Random Spit

Usually I’ll grab breakfast at a local diner or at the golden arches.   But because I shouldn’t and really can’t be spending money as if I had it pouring into my pockets every Friday today I had a bowl of cereal.  I sat in front of the TV and after clicking away from channels that were airing commercials I settled for the that was not. 

The timing was perfect a show called “The Real” was about to begin.  The real, this should be good, I thought.  I like realness.  But, then the hostesses walked out.   Each one of them wearing layers of make up.   The audience too, all wearing caked on make up. 

Society already has people thinking they have to look a certain way.  If you’re going to call a show “The Real” keep it real.  Young people out there are already struggling to love themselves as they are.   If you want the hostesses to wear make up, cool, but don’t cake it on, hiding what they really look like. 

Peace.


Wallet (Fiction)

“We’ll share the soup.  You want a beer or soda?”  Their fight has lasted three days, she misses his affection. “My treat.” She reaches for her wallet.

“I’ll take a beer. Is the soup super spicy?” Spicy hot gives him heartburn.  She doesn’t say anything, just orders the soup mild.

Tall windows allow the sun to warm the interior of the restaurant.  There are no blinds.  Walking to their table sipping on their beer they pass families and a few loners squinting as they eat.  The kitchen being just behind the counter and cash register the bubbling on the stove and sizzling on the grill are loud. 

“Want to sit here?” 

She never asks.  Something is definitely wrong.  For ten minutes they’re both silent, then  “so what’s going on?”  “Nothing. Hope you like the soup.” 

“I will and if I don’t I’ll still eat it.  How’s nothing going on.  When you can’t  even look me in the eye.”

She takes a swig of her beer, crosses her arms, sets them on the table, leans forward and stares into his eyes.  What was anger turned to sorrow when behind his eyes she spots his sadness.  She looks down at her food. “You happy now.  I looked you in the eyes.”  She picks up her spoon and stirs her soup. 

“Just tell me what’s wrong. Please” he says to her expecting her to look up and answer.  She doesn’t.  She stops her spoon at a chunk of meat, picks it up, holds in it front of her face and says “you went drinking with her.”  She has another gulp of beer.

“I did, but only because you went out with your married friend from work.  He cheats on his wife and brags about it.” That poor woman doesn’t suspect a thing. She looks up “So, and so what that I spent the night. I was drunk.” 

His eyes tear up at the corners. So she doesn’t see he looks down at his bowl of mildly spicy fish soup.  “This is pretty good.  To be honest I didn’t think I was going to like it.” She smiles, but at her dish.  Two years together and it’s the first time they go out for seafood.  They chat as if it was their first date.  “I want another beer he says.”  On his way back from the counter he slows his pace.  He admires her with every step and then snaps out of it when he remembers that right now it’s not a happy tale.

Almost done with her beer he asks if she would like another.  She answers “no thank you” then returns her attention to her bowl.  Still looking down at her food “I spent the night because I didn’t want to risk getting a ticket. I was drunk.”

“You should have called me to pick you up.”  She swallows her mouthful.  “I slept with him okay!  I was drunk!” 

A tear escapes and runs down his cheek.  Now crying softly she raises her hand towards his face to wipe a tear.  “Don’t touch me.” He gets up from the table and rushes to the restroom.  He almost doesn’t make it to the toilet.  He vomits. 

All of their good times flashing in his head he wipes his mess off the toilet seat then his mouth.  He returns to the table, tears leaving trails on his face.  Also crying she looks up at him.  Again he vomits only this time it doesn’t leave his mouth.  “I’m sorry.  I should have listened to you.  I thought he was a true friend.  I never thought he could or would even try to take advantage.” She clears her nostrils and wipes her face.  He doesn’t sit, picks up his beer and in one long gulp he’s finished.  As he turns to walk away looks down at her empty bowl and says “I thought he respected me as a friend, I’ve known him for over ten years.  I’m so sorry.”  Her tears are flowing “I love you, I’m sorry” she whispers.

As he puts on his sweater he remembers she bought it for him.  “Bullshit.  I don’t want this!”  He takes it off and drops it on the floor and leaves the building. 

The sun is starting to set.  Shoes off he sits at shore.  “So beautiful.”  The ocean sparkling before the sun reminds him of how much he feels for her.   He never believe in it,  love at first sight, then he met her.  They clicked. 

An older woman passes in front of him and notices his tears.  “Are you okay sir?”

“I don’t know.?”  he says crying.  “Did someone pass?” she wants to know.

“No, the woman I love with all that I am went out with a supposed friend, had too much to drink and ended up sleeping with him.”

“My husband died a week ago” she says.  “I hated the beach, sand, it gets into everything.  He loved it and barely knew how to swim.” She laughs. “Now all of the sudden I love it too.  I feel him when I’m here.”

“My condolences”

“Sudden heart attack.”

She dabs her tears with the collar of her shirt.  “Try to forgive her.  If she told you it’s probably because it wasn’t her intention.”

“She talked about him, that he would tell her about how he’s cheated on his wife.”  his tears now dry on his face. 

The woman turns to face the sun.  “I’ll always love you” she says.

She turns back around “don’t think, feel” and continues her walk. “Bye.”

He picks up his legs and hugs his knees and watches the sun disappear.  “I can’t believe this.” 

People are looking now.  Not often one sees a grown man cry.  Some ask if he’s okay as they pass him on the boardwalk. “I’m fine.”  She’s still sitting in the restaurant still crying.  He doesn’t stop. 

Four long street blocks later the bus is pulling up to the stop.  He reaches for his wallet to pull his bus pass.  “What! where is it?”  It’s no longer in his pocket.  He runs back to the beach.  The sound of someone running past catches Jan’s attention.  She raises her head sees him, grabs her things including his sweater and rushes after him.  She yells out to him “what happened? why you running?  He hears her but doesn’t reply. 

Now at the location where he remembers sitting he uses the flashlight on his phone to scan the sand.  “Fuck!”  he yells “This is all I need right now!”

“Victor! What’s wrong?”

“I can’t find my wallet!”  Both of them search and find nothing.  Someone found it. 

“I’m sorry about your wallet.  I’ll take you home.”  He follows.

While driving he cancels all his cards.  “I’m sorry Victor. I was wrong about Derek.” 

“Thanks for helping me look. And for the ride home.” 

“Please don’t hate me.” 

His silence makes her cry again. 

Home.  He slams the door and the tears begin to flow again. 

“It was the wallet you gave me for my birthday.  Good bye Jan.”

 


Hip-hop Vape Kids

The other day on route to my job I was listening to the radio.  Power 106 where hip-hop doesn’t live.  After one the trendy songs they repeat multiple times every day a commercial aired informing listeners that vaping is dangerous and kids are doing it and that that particular organization is against it and trying to prevent it.  The sick shit is that rather than inform and or deter kids from vaping the commercial probably sparks their curiosity.  

The commercial includes a kid or a couple of kids talking about the different flavors and one of the kids even mentions his favorites.  Come on.  If trying to prevent kids from vaping is it necessary to mention that there are different flavors?  Is it necessary for the one kid to tell the audience which flavors are his favorite?

To me the commercial sounds more like some sort of backwards advertising.   A clever ploy to actually get more people and kids to vape. 

 


Glasses

New glasses. 

Reading.

Left eye. Everything skewed.

Normal they said.  Hard to believe.

Accustomed. In a week or so they said I’ll be.

Clean and crisp.  Words now easy to read.

A bit off.

For a few days things will seem.

They said.

Never adjusted, now they believe. 

Another visit, different doctor. 

Different prescription.

I wonder how far I will see.  Or different.

Will I see?

20/20 never except maybe.

When I dream.


Aging.

I remember when I was in my teens I couldn’t wait to be an adult – twenty one years old walking into a liquor store taking my time to pick the right beer or pint of hard stuff.

Those years came and went too fast.   I’m getting really close to fifty and can’t say I like it.  I know there’s nothing I can do to stop it and I’ll never try.

Some deny it.  Other’s disguise it.  Some spend lot’s of money trying to camouflage it with skin products.  Then there are the ones that pay to go under the knife only to heal looking like everyone else that went under a knife.

Not for me.  I’ll never try to beat the inevitable.  We all age and we all die.  What really matters is how we live and I’m not one to let the number of years I’ve been alive govern how I exist.

A few days ago a coworker mentioned my bald spot.  I knew it was there but never really paid attention to how big it is.  I never cared.  But this time, when getting ready for work I took a quick look in the mirror and to my surprise it’s bigger than I imagined.  I’m lucky though.  Lucky because I know there are men out there that would freak out and have some sort of episode or serious loss of self esteem.   It didn’t phase me.  I saw it thought “holy shit” then went about my day.  I told my girlfriend and her only words were “who gives a fuck.”  She cracks me up sometimes.  She thought I was tripping, thought I was worried about going bald.

If you’re balding, so what, people worthy of your company won’t care.  It’s just hair.

 

 


Running

I’m tired of running.  It’s so much easier when alone, life.   Only thing that matters is what you want, need or think you need and nothing else.  For years I was single because I wanted to avoid the heartache and the stress that comes when loving someone.   I’m tired of running.

If only I could read minds or would that be a living hell?

When all of the sudden there’s a distance and I have no idea what caused it – my first thought used to be, run.   But when there’s a possibility for a life in the company of a good woman, a happy life,  running could be, would be a mistake.

Is it pain? Is it frustration?  Is it anger?  What else?  I’m the cause, somehow.

All my walls are down.  Too late to bring them back up.   Exposed.   It’s what I want.

I want to live.

I’m tired of running.


Glasses

Went to the eye doctor today to get an exam. Forty four years old and now I need two sets of glasses. Don’t know how I feel about it. I guess I really don’t care. One pair will be for all day use. My “distance” glasses they called them. The other pair when I work, draw, write, sculpt and read, they called these my “reading” glasses. This time around I bought insurance for my all day pair. The ones on my face now are full of scratches, so many that they look dirty.
I was nervous about the exam because it had been about five years since my last visit. It wasn’t so bad though, my girlfriend was with me the whole time. Her presence helped me keep from feeling down about one of my eyes, its vision is horrible. I couldn’t see the big letters on one of the charts without my glasses and I still struggled to make out the letters with my glasses on.
I asked the doctor what could have caused my eye to get so much worse than my good eye. I hoped for a good reply but all he said was “means you’re getting old.”
So, in two weeks I’ll be switching glasses when I sit down at my desk to create. Though my vision has gotten worse I look forward to seeing bettter than I do now.
I have to thank my girlfriend, Alma (love you).  If it wasn’t for her I would have continued to wear my current pair of glasses for years.
I look forward to seeing the world through better lenses.


School

Years ago I took a drawing class and forgot I kept a few of my assignments.  I did good. I received a high ‘B.’

A week ago a coworker was talking about needing an art bag for his class.  I still had mine sitting in the closet from way back so I told him I would let him have it.  

I pulled it out of the closet and found another bag that I completely forgot I had.  I looked through it and came across a still drawing that I made using pastels.  I actually like it.  


Christmas

Every year the stress is the same.  If I don’t buy anything for my family they’ll think I don’t love them.  We’ve all been programmed so well.

I know very well that nothing can represent the love I have for my family.  I love them with all that I am.

This Christmas I have a girlfriend.  I love her dearly, so much so that I can say my search is over.  I told her one day that I was a bit stressed out because I couldn’t figure out what to buy her for the holiday.  She looked at me and said “I don’t care about all that bullshit, Christmas to me is about being with the people you love and having a good time.  You don’t have to buy me anything. and I won’t buy you a present.”  We promised each other not to.  I tried to tell my family the same but somehow a few presents were still exchanged, my girlfriend and I split the cost of three bottles of wine.  One for my sister, one for my mother, one for my brother and his wife and put in envelopes a few bucks for my nieces and brother’s step daughter.

If you love someone and want to buy them something to show it, do it, but why wait for Christmas or their birthday.  Or, better yet, make them something.  This year one of my nieces painted a cartoon character for me and I love it and will always cherish it.


Travel

My job is only sixteen miles away from where I live but it takes me a bus, a train then another bus to get there and the same to get back, two hours, one and a half if I’m lucky, three hours if it’s Saturday or Sunday and I miss one of the buses.  I have been riding public transit for many years and I have come to realize that a lot people that drive look down on or think less of people that do not own a car.  It’s strange and sad how people can do that, judge other human beings based on what they own. It’s bad enough we are all at one point or another judged by our appearance.  I’ve owned cars and yes, it was convenient being able to take myself where ever I needed or wanted to go but at the same time owning a car was headache.  I had to sell my last car for almost nothing because it needed an engine and the cost of replacing it was too close to what the car was worth and what was paid for it.

Aside from the extra time it takes from my day to get to my job and back I don’t mind riding public transit.  I’m reminded that life is always harder for someone else and of course that others are better off.  Some people drive to Union Station or other Metro train stations park their car and ride into downtown Los Angeles.  Either way it’s humbling.  For those who think less of metro goers – take a trip one day.  Go far, not just down the street for a few blocks.  Travel into different neighborhoods, take a trip to Santa Monica, The Hollywood Walk of Fame or to Universal City WalkUniversal Studios, downtown Long Beach, so many places are now accessible using public transit.  Routes travel through good and bad neighborhoods and by bad I mean less fortunate.  Being behind the wheel of a vehicle regardless of make and model just means you were able to pay for it or that you made it a priority to pay for it.

Be warned that traveling to and through certain cities can be dangerous.  A co-worker, father of a two year old, age 22 at the time, was mugged at knife point early morning on his way to work.  Three guys, one grabbed him in a choke hold with a knife to his throat while the other two emptied his pockets and took his backpack.

A few years back while I waited for the final bus around 11 p.m. in front of the church across the street from Olvera Street a nicely dressed grey haired man asked me if I wanted to buy a revolver, “40 bucks and I got the bullets” he said to me.  I refused never saw him again.  At that same spot, homeless people with tents line the street at night a few yards away from the bus stop. Maybe a week after I could have owned a pistol I witnessed a homeless guy being beaten by another: punched and then kicked while on the ground.  The guy on the ground saying “sorry, sorry man” the whole time.  Cops showed up, no sirens, got out of their cars, walked over, then as paramedics showed up, no sirens, tended to the injured and left, then the cops left.  That was the last time I waited at that stop.

So, if you ride public transit because you have to, don’t be ashamed.  And, if you own a nice car or a clunker remember some people choose to travel via public transit and others have no other choice.  At the end we’re all the same, flesh and bones.