When Armageddon asked me out to my senior high-school prom I told her the closest I’d ever gotten to danger was when I cheated on a French test. Armageddon told me she could do much better than that. At the prom, she got drunk on warring wine and socked me with one fiery kiss after another. Afterward, in the back of my car, Armageddon stripped away all her terrors and tremors. She was as magical and mysterious as the invention of radio. We made love beneath the most awesome mushroom cloud of teenage wastelands.
Death songs of revered serial killers on repeat in psychopathy’s Top 10.
Bullets buzzing the air like neurotic killer bees.
Suicide saints leaving this earth. long before their time.
On the flipside:
Winged kindnesses soaring through daydreams and night terrors.
Everyday citizens committing acts of selfless heroism.
Rock guitars escaped from passionless prisons, on the lam with B.B. King’s Lucille.
Days like these,
when God is busy training angels in heaven,
and the Devil’s throwing loaded dice in hell—the only one bold enough to cross our doorstep
These clear and crisp L.A. days put a blush in our cheeks. They rub up against us with words like, “Darling” and “Take me to your place where it’s warm.” Come sundown, when these bold and emblazoned days go their way, they leave behind traces of contentment. Like the Ace of Elation we keep hidden up our sleeve when thrown into sorrow’s game—by darkness joy can be taken from us. By light, it can be returned to us in spades.
Like an old shirt or nightgown lost in the attic, sometimes the dark needs to hold onto a little piece of us for comfort. And certain nights, a lonesome wind will blow our way, write its legends of wreckage across our skin. Nothing in this life is as solid as love and trust. But sometimes those things break. Sometimes they slip away. There are times the songs of sorrow need our voices more than those of joy.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a Lizzo-trashing, cruise ship-crashing, Merlot-guzzling gag order; a Grammarly-slamming, idiotic Twitterbot, a real zombie when it comes to Zen or Zumba; and a perpetual dis-jockey for Radio Mayhem who sucks the epic majesty right out of Bohemian Rhapsody. Happy holidays anyway, everyone!
It is dark out. The darkest I’ve ever seen. We are blindfolded and behind the wheel of a car. The fastest, most deadly car I’ve ever seen. We rush towards time, time rushes towards us. Sometimes I wonder who will be the first to relent in this metaphysical game of chicken. It is dark out. The darkest I’ve ever seen. Godspeed is the speed at which a light heart makes its own light as it travels faster than the speed of light.
We love many living beings. Many living beings love us. Even the most poisonous of snakes and insects love. Some dogs love cats, some cats love dogs. Some grizzled men love whiskey more than people. Some women love their freedom more than having a lover. Come dawn, the sun takes another golden resurrection ride across the sky. The sun loves us all enough to offer us another day.
Everywhere, smiling children.
‘Tis the season to bring joy to an avarice and acrimony-ravaged world.
Everywhere, children smiling.
So precious the bright light
that bridges the void.
It was half past night-blooming jasmine time when the beautiful dead rose from their graves. They had experienced so much more than us: had seen the cosmos and beyond; had played rock, paper, scissors with God. There’s only so much we can offer you, we said—human things like loving words, laughter, and tears. That is enough, the beautiful dead said as they stepped into our arms. We could only hold them for so long before they slipped back into the air. That empty space in our arms hurt us to the bone. But we knew the price we’d have to pay when we first got on this ride. The cost of love is the loss.
If death sez he’ll lend you money, you better not take it. If death sez he’ll offer you advice on life, you better talk to the wild wind instead. At least the wind will sing you a song you haven’t heard before. You don’t wanna carry any tune death sings, that’s too heavy a burden to bear. Quick, look out on the horizon. Death is cold-footin’ its way toward us with its tombstone tools. It’s sly with a lot of things, but death can’t pick the locks of love.