Monday, July 10, 2017

Random Notes (Suburban Surrealist vol. 2)

To put it mildly i am a horrible suburbanite, i can admit it, there are many things about living in the suburbs that i just don't give  two fucking shits about, and the fact is there is nothing i can do to change that, it's not a question of personal growth or self help or fucking magic tricks it's just the way this noodle is wired, we must embrace and savor our failings just as much if not more so than our victories, somehow i think the world would be might bit more pleasant it if wasn't all this damn blood-lust to be the winner, what's the fucking winner get anyway? because let's face it, as soon as they put that crown on your head some kid somewhere is scheming to knock it off, hopefully while leaving your head still intact but history has shown sometimes that's not the most pressing thing on the mind of the would be new king...

So where do i begin a list of things i'm shit at? first and foremost it's probably my utter lack of urgency when it comes to getting my car washed, what the fuck did you think i was gonna say? this is first world shit here man, you know while i'm wasting shit tons of water to keep my vehicle looking shiny and new Matt Damon is telling me how the rest of the world can barely find enough clean water to drink and cook with, meanwhile there are at least a half dozen automated car washes within a three mile radius of my front door, i know a guy who has the unlimited wash card and his black Denali Behemoth fucking sparkles when the sun hits it, damn thing is so clean and waxed you can see it clearly at night, in fact i didn't know there was such a thing as an unlimited wash card until i asked how he kept his Behemoth so shiny, said he runs it through every time he drives by one of the places, i shook my head in knowing agreement though i knew nada, i figured i'd keep my whole observation about how much of a waste it was to myself, if my mid-sized family SUV gets washed it's because it rained, i do attempt to clean it out and realize how scrutinized and gossipped about it i'd be if i actually ever had another adult in the car but luckily i never do, to me it's just a means of transportation, i'd much prefer a train or a bicycle, Henry Ford said fuck all that...

(Side note- today as Nick D. and i walked up the hill from his futsal session i was stopped by a man mentioning how fast the time goes when you have kids and how his youngest had finished his first year of college and the kid wrote his mother a letter saying how much he missed his mom, then out of the blue he quoted Mark Twain, the one about how when he (Twain) was 14 he could barely stand to have his father around he was so ignorant and when he got to be 21 he was astonished at how much his old man had learned... being a fan of Sam i mentioned how Mr. Twain made a lot of prurient observations, which led him to bringing up Vonnegut, which led me to into a quick sermon on the virtues of humanism and how absurd and insane both those guys would have thought the present day was, he laughed and agreed, his dog demanding his attention and Nick Disaster demanding more of mine we went our separate ways, he was a thoughtfully and expensively dressed man who had the dog jump in the Audi and had headed to the park, i was wearing a Black Flag t-shirt, stained of course, and a pair of Hang Ten shorts i found for $12 bucks at Costco and some shitty old blue Vans, somehow i thought Jeff Spicoli would approve, and yet here we were discussing authors... now if that isn't nice i don't know what is...)

Of course to compound my first world problems i often have men in green golf shirts knocking on my door and telling me they have chemicals that would turn my lovely field of daisies and other assorted non-grasslike vegetation into a lush field of green so comfortable i'd abandon my bed and sleep on it instead, i usually tell them i'm going to try and make my whole front yard a bamboo garden cuz bamboo is great at eating up carbon dioxide, then i politely say no thanks and close the door, i don't need them blatantly pointing out my shortcomings in lawn maintenance and landscaping, now the cat who drives that shiny black Denali Behemoth, you should see his fucking lawn,  i don't mind grafting in the yard but i don't somehow believe it validates my standing as a suburban 'Merican male and i am squarely in the minority on that front...

(Side Note #2- now when i get these fucking lame brain ideas like growing bamboo they tend to stick in my craw, one day i was talking to one of my best friends as we moved my old furniture to the Breadwinner's best friends house because A) i'm sick of filling landfills with perfectly good shit and B) her friend could use the furniture and tight finances prevented her from buying any at the moment, we were discussing the bee population and the worries and wonders of the scientific community which related back to the daisy fields that were our respective lawns and how we were doing Mama Nature a solid by not spraying chemicals all over the lawn and killing the very things that sustained the bees, i'm a fucking hippie in punk rock clothing, it was then i started discussing my bamboo dreams and how it was a shame i couldn't grow it around here, my friend said hold up and drove to this place where he showed me a giant bamboo patch and smiled, shit grows good around here he said, you could do it, which now has me ruminating even more on planting bamboo behind my place and letting it run wild along with that other favorite plant of mine, not in the consumable way but in the let the hemp/ditchweed run wild too, maybe i have too much free time, i think i have just enough...)

Oddly i can't put these shortcomings down on sloth or laziness though i'd very much like to, in the last five years since getting my walking papers from the Big World Bank Machine i've taught myself how to do all kinds of shit i'd never done before, fucking patching my roof and building roomfuls of Swedish furniture, built a retaining wall, looked up ways to substitute for ingredients i don't have on hand when i'm baking cookies for shit sake, but yet my car is not shiny, my lawn looks like a vacant lot, i have no career ambitions or career for that matter, hell i don't even have a paying job, i mean fucking hell i couldn't have planned it better, yes i don't have a job to fall back on when stuck in a room with responsible adult types and forced to converse but shiiiit, it's at those times i like to make obscure references to literature and philosophy, not in a high minded way mind you but in a contemplative and colloquial manner, it cracks me up, the pursuit of money and status and career, it's a fascinating thing to study out here in the lily white, i don't claim to understand it but it makes for interesting nights as i pull tubes in the garage, and maybe all the crickets and bugs are driving me batty, maybe the lack of ground lights allows me to star gaze and realize the uselessness of it all, this sub-conscious cultivation of suburban eccentricity, there is no way but up? or is it down? i don't know... and more to the point i don't care...






Monday, July 3, 2017

The Wilderness Years - One Car Parades (part 3)

I'm the man now, he growled and smiled, i can hook you up, i took over for Jack for Mr. Big, fuckin' guy was getting too fast and loose anyhow if you ask me, his eyes were fixed on me as i took a gulp of my Scotch and water and chased it with swig of High Life, i nodded... need you on the team my man, his large hand firmly on my shoulder, you're the kid who can shift the product man, i know it and Mr. Big knows it, you were discussed my young brother, glowingly he chuckled... i didn't know whether to shit or chew bubble gum, i was carefully trying to parse through the bullshit Cocaine Mike was spewing, it very much could have been true or it could be his cold calculation, Mr. Big knew me and i knew him, this was a different game than the shit i pulled at uni, this was a bit more serious, i was still learning, in one of the few times i was allowed to associate on a social level with Mr. Big, invited to join the conversation at the corner of the bar by Hippie Jack i showed how much i had to learn, the subject of cops came up and in my youthful cool and desire to impress i uttered something like, fuck those guys... fucking cocksuckers, he laughed and told me how much he donated to the FOP and the PAL, how they thought he was a swell fucking guy and big supporter of the local PD, straightened me out to the fact you wanted them to think you were on their side, i was a young hood, this dude was into trafficking shit, i stood silent and corrected...

Cocaine Mike had painted his masterpiece of course, he had not only stolen Hippie Jack's stash and money but he had also stolen his connection, slipped in through the back door, and yes apparently it helped that he knew me cuz Mr. Big liked what i did but he didn't want to deal with a young kid and so Cocaine Mike got the North Oakland account and i got a new boss if i wanted it... what choice did i have? same stuff at the same price and the train keeps rolling right? at least in theory that was the plan but i didn't call this post one car parades for nuffin' now did i?  I was also cognizant of the fact that given time i could easily jump Mike in the ladder, it would take some maneuvering but it wasn't that far out of the question, may not have been the most healthy thing so to speak and you could say i wasn't the most confident of sorts when it came to envisioning a long run with Mr. Cocaine Mike at the helm but for the time being i was working with the scariest, craziest motherfucker i had ever known...

That night i went home and thought, i lay on my mattress and stared at the ceiling as the public radio burbled in the background, this was a bit more delicate, how much did i want to let this crazy bastard front me? i could easily buy a pound plus a half or damn near another whole one in cash but did i want to take that much cash to Cocaine Mike's place, i trusted him about as far as i could throw him and it did not seem out of the realm of possibility that he would point a gun in my face, take my cash and laugh as he told me i had 10 seconds to run before i got shot, i had my nest egg growing in the local bank and a safe that was slowly accruing both seed and play money but i was well aware that this psycho could fuck all that up in less than that aforementioned 10 seconds, and what was i gonna do? call the cops? get a gun and shoot at him? i could get a pound at at time but that just meant more trips to his place, the extra half meant roughly once a week, and people think this shit is easy, all this toil and trouble for five or six hundred un-taxed dollars, it's what makes the world go round...

And so i threw my lot in with a 6'6 inch devil in a brown leather jacket. I didn't see much of Jack after that, i'd buy him a drink at the bar and talk to him in passing, he'd ask me if i was getting anything good and that if i did to let him know, i told him i was working to put shit together but could barely scrape up enough to keep my people happy, it was bullshit, i was still doing my thing but had been told in no uncertain terms to not cut Jack in on anything, the punishment being that i would be out as well, as it was Cocaine Mike was getting 5 or 6 pounds at a time of which i moved 90% of, i didn't know it at the time but Mike picked up and then sat back and waited for me to do my thing, i was still making my money but i was a bit more cautious in the way i tossed it around the neighborhood, i knew shit would go south sooner rather than later and so i banked a bit extra, i'm not sure the strippers or bartenders noticed, instead i got shit done and stayed in my room and out of the bar when i didn't have to work, i read books and listened to records, i put the word out to my customers that i was looking for new connections, just to keep my guys honest i'd say, it's a strange thing asking people who are buying weed from you to help you to find people to buy weed from in order to mark it up and sell it back to them but that's just how shit worked, i had accrued the capital for cash and carry,  so far though i was coming up empty...

Then one afternoon i was milling around the alley that led up to the back of the apartments where Hippie Jack and Cocaine Mike lived, Mike of course was his usual ten minutes late and as i stood pacing an alley of cinders and broken glass i was hoping that Jack wouldn't come rolling out of his place, it was after work and happy hour would be starting and Jack being that creature of habit i was hoping he had caught the early bus or copped a ride, then the side door opened and out he stepped, there i stood pacing with a backpack on my shoulder, the same backpack i always used to grab my gear, he looked puzzled and hurt, what's up man? he said... and what could i say? i told him i was waiting for Cocaine Mike, said he had called me and told me he had a line, i wasn't getting much, shit's been tough i lied, Jack stood shaking his head and told me to let me know if i can get any to spare, i'm just grabbin' a Q-per (quarter pound) i lied again, and just then Cocaine Mike came strolling around the corner, he gave Jack a nod and then slapped me on the back and said, come on in man...Hippie Jack turned and headed toward the bar, later man i said and followed Mike up the stairs to his place...

Once upstairs Mike shit-talked Jack to on end and i sat there and nodded in agreement because it was the safest and sanest thing to do, i liked to think i had some honor among these thieves but who the fuck was i kidding, a month back from the beach and my weed slinging career was a fledgling mess, shit gear at expensive prices from a balding ex-frat boy who was less than thrilled when a tall dread-locked white guy pulled up to his redneck enclave, then a chance meeting in the bar and the rest was history, it was close to two years and in this business at this low-level that was a fucking stretch, it was good for both of us and even though i knew i wasn't the one to fuck up i wanted to show some kind of loyalty, call it being young and idealistic, i was going to be some kind of morally upstanding drug dealer, what a fucking laugh, watching Hippie Jack, a guy i called my friend, shuffle off toward the bar beaten and broken i felt like a dick, a first class fucking heel, and i should have, but a man's gotta eat as they say and this capitalist system is a meat grinder even down here in the gutter, and so i got my weed from Cocaine Mike, i'm pretty sure Jack knew it, what could i do? i had a business to run and strippers to tip and student loans to pay and psychedelics to buy and rent to pay and booze to guzzle... as W. Axl Rose put it, Welcome to the Jungle baby... to be cont.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sunday to Wednesday

In the interest of selling greeting cards there is a holiday called Father's Day, and while i understand the premise behind it i can't help but feel it's another way to stimulate the economy, of course i always dig what the boyos get me because it's a uncensored moment of self expression and needless to say it does make me smile (a fidget spinner and soap shaped like acorns in box labeled "Wash Your Nuts), on this past Father's Day the boyos and their old man decided to live it up and do our parts as good Mericans and consume... we started the day at a swanky, hippie donut shop and after crushing our donuts we relaxed before heading to the local pool for damn near five hours, earlier in the day their old man tossed a brisket into the old crock pot and used his mama's not so secret recipe so a big chunk of dinner would be done by the time they came home...

And so home we came, getting home an hour or so before the storm started, the Breadwinner splayed on her chair, Ipad in hand and flipping away at her fruits or blocks or whatever it is she plays these days, an activity i'm told is mindless and relaxing which helps her forget the stress of her job, now i understand my role as the indentured servant is to cook, clean, wash clothes, cut grass and a myriad of other jobs and chores and far be it from me that i thought i might get out of my cooking duties for one night but alas i was mistaken, and so i set to work on my Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, went to work on finding Disaster something he would actually eat, i cracked a beer and listened to the boyos bound about the house...

At the pool i noticed how many women and their children were there and i noticed a distinct lack of men, being the big hairy Carol Brady i saw  fellow soccer moms and the stories all sounded similar, the fathers of the world were out golfing or fishing or getting drunk, i found it strange how so many of these guys wanted away from the very beings that gave them the option of i guess being away from those very beings, but what the fuck do i know? i was happy to be at the pool with my boyos, eating snack bar popcorn and nachos and splashing about, at one point while both the boyos were hanging on me, sore back and all, i don't think you could have punched the smile off my face, i was the happiest man alive...

I was not upset or put off by my making of dinner that night, it did tell me where i stood in one person's eyes but i pretty much knew where i stood, which brings us to Wednesday... dreaded Wednesday... the Breadwinner is always off on this day and during the summer she likes to do "family" stuff, of course the idea of family stuff in her head and the actual family stuff are two different things, i started the day off stepping squarely in a steaming pile by suggesting to the boyos we go mini-golfing, they dig it and it had that might storm vibe about the day so why waste a trip to the pool? and so it was off to lunch at the Indian buffet and then to the mini-golf, we hadn't left the house when i was being told how much the Breadwinner loathed mini-golf and my response was, yeah but they don't and if you have an alternative option then let 'em hear it, her lack of response said it all, the string of comments continued unabated and i was running out of fingers and toes to count how many times i had been told, sometimes all of us told, how much someone despised mini-golf...

Now the night held much promise as it was the first night of some local cults carnival and if there's one thing i fucking love it's a carnival, it's the only time i'll willingly mingle among the Christian types and i always laugh at how since you're at the church carnival they just assume you are of their flock, i''m just here for the grub, the carny games and on occasion the gambling,  it tickles me that cards and dice and money wheels are all cool when it's for the Good Lord's coffers, jack of diamonds and lucky seven save my heathen soul! it's a little (or maybe well known) fact that i'm a man of many useless talents, one of those being an advanced skill at carny games, i believe it was cultivated in my youth at the now shuttered Geauga Lake Amusement Park and along the pier and in the arcades of Ocean City, i don't know why? it's a just a useless skill, like being a repository of useless facts among the couch-locked stoners playing Jeopardy at the Clubhouse, except at least at the carnival i can win stuffed toys and useless crap or better yet help the boyos win, in an advisory role of course...

There is a game where one throws a baseball at fuzzy cat type things lined up in three rows, the object being to knock over at least two but preferably three fuzzy cat type things with the three baseballs you are given, i didn't play baseball after third grade but yet i'm good at this game, the trick being not to overthrow the ball, it doesn't take much to knock down the fuzzy cats but watch and you'll see player after player firing the ball as hard as they can and losing that all important accuracy, the boyos kept trying and kept losing so in a moment of madness i handed the carny kid a dollar and stepped up to take a turn, it was then that i heard the Breadwinner's voice, why was i using her money to play a game? i said nothing, gave the I-mac a brief pointer and handed him the baseballs, it was not a battle i wished to engage in, once again i knew my place, all that for better or for worse jive was just that... jive... or to quote Sam Clemens "God's great cosmic joke on the human race was requiring that men and women live together in marriage"... (because if you weren't legally bound why the hell would you stay? at least i like to think that was Sam's point...)

The I-mac left with a funny hat that would not look out of place at a Celtic football match and a pack of removable tattoos bearing the emblem of our beloved Stanley Cup champion Penguins, Nick Disaster scored a sunglass-wearing stuffed poop emoji (by far his favorite emoji) and another little laughing emoji, emojis being the hot thing in carnival prizes this year apparently, all told between the mini-golf and carnival they had had a banner day and were smiling as we walked towards the car, Disaster even reaching for my hand which makes his old man melt cuz i know that soon it won't happen anymore... you never think about your parents relationship when you're a kid unless of course that relationship goes tits up, when my parents split up i realized there was a whole world i was oblivious to, their world, that there was in fact much i didn't know about my parents and their interactions with each other, and why would i? i was a kid, i didn't think about it much like the boyos don't think about it, this one will most likely last as long as it needs to, for now there is still much to do and if i was kicked out tomorrow i'd camp out in the front yard just so i could get up and still make the boyos breakfast, maybe i don't have the will or energy to fight or more correctly i just don't see the point, and when the day comes when i get my walking papers i will go about it, hopefully, with honor and decency, no finger pointing or blaming, just an acknowledgement that people and things are always in flux and there comes a time when those things go in different directions, you could call it any number of things, i just choose to call it life...




Friday, June 23, 2017

The Wilderness Years - One Car Parades (part 2)

 Cocaine Mike was the consummate criminal, he was a street level hood who wasn't a direct menace to society, at least not yet, but if one asked me if i thought he could commit armed robbery or something a bit more serious (like shooting people) my answer would unequivocally be yes, of course he was such a good petty criminal that it would take a serious dry spell to push to those extremes but still i would not rule it out, not at all, he was menacing, usually armed to the teeth, and yet he was smart and knew how to work people, knew how to get them to let their guard down, to get information to use to his advantage, i'm quite sure he was an expert at breaking and entering, he was always trying to give me a ride home from the bar, i knew he was trying to find out where i lived and we'd go back and forth, didn't matter if i lived on the second floor of a fire code violating death trap (we had no fire escape on the building but a rope ladder our landlord gave us) he'd find a way in, and so i never let him figure it out, on occasion i'd placate him and have him drop me a few streets over, then i'd make sure he left before hopping a few fences ala Ferris Bueller and sneaking back to my place, it was hide and seek with your money at stake...

Hippie Jack was not that careful or wise, though we'd had conversations about the ethics or apparent lack thereof possessed by Cocaine Mike, when Jack was fucked up and happy he was what we'd call a trusting soul, it didn't help that his blow intake was now a full blown problem, one day as i stopped by to pick up the usual pound or two, he had somehow lost an eight ball of coke, lost being the operative word as Maggie, one of the infamous Glimmer Twins, a pair of rich suburban white girls turned local hoodrat junkies, had just left his place after purchasing some flake, as it dawns on my Hippie friend that he's just been fucked he begins yelling at me and accusing me of snaking his blow, to which i tell him to go fuck himself and get his shit together while pointing out who just happened to be sitting here when i walked in, when i asked if he left her and her fucked up boyfriend alone his face went blank, i then turned out my pockets told him to fuck himself again and get my shit, i paid him what i owed and paid for another 1 1/4 lbs because i didn't want to owe him shit, he stammered an apology and i told him it's cool but shit wasn't, i could see the end and all i could do was think of finding a new connection, this one was on shaky ground at best...

Of course if i give the impression that i was some kind of savant i was... that is if you put the word idiot in front of it, i had a singular focus of keeping my business up and running, i was over-paying the student loans and had become accustomed to the lifestyle slinging afforded, i wasn't buying a BMW anytime soon but i usually had enough pocket money for a few forays to the strip club every week, i had enough to buy another beer every time i needed another beer, i could order pizzas with impunity dammit, i was a fucking hood and this was my glamorous life...of course i also stood just slightly north of raging fuck-up or to put it more aptly, my own one car parade...

Right before shit really hit the skids i had once again gone to Jack's for the re-up, it was nearly 5pm and i had called at least 4 times because i was out and needed product, Hippie Jack had been sleeping off another coke and booze bender and was a Class A fucking asshole when i got to his place, he was pissing and moaning and i was about to remind him of which one of us was the fucking meal ticket when he sat down and pulled out a plate of rock, he took a big hit and became the most pleasant guy in the world, i'm sure this would have set off warning bells had he not loaded the pipe again and passed it to me, i of course took said pipe and ripped a winner... the drug myth goes that one hit of rock can kill you and i have first hand knowledge that the myth makers might have been right on that count, the instantaneous rush was stupefying and frightening, my heart racing and breathing elevated, Jack looking at me and wondering if i was going to kick it right in his living room, i got up and tossed some water on my face and tried to slow down my fucking ticker, twenty-six was the wrong age to kick it dammit, i realize now how close i was to punching the ticket that day, i think i knew it then too, you could cue Perfect Day by Lou Reed as Hippie Jack dragged me out his apartment and down the porch steps to prop me next to the pedestrian overpass that ran over Bigelow Blvd, he'd put me next to the pay phone and hopefully have the change to call the EMS before running back into his place and slipping out the back door and hightailing it to the boozer, i'm sure hoping the whole time that i didn't die because hell, i was the best mover he had...

Spoiler alert... i didn't die, though i did learn something and that was it was time to quit the fucking rock, i did, Hippie Jack didn't... and then one day it happened.  He came home after closing the bar to find his apartment had gotten robbed, of course he had once again loaned himself Mr. Big's money to fund his coke business which was he was now using the profits off of to fund his own personal coke habit, Jack was no longer at the edge of that Downward Spiral he was hurtling down it head first... the blow bought with Mr. Big's money was gone, his stock of grass was gone, most importantly the roll of bills, the money hidden in his coat pocket, the money that could have paid his debt but put him back at broke was gone,  and of course the only way for him to make any money was hustling and the only guy willing to front him gear was now going to be short $4,000, this is not a business to short money in unless of course you don't want to be in it anymore, hopefully you don't take a beating or worse, in Hippie Jack's case he was written off, Mr. Big didn't to fuck him up, Jack was out plain and simple, i was out a good connection, it didn't take fucking Sherlock Holmes or Jessica Fletcher, The Hardy Boys or Inspector Clouseau to know who jacked him, it was the guy who knew where all Jack's shit was, that menacing motherfucker who lived upstairs and liked to shoot guns in the basement, Cocaine Mike... it was time for me to scramble...





Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Wilderness Years - One Car Parades (part 1)

By X-mas of 96 things were running like a well oiled machine, if of course that machine was being supervised by idiots and fuck-ups but up and down the ladder money was being made, i was towards the bottom of the ladder, i didn't mind, i was now steadily making over 4 bills a week, sometimes 5 or 6 on a good week and when you consider my take home pay from the warehouse was less than $345 for two weeks it was easy to see where my energy would be put, granted it was all balanced on a tenuous edge and the slightest shift in the cosmos and it would all be a crumpled heap on the floor, and of course this business was filled half-wits capable of fucking up a one car parade... so it goes...

A few days before the birth of Jaysus H. i stood in Hippie Jack's apartment and presented him with a fifth of his favorite booze, Jack Daniels, Jack fumbled around his place and tried to give me a Reggae Sunsplash visor but i told him i didn't expect a thing from him and that the bottle was my token of appreciation for the fine business relationship we had cultivated and that i hoped we could keep it up, he was damn near misty-eyed by the time i was done and he plopped down on the couch cradling his bottle and said, man you're the best thing to happen to me in years kid, you sure can move shit and you helped me get out of the hole, paid off my debt to Mr. Big and actually got a few thousand saved, all because of you he said, i told Mr. Big all about you man, how you're the guy who moves almost all the shit i get from him... and what could i say? i was proud of my up and coming hoodrat status, i was the tall white-dread kid who could move shit, i was doing exactly what i had set out to do...

Now one of the things i had learned from Cowboy Dan back in my college days, a lesson in dealing, was that it helps to have a legit gig, my job made me do shit other than sling for 40 hours a week which is good because my informal study has shown that too much free time and drug money can lead to what? excess? bad habits? all of thee above? and so it wasn't long after that when Hippie Jack decided to walk up to the edge of what is commonly known as the Downward Spiral, like most things it always starts fun and with the best intentions but as we all know that shit goes out the window real fucking quick... so since Hippie Jack spent most of his afternoons and evenings at various bars, the last of which he would close before inviting people back to his place, he made what one could call an unsound business decision and decided it might be smart to get into the blow business, of course the blow business and weed business are two different things entirely as are the clientele and soon the busiest parking lot you could find from 3 to 5am was the shady uniform company next door to Hippie Jack's place, luckily it was in such a no-man's land only those in the know seemed to notice and somehow the cops weren't in that group...

O' Shea Jackson once wrote, that to be a dope man you must qualify/ don't get high off your own supply, this naturally leads us back to those one car parades because i've seen more wanna-be half-wit shitheads fuck up their fool-proof plans by doing exactly that, the longer the gear is in their hands the more likely they are to do it, if ever i showed discipline it was in the taking of the personal stash and then selling the rest, i knew how to crunch the numbers in order to make the venture as profitable as possible and it's in that fact i differed from 98% of the street level hoods i knew, and when it came to powder the odds of fucking up increased exponentially... and here we have Exhibit A, our man Hippie Jack...

Now while Hippie Jack liked to sell you powder, when he was sitting on his couch he much preferred to smoke his coke, he called it freebase, the news media dubbed it crack, he of course justified his term by stating it was much stronger and purer than the shit you got on the street, i wouldn't know, i never bought that shit, i only bought it from Hippie Jack until he taught me to make it myself, i once stated somehow in the legends of the lounge about just how good the first hit of the day was, like the best orgasm you'd ever had, needless to say much like an orgasm it didn't last long but there was no refractory period and though it wasn't as intense the second and every hit thereafter was still really fucking good, of course this is also how people keeled over dead but we weren't really concerning ourselves with that...

There is another pretty steadfast rule to live by in this business and also a pretty regular occurrence among those prone to fucking up one car parades, it's the old money shifting game, using money that's not yours, say Mr. Big's weed money, to buy coke under the assumption that you'll move the flake before Mr. Big calls in his note... if everything goes right it's fucking hunky dory and you make a bundle and the loan doesn't exist to the unknowing loaner and it's all puppies and sunshine, and sometimes that actually happens, not very often mind you, say twenty percent of the time but sometimes and it's also not the wisest thing to make a habit of it if you pull it off, once is usually down to luck and any more attempts than that is pushing that luck, but that is exactly what Hippie Jack did, pushed his luck, not paying attention to that Murphy guy who was winking from the closet or standing on the fire escape or to be more exact, living in the apartment upstairs...


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Awaydays

And now for something completely different...  it can't always be sex, drugs and rock n' roll around these parts, as much as we'd like it to be the sheer fact is that our time spent on this third stone from the sun is filled with many ordinary extraordinary days, of course there is a vast majority of the human race that feels as if it should always doing and social media documenting and planning and looking forward to what comes next and never stops to take a look around or appreciate exactly where they're at (see Ferris Bueller, Alan Watts etal) , i'd say it's a crisis but most people are too busy to worry about what some shut-in stoner has to say about their meta-physical well being, they don't give a fuck about their meta-physical well being, they put the money and the plate and hope the good Reverend isn't full of shit,  another example of not paying attention to where they are but worried about where they're gonna be...

I'll be the first to admit i don't know much about parenting, in fact i'm quite sure i fuck up on a damn near hourly basis but i do try, (stop fucking laughing), i often try to explain to the boyos that their old man is full of shit and to think for themselves and question everything around them and take an active view of their surroundings even if that means taking it from a hammock strung between two palm trees while sipping a tasty beverage, fucking live, it's pretty simple, enjoy those little things cuz they will mean more to you in the end than all the BMWs and golf clubs ever will... and for the record i could give fuck all about cars and golf...

Around this time last year the I-mac tried out for club football (soccer) and made the top team for his age group, he's tall and skinny like his old man was and runs like a gazelle, one of the great joys of my existence is watching the boyos play, usually footie or basketball, they're both good athletes pulling from a state-placing gymnast momma and a dad who went to university on an athletic scholarship for basketball, until of course he chucked it in for drinking, drugs, art and poetry, quite possibly one of the smartest moves he ever made, now this foray into club footie was new to me and what i soon discovered is that there's a fair amount of travel and time and there are certain parts of it (mainly dealing with other adults/parents/coaching types but mainly fucking parents) that suck a big, stinking, dong but that those things are far outweighed by the time i get to spend with the boyos... and some of those times i call awaydays...

I'm roughly 7 inches taller than my old man and i remember him telling me that i was a better basketball player by the time i was 12 than he'd ever been, my old man is a gem, he didn't live vicariously through his son, he let me play and fuck up on my own and succeed on my own and i do my best to emulate him and stay out of the boyos way, i also know that watching them play is one of my favorite things on this planet to do... the club footie has these days where the team will play a couple games against competition from other states, it usually involves a two hour drive or so and it's these days that i've come to love, usually it's just me and the I- mac but on the last one Nick Disaster came along as well... we roll along the interstates listening to music and talking about all kinds of things, we discuss and debate and tell stories and daydream out car windows, i get glimpses into how they think and who they'll be, i know these days are finite and rare, it's the most fascinating stuff in the world to me, i'm sure it is to most people who actually take an interest in their offspring, i also know some people don't take that interest, i'd call those people fucking idiots...

And so on this last one we traveled up to the lovely shores of Lake Erie, in the town of the same name, we played a couple games and then went to an indoor water park, we rode water slides and went in a wave pool, we ate burgers and fries and drank Coke, it was an ordinary extraordinary day, and as we left for two hour drive back i watched them climb in the back seat and each curl up, headphones on gazing out the window, i turned on some of my favorite music and headed towards the interstate, by the time i had gone 10 miles Nick Disaster was passed out,  the I-mac hung on a little longer but by 20 miles in he was sleeping too, before he fell asleep he caught me looking at him in the rear view mirror, he gave me a smile and closed his eyes... the most beautiful things can never be bought, they usually just happen, it's why we need to pay attention, the extraordinary ordinary... i love the awaydays...

(Somewhere on the lounge there was a live version of this song in Iceland with Anything More, when the boyos were young and i would give them their bottle and put them to bed i used to sing this song to them, sometimes i'd sing it to them at after that 4am bottle, my neighborhood asleep, it'd be my hoarse whispering of the lyrics and the subtle creak of the floorboards, the things that i will keep...)


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Wilderness Years - Missed the train to Mars

When one is working 70 plus hours a week it's the small things that keep you sane, the three or four minutes of a pop song that allow you the respite of an oppressive universe, allow you to daydream and to forget those three inches in front of your face just long enough to get you through til the next break or off shift, it was the 95th summer of the twentieth century and i spent my days and nights covered in fry grease and sweat and when it wasn't fry grease and sweat it was hunks of bloody beef and an open pit, and when it wasn't fry grease and blood it was booze and acid and smack, i'd call it a nightmare but it wasn't, it was just living and how well i was doing that at the time is debatable...

If that debate had actually been held there would have been a predominant amount of witnesses arguing that i was an asshole in the business of alienating everyone around him and they probably were not far off but when one is a miserable motherfucker making friends and influencing people is not high on the things to do list, on the other side of the room i'd have found myself and a few others but there would have been plenty of empty seats, of course we cannot change history only document it so there will be no apologies, only the cold, hard, edge of the knife blade known as memory...

There was a dishwater blonde with long curls, a sultry voice and a these dark pools of eyes that were soft and sexy, i had spent the previous year (flunking out of grad school) asking her when she was going to take me to bed? she was good-natured and worse a sorority girl, i'd give her the business about the latter bit and assure her that i wanted nothing to do with her other than the fucking, i would attend no "Greek" mixers or formals and would not be her boyfriend but i promised her all the pleasure she could handle, her laugh would bring those curls cascading around her face, you're so full of shit she'd say, you wouldn't last ten seconds, her attitude told you to fuck off but those eyes would suck you right in, her pouty lips curling into a sly smile and then that laugh again...

That 95th summer i was a broke motherfucker, but broke motherfucker's need to get wasted and blow off steam and so i would find the ways and means to stay well and truly fucked, be it the kindness of friends or the graft and hustle, there was a bar on 8th and Philadelphia that had $1 import beers twice a week from 9-11pm, on the occasional off night i would stake out a stool at the bar, usually accompanied by a friend or co-worker who had heard about my game, there i would sit nursing a beer until the special kicked off, by 9:20 you couldn't move in the place or get to the bar, i casually knew the bartenders and being 6'4 helped but i would procure beers as long as one was bought for me, i spent the next two hours doing this and getting roaring drunk with a half dozen pints of beer still in front of me, after a few nights of this game the bartenders starting giving me chips, they knew i couldn't drink all the beers i got and none of us wanted them wasted so a drink chip it was, sometimes i'd accept cash when i had a few lined up but in the end the chips went further, they let me drink free at my leisure...

They often played this song in this particular bar, at night you couldn't hear it but during the day when it was quiet and mellow there were those few minutes of reverie i'd mentioned, Lizzie of the Curls and i would go drinking there in the afternoon, i'm sure i annoyed her with my usual offer of mind-blowing sex but then we'd settle into our normal conversation, always quite good and entertaining, when i was broke she'd stand me beer after beer, when i got my scam going she'd laugh at the number chips i'd have, i'd return the favor and tell her that chivalry lives, usually followed by how chivalrous i'd be performing cunnilingus on her, i was a right fucking twit and yet she put up with me, it was the company of a beautiful and intelligent woman, she came across as having it well together but she didn't, there was a sadness behind the eyes, a loneliness in the pauses between words, one particularly drunken afternoon as we exited into the blinding sun so i could make it to work on time she stopped me on the corner and kissed me, she said she was waiting for the answers, it looked like she had tears in her eyes, i was too drunk to know if i was supposed to have them and then she turned and walked toward her place...

That's how it went for her and i that summer, i was living with a girl, Lizzie knew that, we'd meet and drink and talk and except for that one kiss there was never anything sexual, except of course for the tension... i was working the day shift at the fry joint when she walked up one afternoon, she asked if i was working a double that day and i said no, i had already worked three that week and had a night off, she told me i should meet her at the bar, i asked what time and she said early, around 7 or 8 before it got crowded, i said i'd stop up for a quick drink or two... and therein lies the best laid plans of the wasted motherfucker... my shift ended and i went to the bar around the corner to play some Foosball with my co-worker friends, a few games turned into a dozen turned into a dozen beers and shots of Irish Mist, then a ride home on the bicycle and a few joints, a shower, a couple slices of pizza, more beers, more joints and the night was gone, i passed out in my room to the sounds of muted voices and distant waves...

I wouldn't see Lizzie again for a few days after that but when i did she gave me a hard look, slightly confused i asked her what was up? she said where were you the other night, i told her how i had gotten sidetracked after work at the bar and then went home to a semi-party and shrugged and told her i didn't think it was any big deal, she gave a wry smile and said well you missed out mister, i did i said baffled, yeah she said, it was your lucky night, her dark eyes were burning into me, wait what? i stammered, a girl can get lonely AND horny she said, you mean you were gonna? wait, you're fucking shitting me i said, she shook her head, you fucked up, after the second beer i had plans to take you to my place and fuck YOUR brains out, my jaw was bouncing off the floor, i began to do what any lovelorn alley cat would do and started begging and pleading for the opportunity to correct the situation, she stopped me cold, it was taken care of she said, who i said incredulously, my vibrator she spat back, it's my best friend until i get back to school... and off she walked...

I didn't see much of Lizzie after that, she'd leave the beach early and head home and then back to her final year of school, i'd move a few blocks away towards the bay side and get into a interesting month or so of hard drugs and acid and high infidelity, but every time i hear that song i think of those curls and how one night she walked back to her place alone, counting stars, while somewhere a scant few blocks away i was missing the train to Mars...