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Backyard Battleground / Former Friend -- 2004-04-17
This week I've been battling a couple of squirrels in the backyard. My weapon? A water gun. One of those things you get to soak your friends during warm summer days. I'm trying to keep every squirrel in the neighborhood out of the yard because they reck havoc on the bird feeder. Before, when we had a dog, squirrels never came around here. But, since we don't have a dog anymore, they make themselves at home in our backyard. Destroying potted plants, tipping over objects, chewing things, and eating seed from the bird feeder. Now I ask you, is that not the definition of a pest? Sure is in my book.

So I sit by the back door, with my water gun in hand, and wait until the squirrel shows up. And it always does. I'm making it unpleasant as possible, so they won't come back. I doubt I'll be completely successful. Course, it will depend on what my definition of successful. If I keep them from destroying everything in the backyard, then I'll consider that a success.

I think I'm becoming a hermit. I'm loving every minute I have alone. I LOVE my alone time. I like the quiet. These days I hate every loud sound that comes across my ears. I like the solitude. It's so perfectly wonderful.

Michelle Cayada called me on Thursday to ask who got kicked off American Idol. After a smattering of talk she gave the phone over to her mother, Catalina Esperanza. What get's me about a conversation with Michelle, and Catalina, is that they usually do all the talking. About 98% of the talking in any given conversation is done by Catalina. Then Michelle chimes in and I'm left listening to them have a conversation with each other. Both of them have a hard time listening to a softspoken fellow like me. Maybe that's it. Maybe it's more like they could care less what I have to say. I think that's it. Because a conversation with one will degenerate into a listening session.

Michelle is trying to be a big star. She's been writing songs hoping for her big break. It's funny, the last time I went over for a visit we talked about how every song is about love. However, the songs are all the same, love this, love that, can't live without you, I'll die without you, blah blah blah. It's all the same. So I told her that she has to break away from that. I hate slipping into a nice groove someone else made. I don't like the well worn path, so I told her that I would write her some ideas down for her to possibly use in a song she might write. My efforts produced a poem, because I feel that songs are very much poems set to music. It took me a couple of hours to write it, though most of that time was spent reading the lines over and over again to hear if I liked how they flowed together. After I was satisfied with my efforts I emailed the poem to Michelle Cayada.

What to know what I got for my efforts? A poem, which you can read later in this entry. However, what I didn't get was any sort of acknowledgement from Michelle that she read the email. Her mother, Catalina, told me that she read it, during a short conversation a week after I sent it. Catalina said that she took it to her "writing" session with her "producers." So I waited for some sort of acknowledgement from Michelle on Thursday, when she called. Wishful thinking.

I knew quiet soon after I got to know Michelle that her friendship is solely based on how much she can extract from those she calls friends. So these actions by her are not something out of the ordinary. I could see the day in which she would ask me for something that I would not give her, and it would mark the end of our friendship. I don't remember when I first said no to her, but I do remember making an effort to say no to her more often. Because the alternative, I felt, was to turn into someone like her mother. A person she walks on repeatedly. I'm not a rug, I don't find being walked on pleasurable. Hence the end of my friendship with Michelle. Yet, like a fool I went and spent some time to write her something she might be able to use for one of her banal songs. Because I wanted to help her come up with something different. Not the same old tired thoughts. For my efforts I did get a poem I'm happy with. But, I think I wanted to know where I stood, more than anything. Even though I've known for a long time. I like to keep asking, hoping that I was wrong about my impressions about Michelle. But I'm not.

In a sense the poem is about her, and her music, and how hackneyed I think it is. Maybe I'm wrong though. Here's the poem I wrote. Tell me what YOU think.

. . . . . . . .


Strumming the next cliché
'bout love and moths
to a flame

'bout losing and not being
able to live without them
how I'll never be the same

Since they left
or since they've arrived

and whisper their name
into my pillow's sponge
filled with tears of pain
or tears of joy
they're both the same

Strumming away the clichés
because forever is just a day
or no more than a month
never more than a year

'cause you have my heart
or my lung
or other body parts
that I can't live without

'cause I never tire
of you
and that which used to
make me laugh
but now annoys me

'cause I'm strumming clichés
under the carpet
behind my rug
out of my head

Since you left
or since you arrived

Who I live for
without which I'd die
forever dying

like some moth
to the moon
in June
held in a spoon

Strumming the next cliché

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