Heisenberg’s Blend

This post is a time traveler.  That’s because I wrote it last night, but now, you’re reading it today. 

Random thought number one… in the late 1980s, Trader Joe’s… if you’ve never been to, or heard of Trader Joe’s, we’ll just call that a YOU problem, not a ME problem… sold a coffee called Heisenberg’s Blend.  The coffee’s name was based on the work of early 20th century German physicist Werner Heisenberg, and not the fictional high school science teacher who made the baby blue meth.  The principle states that we cannot know both the position of an object, and the speed of that same object, at the same time.  It is called “Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle”. 

The coffee got its name because Trader Joe’s decided that, if they took all their leftover coffee beans that accidentally lost their labels at the warehouse and couldn’t be sold as whatever the hell they really were, they could just put a new label on it that made the bean’s origin an even bigger mystery, and it would fly off their shelves… especially at the reduced price of $2.99 a can.

It was genius, just like Heisenberg.  And it was the only coffee I drank until the first Starbucks moved into my neighborhood in 1993.

Okay, if I still have your attention, you’re probably wondering, “What did that anecdote have to do with time travel?” 

The answer is, “Absolutely nothing.”

Like most of life as we live it.  An entire day, or night, of seemingly random, essentially disparate occurrences that, because you aren’t seeing them in the same place at the same time, you just file them away in the “Nope, can’t measure THAT” folder inside your head. 

Random thought number two… There is a strong likelihood that, over the course of my life, I received not one, not two, but THREE mild concussions.  I say “mild” because none of the three incidents of head trauma caused any of the, what are now understood to be, concussion protocol red flags.  All three of mine happened within a period of 5 years, between the ages of 15 and 20.  The first was when a car hit me on my bicycle, and threw me ahead, 30 feet into the distance, landing me on my head.  The second was a solo, head-on collision between my car and a parked, family-sized van (don’t ask).  The third, and last, was while playing in a hockey tournament, when I got checked into the boards by a 230 pound defenseman while attempting to retrieve a loose puck.  None of the three resulted in examination, hospitalization, a diagnosis, or… after each… a second thought regarding the possible consequences of any of the above.  All three incidents came with an immediate “graying out” that is known to be a common symptom of a Grade 1 concussion, and in each case, a “getting on with it” after the fact.  From gray to “I’m good” in just one to two minutes, and only the loss of a bike at 15, and the loss of a couple of teeth at 20. 

Are you still with me?

All this backstory to say that, by the time I had entered my mid-twenties, and having not noticed anything like it before, I began experiencing something that has been the underlying theme of this post.  No, not time travel, but the uncovering of seemingly disconnected thoughts that, for reasons previously unexplained, would find their way to the surface from god only knows where in my brain, only to show up spontaneously, into thoughts, conversations, stories, essays, just about anywhere words were being used.  And before that, it never happened, not that I can recall, anyway. 

Now, going on 40 years later, it’s as everyday a thing as yawning before bedtime.  And I have to believe it’s the single most consistent, driving force that sends my fingers over the keys like this.  Especially in the month of November.

And now, as is my plan for every post this month, tell me, is there a something that has happened to you in the course of your life that has seemingly gifted you with something that otherwise might just have slipped through the cracks as random, unrelated, or practically immeasurable?  I can’t wait to find out.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Just a West Coast Rant

Contrary to what well-meaning friends tell me, I’m old.  At least in my head, I’m old.  This belief is what you get when you’re raised by people who grew up during The Great Depression. 

I hate staying up late, which might seem like an odd thing for a writer who worked so many years on the graveyard shift to say, but I do.

THE Great Depression.

So last night, I stayed up late.  Too late.  Stupid o’clock late.  And all because… I love baseball… and because now, I live on the East Coast.  And now I know why New York is “the city that doesn’t sleep”. 

Let me explain.

I spent the first 61 years of my existence living in and around the city of Los Angeles.  Yeah, palm trees, year-round sun, the beach just a few minutes away, but all that takes a back seat to what I learned was, as I grew older, the best reason that

living on the West Coast is living on the Best Coast. 

That World Series games on TV start at 5 PM, not 8 fucking PM in the middle of an East Coast night.  An East Coast night from which I usually excuse myself around 9 PM, so I can drag my writerly ass out of bed before sunrise the next day, and clear-headedly… after a ceramic bucket of coffee… write. 

And that did not happen today. 

Well, the ceramic bucket of coffee happened, but not before sunrise.  And now, here I sit in my big comfy writer’s chair, writing in the afternoon, when I should be having lunch and watching reruns of Supernatural on TNT.  All because my love of baseball is getting in the way of my love of doing old people stuff, like waking up before the birds, or watching the sun rise through the red leaves of the Japanese Maple in the front yard.  Or doing things the way writers who are old, do things on the West Coast, like watching pretty much the last good surviving memory from your childhood… baseball… take you away from what’s good in the life you’re living now.

And yes, I know there’s a thing called a DVR.  And yes, you know that it’s not the same thing as anything happening live on TV, and that spoilers are real, and in just a couple more days the World Series will be over, and I can go back to my old guy life, where the sidewalks roll up at 9 PM, and coffee tastes better before sunrise.  And where words flow better from fingers, through keyboards, before day turns back into night on the East Coast.

And while I’ve got you here, tell me, is there a good memory from your childhood, a good thing that still exists, that you would, even temporarily, let invade the good in your life, here and now? 

I really want to know.

But in the meantime 9 PM, and all those rolled-up sidewalks, are calling.

See you tomorrow.

Only Magic Enough for Me.

I once wrote, “Magic can be stressful as fuck.  More stressful than people who don’t rely on it can know” (August 23, 2017).  In the years that followed that adorable tweet, I went from this tenuous-at-best belief in magic, to no belief in magic at all.  But now, I may have learned the most important lesson magic ever shared,

“I have only magic enough for me”.

I will spare you all the nonsense and double-talk, smeared on society’s cage bars like angry gorilla feces at the zoo, about “the magic in all of us”, or “the way of the empath”, or any other such crap that South Asian-appropriating white saviors and plagiarist self-help gurus fling around the internet, and simply say that I, in whatever way you wish to define it, still do believe in magic.

And it is in short supply.

I mean look, I’m writing a blog post for the third day in a row, for the first time in almost two years, so there’s got to be some magic in that.  But I’m not talking about “magic” being magic that science hasn’t explained yet, because I can directly attribute the magic of three consecutive days of blogging to the science of coffee, as easily as something involving the mystic arts of word alchemy.  One person’s magic is another person’s French roast.  What I think I’m saying is, I have only enough of myself left to take care of me.  Where I used to exhibit seemingly-infinite patience for the wellbeing of others, I now equate caring to a chore.  And it’s not that I’m faking it when I lovingly engage with others, it’s that after, it feels like my soul needs a nap.  Like a three-year-old needs a nap after cookies and juice.  Like a mother of two preschoolers needs a nap while sitting on the toilet.  Probably like God needs a nap in the two minutes between the end of evening news and Jeopardy!.  Really, I swear, if I am there for you, I am all the way there.  But if I’m not there, I’m using all my magic on me.

And I know I’m not the only one.

You have magic, too.  You have magic, and you use it every day.  On those you love, on total strangers, even if just not to punch them as you buy gas at the corner Valero station, and on those you see in need who, for whatever reason, are not using magic on themselves, when they so desperately need to.  I see you, if only because I have seen me, first.  In a mirror, in the ragged sound of my own voice as I mutter to myself while deciding between another cup of coffee, or eating actual food.  Or in the way that sometimes, no matter who I see in need, I know my soul needs a nap before I can impart any magic, even a little, at all.

It’s okay knowing that, “I have only enough magic for me”.

So, today’s question for you is, “How’s your magic holding up”?  And, “What do you do when it runs out”?  Also, it’s okay not to answer until after you’ve had a nap. See you tomorrow.

Random String Theory

Or, everything is connected, even if we can’t see any of it.

The “random string” was lifted, by me, from a post by a fellow Pepper in an overnight Instagram story.  Don’t ever think that the eyes of the world aren’t watching, as we all try to write our way through these 30 Days of Creative Night that are National Blog Writing Month. 

It is day 2, and I’m already telling you that it’s hard.

But if that’s what I’m telling you, what am I telling myself?

I’ve done this before.  More than once.  More than twice, actually.  I don’t need to be told, “You can do it, Duffy Moon”.  My awareness is well aware.  However, the ONE BIG DIFFERENCE in this, from every other NanoPoblano is… for 2022… I’ve decided to fly creatively by the seat of my stretchy morning pants.  No advanced plans, no maps, no charts and graphs, no organizational schematic, narrative theme, or any other literary devise with which to cheat/don’t cheat my way through.  This year, my challenge to me is, park your ass in your comfy recliner and do not get up again until you start from scratch and finish the day’s post, and hit SEND.

So, yeah, when I just wrote that I’ve decide to fly creatively, what I should have said was, panic creatively.  Or, if all goes well, treat NanoPoblano 2022 as one great big exercise in undisciplined discipline.  And here’s why.  An infinitymillion years ago… say around, 2009ish… I thought my future in writing was going to be in some kind of long form, fiction or possibly thinly veiled as fiction, semi-autobiographical, fat book you can dog-ear the pages of while you sip coffee and get cinnamon grease all over your fingers at a great big Barnes and Noble near you.  Then, an industrial-sized dump truck of writer’s block landed in my lap and, over the next few months, I found that I could not write anything longer than the back cover of a matchbook, just above the “close cover before striking” warning.

Uh-huh.  In other words, I became a poet.  Or as my earliest online biography stole from Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a “bloody awful poet”.  Also, just as ironically hilarious, I lost every bit discipline that I had trained my scribbler’s brain to muscle memory a story out of, on deadline.  I became a prose-crusted cliché, waiting for some muse to blow inspiration up my metaphorical skirt, before I could get any words onto the page.

And like any life that is totally devoid of discipline, whether that discipline involves mixing in a salad, drinking 8 glasses of water a day, or trying to regulate exercise, or sleep, or get enough fiber to adequately poop, an undisciplined life, an undisciplined writer’s life, is a very uncomfortable life when all you want to do is crap out thoughts, like magic from your fingertips as they clackety-clack over a keyboard, but you can’t.  Not anymore.  And you know that to change that, it is going to take some kind of dramatic action on your part to change what has become more than just a pattern, but a life.

Hello, November.

Remember yesterday, when I said that this NanoPoblano was going to be as much about you as it was about me?  Well, I mean it.  So, here’s what I’m asking today.  In the comments, tell me what change or changes you would like National Blog Posting Month to make in YOU.  As a writer, a reader, or just a human being.  

I can’t wait to see your answers.

An Enormous Eggnog Latte

Well, I’m back.

I was once told that the most important thing in life is just showing up.  I stopped showing up for things back in 2020.  Most of us did.  For me, that was the last time I shot my shot here in November, for NaBloPoMo, or what also goes by NanoPoblano in that portion of the bloggy-sphere I affix myself to.  I stopped showing up, not because of some hardship, or an unavoidable change in plans, but simply because I got bored.

Bored with my own story.

I discovered that it’s easy to get bored with your own story, because not only are you the one telling it, you’re also the one who lived it.  And I don’t know about you, but once I’ve lived a something, it really better have been damn spectacular to get me to relive it again.  And while my 2020 was different than what I expected it to be… and whose wasn’t?… what it was not, is spectacular. 

In brief, mine was UNEMPLOYMENT, PANDEMIC, CANCER.  Oh, and the Dodgers won the World Series, which was not boring, to me, but there was no way I was going to write for 30 consecutive days about the Dodgers winning the World Series for the first time in 32 years.

You’re welcome.

So, in November, 2020, after 17 straight days of trying to, in different and entertaining ways, tell the story of my “funny cancer”, I got bored.  I got bored, and quit. 

Also, you’re welcome.

So now, what is there for me to write about that I won’t find boring, and you, by extension, won’t find boring before I do?  I’m not sure.  Yet.  I know my life is different than it was on November 17 of 2020.  I’ve moved three times, the last time, all the way from California to New York, and I could probably write at least 10 posts about how, on April Fool’s Day, the day I arrived on Long Island, I couldn’t understand why the thousands and thousands of trees along the 495 looked like barren telephone poles, rising from the mud on each side of the big road.  But, guaranteed, that would bore you and me, so before I start down that literary goat path… yeah, anyway… New York.  And, after the leaves began to make their appearance later in the spring, I realized that I was, without really planning on it, writing another collection of poetry.  But this time, things felt different, they read different, when I read them back to myself, aloud.  I mean, it was my words, my voice, but some shit had shifted from the last time I put things together between the covers of book.

And maybe that’s what I’m actually doing here now.  I’m saying “Hi” to you again, whoever you is, this time.  This time, when I might have something to say that means more to you than “funny cancer”, or some hyper-broody poetry, written a decade ago, by someone who thought they had it all figured out, then figured out that they hadn’t. 

But enough about me, or we’ll both get bored before day 17.

This time around, besides sharing me, I want to get to know you.  Because, since this blog life is more about sharing than it is about what I had for breakfast… which, so far, is two cups of black coffee and one enormous, homemade eggnog latte… but you didn’t need to know that.  This time around, I will be writing, sure, but I will also be reading.  I will be reading you.

And that’s enough about me for today.

But do me a favor.  After you’ve read this, or, I don’t know, after you get bored with reading this and quit, leave me a word about yourself in the comments.  Just a line about who you are, and why you’re here.  And tell me what you don’t think is boring about yourself.  Because that’s going to make a good first day for both of us.

And with all that, I’ll see you tomorrow.


That’s the 8-Ball charging on my windowsill, under the Cold Moon. Right now, and for the last two nights in a row, leaving nothing to chance.

Gotta remember the word. I keep confusing it with Onyx, just because they both begin with “O”.


I Just read something about do I “release” things during a full moon. The answer is no, but maybe I should. And what if I did? What would I release? How would that affect me? I mean, what kind of a Druid am I? I have no “practice” of anything, anymore. Just vestiges, which implies that they are VESTIGIAL, like my coccyx. Fused and formerly useful, but now useless. And what about NEW PRACTICES? Would that be like “growing a new tail”? Where’s the progress in THAT? Or would it be like “growing a new lobe to my brain” kind of useful? The kind that ADVANCES me, not returns me to merely a NEW VERSION of some OLD THING that was of no value then, and would be of even less value now.

Oh yeah…


Gotta remember the word.

c 2021 William S. Friday

William S. Friday

Originally a Citizen Journalist, William S. Friday is the author of two full-length books of poetry, “A Death on Skunk Street” (2016), and “Between Love and Orgasms” (2018), both published by Silver Star Laboratory in Long Beach, CA. Besides writing and performing poetry, Bill is a voiceover actor, and is also the creator and host of the podcast “Human as…”, sponsored by AnchorFM.

Some Backstory: “There Will Be Blood”

Silence. Followed by,

“That’s not good.”

I suppose there are a lot of things a person can say when an innocuous trip to the bathroom turns into a toilet-full of blood. In my case, due to many years in the church, and a still-in-tact holy reverence for not wanting to piss-off God at a time of crisis by exclaiming things like,

“Awww, shit!”


“Ohhh, fuck no!”

I tend to go to that inward, generally understated place of expression. That place where I take into myself all the external control of an airline pilot who knows his plane is going down, but still believes that if he acts calmly and rationally, he and everyone sitting behind him aren’t going to die.

Yep, I’m THAT guy.

Even with THIS.

Although, I’d never had a THIS before.

So, about the blood. This was the first symptom. Turns out that there are only a few possibilities for what “blood in the urine” is a symptom of. But since I had not experienced extreme urethral pain during urination (possible kidney stones), or an extreme beating in the ring like Apollo Creed’s kid experienced at the hands of Ivan Drago’s kid in the movie Creed II, that left the only other high-percentage possibility for what “blood in the urine” is a symptom of. Renal Cell Carcinoma, or in plain language, kidney cancer.

This all began at 5:21 pm, on a Thursday in August. In the meantime, through all the exchanging of emails with my doctor, and appointments made for lab work to be done on Saturday, I spent the next 36 hours alone with my thoughts, and peeing blood. Then, on the morning I was to head for the lab, the blood in my urine stopped.

Just in time for the pain in my kidney to start.

Pain that got so bad so fast, I skipped the lab appointment altogether, and went straight to the ER. This was the second symptom.

Side note. Let me take a moment here to affirm that hospitals really do have the best drugs. Because by 10 am on Saturday, the pain that woke me up 5 hours earlier was all the way gone. By 11 am, all the blood and urine the lab was supposed to have helped itself to at 8 am was drawn into vials or drained into cups . By noon, I was being gurneyed into the imaging room for a CT scan. And before 1 pm, I was being told by the ER doc that the CT scan showed a mass on my right kidney that was troubling enough for him to schedule a second CT before I could even change out of the grippy socks on my feet and the hospital johnny, flap open around my ass.

Finally, as I was riding the gurney back through the halls from ER to imaging, that was when the third symptom hit.

The third symptom was fear.

(c) copyright 2020 William S. Friday