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    Run For Your Life, Black Hockey Jesus!

    O day and night, but this is wondrous strange

    Sometimes, you have to close down the blog you love writing, you shit your pants, and you run your wallet through the washer, all in one week. There are weeks like that. And as you spread out your dripping credit cards next to your soaked driver's license, you look at your Sushi Love stamp card - you were 2 stamps away from a free all you can eat sushi dinner at Sushi Love - and the paper is complete mush. It's tearing in your trembling fingers. The 8 stamps that proved you had purchased 8 dinners, that PROVED you were only 2 away from the free one, are blurry and incoherent. The ink is all runny and the stamps now resemble little blue spiders that hate you. How do you know they hate you? You intuit it. You believe that the little blue spiders are merely symbols for the world and you have the creeping unspoken sensation that the world hates your guts.

    You imagine showing the pulpy blue stained mess to the Japenese man at Sushi Love and you see him laughing at you. It's a joyous laugh. A toothy guffaw. You want to punch him in his happy Japanese face but you don't because it feels like it might be vaguely racist. But is it? What do you care about Pearl Harbor? It's not because he's Japanese. He is merely a symbol for the world and you want to punch the world's face. You want to steal a kid's candy. Spit on a nun. Squash every blue spider to the last one.


    My name is Bill. Or Bryan. Ben? Or how about Brad? My name is whatever I tell you it is. And it's subject to change. We all change. But my middle name is definitely Horatio because Horatio evokes a fond memory I have of a tiny old man named Howard. When I was a younger man I knew a lot more than I know now. I was spouting off about morality and Nietzsche and yelling about an act of love being beyond good & evil when Howard, with his silver hair, says "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy". There was really no reason for this old dude to drop some Hamlet on me but it messed me up, you know? I short circuited. It was like a little Zen koan that exposed the limits of rationality and, right there at that very moment, I quit philosophy. Philosophy is an illness. And then Howard recited Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens from memory and made me cry. God, those oranges in a sunny chair. Howard was a badass.

    So I am Bruce Horatio Jones or whatever. Jankowski? It doesn't really matter, does it? I write about changing. Nietzsche again: "Only those who continue to change remain my kin." So I am Barney Horatio Jaspers and I am a coal miner. I like dirty jobs.

    I wrote a blog for about a year called Glad Dad: Wacky Kid Stories With A Zany Fun Fun Dad. It received some measure of success. Glad Dad was the most kickass Dad blog on the internet unless you're a Dad Gone Mad loyalist, in which case it was the second most kickass Dad blog on the internet (I had a bit of a row with Danny Evans but we have hugged, made up, and almost kissed with tongue. You should buy his book). Anyway, my boss at Starbucks found Glad Dad and said that no barista of hers was going to write such a foul-mouthed bunch of parental filth about kids and puberty. It was the blog or my job. The special that day was a tear-spiced latte. 

    I know I already said I was a coal miner. Are you even fucking listening to me?


     The essence of the coal miner is inextricably bound up with where he does his work: far, far, underground.


    You will have bad weeks. Japanese men will laugh at you. Blue spiders will hound your every step. You will see somone eating an egg sandwich and know in an instant that this life from front to back is patently absurd. And yet there are still tiny old men who quote Shakespeare and Wallace Stevens. There is beauty in shitting your pants. Somewhere. Maybe not. But there IS beauty. You can start a new stamp card at Sushi Love. You can wash your shorts or even throw them away. There are new days emerging out of old nights and new shorts to buy. You can spread out the contents of your wallet and wonder at the mystery of drying. It's wondrous, really. Strange. Where's all your bad luck when you're wondering about change?

    And you can start a new blog. Because in a world where day becomes night and alive becomes dead, you ought to do whatever the fuck you want. That's what I do.


    On Blurring

    You should be cautious about knowing who I am. It irks me. To be known. It's fucking impolite. To think you know someone. As if a someone is just so. "I know you!" Oh do you now? How about now?

    You should be wary of names and photographs. They are liars. They freeze what wants to melt.

    I have stared long into mirrors. I don't know me. Why should you? I don't pound out letters to find myself. Let's burn that fucker down. I am not some butterfly pinned to a science project.

    How do you get from moment to moment? Focus now. Shit. You missed it. You have to watch. Have you ever watched yourself from here to there? Focus hard enough and things get blurry.

    A self is a product of blurred distinctions. But what of that blur? That's where it's at. You think you're some thing but you're not. You're a bomb.

    Relax. I will lighten up. There will be more jokes. Laughter is the best kind of melting.

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