Saturday, April 30, 2005

Quality, Wholesome Television

I love PBS. Yea I’m too cheap to buy cable, or maybe I'm too broke. But every now and then I need to watch something educational. Particularly, I love watching wildlife documentaries. They make me feel so alive, and so…primitive. The pathetic bleating of the fallen impala as the pack of lionesses converge in a heap always seems to stir something savage that dwells down deep. I feel compelled to strip naked and run outside and repeatedly smack a stick against a rock. Or mark the boundaries of my yard with piss. I feel compelled to jump in my oversized 73 Cadillac and terrorize student drivers and the elderly. I feel compelled to go to the club with my boys, slam 10 shots of Tequila, and incite a fight with a big, dumb meathead 3 times my size. Of course I don’t act on these primordial urges...that'd be stupid. I sure do love PBS though. I watch it all the time because I like educational things. Although I've never pledged. I think I'm too cheap...or maybe I'm just too broke.

Living the Dream

The year was 2001 and we were 23, full of dreams, Latin/Italian kings - ready to rule the world and fuck every girl. Five nights a week my cousin A____ and I, our crew in tow, would strut into the club, belligerent and drunk, acting like big shots with huge cocks. We were the buzz around town. We knew everyone who was anyone, who was everyone, and they, in turn, knew us. They all hated us and wanted to shoot us because they wanted to be us. But to our faces, always quick to praise us; always ready to give a hug, kiss our rings, and plant a Judas kiss on a cheek...I like to think because they feared us.

We walked the thin red line every night. We’d pull up to the clubs on our bikes: sleeveless, ripped, and covered in tats. Our socks full of pills, ice nine, and small packets of smack; for the right price we’d guarantee a good time. When we’d enter the floor the crowd would part like the Red Sea - our kingdom of hypocrisy we’d oversee. Every night we’d probably fight with some drunk-piece of shit little bitch in desperate need to get hit. Just like every night we’d share our beds with someone new, or the old stand-by screws. A lonely life, true, but when you’re young it’s all so new and so…right.

I’m older now and things haven’t really changed. Except now I may have a few more gray hairs and fine lines, more tats, a rap sheet, and probably more holes in my brain. I often wonder if things WILL ever change? Will I ever settle down and find me a wife? How about an egg donor? Will I ever have a son to teach how to fight - a baby boy to share my wisdom with? Hah! What wisdom would that be: the useless wisdom of the streets and the scene? Will I teach him the fine art of being a fiend, being broke and a joke? Will he turn out to be a loser…just like me?

Friday, April 29, 2005

I go hunting

The boat lurches ahead
the world’s wind filling her thirsty sails.
The wise eyes painted on each side gaze somberly
Possessing sole knowledge of the outcome of this journey.

The outer reaches, with its hundred islands,
Do not typically welcome strangers,
Wary of white faces, dead races.
I meet closed doors and scared eyes through shut blinds.

So I sail on, unwilling to stop
For rest, water, food, or talk,
Rather, I prepare and sometimes sleep,
Briefly though, as I fear to dream.

The spray of the sea, the smell of the breeze,
The taste of the salt in the wind,
Help ease my dreads and allay my thoughts…temporarily.
For I know shadows travel quicker than light.

Mastery of names and change, binding and illusion,
Will not win this foolish fight, my plight,
Against a foe born unto nightmare and spite.
A perverted, mocking shadow of my own mind.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Rediscovered Country

The other day, out of the blue, I got a phone call from an old friend. He told me he was getting married and he’d started college and might possibly be a daddy. I was thrown for a loop, and a little confused. A little about Mark: We used to be drug buddies back in the day. At the time Mark barely had his high school diploma, yet he was one of the smartest people I knew. Whenever Mark and I would hit the bong, and snort a few lines of K, Mark's ideas and observations, and I know he didn’t know this, mirrored those of great thinkers. He had a quality I WISH I had. He was a creative thinker. He had a quick mind, albeit corroded by the tons of blow, weed, and extacy we took. I had a few clever ideas too, but it could have been because of the drugs, or because I was with Mark. Like a maestro conducting a philharmonic he could lure out creative thinking from us with a few quick movements of his illusionary baton. Or, again, it could have been the drugs. You see the drugs acted as a catalyst in a weird neurological reaction. The drugs were that essential spark which, when injected, would travel the length of my bloodstream and ignite the sluggish Frankenstein monster of my imagination. The drugs usually led to some incredible reflection and deep conversation, or some really amazing visual and psychological, "Calvino-esque" journeys, which Mark and I would then discuss in a salon setting.

Question: have you ever videotaped yourself tripping on acid? It's surreal. A glimpse of someone else, not the same you that you usually see in the mirror when you brush your teeth or pick your nose, but a stranger, or perhaps someone who is dressed just like you and shares some common physical traits such as height and hair color; but wearing a Mission Impossible-style rubber mask only meant to resemble you. A mask that on all accounts looks like you, but something about it isn’t quite right, and a bit macabre. Mark's idea not mine. He had lots of ideas. As much as I hate admitting this, I’m not capable of thinking up anything ingenious or clever on my own. I’m a collector of facts and clever catch phrases, that’s all, nothing more. I’m hollow.

Mark and I don’t really talk much nowadays. As I mentioned, we’ve moved on with our lives and we’re doing our own thing. Lately, I tend to stay away from the harder shit. Wonderment, and that thrilling sense of adventure I used to get when I’d dive headlong into the unknown, has been replaced with paranoia and way too much obsessive self-reflection and introspection. I think the older we get the less liable we’re able to enjoy acid or mushrooms or any of that because we’re reminded of what we haven’t accomplished, or all the things we have, but wish we hadn’t. The last thing I want to do is relive every single fuck up I’ve ever made over the past 26 years over and over for fourteen hours straight. Why? Cause I’m scared. I’m scared shitless actually. Scared of the self-imposed truths we all keep so tightly locked away in the Pandora-boxes of our subconscious. However, I often wonder if there would be any way to possibly persuade Mark to come out of retirement? Even for just one week, or just one night? I wonder if he’d be willing to join me in Vegas on one last hurrah, to be my “Dr. Gonzo” one last time? An even more pressing question is…having Mark there with me, would that make the experience fun?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Some Recycled Ideas

Every writer searches for the perfect drug to deal. You see, every writer’s sole duty is to force people to ask questions, or tickle their brains with something clever, or provide a temporary escape from real life. A temporary escape, tickling the brain: kind of like taking a drug. So in essence, a writer is a pusher. However, instead of selling smack on some filthy street corner, a writer sells ideas. Instead of dollars, a writers’ wealth is measured in praise, or on the “world live web”(the blogging world), the coveted “hit/comment-count.” Every writer has their own distinct style presented in a myriad of delightful flavors and colors: “a whole galaxy of uppers, downers, laughers, screamers”, etc. The writing styles are almost as varied as the clientele. Keep them coming back for more is every writer’s goal. I cannot think of one writer who writes solely for himself; they write to appease others. An individual who writes his or her own shit, which no-one ever sees, does a writer make? If a tree falls in the woods and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Does bear-shit laying in the forest stink if there's no one there to smell it? I can’t answer that. I can tell you, my writing stinks. Then again, it could stink everyday because as we all know: a person's own filth usually doesn't smell bad to them, in many cases, it may actually smell good.

So maybe tomorrow I'll be inspired. Maybe tomorrow I'll somehow sell a brick of witty thoughts instead of a gram.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Speed Addiction

It’s 3 am; the city sleeps. The streets are clear and open game to tame. Not a car or cat cross my path as I cut a swath rushing headlong down the 98 mile-per-hour eight-fold path for I am the bodhisattva of torque, the toast of New York. The night-lights soar by in a frenetic cacophony; the high-pitched whine of the R1 blending with the incessant smack of the straps that hang from the pack on my back. Despite this aural chaos I can still feel, and even hear, my tears sneak past my sunglasses finding freedom in the wind, floating into the night sky with a content sigh. The speed is infectious. When I was a kid I used to dream I could fly; like the man of tomorrow, at the speed of sound. To ride is to dream. To float in the air, all moments still, paralyzed in the thrill, is the closest I will ever come to fulfilling these childish wants. Between my legs the engine shivers, putting out 998 cc’s of liquid-cooled speed and meticulously engineered ecstasy, who needs a pill? Underneath my leathers, my urban armor, my body quivers with the sweet anticipation of finally reaching the highway. Knowing full well I’ll throttle this fucker out full bore; the bike jettisoning me forward like a ray of light escaping the sun never looking back or slowing once. Careening forward in excess speeds of 160. My body quivers knowing, just one patch of sand, one slip of the hand, will guarantee swift finality.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Misery loves company

“You will never know and could never understand,” M___ slurs. His unsteady hand barely grasping his glass of what I surmise by its foul odor and shit brown color to be a Broiler Maker. “Never know what?” I haphazardly ask, “Pain?”

Wrong. I’ve played the fool more times than I’d care to recall. I’ve fallen flat on my face as the throng marched by, never once slowing their gait or batting an eye. I know pain all too well; she’s an old friend I love to hate. You see the difference between you and I is I’m not an inconsiderate whore and a braggart. I’m not a whining, fucking drunk who stinks up the club with my 2-ton ego and diva dramatics. I’m worse. My problems run deeper than you could even imagine. For instance, the temperature in here, intensified by the crowd, is easily 100 degrees. Yet I’m still wearing sleeves. Notice those little shakes every now and then? Of course you don’t. You’re drunker than a skunk and twelve Indians. Enough about me, I don’t care to spell it out. But once again it’s my burden to carry you out. It’s up to me to actually give a shit, you selfish fuck. You’re lucky. You’re lucky I’m loyal and honor history and even luckier I’m such a masochistic pussy.

“Things are going to get better I can feel it” Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, so the phrase goes. You sing that sad song every time, the lament of the drunk. Who am I to talk? I’m singing too, a different song of course, a different tune, yet I sing. I delight in your nightly predictability and reliability M____. It places things into perspective, thanks. Are you inconsistently consistent or consistently inconsistent? You notice how deep I sound when I reverse the words? Anyhow, time moves by us at such an incredible rate, a million frames per second I’d bet; yet here we are, a sawdust dive bar Abbott and Costello, expertly stepping through our beloved routine we’ve performed since we were kids. Here we sit, you and I, spiraling downward, searching for a cure in a bottle, oblivious to the world. So continue to lecture me on pain and love and spite, as though I’m four and don’t really know. While you’re at it, Don Juan, tell me why the women speak of Michelangelo.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Kickin' like Chuck Norris

After another unproductive day of pretending to work, as we’re wont to do, my friend Joey and I go to ‘Borders’ to sip brew, read magazines, talk shit, and ogle the cute barista (whom Joey claims “wants” him). I really don’t understand why we adhere to this nightly tradition; hell, we get off at around 10:30, how wise is it to order a triple shot mocha, size venti? (The usual outcome is a sleepless night, lying in bed reading some shitty book, probably Anne Rice.) It’s worth it though, a chance to unwind. Joey is in a particularly good mood tonight, which is strange because he’s usually sardonic and pissy; of course not with me cause we’re boys, but pretty much with everyone else, including his mom and sisters. Maybe his unusually good mood may be attributed to the calorie and caffeine laden drink he just drank; or maybe the fact Joey’s on cloud nine because last night he finally got laid after a three month dry spell.

A little bit about Joey: we call him the “king of the one liners.” The guy is smart as shit with a razor wit and always quick to drop a clever phrase on an unsuspecting crowd like an H-bomb. He loves Vegas and the mob and always carries a true-crime paperback in his back pants pocket. He’s white, probably Irish, but calls himself ‘Jew.’ In fact he has a tattoo on his neck that says ‘JEU’ written in olde-english; the spelling error was intentional. I don’t really understand why he got it. He told me once it was because he looks Jewish, which he does, but why spell it different? He ain’t Jewish though, we went to mass last Christmas. In retrospect, I think he went for the chicks. He’s told me on many occasions in a very serious tone, “Catholic girls put out.” Joey looks Jewish however; he has a schnozz and intense, beady eyes, which are magnified through his 50’s style, black rimmed glasses. Not that all Jewish men look like this, but many do. His hair is styled into a perfect pompadour and he won’t reveal how he does it. It’s a technique he keeps super-secret, as tightly guarded as his true persona and his wallet. He has another tattoo on his back; you guessed it, a large shamrock. Joey drives his mom’s 91 Corolla, but dreams about one day owning a Cadillac, or maybe a Lincoln. Preferably 21 feet long with a trunk that can “fit 5 bodies.” Not that he’s serious about ever fitting 5 bodies into his trunk, it’s the idea he’s in love with, but I could be wrong. Joey and I actually have a lot in common.

Anyhow, there’s an undeniable magic in the air. When I drove in I couldn’t help but notice a peculiar smell, I think it was spring, or maybe just an invisible cloud of pollen laced with smog. The moon is full and paints a silver lining that glistens off the dew accumulated on our hoods. It also exaggerates the glisten in Joey’s blue-black pompadour. Joey’s mood tonight is infectious. We sit at our table slowly nursing our drinks, unwilling to leave, reading Tattoo and motorcycle magazines. I tell Joey about some major problems I’m having with a girl I’m fucking (she could possibly be pregnant and I’m scared shitless) Joey keeps shifting in his chair and glancing past me, over my shoulder. I turn around to see for myself who or what could actually be more interesting than possible impending fatherhood. Sitting at the corner table is a woman with a slinky body wearing hip-huggers and a barely-there cashmere sweater; she looks to be about 40. She’s reading a book and completely oblivious to the fact she’s now the primary focus of Joey’s affection. “What’s going on?” I ask Joey; in my mind I already know his answer. Joey’s leans in and excitedly whispers, in vintage Joey-speak. “You see that? Those curves are kickin’ like Chuck Norris. She definitely wants to party bro’ she keeps looking at me.” I shake my head and shrug, trying to conceal a laugh. Annoyed with my reaction Joey leans back in his chair, takes a sip from his drink, and childishly sniffs letting out his trademark phrase (his gem), always humble ‘til the end:

“Of course I could be wrong. I’m a piece of shit, what do I know?”

A quiet drive

I spy through the smoke,
as I pass by the crash scene,
shattered glass and bone.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mr. Dominick

It seems like only yesterday you and I would sit in your garage and just…talk. The memories are so vivid, so real, yet at the same time so regretfully distant. For some reason, whenever I think back on our discussions, it’s always raining. The soothing cacophony of the relentless drops pattering on your old tin roof would perfectly, and sullenly, harmonize with the melancholy tune of your rusty windchime. The mood is a muddy shade of dark blue, so mysterious and introspective. I distinctly recall the steam as it rose off the thirsty concrete of your driveway, and the mildewy smell of your pair of amazingly comfortable, mismatching, thrift-store recliners. You’d tell me stories of when you were a kid and your time in the war. Some of these tales were true; while others were tall(to my 8-year-old mind they were all larger than life though). I remember once you told me about your stay in South America, I think you were stationed there briefly in the navy. You spoke of the native peoples and their odd traditions, and of the 20-foot snake you and your crew killed with machetes, and the exotic foods that stimulated your palette and wreaked havoc on your stomache. Another time, for a good four hours, you spoke of your childhood in Italy. You’d tell me about your “Nona” and your mother and your boyhood friends, and the odd circumstances that finally brought you to the states. Although your body was very old, your mind was quick and your senses acute and quite nimble. You recalled, with tears in your eyes, the bittersweet regret you felt when you landed on Ellis Island, all by yourself, alone and confused, so many long years ago.

Every summer when I’d come out to Long Island to see my family I’d look forward to seeing you most. Whenever I’d leave, as I’d sit on the plane, all by myself trying to act tough but really fucking scared, I’d try to hide my tears, and fail. I thought that perhaps I’d never get to see you again. Either you would pass away, as you were up there in age, or my annual trips would finally end. As fate would have it, that day arrived and I never got to properly say goodbye. Our last meeting was so fleeting and ended much too abruptly. I jumped on my bike and waved, rode away and never once looked to see if you waved back. Had I of know this was the last time I’d get to see you I would have hugged you and told you “thank you” and that I was grateful for you taking the time out to talk to some dumb kid full of dumb dreams who wasn’t even related. I would have thanked you for filling my heart with your larger than life adventures. I heard from my grandma years later you passed away, but up until that day, you’d always inquire about me, she said. I inquired about you too, continuously, and I pray my grandparents didn’t fail to tell you. Anyhow, the day I heard you died I cried and went off by myself and sat in a tree I used to climb when I wanted to be alone. Ironically, it was raining that day as well. Now that I’m older I realize, although you didn’t have much, you were wealthier than any man I have ever known. The people you’ve met and the places you’ve seen are more precious than gold.

I still miss you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Stepford Life

Sometimes I wish I lived in the fifties. It seemed like such a happier, more innocent time. Cars were always clean and waxed to a gleaming shine; lawns were always perfectly cut in evenly spaced, parallel lines. Every man wore a fedora whenever outdoors to keep out the glare, whenever indoors they always had perfectly combed, slicked back, hair. Every man would come home to his perfect home and his perfect wife and his perfect life and his perfect kids to a hot, delicious meal fit for a king. After dinner every man, dressed in slippers and a robe (with his initials stitched in gold) would sit in his chair and light up a pipe, pour a scotch on the rocks, and read the paper all night. On the weekend every man would put on a mitt, go outside and teach his son how to pitch, hoping and dreaming his son would become the next Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris, hoping and dreaming his son will one day bring home the pennant. Hoping and praying this illusion, this fleeting perfect image, will never change or fade or fall apart at the seams. For to every man, what seems like a flickering dream projected on a movie-hall screen, is payment for risking their lives. For fighting the good fight. For killing Nazis and Japs. For dying in packs. It's a reward for defending freedom in all of it’s forms, and becoming hero's and the legends of yore. Yes, I think it would have been really nice driving that oversized car, or wearing a pair of silly slacks and an even sillier hat on an eighteen par. or watching 'I love Lucy' or Jackie Gleason, cause I would have known damn well, all of this, would have been for a reason.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Case of the Mondays

I had to be to work this morning at 6 a.m. I set the alarm to 4:30 which, when timed right, gives me five chances to press snooze and then exactly 30 minutes to take an Irish shower (deodorant and cologne), throw on my filthy clothes which have been sitting on the floor, and grab a Red Bull and fly out the door. Like 95 percent of the world I detest Mondays, and like 60 percent of the world I detest mornings. I place in the top 99 percentile in both of these categories. I am by no means a morning person, especially when I sleep like shit. Today definitely wasn’t an exception. My dreams last night were full of strife and delirious sights of dancing little dogs wearing ruffs, pointing midgets with pointier noses, and horrible memories of rehab demons. I awoke with a start, fumbled about in the dark, and in my peripheral vision I caught fleeting glimpses of the ghost who haunts the house I live in. (I believe it was built in 1908, give or take a year or three)Luckily I’ve grown accustomed to these witching hour visitations; they no longer faze me. Anyways, despite my fitful slumber I decided this day would be different. Today would be the day I ‘Carpe Diem’ and accomplish the silly short-term goals I always set for myself, but usually ignore. However on my way out to my car a black cat crossed my path, I stepped on about three cracks, and a contemptuous little bird decided to poop on my hood, which as we all know leaves an unsightly white mark which takes ages to scrub out. Right then and there I knew I had failed. Today will be another typical, miserable Monday.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Knots and Gossip

We sit on the bed on a Tuesday night watching “Extra” or “Hard Copy” or some other such tripe. As is typical G____ fashion, she turns to me and asks (in reference to some model or actress), “Don't you think she's fat?” However, as is usually the case with G___it's not a question but a statement. No, not a statement, but a fact. Like a trained circus monkey, or a Pavlovian dog conditioned to respond, I mutter “Yeah, she's not really that good looking. She's overrated.” Satisfied with my response G___ turns back to the T.V and the obsessive-compulsive twisting of her hair into knots: she calls them “horns.” Upon crafting one of these unique creations she'll proudly ask me to inspect her form. I set down my book, and with the best of intentions I lightly feel her clever invention. “Wow that's really tight” I bemusedly say, loving the way her eyes light up and her nipples sway under my white cotton tank top she's barely wearing. So there we sit on a Tuesday night, G___ endlessly twists, and casually picks at leftover ham fried rice, all the while filling me in, as I read my book (probably Byron), on who's feuding and/or suing and/or screwing who in Hollywood.

Friday, April 15, 2005

A Study in Egocentricity

I sit aloof in the snug booth sipping vermouth pretending to listen to my friend, let’s call him J___. He prattles on and on about some bitch he’s trying to lay and some investment deal he’s trying to seal. I wish I could give you specifics but I can’t cause I don’t really listen. I just nod my head and every now and then blankly say, “I totally agree” or “you’re telling me.” My thoughts, as is usually the case, are somewhere else. My troubled mind is on the red-eye flight: destination, another time. Under the pale glow of the pale lights my sushi roll and noodle bowl look so alien and unappetizing; like future food perhaps from a future film from the fifties complete with spacemen in shiny, future spacesuits that convincingly talk to clunky, future robots. I pick and prod at my food trying not to be rude as J____ lewdly goes on about how good H____, a girl we know, looks nude, and how she tastes even better too. I fake a smile or two, and even force a laugh. I perfectly play my part in his imperfect plan to imperfectly fuck every “bitch” he imperfectly woos.

The white noise of the swanky bar drowns out the incoherent shouts of a broken crack-whore standing outside alone. I spy her through the glass acting crass trying to draw undue attention from the departing bar denizens. J___ notices my gaze has shifted and turns around to see what I see. We sit in silence for a minute, maybe three, intently staring at the unfolding scene. J___ turns back around and raises his glass as he smugly laughs. “Glad it’s not me” he chuckles with glee. “Here’s to life, money, and the pursuit of pussy” I weakly raise my now empty drink and solemnly nod, “I totally agree.”

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Sticky hours of tossing and turning, cursing and lurking. Lying in bed, a million thoughts racing through your head, million dollar ideas that at the time seemed so clever, but in the light of day, in real life, so trite and trivial. Be it thought induced or love induced or drug induced it’s always the same: paranoia, nervosa, darting eyes, piercing pain. It’s lingering obsessions that forever rain in your brain and stick like lint or stubborn grass stains. Daylight, and the bickering of birds, and fresh morning dew, and a cup of morning brew, all seem so far and away as you lay in your 400 thread count grave. Counting sheep, urge to weep, urge to leap, hell, urge to fucking finally sleep and close your eyes and slip into sweet slumber makes a man so very humble. The minutes turn into hours turn into lifetimes of watching infomercials, as you think about your future, and for a brief moment you may actually consider picking up that phone and buying that informative packet promising riches and gold, assurance and status, and your piece of the pie. Operators are always standing by.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Lotos Drinkers

I sit in a quiet corner of the raucous bar. Happy hour is well at hand and the motley cast of irregular regulars have all checked in. All are accounted for and in their designated spots already playing out their designated roles in this production which I designate a comedy of errors and folly. In reality though, there is nothing amusing about this scene except perhaps how utterly tragic it truly is. Each laughing face has it’s own sad, sad tale to tell; some will readily share, while others require a lot of drinks and a little bit of coaxing. It’s always the same you know, love lost. They will always tell you about how great life once was; with half-shut eyes ever to seem falling asleep in a half dream. They will always dwell on the past, and what a wonderful existence they once had, happy in love and in money and in hope and in dreams: always a victim it seems. Always swept away in the undertow of their hubris. So they come here to sip distilled and refined and redefined lotos to try and forget their troubles; and miserably fail. The lotos does not forgive nor does she allow you to forget. A lonely night hunched over the toilet puking your guts out is oftentimes the reward she gives.

I sit in a quiet corner of the raucous bar. My stein, light beer of course, three quarters empty now. The thin layer of ice, which once lined the wall, has now formed a puddle at the base of the glass. The molecules of water unsure of where to go cautiously still cling to the bottom of the vessel which they have always known as home; as is the case with all of the drunks in this shithole bar. There are countless places in this town where these people could go, yet they keep coming here for more and more, every night, every week, every month, and so it goes. There is magic in these walls which one cannot ignore. Or perhaps the magic of this place has been systematically sucked out of the lost souls who continuously frequent it, along with their paychecks. I like to believe the relationship is symbiotic though. This place gives back just as much as it takes. It gives false hope, false courage, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, a clumsy night of false love.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Diary of a Commuter vol 1

It’s funny how fleeting, yet profoundly intense, rage can be. Specifically road rage. It’s a snapshot, a quick glimpse, of the heart of darkness that dwells inside all of us. It’s scary how easily accessible this rage is. One doesn’t have to hack away dense foliage or traverse raging rivers in the deepest, darkest Congo to find this madness. It’s all right there, nestled within the cerebral cortex ready to strike, like the tongue of a chameleon. If one could crawl into the mind one might barely see it through the discombobulated undergrowth of criss-crossing psynapses, neurons, and rivers of gelatinous goo.

To get to the point, and this is true: while driving to work this morning some belligerent jackass in a minivan, whom I can only assume had far more important matters to attend to than anyone else tailgated me for about a mile. He then abruptly switched lanes to pass, no turn signal of course, and glared at me, shaking his head as he drove by, as though I was the one at fault. I was doing 80. The speed limit was 65. Something in me snapped. my judgement lapsed. At that very moment, the weight of the world was upon my shoulders and mine alone. It was my duty, my obligation to my fellow man and to God, to educate this piece of shit. I sped up alongside him and motioned for him to roll down his window. Predictably, he refused. I accelerated in front of him and swerved into his lane. I shouted at him to pull “the fuck over” as I flipped him the bird and threw empty Coke cans, fast food cups, and whatever other rubbish I could find in my car on his hood. He wouldn’t stop. Apparently he didn’t think about the consequences of his actions this morning. He didn’t anticipate he’d piss off the wrong guy, a guy who is standing on the very edge of reason fully prepared to leap. Had he of pulled over, I know I would have beaten or strangled him to death. I know I would have killed him.

Why? My plane to paradise has crashed and I’m stranded in the squalor of the sprawling, steaming, urban jungle, working the 9 to 5. Trying to survive the daily grind. I am a “Lord of the Flies” insurance and legal nightmare. I am Charles Bukowski shot full of steroids.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Paying it Forward

It's pretty scary being completely broke.

The other day I got a post dated check loan at a place cleverly named, "Check City" which is smack dab on the boulevard of broken dreams, criss-crossing wino alley. I always swore to myself I'd never take out one of these ridiculous loans, yet here I am, slapping down my car title for an extra 200 bucks so I can eat.

Upon completing my business I quickly leave. As I'm getting into my car a homeless man approaches me and asks for money. He can tell by the pissed off look on my face that I'm put out. So he quickly follows his initial query with "I mean no disrespect, but if you have even a quarter you'd spare so I can buy a burger or something I'd really appreciate it." Coincidentally, in my center console I had 2 quarters, some pennies, and a pocketful of lint which I was saving specifically to use at the car wash. I hand him the quarters and say:

"It looks like you could use this more than me."