Friday, July 29, 2005
This time I sat in the middle of the bar, which apparently is some invisible age line. To my right sat an elderly couple while all along the bar and tables to my left flocked (and shouted and sang) all the young dudes and 3 women (all blondes).
The elderly couple left early on, so that left me staring at the potato chips for sale and eavesdropping on the very drunk (and progressively more so) owner James talk to his friend Frank Kelly. Frank grew up in the neighborhood, went/goes occasionally to Northern University in Dakalb, IL, and wants to be a firefighter in a suburb.
Jackie, the hotter of the 3 bartenders Mike and I viewed during The Lost Weekend, goes to Northwestern University for her Masters/PhD in Stem Cell Research. She'd only seen James this drunk one other time since she's worked there. Her sexy bod and smug/seductive (sucker the boys into big tips) smile worked its magic on me and I ended up staying for a fourth Jameson on the Rocks. I fall for bartendresses and waitresses so often, it must be a psychological disease.
And now I'm going to Chump's for drinks to wish Backseat B. Farewell on her transfer, later/whatever to Fannie on her transfer, and congrats/whatever on "Honey" A. on her promotion to Floor Supervisor. General agreement is that she's going to be a "ball-buster" on the floor. We will keep on eye open.
I predict many see-ya's, keep in touches, beer, overpriced appetizers, "fake husband" jokes (me and Backseat B.), overly-sensitive moments that create momentary arguments I am only half into, cigarette cravings, more beer, might switch up to whiskey depending on the level of boredom, and then, lamely, we all break up for home around eight or nine o'clock.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
That's what I want to do.
Early this morning, I do a search on Flickr that amounts to searching for "smith" on Google. A needle in a thousand haystacks. But I click on: like 1200 pictures. I hate myself for it.
A $240 fuck-up today. City sticker.
Work was long and boring. I don't know where I want to be, but surely not here. Except when I made Amber Chunky Globes turn red with laughter when I did my "wearing silk boxers" routine.
I don't want to go home. Nothing but heat and memories there. I park on Touhy and enter The Lamp Post. The possibility of Momentary Relief lures me in, like a moth to the flame.
I sit alone at the farthest end of the bar. Stare, and pretend to give a shit about the Cubs v.s. San Francisco game. Cubs win! Mac loses.
I can't escape it, even here. Patrick says "the hardest game in life is love. Being in love and loving someone." His sister died and he got The Phone Call here. I feel like crying overhearing this.
Courtney in the Cubs hoodie went to Lollapalooza with her "new boyfriend!" And he's "so cute!" I watch the other couple make out at the bar and cringe. I kiss another Jameson on the Rocks and a Camel. I hate myself more and more after each drag.
I watch the party on the balcony across the street. A group of black guys and girls in red and white t-shirts. I should be there, but I don't know why. I watch the 13 year old girls at the table by the window, especially the one with the stuffed pink teddy bear. I want to talk to her, hear a fresh innocent perspective on things. They sip their Cokes, and chat with The Lamp Post softball team members dressed in red. Everyone is with a date.
The rain starts up again.
Patrick's blonde friend puts her legs up on the barstool next to me. Her black dress twisted.
"What are you drinking there? You have to watch him, he's drinking that dark liquor, like Scotch or something. What are you drinking?"
"Ahh, a fooking Irish! Keep a watch on him."
"I can handle him," the older blonde says, and then they pay me no mind.
I have to work tomorrow, so I head out into the rain for home. There's a parking space open right by my back gate.
It was all, sadly, meant to be.
Monday, July 25, 2005
The apartment burns, melting ice Cubes in record time. A blink of the eye and the Amber light turns clear. My sweat dries in the fan's breath. I rub the glass across my forehead slowly: Momentary Relief.
Isn't that what we all look for? Momentary Relief.
And it's all over. In the blink of an Eye. A flash of a lash. A flick of the ash.
I breath in the smell of Athens tonight. I swallow the taste of Tony's. I ask for help from the Amber Blood of the Irish. I inhale 20 friends of the past, my Prodigal Lovers. Self-medicate. Go with what I know. Push it all down deep inside, never let it see the light of day again because it always rains when I do. I lost my umbrella. Did I ever have one?
I feel like my old Self tonight in the wet heat; I feel like all the bad parts of my old Self. The living parts that lead to death.
Lilly yells at me, telling me I'm doing this all wrong. Get it together. She says I don't know how to love, how to live. "Saigon...Fuck...I'm still in Saigon." I'll be the 35th passenger scrambling for the helicopter that only holds thirty-four. My fingers touch the shell and slide off. My hand outstretched for the Sun behind the Clouds. My eyes reflecting the greyness. I see nothing. Maybe I never wanted to truly leave.
The apartment feels empty. A life force has left, leaving a vacuum. Choking.
The Blue-haired Demons are always gathered outside the Wall. I thought I could hold them off, but that's a lie. Always a couple sneak in the cracks in the Wall. They snicker in the corner of The Cube, holding what I want just out of reach. Their teeth flash in the flame's flicker. My skin turning red; they bath in poison ivy and eat Love.
They know I cannot kill them. I embrace them tonight.
The Lost Weekend.
- "So here's the story..." and Wilco comes on the jukebox. A movie moment. We laugh in gallow's humor so I don't go insane. I'm not crazy, I'm neurotic. It's funny, in an absurd way. I see the beauty and ugliness of Life in a 3 minute second. Another round.
- "Dude, listening to Kid Rock in the shower hungover is traumatic."
- "I don't know what to do." "Neither do I."
- "There's two apartments open here!"
- "Singles was a bad choice...should have put in Apocalypse Now."
- "Did I just smoke a cigarette?"
- So I'm at work. And this Department Head I barely know sees that we're working at the same counter and gives me this big-ass hug out of no where. WTF? And then, The Croatian Gyration Sensation keeps hitting my arm, Amber Chunky Globes keeps touching my arm and calling me "Pookie," and S.W. pushes me so hard, I fall into the stairway wall.
- Freaking out on the corner of Wilson and Lincoln, inhaling a Camel Light. Staring at the bar's entrance. People in pairs. "Mac, don't beat yourself up. Anyone would be nervous in this situation."
- "Die Yuppie Scum?" "No. I said, 'Can I have a piece of gum?'"
- "I am so glad to see you."
- "So, I'm driving home from work tonight. And I'm like, 'what is this weird feeling?' And I realize I am in a great mood."
- "No, man, pain is pain. Don't compare yourself."
- "You kissed her, too?!?!"
- Constantly: "L.C. or L.S.?"
- "Did you two sleep together?" How did...?
- She never learned to ride a bike until Africa. In the sand.
- "Sorry, I thought you said, 'Elmer College.' Like, Elmer Fudd, like it was a hunting rabbits technical community college"
- "Want another drink?" "No, I'm driving."
- "That's amazing how you smile just talking about his sister like that."
- And I'm looking at her chin. It's cute. And she touches my arm, talking about Gambia. Meant nothing, but cool.
- And she's sitting next to me, squished into the booth. She's leaning away from someone else toward me, and our arms touch for 3 minutes?, a half an hour?, a second? and I'm thinking, "this is exactly where I want to be."
- "Well, I picked that up from the way you were totally staring at her."
- "What is up with all the people singing in this bar?"
- "That blonde is annoying the Hell out of me"
- "Dude. It's like a 6 to one ratio of women to men in this bar."
- Sitting on the porch at five in the morning. The sun is coming up between the trees at the park. I'm drinking the last half of an Old Style, rubbing my head. Hating myself. Looking at The Thin Line Between. I remember the line from Some Kind Of Wonderful-- "I'd rather not see you, and have you think good thoughts about me, than see you and have you hate me."
- "Where's my wallet?"
- "Oh, keys would be good."
- "Dude, seven fucking years! J.B. and I figured out a two to four plan, but seven fucking years!" "Yeah, that's a long time."
- At work, "I'm hiding in flutes section, you can't see me." S.W., as a joke, "Drunk! Nobody wants to see you!" That whole sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me is a fucking lie.
- And I'm sitting in the booth at The Grafton. I'm pretending to read the menu knowing I won't eat, nervous, self-conscious. I down a Jameson on the Rocks, yearning a Clonzepam. Smoke a Camel Light, watching the door. Anticipation. Dread. Get the Hell out of the way, you fat bar manager! Squash the smoke, order another drink. Wait and need Mike to return. And she walks in looking radiant in the dim light. A smile. A cool white shirt with a martini glass print and jeans.
- Rehashing memories about 76 N. Congress, Bald Zach with that lipstick swastika on his forehead, 120 N. Congress, 48 Mill, telling about the awkward drunken 3-way in The College Inn, "Her kisses were all teeth, biting my lips and shit, not cool. And the conversations in the bathroom; I just wanted to see the band at The Union. They were so hammered." A.R. loading the bong for a game of "I Never." Leaning on the end of the bar at O'Hooley's while he DJ-ed. "Supposedly she drank blood, but, yeah, she was a great kisser." Gay Politics 101, Ron Hunt. "She dated that Asian lesbian, right?" "Yeah, right after me." "All I remember is drinking Old Milwaukee Tallboys, and she's sitting on my waterbed, you know, before Zulu popped a hole in it, and all of a sudden she stands up and starts making out with me." "What did you do then?" "I think we went to Tony's or a party"
- "You can buy Meigs Gold in Amsterdam." "Fuck off, really?"
- Everyone's been overseas but me.
- "WTF? I got pictures of everyone except who I really wanted pictures of!"
- "I haven't seen you in a long time." "Yeah, that ain't right."
- "Okay, don't make eye contact with that guy. He's drunk and dying for conversation. He'll start talking to us." "Nah, he's won't want to leave his seat, but keep an eye on him."
- "Shit! Our bar tab is $107 dollars!"
- "I'm drunk, boys, give me a cigarette."
- "I'll have the same."
- Staring out my kitchen window at the cop car double parked across the street. Totally enthralled, like a movie. They drive off. Aww, show's over. They just wrote a ticket, and the owner of the car comes out. "Damn, man, they wrote me a ticket!" We can't take our eyes off the scene. And then laugh at ourselves, hard.
- "What's up with this MTV dance party shit music?!?"
- "You've never seen The Wall?!?!?!?!?!?!"
- "Kid's T-shirt said 'Charlie don't surf' on the front, but probably had no idea what it was from."
- "Oh my God! It's 4:35 in the morning!"
- "I never really liked the Hop Leaf either."
- "4 a.m. bar?" "Dude, I'm old."
- Lilly's been under the bed the whole time.
- "That's a blog post right there!"
- "Are you done with the computer?"
- And, like a Budweiser commercial, only with actually substance behind it: "I love you, man."
- "You know how Eskimos have like 40 definitions of snow? Same thing with love."
- "Mac. We're pathetic." Ha ha ha.
- I think I am going to pass out on Cybele's porch. I keep staring at the candles and humming Led Zeppelin songs.
- "You know, the fucker lurks, the least he could do is leave a comment."
- "So the river just disappears?"
- "Put on the red dress, pleeeeease."
- "He called your mom for bail money?!?!?"
And a million more that I can't remember now. But wish I did. Remember Everything. Feel free to add in the comments all y'all involved.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Recovering from Guinness pints, Jameson on the Rocks, the smokey The Lamp Post Tavern (two nights in a row), and jukebox music. The apartment is quiet except for the twinkling piano and horn of John Coltrane's Blue Train. A soft breeze filters through the sunlit blinds, and the trees hush at my Blue-haired Demons that have been held at bay since Wednesday when Mike arrived. Today, they've just crept silently in the moonlit night back to my Wall, clawing at the gate, and rattling the heavy locks on the door. I sprawl in the purple chair, empty-handed, and prepare my defense. The maps are outdated, the battlefield looks unfamiliar, and the reinforcements have long forgotten their way.
It is good to have a Wing Man in all types of battles.
We met at University, but really got to know each other when he briefly lived here in Chicago. Bond was forged, and I am lucky enough that he refused to let it be weakened or broken. A great conversationist with a sense of humor that matches mine well, and an admirable noble and warm heart. Overall: a Good Man. He's good for me, especially in the past Troubled Years. He reminds me of who I used to be and who I hope to become.
A perfect partner in crime for a (equally corrupting) Lost Weekend binge.
I am looking forward to tonight. We are meeting with Cybele and Miss Arsh for drinks at an, as of yet, unthought of location. The requirements are: food served; whiskey and Guinness must be available; quiet enough to talk, but not library quiet; good tunes on the jukebox; and light enough to see, but not fricking department store bright light. I want candlelights and smiles and laughter to the point of "...oh! My gut...it hurts!"
Pictures might be taken, some of which may not be burned for fear of being used as evidence against us in a Court of Life. ;-P
Stay tuned for blurry and booze-soaked details to (possibly) follow.
He seems like a really nice kid, so when I see him struggling to pull a dead tree branch off, I walk out say hello and offer to help. He declines just as the branch breaks free.
"Hey, nevermind then, "I say with a giggle. "It's been really hot lately, so if you're working and dying of heat exhaustion, feel free to knock on my door for a glass of water, right?"
"See you around," and I go back inside.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
There will be booze, babbling, giggling, and games. And, hopefully, I'll not need to raise up bail money for him if he gets caught sneaking into the conference that brings him to town. At least he looks good in orange.
Use the phrase "Soylent Green" in a sales pitch.
Example: "Yes, this serving bowl is exclusive to C/B, and can be used in a wide variety of ways. You could use it for salads, fruit dishes, soylent green, potpourri, add rocks and floating candles, pebbles, or even just display it on its own as an art piece."
So far, no one has risen to the challenge.
God, grant me strength. "It's People. People!"
Saturday, July 16, 2005
I chug an Old Style to relax my nervous anticipation of a seeing a show alone. It's been a long time since I've done this; maybe The Phenoms (who've played in my basement when I lived on Foster/Paulina, lovely keggers), The Go, and Mooney Suzuki at the Double Door two (?) years ago. And that turned out amazing.
I show up to The Bottle around 10:30. The Detonations had gone on only recently. I'd made it more on time than I thought. I stood in the back smallish crowd, by the bar, and sipped another Old Style, enjoying their straight ahead, raw-sounding bluesy punk. They sounded stripped down, strummed bass driven rock.
Looking around, I notice there is enough ink on the bodies of the crowd to drown a small third world country. Many of the guys were skinny with tight t-shirts and short or shaved heads. Lots of black. The very odd majority of the ladies were short. One of them dressed all in black next to me smoked a cigarette, and out of the corner of my eye I could see, kept glancing over at me or to the door to the pool room. She stood with two girls dressed in white shirts and blue jeans who looked a little out of place, maybe suburbanish.
Then this one petite punk cutie in a leopard pattern skirt, black tank, black dog collar, and very cool spiky hair grazes me on her way to the front. I watch her sexy swagger and sigh. I am in the right place. No North Shore plastic blondes here. Suicide Girls kick a Victoria's Secret model's ass any day of the week.
The Detonation ends, so I head to the back of the bar for beer and a seat. Got the beer, but no seat, so I lean against the piano and people watch.
A couple has snuck beer into the bar, and open them up near me. She's a red-head wearing a black T-shirt with a skull on it, and he sort of looks like Choire Sicha (but wasn't). They drink a bit, and then engage in the longest barroom lip-lock ever. I have to turn away for many reasons.
The Baseball Furies start up. They remind me a little of The Stooges with a little Stiv Bator (I think) thrown in. They're good, I'd see them again. As I stand a little closer to the stage now (God Bless Liquid Courage!), a short fat bitch plows into me on her way to the bar. I glance back and down a glare, but she's already lost in the, now bigger, crowd.
I go to get another beer. I slid into a spot on the bar, and wouldn't you know it, the short fatty is leaning against the bar next to me, talking to a faux-hawked blonde guy. I hear the hott blackhaired bartender (how many years have I drooled over this woman?) shout at the guy while pointing to fat chick "I'm not serving her! You can get a drink, but I am NOT serving HER!"
HA! There's karma for ya.
The crowd is getting bigger for the upcoming The Spits. I fall in love/lust many a time more as I survey the people assembled. They're laughing and traveling group to group, beers and cigarettes passing back and forth. I suddenly get an out-of-body feeling. It feels as if I am viewing hundreds of scenes from my past. These people play talk laugh drink just like friends and I did a thousand nights ago a thousand nights in a row. I could be looking at a show at The Union in the '90s, or here at The Empty Bottle in 1995-1998. I expect L.C. to walk out of the bathroom and ask for a vodka/cranberry. Or J.B. wanting to know if I wanted to "go for a walk," before the band starts.
I'm leaning on the wall, sipping my drink when the petite spiky-haired cutie in leopard skirt leans against the wall right in front of me. I stare at her hair for a will and her tiny delicate white chin, and say "oh, why not." I tap her arm, lean forward and compliment her hair, fully expecting to hear, "piss off, old man!" But, no! She turns all the way toward me, thanks. Cool, I think, figuring that'd be the end of it, but she asks me if I'd ever seen The Spits before. I say no, and she starts to tell me that their shows are great and--. And that's when her shaved-head boyfriend shows up, kissed her, and asks her what's going on.
To save face, I bum a Camel Light off him. They disappear into the crowd.
And then The Spits come on--strong. The keyboardist is dress up in cardboard boxes painted silver, acting like a stiff robot. "Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!" The guitarist/singer, bass/singer, and drummer are wearing black ski masks and the kind of sleeveless denim jackets (sans shirts) like Lemmy would wear; except, the singer's jacket has, painted on the back, the symbol and name Twisted Sister in orange and red. The crowd swells forward. I watched the bright green t-shirted Sid Vicious to my left hop around and smack his thigh off-beat. He needs his Ritalin.
I will probably buy some CDs of The Spits. Fast, loud and under two minutes each, their songs didn't mess around. Modern Machine Gun Etiquette. For the last half of their set, two Filipino chicks go-go danced on the stage...shake it, baby, shake it. Funny.
After they're set ended, I decided to get a Jameson on the Rocks nightcap. Just hang against the wall and watch the straggling people. I thought, it'd be nice to talk to someone. There are a lot of couples here tonight, grabbing each other's asses and kissing. Sigh. I don't want to be a peninsula any more. I looked around. Shrugging my shoulders, I planned to leave after this drink.
That's when The Cousins swooped up to me.
"Hi" the shorter one in all black said. "Our friends abandoned us for some boy, so we decided to come talk to you."
Fuck, are they asking for a ride home? WTF?
The tall blonde was Amber, the shorter one was Erika. I looked at Erika again, and realized she'd been the one standing next to me at the beginning of the night. Their abandoning friends were the two blondes dressed in white. Erika and her white-shirted friends had driven in from some southwest suburb. Amber had ridden her bike down from Edgewater.
We stood around drinking and smoking, talking about the bands. We all agreed the first two bands were cool, but it had definitely been The Spits' show. And we watched her friend get hit on in vain, and get drinks bought for her by some "God, he's like 32" guy. We analyzed his chances: desperately thin, but he didn't yet know that. He commented on her lack of hair flip, tightly clenched legs facing not him but us (a cry for help?) and the final, and most telling, gesture of the notorious Cock-block: her arm leaning on the bar held horozontally between him and her like the Berlin Wall. He just kept talking and rubbing his crotch on her thigh. Classy.
More smokes, and suddenly another Jameson on the Rocks appeared (unpaidforbyme) in my hand and then we were outside saying good-bye to Erika and The White Shirts and Amber and I chatted about who-knows-what on the corner and then I head home.
Friday, July 15, 2005
I must learn to stop inviting them in through the front door.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
The back of my head is throbbing like a detached heart in a villian's hand in a horror movie, but worth it. I had a good time last night
Good tunes, Old Style, Jameson, and punk eye-candy.
I'll post more later, as I'll be dragging my booze-soaked, dehydrated, smoke-reeking bones into work late as it is. This is my soundtrack for the day.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
But I know I won't be able to sleep; therefore, I'm going to chug a beer and go the The Empty Bottle by myself. If you want to buy me a drink, I'll be the one leaning against the wall, mumbling to himself, and ripping heads off his little Blue-haired Demons. With an Old Style to his lips, natch.
Here's who I'll see (though I'll probably miss all of the first band).
And then Group Therapy with a Hangover tomorrow. YAY!
WED . 7/13/05 ( 9:30pm , $10 buy )
The Spits label: Dirtnap,Nickel & Dime,Slovenly Recordings
Baseball Furies label: Big Neck,Flying Bomb
Detonations label: Alive
Spunky sarcastic punks the SPITS play quick-blurt songs that generally last no longer than one or three minutes, songbursts that are generally disaffectedly and haphazardly thrown together, and most often overtaken by drenching, fuzzed-out reverb. You'd be wrong if you think this isn't good, because the overall effect is actually pretty great, and while their three releases to date - The Spits, The Spits and The Spits - are decidedly short, they are all endlessly entertaining listens. Debauched, spastic punks BASEBALL FURIES have several albums to their credit, and their latest - Big Neck release Let it Be - finds them at the very top of their game, composing endearing, nascent tracks that are notable for their insistent, blue-collar earnestness. New Orleans-based trio DETONATIONS will open. The group have a sound that is entirely their own, stemming from odd tuning structures and a variety of 'manipulations' they've made to their gear. (Some straight up some 'science guy' shit, from the sounds of it.) And, they're apparently riotous live, and have a live show that isn't to be missed.
Supposedly it's been announced.
That, come August, Evil Fannie is getting transferred to a different store.
I am actually sort of apathetic at this point.
Rumor #2: The replacement Store Manager is a loud-talking Power Tripper.
"What Fresh Hell Is This?"--Dorothy Parker.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
...and then you crack open a beer, to cool off. It's warm in the apartment. You sit on the too small couch and do a quick evaluation. You think you got it under control, flipped back on the Safety. And you think it'll fall under the same pattern as the past. Physical space becomes mental space becomes just memories. Easier with a buffer. No misunderstandings, no ache, and no worries. Periodically through the weeks, you've checked the Safety Lever, is it really in place? Locked in? One day it looked like you may have applied too much pressure and jammed it too far. You worry you've bent the Safety too far forward and actually cocked the hammer back and chambered a hollow-tipped round; is the firing pin quivering, just a little? You look for that Thin Line Between, and truly see it for the first time. For the first time, you really see that the Line is as thin as a newborn's hair, and people have a Hair-trigger; one bad jostle and the thing could just go off out of hand, cross The Line.
...and then you answer the phone. You crack another beer open in the dark. You listen to the voice, and you listen to the Walkmen on the stereo. You make a conscious choice, you wipe a touch of oil onto the Safety Lever and ease the firing pin back into a resting position. You turn down The Walkmen until they are only a whisper from the speakers. You lean against the sink, catching a cool breeze, and smoke a couple of cigarettes the Lunch Lion gave you. You try to figure out what's going on. You enjoy the voice and the meaning behind the words and stories, and want to hear more. But not tonight.
...and you hang up the phone in a introspectively good mood. The heat pulls you out to the porch. You sip another beer, wipe the sweating bottle across you forehead. Smoke another cigarette and remember how you loved smoking. You blow the smoke to the street, and stare at the trees glowing in the streetlight. Part of the phone call got you feeling nostalgic. Faces of lovers from the past float by your Mind's Eye. Glimpses of smiles, flash of eye, and a smooth cheek against yours. That bit of neck. You remember their mouths and kissing. Snogging after After-Hours parties. Making out in the car by The Reservoir. In that grove of trees in Four Mile Square. At the park by Eagle Creek, and she asked you to prom, but you already promised another (and regretted it). In the Abandoned House where you all used to drink, scaring each other in the dirt floored basement. In the sun room at home. In you childhood room, on the floor, listening to The Cure. On the floor at her friend's studio on 3rd Ave at 34rth St. At the bar at The Wild Goose. In her room while her parents watched Jeopardy. That Hotel room in Conneticut. In her parent's bed on New Year's Eve. 76 North Congress. 17 1/2 First Street. All those dormitories: Fenzel Hall. Shively Hall. Jefferson Hall. Washington Hall. Wells Hall. That 3-way in the College Inn. That night you were too high, and she had a loft on Stewart Ave. That last night in Athens at 17 Putnam Street. That time after a 7 hour mushroom trip, and she kissed like a bird, thankfully interrupted by sirens and flashing lights outside your window.
...and you remember one time with M.R. in your room. The end of the summer. Parents downstairs watching TV. You melted into her. Her lips and tongue, the whole of your Universe. The glide and drift. Hands and hair and fingers and legs and all meshed entwined flowed rolled danced together in an unspoken perfection. Lost in her eyes, lost in her hair. You wanted to live forever. You felt dizzy. She stopped and you didn't know your name for a moment. Your vision blurred, and you laughed at yourself. Jesus! I think our Naked Souls rubbed together for a minute.
...and you pour yourself a Jameson, and smoke the last Lunch Lion cigarette to push down those memories because they feel great and feel painful all at once. You stare at the trees and try to remember the last woman you kissed. And you do. And you think about the second to last woman. It made more sense with her. And you look to the north because, rumor has it, she lives in Evanston now.
...and you finish the last smoke, down the last of the watery whisky and head inside. Maybe it'll be different now. Maybe your last kiss won't be your last kiss.
Monday, July 11, 2005
I emailed M.C. to find out his interest in dropping my place for a finger or two of Whiskey before the party.
I've always been a fan of the Pre-Party Cocktail. In college, my 76 N. Congress house served as the location for many of the Pre-Party Cocktail Hour(s). Many times, my bedroom (of three bedroom house) became the epicenter of these nights. CD playing, people lounging on my bed under the red/black tapestry or the floor, and Busch Light bottles scattered among the ashtrays bong books pictures Pertney textbooks laid out around my room. I liked being surrounded by my friends with occasional stranger in such tight quarters, trading stories, flirting, watching A.R. bounce around the house ("Dude, you gotta check this band!), making plans, getting excited for the kegger up the street, the show at The Union, or just more beer a block over at Tony's (the best bar in America, by the way) looking for the wonderful After-Hours.
But, I digress.
I ended up taking the Wild Turkey Bourbon Rare Breed over to M.C.'s where D.H. and B.H. and I played some Medal of Honordeathmatch, ate pizza and such. Somewhere along the lines, we forgot to get beer for the party, so the grand idea of just bring the bottle materialized. Off we went to pick up Mike, M.B. and her attractive friend O. We sat outside on their patio. Anchor Steam Summer Brew, passed my camera around, someone lit a joint for themselves, the park light lit us up casting shadows on our faces, the pleasant night sat quietly and listened.
At M.U/C.U.'s, the lower floor felt like we'd interrupted a private dinner party. The table sat still set, a meal appeared to have been prepared and eaten with some sense of formality. Hellos and introductions. And we went to the upstairs apartment.
A crowd of attractive (indie, artsy type) ladies, nachos, a flaming Smores maker, liquor and beer, most of the boys were musicians. I think four bands were reprazentin' that night. At one point I found myself on the floor discussing plants, and how mine all die. The soundtrack of the evening was great; lots of Bauhaus, New Order, Joy Division, The Cure and the like. Then the third blue plastic cup of Turkey (lots of ice) started kicking in, and I took my customary Wallflower stance in the kitchen with the 3 Z-boys, off to the side, in the conversation, but mind wandering about Space and Parallel Tomorrows.
Then B.H. spanked the perfectly tanned M.U.'s booty with the step-on trash can a couple of times really. Mildly amused, she. T busted the three of us boys scoping out a sexy hipster chick's behind, and then, for our enjoyment, imitated us to embarrassing perfection (nod in fake conversation, glance over, conversation, head point, obvious gawk, then fast nodding of "hot ass" agreement. At the end of the evening, she left with her girlfriend, The Angry Thai Lesbian.
The woman in multi-colored vintage dress I had eyes for turned out to be accompanied by boyfriend. The semi-interesting brunette in black jeans and tank-top who may have had eyes for me had crazy eyes, so I avoided contact. O disappeared for a lengthy time, talking on the deck with the Angry Thai Lesbian. During a tour of the building's apartments, we say the music studio and each apartment's Shower from a Seventies Porno, you could fit like 8 people behind the wall of glass in the basement one. Where is Marilyn Chambers when you need her?
I showed up late for work Sunday.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
White / Light
They have music in their hearts, a quick quip on their lips, and slick merch for sale on the table.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
A few fingers of Wild Turkey under my belt, and I go and smoke two cigarettes the Lunch Lion gave me the other day. I should have said, "no thank you," but something made me pick them up. I looked at the full pack of Merits 3 times. He said take them, you'll need them.
Foolishly, I took the challenge and failed.
I need to gargle Listermint in my lungs; they tasted like shit.
But the feeling of holding them in my hand...oh God, like getting drunk and kissing an ex-girlfriend: so comfortable, so sensual, so right at the time depending on who left whom. A magical extension of the hand and my lips curled around the end perfectly like I'd never left. If the Lunch Lion had handed me Camel Lights, this story may have had a different ending, but I am still a new non-smoker.
But still bored as Hell.
Hopefully, something fun will occur at this party tomorrow at M.U./C.U.'s apartment.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Hours before, a group of us had (of course) gone out drinking; a Thirsty Thursday. Tony's, O'Hooley's, The Union, a party, don't remember exactly where, but those are the usual haunts. Still up and going after returning to my dorm, we decided to each chew a gram of Mushrooms I had in my dorm fridge.
A strange night/morning.
At one point, we dragged blankets out into the lounge, thinking to sleep out there. Leaning out the lounge windows, staring at the "shoe tree" below and the stars above the Hocking River. Needing to roll, writhe on the floor. I remember giggling a lot. We felt safe in the lounge, about three times bigger than my room 425. And also, since we had convinced ourselves that the entire campus is asleep and no Security would be doing rounds this night/morning. The world loved living, and left loving people alone (or some such shit).
The walls breathed and I felt happy. I could feel the neurons firing away. I could feel my skin, and I felt good in it. My lips quivered as I pulled the smoke through the hundreds of Camel Lights those 6 hours. I kept running fingers through my hair.
At a low point, R.L. began crying softly, then groaning.
"I'm sorry Grandma, I'm so sorry."
I tried to get her to talk about it, figure out why she was sorry. I rubbed her back, like a mother does a child. She shook her head, moaning. She leaned back against me, my nose on her neck.
"I want this trip to be over. I feel like I'm never going to come down."
I involuntarily giggled as I had also thought this trip may last a long while, but wasn't entirely put off about it until I remembered we had an Anthropology class at eight o'clock. I hushed her, and said this'll run it's course like everything else.
She wanted to go back to the room, room 425 held the safety now. We'd been going for 5 hours now. She'd worked out the tortured guilt sorrow in that lashed out earlier at her, and now sitting and listening to favorite music together was a good time. We sighed and laughed and relaxed. Our eyes drooping, but still held the flicker of the 'shrooms.
The candle flickered violently a few times, then stilled, surged up once, and burned out.
R.L. said "Wow, I never saw a candle burn itself out before."
A year later or so, in recalling this moment, R.L. said she had never before heard me say something so sadly matter of fact. She said my whisper sent a chill into her stomach.
We made it to Anthropology and watched a loooooong movie about the Yonemamos (I'll look up spelling later). R.L. and I dozed off and on throughout the two hour class.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
After the semi-pointlessness feeling I left with the last Group Session, I woke up thinking of skipping this weeks session. M.M. told us last week he is getting transferred to some clinic on the Southsyyyde! soon. I'll get a new Primary person, which could be better, hopefully; maybe I'll connect better with him or her.
I have enough trouble connecting, talking about my depression, nihilistim, suicidal thoughts, and etc with parents, friends, and one Primary face-to-face, much less a room full of strangers (if anyone shows up).
Screw it. I guess I'll go. Kiss another couple of bucks goodbye. I can always do that conversation switch-aroo and get the others to talk about themselves.
May make for some good blogger-fodder, eh?
(and now I'm going to be late)
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Probably because I am a pissed off, angst-ridden, 21 year old Lesbian trapped inside a 34 year old male body with no fashion sense.
- Sleater-Kinney's Call the Doctor and Sleater-Kinney
- Hole's Pretty on the Inside (she'll be the biggest dick you ever had)
- The Gits' Kings and Queens (R.I.P. Mia Zapata)
- Bikini Kill's The CD Version of the First Two Records (In her kiss, I taste the revolution/Rebel girl...)
- Bratmobile's Pottymouth (
- and if Ani DiFranco had some feedback and a whiskey-Camel-Light harshed voice, I'd put in all her albums tonight.
I'm not even sure why this mood's come about. Sometimes I just binge 'n' purge. I could hit Star Gaze in my old neighborhood for last call, I suppose.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Friday: Closed at work. At home, a small fire-fight armed with Jameson (3 cubes).
Saturday: Day off. Spent the day cleaning the Crack House-like filth from my apartment. Dishes, litter box area, sinks, bales of trash out, sweep the bathroom tiles, threw out mysterious bag of rotting (possibly) vegetable with seepage, Lysol the fuck out of two garbage cans, and clipped the signs of death off my house plants.
Then, out into the real world. Picked up another (final refill) of meds at Lawrence House. Enjoyed the air and sunny day on the way to Best Buy and Jewel-Osco at Evanston Plaza for food and .... a digital camera. Yes, after months of thinking about it, I jumped off the cliff and picked up a Nikon Coolpix 4800 and a big-ass memory card. So, if I can figure out how to transfer the pics to my comp, you may see more pictures here in the future. I'll soon be taking applications for Nude Female Models; just send body and head-shots here. All races welcome, prefer brunettes with some color; pasty need not apply.
Coordinated a last minute carpool to a cookout/beer thing at a friend of a friend's awesome apartment in Logan Square, M.U./C.U. The building had recently been built by another friend of a friend, P. It stands out completely from the two flats, gray-stones, etc of the neighborhood. Red brick and square, it looked a lot like my Lincoln Elementary School. He rents to sisters M.U/C.U. The living room is the best part. Painted a heavy red with much wooden, natural furniture, and paintings lining the back of the Victorian-looking couch, it reminded me of various apartment scenes from Vicious Circle, the artist across the hall. Like a salon of literary and artists could easily glide around the room and create things from nothing but the lubricated cogs of their minds.
Brauts, potato salad, cookies, wine, baked macaroni, and beer flowed and sated our hunger on the back deck two floors up while the neighborhood around us exploded with firecrackers and works. Sulfur smoke mingled with Quest 2 smoke and hops breath. Conversation varied and carried me through the night. My friends are lovingly vulgar and crack me up. I attempted to take some pictures with my new camera. It shoots out a red beep, like a bloated version of a sniper's targeting lazer beam.
Some things that stick out in my mind:
M.C. changing the words to Justin JumpinaLake's song Rock Your Body, substituting words, making it more of an American Psycho remix. "I'm gonna decapitate you before the end of this song..."
Heather philosophizing about that tricky subject of courtship and romance announcing "If you can't even talk to me on the El, how are you gonna be any good in bed?!?"
And, then, much later, unveiling her reality TV show idea: "The Cat-chelor." One crazy, quick to cry lonely woman (um, her sister, I think) and 30 cats suffering from all sorts of maladies, deformities and diseases. Her goal is to get to know each cat and pick the perfect one for her by the end of the season.
Ended the night, fiddling with my camera and a finger of Wild Turkey Bourbon Rare Breed.
Sunday: work all day with surprisingly no PTSD to speak of from all the hooch, just a little groggy and sleepy. I worked with N.S. all day. She read my palm, mumbled "interesting," and then REFUSED TO TELL ME WHAT SHE SAW!!! WTF? That shit ain't right. She cited she could read palms, but it was against her religion (Muslim) to do it, so she couldn't tell me. And then, proceeded to read The Croatian Gyration Sensations palm and tell her what it said because The C.G.S. laughingly refused to talk to her if she didn't. Frustration. Look at my palm, say "interesting," and then keep a secret...damn, that just ain't right.
"I don't dance. Dancing is the Devil making Puppets of us."--Mac.
"And then we ate the sweaty peach truffles."--N.S.
"Well here we are at Glass/Tabletop: I'll be the Table, you be the Top."--N.S.
"Why are you still talking?"--N.S.
After work, I received an email invite late, and rushed over to Mike's house for another cookout and booze-up. Another braut, tons of chips. I didn't have time to run to the store, so I just brought a couple of Becks from my fridge and a 1/4 bottle of Jameson (real classy, no?). Brown-bagging it, baby. We again sat in the park, sipping our drinks under the giant trees. Softball and more of that "cornholing" game. If I remember correctly, Mike and N.J. were the Kings of Cornhole that night. They were One with the Beanbags.
At one point near the end of the evening, just before the rain came, we walked over to the playground. C.T. and I swang a bit, then the boys spun me around in the tire swing until the all the veins in my head came within one G-force away from popping and spraying all my blood into the sand.
Monday: Alone. A beer in the afternoon on my back porch. Emails. The Dresden Dolls during the rain as gray light filtered through the blinds. A nappy-nap with Lilly. A big salad in front of Apocalypse Now Redux "Charlie Don't Surf!" Read a little New Yorker. Then out to the park behind my apartment complex to see the homegrown fireworks display until the park disappeared under the fog of war.
All-in-all, a pretty good weekend, and a party to look forward to this Saturday.
The changing of the guards (so to speak).
Today is Boss Frantic's last day as our Store Manager and Evil Fannie's first day as our Store Manager. Let's see how well my hours hold up.
I've a feeling there will be many knowing glances among coworkers, lots of "welcome backs" with while giving her a mental finger, and much re-sizing up of each other. One of the Office Managers (P.) and our Floor Supervisor (who's never met Evil Fannie) keep repeating things like, "people change," "she's learned a lot," and "let's give her a chance," etc. Do people really change that much in that short of a time? Do people change when their actions are probably encouraged through promotions?
Yeah. We'll fucking see.
Needless to say, but I'm bring extra Clonzepam along.
After work, we are invited to Chumps to "celebrate" Evil Fannie's return and "wish fond farewell" to Boss Frantic's departure. I'm just going for face-time and booze. Drink, fake smile, nod. I'm figuring it will turn out like all the other gatherings in the past: Management and office people in one table, while I and the rest of the Indentured Servants huddle at another table. Glaring over pints and bottles.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Saturday, July 02, 2005
- Dear Board of Education: Bruno doesn't give a shit little Johnny hasn't been to school since 2004. Time to write him off as another juvie headed for prison.
- Virginia? Granny's never gonna call you back. She's dead. I beat her to death with a broom and sold her gold tooth for aspirin.
- Lawyer Harris: You ain't got shit on me, man.
- Abdula Mummmumnbula. I will not call you back as soon as I get your messages.
- Empty messages. Chumps! You waited all the way through my greeting and the beep, the least you could do is leave a dirty message or something.
Friday, July 01, 2005
I made coffee, chewed a Clonzepam, and headed into The Jungle. Great parking, watched the little nursery school kiddies line up in pairs, holding hands. "Who's your buddy? Find your buddy." Little pink sun dresses and tiny t-shirts and shiny black shoes. I smiled at a little one in pig-tails.
I enter the building and am reassured that all is well when I see that way overweight black lady asleep in her wheelchair in her usual place by the wall. Head loosely hanging backwards, a small snore gasps as I walk by to the marble stairs.
My session begins on time. I think I said two sentences along the lines of "yeah, a couple of weeks ago, I had a terrible relapse...suicidal thoughts, the tiredness, the fetal position, booze, etc."
"Did you make it to work?"
And then he launched into some hippie-nature, re-align your chakras, stop drinking filling your body with poison, friendships/connections are hard when they don't work out the way you plan, breath in with the good out with the bad, smell the roses, and here's a couple of books you should read.
Apparently, I don't need Therapy, I need a fucking Library Card.
It's cool, I mean the stuff he talks about is interesting, and I even agree with most of it. But, shouldn't I be saying something?
Then, on to the Support Group-- 15 minutes late because he was telling me something. The Clonzepam had really kicked in. Hey, man, I am totally focused in on your head. I got a touch of motherfucking Tunnel Vision going on and everything is calm and outlined in black ink...like the first time I got High with T.T. by the Riverbend Park/The Resevoir and then in the Mall parking lot in summer 1988. "Mac, if I have to smoke another damn joint to get you high, I am going to kill you. Get out of the car and turn around 3 times. Let's go to the arcade."
Only two people showed up for Group. Someone forgot to call anyone. To my left, a maybe 65 year old thin white woman who loves babies, kittens, puppies, and, to my right, an Arabian (?) man with a shag carpet worth of the blackest hair on his arms suffering from Depression, Anxiety, too much sleep, loneliness, lack of interest in life, and Schizophrenia, and a sloppy fashion sense. Basically my Middle-eastern Doppelganger.
M.M. throws in a tape. It's one of those Sounds of the Forest relaxation tapes with a voice-over done by a sexy, seductive female voice like Lara Croft in a sterile lab coat.
With canned birds tweeting and barely audible "whooshes" of leaves in the wind, Lara instructs us to get comfortable and prepare to relax. Breath in through our noses for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, then exhale slowly out our mouth for four seconds. Rinse and repeat.
She guides us to The Gate. This is our Gate. Picture The Gate (we can choose what it looks like...mine's a stone one with green metal arch). Now open The Gate and step inside and shut it behind us. Lock it. No one can come in here unless we specifically invite them. Velvet Rope Access only, fuckos!
Now let's walk down The Path. What does The Path look like? Is it paved or earthen. (I went with a well-trodden dirt path, thank you). Imagine walking along the wooded Path. The trees, the bushes, the lush green ferns, wild flowers, and other such pretty nature stuff. The sun is shining on the leaves (Breath!). We walk awhile and come across a stream (or brook or river: you decide!...Breath!). We can sit on the shore, or on a rock in the middle, or put our feet in the water, or pick up a pebble from under the water (Choose Your Own Adventure!). Then we lay back under a tree and stare at the blue-blue sunny sky, um, well, breathing.
Now it's time to go, so back up The Path, through the woods and back to The Gate. We lock The Gate (ain't no one stealing my ferns, punk).
The clock over M.M.'s head says it's 1:30 p.m. I have a half hour to go home, change, and rush to work. What little relaxation the lovely Lara's given me is quickly ebbing away.
At work, I down another Clonzepam because it's been rather nice feeling even all day. Not totally even, but for the most part, just a delicate hint of anger and sadness, a sprinkling if you will. The drug allows me a gentle calmness, a bit Zombied, relaxed...a sort of Enjoyable Apathy.
And then I realize the following quotes have been running through my mind all day long:
"It don't mean nothing, man. It don't mean nothing...Come on, man...You owe it to yourself...It don't mean nothing. Not a thing, man. It don't mean nothing. Not a thing. It don't mean nothing. Not a thing."
"I don't give a fuck, holmes!"
"Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were goin' all the way."
Open Letter to the Mall Zombies; which suddenly changes to twisted, stream of consciousness babbling
You don't need most of that shit you buy.
I like you without all that stuff in your hair, and plastered on your face, eyes, and shoulders. I like the pigmentation G-D gave you the day you're born. Natural, genetic tans are so beautiful.
Don't dye your hair blonde: Black hair is the essence of beauty and lust. Raven--Ravenous. The closer your eyes are to the color of coal, the more intense the flame in my heart yearnsburns for you.
Or Green. Green and black are my favorite colors. Night and nature. A forest at midnight under a full moon: Heaven. A hand to hold at the side of a campfire, fireplace.
Can you hear me screaming for you in the space of my mind?
I want to do great things with you. Just need a push in the right direction from the right woman. "Behind every great man, there stands a greater woman." Can I kiss your cheek forever? Fall asleep in your hair? With my hand in that crook where your hip starts.
Drink with me until we get silly and nonsensical. Fall into my arms in laughter. Find Screaming Trees sexy. Find me worth showing up late for work. Let's get together and create our own perfect passion. I need a partner.
I react. Someone else supplies the set-up, I drop the cow-eyes and respond weirdly. The audience laughs at the pair. I am Lou...who is my female Abbot? I am tired of standing on this stage alone, sweating in the spotlight. The chairs are empty. The stage lights shine in my eyes, waiting for me to say the lines I've all but forgotten.
I never ignore those I like/lust/love. I ignore those who disgust me or I loathe. (The Blondie Twins).
I scratch four out of seven layers of skin every night. Rip the blue-haired Demons' heads off as they peek out my pores. Fuck those people. Turn Love to hate and it doesn't hurt as much. But I'm tired of Hating. But I'm tired of Hurting.
Will the morning bring clarity to any of this?
Some people seek adventures in the city on the weekends. Others find adventure in their own mind on the weekend. Chill the judgmental shit out! Good for the Goose, is not always good for the Gander. I am you. You are me. You are You. I am I. You. Me. Us.
Time has no meaning. Thursday could really be Monday. It all feels the same. Remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy. All Religions are the same; the same thread strings itself through all Religions. Man fucked up God. I believe in God. Man skewed God to his own advantage. The True God lies within you. Man KNOWS what is right. The priests in power play the game. You should be able to love who you love. Marry when and who you want to marry. Wear shorts if you want. Man to woman, Man to man, Woman to woman: does it really matter? Love and Loyalty and Commitment is all that matters. No one expires. That's one of the cruelest things I've ever heard from a church. Keep your name, I'll not brand you.
I prattle on about things unknown to me. Tonight, I'm just vomiting on the page. Booting out a bunch of crap I seem to have ingested over the past year. Bing and Purge, baby. I apologize for the mess. Let me get that Bar Rag.