Friday, December 31, 2004

Satellite Fur

The man in front of me in line at Mervens, had huge ears. I could not see his face but his ears were hard to miss...great flabby lobes dripped onto his shirt collar. And they twitched too. They were searching for the smallest tinge of sound. I stopped breathing, not wanting to disturb the ears but they only twitched more, straining to hear even the juices of my blinking eyes. The ear cannel was like Shelobs liar--deep, dark, and hollow, filled with webs. I looked more closely at the ear before jumping back with freight, a sudden push of air had ruffled the coarse strands of gray hair nestled on the rim of the outer canal. I stepped back, away from the ear. It needed room. As it rotated back and fourth like a SETI satellite dish, I realized that I was in the bra and underwear department. I pretended to look at underwear while the terrible ear probed me. One table of surprised me very much. It was covered with little girl's underwear. Each pair of undies had a different slogan sewn in glitter such as, "Lil Princess", or "Sexy". "Who would buy this stuff for a child", I thought. The ear jerked in my direction as if it had heard my thoughts.


I paid eight dollars and fifty cents to see "Meet The Fockers". I went with my friends to the theater in Everett. It is strange going back to my home town. The people there have very different attitudes than the people here. They are hard people, quick to defend themselves against even the most innocent glance. The young people wear very different uniforms in the south. Ones made of felt with a flag sewn on the breast. The flag reads, "FUBU". They wear rags on their heads and white suede boots with laces left untied. Even the language used amongst these bands is different. It originates from some scorned corner of the mind, and twists the faces of those that speak it. Their Generals communicate battle plans to them over the Hip Hop radio stations. Their women voluntarily receive a mark of ink on their lower backs, a signal that they are of child bearing age. For all of their rituals and customs, their playful laughter amongst themselves, is the most alluring.

One of these bands of kids sat in front of us. I cupped my hands and smiled, as I watched the boy in the far chair molest his girl friend in the shadows. With my head cocked at a slight angle, I lifted a delicate porcelain cup of dark English breakfast tea to my lips and sipped, loudly and politely. My pinky finger was lonely and pointing skyward.

The character of Mrs. Focker, played by Barbara Striesand, is a sex therapist who coaches old people in the art of sex. After all, what is the point of living to old age with out having an old hoe to do doggy style? On screen an 85 year old woman mounts her 90 year old mate in the reverse cowgirl position, while the man starts thrusting his frail hips under his wife's sagging posterior. It made me want to ralph, not laugh. Suddenly the screen filled with old people dry humping each other on yoga mats. I looked away from the screen, to the boys in front of me laughing, and the boy on the end, who had his groping hands under his girlfriend's shirt.

My friend Megan, cut a small chunk of Gorgonzola from a round brick of cheese in her lap, and passed it my way. I tasted the cheese in my teeth and in my neck and I wondered--who are the wise elders of our tribe? Do they exist?


I looked up from my magazine to my mom who was reclined in her big comfy chair, flipping through the 9000 direct TV channels. I see people flip through channels, but rarely do I ever see someone put down the remote and enjoy one channels programming.

"Listen to this mom. In this article, four philosophy professors were asked about the reaction on their campuses to the re-election of George Bush. They all reported that students and faculty were crushed and generally suicidal, unable to understand an American public who would support a man swayed by the interest of warfare and commerce. One professor says that, the moral interest of the public in this election could rekindled interests in ethics and moral philosophy rooted in Greek philosophy-- but that is a long-shot. They all agreed that George Bush is not the leader that America needs. They say that we need a philosopher king. Wouldn't that be great mom, a philosopher king?"

"Well of course they want a philosopher king Matt...They are philosophers. Bankers want economist kings, warriors want fighting kings, the religious want preistly kings, and Perverts want perverted kings. "

My mom sounded so wise, like she was Yoda. My mom is an elder.

Monday, December 20, 2004

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

Things that happened this weekend:

*I heard that if you fold a twenty dollar bill in a certain fashion, a picture of the world trade center and pentagon burning in flames appears. I tried it. I was not convinced.

*Played Halo 2 with nick for eight hours.

*My neighbors had a party--a high school party. I had no idea that people with giant white man afros existed outside of MTV. Turns out they do exist, and they were all at Monica's party.

*My 30 year old housemate got beat up by a 16 year old kid at that party. Why is a 30 year old man at a high school party?

*Ate out for EVERY meal.

*To relax after work today, I put in a Yo Yo Ma CD, and whistled every note in unison with Yo Yo's cello. My secret wish is that I will someday have a career as a whistler.

*Enjoyed the rare pleasure of winter sunshine.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Felis Navidad

How fun it would be to live modestly in a Mexican village surrounded by family and friends. I would take to beach combing and equatorial gardening.

Tonight, for my dad's 52nd birthday, we went out for dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I was talking about Thoreau and overthrowing the government, while my parents were looking at me blankly as if to say, what in heavens name is our idealistic son talking about now. I was rescued by a Mariachi band. Six of the roughest old jolly men I have ever seen, came to our table with violins, basses, and guitars in hand. My mom brightened up, "Will you play felis navidad?" The men huddled to work out their play, and then busted into the most festive and happy rendition of any song I have ever heard. Felis Navidad, Felis Navidad... "Everybody now"... And the restaurant goers broke into song... I want to wish you a merry Christmas, I want to wish you a merry Christmas, I want to wish you a merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart! My dad was singing loudly and my mom was dancing in her seat. The old woman across the way was singing with her grand daughter--it was absolutely blissful.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


I pushed my dirty laundry up to the laundry mat today in a shopping cart. I was literally airing my dirty laundry in public. I unloaded the clothes from the cart to the washing machine, dumped a generous amount of laundry detergent over the whole mess of clothes, turned the dial to full heat and made my way to the park to wait for the cleaning process to happen.

On a large root, under a tall tree, in the middle of a quaint park, I read The Painted Word, by Tom Wolfe. I learned more about the evolution of modern art, today, under naked branches, with the warm sun on my face, than i did durning three quarters of art history class in college. I glanced up from my book periodically to watch a girl and her dog play fetch. I was amazed at how excited the dog was to run after a ball and bring it back to her master...over, and over, and over again. I am sure there is a lesson to be learned from that sort of enthusiasm.

After a while I guessed my laundry was probably done spinning in hot soapy water, so i made my way back to the laundry mat. Time must have stopped for me in the park, reading my book and adoring that dog, because my laundry wasn't quite done (when is a load of laundry actually, completely done... probably never, there will always be micro particles of skuz clinging to fibers).

I had an encounter with the Penny Man while waiting on the steps outside. The Penny Man is a local crazy who comes door to door asking for pennies. One day, I didn't have any pennies but i offered him a shinny new quarter instead. He looked at me like I was nuts, telling me to keep my quarter, he was only interested in pennies. We shot the shit for a minute, but conversations about pennies only last so long. When things became awkward he said goodbye.

I put my now wet clothes in the drying machine and started home, but not before i had another conversation with a woman who was chain-smoking a cigar. She was really interested in Laundry mats and so we talked about laundry mats for about 10 minutes. I enjoy small talk about little things like laundry mats and pennies, although i am no good at it. But listening is fun. I walked home and put a chicken pot pie in the oven which is a heating machine. I ate lunch listening to Cat Stevens.

In House Drive By

I need to have a shot of egg nog and huff a pine tree, and i will do that right after i write this post. My boots are by the door, waiting and everything...birds are singing, beckoning me to come out and play in the sun. but this first...

The news is becoming one big commercial. I am noticing more and more, especially durning this holiday season, that reporters are reporting about products, which is totally advertising! for example last night i am in bed listening to the radio. The normal programing fades out and a loud rat-a-tat-DING rata-tatada-tat-DING sound fills my head. "I know what that sound is", i was thinking, "it is the sound of type writer". Then i thought, "ah, the news", and started preparing for objective hard jounalism to swim into my ear. The top story was about people dieing, the second story was about buildings collapsing, the third story was about people destroying buildings and killing each other because somebody uttered the pharse Merry Christmas, instead of Happy Holidays. The fourth story was this:

Toyota wins the prestigious truck of the year award. The brand new Toyota Tacoma has the most comprehensive safty features with driver and passanger side air bags, a burly 5 stroke horse power motor with plush leather interior. Toyota spokesman, Yakamen Lee, reports that sales are good and encourages you all to go buy a Toyota Tacoma.

Ok, Ok, it was 2am and i was drifting off to sleep but i swear the news used to report about actual stuff, stuff that people could talk about in front of the water cooler and sound smart. stuff that allowed us to be informed citizens. didn't they? I think it is all a big scam... all of it. How do i know the world is as bad as the news says it is. from where i am sitting it looks pretty good.

I am going to go frolic with the birds now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Day Old Donuts

I am not sure what is wrong with me lately. Here is an example of what I mean. Andy and I went grocery shopping tonight at Fred Meyer. We got separated at one point, he was distracted by the comic books on the news stand, I was digging in the bakers day old clearance pile. My heart leapt when I saw them there--a dozen Christmas sprinkle donuts for seventy five cents. I put them in my basket and glided to the cooler for a gallon of milk which sounded so good with donuts. Andy met back up with me at this point. We were both in front of the glowing cool of the milk case.

"Wow", his voice was in awe. He directed my attention to two women a few feet away, illuminated by the light of the egg case. One of the girls was average looking. She might have had the talent of Mozart or the intelligence of Newton, but that isn't even remotely important to this story. The other one, well she was dressed to kill. In fact she was to hot to be grocery shopping. She was decked out with clothes and hair and the whole shot. Andy wanted me to participate in a male ritual which involves looking at a female and saying things like, wow, look at her, and so forth. I didn't want to participate. I was to focused on my sprinkled donuts and frosty jug of milk. "I don't feel like acknowlegeing her or this ritual right now" I told Andy, "but hey, check out this deal on donuts!"

On the way to the robotic check stand, we passed two other young women. One I didn't notice, the other one was wearing jeans and a sweat shirt and was not wearing any make up and her hair was a wreck. I smiled at her, I smiled at Andy. In some weird telepathic way we all understood what was going on. This is what was going on...We just wanted to be humans that ate donuts and didn't have to dress up and play parts at the grocery store.

I am not sure if it is normal for a 24 year old single man to understand these rituals to the degree that I understand them and choose sprinkled donuts over a chance to meet a pretty girl.

The Trial

I know next to nothing about the Peterson murder trial. As far as I am concerned it is just one murder among thousands that happen every year. It is wonderous how certain cases make it to the elevated status of sensationalized media event, while others are forgotten on the back page of local newspapers.

I came across a head line on AOL that got me thinking this morning. The Banner read something like, "Lack of Emotion Sent Peterson To Death Row". Where are the appeals to JUSTICE in this headline? It is a very scary thing in my opinion, when philosophical discourse in society disappears entirely, replaced by surface level playground politics. A man is sentenced to death because he is stoic?!!! Perhaps if he would have been an actor and football star he would have got off. Peterson should have been more dramatic, maybe putting on a piece of clothing that was too small would have got him off. It all worked for OJ. Forget that the guy killed his entire family, he was composed in court.... crucify him!

Our justice system depends on educated citizens, who on the whim of a jury summons, are able to make decisions about justice that effect not only individuals but society as a whole. American citizens are so drunk on emotion and judgment that that system of justice is in jeopardy.

Perhaps I am just as lame as the rest of American media addicted junkies, but this headline totally reminded me of Trial scene in Pink Flyod's, The Wall.

Good morning, Worm your honor.
The crown will plainly show The prisoner who now stands before you
Was caught red-handed showing feelings
Showing feelings of an almost human nature;
This will not do.

Rock stars and artist always seem have a interesting perspective on a schizophrienic society.

Again, there has to be a distopia novel here somewhere. People sentenced to death, not for their crimes, but for their personalities. If I imagine plots to distopia novels every time I read the news, it makes me wonder, maybe I am living in a distopia!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Wake Up Man

I respect a person that listens. Listening is a dead art.

Listen, your so drunk that you can barely stand, but still your mouth is moving. Your eyes are blood shot and glazed...I hardly recognize you, and still your mouth is moving. Surrender my friend, or you will die with a bottle in your hand. You're so young. Surrender. Listen.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Day Planners

I just took my last final. I am done.

I am sitting here thinking about day planners. I am trying to imagine a circumstance that would require me to use a pocket calendar. My imagination is elastic but not trans-dimensional.

If I did have a pocket calendar this is what I would pencil in for the next three week: water Christmas tree.

Perhaps the most bitter sweet technology on earth is the clock. We continue to divide the moving universe into smaller and smaller and ridicuously smaller chunks. An old time Indian, when asked how long it would take to walk over a hill and down the other side, replied, "as long as it takes a hungry man to eat a large meal."

The clock is sweet because it allows people to meet together with greater precession and accuracy. Bitter because we become slaves to it.

How much is seven dollars and twenty five cents? It is equal to the time it takes a poor man to scrub ten toilet bowls.

A day planner is a book of love letters written to Father Time.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Happiness was dancing down the street today and it did wonders for my mood.

I had studied all morning long for my literature final this afternoon. On the front porch while putting on my tennis shoes, my mind was full of ideas and fragmented sentences that would potentially be part of my essay, and my stomach was sort of twisted and knotty. I heard a voice on the sidewalk so I looked up from my laces to see a girl singing and skipping--practically waltzing up the street. She briefly looked my way but ignored me, she was too into being merry. Weird, I thought. I put on my coat and walked off my porch and onto the sidewalk. Happy Girl was a few strides away, still as gleeful as she had been when she passed me on the porch. She beat me to the cross walk where I got stuck at the light. I continued to watch her as she floated away.

A little lighted man started glowing which prompted me to start walking across the street. There she was ahead of me petting and serinading a dog which had come out to greet her. The dog looked like he was in heaven and when heaven became to rich he walked back to his owners who were in the door way of their apartment grinning at Happy Girl. She twirled around with her arms outstretched and continued tap dancing towards campus. My curiosity was peaked now. Why was this girl so flamboyantly happy? Still I followed.

The sidewalks were peppered with students walking to and from school. Each with their head down looking cold and distant. I watched though, as Happy girl directed her charm like a Care Bear stair at each one. Their faces immediately brightened when she sung songs of greetings. An old woman walking her dog on the other side of the street stopped and turned completely around to watch as Happy girl fluttered through the sunshine. I looked at the old woman and she looked at me and her dog looked at both of us. I pointed to the girl and threw up my hands to say, what is up with this girl? The old woman understood my body language and mouthed a word: "happiness". We both smiled in agreement. Every person this girl passed went from sad to glad, including a cable repair man who actually started laughing. I was gaining on her because one of my strides equaled 5 of her whimsical twirls. Was this girl on acid? Had she just gotten laid? Was she mentally disturbed? My curiosity was climaxing.

"Hey," I called, "why are you so happy?"

she spun in my direction and her sandal flew off. She snorted and laughed and looked me in the eye.

"it is a beautiful day!"

I couldn't believe my ears... She was this happy because the sun was shining? No drugs or cultish mind control? I liked her immediately. Her name was Brigid. We walked the rest of the way up to campus talking about the holidays, finals, and for some odd reason the Dali Lama. Other then perhaps an overdose of granola this chick seemed completely sane.

When we got up on campus everyone knew Bridgid. I heard Hellos from all around. This girl had the best energy I have ever seen.

"You have a lot of friends," I said

"I am a lucky girl," she said back. She really meant it.

We were headed in different directions so I told her it wasn't everyday I see someone so happy walking down the street. I thanked her for brightening my day and headed off to take my exam. She yelled, "Good luck!" and that was my encounter with Brigid.

It is absolutely amazing what a good attitude can do! Thanks Brigid. I wonder if you were an angel.

Me As Dr. Phil

On my way to class i heard a tid bit of conversation that made me think that men and women really are from diffrent planets. I am not convinced that the difference between the sexes is any more pronounced than the difference between individuals. However, when you have masses of females acting like, and dressing like pop divas, and a large portion of males pretending to be a mixture of John Wayn, Snoop Dogg, and your generic half naked Abercrombie model, things can get f*cked up real quick.

This conversation was blue and red shifting as i walked passed it. This is basically how it went:

Girl 1: oh my gawd
Girl 2: yeeah, so it's like, i work all day and go to school, and then when i get home, Bobby is on the couch playing video games.
Girl 1: Tasha, you can do so much better, you need to find a guy with ambition, a guy that is going to support you!
Girl 2: your right. Bobby has no ambition, he needs to pay more attention to me. He needs to quit playing those ridiculous video games.

I have the feeling Bobby is clueless and in way over his head with Tasha. But a brother needs to play video games once in a while. Still, why do young women date the biggest rejects in the gene pool?

Words that women use that scare me: Ambition, Support, Car.

Some of these women at school are just trying to nab a bussiness major and then milk the poor sap for all he is worth... My advice for a man would be to stay away from women in the libral arts and bussiness departments, start hanging out in the engeneering and biology labs, the ratio of men to women might put you at a slight disadvantage, but the women in those departments are generally smarter, and nerdier... and might even play video games with you! (the perfect woman)

After that conversation had recieded into the background radiation, i smiled, suddenly very content being single.

Eggs and Hashbrowns

What a strange dream i just had. In the dream i looked into a mirror, which i can't recall ever doing in a dream before. The reflection of myself was startling and yet heart warming. the person stareing back at me in the mirror was myself as a ten year old kid. I was young again! That kid was so healthy and innocent, so completely stress free. Perhaps that dream was a much needed response to this, finals week. or maybe god was showing me what i need to be before he can bless me and show me the path he wants me to travel. Jesus said we could move mountains with faith! if only i could have that kind of faith.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Feeling My Beard Grow--A Painfully Slow Day At Work

Snow blankets the distant hill tops.
Inside a clammy hotel room
as stifling as the inside of a spaghetti bombed microwave oven.
The scent of people a decade deep, mixes with the violent smell of cleaning products and air freshener.

God bless CSPAN's book channel!
Tom Wolf kept me company at work today.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

A Call for Twenty Somethings To Bring Back The Sanity

My poor brother. Tonight at dinner he shared his frustrations with me about his situation at work. My first reaction was to tell him to find a new job. It is an automatic response, for me as an American, to assume that we have complete freedom when it comes to upward mobility, that working hard will get you places. But wait, not so fast. Is it really that simple? Andy told that he was playing video game on Yahoo at work today--on his break. The boss caught him playing and lectured him not to waste company time playing games. Ok maybe I can understand that. The problem is that it isn't just that Andy was playing games when he shouldn't have been, it is that in every job I have ever had--and I have had a lot of shitty jobs, there are always certain personality types at the top of the pyramid. They are the people that talk the loudest, that follow rules, that PLAY THE GAME. At the hotel, I do my work and I do it well, the best, I was raised to work hard. My dad made it clear to us that working hard honors God, family, and self. But working hard doesn't always pay. It pays, at least in minimum wage service jobs, to be as lowly as possible, to do what you are told with out question, to conform and smile.

Andy is so talented! He is brilliant. I have found that my bosses are usually lazy and wasteful, and have not one shred of imagination. The work force is being filled more and more with conformist. This is a severe unintelligible rant, but it bothered me so much to see Andy so sad about his boss not appreciating all the hard work he does, and to only focus on one instance. Young people today are so smart and so full of imagination....When are we going to be recognized as adults and then allowed to contribute to society instead serving burritos, and making copies, and ringing registers....? When are the baby boomers going to retire!!!?

What would happen tomorrow if all the workers quit and only the bosses where left? What would happen if people decided to ask big questions, about life, and love, and our place in the universe, and decided that it didn't matter that much that the salt shaker goes on the left and pepper on the right.

I pray that after school I get a job that allows me to be myself. My worst nightmare is that I will be a corporate drone, following protocol!

On a Park Bench

Sometimes one has to leave the apartment. For an agoraphobe like myself, the prospect of leaving the house is both exhilarating and terrifying. Maybe my phobia isn't founded in clinical legitimacy, in fact, I like the outdoors more than the indoors. But, I have found that the geometric grid of the city, full of its square buildings and bright lights is not much different than the inside of my apartment. So, whether I am scared to leave my apartment, or if I just feel trapped because the outdoors looks so much like the indoors, is psychologically debatable.

I went on a quest last night. A quest through the concrete forest to the palace of light and wavering pictures. I walked down town to see a movie. I learned a valuable lesson on the way.

The cold weather forced me to layer my clothing for warmth. My stocking cap was pulled down low, covering my ears, while also covering my friendly cream colored forehead. The 3 sweaters and an my plaid overcoat made me look bulkier and more threatening than I really am. Women and men of smaller stature would cross the street a block before we passed each other -- I am tall and threatening in the cold shadows.

As I approached the theater 20 minutes early, I figured that I would rest and have a cigarette on a bench that I have seen so many old bums rest with a smoke or a drink of malt liquor from crinkled paper bags. I sat on the cold cement bench and crossed my legs, right over left. I struck a match in front of my face and for a brief moment, the city block receded into the darkness, giving way to a brilliant bon fire! An instant later, the shop fronts appeared again, this time behind a curling wisp of smoke.

Then out of nowhere, there was a young guy on a bike before me. The wheels on his bike stopped spinning and he was no longer a biker, but a stationary standing figure. "Hello, you looked like you could use some company," he said. I offered him a smoke but said he had his own and then his mouth was a chimney just like mine. He told me that he was really high, that he just smoked "hella weed". I nodded and smiled.

"See that phone booth over there?" he pointed to a phone booth across the street. "yes". My eyes did see a phone booth. "I got some Indian bitch gonna call me up and suck my dick. See I got this phone number off the internet. I call it when I want some pussy. Those Lumi bitches are wild. Just last night, I call up this number and meet this bitch down town and she fucks me. I was so high. I woke up this morning not even remembering last night. I was drinking and smoking and sniffing oxicotton. So, when I wake up this morning, I see this fine ass Indian bitch laying beside me. I tried to get some pussy this morning, but she goes and tells me she has a boy friend. What a bitch! I think that hoe gave me something too man, I have this wicked itch. We connected though man. It was spiritual, intertwining with a native. Me and Pocahontas. She could have been the one." I told him that it seems kind of sad connecting spiritually with a person with only a burning itch to remember the experience. He looked at me blankly and continued talking.

"Yeah man I just got back from the gay bar. Man I didn't know it was the gay bar. Had all these fags hitting on me. You know, nothing against homos, they are cool they just need to leave me alone. I go into gay chat rooms just to fuck with them. I fuck with them and tell them how much I like sucking cock, then I tell them to meet me some where--but I'm just fucking with em. I'm not a homosexual. I mean, it is ok if you are, I'm not trying to offend you." I tell him that no, I am not a homosexual. "I am so fucked up right now though, can you tell that I am high?" "You seem all alright to me". He asks me if I want to get high. I tell him I quite smoking weed along time ago. A cop drives by and eyes us both. "right right, good for you." he says and then continues talking about blow jobs. I had a strange feeling he was hinting at something.

I wanted to tell him that there is more to life than sex with strangers and drugs that make you forget about fucking those strangers. I wanted to tell him about Jesus and eternity. About something that transcends phone booths and numbers written on bathroom stalls. I asked him what his name was. "Jason". "Jason it was good talking to you, thanks for the company. I am going to go catch a movie but have a good night. " "take care" he said. I left him alone on the street corner, high, waiting for a phone call from Pocahontas.

It doesn't matter who you are exactly, only where you are. In the university square, people expect that I am a student. At work, costumers assume that I am a servant. While smoking a cigarette on a street corner frequented by the down troddened, I am one of them. I am no different than jason, or my professor or Father John or Sonia the housekeeper, we are all God's children. I probably should have invited jason to see the movie with me.