Travis Bean

Travis bean neckHave you ever seen a Travis Bean guitar? It has a solid aluminum neck and center section that runs through the guitar’s body, a T cutout – the pickups are directly mounted to the aluminum – the sound is incredible.  I used to own one, or at least, I lived in the same house with one, lived in a house with my husband, the musician. Tracked it down before ebay, we bought it with our student loan money and extra shifts at the mall.

The day the Travis Bean came, all cream and chrome, I laid it like a prayer, like a new lover, on my side of the bed, anticipating that he’d be so into it and into playing it he’d forget all about me… which was thrilling, because he could play, and he was somebody.

He arrived home that day to my excitement without acknowledgment, without gratitude, without touching me, or my proxy. I slept on the couch. I can’t come up with any other explanation as to why he’d deny this excitement to me or himself other than he was an asshole. He was young and awful: all math, sarcasm, cruelty, control, and logic… but damn, he really could play.

That guitar was beautiful, machined to sound like heaven, heavy and smooth. I liked seeing it in his hands, I liked watching him work it. I wasn’t much, but he and that guitar were my everything. I suppose I was young too: all empty insecurity, filling myself with guilt, enthusiasm, and hero worship.

Eventually I left him, first in a series of leavings that would teach me who I was. You break-up, you grow up. He grew to be a philosophy professor, putting his art and music away, tucking his Travis Bean under his bed with the dust bunnies and old shoes. To be honest, my heart broke a little to hear he’d traded his guitar for tenure. It’s hard to know someone turned away from something they put some much of their heart into, that I put so much of my heart into.

Sometimes I check online auctions, maybe he’s sold that incredibly perfect guitar to someone who plays it, maybe I’ll go see a show and I’ll see my proxy, the Travis Bean in someone’s hands again, there were only a few thousand ever made, and I loved one once.

Lover Tongue Bouquet

lily-54781_1280He hands you a bouquet of pink lilies, velvety soft beauties dripping dew. You put your face into the flowers to smell them, they lick your nose. He says “I’ve collected the tongues of all my lovers and arranged them just so.” You recoil as the petals move and wrap around one another.

You realize that until this moment you’d never considered what happens to lovers tongues when they aren’t loving you. You put the lover tongue bouquet in a decorative vase, fill it with water, and display it on the mantle. You enjoy the way the light hits them in the afternoon, mindful that one day your tongue will be a petal too, you hope for good light.

Digital Murmuration Network

We're all in this together

Starlings, like elementary particles, have their own spin and can react to other starlings’ movement in a less than a hundredth of a second. Information flows through flocks of starlings instantaneously which allows the birds to behave like fluid molecules at constant speeds.

Scientists would rather believe that starlings behave like liquid helium than that flocks possess empathetic or telepathic links. Starlings store their telepathy in the hollows of thief feathers. the smaller the wingspan the faster the bird the shorter the flight time. Thief feathers enable starlings to steal the dreams and emotional synapses of others in the flock, passing experiences back and forth. In this way starlings behave more like a writhing pile of lovers well past thinking or a sophisticated botnet army.

     Did you know that panopticon surveillance fell out of favor around the same time scientists started studying starling murmurations? It’s a strange thing to think that the ornithologists studying starlings had a hand in the design of our current mass surveillance systems. But really, it wasn’t a leap from learning how starlings share experiences to collecting our experiences over a digital murmuration network. What’s most fascinating is you see the same failings between bird scientists and the NSA, tracking of data without understanding empathy.

National Audubon Society and the National Security Agency are anagrams in their acronym forms.

But I suppose I’ve said to much, haven’t I? Anyway, that’s what I know about starlings. I hope you have a pleasant day.

Sunday Morning Brunch

The trophy wives gathered for brunch at the usual spot. Those that married pro athletes compared diamonds; artists’ wives compared hardships.

“Oh honey it’s 11.2 carats, for the first few weeks my finger ached from lifting it.” She looked tired.

“Dinner last night, was ramen and curried catchup, but we’ve finally saved enough for ultramarine!” said a mousy haired girl.

They all said no thank you to the pastry plate. The athletes’ wives only drank their carbs and the artists wives could only afford the chicness of black coffee.

Shelia leaned in to the table and sighed “I’m lonely and my heart is breaking, this Faustian bargain is erasing my name.”

“Don’t be such a downer, Susan” the tired blond beamed.

There was a lackluster clink of their glasses. They all took another drink.