Saturday, August 22, 2009

Transcript of an Answering Machine Message My Wife Left for Me

Hey babe, I just wanted to call you
and tell you that I just ate lunch,
so um, you can’t have lunch with me
because I was hungry and um...
I’m excited to see you.

I wish I was with you.

I’m kind of like lonely and bored and wish
I was with you, hanging out.
And I called Kevin to talk to him about dinner
and he was all like hanging out with Holly
and you could hear him like laugh in the background,
and I was like “Man, I want to hang out with my husband.”

Anyway, I love you.

I hope you’re having fun and being productive.
And you checked emails, right?
Are you checking email, your email?
Check your email right before you leave
so that we can, you know, see if we get
that HUD to know how much money we need.


So, I’ll see you at 5:30.

OK bye.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sally Goes Straight to the Marketplace

In the suburbs, where all the nice families live,
when the sun is resting in the saddle
just before the sky’s summit,
that’s where I am, in the suburbs,

and I’m riding a bicycle very slowly.

A garage sale. The nice family has furniture
in their arms.

The Dad wants to talk,
to tell me about his merchandise,
to talk of obviousness, and niceties.

The daughter wants to talk too.
She has toys that have lately grown lonely.

Her toys are in her hands, and she's
ready to let all that plastic go.

But I don’t get off my bike,

and I never hear their voices,
and I ride around the suburbs,
and I ride around the desert,
very slowly,
and I ride around the plains,
and I ride around the ocean.
I'm pedaling in all these crashing waves,
and I’m listening to music that’s
being put directly and instantly into my head by
a tiny magic machine that’s clipped
onto my cargo shorts. A metal wire
wrapped in smooth white plastic connects
the machine to my ears. It’s the Grateful Dead.

Brokedown Palace. I don't really know what
it's about- something about leaving one place
and going to another place, and hands and knees,
and rolling and rolling and rolling, and doo doo doo
doo doo doo, but the song
makes me feel like I need to keep on moseying
until I get more and more intimate
with the ocean, until all her fish know who I am,
and I know all her fish.

I'm somewhere else now,
in another part of the forest.

Was that an innocent garage sale?
Was he de-cluttering?
Was Dad doing it all to teach Sally

(We’ll call her Sally) a lesson on business transactions?
How nice Dad is.
Because that’s where she’s headed.
Girls named Sally always go straight to the marketplace.

Housethings in her hands, she’s putting them
on the driveway. She’s helping everyone.
Good Sally.

And how are you doing, Mr. Sun?
Keep climbing, and
Shine on me some more.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bob Dylan, part two

Dear Readers,

The Bob Dylan concert was canceled. He's not coming to Arizona at all anymore.


He's getting older and older. He's a legend, but he won't be around much longer, and I'm afraid I'll never see him in concert.

But I guess if I wanted to spend the money to travel somewhere to see him, I would.

Say la vee.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bob Dylan

Dear Readers,

Next Tuesday, I'm doing something that I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm going to see Bob Dylan in concert.

If I remember correctly, the first few CDs I ever bought were Chris Isaak: Baja Sessions, Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Experience and Bob Dylan: Greatest Hits Volume 3. I listened to all those CDs a lot. A whole lot. I would play the things from start to finish and from start to finish and just lay on my bed in my bedroom and not do anything else but listen to the music. The stuff really moved me.

The music (and maybe the world) had a freshness and a relevance back then that I don't see as much anymore. Now things make more logical sense to me. The world is browner now. There are fewer rainbows, and fewer trolls.

And movies were better then, too. Strictly speaking, the movies were the same then as they are now, but my perception of the movies, and their force, was different. I think I've been desensitized by the passage of time.

When I think about it I know that I've been lucky to have music in my life, but too often these days I don't feel lucky.

But sometimes when I look at the horizon really slow I get the feeling of beauty that I felt back then, when I was in my bedroom listening to music, and sometimes even these days when the groove hits me just the right way, I get the feeling of beauty.

I hope I get that feeling of beauty next Tuesday.


Gray and Blurry

Dear Readers,

I have bad news.

But it's sort of cool news.

My wife and I are staying in a haunted house.

It's not haunted by a really really mean/scary ghost, but it is haunted by a ghost who likes to watch the TV with the volume way up.

But we won't have to stay here long. And, like I said, the ghost isn’t mean or scary. Well... he is a little scary. In my mind's eye I saw him go sit in a kitchen chair and stare at us with a creepy ghost face.

I think he was there, looking at us.

And I sort of wished I was in his place, or one of his ghost friends. Like I could walk through walls and be a ghost, and fly around, and levitate, and teleport, and just look at people with a creepy ghost face- gray and blurry - because then I wouldn’t have to do lesson plans or grade papers. All my problems would go away.

But that's not the scariest thing the ghost did. The scariest thing he did was turn the volume up on the TV in one of our roommate’s bedrooms.

(We're renting a room from somebody we found on Craigslist, and we're waiting to get into the house that we're buying.

Yep, we're buying a house! A lot of big changes are happening at once. We moved to a new city, we both got new jobs, (well, my wife technically has the same job in a different place - she's a teller at a bank.) we moved from a small apartment into a good sized house and we're having a baby pretty soon, so a lot of things are changing really quickly, and I'm not good at adjusting to change, so I still don't feel settled here yet. Hopefully in about a week and a half, we'll move into our house, but for now we're staying in a haunted house.)

See, yesterday we were all sitting around the living room and kitchen area doing nothing, and one of our roommates, who I'll call Mister Mystery, said "Hey, who turned the TV in our room up so loud?" because nobody was in there, and he went and turned it down.

A few minutes later, I went to go use the restroom by the bedroom with the TV in it, and the VOLUME WAS REALLY LOUD AGAIN!!!


I'm really really sleepy.

I like thinking about ghosts, and wondering what it's like to be a ghost, because they don't have any of the same problems that we mortals have. Or do they?

Want to hear something personal and crazy? My wife and I have agreed that when either one of us dies, the dead one will go visit the living one, and we'll talk about things. That'd be nice. That'd be wonderful. I don't want either one of us to die, of course not, but if we did, it's nice to believe that we will still be alive after we're dead. We'll be in a different type of existence then. Our spirits and our bodies will be separated.

I wonder if I'll want to visit other people besides my wife, after I'm dead.

But why don't I just visit them now? And there are probably rules about visiting living people when you're a ghost. You're probably not allowed to visit people who don't believe in ghosts, unless it's really important.