Monsters

I hate scary movies.  I think they’re boring and a waste of time.  Highly predictable and full of the corniest archetypes Jung could ever concept.  Thanks to my ex I repeat her fathers theory; “they are bad for the soul.”

Yet I will go to sticky theaters and cover my finger tips with warm butter and giggle while anyone who I attend a showing with clinches in fear.  It’s the easiest way to manipulate a date into grabbing you.  If you fake a sigh, appear to be more concerned than frightened, making the first move will seem chivalrous.  Or if you’ve tagged along with roommates and friends who live for the thrill of being terrified, it’s the easiest way to laugh.  You seem brave and as fluid as a mountain while they shake like the rapids cutting through a canyon.

It’s so predictable.  I’d rather just watch a PIXAR movie.

Yet here I sit, looking at a monster drawing I created a few years ago.  Every stroke of the pencil and crayon is a feeling of terror, a hindered sense of fear I could not communicate.

Is this a self portrait?

Probably.  How predictable.

I spend my days thinking of past mistakes, regrets, obstacles that keep me from wanting to enjoy the moments before and after leaving the theater.  I read the news on the internet and then I have to spend thirty minutes looking up pictures of puppies and adorable smooshed faces to assure myself that we’re not all going to hell.  Surely we just live in it.  This is how I can fall asleep easily at night when my date decides to go home and all my friends are tucked away.  The ideas of evil are bigger than me and yet I try to relate to them  as if they’re just fog while my head floats in the clouds.  I try to stay grounded.  I argue that’s why my mattress rests solely on the ground withing a wooden boxed frame.  Or perhaps its because all the worst bedtime stories start with monsters under the bed.

So without further adieu  here is a flash fiction piece.  Enjoy and sleep easy.  Find your warmth, your comfort.

Lullaby

There is a monster underneath all our beds.  Causing a commotion, he stirs beneath our dreams.  The monster needs the bread and butter on the dinner table; we are not the only ones who must fill hungry mouths or festering families.

Hesitantly, he (or she) punches in on their time card, and then ducks down to wait.  Their sharp horns don’t poke through the mattresses, or uncoil the springs we rest upon, but as they reach their thick furry hands out from under and grasp onto our sleeping skin, if feels as though we’ve only begun to walk on carpet.  Down the stairs, skipping on cold tile floor, then out the door and into fresh air we go.

The monster is eager for the day to end and to meet leisure time face to face.  They know what it looks like, but can never remember a detail if you ask.  A lunch packed with commodities commemorating capitalism, its critical crescendo; they are living the American dream.

Then they go home.

The nuclear family waits beyond the doorsteps of a cookie-cutter house.  It’s a good neighborhood.  White picket fences are replaced by tiny yards of St. Augustine grass that stain the children’s denim.  Junior and Little Miss are breaking the seams of their attire as they skyrocket to the clouds; splitting legs and fractions while building an allowance in their bellies.

The monsters under our beds cook, clean, compromise and collaborate with their significant others over meal times, school times, soccer practice times, and leisure times.  Friday nights are reserved for love making.  The monster and their significant other get dirty and clean their piping.  They don’t plan on falling asleep from the half empty bottle of merlot, but they down it so they can muster the courage to flirt with each other again.

Then the kids come home.

Milking the weekend, Monday comes faster.  Mundane monstrosities is what we have now.  401k’s. Stock option purchase plans.  Healthcare.  Mortgage.  Insurance.  Credit.  Debt.  Retirement at the age of 60/65.  10,950 days later and each day was the same 9-5 with its highlights.

The raise with option to cash out on paid vacation days never taken.

The significant other says she’s getting a promotion.

Junior got good grades.

Little Miss sang in the recital, with beauty and class.

But then the monster gets another promotion.  Upper management.  How else can he secure the nightmare that is the American dream?

The significant other has doubts.  Second honeymoon?  Maybe.  But after all, that would be dipping into the savings.  What if someone gets sick?  What about college?  What if?  What if?  What if?

Junior started drinking.  It’s hereditary.  An individual’s chances are seven times higher if the parents drink.  But it was always one scotch to unwind from paper pushing all day, never an ism.

Little Miss found a bad boy.  He had filthy tattoos and played in a rock band.  They look for men who have the same qualities as their father.  When she’s crying up all night it’s because he’s not there.

Then everyone leaves the home.

Sitting at his oak office table, the monster contemplates.  The promotion took him out of the cubicle and earned him a panoramic view of the city.  He watched all the ants scurry below him, frying and eviscerating their existence under the wavy heat rays of the sun.  Their shadows were burned into the sidewalk.  A fire started in the streets and the smoke billowed up into the tower.  The fresh air was too clean and the office chose asphyxiation and emphysema instead.  But they have a decent HMO.  A good life plan payout is included in the benefits package.

The significant other found strong pectorals to grace her withering fingers across.  She felt young again when time found her sexy once more through the years.

Junior smashed face first into a light pole but survived only to stutter on his t’s.  He thinks the mother betrayed them, so he and the monster finally become best friends.  They drink scotch together and he tries not to mess up his new management position given to him at the tower.

Little Miss got pregnant from the bad boy.  He has filthy tattoos.  She sends the monster pictures of a budding beast, his fury little head.  My goodness, they grow so fast.  She blames the monster, gets jealous at the abs the significant other dribbles her nails across, then bitches about Junior’s stumbling.  But she gets Single Mother of the Year awarded to her by her second grade son’s macaroni painting.

Here’s the midlife crisis, addressed as a memo on the desk.  Buy a sports car to feel younger, weigh down those wilting eye lids and roll into a ditch; like son, like father.  Or just blow your brains out over the cover letter so your boss sees how you truly bleed for the company?  On the desk is a picture of a little gremlin the monster barely visits, but wishes he could.  He is an artist Little Miss shushes at night.  She tucks him tightly into his bed and reads Where the Wild Things Are and Shel Silverstein poems.  The munchkin is petrified of the monsters under his bed.

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Dogs

This is pinnacle,—finite.

This is a momentary lapse of reason. This is beyond the first breath taken, one of clarity and utmost importance; when you comprehend anxiety and justify it. You will stand across a human, opposite in so many ways, they have become befitting. Staring into what is supposed to be them, the pupils foreground bloodshot eyes. If you feel at home, then this is that moment.

Now collide.

This moment is the excitement of wanting to come, yet the desire to make a split second last forever. It’s suppression, avoidance of guilt. The things a woman can do to a man.

I have stood on a stage in front of hundreds. With a Fender Mustang molding into my body I expressed my existence to thirsty souls. Their mouths were agape from the desire to simply drown. They we’re so wet with excitement they collapsed on the floor and a sea of one idea flooded the land. I turned to my amp, a 6 foot mecca of human engineering. Coils released audible dissonance and the waves of sound penetrated the pit of standing people. A bead of sweat dripped from nose, onto my hand, and I strummed an open note for texture. C#. The hoard toppled.

I looked over to see Gerald panting on his drum set, sweat raining onto his snare. He stared into his toms, lost in the measurement. Towering over his kick he began to arch back in anticipation. He was anticipating his body for an impact. Every limb would rise into the air and careen down like a dead body with a severed head. The kit would barely survive. The audience dug their jaws into the floorboards.

Nikk collapsed down onto his pedal. He only had a brief period to regain control. He threw his guitar to the side and began twisting nobs on his pedal board, and pulling chords; the chaos actually gave him clarity. The sound waves convulsed in such a way and collided with ferocity. Unimaginable noises and disgusting effects would swell in the air forcing the machine to reset itself. Nikk prayed for the seizure not to end. He stood to face God and began to lift off the ground.

Ryan floated. He didn’t walk. He graced his body towards the back of the house and rested one foot on Gerald’s kick drum. This would be the final time he would drop the mic onto the stage floor. He raised his arms as a martyr. He didn’t beg for forgiveness or for the good Lord to take him away. He embraced the final moment and smiled back as though he himself had defied God. He stretched that smile into Nikk and I, who stood on opposite ends of the stage, then laughed at Gerald. He prepared to catapult.

I turned back into my amp and sunk into the open note. This is the last time I would play this note after five years of hammering it. I thought of my existence. What was it? How could I occupy such space, such dimensions and understand it? I was lost in my own moment. I thought of thinking, then thought of not thinking; what it meant to truly be alive and living. I couldn’t remember the past hour. What kind of man I was before hand or what my intentions were after. Who would I become? What I had planned for myself? I only knew what was.
Christ in his last breath.
My father when he first held me.
The first time I drilled into her.
The moment I didn’t want to give into her, but did.
Every time I saw a dead body.

Lying on my death-bed I will have achieved nothing ever comprehensible. I will ask whoever may be there, next to me, to play this song. Will it be my son? Wife? A simple nurse? I do not know. I do not know if my life will flash before my eyes and I think I would prefer it if it didn’t. It seems pointless to exist for selfish reasons and it’s selfish to desire to exist forever. I will let the song build, and build it will to this point. I anticipate this moment every time, and when it finally arrives I feel only ecstasy;
The THC clouding the brain.
The heroin creeping up the arm.
The focus from cocaine.
The booze numbing the senses.
The feeling of a woman’s skin on mine.
The last note of a song.

When it hits this point in the song, pull the plug. Smash my skull into oblivion. Shoot me in the face or sever my spinal cord from the rest of the body. Do not try to save me, or prolong my vegetable state. Do not welcome me to the machine or encourage immortality. Just let the song play and at 14:08, end my existence. Let that feeling be the last thing I comprehend. I demand it.

On the stage all four of us jump up into the air and we have become that moment. We have built five years of joy, prosperity, hardship, heartache, failure, friendship and success into an hour-long set of hits. We had to relive everything in that moment and in that moment was our immortality. Now we were to make our final statement. The last hit, of the last song, of the last show. Coming down is the hardest part.

To define the first line.

Let us begin to clarify that the Walrus is not a villain.

John Lennon is more than an idol.  Can I be a child who lays on his stomach begging for comfort?  Can the words “aspiration” be the gentle hands only a mother can possess?  They will grace my back, send signals through the spine and systematically syncopate a splendid sleeping pattern.  Let that not be a dream, but a reality.  Let us then begin to understand what John Lennon is.

Beyond his physical state of existence or his conscious grasp of the sensory overload we all endure as sentient beings; let us appreciate the legacy of John Lennon.  Let us begin to understand that his death, his murder, the bullet have now become a holy trinity in my perplexing existence.

I am the Walrus, goo-goo-g’joob.

You cannot live until you die.  You cannot die until you live.  So then logically, I am the Walrus!  Goo-goo-g’fucking-joob.

So the man dies.  He is the first in the pact to perish and he is the first to be named.  To go down in history?  Well down he went.  Down with his guts mingling on the pavement.  His wife holds him while the rest of the world blames her for breaking up their new derived faith in mankind.  Little do they know that she was the snake in the garden.  She made the man act and forever curse the man to rain sweat off his back.  She is neither the eggman or the walrus.

So goo-goo-g’joob all over her paisty chest.

But that does not make me a villain.  The walrus eats too many oysters.  He eats them, but feels bad.  This makes Alice like him.  But then another man tells her what to think, tells her a different side of the story.  Notice the order.  So then Alice changes her mind.  Goo-goo-go fucking figure!  These shoes are not the right shade of orange.  So now she likes the carpenter more.  One wears a suit, the other has bandages over his hand.  One feels bad, the other feels exhausted, full.

But what does Alice know?  This is a man’s world.  But it ain’t nothing…

Alice knows the Walrus.  She knows (well now knows) he hid his truth behind something.  A façade.  Did he have what the carpenter had, or did he have more?

I am the son of a carpenter.  I cried as a baby, my back was scratched to put me to sleep.  Too many blondes tripping down the rabbit hole have scratched my back; besides, I prefer brunettes.  I don’t hide this from the carpenter, the eggman.

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

So I am the son of a carpenter.  He made sure his genetic copy knew John Lennon.  I am the son of a mother who comforts.  She made sure her baby boy fell asleep peacefully.  I am the Walrus.  I am not a villain.  But I have had more than my fill.

And no one will know.

So let them figure this one out mister “give peace a chance.”  Ooh, you’re so cool with your “philosophy” and “philanthropy” and Asian wife.  I’ll find peace.  A piece.  When I sleep and she is scratching my back.