Monday, February 29, 2016

Eyes shut


The hallway was steel and glass, narrow with turns like a maze. I could almost feel the sex acts before they cleaned up and sanitized the floors with Lysol. My head was wanting more drugs and the radio wires in my brain were on the brink. But it's okay okay okay. I used to have bad dreams about inquisitions, star chambers where judges in powdery wigs fixed steely-knived eyes on me. I never knew what my crime was, but there had to be one. You see, they could penetrate thevetromedial prefrontal cortex of my brain in order to maximize the guilt they were pulling out of me like large & small intestines. Nasty, harsh guilt let down god, family, country Penetratin' mean like a penis.

As I turned the door knob with my hand, I shut my eyes tight and quickly prayed that Mookas wouldn't be there. I pushed the knob inward and the first face I saw was that of Mookas, her dark caramel skin and arms folded in godfather style.

"He's very well read," Mookas said of me as if I weren't there.

"Dr. Mookas, I'm an idiot savant," I said.

A week earlier I'd received a nasty email from Mookas. "You used to be so good. Now you're bothering everyone in the organization. You're a drain. Your insecure act has gotten old....."

And all it looked like to me was, "You cocksuckin' piece of fuck...Go rot in hell, you phony bastard."

As I paced frantically, the young dancing woman who had once met Stephen Sondheim told me, "You're raising your blood pressure."

It was institutional here. "Sometimes I think Franz Kafka designed this organization," Ervin said to me. Ervin was a playwright, read Aristotle's Poetics to get the feeling and wanted to teach Heidegger, Bertrand Russell, Schopenhauer, Sarte. I don't know that he was a phony. Just a bastard. He had a smell, an odor that like everything else about him just said "bastard" but it's all good.

Back in the room with Mookas, Longhoeffer, Briggs, McChokumchild and the rest. They all wanted to meet with me as one unit to show me they were all "on the same page." I hate that cliche'd phrase. I had to make quick decisions about what my future with the institution would be. Would I meet the requirements or have to be dismissed. It was all women in the room but I knew they'd get a big man if they ever needed muscle.

"This is like the mafia," I said. "Everyone in a room confronting a guy."

Then I became pensive. "It's just that I've never been one to give up," I said. "When I was a kid I'd willingly endure all kinds of sadism and punishment before I'd give in. My kids -- they were born in a different world. They've known comfort. They give in easier"

"What are their grades like?" McChokumchild asked. Then Briggs. "How do they respond to authority?" "Do they have any learning disabilities?" "What do their teachers say about them?" Then Mookas: "How do they get along with their peers?"

"What'd'ya wanna know Mookas? Are they fucked up like me?"

"Watch your mouth."

I have no ill will. I can forgive everything they ever did at my expense. The byzantine rules. The wires. The mindfucks. But fuckin' with my kids -- that's the one thing I don't forgive.

"Fuck y'all" I said and walked out, never to see them again.

I took the elevator down. Below there was a car, a girl and sex waiting for me. No something deeper because it wasn't all about the sex and any expert will tell you a true, healthy relationship is grounded on more.

I met her in the parking lot in the Ford Explorer she'd rented from Avis. We'd drive to California in that car. Driving along 21st Street looking at where there used to be a Safeway store and a Kwiki Mart. There was blue sky all around us and an endless sea of white clouds. I looked up at them. then eyes pressed shut i thought of that day long ago.

I was twentysomething, reporting on a story about the newest cars on the market for a newspaper in a dusty Oklahoma town. A Dodge Viper. Girl driving. I was a passenger then too, had bad dreams about the star chamber but it was okay. She wore this short, tight skirt. "I can rock your world with this stereo," she said. i'll be her plastic toy

And the legs and blond hair of yesterday drifted like a reverie as I looked deep into Maria's dark hair with the sunlit highlights.

"I'm really proud of you, Jeff," she said. "A year ago something like this would've made you suicidal and unable to get out of bed."

"What's the use in that?" I said.

"And you just went in ripped jeans and an AC/DC concert shirt. You didn't bother dressing up."

"Not much point in it, baby."

I was for bringing back sex, drugs and rock n' roll. Had a connection with a roots band that had jammed with Bobby Blue Bland.

And I was ready to taste it like honey, to face the future

___ with Maria
___ with Maria
___ with Maria


               "Nothin's Gonna Hurt You Baby" -- Cigarettes After Sex



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tell you in confidence

I came out on Facebook a while back about the depression being back. I didn't explain why.

"If you ever need a friend, give me a call," a friend private messaged me. He left his phone number. We've known each since childhood. One night I called him.

"If I tell you what the problem is, will you just keep it between us?" I said.

"Absolutely," he answered.

I believed him. We played together as youngsters. I don't think I would've trusted him with a secret when we were kids. But we're grown men now, we're different people. And I know he kept his word. I would've felt the blow back if he didn't. It was good and unselfish of him to reach out with friendship.

Then there's others.

You know what I really hate? Gossipers. People who get a little dirt on you and can't wait to run & tell your family, friends, co-workers. Haven't they ever heard of  "off the record"? You think you know someone and you don't even ask them to keep it private because you figure that's a given.

I've been wrecked, okay? The devil has gotten into me at times. I think he was laughing when I was suicidal from the sect. Satan has hooked into my unknowing mind and heart. Once like never before or since. I lost myself & when I found who I was again, it was always among the familiar homes and trees, the sidewalk path that led to the door of the house where my wife and children were. Their faces. those faces Voices. God. The key.

But those who would threaten my happiness, whom I trusted with private revelations about my guilt, moral failings and private hell, only to be betrayed -- they're worse than slime. And maybe you think you're still in the J. Guy circle. Keep on thinking it. Believe it.

And I know who you are.