The head of the vacuum cleaner is tilted against the ancient piece of used office furniture I got from my father to put the TV set on. The kitchenware has been split halfway between the upper door of the wardrobe in the bedroom, alongside the p*rn DVDs, and the cardboard boxes scattered by the living room. The microwave oven rests silently over the desk on the opposite side of the room, facing the couch.
The memo tacked for a week to the elevator wall notices something or another about the replacement of the iron plumbing with brand-new copper ones for the kitchen area. Which means they are breaking through the bricks and the tiles just below the laundry sink in every apartment in order to get the pipes replaced.
I’m sitting on the couch saying nothing, and not really paying attention to whatever is on TV. I’m dressed in black sweatpants, dark gray winter socks and a light gray sweatshirt with the hood pulled all the way over my head. I have my legs bent in front of me, they’re being held together by both my arms, feet on the couch. I’m thinking nothing, contemplating maybe the wall at the most- the entirety of my kingdom- and leaning my chin against the cleft formed by bringing my knees against one another. I’m completely still save for the occasional mild rocking of my whole body back and forth, back and forth, back and forth every now and then.
I haven’t been keeping track of time. I think I might have been like this for a couple of hours, maybe more. My tongue tastes like dry parchment or sandpaper.

All the bricks and tiles inside my head have long since been broken. My conscience floats freely well-above the debris; my superego creeps and crawls from the wreckage below.
Ultracool day-glo liquid light runs wild through the wiring spread web-like and un-symmetrically across my brain. Brand-new pipes, see?
Do you? See, I think I can almost taste the synapses misfiring deep inside here. How odd is that- just how more odd is that?

Later, standing up naked under the hot shower with both my arms outstretched against the cold, steamy wall and my head bent down between them, I’m laughing at myself as I come up with funny names for comic book characters I could use, that no one’s ever thought of. The sleeves of the light gray sweater draped over the sink like the skin of a dead animal are smeared with half-digested tangerines and the tiny pieces of rice spewed after I started hyperventilating.

It takes me about forty minutes soaking under the hot water to finally settle on my new superhero name: Lexotan Lad. That’s what I’m thinking of calling myself.



I get out of the shower at about four AM at the hotel and the steam pours through the half-opened door into the room where A**** is already asleep under a small ziggurat of comforters, the TV on with some movie she must have dozed off to.
We had dinner at K****’s parents’ place where he made us some top-notch fondue we had with the wine D**** must’ve brought over from Chile, and I brought along the unopened pisco P**** gave me last year, also from Chile, as a present on the occasion of my moving in to the apartment. We made some pisco sour with that pisco. It sort of tastes like a zestier fermented milk, only, pretty good too.
The aftertaste lingers on over the toothpaste. I frown a little, but not too much, and walk barefoot to the king-size bed looking for the remote.

I recognize the movie upon first glance even though I’d like to tell myself otherwise. Elizabeth Hurley plays some pretty sexy incarnation of the devil as she tempts Brendan Fraser. I close my eyes for a split-second and pretend there are no memories recalled.
I think back to a mellow Sunday afternoon some seven or eight years ago, going to the movies then saying goodbye before the subway station and cursing myself for having lost the heart to…

A**** mumbles something and shifts her body just a little under the blankets. I kneel on the ground by her side and feel the skin on her forehead with the palm of my hand, checking for a possible fever. It feels alright. She is fast asleep and I figure the medicine to have kicked in already.
I whisper in her ear and ask her how she feels. “Mmmmbettermmm,” she mumbles without opening her eyes. She looks more beautiful like this, no make-up on.
“You feel anything, let me know,” I tell her. “Just wake me up, alright?”

The remote is lying by her glasses on the nightstand. I pick it up, turn off the TV and lie down by A****’s side on the bed. She reaches for me with her hand to know where I am, on my shoulder, then tucks it back under the comforter.
We sleep without touching each other and the distance between us seems to grow wider each day, and engulf the whole world at night.



I woke up today with a distinct tune in the back of my head and kept humming it to myself as I undressed on the way to the bathroom. The humming evolved to whistling, which in turn evolved to a clean-cut ta-ta-ta-daing as the hot water started pouring down.
It was a Loud Reed song though I can’t really remember its name. It came from the soundtrack album from the Friends TV series, about ten years ago.
I lent it to R****’s sister there around ’98 or something, and I think I never really bothered to get it back from her.

Which in turn reminded me of a hypothetical stack of CDs of mine that were probably, and eventually, left in G****’s possession after we kind of stopped seeing each other a few years back and the stack must include a Phil Collins album and maybe some The Police stuff too.
F**** on the other hand took off with at least a Mark Knopfler album with instrumental music he did for the movies. Which is ungodly weird, because F**** was never really into that kind of music anyhow.
Then there’s also the mystery of the purloined Beach Boys and Roy Orbinson albums, which have been relegated to the mists of time & the poor, doomed, failed minute-and-a-half relationships.

You owe me no CDs. That’s how brief it was, I suppose.
I owe you a comicbook script on the occasion of your wedding, though, one I haven’t really written yet.

You’re probably diving for pearls right now.
That’s what I think of you, when I do.



My earliest memory, the first thing I can ever recall remembering, is this very brief image, like a flash, that supposedly hails back from early 1982. If memory serves. I was two years old.
I’m thinking back to the living room at my maternal grandparents’, early evening there about 8 pm tops. I’m standing by my grandfather’s side, just a toddler, as he’s comfortably sitting on his armchair facing the newly-bought 20” TV. There are other people in the room: I think my parents are there too, maybe my uncle. At the very least my father anyway. They are watching the evening news.
The newscaster says something, then the image on the TV flickers then shifts to this gray, cloudy, stormy sky which in hindsight might have been shot in black and white instead of color but then, might not, and there’s the hint of a jet plane in the distance launching a missile against the sea below. There’s a word from the voice-over I can barely recall today, that I can almost hear in my mind right now. If it were not pushing it a bit too far, it would be saying, “Exocet”.

I think that memory comes from the Falklands war.
My thinly-veiled socialist teachers at school would eventually make me call it the Malvinas war though, in the ensuing years.

In spite of all the influence the Cold War exercised upon the entertainment industry back in the day, the mid-1980s presence of the French-built, Argentinean-used Exocet missile is often overlooked yet, in hindsight, it’s there.
Look at your old toys through your mind’s eye and it’s there, alright. It’s quasi-Jungian in that aspect: Vocatus atque non vocatus, most of those toy missiles were Exocets anyway.
Not the GI Joes, though, but the electronic stuff. I’m talking about the rubber-pointed projectiles from all those battery-operated tanks and airplanes, those slim missiles with the short, conic warhead and the triangular dorsal fins.
They were all Exocets.

There’s an early-1980s Elvis Costello song about the Falklands war which I have never heard, not really, but I have come to know because a line from its verses ultimately became the title for an Alan Moore-penned Swamp Thing story back in the day. The story’s title is called, “We could be diving for pearls”.

The lyrics go something like this:
“(...)It's just a rumor that was spread around town:
A telegram or a picture postcard.
Within weeks they'll be re-opening the shipyards
and notifying the next of kin.
Once again,
it's all we're skilled in:
We will be shipbuilding
with all the will in the world,
diving for dear life,
when we could be diving for pearls.”

For many, many years after first reading that comic book, and for no special reason whatsoever, I thought the line was the name of a Pink Floyd album.

I e-mailed A**** this bit of the song the other day. I told her that was the way I was really feeling about our relationship. I don’t think she cared much, though.

It’s sort of a beat spoken with words anyhow, and if you think about it, I mean really think about it, it ends up setting the rhythm for the way our lives should be lived: Not doing crappy, half-*ssed stuff. Not operating at 10% our actual capacity. Definitely not running a third of the distance. I mean really diving for pearls, you know, making the most of it.
Making the most of everything.



Either will or inspiration to write has come and gone: I swear I’m really trying though nothing’s coming up. Or rather, I should be the one coming up for air.
Nihilism will inexorably exact its toll from its pursuers, I suppose.

So I have pretty much decided to take the week off from posting here, from writing at all.
It’s July, after all, when the orchestra is just about ready to start playing: Everything happens in the second half-time and I’m stuck in a job that sucks to hell and pays far less than it should, and I’m stuck in a dead-end relationship where long-run probably stands for something idiotic like, driving to the supermarket around the corner, and I’m stuck holding back and probably drowning myself in self-pity for no reason other than sheer momentum.

Whenever I’m down or kind of blue there’s this line from song that often comes to my head- it’s the chorus line to the Black Grapes’ Kelly’s Heroes.
It goes like this:

Don’t talk to me about heroes
Most of these men sing like surfs
Jesus was a black man
No! Jesus was Batman!
Nononono! That was Bruce Wayne

…Actually I’m a bit unsure whether it’s sing like surfs (which I got off Google) or sink like subs, which is what I’ve always sung. But the bit about Batman always kills me.

Back next week & all charged up, hopefully.


Uncalled for, pt. II

So R**** got married last weekend. We met during High School and became fast friends, wham!, just like that. I didn’t know the bride, though, but the wedding was very beautiful despite the service spoken in Latin at the church.
His family is loaded. We used to spend the summers at their parents’ place at the beach during High School. We were there during the summer of 1998 too, even though G**** was actually staying at her father’s place nearby.

As the groom walked down the aisle last Saturday I couldn’t help but bringing back to life this old in-joke of ours, about R****’s clumsy ways and his child’s smile, and how we would mockingly speculate on the way he would smile upon his wedding many years in the future.
So there he was, close to a decade afterwards, and even though the trimmings and settings and the people involved all turned out quite differently, the core of it all was nonetheless unchanged from our dreaming.

Then afterwards at this party at this real fancy place I looked for his parents because I used to like them so much and in fact they were such nice folks it was just then I realized I had actually been missing them all those years in-between. I stood between R**** and his mother, with A**** and I**** and I****’s girlfriend and R****’s father, to have our picture taken as A**** and I were leaving.

Then & there:
I was so close to R**** and his mother and we’re all smiling and it’s all honest and true just like it was on High School, especially during those wonderful vacations at their apartment at the beach, and for a split-second the memory of it all rushed back in and made me want to tell them of everything that’s come to pass in these ten years since we lost touch with each other, of all the bad things and the wrong paths taken, of everything else that had been simply put, uncalled for in life, and then…

(Sometimes I think it’s not in what we actually speak aloud nor write down, but in fact it’s in everything that’s left unsaid.)

So then I just smiled at the camera, you know? –And it was an honest smile.
Secret of the universe, or at least part of it…


Uncalled for, pt. I

I’m standing on this beach at night many years earlier in fact it’s the end of summer in 1998 and now I’m thinking of all the stories still to be told.

Sometimes- not too often but in fact only rarely- sometimes I’m lying in bed at night, restless well-before sleep sets in, and then I come up with this notion of a perfect world, a world so flawless it shouldn’t really exist for the sake of our own shortcomings, as absurd as it might seem, and on this perfect world I would have no need for this, you know, because I’d be telling you all the stories head-on, in person, looking straight in your eyes as we cuddled up at night before calling it a day.

I think that’s the main reason as to why I’m so eagerly willing to lay myself bare, exposed, before you, in truncated unedited sentences without spellchecking, and the occasional split infinitive and half-truth or three.
But I’m not really sure.

Yet I’m not standing on that beach in ’98; I’m sitting down on the cool, wet sand with my legs folded in a straight position, my arms holding my knees together, a flashlight half-buried lamp-up in the sand with a plastic cup over it so it diffuses the light just enough as to soften and spread it around us. All the boys are chatting endlessly over beer and maybe a bottle of vodka, too but I remain quiet in my introspection as I’m watching G**** wandering ahead by the shoreline, the late-night cold water dancing around and about her ankles, her dress fluttering in the sticky breeze coming from the Ocean.
She was so beautiful that night in that white dress with the reddish-flower-like blotches and the boys were all asking me what was going on between us, all that boy-talk, had I seen her naked already or what, that kind of stuff.
I stood up and walked towards her. I walked very slowly as if counting each step so as to savor the moment and live each split-second to the fullest, trying not to miss anything, trying not to grow up, not to grow old past 18 years old, already sorry High School was done for and not coming back ever again.
I don’t know if she noticed me. I placed my hand on her shoulder, gently, on her skin exposed by the strap of her dress draping halfway down her shoulder. She turned her head back at me and smiled a sad, lonely smile. That was the kind of smile G**** really had back in the day, you know, despite anything anybody would tell me afterwards. It rocked your world. It froze your world.

Then & there:
As far-fetched as it probably sounds now I wanted one thing out of that night: I wanted to tell somebody about her smile and of how good her auburn hair smelled but maybe her hair was really light brown and I’m making it auburn as I go, not really as I want to remember it but more like, how I want it to be remembered.
I want to cut through all those frat-boy questionings of nipples and pubic hair and the did-she-go-down-on-you’s, I want to cut right to that bit under starlight and infinity and unblemished youth as I’m smiling back at her then whispering my own half-truths in her ear, which makes her stop smiling and close her eyes and maybe bite her lower lip just lightly, then staying silent and motionless for a few moments, until she finally shakes her head in disagreement and says, “Sorry” at me in such a demure, polite way it makes for all the lies and broken phone calls that will eventually come from both of us in the ensuing couple of years.

Upon treading back head-down through the soft sand to the boys and their beers around the half-buried flashlight they all smiled their frat-boys smile and whistled in unison the chorus line to the James Bond theme song. It did hold its own special meaning for us during that summer. There was this James Bond vid*o-game we would play after lunch in which, whenever your character was killed, that bit from the theme song would go off.

It’s now close to ten years later, well after I met you and well after we parted ways, and here I am, like Atlas carrying the burden of the world only in stories half-lived and half-plucked out of thin air by imagination alone, stories blurred out between fact and fiction.
After all this time I still don’t know exactly why I have to write you all of this, or why I have to tell you all of this. It’s something you’ll probably never read or maybe care for anyway, yet the feeling is one and the same:
When I remember it, I want to have you there, present at every single bit, even if just as a passive spectator. I don’t want to make you a character, I don’t want you to act- I just want you to be there in all my yesterdays and yesteryears, there at beach with G**** and I in the summer of ’98.

It’s how I plan on cheating on all my tomorrows without you, by the way:
I think it’s either how I look for atonement for being such an assh*le in the first place, or simply put, something else entirely.


Thus always to boy-sidekicks

Ever read the Bible? Me neither, at least not entirely.
Here’s a pretty interesting bit from the Genesis book, from a Vulgate Bible. It’s from Genesis 3.5 or 3-5 or whatever. I never really understood how Christians divided their chapters anyway.

It says:
"Et eritis sicut dii scientes bonum et malum"
This is Latin for, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil, which is basically what would happen to Adam and Eve were they to eat from the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. Which is why Christianity sucks so bad: It turns knowledge into a forbidden thing.
It’s sort of like coc*ine in a sense, if you stop to think about it: Knowing of coc*ine will not make you into an addict, see, so that’s why there’s no point in saying knowing of death would render immortal, mortal.

This is why chicks dig the d*vil so much, you know? All that W*cca, Earth-Mother-type things? It sort of goes back to Milton. Milton was blind, but he did see the d*vil like the ultimate rebel… and chicks, chicks just love rebels. They go crazy on anti-establishment guys with big cars and sports jackets and stuff.

This post is about Robin the Boy-Wonder, though.

I was back at my parents’ last weekend and they were having this couple over to play cards and eat some pizza, and at some point in the evening my mother decided to walk them by the place, basically to show the woman the apartment, that kind of stuff.
So by the time they reached my bedroom it’s sort of a no-brainer they ended up asking to see my things. My comic books and action figures.

Best thing of keeping a child’s hobby under an adult’s budget is that you get to do some pretty neat stuff: Like, gone are the days when my dad’s friends would mock my fascination with super-heroes. What I get from most men these days is, “So how much have ya got in there anyway?”. I often shrug, honestly not really thinking about it, then answer very nonchalantly and without adding any actual numbers, “I don’t know. Car and a half. Maybe a couple. Maybe a little bit more.” – To which they stand back appalled, in awe, but with some respect too.
I do this, mostly, in order to vindicate teenage sidekicks. I mean, you’re supposed to stick to your guns, right?

The ladies, on the other hand- and this is the bit that always kills me- they ask every single time whether it’s really true that Robin’s gay. That they’ve “always” wanted to know that. Then I ask them in return, where the hell did they get that idea from?, and they just shrug themselves and reply no more than half-mumbled you-knows…
“But no,” I finally tell them. “He’s not. He’s actually pretty good with the ladies in the comics. What you’re all doing is, you’re looking at this figment from the early-1940s as shot through mid-1960s lenses, you know, from the old TV show which was played mostly for laughs anyway, but with your eyes firmly set in the 21st century, and what happens as a result of that is that you actually end up benchmarking your own sexu*lity over a model that ultimately means nothing anyway. So may god help you where you’re all really getting the gay bit from.”

Oddly enough it does no more than to simply disappoint everybody and make them return to their card game, basking in the anticlimactic afterglow of discovery… so maybe the Bible was right, you know? I mean, in the end…
Jesus Christ. This is brand-new. Christianity as a cover-up for boy-sidekicks in comics. Here’s that feeling of running out of topics again…


Excerpt from a Douglas Adams book, pt. II

“Foreigners are not allowed to drive in China, and you can see why. The Chinese drive, or cycle, according to laws that are simply not apparent to an uninitiated observer, and I’m thinking not merely the laws of the Highway Code, I’m thinking of the laws of physics.(…)
What I could never get used to, however, was this situation: the vehicle in front of you is overtaking the vehicle in front of him, and your driver pulls out and overtakes the overtaking vehicle, just as three other vehicles are coming toward you performing exactly the same maneuver. Presumably Sir Isaac Newton has long ago been discredited as a bourgeois capitalist running-dog lackey.”

By, Douglas Adams, with Mark Cawardine
in, Last Chance to See (a real-world book about ecology and endangered wildlife preservation), 1990


IT wars continue...

I swear to god I received the following reply from IT today regarding the alleged solution for a two-week-long problem we've been experiencing with the e-mail software.
This is one of those quote/unquote, unedited, untranslated and "Sic" things too, by the way, only to assure you it's the unblemished truth:

Please ,restart the computer before to check again, because , the software factory say me that this error was enmended

I think that pretty says it all...


First blood (or, more like that “Escalation” bit with Comm. Gordon in the end of Batman Begins, really)

War with IT department reaches dreaded new heights as every pre-emptive contingency defense plan I’ve come up with since last year is breached by the cunningly evil gremlins manning the servers at headquarters in one morning!
This is like adding the Israeli airstrike during the Six-Day War with Egypt to that pre-International, pos-Crisis Justice League comic in which Batman downs Guy Gardner with (and I quote) “one punch!”, it really is:

My backup system falls through as they subtly manage to reduce the allocation for the general customer service inboxes and cause the inboxes to virtually implode during the weekend. Just so as it gets harder to detect, each sub-inbox in the hierarchical e-mail structure is assigned both a different limit and quota. By the time we find out about the problem we’ve already lost one inbox out of five.
First blood goes to IT, and the carnage carries on…

And not only that, but the allocation for the personal inbox of each customer service attendant is cut down by half, also during the weekend, which ensues all-out chaos once heavy files such as Service Contracts are sent early Monday morning. As if it weren’t enough, when questioned by the Management, IT quickly deploys its equivalent of flare & chaff and misleads all accountability to my own one-man department.
It takes me about two hours to rid myself off the blame, but of course since my boss is friends with the big kahuna at IT, it’s left at that with no one the wiser.

Not content with the present ravaging, once lunch hour hits and I’m stuck trying to figure out a way out of the backup problem, and also re-routing personnel configuration for makeshift inboxes, a new strike is launched, thus delaying all incoming e-mails from customers in over an hour. But that’s before the e-mail server is shut down altogether. That obviously not being enough, the CTI client software which enables the customer service to receive and make calls to customers also suffers a heavy attack and is placed on a hypothetical island of instability for which the only sure answer is, “Well, it may or may not work for the entire afternoon, and if it works it’s going to be a little intermittent”. So all in all, no customer is able to reach us neither by phone nor e-mail for the duration.

All in all, it’s taken IT slightly more than half a day to: a) Punch through every single pre-emptive procedural defense and contingency plan of mine, b) Hinder all inbound communication system with customers, and c) Put the blame on me.


Excerpt from a song

"(...)Sonny sits by his window and thinks to himself
How its strange that some rooms are like cages
Sonny's yearbook from high school
Is down from the shelf
And he idly thumbs through the pages
Some have died
Some have fled from themselves
Or struggled from here to get there
Sonny wanders beyond his interior walls
Runs his hand through his thinning brown hair(...)"

The Obvious child
The Rhythm of the Saints
Paul Simon