Pedro Ávila

How do I get what I want? What do I have to do and in what order?

These are the questions to get ahead and demolish the competition, right?

And what are you willing to do? Will you step on someone? Will you step on a friend? Will you kill a puppy? What obstructions in your path are you willing to eradicate with no sympathy whatsoever?

If you’re going to get what you want with more than just dumb luck, you certainly will have to be finding out the answers to these questions. Honesty is key and mistakes, I understand, will be severely punished with sharp learning curves.

In other words, there is no half-assing it. There is no try. You go in, you better do it ruthlessly.

And lo — some people do.

Speaking of doing it right and living it up, the boy and his boys are really doing it right in the Central European part of this globe. Sure, they’ll come back saddened to be reminded that they’re Americans, and that life will not then be what it once was. But for now, it’s all it CAN be, as they say, and no one, not the Haight entourage or the ‘lou boys are doing it as well as these kids because they have the advantage of multi-national travel in addition to the fun. Fabulous work gentlemen.

Bring me back some absinthe and we’ll party like hobbits over squash.

Monday night was weird. Yes, there were people dressed up in strange garments and asking for free stuff but that’s because it was all hallow’s eve. We tell all the children to go forth and hoard as much chocolate as they can from perfect strangers. And while we’re confusing them with lessons conflicting with the norm, we should tell them to cross the streets without looking, take off their seat belts and take up smoking. That’d go over well.

But that’s not why it was weird.

Engulfed in work in the past few days, I find it increasingly hard to actually get home. Work follows me with a deviousness I cannot escape these days. While the folks were enjoying the company of our height and age-challenged neighbors, I was (and I’m not even joking), solving inverse logic truth tables by hand in between creeping the hell out of trick-or-treaters.

“What’s you’re costume of?” The kids would ask.

“I’m an IT consultant. Scary, right?” Total confusion on their faces. “ETHERNET!” I yelled at the short blond one, and I’m pretty sure I saw him flinch. His did didn’t laugh.

“Here, kid, take some candy and…NO, DON’T TOUCH THAT.” Now I had a crying 3-year old on my front porch and an irate father.

“Sorry to scare you but your kid was reaching for an inverse truth table and that’s just like an apple with a razor blade in it but without the apple.”

I didn’t get many return visitors. I did, however, enjoy turning the fog machine on occasionally spraying the older kids with a hose when they got too close to my jack-o-lantern. But the scary thing is that I was using my degree.

Weird, eh?

Stay in school kids, and don’t take candy from that handsome Professor Snape over in the crazy lady’s house…yeah, the one with the bad-ass jack-o-rockin’-lanterns.

Pedro Ávila

Fresh in from the city with those kids in the Haight, where they’re doing it right.

In the city they do things differently. There are people on the streets — real ones — who know how to take a bus to a train across town; who don’t need directions, just an innate sense of it; who can parallel park a bronco between saplings. There are people who hear the nuclear traffic but listen to the music instead. People who incite reaction for the sake of continual abnormality in their lives others because the alternative just ain’t fun. People who tell a hoard of hippie bikers that their Bronco’s run on baby seal oil just to get them to fucking move.

I’m not make this up.

Such things certainly happen on this side of the bay, but they are far from the normal or the expected. ‘Round here we do whatever it is that we had planned on doing, except when we don’t even do that. And under no circumstance whatsoever do we do whatever it is that comes to mind at that instant. That would be unexpected, imprudent, immature.

And what would the neighbors think?

Not that someone comes by door-to-door when you move in and tells you explicitly to be a boring noob; you just kind of grow into the surrounding if you’re complacent enough and have no convictions of your own. And most people don’t.

Well, guess the fuck what?

It’s time we start. It’s time we consider the possibilities looming on the horizon because we know they will drop below it like a sinking ship if enough time goes by. Travel destinations abound and it’s possible, readers, it’s possible to see them not as travel destinations, but potential new homes. We could always start with Europe.

If for no reason other than we don’t want to have to be writing about my phone conversation with PG&E the other day when I had to get electrical and gas service connected to my apartment.

Some day, man. Don’t give up on me yet.

Pedro Ávila

Here we go kids…I’ve started a blog.

I know, I said (and you expected) that I wouldn’t do this. Truth be told is I saw this as the best solution to my lack of writing lately. Don’t think of this as a blog. Think of this as medicine. This is the drug that will cure me of my writing apathy.

I’ve been toying with the idea ever since I started reading Tadow’s ice-cold posts on his trip to Brazil for my wedding (hats off gents, you made it). Getting back to writing seemed like the cure for my pre-life crisis so I tossed aside the thoughts of self-pity despair and opened up my dusty journal from college (it was in a box somewhere). That was useless too because so much had changed after college.

For one thing, I got married.

Yes, this changes things somewhat. I’ll get into that later because I know it will take me way off course.

Also, living with the parents, as harmonious and economic as it is, rarely provides the necessary sense of worldliness to which I’ve become accustomed. Let’s face it, when you’re settled into your place in university with no one to be accountable to and such that everything is in its place, all studying is accounted for, friends have been visited, fun has been had and all you’re waiting for to top off the day is for it to finish, sitting yourself down and putting words on paper is just easier. You pour the whisky, draw the blinds, unplug the phone and tell the general public to fuck off. Call it an evening.

Another set-back is that prose is very different from poetry. It’s easy to wow people with poetry, provided that you’re not a gutless sap who thinks that pitiful misery and woe = good poetry. Puppy-dogs and daffodils by themselves also don’t do much. It needs feeling, soul, and most importantly, the creativity to transfer said feeling and soul onto paper, using the malleable characteristics of language. It’s all there for the taking.

But people don’t get poetry. It’s hard for them to focus on it and be engrossed in it. For those that are capable, the brain and mind are also malleable, functional structures in the body that can and should be exercised like muscles in a Rec Center junkie. When this detail hit me it sent me darting to the nearest public library.

Two nights with Mr. Vonnegut’s writings was enough to get me started again. Granted, these are not glory days yet, but someday they may be, and when that day comes, we must have the appropriate documentation. And since I’ve been reading more prose lately I’m seeing some of the things it can do that poetry simple can’t reach.

And I dig it. Anything that can capture the attention of others for more than a few minutes and is capable of informing an otherwise ignorant band of yokels is worth learning about. And anyone that can make a living doing it knows something about life that I don’t. Let’s see how that turns out.

So without going so much into the why, let’s talk how and what and stumble into the unpatterned frequency of future days. This is me, buying my ticket. It won’t be easy and it may even get a bit weird, but the tough can’t be broken.

And baby, I’m made of stone.