The digital home of Richard Sebastian

Author: RichardS (Page 3 of 13)

Snackin’ at Heaven’s Door

I must insist to whatever Universal force or deity out there that needs to hear it that Spring break forth immediately. I want to see daffodils. And fluffy clouds in clear blue skies. I want to see twerping birds on tree branches bursting forth in leafy buds. I want to feel too hot in a long-sleeved shirt. I want to see a bright, bold sun and feel a hint of dewy perspiration on my upper lip. No more cold drizzles. No more bitter winds.

It is decreed.

Besides, all of my sweaters are about to expire. My tired scarves have places to be.

The Gland

There is a guy I know who we call The Gland. He has a job steeping tea. He says he’s from Lemur County but from his accent and the absence of certain knowledge anyone from Lemur would have, I doubt it. I suspect he’s from somewhere nearby, though, because of his scar and shiny black anklet. Reminds me of folks from Flee.

We ran into The Gland last night on our way to Scoots. He was drunk and blubbering on about tomorrow’s Choco-Fun Parade, which he can’t go to because of his rickets. Rickets is catching, they say, so the Marshall has made his presence verboten. The Gland has a girlie named Tina who dances. He wanted to see her march her flowing pennants down Main Street, but now he’ll have to settle for watching from his window.

But he can’t see the parade from his window. He can only see the colored balloons as they go up, one by one, into the blue blue sky.

The Taint

There are a few icy patches of snow left in the yard. I doubt they will be around much longer if it continues to warm up like it did today. Some daffodils out back, fed up with the never-ending winter, have gone against protocol and burst out through the cold ground, like punk daisies. I take it as a sign of hope that one day soon I will be able open the windows of my dusty soul and let some fresh air in.

It is Spring Break, and I am fasting. Not because I want to. The fast over Christmas was by choice, and quite a fine experience. It cleansed my juices, cleared my head and put a spring in my step. This fast is for a little procedure I am having tomorrow morning, necessary because of an earlier unsuccessful procedure last Friday. I won’t go into the dirty details, except to say that it is in my Ass & Balls Area, and that it doesn’t involve my balls. Get the picture?

Not the best way to start off my break. Hopefully things will improve after tomorrow, once I shake off the sedatives and gorge myself on a meal of doughnuts, fish tacos and Brunswick stew–you see, I have to prime my system for the culinary delights of NYC. E and I are heading up on the Fuckface Express this Thursday. It’ll be exciting. I haven’t been there in several years, and that trip was super short–just a fast blast up I-95 to see my friend M. in Brooklyn.

This time we are meeting E.’s sister and bro-in-law there. They are flying in from Seattle for a last hurrah before their next Chinese take-out order includes a little girl. Wow, I was trying to sound clever there, but I think I ended up sounding clumsy and perhaps offensive.

Better watch out for the Skin Deep. I am going to the other room now to faint.


Just saw that a sample of a video I made for the band One Ring Zero has been posted to their site. Check it out. The one on the right, called The Airplane.

ORZ are originally from Richmond. I knew Mike through my friend John, who played guitar for them. I didn’t really know Josh. The two moved to Brooklyn a few years ago and have steadily built a reputation for themselves playing quirky tunes on homemade or discontinued instruments.

I really liked the idea for their video project–basically an open call for videos open to everyone. That is a pretty brave move, but also shrewd one, especially if they get some well-made videos out of it. For nuttin’. I know I worked my ass off on mine.

I only found out about the project by accident, when I was trying to find sample tunes for a friend to listen to. It was a great experience, and has gotten me interested in making films again. Once I shake off the yoke of academia, that is.

Feelin’ Fancy

I have neglected my LJ since it was *compromised* last November. I figured I would just abandon the thing like so much space junk, let it circle out in space for a few years before it flamed out gloriously during atmospheric re-entry.

Hmm. That sounds kinda perverse. Atmospheric re-entry. Like fucking a cloud.

But, here I am posting again, against my better judgment. Might as well paint a big ol’ bullseye on my virtual forehead. There are plenty of places to hide out on the Internet. In Serbian chat rooms, Anthony Michael Hall fan boards, or web site threads devoted to the pince nez or the Nez Perce. Instead of out here in the open on LJ where most of my Friends are actual flesh-n-blood friends, or lovers or ex-wives. Part of the attraction of a blog is the freedom that comes from being anonymous.

But my cover is blown and my round, dappled arse is exposed like a ripe, delicious apple waiting for a bite.


I hate when I accidentally listen to Bad Music. Like that Hoobastank/Bare Naked Ladies shit that came on the radio that I just neglected to turn down. It hurt me. Bad music makes me mad. It makes my soul crumple up like an aluminum can. You can try to uncrumple it afterward but it never really looks right again.

Anyway. Note to self: do a better job of monitoring that radio knob.

It is snowing pretty hard still, teeny icy flakes swirling about and stacking up in the yard. One last wintry blast before the messianic onslaught of spring. My class was canceled this morning, but I went in anyway. I blasted The Clash in my office as a way of offering it as a refuge from UVA’s uptight hordes and snobbishness, preppified legacy. I also managed to get Double D to agree to let me use the wireless lavalier mike during my trip to New York over spring break next week. I dread lugging my film equipment on the train and through the streets of Manhattan, but it can’t be avoided.

I will certainly miss the rich resources of the university–the endless supply of computers, cameras, tripods, software licenses, printer paper. These things have often been more valuable than the actual book larnin’. But, then again I am a kinesthetic learner(KL)with a smidge of ADD. Hard for me to get much from those petrified lectures that are recited like Catholic liturgy.

Hard to frickin’ believe it is 5 pm already. My God. The gushing hours made a mess of my day.

My chapbook is almost done.
I have given myself over to masturbation and cable TV.
There is no prescription ointment available to cure LOVE.
To the simple go the curds; to the wise go the whey.
No magic is stronger than than the magic of the Black Chiclet.
I had a dream that I was an interstate and you were a budget hotel.
Flocks of birds, flecks of grass, fleeting flowers, frantic nuns.
Please bring any remaining food items to The Ordinary.
Holy Father, I pray for _____. Though a sinner and a _____, I ask you to ______ me and _______ me and show me the ______.

The Day After the Day After

So let me get this right: a majority of Americans more care less about jobs and more about barring gays from marrying? More Americans are interested in moral values (a dubious term) than in Valerie Plame/Abu Gharib/missing WMD/al Qua Qaa/Enron/Halliburton/Antonin Scalia/ANWAR/tax cuts for the rich/a kazillion dollar deficit/the Clear Skies Initiative and so on, and so on, and so on. I am beginning to believe that President Bush could be re-elected even after being convicted of first-degree murder just as long as he tells those faggots where to go.

The Supreme Court. Iraq. The draft. This is a president who will not shy from making history, and we know history to him means destruction. His version of history will affect us all deeply, and he will leave a remarkably damaging stain on the history of this country.

It took two days, but I finally cried over the results of this election. Yesterday I was numb and heartbroken. Today, the reality of it sank in. Sadly, it has taken the very real threat of GW Bush to finally make me realize what it means to me to be American. It is no longer an opposition philosophy, but a positive belief in the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, and the realization that these freedoms could go away. Yes, I am one who believes that these freedoms are now threatened by this reckless Administration.

It is not a time for despair, but a time for solemn vows.



It was years later, and she was standing in her slippers washing her husband’s dirty dinner plate. She knew it was her husband’s because he always insisted on reusing his dinner plate for dessert. She would always bring him a new plate, and he would always refuse, saying its just one more dish to wash.

She knew it was her husband’s plate, and not her plate because she hadn’t eaten. She had no appetite. Well, she thought she had had an appetite while she was cooking, so she had cooked enough for two. But when she finally sat down before that empty white circle, her appetite disappeared.

She knew it was her husband’s plate. It wasn’t Robbie’s plate or Zoe’s plate because Robbie and Zoe were gone.

She leaned in closer over the sink full of hot suds, scrubbing one last stubborn splotch of dried tomato sauce with the green scrubby end of the sponge. The security light in the backyard came on again. It was the third time that night it had come on. She peered out of the kitchen window at the fresh snow that blanketed the backyard. It was heaped in conical piles on the birdbath, on her husband’s massive barbeque grill, on the flowerpots on the back steps. It had buried the young shrubs around the patio until they looked like a row of bald heads. And then she saw them. Winding through the center of the yard to a spot directly beneath the window where she stood was a black set of footprints.

Suddenly, the light snapped off and she was left staring at her own reflection. Cat or dog? she thought. The tracks seemed smaller, like a cat’s, but she had made that mistake before. Even the smallest of dogs were as vicious as the bigger ones. Perhaps more vicious. What’s more, she knew smaller dogs could slip in through some overlooked vent, or wiggle through a crack in the foundation. Hide in the basement dark, waiting for the right moment. She thought of Robbie and how, even though he was fairly big for his age, they had managed to….

Maybe she should wake up Bill. She could hear his ragged snores from their upstairs bedroom. But if she woke up Bill, what could he do? What had he done before? She knew what he would say. He would tell her it was her imagination and promise to have the security light looked at. She knew he wouldn’t look at her when he said this, but he would say it anyway.

She told herself that she would go outside if the light came on again. She turned on the radio. It crackled with static. There was enough moonlight to see that it was snowing harder. The light came on, spilling brilliantly into the backyard. She looked out the window. There were two more sets of tracks.

With a heavy steel flashlight in one hand and her husband’s pistol in the other, she stepped through the side door of the house onto the snow-covered driveway. The snow squeaked beneath her boots as she moved slowly around the house to the backyard. She stopped, listened. All was quiet, except for the muffled sounds of Bill’s snoring from the second floor window. Cat’s are lighter, they have hollow bones, she thought. Dogs have teeth that tear. They run in packs. She trudged past the birdbath. Cats’ paws have a distinct shape, much more defined than the paw of a dog.

The beam of the flashlight found dark set of tracks. There were four sets now, and they seemed to lead around the perimeter of the yard. One set of tracks lead off into a cluster of trees, and it looked to her as if something had been dragged along side them. She saw a dark shape covered in snow. She leaned over, removed her thick glove and picked it up. It was a small, red shoe. She stood up straight and aimed the beam of her flashlight deep into the trees.

“These are dog tracks,” she said. Then, she heard someone scream from inside the house. It was short and very loud, and then it suddenly stopped.

She dropped her flashlight and plunged headlong into trees. She ran blindly through the darkness. She had never forgotten what they had told her afterward. How it had happened. They had told her again and again that it wasn’t her fault.

But she never forgotten what she had seen. It had played over and over again in her mind. And she had never forgotten how to discern canine from feline tracks in the snow.

My Mason-Dixon Line

I am concerned about My Backyard Wrestling/Reading Group. After two years of civility, professionalism and friendly competition, the group has suddenly become extremely polarized. One camp, lead by my charismatic new neighbor Bill “Flesheater” Hayes, is beginning to employ technically illegal moves like the Don Delillo Manta Ray Death Clutch and the Purple Prose Neck Hold. Last week the ref caught Bill using the long-banned and patently dangerous Erma Bombeck during a friendly cage match. The other camp, consisting mostly of more seasoned veterans like my son’s school librarian Linda “Pussy Trainwreck” Newton and professional raconteur “Metaphor” Mike Taylor, are beginning to sit out the matches in protest.
What was once a way to blow off a little steam has quickly spun out of control. The other group has tasted blood, and it has made them wild. Splitting their infinitives with brazen Libre Luche moves, fracturing narratives and dislocating shoulders, sneaking in dirty punches and even dirtier punctuation.

It is enough to make me want to become a drug mule for my father’s dry cleaning service. Or a ghetto pimp for the local Whole Foods Co-op. Or a government snitch for a local independent record store. Or an organ donor for a daycare center.

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