Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Wilderness Years - One Night in the Red Light

Shortly after the 28th anniversary of my birth and the 3rd anniversary of setting up shop in North Oakland i took a vacation, of the European variety, it was roughly a month and i went on my own and it was a calculated gamble because the weed buyers of the world can be a fickle lot and packing up and leaving for a month could have found me coming home to a clientele list that had shrunk dramatically, and the honest truth was slinging was my main gig, it was how i got by, the warehouse job was for show, i had managed to squirrel some cash away and set myself a budget and did all the research and booked some cheap rooms and had a free place to flop in South London, this was done by placing phone calls and using actual travel guides because back then the internet was not the wondrous wasteland it is now... i would dub this trip the Booze and Drugs tour and it would involve stops in, besides London, Amsterdam, Brussels, gay Paree and then back to London before heading home and back to the grind...

And so it was one Friday London morning i arose early and walked to the train station, took a train to the main station and caught the Chunnel train to Paris where i realized that i'd fucked up and added 3 hours to my trip and that i should have caught the train to Brussels but what the hell? i'm a septic on a walkabout there was no need to rush... and so i caught another "fast" train from Paris to Brussels and then a slow one from Brussels to Amsterdam which was spent sipping Amstel and staring at the tulip fields, sometime around late afternoon, after spending roughly 9 hours on trains, i wandered out of the Amsterdam Central Station and began walking towards my little hotel, the whole time like some wide-eyed, wild-haired child, in awe of all that i saw, of the the language and street signs and bicycles and canals, i skirted the Red Light district as i saw my first coffee shop but resisted the urge to grab some gear until i had checked in and gotten settled and grabbed a bite to eat...

My little room was up a flight of steps with the toilet and shower down the hall and a bakery right next door, (how that would come in handy), i looked out the little window that faced onto a little square where the workers of the nearby shops took their breaks, i discovered that Dutch toilets had no water but a little shelf which amused me to know fucking end, the water rushing out after and pushing your turds over the "falls" and out to the lovely canals (or i could only assume)... i unpacked and took a short nap and then headed out to get something to eat, it was still early but after a long day i told myself that i would wait until tomorrow to hit the Red Light, no need to rush as i had a few days and in the back of my mind i knew i couldn't run amok but also knew that there was a distinct possibility i would run completely fucking amok and run the risk of Brussels and Paris going by the wayside and heading back to Souf Londin to drink Tennant's Super for the next two weeks while awaiting my flight home...

So into the late afternoon sunshine i went, i wandered a bit and saw Ajax's stadium and stood admiring the first professional home of Dennis Bergkamp, then found a little place and ate some lasagna and drank a few Amstels, i watched the bicycles and traffic and people all moving about, i watched the sun slowly fade and pulled out my little map and figured what the fuck? couldn't hurt just to find the Red Light tonight so that i would know where i was going in the morning right? and so off i went in search of the Red Light District of Amsterdam, a tall septic in a flannel shirt, like Coronado searching for his city of gold, in less than 10 minutes i was at the gates of Eden to a 28yr old half ass American hoodlum, i was stopped at the gates and told that if i wanted the best "coke, hash or ecstasy", to come see this man in a black leather jacket, "i'm here every night, marycan."  I nodded and took it under advisement.

There's a reason for districts like this being beacons for the petty criminal, my first fifteen minutes wandering through i must have looked like a first class mark, a bumpkin right off the bus, you didn't have to lift my wallet you could have stolen my pants right off me and i wouldn't have known it, my grin was Cheshire cat wide as i looked around, i told myself as i walked through that if there was a so-called heaven i hoped it looked just like this, yes it may be a warped view of things but it was my 28yr old view, the thought of a good night sleep dissolved like acid on the tongue, fucking gone, it was time to get down to business and so get down to business i would...

Now a good friend of mine who had come to Holland, squatted a house near the Belgian border, set up a grow room and plied his trade by peddling his crop to a Belgian who would ride his bike across the border and put the gear in a backpack and ride back, told me i would absolutely hate the music, he told me this while sitting in my room and buying gear off me when he came back after 18 months because his mother missed him, he was a good guy but leaned towards the hippy jam band scene and so i shrugged and took it under advisement, there was a couple years where my life was all about the club and doing drugs and dancing until the sun came up, but the reality was that i was mellow enough to get on anywhere and so i wasn't too concerned...

I walked around a bit and noticed this hole in the wall sorta place, dark except for the light that hung over the pool table, there was strange track lighting that ran around the doors and above the bar and it seemed reasonably seedy enough at first glance and so in i strolled, of course everyone sorta of turned and took a glance at the stranger walking in, the bartender looked like a bull dyke Bridgette Nielsen, she was close to six feet tall with a space between her front teeth, a mullet with bangs and shaved sides, she turned from the CD player behind the bar, took one look at me laughed and yelled, Hey American! you like James Brown? i grinned slightly and with my best smart ass said, I fuckin' love James Brown, she broke into a smile and yelled, then sit down and get yourself a drink... (to be continued)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sunny Afternoon

To quote Brian Johnson, the neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie from the film The Breakfast Club, "my home life is unsatisfying", it's a very business-like environment and i know my fucking place, being the plus one has it's advantages and disadvantages and while it's landed me in some funny and wonderful places it also can land me in shit like the other day when i was required to tag along with the girl and her father to the casino for what was ostensibly his X-mas gift, to spend some time with one of his kids and his favorite plus one, how i earned that spot i do not know but believe me when i tell you it ain't no blessing but a fucking curse... scribbled somewhere on the bathroom walls of the lounge is a little story about a trip to Costa Rica and how i almost killed this motherfucker for his actions while on that trip and yet what my old man taught me is to be a decent human being even to the fuckers you'd like to throttle and so i grit my teeth and force a smile now and then and luckily for me the Posa, as he was dubbed, is always blissfully unaware...

At 73 my old man is cool as fuck, a card carrying member of the left he can converse on any number of topics from politics to sports to history to philosophy to the great singer-songwriters of the 70's, he's a smart bastard and our normal phone conversation runs 2 hours, the Posa on the other hand voted for Cheeto and gets all his information from Fox News, the trick is to not converse with him on any topic because it's like talking to a stone, a stone who likes to yell and scream and argue but who hates things like facts and logic, he spends most of his time telling you about what he's eaten, his bowel movements and his favorite grandchild, (not on of my boyos thankfully), for most of her life he's treated the girl like shit but for all the world other than me she is empathetic and kind to a fault, hence she feels bad for the fucking clown...

And so for X-mas she got him a train ticket to the burgh in order to spend the day with her and the plus one (me)... and by spend the day it meant his three favorite things, a trip to Costco, then the Casino and it's buffet and gambling.  There are two casinos near where i live, one downtown and one about 15 miles south, downtown might be physically closer but it's quicker to the other and so that's where i usually take him and so we parked and made our way to the buffet where at the ripe old age of 46 i was easily the youngest person there by 20 years, i watched as the Posa gobbled down three or four plates of grub before getting his desert and then heading out onto the floor to gamble... the first thing i noticed is that for a Wednesday at noon the place was packed, it was a herd of walkers and canes and wheelchairs, there were oxygen tanks and cigarette smoke, it was social security checks and retirement funds and reverse mortgages all being plowed into a bleeping blur of neon clicks and clacks, bright flashing lights and buzzers and bells and the most beautiful shades of silver-blue hair...

Now the business of my domestic situation breaks down like this, i get room and board and a car, i'm a bit like built in childcare and that's cool cuz it's me boyos and i like that part of the gig, of course when it comes to what i call pocket money i gotta come up with my own and since i've always been the resourceful type i get by, a bit hand to mouth but not really cuz i'm not fucking homeless (not yet), it's what i call my sanity cash, the ability to buy a record or see a rock show or get my gear without having to answer to anyone about the cheddar, of course it usually doesn't leave extra money for things like gambling and since i'm not averse to the roulette wheel or the blackjack table i'll do my time for a little free dosh but alas i was handed $50 and asked if that was okay? what the fuck was i gonna say no? and so since i didn't really have enough bankroll to hit the blackjack table or the roulette wheel i found the video roulette and promptly lost $20 of my $50 and said fuck it, i refuse to play slot machines and so i spent the time wandering and debating on if i should just pocket the other $30 and say i lost it and then i remembered... Post Time, 1pm...

Thanks to humanity doing it's best to fuck up the planet i sat outside in the grandstand on a February day in a t-shirt and jeans, one of the reasons i liked this casino over the downtown casino was it had a track, a harness track mind you but a track nonetheless and as we know i like the fucking track... there is a marked difference between the track crowd and the casino crowd, the slots players were suckers, out here it took skill and guile, you needed an eye... at least that's what horse players told themselves, and so i thought back to what the teacher of my horse playing class had said about the trotters, that you could eye the standard-breds, you could see which ones were ready to go and that there was money to be made, i had never played standard-breds before but it beat wandering around in the blinking neon and so i sat down and watched the tote board, didn't even fuck with a program just watched the tote and listened to the track announcer and eyed the ponies...

And so it was on this day that i would place my first ever wager on the trotters, i knew fuck all about gait but everything else was the same as thoroughbreds and so i listened intently to the track announcer and watched the tote as they flashed the expert picks, mainly i eyed the horses as they warmed up, i watched their demeanor and their eyes, watched their movements and alertness, some you could see were going through the motions and some looked more ready than the others, now to figure out which one was most ready, and so i gave myself a whopping $4 budget and set to work trying to score a winner, a real horse player is never one for the favorites, sure they come in one out of three races but it's the public that sets the odds at the track and the public is known to be stupid, with the form you crunch numbers and look for an angle, with no form it was eye and gut, and so my four bones would be laid down with a win bet and an $1exacta box, sometimes a cheap part wheel...

The first race i won fuck all, my exacta finished place/show instead of win/place and my winner finished second, but in the second race there was a horse looked like it was ready to pop, the tote board said 12-1, i hit the auto-tote and placed my win bet, i went back out the grandstand and took my seat, i watched my big white horse drift up to 15-1, the race went off and he settled in and on the backstretch he made his move, i was already grinning, my pony was sailing by and when he hit the stretch i knew i had the winner, $32.80 on my $2, i should have played a wheel like my gambling guru taught me but i was trying to be disciplined with my limited funds, since the Posa was sinking his retirement into slot machines and a stud poker table who knew how many races i'd get to play, plus the card just started and if i won nothing i had cash for 7 races, of course i only got through three, the third bringing in a cheap dollar exacta with a favorite on top but it was another $9 and change, i had made my fifty back...

The text came in and it was time to leave after the third but man did i miss the track, the itch was back, my uncle who once had a gambling problem (football games) told me how dangerous the track was, the fact that a new race went off every twenty minutes, sometimes less, being well acquainted with the addicts mentality i understood where he was coming from, like most vices there needs to be a discipline involved, but what i really missed was the atmosphere, there is the lovely solitude in the sparse crowd at the track, especially on weekdays, it's mainly lone men all staring at their forms, some you can tell cut out work, some probably schedule certain days off to make it, there are the occasional couples and sometimes a group of guys fucking off and getting drunk, you can sit there all day and the only person you talk to is the lady at the ticket cashing window, there's the smooth voice of the announcer and track expert, the crack of the whip and calls of the drivers, i could have sat there all day, i'm hoping to get back out soon, maybe even spend the two bucks and get the local program, and while picking winners is fun i'll admit it's not about that at all, it's about something else and you either know what that something else is or you don't...



















Thursday, March 2, 2017

Suburbia - Pill Crusher

The Clubhouse really deserves it own proper post but some old master somewhere said something about keeping the reader in suspense or some shit, i don't really know, in short the Clubhouse is my sanity in the sea of the vanilla suburban cesspool, the place i go to fucking relax and drink beers and pull tubes and have anywhere from inane conversations about the minutiae of the spotted frog to in depth philosophical debates on the artistic merits of footballers, to musings on Russian short stories and music and outer space and everything in between, i love this fucking place because it's a haven for weirdos and misfits hidden among the polished facade of normalcy that is suburban living, no one here aspires to be anything more than what they are, stoners and drinkers and lovers of drugs and debauchery of all shapes and sizes...

And so it was recently that a girl was sitting at the kitchen counter, away from the telly and the talking and staring rather perplexedly at little lime green square, a Xanax, she had whispered to someone that she was having a bit of a problem crushing said pill when someone told her to ask Kono, he'd know what to do, i was quite fucking stoned and concentrating intently on opening my bottle of beer when i kindly looked up and said what's the problem? she was a brunette with large brown eyes and red streaks dyed through her hair which was pulled up haphazardly behind a black headband, oddly enough i'd been smoking some Headband not long before, i gazed down at the scene like an aging MacGuyver...

She said she couldn't seem to crush it and i asked her if there was a coating on it, she looked at me blankly, and i said a coating, a time release thing to keep you from doing exactly what you're trying to do with it, she smiled blankly and i examined the pill, i told her it seemed as if there might be one on there but i couldn't tell for sure but if there was there were ways around it involving a damp paper towel, a plate, a microwave, it could be done but i also said if there was no coating that this method would dissolve the damn thing and so i scored the pill a bit and then took the Snapple bottle she was using and Presto! it crushed right up. Unfortunately though neither of us made sure the bottle was empty or the lid securely fashioned and before we knew it the dregs of Snapple were dissolving the pill, i told her to quickly dab it on her finger and she did and went one better by using her little straw to slurp up the few drops that had almost caused catastrophe, she winced at the taste and took a drink of water and then moved back into the living room...

It took all of 20 minutes for her to ask me to crush up the other half and of course i obliged, i went to work crushing and chopping and spreading, then putting it back into a pile and chopping some more, a ritual i was once well-versed in, i handed her back her Ralph's card and noticed she was dividing the gear in two lines, what a polite kid i thought and headed back to the sofa, as i walked away she asked if i was gonna do one and i thanked her, smiled, and politely declined, the dozen or so bingers having done more than their trick i was quite pleased with my display of self control, she offered the rest of the room the same and then proceeded to zoot both little green lines and then take up a seat on the couch...

Before long that Xanax had loosened her tongue proficiently enough to get her gabbing away and telling us how just last week her friends and her had bought a whole bunch of ecstasy and Xanax and proceeded to go on a 4 day bender of which she could remember very little other than that it was a swell time, a wave of nostalgia washed over me thinking about the days when i used to do those things, a week or two or three of anything and everything, days upon days of acid and weed and booze, the kids are alright i thought, of course i was going to tell her to be careful but instead began telling a story about getting pure MDMA back in 1994 and how we used to mix it in with the Kool-Aid and slug it down, the dregs always bitter but always the most important part and she looked at me and said, 1994? that was a year before i was born which brought howls of laughter from a couple of us as she smiled and thought about drinking a beer...

It was then that we began debating the fine line of Xanax and booze and i for one offered up how many nights of Xany bars and booze had led me to piss myself more times than i'd care to mention, of course the call went up for me to mention and i listed a number of places of when i pissed and what i pissed on, of waking up at noon and wondering why i was naked from the waist down and why my jeans were balled up on the floor and wet, the wine of youth i believe it's called and it was then that the young lady decided to wax philosophical and slag of the straight world and higher education, that she was gonna be an artist and shit and man if the grin didn't spread across my face, it was a fucking load of bollocks, it sounded an awful lot like this kid i used to know except that guy was a bit more eloquent and demonstrative when he spoke, i catch quick glimpses of him occasionally...

Now years ago i was reading an interview with Mike Watt of the Minutemen (and the re-formed Stooges for a time), and what Watt said was that you shouldn't be a dick and judge the kids cause none of us control when we're born and so it's no fault of your own if you miss some musical or cultural movement and that we should give the kids credit for doing their own thing and digging into the past and learning... when it's all broken down the hippies and the punks were not that far apart in their world view and so i've always taken Mike's words to heart, i like to hear what the kids are digging, what they're reading, who they're listening to, (Bowie was another shining example of keeping tabs on youth culture), it's being curious, on the other hand i was always keen to hear what those who went before me were into and in the process learned lots 'O shit, her lines were nothing i hadn't heard or even said before except i was never one to bad mouth the halls of higher education and so when she stopped i asked if i could give her a different perspective? sure she said...

I explained that college was one of the best things i ever did, sure i owed money when i got out but the real question was what are you going to school for? to get a job? or are you going to get an education? i said the purpose was to get an education, there's all kinds of shit to study that doesn't involve the business of making money i told her and in your spare time you sit in the library and read books and educate yourself, it affords you one of the last times of your life to spend hours upon hours of fucking about all in the name of learning something, and hell it's not like you need to go to Harvard, i'd find the cheapest place and make sure it's nothing like where i was from, thus making you learn even more shit, i've never actually used my degree in my life and yet i used what i learned during those years everyday... of course i also told her she could say fuck it and travel the world or better yet go to school overseas for free and that roughly 30% of the population has a bachelor's degree and before she slagged it off she should realized it's not like you just show up and they hand you some fancy paper with your name written in calligraphy but in the end you'll have to work and deal with people and things far outside your comfort zone, in short it's a fucking right laugh and i also recommended taking copious amounts of drugs and having as much sex as possible but did add that was just my personal opinion... lastly i stated that whatever she did she shouldn't go to school for art cuz that was the one damn thing you can learn on your own... it's just a thought i said as i drained my beer...

She sat slightly nodding her head and dwelling upon my little soliloquy, i got up off the couch and walked my bottle to the recycle bin, stretched and grabbed my coat, shook hands and bumped fists and said my goodbyes. my Xanax'd up friend looked at me and smiled and said that was pretty cool, that she had never thought of shit that way, i told her us old-timers have our moments...  and then it was out to drive the loop, that wonderful little route home, the stereo humming comfortably, the houses mostly dark, the streets mostly empty,  raccoon eyes glinting yellow in the headlights...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Wildnerness Years - Fruits of Thy Labor

And now back to our show... so i was doing alright and of course it can't be all work and no play in the land of milk and honey and though most people don't take the attitude that slinging is a job it most definitely is, problem is that the average half ass hood is spending his money before it's made and while the appearance of success is there it doesn't take a close inspection to see it's all ruse, a ruse that usually runs a good number of the so-called players right out of the game in one way or another, but for those of us doing it right the trick is to keep a handle on all the moving parts and if you can do that then you give the aura of one of the most sought-after guys in the game, meaning you are a stable planet in an unstable galaxy... and while it won't turn you into Brad Pitt it will make you a bit more attractive to the women in said orbit...

So i moved a good deal of smoke for Hippie Jack and my customer base expanded and some of those customers were young ladies and some of those young ladies could take a shine to the guy weighing out their gear, of course studies show being 6'4 helps and the rat's nest of dreads on my head didn't hurt either, i was a walking, talking middle finger to all those good and pure things out there in the lily white where a good number of these young ladies grew up, they didn't want to take me out of my transient hood and home to mom and dad but they weren't adverse to other things and their "connection" wasn't exactly naive to the fact that there was a certain allure to the art of dealing, didn't matter if they were seeing someone or if i was what mattered was the trophy, they bagged a hood/dealer and me? well let's just say i enjoyed the temporary company of women, in the end the young (much like the old) just want to fuck...

Part of my job was delivering party goods to party stores so that the world would never run short of disposable shit, and of course these stores were located all over the suburbs (except for the one warehouse and the store above it, the one located a scant city block or so from my apartment at this time), now one nice thing about the dreads back then (95-96) was the fact it was damn near a calling card, a big lighted billboard with the words "I know how to get weed!" flashing in a neon technicolor, it's also the reason i very rarely left the hood except for work, besides there was no reason to leave the hood with it's dive bars and strip clubs and rock and roll bars, way down low where the streets are littered/ i find my fun with the freaks and the niggas...Perry Farrell once sang those words, long before he began shilling for John Varvatos, back when Perry wasn't a dick, we burned brightly in our little corner of the universe because we didn't know what else to do and we had our fun regardless of race, color, creed, sexual preference etal... and so it was on one of these delivery runs that some skinny fucking nitwit named Shady Sean, a guy who was already on the payroll, introduced me to Winnie...

Winnie was a classic dishwater blonde, she had long stringy hair and had a penchant for wearing hippie skirts and corduroy and clogs, she reeked of potential customer and one fine day her and Shady Sean stopped over after i got off work and scored their gear and we sat and bullshitted and Winnie spent a lot of time smiling and gazing intently at me while Shady Sean rambled on about Dead shows and what not, you see it wasn't lost on Sean that Winnie had taken a keen interest in me and since i was not a Deadhead but a dreaded-out punk and indie kid he wanted to establish an advantage, he felt the vibe, the man dance had started except in Pennsyltucky parlance i was a big old bad-ass 14 point buck and he was fuzzy-nubbed Bambi, when Winnie stepped out to use the bathroom Shady leaned in and intimated that we was hoping to get over on Winnie, i smiled and patted him on the back and told him good luck, when she got back they got their shit together to go and we chatted for a few minutes, then as Shady Sean stepped into the hall Winnie stopped and smiled and asked if she could have my number so she could call me herself, of course i said and smiled back, the hissing sound i heard was the air bursting out of Sean's bubble...

And so within a week she was back over to get another sack, an eighth, being the gentleman i knocked five bucks off her price and we sat and conversed and smoked a joint, i was being felt out and i knew it, not pointed questions but specific enough... when i delivered to the store she would volunteer to help unload the van, a job most store employees loathed, we'd stand and chat and every week she'd ask what day would be good to stop over, she'd giggle her boyfriend was smoking all the pot and he really liked it, how she had such a great connection, even said he asked if he could come too but she told him no, good answer i grinned and it went on like that for a few weeks...

It was a gray and damp fall afternoon, not a month had passed from her maiden visit with Shady Sean, a guy she laughed off as she told me how he tried to kiss her in the car that day and how she backed away and asked what the fuck he was doing, i laughed, she was wearing brown corduroys and a fuzzy striped sweater, she smelled of the finest hippie fragrance, she sat on the mattress tossed on the floor, i packed the bong and we took a few hits, i weighed out her bag, gave her the usual discount and tossed a fat bud on top so she could see the triple beam rise well north of the even point, bagged her gear and handed it to her and then took a seat in my beat up chair, swigged my beer and asked her if she wanted one, she declined and i passed her the bong and she took a hit and  passed it back and i set it down, she then smiled and said there was one thing she wanted to do and i said what's that? and she got up and straddled me while i sat in the chair and began kissing me...

It didn't take long for us to get our clothes off and move to the bed, she had been thoughtful enough to bring condoms with her and so we nibbled and licked our way around each other, she had almost non-existent breasts, basically large nipples and nothing more, soon she was astride me again and as i lay there and stared up at the her and the ceiling she kept telling me about some special trick she had but the bed was to soft  for her to pull it off, we moved to the floor and it was too hard, it was getting a bit Goldilocks when i told her it was okay, i'm sure there would be other times to show me, she smiled and we went about our business... of course there were a few more times for her to show me but i never got to see that magic trick...

It was a short lived little fling and who knows how long it could have gone on, it ended a bit abruptly and on good terms... she got pregnant, not be me fucking mind you but by her boyfriend, of course there was still that shiver that runs up the spine when a woman you've had sex with tells you she's pregnant but she confirmed i was in the clear, we'd been the responsible type while her and her boyfriend had not, i told her jokingly you better hope they kid doesn't have light skin and blue eyes, her boyfriend being a black dude, she laughed again and gave me a hug, not long after she quit the party store... and that was the last i'd see of her...










Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Clods and Tods

I am a lazy motherfucker... i say this unequivocally and without malice, there is no hope that someday i will not be a lazy motherfucker for a lazy motherfucker is what i am and i much prefer it that way.  I haven't looked at the typer for weeks, maybe it's some sort of melancholy resignation that loons have taken over the asylum and maybe it started around the 20th of January though i'm sure it started before that... Kurt was right you know, humanity is an utter fucking disaster and a detriment to everything else on this lovely blue orb but so it goes and just when i think there is no possible way that my opinion of humanity can get any lower a special group of homo sapiens will go out of their way to prove Darwin quite wrong by being so ass-fucking-backwards that it damn near makes me believe in some higher power because Mother Nature would have eliminated a species this stupid long ago if it was up to her, i vacillate between caring very deeply about the issues of the day and not giving a rat's fucking left hind teat about them because we'll just fuck it up anyhow, the apathy and nihilism usually increasing or decreasing by the amount of gear i'm toking at any given moment but away we spin as some F-list boob (Tila Tequila) tells us she has verifiable proof that the Earth is flat... i shit you not...

And so that cocksucker Zuckerberg is now demanding ID in order for me to berate people online, a hobby that was quickly becoming boring and passe, akin to pissing into the wind without the satisfaction of pissing on oneself, if there is any satisfaction in that, and so fuck it, they can delete my invaluable data from their data base, i'm sure my 38 friends will be crushed, if i can't use my nom de plume i can't be arsed, the last thing i need is fucking family members or in-laws or long lost acquaintances tracking me down and pretending like we actually give a shit about each other, we don't or at least i don't... and all the time i used to waste scrolling through alt/fake/real/news can be put to better use... doubleplusgood!! i say, things like getting really high and blabbering away in my own little corner of Cyberia, and i'm getting back to the stories, the world needs stories as they say or at least i do when i'm listening to me records and daydreaming away the afternoon with cuppa tea and cat purring next to me...

You see while i was having my 723 existential crisis of this current physical incarnation and trying to drudge up any old reason why i should be arsed to type out anything, i began dwelling on the rich people who seem to inhabit all these news programs that they show on the telly and that someone around here is always watching (not me mind you), and with all that money and power and what not they all looked fucking miserable as fuck, oh sure they smiled for the cameras the same way a spoiled and pampered child does and it was in that moment that i began laughing and patting my belly like the Buddha, these sad and pathetic people had never enjoyed a thing in their fucking lives, oh they'd claim they did and prattle they enjoy all kinds of things but it doesn't take an expert bullshit detector to know they're full of shit, you see in order to enjoy something you have to appreciate it, what it took to attain it or make it or cook it or steal it, when the world is handed to you on a shiny platter you can't truly grasp the fact though you've got a Michelin starred private chef you've never tasted anything as delicious as the spaghetti i used to eat every Thursday night down at the mission, and you either understand why or you don't... how those cut rate noodles and sauce tasted more delectable than any goat's milk and whole grain raised Foie Gras that Ms. Betsy ever tasted...

But this post cant' just toddle around in it's own pish and moan i mean what's fucking good these days maaaan? and what's fucking good are the soothing sounds of rock and roll and the happy accidents the universe will play on you,  to wink and nudge and say don't let the assholes get you down man... and so it was with wicked head cold and all i ventured out into the February night to see my man Hamilton Leithauser, former lead singer of the Walkmen and writer of the brilliant song the Rat which came out a year or so after i said goodbye to the game, a song which struck those lovely chords and uttered the words about "going out and knowing everyone you saw" but "now going out alone if i go out at all..." Ham with a voice that runs from suave crooner to a cigged-out, whiskey soaked, rock and roll howl, in short a beautiful fucking voice in the most non-beautiful sense...

And with each passing year the legend of Kono fades more and more into the smoke of a North Oakland bar, a lot of those people are ghosts, some figuratively and some literally, but there was a day when i was as fucking hood famous as you can get and so when i walked into the show and saw my old friends lovely wife i smiled, accepted my hug and asked where he was and he wasn't far away and so i accepted another hug and though i didn't plan to drink my old mate (who's about 7-8 years younger than me) stood me a couple of Guinness and we watched the gig and talked the old days and the new days, he's making a pretty good name for himself in the brewing business and i laughed as we swapped stories and talked shit, he once told me that i was the Sensei, that a lot of what he knew about the game he learned from watching me operate out of the bar he worked in, it's one of the best compliments i've ever gotten, we came out the other side, some didn't... the geezer with the head cold even got to flirt a bit with a woman who plowed into him, sharp leather jacket and gorgeous lips, some wit and flash... sometimes that's enough, particularly when you've got a wicked head cold... now on with the show...





Monday, January 23, 2017

One Year Later - Ziggy in the Subway

So Dave has been gone a year (when i started this) and i've spent many hours over that past year thinking about what Dave has taught me and thinking about what Dave has made me think about, because over the last year i've listened to Blackstar a lot, it's a brilliant record without the juxtaposition of his death but with it i've argued to anyone who'd listen that combined with the visual images it's nothing short of a work of high art in the highest order, i don't give a fuck what anyone says... but enough of this staid academic shit let's get on with the story here...

Many moons ago i attended Podunk U. in the backwoods of western Pennysltucky, it's the kind of place where the local residents are stuck in a time warp, like modern day Indiana (sorry Kurt), to put it mildly they are not the most open-minded of folks... it was also a shit state uni commuter campus with a good portion of the student body shuffling off to Pittsburgh or Cleveland or the surrounding areas while us hardcores with nowhere to go and nothing to do would somehow get fucked up on anything and everything that came our way and wander from shit house to shit apartment until we passed out on the floor sometime long after the three shitty town bars had closed...

And so it came to pass one fine Saturday afternoon that i ingested a rather large amount of hallucinogens, i was on my own and wandering when i stopped by a friend's place, the apartment of two girls i knew, one the good Doctor's lady friend and the other a chubby girl with flaming red curly hair who i'd occasionally screw just because i'd occasionally screw anyone who asked me at the time, and so i walked up the steps and knocked and smoked some grass and had a beer and oddly enough was hungry and asked what they had to eat? of course they ran down the usual shit poor college students have and i checked my pockets and realized i had enough for a sub and then the drugs kicked some more and i forgot about the sub for a minute and as i walked around the apartment i picked up a Ziggy Stardust wig, well maybe not the officially licensed version but close enough and soon i had it on and was looking in the mirror and giggling and Shag, the curly red haired girl, started laughing and said wait, let me put some make-up on you, and then we both laughed and i sat down...

Now don't get the idea that i had a lightening bolt drawn onto my face or anything, it was much simpler than that, mainly it was some silver eye shadow and eyeliner, some mascara, some lipstick and the orange Ziggy wig, all the kinds of shit that could get a red-blooded American boy's ass kicked in a small town... and so Shag applied the make-up and her breasts were rubbing against me and i pondered the chance of fucking later and i finished a beer and she finished painting my face and then i remembered i wanted a sandwich and so off to Subway we went, a mere 5 or 6 blocks of the 8 or 9 that roughly made up my own private Idaho...

There are those occasions (or all) under the influence of acid when you feel as if nothing can harm you, or what Chavez y Chavez called the spirit world for all you Young Guns aficionados, and so i walked through the gloaming in search of my sandwich with Shag and another lost weekender named Harry, it was one of those cool but humid spring nights and by the time i got to Subway the drugs were in full swing and i ordered my food oblivious to the looks of consternation and confusion of the poor townies working the counter (there seemed to be an unwritten rule of not hiring college students in the little town) i ordered and sat in the window while Shag and Harry laughed at the passersby doing double takes at the tall guy in a Ziggy Stardust wig and wearing make up serenely eating his sub and watching a light show only he could see...

It was a fine time and we finished our dinner and walked back through town to the big pink house and up the three flights of steps to the top floor apartment where Shag lived, Saturday nights were a vast wasteland, even more so if you were not yet legal drinking age, but somehow we had procured more beer and a couple joints, we opened the windows and turned on the stereo and played records and tapes and watched shit movies on a VCR and when the time came Harry made his gracious exit and so i began to grab my stuff to go as well when a hand grabbed mine for a moment, i sat back down, i had taken off the wig long before but had forgotten about the make-up, Shag lit up the last half joint and we smoked and kissed and then she led me into her bedroom where we did the requisite giggling and nibbling and fucking...

It was in the wee hours when i donned Shag's big pink bathrobe and made my way to the kitchen and made myself a cup of tea, Shag sprawled out naked in her bed and snoring lightly, i sat in the window and looked out over the sleepy little town and drank tea as the acid wound it's way down, i sat there for a couple of hours through the deep black night and into the lightening dusk and listened to the sounds and then i crept back to Shag's room and got dressed and crept slowly to the door, made my way down the steps in the chilly dawn air and walked the couple blocks back to my place, just a boy who keeps swinging, a boy trying to work it out...


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ten

In true lounge fashion yesterday was 10 years to the day of the first post i ever hit publish on, of course being a fucking stoner i missed it, well maybe not missed it i just thought it was the 17th, maybe i was distracted in the last days of the Republic by the gigantic shit show that i can't seem to get away from... or maybe i was just really really high... i guess a lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same over the last decade in my own cold little corner of Cyberia, fuck if i know, it's been a right laugh and it entertains me so i guess i'll just keep doing whatever it is here i do, i have no delusions of grandeur, i've never tried to win an award or expand my "brand" or whatever the fuck it is that goes on here with these things, apparently there's a whole cottage industry and conferences and what not, i don't understand it or pretend to want to, i prefer the solitude and some good tunes, fucking people get on my tits if you know what i mean, and so without much (or more correctly no) fanfare we're a decade in, the lounge roughly six months younger than the I-mac and 2 years and change older than Nick Disaster, how's that for perspective old man, i've kicked old habits and started new ones and kicked those and quit smoking cigs and learned how to booze and discovered what the kids call vaporizers and though i could go on i won't, it's the lounge for fucking christ sake, we've never tried that hard and we're not about to start now dammit... and so i'm gonna pour a Guinness and have a toke, ten years of this shit, i shake my head, i must be a fucking nutter...