instant recall

The truth was Robert couldn't remember the name of the songs he had heard only minutes before. He couldn't recall the text he had read, neither the words word for word, in all their florid, floral poetry nor the essence of them; maybe on good days, he might be able to articulate the essence of them. He couldn't recall anything that he did during the year 1987. He couldn't recall how he had fallen in love with his wife, couldn't recall what he had liked about jazz, couldn't recall his reason for being here. There.

He secretly hated those who could cite things. Ivy league pseudo-intellectual dilletantes...don't know more than the next man he thought. It's just that they make a big deal out of remembering it in front of people. Robert only remembered things in context. Like a funny sounding word you'd never heard of...until you heard it used in a sentence. Alone, you might never understand it. But in context, its meaning would stick with you forever. Wit, history, math, charm, music, humor, would return to him mid-flow, on a lazy susan for him to choose from. And for a moment he would be reassured that it had indeed been ingested, digested, conjugated and interpreted. Then he would hear some jack-off cite something.



William immediately spun around and straddled the seat so he could face Kenji. "You know your science book?"


"Can I look at it?"


the book itself was just under 350 pp and only slightly smaller than William's torso. Sarah's right thigh and buttock were spilling over the side of the seat and threatening to sccupy half of the aisle between her and Kenji.

My LA homies


on a mission

from God...

no doubt, I think that spirtuality plays a role in one's confidence, demeanor and ultimate ability to effect the change they pursue here on earth. but is spirituality enough? is it possible to accomplish herculean and monumental tasks of which you have little to no knowledge of or proficiency for if you believe you can do it as a result of it being ordained by a higher power? knowing that we use only a small percentage of our brains I can't help but wonder what we're truly capable of. from the everyday and ordinary to the super ordinary or supernatural, who's to say? from time to time you hear about the mother who lifted the back end of a car because her infant or toddler found their way down there. you hear about people surviving cave ins, avalanches, plane crashes and the like when no one thought it possible they could live through it. you hear about the incredible feats of strength, intelligence, courage and compassion that occur in perilous situations and it just makes me wonder...

does it have anything to do with spirituality?



Her steps toward their coterie were long, seemed yards at a time. Each one of them drifted apart and back toward the school, taking wide angles to occupy the wake of her, denying her the chance to swallow them whole. She had not seen the blood on Kenji's sleeve and she grabbed his arm right at the elbow, forcing his eyes to fall shut for just a moment. She smelled like the women who came to call on and play mah jong with his mother Saturday afternoons. Mrs. Weaver's mouth opened and her voice came so close to speaking that her lips were pursed; they remained that way until she slowly, deliberately, closed her mouth. Kenji snatched his arm from her grasp.



I almost don't want to write about this number. And I should, because its my birthday. but I don't want to write about it because I've been seeing it on clocks at least once a day for the last two weeks. you know, glancing at a clock, not really in a qyest to discover the time but just because it falls into view, and I see 9:23. I see it at work, on the computer, on my watch, on my home computer, on the microwave clock, on the cable box, on the display of my camera, on freaking sun dials. I'm seeeing 9:23. I'm superstitious so I played it in the lottery a week ago. I only matched the 9. I'm wondering if the cosmos is trying to tell me something. I'm wondering if it is the omen of something good or something bad. I'm wondering if it is portentous. The key to something, the what I've been looking for.



I renounce the sweet, ephermeral smoke and the way it twists itself around your wrist, chets, neck head and lips. I renounce the almost inaudible crackle of tobacco as your quarter breath inhales, takes in, cirulates, enlightens and blows out this mini-high. I renounce the addition that it is, to a cocktail, a funny story, a friend's mischievous smile, bad news, to thoughts being arranged and disarrayed, to form, and function and apparel even, yes, it is like an extension of you, this grand pleasure in its small casing, its where your finger does not end, its the gun that's unholstered, its your watch, your bracelet, your tie. I renounce this thing that is all these things to me but is also a crutch. for it is black as well as white. it's more bad than good, though bad is relative and so is good. but I renounce it, because even though it is all these things, even though I have known it in some form fashion or configuration since the age of fifteen, even though time and life are as relative to me as turning a light on and turning a light off, I just don't need it anymore.


I asked the zebra:
Are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me:
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.
I'll never ask a zebra
About stripes again.

Shel Silverstein
from A Light in the Attic, 1981

You must be both if you're anything. These questions reach a far deeper level than the original inquisitor realized. The failure he comes to at the end is not merely from the frustration caused by the endless wit of the zebra, its because the endless questions opened a pandora's box of what it is to be. what he anticipated was a neat, clean self-observation from the zebra that would compartmentalize and easily classify his being, his eventual place, his characteristics, stereotypes, likes, dislikes, and on and on and on. what he got was the meaning of life. and though that's the question most people reply that they would ask God if they had one question to ask, they never want to pay attention to the answer here among us. The answer is that everything is possible but then nothing as well. its our perception which limits us, betrays us, fools us and frustrates us into never asking questions again.