The House Where My Thoughts Live

I sure seem to be doing a lot of pacing around the apartment today. I keep wanting to feel like I am supposed to be doing something else, and that maybe I should stop and try to figure out a direction instead of doing all this pacing that is beginning to make me feel dizzy. I left my typewriter out on the little wooden table in the center of the room for this very reason, so that while I am pacing around the apartment I can feel it looking at me, and be constantly reminded that I can always get back to writing. Writing is just as self-gratifying as anything else I could be doing right now. It's just as fun as a bike ride around the neighborhood, and quite the same, as I have ridden the streets around here enough to be quite familiar with where they will take me. It's the surprise of what might be lurking around the corner that makes it exciting almost every time, guaranteed.

All this pacing and talk of pacing and typing like I am pacing about riding a bike instead of pacing, I'm reminding myself of the sight I saw yesterday while riding my bike across town to meet up with my friends for dinner. There is this one house along the route where there is a circle path in the grass out front. This little circle path in the grass between the sidewalk and the curb was created by a child who walks it in circles—he paces in a loop, barefoot and talking to himself like children often do. He seems happy. He seems normal. But it's the wear in the grass that wants you to think otherwise. He has been pacing this circle in the grass in front of his house before, and before that he paced it some more. It's obvious that he had created this little place on his own, carved out of repetition with his own two feet, over and over, first on top of the cool grass, then later over and over and over until the grass gave way—with little blades stuck between his toes, he hits the ground running around and around until it is polished smoother and softer the longer he goes.

I wonder if this is the house where my thoughts live? I wonder if I have found it after all these years? And after all this time it has been so close that it was easy to miss unless you happen pass by just as the little boy is turning and turning around and around, spinning and pacing, compressing the dirt harder than it was before. I imagine he can't stop himself from turning around and around once he starts going, that he sees his path there at the end of the walkway that leads him there directly from his house, and he has to walk it at least one time more because he has walked it so many times before, and he finds that once he gets started he gets lost in the feeling of starting over and over one more time, and keep it going, one more time—walking in circles, pacing this same-old worn-out path, around and around again, because I can't stop now, I can keep going around one more time, around and around again and again and again again.



Taken on a walk to Laurelhurst Park today while the sun was shining in the few hours before the clouds increased their cloudiness.

- 01 -
An older-than-me man walking up the sidewalk toward me, holding a carpet cleaning machine, walked up to me and asked if I wanted to buy a house. I told him "Sure, I'd love to!" and that was it, nothing else was said, we both kept on walking past each other in silent disbelief. What a strange thing to say. What a strange thing to hear.

Stranger passing stranger.

- 02 -
Today at the park, the dark-green shadows of the Douglas Firs pushed all the people out into the sun. I even saw an artist among them, a genuine painter, standing in front of an easel and everything, including the three old ladies beside him, arms outstretched slowly, then down, and bend the knee up slowly doing old-lady Tai Chi. They point in unison at all the people playing in the sun on the bright-green grass—there is a painter painting over there, and there is a writer writing over here.

- 03 -
I'm walking behind a mom on a cell phone in one hand who is pushing a child's scooter with the other, making a rickety-racket and a blaa blaa blaa. Her large bag of a purse is stuffed full of her mom-things and hangs from her arm on the phone like the child helmet hangs from the rattling handlebars. She's covered all over in mom-and-child things!

Look! There's another! And another! I'm surrounded by the mom-zombies picking their children up from school! Filled with fresh knowledge, they take their children home and squeeze their brains out for dinner. What did you learn today my child? Mmmmmm delicious!

When the final school bell rings,
all the children scream,
It's dinner time!
It's dinner time!
It's dinner time for me!

And when they meet their moms,
then they'll all sing along,
It's dinner time!
It's dinner time!
It's dinner time for me!



Taken with a longer exposure while walking through a close-by neighborhood on a cloudy Portland day.

- 01 -
When designers lose their Lucky Strike, they switch to American Spirit. Additive-free! I believe! Pillows of smoke hit us in the face—coughed out of the advertisement manufactory.

Quitting smoking feels like changing careers and running to the mountains for a breath of fresh air. Away from the billboards and packaging that litters the forest—plastic bottles filled with piss and spit—forever remains by old degradable trails, paved with the butts of cigarettes.

- 02 -
Children walking home from school, brother and little sister, take your time getting home, rent free, for me.

- 03 -
Two ladies who look like sisters walking their golden retriever, don't mind me, I'm just jotting down your picture.

- 04 -
Pretty house hiding in the pretty trees, the one with the wooden canoe hanging in the garage that I can see looking like brand new, pristine. I see you there, empty and alone and gorgeous and huge, waiting for the ones who left you to return from their jobs in their beautiful cars with their beautiful children, and drive right up into you, right next to the brand new wooden canoe—the place where luxury lives.

Get off my lawn you strange man! Go back to where you live! Go now! Move along, and sing your lack-of-luxury song where we don't have to hear it!


Square Knot

Two ends together, holding hoop-hands with their elbows locked, intertwined. Left over right. Then right over left. The first knot a boy scout learns is the one he will never forget. It's the knot that ties all childhood memories together so they won't blow away. It's also the knot that ties two strings together to make one string reach around and hold even more.

No, I was not molested as a boy scout. The closest thing that ever happened to being molested then was when we went on a canoe trip and I was something like thirteen or fourteen, and my two friends who were brothers' father stuck his ice-cold hands down the back of my shirt while we were buying sodas at the corner store next to the river. I jumped away from them—surprised at first by the ice-cold, and then by the dripping-wet, and then by the fact that it was my friends' father's hands.

I only half-knew I was gay at the time, so part of me didn't mind, but I knew full-well that I was thirteen or fourteen and the whole situation was confusing and awkward. We just laughed it off as little more than just a joke, then went canoeing, and all things were forgotten—flushed downstream and washed away. No harm done. All dangers avoided. Returning to shore, I would never be able to look at my friends' parents the same as before.

Eagle Scout, fly away, and go camping in the mountains. Use your skills to prove yourself able to survive with only your knowledge and a pocket knife. Build a fire out of nothing and blow it gently with the words you remember from your childhood. Trustworthy. Loyal. Helpful. Friendly. Courteous. Kind. Obedient. Cheerful. Thrifty. Brave. Clean. Reverent.

Walking And Writing Of Walking

Feeling restless, I keep wanting to pull myself outside since the sun decided to peek out from behind the clouds. I don't know how much longer it will decide to last, but it looks nice. A sight for sore grey eyes.
I see the blue! The blue! The blue is peeking through!

This is how writing can teach you to stop writing and go for a walk.

I went out for a walk and made it as far as the corner of the closest coffee shop around and just up the street. A twelve-ounce americano to-go please. That will be two dollars. Okay and I leave to return the long way back home, two blocks around where the kid asked me if that was my car and I told him no because he was just-uh wonderin' out loud because the car right behind the one that wasn't mine, the one with the plastic bag for a passenger window, was his, and he suspected that the car he had thought was mine had been broken into too. He was just askin'. He didn't have much else to do. His car had the stereo ripped from it, and it's wire guts were hanging out. You could see the horror when the wind blew through and flapped the plastic back.

Money for crack! Gimmie that crack! Crack's in the corners of your mouth's tingling tongue salavation. Cracks in the sidewalks, where the mamma's break their backs, stealing car stereos in a frenzied crack-attack.

I expected that I would have walked longer and further away, but decided that reading in the sun in the courtyard of my apartment complex was still outside enough. I read like I was walking and grew tired of reading after I had read for awhile. I stopped to daydream, and dreamt myself returning back inside and sitting and staring at one nothing dot com after another. Sitting in the dark, wide-eyed, in front of a blue flickering light. A cold fire—pretty to look at, but failing to keep me warm. I'm hunching and slumping together to trap in the last of the heat before it is sucked all out of me. Look at me! I'm a frozen figurine!

A chill of wind wakes me just in time. Even my daydreams can feel cold as leftovers. I think to call a friend to save me from this electronically-induced hypothermia—to keep me warm and entertain my bones—but my phone is dead. Technology is high maintenance, but so goddamned sexy that we shove every inch of it into our bodies as much as we can till we feel like we still can't get enough, and there is still room for more and more and more.

Technology shows the hole inside us grows.

Once again I set off to walk and look for adventure on the same old streets. All over again, alone, and all over again and again. Maybe someone dropped something between yesterday and today that is still waiting there until tomorrow—to be discovered and forgotten all over again, or stepped over, without notice, at all or ever again.


The Last Americano

Take a day for yourself tomorrow. Get out. Do something other than stare at the gigabytes you download inside and into your dark and tiny 'lil room-womb. Get up early and act like you have an interview downtown or somewhere. Take your time and get some coffee for here and just sit there and drink it up. Maybe write a story about how you are down to your bottom dollar, but you were lucky enough that a friend was working at the coffee shop where you were hoping they would be, able to wave their magic decision over your cup and make your Americano appear free-of-charge. Dear friend who I only see on occasion, the Great & Amazing, in the flesh, the one and only. I write a tribute to you and the fine job you do as the person you are, not the thing you do.

Looking down at my bottom dollar stretched out on the table next to the Last Americano—wondering where to go—here, or where to go after there is no more Americano. Let it go. Leave it as a tip. Wait it out. Take another sip. There is still time. The bottom dollar's still yours. Roll it up and use it as a straw. Dip it in. Suck it in. Rake it in. Take it in—to the last drop.

Near the bottom, it tastes like pennies.


How All My Stories End

... now read this all again like I'm dead and gone forever.


Far Away Forest

Leap forward. Over the doubts and buildings and streets in a single bound. Land on the open field and look around. The grass is brown and the roads are dusty. The sky is big and the clouds are puffy. A black bird flies, followed by another. Leaping after them, they twist their feathers and dodge my feat. They flap behind me while the sun warms my face and the wind cools me, soothes me, smooths me. Gravity propels me back to the ground.

I land in a forest, next to a stream. I don't remember feeling the touch of the leaves. I must have missed them, just barely. I look down at a giant green slug slowly moving slower than any eyes can see, but I can see the direction he's headed in the shiny trail of slime leading the way back to the places he has been. Sparkling slime next to a sparkling stream, where the water is rushing, and splashing the rocks, breaking the water into drops, tiny explosions, tiny fireworks, tinier waterworks, shooting sparks carried by the wind, cooled and glowing, barely hitting my face from where I am standing. Stepping closer and over the shiny green slimy, I am surrounded in mistshowered with kisses and cooling hisses. I love it here.

Far away forest.

A La Mode

Clink. Chink. Cling-clang-clack.
Heart attack. Heart attack. That's where we're at.
Make a wish. Blow it out. Slice it up and give it to your friends.
Ask them if they would like a side of ice cream,
a la mode — a la mode.


There Goes Those Memories

Click it if you like it.
Double-click it if you like it more.

Here's what the internet is doing to your body. You write a little something on it and tell yourself that there are millions of people that are waiting there online to read it. You tell yourself until you are convinced that there are millions of people reading your little something words that will like them so much that they will pay you with so many compliments you become rich and famous.

It's an unhealthy habitan addiction that feels like you could never be the same without it. Your life is better and faster because of it when you can still remember a life without it. The internet has us all convinced and connected to the idea that we can keep up with everyone just by talking about ourselves.

When what I'm thinking is about updating my status to say something else, I no longer want to login.

The internet already reminds me of a VCRworth so much at one time, now years later, even if it were brand new, you couldn't even give one away, no one would take it. It's of no more use. Besides, I threw away all my VHS tapes.

No... Wait!!!

I still have the one of our vacation... you know... the one... when we went camping and we made that movie inside the tent... remember... you were doing that thing with the flashlight...

Well, I couldn't get myself to destroy it once I remembered what was on it... and I couldn't throw it away because what if someone else found it... and watched it...

Ah yes... I'll go see if I can find it while you hook up the VCR so we can watch it. Shit! No, that won't work. You can't hook a VCR up to my computer... and I threw away my TV as soon as you could watch a TV on a computer.

There goes those memories.

Note To Self

You have this fantastic imagination that has the power to convince yourself that you deserve more than you already have. It's like a curse that can be used to your advantage if you can only grasp it before it strangles you.


Stove Top Stuffing

This is how mad I am right now. Mad and frustrated and screaming mad. So I grounded my body to a chair and watched myself jump up with a chainsaw, swinging it down from behind my head, landing into and through the small little end table that I use as my coffee table and dining room table and my only table all-in-one move. The table is sliced in two, right down the middle. The chainsaw sinks its chains into the floor and tears it to pieces, scattering the bits all over the pieces everywhere, bouncing and throwing themselves at my eyes.

This room is my house. 
My house is just a room. 
Sometimes it feels cozy. 
Sometimes else, more like a tomb.

I sing these words louder, then scream them louder than I can sing. My voice grows so loud I make myself shrink, along with my chainsaw, it's still in my hand. I run around the gaping hole in the floor and slice right through the leg of a chair. It topples on top of meknocking me off balance and into the hole. Smaller, I fall deeper, and the chainsaw drags me faster, so I let it go and stop falling, right there in the middle, then slowly I float, and grow-up, floating and going up and growing and growing and going back just in time for dinner.

Stove Top Stuffing.


It's About To Be Fall

Tonight I can smell the trees letting go of their leaves.
It's about to be fall.



I just saw an older, soft, larger lady wobble-run across the crosswalk of Trader Joe's with her arms up in the air, held in the direction of the passing bus. The bus pulled over to the curb and waited for her, but the lady continued to run towards the open door no matter how much it seemed to hurt every bone in her body.

I just saw a small, white butterfly flapping and flopping frantically—trapped in a spider's web—struggling to break free. I thought to help it, but there was nothing I could do. It was too tangled, and trying to break it free would just trap it more. Besides, the spider was already upon it, and the butterfly was an impressive catch for such a small spider. I thought the spider should be able to celebrate such a beautiful victory.

As I sat down on the curb to write this all down, I realized that I became self-aware about where I could and could not sit, as if there were laws lying around that I was unaware.

Soon after sitting, a bearded man on neon-yellow roller-blades rolled by, and soon after that, a mom-lady on a bike that had a child-seat on it without a child in it. Both took notice of me, both looked down at me, and both smiled.

I just discovered that two-cars-down from where I was sitting on the curb there is a young-lady sitting in the driver's seat of a parked, red four-door car eating an ice cream cone—minding her own business the same street as me.

I just heard a sound that sounded like a gunshot coming from inside one of these houses! I wonder if it was, and why I even want to find out. A gunshot sound is not something that sounds like you should be poking around.

I just saw a black bird eating salsa and share it with his blackbird friend. I didn't know that black birds like salsa.

I just saw a lady drive by and shove something into her mouth—presumably something salty—presumably french fries. There's a McDonald's around the corner, and she was wiggling-rubbing her fingers together as if she were trying to free them from salty boogers.

I just heard a little girl say out loud, "I hate to see dead squirrels."