“You’re never gonna win the war, you’re never gonna stop the war”. John Mayer Continuum, grey cloudy skies and whitewashed, brainwashed lobotomy, descending into amber waves of grain. Passionate thunderbolt resounds upon striking impact. The echo bellows and reverberates the louder the shout. And I can shout loudly. Waking weekend, zombie trance, strobe light flashes to awake and put back to sleep again. In the face of defiance, in the face of “no”. It is some American way. Ignorance confused with gut instinct intuition. No one to spot check, gut check. Weight lifting alone is a dangerous game. These are my beliefs. They are changing and fleeting depending on mood, weather, and circumstance. They are variable things. They are fluid. And I am not a politician so they do not need to stay ramrod straight. And unwavering. Religion. God with open arms. Armageddon reigning fire. Another Wednesday spent worrying about whether or not the wishes of some narrative holds literal truth to daily, global life. But if it works for you that’s great. If it works for you, that’s fine.


Figure 8, Elliott Smith, Ice Skating Rink. Schoolhouse Rock, even. Skates cutting ice with such precision like my ankles never knew how. The edges are sharp and will draw blood. The Zamboni will smooth over the rink’s surface. These activities were never fun or thrilling or things to look forward to as a child. The wind whips cool air to dance on rosy cheeks. Protective mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves insulate. Winter activities. Three states of matter: solid, liquid, gas. Water. Precipitation cycle. 5th grade science class. Textbooks and colorcoded charts and graphs. Large, easy-to-read print. The words arranged in easy-to-read sentences. Creaking of old wooden floors at school. The dragging of desks and chairs. Standing up to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Post-9/11, but I remember doing it before too. Hand over heart. Say the words because God’s watching. No air conditioning, open windows, pray for a breeze and that the deodorant works. I just always seemed to be too much to handle, a muted symphony of sound. What would’ve happened if I had the courage and audacity to always be my loud, fearless self? Would another complex have grown in the place of whatever boiled then simmered? Steaming hot water, adding salt and boxed pasta. Giving a satisfying stir. You can tell a lot of things based on sound. Snow angels never felt satisfying as they looked in picture books. Crafting snowmen always seemed like too much work. Skipping grades. Tying sneakers. Hi and lo top Converse. Shin splints. Ricocheting vertical pain with every step forward. Basketball bullshit. Enforced gym class physical activity. To keep a good figure. Rebelling constantly. Weight differences can make one feel so self-conscious. Sweaty, awkward me. Entrapment. Trapdoor with a cage, padlocked. Lions and wolves in captivity. In the cellar. They rattle their chains.


Lilting melodies fill the air. In the garden there is a bench of wrought iron. It has been painted white. No allergies exist here. Some sort of lukewarm Eden. The sound system is hidden in the trees, like we are at some Las Vegas pool in the too-early springtime. Foliage grows and is extra green. Greener than sour apple Jolly Ranchers in a candy dish outside the receptionist’s window at the local optometrist’s. I still see it clearly. A maiden sits in a white dress of lace, a large doily. She has blonde ringlets that are perfectly coiled and fall accidentally, only in a way a Hollywood producer could arrange. Aversion to Los Angeles. The air smells Willy Wonka sweet. Something saccharine. Something smoky. Something that cannot be placed, or cross-referenced in the brain of one amply experienced. Words on the tip of tongue, fences and gates push forward then inwards. A memory, half-dipped in morning coffee, getting crumbly and mushy, falls away from the cookie body, to be retrieved at the bottom of the mug, once the coffee has been drunk. Celebratory holiday affair.


Brickface over running, moving water. Liquid in motion. An arched curve, or a straight back. It will support my weight as I stamp my feet, looking out from this mildly high peak vantage point. Parks are great places to go breathe for awhile. Booth Park and ‘Do Not Feed The Geese’ signs. Softball fields and sunflower seeds. Big League Chew and the togetherness that results in hating the opposing team and trying to curse them with your eyes, mind, and spirit. Clinking of walking aluminum baseball bats. Choking up on it to get a better grip, better control. Dusting off home plate with my cleat, and tapping the furthest edge of home plate; the right-side edge as I extend my arms like a true professional and bring that bat around to prepare for my first pitch for my first at bat of the game. Dad would say, “You hit the ball already. You just need to prove it”. The pitcher might smirk and I would return a menacing look of seriousness. The batting helmet squeezing my head. Nothing feels as good as a base hit and nothing feels worse than a strikeout; A pitch you know you shouldn’t swung at. Not swinging on strike three feels just as bad. A bridge to the past. Mind time travel.