Monday, June 30, 2014

Daydreams on the Sherbet Shore Episode 4: The Dancing Heart Compass Pt. 1

A cool breeze blows off the Berry Bay onto a lone figure holding onto a compass. Instead of an arrow pointing towards Cardinal points, a small puddle of what looks like liquid amethyst vibrates softly. High above, a mighty dragon ship roars a signal and the figure smiles up towards the sky. What other reaction is appropriate to seeing a friend float down hundreds of feet hanging onto a purple lacy parasol.

The figure on the shore is a young man with a maroon coat and dark grey pants. He stands barefoot next to a man in a tuxedo who’s facing the ocean with a conductor’s baton in his hand, as if waiting for a cue from the young man.

The lovely damsel begins to descend a bit faster. As the young man scratches his beard wearily, he notices her descent, which prompts him to look over to the man in the tuxedo. “Ease her down a bit, maestro; if you’d be so kind.”

The man facing the ocean begins to move his baton gently while overlooking the ocean and the subtlest, gentlest breeze blows precisely, catching the parasol perfectly and halting the young woman’s descent. The barefoot man reaches up his hand to ease her down to the ground as if she were stepping down from a set of invisible stairs.

“Thank you, J.D.”

“Thank the maestro, dear Claudi.”

She curtseyed towards the conductor who nodded satisfied with his control over the melody of the wind. Turning back to J.D., Claudette looked over her friend. “You’re looking a little tired, and a little thinner. Everything all right?”

J.D. flashed his trademark grin, “Aye, luv. Just a lot on the plate at the moment and worried about Jane.”

“How is she?” Claudette asked, controlling the concern in her voice. “Your message seemed urgent.”

“She is well although I wanted to see if you could help me ease her dreams. The ocean of her mind has been a bit rocky lately, as has mine.”

“Hence you telling me to come prepared and to provide backup.”

“Precisely. Did you bring the pencils?”

She scoffed lightly and pulled open her purple suede coat. Underneath, she wore a black and purple shirt and the embroidery on both garments was something J.D. could have looked at in detail for hours if there weren’t more pressing matters at hand. Instead, he focused on the rows of pencils on either side of her coat.

“That’s great,” he said shortly. “I promise we’ll toast on giggle suds soon.”

Claudette held up her left hand as if to stop him. “No explanations needed, J. As for the help, I suspect you plan a full break out.”

“You already know me so well,” he replied with his smile.

“Thought so. We’re going to need two friends then.”

“Great. Where do we start?”

Claudette thought a moment before replying. “The Down Pond.”

“Well there are two. Do you mean the one before Up Mountain or the one beyond the Webbed Bridge?”

“The second one,” Claudette answered.

J.D. closed his eyes and held the compass in his left hand. The crystal liquid rippled and spun until it pointed back and to the left of them. “Off we go.”

“On foot?” asked the young woman incredulously. “I think not mister. Jane won’t be made to wait.”

She pulled out two Easter eggs from one of her coat pockets, cracked them open and two tiny kangaroos hopped on the floor. One was lime green while the other was violet. Before J.D. could even ask about the size of the small animals, Claudette took out a bag with what looked like neon cotton candy floss. The tiny kangaroos jumped eagerly towards her hand and quickly ate up all the candy.

“I’m guessing that’s not cotton candy,” J.D. said.

“You are correct,” she responded looking at the small animals as they slowly began to swell and stretch. When they had grown eight feet tall, she nodded in approval. “It’s spandex candy, not cotton. I needed to stretch them out a bit.”

J.D. shook his head and smiled. “So where are the saddles?”

The two giant kangaroos looked at each other and puffed, while Claudette smiled. 


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Style and glass

People with glasses are sexy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this because I wear glasses, I’m saying this because countless people become a spectacle by becoming bespectacled.

When some people find out they need eyewear, they become frustrated. They dread being called four eyes, bottle goggles, or even nerd. And this applies to men and women equally. They fear that glasses will make them look geeky, silly and even stupid.

They couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In my case, here’s a secret: the first girl I ever fell in love with had glasses in kindergarten (I know, I was a precocious romantic). As a kid I thought Martina Navratilova was beautiful in part because of her talent and because I was a sucker for glasses. As a teen I went gaga for Lisa Loeb and as a full-fledged man, I find Diane Keaton, Tina Fey and Ingrid Michaelson to be some of the most interesting and beautiful women in part because they know how to rock glasses.

And in men, it’s not different: David Tennant and Steve Jobs are just two men who can be next level when they wear glasses (seriously, try to remember Apple’s main man without glasses and it just feels incomplete). Still, I only need to mention one more person to prove my point... imagine Harry Potter without glasses. Daniel Radcliffe embraced his character so fully because he was able to become synonymous with his eyewear and I’m still weirded out when I see him without glasses.

So next time you think your glasses bring you down, pause long enough to clean the lenses and allow yourself to see that those glasses are actually pretty awesome.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Over the influence

I’ve been asked many times what drugs I take to come up with some of the things I write about. The best thing is telling people I’ve never even smoked pot. I’m not saying I have anything against it, I don’t. It’s just I’ve never found a reason to try it. 

This invariably leads to the question of how often I write drunk, because if I don’t do other drugs, I should be getting my buzz on somehow to write what I do. 

The answer? Never. 

It’s not that I haven’t tried writing under the influence, it’s that I hate what has come out most of the time plus the fact that I don’t enjoy writing drunk. I like to be fully engaged when I write so when I let go and am swept up by the story or a the moment of a poem, I am completely immersed in my writing. Another reason is that I don’t like the concept of crutches.

You see, some people need pot to write. Others need alcohol to write. Others need cocaine, or sex, or heroin, or chocolate or coffee or countless other things.

I’m lucky that I don’t, because when it comes down to it, I have only one addiction:


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

There is no peer pressure

Peer pressure has existed for centuries. It has many faces, many disguises and many weapons at its disposal. That’s because deep down, there is a need within most people to please others. Pity that most times pleasing someone else seems to have to come at a price… or does it?

In my life, I’ve been offered drugs more times than I can remember. I smoked cigarettes for ten years of my life and I still indulge in alcoholic beverages. Everything else, I’ve said thanks but no thanks. It’s not that I have anything against drugs, it’s just that I don’t need them.

With cigarettes, I tried them because I wanted to know what the experience was like since my dad, my mom, my grandfather, my great uncles and aunts and countless other people I know, smoke or smoked. So I wanted to know what the big deal was about. I smoked for ten years until I got tired of three-month lasting colds, it turned out my wife was allergic to cigarette smoke and I almost drowned while surfing because I was short of breath. In the end, the decisions to start AND stop smoking were all mine.

In regards to alcohol, I was asked if I wanted a drink because someone was getting a round and I answered “sure, except I don’t drink so make it something that doesn’t taste like rubbing alcohol.” I got a white russian as my first drink, great choice. On other occasions, I was offered alcohol and I said no, and guess what, that was a perfectly acceptable answer. Again, the decision to do or NOT do something, was all mine.

I’ve been offered cocaine, pot, acid, mushrooms, ecstasy and a buffet of pills and I’ve always said no thanks because I consider that under the influence of any of those substances, I would not be in control and that they would be detrimental to me.

And that’s just drugs.

Peer pressure has come in the way of job offers, hookups, fraternities, bullying and even hangouts. People have tried to pressure me into taking a job. I said no thanks. A woman once questioned my masculinity because I didn’t want to sleep with her. I still didn’t sleep with her. Good friends have told me I HAD to be a part of their fraternity. And there’s the point.

You don’t HAVE to do anything. At all points in my life, I have worked hard to remain true to who I am and to decide for myself what I want to do and what I don’t want to do. I am able to do this for two main reasons:

  1. I’m completely aware that I’m the one who will have to face the consequences of my decisions and actions.
  2. True peers don’t pressure.

A true peer engages with their fellow peers. They share experiences, opinions and stories. Still, they don’t pressure, because true peers want to elevate others as much as possible. Anyone who tries to pressure you into something is NOT a peer and is most certainly not a friend. They either have a need to force you into common ground so they feel good about themselves or they need to manipulate others to feel in control, and therefore superior.

They are not superior unless you bend your will to conform to theirs. I’m not saying this isn’t an option. Of course it is. Politicians, company executives and people of all trades yield to pressure on a daily basis and it even brings success to some. Hell, it can even make you rich. But does it make you happy? For some people maybe it does, though not for me. 

It is my right to disagree and follow my path and that doesn’t make me a hero or a better person. It just helps me sleep better at night and be a better me. 

So here's to free will and enjoying it fully. 

Monday, June 16, 2014



Can’t elope with cantaloupe,
That would be too silly.
Slice a piece and bite the slope,
Perfect when not chilly.

Mellow melon, tethered skin,
Orange heart, green between.
Simple pleasures, thick and thin,
Have a bite, now dig right in.