Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 In Review

It's somewhat reductive to break down an entire year to an Internet meme but it's more than that. It's less dismissive than claiming an entire year was cursed and using photos of dead celebrities as evidence, no?

2016 has been the year I learned to trust my own counsel.  It was a year of self acceptance.  It was a year of self-love of the non-masturbatory ilk, both literally and figuratively, so minds out of the gutter, you fucking clowns.

2016 was the year that despite everything I realized I was just fucking fine.  Perhaps 2017 will be about fixing the situational asides. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Snitches get st... nah... $125 an hour and it lasts 45 minutes


In the realm of Facebook memes there are things that are funny because they're tacky, shocking or politically incorrect, and then there are things that are funny because they're true (see above).  Should we trust these confidentiality agreements between doctors and patients or should we just say fuck it and let it all shake out how it will?  Suffice to say that our deepest and darkest are parlor chuckles at some shrink's holiday get-together.  Life is easier, when like me, you've done some damnable things with everyone watching so few people expect much anymore.  It's probably vanity though to imagine that my life will be part of someone's dissertation one day and it probably won't be my own.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Don't buy shit! Don't buy shit!


Love is free, can't pay for it. 

I wish someone had told me sooner!


via messynessychic

No more than a liter a day, or a big glass at every meal.  Health and sobriety... it recalls what my long, lost pal Paolo said to his then 12 year old son:  Zachary... Wine is for grannies, unless you drink it by the fucking gallon.

Friday, December 23, 2016

I know this feeling.

Still so much nicer though, to be stuck up a leafless tree on an anonymous block, than lashed to the front of a garbage truck, the fate of so many of our discarded and abandoned plushie friends.  Soiled and sad, maybe an eye missing or a torn paw...

Prospect Park - DDATHTL


My park seems so much smaller with no leaves on the trees.  There is nothing to conceal that it is only this far or that far from here to there.  It really is just a tiny piece of land.  There is less solitude.  There is less peace with no veil concealing this from that and that from this, and all of it from me, and me from them.   There is a sense of melancholy.  The geese and ducks are huddled in the lake and moving more quickly to keep the water in motion so it doesn't freeze.  There will be some point in time when it doesn't matter how quickly they paddle.  Home will freeze around them.

It happens to all of us, guys.  Don't take it personally.  It just is what it is.  

Prospect Park - DDATHTL


I sat in the lean-to for a bit last night.  It's been a while, perhaps over two years but the timeline is iffy.  Two years and a few months seems right.  I sat on that bench, in that lean-to, on a date of sorts.  It was a late walk and we went for shelter when a thunder storm rolled in.  The rain never did much but there was rolling thunder and lightning flashes lit up the water, electric-blue.  It was romantic in a way.

In a way.

What way?

I'm not sure anymore what romance really is.  There is an awful lot written about romance and love but none of it rings particularly true with me.  There is no frame of reference to make that judgement.  It just doesn't ring true.  Note also that I say "anymore" without every having any previous knowledge or even a hunch.  I went with the assumption that if there was longing it must be love and if there were love it must be romance.  A body can long for a lot of things though and most of them aren't love.  

We sat on that bench though and held hands and made out for a long while and it felt good.  This is my first time back and not for any particular reason other than there are usually a few people sitting there already.  There was a bit of a nagging feeling that something was unresolved though but I could pick any point on the linear trajectory of my life and get the same feeling.  It would be nice to let all that go.  It's not necessary but it would be nice.  

This time I was there with Miss Jane Pitbull, and damned if she didn't hop up on the bench next to me and sit close with her muzzle under my chin.  That's real love for sure.  Not romance of course but love.  One could always say her feelings are about dependency for warmth and food, but maybe that's what all love is about, no?  Don't ask me.  I really don't know for sure.  

DDATHTL - Seven Years

I thought there might be more to say, but there it is.

Seven.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

DDATHTL - Intoxication


Don't get it twisted.  Love is the most intoxicating and addictive of all drugs.  You'll see that many addicts have the same relationships with people that they do with their drug of choice, like crack for example.  When the current supply appears to have run short, you'll see the addict crawling across the carpet of their past, convinced they've dropped a rock.  They'll pull shit apart and scour the rug fiber by fiber and usually end up smoking cat litter or some nonsense that came in on the bottom of their shoe.

I'm not the crackhead and I'm not the rock, and I never will be.  Been out of that game a long damn time.

I'm not the rock you dropped.  Don't come looking for me when your shit runs out.  I'm not there.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Every damn thing...

Pretty much every germ that comes down the pike.  My immune system is pretty well buggered.  There were times when it could be years without a cold or flu but now...

It's not about aging so much as...

So much as what?

I've got a fucking cold.

So what.

Pretty much.


Pidge from Renee Zhan on Vimeo.

Monday, December 19, 2016

DDATHTL - I want to be an astronaut.

I wanted to be an astronaut but failed the physical.

Then I asked them if I could go to Ghana or Mali or even the Balkans or somewhere but that's not looking good either.

Perhaps I will be allowed in Canada.

Too sick to be of service.

Too sick and tired to stay put.

Good night.

night terrors

Someone finally wrote one for folks like us...


Who believe in things bigger than the beliefs maybe though we've been told our whole lives we don't believe and that we'll see because we'll suffer for it.  For those of us who don't really believe in the divinity of the sandaled Palestinian.

This is a Christmas song.

This is a love song.

This song had tears coming down my cheeks before the sun came up this morning.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Socks and underwear again?

Who cares?

December 17th, 2016.

The first significant snowfall of the season in New York City.
I took no photos.
A few inches didn't seem to make much difference
And it was mostly gone by Sunday.

Friday, December 16, 2016

One day in 2016

One day in 2016, toward the very end of 2016, and it was a very fucking cold day in the Northeast, we all woke up and everyone was talking again about the potential of war with Russia.

Hello Darkness, my old friend...

This isn't a bit of cryptic verse.  Five minutes on social media and there were a half dozen speculative headlines that all said pretty much the same thing.

We can't win.

They already hacked the election, so...

Perpetual Motion Machine - DDATHTL


Visualizing 24 hours of subway activity in New York City from Will Geary on Vimeo.

Cowboy Dave, or Big Fucking Stupid Dave as I called him behind his back, a year out of prison for trafficking cocaine claimed he would be rich and famous one day for inventing the first perpetual motion machine.  He said he had already built it in his head, and that seemed reasonable because there were obviously entire empires built in his head and they obscured any version of reality... but whatever, Dave.

Whatever.

I'd forgotten The Perpetual Motion Machine, even as I never fully forgot the current of fear that ran through the house then after he moved in and slowly took the place over room by room.  There was the half-built platform bed that rendered his bedroom unusable.  And why was it built for the twin bed mattress?  Why not buy a new mattress?  There was the 800 lb. oak desk that took over the former bar area.  There was the weight benches that took over the dining room.  There was Dave himself ensconced in the living room demanding that we all leave so he could sleep (since his bedroom was a tangle of scrap timber).  Mostly there was the fear of saying no to Dave.

Fear of physical harm still doesn't scare me, if that makes sense.  It's not that it's not there.  I simply don't really care.  It's something I'll deal with when I get to it.

Pain.

Pain is more of an emotional phenomenon, at least in my head.  It's what scares me and has always scared me.  Fear of more of it still keeps me up at night.  Physical pain is... well, it's just pain.  You deal with it.  You live with it.  Dave didn't scare me in that sense but there was always the buzz of anticipation.  It was never a case of if he was going to lose his shit but when.  When the rest of us dismantled his empire and carried it to the driveway we all went back in and went to our respective bedrooms, the only places he hadn't yet taken over, locked our doors and waited.  He came in late and kicked down each bedroom door.

What to do then?  Call the police, and we did, and they came.  Funny the discomfort I felt at having an outsider see just what a fucking wrecked filthhole our home was was worse than the fear of physical pain.  I squirm now when I remember their faces as they looked around the kitchen.

What does any of this have to do with the video?

Nothing at all.  You just never know what's going to trigger a memory.

Joyful exultation?

via thejoyofseex

I just knew.

I knew it was a problem when I opened an article titled: Celebrity Weight-Loss Transformations.  I knew I had reached a new bottom and that it was time to seek help.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sometimes you wanna go

where everybody knows your name

Trying to remember not to forget to


Seems simple enough, right?

There are moments though when I still need to remind myself.  Oh yes, that's right.  Must do this thing.  In deeply.  Out fully.  Repeat.  

Breathe.

It's funny too, because paraphrasing Bob Dylan's Idiot Wind it's long been one of my favorite insults.  It's a wonder you can even breathe.  Do you remember to breathe?  

Yet sometimes I forget.  Just the other day in the park I had paused to take a photo and inhaled deeply and held, to stay still for the photo.  Camera away again and walking there came a moment of discomfort.  Oh yah.  Breathe.  Just breathe.  In deeply.  Out fully.  Repeat.  

Breathe.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Prospect Park - DDATHTL


Unrelated to anything really, there's this kid or young man or whatever you want to call him that I talk to on social media.  I'd met him in person first and he seems a harmless sort so why not Facebook.  There are people I know less on there, so whatever.  

He has a habit of ranting about this and that and one of the common topics is women.  Every anecdote shapes up like so:

Chicks just don't know what they want...
Girls don't want nice guys...
Women say one thing but do... 

And so on.  He does it a lot so last night I asked him if he likes women.  Seemed a fair enough question to me.  I clarified that I wasn't asking him if he is gay, but simply does he like women as people.   Long story short, we're not connected anymore.  

I still think it was a fair question but ya know?  He's young.  I still say a lot of really stupid things.  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Prospect Park


The train station, my train station at Fort Hamilton Parkway less than a few blocks from where I took these idyllic photos was decorated with swastikas and assorted anti-Islamic and anti-Jewish slurs in the last few weeks since the election.  We can feign outrage but it comes as no surprise to me.  I've listened to local people speaking to each other in bars and stores, and sometimes they share with me when they see I've got a similar level of melanin... though sometimes their anecdotes start with, "You're not Jewish are you?"  

I always answer yes.  

So there was a little demonstration at the train station this morning and that's all sweet, if somewhat dishonest.  You see, the neighborhood is somewhat like my lake in Prospect Park.  It's scenic.  It's peaceful. It's fun.  If you fall in you're going to have a hell of a time getting clean.  It's filthy and at times even toxic.  It's why I don't swim in the lake (not that anyone does, on purpose anyway), and it's why I don't immerse myself in the locals.  

Not on purpose.  

We may be more conscious of the hate stuff now, but don't even pretend that it's new.  

Don't.  

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Always stuck somewhere between

via mobstr

Not a typical Sunday night funk.  It's more like a Sunday night fear, like shit has been set into motion that can only end... well, closer to the bottom than to the top at the very least.

Don't get it twisted.  You're not about to witness any quasi-religious or spiritual meanderings.  One or the other or both of the above are whatever blows up your panties.  I'm just saying that this is a strange place, or a strange moment in a strange place.

I'm ill at ease, and as The Crocodiles say, "if you smell shit, best check the bottoms of your own shoes first."  I fear I may have tracked something across the carpet of my life again.

Ugh.

I voted!

Image via thisisnthappiness

So it's pretty much common knowledge at this point that Russia hacked the 2016 election with the intent of making Donald J. Trump president.  How much they contributed to his win remains to be seen, but they hacked the election, making the USA the first major world power to have their election hacked by a foreign power.  Once again, the USA is #1!!!

The implications are pretty frightening but I'm not sure exactly how frightened I should be.  Truth has been so obscured in the last year or so (further back than that but the last year especially) that nobody is going to be satisfied with the the outcome of any pending investigation.  There's no reason not to expect violence, really.

Fingers crossed.


Albemarle & Argyle, Brooklyn

Friday, December 09, 2016

Manhattan Bridge looking south.

This is another one of those views I've shot 1000 times and it's never the same twice. 

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Homo algus

 Sophia Prestigiacomo

The Itch - DDATHTL

She was restless and scratching all night.  It's not uncommon.  Her skin is her enemy.  It consumes her in fits and starts.  This morning it was angry and inflamed.  Nothing to do for her really but cover her in lotion and say a quick prayer.  Funny I never pray for people.  I don't pray for myself.  She's another story.  There must be a god for dogs.  They're too kind and good.  They deserve a god.  They deserve protection.  Jane deserves more.

It's funny to think (swift left on an ADD moment) that the bulk of my life story has been typed out with my thumbs on a touch screen device.  Standing on a train platform and tapping.  Tapping.  Rapping?  How much of anyone's life is spent in transit?  In stations, on trains or buses or planes?  In airport lounges?  The Nutty Professor's entire memoir was set in transit.  In the spaces of time between places.  Clever one she is, if stuck in pursuit of something she may not be able to see.  Mired in a blind spot.  She seems to have the hindsight bit down pat though, but that might be said about many of us.  Things look so clear when we look behind us.  Then we turn to move forward and walk face-first into a wall.

Insert loud smack sound here.

SMACK!

I do wish her the best.  I am no longer angry at her for telling me the truth, even if her motivation was selfish.  It seemed mean at the time.  Now it's obvious it was a gift I wish I had opened and used sooner.  It sat on the shelf gathering dust for a long while.  One day I will go into more detail of what that mean truth was.  For now...

There is plenty of other time to write but I end up in digital rabbit holes.  The intertoobz is the new drug, isn't it.  I can choose left or right but never forward.  It's left or right with the only variation factored by the weightless drift of digital space.  It's not quite like going in circles even if you always end up in the same place.  You get to see some shit for sure, but the end is the same.  An empty page and a realization that the alarm is going to ring in a few hours and sweet fuck all has been done.  Those photos from Art Basel Miami sure were cool though!

One might think with all the time these last few years spent functionally unemployed... but let's not follow yet another alley into self-flagellation.  Image of me in some semi-modern s&m leather scene, red welts, sweat and grime... you spend too much time on the web, MacGregor.  Too much! 

Insert whip-cracking sound here...

CRACK!

Probably best to sign off for now.

Crowds.

Crowds.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Kindness Matters - DDATHTL


Never underestimate the power of a group of little girls with a box of crayons.  They were coloring in the stairwell yesterday and sneaking about posting signs like this.  Only a few days ago they were approaching neighbors in the hallway and practicing giving random compliments.  There are lessons there, I'm sure.  Maybe every day doesn't have to be a streetfight but it sure seems so.  

Woke up thinking about Jane.  Sometimes she sleeps so soundly that I have to look very closely and intently to make sure she's still breathing.  I haven't done anything like that since the boys were infants and I do it now with the same urgency, though if you ask me I will tell you that no matter what you can't love a pet with the same intensity as your love for your own child.  Sometimes I wake up and she is staring at me the same way.  Just sitting stock-still and looking.  Is she wondering if I'm breathing?  Is she marveling at a snore?  If I ask she changes the subject and runs for a toy.  

Anthropomorphism.   Or not.  They seem like real conversations even as the flow of words is all in a single direction.  They seem legit.  

I've been sick for days now, laid low by some horrid stomach bug.  That could be why she's been staring so much more intently and insisting on being in the bed beside me.  Would she stand guard over my body until someone found me or would I be lunch when the food dish went empty?  I asked but she didn't answer.  She went for a toy.  Sorry, love.  Not up for it.  

After a few days though I think that despite a heavy sweat I can make it into work today.  I really can't afford not to.  Monday was out of the question.  Having been up all night I tried to tough it out and made it as far as the 7th Avenue train stop before a bout of shakes and cramps turned me back.  Yesterday I got up with the alarm and put my feet on the floor but the sweats came instantly so I conceded defeat and rolled back onto the wet sheets.  Today?  It looks doable.  For now.  We'll see what the day brings.  The sweats are here as I type this but not as bad and not accompanied by waves of heat and chill.  No shakes.

Doable.

For now.  

My instinct is to roll back onto the bed and call Jane over, but my instincts have often failed me.  That's even an understatement.  I've lived most of my life with two, fight or flight, and while they've served me here and there, even a broken clock is right twice a day.  They don't even apply in most situations.  Jane has a more well-rounded repertoire if reactions.  

Everything has seemed like a fight these last few weeks.  It could really be said about the entirety of 2016, if I'm to be honest.  There's a record of it here behind this entry.  It hasn't been without its gifts and joyful moments but it's been a struggle in every way imaginable.  Everybody is saying the same of this year though, and it all seemed to culminate with the election a few weeks ago.  The result was astonishing, even for those whose candidate won, it seems.  It seemed to whip them into a pique of self-righteous indiganation, and in many cases violence.  I, like so many others who were mortified by it all, squared off and started to punch, which was the right instinct for most people, but what was it The Crocodiles said?

Justified anger will kill you.

Justified anger.

And it is justified.

But perhaps it's best left to those better qualified to handle it.  I'm probably more emotionally on the level of the little girls with the crayons.  Maybe that's the level of rebellion and subversion I can handle.  Yes, I'm asking the question, is this a stomach virus or food poisoning, or have I simply made myself sick on my own bile?  Everything is set to overdrive.  It's a streetfight.  Or not.  It's not sustainable without some form of release valve.  Something needs to change.

Boys and girls don't understand
the devil makes work for idle hands.  

Selah 


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Exulansis


exulansis
n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.  Of course, revisiting The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

It's not a real word, but it should be.  It would help describe the distance I feel between myself and my own childhood.  It often seems so far removed, like something I read once years ago... a story narrated by people demanding absolution in advance of knowing exactly what, if anything, they're even being blamed for.  

Twisted - DDATHTL

That which is crooked cannot be made straight, and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. (Ecclesiastes 1:15, New King James Bible)

Or if you prefer, the fable of the Dogwood Tree:  I first crossed paths with the story of the Dogwood Tree when I was young and it stuck with me.  There is no reference to it in The Bible, but the idea remains the same.   The concept transcends culture.  The most recent variation in my life is, "a pickle can never again be a cucumber."  

I can be mended but I cannot be made new.  I accept that.  

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Danger Thin Ice - DDATHTL


One can only assume this is metaphorical, an omen, given the state of the water and the air temperature.  

Danger!  No ice!  Will we still be here when a sign reading NO SWIMMING is posted year round?  No, that doesn't read right, does it?  

Anyway.

Metaphor.

Omen.

Watch where you're going, Big Man.  It could start to get weird, moving forward from here.  Perhaps even weirder than it's been already and that's saying something.  Not a stretch of the imagination at all.  Anything at all is possible, really.  

Just enjoy the pretty pictures.  

Planet Earth is Blue...

Nothing to wear!

Friday, December 02, 2016

December 1, 1955



Thank you, Rosa Parks.  
Thank you. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Prospect Park - DDATHTL


Dogs dream about the humans they love.

Okay.  

I'll buy that.  Why not?  What else do they dream about?  How would she explain the noises she makes when she's sleeping, could she speak?  

What do I dream about?  

I dream about the humans I fear.  And other things I fear.  I fear that my I's are too close together, but yes. I dream about the humans I fear.  I dream about them a lot.  

I fear other things as well.  It's not just about people.  

It scares me that I've got more debt than it seems I ever had money in the bank.  It feels like the hole is bottomless and I keep going down.  I need a miracle.  Or a lottery win.  Same thing really, no?  

I fear I will never finish a memoir.

I fear that I will finish it.  

I can tell you that I know a lot more about the meanings of words so writing should be easier than it is.  I now know the difference between fright and dread.  I have felt them both.  The fear I have now is mostly dread and it used to be fright.  One day I will be able to explain the difference, or maybe you will feel it first and know without me telling you.

Maybe you already know.  

Seriously though.  Do I have a miracle left in me?  Do I have a memoir in me?  Will it be an exit or a trap door?  Fuck it.  

Look at the pictures.