Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Case For Beheading British Petroleum's CEO

Don't let the suit fool you, he's not one of us


What I see when I look around me is people not planning to survive. I do not enjoy living with those people, they will bury us all, both the guilty and innocent. For some, their efforts are obvious for their destruction is obvious. For others, it is hidden, for they enable the destruction - the sin of omission. What is needed is a changing of our trust, a shifting of our footsteps. This is a false statement: "The only thing needed for evil to win is for good men to do nothing." If you're doing nothing, you ain't good!

I see beautiful propaganda all the time. "This is what our glorious life will be like in fifty or a hundred years as we continue on this path!" "I saw a little, old lady helped across the street today - therefore we no longer trust greed and war to save us!" "Heroes will fix our planet - do nothing, all will be fine!" I suppose the number of ways to turn a blind eye is infinite - but they're all fatal. In life, only one ally exists that will not betray you: the truth. And the truth is no matter how many beautiful lies we spin, we're on the wrong road.

A good start would be the beheading of the CEO of British Petroleum. Not that he is any more or less evil than any other CEO but like I said, it's a start. And I am serious. I will do the beheading myself if necessary. One can argue he is not directly responsible for the oil spill but if one expects to collect the rewards of a collective responsibility one should also expect to pay its penalties. I know this solution may seem harsh to you, and if so, you are one of those not planning to live, merely posing as one.

Some come healing. Some come raping.


For you see, we cannot live with people like this among us: those who poison the communal well, who have no regard for life. It may sound cruel and evil to saw off the leg of another person - until you learn that leg has gangrene and it’s for the greater good. Do you fucking want to live or not? Those who bring death must be put to death, it was a lesson taught long ago from the clearing of the contaminated Canaanites to those among the Israelites who disobeyed the realities of their survival. It is not a fate chosen for them, it is a fate they bring on themselves. It is societal self-defense.

And with this new embracing of responsibility, others in positions of power will see the wisdom of towing the line. As it is now, we reward those who harm us, perhaps hoping we'll receieve the same reward for our betrayals. But we already know what the truth is: protecting those who harm us will lead to death anyway. From responsibility there is no shortcut, no sidestepping, no escape - ever at all. Speak truly of what you see - for what you know is already known and one day the betrayers of their truth will be revealed. And if you are of them and have not had the favor of your head being chopped off already, then you will chop your own head off in the vain hope of avoiding shame.

There is no escape from what we need to do. Thank God.



"I the Lord do not change. So you, O decendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the Lord Almighty.

"But you ask, 'How are we to return?'"

"Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me."

"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'"

"In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse - the whole nation of you - because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessings that you will not have room enough for it! I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the Lord Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the Lord Almighty.

"You have said harsh things against me," teared the Lord.

"Yet you ask, 'What have we said against you?'"

"You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly, the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'"



--------------

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Goupil: A Bullet For Love

[Recap: After a furious forty eight hours, Goupil has fled America and retreated to a roadside cafe in the German hinterlands on his way to Russia. His mind racing as his car had down the legendary Autobahn freeway, he stopped at last to take stock of his situation, his life, and himself. He feared going forward into the "Russian black hole" but his options had dwindled with each bad decision of his life.

But he loved European cafes with their sense of instant community for any wandering soul (well, not so much for tourists). And at this point Goupil was desperate to connect to anything. If only he could stay in that cafe forever as he flashed back to the genesis of his path...
]


A particularly spectacular sunrise burgeoned before the glistening eyes of Goupil as he scanned across the sky, absorbing the canvass of God.

"Magnifique!"

As an assassin Goupil always conducted his affairs during odd hours. "The less seen the better!" was one of his many steadfast mottos. But rarely did dawn occur on his watch unless he happened to have stayed up the night. Now, with his career literally arrested and an excess of time forcing him to open his eyes to the world around him he found himself on a voyage of discovery. The beauty of a sunrise was one - Diana was another.

He thought about her day and night, imagining conversations, dreaming of her soft, kissable shoulders as he ached with forbidden desire. His charade for visiting her was wearing thin but as his feelings deepened his caution lessened. He'd met her while proselytizing his Mormonism door to door. Diana was a died-in-the-wool Christian but truth was their chemistry trumped any staged religion. In fact, their division of religion made for a rock solid foundation, providing a safe distance between their emotions.

Goupil reported her to his masters as a solid prospect for conversion - thus the need for many repeat visits. He wondered what if she actually did convert and came into the fold. He'd make a life with her then and know the path he'd chosen was a true one. He chose to neglect the voice that told him he'd no longer respect her for giving up her principles, the idea of his having chosen well just too alluring a prospect to resist!

Like anyone, he'd heard the testimonials of being "saved" by religion and hoped the same outcome for himself as well. With his world knocked off its axis he was liable to grab at anything - even if he still shied away from outright honesty. In his new quest to be a Moral Man he vowed to turn over a new leaf and the meeting of Diana had been his reward - or so he felt. But in his own mind first he had to win the approval of his strict, moralist therapist.


He hated that icy witch who held a peculiar stranglehold on his life. Why did he give a damn about what she thought anyway? How is it he could not escape her words as they kept popping back in, puncturing his feelings at the most inopportune times? Why must he appease this fruitless god? Goupil told himself he did not have a such a need, her stupid remarks meant nothing to him and her adolescent American mind was forever stuck in puberty, perpetually shocked at the sight of a bare breast.

One morning Goupil came across an article on Victor Bout, a.k.a. The Merchant of Death, who'd finally been indicted after years of wildly successful arms peddling to warring factions around the globe, often to both sides. Bout, who at one point seemed untouchable as he fled to his native Russia for protection had been a rumored target for assassination. His indictments were for violating international sanctions but his dealings went much further than that.

In carelessness or callousness - Goupil didn't know which - Bout's airplane network had been subcontracted as a transporter for U.S. government arms and supplies. Bout had also been a supplier for the Taliban. And as such he had a unique knowledge of a most disturbing fact: The United States government had intentionally supplied the Taliban even after declaring war in 2002. The reason given to him was that were the Americans to achieve total victory, they would lose justification for their war machine in the Middle East and that simply was not an option to them.

Bout under arrest


So while pursuits were made against Bout through official channels what the Americans really wanted was him dead. So off-the-books was the assassination that Goupil - through intermediaries - had been tapped for the job. But Bout was cagey and elusive as he shuttled between warlord encampments and plush hideaways in exotic locales that the job was never made final. Goupil was often exposed to the true underbelly of the world but he found this incident galling and despicable in the extreme from a country that always claimed the moral high ground.

The new and improved Goupil, though, was ready to share this secret, exposing the government's duplicity, and to make himself a hero of truth! With a little digging he discovered something more:

On July 10, 2009, House Intelligence subcommittee Chairwoman Representative Jan Schakowsky (D, IL) announced the termination of an unnamed CIA covert program described as "very serious" in nature which had been kept secret from Congress for eight years...The program was rumored vis-a-vis leaks made by anonymous government officials on July 23, to be an assassinations program.

"Yes! Oui! It most certainly was an assassinations program!" Goupil leapt out of his chair reading the report, for he himself had been told his sanction was secret even from the American Congress by orders of the Vice-President. What was needed now was someone to put this all together and be a shining beacon of truth. Goupil decided to reveal this astounding news to the person most authoritative in his life: his court-ordered therapist nemesis.


Sitting down in the overly comforting chair before the stare of the Ice Queen's inquisition, he noticed for the first time he did so with a smile. Her implacable self-assuredness of smug moral superiority goaded him to no end and like solving an extremely difficult job, Goupil focused all his energies on breaking her, waiting for the opportunity that always came if one waited long enough. He wanted to come right out and say, "Your government sucks! They lie to you and betray you!" knowing she would take that as a direct reflection on her.

With a smug smile of his own, Goupil laid out the facts and made a clear and compelling story of his inside knowledge. He knew she wouldn't enjoy hearing the facts of the case but with her almighty claim to holiness he knew her appreciation for truth would outweigh the bad taste of his tale. But instead, she gave him only an icy, silent stare in response.

"This mean nothing to you, what I say to you here today in your office?" A flicker behind her implacable disdain? Did I finally get to her? Maybe she human after all!

"There's no point in telling this to me - to anyone really. No one will listen to anything a child molester says." She shifted in her chair as one who's bored by a time wasting conversation.

Looking back, Goupil saw this was his turning point, to forever turn his back on society and its claims. After all, any entity not open to the truth was futureless and a waste of time - exactly as the therapist saw him. But Goupil felt only rage at this moment, flabbergasted by her response.

"You tell me: 'Be responsible', 'Confess sin', "Be part of society' and when I do these things I get this? You shrug shoulders and act if I say nothing! Sacre bleu, madame! You sit there like pillar of the world but I see only fraud."

Her reaction was swift and precise, madly wishing to stab him with as many verbal wounds as possible, just wanting him dead and knowing nothing else. "You're still not getting what these sessions are about, are you Mr. Goupil? We need to find about your truths. What others do is something which you have no control over."

Then you would have no control over my wring your neck! Damn you, woman! I so dearly wish you were on my list to assassinate! But he decided she would not get the best of him. "All truth is important, no? Without truth, where are we as a whole? It's necessary to survival, no? How can you say other!"

"I'm glad to see you've become such a disciple of truth." - was that sarcasm? "So please tell me the truth of why you told me that story."

Never explain...


The color raced out of Goupil's face like a frightened child. How could he tell her he needed her approval so he could win the love of the dream girl he met - a very married dream girl at that. He managed only to stammer out some half-hearted philosophy as the souring face of the Ice Queen withered him back into submission. She was simply a target he could not crack, she being one whose bubble would burst only at the moment of undeniable, irreversible damage.

Still humiliated, he recalled her final parting shot to him: "If it's so important to you to get this out perhaps you should start a blog." Then she rapidly blinked and smiled her frozen smile and the memory of it spoiled even the grand sunrise of his Creator which he currently viewed in decreasing joy. If only he could have convinced her of his worthiness his world would be set right. Right?

But the true light in his life was Diana, and as she fed him his first few tastes of tenderness he vowed to honor her to death. Radio songs of love spoke to him with depths of new revelations not ever suspected. Love wasn't just for others now. But it became painfully obvious his words no matter how true would not be believed, that he must prove to her his love. Already he had told her, "I care for you" only to hear her say, "I don't believe you."

Goupil did not understand why words of truth were not enough but what could he do about that? If actions were required he'd perform as required - even if not fully understanding exactly what was being asked. But tragedy invariably seeps into gaps of communication and self-expression was a new endeavor to Goupil, a babe in the woods - with a gun in his hand.

flashback to be continued....


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Goupil: Something's Got To Change

[Recap: Goupil, the famously rumored but previously unknown international assassin was arrested for exposure by Puritanical Americans who branded him a heinous sex offender. Worse, his identity became known, effectively ending his career as a freelance killer. Lost and beaten down by the mandated therapy, he converted to Mormonism hoping to find some sort of direction for his life - the one thing he'd most avoided.]


"Why can't life always be like this?"

Goupil raced lustily down the precision engineering of the nighttime German autobahn under a limitless starry sky. Who could die on a dreamy night like this? He knew in the wee hours of the morning factory supercars were put through their paces at upwards of 200 mph. Balls to the wall - just as it should be. Behind his freshly minted Porsche, Goupil fancied himself a deft racer between the stripes. The exhilaration was intoxicating.

Traveling time had always been the most favorite and cathartic period during his time as an assassin. The famously anonymous "Red Fox" loved mixing in with greasy vacationers, he alone knowing his secret missions. He sneered at tawdry tourists and bombastic businessmen and mindless minions simply trying to get from point A to point B as a matter of course. If anything, he liked the college kids, full of life, doing their own thing.

When sealed in cooled pressurization miles above the earth, Goupil imagined his own genius, matching wits with newsmakers of the day or ancient greats of the past. Detached and devoid of ugly details of reality, the untouchability of the sky freed him like nothing else. But for whatever reason, the dreaded hotel check-in vaporized his transitory dreams and life once again boiled down to dirty, little jobs in a dirty, little world.


And so it was again as he traversed through the fresh spring air, slicing through the gloom of mystic German forests that held so many tales of untold horror when the savagery of men never reached the light of day. It was good to be back in the old country among familiar feelings and seeing the familiar tail lights of passing cars. America, the land of glitzy plastic, had a newness Europe could never match. But the shallowness was tiring, like eating cotton candy, but the deep elegance of the continent fed his soul wherein the New World with its preoccupation for money left him unsatisfied.

Even so, the wretched hand of the approaching Russians reached round his throat, choking him, giving him pause. Yes, he had decided on the "Cossack animals" as his only escape and safe harbor in the world. His one hit on Russian soil had been in northern Moscow, killing a female government official. In order to carry out his deeds with maximum precision, Goupil always did a mind trick of finding something to hate about his target, to clear his mind of all compunction. But she had been a person of integrity, enforcing the laws on the books and standing in the way of powerful interests. His urge was to join her, not destroy her. But he knew what the Russkies would do if he had backed out.

"Merde, I don't want to go back there!"

It was right at first meeting he dubbed them "animals", what with their snarling attitude and surly dispositions, always suspecting everyone. Goupil knew that even through the most oppressive of regimes, criminal activity flourished as the commodity starved masses were all too eager in their complicity. But the facade had fallen with the Berlin Wall, the gangsters seizing power, running roughshod over the country. The Russians were a broken people, and like any broken person yearned for a strong leader.


Goupil absorbed the history and culture of every country where he performed a hit, blending in being more than mere choices in clothing and local accessories. It was always a huge effort of will to pull off the charade but the resulting anonymity was priceless. In America, his gait was brash and cocky - while in other countries he strolled along slow and easy. But the Russians - no matter how closely crammed together they might be - were ultimately isolationists. Having by far the highest suicide rate in the world, they sought refuge in vodka bottles, drowning wordlessly in bent, nihilistic spirits. Never had Goupil seen a country so willingly repressed.

But Goupil found himself a rather desperate and repressed being as well. Pulling into a 24 hour roadside cafe - a real one, not one with "Waffle" in the title - he collected himself at a quiet window side table and let his mind wander.

What if I just stayed here and made a life for myself? Fuck the Russians and their depressing bullshit. Look at that waitress. She's got a smile for everyone, not trapped in a web of hell like me, beholden to bastards I hate. Joubert my mentor wallowed in dullness but that isn't for me. I need something more than "the job".

I want to stay here, never leave this table, and learn how to give back a smile to the friendly waitress. I'm ready to let go and give up this life of mine. But what if I did? What if everything I did from now on was perfect, would the sins of the past prevent me from living? How does one free oneself so that one may live again? Hell, I never lived in the first place!



Like constant, rhythmic waves the desire to stop running washed over him, making him drowsy and wistful. Why had he done what he done in America? How did he end up on the run all over again? What possessed him to kill that banker in a manufactured moral rage? Why does control of his life always slip away so easily?

A trucker breezed in the front door of the diner, greeting the waitress by name in gruff German as the pair exchanged smiles. Seeing this, electric pain short-circuited through the nervous pathways of Goupil, painting a picture of purgatory of a soul who'd cut himself off from that which he desired most. Have I no control over these killing fingers? Sipping his cup of agony, for the first time in 48 hours he took a breath, held in check by the fear of what he might find.

He was soothed for the moment: he had a direction (the hell of Russia) but not the sorrow of it. And he'd freed himself from another perpetually gnawing situation (the hell of America) but was on the run once more. And as long as he never reached his destination he was fine! Something was missing. Something was wrong. What? What??


As the life changing events of the last few days caught up with him, the room turned tragic: the smile of the waitress a sly mockery, the trucker conspiring with her to engineer his doom, Goupil was a part of nothing and no one. He'd stepped inside Van Gogh's Nighttime Cafe ("A place where you can go mad!"). Staggered in labored breath, the confused assassin recounted the trajectory that had hurled him so very far out into space...

To be continued...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Banksy, An Artist For The Times


I'll be honest and tell you I jealous over just about any type of art that is well done, some more than others. Since film is my natural medium it is there I find the most pain so when someone says "Let's go see a movie" I may cringe on the inside because of all my internal issues. I sit through a film and analyze it and ask myself "Could I make that?" Oftentimes, it lessens the fun of a movie for me. But film is not my only sore point.

Another pang high on my list is graffiti. When I say the streets are the last free place I'm not joking. You wanna be part of the system you gotta get that 666 stamp on you and then your soul dies. But street artists are outside the system and that allows a freedom of expression that would get your or my corporate ass sacked in a heartbeat. (Even blogging can be a form of graffiti - how many jealously hide their blogs from their job?) They are out there biting the hand that feeds us (until they stop sharing at all). Takes a lot of guts to live like that.


There's big money in art and the more we try to monetize it the more it slips through our fingers. Witness all the "safe" comic book movies coming out along with tons of other rubbish designed solely for the purpose of popcorn consumption. I like frivolity just as much as the next person but a steady diet of any one thing will make you sick. But there's a freshness to graffiti done well and I love its immediacy and haiku nature. So yes, I can feel threatened by graffiti - that's when I know it's damn good.

I mentioned in a previous post I saw the movie "Exit Through The Gift Shop", a Banksy film about a videographer of street artists who became one himself. Banksy is the world's foremost street artist and though he remains under wraps while speaking in the film (he keeps his identity classified), we do get a good sense of him. First off, let me tell you he is one savvy fellow and very, very clever. He has the kind of cleverness to where he could sell out and still be wildly applauded. That's dangerous for an artist. It becomes tempting to play to the crowd - to be as Moses striking the rock for water - rather than keeping the dedication of honestly answering to one's muse regardless of where it takes you.



Nevertheless, Banksy has done some works of true genius, injecting wit and humor and - importantly to my own heart - social commentary in ways gallery art never could. There's even worth in its being painted over as it shows where our true societal values lie - in art or in conformity. Give me art! Why look at plain boring walls of crap buildings when they could be covered with self expression? Many people consider self-expression dangerous and subversive but the reality is conformity is the true subversion, like a boiling pot allowed to let out no steam. It can only end in disaster.

Banksy is smart enough to not let himself be defined and let our imaginations fill in the holes. Here's part of the Wiki on him:

Banksy started as a freehand graffiti artist 1992–1994 as one of Bristol's DryBreadZ Crew (DBZ), with Kato and Tes. He was inspired by local artists and his work was part of the larger Bristol underground scene. From the start he used stencils as elements of his freehand pieces, too. By 2000 he had turned to the art of stencilling after realising how much less time it took to complete a piece. He claims he changed to stencilling whilst he was hiding from the police under a train carriage, when he noticed the stencilled serial number and by employing this technique, he soon became more widely noticed for his art around Bristol and London.

Banksy's stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment. Subjects often include rats, monkeys, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly.


Per wiki: Naked Man image by Banksy,
on the wall of a sexual health clinic in Park Street, Bristol.
Following popular support,
the City Council have decided it will be allowed to remain


I can certainly understand the guerrilla nature of this kind of art I have to admit it greatly appeals to me though I couldn't stand the thought of having my moment of inspired genius wiped away by a city worker drone the next day. During the Era of Open Evil (2001-2008) I was very frustrated with merely blogging and I wanted to shout out to the heavens. That's when I came across the Freeway Blogger who placed signs along the highway and inspired others to do so as well - including me. Below is the sign I hung on I-30 and it lasted less than 36 hours.



It was somewhat satisfying seeing my sign stuffed down the throat of redneck commuters stuck in rush hour traffic (though I suspect the sarcasm was lost on many as I even later heard that loser prick P. J. O'Rourke use that phrase in earnest for war support) but it took a lot of time and energy so that was it for me and I went back to digital writing. But I understand some of the satisfaction Banksy must have felt at some of his more high profile statement stunts - things I seriously wish I'd authored! Here's some samples below:

When the deluded Israelis erected their idiotic West bank wall, that became prime hunting ground for Banksy where he inflicted nine images upon it. Two of my faves:





In 2004, Banksy hung his own artwork in the Louvre: a small hand painted copy of the Mona Lisa only with a yellow smiley face. (Couldn't find an image) He repeated this stunt at several other major museums around the world.

Some are just funny:





And some make great statements:





Also from Wiki:

Asked about his technique, Banksy said:

“I use whatever it takes. Sometimes that just means drawing a moustache on a girl's face on some billboard, sometimes that means sweating for days over an intricate drawing. Efficiency is the key.”

Stencils are traditionally hand drawn or printed onto sheets of acetate or card, before being cut out by hand. Because of the secretive nature of Banksy's work and identity, it is uncertain what techniques he uses to generate the images in his stencils, though it is assumed he uses computers for some images due to the photocopy nature of much of his work.

He mentions in his book, Wall and Piece, that as he was starting to do graffiti, he was always too slow and was either caught or could never finish the art in the one sitting. So he devised a series of intricate stencils to minimize time and overlapping of the colour.


Now, were I a proper blogger, I'd of read Banksy's book to give you a better idea of what goes on in his head before posting. His book, however, is on my list and if I find I have more to say I'll say it. Street artists have their own little community like so many art forms and the best thing about that of course is that it's a meritocracy. Who knows, maybe I'll once more dip my toe in the waters of street art. It suits my ad hoc nature and its unique nature of self-expression is one that gives a certain satisfaction like no other.

Be sure to read the Wiki for a more comprehensive list of Banksy stunts and imagery. I'm just scratching the surface here!


News story on the Israeli wall




Gallery of images

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Navel Gazing On A Cloudy Sunday Morning


When Howard Cossell was at his peak, he'd do this bit where he'd go into a false diatribe when encountering a couple wherein he'd pay a backdoor compliment to them. He'd start off with something like, "You, sir, are most unworthy of this gorgeous creature on your arm..." and on he went in that patented Cossell announcer's voice as if he were doing play-by-play and it came off really funny. Only thing was, as he got older and more bitter, the funny part wore off and the false diatribe turned into a true diatribe. He still portrayed it as a joke but the disguise was gone.

I find myself falling into that same trap. Beating myself up all the time hasn't given me the morality I hoped for - just the opposite. I find myself wanting to be angry just to be angry. I know I'm not alone in this but that doesn't mean that's the way it has to be, either.

***

I went to a movie Friday at the Angelika (Exit Through The Gift Shop, highly recommend it) but as the trailers started to play I noticed something was wrong with the sound. It sounded like it was being channeled through a tin can at the front of the theater and the longer I sat there the more annoyed I became. Finally I decided that no way was I going to watch an entire film straining to hear so I got up and headed towards the concession stand where luckily I found a manager and told him about the sound.

As we headed back into the theater he started telling me how it was documentary so maybe the sound wouldn't be like a regular film. Now, the whole time I was doing this I was seething because I hate doing anything that requires someone else to rely on my word alone - especially if I'm right. And my secret fear was the manager wouldn't walk fully into the theater and up into the seats where the poor sound was readily apparent. Sure enough he stopped as soon as he saw the screen - but at least he saw it was trailers still running and not the film.

Street art from the film


I went back to my seat sure I was defeated or that as usual I had been labeled a malcontent and troublemaker. Unless the manager had an acute sense of hearing he would have had a hard time hearing what I was talking about from where he'd stood. But then suddenly a few minutes later full sound was restored in the theater and the difference was night and day. The manager did do a check, found something was wrong and fixed it.

But I wasn't sitting in satisfaction. The incident had triggered all sorts of latent resentment in me and I imagined the film operator and manager cursing me. I wasn't ungracious in my complaining but nor was I gracious either as I was squarely on the hot seat and not enjoying a minute of it. I just don't trust anyone anymore - not at all. Everyone just fucking wants to be lied to even if the truth is in their best interests - or more importantly, in the bests interests of all.

***

Walking through the parking lot afterwards a Mexican standing beside his car held out his hand with a slip of paper in it pleading for me to come over. I was furious as I figured it was another "give me a few bucks for gas" ploy and started to storm off. Only his reaction of utter dejection halted me in my tracks and I realized I had read him wrong. So I came over and read what was in his hand: a lawyer's card at an address on Central Expressway, the main highway about half a block from where we were.

I had a very difficult time talking to him since he didn't speak English and my Spanish is very rusty. I tried to explain it was probably a tall building since the suite number was in the 600s (the lawyers had Hispanic surnames I noticed). I told him Central Expressway was called "75" since that's how it's marked on the intersections and told him to drive along at look at building numbers until he found 6060. The "75" part seemed to make sense to him but for the rest, not so sure.


I wished him good luck but felt I had not done enough. I keep MAPSCOs in my car and found out sure enough he was very close to where he should be. He pointed to a large blue building during our conversation and I had blindly said, "Yes, that could be it." I was worried I had given him a bum steer but I had not. I suspected he was close or he would not have stopped at this exit but still, I didn't really know. I got in my car feeling I hadn't tried hard enough to communicate and with all the scrapes I'd been through in my hard times I know the importance of lending a helping hand.

It wasn't formal but I wished a silent wish he would find where he needed to go even if it was to lawyers who might be ripping him off. But then, from the looks of his car, he didn't have much to take. I just knew I recognized myself seeing him lost in his plight.

So once again, on my puzzled drive home, I asked myself, "Who am I?"

__________________________

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Hot Chick On the Couch

Anything else is death

After my social suicide that was high school I found myself in vocational school for computer science. And though Steven Spielberg might have the brains to program computers, why would he want to? I don't want to either. Regardless, that's the situation I found myself in and I was ill equipped for it socially. To cover up I was forced into using my wit as a currency for acceptance and it was a ton of bloody pressure let me tell you.

But it seemed to work and I was glad to have buds to hang out with even if undeserved and somewhat bought. And this afforded me the chance to meet people far, far outside my social grade as a loser. My main conduit for this was Joey, who though only being a year older and having grown up in the same small town as I, we had never met before. He had just gotten out of the army, a stint he looked upon as an adventure and I suspect as a way to prove his manhood. But whatever his failings, I had no problems with Joey at all.

On weekends, desperate to leave the hellish boredom of campus, I would sometimes tag along with him back to our hometown less than an hour away (I had no car). Joey was part of the party crowd, the people I most related to while having no such abilities myself. I'm not one to falsely judge and say "You're going nowhere!" because someone leads the party life. Partly because no one knows the path another must to take to fulfill his destiny and partly because I could see the partiers were holding on to life and exploring it more than most. I respected that.


My bohemian heart loved this whole lifestyle of a Bob Seger song, one big long "Fire Lake" till you die. But what separates the great from the mediocre is commitment. As a smoke and mirrors persona, I needed the mediocrity of my fellow man to get by so I could use my sheer native intelligence as a smokescreen. Being smarter than everyone I meet helps but it's no substitute for actually being somebody. No substitute at all.

I knew that then and I know that now - so I knew exposure could come at any time. That time came with the Hot Chick On The Couch. I don't remember the circumstance but we were at the house of some friend of Joey's and they both had gone off in the other room leaving me alone with this uber woman. She was the kind of woman every guy wants and fantasizes about, with not only her rocking bod but with an electric sensuality you cannot fake. You only meet a handful of women like this in your lifetime. I remember sizing her up and part of me was like a teenage boy lusting after a supermodel and part of me was fearing her like no other. For you see, she had sized me up as well - right clean through.

For two people who never spoke we had quite a dialog. Her body language spoke of someone for whom there was no amount of physical distance between us that could possibly be enough for her. The universe was too small a place for the both of us. She was no mere party girl, she was facing life with honest commitment - my kryptonite - and she read me for the con artist I am. She didn't take prisoners, nor did I believe she should. I sat there a futureless human being, she having no time for boys.


Since I agreed with her, I could offer no defense of my pathetic state. On one hand she gave me what I needed: stripping me of all my lies, exposing my true self. But she had no interest in some sort of vicarious leech intruding upon her life, wasting her time she knew to be precious. I had nothing to offer her - or anyone really without my tricks. And on that count she could rat me out and isolate me all over again. In reality I knew she wouldn't waste her energies on a score like that but I also knew she wouldn't hesitate to vocalize her objections to me either.

I couldn't wait to get out of that house and back out of the spotlight. I said nothing to Joey about the superstar in the living room lest I reveal I noticed her reaction. I just simply reminded myself there are people out there you just can't bullshit - especially if they see you in person, where there's no place to hide. So I've been hiding ever since. There's no real reason to meet me still...