pleased to meet you 

when he would look back at this moment, he would remember it in slow motion--frame by frame. she was lovely. it was a displaced loveliness, like the commercials hawking tampons or nature's most gentle laxative where beautiful settings and beautiful people get used to set the stage for not-so-beautiful things. everything about the way she looked appeared so natural; her look was a given. as if her beauty was not a hypothesis, not a long-standing theory, but a concrete, empirical fact. if anyone were to be standing next to him at that moment he could ask, "isn't she lovely?" and receive the person's nonchalant reply, "yeah... duh." by just posing such a question, he would prove that he stood on the periphery of what was popular science.

he focused intently on how he was feeling. he wanted the butterflies in the stomach feeling, regardless if it were cliche. what's wrong with a cliche? he didn't want to miss out on whatever other people were commonly feeling. from what he had heard, love was a common sense, and during his entire life up to this point, he had none of it.

paul, his least favorite beatle, had once known the right question to ask:

some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs
and what's wrong with that? i'd like to know

he waited for whatever his sensory organs would give him. would he hear music? see fireworks? was he feeling sparks? or, is it gas? if it's gas, is that love?

his best girlfriend (a friendship with the platonic strength of steel) once told him how a former lover's presence always gave her indigestion. she found those moments early in their relationship exhilarating--even though they were followed by three years of drama and two years of regret, "and one year of expensive therapy," she would add.

if it is love, he thought, he couldn't wait to share with her all the things he kept to himself: that his favorite word was, "subtle," and that he always got a kick out of pronouncing its silent "b." that given the opportunity to laugh until he collapsed to the floor or doubled over with pain from overworked abdominals, he could so easily weep out of simultaneous sadness and happiness that the moment of hilarity was soon to be over. that the animated ghost appearing in the "be right back" commercial segues of the scooby doo cartoon series used to frighten him as a child. that when he wrote, words always gushed out of him--as did his variable emotions--into run-on sentences and that was the reason why he never got into any graduate program in english. that he had never been in a proper "dating scene," but had an open and eager mind to "wing it," and "learn the ropes" as they so commonly say.

cliches were really helping him during those fleeting moments as he watched the vision of loveliness walking by. she was walking up to one of her girlfriends and giving her a hug. he was dying to know what the conversation was about. did her friends appreciate her as much as he felt he could?

"would she ever walk up to me like that?" he wondered. he was determined. for the first time, he was going to try and make someone love him. but first, he would need to get her to know his name.


threats of the ambidextrous mind 

right turns didn't make any sense to him. with left turns, he could see possible danger head-on and meet it accordingly. right turns always ended up on the sidewalk, over the curb, against a fire hydrant. he swore it was from childhood deprivation of using the hand that he was naturally inclined to use... his left.

it was bad luck to write with the left hand. as the muscles of his naturally stronger left hand withered, he struggled with anything his right hand had to do: eat, hold scissors, write, even flip the birdie. his right middle finger never could stand up as straight and defiantly as his left one.

"damn, mama," he'd curse to himself.

memories of wincing at the slap of his mother's hand on his overly eager left hand would surface at unexpected moments--when shaking hands, serving a tennis ball and playing the guitar.

he envied all the famous musical lefties that got to explore creation with the left hand: jimi hendrix, toni iommi, paul mccartney--PAUL MCCARTNEY? he never was impressed with paul's bass guitar skills.

"he's no milt hinton," he'd always say.

this would always create a stir of controversy. his beatle blasphemy was too much for his best friend who believed the mathematical theorum that if the beatles were the greatest band in history, then it follows that its bass player, paul, was the greatest bass player, ever.

"you know, don't even talk to me about paul, okay? i'm sorry. that ain't bass playing." he would then try and flip the birdie at his friend, but would only get ridiculed at how the surrounding fingers of his right hand could barely make themselves scarce and allow full prominence to his derogatory middle member.

he wondered if the lefty dilemma would have long-term effects on his personality. would he become a psychotic serial killer that would stab right-handed victims with his left hand? perhaps, he would kill his victims with a moving car, charging forward on rainy nights towards his unsuspecting prey, who would only see the headlights too late.

in his defense, he would claim that his view of the victim was obstructed due to inclement weather. he would cryptically explain at his trial:

"it was always easier for me to turn on my headlights than turn on my wipers." authorities inspecting the mechanical setup on the inside of his car would find that his ease of using turn signals placed on the left of the steering wheel versus the more difficult task of using the windshield wiper switch located on the right was indeed due to the fact that--as the defendant claimed, "i was born a leftist, raised as a right-hander."

during his trial, he fantasized that extensive evidence would be collected from psychiatric evaluations that examined the damage caused by being forcibly converted to a right-hander. would the truth set the leftist free? or, would the current state of political affairs under a republican administration doom him to serve the maximum sentence for pre-meditated murder? the death penalty.

t.oo m.uch "i.ntellectualizing" 

she wrote: "i decided to retire one of my thongs today when i was doing laundry. i've already set up a retirement banquet at the radisson in marina del rey. expect invitations in the mail."

i wanted to reply, "TMI," but i realized (or really hoped) she was being facetious. i wondered what the basis was for the retirement. worn elastic? her declaration that the day of the low rider jean was dead? an "out out damn spot" incident?

how insidious. she got me to think at length about her undergarments through this simple email. ugh. asshole.

failed experiment: aka. agnostic= i dunno 

i took down the half-baked idea i had six years ago of stapling "curtains" over my windows. i didn't even cover all of them. just a few. they weren't even curtains; they were non matching bedsheets that had collected six years of dust and cobwebs. i had to struggle with my staple remover to remove the large staples that were embedded in the wall. when i couldn't reach a staple, i just ripped the sheet off. for some reason, one of the "curtains" had some gaudy necklace pinned in the center. why? my dad once made a joke about it asking if it was some altar to some god. well, it's gone now. i guess i'm a non-practicing curtain worshipper. but, they weren't even curtains. i guess i've been worshipping false gods all these years.

there's no such thing as gravity; we all have leadened feet, right? 

pant. pant. pant.

desperation is really unattractive. i imagine him being just as sad. the night i said, "goodbye" he kept trying to linger in that magical doorway of "but what if."

"bring your car to the house saturday morning and i'll wash it for you. it'll take only 20 minutes."

i wouldn't even take the free car wash. i'd rather drive dirty and alone. dust clouds fly whenever i kick up my windshield wipers. it brings me back to the calistoga wagons of my past life. i was white, a mother of 5, with the life expectancy of 42--when counting leap years. i was a february baby.

wherever you go, there you are 

"i'm known for saying how i stopped writing in my journals long ago because i realized, 'i can do no better than i've done so far!'"

she's laughing. she actually thinks she's funny. i wanted to smack her. what a pompous ass. is she serious? does she think we want to hear this? what kind of writing professor is this? i also couldn't stand how she addressed the class without eye contact. she was too busy cutting up an empty two-liter bottle of soda so that she could put in some bouquet of flowers that someone gave her. didn't she have an office on campus to do this? or, did she need to advertise how nameless people just shower her with flowers as she goes to meet her writing class on the first day of semester. maybe, it was a bouquet to congratulate her polished brass ass for surviving the "boo hoo" cold of winter in order to return and share her creative wisdom on all us wannabe writers. i hadn't even read any of her books. i just lied in my entry application (since, of course, entry into these kinds of classes is so exclusive. HAH!)

"--but that's not going to be the case for all you in my class," she continued.

god. put the damn things in water, already! i was for sure, now, that she probably bought them herself--just to make it look like she got it as a gift. i bet people actually think she's charming. i'll roll my eyes. i hope she sees i'm rolling my eyes.

"during the course of the semester, will we be able to discuss with you your writing process for some of your novels?"

some poindexter was already kissing up before we even got the class syllabus. this wasn't going to inspire me to write--being stuck between sycophants and egomaniacs. what was it going to inspire me to do? maybe, it makes sense. maybe i'm a sociopath. what else could create the best balance? but wait. didn't i hear that crazy people never ask themselves if they're crazy? they just are. and, so will i. i'll just "be." i just hope i'm being consciously sane. well, if at the least, incidentally sane?

frogs in the desert 

the landlord had sent a crew to repaint the bathroom in their apartment for the next two days. since she worked from home, her roommate and her agreed that it worked out great to have someone home the entire time the painters were at the house. however, as she thought more about the logistics of the situation, she was overcome with a moment of panic.

"what do i do if i have to use the restroom?"

well, of course, they'd have to let her, right? or, would she have to meditate in her room to relieve herself of bladder contractions? maybe, she could imagine herself to be like one of those desert frogs she read about in high school biology. in order to preserve water, the frogs would release their urine only once a day as a gelatin-like pellet.

"if only," she thought.

"if only?" she thought again. she couldn't believe that she'd rather morph into a desert amphibian than overcome her shyness to ask to use her own restroom. what a coward. what an idiot.

"shit," she thought, "maybe i should brew myself a large pot of coffee before the painters arrive, so that i'll be forced to use the restroom whenever i damn well please!"

she thought again, "that was so damn testosterone of me. i'd rather be a frog than a macho bitch." she hated the b-word, but hated even more her moment of testosterone transgression. over the next two days, she decided to limit her intake of liquids.

"look kids, big ben, parliament!" 

"all right, already! i know!"

great. she's killing me with the "tough love" shit. I just wanted to point out to her his exit off the freeway. i never liked driving by it by myself since we split up. for some reason, though, i always felt impelled to point it out as a "been there, done that... i can't believe how many times i exited here to go to his house" thing. she smelled it. she smelled the absolute lameness of it all. that's it, i decided. i'm never driving on the 2 freeway again. i'm taking surface streets. besides, who needs to hang out in eagle rock, anymore? it was on its way to becoming the next yuppified horror.

"look. you'll find a new exit to take off the freeway, someday." huh. she's trying to be nurturing and supportive, now. unbelievable.

screw that, i thought. i should hawk my car and join the busrider's union.

who's your favorite beatle? entry 5150 

anthony couldn't listen to "wings." it reminded him of the night he tried to drink drano and his ex-girlfriend had called the cops. they no longer lived together at the time, but somehow she knew something was up. "extra-sensory perception," she explained. whatever. he cringed at how that traumatic night of (melo)drama had "mull of kintyre" as the running soundtrack on obsessive repeat. he remembered how drama always had to be accompanied by the pathetic/fantastic. somehow, he had momentarily overcome bouts of crying, doubting his manhood and contemplating death in order to carry on phone conversations with some russian grad student looking for a roommate. he must have forgotten that looking for new housing could not possibly follow a successful suicide attempt. this memory, he would only share with the most trusted friends. he wanted to avoid the chance of having the dreaded epitaph mark his life: "he's got had issues." who the hell doesn't, he thought?