I Would Lose My Head…

The Santa Ana winds that are pounding Southern California are an eerie phenomenon for a Midwest boy like me. The simple fact that wind can blow that hard and not be bone-chillingly cold just doesn’t seem right. Then factor in the wildfires that are raging all over, and it’s been just a downright odd few days.

I went out to visit a friend in Malibu on Sunday as landmark buildings out there went down in flames. I wasn’t quite far enough out to see the fire or smoke, but the creepy emptiness of the freeways was some sort of indicator that things were a bit off. Later that day, I rode down to Hollywood to meet up with a few other friends. Then, as I got ready to leave for work Monday morning, I couldn’t find my Cross™ pen. I realized painfully that it had probably fallen out of my pocket when I was sitting in a chair in Hollywood. It’s the unfortunate reality of keeping Cross™ pens in the front pocket of a pair of blue jeans, then Cross™-ing one’s legs while sitting in a chair. I’ll call the place today and see if they’ve found it. It was, after all, a gift for graduation from the university. And if I can’t find it, that’ll be the third Cross™ pen I’ve lost this way, and I will be down to my last 1 of 3 Cross™ pens that I received for graduation (I bought one of the now-lost superior writing tools with my own money). Perhaps I need to explore different methods of storing and transporting these classy instruments between uses.

Last night, I rode to the Landmark Theater in West LA to watch Blade Runner, the Final Cut. I rode down straight from the class at CSUN in which I made a concerted effort not to be noticed as being without a writing utensil. Perhaps the worst part of it all was the fact that my instructor seemed to want to have one of the most intriguing and intellectually stimulating conversations about creative writing that I’ve been part of/witness to. I was left in class with no way to capture any of the amazing ideas that arose in conversation or flashed through my imagination, like shooting stars that have already vanished by the time I realize that I was seeing something that was worth paying attention to. I think I managed to emerge from class with some of the most important basic points from the conversation intact. Blade Runner, and the Hebrew National® hot dog I bought at the concession stand, more than made up for anything that might’ve slipped through the cracks.

Finally, I arrived home on my motorcycle sometime between 10 and 11 pm. Thinking ahead to the following morning, I briefly asked myself where I’d put my new sunglasses (the fourth or fifth pair I’ve owned in the last 15-18 months). I recalled placing them in one of the pockets of my book-bag, but then noticed that I wasn’t wearing my book-bag. Sonofabitch, I left it at the Landmark Theater. I looked up the number and gave them a call, and the person on the other end told me that they had something matching my description in the lost and found, and I could stop by and pick it up sometime. Maybe I’ll even get the chance to stop and pick up my pen on the way?

Back in the USSR LA

It was a tough weekend. I keep telling myself that I don’t want to talk about it, but then I find myself telling the gruesome details to folks at work. So apparently I do want to talk about it. But I’m not going to write about it here.

I’m feeling like the year has been moving by quickly. Staying busy will make that happen, I suppose. I finished a paper for class that I submitted yesterday that talks a bit about blogging, so I think I might post that here sometime. I also realized at some point that there’s a short story that I’ve revised and haven’t yet posted. Keep your eyes peeled for that one, too.

Stage Fright

Every little sound echoes behind me
like whispers bouncing with the bright light
magnified because everything in the room
is white.

The paint on the wall in front of me is dull, flat,
but the ceramic tiles that cover so much
of the room’s cold surfaces
and the bright clean porcelain of the sinks
leave me feeling like I have a floodlight
at my back.

The squeak of a faucet handle,
the paper towels being ripped from the wall,
sound like missiles flying and crashing down
as I try to focus and relax.

The only touch of color when I entered this
restroom of deafening whiteness
was the deep yellow tint in the basins of so many

Every urinal, in fact, but the one directly in front of me.