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Monday
Apr032006

Lost Love And Loneliness


His dark hands are gnarled. Ashy skin flakes from his twisted nuckles. The thick, blackened fingernail jutting obstinately from his thumb is nearly torn off, leaving jagged ridges of nail behind. He catches me looking at his dirty fingernails and instinctively curls them tightly around the pole, back into his hand.

He had shuffled smoothly onto the subway at 34th street. By smoothly I mean to say he didn't frantically hurtle through the turnstyle, like most folks do when the operator warns straphangers to "stand clear of the closing doors, please."

The old boy paid no mind to the overmodulated voice of the conducter crackling through the speaker. He continued to shamble steadily toward the sliding doors, dragging a black Hefty bag stretched to gray transluscence, and a backpack that had seen better days. Hell, this pack mighta seen better decades.

I watched, curious to see if he'd make the number one uptown train I was riding to work. As the seconds ticked by, his pace didn't quicken although anyone who has ridden the subway more than once knows when to give it a little giddyup or else miss the train. He knew it. But he didn't care. I guess it wasn't like he had an appointment uptown or anything. The train was just another way to pass the time, the cold night. If he missed this one another one would be along shortly. That's the nice thing about trains. Reliability. You can count on 'em. There's always another one coming.

The doors were seconds from banging shut. I was certain they would close before he made it, or worse, close on him, as they sometimes do, like a giant mouth hungry for humans. Then, embarrassed for him, we'd all have to avert our eyes while he struggled to shove them back open.

But he pressed on, ultimately stepping onto the train a split-second before the doors clamped shut behind him, narrowly missing his garbage bag. The whites of his eyes were tinged pink, his lower lip jutted out like Bubba the shrimp guy in Forrest Gump. But this man was handsome once. His scraggily salt and pepper beard belied the aristocratic plains of his Hershey bar colored skin.

We stand together, he and I, clinging to the pole while the train jerkily negotiates the underground of New York City. Other riders turn their backs, slink to other poles. Giving the man space, I assume, because of his disheveled appearance. That makes me sad. He seems almost tranquil. At peace with himself. In a better place than the rest of us whose minds are cycling through work trauma, relationship drama, money woes..

I wonder who he was before he arrived at this point, before life got away from him and time began it's dirty work, eating away at his once handsome face. He is a son, probably a brother, maybe a father.. That makes me sad too.

Slowly, as if a result of being jolted by the train, I slide my hand up the pole until the top of my hand is touching the bottom of his. I can feel his warm, dry skin graze my own softer skin with each bounce of the train. Although there is plenty of space to move his hand away if my proximity makes him uncomfortable, he leaves his weathered paw where it is. And begins to sing. A low, warbling lullaby, just loud enough for the two of us to hear.
Sunday
Apr022006

Let's Get It On, Sugar

I was on the receiving end of oral sex last night. Strange, that hasn't been a part of the Bielanko repertoire lately. It should be. I get mired down in the funk of life and forget how nice it is to heed Marvin Gaye's wise words. Sometimes, when you're so tired you can't be bothered to wash your face, sex can morph into another item to tick off on the Things To Do list. That's when you desperately need to pull out the black platform boots and get busy.

I don't care who reads this blog. I don't care IF you read this blog. I can't not write what I wanna write because certain people are reading. Unless what I want to say is potentially hurtful to them.. but I have lines drawn in my head.

For mental release, thought organization, it has become necessary for me to type here. So I will continue to do so. There are some lines I won't cross... but really, I can't be bothered to worry too much about what you think about me, whoever you are. If you can relate, in any way, that makes me happy. If I give you cause to chuckle, that makes me laugh. If you think my writing is shit, you needn't feel obligated to tell me so. I have enough self doubt rocketing through my soul without your dose.. Just move on. Anymore there are as many blogs out there as stars in the sky. I'm sure you'll find something that lights your fire.

I actually got recognized walking down the street in Brooklyn yesterday. A pretty blonde girl yelled "Hey! I know you!" from across the street. The Surge and I stopped. I assumed she was a Marah fan and waited for her to cross Bedford Avenue to tell The Surge how much she likes his band. "I live in Manhattan and I love your blog" she says to me. I was stunned. And no S, my recent reticence about blogging is not due to your recognizing me. That actually made my day.

I've engaged in some pretty petty behavior lately. Makes me not like myself so much. I want to bond with women, share common hurts, lift each other up. Transcend the cattiness that was so much a part of our younger years. I want to meet a fanastic girl and celebrate her, not be silently jealous.

There is a woman I work with who is the most amazing, uplifting, positive person. I want to be like her.. Because while she is fabulous and wise, she still acknowledges the silly fights with her husband, googling ex-boyfriends and the like.. She is the perfect blend of woman.. sugar AND spice.

So I move on.. lessons are learned and you can only keep moving forward and try to be better the next time around.
Saturday
Apr012006

Write On

I've got to write, before... before I don't know what. Lately, the idea of a blog doesn't seem so appealing anymore. But this here blog has had so many positive effects on my life. It's an outlet for letting off steam so I don't explode. It's a forum to practice my writing. It's a place to organize my life. Had I not written here, I wouldn't remember so many of the extraordinary events that occurred in the first year of my marriage and living in New York City.

Each entry to me is an episode from my life. Additionally, this is a way to connect with people all across the world who share the same hopes, fears, dreams, dilemmas.. All of it.

Today I feel vulnerable. Exposed. I made the choice to use my real name here.. many of you know me. Hell, my mom, mother-in-law and husband are just a few of the folks who log on here every day. There are also people who hate me who log on here every day. It's odd. I guess anyone who regularly blogs goes through this feeling. So I'm trying to write through the weirdness.

At midnight tonight I start two weeks of overnights. The Surge leaves for Europe Tuesday. Another month of touring. Generally, the graveyard shift coupled with The Surge's absence heralds the return of The Beast. The Demon of White Sadness.

Eh... I've got to power through this next month. Right now, on the front end, it all seems overwhelming. Stay cool.
Thursday
Mar302006

People Are Strange, When You're A Stranger...

I have just finished dealing with, perhaps, the strangest, most unsettling internet exchange of my life. And I've initiated and been on the receiving end of some weird shit. It comes with the territory, I suppose. Expose your thoughts and feelings on the net and you're likely to bump up against some peculiar folks.

What's sent my mind for a loop is how easily the internet can distort your perception of someone. People hide behind words, sliding on personas like a pair of slippers or a comfy robe. That can be nice. That can be terrifying. Which means, no matter what you think, you will never, ever really know someone through the internet. Perhaps that's true in real life as well.

I mention the above because I have chosen to come clean with you all. I am actually a 67 year old man, recently retired from a life of crime. For entertainment in my twilight years, I've been paying Monica Biel***o $5,000 U.S. dollars a month for pictures of her life. Ever see that episode of Seinfeld where J. Peterman pays Kramer for his life stories? That's similar to the arrangement Monica and I have agreed to.

Monica Biel***o is actually an intensely private person and has never written a day in her life. She prefers to spend her time either snorting lines of coke in her bathroom or slinking around her local ale house in lingerie, hovering near the jukebox continuously playing sad Jeff Buckley songs whilst chain smoking Virginia Slims.
DON'T BELIEVE HIM, DON'T BELIEVE HIM! THIS IS ME, MONICA! THIS CRAZY MAN HAS TAKEN OVER MY COMPUTER! SOMEBODY HELP! HE'S A---
Ahem.. As I was saying. Monica Biel***o is a junkie. She is completely delusional and I am finally taking credit where credit is due.
SOMEBODY CALL THE POLICE! THIS GUY IS ---
Consider this a word of warning. You never know who is really on the other end.
Tuesday
Mar282006

You Can't Take It Back

When I was young, silly arguments were a regular occurrance between girlfriends and family members alike. I didn't discriminate. I was nine. It's just the way it was. Many of these disputes would transpire in the following fashion:
You're a big (insert insult du jour here)!
Yeah, well you're just a stupid (insert insult du jour here)!
That's not truuuue! Take it back!
No, you take it back!
You first!
Okay. I take it back.
Me too. Let's go jump on the trampoline.
Okay!

It's not that easy anymore, is it? The insults intensify with age, with marriage. Spending significant amounts of time with someone affords you the Superman-like ability to read their mind. You know their faults. You know their weaknesses. You know how to pour lemon juice in the cut with such precision not a drop misses the mark.

Speaking of liquid, ever pour liquor on a fire? In the heat of battle, when the showdown is at hand and your opponent reaches for his gun first, you have a choice. Stand there and take it and likely end up seriously wounded. Or follow your instinct, draw your own gun and fire at will.

Sometimes I manage to dodge the bullet and keep my own weapon holstered. Those are good days. Other times, particularly with the assistance of alcohol, I stoke the fire like a professional camper. Fucking alcohol. It's an accelerant of the worst kind. Or best kind, if you're stuck in the wilds of Alaska with only matches and Vodka at your disposal. Although I'd opt for drinking the Vodka as opposed to lighting a fire. But that's me.

Thing is, fighting as an adult, although it's almost always childish, has morphed into something unrecognizable from those carefree days of youth. Your spouse knows how to hit where it hurts. These ain't no generic insults flung about willy nilly. And unlike those days, when fights were forgotten in moments, like your virginity, You Can't Take It Back. I don't care what those born agains say... Oh, you can say you take it back. You can say you didn't mean it. You can blame the alcohol and you can make nice and say you're forgiving and forgetting.

Which words carry more weight? The good ones or the bad ones? The bad ones do, don't they? So you can forgive and attempt to forget, but those words are engraved in your brain, tattooed on your heart. And will likely be ammunition in the next battle.