Monday, February 27, 2012

The Big Break (Part 1 of short story)

Edgar awoke and leaned forward to pull up the blanket that had been kicked down while he was sleeping. Judging from the chilly temperature inside the room, he could only assume it was going to be another frigid day. The morning sun shone brightly through the tear in the pull down shade covering his bedroom window and the faint chorus of songbirds could be heard outside, accompanied by the garbled, but much louder, sounds of a Spanish conversation taking place in the adjacent room. He lay there for a moment listening, as the mixture of indecipherable voices gave way to lively Latin music laced with energetic beats that peppered the wall. Someone was having fun in there.

There was no point in trying to tackle anymore sleep, so Edgar rolled out of bed and threw on his sea green terrycloth robe and grabbed a beanie off the nightstand for his messy head. He walked over to the closet and slipped his left foot into a flip-flop, turned and scanned the room for the missing right. Shit, shit, shit. He removed the flip-flop and opted instead for a pair of dirty old running shoes next to the pile of laundry in the corner of the room.
     "Dammit!" he exclaimed as his left foot encountered the cold wet interior of the shoe. He noticed the overturned cup lying on the floor next to it. Shit, shit, shit! There was a knock at his door, "Yeah, it's open!" Edgar said loudly. The door swung open and banged into the nightstand, causing a lamp to fall over and crash to the floor. Jennifer stood in the doorway looking down at the lamp as shards of light bulb scattered across the floor.
     "Shit, Edgar, I'm so sorry," Jennifer remarked.
     "No, no, it's fine. Really, the lamp had it coming," Edgar replied.
     "Well listen, I'm making peanut butter & banana sandwiches downstairs. Do you want one?"
     "Hot damn, Jen, I'd never say no to that." The musical sounds of the fiesta filled the hallway behind her as they heard Sergio's voice cheering enthusiastically.
     Jennifer leaned back and peered down the hall as she spoke, "what the hell is he doing in there?"
     "Jen, it sounds like he's making love to Mexico."
     "Is he.. is Sergio even Mexican?"
     "No, no he is not. I believe our dear friend is half Portuguese and half American Indian, and also one hell of a sculptor. Have you seen his latest?" Edgar asked.
     "Yes, I told him I thought it looked like a sturgeon standing on two legs. Anyway, don't walk barefoot through that glass, Edgar, put some shoes on. Again, sorry about the lamp, your sandwich will be done in ten."

As Jennifer retreated back downstairs, Edgar made his way towards Sergio's room. The door was partially open, but he knocked anyway before entering.
     "Knock, knock.."
     "Heeey Edvaaar! Come in, come in... I make great shape, no?" Sergio exclaimed with an accent. He was standing in front of his sculpture atop a wooden crate. His left hand held a detailing spatula, his right.. a cigarette and beer. He was barefoot and shirtless, but had on a pair of heavily scarred and soiled cargo pants. On the far end of the room the TV was blaring. It was a Mexican game show of sorts, with a heavy mixture of contestants talking and singing to intermittent music. The camera then panned and zoomed in on a gorgeous girl wearing a short skirt and holding a bowling ball. Her ass was all over the place and the crowd was going wild. "Edvar look! She now will throw the ball!" The girl casually walked up to the foul line, bent over for a tight camera shot, and released the bowling ball down the lane. "Edvar, it's Mini Skirt Bowling on TV! You like very much, no?"
     Sergio let out a yelp as he turned his attention back to the neck area of his 7' sculpture. He was working some metal petals into the clay, twisting and pushing until just right. Jen was right, it did resemble an upright sturgeon. It was far from finished, but Edgar could already read the beauty of its lines and symmetry, and sense the veneration it would draw upon completion.
     "It's beautiful, Serge."
     "I knew you like! These girls make pretty and strikes!"
     "I meant your sculpture."
Sergio turned back toward Edgar, "Oh yes.. yes! Thank you, my friend.. is nice going, yes. Say, Edvar, why you have flop-flip on one feet and shoe on the other?"
     "It's a daring stab at an early morning fashion statement, Serge" Edgar replied. "Not everyone can bowl cheeky strikes this early in the A.M."

He said goodbye and left Sergio to his work. Downstairs the house was filled with the smell of peanut butter and the singing voice of a girl who's words could be understood. Jennifer loved to sing, it was her passion, and the House Of Muse was fortunate to be swallowed by the beauty of her voice on many given days. Edgar pulled up a chair and seated himself at the island and listened to her sing. She flattened several banana halves between peanut buttered toast and slid the sandwich at him. She raised hers, said cheers and started eating.
     Edgar pointed upstairs as he swallowed and spoke, "Mini skirt bowling."
     "Excuse me?"
     "That's what we were hearing. He's watching dark-skinned, scantily-clad beauties bowling on a Mexican game show while he decorates Sir Walter Sturgeon."
     Jennifer leaned back against the sink, "Oh good grief... boys, I swear."
     Edgar laughed, "Yeah, when men get together and create a TV show the result is naked chicks and sports. When women get together we end up with The View. That's a push, if you ask me." He finished his sandwich, stood up and thanked her, and in doing so knocked the plate off the island and onto the floor where it crashed into pieces. "Shit." He walked over to the front bay window and stood with his hands inside the pockets of his robe while staring out at the light of day.
     "Did you do that on purpose?" she asked while walking around the island.
     "Hmm?" Looking down at his feet he replied, "Oh, no... my right flip-flop went missing and my left sneaker got soaked by an off-balanced beverage, hence my mismatched morning."
     "No, I mean did you just break my plate because I broke your lamp?"
     "Don't be silly, Jen, I loved that plate. That was coincidental breakage, I assure you. Listen, they're going to dynamite that beached whale at Cannon Beach today at 10:30, want to go with me and watch? We can leave the lamps and plates behind and witness the destruction of something much bigger."
     Jennifer had already knelt down and was scooping the pieces of broken plate onto a cardboard flap. Without looking up she replied, "Em called the house phone last night, said you weren't answering your cell. You were already asleep. She asked about the whale too. Looks like we're all going together, maybe even Ben, I'll ask him." She stood up and dumped the pieces into the trash.
     Edgar turned with a grin and said, "This ought to be fucking crazy, I can't wait." And went back upstairs to get ready.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cinema Sunday

Apparently I like alliteration. First it was Saturday Song Salute, now I bring you Cinema Sunday, a new section of my blog where I'll share my thoughts on certain films I enjoy. For this entry I've chosen the movie: Catfish.
The gist of it: A young female Michigan artist discovers a NYC photographer and begins painting his photographs. Eventually they become Facebook friends, and from there the photographer also becomes acquainted with the rest of her family (via Internet) and a relationship develops between them all.

Why I like it: This is one of those films that needs to be watched knowing very little going in. Seriously, do not read any reviews or ask others if they have seen it and why they like it, because you don't want to have this one spoiled for you. It truly is a unique experience, a documentary that dives deeply into the human psyche. I've introduced this film to many people and I've watched it several times now, and each viewing is still a remarkable head trip that leaves me shocked by its conclusion. Catfish is one of those movies that sticks with you for awhile and makes you want to discuss it right away with others who already saw it. It's a good one, go watch it!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Song Salute

A quick art update:
The one on the right I discussed in my last update, but the one on the left I didn't mention. It was a special request painting done by a local artist here in town. I sent her a picture of what I had in mind and within days she replied with a picture of the finished piece. Wow! The painting is of Siddhartha meditating beneath the bodhi tree before reaching enlightenment and becoming Buddha. So now I have two paintings resting on the back of my love chair, where they will stay for awhile. Have you ever tried hanging artwork on a wall using only one arm? Yeah, it's not easy.

In this paragraph I'd like to give a few shout-outs. I'd like to give a huge and heartfelt 'thank you' to all the people I work with who brought me dinners and desserts the week following my surgery. I was in a lot of pain and was in no condition to leave my apartment, and since I have no family here, you guys and gals were it. I appreciate it all, and can't possibly thank you enough. And to both of my bosses, thank you so much for the Leo Kottke and John Mellencamp CD's and the huge box of candy. That was awesome! You guys are terrific, I'm thankful to work for/with you. And to my family and friends who keep checking in on me to make sure I'm still alive, thank you. I know I can be quite the recluse sometimes, but you guys put up with it and keep coming back for more, very cool. And to Snug Bug the Disaster Cat, I realize you're getting used to having me around all day every day and all I can say about that is... don't. This is only temporary, you little fat-ass rodent, please stop shitting bricks.

Today is Saturday Song Salute. Yeah, yeah, I know it's been awhile. Sorry! In the spotlight this time around is the band Citizen Cope and their song "D'Artagnan's Theme". It can be found on the 2004 Clarence Greenwood Recordings album, which by the way is the lead singer's name. When I first heard D'Artagnan's Theme I was immediately drawn to it's laid back, semi-sad sound. After listening to it twenty times in a row I realized I had no clue as to what the lyrics meant. To this day I still don't, I only know that D'Artagnan was one of the 3 Musketeers. So now it's up to you, fearless listeners, to work out the meaning of these lyrics for yourself. Headphones ON, volume UP, music IN...
D'Artagnan's Theme (lyrics)

I've been sinning
I've been livin'
I've been beaten
By Saturdays
On a diamond
I lay on a diamond
On a diamond
I lay awake
Good ol' D'Artagnan
He ain't got a thing on me
I've been minding
To my field of timing
Too bad your time in
It just never came

Well I don't know how else to say it
In a different way
But why don't you just fade away
'Cause there's a battle going on
Down south of Babylon
So why don;t you just fade away

I've been dealing
I've been healing
I've been dealing
A crooked game
Thieving pirates
I'm thieving pirates
out of gold that
they stole from the queen
Stole from a man
Who's favorite hand
Is one that he will always lack

Well I'm building this levee
by the Mississippi
Or I'll die in an unmarked bay

Well I don't know how else to say it
In a different way
but why don't you just fade away
'cause there's a battle goin on
Down south of Babylon
So why don't you just fade away

Monday, February 6, 2012

Shoulder Woes, Fires, and Fine Art

What's this... an unattended blog page? An abandoned home? I didn't even need a key to get in here, the door was wide open and all the windows are smashed out. Weeds and flowers have grown through cracks in the floor and the sun shines through the roof in places. This place is a beautiful wreck, it feels just like home. Much has happened since we last met, so I will waste no time and get right into it. Are you ready? Let's go...

I'm typing this left-handed, mostly. I try to use my right arm as much as I can, but it's not easy and it hurts after only a few sentences, so the left gets to do all the work. I think I might have mentioned in an older post that I damaged my rotator cuff back in October, well it never healed so I finally went in for surgery. Yeah, it sucks. I'm off work for the next several months and I'm a prisoner to my apartment because my car is a stick shift and it's my right shoulder that was operated on. I've practiced driving using only my left arm, but it's a tricky thing and I don't feel confident going very far. And since writing is such a pain in the ass with only one arm, the TV has become my best friend lately. Between my DVD collection and Netflix streaming, I've watched so many movies and shows lately. Maybe I'll compile a list of everything I watch and then write up a summary of which movies I really liked and which ones were Some Old Bullshit. Oh, before I forget, here are a few pics:


That last picture shows the three puncture wounds and my "not a devil" tattoo with the smiley face drawn in by the doctor while I was anesthetized. Cute, doc. My mother hates that tattoo because it has horns and reminds her of the dark lord, and I agree that it does bear a resemblance, but it's not. I was born in May and I am a true blue Taurus, through & through, it's a zodiac sign tattoo, that's all. I wonder if the surgery team had a similar debate?

Before my surgery, during my last full week at work, we had an interesting thing occur. Firey vandalism! Here, take a look:

Silly children, they get so bored sometimes, ya know? I never did anything quite like that when I was a kid, but that's only because I hadn't thought of it. My creativity bloomed later in life.

Speaking of creativity, I was walking downtown the other day when I noticed a painting for sale in a storefront window. I walked around the corner and went inside to inquire about it and get a closer look. Turns out it was on sale 25% off and was painted the year I was born (1976), so I bought it. Here's the painting when I first saw it in the window and then a close-up inside the store:

Okay friends & followers, that's all I have for you today. My shoulder and body hurts and I'm getting hungry, so it's time to go do something else, like... lunch and a movie? Ha. See you soon!