Vale

It’s goodbye in Latin, you invalids. (Kidding, you’re not all terrible.)

Guys,

Figured I’d take the rust out slow on an easy ride.  Saying ciao, adios, later days, and all that are the fucking worst.  We say it everyday without fail, but with variable meanings depending on the who.  I’m talking about the kinds of people you are forced to bid adieu to.

The people you need in your life.  The ones that electrocute your own self-worth into being. (The way their eyes flash, or their lips curl, and every other cliche we’ve had beaten into us by shitty romantic comedies. )

When you’re forced to say goodbye to them, something inside you wilts because that great moment is over and you won’t have it back…until next time. But for some, next time never comes. There’s no airport pick up or car door slam, only silence.

And it’s in those moments that we have a choice.  Grief or gratitude.

I’ve done both. I’ve drank myself to a stupor, and figured happiness only existed in my rearview. And on the other end I’ve thanked the big kemosabe upstairs for all the little moments I was able to relish in.

But it’s your call, and time is experience.

Just don’t let it kill  you.

Night all,

JG

 

 

 

Hey All

Guys,

I took a break from writing here and a lot has changed.  I lost a lot of time.  But I needed to find the why.  That was important. Why is writing important?  To me, to you, to anyone that gives a shit? Why.

Answers don’t come easy, especially the ones that matter.  And my answer came in the form of stupid fucking dual computer monitors.

For over eight hours a day I stare at a computer.  I input data and I make phone calls.  I annoy the hell out of people and others I can hear them smiling over the phone. Head hunting in the most boring sense of the words.

It taught me a little about people.  The experience taught me that there are two types of people; the jumpers and the squatters.  This was important.

Now, I call people and pitch them different job opportunities. Real, honest-to-God, better opportunities that could enhance their own lives.  Half of the people I call think I’m some B.S sales a-hole, telemarketing dickhead; and they politely tell me to pound sand.

I am a dickhead, no doubt there.  But the jobs exist, our clients are good, and our product is some of the best shit around.  I’m talkin salaries, bonuses, matching 401k’s, the works and that usually gets people interested enough for another phone call.

The next phone call talks specifics; the actual stuff I couldn’t tell them until they send a resume over. AND BOOM.  You get it all, and people respond well to more money, security, more time at home, working from home, etc…

But then something happens going through the recruiting process.  When it comes time to sign offer letters and resign, people piss themselves or they flip the bird and stroll out of that office feeling invigorated.

The pissers (as you can probably guess) are the squatters. They revel in the safety of knowing what to expect.  No guts, no glory? They don’t give a fuck.  They see that offer to leave what they know and they freeze.

The jumpers smile through their resignation and take a mini vacation before they start their new opportunity.

I was staring at those dual monitors going through a list of potential candidates and it hit me. I was a fucking pisser.  A squatter, afraid of my alarm not going off at 6:14 AM.

I had a revelation.  I had rolled my eyes back inside my head and flipped on auto-pilot somewhere down the road.  And I never even knew it.

Comfy chair that only started hurting my back at 3PM, real paychecks for the first time, and I was never hungry (in a completely physical sense.)

I had my head shoved so far up my own ass, I forgot who I was.  But then my ass started to itch.  This itch became insatiable and I became ravenous.  I needed to eat, I needed to bathe myself in the blood of my ink again.

Sorry to sound like a cannibalistic, dramatic weiner, but I absolutely needed to get back inside my own head in the right way .  I needed to put something down again. And it starts here.

I’m going to write again.  If I forget that, if I forget who I am…then I really am the biggest piece of shit I know.

So stay tuned, or not, I really don’t care.  This was more for me than for you but the why was answered for me when I got lost staring at a computer screen.

I don’t want to write. I need to.

Stay tuned,

J.G

Point and Click.

“Point and Click!  What the hell do you think is so hard about it?! ” Jack Heeley roared in his office.  “A photographer that can’t grasp the Goddamn concept!  You could’ve had the front page! Instead you get nothing!  Get out of my office!”

The man being verbally insulted for the last ten minutes  was Villanus Hero, his parents must’ve had a sick sense of humor as his first name was the Latin translation of villain.  He was a photographer for the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.  As he timidly walked down the aisles of his co-workers, some looked on in pity while others wrote him off as a failure.  He was constantly being berated for this or that in the office, and it was no secret that Jack, the big time editor, hated him.  The only reason that he was allowed to stay on was his parent’s unprecedented donation to the paper a few years ago.

This time his mistake was not getting a picture of the alleged serial killer instead having his mouth open wide, full of a hoagie he had just gotten from a street vendor….

The police were at the scene of yet another murder on Euclid Avenue.  The throngs of people around the police tape made it difficult for Vill to get close.  He had snapped a few pictures from afar of the torn apart being in the middle of the sidewalk, but got nothing very good and decided to grab a snack while waiting for people to vacate.

Hero was a short, stocky guy.  A large layer of flab covering whatever muscle he had had in the past.  His thick glasses were constantly causing him to take them off and go through the arduous process of cleaning them with his lens cloth.  Short stubble that had no chance of growing a beard for the office “no shave november” of which mother had told him to shave.

“You’ll never find a girlfriend with ten whiskers on your face, dear.”  Vill scoffed at the prospect.  Girls were a mystery to him, one he would never understand.  They seemed terrifying.  Rather live a life alone than see himself through a series of awkward exchanges, full of frowning and uncomfortable stares.

As he ate his delicious hoagie coated in sauce that seemed much too good to come from something on wheels he glanced out among the crowd.  They were all jostling to see the newest sheet covered victim that no doubt had been butchered.  One person stuck out.  He was a young man with a Cleveland ball cap and long coat on.  He stood on the outskirts of the stampede of people and as just observing, his tan brown coat flapping in the late October breeze.

It was during a particularly strong gust that his coat tails flipped upwards revealing scarlet splotches on his pants and shirt.

Vill coughed, losing almost half of his sandwich in the process.  His eyes shot wide and he looked around stupidly for a place to put his hoagie down.  In the bustling and fidgeting the man saw him and his putrid attempt to get the camera out.  Hero’s thumb jostled his camera, but the man had turned and was quickly moving away from the scene as Vill pointed and choked on his meal.

A policeman saw the look on his face and his eyes followed the cameraman’s gaze to the retreating suspect.  He jogged over, unclipping his sidearm and grabbing him by the back shoulder.  Suddenly the man in the long brown coat lashed out, steel glinting under the streetlights.  The policeman crumpled holding his throat as blood spewed from between his fingers.  With a gasp and final swallow, Vill ran forward and started screaming for help, his camera up and snapping shot after shot of the coat and sneakers from the back .

After he had filed the report of what he saw, his editor was notified of the incident.  Not only had he not gotten a thing of worth on the assailant, he hadn’t even gotten a picture of the now deceased officer.  To Vill, it seemed highly disrespectful to take that picture, but Jack didn’t care.  He wanted them all.

Beaten and berated by his editor he retreated himself to his lair, as he called it.  The place where he worked, uploading his pictures to his computer.  Fan art of famous photographs littered the walls of the small office and fast food remnants and receipts piled up on the desk.  The desk facing his was spotless and sitting there was Renny McCoy, a cocky photographer that seemed to get whatever story he wanted and always got priority,

“Don’t worry, you won’t hear it from me too.  One question though…do you do this sort of thing on purpose?”  His long slender face grimaced in disgust.  He had a hooked nose and unseemly large, pointed ears that made him look like a giant Keebler elf.

Vill shook his head in assent, as he knew he shouldn’t have even acted like he was listening.  He lazily sat down and unpacked his camera, plugging it into his Mac desktop. The photos started showing up, and just as he had looked before at the station…zip.  There was a bunch of the mysterious murderer as he fled, even a picture with the delicious hoagie in the corner as he must have taken it while fumbling with everything.

But wait one second, what was that………

Nope.  Just more hoagie.

Vill sighed, exasperated at his own deficiencies.  Even looking at the picture of that sidewalk delicacy was making him hungry again so he decided to visit the food cart that was no doubt rolling around a floor above at this hour.

Ten minutes later he was back with a microwaved bean burrito and large coke.  Renny looked on in disgust as Vill smiled hungrily at his treat.  After unwrapping his beautiful highlight of the day, he made the mistake of elbowing his coke all over his keyboard.

“You slob! Don’t just sit there with your mouth open, fucking grab something to clean it up.”  McCoy snarled.

Vill made a rush to grab a bunch of napkins, looking graceful as ever.  He was dabbing up the remnants when something on the computer caught his attention.  He had inadvertently zoomed in on the picture with the hoagie in the top corner.  Distinguishable underneath the jacket of the man as he ran was numbers he couldn’t quite make out.

Hero squinted his face in concentration as he zoomed and tried to clear up the resolution as best he could.  Barely decipherable was a phone number printed on the back of his shirt.  With a few trial and error calls with different area codes he finally got “Warner’s Auto-body, how can I help ya?”

With a squeal of delight that granted the attention of McCoy,  Vill hustled his things into his bag and left the office.  After driving his “classic” tan ’98 Oldsmobile to this Warners place, he parked across the street. And he waited. And waited.  And made a fast food run to taco bell.  And waited.

The man in the long brown coat never showed up.

Just old men and what looked to be their sons worked at the shop.  Disappointed he vowed to back the next day, maybe try the morning.  Day after day he returned to this spot, always ridiculed endlessly by Renny and then screamed at by Jack.

It only strengthened his resolve to finally prove his worth.  Months turned years of being berated had turned this squat, young man into chasing this killer.  Oh, he would have the front page all right.  That much was certain in his mind.

And then after weeks of waiting, he saw him.  Gone was the baseball cap and trench coat, replaced with that shirt with the company number and logo on it carrying with him a gleeful smile.  He looked about as ordinary as normal would allow.  He truly smiled brightly as he walked around to each of what looked like his family members and hugged them long and hard.

What the hell is going on? Vill thought to himself.  They must not know what he is.  He took the liberty of snapping a few pictures of this event.  Prodigal son returns?

He finally managed to get one of his face, clear as day.  The man had sandy blond hair and a more innocent expression couldn’t be found anywhere.  He carried himself with unburdened confidence among his family, much different than the skulking, murderous rat Vill knew him to be.  He waited as they went out back and prepared some sort of barbecue.

Vill opened his window and sat up, smelling the sweet scent of meat on the grill.  His stomach grumbled loudly, and he allowed himself a brief break to snack.  As he returned, paper bag filled to the brim with cheeseburgers, he saw the killer on the phone outside the door and continue walking down the sidewalk.  His eyes and snapping camera followed the man as he spoke very evenly, although Vill couldn’t catch a word of what he was saying.

And then quite suddenly, the man stopped.  A serene face turned to violent complexion, and he whispered a series of things into the phone before snapping it shut.  His fury was tangible and he proceeded to strike the wooden fence lining the street with his fist.

Vill’s eyes widened, snapping more and more, he couldn’t believe such a change coming over the man.  His knuckles bled, but he didn’t seem to be in any pain.  He fumed for a moment before straightening up and heading back towards the door.  It opened before he got there and a short, dark haired woman came out inquisitively.  He grinned apologetically, innocence leaking from between his teeth, and motioned to the curb and the street before lightly tapping his own head in embarrassment.

What must have been his mother laughed and he took her by the shoulder and led her back to dinner.

Hero had gotten all of this on camera and immediately uploaded the photos to his email, giddy with delight.  Any one else would have taken this to Jack straight away, but he lingered day dreaming about his own face side by side with the serial killer’s on the front page.  A pay raise and priority over pretentious Renny McCoy filled his thoughts and he smiled to himself.

He had to catch him himself.

Hours later and after a brief nap, Vill caught the party coming to an end.  With his scope trained tirelessly on the man he followed it to his car, a deep blue sedan of some sort.  He snapped more pictures and got the license plate in doing so.  He slowly followed the man to downtown Cleveland as the tall buildings towered over him, adding to his excitement.  Vill saw him park in one of the garages outside of an illustrious building containing very expensive lofts.

With camera in tow he paid the meter and stepped out a hundred feet away from the evil man.  He zoomed in on the lens through the glass doorway and saw him retrieving mail from 13B.  Aha! He thought, maybe he should switch careers to private investigator or something.  This excitement was almost too much for the squat cameraman.

He walked through the front door and into the lobby surveying the scene.  Much better than his dumpy little 20 X 20 lobby in his building.  He disregarded this and sat in a particularly comfy chair and sat waiting, for the man to make his move.

After another hour of flipping through such magazines as Southern Living and Healthy Dieting (an idea he scoffed at), looking for recipes he saw the man arriving down the flight of stairs.  Vill quickly pulled the magazine up to his face to hide and waited until he had left.  He pulled the camera from under the chair and grinned to himself as he climbed the first flight.  He strode down the hallway, until he found 13B and stood outside suddenly disappointed as he hadn’t thought about how to get inside.

“Excuse me, what are you doing here?”  A maid in full uniform had shown up with a deep look of distrust on her face.

After briefly thinking of some of the perverse videos he had seen which featured maids, he snapped back to reality.

“Uh, Mr. Warner asked me to run upstairs and grab his sport coat for his shoot.” He pulled out his Plain Dealer credentials and prayed he had guessed right about the name.

“Mr. Warner does not have visitors, nor does he allow anyone inside his suite. Not even for a clean,” She seemed to slightly let down her guard though and Vill capitalized.

Sounding very official he swelled his chest and gave her a sideways look, “Well this is urgent and must be done promptly, you know how he gets about his appearance for the cover of the paper.  We can call him, if you’d like, but he won’t be happy being bothered as he’s already getting ready…..” He trailed off and whipped out his cell phone.

“Oh all right.  Just be quick about it, I don’t need any more trouble after the cat incident last week.” She thoughtfully spoke, dismissing that particular memory.

He silently congratulated himself, very very proud of his deception.

He entered the flat and could see it was absolutely spotless. The maid peered around the corner, also interested.

“It’s just in the bedroom no worries, I’ll be out in a jiffy.” He said over his shoulder.

He toted his camera through the large living room complete with a gigantic television and ornate couches that looked as if brand new. Vill imagined himself sitting there surrounded by beautiful women as he drank wine and they all laughed at his fantastic sense of humor.

There was a chandelier hanging from the ceiling glinting in the sunset through large windows that the whole city could be seen. The kitchen was spotless as well and Vill even opened the fridge, all health-nut food to his dismay.

“What on earth are you doing? Hurry up, please.”  The maid plead with him.

“Alright just another moment,”

He found the door to the bedroom and opened and gasped.

There was nothing in there.  A  blanket and pillow on the ground in the corner with a desk lamp on the floor beside it.  But on the wall were photos of his own.  Grotesque pictures covered in blood and death that made Vill’s stomach churn.  He snapped pictures of everything in the room and moved quickly to his closet.  In the closet was a set of knives and a handgun.  Vill greedily took photos and almost whimpered with happiness.  Everything was here to convict him.  He had done the police’s job himself.

Just then, he heard the maid grunt and start walking towards the bedroom.  He whisked shut the door and bounded very unathletically towards the door in hopes of beating her there.  He threw open the door and cried out the instant he saw the man he had been hunting.

He fell backwards and struck the floor, dislodging his glasses.  From his view he could see the maids blood pooling on the brilliant white carpet, somewhere in his mind he found the contrast beautiful.  The shades had been drawn on the great, big windows and a devilish smile looked down on him from above.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the fat, little man from the street. And, I might add, from my parent’s place.  You have been quite busy.  Unfortunately you won’t be busy much longer, stand up fat man. ”

Villanus stood up shakily and pulled out his Plain Dealer badge out and thrust it in front of him,” Now see here-”

A murderous cackling filled the air as the taller man laughed with delight.  “Let’s see how your weapon of choice does against mine.”  He had pulled a long curved knife from somewhere behind him, no doubt the same one he used on the maid.

Vill dropped the badge as the man approached.  As he was about to strike Vill lifted his camera and felt it deflect against the metal, the tip striking the flash and the man was greeted by a brilliant light.

“Aghhh”  The man yelled in pure hatred.

Vill took the opportunity to push the bigger man and take off through the living room, leaping over the body of the dead maid.  He was within ten feet of the door and suddenly stopped.  It felt as if he had been punched in the right side of his back and he felt something wet trickle down the small of his back into his waistband.  He found he didn’t have the strength to continue and fell first to his knees, then to his front.

His eyes blurred and colors morphed together as if in a dream.  Suddenly he was yanked back to reality by the exiting of the knife in his back.  He could sense the man behind him but couldn’t seem to move.  Vill saw his camera and saw a close up of the last picture he had taken.  The man’s face cringing at light was plastered on his small screen.  He found strength enough to reach for his camera and click a button before darkness swallowed him whole.

At his funeral most people wept in some form or another.  His mother beside herself.  Jack quietly cursing, “Stupid boy, stupid, brave boy,”  Renny hating himself for treating Hero so poorly.

Renny had looked through Vill’s email after he hadn’t shown up for a few days, which led to the arrest of Griffin Warner, evidence linked him to over a dozen murders in the last few years and many others speculatively.

Villanus Hero was on the front page of every newspaper in the country.  His smiling image that was printed on his badge beside the last picture he ever took of the killer.  All he did was point and click.

“She walks(ed) in beauty,”

Her breathing was perfect.  It was its own melody as her chest rose and fall in sync with time itself.  I didn’t stir for fear of waking her.  Hours I could have waited.  Eventually she would wake and catch me watching her sleep, and she would smile.  In this moment, I would not be able to remove my eyes.

And she woke as I predicted, and smiled.  To say that I was anything less than the happiest version of myself right there would be a lie.

As per usual of a Saturday we lie there in bed for hours.  Catching up on the news, laughing, giggling, with a touch of intimacy thrown in here and there.  Her skin was flawless, porcelain couldn’t capture what smoothness she had.  After coffee in bed, we had a shower and then finally started our day of light housework and more shenanigans.

Even the way she moved in labor was effortless.  Scrunching her face in effort as a way to get my attention.  Gaining my attention.  Keeping it.

And then it was time to get ready for the function that evening.  Some event through the hospital where she worked, she was brilliant as well.

Dressed to the nines I waited downstairs and was surprised that she could be so beautiful.  I remember having this thought a thousand times.

And of course she was the toast of my evening, her black dress falling in perfection around her curves.  Her blonde hair in beautiful contrast.  Her laugh seemed to steal the night and I was proud to be with her as green envious eyes followed me around the room.

We were even able to dance, and she once again moved like water during the harmonies of Beethoven, Brahms and the like.

When we were leaving, we had planned a stop off for some real food.  Quite opposite the rabbit portions that were provided.  I was driving and we came to a bend in the road.  Everything slowed.  Almost to a stop.

Someone was in our lane as we curled around the corner and we in turn struck each other’s front bumpers.  Soon after I was waking up dazed and in turmoil.  Blood dripped from my face and arms, suit in tatters.  I crawled my way up the ditch and onto the road, terrorized eternally for what came next.

The car was in worse condition than my suit, twisted metal reeking of death.  The truck opposite my sedan was torn off at the front and a man stumbled out.  He was hopelessly drunk and disoriented.  At the time I wasn’t concerned with his well-being.

My own car was flipped and I could see her lying on the inside roof of the small car.  I forgot my own injuries and ran to her.  Somehow pulling her out I looked at her face.

Even in death she was a thing of beauty.  As the blood drained from her skin, my own life left mine.

She had died because of a fifth of whiskey in the bottom of that truck.

She had died because of a man intent on driving home.

She had died for nothing.

Perfect Monotony.

She invigorates my volatility and all my sensibilities,

Her humor haunts my afternoons, in all its hilarity,

My only vulnerability comes from her being mine,

The curve of her body wraps around my mind all the time,

A seductive neckline and cheekbones falling in pure grace,

In the sunlight gold flecks fill in the blue of her eyes,

And warmth enveloping her heart, spewing goodness,

Mornings are the best, no safer place,

Nobody talks about such perfect monotony.

The Only Time I See You.

When I close my eyes, they remain half open,

In the cold of night, my dreams become broken,

Faceless faces pass through such strange places,

I see cases answering questions, footsteps make known traces,

But who I am reflects where I’ve been,

What and when follow as the legacies of all men,

Regrets fill minds like poison suffocating,

Demonstrating need for change this cynic’s cycle gyrating,

The bonds of servitude continue to constrict,

A candle burning out, there’s just no more wick,

I see your face between realities and scream,

Cry out, do anything to make you stay in my dream,

But hope doesn’t float, coats my throat with lead,

My voice is silenced while asleep in bed,

Shackled once again committed to this chase,

Seeing but not touching, eyes burning in my haste,

To feel would be divine, an impossible ecstasy in my mind,

Dangling in front of me, for now and all of time,

As I near daybreak, I softly whisper goodbye,

I open my eyes, no need of the encore to watch you die.

Some Lie Awake.

In the wake of dreams, such demons sing,

A terminal turmoil shredding evidence of sane things,

We play host to hostility with regret wrought from the past,

Pain which sleep does not temper, my tremors stay fast,

Sights and sounds drown weariness in daylight,

A nightlight casts shadows of nightmares and night frights,

Hopelessly wondering when dreamless sleep will come wandering,

The longer it takes evil makes known its meandering,

Memories lacerate sleep into submission,

Borne of a deflation of hope’s long standing tradition,

So here a sleeping dog lies amidst internal frustration,

In desperate need of my own vindication.