The Nude Bowl by dixē.flatlin3

Shields600x339The Nude Bowl by dixē.flatlin3

Recently I had the pleasure of enduring a drunken phone call from an old friend. To say that she is less than pleased with her current circumstances would be an egregious understatement. Not that her present environment is unpleasant, it’s actually one that many women, especially mothers, would envy; she is a properly kept woman living on acres in the Deep South. She is married, has two children and does not work, but she does drink. Oh dear god does she drink. Sadly, I am her go-to whenever she feels the need to discuss nostalgia, which correlates to her consumption of Courvoisier and moonshine. I should know better than to answer the phone, but we all love a good train wreck, don’t we?

Thankfully, her most recent drunk dial was not to rehash the details of abortions of yore. One can only discuss the vague details of driving a friend to several clinics, when they were teenagers, so many times before it grows tiresome. And we have had these discussions many, many times over the years. But her most recent phone call was for a completely different purpose altogether.

There is much notoriety and mythology surrounding the area where we spent our time together. It seems that the desert east of Los Angeles has become somewhat famous, in purely musical terms, which never ceases to amuse me. I fucking hate the desert cities that are Palm Springs to Coachella and beyond. The fact that hipsters pay, out-the-ass, to see bands performing in a field, in fucking Coachella, still makes me laugh out loud. Trust me when I tell you that I am not alone in this point of view. But whatever, everything is fucking ghey now, and I expect nothing less from the 21st century.

You see, she and I attended Palm Springs High School together, and are quite familiar with many of the individuals who have ascended to the plateau of fame. If you’re from the area, The Plateau is something completely different, but I digress. To me it is nothing more than faces and times that I care to forget. Obviously, to some, it has become a moment in time that they wish to relive. Regrettably, I am often forced to discuss this topic.

In this distressing damsel’s case, it involves a few tales of the ones who got away. You see, she completely fucked her full-ride sponsorship with the successful music producer. A feat the involved no less than fucking an industry drug dealer and being seen in public with the pariah. Even I knew her goose was cooked once this had happened, but to this day, she is unaware of her flagrant transgression. Another bone of contention between us, but I can be too kind with morons. I am working on it, trust me, but it’s hard.

After a few rounds of on the phone with her, I was finally able to discern exactly why she had reached out to me on this particular evening. Getting to the point with sycophants and narcissists is key, it saves energy, but again, I digress. Turns out she had come across yet another trust fund baby, and this one was fascinated with the desert rock or stoner rock scene, but she could not verify her existence within it. Naturally she turned to me for validation because I was her only true connection to any of the parties. Well, the only one without a dick, who still speaks to her.

During our conversation I realized that in our desert years, she had never been more than some girl one of my friends was fucking. And one who accompanied me, usually at the request of said friend, but she had never been more than that. She never made it safely into the friend zone. She always got stuck at cum dumpster, a position that I am woefully unfamiliar with. I eventually asked her if she needed me to vouch for her with this new guy because I was willing to do anything to get off the phone at this point. I even offered to write her a letter of recommendation because she is not in any of the pictures I took at the numerous gigs at The Colony that I attended. As a photo geek in high school, I always had a camera, and it was only ever pointed at friends when there was nothing better to capture. This was never the case at the generator parties, and thusly, I have no pictures of her to use as evidence.

I suggested that she perhaps use the article I wrote back in May to segue to the desert scene, but that would require her to give-a-fuck about someone other than herself. Let’s be honest, that ain’t ever gonna happen with anyone who has ever spent time in SoCal. Especially in the I.E. and other desert cities.

 

Cray*2 by dixē.flatlin3

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Given our overall temperaments, I must admit, that as a member of the human female network, I am shocked that more of us do not kill. That is to say, that more of us do not give into the murderous impulses that we naturally repress. The urge to open up a throat with a razor, rather than smooth the ruffled feathers of yet another ego.

Given to whims of fancy; hormonal; bodies and minds at the mercy of the universe; the source of hysteria; dangerous creatures. I have known more than one man who has lived to tell the tale of his encounter with a knife-wielding member of the fairer sex. Both awoke to find themselves straddled by a pretty, broken doll; both happy to have survived their brushes with batshit-crazy death; both shaken, but not defeated.

I never allowed myself to sympathize, much less empathize with them because in female transgressions of this nature, the batshit-crazy had been thinly veiled in their partners of choice. Sadly, I have learned that this is not as easy for others to spot. Hard to believe, I know, but life is weird that way.

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Fruitcake by dixē.flatlin3

Fruitcake by dixē.flatlin3

I have spent nearing eight weeks researching an article for my column, so I need do a warm up exercise to prep for writing. That is, I need to warm up on a machine. I have been writing by hand a story for an upcoming anthology for the past month. That is going to be a motherfucker to transcribe, but I digress. I need to warm up the old fingers on a keyboard. Lately a visit I made to a friend of yore has come into mind. Not sure why, but it has. And thus, I am going to share it with the anonymous masses.

I recall receiving a message on my answering machine (remember those things?!) during the holiday season. It was from an ex-boyfriend, who detailed that he was in the hospital and would like me to visit. I believe that he left a room number, and I believe that I called and spoke to him to arrange the visit. It was in the evening when I went to see him, and a few days before the Christmas holiday. I vividly recall how the hospital was festooned in holiday cheer. I inquired at the front desk and was given directions for how to locate him.

He had warned me that the he was in the psychiatric ward, and that the visiting hours were more stringent than usual hospital visitation. I had allowed myself enough time to get lost and still spend at least an hour with him. We had not parted ways under malice or acrimony, at least not on my part. I presumed he was cool with it, given the recent phone call and request to visit him in psych ward. It had been several months, if memory serves me, and we had always enjoyed the time we spent together. Lets just say things were complicated…

So, there I was, standing at the nurses’ station, waiting to get clearance to enter into the land of the unknown. I don’t recall much about the staff or the other patients. I wish that I did, but alas the effects of drugs and the passing of time have taken their toll. Or perhaps I was in detached mode and not focusing on the minutiae, I do that sometimes. I do recall that after I was allowed into the secured area and taken to the area to meet him, the sight of him gave me pause. He was wearing a hospital gown and looked very much the invalid. He typically dyed his hair a vibrant shade of blue and sometimes styled it into a Mohawk. His hair was disheveled and a sad shade of waning blue. He smiled to greet me and we immediately went out to smoke. Again, this is back when people could still smoke in designated areas of a hospital. Because of his confinement, which I assumed to be involuntary, there was a secure area for us to use. It was outside and had very high walls, for obvious reasons I suppose. He had to light his cigarette in the hallway of the facility using an electronic device on the wall. “We are not allowed matches or lighters,” he laughed. “For obvious reasons.”

We spent the entire visit out on the patio, He informed me that he was one of the more sane patients there and he wanted to shield me from the “insanity. I don’t really remember what we talked about. I don’t know that he ever explained why he had asked me to come visit him. He did admit that he had voluntarily committed himself to “get a break” as he put it. Explaining that sometimes life just got the better of him and going away for a bit usually sorted things out in his head. He was a musician (the one I had forgotten about when I boasted that I had never dated one) and I suppose that lends itself to the realm of psychotic episodes. I don’t know really, we never discussed that part of his life. We mostly just hung out during the few weeks we dated.

A nurse came out to inform us that visiting hours were ending soon and invited me to join them for a snack of some sort. I politely declined, but it’s what he said at this point that has always stuck with me. There was a serving tray in the middle of a common area and on it there were paper plates and a desert cake of some sort. He smiled and then winked at me as he said to the closest nurse,

“Fruitcake, isn’t that like cannibalism in this place?”

That was the last time I saw him. And I have yet to come across him again in the digital realm of social media- a desolate landscape of faces I never wanted to see again, but sadly lacking those I wouldn’t mind running into.

 

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been by dixē.flatlin3

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

Here I am, at the end of a path I set out on several years ago. Seems rather anti-climatic, I don’t feel any different. The world did not suddenly open up and drop opportunities upon me. Not really sure what direction I am headed now. I suppose I will keep showing up to work, in spite of the fact that I hate it. It’s a paycheck, and it’s better than a lot of my peers have, but it’s not what I want. However, I do not know what I want. Well, I guess that is not entirely true. I do, but it requires much effort on my part. And I am barely able to compose sentences lately.

I ended up where it all started this past weekend. Amongst faces I had not seen in a very, very long time. It was oddly soothing, but I remain forever the outsider. I never cared enough to engage others, except the random few who didn’t spew drama. Otherwise, I was, and remain, content to let sleeping dogs lie. I was unrecognizable to most because I had always sought to remain anonymous, just another face in the crowd. However, I am a fastidious note taker, and I have gathered much data during my observations: many tales to tell, webs to weave.

I made it out with my sanity and sobriety, no small feat I might add. After revisiting the battlefields of yore, I can say there were more casualties than originally projected.  A lost bunch then, and now. Some managed to find a way. We are all making the same perilous journey to oblivion. We all owe a death for this life we have.

Fuck it. Whatever.

Queen Bee by dixē.flatlin3

Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle brings Puscifer to Portland 2009Today was my first day working with a hive.  I went to assist to two people who have very little experience, and were only after the honey.  I knew this because the male did nothing but speak about the sticky substance the entire time we were there.

 I am not in search of honey.  No, my goals are loftier and somewhat altruistic.  I am more concerned with preservation of bees.  More the matter of how we have managed to kill-off the fucking honeybees.  How modern man has fucked things up so badly that the bees are dying off, but I digress.

I had prepared myself as best as I could; I purchased the highest quality beekeeping equipment that I could find.  I did my research, and it paid off.  Today I was the only person who did not get stung.

I arrived at the site and met up with the others who were there to assist me.  One is more experienced than I, having attended one day of a two-day beekeeping course at a local farm.  Me?  I did my research the same way I always do, via the Internet and libraries.  I had done a lot of reading, and I attended a local beekeeper association meeting.  And again, I approach the entire matter from a conservation perspective, not purely the harvesting of honey.

The uncapping of a hive is quite an event.  The initial rush of bees is a moment that I will always remember because I immediately thought to swat them away from my face, but my face was protected.  Once I was comfortable within my protected skin, I began to really focus on the insects, and they were amazing.

We killed quite a few, unfortunately, but I suppose that is a part of beekeeping.  I had my own opinions on how things should be done, but again, I am not after their honey. I have taken this a step further and consulted with people who are studying the subject.  Had I ever given a fuck to study, I probably could have been a scientist, but again, I digress.

I had been told that the noise from the hive was quite a sound, and it was.  As we removed the boxes, one-by-one, I could see the natural order that all bees maintain.  And it only left me wanting to know more, which I will.

One thing is for certain, I will be the Queen Bee of that hive and it is only a matter of time until I make it my own.  I knew from the moment I saw the overall condition of the hives that no one currently cares about the bees, but I do.  That is why I have been given this opportunity.

Anyway, I wish you all a purpose.

Namaste.

Consumption by dixē.flatlin3

I am forcing myself to write because I must.  I have papers and articles due.  I have several interviews to conduct and then transcribe.  I have a house to pack up and a new home to inhabit.  I have a graduation to plan and attend.  I have resumes to prepare and disseminate and all that that entails.  And I have zero inspiration to write.  The cacophony of drivel on the Internet often makes me shut down.  What’s the point?  Do users even care about the quality of the content anymore?  Or has it simply become a vicious cycle of compulsive consumption?