Lately I have been writing in a public place; a perch level with, but in so many ways, high above humanity. It is a place where the down-trodden collide with the socially inept and the egotisically elite. Where women with less fashion sense than teeth carry on conversations while cigarette smoke intermitently billows out like hazy word balloons. Some of the men wear heavy camouflage jackets on ninety-degree-days and vomit up their breakfast while leaning against a shady tree at the bus stop. This place where I like to sit, write, and observe is at an intersection. There is a lot of stopping and going, crossing, hollering, and mumbling. I guess that this intersection can best be described as the cross roads of the Twighlight Zone and Hee-Haw. When I sit and watch I always come back to the same thought: Life can get really fucked up if given the chance. Be it one uncontrolable instant or a succesion of misfortunate circumstances- a person has to stay on top of shit by any means necesary. I suppose that the spectrum is pretty erratically expansive- from mental illness, acts of god or addiction, to laziness and outdated fashion. I’ve personally done my fair share of puking in public and had arrests for things like nudity, vagrancy, and drunkeness but I try not to let these things dictate my overall well-being. Lifestyle and life can be very far apart from one another. Cultural relativism aside, I guess, the big question  is, is there a defining moment where a person loses control of reality, or the preconcieved illusion of how things should be? Is an assumed cultural ignorance to blame? I know that I’ve definitely been on the cusp of losing myself, but luckily I had the love of friends and family to help me out of bad situations. Luck and love. Two inanimate objects that keep the world spinning at 1,038 mph, without which, we would melt and die with bad haircuts and low self-esteem. If the world does stop spinning I want to be naked in the middle of the ocean. Wouldn’t that be swell? 

The thing with stories is that the genre is completely dependant on the mentality of the writer. If I found myself in a situation that was, say, harrowing or sad or disgusting or scary, I could change the mood of the story where in my words it would appear as if it was a fun day at the circus. Here is an example…

   Our second day in Mexico started out like any other- beers by the pool, sunshine, and laughing about the trouble I got into in the dark alley the night before. As things usually do, one thing led to another, and Ronnie and I found ourselves burdened with three beautiful girls. Ronnie is currently spoken for so I carried the greater part of the burden upon my own sunburned shoulders. Somehow I got momentarily seperated (Mexican pigs feed on this like moldy tortillas) and, with beer in hand, found myself face to face with a cop that wanted nothing else in life but to hassle poor innocent ol’ me. I humored him for a little while until he put his hand on my arm (don’t you hate that?) and I might have pushed back. In broken english he told me I was going to jail. Then I saw Ronnie and the girls, and in sprained spanish I told him that I couldn’t leave my wife! Beautiful, Allysa came running to my side and told him that she was my wife and couldn’t survive knowing that I was rotting away in jail. He put one side of a handcuff on meand I calmly informed the group that, yes, I was going to jail. probably hundreds of tourists saw me loaded into the car and handcuffed to the roof, but nobody said a word. I don’t blane em’. Next I was driven to a sub-station where they loaded me into the back of a big dark van with a big dark mexican and a scared white boy. It was kinda fun. There was a small meshed-off square where we coul see three cops and two mexican-girl-prisoners up front. The big mexican in back with me said that the girls were going to a different jail. Suddenly one of the girls starts jacking-off the driver. Really. So we’re watching this from the back and we start to yell and hit against the other side of the cab and the driver slams on the brakes (he had finished) and they throw one of the girls to the curb. Then they hit the gas. I swear we must have been up on two wheels a couple times. It’s like the mosh pit at a mexican hat dance in the back. A few times the guy got going as fast as mexican paddy-wagons will go, then slamed on the brakes. I was really getting sick of this third world roller coaster shit. Finally, way out in the desert, we arrive at the police station. This is where the cops decide that they want to slap me around so that they will have something to charge me with. Actuall it was kind of fun to hit those animals back. I’m running out of space to write. The cell was dirtier than Ronnies shorts and at night got colder than that deliscous beer I had been drinking by the pool erlier in the morning, but I tried to take it all in, for prosperities sake, maybe there was some money to be made off of it? The chances of me ending up here again were seemingly slim….right? The next morning consisted of  the usual talk of anal rape and what would be eaten and drankin’ once freed. Everyone made a pact to get back at the cops, and I consoled two crying men. Eventually Ronnie came and bailed me out. Since I beat up some cops, the fine was 1000 pesos. Tune in next week for more hilarious stories from the mind of the Mexican mad man!

 

 

So, my old buddy Frank called today to ask about my recent Mexican excursion. Frank owns a textile factory in San Diego, and hangs his rotten lies from a dirty jock-strap in his shower. Anyway, Frank calls, and I quickly run through the list of activities from the prior week. A few of them light him up like a three tamale siesta. He can hardly wait to hear another story. Then the stories cantinue throughout the week and he stops me and in a half humorly-scolding laugh, Frank say’s one thing. No, he asks one thing. Frank asks, “How old are you?” The question hit me like a thousand pounds of shit. Frank was merely stating an almost obvious, yet somehow inconceivable fact. Maybe, perhaps that I was too old for this kind of unwarented tomfoolery. Then it made me think about a “woman” that I was “rollin’ tortillas ” with over there. This is where the story should possibly begin.

So, I’d known this girl, she was like three years older than me (I know, gross, huh?) So we kinda hit it off and one day she say’s to me, “You know, someone your age that’s never been married. That really sets off some red flags!” Fucking red flags? I took a deep dark breath of tequilla, regaining my composure as I looked out over the full-moon-illuminated Sea of Cortez, ripe with yachts and revelars alike. “Nancy,” I say’s. we’ll call her Nancy, cause that’s what her name is. “Nancy, how many times have you been divorced?” 

She had been divorced once and it was such a horrible experience that she vowed she was never to wed again! (The next day she admitted that there was a fella back home that she was considering forming a holy and lawfully endowed unioin with. This bit of information, although completely relavent to my case, will be saved for another entry.) So, she had been married and said it was a horrible experience. Maybe she was a bad wife? “Being a bad wife doesn’t raise any red flags?” I cross exclamationed! “No it does not,” she said. Another glug glug of tequilla to consider reasonings, and I came back with my big rebuttal, “So if a guy had been married and divorced five times, it would be equivelant to negative red flag’s?” She looked at me like I was insane and explained that two or three marriages would be okay, even at or around my age. Any more and red flags would flap in the wind like Ron Jeremy’s ball’s at a nude kite flying competition. Is it true, should I have just gotten married to get it out of the way? To put the red flags at half staff? Having unacounted-for children is better than this out-of-wedlock buisness I’ve been preaching. Anyway, it was just something that got me thinking. The real point of this story is thatguy’s like Frank who are a year older than me and have never been married, should never ask, “How old are you?”    

 

 

A few days ago a friend of mine’s dad found some reading material in the bathroom. He let us know that he was really quite appalled by the fact that we were in the bathroom doing anything other than pissing, shitting, or cleaning various parts of our body’s. Perhaps you are thinking that what he had found was pornography? No. Only some kind of a touristy type of book and a People magazine. Seems harmless enough, but it got me to thinking about my second sexual encounter/experience.

 

She was beautiful- full red lips, big bright eyes, nice firm breasts. She was also a blow-up doll. I don’t recall her name or even if she had one. I was very young and got tricked into it. It was one of those deals where if mother were to find out she would have said, “If everyone else fucked a rubber blow-up doll, would you?” Except that I think instead of saying fuck a rubber blow-up doll, she would have probably inserted, jump off of a bridge or cliff. Obviously I learned my lesson from all the times that I heard this because now I am usually the first one to jump off of the “bridge or cliff”. I’m no follower. Hell, come to think of it, now, if there was a rubber blow-up doll, I’d be the very first one to fuck it. Especially with all of the shit that’s going around these days. By doing her first I could be assured that she would be “squeeky clean”. Anyway, I digress. Where was I going with this? ….Fuck dolls, bridges, diseases, cliffs? Oh yeah! Reading in the shitter!

 

So, I think that the reason that he was against it quite possibly may have begun at adolescence, or maybe even earlier. I suspect some sort of a freak occurence in the outhouse is most likely the culprit. Now I can’t quite pin down the exact date that toilet paper was invented and widely cirrculated, but I am sure that just prior to its invention, old newspapers and issues of “The Saturday Evening Post” were used to clean ones posterior region. I think I may be on to something here, so follow closely now. Imagine that you were holding a fancy dinner party. The table is set in glorious fashion. The finest of silverware has been laid out beside great-grandmothers fine china, a chandelier sparkles gaily overhaed. The aroma of pigeon souffle and cavier, both cooking in the kitchen, fills the air. Everything looks perfect, but something is amiss? You make a hasty retreat to the bathroom to lay a deuce and ponder the missing element. And then, in mid-wipe, it hits you. Yanking up your skirt, you dissengage the remaining roll of toilet paper and race out to the dining room. With a sigh of releif you tear off five-section pieces of shit-paper and neatly place them under each set of salad-fork and soup-spoon combinations. See what I’m getting at here?

 

My friends father said that it has never taken him more that one minute and thirty seconds to get his buisiness done in the bathroom. And I believe him. Sometimes I read when I pee. Just throwing that out there. But as you must know by now, this isn’t the point I’m trying to make. Here’s the thing. No matter what, if you get caught fucking a doll (man or woman) always pay the witnesses off until it is something everyone can have a good laugh about. Or twent-five years has passed. Oh yeah, I hope that everyone who reads this makes a copy and leaves it in the bathroom!  

Baring ones soul, depending upon the person, can be alot like wiggling a flaccid weener in front of a crowd, be it on national television or at a school play, it makes no big dif. Does that sound right? I guess that it could all depend on inner flacidity calculations based upon incraments of individual pride or humility. Equality, surely cannot be taken for granted. Case in point: just because a stripper can get on stage seven nights a week and display her guts to the world does not mean that she can just as easily peel away all of the layers until her inner-most emotions lay as naked and exposed as her. Fuck, wouldn’t that be entertaining?

Come to a place called “Just Imagine”with me. We see a stage with a girl (perferably one with a tough as a tongue stud, cocky, smoke stenched, stripper mentality) surounded by eager men with stacks of germ infested american dollars. She stands pseudo-seductively- weird lighting, smoke and mirrors cover her outermost flaws, while she leans against a smudged-up golden pole, clad in some haloweenish-hooker costume while “I wanna fuck you like an animal” plays in the background. Then as Trent Reznor rips out the chorus, she begins to spread the legs of her sub-conscious, and the layers, one by one, drop to the stage. She reveals the truth about her abusive boyfriend- the tongues start wagging at this first glance of nipple and the dollars hit the stage. Her mediocre drug habbit elicits a few more. The music takes hold and she discloses the thing that her daddy did to her when she was nine. The top drops to the floor. Next she lets loose with the fact that her mom knew about it. Holy shit! the panties usually don’t come off until the second song! The rest of the act probably consists of the usual pole climb and hand-stand schtick- i.e. a pet that died or the assumption that people just don’t relate to her individuality. Still the dollars get folded length-wise, cause it looks cool, and add up, if for no other reason than because she is making an attempt to please while we sit in the audience and pass judgment, around this stage of human emotion, afraid to bare our own souls. It is so easy to watch the humiliation of others. It is why day-time t.v. exists. After the second song finishes, the performer will exit the stage fully clothed, but naked to the soul.

Writing, like this, could be equated to, say, showing up and stripping on amerature night; you don’t make much money, but friends and strangers get to see your junk! Flaccid weeners and pedophile realatives notwithstanding, figuring out where your demons are hiding is of the utmost impotance, no matter if  it involves you spreading your asshole in front of a full-length mirror at home, or writing a dirty letter to yourself, and addressing it to the world. So, anyway, the thing I’ve been trying to get at here is: Don’t wear a fur coat in the sumer; you’ll get all sweaty.

Next week: The therapist and the privat table dance- what’s the connection?   

 I awoke this morning thinking about relationships. Sleepily, I pondered their existence, their meaning. Deeper than just boy-girl or whatever, I thought about the relationships that we form with our suroundings, our environment, substance, ourselves. Good, bad, and inbetween, I considered the pain and turmoil that certain relationships have caused me and others around me and it brought to mind an incident that, I believe, pefectly personifies a point I am gnawing at here.

 

The Daylight Donuts Caper

It was one of the hottest days of the summer. The sun hadn’t set, litterally, in weeks and us neighborhood kids had run out of energy and games. All the kids seemingly took solidarity in the gay pride movement when our game of smear the queer had run its course due to soaring temperatures. Yesterdays marathon game of wiffle ball ended at 2 a.m. and had proven champions for the next couple of days. Too many flat tires and no money for patches or tubes proved the slough trail bike jumps redundant. The group of roughly ten stood in the street spitting, swearing, hungry, dreaming of the day when we would be all grown up (fools!). One of the kids, Ronnie Powers, came to me with a scheme that would break the monotony of the day, where we would emerge as the saviors of Slaterville (our neighborhood)! Ronnie and I split from the gang and ran down the willow-lined trail beside the murky, semi-stagnant waters of the Noyes slough. Past discarded shopping carts and lived-in beaver dams, up to the bridge, we nestled in behind some brush and waited. It seems funny now that as we sat there on our stakeout there was no feeling of wasted time, or even of the passage of time- it was as if we knew that life would always be this simple. We crouched behind the willow thicket and talked about Michael Jackson and Donkey Kong and how our parents din’t understand us. Then we saw the sign. The open sign on the front door of Daylight Donuts flipped over, going from open to closed as a beaver splashed behind us. We waited patiently until a big guy came out the back door carrying a huge brown sack-like contraption. It measured well over four feet high and was big enough around so that he could barely wrap his arms around it to get it across the parking lot. Hoisting it upon his great shoulders, he hurled it with a thud into the dumpster, got into his car, and drove off. We waited a few seconds before scurrying over and somehow fanagling the sack to the ground. We then worked our way, carrying the bag like a dead body, up the trail and to the street where the rest of the kids were, just as we had left them, and presented our bounty of at lest sixty pounds of day-old donuts! We were like wild animals the way we tore apart those maple bars, bear claws, jelly filled’s, glazed- if it could be classified as a donut, we ate it. After about 20 minutes, or two-and-a-half feet down, we found ourselves stuffed but unwilling to quit. Even the dog, Sizzler, was still skarfing whatever we threw his way. It was about this time in the story when my brother, Chris, who was digging around for another chocolate bar, pulled up something that was very much undonut-like. Upon closer inspection it was found that this new treasure, held momentarily in his chocolate covered fist was,(ready for this) a rolled up, shit-filled baby’s diaper! The moments directly proceeding this are fuzzy, like a brutal scene from a Vietnam movie. I remember that someone kicked the bag over, its contents pouring out, like Vietcong guts, onto the hot asphalt, reveiling the attrocities that lay deep within its sordid confines. I remember big wads of discarded chewing tobacco along with more diapers, and Pepsi cans full of spit, and more trash. I’m pretty sure that Chris was the first to puke. When Sizzler began to lap that up, the realization of what our stomachs were full of set off a chain reaction more momentous then Enrico Fermi’s first in 1942! The streets of Slaterville ran chunky and sprinkle-filled with the contents of our stomachs that day! In the lift of a triumphant fist, Ronnie and I went from being hailed as great hunter-gatherers to dumb-ass pud-whackers. This brings me back to relationships.

My relationship with donuts has never been the same, I can hardly look at a wad of chewing tobacco or a baby’s diaper without thinking of them. So here’s the deal. It is easy to find something, or someone, that seems from the outside to be remarkable, and beautiful, and deliscious. But give it a little time and you are sure to find something undesirable underneath. Maybe you would be wiser and better off to not dig too deep- to only accept people for who they are on the surface? No matter what you choose, the memories will always be there; how you choose to remember, and be remembered, is up to you. Just remember, there is a new bag of day-old donuts in that dumpster every night.     

Haven’t written in a while. I’ve written, just not anything here. I was stuck in a giant trap. I am in the process of reataching the body parts that I chewed off in order to free myself. Gotta get the brain working. Take it out for a walk- fresh air and excersise. Anyway, I am in Portland. (I am just talking to myself for a bit here, get my bearings straight) Been to Mexican jail, twice, since my last post. Got a haircut. Grew a moustache. Check, check, and check. Now what? Time to put some words together, see where they go………

So I guess the doctors did fib just a little.  My dad died on November 6, 2007.  It would have been great to have the extra little time that the doctors had initially given him. 

For the past six months I have felt like I have been living my life from the bottom of a tiger trap.  I think that is what it is called anyway; one of those pits that you fall in when the palm fronds that conceal the pit cave in, leaving you looking up at a world that it is difficult to participate in.  Well, I had been at the bottom of the pit for too long and it eventually led me to a stay on the fourth floor of the hospital.  Maybe someday I will write about me walking the halls in my pajamas, like McMurphy (I’ll give you another hint: Nurse Ratched).  For now I’ll clear my head and keep notes.  I found a ladder in the tiger trap– my dad is still here to show me how it works.

My dad, Ted, has cancer.  Four days ago I took him to a routine doctors appointment and they told us that he would be lucky if he lived long enough to make until Christmas.  Just like that, no softening of the blow, no sense of hope.  These doctors are very straight forward people.  I suppose they have to be.  I might have lied just a little bit and told him that there was a good chance that he would make it a few weeks or even months longer.  Maybe they did.  When a person lies they sometimes believe their own lie.  Sometimes it helps.  I was thinking about this time when I was like 14 and I did something dishonest and my dad knew that I did, but I lied and said I didn’t.  He still knew that I did it, but he dropped it and never brought it up again.  Maybe this is a good time to tell him.  Or maybe I should just wait until after Christmas to tell him.    

zamyblakedm2408_468x461.jpg   I’m a little uncertain on my figure’s, but according to my inculcated calculations, a divorce these days must cost like $75 million.  Maybe it is closer to $20,000 a week.  I could be way off here.  Here’s the deal though.  There is a monetary value on love, and I’m not really sure when this started or if in any or all cases it is right.  Oh yeah, love can also get a person into fist fights, thrown into jail, lose vital parts of their anatomy, or even killed.  But wow, does it make great copy.  What if people got married, or even just fell in love, and they stayed that way, forever, until they died.  Certainly the tabloids couldn’t just run obituaries on their front pages.  If love ever did become everlasting, it would be a good thing that celebrities still got caught up in the drug scene

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