Sunday, June 17, 2012

On Being Wholeheartedly Wholehearted





















All it fucking takes, is all your fucking heart!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Put A Gun To Your Dreams

















Rule #3 - Never lie. Ever. Unless you really, really have to. Like it's a matter of life or death, or your Mom asks where you were last night.

"You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club." ~Jack London

My Mom texted me yesterday using almost zero vowels and the number 2. In short (no pun intended) she asked when I was going to update my blog again? I like to pretend my Mom doesn't read this blog. That makes it easier for me to talk about vaginas and whatnot. So as not to acknowledge this fact, I didn't text my Mother back. That said, it's a legit question. In 2010 I posted only two entries here and zilch so far in 2011. The fact is I've had Writer's Block for well over a year now, and it's breaking my heart. Sadly, I believe it's coming from too much comfort. That reality is very discouraging. Why is it so goddamn hard to find inspiration when life is good? I'm proud of about three things I've ever written, and depressingly, they've all come from when I was pretty much dying, or at least thought I was. I still write here and there these days, but nothing good. I've lost the daily practice I was so diligent about a few years ago when life felt like death. So anyway, I guess it's time to get through this since I don't plan on dying again. That shit sucks.

Put a gun to your dreams and demand they come true. Tie a bomb to your fears and light the fuse.

To be continued...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Local Forecast- HOT

Heaven looks pretty damn nice, but if God shuts the door on me for being a decent human being that's good at math I'll take hell. Don't be alarmed by my short-shorts if I see you there.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's late. It's dark. I'm alone.

















More tales from America's desolate blacktop.

Somewhere in Pennsylvania I steer off the wet road and coast into a dim Motel 6. There is an old Ford truck opposite the parking lot that was dropped as a baby. It feels like I just walked into a bar without music. Although there is a canopy above me the rain has puddled on the uneven ground. I open my door, and deciding where to step I get out. Water drips beneath the lame shelter. I throw my hood up and lock the car. I use the spare key. The car is still running with the master key. To risk turning this car off isn't worth it, you wouldn't understand. Standing at the entrance I stare through heavy glass at a retarded looking man who buzzes me through the first barricade. It's like I'm visiting my cousin in prison and I'm ready for anything.

One would expect to pay loads more than $45 per night considering the entertainment these establishments provide.

In true form, Of Mice and Men's Lenny is working the front desk and the freak show begins. From behind the bulletproof glass Lenny says, "Computer problems sir, system's down." I sit down on my old suitcase and inhale the diesel fumes wafting through the door. That last coffee has made sitting still irritating. While Lenny allegedly fixes the printer I sit quietly and wait. Nearly 10 minutes pass before he eventually sends me to room 204 without paying. While collecting my baggage he hits the glass with the palm of his hand, almost like he's begging to be let out, and says, "Five years ago the property was treated for bed bugs so there's nothing to worry about." "Thanks," I say, and since bed bugs are the least of my worries I guess he's right. Fuck, now I have bed bugs to worry about.

I re-park my skiddish car and shrink as the motor goes silent.

I head upstairs and stand at the first landing trying to figure out a system of arrows and numbers that make absolutely no sense. How did they over complicate this? What smells weird? I walk down the hall, insert the key card into room 204, but the door won't open. I do it again. Nothing. I repeat the process and continue pressing down on the lever, but nothing. It's stuck. Something is wrong. I go back downstairs and greet Lenny through the bulletproof glass (if you've read the book the irony is hilarious). He looks at me like I'm retarded because he's retarded, and I feel retarded for what I'm about to ask him:
"Excuse me, I think my door is broken?"
"Broken?" (his voice sounds like it's being tarred to a roof)
"Yes, I inserted the key card and the light turned green, but the door won't open."
"Did you lift UP on the lever?"
"Did I lift UP on the lever?"
"Yes sir, UP?"
"No."
"Try and lift UP on the lever."
"O...K......I'll try that."
I don't have long to process that Lenny from Of Mice and Men just told me how to open a door when the Motel 6 Feature Attraction begins. I turn around from the bulletproof glass to find the drunkest man ever left standing. He's trying to open a locked door, a door with a lever I might add, a lever that you push down to open, just like every other levered door handle in the fucking galaxy. Anyway, as Lenny buzzes us through the door it occurs to me there are 3 barricades to this place so far and I'm still standing in the lobby. The buzzer explodes like a level 5 tornado is about to hit and my initial inclination is to trample this drunk fucker and save my own life. I feel like I'm being electrocuted by sound. While the alarm blasts, Drunkest Man is depressing the lever DOWN and the door swings forward. He is about to break his collar bone when I grab and lift by his arm, steering him through. I let go at the stairway and head up. He wobbles away like a dropped football, lopsided and sorry with his shorts falling off. I'm halfway up the stairs when I hear him yell, "PAY DAY!!!"

I arrive back at room 204. I swipe the card, the light turns green, and I lift UP on the lever. What the fuck is going on is all I can think as I navigate my shit through the doorway. I'm certain this entire place was designed by the same reject when I can't figure out how to turn on the goddamn lights. How is this possible? I've finished Sudoku puzzles faster than this. Anyway, I set my old suitcases down, one on the desk, the other on a small round table, then I sit atop a bedspread like Aunt Rhonda had in 1988. I pick up my journal. It opens to an entry from July, 2009 which describes a night from April of the same year: "It didn't matter to me that I was dying because death no longer scared me; living did. I had experienced enough love at that point to believe that the cycle of hope might save me again. Hope is the one thing that on terribly extraordinary occasions is more powerful than love. I envisioned a scorching knife burning the red hot word into my neck; HOPE. The feeling was shackled to my skinny ankle like a sunken ship..." I remember that night in a way that makes me question how I only lived it once. "Fuck this" was my new mission statement. With the determination of a thousand underdogs I was standing at fear's shore wondering just how far I could swim. A rematch was in order.

While still sitting on Aunt Rhonda's bed at Motel 6 I begin to think of all the weird shit that has probably happened in this room. Ice skating bears and killers come to mind. I pull the bed away from the wall to search for an outlet; I need to charge my phone, my camera, my video camera, my laptop, my iPod, Jesus fucking Christ what kind of life is this? Nothing is behind the bed but two condom wrappers and a Diet Coke.

It's Thursday night at Motel 6 somewhere in Pennsylvania and life seems to be painfully normal.

I wake up the next morning to recall something I've recalled a thousand times in my life. My friend Sean's Mom once told him, "There are no free lunches in this world, Sean." Sean and I have been proving Janet wrong since 1992. I just paid zero dollars for a great night's sleep and attended what can only be described as a post-apocalyptic Russian Circus. Let's roll!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

HI FIVE! - Next Exit






















I spent the better part of last year in a straight-up fucking street fight. A kicked in the teeth brawl with nearly every fear I have ever known. I sit here today considering my victory one of my life's greatest achievements.

This year I have my sights set on new impossibilities.

In the spring of 2009 I launched my writing career. I did this having no background in writing, no idea where to begin, no clue what to write about, completely paralyzed by fear, vulnerable to criticism, pressed by time, broke, sad, skinny and lost. The only thing I seemed to be holding was a true heart. And that was enough. Against all odds, I kicked myself in the back while staring into the deep end. I chopped off my hands, torched my beard, and boarded my skiff. I did this because I don't give a shit about the barracudas. In 1 mph head winds I lowered my sail and rowed out to sea.

...And you know what?
...When you believe in yourself, unbelievable things can happen.

I became a writer.

"I don't give a shit about the barracudas, Fuck It! I'm building it anyway."
~Max Fischer

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

LIVING STOLE MY FUCKING LIFE!


























































































After 9,418 miles, 37 states, and nearly 5 weeks on the road, I am back in Los Angeles, but mark my words, it won't be for long...

Below are random notes from my first book -
LIVING STOLE MY FUCKING LIFE! (working title)

Blondie obliterates everything in her path. Butterflies explode across her windshield like a scene from a Hitchcock film. She's a monster. It figures I'd fall in love with another crazy bitch. I think about washing her body and caressing her slippery wet headlights, but decide to just fill her up instead. Fuck dude, it's lonely on the road.

It's almost 8 A.M. and I'm sitting inside a warm cafe somewhere near the center of South Dakota. There is a broad glass window before me and I am staring through it at the glaring blue sky. A fly eats his breakfast off the glass while I drink my coffee. To the East, the crimson sun is already blazing. Beneath the sun a man parks his motor cycle in reverse next to Blondie. I watch this act closely because I'm obsessed with my car, and by "my" I mean Hertz's, and by "car" I mean girlfriend. The man dismounts his ride and walks toward the cafe. This brings my attention to something else. I squint, tilt my head, and lean forward. In the dirt on Blondie's rear deck lid a finger has scribed words that were not there yesterday, the words read, "Sorry ladies I'm gay." This is how my friend Sean thanks me for showing him the time of his life the past 7 days. Not surprisingly, I'm the only person in South Dakota who thinks this is funny. I would deny the statement, but my lavender shades, tight shorts and pencil mustache are too much evidence against me.

7 days earlier, a few hours before I pick up the above mentioned Sean, I'm on the Kentucky Turnpike driving through a torrential rain storm. The sky is darker than some nights in Los Angeles and it's fucking noon. I've never seen anything like this. I might as well be driving through Lake Michigan. Lightning and thunder explode everywhere. It's impossible to see anything and every vehicle on the entire Interstate has made a dramatic attempt to pull off the road, every vehicle except for mine of course. This is because:
A) I'm a fearless fucking badass in search of danger.
B) I'm a fucking idiot!
C) I always choose to document my near-death experiences.
Notice my punctuation. Those are facts, not multiple choice. Anyway, in documenting my near-death this time, I accidentally discover that driving through a *Kentucky Waterfall can be achieved by looking through the viewfinder on my Panasonic Lumix camera. That Leica lens really is something. My view is crystal clear so long as I don't actually look through my windshield. I drive by viewfinder for a several miles before the whole thing ends like a magic trick. Poof! Jimmy Cliff's I Can See Clearly Now would be the perfect song at this moment, but Sirus Satellite Radio decides to play I Love A Rainy Night by Eddie Rabbit instead. You couldn't write shit this good. Oh wait...

Back here in this hot cafe in South Dakota, I feel like I might smash through this fucking window bat shit crazy at the thought of how close I came to giving up on my dreams. Don't ever give up on your dreams. Ever. Go all Winston Churchill on their asses! Doing anything less means an ordinary life. Think about that...

In Lexington, Kentucky I arrive curbside at terminal 1 to pick up Sean. For several days since he decided to join this directionless expedition, we joke about being outlaws and chubby chasers. I tell him he might want to put on a ski mask before he gets in my car. He asks that I make sure to put the window down to accommodate his entrance as I blaze through Lexington Bluegrass Airport. Within minutes of his arrival we are laughing harder than either of us has in years. This escalates for the next 7 days until he makes a quick get away at his Mom's house in Rapid City, South Dakota. Before his departure we develop a loose plan that is sure to change the lives of at least 3 people, if not 10 million. Erring on the side of 10 million is where to place your bets people.

Weeks before, somewhere in New England, I'm checking in at the Red Roof Inn. I make flirtatious small talk with the babe behind the counter just to make sure I still got it. Turns out all I've got is the key to my room and a crappy suitcase.

On my way out to explore the town, I walk through the glass double doors in the lobby and meet an Asian man standing beside a garbage can. He's holding an unlit cigarette. He struggles with his English, but not his confidence to deliver it, and asks me point blank, "Do you have any fireworks to light my cigarette?" I say, "No," and promise to fucking God never to travel without fireworks again. I had a free pass to blow off a Roman Candle directly into someone's face and missed it. God-Fucking-Dammit!

4 Chapters later, somewhere around Day 17, my threadbare wet shirt is stuck to my back and chest. I squish a flying black insect into my neck and roll it between my fingers. My hair has wilted. I wipe my forearm across my forehead, and then I push the backs of my thumbs under my sunglasses and slide them across my burning eyes. My sunglasses slip down my nose repeatedly. My feet are moist. The air is thick. I am deep in the South of The United States of America.

Do not make God jokes in the deep South, trust me on this. Not even if the joke is hilarious.

Anyway, in Alabama, about 50 miles outside of Montgomery, I pass a watermelon patch on my way to Selma. The sun is shoving its way through the clouds, and the wet landscape is exploding with blinding yellow light. Beyond the watermelons the road cuts its way through the vista. Everything seems to be alive and watching me. Abandoned houses are eaten by trees, and ivy, and moss. I pull over, walk into nature, and pee on the earth, my God given right as a man. I feel like the animal I am as I listen for predators. I make it out alive, get back into Blondie and drive. Up ahead I steer her around a huge green and brown hill with a swamp at its base. Trees grow right up through the green water, and I stare at this, captivated by the bright algae that covers the entire surface. The road continues to bend into the sunset like a painting, then, ever so slowly, like red velvet curtains spreading to introduce a grand movie, a scene like I have never witnessed comes into view. It is 1,000% clear that if I turn left up ahead I will drive directly into heaven. (R.I.P. That Afternoon ~Here lies another injustice between words and sight.) There is no way I could ever come close to recreating that day with words. I will have to live with it residing solely in memory.

Day 21 ~ On a painfully early morning somewhere in Eastern Arkansas, Sean and I are faced with a serious decision. We are about to head bumper first directly into Coxville, and if that's not bad enough, Blue Ball is just beyond there. After a careful 0.2 second deliberation we decide to avoid both these towns. We also skip Moorhead based solely on its inaccurate spelling. The road and landscape has changed yet again. Today it is flat with sunflowers swaying beside it. The sky seems endless.

Every night we stay up late, exploring new towns, and each day we rise early and hit the road. We do not spend more than one night in each place. This adventure is about the road and traveling down it. It's about lost highways and the treasures that sit just beyond the two-lane blacktop. It's about discovering ourselves in America. It's about friendship, solitude and freedom, but maybe most importantly, it's about setting the ground work for living, real living, living the way our hearts and minds have always dreamed of living.

On a morning similar to all the others, Sean and I throw our junk in the trunk (no pun intended) and sit down on Blondie's lap. It's 7:30 A.M. and we're somewhere in Indiana. I ask Sean, "Which way to Memphis?" He points in three different directions and looks another, then says, "I'm pretty sure it's that way," I pick one and go. We have developed a motto: The wrong way or the long way ...this is how we get everywhere. Occasionally, we go back the wrong way we came, and once, we went back the wrong way we didn't come.

There's no getting lost on the road to nowhere, and the best discoveries so far have been by accident.

Day 22 ~ Today we apparently drive a 1985 DeLorean because we end up in Greenville, Mississippi 1925. In Greenville we make a wrong turn, which ironically is a right, and drive away from Downtown. We roll past Jim's Cafe when Sean spins Blondie around and parks us out front. Inside Jim's we eat food. Nothing more, nothing less. While we eat we have a 20 minute conversation with the owner. He's a peculiar man, proud of the South, proud of his roots, intelligent, interesting, lonely, and uncomfortably hard to read. He eats his grilled cheese on white bread with hot sauce spread between the two slices. He drinks Dr. Pepper from a can, and tells us his story. In the entire 20 minute conversation we make out somewhere between 4 and 17 words. His father was a Greek immigrant who set out 200 pre-made sandwiches a day on the nearby dock. Next to the sandwiches was a cigar box and a sign which read, "25 cents". The honor system in its hay-day. The man is just as confused by our accents as we are of his, but this is no matter, we part ways intrigued to have shared the company of someone and someplace so different and unusual from our norm. He gives us great tips for New Orleans, and we accidentally take him up on every single suggestion, only to realize we are doing so as his suggestions present themselves everywhere we go. I believe I could write an entire book on that half-hour at Jim's Cafe in Greenville, Mississippi. An entire world that is difficult to imagine. We go back the wrong way we came and laugh at a sign that reads, "Fire Works."

Day 23 ~ In Waterproof, Louisiana it pours rain, and instead of playing I Love A Rainy Night or Puple Rain, Sirus Satellite Radio plays some crappy song by Tiffany. We pretend not to like this although neither of us speaks or changes the station. We put on Van Halen seconds after the song is over and remember our lives from 1984. Somewhere thereafter I pull over into a field. Sean disappears on a photo safari and I decide to light off a Roman Candle. Van Halen blares from Blondie in the background. We leave Blondie's doors wide open because there isn't a God damn soul in sight. Miles up ahead we stop to take on fuel at a small convenience store. Sean and I are separated for less than two minutes, and when we get back in the car we both have stories to tell. Mine; the woman working the register burped in my face and blamed her Sprite. Sean's; he was laughed at for having a funny hat and a beard, although he "doesn't know why the people next to him were laughing", I'm just telling you, they were laughing because he has a funny hat and a beard.

To be continued...

*Kentucky Waterfall: this is not some stupid mullet reference. I was actually driving through a Kentucky Waterfall.

~Welcome to Alabama the Beautiful (state slogan, which as far as I'm concerned applies to all of America)

Friday, September 4, 2009

WEEK 2 - One Ball and a Handful of Dreams























More adventures from the blacktop of America...

I need to see something real asap or I'm going to pull back the curtain and Wizard of Oz this fucking Truman Show. I'm sitting on a pony wall at James Madison University in Harrisburg, VA, and this place is suspiciously perfect. I'm not comfortable with this. Finally, a blotch; a golden young man with golden hair and golden arms has a stupid sounding sweaty wet shoe-sandal. Sorry dude, but serves you right. Shoe or sandal, not shoe-sandal. All the girls here are sporting cuchie cutter shorts with tanned Southern legs. These legs are a bit thicker than their feminine Los Anglelian counterpart. Since the age of nine I have concluded this to be a good thing, and since sitting on this wall less than ten minutes, I've fallen in love just shy of 400 times. I'm about to beeline it to the Admissions Department when some guy with a sign, a stick, and a megaphone starts screaming about Jesus. I feel like I'm living in a God damn stereotype when a blindfolded Freshman walks past being led by another classmate. A few more perfect smiles pass, when I notice a girl with the grin of young love on her face. She is texting, smiling, and currently experiencing the greatest feeling of her life. This has me thinking about young love. Fuck. How did any of us survive? I drive away eventually, still wondering if that entire university is run by animatronics.

Miles away from James Madison U, I make a U turn and pull over. From the driver seat of Blondie I am debating entering Chelsey's Water Hole. The name is suspect, and has my left eyebrow higher than normal. I've heard of a "watering" hole, but "water" hole? There seems to be something fishy about this place. I park, get out, and walk toward the door. As I round the side of the building I see a sign I missed upon my first lap - "Bikers Always Welcome." I stop, turn around, and head back the way I came because this place is in fact Chelsey's Water Hole, which is a metaphor(!) and not a place to get a tasty beverage. Maybe this is debatable? I drive on.

Because I love math I try adding up how many states I've been through so far, and it's like trying to count how many girls I've slept with. Although the number is somewhat low, I keep questioning if I'm double counting somewhere. I decide to go the conventional route and write them down. 17 United States behind me, and a good 100 pages to my first novel.

The moon above me in North Carolina is exponentially bright. The early Autumn clouds have divided its direct light to the earth, dispersing a nightlight to the tall trees beside me. I twist through a dark green valley staring at the yellow lines. Blondie pulls us through the silent hills above Wake Forest, and thoughts of my future loom. So do thoughts of my past. But I'm lost in the moment these days. A proud man with dreams no longer a distant extension of my broken heart, instead, they are right here in my sight. Some I hold right here in my hands. The hair on my arms and neck stand at this thought. I open the moon roof and send all the windows down. The cold Carolina wind comes crashing through like a wave. My hair whips my face. I am the luckiest person alive. I am so fucking happy, and so fucking proud, and so true of heart, and my hellbent determination on discovering only truth and love and happiness is coming full circle. I run through an endless list of people who have contributed to my happiness, and I am thankful for all of them, and for the first time in my life, I am on the top of that list.

Blondie pulls into the Super 8 motel in Williamsburg, Virginia, reverse-car-show style, and I pay $40 plus tax for a room. Ten minutes later I decide I have over paid by at least $36. The mattress feels like a hammock on a bed of rocks, I can’t determine the difference between a hand towel and bath towel, and a train wails past every 15 minutes like ACDC's Thunderstruck blaring from a Marshall full stack. Tonight I really do feel like I'm a million miles from home, if Los Angeles is such a place? It makes me wonder why I'm always so God damn happy?

Several nights before I'm carving the dark back roads beyond New Haven, Connecticut. It's cold and raining, and Blondie is all wet, but I'm dry and warm inside her, steering us toward an old friend's house...

Crap pie! I can't sit here all day, I've gotta pig to rescue!...

If anyone questions the validity of this next story, please refer to my fist. My love for baseball is similar to my love for having all my limbs, so when I found myself at Fenway Park last Thursday night, life was nothing less than perfect. That was until the bottom of the 5th, when said perfect life became nothing less than UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE!!! Thank you J.D. Drew. That homer you smashed sailing to Grandstands Sec 6 rolled right into my hand, then, bitter sweetly, it rolled right back out when I gave it to the little girl it hit in the arm before bouncing over to me. I find it odd that the two most extraordinary highlights of this adventure so far involve 7ish year old girls.

Damn it! I have so much more.....To Be Continued... JG out!!!

Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, August 23, 2009

WEEK 1 - 1% of a 99% True Story


















The only way to catch up on my blog is to nutshell this mug, so, here goes, jibberish from my journey in no particular order...

There is corn in every direction, and huge green trees beyond the corn. A cell tower and a bridge make there way beside Blondie and I, and leave soon thereafter. 'Blondie' is my kickass black Ford. I'm heading through Ohio looking at everything but the road. Hi Toledo, bye Toledo. Hi Lake Erie. You really are eerie; dark and calm and fearless. I eat my lunch on the black sunny shore aside a giant solar powered windmill which spins in silence. It's as tall as a redwood, and seems to be an old friend from another life. I know I will never forget this moment so long as I live. On deck, Cleveland; The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is sadly lame, but street dogs dressed in yellow kraut and purple onions rock like Eddie Van Halen 1984! (Side note: Dude! when I'm doing something wrong tell me I'm doing something wrong! Don't put me to sleep like it's the last two minutes of fucking yoga. This shit is serious! I'm referring to the sound my car makes when you mistakenly leave the headlights on. It sounds like a fucking soft breeze raining feathers, and I don't even realize what's going on! C'mon Ford! Think annoyingly obnoxious when you want to get someone's attention.) Roadside corn $2.50, organic zukes $1, handful of cherries "FREE". I consider stopping to ask what the F a zuke is, but then I remember I'm a world traveler and that shit ain't cool. I look it up on my Blackberry and find out it's a God damn dog biscuit. I then consider going back to again ask what the F a zuke is. I'm briefly in Erie, PA where I pass a family standing beneath an old white dirty porch, holding hands and saying a prayer. I wonder for a second if their dog is praying for a zuke. Down the road, or somewhere behind me is the town of Verona, the city of Cezenovia, Chittenango, Morrisville, DeRyter, and about 423 towns ending in 'ville, my personal favorite being painesville, which I dodged. I stare at the rusted barbed wire that's fencing off a herd of cows for about a mile, and then remember to look back at the road. I do this same thing through the entire state of New Hampshire. I see an old truck kicking up a trail of dust on a dirt road beside my back road and I wonder if my Grandfather (who I never met) would be proud of me. I've heard many times that he and I were similar. I think he would hi-fucking-five me, bear hug me, scruff my hair, and tell me, "Well done m'boy! Well done!" ....swamp land. Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. The site of old Eerie Canal Loch. A road that takes me through peaks and valleys, and to a beautiful lake in NY called Skaneateles (pronounced SkinnyAtlas). A cow. Another cow. A group of cows laying down. Cows drinking from a trough. Black cows. White cows. Black and white cows. Brown cows. Calico cows. A cheeseburger in Woodstock.

Quite possibly the highlight thus far was a three minute conversation I had with a 6 y.o. girl on the back roads of NY, a girl who I'm sure to marry in another 20 years or so. I pulled off in Morrisville to take a picture of an old sign that read Morrissville Motor Lodge, which was a business that looked to fix tractors and heavy machinery. Before I could take the photo, a scrubby little muppet of a person appeared right at my window and took up the entire frame. She was maybe 7 years old, and began talking before I even saw her. "Are you lookin' for my Grandpa? He's in the office. My Dad's out hunting, he won't be back for a while, what are you doing here, why is your camera blue, I have a dog, look at my scabs, are you funny......and on, and on, and on.....why is there a window on your roof, it might rain tomorrow,....." about 3 minutes later she finally ran out of breath and tackled said dog, again asking, "what are you doing here," I returned with, "I'm taking a picture of your Grandfather's sign." She politely moved aside and let me take my photo. She was barefoot and covered in matted band-aids, her hands and feet looked like she bathed in earth and oil, and she wore striped colorful pants that were left in the dryer too long, and a colorful girls shirt that did nothing but add to her tomboyishness. She had scraggly thin blond hair, and inquisitive beady black eyes, and wanted nothing more than the answers to every last thing known to mankind. Our meeting was very brief and it actually broke my heart that I could not stay and talk to her. I was sadly a strange man who pulled off the road to take a picture, and she was a young child alone in the front field, yes, this was tragic. In my world I would have spent the afternoon there telling her about ships and dark seas, planes and stars, lands as hot as apple pie and people who live among ice, far beyond the life of her Grandfather's shop. That said, I know this type of person, and I take comfort in having no doubt the day will come when she gets beyond the roads of Morrissville, and beyond the state of New York, and beyond the ocean of the Atlantic, a million miles from her childhood field, which will remain in her mind more vividly than anything else she will ever know. She is from the world, not Morrissville, and soon enough she will figure that out.

Pay toll 1 dollar. The Seneca river. No U turns, although I've made about 100. Moss and rust. Fresh fudge one mile. Iced coffee between my legs. Railroad tracks. Houses lean in every direction. Pink baby pool. Weedsport Rural Cemetary. Boys drive lawnmowers. Everybody drives lawn mowers. I dive over the west river, waive hello to a state trooper (we are both on our cell phones), Whitehaven road waives goodbye, so does a windmill. Fantasy Island Summer Park. Cat tails and muck, purplpe flowers, blue bridge, rainbow bridge, pay toll 1 dollar, Coca-Cola factory, half of a barn, black squirrels (that's new). Pulled over outside of Amherst, laid on the grass and thought about life. Colorful yellow and red insects rain on my windshield. Hey look!, a deer! Pay toll fifteen cents. At Dunkin Donuts an employee sees the photo of my Father in my wallet and says we look alike, and "That's God's gift", I agree, but I'm talking about donuts. Because I'm a tweaking fiend I do the worst most degrading act imaginable about 3 hours later, "Umm, excuse me, can you tell me if there's a Starbucks around here?" Corn. Silos. A big rig says Doritos. Next service 29 miles. Entering Ashtabula county. There is a hallway of flickering trees as far as the eye can see, my windows are down, the sunroof is open, there are 3 clouds and NWA's Straight Outta Compton is blazing beyond my car for a hundred miles. I think the wildlife appreciates me. Tall grass rolls beside me like my hand in the wind. There are wildflowers shaking and they look happy to be alive, as I pass a sign directing me to Chautauqua Lake. Buffalo is "An All American City." Niagara Falls clears my mind of everything, and I stare at it until dark. I wake up the following morning a little depressed, but I can't figure out why? I pull over somewhere, not even sure what state I'm in, and lay on the hood of my hot black Trans Am, maybe it's a Ford Focus, I can't remember. I can remember a Chuck Klosterman quote from Killing Yourself To Live that went something like this; "Life would improve if I crashed into a caribou." I begin laughing, my laugh grows, I feel like I might cry, not sure if it's from happiness or sadness, which ultimately are exactly the same once you add time, and the jury is in, I am once again happy, alone, smiling at the world. I get back into Blondie, turn the volume up a good two twists past the maximum, and sing Kings of Leon at the top of my lungs as my hot black Trans Am burns out onto the blacktop of America.

Lastly, about an hour ago I ordered an iced coffee in a cafe in Portland, Maine, where I planned to write this blog entry. Once I sat down here and began writing, I thought of something new, but there's no sense in overriding Darwin on this one....to be continued.

This sums up, in a nutshell, about 1% of my past week.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

DAY 1 - I'M OFF TO A GREAT F'ING START!!!























Dude! - I'm 4 hours in, and this trip fucking RULZ already!!! I'm in Chicago right now and a drug sniffing German Shepherd just sniffed my bag and gave a confident once over around my balls, not to mention there is a completely normal looking woman reading a Latin smut mag next to me. Oh, and let's not forget that I slapped a man at 4 A.M. this morning. Yeah, that's right, I slapped a man. ALL TRUE!
I fucking swear it!!!

Today I left Los Angeles beginning my epic 48 State odyssey across America, and I'll tell you now, I'm off to a great fucking start! This morning I hit the lottery with the 1 out of 14 bajillion chance of slapping another man. You see, 999 times out of 1000, if a man gets slapped it's because he's cheated, which disappointingly left my chances of ever slapping another dude somewhere around 1 out of 14 bajillion, but like I said, today's my lucky day. This morning at 4 A.M., my weed reeking, stoned out of his gourd, fluffy shirt wearing Super Shuttle driver arrived at my place to take me to LAX. I am headed to Detroit for the weekend, which is where I pick up my rental car and begin my journey. Well F! Look at the time. Because I'm limited for minutes here I unfortunately have to cut to the chase. This is what happened; shortly after my driver picked me up, my suspicions regarding his right to own a valid California driver's license were confirmed when he slept through a green light. Shortly thereafter he fell asleep twice on the freeway en route to Los Angeles International Airport, which is when, AS A DRAMATIC ATTEMPT TO SAVE MY OWN LIFE, I was forced to take matters into my own hands so I slapped the man from the back seat. It was fucking SCARY and god damn CRAZY!! Truly, that's not even the half of it. To Be Contintued...

Post Script: now it seems as though Bart Simpson is paging "Mr. Packer" here at Chicago O'hare... man, I can't wait to see what's next! 46 more states to go!!!..

Friday, August 14, 2009

Don't even think about it!


















Don't even think about it! Don't you dare fucking do it JG Francis, and I'm not kidding. Jesus H Christ you stupid son of a bitch, say it ain't so! Yep, I'm happy. Just a smug little clam rolling in the sand and lapping up the shore. Odd timing I must say, but take that for what it's worth.

I've heard it a million times, people don't change, but I'm here to tell you, yes they do. I do! You do/can/should. I consider change my life's greatest accomplishment.

Something had to give, and give it did. It broke like a god damn levy, and a rendezvous with the new has flooded me. All those months of crying alone, lost in my obsessed mind, hellbent on sitting with my sadness in hopes of a better life has come back to pay me in full with friendship and laughter. Thanks friendship and laughter, You're The Fucking Bomb!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Entire Life


















(Please read the follwing in the chipper key of middle "C")

"When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going." John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley

Several months back I set out to be a bum. I un-homed myself as one of several steps to figure out what the hell I really want out of life. I cut all ties with nearly every possession I own. I nicely stuffed my entire life into boxes, covered those boxes in tarps, and stacked them neatly inside the garage at my old home. I labeled and placed them strategically figuring I would be back often to fish for what did not fit into suitcases. Months later I have yet to return.
The loose hope from this first step; reclaim my soul. Excuse me.. ((Check please!))

Now - Step Two: separation from my halved perspective of Los Angeles with hopes of understanding my unsettled heart by way of travel. A solo-lower-48-state road trip. I will admit now as an abundantly positive man, I fear this may not be the cure, but upon my likely return I will know I shall not die wondering.

Monday, August 10, 2009

He Got The Beat!























On a painfully normal hot American day in the summer of 1980, while my older brother brushed his braces in our middle class Nevada home, my young life was smashed forever by an oddly timed greatest moments in history. 29 years later that moment still reigns near the top of my list. I lifted my brother's Walkman from his bed, clamped the headphones onto my 6 year old ears, and pressed play. Consequently, "Another One (did actually) Bite The Dust"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Comeback Trail.


















Looks like I'm not dead after all. Like Jesus, I came back to life. Who knew? My spirit was only hibernating to protect me. These past few weeks have blown my heart wide open again, and I am steadily on the comeback trail. Since "the break up" nearly 5 months ago, the one thing I never let go of was hope, and when you are broken in two, dying in sadness, remaining hopeful is nothing less than heroic. This is something I cherish about myself. Throughout all the unfortunate sadness in my life, I always believe in better days to come, and this has never failed me. I have no fucking clue what's next, but right now is good place to be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

15 minutes

I will absolutely lose my shit in 15 minutes if I don't first push my dreams forward 143 more inches. In 15 minutes I have to go to "work" for the the first time in weeks, for approximately 1 hour, and I'm already shaking. But this blurb is my antidote.

My job is awesome, I will never deny this, I have built something great for myself and I know that, but no matter how great some things are in life they still don't calm the soul. This is why Otis Redding sang, "I've got dreams to remember." This is also why I have walked away from 4,017 great things that others called me crazy for. We lose sight of what really matters in nearly every area of daily life because society is jacked in this way. Keeping a true perspective on happiness takes unfathomable commitment. After double checking on all the things in my life I have accomplished with ease, I can think of only two. So fucking bring on the unfathomable commitment! I signed on the dotted line months ago: I, Jimmy George Francis, agree to never put anything before my dreams. Death by anxiety should this Agreement be breached.

Shit, I'm late for work....good for me!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

4 Months Ago



















Had anyone told me 4 months ago I would soon be homeless, jobless, girlfriendless, carless (driving a rented mini-van), making more money than I have ever made, facing every fear I have ever known, pursuing my deepest dreams, and changing my entire life fourteen hundred and forty degrees (that's eight 180's) all on my own, I would have punched them in the fucking face. This shit is bananas!

I am solid fucking gold you know that!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blank
















(last week sometime, or maybe it was tomorrow?)

It is far inside the small hours of the blind night, and Los Angeles owes me a fucking apology. I do nothing but love and defend and respect this ground, but tonight it could care less about the salt forming at my eyes. Nothing but a noisy cluster fuck of rejects and cars yelling through my window. I just want to sleep.

I've finally given into the fact that I'm not strong enough to wheel this planet off course, believe me, I've tried, with all my mind I have tried, but it's not easy to hurl this stupid lava filled dirt clod out of orbit and into oblivion. I suppose fortunately we still have another 38 billion years before something that dramatic happens.

My need to write after days like today is not always the best reflection of my good spirit, but if I don't get it out, my freedom dies. No freedom is an ugly place to be. This makes it difficult to overestimate the importance days like today play in my process of change. With that said, after a day like today, a day fondued in shit, well (you'll have to pretend this next part is written in the world's smallest font, you'll need a high powered magnifying glass just to read it, because it's not really my voice, not at all actually, you'll see, ok, ready?) today can eat a fucking fart for all I care.

Hahahah, my saga continues, isn't that funny?

Once (a long time ago) I experienced the emotion of hate, and soon thereafter I swore off it forever. It has found no room in me since. But I'll tell you now, so I can make this angry little crap pie a bit more tellable, I hate this blank fucking screen. Nothing but pure white failure before me. A barren tundra from horizon to horizon save for one copy of Merriam-Webster's slapped right dab in the middle, and you know what, it sucks. I now have 162 unpublished entries, notebooks full of blue ink, scattered mounds of orphan papers written upon with the stinging genius of trembling pain, and every single time it began the same; blank.

So here I am again, exhausted, alone, fearful, and still true of heart.

I want to claim myself a writer. I want to write with so much of my exploding heart I had to risk myself just to begin. A near-death exhaustion that still has me dazed. But I now know how to listen to the ground beneath my old shoes and the stillness around my glowing heart, and facing my fears has become a new way of life. It makes me wonder how many Steinbeck's or Hemingway's (Ruth's or Picaso's for that same matter) died clutching fear, their trapped bliss buried in dead caves long forgotten...

I am not a writer, let's get that straight right away. I am a beginner. A novice little boy with an epic in my gut. A story so impossibly amazing it twists my side to know it's mine. I still can't believe it's mine. To send it to my grave untold would lynch every inspiration I've ever known, and crush my true heart. But here's the catch; I don't know how to write it. I have a story to tell with no skills how to lay it down. I'm ready to build the God damn Taj Mahal but I'm holding a baby screw driver and a broken hammer. What the fuck. And I'm angry, Jesus fucking Christ, I'm mad. Why did I wait so long to do something I love so much? All that stalling, all those years, and that never-quit-knocking-even-though-I-refused-to-answer-hidden-dustbound-and-neglected-disregarded-and-weak-begging-to-be-let-out-sobbing-crying-wailing-eventually-losing-volume-foot-still-pat-pat-patting-at-my-chest-from-the-inside-like-a-distant-half-heard-"help!"-never-giving-up-no-matter-how-many-years-lost-in-a-cave-of-public-solitude-mapless-confused-scared-until-its-final-days-before-I-kicked-the-fucking-door-in-to-save-my-own-life-feeling of wanting to write, sometimes, it's just too much to bare. But maybe that's the beauty of my true tale? Maybe sitting has turned out to be standing? Treading possibly sailing? Grounded, soaring? Maybe all that time going backward has proved forward? Maybe backward proved forward more than forward proved forward? This could be so. This is definitely so.

And just like that, as luck wouldn't have it, my attempt at failure has already failed. This blank screen alive with freedom. My heart pounding good, good, goodness...

Good night.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Squibble

















There are no coincidences, and sometimes, that fucking sucks.

(I'm about 107% sure I'm going to delete this tomorrow....gin in the veins)

The following is a mish-mash of blatterings, squibbled down tonight during a freestyling need to ramble on, and on, and on my bed lie about 20 books. They are on top of my twisted, sweat soaked comforter, bedraggled and disarranged, as though they've been dumped here. One splayed open with sentences underlined, scribbled words in the margins, beside some of the scribble are exclamation points in groups of three. Beyond my bed are other signs of my current tilted affair. One, my portable heater is on, although the temperature outside does not excuse this. The heater has a remote with five buttons. I fuss with these options throughout all hours of my restless nights. I am writing this blog at 3 in the morning, this is probably the most straightforward flag I'm not right, which is actually all right, ask anyone who has been through the shit. I have nothing to more to say.

.............the previous statement is no longer true.

My mind is playing pinball with doodie, on course to setting the highest fucking score of all time. High wasted jeans confuse me. They have me doing algebra, when I just want to know if what I'm glimpsing is a nice tail. (This'll come back to haunt me, guaranteed, this will come back, this will be a conversation at some point.) I have nothing more to --- there are only two things in all this world I'm not good at; parking and drinking hot beverages. Take that to the fucking bank and redeem yourself exactly two pennies.

Come down here God! I'd like to have a word with you.

The truth seems to be all I know anymore, and the truth is, I blubber and wimp all over the place, all the time. I cry like I used to before I shelved my dreams and broke my own heart, a sucker punch society landed years ago when I was dealing with the unendurable. Look, I know the Universe is on my side, my life proves this, but society has me bobbing and weaving like a mofo. But let me tell you a story; I can bob and weave like a mofo. The End. I am the captain of unconventional living, and today I sounded the alarm, abandoned ship, and boarded my dinghy, appropriately named I'm currently paddling this crafty little fucker places my ship could never go, which is also exactly what I'm doing. This new journey shall be composed almost entirely of (and forget about my dinghy for a sec, numerous means of transport are at hand) turning the car around, walking down side streets, getting lost and just rolling with it, avoiding the interstate, taking the long route, two lane highways, two-stroke travel, dirt road travel, horseback, camelback, railway, buses with chickens, boats with strangers, canoes for one, canoes for two, risking getting stuck, rolling down the windows, blue highways, glass lakes, cafes and headphones, books and squibble, you know, places and things where you can truly hear what your inner voice is trying to say, which is the purpose of all this anyway. I'm looking to high-jack the world's biggest megaphone, and surgically attach it to the man deep within my soul that's trying to be heard. Then, and only then, when I once again land myself all back up in the mix, will I be able to confidently steer I'm currently paddling this crafty little fucker places my ship could never go exactly where I want the crafty little skiff to go.

Life is art for me, and until recently I didn't realize I have lived my entire life by that philosophy. My imagination builds new versions of me everyday, which is how I constantly arrive at all the new places I want to be, and beautifully, I almost never know where the hell that is. Doesn't matter. What matters is how much love I manage to feel along the way. Love is how we change as people, and as A people, and how we help change others. Hearts! They are capable of miraculous things. I have seen it. I have performed miracles in my life because my heart was so determined. I have loved the unlovable, fought unfathomable fears I have never shared, destroyed the odds, obliterated insecurities, stood above the impossible, survived unmiracles, and all the while my 142 pound heart, beat after beat after beat, surging encouragement and heroically lifting me beyond doubt and fear. I look around at everything I know, all of it, and realize it is all heart. Good or bad, this is all we have, it is everything, it is the only way to keep yourself alive, but you have to be brave enough to listen. Our duty as citizens of humanity, of the Universe, is to continue to imagine and imagine and imagine, and especially to imagine new love. To reinvent ourselves again and again and again, to change, to refine, to invent, to re-invent, to unlearn, to learn, to understand how our past versions contribute to our new, to let go, to reconcile, and just as importantly, to uphold the shoulders from our past of which we stand on, of those who had the courage to love this world in a way that helped us find our own way, because it is a cornerstone of them we have been given ourselves.

(earlier in the day, written in the now)...There is a waitress here where I am, here where I am everyday, I am at the counter, she's behind it, my face in my book, this is our routine, but something new has just occurred, a change in our routine has just occurred. She leaned over, a textbook way to get my attention, and said, "Here?," while rubbing her glossy, wet, coffee stained hands together. Confused I offered my left hand. She took it between hers and rubbed the wetness all over me, then, slowly, she pulled her hands away, "That's all," she said, smiling, she went back to work.
Ka-Fucking-Boom! Free lunch! Free lunch! (((((Free luuuuunch!))))

(Back to now - the middle of the night)...I was raised by no less than four hundred and twenty nine parents. My Grandmother was one of them. Yiya was five feet tall, dead white hair, wrap-around shades, floral print dress, Kleenex in one hand, fly swatter in the other, the talk of her fifteen home village, a threat to any person who dared challenge her, strict, happy, nurturing, brave and blind. Yiya - she was on my team. She went blind when I was ten. She knew it was coming. There were 74 years between us. So. She taught me about struggle, I taught her about Saddam Husein. She taught me about history, I reminded her of friendship. She coined me 'Little Saddam', because I ruled our house. "Little Saddam," she would say, "bring Yiya her eye drops." I liked to help her with things she couldn't do. On hot days I would pick figs from our tree, and we'd eat them together on our porch swing, the still sky moving above, me pretending to like figs to be like her, even though figs are gross...(no transition)...and her morning cough, silence too, and I would just lay there, through all of it, waking, like from a nap on a hammock at 5 AM. At some point I'd sleepwalk to the bathroom and pee. On my way back she would sometimes ask me to sit with her. We had a pair of blue velvet rocking chairs that swiveled, among other hideous things, and they were differentiated by Yiya's chair, which was the one parked aside the big 60's sliding glass door with bb gun holes and squeaky screen. This was where the full Nevada sun fell in from the East, above Sunrise Mountain, warm to the touch, an unwavering brilliant stream of crimson orange light into our living room, and it shone its truth through effortless magnitude, leaving the world just before dawn as it always is...complete. And I would sit with her. She smelled of Kleenex and wool coats, of 80 year old skin and Vaseline. I'd fall asleep in her lap, so heavy to be there, a child's unawareness, a feeling that only one word in all my vocabulary could even begin to capture what I truly felt; I was at peace. She would pet my wavy hair and just stare. She was remembering me, in the sunlight, for her days would soon be defined by light or dark, and her memory of what I looked like would be all that remained of her old eyes.

I am realizing at this moment I never once tried to remember my Grandmother. Her life was entirely left on me without my even knowing, a gift that can only come from the experience of a full life. She is my strength tonight in this time of pain. She believed in me, something of unparalleled importance in my life, and she believed in herself, which I learn to do more and more each day. She gave me all the essentials that make for an extraordinary person, and instilled in me a magnitude of love that has saved my life ten thousand times. But unforgettably, what I am remembering most right now about my Grandmother, is that she taught me about the unfathomable strength, in women. She went blind without so much as a word, in fact, she grew stronger and stronger til the day she died. That is how I will always remember her. She was so alive.

This might not make any sense to you, but Ernest Hemingway once said, "The shortest answer is doing the thing." So here's the thing - this is the story of three friends, Jimmy, George and Francis...

Good night.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Well, fuck. Girls.





























The world is raining attractive females, and I'm standing on the corner with 17 buckets. Babe after babe after babe, they just keep landing right here on my face.

I find it disconcerting not one single person besides my sister has nudged me to steer clear of all the man eaters. Actually, no I don't, because most people don't know how to be alone, especially not after a break-up. F'ing someone new helps them get over their pain faster. It's true, it usually does help, especially if the F'ed is attractive, better still if they're amazing too. I've done it before, even thought about doing it now, but, as nice as it would be to feel one of these amazing girls against me, I can't allow myself to let that happen. Not now. I won't. Not even for mutual, uncomplicated, we-both-just-want-to-F-each-other sex. Not for love either. That would be me not loving myself. Me not honoring my broken heart, nor my true heart. That would be the old me, and that would be me not accepting that being alone right now means all of it, including my D. Plus, I'd rather not be thinking of my ex while I'm with someone new. Getting over your previous relationship while you're with someone else is pretty much the norm, but that doesn't make it OK. It's fucked up. And I'm not doing it. The End.

"(((HELL-OOOOO BROOKLYN!!!)))" Turns the fuck out that I am not only capable of being alone, but I actually can't get enough of it. And I'm not talking about a movie by myself here, I'm talking about hardcore solitude. The longer I seem to hang with just me, the more just me is becoming staggeringly incredible. It's probably no coincidence that the Universe is pouring a lot more than sugar on me ever since I committed to giving to myself, because man alive, I deserve it!, I've earned it, I've manifested it, and believed in it, because I believe in me, and I finally know what I want. I'm simply taking what's mine in exchange for what I have given, and for once, that's panning out to be a nice fifty-fifty.

Now eventually, once I have healed from all this mumbo, I'm going to share my heart again. When this happens, I can promise it'll be at 48,000%, because this is the only way I roll. Then, and only then, might I let one of these babes love me, or at the very least, blow me.

((IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL BABES:)) It should be noted for future reference if you are female, and you find yourself alone with me anytime in the semi-near future, please, under no circumstances, for any reason, let me in your pants. I know I will have 7,000 reasons at the time why you should, and I will be extremely convincing, and you will seemingly have nothing to lose by sharing your sweat with me, but trust me, don't. If you do, it'll be insanely incredible for somewhere between 2 and 37 minutes, probably 2, at which point I will be completely disappointed in myself, and bury us both in Chuck E. Cheese ball pit of half-hearted love. Now, all that said, letting me cop-a-feel for a few seconds/MINUTES! before you reject me, that would be a free lunch I think I more than deserve, based solely on my candor and truth here. BUT!, BETTER YET STILL!, better than all other options listed thus far, just be my friend for a while. Do this, and there's an enthusiastic chance you and I will eventually end up watching the sky disappear and reappear all in one conversation, all the while knowing that allowing a little needed time was the greatest decision we ever made. Think about it. In fact, I will too.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memoir excerpt - Chapter One



















HOLY! FUCKING! SHIT! JESUS-H-MARY-MOTHER-OF-GOD, Holy. Fucking. Shit. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god……… oh my Fucking-Jesus-Fucking-God....... CHRIST!... ……………... Jesus.

Yeah, that’s a good place to start.

I stand, I fall, I crawl.















I should scrawl something down tonight, if for nothing more than my sanity. I had to remove the Jake Gyllenhaal entry, it was not only unnecessary, but it was also bringing me a lot of unwanted attention. Anyway...

I keep smelling urine. Right now even, as I type this, and since lately I plan my life about 4 seconds into the future, I don't realize at this very moment that it is me producing the urine smell, well actually I do realize this, I do now, because it has been more than 4 seconds since I thought to look down toward the general area of the human anatomy where urine is produced, and so at this point, I've since looked down and seen the splotch on my shorts, but I'm trying to write this in real time, which is difficult because of the lag between thought and typing, so bare with me - now, in less than 4 seconds (which as mentioned before it has now been), I will look down and see dribble on my Nike shorts, the shorts I wear to bed, my pajama shorts, which are perforated, stretchy and blue, and might actually be wider than they are long, yep, there it is, corresponding exactly to where one would assume urine to appear if it were to appear on clothing, yes, this would be the spot, the place for urine to appear, and sure enough, there it is, urine. Inexplicably, slightly peeing my pajama shorts brings a smile. This is the perfect token to this gloriously cracked day. This day that should have set me back a marathon in reverse, has instead pushed me forward three more feet. I stand, I fall, I crawl, no matter, all three get me where I'm going, and speed is the least of my concerns. Pee is too. This is all nonsense. Good night.

WTF?























I don't think I can do this story justice, but I will try, because this is what I do.

(For proper intensity, multiply the following by 1000)
Last week I was asleep in a small hotel room in Ashland, Oregon when something terrifying happened. It was sometime in the middle of the night, the lights were off, it was quiet, I was alone in my king size bed, with my hideous comforter, asleep like a giant. The next thing was instant, light speed, while I was face down on my pillow, an unendurable pain seared me. Something grabbed a hold of my left calf from the inside, jaws came down on my muscles, twisting my entire body into oblivion. I froze stiff, then began flapping and thrashing like a hooked fish. I flipped and turned in madness. I grabbed my calf, then let go, grabbed it again, then let go, my own body hurled me onto the floor, jolting and clinched I wailed and blubbered in complete slobbering silence, holding in my screams while holding my leg. I can't say I ever remember feeling such pain, ever, and then, like a switch, it was over, and I was alone on the floor. The fucking weirdest part, the part I can't seem to even begin to wrap my brain around, NOT AT ALL, was that I fell right back to sleep. I woke up the next morning dizzily freaked out, coupled with a tender lower leg that had 80's horror movie written all over it. Now, before some jack-tard tells me I had a charlie horse, let me tell you, I've had a charlie horse, trust me, this was not that. But I really want to understand, what was it?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spiritual enlightenment sucks.

Dear God,

Spiritual enlightenment sucks.
It's fucking hard.
It's fucking boring.
And it's fucking stupid.

Not cool,
J fucking G

Re: Spiritual enlightenment sucks.

Dear JG,

Suck it up pansy.

God

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bring Me A Higher Love

















I set my alarm last night for the first time in months, and, right on time at 3:40 a.m. this morning, my Super Shuttle driver showed up in true Los Angelean form to take me to the airport - "Bring Me A Higher Love" by Steve Winwood was playing, and it is officially the opening song to the soundtrack of this adventure. It's 3:40 in the morning, and I'm bringing me a higher love.

We just picked up a girl in Silverlake who is heading to Portugal.

(To be continued)...

Today was bananas. Somehow 3 one-way flights required me to remove my shoes 4 times, and my compensation for this was one fig newton? If I weren't riding on 27 minutes of sleep in the past 48 hours, I would elaborate more, but it will have to wait. In a cram, here's the backdrop of this exhibition; to buy an old Mercedes wagon in Corvallis, Oregon, then, listen to my soul to guide me home. So far my soul has told me Oregon is poor and weird, and old ladies who smoke are brilliant, both of which I already knew. But, my previous rule that old men who wear plaid have life all figured out, has sadly acquired an exception. Good night.

Oh, I now have an open invite to Portugal and Spain, which I am moderately considering since I have declined four thousand other invites of the recent past. Good night.

(To be continued)...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Said girl























I decided not to publish any writing lately until I had something positive to say, so, after eight days and 32 unpublished entries, brace yourself, I'm about to go off on how rad I am.

For the two years prior to 8 weeks ago, I defined myself through someone else. No, scratch that. For the 20 years prior to 8 weeks ago. Here's how it generally works; (note: I am using the present tense "works" because it will help the following stream of thoughts flow easier , that said, I should be using the past tense "worked" because I will never let the following happen again). So again, here's how it generally works; I meet girl, said girl is attractive, from there I find out said girl is amazing too; artistic, smart, funny, mindblowingly ablaze in bed, and so on. I charm said girl with laughter, wit and curls, among other things (like a secretly amazing body which is "accidentally" not so secret anymore when I stage an all too soon shirtless event), all of these charismatic bewitcharies are gifts I received from god, which make up for any gifts I didn't receive from god, thank you god, the result, said girl unravels to tell me (usually within 30 days) I'm the most amazing guy of all time and she loves me with every aching fiber of her exploding being. From there I cherish said girl's love for me, or destroy it, depending on a complicated number of factors which are not important to the point, which is that I don't really love myself, instead just define myself through someone else, also known as said girl, anyway, I believe said girl, I believe all the extraordinary things said girl tells me I am, because it is easier to believe said girl than to love myself, I blame my father for this, then I blame others, then I realize I'm 35 and alone, finally I blame myself, back to said girl, I use how amazing said girl is to make myself feel amazing, after all, amazing said girl is with me, but this creates a dependent, insecure, and ultimately false sense of my own amazingness, it's all backward, I'm a cliche' who needs to love himself first, but said girl is backward too, which makes it difficult for both of us to see this, several years later we relinquish to canceling each other out through an unfortunate betrayal of power struggling events, we break up, the cycle repeats, until now.

As it turns out, I really am that heartbreakingly amazing guy all those awesome babes kept telling me about. Had I not been such a selfish, wreckless, baby I would have realized years ago that it would only take me 8 weeks to figure that out. Granted, the magnitude and weight of how hard the past 8 weeks have been cannot be measured against any other experience in my life, that would only make the past 8 weeks seem trite. There is no doubt I am still suffering over the reminders of my past love, but I am committed to calmly letting it all go. I embrace this new life for the truth and confusion it brings, and although I am lost in a snow globe of decisions yet to come, I am still alive, and I am squeezing the beauty of that one thing. I am alive. I am getting through all of this on my own, alone, not wavering for a moment from what I need, not what I want, but what I need, and in the process of all this, I've fallen hopefully in love with me. I'm unfolding a new life of change and dreams in every corner of who I am, and what I want is coming to me. I am said girl, and Dude!, I'm f'ing awesome! And now that I'm learning to love myself, define who I am through my own shades, decide what I want from my true intuition, my f'ing awesomeness just exploded like a pinata, only it wasn't filled with Tootsie Roll Pops and Sweet Tarts, it was filled with more f'ing awesomeness, which I am now casually collecting off the grass, since there is nobody else but me here to grab it. Don't worry though, I'm saving it all for when it's time to share.
*(f'ing awesomeness list upon request)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Magnet!



















I plant one hand over the middle of my chest,
exactly nine centimeters off center.
Inhale.
My other hand has formed a fist, anchored from my shoulder.
Swaying.
There is a breeze and my neck is cooled.
The rest of my body hot, sticky, wet.
I step to the edge.
I want to step back.
I look forward.
I want to look back.

The breeze stops.
The white noise of the world, gone.
The clouds sit down.
Silence.
Inhale.

The magnet that is, holds me.
I ask to be let down, but Magnet!
Don't let me down.
Down where the drowned walk and talk.
I want to be here, true,
where the view is new.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm too young to die.


















(there's really no need to read any further, I only posted this so I can continue to breathe...When I come out of all this, please say I will come out of all this, I will write stories of inspiration and hope, love and heroes... I hope those interested will bare with me.)

Today is April the 22nd and I want nothing more than to destroy this pain. I want out when the only way to go is in. I want to destroy anything already dead. I want to chop wood. I want to do this alone. Sad and strong as I can be. I want to hold an axe bare in my hands and destroy anything that is already dead. Momentarily, I want to destroy everything I see. I want to tear this house down to the ground, pound it into the earth, bury it to the core of this planet with my fists. I want to remove my brain and give it to the wolves, put my heart in its place. I am so fucked up. I want nothing more than to destroy this pain. I want out when the only way to go is in. Deeper and deeper, alone. I know I've had harder days than today, but I can only remember one, 4 years ago. I cried this afternoon in a way that scared me. Sounds that from my experience you only hear upon death. I'm too young to die. I want to tell my story. For the love of fucking fuck, this can't be how I die. I'm too young to die. My hands are the only thing on me that look old, and that's because they have aged prematurely due to all the world changing I've done. Let go of me you crazy fuck. I will claw your fucking eyes out before I let you put me down in that grave. Just fucking let go. I will do this on my own. Alone. I will be that much more amazing when it's done. I want to feel someone against me right now, to take away all of this pain, to give my heart to to distract me from all this pain, I could choose that route in a second, but the reward will come by doing this alone. I've been there for everyone else the past 20 years, but never have I been here for me. The fear of all of this ...my god... the fear. Believing I only need me. Making decisions that are tearing my guts out because they are so hard and difficult, that is how I know they are so right, that is how I will create something better. A new life with a new me. Medicating myself with someone else? No, I am the only medicine I need.

(3 hours later)
Yesterday I started a new short story. It's about a man who has lost his mind, so he transplants his heart to take the place of his brain. I think it is my greatest piece of writing, ever. I bet if I still had a girlfriend I wouldn't have written my greatest piece of writing, ever. Maybe I should start to rant about things of this sort instead? Yeah, I better keep some of my dirty laundry hidden, and instead rant about (((WHY THE F DOES EVERYONE HAVE A DOG?)))...oh crap. There go 3 of my 7 readers right there. Sorry, but "pets are not the answer." ~bumper sticker

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fair Warning


















The fuse has been lit to my dynamite heart, and a brilliant new universe of planets and stars are about to be known.

I have smashed myself into oblivion to reach this point. Obliterating every demon in this dark forest, and mauling my way through anything that threatens my true heart.

I know no trail.
I have no compass.
There is no light.
Only my belief, in me.

Blazing through a boy turned outside in, and back out a man, this fuse races toward a dynamite heart.

So let this be fair warning; it is set right, and fit to blow!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This is a true story























(I wrote this short story in 2007. I realize it might be confusing to most readers, but I don't care, I still think it's pretty good. This was my first real attempt at writing. Ever.)


This is a true story.

It is Saturday, 6:04 A.M. I buy an old lady chandelier at a yard sale in Borough Park, disassemble two emerald green crystals from the tacky tentacles and I put them in my pocket for later.

I eat one Hitori Honzo sword for breakfast.

From there I place two Fender half stacks face down on the taut sacred Kentucky Fescue, then, in the middle of the hot bright American sky, at full volume, I lower the needle with calculated precision. This provokes an undirected static that flares like a magnified fuse to a car bomb. A crow yells at me. My heart grows into my neck. The symphony approaching on an inbound convertible bullet train. Nothing can stop this now. BOOM-t't-TAP-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-TAP-BOOM not to be confused with ding-ding-ding-d'd-ding-ding. Freddie! Trouncing those gay words out from the deepest place in his soul. Singing the song he wrote for all those in need of change, for all those who want to break free. Shirtless and alive in all his glory. I hold out my fist above my head in awe for all times I felt happiness in my life because of him. And in my daydream of his momentary resurrection Freddie returns my admiration, gaping at my self-worth with undisputed respect he compliments my mustache and chest hair.

I research Rob Brezsny’s photo online, and as we pass outside of the Hyperion Trader Joe’s with a smile gracing my mug ear to ear I Hi-Fucking-Five him, my head rhythmically bopping twice the beat of my feet, “FUCKIN’ AY MAN!THWAPP!Fucking ay!

I see right through the cryptic disguise of Lex Luthor as he ice skates past the Transamerica building on Merchant Street. I follow him to Leidesdorff and fourth, and while waiting for the light to change my plan untangles before me. He steps in front of my Royal Purple Rav 4 and I flippantly tap the juice to knock him off his feet. In the mayhem of my defense while helping him up I reach into my pocket and swap the emerald green chandelier crystals for crude, unrefined, kryptonite, a feat that shall forever remain synonymous with what God did in 7 days, I get back in the Royal Purple Rav 4, drive straight to the water and mail that kryptonite so far off into the San Francisco bay I momentarily think it will hit Berkley. I am again, on my way.

I shelve the Rav 4 outside a bodega near Guerro and Mission, for obvious safety reasons, and continue on foot. 17 blocks East, 3 blocks South, cut through the park, I’m there. McSweeney’s haphazardly brands a sign above the door using electrical tape stretched three rows wide. I strike the entrance with a chipper two-handed paradiddle that repeats its catchy rhythm down the hall. No answer. I go at it again. Nothing. I pull my wallet to excavate for a photocopy of pages 260-261 from A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers, it’s there, I write in the margins: “Dear Dave, the Pulitzer was yours, man. You were robbed! The good news is- even though you’re a really cool guy who plays frisbee I’m going to keep on making fun of frisbee players. Your Friend, J.G.”, ..I hear it again, J.G., and again, although I try to un-hear it this time, the phrase twisting in my mind, you’re J.G., then again, you’re J.G., again, again, for the next twelve hours, again, as I head South…you’re J.G., you’re J.G., you’re J.G.,. And even with all the limitless capability my imagination contrives from all the love and inspiration that has ever entered my life, I cannot stop the searing rhythmic pain in my chest, and before I know it, it consumes every atom in my being. Everywhere is pounding. All of me is pounding. Like a fish that has been put to the pavement by an innocent curious boy. The memories come flooding back. All those who floated in my wake hoping for a fun skip across the water, instead being overturned by a tidal wave, left to painstakingly abandon everything they love, including themselves, and swim for their lives back to shore. Leaving me and everything else to either drift away or sink. I duck into an alley off Sunset, my crinkled face is sopping, slimy and wet. I am confused by how bright it is in the middle of the night. I lose my feet below me and accept the pain. I lay there all night. Dying from the worst torment any human has ever endured. Facing the biggest mistake I have ever made. Mistreating and losing the most precious person I have ever known. Me.

[now this is the part where it gets good.]
Flying above with his keen ability to spot human danger and fear is Superman. He detects my sense of urgency, seeing me defeated, hopeless and dying in pure broken sadness, and he recalls a time when someone unbeknownst to him saved his own life. He directly descends to my presence. He cantilevers both arms, one beneath my back and the other behind my knees, then, ever so gracefully, he lifts me to my feet. I AGAIN STAND PERPENDICULAR TO THE WORLD. He tells me, "We are brothers. Born from the same universe, and from extraordinary people come extraordinary lives and I for one believe YOU to be extraordinary.” A soft breeze against my warm, clammy face, and he is gone. I am momentarily left feeling only, one, thing. Hope. .....And once again, I am on my way.

I spend the next 10 days in solitary deliberation with the inner most core of my soul before I make the decision. I courageously rip my vulnerable heart from my chest, and place it before me. It is hands down five times the expected size. Bigger than my entire head. Ripped and bruised everywhere. Thick, purple, red and black hues, shredded, oozing all over with so much dense beauty.Weathered like a distant buoy shielded in algae and barnacles. It's fucking beautiful. My separate critical being holds it for inspection. The warm heavy weight is cascading between my fingers. I gasp and return it before me. I am ready. I regurgitate the Hotori Honzo sword from breakfast, and with both of my unwavering hands I take hold of the fearless Japanese steel. I raise the heavy weapon as high as my powerful limbs can reach, and I come down the instant I hit my peak, with every single last ounce of force that has ever become J.G. ...And my heart?......My most vital, precious organ, vulnerable in times even to me,.... withstands a deathblow so powerful that my brain is left momentarily black. All I hear is an audible silence, interrupted only by the thunderous pounding muscular rhythm that shatters the ground beneath my feet. I tremble in wholehearted victory. Like anyone who as ever dared face their inner most fears and won. I explode into tears and pick up my extraordinary life. I tear off my bloody right sleeve and use it to strap my ravishing corazon to my arm for all the world to see. For the first time in my life I know without a glimpse of doubt I will never deceive myself again. I am the epitome of love, I am the epitome of hope, I am the epitome of courage, I am the epitome of honesty, I am the epitome of inspiration, and I am relentless in my pursuit of happiness, and nothing, not my past, not my future, not my insecurities, not my mind, not my job, not my girlfriend, not my ex-girlfriend, not family, not my friends, not my enemies, not my anything will ever keep me from that again.

The easy part for me has always been getting what I want.The hard part has been knowing what that is. I am reminded of priceless piece of advice I once received from the most amazing person I have ever known, “It only matters what you do from here.” Thank you. Now just watch me!

So what else do you want to know “about me”? I could bore you with stuff like I’m smart, I’m funny, I am a high-dive extraordinaire who created the ‘watermelon’…but I think it is much more intriguing to cut to the chase and vomit all over everything.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Me vs Me















My insides are the battleground of every war ever waged, every fight ever fought, every duel that ever was, all at once. Villains and heroes alike, together and alone they fight. Cowboys and Indians, gunfighters, and there are no sides, no rules, no allies, and like every difficult change in my life, it is me vs me.

I am so lucky to feel life the way I do. This pain that pummels me from every side, never letting up, is something to stand tall for. I embrace it with tears of understanding and compassion. It is proof that I gave my whole heart to someone I love, unconditionally, and no matter how great the fear of doing that was, I did it anyway, the fear of this very feeling, of pure broken sadness and excruciating pain, I did it anyway, and it was worth every fucking moment. I will do this forever, because I have never known anything greater than love, and, for the first time in my life, this love is starting with me.

Now it is Saturday evening, and I am sitting on my front porch, drinking a can of my favorite beer, Simpler Times, eating beef jerky, finishing my new book, writing a new blog, watching all the love in this world pass by my house, knowing I already have all the love I need, I'm watching this beautiful sky turn down, and I’m sitting here alone, forgetting about all that I am sad about, and I am opening my arms back up to the world, and when the sadness comes back, which for now it will, I will open my arms back up to me.

It starts like this.














It starts like this. CHAPTER 14 ~ The Boner Years Cont'd, page 231, the last sentence on the page and also the last sentence in the chapter...

And that was that, I lost my virginity at age 14 to a girl I would never speak to again, who I would dodge for the next four and a half years, whose name I would never tell anyone, ever, a girl who thought she was pregnant moments after we both had sex for our first time, because her sister told her that if you bleed after sex you are pregnant, and I would hear her say this to her best friend from the bathroom at my cousin's house, moments after we both had sex for our first time, while I played Nintendo, to help take my mind off the confusing discovery that had just occurred, or maybe I just wanted to play Nintendo, "My sister told me if you bleed after sex you are pregnant", and after hearing this I jumped on my bike, raced home, not realizing she probably wasn't pregnant for the obvious reason that I never had an orgasm, literally, not even completely sure of what an orgasm was, and I pedaled like mad up Alta hill, thinking of the boy I was going to raise, because of course it would be a boy, a great BMXer like me, with inflated curly hair, and no shirt, ever, only shorts, I thought of that boy and..., and oh my fucking god the disappointment from my family, the Greek community torn apart, the Francis' anchored in the middle of the sea, the taking away of my phone, at the very least call-waiting and three-way. ...to be continued in the short story THE WAY WE DID it, by JG Francis

CHAPTER 15 ................. Fireworks and Heroes