My good friend "Scotty Potty" recently gave me a
little blue book that he bought in San Francisco. It's made out
of strange grainy paper from some plant in India and it's made by
people that could really use the cash, so I guess I like it. Even
though the people who made it, probably use it's pages as toilet
paper because, well, it's just simply THAT nice. And semi opaque
too. But I like it. It's the kind of little book you'd see
protruding from the back pocket of some hipster high school chick
which might conjure images of a foxy babe that reads Kerouac and
has a dream machine in her room. Yeah, gets me excited too.
Anyway, I'm not foxy, I'm not a girl, and I don't really like
Kerouac either, so just forget about all that and start noticing
how I probably over-use commas (",") instead. I do that
because, well, I like to break sentences up, like this one here,
and because I'm probably the hippest person in this entire chair
right now. You know, when my parents were having their last night
of passion before I was conceived I wonder if they were thinking
about the fact that if my mom got pregnant, and if it turned out
to be a boy that he could grow up to have his father's eyes and
his mother's hips! Yeah, it's true. I have my mom's hips, err
rather a facsimile of my mom's hips, you know what I mean
I'm hip. It's been the scourge of my life since 7th grade when
things first started getting really bad. As I was walking in from
one of the modular buildings outside my jr. high school, there
were two boys behind me. One said "How can someone be so
tall and have such a small head?" Then the other one
followed up with "yeah, and such a big ol' butt?!". I
never forgot that and now here I am, grown up and still talking
So the pages in this little book are really thin. You can see your written thoughts a moment ago spelled out backwards on the page where you're writing your current thoughts. It ends up looking more like beat poetry than blubbery, blathery babbling which is what I started the book out with. I guess it was just given to me at that sort of time in my life. But that's not what I'm gonna talk about here. Well, I don't think it is at least. Now, without getting side-tracked Following is transcribed from that little book. The text isn't dated and I don't make a habit of saying which days run together because, let's face it, it doesn't really matter! I write in the book now because I've started realizing how much of my days are forgotten forever, just because I never bothered to jot them down. So here it is
This is the time And this it the record of the time (repeat):
Project Blue Book:
I try to monitor my self-indulgent patterns. Especially in my interactions with other people. When every sentence begins with the words "I " or "my ", then all I'm doing is rambling on about myself and not learning anything. Even worse is when I start off a sentence with "One time I " because then I'm not only just going on about myself, but I'm also talking about the past, which is a place where nothing ever happens. The past reaches forever forward tapping my shoulder with it's depressing "remember when?". There's no escaping the long arm of your own memories; they're like a soft bed of pillows. I sometimes think I can smell the bed sores in public places where so many lay indulgently in the illusion of safety that is their own myopic past. A non-reality. Either way, maybe I can still figure out a thing or two when I do go on about myself. Of course it'll be on paper where I don't have to look at it after it's all done.
After shaking out the garbage bag today (so it could be used a second time) I noticed that there was something on me. Have you ever rubbed your palms together really hard and you see those little rolls of dead skin that look like tiny hand-rolled joints? Well, that's not what was on me, but could in fact be the main food of what was on me. Yeah, I was covered with scattered tiny fly babies and they were doing their best to rid me of my outermost layer. That's what I get for trying to reduce and re-use. Funny thing is, They're smaller than they are depicted on TV and in movies, or on album covers by the Plasmatics, but they're still nice. Cute, like a piece of rice with a little black dot.
This evening I found: A lamp, umbrella, red trunk, clock, extension cord, stack of love letters, Zapp record (funk), 2 stocking caps, one derby hat, wood dresser, blinds, and a box of canned food. All from no later than 1989. I guess it all sat in an abandoned and locked house for 11 years until eventually the place was cleaned out and the contents were tossed on the side of the road. Rymo got some stuff too. All in all, not a bad haul. Hey that rhymes.
The wind makes me feel less alone. Tonight I rode around another neighborhood looking for some girl's house, but ended up in a church parking lot watching a delivery truck load up rack after rack of sweet sticky-buns behind the nearby donut shop. I was waiting to make my move as "the best donuts are free donuts", and my refrigerator is usually at least 1/4th full of 'dumpstered' donuts from this particular place. Usually I can get them before they hit the dumpster, which I very nice indeed 'cause they're right on the loading dock. I don't know if they're waiting to be picked up and taken to some christian run charity (preachy fuckers), or if they're just waiting to be trashed, but many a time I've ridden up on my bike with a bag in hand and loaded up with enough donuts to send anyone running for the insulin. No luck tonight though. I lost patience after an hour.
Later as I'm sitting on my neighbor's porch with a couple of friends (Summer and Sarah-with-an- "H"), facing the intersection that goes by our street not even half a block away, something wonderful happens. A delivery truck from the donut shop I had just been stalking, races into the "T" shaped intersection lit only by one dim streetlight. It collides into a palm tree with enough force to cause the windshield to explode into a spray of shattered glass sounding with a loud BANG!. The van buckles to the left and careens over the curb, digging a deep trench into the grass and finally stopping sideways on top of the railroad tracks. Call me crazy, but at first I thought the driver had been shot in the head because of the loud noise. I started thinking of every time I've seen an actor's brains paint the inside of a car window like some kind of chunky tie-dye or . Instead I see the driver cursing as we advance toward the sparking, smoking wreck. I know what you're thinking But all the donuts stayed in the truck and we didn't get a single one! I did get a few nice pictures though.
The next day I spend 2 hours making a birthday card for Sarah. I catch a ride with some friends to the mall near where her friend Summer works. Inside the mall my friends and I get a couple of booth photos then they all leave and I stay behind to wait 2 hours for Summer to get off work. I sometimes wonder if I'm becoming sociophobic. It's something about the Friday night noise, the thumping of rap music, the yawping of drunk, horny military guys that makes me crazy (in a bad way), so I start walking. A quarter of a mile away I near the back of an Albertson's store where it's dark and quiet. Almost quiet at least. I can hear a faint sound in the distance, but I can't quite place it entirely. As I walk closer it becomes clearer. Hundreds of frogs chirping in a pitch black ravine, sometimes they stop except for three slightly different tones, then two, then finally one lonely frog. It's sad rhythm comforts me for a few moments then they all start up again, a calliope of cheerful voices that have sang the same song since before man walked the face of the earth.
One thing I like about Pensacola, you can buy beer at a quickie mart and the clerk won't ask to see the identification of everyone waiting outside in the car. Not that that has anything to do with frogs. Anyway, I head down a street behind the Olive Garden restaurant and sit on a bus stop bench for a bit. Killing time, and killing it well. For some reason, the women's clinic that owns the parking lot behind me has decided that they need a shit load of parking spaces, so I trek into the middle of the asphalt expanse and lie down. It's warm and smooth, almost soft. Odors from a nearby dumpster beckon to me, but not tonight my love. I've got other things on my mind. Things you can do at night that are impossible during the day.
Later at the beach, it's 12 o'clock midnight on a Friday and the moon is out. It's dark, there's little to do and although I'm having more fun that my two hosts, I'm bored and cold, but not complaining. Summer (who drove us here) realizes that one of her guy-friends isn't going to show before she has to act like she's going to bed at her parent's house, so we leave. I've done the drill. Walk in making enough noise so mom and dad think you're in for the night and go back to sleep, then sneak back out for the rest of the night. It's not something she has to do, just if she wants to keep living at her parent's house rent-free. Later, at my house, Sarah and I are hanging out on the porch steps waiting for Summer to get back. I start thinking I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a bit of a 'thing' for this girl, but it starts to become painfully obvious that it's not a mutual feeling. What else am I to think when a person doesn't think a single thing I say is funny. Not even the really funny stuff?! Let's face it, when you don't like someone, nothing they say will be funny to you. Think about it. It's true.
Sundays are kinda cool in Pensacola. There's open-mic-poetry at Van Goghs from 6-8pm, then after that there's Flat Broke Folk at Sluggo's until 3am. Both are free. But before I do all that tonight, there's a fun and exciting shopping experience waiting for me at Pensacola's own independent food co-op, Everman's. What an awesome place! Usually I can't afford anything at Everman's, because I'm (take a guess), but I've finally realized that TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is not only super cheap, but filling, tasty, and good for you too! [insert advertisement for TVP here] Now, if it were just the TVP that I got excited about, I wouldn't even bother to mention it here. No, in fact I have a hidden agenda when I enter this plaza of good food and good times.
It was during my second visit to Everman's that I first noticed her. I can't really explain it, but there's a person working there that somehow has struck a secret chord in my heart and left me humming a mysterious tune that I'll never know the source. I'm not even about to mention her name because that would mess up the whole situation. You see, I've never spoken to her, I don't really know very much about her except for a few things her co-workers have told me. In a way, I don't want to talk to her or get to know her anymore than I do now because it might snuff out vibe I get when I'm in her presence. Creepy, eh? Yeah, I think so too. So I go to her work, I get my $2 worth of TVP (which happens to be allot!) and I sort of walk around the store just out of range long enough to get a new mental image of what she looked like that day. What she was wearing, how she arranged her hair, if she looked happy, etc. Then I hop on my bicycle and ride home with a new lease on life and dinner swinging from my handlebars. TVP, it makes good dog food too! Yeah, dog food. If she saw me and knew how I felt, she'd probably guess me as a person that ate dog food. That's what I look like half the time, a scruffy, unemployed, looser with no feelings and no future. Hey, that almost rhymed! I think I'll go record an album now.
Poetry night was awkward tonight. There were the usuals that got up on the mic and read their most recent stuff, most of which I really like allot (Mike Roycroft, you go girl!), I read a poem by my friend Twitch about our old refrigerator in Alaska, but then these two guys from another coffee shop read. They sounded like a cross between the two most famous "Bill"s that ever lived. Bill Shakespeare and Bill Shattner. Strange rhyming glop about being immortal or something. Well written, but over produced(?). Then a southern girl, her first-time here, wanted to sing a poem written by her now-dead friend. She gets up and sings a Janis Joplin song then follows it up acting like it really was her friend that wrote it. Strange
When I was a kid I used to sneak off and read porn magazines that I would always find in the woods. One time I started reading these personals adds that had a bunch of pictures of the people that were described therein. When I got to the section from Mississippi, there were suddenly a load of blond, kinda' pudgy, women wearing mail order teddies saying they were looking for men who were (among other things) financial stable. Funny.
So, the girl who I was trying to find the house of called me today. She said she'd meet me at Sluggo's for the folk music tonight. Oh joy. I'm so excited (not really). I smell like mildew from cleaning out the fridge I found and fixed up a week ago, and sweat from riding my bike around all day (look out Olympics, here I come!). Plus I'm still wearing the shorts I went swimming in earlier today! So I smell really, REALLY good!! This girl (whom you don't know) seems to be in some kind of socio-emotional flux that has paved the way for reckless behavior. Her past clings to her painfully, as reminder of wasted time. She seems to be trying to make sense out of life by letting others take what they want, physically speaking. The evil take eagerly from those who don't realize the value of what they give away. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that karma exists. Was that vague enough?
I loaned Melissa $8. Now I have $3 left to my name. I brought zines to Sluggo's with me in hopes of making a little $$, but I still won't sell them to dumb-fucks that I know will never read them. "PTBH" is a personal-zine people, I'm not trying to change the world with it! So yeah, they don't get one. I might be poor, but I've still got standards. Earlier I was drunkenly referred to by one guy as "That guy that goes to Sluggo's and drinks coffee!". Then Mr. Soaring I.Q. blurts out "Coffee, Tea, Water All that crap! I just drink beer!!". Yeah, I'll agree with him there. I've seen him, he drinks allot of beer, then he gets really loud and tries to flirt with girls, then at the height of his popularity he slurs gibberish at the top of his lungs, imagining that all eyes are on him. All that cool shit that everyone loves to tolerate! So, I'm sitting here at Sluggo's drinking my fucking coffee and listening to the drunk morons next to me compare anything out of the norm to New York City, or Broadway to be exact. I doubt they've been to either. Go back to your small town boys, you're about to make fools out of yourselves! Oops! Too late. Sheesh!
I found a dollar on the ground today. I spent 75 cents on my coffee and put the remaining 25 cents in Lauren Numan's tip jar while she played. The bike ride home is all too familiar to me, but I still enjoy it. Another quiet Sunday night in lovely downtown Pensacola. I love this town.
A friend showed me to a neat-o underground tunnel where you can drop through a small hole leading from the surface into a cement 'box' big enough to stretch out in. One end of this little room opens up to some water where you can see a bunch of cabin-cruiser boats tied up to a pier. I sat there and listened to the wind blow across something in the distance. It sounded like 100 angry cats locked up in a closet fighting for their lives.
[days later] Tonight I thought I'd be funny and bring donuts to the club and try to sell them for 50 cents each or something. When I got there I heard the familiar sound of the Prosthetics doing their live set upstairs. So, I ramble on up the (according to Rymo) haunted back stairwell into the main show area and notice two fucking huge boxes loaded full of pastries! The Prosthetics may have foiled me this time, but I'll be back. YOU'LL SEE!!! Bwoooha Ha Ha Ha!
A stranger named Shannon (who wants to be called "Paris" one day) was nice enough to float me a smoke when I asked her for one. Later when I was doing my usual thing at the bar (coffee, mysterious wiggling pen, open blue book, etc.) she offered me a smoke. I decided to save it, so while she was looking away, I put it under the edge of my book. She looked back and pulled a smoke out of the pack and handed it to me saying "oops! That's right, here ya' go!". I took it and stuck it next to the other one under my book. She sat down next to me and puts her purse on the bar then says "Oh yeah, here ya' are!" then hands me a smoke and proceeds to light it. .
[next day] Jessica took me to CiCi's Pizza ($3 all you can eat). I ate 2 large pizzas (no cheese = no belly ache) and ended up with a pile of "pizza bones" for my dog. On the way home we stopped off and watched "A Bugs Life" at the dollar movie house. Pretty funny computer-cartoon.
As time goes by, I have less and less desire to have conversation with other people. I'm tired of repeating the same dialog over and over with each new verbal encounter. It makes me feel like there isn't enough change in my life. "Hi, how are you?", "Fine, an' you?", "Pretty good" (repeat). I listen to strangers all repeating the same phrases to each other and I can't help but feel like I'm locked in some kind of nightmare. A nightmare where everyone is blindly wasting these huge amounts of time blah-blah-blahing to each other with nothing ever gained or learned. Now you count me, all those around me, and everyone I've ever even looked at in my life. All the thousands of people. Millions even! In 100 years the only things left behind of us are the things we make now and the things others will make to remember us after we're gone. Doesn't that make you just want to go out and do something right-fucking-now?!? "Pfft!", What am I still doing here?! Holding this stupid bar stool down, that's what I'm doing. This place is always the same, but not as much as every other place. At least here, once in a while we all get to have a mutual, mass-lapse of sanity when everyone in the bar is friends with everyone else. When the bartender is throwing ice at the customers who are wrestling in a big dog pile on the floor. When the tables are stacked on things they just simply shouldn't be stacked on, and everyone is going absolutely nuts all at once! Hey Sluggo's, thanx for the memories. Really, I meant that! At least I'm allowed to sit here on a busy night like tonight, drink coffee, smoke, and write without buying a bunch of stuff and without getting mean looks from the bartender.
A couple of crew-cuts saddle up next to me. I can feel the uncomfortable warmth of their aggression heating my arm. They sit and play the staring game with a couple of girls on the other side of me. You know this game, just keep staring and wait until she says something, then activate the charm and it's off to bed you go. Meanwhile, the usual whores are feigning interest in the intoxicated slobs that offer them whatever it is they are looking for in life. Why do I pay such close attention to these people? Am I looking for understanding? Yeah, I'm looking for something in life, but I doubt it's the same thing as these two. Am I sounding negative here?? Really, tell me AM I???
I miss my coffee shop in Alaska where I am appreciated for who I am. Where they recognize my sincerity and where the strangers that go there aren't so noisy. In my head: a violin plays in the distance and everyone around me cries and hands me a tissue. Boo hoo hoo.
Speaking of bands (were we?), Sweep The Leg Johnny was great. A wild eyed saxophone player looking angry as fuck on stage then is the sweetest guy you could meet off stage. I got a free button from them (well, I gave them a zine) and put it on my book bag. Now there are two buttons. What a good boy am I!! This area is becoming too crowded. It's kind of like trying to water 5 horses out of one bucket.
People are brutally honest in the first 20 minutes of the day. I know I am. If you ever want to know what I really think about you, ask me in the first 20 minutes. Not that I wake up all pissed off or anything, just that I have no social skills in that time. Then again, I think I run dangerously low on social skills most of the time. That's another reason I don't talk to that girl at Everman's (and you thought I was done talking about her! HA!!! Okay, now I'm done.)
Tonight Sam was trying to sell Sara(without an "H")'s zine, Ghetto Youth. After a while he was just trying to give them away. When that wasn't working, he threw an unstapled one at the windshield of a taxi that was speeding by. This caused a shower of paper "street-trash-poetry" to float gently down behind the cab as it stopped and started to reverse. As it was coming back I made a few quick suggestions to Sam, then waited. The 40-something year old cabby rolls down his window and says "What's up?!". Sam walks over to him and holds out a stapled copy and says "Oh, I was just trying to give you one of these". The cab driver takes one and drives off. Now that's distribution! After that Sam stuck to putting zines in convertibles and under windshield wipers. I found $20 on the sidewalk, a bag of fresh corn chips in a restaurant dumpster, and Sam and I stole 6 low-wattage light bulbs for my house. There I was, sitting on a brick wall, eating garbage, and talking to a friend. Another good night in the land of the free, & the home of the enslaved.