Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Underuse of Synonyms



A place to sit. There is air conditioning. There are voices. There are keys tapping, boring music, and what else? –but persons staring at electronic devices. Oh yes, and I cannot leave out the snorting sound of mucous being sucked back through the nose so that it can be swallowed down a dress-shirt encased throat. It occurs to my left in a fairly even period of thirty seconds. His cell phone rings.

He answers, “Hello Kev!”
A pause.
“Actually no! I am downtown now–”

His one-sided continuous discussion is loud. It is loud beyond loud. I’ve always had a theory about loud talkers in public places. –And now that it is accompanied by sucking and swallowing snot, the theory is even more solidified. The explanation into the back-research for coming to this conclusion is beyond the scope of this…whatever this is.So...

A couple sits outside. They have their sixteen-fluid ounce hot-covered beverages in hand. They both hold onto them as if they may jump off and run away at any moment. Their palaver is one of smiling and amusement at the random passerby. I can only discern the movement of their respective mouths. Whenever this happens, my brain likes to play like it’s a puppet show. I look away, and when my eyes return to their spot I find that they have vanished. A young man takes their place, looking like the student-type. He feasts on a sandwich held by a foil wrapper.

SSNOOOORRRRTTTTT!!!!!

Again, but this time there is a string of them. The twang of a slow-moving country ballad is the snort’s accompaniment.

BANG!!!!

The snot swallower drops his cell phone. He has been hastily been going between this and his laptop, messaging on both. He is like the tennis ball and his devices are the players. His phone, John McEnroe, having a fit for volleying the ball into a pile of snot.

Ok, enough of him. There is more to life than a loud talking snot snorter-swallower. There is more boring music, for instance. And then there’s going home.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Fumes of Death

"Excuse me," he says after bumping into me taking the side-facing row.
"No problem," comes my automatic reply.
He wears plaid for the shirt, gray slacks, carries a backpack, and inserts white Apple ear buds into place. It isn't anything in particular, it is just a twinge of uneasiness in the back of my mind. I sit here, subconsciously contemplating what is the cause. Forget it. I look down at this phone's screen at the weather report. It's warmer than usual. The inside confines of the bus  feels like stagnation. The driver doesn't appear to be interested in ventilation. This one wears an "extra, extra, read all about it" hat. Seriously, what is the actual name of that hat anyway? I can never remember trivial things. 
Then it hits me. In the nose. Like a slug of rancid soap inside of a moldy sock. My brain does a backflip, my stomach does a somersault, my sinuses run like a river. I know where it comes from before it even arrives. A pause in the dead-zombie phone stare has elicited an open mouth, blowing, exhaling, annihilating, protruding, expelling, excreting, exacting, and enabling...
The Fumes of Death.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Where We Used to

The late-comers are squished, almost by their own design. Shoulders hunched forward, arms outstretched that end in what else, but a phone at the end. The inertial sway of the turns, stops, accelerations and bumps in the road do not and will not deter the gaze of those said individuals. The constant and never-ending stare likens to analogies involving cyanoacrylate. Where the books used to be, electronics have taken their place. Where we used to write with pen in hand, we now punch little virtual keys. Where we used to go to the moon, we now are regulated to pushing trivial satillites into orbit. Where we used to...
It doesn't take long, the eventual demise. When considering where we've been, the pendulum of complacency is inevitable. As this bus makes its way under the city, a great multitude shut out the ambient din in favor of whatever is piped through their ear buds and the scenes on little teeny screens. I follow them out, surrounded. They walk, senses occupied completely with their own devices. They miss the gentle sea breeze coming off the Sound. They miss the glint of sunlight sparkling off the newly formed maple leaves. They miss the homeless man asking for the bit of change for breakfast. They miss an onslaught of pedestrians  with intersecting paths. They miss the stalking eyes of assessment by one not expected. They miss the world around them. They miss the utter lack of utopia that exists about their clacking steps. -But what it? -I say. Carry on, carry on masses of inattentiveness. There are always turns on the karmic merry-go-round awaiting your vacancy...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Building Character Thwarting Ultraviolet Wave Particles

A sunny and cool Friday afternoon bestows eyes, ears, skin and nose. It is clearly spring. City dwellers have peeled off the dark outer coatings in favor of typical Seattle slightly lighter hues. A gust of sea-tinged air washes the labor away. Green maple leaves whisper their harmony with the myriad of the urban din. I am sitting at a table with a patio umbrella overhead. Through my fairer skin I build character by thwarting ultrviolet wave-particles in this way. Long sleeves, shady trees, looming buildings, and yes, these umbrellas I all call friends. If it weren't for them, my character would be a lobster. I'd have claws as big as my head with the accompanying foul temper. Without these friends the likes of titanium dioxide pay call to visit. However, I digress. Since what I really am doing here is spying on a certain robot. No, this isn't a metaphor. I am being completely serious. I do this through the phone. It is interesting, to monitor a robot, to make sure it's doing a good job. Don't all robots do a good job? Well, in this case lots of things can go wrong. Usually, it is the fault of that person who told the robot what to do. -But that person isn't there. They're instead trusting, but also verifying. The robot is actually an extension, not an entity on its own. I don't have to say this though. It should be obvious as the sky overhead and the air breathed in every second. 
I look up. I feel eyes on me. There is a woman inside the window packing up. She was already seeking eye-contact. I let my gaze rake over to go somewhere else. That somewhere else is someone taking a picture of themselves as if they are a model at a fashion shoot. I return to the robot. It is still squirreling away at what I told it to do. I sense that twinge of something again. I glance up to the wannabe fashion model. Damn. Eye-contact again. Curious. What is it exactly? One can ask all the usual questions. I try not to do such things. The day's conversations and small talk as well as commentary from most sources conduct themselves in this way. Why should I add to it? There already is an excessive amount in this world. 
***
It's been a while now since I have checked up on the robot. I am sure it's fine. I return my attention to this breezy spring day. It's funny how sunlight is both my friend and enemy. A recurring them, the dualism. My friends are everywhere, as well as my enemies. Somehow, we all coexist. I both need them and abhor them. -And that's all there is to it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Age Has Nothing to Do with Wisdom



It’s a recurring theme. The unwashed among us. They stink up the place. It’s catching a whiff of the hog farm downwind. I wilt as if a raisin under a dehydrator. I know that I have written about it before, again and again. It is just that it keeps happening. They’re clueless, just freaking clueless. They sit back, cross the ankle at the knee, comfortable, reeking, and pulsing putridity. Clueless. They amble in front, totally unaware. Malodorous, malignant, malevolent. Like streams of sickly green belching from thousands of tiny orifices on sour, fetid, rank and soiled skin. The effect is dizzying, making the synapses deficient, depreciated. I am dumbfounded. How clueless. How very clueless. Even now, it attacks the olfactory, wants to shut it down, strike, pickets, Pinkertons, death. How many times? I wonder at parents. Did they know better? Their children don’t know better. I could be their children. How is it that I know better? Maybe not everything, but this thing. Age has nothing to do with wisdom. This is the moral of this story.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Rotten Pools of Squirm

The charming sounds of a three-year old gurgles from aft. I sit next to a seemingly harmless female geriatric. My pack brushes against her purse, and I am reminded of how a sea anemone retracts upon touching it. A second later she lets out a pencil-thin rasping cough, of which expels the most noxious fume ever devised, either naturally or more likely, unnaturally. I think to myself here, should I relate the details of the sheer horrific quality, or shouldn't I? Then I realize it is not only at every cough, but every time the mouth opens and I can discern the saliva surface tension snapping against the air. Surely, if I experienced a daydream of descending into the city sewer, I would be in the right place to develop that illustration. I could more easily picture it in my mind's eye, as perhaps I am doing now. It is something that happens to me automatically. It is a habit of mine from a very young age. -But then, I digress from the very meat of what I am attempting to convey. Although, this is a struggle. I am trying to think of something else, anything else. My body reacts unconsciously to breathe in through the mouth and out through the nose. I purge the bloodcurdling stench that seems to find a way to coagulate about my nose like a swarm of bloodthirsty gnats to a recently acquired skin scrape.  The bus slows down, readying itself to turn and then stop. I don't care that the driver causes all us passengers to be jostled around like pinballs, I yank myself up out of the seat. I have to escape. The blooming foul mist grows and expands spherically. I hope for the inverse-square rule on stinkiness verses distance to no avail, to no avail. 
***
I am outside now. I wait for my transfer. The soft sea salt tinged air is taken into the lungs deeply. I hope it can cleanse away the putridity. I close my eyes, I push away the those maggot-infested images, rotten pools of squirm, and hellacious elongated excretions from the heat, the mind, and the spirit.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It Is Just That Kind of Place

It rattles like a bird cage amidst bird cages. All of those cages have birds in them. The birds sound funny themselves. They cough, sniffle, munch and speak of television connections. There is also a robotic bird. She tells of imminent stops and the associates landmarks. An actual bird checks her watch, tousles the crown on the head, and quickly disembarks. Her seat is immediately replaced by a banger. His arm tattoo reads "RIP CLJ 1952-2001" in confusing and tagging script. Above this is a rendition of a hemp plant. "Now;" another tattoo with mis-spaced letters on his right lower wing. He wears a sky blue basketball shirt from Duke, #3. The ensemble is accompanied by black three-quarter pants, black Nikes and a painter's cap that advertises the old movie, "Risky Business." I get this feeling that he'll be leaving when I'll be leaving. It's the place. It's just that kind of place. It ain't like the stop just now. -And yet, after a slight distance traveled we arrive at "that place." It's a roost of sorts. -An aviary of immense proportions. Crows and seagulls mostly with an undercurrent of pigeons. It's just that kind of place.

Monday, May 12, 2014

What a Travesty It Would Be

Sharp adolescent voices drill across the ambient road noise and down into my spine's inner reaches. Every other to every third word is intelligible, despite my moderate grasp of the English language. One of the two voices is more like a periodic slap to the face. My soul winces at every strike. I believe the rapid change in volume coincides with every gear shift of the bus's power plant. -And then on second thought, after much observation, I am beginning to think that they were only recently adolescents. The one with the keen vocals dons a purple UW Alumni sweatshirt, black tight capris, and large Converse t-shoes. Her companion is in all thespian-black, except for the brightly tanned leather belt. The ambience is now brought to us by the downtown tunnel, where the "Alumni" attempts to tone down the vocalization, but is entirely unable to do so. I discern complete sentences now, primarily about taping, pools of water, and potential "vandalism" (her words, not mine). Her last sentence, as she disembarks in the vicinity of Westlake sounds like, "..then all the fun stuff we have planned would be cancelled." 
What a travesty that would be, indeed.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Where the Gray Sky Meets the Sea of the Same Color

Whenever I look at the sky here, the thoughts like the clouds gather and bloom to fruition. I know for a fact that you wonder, and I wander within these alternate universes. I traverse them, you transcend them. Lost in the past you are, as if that forth dimension we call time is as flexible as your own dubious will. You hack away at it, and burrow into memories that have no meaning, no relavence. It's as wispy as the tendrils of those cooking fires of our ancestors, where what has occurred might as well have been inside our imaginations. Why do you remain? -Where I had looked out upon that swelling and foamy ocean for many passing years without an inkling of anything, except perhaps for the song of its waves crashing against those cliffs below. Driftwood and the jetsam was all that ever gathered on the sand, to only be arranged unnaturally by whomever inhabitant may have been about, passing by, trespassing, building obtuse constructions.
I find it strange now. The land behind me, the little house at the rim, weather-worn and wanton. I can make out the wind, and how it beats against it, while the water sprays on my cheek and stings with saltiness. I hope you're listening to it. Can't you tell what's happened? You know, I have always believed that the will is the most underrated thing in this world. I never discounted it. The worst thing there ever was to me were the words, "it cannot be done." Whenever I would hear that, if to rephrase it for the speaker, "it won't be done." 
It is all a decision. Then, another is added, and then another. Each of them built on the previous. So many in fact that you forget how the foundation was laid. Is it sturdy, is it flimsy? You have no idea. Instead, you cloak and conceal and lose yourself to the labyrinth of your own creation. 
You are there now in fact; shouting, reaching with hands out, stumbling blind in the darkness. It has always been like that.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It Is No Time to Be Pensive

I draw what I see. I write what I see. If it is to the contrary, the effect is akin to a gust of hot wind blowing through the chaparral. The dust kicks up
and twirls in the air, then vanishes without a perceptible trace. That "otherworld" is a dream, like a dream, where I can only walk while it's between night and day. In other words, where reality and imagination wrest for control. I live there, in that place. 
So I think as I sit here. The air is cool and wet. There is music riding on it. The songs chosen for their safeness. Cold rain-strewn tables and chairs await my coming. People zip by on bikes, stroll briskly through dodgy droplets. Some gaze out windows, faces illuminated by cloud-diffused sunlight. 
A man with a long sleeve purple shirt enters. He wants to use the Wifi. The employees tell him the place is about to close. They suggest other locales. He says, "No worries," and quickly leaves. Their politeness must fade, like the Doppler effect of a speeding moped racing away, and on and on. 
"Well," I say, "It's time for me to get out of your hair."
They quietly laugh, then say, "See ya."
I wave goodbye and head away to rewind. Yes, rewind. Grasp those wind bitten fingers around the tarnished brass key and twist and twist. I'll be listening to the clicks possessing longer and longer dwells between them; it's another Doppler effect, red-shift. It's in another form, but it's there. It has happened every day of my life, for good or bad, poor and poorer. I recognize it as we would the moon, or the breath that exhales, or the suspense of catching a bus that is rolling away. It's no time to be pensive.