Secrets I Never Wanted You to See

Wrazz as raw data.

As confessional and cleansing as a blog may be, it’s still very much a controlled environment. As its master, there are aspects of myself I rarely allow you to see: the vulnerability, the confusion, the fear. And what little is presented will be couched in attempts at humor, then wrapped neater and tighter than a special Full House.

Life, of course, is more complicated, with conclusions that seldom reveal themselves during the writing process as nick-of-time epiphanies ready for that final, authoritative punctuation BANG! Truth be told, these blogs go through a zillion drafts before I’m satisfied, and even as I type them up, I’m excising whole paragraphs lest you, dear reader, think less of me. In fact, there’s an entire entry, “Will the Last to Leave Valhalla Please Turn Out the Lights?,” moldering in a drafts folder, finished but (in my mind) unpublishable.

So today, as I rest between assignments with a tall glass of Wild Cherry Pepsi and the Boom Tic Boom of drummer Allison Miller (featuring the illustrious Todd Sickafoose on bump-thump-hmmmm), I thought I’d share with you some of my more naked, previously unseen moments, those bewildering tangents that threatened to shipwreck my focus and expose more of myself than I was willing to share…

My finances are so spoken for that everyone’s getting cards this Christmas — no inked inscriptions, ’cause I’m preserving all my pens for signing checks. What a year, dog. A fucked-up fucking year. I came off a fairly successful 2008 and the federal chins dropped in for a $2,500 handout, then the state of Oregon caught wind and shook me down for a grand-and-a-half. I mean, Jesus. Can’t you let a brother splash around in his own avarice-slash-fleeting prosperity for a while? Every paycheck now is like a thin, useless windbreaker on my mad dash to the poorhouse. My days are filled with such decisions as “Should I have this dollar burger and a thimble of Coke, or should I pay my rent in three months?”
It’s times like this I miss L.A. Seriously. Those were some Fat City years. I thought I’d made it forever. 27 years old and I was earning actual money, at last. My monthly rent was $1,200 for a one-bedroom apartment and I couldn’t give a shit. How could you care when you could hop on a bus and be smack-dab in Hollywood within the hour, hemorrhaging twenties at Amoeba and the Arclight and just breathing that succulent, rarefied air of accomplishment and success and of being among your kind of people, those beautiful souls wandering Sunset in various chapters of their lives?

God, I could kiss the synthetic marble backside of Hollywood and Vine right now. I’d scrub my whole body with that drifting grime dancing through the atmosphere, smear L.A. Weekly‘s pulpy smack across my grateful brow. I’d even hug Beverly Hills, “‘sup?” down Robertson, pull motherfuckers right out of their Jaguars and announce, “Mama, I’m HOME.”

When I die, nail my heart to Wilshire and La Brea. Stretch me down the Miracle Mile. I WANT THAT LIFE BACK.
Well, it’s another misty shimmer today, a wet-dust medley to remind you of your bullshit decision to live in the Pacific Northwest. A lovely day to rest on your tummy under the mushroom regard of a three-way lamp, filling lines with doggerel as the Good Lord Whoever twists his sopped panties over the state.

Not a lot to report — just the quiet continued fascination with the depressing math of age. Two hours ago I was seated in the mall food court with a Dr. Pepper and a Zane Grey when my mind, as is its wont, quite suddenly uploaded some random wink of Earlier Me at a table further down somewhere (my memory wasn’t that specific), observing a table near Now Me, where once sat two female classmates oblivious to us both, back when this sad, empty dump was still a spit-shine novelty abuzz with endless life. The inner calculator tabulated the numbers and mocked me with the results. I was contemplating a moment almost 20 years past. [I wrote this in 2008.] Isn’t it interesting, my inquisitive sponge continued, that there are mall employees and storefront managers who had yet to be born, to witness your youthful exile? I dunked my head beverage-ward and was immediately rescued by a crack staff of alert custodians, two of whom had probably never dropped a tenner on the new Tone-Lōc at the long-shuttered Camelot in the whole of their pre-sag lives.
There’s no lawn in this town I have not trod, no dirt I’ve yet to stamp. My dust is everywhere, paved under for others, alive for me.
What is love? I dunno. But I’m willing to stupidly pursue its “perfection” for the rest of my life. Hopelessly romantic and juvenile, yup, but the alternative seems a waste of time. As a younger pup, it was my greatest fear to suddenly snap awake from a semi-dolorous stupor and ache with collective regret. In short, I’m selfish and immature, unwilling to make the kind of sacrifice that may, perhaps, force me to surrender something vital of myself, like myself. But, then, how real is THAT?


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