About Me

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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the scarlet letter

today's episode is brought to you by the letter, "A", and the numbers "5" and "2".

5-star resort.  2nd-class citizen.

a crystalline parade of teas salute from the corner of the spa, sparkling with custom cut cubes, twirling in the shape of dollar bill signs; tinkling with whispered promises of deep-soul cleansing and captured youth found squirming under a hair net.


my mouth mists with moonlit sentimentality.

pretentiously, gingerly, i sip, then guzzle gulps as prayer, my rice paper goblet soon pulp by fist, then flat by foot, all in spa-hushed desperation that this tea might work as elixir for me - sedating my fury, tranquilizing all fears as i lace up my Nike sneakers, lay a purple square across my face, and board a spaceship straddling the tailwind of the Hale-Bopp comet; drifting into permanent shut-eye with visions of aliens dancing in my head.

i wait and i wait, holding my breath, less out of anticipation, and more out of fear of riding the collective, patronizing wave of "ssshhhs!" from the ladies who lunch - all the way out the door, past the valet parking onto the pavement with the plebs.

but, there comes no exhale with ease. no quivering release of limbs and lies.

Heaven's Gate does not swing wide for me.

irritable. restless. discontent.

please. separate me.

separate me like a band aid. peel away the paper from the pad, and let the sheet flutter to the floor.


fuck it.

creates employment.

i am riddled with boo-boos. they sting and they burn. slap me silly with a second skin. cover me. smother me. latex. elastoplast. snoopy. all kinds. any kinds. just cover the skin i am in.

sick. in pain. freak.

i am drenched from my downpour, dripping with zen exertions.


to buddha's milk-baby body, i cling, clutching with fists jaundiced-tight.

when i finally towel down, soaking up skepticism, and wringing out my moldy, bacterial-infected sponge as brain, my algae-clogged vision clears.

only to see that the moment has passed.

then, i am sprinting, howling like the wrongly convicted sentenced to life.

"WAIT FOR ME!!!", i cry.

i am the child, promised, PROMISED an ice cream cone if i did all my chores. i say my prayers, am kind to others and grateful for my health. but, the bucket of bolts is pulling away from the curb, jangling its eerie, tinny ode to Elysian evenings - running naked through sprinklers, trading jacks and marbles and a nuclear family of 4.

"WAIT!!!  FOR!!!  ME!!!..."

i am the awkward, chubby girl, anguished, desperate for that sugar rush, the jolt on a javelin ride, quick and directed, far, far away from the cage of childhood.


[do as i say, don't do as i do. hypocrites.]

i am still a child.

financially dependent. physically obligated. and emotionally uncaged.

at the four seasons, i shiver, snowbound by winter.

i smear on lipstick, passing over widened eyes so black with panic, they need no kohl embellishment.

i reach for my glass. it is water. soda water. soda water with lime. the citrus sparks scrape my throat; the cleansing exfoliation mocks.

carefree laughter sticks in my throat like a chalky pill that hasn't dissolved.

[but, all the pills have dissolved.]

i am unable to sit on a couch of the finest, french upholstery. unable to perch with sophistication, swing my goblet, sip with snooty, european elegance. unable to purse my painted lips and burst with glossy giggles about the delicious details of my life,

unable to put down the glass and walk away.

please. separate me.

separate me from the person unable to work, work-out, work-up to anything called integrity.

i stand in the marble stall, tiles lustrous with luxury, and shower in my own tears. i shave and i pluck and i condition the sad tuft of hair that remains, massaging $40, coconut futility through threads undead, too tired from years of medications to resurrect. i scrub with Silkwood furor, unable to unstain the letter "A".

useless. old. sad.

sad that you love me.

i loved the lovely lunch, the afternoon delight, the titanic tub where my toes don't touch.

and i love my birthday boy blue.

but, i refuse to throw my arms around the little red haired girl.

please. separate me.

in your soft-focus blur, the edges would disappear, and you'd softly encircle me whole. in your liz taylor limelight, i'd blow out, starring as a fuzzy, fabulous version of myself.

a untouchable, loaded legend.

i lift and step out, as my thin tamale shell unhusks, crinkling to the floor. i place one, then the other foot down, and stare at the me beside me. i strain.

i can't hear the slurring song.
i can't smell regret like skunk.
i can't see the ego crashing.

[we're sorry. please hang up and try your call again...]

no. bottle service is discontinued. for life.

bottles that clink melodies; anthemic xylophone tones.

the uncorked bottle of wine, pungent, smelling of relief.

the bottle of pills rattling raucous, the noise that calms.

"you've got to get some self-esteem".

if i knew where to get it, i'd raid the store shelves with the panic of a bank run; stock a pantry that would keep me safe for the next 50 years.

but, in that shelter, i would be bombed.

for in that underground womb of supplies and silence, i would separated.

from you.

and You.

please. don't separate me.

"A" does not just stand for the word everyone whispers...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

this is 40.

it’s been said that there are no accidents.

with a thick trip of her tongue, our friend lisa, sauced or sober[?], swapped our one word moniker, “kevinandhen”, for the serendipitous “Heaven and Ken”.

the switch was only as startling as that proverbial spilt glass of milk, dripping down the sides of a kitchen table, pooling; white tears lapped, with quick, eager strokes, by a kitty’s pimply tongue.

initially choppy, the nickname soon flowed fluently, like a River of Milk of Honey.

for although you look like one, it was clear that i was playing the part of the Ken doll.

and you are Heaven.

heaven as you soar through me, hot, on dragon’s breath, rushing with the heat of drugs, the burn of alcohol, the flush of sinking into sugary, sultry moist, licking my lips free of icing burn.

you are my sweet tooth, my cavity deep.

heaven is us, cocooning away from a wintery swarm descending with biblical force; blinding white coughs from a chokehold of arctic air, tenting together in a motel by the freeway. putting down my subway sandwich, turning off the 876th Frasier rerun and tucking your form deeper under a threadbare blanket as you sleep…

…and smile.

find heaven in the gumball machine of our marriage, popcorning with declarations circus loud and colors fading back from midnight black to midway bright. our appetite for love is not yet sated. we’re still chewing the fat, still chomping at the bit.

an appetite for devotion.

she is no longer entangled in the scratchy, knotted yarn, you’d patiently unravel night after night, hunched, squinting into the mess of threads. this kitty is full-grown. she’s coughed up her last furball, had the elective declawing procedure and loyally licked all the spilt milk off the floor.

this black cat dreams of curling in your lap, licking herself clean and offering up her remaining lives.

[there’s definitely only about 5 left on the table, but who’s counting…?]

today, my husband, i offer you the heaven you always gave.

a soft-pillowed sanctuary; a feathery foundation of love and strength that never buckled, never dared give way.

let’s call it even, ok?

the next 20 years are yours.

soar on deep, easy breaths. let me be the wind as you ascend on arias of love and light...

[the channel is yours to change. not an angsty rock star in sight.]


you are the air that i breathe, the helium in my heart,

and the reason i pee…

happy birthday.

Monday, January 21, 2013



[sing it, Frankie Valli...]

Two thumbs up for the 10-hour turnaround in the Cedars-Sinai ER.

SOLVED: The Case of The Artfully Dodging Ovarian Cyst.

The exploded mass skillfully evaded diagnosis during ultrasound, hiding behind 4 [count 'em - 4!] kidneys, but was finally located "where's waldo?-ing" on a CT scan - where, incidentally, an inaugural administering of contrast dye rectally [ahem], was enjoyed by the patient.

[can u spot the nod to Obama?]

OW. OW. and OW.

Ironies abound.

...Kevin's joy that said patient's massive deductible is now Met, Yet Owed to the Hospital...

...and that both members of this household are prescribed the same pain meds.


On an up note, the patient's creatinine remains at an astounding 0.9,

the term "fluffy testicles" has been added to the Ivanans-McIntyre lexicon,

[don't ask.]

and Kevin retains the title of The World's Greatest Husband.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

the dog days are over

serves me right for gettin' cocky.

with a flu "epidemic!" in 47 states, this immunosuppressed bitch couldn't wait to get all up in yo facebook face over my successful dodge of the PLAGUE OF 2013, now batting nearly a thousand across this gray nation. the young, the elderly and the immunosuppressed so at risk, i would've triumphantly tooted over my loud-ass-speaker,


[well. catch ya on the flip side.]

even with 7.3 % of this week's deaths caused by pneumonia or flu, it still ranks waaay behind those dying from cancer sticks or road ragers crashing to bits upon impact, or, better yet, those sucking hard on cancer sticks while crashing to bits upon impact.

folks, grab some perspective.

but perspective is hard to spot when you're thrown into epileptic seizure watching the evening news. images flashing, graphic on repeat -  "BREAKING NEWS!' - fanning the flame of people's fear into raging wildfires, while the truth smolders.

is it the glare reflecting from their chicleted choppers, chomping, tossing dirty laundry around like a lion rips on raw meat, that blinds?

[what is it with americans and their teeth anyway? antarctica is less white.]

is it omission of All Things Considered, teleprompting with equal enthusiasm a [gasp!] "5 Car Pile-Up!" or [awww!] "Baby Born in a Car!", that fries?

or is it those talking heads, nodding with bouncy empathy; pixelated Bobble-heads, that discombobulate?

i can never pay attention to anything they are saying. i'm too distracted by his pancaked glow - the shade: "oompa-loompa oomph!". too disturbed by her juicy, anus-shaped lips, too moist, like she mistakenly ate a tube of lip gloss and not the ziplocked sticks of carrots and celery stashed in her purse; lips oozing glossy gossip shellaced as hard news, dripping words of wisdom only the young and the ignorant heed.

they are so blown out, wrinkleless, poreless, it's like auditing a panel of blow-up dolls at an adult film convention, which still has more personality than these drones. i can only attribute their adrenalized parroting to the abuse of their child's adderall and not any hard nosed analysis.

[she steps down from her soap box.]

i've never really understood the idiom, "sick as a dog".

any dog owner will tell you it's a canine's missionimpossible to stay with you forever.

[Spot to Fluffy: never let them see you sweat.

except when they sweat, they pant. and look cute. like they are smiling!]

please. they will puke up a hearty breakfast, sniff it, maybe lick it, then seconds later, look up with a wink and a smile.

my beagle was over 17 years old, had glaucoma, ass cancer, cushing's disease, arthritis, [treated with onlyinl.a. acupuncture sessions,] and a body riddled with tumors. cuddling this senior hound was like stroking a sack of potatoes. in the end, a canine form of alzheimers' boxed him into a bedroom corner, barking and bewildered,

"GET. OVER. HERE. AND. TURN. ME. AROUND!", he bossed.

[i learned everything i know from my dog.]

yeah, he didn't go until he was good and ready.

like the old penguin that gets left behind. old, ailing, woefully waddling out of step with his brethren's march, but in time with morgan freeman's elegantly fluid narration. no cymbal-clashing drama, just ready to drift away, adagio, into the snow.

me? when i'm sick i get on the goddamn bullhorn. 86 that. i get on the fucking world wide web.

after 31 years of the gift that keeps on giving, i am officially over it.

like a lady of the night who's been gang-banged by a bunch of tweakers,

i. am. done.

both my diseases like to occasionally wake me up with the early morning call to prayer,


in the world according to me, i've met my quota, my cup runneth over, blah, blah, blah.

"i am sick and tired of being sick and tired."

i'm so efficient! a catch phrase for both diseases!

so, no, i do not feel grateful when i wake up with a throbbing welt on the back of my neck. the unknown pinch hitter, in the stelth of the night, having louisville-sluggered me soaring past home plate, sliding into a grand slam of pain.

no. i do not feel grateful when i peel my eyes open, welded shut from mr. sandman's heavy-handed pour, and solder off last night's crusties. my leafy green walls, painted the perfect shade of zen, suddenly turn puke green. my head begins to roar like the rushing sound of the Demon's vomit, and my head spins round and round and round. sound loud as her spew of hatred, while doing the nasty with a piece of wood in the shape of redemption.

[and i am as delightful a conversationalist. just ask my husband.]

and no. i do not feel grateful there's a safe full of pills in my house. with someone else's name on the bottle.

righteous relief, now permanently denied.

"i want what i want and i want it now!", you stomp. "mummy! k. doesn't know how to share!"

you need comfort. comfort food. a bottle. a big bottle of booze. big bottles of booze and painkillers.

"Let There Be Drugs!"

it feels like a cosmic joke, but the truth is, there's no-one to blame. not "God". not "Fate". not "the Universe".

it's just Life. and Life happens.

i know the devil is inside.

It strokes my rage. at You. when Your germs make me sick.

It whispers sweet somethings, carroting me into a cave lined soft with self-pity. a velvet retreat, coaxing me fetal with rationalized resentments and images of a midway-bright future i can't sustain.

It leads me so deep into myself, i am blinded by dark, and can't see anymore.

where is my gratitude? it's not on any oprah-esque gratitude list. list 5 things a day you are grateful for!

1. i am grateful for my kidney transplant.
2. i am grateful i am not on dialysis.
3. i am grateful for aa.
4. i am grateful i can see, smell, hear, touch and taste.
5. i am grateful i can walk.

it never fucking changes.

[not only do i get a little punchy when i am sick, i also turn into a exemplary potty mouth. stick with me, kid, and you'll never be without a swear.]

actually, i'm surprised harpo hasn't pandered to Her masses and trademarked a 365 days-a-year calender.

oprah's favorite gratitude quotes! daily! now you can share in oprah's gratitude!

"i am grateful for gayle! for curly fries! for my $25 million montecito mansion!"

she calls it an "A-HA!" moment. i call it relief.

sometimes i run towards it with the panic of a bank run, other times i surrender like summer lovers, wet and willing, and still other times, i sink like a stone with the weight of my world.

getting on my knees is a bumpy decent. i fall, turbulent tummy, dropping down through pockets of unknown airspace. there's no guarantee of a smooth landing, but the voice from the intercom guides me all the way down.

i try to picture something i can understand. not the figurehead image of a Man, God, with shockwave dreads, and a stringy, white beard, righteously pointing his staff at me in judgement and indignation.

i picture pink.

hot pink.

the flash of fuschia from a blouse, a poly/satin blend. the blouse Bedstemor was wearing, dressed up and glowing, the last time i saw her alive.

Bedstemor. danish for grandmother. literally, best. mother.

the one who watches over me now.

to the person i do not pray, but on her spirituality, i soar.

and find relief.

in the gloaming, i find her. when the sky's fuschia fury blends into evening's quilt, her silver-tipped teeth wink divine, like the stars poking through the fabric of the night.

and i find not only relief,

but freedom.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

friday night lights

the sign flashed bright.


Ye Ol' Wine Shoppe.

the gig: a man, a microphone and a message.

"Give us a try...!"

the thoughtful producer to the beleaguered husband, sustaining 20,000 beleagues under the sea.

"your wife should go in and warm up. have a glass of wine..."

of course.

irony follows her around like a puppy, wagging and squealing, nipping at her socks.

released from the cemented thick of the freeway, they tore down to the bathroom, bladders bursting, bodies wiggling. the waffle-shirted dude fell to the floor as he slipped on the straight-jacketed host he's been hired to play. and, somehow, you are laughing.

"yeah, cut back to a year and a half ago and you would've been 4 glasses in..."

she tries to ignore to rich, robust back wind that trailed her to the loo. oh! and on a day such as this! crisp calls to springtime on a breeze that needles and pins. poke. poke. poke. ah, to kindle your hands together as the glass is offered to you as sacrifice.

vinegar tart, fire. then calm.

a goblet of calm, a bottle of chaos, chased by a night of vocal gymnastics, vaulting off the balance beam onto the floor you'll land, belligerent and broken, streaming verbal diarrhea all night long; a deflated blow-up doll, flattened, unable to fully worship at your ceramic throne.

the afternoon's light beams through the rustic slats. tinkerbell's spawn frolic upon streams bathing the wooden walls. but, her light dims as the goblet's waterline retreats, pulling her in with the tide, leaving only streaks of sanity dripping around the sides of the glass. rows of bottles gleam, shelved with undiscovered treasure, but not as precious as the light flickering yes, no, yes, no, in his eyes.

not as precious as her pilot light inside.

small, steady, building to bonfire.

the road taken, on lockdown.

the perennially festive freeway, decorated with endless strands of red and white. you are entangled in the arrested flow. angry, hungry, tired. sigh. you clutch at what little hair you have left, he clutches at yours, drowning in the carnival sounds of the traffic jam. heated honking, tires squealing and the cries of the paralyzed; shipwrecked sailors' tongues unmoored behind tainted glass and a big, bad beat.

in your rear-view mirror, a snapshot. stilled reflection of a day melting into night.

night - when your light shines brightest against the darkness of your heart.

they call it Miracle Mile. this stretch of art-deco structures adorning Wilshire.

we are late.

the room is cold, bare, but for a Piano and its Man.

a single bulb hangs from the popcorned ceiling above; asbestos as art, swinging from the chilly, desert air gusting through les miserables cracks in the windows; whistling in time with the Man's soft and serene, blackandwhite strokes. his eyes dance with discovery, before him stands a star.

"pity the child who has ambition..."

a superstar without a stage.

he opens his mouth to sing and you are transported, arriving in the Land of Milk and Honey. it warms like the childhood elixir; the steaming mug of mother's love that would drown all things that went bump in the night.

but, your apothecaries' measure required uncorking, unscrewing of a another ingredient to calm the nerves, to soup your brain.

they call it a hot toddy, you call it obliteration.

his voice spills caramel-thick, inviting you to taste love's testimony dripping from his tongue; to admire the masterpiece he paints with each note. the chill of the room falls off your shoulders like a tattered shawl, lying discarded on the floorboards; the wooden plain he pioneers with talent and grace. pity the ones who have stood before him, embarking upon song, for they topple in the wake of his tsunamied roar. your bare shoulders warm with the flush of infatuation; teenage tinglings for your pocket-sized rock star.

[you carry him wherever you go.]

this night was starless, but for one. him. together you explore a codependent galaxy, when one dims, the other dims faster, traveling at the speed of light towards Her black hole.

but, tonight, sound like the sun singing as it breaks the seal on the darkest night.

Friday, January 11, 2013

pump it up

flutter. flutter. fuck.

it's morning.

noon, afternoon, night. it doesn't matter what time.

in a steampunk-inspired crank of your lid, your day begins. you're already exhausted from the sweaty, steaming effort to open your eyes, soon decimated by a peek at the darkened road ahead, settled black with coal dust. you rub your eyes with blackened fingers and swipe the dripping strands off your neck.

and sigh.

blink. blink. fuck.

how do they do it?

how do they swing their legs over and plant not one, but both feet on the floor?

this wormless woman flares with black lung. your cough, raspy; rough, erupts. you can't breathe. your chest slams shut, faster than Her bulkhead doors. icy waters spill over and over and over, flooding your heart's chamber, sinking you faster than the Unsinkable.

your limbs, limp from pumping all night.

["women and children first!"]

your body is anchored flat, every bend of every limb, voodooed by sacks of sadness. you are deep sea drowning in a fluffy, frothy ocean of blankets and bedding. sacks like the crushed velvet, golden-roped sheath cocooning your parents Crown Royal, keeping it safe until hard, angry sips could soften any given day; giving you monarched-winged flight from fear.

if you could just move this leaden limb.

[get the lead out, bitch.]

you try. but, you're so tired. you write all night long. insomniac scribblings scratch against your skull like the panicked nails of a small rodent, trapped; hungry, deep within your cabin walls. you think you're empty, but like an electronic pencil, keep injecting yourself with more. and then, hijacking the Marquis de Sade's focused insanity, you enlist rubbery maggots, to worm their voices along the tunnels of your brain.

you are spent.


you lie in a dreamlike fog, staring.

in what world does this conversation exist?

"thank you for not taking my pills. i appreciate it..."

"what? you're thanking me for not stealing your drugs...?"

in what world is one's spouse's chronically soiled health swapped for the other?

in the same sober house that bears a safe full of pills.

the sacks weigh heavy, like the burden of cold, hard cash. you can't shake the shivering silver off with any slick, choreographed move, nor with with the post-bath pirouette your hound twirls her waterlogged coat into dry. for the stack of i.o.u's stuffed under your mattress would fall fluttering down like a ticker tape parade, choking you on confetti,

pelting you with pennies from heaven.

as the strains of the depression-era ballad fade away, you make like an old victrola and crank up to seated. and listen. and the sound of a bespectacled, 80's folk-rocker's smash gets not one, but both feet on the floor.

["pump it up until you can feel it..."]

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

only when i laugh

"ha, ha, HAAA...!"

"you're totally copying k.'s laugh", my k. declared.

it was true. i loved k., loved everything about her. her slamming style, her adorable anxieties and her take no-prisoners wit, graduated summa cum laude from the "chris rock academy for the slyly subversive". this soldier of god wielded a mighty double-edged sword, for behind her christian shield, she would slay the pop culture landscape until sliced and diced into a caustic soup of chunky sound bites.



and i would laugh.

when julia roberts' and her neigh heard 'round the world deafened us all. when gere's billionaire to her happy hooker teasingly snapped shut the little blue box of diamonds upon her experienced finger. when predictability pulled our attention away from the shiny, corporate adaptation of "eat, pray, love", like the lunar tide, a drinking game was born. take a shot every time julia laughs. good thing i'm sober, or the double-digit tally would've plunged me dumpster diving for more, as the end credits rolled.

and i would laugh.

ah, midsummer night danish dreaming. it was a tricky, trippy dance, mastering the nuances of the world's most ridiculous language - danish. often i'd declare, "that's funny!" in my native tongue and like a puppy, my bedstemor was up for the challenge. eyes alert, tail wagging, never did she leave a room without sniffing every corner. she'd zone in on my fascination, head cocked, ears radared, sirening an APB in our commedia d'allegro.


she'd cry, "is that funny-strange or funny-ha-ha?"

and 9 times out of 10 we'd burst into peals of "funny-ha-ha!", grabbing each others boobs, screaming in public places or deliberately interrupting as Teller to her Penn, Bedstefar, only firing the flirtations that never ran cold through their endless love.

and i would laugh.

then came the silence.

silence louder than the cacophony of latexed throws against a punching-bagged man; slapping him silent. silence thick like fog, gassing us into glassy-eyed zombies.

one drugged, the other dragged.

and our cabin in the hills went very, very still.

[it's hard to laugh when you have a mouth full of pills.]

hospital life is by definition, absurd, but, i'd always play the fool, rattling the bells on my jester's cap as my jazz hands splayed.

"check out my positive attitude, duuuuude...."

[the joke's on you.]

like a fellini film, my revolving hospital door, on any given day, undammed a flood of random characters. but beneath the masked chaos; the pills, the pokes, the phantasmagoria, frantic, i'd peek, seeking order; sense out of non.

the technician's animated surprise that i was sleepy, nay, catatonic for her 5 am draw. she'd flick on the overhead florescent, atomic wattage shocking me awake, spotlighting her stunningly thick paint job, and  i'd wonder how anyone could apply so much makeup, so early, when the sun's not even up...

shake, shake, shake me like a polaroid picture. groggily elbowing myself raw, defibrillated out of my non-REM-ed doze, my blood pressure'd sky rocket. ducking the laser gaze; the skeptical arch of a nurse's brow, i'd gasp, "really? REALLY?", choking on the hermetically-incorrect amount of perfume she'd sanitized herself with...

the medical students with less than zero bedside manner. they'd park in a cul de sac around my bed, shooting off questions like a backfiring jalopy, searing like gunshots into my unbullet-proofed vestige; my remaining hope bled dry. rendering gentle smiles and nods as gifts, i'd trudge through their cerebral cementing of questions, laying it on so thick i could stiffen and harden into a bitch, if i didn't pour it on just as thick...

the cylindrical, 3" x 12" tube, kidney by proxy, slurping my toxins through a maze of plastic linguine, red sauced.


oh, i would laugh.

through my tears.

when we Meet, Sharing tales from the darkside, laughter rumbles through, rolling like the thunder that sends a dog running for the safe and dusty underworld of the bed. startled, i squirm in my seat. with every lightning strike of laughter, our old behavior flashes skeletal bright. too soon? always too soon, but never soon enough, to laugh through what strikes dead. with head-bent giggles, we spiral back down the rabbit hole, not scraping and bleeding up against the walls of rock bottom, but softly landing in a pile of giggles, able to climb back up to the light,

tittering. tag teaming. together.

and i laugh.

he looks me in the eye and dances, gyrating with all the arm-swinging, butt-thrusting glee of an 80's video, light on substance, heavy on MTV rotation. and you're crushin', crushin' hard as he covers the almost-original boy-band's monster smash, "Girls On Film"...

"hen . on . pills...two minutes later...hen . on . pills..."

what is nightmare morphs into the impossible dream. we crest and land upon the time-honored shores of comedy = tragedy + time, refusing to implode with all the neon drama of an unplugged, burnt out building deserted along The Strip,

and we laugh.

i had an audition the other day. it was as surreal as any frame plucked from "8 1/2" and easily as raucous. i'm surprised they could hear my slate over the soundtrack of my heart. the casting director made a joke, cheesy, but kind, and i laughed.


he glanced over and smiled,

"i like your laugh".

i didn't recognize it.

it was too big for my body, and then, not big enough.

but, it was my own.

"i like your laugh."

so do i, dude, so do i.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

the 7-day itch

"isn't it delicious...?"

like the wistful wind that breezed up Marilyn's dress from the subway below, it started innocently enough.

[mind the gap.]

she steps back from cinema's most iconic moment, mindful of the pandemonium that sucked norma jean through the filthy, subway grate, ripping the satiny billow into shreds; painting it black.

The Marilyn Moment. second only to her body, wilted, a drugged diva found dead in the nude.

she can barely see them. over cherubed cheeks, swollen from a flash flood of fears, she peers. like the dry, desert lakes, her eyes, cracked with dehydration, sting under the florescent lights.

exhausted, she leans on her shopping cart.

they are beautiful. she's warmed by the tanning-bed glow radiating through their hot-couture. still fabulous in their unseasonably cold winter wear, they work the aisle like a Paris runway, but, down this catwalk they primp and preen for an audience of sparkling flasks; fastidious fashionistas safely tucked away and dimmed, far across the ocean, in the City of Lights.

yes. absolutely fabulous. pin-stripe suited for each other. perfection. with the graze of a leather finger, an elegant clutch on its neck, he lifts it. the one turns to the other and they giggle softly, musing over a label of scrawls.

writing on the wall that never made any difference to her.

small, tall, fat, thin.

full. full. full. full.

kaleidoscopic soldiers stand at attention reflecting courage, fear, courage, fear, under the fake sky, blinding her. they stand, perfectly lined, ready to shoot her with liquid bullets.

[ready, aim, fire...]

there are no empties lined in a proud display of a conquered night. they lie smashed in a dumpster down a dark alley; dishonorable discharge.

with a sandbagged lean, her cart inches forward. the wheel squeals in dismay.

she had not been thinking about drinking. she was just trying to salvage another shredded date with a trip to the supermarket; the good wife, desperate housewife. December 31st. 7 days. but, this date's pitted. the stone as mortar shoots out, and the walls of her heart begin to drain, drain with death's brightness, like the melting walls of the Overlook Hotel.

every blink of her eye, every heave of a sigh...


she aches at the bottle's casual fondling - as they take it or leave it. she squints suspicious at their final selection - as if it doesn't take you all to the same place.

"are their hearts beating like mine?", she wonders, rubbing hard at a slitted slat.

"are their brains buzzing like mine?", noise not strangely soothing, as the roll of the freeway canyoned below her cabin in the hills, but an anarchic roar of a bees' hive smashed with childhood rage.

no, their pulses flutter with the knowing arch of a brow, an accidental touch, not anticipation of that first syrupy sip that carpets you up, up and away from it all.

her carpet's rolled up, back in storage, theirs lies unfurled; uncharted like The Park's new coaster. peering down from the summit, she knows the ride is already over, for the spaghetti-ed track below is never as delicious a ride as that first dip.

in a feral fury, their christmas tree was dismantled. Christmas morning, there came no Whoville chorus loud enough; no Ecstastically-panting Max, perched atop a racing resurrection; no swollen green heart explosion, to Save Us All.

through a crack in a distressed desk drawer, she glimpsed it. the red of an envelope bright, like the heart she has pummeled raw; keeps pummeling. red, like her unarrested fists that keep slipping out of his handcuffs.

and the card,

"to my Beautiful Wife at Christmas..."

undeliverable. address unknown.

she wants to pop their bubble, join their muted conversation. oh, she could wax on about the fruity bouquets and various pear notes she'd hit over the years. Paris, New York, London, oh! the places she'd gone!, damned, then drunk. and. the year of the dragon.


yes, she could've waxed on.

and so, she waxed off.

to see her, you'd never know.

like a movie star, under the bright lights she always shines. waxy, gleaming goodness, poised in a grocery store aisle.

but underneath, the pesticides spritz on a timer, daily, soaking her bloodstream with poison. yes, underneath You welcome the frantic, friendly ants to Your rotting core; fallen fruit, fermenting your own sod.

six feet under.

you and Marilyn.

heavy, so heavy now. she feels almost nothing.

but, she sees it.

she sees herself falling like Seconal crystals into Marilyn's champagne, and will not toast them tonight.

tonight, she leans on her cart, and with pursed, iconoclast lips,

breathes them a kiss goodnight.