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Miguel De Unamuno Would Give This An ‘A’ For Effort


I dream for something to happen but won’t tell anybody because then I’d be foolish.

The dream mostly stays inside me. But it comes out every now and then and usurps me.

Hijacked I work at my dream.

For so long I tell myself, Keep on doing what you’re doing.

For longer than that I tell myself, You’re making a run for it in short sprints.

You’ll get there.

It’ll happen.

I promise.

But believing in myself never gets easier. Time, experience, sharpens you, makes you too aware, takes away your shine.

Somehow you keep on plugging, you keep on learning from the things around you, getting wiser.

Family teaches you. Friends teach you. The day and night teach you. Your dreams teach you.

The woman I share my bed with teaches me. My cat teaches me. My dog teaches me.

The fish in the bowl on the top shelf of the built-in bookcase, next to a stereo speaker that plays Marilyn Monroe movies, that very fish teaches me.

The dirty dishes in the sink teach me.

Lists are fun to make.

As unlikely as this sounds I actually know someone who has a framed poster hanging in front of his bed. The poster is a drawing, in pencil, detailing a bank robbery he intends on making happen.

This person lets people into his bedroom, and these people see the schematics of the bank robbery on the wall.

This person tells the story of this particular bank robbery to his guests.

His design is to arouse the interests of enough people to put together a team to carry out his robbery.

While this person may be daft, he knows the bank robbery is foolish to carry out alone.

But not impossible.

My plants teach me.

My hobbies teach me.

My tennis game teaches me.

My music teaches me.

And all the things you sense happening to you, multiply that by some large quantity to get an idea of all the things happening you don’t sense.

Drink all the coffee in the house (and piss off the people you live with) and still you won’t stay awake long enough (or be loved).

But getting back to the bank robbery, this person drew the streets and the bank, which has multiple levels, underground and above ground.

This person drew the vault and his plan for getting inside.

This person was so skilled in drafting blueprints he should probably think about making blueprints for a  living rather than robbing a bank.

This person has the money stacks ranked by denomination inside the vault.

This person doesn’t want to waste time with small bills, he has a closet to stock with J’s.

This person drew a road going from the bank and across state lines to a safe house he has set up with a basement.

This person is aware of marked bills. While this person may be daft, he knows about marked bills.

This person knows better than to spend the money immediately. The money must first be stored to age, like wine, except not in caskets.

If this person had access to caskets, or even knew what caskets were, he would’ve been into the idea of using them to store / age the money.

One of the guests is digging the schematics on the wall.

This guests can’t hide his emotion. He wears his emotions on his sleeve well. It’s this guest’s strength.

This guest stands up and says he’s totally down with this idea, he sees how it will happen, he’s certain it will happen exactly as planned, although he doesn’t know what, This is right here, and he points at a small drawing: it’s the cops, or as this person calls them, The one timers.

This guest doesn’t like the idea of following a plan that has cops already on the trail. This guests feels like, if the plan were good, the cops wouldn’t be anywhere near the scene of the robbery while they were in the bank.

And it’s not like this person drew the cops parked at Gourdough’s shoving food. The cops were bumping around, careening down the boulevard, guns swinging in the air, as the robbery was in progress.

This person says, I wanted to be realistic about the thing. I didn’t want to trick you into doing something you thought was live but got you busted. The cops will be on our heels, I’m just being honest. We have 2 minutes in that bank tops. That’s 2 minutes to grab as much dough as we can grab. Then we book it into our getaway car and cross the state lines to a safe house.

This person thinks the state lines will confuse the authorities if it should come to that, Because once we’re in another state they won’t know how to handle us.

This person’s guest says I gotcha Cuz.

This person says Of course you do Bro.

This person’s guest was thinking, I ain’t no snitch.

This person’s guest said, And if anything should happen you know I ain’t no snitch.

This person said, If you snitch I’ll kill you.

Sorry for the interruption, but it’s me again, the one who dreams for something to happen.

I’ve been dreaming ever since I used to think a mandarina tree would grow from the spot I spit my mandarina seeds.

Wait. I want to let you in on something. Already the writer of this story ( who is actually not me ) has considered deleting my presence from the narrative. It would be like I never even existed and no one cared.

The position I’m in is bad. The only way I can continue to exist is by endearing the writer enough to keep me going, but the more I try to endear the writer, the more I distract you from the story about the schematic, and distraction doesn’t help build goodwill with readers.

This person who drew the schematic on the wall hears a knock on his door.

This person says, Who is it?

A young woman’s voice says, It’s your mom. We gotta pick your brother out from jail. I told him I’d take him to the mall. He says he needs some new J’s.

There’s should be a Latin word for ending in the middle of action, like in medias res, but at the end instead of the beginning.

This is the writer of this story.

There’s real life happening around me. I can sense it.

My eyeballs feel the push of my laptop’s glow.

I take my hands off the keyboard and rub them together to warm their palms.

Today I looked at them on the walk home from tutoring.

They were purple.

They shocked me.

I think I made a sound.

The people unloading the sofa in the van stopped what they were doing for a split second to look at where the sound came from.

I ignored them.

I have cold extremities.

It’s easiest to write about me.

My past is detailed enough to fill pages.

It doesn’t take much prodding to get words flowing out of me.

But this isn’t supposed to be about me.

Writing is a disappearing act. Or it should be. Writing, when done right, is a disappearing act. The writer disappears.

Makes himself / herself disappear.

It’s not enough to hide behind the wall of words on the page.

The writer must self-obliterate.

Having said that, what I’m doing is exposing myself.

I’m not disappearing, I’m present.

I’m doing the exact opposite, the antithetic.

So what does that make me?

This person’s guest launches into an account of what happened last night. He was with his older cousin, who was walking to his Baby Mama’s house.

This guest let Baby Mama borrow his Nintendo DS last Friday. This guest happened to want to pick up his DS when his older cousin was fixing to walk to her crib.

She had called to tell his older cousin she needed him over there.

Baby Mama’s cousin, a grown man named Jojo, hit her, and she called this guest’s older cousin and told him to come over and mean mug Jojo.

Don’t fight him, she said. She said, Just mean mug him.

This guest tells the future bank robber he went with his older cousin to get his Nintendo DS and ended up mean mugging Jojo too.

Jojo didn’t like being mean mugged. He’d killed a man for mean mugging him.

Jojo stepped up to this guest ( last night ) and said, What the fuck you looking at?

This guest was only fifteen. Jojo was twenty-four. This guest said, What? I’m just a kid.

Jojo raised his chin and said, I don’t give a fuck. I’ll fight you.

This guest looked as hard as a fifteen year old could at Jojo. But Jojo didn’t back down.

This guest ( last night ) said, C’mon then, I’ll take your grown ass down.

But nothing happened because this guest’s older cousin stepped up to Jojo and said, You got beef with my little partner?

The older cousin’s baby mama came out of the crib and asked, What’s going on out here?

The older cousin said he was going to fight Jojo ( who is also her cousin ).

Baby Mama said, No Baby, you ain’t gotta fight him.

But the older cousin was already walking around the corner to a more secluded spot to hide their violence from the law.

Jojo took off his shirt, leaving only a wife beater on, and followed.

This guest walked next to his older cousin. This guest said, I’ll fight him Cuz.

His older cousin didn’t answer right away. He handed this guest his phone and said, Call the black-and-whites.

My coffee teaches me.

Hamza El Din teaches me.

Folded money teaches me.

Writing teaches me.

Nneka teaches me.

This guest licked his lips and took the phone and called.

Two policemen got to the scene before the fight started.

This guest ( last night ) walked toward the policemen.

The one on the left stood behind his car door and unholstered his pistol. He squatted behind the door and pointed the open end of the barrel at this guest.

The policeman said, Take your hands out of your pockets Son!

This guest immediately obeyed the pig. He not only took his hands out of his pockets but threw them above his head.

This guest looks at the future bank robber, who shall again be called this person, and says he’s going to wait until he finds Jojo slipping, and then he’s going to bust some caps in him.

This person asks this guest, I ain’t trying to say nothing but what if he catches you slipping?

This guest thinks, If Jojo catches me slipping I’ll book it.

This guest says, I’d run.

This person laughs at his plan.

This guest tries to think of something more credible. This guest says, I’d run home and get my pops to kill Jojo.

This person stops laughing and considers this guest’s plan. This person says, Your pops is boss.

This person picks up a pencil and adds a detail to the schematic on the wall.

This guest says, What’s that?

This person says, You ain’t gotta know that.

March 7, 2012 12:31 pm

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