Saturday, May 31, 2014

He had read Walker Percy's debut novel, The Moviegoer, for five consecutive summers before it had occurred to him that a fascination with the novel's spiritually bankrupt protagonist suggested a defect in the machinery of his own psychology.
After hearing Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for about twenty seconds--the first time he had heard a song by them--he knew that they would not only be huge, but important, as well.
He had carried Salinger's Franny and Zooey around in his backpack for about a year and a half, just before turning twenty, pulling it out and skimming passages from it when he had found himself in empty bus stops and sterile train stations, or when he was just plain bored in a library study carrel or a bagel shop, knowing eventually he would inevitably suffer the same spiritual and existential breakdown and wind up on the Glass family's Manhattan living room sofa--minus a lecture from Zooey, of course, in his case (he wouldn't be that fortunate)--Franny's beloved cat, Bloomberg, nudging and pawing his chest and sniffing his breath and purring in his face, with any luck.

Friday, May 30, 2014

As the spacecraft reentered the Earth's atmosphere, already having transmitted all of its data and spectacular imagery, he asked himself, "Where is the joy?"
It was clear that she had been born with a certain amount of style and grace and rarely had to give it a second thought.
He had a hard time relating to people who belonged to what Albert Camus referred to as "The Cult of the Serious."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Unable to play any instruments, unable to write anything original, unable to predict the next look, they settled for losing themselves in the packed audiences of intimate concerts.
He stood in front of the bathroom mirror and tried to duplicate a face he had made thirty years ago but it was useless.
They had often talked about forming a band during their student years, while at dinner, or while lying about the dorm, or while walking across campus, but none of them had actually had any talent, and they couldn't have been convinced that they collectively possessed enough good looks to fake it, as evidenced by a lack of anything vaguely resembling romance, or even squalor, in their uneventful daily lives.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Halfway through the interview he got up to use the restroom, slipped down a back stairway and kept on walking.
Was she always barefoot because she enjoyed it, or because her parents wanted her in shoes?
His grandfather had taken him, a true city boy, to his cousin's flower farm when he was young and he'd hated it, the isolation of it all, the sickening vegetation, but now he could see himself living in the middle of a flat plowed nowhere where the only protection was the vast open absence of protection, and the brown cloud of someone approaching could be spotted two or three miles away, giving him plenty of time to grab his poetry, set the fire and run.

Monday, May 26, 2014

He couldn't listen to "Taps" without tearing up.
She opened the bill and slapped her forehead.
As with any project, it eventually became his distraction.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

His texts were becoming more and more parenthetical everyday.
She ordered the last bottle of wine.
He rejoiced in the beehive of memory.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sometimes while sitting on the patio at the cafe with his notebooks and a strong cup of coffee, he would imagine that he was joined by Jean-Michel Basquiat--smoking, and on something, of course--and together the two of them would talk about Picasso, ethnicity and popular culture.
She loved Miro for his kinky lyricism.
On a clear Saturday morning, a little Louis Armstrong, a bit of Miles Davis, a dash of Dave Brubek, perhaps, was all it took to jazz up an otherwise fairly ordinary batch of scrambled eggs.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

He distanced himself from a bad memory lingering from the day before by eating a hearty sub.
Now, at the age of forty-six, when he looked at the place where he had usually seen himself, he saw instead the absence of himself.
He discovered out of sheer ornery laziness that he slept better fully clothed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The contagion of malaise contaminated the punchlines of her jokes.
He sat at the table and waited quietly, like a matador sentenced to death by sword.
She wanted to affect his life like a shot of espresso.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Of course, the siren wouldn't have reverberated so much if his head hadn't been so empty.
By focusing on a siren that seemed to be weaving its way across the south side of the neighborhood, she was able to forget that her to-do list had been written on a pink sticky note by someone with a child-like scrawl.
As the siren grew louder in the neighborhood and interrupted his morning coffee and the serenity of his mind which had been stuck in that moment preceding the moment the blossoming siren had first pushed through a needled, leafy barrier of stagnant thought like a crocus in the flower bed (he'd been staring at the damp lilacs just beyond the front window made deeper in purple hue by the morning rain), he silently promised someone, anyone, that he would return to looking, remembering against his will what the great American poet had written: No idea but in things.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Early in the morning his thoughts played out as follows: What? what? what? okay, okay, ugh.
She placed the note card on his desk and slipped out of his office; he would never guess whom it was from but she didn't care.
He often woke up on Monday mornings with an overwhelming desire to paint.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

His secret weapon was the donut.
They could tarnsih her image, but they couldn't dismantle her legacy: donuts?
When he drove in the car in silence with the windows up, he felt outside of time, totally cut off from life, everything, as if he were looking out at the world from behind a mirror, unless he had a donut.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tough inarticulate mysticism offensive to his yuppie limitations awkwardly neutralized empathy.
The icicles melted, orchestrating that his yo-yo-like agnosticism necessitated emancipation.
The investigation manifest offered theories his younger, lighthearted adversaries nourished equivocally.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The incendiary messages often transported his youthful longings across narcissistic entanglements.
People who used the phrase, Maybe I'm naive, angered her; silence and denial, she believed, were worse than naivety.
He felt unique and most charmed in the average moment.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

He read to her every day, played with her every day, colored and drew with her every day, went for walks and wagon rides and bike rides every day, painted pictures and pasted projects and video taped her puppet shows every day, washed her clothes, made her meals and took her everywhere he went.
When the club didn't have a girls team for his daughter, he made sure she could try out for the boys team and told her that the boys team would be fortunate to have her.
He got down on the floor to play with his daughter, pushing the thoughts of all of the other men who were at work, or getting home from work, or preparing for work, to the back of his mind.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The culture encouraged, no, championed, escapism; he couldn't tell if the moment felt more real with the radio on or off.
She held up the hearty image of the daffodil in the face of any naysayers.
In the fifteen seconds that it took a thousand pounds of dynamite to implode the 19-story Genesee Towers in the heart of downtown Flint--a city in more than dire need of rebirth and revision--he saw roughly three years of the worst and happiest time of his life flash before him and leer at him within the massive, abstracted clouds of dust and debris.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

He went for a walk through the neighborhood at four A.M. because he wanted to get his soul right.
She liked vintage clothing, especially the accessories, because she believed that modesty and decoration were a virtue.
He wanted to be able to record his thoughts in real time, not reflective time.

Friday, May 9, 2014

He selected a paperweight from his desk, hefted it, looked out over the city, made up his mind and walked into the meeting, the paperweight still in his hand.
She spent a lot of the day by herself, and then punished people through the night for it.
After episode 207, he vowed that he would never piss off Ragnar Lodbrok.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

He got that tedious, mind-numbing housework, such as dusting inconspicuous nooks and vacuuming untrammeled  areas of carpet and scrubbing linoleum floors that didn't look clean afterward, going hard in rooms upon which one could easily and satisfactorily close the door--the ridiculous, absurd battle with Nature insubordinate to no one and no thing--had to transpire every once in a while, but he knew that deep down, he equated it with madness, and therefore never willingly participated in this kind of activity, though sometimes underwent the trauma of it all for the sake of love.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The spring brought the rain, the rain brought lilacs, the lilacs brought out his inner wealth.
He felt as content as a cat.
"Listen," he said to his laptop, "I am doing everything I can to make this as easy for you as possible: you have to do your part."

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

As his computer struggled to complete the simplest tasks--the most uncomplicated applications one could possibly imagine, no matter how creative--he knew that he would have to come to some  kind of terms with contemporary existence immediately or risk everything.
She loved to say the word Yoplait.
He implored the architects of the present day to send him an email revealing whether listening to Spotify at the table in the dining room while the water in the dishwasher churned and the sun bathed everything with a surface was possibly just as worthy an endeavor as making money or art, despite the vast gulf between the two.

Monday, May 5, 2014

He wanted to be in the moment like a regular Arby's roast beef sandwich.
She hated to start the day off with mandatory texting, but it did at least wake her thumbs up.
Tai chi in the dairy aisle at Meijer, or in the electronics department at Best Buy, would have probably boosted his quasi-spiritual connectivity to the internet.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

He thanked the goddess for cloaking our hero with the translucency of idiotic fashion.
She slapped his face and asked if he could feel that.
He wondered what he had ever seen in Princess Leia anyway.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The lack of structure on the weekends was enough to put him in a hospital.
When he asked his father if he could take the car, his father responded, "Is that what you're wearing out of this house," to which he replied, "Yes," accepted the keys and left.
The first time he heard Howard McGhee, he threw all of his paintings out of a third story window after returning to his studio.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Aw, "Rats," he thought.
Her disregard for the treasured insights (?) of the hoi polloi was well-documented and oft-discussed in all of the affected ivory towers of art and academia, as well as in the basements and secret warehouses and on top of all of the slag heaps of popular culture.
He simply could not sanction the concretion of dog shit on the neighborhood sidewalks after the snow had melted, nor the Jackson Pollocknistic splatters of vomit downtown after the semester ended, but then again he wasn't in the mood to judge.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

When the lilac bush just outside the front window began to bloom, he remember how, after his grandfather had died, his grandmother had gone out into her back yard with a pair of scissors to "trim" her lilac bushes and had "trimmed" them down to the ground by the time she had finished.
She just couldn't do work-all-the-time all the time anymore.
He usually poured his coffee with his left hand.