Weekend Worrier (Capacity Pt. 5)


Weekend Worrier (Capacity Pt. 5)

It’s Saturday  which doesn’t mean a whole lot to lots of folks but I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I don’t have to work weekends anymore. That’s a good enough thing, I think. I wanted it. I pushed for it but I don’t really know why. What am I supposed to do with all this time off? What are the options for wasting time. For killing time? For moving ahead in the action? What’s a weekend but a commercial break? It’s an ad. It’s not the product, the purchase, the end. It’s the means. No, listen to me. Let me put it this way . . . No, never mind I don’t want to talk about economics right now but capitalism. Ok. Now, I’m really done.

But, back to the beginning where I started this, it’s Saturday night. I like to drink. It’s what I do. It’s not a habit or a hobby, it’s a way of being. My worldview is shaped by it. Actually not so much the drinking as the going out to drink. I like bars. I live for the wood and the stools. For the din of words too far away to hear and to hear the memories of those in nearest proximity. To actually become the setting of another’s story. It’s what I do when I can. When I’m not the talker myself. When I haven’t tripped my manic switch.

Some days I just can’t sit still and admittedly, I can’t shut my mouth. I enjoy those times but I know how it affects those closest to me. Not emotionally closest to me just physically closest. I don’t even know who’s emotionally closest to me. Maybe nobody is. Damn, and now I’m getting sort of sappy if not sad.

Dear god, when is it going to be Monday already? I’m ready to return to the fold.

When You Don’t Know Better You Do Better (Capacity Pt. 4)


When You Don’t Know Better You Do Better (Capacity Pt. 4)

When I was young I was alright. I was an okay kid. I did what you’re supposed to do and more. Why not? I was a kid and kids do stuff just because they can. It’s a kid thing, you wouldn’t understand.

But, let’s pretend that you can remember back to being a kid. Think about how different things were when you were younger. What was school like? Were you a good student? I was. I was really good. I excelled, if you will. I always did more than I needed to do. I was that kind of a kid. I just wanted not only to be the best but to be better than everybody else. I thought that kind of stuff really mattered. I thought that school in and out itself mattered but nothing matters. Ok, that’s not true something matters. I’m not a total nihilist. Maybe I’m just a halfhearted nihilist. I think a few things matter that’s why I keep talking to you. I suppose or maybe, one would suppose.

Anyway, when I was a kid, I loved to win. I won the spelling bee and got first place at the science fair. I was class president. The only thing I didn’t win were any kind of popularity contests – so to speak. For all the prizes I got, nobody really liked me and nobody really likes me now either. So, that’s sort of my thing now, I guess.

Nonetheless, let me tell you about that one time when I really excelled. I was always pretty good with math but I never cared too much about philosophy. Morals and ethics aren’t my thing. It’s all about numbers. Perhaps this makes me a utilitarian. I’m not a fan of Keynes or Adam Smith or really anybody except maybe Camus, I can get behind a fair amount of absurdity. Sisyphus makes sense to me considering the current climate of affairs. Anyway, one time back in high school, I started seriously crunching numbers as best an AP calculus kid could and I figured out what kind of potential each certain population had. That is to say, I looked at wages and production vs consumption and I really pondered where this particular town was headed with this type of leadership. I’m not one to call out the top dogs but let’s say I was pretty skeptical about their ideas. Well, the teachers liked my work well enough and my paper was widely circulated and I got some sort of plaque for math and some sort mention for my minor journalistic skills. Thing is though, I wasn’t happy about the accolades and the attention. What if I was wrong? What if I was right? What’s the next administration supposed to do? How do we fix our problems? I have no answers for that and because I don’t have any answers my victory is also a failure. I don’t like working with potential. I like working with real possibilities, probabilities. I want to see real change or let’s not talk about it.

Today, when I wake up, I know not much has changed. The town’s still the same and I’ve had the same job since college. I guess I could’ve gone on to grad school but why bother? What will I learn to help my town? All I know is, as long as I have somewhere to drink and reminisce with somebody like you, everything is alright. We can just talk about the good times. We can’t change the past. It was good or it wasn’t. And, back then when we did’t know better, we did better. We had potential. We wanted change. We liked ideas. It was great. We didn’t consider giving up. And, we didn’t really ever give up but we learned how to work within new parameters. We know how far we can shift a dialectic and not to go too far. You have to be careful about going too far. Look at what happened to Trotsky.

Nanowrimo is here! Or, for me, it’s FlashNano. 30 Stories in 30 days. Flash fiction!


Capacity

What could be worse? What could be better? That time of year when the wind picks up and the night gets cooler. That time of year when the leaves have gone from red to brown. That time of year when the streets are lined with bags full from a day’s hard work in the yard. What could be worse? It’s only a matter of time before the snow really starts to stick. It’s only a matter of time before the big coats have to come out and the boots and the salt on the sidewalk.

It’s calm around these parts for now. This town’s never been to much for exorcisms or abductions. It’s pretty chill. We go to work and we go home. Maybe in between, we have a coffee and scroll through the newsfeed. Maybe on other days, we pour ourselves a rye and watch a show. Maybe on other days we got out for a pint and see what’s new in the neighborhood. Maybe even see who’s new.

There has to be somebody new, right? The town hasn’t hit its capacity yet, has it? We haven’t reached our brink, have we?

*

Everybody’s got to believe in something and ‘God’ knows I do.  I believe that bad things come to those who wait that’s why I always like to keeping it moving. I mean, not like moving out of town or any of that such nonsense but like staying busy. I’m a doer and I’d suggest the same for you. It’s how I’ve made it this far. I literally made it. It and this and far. You can make anything if you try hard enough or often enough. You can even make distance. Far is an assemblage. A compilation of attempts. But, the big thing to remember is, don’t be a stranger nobody likes a stranger. New is nice. Familiar is better. It’s safe. No, that’s not true. It’s comfortable. You can sleep at night knowing familiarity exists.

 *

Anyway, sometimes I think back to those old ghost stories I used to hear when I was kid and those shows and movies and especially comic books about spirits, ghosts, demons and that sort of stuff. I never bought into it. Not that kind of stuff nor zombies or vampires either. It just doesn’t add up. Never did. And, aliens, that’s some other funny stuff. Who’d want to come here? I mean, I don’t want to leave but who’d want to visit?

Personally, I always liked those Little House on the Prairie type of shows. Well, until I got older and learned that I was pretty much alone in that love. Well, that was just the first time I learned that I was alone in love but that’s a conversation for another time and another audience.

So, back to the story at hand if there is a story at hand, it’s that time of year. You know, when the brownouts roll through town. It’s been a long time since a blackout but the brownouts, those come and go every few years or so. Just a house here and there gone out. No lights and the streets dim for a bit then it’s back to business as usually. You know, the regular stuff. The nothing new kind of stuff.

*

So, what do you do? I don’t do much. I mostly just go on about my business. I pay my bills a bit late like everybody else and try not to act too much of a fool. You know what I’m talking about, right? You know, I mean, I go to work and wait for the time to pass and then I go home and try to forget about the day until tomorrow when I do it all over again. Then the weekend comes and I’m not so old that I can’t enjoy a weekend so I do. I go out. I get my drink on. Sometimes I go overboard. Sometimes I haven’t had nearly enough to enjoy myself. This is how it goes in this town. This is how it’s been going for, I guess, forever in this town.

*

Nobody’s ever needed me for anything and that’s a good thing. I never have anywhere I need to be – besides at work – but other than that, I’m basically free.  What could be more beautiful than having no commitments? You know how much you can get done when you don’t have anything to do? You can get a whole lot of nothing done.  A whole lot. You’ll need a lot if you want to make sure that you’re not the one that pushes the town past its capacity. Every vessel can only hold but so much. There’s always a maximum. Learn how to work within it. That’s what I always think but rarely say – except  for now, for example. I’m trying to help you out. It’s that time of year again.

 

 

Take Place


Been rubbernecking. Keeping an eye out for where time took an odd moment to add an extra scar to the road.

*

The last ditch that took some effort to carve. To assure a certain waylay for someone just needing to get away.

*

The truth for all its power sets everybody else free but itself. Instead chooses transformation. Settles for concealment. To be protected from witnessing itself.

*

Can’t turn my back on myself but my back also won’t look me in my face so what good’s a back anyway? If it didn’t come with the body why would anyone even bother having one?

*

The faults furthered the cause of the tectonic shifts. Line breaks will always be a part of this world. Each side is a stanza. The earth quakes suddenly understanding another version needs to take place. This place.

Overcast


“… can never forget

Once every wall was water…”

Mary Oliver

Goals were never stated

for tears

set free

for overcast

brought about

by and for

some unknown

bend of shame,

regret.

 

Dampened consequences

bringing to rot

an idea

someone else

would

die for.

Could Be Competition


“can you make it rain harder”

(Prince – before the Super Bowl)

the world don’t behave

and why not

what else is there to be

but transformed?

*

nothing compares

diamonds/pearls

pressure applied/mounting

couldn’t make anything

else

*

when the lakes rose, doves found higher ground. there are tiers. places to rise to.

*

it’s not all symbols,

symbolic, symbolism

but maybe it is. if so, own it. that’s how freedom works. it’s how bats become bigger than the night. how an echo becomes the cave. how in and out transcend placement.

*

and how does an elevator

have the strength to

carry on?

*

what will it take to coax a cessation out of death?

*

as if life

ever had a choice

there’s no other king in town

*

ain’t got no money

working part-time

pretending the rest

.

a little much

. . .

what’s the other?

*

the max,

the morning papers,

the moonlight

who can’t be asked

anything anymore the way it used to when it was cherry

and only a red corvette could be

competition.