I wish I would.

I wish I had a sledgehammer. I would smash this table into splinters.

I wish I had a shotgun. I would blast this TV into smithereens.

I wish I had a pair of wings. I would fly above the mountain, right through the clouds and out over the ocean, far away from the shore, until all I could see were blue horizons.

I wish I were crazy. I would spit in everybody’s face. Every single one of them.

I wish there was something wrong with me and I knew what it was. I wouldn’t have to wonder anymore.

I wish I was a dog.

I wish I was a hungry dog.

I wish I was Arnold Schwarzenegger. I wish I was Scarlett Johansson.

I wish I was Stanley Kubrick.

I wish I was twenty years younger. I would spend the next twenty years doing all the things I wish I had done in the last twenty years. People would love me.

I wish I had more friends.

I wish I didn’t have any friends at all.

I wish I didn’t want any friends. I would go for days without talking to anyone.

I wish I was drunk.

I wish I was dying. I would be brave—brave enough to say all the things I want to say.

I wish I was two inches shorter.

I wish I knew what I should be doing. I wish I was a lizard.

I wish I was Jerry Seinfeld.

I wish I was Peyton Manning.

I wish I was in northern California, behind the wheel of a Winnebago, driving up the Pacific Coast Highway.

I wish I was in prison. I would eat when they told me to eat, sleep when they told me to sleep. I would never leave my cell.

I wish I was gay. I wish I was black. I wish I was the future of something.

I wish I took better care of myself. I wish I was in high school.

I wish my nose was smaller.

I wish I was Johnny Depp.

I wish I had a teenage son. I would teach him how to change spark plugs and mow the yard. I would teach him how to masturbate properly.

I wish I hadn’t written that.

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Stop it, my darkness

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness in other people.”

– C. G. Jung

I have darkness. It’s true. It lives in my butt.

Sometimes I’ll be going about my day, just doing my thing, when from out of nowhere (actually from out of my butt), my darkness will rise up and confront me. “Hello,” it says, “I am your darkness.”

Not wishing to be rude, I say, “Good morning, darkness. How are you?”

But instead of answering, my darkness will do something. I never know what it will be, but it’s always something terrible and mean, like kicking a puppy or spitting in a baby’s face. One day it broke all the windows on a school bus, laughing the whole time.

I always feel like I should stop it, my darkness. The things it does are not cool. Unfortunately, it’s stronger than I am. Anytime I try to stop it from doing awful things, it ignores me. Or worse, it laughs at me. And what a hideous laugh it has! I won’t try to describe it to you, but it’s wicked, man. Pure evil.

Sometimes, though, it lets me ask it questions. In fact, I sat down with it recently to discuss its motivations and see what it’s been doing lately.

It was a short interview, but it went like this.

ME: Hello, darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.


ME: I hear you had a busy night, last night. Tell me about it.

MY DARKNESS: Fuck you.

ME: Okay.

MY DARKNESS: Chickenshit asshole.

End of interview.

Not long ago, my darkness punched a woman in the face. As far as I can tell it was completely unprovoked. We were at the bar and this woman was nearby, talking to some dude. I guess I was watching her. After a moment she looked at me. Our eyes locked for a just a second, then she looked away with absolutely no expression on her face. Next thing I knew my darkness rushed over and punched her in the face. Right in the face! She started crying and ran out the door.

Here’s the funny thing. The dude she had been talking to wasn’t mad. Instead he started laughing. He said, “Man, I’ve wanted to do that all night.”

I was shocked. He wanted to do it all night? Isn’t once enough?

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Poor Gandhi

 “I believe that a man is the strongest soldier for daring to die unarmed.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Yeah right, son. Nobody wants to hear that shit. This is America and we don’t do anything unarmed.

Poor Gandhi. Just like Jesus. Everyone admires him but no one agrees with him. If he were alive today, they’d call him an idiot.

Speaking of idiots:

One time a friend and I went to McDonald’s for lunch. This was many years ago, when I was still okay with eating McDonald’s. I don’t remember what I had but my friend Henry had a Big Mac. After eating only half of it, he called the manager over. “This is the worst hamburger I’ve ever eaten,” he said to the manager.

The manager apologized. Then, as a solution to Henry’s dissatisfaction, the manager gave him five coupons. For free Big Macs. It was as far from brilliant as anything I’ve ever seen.

I’ve been less than brilliant before. Many times, in fact. I’m trying to think of some examples but nothing is coming to mind. Sorry.

Now that I mention it, I can’t recall examples of anything.  I don’t remember a single thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I know I’ve done lots of things and I’m sure some of them were great and some of them were idiotic. The law of averages demands it. Apparently I’ve read some books, for I know about the Law of Averages. Although it’s possible I’m using the term incorrectly.

I am currently reading ‘The History of the Jews’ by Paul Johnson. It’s pretty damn good. That’s all I have to say about it except that it’s also interesting. Sorry. Once I get done with that book, I’ve got a stack of twelve unread books to choose from. It’s the same stack of books that has been waiting on me for over four months now. I used to read quite often but now I rarely do, which bothers me. I hope I’m not doing anything crazy like becoming a different person. They say change is good, or at least inevitable, but what about the things I enjoy? If they begin to change, should I do anything about it? Or do I just say “That’s the way it goes,” and shrug it off?

I frequently have daydreams of retreating to some long-forgotten cabin in the woods, and once there doing nothing but reading, sleeping, and writing. I wouldn’t even eat. I would slowly starve myself to death and write about it, all the way to my last breath. Then when my body was discovered, they would also find a hand-written record of what it’s like to die of starvation. Nobody would want to read it, but they could display it at the Smithsonian. Maybe someone could turn it into a movie. Not much action, but plenty of silence. Starring James Franco as me, directed by David Fincher. Nobody would watch it, even on Redbox.

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Jiggy for Riggy

The sun is shining, and it cares not what we do. It loves me and it loves Nelson Mandela and it loves the lizards scurrying through the back alley of the Salvation Army. Perhaps it loves these last most of all, as they spend so much of their time basking in its warm light. Lizards have few concerns in life. Anything beyond eating and reproducing and avoiding predators is not only a luxury but a distraction.

Ah, the things we can learn from the lizard. For example, you don’t need hands, you need a sticky tongue. And if someone grabs your tail and won’t let go, just let them keep it.

Another thing the lizard knows that most of us don’t is this: cats are evil. They’ll kill you for nothing more than a brief amusement. They don’t even eat you, they just leave your mangled body sprawled on the sidewalk for the ants to find.

Oh well. Life ain’t all roses and rainbows for any of us, and anyone who says otherwise is either deranged or promoting their new book.

Okay, never mind the lizards. I was trying to talk about the sun. Yes, the sun! That wondrous metaphor, hanging high in the empty sky, golden with love for all things living. Were I to run out into traffic and take a dump right in the middle of the street, the sun would not care. It wouldn’t even flinch. Even as I heard the cries of ridicule and disgust from my fellow humans, I would feel the warm touch of the sun on my skin. “Yes,” it would say. “I’m here for you.” And if they threw me in prison, I would be okay as long as my cell had a window, preferably one facing east, so each morning I could see the sunrise.

It’s crazy. During the day we see things only because they reflect sunlight. And at night we rely on the moon to keep us going, to reassure us the sun is still there. If the moon could speak, it would say, “Yes, I’m here for you. You can’t see the sun, but I can. I’ve caught some of his light, and now I give it to you. Get jiggy with it.”

And we do. We get jiggy for riggy. Nobody knows what happens under the glow of the moon, but you better believe it gets freaky. It’s a wonder we’re not all in prison.

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