Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Wilderness Years - An Island Off the Coast

A lifetime ago, in a pub far, far away...

Somewhere on an island off the coast of Europe... when i uttered this phrase i wasn't on an island off the coast of Europe but at a picnic table behind a bar in a tony neighborhood of Pittsburgh, my old boss/business partner was fretting the current situation surrounding my former and his current business operation, there was some shit going down and he was lamenting and contemplating getting out, in short when the game is run well there are stacks of money to be made but that earning potential is always one blown stop sign or loose-lipped customer away from going tits up, it's one getting caught by a red light with a trunk full of weed as the K-9 unit's dog in the next lane looses it's shit in the back of the police truck moment from crashing gloriously down, and so as he sat there still fully invested and i sat there not so fully i explained to him what i now had time to think about, had the opportunity to think about without the lure of the precious-precious, those stacks of money that seemed to roll right in, to objectively examine the game having been through it, like the ex-athlete turned analyst, he had sought me out because there weren't many people around with the expertise and skill set in this particular field, the other person he could have sought out having been recently pistol-whipped and robbed of somewhere north of 200K, they shot his dogs to boot, i'd never met this person, he was a bit further up the food chain than me but while i sipped beer in the warm night air i told my old business partner this, if you can walk away with all your fingers and toes and a clean sheet you get the fuck out while the getting's good, if you can do it with a suitcase or more full of cash you don't even think twice about it you get out and get back to being "normal", i liken the dealing game to pro athletes, the careers are short and profitable, the longer you play the more likely you get hurt, it's high risk high reward, what i told him was, you get greedy, you get stupid or you get caught or on a real bad day, dead... the writing doesn't have to be on a wall, it could be on a scribbled on a napkin...

In the ever present half-ass postmodernist annals of the lounge there is a post about the Pizza Man, on old post shoddily written, it was about my adventures of getting shitty Mexican brick weed from my local pizza parlor/bar (now bulldozed and rebuilt as a Chipotle) and how i would transport it home (casually walking down the street) in pizza boxes, for all intents and purposes looking like some wasted youth with a raging case of the munchies, it's always good for a laugh when people learn i used to just walk down the street like that, the squares would never think of that now would they? oh we criminal types thought we were a cheeky lot, people who knew thought it was a right laugh and one of those people became my best friend and brudda and he just happened to live on this island off the coast and it so happened that after he went back home i saved up some of my hard earned drug money and went to visit him...

Now it also just so happened that my brudda worked in a pub and in this pub was a man who was rather well known to the authorities of this island but who said authorities could not seem to catch up with, my brudda had told the story of how i'd walk down the street with pounds of grass in pizza boxes and the denizens of the pub laughed hysterically, i was dubbed the Pizza Man and had acquired a nickname before i'd ever stepped foot on the island's fair shores, one could say this pub was a bit of a haven for the not so upstanding citizens of the area which meant i'd feel right at home once i got there, oddly enough when i did get there it took me all of 10 minutes to score some smoke, some good flower with a chunk of shit hash thrown in cuz i was the Pizza Man, of course much of this legend was fueled by my good brudda...

One could say i had been briefed a bit on the man, who i'll call Reggie Kray, how he moved around a lot, how he never stayed in one pub for more than an hour, this pub being the exception, this was his place to relax, i didn't have to be told, i knew the score, the boss is always treated with respect and deference particularly if not more so by the visiting small-time hood, and so as i sat and drank my pint and talked to the locals, then there was a tap on my shoulder and i was told someone wanted to meet me, Mr. Kray the messenger smiled, and so i stood up and turned around and there was the most unassuming of men, i was probably close to 8 or 9 inches taller than him, he took a sip of his pint and smiled, it's an honor to meet the Pizza Man he said and the place burst into laughter, come and have a seat he said and so we sat down at his table and talked, we talked the football and my Scottish surname, we talked about the States and all the while he wouldn't let me buy a pint, we got on well and it must have been 45 minutes in before he leaned in and grinned and asked, so you really just walk down the street with your gear in pizza boxes? we both laughed and i said yup and told him that i just walked along looking the average Joe on my way home with my pizza, he was amused to no end...

I'd talk to him a few more times before i left for what is called the continent, never as long or as in depth as that first time, i noticed he'd watch me sometimes as i hung out in the pub, i know now he was gauging how i handled myself, i wandered around the continent for a few weeks before making my way back to that island, i had another 4 days before i left to fly home and get  back to the grind, back to the game, it was always a calculated risk leaving for a month, weed kings popped up on a weekly basis, the difference i was hoping was that three years in and i was a reliable type, i could piece things together through fuck-ups and droughts and the superstitions of the city low-lives, i might loose one or two customers but i was pretty sure i'd pick up a dozen more once i was back...

I had come back early from gay Paree due to expense and exhaustion, i was tired of walking around and wanted to go sit in the pub for a few days before my flight... on one of my last nights there Reggie called to the bartender to get me a pint, ever think about staying? he asked, it crossed my mind i smiled, but i got things i gotta get back to, the gig and a girl, i've had a few offers to stay and work either painting or plastering, he laughed and patted me on the shoulder, fuck all that my friend he said, you wanna stay you come and work for me, i like your style kid he grinned, you can handle yourself, we'll do the business and make some bank and i'm not talking about runnin' my shit hash like Shep there, (he pointed to the guy who had sold me the gear i scored my first day), you 'll step right in and work with me, i said thank you Reggie and if i did decide to stay i'd defo sign on but i have my own thing back in the States, he smiled and we toasted, i understand he said, just remember you ever want to a job you got one here with me... we drank and i thanked him again...

On the walk back to my brudda's place we were well in the bag, i was eating the last order of chips from the chippie next door the pub and he shook his head, fuckin ell mate, i've known Reggie for years and he's never offered me a job, he even busted on Shep, you could walk in the pub tomorrow and be complete arsehole and no one is gonna touch you, Reggie Kray offered you a job, you're like his fuckin' boy mate, i can't believe this shit, it's fucking incredible... i smiled and kept eating my chips...

Not long ago a i got a text from my brudda, there was a link that led to an article about Reggie and his crew, it went back to my old maxim of getting greedy, stupid or caught, a few years later some shit had come down and Reggie should have walked, should have counted his money and lived happily ever after... but he didn't... i clicked the link to the article and read, hell if i had made different decisions my mugshot could have been gracing the pages of the newspaper, Reggie got close to 30 years, a laundry list of charges for what really amounts to the laws of supply and demand, where there's a demand there will be a supply, the supplier just needs to understand when to walk and let someone else take over, i understand the allure of the money and power and the fringe benefits that go with the job, i'm acutely aware of it, but in the back of the mind one must remember the flip side of that coin... and you definitely don't want damn near 30 years to think about it...




Friday, September 1, 2017

Pre-Wilderness - Satellite of Lust

The things we remember and the things we forget and how the luck of the radio dial and the inventions of satellites can knock the dust off the memories of women lost and found, i could have called this post Satellite of Love (i think i just did) except it has fuck all to do with Lou Reed and everything to do with a girl named Meredith Rose Bach, born she said 7 years, 7 months and 7 days exactly from the death of her older sister who had the exact same name, of course this was Wyoming circa the late 80's and the advent of cable television had given us kids access to all kinds of weirdness and since this was Wyoming and there was shit to do the small group of kids who lived here that were enlightened enough to embrace the outside world were a interesting lot... all six or so of them... mostly it was big-hair and mullets and rodeo and pick-up trucks and to this kid from Cleveland it was like Planet Redneck...

As the legend goes i was a 6'4 inch string bean with a great jump shot and a down right naive fearlessness when i took the ball to the hoop, i was Basketball Jones but i was skinny and young and since the Division 1 school in the bible belt didn't have a scholarship for me at the ready they said they'd find me one, they called a cat in the middle of nowhere who took me sight unseen on the recommendation from the big school, i was gonna play and put on weight and transfer in after two years but somewhere along the way that plan went tits up, most likely about the time i stepped off the plane...

I turned 18 two weeks after i landed but had already ingratiated myself to the female co-eds, or handful of them, you see that first week i was so fucking homesick i wanted to walk up to I-90 and hitch a ride back, the first weekend there was a  party in the cafeteria, sponsored by the school of course for the 50 or so of us who actually lived on campus and any other students who wanted to attend, most of us on campus were basketball players (men and women's), volleyball (women) or rodeo (mental cases) along with a dozen or so students who lived in one of the many nowhere towns/crossroads that dotted this state, that first weekend i found a way to get booze and weed and cigarettes and then proceeded to get roaring drunk, i was homesick as fuck, i let the campus lesbian put some eyeliner on me and i walked through the little campus singing Smiths songs, the campus lesbian was also DJ'ing this little shindig and i believe that other than her and i every other person hated the music... i left with a little blond from Billings, Montana... her name was not Meredith Rose Bach...

The dorms were little two floor, six rooms a hall things, basically sheds, and above me lived a sophomore named Leroy who just happened to be friends with Meredith Rose Bach, who just happened to espy me sitting in the tiny television lounge drunk or stoned or both watching Miami Vice re-runs as i was known to do, turned out Meredith had been angling to meet me and had been quizzing Leroy on my tastes and demeanor and as he told me later, i told her you'd love him, he's a fucking weird one, Leroy also had a mullet and always wore a trucker hat, i was still rocking the Barney Sumner aka the floppy white boy fade... one day Leroy invited me up for some beers (things were not very strict on campus) at the behest of Miss Meredith Rose Bach so she could chat me up and as Mozza would say, find out for herself...

She had dark brown eyes and long dishwater blond hair, she was 5'2, thin yet curvy, soon i'd find that her left breast was noticeably larger than the right and an art major, i smiled when i came in and we introduced ourselves and after two hours of intense and lively conversation we adjourned to my room, when she stepped out to pee i asked Leroy if he was cool and he laughed and said we're just friends man, she's been asking about you since the first week of school... she came back in and we went to leave... you two have fun he cackled...

I popped Louder than Bombs into the tape deck and we sat on my bed talking, before side two we were rolling around and slobbering all over each other, she told she knew this would happen, that i was like hurricane that first weekend and that she'd been tracking me ever since, once her and her ex had made the split official she put her plan of tracking me down in motion... she was 20, i was 18, for all my posturing i was still a naive kid, wet behind the ears, Meredith Rose Bach was not... those small town girls can blow you away...

Her father's name was Glendo Jerome and he was mortician, she claimed he used to be connected and moved to the middle of nowhere to disappear, they lived above a funeral home and though i thought the crime story was bullshit it was both creepy and cool that she lived above a funeral home,  her old man was also almost deaf and i think we exchanged a few sentences in the two months i spent with his daughter...

In what i now realize was a pattern in my youth we spent an intense 8 or so weeks together, in that time she made me a few mix tapes, she was into the band Book of Love and for a week or two it became the soundtrack to our sexual escapades, Meredith Rose was teaching me things and i was a willing student even though i wanted to pretend that i knew it all, i didn't, she knew i didn't, she didn't care, i remember her telling me i had an innocence that she enjoyed corrupting, i told her i quite liked being corrupted...

Of course it went bell-shaped when i decided to spend five rather unsatisfying minutes with a metal chick with tinted purple hair, dark purple not punk purple, and if my five minutes were unsatisfying i can only imagine how much hers sucked, why i did it i don't know... but that's a lie, i did it because i could, Leroy got wind of it and this being a small town Metal Chick didn't keep it a secret and soon i was single, Meredith Rose Bach having roundly dumped my ass while also giving me a good chewing out...

And so the year rolled on and we somehow managed to avoid each other, she got back with her ex for a short time and i kept right on wrecking my reputation, word was out that i probably wasn't coming back and someone told me about a party at some ranch, i scored my usual 12 pack of beer, pint of whiskey and sack of weed, the ranch party was shit, a bonfire and a bunch of dudes trying to be cool for the three single females in attendance, by the fire was Leroy and Meredith, he shook his head told her see you later as soon as she saw me, the fucking stars in Wyoming feel like they're right on top of you, it's a gorgeous sight, we smiled, i gave her a hug, we talked and did what is commonly called a baring of the souls, she told me i was a right shit but she couldn't stay mad at me, i told her i was sorry and i was a dumb motherfucker, laughed and told her how the Metal Chick sucked, she laughed and said, all the time i put in on you and you were just getting to be a decent fuck, to this day i can still see her, tight sweater and sparkling eyes spitting out that word fuck, it was beautiful...

Needless to say we talked and drank my booze, smoked a joint, we laughed and smiled and she'd lean against me, at one point i was moving closer hoping to kiss her, she leaned in and then backed away, no she said, as much as i want to no.  A minute later Leroy was walking over looking disgruntled and moaning about how he thought they were gonna hang out and that she spent the last couple hours with me, he asked if she wanted a ride back to town and she said yes, when i asked if i could get a lift he told me there was no room, she told Leroy give her 5 minutes, he stalked off, she turned and smiled, she said you're one helluva mess, you're gonna break a lot of hearts and you need to grow up, she paused, but when you do you're gonna be a great guy, i wish i could see it... she trailed off, then she leaned in and kissed my cheek and walked towards the blaring lights of Leroy's truck...

All this because i heard a Book of Love song on the radio...



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Wilderness Years - One Car Parades (part 4)



Now i'll bet you'll never guess what Cocaine Mike decided to do once he got me on the team and got things running smoothly? anyone? now if you said something like, i bet Cocaine Mike took Mr. Big's money and started buying cocaine with it in order to flip it before he had to pay Mr. Big big back for fronting him the grass, if you said that i'd be pointing with one hand while tapping the tip of my nose with the other, cuz you'd be right, cuz you don't get the name Cocaine Mike by selling weed obviously and the profit margin on powder is so much higher than grass, that is of course if you don't like to shoot a bunch of that blow like our resident psycho Mike did, or as he put it, ain't nothing wrong with a little IVC, which was his way of saying he liked to shoot blow...

The back story on Cocaine Mike was that he was an army vet, one of the first guys to hit the ground in that little exercise we called Grenada, would show you his hand and his half missing pinky that he lost on the beach there,  he was once married and had three daughters but had done a good job disappearing out of their lives and was currently seeing the mother of his son, a white girl from the hollers of West Virginny who he claimed was fucking a brother in order to piss off her family, she of course had a predilection for a different powder and when visiting his apartment you'd see guns, ammo, syringes, baby formula, toys, more guns and more ammo, sitting on his couch and looking around was such a colossal mind fuck that all i wanted to do was get my shit and split but suddenly Cocaine Mike thought i was his best friend, i didn't have the balls to tell him i thought he was a thieving, psycho fuck who fucked over Jack, mainly cuz he'd kick my ass and then probably shoot me, who knows?  maybe he just enjoyed our conversations...

And so Mike told me how he had gotten the deal of the century, five ounces of flake for five grand, it was pretty good shit and by the time he was done cutting it he'd have close to six and a half ounces, after he took his half ounce of personal out of course, so he'd step on his stepped on coke and would hit the street, he'd cut it up in grams, teeners and eight balls and head to the bar where he'd unload an ounce or more a night, his claim was that he'd have Mr. Big's money back in no time and would be reaping in the cheddar... and he was right, he was moving right along and flipping it before Mr. Big ever knew a thing, he had pulled it off twice, and what was that saying? third time's the charm...

On his third go round of loaning himself Mr. Big's money Cocaine Mike came back to his humble hovel and promptly got in an argument with his West Virginia Baby Mama, and for some inexplicable reason Cocaine Mike left his apartment and went to the bar while he and his Baby Mama cooled off... except she didn't cool off, in what one could describe as karma coming back to bite Mike squarely on the ass his Baby Mama tore open the stereo speaker where he stashed his coke and left five empty baggies lying next to the toilet, the baggies had white residue and there was a note taped to the wall that said, "I hope Mr. Big kills you."  And there it went down the shitter, (not that i believed for a second that she was fool enough to flush it) Baby Mama even took his money effectively leaving Cocaine Mike broke, like flat fucking broke, he had the money in his wallet and that was it, of course Baby Mama didn't realize Mike wasn't the only one she screwed, he called me that night in a rasping mix of sobbing and seething, he read me the note, he called her bitch and whore and contemplated trying to find her in those hollers and shooting her and her whole damn family, rasped that when Mr. Big came he'd be fucking ready, i was already planning on laying real fucking low, the last thing i wanted to be was caught in the crossfire, i was sitting on a pound and a half bought and paid, i'd need to stretch it and hustle for something knew, that was the plan...

The next day i walked in the door from work, my pager had a dozen pages from Cocaine Mike and though i wanted to ignore them ignoring them made me nervous, especially if i bumped into him, particularly because he was a bit unhinged, i walked to Joe's Bar and used the payphone, Cocaine Mike asked for money, he wanted to borrow $300, that he'd get me back, i wasn't about to piss away three bills so i told him i didn't have it, that rent and my loans came due and that i was hustling just to make that, told him i'd meet him and give him what i could spare and so an hour later i walked into Mitchell's and saw him sitting in the back, smack dab in the middle so he could watch both doors, i handed him sixty bucks, said it was all i could swing, he nodded and smoked as his eyes darted, he genuinely thanked me as he told me that if Mr. Big came he'd ice the fucker, he was carrying two 9mm under his jacket and another gun on his ankle, whispered how he wasn't no fucking punk and knew how to use these things and that he'd come correct if the time came, i drank my beer and thought what the fuck am i doing here? i wanted to piss my pants, i wanted to pat Mike on the back and say have a nice life and then get the fuck out, but i finished my beer and had one more than made an excuse to leave, Mike said he was leaving too, and then of course he asked if i wanted a ride, i declined and Mike slipped out the back while i went out the front, i listened for gunshots as i walked back towards Joe's Bar, they never came, and that was the last time i would ever see Cocaine Mike in the flesh...

A few months later, not long before i traded in the pager for my first cell phone, i got a page, it was an out of state number with a message, MIKE CALL, i called the number and there was the old familiar rasp, he was down in Florida, he had scraped together a couple hundred dollars and left a day or so after we met at the bar, threw what he could in his gold Chevette, sold what he could, walked out of his place in the middle of the night and headed south, he had a new girlfriend, she was deaf but Mike knew sign language, how or why i never found out but he said it was going really good and that i should come down and hook up and we could do shit, i wanted to laugh and explain that he's psychotic and a fuck-up and that i was trying to weed those people out of my life but i just chuckled and said i didn't think i'd make it down, he asked if anyone had asked about him and i said no, there had a been a whisper or two but i didn't want to tell him that he wasn't exactly missed by anyone around these parts, he said he was working as a mechanic and living with his new girl, said i could get him at this number, after another minute of small talk we hung up... and that was the last time i heard from Cocaine Mike...






Monday, August 14, 2017

Holidays in the Sun (photo edition) Part 2


del Morro (cemetery)


del Morro


what's changed?


boyos


the street cats of Old San Juan


more street cats of Old San Juan


250th celebration statue


I don't dig religion... but i do dig religious iconography...


personal favorite (cathedral San Juan Bautista)


still hasn't found what he's looking for 
(cathedral San Juan Bautista)


hippie (cathedral San Juan Bautista)


St. Pius (cathedral San Juan Bautista)


Legend (Condado Walk of Fame)


local business

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Holidays in the Sun (photo edition) Part 1

 

Fishing village near Fajardo (taken from the balcony) 


Fishing village at night


Luquillo Beach


mind at ease


World Famous


Waterfall (i swam under)


Rainforest


boyos in natural habitat (Luquillo Beach)


Welcome to San Juan
(view from the balcony)


Home of the Whopper

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Holiday in the Sun (2017 Ed.) The 51st State

Oh dear baby Jesus Rolex motherfucker, the problems of the first world, the utter absurdity of the following post is a major reason why i attempt to stay as fucking high as possible in order to forget or laugh off or accept the complete and total rubbish that modern life has become... i have usurped my working class roots and have become a privileged white boy, a Haus Frau with stubble, and somehow i must come to grips with it, how i don't know, somewhere along the line i've become a granola-eating tree hugger, not the annoying kind with twig headbands handing out pamphlets mind you but an animal concerned with his habitat, i do spend a large chunk of time thinking about how we're fucking up this planet, and so what else would i do but get on a plane (an industry that if it was a country would be in the top seven in carbon emissions) and fly off to some former pristine piece of land now owned and despoiled by the Hiltons or Hyatts or Helmsleys and chock full of faux-native restaurants and local talent singing island hits of the ages...

Now the casual observer might be sitting back and thinking to themselves, man this cat is one miserable motherfucker when in truth i'm not miserable or painting my toenails black it's just that mankind is a detriment to every damn natural thing around it, like the Midas touch but instead of gold we turn it to shit, you see as i was wading through the crystal blue Caribbean Sea i couldn't help but notice how warm the fucking water was, like abnormally warm and not just because all the tourists were pissing themselves in it, no this was something else... i then had a conversation with a nice couple who were from PR and they were commenting on how the sea floor had become so rocky in the last 4 months, that they had been there recently and it was nothing like this, the sad thing i told them was that a good bit of what was on the bottom was coral, dead coral which has been bleached and broken off it's reef, most likely due to the fucking water temp that was a few shades cooler than urine meaning it was about as refreshing as a golden shower (not that there's anything wrong with a golden shower mind you it's just not the sensation i'm looking for when stepping into the sea...) they nodded thoughtfully and looked a bit perplexed but that didn't stop them or me from continuing on our merry holiday in the sun, tortugas be damned... and i quite like those tortugas by the way...

Like i said, i think too much, i worry about shit and when i see the amount of waste and what not all in the name of pleasure it tends to either piss me off or bum me out, i wanted to write a letter to the lovely corporate offices of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel conglomerate about why it was that there was not one fucking recycling bin anywhere in sight? you see the El Conquistador is a Waldorf-Astoria resort, they won't let you forget that as you wander the grounds of luxury, you couldn't score breakfast in this place for under $80 for four people and that was the lowly and quaint cafe, the buffet would set you back 40 a head, champagne and caviar cost extra, still there were nothing but smiling faces and sunburned shoulders and the patrons danced to the music and the booze flowed freely, well almost as you could charge it to the room as easily as signing the chit, needless to say i didn't buy much booze though i did make my way to the local Econo market and scored a 12 pack of Medalla for slightly more than what a one beer  would have cost me from the bar, besides i had a balcony (pic to follow) that overlooked a lighthouse, bio-luminescent bay and quaint little fishing village so there was really no need for me to go wandering about if i didn't want to... and usually after a hard day of swimming with the boyos i didn't want to...

The fishing village mind you was a beautiful muse, i would sit and watch the happenings, there was a park right in the center and some food trucks, a few restaurants, past the park and docks was the village, tiny houses set into a green hill, the Atlantic to the left, the Caribbean Sea to the right, of course i thought of Santiago and his large marlin as i watched the skiffs bob in the cove, how it would be to live there among those hills, a bar at the back end of the park at the of the head of the road that ran up towards the houses, of course it was also the first place i figured i could score weed and alas i was wrong, i did score though, thus keeping alive my streak of finding gear in strange lands...

Oddly enough i didn't go searching for my medicine with my usual gusto, in fact after surveying the place i knew i'd have to go off site and once i got to the little village i kept a keen eye out for what i like to refer to as a friendly face... but there was nothing, that is of course until i found Luquillo Beach and wandered into what i like to call my natural habitat, a long strip of kiosks filled with bars and local Puerto Rican joints serving street food, bottles and cans littering the street, beyond the strip a gorgeous beach, the water deep and blue not ten yards from shore, Breadwinner's tool brother prattling on about how this was an "authentic experience", i was about to tell him he was a knob end but instead ordered a beer and went on the prowl for weed, it was while standing outside a pizza shop, a place owned and run by New Yorkers (and with great pizza), that i struck up a conversation with a sweet girl named Andi who's boyfriend Alex worked just down the way at the tattoo parlor which just happened to be owned by some people from the Steel City, i soon wandered down and told Alex that Andi had sent me and said "Hey Yinz" to the crew, he could hook me up but not for another hour or two and since the Breadwinner was already blowing up my phone and none to pleased with my shenanigans i made my way back towards the car, as i passed Andi she gave the thumbs up and i shook my head no and she then stopped me and said grabbed my hand slipping me the last of a dime that she had, she told me it wasn't much, a pinner most likely but at least it was something, she smiled and said it was the least she could do to help out the old degenerate stoner, (how i described myself when broaching the subject), i told her to tell Alex he's got a gem and to treat her right, dare i say i detected a note of jealousy from the Breadwinner, i laughed as i told her i didn't think 25yr old women with tattoo artists boyfriends are gonna run off with the suburban dad type but we can dream now can't we?

I like getting stoned, always have, the first time was 30 years ago this past May, the Nike Site Park in Parma, Ohio... these days i rarely go a day without toking, vacations being the only time i do at least until i score, the beauty was i looked at it as a good way to clean up for a week, i had that one joint and i waited until my last night in the El Conquistador - A Waldorf Astoria hotel, to smoke it, and it wasn't half bad... the next day i was swimming under a waterfall in a rain forest before 10am, but i'll get to that...

After that water fall i drove the brood into San Juan and once properly situated it was my job to take the rental car back to a hotel which was a short drive and 15 minute walk back over a low bridge with beautiful view of the ocean, i dropped the car and began my walk back when i noticed a little Vice Den, a place that sold nothing but cigarettes, cigars, newspapers, rolling papers, lottery tickets, a forlorn rack of snacks, and of course booze, booze you could drink right there and so since it was hot and there was a Punk Rock Girl behind the counter i bought a beer, $1 unlike the $5 for the exact beer at the El Conq. i loitered, you could say my Spidey sense was tingling, and so i stood and scanned the occupants and was draining my beer, i was getting ready to give up and head back when a young guy walked in, a waiter just getting off work, he bought wraps and headed for the door, i followed him out and politely asked if i could have a word, i told him i noticed he was buying wraps and that i really was looking for a place to score and could he point me in the right direction, he stopped and looked around and laughed and said come here and took a few steps away from the Vice Den door and it's patrons, i sell weed he smiled, fucking excellent i exclaimed, and then Vincent and i had a confab about the virtues of stoners and i bought some gear off him and threw in some extra as a tip, he told me how to find him if i needed more and we shook hands and off i went towards the Hilton Condado to gaze out at the Atlantic, i'd say the Hilton's were wrecking the place but it didn't matter, it was  nothing but hotels and condos up and down the coast, man was gonna fuck this place up regardless... typical hippie can't hold a grudge...(to be cont.)


Sunday, July 30, 2017

When You Wake Up Feeling Old... go to the Rock Show

Every now and then the spring chicken must cop to the fact that he's really just getting to be an old rooster, time just keeps right on marching along and we loose track of the fact that those sunrises and sunsets are finite, hell when they come and go as they do one tends to get the feeling they'll always be there and maybe they will, we're still waiting for Tim Leary to send that letter but until then we tend to not dwell on the fact that we can check out at any time and there are a myriad of ways for us to leave the key card on the nightstand (so to speak), this week in particular has been a motherfucker when it comes to reminding me that i ain't getting any younger...

I've never been professionally diagnosed but i've watched enough ER dramas in my youth and read enough books written by or about the mentally ill to know that i've got what might be termed an addictive personality, or you could just say i liked to party, still do really i've just learned that some things will kill you faster than others and since the appearance of the boyos on the scene i've tried to eliminate most of those things, (see blow, smack, ridiculously excessive boozing, things of that nature) i've gotten back to the Earth you could say, back to my favorite plant and the occasional bit of fungus, you could call it spiritual or you could just say i like to crawl inside my own head and think, where before i used to want to run the streets of dope, speed and fucking now i prefer to lounge on the couch and study the ceiling, and of course i've developed this almost pathological need to work out...

Now i can honestly say that i usually see the wall i'm about to smash my face into and somehow pull out of it, my old friend the Engineer once stated how he was amazed at how i could walk away from things, and usually i could, the diciest by far was our fair sister Charlie Baltimore, my lack of respect for her pretty much bit me on the ass but these days i'm like into healthy living or some fucking thing and i go at these workouts with an almost bizarre sense of duty, doesn't matter if i'm fucking myself up i'll still do them, that is of course until i can barely lift my arm above my head or in the most recent case walk... the kettle bells fucked my shoulder all because i was too stupid to admit they were fucking up my shoulder, i had concocted my own little regimen and at times i half wondered if i hadn't stress fractured a clavicle or something of that ilk, painful, sometimes ridiculously so but not enough to get me to stop...

Now if you'll allow my to digress i'll explain that yesterday i went to the eye doctor for the first time, my eyes have always been fucking great but i realized by night time i couldn't read a book, i mean i could it was just that all the little letters were fuzzy and i spent a good deal of my time wondering if i had the words right, it also wasn't lost on me that by the time i do sit down to read i'm usually Jeff Lebowski stoned and possibly that was the problem, it made it worse but even without Jah's help i still could barely fucking see the words and so after reading all those little lines of letters with this eye or that eye it was determined that i could use a pair of reading glasses... and so now i lay on the couch while the crickets chirp with my NHS specs on and can actually see the damn words, i can read faster too, probably because i can see, i should have done it six months ago but i'm the stubborn type, if there's anything left in to this wine of youth it is most definitely the dregs... and maybe not even that...

And so while i was building Swedish furniture and organizing and sorting out the gaff, per the Breadwinner's orders of course, i couldn't do my normal shit and so i hopped on the Breadwinner's treadmill and started running, figured 3 or 4 miles couldn't hurt, problem was i have this funny left knee from fucking about with Nick Disaster and the football, was doing a right shit imitation of Johan Cruyff when it sort of went all wonky, my diagnosis was a knee sleeve, ice and copious amounts of ganja and damn if that didn't seem to do the trick and the running seemed like a good idea and it came pretty easy except now i realize i was sorta of favoring that left knee which in turn ended up fucking up my right side, or to be more specific what i'm guessing is some sort of problem with the old sciatic nerve, of which i've prescribed heating pads, rest, stretching and copious amounts of ganja...

Let me say that usually a day or two of this regimen would suffice and the pain would subside just enough for my dumb ass to start back at it, the workout being my new crack, but this time i was (and still am) a bit fucked and i had a ticket to a rock show, those crazy kids from DC called Priests, it was in a tiny club and i have a feeling this band won't be playing many tiny clubs in the near future but damn if i could barely fucking walk and so for the first time in my life i was staring down the premise of missing a rock show cuz i couldn't physically hack it, the old man sitting out the young man's gig, i mean i've missed or blown off shows before but that was my choice, this wasn't, this was a blow, and so i lay in bed and heavily medicated throughout the day, of course i forgot my eye appointment which i went to pleasantly gooned, but as the clock ticked towards having to leave or skipping the gig i laced up the shoes and walked gingerly to the car...

So there i was joining the hipster cognoscenti with my uncool shoes, but really what's more punk rock than a suburban dad? fucking nuffin that's what less i have to school these kids on Foucault and Derrida and the philosophy of Deconstructionism, except the kids were alright and there were even a couple of the original Indy kids there, though older and grayer and plumper, but damn if it wasn't a fine fucking show and damn if i didn't feel like a kid as i smiled my way to the car and damn if i didn't blast the stereo all the way home as i sang along to today's new wave hits, a humid summer night and a drive through the city and i'm 16 again... or maybe 25, doesn't matter, what matters is i'm still at it and i think Mr. Jones would agree that just cuz you get old doesn't mean you have to grow up, that staying curious and checking out what the kids are in to spurs the mind and the body... and besides, what else have i got to do?