Friday, April 8, 2016

Abandoned Project From Years Ago

The Secret and Subtle Art of Human Flight
by William Eglinton
with Nikola Tesla

Special thanks to Samuel without whom
The albeit limited publication of this book
 would not have been possible.

  Man’s journeys into the skies have long been recorded through myth and legend, religious lore, and more recently various sciences. With the scientific breakthroughs of the brothers Wright, humanity finds itself at a crossroads; it is possible that never again will man take to the skies unaided by science and technology. The largely secret nature of human transvection is still marred by the slanderous words of critics and cynics.
  This treatise will cover the nature of flight from human physical and mental ability alone.

  Elliot lifts his head from the page and glances around the room. Empty. He looks at the first and last page of the book for a price. There isn’t one. He scans the room again, unsure of why such an obviously rare and out of place book would be on the Russian Classics shelf. He knows he won’t be able to pay for it if the shopkeep is made aware of it.   He slides the book in his jacket. Bells crash. He nearly screams in surprise. He looks around. It was only the door. He tries to casually leaves the store. The door closes behind him. Bells crash and ring. Adrenaline lifts his stomach.

  The appropriate mental state is required for the slightest levitation or the highest flight. One must be mentally in tune with their vessel and the environment around them.

  Marie-Claire. Yes, I have the name of a women’s magazine about more than pretty faces. I guess you could say, I am something like that as well. I am a spark, a flame, a conflagration.

  In the pursuit of flight one must take great care not to damage the fragile nature of the laws of the universe. When attempting to fly, one follows laws, one does not break them, to break them could cause a multitude of destructive problems.

  Elliot is sitting with Jane on an ugly couch in a coffee shop. The book is in her hands, she’s leafing through it. Elliot’s thoughts are elsewhere.
  “Her boyfriend died.”
  “No,” Jane keeps her eyes and fingers in the book.
  “She told me he’s dead though.”
  “Dead to her, I guess. She explained it to me once and I actually agree.”
  “What did she say?” Jane is distracted, maybe on purpose. “Jane, what did she say?”
  “Sorry…she said: It's worse than if someone dies, because you know they are
out there,
living an entire life,
separate from you, it's like they chose to be dead to you, rather, chose for
to be dead
to them.”
  “Yea, I guess that does make sense.”


  In preparation for one’s first forays into flight, a physical and mental regimen must be undertaken to prevent damage to oneself. Lunges and chin-ups, as well as an hour of meditation daily are strongly recommended. Flexibility is key, as well as two thirty-minute periods of inverse hanging per day.

  Elliot hangs suspended from a bar in his doorframe, he’s wearing red, chakra matching, boxer-briefs. His phone rings from the floor below. He answers it.
  -What are you doing?
  “I’m hanging upside down.”
  -Why would anyone ever do that?
  “I’m trying to train for something.”
  -And hanging upside down is the training?
  “It is a part of it.”
  -Hahaha. I have to go, are you coming to this party tonight?
  “I imagine I’ll make an appearance.”
  -Oh, and what is this training for?
  -Hahaha, that book is ridiculous. Bye.
  He sets down the phone and begins humming the Aum.

  Push up from the balls of the feet. Bend at the knees. Lean forward. Hold. Slowly stand. Repeat.

    I’m going to some party and keeping all my valuables in this big disgusting leather purse, some wrapped in plastic. I’ve got my gloves in my pocket, they’re thin, but warm. I want to get drunk, but not too soon. I’ll nick a bottle and save the empty for another day.
  I’ll drink it dry after.


  I am sitting at this table, it’s kind of rickety and Elliot and Jane are talking about something, but I’m not listening. My knees are rocking back and forth, towards and away from each other. They are restless, anxious knees.    I’ve got two bottles in my purse. I have two dangerous and beautiful bottles in my purse. One is full. The other is mostly full.
  Everyone has cancer, everyone is going to get cancer. I might have cancer now, in my uterus, or my cervix or ovaries. My Baba died from cancer in there somewhere. Baba Yaga, hahahaha. I’ve accidentally listened to their conversation, I know the tale. I heard it from my dead Baba. I’m leaving.

  “Ok, so you ever heard about this guy,
Koschei the Deathless?”
  “Hahaha, no. Why would something like that ever have been put into my brain?”
  “Ok, then, I’ll tell you. It’s really badass.”
  “Go for it.”
  “So, Koschei is this guy, who can’t die. He’s old and ugly and gross and a lecher and all this. He’s tormenting young women and doing away with their boyfriends and husbands and all that. He’s mean and nasty and cruel and has been alive for a really long time. So he’s probably had sex with thousands if not tens of thousands of women. Although probably none of them enjoyed it, well at least not most of them.”
  “Sounds disgusting.”
  “He rides this great reddish horse around naked and has a big sword, and he’ll just cut whoever up. No big deal.”
  “Yup, disgusting, is this going somewhere?”
  “Yes…Well, recently some drunk pilot was flying over the Atlantic towards Russia. And everyone on the plane died.”
  “Jesus, does this go somewhere good?”
  “Yes, yes. They couldn’t find the plane. They were getting a strong signal though, like the plane was floating or near the surface, but they couldn’t see it, or any wreckage.”
  “Yea, I know right. So anyway, they sent boats to look too. And one of the boats ran aground on nothing, so they sent divers, and the divers fell onto ground. And after walking a certain distance, an island appeared to the divers, and the divers disappeared to the observers.”
  “Hahaha, that’s a lie. That didn’t happen.”
  “It did. And it only gets more intense. They found the plane, everyone disappeared, no trace of anyone.”
  “No fucking way.”
  “The plane had run aground and split mostly to pieces. The nose had struck this huge oak tree and uprooted it. Under the tree was a big iron chest.”
  He paused.
  “Well? What’s the significance of that?”
  “The soul
of Koschei The Deathless
in a needle,
inside an egg,
inside a duck,
inside a hare,
inside an Iron chest
under a mighty Oak on a
disappearing island.”
  “You’re sure about them finding this chest, it’s not hearsay?”
  “It’s all over the internet, news, all that kind of shit.”
  “Have they opened it?”
  “They’re having a really hard time.”
  “You’re fucking with me.”
  “I’m fucking with you.”
  “You’re fucking with me?”

  Unfold upward until the toes are all that remains on the ground. One must fully extend themself. One must feel the lightness in their entire body, the airy new addition, the freedom. This movement and thought must be repeated until even the toes have left the ground. And then, flight can begin.

  I am freezing my ass off. I look good though. Almost like a disguise, a way to blend in by kind of standing out. This skirt is really short. These heels are so fucking uncomfortable. I’m looking for something expensive, something opulent. There it is…

  The party is full but not crowded; a familiar crowd, a neighborhood community. There is a guitar playing on the porch. A pipe is being passed around. Elliot leans against the wooden railing. Jane is standing in front of him looking up at him.
  “Where did Marie-Claire go?”
  “I think she went home or something,” Jane responds, “She mentioned something, I wasn’t really listening. She’s been acting funny lately.” Elliot sighs and lights a cigarette, passing it to Jane. Elliot lights one for himself.
  “Fuck. Is she just being ridiculous?”
  “Meaning what?”
  “This dead-alive-ex-boyfriend thing.”
  “I don’t know. Like we talked about the other day, I understand it, to a point.”
  “Still, he’s gone, what’s the draw of obsessing still.”
  “I guess when you’re that connected, have spent that much time, sacrificed or given so much of yourself to someone. It doesn’t fade easily.”
  “When did he leave? Why did he leave?”
  “About a year ago. He moved, I think he wanted to change his life, Peace Corps. or become a monk or some shit.”
  “I guess it’s hard to follow someone like that. I don’t know, she’s clearly shown some interest it’s just confusing me so much, so frustrating. She kisses me, she doesn’t answer my calls, she comes over at night, she doesn’t let me come over. Feels like I’m living that Offspring song, Self Esteem, you know? Haha.”
  “She’s still fucking crazy, I guess. Seems more stable than she used to be at least.”
  “More stable now? Jesus Christ. And wow, you said fucking. I’m impressed.”

  One must move their center of gravity up and forward starting with the head and chest. While floating or even with toes on the ground one should attempt to put their torso horizontal to the ground. Then work on bringing their legs horizontal to the ground as well. Falling is a possibility, but one must be fearless. Whether inches or feet from the ground, keep fear from the mind. One must not attempt to brace themselves with their arms or hands. Float, and become comfortable in the almost transcendent space that lies even centimeters from the soil.

  It’s a shiny BMW coupe, silver, brand new; they have a temporary license plate in the back windshield. This is perfect.
  I like to think about this invention. The Finnish used it to disable Russian tanks in the Winter War. They gave it its name because it was a drink to go with the Molotov Bread Baskets. Molotov said Russia was dropping food. Russia was dropping cluster bombs. So they gave it that name…Molotov Cocktail.
  I am nervous now though. Nervous like those moments before the first time you have sex with someone.


  Jane is sitting on the toilet, lid closed, dabbing tears from her eyes. She has her key in the little ziplock of coke, waiting for her tears to slow so she can feel better.

  Elliot is almost staring at a girl who reminds him of Marie-Claire. She is very thin with long brown hair that looks a little unhealthy, hair the opposite of Marie-Claire’s. She’s wearing a long loose skirt, something Marie-Claire never wears. She is mostly “flat chested”, not like Marie-Claire. Something about her, her attitude maybe, and she is still very pretty in an almost mousey kind of way. Elliot doesn’t know what it is, but decides to go talk to her. He grabs two beers from the cooler near him and walks over.

  Jane is dipping the key in and pulling it out, over and over. She is chuckling. She is thinking of Fun Dip. She is snorting, one nostril, then the other, over and over.

  Her name is Candice. Elliot has noticed her slowly moving closer and closer as he makes jokes about people who walk four or five dogs at once. He doesn’t know how he even got onto this topic, but it’s working, apparently. Elliot is indignant, fueled by a pretty new girl…Fuck Marie-Claire if she wants to be all crazy.

  Jane is laying in the unfilled tub, masturbating with her clothes on. She just had the urge and couldn’t stop. She’s never wanted to cum more in her life. Someone bangs on the bathroom door.

  “So are you going to kiss me?” Candice asks. Elliot moves toward her and puts his arms around her hips, leaning down and into her kissing her. She kisses well, and is very sexual, pushing herself toward him, her hands on his neck and face, in his hair. They are in the middle of the narrow street, in front of her house, or where she’s staying, her sister’s apartment.
  “You really have to go?”
  “Yes, my sister will flip her lid if I don’t get in soon, we are leaving in the morning.”
  “Can I stay?”
  “Hahaha, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
  “Hmmm, alright, I won’t press it.”
  “Don’t think I don’t want you to stay…it’s just…”
  “I’m 17.”
  “Fucking shit.”
  “Sorry for not telling you earlier. But I turn 18 next month and am going to be in town and, well, I want to fuck your brains out.”
  “Hahahahaha, ok, you have my number, call me whenever.”
  “I will. Kiss me again.”


  I set the bottle underneath the car, casually, like I’ve dropped something. My heart is beating in my ears. It always does at times like this. I stand up and light my cigarette. I smoke a few drags and tear off the filter. I place the cigarette’s unlit end in the rag, it needs to be at an angle where the ash will fall, and shielded from wind or something, it needs to burn slowly and steadily. I stand up as a car drives by and pretend I’m readjusting my skirt, pulling it up a little, then down. I move the cigarette again. Perfect. I light another cigarette as I walk away.

  Jane opens the door. The party is dead. It’s late. Elliot is standing there, exasperated.
  “What the fuck?”
  “What?” She says innocently.
  “Have you been in here the whole time?”
  “I wanted to give you time with that girl.” There’s venom in her voice.
  “What is that supposed to mean?”
  “You’ve got white shit on your nose.” Jane turns to the mirror and cleans her nose with a finger, rubbing it on her gums. She snorts and looks in her nose.
  “Jesus Christ, can I come in?” She walks back from the door. Elliot enters and closes it. He remains facing the door and puts his head against it.
  “What do you want?”
  “Are you mad at me?”
  “I don’t know.
  “Can I have a line?”
  “Sure.” Elliot sits on the toilet and pulls out his ID. Jane dumps some from the little bag onto it and begins cutting it with her ID. She turns and digs in her purse for a bill, rolling it up. She hands it to him.
  “I’ve had a

  Elliot is walking back to the party. He’s unable to hide the stupid grin on his face. His phone vibrates in his pocket.
  “Hi there, 17.”
  -I just wanted to call and say goodnight, and I can’t wait until I see you again.
  “Neither can I.”
  There is a flash underneath a car up the street. Then an explosion, a boom, fire shooting out from underneath the car, climbing up the sides. The alarm sounds. He falls down onto the balls of his feet. The fire is spreading over the car, the alarm blaring, other car alarms joining it. He stays crouched. He can’t move his eyes. Half the car is covered in flames, the sound of a window breaking. Smoke is pouring into the sky. He doesn’t know how long he’s been there. He begins to stand, and rises up on his toes. He feels light. He has never felt this way. He closes his eyes. It’s euphoric.


  The first instance in which one levitates often causes loss of consciousness. This euphoria will exist every time one takes flight, but can be managed.

  It started with a trash can in 10th grade, in the girl’s bathroom. I don’t know why I did it. I just did, and loved it. And got away with it. They cancelled classes. The busses came early and picked us up. I just tossed in a match and walked out. And all that, from such a little thing. Like birth almost. I am at home with the bottle of vodka, drinking it from a rocks glass. Half the bottle is gone. I don’t want to get up. I’m feeling the afterglow. I don’t want to do anything but sit here. I just want to feel this forever. I finish what’s left and pour another glass, spilling.

  Elliot and Jane are sitting on the bathroom floor, laughing, cutting up lines for each other. Elliot is unspeakably glad that Jane has calmed down. There hasn’t been any sound from outside for a long time. Jane’s probably just too high to care.
  “So, do you really believe this Koschei shit?”
  “You said shit again, too funny.”
  “Shutup, do you?” She breathes hard with one nostril closed. “I mean, do you really believe it?”
  “I don’t know. I guess I want to. I don’t know if I do.”
  “Do you believe in that book you found?” She hands him his ID with a line on it. He pauses and looks at nothing.
  “Do you?”
  “That’s cool, I like that. I wonder what it’s like to fly.” He does the line and lays his hands down on his lap.
  “It’s like breathing.”
  “Haha, you know? You’ve flown?”
  “I don’t know. A lot of strange things happened tonight.”
  Jane slides in close to Elliot. Their faces are very close.
  “There’s going to be more.”

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Jim is Dead

“Oh, my god, Jim is dead...” Everyone probably thought something like that.
Jack sat on the deck against the wall and smoked a cigarette. He stared down between his legs. He was the first one I saw when I came out onto the deck. Chris saw me come out. He was wrapped in a blanket. He walked up to me and embraced me. He started weeping. I held him tight as he cried and little tears of my own started to form. I could feel his tears on my neck. The worst was the soft sounds of anguish he produced. And quietly my tears rolled down. I looked over, tears fell from Jack’s eyes to the wooden planks of the deck.
There were little groups like this scattered over the deck and in the house. Some girls who barely knew Jim sat and rubbed backs with a hand and offered condolences in quiet voices. I’m surprised that girls around didn’t ruin everything. This is an affair for brothers. Inside people lay on couches, staring blankly into space or holding each other and crying, some quietly asking how this could have happened. Probably fifteen people total. Our embrace broke and Chris looked at me, ‘I love you, brother.’ ‘I love you too.’ His cologne is strong and kinda cloying. Ian comes out onto the deck with a fifth of Jack Daniels and sits down at the table. He breaks off the plastic and opens it.
“Everyone come here,” he says this as sternly as he can, there’s a little wavering in his voice. Jack gets up slowly with his head slumped and puts his cigarette in the big stone ash tray on the table. He lights another one. And I light one and give one to Chris and light it. Megan comes out with her arms full of shot and regular glasses. Ian starts pouring into every glass. It’s quiet on the deck while he pours, even with people coming from inside. A person asks for a cigarette here or there someone sniffles and sighs that rattly sigh of trying to stop crying.
“Three more glasses,” Ian calls inside to Megan. She brings them out and sets them down. I start passing out the shots to everyone, the last glass is for me, and I leave it on the table and tell Ian without having to that he should pour more into it. When I pick mine up, Ian begins,
“We lost a brother today; everyone needs to know that. There’s no bargaining. There’s no denial, there’s none of that shit. This is what it is: Jim is gone. We are here. We drink this whiskey to his memory.” He held up his glass. Everyone followed. Some of the girls clearly don’t drink whiskey straight and it shows in the ways they nervously eye their glasses of brown liquid. Megan is the only girl that doesn’t look at it oddly, a trooper.
“Here’s to those that I love, and here’s to those that love me, and here’s to those that love those that I love, and to those that love those that love me,” he says slowly and purposefully, not the quick and loud ramble it normally is. I follow up with a loud, ‘OI!’ And some people laugh a little, and we drink. I don’t like to drink my whiskey all at once, but I do, and it feels good this time, even though I’m worried I’ll vomit. Then Julian is at the railing vomiting down into the black. Everyone’s laughing. And he’s crying a little and laughing as he spits and wipes his mouth,
“Well, shit. I need a cigarette and a beer.” A case of PBR seems to materialize on the table, probably Megan again. I’ve felt fear before when looking at the word MERIDIAN on a case of wine, felt a haunting from the Trader Joe’s logo, been uneasy because of Times New Roman, but I always feel like nothing bad could really happen when looking at a PBR logo; and I feel that now, with Jim dead and not even in the ground or burnt up to ash or whatever. I grab a beer and walk to the railing, it really is a nice night, a little chilly but not bad. Death in the spring is a little odd. I expected it to be colder when people are dead.
Jack comes up to me and puts his arm around me. A tall and beautiful black haired girl once said to me in a particularly bitchy tone, ‘you are too short to even be remembered,’ and walked away. I don’t know why I’d think of that now, just that all my friends are taller than I am. Jim was taller than me. I wonder how coffins work. Jenny comes up on my other side, I’d forgotten she was here.
Jenny and Lisa and Sunshine drove here from california to hang out for a week, and this is what happens. They leave tomorrow. This is their last night...sitting quietly and awkwardly with a bunch of people who just had a friend die, someone they didn’t even know. I turn and kiss her a little. It doesn’t feel right really, and not just because of Jim. It’s probably over soon. I slept with my ex after I came back from california. I don’t know anymore. It’s all confusing. I guess there’s bigger shit to think about. Life and death or something.

Jim is dead two days now. We think our time is better spent trying not to dwell on it. Our time...indeed. We’re just sitting in the living room. The funeral is tomorrow. I am drinking a beer and I am on the couch, lounging as hard as  I possibly can. Everyone’s banter is funny and witty today. Everyone’s on their game. Franco is popping and cracking out of the little blown out speakers. It sounds perfect. The funeral is tomorrow.
Jenny and the rest left day before yesterday. We went back to my mother’s that night and slept together, and again in the morning. She cried afterward. She asked if I would come back to california. I told her I’d try next month, that I have to be here for the funeral and all that. I don’t know. The funeral is tomorrow.
Last night we pounded the pavement hard looking for more beer and more whiskey. Gene and Jack paid for me. Julian and I watched Wargames in the living room after the other’s went to sleep. I woke up at their house and opened the Jack Daniels beside my pillow. Now we’re here in the living room. Julian, Jack, and Gene are playing old Mario Kart 64 on the little TV in the corner; I’ll probably join them soon. Chris and Ian and I are just insulting each other quietly and cleverly and laughing. There’s a knock on the door.
Jim is dead two days now. Everything was going fine until his parent’s walked in...Mario Kart is paused and the TV turned off. We put our beers behind end tables and lamps; we hide the instruments of our good time. They’re wearing all black. We all shake hands with them. The peaceful goodness of our afternoon is fading away into the black of their clothes.
Jim is dead two days now, so they came for his things. There are two movers outside with a truck. They’re not wearing jump suits like I expected. They follow them into Jim’s room and start packing things up. The front door stays open the whole time. It’s pretty cold.
It’s dark when they leave. And Jim’s mom’s eye makeup has run. We don’t shake hands this time. We’re standing in a line. Jim’s dad is talking about the funeral tomorrow. Ten AM at a church across town.We all know Jim never believed in god, even for a second. We all thought ‘Oh, my god,' but Gene is the only brother who believes in god, and he just converted to Judaism.
So they left with his things. We stand looking into Jim’s empty room. There’s some random scraps of paper on the ground, and just stuff like that around. I am going to sleep at my mother’s tonight. Ten AM at a church across town.

It snowed. Chris’ brother Allan and a girl I met once named Carrie pick me up in the morning. I am not comfortable. I’m wearing some grey slacks I haven’t worn since high school. I don’t like how they feel, but besides jeans it’s all I’ve got. My Man In Wool jacket is too dirty; still in the suitcase from california, kinda smells like body odor.  I am not comfortable. I’m wearing some grey jacket that might as well have come out of World War I. It’s all I had really. All from the closet in my old room. My sister tells me she’ll find me later today. I am not comfortable.
The city is quiet and the sky cloudy. It’s still snowing some and we’re moving slow through the snow to the church. We are driving by looking for parking and I see Ian and Jack and Chris standing off on the side of the church. Allan and Carrie stop to let me out. They go off to park and go inside. We smoke two cigarettes and steal sips from the flask in Ian’s jacket as we wait for it all to start. Gene didn’t come because of the church thing. We all said fuck it. Ian and Chris are going to speak. I’m here for them really, this is harder for them. They ran away with Jim in high school, went up the coast to Oregon, did drugs, got caught and had it all go bad. It’s really pretty out with the snow falling in big flakes. We can see our breath, not too cold though, maybe it’s the smoke. But it certainly doesn’t feel like Spring. And, to me, that certainly makes sense.
We go inside. There’s a big picture of Jim in uniform, with beret and all, in the foyer. I’d never seen him that way. We all get a little pamphlet with the same picture and some scripture on it. I don’t look at the program inside it. The walls are all dark, made of some rich wood and the pews. There’s all these flowers up front and the picture is there again. I can’t see where they would hold a service in this church. I don’t know where the preacher would stand or anything, there’s a kinda stage, but it’s all flowers, seems like a low wall. There’s no body. No casket. He was cremated. That’s good I think. Better to not have a coffin sitting there with a body in it. So strange to just have a corpse sitting in a room with a bunch of living people. Dark curtains and that same wood everywhere.
I can’t smell anything but cologne and perfume. I worry it’ll overpower me and make me sick. I just end up sinking into it and listening with a kinda ringing in my ears; the ringing of a lingering and unreal silence. Some preacher preaches. Jim’s parents both speak; his mother cries. Some relatives none of us have ever seen speak. Ian goes up. He tells a story about when they ran away. A story about their friendship. I have a lump in my throat, because he’s barely holding it together.
Chris gets up to speak. It’s almost palpable how uncomfortable the family is about these two taking up to the front, talking about a part of Jim’s life they all wish hadn’t happened. I wish I had something to say, but Jim and I were never all that close. But he was a brother.

Chris begins:
“One time Jim and I were out behind the park in our old neighborhood. The dam had a bunch of frozen water behind it. Our first thought was just hanging out on it. So we went out on the ice and decided to try to make a floating island of ice we could stand around on or something.
And we’re pounding down on the ice with logs and breaking parts of it so we can float. Working hard at it.
The ice shattered under me.
And I fell in.
I’m not sure how deep it was, or anything like that.
I can only remember just immediately being freezing in that water.
And I can’t swim, I’m not even supposed to go into water when it’s cold, or so the doctor says. And I’m just coughing and trying to leap out of the water or something and grabbing at the ice on the surface and slipping off and panicking...
...And Jim reaches down and grabs my hand.
Jim pulls me up and he’s sliding on the ice and all. I’m grabbing ice with my other hand and kicking and trying to get out.
He falls down and starts crawling and pulling me away from the hole. I’m shivering and freezing on the ice. He pulls off my shirt takes off his jacket and puts it on me. He tells me I’ve got to get my pants off so I don’t freeze. So he unties my shoes since my fingers aren’t working. And we get my pants off.
Then Jim...takes off his pants, and I know where you think this is going, but it’s not. (there’s a laugh from our group)
And he gives me his pants.
He helps me put on my shoes.
And we walk home to my house in the cold...Jim in his underwear.
Jim saved my life that day.
And that’s my best memory of him.”
The brothers are all laughing. Chris told the story with actions and words and sound effects and screams and all that. Showmanship is his thing. Acting is his thing. A lot of people were laughing actually. And we’re laughing extra hard, because this is a fuck you to the whole affair. A funeral in a church for our brother.
This story is really funny...because it’s a lie. Completely made up. Not that we all don’t have memories of that ice behind the dam, but this never happened. Nothing so dramatic ever happened out there. But this story gets told at weddings, about our grooms, and now apparently at funerals, for our departed.

Then someone from the army is in full uniform at the front. It’s somber again. He’s talking about Jim’s service time. Everyone is standing. I’m silently crying. Crying because I looked forward and saw Ian crying and I put my hand on his shoulder. Megan rubbed Ian’s back and held him. And I just couldn’t watch that really. Carrie put her hand on my shoulder. I worry about Megan sitting back down into a puddle of my tears. I suck it up and shut up. And then a trumpet or something gets blown by the army guy and another one shows up and a flag gets presented. And I wonder about this army guy. I don’t think he ever met Jim, but those army guys are probably like brothers, I guess.
Things wrap up and everyone goes to the reception in the shitty gymnasium. Weird Christian flags on the walls with odd Latin and stuff like that. Basketball hoops folded up to the roof. One of those weird windows to a kitchen where metal garage door thing comes down. The food is mediocre looking. We go straight out to smoke cigarettes and get the whiskey in us. We’re going to go back to the guys’ house to have a real wake. One Jim would have liked to be at.
We are back inside and the gym seems really full, like all these people weren’t in those pews, like they showed up afterward. Aside from Jim’s parents and the brothers and the girls with us or whatever I don’t know anyone. Older people, probably relatives ask if I was close while I want more whiskey and cigarettes and I munch at bland food. The cheese and crackers are the best of the lot. I brush crumbs (real or imagined) off my lips. I tell them I was, and we shake hands as if that bullshit little ceremony with a preacher and all actually brought those in the room closer together. I don’t even wipe my hands on my pants before I shake hands, I don’t care if I sweat on them. I never saw them before and I’ll never see them again. I throw away my little plate, not wanting some stranger’s hands on my cheese. I’m not even hungry anyway. Then I go shake hands with the uniformed higher up from the army, just like the older people shook my hand...totally meaningless really, all around. There’s some little book we’re supposed to sign if we want. I leave some Borges quote in it; no signature.

Allan and Carrie and I stopped to get some beer on the way. There were a few people at the house. I smoked a cigarette and drank a beer alone before any more showed up. It was still snowing, and the grey and the quiet were really nice out there. I caught myself trying to breathe out all the smoke and realized it was my breath. I laughed at myself and looked down the hill through the trees. There’s those apartments down there, but I didn’t really look at them; I just looked in the middle of it all. It was really beautiful and my beer was cold and my smoke cold, but I felt pretty warm. And I just watched it snow, fall on and through the tall pines. And I listened to the quiet and felt warm.
Everyone came back from the reception with beer and whiskey in their arms. And there was again 15 or 20 people at the house. People are drinking and smoking as always; my little sister floats in from the deck with a beer in her hand and gives me a hug and tells me people are out on the porch because Gene wants to do something.
There’s a big half circle of people on the far side of the porch. Pretty much everyone is standing around Gene. He’s wearing his yarmulke and that shawl kinda thing. He has a little book and reads a long sing-like prayer in Hebrew. People are crying, but they don’t know what the words mean. Jim’s been dead for days and everyone’s acting like they just heard about it. My sister stands by me and I put my arm around her. We give each other a knowing look and I’ve got a few tears out over all the crying. It’s better that we don’t know the words. Means it’s not religious, it’s just beautiful and sad.
The snowfall has gotten a lot heavier. There’s a fire in the raised little pit on the deck. People are sitting around just reminiscing about Jim. Chris is drunk under the table in the kitchen. Jack has gone to a dinner with his grandma or something. Most girls have gone home. It’s getting dark early because of the clouds. My sister is just hanging around laughing at the jokes and stories, getting drunk. I kinda want to be alone, and figure shooter video games are close enough.
I’m not really paying attention to the game, kinda listening to my sister talking with Julian in the kitchen and I think Allan and Gene and Ian and Carrie are upstairs. I bet Carrie is vomiting up there or something. The thought reminds me of Jenny and california. I should probably call her or talk to her online or something. I don’t know, maybe I will go back even though I hate it there. I don’t know. There’s a knock at the door.

The police officer comes inside and stands by the stairs. I am asking if we’re too loud--explaining our friend just died, that we're having a wake--hoping my sister is hiding out. But nobody expected this so why would she hide. There is an ambulance outside and the paramedics come in with their gurney all folded up. I’m telling the cop I have no idea what’s happening. ‘Someone called about an attempted suicide.’
Gene runs down the stairs wearing the pajama pants he changed into a few hours ago. The cop grabs his arm and pulls him, ‘who’s this guy?’ he almost shouts.
“I live here!” Gene says wide-eyed. He didn’t even notice the cop on the way down. We’re both frantic.
“It’s OK he lives here,” I repeat. I am really confused now. I know none of my friends are stupid enough to do something like suicide today. Ian even told us outside that anyone with those thoughts knew their responsibility not to act on them. The paramedics run upstairs. Gene has to stay down with me and the cop. The cop is asking all kinds of questions. Gene is answering them the best he can.
Carrie didn’t even know Jim. She didn’t even meet Jim. What the hell is wrong with her? The cop finishes taking Gene’s statement. I’m livid. I thought she was attractive obnoxious. I didn’t even watch them wheel her out, I went to smoke. My sister sat outside with me. Neither of us cares whether Carrie lives or dies. The cop left and Allan followed them in his car. All the while Chris is passed out under the table and I think Ian and Megan are passed out upstairs. Gene and I sit outside and smoke cigarettes and drink and talk for a while. My sister makes us laugh by way of explaining the many and varied ways that Carrie is a ‘stupid cunt’. She’s funny when she’s got venom in her mouth.
It’s fully dark now. And it’s difficult to see deep out into the trees behind the house with the low light and the snow curtains still falling. The house is dirty, there are empty beers everywhere. There are all these lights on that probably don’t need to be. The floors are sticky from beer and wet with muddy footprints. It’s a little cold inside. The place feels derelict. It feels like a place people are moving out of. To be inside the house is exactly like drinking from early morning to night.

Allan’s parents show up randomly with another 30 pack of beer. Late to the party as it were. Jack comes back from dinner. We all go inside and tell them about everything.
“She didn’t even slit her wrist longways, it was fake," my sister is still going on, “Allan left to go to the hospital.”  We drink with them for a while. My sister is even drinking in front of them, friends of my mother, and they don’t care. I don’t care if they care either. Chris is still passed out under the table, they don’t care. Allan’s dad asks if Jim and Carrie were dating or something.
“They never even met,” I say with a laugh, “Jim is dead and that bitch fake-attempts suicide." I start to feel kinda dirty, sexist asshole, isolated. I don’t know if I am angry, or just exhausted or drunk or sad or numb or anything, “At least no one’s crying anymore.”

Thursday, January 17, 2013

One Year Ago Today

I left Flagstaff and arrived at Furnace Creek, setting the stage for one of the most nightmarish (a word I began using there) times in more than a few people's lives. A few months before that I left Bend, Oregon; Bend was another place of downright bizarre horror. About a month ago I left Toronto, maybe never to return. And now I'm in Buffalo, NY. A city like almost like a whale fall, or perhaps more like rotting of a land animal, a city in a carcass. The city's population peaked around 1950 and then began a steep decline with industry moving or closing. The city is full of vacants, and poverty (especially along racial lines). I heard a man yelling at a woman at 5am telling her it was time to go home and that she loved crack more than him and that he understood, he loved crack too, but it was time to go home and robbing some white boy for a fiver wasn't going to do shit. I hear loud Chah Dudes screaming, always someone yelling, or large busses or trucks or cars. 

P.S.: I never meant for this blog to be used as a place for photos of no consequence or substance, I meant it to be a place for short fiction of no consequence or substance. Apologies, apologies.

Friday, December 21, 2012



Andrew's Room

Back in the US

Back in the US
Back in the US(A)SR

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Things have improved.
My new view on Bay Street. 
But only she is allowed to take pictures of she.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Canadian Customs was incredibly reluctant to allow me into the country. First agent was skeptical, second agent was frustrated and annoyed, third agent googled her and gave me dating advice. She was the small girl by the large column. I had been sweating for hours and hours, mostly in customs.
I tried to sleep on the plane. I’d been up drinking until 4am when I booked my hotel. If I hadn’t booked a hotel, they probably wouldn’t have let me in. Sleeping on the plane was nearly impossible though. The hotel shuttle took us to some strange hotel somewhere in the middle of airport semi-industrial nowhere, near the racetrack. Pretty much everywhere I’ve stayed has had a look like this:

We walked through the little shopping complex, a Tim Hortons (Canadian Starbucks), a fertility clinic, and 10 empty storefronts. That kind of place, always around that. The next hotel was the dirtiest and strangest I’ve ever seen. The enormous room with the stained carpets and the huge windows with tacky curtains with smelly hallways and back stairs that said ‘Fuck You’. I bought a knife and ate the spiciest potato chips ever, good job Canada. This hotel is far North basically in her little suburbtown, it’s much nicer than the other places and is comfortable; been watching too much food network though. Trying to get an airbnb place to stay downtown, but it’s all runaround so far as I can tell. She laughs very loudly.
Other good things:

It’s been raining more than snowing, and has only been incredibly cold on the days we ended up walking around.
The subway is almost silent.
The accents are completely entertaining (also Canadians LOVE cussing in fucking public).
I found a Mexican food restaurant that is on par with anything in the Southwest.
I haven’t felt sick too often.

Some not so great things:
Corona is 45CAD for a 24pack, and 5ths of american whiskey are about 40 dollars as well.
I have to leave by the 21st or I can be arrested and deported; customs gave me exactly 30 days, which is shitty and made me spend so much more money.
It does get Flagstaff cold but with more moisture in the air.

Running out of money and feel like a true consumer.

Toronto is pretty cool. The CN tower is out there somewhere

and it belongs to the dead.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In The Hotel

It said "Fuck You".