Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Wilderness Years - Morphine and Mary Jane

Anthony's Lounge, rest it's soul, was a fucking dive, a place that reminded you of your perverted uncle's basement if you had a perverted uncle, wood panelling on the lower half of the walls and mirrors on the upper half, a door that opened directly to the street and never a cover, did i mention it was a strip bar, every now and then the local 12 year olds would swing the door wide open and look in to see some titty before they tore down the street and the sound of their joy echoed on the blvd., it closed down and re-opened as a gay bar but this is in the future and in 1996 i happened to live half a block from the joint, less than five minutes on foot and since i didn't like television it became a bit like my living room, i had started my business and like any aspiring hood i had to hit the street, besides they had pizza for 25 cents a slice and sometimes i'd be the only guy in the place at 8 or 9 at night, here comes a regular and soon the girls would say hello and the bartender would say hello and i'd sit and drink my beer and smoke and watch the dancers and tip my way into their hearts or at least i'd like to think that...

The joy of Anthony's, a g-string and pasty joint, was it's noted lack of implants, they seemed to somehow get some pretty young women to work there and as a connoisseur of the female form it was pleasant to see, of course they still had the rock stars waving their size DDD's at you but for the most part the girls were down to earth working girls, yeah some tricked out of the joint but some went home to their kids after work too, of course the music mostly sucked and between the usual nu-metal and gansta rap it was hard to find a decent tune but i looked past that somehow and sat politely and drank and got to know the low-life's known as the clientele...

It was roughly 1997, i had been hanging out there for about a year or so when she walked on stage to the strains of Morphine's You Look Like Rain and to say i was dumbstruck would be a gross understatement, her name was Mary Jane, i believe her real name was Jen, she was a svelte blonde, small and lithe and she moved like a cheetah, sleek and sexy, it was soon apparent that this girl was a showstopper and soon every time she walked out and played that song the place was so quiet you could hear the dollar bills falling softly on the stage, and fall they did, like rain, many of them mine, for i was quickly making a name for myself in North Oakland as a guy who knew where to get things, certain things strippers liked, a guy who seemed to have ample amounts of cash but didn't flaunt it, who sat politely almost shyly at the stage with a sheepish grin, a guy who said thank you each time a girl would dance for me, little did i know i was developing a reputation and years later i would find out how i could've dated a number of these young ladies, i was the tall quiet guy, the gentleman who tipped well and had an easy smile and what Mary Jane saw was a mark...

You see i'm so full of shit my eyes should've been brown and though i liked to think i was street wise and worldly i was just as much a sucker as the lonely lawyer sitting next to me spouting shit and waving his wallet around, i was smitten and she knew it, i tipped her better than most, i started looking forward to the nights she danced, it took me ages to get a lap dance and when i finally did i sat clutching the sides of the chair so hard i lost feeling in my fingers, i was a wreck, i began tipping her 20's and every now and then when it was slow she'd sit down and have a cigarette with me and i'd buy her a drink and we'd talk, mostly about her, how she had bills she needed to pay, how she maxed out her credit cards, shit i normally would've laughed off and ignored, inane shit but instead i sat there rapt as if she was explaining to me Einstein's theory of relativity, she was like the moon that made the North Oakland night beautiful and then one day she was gone...

The burgh though is a small incestuous place and i soon found out she had gotten a gig bar tending on the South Side, it wasn't an odd thing for the girls of Anthony's to be there one day and gone the next, she was shacking up with the owner of the place, a guy i knew from our mutual dealings in the underworld, Fat Harry the Greek, a fat, greasy bastard whose family had money and owned a few restaurants and bars around town, the bar and club she worked at was his new baby, a hip new spot for the kids to be seen at, the two things Fat Harry like most were cocaine and strippers, in that order, in fact shortly after Mary Jane got her cushy new gig i ran into Fat Harry at the Dead Hippie's (another story) sitting on the couch attempting to blast a line of charlie up a nostril that was already encrusted in blow, i told him he might have a problem with said airhole and he smiled and thanked me, put his hand to the opposite nostril and snorted like a dying elephant, he looked to me and i said no good man, still clogged and he proceeded to blast the rail up the other nostril, he passed me the plate and i declined,i picked up the bong and took a hit, cracked one of the Dead Hippies beers and asked if he was seeing some cute, little, blonde... yes, he said and sat there sweaty and jittery and explained that he was thinking about asking her to marry him, interesting was my reply and i soon handed over some cash to the Dead Hippie got my big bag smoke and hit the street, amazed at how fucked the world was, i had known her for a over a year and barely knew her real name, i was not fat nor Greek nor hoovering Mt.Everest sized piles of coke yet i couldn't even get a date and yet Fat Harry the Greek had known her for a few weeks and was out sizing rings...

Needless to say the impending nuptials never commenced and the word was that Mary Jane had suddenly got out of debt and decided there was better husband material out there for her, of course Fat Harry the Greek rebounded to find another stripper who had hip tattoo's (Mary Jane had none)loved blow, three ways and fat Greeks, and as far as i know they are still happily married...

which brings us to 1999, the year Mark Sandman died, but at this point he was still alive and the band Morphine, who i had been listening to for some time even before i tried said substance or something like it was playing a show in Pittsburgh, one of the last shows they would ever play seeing as how Mr. Sandman would die on stage in Italy that July, but it was only May and business was booming and it was a friday night and i had a ticket for me and the Furious One to check it out... i also had a large quantity of mushrooms, who would have guessed and since i was a bit like the Neil Armstrong of hallucinogens back then it was one small step for man but a giant fucking leap for Kono-kind, see i had been known to take what some have referred to as heroic amounts of mushrooms, enough to see God, Buddha, Shiva, Ganesh, Aliens, Dead People and all the Who's in Whoville and seeing as how i loved the band Morphine and i loved mushrooms i thought it would be a good idea to take a head stash of roughly 14 grams or so with me for my friend and i...

Can i sound like a clown here and say it all started so innocently? it did of course with a few pinches gulped down with beer at some dive before the show but by the time i got to the venue the Furious One and i were practically levitating, he had a non-stop grin going and i just kept dipping my fingers into the bag and tossing more into my mouth, see as a professional i took all the dust out of the bottom of the big bag, the dust being the most potent, then walked into a sold out show in the heat of May, we found a place toward the back which turned out to be a blessing because somewhere along the way i needed to deposit what was left in my stomach in the toilet thus facilitating an ever more intense trip, of course a few minutes after that Morphine hit the stage and i found a roving beer girl, bought four beers, two for each of us and gobbled another handful of dust while the Furious one laughed and said you're fucked, being ever the eloquent one i smiled and said i know and the band and the lights played on...

Of course during this haze i saw a small blonde with a small man walk by and i looked at her and she at me and she smiled and i told the Furious One that i do believe i saw Mary Jane, he said who? and i explained the story and he said look at the douchebag she's with and i said she likes money and then during a short break by the band we ended up next to each other and she said i know you, where from? and i smiled my sheepish grin and i told her we used to hang out at the same place, she said really? and i said yes, she said where? and i said a place down on the Blvd. and told her she looked like rain and her face went pale and she her nose turned up and she said fuck you asshole i don't know what you're talking about and grabbed her man's arm and walked off... i was dumbfounded and the Furious One just shrugged and said women and then the band walked back on and i forgot all about it... or at least i thought...

By the time the show ended i had passed cloud nine some light years ago and was laughing and smiling when the Furious One said that blonde was lookin at you and being higher than the stars and full of psilocibin i launched into a tirade about how she was all smiles when she was taking my money but couldn't even say a friendly hello, well fuck that gold diggin bitch who fucked Fat Harry the Greek for his dough and is now probably taking that well dressed midget for all his dosh as well, she can suck it, she's nothing but a prostitute in fancy clothes...well i finished my diatribe and you ever notice how after a show you kinda talk loud cuz well the music was loud and here i was practically shouting this, all 6'4 and pie eyed and half lit on booze and even the bouncers were getting away from me cuz i apparently looked like a crazed younger Rasputin with my long dirty hair all standing on edge and the insanity just oozing out my pores and emanatin' from my aura and who should be standing not five feet from me but Mary Jane and her man and though i think he sized me up for a second he thought better of it and she looked like she was about to cry and she grabbed him and sped through the crowd and all i wanted to do was say sorry and i wished you'd have just been a bit more civil earlier and how i wasn't trying to divulge her past to her new man it's just that it was nice to see her and all but well fuck it didn't really work out like that did it...

Outside the cool night air felt better than a blowjob and i smoked a cigarette and felt the mushrooms kicking and looked at Furious and said i guess civility loses tonight and he laughed and said yeah man but that was a kick ass show... and we headed off into the lovely blue night to see what other trouble we could find... and i never saw Mary Jane again.

6 comments:

JMH said...

A picture in less than a thousand words. Well told -- all you need is an overstuffed chair, a crackling fireplace, and a bunch of 18+ children sitting cross-legged around you (none of which are particularly difficult to find).

alljoedirt said...

Cool story!! I nearly fell off my chair at work laughing and got a few strange looks from my colleagues. Thanks man!!

Gulfboot Johnson said...

Beautiful!

Remember that time we had pizza and wings delivered to the stage at Anthony's Lounge?

Or that time when we were shrooming in the pimp lounge of The Cricket?

Glory days indeed.

Kono said...

JMH- shit i thought i was more than 1000 words, came out a bit rough and not as tight as i'd have liked but so be it, you forgot the satin bathrobe ala Hugh Hefner when i read from the big book of Kono tales.

Joe Dirt - thank you sir and glad you enjoyed. sometimes i gotta lighten the mood from all my maudlin bulshit, glad you enjoyed.

Gulfboot - The Stinky Cricket is still hoppin and would you like ranch or bleu cheese with your wings.

nursemyra said...

'shrooms will do that to ya

daisyfae said...

i fell in love with a PA stripper. her name was Autumn and she was working the "End Zone" in State College, PA. i am truly feelin' your pain...

by the way, i want the movie version. you're rockin' the 'wilderness years'...