Posts Tagged ‘dallas’

Violence again.

 

I meant to post when I got back. Then Orlando. So I waited, because I have nothing more to add. Then it was Baghdad. I started writing again. Catching up on the queue of old work. I wrote this last week. Then Alton Sterling, then Philando Castile, then Dallas, seems like the world can’t catch a goddamn break.

 

So we got a lot of catching up to do.

 

Orlando

 

I was out of town for a week on a work/vacation trip. I do this once or twice a year. One of the perks of what I do is sometimes I work festivals which blend very nicely into time off from the world. I don’t have internet out there.

I wanted to write something, but nothing felt right and I wanted to leave some time to grieve before I said anything about it here. So I’m just going to repost what I said on facebook:

 

I’ve just arrived home. I spent all last week working my ass off for an organization whose goal is to promote radical inclusiveness, particularly within sexual minority communities. Of all the shows and events I work it pays, by far, the least, but it is the work I am most proud of, because it is the best way I know how to serve my community given my particular skill set and experience. I am sunburnt and exhausted and sleep deprived and sick and I am incredibly joyous to be so very lucky. This is the one week a year I also get to shut off my phone for the week and not pay attention to the bullshit on social media and the news, so I didn’t know about the shooting in Orlando until a coworker announced it at strike Sunday evening. It was a strange and somber tear down as the staff grieved and processed through work, laboring so hard you couldn’t tell who was sweating or crying. I hugged and kissed them, some I’d just met Tuesday when we started, others I’ve known for years, said a quiet goodbye and drove home in the company of my partner Clara torn between our elation and being absolutely gutted by the cruelty and sadness of a single misguided individual.
To all my loved ones telling us to stay home and stay safe, I will absolutely be at Pride this year, because that is what is important and right. Because we are so much stronger and scarier acting in collaboration, just like we did last week, than any sick person with easy access to weapons. and because this world ain’t always easy.

It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

 

I have weird feelings about collective public grieving. The difference with this is that it wasn’t one person and it wasn’t old age or disease. It was… I don’t have to tell you what it was.

 

Pride

 

So I went to Pride. As always, the act of actually going was a clusterfuck of last minute logistics. But I ended up with friends in a single room huddled around the AC. and kissed and rank and danced and smoked and told ourselves it’d all be OK.

As usual, there was the too queer for school group with complaints that Pride has become another mainstream corporate sellout and yeah, they have a point and I have my own thoughts on those, but that is another rant and shall be bitched about another time.

 

Anyhoo, onto other matters

 

Shootings

Here’s what I had to say elsewhere:

For all of those posting their outrage for the slaying of police, but not the dozens of innocent men killed by them, you are part of the problem.
The reason we say Black Lives Matter and not All lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter is because cops’ lives already matter. That doesn’t mean police aren’t killed and that it’s not tragic when it happens, but when it does there is always an outpouring of support there is a manhunt for the killer and we as a society work tirelessly to bring the perpetrators to justice. Their families are supported by our government and the news networks don’t spend so much of their coverage questioning the cop’s integrity, or whether they should have been there at the time, or what did they do wrong to warrant it, or maybe they were a bad cop. No, we give them the benefit of the doubt, because nothing justifies murder, regardless of what we may think of that person otherwise. THAT IS THE VERY MEANING OF HAVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS.
Fine, if you need another white man explaining this though a Biblical metaphor, here’s someone saying it better than me.

 

The Book

 

I’m actually embarrassed to be discussing it at this point, but there is a train at the end of that tunnel. There have been delays and I don’t mean to excuse myself, but I want to explain.

Firstly, there have been a few personnel hiccups. Putting out a book requires other people and I am so grateful for all of you who’ve helped me out so far. A number of people offered to help me with edits and I waited for each one for a month or so before moving on until after almost a year, I’ve finally got someone who may have followed through. I’m meeting with them later this week and I hope that will be the end of that.

I also have found someone to do the cover art. More on that to come.

Before that there was the lost draft.

And then there was the part where I lost three jobs in one year. The first due to logistical problems (I moved to a place that mate the commute and shifts no longer workable). Not too long afterwards I found two new jobs which I worked simultaneously until both of them disappeared when the companies ceased to function.

I soon ran out of money and began to burn through my savings (ie the kickstarter funds) in order to eat and pay rent. Since then I’ve been working to make that money back so I can fulfill my commitment to my backers.

I hope you all will be understanding and forgive me for the stalling. This has been a particularly rough time for me and the project has never been far from my mind.

 

Phew, this was a tough one.

 

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Christmas 2015

I almost wrote 2016. There is so much talking in the news not just the past week or so, but the past six months of the 2016 election it’s hard to remember the year hasn’t even started yet. Amid the horse race politicking soul sucking poll fucking noise I am the most relieved I have ever been for a delayed flight. The security line ran four snaking rows deep in length of the terminal front before even reaching the stretched blue nylon barriers which ran another six rows. It seems security is a convenience issue as we are told bins are unnecessary. We keep on our shoes and coats, no need to remove laptops not using scanners, just metal detectors and sniffer dogs walking the lines making me worry briefly that I forgot to ditch the film canister of narcotics at home, but I know I took out the trash and turned off the Christmas lights so the tree won’t catch fire I did leave the heat on… oh well
We don’t pay for electric.
I am surprisingly awake for this hour of the day and this far into the flight. Overlooking a river that makes me think of spiky tentacles or maybe the thorned horns of a devil. And ponds. Thousands and thousands of ponds.
Maybe it’s turbulence, maybe it’s the man sitting next to me.
He’s wearing this skull cap. Not like a wool knit type. It’s red, non-stretchy denim. It’s dirty, covered in black splotches of what looks like engine grease, but it could be something of black paint. Medium length beard, from where I sit, I can see through it in parts, meaning the hair is thin and has been grown out for some time deliberately to give the impression of being fuller and thicker.
No cloud cover clear to the horizon.
His jeans are the same, dirt hardened through, covered in more black splotches. He’s got thick forearms and a gut. The build of a mechanic or carpenter. Someone who uses their hands but doesn’t move around much. His shirt is the one clean thing. Something out for a special occasion. First wear, by the lack of wrinkles and vibrant never washed colours. Pearl snaps.
The thing that’s bothersome about him though, is his lack of activity. Since I sat down, he hasn’t moved. Hasn’t spoken. No headphones on his ears, no phone in his hand. He’s not sleeping. Not even looking out the window. He just stares at the seat in front of him. Straight and a touch down at the tray table. He doesn’t lean back. In fact, he sits up, almost straight.
When the flight attendant comes by with the drink cart he breaks the statuism to order a double jack daniels and coke. It puts at ease. I’ve always thought of jack and coke as an everyman American drink. He dumps the two bottles in the plastic cup of ice and gives them back to the air hostess before they’re done with our row. He pours in the coke, drinks half, refills it with more coke, finishes it.
While waiting for the hostess to return, well, not waiting really, in the meantime he goes back to his stoic stare. Only now his hands move. He pulls off the tab of the coke can and begins to shred it.
His eyes are still ahead which is why I can write about him so close by. He shreds the tin till it’s a jagged crumpled heap then holds it as though it were a bird’s nest.
The hostess comes back and we drop our cups into the plastic trash bag.
He goes back to staring.

The Igits Steal a Truck (part 3)

 

I unbuckled my seat belt.

-I’m getting the hell out of this car.

-Wait! shouted Tyler.   -We’re in this together.

-Like hell we are. All I did was meet you at an intersection.

-Stop him, Don Quixote!

Don lept out ot his unbuckled seat and grabbed me but I could still reach the door handle. I pulled on the level with all my might only to find it lacking in its primary function.

-Child locks, Tyler explained. -It makes sense. Chuck strikes me as the kind of man who would take Children’s safety first.

-I’ll show you child safety, I growled.

I broke Don’s girlish grip and grabbed Tyler by the hair. Slamming his face into the steering wheel with each word I yelled,

-R! N! D! H! S! E! SPELLS! ROUNDHOUSE!

His final head butt against the engraved leather FORD logo let out a loud honk in the form of the first few notes of “Deep in the Heart of Texas”.

-Oh. I get it.  You just take out all the vowels, spoke Don.

Lacking a new mutation of his name to berate him with, I simply slapped Don across the back of the head.

-Hey! Leave Don King alone, Tyler said, checking to see how much blood was on his face.

Damnit! I thought.

-What possesed you? Seriously, Tyler, how the fuck could you miss a detail like this?

-I don’t know. Maybe I would be able to remember if I hadn’t just left half my grey matter in the middle of the goddamned steering column.

-Let me out.

-No can do, man. If we’re in this, you’re in this.

I thought for a second then lunged for the back window. If I could get it open there might be enough room for me to wriggle out.  Then I could just hop out of the bed.

-Hold onto him, Don Nox!Tyler floored the truck, sending me back and smacking my head against the glass.

-If we can get to 75 we’ll be moving too fast for him to jump out!

My fingers desperately fumbled with the latch on the back window while don held onto my legs with the tightness of an unopened pickle jar.

-Donathen if you don’t let go of me I will go fucking Sid and Nancy on your ass.

-Sorry, man I can’t do that!

-Fuckin hell.

I got the latch up and slid back the glass and the sound of rushing wind swept through the truck.  I stuck one arm out  the back window just as Tyler made a vicious right turn and I slammed against the back door.

-Gotcha! exclaimed the temporarily victorious driver.

I managed to slip a leg from Don’s grasp and let his face experience the force of my mighty converse.

-AHHH!!!

Don let out a wail and I siezed my opportunity like the assets of a suspected drug lord.

-HAHA! Take that, Don Corleogne!I grabbed the edges of the window and pulled my torso out of the cab of the truck.

-Oh no you don’t, cried Tyler

He slammed on the breaks an threw me into the edges of the window as I strove for freedom. Don was still holding his face together, but I could feel a hand hanging onto my ankle still left inside the truck. Tyler hit the gas again, driving with one hand and gripping my ankle with the other.

-Tyler! Leggo my Eggo!

-Get back in the truck, he shouted back

-ERRRGGG! I errrggged.

I twisted and shifted trying to break his handle.  Finally, he lost hold of m leg holding now only onto my trousers.  In a flash desicioun of purely genius inspiration I went slack, allowing him to think he had won. Forcing him to concentrate on the road again. With his eues forward I quickly unfastened my trusers and slid out of them like penis out of condom.

-AR! AVAST! shouted Tyler in his best faux pirate voice as he realized there was no more weight in the black and grey houndstooth patterened cotton and let go allowing the wind to take the trousers up into the air and far away.

I scrambled to the back of the truck bed as he accelerated.  Standing up straight, my boxers flapping in the breeze, I saluted them both.

-Farewell lads.  Enjoy your death sentence, I said and tucked and rolled from the moving monstrosity of midnight blue safely onto the parks of Oak Lawn.

What happened after that?  Well, that’s another story.

 

Till next time, true believers!

I realize that in my haste to populate the new blog with a variety of subject matters I have yet to make good on my promissory to provide the aboriginal game of imbibery that set me upon my unending trek of developing an unending and constantly improving supply of enjoyable games for the drinking pleasure of all the peoples of the world.

So here it is, going out with love to all you Dallas based Catholics.

The Charles Grahmann Drinking Game

This game is best enjoyed during a homily by means of secret drink brought to mass in one’s boot or breast pocket.

Take a drink when:

1 He says ‘young people’

2 He mentions World Youth Day

3 He says ‘and you know what [insert slightly out of date epithet here] means’

4 He reminisces upon a conversation he supposedly had with the Pope.