Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Was Going to be Crass

I dreamed I called an old friend. I was in my kitchen. The conversation was filled with pauses and words used to end those pauses. “Well.” “Anyway.” I had the sense that I needed something resolved but I – the dreamer – didn’t know what this thing needing resolution was. More-or-less, I was observing myself in a private moment. Two degrees to my own left. This is how I feel every time I write a story. I never quite have a grasp as to what the hell is going on.

I want to complain about something but I don’t want to seem like a whiner, or ungracious to a world that has, overall, been very kind to me. Maybe it’s my Texas stoicism. Or Celtic pride.

I was invited to a party and they let me have a beer then asked me to leave. I stood on the street and watched everyone else through the window. It was bright in there. People moved like cattails and swallows. No one looked down to see where I’d gone.

If you type in swallow on Yahoo’s search bar, it will suggest that you’re searching for “swallow birds,” “swallow tattoo,” “swallow my load” ... in that order. I was wondering if swallow like the bird was really spelled the same as swallow like the action of the throat. Apparently, yes, it is.

Part of me wants to title this post: Swallow my load. As you can see, I did not. I’m uncomfortable being crass. Your crassness, however, bothers me not at all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


There’s a drought on and everything’s going towards dead.

There’s a drought on and the sun has gone mean with heat.

I could bake cookies in my car.

I sweat and think of Brooklyn, where there was no drought but no air conditioning either. I was about as young as you can be and still be an adult. My white shirts went to yellow. I thought I’d soon publish in the New Yorker.

There’s a drought on and my inbox fills with work requests and newsletters and promises of Vegas.

I could stay in the desert for $35 a night. More fun than waiting for the desert to come to me. Which I think it’s trying to do.

I assume we’ll irrigate and overuse and predict the best of outcomes.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt rain. Not once.

Not even in Brooklyn. Which may have been a fever, come to think of it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cocktail Hour

I want you to accept me or reject me. I don’t like being stared at. I don’t like being the thing you will stoop to if it’s last call and you’re feeling drunk and needy.

I sit with a six-o’clock whiskey. Irish. It’s too hot for the Scotch. Or, rather, I don’t drink scotch on rocks, so the hot is not for Scotch.

Gin was once believed to cure gout. I sometimes believe it cures the insufferability of being trapped inside one’s own body forever. A good friend once stuck that bit of silliness into gin’s Wikipedia page. It lasted a week before someone erased it. I think the erasure was terribly shortsighted.

Hemmingway said he could tell the exact point on the page where Faulkner took his first drink of the day. I paraphrase. But I wonder if Faulkner wrote drunk. That seems preferable to revising drunk.

Jameson, Hendrick’s, Tito’s, Tanqueray, Caol Ila, Bacardi, Milagro, Jack Daniels. Crown Royal. That’s one each of the four whiskey groups, two gins, a vodka, a tequila and a rum. For those keeping score at home. Or considering your cocktail options should you decide to visit.

Accept me and I’ll buy you a drink. Reject me and I’ll pour myself one.