What Are You Looking At?
"You’re looking sexier than a bag of tits." - Still Waiting

Ryan Reynolds, why not Charlize Theron

Just watched Buried. I can’t figure out if I feel like I wasted my time or not. I wish i had watched Angelina Jolie writhing around instead. There should be an option button next to closed caption and formatting that allows you to watch lesbian versions of movies. It replaces all lead male actors with Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Beals, Eliza Dushku, Cameron Diaz or Charlize Theron.


Japan #15: octopus (by zane&inzane)


Japan #15: octopus (by zane&inzane)

Interior Decorated

Furniture bitch. Ottoman whore. Several throw rugs to the wind and riding high on the coo coo clock express to indoor plumbing. Fucking on cracked linoleum and eating off of pillowcase coasters. Shampoo my ass, soap my chin, shave my chest on bearskin and Berber. Weather treated and vinyl-sided. Scotch-guarding like Pine Soling on a plush canopy bed. Comforter and  love seat, sipping sloppy seconds of shingles; living ever rafter.

Windows washed, things said, broken dishes and cow coasters wet. Clap boards upholstered and upended and slivery. The delivery rests on the porch like wicker. Waiting for your call or your voice or your car … or you. Or I’m waiting for you as snot dries on my sleeve. Or I’m waiting for you noticing leaves, trees, willows and will you leave? Or something has changed, branches banging the woodwork.

Shutters all shut up. Battered hatches. The delivery is wicker, columns, and cold. Winter is whitewashed and discharged and green. Preparation. Time is preparation and poignant and painful. Willows and winters leave and you’re gone?

I can’t make heads or tails. I make fucks and fingers, fights and furious attempts at ‘sorry.’ Can’t you buy me my time wholesale? Can’t you frequent my flier miles so that I can be home and with you and with everyone, everywhere, eating and drinking and sleeping when there isn’t even time enough for time and a half.

I wish I could make you happy the way the sun makes the dawn and the moon makes cows jump. And the dishes run away. And we could spoon and fork like lovers in milky radiance. The world could be ours. And it could be good. It could rope cattle and we could be like heroes in spaghetti westerns where our lips could meet over pasta and pleasures, tomato paste and pussy.

At sun up we could duel, forking our tongues, forking our words, prongs and prods, jabs and jabbering, saying sorry and kissing and making things all better. Things could be better. We can always make love but when are we ever going to make paintings like the ones left on my sheets; the sweat and swirling beautiful smell of need and want and now. You are my house, my car, my job. No, my career. You are the things I have gained and earned and entrusted to make me feel complete.

When they told me success was what I’d make of it, I kissed you so hard you cried out and I knew then CEO, I knew president of my own company - alone, living at the top. I knew my own success and the height made me dizzy with nosebleeds and scandals and power. I wanted a raise, a lunch break, a bill. I wanted a fax and a fuck with a view. I wanted your office, supplies and to embezzle and nuzzle your tits. 


The car engine hummed. Moving memories made the side view mirror moist as she stared. 



She looked out on moments closer than they appeared. Until minutes, moments, passed. Biting her lower lip, she slipped the car into gear and drove away.

Holiday tunes jingle all the way to the bank. It’s not yet Thanksgiving but the airwaves sing of a holly jolly time to buy, buy, buy. Stuff stockings with sweets and treats. Trim the tree early to save and spend as much as you can, and then some, if you can’t. Bring harmony to the economy during the most wonderful time of the year, ba-rum-pa-pum-pum. Ruin your credit with sugar plums. This year Christmas is a giant fundraiser. 

Lighting a butt with one hand, turning the radio up louder with the other (to hell with the wheel) Shelly thought of putting Christ back in Christmas. Thought of birth and death and life and under prices and bargains and deals and being saved.

She thought about writing a letter.

Thought better of it.

Thought about red lights, icy rain, red noses, Saint Nick, veering towards a light pole, turning the wheel just in the nick of time, the smell of candy canes, of veering into the opposite lane, of sex, of snow, of being cold. 

She turned the heater up while she rolled the window down even further. There’s air and then there’s air. She didn’t feel either. Taking in a deep lungful of smoke she tried not to breathe. 

At the bank she deposited a check. Fifty bucks for services yet to be rendered. A down payment for tutoring. She was to be a tutor this month. A mentor. Someone to inspire one youth for a short period of time, into committing to words, to language, so that this young girl might become, one day, a better communicator. 

Last month she was an alcoholic. 

Shelly liked being transcendental. 

She felt old at 25. Christmas was always on the 25th.

She hadn’t a head for numbers. Felt they were numbing.

She counted her blessings all the way home.

Thought about making a call.

Thought better of it.

And opened a beer.

The Secret Keeper


The sudden, heart-stopping certainty made Christa feel like she was choking.

She searched her bag.

She searched it again.

And again.

And with a flurry and a fury she tore the bag open. The contents of her Jansport were vomited up all over her bedroom floor. 

Wrinkled quiz sheets, football-shaped notes from her friends, used-up tissues balled and frayed, pens, pencils, a multi-colored confetti of shavings, notebooks, binders, clumps of lint, an empty Pop Tart wrapper, a ruler, a protractor and as she fumbled through them all, as she groped inside the now empty black backpack she felt sick.

She thought she might throw up too.

Her diary was gone.

It was not there.

Not a single word of it. Not a page of doodle, not a snippet of her dream last night about John Evans taking her to the movies, not a month of tirades about how her mother won’t let her do anything. Nothing about her teachers and their various grotesqueries, like Mrs. Ewwing’s hunched back or Mr. Harland’s toupee or Mr. Darling’s yellow teeth and bad breath. There wasn’t a single syllable, not a snatch of syntax or a sentence fragment. 

The lazy, loopy limbic about her little brother’s stupid hamster obsession that she wrote when she was bored last winter – gone. The poem she wrote during fifth period last week about how John Evans’ eyes looked like the ocean and how she would swim their deepest depths if he’d only look her way during math – gone. Every tear-stained page she scribbled when she was eleven, curled up on her bedroom floor the day her grandmother died – gone. Her voice, her dreams, her heart, her mind, her momentary lapses of judgment, like the time when she was ten and she thought she could drink a 64-ounce watermelon Slurpee in three minutes – gone. All her stories, made up and real – gone. And doodles; cat heads and arrow-struck hearts and three-dimensional ice cubes, melting over passages written about boring English classes, and crummy History assignments – gone. And every self-affirming notation written in tiny script along the bottoms of every entry for the past four years – gone.

There wasn’t even a little, not even a little bit of her life left in that bag. 

The little pink book with the purple and white spiral bindings in which she had poured out her soul was no longer in her possession. And she felt possessed. She began to tear apart the rest of her small bedroom like a mad person. Her dresser - so clean, so orderly once - now Christa was grabbing handfuls of clothing and throwing them willy-nilly over her head, not caring where they landed or what they knocked over.

She tossed socks like softballs, whipped underwear like Frisbees and sent her shirts flying in all directions (one even got caught on top of the yellow canopy above her bed and, while she attacked her pants’ drawer, a long, blue sleeve swung back and forth above her head, as if appealing to her for pity, or for a hand.) 

It wasn’t there.

Her life was nowhere in her dresser, not even among her bras.

She ran to her closet next, pulling out boots and sneakers and cleats, pushing them out of her way like piles of dirt. She dug deep, past her galoshes (which she only wore if her mother really got on her case when it was rainy and she had to walk to school.) I mean really, she thought, thrusting them squeaking behind her, they’repolka dotted!!! 

She pushed out her roller blades, and then her roller skates and then her ice skates, which she realized she’d not used yet even though she got them for her birthday two years ago. She hadn’t even taken the blades to be sharpened. For a second she thought to stop and see if they still fit, but then she remembered that there were several pages in her diary dedicated to the best and worst dressed of her friends, written in gold, glittery capital letters and shoved aside the skates like they were burning hot to her touch. 

She threw open the top of a box that held all her old toys and stuffed animals and dove in. She swam through Pound Puppies and Pillow People, Cabbage Patch Dolls and My Little Ponies. She bobbed along a sea of Barbies and Beanie Babies for a time hoping her fingers would somehow discover the smooth face of her diary beneath Malibu Barbie or Nanook, a gray-faced Beanie Husky.


By the time she reached the bottom of the box she was only scooping up crayon nubs, Colorforms, Lego blocks and Lite-Brite pieces like so much sediment from her childhood.

Christa was out of breath. There was a stitch in her side and her brow was covered in sweat. She sat, heaving in the middle of her closet, surrounded by junk, new and old. Close to tears, she began weakly moving the clothes above her head. Reaching up she pulled at hems and sleeves, trying to sort through them from her seated position. Above her, dresses and blouses and jackets rustled and jostled against each other on hangers as she pulled at them. 

She though about the first entry she ever wrote in her diary. It was July 13th, her tenth birthday. 

Her mom let her have a pool party with friends. It was the first time she’d ever been allowed to have a friend party. A real friend party. Before her tenth birthday Christa’s mom would always just throw her a party with everyone in her family and afterward Christa would be able to have one friend come over for a sleepover. That’s it.

When Christa found out she could have a real party she was so excited she had run around the house for a full 20 minutes until she tripped over one of her little brother’s fire trucks and stubbed her toe. Then she cried for twenty minutes until she remembered she would be having her very own friend party and ran up to her room to make out the invitations.

She’d made them all herself, using pink construction paper (that was her favorite color at the time) and she spent hours carefully writing out “You’re Invited” in big, purple, loopy letters on the front of each invitation and making sure to put, “Please R.S.V.P. by July 11th(even though she wasn’t sure what R.S.V.P. stood for; she knew those were the letters that meant people had to tell you whether or not they were coming to your party.) 

She made one invitation for each of her best friends. 

First, she’d made invitations for Jenny, Lisa and Abby. Even though they had only just met that year in Mr. Harland’s class, they’d become really close right away. They’d had to work on an art project painting a huge poster of South America, labeling all the countries and famous geographical landmarks like Lake Titicaca and had spent a lot of time together in the library and the art room, researching and painting. 

It took them two weeks and by the time they were done, they knew who liked tuna fish and who liked bologna sandwiches, who thought Mr. Harland wore a toupee and who thought his hair was actually an animal fur and they had all sworn never to reveal the names of each other’s secret crushes even if they’d have to have horrible acne and knobby knees and sweaty armpits when they got to high school.

Next she made an invitation for Charlene, her next door neighbor. They’d been friends ever since Christa’s family had moved onto Blossom Street three years earlier. 

Christa loved going over to Charlene’s house because Charlene had a trampoline in her backyard and a big, slobbery Husky named Gretchen. Charlene and Christa used to dress Gretchen up in a sunhat and necktie and play school. Christa was Mrs. Peabody and Charlene was Mrs. Maple and Gretchen was their eager but clumsy pupil.

When Gretchen inevitably tried to eat her homework at the end of each school day, Charlene and Christa would send her to detention in her doghouse in the backyard and eat peanut butter covered celery sticks. 

Last, but certainly not least Christa made an invitation for her friend Mary. Mary wasn’t just her friend, she was her best, best ever friend. They’d been friends forever. Since they were little babies. Christa’s mom and Mary’s were friends too. They’d been best, best ever friends since they were in school together. 

Mary and Christa would spend almost every day together. Christa’s mom said that as babies, they’d shared the same cradles and playpens and even bottles. As little kids they’d shared clothes and books and dolls and popsicles. Whenever they got anything new, they told each other right away, and whenever they got new games they always played them for the first time with each other. 

They’d go on nature hikes together, paint rocks together (which they tried to sell to their parents as special paperweights), tell each other all their secrets and talk about what it would be like when they went to high school together and college and had kids of their own. Christa wanted two – a boy and a girl. Mary just wanted a girl.

And it was Mary who came to see Christa when her grandmother had died. She’d sat with her, stroking her hair and giving her tissues while Christa cried on the floor and wrote in her diary. Mary had known how close to her grandmother Christa was, how they’d spend every Sunday together and how they’d talk on the phone during the week and write each other letters even though they only lived a few miles from one another. Christa’s grandmother taught her to read and swim and how to ice skate (her grandmother lived on a lake.) 

Later, it was Mary who went with Christa to the funeral and held her hand so that Christa could squeeze it when she hurt. 

Christa had spent extra time on Mary’s invitation, drawing three galloping horses on the back of the invitation, a stallion, a mare and a foal. Mary loved horses and when they’d play together, running around the yard, Mary’s long brown hair would fly like a halo around her head. It reminded Christa of the pictures of horses Mary had in her room and she’d often call Mary “Mare” for short when they were together. 

Her very first friend party was a complete success. All of her friends R.S.V.P.ed. and Christa’s mother had sent her little brother to spend the afternoon with their Aunt Julia so he wouldn’t be a little pest and bug them all day. 

They played Mall Madness and Ask Xandar, the game that told your fortune. The crystal ball wizard told Christa she was going to marry Sammy Turner and Charlene was going to grow up and have sixteen cats and Lisa was going to marry a professional football player and have four kids and Jenny and Abby were both going to be hairdressers and Mary was going to become a movie star and marry Jason Priestley. Everyone laughed and threw popcorn at each other when they learned of their dubious futures. 

That day they all walked to the Cumberland Farms down the street and Mary dared Christa to drink the biggest Slurpee she could buy in under three minutes. She’d been hit with the worst brain freeze after only two minutes and thrown the rest away – the thought of another sip after that made her feel nauseous. 

They’d stayed in the pool for the rest of the day. When it was finally time for cake and presents they all looked like prunes. Christa’s mom made a birthday cake in the shape of Strawberry Shortcake and they ate it with, what else but strawberry ice cream.

When a few people, Christa included, started to turn pink in the cheeks – the first sign of a freckle-forming sunburn – they went inside for presents. 

Charlene gave Christa a new beanie baby for her collection – Nanook, the Husky. She’d put a yellow, large-brimmed Barbie hat on its head. Now we have a student who won’t pee when we’re trying to teach math, she’d said with a laugh. Christa cracked up and set the beanie beside her on the chair, front paws crossed under its head the way they always tried to get Gretchen to sit when they were “in class” together. 

Lisa gave a new acrylic paint set, something Christa had been saying she needed since she’d started painting 6-inch ceramic Disney figures earlier in the summer. Jenny gave her a new pool raft that had a pillow head rest and cup holder for her juice boxes and it was decorated with pink and yellow flowers. Christa’s stupid brother had actually put a hole in that raft not two weeks later when he belly flopped onto it while it was still on the concrete walkway surrounding the pool.  He scraped his chin when he did it but that didn’t make Christa feel any better about losing the raft. Abbey gave Christa two gift certificates to the movie theater with a promise that they’d go and see Free Willy when it came out later that week.

Mary was the last to give Christa her present. When she handed it to her, she’d told her she had one just like it in blue (her favorite color.) Christa had peeled back the Minnie Mouse wrapping paper to see a pink, little book with purple and white spiral bindings. On the cover it read, The Secret Keeper. Open it, Mary had urged. On the inside cover Mary had written, “For my best, best ever friend. If I write in mine every night and you do too, we can share all our thoughts when we see each other and it’ll be like we’re always together”.

That night, after Christa’s mother lathered her down with Aloe for her sunburn, Christa shut herself in her room and brought out her new diary. Careful not to smear any of the pages with her greasy hands and arms, she marked the date at the top of the first page and began to write, 

“Today I had my very first friend party and it was a blast. Charlene was there and Jenny, Abbey and Lisa and you, Mary. Thank you so much for this diary. It was the best present I got. Thank you for being my best, best ever friend. I won’t tell you about my party ‘cause you were there, but after the party my stupid brother came home and he was such a pest…”

Tears began rolling down Christa’s cheeks sitting there in her closet, remembering. She remembered that by the end of the first week, she wasn’t just writing in the diary once a day, but sometimes two and three times a day and whenever she got together with Mary they’d spend their first hour together reading each other’s diaries. They laughed and cried and wrote notes to each other in the margins. They highlighted their favorite parts and scribbled on the places where they made jokes about each other.

One day they decorated each other’s diaries with stickers – Christa put horses on Mary’s book and Mary put Minnie Mouse stickers on Christa’s. 

Sitting in the closet, crying, Christa found herself getting angry and sad and uncontrollable all over again. She began tearing all her clothes off their hangers, burying herself in winter jackets and special occasion dresses. The last dress to be yanked down was the black dress she’d worn to her grandmother’s funeral. She buried her face in the dress and squeezed the fabric between her fists until her hands ached.

Her diary was nowhere. Her life was over. All those memories, and thoughts and shared experiences with her friend – gone. 

Her diary, her best, best ever friend, they were gone. They were both gone.

Christa stayed crying for a long time. She cried angry tears and lonely tears and scared tears. She cried tears that stung her cheeks and tears that dripped down her nose. Sometimes her tears were happy when she remembered her best, best ever friend and sometimes when she cried those tears her whole body seemed to hurt so she stayed in the closet, with her only black dress until her mother found her. Christa’s mother picked her way through the wreckage surrounding her daughter and carefully scooped her up in her arms. Christa continued to clutch the black dress, the funeral dress.

“Why do people die?” She asked her mother quietly.

Her mother stroked her hair and sighed deeply.

“Sometimes people die because they are old and their bodies wear out, like your grandmother. Sometimes people die because they get sick or because they get hurt. Sometimes people die just because it is their time.”

“But why?” Christa asked in a voice which was barely a whisper.

Her mother kissed Christa on the forehead and hugged her tightly.

“Because we must. It’s the cycle of life. But you know that just because a person is gone it doesn’t mean they have disappeared. If we keep them in our hearts and memories they will be with us forever.”

“Like Grammy?” Christa asked.

“Just like Grammy,” her mother replied, kissing Christa’s forehead again.

“And, and what happens if you lose your memories?” Christa asked, beginning to cry again.

“You can never lose your memories, Christa. Not if they are made of love. Those memories live in our hearts always.”

Christa’s mother took Christa’s hands in hers and placed two books there, one pink and one blue.

“I found your diary between the cushions of the couch this morning,” she said. “And Mary’s mother just dropped this one off a moment ago. She thought you’d like to have it.”

Christa hugged the books to her chest and began to cry again, but this time, when it hurt she squeezed them to her heart until she felt better again.

After a little while she opened her diary and traced her fingers over the inscription written on the inside cover,

“For my best, best ever friend. If I write in mine every night and you do too, we can share all our thoughts when we see each other and it’ll be like we’re always together”.

“We’ll always be together,” Christa echoed and opening both books, side by side, she began to read.


It is a paradox.

We are the unknowable and the unattainable. We are the darkness visible.

We wake, we talk, we speak, we act, we dream, all in the hopes of finding solace and absolution because our souls, as if corporeal, are driven by potential, are married to inertia. We react and change and form and fall apart. We expand and contract and are equal and opposite. We are and were and have and had and need, most of all, we need.

We need out of a perceived sense of necessity, of urgency. We need because we desire to have.

Moving through life, evolving through life, we feel we must have in order to exist, to halt what we cannot get away from. As if, in order to turn nothing into something it must have shape.
In a constant state of change, having is the equivalent of being stationary, of being calm, of being.
We assume this is what life is, trying to exist. But we don’t have to try to exist, we are.

We feel and we think in an effort to understand, yet we are trying to understand why we feel and what we think, how we do any of it at all. We put necessity in the very things we feel have no purpose.

The truth remains that it is in the very nature of man (this very specific type of animal) to contain both the mystery and the answer - but not to understand them. Understanding is our own conception, our own attempt at control - the equal and opposite reaction to living that we imagine will alleviate our disquiet. We think, ‘we must have meaning, we must have a reason for being’ so we think we must have to “understand” what it is TO BE, and how TO BE in order for any of it to have purpose. In order for us to have purpose.

We liken understanding to seeing, to making that which is invisible visible. We believe that seeing something - that understanding something - means that it is real. If we can make something real we can pin it down, study it, find the sum and then finally relax and step back from it all.

We want to be real because the truth is that in the very nature of man, we want to exist so that we can unmake that existence. We want to know how to be so that we can un-be.

The truth, is that we don’t want to exist at all.