The Best Years of Our Lives


The Day She Quit
February 26, 2010, 8:54 pm
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January 29, 2010

Everyone could see it coming. It surprised no one, but everyone acted so shocked. She left her office and then went back into her office. She shut her door instantaneously. He left his office and went right into her office and did not shut the door behind him. He told her that it was her fault. Then he asked her what she was doing. He then told her that they had made a deal. Then he recounted everything as he remembered it. He asked her several pointed questions and as she was just beginning to formulate a response he dismissed her by brushing the air with the palm of his hand and by squinting his eyes and moving his body slightly toward the door as if he were about to leave.

They had already discussed this about six weeks ago. Most of us had shrugged it off by now. He watched her leave her office and then go right back into her office. He watched her shut the door. She sits at her desk as her door suddenly opens after the smallest and briefest of knocks. She told him that this was about personality. She told him that she had not signed anything. She told him that this was personal. She told him all that she could before she was dismissed by the breezed caused by the brushing of his hand through the thickening air in her office. The tightening sides of his eyes silenced her as he turned to walk away.

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Not No More
February 26, 2010, 8:44 pm
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January 28, 2010

I am standing here. Yeah, I’m standing here, but my feet are shuffling and my hands are quivering and my arms are moving up and down. I’m not cold. Not no more.
I am standing here. That’s right, I’m standing here, but my legs are moving up and down this stretch of grass all strewn with plastic and glass. I’m not cold. Not no more.

I am standing here. You see me, don’t you turn away, uh huh, that’s me in the corner of your eye, all my clothes are the same color as I am and that is the color of dirt.

I’m not cold. Not no more.
I’m not cold. Not no more.
I’m not cold. Not no more.

I am standing here. I am falling down trying to get that key, trying to get that thing, that dollar that was in my hand but flew away. I’m no fool. No I’m not. Not no more.

I am standing here. All over the ground with wet sticky snow all up in my nose and teeth I guess I gotta break the window, break it with my arm. I’m no fool. Not no more.

I am standing here. I’ve got some torn elbow and some torn arm, the blood is warm and slow and I only get a handful of papers that is all tonight. I’m no fool. Not no more.

I’m no fool. Not no more.
I’m no fool. Not no more.
I’m no fool. Not no more.

I am here. I am shaking like a leaf. I am here. I sit I stand I walk up and down this street. I don’t know my name, you want to know my name. No you don’t. You’re no fool. You don’t want from me. I want from you. I will get that thing. I will get that food. I will get that piece. I will get that piece. I will get that piece. I will get that thing that I need.



Things I Do Not Need
February 26, 2010, 8:40 pm
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January 27, 2010

I walked into a small room with one chair facing two chairs
The offered me tea and I accepted a glass of water instead
They looked me straight in the eye
They told me that I did not need the river
I looked at the river
I did not speak

I walked out onto a small porch with a bench and a large window
They offered me sandwiches and I accepted an apple instead
They looked me straight in the eye
They told me that I did not need the mountain
I looked at the mountain
I did not speak

I walked onto a small roof with a step stool and a railing
They offered me metal and I accepted ash instead
They looked me straight in the eye
They told me that I did not need the land
I looked at the land
I did not speak

I walked for many suns and moons and always the same invitations
I saw many rooms, porches and roofs
I drank the water, ate the apple and held the ash
I looked them in the eye
I told them that I did not need the river
I told them that I did not need the mountain
I told them that I did not need the land

I stopped in my steps and watched the sun and the moon
I did not need them
But I liked them
As they were



All Those Uninspiring Colors
February 21, 2010, 4:37 pm
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January 26, 2010

He shakes his head and tells her:
You baby that boy
You’re gonna break him
He wont be no good
For the real world

She looks at him and says:
How can I want better when this will do?
You don’t think about these things, but you do.

He says as he gets up:
Put them aside.

She quips back as she gets up too:
The only difference you can make is through anger
That’s no good.

Walking down the hall the man scolds himself:
Maturity
Dealing with Adversity
In a civilized manner

He barks right back at himself:
Define the former!

Halfway out the door their son mumbles something like:
Every day I contemplate the gun
What side do I want to be on.

Staring at all those uninspiring colors.



I Remember Cafeteria Food
February 21, 2010, 4:32 pm
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January 25, 2010

I am standing there staring at this “thing” on the ground. I can’t find the word, but I know what it is. What do they call it? Its odd because I know I know that the word is, but it escapes me. I’m not even making myself nervous but I can feel my cerebral cortex hardening ever so slightly as I continue to stare at this “thing”. It is not a squirrel, a rat, a mouse, a pika, a woodchuck, a groundhog, a hamster, a guinea pig, a chipmunk, a raccoon, a red panda, a cat or anything else that I could thing of. I just wish I could ask it: “Hey, what are you again”? But I can’t and now the harder I try the words just slip out of my brain. Finally I give up and walk away. I was too embarrassed to ask anyone what this “thing” was called, and then I glance back over my shoulder just to have one more look. I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe the little thing would hold up a sign declaring its species and its name in layman’s terms. “I’m minutaes furballus aka Small Furball” But that was not to be the case. I wondered off not remembering what it was called and twenty minutes later I had forgotten that I had cared. I had forgotten that as well because as I walked I caught the smell of cafeteria food. I’m not positive it was cafeteria food, but it had that smell. The canned food, carefully heated, still cooking under heat lamps. The same food eaten just after the second world war, eaten in elementary schools for about 30 years and eaten in Golden Corrals to this day. This smell sends my mind reeling back to my second grade year. I was at an elementary school and I was outside during one of our breaks. I could smell lunch. I knew that after the break we would have more class then lunch. As I walked further away from the unidentified “thing” I found myself edging closer to a fully realized memory. Or was I? Was this memory at all true? Parts of it were, but it seemed to be reconstructing itself so fast that I was sure half of it was just putty and paste that I was hastily applying in order to have it fulfilled. I remember going by the window of the lunch room and knowing that when we were done playing, something I tended to do by myself, we would have just ONE more class, maybe two, I actually don’t remember and then….what the hell is that thing called?! Nothing. I still smell the food under the heat lamps.



There is No Meaning Here
February 15, 2010, 8:52 pm
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January 24, 2010

A film of an inflatable dancing promotional cylindrical man and a distracted bored teenager dressed up as the statue of liberty.

A recording of random blasts of horns and splashes as tires hit cold water potholes and then the blare of a different set of horns.

A painting of movie theatre that sells brand new shoes and shirts and skirts and suits for less than ten dollars burning to the ground.

A dance around parking lots with carts and cars and friends and families who treat the road like a toe path and then rest for while.

A well cooked meal that tastes like twelve generations of ideas have been basted on this piece of earth and then it is in your mouth.

A pile of people waits in a bundle next to an abandoned house next to a soul food store and restaurant next to each other in the front seat.

Moving in the opposite direction the same scene, sound, sensation, smell and serenity prevails where there is no meaning.



Pretty Places
February 15, 2010, 8:51 pm
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January 23, 2010

With 900 layers of green and gray all scattered around the room. There were never so many ways to get lost in one’s owns thoughts than there is right now. The piles of discarded colors and slivers of sand colored glass that scatter when you walk into the room make for light conversation as they lace curtains’ shadows sketch ever so briefly up and down the walls.

It is like this that I wait inside the brittle world of carnival glass. Carefully balanced between a layer of dust decorated with crystalline spectrums that move up and down the shimmering brass rod as it lowers itself slowly onto and into a makeshift bed of cream and cocoa colored feathers and down.

With 900 days of unwritten thoughts and the best ideas spewed forth while conversing with an equally inebriated friend I climb to the top of the three-story brownstone and declare that I am after all afraid of anything higher than a barstool.

It is like this that I will remember the next ten years of my life. Vaulting ambition tumbling onward like a well-trained physical comedian.

With 900 lives left I think that my next one will be as luscious as I can get.