Archive for September, 2012

the Interview

do you like our fake trees?
why are you two feet taller than me?
do you have a degree?
why did you leave this job?
have you ever painted a sunset?
why are you staring at me like that?
do you masturbate in the shower?
have you ever raised honey bees?
is that florescent light too bright?
did you just put that wedding band on this morning?
have you ever spent seventeen days in jail?
do you believe in God?
what time is it when the mouse runs up the clock?
did you vote for Reagan?
have you ever been affiliated with alcoholics anonymous?
quickly, what is the square root of thirty-seven?
are you attracted to me?
how many siblings do you have?
are any of them gay?
can you honestly compare work experience with four years of college?
do you like my perfume?
i got it as a gift from my secret lover
we meet in the park at lunch time
what is your paypal password?
is this the best you can do?
i have several, oh maybe ten more applicants to interview
can you be reached at this number?


“Do you like them in a box?
do you like them with a fox?”
-Dr Suess


Taking out the Garbage

All the Hartman garbage went to the Carteret dumps. I think our neighbors were even amazed by that. With ten kids and tons of friends, two parents and some pets we had A LOT of garbage. This was many years before mandatory recycling and we would fill ten steel garbage cans. “121” spray painted on each of the ten cans so nobody would steal them, like somebody is actually going to steal a garbage can. The garbage came fast and furious and some of the cans were so heavy that taking them out required several people and one of which hopefully had a degree in engineering. These cans were battered to hell. None of the lids lasted more then one week, (those were probably stolen) and the rusty ripped open sides made things even more adventurous. The holes actually worked in our favor if they were close to the bottom. This would filter out, what me and my brothers called “Garbage Juice”. Garbage Juice was an accumulation of everything liquid that can be garbage. It settled to the bottom of the can and mixed up into a real stinky and disgusting potpourri of absolutely lethal proportions.
How do I know this? Because one foggy garbage day evening I was told to “Take out the damn garbage.” which I obediently did. Carteret N.J. did not have this elite service where they came to the side of the house and quietly took your garbage to the truck and then came back with your empty pails to where they belonged. No, you had to take the garbage to the curb and if it wasn’t there (like it wasn’t many times) then it stayed on the side of the house. While dragging out one particularly old can one day, the sharp edge of a hole ripped into my calf and deposited several ounces of fresh garbage juice into the open wound.

Ten cans of garbage. Twice a week.

It was a very lucky thing that I was young, strong and had a good immune system because otherwise I think I wouldn’t have survived the ordeal. “How did this happen?” my mother asked after the swelling finally went down one week later. “It was the garbage juice, Mom, that stuff is really bad.” as to which my mother asked, “What the hell is garbage juice !?!” Carteret had city workers in city trucks come by twice a week to pick up garbage. How I envied our neighbors, The Gitter’s and Deloredo’s how they neatly packed their garbage into one or two cans juice free. The Hartman’s were the freaks of the neighborhood. Our ten rusty split steel cans of overflowing horror was an amazing display.
Today in a modern museum it might be called an ” art installation” SO HERE COMES the raggedy old blue and white hand painted Carteret Garbage Department Trucks coming down the street. It was a chance to actually see a black person in our town as I remember these guys like it yesterday. They were hard working and dedicated men. They were fast. They were loud. They were proud. They hung on the backs of the trucks and surveyed their next target. Jumping off the truck and sliding the ridiculously heavy ten cans and heaving them up into the back. When the back got filled they would hit a lever on the side and this giant mechanical bar would come down and scoop out the back and pull it into the truck. This was a magical act that the entire sidestreet gang found extremely fascinating. We would follow this damn truck for blocks and the skinny black men hanging on the sides must have certainly thought these little white kids had very boring childhoods to be following the garbage truck. I’ll tell you what it was certainly better then the street cleaner but nothing ever came close to The Mosquito Man. The Mosquito Man was and always will be a legend in it’s own time.

“hey, slow down Mosquito man!”

I remember these leaky old garbage trucks clanging and banging through the streets…leaving potent trails of garbage juice and flies. It was the great mystery, later in our childhood that we would conquer the great unknown mystery of ….The Carteret Dumps….where they actually took the garbage. If you never visited a garbage dump then you haven’t completely seen the world.
Our garbage situation was so intense that one day my father bought home a Sears Garbage Compactor. This was without a doubt one of the biggest wasted investments in 121 Whitman Street that ever was. The only thing that it was good for was for scaring friends and neighbors that visited and put our cats in there and pretend to hit the “COMPACT” button. I think at peak, the garbage compactor actually did cut our garbage output by two or three cans a week. But the thing wasn’t industrial and we wore it out after a year, besides the “compact bags” that came with it ran out. Buying new ones turned out to be an expensive ordeal so I think the white Sears Super Garbage Compactor (for households) turned into a nice side table to hold six-packs of bud and unfinished homework.


Heart of Darkness II

f-life mother f-er’s

In twenty-four hours I had been sick and sicker then I have ever been in a long time. The aches, pains and sweating were the easy part compared to the feverish nightmares. It all began with a powerful sneeze in a train station in Seacacus NJ and very slowly advanced into a lost day and a half of tangled sheets and chills. You can almost recognize the power of the brain when you witness what it does when you body is burning up in fever. Your mind is a movie house of horrors. The movie replaying over and over again. As you sit in your seat gripping the armrests with horror, you know it will all end but you think that if it doesn’t you can fully understand why people would commit suicide.
As the cool wind blows and yesterdays news tumbles to your feet, you can wipe your brow for the last time. But the snots are still like a river. It is a human metamorphous to emerge from the sheets one morning. You have survived and hope to never go there again.

My eldest son’s holy trinity: Red Bull, Hot Wings and Heavy Metal.

To the philanthropist: Your tongue is mightier then the sword. You’re killing me.

— Oh Mrs. Mc H —Wherever you go … there you are.

Anthony wasn’t a close friend of mine, as a matter of fact I hardly knew him. The spaces were so far apart in between our meetings that he actually forgot he had already told me his life story and would repeat himself every time we met. Anthony was certainly different then most alcoholics, perhaps there was a more severe bipolar thing going on inside his mind. When somebody takes their own life you can’t help but wonder what was going on inside their head leading up to that moment that they find themselves alone and make such a decision as Anthony did. One night shortly after his huge funeral, I was sitting in a hot tub with some other people that knew him when I was asked, “What’s your take on Anthony?” And I was speechless. I couldn’t put it together yet. It was too early. I was really shocked. Death has always fascinated me, scared me, and captured my thoughts. I finally came to the conclusion that Anthony’s brain had succumbed to damage from his drinking. The last time I saw him he seemed really out of it almost like he was mentally ill. I also think that the period when he told everyone he was sober, he wasn’t. I believe he had a a thing that chronic drinkers get called wet brain syndrome When this happens it is irreversible and that’s pretty much the end of the show. I also don’t think it helped Anthony’s cause that he was rejected and verbally battered for many years by his girlfriends family. That’ll take a toll on even the soberest man in the world. People are people. Some are sicker then others. There is no room for ignorance of this proportion in the world. You don’t hate and reject human beings. You pray for them and try to help them. Too late ignorant people, too late.

The right way to end a story.
After the sunsets and the longest hottest Summer EVER is finally over, the actors and actresses will realize that everyone had already left a long time ago. The writers will smack the sides of their head and realize that their writers block had never ended. This was the Summer of nothing. A dried up ocean of desert sand with no waves and a sun hotter then a preheated oven in hell. A vegetable garden that, to me, produced weird stuff. A drought of happiness that led into a deep depression. I’m still waiting for the day when I will wake up refreshed.

The Blues
Today has been cancelled. I can’t listen to people anymore. My coworkers speak Spanish, struggle in English, dance to latino music while they work. Read my lips when I speak to them from the managerial pedestal. They understand me, but I am slow to learn. At home it’s a different language and I am lost in Polish. English is just not part of my normal day but I love it, it’s an adventure in listening and learning. I’m so confused.
Working on this blog is a unique kind of torture. The only safe place is within.

The Blues have been strangling me lately.

im waking up opposite from you upside down
so far apart and the faint smell of sex in the 6am morning sun
(so it must be summer but what day
? ahhhh, wednesday so i will go to work but even my snoring again
must have flipped you around and I face your feet
CLIMBING over you and knocking over plastic fan again
creaking toward now simmering heat this way too long
summer of moths, the olympics and unending heat
THIS is about when the now negative chemistry
deep blue almost black neon lights at night flickering
with my emotions these empty rooms and old carpets in my head

IT USED TO BE every day was magical but then something happens
the endless grind of living maybe. the never-ending sucking leach (more about this leach in a later episode)
on a part of your unreachable back. a bubbling of bad chemicals in the brain

TRULY A TOTAL LOSS of gratitude, faith, and money Taking restless
naps in the hot car Tossing and turning like empty trees in winter
shaking off the fuck-it-all-blues.

“Happy Horseshit” somewhere in this mixed media day I heard this forgotten expression and it has since become my new battle cry.
The bad thing about Barnes & Noble the bookstore/cafe is that it’s not a library and you can’t “shhhhh” people on the phone or tell them to “shut the hell up, I don’t care about your happy horseshit!”
To all my unlovable political IDIOTS burying my social media world in all your CRAP: Solutions, not signatures and if you think spoon-fed Rommney is gonna do better you have mashed potatoes for brains. Nobody is EVER gonna be a good president of the United States again. It was allot simpler in the 1800’s and up to the turn of the century. There were less people living here and most of them that did, GREW THEIR OWN FOOD and slaughtered their own meat. Life was FRESH and SIMPLE with no fucking preservatives. Why do you think the health care issue is what it it is today (Besides GREED) we have all these diseases, heart disease, cancer etc etc and including autism because man insists on screwing around with nature! Stop putting shit in our food and the cows food you dumb bastards, You are what you eat. Health Care is what it is because even with a successful surgery PEOPLE ARE STILL SUEING! Authorities are still catching people and groups of people stealing from the health care system. MONEY has become god in this stupid country. Everyone has to have a big fancy car because they watch too much blaring TV with commercials that tell you what you have to have. And most dumb asses BELIEVE that happiness comes to us through television and movies. Most dumb asses will steal, kill and go into tremendous debt to obtain that TV- driven message.
When we lived in log cabins that we built with our neighbors and grew food with our VERY OWN mud-caked hands and sat around a fire with our family, it was because THERE WAS NO TV. There were also no mortgages, no crazy insane diseases, and we didn’t need pills for everything. When life was REAL, you fell asleep naturally because you were so damn tired from plowing the field or your wife.
I found out recently that it’s illegal to keep chickens in your yard where I live. What a bunch of HAPPY HORSESHIT !!

Nobody Understands Why I Sit Next To These Churning Rivers Of Ideas
The past has it’s place, I agree. I shouldn’t dwell in it but it’s so freaking cool I just can’t stand it! Beam me up Scotty, there is nothing better then a well made movie about time travel. The latest one for me just happens to be Woodey “the genuis” Allens fantastic film, “Midnite In Paris” ONCE I was in an antique store somewhere in the hills of Pennsylvania with some hip chick wearing a swirly hippy dress and I found a big old wooden box. Not that the box was so damn cool but it was filled with old postcards…not that the postcards were so damn old and cool BUT they were USED. There were handwritten messages, address, stamps and lipstick kisses from the past. I was so enthralled with this, that I spent an hour in front of them. My swirly-girlie-hippy chick had to finally drag me out of that place so that we could dig into so Tai Food at some freaky Indian place on the side of the Hudson river.
Now, over lunch, and the smell of searing tuna, I explained to my colorful friend that I needed to go back and maybe even purchase some of those “neat-O” postcards from the past. As her eyes rolled (a typical expression of ALL my female friends) I heard her say “That’s a bunch of happy horseshit that I’m not going to do. We have a steam boat to ride.”
Hippy Goils are so sweet and yummy on the outside but on the inside they are just plain old females. Sort of like M&M’s they melt in your mouth but you can get sick if you eat too many of them.

Things I Never Regret As A Father:
1. Getting divorced.
2. Getting divorced.
3. Getting divorced.

…as the only patron in Barnes and Noble does the coffee chemist behind the counter have to ask me for my name and write it on the cup?
My problem as a writer and photographer is that I’m always thinking that amazing revelations are to be found in the blandest most boring facts of daily life.
And THAT my friends is a bunch of happy horseshit. Today and hopefully not tomorrow.

We really need to get away. Nature is the deepest relief. Ocean or Forest. I don’t care which. Just show me the way. I’ll drive. I’ll pay the tolls. I’ll fill the tank.

How I Met Your…
One day boy, I tell ya, one day I’ll wake up from this unconscious stroll thru life and I’ll realize that I was a slave to money, yeah, evil moolah. You were waiting for me on the other side of the automatic doors looking fresh and pout. Your ass crack showed when you leaned over to kiss me. Yeah, you think I closed my eyes? I forgot to buy flowers but they would have died in my un-air-conditioned car from the early senventies. A Ford Pinto, a time bomb that could explode on impact. A fiery painful death for sure. The Pinto only had two front doors so you couldn’t get out if you were in the back seat and you were rear-ended. And that was why you would never understand why I never came to meet you. Why I never drove with you. I have always had nightmares of claustrophobia. I think I was suffocated or drowned in my previous life.
But there we were; In the middle of the produce aisle. Soggy broccoli being shoveled into the garbage. Parsnips freshly cut. The smell of onions and your french perfume. Organic cabbage. Small and soft. Cucumbers, like cocks lined up, I was disappointed you didn’t stop to lift them up, and feel them, squeeze them, like you are supposed to do while shopping in the produce aisle. These nuclear vegetables, they just don’t grow things the way they used to. So as they say, we lived happily ever not after, chasing vegetarian dreams and after several years, I caught you sneaking into the meat department.
That was the sunrise of our next ten thousand meals together. Holding hands and taking cracker samples until we couldn’t eat anymore. Wouldn’t you know there was a TV to watch while we checked out. You read People. The coupons saved us a fortune and I wanted to spend the extra cash on a new car with air conditioning. But you said I was too frivolous.

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