Saturday, September 24, 2016

Crystal Shit

(once again Mr. Osterberg)
It's fucking odd when i say it out loud but some 23 odd years ago i graduated from a second rate university with a degree in Communications and three job opportunities to go work in the lush filled and drug-addled world of advertising, the creative side not the sales shit, of course as the legend has it here at the lounge our fine and noble derelict turned down those opportunities so he (i) could, and i quote, "go surf and write poetry...", the look of befuddlement on my professor's face was fucking priceless, the talking heads back then kept telling us ambitious new grads the job market in '93 wasn't what they sold us kids a few years before and so many of my fellow alumni would be moving home with mom and dad and the like, fucking interviews were like gold and here i was turning down three so i could go surf and write fucking poesy? you shitting me? i must have been a top fucking knob... of course it was easily one of the best decisions i've made in my life, no one will ever convince me that i would have learned more jetting off to Chi-town or Portland than i did over the next four months in OC-MD, but much of that's been covered and if you'd like to read it go to the third stall down, sit on the toilet and look to your left, it's written in black magic marker...

Crystal Shit was the name of a Doors cover band in the Dead Milkmen song Bitchin' Camaro, tossed off loosely in a spoken word intro before the shit kicks in, i don't know if the band in the song really existed or if it was made up or what, fucking stoner here can't delve that deep apparently, but i do know that way back when, in my last year of undergrad we got this assignment in our advanced advertising class to make up a campaign for a product that wasn't on the market yet, what did i get? fucking Crystal Pepsi... so imagine my surprise when one sunny afternoon after a few tokes over the line with sweet Jesus, whilst perusing the carbonated beverage section looking for a bottle of cream soda, that i espied a bottle of what looked like hand sanitizer labeled Crystal Pepsi!  i believe i let slip an audible guffaw, the fucking shit was a disaster the first time around, is the bastion of capitalist culture in such a free fall that not only do we do nothing but remake old movies but now, now, we're recycling fucking soda ideas?  but there it was, the failed product that had procured me three chances at a career in advertising, a situation in which my prof had told me i'd be taking my pick cuz she had sent them all of my work for her class, including my coup de grace known as the Crystal Pepsi campaign, i used to joke that if Pepsi would have used that campaign you'd still be drinking the shit, and it was shit, the reality was they could have paid people to drink it and it still would have failed, it was that bad...

Now let us take Mr. Peabody's time machine back to 1993,  the whole angle of my campaign, which i remember but have not a scrap of the actual work, centered on the whole rise of alterna-culture and it's new found love of eastern Mysticism, or hippie shit, just this hippie shit was re-branded and repackaged to sell to the children of the hippies, there was a whole crystal craze going on back then and every half-ass hippie punker grunge kid had one, usually on a thin leather rope and different colors meant different shit and they were like fucking magic or something, maybe mined by elves for all i know, of course my hipster ass wore one for a year or so, probably had it on when i wrote the fucking ads, which used a character who looked more than coincidentally like Mahatma Gandhi who was of course selling you Crystal Pepsi, fucking hell if you're gonna whore yourself out for the dollar you might as well take down a cultural and spiritual icon with you, my protagonist leaned Hindu but may have been Buddhist, the radio spot was made tapping out a beat with some drumsticks and a few glasses filled with varying levels of water all while affecting an Indian accent and selling you Crystal Shit... and according to my prof i was just the kind of fucking weirdo the ad world was looking for...

The professor who had arranged all this was a woman with thick curls of snow white hair, rumor had it she had been a nun and left the church because she was now a lesbian, fucking college kids and their imaginations, fact was she was one of the more straight-laced profs in the Comm. department, rather bland and boring and not much fun, unlike my PR teacher who was a roaring drunk who wrote poesy and drove around in a new (for 93) bright yellow, convertible VW bug, that gem had worked at US Steel and told brilliant fucking stories in class all which somehow related back to the business of public relations, a business he thought unequivocally was nothing more than bullshit (he had won the highest award you can win in the field of bullshit), better yet if you ever wanted to find him it was easy, he sat at the Loomis Bar from the start of happy hour until he couldn't walk... but back to the lady, she had me in her office and was pitching me the job interviews, she was also asking if she could make copies of my work to show future classes and really what did i care? show 'em i said, and then she asked me how i wrote my stuff and came up with ideas, i laughed and said you don't want to know, she said she did, i told her she really didn't but she pressed on, finally i said, okay if you really want to know, i drink one 40oz. bottle of finely chilled malt liquor and smoke a joint and by the time they're both gone my projects are done, there was a stunned silence and then she said, you're right... i didn't want to know...

And all this sorta ran through my head as i stood in the store gazing at the bottles of Crystal Pepsi, all lined up like gaudily attired soldiers from some banana republic, a shit-eating grin adorning my mug, i stood there and whispered, "thank you weed and booze and acid, thank you mushrooms and pills and laughing gas, if not for you and my love of getting fucked up i might have gone on those interviews, i might have gotten one of those jobs, what a horrible thing to do to myself, instead i got fucked up and bedded women and read books and listened to the ocean..." it all could have gone so pear-shaped, i could have been a whore for products or gimmicks or political ideas, selling useless shit to the vacant souls of suburban housewives everywhere, and now me myself that same suburban housewife, albeit it in cut off work pants and still wearing my sunglasses in the store cuz i'm so stoned, slipping into what the local news anchors call suburban eccentricity...

Mr. Byrne, how did i get here" of course it's easy to read the map backwards, it's the forward part that's the bitch, mainly because there is no map until you've already passed the point on the blank piece of canvas, then it sort of fills in, i like looking at that map late at night, i roll it out in front of me on the ceiling, there are definitive points now, like what if i had finished shaving Audrey's snizz then eaten the rest of the acid and went to the JP and got married that morning so many years ago? there's an obvious divergence in the path had i done that, of course now it's all conjecture and daydreams of a map that shows places that i'll never go, walking away from a real job to surf and write poesy? funny i don't ever think about what would have happened had i landed a straight gig, i think about the choice though, of course i don't think i made the wrong one, no fucking sir-ee Bob, and all of this brought on by the sight of a carbonated abomination, oddly enough it was Sept. 23, 1993 when i finally left the beach that summer, a month or so of homeless drifting on the horizon, and then deeper into the Wilderness...


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

State of the Nation - Asshat Edition 9

Mortality is quite the motherfucker now innit? it is not lost on my rather thick and sloping forehead that i'm probably not going to live to be 92, of course i could be wrong, i mean stranger things have happened, Bill Burroughs was an  octogenarian but that still ain't 92, and so as i sit here just a few scant days away from nature's calendar adding a 46th ring to my trunk (last Sunday) i understand that if there be a hill i am looking at the downward slide towards a galaxy full of dust, what was once me and many other things all swirling around in a galactic soup... and so i'm doing my best to have a grand olde time on this here little orb, why wouldn't i?

Of course nothing will drive home this mortality quite like that annual visit to the doc to see just how much abuse you've put on the body this year, now as of late i tend to take much better care of the vessel than i used to, my doc never fails to comment on what a colossal mess i used to be, a colossal mess in the best possible way of course,  you see recently i was having a conversation about those lost years called the roaring twenties and it struck me how i couldn't remember eating one thing, i obviously ate now and then but i didn't recall it, on the other hand i had a almost encyclopedic knowledge of the drugs i'd taken, the stupid amounts of booze drank, the women who passed in and out of the bedroom, there are times now when i physically shudder when i think about the amounts of substances taken or the dumb things i did with my cock... and yet somehow i'm no worse for wear, well almost...

If there are two things i've always enjoyed it's drugs and a good wank, not necessarily in that order, or any order for that matter, the origins of which i in can trace back to my gas sniffing days in the tree-less streets of Parma and the humping of a corduroy pillow, some scrambled cable Playboy channel, and the same said streets... so you see it is with no surprise that i spin this next yarn, a few years back, or maybe more than a few, before hillbillies everywhere started keeling over and thus making the political puppets sit up and take notice and grandstand about shit, before their fancy new database, when Big Pharma took over the world as the greatest opiate dealer ever, a friend of mine had a great connection, which is partly a tale for another time but partly a tale for today... a tragi-comic tale of wanking, drugs, and internet smut, who'd have fucking guessed?

Back at the office i'm passing my yearly exam with flying fucking colors, discussing authors and punk bands with my doctor, discussing my cholesterol and triglycerides, getting my knees knocked with a rubber mallet, it's all hunky dory and then my doc, a brilliant fucking doctor to say the least, begins pushing on my belly button, to which i start cursing (i hope he's not Catlick or anything cuz i did take a few names in vain) and to which he keeps prodding and poking and me now practically threatening to kick his ass and him laughing and me feeling like someone fucking knifed me in the gut and him standing back and saying, hmmm that's not good, and me responding no shit please don't do that anymore and then he gives me the rundown and the number to a specialist and says it pre-cautionary and this and that, but to which i'll follow up on cuz the guy is a wiz when it comes to catching and fixing shit...

And so i have an umbilical hernia, discovered a few years back but then it was nothing major and i still didn't think it was until this last episode, of course i know how i got the fucking thing and it went back to a night some 4? years ago while sitting around all fucked up on goofballs, well not really i just always wanted to say that, but i was all fucked up on thee oh sees as we say and i was having a fine time lolling about when i noticed i had a raging hard-on, odd for a cat pilled up on opiates but there it was and since it was late and i was bored i ended up in some sort of self flagellating wankfest where i was determined to get off at all costs and somewhere amidst all that wanking i remember this strange moment where it felt like something almost popped out of my belly button, a former innie for the record, in my wasted (natural) state i had a pretty good idea i had just wanked myself into a hernia but like the good male i am i pretended not to notice and chose to ignore any pain and suffering caused by said episode, (and yes i finished for fuck's sake) like i said it didn't bother me unless someone started pushing on it so why acknowledge it...

But acknowledge it i must i guess and i'll see where things lie and go from there, just another fine misadventure in this life, and don't get me wrong i fucking find these misadventures absurd and hilarious, i ponder if other people live this way and it makes me drive down the street giggling that all the people i pass are more than likely sick and twisted bastards in some mild form or another (for which i concoct bizarre backstories to amuse myself), sure maybe they don't like to devour drugs or view internet porn (though you know they fucking do, non-scientific research tells me it's what the damn thing was invented for) but i'm sure there's something, religion or cross dressing or model ship building... but the good news is i shouldn't keel over, which of course makes me think i'm going to keel over at any moment, to much of the indica will do that to ya, and to tell you how far i have or haven't come, my ritual after my annual physical used to be i'd smoke a cigarette on the way home, but fuck cigarettes, i haven't touched them in years, so instead the last few years i stop and get a milkshake, usually coffee or jamocha, for all i know that shit's probably worse for me, that's alright though, it's all a fucking laugh...




Friday, August 26, 2016

Suburbia - Strivers

For much of the time out here in the lily white i feel as if i'm in a Phillip K. Dick novel, i do not understand the inhabitants of this planet but like a good android i sit quietly and politely by, nodding and smiling thoughtfully when i'm really just processing how nuts this fucking place is, i mean i don't really have much to say to the average resident of my suburb, they often talk of this place called "church", yes of course i realize these places exist but what they call church and what i might refer to nonchalantly as church are two different things entirely, i'm often asked if i belong to a church and i usually tell people that i am a Dudeist, not only a Dudeist but a Dudeist priest, legally allowed to perform weddings and shit like that. Most often i am met with a wonderfully blank stare and the follow up, did you say Buddhist? to which i reply that while i was once an existential Buddhist i'm now a Dudeist (carefully enunciated) and that while they are practically the same thing, Dudeism is a bit more lax in it's taboos, social or otherwise, to which i'm often met with another blank stare and a changing of the subject or better still a polite "excuse me" while said suburbanite runs away from me...

The one thing i find fascinating in my whole study of this disaster called humanity is the roles played and images built by the suburbanites, i often observe and retain rather silly and useless information that i hear people say, maybe it goes back to the dealer days and an understanding of how to work people or maybe it's just a defense mechanism cuz i have no "career" and possibly an inferiority complex therefore i attempt to show a vast retention of useless info about people to be pulled out at later dates and regurgitated much like the word vomit that takes place in the average conversation amongst the soccer moms, but i do observe and i do think and i do write and the folly of it all is always interesting and amusing... at least to me...

Which brings me of course to the Strivers, yes i know my faithful reader, you are sitting back and screaming plagiarism, isn't Strivers fucking close to Achievers? just like in the movie? yes you could say that but i'd say semantics is everything and that while they may seem the same Achievers have a well defined goal while Strivers are more pissing in the wind, they are trying but i'm not sure what the goal is/was/were, it's as if they are playing a part that they were told to play long ago, and yes once again it could be pointed out that we're all just playing parts in some cosmic tragedy and you'd be right but fuck all that, with enough grass we could come up with concepts and arguments and counter-arguments all night.  But i will say that the Strivers are a strange breed indeed, confusing this stoned neanderthal who sits typing for reasons not fully known...

Now while i am loathe to stereotype or pigeonhole it is also necessary to explain my hypothesis, when i think of Strivers there is one couple in particular that comes to mind, i don't know them well but i watch and wonder, the world is a large zoo and i enjoy watching the animals in their various cages, of course what i could be watching is the crumbling of a marriage and that is also quite possible but after a few years i believe it would have crumbled already.  The part i watch is the complete lack of joy in all that they do, and they are always doing something, attaining more degrees to climb the ladder of success, studying and working, raising children that from the looks of it they don't really seem to want, it's a foreign concept to me because i can say unequivocally that if it wasn't for the boyos i'd be fucking brown bread but that has been stated here on more than a few occasions, it seems that if they could have had the 1.7 children we Merkins are having per family these days they'd have done just that, it's .3 less of a hassle in their eyes...

Now maybe i'm just some fucking hippie in grunge clothing, i mean we all don't have to have some special fucking purpose (a phrase i stole from Naven Johnson in The Jerk), in fact i'd wager there is abso-fucking-lutely no point to this brief stay of consciousness here on planet Earth other than to enjoy it the most you possibly can, why the fuck wouldn't you? the Alan Watts work as play schtick in a sense and the belief that why would one want to go on living a miserable existence?  these Strivers seem to be miserable chasing shit and of course when they attain said shit it will no longer be a cherished as it once was and they will move the goalposts even further in order to keep up the feeling of miserableness that they have come to love like that bluebird in Hank's heart... and maybe it is i who am the strange bird for believing that people would possibly sit down now and then and reflect on their fucking existence, to reflect on their happiness or lack thereof  because either can be infectious, but sadly i feel they don't, and that is the biggest crime, you can't take a fucking thing with you into the dust so the money and the status and the trinkets are useless, you are now a memory and will that memory bring a smile to the face of the people who knew you or will it bring a shrug, a sigh, a frown and shaking of the head...

And so out here in Suburbia this android watches, i study and scratch my chin, sometimes i attempt to make sense out of things and sometimes i know there is no sense to be made, we bi-peds have been bumbling around here for years and we never seem to get any wiser except when it comes to expanding our fears, phobias, and mental illnesses and of course the pharmaceuticals that treat them, the rest is a crap shoot, i wonder about these Strivers and why they do what they do, i know i don't want to be one, i don't understand their game, i understand it takes place and that most of the people i come into contact with on a daily basis are playing it, i also know that like Jean-Jacque Rousseau i've have stumbled into an absurd gig that gives me the freedom to avoid much of the straight world and to ponder my navel and to pull tubes in the garage and to listen to the birds sing and observe the groundhog run, maybe the new revolution starts at home and never gets off the couch... so it goes...

(There is the Wilderness Years, now there is Suburbia- theme music above)










Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Wilderness Years - Norman Legend

There are stories that should be passed down from generation to generation, like fucking etchings on cave walls, they are the very essence and fabric of humanity, this is one of those stories, for they are of a place and time and that time will shine for it's moment or two and then slowly fade, only to be remembered by those of us who listen to the stories in order to teach the future generations or some such fucking non-sense...

And so i give you Norm, i'm sure Norm has been mentioned somewhere in the lounge, possibly under an alias ( but after 9 years of this shit one loses track), but in the history that this lounge has become i am free to revise, revisit, re-work, as it's all knowing lord and omnipotent master i shall make it up as i go along and so here is a tale of Norm, a man who i'm sure has long since passed from this mortal coil but who most definitely trod on the terra...

As a 23yr old aspiring barfly and part-time weed hustler Norm was straight out of Chinaski's hood, he was the opening bartender at Mitchell's Tavern (circa 1993-4), he worked 10am to 4pm, which means if you were going to get to know Norm you had to be there early, you see Norm was not what you'd call a morning person and he'd sit at the end of the bar smoking cigarettes and reading the paper, there was no jukebox, no television on, barely any conversation, you drank and read the paper and didn't fucking small talk until around noon when the telly would go on and Norm would watch the news and shake his head and begin pontificating on the days events, i could understand about every other word out of his mouth and usually could make sense of what he was saying before he'd let out a rasping, roaring sort of laugh or shake his head as the news unfolded, usually by this time Norm had started drinking...

The good Doctor and I were by far the youngest regulars in the bar and our hero was a bit leery of us at first but we were smart kids, we observed and understood the rules, abide by them we did and soon we were just the young bucks... of course it helps to know what Norm looked like, a barrel chest, about 5'9, the kinda guy who just looked strong, had the air of a bad ass in his youth, he wore glasses and had a glass eye, both thick forearms sporting what looked like old Navy tattoos, always wore button down shirts, hair slicked back, he was somewhere north of 60 but no one really knew how old he was, seemed to always have a younger (forty-something) woman meeting him when he got off and they'd sit and get drunk, the good Doctor and i always referred to his ladies as Wanda, he was the last of a rare breed, the sort i'm not sure you can find anymore or at least they're harder to find, and of course the whole fucking place knew him, he was like a fucking celebrity sitting at the bar when he got off, still smoking and drinking cheap bourbon on the rocks with a short glass of beer, he'd get fucking loaded with his lady friend, now and then i'd be next to him at the bar and he'd grumble and growl and laugh and slap me on the back, and i'd laugh and smile never having a clue at what had been said...

Now if you recall a little episode or seven of Raskolnikov's Blues there was a connection called the Finance Frat Boy, back when he was and undergrad at the local U. here in Steel Town he had worked as a cook at the restaurant next door that was connected to the bar by a side door, a situation beneficial to the owners of both establishments, now it was over semester break that Finance Frat Boy was opening one morning, he got there around the time the bar opened to do prep work and set up, it was the usual half dozen alcoholics sitting quietly around the bar, Norm could be heard ranting and raving which he knew was a good sign that Norm had tied one on the night before and was most likely still drunk, so Finance shut the connecting door and turned up the music and got on with the prep work, until of course he needed some ice and when he did he walked over and pulled open the door...

As he described it many to me many moons ago, the first step into the bar and something seemed a bit off, there was a smell, by the bottom step he wondered if there wasn't a plumbing problem somewhere, this place was a haven for bum shits, and often one could walk into the already filthy pisser to find a local member the homeless community evacuating his bowels, they broke so many toilets that the owner finally bought the stainless steel prison toilet, by the time he was halfway across the back half of the room and approaching the bar he was almost puking, by the time he hit the bar he had his shirt over his face and was gagging as tears filled his eyes, the stench of a horrible shit blinding him...

It was then the my old connection noticed the stain on the back of Norm's pants, a stain that then made it's way down both pant legs. Norm had shit himself. The half dozen drunks kept on drinking like nothing was amiss, my old connection got his ice from the basement and ran back up the steps into the restaurant and shut the door, he then told the owner of the restaurant the situation who promptly called the bar owner before heading down and investigating, the hi-jinx ensued, first his boss/owner came back up from being unable to stand the smell, Finance Frat Boy than told me the owner grabbed a towel and doused it with something to help kill the stench  and waited for the bar owner to arrive...

Of course the owners went down and laid into poor, old Norm, who still being half in the bag apparently gave it right back to them, cursing and yelling, he told them both he was the only one there and was afraid one of the half dozen drunks would steal the register if he went to take a shit and since he didn't know what to do and couldn't hold it anymore he had shit himself, and then proceeded to serve drinks to said drunks for over an hour without any of them saying a word, from what FFB told me the drunks never missed a beat, they sat and drank and pretended like the whole situation wasn't happening, it was a story that was to become etched in the lore of this old dive bar on the corner of Melwood and Centre...

A few years later Norm ended up having a stroke and though he survived it at the time it was the last we saw of him, another barfly, a 40-something hippie who hung around the bar as a half-ass bar back and who would pick up empties would soon take over Norm's morning shit shift, a shift that had you getting off right when the place was really picking up, but the continuity was there, Benny was the perfect guy to take over for Norm, but Norm was a legend, for a 23yr. old kid hung up on Bukowski he was like a walking, talking, graduate course in the art of booze and the barfly... and living...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Wilderness Years - The 6th of July 1996

Was a sticky Rust Belt summer day, i had spent the last hour being a complete pain in the ass and calling Hippie Jack's place every ten minutes or so because i needed to pick a pound and a half of grass, around this time i was approaching my one year anniversary of setting up shop, the new roomies were in, the old ones had moved downstairs, Sister Cheryl was still upstairs and the bidness was rolling along, that is when Hippie Jack wasn't being a fucking hippie, and so after making plans to be over early the next day, early being any time before 4pm happy hour kick-off, i was getting a bit pissed with my friends lackadaisical attitude towards our business dealings, after the fifth or sixth attempt he finally picked up and laughed it all off and told me to come on over, it was already established that i was Jack's meal ticket with Mr. Big, the new kid in town was doing a nice job in his entry level position, and so i tossed the money into the backpack and grabbed the bicycle and hit the street...

Now on this day i was attending my first real person adult type wedding, my friend Willie had invited me to his impending nuptials, for those keeping track Willie was the guy who introduced me to the Frat Guy back when i was in grad school and in need of a hook-up, and Willie was stopping beforehand to procure for his big day, of course being the conscientious type i wanted to make sure i could hook him up, plus there being a reception where i'd be rubbing elbows with a lot of old college friends i figured it'd be wise to have a few samples on hand, besides the fact i had a few orders to fill before i left for the wedding equaled i needed to get shit done, i needed the Hippie to be somewhat punctual about shit and after getting rather drunk the night before, the heat and hangover and ride were doing wonders for my disposition... and so i huffed and puffed and chugged and swore and released a half bottle of Dewar's and many beers from my pores all on the way to  Hippie Jack's...

Of course the drug business is filled with all sorts of weird rituals and protocols, a whole fucked up set of manners among us low-lives and while it was normally frowned upon to run in and run out on this day that was going to happen, oddly it seems like that's more a grass thing than a powder thing, with powder it's score and get the fuck out while the stoners of the world want to converse a bit, mainly to ease paranoia that the man isn't watching, a classic case of stoner over-think, Hippie Jack's hovel with that main city artery running by out front was fine cover, a black ghetto up above and white one down below, his place sat on a line that the cops could give a fuck about as long as no one was shot... and so i lugged my bike up the steps and rapped on the door and the bearded wonder that was Hippie Jack opened up all smiles and in i went...

It was a rare day when i was in a foul mood doing business, Jack could tell straight away i wasn't in the mood for any bullshit, it was a hint at how much had changed and how much power i was beginning to wield, for all intent he was like my boss, i was the star of the sales department, in this game though someone with skills is a threat to everyone above them and so those above do their best to keep them where they're at, i was a lucrative horse to have in the stable so a little acting up wasn't going to bother Hippie Jack too much... i tossed down the money for an elbow and put another half pound on my tab, Jack passed me a bowl and i took a hit and then he pulled a plate up from under his living room table with a pile of powder and some lines chopped out, here man he grinned, you should rip one of these for the ride back...

For a guy who had done a fucking boat load of hallucinogenic drugs, smoked grass like most people drank water, went through a brief angel dust phase, and had dabbled in the black arts of smack, blow was the one thing i considered passe, a bit odd i know but for some reason i associated coke with loud-mouthed assholes (and so in theory some would say it should have been my drug of choice) and for this reason i had always avoided it, that is until i sat there with my shirt sticking to me and the booze seeping out of me, knowing i had a long day and night ahead of me i smiled and said, what the fuck why not? and just like that zooted my first line...

I hung out for another 15 minutes and of course nabbed another line, left with a half gram wrap added to my tab, to get me through the reception of course, and hopped on my bike and rode back to my place, the ride back being downhill and fueled by Bolivia, i figured what the fuck, things were going good and it was going to be a long day, i'd probably never do it again i thought, i mean i was off and running, i had my shit wired tight, what could possibly go wrong?

By the time i got back to my place Willie and a couple of other appointments were already waiting for me, Willie took a look at me and laughed, you looked half-cooked already he said, long night i shrugged, i took him back to my room and weighed out his gear, tossed in a few extra buds on top and sent him on his way towards marital bliss (he just celebrated his 20th anniversary), i took care of the other customers and my new roommate laughed and told me i had a nice Henry Hill look going, at the end of the movie he said smiling, another shrug, sometimes you just gotta say fuck it i said and headed to the shower, somehow beginner's luck saw me not touch that wrap until sometime after i had eaten at the reception, a few more bong hits at my place and the realization that i was ill equipped to go to any sort of function that involved the straight world but what the fuck, my whole mindset was to fly both middle fingers to the squares anyway and so i put on some worn and threadbare pants, a shirt with tiny flowers on it, and a thick sport coat, perfect for fucking July, all of which i had procured at various Goodwill's and thrift stores over the last five years, tied back the dreads, took the lady's hand and set sail into those waters of normal people... whatever that meant...

In the end it was a fine time, yes the were a few stares, maybe more than a few, it's not often polite society is infiltrated by a 6'4 hairy beast in thrift store clothes who somehow doesn't act like a complete caveman, who chews his food with his mouth closed and knows which utensils to use and even in the correct order, hell of a few strangers even struck up a conversation with me, changing hearts and minds one person at a time as they say... and that little wrap? it was gone by the end of the night, i'd probably never touch that shit again i thought...


Monday, July 11, 2016

sixthirtyaughtsix

June 30th was a friday night, i know this because friday night was my church, for years i had gone out every friday night come hell or highwater, snow storm? fuck it i'm going out. No power? fuck it i'm going out.  Nothing to do? fuck it i'm going out. It was my night to chase whatever fucked up visions Jack Keroauc and Charles Bukowski and Nelson Algren and Henry Miller had filled my head with, i was chasing shadow and myth but fucking hell i was having a good time doing it, a fucking blisteringly good time doing it, but alas there comes a time when the party must end... or at least be put on hold for a while and that time had come for me, as my firstborn boyo was about to arrive in just three short weeks and this night, this last day of June was my send off in a way, a respite from of a life that had become a habit, oh and habits i did have back then but these last three weeks would see me somehow magically transform into some semblance of an adult type person, i mean that's what they were for, a test of domesticity, to ease into the waters so to speak... in reality i was about as prepared for fatherhood as the Jamaicans were for the fucking bobsled...

And so i walked out the door, wallet filled with cash, eight ball in pocket, pack of cigarettes, it was roughly 7pm, i drove down the street and pulled over and immediately keyed up some gear, lit a smoke, turned up the Happy Mondays and headed into Lawrenceville, first to play some foosball and then to close the bars... and close the bars i did, all my favorite haunts were hit and i ended my night in a certain Polish Hill joint where they'd lock in the hard cases so we could drink a few more beers and finish our drugs and talk while the jukebox was turned down to a reasonable level, it was always my favorite time of night at this place, i'd fuck with the owner, a great guy who leaned far to the right, and he'd laugh and call me a fucking hippy wastoid liberal and it was always a grand time...

It was somewhere east of 4am as i made my way to my car, slowly driving through the humid streets, the secret knowledge of city back roads leading me to Baum Blvd., past the strip club and my old apartment, past another strip club and my old place of employment, just past the all-night diner i took a left, circled the block once and then parked in front of my house, i crept in and listened to the girl breath, she rolled over but didn't wake up and i crept into bed and attempted to sleep, a hard night of partying put in, the girl had to work in the morning and i did my best not to disturb her, i lay still and tried to meditate, to shut off the mind that i had spent the night winding up, my last night, shit would be different in three weeks, as the sky lightened i finally began to doze off...

When the alarm went off i rolled and felt the hangover just peeking it's eyes around the door and saying hello, i closed my eyes and tried to get back to sleep as the girl got ready, she was moving about and i dozed back off when i heard her ask me a question, what? i mumbled, i keep peeing myself she said, you keep what? i said still keeping my eyes closed and hoping it was all a dream, i keep peeing myself she said again, it's really weird... it's happened like three times this morning, at this point now a strange sort of worry had begun to grow in my slowly pounding head, do you think maybe your water broke? i said, i don't know she said, it's just weird that i keep peeing myself. I stopped her and said, you need to call the doctor. Suddenly a flash from the night before came to my mind, standing in the stall and keying it up with a friend of mine who was laughing that i better enjoy this last three weeks of sleep, then he stopped and laughed, well not counting tonight of course, and then we both laughed and we keyed some more and now here i sat woefully unprepared for this event...

So the girl called and we immediately went to the emergency room and a short time later they did some simple little test, the nurse looked up and smiled and said, you ready to have a baby today? i probably still smelled like booze when i looked up and asked if we could push it off til tomorrow, she laughed as the girl told her the due date (july 21) and how dad here went out for the last time last night, the nurse chuckled again and said don't worry, dad will have some time to recover, this isn't happening anytime soon, heck it might not even happen today... while the women giggled i failed to find the humor, i was still proper fucked...nothing will straighten you up like fatherhood though right?I felt like the clueless fucking deer staring lovingly into the lights of an oncoming semi-truck... but alas i would be alright, i mean so would everybody else too of course, and soon various relation types would show up and there came a point when the girl finally gave up the hardcore shit and asked for the drugs and so when the doc came in he told us all to split cuz we probably didn't want to watch this shit and so i asked how long and kissed the girl's head and then bolted for the door...

I walked a block up to a sandwich shop, it had to be at least 90 degrees, i ordered my sandwich and sat down and watched Zinedine Zidane place a perfect dead ball free kick onto the foot of Thierry Henry thus knocking Brazil out of the 2006 World Cup, i walked back to the hospital and before long the main event got under way and by 6:47pm the I-mac had come screaming into this world thus sending his daddy's world into a dizzy spin, somehow since it was Saturday night the hospital's cafeteria had closed and since the girl was starving i ran across the street and got her some food, she wanted pizza, we lived in the city's Little Italy, i stood outside the pizza shop and felt the heat still cooking the sidewalk, i called Gulfboot and told him the news, i remember tears streaming down my face, for 35 years i'd been such a glorious fuck-up and now, suddenly, i had to attempt to get my shit together, i was surprised i could move, i was that fucking scared...

Needless to say the jury is still out on whether i'm still a glorious fuck-up or not, might depend on who ask, i do know that if the I-mac hadn't shown up that next morning i would never have remembered events of June 30 aught six, it would have just been another night in a long, long, string of nights where i roamed the streets looking for whatever grail i happened to be chasing that day, be it wine or women or song or gear, i smile when i think about how different today i am from those days and yet what's changed? nothing really, just these days i don't feel the need to run the streets like i used to, these days i'd rather climb the creaky steps and check on the boyos, years ago a few friends told me they thought the girl would save me, i used to laugh at them and explain that no woman was ever going to save me, for as horrible as it sounds a woman never stopped me from doing anything, i'd trip or go on a bender for days on end, i'd flirt and chase skirts and even with my wretched behavior in the end it seemed like there was always a woman who'd take me in, it was just more fuel for the myth, and in the end it wasn't a woman, the boyos have taught me more than i ever knew about myself and this world i so breezily had been floating through, it all started that night, my last so-called night on the town, i'm still waiting for that good night's sleep, though i have a feeling i'll be waiting for quite some time before i get one... and that's okay with me...


Friday, July 8, 2016

Goin Dutch (part two)

For those of us keeping score, which i'm sure is a number between none and zero, we may remember the complete fiasco that was scoring gear on my last Caribbean adventure on the island of Hispainola, the swell island which is occupied on the left by the Dominican Republic and the right by Haiti, depending on which way you're looking of course, that whole process was a textbook case of sketchy shit, twitchy drug mules and language barriers and guys believing they should get all kinds of tips, they didn't understand there was a limit i would pay for shitty weed and that at some point i'll tell them to fuck themselves, which is sorta what happened last year, but of course Curacao is not the DR, and the former Dutch colony (and slave trading hub) had a bit more going for it than most of the little islands dotting this beautiful light blue sea...

I walked over to the back of the shed and opened my second beer, Ligi smiled and said here you go and handed me a little bag, i rolled it around in my hand and it felt good enough, handshake drugs, he smiled and i handed him the money, his incredibly sexy girlfriend was sitting on the wall to my right, she smiled and we talked about things, they wanted to know where i was from and what it was like there, he explained that if i needed anything else he could get it and asked if there was a way to contact me, i of course explained that i was down on a domestic type vacation and that certain members of my party wouldn't be down with my gangster shit and we laughed and his girl said, give him your number Ligi, you gotta cell phone here Kono, sure do i grinned, and i told her she was a fine woman for her quick thinking and we laughed and chatted some more and Ligi told me that if i needed anything, anything at all, that i should not hesitate to call, i smiled and told him that a few years back and i would have been handing him a grocery list of shit to get me, of course i wanted to ask if his girlfriend had a sister who looked like her as she sat there with her mocha legs crossed in cut- off jeans, a white t-shirt notted at the belly, her hair teased out into a funky afro, she was gorgeous, smartly i kept my mouth shut and she ran and grabbed a pen and wrote down the number for me and i shook Ligi's hand and his fair maiden gave me a hug and off i went...

Back at the resort i ambled through the crowd fingering my gear and thanking the stars for my luck, i took up the bottle of aloe and then locked myself in the can and cleaned some gear and rolled a joint, it was a little damp and i smelled it to make sure i wouldn't be getting more than i bargained for, all i needed was a little loveboat (grass dusted with angel dust) and the boyos would wonder what the fuck was wrong with the old dude, but it was nothing more than the gear not being properly cured, i cleaned more and made sure to leave the bag open to dry it a bit, it was the average Colombian brick, a bit stony and nothing like the norm but it did the trick... and in the end that's all i really wanted...

Of course i'd be remiss if i didn't do my fucking Lonely Planet shit and give a rundown of my little trip... In short it was fantastic, i did my fair share of snorkeling around different parts of the island, the boyos seem to dig it and their old man really does, we took a catamaran to couple of spots, one of the guys on the boat was a Dutch national who usually worked on the boat but his mom had flown over for his birthday so he had the day off, a great guy who loved baseball of all things and we laughed at how he loved baseball and i loved futbol, his mother was a lovely woman as well who seemed to like talking to the boyos, and Davey the dreadlocked dive-master seemed to hand me a little Polar beer every time he walked past, there was an old man who was the cook/bartender and he made some of the best ribs i have ever eaten, there was the most delicious peanut sauce i've ever had to drizzle over them, there was Caribbean chicken and red beans and rice..,

 Davey and i snorkeled between a large docked tanker and some smaller docks, it was a bit darker and the water was deeper, probably about 30 feet but i could still see the bottom except when i looked to my left where a trench started and was told that it quickly dropped off to about 100 meters or roughly 300 feet, i saw some Puffer fish and to many exotic fish swimming the reef to name, saw on old tugboat that had sunk, took another trip to a different wreck where a different dive-master ( a stand up bass player with a handle bar mustache and also Dutch) explained to me the different types of coral and what the colors meant and what was dead and what was alive, on that trip i had to swim back to the boat in the open ocean, a fucking trip where the current can quickly move you ten or twelve yards any way it wants in a second, looking down into the blue abyss i realized just how small and insignificant we humans are, having smoked to much dope and watched Jaws to many times can be a bad combination when dangling out there in the blue, but as on old surfer once said, what could be more organic than being eaten by a shark?

And then before knew i it i was packing my bags and getting up at 4am to catch a plane home, i will miss that island and i will miss the strange versions of songs played in the resort buffet, a weird mix of folk and island music, covers of songs by Michael Jackson (Smooth Criminal) New Order (Bizarere Love Triangle), Bob Marley (Stir it Up, Could You Be Loved),  Pet Shop Boys (West End Girls), Smashing Pumpkins (Today) Marvin Gaye (Mercy Mercy Me), and as much as i like my little adventures and showing the boyos new places and cultures, i always like coming back to the old gaff, to see my crazy cats and to admire the stash known as Little Amsterdam (christened such by those who'e seen it), back to the grind and the routine and very shortly here at the lounge, back to our regularly scheduled program...