Longevity in the Midwest Corner

Suspended in mid-air on summer heat, I watch the children laugh and skip in the streets. Pink sunlight babbles through Venetian slants; I am drawn to the window, out the door, lighting a cigarette with each halting step. Two, to savor the evanescence. Three, because the sun wears me down.

I am drawn to a bicycle and where it sits in rusted silence, this backyard of omniscient weeds and misplaced gold. When I was younger, I was drawn to the passing dusk too, but these things pass and somehow the light always fades. Caught in a sober moment, I begin to beat the cobwebs.

Each stroke breaks a thread. Like this sulking contraption, I have sat for months, encumbered by malaise and a damning project out in Utah. They jet me home on a never-ending sunset for a half-hearted recovery, a little out of touch, a few pounds emaciated. Only the bottle greets me.

The weekends come and go. I drink… smoke… often alone, too wasted to make the drive to half-hearted friends. Over 4th of July holidays and in my dreams, I continue to run server migration scenarios. I wake up in an airport just as the sun peers above the mountain peaks.

There is never enough sleep. Funny how the word echoes two-dimensional as you become a caricature. In the quiet afternoon of debilitating heat, I lean back with the radio on, a paperback Bukowski propped against the pillow, watching dust settle in each empty corner. Pink light pasted all around.

My laundry takes root on the floor, scattered and in between the cracks, not so wild like crabgrass or prodigious wheat, but just enough to leave a presence. My hand moves to prod the weeds but stop. They say a clean room is a sign of a clean mind. I say an empty room is an empty heart.

14 thoughts on “Longevity in the Midwest Corner

  1. I feel the same way about throwing laundry on the floor. I used to be so OCD about keeping my living space orderly but once I started living by myself… it just didn’t feel right. I needed some mess and dirt to remind me that there’s a human living in my place.. and that human be me.

    Hope to see you soon, don’t forget to dress warm and eat well Cha-lee!

  2. I feel the same way about throwing laundry on the floor. I used to be so OCD about keeping my living space orderly but once I started living by myself… it just didn’t feel right. I needed some mess and dirt to remind me that there’s a human living in my place.. and that human be me.

    Hope to see you soon, don’t forget to dress warm and eat well Cha-lee!

  3. Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you…(I know I didn’t actually warn you, but…it looked like a cool thing to say. ^_^)

    1.) You told me once (recently) that you don’t smoke unless you have a drink first–which means you had a drink at 7pm before you had a cigarette! And since you had two cigs, that means you also had two drinks! (No, that does not count as dinner…and no, you should not drink at 7pm–especially alone. Dr. D’s Orders ;-))

    2.) Ride your bike…force yourself to do it, even if you only sit on the seat for 15 seconds. Yes, it’s all about minutiae.

    3.) Didn’t I tell you to wear thermal UNDERWEAR in that cold room all the way in Utah?! Our inside joke is in caps…teehee. ^_^

    4.) I’m sad that you got a fever…remember what I said to you earlier? Tragedy is in the eyes, my friend…don’t let it show up in the rest of you. *pat x 100* =)

    5.) Wanted to leave you some song lyrics…

    Our Lady Peace – Innocent

    Oh, Johnny wishes he was famous
    Spends his time alone in the basement
    With Lennon and Cobain and
    A guitar and a stereo

    And while he wishes he could escape this
    But it all seems so contagious
    Not to be yourself and faceless
    In a song that has no soul

    I remember feeling low
    I remember losing hope
    And I remember all the feelings
    And the day they stopped

    We are, we are all innocent
    We are all innocent
    We are, we are…

    Oh, Gina’s losing faith in what she knows
    Hates her music hates all of her clothes
    Thinks of surgery and a new nose
    Every calorie is a war

    And while she wishes she was a dancer
    And that she’d never heard of cancer
    She wishes God would give her some answers
    And make her feel beautiful

    I remember feeling low
    I remember losing hope
    I remember all the feelings and the day they stopped

    We are, we are all innocent
    We are all innocent
    We are, we are…

    One day, you’ll have to let it go
    You’ll have to let it go…No…
    One day, you’ll stand up on your own
    You’ll stand up on your own…Yeah…

    Remember losing hope
    Remember feeling low
    Remember all the feelings
    And the day they stopped

    We are, we are all innocent
    We are all innocent
    We are, we are…

    We are, we are all innocent

  4. Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you…(I know I didn’t actually warn you, but…it looked like a cool thing to say. ^_^)

    1.) You told me once (recently) that you don’t smoke unless you have a drink first–which means you had a drink at 7pm before you had a cigarette! And since you had two cigs, that means you also had two drinks! (No, that does not count as dinner…and no, you should not drink at 7pm–especially alone. Dr. D’s Orders ;-))

    2.) Ride your bike…force yourself to do it, even if you only sit on the seat for 15 seconds. Yes, it’s all about minutiae.

    3.) Didn’t I tell you to wear thermal UNDERWEAR in that cold room all the way in Utah?! Our inside joke is in caps…teehee. ^_^

    4.) I’m sad that you got a fever…remember what I said to you earlier? Tragedy is in the eyes, my friend…don’t let it show up in the rest of you. *pat x 100* =)

    5.) Wanted to leave you some song lyrics…

    Our Lady Peace – Innocent

    Oh, Johnny wishes he was famous
    Spends his time alone in the basement
    With Lennon and Cobain and
    A guitar and a stereo

    And while he wishes he could escape this
    But it all seems so contagious
    Not to be yourself and faceless
    In a song that has no soul

    I remember feeling low
    I remember losing hope
    And I remember all the feelings
    And the day they stopped

    We are, we are all innocent
    We are all innocent
    We are, we are…

    Oh, Gina’s losing faith in what she knows
    Hates her music hates all of her clothes
    Thinks of surgery and a new nose
    Every calorie is a war

    And while she wishes she was a dancer
    And that she’d never heard of cancer
    She wishes God would give her some answers
    And make her feel beautiful

    I remember feeling low
    I remember losing hope
    I remember all the feelings and the day they stopped

    We are, we are all innocent
    We are all innocent
    We are, we are…

    One day, you’ll have to let it go
    You’ll have to let it go…No…
    One day, you’ll stand up on your own
    You’ll stand up on your own…Yeah…

    Remember losing hope
    Remember feeling low
    Remember all the feelings
    And the day they stopped

    We are, we are all innocent
    We are all innocent
    We are, we are…

    We are, we are all innocent

  5. I got hooked on bike-riding in Nanjing. It took me a while because traffic always appeared to be utter chaos, with no rhyme or reason that I could make out. Being American, I was very concerned about the rules. “The rules! But what are the rules?? Am I breaking any laws?” People, my students, friends just looked at me funny: “Rules? There are none. Get on your bike and ride. Just don’t die. And try not to hit anyone.”

    I finally just did and it made all the difference. I fell in love with the city and got to know it more intimately than I ever did afoot (much less in motor vehicles). I realized that it’s all a sort of ballet; you get on, and just take care not to interrupt the flow. Once you get it, it makes all the sense in the world.

    Oh, by biking, I mean bicycling. I’m back in the states and, though it’s totally uncool, I’m resolved not to give it up. If you’re not in a huge rush and you don’t have to traverse great distances, it’s a great feeling–the ground rolls beneath you, the moon rides alongside you, and life slows down just enough for you to catch a breath.

    Do it.

  6. I got hooked on bike-riding in Nanjing. It took me a while because traffic always appeared to be utter chaos, with no rhyme or reason that I could make out. Being American, I was very concerned about the rules. “The rules! But what are the rules?? Am I breaking any laws?” People, my students, friends just looked at me funny: “Rules? There are none. Get on your bike and ride. Just don’t die. And try not to hit anyone.”

    I finally just did and it made all the difference. I fell in love with the city and got to know it more intimately than I ever did afoot (much less in motor vehicles). I realized that it’s all a sort of ballet; you get on, and just take care not to interrupt the flow. Once you get it, it makes all the sense in the world.

    Oh, by biking, I mean bicycling. I’m back in the states and, though it’s totally uncool, I’m resolved not to give it up. If you’re not in a huge rush and you don’t have to traverse great distances, it’s a great feeling–the ground rolls beneath you, the moon rides alongside you, and life slows down just enough for you to catch a breath.

    Do it.

  7. Janet, I’m sorry couldn’t make it down to SD that time. But there are some places I want to chexor in LA so, hurky, will call you up if am in the area. =)

    Dee, those lyrics are awesome. Handy words to have lounging about. But you are right, keep tragedy hidden in the only place it can’t be hidden.

    Connie, my sis says the same thing about Taiwan when she was abroad for a year or so. Ride as if your life depended on it. Keep writing.

  8. Janet, I’m sorry couldn’t make it down to SD that time. But there are some places I want to chexor in LA so, hurky, will call you up if am in the area. =)

    Dee, those lyrics are awesome. Handy words to have lounging about. But you are right, keep tragedy hidden in the only place it can’t be hidden.

    Connie, my sis says the same thing about Taiwan when she was abroad for a year or so. Ride as if your life depended on it. Keep writing.

  9. yay!!

    i’ve been too lazy to update my blogger… hehe. besides, it’s just so blah and no substance really. i wish i could write half as good as you do 😛

  10. yay!!

    i’ve been too lazy to update my blogger… hehe. besides, it’s just so blah and no substance really. i wish i could write half as good as you do 😛

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *