“Morning, it’s morning, it’s morning, it’s morning, it’s morning, it’s morning, hooray!” Another glorious sunrise from my decadent urban chateau.
Every morning, right above my mattress, perched on the branch trying to grow through my window: Peepers. “Okay, guys. I get it: I’m alive.”
The three on the branch will multiply soon. They’ll come from far away. I’m known to them as the man who makes clouds. They’re known to me as a couple of funnies.
As a person whose limits are beyond the excess, I keep my quarters for living modest with temperance. My particular taste: shy of extravagant — because neighbors with questions can cramp my misdeeds.
I’m not a guy that wants to hang out. I’m not socially aching to showoff my things. What I want from others is to see my deterrents: I can hardly fit Me in my personal space.
My current location was secured with some difficulty. A poet might say that speaks of the times.
I never used to have problems befriending one renting. As king of specifics, I’m game to the keep. First or last name and any form of a number: yields the universal attraction by way of simple query. Any effort required is all in the peacock — let it happen naturally and you’ll check into mate:
“Is that a Georgia O’Keeffe print on your T-shirt?!”
“Damn right! And boy was it hard to find — I had to drive to Medford to get this.” Or wherever they have emotional ties.
“Medford, huh? My parents lived there.” But no longer appear in their family photos. “That’s a long drive.”
“Yeah, but it’s such an amazing exhibit. And since I was due for a visit to my cousin’s cricket farm” — a leaning confession, a whisper of guilt — “I just put Celine on repeat and let my chakra drive.”
Once a frown now upside down — would I mind if they shined me with love?
It only use to be that easy. Landlords nowadays, they don’t operate on hunch. They, too, know how to use Search. And beyond that, their grand-kids can pull up satellite imagery right on their walkie-talkies. The last thing my ego needs is some little punk bustin’ my pastel-lovin’ cover.
The landlord here I didn’t bond with. A young lady on my arm did, using my cash as enticement. We didn’t exactly bottleneck options. This place was found and chosen with haste. I was comfortable as hell in the arrangement I left. And the last time I said that was probably never.
The girl? — a remnant from a gig near past. Collecting her was forced adaptation: My friend had a thing — it required some work — and she was a product resulting.
Damage control is tricky business. If your old lady is exploring the option to witness, and my sleeping with her leads to her Civil Commit, your lawyer will explain the job I’ve done as one that discredits her testimony.
And if she was just thinking out loud — maybe I misunderstood — I kept her safe from herself and your friends, and she’ll be here when you come home for her later.
It’s not a preference. It’s not a mistake. And it’s not my case, it’s yours. I’m just the guy who’ll work your best interest using whatever unorthodox method is necessary.
If your twenty-year-old stepdaughter takes fancy while I’m questioning insidious characters, she’s probably best under wing until I sort them all out.
History speaks to my actions as man, and there’s time for apologies later.
Or maybe not. Like if both measures are taken while dealing with one extreme circumstance: Well, I wouldn’t expect to hear from you then.
The girl is gone now. But I still rock this spot because I dig the arrangement: Pay rent to the man who hosts invisible tenants, months in advance, more for less, and extra with no questions included.
I like to think of it as kind of a Bat Cave/halfway house.
In all the months that I’ve lived here, I’ve never even learned my own address. I make it a point not to exist to the mailman, and I keep my eyes crossed when I drive past the sign. My house numbers are hidden, as well as my street — and it’s taboo if you try to find either.
The nest is protected by a six-foot fence, perfect camouflage for my converted attachment. Where there use to be grass now lies pebbles — prevention from visitors approaching in stealth. There’s a lady that lives in the driveway camper, she keeps me a list of car makes and plates. Call it strange if you want, but I like the service. Her little projects work well for my sleep.
I can switch residences up to six times a year, and it’s not uncommon to keep two or three at a time. A room in this town, a studio in that one. Basement apartments and trailer park compounds, they all offer their own unique form of vantage.
I have utilities in my name, but not for my address. Nor for any other ever planning my visit.
I style my driver’s license photo in the look of “batshit crazy.” Run a check in the system and I live with my mom. Mom gets upset at the sight of my mail and I’m sure she’ll pick me off if she knows where I’m hiding.
Any research at all and it’s assumed I live homeless. That’s a benefit to me if you see me in cuffs: Police have no interest in cardboard boxes, and I have no interest in relinquishing toys.
My music credentials placate the neighbors, who are prone to raise eyebrows at curious frequents: Travel, women, excessively jeweled visitors carrying multiple duffels of nightmares and dreams…the list of scheduled obscurities can go on for long. Normal-type people don’t put up with that shit — unless being subjected to it by the mildly famous. And fame, my friend: it’s just a state of mind — anyone can pretend to be an asshole.
Every once in a while I’ll treat myself to a house. Something with three bedrooms, a yard, and double-car garage. These months are spent paying to keep rooms empty. And they’re followed by resentment when I fill them with girl.
To have a place in the house she pretends well with neighbors. Her friends can come and visit whenever they’d like. My friends are liabilities and thus not invited: I don’t need to be called by a name that rings bells from a thing that may or may not have happened to her cousin or brother. Moving’s expensive — why take the risk? No matter how many times I try to explain it, most my associates fail to understand.
To view my current habitat, you’d think I’m full of shit. Especially if it’s mentioned the things that I collect: Things like an antique soda machine — the kind with glass bottles — or a seven thousand dollar couch that I let tour with my friends. What kind of guy keeps office equipment for four with six hundred-pound bales of damiana in storage? — this kind. Couldn’t expect it.
I say that to say this: That shit’s no use to my daily routine. And when spread out properly, it can’t be attached to a localized circumstance. That’s why I let everyone have something of mine. Everyone.
So maybe it’s weird, my sleeping on the floor with this mattress. But I don’t even use the mattress for six months out of the year. That’s to remind myself the threat of a pinnacle hustle: One misstep can fall everything around me.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I find bad times subjective, it would feel a lot like cheating — how I embrace the good. It can all be confusing when I do bad things. But the bad things I do take care of good people. And that can mean taking good care of bad people. Which, ambiguously, happens to be one helluva good and bad time. You see? Subjective.
“Morning, it’s morning, it’s morning, it’s morning, it’s morning, it’s morning, hooray!”
‘These guys.’ They always seem to find me wherever I move. They want me to get out of bed and start the performance. For as much as they talk I’m not very concerned. Because I know if they’re asked where I’m at, the best they can offer is this:
Beasts in the sky catch the eye while landing with aggression. Move opposite with benched approach, eleven your sense of direction.
Where blossoms the apples, the cherries and more, straighten your path to the city abhorred: An orient garden that flourished in past lies broken with traders that harvest in mass.
Make your way west, go cautious and slow. The constables here all itch for your blow. Now high tops a forest that’s taking you north — the smoke on this trail is not of import.
Scents of a baker are truly a treat, but dark-hour-fresh is risky in feat. The army wall will offer obsession — avoid it while bathing in salted confections.
A road to the hills changes its name, confusing a glance when made on the main. If flickering stars permit the advance, our avian brothers will guide you through land.
Wing a handshake that leads to another — avoiding the signs, the landmarks and numbers. His horse asleep afoots the path… park two blocks over and walk your ass back!
Yeah, they really can be a couple of fuckers.