Monday, January 31, 2011

cutting corners

my internet has been spotty. going in and out in no consistent pattern. i just got it installed last week, after a good half a month with no service at all, and from the moment it was hooked up, it went out for no good assuming that it was installed incorrectly, that there is an unstable connection somewhere along the line. im no whiz when it comes to technical set ups, but i have my suspicions why this is happening.

the first time a technician came out there was a simple reason why he couldnt hook it up. he was afraid. to install internet into my building one must go to the roof, drop down a ground wire which will run into the basement, then hook up a coaxial from my apartment to a small hub of wires attached to the backside of my building. snow still blanketed the street, it lined the sidewalks in 5 foot high ridges and banks. and a rain had fell the evening before, creating an icy sheet under your feet. a definite hazard when navigating the rooftop of a five story apartment building. when it became clear that the technician would have to complete this task in order for my internet to be hooked up, he sternly declined the job telling me id have to have someone else come out to do the deed. frustrated but also acknowledging that if i complained and he did go to the roof, id have to suffer the burden of guilt were anything to happen to him, i agreed to make another appointment and let him go on his way. sure, it is his job and he should have been trained to work under such conditions [we are in new york, after all. snow isnt entirely uncommon] but the guy feared for his life. i just didnt want to deal with it.

the second guy that came out was a supervisor. he assessed the situation, saw that it was entirely doable and that the previous technician just lacked a certain bravery to complete job, and told me that another person would have to come out soon to finish what had yet to be started. he did, while muttering under his breath about the lack of focus these young kids had and the unreasonable sense of entitlement the junior technicians seemed to be born with, lay down some basic groundwork for the next technician to work with. i thanked him and made another appointment with the internet company to have my service installed the following week.

when the third technician came out the attitude was different. he had a careless, almost third world bravery about him. he trudged along the roof, crunching ice under his boots and sliding every so often [without even so much as a widening of the eyes to show alarm] while peeking over the edge of the building to see just where the ground wire would have to fall. after a brief survey of the wires already available and the potential job at hand, he hissed through his teeth and grabbed one of the cables that already lay on the roof.

-these idiots think i have to do all this work to install your internet. theyre wrong. idiots. ill just take this wire here and ground it to this box on the roof to your neighbors building.

he walked over to a small hub that hung from the top to my neighbors courtyard. -see, people dont like how i work, but i bypass all the bullshit. i dont need to climb up the back of your building, why should i? there is a grounder right here. he pointed to a box just a few feet away, on the next rooftop.

he proceeded to hook a cable up to the box, which not only was i unsure was active, but that looked like a shaky jumping point, being that it just hung there and wasnt attached to anything.

-these assholes expect me to do all this unnecessary bullshit, he said, i dont need to! you understand? i cut through the bullshit my man. thats why they dont like me.

i just stared at him in silence. the wind was cold and quiet and the icy layer beneath us broke loudly as he negotiated the questionable connection. finally he put his tools away and beckoned for me to lead him back to my apartment.

when we got back inside he fiddled with a few wires from my wall, then hooked up the modem to my computer. after about ten minutes of waiting for the connection to kick in, in which i sat on my couch and he stood near my desk and we discussed the Jets loss and the potential of a decent superbowl even without our beloved green and white on the field, my google homepage kicked on.

-there ya go chief, he beamed, youre internet is on. see? i told you all that other shit was nothing. took me twenty minutes to hook that up. this is why they dont like me, because i cut through the bullshit. he hissed again through his teeth and shook his head.

i thanked him and gave him a check for the install. he wrote me up a receipt and we shook hands and he left. not five minutes later my internet went out. ive been restarting my modem each half hour ever since.

finally, today, i decided to give them another call and have another technician come out. this is bullshit. i dont even know if ill be able to post this.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


because im lazy
because im always in a rush
because i never want to do anything
because i want to do it all
because i am alone
because i never get time to myself
because it is a sport
because i hate games
because i have something inside me that needs to get out
because im empty and hollow and it doesnt mean anything
because im an adult
because i act like a kid
because i have ambition
because ill never go anywhere
because i want to launch myself out into the cosmos with my arms flailing and my teeth bare and i want to feel the universe embrace me and fall fall fall back down to earth a different person
a person with purpose, who the world cant live without. and loping along the city with eyes rolling in my head and my hair in tight uncombable curls and my breath hot and sour i want to feel like the man that my mother always promised id grow up to be.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

too tired to do anything, i sit at my computer with my hands on the keys and let the drone of advertisements flush from the tv. my engine is cashed. there is nothing left in me to burn.

Monday, January 03, 2011

trying to find the words

when i was a kid i had a stuttering problem. it only went on for a few months, this stuttering problem, then it went away, like a virus or a scar.

i dont know when it came, this stuttering problem, i guess i just woke up with it one day. it was startling, not just to me but to everybody around me as well. like waking up with set of different color eyes, or suddenly being considerably shorter. a small change, but still a hysterical absurdity. out of nowhere i had this sudden affliction. an unforeseen characteristic had been formed. without warning, a had a stuttering problem.

and i liked it.

i dont think i developed this stuttering problem on purpose, although i did find something fashionable about it. when i stuttered —and it was always a brief hiccup of syllables, a short series of them. but never would i get so stuck on a word that i had to catch my breath and restart the sentence— it felt unique and novel. it made me feel somewhat special. it wasnt tragic, but it was sort of sad. and it wasnt contagious, nor called for the burden of assistance. it was just a slight disorder, one that signaled a quirk in my psychology. it could sometimes even be cute, a reason to pinch my cheeks.

clearly —and i was aware of this even then— it really was a quirk in my psychology. and yes, it was very sad. i cant pinpoint which issue it was i had been suffocating for so long, that it decided to return in the form of a speech impediment, but i had a lot of chaos in me back then so it doesnt really matter. choose a card. pick a number. draw a straw, they're all short.

i was living in a group home in the richmond district of San Francisco, then. only a few blocks from golden gate park, nestled in a row of Edwardian style houses just a few miles from the pacific ocean. there were five kids there and always two counselors on duty. none of them had a stuttering problem. i was about eleven years old and i was the youngest, the others were all in their early to late teens. we shared bed rooms. two boys in one room and two girls in one room. the oldest kid got his own room. or the girl, if there was only one.

we ate breakfast in the morning before school. it was there i unveiled my stuttering problem. i asked for something or was trying to say something and it came out in sputtering starts. like an engine that couldnt catch. i pushed through it and finished saying what it was i wanted to say, but everyone noticed it and for a moment i grew red in the face.

no one said anything though, they all just looked curiously at me for a moment, and then continued on eating their food or saying something or just staring at their plate and not making a sound at all. the counselors glanced at each other though, wordlessly discussing me with their eyes. i noticed this and have to admit i felt a little warm and wanted.

when it happened at school my friends would poke fun and we would all laugh, even me. it was just a small thing, a little nervous tic. even though it was the sign of some deeper, unaddressed anxiety i had, one that i was too young to consider, it wasnt terminal, it could have been worse. none of us were worried. we knew kids that sucked their thumbs. kids that were allergic to half the cafeteria food. kids that were quiet and were always bruised. kids that never showered and were mean and angry. i just had a little spasm when i spoke. a slight stuttering problem. nothing to get dramatic about.

some of my teachers looked at me sideways, and a couple asked me if i had always stuttered, as if they couldnt remember either way. a guidance counselor, whom i had to visit quite often on account of my spotty attendance record and apathetic approach towards homework, sat me down and asked when this stuttering problem started. i couldnt give her an honest answer, so i just told her a couple weeks ago, and she nodded her head and wrote something down and then looked at me gently.

when i spoke to my mother on the phone she immediately noticed and asked how long it'd been going on. i dont know, i said. she grumbled something i couldnt understand and then said, well stop it, it makes you sound dumb.

the counselors at the group home never directly addressed it, but they took special care at keeping an eye over me. id feel them in my peripherals watching as i had a conversation with one of the other kids, or when i was on the phone with someone or simply sitting at the table concentrating on my food. they would stare at me and bite their nails. they were all in their early twenties, they only took the job to pay their way through college or grad school. so they had nothing but curiosity for this oddity. and until it became of great concern, they resigned themselves to stealthily studying it. this stuttering problem.

i suppose i took the same approach, and just waited for it to pass. i made no attempts to stop stuttering, but i didnt encourage it either. i only delighted in it while it lasted. embraced the burden and suffered the concern. i was the stuttering boy. the kid with the little problem. it would go away, i knew, and it eventually did.

it went on for a few months and then just as quickly as it was realized it was forgotten. gone. and i was back to just a boy and the world grew big again.


its been a long time but im still here and to be honest i always will be, until of course, im dead.

ive been meaning to write and write about things that are worthy to write about but you know how it is with fear and emotion and intellect and courage shit, not to mention articulation and cadence and the language of it all. hell, it just becomes a jumbled mess and who am i to say it shouldnt be.

i got a 4o oz of beer to my right. its not malt liquor if thats what you were thinking. not that i give a shit what you think anyway. its the king of beers. but for those watching their calories, yet still want a chilly smooth taste. its Bud Ice. thats right. its golden and sudsey behind an iconic blue label.

so im planning on writing all the time but as anyone who reads this blog knows, that will only last a week or so before it ends. its not like a new years resolution or anything, just a decision i made since we are entering a period which may signify a rebirth of sorts. im just going by the calender, really. there is no sentiment beyond that. its the 2nd and i wanted to start the 1st. look at that, im late already.

i have a billion things inside me - or maybe its only a few thouand or possibly a couple hundred or perhaps just ten or so - and they all are in pieces waiting to be formed. i aim to complete their puzzles and then paint them to make them pretty.

it only took all the poisons i could find to make me realize ive grown sick and need medical attention.

i think thats it for now. i will write more later.
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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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