Eating sushi behind a big street side picture window and after what must have been my ninth little plate off the cheapo train, I watch a meter maid walk across the window. She’s making her way down the street from where I’ve parked. Where I’ve parked without paying. Where I parked without caring. It was Sunday, for god’s sake. I continued to have a couple more plates because I was sure that she just wrote me a ticket a half block up just out of eye-shot. It made my unagi taste like “ugh-nagi”.
A week later the impossible happened. Twice. In one day. My luck is irrepressible, I almost don’t want to express my amazement in fear of somehow jinxing this sweet roll I call my sweet, blessed life.
Most of the times I park like my motorcycle like a normal, courteous human being, sometimes slick like a ninja in between cars already in spots but leaving plenty of space. However, there are times when I blatantly flout the law and put my motorbike anywhere I can find space, short of popping it up on a sidewalk (I hate those guys!) Usually on the pretext of being just a few minutes while running a quick errand or picking up a sandwich, I’ll slip into a spot and not pay the meter.
I was about to be cited by the fine City of Portland’s Parking Enforcement but I luckily arrived at the right time and by utilizing my uncanny ability to plead my case, was able to avoid paying some exorbitant fine. Did I mention that this happened twice in one day? Two times. Each meter reader seemed annoyed that I managed to interrupt their nabbing me and both reprimanded me like a parochial overseer, and each time I took my licks and promised to feed the meter every time I parked.
Luck has everything to do with timing and emotional reaction. Or maybe that’s just making your own luck. Whatever the case, my luck is like soft serve, every once in a while it’s totally awesome only because I don’t get it every day.
Blackouts harbor troves of furious half-imagined images. Secrets forced down never to be spoken, unbelievable games where vile beauty and lunatic smiles flash and flee, room to room and street to street. Delicate yet deviant mouths flashing brilliance like untrained weapons, untaught in taut jeans, no need to convince the green to become black like the night. The willing will always follow the one who smiles and bites.
I can’t find the damn door. I think something fell in my drink. Is this vodka? Why do I not know anyone and why did the music change? This is insane. My pants aren’t skinny enough. My tattoos aren’t ironic enough. My watch isn’t big enough. The women are so young and perfect but I can’t make out what they’re saying so instead I’m just anxious and frightened. It sounds like everyone’s talking about how cool they are. Do I need eyeliner? I feel it really start to hit me as I finally hit the sidewalk. The warm summer air is going to beat me down and take my inhibitions, fears, comforts and money tonight and I’m totally OK with it. I think of my mother, my dog, and my old ’72 LTD that used to take me places bigger and faster than what’s imaginable. I smile and stroll, rain drizzling down my grin. I call an ex-girlfriend and she hangs up on me because all she hears is my excited and slurred gibberish, sentences ending in garbled nonsense. My clarity is pure, it is YOU that are all crazy, staring at me, whispering and pointing. I befriend a homeless kid and his gross fingernails and skin. He has a dog that is fatter than me and I think that in a pinch, this dude could grub that canine as if it were a juicy swine. We sit and watch the traffic that stream like rivers of light. Faces vaguely hanging in the current of car windows as they swim by, I once again realize that we truly rule our destinies. We own this world. This collective, beautiful universe we all have to love, to learn, experience and share. (Though this night of enlightenment involves me hanging my head off a curb and looking like a total wreck.) My blood sugar was unusually low.
So I walked into work with this dirty black cloud of hate and impatience draped across my shoulders and I knew that if I continued to wear this cloak of hell my night would only drag and my misery would eventually produce a slow death in front of oblivious, slobbering, demanding gaggles of wealthy jackals. So I went outside and sprinted two complete laps around the adjacent building and proceeded to hunker down in the walk-in cooler and let my sweat cool against my skin like wispy ice drifts. It helped. Because as I sat I noticed the work of others. I realized how easy I have it compared to those who have twice as many jobs and instead of buying cool stuff they wire their pay to families they don’t even see. They never really whine like I whine. I whimper and begrudge when things are askew or if people irritate me. They, however, are stoic, magnificent creatures of labor and intensity. Let the jackals be jackals, I’ll watch the back of the house while striving to be a beast in the belly and my bitching will be under my breath, making way for levity and outlandish behavior fit for a professional fool.
Lucid nightmare, June, 2013. My mouth fills up with broken teeth, crackling and salty, I spit them out and hundreds of teeth fall to the floor which then turn into a bunch of fast crawling bugs. A super sexy brunette woman is on her knees screaming at me and I can’t concentrate and I tell her to shut up so I can think of what to do. I keep telling myself to wake up, “just wake up, just wake up” but it doesn’t work. I panic and start yelling at the girl to stop screaming at me and that’s when it gets pretty scary. The bugs are all over my body chewing on my skin and face, I’m looking over at the woman who now is on the bed with her business advertised and I really want to have sex with her but she’s too far across the room. I’m helpless, I can’t breathe. I’m emasculated, embarrassed, about to die and I cannot make myself wake up. On the fourth or fifth “just wake up” I finally awake, drenched in sweat and nearly hyperventilating. I’ve thrown sheet and blanket to the floor and I’m trembling in my bed in the middle of the night.
Last couple days have been nightmare city and I can honestly say that for the first time in my life I truly am not stoked to hit the sack.
No more refrigerator pillaging after 10.
How do we never forget and always pine
For words that wander around sublime
As years dissolve with each boy and girl
That reminds us both that we’re designed
To laugh and lust and scream like wild
Ravenous animals whose blood is riled
By what seems innocuous
When our number’s dialed?
Questions become desire like how a child grows. Beginning steeped in blood and rising with each moment until enough curiosity and shadowy hints feeds the tease and it blooms into a beautiful monster, starving for substance and fleshy answers. There is a particular roiling that begins in the stomach and then rises up through the throat then out the mouth and it’s a cloud of fury, a stunning vapor of words that begs questions, delivers demands and exposes the reasons why we come together.
Dear apartment manager: I’ve decided that it would be best that I move next month due to the fact that too many tenants constantly let their little dogs run loose off-leash all over the building and its property. My pet is a dog that is naturally wired to chase small, furry things that resemble rodents that fit in purses and the like. Since the leash rule here isn’t apparently enforced, it’s just a matter of time until my little precious devours some woman’s jittery yippy ornament as if it were a squirrel wrapped in a milk bone with a bow on it. It’d be best if we’d left, yes?
You were piloting this rickety airplane, seaplane, pontoons and life vests. I asked if you knew how to fly and you gave me a look of supreme confidence so I just looked out the window over ocean. Then we kissed (but a lot of my dreams involve a kiss) but this was a great kiss, a quiet and precious kiss that meant we were alone again even if just for a second. In a pure, simple and beautiful dream. A dream I can’t ever imagine telling you about.