Sept. 12, 2018
It’s been a rough week. Probably I haven’t written anything, coz that’s why. I
haven’t even painted anything either. It could be the dementia. It’s been a rough week. The clouds are gray and low all around the city. This morning, before getting in the shower, I could feel the approaching change in weather from the opened windows. The rain for days. The previous days of 90 degrees. Yeah, that’s it. The weather is very unstable. It’s causing me to react in unholy ways. I’m listening to the record of the week. Punk rock helps. I used to be a punk. Maybe. See, this writing thing—it’s all in my head. I began on couches. In fact, I’m working on editing a novel I wrote on a blog, by accident, more than five years ago. I was living with two females who worked for a living. (Watch it.) Like a literary Hamlet, conversing with himself in the mirror, floating through the days. Couldn’t fit in anywhere. I guess that’s what this digital magazine is about. Oh, by the way. The novel’s called My Vagina Won’t Look Like This Forever. I guess I felt like society was dogshit. I know this has been a common theme in the literary world for a lot longer than I’ve been alive. And I thought about Hemingway this morning, I’ll admit it. I was getting my shit together, showering, shaving, PUTTING GEL IN MY HAIR, COMBING IT—things are different but somehow they feel the same. For instance, I was out at a coffee shop yesterday before my second-to-last class as a teaching assistant in an ESL summer class for immigrants and refugees . . . and I heard two workers conversing about falling into the same pathways. I know it probably has something to do with the brain, and neurons, and chlorophyll, and single-celled amoebas or whatever claptrap I don’t have time for today, as ever. But I thought about it. No matter how deep you get (WHOA) in your own head, there’s always somebody out there who feels the same, or similar. You get the idea. And you take that brain out to the streets, you’re walking around aimlessly, and yet, you’re always getting somewhere. I guess I thought about that while pouring the hot coffee in my BRYAN mug. (One of the only material things I own that matters to me.) You know, if I could, I’d have a keg in here. But like I said, it’s been a rough week. The ceiling in my kitchen. Ah, fuck it. I won’t get into it. The cover is a buncha parrots because that’s what society feels like to me. There’s a Chinese woman in the class. She bothers everybody. But she doesn’t bother me. She always has questions and I walk up to her, patient as the humming of infinity in the background of endless space, yes, uh huh, actually, it’s “SUPPOSED TO” not “SUPPOSE TO”. She thanks me. The teacher of the class tells me that I always come into the building like a hurricane. I like that.
I go for another beer, hair on fire and flaming up pretty good—no second chances, the song sings like I said, earlier this morning I thought of Hemingway his first book was pretty good, you know how pretty goes as pretty as Hemingway could be his mother or someone in his family didn’t like the bad words—the early 1900s poop turd fart shit Hemingway was such a bad boy and then the second novel, it was about his time in the war in Italy he fell in love with the nurse taking care of his wounds Hemingway was writing bullshit by his second novel and although he had some good short stories the rest of his life he was captured by his own success and fame the adulation went to his dome and he told Fitzgerald how to write and he had agents fawning over his poppycock and then it was one wife after another Hemingway drunk in Havana, splitting with his woman in the Swiss Alps Pappa, that’s what they called him and I remember reading For Whom The Bell Tolls o ne night when I was still living with my parents and it went on and on and on, nothing happening until, finally I heard a car creeping through the neighborhood
and it went on and on and on, like the book so I got up to the window when the droning noise got to the street out front of my parents’ house I saw the car just sitting there across the street and I went back to the book but the engine just hummed and I couldn’t figure it out who the hell drives like that, I thought then I realized that the book sucked and the person in that car, he was a crook because when I looked out the window again I saw that the light in my car was on I looked and looked and I felt my heartbeat rising finally something was happening and I took off down the hallway and rushed down the steps out into the street, I went up to my car and saw that the bastard had been in there—so I floored it, barefooted, and I ran like a sonofabitch caught up to the rumbling noise of the fucker’s window within seconds “HEY!” I screamed at him, “YOU WERE IN MY FUCKING CAR!” he was looking at a cell phone, then he peered at me, slurring, “WHAT, HUH?” “YOU WERE IN MY CAR, YOU STOLE MONEY FROM MY FUCKING CAR” “stole money,” he huffed, “I make a million dollars . . . a . . . year” he was fucked up and I went to the back of his car and said aloud his license plate and darted home in seconds, I had the cops on the line—and the whole thing went to shit because when the cops came I went over to the corner and they had him there, so I said, “THAT’S THE GUY, THAT’S THE FUCKING GUY, HE WAS IN MY CAR” and he said, meekly, “no . . . NO, I WASN’T . . .” he slurred again, “that kid’s drunk, officer,” he hiccoughed—a Sergeant told me to back off, that he’d arrest me instead, and my dad got in the cop’s face, saying THIS IS AMERICA I went home, disillusioned—and when my dad got back, he had calmed a little and he said, “Bry, I’ve never seen you run that fast, I mean, you really took off, what a stride” there’s a new sheriff in town, I said that to myself and I kept it there.
By Matt Myers
love is us half naked with my head lying on your back while on the bed in this hot and sticky top floor apartment with a sparkling water on my chest above my gut not having the motivation to get out of bed because I’d rather just lie here with you
THE ANARCHIST I had developed this system of stealing from supermarkets. Nobody really noticed me. That’s where it came from. I’d go up to the self-checkout lines with my selected items. I made sure that the oversight was lackadaisical. Mostly the people in the lines were half-dead. They were nearly brainless, couldn’t figure out the machines. The people who worked in the supermarket were apathetic as hell. I took full advantage of the dimwitted nonsense, a grocery store filled with everything you could imagine while right outside there were people who were begging for food, change, a chance, anything. Some of them were ready to kill for their food, or whatever else. I used to ride a bike up to the supermarket. It was nice. Like I said. I put the groceries on the weighted checkout line, all by myself. I rang up bananas for a pound of chicken. I rang up bananas for coffee. I made the calculations in my brain before I got there and each time I went to the grocery store I made sure to dress differently. I’d have a hat on. Or I’d have a trendy ponytail. Sometimes I’d even shave my face. I feigned stupidity. Nobody noticed me. I took my stolen items, somewhat stolen, I was against institutions. I was supposed to be a writer. Living on a friend’s couch. I didn’t think about MFAs or hopscotch. Sometimes I took the groceries back to my friend’s apartment while he was at work and I didn’t use the bike. The bicycle. S pecifically, on those trips, the bags would break and all the items would fall out onto the ground. We lived in a seedy neighborhood. Right under the 25th Street Bridge, I’d be tying up the plastic bags at the bottom. I carried the bags. Stopped for a breather. Carried the bags some more. Stopped again. Fuck writing… My friend would eventually need a ride home from work. He didn’t want to return to the apartment by himself. Sometimes he walked back when he didn’t have any cash. We were strange. We had this window. And whatever we found, earned, made, whatever—whenever we got our hands on money, we tossed it right through this window. Some kind of self-defeating process that made us feel alive. The world was dead. It was dying. Some kind of reflection in that regard. We were anarchists. Or at least that’s what he called me. I just didn’t believe in anything. So what? The neighborhood was filled with that kind, the ilk surrounded us. We were right in there with our brothers and sisters. I learned a lot.
When I picked him up, I was usually in his girlfriend’s car. She hid under the bed. Or she played with makeup in the bathroom mirror. Or she was working. Or she was at her parents’ house. Or she was doing yoga. Or she was making a plan to break up with my friend. Or she was sitting on the couch drinking wine telling me she needed a hobby. I was usually working on something. Yeah, I was some anarchist. I picked him up one night and we went to the bar. But not before he took an extra 38 minutes walking around the restaurant, shouting out “WE NEED TO DESTROY THE SYSTEM! THE SYSTEM IS STEALING OUR SOULS! WE HAVE TO BAND TOGETHER, FORM UNIONS, BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT. WE CAN’T DO THIS ALONE. JUST LOOK AT MYERS. HE KNOWS. HE GETS IT. HE UNDERSTANDS.” Then he would steal a shot from the downstairs bar when nobody was looking. I’d have to drag him outta there. “Come on, man. It’s past midnight. We won’t have that much time to drink.” We got to the bar. He knew the bartender. He knew the bouncer. He knew a lot more. Within a few minutes, we were downing shots of whiskey and chasing it with good beer in a good place among good people. “Let’s shoot some pool.” “Nah. Fuck it. Let’s get a bag and go back to ####’s place.” “Okay.” Another round of shots and beers. He handed me something under the bar. It was an Ace of Spades. I went to the bathroom. Took a piss. Told myself that I would never be respectable. Placed a key into the bag and up my nose. Slapped myself in the face. Flushed. Walked out, back to the bar. “Here,” I said to my friend. “You ready?” “Yeah, sure.” He handed me another shot. I took it, gagged, finished it with some more beer. He paid the tab. And we got out of there. What is it about cocaine that makes people talk about politics? Maybe it was us, maybe we were strange, we were deadbeats, we were bums, we were degenerates, we wanted something more from our lives, something that would never be there, maybe, until we got out of our own way. Ways. Waves. I’ve been drinking… “No,” I said, we were up on the sixth or seventh floor, someplace in the center of the city. Some mother fucker had us over, he was living there with some girl. “No, we haven’t had a good president since Kennedy.” They snorted theirs. “Fuck,” somebody said. “Yeah, I know,” somebody else said.
“What’s that you’re saying, Myers.” He was going to the kitchen for another round of beers. He came back out, handing my friend and I the beers. I cracked it. “Fucking Kennedy. All the rest, since then, have been complete buffoons. They were total criminals. Even Eisenhower.” “Wait. Wasn’t Eisenhower before Kennedy?” “That fucker played a lot of golf.” “It’s like I was saying, they’ve all been criminals. Nobody cares. America does whatever it wants to do. They fly the flag, get the people all hyped up over nothing. That means they can get away with doing whatever they wanna do. Bomb, invade, fund rebel groups, they run guns all over the place. They know what laws to break because they write the laws. Even Reagan, he was funding militias. You know, that plane that crashed, or wait, it was shot down in Costa Rica. Or Nicaragua. Whatever the hell. It was a guy who used to be in the CIA, a bunch of other people died. But he was captured. They got caught running guns to a rebel group because they wanted to take down the guy who got elected. They wanted to install their guy, some dictator who’d be open to western capitalists. Any country that tries to be self-sufficient, that does something other than what WE WANT THEM TO DO, they get bombed, invaded, and they pretend that it’s for humanitarian shit. It never is. There’s horrible shit happening in Africa. Nobody cares. It’s all planned. They know what they’re doing…” Three more baselines were set up in the infield. “Yeah, but what the fuck.” “And Nixon was a total criminal. The drug war. To spy on dissidents. And Reagan, sending missiles and shit to Iran while in the public he condemned them. That whole Iran-Contra shit. The Bushes. The Clintons. Just total scum. Liars. Cheats. Vicious, bloodthirsty sociopaths. No feeling. No remorse. Rich millionaires. Outta touch. Holy shit. This . . . this is good . . . coke.” “Yeah, I know. Right?” He held his nose, letting the rolled up bill fall to the table. “Let’s go outside and smoke a cigarette.” “So what the fuck, then. When was the last good president?” “They said it was Roosevelt. But he stopped refugees from Germany, he stopped a ship of Jews escaping Hitler. Told them they couldn’t stay here, they’d landed at Cuba. Or something. Got sent back to Europe. Some of those people died. And when he did the New Deal, he kept the redlining in the bill. That meant banks didn’t have to loan to African Americans.” “Shit.” “And he interned Japanese Americans, during the war.” Snnnnniffffffff.
“Just threw people in cages because of…” “Dude, who needs another beer?” “I’ll take one.” “Yeah, me too.” “So what about Lincoln?” “I don’t know that much about him.” “Yeah, me either. The Lincoln Address, right?” “I know that he put people in prison.” “Shut up, Myers.” The beers were handed out. I finished the one I had in my hands, cracked the new one. “It’s true,” I said. “He put people who were against the North during the Civil War in jail.” “What about George Washington?” We were walking out into the apartment hallway and onto the balcony. “Same shit, man. He was the first president to use military force without authorization from Congress.” “He was the first president.” “Oh, no shit? You must have your master’s degree in history.” The night was cool and dark. “Yeah, the Whiskey Rebellion. They taxed whiskey distilleries to pay for the war.” “So, what happened?” My friend handed out cigarettes. We all lit ‘em up. “He sent militias from some of the states. And I think he went with them too. To stop the rebellion. Some people got killed, I think.” “Protesting whiskey.” “Damn right.” We blew out clouds of smoke and drank at our beers. “Man,” somebody said. “Fuck politics.” We finished our cigarettes. Then we went back inside to finish off the other thing, you know what I’m talking about. “It’s weird,” I said as he was lining up the field goal kick, one of the other dudes in the room. “What’s that,” said my friend. “People take these things to keep going.” “What do you mean?” he asked. “It’s almost like they don’t wanna be themselves.” “Yeah,” the other dude snorted, taking off from the runway. “I know what you mean.”
Record of the week
NOFX, “The War on Errorism” Released in 2003. A year before Green Day’s “American Idiot”. Love the angst, the lyrics, the time changes, the humor in heavy shit.
EWATIF #2. Parrot society. Hemingway. A short poem from my brother about love. A short story about being an anarchist, no-name writer and dr...
Published on Sep 13, 2018
EWATIF #2. Parrot society. Hemingway. A short poem from my brother about love. A short story about being an anarchist, no-name writer and dr...