6/30/12

Lacking Ambition with a Passion

Momentarily we're fucking the lame ass book start.  Seriously, I'm not feeling it.  It's that vector, a semi-biographical shorts one, or the strange sci-fi idea I had in a tent on a beach two mornings ago, which sounds like it might entail an awfully lot of work.  Plus, it totally steals the place where Narnia and Bridge Across Forever intersect, and there's something seriously wrong with that, so I guess I'm back to square -3, which today I am good with.

I am lacking ambition with a passion today, in fact.  This was week two of "intentional" homelessness State Park camping.  Last week it was Colorado Bend State Park.  One of the most gorgeous places I've been in a long time, which is saying a lot, since I'm from Arkansas.  This past week it was Mustang Island State Park, which is adjacent to Padre Island (somehow I didn't know that, though I'd been there before). 

It doesn't help (with the ambition thing) that someone just called me ma'am and I can't remember if I've been working at this weekend supplementary job for 7 or 8 years.  Plus, there were donuts.  Seriously, this job may and or may not be killing me.  These fluorescent lights and industrial ac really do a number on one's mojo.  Anyway, I have 20 minutes here, before I'm not here.  I looked up numbers for apartments near my school, even though apartments might be soul crushing too.  But, you can live in them more cheaply and seemingly easily from this vantage point.  Gulp/

18 minutes and counting.  I'm not a person who needs to pretend I'm ambitious and productive all the time.  Maybe.  I can be uncomfortable not working, but I can be very comfortable working too.  Seriously though, I'm lazy is the not built to be very funny part of this, at least on the inside.  But, more than that, I'm not feeling terribly fulfilled right this sec, or as every post on my blog might could be traced back to, I'm simply not getting laid enough, and "intentional" homelessness isn't helping the matter.  

Of course (15 minutes), I am so much more mature than when I was last posing here last week.  I have feelings and they are churning butter a mile a minute and did I mention Mr. Bee went on the last couple camp outs, and did I mention he's a few months sober now, though, of course, he's focusing on that (as he should) and the realities are painfully clear, and though I was the one who walked away, it was after years and years of not feeling wanted in the mix.  Oh, and maybe I'm gay, except, I've coined the new definition of bi which is "being both gay and straight."  And, it works quite well.  So, the Q in LGBTQ is obsolete in my life, even if the "now whats?" loom large and futilely.

With 10 minutes let before this phone booth explodes, and Kiefer Sutherland gives me the creeps again, or better yet, the crepes, lets get to the morsel.  The friends with benefits thing posed as me using Mr. Bee on a bi-yearly (in the two and a half years since we parted) did not come to fruition in the course of the family camping which involved one big tent, lots of bathing suits and alone time on the beach after the boys tuckered out.  I could have pushed for things to go there, but I did not feel as though there was an insistence in him to ravish me, even with my 10% more leathery skin... and that hurt.  It made me wonder if it has always been exactly that way, and I'm thinking yes. 

There is another situation that is feeling complex, and worthy of processing via cryptic blogging transmission, but now we're at 4 minutes and really this guy squirming around in my mouth is too good not to swallow.  Sigh. 


6/11/12

A Timebomb

I'm setting this thing to go off on Monday.

4) “Hi Mary,” says Glen, walking into the kitchen.  “How was your day?” she responds with a kiss.  The kiss was the suggestion of a therapist they saw a few years ago, the solution to the awkward and often resentful reunions they were having.  “The kiss” was a Band-Aid on their bruises that reminded them to be gentle with each other.  It worked in those moments, but they also could have used a pitcher of margaritas for whomever broke down and did the dishes first, expensive gifts for Glen who always took out the trash, and oral sex for Mary who cleaned toilets she never herself dirtied.  

“I was just about to fix dinner.  Have you eaten?”  Mary asks staring into the fridge.  “No.  I haven’t,” Glen replies, taking the plastic ware out of his lunch bag and placing it in the sink.  “We’ve got that pasta and salad meal, I know.  That’s easy.”  “That doesn’t sound very exciting, but I don’t really care too much,” Mary quips.  Glen puts on the water and sets the whole wheat spirals and colander on the counter.  “I’ll go get us some cherry tomatoes.”   Mary puts some pre-made salad mix on a couple plates and set out the olives, feta, and olive oil before going into their room to change.   

Micah isn’t home, so they break their “No Eating in Front of the TV” rule before Mary knits and Glen reads, both with the TV on.  Sunday is the only night with “TV worth watching,” as that fellow on NPR puts it, but neither of them welcomes what would fill the silence turning the TV off would create.  There is still another hour of sunlight, and Glen knows he should go weed his garden, but that thought doesn’t sound very appealing.  Still, he goes outside.  

Mary isn’t sure her plan to knit all the hats and scarves, maybe even an actual sweater, that she bought yarn for before last Christmas is really as good a way to spend her summer vacation as she thought even last week, but she isn’t anywhere near ready to be thinking about next year’s syllabus and she needs something to distract her from thinking of Christina.  

6/10/12

Getting Squishy

Picking up from yesterday.  It's morphed to book form rather than the switching back and forth between the book and screenplay. as it did for an annoying 20 seconds.  At least the screenplay idea is giving this a more full-bodied main character than I usually envision, and I'm pleased Glen got out of a chair and went to work.  That's more action than most of my writing has ever seen (aside from Flo Jo, of course), whatever the result.  (Is that a disclaimer for claiming to have anything important to write about?)  Of course, Glen is mostly me morphed with people I have known.   Hopefully, his poor self-esteem mixed with superiority-based distancing will shine through.  (Edits are occurring within the google doc rather in these posts.)

3) "Can you help me pick out some plants that will serve as a ground cover in a shady spot in my yard?"  a customer asks.  Caroline and Glen hesitate a moment.  Once the day gets rolling, they'll both be busy and a natural alternation of duties will to kick in, but it’s a little early for that yet.  Only because Glen likes to get unpleasant tasks out of the way so he can sit back and enjoy himself later, he volunteers to help the woman.

She seems older than Glen by a few years, but it may just be that she seems richer than him, hence more mature.  At some point in his life wealth was a generally accurate indicator of age, but not reliably so anymore he knows as he leads her to the shade perennials.  His guard is up.  He doesn’t like it when people feel entitled to free landscape design services.  Examining his feelings, he asks himself, “Is it for fun and for free?”  Sometimes he can get into a generous mood by acknowledging that he has a choice, but it isn’t his default setting.

Glen doesn’t think he’s seen this woman here before, which seems a little unusual.  The “regulars” tend to come in this early, and they generally help themselves.  Just as he’s about to mentally defend his right to wake up to such demanding social interactions a little more gently on a Monday, she spots what she’s looking for, “Ajuga.”  “Fine choice,” he lies.  It actually isn’t a bad choice.  In fact, many people are perfectly happy with ajuga.  He himself is fond of its compact, purple-green leaves.  He just doesn’t have a high regard for it as a ground cover.  He imagines squishing it juicily with his feet, and winces a bit.  

As he rings up her order, he informs her that buying the entire flat allows him to give her a fifteen percent discount.  He recommends some seaweed and is relieved that she doesn’t ask him how to plant plants.  Some people do.  This woman isn’t too obnoxious.  She doesn’t seem relatable (maybe it’s the ironed jeans), but she is not nearly as obnoxious as many of the women who come in here.  

When Glen is in an outgoing mood, the rich, middle-aged women find him quite charming.  When he’s not, they at least find him helpful and polite, if invisible.  This complements Glen’s strength as a salesman—he doesn’t try to sell anyone anything.  He lets organic gardening sell itself; he just helps people find what they came in to get. 

Because I can't stand the radio silence in writing (blog addiction tendencies), I am de-private-setting my blog.  It is clear that Lisa is the only one that really loves reads me anymore anyway (I think my cuntery even scared off Randal).  If this has been that writing for the sake of it and not for the other sticky hole-filling stuff, I hope this won't screw that up.  For instance, I might then be wont to tell of all of the ways it thrilled me to rediscover the movie Fargo last night so many years after first seeing it.  Distractions, distractions.  (Of course, I want those.)

6/9/12

Balancing Act


Another installment... 

2) Glen slips his notebook and pen into the side pocket of his Barcalounger.  He must go to work.  He pours himself a coffee refill (half and half, no sugar), grabs his lunch from the fridge, and gets into his Honda Accord station wagon, a '92.  He's uncomfortable with the way it shakes, so he avoids letting it idle too long.  New engine mounts will cost five hundred dollars or so, but the axle comes first.  For now, kid gloves.  Incidentally, this is exactly the way he views his dental issues, his intermittent aches and pains, and his likely, but imagined, credit state.  "Just don't let it get worse right now," is his mantra of sorts.

Glen arrives at work five minutes late.  He's used to it, which is not to say he feels good about it, but he figures if he hasn't been fired for being five minutes late these past seven years, he isn't likely to get fired for it now.  There's something in the idea of arriving early that makes him very uncomfortable.  He tries to arrive on the hour exactly, and hits his mark from time to time, but usually not.

Glen refills his coffee, puts on his smock and greets Caroline with a smile.  "Mornin’, Caroline."  "Hi Glen.  How are you?"  "Oh, you know.  Same ol' same 'ol.  How ‘bout you?"  "Oh, I'm amaazing this morning.  I'm doing this juice fast, and it just makes my body feel so good."  Caroline's lankiness and exaggerated arm movements really drive the point home: Glen is fat.

"Can you help me pick out some plants that will serve as a ground cover in a shady spot in my yard?"  a customer asks.  Caroline and Glen hesitate a moment.  Once the day gets rolling, they'll both be busy, and a natural alternation of duties will to kick in, but Glen likes to get unpleasant tasks out of the way, so he can sit back and enjoy himself later, so he volunteers to go first.

She seems older than Glen by a few years, but it might just be that she's richer than him, hence more mature.  At some point in his life, this was a generally accurate indicator of age, but not reliably so anymore.

Here is a link to both parts put together.  Oh, I am liking this character development thing.  It's time for me to leave work for now.  With assessments done, I still have a couple more school-related tasks that I just couldn't stomach doing at work today.  Perhaps, tomorrow, or perhaps, I'll pick this back up.  Live well and love bunnies.

6/3/12

Glen's Meta Memoir and The Silver Camaro

Note:  If you follow my blog, and it is in your reader, but you can't access my site, email me and I'll invite you on as a reader.  I'm keeping it private for now.

Ok, faux productivity.  That's what this blog needs.  chop.  chop.  An entry for a contest someone linked to on facebook? Boring-- which tells me, "With an attitude like that, maybe I should procrastinate that one a bit...."

Another idea was the start, the first scene again, again, again.  I keep going back and forth between a screenplay based on a dream I had, which I was thrilled to see I recorded in google docs, thank dog, and something more memoir-ish that yesterday's conversion might go with.  I have an idea for a children's book and know an illustrator I would like to ask, but the words aren't flushed out there yet.  Another project.

I feel a little ashamed to have written that dialogue yesterday, but not as shameful as I felt to cry while watching the trailer for chimpanzee™ after listening to the interview with its maker on Fresh Air.  Oh, Terry Gross, where are you when I need to you?

After walking around in my security guard uniform for a little while (inspiring), I had another glimpse of an idea (which is sure to change) to merge the screenplay structure with the memoir.  I think the main character, Glen, can have the childhood experience I keep imagining as the opening scene... instead of me.  It can give a "scarred for life feel to the whole thing," which is, of course, what I'm going for.  The dialogue yesterday is between Glen and Mary later, in their struggling marriage.  Mary is the one with the sexual identity issues.  And, the beauty of the dream is that there was a basic structure that made some sense, in addition to a feel for the characters.

This is how it starts...
 1)   Glen writes...  "The first thing I remember is seeing my father's silver Camaro round the corner of Meador's Lane while I stood at the other end waiting in Momo's circular driveway."   

"Momo had told me and Jeff to stay close, but I was in the neighbors' barn again when I heard her call.  By the time I got there, Jeff was in the house and the front door was locked.  So, I just stood there watching the car come my way.  In me there was a mix of fear and relief at the familiar site of my father's car.

"My father pulled around with a purpose and stepped out of his car.  'Get in the car,' he insisted, as though that was his 10th time to say it and he didn't want to have to say it again.  A mix of shame (for my apparent stupidity) and comfort (that he wanted me at all) implored me to obey.

"So, it was from the passenger side of my father's disproportionately nice car, through the closed car window, that I watched my father knock on Momo's front door.  She answered, but refused him entrance.  My father was there to retrieve my mother.  He'd had enough of her taking-us-out-of-school-in-the-middle-of-the-day-while-he-was-out-of-town-to-drive-his-Camaro-10- hours-to-her-mom's-house nonsense.  He got his car from the airport as they'd arranged, but ignored her "request" to be on his way after that.

"We were welcome to stay at Momo's after my grandfather died.  My mom says she'd never seen me as happy and talkative as I'd been on that drive down from Omaha.  I vaguely recall the drive.  I think I wanted to help my mother stay awake, but, like so much of what we left behind, my memories of the drive are only visceral and fleeting now.

My cousins and I, in the years that followed, would tease Pola, Momo's dog.  "Pola, there's a dog outside," spoken with the right inflection, prompted her to the big bay window, where she would look out expectantly.  Each and every time.  Sitting in the same seat I'd ridden in to help keep my mother awake, I watched my father bust through Momo's bay big window.

"Great Momo snapped me out of my trance.  "What in the world are you doing in there?"  she hissed as she opened the door, grabbed my wrist and dragged me down the lane to her house.  Surely, we passed Junk, the oldest cat that ever lived, as we entered her house where she called the police.  In what seemed no time, I watched two police cars round the same corner my father just had, drive down to Momo's, and then follow my dad back out of my life for the next eleven years."

Mashed potatoes willing, there will be more tomorrow.  Having to complete assessments, a quilt and a yearbook sure are making me inspired do anything but those things, which are all that remain for me to wrap up the school year.

6/2/12

"Well, Well, Well."

The picture was incidental and easy, so it stays, despite its flippancy.  Well, well, well.  There have been a couple provisional blogs that lasted a post or two.  In my name.  Not in my name.  That seems to be the question.  Now that we are set to private here or perhaps it's that school is out, or any number of other things that boil down this burning itchiness to do this, I'll post here.

It seems that of all of the voices I have in writing, this is my favorite.  And, according to my newest obsessee, Joyce Carol Oates, blogging is a great place to develop one's voice.  Of course, if I say it you won't listen, but if she says it, you're all over it.  "You've never respected me."

Since I was last here, I'm sure some stuff happened.  (What up with that Big Bang Theory all the hep cats are recording in the DRV?)  And, I'm sure many things stayed the same (over worked/ undersexed).  Again... this. must. be. the. summer. I. write. a. book.  (Right)

I am in a yet to be determined period of intentional homelessness.  I house/ dog sat for the last 5 months.  Baby Bees (who are more adolescent than not now) are with the second ex Mr. Bee formerly known as Mr. Bee for two weeks, while I stay with my daughters at the first ex Mr. Bee's while he is out of town for work.  Then, the Newly Teen and Tween Bees and I will state park it up a while.  I've even contemplated writing. In a notebook.  Plus, there are always always always podcasts to listen to.  I'm sorry Joyce Carol Oates.  It's true.   A new place in July, then.

So, voice here is good.  According to someone tone, rhythm, ideas and grammar also matter.  Really, this blog has got it going on for me in all departments, but idea.  A story, the truth?  Which one?  What do I need to do (aside from having been the one to write Girls or write period)?  Write conversations.  Today's exercise: write a conversation.  I don't know who my characters are yet, but here they can be borne of a conversation.

Torn between wishing he would would shut up and wishing he would talk more, Freida decided to take the plunge-- "I've been wanting to talk to you." "Really?  About what?"  She never seemed to have a problem talking to him before, so this piqued his interest.  Maybe, for once, she meant talk "with" him rather than "at"  him.  (How's that for tone?  Snide.)  "I know I'm always complaining that my needs aren't being met, even as I am resistant to telling you what they are...."  Good start.  This was true.  "I'm just wondering if we might try and problem solve on this together."  "Problem solve on what?"  "Why is it always my role to be the one who says this?  You can't be happy, or you don't seem happy, at least."  "I'm happy, except for the fact that you never seem happy."

"I'm not gay, but neither am I straight."  "Fuck, not this again."  "This won't just go away by acting like we don't have a problem"  I've been thinking that maybe, it's not that.  Maybe, it's that I am gay and I'm straight.  I'm not trying to complain; it's just that I do want more, but I still want this."  "We've talked about this.  I know you want an open relationship or to have group sex or whatever it is that you want.  I'm not like that.  I'm just built the way I am."  "I know, but if there's any sort of compromise we could could make around this, I would love for us to come up with the solution together."  "I just don't see the problem.  Either you want to be with me, or you don't. Or, maybe it's that you just want to do whatever the fuck you want, and I'm not down with that."

"You can't be satisfied with our sex life.  You never want to have sex with me."  "Lately, I've just been really exhausted from work.  Then, I come home and there's all this stuff to do here, and then you go to work.  We never see each other."  "If I didn't think it would just be a set up for rejection, I'd ask if you wanted to schedule a date night."  "You know I don't respond to being put on the spot to have sex."  "It is so humiliating to have to beg you to have sex with me.  I knew I should have just kept my mouth shut."  (Talking to herself in that really disturbing, sneering way she does, "Just shut up and get back to work.  Don't complain.  The only reason you don't have what you want is that you can't be nice.  I'm so fucking sick of being told to be nice.")  Slamming the door, she was gone.  

Well, damn.  I don't really give a shit if it's good.  It's not just me pontificating.  It's dialog, and it spewed forth.  Not sure what the next part will be, but I had a few ideas.  It figures that with assessments, the yearbook and putting together class quilts that we raffled off, I'd be inspired.  I shall be back sooner than later, mutherfucker.