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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordy Wednesday...5 18 11

editors note: the 3d world is requesting that i spend some time doing shit that i do not want to i am taking a hiatus. believe me i would rather be here, bloggererland...i need to deal with stuff that i cannot type away, cannot pretend is not there, cannot ignore any longer.
i will be back as soon as possible. i know i have some stuff to deal with, like awards and such...
oh and i have to get some discs sent out for contest winners from way back, but, you know shit happens...just wish i were partying naked. then i could blame this all on the booze. 
if i have time i will stop by your blogs too...
i will leave you with a little story...
He wakes up, just before the alarm rings. The same routine he does every morning, as he has forever. It is his favorite time. That time while his nerves are still sleeping and his lungs have not started burning, and hurting.
Here, for just a minute, he is whole and unbroken.
Here, for a moment, life is still filled with possibility and a bright future.
Here, for just a minute, he has not abused and battered his body for years.
Here, for a moment, he still feels young.
Here for this moment. He lives for these moments.
But quickly they pass.
And reality says hello.
He crawls out of bed and turns on the heat pad. Lying back down, he starts the routine that his day has become. Every joint gets a dose of heat; the snooze alarm keeps the routine fair.
It could be worse.
His breathing is cool. The burning has not yet started. No exertion in sliding a heat pad around the old bones. No exertion, no burning. He begins to plan his day like he has done for years, except he will go nowhere today. 
He will stay home.
Just like yesterday.
And the day before that.
Doing very little.
No gain. No pain.
Take that Nike.
Or Reebok.
Or whoever coined phrase, No pain. No Gain.  
It is still semi-dark. The sun has yet to break the horizon. The alarm sounds. He adjusts the pad. The warmth is like a welcomed friend, soothing the stiffness. He stretches as the heat does its job. And then he settles in for the duration, at least an hour and a half. Ten minute moves. To each major joint.
every. fucking. day.
He closes his eyes. A smile plays upon thin lips. He strokes his beard, and decides after this round of heat therapy, he will go to the downstairs bath and shave the scruffy, unruly beard to neat and trim.
After what seems like days, he gets up and walks down the hall and then down the stairs. They seem like they are miles long. And this is going down. He does not remember them ever being this long.
He says under his breath, “No chance we are making it back up those in one sprint. We will need to take a break.” 
Still stepping.
Down. Down. Down.
Still stepping.
Down. Down. Down.
The steps end in an unearthly darkness.
He is in a part of the city he has never been before.  The odor is a sharp punch in the nose, equal parts of yesterday’s urine and fresh feces. The weight of oppression is everywhere. The desperation is palpable.  The distant screams of sirens is never-ending.
The darkness is a hungry gelatinous moss, pervasive and intrusive, blanketing the city. No crack or crevice bears light, for it is merely food and sustenance for the darkness.
A baby cries. Dogs bark. Humans yell things at each other that even he would be rarely vocalize. This place is home to the pounding proliferation of poverty and drumming din of the disenfranchised as its essence assaults every sense.
The squalor is disgusting to even the rats and cockroaches.
He sees a figure in the distance, pushing a cart of some sort. A hooded, twisted stick of a human, sex and age indiscernible, crab-like, slowly inching along, singing and talking to itself. Oblivious to the murk and morass in which it moves.
Suddenly, from the shadows, its headlights gobbled by the gelatinous moss- darkness, a speeding car approaches, filed with teenagers, catcalls, and bravado. The driver swerves toward the crabstick, veering off at the last possible instant, tires belching a wave of puddle grime. The crabstick scuttles sideways causing it and its cart, contents and all, to tumble.  The tsunami of slurry slop, however, is unavoidable. It washes over crabstick, the cart, and its pathetic plunder.
Two brown bottles whiz through the air, exploding beer infused shrapnel as they hit the filthy pavement. He expects to hear the roaring of gunfire at any moment.  However, and thankfully, it is not forthcoming.
The cacophony of crazy laughter echoes the city canyon walls, obscuring the curses and ranting of the crabstick person. Buried is also the raucous rattling of worldly goods strewn like so many trash bags from a moving vehicle.
Here, for a moment, even the unending din subsides, lost in the insanity of a completely senseless act of plain stupidity; a random and unprovoked maneuver of malice.
Here, for just a minute, he hears only the beating of his heart. He hears only his humanity, and no one else’s.
He is compelled to act.
To move.
In his limping metered gate he shuffles over to help crabstick. The mad mutterings are laced with expletives and gibberish. He reaches down to help crabstick. Crabstick, its hooded head still dripping, looks up.
Their eyes meet.
Crabstick’s eyes are bespectacled and blue, eerily similar to his own. The beard, more white than its original red, also a haunting similarity.  A thin lipped grin reveals teeth that have seen a few too many cigarettes, chased by coffee. The hint of stale beer clings to this specter of some fucked-up funhouse mirror.
Wordlessly, the two broken individuals return the cart to an upright position and load crabstick’s worldly possessions. 
Absently, he feels a dim burning in his hips and lower back.
He says to himself, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
In the distance, he hears the sounds that are familiar, yet he cannot quite place where they come from and how he knows this voice- noise.
A sirens wail?
It grows louder and closer. He struggles to place it, or its significance. There is so much confusion of sound in this place. The gelatinous darkness disguises and controls all, as sound and light are also blurred.
Crabstick’s cart is full, and the mutterings have ceased, as crabstick and his stuff move noisily away.
Still the voice-noise beckons. It becomes louder and more urgent.
The burning in his back and hips are now demanding of attention as well. The fingers of the gelatinous moss begin to relax their slimy grip.
His blue eyes open suddenly.  For a moment he is unsure of where he is. The stench and decay are gone, replaced by the familiar aroma of fresh brewed coffee and a woman’s perfume. 
Thank God, he did not have to climb back up those stairs.
“We’re leaving” says a woman’s voice.
He reaches over to hit the snooze. 
And slides the heat pad farther up his torso to continue the routine.

Just Another Day In Paradise


  1. We will be here when you get back. Take what time you need for you. Hope this straighten themselves out for you quickly. There's a pic I found on the Web that I'm saving for Tucker ... gimme a holler when you can.

  2. It goes without saying that we will be here when you get back...but I'll say it anyway...we will be here when you get back. You will be missed. You have my email-use it.

    As for that story--wow. I'm kind of at a loss for words. I was totally emersed in that story and though dark, painful, and twisted it was strangely beautiful. Hugs and prayers to you.

  3. Wow.


    Take your time -- but come back.


  4. Hey, you know I understand the madness and the need to take a breather. I eagerly await your next dream.

    Stay up, my friend. xoxo

  5. Bruce...that story was so intense. I loved it. Your repetitive wake up calls are so familiar. Pain is a constant in our lives here yet reading about someone else suffering makes me think they have it worse than I. Yet I can't just jump up, I have to tell my feet and ankles to move a bit. We have no stairs but the bathroom is 2 steps up. That is torture for us at times. Mornings the worst. All we can do is keep trying and forge ahead. I hate to think what the future holds for us. Gotta smile, Gotta laugh. Otherwise we'd be crying our hearts out. Thank God for Vicodin!!

  6. That was well written! I liked it :)

  7. Very well written.

    And take your time, we will be here when you get back.

  8. I was starting to wonder where you were buddy, buddy.

    I wish you sweeter dreams, a more comfortable body and a little less regret for what can't be reversed.

    Look forward sweetheart, not back - it will get better. I promise.

  9. Great writing. And you know my drunk Irish ass will be waiting for you!!

  10. i liked your story, it felt dark and dreamy. hope you are doing okay and that you get back soon...

  11. I've been somewhat MIA myself. It sucks when 3D life interrupts our blogging schedule, doesn't it boss? It goes without saying that I'll be here when you get back, even if I have to still be a bit scarce.

    The story was absolutely brilliant. It's truly one of the most haunting and moving pieces I've ever read.

  12. The story was so cripping I really enjoyed it thanks for that. Now you will be missed while you are away but we all understand that at times life gets in the way of blogging so do what you need to do then return to the blogland.

  13. Bruce - what mood were you in when you wrote that? I really hope it was a good one, because it was awesome. More please. Unless of course it means you have to be depressed as buggery to write it.

  14. What a haunting and well written story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And take all the time you need. I, along with the rest of your bloggy family, will be waiting with open arms when you are able to rejoin us. In the meantime, know that I'm sending good thoughts your way.

  15. Damn, you made me cry. That is not in the rules Sir Bruce.

    Know that I am always here for you. Whenever you need me.

    Now you get that boat sorted and send me some fish pictures.

    HKCN & T

  16. Interesting story piece of fiction ya got there.

    As for the other thing, we'll still be here once your inner chi has been restored to its natural equilibrium.

  17. Very absorbing story, I know what you mean about feeling guilty about not having time to read others blogs but we aren't going anywhere. Take your time.

  18. I appreciate the words and hear their cry. Tug, Tug, Tug. Sometimes words are merely the keys to the soul and you only have to unscramble them to unlock the door.
    Missing my interstate friend already. Anyhting at all don't hesitate!

  19. wow powerful story...
    Hope everything works out for you soon...I miss my Bruce and Tucker time :)

  20. I was gripped by this story Bruce. Take the time to deal with your "stuff" and look forward to your next post. Take care my friend :)

  21. What a well-written story! It reminded me of my homeless friend, and what it could be like were I to encounter him on the street.

    As for you, take care! We will be here upon your return.

    P.S. I am worried about you. If I could send lickety licks, I would.

  22. I understand the pain. More than just physical. And the routine. Just hittin' snooze - over and over with that sense of hopelessness.

    I am essentially totally MIA for a few weeks myself. I was able to pre-set some blog posts for the past few weeks, and can only comment on some weekends.

    Do what you gotta do. I'm doing the same.

    Hope to see you back, feelin' better.

  23. Great story, Bruce. Really powerful. Just wanted to let you know that we're back from time off as well, and we'll be here when you get back!


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