Monday, October 30, 2006

i'm just a notch in your bedpost, but you're just a line in a song...

went to buy diapers this morning. i always kinda figured they shoulda put the condoms and the diapers right next to each other in the aisle.

you're be-bopping along, and you bump up against the diapers, and you're like, "shit, those are kinda expensive. hey, look, condoms!"

at my grocery store, there is always a small army of restockers working the toothpaste/deoderant/hair care aisle. all the other rows have their occasional guy in a vest and work gloves, but this particular space is always over crowded with bulk boxes and sullen workers. i'm convinced that were i to show up at midnight on some lazy thursday i would find them there, hastily stacking boxes of rembrandt whitening and gillette clear and in general clogging the aisle. there must be some kind of key to the meaning of life in that, if i could only nail it down...

but i'm kinda jazzed up about the great deal i got on the pleasure-tip trojans. so much cheaper than huggies pull-ups.

darth sardonic

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

fiction inspired by the verve pipe's "freshmen"

the phone rings.

i check the clock to find it is 2:13 am, then check the caller id to see who would have the audacity to call me at this ungodly hour.

my heart stops.

"sam. it's been a long time."

he's been crying, and his words still come out choked and twisted.

"i dreamt about her, dave. in the middle of the night, i went over all of it in dreams. oh, fuck, dave." he loses his sentence in a new volley of tears.

"i still think about it all the time, man."

"did it really all happen, dave? it feels so unreal, and yet so hyperreal at the same time."

my throat tightens, but i was always the strong one, the one that could be counted on to keep a cool head in a tight spot. maybe that's why they wanted me to come along in the first place. that, and that i loved her, too.

"sam, i wish i could just tell you that it was a bad dream. but that wouldn't be fair. it all happened, man. we were there."

there is a long silence punctuated by barely audible sobs.

then: "do you think we are the only ones who remember, dave? and don't lie to me, you know i'll see through it."

i am torn. i want to tell him that she had lots of friends and family who miss her on a daily basis, that a small army of mourners must have shown up for the wake.

but i know. and i know he knows.

"the important thing is, we remember man. her memory lives on in the two of us."

he says thanks, and hangs up after an awkward apology and an even more awkward good-bye.

i never quite understood how a gay man could've fallen in love with her in the first place, but sam had. he'd always loved her more than anyone, in her life or his to date.

and i loved her too, though i was always the friend, the guy she came to when she needed to get something off her chest. except that time. and i guess i was always a little jealous and resented sam a little for that one thing.

he was the one who came to me. laid it all out. spilled the beans, so to speak. then asked if i could come up with some cash to help, and drive them there. i gave them more than i could spare, really, and went hungry for a few weeks after.

we fought our way through the throngs of do-gooders. got called names. i can vividly remember the faces of the protesters, they seemed more evil than any of the demons' faces in all those goya pieces i studied.

sam and i didn't talk much in the waiting room. when she came out, she looked drained of blood.

we drove home in silence.

things went back to normal after a few days. on the surface. to this day, sam and i can only imagine what she was going through. but she laughed, went to the movies with us, got burgers, just like old times.

until sam went to pick her up one night so we could catch the playhouse's production of fiddler on the roof.

we never made it.

sam could never tell me what he had seen, and i never really got to even say goodbye, since a family she had never talked about took her body back east to be interred in the family plot.

my throat burns, and i have a need to shed, finally, the tears that i have been holding back for so many years. i think about calling sam back, i know he'll still be up, but i don't want to do this in front of him. or in front of anyone, for that matter.

my wife mumbles something at me from deep sleep, and i tell her it's ok, that the call was nothing, that i am hungry.

i sit at the table in the dark, a rock glass and the maker's mark in front of me. in the shadows of a suburban twilight, i can almost see her. she looks drained of blood, and tired, and hunched a little like she did when we fought back through the crowd and they called us babykillers and whore and slut and other things that true christians shouldn't say. i can't remember what her smile looks like, or how her eyes shone with life.

i tilt the glass at a deep angle, the whiskey disappears in a gulp.

then i realize, i can't remember why i loved her.

i lay my head against the table as the sobs break free and the tears puddle on the treated wood.

forgive me.

darth sardonic

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


let me preface this by saying i am in that state of tired where this may or may not fall into the "funnier in my head" category.

but i am riding along in my car, and a commercial comes on for some kind of inventor's forum for getting their inventions patented etc.

they have some dippy say, "i like thinking about inventions." well, who the fuck doesn't, but that doesn't make you and inventor.

like i always think about eli whitney and the cotton gin. god, that is fucking cool. and the fact he named it a gin is badass. now, if it was eli whitney's cotton tangueray, then my head would just explode.

and how bout the first guy to look at a lobster and think, "i bet i could eat that." what a brave bastard that guy was. and did all his friends look at him and think, "look, billy's gone completely off his fucking nut, he's gonna cook up one of those pinchy, crawly things we caught in the net and eat it. with melted butter, for christ's sake!"

and the paper clip. beautiful in its simplicity, and yet insanely clever.

would've loved to have been around for the first time someone came up with gunpowder. not for all the trials necessarily, but when they finally got it right and didn't blow it up right after with careless behavior. but i mean, really, who looks at pigshit and says, "we could make something very useful out of this."? other than tina turner and angry anderson, of course.

and did these people come up with this shite on their own? i mean, some of my most clever ideas are really bastardizations of an idea someone else planted in my head alot of the time.

like, did eli have a hesher younger brother, say, shaggy whitney, who was puffin a blunt one day and said, "you know what would be coooooooool? if someone came up with a way to beat the fuck out of the cotton with, like, a machine or something, and seperate it that way. then so many more of the slaves could be used planting and harvesting, man. and, like, we could steal more land from the natives cause the landowners can plant so many more crops, dude."

just wondering.

darth sardonic

Monday, October 23, 2006

how do we get here from there?

we walk into the party. only a handful of people are there. we have showed up unfashionably early, but it doesn't matter. we are dressed to the nines, and our friends compliment us on our choice of attire.

"you want a shot?" m asks, and we accept. sublime plays on the stereo. we stand in the kitchen after downing our alcohol, listening to someone i don't know tell a story.

then i think i might know him. then i know i do. the more he talks, the more i know this is a friend of mine from church when i was 16.

"are you ------?" i ask him.


"i'm darth, darth sardonic. i hung out with the jam boys, wayne and garth."

"was he the one i stole alcohol from that year after scout camp?"

"no, that was robert."

we pass these tidbits of unrecorded history back and forth like poorly served tennis balls, doing little to return them, preferring instead to let them fall just over the net and serving up a new smidgen of unimportant trivia.

he doesn't remember me. even after a few minutes of swapping frozen moments viewed askew, as it were, tainted by our own editorials. he doesn't go by that name anymore. he doesn't do as many drugs as he did back then. i don't talk to my stepmom anymore. i haven't been to church for years, even though i was very involved back then. i can't believe how much he has changed without changing at all. i am nothing like i was back then, looks-wise, nor in how i live my life.

he is leaving soon, but we both insist we will swap phone numbers and call. we don't. though i might still get his from m. and i might call. but i wonder what might be gained from that.

funny, how two lives can intersect, pass on, squiggle like lines drawn in crayon by toddlers, and again bisect nearly ten years later. funny how these intersections matter so much and so little in the same moment.

darth sardonic

Saturday, October 14, 2006

the president never ceases to amaze

yeah, as predicted, he aint doin shit about north korea's "illegal" nuclear weapons tests (yeah, and an aside: so we're the only ones who get to do nuclear weapons testing? everybody else has to just hope we don't decide we're completely pissed off at them? i mean, why did we come up with nuclear weapons in the first place? to protect ourselves from everyone else. well, i guess it goes without saying that north korea is not popular among many of the "big players" in the world, who happen to have nukes, so shouldn't they be allowed to protect themselves? anyways...)

guess adding a third war (yes, we are still in afghanistan as well as iraq, and i know, i've got friends who are currently there. no, the news isn't covering it anymore, but we're still there.) to his daily planner seemed like a bad idea. or maybe it is a safer bet to attack countries that can't really attack us back on a grand scale. no, i am not forgetting that osama bin lauden attacked us on our own soil. no, he is not the grand poobah of afghanistan, and iraq had shite to do with the whole attack in the first place, so...

bring on cold war ii, i think i am ready to return to living in fear of the bomb.

darth sardonic

Thursday, October 12, 2006

folding clothes, drinking coffee, listening to thursday, and thinking about bloggin

we heard ian curtis kill himself again in your bed...

so, because my manager is a lazy idiot, i should suffer? apparently so. even though it was slow last night, i got home late. fuckers.

m, my buddy from work, is leaving. the traitorous motherfucker. all the people i like either get better jobs, move, or get fired. m is the last of the ones that were here when i hired on. my oldest friend. the only one from work i have invited over for dinner and had drinks with. gone. this officially makes me the grandpa of the workplace. i actually told the two sisters i like that work there that they are not allowed to quit or move to a different store for a few years.

yesterday i had to take no. 1 to get some shots that the school said he needed.

there was alot of prep-work involved with this. constant reminders that he was getting shots. promises of blankie, binkie, and candy with compliance and cooperation.

no. 1 took it like a trooper. at first, as we were leaving, he had this "remove this cup" moment:

"no, no shot daddy. hurt. shot hurts, daddy. i don' want shot daddy."

"i know buddy, i know. but we hafta, and you will get a sucker when it's all done."

the rebellion was short-lived. as we waited to be called back, he rubbed my arm with a balled-up fist and said, "i give you shot, you hold still."

"ok, buddy, very good. now you practice." and i rubbed his arm with a carefully-held imaginary swab, and then pressed an imaginary butterfly kiss of a shot onto his arm while saying softly, "hold still, buddy."

then they called us to the desk. a brief consultation with the receptionist and her computer showed that no shots were necessary. the school simply had a slightly outdated copy of his shot record.

she printed me a new one, and i looked at no. 1, mouth plugged with an otherwise-illegal binkie, his soft and worn blankie rubbed against his cheek linus-style, and said, "you don't need any shots buddy. yay!!"

he looked puzzled, and pointed to the door behind which he had imagined god knows what torture devices and evil-eyed nurses. "i go back here for shot daddy."

"no, you don't need any. it's all good."

he almost cries, having gotten himself so amped-up about this situation that has now been magically removed.

i produce the promised lollipop, and convince him it is ok for us to leave.

i've been really worried about no. 1 lately. his temper. his penchant for guns. his tendency to throw punches when angry.

but yesterday, the sun seemed to shine brighter. he smiled bigger. i was proud.

today, i go to the thrift store while the kids are at school, and find the holy grail of all-time bad-ass toys: an immense bag of legos, for a mere $4. i am so stunned that it is sitting there before me, that i actually look over my shoulder for some crazy housewife with wild hair and a shrieking voice to swoop past me and shout "mine", snagging it indiana jones-like as she hurtles past, before snatching it like an prison inmate who has found an extra roll unattended.

the kids get off the bus, and creativity commences. we built houses and spaceships and cars and all kinds of things that can't even be imagined. and no. 1 is smiling brighter, and listening better, and all seems well.

and i am the coolest dad in the world.

darth sardonic

Saturday, October 07, 2006

if life hands you lemons...

hahahaha. i always loved this little adage: if life hands you lemons, make lemonade. i always felt it should read: if life hands you lemons, ask life for water and sugar. i have had fresh lemons in my hand, a squeezed lemon does not lemonade make, dippy bastards.

that is, however, neither here nor there.

thursday, i was accursedly sick. i believe that i have discussed within the confines of this domain the fact that since i have been a stay-home dad, i have been much more susceptible to the attack of evil viruses (shouldn't it be viri? anyways) that pass my way. i was throat afire, fever, screaming at every little thing the kids did sick.

friday, we were throwing a birthday party for one of the wife's friends. which meant i had to be better, and mostly i was.

but i decided fuck it, i was drinking anyhow, and would just feel like shit today.

well, the funny thing is, my beloved nonexistant readers, if feel great. feed a cold, starve a flu, and drown a sore throat in alcohol. how's that for a platitude?

darth sardonic

Monday, October 02, 2006

since we can't compete with martyred saints, we'll douse ourselves in gasoline...

sometimes, people make me sick and tired.

this world makes me sick and tired.

we're a stomping mob of jackbooted thugs concerned only with what we want and need. how do i feel? we scream at the top of our lungs expecting someone nearby to tell us exactly what we want to hear, which is almost never the bold, cold, hard truth.

bring on the plague, we need a thinning out.

thursday, if you care.

darth sardonic