Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Lessons of the Budda Palm Manual

When a young, intelligent boy with an imagination that spans time and space is approached by an old, world-weary monk selling an ancient sacred manual of a secretive shaolin sect that was wiped out because of their extreme power, you can see the hands of destiny taking hold. The youth takes all the money he has saved in his ten years of life, and buys the manual. Then he studies. And trains. And studies. And trains. Then he sleeps. Then he wakes again and trains and studies, honing the power and glory that is the Budda Palm Technique. Through his swift, sure movements, grown strong and graceful with practice and confidence, the laws of nature bend around his open hand strikes. The winds carry his lithe body as he shifts through his katas, space shifting behind him.

When his Karmic Test comes in the form of a group of thuggish older kids tormenting an apparently mute young girl, he knows that he is ready. He approaches the leader of the youths, more ogre than human, and warns him that his barbaric acts will only lead to folly and ruin. The group as one laughs at him and the ogre roars in challenge. The young child, regretting the loss of a life so young but determined to save the girl, prepares his powerful Budda Palm strike.

He pulls back his hand, his palm up to the sky, the sun filling his skin, his fingers, with its eternal heat.

He gathers his chi, his spiritual force, into a ball of white light that tickles and pulses in his hand.

He says a quick prayer of forgiveness.


Nothing happens. The bully looks at the kid. Then the bully beats the crap outta the poor kid. So do the bully's friends. Then they all gather as one, draw down their trousers, and urinate on the poor boy who is crying the tears of the defeated, of the hopeless. Of the foolishly naïve. Had that old begger really been...just an old beggar? As the children walk away, zipping up their pants, laughing at the poor boy, he pulls out his beloved Budda Palm manual and tears it to shreds. The little girl is gone, her would-be hero laid low. The boy, still crying, his body sore, limps home where he endures the shame of his parents.

What's the point of this little story? Well, it's that some lessons are expensive. But sometimes we have to learn them anyway.

Case in Point (and the real reason for the post): Our Cold water return on the Air conditioner (located in the basement and part of the Heater) was leaking water. Leaking a LOT of water. I couldn't figure it out. Raquita and Grandma thought it was the water heater. Nobody knew why it was occurring and I had no clue and was tired of mopping up water. So we call the House Warranty People, figuring the $75 deductible would be well worth the costly repairs that would need to be done to the heating/cooling unit, right? Right.

The guy came today, looked at the situation, looked at the hose running from the unit to the drain, UNKINKED THE HOSE, and was like, 'There ya go. All fixed. Let it drain. That'll be $75.'


For a kinked hose. Since me, Grandma and Raquita didn't see the hose and it NEVER occurred to me to check a hose, I figure we all paid for that lesson. $25 bucks a piece to know that you ALWAYS look for the hose, and always unkink it.

The poor kid only paid $10 for his budda palm manual.

...of course, I didn't get pissed on by a bunch of Chinese kids with bad teeth. So I guess I come out ahead.

I gotta run and go give that crackhead in the dumpster $5 for the Flying Tiger Levitation Technique Manual he showed me...



Tuesday, May 23, 2006


that everything you touch turns to mud in your hands.

that everything you see decays even as you watch.

that the light burns and the darkness blinds you.

you cant breathe and you're not sure you want to remember how.

you are surviving on coffee and water and pepto bismol tablets and any plastic that is small enough to chew on.

the pressure in your neck and behind your eyes makes you want to share that pressure with anybody near enough to reach and slow enough to be caught.


Imagine that you cant see a way out of your own mind.


Imagine that you take a second, and pray;

            For strength

            For peace

            For Hope

            For a moment that lets you breathe without screaming


Imagine that you feel that moment, that breath, enter your heart.



Imagine that you KNOW things will get better.

Imagine that it doesn't hurt so much to smile anymore.

Imagine the pressure lessening in your gut, despite the acid of the coffee eating at its walls.



Imagine that you look to your left, and you see your loved one still not breathing, still writhing in stress

Imagine that you touch them, and breathe into their lungs, their mouth, their mind, as breath was put into yours.


Imagine the smile that they give you, weary, unsure, pained, but still a smile.

Imagine them nodding to you, and you dig back in.


Imagine all that....got it?



THAT is my day before noon.

Welcome to my world.





Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tagged by Q

I AM: Trying to align the reality of myself, physically, emotionally, spiritually, with the vision I have in my head.  It's hard, ugly, sweaty work.`
I WANT: To finish my book.  So badly.  I still have other novels I want to write.

I WISH: I could make my wife feel as beautiful as she is.  My poetry just aint cutting it.

I HATE: When I feel like I cant do anything right and that everything I touch is doomed to crumble

I MISS: Being debt free...man, 8th grade was great!
I HEAR: Buena Vista Social Club, my boss stalking the isles before our meeting,
I WONDER: What my daughter will think of me when she grows up.

I REGRET: Not doing better in college, despite the distractions.  They were really just convenient excuses.  Actually, I regret not taking the time to figure out what I REALLY wanted to do.  It still eludes me to this day.
I AM NOT: As fearless as my wife about our future, financially, but Im working to make us more prepared.
I DANCE: but not enough with my wife.  Stress keeps cutting in.
I SING: whenever I play guitar, which was last night, outside with Cammy.  The neighbors gave me a quick review of my talents but shutting their windows.
I CRY: Only in my head.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: Easy to get along with.  I need things, physical contact and intimacy, and sometimes I go about getting them in the wrong ways.
I WRITE: not nearly enough to  finish my book, and not well enough to really like what I read, but enough to want to improve, and enough to keep trying to do more.
I CONFUSE: Everyone around me when I speak my unedited thoughts in a continuous stream.
I NEED: To not lose focus
I SHOULD: Be working.
I START: Asking questions as they appear in my head, even if I know you couldn't possibly know the answer.
I FINISH: Very few things before a new distraction floats past my eyes.  Welcome to ADHD
I TAG: Whoever actually reads this blog.




Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Inspired by my wife (who doesnt sing but does anyway)

Black Woman Blues


If she holds that first note/

eyes sealed and tomb-heavy/

finger kissin' the mic/

we know she's got the ghost/

Fat Bass sighs his strings down/

Bone Boss stops tap-tap-tapping/

Doc Stick rattles a soft march/

and Brass Man pulls the pause


The cotton skirts and/

dirt shirt boys take their pew seats/

they know the hymn and the sermon/

hands raised and testifyin'


She pulls that mud-water tone out/

on a holiday/

a holy day and she's still making love/

she's got the melody and/

Brass Man's on the down stroke,



Doc Stick watches her hips/

she's molasses thick and he marks/

time as she willow-sways/

the old music in her/

the lyrics heat-trickle down her neck/

and Doc pounds the old heat through/

that black skin bass


The dirt shirt boys see the ghost in her/

they get to clappin and stompin/

they wanna rush the groove/

cotton skirt-twirl hike-up dance it/

skip to the end and/

sleep on the chorus/

but she aint lettin go.


Bone boss stays spider-light on the

ivory. He bird-songs her

summer night/pulls the

stars out and sets them twinklin


Fat Bass hums thick and sargum-low/

he lays down that country road home/

sausage fingers on gold string biscuits/

but she's got the ghost/

she aint coming home tonight.


Brass Man takes her up/

they dance that ghost-step/

off the road, past the birds/

her song is hot peach cobbler on his lips/

burns the tongue but he keeps on playin/


The cotton skirts dance green angry moves,

narrow hips and can't keep Black Woman's groove.

She takes all the men to that hidden place/

they don't know the way


Black Woman pulls that last boy-summer/

out of an old song/

hums the final note/

lets the cotton shirt boys know they/

aint got time to waste before/

winter's coming and black woman's

on the next song

and the band is packin up.