Friday, September 15, 2006


I worked with a new guy today. The temp agency sent him over to finish out the season with us. He's young. Younger than me. A Nice guy. The guys on my crew refer to the temporary employees sent over from Express as temps. "Where's your temp?" My co-worker asked me this afternoon. They aren't Human but Temps.

I have to tell my temp what to do. "Rake the leaves out of that bed," I'll say, or "mow these lawns." I'd rather not give orders. My job isn't that hard. I noticed though that out of nervousness or maybe in an attempt to put up a positive front, each time I told him what to do he'd nod his head and say, "awesome". Not okay, not you bet, not even Roger that, sir, but awesome.

How far has the English language slipped when awesome means okay? Cleaning up yard waste isn't awesome. God is awesome. The trees that bear twelve varieties of fruit and grow on the banks of the river flowing from Christ thrown are awesome. The Grand canyon is pretty awesome. It filled me with awe anyway.

Playing around with my girlfriend I laughed , "I hate you." "Hate is a strong word, honey," she said back. "But don't you know," I said, "there are no strong words anymore."

Language has become parody.

Every time we say hate when we mean love, when we say fuckin' to modify an adverb, we are obliterating our ability to describe reality in a meaningful way. Some pretty smart men have said that man touches reality through language. What kind of reality is it when God and pizza share the same over-arching characteristic?

"Hey temp, how would you like to cut out of here a few minutes early today?"

"Fuckin' awesome, man."

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I want a Coffee flavor to stimulate parts of me other than my tongue. A curiousity of language is how it allows talk about flavors that have nothing to do with taste buds. There is the flavor of a city. Of fashion. Of personalities. Of moments. Seattle has a tec/grunge flavor. Put that in a drink.

I want a mocha that tastes like Saturday mornings in Bellingham. The tastes of sleeping in. Of morning delivery trucks driving past my porch. Of morning dew on spider webs. Of dandelions opening up for the sun. Of being young and full of potential.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lunch Break

I was watching the children play tennis on this, their last day of summer vacation. I was nibbling on my chicken salad sandwich while Ubed sat next to me in the cab of the truck eating a microwaveable chimichunga. We were sitting in our work truck parked under a shade tree at the park. The AM radio was on quietly. A man was talking about Iran; about terrorist; about illegal immigration. After eating my sandwich I dug through my bag for my cigarettes and then after finding one, struck a match, lit it and plopped down in the dry grass beside the truck. I blew out smoke and looked up at the sky.

Ubed, he's my partner, a very likeable guy; quick to laugh. Very sharp. He's from the Ivory Coast. I hear him open and close the passenger side door and then make his way around the back of the truck, whistling as he walks. He appears in front of me with a bright grin on his face. He looks up at the sky and then looks at me. He has something to say. He starts, "I want a boat. I think I am going to buy a boat."

"You're gonna buy a boat?"

"Yes. I think I would very much like a boat. Oh it would be so great to go sailing on a day like today. To have my own boat." He's looking up at the sky and the trees. "All this talk about war and natural disasters--I believe good will come out of it in the end. God said to expect this. That before he come there will be wars and rumors of wars. I see in your face happiness. You want to be a happy person. Jehovah likes it when man is happy. It makes him happy. Don't worry. Can you even war, no sickness, no death? Oh man. It will be great. That time is very near. And when it comes I want a boat and I will sail all over the sea. I will have my own sea and my own boat. Don't worry so much about what you hear on the radio, Matt. Everything will be okay."

I look around the park again. The children are playing. Two men are taking their bikes off their bike racks. Five women are standing in a circle each with a new born baby in their arms talking about baby stuff. The birds on the wind and the leaves in the trees starting to turn. Ubed says that lions will lay down with lambs. "Can you imagine a lion in the park?!" He says he'll still eat meat but only the meat God says is okay to eat. It will be alright. Yeah, it will.