a momentary setback, but nothing to fret.
nothing lasts forever, nothing’s ever set
remember, it’s right foot, left foot, right hand, left.
are my eyes even open? when was the last time I slept?
insomnia’s building but push it down, down into the mound
don’t let it live, bury it six feet underground
caution zone, disaster strikes
flip the switch on, resonate through the mic
heart to soul and everything in between
my mouth’s wide open but no song to sing
on switch to off
the idea is to have your arms crossed as tightly to your chest as you can and your legs tucked back (basically touching the bum of the person strapped to your back). in essence? complete and utter dependence on this stranger- for your life. now I know I had to do it, clearly, but just about a year ago I made an oath to not ever be dependent on anyone (regardless of the situation). 14,500 is pretty high up, especially if the numbers get lower and lower by the second. of course I close my eyes, but for JUST a split second. I mean only right when I drop out of this tiny plane. There is no closing your eyes when all you see in the foreground is partly-translucent clouds, Kenosha in the background, and six o’clock sunset illuminating everything above the cloud line. once you accept the fall, you just want to keep going. keep going, keep going. not towards an ultimate death (but here is when my post-death curiosity craving kicks in), but speed, unclear sound, visuals, etc. Basically a fast forward. (Eh, but landing in Kenosha as my launch off point/grave, my dead body and hopeful soul would not appreciate that. What I would prefer? Maneuvering that sucker as West as possible and if Gesus would allow me to land and die in the Black Bear Forest- gah!) Mmm- I jumped out of a fucking moving plane and landed on the polluted, dying Earth 14,500 below. How did I get here? To this point?
It really does seem ages ago when I lived down in the Loop. Hell, it was not too long ago when I was homeless. I was just starting a new school (again), in love, and really soaking in the fact that I landed my apartment in the sky. Wasted months, really. I did nothing that I can remember. Work, school, Ally, work, school repeat. Why had I left Michigan? I was doing the same exact fucking thing. I’ve had the small idea instilled inside me that change is always good, from a very early age. By this time, it had taken over. Complete abduction. October rolls by and by golly everything changes. I’ll be writing about this through blog, song, poetry, whatever for a long, long time. I figure if there’s a lot of text, she won’t read it or her friends. No slideshow photos of “My Trip to X with X, Y, Z”, no sentences starting with “You know what I think?”, no italicized words of John Mayer’s new hit. Anyways.. October- right. It made this year what it is, and I have to keep remembering that. Forcing myself to believe it was a good thing in naive and doesn’t assist in the whole process. At all. How am I supposed to gauge if “it was a good thing”? What if I hit the ground because my parachute didn’t work. And I didn’t die, but I had complete paralysis except for my eyes. I can’t talk with my eyes! They never could communicate what I’m really thinking. ever! And how I am supposed to serve overpriced coffee with my hands? How am I supposed to drive around my grilled cheese/semen cart around Chicago (C-man’s Grilled Cheeser)? Then that One Thing That Happened in October would be bad thing, yes? I can’t make a judgement call yet- I’ll give it a few years. Cross your fingers. Mark the date. December hits, snow falls and all things changed. I started wearing all-weather boots. I understand how convenient they are to walk around with, but have you ever tried working for seven hours with those bad boys on? I feel like I’m in Rocky’s training segment. Then to go back into the snow- oh, Lordy bless the tiny hands that made these all purpose boots.
Then I found a job that I loved. (love). I met and lost more people that affected me than anyone else I’ve ever come into contact with. And this doesn’t necessarily have any mutual characteristic to it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It forced things into perspective. As good ol’ G O double D said, I was blind but now I see. Actually maybe that was jesus. I don’t know I feel like they recycled each other’s proverbs and whatnot. I mean how many catchy fortune cookie slogans can one come up with. EVEN if you’re God. Writer’s block happens to the best of us. Anyways, I was put into challenging conversations, thought provoking circumstances, and a place where I was uncomfortable, in the most comfortable way. It was like maturity steroids or something. I grew up, quickly and almost unhealthily. I’m not growing breasts or have any sort of shrinking balls, but who knows you know? This year..really changed me. (Cue You Can’t Always Get What You Want). *The More You Know..and shooting star. Thank you- and you know who you are and what you did.
And then, rock bottom. Out of one apartment, not into the next. I was going dedicate a whole entry to “The Kindness of Strangers”, but my discipline in the last few weeks has been nonexistent, so let me give this a whirl. My first homeless home was in the kind city of Lafayette, Colorado- right outside Boulder. The two weeks I spent there really calmed my head, heart. You can ask me to my face how it was and what I did, but for now I’ll give you one anecdote. It all starts with a bus ride down from the mountains. Not too bad, high and drunk to a decently high degree. We can handle it, we have handled it. Feet dangling off into a river, 40s in hand, and some local Colorado pot in a handy dandy new Colorado one hitter. Brian looks over, right over my head. Here..we fucking go. “What are you boys up to tonight? How old are you?” My instantaneous lie, obviously eventually telling the truth, cut to- pouring all the booze into the river and walking away..into the front yard of a nearby church where we can finally smoke the packed bowl that I was able to hide when the cop came. then, falling asleep with radiohead blasting my laptop on the bus ride back to Lafayette, on the bus. of course, we have no idea where we’re going and the combination of internal tinted windows on the bus and the complete lack of street light creates and obstacle. Everything becomes multiple replications of one another. Guy sitting in the corner of the bus, are you staring at me? Or is your head turned? Golly, oh me oh my. We get off the bus only to find out from strangers sitting on the ground we had been going the complete wrong way. The stranger’s response “go catch up wit’ my sista up der and ask her to drive ya. tell her her brother sai’ so” We catch up to her, ask her, hitch a ride, get home. I need to get home. I need to get home. I need to get home. I need to find a home, then I need to get home.
So it’s August and a customer asks me if I wanted to go sky diving. Regardless of my coworkers’ rants about how I didn’t know him and my high probability of rape, death, etc, I had to go. I knew the situation except the actual free fall and floating would be incredibly uncomfortable, but what’s life without a lot of uncomfortable moments?
First off, check it. New music project I’ll be working on for a few months:
Internet out- fourth floor lounge area. Sucking the wifi like a milkshake downloading the Final Cut suite. Overhearing the dense conversation between the middle age hooliganing tenants of 1401 south state. Inputting lies, jokes, and tom foolery between iTunes songs. Such as? “Yes, one of the landlord ladies definitely looks like a lesbian?” “I know, I know I can’t believe we’re getting a new landlord- Reuben (blerg?) is great. What a guy.” “Wow, your daughter is most likely not going to be a terrible waste to humanity when she’s older. I’m sure this being-a-bitch-as-a-child phase is going to fade out eventually! (in so many words).” You get the idea- the people here are shallow, full throttle gossiping chumps. They can barbecue one hell of a chicken. I’ll give ‘em that. Only that.
So what’s left? Survived the rapture. Frankly, I was excited for this lake of fire that all the kids are talking about. You couldn’t ask for a better way to go. I’d only have a few regrets, a few wrongs to make right, a few people to tell what I think of them, a few people to fast track into a relationship, a few things to fix, a few songs to record, a few videos to make, and maybe a short story about a few characters. So why can’t I? Why aren’t I? Am I waiting for the pressure? The pressure of the end of the world. Good for the guy who predicted this end of the world (foolishness). I’m adding that to my list above: “a few miscalculated dates of end-of-world scenarios.” Check.
Some people. Am I right? Tolerance, in EVERY case scenario, differentiates between you and me, her and him, and You. I can take a lot. I do “roll with the punches” and have a (unhealthy) talent to not worry. Seriously. Unhealthy. It’s my biggest flaw and what’s going to get me to be bigger and better places. I can only think of a few exceptions where I wasn’t able to shake it off and move forward and it boggles my brain. Nothing to go into (again) and the past is the past. C’mon, one more fucking time, Charles- the past is the past. Now tolerance, physical tolerance specifically. Now, I know I can take a punch. Let me lay the story down for you- 7th grade. Middle school. Blair Perry (who seriously looked like a black kid who’s contrast and brightness was put up way too high when our 1ord and sav1or created him. Maybe God was on the beach, probably when it was too sunny, when he created him “in his image”. I mean honestly. Freckles on a “black” kid? C’mon now, Blair. You aren’t foolin anyone. Rest in Peace- I’m just joking, I’m sure he’s alive.) was running down the lane, with the ol’ leather pumpkin looking for his spot and his shot. I had a notorious reputation (except it was a secret and only I knew!) for sneaking up and being able to steal that stupid fucking basketball from any post pubescent stinker without them noticing. Mostly because I was half their height and never ever dared to talk aloud. Well Master Perry thought he had that shot but little did he know that I was going in for the turnover. Right arm in, basketball out, stolen ball, run down, shoot, and of course miss. Now here’s where it gets fun- this blalbino monkey comes running towards me, stops, and gives me one swift punch right in the gut. Now, I know how to handle when I get the wind knocked out of me. I’ve tumbled down hills more times than I can count (age 8-16). My first reaction was to bawl my eyes out, but when I cried while mom kneeled me down and smacked my hand with her wooden spatula, the consequences would be a verbal abuse followed by some more “encouragement” spanks. (She made me more of a man than any of your dads did- seriously.) I held back the tears and I looked right him, locked eyes, clenched my fists, and turned around and walked away. Of course I was in 7th grade, so I teared up when my back was turned, but that little bitch left that school (funny story- kid tried to rape one of my friends with one Antonio Jones. Little did they know she was a black belt at that time and she whooped ass. Feminism FTW.) knowing he punched some asian kid in the stomach and had no reaction. At the time, I’m sure he thought I was too small and scrawny to beat the living shit out of him, but now he has to know that I was the winner of my first half-fight. Or he’s just stuck in his mom’s basement banging uggos met over the internet and jerkin it to free porn via dial-up internet. And maybe he thinks if I saw him today, I’d actually punch back. In actuality? I’d go to the unemployment office where that chump would be waiting in line for (ticket 56), fake an application for a life-changing job with a tagline like “you don’t need to work, sign up to earn 350,000 dollars year from the comfort of your home! and meet hot, single ladies who love a good rapin’!”, steal his social security number, and maybe not work for a few years. Followed by a swift ass-kicking Charlie-style (a wooden staff and a glass bong over the head). Eh, he was alright.
It’s odd when something sparks motivation. Well, for me. Rarely, and I mean RARELY, does “motivation” spark into the brain. I used to rely on all sorts of fun drugs to do so, but recently, the spark has been coming from near-eviction scenarios, (waste of) thoughts of love (or a lack of), and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. You add all three together and holy fuckin cow, I am on a roll. What’s my roll? Written excerpts of dramatic scenes involving love hate and everything in between, instrumental tracks that most people won’t appreciate, and craigslist cruising for any sort of opportunities. (Rule of threes!) Specific, right? Well it’s mostly because I’m on that roll right now- hence this post. I’ve been browsing more blog sites from various individuals around the globe and only have begun to appreciate it. Now don’t get me wrong, I read them before religiously, but it was just in and out of my head unless it pertained to something I really enjoy. Now? I love to read them just to read. I stated a few posts prior about how blogging was just the lazy man’s novel-writing. Let me retract that and apologize to all bloggers- I retract that statement and I’m sorry. It’s a different feel, vibe. Novels are full productions with a team to make sure all the errors are found and every nitpick perfected (or so I imagine nowadays). Blogs? For the most part- it’s a structureless, opinionated free verse (the ones I like). It’s your feelings at the time that necessarily aren’t going to be there later. It’s a step up from an elementary diary and a step down from your deathbed memoirs. Yeah, somewhere around there. Where was I? Motivation? Oh yeah: motivation, motivation, motivation. It’s tough to keep it and continue to keep it. Especially when you surround yourself with mediocrity and Michigan, you know? Independence! That’s the sole key to motivation. For me, at least. Not this stupid fake-independence where you’re getting money dumped into your student checking count that later converts to your state college’s food credit, but working your ass off so you can live. People don’t know what that is and will find out after being thousands of dollars in debt at 23- good luck, chuck. So for all you genius college kids graduating- it’s not exactly like ‘Workaholics’. Well probably the stress, but without the humor and constant drinking. Who am I? What am I talking about? Jebus Christ-o.
Independence hit me hard, in the ass, this year. Financially, emotionally, physically, you name it. I grew up (specifically in the last few months). I got dropped from the one thing I was dependent on- Ally, and was forced to pick myself up and keep going. It was hard, but as I’m learning right now, absolutely worthwhile. (So I guess I thank you.) Being stuck in a “usual” order of things really is nice and comfortable, but being robot is not in my mindset’s calculation. At least, not anymore. “I need to be me” and “you need to be you”. God, I’m just ranting and way lazy to organize my thoughts. So? things you didn’t know about me:
1. I have to sleep to some sort of movie/tv show every night. I know, i know studies show it rots your brain, but so did all the benadryll, acid, and pot I smoked- this is okay. It’s because I fell asleep every night to my mum watching old Korean dramas. Every night. It’s a dependence I need to kick.
2. My original dream? Freelance journalist for National Geographic. Specifically in an Arctic area of some sort. God damnit, I loved Arctic wolves and polar bears. But this is America! A land of unattainable dreams.
3. I prefer caffeine-free coke. ONLY because I was rarely allowed to drink coke when I was younger (actually, only on days my parents would bring home fried chicken from T-Birds- holy fucking jesus christ.). My dad kept it in the trunk of his van and let me grab two for myself when we had fried chicken. Now listen up, my parents are traditional Korean parents- fried chicken (actually any American foods) was a delicacy. I was on top of that shit. Also because it was in his car- they were warm. Hence? I drink all my pop products with a cup of ice even if the can is cold.
A glass of cabernet (pre opened without permission courtesy of the black swan), a new pack of cigarettes, and a lot on my mind. Here me out- all of it. Okay?
First off, let me just say that only a few people come and go in each of our lives that really impact us. It takes time to realize that and it may only be for a short period, but they are there. Half the effort really lies on your shoulder to go out and engage, but for the majority, (some as close as a few feet- fucking idiot) it never happens. These few truly influential people come and go into each and everyone’s lives, but the funny thing about people, now hear me out, they are so consumed with their own well being and their own superficial, Hollywood-movie influenced (specifically lesbian hallucinating sequences), and pathetic lives that they miss out on an opportunity. He (..i mean they) only focuses on what matters to his (again, their..) tiny brain and what fucking stupid ideas are compartmentalized in his (their..) brain. Such as, you ask? Well ladies and gents- floor one consists of unhealthy diets with over indulging eats (which will believe me, ruin your “modeling” career- hahahaha) alongside a torn view of all people with a pinch of fairy dust. (Of course, you CANNOT forget the continuous, retarded ((let me note that I love vulgarity. Seriously, love it- but I never ever use retarded. I love fuck, asshole, cunt [sometimes], midget, and even faggot [only when it really shouldn't be used- that's faggoty comedy!] I mean there are so many other synonyms that hurt harder and make you sound intelligent, but in this case it’ll do)) “statements” that are bled out of your idiotic mouth). For the minorities of this deteriorating earth- I applaud you. You go out and venture. You go out and make a life. You go out “and live your golden life” (as quoted from my mum). In my case, Jennifer Lassiter comes to mind. I try not to reveal names (these obvious clues to whodunnit are more fun), but this time you deserve praise. Hopefully you’ll pass by this entry some day, Jen, because you meant a whole lot to me. I’m utterly, seriously, UTTERLY down in the dumps about not seeing you prior your departure, but my last memory of you mimics one of my first memories with you. You are who I wish I was. As direct as that sounds, it’s true. Free spirited, independent, and goal-oriented. I mean believe me, I’ve met a lot of people like that, but never someone who was as grounded as you. You lived, dreamed, bigger and better than anyone I’ve ever met yet you maintained this maturity (i cannot think of a better word. and I’m not saying it like “oh my gosh- seriously, i CANNOT think of a better word”- it’s more “i haven’t been in school for awhiles time, i’m an idiot and can’t think of another word. also I’m pretty sure that last comma is improperly used). When I first met you, you told me about your traveling adventures from place to place to place to place to place (and so on) and my first thought? This chick will appreciate me taking out loans (15,000 big ones) and traveling and saying fuck everything (which I was looking forward to..) but..that was not the case. This chick called me out on it and told me I was making a stupid decision. Frankly, I didn’t like you for this reason because you totally ripped on my dreams- but it took me a few days to realize that you were living my dreams. (And I told you this before)- but this girl will find your flaws and tell you to your face regardless if she knows your name or not. At first- crazy bitch. In the end- complete badass. You helped me grow in more ways than one (as I told you today) and I can never thank you enough. I hope you realize this in your journeys to come (that in Chicago, you helped this twenty year old, debt FILLED, college drop out that I need to get my life on track before I can go where I want. And in addition, that I CAN go where I want, and I should.) that you are one of the most unique individuals and you can change the world (or at least under-aged asians). Thank you.
Aside from that, why do we park in a driveway..and drive on a parkway?
p.s. this was a total stream of consciousness-like entry hence NO proofreading. P4rd0n da errarz.
Armondo, who slowly is becoming my favorite customer, informed me that his lectures at UIC, for a short period, are about demonology. It’s real- well at least the study of it is. After further discussion, he let me know he had multiple publications of his own research regarding demonology. Whether its real or not really didn’t matter to me- finishing a book? How respectable is that. On top of being knowledgeable in religious studies, he writes-well. Give me a priest, who diddles unsuspecting boys, that can do that. I’m only a bit through the beginning, but it’s already grabbed my attention. His thought provoking comparisons of these “devils” (or “spirits” as he puts) to a more relatable object (such as the clouds, air, etc) stuck in my head. Yes, I am now a firm believer of demonology and its demonological demons. Well..
Armondo talks about how these spirits are all around us- in objects, within the air, and in the sky. He talks about how these spirits are here to warn us about incoming danger and usually in a manner where it grabs your attention. They’re realistic in their actions, unlike their opposers, the “holy” angels. These spirits feed off our desires and supposedly they love us and choose their ‘person’ for very specific reasons. This shit is cool beans, but enough of that.
I’m sitting here now at the espresso bar at work, partially because I don’t want to travel back through the rain and mostly because I have no electricity until further notice. Being broke really (forces you to) puts things into perspective. Things like food, electricity, and hygiene become secondary. Keeping yourself happy and as alive as possible- those are the important things. I don’t need electricity to strum a guitar or sleep (which really are the two happiest activities I enjoy. Maybe sandwiches too). Travelin’ back to Detroit really was a nice pause in this hectic time. Plans discussed and dreamin’ reinforced.
[As he sits there admiring his family, all is lost. The glimpses of his past life gone alongside loneliness, sanity, and any sort of traditional atmosphere that a man in his mid thirties can attain. Groggy and tired from the prior night- the restlessness of his newborn son. Nicolai, now looking past the foreground to the photo hanging on the wall and muting out the monotonous mumbling of his wife and the crying, begins to reminisce.
The idea of a family to a young adult Nicolai- absolute nonsense. A grimacing cringe surfacing on his face with even the thought of little bastards polishing off furniture with their dirty, snot infested finger tips. Infestation. The best word to describe what family meant to Nicolai. This pessimistic, slightly cynical, attitude originated from his wee years living in Santa Fe with his mother and father. Growing up as an only child has its perks, but as most know, it comes with a whirlwind of fucked up "traditions". Nicolai spent the majority of his nights falling asleep to the sound of argument, hate, and regret- the usual American tradition. He had his outlets. He had his way out. He had his own world. A world of unimaginable creativity with a sprinkle of aspiration. Nicolai was a dreamer with no rope of reality to grip on to and slowly inching away. Some would consider his early childhood habits "strange". Scattered all around his room were pages upon pages of drawings. Not your usual elementary drawings- remember, "strange". With only the memories of arguments and near domestic abuse situations, Nicolai dreamt of loving and caring parents. Attentiveness was not something his parents were capable of. Nor was love. These drawn pages consumed with not only fictional character drawings but personality traits that he wished he was surrounded with. Drawing upon drawing filled with hopes and imagination of people that didn't exist. He was an inventor. He was an artist. He was a dreamer and he was the only one. These drawings transposing into what would later be the greatest achievement young Nicolai would experience.
Stopped by an interruption by his wife, "Honey, what are you thinking about?" Nicolai shook his head and mumbled a few words to get out of conversation. His state of mind was filled with nostalgic memories and he knew it was pointless. Why dwell in the past? He excused himself from dinner, gave the baby a kiss, and grabbed his keys. Abruptness was something Amee had become accustomed to. She knew he would be back eventually and she understood Nicolai more than anyone else. With the key in the ignition, Nicolai released a sigh followed by a deep breath. He had to leave. And that's what happened. Nicolai left.]