets. Being tired has become a way of life. There is change to count, playbills of today’s most famous events to stuff into envelopes, and blue eyes to paint the sky with. Taking risks. Wearing an ecru tie. I want us to be like regular people. Screaming all over the city. That’s for squares, not rhombuses. Car chases too. Airport security. Tinted windows. Sunglasses as well. We get pinched, sure, but it’s not a crime to burn our names into wallpaper with lighters. We’ll have a good time for a long time, maybe for a good long time. If it ever could get better, better than this. Than this. Nobody knows. Nobody.


“We were going over the specs for a few brighter ideas in an elevator when this chick pipes up with a voice from Mars. She’s not shy about it. It’s just that she didn’t need somebody to love her. That was the main thing about it. She wanted it. But, you see, she didn’t need it. It wasn’t something she had to have to be, like, happy leading her life. She didn’t need to be loved. Swarming and glossing, tweaked things first in there, but still, it was a whelming steaming towards an over just to be jammed in there like that with all the intel and procurement data scuffling windmills and trouncing facts with conceptual bullet points. And then we’re comping laughs too, just like that. Besides, I never offer enough up to put up with, in the first. Verisimilitude matters. Passé belongs to the past or the tomorrow, not to me, not here. So, then this lady’s got wonderful foot dynamics. The one with the high-altitude pipes. The look of her shoes with the socks and the dress pants’ bottoms is, well, just fucking dynamite. There’s just something about the ankles, the socks’ cut, taking chances, sagging a bit, cool, white with red and blue stripes you can just barely make out below the pants’ cuffs, which are cut a bit high, but not high water or anything, or not like Capris. No, it’s just subtle, like a size too short in the length, and the shoes are old and worn, probably an off brand of some sort, but are like old tennis shoes, maybe sneakers of some sort, almost like a Vans or Converse, but maybe they made Reeboks or Adidas like that in the 70s. But the shoes are dirty and raw. They seem like they’ve seen the sights, been around the battlefield and back a few times, too. There’s nothing fake about the whole foot-ankle-sock-pants-cuff scene there. It made me think, ‘natural.’ I sometimes think in one word. It makes ideas easier to rotate and toss and skiffle with. Nothing of the poser going on. Not that that mattered. She’s just showing off her vocal range over there. An “over there” that was, by the ways of whiffs, pretty damn close to my over here, if you want to bake batter with the oven off. But I’m not a guy who’ll go in for such trite crap, so it was move on or irk the boat. This gal’s a gabbing. We go blind to weds and dos and do-overs. It’s slippered straw talk. Fassbinder the whole shit-hole stink of it, for all I know or care to know about it. It’s where I can stand, where I’m standing, hashed to a hush-hush, like that, with my feelers out for the who’s, or whose for that matter, who of it. Gleeking inexpertly at the floor buttons that are lighting up like a bingo board, you know, flashes of yellow circles, and no 13. Never a 13. By gum. What attributed b.s. we’ve got to hindsight and overlook. Besides, I’m crunching figurines up in the noodler there, and we’ve got quite a little scrum jackjawing there, breathing back and forth the same stale-peanut breath we’ve inherited from the flight in, stewardesses underhanding those tiny bags of peanuts at you as they hip-rock by in the aisle. Beware of my eructation and the temper I’ve built deboarding and waiting, just to wait some more, and then we’re smacking and all eyebrows over it, tabling frustration, and pooling what’s left of our r&r to jailbreak and 7-10 split our most undervalued happenstances. Buy high and sell even higher. That’s your minor op. for the moment. This chick’s spilling it, and so, as we were just a confab of effortless wind there, well, it takes you making more noise to listen sometimes. Vapid? No. I’m chipping the cabinet of how-the-hell-do-I-keep-here-over-here while there are at least zero arrows pointed at Yours Falsely on the descent, japing myself in with threaded yet put off how-do-you-don’t rising in my gullet. A distinguishing surround sound there, let me say. We’re all scuffing the floor too, maybe doing some Cosbying, shoe-wise that is, and performing some slight bends and what may have seemed at a glance mini yoga moves, to keep limber, what with time essencing and all the dislikes, though my legs were anything but sore, stiff, or cramped, of you want to know the crooked truth of it. Be that as it may or may not, I for two am not going to let some scuttlebutting chick Watergate her way into my life like that. Ken dolls be damned. So, then, well, I go something like, “Well, well, gents. Welcome to a beheading.” It’s like a bad pilot for a sitcom: it doesn’t get picked up. Huffing from the back, she goes, “He shoots. He…bricks!” Ensuing laughter. Yep. Cackles and some real belly ones too. I wasn’t going to shave my pubes over it or anything. But still, I’m not enthused about the crack. This lady who doesn’t need love? Well, what the high oh-holy-shit am I going to brave the deep blue sea over it for? I can’t charge to paint a fence that’s been all torn apart and ruined by a windstorm. And being that I’m the one who’s like putting in OT to reinstall the finishing touches here, well, let’s just say, or not say, that I didn’t do most of what I said I did back then. Back then. Now? Well, I just do and say I didn’t. It lends a sunup to my off days. Better milk the cow before the maids show up, right? Well, old anyhow, I’m ad libbing a junker there, and she’s already crafting a lead, so we meet somewhere in how/why/who town, and then it’s scrape off the mustard and pickle relish, you know? Bad hands. Fumble fingers. Throwing stones. Find weather that’s crimson breaking clumpy over GLAD-bag pastures. Flared headlights sunk shippy with radar-avid hooks. Nobody loves you when you’re unsound. Bugle mist into topcoats. Rundown to phone dials, to trapped past, to mastered uses, incompletes, stuck between floors. Give me whatever test you’ve got; I’m sure I’ll fail. Brand name sadness stalks fallen leaves across streets. Goobering what was not just right there, um, well, what was right here too, now, or then, as it was or were, just a play in the line, a gasp before sinking, sugar in the gas tank. Lasting only lasts so long. I moved to the prairies from the steppes, and just kept going and going until I was gone. Nothing different but everything not quite the same. You know?”

“They don’t got elevator operators no more. Not no more. They’ve got DIY elevators now. You hit the button. You choose your floor. Real complicated mess. You go up. You go down. It’s complex. The things we do. Pressing buttons. Standing still. Keeping quiet. For things and reasons, like god, that I’ve never rightly understood. Ranging or raiding, whatever difference it makes. Who but me’s keeping score anyway? But that’s being older for you. That’s just being. Whatever chorus of booing gets made out of it. Well, it’s keepsakes and keep-aways or loudmouthing for the worst of it. Hard to chuck your whole reason for being out the 58th floor window and then keep it all to yourself. Feeling low? They’re still serving at the bar. At least that’s what I hear.”

“This guy is a real asshole. I mean it. What a little-dick shape-shifting fuck. Playing with himself when there’s not much to play with. Shit. Looking me in the eyes and all. That doesn’t happen here, buddy. Right? Hi. Here I am, wiggling around. Shooting off more than my share, sure, but this guy’s making it like real difficult to keep to the wall, right? Hello. Getting the go on the going and all. He’s really polluting the place with is peanut-breath b.s. and shit-heel sensibilities. The quarters are like way too close for his meowing tough-guy stance. But, well, I’m in a mood. It’s a free-for-all for me. Hopping off the train, chucking change at the lights some sadistic bastard threw up in the sky for use on an as-needed basis. Balls out, right? That’s what he would’ve called it, as if anybody cared about his little opining. Little dicks always act like they need to show off, make up for their shortcomings in some other way, become a dictator or buy a giant truck or something. Just leave me the fuck alone. Okay? Hello. Hi there. Wow. I’m like right here, you know? Well, hi. There you go. That’s why I like ‘em and leave ‘em be. Right? Who needs to put up with that shit? Not me. That’s who. My laugh’s my only autograph. And I don’t, let me repeat, I do not want you around. Okay?”

“Basically in a corner. Actually, literally in a corner, and metaphorically too. They were not liking each other in there. I think they say ‘riding’ but I’m not for certain. Blunt as I was, or am, to these types of disagreements over personal space, there just wasn’t a whole lot I was going to not put up with. I keep to myself. I try not to bother others. I don’t talk unless I’m talked at. I just stand around and pretend I’m on Mars. Can’t blame me for just being there.”

“Lewd. Fractious. Blasé. That about sums him up. Done in by over-consumption and too much stimulation. Gargantuan in ego-related matters. Head of hot air. Very distinct in manner, approach to situations, witty and argumentative. Always got to be the first on the block, you know the type of character. All built up with nowhere to go. Hurt, like that. That’s all.”

“…the other night. That’s when. Well, not that night. The other one. The night when the sky wasn’t falling down and vomiting all over everything just yet. Great. So, I played it cheerful, dreamy even, with an Abigail for a queen, like a rave at Ebbets field, and we conquered the natives with sedatives and boilerplate, smoking Fatimas and spilling juleps all over the grass in the dappled shade of some plane trees. Nobody guessed we’d played it pretty damn far from the vest that night. Just a few of us acting like moles, I guess. The other night, that night, well, we we’re a bit reckless and in medium-high spirits. Backyards were just things to run through, and sometimes swim through if there were a pool, and we went hopping fences, brick walls mostly, and it was standard procedure to scream, to holler and hoot it up. Just like that. We were calling, ‘Class dismissed!’ And nothing, any nothing you could ever know, would never deeply bellow beyond any of it. That night. Jesus. The night I can’t quite get settled or straight in my head. And then, you know, I think we’re taking the elevator, and it’s so crowded you can’t breath without inhaling somebody else’s exhale. And we’re hunkering down for the ride, trying not to pass out or something dumb. There’s too much not going on already. But, you know, it was this bitch talking about not being able to be loved or some such fodder. Or, yeah, or what makes this whole thing like really fucking unendurable, was that none of us had ever thought of ourselves being as the type to, you know, fall deeply in love, whatever the hell that might mean. I’ve sucked face enough to know that I don’t know shit when it comes to these things. Hasty. That was more like what I was thinking mostly. I’d had it down to there with the whole crumbled mansion of things, up until then at least, or most, as it was, or were. Where was I? Well, that girl was a real stinker, taking a crap on our collective mediocre spirits like that. None of us knew what to do, so we just stood there and rode down with the elevator, feeling the drop in our legs, that change in pressure maybe? You know, it makes your stomach queasy sometimes, or your middle parts get lighter, and if you jump it’s fun.”


“She was so pretty.”

“It was the way the shadows hit at just the perfect angle to give you that sense of what it was like to be alive just right there at that moment there that was just like looking but more too.”

“I’m done with it.”

“Check’s cashed.”

“I’m not quite sure how to perform a lobotomy, but I was willing to give it a go.”

“It’s hard to imagine how other people do in their daily lives. Or what they do. It’s survival for us all, but we’ve each got our separate understandings of it, of going about this stuff of living. And we’ve all now got our own soundtracks to do it to.”

“Based on jellyfish. Blooms of them. It’s not simple but not that complicated.”

“I swear. We were just going over some specs when out of nowhere…”