I Wish

This is the time of year when we wish for things, and the wishing is its own reward.

I remember wanting and wishing as a kid for some new toy at Christmas, whatever was on my mind that year. I was a weird kid, not like other kids, so the stuff was off-beat, but just as useless, really, as the stuff all the other kids were wishing for, only in different ways. Sometimes I got what I thought I wanted, sometimes not. In the end what I really wanted was warmth and love, my mother’s touch, my father’s smile, a sense of belonging…

Hey, is this getting a little sacharine? Yeah, it is. Thanks for stopping me. Now I’m grown up, I know what’s important, and there’s only one thing I want now: A DATE WITH GWYNETH PALTROW. I’ve been asking for this for quite a few years now, and so far, nothing. It would have been better to hook up with her when I first wanted to, because she wasn’t as famous then, and she would have had more time for me.

But even now I believe Gwyneth and I were meant to go out to a dark coffee house together, and sit across a tiny table lit by one flickering candle and talk all night about subjects big and small, our knees bumping gently under the table, both of us super-aware of that electricity, the room vanishing around us, Gwyneth gazing shyly at me, her casual touch raising the hairs on my arm. We would be amazed at the thoughts we had in common, the feelings we shared unknowingly. We would finish each other’s sentences and laugh and laugh at it all, and all the sad years we had not been together would melt away and we’d have known each other forever.

At midnight or later, much later, we would close the place and drive to the beach, where we would walk together in the moonlight, first on the boardwalk, then out onto the sand, then wading into the shallow waves, our shoes tossed aside and our pant legs getting wet, the silver moon shimmering all around us on the water. I would touch her hip and she would lean in to my body, her golden hair dusting my neck, pulling my arm around her waist, that electric touch jolting us both again, this is how it has always been and how it always will be, the shyness gone, turning in to one another, straining together, her feet off the ground now, her eager long legs curled all the way around mine and ankles locked together, her butt in my hands, our two breaths mingling, lips brushing once, brushing twice, the tip of a tongue, two open mouths, a moan in the moonlight, urgent now, I can walk with her weightless on me, each step a little bump, a little thrust, now down on the sand, unbuttoning, unbuckling, skin seeking skin, belly to belly, thigh to thigh, no way to be closer, moving together, how it always has been, how it always will be…

I am ready for this, even though I know it can’t work out. We come from different worlds, and we must return to them. There might be a weekend in it, then a few awkward phone calls, maybe a final lunch date at a crowded Musso and Frank’s, each of us with far away thoughts.

Still, I wait for my moment, my golden glimpse of heaven. Email me, Gwyneth…

Silent Night

My town is all lit up for Christmas.

Can we stipulate that there must be something deep within the human spirit that draws us to have a celebration in the the dead of winter? Don’t make me argue about it: For so many thousands of years, so many cultures have gotten into some kind of festival of lights right around the winter solstice. In the earliest versions, people apparently thought they had to pray and offer sacrifices or else the days would just keep getting shorter until there would be no light at all. Who wouldn’t do anything to forestall that?

I wonder how long that went on before somebody began to speculate what would happen if they didn’t have the ceremony, if the saturnalia party did not go on as usual. Every year we go through this charade, and every year everything turns out just fine — the days get longer, the sun gets warmer, the rains come, the rivers overflow, the earth is fertile and the crops are abundant. What the fuck? It must have happened eventually, but that guy (or girl) probably became the next sacrifice. When you’re talking about the possible advent of Eternal Winter, you can’t take any chances.

Ever since I learned the horrible truth about Santa when I was 17, I have had problems at this time of year. Problems with my soul, damage to my heart. I find myself out in the street at midnight, looking out at the huge blue-black sky, thinking how small I am, how small is my world, wondering what is the point of all this? In these silent nights I grow morose, the centuries invade my street and settle on me like fearsome dust. Face in my hands I cry, take away the darkness, touch my soul, heal my heart. Talk to me starless sky endless space between us touch us see us save us save me. I turn up my collar and stand in the street, and I let the night come into me, and I grow until I am the night, I fill the world, the sky is me. It’s my own little saturnalian outburst. I don’t know where it comes from. Maybe I need more sun, more light in my eyes, in my life.

The houses on my block, some of them, are decorated with brave bright lights and they warm the night. The people inside the houses dream of peace and salvation, of friendship and love and forgiveness. The planet will turn, the days will get longer. We will be forgiven. I shake it off and shove my hands in my pockets and walk back. I haven’t heard an answer, but I’ll forget that.

Day of Rest

Geez, what a week.

It’s over now, but in the past five days The Corporation really got its money’s worth. I did the work of three men, and I was sick the whole time. I normally don’t want to be there, but this week I really should have been home in bed. Trouble is, the work won’t go away just because I do, and no one else will do it while I’m gone. Sick. So whenever I come back it’s all still waiting for me, along with the new work, which is always urgent. I will have to die or get fired to evade this.

As an added bonus, my cold/flu or whatever prevented me from sleeping more than three hours a night all week, so I started each day in the hole and got deeper in as the day progressed. Friday night I finally passed out and slept all night, and now today (Saturday) I feel human for the first time since last Sunday.

I’m alone in the house (just me and Molly the Cat), alternately surfing movies on the cable, finishing B’s leftover chicken soup, reading random blogs and following their links to other random blogs (thank God for Firefox and tabbed browsing). I read somewhere that there are 4.8 million blogs, but that was a month ago. There must be a lot more by now, and I am amazed at how many smart, funny, drunk, isolated, depressed, introspective, social, clever, educated, frank and opinionated people there are out there doing this. Who wants to bet that university studies are not being conducted on the phenomenon right now? Stay tuned to Fresh Air on NPR — I’m sure someone will be plugging a blogging book soon, if they haven’t already.

Of course I will get nothing accomplished on this day of rest. Usually that would make me feel guilty, but since I am recovering from a near-death experience I am OK with my indolence. Tomorrow I’ll have to make up for today. Then on Monday I can go back to making The Corporation rich.

Rest Area Ahead

Are You Drained by Christmas Shopping?

It’s the Holiday Season! This time of year, people often say to me Larry Jones, I need a break from the hurly burly world of gift shopping, nog-drinking and carol-singing. Do you know where the toilet museums are?

Well, joyeux noel, yes, I do! You can learn perhaps more than you expected at the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets. Visit the online collection and your happy curator Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak will smile at you from every page. For detailed information regarding ancient defecation and urination rituals, check out this section.

If that’s not enough for you (and it wasn’t for me), you can check out The Toilet Museum, for more toilets and peripherals, including toilet sounds and a section of frequently asked questions about toilets, which will challenge what you may think you know. While at The Toilet Museum (and in the holiday spirit), don’t miss the Gift Shop. For you last-minute shoppers, monogrammed toilet paper makes a great stocking stuffer…

The education continues as we move on to the great state of Texas, home to Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. I was particularly impressed by Barney’s feathered creation with the Native American motif on Page 2. This site truly gives new meaning to the phrase “expose yourself to art.”

OK — back to the mall, all of you! Email me directly for my sizes and wish list.

Snot, Day 3

OK, I think I know what this is about.

I have been rendered helpless. My vision is blurred, my bones are made of glass, my throat is scratchy, my body is trying to expel all fluids from every orifice (sorry), I’m cold and sweaty at the same time, I can’t eat and I can’t think. Worst of all, I can’t sing along with the radio in the car. My voice just won’t go there. This is the universe sending me a wakeup call, right? You are wasting your life, doing nothing with your abilities. Here’s how it would feel if all were taken from you. How do you like it? What if you really couldn’t think or sing?

To the universe: I get it! Please stop! I want to live! Give me back the equipment, and I’ll use it, I promise.

Snot, Part 2

Slept about an hour last night, so woke up stupid. Am still stupid here at the office. My blog is my only friend. See no relief, as I have a metric shitload of work to do, and must attend a party as soon as I’m done here, which I probably never will be.

Having trouble refocusing between the computer screen and the paperwork. Head throbs, but can’t recall if I have taken aspirin lately. Best to take another handful.

Filled with love and longing.

I am not defeated.

Snot

Where does all this snot come from? I have blown my nose 5,000 times since last night. I must weigh five pounds less, and my nose keeps running.

And why so many symptoms? Runny nose, headache, sore throat, backache, fever. What part of God’s Plan is this? God: You had me at headful of snot, OK? I got the message then, and I started to undergo treatment. Do you think I will forget? Is that why you are piling on?

Thanks for listening.

On Knowing

“Do you think it’s possible to ever really know the real whole of someone?”

Because I have become enthralled by this girl, obsessively, time-wastingly poring over her blog, seeking like a smitten schoolboy to curry her favor, and because she asked and I can deny her nothing, I will herewith write my answer to the question. Of course I feel foolish jumping through this hoop. I imagine that she has a lot of guys jumping through hoops, and she probably enjoys it. Anyway, I would have a few for her to jump through if the occasion arose, so fair’s fair.

The question first appeared in the comment section of her blog, and it took me by surprise because I thought that she was mainly having fun with a goofy pseudo-biography I was spinning about Popeye the Sailor, trying to entertain her. Clearly she wants more than entertainment.

But I have thought about this for days now, until I have become fevered and delerious, and I really can’t answer the question with authority. So I will use the loophole contained in the question, and say only what I think.

I think it must only be possible to be in the process of getting to know someone. Whenever you hook up, you must take a crash course in Who They Seem to Be. In that first weekend you’ll learn a whole big lot of superficial stuff, and it will be the most fun ever. If it happens then that you have a genuine interst in each other, a trust might develop over time, and more might be revealed, and understood.

The whole time you are learning these tidbits, though, they will be shifting like sand dunes, changing into other beliefs, attitudes, likes and dislikes. I think this is natural for people. You can’t remain unchanged as Life bumps up against you, showing you its beauty, its pain, its joy and sorrow, its fear and its comfort.

If you are truly into each other, you will sense these changes and you will begin to improvise together a sort of soul jam, which embraces change and flows with it rather than trying to nail down any part of the music. The phrases will weave together more and more coherently until the song becomes so magical that it will seem that you are reading from the same chart.

You’ll never know the whole of the other, because it will always be developing. But every day there will be something new to ponder and to play with. And every now and then you will hit notes together that are in such perfect harmony that you will laugh and cry in wonder.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Life on the Edge

I may not be at 100% this week, a shame, since I have an Important Issue to deal with in this blog pretty soon. Yesterday, as my weekend drew to a close, I caught a cold. Or maybe the flu, I don’t know. Yet. I just know that at 6:30 PM, like a revelation, I knew I was under attack. I rarely get sick, and I’m a big crybaby when it happens, so I moped around until bedtime, then conked out hours earlier than usual.

Now, here at the office, I have many pills in me, and a big box of Kleenex Extra Soft Triple-Layer Tissue With Aloe and Vitamin E. Nos Mouchoirs les plus apaisants! These petty illnesses get me in my back. I can tell it’s not an injury or a strain: My lower back is under alien attack! White corpuscles are rushing to the scene, sirens blaring, but the enemy has arrived first and there are already many casualties. Oh, the humanity!

Since I am so near death anyway, I decided to live dangerously. I pushed the “Brew” button on the office coffeemaker before I put the coffee, the filter and the basket together! You read that right. I knew I would have only eight seconds to assemble the parts and shove the basket under the dripping, scalding hot water. Failure would lead to a big, scalding mess all over the lunch room, not to mention the shame as I mopped it up. It was a tremendous risk, but, hey, that’s the kind of guy I am. Delerious and delusional.

Blue Christmas

So this is Christmas. And what have you done?
Another year over. You are just begun.
So this is Christmas – I hope you have fun.
The near and the dear ones,
The old and the young.

So this is Christmas for weak and for strong,
For rich and for poor one, the road is so long.
So Happy Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.

War is over
If you want it
War is over now

Listening to John Lennon’s hopeful, melancholy “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” in my office, and I almost broke down when it came to the chorus. I had to close my office door and get my composure back. For the poor suckers all over the world in bunkers, in tents, in caves, it’s not over. I know it never will be, so why do we keep talking about peace on earth? My Daddy told me If you don’t want to get drunk, don’t take a drink. I say If you don’t want to have a war, don’t send troops. We can’t shoot our way to peace, but we seem to be doomed to keep trying.

John’s hopeful, useless wish seems all the more pathetic this time of year.