Saturday, January 31, 2009
Girl- Why do you write Freddy?
Me- Because that is what I went to school for.
Girl- No, no. I mean, WHY do you write. Do you hope to reach millions of people with your stories and help to change their views on whatever the topic may be? Or do you write because you hope to make millions of dollars writing books of fiction? Or is it because you know nothing else. And if it is the last, I really don’t think that I can continue a conversation with you, sorry.
I stood in amazement. Not because of the bluntness of the girl and her question, because I didn’t know the answer myself. And that scared the fuck out of me.
Why, if I don’t know why I write, did I just spend the ridiculous amount of money that I did to get the piece of $5 dollar paper that says I can write? And why did I quit the job that I was doing before going back to school, a job that I made close to $80,000 a year doing, if I didn’t know? And why, if I am so creative with words like so many of my instructors told me in my classes, couldn’t I speak one word to answer the Psychologists question?
I always knew that I liked to write, well, loved to write. I always was doing it. Any spare minute I had while sitting in whatever machine I was running at the construction site while working that job, I was writing. Times that I was making deliveries or picking up equipment for that job too, and had a story idea, I’d pull the truck to the side of the road and scribble down a few sentences that I would recall later to start my voyage with words. I can remember one time, one of the very few times that I was in a Church for Sunday mass and had an idea. I told God that I was sorry and beat feet to my laptop in the truck.
Why do I write? How dare you ask me that question!!! I write for the same reason many, many, MANY other writers write. I write because it is what I know. I write because it is what makes me feel good about myself and keeps getting me out of bed in the morning. I write because it is protection from myself and my idle hands. If I didn’t write, I know that I would find myself to be crazier than I already know that I am and closer to the thing called death that we all try to avoid. It doesn’t matter if I never make a million dollars. I didn’t go into this world of Journalism thinking that I would anyway. As long as I can wake up in the morning and feel good about myself, and the thoughts that I've researched and found to be true, or the ideas that I hold but haven't yet proven, I’ve got the best fucking job in the World.
Sure, maybe my BA in Journalism isn’t held quite as high as your Masters Degree in Psychology, but it’s mine and I still earned the fucker.
I really wish I would have said all of the above, but I froze. And I really wish that I could have remembered a line from The Dead Poets Society, and changed it a bit:
I don't read and write because it's cute. I read and writ because I am a member of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But writing is beauty, romance and love – these are what I stay alive for.
And as I awaited the arrival of Dr. Doolittle to the examination room, I grabbed the one and only magazine on the back of the door. I can’t remember what it was called, though it was something along the lines of Familyhood, or How to be Good Parents or The Way to Destroy Your Child.
But anyway, as I flipped through the pages at a medium pace, I stumbled across an article written by some Dr. Couldn’t Tell My Ass From a Hole in the Ground. It was just like Dear Abbey or her sister Ann Landers. (I hope that is correct info, but I ain’t too certain and to tell you the truth, I really don’t give a flying fuck.)
There was a question sent to this Dr., by a mom in Someplace, Michigan asking him if he thought it was a good, or bad, idea to install a lock on the inside of her 13-year-old daughters bedroom door. The lady continued on about how her daughter has been asking for one and she and her husband are going to install one, but just for a quick check, wanted his opinion on the matter.
So, Dr. CTMAFAHITG writes back to her and tells her that he would advise highly against installing a lock to the inside of her daughters door for several reasons.
The first reason that he gave was, ‘Incase there is an emergency, or a fire, and you or your husband need to get into the room, you won’t be able to if the door is locked.
The second reason he gave was, ‘In today’s world, our children grow up so quickly with television and the internet, and most teenagers who have locks on their bedroom doors only want them installed because they will consume and store alcoholic beverages behind locked doors and partake in drug usage.
The third reason he gave this poor lady who has probably been checked into a mental clinic by know worrying about her little girl with the locked door that was installed before she read the nice Doc’s response letter was, ‘Beside the booze and drugs, most teenagers, especially the young girls and young boys, will sneak their “boyfriends/girlfriends in through the bedroom window late at night and start to explore their sexuality’s.
Who and the fuck does this cat think he is telling this mother information like that?
I know that when or if I get married and have children, their doors will certainly have locks on them. If there is a fire in the house or I need to get into my daughters/sons bedroom to save them, I’ll bet my left and right testicle I ain’t gonna let any $3.00 lock keep me from busting down the door.
And if I want the door opened to check and see if Freddy Jr. or Fredricka are smoking weed or dropping acid or just storing the shit in the old shoebox beneath their beds, that lock ain’t gonna stop me still.
And if I think that my little guy is banging out with the head cheerleader of the highschool he goes to, I’ll let him have his fun. And if it is my little princess with the starting quarterback, I’ll let the misses deal with her.
But I will never, listen to some fucking guy who thinks he is going to save the world by saving the children from their mistakes. Everybody makes ‘em doc. And everybody learns from ‘em. If you want to raise your children to be shy and sheltered and scared shit-less of everything in this world, be my guest, go right ahead. I’ll see you when you catch your daughter in bed with Lil Freddy at 3 in the morning.
Freddy in the Chi.
This is coming from August of '05
29-years and 6 months of blessings, that I've never actually counted, and disastrous moments of my life, that have made me who I actually am, have finally presented themselves for what they truly were all along.
As I walked through the garden of Chicago, barefooted and singing, she sat alone at the stoop of a fountain, also barefooted and singing. There was a broken sunset, caused by sky scrappers, lighting her face and making her eyes shine.
She placed her guitar to her side, her long black hair tossed to the left, and raised her hand, with tattoo on wrist, to spark her cigarette. The lighter didn't spark. She tried again. Not that time either. I walked at her, feeling like the quiet cowboy from American Graffiti to help her.
Sticking the already flaming Zippo lighter I've had for the past 15-years in front of her, she looked up and took the flame. For the next 15-seconds as I stood before her, I had found what I was looking for on the trip out West. She was my muse. She was my reason for doing whatever it is that I do. And whatever it is that I may do.
No words were spoken. No smiles exchanged. No nods. No waves. No nothing. And it felt good. It was so unlike me to not start conversation and try to meet her. And it felt so good.
As I walked away, I heard her strumming her guitar again. And the song she played stopped me dead in my tracks. "Isabela" by Ray LaMontagne. And just hearing the chords, without her singing due to the smoke dangling from the lip, I knew she was telling me her name. And she was.
I went back to her as soon as I knew the song, sat next to her and played right along side of the beauty that she was. We stayed at that old fountain until 12:30 in the morning, playing songs with each other, and making a nice amount of tips from the passing people of the city. When the coppers finally asked us o leave because the park was closed, we had the first conversation since we bumped into each other earlier in the evening. Her name is indeed, Isabela. And she is from New York City. Here, in Chicago, "on a trip to find whatever it is that I need to find." [Her words exactly]
We spent the entire night together, sipping coffee and talking and playing music for the late night drunken fool's at the a 24-hour diner on the North side. When we parted, she told me goodbye and said she'd be in town for a few more days and hoped to see me again. I told her that I'd look for her. She told me that she hoped so. And I will.
When I got home this morning, a thousand songs ran through my mind, begging to be put on paper and played. And I hope that she had the same problem when she got to wherever it was that she was going.
And I hope to see her at the fountain again tonight. There are far too many songs left to be played, sung and written.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I stood in complete awe and silence trying to conjure up the courage to tell her it was her that I wanted.
In May of 1999, just after turning 21-years old and trying to recover from a broken heart, I worked a construction job which I loved doing. She was 31-years old, a divorced mother of two and worked as a secretary at the Middle School in town by day and as the sexiest bartender in the tri-county area by night.
I knew I wouldn't have the same level of sexual skill as she, but when she asked me, I didn't let my lack of knowledge, or experience for that matter, hamper my choice to accompany her home after the bar closed.
At the bar, she continuously slid pints at me for no charge. Perhaps she was trying to build me up to lengthen my endurance level in bed, which would be put to the test later in the evening. Perhaps she even knew she would be taking on the role as instructor, and I, her student. I never did ask her why she kept giving me the free pints, and she never brought it up.
As I sat with the guys I worked with back then, around the old wooden table next to the fireplace, playing cards and shooting pool, I would glance over at her behind the bar to see her looking back at me. I watched her shoot down the attempts of others to buy her drinks and shots or their offers to take her to breakfast.
I can't say I blame them for trying to become the lucky one for the night. She was a slut. But she was a dead sexy slut with natural blond hair, brilliant blue eyes, 36 D chest, size 1 waist and carried enough sexuality to make an entire NFL football team get rock hard under their athletic supporters.
When we finally got to her house, it took a total of 30 seconds before she started taking her clothes off and ordering me to do the same.
She told me to lie on the bed. As I lie there, I anticipated the feeling of her on top of me. When I found out how good she actually felt, I fell in love.
She was the second partner I'd ever had, so I really didn't know too much yet. I knew where things went, but that was seriously the most of it. She taught me how to watch a woman while the act was happening and how to feel, how to touch and how to taste, too. All while not feeling, touching or tasting anything.
"Go slower. Now faster. Down a half inch. Over a bit. Pull my hair. Smack my ass! Twists my nipples! Lick my pussy! FUCK ME!"
She covered it all.
Each time we had finished, it didn't matter if it was her or I first, we'd lie together in bed and talk. She told me how her ex used to beat her. And why she never went to college. Her dreams and hopes for her little girl and her son. How she still held hope that somebody would come find her and she'd fall in love again.
These tryst's continued until February of 2000 and only stopped because of my wreck. She gave up on me as I lie dying in a hospital bed. She thought I was as good as dead. She moved on. Can't say I blame her.
So now, many years after those classes with the sexiest teacher I've ever had have ended, I wish I could go back and thank her. Thank her for teaching me that hope, and love, and compassion are in our lives everyday. And to thank her for teaching me more about life, than she ever took credit for.
A list of useless information, well, maybe not useless if you're going to the next bar trivia night.
Something that might keep me, and most likely you, from sleeping tonight and every other night for the rest of our lives: On average, a person will eat 6 roaches while sleeping throughout their life.
Hallmark makes cards for 105 different relationships. I love you cards. I miss you cards. Thank you and I’m sorry cards. But, of this entire list of cards, I have never found the one that reads, “Hey, thanks for last night, now get the fuck outta my house.”
The butt muscle is the biggest muscle in the human body. The tongue muscle is the strongest.
You ever wonder why some people from Mexico try to sneak into America and live here? It could be for job opportunities or it could be for a better way of life, or, it could be because Mexico City is sinking, on average, 10 inches each year.
When you go out to eat at a Chinese restaurant, or any other type of Oriental joint, you always receive a fortune cookie. And as we devour the crumby little things we wonder how somebody can read our fortune without ever meeting us? And wonder what smart Chinaman is putting all of the fortunes in the cookies? Fortune cookies were invented by Charles Jung, an AMERICAN, in 1918.
For the people who don’t believe that humans were once apes in the jungles, a female birth control pill can, and will work, for a female ape if she takes it every day for a month.
The screwdriver was invented before the screw. What in the hell did they use them for before they had screws?
Does your wife think that she is retaining water? Tell her she’s lucky she's not a jelly fish. There bodies are made of 95% H2O.
All but one woman that I have dated can officially be called a Starfish. Starfish have no hearts.
Abraham Lincoln was born in 1808. John F. Kennedy was born in 1908. Lincoln became president in 1860. JFK became president in 1960. They were both killed on Fridays. Booth, whom shot Lincoln, was born in 1839. Oswald, whom shot JFK, was born in 1939. Lincoln's personal assistants last name was Kennedy and Kennedy's personal assistants last name was Lincoln. The names of the presidents elected after Lincoln and Kennedy were both Johnson's.
A ducks quack does not echo and nobody knows why not.
“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, uses every letter in the American alphabet.
111,111,111 X 111,111,111= 12,345,678,987,654,321.
If you have 3 quarters, 4 dimes, and 4 pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar.
Reno, Nevada is West of Los Angeles, California.
85% of men don’t use the slit in the underwear when going to the bathroom.
In every episode of Seinfeld, anything Superman (poster, coffee cup, figurine) can be found.
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
The word “samba" means “to rub navels together.”
The only difference between CBS’s “60 Minutes” and all of the other news shows on TV is that it has no theme song.
The bullet proof vest, the fire escape, windshield wipers and laser printers were all invented by women.
85% of men that die while having sex are screwing a woman other than their wife when it happens.
Fred and Wilma Flintstone were the first couple shown on television in bed together.
A rat can live longer without water than a camel can.
A female ferret, that is in heat, will die if it doesn’t find a mate.
Charlie Chaplin once was awarded third place in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Her long golden hair gleamed in that cut throat, busted sunset and my splintered fingers strummed the strings of the guitar. I swear this thing is a demon in disguise, but each and every opportunity I have to play it, everything else that may be on the agenda for the evening is slightly delayed until I'm done.
I pretend that she can hear the words I'm singing to her, but I'm glad that she really can't. Coward, I know.
I watch her every time she dances in the garden. She looks so at peace there. She lets everything go for something that she loves to do. I wish I had the strength to let go to chase after what I love.
Twenty minutes passed in the blink of an eye. The phrases constructed in my mind will never be heard by her unless she danced over toward me. Which, sadly, she never will. Another song put to rest without her hearing the final product. Another tune placed in an empty box of Frosted Flakes, begging to be taken out some day.
There's always tomorrow.
The sweat drips off the brow
and into the mouth of the one below.
Sweet, but salty, it tickles her tongue.
Pumping hearts beat together
and pulsating special places ignite with
heat and fire.
A romantic interlude it is not.
The music has stopped playing
and the last dance has been danced.
A wiping of his hand across
her left breast.
She likes her nipple sucked.
Rolling him over
she rests atop his face and
feels that marvelous tongue
Her hands reach behind her
and she grabs him with her right,
her left rests at his knee.
A twist, and a tug should do it.
He pulls her hair and she
arc's her back.
Too bad mom and dad will
be home soon. The college girl
who plays baby-sitter
will have to leave.
A quick departure by
homophobic frat boys
is a realization
of their own sexualities.
says Dr. Laura Bermann,
is leading your daughters,
and my future fuck buddies,
on a trek to find their sexual identities
because she shaves her pussy
and may be bi-sexual.
The little girl that lives next door
is going to turn into the
first rate whore that her brother already is
if she doesn't stop watching him
fuck around with the starting quarter back
of the towns highschool football team.
disable the creative functions of
a childs mind....
But maybe that's what you want.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
FAKE FRIENDS: Never ask for food.
REAL FRIENDS: Are always the reason you have no food.
FAKE FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr/Mrs. Whatever.
REAL FRIENDS: Call your parents MOM and DAD.
FAKE FRIENDS: Bail you out of jail and tell you what you did was wrong.
REAL FRIENDS: Would sit next to you saying, "Damn, we fucked up good, but it was fun!"
FAKE FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.
REAL FRIENDS: Aren’t afraid to cry with you.
FAKE FRIENDS: Will borrow your stuff for a few days and then give it back to you.
REAL FRIENDS: Will keep your shit so fucking long that you will forget its yours.
FAKE FRIENDS: Know just a few things about you.
REAL FRIENDS: Could write a book about you with quotes straight outta’ your mouth.
FAKE FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that’s what the crowd is doing.
REAL FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds ass for leaving you behind.
FAKE FRIENDS: Would knock on your front door.
REAL FRIENDS: Will walk right in and yell "I'M HOME! WHAT’S FOR DINER!"
FAKE FRIENDS: Are for awhile.
REAL FRIENDS: Are for life.
FAKE FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you've had enough.
REAL FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say, "Bitch, you best drink the rest of that. You know we consider wasting a drink alcohol abuse.”
FAKE FRIENDS: Will talk shit to the person who talks shit about you.
REAL FRIENDS: Will knock the fuck out of these people.
FAKE FRIENDS: Stab you in the back.
REAL FRIENDS: Stab you in the front.
i knew going in that there was a chance for failure, but everything worth anything has got that type of chance.
she convinced me that i wouldn't fail, so I battled the thoughts, memories and tears of yesteryear and gave it a go. but i couldn't do it.
i was crazy for her, i'm sure i still am, that's for sure. (thanx Paolo)
i had to slow it down. to lie it down. to step back and realize that she was the best damn thing that ever did happened to me, and the crazy son of a bitch that i was, well, was pushing her away.
to realize that she's the one that i want to wake with in the morning and listen to the winds of the night next to.
but these streets of chicago have far too many names for me: musician, artist, bum, liar, drunk, poet, lover, weeper and friend to name a few.
but i can't remember who it is that i actually am anymore and instead, i play to the names i am called.
my dreams have been drained, denied, changed and re-born by this big bad city that i live in. all while i have searched for the change that i've lost in the couch.
I've been looking to the future for me and all together, it hasn't looked too pretty.
I've always believed that it was a waste of time to stay retained in the moments of yesteryear and the thoughts and hopes that were held so closely, that never did turn out the way you had hoped.
That one should move forward without doubt and without regret.
But sometimes, it's just too damn hard to forget the ones you love, the one you loved.
And you pretend that you never really loved them as much as you truly did, but while doing such, you're the only person you're foolin'.
I finally moved on. And before we meet again, on some sunny beach a thousand miles away from nowhere, you too, need to realize that what we pretended to share oh so many years ago, was just a pair of young fools in love. Nothing more.
The love we had was real, but the hopes and dreams and wishes that we shared were only there when our eyes closed at night. And they were nothing more than hopes, wishes and dreams. It's time to move on.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The sound of thunder crashing against his words sounded like song lyrics themselves. His guitar, dampened by the cool drops falling from the clouds above, glistened in the flashes of electricity shooting across the night sky. Both men and women with red, yellow, white, blue lighters swayed their arms back and forth slowly with their opposite hand covering the flames of their torches from the rain. Nobody talked. Nobody sang. They all just listened.
What a magnificent feeling it was. To know that there were actually people who were there to listen to the words he sang. As if he was preachin' from the Bible. And he didn't show any fear. Maybe that was what fueled the burning fire within him. Maybe not.
A scared child I know I am when I stand there. Full of worry if the people like me or not. Afraid of missing a chord, or breaking a string or just flat out forgetting the next line.
Not him though. No way. Every time he hit the strings on his beat up looking guitar, he did it with full comfort and assurance that he would hit exactly where he needed to. Without mistake.
He had no worries. Perhaps he just didn't give a shit what we thought. Maybe he knew that the only person that he was playing for was himself. And maybe, just maybe, he didn't even know we stood before him.
Tonight was the way it should always be. We were there for the music. And the stories that were being told in the songs that he played. We weren't there to meet others. Or get numbers. Or to find somebody to bang out with after the show. We were there to respect the music. And for the first time that I have ever went to a show, that was exactly the way it was.
The servers and bartenders talked in hushed voices when taking orders. Nobody wanted to disrespect the man playin' the tunes. Which shouldn't ever happen, but so often, it does. To us as musicians, and even people who don't play anything but still love music, when you go to a show, especially a show in a small, intimate surrounding, you don't carry on conversation all through the set. You don't talk on the phone with your buddies or girlfriends, begging them to meet you someplace after the show. You stand, or sit, or crouch and listen to the music. That's it. And tonight was the first time I ever watched every person in the joint doing nothing but listening to the music.
It kind of reminded me of that scene from High Fidelity when Rob Gordon (John Cusack) meets up with his employees, Dick and Barry (Jack Black and Todd Louiso), at some tiny dancer spot in Chicago to hear Frampton's "Baby I Love Your Way" being covered by Lisa Bonet's character. Nobody sang along with her. Nobody, except for Rob, Dick and Barry, talked about anything. Everybody just chilled and listened to the music. And they showed their appreciation when she was done.
Tonight was that night for me.
And from this assault, each person will tell others to be on the look out. And the naive fools who have been warned will search me out, read my stories and they themselves, will be the idiots lying lifeless on the floor, gasping for air, as their dogs scamper out the back doors of their houses to piss on the rose bushes.
But, wouldn't you know it, I just aint ready. And when I am finally ready, it will bust out of me without warning, without fear and without any hesitation because it is ready for me to write it.
In just five days, the calendar will tell me that it is the 29th anniversary of my birth. Too me, it most likely will be my last birthday. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not predicting my death this weekend (but that could be very possible with my Chicago Bears playing in the Super Bowl on my birthday), I am just determined to stay at the nice age of twenty-nine for the rest of my life.
But as I sit at this computer, viewing the fuzzy screen and imagining that my fingers are pounding furiously on the black keyboard below, I realize that I’ve been a bit of a fuck up my entire life.
Well, I don’t mean that I constantly muff things up due to poor eye-hand coordination, or the lack of the seemingly useless knowledge that almost every other asshole in Chicago seems to hold so dearly to their hearts. What I speak of are the acts that I’ve committed in the past for a laugh or just to start trouble.
Like the first time I went away to college some ten years ago.
I was enrolled at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois in 1996. The first day that we, as students, were allowed to move in to our dorm rooms was a Saturday, if I remember correctly. Mom and Dad drove me down, helped me carry all my belongings onto the elevator and into my room and left me to live by myself for the first time in my life. And after most of the parents had left their offspring behind and voyaged home, all of the freshman students in the tower I was living in were called down for a resident’s meeting in the conference room.
Now, the tower that I lived in for the nine months while I was enrolled at ISU was named Watterson Tower. It was the tallest building between St. Louis and Chicago at the time, and very well still may be to this day. The weird thing about Watterson though, it was thirty stories high and had five houses on each side. And of these five houses a side, the elevator would only stop every five floors. If you wanted to go to the 27th floor, you took the lift to twenty-five and hiked up the stairs for the remaining two floors. If it were floor eleven you desired, off at floor 10 and up one. You get the point I’m sure.
But the cool thing about this shitty elevating system and the weird flooring, was straight out my window, on the twenty-seventh floor, were the five floors only given to female students. And it took no time at all before some freshman girl came home wasted and decided to put on a strip show in the ceiling to floor windows of the rooms.
But anyway, once all of the students had finally made it down to the conference room on floor one to be welcomed to the University and told ‘The Rules” about Watterson Tower, was the first time I acted in the ways I spoke about earlier in this post.
The Dean of Students, Dr. Whatever Blowme, made it extremely clear that floors 23-27 of the West Tower, were for females only and not a one male student could ever be on those floors. He followed that up with the punishments for the crime if a male was caught on one of these floors.
“The first time a male is caught on floors 23-27 of the West Tower, he will be fined $25. The second time he is caught, the fine will quadruple to $100. And if there is a third time that the same male is caught on any of these floors, the fine will be pushed to the maximum of $500. Gentleman, are there any questions?”
At this moment in my life, I had sex exactly zero times. I had been dating a girl who wasn’t ready yet and I never pushed her into it. But who the fuck am I kidding? I wasn’t really ready yet at 18 either.
But I still couldn’t stop myself from constructing the question that I knew would have no answer. And I knew that I shouldn’t really ask the Dean of Students my inquiry. But for some strange reason that is still not understandable to me, I asked him.
“So, let me get this right. It’s $25 the first time. $100 the second and $500 the third. How much can I get a semester pass for?”
Monday, January 19, 2009
So, for this post, I have decided to rekindle my past and compare the most memorable event of “my group” with some of the events that Sal and his boys endured in Jack Kerouac’s
“On The Road is a novel of experience: it tells tales of madness played out by all kinds of strange characters, in settings as diverse as a Virginia small-town diner, A New York jazz-joint and a Mexican whore house. What connects these adventures is the characters’ refusal to miss out on life and their determination to get the most out of now.”
-Anne Hassapi, http://bookreviews.nabou.com
I couldn’t have started this any better way. What Hassapi has done is made the realization that all of the characters of On The Road, are different, but alike, at the same time. And I have made the realization that the guys that I made a trip to Arizona with in a rented mobile home in 1999 were all different but the same also.
For instance, Dean Moriarty was the antagonizer of the group and always seemed to be the one who came up with half-baked ideas that led his group to trouble. In the trip that we took, this character was my buddy Doug. His ideas usually found us either being delayed in towns because we couldn’t find him or staying an extra day or two because he lost most of the groups money playing cards.
Carlo Marx was a poetic-bum who was amazed by Dean. On our trip West, this character was Glenn. Glenn had no job at home and lived in his parents basement working on anything mechanical. The only time that he came out of that basement was when the group was camping (which was every weekend, rain or shine) or whenever Doug needed his help in the garage. He was Doug’s wing man I suppose, because when we fought, they always stood side by side.
Salvatore “Sal” Paradise, the stories main character, was also intrigued with Dean. The two didn’t have a very solid relationship, filled with un-truths and lies. But Sal dismissed Deans flaws and strove to be just like him. Sal would have to be Jeremy. Jeremy always looked up to Doug and wanted so badly to be desired by women like Doug was. By the end of our trip to Arizona, Jeremy would never talk to Doug again.
Old Bull Lee was the head drug guy in the book. And, as embarrassed I am to say it, I, was Old Bull Lee. I liked to smoke a lot of pot back then and it wasn’t uncommon that I would drop a little acid from time to time and play guitar for hours and hours while sitting around the fire on one of our camping trips.
Now, enough with the introductions, time to start the trip
Just like Sal and Dean, my friends and I had been discussing a trip out to Arizona to see an old friend who had moved there at the end of our senior year to work as a guide at a dude ranch in Phoenix. After a year and a half of discussing...and debating...and saving the money that we needed to go, we finally settled on a date and secured a mobile home camper to make the trip.
We started Westward down old Route 6, where Dean and Sal had passed years before. (We grew up five miles West of Joliet in a small hick town) We made our first stop for fuel in Davenport, Iowa and grabbed some food at a bar across the street. As we sat digesting our meal of greasy burgers and fries, Doug shot a game of pool with some local yokels. Before long, the locals had invited the four of us to play poker with them later that evening. Glenn, Jeremy and I all said that we should keep heading West because we had a long voyage still ahead of us. But Doug, that Doug, assured us that he would play smart and win us extra money for the trip. The three of us knew that we shouldn’t have let him play but we all figured, “It’s early in the trip, let him have some fun.”
We left the guys house who was hosting the game around 1 in the morning while Doug was up about $300. He crawled into the camper at 4:30 in the morning down $700. We had forgotten that Doug was holding all of our money. Now, we had several states yet to drive through before reaching Arizona and only $1,300 to do it with.
That morning, after we had started our voyage again and jumped onto Interstate 80, Doug awoke and crawled up to the front of the camper. The three of us said nothing to him until we reached Omaha, Nebraska where we re-fueled once again and grabbed a late breakfast at a gas station diner.
As we sat at the table, we watched a semi pull into the lot and another kid, about the same age as all of us, climbed out the passenger side of the cab. He walked into the diner and grabbed a seat at the counter. He looked at the menu and ordered a water. The way that he looked, we could tell that he had no money. He was hitchin’ with the truck driver. And since the semi had rolled out, he was without ride. Jeremy asked us if we could give him a ride. We thought it would be fine and invited him to go to Arizona with us.
The boys name was Tommy, and was only going to Lincoln which was just down the road. Tommy jumped in with us and we took off, blaring down the road. About half way to Lincoln, it was decided that it was about time to have some smoke and lit up. It was passed completely around the camper and it seemed that Tommy was very appreciative of the ride.
We drove into Lincoln stoned, with Pink Floyd blaring out of the speakers and the town folk starring at the camper like it was something that had just rolled straight out of hell and delivered Tommy to his parents house. What was really nice about Tommy, beside being a really cool kid, was that when we got to his parents house, he asked them to give us $200 to say thanks and they did. He didn’t have to do that, but we were pretty glad that he did.
We started back down the road listening to some music, smoking some more pot and were talking like a bunch of crazy fools on the CB. Now, my father drives a truck and I knew that we weren’t supposed to be saying half the things that we were saying on the CB but, it didn’t stop me from doing it, or letting the other guys do it. We were looking for some women to meet us in Lexington, which was only a short distance down the road. We were telling the ladies that we talked to that we had weed and acid and we would share it with them if we could meet up when we got into town. There was only one gal who said that she’d meet us. And when we met her, we found out that she wasn’t really a she. That she, was really a he. We got the hell out of Lexington as quick as we came in!
It was around the Colorado state line that we realized we had no clue what day it was. We weren’t sure how many days we had been driving. (After 6 years, we figure that it was the third day of the trip but none of us are certain. We smoked a lot of weed.) We weren’t sure if we had enough money to make it to Phoenix, let alone getting back. We weren’t even sure if we were going the right way anymore. Being stoned and tripping can be a very big distraction when you are driving across the country. We finally decided to stop in Cheyenne, Wyoming and sleep away the mess we all were in and find directions in the morning.
When we woke in the morning, we walked into a truck stop diner for some coffee and directions. As we sat in a booth near the window, an elderly lady sitting across the room from us cast a stare of disapproval in our direction. Like we were all her son and she was disappointed at what we had turned into. She didn’t love us anymore and never wanted to see us again. Though none of us knew this woman, we were all hurt by her ogling eyes, checking out every inch of our dirty souls.
In the book, Sal had these same feelings about a woman that looked at him:
“No...don’t come back and plague your honest, hard-working mother. You are no longer like a son to me-and like your father, my first husband...You are no good, inclined to drunkenness (which we were) and routs and final disgraceful robbery of the fruits of my ‘umble labors in the hashery. Oh son! did you not ever go on your knees and pray for deliverance for all of your sins and scoundrel’s acts? Lost boy! Depart! Do not haunt my soul; I have done well forgetting you”, Sal thought the lady was saying by her leers.
When I read this line in the book, I remembered everything about that old diner we were sitting in that day. And everything about the old blue haired lady with the grey dress with white pin stripes and big purple shoes. And every ounce of sadness and embarrassment that I held that day. I felt what Sal felt and it was the worst memory I think that I’ve ever had.
After our meal had finished, we asked directions to Phoenix and were on our way. It seemed that we had over shot the road that we wanted to turn onto the night before as we drove passed Interstate 76. We ventured down route 25 into Denver, Colorado around 2 in the afternoon. This is when the non-truth telling SOB Doug decided to tell us all that he didn’t lose as much money as he said that he did playing poker in Davenport. In all actuality, he hadn’t lost at all, he had won. He won $650 that night. We quickly took the money away from him and told him not to touch the money again.
We made it to Albuquerque, New Mexico before re-fueling again. And when we were there is when we got into some real trouble. Glenn and I had retired to the camper parked in a truck stop lot while Doug and Jeremy had went into the pool hall across the way. Shortly after midnight, Jeremy came into the camper and told us that Doug had gotten into some trouble with a guy at the pool hall for flirting with his lady. We walked across the street and into the pool hall to see Doug being hit while two guys were holding him.
Now, where I come from, a guy always, ALWAYS, has to help when he sees a woman get hit or when he sees a buddy being beat on. Within seconds all four of us were throwing punches and swinging pool sticks at Albuquerque trash. About five minutes after the brawl had begun, the police were escorting people out of the pool hall and into squad cars. We had been arrested for disorderly conduct. At the jail, we were told that we could leave if we posted $100 bail a piece and never return to Albuquerque, New Mexico. We handed over the $400 and got out of town.
This is were we got onto Interstate 40 headed West toward Flagstaff, Arizona. We knew that we’d be there soon and just wanted to make it straight threw with no more problems. We stopped in Flagstaff a few hours before dawn to sleep and finished the trip to Phoenix in the morning,
I know that the trip that I had with my friends back in ‘99 isn’t exactly like the trip that Sal and Dean and Ed had in the book, but it was exciting to us. And reading this book made me remember the things that I was able to from that trip. I wish that I could remember more of it, but like I previously stated, there was a lot of booze and a whole lot of weed.
We did finally meet up with or friend, but only stayed two more days with him before we headed back. This trip was almost seven years ago and it was the last time that any of the guys seen that friend. He is currently working as a ranch hand at a ranch in Montana. And I really don’t think that anybody wants to drive out West anytime soon.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
It's 2:52 in the morning here in the Chi. A cold evening, with a slight breeze blowing on the streets, no cabs blowing their horns at pedestrians and the sweet smell of freshly baked apple pie filling the air in the hallway.
Like I said, it's 2:52 in the morning, well, it's now 2:55, and I'm still wide awake, loading songs to the iPOD, printing sheet music for future gigs and typing silly stories for this and that site. I really can't tell you why I don't go to bed. My gato has been sleeping for the past three hours on the chair by my desk. I feel tired, but still I sit, wasting a good night's sleep....again.
So here's the plan that I've manifested this evening to help me get to bed. Combined, I have ten digits on my feelers. Five of 'em on the right, the other five on the left. Some are more important than others, in this way or that, but a few really serve me no purpose at all.
Like the set of ring fingers. I wear one ring on my right thumb. Always. I don't wear anything on my ring fingers. And the way it has went these past thirty years, most likely, I'm not going to be putting either of my ring fingers to use with a wedding band any day soon.
Now, with these two fingers missing, I will have a harder time playing guitar and typing but that's OK. Hendrix taught himself to play right handed and he was a southpaw.
So, what I plan to do is walk into the kitchen, grab the 12-inch knife that I use to slice beef, poultry and fish with and whack off either one, or both, of these pointless fingers. One or both depending on how much pain I have from the first.
So after the digit, or digits, has/have been removed, I will wrap a clean towel around the stub of a nub I got left on my hand/hands and phone a taxi to pick me up. Of course, I will bring the departed fingers with me, placed in a Ziploc bag with ice, to the hospital so I can have them maybe re-attached. And after the doctors fix me up, with or without the ring fingers, I will be doped up enough on Morphine that I can come home and sleep the night away.
When Tuesday arrives, I will go to the pharmacy and have my prescription filled so that I can again sleep well for the rest of the week.
Really hope this works.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
So I opened up “The sib of the Trib”, The Redeye, and began searching merrily for a way, anyway, that I could score more dineros. As I stumbled through the rag, I came across an ad on page 34, looking for people to be used as guinea pigs for a study on irregular periods. And after the group had finished their studies, each person that volunteered their time as an experimental piece would be rewarded with $500.....cash.
I didn’t think twice. I mean, it was $500 for five hours of tests. I’ve got to work close to 80 fucking hours to make $500 at the communist shit hole that I work at.
So I picked up the phone to call the number.
*RING* *RING* *RING* *RING* and tell the girl who answered which test I was calling about.
“Um, sir, this test is only for women,” says the young lady.
“What do you mean, only for women,” says I?
“The test that you are inquiring about is in regards to people with irregular periods sir, so, you being a man, automatically disallows you,” says she.
“Yeah, irregular periods,” says I, “I’ve got those.”
“Sir, how can you have irregular periods,” questions her.
“To me, irregular periods aren't just the days that I didn’t feel like spending $150 on a pair of shoes I’ll only wear once.....”, says I.
“Sir....” I hear her say.
“....I can go months without wanting to meet a woman, date a woman, sleep with a woman or even see a woman because one of your bitch sisters really pissed me off in someway. We'll call this period 1. Then, after that period has passed, I follow it up with not wanting to be without the woman that got me over the lying, cheating, back stabbing whore that put me in the first period. We'll call this period 2. And after period 2, I usually go into the one when I don’t want to see, to talk or to hear another guy because most of the idiots are self centered douche bags who only date girls that their buddies think are hotter than hell so their egos will be boosted by the slaps on the back from their pals. We'll call this period 3. And usually by this period, I’m back to the first period because the “nice girl”, period 2, who got me over the “evil bitch”, period 1, has turned out to be an “evil bitch” herself by banging out with one of the self centered, egotistical back stabbing douche bags I call my friends. That, my dear, is one nasty, irregular cycle,” says I.
“Hello,” says me?
She hung up.
I guess my periods aren’t irregular enough for this study.