WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
Home · Articles · Columns · Living Out Loud
Living Out Loud
 

Beta

5 Comments · Wednesday, August 17, 2011
It was my birthday, but you know it wasn’t a big deal or anything. Like no one declared, “Let’s go out tonight and celebrate your birthday, Mark.” Going out just happened, as usual. It consisted, sadly, of driving up and down the strip — which I now realize is no strip at all, but just a street like any other. But sometimes we would find something there, like a drag race maybe, or (preferably) the rear-end of a car full of girls. More often than not, though, there would be nothing.  

Handling Addictions

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Would it shock the hell out of you that a 57-year-old man would love Amy Winehouse’s music? I do. When I found out she died late last month I played her Back to Black CD over and over again. Winehouse had a unique, soulful voice and was one of the best songwriters ever. For those of us who followed her, it was a sad day when she left us.  

Bloodbath Barcelona

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 3, 2011
After four days of Beck’s for breakfast in Germany, I already felt sapped of energy and hobbled. Not to mention the reappearance of a long-lost ailment that suddenly returned: an anal fissure that had me repeatedly filling the bowl in a way that brought to mind Jackson Pollock.  

Accepting Change

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I was playing my mandolin just like I do on most early evenings. Playing this musical instrument, which I’ve been playing since I was a child, relaxes me. On this particular evening, it was making me sad. As I played, thoughts went through my mind that this would be the last time I’d be playing the mandolin in Westwood. The following day was moving day. I was making a change in my life and moving to Covington.  

Special Effects

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Several weeks ago, distracted and sweating, I was daydreaming down at Newport on the Levee; the thick air nearly cooked me. Imagining movie scenes, I took it all in: the shapes, the colors, the smells and the way the sun had reddened strangers’ shoulders and cheeks. That weekend I was selling raffle tickets at a booth for the Freestore Foodbank. Since the crowd was slow, and the food stands smelled nasty, I wandered away, seeking action.  

Modern Technology

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 13, 2011
About 20 minutes into the phone conversation, I started to feel annoyed. I was tempted to light up another cigarette. But, trying to cut back, I didn’t. My mind raced to excuses I could make to wrap up her nonstop talking. This wasn’t supposed to happen.  

Lovesick

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Last week, I had a little time to kill before an afternoon appointment, so I went to Fountain Square to hang out for a while. Sitting at a table, I listened in on a conversation two young girls were having at another table to my left. “I haven’t seen Paul in over two days,” the girl with the dark hair said. “I miss him so much; love him so much, I can’t stand this much longer.”  

Not So Jazzy

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Jazzy is what I called him as did others who knew him. He considered us friends, but the reality is I don’t think any of us really knew him at all or even wanted to. Why he kept popping up in my life I don’t know. Some people keep resurfacing like a bad penny, and he was one of them. That won’t be the case anymore. Jazzy died of a heroin overdose a couple weekends ago.  

Into the Light

Exiled from Main Street XXXIV: for S.B.

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 22, 2011
This is not what you wanted to read. Normally, you wouldn’t. Most would rally, sweep this under the rug. All the same, for whatever reason, tonight it’s the cutting-room floor, the tail end of a month that demanded that you write three stories, collate a manuscript, apply to a festival, ready for a performance and now this, the dregs of a conversation.  

Life in the Slow Lane

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
If you were to ask me when I was 16 years old if I would never again want an automobile, I would have told you that you were crazy. Every teenage boy wants his own set of wheels. I was no exception. My first automobile was a 1959 Chevy Biscayne. It’s a bit faded now, but that’s me in the photo with my car.  

Shut Up and Cut My Hair

2 Comments · Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I liked this young woman cutting my hair. Focused at the task at hand, she wasn’t saying a word to me. She kept her eyes squarely on the top of my head and used those scissors like she knew what she was doing. A friend had driven me around Western Hills last week looking for one of those express haircut places on Glenway Avenue.  

Dumpster Diving

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Most people would have bought a new basketball or a box of golf balls, but I opted for an Airsoft gun. Having a $25 gift certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods did me little good considering I play zero sports. Yet, in hindsight, I probably should have bought a few baseballs. At least they would’ve kept me out of trouble.  

Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 25, 2011
The guy has been eyeballing me for weeks at the bus stop in the mornings and has been chatting with me. Small talk at first — you know, the weather, why are the buses always late, that type of thing — but lately, the conversation has been more personal, wanting to know what I do for a living and where I live.  

Elegy for a Dirty-Faced Angel

4 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2011
He will never again disarm us with his smile. Never will wrap a burrito or put another pie in the oven. Nor have me smoke pot with a gas mask, then walk me to my apartment because I forgot where I lived. He won’t again dress as a nun on Halloween and be photographed smoking a cigarette and holding a can of MGD with a life-sized cutout of James Dean in the background. Nor will he ever not leave behind a good-looking corpse.  

Father and Son at the Anchor Grill

1 Comment · Monday, May 9, 2011
Getting ready for work, I thought back to that morning when my son was born over 25 years ago. I started to feel sentimental, something I try hard in my life to avoid. Not on that morning. I looked at photos when he was first born and when he was little. I looked at pictures when he played baseball in grade school and pictures when he first entered high school. My mind was on the past. Where did the time go?