Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
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Monday, January 09, 2006

Soul Scorcher


From Friday night.

I’m all alone right now. I usually am. I like it.

I daydream a lot. Always have. The dreams have changed, however. Years ago, in my mind, I saved the world every day. I was a hero. It went something like this: I was in a bar, singing karaoke. Usually it was “Where The Streets Have No Name” by U2, my favorite song. I sounded just like Bono. (In reality the only song I can sing with any semblance of respectability is “Blue Moon” by The Marcels. Yes, really.)

Then, thunder strikes so loud everybody in the bar catches their breath and looks to the front windows, shocked and terrified by the apocalyptic boom. The music is killed, and the staff turn up the volume on the emergency news report playing on the television. Rapt drunken faces all turn in unison to watch the grim television reporter, her hair perfect, her eyes both steely and despairing at the same time.

The earth is in peril. Maybe it’s an asteroid, maybe a launched nuke. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, really. What matters is me.

Suddenly my mind is filled with destiny. No rationale is given, no reason provided. I just know. Calmly I stride out through the front entrance. I am placid, my expression blank. I know what must happen. I know what I will do. I am Superman.

Into the dark parking lot I walk. Then I stop, and my gaze seeks the sky. I feel doomed and joyous simultaneously. I raise my arms above me, and the brightest column of light you ever saw shines down from above, dead center on me, and I smile. Then, I float. I rise. I ascend to the sky, up and up, and with arms and hands of magic I seize the hammer of the world’s end, and I fly away into to space with it, saving humanity. I die.

Check that. I changed it. I don’t die. I chuck the doom object away, and I fall like a comet to earth, permanently damaged. I land in a puddle of mud, my divine energy spent. I am just a normal guy again. Now I am humble, but worshipped. My ego is gratified. Life is sweet, and I want for nothing, ever again.

Pretty silly, right? Even in that old fantasy I’m disconnected from humanity. I’m recognized and appreciated, but still isolated. I guess that’s just me. Or maybe it’s just what I know, what I’m used to. Loner central.

My daydreams now are a bit more grounded. Now I dream about thiings that could actually happen. I write. It’s what I love. It’s what Ido. If I work hard and challenge myself, there’s a 1% chance I could make some money at it. Live off it. But it ain’t likely. If I was smart I’d choose something surefire. But I can’t help myself. I always was a dreamer. So I write.

Whoa. Heavy. Break time.

I did it again. Ye olde cocaine. I can’t afford it. It’s gonna fuck me up financially. I know that. It was only forty bucks, but… Dumb. Gotta be honest with myself.

I gave my dealer a ride somewhere a couple weeks ago. I told him something.

“Remember when I called you at two in the morning and you told me to fuck off?”

“Yeah, what about it, dog?”

“Well, thanks for that. I shouldn’t have been calling for a second fix up. I’m glad you did that. I was jacked beyond belief, drank a shitload of booze, and it was a really dumb self-destructive idea. So thanks for telling me no. You probably saved my ass that night.”

“Yeah, okay, sure.`”

I already told you I got some today, right? I just tried calling for a nasal sequel a few minutes ago. My provider sounded hesitant. Told me he’d call me right back. He did. Here’s what he said.

“Sorry I got off the phone so quick, dog. I was about to tell you to come by, but I was dealing with my dog. See, I’d just walked into my room when you called. I was grabbing the last eightball for another deal. But it was gone. When my homies came by, I put my two dogs in my room so they wouldn’t bother my friends. When I went back in, my shit was scattered all over the floor, and the baggie wasn’t sitting next to the basketball where I left it. My dogs ate all my shit. That was my last bag, so I can’t do nothing for ya. Sorry dog.”

“Your coke got ate by your dog?”

“Yeah.”

“Shit. Alright. Thanks anyways, man.”

“Later.”

I’m really not sure, but I think he was full of shit. Lying. I think that’s why he got off the phone so fast and called me back five minutes later. I think he was experiencing a genuine moral quandry. My coke dealer. He was thinking back to my Chistmas thanks. He decided once was enough for me today. He was looking out for me.

Believe that? Unlikely, I know. But true. He was. Even though I’m jonesing right now, I know he was right. And I’m grateful. No more for Steve tonight. So here I am, jumpy and thinking abut my dreams, guilty about my best efforts to sabotage them.

Hello mirror.

I hope I can write something decent one day. Fuck that. Something GREAT. Is it there? I don’t know. Probably. I’m cocky enough to think so. But I have a lot to fix about myself if I even want a shot at it. I know that. I’m honest with myself. Hell, sometimes I’m even honest with you.

I’ll keep dreaming. We’ll see.
9:33 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm

6 Comments:

January 09, 2006 1:07 PM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

You'll do it. Just don't give up...

 
January 09, 2006 6:08 PM, Blogger Bobby said...

Just do it. You know?

Start sending out essays. It might take a while, but what else you got to do? Shit. Seriously - just keep sending essay after essay and then one day, when you have a few essays in a few journals here and there, you write a letter to an agent saying, look, I got these essays in these journals, see, so why don't you get me a shot at a book?

That's my plan, anyway. I had one essay hit. IT ONLY TOOK THREE YEARS! AND THAT WAS FIVE YEARS AGO! I get rejected like a mother fucker. fuck it. Fuck poems. ESSAYS GOD DAMMIT. You got the voice, you got the experience, you got the humor. Just do it.

You are doing it.

sorry

nah, man, you go heart, I can tell

 
January 09, 2006 6:10 PM, Blogger Bobby said...

AND I HAVE THAT EXACT SAME TYPEWRITER! It was my mom's. I have that one and another old as dirt one.

I'll buy that shit off of you. Name a price.

 
January 10, 2006 9:59 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Sorry Bobby, it's just a picture I nabbed off a google search. I liked that it was sitting outside in the grass.

 
January 10, 2006 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anita said...

Steve I have no doubt in my mind that you can get published and be successful. I've always thought so. I agree, print out your blogs, assemble them together in a professional manner, and send them off everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. Who cares if it takes 1-2-5-10 years. You've got to start sometime. Just ditch the Christmas snow.

 
January 11, 2006 11:48 PM, Blogger karen gsteiger said...

OMG, Steve...yeah you're going to be a successful writer! You just have to really keep at it. Keep sending your essays and stories out...it's a long and very painful process, but I have FULL confidence in you. Just as long as you stop beating yourself up with various liquids and powders.

 

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