15 April 2014

3 Minute Movie- The Snow.


          INT. BREAKFAST NOOK DAY

          HUSBAND, unshaven, early thirties wearing pajama bottoms.
          Juggles a plate of eggs, coffee cup and newspaper onto the
          table. He surveys his meal and digs in.

                              WIFE (Off Camera)
                    Y'know it's supposed to get cold
                    again tomorrow.

                              HUSBAND
                         (mouth full of eggs, reading
                         the paper)
                    uh huh.

          WIFE- early thirties, dressed and made up for the day.

                              WIFE
                         (adjusting the table
                         decorations)
                    And it snowed a bunch last night.

          Husband glances at the table settings.

                              WIFE
                    Oh did you get enough coffee?

                              HUSBAND
                         (back to his paper)
                    Yep, thanks.

                              WIFE
                    It's like forty degrees out there
                    now.

                              HUSBAND
                    Yeah. Forty.

                                                          CUT TO:

          EXT. SNOW COVERED SIDEWALK DAY

          HUSBAND in coat and sorrel boots but still wearing pajama
          pants, pushes the snow back with the door carving a large
          arc through the heavy wet snow. He pulls a snow covered
          plastic shovel out of a snow bank and shakes it off. He
          hurriedly scrapes the sidewalk with the shovel and grunts
          with every scoop. Three scoops in, the snow won't budge. He
          pushes the shovel along the sidewalk and it scrapes to a
          halt. He does it again. With a loud sigh, he picks up the
          shovel, raises it high over his head and bounces it off the
          icy snow. The ice patch is unfazed. He does it again.
          Nothing

                              HUSBAND
                         (reigning down blows with the
                         shovel)
                    erah! erah! erah! ahh...

          Little chunks have broken loose but not much more. He slides
          the shovel up against the ice and kicks the shovel. A chunk
          comes loose, he heaves it off. More ice. He kicks the shovel
          again. His boot cracks through the top of the shovel
          splintering the plastic.

          He pulling his boot free he inspects the shovel. Half the
          shovel hangs limp. He pulls the broken piece off and uses
          the half bladed shovel to scrape snow off of the ice on the
          sidewalk. Tossing the shovel on a snow bank, he ducks inside
          and emerges with an ice-cream pail of salt. He shakes it
          everywhere, surveys his work and nods.

          From inside, WIFE begins rapping on the window.

                              HUSBAND
                    What?!

                              WIFE
                         (muffled hrough the window)
                    The ice!

                              HUSBAND
                    Yeah, I know, I salted it, did you
                    see this?

          He fishes the shovel out of the snowbank and grins as he
          shows it to her.

                              HUSBAND
                         (amused)
                    Lookit that!

                              WIFE
                         (through the window)
                    No no. The ice!

                              HUSBAND
                    Huh?

          She points up. Husband follows the line of her demanding
          finger up, up, up, to:
          Colossal gutter Icicles.

                              HUSBAND
                         (looks back at her)
                    So?

          She mimes swinging the shovel.

                              WIFE
                    The ice!

          Husband looks at his shovel and looks back at his wife who
          stares back at him with folded arms. Husband looks around at
          the empty neighborhood.

                              HUSBAND
                         (to the shovel)
                    Ice!

          Starting above the door, he begins to whack icicles with the
          shovel. The first few shatter with one blow. At the end a
          giant icicle winds it's way down the gutter. He whacks it.
          Nothing. He whacks it again. Nothing. Shifting his grip he
          holds the shovel like an axe. Whack whack whack whack. On
          the final whack the icicle and gutter give way falling
          across the sidewalk and snow cascades down onto the
          sidewalk. Husband covers his head with the shovel as the
          snow pours down on him.

          INT. BREAKFAST NOOK DAY-MOMENTS LATER

          Husband sits down with his paper and a cup of coffee. His
          hair beaded with melting snow. He unfolds the paper and
          begins to read.

                              WIFE (O.C.)
                    Oh would you look at that, it's
                    snowing again.

                         PAN TOWARD THE WINDOW AND FADE TO WHITE.

          The End.

         


10 April 2014

Lonely

 I am destined to write pure shit for a while.  There might be a worthwhile thought buried deep under the steaming piles, but in the meantime there is a river of shit to wade through.

I grew up surrounded by a fog of language.  A certain way of speaking, and by default a particular way of looking at the world.  It has not served me well.

Here is what the fog sounds like.
"The world is scary and dark.  People are naturally evil.  You are better than them.  Even though there is so much humanity, it is only those who live in this fog who matter.  Those fools outside the fog are so much firewood for the furnace of an angry god."

Now that I have taken a few lurching and scared steps out of the fog the world seems brighter and more lovely.  People seem like they are doing the best they can.  The mass of humanity that is so different from me is wise about matters I have never even considered.

And I am lonely.  The friends I had before promised to walk with me, but the context changed.  Perhaps even the basis of it all changed.  The relationships dissolved.  Maybe I didn't know how to be a friend.  I don't know.  Perhaps we were never really friends.  More shit I guess.

It is lonely though.  I have never in my life looked at my fellow man with such a lack of judgement or criticism, and I have never felt so alone.

The opposite of play is not work.  It is depression.
Perhaps the opposite of faith is not doubt.  Perhaps it is fear.

An Evening With the Bluebird

Let me tell you a story of an amazing night. I got in the car, tickets in hand, ready for an incredible show and night that would soon surpass my expectations. The Coathangers were opening for the Black Lips at my favorite venue in Denver, the Bluebird. It was going to be an epic night of punk, beer, and fellowship.

The fellowship began at the PS Lounge for the pregame beers. I walk in only to find Tore getting a head start on the evening with a PBR and a shot already cemented in his belly. I sit my jittery bones next to his and order a PBR over conversations of expectations and excitement. It came with a complimentary shot and smile from the beautiful bartender. The jukebox was earning it’s keep playing crowd favorites from the Clash, Stones, Cash, Sinatra, Martin, and Redding. We speak only of how excellent the music line up is tonight, and how rare it is to genuinely be excited for both bands on the ticket. After our voices turn rasp as we shout over the crowd - receiving momentary relief only from PBRs sipped upon, coating our throats in sweet froth. After we consume and settle the tab, we commence wandering towards the show with smoke on our breath.

We find our spots, and notice a big opening in front of us. Always the opportunists we strike out to seize our birthright closer to the stage. As we stand 6 feet from the stage our eyes drink in our surrounding peers only to recognize that we are the only ones in the front over 21. I joke and remark on how I just remembered we are at a 16+ show, making us feel older than our spirits as we count the pimples, zits, and B.O. surrounding us. We have made our beds and as the Coathangers walk on stage, we lie in them.

The music spews forth and chaos ensues as the volume breaches my eardrums to the pattern of “Johnny”. Tore turns to me and says, “ok, now I wanna start a girl band.” I laugh, pat him on the back in a manly fashion before getting back into my rhythm showing the best dance moves Denver has seen. I’ll be famous. I’m sure of it. As I dance, sway, and bob soon a tap finds my moving shoulder. I turn to see Tore with a giant smile and two PBRs. I raise my can in appreciation and get back to cutting the nonexistent rug. I only stop between songs, when the music itself needs a breather, to see their signature move of switching instruments during the set. These ladies of freedom play every instrument in the band, and sing lead on at least a couple songs. True performers. True artists. Their set ends all too soon, but not before I raise my can to the band only to see a can raised right back at me. We are all here just to have fun; we are all here to not give a damn. Hallelujah. As we exit to pollute our bodies once more, I have a grin beaming bright into the night. I do believe I caused the helicopter to greet us as it landed next to the venue with my spotlight smile. All in good fun though. I express that I can’t see them play without having a crush on one of them. Tore chuckles and says, “don’t you mean all of them?” Touche good sir.

We get back to it after a moment of revelry only to find a different yet equally amusing spot. Before the music starts two goons are messing with every girl that walks past them. One touches the bottom of his beer can to the top of their head, while the other gives their hair a stroke and rating their hair for them as if he were some sort of expert on fine hair. I suppose we are all experts on something - even if it’s wasting time. I “bump” into them and make eye contact, which apparently is all that is needed to distract them from ever doing it again. Soon the Black Lips take the stage and pour out their craft delivering “Family Tree” and “Modern Art” back to back as their opener. Despite all the regal tales of raunch that accompany the Lips on stage, they were southern gentlemen that night. Their sound was tight and true. I’ve been to a lot of shows of a lot of different artists, but I’ve never seen crowd surfing like this with the exception of the Chariot farewell tour. The crowd was electric and responsive not unlike the guitars found on stage. The stage was buried in beer cans, so it came to no surprise when the next round we got was served in plastic cups. The only smiles and direction to be found was from the ‘Lips themselves. Their smiles burned brighter as their direction became greater than the frowning security - that couldn’t catch a girl as she ran around on stage. The greatest show on earth wasn’t found in a tent, but in a packed theater on a dirty street in the heart of Denver. This wasn’t just another show, but a gathering of boys and girls, men and women, daughters, sons, and orphans here to be free of whatever constraints that have been cast upon them. It was a communal leave from reality. I only found myself taking reprieve to buy more beer and see if the Coathangers were at their merch table. My wayward calculations convinced me they were deserving a round on me after the escapade of awesome they dropped on a mostly unexpecting crowd.

As with all great nights of music it’s over before it begins. I run to the john, and as I exit I find Tore deep in conversation with one of the ‘Hangers. Of what they were talking about I don’t know, what I do know is that when eye contact was made I was instantly a sixteen year old girl at a Beatles concert. All hope had left for normal conversation. This was exactly like the first time I tried to interact with a band I dug and got as awkward as the sum of my teen years, the only difference being this time I had talked to many bands prior (including them the first time I saw them) and was a cool 30. I still don’t know what happened but whatever it was, it took hold and I was useless.

Before I knew it I was back at the PS Lounge sitting at the open bar only to be greeted with a familiar smile and a PBR in front of me before I said a thing. As you do, my conversation was mixed between my companion, the bartender and a drunk man looking to strangers for friends as his girlfriend had had enough of him. We talked almost exclusively about the philosophy of accepting farts from strangers before I passed him cleverly to Tore, smiling as both of us knew of the maneuver I just pulled. My attention was passed to the bartender for conversation, hoping to be accepted as a worthy distraction; thankfully I passed. My attention shifts for the rest of the evening between conversations and the giant, fluffy snowflakes falling outside behind the jukebox crying Etta James, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and Carl Perkins. In the midst of this somewhere is a slice of Heaven.

Soon the bar cleared, and we left only to find a fight outside on the sidewalk of fartman vs a gentleman surely fighting for his honor or different opinion on flatulence. I wasn’t about to break up this perfect moment, after all this was a night of entertainment. Instead like a ring commentator I gave a play by play as I cheered for fartman to give the other gentleman a wedgie mid-fight. Apparently the gentleman thought this was a good idea and took my advice only to give my strange friend the wedgie of his life while swinging away with his good hand. Soon the fight ended and I comforted fartman while convincing his girlfriend that I was 100% Apache after showing a picture of my father. She apologized for not believing me before returning to the side of her man. What separates good nights from great nights is surprise, and I hadn’t received mine just yet. Soon we were about to leave as two more stumbled out of the bar. They were the gentlemen next to us during the ‘Lips set. I said, “there are my Canadian friends,” and congratulated them for driving all the way from Saskatchewan to catch the show. Understandably this drunk pair looked more confused by every word that passed my lips. I fill them in that I saw them at the show and was just being stupid for my amusement. This gets the certain defiant reply that I have it all wrong and he is from Colorado - born and raised. I skoff and tell them I know a Canadian when I see one and that it’s cool, we are in Denver after all. This only gets one of them angry and he charges me with a fire in his eyes only half lit as the liquor has quenched most of it. He runs at me like a bull with arms extended, head down careening for my midsection. I jump a foot back and hook his arms, only to hear curse filled protests of his arms pinned behind him. I smirk and tell him he even fights like a Canadian, which makes him stomp and protest louder, which in turn makes Tore, myself, and his friend laugh harder. His buddy steps in and takes him a few feet away. As they leave I find myself shaking both of their hands thanking them for the good time, and as they turn their backs I shout, “enjoy the rest of your stay in the States!” As Tore and I walk back to my car through the snow I know this night will live on as a night with the bluebird and the reason why I won’t write anything.

07 April 2014

in the village

the quaint and lasting effects
of a quiet that fell
on deaf and dying ears
like a lightning bug fainting from the dark
like shifting sands after an earthquake
a thousand miles from a soul
and i wonder at that;
how you take words and turn them
in your hands
like spaghetti
like confusion
like an overfilled belly
followed by predictability.

in the village they have a
word for you
in the city they know you but
use no name.
they've called you by
buddy and chum
but your face is
flat like a billboard
masked like a dollar bill
like a one act play
without the curtain
drawn.

the tiresome effects
of this quieted namelessness
disquiets me
like a stillborn gazelle
like a stale and unwanted pastry
left on the door step for
a starving girl
who cannot get out of bed.

Quantum

left under the bed
in shapes of atomic
chance,
with dust mites and
trifles of forgottenesses
you are still
boxless and free.
Quantum in nature
leaping the edgeless
formless voids of 
supernatualimaginantions
playing supertonic 
symphonies
in halls of dark matter...

and i wonder
from my mind's confines 
the nebulous way
i forget you and your
gravity. your
atomic fury.
your permanent 
relativity,
which shines a
defining light that
I have never known 
before.


A nightmare sequence from in progress script.

-->
Abe’s Nightmare

          INT. ABANDONED BEDROOM NIGHT

          Clothes, dirty newspapers, and the remains of a bed and a few dresser drawers litter the floor. "GREG + ABBY" is spray painted in 4 foot letters across the wall furthest from the door. The room looks empty until a whimper emanates from a bundle in the corner. A small woman huddles under a grey blanket. Her hair matches the dirty yellow paint of the walls behind her. She is a chameleon in the corner.

          The wind blows a gentle mist of snow through the windowless frame. The room is still and quiet.

          CLOSE UP OF:

The once decorative brass door handle. It doesn't move. Suddenly it turns to the left. It turns to the right. It jiggles furiously as the camera backs slowly. The below the knob, a turnkey shakes in the skeleton lock and the brass bolt is visible through the chewed up wood of the door frame.

A sudden crack of a boot coming through the lower door panel is deafening. Stuck, the boot yanks its way back through the door. Two more kicks and the splintered door is nearly limp in the frame.

          SWITCH TO:
The woman in the corner. The noise of the boot kicking the door sends a spasm through her body. Again the sound of the kick and she spasms, but this time the sound of a door swinging and a knob hitting the wall keeps her huddled closer.

The woman stays huddled as a pair of dirty jeans cut in front of the woman. A sob escapes, and then a small cry.

The hand next to the jeans holds a clear liter vodka bottle. The near empty bottle disappears up through the top of the screen and returns with just a swig left in the bottom.

          FULL SCREEN ON:
         
DIRTY GENE, 50's alcoholic fired from a factory up north a few years ago. Dickies and workboots as dirty as his hands.

DIRTY GENE
Well, I was wonderin' what was
behind door number one. Looks like
I gots meself a squatter.
 (Laughs)

The girl looks up and a toddler aged girl is revealed in her arms under the dirty blanket. Her face is dirty but still visible is a fading beauty. The child cries. Her face is stone.

WOMAN 
Get the fuck away from us.

DIRTY GENE
(halting Laugh)
ah he ah heh eh heh.

He reaches down and rips the blanket off of the woman. As the blanket is torn back the woman is revealed as SARAH, ABE'S wife. She is no longer dirty and the boy is not a toddler, he is 4 year old Connor, ABES son, wearing a new pair of Oshgosh overalls and holding a toy police car.

SARAH
Abe! Abe! Abe!

DIRTY GENE
(laughs over SARAH's screams)
Ah heh heh heh.

ABE sits fitfully up in his own bed with his cell phone vibrating on his dresser. "errrr... errrr....errrr"

02 April 2014

In The Morning, We're Ready

The first warm Wednesday.
It's early still.
The Sun reaches arms in through closed windows.
Wide bands of antique air.
Stand in the beam, you can see.
Everyone is out there.
In the world of fuzz, of fade, of flowing warmth.
Everyone is ready.

The Tree is wearing his aura.
He's stretched it carefully over each limb, so as not to tear.
He is resting, recharging.
Ready to dance again when The Wind starts up her music.

He is The Dog's keeper by day.
The Dog stands at attention at the top of his worn brown circle
Ready to ask.
He asks everyone, every passerby,
If they, too, are really, really, really, really excited.
It is Wednesday, after all.

The Apartment bows her head and arches her spine.
See how carefully she cradles her children.
Somalian, black, white, Mexican, all her own.
She absorbs the direct blow of The Sun
On her charred back
So she can make sure each of her children inside gets their share.

The Cars line both sides of the black river of Civilized Man.
They feel the trickle of melt under their fat rubber toes
And try not to squirm.
They are busy watching, ever diligent.
They lock arms and keep The Children back
Safely out of the rush of The River
While they wait to carry their own downstream.

The Dog asks another passer below.
They don't answer.
They never do.
I finally open the window and lean out.
The warm air covers my face and arms.
The Tree, The Apartment, The Cars, The Dog.
They all look up at the sound.
 "I am!"