The thieves' story
Roberto carefully fastened the blank white, spanking brand new, fresh Georgia Pacific style high grade, non-smear typing, but neatly smelling, paper, courteously into the dusty, old Underwood; still clacking, noisy and rusty. An antique typewriter it was, cobwebbed, greasy and rattling every tiny, metal bone in it's Underwood skeleton; and then, again, right when Roberto would begin to daze off, his fingers continued, the only part of him awake, and he began clicking away with his usual maddening rant and rave about the sins that he had accumulated over the past two decades and the obvious end of his youthful years. Now, Now, he was surrounded by bars. Now in a cell, no larger than his closet back at home, in Tarrant, where he lived by green trees and woody trails that lead to toppling swans in egg shaped lakes, on Hunt's property, near Keller. Slowly graying and approaching the top of the hill, Roberto saw for the first time a true confession, half lies and half truth, like most confession told in dark secret unfound and undone places; and long before the eyes are without sever awareness of the foregone and humble crime that awaits all of us at one time or another, the crime we all must commit to pass the fatal and dismal test of reason and temptation of today and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and then, but then, then, the eyes see a real screaming painful glance of what was a trite confessor, not of ignorance, down on his knees before God, with a lit candle, and then like a miracle of nature and freak of moment appearing slowly before him one letter at a time and one thought after the next from the snapping steel fingers, brief above and below, wiping back and fro, the Underwood's keyboard, clacking away. Tap, tap, tap, the story unfolded as he concentrated on the keypad and tapped at the rhythms of the universe, and, well and and and and and this and that, and this happenstance, and instant and complex situation here and there, and more 'ands' and more 'buts' and more and more conjunction till nothing connected and everything had a separate and independent part. Till it meant nothing, and nothing was meant, and he did his best until his upper-back tensed to a steal ball and he could type no more. The story was one he should have told long ago, he should have given from the first place, instead of acting it out in his crimes and misgivings of his non-fictional criminal past. At least before he pointed the gun at that shaking poor bleached blond, teenage clerk at the 7-ll money order counter, and had the small, petite, bleached blond, most likely California boy drop freshly bright green twenties, with those dead president eyes glaring back at him, warning him to turn back, but he'd poke his eyes out before giving in, and for well over twenty minutes and until the cops showed up right on his ass he was still persistent and deadly with force and emotion and anger and hate and cleanliness of thought, simple and complex action and spiritual belief's of Buddha, Zen, Dionysus, Hinduism, and the three Gods above: Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu, the god of creation and destruction and the God Jesus who suffered to tell his story and save his followers, and then arrived with handshakes and pats on the back and kind words like Thank You and Excuse me, the lovely and charming social grace and while the officers, one man and one woman, both in a shiny and silver and blue pig outfit with fuzz shooting out of their ass holes, pressed the cuffs tight as blue and before entering his lonely, tired, iron sad, gray and pubic hair infested suffering, prison cell, and before he wrote any of what you read at this moment and at this time of your free or imprisoned life, beats away and awaits a climax, final conclusion and ultimate stillness within and out.
Written by Roberto Pace
A man rotten away in a prison cell in the land of the free.
Atrophy. The idea of prison. Atrophy, the idea of hell, trapped in the body. Atrophy, my beginning and my end. Atrophy, never will I walk but in circles along wired fences and bullet proof glass and hallways of arm stretched length. Never will I remember the beauty of a pastoral field and the mother's whispers and the honey highs at midnight snack hour, listening to the Flintstones howl on the cold, static TV set, and Dad and mom and tons of snoring purring down the main hallway near the stair unit. Never will I remember the opposite of atrophy; when I could move through time and space, slip and slide and listen to my favorite song on the FM radio in my get go car made by Ford, or Chrysler, or Chevolet. Atrophy; a true hell, a unspeakable dull stillness, truly a crime of the body, for the body and for the punishment of the rational mind, true death in its insanity controlled by the idea of 1984, and the Camera inventors and Hitler's dream of control and cleansed white desire and structured fare blond society, controlled by the aristocratic, overpaid, over educated, over grouped and monies, sell out fascist, three hundred thousand dollar Fox and Jacob bearcats; and all, in all our way hidden by the greedy boogie man and his pile of dirty dick-guns. I am dead because of atrophy and because I think I possessed something sacred, something some refer to as social democracy and freedom of thought. I thought I possessed the freedom to write this, but the pigs, the feelers, and round ones have suggested too many words to consume out of their fear to be wrong. The capital fat asses consuming the starving children's life blood and a villages meal a million miles away under a tropical storm where their houses fly as fast as our French fries fry. I will burn my eyes out before I allow them to speak among the important, sure they can speak to the masses but not to the important. Not to the ones that give up what they want and detach their crown of thorns, leave the oil to dry, and allow thought and starvation and all that is true, to free them into the next world, like He did for us. To die for another is the key and to die for yourself is the greed and the devil's way. There is nothing in the end that means anything to those that hog all the radio-air -time and all the personal desires and dreams of the individual cast out to sea: in the end but a pile of shit, a pile of dirt an empire of trash awaits their itchy checkbooks and forgotten paychecks. My words are my riches. My words only. That is why I sit in this cell and confess what I did, how I tried and sincerely attempted to evaporate us all with my words: I am dead because my desires are dull and I can never think to possess anything more than my own selfish limbs and deformed body and wicked green as envy eyes and sharp aching elbows and blue toes and eyelashes and nails and sin and the ways of sin and all the million parts that roam and organize and depart inside us: I was strangely granted by the Almighty-the wish to inhale the most sacred of us all; the spirit. Evil or good, the spirit is the sacred tongue and it is always and will always be unheard and unread and at times un-experienced, not as tingling sharp as the flesh, but it is present and will be met. My body, now, as will always be until I am released, my true cell, the round Iron and manmade bars, my true thoughts-my machine toward FREEDOM. My punishment, my savior, my life and my end of all thoughts and my end all, and my end all-the body was and will always be my home-my body is my home-my cell-my vehicle-my freedom: and without these bars I could never wish for FREEDOM. Without being locked away; I could never dream of being free. . That is the key to my story. The torture of imprisonment is the cause of the effect that makes up what America calls The Land of The Free. Bravery comes with attempting that simple freedom. How is one free? How does one breath? How is one going to break my bars away and let me out of Huntsville.
Psychosomatically I am here and I can hear your words and your images as I write this, and as I free myself from your staring imprisonment, omnisciently I know you, because your eyes move left to right across the page, decode the letters, imageries and what many asshole professor may call, poetry, but I call verisimilitude and truth of words from mouth, to finger to typewriter, and and and and and and and and know me. . . . . .
hard here.. I wake at the break of dawn, with or without sleep, and
there are many nights of no sleep, because this cursed story begs of
me to tale. I awake. I go to breakfast. Thirty minutes to eat, which
boils down, after waiting in line, getting the eggs, finding a safe,
and isolated table, ten minutes. Then, I return to the TV room, watch
CNN. And then to the basement to do laundry for eight hours and then
to TV room to watch CNN and Ted Coppell and maybe, if lucky, a flick
about Crime and the idea of Crime and how crime doesn't pay.
See, they tell us how to think, when to shit, when to eat, when to move and when to walk. My mind is their ideal of their minds and that is how we are rehabilitated.
Then, I return to my Cell block C117.66 Cell number 2b. Which changed month to month due to new comers and to add-ons and construction to the old prison house.
And as I write this, wrong or write and to question such an idea as falsehood, I announce my in-corrections, maladjustments, anarchist view points, grammatically incorrect slang and chants of a mad man, I stand and sit and sit and sit against this blue cold Iron wall, and try and shed the shadows of the bars giving to me by you and me, now, I sit and ponder at the lies and truths and all the vicissitudes and take a peek at what might come up next, what murder may unfold and what crime you may witness. Words to speak from another, or silent pray in the mind by a millions, maybe billions and dullness cramps my side and filth rapes my nose and fear trembles my existence and now I exist, lonely and alone, the two worst words every created to put down for you, and ask you am I just. Am I right. Do I have the right. Is everything printed and created for your mere entertainment, legal or illegal or just dumb, is it for the intellect, the soul, the emotions to be raised and bubbled, or is it for the incinerator or basement fire, or is designed for a Christian, or anti-Christian, book burning, which is Pagan in its Nazi like ritual. And the commitment to dismiss this knowledge and leave for the dead is for the dead at heart and for the cold and fat and lonely and the words that are invented to bring us further into the blue shadows of law and righteousness. No man is this. No man is just. No man is correct. No person in this world knows the rules, nor invents them. It is a long torture device design to shame and hurt, and bring down to the lower pits of what Dante feared and confessed. It is for hell. It is for bliss. It is for nothing and everything. And it is for you. What are you? What is this that you are reading? As Daumel questioned. What are you while you read this particular ideas, words and images. Is it the maddening rant of a the criminal insane. If so why is it written? If not why is it, or was, burned? Obviously it has not been burned. Not every copy. Not every word, or you would not be suffering from Atrophy as you read away, or do you do a thousand crunch sit ups as you study the literature of our times. I am a made criminal. But no one can be such without living the life of a saint. How can a story of contradictions be so. How can the words of mine be for you and only you. What are you at this moment. Where is your cell? Are you in a cell? If you disagree and claim your stance of freedom, you're a liar too, as well as an asshole intellect. What are the truths that I should give you at this moment as a tell this brilliant tale of thievery and crime and anger and stealing and love? It is only the moment you are in that gives you truth. These are my moments, truth or false, this exists now, and continues to prolong nature in the now and its complexity and metals are in the now. You are now free. You are now a prisoner. You are both in the same breath. For no one can leave the body without leaving the world. That is our price for heaven.
As I lay here in my tomb created by the riches of society, to keep my mind out of yours and my body out of the ruling lawful types. To keep my gaze from your children and my evil tainted idea from the innocent. As I go on and rant to make a genius point and head in the nowhere direction, what is it that you want, besides an ax or blow torch to end the suffering. Who is your guard? Who is your electric fence? What is your prison? A room of it's own. A room with blue wall paper, incense, roses and a television static in the background. Perhaps a diet coke commercial has appeared on the tube, or perhaps you have got a great idea to purchase a new musical device from the local Mall. Either way you are just as dumb as the idea to pick up this book to free yourself. To say, "I have the right to educate my mind." I have the right to freedom. I have my imagination as it wastes and wonders to the next thought. How long have you concentrated on these words and images. How long till your mind wonders and becomes independent. As long as your read, never. Bullocks on you. Its all ignorant in the long run, when the mind tails end in a pile of corroded soil six feet under where above you sit and read. And if not read, where you burn these piles of papers, images and ideas of the criminal sane and just. I am crime. I am freedom. I am not sane and sane for knowing it. Thus, I am just to write this down for you. See, There is no freedom without a bloodbath. This is my form of bathing you. I know that whatever is written becomes history and this is the only thing that separates me from the animals. And man from the animals. Everyman has to face what is animalistic. What is that of the beast? Every gofer has a tool. Every monkey has its reaching stick. Every ant becomes fuel for the hunger of the ape's long sticky honeyed bamboo shoot. Every otter has its rock for its oily, gray clam shell and crashes through toward it's pearl. Everyman uses a tool of some-kind in or out of nature. Above or below the ground. Higher or lower than the stratosphere. Every tool and every way and kind, uses this man, or this mankind. Every animal has its tool. And every animal uses its man. Who is the tool? The horse or the coach rider? The driver or the driven? The cross or the nails, or the man on the nails and on the wood. Who is the tool? The man or the beast. This is the only thing that cries freedom and chops off the rulers head and feeds the hungry cake to the masses. Good created the evil for His purpose. The evil await his judgment day and ignore what is pure and what is godly. I will pay for this strayed and quacked path. An ignorant man attempts to believe that the cake is what he needs. An ignorant man attempts to believe anything that is good and sound is what he needs. But how could any man only have good. How could goodness exist with out it's dark nemesis. The shadow is made by light. Or is it that an ignorant man, his hopeless and countless labored choices to believe in good and just, and ignores the darkness and truth of his end. What is good? What is just? Do you see light? You see dark before you see the light? Or did the chicken egg come from the hen's liar? Well, good is good. Just is just. And dragons breath fire when angry. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck than it must be a goodly duck. Then, it can't be a dragon. This is reason. This is sound. Because you have agreed it is so. Just as you have agreed the gold standard is no more and money is money because America says its money. Work is work because Americas says its work. Freedom is a cliché. It's a social grace. America never meant you are free. But you sure feel free today as your read my blood bath. According to the Hindus the duck never walked, nor quacked, nor paddled along the greasy pond that never existed in a (World) place and everything of exact illusion, nor does the dragon breath fire. Its all lies, but you read it after every minute falsely ticks on your beeping, useless digital alarm clock. The only aspect of life that incorporates a prisoner is the idea of wrapping your hands around the bars and committing to the limited and crouched circumstance of the Iron walls that may possess you.
All those who suggest ideas and words to other ears are The Pigs. The pig is a suggestion. It is a force. Any type of force is piggish and anything not forced is swan like. And all the pigs are authority figures. Listen to the inside of Orwell's mind. The inside is far from pig-ness and grotesque control and angered hunger, and fear and a limitless of desire arises like lava and hate and kindness, and spitting and mewing like a ripped off lie and then truth, from the dirt pits, from the muddy pig baths at local Starbucks near the ticket stands on Broadway, heard by the intellectual Wallstreet asses and the mindful prune-ish but-heads, cockling the mind is an idea and will remain a mere abstract idea, a tool of thought, so that with or with out the Coked out version of Freudian wit-full womanly world; from the stomach to the groin and then to the heavens is said again, without notice or thought or prediction; is said again and again, and Freud clumsily but skillfully falls from his thick paged pedestals and breaks his ranting, jabbering loosened jaw, and the skit-zey world continues to spin abnormally right or wrong, or write and wrong; and then again, the sun sets before it rises and rises before it sets. At least I say it does and so do you. Right? Wrong? Never-mind what is minded.
Roberto Pace. Cell #1776.
A proclamation for the perfect and sane: There is nothing beyond these bars for you.
A proclamation for the imperfect and insane: Everything is at hand and awaiting after the riot. Paranoia is merely a hyper awareness of you and mines true intentions.
Now for Roberto's Pace's fictional story, inspired by wasting away in his Cell #1776 A Block. Down the hall from the blue-collar crimes cries the invention of a man named Tom Burnet. (Sounds like Burn it doesn't it Tom.) "Why, yes it does Roberto."
I have a question for you genius? Is thinking real? Is thinking real. Is it real? What is thinking and reality? What is thought? Is thinking real? Or is it merely the combination of short term memory and protracted problem solving? Lets find out shall we!
The first extension of his slimy, primitive tail.
Tom Burnet was lost in a familiar, unerring thought. It was not a breath away that he could feel her, almost touch her soft lips. Shelly Thorns, the women he never mentioned, never, not even softly uttered her name. Like thorns that grew in the garden and that had stung too deep, far too deep to remove from the sole. A scar was left inside him that he could never repair. The thought that he pondered on was intrinsically planted carefully in the corner of the dark rooms in his head. It was not a breath away that an unforgettable sound, in one of those rooms, painted baby blue, a carriage, and white wool baby blanket that kept him heavenly warm, had fully enveloped his every movement he despairingly needed now. The feeling, even the sound of this warm web, was always with him, constantly spinning and beating, like a series of master drummers far off in the jungle, in the wilderness inside him, thumping at the soles of his feet to dance it all away. This feeling, cool, dark, azure, deathly deep blue was out there, above him, beyond reach, beyond comprehension. Then, the sound that awoke him as a infant at night gurgling and mewing for his mother, came again. That strange little noise we all are so familiar and surprisingly in awe of during dinner time came again, when the talk of the commercials and TV shows intrude upon our reality once again. The sound of a mimicked life arises once again and; then, the rawness of truth arrived in a simple beat. Lub dup, lub, dup, lub dup. The sound in his chest pumped away and it scared him. That familiar big city sprouted up inside him, burning his urge to write it all down, to commit it to the world, to existence, filling him like some strange evergreen plant that would never die, not in the coldest town. A hidden secret arose, like the forbidden fruit once had been defined with Reason and Temptation, had appeared before him in the form of a tall city; and not a small unholy, feminine, fruit, instead.. He had never tasted this strange sensation until now, this very precious rushing time, enraging energy and force, giving him an bestial energy he had never used and now aided and burned the story of his life in him like an iron imprint. Tom was constantly putting down in some journal, or shadowy corner in his back pocket, or doodled and tucked between restaurant napkins. Perhaps an answer. Perhaps the answer was temporary but it warmed him, soothed him for the moment he waited on the subway bench for the R train to arrive.
Breaths buried into his structured and planned out mind. Ashy thoughts, once pure, but now growing polluted and far from taintless were coming and going in long puffs off his Camel cigarettes. Then, in a flash he had landed in the future. Years passed him in a blink and he began to write.
Buy one get two free Camels at the local junction in the town of Crow where he marked the story from now. He went back to this city again for an answer. It was sad such a man could lose his innocence, some of the greatest of his blood had never suffered from the glitch, the tiny dot, by which the mechanics of the machine's black blood and grinding, oily and drippy desire of fame and fortune, operated. In such an evil way his voice changed and became rusted with knowledge never meant for man to see and take in. Of course it was the big city. He could blame it on that. But the blame, you see, never ends. The blame never ends. It is more dangerous than cyanide or any toxic chemical growing in the refineries that charged the light and energy for mankind. This collection of the richest of men, in the spot of a financial moment, a dent in time had opened for him, a fortune offered for his words and thoughts, his paper turning to gold. It was this, the temptation he fought. The temptation of fame and fortune and to enter the Great Wall.
It was not some mere philosophy, or art, or performance, or trickery that he so treasured and tried to organize and plan his life around that was saving him. This type of feed, this entertainment was eating away at him like the blue and yellow pills he ingested morning and night to calm his mind and heart. No it was more than that. It was touchable, in sight, before him, breathing like a lover. Shelly Thorns was lost. She left for the south. Left him behind for another lover, another heart to heal and grow.
There he was in this big city that everyone flocked to time to time for financial award and fame. There he was again. This lost man. Alone. In some deep thought about the essence of what a city really is, a living force with form, a unknown necessity, like technology has become, a new fruit. . . and now with an almost a godly perfection it hovered and shadowed over him like a great God asking him questions and leading him to empty dead ends.
Like an organism larger than most gigantic killer whales, or Moby Dick ever tried to exist as: When the Captain of Captains, Oh Cpt. Ahab, of the mighty wailing ship able to take under killer sea creatures of the seven seas, Ahab, without fear, or self consciousness, or pity or fear, may have tossed his ragged self upon it's flapping fins and slimy skin, sticking his mighty spear into it's fishy ribs and his flesh joining the whales flesh, holding on to this stubbornness in unison, this hate and this sailor's revenge that lead him far beneath the drowning sea, like a giant iron ship anchor, of no desire and salty downward, gravitated truth; Now, and again, and again, he watched the bars in his cell, the brick hall ways and passing inmates, like Ahab, once had bravely been, fighting in the rushing waves, salty water for their next fishy meal, and greater than the any peril of the sea itself, that now tugged on his puerile and silly, childish direction of man versus the sea (rather than Man versus God). He typed, like Ahab harpooned the watery mammals hearts: A direction once, in youth, lead by God, and now guided by what seemed to be his own choosing, words, words, words making up giant stories of his own precious chosen scene. He was a chosen one, gifted to speak, to own the past, to control the future, to change the past and revise the present. Those who changed history, changed the future and those who changed the past, powered the present. He was far from 1984's concept dreamed by Orwell and far from the dream of Big Brother. That was already implanted in everyman, free or not. These thoughts, these literal stories, which was downfall, in his youth once mitigated toward Christ's solitary popular words, barred by his fructification of fiction, "Worship must have crucifixion, and understanding, but now what tempted him from saving grace was lost on a bet of fame and glory of the word and by the word. Words became his safety net from love. And God became a voice in his head for the words to be taking in and housed. The man of the cross was present. He needed Him like a plant needs the power of water for fermentation. And God was always there in fermentation of his mind and body. Carrying him, mind and body, in the shadows and pain that slowly sucked from his lungs, which derived by Rene Duamal's plants and Sogol's climb to Mount Analogue. Stories now lost, in libraries across the countries, like the fictional talking plants and the invisible mountain made visible by Rene's imagination..
This city needs grace like a plant needs water. He thought. Without grace the trash will just pile up and take over and corrupt what could have been synthetic manmade natural state of concrete urban horror that really remained-with its cigarette butts, spray paint and gang walks.
Even though long ago he was born now he felt he had just arrived.
"Taxi." The cab past him in a flash. Seconds passed in his heart that seemed like centuries of war and love. He was now standing before the yellow line awaiting the underground trains, rushing, clicking by like flashes of pure heated solar rays: warm lights manmade and of faces in rocking pasts haunting his unconsciousness. It was all a dream. He sat up in his bunk silent and admittedly surrendered to the walls of his prison cell. It had been one year. One year to this day. December thirty 2000 A.D. "Oh, God, he better not show." He hated him, his cell mates, almost blinding him into confusion, with his chattering hatred of authority, cash register locks, passwords and unbreakable bank mausoleum.
The prison was not just steel and alarms. It was an organism in a way, this Big City of bars, foul talk and unforgiving, hard chilling back breaking, bed sore ridden and hellish smells of the essence of rules. It was no different than Manhattan (Big City). See, it was really a live organism in a way: this Big City of bars, foul talk and unforgiving rules. The prison was not just steel and alarms. It was an organism in a way. This Big City of bars, foul talk and unforgiving, hard chilling back breaking, bed sore ridden, never forgetting and hellish smells of the essence of rules and proper conduct had crowded his every inch, his every bone, tissue, vein and beat of the heart, his everything. It was no different than Manhattan (Big Cities across America), more personal and emotional and greedy than Wallstreet or more creative than the artsy streets of San Francisco, or the crowded religions of Tokyo. It was not much different than death or the blackest part of sleep a man can sleep without knowing he is alive.
What is not of nature, in some form or fashion, is either crafted by the delicate and laborious hands of what some call artists, and others laborers, sudras and the untouchables in India, that Gandhi called The Children of God, now, a construction, a plan of the people, the city of man, with aim of building higher toward the azure sky that rested with perfect timing above him. Or perhaps it wasn't these patched worked concrete maze, or labyrinth and vainly constructed men that cooked the metal, forged the perfectly planned alloys, and invented ways to reshape the ore and elements far beneath us, now a growing metropolis, inspirited by the Omniscient force of what had originated in the soil and now thrived in his superego, which weighed him down into non-action. It once, this growing concrete kingdom, never so carefully rested upon this innocent place once called Eden, from the firsts gardens, now city upon city years have passed, technology, rockets, nuclear war and men on the moon, which has now changed the eyes of men. Now, commanding his steps and his numbered ways, like robot workers on rolling electric wheels, thieving the walk of man away and his beloved dance and changing his perception of the earth's initial shape. Towers lined side by side, streets covered in dark misty shadows commanding him to take a stand, to take a part of it all, to become one. And becoming one was impossible in this legion of laborious workers, writers, dancers, actors and artists.
This godly scene arose before him once again, and like always, just as he thought as temporary men do in this era, to this time, this exact second, 10 PM 2001, the tail end of August. And in that place, on sixtieth street he tumbled and trembled with shivers. A fear, but hid well within his craft of he learned stealth. Invisible from the bully of school, hiding under the bleachers, under the desks, the school yard bushes and behind the gym. Yes, he was a master actor/illusionist, story teller, using his words as defense and strength, lost in the street awaiting to breath others and his words into life, but for some reason, perhaps his deformity over his heart, prohibited him from acting at all. No, it was more than that. It wasn't his calling. It was his temptation and he was failing.
A memory arrived behind bars. Doing time allows the mind to fly away like a lost black crow searching to cry a warning to the dieing poets and lost thieves.
Lost. Rain arrived that Sunday in the Central Park. Almost programmed to do from the great fiery clouds that blocked out the sun that day. And how Tom thought, and does, very much different this time, and at other times, simple, so simple it was too complex, are too set in pattern for paper and pen, and any genius or scientist of technology, or Buddhist should and could keep up with, and men at times do, with men like Tom, searching for pace but lost in his weakness had now become the thief, the quick one. And in a similar scene, a fast place connected by a labyrinth of streets and names and regulations, walkways, platforms, scaffolding, elevators and tons upon tons of forged, perfectly shaped and guided metal, of speed, timing and exactness, alone in the noise and unexpected flashes and glances of this city, this "Big Apple", or a place that did not seem to fit with the perfection of an apple, had bit into him, and taken away what seemed to be a child within.
Why an apple? An apple? Why this particular name for this scene. Is it a puzzle, some type of riddle? How could one sprout here. How could one forever live by what was forged by the hottest ore and metallic of the underground. Where were the trees for apples to grow? Where were the trees? It wasn't the Big Apple, or even in most cases, Manhattan, but it needed a larger name. So, he could it the Biggest City in the world. Bigger than the city of lights. Bigger than Shy Town. Bigger than the place of Lost Angels. Bigger than big itself. He began in thought. . . Something that went with gigantic but more simple, and basic. Like Big. Big was simple. I call it Big. Bit City, or maybe pig, or cig, or wig, or fig, the cursed fruit Christ had looked down on and he kept on taking them in, one by one, the sweet taste, than the rhyming arrived in his gluttony that ate him away, with what went with this Bigness that no one man could handle. The thoughts arrived again. Poetry arrived: Tig, hig, mig, fig, sig, gig, chig, qiq, awig, qwig, plig, kachig, shig, nig, zig, jig, rig, dig, yig, vig, lig . . .but Big suited the moment best, besides pig and that is what he felt like doing as his stomach grumbled and that hollow starving for the subway to pick him up and take him near the Village. A empty feeling arose in the pit of his belly and he jumped off the subway and up the stairs onto the sidewalk and searched out the best hot dog stand to hit up for a bag of barbeque chips and a large juicy dog with extra chili and cheese. Confusion had arrived in his mind. The city had twisted him like some mad tornado. Then, the thoughts like monsters arrived, plaguing him. Should I eat. They'll think I am a pig. But Big what? Pig what? Why pig? I shouldn't call it a city of pigs. Poets are thin. Gaunt, lonely thinkers. Boy I feel like pigging out at this nearby Italian restaurant. Maybe Chinese. No Italian will do. Now I can't be bad, not now, I can't afford such a sinful dish. A Pig wouldn't do here. Too many good hearts running around looking for jobs. Not now. It's not that by far. A job that is the answer. Money. I need money. Money to reach the skyscrapers and settle in. Maybe on Park Avenue. I'll publish soon, but now, if I am going to live in this brilliant place, I am going to have to steal bread. But that is how the French revolution began. I must keep my hands in my pockets. But I'm so hungry. Balance. Self control. Come on get your fucking head together. It is too honorable of a place to get off center. It's a city of riches. Not pigs. No. Big. Big what? Then, he took off running. He lost control and ran. Up in the morning. Six AM. Stretched. Deep breaths. Focus. Run. Run damn you. Run to dance class. Run to class. Become lean. Lean mean fighting machine. A machine for your art.
And the unknown mechanical beasts that passed so swiftly, and the streets buzzing, honking, clicking like mad birds, and rambling along like a razor sharp arms, the machine cried "Welcome", Welcome to my game. Then, various tools thumping in a various of colors and shades, of off green and wild red, and bright golden silent yellows, orange, and pasty whites flashed past him like monks on parade. Prisms, a galaxy of variation and sizes and a maze of turns and twist and then, it all stopped as if it never existed as if he never entered or exited into this concrete mess, and there she was. . .she stood before him, whole, beauty, alone, like he must have been, in one time, or another, far away, adjoined from time as man has calculated man to be on this planet, in one moment she had reminded him of himself, a whole man, existing in a city, a continuum that must belong in the order of God's plan, and stacked above, not innocently, but deliberately, in a never-ending deluge of concrete mass constantly growing like moss, stacking, amounting from dust to pebble, to stone and jagged designed rocks and every type of metal, allow, chrome, tin, fashioned in it's specific, inane way, hand over hand, athwart to worker to worker, and crafted from the design of the endless amount of architects that cooked it up in frustration and a fruitful and maddening of crafty planning. For a slight moment, she could keep up, but not innocently like the man, not with reason, but with a murderous purple passion, a thirst for strength and massive power that man owned from his initial birthed breath, from his first attempt at moving his tongue, cradled in his own soil, whining his acidic breath, taking in mother's milk and peering two inches before at the glared vision of his mother's sweat pale face and soft caring hands and perfumed flowery smell, somewhere above him, the sounds, perhaps the ring of the cradle, or the jingle of the mechanical wind up Chinese toy he remembered, or the distant fuse of the changing the old television he glared at as a growing infant, predicting the sounds, almost teaching him as, next a toddler, this fuzzy noise, or to some music and to the city go'ers understanding and laughter and tears, and this endless visitor, that scratched in his tiny brain, in the blink of time, would mature into a man's mind able to calculate, associate and relate objects to a modern world, when geometric shapes became reality and like a picture framed the city could stand alone and establish itself as choices, "take me to twenty first street and Park, hurry." He was already there as the cradle noise and the fuse still settled in the gray matter growing and developing in his growing brain, and the cabbie changing lanes as he lit up another poisonous Camel and then the memory, his mother, she lifted him up to the sky and he laughed and now strong, her heart, inside him carried above the comfy cradle and into her warm arms, he could feel what it was like to be part of her, the need for milk and the taste of life, and then, they arrived, in a million voices begging him to continue with his story. The story. Yes, the story. I remember now, the story. I'll KILL YOU BOTH. That little demon had spoke. I'll kill you both. But who. Who would kill. Then, he remembered the story. Cain and Able. Was he able, or was he Cain now.
They, the two passers of this city, Shelly and Tom, once flesh to flesh, breath to breath, arm over arm, traveling together place to place, now far apart, never to touch again. . .He searched for her among the million of passing faces. Maybe she was her selling her art.. . .but she wasn't with him yet, not yet, and then, she arrived, like a ghost, in another's face, in another's hidden eyes to almost touch him, and then, touched, almost connected, and almost exchanged for a price, a gift, the one chance to pass on a part of him into the Wall that lined every library of the great land that birthed him. And this, essence, the holy reason, of why he was here in the first place, arrived like wind against the door. Rattling, scaring and attracting a tingle, a sensation of fear. Doubt. It was her, not his mother, but the one he could detach to. . .She had arrived and never again will he call for her. Not after. . .not after. . .Then, he went to her again, but not after the arrival to this maddening place of slamming car doors, alarms and laughing. "This will be fine sir." The cabbie pulled over and he stepped out on Twenty First street and the Golden Stallion, those tall words hovered before him, and he turned his head to see the pad of his college friends and the other mates that roomed there and the stair unit that she came to him again. . . Her curvy body with sexy bright, lingering emerald eyes froze his very breath. And that is why he was lost in the basement, like a mad artist, pretending stardom would save him, and if he perfected his tongue enough, they, the great ones would notice his educated mouth. Then, a stillness captured, trapped, and nearly shook him into alertness, into full consciousness. He was highly aware of every corner, ever passing thing, every vibrating mechanism planed for man's survival, and meaning in the Big City. He was with her now. It was her again. The whole women standing before him with her mouth slightly agape, hanging for the next breath, then her next muscle, the neck, then the muscles, lightly stretched taught and she released a delicate, catty sigh. But it was more than a nonverbal, or female grunt. Oh, it was more than her usual heave of attention. A moan. It made his pelvis cringe and his spine straighten. Someone is on my side. Someone great. Just Great. He could picture her close to him. Her being on top of his flesh, with her under the sweaty sheets, finding meaning and beckoning the primal arrival of man's fight for life. It was her again. Like God. She entered him, full of presence truth and life blood. She didn't want to let him go. But God was stronger some how. God was more powerful than both and more jealous. Yes, the same lover that caused this mess. This technological, swamp of riddles, and big screens and Sony voices, Tom had fallen into. He would never mention her name now. That name that went back before Moses, before his sons, and there sons, and before all thousands of sons. Her name. God, that name. No more of it. It is worse than deadliest and painful torture of war. It brought bad luck. Her name was slippery and difficult on his tongue. It had those damn S sounds in it. Jesus, why all those sounds. Then, a cab, and then the screens again, and the tiny dots making up the millions and millions of pixels that formed a face, but not her face, another face, a vain and lost face. And disrupted his plan of action. Then, his lungs polluted. His breath, as he whispered it and breathed it back to her memory, her shape and design God had let him feel. They were connected, even though she was on the other side of the continent, near the beach and the visually arresting and beautiful cliffs and the tranquil easy sea. But he loved her more than himself, more than the cliffs, and beaches. Hell, he loved her more than man and man was all he knew before her. A man couldn't love another being on this earth more. Not more than her. . .and this made his God jealous. Envious. It was her that he once he loved more than his own breath. And when he was in youth, lifting his head back, gazing at the mad world of towering digital clocks, beeping and flicking the time, time, time in sharp squares. With his set and bright green eyes, emerald with envy, emerald rays bouncing from them, every type, every kind of light he ever knew blinded him from clear sight, he used find her again and again, printed five hundred fold on headshots sent across the oceans. He went dizzy for a second and balanced his feet, once again, finding steadiness on the sidewalk of Worth. She was present that evening and a grayish rainy color was radiating off him, glowing, almost illuminated, fully seen in the light. It was time to call her name. He wasn't the old self he once knew as a child or at least pictured at the time. The old remarkable clear sense of happening, and a purlieus feeling had surrounded him, familiar thoughts, glued to a familiar scene, perhaps, a memory, a particular squint of welcoming hands, familiar voices, tongue twisting songs, loving whispers, perfumed scents, familiar names that spawned scenes in that Big City, scenes he had seen on post cards where now present before him. Those combinations, symphonic crisscrosses of what makes Manhattan, the big city. Manhattan. And like a series of still photographs in an album photo-book and arising times from the pit of his memories, echoing in the hollow of his chest after each beloved breath sipped under the misty pouring of a sudden chilling blue rain that suddenly blanketed the streets of gray and darkly lit and at times overly bright, neon glow of Manhattan, now in his pondering, lost state of existence, almost like the moonbeams in famous paintings by the most ostentatious painters from Europe, and the homeland, now, all of it, in continuum, bouncing off troubled waters of the East River, or the diving river rats of Houston streams, had now enveloped his every sense and once again gelled him from movement. For a moment Tom had captured clarity, opened a door to brilliance, it was all a story in someone else's head, perhaps someone he had met, perhaps someone had wrote. And as the rain slide down his pale, hollow cheeks, a word arrived to start it all. Her. The word, her. No name, but a face, a body and legs, and lips and millions upon millions of long, life saving breaths. He dried off with his blackened wool scarf, almost holy in some way, the scarf that he found before the airport deluged by the downpour on that Sunday, before he left to Dallas for the Airport to the city. He bought one just like it when he was younger but dropped it somewhere between California and New York. He purchased many scarves like it but they kept falling off him, lost in the stormy weather. She was the same. She kept wondering off in some storm that was cast upon them. Once again, the scarf. He wrapped it around him, straightened it along the edge of his neck, where the collar bone met the breast plate. Yes, the scarf will hide my flaw. The scarf. I need the scarf. But why worrying about an article of clothing, that isn't life, or that isn't the speedy recovering love can amount to. And at some fancy clothing shop with a clothing line name, he found it. No scarf from a factory should have a sense of holiness. But it had gone through the trial, the pains on the street in the Northern Bright city of Big. That is what he called it, the Big City. It wasn't the Big Apple, or Manhattan. It was bigger than the name. He just related to it in his journals as the Big City. He related it to the word Big. Like pig, or rig, or jig, or cig. In the long run it made sense. It had to. It was simple. Everyone would understand it. Right? I'll call it the Big City. But it wasn't a great idea. It wasn't something to publish or witness by the millions of eyes out there. Or was it? You never know. Big people lived in such a place. Big city, was fine. It will work. Simple things sell. It will sell. Sell. Sell. Sell. Sell. Sell. Sell. Sail away with the sell. Sell. Sell.
Decades seem to fly out the cab window as the endless flow of "Why am I here now. I should of never left this Big Apple" hid in the jagged corners of his mind. Again he repeated the same chant since the airport. Then, the thundering cry of a jet engine. Lightening glided across the tips of the an anvil shape cumulous clouds. A thunder storm had seeded the sky below the airliner. Tom was seated in first class and had already slurped down two virgin Bloody Marys', to kill the jet lag, and topped of a half glass of white Zinfandel. The flight smooth out to a turbulent two hours, with a few bronco bumps and a tipsy tingle of jingling stormy air-pockets pitted through out the passing weather storm blowing off summer tropics.
Tom had finally done it. He, a man, a Christian decent with a strict protestant upbringing, had damned himself, turned on his God and shattered his destiny. Why did he escape his planned future, his genetic line, and pattern of nature? Why did he break the rules of the chosen path that was laid clearly for him, from his God, now, non-existent to him, a foe, a idiot's dream? Why did he choose to follow a fallen direction, a collapsible end. Then, a change of heart and a complete one eighty. He decided to go back to his lord, to fall into his grace once more. Of coarse there was a God. Sure there was a creator. And it was Christ, his lord. But for some reason, perhaps it was a genetic link between him and Thomas, prove to see the scars from the nails and the scab from the spear in His side. He had to see him, know him. Only in heaven will I truly believe. That is Believe without a shadow of a doubt.
Tom had come to a realization that every man's destiny is to die and no man will ever discover peace without finding God and His way. This was his true calling, it was not to steal what never belonged to him. Nothing of this earth belonged to anyone, not really. If a man was truly saved the only possession he endlessly owned was the love of God and only God and not the riches of the world. Every rich man wakes in the middle of the night from the bitter chill of His sayings. A whisper, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than to enter through the gates of heaven."
Yes, man purchased it and claimed it was his, but you can not take a U-haul to the grave. One can not run very far if he owns a ton of belongings. Everything piles up to a meaningless bomb fire in the end, or in a embalmment, or ashy fire that is. Nothing was his in the first place. In a way, money, this green papered form of greed, or no money, and the physical action of greed, the theft, and everyman is a thief, in one way or another, if it, he ,or in many cases she, their actions, uses of laws, trickery, lies or even physical threats, and if his or her desire is enveloped in materialism and self worth, progress, which always leads to embitterment existence, then their fiery greed ends in a slow and painful self destruction and man's seed never passes to bloom.
If a person puts himself first, and we all do, this is the cause of the greed of the world, then eventually he or she will eat themselves up and end their life with a pile of wood, cement, alloys, tin foil, gold chips, silver and various cloths made from cotton, nylon, rayon, canvas or leather and the endless amount of skins from the plants and animals man supposedly establishes dominance.
Oh no! He is going to be pissed off at me now. God, what have I done? I have betrayed you and your laws. Rarely do I read from your great and good book. Rarely had I attended your holy gatherings, your church, and your rock. I wish I could worship you more so. I wish I could be with your people again. Can I turn back? Is it too late? Have you abandoned me. When I look up all I see are seeded clouds of somber gray. Will you give me a second chance? But how many chances have you given me so far? Oh, how baroque and romantically pitiful I sound? When does the violin come in to back my melodrama?
Tom was no longer in the Big City of the North. In seemed less than half a heart beat when he arrived in the Dallas Love Field and headed off in a yellow checker, still further into the south. Now, a smaller city that was once established so many precious years ago as a hefty Fort, had appeared beneath the black leather of his clicking wooden soles. A place the Cowboys regrouped and guided their cattle into the stockyards to settle in and share the tales of the dusty trail. He was no longer North. Tom had landed south, far south, as far as you could get until the wildness of Mexico. Texas. He was on tame land. Worth was not an undomesticated city by a long shot. It was one of the most giving and accepting town's he knew. Tom just passed Eda's Place. A brothel, once disguised as a classy Hotel for ranchers, cattlemen and cowboys to kick off their boots and pass the bull about last nights stand off, or sour poker game, or to contest who had the prettiest gal back home. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid had once found refuge at Eda's. Found a place to duck in from the hard rain and take refuge from the troupe of Texas Rangers and the other impossible lawmen. Eda's place was one of the only hotels a criminal could find a worthy lady, taste of whiskey and rest his head from the repudiation of the unforgivable Western law. The rancher, cattle or even at times, southern poets would show their face in Worth's saloons to fall upon a ranching call toward Albuquerque, or Oklahoma to drop of the beef. Even today the town of Worth still carries the worthy qualities and southern hospitality that makes up the charming characteristic of the south.
The legends of Ben Thompson, Bill Longley, Jesse James, King Fisher, Jim Courtright, John Wesley Hardin, Doc Holliday, Clay Allison, Bat Masterson, Luke Short and Old Man Clanton. The gentle decorum of John Ringo and the laugh of Curly Bill, and gigantic shadow of Pat Garret, and the lightning gun-slinging speed of Billy the Kid, and religious male chauvinist of Calamity Jane. Somewhere, lost, these legendary gunfighter's ghosts still hiding in the soil, hellish fire or heavenly blue sky, wherever the great and godly adjudicator established the resting souls, still dodging and hightailing out of town due to the enormous, lawful and almighty presence of Wyatt Earp's
But now a new thief was in town. Tom Burnet, now disguised as a tourist, now surviving as a cat burglar, city to city, had made his way onto Houston street near the famous Chicago grill downtown Worth. A while back, two years to this day, Tom made his fortune on a single bank robbery up in the big city. His cash was slowly draining to a timid supply. He also side dealt LSD, hiding the sheets (a hundred tabs of LSD, equally a grand in cash) in compact disk and DVD's. He manipulate a DVD or CD, in a Compact Disk factory, and use the same paper material for the CD logos, or Movie images posted on the outside skins of the Compact Disks or DVDs. Sometimes when time and money was short, he'd just use the CD's lyric books in the inside CD cases, or the DVD movie credit program, neatly and appropriately, tucked and LSD laced, in the outer sides of the DVD cases. It worked best when using DVD's because the plastic casing was thicker and no LSD could transfer to the dealers, or runners, finger tips, or open skin. He'd easily dip the logo in Acid, after posing as a Compact Disk factory line doc worker, and cooked up a batch of LSD in his thermos, and spread it on a CD or DVD sheet out of reach, of any shipping personal, and transport the CD or DVDs as usual and pick them up at traced record or movie stores near your friendly outlet. Outlet malls where easier to drop off, pick up and well, buy out. Every CD bought was worth, half price, and every CD or DVD bought was worth close to a grand in drug money. All of it holding sheets worth of LSD when unfolded and cut up and tabbed. A funny story was flying ear to ear, that Tom would name collected LSD sheets, after the movie or album it was hid away in, or mulled in. For example, he once did a whole drug run made from the entire decade long season of the X-files. The LSD sheets where named after Maulder, Scully and Dogget. Some where even called X-Filings. His best shit was from a hit show called 24 concerning the drug culture and FBI. So, he called that sheet 24. The days of dancing test tube, or white blauder, or early 1990's acid titles for sheets, where far over. Now, this ex drug runner and free floating cat burglar was in charge of The right Eye, of the operation, and well, was out to take the end all of scores of the Big Apple Thieve's Circle (The B.A.T. C s). Toms job was short and simple. He was to take the priceless bust of the Mary of Pieta. A solid gold copy of Michael Angelo's masterpiece duplicated from the original sculpture, the one where Mary looks upon her dieing soon taken from the cross on Calvary, now standing under spot light before the cathedral of Rome.
An army of unforgiving watery pellets fell in beastly march, dropping upon the black tar pavement of the city streets; in thick sleepy howls, dripping in an angry pace, spraying pavements in a sporadic watery pellets on the skin of downtown of Worth. The deepest of the rain had set in. It had returned to his life once more, caressing his heart to beat slightly faster, waking up the passion again. The eagerness to conquer the world had returned, to be a real king of his own domain, to rule his own life, make his own plan, to sail off to distant lands, take her, kiss her and make her apart of him again. To discover what was not meant to be found, was every man's dream. Tom had a dream and nothing, or no one was going to prevent him from making it real and eventually making it his life, again. This excitement, this passion for the world had touched the motion of his breath and sent his heart roaring. He was on fire again, alive, really living, like God meant for him to do. In and out, in and out, they had arrived. Arriving in long chains of images, linking familiar sounds, long drives and walks to and from Rome, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas arising and falling in him, and every great city of the world calling upon his arrival, they called upon his entrance, his arrival, his learning, his experience, consciousness and wholeness. He was a traveler, a sight seer of the world, taking everything in, sucking the marrow from the bone, Carpe Diem to it's fullest degree. A framed picture appeared so perfectly like the kind in the art exhibits and museums calling him into a different reality and into a constant reality that he faced day to day, minute to minute, second to second, heartbeat to heartbeat, breath to breath. Oh, the lasting breath, how it comes and goes and goes and goes and then. . . Then, remembered voices floated in to his existence in his head, known and unknown faces sneaked up on him like a slithering temptation lost in the purity of what was once the Garden of Eden, but now a concrete city of confusion, whispering to him to come upon it's distraction from purity. "You took too long Tom. It's taking too long. Your body is wearing down my friend. Do something about it. Do something, anything. Act, act, act now Tom."
Stair unit to subway, air port to terminal, to front step, to sidewalk and back to some unknown street with names like Willing Avenue, American Boulevard, Canyon Trail, back to Fry street where the college boys hung out and drank cups of joe and smoked Camel cigarettes out in front of the head-shop and smoked bowls of freedom and talked like mad hatters and Cool beans and Karma Café, and read Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Joyce, and Jack, Atlantis in Long Beach, 21st in Manhattan, back to Tarry in Crow, Texas, to 21st street again, to first Avenue in New York, back to Willing street in Worth, back to Tarry in Crow, back to Willing, to Tarry, and back to First Avenue, and Fry comes in and then Bruno, Czech and Jamacac, whatever that was, and Absinth, and actors smoking hash in gas mask and reciting Hamlet and drinking more blue glowing Absinth, a little stir with sugar and light it on fire, Manhattan to south, North to Worth, south to Manhattan, it's all upside down and backwards now, turn left a block down, you'll find her again my friend, get it straight, turn around, shake it up, just get back on track, she'll be detached, detached from the rails and back again, stir it with sugar and light it on fire, swallow it down and forget again and again, and again, again.
To speak out, join hands with it's jagged edges and metal tricks and to smile upon it's fun and games and twisted chances at fame only to arrive at useless pain of pills, stains from the nicotine intellect, that never went away, cigarette burns staining his soul. A celebration of life was beckoning him to forget Godly things and fall into the temptation he once shied from in youth, but now glared at with wondering eyes. The innocence was escaping him like the smoke that lifting from his lips. Sundays passed him. Sundays without church, long, stale and gray. The world had suddenly popped up, projected, as if for the first time, before his eyes, like a movie he had once admired as a young boy, now spinning for him to almost touch, almost become and grasp for his own, and only for his own. How greedy his hiss had become, his breath taking in air, filling his lungs, expanding the life inside him. Tom left himself, and his reality for a second to close his eyes and simply recall what it was like before. A large breath, he let go for a second and then tensed, and then let go, to tense again and again, until it all evaporated and went to solid. And then, nothing and then everything and nothing again, off and on, the images arrived and left, like the movie reel spinning, and spinning as the light passed through the lens. He had to kill apart of himself for it. Taint a part of him for the story to truly unfold. These images, these faces, had suddenly conquered him and fortunately rid his lonely existence on the street of the little town of Worth. It was a way out of his hell, his shame, the lack of success as a simple Worthian and not-so-proud Texan, was suddenly coming reality. "I remember that time. It was just like it was now, but years before." As a moment of rain passes Tom continues with, "Yes, exactly like as it is now, but years before." A visuals of long ago arrived unexpectedly as the rain began to sprinkle down on his uncovered shaggy lonely head. A picture inside him arose under his eyes, weighted far beneath him, sunken in his library of past memories, a heavy pondering of a her eyes caressing him with a lonely gaze, inviting him in again.
It was nine PM, time to take his pill. It was a small thing, round on the ends, the shape and color of a blue tiny tic tac, but a lighter shade, like a baby blue. The small pill had an imprint on the right side. The imprint read MG, for milligrams. At the breaking line, in the center of the pill was a thin line dividing the pill in a perfect half. The line was designed for breaking the fifty milligrams of pill into twenty five. On the adjacent side of the pill, next to the MG, on the left side, it read 50, marking the pill as a 50 milligram of medication. On the back side of the pill, or the reverse side, it titled the pills name, Zoloft. He had no idea where the doctors came up with such a name. It reminded him of the word loft, like the loft a person would live in or stay in temporarily while passing through a small town. He swallowed the small light blue without water. He just swashed his tongue around stirring up some saliva into a ball on the roof of his mouth, and used the spit as liquid in order to push the bitter pill to a pit in his stomach. He wasn't that successfully with keeping it completely down. It hung somewhere in his esophagus, somewhere between the back of his tongue and the top region of his sternum. It seemed to hover up and down, like some busy elevator, traveling from the top floor, to the middle, to the ground floor, to the basement, back to the ground, to the middle floor and back to the top floor and back down again. A burning arrived, sizzling in a putrid acidic dance at the top of his belly, trying to come up and cause enough irritation for a cleaning vomit. No such luck. He was too hungry and dry inside, but the pill somehow stayed down, inside him, melting, exploding into it's orderly fashions, breaking down, bit by bit, marching into his bloodstream, fixating on who he was and slowly rearranging, restructuring Tom's body and mind, into the living structure, into a full organism as God meant it to be, but somehow forgot to complete. Now he was approaching a good state, a whole union of a saneness, positive, just civilized citizen. Sanity was approaching for one of the first time's since a little child.
"It's called Sertraline HCL." The doctor said with a slight red and tired eyes. The doctor seemed to be working hard, his mind very vibrant, alert and on fire with knowledge, wonder and intense observation. "What do you want from us, Tom?" A moment arrived. "I want to have clearer thoughts. I want to be less anxious." "Here is a month supply of Zoloft. Take one in the morning. The kit starts with twenty five milligrams and later it will move up to fifty five milligrams." "So eventually I'll take fifty five milligrams." "Yes. At first you may experience some diarrhea. Serotonin is released in your body and brain. It may affect your gut because it is dispersed there. Your body may not be producing enough of it." "So serotonin is dispersed in the body and brain?" "Yes. The body needs serotonin just as much as the brain."
The rain splashed down on the pavement. Tom was still trying to swallow the pill to his stomach acids so it could dissolve into what it needed to become.
The pill broke apart and washed into his blood, finally reaching the nerves of his brain and activating the (seroe toe non) serotonin.
A face of remembrance arose giving away a selective internalization of what others will never fully know, or cherish near as much as Tom does now.
And a story began to sink in him, reminding him of what he was and what he may become.
And the memories overlapped and spun in the back of his head like a movie reel projected in a movie house. His eyes full of light, casting a fiery, amazing, warm light similar to the projector that casts onto a silver screen for many eyes to collect, take in and make true to them, thus, to give life again and again, until a familiar feeling takes over and slowly warms the hearts of men.
This was immortality to him. The story made him live forever. It was the only way out of mortality and to never die. If anyone lived forever it was the writer. This is why he stole from the world, it wasn't just to live, but to live forever.
His life had begun, again, and ended and begun, like it had some many times before. As the eyes moved from left to right on the simple page, his heart began to pump somewhere in the words, of the time he now creates.
This old town, now new to him, began another story, and concluded an old chapter of his life and the lives of those never seen until now. Now that I am about to present for you, the reader, the lifeblood of the words that lay before you.
A wanderer, a writer and poet. All thieves condemned into action unworthy to the moral man and unholy to the lawful people.
Tom felt all poets were takers of the world and some how even thieves. Some poets were even sent to the underworld to suffer for the sinful and tempting words they shared with men's innocence. Aristophanes, a Athenian satirist playwright, believed that some great poets were condemned to suffer in hell until rescued by other storytellers in need of an honest and worthy poet. Also, Aristophanes liked to attack Euripides while using the image of the frog as a metaphor for his unique and eccentric style of verse.
Regardless or Aristophanes and Euripides Tom continued on with his story. Still Tom continued to live his life as a poet. Most would call him a thief. Some even called Doctor Zhivago a doctor. But these men were poets at heart and died that way.
They took what was not theirs in order to sustain the life blood of their words, hence, lives.
Tom fell into the thought again, slowly fading to the sounds of the words he would one day print out for another's eyes.
A lift of the side of the cheek, a show of the mouth, the bounced back to positivism and grace, a photo album of faces, familiar dress of folk from the home front haunting him, as the old jagged cry pelted through the piercing rain from the south side of small southern town. A rushing mechanical force plowing through a piece of Worth with no hindrance but an unexpected gale sipping off from the tracks toward the Trinity river clawed it's way through the scorching wind pushing in from a leftovers of mean northern storm. For a second the monstrous call sounded like the whine of a scared, vociferous animal escaping the preying of the stealthy menace pained by the emptiness of hunger. Hunger in it's deepest sense, hollowly dry, painfully neglected and unforgiving, resting in a opaque windy, blackened sky and forever sinking into the abyss of the darkness that so heavily amounted over the sleeping heads tucked away in the thousands of beds rooted within the tiny houses, and occasional mansions, of the small cozy Texas town of Worth. A voice from the absence of day, scraping toward the night railing to further land, where the tongues change and the ideas of a civilization begin to harvest a new color, perhaps more ripe, or dryer, and take from another length of the vine. This night, behind the black, velvet line tracing the jagged treetops arose and enveloped Tom's shivering constitution. A hungry predator on it's way, lurking for something innocent, pure and lost. This faraway cry, this deep painful, resonant hellish roar, arose from the mouth of an old rusty engine, collected a industrial momentum, firing a fleet of crackles and hollers, trapped in a distance, unreachable, beyond sight, always afar, banging it's triumph drum, toward the black blanketed sky, warning man to step aside and let it pass. This mechanical beast with flat iron, caged, breast was far from being stopped by any mere mortal. On it's dangerous way, approaching with an ungodly sound and speed. The clicking steps of this long forwarding line of railroad cars, pulsing intermediately in a constant rhythm, like raindrops tapping from a rain gutter forgotten, but looked upon by a small boy in a yellow raincoat, in a shallow pool on top of cement on the rainiest, wettest day in the month of the lightening seasons of April. This cry that rested on the horizon, reminded Tom of who he really was, perhaps is, who he shall always be and will one day recognize until his last breath. It, the voice, the dedicated vow, the primal howl, the faraway message, so eager, so urgent, anxious and heated, echoed, sucking wonder from the lost, over the tops of the tornado beaten bank tower, and family of semi, tall, flat, headed, skyscrapers that skinned the shadowy sky, seemed to hide like a child at hide in seek, crafted towers, that clanged, desperately, hugged darkly over the western town of Worth. What a strange town for such a character as Tom. He didn't fit into a place weighted with religion, so much dedication to the Savior that the world deserved.
Above was dark. In his head and slowly growing around him. The town's spirit hugged and welcomed him, with a southern hand of hospitality, even though he was still lost from the big city, there remained open and kind arms awaiting to take him in. It was the way of the south. It is all the south knows. B
Back again the city beckoned him. The addiction for the untitled ones. The time he shared there opened his eyes to a knowledge and experience he never believed he would tackle and eventually take in. A gothic north, a city rapidly and secretly and prolifically unfolding the secretions, that arose from the globe of this vibrating organism. For a second, there, far north he claimed a title. New York, within that cry that awakes and hovers on the horizons and joins America to forays of the fountains of knowledge, art and life. New York was stuck in his head even though he was far off now, alone from the city, the Concrete Jungle, the feeding ground of new ideas, the flow of greed, now quieted, alone from the millions of voices that assembled, in the belly of a whale that swallows down the countless number of Jonahs, unwillingly emptying, and at times willingly, collectively, gathering but without unison or togetherness. The city was the well that had swallowed him whole. People of this great nation, from every corner and cob web infested block, stepping up to the great clock Tower, walking under what they accept as time, passing on their voices, sharing and exchanging, ideas, tongues, and histories; little did they know, they where in the belly of an ancient shark. The city. The city of New York. A gigantic conglomeration, the city of cities, with it's millions of streets, and billions of stacked rooms, homes etched into towers, towers carved into the dome, stretching toward the almighty sun, that moved as quick as the speed of light, rushing, whirling and filling man with knowledge, and the mystics of the unknown was merely a whale, that once swallowed Pinocchio, or in this case a multicolored, army of business men, with the symptoms of Pinocchio's dream, dedicated to the useless cause of growing into a real boy. Trading for the useless cause of the green, and the great pitiful exchange of profits. The anchor of liberty. The cuffs of freedom. The city was no playground for little ones but rather an idea supported by the workingman's hearts and minds. It was a place a boy transformed into a man in less time it takes for the heart to doubly beat.
A city dedicated to the dark cloud that covered man and heaven arose in the back of his mind. As dark as the black of the velvet curtain before a stage show. As dark as in the belly of the whale. Burnt dark as the color of money. Ashen dark like the hollow return of a unholy searched life, hollowly feeding men the desire of fame and fortune and wanting to be seen and catered with far too much attention. An array of sinful sensualities, food, delicatessens of drunkenness and a shameful constant, speedy, savored, stimulation of new greedier technology that is always in the verge of the glowing, and in the glooming, grew before Tom as he recalled the past times there. Malevolent Dark like the evil that had crept through Burnet's heart when he had lost himself within the shadowy, opaque answers inside the many dungeons of this mazy city. He could not believe he made it home. After all of it. After all that hell. He was near home, near the extent of home, still, with the freefall feeling, the weightless fall still hovering in his belly. After all that hell. Tom had gone to the lowest depths of hell and back. He had fallen to the ninth level and ate the meal of the poets. He had seen the flabby, lazy fat on the evil one's flank. He had gone to hell and back. The lowest level, the ninth, where the evil one was frozen upside down, chanting to all of his poets, the codes to break what may be tomorrow. Now it was time. Now, he was going to get help. He needed it more than ever. It was time to share this horrible insight of what man had done to nature. Man had rapped his only love. His only chance at life was loosening from his grip. He had turned on his only place of existence, he had forgotten his mother and denied nature to grow freely. Mothernature was calling to him but he locked himself inside and hid behind a net that connected them all.
Mornings became nights and nights morning, and everything in between was no longer, there was only black, and white, one or zero (1010001) and he had forgotten balance and his carefree nature was slowly degrading and his rotten mistake where becoming his business (1001011100010). He became separated lost and abandoned from what was reality. It was as if he was no longer awake. He wasn't at all. Tom was in a deep sleep awaiting for someone else to awaken him and lift him from this labor. He shoved her back, pushed what was left of her, into a crumbling mesh of screws, nuts and bolts, drilled holes in her temple, and drove mechanical beast under her skin, zooming passed the passerby, leaving her diseased, crazed and maddened to a state of a surging, unending pace. His professionalism and dedicated, intense need for growth only stumped him. This never ending defect for man's assumed perfection was slowly constructing fields of concrete across her giving, soft skin. She was cracking up, wrinkling into state of stillness and mechanical order. Everything had to be perfect or it was fed into the clogged and shredded spout of neglect, and washed away into a flooding cold blue abstinence, or if it revealed a glitch, a tiny mess up, a small mistake, then, hushed and awaited, to the fall of grace and cast out of this cruel reality and into the numbness and nullity far from pain and truth. Nature was becoming machine. Light was now faked and sound forced to reveal the flowing brooks and winds that once, guided men and taught the essence of destination. The blinking lights and fast cars were lifting man from himself and sending him into her arms. Ford, Chevy, Chrysler and foreign vehicles, like Mizabesthi, Honda and BMW was becoming the new body of man. Work became easier, more convenient and at times a luxury. The cars had become man's chests, hard working arms and developed legs and rippling stomach's of iron, axle and greasy brains of motor gasoline. Now the chain of fast foods, Wendy's, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chickens had murdered his skill of the hunt and pushed the war into full affect. His belly grew full, large and round and limited him from the movements and dances God had once blessed him with. Computers, cell phones, blenders and microwaves had thought, spoke, listened, mixed and cooked for his convenience. A women was becoming useless in the kitchen. A man was no longer needed to pick up trash from the curb and dump it in the back of a dump truck, an electric armed reached out and snatched the plastic barrel, firmly and emptying it faster the a heart can doubly beat. Food was something replaced by an energy pill or snack bar that fed the muscle of industry. Nature, even the unseen nature within him, was slowly falling from his grasp, stolen by vain, thieving hands of the envious corporate code and heated revenge of the fallen one. Technology wanted eyes like him, hands, feet, toes. It wanted to walk about the earth freely and make choices. The machine wanted eyes, noses and a brain to collect the images of the world and judge what is right or wrong. The machine wanted to speak, eat, digest the world, take it in, pass it through it's system, chop the tree, shepherd a flock, bake bread, have children, sing and dance, preach the word and ride the waves. It wanted to be man so badly that it forced him to invent, calculate and neglect his heart. It wanted to turn it's nuts and bolts, and silver chips into the golden heart of man in which He, God, so carefully listened with delicate grace and granted omniscience, had created for all and for his love. How could Tom slow all of this down. How could he purchase some time for man's goodness? Tom suffered from Hubris. It was the common tragic flaw of great heroes. Earth was slowly becoming poisoned and warped by man's idea of a perfect world, this idea was slowly eating at him, ending him. Genetics and social Darwinism had ended him far before birth and yet he still breathed in this suffocation of persecution and collective hatred, and self hatred against difference and unique appearances. And Tom stood idly by unaware he was part of the whole, he was one of the blocks that made up the greater sum of the completed structure, the tomb, the resting place that stretched across the countless bedded plots of this country. He stood motionless joining the useless cause for perfection and self betterment, and slowly sank into himself not knowing why or where to go. What he had done to himself was far from his reach now. It was far too late for mankind. The second tower of babul had fallen. Communications lost. The ghastly sight of three thousand, hungry businessmen burned to their ashy graves, under a ruble of messy inventions and long distant calls, all of the current chaos that so lively lived in his vibrant, aware mind, had force him to look up to the heavens, plead with God for his unending love, warmth, rejuvenation, and then, ill loyal to his maker, shy to truth and compassion, fallen and beat, to one day give in to temptation, repudiate reason, in order to turn away and feed the machine it's burnt offerings and oily truths in which it pretended so craftily to honestly desire. Did the machine welcome a new thought, a fresh invention, a improvement to speeding up the super computers that chained with tissue and protein to allow efficiency to the order of the corporations. Did the machine really want a faster, smarter, more in-depth thinking mechanism in order to outwit the unexpected and most clever being. Was the machine real, or was it mere temptation, a mind planted on top a desk awaiting to hit the wrong key and then. . . He had to turn to God now. The father gave him no choice. He was lucky. He had experienced too much pain. It was time to heal. The voices told him to return, or it was over. He ignored them and repudiated their beckoning calls. "If you don't return you'll lose. You're a loser." It must be his own badly seeded thoughts, unclear of the truth, welcoming him into a blinding web of false thoughts and an hungry abyss of insanity. Now it was a time to start over, regenerate and begin a new life in the south. God gave him no other path to follow. He had spoken and Tom answered.
2000 had arrived and the future was speedily passing with unlikely speed. Medicine was far beyond attaching leeches or draining blood for the ill. Pills, a galaxy of choices, in multiple colors, were turning the loony into clear thinkers and clear thinkers into geniuses. Tom was given the offerings from the most skilled scientist his society.
I am incandescent but I am not here. The lights are on but nobody is home.
Down in tumble, hard, thin unforgiving bullets splattered on the red brick sidewalk before him, in the same rhythm as the memories entered and exited his head. He was back in the town of Worth. The old hospital was down the street that he was birthed from which was not far from the slow crawling river with the religious name. It snaked through Worth curving from every constructed Church, Safe Haven and place of worth in town. Snaking and winding almost dodging what was founded in the name of the Lord. It was a kind river with a holy name, and a history that did not match it's title. Rumor had it was far too polluted and the city had let it go beyond repair. It wasn't until recently that laws were passed to keep the trash and toxic wastes free from it's path. The river looked disturbed at day, but in awe at night, it was so lovely against a full moon shading the eyesores of technology and waste, that during the late months of April, and early March, overflowed from the flooding rains, was still bouncing back the memories of swimming and dunking best friends toward the muddy bottom. John Wilhelm, from Pennsylvania, broad shoulders, big arms and giant smile from ear to ear, would hurl him under the scummy water of the Trinity, and like a drowning cat clawing for air he'd reach to the wobbling lines of rays streaming at him begging him to lurch upward from under the Trinity and take in a sweet breath of life. He'd rise up hollering at John for being too forceful and his step father, dog peddling spectacle would flare up a stern, and healthy smile. Those were the days of swimming in the green Trinity that flowed down the west trial and into the forks that washed through Worth and further toward the south. The best times where canoe trips down the Brazes with his sober Dad, and beer gurgling acquaintance from the local junior soccer team. When Tom was just a boy, Dad and he would place last in canoe races. Dad loved to take his time fishing and sightseeing and chat about the current news on the runner up for presidency, or a recent crime, or murder rap of a famous figure that was publicized on TV.
Dad had an endless amount of reason why he believed the well known football star was guilty or how the murder took place. He had ever motivation nailed to the cue. Dad loved forensics and telling stories. Conversation was the only savior of the fish as Dad wobbled the pole to make a point about the current topic at hand in the boat.
The town that slowly built him into the walking story that he so heroically and pitifully performed, now, was still, quiet and wearily wondering over the bruises caused by last September. It seemed every small town was affected due to the revelations and exhibited support of American flags that waved so droopily outside the front patios.
Tom stared down at his old black leather shoes. He was down. It was a blue time for him. The color blue kept appearing in the mesh before the clothing racks on the stage windows, on curtains at his new place, bath towels, shirts in the laundry, in the skies, in the water near the river walk and even in other peoples eyes. Blue kept showing up everywhere he turned. Yesterday when he was in the shopping mall near Follies the song Blue performed by the jazz great Miles Davis. And when he was riding the bus home from town, he passed a giant sign near the highway that read The Blue Man Group. Every where he looked, blue, blue, blue. At lunch on the menus, Chicken Cordon Bleu, blue cheese, blue berry pie. Reading through the paper he came across a motion picture about a women who grieves over her husbands death. The title; Blue. Blue, according to the polish filmmaker from Warsaw, Kieslowski, Krzysztof, represented liberty. Red stood for fraternity. White was recognized as a color for equality.
Tom didn't feel like walking that day so he hid indoors reading from Faulkner and a book on Multiculturalism. He couldn't really keep it all together so he stared out the window at the giant sky filled with blue and slowly breathed until breath came back to him and then he returned to his books, study and wonder.
One day he is worth the bread he stuffs in his mouth and other days he didn't deserve the meal of an ant. He took a unexpected breath no larger than a sniff which halfway loosened his jumbled mind. Slowly he was clearing out the junk that didn't belong in his head, and certainly not to be adjoined with his memories. Everywhere he turned there was a reminder. A flag. Red white and blue. Then, the song. The lyrics inspired by war itself. Oh, say can you see. It only matched the revolution of the other side. It was a patriots song. By the dawns early light. A song for the rebel, the man that was forced to fight against the Empires and controllers. What so proudly we hail. It wasn't a song to use to reflect the tragedy of New York. Perhaps, another song would do, a song with lyrics created by businessmen and the world trade groups that profited off of others enslaved weaknesses and controlled needs. Rockets red glare. Intruded and interrupted with pollution, excess noise of traffic jams, airport terminals, engines firing up, millions of voices bouncing around in his head from Time Square, the song cried out, a song long ago inspired men to clean his musket, but now just to set off a baseball game or national air show event. Bombs bursting in air.
He went into his mind again and the ole song faded as if it was being played over earphones on some Sony compact disk. Gave prove through the night. Millions of faces begging him for something he had no grasp to hold. He wasn't a man that could save the world. That our flag was still there. Someone else had done that long before he walked these sidewalks of concrete and ashy burned foot prints. Perhaps the song should be played. Perhaps now there are rebels against rebels. Jefferson was right. Our past ingenious president was on target when he claimed that American isn't right without a revolution now and then. Perhaps it was a song for them and us. They attacked a country founded by revolution and civil war and now they are simply part of the hell. It wasn't like they put out the fire. They did no such thing. The flag still carries the color red in it's stripes. They only started a more dangerous fire. A storm of flames uncontrollable and unmatchable by any other nation.
Tom was a stiff man at times but held a professional constitution in muscle and thought. He wasn't much taller than the average Joe. Six feet max. He had a pointy chin, high cheek bones, hollow cheeks and a long Germanic noise that set him off for a young actor of the cinema. The hair was short, but had the potential to grow, long shaggy and poetically thick. As a child he was noticed for his thick mane that capped his skull. His body frame was that of a warrior, broad, strong with a healthy foundation. He had not grown a large beer belly, like the others that passed him, and was proud of it. Eating was not his forte by a long shot. He was careful about foods and usually only ate produce and health food, or all natural establishments and rarely ate out in restaurants, or fast food. He mostly took in turkey and light red meats. His favorite was leg of lamb with a French style sauce. His tongue held a bite of class. Manners were his best skills he kept to date. Not likely for a thief. He was unique in his constitution. He was trained in every game in the book and far from despondency.
That our flag was still there.
As the board and thick of night was growing on him, he made a devout decision to return home. Home before sunlight, a voice beckoned, as if it escaped from a darkened closet. Fort Worth Texas was a place filled with wonders, old poets, ranchmen, and cowboys looking to break a heart or have their hearts broken.
The shadows of night arose with a slow accord. Night arrived because it should have and for no other reason. Night was meant to be and it had arrived without a shadow or a doubt. Eve set in with her black dead face like a slow chord drawn out from a shaky violin's falling resolution. The edge of the sun turned to a faint terracotta and then snuffed out to a sharp opaque. Night swallowed the town whole without hesitation hungry to cover the world from the sun's bright needful rays. Streetlights illuminated the path for Tom Burnet, as he marched to his inner beat shying away from sorrowful youth and trying to activate a new outlook and reason to expedite a fresh form of expression to quay.
Tom was surrounded by people from his hometown, but not a single face he recognized. Even at home he was alone and cold.
He passed by the new gallery and peeked in at the warm smiles and exchanges of the graceful "How Are You," "Welcome in" and "Good day."
Tonight's worth was composed of tall buildings, flashing yellowy bulbs and gallery windows. Paintings from Texas artist like Henrietta and Rome Milan, Geoffrey Beck and Salidino hung in the display cases near Pier One imports and the local hip café house. The gallery was down the street from the movie house and the new New York style restaurants. Even some of the artist displayed at the exhibit was straight from the big city. All that was on his mind besides self discovery along with finding someone to discover him, was fortune. The desire of fame and fortune was growing in him like a horrible disease. Like a virus that wouldn't quit.
Only the fancies waited in town. The dandies and wannabe poets worked there. He thought. Zoloans. Sounds like Zolofts. Zoloft? OR in this story Zoneloft, boy does it make ya zone. Hm. Perhaps I'll get use to it before I get into the details and the more, well, mildly complex parts of the story, it's not too complex, maybe poetic, but not brain surgerah—shit, almost said it, well, I don't even what to say it, the thought of it makes me want to jump off the balcony that I'm writing so close to right now. I'm debating rather or not to toss this damn machine I type on rather than dance, act or sing, which I'd rather be doing. This damn machine. The only performance time I get now is with my fingers. I wish I could throw it off the side and watch the blessed piece of crap smash to smithereens. Nothing could put it back together again. Nothing could put me back together again. Hm. Perhaps I should ask for Surgerah—almost said it again. The deadly S word. S and it ends in a Y. As in Why God does it have to happen to me? What does Zoloft mean anyway. Sertraline HCL. Is that supposed to save me. Zoloft? Those artsy turds are on Zoloft for God sake. What do they need pain for. What do they need to struggle for. Their stuck up there in some loft, some idea far above them, cozy and smooth and wanting pleasure. Only fools lived that way. Only fools searched for pleasure.
Roberto Pace walked by as the stage windows lit up by bright white floor units and dimmed special. Some of the artist actually stood on platforms in the stage windows with their white floury, faces and broad expressions painted for everyone to see. Rome Milan was known to craft a few paintings in one night. Most of his work was inspired from the form of impressionism. Rome showed, in the stage windows, paintings of bright sunflowers, a red paddle boat, floating next to a dock, the boat was small, it could hold no more than two or three passengers at max. The boat hovered on top of the still water adjacent to the old fashion wood dock in a mesh of wavy heavy blues and a flowing mixture of thick lines composing a port coupled with that, what seemed like a giant toy red sailboat bouncing in a stalled poise on troubled water, with escaping pride. He painted like this using broad strokes just as Monet once executed back in the real French Impressionistic days. Back before computers, or Fast Food, 24 hours War coverage on CNN, and before starter kits of sertaraline HCL was available for writers, and before story telling existed on the world wide web, and worldly communication wasn't as accessible, . Rome learned from a master painter. His Mother, Henrietta Milan, was his teacher. She taught him the art well. Both borrowed from Monet and other French impressionists of his time.
There where other artist for sale at the Milan Gallery. Pop artist too. Peter Max had a paining of Mona Lisa smiling with a rainbow splashed across her face in the place of a mustache, and John Sanders had a few sculptures. One was titled Genesis. It was a perfect man half naked busting out of a cracked block filled with grape size harden bubbles to represent the form of man. The bubble were to represent the soil, or the earth, or a place where man, in the beginning arose. Roberto was fortunate to be able to be around so much rich culture. Artist like Kaufman and Middlekauf had worked there as well. The gallery across the street was pact every other weekend. Rumor had it movie stars showed up to buy and to sell their work. Jane Seymour was on her way. Roberto missed out when she arrived. There like that. Missing the small writers soon to grow big. They take em when there on top of the world and no one doesn't know who they are and their face lingers on every magazine a human face can belong on.
Roberto was on his way to work at the new Milan gallery in Fort Worth. It was the tail end of October and November was walking up with it's dropping pecans and rusty wondering leaves.
Artist displayed their work in the little town of Fort Worth. Wow. What a sight. It reminded Roberto of New York. There he was alone. Waiting for Maria to show. She was the assistant to Rome Milan the owner of the first gallery. He watched a few young girls pass smoking cigarettes and showing off their thing. What sexy legs they had. What curvy hips and firm rears, and round breast. What women these were, with their intellect and fancy step. Usually in tight jeans and too much make up.
Then, a occasional artsy type flew by the windows. Rain pelted and Roberto took cover under this tiny black umbrella. The onlooker peeked in revealing his support by tossing an occasional warming glance. Just a passerby. No buyer yet.
Roberto was waiting on the key. Once Maria showed, he could warm up and get out of this stifling rain. He had just landed a security job. Believe it or not, the head of Marry from Pieta had been shipped in from the Cathedral in Roma and was been held in the Gallery vault. Highly secured with red robs, the giant bolt locks, alarm system and security guards. It was his ninth job since he had returned home from Manhattan.
He was home again. After the largest cross country journey he had ever taken; he was home again.
Pace had no idea, not even in the darkest corners of his mind, where his youth had gone, but the rain didn't care what was on his mind now. Not now. History was behind him, the future was ahead, and the present moment never let up. Nothing could make him feel more blue than now. The rain stung on his skin. Shadows flung across his frame in thick lines as if bars had enclosed and sprang up from under his feet. He felt alone, trapped, pinned inside himself. He couldn't move. Even his thoughts seemed barred. It was like the first time he flung himself out into the world, alone. Then, out of nowhere, a small smile appeared on his face. A smile smothered by the rain. He blinked his eyes; Los Angeles, Hollywood, Broadway-Park Avenue, thirty thousand feet above the ground, his face on television and then, Wam, he was home, in his bedroom like a boy. But he was no boy now. He had awoke to the world, appeared again, stood up in his boyhood home, nodding to strangers. He had woke up as a man in a child's situation. "Breakfast was ready." It was as if an Angel had tickled him. It was but a ten years ago, he once laid in the bed with the most beautiful lady he had ever kissed. Brown long hair draped on his face and lips, he wrapped his hands across her thin waist and smothered her close to him. A tear spilled onto his lips. He remembered the salty taste, the crying and sniffling and all the times she made him blush, and feel life. On the verge of busting into pure emotional bliss.
Years passed. Three years since he left home for the first time at twenty seven.
Now, he was turning thirty eight. Then, thirty nine. Forty was on it's way. There was no turning back now. He had reached a point of no return.
He had no idea what happened to his life. It was long after the passing of the new millennium. Not long after the great tragedy of New York City. He was far from that ashy year of smoke, hellfire, dusts and lost faces posted around the city. It was now. Now, to be savored. The most precious part of life was living for this breath. The next breath and the next, and next. South, north, east and west a strange call hung in the air. A sound not far from human but not from a mortal's mouth. It was the roar out of time. The cry from far beyond our age.
South. Far south. Texas. For Worth, Texas. It was night. He was alone. No cigarettes, no girl, no warm coat and nothing to keep him warm now. It seemed to be all lost. The only thing he had was a pen in his pocket, and his words, not to mention his birthday suit, his hair, his eyes, his fingers, nose, eyebrows, ears, lips, chin, breasts, feet, legs, ankles, fingernails, toe nails, arms, arm pits, arm pit hair, shins, groin, buttocks, back, belly, belly button, knee, knee caps, thighs, calves, cheeks, cheek bones, forehead, crown of his head, neck, toe nails, old and new, chipped and torn and every million parts that made up who he was and who he believed in. He was the believer that man could not claim his home as his house. A home was more than that. It was even more than a place that took you in. A home was a since of completeness. Oneness. His home was his being in his own body with the spirit and with his belief in his Father. This was holy to him.
Home is in you.
A home was what he did, who he gave to, how he took others in and allowed others to take him in, what he read, abided by and loved. Home was his standards, the foods he ate, the music he listened to, the people he met with, the cities he visited, the jobs he did to help others and the thankfulness he gave in pleasing his maker. Most importantly home was God.
Snow flakes parachuted in like Angels falling from a white snowy heaven above. Tiny small angels with individual paths, patterns. Not one like the other. No complete likeness, or similarity. Angels falling on a lone star city. Old cow town resting in the snow.
Old man winter was not holding back. All the stage windows were heavily decorated with seasonal lights. He should have been smiling at the festive sight of the city. But he carried a strong face of sorrow. It was good. He had a minimum amount of materialism. He no longer watched television and didn't have the cravens for the sex, lust and entrapping entertainment that tempting man from reason.
He was in town. He was lucky to be here. Roberto was alive. He was one of us. Looking at the world. Forward and backward, past to future. He had a decision. He had his two feet and a mind; choices. Life awaited his call. A freezing gale drifted into the center of his being. It seemed to stiffen the freedom that willingly awaited within, like it does in every single one of us. The freedom to go forth. To make the new path. To create. To know. To own. To seek and find. To understand the way of God.
The freedom to take on liberty and make the choice, the direction and the life he wanted to claim was blooming under his thick skin. Even as a grown man of thirty he was still lost, like a boy. He wanted to be some many things and he had such a shadow of a past that stretched in long years behind him. The dreams he curled up under the covers as a boy, and now a man, were unlimited. He noticed he was still inside. Reflecting on the times he was a boy, getting ready to see a great story unfold on the silver screen in the warmest movie house around. Images that lead him to faraway islands, and misty shores, with hot women with big eyes and warm lips. The cold scratched at the back of his neck. No smile formed on his face. The twinkle left his eye for a moment. For one solid little moment it was all clear. He had it all figured out. Then, reality kicked in. The next gale set in and froze his cheeks. He was gloomy. Sad. Alone.
Someone, or something, perhaps it was himself, there was no use blaming others for his isolation, this public solitude that enveloped his ever direction and appeared at ever cold corner in any town in his land was eating away at a core set of standards and order that was so carefully developed by the countless villages and their tongues and sayings, and codes embedded inside him. Perhaps, he had stayed home too long. Something, a side of him, had stole away with who he once was.
According to his direction he was headed away from Eden, away from Pishon and far from the land of Cush, or Ghihon and into a more impure part of the world. If he was the first man, Adahma, or Adam, from the ground, the man from dust, he was making his way toward the Euphrates and Tigress departing from Paradise and entering a new world, a new time and a new place lost from grace, and paradise, a place after the loss of innocence. The calendar on the café wall read December, 2nd 2002 A.D. The millennium had arrived.
A thick, dark, azure, blue, mushy drop splattered beneath the blankly, tensely white glowing street lamp, landing on the sparkling side walk displaying section of down town of Worth; eve had set in enough to activate the night lamps hovering in long lines, pole to pole, along the sidewalks leading out of town. Under the misty, pale moon of the cold winter night midnight approached. The freeze had set in without the most saintly one's permission. Winter had no kindness to those with warm hearts, it was the purpose of Old Man's winter's mission. Ever since the young daughter ate the six seeds from pomengrand, the Greek beloved timed out the months of the cold season and was released by the gods, from hiatus. Roberto watched his breath turn into dragon fog and hover into the misty lamp light covering the blackened concrete sidewalks that lead into the parking lot pointing north of town. The winter joined hands with night and arose a chilling touch to the Tom's cheeks. His forehead grew tight and hardened, his eyebrows sequenced together creating a sharp rooftop shape of an Old English Tudor and his back grew tingly hot and ached of being on his feet and sitting erect all day. He mustn't stick out and let them know he is alone out here. Here in the cold of the world, deep in the time of winter and when the holiday made man reflect and turn inward into his past and rectify his deeds, good or bad, he was remembering who he was and slowly realizes what he may become in this southern homey town surrounded by mesquite and timber wood.
A siren lifted in choppy howls far of. Tom couldn't tell which direction he was headed, much like the positioning of the siren, spinning in chaotic twists throughout the air.
Small town know his type. He had to look strong, well fed and hometown. The hard cold was on her way and this was a time of food and festive enjoyment. A strange feeling pushed on his stomach and tingled in his throat. He wanted to cry but the tears remained inside, dry and without release. He shivered and bit his lip from the cold. Good thing the handkerchief was packed away in his old tan western coat. He had picked it from a Justin's boots near the outskirts coming in from the airport. It had a linen and it was full of down feather and reinforcements from the freezing weather. He had no idea where it was blowing in from, if from a thunder storm out at sea, or if it was the usual lowering of the barometric. Why this confusion had approached him, why this the biting cold, this loneliness glued to his spine. It made him shiver. Shiver like a wet cat. Who needed him to fight it and resist against the impossible peak of his what may be his major tragic flaw. Man was always hanging on this cliff. This winter season was before him always. This was the winter of his tragic heart and his fallen from the big city. What a sorrowful man he was, filled with a hard, raw outlook. He chose few moments to smile, but was learning the skill of faking a smile and eventually convincing a smile to others. If you held a smile long enough, sincere or bunk, it slowly transformed into reality. Actions speak louder than hidden feelings, as well as words. What he was to become of him now that he was alone was only up to fortune of free falling in some small town. It war far more luckier than floating about in a big city, which is like hanging off a skyscraper with broken finger nails. Becoming was far more than he planned as a child stumbling on jagged toys and faceless action figures from Toy R Us or some cheap toy store that shelved plastics from China. And how these small trivial playful moments, and wanted moments of labor and the drain of reality, had meshed into thoughts that existed him or once remained in the continuous path toward the multiplying harvest from a single planted seed, and a seed falling from it's makings, and seed falling from another bloomed tree, flower, or bush, this seed spreading into a field, and another harvest and all from a single seed, there it was, buried under his skin, in his blood, blooming into an idea, birthed from what was beat into him by his devoutly strict and militant baptized raised father, it was growing, in him, since his hatching, perhaps another flesh and blood arisen like a evergreen from the soil, in him, into bony matter from a graceful touch and heated beauty of woman, in him, she awaited to send him to greatness. He was chosen, so he left the answer to God and the mysterious concepts of his old religion, deep in the good book of his Father, the world's keeper, lover, poet, artist, whatever he needed to be to continue the beating tick of time, destroyer and the savior, unanswered that lay beyond this very stoop on the corner of Main street and the endless road that awaited his beckoning call in or out of the town of Worth.
Perhaps he'd stay and find meaning in home or would he leave in finding meaning in the absence of home, or would he drop the concept of home all together. Was it a place one could return again. No. It wasn't the idea. Not to return. He had never left. Not the old town. Home wasn't changing. The concept would sink him. Any type of safety, or feeling of security would ruin an artist. Struggle was all he had. Without his struggle he had the numbness of safety, the ordinary burden of satisfaction. Life is divine when one's product is never satisfactory. If everything is perfect one's perspective becomes nullity and pointless. Home was part of this fault or perfection. It was larger, greater more magnificent than a city or town, or village, or even a room. Home became a drug. A way to smother the struggle and water down the fire with secure hands warmed by the home fire. It is in the heart of man to turn back to home, but it not the way of an artist. An artist is a traveler, an adventure and escape artist.
Tom knew he'd die in this big city. Maybe not tonight in this small crabbed hotel room the size of a walk in closet. That is what it was. A walk in closet with a ash tray, TV and slit for a window. Anything for a slice of home.
Home is God. I must return. Home is pleasing our Father. This was his destiny. To die. To die and love God. It wasn't complex. It was as simple as grace.
How do I please you my Lord?
There is an exact time chosen for every moment in this existence.
Thievery has no moment. It has no name. It is silent. Hurtful and quick. Instinctual. A thief does not push, or scythe away at his movements and directions . . .he or she glides, like the sad lover, steals away with the desired object, possess it and, in the same instance, in light or dark, in a cryptic hallway, or lost in a maze within a city, knows what he, or she takes from life and what to give. Tom never planned to steal. It was not how he pictured himself when he imagined his adulthood as a child.
A thief knows every step like the back of his hand. The grace of the step, the catty life, is not something a thief desires to lose. But if he or she requires it too much then the chance of falling into a spiraling imbalance and lost hopes may arrive, as long as his or her actions are governed by greed and stupidity.
Objects are not man's worth. What man possesses is trite and shallow. Possession is not the answer. What is done is what makes a man. His actions make his character. He knew this and this got him far.
Simple actions speak louder than the complex inventions in the world. No super computer can outdo a persons moral choice, nor can the most valuable doctor's tool, outlast a the goodness in a man's heart.
A thief amounts to nothing, but one showed us on the hill of Calvary that words can wipe away sins and start over as an honest man do. That thief, that cloudy day, died next to the Savior, that thief to his side, a man, not a thief, after God touched him with grace, and the once thief lost his urge to take and died a saved man, forgiven of sin.
Out of nowhere, they find themselves trapped. The gadget fails to open the lock, cold arrives, the jewel was a fake and like a small explosion from their faulty canon, a whirlwind of nothing swallows them up and spits them out into a never-ending cycle of nothing. Just as the objects lead to nothingness and pile up to oblivion. And the thief's dream is robbed by the impurity of a good man's thought. Thievery can devour a man. Devours him with a jealous envy. He or she grows sour and spoiled if the thief takes too much material from life without paying with his own hands of labor, or taking on it's weight in good deeds and proper exchanged designed by justice and sound advancement in order to build a purer and more livable surroundings. Gold plated eagle headed watches, money sprees, platinum Chase credit cards, Italian sport cars, hot women on Centerfolds, free nights in hotel suite of river walks up and down America, bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon wine of western cape, poets savored lines from the Renaissance, and whatever he or she can find to steal away with and enter the heart of the Romantic.
Perhaps it is the Zeloft, (medication I am on) speaking and not me at all. Perhaps that is the initial reason for the soft and loving nature of the speech. Perhaps that is why it is so light heated and easy to the ear. Maybe it isn't me speaking at all, but the commercialized tiny light tan pill I place in my mouth without water and let the twenty five milligrams of mysterious technology dissolve away in me stomach acid and release the proper dose of SEROTONIN in my brain and body. Or perhaps it is the love, or SEROTONIN, in my body for the reason for this mess, this useless, shallow piece of art. Some will claim it a masterpiece, and other dung, what difference does it make to me. Do I do it because I chose to do it, or because I have nothing better to do? Do I tell the story because I am in love with it or tired of being in love and want another way out. Perhaps I want another way out of this life, so I chose words. There easy to manipulate, reorder, talk to, even hug, if I draw it out on a giant piece of poster board and cut it out in the shape of a women's curve and rap my hands around it and squeeze really, really, really, really hard and. . .Why not. It might work. It'll work right. Your reading it. Does it sound like a hug, or a kiss, or a night of passion with the opposite sex.
Why not work. Why not garden, or walk someone else's dog, or help decorate Christmas cards dressed as an elf in the mental ward, why not give all my time to the charity at the local church, in some small town, become a volunteer fireworker, why not slave away in some industrial factory, or become a professor and teach college, or dedicate my life to some women and multiply. Why? Because I am a bad seed. I'm no good. I stole and now I want to know why I stole. I want an answer for my deformity and my misplaced life. I stole not because I wanted more, but because I wanted an answer. And now I'm left with nothing, but this chain of a typewriter, or computer, or laptop, or tape recorder, or memo pad, or note book paper, or the back of a match. Left to be put into the Great Wall.
A fantasy. A broken law. A waste. Isn't that what she said. Isn't that one of the meanings of this world. Love. Ha. Bullshit. Right. Sometimes the cost is as important as the payment. Love isn't for free is it? Does love cost? It is supposed to be for free. That is what I was told. No one was supposed to be able to purchase such a godly commodity. Everything, no matter it's purity, has a price. And in many cases the payment is as important as the cost. It goes on like this, sending the ball to the other side of the court until life wears on the player and the game eventually is snuffed out, whistled to an end and called off. What is the cost of love? Believe me it is worth stealing for. Anyone, would and must steal a chance at love. It is the necessity of life. Love was the reason Adam took his fatal bite. Love lured Faust into the pit of hell. If a man tripped and hit the ground he did it for love. He did it for her. Love is the most powerful temptation and the reason for Tom Burnets darkly lived life. Love conquers every dream and will vanquish any goal that man or women pretends to desire, or occupy the fragile and short length his or her time is measured. I have attempted to question if a women really feels the same type of love a man feels. Most likely the love a women feels is far more connected to the human breath and spirit, but I would not know the answer completely and not guess that she feels it in a deeper way. The mother's love is unconditional, necessary and important fact to life, but the mother's love is not the complete existence of the son. The son is independent from his mother and shall seek for a further love. The son most find a new mother and venture away from the bond and care of the mother and father. Once the women is discovered, a man's career lifts off and takes flight. Marriage bonds them and makes them one flesh, bones, spirit and existence. A man's women is a extension of who he is, or one would like to assume this is true. The opposing force to this is divorce. Divorce is proof that man and women, one flesh, can separate back into two different entities and start over. For the children the introduction of step parents arrive and a strange feeling begins to mix in the family and it takes a long time until the family accepts a step parent as a blood relative, if ever.
Why thievery. Why even mention thievery and love? What is the theft and love the poetical musician Dylan once talked of.
Theft? Can theft and love mingle?
That is what sparked the French Revolution. A man stole bread to feed himself from the evil one, from the prince of death, because he loved life, and he sparked a storm of princes and their unforgiving swords. The thief must not grip too tightly around it's worth, than the earnings turn, trap and blind him from the truth of love. Love was born from the simplest deed of the mother deepening into the genius of man's actions. It is what makes him step in grace. The thief, whoever that may be, should never put love over any South African jewel, or solid gold idol from the Pieta, or a mystic, cursed Egyptian staff tucked away under tons of sand and rubble. A true thief is not too forceful with his hands and does not carry himself in a sly matter, only when his draining actions appear and take force does he find smooth stillness and glide back to grace. He can walk a rope if he is doing it for love. He can climb through a ventilation shaft, if for love. A man can do anything for love.
What he did was wrong, disgusting and cowardly, but this immorality did not end him, but make him stronger and more balance. Balance even has a price. Gravity and the chosen, perfectly balanced universe did not begin as simple as a bang. There was a universe before the universe, smaller or larger, it isn't proven, but one would like to think it was much smaller, calmer and more orderly. One would like to think this, but nothing is proven. It is wrong to say that there is no change. Nothing definite exists according to the nature of motion and the direction of birth, life and death, spring, summer, fall and winter. This is a truth in life. Change. The seasons, the greening of trees, the blooming of the most sacred garden flower, daffodils, violets and blue bonnets, and then the slow change, this bright colors turn to a paced gray and then brown, and then to a darkish earth color and closer to ashen, and then, a degrading absence of life, sands teeth, sands eyes and sands everything, slowly the extremity of the change, the heat of summer, the bitter freeze and frost of winter and then, out, out brief flower, and it wilts off the stem and flails, falling to a rest into the snowy icy imprint of the dead season. Seasons prove to us that nothing remains constant. Nothing can. Rain, drought, floods, tycoons, and whirling electric storms, and Godly eathquacks, and Wam the earth moves under one's feet and change reminds man of God's mysterious ways.
Nothing is constant. Almost nothing is absolute and completely concrete. Change is where fear lives. No one welcomes change but the poets and geniuses of the world. If change is welcomed, than, the man welcoming it's instability is a wise and fortunate being. Most do not welcome change. This is one of the faults of man. And he must accept that it is wrong and rationalize that what is done is somehow credited to his well being. The endangering actions he abides to only digs the deeper hole leaving him in a pile of nonsense and meaningless trash. The objects of this world simply pile up and amount to nothing. What difference does it make if something is moved to another location. Is this thievery. If a jewels is thieved from a jewel store and moved to another jewel store a million miles always, and is placed in a case next to a thousand other jewels exactly like the jewel initially stolen, is it still stolen. Yes, but it is placed among other jewels of the same constitution. Only this is what slowly drains the thief to non-existence and chaos. The thief could never steal if everything was the same. That is why he breaks justice and disturbs the balance of law.
He must be wise to stop and quit his sinful deeds. Thieves start storms of irrationality. If he moves to a higher rank, and when the barbarian arrives, he becomes clumsy, obvious and ridiculous, he may find himself at a point of no return and then trapped in his own idiotic nature and greediness.
But the long lasting thief understands the difference between Discover, Take and Conquer. He is more complex than the common farmer but his complexities losing him to abandonment and the cold and dry waste of a shiny objective becomes his harvest.
"Your taking over. He will take over." A thought that reoccurred in this head.
"A skillful thief is hush, hush, direct, swift and flexible." He glides and does not victor over his winning in the eye's of the public. To glide one must be light, quick and direct.
The thief is not a celebratory type of beast. He has a reason for his thefts and stands, or maneuvers by this unique and gingerly chosen reasoning. He is selective about his thoughts and has no right, or cause, to think along the common patterns of a lawman. In doing this, he stands to reason, ( reasons in the form of a secrecy.) No one is perfect. No one goes through life without making mistakes. Yes, a theft makes mistakes. And yes they learn from just like any lawful citizens. But most mistakes are fouled by fear. Fear is a criminals enemy. There is no crime if fear does not exist. If the law is pointless, than crime becomes invisible. Once, law is acknowledged, than restrictions are put into effect, and fear arises, out of anything restricting. For example, handcuffs, chains, the back of cop cars. . .all of these are restrictions and preventions for any swift burglar. The best thieves steal with smiles, and shiny ones at that. Haven't you ever heard of a hold up. He isn't robbing them, but simply holding them up, from there usually way of life. The thief committing a hold up isn't taking life, but slowing it down for his own advancement.
A thief never looks like a thief, and many dress just as you and I. With charm, taste and suave.
"Buy you'll never go to God. You'll never make it to Christ. Give up your story, stop now, go to Him. You don't need the book. You don't need the jewels. You don't need this lie. It's a lie. Stop falling. Stop. You fall to temptation every time."
Every thief is honest. Every thief is a lair. Every thief has flaws, hidden treasure and missing points to his or her life. "He or she would bury his secret under a mound that no one would could ever find." Spoon river echoing in the hollow parts of his memory. Are they more interested in the desire of the materials or the motivation for possessing them.
I believe all thieves are motivated by love, or the loss of love. Some steal for their lovers, but many believe this will cause their love develop, while it sours to a puking mess. Other stealers rob for revenge. Or hurt, and harm to get back at the world for being neglected, isolated and shunned. The worst punishment the punisher could afflict on anyone of us, is the punishment of nothingness. Nothing hurts more than nothing at all. Abandonment hurts.
What hurt Christ more? The nails? No. No. The wipes and torture? No The crown of thorns? No. The spear in his side? No. The agony of the cross? No. What hurt our lord our savoir the most? Well, that is simple. It was when his Father, Our God, sent a cloud to cover the crucifixion from heaven's view. When God turned away from his only begotten son while being crucified. This turning away of God is what hurt Jesus the most. It was the worst pain he felt. It wasn't the pain, but the moment of neglect from his Father. This is what hurts.
What hurts man the most? Yes, the neglect. The abandonment is worse the whips, scorns, thorns, bars, chains and spit. Neglect stings more than any poison, burns hotter than any fire, and sours the soul more than any scolding, boiling hot water, or flaming hellish torment. Nothing at all is the worst thing you can do to someone. Not even a liberal waiting in line at K-Mart blue light special day, hurts more. Not even being alone in Uless, Texas, to be awaken by low flying jet airliners, or looking forward to renting another cheap movie at Albertson, or taking coorespondent classes on the world wide web. Nothing hurts more than neglect. So does Roberto have it lucky. Yes and no. He still has the internet class, the world wide web, and the long lines at Walmart. He still can rent a stupid movie at Albertson. Or perhaps the clerk will select more films selected as Jury prize at Cannes, or more Sundance film festival winners, or at least a better selections. This Action-block buster Arnold Schwarzenegger crap has to go. Well, I got to admit Conan the Barbarian was his greatest work. Maybe Roberto had it okay. Arnold ain't that bad. He was just lost in the sad artist, alone, in his gray day, going to the same ol' job, fast food, or waiting tables, or chews with the mouth closed
Even though one would assume a thief to be materialistic, that false believer is in the wrong. Thieves are quite the opposite of the rich consumer and the over fed one that hogs his earnings. Some thieves don't even value the objects in which they need, or want to steal, and furthermore, they own their frame, their skillful and hunted desirables. They know it all piles up to nothing in the end. But their own temples are what they must protect, and are at times crucified for it. Dexterity and precious bone, and flesh and the body, and mind are always kept exact and aware. A thief values his or her system. And his ownership of the body. Many would never suspect a thief. Many would never recognize they have entered the room, or house, or safe, or car or whatever they need to enter at the time and for whatever reason, trite or desperately crucial..
The thief knows it all piles up to nothing
Robert has no last name. No last name he would give to anyone. He kept it a meanly tight secret and never gave it away to anyone. Not even to this story.
He had three strong creeds about thievery. When the air around him heats up enough, and he feels the need to run, he runs. The time to go is judged on the bases of Epicureanism and not purely practiced upon any analytical judgment. He would run when his gut told him to, or the heat was too much to take, or, and when his instincts commanded him to do so. Roberto listened. Listened to the world humming around him. The inner voice was powerful, but tricky to a thief. Judge more the world that you can see, and not simply the world you think you can see. And last, a good thief, shall lead, not just with his gut, but with his heart. The heart was more important than his hunger. Life is a test and every thief fails it, but in failing awaits a chance to begin again. A thief sees the world as new, like a clown or some ol' kid. After every robbery lies the chance to go clean and begin with purity. This is what makes a thief a great lover.
Roberto believed all great poetry, art and stories comes out of the desire to love. And Roberto felt a connection between theft and love. "I fell the two are close brother and sister. One tempts the other, feeds the other, destroys the other." A true thief is slightly lost and usually begins his dark quest from the recovery of abandonment.
There is a time for people to leave this place. A time to exit this life: city, town, country, ocean, planet and reality are not permanent fixture. Freedom and even life, is not here forever. And it was never meant to be. Nothing was meant forever. Not even Uless, Texas. Death is not a random act. To be trapped is purely was own will. The cell, the locked barred up room, the small little closet from the world, blackened by thick shadows, all of these subjects of nature are chosen destinations. The cell will not arrive by coincidence or unknown happening. Death, I believe, is a chosen act. All people are chosen by a force greater than the force living within them, and some have a gift to know when this act beyond the most vivid belief, will darkly fall upon them, without grief, guilt or sorrow. Death has no judgment, it has no shame, no reasoning, no forgiveness and it does not take names or give names, or collect information, or ask for ones credit card. Death arrives stealthily and simply conquers and sometimes with incredible grace. It may move with flexibility, and directness. Simply arrive, smother the beating of the heart and fly off into the night air. This person being man or motherearth it does not matter, is omniscient. Death will arrive and matter will change, and life continues. The selected few, the chosen ones to die, do not fall into death with out the choice to happen first. Death does not collapse upon someone randomly. Everyone, and I believe this, welcomes it in a subconscious or conscious way. The ones who are ready to die, makes the decision. Roberto will decide, let go and stop breathing at the end of his story. Have you ever heard of the phrase, Love is stronger than death. Love is the strongest force known to mankind. It even competes with the force of God, or any other deity, in other religion. It is an act, it can be predicted if the chosen one, the selected one chosen to love. Just as the act of death is chosen. It is called upon. It is summoned just as a snake is can be seduced to rise out of basket by the graceful song of the recorder. Death arrives, wraps around. It does not fail, if they death wisher welcomes it honesty; to lie down, to stop in motion, freeze, smile upon it's many faces, turns, roads, signs, hisses, moans, ecstasies, strict rules, cries, accidents and laborious unwanted demands, vigorous hellish piggish labor, painful hellish lumps a person on the head, or in his or her sleep or on the highway traveling sixty three miles per hour and suddenly hitting zero.
There is such thing as an alpha male. The leader of a pack of wolves eats first in the bestial tribe. It eats and then, the other, the lesser eats after. The weakest of the bunch is fed the least unless it cheats and this may cause it's life from the hungrier of mightier of the pack. Life and death is a science. There is art involved in both realms of existence. Yes, death is an existence. Its cold, slow, mutilatating and chaotic existence, but nevertheless, death exists in us all. Death selects. What I mean by this is that death has a personality, even a name. Death exist as words, as a black nothingness and as void of life. It is the opposite of what we know as existence but in this existence lies space and time, and space and time is what life, or death, or any word, or idea, created or destroyed shall fall into. Nothing, not even nothing can exist with out space and time. Time does not take form, but it takes measure and in it's measurement space some how arrives. The thief awoke that morning half dead. His breath scared him. Simply caused him to jump, shake and grab at his heart. He was off as the sun rose over Uless, Texas. He had one week to move out of his place. The notice was taped gently on his door.
Name. "Roberto Smith." Of coarse this was not his own name. By far, it was a lie. His friends called him Robby, but his full name was not Roberto Smith. It was not Roberto at all. "Do you have a middle name?" The jailer asked. "Middle name?" Robert stood still and then took in a half breath and nodded. "No." The jailer did not find his gesture humorous. "Ok. Lay your wallet, keys, and all other belonging on the table in the white box, step back and take off your pants, shirt and tie. Lay them on the table as well." "I do not have a wallet, but you may have my pants, shirt and tie." He grinned. The jailer was big man with a small voice. He carried a round belly, dark deep eyes, strict blue, standard Uless uniform. and his moustache was on crooked today. He had lazily shaved, and trimmed it at a funny angle. "Step back. Thank you. Put this own." He handed Robert an orange jump suite. "Change into the jump suite. You will be here until Monday unless bail is posted." Robert slipped the neon bright uniform one leg at a time and headed down the hall. He turned the corner, hard steel angles, and fell to a stop at hard, thick black line. Three cameras were posted edging the ceilings. One at the right corner, one directly above his forehead, six foot away, and one to the left, but not in the corner but rather hanging from the ceiling, alone, black, with a focusing iris. "Smile." The jailer said and the click rose. "Turn to the right." The jailer said as the click happened once more. "Turn to the left, just profile." "What is this three dimensional photography." Robert said with smile. I hate this fucking town. Robert said as he stepped into the dark. The long and sliding steal bar door slowly roared to a clanging bang behind him, echoing as he found his seat near the wood table, with a chess board carved onto the top surface. No one occupied the Uless Jail cell. Robert began to cry. It was his second arrest. The first was a false charity case. He was unknowingly working with a group of thieves selling add space in The Sheriff and Support fund magazine of Los Angeles. He was arrested out in Long Beach, California near the beach off of second street at a place called the Acapulco lounge. An airplane zoomed overhead, with unnatural force. "Uless Texas." Robert whispered. He was not from Uless. Robert never told a soul where he was born, he didn't even tell the lady he had fallen for out in Long Beach. No one. He told no one. Robert was from a small town east of Texas. He was born a mile from New Orleans in a town with no name, no population and no care. He was born in the back of a trailer house in a field. Not even a destination unit, or geographical number is marked on his birth certificate. Some people born out in sea are giving numbers due to the fact that there is no town, city or country out in the ocean, but only a plotted number destination like 33 West by 40 North, or 10 west on the meridian (or equator.) Robert did not have numbers on his certificate. He only had his name, destination was not marked, and his father's name was not marked. His mother was named Mary Phillips. . .but she had taken her maiden name and never gave the last name to his son. Robert did find a photo of a man when he was five. He found it in an old shoe box, over the sweater guard in the closet. He remember the water stains, and the smell of methane gas. "Mommy is this Daddy?" Robert said as he picked up the graying photograph and admired it; holding it up to the light, like some scientist or detective may do with hidden files concerning lost cases, or photos of lost insects or important forensics evidence or murder weapons. "Is it Daddy?" "Daddy doesn't exist anymore child." Mary said lighting a new Newport menthol with the burning cherry end of her nearly smoked to the but cig . "Daddy turned into a toad and hoped off to la la land." She smiled at him. He jumped around in the closet and giggled.
It wasn't long until Marry met a man. He was a school teacher named Thomas Danes. He taught English Literature and a special playwrighing coarse at a High School a mile from the heart of Louis street, New Orleans. They moved into the Fairmont hotel and it wasn't but a semester until Thomas decided to leave highschool behind him and move onto higher education. He decided to use his master he achieved at Columbia to teach at SMU in Dallas, Texas. He had enough saved, fourteen thousand in savings, to take them their and move into a small apartment room off of Main Street.
"Hang the DJ. Hang the DJ. Hang the dj, hang the dj, hang the dj, hang the deeeejaaaay. Hang the dj. Hang the dj, hang the dj haaaaang the dj hang the dj." "Shut up will ya." The jailar howled at Robert. "Sorry. It's lonely in herr." "Well, keep it down will ya. I'm trying to read the paper." "Sorry." Singing the Smith's did not help the matter of being in the cell, but the lonely shadows, and the thick un escapable bars, mad him beyond antsy, "Shop lifter of the world unit and take. . ." "I mean shut up." The jailer said, biting his Big Mac into three soggy pieces. "When I mean shut up I mean. . ." "Fine. Fine. No more singin." Robert retorted. He fell silently off to sleep and dreamt of riding the back of his old camero while his high school sweaty, Shelly played with the volume. They where on their way to a Smith Concert just outside of campus. Robert had been accepted to SMU for performance art and the Smiths had stole his heart and mind. "I can't believe it. I can't believe will see them live and flesh. Morrissey will be there. Is this not trip." Shelly was the average bimbo of the times. It was 1989 and the nineties had not just begun. "Can you believe it. This is the one. I'm going to fall from the cat drop onto his shoulders. I gonna crawl across the pit." "Hush down Shelly." Robert pulled out a highway map of 1-30 leading to dallas from Ft. Worth Shelly's hometown. "I want to dodge traffic by going through downtown. Not straight through to Fair park." "Okay. How do you suppose going through downtown will help?" "I don't. I just want to try it." The break lights annoying electronic color seem to flash in Robert's eyes. "Back to back traffic. Can you believe this shit. I thought I was the only Smith's fan at Trinity Valley." "What about me. I'd die for Morrissey." "Bullshit, you had your chicken dinner with ma and paw last week." "They won't let me be a fulltime vegetarian. You know they'd kick me out if. . ." "Turn right, right. On the Exit ramp. Fair park. Go now." Shelly swerved the car over. Robert spilt the green colored grass from the bong pipe. It was one of those makeshift laboratory pipes he had thieved from the lab in science class. "What now?" Shelly returned. "Turn up hang the Dj and I will light up. But pull over at this Mobil. I want to get a snickers and breath tacs." "Why do you call them breath tacs. Their tic tacks." "I just do." "Your trying to sound British Robert. You're not. You're an American. And you call them breath tacs but you sound british when you say it. Grow up man." Robert packed the pipe tighter and stoked it hard. The cherry brightened along with his smile. "Got weed?" Robert announced. "What?" "Weed. Got weed?" "No." "Pot, herb. You want some?" "Yours. Is it laced again." Shelly pulled the car onto the exit ramp and headed toward the Mobil. "It's closed." "The Philip sixty six station, man." Shelly hated when Robert called her 'man." "Don't call me man, man. I am a women." "Okay. Women, pull over to the Philip sixty six. . ." Hooonk. Traffic indulged behind them, as Shelly hit the blinker and pulled into the station. "This one better be open." "The sign says it is." Robert toke'd on the bong a few hits and passed it to the Shelly. He opened the door, slung on his pea coat and headed out into the cold. "Want anything." He hollered through the front windshield as he belly slid across the hood. He was young, alive and full of energy, good looks and charm. "Are you sure." "Get me Camel lights and ah, a diet pepsi." "A diet what. You way two pounds Shel. Ya don't need diet anything." "Diet pepsi and Camels. Now." She gritted her teeth, smiled and stuck her tongue out as fast as pit viper. Robert ran into the station and vanished behind the steamed covered swinging door. The cow bell near the shiny rusty golden hinges rang as Shel flicked her head up, holding the heated pipe. Robert returned with the snacks, a beer and cigs. "Got everything. Camel lights for you, beer for me. Oh, and not to forget the weed." He took the bong back from her and Shel stepped on reverse. "What happen to the snickers." "They only had Hershey chocolate bars and I hate Hershey products. I only like the special chocolate at the health food store. Hershey gives me gas." "Gas?" "Gastorical problems." Robert returned and lit a Camel up for Shel. "Thanks. Since when did you start hated Hershey." "Look. I don't need candy. I want to look good for Morrissey. Plus, you know, Hershey sounds gross. I can stand snickers because it has nuts but that chocolate shit gets boring. Plan old Hershey Ewww. I want variety in my bars or something from Germany or Italy, or foreign choco. Not generalized. . ." "Okay I get the point. I get the point." Shelly turned up the volume and began to hum along. "Girlfriend and a coma I know I know it's really serious." "Did you make this tape." "Why?" Robert asked. "Well, hang the DJ is not on the same Album as Girlfriend in a coma." "So." "So. If I make a Smiths tape I keep all the songs on one album on one tape. That way, ah, I want get my songs mixed up. Its respectful to. The Smiths and Morrissey were going through different moods and times, and the ages where different in England when the albums where being created. Stop here. At the next seven Eleven. I want to get some American Spirits." "Why?" Shel pondered over his dim whit logic of mixing Smith songs. "What difference does it make." "I don't think that song is on Coma's album either." "No. I was asking what difference does it make, not the song. And I don't think what difference does it make makes any difference anyway. Just shut up about tape mixing." Robert toked up another hit, and passed the smoking pipe back to Shel. She turned the wheel to the side at the stop light and waited. Traffic was becoming more and more jammed.
The jail cell slammed. Roberto awoke from his day dream. He was thirty again. No longer a boy of seventeen smoking bowls of weed, hanging out at Smith concerts and listen to Smashing Pumpkins until dawn. He was fully grown, past puberty, alone, in a dark prison cell, claimed as a armed robber. A thief. A menace to man.
They made it.
The furthest Roberto had come to making it in life was moving away into an Apartment from a twenty minute train ride from the heart of Dallas. Roberto grew up there as a youngster, hung out with the artsy types, Smith fans, became a fanatic, dated dead heads and found himself alone, in homosexual encounters with strange blond boys that practice water color, stensile and acrylic. Never met one that used real oils. It was crucial for him to be right as a teenager, and even more crucial to be write as a poet, a failure and half fool.
That is what a poet is, a half fool.
It was one year, only three hundred and sixty five days past his high school reunion. Some of his old friends, especially the artsy types and performance based groups, had made it out in the world. They had landed jobs as accountants, French teachers in Paris, non-profit organizations in Washington D.C., coordinator managers at eye contact lens solution factories like Alcon, and managers of clothing wear, interior decorators, designers, magazine editors, painters. Some of them got married, had children, even some married each other, traveling freely through the great county with handsome paychecks enough to by Roberto a month supply of food. Paychecks in the thousands. Roberto usually only made up to two to three hundred a week and that is if he worked a full shift.
They had made it. Really made it in the world. I am not in the world.
He never felt so alone. He regretted his trip to Los Angeles and his attempt to sell his music, his face.
YOUR GOING TO BE A MOVIE STAR ROBERTO. A MOVIE STAR.
A movie. A sequenced of film images projected onto a screen in rapid succession to create the illusion of motion and continuity. A cinematic narrative.
YOUR GOING TO BE A MOIVE STAR.
Roberto could no longer separate the voices. He used to identify each one that spoke to him. Now it was many. Many voices. Over and over, almost as one. Sometimes it sounded like a little girl. Sometimes like a old man. Sometimes it was his sister's voice, or his mothers, or a past lover, or his father's, or the voice of a kid he grew up with in sixth grade. All of the voices taunting him. Judging him. Dictating.
A MOVIE STAR MY FRIEND. YOU WILL BE ONE. THERE IS NO WAY
OUT OF IT.
As a kid, Roberto valued film nearly more than his sweaty Shel. He loved films more than life it's self. He was a hermit of the movie house. To him, he could live in one. As long as films where spinning off and on the reel, Roberto was smiling. His uncle owned a cinema house for a few years and he would visit to watch him roll the reels and polish the projector lenses. It wasn't much work as long as you had dedicated and loyal employees.
I mean, what would you do? Well, you'd go to the business, teach. . .
What would she do.
Roberto began to imagine what she'd do. A lady friend he once admired in High school, now is off abroad in Paris teaching business people, that do not know English, the language of English. Roberto had nothing more to do, but to contemplate and think it over. My life is shit. I have gone nowhere. What now. Hollywood didn't take me the first time. Where do I go when I get out of here. Mom's far away from home and my step father despises me. What now? I have no lady. I have no love. With out love I am nothing. NOTHING.
What would she do? Go to the louve, study paintings walk along the river. I don't know what that river is called. The famous one that runs by the triangular buildings above the paintings. Above the museum. What are they called? What is the building called. The underground one with Mona Lisa. Ah, yes. The louve. The Louve. Yes, that is what they call it. But the river. What is the rivers name. The river.
A long solid slam rang hard and cold through the prison cell. Some one was coming. The footsteps slowly crept one step at a time. One step at a time. Closer to him. He couldn't wait. He had to see. Who would pay him a visit. Who was the next prisoner. He no longer thought of the girl. No longer contemplated her arrival and departure and her life abroad. He no longer cared.
What. Who. Who is it? Who. What is his name. It must be a male prisoner. Is he black, white, Native American, Mexican. What? Is he buffed out, thin, is he a danger. What is he like?
The echoes of the footsteps continue to ring and dance toward him in a an almost militant lyrical shattering tune The stranger that was walking toward his newly barred front door was surely not barefoot. The clicking from his heels were far too sharp and pointed. It was the sound of his boots clicking on the hard metal floor service before the tank door. It wasn't another prisoner. It was the guardsman. He was bringing Roberto the same old food he had been hogging down for the last three days. "Oatmeal, sugar packets and vitamin D and calcium fortified milk. It was his only pleasure and sadly enough his only love, besides the theme music to the reruns on the guards music and his sacred memories he called upon and played over and over again like a rusty VCR. "Same ol milk and oatmeal. Rise and shine sir." "Am I the only prisoner today?" Roberto asked the guard. "Yep. The only one in Uless. Enjoy." The guard spoke in a thick southern accent but tried to cover it by rounded off the diphthongs and straightening the cut off inflection. "Ol melk and owtmeeel." The guard chuckled at him, whistled some ol' Dixie tune, most likely learned and shared by friends and other hick folk, and walked off, clicking and banging his heels like some nazi soldier from the distant past. Then, the guard sat in the check in booth, replaced the old thumb print box and turned up the volume to the AM/FM radio. "Same ol ball and chain." Floated around the echoing halls of the jail cell that evening. It kept playing after every other song. It was Johnny CashO'thon and the radio station was an overly dedicated vagary of Cash's music.
"Hey. Can you turn it down a little." Roberto begged. "Yeah." The guard said then Roberto, "Listen." A lull filled the room. It was thick and as silent as last night's hard stay. "Sir. I've been here for three days. My court date isn't till Tuesday. Is there anyway I could speak with you." Roberto was losing it. Last time he stayed a night in jail he never spoke to anyone. Not a soul. He saw it as bad luck. Never speak to another criminal and only fuels the crime or the intent of the next crime. But a guardsman. Only say a few words to a jailer, if even look one in the face. "I know this sounds gay but I want to talk with you." The old man, with his round long belly, and piercing ocean colored eyes, eased his way one click at a time to the bars. "You wanna talk to me, huh." "Yes. I don't know if you know this but I was dedicated writer before I got tossed in here. And I have a problem with it. Sort of an addict at it. At story telling. And well, I want to talk with you. Carryon. I've been too lonely here. Far too lonely." The jailer looked down at his leather boot, spotted a white smear, bent down slowly like the wilted death of an old oak tree, wiped the smear clear and rose to an erect form. Roberto saw this act as the first man to rise up from the soil. Like adam, but with a beer belly and a strictly pressed and scotched guard canvas blue jailer uniform, with the silver star and some gold name tage that read, "My name is Ted. Teddy's what everyone calls me, that knows me, but you may call me Ted." "Thinks Ted." Roberto said. "I know this seems crazy but I want to tell you about the story I am working on. About the characters, the plot, the theme just so I don't forget it all. So I can remember everything." "We know what you are in here for sir. Writer or thief, we have the law on ya. Armed robbery is a serious offense." "True." Roberto added. "But my story, my words at my ol place, is more important than some stupid stick up that happens five times a week somewheres in this country." "You don't' sound like a writer. Using words like somewheres." "I write what I know. I write from the heart. From the hip. It's the only way I know. Many great writers were never even educated. Perhaps that will change your mind." "Maybe. Who wasn't educated as a writer." "Well, me. I was trained in another field but I fell into the word as a profession. But many great men in the bible were writers, and story tellers and they never went to a university." "Did you go to a university." "Yes." Roberto retorted. "For seven years.. I studied performance art." "Pretty different than writing. Say, tell me this, uh. . ." His eyes stopped. For a second it looked like this tree of a man was going to kill over. A moment lingered. The type of moments that arrive before a rain storm or some awesome cataclysm. "what's your name agin?" "Roberto." "Roberto what?" "Roberto Pace." "Hm. Pace. Never heard of ya." The guardsman said squinted his eyes like aged James Dean. The old man reminded the guardsman of pruned out and overly tanned James Dean or some ol country and western singer with a burnt and reddened neck. "Ya got sooom ol never in ya to strike some kind of literary challenge with me sir." The guard pouted. "You best make this conversation quick. Ya need toilette paper, some juice or a phone call. But you have no need to tell a story in here. You save that for the judge, and he'll sin ya to the loony bin if you strike that attitude up in court. Best keep you senses of reason up and your creative spark down." "Well, I'd appreciated if you just talk with me. Three days no conversation is hell on man's brain. You get to go home, talk with your wife or dog, or plant or something." "All I got at home is tv. My wife is gone, my dog doesn't hunt no more and I've taken up to reading the reader digest. Two hours a day." "Well. Maybe you could increase your knowledge. I speak from the heart. I mean what I say. I'm not fibbing ya. If you listen to me for awhile, maybe you get more out of all this." "Out of all what?" The guardsman returned. "Out of this life." A hm, expression formed over the guard's face like a dark cloud before the sun on a Sunday picnic. "Well. I guess I could listen to a story. A friend on mine that works out of town drives up and down thirty playing them cassette tapes of Stephen King and them help self books. You might do me good. I'll give you twenty minutes, maybe more. How does your story begin Robert." The guardsman walked away and returned with a small stubby, petite bar stool from the corner of the front booth. "Got a sit." He sat down simply on the stool letting the force of gravity lower him, similar to how Roberto Grandfather would sit, taking his time, moving one segment of his body with the other, like a boat fly it's state flag across the center on any modern machine. "I can't sit this body here too long. Getin ol." He grumbled. "How does it begin?" "Well. It starts of in Dallas."
Roberto walked out of SMU film acting class at around nine PM. "I'm not waiting on the cunt for more then ten minutes." The film teacher was late again. It was her third time in the past two weeks. She was a young professor hot off the press of NYU film school, a failed actress of Broadway looking to support herself by suckering a few actors in believing one needs lesson to act on film. Robert had slept with her twice a dozen times that year. One night with wine, the other ten without. She was stubborn in bed; with squeezing her legs against your ribs, but she kicked into an orgasm in the first few hundred pumping thrusts or so. Her favorite position to do it with Robert was in spoon, with panties on and crept to on side of her crotch. She sweated a sweet smell. She sort of smelled like rosy around the time she began to cry out.
He could still smell her cheap Paris bought, at the local gift shop entitled, Piere Dogode, near the louver. It was a one time shop, open seasonally that sold cheap items, post cards, cigarettes and T-shirts in English and French with the slogan and an icon of the Eiffel tower, "I love Paris." And the same in French. French cigarettes, cigar, small wine bottles with fancy wineries and so on. Basically, besides the glitter and powder, the bitch was a cheap French whore. She could be bought out under two hundred francs or if good looking enough, a bottle of wine from the Burgandy region, marked before nineteen ninety one. Simply, and straightforward, she was Walmart brand passing as Neiman Marcus. Anyway, Robert loved her. He figured she'd make him happy and she smelt decent. A few months went by, then snow, then more snow, then an ice storm and then the fall semester closed. Robert had experienced his first winter love with a real professor of literature arts. He learned about syntax, and theme paralleling political subjects, and how Nietzsche, and the works of Marcel Marceau, bib, her favorite mime, has changed modern man and so on and so on. She helped him with the works of Bellows, and Faulkner, and the golden words of Hesse and Shakespear, and his rhythm of three and how Goethe wanted to master everything in life, not just science, not just literature, and writing, and language, and the devils hidden messages, and the secretes of gold, and refinery, and acting, and dance and on and on and on. . .she never stopped teaching him the works, the words, the reasons for enrichment and betterment of man and his vicissitudes. She come home with movies by Bertolucci and Ingmar Bergman and command him to write three page papers concerning the provocative and deeply explored presence of American film actors and the persona of film acting and it's relation to the American masculine mystique entitled, "Death of a Stud." He was ordered busy work, and to build his vocabulary and knowledge of film, French masterpieces in art and literature, American poetry and the works of American writer's and their addictions. "It seems most all American writers have fallen to the illness of vagary, fanaticism and some form of drug use. . .." He would run to the library, check out books, compose two page paper and his reward would be sex. Hot, passionate and raw sex, from the Ms. Maria Godard. He was happy but not deeply satisfied. There was missing blocks in his heiarcy of needs. He had the water, the air, the food, the shelter, the love but not the self actualization. And with out the self worth, and self awareness, the water, the air, food, shelter and love, sex or whatever, would not amount to shit. He needed himself. Independence. One morning Maria return with a thesis on Gilgamesh and the art of war, and Roberto had left a thick pair of foot prints in the snowy backyard. To make things dramatic and to some up the mis en scene of the situation, he jumped the backyard fence.
It was a romantic getaway.
He summed her up as a second class package, a true Blanch DeBois. All teachers are Debois. Dreamers with lost ideas, and lost people, fighting death, and hunger and tearing apart pages of poetry and meaningless love letters.
Roberto decided to see a therapist. He had lost something. Something he was once very sure of, very confident of. Himself. He was no longer familiar with himself any longer. The therepist was at a place called the Wellnes Center of DFW. He saw an older lady, with a healthy figure and soul larger than New York city. She was so full of life, that just sitting near him healed. He agreed that the best healer, was mother nature, women or soil.
Later, that week, he decided to devour himself in books, stories and other masterful writers of our times.
He checked out the entire collection of Paul Auster's New York Trilogy and a few books concerning Auster's life and one book called something with the title Solitude and decided to return Classic Film Scripts of Marcel Carne. He was leaving the French whore behind and turning to the good life. He was considering going back to school, teaching college or other levels of education and making a living as a drama teacher. Roberto's theory on life is, "You can not escape what you love to do. You are what you love. If you run from what you are, you will trip and fall." Sooner or later he would become his stories and his stories would become himself and never would he allow a trick to defeat him, to stumble him, stupefy him to ignorance. Art was being true to thyself. Art was doing something capable and fully. Something from love and not from nothingness. But at times, he found himself composing one page poems about the lost women of his life, or the lost ideas, or lost story, the forgotten works, and play them down on paper, like some ol song from the heart of the devil. Never would he fall for love again. It always lead him to the ground, closest to his weakest point. Never would he beg for mercy again. Roberto was starting over. He decided to turn the leaf and follow his love. He would compose a love story about the women, or a fantasy, that would make all this pain go away. A story to disguise life. Some say it would become a sort of morphine drip, others a true masterpiece and most critics would not argue that the two subjects, morphine and masterpieces, are much different in nature or beast.
He no longer had Maria but he did have art. Art became his love now. The biggest gift he noticed, giving to him by God, wasn't necessarily his life, although that could be argued by many doctors and lovers, but it was his ease of falling into new interest. See interest is a important ingredient to success. If one can always keep his or her interest occupied, and hungry, then that person will never fall into the blue. The blue is what Roberto called the freezing hell of depression. At times it could trap you in bed for hours, and one could even be so sunken that they barely could find the bathroom door, or lift the sheets above their waists. The blue was worst than a gun shot. Plus, most gun shots came with doses of morphine. Anything to stay above the waters. Trouble was knocking on Roberts door. Loan payments from college, credit card slips, bills, rent, and food. He found himself calling the local Texas Department of Human services and applying for food stamps. Some morning he'd wake up panicking. I'm dieing. I can't breath. Its over. But it was only his artistic soul fighting back, kicking his ass, GET OUT OF BED, DOOOO SOMETHING IDIOT. Work, create. Create, work. Get a job. A girl. A life. A lady. A love. Go , go, don't let the blue take you under.
He remembered once when he was a kid. AT the age of three. His sister would take his fire engine toy from him, steal it from his happy hands and laugh. "Ha, ha. You can't play with it anymore." The magic of Roberto was natural. He would crawl back to the toy bin, full of magical dolls, and tinker toys, and wooden blocks and chose a new activity to conquer. This was what killed his sister will. This is what hurt her. It wasn't that he couldn't play with the fire engine any longer, but it was that he could find something new to roll across the carpet, something new to make him smile. Happiness was gold. Happiness was worth far more than money. He had failed with so many times during his life, but he kept going. At the age of fifteen he broke his ankle trying to become noticed as a masterful skater. He wanted to be on H-street out in California and make it as a skater dude. He broke it bad. It was called a spiral fracture. He decided to give up skating at the age of seventeen and try out drama. He continued acting for eleven years, and even got accepted to a prestigious acting school in the heart of New York's art district near NYU, 12th street and the Strasbergian Studios. He was making it and then, he went mad. Completely and utterly mad. He lost control and went overboard. He had to fly home and start over. His next love became writing.
"Mom I want to be . . ." He remembered those words he told her at the age of twelve. Mother I want to be. Thus, simple words followed by whatever. Simply, I want to be. Those are powerful words from a boy of twelve and half. Germans believe that a boy, at this age, decides on his future, his career and his living. He told her his love for the bible, and story telling and decided that writing and telling stories would make him happy. "Mom I want to be a writer." "Huh." She said back to him, steering the new Mercedes bought by the recently divorced father. "I want to be a writer." "Then be one honey." Mom said with a smile. It was as easy as that. Now, all he had to do was perfect language, and the art of story telling. But language and syntax and English lit wasn't enough. It was more than that. It was will. A writer has an incredible will. One his acting teachers in New York. Rob Lieberman told him, "A writer is always trying to kill himself." He never understood why Rob told him this. What did he mean? Kill himself. Writers. Do they do that? I thought the enriched the world around them with words and themes, and images of a imagined world, not blow their heads off with a double barrel shot gun. Writer was trouble. For some reason it brought the demons of trouble.
There wasn't more than a month that would go by, that Roberto was not found waiting in the principal office for breaking certain principles for fighting with boys or arguing with girls, or pretending to smoke a paper rolled marijuana joint, before a pepper alley in the sixth grade. Roberto was learning to suck the marrow from the bone. His first lesson in writing, and the one that counts is Carpe Diem, not self control Self control is a lesson for survival, Carpe Diem is a necessity for the craft or writing and art.
As he spilled his guts to the fat guard, Roberto convinced him to lend out a sheet of paper and a stubby old pencil, cut in half, with no eraser. "Thank you." He said with focused presents. "I have to switch off with the other night man. I'm leaving early, mid shift, so, I'll have to see ya tomorrow. I have a daughter to visit in the hospital." Roberto tossed a signature wave to the exiting guardsman and his clicking heels vanished in the shadows of the prison.
Roberto began to write on the note book paper,
I am finished, but I go on.
I have been asked to give up, but I go on.
I don't know why I am here, but I am here.
I see bars before me but I chose not to grasp them.
Does this mean I am in prison. What is imprisonment?
I am but as young as before and as old as always.
I am. I was. And I will be. Again and again
In the words I live.
I will begin again.
Robert wished he could break through the thick cement wall beside him, tear down the bars that kept his freedom. He do anything to escape, run off to some town, apply as a night stocker at a grocery store, take up a journal on the observations of a small unknown town. Memoirs about his life alone, as night crew member at an Albertsons or Tom Thumb, or a Wiggly, HEB, or Safe Way far off lost in the highway veins of this overly populated country. Anything, but this loneliness, this abandonment and hell. How would Roberto meliorate in a place so dark, cold and unforgiving. How does one progress without nurturing and lovemaking. How does one take in life with out giving back. How could Robert give back if no one was around that would take him in, employ him or forgive his non-Texan ways. After all he was an eccentric. Not every one in Uless owned a Peter Murphy shirt and memorized theories of Bertrand Russel.
One cannot fully bloom with out a sincere exchange. This world does not treat the lonely. How does one grow, and progress, in career or the market, if touching, kissing, lovemaking is forbidden. And the knowledge and experience of romance and life's true worth is shun. Roberto had worked, in the last past year, hard and laboriously. He had seven jobs in one year and every work place fired him for his temper and loss of control. It was his two enemies of his character. And since then he had to take a sine cura (with out care of souls) or what most people call temporary service, or tempt agency (the hell of sinecure.) A salary position required little or no work-and then, Roberto could focus on his book, or put his book down for a few weeks and sharpen his physique, slice the fat of his writer fashioned frame and build up vocally and spirit wise for the big audition out in Dallas. Writing and acting created many conflicts in Roberto's life. The two crafts had extremely different approaches and processes, systems and ways of perceiving life. Performing and creating stories were distant brothers, but nevertheless, they had relations. It was a contradictory tornado inside his being. It was like studying painting and dance simultaneously.
Robert kept nodding off to sleep, or nap, and a sudden shock of energy would arise in the pit of his stomach, as if falling off to sleep, without a proper meal, or perhaps because sleep was in a cell, surrounded by nothing. He was very much dependent on the jailer and this made him jump with excitement.
There is a type of rip that may happen, in jeans, or slacks, that can not be repaired, not even with a cloth patch, cross stitching or any other type of tailor's technique or tool. The rip after ripped, is permanent. There is no going back. It is the type of rip that leaves a gapping canyon vertically, across the grain of the cloth. This means the cloth is damaged beyond repair and the jeans, or slacks are lost to the trash. Roberto learned this from one of his sewing teacher in an elective costuming class at the state university he attended for three years North of Uless. He compared this accident, or rip in cloth, to the emotional life and psychological scar of a person. Once damage is done upon another person, mentally more so than physically, the scar is forever gapped. This means their emotional life is forever changed. There is no needle, thread, style of stitch, or glue, that will patch the past pain and suffering that was inflicted upon the victim.
All those that are forced to stay home after graduation, or after the age of twenty are victims of an afflicted circumstance. The affliction may not of been caused by parent, or guardian or teacher, but may have stemmed from the lack of intelligence, lack of will, laziness, or poverty. There is no way out of it. The person, besides Kafka's life as a writer and poet, and his home and his unwillingly forced circumstance, has been damaged in such a way, that the name Laura Wingfield has been stamped on their forehead and they are forever caught in a whirlwind of borrowing money from their relatives to pay rent, or lodging or food or both and travel expenses too. Those who stay home lose. Those who leave and never come back to home, win. Those who leave home and return, for any reason lose. And if they leave and never return, the win. This is a true cycle. There are no exception. YOU CAN NEVER GO HOME AGAIN. It is fact. Roberto tried it and lost. He tried running off to the West to pursue the Hollywood dream only to awake to the busy sounds of taxi cabs off Broadway. He went around the world and decided that maybe I can return home again and he learned the hard way. Never go back. Never. Not even to write a book. There is no excuse to return home, but to gain twenty pounds and suffer from deep depression. Stay gone. Stay away. Stay abroad. Don't return. Roberto had dug a deeper whole of his artistic debt toward mankind. He had written two books and never attempted to publish either.
Why would a mother give a son false gift. Mom was always giving Roberto toys of the most classy skin and showy nature. Not simple toys, for trashing or forgetting, but toys that would last him, entertain him, and keep him company. Roberto needed them. He needed some materialistic object to occupy, or may I say, pass his time. It is sad, but true. He needed something other than another human to keep his company. Roberto was the type that would never be able, in the future, and at his present state of five, keep a friend, or lover. Roberto may not ever get married, but will and has gone on a limitless and countless dates with lady friends (excursions known as one night stands.) Roberto was not the type to lay down any laws in a relationship, or standards, and this was a good thing, especially in dating. Roberto's problem was he allowed too much freedom with his partner. He wasn't caring enough. He didn't give a damn what they did, and if they did cheat on him, he wouldn't hold it against their love. He had no ties. No ties whatsoever and this cost him. A good husband is one that does make choices, that does care about the promiscuous behavior of his wife and her future. He shoots for purity and knows he'll end up with a little particulates in the relationship. It is natural for her to look at other men, to admire movie stars on the silver screen and to dream. But the good husband, does not allow his love, his wife, to cheat. It would be wrong, and he would be a false husband.
Strictness was his flow in becoming a substantial and well rounded husband. He lacked discipline as a worthy partner. Care is an important aspect in a long term commitment.
Now about the toys. See, he's toys were never kept up with, or turn apart, or just lost. Mother would go out by him the best toy out there, and Roberto would trash it all. He never learned the concept of you pay for what you get, because he was spoiled and never giving the opportunity to purchase his own toy. Thus, his mother's too giving heart, his mother's sparring of the rod, and overly giving nature disabled him. He never earned his right to grow into a man. Thus, Roberto, the criminal, the thinly muscled thief, sitting alone in the shadows of his cell, never matured. He was steal a boy in a man's body.
Many writers are misfits, boyish men, and rebels of society. Perhaps they had similar complications with their mothers. Problems never sewn up. Gapping wounds carved out into the mind, and soul, by over spoiling. What this causes is a horrible fascination that live if for free. Life is for free boys take it away. Just take. Take and Take. Their skill and ability to give evaporates into uselessness and low self esteem and fear. This all leads to anger and anger can lead to thievery.
Much of his work poetry, art and stories come off as bullshit, or a false gift. A writer can write for many reasons. To entertain. To enriching. To love. To give knowledge. A writer is a master of giving. He gives his perspective on life. He gives his wisdom, his imagination, his knowledge. And knowledge is power. One of the greatest powers out there. Knowledge is even more worthy and powerful than money. And the only worth of money is for spending. Knowledge has the same worth a seed has to the soil. Man will never progress if knowledge, inventiveness and his story, or history, is not passed on.
The back story on Shel Thorns.
Five years later Shel would end up as a prostitute. "Pass it over." She took the joint from Roberto and pinched it firmly between the thumb and index finger. "You like Roberto or Robert?" Robert leaned over an unzipped his trousers. The 747 roared over Shel Volkswagon and rattled the windshield wipers. "Roberto is the romantic. He believes in passion, honesty, sonnets and long, hot sex." Roberto smiled and reached for the joint as Shel toked on it harder. "Slow down there Shel. Moderation." She passed the marijuana cigarette back to Roberto. "What about Roberto?" "Good question. See Roberto is the opposite. He is my shadow." "Shadow?" "Yes. Shadow. He is the opposite of a lover. Roberto is a thief." "A thief? Your stealing shit now." She let out a deep, hollowing inspired guffaw. She began to sing with a lyrical spirit. "Shop lifters of the world unite and take over." "Stop it. I'm serious. I have to be that way. In order to keep the romantic side of me, I have to well, you know." "No. What?" "I have to sometimes live the life of Roberto. Robert's shadow." "So you have to be bad. . ." "Sometimes to be good." "Interested. Was that purple hair indigo." "No. Skunk weed. Pretty bad huh." "Yeah. That concert was wild." "Yep. I can't believe they rushed the stage. All for one man. A singer. A poet. A true person he is." "Morrissey has that type of presence." "I was talking about Johnny Mar." "I thought they were after Morrissey." "Secretly the crowd was hypnotized by Mar's music. They wanted Mar, but he fooled them into attacking Morrissey. It is Mar's tricky intent to have Morrissey hurt. See the real genius behind the music is in Mar's guitar." "Your nuts Robert. Or Roberto. Or whatever your name is." "Its whatever you need it to be." Robert leaned over and planted a kiss on her lips. A kiss inspired by Roberto, more so, that Robert. "Was that Robert or Roberto." "Well it started off as Robert but ended up as Roberto." He leaned over and climbed on top. That night he deflowered Shel Thorns.
A prostitute is defined as, "One who solicits and accepts payment for sex. One who sells one's abilities talent, or name for an unworthy purpose. To offer for sexual hire. To sell one's talent for example for an unworthy purpose. It derives from Latin as prostituta fem. P. part of prostituere, to prostitute. Pro, in front. Statuere, to casue to stand. Shel would later end up selling her talent and body on the streets of Paris and Los Angeles.
Robert didn't want Shel to leave. "They'll make a whore out of you in Paris. And most likely elsewhere. You are protected at home. People love you here." Shel explained to him that she was going to take the taxi cab to DFW International airport, with her passport and leave. She was going to think about this step by step. Plan it out in her mind, visualizing, stepping out of the yellow checker, setting her suit case on the trolley, paying the attendant to load her and walk to the ticket booth, hand over her passport and wait at the proper terminal, buy a pretzel, read some Gustave Flaubert, most likely Madame Boulvery and then a section on Naturalism versus realism and thoroughly analyzed paragraphs in her newly bought Writer's magazine. Step by step, she would do this, get on the airplane and say Farewell to what collected dust behind her. It was a week after graduation. 1990.
"People suffer for what they believe in. Some will even starve. My creed is to travel. To write. To know the world. I will stand by that Roberto." "Why do you need a creed? Why do you need the world? Why would you need anything else but me." "That would be sick," She intruded with strength, "That would be wrong. If all I needed was you, I would destroy you." "Why?" "Because we destroy the things we love. We become it, take it in, eat it up, know it, explore it, and then we must throw it away, or it will trash us." "Trash. What the hell do you mean, trash us." "I mean what I say. The world can't throw you away if you stick with your creed. If you stand by your beliefs. But there will come a time when it will ask you to prove yourself." Roberto took another hit of the joint. "I'll just take what I need then. I didn't want to do anything else but be with you. But since you say that is impossible, then I will find a passion, a creed as you say, and go out there and proof myself." "That's all the world wants you to do." "This play sucks." Roberto said. "Who wrote this?" Roberto put down the dramatist play house script and looked up. "I got to memorize these lines for Runway theatre, next week. Come on. Lets go over them." "Who wrote this garbage?" Roberto asked half laughing at the words. "It's bullshit. There is no verisimilitude or respect to how the real human talks. Its worthless, if you stand it up to mankind." "It's local work. The playwright still has the right to be read, played and heard and experienced." "Now your talking like your character. Do you really want to be an actress Shel." "I guess." She leaned over and gave Roberto a little kiss and he fed her her lines and cues and she answered accordingly. "My goal is to have the first five pages memorized before the sun arrives." "Okay. Okay fine. Fine, fine. Okay. Next line is. That's all the world wants you to do. Okay that's your line and I say, or Jim says, Go out there. Do it gal." He rolled his eyes and continued on. "I shall my love. I shall." "I'm not coming to see this." Robert sad smothering the joint in the ashtray. Another 747 screamed overhead and landed on the runaway in short quick fart sounds. "It sounds like they poot when they land." Roberto informed Shel. "Poot. What poots?" "The airplane's poot when they touch down." "Lets stick to the script." "How much are they paying you anyway." "A small stipend. And gas money and they feed us pizza now and then." "Is the director older." "He's in his forties. Gay. So don't worry. He isn't trying to get in my pants." "What if he did?" They talked about the script and Paris. Shel was thinking about taking a coarse in conversational French at the local Junior college. "I might even take a coarse in French at UT." "Why?" "Because it will help me." "Help you become a better actress? Why don't you just memorize if audibly. That is what Bella Logosi did in his Vampire flicks. He couldn't speak a lick of English. But he memorized how the words sound and asked the director what he was saying. That is why the inflection are stressed wrong on I want to suck your blood." "Why are the inflections wrong on Bella 'I want to suck your blood." Roberto added, "He hit want. That is too general. Every actor accents the verb. Many they hit the verb when they speak the line." He scratched his head. Another jet airliner whooshed overhead. " Ahhh. Okay. See say it like you really need the blood." Shel closed her eyes and licked her lips. "I want to SUCK your blood." Roberto unzipped his zipper again. Shel bent over and layed her head in his lap. "See, he should of hit SUCK. Not want. Want was too conventional of a word to stress. But it worked, only because Bella was innocent to the language, and his heart meant." "Whatever." Shel opened her mouth and licked Roberto's tip. He began to moan and closed his eyes. Next, he lit up a cigarette and turned up the radio station to classical music. "Just relax Roberto. Relax." He leaned back and let her give him head. After the first stanza of Mozart and came in her mouth and she zipped up his pants and wiped off the stain on her lower jaw. "You were fully loaded that time." "I haven't been whacking off as much. I've been worried." "Worried about what?" "About life. After school. College. Cigarettes, health. Just worried. Worried about my father's health and the liquor store." "Is he going to let you work there with him." "He said I could work for free?" "Why would you work for free." "I guess to pay off my spiritual debt. My father is nuts." "Why would you work for free for him. How would you make it in the world." "I don't know if this world is meant for some one like me. I'm a freak Shel. I don't belong here." "We are all freaks in some way or the other. Just find another job then." She said. "Maybe. But people fire me. If I attempt to act anything like a normal person, if I eat as much, kiss a girl before them, hold a chicks hand, read a book, or anything they begin to sneer. Like they once sneered at John Merrick." "Your not that deformed Roberto. Your just missing a section of your chest. It's not that bad. A few ribs dented in. Other people have had it worse. John Merrick had to wear a freakin hood over his head. He made money at a side show. You don't work for a side show. You work for a temp agency." "They don't call me anymore. I don't know what it is going to take for me to make it in this world. Who is going to let a freak write a book. Do you think a publication company will have me employed?" "I don't' see why not. You'll get employed. And when you do just hang on to that job, until you save enough to build your book, or run off, or do whatever writers do." "I don't know. It's much easier just to take. Just to rip off some car stereo or someone's watch, or a cash register. Why should a freak have to be like everyone else. I don't look like everyone else." "Looks aren't everything." "That's what they say. But looks do count. And I have a handicap because of that." "You have a pretty face and most of your body is intake. You should be grateful for what you have. Look Roberto. Listen to me. Continue writing. Don't let them get ya down." "Could you imagine if I didn't. Could you imagine if I didn't rely on writing as a way to success. Could you imagine if I took to drama or the stage. Do you thing people could stand me?" "People don't' have a choice really. If that is what you do than you must prove to them that it can be done. Most people in Uless merely watch tv. You don't Roberto. You read, those Dective novels like crazy and your write poetry and you . . ." "Rob shit. I'm on my way to loser villa." "No your not. Your on your way to publishing your book. You have to believe in it. The turtle wins not the rabbit. Look. Get up tomorrow. Go to work. Call the temp agency. Go out there. Give them hell. Don't give in. Just don't." She hugged Roberto tightly and turned down the radio. A thick lull filled the car's interior. Cigarette smoked snaked out of the ash tray and hovered like haunting ghost, around the still air. Another 747 zoomed overhead. The sky was beginning it's ascendance to faint blue.
That night Roberto began a journal.
Shel thinks I am utile. I don't' know. Perhaps in my uselessness there is a use. I am worthy of lessons, worthy of teachings and perhaps a large part of me is empty and in this emptiness lies hollowness, a carved out bowl, awaiting to be filled. All things that are empty are worth fulfilling. Almost as an empty suitcase is worth something. Many would say it's useless, but they are ignorant. I am like empty luggage. I have not been filled yet, and there is cause for my hollowed out innards. And if something is awaiting fullness, then the voidances is worth it's ineffectiveness. And in this along, lies great worth, and effectiveness.
Roberto shook his head at the scratched ink on the journal. I don't know what this is. He though. Silence filled the room as he flew the pen into the ceiling above. The pen stuck and slowly wiggled and then fell to the floor. He had done something, he did not know what it was, he had giving something to the world that would change things, change the style of man, the meaning of the meaningless objects, the unanswerable material that stood so dead around him. He was becoming, slowly, he was developing. A writer was arising within him. It was time to put away his childish things and pick up that in which a man deserves. He would go to Shel and tell her, "I want to be a writer. I want to tell the story." "What is the story." Shel question him. "It would be impossible for me to answer now. But I know the story is a part of me, if not all of me." "Breath." Shel told. "Breath and take this in mind." She held up a little black pamphlet. It was a hotel brochure with a poem written on back. She gave it to him. "Remember what Stendhal said in the 1830's, 'a novel is a mirror walking along the road." Roberto smiled and replied, "Good one. But I have a better." He searched inside himself, lowering his eyes and picking at the ground, "To a chemist nothing on earth is unclean." "Not yours." Said Shel. "Chekov was a believer." "So are you." She kissed him and let the wind and the creepy shadow of the next 747 hover over them. It passed, landed, farted and taxied to the terminal like a confident turtle. Morning was on its way. Nothing would stop it. Not even their beliefs and dreams of tomorrow.
The jail door banged shut. A sharp metallic sounding echo, shot down the hall, as if a black smith letting his hammer fall to the melting iron and forming a pattern, a useful tool, a mechanism to complete a progression; a clinking sound arose and was released to vibrate the eardrums and awake Roberto.
See, their tricky. They want me up all night. That's their old trick. Up all night until it hurts here. Here in the side of my head.
Before the court proceedings. If I get no sleep, I'll become week, fall to overeating, stuffing myself. I don't want to look like a complete loser before the judge. What if the judge is a women and I show up with an overly full belly. Then what. See, their tricking me. They keep waking me in the middle of the night. Slamming doors. Hurting my ears. Stop it. Stop it. Can I have silence.
"You're the difference between a wild dog and a pet." Shel handed Roberto a small locket in the shape of a black cherry. "I don't want to wear it anylonger." She hugged him, whispered the usual in his ear, grabbed her luggage and boarded flight 757 American Airlines. She zipped off, dark satin dress flowing behind her, like some exotic queen from the gothic period and vanished in the night sky. A single blinking red light beeping, warning him, that his heart may feel the pain it should of felt, during their last embrace. "I have a wonderful way of controlling my emotions, Shel." She was gone. He lost her. 1992. He could still smell the green water cologne, she would steal from her step father to pass as real perfume as he x'ed out August 18th on his Nature calendar of howling, lonely wolves. She was gone, but her scent was still in his mind, on his body, in his cupped hands. He held her scarf she had left at his house on Christmas Eve. He smelled it all night long, thinking about her profile, how her eyes reflected the morning sunrays, that would sneak through the blinds in his small room. How they'd lay on the futon and count each other's heartbeats. There was a time they were one. It was an exact time. A chosen time. A gingerly chosen time for every moment. A time, with a scent, of flowers, and wine stained breath and the vibrate touch of youth.
Your going to hell for this Roberto. To hell. You will go to hell for this.
OR will she go to hell for you.
The prison doors slammed again. He was out of his trance. Out of the memoirs of home. Not far from him, just a thirty minute drive and he'd be in his front yard, looking at the gas lamp, staring at the neighbor's fat cat. God how that cat needed to be on the diet. It was a fluffy thing, with black and orange stripes, green eyes and it had some healthy name like Samson, or Fredrick. It was a neat cat, still in its poise and use to stare for such a long time, out the glass door. It would observe the world from the front doorway. Fat cat would watch mom's skinny orange and white cat. She had the name of a perfume. Mom named all her cats after perfume. The mother cat had two babies. One, the cuter and rounder of Mom's black and orange felines, was named Shallowmar. It was found under Roberto's red Laser Plymouth, limp, still and scaly. The vet said it died of cancer. Roberto loved his cats.
Garlane. Garlane was thin and meowed non stop if you picked her up to caress her. She only meowed when touched or bothered. She was very much into her personal space and rarely purred for the owner. The mother cat, and I will not reveal her name, for protection and honor, but I will inform you that she was named after a fine perfume, is very old and in her cat years around 70. I would say the cat is ten years old and is very reserved moderate and full of life. Most likely she will not have more kittens, but she will enjoy many mornings of fancy feast and constant servants of Healthy Kitty cat food. A food with special heart medication and fortified vitamins for older cats.
The cat, in which I give no name is a metaphor for my mom. I always viewed myself as one of the dead cats. I nicked named them Ethiopian kitties, not because of their regions but because of their spirit. I believe in the Ethiopian triumph, and the survival of making it out of the wasteland.
Inside a cell.
Roberto went inside his library of images. Not long before he was locked up, he was dazed pondering over skyscrapers in New York city. Trying to figure out their origin. What caused man to build toward the heavens? He wanted to know their names. Especially the buildings that had no fame. He knew of the Chrysler, the Empire State building and the twins, which he witnessed their burnings-and according to Roberto, it was the largest murder, and horrific slaughter of innocent workers, every witness but such a massive crowd, in one instance. Roberto had never been near so many dead people in his life. He did not see a single soul burn with his own eyes, but he did see their ashes floating to the heavens and their black smoke that mixed with the lost ones. He wanted to know more. What was the building that divided the two streets near 25ths street and the dog park. What was that building called, the one near the statue of one and many of great men, staring at his separating nature. Two streets, one going left and the other to the east. One could walk right passed it and into the east river, with out ever erasing it's perfect triangular shape, in the cold murkiness of the splashing water. It's a building that sticks with you. But Roberto did not know of it's name. What is it called? He silently whispered. I know it has a name, but I don't know it and no one talks about it. Its near the 180's fifth avenue 10010 zip code. I know where the building is located but I don't have the name. Roberto felt like this building. A person separated two paths. Two ways of thinking. The Robert, the honest man, and Roberto the thief. And he switched so many times from man to man.
Robert longed for the things outside the bars before him. The cat and it's soft fluffy touch. Its orange and white stripes. He longed for coffee and bagels, and a Camel cigarette or some American spirits, a lemon, a dry lemon and a drink, a martini, hell he's never tried a gin and tonic, ever. What I have missed. And now I may go into this cell for a long, long time. I what I'd do for a Twinkie, chocolate covered nut. He could crunch it in his watering mouth. He closed his eyes and pictured her face and her loud, energetic laugh. So much life she held. So much time. So firm and young. And he grew old, trying to erect his back against the lined bars and forget the images of the outside. The beauty of the world was now holding a carrot before his jack ass morals.
I can't believe I put myself in here. I thought I was a writer. No. I have
Failed. Failed myself. I could be at home writing the story. About her.
About her taste. I could go to some small town, work in a factory and
Print out a thousand pages for her. Millions and millions of words for her.
All to win her over. Where is she now.
Some where, down the hall, or in the front check in room, a drip methodically and painful tapped the floor of a faucet. It was a slow drum banging. I reminder of her heart and his heart beating. Only they did not lay as one. Now apart. Now the beating reminded him of their separation. He wished some one would tighten the nozzle and cut off this hellish reminder of life. This aching rhythm of sorrow and loneliness. But, even with his must sincere prayers, it beat onward. Each drop landed, time lingering between each hit, each tap of the faucet floor, slowly, a million years between each drop.
GOD I NEED HER. I WANT HER. I CAN SMELL HER ON ME.
DEAR LORD DO SOMETHING. SOMETHING.
"Hush that faucet. Cut it off someone." No one answered, nothing but the beating of the splattering drops. Nothing but the torture and reminder of
tiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmme. All it is, is time.
The thief was now locked up. Now it was a time to find redemption.
A new guardsmen brought Roberto his food at around six pm. Still he was the only prisoner occupying cellblock 3b, county. It seem to house less light, less noise, less connection with the outside world, as every minute ticked by. The food was brought in through the main sliding bar door that separates the hall from the cell. It was not like the old prisoner films where the guard slides the food through a horizontal slot suited between the bars. It was more complex. One was asked to step back, than the guard entered, placed the tray of food on the table, which was made out of concrete, walked out of the cell, closed the door and said, "Eat." The guard walked off. Roberto was hungry. He hadn't had any real food since he entered. The tray occupied a side order of mash potatoes, a slice of white bread with a few sandwich sliced bologna stacked on top of the white wonder bread. The beverage was either a glass of raspberry colored overly sugary Kool-Aid or the lovely choice of tap water. Roberto sat down, whispered a small prayer and dug in. He was starved. He began to think about how the French make pate. Pate means pie in French. It is pronounced pah-tay, the accent stressed over the "e". It is considered a seasoned ground meat preparation. It usually comes in smeary form, and has a satiny smooth and coarsely textured. It makes a lovely spread for crackers. Also, it may be made from a chunky mixture of pork, veal liver or ham, fish, poultry, game, vegetables and, in this remembered case, goose. Roberto once worked at a French Bistrot where a waiter from the intellectual town of San Francisco informed him the cruel rumor of how the French prepare pate. "They take a tube, and slip it down the goose's throat. Then, they force feed it over a period of weeks, until the goose becomes so stuffed of forced grain and corn, fat deposits accumulate on the goose's liver. After enough fat is stored, the goose is slain and the fat is sliced off the liver in fine slices. It is served in a mesh or cooked in a crust. Its very fatty and rich. French love it." Roberto put down his cheap plastic spoon. He walked over to the toilette and scrapped the mash potatoes into the silty water. Flop. Next, he pressed on the flusher knob and tore the remaining half piece of bread into a tiny flushable pieces and tossed into thewhirling toilet water. He looked at himself, spinning in the water, as the prison food was sucked into the drain. "I'm not your goose lawman." He whispered and returned to the table. After a few minutes of nothing, he took of his leather jacket, the guard allowed him to wear it over the orange uniform, it was his favorite, imported from the U.K. and bread by Moda fashions, it reminded him of his youth and he only wore to change his appearance, make himself look younger, during a robbery. The guard let him wear it. Temperature dropped at night and the ventilation was old fashion and rickety. The cool winds were blowing all night long, due to the trade winds pushing cooler air from the southern shore, it was that type of thing where a butterfly wing pulses miles and miles away and a hurricane builds on the opposite side of the seven seas. Strong winds, push other winds, in which build a force, that can drop temperature thousands of miles away. It is a weather forecaster's nightmare and a common factor among the science of meteorology. All caused by a small wind far, far away. Sort of like Roberto's life. His crime sparked by violence far in his past, now catching up with him, heating him up, causing a storm within.
The jail house was not far from the center of town. It rested on the edge of small downtown shopping center near Uless. At times he could here a car pass, or a rock n roll song being played over a truck. One time he woke up to Neil Young screaming about a Western Hero. Roberto waded the jacket into a wad, a makeshift pillow, rested his head, and nodded off to dream land. It was time to rest.
The phone rang in the front clerks office. Roberto jumped up and cried out. He was yanking at his chest with his fingernails. It was his heartbeat. The cell was making it change. Slow down. Decrease in speed. The guard had the tv's volume turned up pretty loud. It was a slight hint that some one was attempting to wake him up. It was one of those murder mystery shows, those crime detective stories, like Murder She Wrote, or Criminal Justic. Some lawyer, overly paid actor in Los Angeles that looked and sounded like a George C. Scott, was arguing some case in court and then, a commercial break arrived. It could have been a made for TV movie, or some older classic played on Fox or the WB. Roberto began to play a game. He would try to figure out what TV show was playing over the speakers and in turn, add up points for every show he got right. Ten points for the full name, five points for an actor and three points if it was a TV show, made for TV movie, or older film played for television. He turned his hard reality of the imprisoning situation off, and imagined what the scene, actors and story looked like in his mind. It was sort of like sense memory exercise that was so popular in the nineteen fifty with actors like James Dean and his method followers. It came off as a desperate imaginational escape to watch TV and relieve his mind of the cold, hard, unbendable, and impenetrable bars that prevented him from running off to another space and time.
God what he do for a cookie or something sweat. He trade his favorite jacket for a cigarette. The guards only allowed him to smoke at specific times. He was hungery for the outside life. A stop a 7-11 store for a big bomb burrito, or slurpee. Maybe, a six pack of Miller Light or a few wine coolers. Maybe, he could go by the liquor store and pick up some Strawberry Boones for 4.00 dollars a bottle. He needed freedom, he needed the limitless feeling to stop off at Wendy's and pick up some fries. He could no longer make those decision any longer. He could no longer hunt out some gal at some Karaoke bar. He had no right to make a decision. Decisions were made by the guard or some judge. His choice was now robbed from he just as he robbed other's of their materials, and in some shallow eyes, what he stole was worth forbidden his freedom. People, choice to believe that their materials were more important. The fact that Roberto chose not work did not matter to them. They did not give him choice. Perhaps this is why he stole and robbed. He wanted to become a great writer. He wanted to be seen. Roberto saw his thievery as a form of protest, no a way to feel better than others, or a reaction to his laziness, or a easy way out. It was a protest, a way of blaming society for his failure. He was no longer a citizen. He was barely able to open his eyes due to the thick and blue sadness that lay on his expressionless brow. He was slowly accepted his imprisonment.
The true prisoner is never a prison until he makes up his mind to wrap his hands around the bars. The prisoner that doesn't wrap his hands around the bar is accepted his true existence. He is accepting an inner life, a Zen state of mind. The prisoner that screams out and longs to be realized is a man of material and needs the outer world to arrive at happiness.
Roberto became a prisoner when he made up his mind that he needed more than what was giving to him in the cell. He needed a car, he needed a women, he needed the liquor store, and the feeling of getting high. He was becoming the worst kind of sad. Hopeless. A hopeless man, with a lost dream. Somewhere his dream had been flushed down some toilette along the interstate. Most likely lost at Phillip sixty six station off of highway sixty six. Once hope is lost, all is lost. He had to find away out. A way inside himself, another avenue of exploration, that would delivery him from the outside world of pleasurable rewards and the cookie hell. (Here have a treat. You feel better. How long can one survive on that.) The ants were bitten him.
He got down on his knees, bent over and began doing rapid, quick excessively laborious push ups.
Roberto was a man with a huge appetite. He wasn't too overweight, but headed in the wrong directions. Since he returned home from his journey in L.A. and New York he had gained fifteen pounds. Maybe a few pounds near his borderline (obviously he was underweight when he arrived home.) He was about six foot, hundred and sixty three pounds, shaggy hair, bearding, with side burns and bushy eyebrows. When, he was younger his friends called him Hollywood. Now, they barely called him period. He had dreams of running off again and hooking up with the film scene in L.A. Later, he got hooked on reader internet sites and worthy literature from mid century and late twentieth century. He dug stories written by Hesse, Bellows, Keurack, Ginsberg, Hemingway and Kafka. He began to self educate. He mostly was attracted to fiction. He wrote critical analyses on the verisimilitude of realist from the 1800's. He wrote an essay about Flaubert's works and the many poems inspired by French impressionism. He was slowly developing his mind, building up his vocabulary and becoming studious about history, all for the sake of writing. But the most crucial aspect to a good story is real life experience. Nothing is more educational than living life to it's full extremes. Soon, he run of to Los Angeles, audition for movies, rent an apartment in Soho and explore the writing circles of New York, Gramercy Park and hang out in the gay community passed King Street. He would take in the world, know it's darkest corners, plan to change, and rearrange his life, his furniture in his pad and his outlook, and as changed arrived, he'd write the new incoming aspects of life, he'd jot it all down in his memory or note pad. Keep it on paper, for others to open up. The word is the most powerful tool in escaping reality and building the imagination. Soon, he plan to travel back to Europe, and pack back and create books of poetry and lengthy journals on travel. Take it all back, find a small cabin and create another story and move on to the next step life threw out him.
He didn't know exactly how Kafka, or Hemingway did it. He did know why Hemingway was a big fisherman of words, fame and well, fish. Hemingway was also man of travel. He hung out in Cuba, drank, lusted after women, wrote books about old men, indulgence and war. He was man of war. War of words, literature and storytelling. He had worked with the Red Cross during a real man's war. War World II.
Samuel Becket wrote Waiting for Godot during a battle near Germany and France. Rumor has it he once kept his notes, and dialogue of all four characters and the boy in his flack jacket. Vladimer was a fellow foot soldier under fire, along with the hell of Gogo (possibly a word shouted by other soldier "GO GO take cover.") Lucky and his master, a symbol for the machine of war, and the need for the materialistic weapons carried in battle by soldiers and officers. Why he made them vaudevillian I don't know. To Roberto they were soldiers. Soldiers of laughter, madness and absurdity. A writer takes from his life. The more exciting and dangerous his life, the more worthy and richly blooded the literature. The more hell the writer goes through the more one appreciates and accepts his words.
Roberto could not think of anything more hellish and painful than isolation and loneliness. Unfortunately that is the sad news for a novelist's life. It is the worst demon to haunt the story, despite the sadness and hurtfulness, and stillness afflicted upon the body.
A writer must watch what he eats. He can't always have huge meals. His only movements are from his fingers. That is why many writers, like pianist, take up walking and other exercises. Some writers are extremely physical. Becket was known to starve himself, and his sadness wasn't hidden from the public's eyes. He simply looks like a skeleton in the photographs kept in various bios about his past life as a author and Pulitzer winner.
Roberto Pace was opposite. He had the worst time resisting food. He even did research on the matter. There was something out there called Prater-Willi syndrome. He had once substituted for special education and learned much about the disorder. A large black boy had it. He'd escape special education room, with shear force, rip open the door, haul down the hall, then, sneak into the principal's office, during classes, inexpertly carry off a birthday cake or snacks and eat them up as he ran back to his class room, or was tackled by other teacher. He was out of control. Wild. Dangerous. He'd hurt others or himself just to stuff some one else's lunch into his mouth. This was a kid that was a Senior in High school and was pushing three hundred pounds. He was miserable, and he did not know why. The teacher of the special educational unit would have to tie his wrist to the desk, award him with hand out snacks, in a near scientifically charted moderation and guard other kids from being injured by his uncontrollable urge to hog food. Three hundred pounds and nearly eighteen years old. The teacher and aids, bought a exercise machine and worked him a few minutes a day. Most of the aids assisted his disorder by constantly awarding him and letting the handicap boy take in food, sometimes as mere entertainment. Roberto lived the school district and was nearly tempting to contact his local congressmen or even the super attendants of the school. It was a horrible disorder and impossible to contend with. Eating is such a human trait, but when some one can not stop, or resist food, and when food become a violence for the person, their life literally becomes hell. They grow overweight and depressed. The boy Roberto had worked with was like this. Angry all the time, hitting himself in the head with his fist, rocking back and forth and throwing fits for food. A teacher told him, "He once ran out before the school, and out in traffic, stopping cars. Cars were honking, the police were called. Sad, sad situation." Roberto was so affected by the boy's wild behavior that he wrote a play about the class. After the boy suffering from Prater Willi, snatched his fellow classmates lunch and hogged it down the teacher began to shout out him, "Its sad he has to do this." The teacher said. Roberto answered, "Its very human to do that." The teacher shook her head and retorted, "Not its savagery. Its animalistic. The boy's an animal." That day, Roberto walked to the nearby grocer store to pick up a protein bar and bottled water. How dare that teacher. How dare her to judge an impaired boy. He was acting out on his nature. He had a problem and was suffering from his disruptive personality. How dare her call him an Animal. He wasn't an animal. He was a boy with a mental disorder, a impairment. He was a hero, not an animal. It is sad that the boy is still suffering and still be looked upon as an animal. He is not. He is human and he is better than most. He just needs more love, more attention, more time to grow, develop and mature into a civilized being. Yes, it is true, civilized people don't steal other's lunched and shove an entire loaf of bread down their throats, or rob birthday cakes from the principals office, but we are all tempted too. I don't care how smart and educated and high one's IQ is. They are tempted to pig and they have the decision to fall into this temptation or to resist. The boy that was suffering in the special education could not decifer between what was right or wrong. He may even kill some one for a cookie or snack of some kind, but he should not be looked upon as a criminal. His unique way of thinking is something we should learn from and not hide from or lock up and put away.
Roberto identified with the boy. When he use to work for 7-11, at the end of shifts he return to the dumpster and take home a bag of donuts and stuff himself at night. He was lonely. Of coarse he did it invisibly to the public's eye. He sinned privately, at home. He fell from grace and into the deadly hands of gluttony. It didn't really make him feel better, but he thought it might.
Roberto would wait tables. Several weeks would pass and he get order correct and memorize the menu. But due to his loneliness and sadness to the world, he take home boxes of pizza and pig out. He spend weeks running it off, and nights doing push ups and knee bends. Then, he go weeks with out large amounts of food and find a balance. He was the type of employee that would take down a tray of cookies when he had some time off. He had a huge appetite. Now he was completely like the Prater Willi victim. He didn't have to have it. If you offered a cookie to the Parater Willi boy, he snatch it away and shove it down his throat. Now, this boy wasn't like others. He could not talk, communicate in a oral sense, or even read, write or reason.
Roberto could resist. He was nearly as lowly intelligent as the special boy. If you offered Roberto a plate of spaghetti at the old Italian bistro he would simply resist it or pass. The Prater Willi boy could not. He could even speak to the customer's to take the order. It was easy to view him as an animal but he was not.
Roberto had eating problems as well. He had a problem resisting all foods for a long period of time. He had a rare disorder known as deprivation-bulimia. It is where a person goes a long time with out food and then stuffs themselves silly. It is not healthy and quite harmful. He slowly recovered from it with the help of him mother. She taught him to eat small meals all day long. Five or six meals a day and not to ever starve. "Starving his harmful. Don't do it to yourself. Keep food in you and stay active." After a year of starving himself and stuffing his hatch he finally gave in to his sickness and was forced to seek help. He saw a therapist at natural health, holistic center and began to take in three meals a day. Now, Roberto tries to take in five. The jailer only served breakfast, lunch and dinner and each meal is small, and not filling. Plus, he wasn't being aloud exercise in county. It wasn't going to be aloud. Now if he got sentenced to the pen he would be aloud an hour or so of activity a day. The penitentiary had to allow time for the prisoner's to exercise and lift weights and even watch TV. Mom told him to eat until he was full and to stay active. How would he listen to mom in this hell hole called county. The jailer's didn't allow a prisoner to do jack squat, but sit, or whatever activity that could muster up in the cell block. Depression was the enemy here and the only way out was a good imagination and a well graphed out memory. Roberto would silently right his book in the inside. And if he made it to the penitentiary he would ask for a typewriter. But he had a feeling he was going to get a good DA lawyer, and ask for probation and hard labor on the outside. There are many cases where arm robberies are set free, and giving a second chance. It was a chance that rested on the skin of his teeth, but nevertheless, a skinned chance counted in county.
He would go back and forth, from memory, to imagination with the help of the speakers from the television, and with his story about his life. He would call his book, The Criminal. And if he made into the big house, he ask for tattoos and meet up with the hard timers, murderers, he'd interview them, write plays about the inside and experiment with drugs. That would make him a Becket or Hemingway. The inside would make him great. He may even receive a Pulitzer for the hell. He was getting excited about being sentence. At least he would be able to meet people in the inside, share a room with a buddy. He would escape this demon he called loneliness. Anything to get away from himself. Anything to lose himself. To lose himself in another world, another cell block another form of imprisonment.
The criminal is the performer no one wants to meet. He is a side of mankind that is shunned, punished and despised. His pithy statements are not recorded, commonly published (even though some of our greatest written masterpieces have been constructed behind the bars) or given a chance at public eye, but in a few cases have been famed and understood by society of the whole. Scar face tells us, "You need people like me." He implies to his audience that the citizen, the worthy person with his paid credit card bills and mortgaged home, needs the crime of the criminals. How else would the good, honest and worthy person proof his worthiness. How does one know if they are moving through time and space, if they have no other source to compare their progression. How does a man lost in space probe that he is moving if no planets, stars, or objects are planted, or existing in his realm? Thus, how does the good Samaritan know he is good if he had no one to compare to that is bad. Good must have opposition in order to be good, just as the bad ones need the sound, and justified people to rebel against.
Jesus Christ was tried as a criminal. He broke the laws against the Roman Empire and was punished by Pontius Polite. He was charged with treason and blasphemy by the Roman lawyers, and Caesar. The Jewish community at the time judged him as a heretic and possible threat to the betterment of the future. How can the son of God be charged with a law that inflicts mostly those that are only ungodly. How does the son of God become evil? Well, he was not. Not in the eyes of the Apostles, nor in the eyes of Marry Magdalene, nor in the eyes of his Mother. He was a God, indeed. But, according to the present society around him, he was a lair, a cheat, and rebellious nasty criminal. Jesus was spit upon. He was shamed and called a false profit. According to Christian fundamentals he was the savior of our world. But even many of them were afraid to admit to his teachings, due to the punishment of death and torture. Not much has changed today. Many Christians are still made into martyrs and sadly enough die this way. Jesus was wiped and chained to a prison wall. What was God communicating to the world when he sent his only son to die for the world. He was a Pascal lamb, ordered for execution and torture by his own father above. And under God's eyes he was nailed to a cross, wrist's punctured, ankles cracked and his side ripped open by a spear. To the masses of the time he was an evil wrongdoer. To his disciple and followers and other listeners he was the way to heaven.
Roberto followed the teachings of Christ. He was in first grade when he decided to ask Jesus into his heart. He went home silently, went to bed, he still remembers the plastic tracks under the top bunk bed, the tracks he looked upon when he asked God to come into his heart. He did it silently and didn't even tell his mother or father until months later. It was his promise to God. And in return Roberto would receive salvation. Later, as a young boy in fifth grade, he would go to summer camp designed for Christian fundamentals. There he was asked, with a group of children of the First Baptist church to ask God into his heart, with the others. He remembers a small room, full of light, rays of multifarious color spread through out the room, the girls on their knees, kneeling before the preacher, crying. Roberto stared at the colored glass mosaic on the skim of the windows. He stared at the rays reflected off the hovering dust in the room. He sat before the preacher and asked him to pray with him. To help him ask Jesus into his heart. He told the preacher he had done it once before, under his bunk bed at home. The preacher looked up a chapter in the Apostles scripture. He remembers the three words the preacher read, "No sword, no stone, no fire." He used these three objects as metaphors, for what can never enter through the heart of God. Once, Christ enters a child's heart, no sword, stone or fire can remove his love. Forever will he be with God.
SO why am I in prison. I thought God did this for me. I thought Jesus died for my sins. Why am I here for my sins. Why do I still pay my own price for sins I can never avoid. I am a born sinner. How do I get out of this sinful world. I can help but sin again and ask Jesus for forgiveness. Why hasn't he helped me. Must I die for this world too.
Roberto remembered that many of the scripture in the New testament was written by prisoners. Many of the words of the disciples of Christ, the apostles, were words inspired by torture and Christian martyrs sense of neglect, abandonment and painful starvation and suffering. The Christian people, before the Christianity surfaced on a worldly level, were people suffering from poverty, bullies of authority and other beliefs backed by 'everyman for himself' and 'Greed is good' and 'riches are the answer' type of folk. Romanesque beliefs triumph far past it's due. Nowadays, time has changed. Roberto knew that Christ was strong in the eyes of his followers. And his ultimate and most powerful teachings were that of forgiveness
Roberto bowed his head,
No person has the right to hate any other, to judge anyone.
I can't hate any other race, any other being for any other reason.
Christ had murderers that followed his teaching. Christ had
Criminals love him and he loved them just as much. He turned
The killer to a giver. He turned the taker to a planter of seed.
He turned filth into riches. He turned that which was impure to pure.
The Chinese, their religions, the African's and their rituals,
The Greeks and their gods, and any other belief can not
be a basis to condemn those who do not follow Jesus.
I am strong not because I judge others, but because I do not
Judge. I am strong because I bare the weight of the sin of
The world. I will not fall into temptations. I will not let
Their unkind words take me down to their level. I will
Smile upon them forgive and love, forgive and love and
Never forget that they too are God's people. God's children.
I can not condemn anyone for anything. They are right, not
Because they are perfect in belief and stature, but because
They are wrong and have sinned.
Roberto was finding his way with God. He was going to get out of this hell hole and begin a book based upon his life as a thief. He would call it The Criminal.
They love me. And they want to kill me with their love. Smother me.
Their liars, they want to fill me up with lies and make me feel so good
I explode in a blue flame of saddening hatred and regret.
Then, he could her in his sleep. Before he nod off he'd wake up in a panic, a cold sweat of fear. Fear of dieing in this lonely room, this dark place, alone. Fear of
Never seeing her again. Then, in the middle of the night he forgot his God. And he heard her say, "Your not the one for me, Roberto. Gooooo."
But he had nowhere to go. He had not earned that freedom. Not yet.
The guardsman returned with a tray of bologna and stale white bread. Oh, and the overly sugar Kool-Aid. Roberto wanted to gag. He was disguited by the oily skin that sparkled on the skim of the ring of bologna. He wanted to puke on his plate. It was the older guard, but Roberto did not speak to him. He denied the food and gave an excuse, "Stomach hurts. Just hurts." The guard told him to leave it by the door and he'd pick it up and few moments. Later, he picked up the food and Roberto had nodded off. Breakfast came and he denied that as well. He began to starve himself again. He was growing lighter. And the more dizzy his head grew, the less dense he felt, the more hollow he was, the more the voices came to him.
It'll never work. Never. I don't want to help you.
It'll never work. Your story is shit. Your ideas
Are bland. You might make it as a fool, or half
Fool-poet, but you'll never make it as a writer.
You starving fuck head. It'll never, ever work.
It was a year back, when Roberto sent his novel to his college peer in Addison. His name was Daniel Whit. Danny didn't have much worth as a writer. But the Whits, had connection to Hollywood. Danny's brother was an up and coming movie star. He had worked with great directors as Francis Ford Copolla and the popular writer John Grisham. He was once a teenage heart throb in seen in such magazines as YM. Danny and his brother, Johnny had a rough life. Danny had a learning disability, ADD, and was picked on by bullies. Johnny had to take up for him, thus, earning his heroic, protagonist profile. Most heroes arise from protecting others. Johnny Whit ran off to L.A. and pursued a life in film. He did well, and still works today. Roberto decided to give L.A. a try in 1999. He left just after his graduation near the end of December. He arrived in a place called The Paradise Gardens, in Long Beach a few days before 99's Christmas.
It was here he began to fall into a life of theft, and was later jailed for false charity. Roberto, to this day, believes it was a mistake on the police's part. Hence, false arrest. Plus, he does not believe that false charity could exist.
Non existence is a hard definition to define. To not exist one must become nothing. What is nothing? Nothing is something. It is a word in the dictionary, a concept that is exposed in the academic field. Something that is zero, has power. This is a realm Roberto began to pick apart, breath ideas into and steam up his glazy hazed out stare. You don't do much in a cell, but stare, play cards if you have them, and heaven send, a book, especially a classic like Mobby Dick, or something that would take much time, dense thinking and brooding, to slowly move the hours forward, to ease the day to an end.
Robert scratched a mark into the concrete table, that lowly stood in the center of the cell. He would pretend he was doing one of those prison films. You know, the ones where the prisoner scratches his thousandth day and then is released kind of thing. No one every counted the days, besides the OCD people and other impatient fools. Counting made it last longer, but it built character with a few. The smart ones didn't need to count. They took what life dished out, one day, one hour, one minute, one moment at a time.
Roberto went to college. First, he majored in performance art and decided he needed something more intellectual and less showy. He decided to double major and have a minor in education. First, he would take his basics and then, move complete his performance credits and then polish off his intellectual choice. He chose creative writing. It was less traveling in the car, less making it on time to audition, it was less anxiety. It wasn't as exciting as performance but it had it's inner awards. He dropped the performance art idea, and kept the minor. He decided he would mix the two and teach playwriting to young theatre prospectives. Hence, the creative writing was worth the four years of undergrad hell. College life was monotonous to Roberto. Early mornings, bagel, class, jog around campus, meet the girlfriend, and plan spring break up north, in the wilderness of camping fun. He take his current gal up to some National, next to a giant lake and smoke pot, play guitar and write poetry. He was slowly becoming the artist. Soon, he'd leave for New York and write for TV or Broadway or whatever offers came to him.
What plans I had. I was going to make it in this world as a writer. All I had to do was be good. All I had to do was mind the laws. Pay my respects. All I had to do was believe I was worth it. Good writers, are good citizens (Even though many of the greats have been junkies, prostitutes and druggies.) Roberto did not want to fall into a life of crime. He wanted to do it the straight way. But straight is boring. This is a sad but true fact in nature. Straight doesn't always boil the creative juices. Roberto needed more.
First, he turned to drugs. Pain medicine. Pills with a slight traces of morphine. Every once and while he water down the potency and surrogate Zanax, and Codeine and various opiates, and a few other over the counter sleeping aids like Sleepnall and cough medicine PM. He trace that with hits off a bong pipe filled with Tie Stick and morphine. When the sleeping aids and cough medicine didn't work he'd mix it up with more Zanax, or the Codeine and when that didn't work he go back to the potent opiates. Then, the addiction set in. Like waves overcoming the sandy beaches and washing away what was meant to be washed or sucked back in the endless ocean, the drugs would arrive. Like a vast tranquil see of pleasure, they take him in. Like the covers of a child. Then, the uncontrollable thirst for more. Then, the tumble down. He did well after graduation. North Texas offered a well rounded education to the writer and the performer. Roberto took off to L.A. and auditioned for TV. It wasn't long until he found himself staring at a set of bars. False charity.
Second, he turned to overeating. This was worse than jail. Roberto would sneak down to the grocery store and load up on vanilla icing, loves of herb bread and pounds of chocolate balls, Twix candies and a multifarious of flavored ice cream. He gained twenty pounds in a few weeks. He entered hell.
Third, starvation. He began to starve himself in order to lose all the fat he had gained from his failed attempt to please himself with food.
Fourth, theft. He began to run dry. Food bills became costly. He thought he could get through life stuffing himself, downing anxiety pills and loading up on nothing. So, he began to steal pills from the pharmacy section of the grocery stores. Various cough medicines, various pain killers and so on. He became a drug store junkie.
Now, Roberto held his head high. He finally was relieved. He could no longer stuff himself with ice cream, he could no longer down pain killers, he could no longer thief others for a feel good. Now he was locked up. And in opposition to this fearful and stressing predicament he smiled. For the first time in a long while he smiled.
They got the bad side of me. They are smothering the shadow. Now, I have been freed from many of my desires. The only true happiness is freedom from the desperate desires, that disguise themselves, in the illusion.
He began to see through the cloud. These needs, where fake. Nothingness is the only peace. Now, I have nothing, and I feel. I feel me. I feel the world around me. And it is not an extreme. It is slight. Moderate. Smooth. Straight. To the point. Life became still.
The phone call.
Roberto was allowed a phone call on the public phone inside the jail cell. All he had to do was single to the guardsman and he'd turn the phone on. He tapped on the bar and stuck his hand through the bars. That meant he needed something. The guard came and he nodded at the phone. "Ok. Make it quick." The guard returned to his post and Roberto picked up the receiver.
As Roberto dialed the line to Shel old number in Manhattan a voice arrived from the dark shadows of the corridor.
This world is not for you Roberto. This life isn't for people like you. You thieving slob. You fool, you poet, you loser, you hellish demon. This world will tear you apart, and then, after your innocence is jumbled with in you, stolen from the child you once were, then, you can squint your eyes and begin to face the evils of the day. Its just not worth it now. Is it Roberto? Huh. Is it? Is this world yours?
Or is theirs?
The whole idea of dog eat dog, does not exist in a Christian environment. The meek, the patient, the giving prosper in His world.
Gluttonous artist, selfish, greedy takers, people of ubi sunti, they are shunned. They have no worth here, in this town. Uless, is for the meek. Remember, U lose. You Lose. Uless. It's for losers ass wipe. Get out. Go away. Got to the big cities. If you want to write, go to New York. If you want to dance go to Chicago. If you want to act, go to the stars. Don't stand around her like some old daisy.
Coffee. He missed his morning coffee. Lots of creamer, lots of sugar. Sometimes he replace the sugar with a sweetener. He began to miss the small things in life. The afternoon cigarette, the magazines, the commercial seen on tv. Life was becoming too dull.
Before I begin to call I must tell you something concerning Roberto Pace's creed. He does steal, or rob, or raise hell, out of some fix, or need to feel good. Must lawmen, and many psychological studies have arisen facts that the thought pattern, pattern being the key word, or similar to the criminals, only opposite according to the law. Each, the criminal and the lawmen, follow a strict law, a creed lets say. They follow rules. The lawmen follows the rules of the land, in which the bible has been enforcing for the past three thousand years. New lines have rose to surface since A.D. and after the various world wars. The thief's law is to run from the law. Thus, it is to escape all restriction enforced by the authority. If one says a thief has no loyalty he or she does not see the world clearly. A thief does have loyalties. A loyalty among other thieves. To break it down, there is a loyalty on both common grounds, on both realms, north and pole, a loyalty between officers, gentlemen, lovers, poets, writers, filmmakers, editors, guilds within every position, there is a loyalty among businessmen, church goers, and the medical field. In any type of profession, and yes, we can call a thievery a profession (but merely an anti law biding profession, a style of work that houses every type risk, trouble and even death. Trouble, risk and death equals only one thing, Adventure.), an adventures honorable code is to lie aside many of the rules in order to loosen the load of worry, for there is no worry in a jungle compact with thorns, unknown trails, anacondas and other harmful beasts.
I don't' believe the thief hates the lawmen. And I don't believe it would be respectful to the lawmen's profession and belief, to despise a thief or anyone. According to the law biding citizen a thief is in need of mental help or some type of council, possibly one with a priest, nun, or minister. The catholic would say that the thief needs to go to confession. His punishment, a handful of hail marries, our fathers and a few other ramblings of saints and memorized lyrical verses and of the bible. The Baptist would wash away the thief's sin before the church, Save him (as they call it) and have him go to a Barbeque cookout at the Church sponsored volley ball tournament. Slowly they fed him, pray with him, hold his hands, introduce him to a lady Baptist, he quit stealing, become stable and marry.
That is their answer. The Christians cure.
Now, stableness is not what a thief is working for. A thief is unstable, weary, paranoid but loyal between others like him. Some steal for their family, some like Robin Hood, steal for the poor. Poverty can break a man and in some cases men. It can make a man, or groups of men, do crazy and desperate things. I imagine that Robin Hood, before meeting Little John and beginning his quest, with his woodlen followers, with do respect to the needy, was tempting to merely work for himself. But Robin was an honorable man and did not let the temptations and the evils of greed that my arise in any type of work, trouble, lower or sink him to a level of arrogance and selfish pride. Hence, Robin Hood gave his earning to the poverty and this was his power. It was not in his skill and dexterity. It was in his giving nature. This is what brought fame and honor to his name. Robin could of hogged the materials, jewels and other stolen property, and built a private castle, with sauna and backyard pool. But you can't take a backyard pool with you to a grave, but you may take your good deeds.. I don't really consider him a full on thief. He used thievery with an political intent, but he didn't keep the gold. For some reason, and I blame it on intelligence and self respect, he did not crave gold. Nowadays, one does not call upon Robin, but the Robin Hood Plan. A thief has set an example, not because he stole, but because he gave. What you give is more worthier, in good karma, by many yards, miles and other measurements of distance, time and labor, and is far more powerful and affective on society, much more, than what you take. It would be safe to say that giving is the main ingredient in greatness. Also, it would be safe to weight a man's greatness by his giving nature. One will find that the more his gives, the greater he becomes. Lincoln, and Washington had problems, similar to Robin Hood, only their pasts show this. Hell, according to England Washington was a criminal. According to the south, Lincoln was a madman. But their giving hearts proved otherwise. The ingredients of a great man is mostly composed with giving hands and thus, he becomes like the hands that sculpted him. The Robin Hood plan was inspired by the thief and now it is associated with what education despises in a student, thievery. Theft is looked down upon by the educated. The reason for education follows the line of law, and self respect. No educator would look up to a criminal, but many will preach their teachings in school. No one can be judged, not even a bank robber. And no one is lower than anyone else, in intelligence, or physicality. The handicap merely exist on a different plain and the plain is not stacked but mixed in multifarious pile, like shattered glass. The Robin Hood plan was developed for people that are in need of help and are not receiving. So how is the handicap related to education and how is the Robin Hood plan related to the handicap. Well, in every way possible. For everything is related.
Robin Hood created a plan. He decided he was going to CHANGE things. He was going to wag the dog before the dog wagged him. He was going to make the plans to up the level of the poor. So, he did. His plan is now in effect. And unfortunately it passed over Roberto. Roberto's school did not educate him in the right way. Roberto cannot blame the school for his thieving ways, but he can blame himself, safely. Blaming will not advance him. Not even if he blames himself. He must forget blame and begin again. Start a new day and follow the little voice of Cricket.
So why the Robin Hood plan. Excess money from a wealthy private or public school are transferred to poorer schools. Hence, one school simply takes from another financially worthier school. One person must take form a wealthier one to improve his self worth, and poorer condition. It is still not couth to steal, but it is even worse to die of starvation. Les Mesirable is a great book based on a triggering conflict, ignited by a Frenchmen who stole bread to feed his hunger. He stole for his loved ones and his life, and was locked up and this created a war. Would Christ want any of his children to starve. The answer is no. WE must work together, or someone else will starve. Mistakes, foul ups, anger, all that Christ can conquer by merely using one powerful tool-a tool that answers all problem. The tool of forgiveness. Roberto will get better. This is his story. A story about a theft of grape in which lead to a theft of a watch and then, a gun and how he almost became the murderer of his town.
In Roberto's eyes he was merely trying to survive and become survived.
What does this have to do with Roberto's phone call to his ex girl Shel. Nothing to the average, common conformist, but everything to the open eyed, and weary. Perhaps if he was giving more money, more education and more chances and more of Robin Hood's moral blood, then he would not be in the position he is in. For, the skillful dexterities of well rounded men, thieves or other professions, are spawned and developed within the certain lucky one, at a early age. Roberto was no Robin Hood. He started off that way. He was a big reader of medieval literature, romanticism and even had a few Shakespear plays memorized. Roberto was on his way to becoming the fanciful romantic. Something had come in his way, and tempted him for the last time. Now Roberto stands before a jail's payphone, looking down at his Doc Martins and counting the rings. No one picked up. No one answered. Shel was gone.
Now, it was to get out. Get out of prison. Go home. Get a job at the Hoagie House. Sell honey oat footlong cold cuts. (Or how Ulessians pronounce it by cutting off the 't' and 'd' consonant, and blending dipthongs and quieting down the inflections and the word Honey Oat and bread rather comes out as, from their barely escaple shut Texans stubborn tense mouths, the following "Honey oak whead breah."
Roberto would return to this dead end and continue laboring over the white bread, wheat, parmesan cheese, Cheetoes, sour cream baked lays and fattening M &M cookie complex, "White American, Monetary Jack cheese or Swiss. What type of lettuce would you like on that? Romaine, iceberg or. . ." It would become the same old-rent a movie on the weekends, wash dishes, get Thai take out and write short stories and beg some old actress to go out with him to the Paris Bistrot in Dallas. Maybe he go back to the theatre and perform again. Perhaps, he go out and land some lucky audition to a film passing through DFW. Paramount, MGM. Maybe he act in a Mamet film, perhaps with William H. Macey. He had his dream. He hung up the pay phone and stared down. Shel would be arriving in Paris soon. Alone. Going back to her pad near the lourve. He had not just lost his freedom but his girl. Fuck Arm robbery. Fuck Hollywood. His dreams had pushed him into being what he never thought he been, a possible convict. A possible murderer. A possible prisoner. On the other hand, he did still have his life. His hopes born but a fourth of smile out of his blue existence. He was mentally willing himself from the bars. He face the judge, tell him the truth, "Yes, your honor I did it. I am guilty. I was desperate. Alone. I was lucking for adventure. I wanted to get further down the road than Uless, TX. Yes I stuck the gun in his face. Yes I put the money in the plastic shopping bag, yes I was wearing gloves, and ski mask. Yes I am the robber. I was armed." It was his first time to get caught, besides the false charity case, and few times, while living with mom, when he had to go to the detention center for a seventy two hour suicide watch in the near by mental health clinic. Yes, he had been caught before, but now it was for a serious crime. He was going to give up on hope. He was not going to let those bastards break his will. He was going to get probation, perhaps a year in prison, maybe a year of hard labor. Or perhaps he was going to plea not guilty. "No your honor. I didn't do it. The guy ahead of me did. I was merely running around that night with a ski mask and a .45 automatic." It would never work. He had to face the news. He was going in the big house. He was going to have to have congeal visits, hours of tv, playing cards, reading books with complex wordy paragraphs, pass the time, play more cards, work out with the weights and take up smoking cheap cigs, possibly even learning to fight with an ice pick. There was no way out this time. Roberto had gone too far. False charity, the mental house, now the big house. What do I tell the judge this time? I can't get away with insanity. Insane people don't run into a convenience store with powerful deadly weapon and place it to the clerks forehead. Insane people sneak into thei neighbor's house and iron all their clothing. Luckily, he didn't fire the gun. Luckily he ran off into a an arriving police vehicle, to get spotlighted on his movie star-ish face.
My luck has run out. Wait, but luck doesn't really run out. Luck is an ongoing phenomenon. It is always present in some form or fashion. Maybe the judge will be someone I know. Perhaps someone in the biz. In showbiz. Maybe a kind hearted Christian. I shouldn't of stole. I should not of plan this getaway. Or perhaps I should of stole, and stuck the gun to his head. Why not? It was the only way to change this pace. This constant rhythm with the same beat and same drum and same day of living. Of the same drumming. Anything to get out of this routine. The same walkway to the same Hoagie Store. Serving the same spicy mustard foot longs. Anything to get out of the apartment. The same old movies, same old books. It was like prison anyway. Anything to Change, change, change. No more Hoagie Store. No more staying up late nights with a tub of honey laced ice cream. No more hogging it by myself. No more masturbating by myself. Now I wouldn't be alone. I wouldn't die alone. I'd be with hundred of other people, mostly men with dirty past, but they still have hearts, they still can change, and I can change with him. No more of the same walk way to the same ol Job. Same old nothing. I stuck the gun in his face. I ran out with the money. I got caught and I broke the chain of the commoner, the average Joe.
Roberto looked at himself in the mirrored plate above the change slot on the pay phone. His eyes were still glaucous green, his cheeks still hollow, his hair still brown. He had time. He had his life vibrating, beating before this electronic musical bullshit. He was going to serve time in jail, and average Joe had time to do that. They had to take care of the kids, and the bills, and wash the van. Roberto had time. It was an adventure. It was a change of pace. A change of pace. Dear God a change of Pace. And this intent, and reasonable answer gave valid motivation and reason for the time he had time to serve, up and coming. And had to do some one good. A prisoner and a thief had his worth in the world. Now he would be cast out of everything. He was half dead.
Or maybe he change his mind. He hear the glissando arise from the rhythm of the trail, and due as Christ would permit him to do, simply walk out. Simply take the key from the bailiff, unlock the lock on his chains, turn his check on the judge and slip out the back door, into the lobby and head out the front door, down the steps of the courthouse. He could see it happen in his mind, he had been to trials and a court house before, for other cases. One case concerning a murder between a daughter and a father. One case concerning false charity and when he was nine, he was in and out of the courthouse due to a divorce case between his father and mother. The courthouse was kind of a place he was familiar with. He had familiarized himself with the judge's chambers, the stand, the DA's table, the prosecuting attorney, defendant's side, to the left, and the jury stand. He was becoming familiar with where the bailiff stands and so on. He just walk out. Fuck trial. He could see it in his mind. One step at a time, by himself, free of hand cuffs, down the front steps into a taxi cab, no reporter, no people, no onlookers. Just him and the free world again.
Roberto sadly enough returned, alone to his waiting cell. The big trail was approaching in two more days.
He purchase a ten speed on stolen credit, a small pad near the airport, hike to the Hoagie Store, serve foot long cheese stacks, and bump his head on the cooler room truss way above the cooler door, give him a reason for pain killers and morphine, and hike back to work, bump his head again, retrieving more salami, save up and fly off to Canada, or some island, to fall onto a rich lady's lap, a lap from Paris, Amsterdam, or Germany, some rich lady from Europe with a noticeable sexy accent, and buy her a loads of gin and tonic. He'd win. Secretly, even though he was celled he'd win. Roberto was a winner, a fighter, a person that kept peddling the bike, even though he was over sweating, over heated and over done. He'd still go on. THIS IS WHAT MADE HIM A WINNER. Somehow he pick the lock, run away and win either here, or elsewhere. There was a land with his name on it. There is a land with everyone's name on it. It is the way the world works. Every dog has it's day. Simple and plain.
The cell door rolled to a close. Clank. Lights out. And wam. A tear. A pale blue air, filled the room. It was the moon, silver moon, voicing again.
It wanted sympathy. It wanted knowledge, a song, sorry. It wanted something from Roberto. The moon wanted him to look at him, to watch him float overhead, rotate around this lonely blue planet.
There is a theory called Morphic Resonance. The concept, or theory, coined or, associated, with the fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, is not hard to understand-it deals with morphing into other beings and it is presented as a type of fantasy spell. I am not dealing with this type of Morphic Resonance. I am bringing attention to the phrase that was famed by Rupert Sheldrake. It deals with memory in nature and among animals and the idea of mysteries telepathy, interconnections between all living forces on the planet." What happens in one place happens in the other. Supposedly, research was done on pigeons. Supposedly, a flock of pigeons learned to open milk carton tops with their beaks. Far away, on the other side of the continent a family of pigeons wear pecking away at empty milk cartoon tops, in which, housed no milk. Both sets of birds, one pecking away at milk carton cans with the intent to drink the milk, far away, on the other side of the land, another set of birds pecking away at milk cans, but with what intent. The birds on the faraway side of the continent had no reason to peck at milk cartoon lids since the milk was absent from the carton.
Sheldrake has a PHD from Cambridge in the field of chemistry. He appears to have mastered the techniques in biochemistry and is still a skeptic when it comes to standard forms. He is highly interested in Goethe and vital-isms.
He prefers teleological to mechanistic models of reality. Sheldrake has devoted his life to studying paradigms of paranormal existences and happenings. Dogs that know when their owners are coming home is the title of one of his books. He believes that animals have special powers and takes the stand on metaphysics. The tendency for things to follow patterns of nature, he calls morphic resonance. Sheldrake claims,
it is not at all necessary for us to assume that the physical characteristics of organisms are contained inside the genes, which may in fact be analogous to transistors tuned in to the proper frequencies for translating invisible information into visible form. Thus, morphogenetic sic fields are located invisibly in and around organisms, and may account for such hitherto unexplainable phenomena as the regeneration of severed limbs by worms and salamanders, phantom limbs, the holographic properties of memory, telepathy, and the increasing ease with which new skills are learned as greater quantities of a population acquire them.
Upon these ideas of telepathy, and the "repetitive memory concept (not determined by inherit nature, but rather by repetition", he has abandoned all science and has taken an alternative path to our relationships within a shared believe and community of knowledge-and alternative sciences. Many compare him to Ron L. Hubbard. Basically, he prefers metaphysics over science. He feels, over thinking, that this connection, this magical link between organism, is transmitted through a mysteries field of energy. Like the rays coming of some cartoon-ish Sci-fi character in the famed cartoon on Comedy network, Pinky in the Brain. This transmited invisible energy is noted to be called, "Morphogenic fields." Here is a man that has neglected modern science for the old fashion beliefs and ritual in theology and philosophy.
How does morphic resonance exist in the world of Roberto Pace. How does the theories of madman, or highly intelligent inventors (what's the difference between the two) help aid the story of Pace. Mann's "bore within himself the possibility of a thousand ways of life, together with the private conviction that they were all sheer impossibilities." It seems not to, but it does. For Roberto has no other choice but to think. It is either philosophize, create an inner story, or do eighty hundred knee-bends and pushups. Either choice would make him great. For a prisoner has no choices. His choice has ran out. He can either go slothful, or repeat an action over and over again, he can read and gain knowledge, study, write and continue this religiously, or do nota. Nota is not an option for Roberto. Here is a man that graduated college, tried everything to be a writer, studied like a doctor for it, and merely ended up in a cell. What is a life, if its' surroundings prevent you from running, walking long distances or traveling wherever, whenever one desires. . .And how far to go . . .but to be cut off by bars. . .and life holds you from physically moving, and you are known to be in jail, no longer making choices in life, and life becomes a prison cell-this is hell.
The prisoner is no more jailed or free than anyone else-To be honest, there is no such thing as a prisoner. It is a give in. A fake. An idea invented by authority to scare and discipline society to follow rules, laws and money schemes. Prison is a myth. Even though we like to believe in the idea. "Oh, yes. He or she is locked up now, forever. They are miserable. They have sinned and now they are paying" This is bullshit. Prisoners have food, shelter, television and can even request sex. They have the same thing any citizen has, but they can not go to Hurricane harbor, or fly off to some distant island. On the other hand, there are some prisons on islands, but there is not better beachfront, than the beachfront imagined from the mind. There is no better place to be, but in the memory, or imagination. No matter what sights you see, no matter what you purchase at the mall, or what program you view on the satellite dish, nothing overcomes the imagination, and the will to control sense. Nothing. Thus, to lock someone up really, to make them feel real pain, one would have to rob their imagination, their will to remember and escape in the mind. And the only way to take away imagination and memory, is by death. And death does exist in the big house-at the end of the green mile.
Roberto requested a book from the guardsman. "A book?" He mumbled teething a tooth pick in between his fang. There was a piece of stringy steak hanging down like a brown infected piece of floss. "A book. Hm. You want to read a book?" The guard said once more. "Why?" "I want to continue my education." Roberto said. "You do huh." The guardsman said, slicking back his gray, whitening hair. "Education. Well, I'll think about it." "Don't you have something laying around. A newspaper. A dime store novel. A brochure. Something I can practice my reading skill." "Reading skills hm. You haven't even had a fucking trail and you want me to be your librarian." "Come on man. What's your name sir." The guardsman rolled the tooth pick to the other corner of his mouth. "Ted. Ted Threet. Whats it to you?" "Well, can you empathize with me?" Roberto pleaded. "I guess empathize kinda means the same thing as sympathize, eh?" "Yeah. I guess so." "I'll think about." "Come on sir." Roberto looked Ted in the eyes for a long while. He was a tall man, round belly, thick cheeks, hollow eyes, and two piercing sets of ocean colored blue eyes. "I guess so. Nothing wrong with continuing your education. Tomorrow I'll bring you back something from Uless library. But, I choose what you read." "Hot dog." Roberto exclaimed. "Great. I can't wait." Ted, slowly, wobbled down the hall like some aged old duck full of a half bag of quack feed. "Can't wait." Roberto added. His boots clicking like a drum majors and the sound echoing around the cell like in some old prison house cartoon. "I can't wait. I can't wait what he'll bring me." Roberto whispered weakly as he nodded off on the top bunk in his six by six cell.
Morning will come soon. I'll may get a coffee. Hell, if he'll got to the library for me, perhaps, he'll pick me up a donut or something similar. I may have myself a continental breakfast in this joint. I get to read. Maybe he'll bring me some Hemingway. I've always wanted to finish War and Peace. No wait. Hemingway didn't write War and Peace, that was Tolstoy. Yes, Tolstoy wrote War and Peace. What war story did Hemingway write? Oh, yes, For Whom the Bell Tolls. I don't know for sure if it was a full on war story, but it did have an ambulance driver from the red cross in it. Roberto's though patterns became more streaming, happy and imaginative. He was waking up in this dark place. Some inner peace was arriving. Soon, he have Ted's selection.
Theory of the beehive and perception of wrongness.
When Robert worked at the Hoagie Shoppe last year, before the conviction and, of coarse the crime, Uless was in deep financial trouble, hence, an increase in the amount of passing fire engines, ambulance sirens and police vehicles where on hunt. Crime bumped up a few notches on the lawbreaker's meter.
Robert did not understand crime as much as Roberto, his shadow, empathized. One late morning, during a hottest time of the summer, Robert biked up to the Hoagie store, carrying a book saddles and a few power bars. He rested behind the chain of store, in alley, before a middle school. He sat down on a curb, nibbled on his power bar and watched a group of teenage girls circle around the track and field. Life was good. Easy. He go in soon, make a few footlongs, take a few tuna salad sandwiches in the back room for lunch and munch on a badge of old peanut butter cookies. Before work he'd show up a forty minutes early to read from a book of poetry by Ginsberg. Also, he take other book selections with him, checked out from the nearby library. Books on acting, filmmaking and a few books on How To Write A Novel, and How to Sell your Novel. He was thinking about printing out a few short stories and sending them, bound, copied and packaged, properly to selected publishing company that would help him build his book. It would take a lot of money to build his first book and become well established in the literary field. That is why he showed up early behind the Hoagie store to read, study and contemplate over nature and running teenage girls. A little bit of Lolita wearing in his consciousness. Little to his attention, a swarm of bees hovered and zig zaged not but a few feet from his reading spot. A shadow fell on him as he turned profile to the swarm and slowed his heart rate down. See, bees will only sting you, if they can sense the fear radiated off your being. He continued staring at the teenager's boobies bouncing a half a mile away on the track. The flying stinging army dipped up and down and over a syrupy black poodle near the back exit door. Hungry bees. They twisted and dove around Robert's space. He focused on the girls and the track and the blowing wind, what a soothing morning it was. It was easy to hold the fear back. There was no need to be afraid anymore. He used his experience as an actor and even a writer, to keep down the sweat and heart flutters. There was no time to get stung before work. The stinger would irritate his focus on the taste at hand, making sandwiches. He had no room to make anymore mistakes on the foot long Hoagie line. The manager already got on to him about not placing napkins in the plastic bags. "Put the napkins in the bag. Just wrap around the sandwich. Like this." He showed him how to wrap the napkins, securing them around the body of the packaged sandwich and dropping them in a plastic sack. "One more time Roberto and that's it." Roberto whispered coolly, "I'm out of here." Usually if he got one complaint, then his work efforts fell to a domino effect of a series of mistakes, like not cutting the bread correctly, or not keeping his lettuce and tomato packing speed on to the wheat bread. Subway wasn't cut out for this poet. And this one discipline by his boss, would obviously lead to several more complaints, "job complaint domino," which lead to termination. There was no time to let some bee ruin his job. Roberto slowly got up, from the storming fleet of buzzing disaster and slowly, glided to the other end of the chain of businesses. There was a parlor for beauty and nails, and a electronic store, that he did not know if was open or closed. He stopped behind the Nail Parlor and sat down with ninja like control, paced, slow and meditated. There was no reason to run off. Bees usually only storm one area, at one time, and the threatening and beastly flyers had chosen the area behind the Hoagie place for a specific reason regarding food and shelter from the wind. He sat and read Ginsberg and a book entitled the Tao and listened to the breezing wind pass through the coloring orange trees before the field, which was nice scenery for the middle school-ers running track. He read on and focused on the buzzing, but not on the fear of the buzzers. If you fear a bee it will sting you. There had been beekeepers that have saturated there bodies with millions of bees and never been stung in their lives.
Thoughts accumulated in Roberto's head.
Those fuckers are mad at me for eating too much honey this last winter.
God's punishing me for scooping at the young babes jogging the coarse.
Roberto had rationalized why the bees where humming near by. It had nothing to do with the need of the bees survival. Oh, know, man never blames science for the reason or even coincidence of bad happenings in nature. The first area of life man head to, if disaster strikes, is God, or the gods, or something supernatural. The bees weren't hovering around the black poodle of syrup because it was in their inherint nature, or survival, the bees weren't trying to survive, oh no, never, they were simply fouling up Roberto's live, or seeking revenge for eating from their honey combs. That is one of man's greatest flaws. When Oedipus Rex stabbed his eyes out, he blamed the Greek gods and Zeus, for his hubris, sins which lead to tragedy. He did not completely take the blame but he did claim, "I stabbed my own eyes with my own hands." Thus, it easy for any man to blame God for the actions and downfalls or serendipity of nature, good timing or bad, but how many mean blame science and the calculated rhythms of the universe for bee stings and running teenage girls in the midst of puberty. The theory of wrongness is a theory based upon religious and untouchable, abstract foundations. Wrongness does not fit in the life of a biologist. There is nothing wrong in nature. If there is something wrong in nature, than it is being compared to theology, or religious standards, thus, morality. Morality and science are not close brother by far. The two concepts concerning decision making are not even cousins, nor pen pals. Science is black and morality is white. There is not joining of the two studies on mankind and the world. The bees hovered over the syrup by chance according to the coincidental, by God's order according to the religious, and because the syrup added their nutritional needs according to the Naturalist. And to the Realist, the bees were not bees at all, but rather annoying horse flies or nats (exaggerated for the sake of artistic development, symbolism and mere atmospheric presentation).
So is there wrong and right. Yes, is the laws of society. No, in the rules of science. Yes, in the church house. And no, to the intense and series artist. Wrong and right, as black and white to the oil painter, are subjective and delicate aspects of humanity and art. The lawman uses wrong and right, just as the writer dissects both ideas. For both words were crafted by man's hand, in the state of both subjective existences. A writer can write just as creative and expressive with out nutritious, he or she may construct plots and themes, and characterizations just as well, on a dangerous drug, as a writer can create a novel on nothing but air. The creative medium lies in a chaotic field, of chance and exact planning. The best work is perfected and the lazy work is not planned, but, both are creations, and both have value. Some masterpieces, some artful and respected plays have been written in little than an hour and some literature had taken the author ten years to compose. Some playwrights can write a one act in one night, and some, like Chekov, spend a summer on one play. The speed and even correctness, and validity of the work has nothing to do with it's worth. A masterpiece is sometimes chosen to by one, by the people, reflected to be something great, merely because it represents and reflects their true nature. Some men never learn to create angel hands, and some men are angels. How can this be fair. Unfortunately, life isn't always fair, but we would like to represent equality in art, even though it is impossible to do so.
What is wrong or write? I may be wrong or right to question.