The Walkin' Talkin' Meteors I Miss When I'm Standin' In The Yard Blues

by Serge Bielanko

I wake up at 5 this morning, set the alarm on the iPhone, the whole bit. I pull on my shorts and step into my Vans and hit the bathroom to get rid of the one Sierra Nevada Pale Ale I let myself drink last night and then away I go/down I go/down the stairs headed for the coffee pot.

I can make coffee in my sleep. I've made trillions of pots of coffee in my life. I've Malcom Gladwell'd the operation, achieved my 10,000 hour expert status in making pots of coffee by the time I was like 17. I'm making a pot of coffee right now as I type this shit. I'm not kidding. I'm typing this with one hand and making a pot of coffee with the other and both things are moving along nicely, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I start the coffee even though I'm still ninety-seven percent unconscious and then I head out the door from the kitchen into the summer kitchen and then unlock the back door and stumble out into the backyard dark to see the last of the shooting stars.


Look, it doesn't matter why I'm looking for meteors or meteorites or whatever the hell you call them. That's not something I'm even clear about: my reasoning, my motivation. Everyone has been talking about these bastards whipping across the sky and I want in, that's all. People are talking about a remarkable event and so obviously those of us who slept right through it last night might be feeling a little pressure to crawl out of bed this morning and have a crack, you know?

Someone told me the tale of high-fiving his girlfriend in the middle of the night the other night because they were so jacked up on all the meteors they were seeing up in the sky.



I'm not the most competitive person in the world, but when it comes to stuff like this I get pissed off if I missed it. I admit that. I'm lame, what do you want me to say? You're not lame at all? Good for you. I'm lame, man.

I'm weak and ultra human.

I got pissed off when I missed the whole Mad Men thing a few months back. People talking about Mad Men this and Mad Men that, "The big finale is coming up!", blah blah blah. I got so pissed off and annoyed that I wasn't gonna be able to catch up on friggin' Mad Men in time to watch the final episode I started unfriending people on Facebook who were all Mad Menning out.

Fuuuck you, I thought. Goodbye to you and your dumbass Mad Men.

That show is ruined for me forever now, too. Don't tell me how great it is, how I need to see it; I don't care; I'll never watch it; I will pop my fingers in my earholes and la-la-la-la-la while you tell me how much I would love it in that certain kind of way that we try and sell people our own taste, by emphasizing the fact that absolutely KNOW that this particular person would LOVE it. 

"Oh dude, you especially, you would LOVE MAD MEN!!!"

Soon as I hear that tone I automatically hate the thing. Band, album, show, book, hummus, it doesn't matter, I hear that very certain little tone, that emphasis on the personal, and I hate the thing so much without even teeny tiny bit of checking it out. It sucks! I know it sucks. But I can't help it. It is what it is. Tell me I'd hate it though, tell me I wouldn't dig the things you dig, and I will be clung out on your windowsill at night tapping your glass with a penny trying to wake your ass up just so you can walk over and stare at me in bewilderment as I "casually" mention to you in passing that I've actually been digging on that band you said I'd hate. So kiss my ass. And love me please. Incidentally, I don't dig the band in reality, but my false reality trumps my real one when you challenge my cultural/pop-ness.

You know what I'm talking about, don't you? You do this too, right?

Anyway the way things came down means that nothing could ever bring me back from where I ended up going with that final episode of Mad Men, how much I suffered underneath all that hype and chatter.

Maybe a woman could bring me round, I guess. If a drop dead gorgeous woman with her hooks in my chest told me she wanted to watch Mad Men with me, I'd probably go with that. No, I would go with that, I'm telling you that right now. But that hasn't happened yet and so the rest of you can take your Don Draper and all his friends and stick them in your ass.

I'm out.


I know that isn't cool, of course I know that. I don't need you to tell me how juvenile that is, but there you go: I'm writing my honest, true heart here, okay? Sometimes I'm moved by inexplicable whims. I get hurt by incidentals, nudged by a strange and twisted kind of evil that squats down in my bone tunnels. I'm Malcom Gladwelling preposterous disdain. I'm like five hours away from being an expert asshole.



This morning my heart feels pure enough. I want to see the meteors because I know they must be beautiful to see. I want to press my face against the predawn sky and feel the magic of something rare and wonderful in the big majestic sense, you know? Nothing feels that way to me anymore. It will again, I know it will. But lately, after divorce and all the sad blues that come along with it, everything beautiful is a struggle for me to see. I can't seem to clock much beyond the occasional skies I post on Instagram or the tiny moments when I catch my kids playing together in the front room on a Sunday morning.

I haven't been Shazam'd in a while. I could use a fucking meteor shower is what I'm saying, yo. I deserve a whole sky full of shooting stars or whatever you call 'em. That might sound a bit presumptuous and immature, me saying I deserve anything as awesome as that, but I'm saying it anyway. At least sitting here in all this late morning retrospect I am. Because in retrospect, you see, anything goes.

Point is, I don't see shit.

I turn away from the big streetlight down behind the church and I concentrate my gaze over towards the dark skies above the mountain beyond town. I give it the recommended fifteen minutes or so to let my eyes adjust. Let your eyes adjust, that's what all the damn articles on the internet have been saying, let your precious little eyeballs adjust to black infinity if you wanna see some crazy outer space romantic action, you simple-minded Walmart astronomer wannabe.


There are stars but only the still kind.

A plane or three.

I watch one pin dot flicking it's light way up there and I try to imagine where they're going. Maybe JFK? How the hell do you ever know? We cannot know. I think that sucks. I stand there and think about heading back in for a cup of coffee but I get caught up in this notion about how it would be pretty cool if there was an app that you could hold up to the sky just like that Sky Watch one, but you aim it at jets and it tells you where they're out of and where they're headed. I'd buy that. Then I remember the obvious/that people would probably use it in shitty ways, I guess. It's got to be a secret anymore, I figure. You're not allowed to know stuff like that. You and me are on a need-to-know basis when it comes to the jets twinkling way up there above our twee little lives down here on the ground.

And we don't need to know a damn thing is what we need to know,. I take my app idea and I kill it out there in my yard just as soon as it's born. I stomp it's soft baby head into the dewy grass. I cold blood murder probably the best idea I'll have all day and the sun's not even up yet.


Perseids Meteorites Seen as of This Morning:

Everyone Else: 376,763,221,217,338,093.

Serge Bielanko: 0


People up there in a jet headed for places, headed home, maybe an hour or so away from terminal hugs from someone they love so hard and have missed so badly; people sitting there in the dimmed cabin sleeping/some drooling down on their comfortable travel shirt/some listening to music or hovering around the aisle by one of the bathroom doors/stretching their legs and arms/pretending to be looking at other stuff when they're really looking at the people in the rows right there beside them. That's what I'd be doing, what I always did back when I traveled in planes a lot. I'd be pretending I was trying to dodge the thrombosis by sneaking glances at women so beautiful that they hurt my face. I would sneak looks at them as they slept there on their boyfriends shoulders or their husbands shoulders, him still half-awake squinting at the Tom Cruise flick in the seat back screen, him content with the knowledge that he is the one moving fast through the sky with a special kind of someone asleep against his body. 

Clinking/clanking stewardesses getting the breakfast carts ready to roll out.

The feeling of an airplane cabin when you are roused from your shitty sleep by the sound of other people rousing from theirs, the faint thumps and squeaks of their chairs moving again, the sitters coming back to life, the rush of coffee slamming itself up your nose, the clack of trays coming down now, your blurry eyes coming round, window seat man waking up/lifting his plastic shutter/the sound is hiss-thwack/he looks out over the dark world below, you try to see too but you cannot see the dark world below, you cannot see it, you can only sense it as the lights rip down the aisles down and the cabin is lit again, you only sense what is happening miles beneath your feet, but is a sense that eludes you since you have no idea that it is connected to the universe in such a tidy little way.

You feel yourself coming alive and you are coming alive as the airplane cabin comes alive and brings you along with it. Your heart sings with inside happiness. You are kind of giddy and you cannot wait for the breakfast cart. You have nowhere to be right now. You are exactly where you paid to be and that is all that matters as you look around you at the people in the neighboring rows and you feel the loose kinship/the ephemeral human connection that happens between people riding together in same jets.

There is a casual union. Sometimes it feels like it could maybe last forever, but we both know it never does. Up in the sky, you sigh. Up in the sky, you are happy this morning. Hours ago, you fell asleep to the sight of many meteorites dancing down the unseen horizon. Window seat had let you see out there then. It was all amazing. What fortune to be in the sky during such a time. The coffee smells divine now. You're almost to Charlotte, to your connection, to Paris/to Dubai/to Moscow/to the moon. You smile to yourself at how lovely life can be.

And down here in my yard, I look up at your jet and wonder what I have to do to see a fucking a meteor around here.


I spin around, a little dejected but I'll live, my nose all up in the coffee smell pouring out of my own airplane cabin parked here in this dirt for the next ten thousand years, I guess.

I flip on the TV.


I flip it off.


I take a first sip of coffee at the exact moment a meteor crashes through the roof and explodes all over my kitchen.

I smile, take a second sip.

Here we go.


Six Eyes/Six Eyes/Seven Days a Week

by Serge Bielanko

I hand off the kids to her with the regular goodbyes.

Henry kisses me on the lips and smiles and waves his hands around because he's high on the cookie he was just eating in my Honda not five minutes ago. Violet is already in the backseat, clicking in. She's far enough away that she doesn't want to come back up for a kiss. I get it. I smile at her and she smiles and looks out her window at the summer bashing down all over this gas station parking lot.

Charlie never stops smiling at me. He says his favorite word. "Bye." He says this gently, with soul and meaning, and it dawns on me that he knows the drill now. He knows that him sitting there in his mom's car seat but looking at my face means goodbye.

"Bye-bye, my friend!" I tell him with a wave. "I love you, Charlie Marley!"

"Bye." he says. "Bye." He likes the sound of his own goodbyes and I know it.

Her van doors close on an automatic hinge as if they've been pre-programmed to close the curtain on this scene for way longer than I could ever even know. There is a latching sound and then then the slow smooth slide of the door returning to it's natural state. It's so fucking mechanical that it kills me.


The last sound I hear is the pop of her locks as she sets them on her own from behind her dash.

She rolls the window down then and Henry is back and he's still smiling at me as Charlie waves the last gulp of milk in his bottle at me from across the dark inside.

"Bye." "Bye." "Bye." He's on a roll. He's goodbying the hell out of me. He's telling me to get lost, let him get on with his evening, maybe. It's hard to say.

We part ways under the afternoon sun and I wonder if anyone here in this lot notices us at all. I wonder if anyone pumping their gas over there might have just been staring at us and clocking all this goodbye/tradeoff/little modern divorce performance art Fringe Festival pop-up fucking play we've been putting on here for free over by the tire air hose.

Probably no one has. Convenience store people this time of day have had it with the world. They're sloshing gas to get home. They're moving across the lot, moving from heat to the doors of salvation, to the AC and piped in modern rock and the overfat cans of Mountain Dew just staring out the cooler glass like evening dogs panting down the front window, waiting for the return of their humans.

I'd notice though.

People like me would notice us.

We separate. We come together and we separate, wholly and completely, all the time now. In the first few moments of our weekly reunion I am a man on fire, my heart rising up out of my swamps and dancing across my land with the hugs and the kisses and the greetings and the picture Henry drew for me or the stuffed animal Violet just got and needs to show me. Then we live some life. We eat, we go to the park or to the store, we get tired, we laugh, we lay close to each other and we yell or fight or dance depending on the passing moment, depending on the full moon or not.

By the fourth hour of the fourth day I'm exhausted. And so are they, I guess. We have settled into our groove in order for us to rip it the fuck apart. We have grown slightly more familiar with each other just so we can walk away again.

I smoke cigs on the back porch to the sound of them chasing each other around back in the house.

I tell myself that I'm being watched/I tell myself that the universe has cameras all over my ass. I imagine me being studied by some kind of energy rippling across outer space and it's the kind of energy with enough pull to make shit happen for me but truth is I don't even know what I'm hoping for, what I'm thinking could happen. I'm already happening, man. We all are. It's all happening right now, right here/right now even as I blow Marlboro Light smoke at the afternoon bees and fuck 'em up into toxic holding patterns for a second or two.

From above us, with good hi-def cameras attached to strong drones, a smart documentary maker with a badass budget could capture something wild and sad and wonderfully blue. The right person with the right eye could make something good out of all this standard heartbreak, I think. I tell myself shit like that all the time, try to live my days through the $50,000 lense of someone else's flick, someone else's masterpiece.

The talk-of-Sundance, I tell myself. Make us the talk of Sundance. Make me the talk of fucking Sundance just for lingering there in a gas station lot drowning in my own ridiculous meta.

"Bye." Charlie might still be saying that to me, he might not; there's no way for me to know.

I hang the right out of the parking lot and head up the valley directly away from them heading back down it.

I hit the CD player and it was always my plan.

The slow-rising drone of the synth.

Jesus standing there in a whipping desert dawn sandstorm.

The gates of Heaven.

True love.


Legendary beach sex.


The majesty rarely pulled off, but pulled off here.

Fuck you if you don't get it. I can't be responsible for everything that you've missed.

I had 'Where the Streets Have No Name' ready to roll even before I dropped 'em off. Look, this is my documentary, man. I've been thinking this thing up for eons. I've been starring in this thing all my godamn days. I know the music. I don't pay for shit. I piss all over your licensing and publishing.

I take U2 and I do what I want with them.

I light a smoke and stare at the sky as The Edge rises from the mist of his lonesome heath. I gun it by the farm that stinks like ass. I'm relieved to be free for a while but there's a high price to pay and that's guilt, baby. My lite sighs sound like chains clanking down off me but dude I can't win here.

Just as fast as I start pondering maybe going to the bar for an hour or two/maybe having a few beers/maybe watching some women with my do-nothing eyes/the guilt slams into the Honda and the airbags go off and I'm flying through the fucking summer sky/cartwheeling down into the cornfields/windshield shattered in the middle of the road/I catch a sky fall glance at my hissing hot radiator rolling up on somebody's lawn as I slam into the ground with the force of a crashing jet/the whole thing so intense to look at from the cars back behind me on the road/the life I have been living up until now making way for a whole new chapter that includes me dying in some fifteenth-row-from-the-road row of sweet Pennsylvania corn.

I imagine the tiny highway cross they will leave roughly where I came through the windshield. I will stand there and watch people fly by on their way to work or to get home in time to watch the Penn State game kickoff or whatever. I will haunt that little cross.

It will be an amazing scene to catch on film if the documentary maker has half a brain to think of it. My ghost at my own highway cross, are you kidding me? That will get me laid at Sundance for like the next fifty Sundances.

I miss them so much in the moments I leave them that I end up dying in the middle of my own movie every single time.

My drama knows no end.

I even play 'Where the Streets Have No Name' just so I can feel the goosebumps on my neck even when I don't crash/which is every time so far, you know.

I wanna run

I want to hide

I wanna tear down the walls that hold me inside...

I'm not crazy. I'm the opposite, yo. I kill me off to feel more alive than ever before. Moving away from them, I dream of my own nerves dangling out of my arms and my face like shiny red ribbons, like coral snake babies coming out of their eggs, because I know deep down that all this moving away from them is just a dream. It's just a dream.

We are together all the time. We are together all the time, I'm always turning up the tune, always cranking the knob in the very moment before Bono starts singing, always thrashing around in my own love for you three in ways that make it humanly impossible for any earthly notion of time or space or law to keep us apart.

My heart is more than the sky.

My heart is the first moments of the tune Daddy keeps playing for you over and over again, you guys. In the car, looking at you in the rearview even when you are not there, I know you are damn well there.

Even as I hold my fist in the air in the moments before he starts to sing, signaling to you that it is coming, that the dust cloud disappears without a trace, and that I love you more than I can ever even begin to fucking understand, I know you are there.

And that this movie is epic.

And that I'm sure that every word will make sense in time, that someday these things that I wrote will find the six eyes that I wrote them for.


Coffee Table Iron Man

by Serge Bielanko

That Morning.

Henry is standing at the coffee table with his tongue poking through lips as he draws Iron Man. He's got the big Ziploc of crayons and markers out and he's got the Iron Man action figure his grandma bought him down the shore stood up there on the ratty table. Iron Man standing right there in pretty much the exact same spot where I usually plop my one cold beer every evening after I finally get the kids to bed if I have them with me that night. I watch my son from out in the kitchen. I try and focus on the dude, letting his small body seep into my face like art, like a painting on a museum wall or something.

I don't know what happens to me whenever I manage to take a break out of my day and stare at my own kids' bodies. It's a real mind fuck. Their skin, their miniature arms poking out of their Walmart t-shirts, the flashes of toe I catch out the breath holes in their Crocs or their sport sandals, it's all too much sometimes in a way.

There he is right now. Henry. He's 4 and change and he's got his own identity now, his penchant for sweet moments of radical love peppered with his tendency to grump out when he's even the slightest bit tired or crashing down hard off a sugar high.

Him standing there with his tongue popping out his mouth as he tries to draw the Iron Man poised on the edge of his piece of white typing paper, it slams a million things into me at once.

I see his mom. I see us. I see a high school kid and I hope he's doing alright. I see him standing there beside my shitty hospital bed when I'm dying someday. I feel his hand in mine when we walk across dangerous grocery store parking lots and I feel his hand in mine while I'm slipping away from him forever, or at least until we meet again if that's what goes down, I dunno.

"Dad!," he starts talking at me.

"What?" I say.

"You gotta see this Iron Man I'm drawing you! But not yet! You can't look yet! I will show you when I'm done DWAWING him."

He says certain words with emphasis, this time it's that word: drawing. But he says it with his own little guy mouth and the jumbling of sounds and pronunciations and all that comes along with that and so he says it better than I've heard the word said in a while.

DWAWING. He says that. But with real emphasis, you know? I fucking stare at him hard and I want to grab him in my arms and cry. How is any of this happening to me? What is happening to me?

Am I happy, dude, or am I really sad? Is any of this normal? Am I fucking going crazy? Am I dreaming?


That Afternoon.

The guitar in my hands is this whole other thing. It's been a while since I held one as often as I'm holding one these days and there is power shooting back up into my arms from that. My brother, Dave, lights a smoke and finds me a couple of chords to plug into my electric tuner as Christine fiddles around with her keyboard, getting the thing powered up and switching around through some different sounds til she lands where she wants to land.

We smoke cigarettes and drink coffee. The four-o-clock summer sun is here in beams, deliberate/concise, three basketball court poles ripped out of the blacktop and slammed through the wall. Mark lowers his bass around his body and stands there looking out the front door at the road. Cars will rip by but it's a tiny village where we are, the middle of nowhere really. That road out there is a means to an end, but unless you're like maybe one of a hundred people or so, the end ain't here in this town. You fly right through it. From one end to the other takes maybe 25 seconds if you're speeding like everybody else. A little more if you're driving like Jesus would.

Me returning to music in some way has never been some kind of inevitable thing. I could have easily let it continue to slide away from me, probably now more than ever. There has to be reasons I walked away from it all and never looked back for years now, never touching a guitar, never tempting myself to just pluck out one of the songs I wrote over almost 14 years of my life doing nothing but the band. It says something about me that I went that route, I guess, but it can't be anything good, I don't imagine, so what's the difference.

I don't dwell on it. I don't sit around thinking too hard about what I missed out on when I wasn't playing music, when I just fucked it all off in exchange for other things to do with my time. The past hates me and I know it. I never get to look back on it all and smile in her eyes and sigh and say gentle shit like "Thanks for everything, you beautiful thing you." I turn around to take a whiff of some yesterday or another and I get fistful of gravel flung in my eyes. It ain't worth it for me. Fuck the past.

And yet, here I am right?

Here I am standing tucked in between my brother tuning up his acoustic guitar and this drum kit he keeps in the middle of his dining room where most people would have their stupid big dinner table where they only eat at Thanksgiving or Christmas or whatever. I'm not here with any new material, man. I'm not dragging a bunch of new songs into the mix, exploring my inner alleys with a new pen and some new inspired flashlight. Hells no. I'm here holding this guitar, the same one I used to strap on years ago/night after night/gig after gig/city after city/ just to play the songs me and Dave wrote together when the music was all we had. Back when the music was what defined me the same way it still defines him.

So what's that all about, you know? It's a thud of a question but it keeps coming back at me so I figure it's legit.

I smoke the ass end of my cigarette and I wonder if this is all some kind of throwback move on my part. Am I fronting? Am I trying to relive the past against every fiber in my consciousness? Is this mid life crisis in real time?

We kick into a song, just the four of us, a burst of energy in a sleepy town on a humid summer afternoon.

I fumble around for the chords, but I find them. They're still there. They never go anywhere. I do.

Am I doing this for someone else?

For my bro?

For people who loved our music?

My sound is tinny and fucked up because I'm hooked up directly through the old PA head Dave has sitting on the organ against the wall. Who cares. I like it. I like the clean sheen I'm moving through right now. I whack the tremolo a bunch of times just because the sustain of the chord  I'm playing in the moment sounds way cool, kind of 50's-ish, wrapped up in an unusual sound for me any guitar I ever played onstage before. I sound sharp/dirtless/ping-y. It's a rock-n-roll guitar sound before they discovered the distortion thing.

No one does that anymore. No one wants to play clean when they don't have to. But right now I kind of have to and look at that: I sound amazing.

I'm amazing.

I'm not doing this for anyone else. No one gives a shit about me/I know that.

We end the first song of the afternoon. It's one I remember writing when I lived with Claire on Passyunk in South Philly. I'd spend whole days sitting on our couch back then, writing my face off trying to come up with just one or two things that my brother would listen to me play for the very first time in his tiny trinity over at 10th and Catherine. And when I'd gotten it right, when I'd landed right where I'd been hoping like hell to land, he'd just sit there when I was done, not saying anything, just sitting there smoking his cigarette in this one particular way that he did/does when inside of himself he is overjoyed by what has just come down into his world. But he wouldn't want to overreact or react at all really, you know? Because maybe he's afraid that if he reacts right away someone will snatch the fucking thing away from him and hurt him. Caution comes with time. But some people end up relying on it to get them through. If he heard the song and loved it and then somehow it went away from him right away: that'll rip his bloody veins out of his heart like worms and maybe kill him. I can't be sure. But then again, yes I can.

"My Heart is the Bums On the Street": that's the name of the tune.

We end it and I take a swig of my cooled coffee and I don't meet anyone's eye because I'm too happy about all this and I don't need anybody smiling at me when I'm all happy and shit. I wouldn't know what to do with that. That's not me, that's not us. I come from internalness. I was born out of my mom, splashed out into the open, and then I climbed right back up into life's steaming hot pussy hole and I ain't never come out much since.

Rock-n-roll stages though, I came out of my hiding spot for them. That was the place. It didn't atke me long to know that I could walk out on them and make shit happen for me, up in my insides, that I couldn't make happen anywhere else, no way/no how.

I'm not the only one either. I'm surrounded by people like that here in my brother's house this afternoon, I think.

I'm grateful as hell. I'm thankful as shit. I'm in up to ankles and maybe that's all I'll ever be again but I'm feeling the cool lap me up after years of long heat and I will take it because I fucking earned it in all the years I slammed my own heart up against every mic stand and drunk dude and freak-sex-crusted Super 8 bed sheet across like 12,000 miles, man.

I love everybody. The past is the past.

I'm doing this for me.

I need to say that and to understand that it's alright.

I'm playing rock/roll for me.

I need it.

Give it to me.

Gimme it.


That night.

The electric guitar case has this spot I made for it alongside the acoustic guitar case and Charlie's highchair. They all three fit perfectly together in this spot in the kitchen underneath the window. When they're all there, you can't budge any of them an inch. The fix is airtight. There's no wobble, no room to roam.

When one of the three is missing though, it's a wall with a hole in it. Simple as that.

I pop the electric case back in it's slot, back where it lives when it's not filled with the electricity I'm feeding it more and more these days.

I turn around feeling charged up. I feel alive/I feel young/I feel shaken up/bubbling/I'm a dropped bottle of 7-Up/I'm fizzing/I'm exploding inside/the music feels good to me now/I don't know what else to say.

I'm not used to this feeling lately. It's been years maybe.

I feel fuckable.

But I'm standing there in my kitchen underneath the slow silent whir of the ceiling fan and no one else is standing there giving me eyes. I feel fuckable but I have to put it down tonight. That's what goes so bad, so wrong with musicians sometimes. There's no one around to kiss at the exact moment that they need to kiss someone.

That shit breeds darkness, yo. I don't care what anybody says, it does. Trust me.

I knife some peanut butter onto a stalk of celery and get ready to workout. I will workout now for two hours just so I can sweat my eyes out and feel connected to something else, some elusive kick or high instead of settling down to chill out but end up thinking back one of my hundred sad lanes of thought.

That's a weird sentence right there and I know it. Don't think you're the only one saying that that sentence I just wrote doesn't work right. I know that. It's supposed to be that way. I don't work right. Standing there in my kitchen between the music high and the exercise high I don't work right probably. So that's the point of the funky sentence, okay?

I work right enough though. I crunch my celery and I'm feeling good about life. My ears are amp-stung, ringing a little. I remember then subtle deaf sheen of nights of volume and I welcome it back into my world. The peanut butter hits my bloodstream and I feel comfortable in my own skin for a change.

It's been a strange year. A couple strange years.

I walk in the living room to grab my weights out from under the TV table when I see him standing there in the silence of the room. Iron Man, right where Henry left him this afternoon when I drug him away from his art to head back to his mom's house.her night/let's go, brutha I told him/put your shoes back on, I told him.


Iron Man is standing there alone on top the picture of Iron Man and the picture of Iron Man that Henry drew is heavier and more beautiful than anything and it knocks me back to Earth because Henry isn't here right now.

He's just not here. He's on the schedule. I'm on the schedule. The schedule is the fucking schedule. Henry is at his mom's. It's on the schedule.

I play my guitar according to the schedule.

I will walk out on stages according to the schedule.

I stare at Iron Man on the picture of Iron Man and I want to lay down on these shit rugs and die. I want to crawl back up into life's hot pussy and just die. I want to wake up from all this normal love and heartbreak and sadness and happiness and discover that I'm fine/it was all a dream/it was all a very fucked up dream and I'm fine and everything is lined up perfect and everyone can kiss my beautiful ass.

But I don't. I stick around. I smile hard at Iron Man standing on the picture of Iron Man. I flick off the ceiling fans so I will sweat harder, bleed more. All the answers I will ever need are living down in the throwaway instants between me closing my eyes as I hit the pillow and me drifting off to some other place.

Off I go.

Off we go, my friends.