Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Straight Line

I am a lone point. A dot that barely exists on the map. Buried between mountains and rocks and dirt. A single point looking for a destination without a straight line. 

I am dust. Dust with no place to land. Nothing to cling to. I stay trapped in the sunlight. Hanging motionless in the air. Looking for a surface to fall on.

I am broken. Broken pieces of glass scattered across the pavement, reflecting that same light that traps the dust. All of my pieces, be it glass or dust will inevitably become the straight line that connects the dots.

Everything has purpose. Everything has meaning. 

I am not trapped in the light.

I am safe from the darkness.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Muscles Are Assholes...

My life is a constant battle.

I live in a paradox of hope and hopelessness.

My mind tells me that I'm young but my bones resist. Its thoughts constantly singing to a deaf choir.

I'm getting old.

The reality is, we are all getting old but eventually it catches up with us.

Tag. You're it.

The body and the mind are made for each other.

The mind pushes and the body adapts.

But there comes a day when the mind wakes up and says, "Hey kiddo! Let's hold hands and skip to the corner store and get some Big League Chew." and the body says, "Dude. I'm not gonna make it. I'll only slow you down. Go on without me."

Then the mind fears losing its best friend and confidant. It starts to get angry and eventually resentment builds.

It is only then that the mind and the body begin to turn on each other. Talking behind each other's backs. Spreading rumors. Telling lies.

Taunting each other...

I'm in a place right now where my mind and my body hate each other.

My body is the gimp friend my mind has to lug around during the zombie apocalypse.

Dead weight.

This morning I meandered into the shower. Exhausted from nothing.

My mind starts to whisper...

"Hey body. Whatever you do, make sure when we get out of the shower we put on our underwear as soon as possible just in case we have a heart attack. We don't want the EMS guys to laugh at us."


I stand in front of the mirror to brush my teeth.

My mind feels compelled...

"Why don't we turn off the lights. We look like a fat otter."


I sit on the toilet.

I poke at my stomach like a kid pokes at a dead animal with a stick.

My mind can't help itself...

"What the hell is that? It looks like the Pillsbury dough boy collided with a truck full of hair."

I hate you.

Sometimes when I walk to my car at night I catch a glimpse of my shadow.

What now you son of a bitch?

"I think a giant potato is following us."


The kids aren't home. My wife and I are finally alone. We have an opportunity to be intimate.

Don't ruin it for us.

"You should apologize to her now before you put her through this torment."

I abhor you.

Hopefully this will pass. Feelings are not facts.

I try to tell myself that I'm young at heart but I fear my heart might be a cynical douchebag.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Shit And Bleach...

Here I am again.

On the train.

To and fro.

Today I'm sitting next to a woman that smells like rice and burnt hair.

Fro and to.

Two hours a day.

I begin to imagine eating a bowl of rice and burnt hair.

5 days a week.

Under normal circumstances I would change my seat but she is sitting on a piece of my shirt.

Pinned to my seat like a passenger in a car wreck, waiting to be rescued by the jaws of life.

52 weeks a year.

Today I'm on one of the older trains. The perpetual smell of shit and bleach fill the air. The two scents  are paradoxical yet destined for each other like Hannah Horvath and Adam Sackler from Girls. 

25 years.

Which is worse? The smell of shit or the smell of bleach?

I want to believe there are more important things to contemplate. 

I'm a working man.

These are my cash and prizes.

Bleach and shit.

Rice and burnt hair.

I mathimatize.

Give or take I've spent about 11,000 hours of my life on the train.

"Siri, how many days are there in 11,000 hours?"

"I'm sorry. I am not finding any ways to count eleven thousand flowers."

"Fuck you Siri I'll do it the old fashioned way."

That amounts to approximately 450 days.


648,000 minutes!

It's that song from Rent.

No it isn't.

My wife and I could have had sex 216,000 times.

I stare out the window of the train, speeding past countless, meaningless things.

Passing by life. Life passing me by on the train.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Dr. Seuss Slipped A Disc...

So I've had really bad back problems for the last 6 months with no relief. Surgery hasn't helped and I feel pretty lost. I can't quite describe how painfully frustrating it has been for me. So I figured I'd let Dr. Seuss take a stab at it.

There once was a Chap who was perfectly fine. He steered clear of all trouble almost all of the time.

But he found himself stuck in a floopidy flam and his back couldn't handle all the plans that he planned. 

He was helping a person bail out of a flood but instead he wound up on the ground with a thud!

The pain that he felt made his eyeballs see white as he squirmed on the floor without much of a fight.

He winced and he moaned and he whined until dawn, still his body resembled the shape of a prawn.

He went to see doctors and surgeons and flipples and a Peabody Poobear who would cut off his nipples.

So he spoke to the Poobear who would cut off his nipples and he begged it to help him in exchange for some pickles.

So the Peabody Poobear who would cut off his nipples said he'd help him as long as he paid him in pickles. "But tell me" he said, "if it isn't your nipples, then why would you part with a gallon of pickles?"

"It's my back!" cried the Chap with a tear in his eye. "I've been looking for someone to give it a try."

The Peabody Poobear raised his paw to his pong and then cawed at the Chap and said, "Hey man, what's wrong?"

Well the Chap started chirping and his brain began mixing and he listed a list of the things that need fixing.

"It's my back its gone fishing! That much you knew but because of my back I can't do things like you."

"I can't tie my shoes. I can't put on my socks. I can't even pick up my bagels and lox. I can't wash my ass or my feet or my back and I can't climb a hill with a Jill or a Jack. I can't drive a car and I can't walk my dog and I certainly can't kiss a two headed frog. My face I can't shave and my clothes I can't wash and I feel like a radish trapped under a squash. If I still were in school then I couldn't play hooky and I shan't even ask Mrs. Chap to make nookie. By the look on your face I can see you can see that this back thing has got me hung up in a tree. So help me Sir Peabody Poobear my friend. Please help me right now or I fear it's the end."

The Poobear just stood there like his feathers were plucked then he opened his snout and said, "you Sir are fucked!"

"You are fucked with your shoes, you are fucked with your socks. You are fucked to the moon like a big bag of cocks. You can forget about shaving and washing and nookie. You can tell Mrs. Chaps I'll take care of her cookie. By the look on your face I can see you can see that this Peabody Poobear thinks you're fucked as can be."

So that's kind of where I'm at right now...

Friday, January 15, 2016


Maybe it's because my back is killing me.

Maybe it's because I've had this chronic shooting pain in my leg since the summer.

Maybe it's because the surgery that was supposed to fix it all doesn't seem to be working.

It could be that someone less than considerate stole all of the damn tires off my Jeep the other night.

Or perhaps it's that my oldest daughter told me to "fuck off" on Instagram the week before last.

Whatever it was made me sit in my car, alone in the driveway, in silence.

It made me pick up my phone and scroll through my voicemail messages.

I wasn't checking for anything new.

I was looking for something old. 

I knew exactly where it was. 

Third from the bottom, right after the message from the meatball when she was 3, asking me if I'd be home for dinner. Man, she had such a cute voice. 

I save old voicemails like I save old photographs.

I keep them stashed in their digital drawer and forget about them for awhile.

So I press play and you talk to me as if it were a message from this morning. You tell me how your phone is "driving you bananas". You can't seem to remember why you called or if I had called you first and like every other phone call ever, you end it by saying, "love ya brotha". 

This happens every so often. 

I just need to talk to my best friend. I just need to complain a little and then hear you tell me to "stop being such a pussy."

That's all.

Put the photograph back in the drawer until the next time.

I miss you brotha.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Penis Licking Is Cleanliness And Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness...

I have lots of conversations with my kids. Shit, I've built an entire library of short anecdotes based on those conversations.


Meatball - "Hey dad. Why does the dog lick his penis?"

Me - "To clean himself."

Meatball - "But he licks my face."

Me - "But you let him lick your face. So..."

Meatball - "That's rude."

Me - "He's a dog."

Meatball - "So what? Would you lick someone's face after you licked your penis?"

Me - "No."

Check please.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Plenty Of Murder And Not Enough Synonyms...

I'm telling you up front that I'm writing this blog on my phone, on the train and I don't give a shit about spelling or grammar or punctuation or anything for that matter.

Not today anyway.

When I write I look up synonyms of words online so I sound smart when I can't think of words to describe what I'm feeling.

I love synonyms.

I also love cinnamon but only on French toast.

There is no synonym for cinnamon. Just FYI.

This brings me to my point.

What the fuck am I supposed to tell my kids when people get shot for no good reason? 

Yes, I said "good" reason.

Wait. Sorry. That isn't really the question.

The question is what the fuck am I supposed to tell my kids when people get shot for no good reason on a regular basis? On a regular basis, in towns like ours. On a regular basis, in towns like ours, in schools like theirs.

I'm 99% positive my 9 year old doesn't even know what happened in San Bernardino. Do I ask her? Do I tell her?

I know my 13 year old will hear about it in school today. She learns about "current events". 

Apparently there is nothing more current than killing people.

She would never admit it because, you know, she's 13 but this will scare the tiny little 13 year old shit out of her. Again.

Another day, another lock down drill at school.

You know, when these things happen, my immediate thoughts don't turn to "let's get rid of the guns" or "our health care system sucks". My immediate thought is, "well fuck me! What the fuck am I gonna tell my kids... Again.

Maybe I should pick up my thesaurus and conjure up a couple of synonyms for murder. Or evil.

Nefarious (Yep. Looked it up. Couldn't help myself.)

Maybe I should listen to what my kids think. Who knows? Maybe they are thinking the same thing I'm thinking. Maybe we should all turn off CNN, MSNBC, NRA or whatever the fuck it is and just talk to our kids. Maybe that's the single most important thing we can do to stop these nefarious motherfuckers right in their tracks.

I woke up this morning with that Don Henley song "boys of summer" in my head.

The lyrics go something like...

"I can see you. Your brown hair shinin in the sun. You got your hair combed back, sun glasses on baby."

But for some reason, I kept replacing "you got your hair combed back" with "you got your head chopped off."

Is it just me? Or are we all out of synonyms?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Pumpkin Spiced Creamer. A Story Of Growth...

I've never been a huge risk taker.

When I was younger, I used to think I was doing crazy shit but in reality it didn't qualify as anything close to certifiable.

I was doing what I now like to refer to as, "Long Island Jewish kid crazy" types of things.

Long Island Jewish kids don't bite the heads off of bats, ride Harleys or drink moonshine from a jug. We don't snort bath salts, hang out in  brothels or get tattoos of screaming eagles.

When Long Island Jewish kids rage we do stuff like play tackle football without pads, drink Rumple Minze from shot glasses stenciled with Greek letters and sometimes we would even borrow our older cousin Steven's fake ID.

But even that was a long time ago.

When my oldest daughter was born, I started to dwell on my own mortality and the fragility of life.

I would look at her and thank God for her 10 tiny fingers and her 10 tiny toes. When she would fall asleep on my chest, I would get lost in the absolute miracle of her fluttering heart beat.

After awhile I became hyper aware of my choices and all of the consequences that could possibly rip from me all of these gifts I had been blessed with.

I adopted the motto, "I don't do anything that might kill me."

Whenever a moment of adventure would present itself, I would jokingly offer up my new found philosophy. It became an excuse I used to pass on a lot of cool opportunities.

That meant no more tackle football without pads because I might break my neck, no more roller coasters because I might have a mini-stroke and no more white water rafting because I might hit my head on a rock and drown and so on and so forth.

But this was all bullshit as it turns out.

I wasn't being smart. In reality, I was living in fear.

When you live in fear, you relinquish any shot you have of growing, both mentally and spiritually.

The real tragedy of it all was that by turning my back on growth, I was setting a terrible example for my kids.

I certainly didn't want my kids to think of me as their Dad, aka the big pussy who won't go on rollercoasters with them because he thinks he's going to have a mini-stroke.

So here I am, 44 years old, taking baby steps towards growth for myself and for my kids.

Today I walked into 7-11 for my morning coffee and I noticed the Pumpkin Spiced Creamer sitting there, whispering in its little creamer voice, "growth. growth. growth." I reached for the creamer, tossed my fear aside and poured a healthy dose into my cup.

"Wait a second." you say.  "Where is the risk in that?"

I am lactose intolerant.

Baby steps.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Inspiration Is Like A Laxative...

I recently read somewhere, that you shouldn't wait to be inspired to do but rather do to become inspired.

Translation: Get off your punk ass and make something of yourself bitch!

That's some pretty heavy balls out and go for it type shit. 

But it doesn't always work like that, now does it?

At least not for me anyway.

For the better part of my life I've waited for inspiration to find me

I should really get back into shape but maybe I'll just wait until I split my skinny jeans.

I should really play my keyboard more but I'll never be as good as the guy from Erasure, so what's the use?

I should really call my 87 year old grandma but I'll just wait until the weekend...

It seems so much easier to just sit around and wait. 

But the waiting eventually gets hard and sometimes you wait so long that you don't even remember what you've been waiting for. 

I've been to that waiting place many times.

Inspiration can be elusive. It's not always what you'd expect it to be.

Fuck, you'd think a set of high beams in the dark would inspire a deer but no. 

I try not to beat myself up. 

Hell, I bet even Tony Robbins sits at the breakfast table and cries in his cornflakes once in awhile.

But you know what Tony does?

He finishes that cry and then eats those soggy, tear soaked cornflakes.

You know what he does after that?

He goes to the john and shits out those soggy, tear soaked cornflakes until there's no more shit to be had.

You know what he does after that?

He flushes that soggy, tear soaked cornflake shit right down the toilet.

You know what he does after that?

He washes his hands.

You know what he does after that?

He puts on his Armani suit and his Versace shoes and writes a fucking book about it that inspires a billion lost souls.

Souls like you and me.

But not everyone is like Tony Robbins. 

Sometimes you're gonna cry in those cornflakes but you're gonna be constipated and you're gonna need some help. 

So what I'm trying to say is that inspiration is like a laxative.

OK. I'm gonna stop myself right there. To be totally honest, I was gonna write about Ryan Adams' cover of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" and how it inspired me to pick up my guitar again but then I saw a plastic container of black & white cookies and I got distracted and I forgot why I was even going to write so I made up some stupid shit and it sounded really inspiring but then I got that image of Tony Robbins taking a shit stuck in my head and it made me laugh. So, yeah, Ryan Adams is cool.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

For Wyatt...

Today is the day.

Today is the day to say, "fuck you day!"

I'm gonna take you the fuck out, day. I'm gonna slide tackle you, cleats up. 

I'm gonna sucker punch you in the back of the head but first I'm gonna polish those brass knuckles my grandpa gave me.

I'm gonna rip your heart out while it's still beating, all Bruce Lee like and then BBQ it Kansas City style and feed it to a white tiger.

This is what we have to do to the day, almost every day to make it right.

So you say you don't have cleats that fit you anymore and your grandpa wasn't much of a fighter. Maybe white tigers aren't accessible in your neck of the woods and let me guess, you're a vegetarian. 

No excuses.

It doesn't matter how you do it.

It can be subtle. It can be bold. It can be extraordinary or it can be modest.

Just make your mark. 

Any mark at all on this day.

What might seem subtle to you, might make an unimaginable impact on those around you.

Today my mark was a little bit of all of those things.

I pet my dog. I kissed my kids. I told my wife I love her.

I took a road trip with my oldest friend to a shitty little theater in a shitty little town and we saw our favorite band. A band that will never know the measureless impact they've had on our lives.

I went to the beach with my 8 year old daughter. We took the doors off my Jeep,   put the top down and blasted U2 the whole way. 

I went to see my grandma for an hour just to say hello and I let my daughter eat strawberries from her backyard without washing them.

Today I said yes instead of no.

This was my way.

It was subtle and extraordinary and modest and bold all at once.

This was my mark on today.

Days are not like milk. They don't have expiration dates written in invisible ink on the tops of imaginary cartons.

There are only a handful in a lifetime.

Just make it count.


For Wyatt...
Even on the other side, you still inspire those you left behind. 

Please click the link below to leave your mark on Wyatt Neumann's wife and two young children. Wyatt passed away suddenly after having an aneurysm that caused him to lose control of his motorcycle.