Emergency!

Remember that show? John Gage and Roy something-something? I used to love that show, it now reminds me of the babysitter’s near my school in North Portland.

Have you ever torn your kneecap outta place so hard that it looked like a piece of fruit hanging on the side of your leg? It’s a snapping, disgusting pain, one that turns a stomach and makes grown men weep.

Instinctively, I grabbed it and mashed it back into place as my horrified eyes gaped on.

It’s like Cane’s Anonymous in here, this clinic is teeming with geriatrics and septuagenarians, I feel like a fresh, newly conceived embryo limping into this waiting room, a callow little baby with a walking stick. Standing in line behind bright white sneakers and the stale air of deathbeds, khakis hiked just below big blu-blockers, my god, I can feel the Metamucil and Centrum flowing through their slow, tepid, trembling blood.

My knee has been blown out for nearly 4 weeks, my home incarceration is tightening its fingers around me and this depression from immobility knows no bounds. Medicated and sofa ridden, this body is shriveling up like a skinny sack of raisins. Where are any of my friends?

The sweet and pure science of sports medicine and therapy is one I will subscribe to for the rest of my life because this injury has given me insight to the future and how visible signs of aging are found in your shoes, pants, diet and exercise.

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Li’l Afternoon Nightmare

Paralyzed larynx, anaphylactic shock,
All we did was go for a walk
my buddy was having a ball
running up and down downtown blocks.

Panic occurs in degrees.
When my dog drops and seizes,
Panting and frothing, eyes dying to breathe
is when I’m frantic and on my knees.

Cold towels, tears and prayers were all I had. And he used them all to barely escape the woods.

What The Heck Is A Destructo-Hole?

Man, it feels good to fill the nooks but leave the crannies alone with things that are bad, I wonder when the spell of adrenaline and impending destruction will finally wear off. But do the cuts and blood and whiskey bruises make up for the game I’m eventually losing? Age seems to hone proficiency when it comes to the art of boozing but despite the efficiency the ends rarely justify the using.

Meet me with a drill to bore into this frontal lobe that’s filled with coffee and catastrophe, hurry before everyone eventually laughs at me and no one will help pick up what’s left of me.

Midnight Manhattans ain’t quite midnight in Manhattan but the taste of my little city’s a little purer than the pretty awesome gritty Gotham New Amsterdam metropole.

Advance the destructo-hole
drop the pants of what you know,
there’s no one else around
that understands where we go.

Mixed Up & Settling Down

I used to be scared to be a half breed. I grew up in places where I wasn’t sure how to develop my personality so I downplayed my heritage. Through all my schools and jobs, it was rare that I advertised that I was half white American and half wiry Vietnamese.

I’ve spent nearly a year in my mother’s country and hometown and now have an awesome respect for where I came from. Though it was an absolutely foreign land I always felt strangely calm and at home. I’m also really glad that one of my home countries has a ridiculous amount of good food. And the other has pretty much everything else.

Coming to Vietnam has profoundly changed how I think as an American and how I live as a man.

Getting Older is Awethome!

Aging is not like a fine wine. It’s not a slow and romantic process where wit paintstakingly grows from a wealth of experience, it’s more like when you hammer your thumb instead of the nail and realize you’re cursing the same way your father did.

Aging hits you when you suddenly notice something as if you were on the outside looking in.

Like when I feel like a perverted ogler when I catch myself gawking at a tramp stamp and whale tail.

Getting old happens in about a half-second, then it’s just one thing after another. Men start buying elastic pants and women get bingo wings, it’s just that simple.

Now I’m remiss if I don’t reminisce at least once a day.

JonBenet Ramsey would now be over the age of 18.

I utter a small groan and sigh when I wake in the morning.

I’m constantly thinking about how things used to be. When music and fashion and pop culture made more sense, when people weren’t such rabid, violent animals at such a young age. Maybe it’s always been that way and it’s just more publicized today.

Young women are getting younger and younger while their clothes are getting smaller and smaller. (What’s wrong with these people?)

When I’m asked, I sometimes forget my exact age.

I remember the simplicity of many of my childhood toys and how my imagination wasn’t dependent on a microchip.

toy1I remember how long it took to dial a rotary phone and when cellular phones used to be the size of a loaf of bread.

Many of the actors and singers I grew up enjoying are now dead.

I left my fancy cell phone on a chair at a streetside cafe in Vietnam and when I realized what I had done, I sprinted a quarter mile to retrieve it and consequently spent the next week nursing the back muscle I pulled from running.

If I drink gin in the morning I pay for it all that night. I used to never have that problem.

25 years ago Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters and Miami Vice all emerged as a part of my (and everyone else’s) world. 25 years ago the Thriller video was premiered and Tipper Gore went paranoid lunatic over Prince’s Purple Rain. 25 years ago people had Ferraro stickers on their cars and Vanessa Williams was a Penthouse Miss America. Oh what a long way we’ve come, baby.

I realize the new hairs and growing obesity is all a part of my new command and now that I’ve almost successfully completed the transformation of becoming my parents, I can only say that growing older is totally awesome!

Phone Me Home

The film “2010” was the sequel to Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick’s heroic classic “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The actual year 2010 is a little over a year away and I don’t see one commuter on a jet-pack. Not one. I don’t see any colonies on the moon or sky traffic, or transporters or pushbutton meals. All I see are a bunch of cell phones and people glued to the internet (heh heh) and the same old cars, elevators, lines at the checkout stand and police issue revolvers. I mean Glocks. No ray guns, no starships, no alien invaders or alien visitors. No astral Mayflower with persecuted ET’s looking for a better life with only diseased blankets to offer us. We have laser beams but all they do is retina damage and are really worthless without a following bullet. No talking computers or truly self driving cars, man, it’s almost 2010 for god’s sake. This is the future. For my entire life this was the future, sliding doors and cool sound effects, hover cars and 6 breasted non carbon-based life forms. How are we supposed to build shopping malls on the moons of Jupiter when we’re busy fiddling around with civil war re-enactments and coveting relics like pentium processors? This is the 21st century, an advanced human civilization, a new millennium, Y2FK, this is supposed to be either a technologically perfect utopia or dystopian post-apocalyptic wasteland. People are either all svelte in white, shiny jumpsuits or all filthy, ragged and killing each other for gasoline.

I still see tea kettles and denim jackets, console televisions and dirty buses, film cameras and tape decks, home phones and some people even get out of their cars to open their garage. Barbarians. Then, as soon as I think that we still have the ability to expand the human legacy through technology and wisdom, I see automobiles like this and folks like this.

Dare I say this future ain’t looking so good.