Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Old Flames II: Salting Old Wounds In The Desert

I was halfway to Mexico when I called my mother from a bar pay phone. She let me know that the woods were on fire and I had best flee the country. All fire stops at borders, she told me.

"Thank God we believe in crossin' 'em," I said, spitting tobacco and wiping my chin. "Right, boys?"

Two amigos stepped outta the white Cadillac backseat, sifting through the desert wind and gripping Spanish pistols. This is the land where we come to build angels. Yet this be the pale grim grin of the Devil's teeth, raised of mountains and sunk with bullets.

"One more notch on your belt buckle, Johnny," one ghastly voice will bellow from the Heavens.

And one more song will play, sounding like gun blasts and dynamite lights. Bring out the mariachi band to play us this ballad. Revere the guitars, savor the taste and beg for mercy.

That should've been the end. It truly should've been. But where would the story keep if not spoil in this box without a closed door? So, perk up those ears, this is and was the truth.

I grinded my teeth and cursed my cast bones. This here is a last chance. But, then again, every chance is a last chance. How do you know you're always gonna make it out? There be gangsters and mobsters out there, chums. Slip up the accent and they'll grind your old battle wounds up for soup to feed the prisoners.

So, here, with this desert rough, where castles lay in the sky, a view comes with tears as rain. It's just one more storm to bare, you'll pray, and wait for the gods in a parade of self-pity and self-worth.

Now, what if you just turned up the stereo and hit the gas pedal?

These stories are always better.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Old Flames I: The Highway Season

There was a season of highways once. Twas the rainiest, dirtiest, funniest days of our time; peculiar indeed. We cackled lightning and belly-laughed thunderstorms. What god left us this wasteland of roads, with one utopia after another, always one more oasis dying in the breeze of the distance, we'll never know.

We wailed guitars out in the fields that gave us tornadoes. We wept in the great plains of a dying breath country. We bested our kin in the stretch of a foot race. We swam in rivers, we smoked on porches and we laughed everywhere. We had diaries of dreams and journals of jokes. We watched fireflies spend the summer with us, we sipped liquor with mint snd we heard the world spin its slow, heavy grind.

There were rocking chairs, long sunsets and enough fireworks to keep the great conversation of this nation burning. What was this country becoming? We all wondered that Fourth of July, looking up at the black disappearing in the ghostly parade of the sky. But all we came up with was more backyard dinner parties.

So, when the country settled, what did we have? We had the shoeboxes of letters, the albums of photos and the etched memories of lost causes and lofty effects.

But it all started with a car speeding down the spine of this country. It all started with a joke taken too seriously that ended up having a killer punchline. It all started when someone loved something more than something else.

And it gave us all a long history of escape artists.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bathtime vs. Playtime

I was at Target today with my brother, buying things for my relatively new bathroom. Holding a bath towel, I asked him his opinion of two different soap dishes. He pointed at the bronze one and I nodded, spacing out at a dozen different soap dishes on the shelves in front of me, and all I could say was, "Holy shit, remember when we used to come here to buy toys?"

Age gets you in the strangest moments sometimes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Disheartening MILF

You know what's disheartening? Driving and seeing a hot-ass MILF flag you down and naturally assuming she wants to find out what you're doing around midnight, but then realizing she actually just wants you to slow the hell down right the fuck now so you don't run over her idiot kids.

Also, two questions: How did these kids score shirts that match the color of the sky at sunset? What kind of hot-ass MILF lets her kids wear said shirts at sunset in the middle of the street?


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jake's Stupid Day of Idiocy

5:15 a.m. - Jake's alarm goes off.

5:50 a.m. - Jake gets out of bed.

6:05 a.m. - Jake is on the road.

6:30 a.m. - Jake notices that his engine light is on.

6:31 a.m. - Jake notices his temperature gauge is past the H.

6:33 a.m. - Jake exits the 405 and pulls into a residential neighborhood to open his car's hood.

6:34 a.m. - Jake blames himself for not knowing cars better or generally at all.

6:35 a.m. - Jake recalls the folks at Jiffy Lube telling him that he might have a coolant leak about two months ago, though there haven't been signs or trouble since, so Jake didn't really do anything about it.

6:36 a.m. - Jake curses himself for never doing anything about it.

6:40 a.m. - Jake fills his radiator with coolant.

6:45 - Jake starts his car, only for it to rumble as his temperature gauge flies past the H once again. Jake opens a book and starts reading.

6:50 a.m. - Jake starts up car again with a slightly better sound, but then turns the car off and goes back to reading.

6:53 a.m. - Jake calls his father to ask what overheating a car is like. Jake's father doesn't pick up, so Jake leaves a voicemail and then goes back to reading.

6:55 a.m. - Jake gets out of the car and goes to check the engine again, but very quickly notices that the asphalt is covered in coolant.

6:56 a.m. - Jake decides that the people at Jiffy Lube were right about that whole coolant leak theory and goes back to reading.

7:10 a.m. - Jake texts work that his car has practically blown up and he will most likely be late.

7:20 a.m. - Jake's father calls him back, but Jake misses the call because he's standing on a stranger's lawn, sighing rather loudly to himself.

7:23 a.m. - Jake calls his father and leaves another message.

7:24 a.m. - Jake leans his against the steering wheel, continuously exhaling audible sighs.

7:45 a.m. - Jake's father calls him back and tells him what to do.

8:00 a.m. - After hoping everything would just fix itself if he kept doing nothing, Jake calls AAA.

8:10 a.m. - Jake becomes a member of AAA again after forgetting to renew the past two years.

8:15 - Tow truck is dispatched by AAA.

8:20 a.m. - Jake watches two kids leave a house for school and approaches the house to ask if he can use the restroom.

8:21 a.m. - Seeing as how nobody answered, Jake spends a full minute listening to someone shower, yet still hopes that the door will be answered. After a sense of creeperdom overcomes him, Jake flees the yard.

8:25 a.m. - Jake wonders if he has enough time to run to the nearby elementary school to use their restroom facilities, though the tow truck should be there by 8:35 a.m.

8:30 a.m. - Jake decides to go for it and jogs to the local grade school.

8:33 - After debating which is the office entrance for several minutes, Jake watches a tow truck drive by and sprints back to his car.

8:37 a.m. - Jake gets sound advice from AAA guru, who suggests Jake take his car to nearest AAA-approved auto shop. Jake agrees.

8:40 a.m. - Jake changes his mind and ignores sound advice, so he can pay $100 to drop car off at family friend mechanic he trusts.

8:41 a.m. - AAA guru decides Jake's an idiot and doesn't see any reason to further speak with him.

8:45 a.m. - Like a stupid low-budget comedy, the three wacky men (the gangly uninformed white twentysomething with the broken car, the older and wiser Philipino AAA tow truck guru and the near-30 Mexican nice guy driver learning the ropes) all pile into the tow truck bench seat and set off for adventure.

8:46 a.m. - Nice guy asks Jake if his full name is Jacob. To which, Jake shrugs and says, "Nah, just Jake. My parents hated the named Jacob for whatever crazy reason."

8:47 a.m. - Nice guy tells Jake he has a nice watch and then tells a story about how his girlfriend bought him a fake cool watch that broke within the week. Jake laughs and the two talk about Target watches while the AAA guru in the middle doesn't say a word.

8:55 a.m. - After several minutes of silence, Jake panics and asks how long they've worked for AAA. Nice guy says a year and guru says 14 years. No one talks to Jake for the rest of the drive.

9:20 a.m. - Jake and crew arrives at beloved mechanic. Jake asks how business is. Mechanic informs him, "It's good. I mean, you keep bringing me a lot of business."

9:21 a.m. - Jake realizes how much doctors and mechanics must love him.

9:30 a.m. - Jake's mother picks him up.

9:40 a.m. - Jake wakes his brother up, so he can borrow his car. Sleepy brother agrees.

9:45 a.m.- Jake notices how dirty his brother's car is, so he gives it a quick hose-down.

9:46 a.m. Jake carelessly throws the hose down to go turn it off, but said hose lands on the ground with the push-handle down and the spout up, suddenly spraying Jake like a sprinkler. Jake yells and frantically dashes out of the water, as his mother, brother and dog watch speechlessly from the window.

9:47 a.m.- Jake sits in his brother's car with soaked pants and starts his drive to Los Angeles for the second time, arriving sometime around 11.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A New House & Motto

My New House
I love my new house. I swore I'd never live with three guys in a house again, but, my goodness, what a little extra rent and maturity can give you.

I loved The Madison (21-24), even though it probably stunted my emotional growth and infected me with diseases that won't become apparent until my twilight years. Back then, I'd come home to a group of employed and thoroughly fun dudes and we'd spend the days adventurin' and the nights a-drinkin'. There were parties all the time and, if there wasn't, it was still kind of like a commune, complete with muddy footprints on the ceiling and a fake gun stabbed into the wall. The Madison was maybe the most continuous fun I'll ever have in my life, as it was like a second childhood (with all these new cool things I didn't have or do in my first childhood). But, again, The Madison was loud and crazy almost at a horrifying constant.

Considering I'm now in my mid-twenties, it's incredible to spend the day alone in a quiet, clean house you can call your own. My roommates and I are in and out during the day, mostly seeing each other at night, all before a reasonable bedtime. We've only been in there two weeks, so it's not much to go off. It's a super mellow house during the workweek and we have friends over on the weekend, I suppose. But the whole thing seems surreal, to have so much living space and be able to play pool and drink in your own basement bar before calling it an early evening so we can read and write in bed. I love it. The house is full of creativity, patience, respect and giggles.

My New Motto
The whole "Cowboy Spirit" thing started about a year ago and it lead to a whole season of blurry evenings. When the new year came around, I asked if we should keep it going. Chris said, "I don't think I can keep it up." Rex said, "Honestly, I'm pretty exhausted from these past few months." Grant said, "It'll kill us, Jacob." So, we left the legendary spirit of modern cowboys in 2010 and dubbed 2011 for Bill O'Riley's famous quote, "Fuck it, we'll do it live!" And we've done it pretty live this year, but, lately, I feel as though my mantra has mutated into "Hey, why not?" Alas, I've learned that this phrase has lead to some misguided choices in recent months. Well, I'm restarting myself for the umpteenth time and gonna go with a slightly varied motto, "Hey, why?" So, let's see how long it lasts until I start answering the question at hand with a whole batch of bad decisions. Woo!

Friday, September 9, 2011

"And They Waited"

"And They Waited"
written without a drop of sobriety by jake kilroy.

The porch rang with laughter. It was springtime and there was a mild heat settling into the neighborhood. Lilac mist wafted under the street lamps and a car passed every time someone changed the radio station.

She leaned against the porch pole, dirtying up her shoulder, as she watched the universe.

"Counting stars?" he asked, sneaking up beside her with a drink.

"Counting something," she cooed with a sigh.

"Aren't we all?" he said, taking a sip and sliding his hand into his pocket where all he had was spare change.

She clicked her tongue and waited for the world to give her everything. He watched her drift and then he asked the world for everything. And they waited.

And the world came at them with nothing. She was surprised and he nodded.

Take what young lovers abandon for love and you could fill a city dump. Take what young lovers give for love and you could fill an ocean. Take what young lovers want of love and you could fill the sky.

Whether it's trash or treasure, it's ours. Finally. Now let the world take us, give us away and want us again.

I have all night and a lifetime ahead of me, the boy thinks.

I've got one night to turn things around, the girl thinks.

And they wait for the world again.

And, once more, the world comes at them with nothing.

Must be an off night, he thinks.

Just another slip of the cosmos, she thinks.

And they wait for the universe this time.

And the universe hands them new constellations that they'll later draw into each other's backs, counting blessings on soft fingers, ready to make love their favorite charity.

And so the world waited.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"no beatnik history here"

"no beatnik history here"
done on a bender by jake kilroy.

sweetheart minute-made renegade loser,
left hip turn kick punch jack knife cruiser,
honeypot crockpot nutty job boozer,
my queen o' gasoline blasted bruiser.

now tend hearts.
scour the land.
forge new paths.
empty the world.

pretty mouth hooter brooder sly learner,
all hate no waste brazen keepsake burner,
tough skin no win brittle lust turner,
all fuel no rule skip school yearner.

now keep here.
break all bread.
pray (for) gods.
beg (for) mercy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

How Every Summer Should End

JAKE: Hey dude! How are you?

JOHN: I'm doing alright. How about you?

Doing pretty good.

Yeah, I can see that. It's noon on a Monday and all you're wearing is a bathing suit.

Can't complain.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"the greatest"

"the greatest"
a novelty of acts by jake kilroy.

howling at the harvest moon,
'cause it's the biggest.
laughing at the afternoon sun,
'cause it's the hottest.
went rocky into love,
tucked away as a last resort.
went head-first into lust,
with the pop of champagne cork.

went to bed full of grease,
woke up with bloody knuckles.
watched the neighbor's garden,
with a perfect glow in daylight.
took the vegetables home,
made a meal i couldn't stomach.
lost my slender appetite in the war,
forever drumming my own soul.

now slouching towards bookshelves,
filled with books never touched,
turned rose-colored here,
for the charity of firewood,
after the heater went out,
after a fight with the handyman.

oh, how pride is the greatest of sins,
in every sense of the word.