The death of a moon cowboy

I am a somewhat-youth with ideas and thoughts and too many dreams that sometimes overflow as these little dribblings from my fingertips. I guess you can try to collect and capture them.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Journal entry #1, of that should-cry emotion

There was a sliver of the thumbnail moon, shrouded amid the glow over the rolling lumpy hills that stretched and leapt past the growing little fancy town of El Dorado Hills. It was barely visible and looked much like a cloud wisp. Frilly parts of other clouds were illuminated in an odd gray-white by the not-yet-risen sun. The sky was amazingly clear, given the massive torrent of rainfall that had dropped over the past few days, weeks, months. I'm not looking forward to Saturday's 100% chance of precipitation. The rain is important to me; what some take as a burden I try to envision as just another necessary step in a cycle that involves me and the sad sky and the sprouting ground and oxygenated breaths and so on, which it is. So when it comes, I opt for a mood of joy, or at the very least, indifference. But sometimes, say when plans have been made and cannot be easily changed, and to weather the weather and its fickleness would require extended purchases and slower driving and more difficult, colder outdoor excursions to apply vehicle chains, then I find myself becoming less and less accommodating. 100% chance! And it's only Thursday morning.

We made great time from Placerville. I can't ever really force myself to be on time, to leave early or actually strive to feel that elusive awake-feeling that some strange individuals revel in, especially when I don't want it. Plus my stomach acts up in the early mornings; it needs to stumble awake at at least eight o'clock to feel well-rested, available and opportune. So we left at 6:24. 24 minutes late.

In the carpool lane we resided. I was completely out of gas. (I thought I had a 12-gallon tank, it turns out it's probably 14, because once I finally filled it up on my way to work it took 13.5 gallons, a new Sentra record.) But onward, without hesitation! There's something amazing (have I repeated myself yet?) about watching the sunrise. I definitely appreciate the sunset - I love it and could watch it every day and never tire - but it's so routine, so expected. The sunrise I scarcely ever watch, unless it happens to be on a terrifically long drive from Utah, the likes of which is starkly beautiful in a way that changes each color of the landscape into something new and completely different, a special effect of the tantalizing rays of the newly broken star I suppose. This morning's sunrise was quite similar, and as we breached the Folsom Hill, the cities were spread out at our feet, a welcome mat for the valley, the all-night lights still blazing, birds charming the daily commute's air, peak to peak with washboard trees, picturesque blue skies, all strewn about the clumped walls and brick substructures of sub-urban activity.

Because my eyes hung so drearily still, and my ears were sensitive as they should be during the 6 AM hour, I kept the radio low to endure conversation - casual but indicative of the lack of need for anything at all above casual. Traffic kept itself at bay, eluding even the most unhurried of travelers, another morning blessing. We arrived at the Greyhound station far more quickly than I had predeterminately anticipated, and with no available curbside in sight, I ignited a right-hand blinker and we paused. He gathered his things up, nearly forgetting the new smokehole-infested coconut piggy bank from the thrift store, and again we paused - there's never much to say when one's in a hurry and the bus in the traffic lane behind you is gaining ever so slightly and a ticket must be retrieved and gasoline must be purchased and moves must be made and work must be done. So with minimal goodbyes, he departed and I departed.

I felt like I should cry. That should-cry emotion. Sometimes there are those moments when this happens, you feel a strong emotion, which may or may not be tied to other goings-on but most definitely strikes you at that one particular moment. But I didn't cry. I just drove on, steadily, characteristically going the wrong way, passing through the emptiest Old Sacramento in my memory and taking the other way, eastward again. Past 65th Street where I logically should've gotten gas, past the new huge apartments-or-strip-mall complex off Mather Field where they're adamantly attempting to redefine Rancho Cordova as a new, hip, up-and-coming realm of desirability. Past the occasional walker, the construction workers, the barely-active gas stations, over the canal, to Costco for gas.

There the sun hadn't yet overtaken the horizon formed by the buildings off toward White Rock Road. So I sat and read with a green hat perched precariously atop my head so as to obstruct the blinding sunlight once it revealed itself. I could've slept possibly, but instead I read, for oh about 15 minutes. There was that should-cry emotion again - while listening to "Oh Comely" - but I know that it just keeps coming because of everything, and that soon - so soon, too soon - I'll be moving and on to not bigger, not better, but different things. In a land so completely foreign to me I find it straining to even tell others of it. And I've lived there before! It baffles me, I have no need to be 'from' this land or 'living in' this land, yet I'm going there regardless. To learn some things, no less, things that I may or may not come to own, to love, to feel.

In the halo of that should-cry emotion, I trekked to work, alone, like a dog retreating silently to the owner that so recently struck him, with my new backpack and my glasses on, uncombed hair, my brother dropped off for a melancholy journey on a Greyhound bus bound for Santa Cruz, California, with a full tank of gas, an empty pocketbook and a mile-high mound of debt, and the knowledge that in time all things come to adapt and find themselves comfortable - a comfort I wish to steer clear of, avoid, a bottomless chasm that leads straight for the molten heart of derelict pressures and the remote opportunity of habitual contentment. Somebody save me. There isn't anything left at all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A theist's lurching blasphemy

When I last spoke with God round a table of tea,
He berated unjustly the life that I lead.
"My son, you've forgotten, forsaken... you fraud!
How darest you betray the infinite God!
I've shown you the ways of the meek and the might,
so woe your seduction and traitorous slight!"
With a sip and wink I replied with a calm
way about my impressions and steadied of palm.
Then audacious as Caesar I commenced to tell
(with the lurching tides of abysm to quell).
"You're not Him," I derided, "You're packaged and sleek.
You've no sense of purpose, a crutch for the weak.
You're vengeful and shameless and not quite the same
as the people would will You. Their despondent shame
heaps the walls that contain You with rubbage and grief,
and off with their souls! - such a gluttonous thief!
Let the people be - can't You see that they're starved? -
for reason and purpose, not prisoner's bars!
So resign Yourself from this false masquerade
and remove Your facade that implements fate."
(Certainly concurrence alone could tell
of the lurching tides of abysm to quell.)
Then in guileless prose, the worst I bequeathed,
"Antithetically spoken, your place is Beneath!"
Set unabashed, I narrowed my eyes
and that blundering fool of a god lost his guise.
While there in his stead not a tatter remained,
for when left disenchanted - God's nature explained -
the denied unbeliever's cynical pose
is resumed, I assume - a violate rose.
Still the steady in mind and the valiant in deed
know more than's determined by dogma or creed,
and take what is given - tradition or no -
as fodder that feathers the quaint status quo.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

One from the road

The crazy roadtrip to UT

Amy drives
3 AM car makes bad sounds, things tinkle on roadway
I drive
dash lights on, check manual, belt dead, check to verify
drive aimlessly, talk to dad
get off middle nowhere, battle mtn.
check in super 8 (?) motel, 75 bucks at 4 in AM
sleep in car
temp. in teens, 18/19 degrees
freezing cold
6 AM go to McDonald's (why?)
go to Chevron
wait a bit, make calls, check greyhound prices (122 to provo, per person, roundtrip, 118 slc)
7 AM drive to shop (shop's name?)
they open 8 AM, they're there, make us wait in car
check in car, find prob., part has to be overnighted from SLC, next AM
get ride with Carolyn from shop to chevron
we reserve rental car in Elko, at Enterprise rent a car at airport, dodge stratus
short lady Jane at Chevron offers first daughter, then trucker husband George to drive us
George picks us up in Dodge Stratus, he's pro driver, perfect
talks religion, war, philosophy, school, living. he's lived in west point ut, all over NV, went to Iraq for war, combat training, won't finish school cause they're screwing him, believes in personal spirituality
sunny out
we get to airport, he wont take 20 bucks, takes 10, gives us all his #s in case we need help again
get rental, drive to provo
check out houses, dumps, find one we like, set up appt. w/landlord, get dep. $$, eat at Wendy's, sign papers, head to Glory's
sleep at Glory's, wake late at 8 AM, rental's due at 11 AM with grace time
we haul to Elko
get car on time, get ride from elko airport to crappy gas station doubling as greyhound station (station's name?)
wait 3 hours for 2:30 PM bus to battle mtn., 18$ per person, one way
watch bad reception TV, read, talk to no-toothed guy from Idaho: came with buddy to visit NV, car broke down, used all $ to get it out of shop (200$), breaks down 2 blocks away, shop won't fix it, he ditches buddy, calls mom (he must be early 30s or looks old), gets greyhound ticket $, waits til 3 AM for bus. name?
greyhound, dropped off battle mtn. around 4 PM at chevron
call Carolyn for ride to shop, she's off work but picks me up anyway, we talk poetry, writing, she's had a few poems published
I pick up car, pay (almost $200), drive back to pick up Amy
head home

Audio: Vheissu|Thrice
Video: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe [2005|Andrew Adamson]
Text: Brave New World|Alduous Huxley

My word of the day: surreptitious
[Why: Not sure really, just popped into my head and I like it.]

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The circus: Threshold [VII]

Often in the following weeks I occupied my time idly, walking, reading and full of thought, waging one-sided wars with Fas, working and finding my mind becoming further removed from Parsons as it shriveled into an indistinct speck of black hole memory, an automaton with no regard for the present. Fas, Abe and Kat had all started school again, and I opted to work longer hours. With each paycheck I contributed my portion to Mother for assistance in family necessity, the rest squandered endearingly in a round clay pot I'd fired in the 8th grade that bore the inscribed phrase "whistletoe feet" on it - obviously meaning something to me once, the nature of which evaded me now.

My family, preoccupied with usual routine and typically inane banter, was currently high-ridden and giddily awaiting the annual Erid Carnival and Bazaar, held in that town 35 miles to the northeast. Not to be confused with the Erid County Fair which was occurred in June, the carnival was highly anticipated and attracted more spectators and retail booths and attractions for a wild week of small county celebration that I figured must have rivaled that of Mardi gras. By day there was bartering and flea market stands with popcorn and Styrofoam lemonade cups freckling the grounds, while the nighttime aroused the lighted Ferris wheel and the shotgun bursts of game attendants shouting enticement at every smiling, wandering soul. Each year it seemed that all grotesque beings rose from their graven, forgotten dwellings just to visit. An unprecedented swarm of detestable proportion.

It always came the final full week of September - welcomed openly - and in my recollection we'd never missed a year, not after Father died, not when Abel was white with deathbed pneumonia, not once.

It was Thursday night when I found Kat monopolizing the bathroom. Only thirteen and already determined to fancy herself up for prepubescent pseudoromance. It was an age that defied much of my memory, and somehow its importance to her was beyond my ordinary comprehension.

"So, who is it tonight? Jordan, Nate? Who are you trying to impress? I bet it's that new kid who moved in on the other side of the park..." I braced myself in the doorframe, trying to look as intimidating as possible, one hand slung up by the hinges, feet crossed.

"Get out Clay!" Kat shouted, slamming the door as she kicked at my shins and nearly severing two of my fingers.

"I'll be watching you!" I yelled back, laughing and leaping around the corner.

At seven we all piled into the family station wagon, each of us into our respective space - it was fascinating that the thing still ran after all these years - and with a growl it started and we drifted off and up the highway like blood cells through an artery, trailing our grey translucent exhaust in the haze of waning daylight. I was to inherit the car once Mother had saved enough to purchase something else, but that had been the promise since I turned sixteen. Occasionally I drove it on an errand, but only when utterly necessary, as we'd sold Father's truck three years ago and only had this to rely upon.

The hills sauntered by in dull blurry streaks of sagebrush and forestry and earth; Fas was telling Kat about his run-in the week prior with a sheriff whose idea of recreation differed drastically from Fas' own. I chose to adhere to familiar silence, envisioning the boredom that would envelop my evening, and the carnival that marked the occasion of another year's passing, another steady lapse of significance in my simple young life, another frivolous event to occupy the recurring leisure of the unoccupied.

Ah, the fancy town of Erid - visualize Parsons, only add a few thousand more people, fairgrounds, and some additional shopping attractions. Centered in the fencing of the fairgrounds, steel gates protruded skyward and its two thick dark doors were flung open, catapulted in opposite directions.

We left the car seemingly miles away and approached on foot, Near those dark wooden doors, Mother took me by the shoulders and stared the matriarchal stare that attempts to anchor the soul.

"Clay," she whispered over the dawning sounds audible past the entranceway, her green eyes warming me as they always did but equally nurturing a sensation of impending catastrophe, a feeling that made me jerk myself backward from her grip - a movement that provoked a sigh and downward look.

"Just enjoy yourself," she concluded, once more sighing, obviously withholding most of any intended discussion.

"We're all going to be back here at eleven o'clock!" she hollered at the batch of us. "Keep track of the fairgrounds clock's chime - it's loud enough for you all to hear, so be sure to be on time!"

Oh, Mother. What a laugh. She treated us as if we were still small, incapable children. Luckily it seemed that the pressures of single parenthood hadn't exacted much on her, its toll mainly apparent through extreme watchfulness and careful paranoia.

We muttered goodbyes in near unison, with Abe's "See you then!" perceptible as we broke group and went our separate ways.

Hidden deep in my left pocket was a weathered leather pouch I'd found by the haystacks some time ago while scavenging the farm fields. In it I'd placed ten dollars and some change for the night's activities. A silly maneuver, as I wasn't much of a spender, especially at this sort of gathering. There were, however, a few things that could intrude upon my fickle desires.

Rows of booths stretched past the entrance as the far as wandering eyes could perceive, looping about and circling the grounds until almost connecting again. Hours could be spent just observing their varying peculiarities and contents.

A confectionery stand offered varieties of licorice, and I purchased an exquisitely packaged bundle, touted as Australian and authentic. I didn't know any better, but I fancied it all the same.

Enrapturing as this entire event might have been, the night was both suffocating and saccharine, drawing out slowly, a snake encompassing its prey. Acquaintances both recent and historic sought me out, with each minute of our revealing, phony appreciation for each other as awkward as it would sound.

Sure, fine; I laughed, I smiled. But persuasive and convincing this attraction would never be.

Fair little fair in the breadth of nothingwhere, your wiles and tomfoolery cannot sow complacency in me! No, oh no no. No, because I've been reading. I've been dreaming. I've been biding my bides and timing my times, and eventually you will not remember me, little fair, little town, my footprints and I will have vanished and we'll be beyond you and your inconsequential mockery. Mark these words. You'll not see me again.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

It was in the 84th story

They staged the accident to look as if someone else had done it, the truck over the body and such.

In our escape, we made our way to the large manufacturing building, with its enigmatic energy and mysterious purposes. We watched in hiding as the claw operator out front opened the three massive steel drawers at the top of the entranceway. The uppermost was special, as the claw had to maneuver inside the drawer and grasp a second handle, thus opening the passage into the building within.

We somehow made out way inside, and found ourselves at a dead end, in a small room that pulsed periodically with electromagnetic charges, a veritable death chamber. It was only by luck and honest backtracking that we were able to escape it unharmed. As we fled, small malleable balls of a clay-like substance flooded the floors and coalesced into one larger ball. We stood stupified, unable to comprehend exactly the meaning of what was going on.

Contemplating our fate, I discovered a hidden ladderway behind us, that led upward, a double-layered ladder, into the seemingly unknown. What choice did we have but to take it... We all knew the building was 84 stories tall, that was no secret to us. It was to be a long climb.

At once exhausted yet still exhilirated, we finally were ousted into a lit room, strange and filled with stacked maroon chairs. It seemed to be a side room left from a church; it had burlap walls and was filled with a smoky haze created by the sunlight interacting with meandering dust. The meaning was beyond us. As we scrambled down, we kept together and walked slowly. A dark room off to one wall held laundry machines and dryers, one of which was in use. Throbbing reddish light spontaneously burst into luminescence and then faded away. The laundry machine in use sputtered and turned and clanked. It meant nothing to me.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Jarom's date - W
Autism scare, dr. appt. - Tu
James/Steph's - M
Parade, dinner at Smiths - Su
Shopping, nada - Sa
Santa Cruz, day off - F

Mall, shopping
Rain, rain
Santa Parade in Sac, new cell phones
Lowell's bday, McD's
Rubicon, leaving
Thanksgiving, race, 2 dinners, Walk the Line
Jarom's bday party, bouncehouse
Harry Potter midnite


My word of the day:

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Colony 945

I lived in one of the round white Roman Towers, with the others. Ben was with me. He still had his plane, fashioned from the old gutted body of his 1992 Toyota truck. It was something I had always been jealous of--the fact that he could fly, and with a contraption made so simply from everyday parts.

And it was time to join him at the Ball.

Little did I know that a secret project, known only as "Colony 945", had somehow partially been discovered and was being erased from those who knew. I was unwittingly one of them, and was currently escaping detection. I had two folders filled with papers and notes, complete duplicates of each other as far as I was concerned. They had been borrowed from me temporarily by an Instructor, and were being kept by him in a roomful of Students from the Towers who also knew of the secret. They were of all varying ethnicities, dressed in white, smiling.

The Ball was going on downstairs, and sensing danger, I brought took my makeshift aluminumese gun with me, kept securely in my left suit pocket. When I finally reached the Ball at the bottom of the spiraling stairs, I saw a Guard scanning people with a handheld detector. I rushed back upstairs with intention to leave my gun, as it would be of no use tonite anyway. On my way back to my room, I decided to drop by the Students' room--unaware of its purpose--and noticed that the Instructor was absent. I saw the folders that I had provided him sitting unprotected in his seat, and realized that he had combined all of the content into one of them, thus revealing some scratched notes scrawled on the inner-rear of one of the folders. As I stared, the Instructor returned quietly through a side door, and I read only the words "Colony 945" written in cursive. The others were a blur to me. The Instructor looked surprised at my presence, and as I spun around and vacated the Students' room through an opposite side door, he began to give chase.

I rushed down those stairs and saw that an Assassin had been appointed and now hovered mere seconds behind me. I leapt entire stairwells, planting my feet horizontally against the walling before leaping sideways again down the next entire well. He followed suit. Eventually he caught me midair and wrapped his ankles around my neck in a scissored grip, ready to snap. But I was able to withstand his Death Embrace.

There was something about me. Something meant to know of this secret. Something that would not die.