My 20s In Sentence Fragments

Age as a doomsday clock. The hopelessness of Craig’s List. The insanity of Friendster. Picking someone you loved up from a fivesome. The brilliance of Howard Dean’s scream. The Iraq War. Starting a novel, but only starting. Can’t pass math. The quadratic formula under pressure. Weeping in a professor’s office, please don’t fail me, shredding dignity. Sneaking into cemeteries to hunt for ghosts. Making contact with a ghost in the Redlands. Arguing about anything. Collecting rent checks. A Wesley Willis headbutt. The power of house party hallways. The power of spitting blood. City of Hope Needs Blood, Now!

The importance of punk’s continued existence. Comic books shrines. Engine problems. Flat tires everywhere. Smashed windows and missing CDs. A car crazy with the worst music and the best people. Trespassing at Hearst Castle. Bluebook essays in baby scrawl. History students complaining about Black History Month. Understanding how to drink. Exalting drinking. So many bottles of Mickeys on the curb. Pilgrimage to Rodney Dangerfield’s grave. Lil’ Wayne’s “Lollipop” becoming a symbol of human will and desperate resolve. Dumped with note cards on Christmas. So many bottles of Miller High Life on so many tables.  So many screwdrivers.

The smell of the suburbs at two in the morning in the winter. The smell of the suburbs at three in the morning in the summer. Learning 80 words in Farsi. Fake ransom notes. Baseball soft grass, no baseball. Basketball court complaining, basketball court revelations. Badly missed three pointers. Missed layups. Spaghetti night at the house I grew up in. Making dad laugh like he means it. Bickering with brother. Mix CDs for every girl. A mix tape for one girl. Terrible sex mostly, but not always. Misanthropic humanist. Cynicism is the natural ally of optimism. 40 cigarettes a night, but only as incentive to quit. One night stands. Coming to terms with elevators. Knowing which marriages will last. So hard to look a human in the eye.  People I hated saving my life. Drunken best man speeches. Just can’t get into Wilco.

Tame times in Las Vegas. Seattle with no Space Needle. Philadelphia with no Liberty Bell. Punching walls, punching my car. Realizing punching things is embarrassing and dumb. Jumping into a lake drunk. Dumb crushes. Knocking drinks over at a bar and watching yourself let a person down in real time. Vitriol goggles. Rather be asleep than awake. Sloshball redeemed the year, an hour and a half of inebriated purity. Spindly arms and a round belly. Black Dickies and band shirts. Eight pairs of the same Adidas. Romanticizing guilt and shame. Tearing up at stupid things. New Order covering “Love Will Tear Us Apart” or the last episode of LOST. The same clothes since high school. A head that won’t welcome baldness. Closure is not real. Everything is left hanging eventually. The perfection of walking the train tracks with your best friends.

Running from cement factory security dogs. Abandoning people when things get messy. Being a murky dude. Friendly gay bars. Writing real life fan-fiction. Filming real life fan-fiction. The heaviness of being wrong. A record of my life in 140 characters or less. Revenge is stupid. People have sex. It’s what they do. Defending her ex-boyfriends from well-intentioned friends. Don’t give up on people. People are people but people are trying. Mostly. The different gaits of the different cats I’ve loved. Dweeby tattoos. A salaried job. Unemployment. Netflix for hours. The Qur’an in auto-tune. Start a new novel. Making twenty free throws in a row with no witnesses. Did it even happen? There’s no excuse to fuck with what is precious to a person. Stumbling to a terrible beer pong bar one night in September. Meeting you. TC mark

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