Monday, June 27, 2016

Going Dutch

It seems to have become a ritual, a migration possibly, around the beginning of June each year, a tall and pale man makes his way to the Caribbean and finds himself on an island or peninsula where he is free to drink and swim and eat as much as he can in a what could easily become an American display of gluttony and piggishness if not for his loose grip on his self control, it is the 8 or 10 days out of the year when i allow myself to drink with abandon, to often be the first guy at the bar smiling politely at the bartender as they set up for the 10am opening... of course i'm also a degenerate stoner and so my first order of business on every new island is the finding and procuring of the ganja.  And this year was no different...

This year the island was a rocky little place called Curacao, the new capital of the Dutch Antilles, the three rocks plunked down off the coast of Venezuela called Aruba, Bon Aire, and the aforementioned, nestled away in a spot practically untouched by hurricanes and with less rain in a year than my fair home city gets in a spring month... the wonders of the interwebs provide all the information you need to at least get one pointed in the right direction but with the boyos and their mamacita in tow it is always a challenge to find the free time to do my due diligence in finding the herb, the net had provided me neighborhoods and clubs and what not but i needed something easier and so i took special note of the beach stand paragraph, the one that said it could usually be found somewhere nearby, now the employees of these resorts can also be good at finding and procuring goods but i've also come to learn it depends on the country and the resort, some go through great lengths to make you go outside and some are a bit more lax, i clocked a couple of young chaps who definitely had the look but more on that later...

After hitting the ground on Wednesday by Friday one of the boyos had gotten a touch sunburned and since the boyos wear their asses out by going non-stop all day my nights are usually confined to reading or wandering into the casino and finding the roulette table, but on this day i needed some of that aloe gel shit made expressly for those of us pasty white types of Scotch-Irish descent, and since the little shop at the resort had closed i inquired about anything in walking distance and was told about a grocery store which was a ten or fifteen minute walk down the road, it was just the break i needed to get out and about, besides since my first trip abroad way back in 1998 i've always had this thing for walking about in foreign lands, i like it, it gives me a feel for the place and so i smiled at the bell hop and made my way toward the street...

Right on the other side of the resort was a public beach with a little restaurant and a dive shop that was closed, i took a wander towards it and said hello to the restaurant owner who asked if i was looking for dinner, declined his offer and began walking back toward the street while scanning the beach area, from behind a wall appeared a guy with long braids and extending off the top his head and running down his back, the Spidey senses immediately went off and i turned and smiled and walked toward him, i said hello and he said hello and i began a friendly repartee where i asked him if he knew where i could find some "chaiba", the native word for grass on the island, he smiled and said he did and then i asked about prices and what not and when/if i could get it, explained i was heading to the grocery up the street, he told me it was 10 Guilders for a loose joints worth (a loose joint being about two joints), i smiled and said i'd take 5 and pay in American money and throw in an extra 10 for his trouble just to let him know i was serious, i understood i was paying tourist prices but i believe that's the price of being a tourist, there was a moment of disbelief on his part as a big smile crept across his face and told me to meet him back there in half an hour, we shook hands and i was on my way...

I headed back up to the street and walked along with the Caribbean Sea crashing into the rocks on the shore to my left and a local neighborhood across the street to my right, i took of my shirt as i walked through the night as a sticky layer of island sweat began to cover my body, i passed people on their porches evading the heat of their little houses, i passed local bars with people talking and music playing and fans blowing, some stopping to look at the tall, shirtless Yank striding past, i passed betting parlors and locals out walking, i finally rounded a bend and saw the grocery store and made my way over... i'm always fascinated by supermarkets in other countries as well, i like leaving my American bubble and seeing how the real world lives and wandered the aisles looking at things both familiar and not, grinning at how all the athletes gracing the products were South American or world futbol stars, finding the aloe gel i grabbed a bottle and then grabbed two little beers and made for the exit...

The walk back was uneventful. I gazed at the houses and the people both inside and out, i noticed how spartanly they were furnished, i noticed one had a big American flag that seemed to act as a curtain for a back door, i listened to the sound of the ocean and opened my little beer which i drank in seconds to help cool off, night really providing no respite from the heat of the day, i walked on keeping my fingers crossed that it would work out, i still had close to a week left, it wasn't that i wouldn't consume my fair share of booze but i liked a change of pace, after gallons of Amstel and Polar beer, dark rum, and the occasional Mudslide or two i liked to kick back with my joint at night (and/or the morning too), the bulk of my drinking done from morning to early evening, after years of being an amateur i could now drink like a professional and maintain a buzz of varying degrees without the worry of hangover but i knew that without the grass sooner or later i'd tie one on and i swore about a year ago to be done with hangovers, maybe after 30 years i've learned something but more likely it's because i've always liked drugs better it's just that booze was the easiest one to get... and so i walked on in some strange reverie and without noticing i had come back almost to the beach stand, i looked up and heard a whistle and there stood my new found friend Ligi, i could practically make out his gold tooth shining in the moonlight... to be cont...

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

dodo

There was a long stretch  in my youth where i was adamantly opposed to pro-creating, i mean so much as a slight utterance from a female about wanting children or how much they liked kids and the mental notebook would open, a notch would be made and based on some horribly chauvinistic calculations an equation would be drawn as to whether to ever speak to this female again, of course if this conversation came up any time post-coitus and i'd be inquiring about the nearest Planned Parenthood or the closest Greyhound station, i was an incredibly selfish and arrogant prick often spouting some well worn re-tread of shit i had read and clinging to it like a priest to an altar boy, but of course things change...

I will however be the first to admit that i was woefully prepared for this parental shit, i mean i didn't read any books or pay much attention to shit people told me, fucking how hard could it be? i looked around and so all kinds of imbeciles raising perfectly fucked-up spawn so i figured i couldn't be any worse, right? then of course Kid A came along three weeks early and it just so happened that it was my last big night on the town before i settled down for the home stretch and so i stayed out until a few hours after the bars closed exhausting my not so little wrap of powder because come morning i was gonna be a fuckin' responsible sort, at least that's what i told everyone and anyone who would listen as i chain smoked and guzzled beer and made frequent trips to the bathroom to key it up... and so that next morning after 45 minutes of sleep or so, as the girl got ready for work and wondered why she kept peeing herself, i stared at the ceiling trying not to admit to myself how absolutely fucked i was, how i knew that Kid A was coming and his old man who was hoping for a few decent nights sleep in the next few weeks would not be getting one for the next few fucking decades...

And now this pompous and arrogant prick can admit he was wrong, fucking all wrong, i don't know what the fuck i'd do without the boyos, all that youthful posturing of mine, i like to remind myself of it as a way of proving to my thick skull that it is still possible for me to learn things, and of course it is different times we live in out here in the suburbs, the fucking level of organization when it comes to the youth of 'merica is staggering, the fucking burb i live alone has organizations for every sport you can name and that doesn't include all the clubs in the area as well, which brings me to my first foray into the world of youth club futbol...

Sometime around the year 2000 i began to spout off how someday i was going to build a better midfielder, a Yank midfielder who incorporated the qualities of the athletic "merican while instilling in him the intelligence, grace, and guile of the European footballer, fucking Paul Pogba with a midwest accent, it was a joke of course and it still is, i don't push the boyos to do anything other than be active, they still get their video game time and shit, i'm not some fucking knob, i played video games as a kid and it didn't do me any damage, i'd wager to say rock n' roll and books were more harmful (depending on how one looked at it) than video games, but they gotta do something other than sit on their ass and move their fingers, hoops and footie and swimming seem to be the big ones but like their old man they'll play anything as long as it's in season...

So they boyos play the futbol and while Nick Disaster has to wait another year to play club futbol his older brother, after a year on the community travel team, decided he wanted to give it a shot, as with most clubs around these parts their were two teams and the academy (which is what they offer the kid who doesn't make it cuz what organization turns down money), the blue was the A team and the yellow was the B team, and so the kid laced up his boots and walked out onto the pitch with 60-70 other hopefuls, a two day tryout, each day an hour and a half, i told the boy on the way there the same thing he will hear from me the rest of his life, to just go out and do his best cuz that's really all he could do, that his old man was gonna love him regardless and i wished him luck and he smiled and off he went...

One of the great pleasures of my life is watching the boyos play whatever it is they're playing, futbol and hoops are probably my favorite but honestly i'll watch them play checkers with the same wonder and awe, what i won't do is watch the tryouts and though i didn't have to the first day the second i had no choice cuz i fucked up and went to the wrong field first and blah blah blah but basically i got discombobulated and forgot my book and didn't know anyone or want to talk to anyone so i sat and watched... and there was some talent, maybe more than i expected to see and i wondered how the kid was doing and hoping he was doing alright cuz i knew how bad he wanted to make this team, around his school he's known as a bit of a footie whiz and these days even the 4th/5th grade crowd can be a rough lot, (of course maybe they always were) and since the kid has this beautiful innocence and sensitivity about him i was being like any old dude and worrying about him...

Well fucking hell cut to the chase dammit... the kid comes off the field and we're walking to the car and he's talking about his chances and he thinks he can make it but he surely thinks he can make the yellow squad and i can tell it's weighing on him and i tell him not to worry, that if he put it all out there he'd be fine and all that zen non-sense i so love, and so we get in the car and i let him play what he wants on the radio to get his mind off shit and we drive home and since we have all these UK coaches here teaching the game, and one was staying across the way from us, and it just so happened that night he was driven home by the coach who would be head of the blue team and he saw us and waved and watched the I-mac trot up the steps and waved me over, i smile and tell him i wouldn't want his job and he smiles back and gives me a thumbs up, i give a bit of a quizzical look and he smiles, he made he says, he's on the blue team, and i smile say can i tell him or should i wait for tomorrow and so he says wait and so i talk a bit more and then head in...

Now the young boy does not know that once upon a time his old man was a young hood and if a young hood wants to someday be an ex-hood and not an ex-con he must know how to keep a secret... which i did until the next day when i got the email and read it to him, i watched him and his expression, it was one of those things, you'll know what i mean if you've seen it, because you'll never forget it...


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Piss Boy

I realized the other day as i was putting together some rather expensive shelves that i had become Lester Burnham, you remember him don't you? Lester was shot in the head while he sat at his kitchen table daydreaming about his life and the people he loved by his closeted neighbor Col. Frank Fitts, it's a divisive film to say the least but the fact is i had become  Lester, which is not in all ways a bad thing, it's just that i was sitting around and looking at all the utter shit that cluttered up the fucking world.  I had recently been painting cold-air returns, never in my life have i had an interest in these fucking things, turns out there is a whole industry behind these insignificant pieces of metal and over the years they've apparently fucking evolved, evolved enough not to fit my wall so i got to spend some quality time with a can of spray paint so that i could put the old ones back... the last time i had a can of spray paint i was vandalizing schools as a youth in Parma, Ohio... now i was outfitting the Queen's castle to her specifications...

Now i never had a career like Lester did, i mean he was solidly white collar, he wore a suit and tie, the most reputable gig i ever had involved a uniform with my name on it, the first was classic gas station attendant threads and the second, because the Big World Bank Machine loved to blow money on useless shit, made me look something like an unfashionable suburban golf fanatic, it was fucking hideous, my rather prominently domed female boss made me model it for her an another female VP when the uniforms arrived, they thought the uni's were awesome, i told them i felt like a clown.  Lester also finagled his own exit while i would have stayed in this gig for life, the pay was shit but the bennies and the vacation were sweet and it was a rare day that i actually worked for more than three hours, mainly i read books and handicapped races, sometimes slipped out for a pint or two, jerked off, slept, fucked about online, it was fucking brilliant, then it got shut down, and that is how i ended up here...

And where is here? the fucking suburbs, a strange and weird landscape populated by people i don't really understand, the inhabitants are both friendly and evil and odd, it's a bit like high school but with fancier cars... and now i am in this world and i find it both fascinating and absurd, a world where one could have a conversation about cold-air returns or any other number of meaningless and vanilla discussions at the drop of a hat, there is an air of hamster on wheel, day upon day crammed with useless tasks and chores, i want to ask these folks why they don't just get a job if they want their days filled with shit, you see i am stuck on my island, the men of the burbs talk of work and golf and the women just talk, having no job to speak of and no interest in golf excludes me from the former and being a male excludes me from the latter, it's a bit more Ozzie and Harriet than the 24 hour news cycle would lead you to believe, the stay at home crowd is still overwhelming dominated by women, it's why all the supermarket  rags warn Hubby to beware the yoga instructors and the stay at home dad... and because of this status i find i am generally dismissed as if my position somehow indicates a lack of intellectual prowess, then again i probably can't smile and break into a discussion about various strains of cannabis and how i like to play astronaut by combining said strains and seeing what happens, fucking exploration man! though if i was talking Scotch it would be completely legit...

And so like Lester i work out and get stoned, Lester got a job at the fast food place and i got a job working around the gaff doing all the shit i never knew how to do, i don't mind the process i find it quite zen teaching myself new things and refining the ways of the old, like making your own freebase it's trial and error, the old ritual de lo habitual, a favorite saying 'round the lounge, the ritual of the habit, besides it also allows me to blast Bowie records and have a cup of tea, and i'll even give old Sam credit, he never preached, the critics and naysayer said it was ham-handed and obvious, i'd beg to differ, sometimes you have to look closer, listen with a quiet mind, there is no mention of god in the final soliloquy, it's spiritual but godless, it's an opinion on a question that we all ask ourselves at some point and time and the basis for the biggest charlatans in the world to beg for money, it doesn't matter, no one knows the answer, at least not anyone who can tell us... and it was unfortunate that Lester got shot in the head because i think the veil had been lifted, Lester had it sorted, or as sorted as one ever gets but once you get it sorted shit means less... and more, you just become a better judge as to what really matters...

In the end it's just a couch, such a simple statement, it's just a fucking couch, doesn't matter if it's made from Italian silk or purchased at Crate and Barrel, it's just a fucking couch, a place to sit, there are many places to sit and they don't have to be expensive, silk, or Italian... the new one at my digs is only the former, bought and paid for by the breadwinner, that of course is not me, i am piss boy... or Lester... or fuckhead... i'll answer to anything really, like Lester i do not delude myself with some picture of domestic tranquility, it is two people who barely know each other and more than likely don't want to, and while that may not be ideal it is the natural way of things... shit gets planted, shit grows, shit blooms, shit dies... or becomes an icy and indifferent vacuum, much like space, and the couch is a symbol, of meaning to one and meaninglessness to the other, neither is right, they are just different approaches to coping with the rising and setting of a giant gaseous orb that throws heat, allotted so many of these we do our best to apply some sort of meaning to it, who am i to impose my meaning, sometimes i'd like to see people care more about people than stuff but it's a capitalist society we live in and we are brainwashed from a young age to believe that stuff is what makes us happy and not the people around said stuff...

It took Lester a long time to figure out he didn't need all that stuff, l learned early on it was superfluous, the happiest times of my youth were lived hand to mouth, now there is much stuff, cold air returns and couches, fucking coffee tables and bookshelves that are used to hold books that have never actually been read, decorations for all intents, none of it is mine, i do have some stuff, mainly books and records tucked away in my one room, i'd miss them if they were gone but i'd forget about them soon enough, the only indispensable thing in my life these days are the boyos, one of whom crept up behind me while i was writing this and asked if i was writing a story, sort of i told him, then i walked up the stairs with him and we read a bit together before he fell asleep... and like Lester you can often find me sitting in various rooms throughout my house, usually looking as if i'm contemplating something, sometimes with a slight grin, sometimes an outright smile, sometimes a sneer, sometimes a look of total indifference, i relish those moments of quiet, where the only thing i can hear is the  humming of my eardrums, maybe a cat purring, the sound of silence or as close as i can get to it...

And i often wander around when the world is asleep, i make my way in the dark, i look out the window, i creep stealthily outside of rooms and listen to the boyos breath in the night, i climb steps and see the couch, it's just a fucking couch, and it has it's meanings and lack thereof, it's alright though, i think i got it sorted... or as close as one can get, of course i've been wrong before... and i'll be wrong again, who knows, might be the most comfortable couch i ever sit on... if i ever sit on it...




Monday, May 9, 2016

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

I was still slack-jawed as i ambled towards the door, the piss yellow lights of Baum Blvd glowing above me like halos, i slowly walked the half a block towards the 759, glancing towards the murmur and smell of Joe's Bar, yes Joe's had that ancient city bar smell that you could sometimes pick up from half a block away, i believe i was mumbling to myself the whole way home, "Marilyn turns fucking tricks, she turns fucking tricks, who woulda thunk it?"  Of course anyone with a fucking brain would have thought it but the fact it had now been verified to the Sophisticate Rube had me befuddled, i walked into my place and looked at my roommates and blurted it out, "you can fuck Marilyn, the stripper, for two bills an hour, believe that shit?"  They of course both believed that shit...

Thus began the great moral debate? do i part with 200 bucks to fuck Marilyn? is that somehow cheating myself out of something? that little subconscious voice, the ego trip of banging a stripper, have i somehow failed myself by paying for it? did i really think i'd ever bed a stripper? i guess somehow i must have, just like every mark that walks in the door i had to at least entertain the notion? who was i to think i'd be fucking smart or suave or better yet dumb enough to throw shit loads of money at one of these girls in hopes of attaining carnal knowledge, i wasn't some stoned philosophical genius, i was a fucking apeman who read books, and so weeks went by as i went back and forth with what i should do, when i saw her at the club i wouldn't mention a thing about it, but i did drop my finder's fee for her gear, that there should have shown me my true intentions, and yet i really didn't want to date her, i just wanted to fuck her, once or twice, who knows maybe even a half dozen times but i did realize she was a train rolling towards a wreck, in a way it's the best compliment i could give her, she had sold me on the lie, the myth, the method, and the madness...

And then i got my hands on a whole bunch of magic mushrooms, at this point i had kind of given up on the whole Marilyn thing, not that i didn't have the money but more that i felt a bit shy, almost awkward about asking, had we hung out too much in that shitty club that reminded one of a 1970's wood panelled finished basement? were we like fucking friends or something? it was weird but that's how it felt, but we weren't friends it was fucking business right? i was confused, of course when one is lost or needs answers the answers can always be found in what Terrence McKenna refers to as heroic doses, most of my young adulthood is littered with heroic doses, why i couldn't just take mortal ones i don't know, guess it wasn't as much fun, wasn't as challenging, maybe it was that summer when i was 19 and working as a cashier at Hill's Department Store and reading that shit book No One Here Gets Out Alive, the rite of passage of every suburban American white boy who dives headlong into hallucinogens. the whole "bet with your mind" thing and my fucking youthful bravado didn't believe in much but damn if it didn't believe in my own mind...

So one fine Thursday i came home from the warehouse and began grinding up some mushrooms, i started with two grams, i sat at my desk and hit shuffle on the stereo and waited... that initial rush was always like catching a wave that was too big, i grinned and held on, of course an hour or two later i ate another couple grams and then made my way to the apartments front porch to drink beer and watch the cars go by and the sun set and debate the merits of nothingness with the good Doctor... i'm not sure what time it was when the good Doctor, drunk off his ass stumbled towards his apartment door. The porch was littered with beer cans and i had been talking a blue streak and the good Doctor spent the night laughing and telling me how fucked up i was but that was really code for "i love you man", you see while the good Doctor had stopped tripping i just kept right on going and he always liked hanging out with me as i rode the waves, there was a time when we were like the Han and Chewie of psychedelics and since my best mate had turned in for the night i got up and checked my pockets, realized i had a bit of cash, i pulled a crumpled pack of cigarettes from my other pocket and lit one of the remaining four and started walking towards the neon...

Anthony's Lounge was your creepy uncle's basement, if your creepy uncle's basement just happened to have a couple of stripper poles. The dim lighting, the mirrored walls, X-mas lights above the bar, some old neon beer signs... i walked into a decent Thursday night, the colored lights from the stage and loud music temporarily overloading the senses for a second before adjusting, i grabbed a beer from the bar and sat down at the stage... the bartender was smiling at me, the waitress was smiling at me, i looked in the mirror and i was smiling at me , i was fucking pie-eyed, one look at the grin i couldn't shake and my pupils and the words for me were "proper fucked", and so i sat and watched the girls dance, i saw Marilyn's name on the board, i must have just missed her in the rotation because i sat and watched and tipped and laughed with some of the girls i knew, there was a sexy little blond who we called Little Blond (original eh?) who clocked how fucked i was straight away and began begging me for some drugs, i told her next time and went back to grinning, she pouted and threw her hair in my face while she crawled into my lap and purred "you lucky fucker" into my ear, another wave washed over and i sat there smiling, what else was i gonna do with my raging mushroom hard-on? stand up?

Marilyn came out and worked her way over to me by her second song, she smiled and put her legs on my shoulders and gyrated away as i sat mesmerized by her tiny g-string, i tossed some ones down and she spun around and tossed her hair my way, she looked up and giggled, "you look fucking wasted", i grinned and told her i was tripping balls and then like a freight train running downhill i crashed right in, i got 200 i blurted out probably louder than i should have, what? she said, i got some money i said leaning in, you know... for, and i sat there and sorta shrugged or slumped or god knows what as another wave washed over me, Marilyn stared blankly at me, i just kept grinning at her, the money for later you know when you get off you know, and then like the genius i was i pointed towards her knees, i wanted to yell, you know Jen i mean Marilyn, the rug burn, fucking, i want to fuck you for money and i got the money... luckily that didn't come out of my mouth, of course it didn't have to cuz Marilyn was already looking at me as if i had a third eye, and not some third eye chakra filled with wisdom and power but a third eye oozing puss, a third eye fit for a monster, i of course was looking confused as the psilocybin kicked my ass...

And then in a flash she was gone, she stood up and walked to the other side of the stage and that was the last i'd see of her, my third eye having chased her away... and so i sat there and watched a few more dancers, i was befuddled by her reaction to say the least, of course i was fucking lit up and out of my mind but that wasn't an uncommon occurrence, so i finished my beer and stood up, i wobbled a second or two and made for the door, outside the cool air was a shock from the smell of smoke and perfume and booze to the cool and damp city night, traffic had died down on the boulevard and as i started to walk home it hit me, i had just been rejected by a hooker, i let out a huge laugh and began talking to myself out loud as if there were two of me, cackling like a goofball about being shot down by a stripper/prostitute, for some reason i felt as if i had accomplished something, the cars that passed must have surely guessed me for a crazy homeless person as i weaved my way down the sidewalk talking to myself, rejected by a hooker, what a fucking riot!!, the stars shone down and i laughed and laughed, the universe was a mad place i thought as i walked past the empty cans littering my porch and up towards my bed, i flipped off the light and flopped onto the mattress and giggled away, i gazed at the kaleidoscope on my ceiling and thanked Marilyn for saving me 2 bills, never had a rejection amused me so much, i laughed as the sound of the boulevard slipped in my window...

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...