Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Revisionist History - Podunk Summer pt. 9

 Friday finally rolled around and i spent the better half of the afternoon cleaning up the apartment, drinking and getting high, all in anticipation of Sharon's arrival... sound familiar? When she arrived i gave her an even quicker tour of the place then Cherry had gotten before leading her into the bedroom and getting down to business. Yes i was all class, a quick five minute tour and then get to the fucking, subtle as a flamethrower this one here, nothing like making the intentions known, i could have at least been honest and stated that i only really wanted you here for the sex, after which i'll spend the evening getting fucking wasted before we adjourn back to my room for more sex, then sleep, then a bit more fucking in the morning before you're sent packing and i go back to bed. 

By the time of this get together Sharon and i had gotten even further apart on the social spectrum type thing. She had joined a sorority where she attended school, the late 80s hair had calmed down a bit but was still bigger than an art star like myself would find acceptable, in fact to me at this time she was very white and suburban (and somehow i wasn't?) and entrenched quite firmly in her views of how life should go. College, husband, work, children etc etc... I on the other hand was just as firmly entrenched in the teachings of one Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski... i wanted to drink and fuck and write and live like a bum with the main point being  to live... if the demise of my nuclear family did anything to me it was driving home the point that this "American Dream" myth was pure horseshit. I had no use for conventional society or it's ways, i wanted to eat acid and ponder the universe, write bad poetry about guys like Robinson Jeffers, i wasn't about to "get married" or "procreate", fuck all that, i was livin' man!! Fuck that white picket fence and two car garage, i was all about shit rooms and cheap wine. Honestly i was an unsufferable bastard, i'm sure given a time machine i'd travel back and punch myself in the face for being such a knob end. Then again that's the beauty of it, to make those gorgeous mistakes and keep on going, hopefully learning something in the process... or maybe not. 

This particular Friday night was shaping up to be a rather slow one to say the least. It looked like it would be another small party at the apartment and maybe a walk to the bar. I wanted to keep Sharon hidden as i was such a callous prick i was a bit embarrassed by her, yes i was a fucking asshole who thought he was too fucking cool for a semi-big haired chick from the burbs and the last impression i wanted to give was that i actually cared for or liked this girl. I was quite the cock to say the least. I also didn't need any of Julia's friends spotting me hanging with Sharon and so i did my best to steer us towards a night in... which i did. I think the highlight of the night was taking a walk down Main St. due to the fact Sharon was sick of all the smoke in the apartment, ah the early 90s when smoking was so cool everyone did it, when the phrase "i only smoke when i drink" should have been a temporary tattoo stuck on every forearm of every grunge wannabe... and so when she could stand it no more we took a walk. 

Walking Podunk's Main St. in summertime was like walking a Norman Rockwell painting... quaint streetlights, sparse traffic, small businesses, all of which were closed of course except for the mini-marts and the two bars that sat on the street, on of which was the "swanky" bar/club where the town professionals and professors hung out along with what seemed like all the foreign exchange students. The other a dive with a pool table which played mainly the commercial radio station dialed in from the big city south of here. Yinz know the one. There were no chain stores at all except for a 7-11 and a Uni-Mart... my how times have changed. We walked and talked. We didn't hold hands and i did my best to now and then make some physical contact but i was also on the lookout for anyone who might know me or Julia. Being summer the chances were slim because the place was deserted especially by 10pm. The only saving grace of attending university in a place so devoid of action (unless you made it yourself which i was quite adept at... with the help of psychedelics mind you) was that it made it easy for me to get through school and graduate. 

When we hit the end of Main St. we turned and walked back. By the time we got to the apartment things had begun to mellow out. Of the maybe ten people that were there only a few were left so we loaded up the bong for a session. Sharon didn't smoke weed and wasn't all that fond of it but did her best to pretend not to mind. After an hour or so of getting stoned and bullshitting, an hour in which it seemed as if Sharon enjoyed herself, probably due to me not worrying about us being seen and the people remaining being laid back and wasted, we adjourned to my room for what was ostensibly the whole reason for this visit. Sex. We walked in, shut the door and began kissing, it was old hat to us, there was no fumbling or messing about and i can say if there was one thing i liked about Sharon is that she enjoyed sex. Not in the sleep with anyone type of way but in the way that if she liked you she was always pretty much down for it. I had special standing as "her first". 

And so a pleasant night of rutting and slumber gave way to the dawn... oh yes the dawn, the light of day, when things come into focus and we realize what a mess we've made... that is of course if one is not oblivious to the situation and being in a lovely state of an almost perpetual stupor i thought everything was hunky dory. So on stirring from our slumber in slowly slid my hand between Sharon's thighs, the joys of sleeping naked, we again went at it and when finished i rolled over and fell into a half-sleep. I felt Sharon roll out of bed and put on some clothes and make her way to the bathroom. When she came back she began packing her things. I sat up on my elbow and asked why she was leaving so soon? I need to go was all she said. I asked if she wanted to come back next weekend? She laughed and sarcastically said, yeah right. She gave a wry smile and said, you're an  asshole. She slung her bag over her shoulder and walked out of my room. I jumped out of bed and threw on some shorts and followed her down the steps and out into the parking lot. 

The sun had come up quick and hot and the parking lot was a dry and dusty wasteland of cracked dirt. There sat her Camaro and she opened the door and threw her bag into the back seat. Then she turned and faced me and unloaded... you're a fucking loser, she began. It was about this time that i realized that i had a bit more than a mild hangover, nothing epic but a decent enough one that would necessitate a bong hit or two and few more hours sleep, a Gatorade and with any luck a bacon and cheese omelet. Sharon continued, you're a burnout, a fucking pothead loser drunk, i don't even know what happened to you but all you want to do is get wasted and be an ass, this was horrible, i don't know why i even stayed the night, i show up and you reek of weed and beer and lead me straight to your room, you're an asshole. I stopped her for a second, you didn't seem to mind i said. I didn't, she shot back, probably because i'm a fool who has always had some feelings for you but realize now you're just a dick, the only reason you had me come up here was to have sex with you. There were times last night were it seemed you were embarrassed of me, like your so fucking cool you pothead! Nice life you have, i felt bad for you with what's happening with your mom and dad but fuck you! you're just a jerk and you don't have to worry about this ever happening again. 

I stood there in the baking heat of the parking lot, not a cloud in the sky as the sun beat down on my pounding hangover, my head throbbing, my stomach turning, my mouth dry, i wanted to crawl back in bed and pass out and here i was being berated at 9AM. It wasn't exactly the way i wanted to start my day, granted i did get laid not that long ago so there was that but it was little consolation at the moment. Sharon stood there glaring at me in bicycle shorts and t-shirt, an uncool ensemble for an art star like me though comments like that only provide more evidence of her assessment of my being a dickhead being spot on. Well, she said, don't you have anything to say? 

I stood back and smiled. As a matter of fact i do, i began. Shall i start at the beginning? thus began my soliloquy... First off i never wanted this suburban dream you seem to fantasize about so much, fuck that, i don't want to go to some job i hate, i don't want to get married or have kids, i want to fucking live! i'm gonna write and paint and fuck, you think you're the only girl i've called up here to Podunk? no sweetheart you were just the surest thing and boy was i fucking right about that, this disdain you seem to have for the way i live didn't seem to stop you from spreading your legs every chance you've gotten for the last 24 hours or whatever the fuck it is... Sharon stood there, here lip beginning to quiver and her eyes welling which of course just egged the asshole in me on even more... What's the matter? i continued, hitting to close to home? well you go ahead and fucking cry, like i give a shit, i don't want what you're selling, so why don't you fuck off back home and find some willing sap to marry you and fulfill this fantasy of yours, go crank out a couple kids, get fat, be boring as hell, in short everything i despise, sayanora Sharon! It's been a pleasure, now fuck off! 

Yes I had cranked the asshole up to 11 and poor Sharon just stood there trying to hold it together... you're a dick!! fuck you!! she spat out again, enjoy being a druggy and a bum... I most certainly fucking will, i smiled... and with that she wiped the tears from her eyes, got in her Camaro, and peeled out of the parking lot and sped down the street. I laughed thinking i hoped she'd get a ticket. At the time i was quite impressed with myself and my lovely speech, the universe, in my egomaniacal view, was spinning lovingly around my dirty ass and therefore i was obviously right about everything... i was a dickhead almost without peer. About this time as i stood in the cloud of dust left by Sharon's tires i realized just how hungover i was going to be, the sweat beading on my brow, i trudged back up the steps and packed up the bong, ripped a gigantic hit, coughed for a minute, threw water on my face and grabbed my last Gatorade from the fridge. I walked back into my room and fell into a bed with dirty sheets, the remnants of a days worth of screwing, and passed out. (to be cont...)




Friday, September 9, 2022

Goodbye Waffles


 It's with great sadness that i sit here and write that Waffles the hamster has passed... never in my life would i have thought that i'd be so attached to a rodent but Waffles was no ordinary rodent, she was a hamster par excellence... much like my beloved Syd, Waffles had a way of making me smile. I was always amused watching her scurrying to and fro, loading her cheeks with food or bedding or both and marveling at how she did it. 

Waffles was an Xmas gift for my boy Disaster, he had been asking about getting a hamster mainly due to an old web site he had played when he was in pre-school, a site called ABC Mouse, on it you completed lessons and were given credits to buy stuff from the virtual store. Disaster bought two virtual hamsters one of which he named Waffles so it was only fitting that he name his real hamster the same. Since we had a hamster and i have a curious mind i began investigating the life of hamsters... yes it sounds odd but then again maybe i'm a bit odd but the more i hung out with Waffles the more i wanted to learn. I soon discovered that hamsters do in fact learn their names and each time i'd go into Disaster's room i'd say Waffles, in my usual goofy way, and sure enough she'd peak out her little house before having a stretch and walking out to get her treat. 

Waffles was also known as the adventure hamster as on a few occasions Disaster forgot to close her cage lid and Waffles would somehow climb up and out, drop off the table and then head out for a walkabout. I found her once at the bottom of the steps surrounded by cats who seemed mildly frightened by her and once i found her in a vent, most likely having found the loose vent cover in the BW's room and falling down it and making her way to the bottom floor and into the air return register. It was roughly 3am and the cats were staring at the vent and so i walked over and shined a light and sure enough there was Waffles staring at me, standing on her back legs and asking, how the hell did i get in here. I then found a screwdriver and loosened the vent, got her out and took her back to her cage where i made sure to shut the lid. She was an excellent climber and often found a way to scale her playpen i put her in when i cleaned her cage, an activity she was never happy with as she like her cage as messy as possible. 

If there was one thing i truly enjoyed it was watching Waffles eat her treats. She had different ways, sometimes jamming the whole thing in her mouth and sometimes holding it with her front paws while nibbling away at it, which was one of my favorite things to watch. I'd listen to her faint nibbling as she enjoyed her treat, her favorite being the blueberry treats where she'd munch on the outside before getting the center. It never failed to make my grin and we'd sit there staring at each other and when she was finished she'd come to the edge of her cage looking for more. Truth is i probably gave her too many but she was hard to resist when she stood up and tilted her little hamster head. 

The night she passed i got a frantic text from the BW, i was going to attend the I-mac's game (long story) when she told me Waffles appeared to be having seizures. I took off from the game and drove home to first check on my boy Disaster and then tend to Waffles. On researching even more i found that this wasn't an uncommon occurrence and that it usually meant the end was near. I stroked her head and said her name but it seemed that would make it worse and that if no one talked to her she'd calm down and relax. I did it one last time and then wrapped her in a blanket and covered the cage with a towel so that it was dark and peaceful. I listened from the other room and didn't her any seizures, an awful sound that Disaster couldn't bear to hear and i closed the door and let her be. In the morning i went in to check and she was gone. The plan was if she was still alive to take her to the vet and have her put down so that she wouldn't suffer anymore. To say i was fucking distraught in my inability to help her would be and understatement. I wanted to help her and wanted Disaster to be okay and know she wasn't suffering but all home remedies were brutal and horrible. There was no way i could do it. The ER Vet was nixed by the BW as too costly and so i did the best i could. 

In the morning after checking on her i asked Disaster if he wanted to say goodbye. He said no and that he was okay. The boy is getting much better and dealing with loss. He's a lot like his old man and sometimes that worries me, i wanted him to talk about it if he needed to but i also understand him and so i let him be. If he wanted to he could talk to me and he knew it. He wanted her to be taken to be cremated because he said if i buried her in the backyard it would be weird. In the end we didn't cremate her and i did bury her in the backyard. Just me and her. I dug a hole, and laid her gently in still wrapped in her blanket. I put a piece of honeysuckle in with her and then i gave a speech to the trees, the birds, the squirrels and whoever else may have been listening. I told Waffles that Disaster and i loved her very much and that i hope she had a good life, how i never knew hamsters could be so cool and that i'm glad i had a chance to know her. I wiped at my eyes and then put the dirt back, i couldn't look until i knew she was out of sight and then i placed a large stone in the spot where she was to keep anything from getting to her. I know she's there and say hi to her each morning. 

In the end she lived a normal hamster life, their life expectancy being about 18 months Waffles was around 2 when she passed. She was a cool little hamster and i'll miss talking with her and watching her do her hamster things. In the past month or so i knew she seemed to be slowing down and could tell some things might be wrong and even though i sorta prepared myself and Disaster for what was coming it's still never easy... And so i say goodbye sweet Waffles, you were a fine and beautiful hamster and you will be missed and remembered. You taught me that my capacity to love was greater than i thought... and how cool is that for a hamster. Go easy little Waffles, love Disaster and his dad.  (I thought of including Michael Jackson's song Ben, as it's one of the few if only song written to rodent but i decided against it... though i still might at some point.) 


Saturday, September 3, 2022

Revisionist History - Podunk Summer Pt. 8

 By the time the conversation was over things were sorted, Sharon would be coming up the next weekend for a night which was all she could swing due to her summer job. Of course every time this happened i was quite sure that she (and her mother) were harboring some sort of hope that this would be the re-start of our love, a love predestined from a time long before either of us knew but one that was obviously "meant to be." There are no three words in the English language that i loathe more than the words "meant to be." What the fuck does that even mean? Granted one could say that it's just an extension of, say, Buddhist philosophy and that it meant things just happened but that wasn't what it meant at all. The words were loaded with intent and leaned toward the mystical or religious, as if some grey bearded old man had waved his hand and deemed it so. What horseshit. In fact one of the main reasons i ran fast and far from Sharon (excluding the casual sex thing) was a conversation our mothers had. Her mom had mentioned to my mom that Sharon would really like a ring for her graduation. A ring? what kind of ring? You know was all her mom said. At 18 this lady wanted me to buy a ring? the lovely suburban "pre-engagement" type thing? Fuck that! I didn't want to inform Sharon's parents that i was cool having sex with their daughter but after that my interest sorta diminished... quickly. Besides the fact that i was also very much interested in fucking any other willing female who might take a fancy to me, you know free love and all that sorta thing and one could say that my morals or ethics (or lack thereof) were not in line with the Sharon clan. 

But in the short term my problem was solved. I had female companionship on the way and so i began the work week with a spring in my usually hungover step. Lars was now fully onboard with slacking and we even began to have conversations about things, mainly music or politics and though Lars was most definitely a dweeb it was cool to shoot the shit while getting paid and fucking off. We soon found out that our supervisor, Peanuts, often forgot where we were, would forget to pick us up and take us back to the shop, and so thus began an even more casual approach, if that's even possible, to our job. 

One of the many perks of said job was the fact we had to go through all the drawers in each room to make sure they were empty and while one might be surmising that our rather perverted hero here was hoping to stumble upon a drawer of lace undies (i did) the fact was i was looking for more practical items. Unfortunately one of the drawbacks of being 6'4 is that i'm taller than most regular sized people. Upon entering each room the first thing i'd do is test the drawers on the desks and bureaus, if anything was loose or completely off or if i felt it needed fixed i wrote down the room number and let Peanuts handle it. For the most part i found nothing but usually once a day or so i'd find a drawer filled with clothes. I'd take out the clothes, toss them on the cart and they'd be left in a box near the Resident Directors office to do what they would with them when they returned after summer break. When i found the lace undies i couldn't help but fuck with Lars and so i draped them all over his cart while he was watching the telly. When i heard a "what the hell!" i could barely contain my laughter as i heard Lars and his cart heading towards where he thought i was... i usually did a fine job of not letting anyone know where i actually was and so i popped out of the room i was in laughing heartily while i explained to Lars i thought he might like those for later while making the universal sign for wanking. Lars turned red, said i was real funny and turned to head back to the television lounge. I should add the undies never ended up in the lost and found, i checked, and could not be located henceforth. I let it lie, a card in the deck in case Lars ever got a bit too full of himself. 

The jackpot came on sunny midweek day when i opened up a drawer and found it filled to the top with shirts and a couple pairs of jeans. I pulled them out and realized that they might actually fit and so i locked the door and began trying the jeans on. The shirts were of the Polo/ dress shirt variety and since this was the height of grunge and i had a wardrobe that consisted mainly of flannel i passed on those but the jeans fit great. A bit baggy ala the Happy Mondays and as i looked through the stuff it dawned on me that i may have knew the guy who left the shit here. There weren't a lot of people my size on campus and since the shirts were rather colorful i had a pretty good idea. I tossed the shirts into the lost and found and stashed the jeans. The next day at lunch i walked home with my new duds, ripped a bong hit, had a beer and then walked back to work... 15 minutes late of course but since no one was around the powers that be were none the wiser.

So while i was flipping through the mental Rolodex of ex-girlfriends to call i was also surveying the lay of the land for a summer babe. Problem was there weren't many females around and even those that were around were only here for a summer class, a couple of weeks most likely and then back home for the duration The only real prospect of finding a girlfriend lay in the guise of Julia. Julia was a local girl who had come to Podunk from one of those tiny specks of population that didn't even warrant a dot on a map. Her family owned the local television repair and video store (probably wise of her to get a degree as the family business would soon be obsolete) and so she elected to stay in town, take a class and work. She was a sorority girl, not something i was all that into, but there was this mutual attraction yet hesitation between us to pursue anything. Honestly i believe the whole "Greek system" had something to do with it as there was some sort of strange rule that somehow forbade sorority sisters from dating those GDI's (god-damned independents for the uninitiated) but being as i was in what was commonly referred to as The Art Crowd i was viewed somewhat different. 

It's a strange thing these little castes and cliques that separate humans from one another. People always talk how shit like that ends in high school but it does not, it continues in the halls of higher education and beyond. The VP is never caught eating lunch with the lumpen-proles (unless it's some corporate team building non-sense) and the sorority sisters were not to sleep with the GDIs. Society, is and always has been, fucked up. That being said Julia and i did the dance. 

Podunk's main source of recreation was the Rock. A gigantic rock located near a bridge over the Podunk River, a  surprisingly deep river where one could do stupid things like jump off said bridge into the water. I'm not sure anyone knew how high the bridge was but it was high enough to make your nuts shrivel up a bit and one definitely wanted to hold one's nose unless of course the sinuses need a good clearing. If you didn't hold your nose water would basically shoot through every crack in your head and it was always a laugh to watch some greenhorn jump off and come up coughing and hacking and spewing water. There was one large rock on the shore and another large rock 25 yards away which people would hangout on and drink and get stoned. The bridge being in perfect position just out of the jurisdiction of the town cops and on a stretch where the state boys didn't really feel like bothering with, mainly cuz all "contraband could be easily hidden or tossed. 

Julia was a svelte blonde who looked rather fetching in her bikini. We'd hang at the Rock, i'd share joints and beers with her, she'd show up at the apartment for our almost nightly parties before heading to the bar. We'd talk, we'd laugh, she'd lean against me as we sat on the couch passing joints or bongs or bowls, and yet somehow there was this wall... but this week i was not to worry as i had company heading in for the weekend and Julia had mentioned she'd be away. Somehow i didn't want to appear as the player, when the reality of it was i was just a shit preying on the feelings of ex-girlfriends. I wanted to pursue things with Julia but i also wanted to get laid... the latter more than the former apparently and so i went about me week like that once famous song from the 80's by Loverboy, working for the weekend... (to be cont.)



Thursday, August 25, 2022

Revisionist History - Podunk Summer pt 7

 Glory days... well according to some guy named Bruce, they'll pass you by... but way back at the end of the Reagan Era, a dark time for all mind you, our hero here was a hot shit basketball player, a high school hero of sorts who still sadly needed a date for the prom. Being a serious sort when it came to hoops i usually swore off having a girlfriend during the season, a lesson i had learned as a sophomore in high school when having been placed into the starting line-up of the varsity hoops team had given my social standing a boost on the west side of Cleveland. I was a sophomore who was seeing a senior, and sometimes a junior, while sorta dating a freshman. As one can see my time was most definitely divided and this whole mess caused no minor bit of distraction for me. Call it a learning curve as i was suddenly a well known kid in my school and since my play had backed up the hype i soon had no shortage of "dating" opportunities while at the same time having no shortage of upper classmen who thought about kicking my ass.

Fast forward a couple years and after leading my team to the Final Four and losing to the eventual state champ in the state semi-final game it dawned on me that i would soon graduate and i guess go off to college but that in the meantime it would be cool to maybe have a girlfriend. High school in a relatively white, working class burb of Cleveland wasn't as far from a John Hughes flick as one might think. There were cliques and groups and what not, in short fucking high school. I happened to run with a pack of friends who were basically Ferris Buehler, we could drift in and out of different scenes because we were fun and didn't really give a shit and didn't take any of these cliques or scenes all that seriously, we mainly just wanted to have a good time.

So while nursing my wounds after coming up a game short of a state title i decided it would be a good idea to find a prom date, i had a girl in mind and in the realm of high school cliques it could be said she ran with the "In-Crowd" or the Socials (if one digs The Outsiders), a bit on the fringes shall we say? not one of the girls at the top of the ladder but one of the pack. We had been talking a bit and so while we were milling about some outdoor mall that weekend i just sorta blurted it out and she immediately said yes. That being sorted i moved to the next order of business which was getting my end in. All class this young lad let me tell you. A couple weeks later i would do just that thus deflowering my young lady friend who came from a long line of women who had married the first guy they slept with. I did not know this at the time but would soon learn about this phenomena which of course would send me running the other way... when the truth is she should have been sprinting the other way from our favorite young scumbag. 

A shrink might say that in my youth i was a bit of a manipulative bastard... or maybe worse... and one bit of knowledge that i gleaned from this situation was that this girl would be fixated on "her first." The 17yr old Kono very much thought with his dick, in fact that might have been the only thoughts he had... (as i switch to the third person to try and distance myself from myself which is technically impossible i believe but it's always brutal when one has to sit back and honestly assess what a fucking dickhead i once was... once again a point which might still be debated as if i've actually gotten any better in that department.) And so on the night of my graduation party when my lovely girlfriend had to leave early because she felt ill (she'd be diagnosed with mono shortly after, lucky for me i was too busy chasing other girls that night to ever kiss her) and i ended the evening in the bed of one of her friends. Actually said friend and i were about to fuck in my basement when Pops called down the steps and told me to get the girl home and so my man Steve-O drove us to her place, i didn't have a license and was rather drunk anyway, who then patiently waited outside, talk about a great friend, while i snuck into this girl's place, had sex while her mom slept a few rooms over, then snuck out. 

Of course as i was dressing i looked down at my new friend who was casually lying there naked and smiling at me and explained that no one could find out about this, she of course agreed saying she'd be in just as much shit as i would and so it seemed we had an agreement. The funny thing was as we were fumbling out of our clothes she was fairly taunting me, saying things like, oh the great and wonderful Kono! when you gonna get to it, words dripping with sarcasm... as i got dressed she sighed, pulled me down for a kiss and whispered, we should do this again, that was fun. I smiled and said cool, we just gotta keep it a secret. Yup. 

----

That secret lasted roughly until my special friend woke up the next morning. I could only surmise that the first thing she did was to call a few of her friends and relay every little detail of her "conquest". What happened next? well roughly the same thing that happens when lightening strikes one of those dry forests of northern California, the story spread fast, in fact it took less that 48 hours from the time i pulled on my shorts to the time i was standing at my girlfriends front door while she refused to let me in and then smiled and asked me how my night went after she left the party. I smiled and shrugged and said it was okay before she broke down, spewed out some choice words, then shut the door in my face. Meanwhile the word on the street was that i had seduced this other girl when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Now i'm not saying i was seduced and i'm not pretending that i wasn't a willing participant in the act but let's just state that it actually wasn't my idea. Of course it should be stated that the girl i really wanted to hook up with had left some time earlier but Jackie, as we'll call her, was a suitable fill-in. Attractive, a bit wild, we'd casually flirted a few times but that was it. Now word was that the evil and malicious Kono was a cheating bastard while his poor girlfriend was home sick. Granted that was a pretty accurate description but that fact was there were two participants and one somehow seemed to be absolved of all sins. Me on the other hand? I was guilty of things i didn't even do. 

Thus began a rather on again off again foray with my jilted girlfriend, Sharon. Remarkably her and Jackie buried their hatchet quite quickly while i was viewed as a pariah. Word was that Jackie apologized profusely while stating what a bastard i was and how she was drunk and let her guard down. She somehow forgot to mention how she invited me up to her room, fairly pleading with me to come up and fuck her, how before i could even get my shorts off she had stripped naked and was laying in bed beckoning me on, all that was redacted and it was our protagonist here who was guilty of everything. Granted i was guilty but i wasn't the dickhead i was being made out to be. Luckily after a week or so of quality acting i was back in Sharon's good graces which meant i would be getting laid on the steady until i left for school... which was really all i was worried about. 

Once i boarded that plane and headed west it didn't take long for me to stray again and for things to come apart quite quickly. We broke up, got back together over winter break, broke up again for good when i came home for spring break (the only two times i came home all year) and then started a rather interesting pattern of hooking up now and then when we both happened to be in town. Granted we didn't have much in common though i'm not sure we ever did, me being the alterna-boy who went from his hardcore shaved head phase into his flowered shirt wearing Smiths/New Order phase. I was one of the few high school males on the West Side of Cleveland who parted his hair (gasp!) on the side and had heard the word faggot thrown my way more than a few times because i wasn't blaring Van Halen and driving a muscle car. Hell Sharon drove a bitchin' Camaro and i didn't even bother to get a license until i had to because my parents wanted me to have an ID when i went 2000 some miles away to school. 

So while the dust had barely settled from Cherry's car pulling away my thoughts naturally turned to who to call next, and naturally good old Sharon came to mind. I knew i had an in and that she would look at this as another opportunity to possibly re-kindle our old thing. She was a year behind me in school and since we'd both graduated there had been a few nights spent in motels, a visit by me to her university for a weekend. Lying in bed i could still smell Cherry's shampoo on my pillows. It was a depressing thought to know she was gone for good but knowing there was nothing i could do i turned the page to start a new chapter... later that day i picked up the phone, "Hey Sharon how's it going..." (to be cont.)




Friday, August 19, 2022

The Neighbors - vol. 1 pt. 3

 Ah yes, we take a slight diversion from our study of the Podunk summer to chronicle the weirdness that is the suburban neighborhood and more specifically my new neighbors... strange things are afoot here my friends and even i, in all my stoned reflection of the state of almost everything, can say that i may have been a bit too harsh on my new neighbors. Don't get me wrong, i won't be sitting down to tea with them anytime soon but Ted has taken quite the shine to the rest of the family, something i find both amusing and bemusing all at once... 

It all happened while our hero here was laid up with the lergy, our pesky little virus finally got it's hooks into me but fear not as it felt nothing more than a cold, an annoying cold that hung on a bit longer than i would have liked but that will get a post of it's own.... so while i was locked in a room the rest of the house went about it's business as usual and in a odd turn of events ended up becoming friendly with our new neighbors. Even more hilarious, Ted has now taken it upon herself to spruce up the side of the house that faces hers, yes my house and yes she asked the BW if she could do it and of course the BW said yes and so began a rather interesting transformation. 

Since the I-mac doesn't have a summer job he was bequeathed the duty of lawn mowing and yard work, all of which he would be paid for so that he may earn a little dosh to keep up his rather extravagant lifestyle. Of course the I-mac has this amazing talent of spending all his money as soon as he gets it and there has been a concerted effort into impressing upon the boy that he needs to start understanding how to handle finances because someday the money will not magically fall from the sky as i sometimes think he believes... (Disaster on the other hand will barely spend any money on anything even though he has it and has actually decided to take his spending money and invest it because he likes to see his money make money... at one point he started complaining about the damn S&P 500 to the chuckles of his old man... life's a fucking trip sometimes)... but to get back to the bit at hand, the I-mac spent an hour or so with Ted as she helped him clean up the plot on the side of our house, a plot where a bunch of unruly shrubs had been removed, in order to get it ready for her to plant things there. 

In the course of that hour and in some conversations with the BW we heard the story of Bill and Ted. Ted was born and raised in Nashville and then moved to Kansas City where she worked as an architect for the last 34 years, a career which she said had her traveling a good bit and kept her from ever really making any close friends. When the subject of what Bill did came up Ted apparently gave a wry smile while Bill stated he did a lot of things. My new theory is Bill is an inventor who most likely has never invented anything of consequence. He can often be found under the lights of his work bench in the back of the garage where it often looks like he is doing nothing... (an activity i wholeheartedly endorse.) I'm never one to ask what people do which i'm often chastised for by the BW, but the truth is i don't care "what you do", i'm more interested in the content of the character, who are you not what are you. Sadly in the land of milk and honey a great many people think what they do is who they are, sometimes they figure it out, sometimes they don't, it's a cold, hard truth though to  wake up one day and realize you've wasted that precious commodity called time by doing shit you'd rather not do... one can see Bukowski's take on this as he had it pretty spot on. 

For those following along we can now see where the BW and Ted have a bit of common ground. Both were/are the main incomes of the household and Ted seemed quite tickled to learn that her neighbor was a successful businesswoman. It also i believe reinforced Ted's opinion of me riding the coattails of the BW... (on a side note i had a great conversation with the Bill and Ted's son-in-law, a conversation that i think may have frightened them in the way we got on and that after 15 minutes or so they did their best to try and break-up... and i should add again that they moved here so they could be a part of their grandson's life.) Needless to say even Bill seemed to take some delight in the fact i had no "career" as if it somehow put him in a better light... the whole, at least i'm not that guy thing, which i often find hysterical seeing as i don' really give a shit about what the suburbanites think... in fact the next time someone asks me what i do i might blurt out, "i'm a ganja farmer, philosopher and painter of watercolors", then politely smile. 

I spend a lot of time staring out windows... and since Ted was always in the backyard puttering around, pulling weeds and watering plants i began to study her. In fact i found it interesting to observe and i was going to ask her if she had ever studied Zen Buddhism? I'm guessing the answer would be no as they had mentioned the only friends they had here they met at church and when i hear the word church i have almost a severe allergic reaction. But while watching Ted i noticed that when in the garden or pulling weeds she is completely of one mind, doesn't seem distracted, is focused on nothing more than the tending of plants and such, in short Zen as fuck. Of course by the principles of Zen, had i asked her and she said yes, then she wouldn't have been Zen because she would have been thinking about it which of course negates it... or something like that. Either way it was an interesting way to pass ten minutes while drinking a cup of coffee and watching the leaves flutter. 

And so now the side of the house that faces Ted's has been completely cleaned up, she's planted flowers and built a tiny little rock wall to keep the soil from washing away during heavy rains. She goes out and waters it and tends to it while she's working on her own yard and so it turns out that my adherence to the Wu Wei has worked out quite well for me... by doing nothing the whole side of my house has been taken care of, no more weeds, the old shrub roots taken out, soil tilled, flowers planted, almost exactly how i'd planned it... if i had actually planned it. 

Now these days around the old homestead Ted is always waving and smiling at those not named, Kono. As i mentioned i still don't think she's all that fond of me which is perfectly fine. The Breadwinner and her can have their occasional conversations, she can say hello to the boyos and she can go on pretending as if i don't exist, which seems to be her favorite thing though maybe it's just that Zen state she reaches when standing among the shrubbery. Ted is who she is, same with Bill and same with me... and that's cool, i understand that i may confound them a bit but on the flip side i'll stand back and accept them for who they are, it's just how i am. I'll be polite, i'll thank her for fixing up the side of the house, we don't have to nor do i want to best buddies, i like being a bit of loner, the hermit, the social misanthrope... now back to our regularly scheduled program. 

(Epilogue- The other day Ted actually stopped me while i was walking up the driveway and asked how i was doing, asked if i'd recovered from the lergy and such and i think Ted may have finally realized that sans yard work i do a shit ton of stuff around here as well as being a gig economy serf. It was a pleasant enough conversation and i believe Ted was making an effort as they say, because she does seem to like the rest of the crew, particularly the BW... i can't say i don't find it all hilarious but then again better to be amicable, the world has enough animosity to go around these days and unless they suddenly start flying an Orange Shitgibbon flag we'll be cool.)

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Revisionist History - Podunk Summer pt. 6


 It's been said that i have this strange talent for corrupting the morals, dare i say souls, of others. I tend not to believe this but then again in my youth there was a body of evidence that suggested this was most definitely the case The truth was i never made anyone do anything they didn't want to do, never pressured anyone to take anything they didn't want to take, drink anything they didn't want to drink, as Erich Fromm would say, i was true to myself in behaving the way i wanted to behave and in that behavior i didn't hurt anyone and so i need not worry about what others thought... and i didn't. Granted one could posit that the young women i came in contact with didn't always fare well due to my laissez-faire attitude toward things like monogamy but then again none of us were officially bonded to each other and even if we were no one owns or owes anyone anything. This philosophy of mine has frequently over the years made me the easy scapegoat, the excuse for friends when they've gotten blotto or fucked up and had to deal with parents or significant others, the mantra being, well i was hanging out with Kono... and after that nothing more needs said. All blame is immediately shifted to me and really that was cool, i didn't really fucking care... 

My newest soul to corrupt was that of the young Lars. For a metalhead Lars was the squarest motherfucker i had ever met. Didn't smoke weed or drink, played guitar and video games and Dungeons and Dragons, we had almost nothing in common even though i dug music and had a radio show, played one video game at the time (Sega Genesis NHL) but in reality we were water and oil. He was very concerned with my almost complete lack of work ethic and the fact i spent most of my time devising ways to do as little as possible. Most days started out with me eating my makeshift breakfast and watching the news in one of the television lounges in the dorm we were working in. From there i'd usually find a room where i could sleep for an hour or two before pretending to do some work. We had all summer to do three dorms, all with about eight floors and the fact was we could have finished them all in a couple weeks had we tried... but i wasn't trying. 

Being an accomplished slacker meant that i had already worked out a system. At first i made Lars alert me if someone showed up on the floor we were working on but i soon found that Lars was not the most trustworthy of lads when it came to fucking off or in helping me to fuck off... at least not yet. And so soon i devised a new method, one were i'd set the lock on the door so that it didn't lock but would click loudly as soon as someone touched it thus letting me jump up out of the bed i was lounging in and give the facade of labor. I'd also sleep with a towel bar and screwdriver and set the little work cart a few doors down so that hopefully i'd hear if anyone messed with it and since fixing towel bars, which were convienently located on the back of the door, meant i had to shut said door there were no real red flags that i was slacking the day away. Nothing pleases me more than getting paid to sleep. 

Yet Lars just couldn't relax and enjoy the fact we were left on our own all day with nothing much to do. At first Lars thought he was going to be the boss or some such shit, a notion that i quickly let him no was not going to fucking happen. For some reason he thought having worked there the previous summer or two gave him some kind of seniority. I somewhat politely let him know that natural selection had put that notion to rest and the fact that was he was a little doggie and i was a big doggie. He soon understood he was not my boss or supervisor or anything other than the nerd i worked with and that this summer could go one of two ways... easy and pleasant... or quite shit... and i let it sink in that the quite shit part wasn't going to be as much for me as it was for him. He stood staring at up at me (i was roughly 9 inches taller than him) while this info seeped into his head. 

But i am a crafty bastard and knew that it was better not to alienate my co-worker, in fact what i needed to do was make him understand that he'd been going about this all wrong, that in fact once the system was worked out i had no problem covering for him if he wanted to slack. The seed had been planted now all i had to do was cultivate it, get him to understand we were not about to get in trouble or fired because at the end of the day this was all a show. I explained to him, without any verifiable proof mind you, that the university was most likely subsidized by the state or the feds to run a program like this, it looked good, they were given X amount of money and basically had to spend it by doling it out to the summer help. As long as we kept up appearances and did a minimal amount of work we'd be in the clear. It didn't take long for this seed to take root. In relatively short order, maybe a week or two, Lars was on his way to being an accomplished slacker... problem is when you turn a square on to the world of slacking you have to make sure they don't get carried away and i'll be honest in saying there were times i needed to reign Lars in, which was comical considering the source. 

With my Lars problem looking to be about solved i moved on to the next issue at hand. Which lucky ex-girlfriend would i call next? The main problem was logistical, which of my female friends had the time and means to get up to Podunk? Some of course would probably hang up as soon as they heard my voice, a testament to my ability to alienate women, though some of course would entertain the idea before finally laying out my plan to me, saying something like, "oh let me guess, you're lonely and thinking about how maybe you made a mistake and so i can drive to see you for the weekend so we can have sex and then when i leave you'll do or say something shitty like you always do... you're not as charming as you think you asshole." Then i'd hear the click of the receiver.  Can't say i'd blame them as they'd be pretty much spot on, though i would have probably added, i'm not gonna do that, i'd at least string it out through the summer... as previously stated, a cad. 

And of course who should come to mind? Well when i doubt always go back to the one who called you their "first love." The old high school flame who seemed to harbor the embers of her love in some special place even though i'd proved time and time again that i was a serious fucking shitbag. At times shit is just too easy... and so i picked up the phone and began dialing... (to be cont.)


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Revisionist History - Podunk Summer pt. 5

 For the most part, at this particular time of my existence, i was an asshole... as often stated it could be debated if that has changed much in the ensuing years but at this particular juncture in the Kono Chronicles i most definitely was... i really wasn't all that concerned with anyone's needs other than my own and so i waited not so patiently for Cherry to arrive. When i heard a car on the gravel outside my place i walked over to the window to see that familiar mane of red hair getting out of her car wearing her black sunglasses, shorts and a t-shirt, an overnight bag slung over her shoulder, things were looking up... particularly for John Thursday, a name pilfered from one Henry Miller that i often applied to my dick the same way he did... sometimes it was a miracle that our young protagonist could fit himself through the door his ego was so massive. There was a knock and i raced down the steps. 

I opened the door of the dark and dank hallway, there was a litter box nearby for Hate the Cat, we embraced and kissed and i led Cherry up the steps and showed her the current palace, a three bedroom college tenement with the bedrooms and kitchen up the stairs to the left and to the right a couple of extra rooms mainly used for drinking and drugging and the occasional movie popped in the VCR, the stereo was centrally located with speakers positioned so that the whole place was wired for sound. Cherry got the nickel tour that ended in my bedroom. surprise surprise, where i helped set down her bag and immediately began kissing her while i manouvered her to the bed which we fell into while we clumsily undressed each other. Of course once again it was about that massive ego as i went to work putting in a quality shift that was more for, you guessed it, my enormous ego than for Cherry's actual pleasure, though i guess it could be said that the ego did help my lady friend out in the pleasure department but make no mistake, it was more for me than for her. 

Of course what i didn't take into account was the fact i had booze on my breath and reeked of weed and went into a ritual rutting like the aforementioned Cro-Mag, (insert grunting sounds here.)  In my warped sense of reality i believed that she was under the same frame of mind i was and that getting to the fucking was of the utmost importance. Once finished we lay there while i tried to not fall asleep but soon did doze off while Cherry got dressed and left the room. When i awoke an hour or so later i could here the laughter and music coming from outside my door. A few people had shown up as it seemed we'd be having a little party here above the gas station. Audio (my friend and roommate for the summer) had pilfered some steaks from the place he worked and was going to grill them up, the fridge was stocked with Blatz, a large joint was being passed, it was going to be a fine early summer night. 

Except for the fact i can be a fucking dickhead. My running mate JD had shown up, also a ginger, and he was putting all his attention towards Cherry. I gave her a cocked eyebrow and went about the business of helping Audio, dubbed so for his technical prowess, which really meant i opened beers and packed bowls. Cherry meanwhile was reveling in the attention which was slowly starting to get on my fucking nerves. Being summer and with a distinct lack of students there were only about eight of us there in total and of those eight, two were female. The Doctor was wooing his blonde co-worker while i hung around Cherry who was getting a little too flirty with JD for my liking. Things went on like this for a few hours before we got word that there was another party going down at some frat house and so we all walked the few blocks only to find out that the party was really nothing more than a couple of frat brothers and a keg who were hoping that some girls might show up... and while they weren't exactly thrilled to see a the five of us who had arrived, they were at least happy that we'd brought at least one girl with us, until they realized she was with me or possibly JD because the flirting had kicked up another level. 

The massive ego was taking a bit of a beating which in turn leads to the famous acid tongue that seems to be a genetic trait that is passed down on my father's side of the family. Soon my little barbs began flying and at one point i had mentioned maybe Cherry would like to grab her stuff from my place and drive it over to JD's for the duration, i'd had my turn. Now had this been a normal party i'd have turned my attention to a new girl and began showering said girl with my undivided attention. Since there were really none to shower attention on i was stuck but at this point Cherry could tell i was none to amused by the endless bullshit with JD. JD was one of the guys i ran with, a rich kid from a small town, who was great to party with but when it came to women one could trust him roughly about as far as you could throw him, which oddly was a lot like our protagonist here. Cherry then pulled me into a corner and kissed me and told me i needed to relax to which i replied i didn't have her come up her to endlessly flirt with my friends and that if she wanted to fuck him go right ahead. She calmly said i was an asshole and that we should leave, just her and i, and so we did and began walking back to my place. 

We made our exit and walked up the long hill back towards Main St. where we made a left and then headed towards my apartment. It was a slow walk and we discussed the state of things and once again she explained that this was it. She would not be coming back again this summer and that this was goodbye and that between now and the morning we should just enjoy ourselves. Her emotional intelligence was far more advanced than mine and so she took my had as we walked home and shared a cigarette. Once we got back she didn't say a word as she led me back to my room and shut the door. We'd spend the last hours of our relationship naked and rolling about between intermittent rounds of sleep. 

In the morning she got up and quietly packed while i lay half asleep in my rented bed. She leaned over me and kissed my head and told me she was leaving. I got up and threw on some shorts and shoes and walked her down to her car. Knowing what i know now in the sometimes disastrous world of relationships it was obvious that she had already closed this book and moved on, i mean she had already stated this once but it seemed i was a slow learner. I asked sheepishly if she'd think about coming back and she stated very matter of factly, no. This was it, she wanted to see me one last time just to make sure it was over and after last night she was sure, she told me after the first hour she knew it was finished and she decided she'd have a good time with me and that would be it. I nodded and gave a half-hearted apology. She smiled and gave me a hug, got in her car and pulled out of the gravel parking lot and drove away. She didn't look back. 

I watched as she drove down Main St. and headed towards the interstate. In typical fashion my dick was telling me i had really fucked up while my head knew that it was done, definitive and permanent and that it really was the best thing for both of us. I felt a bit shit knowing what a idiot i had been the previous night, really since the time she arrived. The sun was bright and hot and as i walked back up the steps to my place the mind was already working. Which ex-girlfriend would i call next?  (to be cont.)