“Up to this point, all I knew were beaten paths, tattooed with footprints, and I had come to the understanding that they were not much fun to travel because so many people were waiting for you at the end, wondering what took you so long.”
-Kevin Wilson: Tunneling to the Center of the Earth

Monday, September 28, 2015

I'm going to get a job. It's been decided.
"Lennon," I told myself this morning, "get a job."
I acquired a bike a few days ago, while taking a walk through the cemetery and finding it propped against a grave. I don't want this anymore, was engraved onto the side of the frame. I didn't even feel bad taking it. I want it, I thought to myself, I will love it and nothing about this is wrong. So I wheeled it home, clutching the rusting handlebars. It was red, but you could hardly tell. The kind of red that look so faded, you had to blink a few times to make sure your eyes weren't lying to you. I liked that kind of red.
So, this morning, I wheeled my new (old) bike out of the apartment and rode south, towards the old train station and Little Tokyo.
Working at a coffee shop had always been a dream of mine. It seemed so ideal, so put together and worth something. But I don't drink coffee.
I hopped of my (!!!) bike, entered the shop, and took a deep breath. I may not drink coffee but I sure as hell smell it religiously. The shop surprisingly empty, but at second thought and consideration of the population of Collingwood, quite packed. I made my way to the counter. Cho, the friendly owner of Little Tokyo greeted me.
"Hi, thanks," I ran my finger along the edge of the smooth polished wood. "I'd like to, uh, apply for a job. Do you have applications?"
"Yes!" He smiled and stood there.
"Oh, great...may I have one?"
"Ah! Sure!" He ducked under the counter, shuffled some things around and returned moments later with a document and a pen. He offered them to me.
"Thanks, but I have one," I say, taking the document but leaving the pen on the counter top.
"You can fill it out over there," Cho motioned to empty round tables filling the shop.
"Thank you."

It was pouring now. I worried about my bike, propped up outside against the brick building, disintegrating as I speak. Eh, it's probably fine.
I watch a man scuffle past the window, unphased by the rain, as if that was normally how he walked. I thought I recognized him from the apartment. Daniel or something. Yeah, Daniel. He was tall, but not the intimidating kind. He had on a red rain coat and boots carried a bowl of cherries. He didn't seem bad. I haven't met a lot of people from Collingwood yet. Daniel scuffled back into the sight of observers from the coffee shop (probably only me) and hesitated before entering. He stood there in the doorway, one hand behind his back still on the doorknob and balancing the bowl of cherries on the other. He looked around and met my eyes with his. He hesitated again and moved over towards me.
"Uh, will you watch these for me?" he meant the cherries, and made a "setting them down on the table" motion.
"I'd be happy to..."
So he set them down on the table and walked behind me, through a doorway in the back of the room. Whatever. I thought, and then those are some damn nice looking cherries.

Memories I have associated with cherries? When I was younger, it was common sense that if you swallowed a cherry pit, you'd have a cherry tree growing inside of you within days. It never happened to the unhealthy, dangerous extent that I thought it would, but sometimes if I pressed down on my stomach I could feel little twigs and leaves forming. I broke one once, a twig I mean, and it took a long time before another one grew back and I could feel it again.
What? Did I just say that out loud?
"Oh, hey Attica," a goddess stands over me.
"What are you doing here," and by "here" she meant "my kitchen". 
And because I was in her kitchen, sitting cross legged on my counter next to a bowl of cherries eating a peach with a knife, I said, "I brought fruit." 
"Right on," she put her bag down, took off her shoes, and joined me next to her mother's fancy center piece. 
"This is...nice," replacing "weird" with "nice" in the most calming sort of way. 
We always tried to do that, turn weird situations into nice ones, so when you came home from work and your best friend was sitting next to the family heirloom holding a knife, you knew it was going to be a good night. 
It was becoming darker and darker outside, so I put on the Norah Jones record and she got the bourbon. 
And that's just what we did -- every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, we turned potentially weird situations into nice ones.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

She once wrote something about your eyes. Something that made you want to love her and tear yourself away at the same time. You felt dangerous. Eyes that take you somewhere. Eyes that if you look into them for too long, you'll loose yourself in a dizzy uncomfortableness and won't ever come back.
You pull yourself off your bed and look at the clock. 12:51am. You walk over to the mirror squinting in the darkness trying not to trip over the odds and ends strone about. You weren't normally messy. You stand there in front of the mirror staring into your eyes, trying to loose yourself. It never did to you what it had to her. God, you loved her.
There was a lunar eclipse tonight so you grabbed your shoes from the door - the only thing unpacked from your apartment - and went down the stairs.
Outside, the air felt and cool, but somehow heavier than the air in the mid west. When you were traveling, you'd lay on the roof of your car and stare up at the starts littering the sky. It made you feel like you were trapped under a black sheet and had poked billions of tiny holes in it, trying to find light. Just enough had come through that you could lay down and breathe again. Just as long as there was light.
You wonder if you should stand on the street or go into the park. As you walk to the park, you pass a woman standing in front of Collingwood Heights, one who had been watching you before. She stood against the brick building, cigarette in one hand, coffee in other.
"Evening," You say.
"Morning..." she corrects you.
"Oh.... Right."
You reach the entrance of the park and see the balloon man laying on a park bench. You would have never thought he was homeless. Maybe he wasn't, maybe he just wanted to sleep outside and didn't feel like dragging out a mattress. His bag of balloons was on the ground next to him and various colors of rubber had fallen out beside it. You walk up to him, careful not to make noise and gathered up the scattered balloons and place them in the bag. You consider leaving money there too, but you don't. You're not good at giving charity. Once, while in New York City, you bought a cheeseburger for the fattest homeless man you could find.
Walking farther into the park you see the bulletin board and go up to it.
"Lost Bra," the sign read. You look to your right, to the middle of the park where the statue stood, illuminated in the moon light. The bra was gone.
Realizing now that you wanted nothing more than the statue to be Attica, you walk over and climb up onto it's shoes and face it; looking into the face of the 18th century war hero, trying to see Attica. Her eyes were beautiful too, although when you told her she never believed you.
But now all you saw was stone - dark and depth-less, cold and dead. You sigh and step off, lay in the grass surrounding and wait for the eclipse with what you wished was Attica.