The Good Word of Sprout

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Monday, December 27, 2010

Recently acquired art

A raccoon lives in the painting of a farmhouse that hangs on my bedroom wall. I bought it at a garage sale for six dollars, the cost of six scratch-off lottery tickets, which is about a dollar's worth of fun, but if fun in your life is at a premium, I see nothing wrong with the lottery.

Sometimes the raccoon fills the foreground entirely, warm and fuzzy and irate.

"What a cute mask," I say as I tap on the glass.

It hisses and gives a little raccoon bark.

"What a funny little nose you have," I say as I tap again.

It snaps, flinging rabies against the glass. The frame rattles and threatens to fall.

Even if it does fall, raccoon, I always have my art framed with plexiglass and extra tacks. You're in there for good, you two dimensional bastard.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You should know this about me

From the editor: I save things, especially introspective writing things, but I need to get rid of the following. It represents a sort of viciousness towards myself that while linguistically delightful really serves no good purpose anymore. There is no need to revisit, revise, repackage this, but no need to waste it either. I feel reasonably good. So please excuse and enjoy.

As a child I craved approval. If I did not obey and excel, worry ballooned inside of me. The world grew larger and louder. I grew quieter. Praise made me less happy than relieved, like on Saturdays when my mom would put the vacuum away and I could release my knees from my chest, assured that its strange sentient headlight would not seek and mangle my toes. I shared this fear with the dog. I, however, was allowed on the couch.

To disobey and chance disapproval dizzied me with guilt. A raised voice or a severe tone struck me audibly, and after a stunned moment I'd cry. The deep warm sobs shamed me further, so I'd hide. If in the schoolyard, I'd hide on the other side of the big pine tree, circling to avoid the scornful curiosity of other children, who would ask me why I was crying. The why didn't matter in that moment. The why made it worse.

Still today I seek approval from attractive women, confident men, and anyone who seems in touch with the universe. It affects how I behave. It affects my sex, or lack thereof.

I want to be a man who can charm a woman into an easy smile, unfurling her beauty. I want to be a man who can lift her to tender new heights with his words and through his directness and character expand her elaborate fantasies and her plan for the future. This man has confidence. This man has technique. This man has testicles. Such testicles that he checks the water level of the toilet before he sits down.

I am not this man. Through deference I ask his approval. When in the company of an available woman, I do not compete with him for her attention. I retreat into my own thoughts in search of witticism, finding only weirdness. With hands in pockets, I watch him use words and hand gestures to be smart and funny and appreciative. Douchebag. But I fear his disapproval and hers, so I become a tag-along, an also-ran, a non-entity. I disapprove of myself. In bowing to fear, I have disrespected myself.

Deference is bullshit. I should assert my own sexual identity. I hate being used to emphasize the masculinity of another. As in the animal kingdom, rivalry is healthy, though it does favor big males. Among humans, though, biting to hurt is generally unacceptable, as is ass-sniffing, test-mounting, urination for territorial purposes, and charging the doorway when another man enters the room. We make pretty crappy animals. I guess that's why we have war.

I should be funny. Funny begs a woman for approval, even love, without seeming pathetic. It's just honesty about fear. It comes from pain, from falling down in front of people -- not getting the girl, not having a whiff of hope, only my own milky odor, being told "no" but in not so many words. If she laughs she understands, having had her own share of pain and disapproval. If she makes a joke, even better.

I like a funny woman because I like to laugh and I like her parts and if I ever want sex again, only to laugh with her parts, never at them. She shuns the niceties in favor of life. When I find someone who creates the right laughter in me, I'll bang her and spend years with her. Funny may be ugly, but laughter is beautiful.



Monday, December 13, 2010

Hear This, Businessman

The people will rise. Up with people! Rich man, CEO man, we will allow you no more money or Lexi or diamond encrusted anything until you provide for those with no means to provide for themselves. We will not allow you to neglect them. It will be your privilege to redistribute. There is an alternative, and it's shiny and sharp.

Regardless of how ambitious you are in business, you will have to support lifestyles in conflict with your values, if you have any. If you want to grow wealth, surround yourself with luxuries, use people as commodities, you have a responsibility. Oh, you like talk of responsibility. Personal responsibility -- making good choices -- it's how you got where you are. But you won a rigged race. Society lay no obstacles before you. You cheated, and now you lie to yourself and us. We will temper your greed. That's what it is. Greed.

Now pick up the checkbook and step away from the lawyers. You'll find them useless here. Laws do not govern us, only compassion for the suffering and seeking to avoid the inevitability of the same fate.

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Three Links

Oh, it's cold. It's so cold. It's long underwear and extra undershirt weather. I don't love it, but I love to talk about it.

These are interesting bits, in no particular order, initially frozen and then jumbled by the thaw.

1) Mutual

2) The Underclass

3) Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving

I like the Christmas lights. I like the snow and the sense of wonder. I like you.


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Only Colors and Flavors

I was digging through the big black plastic container where I throw all my old writing and uncovered an essay which most likely was written in 1999. The whole copy can be obtained for $5, check or money order only, include $6.95 shipping and handling (mostly handling -- it's tough to handle, it's heavy, well not exactly, more awkward than heavy), blah blah blah. There is no date on this essay, but the paragraphs are marked with the time. This paragraph is from 1:26 A.M. Enjoy.

I'm going to a paradise, a world in which there's only colors and flavors. Big rainbow lollipops floating around in a dreamer's paradise. In this paradise, there are angels and saints and cherubs, each with a different flavor and color. You can taste them and see what they're like. These cherubs carry candy arrows with multiple flavors and colors. Some are orange and others are red. Some are blue and others are green. Each flavor makes you see colors and each color makes you taste flavors. Everybody floats around in a dreamy haze.


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Basic Journalism




Enjoy the TSA's invasive pat-down policy.


When passing through security checkpoints.


In American international airports.


The tingle in the scrotum, mainly.

Credits: The Brain Police for the joke, The Asshat Lounge for the phrasing.