Found Words

25 Jan

poster worn wall

For what feels like a century, I have jotted down notes on papers of varying sizes, at odd times, whenever the muse gave me a kick in the rear, or the ear, or wherever it is muses like to strike. For decades,  I have dropped these pieces of paper into multicolored file folders (there is more to life than the color “manila”, that’s all I’m saying.)

In an effort to clear away some of the clutter in my life, I’ve decided that little handwritten gems (as well as the cubic zirconia versions of same) must be recorded in a single place and/or simply discarded.

What follows are bits and pieces from one particular orange folder labelled “Ideas”. Some of these fragments date back to my teenage years.  I can’t bear to part with the pieces of paper without leaving a record of them somewhere. So, this blog it shall be.

There are  visual artists who assemble their work out of found objects. This blog is a kind of assemblage of “found words.” A place where fragments of dialogue, thoughts, story ideas and poem shavings are dropped.

Exiled or utilized, time will tell.

There seems to be some general consensus that the gays have all the money. I find this depressing. I realize that accepting myself as a gay man just saddles me with one more group in which to underachieve.

She has a boyish face. Oddly, that same face on  a boy would be considered feminine.

After Ilya died, I’d call his phone number in Queens  just to hear his voice on the answering machine.

Within weeks of of Ilya’s funeral,  the answering machine quits picking up and soon thereafter, the number has been disconnected. After about a month, for no realistic reason, I pick up the phone and dial Ilya’s former telephone number. As I’d guessed, the number has been re-purposed to another subscriber. A man answers.  I try to engage him in conversation. He is only mildly receptive. I fantasize that he is speaking to me from the phone in Ilya’s apartment; that he has somehow replaced Ilya. Ilya isn’t dead exactly, he has just been re-purposed into this other man. I try to expain this to him but this man won’t play along. He shares his first name (Winston) but little else.

“What do you want?”

I am silent. He asks again, “What do you want?” 

Finally I say, “This used to be Ilya’s number.”

“There’s no Ilya here.”

“Oh, I know,” I reply. “I said this used to be Ilya’s number. I knew someone else must have it by now…”

“I have it. This number is mine now.  You’ll have to find Ilya somewhere else.”  He hangs up.

“Yes,” I say to the dial tone. “Somewhere else.”

I am reluctant to say, “I love you,” for fear it will somehow reduce the intense feelings of the moment into something with paperback covers when, in fact, you fill me with hardbound volumes.

I felt a wave of sanity coming over me. Naturally, I struggled to fight it.

How far are you willing to travel to meet someone  half way?

I think it is scary that Ann Coulter is famous enough that topical humor about Ann Coulter is funny.

Pain is a portal to the Collective Unconscious.

Some people have occupations. I have preoccupations,

What came before The Big Bang? The small whisper.

I love the way you look at me and you don’t just see me, but, as you look, you also consider the possibilities.

You think I am a sinner? Really? I’m afraid you’ve romanticized my flaws, all out of proportion.

One day a co-worker said to me, “Your stories about your boyfriend are no longer amusing anecdotes. They are cries for help.”

The passion which surpasses friction.

There was this guy and he had this really unusual relationship with this cat. It was a small orange tabby cat. It would cling to the guy’s shoulder like a small baby, its chin resting on his right shoulder and its little hind legs and tail just sort of dangling. Whenever I went to this guy’s house, that cat would just be hanging on to him. This relationship between the man and his cat was either very cosmic or potentially quite creepy. It got so people just stopped responding to his invitations–because it was such a weird, somehow troubling sight. The problem was, he was such a gracious host, the same people that were too creeped out to go to his house felt obligated to invite him to their parties. Damn if he didn’t start showing up at parties with that cat firmly attached. Eventually people stopped inviting him.

What happened? Is this one of those stories where the cat dies and the man’s hair turns white overnight and he dies in a sanitarium clutching an old rag against his shoulder?

The guy just dropped out of sight. No one was talking to him really, and I think he was just content to spent time with the cat.

Wait–you’re not…?

The guy in the story–Oh, no.

Then why did you tell me this story? What’s the point?

Just that, this guy and his cat. Their relationship. Who are we to judge?

STORY IDEA: A young gay man has a second coming out experience when he informs his parents during a Thanksgiving visit that he has become a Buddhist. The gay thing, they were fairly cool about, but converting to a religion which is foreign to them presents a challenge, His mother asks, “How do the Buddhists spend Christmas?” He doesn’t have an answer for her at the time. But later, while he is helping his neighbors set up an elaborate Luminaria in a neighborhood park, he finds the answer. He recognizes that your community accepts you when you accept your community.                                                                                                            

“How do the Buddhists spend Christmas?” Why, being Buddhists, of course.

Let’s go slow so we can fall in love.

If we go slow, I will fall asleep.

Sometimes a reach is as good as a touch.

Thanks for reading.

One Response to “Found Words”

  1. Pamela N Red January 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    These are beautiful, Bill and should be compiled into a book.

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