Saturday, September 03, 2005

My Life as a Debt Consultant

There I was, on a Monday morning, at our corporate offices in the basement of the Rickards building, sitting at my desk, speaking on the telephone, when my partner, Bill, rushes in, bellowing:

“Ignacious, you’re about to get a parking ticket. Move your car”

“What do you mean? It says I have an hour parking; and my name is Ignacio”

“Today is Monday and parking is restricted in the morning for street cleaning.”

I dropped the telephone and a possible client, and I rushed out of our corporate offices in order to avoid an $18 parking ticket. Just in time. The unsympathetic motorized parking control officer had already written a parking ticket to the silver Chevy Caprice and I was next. I rushed to the car in the nick of time and managed to move to another place. I walked back to the office.

“Thanks Bill, you saved me.”

“No problem. Let’s have a cigarette.”

We go outside and our sanitation engineer, Shorty the wino, rushes up.

“Permission to address you sir.”

Shorty has delusions that he was in the Marine Corps; too much cheap vodka. That or he’s trying to garner sympathy. Every now and then he tells us that his name is Larry King.

“Request granted. Go ahead.”

“I don’t want to appear like a bum but could you guys spare me $3.60?”

“What do you want to do with it, Shorty?”

“Well, I ain’t going to lie about it. I’m going to get a bottle of vodka for me and the missus.”

“I’ll tell you what. Here is $5.00 but you have to sweep the corporate pathway for us.”

“Bless you. I will sweep it all up. Marine Corps HOOH AHH.”

Puff, puff, puff… planning… puff, puff, puff… clients… puff, puff, puff

Bill: "But Dan is the one that grabbed me and I have not been goofing off…"

Bill, first turn on the power to the computer before you begin to work…

Bill’s idea of business: “Oh come on, we can’t charge this poor lady…”

“I want $100, Bill”

There we are, on Aisle 5 of the Office Depot…

“Bill we ain’t going in your trashy car”

“What’s wrong with my car?”

“It looks like someone dropped an atomic bomb inside of it; it’s nuked!”

Back at the office, as he stood up to greet our client, my partner’s pants fell down…

Our first client lost the winning ticket to a $25 million California Lottery. He told us the whole sad story. He bought the ticket at a small Mom and Pop store. Later when he saw that he had won, he went in to cash the ticket. They took the ticket from him but gave him a photocopy of it. Later, no one knew anything about the ticket. The California Lottery Commission attempted to have our client indicted for fraud. Luckily the client ran away so…

Dreams Lost

In the Afternoon of My Life

Stone is a forehead where dreams grieve
without curving waters and frozen cypresses.
Stone is a shoulder on which to bear Time
with trees formed of tears and ribbons and planets.
Federico Garcia Lorca “Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias”

Things do not occur without some special need for them;
Who will remember me? The gray that I’ve seen
Of winter’s misty streets at dusk
the lighted building windows against the darkness of the sky;
the rebirth of life and spirit that I felt
like Cherry blossoms during Spring;
the hot sultry nights of Summer
where two lovers chance fate’s decrees.
The reds, yellows and browns of Autumn’s rainbow,
that forecast Winter’s gray and white sheet.
Who will remember yesterday’s memories that
I strain to capture in these few lines for you.

I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely head
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

What is the cause of things, why are they so?
Is it some heavenly master plan or
Fickle fate that prevented you and I from ever meeting?
Perhaps we would have not prevailed…
Or… our happiness too short lived.
But… perhaps… we would have.

For you, I would have: fought dragons,
conquered mountains,
written songs and poems,
collected flowers for your mornings,
sat by you in the afternoon
driving home from work;
brought you a blanket and my
burning body to keep you warm
during the cold nights;
loved you with all my being, for
only you have I loved, and
was honored to be loved by you.
This you must know.

Yet darkness comes to us all,
my heart’s wounds are too deep;
for I bared my soul; now the pain is
more than I can bear.
For a brief moment I wondered:
Do dreams come true after all
these years?
Alas, they remain but dreams.

The child and the afternoon do not know you
because you have died forever.

The autumn will come with small white snails,
misty grapes and with clustered hills,
but no one will look into your eyes
because you have died forever.

Because you have died for ever,
like all the dead of the earth, like all the dead who are forgotten
in a heap of lifeless dogs.

Nobody knows you. No.
Federico Garcia Lorca “Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias”

In the afternoon of my life, I sit on a rock that
prevents me from seeing other rocks;
my thoughts about yesterday are buried in those rocks.
I do not remember my past,
I do not care about the “future”;
“past, present, future”; they are but
words that some philosopher made up;
they have no relevance for the dead
and the dying.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Clock of the Years

The Clock of the Years by William Carlos Williams

Every man
is his own clock
Tic toc
he may rise
by the sun
and go to sleep
with the stars
Tic toc
but if he
take stock
and come to knock
at fate’s door
he may find
that he himself
has sprung the lock
against himself.

to knock
now, the door
will not open—
save only
at the shock
of love,
to deliver him
from that block,
his heart and
set it beating again:
Tic toc
Tic toc
tic toc!

Two Poems in Honor of Richard Brautigan

Number One
A perverse mystery...
in the afternoon of my life
I see the road ahead...

I don’t want to take it
but I have no choice...
it is my fate.

the end

Number Two

I stopped breathing the other day
It seemed the right thing to do;
My taxes are paid,
only death remains providing...
that the IRS doesn’t
come after me.

I would have to return because...
litigation outside a courtroom is
not allowed: it infringes upon a lawyer’s
right to their fees.
Not even death will prevail.

Brautigan is writing another book:
In Watermelon Sugar II or...
Trout Fishing in America II;
He won’t tell me.
In an age of clones
I’m not sure if it’s Brautigan’s Ghost or...
Brautigan’s Ghost II.

the end too