Hal, Paul and Andre

30 12 2009

Changing chances for romances constantly constrain advances

In their predominant places, peering blankly through the faces

Of the cantankerous laughter that comes still and ever faster.

After all the subsidized betrothals have been loathed, despised

By churlish, obtuse renegades who never say what they’d have made

Of opportunity and chances, yet they importune your glances;

Never can the ill-advised beginnings of motives, disguised

with passion for the passion’s sake, ever hope to soothe or slake

The wounds brought on by coons high gone

Or forgettably true mistakes.

Can’t, er, “Bury” Tales Like These

29 12 2009

I drove down to the inlet in the old convertible.  I had a good book and some good candy, and I dropped the top almost before the engine stopped rumbling.   It was the summertime, but the weather was gray and cool.  I kept my sweatshirt on, even though I didn’t plan on getting out of the car.  I had picked my backdrop for the book carefully, and for the next few hours I wore away the enamel of my teeth and memories with sugar and fiction.  This wasn’t escapism per se, but given another few weeks of August, who knew where I’d end up.

It was a good day.  I knew I’d head home soon and walk into the kitchen, immediately smelling the boiling water on the stove.  Right now, I could smell the marginal scent of bayside refuse and saltwater.  It made the taste of my sour candy that much more acute, but I still resented it.  I needed a clean breeze to go along with the Alaskan story I was reading, but Los Osos tends not to oblige that desire very often.

And so passed one of my most memorable days of the year.  Not because of what I did, but because of what it was.

It was my last day to myself.

Everything is OK

27 12 2009

The other day was a good day

I didn’t even have to be there anyway

But my presence requested itself

And my lunchtime evaporated.

Remember the times we skipped out on class

Fancying ourselves immortal?

I can’t say I do, but

it’s not for lack of trying.

These days, trying comes easily

Consolation feasibly

Restoration only meagerly;

Then the wall shouted twenty-five,

And we walked down the street

Thinking about the moment and the moments

Always conscious of ourselves

Or was that just me?

Disneyland Unfettered

18 12 2009

Randall and Cory and I and company show Disneyland what’s what:

Barely Caroling

12 12 2009

A few of us, at Cory’s behest, decided to go caroling last Wednesday evening.  We bundled up, got some cider, and prepared to warm up our lungs while warming other people’s hearts.

Now, I’ve been caroling two or three times.  In general, I remembered it being fun and nice and a good way to feel like you’re making people enjoy Christmas more.  However, tonight, we decided to rock the carols unguarded.  That is, we decided to go to random houses around the neighborhood instead of just going to the (admittedly few) houses of people we knew.  This meant potential awkwardness, to be sure, but also potential spreading of joy and hearkening back to a time when doing so (for a free meal, incidentally.  Look up caroling’s history) was a welcome surprise and blessing.

This year, a little part of my seasonal naïveté died.

While walking around with friends on a crisp night is never something I will regret, we seemed to have an uncanny ability to discover the incongruously-decorated houses of Christmas loathing.  Perhaps they had expended their enthusiasm for the season while setting up the $200 inflatable Snoopy lawn ornament, but the majority of houses we sang at were simply teeming with Christ Apathy.  One lady only got out of her living room chair after we launched into the fifth verse of “I Saw Three Ships” on her doorstep.   Twice were we shushed by people claiming infirm relatives in their house.  Really.  These people actually said, “Oh, could you not?  I don’t think my ailing mother needs to hear people singing beautiful Christmas carols while her leg is in a cast.”  (She may have indeed been sickly and noise-sensitive, but my ire is easily raised by Scroogian behavior)  Two other houses sent a child to answer the door, and let the terribly confused/half frightened-to-death child absorb all of our singing before coming over to toss a “thanks!” our way as we were walking down the driveway.

That’s not to say that the night was a disappointment.  (It was, to some extent, but those words are not meant to say that, specifically)  We were warmly thanked and listened to by a few houses, and one man even pulled his truck over and asked us to carol unto his family.  That was cool.  Especially when we got to sing “Good Christian Men Rejoice” to Dr. Berding as he stood by his idling car, clearly needing to leave in the near future.  Oh, did I mention that he (and apparently like ten other houses) was actually, really, for seriously in the bathtub when we came by his house the first time?  I have no words.

What I learned:

-Caroling at retirement homes makes sense because most of those residents can’t escape from you or feign being busy.  You have them cornered.

-The more you suggest that it is not kosher to walk across people’s lawns right after they have generously let you belt out your five verses of “Good King Wenceslas” on their doorstep, the more likely it becomes that your buddy will decide to tromp right over that expensively-manicured lawn.   Personal issue.  I’m neurotic.

-No matter how much you all decide to sing “every verse of every carol” beforehand, you will always cave to abbreviation once it becomes clear how acutely aware of the 50 degree weather your audience is.

-When you have just left a house after waiting on their doorstep for a minute without an answer, do not go back because someone says that they “just saw someone in the window!”

-Appoint a leader of the song for each house, or a leader for the whole night.  Cory realized the necessity of this before we did, but we still got to enjoy a little sample of wandering harmonies on verses of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”

-Cider is always as good as you think it will be, and probably better.  Stovetop-brewed, of course.  (Still can’t find those mulling spices at the store…)


6 12 2009

I meant to put this up on Monday, when we got our Christmas tree.

Light and snow forbear their glow in deference to who they know

Is born tonight and now alights on earth to save it from sin’s blight,

That foulness which befouled our midst now trembles at a tiny fist

And runs from He who comes to be our Christmas for eternity

Why Bother?

6 12 2009

Here are some current manifestations of my sloth:

-I need to wash my car, but everyone is saying that it is going to rain this weekend.  There is an inverse relationship between the amount of dirt on my car and the percentage that it will actually rain when predicted.

-I went “Christmas shopping” this afternoon, but really just talked to a couple of friends on the phone for an hour and a half.  I perused the standard places, but I just couldn’t bear to buy anything that a store told me would be “a perfect gift for Dad this Christmas!”  I mean, a scarf/remote holder combo?  Not so much.  This is lazy because I should really do my shopping online (enough time for delivery, less expensive, more selection) but I just wanted to feel productive by going to stores.  Delusional laziness!

-I bought “apple cider tea” instead of actual apple cider packets because I couldn’t find the latter.  I looked all over the store for them, but Bigelow Apple Cider Tea was the closest I could find.   It’s not that close at all, turns out.

-I changed my sheets but just tossed the dirty ones in my hamper for the time being.  Who has over an HOUR to do laundry on a Saturday, after all?

-We still have some extra lights to hang outside our house, but I have creatively found Perfectly Legitimate Reasons® not to do so.  They even blink, for crying out loud, but I haven’t forced myself to do them.  (Aside:  I hope Dad beat Brian in getting our lights up this year, despite my lack of help…)

-I am so lazy that I thought it would be easier to sit down and write about sloth than to actually climb into bed.

I guess I was wrong.  Good night.


1 12 2009

Closing eyes and clenching fists

enamored with the silences

Can’t constrain cacophony,

Belying stoic fraudulence.

Endearing each to other’s own

Their hands of fury cave

As rigid digits lose their hold

Their souls by love are saved.