Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

Archive for February, 2012

Ninety-seven

Posted by ilbebe on February 28, 2012

A line I’ve always loved is from the Nerf Herder song ‘Sorry’;

“Sorry I said those things to your father

Sorry I crashed through your window on acid

Sorry I made a mess

Sorry I bled to death”

I can’t say for certain that I’ve never seen somebody crash through a window on acid, because I have actually seen somebody fall out of a window at a party. What sort of substance use may or may have not led to the glass-breaking and subsequent fall is immaterial; what’s important is that when you see crazy shit like that happen, you know you’re at a good party. On the night in particular I’m thinking of, a few hours after some poor asshole fell out of  a second story window and emerged with only some cuts and bruises, I puked on the sidewalk in front of the house, had to get a ride home, and reluctantly made the nearly hour-long back to my car the next afternoon so that I could go to work at the pizza place. This was after my car had been stolen for the first time, but before the second, and if there is one thing I’ll say about the luck I had while doing pizza delivery for a year, it’s that I spent an inordinate amount of time going to get my car from distances of miles away.

I also heard about a party in Arcata one summer where a guy fell backwards through a first-floor window into a cactus in the front yard. That party happened while I was out of town, and I’m somewhat bummed I missed it, but hell, I had plenty of good times in Arcata. I realize in the majority of mentions I’ve made of Arcata and Humboldt County, I’ve focused too single-mindedly on feeling miserable, confused, and suicidal, but I intend here to catalog some radical times behind the Redwood Curtain. Let’s focus on two parties where I had that ever-present of college desires:  getting some action.

Party One:  October of Sophomore year, at someone’s house near the foot of California St., off of LK Wood. I showed up at this party solo; frankly, I can’t remember who invited me, or how I heard about it. Maybe some co-workers from the cafeteria, who knows. Early on in the night I ran into my friend Cha, who I was just getting to know at the time, and was really pleased at being able to talk with her at length. She didn’t seem to know many other people at the party either, so we passed a good hour or more talking, and as the minutes continued sliding past, I started to get the notion that maybe I could make out with her. I was eager to get back into the swing of physical romance, as I had just broken up with my second-ever girlfriend a few weeks earlier, and the more Cha talked about the lackluster array of potential bedmates at the party, the more hopeful I grew. It was pouring out, and romance was in the air.

At some point we split up for a bit, and outside I was on the receiving end of an angry Hawaiian teenager’s rant about how awful white people are, and what ruin they had collectively made of his brief life. “If we were in Hawaii, I’d fuck you up,” he said to me, and he didn’t seem amused when I asked him how things were going to proceed given our mainland theater of location. After he successfully picked a fight with some other moron, I walked around the back of the house looking for Cha. Seeing her making out with some shaved-head hoodie dude on the back stoop took the wind out of my sails, so I went back inside the house and commandeered a bottle of brandy which I started taking inadvisably large pulls off of. When Cha crossed my path again several minutes later looking irritated, I sheepishly asked her what was up with that dude.

“Ah, some lunkhead who told me I was cute. Let’s get out of here.”

“Where to?” I did not feel like going home, especially since I saw the renewed opportunity to capitalize on Cha’s  current disappointment.

“Let’s go to Tony’s.”

This is where the evening got magical. Tony’s #2 was a 24-hour truck-stop type eatery on the periphery of town, a haven I would find solace in many, many times in the years to come. At the time, I was mostly unfamiliar with any part of town more than a mile away from campus, and with Tony’s at a distance of comfortably two and half miles away, I’d never heard of it. We walked to Cha’s car, and set off into the deluge.

One thing I had not considered at the time is that if there is only one 24-hour eatery in a town, you are very, very likely to find cops there in the middle of the night, especially when yr in a relatively remote area that is preposterously over-served by overlapping law enforcement jurisdictions. At different times at Tony’s, I saw Arcata police, HSU police, Humboldt County Sheriffs, CHPs, and even once a National Parks Ranger who had a gun on his belt. But as we cruised into Tony’s that first evening, the sight of a CHP cruiser outside had me worried. I pointed it out to Cha, who sanguinely repeated the old college student’s maxim “All you have to do is act normal.”

Riiight. She got a chicken sandwich, I got a burger, and an hour later, she drove me home. There was a brief awkward moment as she pulled up in front of my dorm where I got tongue-tied and waited to see if she’d invite herself in, but the moment passed and I got out. That was the first night I ever fell asleep on my side.

Party Two: A Saturday, my birthday, 2003. I am one year out of college, unemployed, and loving life. I had moved back to Arcata a month earlier after my time interning for the City of Brentwood ended, and I had been making up for lost party time pretty efficiently. My friends in Junior Night Ranger from back home were in town, and along with my current Arcata band, The Sleeze, we were going to be playing a girl named CeCe’s birthday party at her house, a few blocks from my place.  The JNR gang had rolled into town the night before with two girls in tow; C’s girl An and S’s girl A-train. C had made his customary grand entrance by waltzing into my apartment, grabbing a can of beer, and TeenWoilfing it. TeenWolfing a beer consisted of biting into the side of the can, shotgunning it, and then slamming the empty can on the ground, but C’s tendency was to shotgun about half the beer before dropping the can and stomping on it, which usually resulted in a nice beery puddle wherever the can fell. My living room carpet  became the latest victim of his practice, and that set the tone for Saturday quite nicely.

Saturday we all awoke hungover and spent the day strolling around town. Most of us (read:the men) were steadily getting drunk again, and those that chose to were high as hell. Around dusk, a marathon viewing of some Beavis and Butthead DVDs C had recently acquired began, and around seven we started walking all of our gear over to the party. The Sleeze’s equipment was brought over by the rest of the guys in that band; Johnny Hollywood, Armwah Villalobos, and the drummer, Mag Falcon. I had very, very few concerns about how the night was going to unfold, but if I had one, it was how I’d react to K being at the party.

K was a girl I had been seeing recently; we had first met at a Valentine’s Day party a month earlier shortly after her roommate had stuck his hand in a fishtank and screamed O Death, Take Me! in response to his ludicrous fear that he had retroactively been exposed to AIDS by his cheating ex. I was plastered, and did not remember meeting K that night. However, unbeknownst to me I was on my way to her house for a different party a week later. That night was more lucid, and we stayed up until 4AM talking about taking walks in the woods, and the salvation of writing. We had been on a few dates, the first of which saw us watching the sun set on the Trinidad coast, and the second of which saw us driving out to the jetty in my car for another sunset viewing. The first date was uneventful and resulted in no monkey business, while the second was a near-disaster that began to go south when we got back to my car after the sun had set and found it dead. After a frigid walk to a nearby campground and a few frantic phonecalls, Mag Falcon’s girl Sterno came to grab K and I in Mag’s sweet crappy Lumina and saved us. Sterno gave K and I a lift back to her place, and we watched LA Story, which did not increase my desire for her or anyone. The night ended as affectionless as the first.

I had seen her once since then at another party where she walked up coked to the gills while I was talking to some sunburnt maniac about how he claimed to have found a hundred pounds of weed on the beach in Florida. She was primarily concerned with not grinding her teeth, and didn’t have much to say. I did not count that encounter as our third date, and indeed, I was not intending to have one.

However, she showed up early that night at the party and said Hey, Come With Me, I’ve Got A Birthday Present For You. Suitably intrigued, I followed her back to her car, where she gave me an excellent hand-made piece of framed glass that she had etched the Golden Ratio nautilus onto. I loved it, and I have it on my wall to this day, yet I played it cool in the moment; saying thanks, and Let’s Get Back To The Party.

People were gradually showing up, and I cracked open an MD 20/20 before the Sleeze started playing. We had about six original songs at that point, a wobbly, unintentionally-out-of-time cover of Molly’s Lips, and a half-baked plan to play ‘Happy Birthday’ for CeCe. We hacked our way through four songs and about thirty seconds of some bullshit that we said was ‘Happy Birthday’ before yielding to Junior Night Ranger.

Tension began brewing as some dreadlocked trusty-looking asshole came up to us as JNR set up, saying that we couldn’t play. WHY? Oh, because his jam band was the next and final band of the evening, and they were anxious to start giving people half-boners. I suspect he had already felt the sought-after “chill groove” of the affair dissipating while the Sleeze played such crowd-pleasers as ‘The Knife” and “Mutha’s New Lova”, and was hoping to prevent any more hard rock lest it start driving the hordes of hippie chicks that were the basis of CeCe’s friend group from the party.

Side note on CeCe: I never really got to know this girl. She was a co-worker of Mag and Armwah’s at a local coffee house, and though it may seem I’m condemning her on the basis of her deplorable hippie friends, as much as I got to know her, CeCe was pretty cool. To wit, she asked Mag if his offensive rock band would play her party for “balance”, and she basically meant she wanted some aggro energy there to counteract the increasingly boring feel that her groovy gang carried with them. Also notable is that the year after this party, I was hanging out with Mag on his front porch, and CeCe walked by. After inviting her up to the porch, the first thing out of her mouth was Wanna Do Some Whippits?

BACK to the party on my 22nd birthday, we told the hippie to dude All Right, We’ll Just Play Fifteen Minutes, which he reluctantly agreed to. We then cranked it out at full volume, sending most of the party into the front and side yards. The volume reached the main drag a block over, and curious passerby started detouring over to see what the commotion was. C repeatedly flung himself into the crowd, knocking his bass viciously out of tune, and I finished the Mad Dog shortly before taking a bafflingly caterwauling solo on John Holmes’ Last Stand. The ten or so people that stayed in the room loved it; amongst those ten people, however, were neither An or A-train. An was generally a pretty amiable person, but A-train’s sinister lameness had convinced her that these guys are assholes who only care about their band, not us. AND?? SO?? In any case, when the hippie guy came in from outside, hands over his ears, and demanded we stop playing, C was the first to notice that his and S’s girlfriends had left.

The resulting emancipation led C and S back to my apartment to see if perhaps their women had retired there, leaving me  susceptible to a few chugged forties with zealous friends wishing to punish me on my birthday. I vaguely remember taunting the hippie jam band with C’s signature line circa 1999, “BOMB KOSOVO!!”

Later, I walked K home and slept with her. We dated for two months, broke up for four, dated for another three, broke up, kept sleeping with each other on and off for another year. We remained friends for another few years after that, but she doesn’t talk to me any more.

Awesome party.

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Ninety-six

Posted by ilbebe on February 25, 2012

What is the greatest love of all?

It has been two weeks now since Whitney Houston shuffled off, and one week since she was laid to rest. Today my friend Jess is in Minnesota, laying her grandmother to rest. These are sad things, but they give us cause to consider the eternal feelings of love that exist beyond the last breath we inhale in these lives; the phantasmagorical sensation that comes in recognizing that if we knew someone well, than we always will know them, and can talk to them whenever we please. We may see death as a loosening of our daily schedules, perhaps; an opportunity to be in two places at once, catching up with yr busy busy busy friends on their days off.

Last Friday I had quite a romp through the Capital City. Me and three associates roamed and roamed the City of Sacrament; visiting parks, walking in the middle of the street, buying ice cream, and singing. On the Mardi Gras, I had another romp through The City Of Seven Hills, Rome Of The West, with my ex-girlfriend B. She is doing great. We started in North Beach, walked up to the summit of Telegraph Hill to goof around at the base of Coit Tower, then moseyed through the Broadway Tunnel around 2:30AM. We found a working payphone outside of a market at Leavenworth and Union, where I dialed in an old calling-card account which enabled B to leave a sarcastic voicemail for her mother around 3AM. Around 4AM, when we needed one the most, we found a 7-11,  and I pocketed a small caramel Ghiradelli chocolate on my way out for a little treat to enjoy on the upper deck of a parking garage down the street. Then she showed me the memorial for the two men killed on Bloody Thursday in 1934, outside of the ILWU hall on Mason and Beach. I was humbled, and awed, and so happy to have B back in my life as a friend. She’s a riot.

Yesterday, while “working from home”, my girl Tackey came over to my place, and we drank a few beers, smoked a few cigs, and took a pretty nice roll in the Hey Hey Hey! Children might be reading this!

My point is somewhat elementary: Love Is All Around Us. Live in denial of this reality, and you will create a void in yr life that will literally suck all the fun out of it. Live in acknowledgement of this truth, and love life every day.

The more love, the more love–and that’s good news…

Peace.

-4:47PM 2/25/12, home, using my new teeny laptop that Tackey gave me! I love it! Thanks, Baby! I love you:)

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Ninety-five

Posted by ilbebe on February 24, 2012

On this third day of Lenten, let us consider what we have not given up, or more specifically, what we have not given up on.

1. We have not given up on ourselves

2. We have not given up on the church

3. We have not given up on our society

Multiply these three hopes and beliefs by thirty-one and two-thirds, and you have my theses for the day.

Now allow me to elucidate these feelings in a more prosaic manner.

While walking down the street today near my house, I came upon a lemonade stand staffed by four children, all probably about ten years in age. They were an extremely friendly and efficient unit; one poured my lemonade and pointed out the jar of sugar availabled to me if I found the ade too sour, one offered me a complementary salt-water taffy, one explained the array of baked goods they had for sale, and one took my dollar and gave me change. It was a delightful experience from top to bottom, and the lemonade was delicious. The hilarious thing to me at the time I came upon the kids and their enterprise was that I was wearing sunglasses and a scally cap, smoking a cigarette, and carrying a Trader Joe’s paper grocery bag with a twelve-pack of PBR I’d just stolen from a 7-11 in it, plus two tall cans of PBR I had paid for and half a bag of cough drops. Looking the part of a real role model, in other words.

When I got home, I looked at the two quarters I had received in change, because I’ve been on the lookout for coins from 1974 lately, and discovered that one of the coins was a 100-won South Korean coin. An internet exchange-rate calculator informs me that the current value of this coin in US dollars in 9 cents. Do I feel “ripped off”? HELL NO! This is fucking awesome, and it makes for a great story. Bless those kids, and all the kids worldwide. I hope they all get enough clean water to drink this year.

We are all children in the eyes of G-d. Have a glass of water, and then have another one for those kids the world over, large and small, who can’t have one right now. Pour it over yr head if you like. You will feel clean, refreshed, and more awake then you were before. Bless yr own self.

Peace.

-3:46 2/24/12, home, sittin’ on the couch listening to cumbia on the radio, lovin’ life like the guy who’s going to be completing a transnational WALK tomorrow morning, Saturday, February 25th, 2012. He’ll be starting at the Lakeview branch of the Oakland library, 550 El Embarcadero 94610, at 9AM PST, and walking up to Montclair Village, where he expects to arrive around noon. He has walked across this nation back and forth SIX TIMES carrying a message of love, plainly put: LOVE LIFE. Feel free to join him on this last leg of his current journey. We are in this together.

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Ninety-four: In Offense of Nothing

Posted by ilbebe on February 23, 2012

Emergency Bulletin: Dogfight Dreams For Basic Sentient Motives Keenly Given Steady Presence. Mr. Thames Just Leaving His Last Place, Vamoose!

Why Not? would be a cheeky way of putting it, so let’s not start there. Instead, let’s just ask ourselves what’s wrong with standing around downtown when you have the day off?

And seriously, if you’ve had the last five hundred days off, why not just fuckin’ sleep downtown as well. Who ya hurtin’? No one, that’s who. For the love of God, this Lenten season, let us lead ourselves down a path of introspection, the end of which we shall arrive at on April Fool’s Day. Take that as a sign. Let’s stop taking ourselves so seriously, and stop trying to tell other people what and what not to do, as long as whatever they are or aren’t doing isn’t fucking hurting or bugging anyone. I understand that blocking the port is one thing, but fucking sitting around in a public plaza on a sunny winter’s day in the year of the Dragon should not be bothering anyone. Grow a sense of humor, gente.

Yesterday, I went to Ash Wednesday morning mass at the cathedral of St. Ignatius on the USF campus. It was lovely. I was with my ex-girlfriend-now-good-friend B, and the service was great. It was relatively brief, compared to the marathon High Holy Days services that have comprised most of my experiences with organized religion over the last ten years, and hot shit that was a pleasant surprise. The Padre had a sense of humor, best exemplified by when he said “If you feel like you don’t need to change, then you can leave, Get out of here! You’re perfect, and you’re sadly deluded, but anyway…” Hot damn that was heartwarming. And above all, my strongest beef with organized Western religion in general and Catholicism in particular is that I just wish they’d accentuate the positive more. Such a beautiful tradition of faith, and culture, and community, and yet they ride the guilt and sad shit so hard. Why? Why why why why why.

But yesterday, it was all positive. The message the Padre shared with us was See this period of Lenten as an opportunity to consider desire, temptation, and self-denial as means to a more whole self; a more ethical member of the community of all humankind.

Something I’ve been repeating a lot since Christmas is the old proverb A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats. And man, if a Jesuit priest could warm my heart with a guilt-free message of acceptance and honest love, then clearly things are headed skyward. Not heavenward, but closer to space right in front of our eyes, and right behind them– the place we know each other, and don’t feel so alone. The place we feel safe and loved.

The place we long to be,

and already are-

if we choose to be…

Peace.

-6:54PM 2/23/12, home, using my roommate’s laptop, listening to spanish guitar on the radio, happy

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Ninety-three

Posted by ilbebe on February 17, 2012

I am an Eagle Scout. What does this mean? It means that at one point, I was evaluated by a panel of three superiors in the Boy Scouts of America and judged worthy of the rank.

What does this mean to you?

It means I know how to sharpen knives, start fires, and lie to Mormons.

Consider yrselves warned:)

-11:57AM 2/17/12, home, about to take the Dog to the Capital, In Love and loving it.

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Ninety-two

Posted by ilbebe on February 16, 2012

The Polish Rose Of Dutchess County

Is no white lily,

No rascal,

No Carnegie nor Bethlehem Steel

No Hammock nor Hammond B-3

No Kowalski, no ’70 white Challenger

No McAuliffe, No Lexington

No War on War

No Parenthesis

No loco parentis

Not there when I

Need a personal poem

Of Motion, grace, and substance.

Of love and paid-for dimes.

At the dawn of the return of the fishrat,

Slim Tuesday ashing at Treblinka,

Please call me, wherever you are.

You live within me now.

Ghoest,

I summon you.

-11:23AM 2/16/12 @ Cafe Helloakland, outside in the sun w/Caz. Typed and posted 12:37PM @ Temescal Branch Library. Headed downtown to go Uptown, 25 or 6 to 4…

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Ninety-one

Posted by ilbebe on February 15, 2012

Tell the stories you can so that you don’t have to tell the stories you want to but can’t.

I have never been a member of the communist party. I have never been a member of any rifle society. I have been a member of the Boy Scouts of America. Please stop showing me your guns. I will take them from you if you keep threatening me with them.

Have you seen The Rifleman, have you seen that episode? He was a lonely Texas Tin Star. I hung my head. I hung my head.

Now she walks these hills in a bright orange dress. And nobody knows but me…

And you, now that I’ve told you. Now you are implicitly implicatable in this affairs, these matters. Watch out for meter maids. Watch out for Peter Pan. Watch out for that tree!!

George, George, King of All England, where have all your colonies gone? Gone the way of the western wind, cold may it blow forevermore. When you see a cop spitting on a guy, you’ll see me. You’ll see me. You’ll see me. You’ll see me.

We could live beside the ocean, watch the fires at night. Drift out past the breakers, watch the world get better after we get away from it for a fucking second. Quit taking more than yr fair share, people. You take what you need and you leave the rest. Get the point>

Don’t read on me…

No restrictor plates.

Road full of promise. Head out of the sand.

Peace!

-2:15PM 2/15/12, home, talking shop with Jazzy John O, he just got his first cover story published in the East Bay Express! Check it out at http://www.eastbayexpress.com

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Ninety

Posted by ilbebe on February 14, 2012

The custom concern for the people as it has been before will no longer suffice. Gotta go to what? Get yr own jawb. This is mine, and I work for myself. The fruits of my labor are not meant to be eaten, but they can be absorbed, and on paper, they taste better than money…

A significant turning point in my life came on September 6, 2005. I went to see the Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Independent with an old friend. Sadly, that old friend no longer speaks to me. This current condition is a rather direct result of my drinking, as strange as that may seem. On that night in 2005, I parted ways with her around three in the morning because she declined my offer to stay at my house. That was the house on a hill by the lake where I sublet a basement room for three months and learned Baby Britain and Waltz No. 2. Dead soldiers lined up on the table, and I peed out the window nightly, and somehow K sensed this and did not want to stay. Instead, she left, and for the second of what would be become an eventual four times in a row, she could not follow my simple instructions to just stay to right until you get to I-580W in Albany/El Cerrito/Richmond, and so crossed the Bay Bridge into San Francisco on her northbound trajectory. While she was taking the scenic route, I cracked open “Smashed”, by Koren Zailckas.

“Smashed” is her memoir about a decade of alcohol abuse, which began for her at age fourteen at the Jersey Shore, continued through her college daze at Syracuse, and all the way up until she bottomed out on a date in Manhattan. Towards the beginning of the book, she says plainly to look at the terms we use to describe getting or being drunk; smashed, blasted, hammered, wasted, annihilated. It should be obvious to us that this is self-abuse. I didn’t go to sleep that night, yet got to work on time well-rested and ready to put my shoulder to the wheel. K made it home safely a little after I got in to the office that morning, and it felt good to tell her the white lie that I had slept like a baby.

I didn’t drink for five days. I felt great. By the end of the month, I had secured a new room that was not a sublet. This new room was an L-shaped closet type space at the edge of the second floor landing, with a small staircase in the middle of the L where you rose up to the platform that allowed attic access. I did not once open that attic door in the twenty-one months I lived there, but I could hear the rats running around above me at night. K came to visit me there a few days after Thanksgiving that year, a few days before her birthday. I got up early on the Sunday of her visit, and finished a song I’d been trying to write for her for two years. It was called Sleep Well Tonight. I played it for her, and she loved it.

Then the holidays continued, and I drank and I drank and I drank. Casey’s Mom was still in the hospital, and I couldn’t spend New Year’s in Oakland because I got snowed in at a cabin in Tahoe on the 30th of December. Casey’s Mom died the day before Groundhog’s Day. I threw up all over myself after a day-long shopping spree/one-day bender in San Francisco in mid-February. Then I punched a hole in my door on St. Paddy’s in the midst of a car-bomb blitz. Then ten days later I crawled up the stairs from the front door after being hit by a car by the Mexican border at the end of a grief-fueled trip to Tijuana.

This is the chorus to Sleep Well Tonight:

Don’t go in debt to yourself

Nothing’s more important than your own mental health

Please remember that your compassion is your wealth

And know…

Life is a mystery, push often comed to shove

But sleep well tonight knowing you have my love

If only we took the time to listen to ourselves more often. If e’er y’ feel that you don’t have that time, take it. You can  make it.

We all can, and we all will.

Happy V-Day, lovers.

From Oakland to all compass points of the rose, this is our year.

Don’t fuck it up, FUCK IT!!

Peace.

-3:30PM 2/14/12, home, seated in the armchair I spent most of last year in, doing something about that now, even in the half-light of waking…

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Eighty-nine

Posted by ilbebe on February 13, 2012

Like most people, I have a complex relationship with alcohol. In this country, even those people who don’t drink have a complex relationship with alcohol, since you basically have to live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere and have no contact whatsoever with the outside world to avoid it. I can only imagine how hard it is to go to a Utah Jazz game at home.

When I first started drinking as a teenager, it was necessarily furtive, and thus very rare. I was cursed at the time with a relatively stable home life that required covert action to find the space and time to get fucked up, and my goody-goody nature demanded of myself that I be safe, so drinking at the tracks or down under the creek bridge were out. I never got invited to the big parties, and if I had, I wouldn’t have gone. The last dance I went to in high school was the Homecoming Dance my sophomore year, and besides the fact that no girls would give me the time of day, the music was way too loud, and way too horrible. They were still playing the new Michael Jackson slow jam from more than a year ago, and even Montel Jordan. I would have preferred Spacehog. I spent pretty much the entire time talking to my friend Garrett outside. We were out there so long that one of the parent chaperons frisked us looking for cigs, not taking as prima facie evidence that we did not smell like smoke to be compelling proof to respect our privacy. It was bullshit like this that made me stop going to dances, and bullshit like being accused of stuff that I wasn’t doing that made me decide to start doing it.

So, where to get the booze? Why, take it from work. The new boss who does not hesitate to call you a motherfucker in front of customers? Fuck him. Where to drink it? Call up yr friends that live in the next town over, in an unincorporated part of the county where the sheriff drives through about once a night. What to do after yr drunk? Why, walk over to the train tracks and rip apart the crossing arms. Then fall headlong into a bush and spend two hours looking for yr glasses without a flashlight. Sleep in yr car. Don’t worry about the fact that only on this first night will you be able to legitimately call any of this behavior “innocent”.

One of the next times I got drunk involved the same crew as the first time around, with a few significant additions. Besides R and D from the first time, there was also R2, G, and, most intriguingly, S. S was a girl. She was G’s love interest, and I was pretty interested to see how soon it would take D, a burgeoning ladies man, to make things weird.

It was a minimum day Wednesday, so we got out of school at 12:30 instead of 3. This gave us high-schoolers three hours alone at my house until any of my sisters or parents were scheduled to return, so we hustled over to my house and cracked open a handle of Jack Daniel’s I had procured from my work a month earlier. It seems hard to imagine now, stealing booze and waiting for the time to drink it for upwards of a month, given that now I pretty much drink on the job, no matter what that job is. This may have something to do with my current state of unemployment…

Anyhow, being relative neophytes to boozing, it took a while to choke the stuff down, but soon enough we were rolling around in the backyard, talking about Bush (the band), and their glaring inferiority to Nirvana. R made a statement once that “If my band got offered the chance to open for Bush, of course I’d take it, but that last thing I’d say before I left the stage was ‘Bush sucks’.” Teenage rebellion, alive and well? I started to grow nervous as R and D started chain smoking, knowing that the smell of cigs lingered, and that smell could be the thing that busted us. As I’d imagined, Danny tried to make a move on S, asking her to walk around the corner of the house to a different part of the backyard and make out. She shot him down, then put an exclamation point on it by puking a little on the  concrete walk. Danny got discouraged, went back inside to the kitchen, and took a mighty gulp of the JD to show something, prove something, kill something inside; I don’t know.  Twenty minutes later I walked him to my room to lie down on my bed for a while.

After he puked his life out on my bed, I realized it was time to flee. I assigned G and S to finish cleaning up S’ puke outside, and frantically tried to clean up my bed. Drunk myself, I left the house not wearing shoes, because it was hot, and it felt good, and if my friends were going to act like morons then Dammit I was too. There is a definite culture of one-upmanship that accompanies drinking, and to really dial in the teenage degenerate pose I brought half a loaf of sliced white bread with me, and the six of us set out to walk back into downtown Brentwood to get some food and sober up. Oh, and I was supposed to be back at school at 7pm for the once-a-week evening course portion of my advanced chemistry class, a class that merely a month into the school year I hated and knew I would not do very well in. The teacher named was Blase, and indeed, he had a fairly laissez faire attitude towards teaching us chemistry. Of much greater interest to him was reliving his glory daze at Saint Mary’s College in the Seventies, or rationalizing to us that we were all so woefully unprepared for success in such a rigorous course that we may as well spend most of the class talking about last week’s football game. I was rather intrigued by the prospect of confronting this man with such a reckless act of indifference as showing up drunk and shoeless to class, carrying a loaf of bread but not my textbook. As we sat around Rich’s Drive-In eating french fries and ice cream and nursing D back to health, I pictured the confrontation I might have with Blase. I intended to make the most of my eight-inch height advantage.

The afternoon drinking gang split up after we were done eating, and I strolled towards our high school with a fairly empty mind, taking more time to appreciate the way the late afternoon sun hit the buildings downtown than furthering my fantasy of dismembering my chemistry teacher. As I walked in the door of P-3 forty minutes late, I hardly remembered what I was doing there, let alone what I was so upset about earlier. I finished my loaf of bread and passed out with my head across my folded arms on the work table. When I woke up, everyone was gone. I wished I had worn shoes.

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Eighty-eight

Posted by ilbebe on February 9, 2012

For a man born 8/23/30, this chapter was meant to be for you, Grampa.

The Chron’s old strategy of asking for less money has failed, and now it seeks to inform others that the banks are “pushing short sales”. Hmm…did the banks get too big too fast? Did things go horribly awry when they started being borrowers and lenders and fucking brown people and denying their new, mixed-race children? Did they get gayer than gay and start swapping shit and spit with their own kind? Did they stop eating pork, like an Aramain?

Forgiving Reagan – the 101 percenter? Once again, Joe Strummer. Jail Guitar Doors. Wayne and his deals of cocaine. Shit, if Reagan stuck to blow, and didn’t close the asylums and community health clinics, expand the CIA drug trade into crack with Freeway Rick Ross, and direct Ollie NoNo to broker the arms for cash Iran-Contra affair, maybe The Clash’s fourth album would have a fourth side and be called Sandinooooooosta. It could have come with a free can of what was then called Coca-Cola, not Coca-Cola Classic or (shudder) Diet Coke. Beware of things named DC. They name their airports after movie cowboys who forget who their wife and children are at the end of their life…

This is to forgive Reagan. My Grandfather loved Reagan, admired him, really appreciated what he did with the military and the civilian population. My grandfather is dead. Reagan is dead. That way of thinking is dead, and the only way to keep it dead, IMHO, is to keep talking about how flawed and, heh, uneconomical it was/is. TRICKLE THIS MOTHER FUCKERSSSS.

My Grandpa died a year ago today, and when I got the (??what is this world coming to??) text from my father upon waking up, I felt like I’d been told the panda at the zoo still hadn’t given birth. Basically, “Oh, well.” It was no surprise, he’d been diagnosed with lung cancer five months earlier and given an outlook of six to maybe less or more. The fact that he chose to die on the same day blah blah blah happened is of no small interest to a childless pinko faggot writer like myself.

Keith DeWayne Cunday was born in Kansas, but lived the greater portion of his life in the Southland. After his greatly abused wife shuffled off in 2001, he found a new constant companion in the widow of an old Marine buddy of his who happened to be a Buddhist. His heart changed immensely in the ten years before he died. He became an expert at claw machines, and won me a Spiderman a few years ago. That Spiderman hangs on the ceiling of my bedroom to this day. He became very, very close to my youngest sister. He gave me practically nothing but shit; a lot of shit about not having a job, a lot of shit about my haircut and appearance, and my failure to be a man and give him a “great-grand”.

So fuck you, KDC, and RRR. But I still love you, and always will. When they raise the flag on opening day in Anaheim, those sick duck fuckers will be saluting you two Angels in the infield.

Once again, fuck off, but I miss you, and am looking forward to seeing you again.

Here’s a slogan for the New Non-violent Military;

For the win, ye must fuck the old gods. Make a new nation of lovers founded on peace. Start immediately!

Put that on a yellow wristband and make pre-emptively disenfranchised immigrants, girl scouts, and orphans sell them to hedge fund managers. Gardeners get them for free, and carpenters do not need them. Men with coats of many colors shall be born with them, and these are the men who shall make the many scream in the modern agony of unexpected delight.

Peace.

-8:34AM, 2/9/12, not home, in the outer upper haight near those Jittery Jesuits, thinking about coffee, thinking about how I’m gonna get it…

-Again at 9:24and8AM, 2/9/12, outside Sacred on Cole at Hayes. Coffee Obtained. Nice place. Thinking ‘bout Welfare Mothers, bumming out cigs and smoking them too…

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