Categories
creative nonfiction Poetry Writing

Unloving Love

Today, I’m at the freehand on Ohio (19 E), feeling fortunate that I can leave

then to

somewhere to sleep the same night

then to

my need to rush the gauntlet where people (are meant to) battle to meet (but ultimately fall short of) my lofty expectations

then to:

negative ruminations behind

and a mind to be sure when this happens next time…

I’ll end the war in a loft

some place more than just “somewhere to sleep the same night”

Categories
Poetry Writing

The Truth of The Spare Tire

What do I have a spare tire for? I don’t even know how to drive.

I told my friend I didn’t have friends and he agreed. I wanted to meet new people, but then I couldn’t find any good reason I’d leave my place to meet people.

Categories
creative nonfiction Writing

The 12:20 Ride

Alecs was lucky to be able to hop into this Uber. It was under $8 on a route they’d been taking for months. At the beginning of February the price averaged as low as $6. These days, the lowest has been $13. Now, the other passenger pipes, “Why don’t you try driving for Lyft? I hear they pay well.” It donned on him: ride share apps are so communal in their design that the people (passenger and drivers) will always be on the same side–despite some of those thinly-veiled attempts to pit drivers and passengers against each other, disguised as emails explaining price differences.

Although he had a question for the other passenger, he thought it better to let the thought die in his head than ruin this ‘carpool’ that landed them together 2 days out of every week at 5:40 each morning.

“Why would you want someone to drive for the company with which you chose not to do business? For whatever reason, this Uber ride made more sense for you. In my case the decision was financial. Whatever your reasoning, you got into this car using one app and suggested the driver do the exact opposite. Perhaps this is part of your grand scheme. The more drivers leave Uber, the less drivers the company will need to pay for idling. The cheaper your Uber rides will be in four months. For about eight weeks straight. Right before the prices soar again. You know, due to lack of sufficient drivers.

The most difficult part of Alecs’ days were sharing spaces with strangers and trying to prevent a screwed up face. Now all is covered like silent show and long gone are the days of shared rides. What was once nonsense-talk to carry on conversation, now feels like a monologue belched out on an island shared with no one. What some of us wouldn’t do to catch water-cooler talk! To speak to someone in the car and get as wrapped up in details as you both allow until the end of your trip together. How deeply we used to be wrapped up in the details!

Categories
Poetry Writing

So Normally

Now I am supposed to grip your hand back

Otherwise you’ll try checking my pulse

Be alive. Stay present.

I was supposed to lean against you

but splashed Slurpee in your frozen lap and now you’re bluish

How long was I squeezing your hand?

Like a doula, you let me realize when the nerves were gone

And simply didn’t call me again.

Categories
Writing

The Few Bushes on Fire

Had I known there would be arguing, I would have stayed indoors. To be fair, it hadn’t quite been sanctioned by the governor for us to be out at all. At least not in our state. All uncovered and in close quarterers, seeking answers.

Arizona was still practicing a far from heroic form of social distancing.

But there was something I needed to smell. Before men arrived in bright colors to extinguish those same, bright hues. I needed to smell the almost cologne of tree leaves after all of the water has steamed away. I thought of bracing myself against the blaring sirens to come. It instilling in us a sense terror to follow terror. For a construction site had just burned down less than ten days prior, ten square blocks away.

What was left of the clear air, I felt guilty soaking up for myself. Somewhere, a parent who never wanted to be one, takes gleeful relief in the recommendation to save oneself before the children. And a young boy unwanted by his parents isn’t old enough to be grateful he can finally die today. I nearly let my worry of the world consume me. That was until my eyelids struggled to push back a film penetrating the oil and water of my corneas.

The battle for noise and confusion was being won by nature, but man was not far behind. The noxious air gave way to shouted questions, directed at no one in particular. Here was now a reason to be heard by the selfsame neighbors we’d each avoided since moving in.

I stood outside watching… becoming transfixed thinking of a medical clinic I passed five days earlier. The signage stood out—its contrasting colors calling my immediate attention. Burnt orange and violet combined for such displeasing imagery; there was no choice but to let it burn into my memory. They called it Fast Med, but it looks like the sort of place where you spend hours just waiting to be seen.

An older, grandpa-type brought a bluish tarp to the front. Ambling himself into the cut-out of a porch his wife spent a winter morning turning into a garden. “They’ll need to get used to it eventually,” I immediately thought the better of suggesting. He stared at me for a little while anyway, turning back to his garden and spreading the crinkles out before draping it over the gathering of Chicago Peace and Mister Lincoln roses.

My belly laughed a bit, the chuckle dying out in my throat. Him hearing me in English and recalling it in Spanish, I realized he probably would be struck by few extra layers of hilarity and grimness. Save Mr. Lincoln. Save the peace in Chicago. Yeah, he could go ahead and throw that tarp away. Or leave it covering those roses like corpses until the next fire a week from now.

So I stood still, my right hand on the cool, uneven trunk of a tree in the park some meters from my front door. Closing my eyes to the greyish air, I focused on remembering each fire I’d witnessed, lest they be forgotten altogether. I soaked in the noise like rancid CO₂. Doing my best to translate it. Modeling myself after the unaffected trees surrounding the bushfires twenty-two miles northeast of Mesa, Arizona.

On the morning of June 21st, Alan Sinclair reported, “The incident management team has assumed command of the Central Fire.”

Noting, “Cause: Human-caused” and nothing furthermore than that clipped mention of man’s influence.

Categories
Poetry Uncategorized

Utopia Was Real

Utopia was real
At one time
It was not new
Was not unlikely 
Was deserved
At one time 
Till then, again
Endure this hell

Categories
Uncategorized

Fall Is…

Fall is a lanky hipster.

A lanky hipster with a Brooks seat on his bike and a fedora on his head.

A fedora on his head and an infinity scarf draped over a perfectly creased American Apparel collared shirt.

An American Apparel collared shirt not currently found on Amazon.

An original. Cared for and with pride.

Fall is that same hipster, gliding down the street made up of only bike lanes

Grateful for the social distance.