LADS IN AMERICA: “Sweetener”

Read the previous chapters of this novel in the works here

The tall, Liverpool-bred entity that approached the field wore a red polo and bore iced coffees fro Starbucks. At first Cameron wasn’t sure if this really was ave Madison.

“Cheers,” he said, grabbing the coffees off the tray and handing them out to his coworkers.

“Well, well,” Dave greeted in a scruffled voice. “Mr. Carlson’s back and looking miraculously well!”

“Well, well,” Cameron uneasily began, through sips of coffee for security, ” I am incredibly well.”

“I’m not following.”

“A pun, sir.” He took a longer sip. Javier was coming around to grab himself a drink.

“Thanks, Dave. Thank God Cameron’s back, yeah?” Dave kept his glare onto Cameron. “He’s back I reckon,” he was saying to Javier, “but how has he been on the field so far?”

“All’s good,” Javier replied, a sip of his own. “More parents sitting around to watch today, kids are really getting into the games now that they’re all familiar with them.”

“Well of course, they’re just kids. But what’s your take on today Cam?”

The iced coffee was running hot in his mouth. “Felt like I’m back into the groove of everything.”

“You’ve missed out on quite a few days there, mate.” Mate. Dangerous ground.

“No doubt Javé told you sir. Called me and as far as I know he let you know.”

“Any reason why I had to find out about your illness through Javier?”

Like a miracle Lee and Ethan Yates were heading over for their share of the drinks. Curtly they greeted Dave Madison, whose tone seemed to lighten up. “Didn’t want us to overheat did you Dave?” Ethan asked.

“Certainly not,” Dave Madison agreed. ” Heat is liability. It’s  bad enough it threatened to close camps this week.”

“Let’s hope at least parents sunscreened and hydrated their kids loads,” Lee observed. “Well, Cam’s feeling better again, we can handle anything!”

“Doing pretty decent though without his help,” Madison said. “If we needed him so desperately we would have pressed him to get better rather than left him alone.”

“That would be rude, sir.” Rick’s sarcasm hung dead between the gathering. He also had a sip of coffee.

In the way that Cameron was slightly terrified to look at his menacing superior, he also stared him clear in the eye, even with the sun stinging his glare from behind Madison. “Just glad to be back and with the lads here, sir,” he started. “Just so sorry I had to miss out on some great action it sounded like, from what they’ve been telling.”

“Oh yeah?”Madison remarked.

“Sure. Rick said a lad on Monday bicycle-kicked, his first day and in his whole life. Don’t believe him of course for being Rick as a witness nor for a six-year-old, then again that’s something I’ll always be haunted by for having gotten so sick. I think it’s a shame.”

“It sure was Cam,” Rick cut in, in an obviously snide tone his colleague, and surely Madison, caught onto. “Oh the things we’ve seen you couldn’t have fallen ill at a worse time than now mate!”

“No, I couldn’t have.” This was all going nowhere and if Madison wasn’t aggravated by now, God bless. “I may be better off now but one thing’s certain, about not getting back the hours of work the next pay will show.” He laughed uneasily at this– this awkward attempt to rationalize no one would have wanted to miss the payroll for one of the best weeks for hours, that second week of July. Would Madison buy it? Hopefully.

The break was over and the children regrouped around their coaches, all but one. Cameron stayed to the side with Dave Madison.

“That sure is a fine pay you won’t be seeing lad, ” he spoke, eyes fixated on the lines of little heads dressed below in the neon meshes that Javier had brought. “Terribly ill fated, your illness Cameron. Especially as one of the more experienced young men whom many of this summer’s recruits look up to.”

“It happens to the best of us.”

“Suppose it does. Really, a bright lad if I saw one. Never more than a beer with the lads and quick to discipline some nasty brats on the field, and somehow no complaints from their parents. With every family you’ve stayed with since you first came to us last year there hasn’t been one bad remark on your behalf. Well, guess I’m saying is we’re right lucky to have you.”

Cameron said nothing.

“You better be on your way then. Or stay behind, see how well these boys say they’ve managed without you. You’ve heard me, glad to see you’re recovered, lad.”

Cameron nodded with a thanks and started off in an awkward jog to the other coaches. Madison wasn’t finished. “I hope the Redmonds are enjoying their cruise.”

“They said they sure are, sir. Thankfully I caught on sick at the best time to house sit! Ward off any of the younger lads from crashing in with reckless notions to party there.”

Dave was looking down at his phone now, and Cameron wasn’t sure how much longer he would be staying at the field. But he kept his gaze down and his feet moving towards his car in the opposite direction, not before responding to Cameron, “Glad they could check in with you then, before you could figure out to check in with us.”

Inspiration in Photos

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via Pinterest.

The lighting here is hazy and phenomenal.

Old Houses Savannah

Street in Savannah, Georgia. Always longing to go back.

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Via Tumblr.

I really want Anna Bullbrook’s hair in this photo but all I could do was touch up my bangs and hope for the best!

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I wish I remembered what Etsy store this was I saw at the Expo a few weekends ago. But I’m starting to really dig raw crystals.

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The next best thing about a Goorin Brothers hat and their beautifully arranged shop is the fact that all the hats that I particularly like range from $40-$80 only. Not too shabby!

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Via DailyMail.

A few nights ago I watched the Lifetime miniseries The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe. The classic American starlet seemed to be everywhere as her birthday approached and in the wake of rare last sets of photos of her being auctioned off last month. I’ve become obsessed with her story, sad and stunted short and yet still so inspiring. Someone remarked at how sad she seemed in these last photos on a California beach as you look into her eyes. To me, it’s the lighting. It’s a hazy, golden glow that really shows Marilyn is in fact happy in this moment– maybe the rest of her life was going to hell but for her in that actual last sitting, it seemed like an unexpected heaven for just her and her friend who happened to be the photographer.

Typewriter Scraps

One of the first things I wrote on Rex, my typewriter–Sometime in early 2015

I took the watercolors out of the desk and into the letters. Color so that the many moods and glows of their palette should capture this dull mind into an action it always forgets it’s capable of.

I had a thought and took painful lengths to write it down but the words could not fulfill its existence. It felt like a thousand tries before seeing that it wouldn’t have been a thought if I succeeded to transfer it onto something else.

Just a reminder that you’re always going to have something to say on anything.

“Housewarming” (or, the Inevitability of Boy Talk)

The windows are open in June. Why wouldn’t they be? They shouldn’t be actually, not now as the fog seeps in from the black bay and in between the rusted jewels that are nestled on the Oakland Hills.

But two friends sit outside on red patio chairs among the low breeze and stillness of a soft, warm afternoon. Come the evening, it’ll be a sight to see as two skylines from the views of this balcony erupt in lights over those steel monsters along the harbor.

I hope he knows we’re just friends.

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Finding myself alone with new faces– new guys in my life– turn me into a nervous creature. Even with just friendly faces, it’s all a weird affair. For awhile I only had one face that concerned me– and it’s not here anymore.

In the absence of boys I’ve rediscovered girls and their comforting, flighty ideas to graciously waste away in this new town. And yet boys come back. They’ll corner you– they’re curious about that one chick who seems to converse with and tease them so naturally like she’s the one who’s got all her shit figured out. They haven’t figured out how terrible I really am at the business. Perhaps it’s all a game to me because I poke and smirk at their wonder in a sense that beneath one of their facades I’ll rediscover His face again. But we’re beyond that. I move on, but I struggle. I move forward with each passing bar and awkward impressions I must make talking with coworkers about love and exes at 2 in the mornings, forgotten intimate words with strangers in your bed that happen to take the same bus route as you most days– until I get here. Here is a moment I try to guard myself in all the reservation but proper enthusiasm for the topic of conversation. We’re talking poetry: he says it is a work ordained by structure– I ardently feel it is in fact the language of chaos.

Here we are in celebration of a mutual friend’s emancipation to the furthermost reaches of the East Bay slopes. It’s not my party but in this idyllic space I’m sure feeling connected, the life of it. Passionate, and warm, like a summer afternoon should be.

And I hope he knows we’re only friends.

 

“A 7pm Friday”

Written February 7, 2015

My biggest fear about these nights is being alone. In two weekends I’ve got the apartment to myself and although it’s nice to have a hobbit hole, it’s even better to be out on an adventure. Maybe it’s not doing things alone that frighten me. I guess it’s just being overwhelmed by opportunity and sinking with the ship rather than try to kick against these many waves.

Lucky nights come and go. Last Friday I was at the end of a table at Schroeder’s Beer Haus antagonizing coworkers to finish off their boots of ale– fast forward to now, sitting at the window of the same Peet’s on Fillmore letting the ink flow out. Flow out while I can tell it’s going to soon run dry.

This is a place with endless possibilities– just as endless as they are disappointing. You’re not the only one living out here– it’s a place with endless choices for everyone else too– it’s only a matter of where any of us can actually collide. Reaching out to people isn’t my style but it is all I can do. It sounds desperate but who really cares. We’re all desperate in a big space like this, and isn’t that why we all live out here?

What helps is the street light. And the neon lights of signs draped in windows and the glow of the bar at Harry’s because of the mirrors’ reflections against the wall. It all means you’re never in the dark. And the fog only makes these streets feel anything but empty. Smoke and mirrors.

So maybe we’re not desperate, everything is just an illusion.

Summer Blast: New Illustrated Writing for Sale NOW!

Starting off this week I am very please to announce a new set of typewritten works for sale on my Etsy store!

The works included you have probably seen in their earliest drafts featured here on my blog, such as “Open Your Eyes.” These pieces are each typewritten and some are complete with exquisite little watercolor illustrations, making them an all around beautiful and inspiring print you can simply frame and display.

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It’s something I’ve been meaning to do, but this weekend spent at the San Francisco Etsy Indie Emporium really pushed me forward on this. It was as easy to find inspiration there just as it was hard to resist buying ALL JEWELRY and paper goods. Shout out to Waffles and Honey designed in SF’s Mission District (not pictured) and local paper artisans Paperlaced (below).

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Once back in the apartment, I doled out my typewriter Rex (did I tell you his name yet? Short for Rexroth) to recreate and edit some of my works. I’ve chosen only the most popular from Instagram and those that seemed more universal and less personal– that doesn’t mean the full-fledged and disclosed pieces of mine won’t be going out into the world soon!

Travel Notes

Check them out on Paris K Studio now, and as for me, I’ll be forever writing and contributing what words and drawings I can. No better way to kick off this summer!

The Brooklyn Tree