Wednesday, April 14, 2010

bar talk, a story

“How many drinks?” Davey asked pointing to the small-framed strawberry-haired and faced guy at the bar holding a Corona.

“No way,” Adam replied. “I’d have to be blacked out.”

“No, you wouldn’t,” Davey said. “Two drinks and you’d be all over him like a pig in mud.”

“I’ve already had two drinks,” Adam said.

“Three then,” Davey pushed a beer across the tiny cocktail table. He turned to Hilary. “Have you seen the new cocktail server?” pointing her out amidst the sea of sloshed, singing sweatballs.

“No,” Hilary said, trying to get a look at her, stretching her neck out to see above dancing drunks with their hands raised.

“She’s totally your type,” Davey said while pulling on Hilary’s sweater so it would slug down in the center revealing a bit of cleavage. Hilary readjusted her sweater, tugging the lazy loose fabric up high around her neck again.

“What do you mean she’s my type?” Hilary asked.

“ ‘Cuz she’s straight,” Davey taunted. Adam, unable to help himself, chimed in with a little snicker.

Hilary shoved Davey harder than she meant to sending him barreling into a slew of skin-and-bone hipster kids.

“What the fuck, man,” one yelled. “Watch it!”

“I’m so sorry,” Davey oozed. “We were just guessing what everyone in this group’s favorite sex positions are. We kind of have a friendly bet going, so we were wondering if you’d all mind confirming.

“What did you guess about me?” asked a fake blond with a polka dot dress and screaming red lips.

“Easy,” said Davey. “Backwards cowgirl.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

a.m. pep talk

I am up early, up with the sun.
A rare occurrence.
But it feels good. To switch things around.
To beat everyone else out of bed.
To take the first shower.
To welcome the day.
To think about the fact that my day is what I make of it.
I'm going to make it a good one.
I am going to eat breakfast without worrying that I won't make time for it tomorrow.
I am going to tell worry to take a backseat today.
I am going to coast along.
Today, I am greeting possibilities.
I am going to be open and trusting.
I am making myself vulnerable to new happenings.
I am embracing the unknown and accepting challenges.
I am going to be as flexible as a bendy straw and as strong as a superhero.
And compassionate. To others and to myself.
I am going to take full control over my day while relinquishing full control to my day. I don't know how to do both of these things simultaneously, but I am looking forward to finding out.

Monday, April 5, 2010

the center is closed, a story

We walk from the Timbuk2 store to Market Street passing the tiny park with curly, white dogs.

Will it matter is the question I want to ask him, but instead, “are you hungry?”

“No,” he says. “Are you?”

“No,” I say followed by an obvious grumbling from inside. “Well, a little.”

He smiles at me; his teeth are so white. He tells me it’s because of his toothpaste, but I use the same kind.

We turn the corner and stand in front of the LGBT Center. Closed.

“That’s right,” he says. “It’s MLK Day.”

“Where else can we go?” I think out loud. “Magnet? No, it’s probably closed today too. Where did Alex go to get his test?”

“It was a booth at the Castro Street Fair,” he tells me.

“Oh,” I say. “I guess it would be pretty expensive to go to the hospital.”

“Yeah. It’s ok,” he turns to me. “We’ll go another day.”

“Yeah.” I walk up to the door of The Center. It is black inside. A typed sign informs us that The Center will re-open tomorrow.

“Tomorrow?” I ask. “I can meet you here anytime after 1. We can make a day of it- come here, then go to that new bookstore on Octavia, then come back for the results. Then we can go to Philz, get coffee.”

“School starts tomorrow,” he says.

“Oh. Then when?”

“Soon,” he says. “I’ll go soon.”

We start walking toward BART. He’s telling me about his brother’s wedding. We stop at a corner waiting for the illuminated white male icon to tell us it’s safe to walk. Across the street is Martuni’s.

“Wanna grab a beer?” he says.

“It’s on me,” I say.

“No, I’m buying.”

“You bought last time.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“You did.”


I look both ways, then bolt across the multi-lane street, but I’ve always been a slow runner. I see his jet black hair sprint ahead of me, and he is already at the bar ordering my Blue Moon when I make it inside.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

pirates among us

A man receives a package with no return address. It contains a pirate-style eye patch and a note. A broad smile stretches across his handsome face as he reads the familiar bubbly handwriting of his older sister:
Happy Birthday, Jerkface!
He fingers the plastic eye patch and can easily recall the memory his sibling is referring to with such a gift.


The glorious gray base gaining diameter, met with the thin maroon stripe on the starboard side, the sleek black bearings that held the proudly waving sails, the flawlessly crafted deck, plank, and crow’s nest manned by peg-legged fellows with black, dotted stubble and, of course, eye patches. This was the Lego Pirate Ship.

It had taken him weeks, no months, to put it together. He worked diligently on it, examining the depiction on the box to ensure an accurate portrayal, stopping only for meal breaks and putting in a hefty amount of overtime to see it through to its completion. It now sat, prominently displayed on the coffee table, for everyone’s admiration.

The day had showed no signs of a storm; however come lunch-time, the high flying sails suddenly took a nasty spill, bringing down their posts and adjoining parts of the main cabin. The port side was under attack next and was demolished in rude chunks slicing through the interior of the boat. The anchor and gangway became completely detached and remaining intricacies had nothing to hold on to. The ship was going down.

Of course somewhere amid the scene, the pirates were bound to question how their creator could have betrayed them in such a way, but there were no survivors among the wreckage. In fact, the extent of the damage was so severe that not one man aboard made it without decapitation.

His sister stood there in silent horror, frozen in complete bewilderment, witnessing the annihilation. When the ship was all but a single connection between the last remaining gray and black block, his tears came full blast like water from the new shower head. The siblings stood there in the ruins of the boy’s beloved ship while he wailed uncontrollably and she tried to make sense out of his spontaneous outburst.

“Mom!” he shrieked.
“Mom! Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!”

Responding to the panic in his voice, their mother made her way to the scene of the crime.

At first, there may have been a tinge of relief in her expression; neither child was bleeding. But as her eyes averted to the scattered remains of what once was The Great Lego Pirate Ship, her lips curled at the edges and her dime sized eyes became quarters.

“Jessica,” he managed to get out between sobs that would no doubt require the use of his asthma inhaler. “Jessica did it!”

Everything after that was mostly a blur. Initially, his sister couldn’t speak. Finally, she found her voice, but their mother wasn’t hearing it.
“Why would your brother wreck his own pirate ship?”

So that this would happen, she undoubtedly thought but knew better than to say it; the penalty for back-talking would have been much more severe.

While the boy was comforted with stolen treasures: late night TV and ice cream (two scoops), his sister was held captive in her room to think about what she had done.


Returning the eye patch to the box it had come in, the man heads to the house to make a call. He dials the number he knows by heart.

“Mom,” he says into the receiver, “Remember when Jessica destroyed my pirate ship…”