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Help me find broken things!
Between WordPress, YouTube, SoundCloud and the various and sundry other technologies that make a blog, things break over time. Use the contact form and let me know when things are borken.

You’re Looking for — You’re probably trying to find circus training in Portland (aerial, tumbling, hand balancing, &c.) or you teach and want it listed, click the ‘Circus‘ link at the top of the page.

misc. — There’s now a members section, but it’s just for friends. The fun (geeky) stuff is in there. As a hobby I write terrible, terrible fiction. I have a few friends who like to read it. I’m hoping to get some of the other contributors to bare their creations there. And last, blog posts from my trip to europe are squirreled away in the members section.
[The Jump!]

the worst joke

I’m at work. What I mean is, I should be working.

Obviously, I am not.

My friend died. That feels weird to say. It feels wrong to say. Both ‘died’ and ‘friend’ are wrong. The one feels like a joke, the other feels like boasting. It’s a joke because it can’t be real. I can’t process. ‘Died’ must be the subjunctive case; it can’t be indicative. And I can’t say friend because we weren’t close, so claiming her as my friend seems greedy. Bragging. Selfish. Because I want to call her my friend. It’s been more than a month since I’ve seen her and that was normal. So, maybe I should call her my acquaintance.
But no. That’s wrong. That’s gross. We hugged when we saw each other, we played cards against humanity, and I went to a couple parties she hosted and enjoyed them.
But the real reason I can’t use the word ‘acquaintance’ is because I was genuinely happy to see her. I liked her. She was my friend.

So my friend died.

I should write something for her. But I’m not. I’m writing something for me. And you’re reading it. We’re both dicks. We’re a whole bag of dicks.

I didn’t write this from top to bottom, an amanuensis with pen to paper dictating the thoughts as they’re reported. No, I pecked back and forth between words. A sentence here, a missing article there. This writer is a picky eater forced to clean the plate.

The weird thing is my thoughts keep flipping back and forth from internal to external, how-am-i to why-did-she, in jarring, un-syncopated rhythms. And each thought starts with the weird thing is.
The weird thing is she was genuinely happy.
The weird thing is I need tea. A nice cuppa.
The weird thing is she rescued a cat and found a nice home for it. She was a good person.
The weird thing is I feel dizzy.
The weird thing is she loved contortion, so obviously she’s not dead.
The weird thing is my neck is pinching, tightening up, like before I get a migraine.
The weird thing is they say it was an accident: something to do with sleeping pills.
The weird thing is I just need some fucking tea.
The weird thing is she got the fitness modeling gigs that she completely loved.
The weird thing is no matter what I try to talk about, I end up talking about something else.
The weird thing is she owned a home, had a good job, had a boyfriend… last I heard, loved her family.
The weird thing is I don’t feel like someone I know has died.
The weird thing is did she have a boyfriend?
The weird thing is I’m wrinkling my face a lot. Pinching it together. Who does that remind me of?
The weird thing is she was a little bit hippy. She avoided pharmaceutical fixes even though she was a pharmacist.
The weird thing is I keep thinking of random back-in-times. I’m wrinkling my face a lot. The same way the first girl I ever kissed did when she was upset. She still does it. I saw her do it when she visited two years ago from New York. She’s still in New York. My friend who shares this blog is also in New York. I should tell my blog friend I’m updating the server this weekend. I’m going to update the server this weekend before the ssl cert expires. My friend expired. I keep wrinkling my face.
The weird thing is she was a pharmacist. Careful. Meticulous. She didn’t take medications.
The weird thing is my dad died the same way. Sleeping pills.
The weird thing is she had her shit together. Like no, you don’t get it, the lady had her shit. to. gether.
The weird thing is my dad killed himself.
The weird thing is they say it was an accident.

And I don’t even know how she died. I haven’t heard anything confirmed. Nothing from a reputable source. She could have been hit by a car. She could have died peacefully in her sleep. I don’t know how to feel about that. The weird thing is I don’t know which would be worse.

Time is moving so fast right now. It’s like I’m crossing a stream and trying not to get swept away by the current. Keep your feet planted. Take the next step. You’ll get across.
Does getting across mean I won’t care anymore?
I don’t think I want to get across. You go on ahead. Maybe I’ll just stand here in this stream a while, forever.
But the water is cold even if I don’t show it. It’s embarrassing, but I know I shall cross this stream too. And I feel embarrassed. I want to apologize for that.

Why am I even writing? You don’t know, but I know and I’ll tell you. I’m writing because I’m selfish. No. It’s true. I could say I’m writing to hang on because she’s important. Or that I want to remember the impact she had on my life, and I know she had impact because I’m feeling so much right now — and honestly, I’m surprised; i shouldn’t be surprised. I could even say I’m writing to process, because I don’t know how to process and maybe this will help. And while all of those things are true, none of those things is the reason.

I’m writing because I’m selfish. I want to remember how this feels so I won’t be surprised next time. Because there will be a next time. There will be other deaths, and don’t trivialize, but I still have to get up and go to work and be a grow’d-up. Maybe if I take these feelings and I wrap them up carefully and put them away at the back of a drawer then next time I can take it back out, unwrap it carefully, and examine it. See how it felt then and know how it feels now and be ready. Is being ready being untouched? I don’t want this to touch me. I don’t want anything to touch me. And that’s selfish, but understandable. You’ll forgive me. It’s also only part of the reason. A small part of the reason. It’s the garnish, but it’s not the meat.

My brain is an eel. Slippery, dark, and writhing — difficult to see below the surface. Maybe nothing is there or there could be a whole nest of them. I keep rambling. No matter what I try to talk about I end up talking about something else. Like when my manager asked me about what we should put on the FAQ for our android app: I talked for ten minutes about how Microsoft is just like Vladimir Putin. I ended with, ‘so let’s not make our FAQ like them.’
Cool story, bro. Let’s not make our FAQ like them! Great advice. Born leader.

When I try to think about my friend I don’t see her. I just see a cigarette burn where she’s supposed to be.

The weird thing is this feels like a joke. The worst joke. When my roommate told me that my friend was dead I wanted to ask her what the punchline was. I smiled uncomfortably. I wanted to tell her that I appreciated the attempt, but that’s not something funny or something to joke about. It feels like the same kind of wrong as a joke about strange fruit. It feels like the joke some asshole told me as a kid, the one about what you tell a woman with two black eyes. It makes me want to laugh because I don’t want to engage. I’m not strong enough to engage. I can’t fight or explain why it’s wrong. I want to disengage. I want to get away faster. I want to laugh, not because it’s funny, but because it’s not funny. Because if that’s the kind of joke you want to tell, then there’s no point in explaining. You’re not the kind of person I want to hear jokes from. I want to laugh because I think it will help me get away.

I can never remember good jokes. I have to work hard on them. The bad jokes always stay. The bad jokes wrap you in a tar blanket. And this… this is the worst joke.

I can’t think of my friend, just this cigarette-burn of a joke.

I was saying. I have a point. I’m writing for a reason. I’m writing because I’m selfish. Because I’m disgusting and ghoulish. Because my hobby is writing. A bullshit hobby from a bullshit person. I’m not even a writer. I’m writing for no reason and that’s important. It’s important that my writing is not important. It’s not vital. It has no vitality. Not like a life. It’s flat and black and white and pointless.
And I’m selfish. I’m so gods damn selfish. I want to tap into these emotions. I’m going to steal them. I’m going to cut the wires, lift the glass, and put something weighing equal on the pillow. And then I’m going to run away with these emotions. I’ll cut them apart and polish them with jeweler’s rouge and sell them to whomever will pay, or to anyone. Fuck it, I’ll give them away if no one will buy. I’m writing all this so that it won’t die and I don’t even know what it is. But I can touch it. Again and again I can touch it and and I can replay it. I can copy it. I’ll give it to one of my characters and make it a part of a story. It will be a bullshit story. There will be dragons and magic and bullshit. I’m going to put it in a character and write it on a page and it will never die. And every time I read it I will think of my friend.

I will think of you, Flora. And I will miss you. You were my friend, and you should not have died. You should be alive. I know that. You know that. I’m sad that you are gone. I felt better about the world knowing you were here.

OK.

OK. Jokes over.

It’s not funny, guys.

Guys…?

Going Homeless – (homeless part 1)

Twenty-three-and-a-half years ago, I became a homeless teen. I was homeless for approximately six months. I’m thirty-eight now. Those six months comprise one-seventy-sixth of my life.

I spent most of last night awake. Every time I fell asleep I had nightmares about being homeless. About being fifteen. I might open more of this post up later to the public, but for now, I’m keeping this closed.

To my friends: read more after the jump.

[The Jump!]

The Rugby Player – The first date

The first month of dating, I just wanted to go out and have fun. By the third date I made sure to mention that I wasn’t looking for anything serious or exclusive – I just wanted to go on dates and have fun and enjoy being single in an incredible city. It was fun, briefly. After about six weeks, though, I caught a case of the unreciprocated feelings. It took me awhile to realize that, but I did realize that once I like someone I don’t want to kiss anyone else. If I had met the rugby player before that realization, we probably could have had fun.

Playing on Tinder one day, I came across a face I recognized. He had been a senior when I was a freshman. He had played on the rugby team. He had been in a fraternity. We met once. [The Jump!]

Brautigan

There is a poem by Richard Brautigan that I love:

It’s Raining In Love

I don’t know what it is, but I distrust myself when I start to like a girl a lot.

It makes me nervous. I don’t say the right things or perhaps I start to examine, evaluate, compute what I am saying.

. . . → Read More: Brautigan

Altruism

There are a number of psychological and philosophical arguments against the existence of pure altruism. In essence, the argument goes, there is always some self interest at play. In non-humans, what we perceive as altruism may actually be an effort to build a social network that owes you favors, or may be a way to . . . → Read More: Altruism