DYLAN LENZ

A simple method.

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Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind but falling in love and not getting arrested. 

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A day in questions… September 27th/2013 - Day 57 of 365

What time is it? 

Where is my phone? 

Whats for breakfast? 

Why am I drinking these damn smoothies? 

What time is it? 

Where are my keys? 

Where are my pants?

Is that lady going to stop? 

Do I have right of way? 

I wonder if people think my car looks goofy with the one headlight burnt out? 

Are there any crazy people sleeping behind the shop tonight? 

Where’s the light switch? 

How long does it take me to open? 

I wonder if I can buy guns in the US? 

Where’s the furnace switch? 

What’s the electric bill going to be this winter? 

Where is everyone? 

What am I going to listen to? 

Where is my Decemberists CD? 

Does he know what’s in his teeth? 

Is this lady ever going to buy something? 

Isn’t she the prostitute from outside my accounting firm? 

What’s Tom up to? 

How much money is in the bank? 

What are sales like today? 

How’s Ana? 

What is that smell? 

Does he smell like that? 

Does he have a dog? 

Is he wearing his dog? 

How can I increase business? 

How much do custom guitar picks cost? 

When’s lunch? 

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BAG?

WHY WOULD ANA FORGET TO CLOSE THE LID ON THE SMOOTHIE? 

Where can I buy another bag like this? 

Should I tell Ana she ruined my bag? 

What time is it? 

What do the numbers look like? 

Who’s that? 

How are you Liam? 

What’s for dinner? 

What the hell was that driver thinking? 

Do you want any more Chinese food? 

Water? 

Want to watch another episode of Under the Dome? 

Bed? 

The Woods - a few paragraphs by Dylan Lenz

I remember when my heart was wild and young and I remember when I still was in love with all of it. I remember the pale walls with paint peeling off and us living in the back room with no running water and a stove in the corner that barely kept the night away. I remember the burning skys up North and the city so far off we could lose ourselves in the darkness and we would dance and the girls would laugh at the jokes we made up ourselves. I remember the pages and pages of words you wrote, furious to get them out of you before you forgot or before another thought crept into your head. I remember the books we would read when it would rain and the cabin would drip peacefully overhead and we would thaw our socks by the fire and point our toes together, flipping pages for hours. I remember you being a crack shot from 50 yards with that old shotgun with no choke. I remember the beers flowing like the waterfalls we’d climb up and jump into with reckless abandon and brave skin. I remember our wicked fights and long conversations. I remember the way she looked at me on that first night she came out. I remember Dakota and how you loved her. I remember when the summer turned and when the sun set lower and the first frost froze the top of the rain pail in the corner. I remember us packing up and bringing it all back to the old truck we had abandoned a few miles away. I remember the drive into town and us not saying a word and the window rolled down and the smell of civilization greeting us as soon as we hit pavement. I remember us staring at every person we saw in awe and you dropping me off at my fathers house and me waving goodbye. I remember my flight back to school and me thinking of her and you and Dakota and next summer in the North country. 

I don’t remember when we lost touch. I don’t remember when I decided to stay in the city to work at the bank. I don’t remember the last I heard from her or the last time I saw Dakota or yourself. I don’t know when I decided to stop calling my father back or to sell the old shotgun or to give away the hiking pack I’d bought back when we were still hoping to make Eagle before we turned thirteen. I don’t remember when I traded the PBR for red wine that never tasted as sweet, that never seems to be served cold.  I don’t remember when I traded my boots for shoes that cut my feet. I don’t remember where I left my knife and shorts and sweaters and friends. I don’t remember why I married the first one, or the second one, or why I keep thinking about her and those eyes that made me fall in love the moment I met them.

I don’t remember when I last looked at the sky and saw honest stars or burning lights. I don’t remember when I lost myself, but I remember where I might find him; in that wild cold air with the bugs and hail and the nights that lasted all day and days that lasted all night. Perhaps if I think about it long enough and late enough I will be able to find my way home. Perhaps you will still be there. Perhaps we will still be friends. Perhaps all is not lost in the woods, only forgotten, until we find it again. 

Quarterlife by Dylan Lenz

WAKE UP! Tired again. You’re always tired. You reset the alarm on your phone 3 times before you finally start to think about your day and your life and realize you’re not going to sleep anymore. You try to determine if you will brush your teeth or just use mouthwash, a towel and chew gum after you drink your coffee. You take a shit, read the news, and watch porn afterwards. It will take you exactly 34 minutes to come, largely due to the fact that you’re desensitized or more likely because masturbation has become a compulsive chore that lets you start your day. You shower afterwards and the slow drain takes a while to wash the semen off your feet and let it escape down in a poetic swirl. Your mother would not be proud of you.

You get dressed in the same jeans that you’ve worn for 3 months because you read an article about how jeans should never be machine washed. You still wear skate shoes even though you stopped skateboarding when you were fourteen. You skip breakfast and forget to pack lunch. You’ve begun to get fat. You leave fifteen minutes before you should be at work. 

You don’t listen to music anymore. You don’t look for music anymore. They stopped making good music the same year you graduated high school. You are a cynic and you know it, but when you try to stop you end up watching youtube videos and writing even nastier comments about how society is royally fucked. You think the Robyn Thicke song is actually kinda catchy which makes you question everything.

You go to the job that has an attractive title, more than enough responsibility, and great growth potential. You hate it. You want to be an activist or a professor or start a band. You spend hours searching the internet for blogs of people living highlighted lives that are better than yours, even though you have everything you ever thought you wanted. Your boss comes by and you make yourself look busy at something that he can not even comprehend that he pays you way too much for, that you need a quarter of the time allotted to complete. You steal sharpies from the supply cabinet and do graffiti on dumpsters when you sneak out to smoke your one cigarette for the day. 

You go home. You drive, even though you live two blocks away.

On your couch you watch TV. You eat organic crackers which makes you think that you are not your father. You order Indian food and eat too much rice. You look at the guitar in the corner and then change the channel. You think about living in the woods regularly. You are concerned with world population control. You are immobile and review Facebook repeatedly looking over the exact same updates four to five times. You simply ‘like’ the passionate comments of your activist friends rather than joining the conversation. 

You watch TV until 1:45am. You go to bed by yourself while the boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife you may or may not have, takes up too much of the bed and you find yourself on the edge of the mattress your parents bought you as a moving in gift. The same mattress that has led to countless pregnancy scares and the resolution of numerous fights. The house is black except for the one light in the living room you always forget to turn off, but you know that the bulb will die sooner than all the others because its always the last thing you think of. You wonder if you will die early because you never turn off. 

You fall asleep looking at the semi-darkness and wait for the absolute black that you know is coming, but before you go you hope that death is just like sleep; with dreams that are often so vivid that you wish you never had to wake up again.

David to his therapist…

"Perhaps when we’re twenty seven we will become those perfected versions of ourselves that we seem to look so far up to. Then again, perhaps we will look back at all our social media accounts that are doing such a good job of documenting our lives and we’ll realize that idealism is just perception. That we are perfect to someone else. That we are interesting enough, smart enough, successful enough, attractive enough, and entirely lovable. Perhaps it won’t be too late when we realize it. Perhaps it will be and we will be lost to the middle aged labyrinth of unsatisfactory-aged-existence. 

Then again, perhaps when we are dead, and our children are grown, they will write some half hearted American soliloquy and exposit to the rest of the world that we, their parents, were fascinating, and that every piece of self afflicted abuse and every scar was the precise thing that makes our self-perceived meaningless existence so sellable. Sorry, ‘intriguing’. 

Then again they might not give a fuck because they are all struggling to breath amongst the 20 billion human beings that will be around by the time they get to it. 

By the way did you read that article I left for you in our last session?”

August 19th/2013 - Day 19 of 365

Monday.  Anastasia and I drove to the top of a mountain and ate dinner above the city. I bought 2000 records from a crazy dude. I returned the last of the reno supplies to Home Depot. I watch “Dealing with Idiots” and the new episode of The Newsroom. I snacked on a late night chicken piri piri sandwhich. 

Until next time, drive well and sleep carefully.

Dylan Lenz

An old poem from the bottom of my Documents Folder…

For a moment I pretend nothing was said and,

Nothing has changed.

The window frames the city so well, while

You stare at the dark road ahead.

I rub my face before we hit the street lights.

The thin lines fade, I hope,

You don’t see/leave/stay. 

For a moment I pretend we have not said anything, and

That this is our first time together.

Alone.

That we don’t know one another.

Yet.

That we are not in love. 

Yet. 

Sorry, that we are not out of love.

Yet.

I think back to when you were in Seattle.

It starts raining.

I still can’t think of anything clever to say so we ride down the narrow road that slices into the side of the mountain in whisps of silent agony that we both can’t hear over our hearts racing to leave.

This fucking car. 

A start?

She folded his laundry. He folded her sister. Bare assed and full of ecstasy with the old Sanyo fan that sat next to the bed running he told her he did not lover her any longer. They made love for the last time that night, he went to work the next day, she went to the station where she would have taken the train to Chicago. She fell onto the tracks with all the graciousness he never afforded her. 

This is the story of David Lowe.

"tapping out another pile of coke and arranging it into a neat line with his American Apparel membership card."

“I hadn’t seen them in forever, and perhaps ever. I mean people change in ten years. Who was I in college? Drunk? That skinny kid, full of bloodlust? Half awake? You ever look back at yourself, maybe after 5 years, and think: ‘Five years ago I was an asshole.’”

            Jim put a cigarette in his mouth and looked across the room. Jasmine was naked on the couch. He looked down at his feet. He was naked except for a pair of off-white briefs that looked deflated. His toes had pink dividers so they didn’t touch. He hadn’t put anything on his nails, but had been curious about how they felt. He liked them and so he had spent the evening fucking Jasmine with the toe dividers in. Jasmine didn’t come. She never did. She wasn’t paid to. She was paid to sit there, and be there.

            Jasmine, who really does not matter, worked for Grapevine Escorts, which was really a phone number in south-Denver that offered New York priced girls with less experience and taste, but out this far west there really was nothing better. They were at least educated, which is why Jim would even want her around.

            Jim does matter. James Andrew Hull. Accountant. A good one at that, worked at Hawthorne & Hubert, until last week, when the IT guy, bastard, ratted him out for a large stash of porn on his work computer.

            “What was I supposed to do? You know how much of a pain in the ass it is to upload to an external hard-drive? Do you?” he said this to Jasmine. She shook her head and then snorted a line of coke off of a DVD case on the bed.

            “Do you?” he asked again.

            “No.” she shook her head and her tits bounced a little bit. They distracted James.

            “Give it here,” he said taking the DVD case and tapping out another pile of coke and arranging it into a neat line with his American Apparel membership card.

            “I wonder if I’ll tell them about it?”

            “Who?” asked Jasmine touching her tits.

            “At the dinner. David’s always an asshole about this kind of stuff.”

            “Don’t tell them then.”

            “Okay.”

            He kissed her on the mouth and then turned the TV on. She left sometime around 2am.

Atop the Oak Tree

By: Dylan Lenz

The English Oak above me was courageous to plant itself so near the slope that broke near its roots, but it was mighty and held fast and grew deep. I was tired and my back was sore so I sat down and made my notes and I ate the food I had packed when the air was still cold before the sun rose. I looked up and in its shade I was content.  

After a time I stood. I walked around the tree and I saw a beaver’s lodge in the water but I could not see the animal itself. A forsythias bloomed down the path and it made the air sweet. A light wind blew. 

I found the lowest branch and it was easy to climb so I made my way upwards. Looking out over the lake and the woods and the dwindling orchards, I could see a storm coming in. The wind was brisk now, but it was warm so I knew I should make my way home before the rain began. The sound of nails being driven made me uneasy and Lydia was waiting for me, but I lingered and I was afraid because it all seemed so fleeting.

Concerning Fallen Leaves

From the perspective of a Yellow-rumped warbler.

The promises of a colorful autumn and colorless winter would have kept me north, but the lipless whispers of my mother disenchanted the majesty of such a notion. 

I had envisioned myself sitting before some branch, midday, looking on the stubborn maple as it lost the last of its leaves. I would watch while the last of its fellows departed the rough skin, then ponder the metaphysical world that filled my mind. 

I would wonder if God were present, or just a pleasant ideal put on a shelf until tragedy struck or confidence waned. I would think of my father’s unchallenged conviction, while he fluttered in a fury for us to leave at first frost. 

Perhaps below I could listen to the murmuring questions of Sara’s daughter, as the man and child would rake the fallen blades of the mighty maple, standing above , now devoid its former glory, nonetheless present. 

It is just the same I should keep pondering such, fall is coming and with it the first frost.  I will fly south for winter and  along the way I too will curse my branches for not letting us decide when we should fall. 

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