No, Thanks!

The position being taken is not to be mistaken
For attempted education or righteous accusation
Only a description just an observation of the pitiful
Condition of our degeneration

Savannah sat in front of her vanity. She puts on a pair of blue sunglasses, then tried a pair of red ones. No, neither of those would do. She opened a desk drawer and pulled out a few more styles, placing them on her face one by one. 

Meanwhile at her job, a local 24 hour cafe that was unusually busy for a tuesday morning, her coworkers were less than thrilled that their 9 am relief worker was late and probably didn’t care at all. They knew Savannah to be aloof and apathetic toward her responsibilities at “the office.”

Savannah settled on a pair of white zebra printed shades as she colored her lips with a dark red shade of lipstick. 

A waitress, 3 days into her new position at the cafe was counting out change for a twenty when the register shot open, giving her nerves a shock. She jumped back, knocking into a 45 yr old bus boy who had worked there for 8 years as a sort of indentured servant to his cousin, the owner of the cafe. The bus boy lost his footing and elbowed the coffeemaker, spilling the hot brown liquid down the side of the pot and onto an exposed frayed wire.

Savannah’s phone rang, not her cell phone. A wall-mounted telephone with a curly wire that stretched the length of her bedroom and about three feet into the hallway. 

The cafe is in flames. Costumers aren’t reacting in any sort of hysteria and in fact all stand up as a waitress shoots water at the flames from the soda gun, which hits the bus boy for the most part, who is flapping a damp towel at the coffee machine.

Savannah rides up to the parking lot of the cafe on her beach cruiser. The cafe is  a crisp charred gray. The windows are broken. The front door is on the ground. 

The waitstaff is as busy as ever. There are tables set up in the parking lot where patrons are sitting under umbrellas, reading newspapers and drinking coffee and cutting into their eggs benedict or fruit kabobs. The kitchen staff is off to the side of the building hovering over grills and makeshift fire pits, courtesy of the explosion. 

Someone, she doesn’t see who, throws Savannah an apron. 

Philadelphia. June, 2014.

Philadelphia. June, 2014.

Staring down at the sun’s light hitting the concrete.
A slow golden crawl of evening heat embraces bare toes on neorothko stoops.
New energies conjure after six months of numbing sense derangement.
Bird shit and grime on the rails.
Through the bars in the distance a barrel bodied woman pushes an ice truck. 
Behind her, presumable husband has the same deep lines racing across ruby colored skin.

Sonoma Coast State Park. April, 2014.

San Francisco. April, 2014.

Load yourself onto a catapult. Have six friends rotate the dusty, creaking 2-ton wooden weapon West. Scream and yell something abnormal and outrageous. This will signify your readiness. The massive rope begins to wind tight around the greased cylinder underneath you.

A rush of blood startles your nerves from the increased weight on the back of your skin. You’re lowered closer to the earth with seven uneven tugs. Let out a second roar.  One of your friends kicks an oil rag off a stereo. He hits play on his iPod, which is connected to a tape adapter that sits inside the stereo.

The song you were secretly thinking about starts blasting, the only song that could match your current adrenaline levels. One of the girls in the group, with her dark sunglasses that sparkle red freckles in the sun, climbs up to you.

She reaches down to your stomach, her fingers swirl past your belly button, down in between your legs. She leans in further, brushing her lips against your chest. Her golden orange hair falls across the side of you neck.  

Now she pulls back. A hard, brief kiss and then she’s gone. When they let that lever go, all else will gone as well. This is all that’s clear to you. 

One last shallow breath. Then another. Then it’s over. No one’s letting go. You won’t be some lifeless marionette dancing alone in the blue sky after all. Pause is hit on the iPod. Climb down off the catapult.  

NEWS FROM HOME::::

A week after Dylan learned to walk we took him to the zoo. He became so enamored with the Rosy Boa exhibit, he began imitating the snake at home and flatly refused to walk again, no pun intended!

NEWS FROM JULIA:::

Seattle had a week of warm sun before the sky strapped on its wooly anonymous gray sweater. The car that brought me out here three years ago wouldn’t start yesterday morning, so I’ve dusted off the goulashes and took out the beach cruiser, which looks pretty silly among the low rumble of fixed gears.  I care not. 

NEWS FROM THE BOSS:::::

This company, man. I’ve got a date tonight. Oh shit, did we buy a cake for whatsername- that’s today, right? I was up all night thinking about our new initiative. I’ve got to take my mother to the airport tomorrow.

NEWS FROM FRANK::::

I wrote this song for Julia before she moved out west. I never told her about it. The words go something like..

"Pulling the grass from your fathers yard, 

Under the hammock we swung, that one time too hard.

Two feet to the ground,

the dirt stuck to our nails.”

Have you heard from her? I haven’t.

NEWS FROM THE WIRE::::

STATIC STATIC Russell 2000, S&P 500, Cotton, Crude Oil, Copper, Live Cattle, Lean Hogs, Soybeans, Silver, Wheat, Gold, Aussie Dollar, Corn, Sugar, Natural Gas, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Bonds, 10-year Note. 40 Degrees Here, Pile up on 95. 

NEWS FROM MR. GILLIAN, NEXT DOOR::::

Ah, you see? The cold dissipates as the molecules in the atmosphere close in on each other warming the air. I was telling my son this morning that the world is emerging from the dilapidating winter depression. I told him his smile will be his armor. Boy, you can have your stoop beers and you can watch the dogs at the park and eye the glowing skin of the girls on the subway but don’t forget the to visit the forests and seas that frame this city. 

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Samz always told his squat-mates, with his right hand over his heart, that “12pm-1pm is the hour to best consecutively switch from black coffee to red wine in the same mug.”

Dillon nodded, tossing out the cold sips he had left over his shoulder while Frankie said a “Here Here”, and they both raised their cups and let the wine flow.

"Specifically, 12:17, I’d say." Samz’s prescription was out of date and couldn’t quite tell that the wine was overflowing the mug rims, cascading over his dear friends fingers and onto to floor. 

My posters are bleeding.

The yellow blood drips from the frames down the eggshell walls. 

A stagnant pool along the molding. 

Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan 1/24/14 @ Grand Victory, Brooklyn.

The sill from which we perched,

from early afternoon until the end

was blanketed with rainbow-edged, wrinkle-sized bits of glass.

As the helicopters landed in the cul-de-sac,

you couldn’t explain to me the boredom you felt

while the bullet shells fell from behind the blinding lights.

I was coughing up blood just to tell you 

the past three and a half months

weren’t about anything.

On the carpet next to his bed, Brandon just finished his eighth sit up. His blue jeans had salt stains eating away at his cuffs. His bare back was collecting dust and cat hair, digging into his skin teasing his allergies. The fear of the eventual itching spree kept him from stopping his semi-regular work out.

He started to slow down after twenty-seven sit ups, then; at thirty he had had enough. His sat up and his view eclipsed his bed sheets. Visible now, under the half-rolled up blinds was a snowy backyard lit from a sickened orange glow of a bent streetlight.

Now on his feet, he struggled to use both arms to reach every pore of his back whose itch’s true cure could only be learned from several months observing a black bear and a redwood tree, or maybe never.

Maybe never is a popular conclusion. 

Maybe never is something Brandon meditates on a great deal.