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Archive for the tag “coffee”

Wake the Sun

wake the sun PNG

I got to wake the sun this morning,

from my bed of silent dreams,

in the nonsense of my plans

for another day. 

I drank coffee by the window,

unnoticed in my chair. 

Looking back at her,

I couldn’t pull my eyes away,

but she did not see. 

She’ll be busy when she rises,

shining down on others through the day. 

But I’ll remember what she looked like

lying next to me.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Ray Bradbury, Albert Camus, and Me

shadow lines

I seriously just had the most amazing experience.

Reading.

First time I can ever remember a story becoming alive to me from the printed page.  Full of colors, and smells, and stars. 

Then, it merged into another story I had read, elsewhere.  Full of heat, and death, and regret. 

And the two stories became what I felt I’ve been living since I don’t know when.

That’s as deep as I’ve been in a while.

And I swear I have smoked no peyote.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Forty-Eight Beats Per Minute

pick me up

I woke up two hours before my alarm.  The TV was still on, but barely audible, and it wasn’t the thing that woke me.  There was a dream.  There is always a dream. 

I had three messages on my phone from three different people, still accustomed to my old hours.  I’m not up all night anymore.  I’m just as likely now to fall asleep watching a movie before I know I’m even sleepy, and be up before the sunrise, before my brain knows what time it really is.

The only thing that is the same in my very different life is the coffee.  Except now, that first cup, and the time it takes to consume it, is as sacred as the silence that surrounds me as I drink.  Now, the only sounds that keep company with me are the clock on the wall behind my head, my nearly silent breathing, and, if I’m truly still, the slow beating of my heart.         

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Coffee and Mid-Afternoon Panic

coffee and midafternoon panic

I think I’ve seen the world as it will be, but that might have been a mistake. 

The voices, real and imagined, pretty much all said do it. 

But I can count on the fingers of one amputated hand how many times the voices, real and imagined, have been right. 

I lived a lifetime of failure within structure, and now that’s gone, replaced by an endless freedom to fail. 

Quiet times are the worst, when the voices, all of them imagined but one, my own, come. 

Louder times, spent in the company of people or amusements, I think of as distractions. 

And both come with a feeling, a gnawing, like the scraping of a stone tool against my bones.

And in the wake of all this, come the times when I tell myself I will create worlds, unimagined. 

When I limit my distractions to coffee and mid-afternoon panic, and I shut off the world, all of it, the voices included. 

And I tell myself, only I, that everything will be as I’ve seen it.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Orphans

orphanage

I followed my feelings,

and got lost. 

I learned late.  

That shit only works in movies. 

In truth,

there are no heroes,

or prisoners.

No princesses,

or monsters.

Except those you imagine. 

But there is one part of the story that’s true.

We are all orphans,

left to raise ourselves

in the shadows we create. 

I want to be alone in the sun.

To be warm,

where nothing blocks the light.

Understood by all,

because all is only me. 

And if then lost,

the only absence I will know

is of the noise I left behind.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Serialized Cyber Screed

overthinking-it

This is a make or break proposition for me.

You see, I lack the “boldness gene” so commonly found in other people.  Not really sure why.  You’d think some equivalent could have been programmed into me at an early enough age so that, by now, no one would be able to tell the difference, least of all me.

So here I sit, facing a keyboard, words just spilling out of me like raw sewage during a flood run-off, while I hear voices in my head, both creative and destructive.  The creative ones assure me that whatever it is I slap on the page will be something worth reading.  The destructive ones assure me that no one will give a pair of shits about it.

And I know which voices usually win.

But this time, and possibly because of the 11 cups of coffee I’ve had since I woke up today, or maybe because I always feel an overcompensating hopefulness after my fourth and last 14 hour shift of the week, that for right this minute… and this minute only… I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Blog.

I know, if you’re reading this, you probably write one.  I have one, but don’t.  Not in the truest meaning of that made-up word.  Blog.  Weblog.  Serialized Cyber Screed.  Not to denigrate the medium or anything but, as humans, we mock what we don’t understand, right?  We know it’s wrong, but we do it anyway.  Hell, I’m mocking myself, right now.  But as a writer… as an author… maybe the only thing that keeps me from falling into the quicksand of isolation is the mockery of introspection.  Wherein I bang on the keys like I’m having a conversation with myself, and a few friends read it. 

Knee-deep in their own quicksand.

So I’m gonna try this again.  Blog.  Weblog.  Just a conversation with myself, every so often, where the voices in my head battle it out for Cyber Screed Supremacy.  And I have the right to mock them, for your enjoyment.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

30 Days of Night: #NaBloPoMo on the Graveyard Shift

30-days-pngIt’s been one year.

Three-hundred-sixty-five days, plus one leap day, and a couple thousand cups of coffee, since the last time I stared November in the face. 

And the first time November stared right back.

One year ago tonight, I got lost in something so frightening that, until I lived to see the end of it, I had always been too shaken by the very idea to even let myself speak its name.

NaBloPoMo.

To be asked, no… forced, to go through an experience so life-altering that some I once called friends never recovered.  Just 30 days on a calendar that, coincidentally, begin in the still quiet hours of All Hallows Eve.  When deals are done with whatever tells grown men and women that everything will be okay, if they just keep their hands and feet tucked inside the covers at night.

The name that, if you’re a writer, you know.

NaBloPoMo.  The writer’s boogeyman.

And every writer knows that, on All Hallows Eve, you can’t kill the boogeyman.

So here I am, one year later, and the boogeyman is back.  Only this time, he only comes out at night.  This year, very unlike last year, the world… my world… is lived from dusk till dawn.  And I write for the boogeyman on the graveyard shift, in November, during 30 days of night.

And for those of you who write in the safety of the day, NaBloPoMo is just another word.  Like sunshine, or coffee.  But for those of us who live to write at night, well…

It’s waiting.

 

*for a Facebook LIVE reading of this post, CLICK HERE.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday    

Debts to Pay

nano shiny quarter

 

(right this minute)

He was so sure he would have the chance to repay them all one day.  Maybe not in the way they deserved to be repaid.  Fully, completely.  With the understanding that all his debts were cancelled, and that everyone involved could now go on with their lives.  But at least in a way that showed them that, after all they had done for him, they would know at least he tried.

But that never happened.

Like with all things in life, repaying a debt is easy to have get away from a person, unless the person owed the debt can get it from you in writing first.  This wasn’t a debt like that.  This debt was completely one way… the way of the debtor.  This debt was never spoken of by those who held the note.  A debt never brought to mind by word or insinuation, and never discussed amongst those to whom the debt was owed.  Because this debt could never be repaid.  The sole and only one for whom the subject of this debt was an issue, was the man whose entire existence was dominated by it.

He owed them his life, but they were gone.  And while that meant that the debt owed was cancelled, the debtor could now never be released from this, his self-imposed obligation.  Or, to quote the man who, for better or worse, raised him to be this way,

“You’re fucked, son.”

(twenty-four minutes before that)

He stood in line at his neighborhood Starbucks, 14 minutes and 37 seconds since his last and only quarter dropped through the coin slot, on the meter that stood watch over his car, on the other side of the glass, which separated his morning coffee from his morning parking ticket.  The line hadn’t seemed that long when he got out of his car, and began rooting through his pockets for change.

Now he wondered just how much time it could possibly take for just three people to order what must be offices-full of five-dollar coffee drinks, when he only needed beans and water in a cup.

Just as the words, “Next in line” were spoken to him, he took one more peek through the window, and saw the white golf cart with the flashing yellow light on its roof pass behind the curb row of parked cars.  The curb row where his own car sat, defenseless, guarded by a now empty meter, that flashed “00:00” in red, for the meter-reading ticket-writer, hopping out of the white golf cart with the gold shield of authority on its doors.

It was the perfect convergence of all irony.  A cup of black coffee in the hand of a man out of time, and options.  A black ticket book in the hand of a five-foot woman in trooper boots.

And a bright angel out of nowhere, with one shiny quarter in her outstretched hand.

(to be continued)

© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

To Recapture My Humanity

Clouds at LAX

Clouds at LAX

 

I sit, penned in, like a singular head of cattle.

Cement and wood and stucco form my enclosure, and the white of clouds foregrounding the blue of open sky, not yet awash with the pastels of another setting sun.

Until I hear, as if for the first time, the wind, in the sound of a lover’s wincing pleasure, between rough slats of painted pine behind my head.

It is here that I sit and sip my morning coffee, and try, for just this moment, to recapture my humanity.

And in these words, succeed.

© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

Colored by Neon

Sepulveda Tunnel c 2015 Bill Friday

Sepulveda Tunnel c 2015 Bill Friday

 

So, you know that feeling you get when you wake up at noon following a 24 hour day, the day… and night… and day before, and all you want for breakfast is coffee and cookies?  Yeah, or as I call it,

“Nano Poblano… DAY 3!!!”

I, like most of the people reading my Bloody Awful Poetry, work for a living.  I say “work for a living” like there’s any such other way.  Sure, there must be poets who are trust fund babies, but I’m not meeting them.  I work like my dad worked, and his dad before him.  Blue collar.  Dirt under nails.  Underpaid, but consistently so.  My work is in a warehouse, and on the road, as a deliverer of things that not even UPS or Fed Ex can.  I work in the middle of the night, when most of the world is blissfully ignorant of deadlines and dispatchers looming like the nightmares the day folk share when I’m on the clock.  The hours are long.  It is dark, but mostly well-lit.  And the dirty places most people think of as ugly are beautiful when colored by neon.

But this leads to bad habits.

You can catch me at 4:45 am, washing down tortellini and meatballs with a can of PBR, trying to crash before sunrise so that the distractions of the day don’t ruin any chance of a normal “night’s” sleep.  Or you can picture my breakfast, at noon, of chocolate chip cookies and the blackest coffee, just so I can make it to the shower before life starts, too soon, all over again.

So, about that trust fund.  Anybody got one of those they’re not gonna be using?

The rest of my bad habits are in my poetry.  They’re well-documented, however thinly-veiled.  I tell myself I’m going to remove them from the interwebz one day, but I never do.  Maybe because I want them there as a reminder to myself.  A scrapbook that most people reserve for Facebook or Instagram.  I blog my bad habits, in the form of poetry and prose, for often-too-curious minds to see.  It’s my scrapbook, left open on the living room table of WordPress, for all to see.

Alright, you’ve been warned.  This month’s posts will not be a series of fluffy bunny rabbit pictures, or how-to tutorials on nail and cuticle care.  This month’s 30 consecutive posts will be about the places that I hear and see before you do.  The ones in my own head, that I let out a little at a time.

Because, “…the dirty places most people think of as ugly are beautiful when colored by neon.”

© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

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