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...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Suburbia - Casual Party

Due to the environment in which i live, (the suburbs), i am sometimes forced to leave my house and interact with other adult types in a social aspect, i managed to avoid if for the first few years but then the boyos got older and started doing shit and sometimes this shit leads to parties and since i feel it my responsibility and shit to make sure they're happy i subject myself to these functions, functions were disparate people are thrown together and forced to converse, of course some people know each other better than others and in this my theory of the suburbs being nothing more than a (sorta) grown up version of high school only with balder heads, saggier boobs, beer guts, and flabby asses comes to fruition...

Of course if you've ever been subjected to one of these functions you'll find that most of the gibbering is about jobs and careers and the most vanilla of hobbies.  It's one thing to be into gardening and Oprah's book club and quite another to be into various strains of ganja and say, French Existentialism, one could say they are that not far away from each other, both involve cultivation of plants and reading but let's face it among the polite types of the burbs it's a fucking galaxy apart, hell i might as well announce a penchant for ass-less leather chaps and ball gags and ask the hostess to pass the spinach dip... let us also not forget the various houses of worship that crop up in conversation and this strange unspoken knowledge that i'm supposed to know what they fuck they're talking about, luckily i usually get stoned before i show up and make sure to suck down a beer right quick to take the edge off, granted i can talk to anyone, been doing it for years, but the older i get the less i feel like, shall we say, putting forth the effort and would much rather eat my slice of pizza and gobble baked goods while the munchies are still raging...

Oddly enough i've noticed it's perfectly okay to get tanked at these functions but as i've wound down my drinking the past few years and wound up my grass intake i tend to wander from place to place and sort of drift on the periphery of conversations, not that i'm trying to strike up a conversation about French Existentialism because i'm not, i'm mainly just looking to pass the time until i can round up said boyo or boyos and get the fuck outta Dodge.  There is also the drawback of having no career or ever wanting one, my healthy contempt for organized religion and my love of all things perverse, criminal, and for lack of a better word, artistic... yes i sound like a perfect fucking wanker but at least i'm not reminiscing about the glory days of the big game and the tackles and touchdowns that went with it (who knows someday maybe i'll write some posts about the glory days of hot shit basketball player kono), it's damn near the same problem i had in high school it's just none of my old goofy wasted friends are there to get even more wasted with and attempt to pick up girls, seeing that i'm pretty sure it's frowned upon to hit on the housewives while their hubbies are in the same room, then again i could be completely wrong about that...

And so i plan my strategy, i note the exit doors, i avoid the talk of television shows (i don't really watch any) and manicured lawns, of home improvement projects or which country supplies the best Au Pairs (cuz nannies are so passe these days), i was dumb enough to open my mouth once and say that if i got one of those i'd have to get a fucking job, the joke was like that lead zeppelin, blank stares and a stray giggle and then the resumption of affairs at hand while i slunk off to the periphery of some other room, Jean-Paul's No Exit burning brightly on the marquee of my mind, at least this hell is quite clean and with fine pastries and the soft type toilet paper that sticks to my hairy ass, and like most good soccer moms i've learned to look for the imperfections, for the dust in the corners or stain on the floor, not to sit in the pow-wow of the PTA junta and snicker but in order to make me feel better about my lack of domestic prowess... what's a dope-smoking, (occasional) pill popping, Guinness drinking heathen to do? i watch the clock and have a cocktail weeny...

So i stand and watch the upstanding citizens of my community laugh and converse, i nod and arch my eyebrows and smile as if i understand the language, i dream of slipping out the back and heading to the Clubhouse to pull tubes and drink a few beers, to talk the futbol or hockey or French Existentialism or ganja, to debate the merits of records or writers of a decidedly non-mainstream bent, but alas i cannot, i must stay until that first guest leaves, as if there is some unwritten rule that prevents me from making for the door before anyone else, but i bide my time and tip off the boyo(s) and do my best Davey Copperfield when the time comes, a quiet thank you to the host and hostess, "yes a great time, the boyos loved it" and then out towards the car in hopes of dodging any more talk of play dates or "date nights", i can only handle the same conversation so many times, i prefer the quiet nights of my cold room, the company of the page and the typer and the record player, the creak of the steps, the bubble of the bong, these days it's a party of one, i like it more that way,,,











Sunday, January 1, 2017

Heavens and Heathens

There is a road that runs from Pittsburgh to Altoona in the lovely state that i call home, and on this road is seems that there is nothing less than an endless struggle between the forces of good and evil, of course good and evil is a relative thing and what one may consider good another may consider evil and on this road they are juxtaposed in such a way as to make me ponder and giggle the whole drive, you see i've driven this road many times and have watched it change over the years, i often travel this road around certain holidays when in order to keep the peace i acquiesce to something that at worst is Guantanamo like and at best mildly boring, the things i do to keep a roof over my head, let me tell you...

The road runs through the Laurel Highlands, so named by the Scottish settlers who ended up here many years ago and who could not believe their luck in finding a place that had even shittier weather than their homeland, a mix of fog and freezing rain and snow and what seems an almost constant grey drizzle, it's a road that runs through nothing or if not nothing very little, a sparsely populated area of rednecks and hill-jacks, of people who like to polish their guns and are afraid of all non-whites, of course in this territory there are very few non-whites but they see the Fox news and know what a dangerous place the world is... and of course the two businesses that dominate the landscape once you are just east of Murrysville are churches and strip clubs/porno shops, (and a smattering of bars)... and therein lies the struggle for the soul of man... or something like that...

Now the churches run the gamut from the mega-church of Cornerstone Ministries, a bunch of fucking con men bilking the elderly and stupid out of what little money they have so they can build gigantic houses of worship and run a television station where they sit around in expensive ill-fitting suits while sporting ridiculous amounts of gold and inform us of all the places the Bible tells us to donate so that we can be saved and become rich just like them, hell it's even tax deductible which is something they seem to mention a lot, sometimes when i'm really good and cooked i'll turn it on just to admire the bullshit they are shoveling, you gotta hand it to these grifters, the way they see it practically every damn verse in that book is a reason to send them money and boy if those phones in the phone room aren't ringing off the hook...

And of course there are other types of churches in this stretch of road... one is in a warehouse, one looks like a tiny one room place which has a neon Jesus Saves sign above the door (something i've honestly thought about trying to heist) and a sign stating that truckers are welcome, the usual average looking joints with white steeples and a school bus or two parked on the side, they are every few miles it seems and of many denominations but with most leaning toward that evangelical style of mumbo-jumbo that seems to be all the rage these days in places not classified as urban, oddly i feel much safer in the ghetto than out here among the devout...

And then there is the other side of the coin, or should i say sticky token, cuz anyone who has ever been in the porno store knows you gotta wash your hands after handling those tokens, the tokens that get you into the little movie booths where one can watch any number of fuck flicks, gay or straight otherwise, a place where our esteemed state legislature of god-fearing types voted to remove the doors and install curtains to protect us citizens from jerking off or making new friends and jerking off or any other number of certain activities they deem unhealthy, you see in a world full of free porn the only reason to be heading to the sex shop is for lube and dildos and what not, all things that could also be bought online in a more discreet and private fashion but yet these stores are still here, a tribute to the perversions of humanity in all it's glory, the fading lights of a golden age where racks of porn magazines and sex toys mingle with the little canisters of nitrous oxide and VCR head cleaner and that weird shit called Rush, the only reasons these places are still here is for the same reasons that the churches line the road as well, people need other people, whether praying or enjoying some porn and a wank...

There used to be a half dozen strip clubs along this stretch as well, the world famous Climax I and Climax II were once located along this strip of road, the first strip club in the country to offer a drive through service, where one could literally pull in as if ordering a fucking Big Mac and watch a woman dance nude, these places were located in the middle of fucking nowhere and i often wondered who danced there? local women? and like the porn shops the doors to almost all these establishments was located around the back of the building, one can't see the entrance from the road, there was thought put into this most likely because some of the same people frequenting the churches were also frequenting .25c Adult Video and News, as well as the Beehive (i used to sell grass to a girl who danced here and her boyfriend) and Cheater's and Streaker's, all fine names for clubs located in the armpit of Pennsyltucky, all places well down the list of swanky strip clubs or even city clubs, this was A-ball not the major leagues...

And so salvation takes many forms on the shit road of state route 22/30, the heavens battle the heathens and you can rest assured that i fall squarely in the latter camp, not because i'm some massive proponent of pornography (though i am merely a sloping fore-headed neanderthal who likes when the frontal cortex lights up with stimuli, ie naked woman) but more so because i don't like church, particularly those of the bible waving, cross wearing, sadistic and cruel god types, to steal a line from a Jewish guy from Long Island singing to his Catholic friend Virginia, i'd much rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, because those sinners are much more fun, quarter nudie flicks and nitrous oxide beats readings and hymns every fucking time, and no worries when the shit gets thick we'll just blame the snake...





Monday, December 19, 2016

The Record Collector

There was an article in a UK paper the other day that said the vinyl resurgence isn't being fueled by the kids but was actually the product of middle-aged loners, it said old men were the ones spending the dosh on records and that those of this ilk were usually solitary types, in a way the article was having a laugh at us old men clinging to our youth by searching out the records we loved and filing them on our shelves to be cataloged and treasured, we were officially uncool, i say we because the real shocking thing to my not so delicate sensibilities was that i fell into said demographic, males aged 45-54, i don't feel 46 (except for my aching back and shitty shoulder), i'm quite sure i don't act 46 which could be both an insult and a compliment, i'm told i don't look 46 but at the end of the day i am... i also happen to have a record collection and be more than a bit of a loner these days, even more so than i used to be...

Of course this record collection is both a source of great joy and embarrassment, like John Lennon singing "imagine no possessions" while being filthy rich and living in a Manhattan apartment and playing a grand piano, it's a conundrum, i don't need all these records, they are possessions and nothing more, something i rail against constantly, the accumulation of stuff,  yet what comes from those little grooves does more for my soul, my mental well-being, than any ancient text could provide, like Nietzsche said, "without music, life would be a mistake."  I've commented that one of the best things i ever did was to not learn an instrument, not that i wouldn't like to be able to play something but it takes away any technical or clinical feelings when i listen, i don't care how a musician played this or that i only know and care that the words (or lack thereof) and notes elicit some sort of response, an emotion, a memory, a feeling, it's one of the most intoxicating feelings in the universe... and while the world moves ever faster towards music stored and listened to in bits and bytes the pulling and placing of the record on the turntable is another glorious ritual of habit, a habit that involves the feel and texture of the jacket,  the smell of the ink and paper, it's tactile and olfactory unlike the cool steel world of the ipod...

Oddly enough i was looking at this collection the other day, it sits directly behind from where i type, i i was thinking i needed to get rid of some of these records, that the curse of vinyl is it has to be a good record start to finish, not the world of the compact disc or digital, where repeat or skip is just a button away, one must commit oneself to a record and sometimes, even after multiple attempts, one just cannot do that, be it a matter of taste or style or opinion, there is no love and there will never be, and so that vinyl can sit and collect dust or be moved to a more receptive home... but you'd be surprised how many tubes can be pulled and hours wiled away perusing the art work and liner notes and gazing into space, i have this idea to write my own liner notes for the boyos, so that when the old man isn't around to prattle on about music anymore they might take out a record and have a letter fall out, a story about what this record meant to their old man, a story about anything, the music or a place or the first time he heard it or the person he heard it with, anything...

And even now as a middle-aged loner i believe Rob Gordon was right (see High Fidelity), the records in our crates and the books on our shelves they matter, the movies seen and art digested matter, you could say that they don't but you'd be wrong, these things give us a window into people, they affect how we view them and how they view us, the records that sit behind me are my life story, told song by song and year by year, it's a soundtrack that exists for no one else but me, that is played for no one else but me, rain or sun or depression or joy the music is always there, that Friedrich character may have been mad but he was right... and you may wonder, how does this forty something unemployable loser come up with dosh to buy these things? well, it's tricky...

I am under no illusions around my gaff about what status i am held in by the breadwinner, i am afforded room and board, i have a warm place to sleep and like most soccer mom's i get to eat after everyone is fed, i don't mind, my job entails listening to endless and repetitive tales about the a rotating cast of misfits, buffoons and criminals which inhabit the restaurant industry, i've learned i'm not supposed to respond but more to nod and look concerned and interested, to say i am? well what the fuck do you think? and so i must find revenue streams to help me remain sane, that allow me to buy a ticket to see a band or pick up a record now and then, that allow me to keep a few Guinness in the mini-fridge and the dope jar stocked, i don't have many wants these day, i don't need a lot of cash, as usual dumb luck smiles my way and affords me an easy way to make a little pocket money, there's also selling off the unloved vinyl and the online surveys that pay out in gift cards or cash, with each passing sentence that description up above becomes more apt and pathetic... and that's okay, i don't need to be fucking cool i just need to be and the songs help me do that, i've had that soundtrack going since i was kid in the back of my mom's piss yellow and rusting Olds Cutlass, singing along to AM radio and daydreaming before i knew what it was, i couldn't quit it if i tried... and i don't really feeling like trying anyway...




Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Wilderness Years - Hazardous Chemicals Pt. 4

Those moments of clarity, beautiful things they are, of course the problem is they are only moments but in that moment if the seed can be sown maybe, just maybe, one can use the old noggin' and not end up a corpse, it's a crap shoot to say the least but on that day i had learned my lesson, so help me Jah, i was done with that shit... at least for that day... and so i got on with the "normal" regimen of drug and alcohol abuse, nothing out of the ordinary, i stayed away from the gear but i still had a couple of little rocks sitting in a drawer, sometimes it seemed they called my name but then that little seed had begun to sprout and i'd stop, leave it alone i'd think, of course all it took was a split second and i'd be pissing on that sprout and putting pipe to lips and feeling like Jesus' son for a few seconds every exhale, oh that fucking gorgeous rush, that avalanche of pure bliss...

And so one afternoon i got off work and trudged up the steps and back towards my room, it was a typical gray North Oakland afternoon, i pulled out the bag and took a hit, to both my relief and anger the hit was weak, i took another and then another but soon it was gone, the last batch i had made and it was a dud, i got a little high but not like i was craving, of course soon after i was getting paranoid that i might keel the fuck over, spent the rest of the afternoon checking my pulse until finally deciding to go full booze hound and hit the bar for some Scotch and beer, a few slices of pizza as nourishment, back home and in bed before midnight no worse for wear... a typical day for this lad...

The next morning i shook the cobwebs out of the head, dressed and walked to the two blocks to work, stopping first at the mini-mart for my usual cup of coffee, bottle of orange juice, and a doughnut, the typical breakfast of the young lumpen-prole warehouse grunt, nothing seemed amiss, all systems go, surprisingly i wasn't even hungover. I had put in a good shift at the bar but in a fleeting moment of responsibility i waved off the last round and headed home to get some sleep... the previous day's gray had soaked through to this one and there was a morning delivery out to the North Hills, an easy and time consuming run, a good way to burn through over half the morning and so i was quite glad when the coin flip to see who would make the run went my way...

The delivery was a walk in the park and i spent some time flirting with a mousy haired, flat-chested hippie chick who worked there, by the time i got back to the warehouse it'd be an hour until lunch and then it was all downhill to the party... so in the van i hopped and off i drove, it was somewhere near the old Civic Arena when it started, this pressure rising in my chest, let's just say the paranoia started then too, at first it wasn't so bad but as i kept driving, ironically on that busy road that ran right past Hippie Jack's, it felt like i couldn't breath, i checked my pulse and it was racing for a guy who was sitting in a van, the mind didn't help either, suddenly i began to think that i may have dodged the bullet at Jack's but somehow, somewhere someone got off another round and this time i was fucked, i took quick breathes and cracked the window to let in some cold air, i began to think about dying alone in a work van at 26, just my fuckin' luck, i hadn't even began the masterpiece yet...

I made it back to the warehouse and found my manager, he took one look at me and asked if i was okay, no i said, i think somethings wrong, i told him i couldn't catch my breath and how all this pressure was in my chest, i told him i thought i should go to the hospital, he asked if i wanted a ride, i said i think i should walk... now here i was thinking my fucking heart was gonna explode yet thinking it was a good idea to walk to the fucking emergency room, how could the world not recognize my genius? so I  began putting one foot in front the other and attempting deep breathes and off i trudged to the ER that was right up the street all the while my heart racing and pressure building in my chest and the sunless sky and cold wind and i'm sweating and wondering if this might be my last day on Earth and the last thing i ate was a sugar doughnut...

There is this wonderful gauge to tell just how much of a train wreck one is, the clue can be found in the faces of various medical staff taking care of you, the smiles and smirks and jokes, you see once inside the ER i was shown to a room pretty quick like because of my state, they shaved a few patches of hair off my chest and hooked me up to and EKG.  I can attest that one of the worst things a hospital can do is hook up a freaked out wastoid to an EKG machine so he can hear the buzzers and bells thus making his heart race even more, the nurse gave me a motherly smile and told me to relax and that the doctor would be in shortly, i was left alone and had i not been so freaked out i would have probably been questioning my insurance coverage, thinking it wasn't that good so if i kicked it while the nurse was out no big deal, needless to say i sat there burping and breathing and trying to relax and then the doctor came in...

He was the usual scruffy intern type just not as handsome as the ones who do his job on television, he listened and nodded and stared up towards the ceiling, he pressed on my belly and nodded some more before taking the stethoscope out of his ears and announcing to all within earshot that i was going to live, at least for the time being he said and then he began to quiz me on my diet, asking me what i had eaten and what i ate, asked me how much booze i drank and what type, ignored the drugs i had copped to ingesting in the last few days and proceeded to tell me that if i wanted to end up back in this ER but in a lot worse shape that i had better get my shit together a little bit.  After explaining to him that my nightly meal often consisted of booze and weed and anything that could be bought at the bar or on the walk home or what one might call "food" in the loosest of terms, my breakfast was not much better, usually a coffee, a bottle of orange acid aka orange juice, a doughnut or sausage roll depending on the level of hangover and lunch whichever fast food place i thought wouldn't make me shit myself, there was the diet of a North Oakland Player, who said i wasn't living high on the hog?

The doctor sat back and soaked this all in and both he and the motherly nurse who had gotten me set up in this room (and shaved my chest) stood there with the slightest of smirks, the doctor then explained that my fake heart attack was really my stomach rebelling at all the shit i had done to it, creating a burbling brew of gas and acid that pushed up and mimicked a heart attack, he then ordered something to be brought in and told me that there was this stuff called fiber and these things called vegetables and that i should start eating the damn things, i nodded thoughtfully barely hearing a word but thinking more about the fact that i was gonna fucking LIVE! sure i'd work on the whole eating healthy thing but i wasn't gonna fucking die!! at least not today, shit i'd even be home early cuz fuck going back to work i needed a nap after all this excitement... the nurse brought me my paper cup of green liquid and i slugged it down and within 10 minutes i was feeling like my old self again, within half hour  i was back in the gray afternoon and walking back towards my apartment, the city air filling my lungs, i made a quick stop at the warehouse to tell the boss i'd be in tomorrow and off i went, my mattress on the floor never felt so fucking good...

Lying there in the gray afternoon, the radio playing, my room a warm cocoon, i drank some water and plotted a trip to the supermarket, i thought about the ER staff and the good laugh they were having at the tall, scruffy guy who was attempting to burn a hole in his stomach, i wondered if they were placing bets on when they'd see me again, i told myself they wouldn't and swore of the gear for good, discipline man i thought to myself, and yes it would be the last time i'd smoke that shit, i got up and ripped a binger,  it was time to get in a well earned sleep in before getting back to the business at hand... and get back to it i would...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Blue Dream

The youngest boyo lost his first front tooth last week and the next day i sat in my car on the tree lined streets of suburbia and wiped tears from my eyes, i am prone to courageous bouts of melancholia, nothing clinical or requiring medication but more an acute awareness of this human condition and all that it entails...

That house next door that now serves as a motel to the shack builders of the Appalachians once belonged to a fat old woman, she had lived there with her husband and two sons, one of which now uses the house as a motel for his construction crews, the other of which showed up in the wee hours of the night in the spring of 1989  and began beating his parents with a baseball bat before pulling out a knife and stabbing them as well, the old newspaper clipping showed the house looking much like it does now, her husband crawled out of the house and collapsed in the yard where he died, the now old woman was beaten and battered but survived... her son drove himself into the city where he found a nice high train trestle with some concrete underneath and did a swan dive...

I always wondered why she didn't sell the place the next fucking day... i wondered and wondered, someone said she was attached to the place, strangely she may have been, i tend to think it was more a fuck you to the neighbors, a reminder that all was not well in Charmin-land, to the clucking hens and their henpecked roosters, the suburbs can be a cruel and unforgiving place, the level of righteousness expanding and contracting like some warped galaxy depending on whose daughter is pregnant and whose son is on smack, the whispers would have started before the ambulance even pulled away, i only ever saw her a handful of times, we'd smile and wave...

Some days (most) i take to the medicine early, names like Blue Dream or Dutch Treat take the edge off the chirping of soccer moms and ease the creak in the knees, i daydream my way through cups of green tea and sides of records, i build stone walls and haul dirt, i break rocks in a zen exercise of creating back fill, i climb ladders and clean gutters and sit atop my roof and watch the angle of the sun like some landlocked lunatic sailor waiting for the siren strippers call, sometimes a groundhog will watch or a deer will stroll by, i wonder about things, sometimes i just sit on the roof and think, the clucking hens are probably hoping i'll jump, that's a week's worth of gossip, little do they know i might just be too stoned to get down... and i am no better than these mannequins in mini-vans or their suit wearing breadwinners, i let them see only what i want, they see rock and roll and a laissez-faire disposition to the things they hold dear like church or work,  they do not know the back story, they don't need to, i'm practically an  upstanding citizen these days...

This spring it will be thirty years from that first joint, i took  my first drink on a Monday afternoon and that Friday i took my first toke, Nike Site park, what was once an old missile site during the Cold War, two friends and i smoking up in front of the metal playground rocket on springs that bounced and shook, each of us asking, "you feeling anything?", fucking rubes, had you told me then the role that plant would play in my life i wouldn't have believed you....

But back in the burbs the pumpkins have been carved...  my old city neighborhood a memory now, dominated by luxury condos and Hyatt Hotels, the masters are even gonna gentrify the poor white people out of their own hood, to paraphrase Mr. Marx, money is the opiate of the masters, accumulation is their addiction, out here in the lily-white we shop and knit our brows and leave carbon footprints and fret about the state of things but we really don't give a shit, as long as the duvet matches the curtains and the hedges are all trimmed, as long as our daughters aren't knocked up and our sons all strung out, we'll suffer our first world problems with a stiff upper lip, the hardships oh the hardships, it's both a crime and a shame that my cats live better than some people, what does that say about me? that i like cats more than people? i probably do but that still doesn't absolve me from being an asshole...

And i am quite enamored of the silence in my suburban hood on a Monday afternoon, the sound of rustling leaves and a trickling of traffic, barely a soul to be found, house upon house and the streets devoid of people, these days i haul stone to the backyard and fill in patches, i dig and rake and grade and pour the stones and grade and rake again, the only witnesses are the birds and deer and chipmunks, sometimes i look at the house next door, i think about what it was like back in 1989, i believe it probably looked much like the house i had grown up in, the one that would crumble less than three years later, sometimes i think the fat old woman would sit at her kitchen table drinking tea, sometimes she'd be smiling, sometimes she'd be wiping tears from her eyes, sometimes she'd be staring and wondering what the fuck it all meant...


Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Wilderness Years- Hazardous Chemicals pt. 3

Chalk it up to being incredibly lucky or stupid or quite possibly both, my new favorite past time was sitting in my garbage-picked, cracked vinyl, baby puke yellow chair, at my equally shitty little wooden desk, the one with the word processor atop it gathering dust, the word processor that was gonna be used to write the Magnum Opus, the one that would one day be dipped in gold and placed in a museum or West Virginia casino lobby, and it was there that i would make my gear, it was also here that i could be periodically found naked from the waist down and attempting to rub one out while smoking coke because in my blissfully heightened state of pleasure seeking shall we say, i concluded that nothing would be better than exhaling a hit and busting a nut at the exact same time, an act i believe if it could actually be achieved (which my own very unscientific study deemed impossible), could tear the very fabric of the space/time continuum, but of course that episode has been covered and so we'll move along now...

This new past time usually involved me listening to Sublime records for some reason, it was late 96/ early 97 and all us kids thought it was really neat stuff, beachy-reggae-ish-white boy drug shit, no one has accused me of having fucking taste oh but taste i thought i had, needless to say it's strange how certain music will stick with you and remind you of the days spent doing the things you did when you listened to those songs, and so the ritual of making rock usually involved Sublime, as the ritual of snorting smack involved listening to the Dirty Three, those fucking rituals again, the ritual of acid usually involved the music of Manchester's many beloved sons, shrooms called for Jane's Addiction, and the Velvet Underground could be listened to with any or all substances because they are the fucking VU, easy enough! And everything seemed to be just hunkyfuckindory, or at least as hunkyfuckingdory as shit can be when you spend a good deal of your time fucking wrecked out of your skull...

And then there is modern chemistry and all those amateur pharmacists who give you all sorts of smart advice and then just so happen to have what you need for sale, like say Valium or Xanax, guaranteed to take the edge off or help you get to sleep or placate you when you didn't have the cash to blow on rocking it up... friendly advice i believe it's called... taken with a grain of salt it could be deemed somewhat useful just don't take it to heart cuz that shit could be fatal, i didn't need to be a Wallenda to prance upon the tightrope i was doing a right fine job on my own...and then one day i had an epiphany... or what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity, but it was enough to get my dumbass attention...

It was a brisk and sunny afternoon the day i rolled up to Hippie Jack's house and parked my roomies car in the shady industrial dry cleaner parking lot, they had closed for the day and i had managed to roust Hippie Jack up out of bed at the wee hour of 5pm, he was cranky and acting pissed and then he pulled out his plate and pipe and took a huge hit and faster than i could say "crackpipemotherfucker" he became a new man, his Jones had been fixed, the itch scratched, it was then that he handed the shit to me and i took a big hit and for the first time since i'd fucked with the stuff i thought "oh shit", like a bad scene out of Fear and Loathing i was walking a fine line of fucking myself good, the heart pounding, i took a few deep breathes and splashed some water on my face, it suddenly struck me that if  had i held that hit a little longer or inhaled a little deeper i would have been proper fucked, and if i was lucky, i would have been dragged out to the pay phone at the corner, the one right below the walkway over the busy boulevard and hopefully Hippie Jack would call 911 and ask for an ambulance before hauling ass back to his house where he'd lock the doors or better yet start hightailing it to the local bar, that was just how shit worked, i wasn't gonna be his boy if i was a corpse... soon enough the shit began to taper off as it does and i was thanking my lucky stars, grabbing my shit and walking to the car, i had just dodged a bullet, i didn't want to admit it but i did...

So that moment of clarity, okay maybe it wasn't competely clear but on that drive home i swore off the fucking rock for life, scared straight, at least for a little while, i still had some gear back at my place, rocked up and ready to go, i should have flushed it but i couldn't, i put it away and got back to the business at hand, dealing and partying, what's a little bit of mortality when you're immortal, ain't nothing but a thing, but it wasn't lost on me about Hippie Jack, he was getting heavy into some bad shit, i was right there fucking with him until that hit but now i was re-thinking things and it struck me that it might be time to put out some feelers as to new connections, it's a rough fucking gig this one, here i am hoping the Hippie drags me out of his place and calls an ambulance if my heart explodes and here i am plotting my strategy in case he fucks things up on his end, i always had people coming up to me and telling me about the sweetheart deals they could get or they knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy and shit like that, Hippie Jack and i had been on this run for over eighteen months or so, it seemed longer, it felt longer but that was it, i had come to rely on the cash flow, i was saving money but i needed this income, it was how i survived, take it away and i was fucking broke or worse... and then came the day i walked to the ER... to be continued...