Halloween approaches

Halloween. One of my favorite days of the year. I look at it in a very commercialized way, I guess. I enjoy all the fun things about it, much as a person who rides a roller coaster and gets something out of that. Admittedly, I’m not a deep guy any more. I’m whoever I want to be, and I’m fine with it.

When I was a kid I entered costume contests and won two or three in a row.

I loved “Monster Mash” coming on the radio, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

We would go to the Sears Halloween department and buy fake blood. I’d put my Halloween mask on the handle of the vacuum cleaner and throw a cape around it. It was always unsettling going down those dark stairs and seeing this figure standing there in the living room.

We’d hang ghosts from the trees in the front yard, and blast scary music from a cassette for everyone’s benefit.

I remember being E.T. one year. My mom bought the costume for me early on, and so I was practicing my whole routine. I’d wear the whole get up weeks before, say, in the car while my mom was driving back and forth from various stores, there I would be in the front seat, a little E.T. in a robe, equipped with glowing finger. People at the traffic light would seriously get a stare down.

Every year, we’d go to any haunted house we could find. There was a revamped warehouse at Virginia Beach that had a great one. And not too long ago, I was living in Arlington, and a friend took me to her old neighborhood where there were all kinds of haunted houses to check out.

Georgetown was always a mess. Always packed. All kinds of people went up and down M Street wearing costumes. Kirtana performers were not in costume, but no one knew any different.

. . .

I suppose I’ve learned something from Cotton after all—how not to be. I’m aware of what Halloween really is, and can confidently say, “So the hell what?” I’m not about all that. If the spirits want to communicate with me—and they sometimes do, through dreams, or whatever—who am I to stop them? All 365 days I’m open for business.

Fun Links:
Dispatch from the Haunted Forest | Get Spooked! | Google

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Thorn Bushes Both For Liberals and Conservatives Alike

Sometimes it feels like the days are going incredibly fast. Wednesday night I have English class, and by the next day, it’s Thursday and I’m looking over the edge into Friday already. And well, Saturday is Saturday, and Sunday is Sunday. A week runs through, the unemployed days are treating me well. Separation from the wife is bashing me around.

Also I’ve known for a long time, there’s no such thing as southern hospitably in this town. If someone is actually friendly in Roanoke, I know it’s a fucking glitch in the Matrix. There’s no other explanation for it. Most are rude, inconsiderate, ignorant, and distant. If you were not born here, then there’s this uncomfortable silence. God, I’m so sick of it.

Rudra is sneezing in the kitchen. He likes it up there on top of the microwave. He trips me out. When I look at him, I feel so many different emotions at once. I want to conjure up the first man that ever said that animals don’t have feelings, that they don’t have a soul, or whatever, and slap him around the room for forty-five minutes. “What the fuck is wrong with you?! Don’t you have a heart?! Where’d it go?” Not that I’m a “liberal,” but those that use the term “bleeding heart liberal” and seriously mean it, frustrate me to the point of speechlessness. They can use it for anything. You talk about vegetarianism: “Oh, you’re a bleeding heart liberal.” Recycling: “You’re a bleeding heart liberal.” Traveling: “You’re a bleeding heart liberal.” Stamp collecting: “You’re a bleeding heart liberal.” Chess: “You’re a bleeding heart liberal.” And so on.

So I invite liberals and conservatives of the world over to dinner all at once and watch them battle like it’s a cock fight. What’s left, I throw in the bin in the back yard—all to let my dad know it’s not that I oppose some of his own uncaring ideals with another set of uncaring ideals: I’m an individual and oppose with pure indignation, with humanity, silly self-righteousness, with bare bones and the “tribal,” with the animalistic, with the fabulous and the fantastic, with knowledge, growing, with junk mail piling up and thrown out in a heap. Careless fathers and crazy jumpers of the world, you feel threatened by those who care—and express yourselves stupidly in defense. The irony manifests as thorn bushes all around and your trails are bloodied all throughout your dwelling.

As Rudra gets better, it can be more and more difficult to feed him. I’ve learned a new patience. A friend was over and when observing I was having a hard time, said, “You have a good sense of humor about it all.” I took it as a wonderful compliment, and it is. But later I was crying, because for a moment I had begun to feel my patience slip with Rudra, and it made me feel incredibly guilty. I am honored to care for him in this way, truly. It’s only in the small moments that we sort of mock each other. I guess that too is natural, as long as we see it for what it is.

The on-going theme is loneliness and a desire to connect. Strength is what overcomes sorrow and loneliness. Yet I have to wonder if at times what I call strength is being covered over by denial. A “strong man” puts an end to his sobbing and tells himself he has toughened up. The days pass. He becomes out of touch.

Not me. Not me. I know what the fuck is going on here. I’m in mourning. Her absence is all over the apartment and out in the yard and in the car and at the co-op while standing by myself in line and going to bed without her and waking up without her and cracking jokes without her, talking out-loud as if she were here but she’s really not… Not even she can send me a card without putting herself in the envelope to make it all right again.

So her doing all the good work of studying abroad and expanding her mind in all kinds of ways—it’s as holy as any chapel. I only want to hear good news from her at this point. “Guess what, today I won the Nobel Prize in Literature.” Oh, good for you, dear! Good for you! When is January?

Satan, save me! Save me! Satan!

This early: a bowl of cereal with Silk, and preparations made to feed Rudra, hoping to God he will be somewhat drowsy, cooperative, not squirming, getting up and going over there, getting up again and again. Thirty minutes to feed your cat while he shakes and splatters liquid tuna all over you and the kitchen floor and who knows where else… It starts testing your patience a little.

Today is for more reading and writing, and also for diving into homework, researching topics for my next formal essay.

. . .

The indoor poetry readings are fun these days. Just when I thought I was going into hibernation, I’ve started having fun. And Cotton, though he shows up and pulls the usual shenanigans, I mostly know what to expect from him, so I don’t allow myself to get pulled in.

The staff of Wertz’s is beautiful—they serve us wine and fill up two big huge pitchers of water. We’re quenched and ready after about thirty minutes of stalling from the 7:30 mark. After a few poets launch, Cotton gets up, and there is sort of a sigh that blows over the entire house. Or was that just me?

“Who here tonight is drinking?” he asks.

A lot of people were drinking wine. Some, like myself, water. “It doesn’t matter what you’re drinking; please stand.” I quickly knocked back my glass so that it was empty and remained seated.

“I’d like to make a toast… to the poets!” he said. And then sat down.

Again, I was glad for not having wasted my time with this kid. What I should’ve done was break out a deck of cards while he was doing all that shit, and played a hand of Solitaire. I should have borrowed somebody’s GameBoy with Donkey Kong, Jr. turned all the way up.

Later, he was gathering salt and pepper shakers from all the tables, but was then interrupted by the next act. When it was over, someone was like, “Cotton, why don’t you finish what you were saying?” and he himself admitted, “Oh, it was nothing. I was just killing time.”

Oh, how I’ve become bitter and jaded! I’m prone to think “performance art” of this nature, belongs down the street somewhere, perhaps out of sight—but definitely not at a poetry reading. If you’re going to come, absorb what other’s have written, draw inspiration, come back next time with something written down or memorized and perform that. Don’t slam us with time suckage. If you really want to make a toast to the poets, heed good advice when it comes!

. . .

“Don’t you think she’s pretty?” she asks. He’s afraid to answer. Trick Question Alert! Trick Question Alert! And when a real problem comes up, he doesn’t even think of confiding in her. When a storm lifts the house off the ground with her in it, he’ll be sorry then.

It isn’t easy sleeping in Iraq, so says the article. War-torn, bombs going off, rising heat, high winds, mosquitos. Hard to relax in the midst of it all. This much I read and think of my own experiences as Pizza Hut/Taco Bell Expresses in comparison. Small time. Gumby and Pokey. But I kind of know. I wake up unable to breathe some nights to which I sort of liken to explosions, explosions a few doors down, wondering what’s going to happen next, unable to think of anything else but the next breath, hoping to ease some of the pain in the chest. Anonymous writes, “I’ve thought of us all dying together. Dying separately, watching my mom die, and having to go on without her, I can’t bear it. Our family all sleeps together in the living room with the big drapes that will hopefully protect us from the shattering glass…”

“Well, I think she’s pretty, if you ask me,” she says. “You’re not going to be in any trouble if you say so yourself. But it’s okay…”

He fell in love with a girl once that did not love him back. “Hurts too much to let it all out,” he thinks. You don’t wanna spill your guts out all over the table when the other person has theirs out. That makes things kind of crowded. He imagines her saying, “A man at your age should give up on love. You’d do well to take up a hobby.” He opens the glove compartment and looks around. Looks around some more.

small note

Small Ki,

Sorry I missed your message yesterday, and that I did not get a chance to talk with you at all today. As you know, Rudra is doing better, but requires almost constant attention, and this is putting a little extra weight on me these days as I adjust. My sleeping again is being turned upside down, and my asthma is hitting daily and at unpredictable times.

R. has been throwing up some and has a lot of snot coming out of his nose, and wants not to be bothered. For the most part, he is mobile, using the liter box, and even stood by the door a couple of times, looking at me like he wanted to go outside. Outrageous.

Tomorrow morning I’ll take him for his little baby bear check up at the animal hospital. I’m assuming everything will be fine with that.

All for now, sweetheart.

Love you.

Hollins info

From Thomast Mesner, Registrar
August, 2004
Senior Degree Analysis

regular term credits req.: 38
short terms req.: 1
current cum. GPA: 3.92

GPA in major: 3.8 – spanish
GPA in minor: 4.0 – english

ESP Perspective Requirements:
All Skills and perspectives completed.

Courses need in major: 5 courses: see check list

courses needed in minor: One more 300-level course

Phys. Ed required: N/A

CHECKLIST:
SPAN 266 is underlined, with an “A” next to it
Spanish Electives:
231: A-
350: A-

General education requirements are all fulfilled

English Minor:
(this part is kind of confusing, at least for me…)
Two courses from Eng 223, 224, OR 281, 282, 283
beneath this it’s written: 241 (3) VWCC, 242 (3) VWCC, and Eng 141: A (4a)

Eng elective: SP ’04 350: A 4 (300)level
Eng elective: 242: A 4

Casey, if you have any more questions, please let me know.

This is not for the underground, this is for the Sun

I’m listening to Dischord bands and feeling that this room cannot possibly get bright enough even if I brought a fucking search light in here. While I feel better today, I will not feel exactly right until my cat Rudra gets back from the hospital. Friday evening, I found him out on the front step after he had been hit by a car, and in absolute panic I rushed him just in time to see a doctor. His face had been hit so that his jaw was slightly misaligned, two teeth were broken, and the roof of his mouth was split. This afternoon, the doctor called that the operation on Rudra’s mouth was a success, and he should be home as early as Monday afternoon.

I had become sick with a fever and snotty-nosed from sobbing. The car was especially hard to operate. A friend took me out for a drink. I was like, “Why the fuck not?” Of course, almost as a policy with me, I did not get drunk. Some after all, drink socially, and if I am to be one who indulges in drink, I’m to be one of them, maybe slightly tipsy, but not in a downward spiral, out of control, violent, self destructive, all of a sudden addicted. I’ve got too much to accomplish.

Rudra, upon seeing me this morning, immediately recognized me and stood up and head butted me with purrs. I said his name over and over in the kind of sing-song that he loves, and felt all the gold of Fort Knox fall over me. I look at him and my heart breaks. I would give both arms and be shot into space without armor before seeing him leave our company, especially in any kind of brutal fashion.

Got out for a bit today. Sat in the cafe with my free writing sessions and current book that I’m hacking away on. C. can jump in and rib me: “You read so slow!” You notice, you notice! You vixen!

Every action, page turned, door knob finger printed, has a tinge of Rudra’s well being in mind. A crack in the sidewalk resembles your mother’s back, so you step carefully—Rudra, my son, my Sun, my darling pet and confidant, I want for you to be even more full of life coming out of there. I shall explode into stars and dandelion constellations by 11:05 PM.

Casey,

I don’t know how to tell you this.

Rudra was hit by a car today and is now in the animal hospital overnight. He seems to be okay. The doctor feels like he WILL survive.

I am so upset as I write this. I tried calling you, but could not get through.

I repeat that he is okay, from what we all can tell. His mouth is messed up and has me freaking out, to which the Dr. says he will probably need surgery there.

My mom is going to cover the entire thing ($600-1000). He will probably be in there for 4-5 days, and I will visit him on each day.

I was looking for him in the day; I let him out early in the morning and later he did not turn up, and it’s chilly out. Around 4:45 I went out on the sidewalk to look for him, and when I turned around he was there on the front stoop making his way through the front door very slowly. From a distance, I thought he was not feeling too well and was about to throw up a hair ball, but then got close to him and I saw that he was hurt—I screamed out “Holy Shit!” in the lobby of the building, then ran up and frantically prepared the cat carrier and called the animal hospital.

The doctor was very cool, saying that he’s pretty sure that he will survive this, but if I did not leave him there and authorize surgery, we would have to put him to sleep “because we can’t leave him like this.” My mom was very cool on the phone about it, and that was that. I asked to see him before I left and they brought him into me wrapped in a towel, setting him on the table. He’s closing his eyes like he’s trying to rest, and seems to be responsive like his normal self, although of course, he is sick. With the door shut, I sobbed and sobbed, and in the car I bawled and bawled and even screamed like a madman.

I am so torn up right now, Casey. I’ve already called some friends and left messages on their voice mails to see if they can keep me some company because I am feeling such despair.

Jeff has just called and is swinging by to take me out to a bar to try and cheer me up. Call me if you like, or can, otherwise I will leave my AIM on and you can message me as soon as possible. I love you darling sweetheart. Stay safe and send loving thoughts toward us in this hard time. Love, g.

Creature of the Night

I don’t know this kid’s name yet, but yeah, he was there, and I decided on dubbing him “Creature of the Night.” So we will refer to COTN, or Cotton, as just that, from this point on. I half promised I would bring him back into the LJ fold once again, so I will make good on it, for what it’s worth. Cotton, a Yoda to all goth kids worldwide.

I cannot say it was an hour well spent, but I got a good laugh out of it myself, because he was feeling sooooo deep around 9pm, what with the new devil lock and sad dying devil clown make up, trench coat, and Nirvana t-shirt (the one with the cartoon smiley face with it’s lights punched out, tongue hanging out sideways looking all stupid, a shirt that says, “You’re losing all kinds of credits”).

Here is a half story from a half promise, sparing everyone from the terrible and moving right along to the fabulously terrible—brought to you by Cotton, meditative, sullen, one bad motherfucker (not).

Make way, Cotton’s taking the “stage.” Whisper, whisper.

Deep
do I feel
and think
and be!
Do
I
be!

Instructive
and ready

“I’m going to pass around this flower. You can feel free to say something, or if you don’t have anything you feel like saying, pass it along to the next person.”

He handed it first to me, and to me it was like a hot potato; I quickly passed it on. It went on down the row of people, and for a bit there, it sort of stalled, out of my sight. I was whispered, “What’s going on with that flower? What is this, a seminar?” Cotton sort of hovered over whoever held this ominous foliage as if to say, “That’s it. That’s it. Take your time with it.” I said to this girl, “Is this guided meditation? Is this a queue for a smoke break?” Did some feel a need to hold onto it and develop a relationship? Did they feel pressured?

We are so hippy, yet dark.

Finally it made it’s way back to him. He held it up before everyone, and then rather theatrically smashed it on the ground, stomped on it, stomped it into little bits, and said,

That’s my poem,” and sat down.

Worst
poem ever.

Entirely lame.

This belongs on… I just can’t think…

I could not help myself from saying, “I’m glad I didn’t invest that much time into it.” “I should’ve stomped it into the ground myself; then what would he have done, light it on fire?” Whoa, what a show stopper. Someone should put this kid on a plane to England where he can try out his accent on them and see if they buy it. This kid got his hair cut from Spencers and his bondage gear from Hot Topic. You cannot deter Cotton. Tie him to a tree and he will just howl at you deep into the night, because that’s just what he does, because it’s just what you need to be hearing at this point in your life right now.

What have you learned from this experience? What have you learned?

drink liquids

Surprisingly, I got an A on my latest essay. I turned it in thinking it’s one of the worst things I’ve written in a long time, and I got it back with hardly any marks, and A’s in each area for Content, Organization, and Grammar. Very shocking. No, I will not post it here. I still think it unworthy of true readership. I can only advertise my headache here, behind the eyes. Usually it’s a breathing problem. Tonight…

I have been watching the first season of 24, rented for free from the library. I’m a little late; what are they, like on the 4th season by now? Millennium, by the way, the second season is to be released on DVD in January.

But enough of TV. I’m actually ready to voyage off and write a paper based on the benefits of reading over watching the tube and becoming docile.

Writing lists. I wish… I wish this and that… Long lists and trying to strip down the ego. Write for the sake of writing. Recapture the beauty of it, and build off of new things, too. For example, when I started out early on, I was only attracted to writing as art and creating it in free association, now I am also interested in using writing to tell stories that people can see clearly in their own minds, and to give information that is actually helpful. I’m not saying I didn’t engage in this kind of writing back then, it’s just that I’m more focused on it now, more directly aware of it.

I’ll get some rest and hope my eyes feel some relief.

note

Ki,

How are you sweetheart? I got back yesterday and you weren’t around. Anyway, the job interview went well, on many levels. The lady was really nice, and in fact the position had opened up after this guy Jamie of old Scholastics Sports fame had been let go. This comes down to being a part time job in the first few months at least, because it’s kinda slow – which means 30 hours a week at around $10 an hour. This is kinda low, obviously. The only reason I’m even considering it is because it seems like a decent place to work, as far as jobs go and comparing it to some of the other interviews I’ve been on. Anyway…. The thing is, again, it comes down to I’ll be making just about as much, if not more after taxes, collecting unemployment. It’s a tough call though, because I am getting me graphics experience out of this, and it’ll go on my resume. What do you think? Talk to you soon. Love, glenn.

sunday note

Ki,

I am only writing to say that I miss you in huge chunks, and as my Sunday is chugging along, I wanted to tell you. I miss you so much; there is nothing more worthy to report.

Except: I awoke groggy in the middle of the night to take a piss, and hardly could keep my eyes open. Just as about the event was to take place, I opened my eyes, Kalika was directly in front of me on the edge of the toilet bowl with her head down in it, very silently ready to drink the water. I came THIS close to pissing all over her. “Get the hell out of here,” I yelled at her, pushing her off. She was annoyed.

Love, husband.

Writing in Cursive

This morning, I decided to revisit old fashioned Cursive from grade school, and it was lovely. For about two hours I sat down and wrote in this notebook just whatever came to mind.

I wrote of a young man, Andrew, who was scared of the spiders. He went home to report to his mother and father. They said, “Never mind them, get back to your schoolwork.” He completed it and watched a movie. Later that night, he got out of bed and snuck out of the house with a fishing pole. The sun rose and he kept fishing. At noon, he decided he’d fish some more. Dusk came and his parents were worried sick. “Probably I should go back in the morning,” he thought, and made himself a comfortable bed in the woods. It was more pleasant than he imagined. Perhaps this new found love for the outdoors would cure him of his phobia.

Well, this was certainly a pleasant experience for young Andrew, but he was annoyed awake by the sound of something in the distance. Something. Dogs. A search party with dogs had gathered. “My parents are gonna be some kinda pissed,” he thought. And the dogs caught up to him. They surely did. They roughed him up quite a bit, too. THE END

So it was not a great story; I’m not saying that. But it was proof to me, that out of just getting the hand to move for a few pages, a story did fall out. The act of physically moving the hand in the act of writing just may produce something of value.

I wrote to friends: Dear Friends—

Thanks for getting this and opening it and accepting it. I hope you miss me as I miss you, but it’s okay if you don’t. As I write to friends of the past, I’m well aware I’m writing to current unseen friends in other dimensions (which sounds creepifying, I know, but that’s the kind of package deal you’re getting here).

I said all kinds of things, in Cursive. I wore out two pens, actually, and started on a third. Black ink. In black ink I said I may very soon put this open mic poetry thing to rest for awhile and concentrate on other writerly things. There weren’t any complaints, not after that fiasco Thursday night.

Oh, and I saw that kid again, in the market. I was downtown pleasure seeking and spotted him in the coffee shop window playing chess with some friends. My first reaction was to keep walking. The second was to turn back around and grab myself a table and write, and read. And so I wrote. Maybe it was in blue ink, not black. I wrote: “I didn’t expect to see you out in the sunlight!” and laughed loud enough that it was audible. Asked the girl at the counter for a cup of water instead of coffee. Then I thought, “If I throw this water on you, will you do a whole melting routine for us?”

take
take off your
mask
and be
be real
with me
is all
I
really
ask

I’ll tell
you what
I like
about
goth kids
some
day
when
I
figure
it
out

Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me

The local Satanists did not so much appreciate my halloween storytelling tonight. Wasn’t into it myself—my head was going blank and the particular anecdotes were probably a little too personal for these youngins to get into. So I was kicking myself for having wasted my breath.

This particular poetry reading works in rounds. By the third, I got up without a sheet of paper to read from or anything to recite from memory but with the intention of telling some more childhood stories in the vein of October and Halloween. Man, did this ever go straight into the ground. The crowd was dead, I was dead, the muse—I don’t know what the muse was up to; maybe he was checking out books at the library, or hanging out somewhere up the street (somewhere far up the street). I then started asking this small group if they were into Halloween and if they’d like to come up and tell their own ghost stories. This was all the nod Satan’s two little performance artists needed.

This one guy was one of the most pretentious kids I’ve ever met. He wanted me to close my eyes, almost as if he would mediate a sort of guided meditation, and show both the audience and myself “the true meaning of horror.” And what a bunch of hot air! We were all deathly sick with boredom in the first thirty seconds.

“You wanna know true horror, look inside yourself!”

“Halloween is the night of the spirits!”

On the topic of spirits: he asked if when I was a kid, did I have a dog that died, or a puppy, or a cat, a kitten… Boy did this ever strike a chord! I was already quite annoyed with his shit, but this took the cake. So I decided to throw in a small wrench.

No, I’ve never had a single pet in all my life; I was close to no one; the only person I was ever close to, if you must know, was my refrigerator. And it up and died on me.

This made them have to tell the rest of their “goth wisdom” based around an imaginary refrigerator. Now that was classic.

“When you feel there is a spirit near, it just might be your refrigerator! You must respect the spirits!”

By the time I opened my eyes, about two people were left standing. What a great time to take a bathroom break—to walk all the way through the park, on past the fountain, cross the street to the coffee shop, use the facilities there, grab a beverage, make small talk with an acquaintance, sit down for a bit, and then come back.

Stay tuned for what is in store for next week…

Kalika, little grey grey

My smallest cat, Kalika, has become so friendly towards me lately, that she has started to draw my bath for me. That is, she’ll stick in her little paw to test the water. Is it warm enough?

Now as I stand and piss, I have to keep her from jumping in. This is an extracurricular activity in itself. It’s just the kind of friendship she is offering these days.

Abundant meows from her, she has begun to cook my meals on the front burner. God bless her!

Ah, time for lunch!

all heroic and what have you

A team formed to spread good words to the masses. The masses thought bookstores exploded into the streets and parking lots, and perhaps they have. This team assembles to talk about the value of small, soft cats, to talk about beauty in the world, and wear suits and masks just like in the comics, to add color, to go straight, to go gayly forward, to go… whatever.

I befriend the group and pass on what I know to them and they nod solemn swears and do not curse under their breath after I am gone; I can tell. They are well loved for this, and develop powers of lasting relationships, powerful marriages of solid bonds, arts, and letters, dinners cooked on actual stoves, not the Fisher-Price items.

An art mastered of climbing stairs and all things taken for granted. These are my heros and idols. I mail them award-winning sandwiches for their good deeds. Thank the heavens for 21st century super heros.

Up and down a street I wander and fall in love with life and realize it and fall in love some more. I love what Fall is doing with making the air so crisp. I find that even the people I think I hate, I like a little more. We shake hands and talk about the news, we learn things from one another. I pretend I’m somewhere else like in New York where everything is happening, and I have little obligations. I can just relax with the super heros and learn how to play chess and read tarot cards.

But hey, if someone sneezes on me, I’m gonna lose it. Next person that sneezes on me is gonna find out where the fury out of the middle of nowhere comes from. Next person, next person that sneezes on me, I’m gonna turn their bank account to all zeros.

Yo, chill chill. For Christ’s sakes, man.

I’m just sayin’. The sneezing…