Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's four in the morning, I'm still sitting outside, and I just now realized that it's because going to sleep means forgetting more about you.

I will sing to you of greater things: money, gold, and diamond rings.

What happened to all the nice guys?

The answer is simple: you did.

See, if you think back, really hard, you might vaguely remember a Platonic guy pal who always seemed to want to spend time with you. He’d tag along with you when you went shopping, stop by your place for a movie when you were lonely but didn’t feel like going out, or even sit there and hold you while you sobbed and told him about how horribly the (other) guy that you were fucking treated you.

At the time, you probably joked with your girlfriends about how he was a little puppy dog, always following you around, trying to do things to get you to pay attention to him. They probably teased you because they thought he had a crush on you. Given that his behavior was, admittedly, a little pathetic, you vehemently denied having any romantic feelings for him, and buttressed your position by claiming that you were “just friends.” Besides, he totally wasn’t your type. I mean, he was a little too short, or too bald, or too fat, or too poor, or didn’t know how to dress himself, or basically be or do any of the things that your tall, good-looking, fit, rich, stylish boyfriend at the time pulled off with such ease.

Eventually, your Platonic buddy drifted away, as your relationship with the boyfriend got more serious and spending time with this other guy was, admittedly, a little weird, if you werent dating him. More time passed, and the boyfriend eventually cheated on you, or became boring, or you realized that the things that attracted you to him weren’t the kinds of things that make for a good, long-term relationship. So, now, you’re single again, and after having tried the bar scene for several months having only encountered players and douche bags, you wonder, “What happened to all the nice guys?”

Well, once again, you did.

You ignored the nice guy. You used him for emotional intimacy without reciprocating, in kind, with physical intimacy. You laughed at his consideration and resented his devotion. You valued the aloof boyfriend more than the attentive “just-a-” friend. Eventually, he took the hint and moved on with his life. He probably came to realize, one day, that women aren’t really attracted to guys who hold doors open; or make dinners just because; or buy you a Christmas gift that you mentioned, in passing, that you really wanted five months ago; or listen when you’re upset; or hold you when you cry. He came to realize that, if he wanted a woman like you, he’d have to act more like the boyfriend that you had. He probably cleaned up his look, started making some money, and generally acted like more of an asshole than he ever wanted to be.

Fact is, now, he’s probably getting laid, and in a way, your ultimate rejection of him is to thank for that. And I’m sorry that it took the complete absence of “nice guys” in your life for you to realize that you missed them and wanted them. Most women will only have a handful of nice guys stumble into their lives, if that.

So, if you’re looking for a nice guy, here’s what you do:

1.) Build a time machine.
2.) Go back a few years and pull your head out of your ass.
3.) Take a look at what’s right in front of you and grab ahold of it.

I suppose the other possibility is that you STILL don’t really want a nice guy, but you feel the social pressure to at least appear to have matured beyond your infantile taste in men. In which case, you might be in luck, because the nice guy you claim to want has, in reality, shed his nice guy mantle and is out there looking to unleash his cynicism and resentment onto someone just like you.

If you were five years younger.

So, please: either stop misrepresenting what you want, or own up to the fact that you’ve fucked yourself over. You’re getting older, after all. It’s time to excise the bullshit and deal with reality. You didn’t want a nice guy then, and he certainly doesn’t fucking want you, now.


A Recovering Nice Guy

The Best of Craigslist

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm going to Las Vegas to see some old friends.

Traveling across the country - A time lapse video.

These day dreams, these day dreams, these day dreams.

A beggar-man crept to my side
One bitter, wintry time;
“I want to buy a drink,” he cried;
“Please give me, sir, a dime.”
If he had craved this boon forlorn
To buy his family meat,
I would have passed him by in scorn,
And left him in the street.

I tossed a dollar in his hand,
And quoth, “As o’er your wine
Within the tippling-room you stand
Drink thou to me and mine.”
He let an earnest “Thank ye” drop —
Then up the street he sped,
And rushed into a baker’s shop,
And bought a loaf of bread!

I know not why it was, and yet,
So sudden was the blow,
I felt emotions of regret
That he had duped me so.
Yet, had the hungry beggar said
That he was sore in need
Of that necessity called “bread,”
What man would pay him heed?

Human Nature by Eugene Field

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lowdown, cheatin', ain't no need for repeatin'. Hurtin', beaten, ain't no need for repeatin'.

The Man was very sad. He knew that the Cat's days were numbered. The doctor had said there wasn't anything more that could be done, that he should take the Cat home and make him as comfortable as possible.

The man stroked the Cat on his lap and sighed. The Cat opened his eyes, purred and looked up at the Man. A tear rolled down the Man's cheek and landed on the Cat's forehead. The Cat gave him a slightly annoyed look.

"Why do you cry, Man?" the Cat asked. "Because you can't bear the thought of losing me? Because you think you can never replace me?"

The Man nodded "yes."

"And where do you think I'll be when I leave you?" the Cat asked.

The Man shrugged helplessly.

"Close your eyes, Man," the Cat said. The Man gave him a questioning look, but did as he was told.

"What color are my eyes and fur?" the Cat asked.

"Your eyes are gold and your fur is a rich, warm brown," the Man replied.

"And where is my fur the darkest?" the Cat asked.

"It is darkest along your back, your tail, your legs, nose and ears," the Man said.

"And where is it that you most often see me?" asked the Cat.

"I see you... on the kitchen windowsill watching the birds... on my favorite chair... on my desk lying on the papers I need... on the pillow next to my head at night."

The Cat nodded.

"Can you see me in all of those places now, even though your eyes are shut?" the Cat asked.

"Yes, of course. I've seen you there for years," the Man said.

"Then, whenever you wish to see me, all you must do is close your eyes," said the Cat.

"But you won't really be here," the Man said sadly.

"Oh, really?" said the Cat. "Pick up that piece of string from the floor - there, my 'toy.'"

The Man opened his eyes, then reached over and picked up the string. It was about two feet long and the Cat had been able to entertain himself for hours with it.

"What is it made of?" the Cat asked.

"It appears to be made of cotton," the Man said.

"Which comes from a plant?" the Cat asked.

"Yes," said the Man.

"From just one plant, or from many?"

"From many cotton plants," the Man answered.

"And in the same soil from which grow the cotton plants, it would be possible that other plants and flowers would grow? A rose could grow alongside of the cotton, yes?" asked the Cat.

"Yes, I'm sure it would be possible," the Man said.

"And all of the plants would feed from the same soil and drink the same rain, would they not?" the Cat asked.

"Yes, they would," said the Man.

"Then all of the plants, rose and cotton, would be very similar on the inside, even if they appeared outwardly very different," said the Cat.

The Man nodded his head in agreement, but didn't see what that had to do with the present situation.

"Now, that piece of string," said the Cat, "is that the only piece of string ever made of cotton?"

"No, of course it isn't," said the Man, "it was part of a ball of twine."

"And do you know where all of the other pieces of string are now, and all of the balls of twine?" asked the Cat.

"No, I don't... that would be impossible," said the Man.

"But even though you do not know where they are, you believe they exist. And even though some of the string is with you, and other pieces of string are elsewhere... even though some pieces of string are short and others are long, and even though your ball of twine is not the only one in the world... you would agree that all the string is related?" the Cat asked.

"I've never thought about it, but yes, I guess they would be related," the Man said.

"What would happen if a piece of cotton string fell onto the ground?" the Cat asked.

"Well... it would eventually be covered up and decompose into the soil," the Man said.

"I see," said the Cat. "Then perhaps more cotton would grow above it, or a rose."

"Yes, it would be possible," the Man agreed.

"Then the rose growing on your windowsill might be related to the string you are holding as well as to all the pieces of string you do not know about," said the Cat.

The Man knit his brow in thought.

"Now take each end of the string in one hand," the Cat ordered.

The Man did so.

"The end in your left hand is my birth and the end in your right hand is my death. Now bring the two ends together," the Cat said.

The Man complied.

"You have made a continuous circle," said the cat. "Does any point along the string appear to be different, worse or better than any other part of the string?"

The Man inspected the string and then shook his head "no."

"Does the space inside the circle appear to be different from the space outside of the circle?" the Cat asked.

Again the Man shook his head "no," but he still wasn't sure he understood the Cat's meaning.

"Close your eyes again," the Cat said. "Now lick your hand."

The Man widened his eyes in surprise.

"Just do it," the Cat said. "Lick your hand, think of me in all my familiar places, think about all the pieces of string, think about the cotton and the rose, think about how the inside of the circle is not different from the outside of the circle."

The Man felt foolish, licking his hand, but he did as he was told. He discovered what a cat must know, that licking a paw is very calming and allows one to think more clearly. He continued licking and the corners of his mouth turned upward into the first smile he had shown in days. He waited for the Cat to tell him to stop, and when he didn't he opened his eyes. The Cat's eyes were closed. The Man stroked the warm, brown fur, but the Cat was gone.

The Man shut his eyes hard as the tears poured down his face. He saw the Cat on the windowsill, then in his bed, then lying across his important papers. He saw him on the pillow next to his head, saw his bright gold eyes and darkest brown on his nose and ears. He opened his eyes and through his tears looked over at the rose growing in a pot on the windowsill and then to the circle of string he still held clutched in his hand.

One day, not long after, there was a new Cat on his lap. She was a lovely calico and white... very different from his earlier beloved Cat and very much the same.

Zen Cat by Jim Willis

Friday, July 18, 2008

But you don't have to worry darling, frozen hearts leave see through scarring, and no one else will know unless you tell.

A soft spoken gentleman sits at the table across from me in some unrecognizable cafe. I don't feel out of place, though, for a sort of familiarity rings about from everything. The location, the man in front of me, the conversation. Is this a dream?

He says to me, Look. Don't give her a chance. She's no -- well, she isn't her. No one ever will be.

His words seem to awaken some forgotten trouble of mine, but it isn't apparent to me who he is talking about.

You're only fooling yourself.
Listen, if that plane leaves the ground and you're still with her, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

His final words begin fade to the sound of familiar white noise. I'm dreaming, aren't I?

The electric heater rattles to the rhythm of her shivering, frozen-cold body.
Familiarity soothes my temporary sleep-amnesia as I begin to realize where I am and who I'm with. Noticing her troubles, I reach down from under me and pull out part of our shared blanket to give her a little more of my half. Her body shifts. Did I wake her? Her head lifts away from the pillow and turns slightly, holding it's posture there, as if someone spoke to her and she's waiting for another attempt at connection. The silence responds.

Her body cramped, she turns over to refresh her side and notices I'm awake.
Through her shivering lips, she softly breathes into me, Oh, sweetheart. It's so cold! I finish covering her with part of my half. Thank you.

Half awake, half dreaming, I respond wordlessly. Mmhmm. What was that man in my dream talking about? I'm so tired, I can't focus.

Her eyes whisper to mine. This place is dreamy, isn't it? She seems to be wide awake, now. Mmm, I'm so much warmer now. It's so great that you're a romantic. Thank you so much for bringing me here.

I figured a compliment like that deserved a worded-response. Anytime, slim.

That man was still on my mind. Say, I just had the strangest dream. You want to hear about it? She nods, cupping her chin in her hand and placing her elbow on the pillow, scrunching her cute face. I was somewhere I've never been, a cafe, yet it felt like I could have grown up there. And, and there was this man there, well, more like a gentleman. And he spoke to me as if he knew me, and I felt as if I knew him. He knew about -- well, he knew about events in my past.

Her eyes began to slowly close. I continued, And he was talking to me about my future, like he knew what was going to happen. And so did I. I mean, I felt it. I felt what was going to happen.

I could tell this dream was too complicated to explain to her right now as she looked as if she was already back to sleep. Well, I guess it doesn't really matter. It was just, I was just feeling some pretty painful emotions... familiar emotions.

Her eyes closed, still resting her chin on her palm, she looks as though she's asleep and her mind is on autopilot, and she mutters, You're so good to me. No guy has ever treated me as nice as you do.

I let out a smile in the dark. She continues, I feel bad for you, though.

The cold of the room starts to get to me. Frozen shivers running down my spine, I mindlessly respond, Hmm?

It's going to hurt like a sonofabitch. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... here's looking at you, kid. Her elbow collapsed and her back turned to the bed. She fell fast asleep.
By Calvin

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Comfort doesn't always come in glasses, but perhaps tonight I won't be the only one with blue headlights.

Boys don't want to be princes.
Boys want to be shepherds who slay dragons,
maybe someone gives you half a kingdom and a princess,
but that's just what comes of being a shepherd boy
and slaying a dragon. Or a giant. And you don't really
even have to be a shepherd. Just not a prince.
In stories, even princes don't want to be princes,
disguising themselves as beggars or as shepherd boys,
leaving the kingdom for another kingdom,
princehood only of use once the ogre's dead, the tasks are done,
and the reluctant king, her father, needing to be convinced.

Boys do not dream of princesses who will come for them.
Boys would prefer not to be princes,
and many boys would happily kiss the village girls,
out on the sheep-moors, of an evening,
over the princess, if she didn't come with the territory.

Princesses sometimes disguise themselves as well,
to escape the kings' advances, make themselves ugly,
soot and cinders and donkey girls,
with only their dead mothers' ghosts to aid them,
a voice from a dried tree or from a pumpkin patch.
And then they undisguise, when their time is upon them,
gleam and shine in all their finery. Being princesses.
Girls are secretly princesses.

None of them know that one day, in their turn,
Boys and girls will find themselves become bad kings
or wicked stepmothers,
aged woodcutters, ancient shepherds, mad crones and wise-women,
to stand in shadows, see with cunning eyes:
The girl, still waiting calmly for her prince.
The boy, lost in the night, out on the moors.

Boys and Girls Together by Neil Gaiman.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Citizen Calvin

I go out walkin' after midnight
Out in the moonlight
just like we used to do
I'm always walkin' after midnight
Searching for you I walk for miles
along the highway
Well that's just my way
Of saying I love you
I'm always walkin' after midnight
Searching for you
Walkin' After Midnight by Patsy Clin

Monday, July 14, 2008

We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity.

I'm reading on the couch
when she calls, asks for me by name.
I smile at her scripted intimacy,
imagine her cubicle with photos of pets,
the long bend of light
on her lacquered nails.

"Listen to this," I reply,
"David kissed the soft inner banks
of women’s thighs."


"Oh, there's more," I say,
"Thighs like loamy earth
that cup the rivers, or lilies
blooming in rose and mint."

"Is this a bad time for you, sir?"

"Is it for you?
Tell me something," I insist.
"Tell me anything."

A quiet unfolds between us
as though we'd spent our breath
on withering arguments
or lost it
in the scented air of sweat.

Finally she says,
"I'm in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Outside, leaves are turning
in the cold."

Telemarketer by Brett Garcia Myhren

Sunday, July 13, 2008

As near as I can tell she wished for this moment to last forever.

I knew from the glance she threw at him, her eyes shining like I'd never seen and the sweet smile dancing on her lips, that she was in love with him.

I have nothing to say (I have so much, so, so much inside).

I was lying in bed. I felt the soft vibrations against my pillow from the music humming out of my computer. The lights were off, my eyes were closed.

Time ticks slowly by. Ticks, ticks. What time is it now? Does it matter? I'm still here.

I'm crushed. I detest reality. My mind was racing. When will my dreamworld come alive? Thinking about it surely won't make it come any quicker. Ticks, ticks, ticks.

I wish that I could forever live in the book of my own writing. Ah, the loveliness. I just can’t wait for my life to wane into darkness and oblivion. I will be forgotten soon, make no mistake.

Suddenly, I felt something echoing in the room. I tried to focus. I felt a swollen pulse breathing life into my ears. Is that my heart?

Why do you enter my mind every night? Do I want you, do I want you? Ticks, ticks, ticks. I know when I see you again I'll be torn apart.

I jumped from situation to situation through my mind. How could I have done this better, where was my mistake here, was this the best choice? Vanish, vanish, I say! Thinking of you won't do me any good. Do I need any good? I raise my head and readjust the pillow, seeking a colder, more refreshing side.

I know how the world treats you. I wish I could take the pain away. I wonder if you ever wish these same miracles for me. Does it matter, though? Ticks; the clocks, they tick. A bad day only leaves me more time to sulk in my own grief. More time well spent, I say.

The shadows of the morning began to age inside my room. Another night spent up. Another night thinking. I detest reality, dreamworld. Where are you? I'm so hurt inside. All I can hope is that you remember me.
By Calvin

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Once more to the afterlife

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone by W H Auden

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I'm not really into relationships anymore. Well, I, uh, I loved a girl once, you see.

If you ask me 'What's new?', I have nothing to say
Except that the garden is growing.
I had a slight cold but it's better today.
I'm content with the way things are going.
Yes, he is the same as he usually is,
Still eating and sleeping and snoring.
I get on with my work. He gets on with his.
I know this is all very boring.

There was drama enough in my turbulent past:
Tears and passion-I've used up a tankful.
No news is good news, and long may it last,
If nothing much happens, I'm thankful.
A happier cabbage you never did see,
My vegetable spirits are soaring.
If you're after excitement, steer well clear of me.
I want to go on being boring.

I don't go to parties. Well, what are they for,
If you don't need to find a new lover?
You drink and you listen and drink a bit more
And you take the next day to recover.
Someone to stay home with was all my desire
And, now that I've found a safe mooring,
I've just one ambition in life: I aspire
To go on and on being boring.

Being Boring by Wendy Cope