Tag Archives: luck

“While You’re Gettin’ Your Cry On — I’m Gettin’ My Fly On.”

A cup of brutal coffee and a bath with a wrinkled Bukowski.  Who said that mornings had to be unkind?

These days of waking in a vacuum of unpredictability — they make me think of all the big dogs that have come and gone, and suffered for centuries before me.  Like my own fellow comrades — the big-dogs-in-the-making — they had to have wondered, at times, about where the next meal would come from, or the next rent.

They would hang, like poignant ghosts, at their regular spots, hoping the bartender would eventually remember their faces to comp a drink or two, just when they would be about do a touchdown with the rock bottom.  (Those moments — are the best, in life:  Three minutes before a suicidal thought or the a late afternoon phone call giving you a break.)  And the bartender would nod, quickly, familiarly:

“This one’s on the house…”  

(Actually, I’ll never comprehend the hopefulness of that post-midnight line; for I prefer to not suffer from other self-afflictions besides that hideous empathy of mine.  That’s a handful already.  Don’t hand me any more.)

Only at friends’ barbecues — or at other people’s office parties at Christmas — the big-dogs-in-the-making could get plastered enough on free liquor, to not mind their misery in sobriety.  But elsewhere, at all other times, they could never afford enough drinks to get them there.  So, they would loom on their scuffed-up bar stools, waiting for the bartender’s charity:  The wrathful face of Hemingway and the disappointed one of S. Thompson.

Or perhaps, if their beat-up faces were lucky enough to have appeared in black-and-white print a couple of times by then (they were the big-dogs-in-the-making!):  Perhaps, a random nerdy fan would come out of the woodwork — or from behind a ping ball machine — and start lapping up their faces with his star-fucking gazes; then offer to pick-up their tabs with a handful of sweaty cash.  The female groupies would be less useful at the bar, but better equipped to restore their ego elsewhere — anywhere! — like the backseat of their boyfriends’ trucks, or the nook by the graffitied pay phone, near the john.

Somehow, the big-dogs-in-the-making would gain enough swagger to bed a woman:  because there was always some wide-eyed girl or sinister-eyed widow in the mood for the struggling artist type.  But then, someone’s heart would get attached, then broken; and the big-dogs-in-the-making would scurry back to their crammed in joints, with other struggling types crashing on their couches or sleeping in their bathtubs; and they would write for long enough to finish a pack of cigarettes.  Or to run out of their typewriter ribbon.  Or to forget about a drawer full of rejection letters from agents and publishers:

“At this time, we must regretfully inform you…”

And what did they do, with all those regretful notes, by the way:  so insincere, yet always signed “sincerely”?  Did they glue them with gum, onto a white wall painted by someone with zero of imagination, during a sleepless night of annoying heat and warm beer, in a vacuum of unpredictability?  Or did they tear them up, like I do, just in half — never wasting too much energy on anger, for fearing the flip side of it — then burry the pieces under an aged coffee filter from the morning before?  And just how long would they sit in silence until trying their hand at yet another letter, yet another submission — another hand at that cunty luck:  Would it take them a month?  a year?  a trip to Brazil?  another broken heart of another wide-eyed girl?

And then, there were always those with annoyingly stubborn writing discipline:  The respected academic of Nabokov and the celebrity hermit of Roth.  Every year, their friends would catch them at yet another book deal, another fellowship, another grant.  And surely, the big-dogs-in-the-making would feel the envy on the other end of the phone, as thick as aged honey; and just as grainy:

“Oh really?…  Congratulations…  We should celebrate…”

They had to have hated those ellipses loaded with a strained goodwill of their “friends”.  So many!  So many had to get lost during this game of chasing the impossible, often self-destructive but hopefully somewhat self-redemptive career.  Several had to be dismissed face to face, in a drunken fight when these “friends” dropped their pretenses.  Others — would flake off on their own, with enough time and enough demands from their bratty marriages and whiny children.  But the most relentless, the slowest of losses were those acquaintances sticking around for years, only calling after picking-up a few crumbs of new gossip:

“Saw you in The Paris Review…  Congratulations…  We should celebrate…” 

And the big dogs would lie:  Yeah, we should.  But they never would.

No, they’d rather save up their new money for a better hermitage on the coast of New York.  Or maybe even of Connecticut, if they got fed up with all that grime and despair — with that cunty luck — and if they could finally part with their superstition that well-fed artists lost their edge.

I also think of the new big dogs — the ones that are living and publishing now.  They are all quite belligerent — Eggers and Sapphire — shooting out their words with such discipline and urge, that even the confused and the lazy can’t dismiss their names.  The ethnically ambiguous have come through in this century:  The hilarious Diaz.  The empathetic Smith.  The diplomatically graceful Lahiri.  They are all still quite young — and quite beautiful, physically — surfing through their academic careers to earn the respect of the white critics; but then always bringing it back to the streets, back to where they’ve learned to how suffer and how to make use of it; to the rest of the ethnically ambiguous and ethically confused:  To the rest of us.

And somehow, I allow myself the vague hope that maybe, in this century, it needn’t be so painful, it needn’t be so hard to get to one’s often self-destructive but hopefully somewhat self-redemptive career.

Because who said that the mere human suffering — wouldn’t be enough?

And with an empty cup stained by coffee and a cold bath with a soaked Bukowski, who said that mornings — had to be unkind?

If Angels Must Fall…

Oh boy!  Oh boys, rather!  This shawty woke up ranty in the morn’!

Just for the sake of your wild imaginations, my rougher creatures, I shall confess that in the midst of my sleep today — while naked, with tan lines slowly marking their territory all over my skin — I had a thought.  Well, actually, I had a muscle cramp first, in one of my calves.  It came from marching in 12-inch heels yesterday eve, while strung out with endless pearls and whipping my boys with my askance glances.  But after the cramp passed, the head had a moment of clarity; and then, I tossed my caramel-colored bod into a diagonal angle across the bed, and went back to my dreamin’.  (I don’t have much height on me, so I tend to terrorize every bed I sleep in by assuming the least economical positions.  It’s what I do:  I toss ‘n’ hog.)

The thought was tiny at first:  a lil’ echo from one of my Amazon’s words I read yesternight.  But by the time I awoke — in my bed that looked like a war zone — the thought had grown into a Wild Thing.  It had been hanging onto a plank of my canopy because that was the only space unoccupied by my petite frame; and when I opened my yes, it began swinging above my head in some silly acrobatic act that was suppose to both entertain me and to terrify.

Now as I write, the Wild Thing is still here, running around my single girl’s apartment, rummaging through the drawers of my memories, reshuffling the books of my library in search of inspirations, and braiding my Martha Stewart’s ribbon collection into its hairy body.  It’s demanding my time.  I’ve tried to calm it down with a saucer full of milk ‘n‘ coffee on the tiles of my kitchen floor; but it ain’t having it.  It’s climbed upon the window sill in front of which I rant every morning and proceeded to stick is stubby fingers into a bottle of my honey; and as it started to gnaw on my gypsy earrings and dry-hump my still aching calf, I can ignore it no longer:

“Alright, alright you silly thing,” I pet it funny face.  “What is it?”

And thusly it growls:

“Do you realize the fortune, dear gentlemen, of having the love of a woman?  And if you do, how dare you waste it on your fear, or on some hideous spiel of your ego about your readiness; or a presumptuous idea that if you let that love depart, you’ll be worthy of more of it — and better kind! — in the future?

Does it stroke your egos — and your penises — when you finally get the girl you’ve been chasing?  And if it does, why do you must you daydream about deserving better than what you’ve got?  

And when, due to whatever juvenile bullshit your ego whispers to your mirror reflection during the morning shaving routine, when you break an angel’s heart, does your manhood grow when you watch her weep for the loss of your love?  Do you feel more like a man to have a woman’s tears soak your chest?  And if you do, pray do tell me, does your heart ache for her, in that very moment?

And when your angel finally gathers her belonging and the shards of her broken self-esteem and walks away, does the lingering perfume of her hair make your heart wince with missing her?   

And when another woman breaks your heart by being underserving (karma’s long term memory — is a bitch), do you remember us:  An army of angels who’ve made you better men; and for the risk of having your love, committed themselves to falling?”

Damn, you Wild Thing!  You growl with poetry!

Ow!  And there it goes, onto the next thing.  It’s gotten a hold of my old, tortured flip-phone and started flossing its fangs with it.  I got my hands full with this Thing, so I show it how to work it.  Now, it’s scrawling through the archives of my messages in search of some tender words from my recent lover.

“Oh, he’s gone, my darling,” I respond to the disappointed little face now confronting me, “and so are the messages.”

It whimpers.  I know, baby.  I know.

I take over the phone and download the words that birthed this Wild Thing into being in the first place:  The words from a co-hurting angel who’s been letting me borrow her halo while I healed:

“[Men] must chase, hunt,” she’s written, “and as soon as they feel they’ve caught you, had you totally… sexually, emotionally… as soon as you’re theirs for the taking, they no longer want it.  I fucking hate it, and it terrifies me.”

Amen, my darling.  Such is the sad coincidence in too many tales I’ve overheard from other angels, fallen for the sake of love.

Men must hunt, in pursuit of better opportunities, situations and loves.  In this day and age, they no longer need to do it on women’s behalf, for we are often capable of doing it for ourselves.  But if they must carry-on hunting, how I wish they wouldn’t get greedy — even if only for the sake of their own selves!  Because an angel’s love does not take away their freedom in pursuit of beauty — it opens their hearts to comprehending it.  It forgives the past mistakes of their mothers or resuscitates the futures they may have given-up on due to previous heartbreaks.  So, I wish our glorious men would learn to recognize their angels when they see them — to be wise enough to unload their bows and guns, to land their messy heads upon their bosoms — and to give this whole hunting act a rest.

Shh.  The Wild Thing has fallen asleep, still clutching my useless phone in its paw; and suddenly, it looks like the little thing that woke me in the middle of the night.  There, there, my darling.  There, there.