good will

good will life changes

FADE IN:

Good Will Donations Center:

“It’s getting really bad out there now. I was on the 405 the other day, this truck was right up my ass. And, you know, I can get heated sometimes, my emotions can get the better of me. So he’s pushing at me. I ease the break a little and it shocks him, it causes him to hit his brakes even harder and step back a little. He looked furious. But you know, who knows what kind of guy he is. He can have a gun on him, you know. These days, you don’t know who’s behind a wheel and what they’re thinking, what their story is.

Two Thanksgivings ago, we lost our cousin to a shooting. He went with my other cousin to get a special ingredient for my mother’s turkey — it’s gotta be a specific brand, you know, the best of the best that truly saves the dish. So he goes to a supermarket that has a line of people waiting out front. And some guy runs right up and shoves himself in line before an older woman. This guy just pushes his way in, no acknowledgment of his behavior, nothing. My cousin tells the guy, in a gentle way ’cause he was always gentle like that, “Hey man, don’t do that. She’s an older lady and has been waiting in line for a while. Come on, man.” Now this guy goes into the supermarket, gets what he needs to, goes back to a car full of other sketchy guys. They drive around the supermarket maybe a couple of times until they see my cousin walking to his car. They drive up to him, wind down the window, bang-bang!, shoot him two times.

How can someone get over that, you know? It haunts me. But it also stops me from firing up as much these days, you know. My mother always told me, ‘Mijo, be patient. Let them do what they gotta do but don’t let them get to you.’ She was right. And I’m trying you know. I really am.”

mute but screaming

mute but screaming

FADE IN: two at lunch.

She: It’s like the texture of smoke.

He: Right.

She: You can see smoke even though it’s translucent.

He: K.

She: That’s how it felt. It’s there but not.

He: Dark but translucent.

She: Uh-huh. I guess that’s progress, right?

He: I would say. It was way worse before…

She: I know… I still feel the darkness, though.

He: I’m sure that doesn’t go away. I mean, not right away.

She: It can get scary.

He: So, why don’t you call me?

She: I wanted to but for some reason, I couldn’t.

She: Weird how that happens; we’re mute but screaming for help.

He: I get it.

FADE OUT.

third eye business

outta whack

FADE IN: friends over tea.

A: She said my chakras are outta whack.

B: All of them?

A: No, the one’s that count.

B: They all count.

A: The fuckin’ crown chakra and my third eye. My third eye, man! That’s the whole enchilada right there.

B: How bad?

A: Well, the crown is half closed and the third eye is completely shut.

A: Let me repeat myself: it’s fuckin’ shut.

B: Wow. That doesn’t sound like you.

A: You’re telling me! How the fuck do I open it?

B: Wait. Do you believe in that stuff?

A: Well, if you tell someone they’re shitty at something, it gets them going. Especially when you’re talking about the third eye business.

B: But what does that mean to you?

A: Fuckin’. I don’t know. Like God sits there or some shit. It’s serious business. God, I had a feeling, you know.

B: Come on.

A: I’m not fuckin’ playing. I had a feeling, it’s like I new it all along.

B: Okay, so what else did she say?

A: She told me to do this: [raising arms and speaking to the sky] “I SEE.”

B laughs.

A: [Laughing] Daily. Do it with me. [Arms stretched] “I SEE.”

B raises her arms.

A/B: I SEE.

 

FADE OUT.

 

there are no words

National Day of Prison

In honor of The National Day of Prison:

Prison Letter
M. A. Jones

You ask what it’s like here
but there are no words for it.
I answer difficult, painful, that men
die hearing their own voices. That answer
isn’t right though and I tell you now
that prison is a room
where a man waits with his nerves
drawn tight as barbed wire, an afternoon
that continues for months, that rises
around his legs like water
until the man is insane
and thinks the afternoon is a lake:
blue water, whitecaps, an island
where he lies under pale sunlight, one
red gardenia growing from his hand —

But that’s not right either. There are no
flowers in these cells, no water
and I hold nothing in my hands
but fear, what lives
in the absence of light, emptying
from my body to fill the large darkness
rising like water up my legs:

It rises and there are no words for it
though I look for them, and turn
on light and watch it
fall like an open yellow shirt
over black water, the light holding
against the dark for just
an instant: against what trembles
in my throat, a particular fear
a word I have no words for.

___
1982, Arizona State Prison-Perryville
Buckeye, Arizona

Find Magdalena

FADE IN: two surfers.

“I found this note on my phone that I never wrote.”

“What do you mean?”

“A notepad-note-thingie that said, ‘Things are getting interesting.’ Like, what the fuck?”

“Ok…”

“I feel like I’m getting my identity stolen.”

“You would know if that was happening. You also get shit-faced a lot, so there’s that.”

“Yeah. There’s this guy in the music business who sent me an email with a legal document attached that said, ‘You better get yourself a good lawyer, see you in court.’ Like, what the fuck did I do? It haunted me. I got off Facebook, Twitter, everything.”

“Don’t let ass-fucks like that get in your way. Fuckin’ idiots, the lot of ’em.”

“I don’t know. There’s like, some darkness inside, you know.”

He rubs his chest.

And then: “Do you believe in Jesus?”

Continue reading “Find Magdalena”

get milk

 

got milk?

FADE IN:

He: Well, it’s like a pyramid.

She: Don’t talk to me about pyramids. That guy? That fuckin’ Bernie Madoff? Have you seen the movie with Michelle Pfeifer and Robert DeNiro?

He: That’s not what I mean —

She: — Well, it’s fucked up. And everyone said the movie was shit but I liked it. Anyway.

He: This pyramid is different, Auntie.

She: Different, how?

He: You put your life’s goal at the top and then you backward map.

She: A map?

He: Backward Map!

Continue reading “get milk”

bull’s eye

bull's eye

FADE IN: brother and sister sit on the bathroom floor. Sister wipes away tears, brother comforts her.

[Beat]

You remember when I threw that rock at your head.

Ha. How can I fuckin’ forget.

I couldn’t believe how much blood came outta there.

What about how much pain I was in?

[Haha] I thought I killed ya.

It felt like you did.

Continue reading “bull’s eye”