- Accordion Guy
- Amardeep Singh
- Animal crackers
- Apple of my Eye
- Beyond Northern Irak
- Bicyclemark's communique
- The Bollard
- Book coolie
- Chapati Mystery
- Craig's List Austin
- Fantagrapics Blog
- The Gas Guy
- Girls are Pretty
- A Good Beer Blog
- La grange
- Jose Ayerve
- Large fellow
- Liberal Street Fighter
- The Literary Saloon
- The Little Professor
- Michael Moore
- Nick Douglas
- Satan's laundramat
- Unwashed Depressive
- Vinography: a wine blog
- Waiter rant
- Whiskey bar
- Winter of Discontent
words & stuff
- World Wide Words
- Calendrier Republicain
- French Dictionary
- One Look
- Online etymology
- Project Gutenberg
- Webster's Online
- 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
- 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
- 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
- 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
- 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
- 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
- 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
- 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
- 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
- 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
- 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
- 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
- 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
- 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
- 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
- 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
- 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
- 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
- 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
- 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
- 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
- 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
- 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
- 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
- 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
- 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
- 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
- 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
by F.K. Needles.
All rights reserved.
needles needling needlessly with little thread... or much of anything else...(foolish dribbles to be written at uncertain times, on an irregular basis, from uncertain sections of the ever expending universe, and from whatever dimension I-We-Us-Them might find ourselves/ myself in …)
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Hello & Goodbye ... this blog is as of today officialy defunct! I've had no time to write here, and I've lost the motivation to do so. My last few entries weren't really worth putting down, and there's no need going on for the time being.
I've just bought a house! My first! And I need to do a lot of work there, inside and outside ... I can't wait to start playing in the garden, planting my fruit trees, making an herb garden, et cetera.
I've got a screenplay that needs to be written, a book to publish ...
I've got a full time job, and I'm in the process of trying to start my own business.
All of that good stuff brings this blog way down the totem pole.
It's been a lot of fun. And I'll most certainly do this again.
A few years ago, I held an open journal called "Looking for the black & blue goose" while I traveled to Maine and Texas--I lived in Paris at the time--and I enjoyed that very much, where I had actual goals, that I was meeting all kinds of great people, that I had no job really, and all I had to do was enjoy life, drink, and write on my journal ... and I think that's what I'd like to do again. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll be able to take a one or three months sabatical sometime sooner than later--though not anytime before six months--and I think I'll keep another open journal then.
Or maybe I'll find something totally different to do.
In any case, for the time being, it's time for me to put this electronic typing to rest and think of other things ... I've pretty much done that all ready in the last few weeks, months, but I wanted to make it official.
I don't yet know when I'll take the whole thing off the net ...
Sunday, April 23, 2006
My car’s on its last leg
the exhaust pipe barely two inches from the road ...
Was driving home
from my folks
after lunch today
when I get a call from my sister.
She says, “is there anything
dragging on the road when you drive?”
Her girlfriend is two cars behind me
and she was wondering?
I say thanks, I’ll stop
on the shoulder
and check it over.
When I pull over
K. drives by me and ways hello.
I wave back.
I get out of my car.
It’s all good and not good.
It’s as it’s been now for a few weeks.
Which is not good,
because it could all go to hell
Which is good
because it hasn’t really gotten any worst
in at least two or three weeks.
My exhaust pipe has been dropping
little by little
the last few weeks
or months, I don’t know
and I’ve been ignoring it
for financial reasons
among other reasons
lack of time
lack of time
denial of the world as it stands around me ...
Working double shifts
every other day.
Got to be at the store in the morning
to open up shop
first thing mañana!
Wednesday I close on my first house!
I’m so broke it’s not even funny.
I owe money left and right,
but what the fuck!
that’s the way
and I’m happy about it all.
(Before buying a house
I bought a brand new laptop
and went to Paris
on holiday for one week ...
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Earlier this evening I couldn’t find my nail clippers. I was so frustrated, so pissed ... Normally, I keep them either on the shelf underneath my coffee table, or in the top drawer of my desk, or inside the Cuban cigar box next a deck of cards sitting inside the cinder block holding my bookshelves up ... They were nowhere to be found, the little fuckers! And my toe nails really needed cutting! Two weeks ago, I banged the shit out of my left foot little toe against my futon. It hurt like hell. I’d been drunk, and now my toe-nail is black, dead, and half-way coming off. I wanted desperately to cut off all the slack … and … I couldn’t!
The essential is never seen
or maybe I’m just a prick.
No amount of liquor
can get me sloshed enough to forget
until it’s too late and I didn’t want to
Monday, April 17, 2006
Hennessy VSOP. That’s what I’m talking about. There’s been smoke coming out of my car. Like I’m stopping at a red light and it’s over eighty degrees out there, my windows are down because my a.c. sucks, I see smoke coming out from under the hood of my car, and at first I don’t know if it’s my problem or the other guy’s exhaust spewing all over me … it’s been a few weeks now, and since I’ve started driving my car, that I’ve started asking myself some serious questions. It smells like burnt rubber! But I figured it was all part of the ride. My dad gave me this car a few months ago. Lucky me! I was driving a Mazda back then, which went to shit, and every other day it was breaking down, and I was spending hundreds of dollars I didn’t have. It got real bad, and it started to look as if I was going to quit my job—30 minute commute both ways—when my dad offered to “lend” me his car, a 1990 Peugeot station wagon. That was a few months ago. Thanks to my dad, I didn’t have to quit my job. And from the get go, there’s been a “burnt” smell to the car, which I’ve always figured to be part of the experience.
I take a screenwriter’s class at ACC and I take I35 to Braker lane every Wednesday, then I more often than not get stuck at the red light at North Lamar. For several weeks now, I’ve been seeing smoke coming from underneath my hood, but I haven’t been sure. Last week, it was obvious. It was like a fucking BBQ. It reminded me of that time I was stuck in traffic in Hoboken waiting to enter the tunnel to Manhatan in my little Chevette! People next to me kept looking at me with lots of fear in their eyes. There was some major smoke coming out of my hood, and there was no shoulder for me to go onto, nowhere for me to go! If I exploded, so did they! At the Lamar intersection, it wasn’t so drastic. The smoke wasn’t so bad. I kept going, went to class, came back home, went to sleep, woke up, et cetera … and popped up the hood finally to see what the fuck was going on.
Two blocks of wood were stuck up next to my battery, holding it there, half carbonized from heat and such. I couldn’t believe it! Why would anybody put wood in the engine? At any time, they could have flamed up and taken me to hell! I called my dad to ask him who had changed to battery last? He hadn’t ever gotten it changed, so this dated to before he’d bought the car.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Brutus is sick, or at least not in top top shape. Woke me up around 4h30 this morning throwing up. Took him outside, and he ran to the back behind the tree where I knew he was doing something that I’m glad he didn’t do inside the house. Bless him. Locked the front yard and went back inside to clean up the mess he had made, not nearly as bad as it could have been. Haven’t fed him this morning. Figured … let it go through his system whatever it was. Went for a walk a bit ago, and he was sick again, then it was plenty of dry butt heaves. Poor boy. It’s nothing too bad since he’s not depressed, he’s wagging his tale, running, being a normal dog. So I’m sure it’ll pass.
This morning, I tried to go back to bed, but couldn’t sleep, so I sat up and read till I finished the book I was reading, “Le Roman de Molière” by Mikhaïl Boulgakov, translated from the Russian to the French by Michel Pétris. Liked it, makes me want to read all of Molière’s plays.
Now, after a bath, a walk with the dog, and still some time in front of me before I need to be at work, I’ve re-opened a book I read and enjoyed many years ago: “Jacques le Fataliste,” by Diderot.
Here’s a quick and badly translated interpretation by yours truly of the first page or so:
How did they meet? By chance, like anybody. What were their names? Why does it matter? Where did they come from? From not too far away. Where were they going? Do we ever really know where we’re going? What were they talking about? The Boss said nothing; and Jacques said that his captain had told him that everything which happens to us down here, whether good or bad, had been written up in the skies.
The Boss – There’s some big philosophy that one.
Jacques – My captain would also add that every bullet leaving its gun had its ticket.
The Boss – And he was right …
After a small pause, Jacques burst out and yelled, “May the devil take the barman and his bar!”
The Boss – Why tell your neighbor to hell? That’s not very Christian of you.
Jacques – Well, it’s that, while I was getting drunk off his bad wine, I forget to take our horses to the drinking through. My father notices. He gets mad. I shake my head. He takes a stick and rubs my shoulders rather harshly. A battalion was passing there on their way to Fontenoy, so vexed, I joined up. We arrive at destination and the battle starts up!
The Boss – And you receive a bullet with your address on it.
Jacques – You figured it out, right in the knee. And God only knows what unfortunate adventures I’ve gotten into because of that shot. They hold together no better or worse than the links of a cheap chain bracelet. Without that shot I believe I would never have fallen in love, for example, or get a limp.
The Boss – So you’ve been in love?
Jacques – Yes, sure I have!
The Boss – And all because you were shot?
Jacques – Because I was shot!
The Boss – You’ve never told me a word about it.
Jacques – That’s right.
The Boss – And why’s that?
Jacques – Well, it’s because it couldn’t have been told neither too late nor too soon.
The Boss – And has the time come to learn of these love affairs?
Jacques – Who knows?
The Boss – Just in case, give it a shot …
Well ... I think I'll stick to reading it, rather than trying to translate it! My my, now I know why I've never wanted to be a translator. It's hard work! And I suck at it! And did I say it was difficult? Cheers.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
At the Hilton last night ...
okay ... okay ... I know it's annoying, but I've never owned an Apple before, and I've never played with photographs before ... so here I go, here's my impromptu way of correcting bad pictures ...
enjoying some tunes on Ken’s show this morning while doing my wondrous bastardization of all ready bad images taken last night …
Got to meet the guy who runs the Del Maguey, single village mezcal company! I've been a big fan of said mezcal for some time now, so that was exciting to me.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
What to do? Listening to the repetitive instrument. Solo Piano, by Philip Glass.
Ric said many things. Among other words, he said:
"Leave it alone after this
It is fine”
III Unheard song
from Vacuum Dance
We rolled along
ascended the coastline
to this place on the map
top right of my mind.
We found black pebbles
on the beach
our bodies bending
at our waist
at our knees
picking pebbles like small petunias.
The waves are dogs crazed
friendly but don't touch
don't carelessly jump
and don't caress the wind
a mad woman blowing nubiferous songs in your face.
Over the waves the rocks are silent
overlooking the water at a hundred feet.
Steeped strephonades I sing.
The clouds, the way
they move through the sky
like big floppy bellies
going in separate directions
to the sea beating the bottom of the cliff.
I was the earth moving
a great big ship going nowhere.
Pale blues barely
just almost gray with sand.
laughing tickles of water
through the beach towards the sea
like an arousal
endlessly coming back
through the sand
into the bay
where the waves are cold
I was wadding my feet.
I was looking at a dead
black-backed sea gull
its carcass halfway gone already
eaten by fish and other gulls.
I ventured further into the waves
rolling up my pants
the carcass floated out of my reach
I had a long stick
to help me prod.
Let it go, what'you gonna do with a dead bird?
I don't know. I want to see.
Let it go, what'you gonna do with a dead bird?
I don't know. I want to see.
Let it go, what'you gonna do with a dead bird?
I don't know. I went to sea ...
An unpaved road
into the woods
into the hinterlands
with an old wooden shack
at the end
burnt down to the muddy ground
and a rotten mattress
eaten by mites and the cold
with springs sticking out
She stopped the car.
She had to piss.
Steam came up
from the frozen leaves.
She had a hot ass
or she was full of hot piss
Back in her car
in the backseat
I had her knees
cupped in my hands
pushing them apart.
She had to piss again.
Nothing like pissing
after sex in the backseat of her car
on a freezing afternoon
and her just one tree over
Tickling a subtle melody
of happy thoughts and frozen squirrels
we laughed as we pissed
we pissed as we laughed.
There was laughter all around us.
She was the earth moving
a great big nubiferous ship
or possibly nowhere in the lactic skies.
I have to write the critic of a film for my screenwriting class. Tomorrow morning, I’m getting up early again, and driving to Taylor to go take pictures of the house I’m attempting to buy. My insurance man needs these pictures so that I can get a good deal on home insurance. Every single hour of time off I’ve had in the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent it there, it seems. It’s like I’m trying so hard not to be too excited because what if the loan doesn’t go through? What if my car breaks down? What if anything happens and that at the last second, I won’t be able to close on the house? So I cannot get excited about it, I just cannot, I have to keep thinking that it can still all fall down the pipes so that if it does, I’ll be upset but I’ll be able to get over it faster. I have to read ten to twenty pages of four student screenplays by next week, and comment upon them. My fellow students from the class I’m taking. Somehow I’ve got to find the time for that as well. (pause) Listening to Philip Glass. Solo Piano. Watched a movie tonight, a movie I started watching with no expectations. I pretty much knew it was going to be a good movie, technically speaking, and acting-wise, but other than that, really … nothing, I figured it would be yet another big Hollywood over-the-top drama. I was blown away by the lead performance. And I won’t let on to which movie it was, because I need to sit on it a bit, lay my head down on my pillow, and let the night take its toll. For the moment, I’ll content myself with Philip Glass. Maybe I’ll go buy the book and re-read it … just for laughs, then watch the movie again … then write the darn two-pager … or maybe I’ll go pick a totally different movie.
Friday, March 31, 2006
A youngish couple walked into the store. He’s obviously over the legal age, probably in his early thirties. She’s probably over the legal age, but somewhere in her twenties, so I ask them the inevitable question once they get up to the counter with their bottle. She’s in a bad mood, I can tell. He’s trying to make the best of it.
“And you’re both twenty one years or older?”
“Yes,” he says.
She’s all ready got her I.D. out showing it to me. I’m quiet, waiting to hear her answer. Nothing. We’re both looking at her. There’s some tension, though it has nothing to do with me.
“You need to answer me,” I tell her at exactly the same time as he tells her “You need to answer him.”
“Oh,” she says, surprised, “I thought that just showing my I.D. was enough.”
“You got to tell me … are you twenty one years old or older?”
“Yes,” she says.
“Cops and T.A.B.C. can’t lie to me,” I say as an explanation.
“I’m a cop,” he says, and flashes his badge at me.
It takes me by surprise. "Oh," I say.
"I wouldn't lie to you," he says.
"Well, you can't."
"But I wouldn't."
"Just in case, I guess."
It’s happened a few times, but still, it’s always a tad bit bizarre for me. A cop is a man or a woman—usually a man in uniform yelling things at me and not being particularly nice to me—who wants something from me at some unfortunate moment in my life. It’s always weird for me to see a cop in front of me, specially one who happens to be my customer, who is dressed as anybody and who is having the same troubles any of us are having. A person who is not asking cop questions from me, is not demanding cop requests from me, who is not being a COP with me … but who still is a police officer! It’s like when I was a kid once in San Francisco going to the French school and catching my teacher one day making out with some guy. I was with my best friend. Neither one of us could believe our eyes. We were ten. She was our teacher, not some regular woman in regular clothes, doing regular things as anybody else we saw in the streets. After that incident, I remember, it was always really hard respecting her as being my teacher. The total opposite with cops, these days at my age. Seeing them like this, vulnerable and human, forces me to respect them because it’s always hard for me to see police officers as being anything but officers, to relate to them as everyday fellows with everyday problems. The guy flashed his badge at me, all smiles. I didn’t know what to say, except that the T.A.B.C. people have been real hard these last few weeks, busting people, and pulling all kinds of folks to jail … I said the first thing that came to mind.
“So why are these T.A.B.C. people doing what they’re doing? What’s that all about?”
“They’re assholes, that’s what.” He didn’t hesitate a second to give me the low down, “they need to leave people alone, let them be …”
“Shit!” I said, “let me shake your hand, I’m so glad I’m hearing this coming from a cop.” And I shook his hand.
“It’ll all go to court, you’ll see, and they’re gonna loose, there’s no way around it. It’s invading people’s privacy …”
“Absolutely!” I was still in shock. Cops are regular human beings after all! Shit!
"Just watch your ass, that's all ... be real careful ..."
"I always am."
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
At Claire and Frère's place … they kindly opened this bottle of wine on my last evening in Paris. How’s that for a send off?
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Another wine bottle. Another evening. Listening to Gainsbourg, among others. What to do with myself? Not much to talk about, really. Trying to work on a screenplay, but nothing is coming out. Multitude of things happening simultaneously in my brains and within the context of reality as it presents itself around me … I sometimes wonder if I’m not an android onto which testing is being done … and that the world around me is merely a simulation of sorts … which would make all this, as in this scribbling, this drinking, this farting, this buying a house, this never-ending wonderment, this acceptance of the world as it appears, this living in other words, totally devoid of meaning as I can understand it … it’s like I’m indefinitely a teenager barely coming out of puberty … adolescence ad-infinitum … questioning my being here on Earth? Why not Pluto? Or Venus? Or possibly even some moon revolving around some planet somewhere within our galaxy? If not simply our solar system … a mere satellite I could inhabit? Instead I use my French-press coffee maker—which I no-longer use for making coffee since I no longer drink coffee except when I’m in Paris … though if I ever make it back to Italy, I think I’ll make an exception—as a decanter. My French-press coffee maker makes a great decanter! I discovered this second usage of this glass object the other day when pulling a bottle of wine from my wine cellar and, as I tried to open it, the cork found itself inside the bottle rather than out of it … it became imminent that I find a container into which to pour the wine right away … I knew the cork was bad, et cetera … I’m no wine connoisseur, and I possibly over-reacted … but I knew instinctively that this bottle needed to breath, and if it could breath without the cork drowning inside, then I might possibly have a damn good bottle. The French-press presented itself in all its innocence. I thoroughly washed it out, rinsed it, dried it, and poured the wine into it. It was a beautiful bottle. I was pleasantly surprised.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Sitting outside on this sunny morning, eating strawberries, drinking some English breakfast tea, and reading short stories by Pierre Siniac.
Couldn’t be any better.
On Tuesday, I visited a small cottage in Taylor, Texas, that I decided I wanted to buy. On Thursday after further thoughts, and one last visit of the little house, I sat down with my mother—who happens to be my real-estate agent—and we filled out an offer on the house. I signed all the papers, gave them back to my mom, and went to work. Yesterday morning, I got up at the wee hours to go to San Antonio for a wine seminar. We tasted some amazing Italian reds. Wines I simply would never have the opportunity to drink otherwise as I’m not rich enough.
A Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino 2000, 100% Sangiovese. WOW, that’s basically all I can say. I don’t have the skills nor the knowledge to describe what I was tasting, so all I can say is: WOW! and double WOW! Or the Sette Ponti Saia from Sicilia, 100% Nero d’Avola. This second one could actually be in my price range for a special occasion. Think dark tobacco and spicy coffee. The red zin lover, which I am, will go gaga over this one. Again: WOW! (How’s that for an educated wine critic? By the way, Mr. Wine Connoisseur—or whatever he decides to call himself—is currently writing a “wine” entry, that he will publish on this here blog, with my permission of course, and he will do so, or so he says, on a random but more or less regular basis … don’t hold your breath, who knows how long it will take ... though, I’m holding him to it!)
Upon coming back home in the afternoon, cracking my first beer of the evening, I received a call from my mom telling me the seller has accepted my offer, and that we were ON! Next step: hire an inspector to inspect the house—I have ten days to get this done—so that I can be sure there are no termites or irrevocable water damage, or anything of the sort, before I close.
I’m very excited. I cannot stop imagining all the improvements I can do to my little house … building a privacy fence around the backyard, opening up the kitchen to the living area to widen the space up, move the water heater to the storage room from the kitchen where it currently resides, bring in a claw-foot bathtub, build a back deck, put in French doors in the back bedroom, planting several fig trees, peach trees, a little water fountain with some red fish in there and some water lilies … non-stop, so much I could do, given the time and the money. We’ll see. First, the inspector has to go take a little safety trip through the cracks and crevices of my little cottage.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Been going non-stop since I got back from France. It’s like going back gave me some fresh energy to burn … and that’s what I’ve been doing. Haven’t even had a day off from work since I arrived, other than Sunday, I’m back on the house-hunting trail … and doing good. Yesterday, on the second day of going around all the streets of Taylor, I think I might have found my little dream cottage. Albeit, it’s small, in a small city, and far away from Austin … but it could be mine for not so much money, it’s on a huge lot where I could eventually build another small cottage for rental, and it’s ready to move in. This last bit may not seem like such a big deal, but in the price-range I’m looking at, you mostly find fixer-uppers, and more often than not, these are in some really rough shape. So cross your fingers, knock on wood, and the whole rest of whatever one is supposed to do … here I go!
Last night: Oysters on the half shell! That’s what I did, and some muscles cooked in a white wine sauce. A bit heavy, perhaps, but boy was it good. All of it, enjoyed scrumptiously at what is rapidly becoming my favorite venue in Austin: Quality Seafood Market & Restaurant & Oyster Bar! I love that place. They even have free wifi, though every time I’ve gone in there I’ve been way too busy slurping down several dozens of oysters washed down with pints of locally brewed beer to even bother with the internet.
All right … all this is well and good, but my screenplay has suffered tremdous set backs recently … first there was Carolina and Mattias visiting from Berlin, then there was my trip to Paris, and now back here in Austin, there’s been nonstop work and nonstop house search … and of course, the usual going out, drinking, eating, making a fool of myself in public, passing out on friends’ couch, spilling my beer on myself, eating some more, lots of fish, lots of salad, lots of lots of good things one can simply not pass up, some damn good wine here and there, a few good pints of beer … and still managing to get up early in the morning to drive myself to the store and work, work, work, and work some more! What a fucking life!
(I better go take a bath, now …)
Sunday, March 19, 2006
St. Patrick’s day, that Irish holiday invented by Americans, was spent at the Dog & Duck pub. The band kicked ass. The Flametrick Subs, accompanied by Satan’s Cheerleaders. They all kicked ass, and I’m gonna go to their next show in Austin if I can make it.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Listening to Trouble. Today’s show. Tonight’s a slow night. Closed the store. Nothing more. Infatuation … I thought it was … but it lasted so long, now I find myself wanting … or so the song goes. Slow ... so slow ... give me some funk. Give me a whisky and shut up. Go over there, maybe even in the next room, and see if I’m there. Look a real long time. Don’t come back any time soon, not until you find ma gueule. I’m in the corner of the circular room seeing the effect.
Opening Wallace Stevens at random, I fall onto the The Man with the Blue Guitar.
Tom-tom, c’est moi. The blue guitar
And I are one. The orchestra
Fills the high hall with shuffling men
High as the hall. The whirling noise
Of a multitude dwindles, all said,
To his breath that lies awake at night.
I know that timid breathing. Where
Do I begin and end? And where,
As I strum the thing, do I pick up
That which momentously declares
Itself not to be I and yet
Must be. It could be nothing else.
(from the Man with the Blue Guitar, by Wallace Stenvens.)
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Back home. Got back last night after close to 20 hours of being awake, of waiting for buses, riding them, running across streets, waiting in lines, opening bags, closing them, reopening them, reclosing them, waiting at the airport bar having a pint—my favorite part of the whole traveling b.s.—waiting in lines a few more time, showing your passport yet a few more time, answering questions, staring at some pretty passenger seating across from you, going to the restroom for the umpteenth time, and finally boarding the tube of metal which will if you’re lucky take you back home.
Fell asleep while listening to some music on my computer on the plane, when I wrote the last entry. Woke up with no batteries left. It’s the here and now, don’t know what to do with myself. Gotta be back at work all ready this afternoon, not even a day to chill out, take a long bath, something … you know, to recuperate, or something like that. Nope. One big faBang! Slap my face! Do a back flip on my nose!
It’s 6h30 AM and I’m wide awake. Normal. This is my preferred morning time. Been up over one hour. Took Brutus out for a walk. He doesn’t leave me one second. He’s like, you bastard, you were going to leave me forever! He was at a good place. Brian and Tracie dog-sited him all week. He got to play with his girlfriend Kali the whole time. I guess he’s glad I’m back. We went for a long walk this morning, before the sun came up, the best time, really. Now he’s asleep on his bed right behind me.
Paris! The last night there, having a couple of drinks with some friends … first we went to go see our friend Antoine who’s working in an underground bar for teenagers. He hates it there, but we had to say hi to him. An old basement, probably several hundreds years old, made of low arched brick ceilings and brick walls. The place packed with kids no older than 18, possibly 19. Everybody smoking. A gas oven. Not a single bottle of descent booze on the bar. Antoine gave us a good price on our drinks. When the place got too packed, we moved on to an Irish pub down the street. A few more drinks, some chips, and a few more laughs, I went up to the bar to pay, gave the girl forty Euros. She gave me change back on thirty Euros. I insisted, and she gave me another ten. Paris! Unfortunately, that’s often the norm. There’s a point where you don’t know anymore when a person made a legitimate mistake, or if they tried to jip you. Was at the boulangerie yesterday morning before going up to Rick and Kyungmee’s. I wanted to buy some croissants, some pain au raison, and a baguette. I told the boulangère what I wanted, went to the counter and waited. She bagged it, put the order in front of me, entered some numbers in her register and told me the price … I looked at her a second, she didn’t flinch. The price was a little high, I thought, but then I didn’t want to deal with it … 6h30 in the morning, my last morning in Paris, I didn’t want to get into a fight with anybody … so I paid, stepped out of the store, walked over to Rick & Kyungmee’s place, called them to ask them if I could come up, and ran up their five flights of stairs. Kyungmee opened the two paper bags.
“My god, François, why did you get so much!”
The boulangère had slipped in an extra four pain au chocolat! Oh well … turned out we chowed down, and when I left, there was only one croissant and one pain au chocolat left … though we hadn’t even touched the baguette.
The other day, I think the cavist gave me the wrong change back on three bottles of wine, but it had all been confused. I was talking to him in French, to Rick in English, and he wasn’t able to run my credit card through for some reason, and I’d also started telling him I worked in a cave in Texas … blablabla … when I stepped out of the store, I counted my change, and it didn’t seem right, but the whole scene had been too confusing to go back in and demand a recount.
That’s okay. At the duty-free shop in the airport, I bought a 15 euro bottle of cheap whisky. I gave the girl a twenty, and she gave me back fifteen. I looked at it a split second, then pocketed it without giving it another thought, something I would never do around here.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Listening to Anne-Marie’s cd while flying 40 thousand feet over the ocean floor. Drinking some cheap scotch and ginger ale. I’m drunk and I don’t care that the plane is rocking. No matter to me. Gone to the restroom at least four times all ready since we’ve been up in the air. And once right before we took off. The plan was to go to sleep eventually, after the first movie, which I’ve all ready seen, which has all ready come and gone—a tough cop and innocent joe routine / bad guy number with Samuel Jackson … it was what it was and I enjoyed it a lot more than Walk The Line bull shit I sat through on the way to Paris.
(Not an once of sleep to be seen anywhere near my head.)
Whitewash outside. Sun splashing down on the cloud covered milky-way of smoke. Nothing to be seen. Not even the demarcation of cloud, no grey lining around the edges, not a damn thing but bright lights as if we were flying right into heaven, for Good’s sake. It’s a …
lost my train of thought. My neighbor just tapped my shoulder, took me out of my dream-land to ask me if the reading light she’s just put on bothered me. “It’s perfectly fine,” I said, trying real hard to keep my thought, the phrase I was about to write, to keep it clear and neat. No go. No deal. No honey for you. Just a white washed cotton blur of sun-blazed reverberation in your face. It’s a … forget it … kill the mockingbird and shit in the lavatory … give me a scotch, the cheap shit will do, yeah, I’m not kidding, I’m telling the truth, no … really … the cheap shit in the plastic bottle. I just want a buzz, nothing else, to help me forget the violins … so that I can pass the time.
One of the flight attendant was on the flight I took on the way to Paris last week. I was taking a piss just a few minutes ago, the second to the last time I asked for a ginger ale, and I asked it from her. I was going to tell her, “You were my last flight attendant, do you remember? You stood in the front of the aircraft as you did today, and you greeted me both in French and in English. Do you remember, I was on your flight a week ago. Have you worked all this time? Have you had any time off? Have you seen your family?” But thought better of it. I took a piss, grabbed my ginger ale, and came back to my seat …
Here I am, much higher than a kite.
Monday, March 13, 2006
(And this, on the morning of my last day in Paris for who knows how long, is my four-hundredth entry on this blog.)
Saturday, March 11, 2006
We were walking down the street. We’d been in this café on the corner of the rues Bichat and La Grange aux Belles, across the street from the Hospital St. Louis. It was getting cold outside. We were walking to one of my favorite bars a small distance away, where the boss knows me, even after all this time. That place is up rue Belleville, past all the Chinese restaurants, not far from the park, on a small street away from the mayhem. We’d left the last place because the band playing was bad, and anyway, we weren’t there to listen to bad music or even to good music, but to talk to each other, to have drinks and so forth. We were five, but mostly I’m going to talk about Melissa.
We were talking a mixture of French and English. Melissa has an Australian accent in both French and English. She laughed a lot when she talked. When she first walked into the first bar to meet up with us, she realized she would have to talk French a lot, and she got a heat flash. So she took most of her clothes off, then finally she cooled down a little bit, so she put her sweater back on. It’s close to freezing outside, and it’s been drizzling on and off the last few days.
“I’m obsessed with my dad,” she said several times in the evening.
“That’s why I think I want to go back to Australia.”
“When you going back?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I won’t go back at all, I don’t know. It depends if they let me take my cat. If they don’t let my cat go with me, I’m not going anywhere.”
“Do you miss Australia?”
“It’s my family mostly, that’s pulling me. Mainly my dad. I’ve been away four years, now. With the bird-flue, and all, you probably can’t travel with animals, anyway. Did you hear of those cats dying?”
“Yeah, they were stuck on an island. All they had to eat were some wild swans and some ducks, or what have you. They didn’t cook them. That’s the first thing you should always do these days is to cook your poultry all the way before you eat it. Not really an option for the kitties, I guess. So they caught the damn disease and they died.”
“So they’re not barring cats from crossing the borders or anything like that?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Because I love my kitty cat, and if he can’t leave Paris, then I’m never leaving Paris. Never!”
“You got to get him a passport.”
“Are you kidding, he’s all ready got one, he’s got more papers than I do.”
“Does your father know you’re obsessed with him?”
“I think he does. No, I know he does. It’s the way he’s been acting, you know. I went back to Australia for my brother’s wedding, and it’s the way he acted. I know he knows.”
“Aren’t you a little old for this kind of thing?”
“This is the kind of thing you go through when you’re like thirteen or something. You know, the daughter falling in love with the father.”
“It’s my boyfriend that’s the problem, he’s not fatherly enough. I need some sort of father figure in my life. He never makes any decisions. I’m always the one deciding what we’re going to do, where we’re going to go eat, if we should go out, what movie we’ll go see, you know. That sort of thing.”
“How did you meet him?”
“Really! I’ve never met anybody through electronic means. I’ve got a webpage and all that, with myspace.com, but I’ve yet to meet anybody through there.”
“You’ve got something against meeting somebody like that?”
“No, no I don’t, I just don’t see myself meeting anybody in that manner.”
“You’re against it or something?”
“Not at all, I mean, I wouldn’t mind, it’s just that it hasn’t happened, that’s all.”
“You don’t want to.”
“I’m telling you, I don’t care. Matter fact, I think it would be kind of cool, but I just haven’t gone out of my way or done anything in that direction.”
“So you’re okay with it?”
I’m doing Melissa a disfavor here, because she’s a funny girl, and I’m not translating her speech properly.
“How tall are you?” I asked.
“Is that okay?”
“Sure, why wouldn’t it be?”
She’s a real cutie. She’s a non-stop flirt. Her eyes are constantly laughing. Her whole presence gives sparkle to a room, which is perfect, because she basically only drinks champagne wherever she can, except in small bars where she prefers a kir or two or three ... Sometimes, she likes to get on the train, and go directly to Champagne where she spends the weekend drinking champagne. As you’ll see, champagne is the way to her heart, not coffee, and definitely don’t mention coffee machines to her.
She was talking about this guy Nikos who’s been trying to go out with her. This guy is old enough to be her father.
“I don’t know how he thought that I was interested in him. I never gave him an once of hope, or so I thought. Because you know, I’m a flirt. I’m a real big flirt, but I know when I’m being a flirt, and I can turn it on and off just like that. I can do that. I’m good that way.”
We were in my favorite bar by then. It’d been a while. It was funny. We’d left this other place because the music was so loud we couldn’t speak. When we entered the Pataquès, it was the exact opposite. They were holding some kind of conference, and every time we tried to speak, some old guy kept telling us SHUSSSSSS. We were laughing about it. It’s one of the reasons I like this place, there’s always some sort of weird thing happening. This is a real small place. Twenty thirty people and it’s packed. There was ten people sitting in a semi circle on the other end of the bar, listening to some guy—a lawyer type—with a pony tale, and a tripod with paper and a large marker. You know the type, a rich yuppy who’s seen the light and is now trying to share his knowledge with the rest of the world. It’s usually something to do with the Far East, his good karma, and so forth. He didn’t disappoint. Of all things, the conference was on Feng Choui. The guy kept talking about how you couldn’t put the head of your bed underneath a window, or your oven facing a certain way, or whatever, we weren’t listening. We kept making cackle noises, trying not to crack up too badly, with the neighbor guy giving us nasty looks every other seconds. You see, in Paris, everybody lives on top of each other. There’s no room here. People, especially in the neighborhood of the bar in question, are for the most part poor, or not very rich, working class, immigrants, and more often than not, live in tiny places. And the whole idea of Fen Choui is a ridiculous one when you’re a family of three living in a 40 square meters apartment on the fifth floor, or a single person living in 15 square meters on the seventh floor with a tiny window you have to stand on a chair and pull yourself up to see out of. I used to live in such a place on rue Malebranche not far from the park de Luxembourg. It was cramped to say the least, but it was a step up from where I’d just moved from. That place was 9 meters square, had no hot water, no shower, and no W.C. The studio on rue Malebranch had hot water at least, but still I had to piss in the urinal in the hallway, and I took showers at the hotel where I worked as a night receptionist.
SHUSSSSSS!!!! Said the old guy.
The boss, a real friendly guy, kept telling us that it was almost over.
“It’s just about over, maybe another five minutes, or so.”
He said this a few times. It was definitely longer than five minutes. Anne-Marie, Claire, Myself, Melissa, and François—I didn’t put myself last because that’s the order in which we were seated—were stuck in the corner at the front of the bar on three chairs. That’s two chairs less than people, in case you can’t count. Melissa was seating with one cheek on François’ chair, and the other on the chair were I was trying to keep my fat ass as small as possible—no small feat—because Claire was also seating on my left on the same chair. The only reason she wasn’t falling off the edge was because she was in the corner against a furnace, one that wasn’t turned on because it was there only for decoration.
The yuppy with the pony tale loved to hear himself talk. People from the group would get up from the semi circle, would step up front to the guy’s large paper on the tripod, and draw a schematic of how their apartment were laid out. Then the rich yuppy would explain how their whole apartment was completely wrong, and so forth, and then the person in question would like a school kid who just wrote the wrong answer on the blackboard and was corrected in front of everybody in a humiliating way—these people were grown adults mostly in their forties and fifties even older—would go back to their seat with their tale between their legs. I think the rich yuppy was getting off on it. Not only was he showing everybody how enlightened he was, but also, he was making them feel stupid on top of it all. I can picture him going home and masturbating on his balcony from his large ten room Feng Choui friendly apartment overlooking the canal St. Martin. He’s probably into minimalist style, and his walls are painted white with nothing on them except maybe for a Samurai sword hanging over his chimney.
(I keep getting off my main subject—in this case the troubles of the beautiful Melissa—but I need to say this right now: I’m in this café at this instant while writing this entry, and I just ordered some food. Un tartar de saumon with a green salad and a ¼ de vin blanc. It’s so good! Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I’m seating inside the café where I met Melissa for the first time. They’ve always been friendly here. It’s just a few minutes from place de la Bastille, but without everything else that comes with the Bastille crowd. The barman is a bit loud, telling anybody that wants to hear about this drunk asshole he had to throw out of the bar last night. At first he was getting on my nerves, but now he’s started to grow on me. People are like that sometimes. And by the way, I asked Melissa if I could write about her and publish it here on my blog, before doing so. She said, “Sure, make me famous!”)
“He kept telling me he wanted to meet me to discuss writing, and such, so I’d meet him for a coffee,” Melissa was talking about this fellow much older than her whom we both know, “but it always ended up with him asking me to come over to his place. I can be dumb, but I’m not that dumb!”
“He’s always had a thing for you, I could tell.”
“What are you talking about? I’ve never given him any signs that I was interested in him.”
“That doesn’t matter.”
“Anyway, I was being nice and all, and one day, he basically invited himself to my place.”
“He invited himself over? Just like that?”
“Yeah, he called me and said, ‘can I come over for lunch or diner?’ and I didn’t know what to say.”
“Why didn’t you just say no?”
“I don’t know. I … I felt guilty or something, you know, like I owed him something? That’s stupid, I know … or maybe, I don’t know. I-I just didn’t want to be mean to him because I kind of feel sorry for him a little bit.”
“That’s not good.”
“And so I told him, okay, come on over for lunch. I thought he would understand that, you know lunch isn’t diner, it’s lunch, and I told him, ‘sure, come on over for lunch, this way I can take a break from work, we can eat a quick lunch, and then you can go,’ I said all that. Isn’t that clear enough? Quick lunch, A break from Work, and then YOU CAN GO! I don’t know how clearer I could have been.”
“So he came over and we had a little salad or something, and then I asked him if he wanted some coffee. He said sure, he would. So I was trying to make some coffee. I’m no good at such things. I never get it right. Either I put too much coffee or not enough, or I forget to plug the machine in the wall, or I pour too much water in there. So there I was at the machine, being frustrated with it, trembling a little, from the frustration, NOT from being nervous … that’s the way I am, it didn’t have anything to do with him, and everything to do with the coffee machine! And then you won’t believe what he did!”
“He came behind me, and I thought he was coming to help me out a little. So I said, ‘you know how to do this?’ and he said ‘let me show you,’ and then instead of helping me out with the coffee he grabbed me and tried to kiss me. I wasn’t even prepared for anything of the sort. I kept pushing him away saying ‘no, no, I don’t want to,’ but he thought I was being coy. You know, that I was saying ‘No’ but that I really meant ‘Yes.’ That wasn’t the case at all. And he kept trying to kiss me, and I kept pushing him away. Finally, and it seemed like forever, he stopped, went back to the couch, and sat down. He was looking the other way, and I concentrated real hard on the coffee machine. And then, you know what happened?”
“Nothing, that’s what happened. We sat down and had coffee. Can you believe it? We just sat there, and for a moment we didn’t say anything. We were being civilized again. I told him that I didn’t understand, that I hadn’t thought that I had given him any sign whatsoever that I might be interested in him in that manner. He didn’t answer me. I told him I had boys over for a drink and food at my place all the time, but that didn’t mean anything. He just kept drinking his coffee. Then he started talking about his short story again as if nothing had happened. I couldn’t believe it. You know, I’ve had guys try to kiss me before when I didn’t want them to, and that’s fine, but you know what?”
“They always apologize afterwards, and they say that they’re sorry, and that they thought that I wanted to, that they hadn’t realized that I didn’t want to, and that they feel real bad about it, and all that. That’s fine, you know. A guy has a right to want to kiss me, but if he tries and that I don’t want to, then he should at least say something. Not Nikos. Didn’t even say anything. Nothing. Nada. Then he started talking about something totally unrelated. Can you believe it? As if nothing had happened, that’s what really upset me.”
“What happened next?”
“I said I had to get back to work, and he left, and he didn’t call me back for a long time. I think he felt totally humiliated. Three months later, he left a message on my machine asking me if I wanted to meet up for a coffee so we could talk about short stories or something … still, as if nothing had happened!”
“I didn’t call him back.”
“You got to admit that it took some balls, you know.”
“I know, but he could have apologized afterwards. Or at least have the decency to look a tad bit ashamed or embarrassed!”
“Yeah … probably would have been a good idea.”
She was drinking a kir and I was drinking a beer, and she was laughing while she told me the story. Then we went back to her dad.
“What am I going to do? I’m really obsessed with my dad.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. But I do know I need a father figure, somebody to be strict with me and tell me what to do every once in a while. You know what?”
“I was so horrible to my boyfriend when we went to Australia for my brother’s wedding.’
“He went with you?”
“Yeah, that was our first trip together, and I was horrible to him, because I don’t know. I just treated him horrible. I kept ordering him about, and he kept doing what I was ordering him to do. I was totally inconsiderate, but you know, I wanted him to tell me what to do a little bit, to stand up to me and to my father. But he wouldn’t, he just put up with me, kept being this really nice guy, and me, I kept badgering him, and now I feel really bad about it, because …”
“Do you love him?”
“Yes … sure … Yes, I do … he’s a great guy, and I’m so happy to be with him.”
“Has he mentioned anything about the trip?”
“No, he’s so good about it. He’s such a great guy! He’s been lovely about everything, as if I’d been a perfect little girl to him all this time. I’m so lucky, you know. It’s because of my dad, though, you know that. That’s why I was being so mean to my boyfriend, because I was jealous for my dad, because my dad wasn’t jealous over him, so I had to do the jealousy thing instead of my dad.”
“That’s a bit confusing.”
“I know. I’m confused myself. My ex-boyfriend was such a jerk. We went to London once, and all he did was order me around, wouldn’t let me do a single thing. Everything I wanted to do he just ignored me and made me do what he wanted to do!”
“Well, Melissa, you realize you’re contradicting yourself a tad bit.”
“Well, I want a father figure some of the time but I don’t want to be with a total jerk off, there’s got to be a median somewhere.”
“Who made the first move?”
“With your current boy?”
“Who asked who out?”
“Who kissed who first?”
“Well, you see, he does take the initiative some of the time.”
“But he’s so nice to me all of the time. Can’t he be strict with me every once in a while? I mean, I’m not into S&M or anything, but you know, there’s a limit to everything.”
“How did he make his first move?”
“Well, we were friends for a long time, you know, and I never thought about him in that way, and I never figured that he thought about me in that way either.”
“I guess you were wrong.”
“I don’t know, I don’t think he thought about me in that way right at first. We were friends first.”
“I think he thought about you in that way the whole time, he just didn’t know how to go about it.”
“Anyway, he came to my apartment with a bottle of champagne.”
“Well … I’m not going to give you all the details.”
“Can I come over for a bottle of champagne?”
She just laughed at my suggestion.
“All right, how about I come over for coffee?”
She just laughed some more.
“let’s have another drink, then.”
(Actually, she told that story early on in the evening, and it became a running joke throughout the evening, I kept asking her if I could come over and help her out with the coffee.)
Friday, March 10, 2006
Non-stop for two days. Not a second to write whatever, anything down. Yesterday, we fell out of bed after ten or so, had some coffee, and visited Claire’s favorite bookstore, la librairie Tschann on boulevard Montparnasse, where I bought several books.
For lack of anything interesting to say, here’s a list:
“Le Roman de Monsieur Molière,” by Mikhaïl Boulgakow;
“Je Suis Né,” by George Perec;
“Les Armoires Chinoises,” & “Mon Voyage en Amérique,” by Blaise Cendrars—one of my favorite authors—and finally;
The first tome of the complete works of Panaït Istrati, Claire’s favorite author, a Romanian who wrote in French—not such an uncommon thing: Eugene Ionesco and Tristan Tzara for example, are two other such Romanian authors who wrote in French, and whom I’ve really enjoyed at one of several points in my little life.
That should give me a few things to do upon my return to Austin.
Later on in the day, after a couple of beers at Les Deux Folies in Belleville, we went by one of my favorite bookstores next to the hospital St. Louis in the 10th arrondissement, la librairie l’Introuvable. I’ve actually rarely been inside this particular bookstore, because his hours of operations are difficult to understand, and he’s rarely ever open, or at least almost never whenever I walked by there, which was often since I lived just a few blocks away. However, when he is open, he has one of the best selection of Polar novels I’ve ever seen. And not only that, he seems to know every single volume on his book shelves, and is always ready to answer any question, make as many suggestions as you want, or discuss such and such authors with you.
François, Claire, and myself were on our way to Anne-Marie’s place of employment on rue Paradis on the other side of Gare de l’Est. She teaches linguistics at the university. François works on another campus at the Arab Department library. There’s strike going on right now, which I’m not going go into because it doesn’t really concern me, and it’s political anyway, and I’m not actually sure I understand what it’s about, but François is taking part in it, and so are lots and lots of students and teachers and other university workers. Matter fact, school at the university level has been drastically interrupted in the last few days throughout the Parisian region. So François asked Anne-Marie if he could come over and make a little speech to her students, so that he could explain to them why they should take part in the strike. Blablabla, we were on our way from Belleville walking towards la rue de la Grange aux Belles, and I wanted to walk by l’Introuvable bookstore, knowing full well that it would be closed anyway. Miracle … fate thus had me walking into the store to purchase some more books.
I said to the owner of the bookstore, after showing a book by Chester Himes to François, “Excuse me, could you make a couple of suggestions. I’m looking for some Polar written by French authors. For example, I like Jean-Patrick Manchette, but I’ve read everything by him … I also like Jean-Bernard Pouy ...”
He went into thinking mode, started looking at his bookshelves all the while asking me if I’d read such and such author, and so on. He picked out three authors I haven’t read: Daniel Picouly, Pierre Siniac, and Dominique Manotti.
At one point, he did pick out a French translation of an American book.
“I heard you talking about Chester Himes, here’s another Black-American author, Walter Mosley …”
“Yeah, I know him … but actually I live in Austin, Texas, so I’m not really looking for American books. Preferably, I like books which take place in Paris, this way when I’m in Austin, I can feel as if I’m walking through the streets of Paris.”
“Of course, you don’t want translations of American books.”
If you’re ever in that neighborhood, and that you like that genre of books … I like the French words better: Polar, or Noir, because they don’t limit the genre to one specific kind of story … Detective Novels, the English version I guess of what the genre is, doesn’t give proper credit to the potential of where such stories can go. Like Film Noir, there needs not be a detective story, which personally if not one of the classics gets on my nerves, but there needs to be a large grey cloud of evil and nastiness over the whole story. Shadows covering dark alleys … Hard Boil pulp fiction is a better term of what I’m a fan of, though not quite exactly it. The French Polar writers were inspired almost entirely by American post-war pop culture, and the American films of the 40’s and 50’s, but then they took the genre and ran off with it, made it their own, made it very French. Manchette was one of the best.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Another night in Paris. Eleven o’clock in the morning, getting up, drinking coffee. Paris, the city of lights … I don’t know about that, what I do know is that we started eating and drinking around six last night, and that after avoir refait le monde several times over, people went home somewhere around three in the morning. I gladly slept on Frère and Claire’s couch. What I do know is that I’ve had coffee, cigarettes, loads of food and wine. I feel like the monk who’s broken all his vows. But I knew that all ready. I’d decided long before the other day. When I bought my ticket, actually, was when I decided that having a coffee would be the first thing I did when I got to Paris. It happened as soon as I stepped out of Gare St. Lazare and met up with Pierre and his son Vadim. I called him from the airport to warn him of my arrival.
“Have you had anything to eat? Are you hungry?”
“You had some food on the plane?”
“Yeah …. totally disgusting. What I need is a really good coffee, actually.”
“Ouais, dans l’avion … Carrément dégelasse, mais bon. Ce dont j’ai besoin, c’est un bon p’tit café, à vrais dire.”
And thus started the debauchery. We stopped at a proper Parisian bistro, and had ourselves a couple of espressos.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
The plane left Houston almost two hours late. I arrived in Paris much later than planned. It’s been over one and half years since I’ve been living in Austin now, and when I stepped off the airplane, everything was familiar ... the people standing guard, the police with machine guns, the smell of the place, even the coldness and unfriendliness of the place … I followed the exit ramp into the airport and through the passport checking point looking through the glass at the people waiting to board the plane I’d just exited, the people looking at me through the glass wall … for the first time in 1.5 years, I was home. Off course, that’s not true, my home is now in Austin where I have my family, great friends, a job, a car, a dog, prospects of moving up in the world, buying my own home, where I’m going back to school—something which had been impossible for me to do here—where I’m finally starting to find a routine, and where I can even think of eventually opening my own business. Seven years I lived here. I couldn’t find a descent job, I was on the doll for most of it, never once did I ever have some proper prospects for the future, reasons among others why I moved back to Texas … and yet … and YET, this place where life was so freaking difficult, this place feels like home like no other place I’ve ever been or lived and flew through! Is this euphoria, felt upon stepping back on French soil, only felt because I know I’ll be back on that plane in less than a week, that I’ll be back at my job and my little rental house and driving my car, walking my dog, doing my thing, in just a few days? Probably to some extent, though not entirely. Every time I’ve left Paris, and that I’ve come back to Paris, this has been how I have felt.
I met Pierre at St. Lazarre. We walked quietly to his and Ana’s place in the neighborhood of Batignole. Cold grey and wet, the streets of Paris with its dog shit, urine smelling walls, and speeding car freaks, but also with its small bread and cheese shops, pedestrians of all race and color, five to six story buildings, small cramped streets, metal bridges, endless train-tracks, small parks, and food stands right in the open, greasy meat being cut into bread and sold out of dirty plastic windows … the smells, the noise … I stepped into a student demonstration as I got off the RER in Chatelet, and again as I was stepping out of the underground at St. Lazarre, hundreds and hundreds of school-aged kids screaming their heads off, running en-mass down the subway’s alley-ways, adults standing around amused by the whole scene, joining in the yelling and screaming in between puffs of cigarettes, others walking totally uninterested in the goings on … Paris. Non-stop activity.
Pierre and I stepped back down to go to the market place to pick out diner. We chose some rouget, some leeks, some charlotte potatoes, and some shallots. At the cheese shop, we bought some conté, some tomme de brebis, some fresh goat cheese—so fresh it looks like chunky yogurt—and some epoisses, which the cheese man covered with a little marc to liven back up. We then made it to the wine shop for a couple of bottles, and stopped of at the café for a couple of demis before coming back up. Svetlana brought the bread and the deserts. Fouzia also came over. We all sat around in the kitchen and prepared the food while we talked, then we sat at the table and ate non-stop till 11h30, finishing off the ensemble with a little tequila I’d brought over.
It’s like I’d never left, it was like one of hundreds of such diners we’d had in the past. When you go shopping together, then you come home and sit around the table with a little red wine before you even start preparing the food, and when you do, everybody pitches in, or at least sits around the kitchen as you do the work. In the past, I would almost always do most of the cooking, but I’ve lost my hand a little, and last night I contented myself with chopping the shallots and drinking the wine. Then when the food is ready, you sit around the table and tell stories, and drink, and laugh all night long. The television is not on, maybe there's some music, but not necessarily.
Monday, March 06, 2006
So off I go, flying into the sun …
(The mere thought of climbing into a large hallow tube of metal with wings weighing several tones, and going up 30 thousand feet into the air at ungodly speeds, puts me in a weary mood to say the least. What ever happened to ocean liners? That seems like a much more descent form of transportation. I’d rather float on water than whiz through air any day.)
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Happy Texas Independence Day. Today is the anniversary of the Texas Declaration of Independence (March 2, 1836).
Here's some music for you: Willie Nelson Media Player.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
There was a real cutie pie walked into the store today. She wasn’t dressed up or nothing fancy. Just wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt. No makeup, hair all astray. Not too tall, probably no more than 5’6’’ if that, petite, dirty blond. I liked her right away. She was friendly, relaxed, and knew what she wanted. Humble confidence is an attractive trait. I’m starting to get tired of these needy housewives with fake everything, two inches of makeup, who smell like the latest overpriced perfume, who wear the trendiest faux-relax overpriced get-up, and who demand, demand, and demand some more. This girl was looking like a normal human being, and she was real pretty on top of it all. I couldn’t help myself checking her out while she wasn’t looking. Nothing fake. Nothing underneath the t-shit except what god—or whatever—blessed her with. She came up to the counter with a half gallon of Evan Williams bourbon whiskey. There’s something attractive about a tiny little woman with a big ol’ jug of cheap whiskey … (that’s the white-trash in me coming out.)
“Is that gonna do it for you?”
“Are you twenty one years old or over?”
“Do you have an I.D.?”
She struggled trying to pull her driver’s license out of her wallet. I almost told her not to worry about it, but I wanted to keep her at the counter as long as possible so I kept my mouth shut, trying not to gawk too much, though being that she was fumbling with her wallet, she was looking down, and not paying attention to me.
I contemplated what I should say … and there was nothing. My mind was blank. Damn me!
Right as she took the license out, I said, “Don’t worry about it.”
The license was out, and she handed it to me.
24 years old. I looked, though afraid to take too long. I wouldn’t want her to think I was memorizing any information. I wasn’t. I handed it back to her as soon as I had identified that the picture was definitely her, that the date proved her age, and that the license looked to my knowledge to be valid … all this taking less than a second. I have lots of practice.
“It’s a beautiful day, you gonna enjoy it?” I said feeling sheepish.
When there’s nothing else to say, the weather’s always a good place to start. 85 degrees today … perfect hanging out day. And she seemed like she was open for small meaningless talk.
“Yeah … I’m hanging out by the swimming pool.”
“It’s been a long time, I just put in my two weeks.”
“You quitting your job?”
“Yeah … it’s awesome. I’m going back to school.”
“What’re you studying?”
“That’s cool. I never finished school, and look where I’m at, a clerk in a liquor store.”
“I’ll probably be going back to retail myself.”
“It’s not so bad, really. Selling wine and liquor is fun, actually. What kind of job are you quitting?”
“High pressure sales job in an office building. Too much. I just didn’t have a life, you know. I want to do my own thing.”
“I know what you mean. Actually, I’m going back to school myself.”
“What are you studying?”
“Screenwriting … you know, film and all.”
“Yeah … I’m only taking one class at a time, though, that’s all I can do with a full time job and all.”
“I’m going to start with just two classes, I’m not sure how I’m going to manage it, yet.”
“Where’ll you be going?”
“Actually, I’ll be taking classes online.”
“Ain’t there a bunch of fraudulent places out there?”
“Well, I’m going to a real university, and I’ll earn a real degree.”
“It’ll just be done online.”
And that was it. An abrupt ending. I didn’t know where to go from there. We’d finished the money transaction, and there was nothing else to say. I’m stupid that way … never know what the hell else to say, and also the fact that she’s buying something from me, and that that isn’t really the place … so I just shut up and smiled. I thought to myself: Maybe she’ll become a regular, but then I counter-thought: Do I really want her to become a regular on half gallons of Evan at 24? Not really … maybe I can turn her on to some good wine …
“Good luck with everything,” I said.
“You too,” she said, and she walked out.
I watched her walking to her car, a large grey Pathfinder looking vehicle.
(pathetic, I know … I can’t help it … maybe when I’ll be in Paris next week, the entries—if I have time for them—will be more interesting)
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
I’ve never had much luck with cleaners, laundry people in general. At one point while still living in Paris, working this job I thought was going to get me places—supposedly a production company, turned out they were con artists—I ate well for almost a whole year, took the taxi a lot, went out to restaurants, flew to Poland three or four times, drank a lot of booze that I hadn’t paid for, and bought nice shirts for the first time ever. I also started to take my laundry to a laundry-mat where somebody else did the laundry for me. What a concept! I dropped off some shirts, came back the next day, and they were clean, folded, inside plastic bags, and looking like new. This experience was a pleasant one to me. I partook almost weekly until my last visit, the one that made me mistrust cleaners for a long time to come. I walked down the little alley from my work early in the morning before opening the office, one of those tiny streets between buildings so small nothing can go through them except bikes, pedestrians, mopeds, and one very small car at a time. I dropped off my shirts and picked them back up that evening. The lady was as usual very friendly, joking even, calling me by name, making chitchat, not acting as if I should be particularly worried about anything. Each shirt had its own bag. Each folded neatly ready to be put on the shelf. I took them home happy as a squirrel, got up the next day, and grabbed the shirt from the top of the pile. It took me a few days to get down to the bottom. When I got there, to my dismay as I took the shirt out of the plastic bag and unfolded it, I discovered that the right sleeve was burnt, that the holes had been hidden by the way it had been folded, that the shirt was lost and good for the trash. It had been a week, I had thrown away the receipt, there was no proof except my word, and I didn’t want to fight this one. I let it go, but never went into another cleaner again. Well, it’s not so clear, really. A few weeks later I quit that job because they hadn’t paid me in over a month. A couple of month later, I went on the dole for the following few years. Never really needed to visit a dry-cleaning business again until just recently. This morning, I stepped into the dry-cleaners just three doors down from my store. I was in a good mood, all bubbly, having spent a good weekend with my friends visiting from Berlin and so forth. I hadn’t unlocked the door to the liquor store so I was encumbered with my backpack, my wad of shirts needing cleaning, my sweatshirt, and the leash to my dog, Brutus. I set all the stuff down and tied Brutus to the post before walking in.
“Good morning, how ya’ll doing?” I bubbled out all happy, “I’ve got some shirts needing cleaning.”
“What’s your name?”
“Francois … I’ve never been in here before, this is my first time.” I was still all happy.
“That’s all right. Is that your dog?”
“Yes, it is!”
The lady behind the counter was an older lady, overweight, and short. She didn’t smile. She didn’t take me down at first, because I was so elated. I was being overly friendly, overjoyed, though I didn’t mention why … it took me over a week of pondering to make the decision. I was all smiles, proud of myself. For the last couple of months now, I’ve been buying some nice shirts, having fun wearing them … next week, I’m going back to Paris for my six day paid vacation, and I want to look good, so I decided to visit a dry-cleaners. Out of convenience, I picked the closest one, the one three doors down from my place of employment. Nothing could go wrong.
“You take him to work with you?” Her tone was dry and not friendly, but I ignored it.
“Sure do … everyday … he’s such a good boy.”
“Where do you keep him? In the back room?”
“No, he stays up front with me behind the counter.”
“You keep him up front!”
“Sure, he doesn’t say a thing. He just hangs out. Everybody loves him that comes into the store.”
“That’s against the law,” she said nastily. I start taking note of her tone of voice. My shirts are in her bag now, and she’s printed out the receipt.
“I’m going to have to call the Board of Health and tell them about it.”
“What!!!” This is like a brick falling on my face.
“It’s absolutely illegal to take a dog to work.”
“What are you talking about? There’s nothing illegal about it. I’m not doing anything wrong. My manager’s okay with it, so is my boss … I’m not trying to hide anything from anybody.”
“You can’t take a dog into a grocery store, can you? No you can’t. The other day, some man took his dog to the coffee shop, and he sat them on the chair with him. The attendants at the coffee shop asked him to leave, and he refused, so they called the pound to come take his dogs away.”
“What are you talking about? You’re going to call the cops on me? You gonna call the board of health on me?” I was starting to raise my voice. I was getting upset.
“No … no, I mean …” she was backing off a little bit, “I would call them just to ask them, to be sure,.”
“You going to call the BOARD OF HEALTH ON ME, I’m not doing anything wrong! I don’t sell food, I don’t prepare anything ...”
“I don’t want to argue with you, sir.”
“So what are you saying?”
“You can’t take your dog to work. If I knew of a place that let dogs in, I would never do business with them.”
“Give me my shirts back.” I said, my voice shaking.
“There’s no need to get upset.”
“You’re going to call the cops on me, and … forget it, just give me my shirts back. Come one, I want my shirts back, please.”
“Hold on, I got to get them out of the bag.”
“Give me my shirts back, please.”
I took my shirts and walked out of there. After work, I dropped the shirts at another dry-cleaner down the street. It was a younger woman behind the counter. She was very nice. I started taking my credit card out to pay.
“Don’t worry, you can pay whenever you pick them up tomorrow.”
“You have a great day, sir.”
I know where I’ll be going from now on.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Been treading around in the mud. Barely catching sight of my toes. Like trying to grasp the slippery handle to the belly of the submarine while drowning … not remembering counter clock-wise from clockwise turning action. Swell and Swallow. Blow and go well down the shellfish shithole you find yourself in.
I can’t breath, baby! All I can do is swallow some water …
Something solid, that’s what I need. No more nothing from these weak connections, these bi-polar conditions … no more, baby … I need a brand new battery running on nuclear powered juices.
All right, all I need is a spaceship full of friendly aliens abducting me for a few moments out of my boring time. PLEASE! You can do whatever unpleasant thing you might need to do in so far as the safety of the universe is concerned. Understandably, if we’re talking about some freewheeling potato mashing pleasure ride, up and down the Russian mountains zipping laughably by totally stoned … GRATITIOUS, is what I’m trying to say … then basically NO … FUCK you, honey bum … you just ain’t using my ass for no spaceship pleasure ride. Gotta bark down some kind of ruling somewhere. You understand?
Vodka and tonic kind of evening.
Thanks to all of you out there whose name I can’t mention. For helping me buy a brand new computer, for helping me connect back to the internet, for helping me stay home listening to some music and write down this shit! Bless you! It’s a brand new day, today, connected to the internet, typing on a brand new machine. …
Monday, February 13, 2006
Feeling good. Got out of bed just a few minutes past 5am this morning. Brutus wouldn’t get up. Kept looking up at me wondering what the hell was wrong with me getting up at this ungodly hour. I turned my room upside down looking for my bathing trunks. I haven’t gone swimming in ages. The last time was last summer in the Llano river at the ranch of Brian’s dad. The time before that was in that very same location. And the time before that, I believe was in the south of France in the ocean. Found my bathing trunk hidden underneath a pile of mismatched socks. Brutus started doing stretches. Since the lights were on, and it didn’t look like I was going back to bed, he started waking up. Took him out for a walk along the railroad track, came back home, locked him inside, and drove on down to the YMCA. Boy oh boy it was cold outside. The swimming pool is outside, and it was below forty degrees this morning. The water’s heated to a very comfortable 84 degrees. But you got to get from the locker room to the swimming pool, and there’s no way around that one. It’s cold. Period. But at least once you’re in the water, there’s nothing else to do but do laps. If too much of your body is sticking out of the water, then it’s too cold, so you just keep swimming, which is exactly what I did for about forty five minutes. 8h30. I’m all sore now. This being the first time in years—literally—that I’ve done any kind of exercise. I’m at the coffee shop next door to my car-oil-lub-place. It’s not even 9am, and I’ve manage to work on my screenplay, get some exercise, walk my dog, and get my car taken care of! What the hell’s wrong with me?
Friday, February 10, 2006
by Joseph Campbell
I’ve started re-reading this wonderful book. Here’s a whole passage that blew me away. It’s right at the beginning of the book (page 8 in the Princeton University Press paper-back edition).
“The unconscious sends all sorts of vapors, odd beings, terrors, and deluding images up into the mind—whether in dreams, broad daylight, or insanity; for the human kingdom, beneath the floor of the comparatively neat little dwelling that we call our consciousness, goes down into unsuspected Aladdin caves. There not only jewels but also dangerous jinn abide: the inconvenient or resisted psychological powers that we have not thought or dared to integrate into our lives. And they may remain unsuspected, or, on the other hand, some chance word, the smell of a landscape, the taste of a cup of tea, or the glances of an eye may touch a magic spring, and then dangerous messengers begin to appear in the brain. These are dangerous because they threaten the fabric of the security into which we have built ourselves and our family. But they are fiendishly fascinating too, for they carry keys that open the whole realm of the desired and feared adventure of the built and in which we live, and of ourselves within it; but then a wonderful reconstruction, of the bolder, cleaner, more spacious, and fully human life—that is the lure, the premise and terror, of these disturbing night visitants from the mythological realm that we carry within.”
(I’m at work—copying this passage as I’m checking people out—so excuse me if I make any mistakes … I’ll fix it all up sooner than later.)
Friday, February 03, 2006
Went to Vegas
sat at the roulette table
put my faith on red
that was my game plan.
Tripled my money
started out with a twenty
Humphrey I thought I was
for a real short minute
in a movie I though I was
for an even shorter moment
some sort of secret spy
playing it cool
playing the chump
lying low waiting for the villain
to show up all a brazing
showing off his stuff
with his wad of cash.
I was trying to stay inconspicuous
not making a nuisance of myself
being a magnet I thought I was
for an even shorter fraction
of an instant.
All the sudden my twenty
and my five crumpled ones
became like a big fat roll
of century folds
like a gangster boss I was
or thought so anyway
for such a short time
I cannot estimate or calculate
the seconds concerned
in human terms …
I became like a big fat rolling pig
in an Armani suit
instead of my red E.T. sweatshirt
I’ve been wearing just about everyday
for the last seven years.
Playing the red
at the roulette table
that was my game plan
hitting the big times
five to ten bucks per spin
the little white ball spinning
spinning and spinning some more
“No more bets”
said the croupier
passing her hand over the velvet table
to make her point clear to all participants
and she took all my chips
as the little white ball
chose a black slot
instead of a red one
for its few second of rest from spinning so much.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Yesterday was my blog’s two year anniversary! And I forgot! Shows where my head’s been hiding these days. Still no internet connection on the home front. Working on the little problem. Lots of hits, even when I’m not writing on my blog … yet … no comments! Come on, folks, send me little words of encouragements every once in a while, or let me know how much some entry really sucks, or anything … just say: Hi Needles, what’s up? What you drinking these days? What you reading these days? Any fun adventures in the near future? Why ain’t you writing on your freaking blog, you lazy fool … You know … little things like that, just so I know the void out there isn’t as big as I think it is.
(Visit me on myspace.com/fkneedles)
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
I moved from side B to side A of the duplex where I live this weekend. My friends and neighbors moved away back to England the Thursday before. They took their two dogs and two cats with them. Brutus has been depressed for the last couple of days. He’ll get over it. He’ll have to, really, because I’m not getting a second dog. The weekend was one long non-stop chore. I went at it slowly, without ever getting in too much of a hurry ... trying to procrastinate but knowing that the move had to be done by such and such time. I got all the small and tedious stuff done on Friday, then on Saturday, my parents and my sisters came by to help out with the remaining small to medium stuff. My dad brought a red wheelbarrow and took care of moving all my plants from the backyard to the front yard. I’d already moved the big three: A miniature peach tree, a Brown-turkey fig tree, and a young Loquat tree, all of which are potted in large black plastic pots. I bought a dolly on Friday morning to help out with the move after breaking the dolly my dad had loaned me the previous weekend. Brian & Tracie also showed up and were a great help in taking a load of junk to the dump, and another load to Goodwill. We finished that day of work early at the fish market which also sports a restaurant and oyster bar—brand new addition we found out about this weekend ... I have a felling I’ll be spending loads of time there: half a dozen oysters for $3.95, a pint of local brew for $2.50 and a free wireless connection! What else could one ask for? Shit, I’m going there today, it’s my day off.
(It’s funny how hard it is to write, when one hasn’t really written in a few weeks. It’s hard to find something to say, to get the thought process going. I find that my thought process works in direct correlation with the act of writing. Basically, it’s hard for me to think a thought through other than with my fingers typing on the keyboard, or scribbling in my journal. And I haven’t partook in any such activity in what seems like eons. Writing & Thinking go hand in hand. It is through the act of writing that I can make sense of an idea ... though it would seem at this point that I have absolutely no clear train of thought, nor much to talk about ... it is by this forcing of words, meaningless as they are at this point, that I eventually find something to say, something meaningful enough to give me reason to go on ... but when I stop this seemingly absurd act of putting words down on screen or paper, my thought process slowly shuts down and a bleak blankness starts coming through like a blunt patch of nothingness in my forehead.)
Sunday I cleaned my ex-house, my ex-car-port, my ex-laundry-room. The landlady said I could switch out the refrigerators because my old one is much better. So I’m not quite done yet. But that’s okay.
(I'm so happy. I'm here at the oyster bar now. Just put down my second dozen, and my second pint ... I better pay my bill and go back home, otherwise I'm gonna spend my whole week's paycheck here, and eat oysters till I fall down on the floor ... Ain't life beautiful?)
Monday, January 02, 2006
Thanks to all of you who have read my blog during the almost two years of its existence. It's been a hard-working last few weeks for me, thus the little posting on this site. In the next couple of weeks, I'm moving to a new house, actually I'm moving from side B to side A of my duplex. Not a big move, but you still have to carry everything from one place to the other. After the move, I will once again have the internet at home, so regular posting should resume.
Best of wishes to everybody!!!
Monday, December 19, 2005
Quiet time can often do people a lot good. I should attempt to experience this quietude sometimes soon. Am trying a little this morning, before starting my week, one of the two busiest weeks of the year in the liquor and wine biz. It’s late morning. Last night I woke up at two in the morning, agitated from burlesque dreams I can no longer remember. Too lazy to scribble anything at the appropriate time, I just lied there trying real hard to fall into a deep restful slumber from which I’d wake up fully energized and ready for the new day. Not so. Not happening. Instead, I went to the living room couch, followed by my dog, and I had a scotch while he slept on after getting onto the couch next to me unbothered by whatever was bothering me. I sat there and stared at the wall for a bit, but it wasn’t doing me any good. The biggest problem last night was an inability to breath. It’s probably some sort of allergic reaction again to something or other.
There...that’s not much, but that’s all I have to say. Except for maybe on the 14th of this month, I had a dream which I gave a title to, the title is the following: The Taming of the Dragon at the Top of the Tower. I remember the dream to be pretty terrible. There was an old man with a long white beard at the top of the tower. The dragon was inside a cage of sorts, a cage that looked incredibly like one of those German silos you find littering the beaches of France. The old man had a big stick, and he was hitting it with all his force onto the top of the dragon’s cage, which made loud and deafening pangs and pongs. This really angered the dragon, who wanted to sleep, and the dragon in turn spit fire through small holes at the top of his cage, the small holes which in a silo on the beach would have served to stick guns through and shoot at the incoming enemy. I was running up the stairs of the tower, trying real hard to make it to the top, but the staircase never ceased to exist. The stairs kept on and on. The old man at the top of the tower, the one who was angering the dragon by making large resonating pangs like crashing planes on Chinese gongs, kept yelling out my name in anger. Everybody was angry it seemed, when all we all wanted to do was sleep. That’s what I dreamt in the early hours of the 14th of December this year, and I know this because I wrote a line in my journal which reminds me of this particular dream every time I look at it. Recently, though, I’ve been lazy, and I’ve not written little notes to myself to remind me of the tings I like to be reminded of, which can be a multitude of things. My memory is horrible, and I need to make little notes about just about everything. Sometimes when I get lucky, I'll write a little note which brings the whole experience back. Most of the time, I'm not so lucky.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Silence for the past few days. I wanted to apologize about the silence. December is when things go a bit crazy in the liquor and wine biz. That’s also when you get invited to parties. Last night, I was at a book-release party. I was expecting loads of people, and walked into an intimate group of 7 (8 including myself) where I felt uncomfortable. Tonight, I’m going to my company’s Christmas party – well, it’s not MY company, it’s where I work as a humble clerk selling wine and whiskeys. Tomorrow evening, I’m having drinks with the friend of a very good friend of mine. I’ve never met this person, but was told by my friend in San Francisco that me and this other person had to meet, so that’s what we’re doing Monday after I get out of class. That’s all part of it. Also it’s the last couple of weeks of class. I have a take-home quiz and an essay to turn in real fast. That’s what I’m supposed to be doing this Sunday morning. My regular coffee shop was full up with people at every single table and a line in front of the bar, so I changed, and here I am writing these lame excuses rather than working on my home-work. I have absolutely no reason, except procrastination, to not be working. I have two yellow pads, one with my notes from the semester and the other blank and ready for usage, two .05 black ink pens, though I prefer the .03’s, I can’t seem to find them anywhere around here, I have my school book and another film history book for further reference, and finally I have the questionnaire needing answering, and my laptop for internet research!
Then there’s the book of poems! Manuscript should have been ready for the press in September!
The silence will end soon. I’m moving to my next door neighbor’s house in mid-January, at which point I’m getting the internet re-installed within my living quarters. Currently reading The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams, trying to stay sane. It’s very funny, though last night sitting on the futon my sister gave me which resides in my office next to a very strong light and is used strickly as a reading & sitting apparatus, I was desperately trying to concentrate on the last few chapters of the book when a large black fly with red eyes kept flying circles around my head. I ignored him at first figuring he’d get tired of orbiting like a pestering moon around my personal globe, but eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was tired, so it took a while. I’d gotten up early that day to go have a talk with my landlady, waking up on my couch with a hot iron instead of a face, and my glasses underneath my ass broken in two right in the middle so close to the seam there was no piece of duct tape which could help me. I waited for the sun to be full up, slapped my prescription sunglasses on, and drove on down to my landlady to discuss my moving into the other part of the duplex, rent, rat problems, and a myriad of other things. She’s a very nice lady, so it’s always a pleasant chat. Next, I had to resolve the glasses problem before going to work because there was no way I was driving home after work in the dark with sunglasses on. I all ready don’t see well, but added on to my car’s soft headlights, my inability to judge depth in times of stress, tiredness, and otherwise unpleasant situations, and the fact that I wanted to go to this party I had been invited to on the other side of the world, forced me to deal with the situation instead of going back home and taking a snooze on the couch or even possibly in my bed. Between getting a doctor’s appointment, ordering new glasses, and getting my old glasses soldered back together, that took from 9am till 3pm! My prescription are so strong nobody carries the necessary lens in their store, and thus I went to three different places before finally accepting the fact that I’d have to have them sent off to some laboratory and not to be returned to me before fifteen or so days. The third and last place I stopped, was a nice lady who gave me a descent price, relatively speaking, and even called the glass repair shop to tell them she’d broken my glasses herself while handling them and couldn’t they help me out, so that they wouldn’t charge me an exorbitant fee for soldering my defunct glasses. I was two hours late to work. We had a very busy day at work. The president and vice-president of the company came by to visit and make sure our store was up to par because next week the big world-wide big cheese of the largest spirits distributing / producing company in the universe is visiting our humble establishment...I hear he’s French, maybe he could give me a corporate job back in Paris or London where I can just hang out in a big office with a secretary and do nothing all day?...I’ll ask him, see what he thinks, shoot the shit with him in French, see if I impress him...or maybe not, I’ll probably shake his hands and be put back into place by his entourage. I’m guessing he’ll have an entourage? Don’t all C.E.O.’s of global encompassing companies have entourages? You know, body-guards, pretty blonds in high heals, tiresome little man in little suits, coffee carrying assistants, accountants constantly typing in numbers in small calculators, pencils sticking out of the ears, screaming numbers nobody in their right mind could ever understand...whatever, the store has to be swept, mopped, dusted, and all the other thing-a-jimmies. Christmas music, Christmas decorations, clean windows, and happy faces on every single one of our mugs. Then after work, I drove on half an hour in the opposite direction of my house to head on down to what I though was going to be a large congregation of people to visit with. By the time I got home, it was close to 1am, my dog Brutus was very upset with me for having left him on his own all this time, and all I wanted was a drink, and some profound peace. Which brings me back to the large buzzing fly doing circles around my head. There’s nothing I could do about it. I tried leaving the room running, to see if that might shock him into going somewhere else, I tried leaving the room very slowly to see if he might follow my outside, I tried making me a very strong gin and tonic with lots of lime to see if that had any effect, I tried taking a piss, I tried ignoring him. Nothing worked, so I went to bed.
And here I am, half an hour or more at the coffee shop, and I haven’t even taken my film history books out of my bag.