Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Buddha Thug - 4


     "Emerald green! And - hey, listen - indigo, if you think maybe you'd have it."
     The clerk paused in mid stride, either looking for the items in his mental inventory or, in annoyance at having to hold back a wry comment about indigo underwear.
     "You okay there?"
     "Yeah," replies the clerk, "Just trying to remember if we carry any indigo boxer-briefs." He smiled, "I just don't think so! But I'm going to look!"
     The little man scampered off.
    Bud got away with murder - Haha! Literally and figuratively. He was tall and wide and good looking with hair that did tricks; Hawaiian waves, mud-slides, Fast Eddies, you name it. A little grey looked like marble on a slick black night on the Seine. His shoulders were friendly huge, his large hands almost always working a welcoming gesture. Bud got dirty but never dusty. He sparkled clean.
     "I got ocean green and lime, I got something they call True-blue, but it's closer to cobalt than indigo - and there's a very cute pink - I know, you didn't ask for it, but I just thought - Wow! What a man for pink!"
    Wanda later noted, "We get love for the wrong reasons and left for the wrong reasons. A child still has the purity of spirit to see that - it hurts, it's lonely, it's frustrating, and, as adults, we can't see clear through the mess of our own tangled confusion to remember what a straight line to love or loss looks like anymore."
     "Life is rough, Wanda. You catch a smack because you catch one. You get a kiss because you get one, if you're lucky. You walk away when the time is right.
     "Or stay when the time is right?"

     Bud stares at the little man for a moment, and then another. The pink underwear dangled from the Clerk's index finger. He gestured weakly to Bud, but the large man didn't move a muscle.
    "I know," Bud said through the pink underwear, "I should buy my socks to match my underwear, not the other way around - but," he swallowed embarrassment and rage alternately between words, "I got the socks as a gift..."
     "Wow!" Said the clerk with growing excitement. "You match all your socks and underwear?!"
     Bud went red in the face.
     
     "I was ready to squash him!  Some nerve, licking his chops, like I was some kind of winged side of beef!"
     "But you didn't squash him?"
     "No."
     "Why not?"
     "I'm working on my stuff. His words made me angry, I didn't want to take on that anger. Kind to myself..."
     "So how that work out for you?"
     "For me, not bad. For him, well ask him yourself."
     "What?"
     "He's in the trunk of my car. I'll go get him."
    End of part 4

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Buddha Thug - 3 - Buddy Haha - the early days



     The name tag said, 'Buddy Haha'.
    "Yes, Buddy, short for Budwald - and Haha, short for nothing - and no, not funny Haha, just Haha. Nothing funny about it I suppose," he said, "except for that its not." 
     You might imagine that Buddy would have found some fluidity in that introduction. There was enough good material in his name for something soft and humorous, but it always got tangled up. 
     Hit-O-Rama. A one-stop trade-show showcasing the latest products and services for you, that hard working "Elimination Contractor". 
     Bud got the nerves during these things - there was physical morphing: his hands grew, shovel-sized. His feet and legs narrowed up and trailed off below him. Bud could feel his head swelling up, ears hissing, pounding. The whole thing made him top heavy, confused.
     He'd discussed the social anxiety with his shrink, Wanda.
     "My wife says its social anxiety. I kill people for a living, what kind of anxiety haven't I worked through by now?" He said, smirking more out of embarrassment than jest.
     "Perhaps that list of self-defined inadequacies that allow you to take lives in anger also allow you to treat yourself poorly in a group of your own peers. Other killers have problems too. You are neither above or below..."
     Of course , bud smiled, in a room full of hit-persons, he was likely to be a bit above, haha! 
     So why the the teetering, the groundlessness?
     These days people dropped dead in the street for no good reason. A new-age chemical bullet, a modern day block-N-drop. Old school, Five Corners style, would poison a mans already fouled moonshine, just enough dope to let him get a bock before he dropped. Roll the sailor in the back of the bar and send him on his way. Dead and dirty and all by his lonesome.  These days, injectionable pellets of untraceable material can be shot through outter-wear, like, this one - Bud scans the claim on the display;
     Boost! Dissolving micro-capsule leaves no trace!
     No trace, Bud thought. How nice.
     "It's always 'You feel! You feel!' With you" he said, alternately to his wife and his shrink. "How about, I know! I know!"
     Which Wanda quickly cleared up. "We 'feel' everything and 'know' very little. Your emotions are your window into what is real, what you 'know' behind the illusion that suffering offers."
     "You just want me to cry. You want to see a big man cry so your trying to confuse me into - I don't know what."
     "Not at all," said Wanda, said his wife, said his mother.
     "Oh brother!"
     But that was before. Bud would take out his aggression on poor souls, marked and payed for as 'Done'.
     Whack-A-Crumb! Fun stuff. Cudgel on a wire tells you the velocity and accuracy of your strike. Too violent for Bud these days. In fact, he's gone non-vio, completely, and nearly vegan to boot. He also feels his feelings. Believe it. And not one long angry moment like the past forty years either. He can sift through a moment now, pick out some sadness, some longing, tweeze up a bit of remorse and spit-shine it to see the facets.., nice work, King-Kong!
     "When someone makes you explosively angry," Wanda had said, "what happens? What do you feel? What do you do?"
     "Squash everything into anger, use the anger to squash whatever, whomever it was that made me feel this way."
     "What's behind the anger?" She asked.
     "Hatred"
     "What's behind the hatred?"
     Bud winced. "Why don't you just tell me instead of trying to find out the hard way!"
     "We'll, I suspect it's all of your emotions, and things you find threatening."
     "Ha! Rich! And I'm paying you too!"

End of part 1 - buddy 
     
    
     
     
     

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Buddha Thug - The Red-eye (Horrible Marriages Collection)


     The plane's tight: tight seats, thin air, narrow aisle, narrow folks, pinched faces and Bud. 
     Bud's wedged into row 21, seat B.
     It's an hour before midnight with little hope of finding Chicago through the squeeze of ice and wind without the wings flailing hard enough to make every soul on that jet pray they've done enough good to make a difference in the eyes of a wrathful God. Everyone's preparing. The silence says so. Everyone except for the woman in row 20, seat A. She's not worried. She's done with God, done with good, done with it all - she's all done. 
     "What!" She shrieks at her husband, "What is it! What! Tell me! What!?" Her voice is hateful. She's putting every ounce of done and nasty into each word, waiting for her husband to finally snap, spin around, break her neck. She wants him to end it, put his once loving hands around her throat - right there, near Detroit, before the plane has a chance to do it for him. 
     The man can't. 
     But Bud, he's thinking he might be able to lend the old couple a hand.  The foul woman's husband is in even worse shape than she is. He can't articulate his own horror.  He simply shakes his bony skull. A bit of tired white hair forgets where it belongs and so gives up trying, dangles air-born.
     "I asked you! What! You made a face! What was it? What is it!? What? Tell me!" It's toe curling. Bud's thinking he can reach through between the seats, get one arm around, if he can't reach her, he can at least reach him. cause Bud's thinking, 'if I get one of of'em I got both of'em'
      "Jesus Christ! It's my back! My back!"
     And the old man saying it is her reward. He's in pain. Good, her lips smack with joy. She sucks the last ice-cube from a soft-drink cup - bangs the upturned thing into her mouth - smacks the bottom of it with glee.  She looks over, leans in on the old man and whispers, "What! What was that? You just said something - I heard something !" But the old man simply turns away.
     The plane lands in Chicago just past midnight. The woman in 20A stands triumphantly, lips pursed, head bobbing, she stretches to show her husband what it's like.
     "What!? What was that face!?" It starts again.
     Bud wants to step on her foot, fix her brakes.  He's looking at their bags. One of them has a tag - if he gets a glimpse of the address... 
     "I need help with this bag." She says out-loud, to no one  and everyone. At this point Bud would have to get on line to garret the hag. The folks on the plane are tired, cramped and it's that moment before the cabin door is opened, the teeth-gnashing moment everyone feels will be the final moment of sanity before eternal chaos and confusion.
     Bud stands and smiles. Those nearby give him a dirty look. Is he crazy? A young man elbows Bud. A woman with a child in her arms shakes her head with disgust. 
     Bud's a big guy, six-two. He's over the woman, his large head suspended directly over her face. It looks like Bud may just clamp his mouth right over the small woman's head and have done with her. But no, his smile is his weapon. He's so close she can see the bubbles on each strand of saliva as his broad mouth widens. He reaches around the woman to get at the bag in the overhead storage compartment. As he does his body envelops the hateful woman, just for a moment. He doesn't take his eyes from hers. She doesn't flinch. There is no threat, no worse, no this or that or here or there or I and it for this creature. 
     When Bud puts the heavy bag in her hand, the woman says nothing. Her husband doesn't even watch the exchange. He has no hope left at all. Their misery is perfect. Transcendent. As the crowd ruts down the aisle a moment later, some folks are grumbling, snickering, yawning their way into the welcoming gusts of icy Chicago wind.
     Bud's still got a smile on his face. He'd met his match. He thought he's seen the worst of the worst: Killers, addicts, lunatics and mountains of self-righteous, self-doubting, self-hating sufferers clogged the city's and fouled the countryside, but this pair.... No. Bud caught that address on the travel bag, but he'd never visit. He owned that. Meddling in the old couples lives, or deaths, that would just pour bad karma on eternal misery. He, like everyone else that had the misfortune of running into that tragic pair, had to draw that horror in, hold it, feel it, and then either let it go or suffer the consequences. 
    The strength of their hatred for each other had eclipsed into a singularity, a black hole of undifferentiated fury. Nearness meant oneness. Oneness meant....
    Bud blanched at the thought of it, turned up his collar and steadied himself into the wind.

Buddha Thug - The Red-eye (Horrible Marriages Collection)


     The plane's tight: tight seats, thin air, narrow aisle, narrow folks, pinched faces and Bud. 
     Bud's wedged into row 21, seat B.
     It's an hour before midnight with little hope of finding Chicago through the squeeze of ice and wind without the wings flailing hard enough to make every soul on that jet pray they've done enough good to make a difference in the eyes of a wrathful God. Everyone's preparing. The silence says so. Everyone except for the woman in row 20, seat A. She's not worried. She's done with God, done with good, done with it all - she's all done. 
     "What!" She shrieks at her husband, "What is it! What! Tell me! What!?" Her voice is hateful. She's putting every ounce of done and nasty into each word, waiting for her husband to finally snap, spin around, break her neck. She wants him to end it, put his once loving hands around her throat - right there, near Detroit, before the plane has a chance to do it for him. 
     The man can't. 
     But Bud, he's thinking he might be able to lend the old couple a hand.  The foul woman's husband is in even worse shape than she is. He can't articulate his own horror.  He simply shakes his bony skull. A bit of tired white hair forgets where it belongs and so gives up trying, dangles air-born.
     "I asked you! What! You made a face! What was it? What is it!? What? Tell me!" It's toe curling. Bud's thinking he can reach through between the seats, get one arm around, if he can't reach her, he can at least reach him. cause Bud's thinking, 'if I get one of of'em I got both of'em'
      "Jesus Christ! It's my back! My back!"
     And the old man saying it is her reward. He's in pain. Good, her lips smack with joy. She sucks the last ice-cube from a soft-drink cup - bangs the upturned thing into her mouth - smacks the bottom of it with glee.  She looks over, leans in on the old man and whispers, "What! What was that? You just said something - I heard something !" But the old man simply turns away.
     The plane lands in Chicago just past midnight. The woman in 20A stands triumphantly, lips pursed, head bobbing, she stretches to show her husband what it's like.
     "What!? What was that face!?" It starts again.
     Bud wants to step on her foot, fix he breaks.  He's looking at their bags. One of them has a tag - if he gets a glimpse of the address... 
     "I need help with this bag." She says out-loud, to no one  and everyone. At this point Bud would have to get on line to garret the hag. The folks on the plane are tired, cramped and it's that moment before the cabin door is opened, the teeth-gnashing moment everyone feels will be the final moment of sanity before eternal chaos and confusion.
     Bud stands and smiles. Those nearby give him a dirty look. Is he crazy? A young man elbows Bud. A woman with a child in her arms shakes her head with disgust. 
     Bud's a big guy, six-two. He's over the woman, his large head suspended directly over her face. It looks like Bud may just clamp his mouth right over the small woman's head and have done with her. But no, his smile is his weapon. He's so close she can see the bubbles on each strand of saliva as his broad mouth widens. He reaches around the woman to get at the bag in the overhead storage compartment. As he does his body envelops the hateful woman, just for a moment. He doesn't take his eyes from hers. She doesn't flinch. There is no threat, no worse, no this or that or here or there or I and it for this creature. 
     When Bud puts the heavy bag in her hand, the woman says nothing. Her husband doesn't even watch the exchange. He has no hope left at all. Their misery is perfect. Transcendent. As the crowd ruts down the aisle a moment later, some folks are grumbling, snickering, yawning their way into the welcoming gusts of icy Chicago wind.
     Bud's still got a smile on his face. He'd met his match. He thought he's seen the worst of the worst: Killers, addicts, lunatics and mountains of self-righteous, self-doubting, self-hating sufferers clogged the city's and fouled the countryside, but this pair.... No. Bud caught that address on the travel bag, but he'd never visit. He owned that. Meddling in the old couples lives, or deaths, that would just pour bad karma on eternal misery. He, like everyone else that had the misfortune of running into that tragic pair, had to draw that horror in, hold it, feel it, and then either let it go or suffer the consequences. 
    The strength of their hatred for each other had eclipsed into a singularity, a black hole of undifferentiated fury. Nearness meant oneness. Oneness meant....
    Bud blanched at the thought of it, turned up his collar and steadied himself into the wind.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Buddha Thug



     Sunlight behaves differently high in the sky then it does near the ground. It's thick stuff; grainy, nearly tangible. I was thinking about the nature of light as it sifted, sunset-honey colored, through my client's thirty-second floor skyscraper office window.
     Pinch. Call him Pinch. He was shouting at me. I'd asked him to check his accounts, there was a large invoice outstanding. It angered him. My asking. So I watched the sun stream in from behind his desk, where it pinched his already narrow head, narrow body. I watched and slowly drew my own anger in around myself, saturated myself with it until I felt it in my mouth. I rolled that stuff around in my mouth while the sunlight warmed my face. 
     He leaned over to shout at me again - got one finger jabbing, insulting the air in front of my nose - did it for so long that I had finished my own personal exploration of my own anger. 
     It was time.
     I slipped around his desk, got him in a headlock, pushed his long, bony chin into his suit and grabbed one elbow. 
     I yanked on that wing until he screeched.
    I screeched back, "You didn't!  You didn't do it! It's not authorized - not paid!" I said firmly, without shouting. 
     " Say it," I asked. "Say it!"
     His narrow bones clicked and rattled under a fine sheen of expensive wool.  "I did! I authorized it!"
    "I didn't pay it!" I parroted in his ear, "I made a mistake! Say it!"
    "What's the matter with you!"
     "Say it! I'll look into it! Say that! No - Say this: I won't shit on your path! Go ahead!"
     He wasn't ready, his sense of compassion needed prompting, he owed me money, all on the up and up - just another day trying to do the right thing. Today called for this. 
      I forgave myself, wrenched his jaw upward and drove one index finger into his mouth. The teeth. Teeth, teeth, teeth! Just to see how healthy he was - healthy body, healthy mind...
     But he couldn't admit that there was an oversight. 
     I was living in the moment, being kind to myself, but I was off the path - reacting - he'd dropped a mess of rage and laziness at my feet and, well - I was off the path.
     "How am I supposed to do this!? Don't bite my finger.., Don't!"
     Blood dribbled out from the corner of his mouth, I felt the incisor grind against the bone of my index finger.
     "I reach the edge, my edge, my limit, and I don't get a chance to face it because a little shit-twist like you gives me a turd to slip on!? How an I suppose to sit with my anger when I'm slipping on your god-damned turd!?"
     "I authorized it! Here, look!" He pushed the keyboard with his nose. The screen flared up, the account was highlighted. And the invoice was red-flagged. His eyes went wide and wet. 
     "What's that say!?" I shouted, poking the screen with the ragged finger. "Pending authorization! Pending! NOT! - spell it with me! N-O-T!"
     My blood sparkled crimson silver on the surface of the monitor when he spit around my finger.
     "Oh shit! They didn't... It's on hold... I don't know why!"
     Before he had a chance I got the finger back in the mouth.
     "I'm trying to put some space around this! But you have my money and I have your incisor and we are not being compassionate or loving!  Not to each other! How are we suppose to be compassionate to ourselves if we can't admit that we fucked up!? If we can't touch what hurts! It's sick! Say that - its sick! Say it, or ill rip this tooth right out of your mouth!"
     "Id thig! Thig!"
     "It is! 
     "Ethhhh! Thigggg!"
    Here we were, at last. "Yes! Pain! Half our lives avoiding the fact that its painful! You are a fuck-up! That's gotta hurt! I'm quick to anger, that's my walk-away!"
     The whimpering got to me. "Listen," I said, letting his body slump over the desk, "Lets say you and me, we let go of the struggling, avoidance - stop pretending we're not ashamed of our own inadequacies! Lets stand with this suffering before I have to  push you out the thirty-second floor window!"
     He nodded weakly, face down against the surface of his desk. I sat back down in the guest chair on the opposing side of the desk. We listened to our breathing, the fan on his CPU hummed into action.  Silence filled the spaces in the rest of the office.
     After a minute of sitting he lifted his face from the desk, cleared his throat and said weakly, "I'll have this expedited."
     "Thank you," I said.
     "I could have you arrested you know."
     "I suppose you could."
     "I could. I may!"
     "Yes."
     "And, your no longer welcome here. I mean, your off the account. I'll have security escort you out."
     "That's honest," I replied. "See, we're being honest with each other. That's something!"
     "I will meet with our legal team to assess how to proceed with actions against both you and your firm."
     "You may," I said, grabbing my hat and briefcase.  "And you may not."
     He looked at me and dabbed blood from his mouth. He was standing with his anger, holding it, examining it, sussing out the fear. It was nice to see.
     "We are growing.., both of us, just a bit, every day," I said as security arrived to escort me out of the building.