The Good Word of Sprout

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Roadside Event

I was already late when I swerved onto the shoulder. The sun beat on. Heat rose from the dashboard, and the air conditioner coughed. Metallic saliva filled my mouth. I spat out the window onto the hot asphalt. There was no way I was going to waste seven layer salad, ribs, twice-baked potato, and German Chocolate Cake.

My stomach turned. Swallowing, I got out of the car. Traffic whizzed by. I spat again. My mind pictured a Denny's Grand Slam breakfast. My mind is a sadist.

Out it came, in courses, in reverse, very recognizable.

I sat down cross-legged beside it. Fluid ran into the grass. I readied my spoon and began to put it all back. A place for everything, everything in its place.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Three Links

It snowed yesterday, so here comes Spring, but not before a finger or toe turns purple, then black, then falls off, and then an irritated hospital staff informs you that you would not want them to reattach it, despite your continuing insistence that "I kept it cold."

These are interesting bits, in no particular order (unless you believe in predestination):

1) 7 Games You Can Play With a Brick

2) Patience is the Deepest Sense of Knowing

3) Fun Fact

A happy week to everyone. Let's not lose any more digits.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Look at me

I do not typically introduce posts, preferring rather that the reader bear the brunt of interpretation. However, I feel compelled in this particular instance to advise that following post does not reflect my present mental or emotional state, or even that of my past. It is something I've been working on, an experiment in writing, an obsessive concentrating. It is something that has grown by dark bits and pieces, assembled as in mosaic for emotional impact rather than accuracy. But now this something has begun to overshadow the writer I want to be, the person I want to be. I want to set it loose. It casts a shadow. I want the sun. I want to set this piece loose before the vernal equinox, my New Year's Day, when life in these latitudes begins again and improves. I will be happy this year.

Look at me. Okay, stop looking at me. It probably shows that haven't seen a therapist lately. In conversation I drop my eyes so people won't notice that they don't smile along with my mouth, that they remain blank, trained inward. When things are going well, smiling is not a concern.

Things are not going well. I begin my day limp and defeated. Something cold and heavy sits inside me. My many gifts seem inaccessible, frozen in ingratitude. I am a weight pulling down those around me. I'm scared that they can see this, that when we meet they can hear this when I talk, and that I might be contagious and should cover my mouth when I speak. I feel excluded and betrayed by my community and reduced to a child when they offer help. And they do offer help. I feel unloveable, and it is a trick of my mind. I know I am not unloved. I am never unloved. I will never be unloved. I am always loved.

Love? I don't talk about love. Love? I stare at a woman's ass and feel a low primitive longing, infatuation without lightness. Desire drips thickly from a dark inner reservoir. That ass looks fucking fuckably soft, an upside-down valentine, jiggling, jiggling in yoga pants. I wonder if it's got a mole, and if out of that mole grows a single wispy hair, and if that hair would like to be plucked with my teeth. Leering like I do, she would never let me touch her. My confidence is so rotten I can smell it. I won't even say hello.

Being near a fine-smelling woman gives me a stomachache. I fear that she will intuit my pain and pity me, touching me on the head and giving me the same sad smile as she would a dog with no back legs. I won't be pitied. I'll drag myself along.

Unwilling to be vulnerable, I've become a self-attracted man, cultivating my own prettiness. I admire my delicate cheekbones and keep moist my slender arms and graceful hands and fingers. I stroke them as I would a woman's. In bed, I drag the tip of my tongue from the inside of my elbow to the inside of my wrist and then give it a wet broad lick. It feels good. It tastes good. I feel awful.

Regardless, one must have joy. I borrow it from late night shows and video game sports. I giggle at the same jokes night after night. David Letterman is my friend. I yell and dance around the room, arms raised, when I score a game-winning goal or touchdown. I have accomplished something. I am better than a computer.

I will not sit alone with my thoughts. If not drowned out, these solitary thoughts tell me that something is wrong and to ask for help in fixing it. Instead I fall asleep on the couch without having brushed my teeth, the television man narrating dramatic nature scenes.

I cry out while dreaming, often due to rodent bites or the imminence thereof, but come the morning I huddle protected beneath the covers, making excuses to return, again and again, like "It's cloudy." I prefer my dreams to my life, and they're energy efficient. In my dream life, I'm somebody. I'm the dreamer.

My universal spirit struggles for release. It lies buried under indifference, irony, and good manners. Booze makes a handy shovel, but it uncovers confessions one after the other in wild, reckless euphoria, the spirit desperate for air and connection. The next day I remember a blur, and the deliberate defiance of social conventions has caused me such anxiety that I must bury the spirit deeper to rebuild the false front. The process fuels itself.

As it is naturally light, I could allow the spirit to rise and shatter the mask. What lies under the mask terrifies me with its naked brightness, but the mask is both terrifying and grotesque. I can do this. I should allow feelings and epiphanies to bubble up, discover that which captivates me and takes me beyond myself, in dance and laugh. No one can tell me how to live. I decide. I decide who and what to love.

In devotion to something greater, let's call it writing or God, I will listen, trust, and the light will shine through me, sometimes only a pinpoint, but even that is enough. I will increase the aggregate good. I will let go, unclench, and stop attacking myself, turning my eyes back outward so that they will smile too.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Somewhere we are all thick and full of happy hugs, an airport arrival gate inside the chest. Stop! Drop your bags, friend, drop the hate, and drop that old lady behind you. Send her falling, flailing into our waiting arms. We'll squeeze her, but we won't get fresh, no 1960's Marrakesh, also without the bugs. There will be plenty of fresh back at the Home, old-fashioned charms, intervals with rest. In this air-conditioned space, we'll embrace her, kiss her face, and best mind her brittle bones. She's probably cold. She'll make old lady tones, and cackle, "Careful sonny," and give you a glare and give us a hard candy to share. It's sunny here. It was cloudy there.

We will, however, get fresh with you, maybe grab your ass. We'll grab your ass. It's been a while since we seen your ass and grabbed it as a treat. We'll embarrass you in front of strangers, share our body heat, but you know you crave that thickness, you know you love when we spread that joy. It elevates a man to boy. It's the meat. You like the meat. We all inside, though try to hide, really like the meat.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

On Writing

Writing is a pressure valve. Without it, I would be taut with unexpressed feeling only loosened through sex, violence, or (bottom) half-naked dancing around a fire in front of a good New England couple who, after locking themselves in the panic room, wondered how I ever got into their house. Yeah, the help doesn't really like you. I do like those fireplaces that go through the wall from the kitchen to the living room. Dancing around them is certainly aerobic (oh, here he comes again).

Writing establishes an equilibrium. It is a method of resolving that limitless burning within, not as fun and no safer than sex, but available with less compromise, though I do sacrifice brunch, and the testosterone rush is a bit weaker.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

In the Chapel

I kneel before the altar lit with dim yellow bulbs. The quiet in the chapel stretches unbroken except for the occasional echoed footsteps of some sinner passing through the church, having done a poor job of urge control. With head bowed and eyes closed I clear my mind with a prayer. Though I can't see him, the marble Saint stretches his arms toward me in blessing. I think Saints should always be posed in ready-to-hug position, and maybe be plumbed with warm water. I want a warm Saint hug.

Right, back to the prayer.

Those who see God are psychologically released and then sometimes confined to a treatment center. My God lives inside, so far inside that it could be outside. I focus on the small and the small becomes large: humility, the collective, me.