“Dammit, John,” she said. “If we could just get back to Portugal.”

John. What is there to say about John. He has a flash to his eyes and an especially genuine smirk. A wall 90 feet high. What can you say about John? You can say anything you want. He won’t contradict you.

I was walking along the boardwalk. Trying to hear nature. Be one with it and all that. I could only hear inside my head. Sometimes I hear a particularly genius phrase or snippet of words. I cling to it, like food for my mind. Like a lifeboat to drift among the thoughts. They talk about “mindfulness”. Being in the moment. But I’m convinced that moments are like waves. They come and go and they take pieces of solid earth along with them. What if I can’t be in a moment, but I can float upon it? I can drift and bob and sink.

I’ve been in moments. Before. There was a moment. In Portugal. I felt salty breezes through the fabric of my cotton dress. A haze lifted momentarily. I broke some sort of code. I hacked past a certain set of rules. I can’t remember exactly. But there was an ocean breeze, there was some sort of foreign clarity, and there was a shower and blood everywhere.

She was laughing, her head cocked at a playful angle. She had a pretty dress and a shattered heart. She was laughing, and the roads were made of white stone, and I can’t remember anything else.

“Dammit, John!” she’s saying now. “Dammit. John.” But he can’t remember Portugal, just like me.

For Zelda

I felt it, too. There were muses’ songs and the fragrance of life blatantly in the air. I flounced and batted my eyelashes, setting it all to the soundtrack of clinking glasses and wine corks. I danced through fountains and couldn’t hear anything over the roaring rage of my indomitable youth. Drink me, breathe me, be me; I’m alive and unstoppable.

I felt it, too. I felt the decay start. I felt the rot and something ugly clutching and pulling. I remember what it felt like to fall victim to my own mind. I remember losing the strength to fight it; I remember the beauty of the melancholy and the allure of the hopelessness. I remember succumbing and laughing, turning up the volume on the clinking glasses and wine corks. I spiraled, I fell, I sneered. I roared and desperately grasped, I roared through agonal gasps. I dabbed perfume and watched youth leak out of my bloodshot eyes.

I don’t know what happened. The water, the colors. Your life was a stifled fire.

And I felt it, too.

Date with a Statue

Last weekend that I’ll be in town before Jack deploys, and HE fucking wasn’t in town.

Boredom and half a bottle of merlot told me to go out with “David”– he looks like Michelangelo chiseled him perfectly out of marble.

He has a face like a statue. He’s Catholic, he’s a pilot, and he has a girlfriend.
Interesting mix. We drank and stumbled down cobblestone streets and told each other we weren’t going to sleep together. Whiskey can fight off the chill of a winter night but it’s powerless against the ice in my heart.

I kept my clothes on while I straddled him and he came right away. He whispered things to me and I said nothing; I don’t trust anything a statue tells me. I fell asleep and then slipped out at dawn.

I hate Jack.

Soul Cocaine

There are two things I need to give up in my life: wheat and Jack.

I don’t care about gluten or fad diets or whateverthefuck people are ranting about these days. I actually love wheat. A life without pasta is hardly a life worth living. I don’t consider it a complete day unless a beer or two has been had. But, for whatever reason, my gastrointestinal tract is betraying me and every time I blissfully fill my face with wheat products, I inevitably end up with OH HOLY SHIT MY CHEST IS ON FIRE PLEASE KILL ME NOW the worst heartburn ever.

I’ve found myself in a place in life where all of my friends are married and multibabied. Of course there’s an element of jealousy; who wouldn’t want to have someone to share life with. Or a bunch of screaming, shitting, little someones to share all your life resources with. But what really gets me is that it seems like once married, all of my friends immediately surrender their Awesome. Do you want to go out tonight? No, we’d rather stay in by ourselves cuddling. Do you want to have a decent conversation about food or movies or the price of airfare or that lady’s hilarious abdominal pannus over there or your belly button lint or sweet shit anything other than babies?! No. We just want to talk about babies. (And not even making babies. Just straight up BABIES.) Do you want to go to Budapest over the three-day weekend? No, we need to save money for a snow-blower. How about you snow blow yourself and stop being so damnably lame, eh? How about that.

Anyway.

I told Jack that my goal is to marry someone and then, you know, stay awesome. Still go out, still do things, still have interest in things other than diaper rash cream and Similac.

Jack thinks that’s great, but Jack doesn’t want to get married ever. Or be in a relationship ever.

Which would be totally fine except that I maaaay have fallen in love with Jack when he wasn’t looking. Whoops.

So I need to give up wheat, my sole consolation in this life. Because of the heartburn.
And I need to give up Jack, my soul cocaine in this life. Because of the heartache.

I ate a burrito for breakfast and I texted Jack for lunch, so. I’m doing a pretty great job at this.

Ok. *knuckle crack* Let’s try this blogging thing again.

If there is one universal, indisputable, sacred truth in my world, it is this:

Wednesday night is Trivia Night.

Now I take Trivia Night pretty seriously. It happens at 9pm at this bar about a 4 minute walk from my place. It’s an Irish Pub. People show up, get their Guinness, play some foosball, laugh with friends, and casually mark some answers on a trivia paper. But not me. When she taps that mic and poetically shouts, “Hey, hey you guys! Shut the fuck up! We’re gonna start this shit!” I am in the zone. I am focused. I am clutching that pen and sweating on the paper and probably frothing at the mouth. Don’t talk to me about non-trivia, don’t cheer too loud over there at the dart boards when you win a game of cricket, fuck you and your wife’s new baby. It is trivia night. And this is my shit.

Which is funny, because I’m not particularly good at trivia. I’m an intelligent enough person, I am capable of learning (mmmmmm when I’m awake/sober enough to devote some brain matter to that task), but my brain isn’t exactly like fly paper to random bits of knowledge. Pretty much any time a fact or thought is presented to Brain, Brain thinks “Is this something that is worth repeating out loud? When I repeat this out loud, will I be rewarded with love, admiration, a day off work, edible delights, or any form of debauchery?” If the end result is “No”, then Brain politely nods and promptly dumps said Knowledge Bit into the black unending abyss of forgetfulness and happily goes back to devoting its energy to cat pictures on the internet.

My team is mainly comprised of pilots and a few stragglers that they picked up along the way. Which is funny, because I hate pilots. (Maybe a post for another time.) I honestly don’t know how I ended up on this team, but here we are. They know the geography questions, and I contribute a bit of literature or Star Wars knowledge when I can. And one time there was a question about a Taylor Swift song, and I was ashamed to admit I knew the answer to that. I’m also quite proficient at drawing a gnarled wrinkly penis on the answer sheet when the questions are especially ridiculous. “What is another name for a Chinese Gooseberry?” Yeah, well, fuck you.

(It’s a kiwi.)

(So. I was close. Half credit?)

So. Wednesday night. Here I am. Deeply focused on an activity that no one else takes seriously, an activity for which I don’t have any particular extraordinary talent, with a pack of people who I collectively despise.

I don’t know, man. It’s Trivia Night. And this is my shit.