Monday, February 22, 2010

The Wilderness Years - How I Learned to Read pt. 2

At this point the summer had gone pretty well, i had procured employment and a girlfriend and things were working out pretty well, of course the warehouse gig was getting on my tits and MJ would soon quit her job on 12th street thus depriving me of a little sunshine at work but that was okay, she was practically living with me and had a toothbrush and spare clothes at my place and key to the padlock that adorned my door, even the surfer dude brothers who lived at the end of the hall began to show respect as i was the only one of the four guys on the floor with a steady woman and soon enough i would find a new job, sort of, but first...

there was a little bookshop on the boardwalk down at about 2nd St. i believe, i'd bet my flat white ass that it's gone now, replaced by a condo or some such shit, it was right next to a fried chicken and crab cake joint that i salivated at every time i walked past, of course i would have like to eat there but most of my money was going to acid and beer and the occasional bag of grass which had become as hard to find as a fucking unicorn that summer in Ocean City, the book store was nothing more really than a long hallway with a bunch of used shit that really didn't concern me, i don't even know why i went in to begin with, i had one day off a week and early in the summer before i knew anyone i had to find something to occupy my time other than drinking on the balcony and wishing i had a girl to sleep with, the real catalyst may have been a trip to see One-eye at the store he was working at, the manager who was actually younger than me, a kid from a broken home that these store owner's loved to prey on by dangling ownership "someday" all while working them to the bone had ordered some t-shirts of which i apparently brought the wrong size, he's in his wife beater with his cigarette dangling and begins berating me at 10am about what a half wit i am while i stand gazing dumbfounded, thinking is this clown really losing his shit because he got white xl tees instead of large tees? finally i said what anyone in my position would, go fuck yourself dickhead, at which point he threatened to kill me and to which i politely asked him to step from behind the counter so i could smash his pea brain into the concrete, of course we preened and pranced and they dragged me out of the store while he i noticed,he never moved from behind the counter... needless to say in a lighter moment he sincerely apologized and i told him that before the summer was out i was gonna feed him his fucking lunch, but the book store...

As i said the place was really a hallway jammed between stores with nothing but shit used paperbacks and best-sellers but on one wall they had the madmen, it was this summer, possibly this bookstore which brings me here, now, to sit and type aimlessly, to spin useless yarns into the aether, it was here that i picked up On the Road, the Dharma Bums, Naked Lunch, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Junkie, Queer and most importantly Tales of Ordinary Madness, The Most Beautiful Woman in Town, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, yes this little hole in the wall introduced me to Bukowski and Henry Miller and Burroughs and Keroauc and Hunter Thompson, i sat in my shitty little room and listened to the ocean and read, constantly, in every spare moment that wasn't spent sleeping, drinking, tripping, working or fucking, i read and sometimes re-read and realized that there was a lot more to this life than fucking strip malls and big haired suburban girls who liked Bon Jovi, before this i had never heard of these books or these men and now it was if i had found a whole new group of friends to hang out with, i would lay in bed and read to MJ as the candle light flickered around us and the drugs kicked out of our systems, i'd read in the morning, sitting by the window in a beach chair i had garbage picked one day on a long walk home while tripping, but mainly it was the words and ideas in these books that turned my head upside down and taught me that i didn't have to do what i was told, that i could do whatever the fuck i wanted, in a way i knew this, knew i was in control but to see it spelled out changed me forever, i felt like i was fucking free for the first time in my life...

Of course to test this theory i had to get fired and so one night i went out and gulped down a bottle of Cisco, aka Liquid Crack, Cisco is a neon colored beverage that also peels paint, unclogs sinks and can be used to run certain farm machinery, it should not be guzzled, in fact i don't really think people should drink it, it makes Mad Dog look like a finely aged 30yr old bottle of single malt scotch, on said night i decided to take a night off from tripping and after drinking not one but two bottles had found myself at MJ's apartment slobbering on about something most likely in the language of drunken gibberish, i don't know if i was making her or her roommates nervous, one of whom would fuck anything and would like nothing more than to take advantage of the sensitive girl's boyfriend so she could make her life even worse, MJ gave me a kiss and told me not to smoke for fear i might combust and began walking my young, dumb, drunken ass the six blocks home to my house...

Upon arriving at my lovely abode, we find about a half dozen cops all waiting to bust the party on the 2nd floor and the front door locked, i immediately take charge by yelling up to the 2nd floor balcony to open the fucking door, where some muppet replies, who are you and i of course scream i fucking live here, now while one of the boys from the 2nd floor confirms this i have somehow seem to drawn the attention of the police who come sauntering over to see what my problem is, let us say the conversation does not go well, with me bobbing and weaving and telling them to fuck off back to high school and that i know my rights and shit and then when two of them stepped toward me, MJ the sweetest fucking girl i'd ever met steps in front of them and politely explains that i live on the third floor and that she is taking me up and putting me to bed, that i may have had just a smidgen to much to drink but that she will see to it that they see no more of me tonight and she pushes her glasses up and smiles and the door opens and she shoves me in and tells the officers to have a nice night and once on the 3rd floor her and the surf brothers lock and bolt all the doors so that when the blitzkrieg happens the fuzz can't get in here, Ocean City cops being notorious for trampling the law...

A short time after that i believe i blacked out, surprise i know, then came the sunrise and the hatchet that had been placed firmly in my skull, MJ gently told me the details as she got ready to go to work at her new job as a waitress and i groaned and drank some water and passed back out, when the alarm would later go off i pulled the plug out of the wall cuz who needs snooze when you ain't going to work, a job i was supposed to be at around 10am but by noon LJB had begun to send people looking for my whereabouts, the kicker being when you rent from your boss it's tough to hide, after the third person attempted to wake me sometime after 2pm the boss himself showed up and explained to me that he was taking me to work, to which i laughed and let out a noxious fart and told him good luck, fire me i said, oh i will you fucker but not today, tomorrow sure but today i'm gonna make you work, he stood at the door and badgered me and finally i rose and told him he better drive the van and shuffled off to work in the stifling heat, of course since he spent most of his time answering phone calls i spent most of my time sleeping against boxes only for him to come back and throw a hissy fit while i laughed and said told you to leave me in bed, to which he replied this is your last day in the warehouse, you fuck up to much anyway, tomorrow you start on 12th street, i need someone since your girlfriend quit, i smiled and winced at the thought of getting out of the warehouse but of having to work with the National, one thing i said to LJB, that fucker wants me to kiss him for my check and i'll fuck him in the ass just to let him know who's the bitch and laughed maniacally as he told me to get in the van... to be cont.

5 comments:

alljoedirt said...

Strange how reading can change your world as well as your mind set. I have spent many a day escaping reality and fleeing to another world created by my mind and a few other things.

nursemyra said...

I remember my first taste of Bukowski......

daisyfae said...

i found Vonnegut when i was 12. and have continued to rediscover him every now and then as i got old...

love the reference to 'knowing your rights'. my son becomes a fucking harvard educated constitutional law scholar when he gets obliterated. i'm going to videotape it sometime just to show him what an asshole he is when he's tanked.

Jimmy Bastard said...

I remember well the first time I read Hunter Thompson, and his take on the world. I have to wonder how his own words may have changed should he ever have been offered the chance to dine out on your written word.

Kono said...

alljoedirt - that's the beauty of books, isn't it? that ability to escape and let the mind run.

Nursie - first taste? you dirty girl.

Daisy - amazing how we young men become constitutional scholars when loaded and faced with legal quandries, innit.

Jimmy - muchos gracias, i think i would've like to drive with Hunter from Woody Creek to Vegas and debate the merits of our prose... or of course break into his medicine kit and see what happened .