Thursday, July 9, 2020

Behind the varnish are stories

Fingerprints and glory stained upon cellulose and grain

Spilt apple juice and wine

The memories wane

Like bugs I've seen pass

So many I've squashed and others I've let live

They crawl on me, consume me and ask if I wish to forgive

And lay sunny and warm beneath the tree I planted years ago


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Day 3

What can I say? Tomorrow I head to work at the hospital. It's not a hot zone, but it's not well equipped either. If we do get critically ill Covid 19 patients, we will have to divert them to other facilities. It's not ideal, but it's the best option for now. The hospital I'm at right now is a small rural critical care hospital with a small skilled nursing unit with vulnerable patients, so to bring in a positive Covid 19 patient would just put them at risk.
Anyway, I have a more somber tone today because I see this pandemic escalating in Italy and see the similarities happening here in the U.S. I urge the 1 or 2 people who read this to take the 'stay at home order' and social distancing seriously. This can escalate very quickly and the impact on our society if this were to overrun our healthcare system would be catastrophic. It's no fucking joke. I know some people see this as a blip on the radar and that most of us will not have any serious illness, but that's not the way to look at it. Let me give some conservative CDC numbers if this virus was to run its course unchecked:

The U.S. has 1,000,000 hospital beds, approx 120,000 of those beds are ICU
100,000,000 U.S. citizens get infected with Covid 19
20% of those will require hospitalization (I know you can do the math)
20,000,000 hospitalized with 15% of those needing to be intubated (on a ventilator) and in ICU
That's 3,000,000 in ICU

Note our nation's hospital capacity and do the math. Follow instructions. Stay home. Shop and buy only what you need. Keep your distance from one another unless you live with them. Don't be fucking selfish! Pass this message on.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

M-M-M-Mmyyyy Corona Day 2

I'm sitting in my living room during day 2 of our state's mandated stay at home order listing to Vangelis. Jen put it on because it brings her joy. Why? Don't know. I don't ask these things, other than, 'Hey Jen, does this bring you joy?' Yes! Okay. Of course I have to ruin it by telling her to imagine these songs playing during a porno. She just shakes her head, rolls her eyes, and wonders if she'll be able to remain in this house with me or take her chances out in the post apocalyptic world scrounging for hand sanitizer and toilet paper. She'll stay because I cook and occasionally make her laugh. Plus she's not going to find a better man than me and I don't think she will leave the cat, Skittles. Although she now refers to him as the 'little fucker'. Maybe she was talking to me. I don't know, but I think Skittles and I are safe for now. We'll keep her happy and Skittles has all the dry food we'll need for a couple weeks and in the worse case scenario we can always eat the 'little fucker'...wait is that me?

Friday, March 20, 2020

M- M -M -Mmyyyy Corona!

Well it's day 1 of the California "stay at home" order and my worst fear is that I'll die and no one will be able to come to my funeral. Maybe we can have a virtual funeral. Everyone can attend from the comfort of their living rooms and they don't have to wear pants. That's all fine with me. Try not to cry on the keyboard and keep your camera shot above the waist. I don't have a lot of friends so I wish to invite anybody who would like to attend my virtual Zoom funeral. You'll have to download the Zoom app and the funeral will have a 40 minute time limit, because that's all the free version offers, so keep your eulogies short. For all those strangers who wish to attend, I would request you only share what a handsome man I was and that my life sounded amazing and that you are so sorry you never got to meet me in person, then share a good cocktail recipe. Family and friends can share what they wish, just make it all about me. If you're unable to attend the live version of my virtual funeral you can tweet wonderful things about me, gush on Facebook, and share the best selfie you have of me and you on Instagram. I expect there'll be plenty of sad face emoji in the comments. Other than that carry on with your virtual lives and when things settle down and you all are allowed out of your houses, you can all share a nice warm heartfelt elbow bump with one another.
For now I'm still alive and healthy and I expect all of you are as well. This is day 1 of M- M -M Mmyyyy Corona. And remember if you die, you died a hero.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The playground is in decay. I can see the swing set and slide I assembled years ago bleach and rot. The vinyl canopy atop the "fort" tore many winters past and the storms and sun continue to do their job dutifully. The swing's chains are rusted to a hazard for anyone who attempts to use them for any kind of joy. The whole play set is ready to ambush the next fun seeker. I should probably tear it down but I enjoy watching it age. I tell myself I'll repair it, make it safe again for some kind of future, but It stands as a monument to my son's childhood...maybe mine too. It's a beautiful thing to see it still standing, holding on. And when the wind blows, memories sit in the swings and laugh. It all lasts for just a moment. That is all it is, a moment.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Plastic Roll Call

Plastic wheels on the plastic garbage can roll across the asphalt and thunder. I listen for words of wisdom from Pink Floyd on the car stereo, "Welcome my son, Welcommmmme toooooo the Maachhhhhhine..."
The plastic garbage cans filled with plastic trash begin to line the street. Roll call for early morning pick up and we answer with scheduled obedience. Well maybe a few rebels, a couple fuckheads who procrastinate to the last minute to run the dawn yardage across the lawn in bare feet and bathrobe to stub their toe on the mulberry root.

Hello rebel who still answers when their name is called. Stop it. Stop answering and just stare them straight in the eye with clenched jaw and breathe. Say nothing. Just do that thing you always wanted to do whatever it is. I don't care just as long as it makes no trash, no mess to clean up or blood. Debt of money is an illusion compared to debt of soul. So if you stopped kicking your trash to the curb to make room for more imagine the time you just gave the garbage eternity maybe. And what's the time you just gave yourself worth? A Life?

Saturday, February 2, 2019

My son is six years old and I'm working in the garage while he reads The Big Book of Knowledge in the living room. The book is hard covered and thick. It's a single volume encyclopedia of information spelled out for young readers to encapsulate the universe as we understand it into a ridiculously convenient package. His mother elsewhere and out of the house leaves us home alone. We're two ferrel males doing what we please and minding our own business. We communicate with single syllable words, looks, nods and grunts. We have an understanding: don't bother me unless you're bleeding, something's on fire or you have a good fart joke. At this point in Max's life he could already operate the stove, make his own quesadilla and destroy the house without any direction from me. So I had no worries with him being inside by he's smarter than me.
The door to the garage from the house is at the end of a long narrow laundry room that shares a wall with the garage, so anyone in the garage can hear anyone in the laundry room. I was working away spray painting some project I had just finished and enjoying the paint fumes in a euphoric bliss when I heard the pitter patter of feet on the hard linoleum floor of the laundry room and Max's little voice calling out "Daddy!, Hey Dad..." His voice wasn't distressed or scared. It was a voice of 'hey I got a good fart joke.' At that moment I climbed to the top of the six steps to the landing where the garage door met the laundry room and crouched down waiting for Max to open the door so I could scare him. He opened the door and there I was growling at him with my hands held near my ears with fingers curled into make believe claws. Max instantly raised the Big Book of Knowledge over his head and brought down upon mine. It threw me back onto my ass and I sat there stunned as I looked at Max's wide eyes.

"You scared me Dad. I wanted to show you something in the Big Book of Knowledge."
"I think you just did Max. Well done..."