Category Archives: i’m still an angry motherfucker

A Static Line.

I’ve been stumbling around in this really weird Half-Light World for a few weeks now. It’s kind of fitting that Autumn has finally started to draw her curtains on Summer – I just cannot seem to produce with the Sun hanging up in the sky. I’m coming to the conclusion that I am probably much more of a shadowperson than I will readily admit to.

I spend a ridiculous amount of my time throughout the day constructing things that never get completed. Sentence fragments hang in the air like a mist, only to evaporate by the time I actually get home to try and spend time nurturing them and bringing them to life. I sit at my desk at The Job daydreaming. Replaying memories and snippets of conversations from my past, putting them under a microscope to study their mitochondrial signatures. To search them for weapons of mass destruction. Sometimes I wish I could scoop these memories up and hold them close to my face, to breathe them into me.

The Cycle Of Haunting.

The Job requires that I rise early, to be there at an hour where I can start hitting the phones and get my shuck and jive on for people before they have their second cup of coffee. Cold-calling people in an industry that is slowly dying, what with so many unfinished buildings all over Brooklyn – Ghostly Tombs erected for Captains Of Industry that will never materialize. Constructs that will stand empty and cold, like a Soviet Dream.

This parallel is not coincidental.


Most mornings, when my alarm rudely interrupts whatever terrible dream I’m immersed within – I’m as grateful as I’m groggy. But there are some mornings…

I have the same hang-dog eyes. I make the same terrible guttural sound when clearing my airway of phlegm from smoking for far too many years. Waiting for the shower to reach an acceptable level of heat, I lean into the mirror, checking my eyes and face to make sure I am still me. I. Myself. Looking down at my hands as they struggle to hold my weight, I see the same wrinkles, weathered workaday creases next to similar scarring from long-forgotten pugnaciousness.

The Daily Inventory.

Enshrouded by the rising steam of the shower, I do my final check off for the symptom complex of my impending demise. Looking deep into the browns of my eyes, hunting for the tell-tale signs of yellowing from the shut-down of my liver. Opening my mouth wide and true to study the wall of my throat for a signal, searching for the larva of the first polyp. Prodding and pressing at my lymph nodes, fingering them for a hint of mass, for tumors.

Brushing my teeth in the shower, I feel around with my tongue, snake-like, blindly studying the make-up of the spongy tissue above my uvula. This is usually the part of The Exercise when the coughing fits begin. Choking on toothpaste and gasping for air, I try to hold myself steady in the stream of water. Submerging my head underneath the showerhead, pulling the steam into my face like smoke. I cough so hard. So hard that my balls ache. So hard that my ribs feel broken. So hard that I see little black spots in the ambient corners of my field of vision. My lungs spasm and contort, breaking loose the pollutants and the muck. I spit it into the drain, watching it sometimes sit right on top of it before the water erodes it away like soft earth in a downpour. It’s like a fucking death rattle.

Like his Death Rattle.


Standing on the train platform, surrounded by fellow commuters. My mind always drifts into these odd and terribly paranoid places. Do they know? Do they see me as I see me, as someone doomed to be a disease-ridden Gregor Samsa of sorts? I try not to look anyone in the eye. The people who cannot stand still, their milling about makes me boil. Why must they always circle me like vultures?

Riding the train, I still maintain distance – as much as one can when smashed together like cattle. Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is my home. This is where I belong – I never should have been taken away from here. There are moments, fleeting, yet still emotionally crippling – where I see his face superimposed over that of a random commuter. These things, they happen. You cannot be touched by death in this manner and get away scot-free, without revisiting it.


The Job, the grind of it – it keeps me in a delusional place. The people I work with are good people. The people I work with are kindhearted and seemingly genuine. The people I work with all have a Secret History, just like me. Just like everyone who breathes the air, who stalks the ground – all of us with locked doors. The Job is a means to an end, a mostly-pleasant distraction with a monetary reward. The Job, at times, allows me the ability to wear a mask, to appear like everyone else. The people I call on the telephone cannot see that I am rubbing my feet together underneath my desk like a cricket, cornered. The people that I call on the phone cannot smell my anxious sweat. The hands that I shake in meetings do not know that I lay awake at night, fighting sleep and dreams.

So many empty buildings.

So many unfinished constructs.


Sitting at the desk in my office at home, I can see the skyline. Every night The Empire State Building glows a different color. Every night I can see the flickering lights of the buildings, the amber rising up into the starless sky. Every night as I sit down to write, I think about those days, the roles we all played. Sitting staring across rooftops, into the inky night of Manhattan. Looking across the courtyard into the open windows of neighbors, studying their patterns, witnessing their private movements.

As a child, I knew nothing of Death – it never touched me. But we are never not children to our parents, and the loss of both of mine has certainly touched me. Orphaned. Detached. Their deaths were years apart, but are held together by some form of connective tissue, like Siamese Twins – never fully separated.

I remember the first death so hazily. I was infused with so much raw emotion, so much self-righteous anger, that in retrospect it seems to have overshadowed the finality. His death, however, lingers. The intimacy of it all, the combat and the struggle – I cannot shake his ghost. I see him staring back at me in the mirror. I see his reflection in the sheen of a parked car as I walk by. I hear his voice wrapped around the timbre of my own. I feel him in my DNA, writhing and rising to bask in the light of me.

To say that these experiences haven’t shaped me would be a terrible lie. To not share them, to not write about them, would deprive me of the opportunity to unravel these knots, to identify these feelings. To not write about them would be wasteful. To not share them would be selfish.

To not write about them would be another empty building.

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Enter: The Curmudgeon.

As leathered and as wizened as I try to liken myself to be, I am still a wide-eyed, filled-to-the-brim with hope kind of kid inside. Lately, I feel that wide-eyed kid getting smothered with a pillow by the angry old man inside.


Sure, just like everyone else on this planet, I have my likes and my dislikes. There are things inherent in human nature that make me want to start punching people in the throat without any warning. Things that people do that make me want to light them on fire in front of their fucking families.


Add living in a Megalopolis like The City to that equation, and the math becomes quite clear –

As much as I hate to admit it – I hate pretty much everyone.


Now, this isn’t hate on a racism-based scale. Nor is it hate on a socio-economic scale, either. This is pure, unadulterated disdain for people’s inability to think outside of the three foot radius that encompasses their pithy innermost being. This is scathing and boiling. This is acid reflux.


Scenario:

You don’t drink, so you volunteer to be the Designated Driver for a few of your “friends,” so they can go out on the town and get blasted beyond recognition. Before they start downing drinks like jackals on a carcass, they all make mention to you multiple times how much they appreciate you, and the fact that you will be looking out for their well-being during the evening’s tomfoolery. You, being a sucker, feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy inside, because you have allowed yourself to feel as though they truly appreciate you. You get this immediately grandiose idea in your puny human brain that the night will be all full of smiles and good times – even for you.


Oh, but you’re so, so wrong.

The first half an hour or so, you’re just enjoying everyone’s company – them with their cocktails and libations, you sipping on your ginger ale. Jokes. Laughter. Back-slapping. It really does start off like an atypical beer commercial. Even the chicks across the room are eyeballing the lot of you, staking out which one of you they’re going to sink their claws into.


Life seems momentarily good.

Entering into hour two, your game plan has switched the fuck on up. At this point, you’re trying to corral your buddy who has decided to repeatedly walk over to the group of off-duty cops and start running his mouth at them. And at the same time, you’ve got another buddy who keeps on running off to the bathroom with some skeevy fuck to do shit-tons of blow with. Your other pal? Oh, he’s over in that corner booth, fucked up beyond anyone’s threshold, making out with some seventeen year old piece of fine-fine jailbait that worked her way into the bar with her cocksucking skills and her older sister’s ID.

Fast forward another hour, and you’re actually contemplating leaving these fuckstains you call “friends” at the bar and to their own devices. You don’t need this kind of stress and static. You’ve been punched in the face already by the coked up one for suggesting he chill out. The slobbering drunk cop-hater has already been tossed from the bar, and you threw money at the cabbie, begging him to take him home and not wherever he suggests to go. The burgeoning pedophile is now in an alley behind the bar, balls deep in some girl who will end up telling her mother she got that herpes at summer camp. You’re spent. You throw your hands in the air and decide to cut your losses, gather up the troops, and try to head back to Real Life.


Not so easy, is it?

Even with the best of intentions, motherfuckers will bend you over and give you the old in-out, nice and dry. Your “friends,” when they eventually sober up, won’t even think twice about what happened, nor will they even be remorseful for putting you in such a terrible situation. They’ll all laugh and laugh, giving you the business for being so stodgy and “tight.” They won’t even remember what happened for what it really was – motherfuckers taking advantage of you.

Yeah, I know this sounds all bitter and shit. And coming from a cat who no longer imbibes, it probably sounds a schtikel righteous. But it ain’t. It’s analogous in leaning.


This kind of behavior runs rampant through all of us. Shit, even me. I loathe my own hypocrisy. I’m not gonna lie, either – I get all kinds of boiling on the inside when I have to deal with people out there in The City. This motherfucker is overflowing with scurrilous little shits that will snake your last piece of kindness like old Henry Bibby sneaking through the back door. Think I’m kidding? Watch the next time some fuckstains are walking across an intersection. They will slow their roll to a fucking crawl as soon as the light changes or they even sense you’re in a semi-hurry to get anywhere. Watch how the shitbirds will push an old lady out of the way to get onto an already over-crowded F Train at Herald Square. Look around you and see all the fucking scumbags eyeballing young girls like they’re pieces of meat they can go home and fuck.


Table for Mr. Bitterness? Table for one!


I always have a hard time trusting anyone. That being said, I’m also the kind of cat who will smile at a stranger on the street – genuinely. I was raised to be good to people on a basic level. My Parental Units weren’t uncouth assholes who left me locked in a cage and didn’t teach me any pertinent social skills. I can be gregarious and outgoing when necessary. I just, over time and through the repetitive beating The City gives me, have realized that it’s a mostly pointless exercise. Especially here in The City – motherfuckers just do not care. And that’s fine. That’s just The Way It Is sometimes. Life is the teacher, we’re the apt pupils. I’m learning.


Of course, there are truly amazing people here, just like Smalltown World. And the people I have in my own little world are dope, on every level. People I would jump in front of a speeding cab for. But the rest of The Great Unwashed?


Hell no, son. Hell to the no.

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Filed under i'm still an angry motherfucker, tomfoolery, true stories from nyc

The Paper Tiger.

I’ve been in a feisty/bordering-on-foul mood for a couple of days now.

It would be far too easy for me to blame my mood on this over-reacting bullshit in regard to Hamthrax/Snoutbreak/Aporkalypse Now, but I’m not going to lie and say it isn’t hilarious and maddening to see fucking losers riding the subway with their little “protective masks” on their mugs. I like to sidle right on up next to them and start coughing violently, just to elicit the cheap thrill and also for the adoration of the rest of the crowd that isn’t panic-stricken.

I know, I’m an easily amused doofus.

Stress-relieving amusements like this help a bit. My record streak is 11 Perps picked in a row. Maybe the former junkie in me still has that Magic Eye after all?

This is the part of this Ramble where I whine and bitch – so, if you’re not like, into that, stop now and go to the pretty picture at the bottom instead. You’ve been warned…

I’ve been reading a lot of sites lately. Trying to see what all this “freelance writer” bullshit is all about, and I have to tell you – it really just comes off like motherfuckers are getting paid to get their Nerd on. I’m all in favor of it, don’t get me wrong. If some music site decided they wanted to throw me a bone and have me review records, I’d be a gleeful little schoolgirl for the rest of my life. For real.

But I guess the part that boggles my noodle is that I read a lot of people who I know in MeatSpace, and they do not sound like themselves at all. As an avid observer of human behavior, I find that people who create “art” that differs from their everyday personae (definition 5, suckas) are usually people who are afraid to upset or offend people. And me? I think that’s just pointless bullshit, and I’ll tell you why –

Anyone can write. Anyone can pick up a guitar and write a song with four chords in it. Anyone can stick their hand in a jar of Skippy, smear that peanut butter goodness on their junk and take a camera phone picture of it, and call it pornography. Anyone can buy some spray-paint and tag up an empty wall. Anyone can learn how to program a geekbox. Anyone can bake a cake. Anyone can sit naked in a litterbox while blaring techno in a gallery and call it Performance Art.

Breathe…and Confess

Basically, I am a bitter and angry man lately. I get so chapped at the thought of not doing what I’ve always wanted to do, that I get pissed off that there are some people out there who are doing it. And that’s not necessarily a healthy way to deal with my issues. My issues are simple: I’m paralyzed whenever I get what it is that I want. Any time a band I was in got within sniffing distance of a record deal, I bailed. Any time someone wanted to take some of my writing and publish it, I’d either force them to publish it under a fake fucking name, or I’d bail. Hell – even back in High School I would bail on motherfuckers all the time, because I never wanted to disappoint anyone.

This is a pattern that needs to change, and change quickly. I do not want to be one of those old fucks who is on his fucking Death Bed, and whimpers out “I sure do wish I’d followed my *sniffle* heart.” Because I know that anyone who would be up in that room with me would fucking laugh their head off at me, for running my mouth nonstop about wanting to do something and not sacking-up enough to take that shot at it.

And I honestly wouldn’t blame them one fucking bit.

Although, I have yet to pass up any opportunity in this life to possibly offend someone. That is some shit I am goddamn qualified for. Here, I’ll prove it –

I am so fucking tired of trying to be cool to people in the hope that they’ll do me a solid and hook me up with the people they say they will when they stroke my flaccid cock and tell me I’m a “good writer,” and I should be getting paid to do so, all while I have nothing to show for it other than their half-hearted and equally flaccid accolades. Seriously.

I love all y’all, but let’s get on Front Street here, and admit that it’s High Time I put my money where my mouth is, and stop banking on people’s kindness. Basically, I’m telling y’all to stop stroking me and force me to make a move my damn self.

Anything less than that would be some fake “art” shit to me, anyway.

Here is that pretty picture I promised you:

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