Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Engineer's Dilemma


If I don't have a murder to work on I'm about a worthless fuck.

I need to go a hundred miles an hour, or I won't go at all.


Lately I've been indulging in this fantasy where I quit the whole endeavor and take to the hills with the woman on the verge and build a nice modernist glass and rusted-steel house on the edge of some woods overlooking the sea and a wide expanse of green. A three mile driveway that leads to a rutted dirt road that is a dozen miles from the nearest paved anything. Some dogs to lie around on the deck and wander in the woods and down to the beach. Maybe a wind that comes up in the afternoon, but dies down by nightfall. A kind of old barn that houses the studio, with kilns and potters wheels and big easels filled with gigantic white canvases. Metalworking gear, a whole wall of drawers and cubby holes the woman could fill with fabric and doll parts and found objects. A heavy bag to hit, a little platform to do yoga and meditate.

The house filled to the rafters with books, a kitchen running down the side of the house overlooking the fields. A fireplace or two, a japanese bath, big open spaces and small, intimate nooks, and light and quiet and stillness.

No murders. No phone calls. No wading through the blood and guts, no crime reports, no witnesses to babysit, no testifying, no watching the parade of stupid, violent, thoughtless fuckups.

Just the sound of the sea and the wind in the grass and the feel of a day that is entirely mine to share with the woman I love.


Sounds kind of nice, doesn't it?


And to be honest, I have something that very closely approximates my daydream right now. I don't have the modernist house, but I have a house. I don't have every day to call my own, but I have some of them.

In all the ways that really matter, I am living my dream.


And I'm not fooling myself.

I like the blood and guts.

I don't know if I would miss any of it, I don't think I will if I ever get to leave it behind, but if I have to have a job, this is the one for me.


When the woman is gone, I realize how little there is of me. I am greatly diminished. I pace and fret and scowl, I can't sit still for five minutes at a time (Okay, that's how I am anyway, even when she's here, but that's not my point).

I just don't feel like anything I think or see or do has really happened to me until I experience it with her, or at least reexperience it through her eyes. Something like that.

It's like I'm missing both my arms, or like my set got tuned to the wrong channel.

I'm not worth a fuck.


I have to say that I've been really humbled by your kindnesses lately.





Blogger Ms. Moon said...

You are a Kevlar vest which has been woven through with silk. That's what I am thinking right now, Tearful. And your meaning is in your function, your glory is in being worn by your love.
Ain't nothing wrong with that.
And that picture- well- yes. It says it all.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Petit fleur said...

The glass house on the cliff sounds dreamy.

It's interesting that I am so opposed to violence in general. And yet, I do like murder mysteries and am drawn into the dark psychology of those who murder, how and why they do it. I'm pretty sure if I had to work a murder scene I'd likely puke and then pass out cold.

At least your doing something about it. Thanks for doing what you do and still having a heart.

8:00 PM  
Blogger said...

te amo, te adoro y te quiero con toda la fuerza de mi corazon.......
trust and believe that hair doctor.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

i love ms. moon's comment. kevlar and silk.

8:14 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:15 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Ms. Moon-

that's an apt image. thanks.

8:16 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Petit Fleur-

People kill other people because they are selfish. Selfish and stupid. I think that's all there is to it.

It almost never does for them what they think it will.



8:18 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Woman on the Verge-

Hell yes!

That's what I'm talking about!

Radish sent you a elephant. On a card. It walks when you shift it from side to side.

Super awesomeness.

I miss you bad.

8:19 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Good to see you here again. I hope things are settling in for you and yours.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

If you don't mind, please build a similar house for me far enough away that we won't bug each other.

10:09 PM  
Blogger susan t. landry said...

your dream house captures a common yearning i think that many of us have, those of us who love your writing and artwork, and your persona, that combination of tough guy and large house pet (with a killer sense of aesthetics) that you project on your blog.
the kitchen, the books, the rusted steel, the many, many rooms of our own....
watch out. we're all moving in.

7:05 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I'd love to build you one, right after I finish mine!

4:10 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


You've got me pegged, I'm afraid. Killer housepet with an eye for art.

There's worse things to be, I guess.



4:11 PM  
Blogger Petit fleur said...


Yes, I'm sure you are right about why people kill. I guess my basic belief is that there are genetic predispositions for certain types of aggressive/violent behaviors and then there are elemental reasons. My curiosity is what went wrong in their past to create such a disconnect. One big enough that it would cause them to kill. (AKA: How the hell did they get to selfish and stupid?!) So maybe we can start to understand and change ourselves... or something like that!

I hope you have a good weekend. It's pouring here.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm pretty selfish and stupid and get angry enough to kill people.

luckily, things are still in place in my mind to keep me from acting on my rage. i think it will always be this way.

but i don't see too much difference between myself and the worst of the worst. that might mean i'm a fool, but i'm okay with being a fool. as if i had any say in the matter.

anyway, hi scott.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. and i hate violence and weapons. i'd say, in general, i don't make any sense at all.

8:10 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

I keep deleting my comment and starting again. Sometimes just being here is enough. It will have to be.

2:04 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Petit Fleur-

I don't know. I just don't know. Maybe on any given day we're all capable of the most terrible things. I think maybe the fear of that keeps some of us from stepping over a line we all know is all too easy to cross.

I guess if you wonder about it, you're probably okay.

10:35 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


There maybe isn't any difference, and that's what's truly scary.

But I think there is a difference between good people and bad people, and it isn't in what is inside them, it is in what they do about what's inside them.

I got such a tender regard for you, you know? I'm glad every time I hear from you.

10:38 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


It's always more than enough.

You could just stand there, you don't have to wave or nothing.

I know what's there. I can tell.

10:39 PM  

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