How Do You Smell?

The assignment was: How do you smell?

I will shower with Dove. I will meld the remaining sliver from the last bar on the top of the new one. Some Arctic Breeze deodorant the lady picked out for me. It’s got an orange top and it’s not the gel stuff I like. It’s that hard white stuff that looks like powder later on, if you look, if you give a shit. But hey, it’s better than nothing. I will sweat as soon as I get out of the shower. Always foggy in the bathroom when I’m done because I turn the water hot enough to make me red. The smell of cut grass and gas from the lawnmower won’t leave me for days. Sometimes when I kill lots of ants I feel them on me as if their dying gasp is a hundred temporary psychic ant bites. It’s the same with the grass. A million felled blades have fired telepathic chlorophyl stabs at my brain. This particular pair of jeans never fades from green at the bottom of the legs, stained from the eternal yard holocaust. I get the baby for a bit. He smells sweet, he is milk and flesh. He hasn’t bathed in two days and smells the same even though he peed on me again this morning and surely got some on himself. While lying sideways on my chest, piss leaked out the back of his diaper and at my neck. I could only sigh. Feel it go from warm to cold against my chest.

It smells cold in the house. The giant Rheem outside has not stopped cranking cool. It intends to be victorious over the heat. My nostrils are flashed with the air conditioner. Makes me think of mornings and how my nose has to wake up with everything else. Mornings, I smell that bit of salt on me, the grease in my hair, ball sweat from the wakeup tug, that slight cheese from fingernails and the skin underneath.

The baby farts a man’s fart. Like an abandoned egg dish. It’s 12:07 pm. The cracked white leather chair I sit in when I’m sweating creaks hello with every adjustment of my body, soaks up my wet shirt and jean hips. She is doing something in the bathroom, so I have him for a little bit. I bring him close to my nose again because I don’t want to smell myself: funk, root dirt grown in layers as my arms twist my pit hairs back and forth, making a fire while I wrestle with the mower, drag the trash bin in the alley, throw another fucking palm frond over the fence where they go.

This is where I sit when I smell like a man.

Signs

First!
First!

I just pulled up there and people are tailgating and the smoothie shop is open and I remember when getting videogames late at night was a nerdy kind of thing. But now everyone’s doing it. I like to be weird. None of these people were weird enough for me. I don’t mind being in a line with a bunch of kids taking allergy and antidepression medicine, getting their piercings caught on posters and bushes. But I could see these people were wearing football jerseys, talking about working out, and 401k’s.

When did you silly bastards start playing videogames?

I slowed the car down for about two seconds in the parking lot and remembered that I had 1600 (2000, if I plan to catch up) words to write to kick my particular Modern Warfare’s ass. I thought of my girlfriend at home, on the couch, alone, watching some tv show. I thought about how much I loved her and how she expected me back well after midnight.

This would be the perfect time to sneak in and scare her.

I raced back home, opened the door and heard giggling. She was in the office with her headphones on. The perfect situation. Even my trundling ass on wood floors could scare someone wearing headphones and giggling at the sounds from within. I sighed.

She turned and discovered me. “Too many kids, huh?”

I nodded.

When I woke up, before my feet hit the floor, the first thing I did was check my email. There was my cousin and a Mexican, offering me their single finger salutes. I will find you both. And I WILL have your weak spines.

Between the Boards

I crawled under the deck today
belly up
unblue wood underneath
looking for the fount of wasps
and I discovered a party
in a corner
buzzing too big
for the holes in their nest.
Belly against wood
dirt in my hair and crack
something with wings
setting on my left shin
the women hiding inside
I thought
how nice down here
aimed and fired
“20 foot spray”
all hands lost
just their booger
of a nest stuck to a board.
Plopped it down
with a grout dowel
did the belly up backwards worm
caught a sharp rock
across the back of the head
came up
no one around
just the charcoal’s chimney
on the grill
fiery wavy congratulations.

Took a shower in the dark
this is important
to know one’s home
in blackness
fridge
the rug that slides on tile
steep steps to the garage
the towels
the razor
the soap
and the random blinking light
in the air over the yard
that flashes into the bedroom
like there is an invisible alien ship
taking pictures
reading my mind
knowing me for the devil
in the spaces
between the lives we live
ready to spray
something.

Dear God, whichever one of you is listening…

I need to know. It’s very important. I know you’re big on the whole moves in mysterious ways thing, but we are talking about life and death. Did Satan invent weeds and you invented the shake inducing bio mechanical symbiont known as the weed eater? Or did you make them together and have a chuckle behind the moon afterward? You fucks. And what’s the deal with the fact that there is no shoulder strap included with this weed eater? The answers to these questions, whatever they may be, have collided and left my right arm shaking so bad I almost took my eye out when I went to scratch the top of my head. I may not be able to wank tonight, either. Or grab my beautiful girlfriend’s breast in a manner that wouldn’t make her think I thought it was one of those pens on a chain at the bank. If I try to give her a back rub after the day’s hard work, she will ask, “Why are you knocking on my back like it is a door and you are the most urgent Jehovah’s Witness ever?”

Why can’t the lawnmower get it all? Why wasn’t it designed to be a ball of blades and lasers that destroys the “ugly” plants? Home ownership has been awesome: First, the shower didn’t get hot. Now, the weeds and the weed eater are colluding to give me Dumbledore’s Last Hand (nerd reference, go watch Harry Potter or just pretend you know that Dumbledore’s hand is really messed up toward the end). At the least, if there was no way to get past this weed + weed eater thing, how about, I don’t know, beautiful naked ladies in the sky, singing songs I love, and pouring beer in a perfect downward arc and into my smiling mouth? Or unmessy orgasms as I go. Maybe every time I do a “section” of yard, POOF, Orgasm!

You know what? That might be a bit too much to ask for. What if the yard was just perfect. Forever. And maybe every once in awhile, I’d pay tribute by pouring a 40 in the corner by the shed in a never moving fat gnome’s mouth? I could go on and on. No, wait, I can’t because my hand just died and something funny is happening. I can’t feel my shoulder now. Just typing with the left now. Tingle in my left eye. Oh. That’s the strok…

Plaxico Burress indicted on weapons charge

Plaxico Burress, former New York Giants receiver, indicted on weapons charge but Antonio Pierce not indicted – ESPN.

So, sure, I don’t want people running around with guns that aren’t registered, or with guns at all, you know? So *I* don’t get shot. However, this dumb fucker shot HIMSELF in the thigh and lost his job playing a game. Isn’t that bad enough? They gotta maybe put him in jail for this? Yeah, I get it. He could’ve maybe shot someone ELSE. And as a rich and recognizable person, he should maybe invest in some security instead of a gangsta rap video equipped handgun in his boxers’ waistband. But he didn’t pop anyone else.

I wonder, if he’d shot himself in the dick, would that have made people more lenient? I really think this is a case of people being happy to fuck a famous person. This is the perfect time to use this guy. Send him to schools to teach kids a lesson. He’s going to be that guy the gets a train run on him in prison. “What’d you do?” ” I was in a club and I shot myself in the leg…” “Ok, bitch, turn around.”

They should run that poll on ESPN. Would the court have gone easier on Burress if he’d shot himself in the dick or buttocks (buttocks might give some of the Forrest Gump sympathy)?

The boys hate my belt

A couple weeks ago, my boys pointed out that I wore my belt “incorrectly.”

Look how ours are buckled. Fag!

It was easy to defend myself as one of them is bald, another is growing a beard in Miami during summer because a woman told him to, and I don’t know, I think Manny was somewhere else, but..

I did not know such a standard existed. As a wearer of baggy pants (best for hiding small arms) I only cared that they kept the waistband well enough above the end of my baggy t-shirt. I don’t particularly care to reveal my Hanes or le crack du magnificence. My friends, being the curious bunch they are questioned me: why, why, why did I wear it like that and honestly, I had no answer. Until yesterday.

I was at my dad’s place, saying hello, hoping to avoid argument, and watching not even a smile appear on his face as I finished the story of my girlfriend and her mom locking themselves out of the house. It was there that I saw horses riding upside down, pulling carriages. On his belt.

Pops, your belt is upside down.

No. It is not.

They’re in the sky, pops. Upside down riding the bottom of clouds. The riders have no blood in their feet. They may fall to the earth and die. Lives hang in the balance.

Not even a chuckle from Stone Ruiz.

I wear it this way because that’s the way I like to buckle it. What’s it to you?

If only I’d had cowboy belts.