Wednesday, March 6, 2013


            The doorstep is partitioned to upset any notion of walking straight up and into the heart of the thing. You can’t find it in guessing games either. The ideal homemaking nature of reconsidering likes for don’t-likes streamlines the important into the can’t-wait. It turns out that neither is hard enough to contemplate, and there is, by gum, real and hard work to be done. The doing of the work is essential to forming creased or wrinkle-free opinions of the matter. You walk up, see? You take some breaths. You spit at the doorbell and wring out your opinions. It is the past tense of being there. It is the closed door, too.
            Have the withering patience for it. Go to city with it instead of town. Go to greater metropolitan area. Go to country and God. There’s a mulched forgiveness for the asking there, and with it you’ll step. On one side, on the other, in cadenced disgust, you, partially at least, get done wrong to, get let down by, and then you are racing with chickens for loss’s finish line.
            What’s right with the inflected pitch of your worry? Not a thing. And if you look down, the doorstep is overgrown with moss. There is a straight to get, and if it bends then be dumbstruck with an intelligent idea, if you can. It bodes better than most drops in ambition levels. And don’t remember this: regret is no longer an option. Detach yourself from it all. It is difficult, and therefore worthwhile.
            Shake it.
            There are bullet holes in the bowling pins, and the lane’s viscid and warped. What if I just screamed, “I love you!” out the window to a girl sitting parked and eating a sandwich in her ’58 Dodge Coronet Lancer? Nothing. That’s what.                          
            Turns out that she was the Chief Water Officer in my district. What could I do? I pled All Contest to the springs and mineral baths. It was no good. She said, “That? That’s no good.” I figured that I might get some sort of leniency because of my delinquent sense of shame mixed with stingy honor, but it really was no good-- no good at all. And to think, she could’ve been one of the most delightful people with whom I’ve ever had the pleasure of having a sandwich. Or should’ve been. Now? Now it was all a jostle of compartmentalizing justice for the sake of sliced loss. Now? Yes, just measuring out your slow decline with shovels of clumpy fertilizer. Swallow it and move on. At least that’s what the signs all seemed to be implying.
            And then, limping Portuguese to the Laundromat:
            Be that as it may. Ahem. Be this as it may not. Another ahem to follow, longingly and with a torrent of calm. Here it stops and crumbles to going. And now Cid’s gone and punched her in the face again. He’s got a top-hat-and-cane sensibility, and will surely have a diamond-studded epitaph when he’s all through. I says to her, “Why do you do that? Why do you let him keep punching you in the face like that? You’re always getting punched in the face by him. You’ve got to stop getting punched in the face like that. Really.” She says, “Oh, I don’t know. I get my face punched, but Cid? Cid’s the okiest of dokies, really. I get punched in the face sometimes, sure. I don’t like getting punched in the face.” And I says, “Lady. That’s right, Lady. You don’t need that, getting punched in the face. It’s no good. It’s not okie or dokie, getting punched in the face.” “I don’t wanna get punched in the face,” she says. “I want other things too, you know. I want a flying exercise machine. I want hot molten lava in my bathtub. A spot light to shine at the moon.” So I says to her, “Lady, you just need to focus on one thing, and you know what that one thing is? Not getting punched in the face. That’s the thing you need to be concerned with at this here present moment in the times.” “In the times?” She says. I says, “These ones here that we’re living in. The ones you keep getting punched in the face in, by Cid.” She spits on her shoe, and then she says, “I’m on my guard a little. It’s true. But I got a good thing going here. Sure, I get punched in the face sometimes, and sure Cid’s not the cleanest chap in the yard, but maybe there’s a little more poison in his milk glass every day. But maybe,” she says. So I says, I says, “Lady, you have got to be shitting me. You have got to be dancing on pool tables here. You are getting punched in the face. Getting punched in the face is no good, for anybody. Stop getting punched in the face. That’s what I’d say. That’s what I’m saying. Don’t get punched in the face no more. Don’t go getting punched in your face.” She says she’ll try, but I know what that means. I know it’ll hardly do. Instead she’ll tell him something like, “Chew gum and be hilarious, and hold me all through the night.” And, you know, she’ll keep getting punched in the face.

            The doorstep is finalized. It prohibits all distractions, anything that would inhibit stepping, any two-timing shuffle that might work its numb way up the walk and to the door. There are no limits to reasons for affinity or disgust with the subject matter, and what they spell out in the doorstep’s hold on things is that whoever steps up this way is not bright enough to know the whys of their because. Spooned to the door’s final lie, you take each step as if it were a reprieve from a life sentence of dullness and moping, and the creased line of your own little truth is lost in the doorstep’s challenge, its partitioned grace and hold. You cannot step backwards. There are gold shingles fallen on the hard times of cheap dirt. There are weed-choked victory gardens of rotting youth swallowing what remains of your meticulous hold on things. The doorstep will not allow for reconsideration. It will not take orders or give out free lunches. It is planted firmly in the ignition of chiming for less, a sinecure for bored toothpaste pitchmen, a foretoken of sameness refusing to bloody its hands with despair. And you walk up it, shallow as ever, and its toll is forever unpaid, and...this post is no longer available.