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...



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Wilderness Years - An Island Off the Coast

A lifetime ago, in a pub far, far away...

Somewhere on an island off the coast of Europe... when i uttered this phrase i wasn't on an island off the coast of Europe but at a picnic table behind a bar in a tony neighborhood of Pittsburgh, my old boss/business partner was fretting the current situation surrounding my former and his current business operation, there was some shit going down and he was lamenting and contemplating getting out, in short when the game is run well there are stacks of money to be made but that earning potential is always one blown stop sign or loose-lipped customer away from going tits up, it's one getting caught by a red light with a trunk full of weed as the K-9 unit's dog in the next lane looses it's shit in the back of the police truck moment from crashing gloriously down, and so as he sat there still fully invested and i sat there not so fully i explained to him what i now had time to think about, had the opportunity to think about without the lure of the precious-precious, those stacks of money that seemed to roll right in, to objectively examine the game having been through it, like the ex-athlete turned analyst, he had sought me out because there weren't many people around with the expertise and skill set in this particular field, the other person he could have sought out having been recently pistol-whipped and robbed of somewhere north of 200K, they shot his dogs to boot, i'd never met this person, he was a bit further up the food chain than me but while i sipped beer in the warm night air i told my old business partner this, if you can walk away with all your fingers and toes and a clean sheet you get the fuck out while the getting's good, if you can do it with a suitcase or more full of cash you don't even think twice about it you get out and get back to being "normal", i liken the dealing game to pro athletes, the careers are short and profitable, the longer you play the more likely you get hurt, it's high risk high reward, what i told him was, you get greedy, you get stupid or you get caught or on a real bad day, dead... the writing doesn't have to be on a wall, it could be on a scribbled on a napkin...

In the ever present half-ass postmodernist annals of the lounge there is a post about the Pizza Man, on old post shoddily written, it was about my adventures of getting shitty Mexican brick weed from my local pizza parlor/bar (now bulldozed and rebuilt as a Chipotle) and how i would transport it home (casually walking down the street) in pizza boxes, for all intents and purposes looking like some wasted youth with a raging case of the munchies, it's always good for a laugh when people learn i used to just walk down the street like that, the squares would never think of that now would they? oh we criminal types thought we were a cheeky lot, people who knew thought it was a right laugh and one of those people became my best friend and brudda and he just happened to live on this island off the coast and it so happened that after he went back home i saved up some of my hard earned drug money and went to visit him...

Now it also just so happened that my brudda worked in a pub and in this pub was a man who was rather well known to the authorities of this island but who said authorities could not seem to catch up with, my brudda had told the story of how i'd walk down the street with pounds of grass in pizza boxes and the denizens of the pub laughed hysterically, i was dubbed the Pizza Man and had acquired a nickname before i'd ever stepped foot on the island's fair shores, one could say this pub was a bit of a haven for the not so upstanding citizens of the area which meant i'd feel right at home once i got there, oddly enough when i did get there it took me all of 10 minutes to score some smoke, some good flower with a chunk of shit hash thrown in cuz i was the Pizza Man, of course much of this legend was fueled by my good brudda...

One could say i had been briefed a bit on the man, who i'll call Reggie Kray, how he moved around a lot, how he never stayed in one pub for more than an hour, this pub being the exception, this was his place to relax, i didn't have to be told, i knew the score, the boss is always treated with respect and deference particularly if not more so by the visiting small-time hood, and so as i sat and drank my pint and talked to the locals, then there was a tap on my shoulder and i was told someone wanted to meet me, Mr. Kray the messenger smiled, and so i stood up and turned around and there was the most unassuming of men, i was probably close to 8 or 9 inches taller than him, he took a sip of his pint and smiled, it's an honor to meet the Pizza Man he said and the place burst into laughter, come and have a seat he said and so we sat down at his table and talked, we talked the football and my Scottish surname, we talked about the States and all the while he wouldn't let me buy a pint, we got on well and it must have been 45 minutes in before he leaned in and grinned and asked, so you really just walk down the street with your gear in pizza boxes? we both laughed and i said yup and told him that i just walked along looking the average Joe on my way home with my pizza, he was amused to no end...

I'd talk to him a few more times before i left for what is called the continent, never as long or as in depth as that first time, i noticed he'd watch me sometimes as i hung out in the pub, i know now he was gauging how i handled myself, i wandered around the continent for a few weeks before making my way back to that island, i had another 4 days before i left to fly home and get  back to the grind, back to the game, it was always a calculated risk leaving for a month, weed kings popped up on a weekly basis, the difference i was hoping was that three years in and i was a reliable type, i could piece things together through fuck-ups and droughts and the superstitions of the city low-lives, i might loose one or two customers but i was pretty sure i'd pick up a dozen more once i was back...

I had come back early from gay Paree due to expense and exhaustion, i was tired of walking around and wanted to go sit in the pub for a few days before my flight... on one of my last nights there Reggie called to the bartender to get me a pint, ever think about staying? he asked, it crossed my mind i smiled, but i got things i gotta get back to, the gig and a girl, i've had a few offers to stay and work either painting or plastering, he laughed and patted me on the shoulder, fuck all that my friend he said, you wanna stay you come and work for me, i like your style kid he grinned, you can handle yourself, we'll do the business and make some bank and i'm not talking about runnin' my shit hash like Shep there, (he pointed to the guy who had sold me the gear i scored my first day), you 'll step right in and work with me, i said thank you Reggie and if i did decide to stay i'd defo sign on but i have my own thing back in the States, he smiled and we toasted, i understand he said, just remember you ever want to a job you got one here with me... we drank and i thanked him again...

On the walk back to my brudda's place we were well in the bag, i was eating the last order of chips from the chippie next door the pub and he shook his head, fuckin ell mate, i've known Reggie for years and he's never offered me a job, he even busted on Shep, you could walk in the pub tomorrow and be complete arsehole and no one is gonna touch you, Reggie Kray offered you a job, you're like his fuckin' boy mate, i can't believe this shit, it's fucking incredible... i smiled and kept eating my chips...

Not long ago a i got a text from my brudda, there was a link that led to an article about Reggie and his crew, it went back to my old maxim of getting greedy, stupid or caught, a few years later some shit had come down and Reggie should have walked, should have counted his money and lived happily ever after... but he didn't... i clicked the link to the article and read, hell if i had made different decisions my mugshot could have been gracing the pages of the newspaper, Reggie got close to 30 years, a laundry list of charges for what really amounts to the laws of supply and demand, where there's a demand there will be a supply, the supplier just needs to understand when to walk and let someone else take over, i understand the allure of the money and power and the fringe benefits that go with the job, i'm acutely aware of it, but in the back of the mind one must remember the flip side of that coin... and you definitely don't want damn near 30 years to think about it...




Friday, September 1, 2017

Pre-Wilderness - Satellite of Lust

The things we remember and the things we forget and how the luck of the radio dial and the inventions of satellites can knock the dust off the memories of women lost and found, i could have called this post Satellite of Love (i think i just did) except it has fuck all to do with Lou Reed and everything to do with a girl named Meredith Rose Bach, born she said 7 years, 7 months and 7 days exactly from the death of her older sister who had the exact same name, of course this was Wyoming circa the late 80's and the advent of cable television had given us kids access to all kinds of weirdness and since this was Wyoming and there was shit to do the small group of kids who lived here that were enlightened enough to embrace the outside world were a interesting lot... all six or so of them... mostly it was big-hair and mullets and rodeo and pick-up trucks and to this kid from Cleveland it was like Planet Redneck...

As the legend goes i was a 6'4 inch string bean with a great jump shot and a down right naive fearlessness when i took the ball to the hoop, i was Basketball Jones but i was skinny and young and since the Division 1 school in the bible belt didn't have a scholarship for me at the ready they said they'd find me one, they called a cat in the middle of nowhere who took me sight unseen on the recommendation from the big school, i was gonna play and put on weight and transfer in after two years but somewhere along the way that plan went tits up, most likely about the time i stepped off the plane...

I turned 18 two weeks after i landed but had already ingratiated myself to the female co-eds, or handful of them, you see that first week i was so fucking homesick i wanted to walk up to I-90 and hitch a ride back, the first weekend there was a  party in the cafeteria, sponsored by the school of course for the 50 or so of us who actually lived on campus and any other students who wanted to attend, most of us on campus were basketball players (men and women's), volleyball (women) or rodeo (mental cases) along with a dozen or so students who lived in one of the many nowhere towns/crossroads that dotted this state, that first weekend i found a way to get booze and weed and cigarettes and then proceeded to get roaring drunk, i was homesick as fuck, i let the campus lesbian put some eyeliner on me and i walked through the little campus singing Smiths songs, the campus lesbian was also DJ'ing this little shindig and i believe that other than her and i every other person hated the music... i left with a little blond from Billings, Montana... her name was not Meredith Rose Bach...

The dorms were little two floor, six rooms a hall things, basically sheds, and above me lived a sophomore named Leroy who just happened to be friends with Meredith Rose Bach, who just happened to espy me sitting in the tiny television lounge drunk or stoned or both watching Miami Vice re-runs as i was known to do, turned out Meredith had been angling to meet me and had been quizzing Leroy on my tastes and demeanor and as he told me later, i told her you'd love him, he's a fucking weird one, Leroy also had a mullet and always wore a trucker hat, i was still rocking the Barney Sumner aka the floppy white boy fade... one day Leroy invited me up for some beers (things were not very strict on campus) at the behest of Miss Meredith Rose Bach so she could chat me up and as Mozza would say, find out for herself...

She had dark brown eyes and long dishwater blond hair, she was 5'2, thin yet curvy, soon i'd find that her left breast was noticeably larger than the right and an art major, i smiled when i came in and we introduced ourselves and after two hours of intense and lively conversation we adjourned to my room, when she stepped out to pee i asked Leroy if he was cool and he laughed and said we're just friends man, she's been asking about you since the first week of school... she came back in and we went to leave... you two have fun he cackled...

I popped Louder than Bombs into the tape deck and we sat on my bed talking, before side two we were rolling around and slobbering all over each other, she told she knew this would happen, that i was like hurricane that first weekend and that she'd been tracking me ever since, once her and her ex had made the split official she put her plan of tracking me down in motion... she was 20, i was 18, for all my posturing i was still a naive kid, wet behind the ears, Meredith Rose Bach was not... those small town girls can blow you away...

Her father's name was Glendo Jerome and he was mortician, she claimed he used to be connected and moved to the middle of nowhere to disappear, they lived above a funeral home and though i thought the crime story was bullshit it was both creepy and cool that she lived above a funeral home,  her old man was also almost deaf and i think we exchanged a few sentences in the two months i spent with his daughter...

In what i now realize was a pattern in my youth we spent an intense 8 or so weeks together, in that time she made me a few mix tapes, she was into the band Book of Love and for a week or two it became the soundtrack to our sexual escapades, Meredith Rose was teaching me things and i was a willing student even though i wanted to pretend that i knew it all, i didn't, she knew i didn't, she didn't care, i remember her telling me i had an innocence that she enjoyed corrupting, i told her i quite liked being corrupted...

Of course it went bell-shaped when i decided to spend five rather unsatisfying minutes with a metal chick with tinted purple hair, dark purple not punk purple, and if my five minutes were unsatisfying i can only imagine how much hers sucked, why i did it i don't know... but that's a lie, i did it because i could, Leroy got wind of it and this being a small town Metal Chick didn't keep it a secret and soon i was single, Meredith Rose Bach having roundly dumped my ass while also giving me a good chewing out...

And so the year rolled on and we somehow managed to avoid each other, she got back with her ex for a short time and i kept right on wrecking my reputation, word was out that i probably wasn't coming back and someone told me about a party at some ranch, i scored my usual 12 pack of beer, pint of whiskey and sack of weed, the ranch party was shit, a bonfire and a bunch of dudes trying to be cool for the three single females in attendance, by the fire was Leroy and Meredith, he shook his head told her see you later as soon as she saw me, the fucking stars in Wyoming feel like they're right on top of you, it's a gorgeous sight, we smiled, i gave her a hug, we talked and did what is commonly called a baring of the souls, she told me i was a right shit but she couldn't stay mad at me, i told her i was sorry and i was a dumb motherfucker, laughed and told her how the Metal Chick sucked, she laughed and said, all the time i put in on you and you were just getting to be a decent fuck, to this day i can still see her, tight sweater and sparkling eyes spitting out that word fuck, it was beautiful...

Needless to say we talked and drank my booze, smoked a joint, we laughed and smiled and she'd lean against me, at one point i was moving closer hoping to kiss her, she leaned in and then backed away, no she said, as much as i want to no.  A minute later Leroy was walking over looking disgruntled and moaning about how he thought they were gonna hang out and that she spent the last couple hours with me, he asked if she wanted a ride back to town and she said yes, when i asked if i could get a lift he told me there was no room, she told Leroy give her 5 minutes, he stalked off, she turned and smiled, she said you're one helluva mess, you're gonna break a lot of hearts and you need to grow up, she paused, but when you do you're gonna be a great guy, i wish i could see it... she trailed off, then she leaned in and kissed my cheek and walked towards the blaring lights of Leroy's truck...

All this because i heard a Book of Love song on the radio...



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Wilderness Years - One Car Parades (part 4)



Now i'll bet you'll never guess what Cocaine Mike decided to do once he got me on the team and got things running smoothly? anyone? now if you said something like, i bet Cocaine Mike took Mr. Big's money and started buying cocaine with it in order to flip it before he had to pay Mr. Big big back for fronting him the grass, if you said that i'd be pointing with one hand while tapping the tip of my nose with the other, cuz you'd be right, cuz you don't get the name Cocaine Mike by selling weed obviously and the profit margin on powder is so much higher than grass, that is of course if you don't like to shoot a bunch of that blow like our resident psycho Mike did, or as he put it, ain't nothing wrong with a little IVC, which was his way of saying he liked to shoot blow...

The back story on Cocaine Mike was that he was an army vet, one of the first guys to hit the ground in that little exercise we called Grenada, would show you his hand and his half missing pinky that he lost on the beach there,  he was once married and had three daughters but had done a good job disappearing out of their lives and was currently seeing the mother of his son, a white girl from the hollers of West Virginny who he claimed was fucking a brother in order to piss off her family, she of course had a predilection for a different powder and when visiting his apartment you'd see guns, ammo, syringes, baby formula, toys, more guns and more ammo, sitting on his couch and looking around was such a colossal mind fuck that all i wanted to do was get my shit and split but suddenly Cocaine Mike thought i was his best friend, i didn't have the balls to tell him i thought he was a thieving, psycho fuck who fucked over Jack, mainly cuz he'd kick my ass and then probably shoot me, who knows?  maybe he just enjoyed our conversations...

And so Mike told me how he had gotten the deal of the century, five ounces of flake for five grand, it was pretty good shit and by the time he was done cutting it he'd have close to six and a half ounces, after he took his half ounce of personal out of course, so he'd step on his stepped on coke and would hit the street, he'd cut it up in grams, teeners and eight balls and head to the bar where he'd unload an ounce or more a night, his claim was that he'd have Mr. Big's money back in no time and would be reaping in the cheddar... and he was right, he was moving right along and flipping it before Mr. Big ever knew a thing, he had pulled it off twice, and what was that saying? third time's the charm...

On his third go round of loaning himself Mr. Big's money Cocaine Mike came back to his humble hovel and promptly got in an argument with his West Virginia Baby Mama, and for some inexplicable reason Cocaine Mike left his apartment and went to the bar while he and his Baby Mama cooled off... except she didn't cool off, in what one could describe as karma coming back to bite Mike squarely on the ass his Baby Mama tore open the stereo speaker where he stashed his coke and left five empty baggies lying next to the toilet, the baggies had white residue and there was a note taped to the wall that said, "I hope Mr. Big kills you."  And there it went down the shitter, (not that i believed for a second that she was fool enough to flush it) Baby Mama even took his money effectively leaving Cocaine Mike broke, like flat fucking broke, he had the money in his wallet and that was it, of course Baby Mama didn't realize Mike wasn't the only one she screwed, he called me that night in a rasping mix of sobbing and seething, he read me the note, he called her bitch and whore and contemplated trying to find her in those hollers and shooting her and her whole damn family, rasped that when Mr. Big came he'd be fucking ready, i was already planning on laying real fucking low, the last thing i wanted to be was caught in the crossfire, i was sitting on a pound and a half bought and paid, i'd need to stretch it and hustle for something knew, that was the plan...

The next day i walked in the door from work, my pager had a dozen pages from Cocaine Mike and though i wanted to ignore them ignoring them made me nervous, especially if i bumped into him, particularly because he was a bit unhinged, i walked to Joe's Bar and used the payphone, Cocaine Mike asked for money, he wanted to borrow $300, that he'd get me back, i wasn't about to piss away three bills so i told him i didn't have it, that rent and my loans came due and that i was hustling just to make that, told him i'd meet him and give him what i could spare and so an hour later i walked into Mitchell's and saw him sitting in the back, smack dab in the middle so he could watch both doors, i handed him sixty bucks, said it was all i could swing, he nodded and smoked as his eyes darted, he genuinely thanked me as he told me that if Mr. Big came he'd ice the fucker, he was carrying two 9mm under his jacket and another gun on his ankle, whispered how he wasn't no fucking punk and knew how to use these things and that he'd come correct if the time came, i drank my beer and thought what the fuck am i doing here? i wanted to piss my pants, i wanted to pat Mike on the back and say have a nice life and then get the fuck out, but i finished my beer and had one more than made an excuse to leave, Mike said he was leaving too, and then of course he asked if i wanted a ride, i declined and Mike slipped out the back while i went out the front, i listened for gunshots as i walked back towards Joe's Bar, they never came, and that was the last time i would ever see Cocaine Mike in the flesh...

A few months later, not long before i traded in the pager for my first cell phone, i got a page, it was an out of state number with a message, MIKE CALL, i called the number and there was the old familiar rasp, he was down in Florida, he had scraped together a couple hundred dollars and left a day or so after we met at the bar, threw what he could in his gold Chevette, sold what he could, walked out of his place in the middle of the night and headed south, he had a new girlfriend, she was deaf but Mike knew sign language, how or why i never found out but he said it was going really good and that i should come down and hook up and we could do shit, i wanted to laugh and explain that he's psychotic and a fuck-up and that i was trying to weed those people out of my life but i just chuckled and said i didn't think i'd make it down, he asked if anyone had asked about him and i said no, there had a been a whisper or two but i didn't want to tell him that he wasn't exactly missed by anyone around these parts, he said he was working as a mechanic and living with his new girl, said i could get him at this number, after another minute of small talk we hung up... and that was the last time i heard from Cocaine Mike...






Monday, August 14, 2017

Holidays in the Sun (photo edition) Part 2


del Morro (cemetery)


del Morro


what's changed?


boyos


the street cats of Old San Juan


more street cats of Old San Juan


250th celebration statue


I don't dig religion... but i do dig religious iconography...


personal favorite (cathedral San Juan Bautista)


still hasn't found what he's looking for 
(cathedral San Juan Bautista)


hippie (cathedral San Juan Bautista)


St. Pius (cathedral San Juan Bautista)


Legend (Condado Walk of Fame)


local business

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Holidays in the Sun (photo edition) Part 1

 

Fishing village near Fajardo (taken from the balcony) 


Fishing village at night


Luquillo Beach


mind at ease


World Famous


Waterfall (i swam under)


Rainforest


boyos in natural habitat (Luquillo Beach)


Welcome to San Juan
(view from the balcony)


Home of the Whopper