It is…

I sit in an over lit café on a dark fall night surrounded by the sounds of a Juke box that has not been updated since 1988.

It’s a Time Machine that dances with my veggie burger and fries like old lovers long forgotten.

It’s moments like these when I question everything and nothing equally.

It’s moments like these when I am paralyzed in the perfection of now.

It’s moments like these when the silence is louder than love.

veggieburger32

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Get your wings

I sat in a nearly empty wing of the Colorado airport. I saw a small bird flying through the announcements and the artificial light. I wondered how this bird got in here and what she thought of the place. She landed on the short and strangely colored carpeting several arms length in front of me. I looked at the bird and I felt human, more human than I felt in a long time. Then the bird flew away. I think it took part of me with it. Something I no longer needed. I don’t remember what it was.

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Pacific Ocean #7

The waves slapped me like the foot of God.

It was a baptism.

Under the crash of the water the only thing I could hear were the thoughts that rang distant in my head like wolves howling in the hills, love sick and alone.

I laughed in my complete lack of power as I was pushed into the rocky, sandy, bottom.

I reach the shore on hands and knees smiling like a mad monkey stoned on fermented fruit.

I looked up into the light of the sun.

Laying on my back I heard the voices of children.

They seem free.

But not nearly as free as this moment.

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Which Side Are You On?

The slam of the steel door was so loud it created complete silence. In the silence I heard a voice that said, “I’ll be right back” I kicked and screamed and beat the walls and the doors and the lies until I was exhausted. And when I turned around I realize, I was not locked in the cage. I was locked out of the cage.

Star Dog Champion

I stood outside of the phone booth at Franklin and Highland (not there anymore), it was late. My new friend was making a call to the dark dark side to see if he could acquire “something”. We went back to his apartment and he played this album by a band from Seattle called Mother Love Bone. It really put the hook in me. The rock music scene by then had become SO corporate. This new-ish sound was so refreshing and REAL. I should have known. But I didn’t. Looking back now the music scene was ripe for a complete hostile takeover. But it was still so strong. The metal scene in LA that I had grown to dislike so much was like King Kong. Big and unbeatable. I really championed this new band and then BOOM the singer (Andrew Wood) died. I thought it was over like a match in a dark room. Just a flash. But it wasn’t over it was the beginning. Next thing I hear that moves me is some strange band called Nirvana. The first time I heard them was on KXLU Los Angeles 88.9 FM and I said WTF is this?? In 6 months I saw King Kong (the LA music scene) fall to its knees. It was like someone had dropped a bomb. It was so fast and it spread like wild fire. The monstrous LA rock scene was leveled with one punch, and by the time it hit the ground, not a single person was watching or listening. The truth and strength of the Seattle movement was HEAVY and its success was a surprise to everyone. It seems like those who created that magic may have had to pay a price. Every one of the singers is dead now. Andrew Wood, Kurt Cobain, Layne Stanley, Chris Cornell. Eddie Vedder from San Diego kind of replaced Andrew Wood if you know your history. He’s the last one. But of course he was not from Seattle. Andrew Wood was Chris Cornell’s roommate before all the “success.” Careful with that fire, friends, or at least always be aware of which way the flame is pointing.

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Cleaning tips from god

I just spilled a bunch of pre-cooked lentils on the kitchen floor. I immediately thought I should get the vacuum out and vacuum them up. Then I heard a voice in my head that said, “I don’t think that’s a good idea. You should pick them up with a paper towel.” I was just wondering, do you think that was the voice of god? Or am I schizophrenic? And why am I getting cleaning advice from the voice in my head?

Get the broom!

Here’s the thing. The Wizard told Dorthy to bring him the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West because he figured it was impossible. He was just trying make her go away (blow her off). What he didn’t understand was Dorthy’s desire to go home was much bigger than the so-called impossibility of getting the broom.
If you can apply this equation to your life, YOU WILL NEVER FAIL.
Get the broom!

WIZARD OF OZ3

Who’s there?

There was a knock at the door, which was strange because so few people knew where I was living. I had this one-room apartment on a street lined with 30-foot pine trees. It was dead center in the town of Hollywood.

I had no cable/satellite, internet or computer in the apartment. Often, I sat for hours on end doing nothing. Well, not nothing, exactly. I searched the depths of my mind with no ulterior motive. I floated like a plastic bag on a windy street.

The times I wasn’t doing “nothing,” I read books, played guitar and taught the occasional yoga class. I had had a vision of this lifestyle when I was in India in 2006 doing exactly the same thing.

Oh yes, but I said there was a knock at the door. It was a friend who lived in the building. He was the kind of friend you knew you could definitely count on if you needed to dispose of a body. But he was also the kind of friend who would be most likely to ask you to help him dispose of a body.

He was standing in the doorway, holding a refrigerator door. I didn’t ask. I opened the door further so he could come in, with his refrigerator door under his right arm. He was very cautious not to hit it against any of my stuff, of which I had very little. He leaned it against the wall. I sat back down on the edge of my bed.

My friend says, “Hey man, I have this refrigerator door I’m going to use for an art installation I’m thinking about. But I’m out of room in my apartment. Can I store it here?”

I wanted to say no, but I didn’t. Even though I had only a one-room apartment, I had a lot of open space. I had brought a girl back to my place once and she said, “Jeez, there’s nothing here. Is this just some place you bring girls to?” I don’t remember my reply.

Anyway, he left the refrigerator door and said thanks and good-bye.

I sat for a long time looking at it leaning against the wall. I got up and moved it into the kitchen. I leaned it against the wall in there and stared at it a little longer. Then I started putting the bottled water I had on the floor on the shelves of the refrigerator door that now leaned against my kitchen wall.

I was startled by another knock at the door. It was my friend again. He had another refrigerator door. It was the top half that closed off the ice section.

“Can I store this here, too?”

“Sure,” I said, “put it in the kitchen.”

He saw what I had done with the first door and commented that he thought it looked very cool. He also said, “Don’t get attached to it because I’m going to want it back.” Then he left.

After he left, I turned off all the lights and lay in bed. It was only 8:00pm. There was another knock at the door. I didn’t answer it.

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Surgery

I laid quietly on my right side, shirtless. My shoulder ached from holding the position so long. There was a blanket over my head. I heard sounds in the numb pressure that rose around me.

My breath was shallow like a man hiding in the dark.

I only saw the blue of a blanket as the man I had hired to do so pushed down on my neck with razor-sharp force. It seemed like a long time under that blanket.

I thought about death and made attempts not to panic. Breathing deep and thinking of Van Gogh flowers and sunshine. My hands were cold and clammy from the injections when I realized I was not afraid of death but terribly afraid to get there.

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I thought again of Van Gogh’s flowers. I thought about his ear as the blade weighed into the numbness of my sedated flesh.

I asked, “How much longer?” as the pain in my right shoulder started to get wild in my mind.

“Only a moment,” he said.

I know the length of a moment. This was the longest one I had ever felt.

They took the sterile blankets off my head and the room was bright. I rolled onto my back and rubbed my face with my hands, loving the freedom of mobility.

“Do you want to see it?” the doctor asked.

“Sure,” I replied.

He held a small jar over my face with a strip of flesh in it, shaking it like a martini. He said, “It was bigger in the affected area before I cut it out. The water has left it now. You know we’re 70% water, don’t you?”

I said, “Same as the earth.”

He paused, still holding the specimen jar in front of my eyes and then said, “I never thought of that.”

I looked one last time at that piece of me that had been removed. It was no longer me. The separation made me uncomfortable. Me, not me. Where does it start and end? I didn’t know. But I felt different, like a man who has experienced something he could not explain.

The body’s ability to eventually heal itself is amazing. Of course, the doctor did a good job, too.

healing

Five months ago, I was bitten/stung by a bug. “A bug, you say? What kind?” you might ask, in a tone that says, “Is it possible to stay away from such a bug?”

I was standing in Griffith Park and a bug flew into my neck and sat trapped between my shirt and my neck. I slapped it. All I can say is it had wings like a moth and it probably only bit me in self defense.

The bug bite hung around for months, waking me every night at 3am to be clawed at. I finally went to see a doctor. As it turned out, the stinger or the biting mechanism had broken off inside of me. My body, in an immune system overreaction, had tried and tried to push it out, to no avail. This caused a larger lump of scar tissue. They told me I would have to have it cut out.

Most people I tell this story to seem most worried that it will happen to them. It was a fluke accident. It won’t happen to you. But as one of my friends said, there could be worse things you need cut out of your body.

Any Given Sunday

It was Superbowl Sunday, which is like some kind of holiday and religious festival in America. People were out in the LA streets in T-shirts with 12- and 24-packs of domestic beer under their arms. To these people, the American Dream is not a dream … it’s a reality in rented rooms with 42-inch high-definition televisions on their walls.

I walked in the sun to the 99¢ store. My shadow was cast long in front of me and I thought about groundhogs, weather forecasters and sun worshippers. I could be happy as any of these.

I see a woman standing next to a shopping cart. She yells out, “Hello! Fine day!”

I see her everywhere in town. She walks the streets picking up old blankets and clothing and then redistributes them to the homeless population, which seems to be growing and growing. I can sense that she is probably near homelessness herself, but I once heard her talk about the luxury of having both a ceiling fan AND a window fan in her home, so I know she has something.

I told her I was going to the store and could pick her up something if she needed. She said that she was hungry and would like some bread. I said, “Bread? What kind?” And she said, “White bread! And can you get me a cola?”

I thought, “My God… white bread and cola. That should just about kill someone.” But I only told her I would get her the stuff. I believe there is way too much unsolicited advice in the world already. Disagree? Take a look at your Facebook news feed.

At the store, I couldn’t help myself and also got her a jar of peanut butter. White bread and cola? WTF? I’m definitely putting some peanut butter in the mix. She was super happy to get it.

On the way home, I stopped at my local pizza place. I don’t have to tell them what I want. They know me. My favorite cashier was wearing his football jersey. He was very happy since the owners allowed him to watch the game at the restaurant while he worked.

When I handed him my money for the pizza, he looked at me a little funny. Then I remembered that time I told him I didn’t watch sports. I was NTBT. Not To Be Trusted.

The pizza was good. I sat and watched a little of the game so I wouldn’t seem un-American. I got to see the Christopher Walken commercial. Another perfect Sunday.

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