Monday, August 29, 2005

thinking too much...(britta)

You have not known water until you've known Britta water. Talk all you want about dunking your head in cold mountain springs to drink. You can keep the mountain springs. I'll keep my Britta pitcher.

That pitcher has been my comfort in my recent times of being entirely too hot, troubled even, in my not at all airconditioned apartment. In the evenings particularly, when I wish I could go to bed without breaking out in a sweat. But I have found an incredible amount of solace in a cold glass of Britta water at night just before the apex of heat begins to ease from the rooms and a breeze begins to push back the hanging curtains a bit from the open windows.

Those moments of sitting quietly and just drinking beautiful beautiful water, so cold, condensation on the outside of the glass, those moments are too good to wish for the heat to pass too quickly.

If there is anything literal about Jesus giving us living water then there must surely be Britta pitchers in heaven.

So, you can imagine my disgust the other day when the top to my pitcher fell off and a small piece of it broke off upon impact with the floor. I couldn't believe that suddenly my prestine Britta pitcher was showing signs of a mortality that practically made me cry.

If you've ever had something new and perfect and been there to see it acquire it's first monumental sign of wear and tear, I think you might know a bit of my pain, though there are few things as perfect.

It just goes to show that everything passes away. All material possessions will rust and moths will gnaw little holes into things and it all will end up at Saver's Thrift Stores where I'll probably buy most of it at some point and then they'll get more rusty and more moths will gnaw little holes and then I'll throw it all away eventually.

But the point is this: do not give your heart to earthly things. We need to store up treasure in Heaven and stuff.

Actually I hate it when people make such grandiose sweeping moralizations from little trivial twists and turns in the weaving fabric of life stories. And I hate it when sentances get so overdone and flowery that I start smelling my grandmother's potpourri. Irony.

Seriously though, I'm sad about this Britta pitcher lid. Why did that have to happen?

I'm thinking I should get a new Britta to replace this broken one. Not for any materialistic urge, I just have a hard time watching the poor guy suffer.

He was created for such glory. Glory he and I had only faintly begun to taste when it was suddenly vanished from us.

I wish I could tell him that I'm sorry. That he never deserved this. Noone ever does.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

thinking too much...(boneless chicken breast)

Sunday night again. I'm sure I don't have to convince anyone that three thirty in the morning, monday morning, is not a fun time for me.

I have lost all inner strength to put up a fight against the burn out I've been running in for a month or two now. Mornings are a struggle.

Particularly I've given up on making myself meals. The thought of making myself a lunch or making myself dinner, or sometimes of even pouring myself a bowl of cereal feels like an arduous, torturous, monster of a process very akin to the meaningless chasing after the wind that Solomon talks about. Except that if you are doomed to chase after the wind I would much prefer doing it in the form of marrying lots of women, spending gobs of money on golden palaces and studying to be the wisest man to have ever lived.

But no, I'm stuck with an equal inner suffering to bear but only a sorry looking pan fried boneless chicken breast and some white rice at the end of the day to show for it.

Solomon was a cry baby.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

thinking too much...(gas prices)

At the corner of the Pacific Coast Highway and Cherry Street a Shell station is trying to convince the world to buy gasoline at three dollars and forty nine cents a gallon. Mind you, that's about seventy five cents a gallon more than every other gas station in Long Beach sells it for.

I first noticed the place about two months back. Or, I should say, that's when I first noticed the exorbitant price differential between the tank of gas I had just pumped into my car and every other tank of gas I had ever pumped. You'll have to just trust me that it is fairly easy to make the mistake of wishfully perceiving $2.26/gallon when in actuallity the large plastic digits read $3.26/gallon when, one, your veins are filled with your father's blood who is known to drive halves of hours to save two or three cents a gallon, and when, two, it's four in the crazy morning.

Needless to say, I did not not give the old quick top-off pull of the pump nozzle handle.

I felt shammed. I think that's a word. Kind of like hammed. Not shamed. There are no people alive at four a.m. to be shamed in front of. Shammed is something you can be regardless of the number of verifiably living people at the scene, of which there were none on that particular morning.

What a great way that was to start my day. Of course I love getting out of bed anyway at hours I had only read about in books prior to four months ago. But to then have the deepest places in my paternally acquired "I will pay nothing but bottom dollar even if I have to carry the gasoline back to my car in water pots balanced on top of my head like an Egyptian women" genetic coding painfully offended was just too much.

Actually though, since thinking over the whole event and observing Shell's perseverance at keeping the prices of this single gas station a good seventy five cents over everyone else, I've begun to develope some different... dispositions towards the whole thing.

I am terribly curious about the whole phenomenon. I have wanted to stop at the place again, but this time to do some interviewing and try to get an idea for what sort of madman's scheme drives the peculiar behavior. Unfortunately I have not yet worked up the gumption to actual walk in there and ask my questions.

Which brings me to an entirely new topic, kind of: how often do we let our curiosity carry us away? How often do we pull the car over on the side of the road and sit down next to the older man at the bus stop we've seen sitting there three or four times wearing his variously colored thin knit carnigans, thick glasses, holding a cain and with his top hat of all things resting on his knee. How often do we sit down next to the peculiar people around us and ask them how they became so interesting? And maybe we feel as though we aren't surrounded by peculiar things that would be worth seeking out.

I know that when I write poetry, it always tends to revolve around me, the narrator, and his experience of the outside world. my poetry very rarely centers on the outside world itself. I think this is some sort of symptom of an epidemic that has us all thinking the most interesting things in life are the things in our personal life: our habits, goals, the t.v. shows we like, the dinner we have to get on the table, the new idea we're working on at work, etc.

Voluntary detours are so rare these days.

Thank God that there's always a freeway somewhere under construction, and where we least expected it, and always when we are most dead set on the directest route.

Monday, August 01, 2005

running gaily(as in joyously) in Long Beach

My roommate and I ran out the other evening into the streets for a jog. We did not wear shirts. We were men ruling the world with late sunshine on our backs and salty wind on our chests. Other men looked at us and thought we were gay(not as in joyous). A small price to pay, though, for ruling the world in the way we did. Joyously, mind you.

It's difficult in Long Beach to not be tagged as a homosexual, particularly living with a roommate. It could be I'm paranoid. Yes, I think I'm definitely paranoid, but there was one man that looked over at us and I KNOW he thought we were gay. And when a man pulls up to you in a car a week after you've moved to Long Beach and asks to buy you lunch or something you can be pretty sure he's hoping you're gay. That only happened to me once.

Really, I guess, there's nothing hugely detrimental to being mistaken for homosexual, it's just that I have the whole MMPI-2 stigma to live down within myself. Getting hit on by other guys does nothing for affirming my masculinity. One day, maybe, I'll be able to take it in stride. But let's face it, there aren't more than a handful of men out there who have that perfect self-confidence in their masculinity to entirely escape their immediate-recognition-of-sexual-orientation-paranoia.

I suppose I should expound. The MMPI-2 is a test that measures a number of your characteristic traits, among them: masculine/feminine tendencies. I don't want to talk about it any more.