Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Twenty - Part 1 - I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

I was meaning to get to this last week but i got sidetracked in Chicago (more on that later) so i'm already a week behind but that's okay cuz i'm nothing if not lazy and i spent an inordinate amount of time looking for this picture of myself to post, it was from twenty years ago this month and i was high as a fucking kite and going to a commencement ceremony, my commencement, i was attending to sit high up in the bleachers and clap politely for my friends who where walking across the stage and receiving their degrees, mine would be shipped to my old man's new address and i would actually see if for the first time a few years later, i was done with my undergrad, a feat that had only been achieved once previously in my family at that point, that by my old man, of course in years to come many more of my clan would get their degrees but at the time i was the second one and we could all shed a tear about how no one was there to see me get it but the truth is i didn't give a fuck, i was glad to be stoned and sitting at the top of the bleachers with the Hassler and Billy C. and laughing at dumb shit and cracking jokes and generally not paying attention to anything until of course my Lawyer crossed the stage and then we all howled like idiots much to the dismay of his family... and that picture? it's of me smelling some red tulip, eyes glazed shut and sideburns in full flight, if i find it i'll post it but now on with the show...

To recap it had been only a few months since the dissolution of my nuclear family and i was burning the proverbial candle at both ends and in the middle too, my income was derived from selling weed to my fellow students and the stray townie or two, i was basically Alpha Dog of the art crowd, holding court at the a little bar that was usually reserved for townies (they were the ones who dubbed us the Art Crowd) but that offered 25 cent beer all day monday and thursday nights and served mixed drinks for $1.35 that you had to choke down until of course you couldn't feel anything but numb and then just sat and grinned dumbly, i was having poetry and fiction readings in my apartment, was hand-picking the finest betties to sleep with and was generally having a fine time of things, i was either to stubborn or stupid or wasted to realize that i was tightrope walking, very high up and without a net but as would serve me later on in my adventures i had this knack of putting my head down and ploughing forward, no fear or regret or worry, just put one foot in front of the other, breathe in and out and get whatever i needed done done dig?

I was finishing out my last semester and re-taking two classes to improve my gpa (which ended up being pretty good by the time it was all said and done), i had a light schedule and plenty of time to drink and smoke and take drugs, i had been offered the chance to pursue a career in advertising but instead had decided a better career choice would be surfing and writing poetry and job hopping or more correctly drinking, drugging and fucking, i mean really i don't think i did anything the normal red-blooded lad wouldn't have done and so i wound down the days at Podunk U. from my apartment on the corner of Main St., a place where i spent hours staring out the window and wondering, the place where i slept and many times had sex on my kitchen floor so as not to disturb a certain roomie and his lady... it was also during this time that my old man dropped me back at school for the last time, i've written about it before, the divorce was final and he was moving in with his brother and his baby boy was running wild in the streets and as we stood there and said goodbye i could tell the old man was proud and worried all at the same time, we didn't know when we'd see each other again and though i played it tough i remember watching my father pull away and wiping the tears out of my eyes as i walked to the bar, he'd been dealt a shit hand in the last year and a half but ultimately he'd be alright, i remember him slipping 60 bucks into my hand that day, 60 bucks he probably needed more than i did and it took me awhile but 13 some odd years later i understand more than i did then...

And so the days turned warmer and the nights grew longer, usually lasting til sunrise as those of us about to leave held onto the beauty, the racing between apartments and bars, stopping in our favorite joint for quarter beer and a 7&7 between classes, i was wheeling as much grass as i could to build up my nest egg for the beach because that's where i'd head once it was all said and done, a shaving kit stuffed with a couple ounces of grass, a vial of hash oil, a half ounce of mushrooms, the ten odd hits of acid and that was just the beginning to a very long and wild and brilliant summer but first i'd have to get there of course and in this tale nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and so the days came and went and the semester ended and the students all began filing out and for a brief couple of days those last stragglers like myself roamed the streets and drank and ate and lived like soon to be exiled kings in the last days of the kingdom, sitting in my kitchen, tucked in my usual corner and gazing out the window at the sunset as the 40 oz. bottle of malt liquor left large wet circles and the last joints were rolled in this place, it was in this kitchen while high as a kite on hallucinogens that i first uttered the phrase "I'll sleep when i'm dead", it was early doors that year and i somehow held onto that mantra as i rambled through that final year, looking back it's funny how one gets by, especially in their youth, but i did somehow... and so while some of these tales may be repeated from previous posts that's okay cuz it ain't really for anyone but me, celebrating what took place 20 years ago, no one thought i'd live this long to begin with but as i said i'm to stubborn or stupid or wasted to give up...



5 comments:

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Stoned and not giving a fuck is the young man's burden. Wait 'til it's your turn to see your sons get their diplomas. Different story. You'll feel it plenty.

I can't believe you turned down a career in fabulous advertising. Advertising. Using your creative juices to devise the quickest, best way to separate people from their money. You didn't want to do that? What's the matter with you?

You took the unconventional route. Most would have taken that ad gig. It's nice that you survived. Not everyone does, you know? The unconventional route makes for better posts.

jon said...

It's just the heaviness of that post that makes me sad. While we can't do everything, we can do something light. It's just workmanlike.

Chef Files said...

You came through it to tell the tale pal. That is an achievement in itself.

daisyfae said...

"proud and worried". how i felt the last time i hugged The Boy goodbye as he continued on his nomadic quest to get right, and figure out his shit...

"i can sleep when i'm dead" is a phrase i'm familiar with as well, as i speedball my way to the finish line. but my back is busted up tonight, after a weekend of cycling, fucking, horseback and motorcycle riding. tonight? i'm gonna sleep like the dead...

vinny said...

do i ever miss the times at podunk U,

RIP Kevin we will all miss you.......

Read most of your shit tonight and have more than enjoyed you twisted way of piecing the stores together

cheers brother...
Vin