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Planned and Unplanned

7 Dec

There are things we can plan, and there are things we can’t.

You can’t plan cancer, right?  You can’t plan some accident killing your spouse. You can’t plan bedbugs.  I remember being 9 or so when my Mom and Aunt got in a car accident, rear ended by some unknown offender, my mother slouched forward in the passenger side of the car bleeding profusely from a head wound, I stood paralyzed at the scene of the accident clutched by my grandmother who had not yet succumbed to Alzheimer’s…

You can’t plan any of  the above.

You can plan your education, at least to some extent.  You can plan your job during the job hunt.  You can plan how you’ll save for your next big electronic purchase.  You can plan how you vote after reading tons of activist twitter feeds.  I think a few people can plan their personality, because it’s what I did when I planned to be awesome.

There are things we can plan, things we can’t, and then there’s that weird part of life, the truly weird part that’s neither planned or unplanned, but it’s a product of both:

The cool roommate you got when he moved in and it was kismet because he makes the place feel safe and I could stay in another room and have my great privacy, and I could step out and he would make things feel like home because he’s one of my best friends.

The friends you gained without a plan because one day you planned to say something stupid-funny at work or home and they laughed and then, like the best unlaid plans, they liked your joke enough to stick around and go to parties with you and sit next to you during a horrible-but-good screening of Burlesque.

And maybe you planned one time to be confident and be open to the possibilities of the world, and then, unplanned, a boyfriend snuck in and liked watching stupid cartoons with you, and could stand you acting like a stupid cartoon, and then, unplanned, he holds your hand and you hold his and it feels warm.

I know it’s too late for Thanksgiving but I was never one for tradition. This December 7 I am thankful for all the stuff in-between the planned and unplanned that has nothing to do with head injuries.  Yeah it’s specific, so what!?

That Guy From The Wire/Generation Kill/Ken Park

16 Jul

I was at our local Mediterranean eatery in Brooklyn when I saw him.  He was of average height and thin build with stringy black hair some of which dangled in front of his eye.  Our eyes met and I felt a spark and a feeling of recognition as shame.  I realized I was looking into the eyes of a celebrity, one I had a crush on but whose name escapes me.  You see he’s neither A-list or B-list in terms of popularity, but he has starred in several avant garde artistic endeavors as well as the Wire, the critically acclaimed HBO tv show, and one of my favorite programs of all time.

“Who was he?” my friend asked.

“He’s this guy who is pure sex.  I mean he has two legs and the rest is just sex.  He’s in Ken Park and there’s a scene in the movie where he uses a cord to strangle himself while he jerks off and he cums all over himself, and I hear it was not a prosthetic and that it was all real when they filmed it.”

“Remind me to put that on my netflix queue.”

“I tried to and they don’t have the disc!”

As we walked down Grand street on a sizzle summer day I saw him wearing a tank top with tattoos visible along his chest and arm.  We locked eyes again and the force of his stare caused me to pinch my friend who had the misfortune of being the closest thing to me that was pinchable.  As he passed us I let out a subtle “yeeeeeeeeeeh.”

“OW!” My friend recoiled as he rubbed his arm.  “What was that for.”

“It was him.  That guy, it was him again.”

“Who?”

“Did you ever watch the Wire? He played Ziggy.  There’s a scene where he pulls his dick out to show off to a bar full of guys, but it was a prosthetic.  He was also in Ken Park where he…” and as I looked onto my friends face I was greeted by a blank poker face.

“Argh no one knows who he is except me!  I’m a huge fan of his and he’s just pure….sex!”

Manhattan is 95 degrees but the subway tunnels are in the high 100’s.  A mass of bodies is tangle near the Brooklyn bound side of the L train platform waiting for a long-delayed train.  As I struggle to make my way through the crowd to take an alternate train home I see him.  He is wearing a sensible shirt and shorts with short hair.  He is covered in sweat and so am I, and then we lock eyes for a nanosecond as we brush by each other.

Generation Kill.

James Ransone.  Damn.

No words were exchanged, just penetrative looks.

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