Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Wilderness Years- Stripper Lessons vol. 2 (Marilyn)

You can call me a hopeless romantic but there was a time not so long ago when stripping was an art form, by the time my study of the strip joints had run it's course it was as if the art had been lost, gone were the g-strings and pasties and in came the all nude shit shows, with the change went the class and when the class went the art went, of course not all was art back in the nihilist nineties, but the fact the girls weren't all nude led to a pretty attractive staff at my local dives down the boulevard, for tiny clubs in a half-shit hood there was some talent, and when the laws changed the scene changed but that wouldn't be until after i was gone, by that time i was but a memory, a name whispered among hoods and dancers, a tale of the guy with endless grass, but i'm getting ahead of myself here, and so i'll turn my attention to the star of this post, Marilyn...

She was a slim and petite 5'7 or so, she looked like the poor man's Adriana Lima which meant she was fucking beautiful, long brunette hair and big gray eyes, her breasts were small and real and her body was free from ink, she was something to behold as she strode on stage and though she was okay as a dancer her eyes did all the work in separating the mark from his money, there were plenty of times as she crawled towards my chair by the stage with those eyes seemingly boring into me that i just started laying down bill after bill, she said her real name was Jen, the name that seemed to be the real name of all the strippers at Anthony's back then, i actually wondered at the time if  their stage names where their real names but then they told everyone their "real" name was Jen, i got real names alot back then, i was an up and coming face and of course i was quite polite, a veritable gentleman of the strip club with impeccable manners and the ladies appreciated the respect, the dancers and i had a bit in common as we lived on the fringes, sure they were technically legally employed and i was not but we were not confused with the good upstanding members of the community, we were worked in the shadows not the light...

And so as i got to know a couple of the dancers and the bartenders Marilyn soon discovered that i was a guy who knew how to get things, not that she needed things often but when one likes certain things that are not easily obtainable at the local convenience store it's good to have as many possible avenues as possible, and Marilyn really, really, liked cocaine... of course that was not my area of expertise but in my line of work you ran across all sorts of things and so i always kept the ears open, besides most of the guys i could score from scored smoke from me so i always had a decent line on things, and so it was that one day Marilyn sidled up to me at the bar and began a friendly chat, it was obvious that Marilyn usually got her way, i wasn't naive but i was also a young male who couldn't help but subconsciously think that by helping her out that it wouldn't possibly, somehow, lead to a chance to bed the fair Marilyn, and so i smiled and nodded and she bought me a drink, and yes that night i hooked her up for the first time... i made nothing on the deal...

Over the course of a few months i would help her out occasionally, a gram here, a teener there, the occasional eight ball, i was a sucker for those eyes and of course i never saw her outside the bar and she wasn't offering me a phone number, i was her new buddy, a connection who would often stroll into her place of employment who could be counted on to run out and score her something because i was still half a fucking rube, but like most relationships, business or otherwise, there is a balance of power and for a time she seemed to hold it, until i noticed that every time i was in she'd ask and after a while i got a bit fed up with running out to grab her shit, in the words of a 25-26yr old hood, "i didn't see any blow jobs coming my way", and so i started tacking on a finders fee, a fee she complained about but a fee she paid because she knew that her charms were waning and she really liked coke... we were cool though...

And then a few weeks passed, it was one of my little breaks from the clubs, there was always a danger of the rut, i didn't want to be one of the regulars, the guys who where there every night, fucking must maintain a bit of mystery now, plus it helped me save some fucking money, when i finally stopped in it seemed it was a whole new crew of dancers, another week went by and since i was walking by and had nothing to do i popped in again, a quick glance at the board and i saw a couple of familiar names, Marilyn was one of them, i grabbed a beer and took a seat at the stage, it was a typical slow night and i think i was one of three guys actually tipping, the White Zombie began blaring and out strolled Marilyn coked out of her fucking gills, she saw me and winked, she gave the other two tippers a quick dance grabbed her money and then came spinning my way, i was laughing at how high she was, she immediately leaned in and began talking a blue streak...

I think having gone to my first strip club at such a young age had the odd effect of making me feel like i was still that teenage kid when i first started hanging at the locals, it wasn't as if i hadn't been in them since, but being in the same one or two and getting to know the names and faces and see how it all went down somehow put me on my best behavior, as if getting tossed out would be like taking Kong of the island, of course that would all change down the road but at this point i could still be a fucking rube, i was living my Hank Chinaski dream, a shit neighborhood with drunks and drugs and loose women, i was young and had enough jack in the pocket for whatever i needed, or at least what i needed for that night... and so Marilyn went all cocaine-friendly and asked where i'd been and what i'd been doing, she told me how a bunch of girls quit and two got fired, said the place was going to shit, a familiar story i had heard from other dancers at various times, she went on and on and i just sat and nodded my head, then she made a move and rolled onto her knees and went ouch and winced...

Fucking Charlie Baltimore will make you talk fucking bollocks.  It is a fact. I know it's a fact cuz i've been that fucking idiot running wildly off at the mouth, saying things and telling stories to complete strangers who are looking at you like you're fucking mad but who know you're just really fucking coked-up, and of course you don't notice anything cuz you are really fucking coked-up and hence in love with the sound of your own voice... and cigarettes... so i asked Marilyn if it was a dancing injury? she giggled and said more like fucking. Wha? i stuttered a bit dumbfounded. She then proceeded to tell me how this guy came in, and then she added it was this dealer actually, oh and she hadn't really met him before but his coke was really good and he kept hitting on her and she finally just told him for $200 an hour he could do whatever he wanted, and so when the club closed she left with him and made another $800 and spent the night fucking and doing blow and that it was a bit crazy and being on all fours for a bit had given her some serious carpet burn on her knees, which she then spun around and showed me...

It was then that this little kernel of light flickered, i sat there a bit slack-jawed, so do you do that often? i inquired, when i feel like it she smiled, and if they're cool she said, she rolled onto her back and grabbed her stiletto heels thrust her pelvis into the air with her shoulders on the floor and began grinding the air, i like girls to she giggled, and then she sat up and grabbed the dollar bills in front of her and slipped them into her garter, she did a lazy spin on the pole and then with a look of complete boredom danced over to an older gentleman who had just stepped to the stage...  (to be cont.)




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Wilderness Years - Going Pro

So i was about ten months in and it had been a pretty good run, there had been a slow and steady snowball effect and now it was a rare day when i didn't do at least some business, some weeks had seen me run through three pounds, all cut up small, maybe the occasional QP out the door but i needed to sell it small, quarters became my new favorite (7 grams, a 1/4 ounce) thing to sell, a half Z a close second, both helped me move a decent amount for a low level pissant like myself and yet maximize the profits, needless to say the real job at the warehouse became more a place to go to keep me honest so to speak, i was making three times a week hustling what i was at the straight job but the fact is the straight job set a precedence, in this fucked up philosophy i had made up i figured i wouldn't look as much like a hood in a neighborhood full of half-ass hoods if i had to go to work every day, if people saw me walking to and from work five days a week, if the cops saw me walking to and from work five days a week, i'd be just another young punk slumming it up in the transient part of town... besides making dealing your full time gig was not a good way to last in this game, too much temptation and too much spare time, it can be that kiss, you know the one, just remember i said that...

And of course things came up, sometimes supply could be a bit of an issue, i did a good job of stretching shit, sometimes explaining to people i had to cut down the size of their order to help spread it around, i'd explain i have a lot of customers and potheads being the easygoing types made this a soft sell, they understood, at least they had something and they would ask me about timetables on the re-up and i'd say probably not to long or anything to worry about but to be judicious for a couple days, try that line of thinking with a coke head or a smack fiend and you'd hear gnashing of teeth and wailing and threats and apologies and then more threats and then pleading, it'd be a god-damned comedic tragedy of Shakespearean proportions on a customer by customer basis...

At this point the biggest fear i faced was that each time the freezer bag ran low that the call to Hippie Jack would yield the news that he had fucked up or had to wait a few days or had to collect money from his not so conscientious hoodlums and then wait even longer for Mr. Big to come round with his duffel bags of grass, the delay usually pissing Mr. Big off and thus causing even further delays, at least at this point i had cache enough that an extra pound or so would be put aside for me, cuz the fact is if you're gonna go pro you gotta have the product to do it with, i hadn't really said it aloud yet but this weed gig was my livelihood, closing in on the first year and there had already been a couple of hiccups with Hippie Jack but i always managed to get through it, usually without ever really running dry, but the game is simple, one must have a steady and reliable source or one will be fucked and outta the game and most likely losing and/or owing money they don't have, it helped to know that i was Jack's bread and butter, i was like his own ATM, i showed up and produced money...

But as the game picked up i got the feeling the good Doctor and particularly Jess wanted their own place, then word came down that Ebony and Ivory (the gay couple downstairs) had broken up and were moving out, Jess jumped at the chance to move downstairs and play house while i began to the hunt for some new roomies, i had a little time and soon enough i had found some, a young guy i knew from the shore and his girlfriend and his buddy, a kid a moving out of his house for the first time but a kid i was assured was low key and mellow, the smart move was they were all younger than me and knew what i was up to and understood that it was their place as well as mine you had to be fuckin' cool dig? just don't do anything stupid that would get the fuzz pounding on the door, fact was that my room tucked away in the back smelled wonderful and that wafted down the hall towards the front door, and that wasn't mentioning the paraphernalia strewn around, in the game it was an odd and healthy paranoia, the belief to do nothing stupid combined with the belief that you were small enough to fly under radar, the belief of the nickel-dimer, of course those fat stats the G-men trot out are often stuffed with nickel-dimers of this very ilk... the goal is not to be of that very ilk...

So i was staring down my first summer back in the city, my old roomies moving downstairs, my new roomies moving in, my rent actually decreasing a bit, and the business up and running like clockwork, the added bonus was now it was like i had two-thirds of the building as my own, no need to worry about the nosy neighbor, first and second floors were locked up, upstairs Cheryl was cool and often laughing at the fucked-up white boy with the Rasta hair and his friends, i never knew if she knew what was up, she may have but she never let on, then again she seemed to be having a pretty good time up on that third floor so maybe she didn't pay any attention... and for the first time in five years i wasn't gonna see the ocean or occupy some shit apartment at Podunk U., shit was rolling along just fine and the loans were getting paid and i was saving a little money, it's what i had set out to do, had i been using my degree the fucking squares would have said i was doing well for a guy fresh from dropping out of grad school, it didn't suck for a 25 yr. old who was looking for Sal Paradise and Hank Chinaski, looking for Old Bull Lee and any number of other characters real or otherwise, i mean shit man? what could possibly go wrong?


Friday, April 8, 2016

Balloon Man

I am a master of pissing about, really i am, i'm quite adept at doing absolutely fucking nothing, not all day long of course, i mean i have shit to do, lately that shit has been painting the walls and fucking about with drills and door hinges and what not, but when it comes to those few hours out of the day when i could sit down and type non-sense or read books i tend to enjoy staring at the ceiling until my eyes close, of course the lavender kush probably has something to do with that and sometimes it's just plain laziness, sometimes it's apathy, sometimes it's just not giving a fuck if i leave any sort of silly electronic record behind and just plain lie about and be, fucking daydream, sometimes all the way into hard-ons or things long forgotten or names that lived on the periphery of the mind...

Other times i pet this cat, yes i'm a fucking loon, she's a sweet little thing with blue eyes and a crooked tail, she likes to keep her ass on the seat and rest with her head and paws on my leg, she passes out and i stare off into space, her purring will remind me of the ocean, that ocean will take me to a boardwalk and a bicycle and the cool summer night wind on my sticky skin, how every apartment was like an oven, and i'll blink and the ocean is bluer and the language is different and i'm holding young Nick Disaster's hand as we walk on the large flat rocks and get hit with salty spray from a churning Pacific and then i flip up my legs and the cat adjourns to the blanket next to me, i lie back and think of all the things i could be accomplishing and chuckle at my almost stunning devotion to idleness, when the only thing that matters is the three inches both in front of and behind the eyes because that's all there fucking is, i don't understand much anymore, a love and devotion to the boyos that was out of, and maybe still is, my realm of comprehension, never have i worried about two souls more than those two and i'm sure i'll continue worrying about them until that last exhale, the lunatics these days don't realize that we're all supposed to have a good time...

And the other day i heard this song, and there was a time in my wasted youth when i was fucking so close to my John Hughes dream that i could touch it and lick it and fuck it and hold it, and i was coming back from from the paint store and i was pleasantly stoned and this damn song came on, a song i hear every so often and gives me the biggest shit eating grin, cuz way back when in my favorite club, a place called the Nine of Clubs and then the Alter House, was this cat who i didn't know personally but who was a few years older than my 20yr. old self, a bit of a lovable fuck-up who seemed to have a love/hate relationship with many people, and about the time the acid started to mellow which was usually late into the evening or early into the morning depending how you looked at it, he'd sneak into the DJ booth or yell up and this song would come on and Jimmy Jazz would dance his way around the club, singing at the top of his lungs as if his life fucking depended on it, it was an expression of pure joy and after seeing it for the first time one night this song was forever etched into my mind, i'd see the display many more times and every time Jimmy spent three plus minutes in nirvana, it was three minutes more than most people get a day and some never get, ever...  you could learn something from that dancing fool...




Friday, March 11, 2016

The Old Man and the Wii

Mortality is quite the motherfucker for those of us who used to be immortal.  For the first 3 decades and change i never gave it a second thought, just figured i'd live forever or something, even when i hit the Wilderness and was into all sorts of shit i didn't think it could happen... i'd do something colossally stupid and walk away from it and sorta shrug my shoulders and laugh, like "oh well that was really fucking dumb but i'm still here so fuck it", and then i'd just get on with it, rack up the next line or bump or tab or pill or fungus or bottle or unprotected sex and continue on my merry way, sometimes i wonder how i made it this far at all while remaining in relatively good health and with all my fingers and toes intact and vital organs in good working order (at least as of the last physical), but of course like the song says there is always something there to remind me that i'm getting closer to stardust with each rotation of this blue and white orb...

Now nothing drives home the point of one's own mortality than reproducing, it amazes me how suddenly time stands still and zips by simultaneously once you become responsible for tiny humans, when i think that the I-mac is going to be a decade old this year it's baffling, i mean wasn't i just wiping his ass and feeding him?, not at the same time obviously but still it wasn't that long ago was it? and then i realize Zidane was still playing, Dubya was wrecking shit, i was still running the streets, Smallville was popular, there was a shite Pink Panther remake, it feels ancient, as if i should be using an abacus, and yet it was only ten years, i'm in much better shape now than i was then, in the years prior to the I-mac exercise was a teener for happy hour and an eight ball for the evening, it was like running a marathon all while chain smoking cigarettes and guzzling heroic amounts of booze, it was going to bed at sunrise and getting up at 4pm and attempting to function but instead nodding off at every possible moment from the marathon i sprinted the night before, it was a disaster but there i stood like Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore, unflinching and proud as the bombs rained down around me, ah but these days, these days things are quite different...

It's always the little things now innit? like a paper cut or a scab on Robert Marley's toe, innocuous things, little reminders, like when you pay off the car and all sorts of little pieces start falling off and start malfunctioning, how after never needing glasses in my life i realize that once it's past 8pm or so i could probably use some reading glasses, how the right ankle is so fucked because of the old battles with gout and basketball, an ankle that can now painfully predict rain within a few hours, a chronically sore back, the sort of aches and pains i used to walk right through as if they didn't exist but now must grudgingly acknowledge their existence, of course had i read the handbook closer at the Big World Bank Machine i wouldn't have spent so many days hobbling around on some painful, bum, ankle but what kind of square reads the fucking handbook from their employer? I'll tell you... a smart one, with a good ankle and not the  dumb ass with a bum one...

Years ago when i was still playing at playground legend i would run some ball a couple times a week up at this school, it was there one day that i got into a scuffle with a guy over some imaginary elbows he thought were thrown at his head, with a very slick and incredibly cheap move he pulled a takedown move on me and since i didn't want to smash face first into the blacktop i put my left arm straight down to stop myself... after a few friendly words between us i began to throw my one good elbow with regularity at my man's head, somehow i played a few more games and then went home knowing my arm was fucked.  That night as i slept if it moved at all i would wake up with searing pain that felt like it was wracking my entire left side, a few days later the doc said he couldn't believe i didn't rupture every tendon in my arm, somehow it was all still intact and would heal on it's own. This was some 17-18 years ago now, so what am i getting at?

A couple weeks back good old Nick Disaster popped a fever, one of those kiddie fevers that shows up and disappears along with a fine case of the sniffles, elementary schools are second only to day cares in the breeding of disease and illness, he hadn't missed a day all year so even though his fever was gone he got to stay home and have a day on the couch and hang with his old man, at one point we decided to play a little Wii, first tennis and then nine holes of golf... now i should state that i absolutely fucking hate playing golf, i can admire the skill involved but i really don't have the patience to smack that little white ball all over creation and then chase it around, but having never played this video version before i thought why not? turned out it was kinda neat and besides Nick Disaster and i were having fun, of course even on the virtual links frustration set in and i'm quite positive i was over-swinging and not giving the weight of the controller a second thought but just swinging my arms like i was big, fat, John Daly and trying to crush shit... hindsight now lends credence to the theory that this was a rather stupid move, needless to say Nick D beat me by three strokes, he shrugged and grinned and said, "nice game dad", he was fucking with me...

And so about an hour later mortality began to rear it's ugly mug, i kept getting these shooting pains in my arm, they got worse and worse and while they weren't paralyzing they were quite fucking annoying and painful, i had no idea what i could have done? i began to think, i'd been painting and priming walls and baseboards and moving shit over the last few days but nothing struck me and not once did i feel anything in my arm, but every time i'd bend it or move it a certain way there it was... and then it hit me, the fucking Wii, i made the motion i had made playing golf and there went a seismic pain, like that night so long ago after my run in on the hoop court, i had hurt my damn arm, inflamed my tendons and muscle all by playing the Wii, a fucking video game, you want to feel old? fucking go on the IR because of  video elbow, i grinned and beared it, after a few days and no relief in sight i broke down and bought a brace, two actually, Jah helped to take the edge off  the pain each night, someday i get the feeling that i'm gonna have to get that shit fixed, a couple weeks on and i'm still wearing a wrap, like Santiago i'm trying to beat back the sharks but my sharks are years and just like the sharks to the marlin those years will devour me, some already have, and so that is the tale, of the Old Man and the Wii...








Thursday, February 25, 2016

Teatro del Absurdo

Bill Hicks once said that he was a misanthropic humanist, that he liked people... in theory.  Bill was a smart man and these days i'd say i lean more towards the misanthropic side than the humanist, i'd also be lying... somewhat. Seems the older i get the more i gaze in wonder at what could only be called the folly of the human race, on the macro or micro level, we are a fucking disaster most of the time. And so a few weeks back i took my slip of paper with my name and case number and headed back down to the courthouse to sit on some old wooden chair while awaiting the fate of, who my neighbors have dubbed, the Package Thief.

It was the week before Xmas 2014 when i came cruising down my street, the smell of a half plain, half sausage and pepperoni pizza wafting up from the back seat, it was then that i spied the Package Thief walking swiftly and stupidly towards his car with my neighbors shit, his wife's extended family and then some living next door, Package Thief pretended i didn't exist as he hopped in his car and drove away, a fucking nitwit, a former career criminal with a rap sheet that should have just had "Dumb Shit" written at the top so that everyone who glanced at it would know that PT was exceedingly bad at crime, particularly in the area of theft and such... Now if it were you or i we would have paid a fine, had our knuckles rapped a bit, and been on our way, our Package Thief though had apparently fucked up bad enough to score a felony rap and so because of the one expensive thing he once lifted along with all the other dumb shit he did he was now looking at a little stretch in the Pen... or more correctly, is possibly looking at that...

Why possibly you say? well the wheels of the Merkin justice system grind slow and once in it's machinations it will have you wasting endless amounts of your time waiting in rooms and hallways, shuffling to and fro between said rooms and hallways, it will eat the hours and then days and then months and in some cases years, it is a dumb and brutal machine and should you find your way into it you are already quite fucked, cuz the home team wins a lot, we're talking high 90's type a lot, but the ironic beauty of it is, is how protagonist and antagonist are forced to practically live together, sworn enemies crammed into small spaces with vaulted ceilings, a roar of voices that ebbs and flows, an industrial noise that grinds up the soul and spits out flesh, standing around and watching this Grand Guignol turns the stomach and makes the head hurt, but i was caught in it's web, a witness to the crime of stupidity...so since i'm stuck there in a room full of squares, shitty criminals, dumb asses, and the fuzz, i make the best of it, i do what i always do and study and observe...

Now a post or two back i was ruminating on my current mode of contemplation, sometimes i lay there staring at the ceiling, hell often times i do, when the weed that slows my thoughts begins to wear off the mind will start churning, rolling and rocking like that big lake gitche gumee, i shut my eyes and pretend to rest but really the mind is just racing, sometimes rolodexing all the fucking dumb shit i'd done that could have landed me in jail or the morgue, sometimes i have to catch my breath and wiggle the toes, other times i'll just get up and sit in the dark, thinking, then i may fall back asleep, or i see the horizon begin to change to pinkish red and so i make some coffee and listen for the sounds of the boyos, it was in these spaces of the day, as i thought, that i finally did write a letter, for while we are a society based and punishment and fear, i wanted nothing to fucking do with it... and so i wrote a letter on behalf of the Package Thief, a half-wit...

Now to say that this letter was written with truly altruistic intent would be a bit of a stretch, i'm an ex-hood, many times you have to play both sides and since i was still going to have to live next to the Clampett's (aka his many in-laws occupying the neighboring house) i had to hedge the bets, and what better way than to lay out why Package Thief should not go back to the hoosegow, my main points being that he had a new baby, seemed to work pretty hard for his family and was the breadwinner thus a stint in jail would most likely put his family back on the dole, a few other minor things but basically i was the guy who fucking caught him and i was gonna ask for leniency for this clown, of course i'd be remiss if i didn't add that if Package Thief went down on this shit and did get an all expense paid trip to the Radisson on the River or Greene County, that rest of his brood wouldn't be pulling up a moving van to add to the dozen people already taking up residence next door, that very thought weighed rather heavily on my mind, believe me, and so the day before court i sat and composed my letter, a well thought out and rationale argument for the irrational actions of a moron, i figured in the end my other neighbors got their stuff back, the asshats who did it were now known to us all, call no harm no foul and move on... and then something changed...

There is much bravado in the legal arts, the asst. DA had sworn up and down there would be no deal (hence my letter) but was now standing there and offering up one, a year of house arrest and another of probation, Package Thief could go to work, he could leave for emergencies, but most importantly at least in my eyes, was that he would be there at home with his kids, able to see his baby's first birthday and be around his kindergarten aged daughter... but Package Thief turned it down, said no, and it was at this point that things started to dawn on this marble head of mine, this fucking moron was guilty, based on facts it would take about 10 seconds to decide this case, here he was being offered a pretty good deal and he said no? it occurred to me that he didn't give a fuck about seeing his kids, that this was about "beating" the system, he wanted to see if he could "win", have the case thrown out or busted down to a disorderly conduct, so he could sit at the local bar and talk shit about how he'd "won", how he stole some stuff and got caught but didn't go to jail, didn't matter that this role of the dice might land him in the can for a year or three, he wasn't worried about seeing his kids he was wanted to beat the fucking Man yo! Spend time in any shady bar in a suspect neighborhood and you will hear a version of this fucking story, guaranteed...

Which brings me back to being a Misanthropic Humanist, i'd like to like people but it's difficult to deal with so many raging assholes and complete idiots, don't get me wrong now, i know i've been both of those things and often at the same time on too many occasions to count, i'm sure i still am i sometimes i just try really hard not to be... i freely admit i have no use for the chronically stupid and even less (if that's possible) for a man who would gamble away a year or years of his life, of his children's lives for all intent, to prove what? to prove that the system is broke and that justice is a word bandied about by politicians and students? numbnuts doesn't understand that shit, Package Thief just wants to get a win, whatever that may be, i'd have more respect for him if he just copped to being nabbed and dumb, instead he's going to fight because somehow he thinks he's innocent or something... so we'll line up and do it again next month, the constable pulled up the other day while Nick Disaster and i were shooting baskets in the cul de sac, he laughed when he saw me, told me this time i was on call, it's like being vaguely important to a game i could give two shits about, then Disaster and i went back to our game of two-bounce, onward and upward as they say...






Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Steve the Betta is Dead



Long after i have been returned to the soil and stars from which i am made, and long after the lounge has been dug up or discovered in the ether by the remnants of civilization, where it will be printed out and bound, studied and debated, some will scream that these are the holy diatribes of an ancient shaman ( maybe someday i'm gonna print all this out and hand it to a shrink just for kicks) and others will vehentely disagree and argue that they are nothing more than the rantings and ravings of a drug-addled shut-in, what those in the future will say what those in the past referred to as a "basket case", this post here i'm guessing will most definitely be ammunition for the latter...

Now it's not bad enough that i'm halfway to being a crazy cat lady type, the examples are scattered through the posts of the last nine fucking years, fucking that right there should give some glimpse into my mental state, nine years of this non-sense? Sisyphus ain't got shit on me, but i'm now lamenting the loss of Nick Disaster's Betta, a Betta named Steve, if you want to know what your offspring were into at any given time just let them name the pets, dog or cat or cricket or frog or fish, but don't get me wrong, i've flushed many a fish in the last few years but Steve was different, a bright red and blue Betta, named of course for a character from Minecraft i know next to nothing about but who i'm sure Nick Disaster could fill you in on, and so it was with great sadness that i watched my trusty Betta slip slowly into the death grip over the last few days, then into the watery abyss known as the toilet...

Millenia from now as the scholars pour over these missives they will begin to piece things together, of course being thought of as the next messiah is a bit of a drag but what the fuck will i care? one of the things they will see i'm sure are recurring themes and bits and phrases from songs, like that line from "Summertime Rolls" about feeding the animals, i'm not sure how smart the average Betta is but i'm pretty sure that Steve was smarter than the average Betta, he used to get happy when he saw me (like i'm the fucking fish whisperer) cuz that usually meant he was getting fed, he'd swim to the corner where i dropped his food in and hang about, of course i know the whole Pavlov's dog thing but that's a dog and this is a fish, i didn't ring a bell and all that Steve could see was some unkept sideburns and nose hair and scruff, therefore i don't give a fuck i'm gonna believe that Steve was my friend, that he was happy to see me, and yeah i know what you're thinking, "shit, how much weed exactly does old El Kono smoke", and the answer would be more than some and less than others, he sounds like he's off his nut, prattling on about a fish...

You see i have this thing for Bettas, the fighting fish, the way the males can't get anywhere near each other without fighting to the death but how if left alone or with other happy little fish and lady Bettas they just float about all blissful and shit, there's something to be said for solitude, i used to stand and gaze at Steve and think that maybe Steve, the fucker, had it all sussed, sure one could say that he was in a cage/tank and that sometimes the water got a little dirtier than he liked but he had a plant for a bit and a fucking Easter Island stone head to swim around, nobody really fucked with him and he got fed on the regular, the only thing he lacked was a little female Betta company but he never complained, good fuckin' gig if you can get it methinks...

And of course the head shrinkers will all be gnashing their teeth and shouting that it's all some sort of metaphoric projection, that I am Steve and Steve is I, and they could be wrong or they could be right, solitude is my salvation, i prize it even though it is not in great supply and when it's most easily found i'm usually the most blatantly stoned, it ends with a sore back on a hard futon in a cold room, or is that a metaphor for a dirty tank? fuck it i don't know maybe it's nothing more than i like to gaze at colorful fish, of course Freud and Jung and their ilk would say it can't be that simple and Gautama would say it is, and the Dude would say that maybe the fish tied the room together, and taken in consort it would be an amalgamation of gibberish about a long dead fish... but in the future when this is unearthed from the virtual soil and the remnants of humankind toil over it's meaning i am hoping they realize that all it means it to be nice to each other, how fucking vanilla is that, it's the easiest to grasp, we humans are not brightest lot, just be fucking cool... and take care of the fish and cats and plants, cuz believe me, you'll miss them when they're gone...


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Goodbye Spaceboy


I was aware of him from an early age, i'm guessing maybe 8 or 9.  My big sis, who was six years older than me, had received the Diamond Dogs record for her birthday or something, it had the gatefold cover, on the one half was a drawing of a shirtless, ginger-haired Dave and when you opened it up it revealed his canine bottom half, it blew my fucking young mind, i did not even remotely understand it at that age but was most definitely fascinated by it.  And i'd never even heard a song. Though that's probably not true, i'm sure i'd been exposed to David Bowie blasting out of my big sis' room but i heard a lot of music come from that room, some i paid more attention to than others and for some reason i have a feeling i listened when i heard Davy Jones...

Fast forward a decade or so... i'll freely admit that my sister and i had very little in common. She was six years older, never played sports, was done smoking pot at 16, was and is incredibly intelligent, she was pissed i was born cuz after almost 6 years of being an only child the last thing you wanted was a fucking little shit brother... of course i was younger, male, a hot-shit basketball player, started smoking pot at 16 (and never stopped), part idiot part maniac, and loved to annoy my sister, the one thing we did and still do share is music, she introduced me to New Order, Blondie, Devo, and of course David Bowie... Somewhere in the mid 80's she was dating this gigantic asshole, for some reason i think there's a post about him somewhere, but back then he and his brother ran a tire and towing business, it just so happened Bowie's tour bus broke down and they were called in to fix it, GA mentioned how his fiance loved Dave and was gonna be thrilled to hear that he fixed his bus, the manager then paid for the work and handed GA two tickets, told him Mr. Bowie thanked him and would love for him to bring his fiance to the show... the tickets ended up being right on the side of the stage and at one point while the band jammed Dave snuck back for a cigarette, my sister about passed out and as she stood staring at him he looked over, then smiled and waved, i believe she then did pass out...

Now in June of 1990, David Bowie played the Richfield Coliseum for two nights on the Sound + Vision tour, i had been home from college for a few weeks and had procured a job at Hills Dept. Store across from Parmatown Mall, i was a cashier, later they'd train me to catch shoplifters, i was your typical broke wastoid and the night before the second of Bowie's gigs i had gone to see UB40 and the Smithereens thus blowing what little cash i had, thus when i heard Bowie was playing i was gutted, in the pre-internet days one had to be up on this shit and this stoned 19 yr old was not, my sister looked at me and said you NEED to see David Bowie, she then offered to buy my birthday present a a few months early, she'd give me the money for the ticket but i had to take the money and go straight to get it, i was floored, i grabbed the cash and hauled ass to the mall and bought my ticket in the bottom of the May Co., i didn't even know May Co. had a basement until that point, i stood on the white tile speckled with gold clutching my ticket like that Charlie kid...

I picked up One-eyed Bobby (who also bought a ticket) at his house and drove straight to the beverage store where our friend worked, i bought a pony case of the Queen city's finest, Little King's Cream Ale, i had rolled the last of my stash into a couple of joints and we headed out to Richfield, i parked the '78 mint green Olds Cutlass Supreme and One-eyed Bobby and i started downing beers and smoking the joints and when we were properly fucked up we went in, we were in the nosebleed section, straight back from the stage all the way a the top but it didn't matter, we were gonna see Bowie. And so we sat down...

The Sound + Vision tour was to retire the hits, Dave said that after that tour he would play those songs no more and move on to his new material, as we sat in the rafters of Richfield the house lights fell except for a single small spotlight, from the darkness you could here the opening strums of Space Oddity, sauntering and strumming an acoustic he walked towards the light and started singing, as the band began to kick in and the song build from nowhere came a giant leg, a leg that looked a lot like Bowie's, same suit and all, and the real Dave, the one singing, deftly jumped out of the way as the well clad leg came down right where he had been standing, it was fucking brilliant, it was both understated and grandiose at the same time, huge gauze projection screens, sometimes the band would be in front, sometimes behind, Dave the same and working with the images projected, it was cutting edge shit for the time, no pyrotechnics or gimmicks, it was art, music and film together and working as one and it was quite impressive...

And he played the hits as they say, the couple next to us had taken a shine to us and shared a joint, at times One-Eyed Bobby and i were singing and laughing, other times damn near in tears from one tune or another, be it a favorite or just us being on our way to wasted, it was great to be nineteen, it was great to be seeing fucking David Bowie!!, a 43 yr. old Bowie if my math is correct, and then at the end of the night he smiled and talked about how the song he was about to do was written by a Irishman and it'd be best song with an Irishman, out walked Bono and they broke into Gloria and then The Jean Genie, One-Eye and myself nearly pissing ourselves, 3 years before One-Eye's dad, a radio hot shot, had helped us score 8th row center tickets for the Joshua Tree tour at old Cleveland Stadium (i had just turned 17), now Paul Hewson was here to check out the cutting edge stage stuff Dave was using for what would be the first of the utterly over the top U2 tours, but that night? it was perfect...

The rest of the summer was spent drinking and smoking and chasing girls, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane and Hunky Dory played on boomboxes and in station wagons, it was all fucking gravy, i've on more than a dozen or so occasions told my big sis that that ticket was the best fucking present i've ever gotten... Dave meant a lot to me, the first person i called when i found out was my sister, i thanked her again but this time i joked she had impeccable taste in music for a girl from the West Side, as for Mr. Jones? i wouldn't know where to begin or end so i won't try, he was different things to all of us, i don't need to make any profound statements, it is an odd phenomena missing someone you've never met, being bummed at the passing of a stranger, sad because there would be no more new music or ideas, sad because artists with the guts and smarts to do what they want and not worry about the consequences come along so infrequently... maybe just a simple thank you... goodbye Spaceboy...