Rollin’ with the punches…


As most of my more loyal readers (and better friends) likely know by now, one of my favorite unlikely heroes of the literary kingdom is, by far, Mr. Bukowski. Although, I doubt very much that he’d enjoy any young lady addressing him as “Mr.”, with his reputation. Nonetheless, to challenge the very fabric of the grammatic rule with the chosen weapon being POETRY, of all things, is bold, to say the absolute least and for that, the man has my utmost respect and admiration. I can relate to what he’s saying, but his simple message remains majestic and succinct. I happen to pride myself on my extensive vocabulary and the unexpected proficiency with which I wield it, because my appearance belies my actual personality. I don’t look like a dork. But, I am. I don’t look smart. But, I do alright, with a few things, intellectual. I don’t look like I swear, or drink, or possess a single, dirty vice. But, I have several. In other words, when you scratch the surface, you find a lot more than you think you might. It’s a damn rare thing, these days. 

Mousy brown hair, dark eyes, olive skin, and an aging innocent face, all contribute to this paper thin persona I seem to portray to the world. At times, I like to stay in the shadows, watching everyone, figuring out their stories, their depths, and generally, what got them here. I make up lives for people I never knew existed, except for that minute they stood out from the bar crowd, and I fashioned for them a life I can’t possibly predict, one way or another. A tall, skinny fireball who doesn’t seem so, all the more because I spent so long being invisible. Now, I just explode every now and then, Katherine Hepburn style, to alternately baffle and offend. I’ve always thought that we must speak well. It seemed, to me, integral to any hope at a future within “decent society”. It’s because I grew up, dirt poor, with only my wits to guide me out of that particular hole. Now, I wonder…

Here’s what set me off: learning Spanish. Well, that and the abrupt realization that everything we know, see, think, and hear, may not actually exist in any objective reality; known, or imagined; but, we’ll start out small. So, Spanish, it is. Now, as we all know, there are about 47 different brands/variations/persuasions (much like our own beloved English). Well, suffice it to say, I learned more Spanish; practical Spanish; in all the short-lived restaurant jobs I worked, than I EVER learned in four years of high school. I lived in some neighborhoods who supplemented my comprehension of the language and worked in (I don’t know how many) kitchens that did far more than merely supplement. 

Combined, these experiences have led to a better, more understandable, actually practical application of my Spanish usage than ANY book (or jackass in a bow-tie) has ever taught me. I want to burn every comma (well, almost) trash most of the fancy words, and actually relate to my readers in a way that no one else can without being stuffy and condescending (I have to sneak in a fancy-ish word, every now and then, you know). 

Mostly; really; I just want to write something worth reading, without some power-hungry-kid-who-got-picked-on Editor chopping it to worthless, soulless pieces. Is that so much to ask?