Broke like the hands on an old pocket watch
Left for eons to the man three generations down
These times life is borrowed and licked towards
Smoke like the man with an old frequent lock
Best to be left to the makers simply drawn sounds
We write when we laugh to the time locked forward
Smoke like the band that left us here in a knot
With three thousand miles we have lost a friend
Drastic dreams that are crafted like a notion of sorrow
The pages turn as we run with a sacred book caught
In the life before we drop it passing a corner round
Wondering hermits finding the last of the torn pages
Wanderlust for the rest to pick up the pieces
The breast plate a metallic shade for us as sounds
Lessons taking from what a grand magnet decides
The term stolen and to the want not to have some
The pages with everything seem lost between the trees
I have already sent the letter, sir
I cannot change the whims of the worlds
I truly wish I could learn to speak for them
I cannot change the whims of the worlds
Life is what we can
Type to try useless
Playing in a band
In every statement of fact
We find two statements of farce
In one to find reading helpful
We act in statements of life
So lined up at a coffee shop
And able to pray useless
The rivers have left us
Liable to be undressed
Writing about the act of writing is an exercise this writer uses to leave a state of ones writers block. This seemingly comes from the human mind being distracted. It is usually a bunch of muddled thoughts covering up the ones that feel they can produce art naturally.
The primary goal of advertising is to convince a viewer to buy a product. If one would like to feed their dog Purina brand dog food they are told their animal will be a smarter, happier and healthier dog. This is the idea behind any advertisement. When advertising cocaine, the television suggests that it is a wonderful way for one to become smart, witty and very rich. This is a suggestion that many young men and women who think venturing towards a humble trade such as cocaine use.
Due to the advertisement of the sincere grand lifestyle that comes with cocaine use a young writer is sometimes suggested to turn to drugs to find their inspiration. Many famous speakers have boasted about this form of inspiration. When one finds that these chemicals are nothing but blinding and a mask for ones own internal issues, they usually speak out against them.
When one is writing satire the meaning of the written text is normally found under the surface words. This is the art in writing. One should not write like a robot, but find the inspiration using the five senses. The words will come from the air around you. It is like when one plays music in a jamming fashion. The plan for a song is a simple few chords and words, but it is open to improvisation. This is like when one is fighting writers block. If the writer finds a few simple words to start they can soon turn these words into a nice succinct article, or at the very least the beginnings of one. This can turn into a very different piece of writing very quickly.
I called it afternoon
I dropped down to the basket
Asked her to confuse me
Spoke like a sliding ape
The little mad boy mumbles at me
Nobody else can see him
But he is right beside me
His hair is greasy and long
He buried an American flag
Crossed his arms and wiped them off
I called it afternoon
But it was mid morning
I stammered while I was corrected
It was the tone of the voice
That tore me
The little mad boy jumps to his feet
He puts on his hat and belittles my space
He twists his cane bat and drips from the chin
He holds me in chain and slides me all in
He takes a rhyme scheme and trusts I don’t live
The devil himself
That is who he is
He told me it was morning
The little mad boy
Swore I never seen a vice
Laughing he clasps his hands twice
Here to set things right
I felt the same
So we got up to leave
Coffee and cigarettes were nice
Dragons told us of leftovers
But we refused to believe them
But I did lose the rhyme scheme
It fell out on the trail back there
The bag with everything is between the trees
We walked down the trail
Trying to find our little lake
But I did lose the rhyme scheme
I can't find it, 'twas our fate
We are lost without structure
Lost with impending hate
I cannot find the rhyme scheme
But there are others to be found
Found inside the dress to hem
I cannot find the rhyme scheme
It has been lost for quite a while
The bag with everything was lost
Between the trees
He slumped down and pulled the hood of his sweater over his head. The man he sat beside stood and turned towards the door. He waved goodbye and left. I waved back at him because he is a regular. I had never seen the troubled man before. He had a rough goatee, thin and black. He had a feeble mustache above his lip and dark brown eyes. He rapped at the counter with his knuckles aimlessly. He seemed upset.
I didn’t want to impose on his personal life. I had never seen him before. I didn’t ask what his troubles were. Between the beat of his knuckles on the counter he would whistle a tune I had never heard. Then he would smile to himself and close his eyes. He sat at the counter for about twenty minutes, nursing his cup of coffee. He stood abruptly and walked out the door. I thought nothing of it at the time.
At the end of that day I was left alone, cleaning. I had closed the diner about a half hour before and hadn’t seen a customer near the place since. The lights were off in the front, but the neon sign continued to flicker. I was startled up from my mopping with a knock at the door. There was nobody behind the glass. I looked out the window for the creator of the knock, but only saw a man with a briefcase stomping passed in the opposite direction.
I finished the mopping without incident and pulled the bucket to the back of the place. I poured the water into the industrial sink and rinsed the sink out. I put the bucket back on the ground and wheeled it towards the closet. The closet door was open, although I was sure I had closed it. I must have closed it. I mopped the other end of the hall. I stuck the bucket back into the closet and shut the door with a thud.
I walked through the kitchen slowly and felt a pain in my mouth. It started as a dull ache, but I quickly noticed my mouth filling up with blood. The pain came strongly and in waves. I ran to the sink and spat blood twice. I hurried to the bathroom to look in the mirror. I had broken my tooth in half, somehow. My left front tooth was split up the middle. I watched in horror as blood fell from my mouth.
Before long, and as quickly as it had happened, my tooth stopped bleeding. I stood in the bathroom, staring in the mirror. Blood was all over the sink, all over my shirt and all over the floor. I wiped at the blood with paper towels, cleaning most of it up. The pain in my mouth had left me, I felt fine again. I finished cleaning the bathroom with a bottle of disinfectant before looking in the mirror again. My tooth was still split, but now amazingly painless.
After I had the place clean again I walked into the main dining area of the diner. I again heard a knock at the door, but the second time I assumed it was my tooth. This was all in my head, of course. I glanced at the door and saw a shadow of a man on the pane of glass. The shadow stood tall, coming from a light across the street. Where there should have been a man lay nothing. I was a bit unnerved by this but decided to think nothing of it. I checked to make sure the door was locked before walking to the back rooms in order to escape. Everything was as it should be in the front.
I walked through the doorframe separating the front and back of the diner and saw the troubled man from that morning. He was hunched over a shotgun, stumbling towards me and muttering in low voices something unintelligible. I jumped with shock and ran towards the front door. The man stumbled behind me, following me into the next room. He vanished once I passed through the doorframe.
I entered the front room and the tables had been flipped on their tops. They were sitting in their regular spots, upside-down. My tablecloths were blue or white. They were tied together, strung around the room. They were hanging like curtains along the inside of the restaurant. A yellow light was coming from the jukebox on the east side of the room. It started to play an old Dixie tune, something I hadn’t heard on the jukebox before. The man was standing outside the windows, holding his shotgun.
I heard a blast and the front window shattered. The glass fell to the ground with a crash, breaking into a million pieces. I turned around and when I looked back the man in the black baseball cap was stepping through the window. The gunshot seemed to stop at the window, never hitting anything inside the shop. The man pumped his gun, laughing manically as he stepped towards me.
I thought to myself, “This is it,” as the man from this morning slowly walked towards me. He was muttering and laughing. I began to shake. He then turned to me and said, “We wouldn’t want anyone to see this.” I stammered and told him, “Take the money in the drawer, man. I have kids at home.” I pleaded with him for my life and he stepped ever closer, holding that loaded shotgun under his arm.
He stopped and looked at me. He moved his left hand in front of the barrel of the shotgun and pulled the trigger. The gun recoiled towards him and he caught the bullets with the palm his hand. Dropping the gunshot on the ground in front of me he said, “I love that smell of sulfur. Don’t you?” I was too terrified to speak. I backed into the kitchen, aimed on finding a knife. He didn’t follow me.
I grabbed a knife and ran for the back door. I pushed it but it would not open. It had been barricaded from the outside. The dumpster had been pulled in front of the door. I turned and saw the young man. He was not carrying a gun. He was near the oven, and I saw him turn the oven on. He was muttering to himself. I saw him grab a steak knife that was sitting with the cutlery.
He spoke to me, but I could not hear him. He spoke again, muttering louder, but I could not understand him. He pounded the cutting table with his fist and opened his hand. He looked at me and held the knife straight up in the air. I was shaking in fear and told him something to the effect of, “The cops are on their way.” He laughed at me, pointing the knife at me. He said something and pointed the knife towards the ground. He then stabbed through his left hand, which was flat on the table.
He moved his right hand away from the handle of the knife. He then looked me in the eye and pulled his left hand away from the table, showing no sign of being cut. With a smile he said to me, “Life is eternal, they say.” He walked into the front of the restaurant. I walked past the cutting table and looked at the knife stuck in the metal sheet. There was no blood to be seen.
I walked into the dining room slowly, looking for the young man. I found his gun sitting on the bar. I didn’t see him, but I grabbed the gun. I was holding it under my arm and pacing around the room, looking for him. The tablecloths had fallen to the floor and were in three separate piles. The tables we back on their feet, with the chairs turned on top of them. The window was no longer shattered, but the neon signs were off.
The sign on the door was turned to open. The door was unlocked. I opened it and looked outside. The street was eerily quiet. There was not a soul out there. I stood in the doorframe and held the front door open. I was holding the gun under my arm and noticed lights coming around the corner towards me. It appeared to be a taxi. I hid the gun as the car slid by, then walked into the restaurant again.
I tapped the window and it was as strong as ever. I flicked the neon lights back on and began to search the premises for the troubled man. Carrying the gun, I searched every corner of my diner and did not see him. I locked the doors and cleaned up what was left from the confrontation. I hid the gun in my office in the back and walked to the front to leave.
I walked passed the bar, and noticed a half a cup of coffee on the bar. The dish it sat on was not one of my plates. The cup was the regular kind, white and with a handle. I was tired and scared and walked by pretending not to notice. Unlocking the front door I slid outside into the calm summer night. I locked the door quickly and moved down the street, shaking.
I turned and saw the lights on in the restaurant. I kept walking. I walked home, tired after a long day. I did not get a wink of sleep that night. The next morning I showed up at the diner and the cup of coffee was still in the spot I had left it, emptied overnight. I put it in the back and went to my office. The shotgun was still in the spot I had left it. The bullets had been emptied, and there was a shotgun blast hole in the wall. The young mans body was lying in my office. That is when I called the police.
“No, your not Mom,” he said, “Where is she? When is she coming back?” The sun was just falling behind the large fence in the back yard. I finished my cigarette and looked at him. “Your mother went to the mall with her sister, remember? She will be back soon. Until then we can find something to do.” The child laughed. It looked like he felt independent and old. I leaned against the railing and smiled.
“Well what do you want to do?” I asked the little man. I raised my cup to my lips and realized I was drinking the last of my coffee. I placed the cup down and the ring of grounds settled into a new moon shape. I played with my cigarette butt and said, “I have to go inside now, you coming?” The child jumped towards the door and opened it. We walked up the one step and into the apartment. I put the cigarette butt in the garbage and the child said, “That’s where it belongs to be.”
I remembered doing the same thing as a small child. I was an outspoken non-smoker as a child. My mother had asked me to think like that. Now, I barely remember not being a smoker. I am beginning to feel the harmful affects of my addiction. I hope the same fate doesn’t reach this child. Perhaps he will be brighter than I was. I should have listened to the folk who refused to buy them for me. Rules are there for a reason. I should know that by now.
It is evening now. Still I am staying alive with coffee and cigarettes. I place my empty cup on the counter and exhale. “Is that all you can breathe?” The child shouts. I am taken aback a little before saying, “I never inhaled.” He laughs and shouts, “Lets have a breathing contest. Whoever breathes biggest wins, smoker versus non-smoker.” I laugh and say, “Ok, but I have bigger lungs.”
We breathe deeply for a few seconds, and then the child laughs and says, “I win. I breathed deeper.” I agree, and look for more coffee in the pot, there is none. I click the pot of the burner and debate making more coffee. It is evening now, the child’s mother will be home soon and she’ll have no need for it. Perhaps, I think, we can stay up late drinking coffee and being adults. It was a nice thought.
The child brings his truck to me. It is one of the yellow metal dump trucks we used to have in my sandbox. It is large, but not rusted like ours were. He places it in my hand and says, “This is you.” He then runs and grabs a red sports car. It was oversized, one of the kind you see on stands in the library of an auto mechanic. The stand is gone and the wheels spin freely, so we are about to race.
I ask the child, “Where is the course?” He says, “All the way around the outside of the room, then up on the couch and back through the coffee table. Then we do it once more.” And with that, the child is running, racing around the sides of the room with a car in hand. I chase after him and drive my dump truck barely able to catch him. He reaches through the legs of the coffee table in a professional manner and starts his second lap. I reach the table and get stuck. My large stature is in no way helping the cause. He reaches the outside wall and flies up the now banked corner.
I realize I am outmatched but continue to chase him in vain. He reaches the couch and his car jumps across to the coffee table. He waits for me to catch up, with a look of glee in his eye. As I am about to reach the couch he throws the car between the legs of the coffee table and bursts into laughter. The red sports car his the glass door between the kitchen and patio with a crack. I jump, but we were lucky, no damage.
The child walks over and grabs his car from the floor. I am breathing heavily and the child looks at me and laughs like a hyena. “See, you shouldn’t smoke. You can’t even drive a car without breathing heavily.” I catch my breath and say, “You make sure to remember that you told me that, and never start smoking. I only smoke because I started smoking and now I can’t stop. It’s a strange addiction.”
The child looks at me and asks, “What does addiction mean?” I explain to him it is when you don’t want to do something but you have to. It is because your body needs the chemical you are addicted to, you have grown attached to having it around. Because of this your body chemistry changes and you become dependant of the chemical. The child remains confused and says, “I’ll never have addiction.”
I tell him he should remember he told me that as well. “Do yourself a favor,” I say, “and never have an addiction.” I end the thought with the phrase, “Vices.” The child questions what the word vice means. “Vice,” I tell him, “Is when you know something is bad for you but you do it anyways, because you enjoy it. Like eating candy.” The child smiles and says, “Oh, I like vices.”
I stutter and say, “No, no, vices are usually addictions.” The child says, “Actually I have an addiction. My vice is candy. I’m addicted to it. And sometimes I need to have candy or I’ll die. Seriously.” I laugh and retrace my steps, explaining candy may not be a vice. I mention that vices are sort of like candy, in a way. I have always been and strong advocate for stimulants of all kinds. Maybe someday he’ll be a coffee and cigarettes kind of guy. They are always the best people.
I am swimming in this thought and he asks, “So cigarettes are like candy?” I fight the urge to chuckle and say, “No, cigarettes are a vice. Candy is just sugar.” He seems to understand, “But cigarettes make you feel like you ate candy? I like that feeling.” “No,” I reply. “That’s more like coffee. Cigarettes are like sucking on a tailpipe.” He laughs and asks, “Why do you do that then?”
I don’t know how to reply. I have no reason to smoke that I would want to tell a vulnerable child. I think I should be honest. I smoke because I enjoy every one I have. I smoke because I thought it looked cool in grade school. I smoke because my friends did, but they have come and gone and what I have left is a full ashtray. I smoke because I am unstable, because I need a crutch. I smoke because I cannot go a day without them. But I can’t tell a child that, I’m supposed to be a role model.
The reply I give him is stammered, “Because I’m addicted to it.” I begin to tell him about all the horrible things cigarettes do and he says, “I know, Mom told me that.” I then explain that cigarettes are not like candy because candy is rarely connected to any of results of lifelong cigarette addiction. He looks at me and says, “I don’t like vices.” I tell him I don’t like my vices either.
I ask him if he wants to go outside for a smoke, like an adult. This is partially because I think its funny asking a six year old to smoke with me and partially because all the talk of cigarettes made me think of having another. No more coffee with this one, I’ve decided. It is probably for the best. The sun has gone down and his mother will be home soon. Maybe she would like some coffee, I thought.
I cough and the child says, “Don’t smoke.” I am halfway out the door with a cigarette in my hand. I look at him. He looks as if he has been hurt. “You just finished telling me how those cause cancer and strokes.” I pull him outside and light the cigarette. I think about my vice. He is still talking, telling me all the things I told him about the horrors of tobacco use. I puff on the cigarette and exhale the white smoke.
“Is it true you cough up boogers if you smoke?” The child asks me. I clear my throat and state as clear as the day, “Its grosser than that.” The child squirms and asks me to clarify. “They are like big, gray boogers.” He laughs. “Except they are wet and sticky. They fly out of your mouth and cover your hands.” He screams in disgust and asks, “Why do you smoke then?” I don’t know how to answer his question.
I take a drag from the cigarette and say, “Ok, you are a smart kid, right?” He says quickly that he is. I explain the chemical I am addicted to in the smoke is called nicotine. I tell him that my brain cannot bridge a gap in my daily life without nicotine, now that I have tried it. I explain that when I was only a few years older than him I tried smoking and thought it would make me cool. I explain that once I had made a conscious decision to begin smoking I lost the ability to not smoke.
He pretends to understand me but I knew he couldn’t. I dock the cigarette at the halfway mark and tell him I shouldn’t be smoking around him. What would his mother say? He claims she wouldn’t mind and she would be happy that he is learning new things. He tells me they told him that once in school so it must be true. I open the pack and find I only have one and a half cigarettes left.
The child walks into the apartment and shuts the door behind him. I try to open it and find he has locked it. I hear him say there are no smokers allowed inside the house. I knock on the door and ask him nicely to open it. He laughs and runs across the room. He jumps on the couch and starts bouncing, laughing. I knock on the glass and he jumps from one cushion to the next. He falls on the armrest and rolls onto the floor. I knock on the glass one more time.
I am helpless and out of ideas. There is no other way I can get in to the room. I struggle for a moment but am saved quickly as his mother and aunt walk into the room. She laughs and shouts his name, unlocking the door and letting me in. She is laughing and asks me, “How long have you been out there?” I smile and tell her it was just briefly. She scolds the child and sends him to bed, telling me it has passed his bedtime.
She tucks him in and comes back from the hall. I am sitting with her sister talking about our mutual friends. She sits next to me and laughs. “Kids,” she says. I tell her she has a smart kid, a good conversationalist. She smiles and says, “Isn’t he just a big bundle of love?”
I look at her and ask, “He doesn’t know you smoke?” She laughs. “I have a half a smoke here,” I say, “Lets go for one.”