apartment tour

this is the first draft of the beginning to the 2216 section in flotation device 12. i wanted to take the reader on a tour of the apartment. when i finished writing and read it, i thought the pacing was too slow. so here you have it in all of its fascinating first draft glory. see for yrself, the miracle of rewriting! please have patience with this one, it is epic.

I lived here for four years. Longer than I’d lived in any one place in my entire life. Growing up my parents moved us from house to house every three years with great regularity. We only lived in three towns, but we lived in four houses in Woodstock and they’ve moved two times since I moved out. So 2216 was where I lived the longest.

I lived here for four years.

XXXXX was the one that found it. We had moved out from Woodstock together a year previous. He had been living in the dorms at UIC and I had been living back at home commuting to Columbia College a few times a week. Sometimes less when I could stay with my friend Nate and his girlfriend Ally.

XXXXX and I first moved into a two bedroom in Uptown at the corner of Leland and Dover. It was a nice place, probably too nice for us. We were 19 or so. We were loudish playing guitars through amps and moog keyboards as well. Making noise together and recording it onto four track tape. XXXXX had a few parties with some theater type kids from UIC. We got some complaints from neighbors who didn’t complain to us directly, but instead went to our management company. The management company then called us with the complaints. After the second we decided to move before we got kicked out. We lasted six months in that building. So we found a small two bedroom in Lincoln Square on Claremont just north of Welles Park. We lived there for six months before XXXXX got antsy and wanted out. I said, fine but I’m not looking cuz we just moved in. so XXXXX found this three bedroom on Wilson, two blocks away.

Brownstone two flat half a block east of Lincoln and half a block west of Leavitt. Up a flight of stairs that run to the right, at the top, the landing. Two bikes there on the landing. Jeff’s and mine. Open the door. The dining room. Chandelier. A table across the way with a lamp, a phone, a two foot statue of an 18th century Irish potato picker – head wrapped in rubber bands taken from the stacks of junk mail. Mail piled and strewn at his feet. A hammock to the right precariously hung form the ceiling . Did anyone sit in it? Someone did and it fell with a crash. A love seat on the north wall, covered in bags and backpacks.

I sat on that love seat feeling depressed crushed and beaten the night I was removed from PAL. I had told them I was going to Mexico in the fall and that I would be quitting Chicago Comics as well. Instead of practice that night we just ate noodles with red rocket sauce from Hi Ricky’s next door to Quimby’s where we practiced two nights a week after they closed. It was decided that if I wasn’t going to be in the band in fall, I should just be out so they could restructure. We played our remaining scheduled shows. My last in Chicago happened the day after we started the second war in Iraq. I announced all of my songs as “Shock and Awe.” The last show I played with PAL was in Beloit at C-Haus and they arranged for me to get flowers on stage. I was touched and felt pretty emotional. So after our last song, Tim’s rave up rocker, Liberate Me, they picked me up and dropped me into Billy’s drums. I still have the flowers dried and in a box on my radiator in my living room. I was out of PAL.

I sat on the striped love seat in the dining room under the dimmed chandelier light not knowing how to feel that night after HI Ricky when I was removed and felt dazed. Not moving sitting in silence until Jeff came home.

What’s wrong?

I’m out of PAL. I said. I felt like I had been dumped.

To the right of the front door the dining room opened into the living room where we spent most of our time. A long couch that had been in my parents family room on the east wall – amazingly comfortable and highly conducive to napping or falling asleep at night watching movies. A love seat that was my friend’s parents’ and had been in their basement family room when he and I were young. A chair that Jeff had brought with him. On the west wall was the hifi cabinet that had been my grandpa’s then my uncles and then mine. On it was the tv. In it were speakers and a stereo a turntable a cd player a dvd player and an N64, a game cube and eventually an Xbox. Another chandelier lit the room and one night when Jeff and I had been playing video games we heard Jody and Mike coming home thumping upstairs. We stopped looked at each other and said, hide! I quickly dove behind the love seat in front of the windows and left my legs sticking straight up in the air effectively hiding only my waist to my head. My legs waving in the air. Jeff attempted to hide somewhere else equally ridiculous. As I was upside down and behind the love seat I had no idea where he went. Jody and Mike walked in and Jody laughed. You guys.

For a while Jeff’s and my favorite thing to do was to put a random object on the sidewalk in front of the house and then watch from the windows while carefully hidden to see what people would do. Our favorite object was an old lampshade and we’d shake with suppressed laughter when someone would stop and set it on the bushes or move it off the sidewalk or stop and look up to our windows or walk around it. We thought we were hilarious.

Off of the living room was a small half bedroom that originally was a storage room for unused things, then it was Jody’s room for a few months before she went back to Pennsylvania, but before she was officially living with us. She stayed with us after her lease ended but before Columbia’s semester was over. Then after XXXXX announced he was moving to NYC, Jeff and I invited her back and she would take XXXXX’s room. She ended up living in that small room again when XXXXX didn’t end up moving to NYC but took a couple months to move out to Ukrainian Village. There was enough room for her mattress and some bags. I would sit in there and talk to her about the troubles of my early twenties love life and the woes of my then relationship. I was thankful to have a girl to be talking to.

When XXXXX moved out and Jody moved into his room. Jeff and I turned it into our little music room. A four track. Our guitars and amps. A stereo. A snare drum. Keyboards. A desk. A chair. Lots of blank type II cassette tapes. A closet filled with Jody’s clothes. Jeff hung ridiculous pinups from Playboy and in celebration of our triumph we hung a Jim Morrison banner on the side of the door that faced the living room. So everyone would know that that room was for musical genius.

There was a window in that room. We could open it and climb out onto the roof of the little front porch. Jeff and I wanted to use his massive slingshot to launch garbage at the Starbucks that had opened up down the street at the corner of Lincoln and Wilson – replacing a laundromat that had free laundry one day a week where homeless people washed their clothes. We never did. M and I stood out there one New Year’s Eve when it was turning into 2000 and watched people stumble down the street and fireworks off over the lake.

My room was off the dining room next to the front door. Somehow I manged to get my entire life into that room. A futon. Boxes of magazines to cut up underneath the futon. All of my cds and records. My desk where I wrote. A stereo on a milk crate. Speakers on top of it. A turntable. A light from the ceiling with a pull string switch that I extended with string and action figures and chotchkes that I ended up with so that I could pull the string while under the covers in bed. The window sill was my nightstand. A dresser in the closet with a bookshelf on it and shelves higher up with more magazines to cut up boxes of zines and pictures. My computer on a table also in the closet. I went in there leaned my back on a pillow against the side of the dresser. Clothes hung above the monitor. Typing up my homework, my stories for fiction writing, my papers, my finals, my zines.

At one point I had two bookshelves in my bedroom against the walls somehow. But I can’t remember how I had it arranged. Somehow everything was in there. I eventually moved a bookshelf out into the dining room and put all my comics on it. This was when XXXXX left, taking his two cats that liked to destroy.

The hallway ran north. It was dark. The bathroom was on the left side. Large with an old bathtub. Monochromatic tile pattern on the floor. The tiny tiles that formed floral shapes. Larger tiles ran halfway up the wall continuing the monochromatic scheme. A glass and wicker coffee table in the corner with a stereo on it and magazines on the shelf below. Tape Op. Playboy. Rolling Stone. Perfect 10. Punk Planet. A box of make up and other feminine products next to the stereo. The bathtub that I plunged every few months to keep it draining properly. The sink that twice was mysteriously clogged and twice needed a plumber to come and fix it. Once a toothpaste cap was the culprit. He glared at me as he held it between his fingers.

Did you know about this?


Are you sure?

He was convinced I had done it. I had no idea who had done it. I just walked away.

Jeff’s room was across from the bathroom. It was the smallest room but he never seemed to mind. Going in there was always like invading someone’s church. It felt wrong. I only went in there occasionally to borrow a cd or something. Almost always he was there. Once or twice, when I was desperate, I took change from his change jar for the train.

The hallway opened into the kitchen. Large. Table in the center with chairs around it – almost always covered with junk mail or school papers or back packs. An extension of the bedroom. No counters no cabinets a fridge and stove. A dishwasher and a large pantry. Before Jody moved in, the kitchen was generally ground zero for the passive aggressive warfare that raged for the last few months of XXXXX’s stay with us. Cat litter on the floor. Garbage piling up. Puke in the sink. Food hidden away with signs. Dust and dirt piles swept into his room. Dishes placed on his bed.

Our revenge was ill-tempered. Annoying. Ineffective. And it felt amazing. XXXXX’s room was off of the kitchen. It was painted orange like sherbet. It had no closets but was immense. After XXXXX left, it became Jody’s room and the warfare subsided.

There was an enclosed porch off of the kitchen. Two chairs and an end table in between them. Some candles. A cribbage board. A deck of cards. Jeff and I loved to throw stuff out the back window. Things we were getting rid of. An old broken stereo. An old broken turntable. Magazines. Things that were headed out to the trash in the alley. Of course we picked the scattered bits and remains up from the yard.

The apartment was wrapped in dark wood paneling that ran from matching hardwood floors to a foot from the ceiling. The wood paneling ran from the living room and dining room through the hallway into the kitchen and out into the back porch. We all felt like we lived in a warm cabin up in the north woods of Wisconsin. It felt like that. It felt warm and safe and like permanent vacation surrounded by tall old dark trees.

watering hole

here’s a rejected short one from flotation device 12.


9.30pm Monday night. Water seeping up through the pavement in the street in front of my house. The trees dark against the night sky the water a little stream. Artesian spring here in the city. The source of life. Bubbling out of concrete. Little birds gather to it. Flock to it. Squirrels visit. My own little watering hole. My own little nature microcosm. Right in front of my house. How long will it last?

How long until the pavement buckles and folds in on itself. Microlevel plate tectonics. How long until the ground underneath the pavement is eaten away. Erodes. How long until there’s a hollow underneath the pavement. How long until the pavement buckles and folds in on itself and falls into the sink hole. How long until the sink hole in front of my house.

Will there be a parked car. Little birds squirrels people. Will the little birds fly away. Will they know in advance. Like when real nature happens. Or will they not notice man made tectonics fault lines erosion. Man made nature.

Will the tree fall in the hole.

Will this Daley democratic machine city fix the problem before it happens. Will they shut down the little microcosm in front of my house. Or will it just happen. Will it even happen.

reading watching listening

let’s do it!


el reino de este mundo by alejo carpentier. i am on a mission to read more books in spanish by people who wrote in spanish. this is the first of a new bunch group of authors for me to try. so far so good. i don’t always get all the vocab, but i get enough out of it that i can see it in my mind. which is good. and i can tell you what it’s about. haiti and revolution back in the 19th century. this is the guy who coined the term “magical realism” or in spanish “lo real maravilloso.”

lee miller’s war  edited by antony penrose. lee miller pretty much rules. awesome photographer and apparently a solid writer. this is a collection of her war correspondence from world war 2 when she was writing for vogue and a couple other magazines it seems like. she was travelling with the army as it made its way across france and into germany. writing and taking pictures as she went. it’s a little rough to read her german hate, but she lived through the blitz. i’d prolly not be stoked on germans at the time either.

when baghdad ruled the muslim world: the rise and fall of islam’s greatest dynasty by hugh kennedy. the title pretty much says it all. about the abbasids reign of a few hundred years. started out solid, but i’m kinda bored with it at this point. i think i’m not gonna finish it. i’m not sure where it goes wrong. the info is good. i think part of the problem must be the writing style. and there’s nothing really wrong with it, but i thin it doesn’t grab me. but points for modernizing the translation of historical texts so that i know that in some cases what they really meant was “motherfucker” or “shit.”

roxy music: both ends burning by jonathan rigby. roxy music biography! what? fucking awesome!!! unfortunately not so awesome. i had to stop around country living. too bad. there’s some good info, but not enough. and it’s just kinda dull. the eno parts are all good. but there’s way too much focus on ferry. not enough on the rest of the band. and come on, brian ferry is no lyrical genius. nor an awesome songwriter. so what the fuck. if it weren’t for the rest of the band, they wouldn’t’ve been awesome. oh well.


taste of tea by katsuhito ishii. this movie ruled. calm. beautiful. righteous. totally made me feel good. watch it.

spring, summer, fall, winter and spring by kim ki-duk. also calm. also beautiful. also made me feel good. couldn’t figure out why. but it did.

pan’s labyrinth by guillermo del toro. amazing. gorgeous. totally brutal. never want to see it again. i said that the first time i saw it, but i watched it again with h who hadn’t seen it yet.

the dark knight by christopher nolan. yay batman! solid solid.

space is the place by john coney. but come on it’s all about fucking sun ra! this movie might be one of the dumbest thing i’ve ever seen. but it’s awesome in its ridiculousness. and its fucking sun ra! although the best part was the ten minutes of sun ra and arkestra walking around in egypt set to the song watusi. that ruled! hooray!


the ex and getachew mekuria  at the logan square auditorium and at pritzker pavilion. these two shows totally blew me away and made me feel awesome. so did…

phil cohran at the pritzker pavilion doing a tribute to sun ra. although it was more of a tribute to phil cohran. but it was truly truly amazing. got choked up a couple of times i did.

 jarvis cocker at the dumbass pitchfork music festival. we went to pitchfork and all we saw was jarvis. we spent 30 dollars a piece to see him. and boy was he worth it. lots of man love for that guy. from the dudes a few yards away from us. i expected underwear and glasses to be thrown on stage in uncontrolled outbursts of nerd love. we were pretty close and pretty much in swoon the whole time. hopefully he’ll come back when his new album comes out next year.

piss piss piss moan moan moan at enemy. alex (of the rories, the band i’m in) and nicole play some amazing noise drone electronics. this was a righteous show. i’m usually not a fan of total noise, but i guess this wasn’t total noise. is it power electronics? who knows. but it was loud. and it was good.

all the new jazz records we got on our trip to san francisco. i can’t really pick just one. but just for the sake of it i’ll say arthur doyle and sunny murray live at the glen miller cafe. hooray!


i wrote this right before i got off my ass and finished writing flotation device 12. i guess it helped motivate.


I need to demystify my writing process. I used to treat it like this divine sort of act. Invoking the writing spirits the mystic rulers of word rhythm the secret gods of sentence structure. I would reverentially play amazing music – depending on the phase of my life I was in. Different types of music were more spiritual at different times. For a while it was punk rock and for a while it was electronic and for a while it was experimental and for a while now it has been jazz. Punk generally meant dead kennedys. Electronic generally meant aphex twin. Experimental meant sonic youth and jazz meant fucking jazz. Of course I still listen to all of these things – especially jazz and in particular free jazz.

But I need to take my process off of the pedestal I put it on when I was 20. When I was writing my stories for fiction writing at Columbia. When I was writing late into the night into the early morning listening to amazing music in the glow of my little lamp. Warm and magic. That was when it was easy and words flowed and text fell out onto the paper of notebooks I didn’t have to much think about it.

That’s when I turned my writing into this lofty exercise this magical event that I could only perform under certain and ideal conditions. It worked for a while but then life happens and living situations change and you grow up a bit. But my thoughts about my writing stayed the same. I waited for mood to hit me for certain times of day for certain lighting for certain social arrangements for certain everything. And I stopped writing. It was too much. The circumstances were never right. I rarely wrote for three years – a long time when you consider yrself a writer. Painful and depressing and always in the back of yr head. In the back of my head.

I had grown and life had changed but my conception of writing and my process hadn’t. It was still back there where I left it. It was still in my room in my apartment at 2216 w Wilson. It was still there with me at 20 listening to xx play video games and cats meowing and xx slurring and xx fucking and amazing music in a warm glow at my desk at 2 in the morning feeling alive and magical. Magic. Magic. Spirit. Spirit. Invoke. Invoke. And the pedestal kept growing year after year. It got taller and taller rose higher and higher in the sky and it disappeared in the clouds and I thought that only on certain occasions at certain times of day in the right light with the right music could I touch it again, that magic glow on the pedestal in the clouds. And then I felt like I couldn’t do it at all.

How powerful the mind is. How amazing it is. How wonderful it is at convincing us that things are impossible and that an easier way should be sought after and found. What a son of a bitch the mind is. Telling us it’s easier to not do anything rather than work at something we enjoy so much. What a motherfucker.

I lived with my process existing on that fucking pedestal for 8 years the first half of which worked great, the last 4 didn’t work at all. And it’s only been in the past few months that I even saw the fucking pedestal at all. I kept blaming circumstances and far from ideal or sometimes just slightly unideal conditions.

But writing is writing and it’s not a spiritual act or magical. It just is what it is. Sometimes it comes easily sometimes it’s hard as shit but I have to just do it. I’m not a great writer. I’ll never be remembered as being amazing. Fuck, I’ll never be remembered. Everyone I read humbles me. Their words and grammar and sentence construction and narrative structure. They are amazing and I’m okay. I’m alright. And that’s fine. I’ll keep writing what I write, documenting what I can how I can. But my shit doesn’t have to be magical and it doesn’t come from some fucking magical place that I invented when I was young. It just comes from me and my voice and my brain. It is what it is. And I can fucking do that whenever or wherever I want. If it’s something I need to work on fine. If it’s difficult I just need to do it. I need to work through the difficult times. It’s a discipline. It’s work and I should treat it as such. It’s a mundane action and I just need to keep practicing.


here’s one in case you were wondering what happens when that keith guy doesn’t get any sleep. as i get older this becomes more and more of a problem the later i stay up. i just can’t rock a late night like i used to. so earlier and earlier to bed and earlier earlier to rise. which is cool. just stay productive. you can’t fight the seether. you know? this was originally going to go in flotation device 12, but it didn’t make the cut.


Albert Ayler on the stereo. Prophecy. Bells. Ghosts. Last of the summer night time cool air fall on the breeze the wind in my face as I ride wanting school to be done again so I can get back to normal season feeling. I like fall. I hate the feeling of slow sink dread that comes on as summer ends and classes start again. Overcast right now. Clouds. Gray. Humid.

Teaching english standing in front of a class under neon lights dry erase markers. When did this happen?

Trees. Israel. Current events. Fuck. Sleepless nights.

I’ve taken to not sleeping one night every other month or so. I’ll lay down in bed shut my eyes and my brain rebels. It keeps going. I can just feel it not let go of whatever is going on. It won’t let go of the day. It won’t let go of events of thoughts of consciousness of thinking of music of breathing of stress of sounds of awareness that I’m not sleeping of anything. It just goes and I lay there. The glow from the power light on my computer illuminating the bedroom in its blue brilliance as my eyes adjust to the dark. I listen try to focus on something the fan the night outside the refrigerator the house settling. I try counting slowly stretching out each number for seconds elongating the sound of it in my mind. Oooooooonnnnneeeeee ttttttwwwwwoooooo ttttthhhhhrrrrreeeeee I get to twenty before I forget what I was doing and start thinking again. Thinking thinking. Try not to think about why I can’t sleep. Try not to obsess about it and for fuck’s sake don’t’ look at the goddamn clock. Never look at it. Do I still have sleep meds. My nighttime pills that I’m supposed to take when this happens. no. lay awake in bed. Eyes open. Just relax. Let the dreams start to happen. Just drift away shut yr eyes and.

Ow. Eyes open.

Twinge of nausea. Fuck. I guess it’s that time. Go to the bathroom turn on the light blazing brilliance piercing the back of my skull searing my pupils. Turn on the radio. NPR. Safe jazz all night til five am. That’s still a few hours away. Shit my guts out. Read harpers. Listen to safe jazz. Go back to bed. Shut my eyes twinge of nausea. Fight it for a while but every time I start to drift off. Every single time. I start to fall asleep I awake with a start. Oh fuck. Back to the bathroom for more safe jazz more harpers and more shit my guts out. Brilliant blindness of blazing bathroom light.




At some point I give up move to the couch and read a dull book. Something that won’t take my attention. Something like Race and Reunion – the Civil War in American History. Something in Spanish like El Muerte de Artemio Cruz. Something that’s guaranteed to knock my shit out. Lay on the couch with soft lamplight illuminating the quiet room. And wouldn’t you know it. My dull book happens to be quite the pot boiler page turner and I’m enthralled by how the south carefully constructed their own version of history and foisted it on the rest of the country. Oh. Back to the bathroom. My brain is totally awake, but my body is falling apart. Too bad I can’t be productive. Too bad I can’t write or be comfortable while not sleeping. Too bad I get the dry heaves and shit my guts out cuz I could put a few spare hours to good use. But instead my body goes crazy and I feel totally incoherent. Is it five yet? Five o clock and I can watch the morning news sitting in my rocking chair watching the traffic and weather repeated every five minutes. I finally pass out when the sun starts to come up the sky gets lighter and I fall asleep around six or seven and sleep until ten.

san francisco

sorry for the delay in updating. h and i were off in san francisco for an archives conference. and more importantly for food and record shopping. got to try indonesian food and burmese food which both ruled. there was also an awesome japanese restaurant that i’m sworn to secrecy about. we got to go to three record stores – amoeba of course, as well as rasputin – which was down the street from our hotel, and aquarius – which might possibly be the world’s nerdiest record store. tons of music and h and i had hardly heard of any of them. nerdy experimental psych noise action. which is definitely music that’s outside of my sphere of knowledge, although h knows more about it than i do. but aquarius schooled us. awesome!

i also got to see an exhibit of joan miro prints at a gallery that was on my way back to the hotel. it was a fancy pants richy rich gallery, but they were open to the public for free, which was nice. the prints were way awesome. etchings and lithographs. the colors were amazing. i tend to be drawn to artists that use a lot of strong color. i think it’s because of my color blindness. that my eyes and brain appreciate strong strong color.

we also got to go to giant robot and an awesome art store/gallery called parklife. they had this way righteous exhibition of paintings of jazz musicians called other rooms/other songs by ian johnson. we were stoked and wished we could afford some of the paintings. but we settled on the exhibition catalog and a print by deth p sun. the store was a surprise. we had no idea it existed but wandered over there while waiting for burma super star to open up for dinner. we were way glad we went there though.

other than that we were busy with conference sessions. and i went on walks. anyways. here’s some pictures i took with my new polaroid – my dumb phone. hooray! san francisco is a cool place. but i could never afford to live there. drag. now i gotta run to work.


Here’s some more stuff from the old notebook. No date on this one, but prolly from 2005.

Afraid of rewrites. That’s why I haven’t written about the Ornette dream that I had. What does this say about me. Sloth? Spiritualist? Afraid of rewrites either means I’m lazy and loath to make a second attempt a second version of what I wanted to say. Like I don’t have time to do that. That’s part of the discipline I lack. Discipline remember that? Editing? What the fuck? I don’t do that. I write or I don’t write. Digital. Pure. My editing is inaction. Rewrites? Never heard of it. If I didn’t get it right the first time it wasn’t supposed to happen. If I fucked up it’s done. Done. Does this make me a spiritualist. Looking for meaning in my laziness… words are sacred and what I write is special. Not to be fucked with. I have to wait for the right time and place to write something or else it comes out all wrong and it fails. Maybe. Is it all, all my words. Are they predetermined, preordained. Am I fatalism. Am I a fatalistic writer? What the fuck kind of unenlightened bullshit is that. It makes no sense. Spiritual fatalist? Lazy? I think I’m fucking lazy.

Ornette. I’ll get to that amazing dream someday. Such a beautiful dream. Free jazz and me. I can’t fuck that up.

I still do have trouble rewriting my stuff. Although, I do spend more time on it now than I did a few years ago. Rearranging things, tightening up, etc. Maybe there’s hope for me yet. I’ve also begun to change the way that I work. I decided to stop fighting my schedule and work with it. So instead of waiting for some magical writing time that never comes – especially not after work – I started to get up early and write for an hour or so before I go off to work. It seems to be working. Also that Ornette dream was pretty awesome. One of my all time favorite dreams. I still haven’t written it down.


this is an outtake from flotation device 12. it just never fit in anywhere once i started putting everything in order. i wrote it in the summer of 2007.

The smell of gasoline through the windows the other day. Sun bright glaring and someone mowing the little lawn next door. It had such a huge sound like the mower that we had when I was a kid. The big green beast that I had to use all of my twelve year old body to push and maneuver sweating grass stuck all around my shins and ankles. Shoes stained green gasoline filling my nose wishing I were done the sun baking me. Why did I wait til the afternoon to do this? All the other subdivision houses with their uniform manicured lawns constant water and upkeep. Energy and effort. Squandered resources. The trees behind our house the big old trees that had been there for so long before all of our houses. Pushing the mower up one way and then back down slowly cutting away at the week long grass. Thinking that it would be awesome to have a yard that had super tall grass. Prairie grass. A little nature preserve with paths to walk through the bright sun glaring off the cul de sac in the front. The neighborhood kids playing hockey in the street or tag or basketball or wiffleball or riding bikes or running around or through sprinkler or anything other than mowing the lawn and me wishing that I were doing anything else.

Growing up moving the lawn summer after summer. Mowing other people’s lawns for ten bucks an hour. Eventually rocking a walkman with mix tapes cranking in my ears over the roar of the engine and the grass blowing all over and swaths being cut row after row and it was great music that made me feel so cool and so good and so energized and amazed that music could be so good.

And the sun tanning my arms and my face. I used to not wear a shirt and imitate my dad mowing the lawn but i grew up and started thinking about girls and got shy and I put my shirt back on thinking about the girls I had developed crushes on during the school year and tuning out the lawnmower daydreaming about girls and being anywhere other than mowing the lawn in the ninety degree afternoon sun.

Always looking for an excuse not to do it.

It all came back to me the other morning when i was making breakfast – a bagel some cereal some water – in the kitchen. The roar of the engine the raw gasoline smell and all I could think of was the sun shining through the branches and leaves of the trees overhead while I mowed the lawn. Will kids still mow the lawn? Do they now? Will we mow our lawns when there’s no more gas? No more power? Will kids still daydream while doing menial household tasks staining their socks green with fresh cut grass?