Friday, December 8, 2017

The Wilderness Years - Free Agent (Part 1)

And so there i was, Hippie Jack and Cocaine Mike were the dynamic duo of fuck-ups and so Mr. Big decided to cut his losses and walk away from anyone associated with them, i tried to take their place, lobbied for a sit down, had Karen the Bartender put in a good word, Hippie Jack went so far as to tell Mr. Big that i was the guy he should be dealing with but Mr. Big wanted Jack cut out and he was most likely thinking that my sense of loyalty to the lovable hippie would have meant me cutting him back in, on a limited basis, and he was probably right, in hindsight i could understand why i wasn't next up even if i had earned that shot, it looked like i was part of a crew of numbskulls, whatever that pair touched turned to shit and while i'm not sure how much Mr. Big lost my best estimates are north of ten grand, yeah i know what's 10G in the drug business but let me ask you this? ever loose ten thousand dollars? then again it was one of the hazards of the game...

So i was cut loose, i did my best to posture and piss and moan and told Karen someday i'd take all Mr. Big's fucking business, she'd been around long enough to know young bluster when she heard it and when it finally sunk in i skulked home and began looking for a source, a good one preferably but at this point any source would fucking do...

This is the life of a street level dealer circa 1997 and the economics that went with it.  I'd been at my warehouse gig 2 years and made $7 an hour, after rent and bills and student loans i'd have roughly 40 bucks to eat on every month and so like most of the working poor i needed a second job, just so happened that my second job was slinging weed and the pay was pretty decent, i set my own hours and damn if work wasn't fun! Each night could be a party if i so made it and even at my minor level i was good at what i did which meant i knew how to hook up the bartenders which resulted in free booze and recommendations for new customers, life was good... as long as i had a connection. I wasn't getting rich, but i was getting by and having a pretty good time...

As i sat in my sanctuary/office known as the back bedroom of the sevenfivenine i knew i needed both gigs and i knew i needed the slinging more than the warehouse but the warehouse gig was the security blanket if things went tits up with the ganja and at that moment things looked like they had gone tits up with the ganja. I had managed to save a few grand which was oddly probably more than most of the people i knew but i also knew that without the weed that what took two years to scrape together would take two months to disappear, not to mention becoming accustomed to the lifestyle of the low level hood, which meant closing the bars or hanging at the strip club, being hood famous as the kids used to say... my master plan of selling grass to pay off my student loans was suddenly looking like a house of cards and the wind was slowly starting to pick up...

There's a lot of things that run through the head at times like this but the one thing i pretended wouldn't happen was that i wouldn't find another connection, i had been steady and fair and not a complete fucking nutter in terms of dealers and so many of my own customers were out asking around about hook-ups, saying they knew a guy who could move shit, and while i appreciated the help i needed to find my own connection, it is a profession rampant with paranoia (imagine that!) even on the lowest of levels, connections were tricky things, you wanted to keep a buffer between the supply and the clientele because you don't want someone stealing your business, the trick was to move up until you found a comfortable level to do what you wanted to do, it's a thought that's lost on most cats out there dealing, they think it's like the shit they see on tv... it's not... if you're gonna make any money at it and not end up in jail you better treat it like a serious profession...

Since moving back to North Oakland and setting up shop Mitchell's had been my home base, now it felt like an insult to walk in the place, Mr. Big would still hang out there and the last thing i wanted was to be drunk and start running my mouth, i didn't need the hassle, i had been hanging out at Joe's Bar, a scant half block from my place, a barfly bar recently purchased by a young guy we called Pizza Joe because he also bought and ran the pizza shop that adjoined the bar, and what the hell else would we call him? of course Pizza Joe bought the place with the money he made selling blow, he was a good guy and knew i was in the game, occasionally i'd hook his lady up because  i had better weed than anyone else she knew at the time, with things officially gone pear-shaped i posed the question one night as i stood in the pizza shop, did he know anyone? let me make some calls he said...


Friday, December 1, 2017

Tanks-givin

When i was a kid Thanksgiving was the one holiday that we got to spend with my dad's family and i'm not trying to knock me old mom's side but the truth is that my dad's side was infinitely more interesting and entertaining.  It started with my grandmother, a woman who grew up dirt poor on a farm near Jackson, Tennessee.  For a woman from the deep south who grew up in the 1920's and 30's she was about as liberal as you could get and didn't tolerate racism or homophobia, her children would tell you point blank that if you wanted to catch a smack all you had to do was drop the N-word or call someone a faggot, she took no shit and taught her children to think for themselves, at her funeral i found out her favorite baseball player was Larry Doby (who broke the American League color barrier) and that football player Jim Brown had near god-like status (and to those of us from Cleveland still does).  What i loved about this day was that unlike my other grand-ma's the conversation at this house was lively and intelligent...

As a kid i found it fascinating to sit around and listen in on the adults as i pretended to watch football, it was a house full of opinions and strong personalities and at times the intellectual sparring could become fierce, i remember my Aunt Judy and Uncle Paul having a spirited debate one year when the local rock station WMMS did a Beatles A to Z thing, they both loved the Beatles and listening to them go back and forth was a fascinating thing for a kid, it opened up whole new worlds to what music was and could be and watching my Aunt standing by the stereo, glass of wine in one hand, cigarette in the other, swaying to the music, as i got older of course i began to be included in the conversations... what i remember most though was that my grandmother always made me slice and bake chocolate chip cookies cuz they were my favorite ( a practice that continued well into my late 20's) that her big old orange cat Edgar would wander in and out of the house and Edgar and i would usually catch a nap curled up on a corner of a couch, the house was always warm and smelled like Thanksgiving dinner and no one ever left early to go shopping...

My grandmother spent twenty some odd years working at Sears up until she retired to become a full-time granny, back then Thanksgiving was supposed to be spent with family, the stores were not open, of course during the Wilderness Years i spent a few with a bottle or nursing some of the most epic and agonizing hangovers i'd ever have, i remember one day trying to find a place to eat because i was so hungover  and yet nothing was open, it was twenty years ago? of course then came the time when i'd go to the Breadwinner's parents for the holiday, a family that's always been big on shopping, even the ones who claim they're not, i remember her brother and his wife getting up early to go hit the sales, you know the 6am Friday door buster that was all the rage back in the early aughts... then things began to change...

If you notice a train of thought here maybe it's the season or maybe i smoke to much grass, slowly of course the corporate oligarchs began to co-opt this day, as they are known to do with almost any fucking day they can, to turn it into some kind of ritualistic orgy of shopping and consumption, it no longer was about sitting down with some people you love or mildly dislike or just plain annoy the fucking shit out of you to eat and drink and talk, no no, it became a day to plot and plan a strategy to score the most shit and get a good deal (though those same "deals" would still be there come next week), instead of people having a day off to be with their family it became a day of commerce and work just like any other day except now the retail work day started at 5 or 6pm and went all fucking night!!! praise be the almighty dollar, you can have your turkey dinner but then you need to get your ass to work sucker, the masters need their gelt.. and so it is that now the meaning of Thanksgiving is nothing more than a synonym for quarterly earnings and the state of the economy, the oligarchs still use their mouthpieces (advertisers) to push the myth of family and HUGE savings but for those paying attention we know the myth is bullshit... had things been like this when i was a kid i'd have missed out on some great days because my grandma would've had to go to work...

The boyos are being well schooled in the evils of Black Friday, it sounds much like that sermon above and it probably doesn't hurt that their old man's a misanthrope, we avoid all things retail, i took them to gym for a basketball day camp for three hours, i made the short drive home and lay on the couch and listened to records and read books, beats the piss out of fighting for televisions and parking spots, we ate leftovers and played a game, it was a pattern that continued all weekend, they trekked into the park near our house returning muddy and tired and happy, i spun more records and pulled tubes and read books, we ate more leftovers, we saved a bunch of money because we didn't buy a thing, that's not to say that things won't get bought, try as i might i can't deny the culture i live in or the place that i live, but i'm trying to take back just a little maybe, to suggest that life isn't all about consumption and the trinkets you get but about the people and the days you spend with them and how when those days are gone they will be more valuable than anything bought or sold... strange how the free things can be so priceless...




Thursday, November 23, 2017

what

I spend a lot of time thinking about existence, yours and mine and everyone else, how the modern world has turned most of us into hamster's on a wheel, rat's in a race, how the so-called demands of modern life have dangled so many carrots in front of us that we loose sight of the fact that we are allotted X number of days and minutes and hours and how that time is the most valuable thing we have and yet we give it away so cheaply to the Masters of Capitalism and Consumerism, and arguments will be made that one needs food and shelter and clothes and those arguments are valid and invalid at the same time, yes we need those things but how much of those things do we need? how is it that in this empire in decline people are going hungry and yet somehow 40% of the usable food is being shipped to the landfill?

Stephen Hawking has just told us we have 600 years before the Earth is a ball of uninhabitable flame.  Of course no one alive today gives a shit because we'll all be non-entities in 600 years, our children will be, our grandchildren will, our great-grandchildren will be, so like most things we furrow our brows and tut-tut but we're not really concerned, look 600 years in reverse and the place i sit now was a massive forest inhabited by nature and a race of people who had no words for garbage or jail because they didn't exist in their culture, can i really call the modern world progress? science and medicine have done some amazing things while also giving us the ability to annihilate the planet with the touch of a button or the dropping of a petri dish...

Across the planet Corporate Oligarchs have ditched the facade and come out from behind their curtain, they are the class of the super-rich and while they don't really give a shit if you live or die if you so happen to choose to live they'd like to tell you how you should do it, most of these people believe in this holy book or that holy book and want you to believe that this book and their exulted place as the uber-wealthy give them the divine right to dictate to you the terms of your existence, of course the only god they truly pray to is the Money God, the rest is so much window dressing, mainly they just want obedience and subservience... they want to keep you busy, be it work or chasing the fantasy of affluence, it's what they've been selling us since Roman Wood was the official sponsor of the Crucifixion...

What happens when the sole purpose of people existence becomes the accumulation of gold and goods?  No one is immune to it, we get addicted to things, we get addicted to collecting things, it's what happens in a culture driven by consumption, the system would topple we're told, get out and spend! accumulate! but what happens when this system threatens to eat itself? to bring down all the natural systems around it? i'm not immune, i sit next to a shelf full of books and crates full of vinyl, petroleum and wood ripped from the Earth so i can be hip or some such shit, it's folly...

The woman who has taken the most abuse is blue and green and beautiful, we look at her every day and ignore her, she is not separate from us, we are her and she is us, made of the same material, so in a sense it's like punching ourselves in the face, and still we do it, we let people whose sole aim in life is the accumulation of mass amounts of wealth preach that science is false and the only truth is the lining of their pockets, even if that truth will ultimately destroy the air we breath and the water we drink and when that's gone all the money in the world won't save them, they might think it will but it won't... we lumpen proles are fucked either way...

And if we don't blow the place up or turn it into a barren wasteland the experts now tell us our own inventions will do us in, artificial intelligence, Blade Runner for all intent and purpose, of course mankind is a funny lot, notice how those experts assume the worst, that the cyborgs and androids will will want to annihilate us, the supercomputer will lock us out of our own systems...  maybe they might, or maybe they truly would be more intelligent and correct us in our errors, can a computer learn morals and ethics? when it truly begins to think will it rationally come to conclusions that humans should have come to in the first place? do androids dream of electric sheep? i tend to think they might... but in the end it won't matter Stardust,  you didn't have a choice in buying the ticket but you gotta take the ride, might as well get your money's worth...




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Heavy Indica

If the truth be told i've always liked drugs, or if not drugs the feeling of intoxication, from the first time i stood in the garage as a boy sniffing the gas can to my nightly forays to the garage these days to pull tubes, it' the same and it's different, i believe i've taught myself to be a better, healthier and more efficient wastoid,  along the way i'm sure i've done my body some serious disservice but hey man i'm always reading shit about how the body is so damn resilient that what's the use in fucking worrying anyway? life is a terminal illness now is it not?  yes i'm fond of that phrase these days, it amuses me to no end because it seems to encapsulate the whole non-sense of the modern world, what a bunch of fucking tripe, we worship at the altar of consumption and we'll die at the altar of consumption... the consumer type that is...

Lately the nights have been strewn with what is known in the stoner world as "heavy indicas", or more correctly, "how to get numb an tingly while grinning stupidly", the heavy indica doesn't help much in the way of typing and productivity but damn if it's not great for putting you on the couch and grinning at the weird thoughts bumping around the old noggin', it's top notch entertainment and i'd love to fucking tell you about it but most of it comes and goes like so many waves upon the shore, it's a riot though let me tell you... other times you wake up drooling on yourself and wondering how long you've been out...

I've been wandering around my yard lately, not aimlessly mind you but to look at all the patches of dug up grass, by the power of Google i've determined it's the friendly neighborhood raccoons which sure as shit beats a damn skunk, i don't plan to do shit about it cuz raccoons gotta eat too you know, the fucking woodpecker is another story, if i had a pellet gun i'd ice that fucker, apparently it's got guvment protection but if a woodpecker falls in the forest does is make a sound? (or on the side of my house...)

Which leads me to garden gnomes.  I'm a big fan of the fucking garden gnome and in my stoned meanderings around my neighborhood i've noticed a distinct lack of them. Why? i'm guessing they must have fallen out of fashion in the burbs, yet there are some weird fucking yard ornaments about my hood, a large carved wooden mountain lion and a huge stone statue which if you look closely is basically two people fucking, but no gnomes...

And why the fascination with garden gnomes? i don't know? they please and amuse me and bring a smile to my face, i had one back at the old house, he sat in the backyard between two bushes against the back of the garage, i got him for 10 bucks at a CVS, i left him as a gesture of kindness to the guy who bought the place and since then i've been gnome-less, you see you can't just indiscriminately purchase garden gnomes the same way you can't indiscriminately choose a cat or a dog, they choose you maaaan, in their own mysterious ways they choose you, but yeah in the cartoon universe i gaily skip through i believe they could speak to the raccoons  and chill them out about tearing up the weed patch known as my lawn, maybe direct them to the house next door or to the cranky old religious people who live across the street who have the "No Dog Shit" signs posted everywhere (for the record i don't own a dog), i'd like to observe their handling of god's creatures when they tear up the lawn, i know the dogs sure piss them off...

Now where i be? drifting aimlessly through another week while the rain drums on the roof, i have fixed a flat tire and carved the motherfucking pumpkins and have attempted to do both with some Zen aplomb, i have murdered a colony of ground nesting yellow jackets all for the crime of ground nesting on a hill and stinging my spawn, in moments of weakness i hope the universe will understand and in moments of clarity i know the universe does not care, i have passed the yearly physical, the odds say i'll be doin' this shit next year but we all know the public sets the odds and the public is fucking stoopid, so out in the land of Wonder Bread i will keep the aspidistra flying, i will make strong cups of afternoon tea and smoke copious amounts of ganja, i think i used to call this post something else... but yeah, you know, what was i talking about?


Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Wilderness Years - Requiem for Hippie Jack

It was purely dumb luck. His ex -girl who was half his age had worked with me for three days a year before in a bagel store and then just happened to be hanging out with him that afternoon when i walked into the bar... the rest as they say is history.

I was just a kid with a plan and nowhere to go, i needed to sling to pay off the mountain of student loan debt that would soon come avalanche like down upon me, at the same time i wanted to get down in the shit, my shady corner bar my new classroom. Hippie Jack needed some luck, a kid who could move stuff quick and easy, i needed a good connection, we were like fucking peanut butter and chocolate, we were gonna be great together we just didn't know it yet.. and for awhile we were...

Over the next two years or so we'd have some great times and some rough times but it was always interesting, one of the first times we hung out as his place we were discussing the merits of certain drugs, basically both professing a love of hallucinogens, he told me that day that the last known record of him was when he was released from a Texas state prison, a stretch for selling acid, he walked out and disappeared into thin air, moved north and east, he had no bank account or ID, he was a ghost for all intents and purposes, he didn't exist, yet he did, in his apartment on that main artery in the middle of no-man's land he hid in plain view, the only people that saw him were the ones that were looking for him, the margin walkers and derelicts and hippies, it was an existence off the grid at a time when the grid was becoming ever more hard to escape...

That fine day we sat at the beginning of the ride, he told me he'd never stick a needle in his arm, didn't understand why people did, didn't understand why his hero Jerry did?  We spent the early days getting high on grass and acid, my infamous light speed trip down the Bloomfield Bridge, riding my bicycle and tripping my brains out as the headlights raced past me, there were shrooms and nitrous oxide, he was out of debt and in good standing with the Mr. Big and i was fucking rookie of the year in the East End weed game, you could call it the honeymoon phase or you could call it good business between friends, we'd hang at the bar and laugh and drink, they were grand days they were...

And then shit went south, the arrival of our sweet girl Charlie Baltimore, the first of the powders soon to be rocked and smoked and the decline was swift, we were both losing the plot. It didn't take long for the sharks to circle as Hippie Jack went down the rabbit hole, Glimmer Twin Margo stealing 8-balls of blow and Cocaine Mike stealing everything else.  When Mr. Big washed his hands of him he was fucked, his weed connection gone he had to find other forms of revenue streams... what middle America doesn't understand it is the average dealer is holding shit together by a loose and fraying thread and when the thread snaps? no one hears the splash the well is so deep...

The mid 1990's was the first wave of good and cheap heroin, you didn't have to shoot it anymore you could snort it and still get the nods, i know cuz i dabbled in the black arts though i had the respect to know the Mother Superior was not one to be trifled with, i called it research, a lot of the kiddos that tried it ended up calling it a habit... Hippie Jack started hanging with those kiddos and soon he had one...

The first time Hippie Jack died he was brought back to life Mia Wallace style by an adrenaline shot to the heart, lucky he was hanging with some responsible junkies who just happened to keep one in the fridge. The second time he died he lay in his apartment for two days until his neighbors dog tipped off his owner that something was amiss, when they opened the door word had it he was face down on the floor looking like Veruca Salt after she ate the blueberry gum, this time there was no adrenaline shot, there was a brief rumor that Mr. Big had had some boys give him a hot shot, no one really knows, to most of the hood it was just another dead idiot... when Karen the bartender told me, in the very bar where i met him, i changed my drink to a Jack and Coke, she smiled, stepped out from behind the bar and gave me a hug, i took my drink and sat in the corner...

Hippie Jack was my friend. They held a wake at my favorite boozer one Sunday afternoon, a wake i didn't attend for fear of some undercover cop snapping pictures from his car, i was paranoid, they found more than just his body in his new run down apartment and i didn't want to chance it, at 6'4 and a rat's nest of dreads i was a pretty easy blue-eyed white boy to ID, he was a good guy, he'd share his gear and give you whatever he had even though he didn't have much, to this day i remember the look on his face when i gave him his bottle of Jack for Xmas, i realize now no one had given him anything in years, i used to enjoy sitting around and listening to his stories and when things went south i felt a bit shit, that somehow i let him down, he had even tried to go legit but without any form of ID it was tough to get a job, some people got him organized to help him get his ID so he could start a gig washing dishes, for a minute he got clean but it's hard for a lifer in the game to let it go, working a normal gig is for squares, it's easier to hustle, the tiger's stripes might fade but they never go away...

These days i wonder if anyone even remembers good old Hippie Jack, our old bar is a different place now, Karen the bartender and Mustache Mary and Shut the Fuck Up Lennie are all gone, moved on or passed on, Hippie Jack didn't make the age i am now, but he existed and for a time we were thick as thieves, laughing in the smoky neon light as CCR and Marvin Gaye and Barry White blared from the jukebox in a dive bar at the corner of Melwood and Centre... he was a good dude... tonight's tune is for him...


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Another Sh*t Day

I awoke yesterday to the news that another fucking white male nut job who's bank robber daddy didn't love him enough decided to shoot up a crowd of concertgoers and in the process set a new record for carnage in America.  I wasn't shocked.  That statement there says it all.  While i can't say i'll ever get used to this shit i can say it never surprises me anymore and my main goal is to somehow keep the boyos from ever experiencing this shit but in the fucking insane asylum called America that's a (pardon the expression) crap shoot at best...

After the atrocity of Sandy Hook i really thought there was a chance for things to change but fuckin hell did i underestimate the love that white American males have for their shiny pieces of steel, and yes do not delude yourself that this is all about white American males because take a fucking gander at any NRA rally and that's pretty much all you'll see, the far right mouth pieces financed by the gun lobby did their usual grandstanding about "now is not the time to talk about gun laws, it's time for thoughts and prayers" and it was in that moment that any sentient, empathetic, compassionate human being said to themselves that this place is done, for all the talk of the children and protecting the unborn and all the other bullshit the Conservatives like to trot out there was one thing that was crystal clear... a large, moneyed and influential part of our society valued firearms over the lives of children... and anybody else for that matter...

Of course what i really found interesting yesterday was that even the "fake news" (per the Orange Shitgibbon) outlets i get my info from seemed to keep leaving out that shithead shooter was a WHITE MALE, make no mistake, had this fucking crackpot been anything other than Caucasian you'd have been told at every turn the color of his skin and the title of his holy book but i actually had to go and dig up what the asshole looked like cuz i wanted to know, because by and large the assholes who commit these atrocities are overwhelmingly white males...

There is no debate on gun control in this country, in the simplest terms we have none.  In the civilized world no place is more violent than this one and the main reason for that is ease and access to firearms, i know, i used to run with guys who often told me if i needed one that a few hundred bucks could get me a freshly stolen Glock with no serial numbers.  For the record i never have or will carry a gun. Never.  My lovely mother and her husband have conceal/carry permits... they're both over 70.  I've made the argument that if you want to own one than you should read that 2nd Amendment and understand the part about the well regulated militia.  See when you're a young country with no standing army (cuz you can't pay one) you sort of need an armed citizenry in case some other country shows up and decides to invade, that said anyone who wants to own a gun in the modern age should understand that when duty calls they will be called up and given a few weeks training and then shipped to exotic lands in the name of freedom and democracy and yes i don't give two shits if you're a 70-something year old man, bon fucking voyage... of course that will never happen, like most things in this place it's all about the money...

The simple fact is no amount of gun laws will stop this shit when any idiot can legally get one so easily.  You see Ex -Accountant Gambling Real Estate dickhead was the most normal sane guy in the world according to his family and various gun store owners, even as he stock-piled an arsenal, of course he could have been nuts all along or maybe one day he snapped or watched Falling Down one to many times and then it doesn't matter if he wasn't mentally ill when he bought them or not the fact is he is mentally ill now and has the fucking things.  We all know the result.  So when the right to bear arms infringes upon the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness one of them has to go, i'm lobbying to keep the latter and scrap the former, i don't think that's a real hard thing to figure out but here in the land of milk and honey and all the bullets you can carry it seems that it is...

Then Tom Petty died. 

If you were a kid growing up in the Rust Belt in the late 70's and 80's Tom was always around, on the radio, on your older brother or sister's stereo, he was on the MTV back when they played videos and shit instead of running 24 hours of programs on teen moms and moron muscle heads, the video for Don't Come Around Here No More might still be one of the top two or three videos ever made, fuck Thriller at the end when Alice is a cake and they're all eating her freaked me the fuck out, besides the song is fucking great as well, so while i'm not some huge fan of Tom Petty i'm well versed in his music cuz it was part of the background noise of my youth, if you're a (wait for it ) white kid from the Rust Belt you know the words to Free Fallin and You Got Lucky and Don't Do Me Like That for reasons you don't even know, you just know 'em, Honeybee might be one of the best songs ever written, (don't tell your mama/ don't tell your sister/ don't tell your boyfriend- sounds like something straight out of the young Kono's mouth)...

and so to compound the tragedy we lost one of our great rock and roll artists, while under the neon of the Vegas strip a bunch of kids lost their mothers or fathers, parents lost kids, husbands lost wives and wives lost husbands, just another shit day in America... but the 24 hour news cycle rolls on (remember the 3 million people on that island surrounded by "big big water") and by next week we'll be talking about something else, except for the ones who are burying their loved ones, they'll still by asking why? and quite frankly so will i...  (so this one here goes out to all those hurting and devastated and wondering if there is any beauty or light left in this place... I'm not big on hope, but i'm hoping there is...)



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

State of the Nation - Suburban Eccentric Edition

Pajama Man lives down the street from me. I've dubbed him that because i've never seen him wear anything other than pajamas, he could be mowing the lawn or shoveling snow or staring off into space while the smoke from his cigarette spirals upwards, it's always pajamas that are made of thin material and striped, his shoes always appropriate for the weather he reminds me of some weird amalgamation of Martini and Taber from the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a happy and pleasant psychotic, there are times when he just strolls around the front yard with his disheveled hair talking to himself, oddly enough i find myself doing much the same thing except i don't have any pajamas so i'm usually in clothes...

There's this recurring theme of self examination here in the lounge, it runs through it's annals and might someday be used to chronicle the plight of the post-modern layabout and his tedious march towards whatever the opposite of respectability is, i'm sure there's a word for it but i've been in the garage too much tonight to come up with it, and so as we pass another Patriot's Day i add another ring to the trunk and take stock in just how little i've once again managed to accomplish, an incredible feat for a man-boy within touching distance of his AARP card and all the free fucking coffee he can guzzle!!

So there are the usual questions of who am i? what am i? where am i? but fuck all that, i've got a pretty good grasp on the who, what and where, at least for the next second or two and then none of that will exist anymore... these days i've taken to wearing rather colorful socks for a person my age, of course i shouldn't say these days because i've always had a penchant for colorful socks, the new batch i found while aimlessly wandering a TJ Maxx which means not only are they colorful and stylish but they were cheap as well, made by a surf company that is known for it's exorbitant pricing, it's not like anyone ever sees these socks, it's a bit like Ebby Calvin "Nuke" Laloosh wearing garters while he pitched, it's just comforting to know they're there... the sad and silly rituals of the suburban eccentric...

These days i wonder just how long it takes the denizens of the suburbs to figure out how much of a degenerate pot head i am, it goes back once again to having no "job" or "career" to speak of, put a pack of suburban males together and there are exactly two topics of conversation, work or sports, and while i can hang quite well on the sports end it seems that work is always the more prevalent topic and one that i'm loathe to talk about even when i had a gig, the Don Drapers of the burbs don't want to hear about my uncanny ability to get stains out of the boyos shirts, they can hear that shit from their wives, and so inevitably (as what i believe i recognize as a defense mechanism for the undercurrent of disdain and animosity) i've taken to fucking with the lot, usually it involves any number of authors, philosophers, comedians, musicians and artists and my post-modern mashing of these fucked-up ideas i get running around my head, i've refined the attack so that it's barely discernible until i'm hoping sometime much later in the evening when it wakes them up sometime around 3am and rattles their sensibilities...

These days the crux of my argument has to do with time and how it is the only thing you really own and it's most likely the most valuable thing any human has as we have only a finite amount of it to get done what we want to do even if what we want to do is nothing at all, and how too many people give it away so cheaply doing things they don't really enjoy doing, much of that little soliloquy i ripped from Alan Watts but when i combine it with a covert indictment of our educational system  (no. 28 in the world) along with  not so covert jabs at capitalism and the cult of money it pleases me to no end to see the furrowed thinking brows of men who's main joy in life is hitting a little white ball with a stick and investing in the stock market, i know they honestly believe they are doing the "right" thing, they have careers and BMWs and for the most part believe all the lies they've been told without ever thinking they might be getting fucking duped, when you add the fact i live in a district that was won by an orange complected, comb-overed buffoon it only adds to my ire that some of these well-heeled and upstanding types are nothing more than closeted racists, bigots, homophobes and misogynists ...

The world i inhabit is populated by yoga pants and over-sized smart phones driving around in mini-vans and high end SUVs, there is a contest to accumulate things and then replace those things with newer and shinier things, things with ever more impressive names and logos if you are one to be impressed by such names and logos, there are men who talk knowingly and low about dividends and shares, can there be such a thing as smart phone envy? stock share envy? i'm quite sure there is and i'm quite sure Dr. Freud could somehow explain it all, i just want to get stoned and listen to the new Oh Sees record, i don't understand the names and logos in the same way i don't understand organized religion, but i do understand that the sun on my toes feels warm and pleasant and the relaxing purr of my little white cat...

There is a wave of melancholy that washes over the suburban eccentric when i realize how the grown-ups have given up, i can see the love of learning is lost, i can see consternation and confusion and bemusement when i ramble on about acquiring knowledge while admitting i know nothing, to do nothing more than keep the mind engaged in pursuits even though those pursuits are not designed to increase the bank account or upgrade the logo on the front of the car, i can see the look of disdain when i mention going to see rock bands on weeknights, apparently that's not an adult thing to do in certain social circles and that's okay, just cuz you grow up doesn't mean you have to get old, this here life is a terminal illness except most of us won't get much of a warning on when we're checking out, i don't need to ponder what the world will be when i'm a non-entity, it won't matter because i won't be here, but i can give the boyos the ability to read and write and think and laugh and cry, to equip them with the skills to follow their own path, not in the name of money or possessions but in the name of living and using their time wisely, and even then it's up to them, just like it's up to me, and just like it's up to you...