Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dear Woe-Heavy Wighead

Look. Study.

Post with substantive value.

The Dusty Emperor of Nothing

Winds of the Desert

You don’t know why these west winds blow. They just do. They shift the face of the desert in wicked ways, turning up the paths she and I once traveled together. They tear up the roots of bushes and splinter the limbs of trees, push over dry stones and dry up deep wells. But you, you’re a sailor of the wind. You glide on its zephyrs, carried to distant places by the unseen force; invisible, but for the sting felt by those too heavy to be carried away on its waves.

I remember seeing you last, many years ago. You floated with your brethren over the tide of prosperity, of green leaves and warm rain. You traveled with many, but I named you then as I do now. Your feathers longer, your gaze more terrible than any other. You danced through the sunlight like a ray bouncing across the water’s shiny surface. I was happy then and the earth gave itself to me freely and you and I celebrated the great days of living on the earth.

But I grew restless in my fielding, complacent in the boughs of an everlasting spring. I asked more from an infinite gift and it was given me through her. She appeared to me and I saw nothing else. When she sat in my field I did not look beyond her and I lost sight of all those things I’d named before. I imagine you were there then, watching me, whiling myself away in the hours of love too impossible to count. I did not see you then, but I did not forget. You must believe me now; I remember the glory that we had together, partners in bliss at the dawn of the world.

What is your meaning here now? Have you designs to take us out of this wretched place? Are you come to deliver a fresh oasis?

She wards me away from you, not content to trust again, suspicious and betrayed. She wasn’t prepared for his subtle tricks. He smoothed her with his words and spoke of wonders and splendor she’d never known. He wrapped himself around her tight, the robber of choice. She would never be the same for it and only brought this knowledge to me because she knew no other way to be.

I fell in an instant, fixed in the tragedy that would undo the greatest of all works.

The fury was terrible and swift. She and I had no warning for the terrors of this arid desert. The chill of the nights consumed us and the gnashing of creatures once friendly echoed in every familiar place. We were beaten and battered by the winds in the early days. The shuttering gales blew the seeds from the ground and all the food from our hands. We wrapped ourselves tight against the onslaught of this foe. We wandered alone across the sandy mountains and beat the grounds with sticks, no longer afraid of any ravenous pursuer.

We have tamed the wilderness despite its ferocity. Do you come to celebrate it with us? Do you bring any hope of return?

Answer me or be gone!

I cannot suffer the sight of you here, an image of a life once lived. I must go now. The winds pick up again and we will move. We will gather our possessions and pack them away. We will cover ourselves in thick cloth and hide away from the elements. I must go, Eve is waiting. You go with the wind and take it with you. We are bound to this walk and we will survive though the world press against us.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dear Pedantic Plebe

I met my spirit animal recently:

I tried to find yours, but unfortunately there were no slugs anywhere to be found.

~The Red-Haired Monk of Excess


I wiped down all the counters and the bar with a towel stained with god knows what, but it just came from the dishwasher so I guess it was fine. Pretty sure it wasn't blood. The bar is scratched and splinters snag the bar rag and the stray threads would make those equally tiny snapping noises; those tiny pops that I could only hear because nothing else was moving. I sent the barback home. The other bartender asked me to cover the rest of the shift because he wanted to take home a girl several years his junior. I may be the boss, but I'm no tyrant, and I opened this damn bar to encourage vice.

Plus, and I don't mean to sound like a prick here, but it gives me a chance to see if I can't find a filly of my own.

Some asshole tagged the bathroom with a sharpie. The smell of chemicals still lingers in the air like a passing bad memory, and just what is it that makes some drunk sonofabitch think that every misspelled, rambling nonsense they affix to a wall is fucking William Blake? Ah well, just a bunch of damn kids anyway. I remember a time when I thought I was prolific.

Christ, if I stare at it long enough it just sort of happens. The walls start to melt and all the graffiti and chipped paint fade and the bathroom stops smelling like vomit and the bar is new and varnished and it's opening night again. A couple of college boys are desperately trying to pick up some girls I used to babysit and that I know are jailbait. Yeah, I let 'em in. Better I can look after of them. You and I were both that age. You know what we did. I'd rather be able to identify the guys they make mistakes with so I can kick their deserving asses next time they try to come in. Some sad drunk bastard twice my age is at the other end pounding beers, but he's nursing his Maker's neat-- makes me think he knows what he's doing. A bachelorette party staggers in, looks appalled, and almost cuts right out but the bride to be gives me that fucking look and I know it's going to be a fun night.

When I close up it's a lot like it is tonight, but the bar rag is pure white, and it glides over everything like it was glass. The paint on the walls shines so bright if it weren't for the low lighting I'd go blind. The place smells like, well I can't fucking remember what it smelled like, but it was a lot better than vomit that's for damn sure. And I'll tell you what. That bothered the hell out of me. It was too damn clean! I never liked any of those sterile joints and I would be damned if I would own one.

You know what happened then? Same damn thing that's happening now. The bar melted away and the varnish and the paint and the shine of everything was replaced by dust. It was the first time I ever saw the place. The realtor was telling me that it was some kind of stable. I guess they used to wash horses here or something, but I saw booths built between the wooden partitions. I saw a bar on the other side stocked with some of the best and shittiest booze I could get my hands on. I saw beautiful, trashy women, and not a blazer or necktie in sight. It looked like it does tonight, with maybe less piss on the toilet seat. I fucking hate that.

It's funny how it took me turning a rundown old shithole into a classy-looking establishment, only so it could get that kind of character that a bar can only get over the years by slowly turning into a shithole.

I pour myself a beer, lay a pillow on the bar, and get ready to hit the hay. Do this every damn year. Happy anniversary you run-down piece of shit! I hope you never fucking change.