Jews at a taco shop

Two Jews and burritos.

We were doing laundry during “Free Washing & Drying” day sponsored by a local church. The gent who runs everything hasn’t been pressuring or overbearing when it comes to religion and we’ve gotten to know him very well over the last year. He has asked us to come speak at his congregation this upcoming Sunday before I leave for my new job to comment about the changes this last year has brought into our lives.

There’s every reason for us to do it, and I’ve started trying to lay out what I’d like to say since my wife is anxious about public speaking, particularly to a denomination which she was indoctrinated in by way of abuse in a dozen ways through her entire childhood, leaving mental scarring that is still a struggle to this day. She’s going to go though, because it’s important, and the gentleman who has been there for us every two weeks for 10-months to pay for our laundry when we had not a penny to our names, deserves to know the impact that has had on us.

When you’re homeless, a clean pair of socks and underwear is better then the best sex you’ve ever had. It’s a moment where you feel again human, part of, connected, capable, possibilities actually seem possible again, confidence soars, misery slackens and you can see a trail forward again. Think I’m joking? Try wearing the same clothes and not showering for 7-10 days at a time and still engaging in your standard day-to-day routine without feeling outsidered and uncomfortable. Even a rotation will have you slicked down with the grime of the world in no time and my hat’s off to you if you’re unfazed by the experience in this materialistic and impression based existence we all inhabit.

After agreeing, I headed down to the best damn burrito joint in the whole of creation, Taco Loco, aptly named for the disgustingly sized plates of filth meat fixings they dish our at poverty acceptable pricing. Friendly staff and owners too, always smiling.

After ordering and having a smoke outside I walked back in to pay. I hadn’t noticed earlier the elderly family dining in the corner. I hadn’t noticed the bearded gentleman and his yarmulke calmly resting on the top of his head. Being a misanthropic and culturally insensitive clod and a twat–along with a Jew myself–I’ve referred to them as “head condoms” at different points.

Sensitivity has never been my thing clearly.

I hadn’t seen anyone wearing one since New York City ages ago. In this political climate it’s like wearing a target on your head and declaring that you’d like to be sent to the modern day concentration camps when they’ve scraped the hispanic blood off the floor sufficiently to allow the next round of victims.

Politely I interrupted the conversation between the two men (the bearded man’s wife was sitting to the side and helped me find a segue while they were engaged to let me slide in).

“Sorry to interrupt, but I’m Jewish as well and I haven’t seen a yarmulke in ages. I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.”

The bearded man stood up, and shook my hand. We got down to chatting.

He’s from Hawaii and didn’t know any local groups that might facilitate my wife and myself engaging with the faith to understand my roots better or foster a better understanding. He journeys to Auschwitz once a year in honor of the sacrifices there. He has a bat shit crazy Rabbi he loves learning from. On his arm, he has tattooed a series of numbers (amidst the others) to express his solidarity with members of his faith. He’s not old enough to have earned them the usual way, but feels they bring him to be more connected with his people.

He wears his yarmulke as a “fuck you” to the climate of hate and rising fascism that is bubbling over across the world. He knows it brings notice, he knows that many people stare at him and consider him abhorrent. He’s aware the danger it brings. Quoting “Transmetropolitan” – he doesn’t give two tugs off a dead dog’s cock about what any of those fuckers thinks about him. He does it to inspire his brethren to not hide ashamed and be true to their spirit and beliefs.

He does it because it helps him be proud of his faith, and if someone is offended by his passive display of confidence, it’s because they are weak in their own and it is not his responsibility to fix stupid.

I went back to the laundromat and had a conversation about ghosts and the possessed copper carousel that I once owned which glowed under Luminol spray and left a soaked patch of luminescence two feet wide beneath it whenever it was placed in a new room.

I met a real man today. What a fucking inspiration.

Fuck the new age Nazis and this puppet regime of misdirection that panders to the ignorant jackals across the world and at home. Bring me your seething falsely righteous hatred of a people and I’ll raise you an old man with a little hat and a my own fist.

I’d put my money on you cowardly shitbitten assholes backing down every time.

In the Mood

Wonderful sexy writing from DanaR – check her out!

https://wp.me/p9WfPW-cW

Impatient

I’m late for life.

Lick my frustration laden eye trails
with your feverish degree of need.
I’ve pulled apart my patience in brushstrokes,
and sit damming rampant torrents of greed.
Traipsing through a shutter-box as though
a thrown skein of glass trapped thoughts.
Spending words of do not try a thousand times
until they’re echoing so loud it hurts.
There is less difficulty here then meets the eye,
even when it’s filled with sorrow.
We’re on endless roads, journeying upward
on travels through time into tomorrow.
The final hurdle is simply to start the race,
get up off your ass and focus.
Move away from rabbit holes and wasted days
lest the world consume us as the locusts.


Clown Shoe Hustle

On with the show.

When I show up and use a prepaid debit card with borrowed funds and a big grin while spouting the sweetest “thank you” ever heard to the check-in lady–ignore the fact my clothes are second hand. Ignore that from a material standpoint, virtually everything I’m wearing is from homeless shelters, the YWCA, and the generosity of strangers and family. One of the necklaces I have on is from a cellmate when I was in jail, the other is a gift from my wife, neither ever comes off. A reminder of what awaits when my control slips, the other a reminder to be grateful for the people in my life who mean more than things–something I’ve consistently been terrible at remembering.

The suitcase I have has traveled more than 42 residence moves, endless hotels, the streets, and being encased in the coffin of my truck bed while filled with the only non-destroyed dress pairs of shoes I own. In point, the ones I’ll be wearing which are from a Goodwill purchased on my wedding day, another pair came from the local 7th Day Adventist thrift store on our bi-monthly free clothing visit. I once owned a brown, $700 pair of Italian handcrafted leather wingtips that fit around the cedar shoe trees as perfectly as my feet and sat in shoe bags so as not to be scuffed. These days, you’re more likely to see me wearing absurd Size 13 flip flops I accidentally purchased and for some reason couldn’t part with. I’m a size 10.5.

My bracelet was the first item I bought for myself when I moved to Oregon. It came at the same time as a pair of beautiful green earrings for my then new girlfriend. When I sued her for the return of my stuff it came to light that her mother had stolen them along with the cell phone I tried to return. That same woman kept my dress clothes and shoes I had put into storage, changed the lock, and had me trespassed from the property. That was a year ago and just like every other time I’d lost everything, I’ve gotten used to not having as much. The bracelet is banged up, missing insets and can be generally uncomfortable, but it’s mine and there are a host of memories attached to the feel of it’s rougher edges cutting into my wrist while I type on the computer.

That’s what it boils down to: memories–items, trinkets, keepsakes, notebooks, letters, a pair of socks, a favored t-shirt, a picture–everything is a memory unto itself in some sense. Those are what I miss more than anything as I find my recall to be less then lucid owing to the PTSD and schizoaffective bipolar. Like I’m fishtailing through a swimming pool of ideas more than memories in any sort of recognizable pattern. Concrete items help lock down specifics in a tactile fashion as though a smell conjuring up the taste of grandma’s sugar cookies.

Just like the suitcase I’ll drag to the elevator has the mental odor of a hundred hotels I stayed in with it when I was last a corporate man traveling the country by plane, train, and automobile. It remembers the blackout drinking, the shakes in the morning, desperate preparations in strange towns trying to banish the heebie-jeebies from my body in time to present rationally to the next client. New York City, Philadelphia, D.C., San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, Baltimore, Rochester, Binghampton, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver, and every damn city in New England to boot. My bag remembers a time when we stayed at nice hotels and flew 1st class because we were Gold Elite or Platinum mileage members and had a reason to be going from point A to B that didn’t involve simply surviving for another day.

It remembers being filled with the stuffed pig I would take pictures of in all those cities to send home to my son and ex-wife to let them know I was thinking of them. Being crammed with apology gifts for when I hit it too hard and forgot to call home because I was passed out or indisposed with a drinks meeting that night.

I’m sure it remembers being stuffed in with everything I was allowed to salvage from the house when the divorce started. That was the storage unit, 10’10’ space packed full, that I used to sleep in some days when I was too beat. I would lay my head on it like a pillow and bungie cord the door shut since there was no lock on the inside.

Because it remembers those things, holds them in the toughened fabric sewn to it’s exterior and it’s still rolling wheels, I can still feel those moments as vibrant as they were when they happened.

When I get to the room, you won’t see the mixed look of shock and delight on my face when I lay down in a normal bed, or take a shower with hot water and comfortably dry off rather than contort in the space available at home or the local truck stop. You won’t see the delight when I shave, appreciating the joys of a full mirror and a counter to lay things on. The last sigh as I close my eyes in a fully darkened room without dogs barking, goats bleating, and crazy midnight dazed roosters crowing away convinced the stars must just be confused suns needing to be warned away.

Next time you’ll see me is catching the 6:45am shuttle to the training center. You won’t know this backstory either, this is my life story and while I’ll share it with the world proudly, I know when to keep certain things under wraps. After all, I’m back to being regarded as a competent adult male who knows his shit, and you know what, I do. For every moment of doubt that might materialize, or second of uncertainty edge its way through to rut against the fundamental sense of confidence I have to nurture daily–for every one of those moments I can recover with a sense of gratitude and awareness I once lacked. I do know my shit. I’m grateful to be able to say that comfortably, though I will always remain open to learning more.

This time I’m not going to feel like I shouldn’t be where I am. That the world was just messing with me, getting my goat by pretending that I was a real boy and letting me play dress up as an adult. I’ve paid my dues, and I know my intentions. I’m going into this with knowledge of myself, the good and the bad. I have a partner/wife who is behind me and supportive as I have never experienced. She deserves my undivided time and attention, I will not slip into the mentality of unappreciative disdain for others in lieu of burying myself in the job. I will maintain the vicious degree of honesty by which I live my life and the understated fact that I don’t change who I am for anybody–take me or leave me, I am enthusiastic, creative, weird as hell, and 100% genuine. Let’s see how that shakes out this time as I step back into the corporate sales world.

You will see a big smile, teeth perfectly aligned and shockingly intact despite decades of drug abuse, hair combed, suit jacket fitted precisely, shirt pressed, bracelet and watch sparkling, shoes polished and clean shaven with eyes glittering a million laughs and adventures into the air between us.

I’m happy to be there, I’m thrilled to meet you, and I’m actually excited for this challenge. Let’s get this show on the road, because I have a wife and dog who deserve to not be crammed into a broken down RV missing it’s ceiling where the water damage was worst, someone who never asks for much but has earned the right to be supported as she pursues her own dreams in education and life. People who believed in me and lent hands to repay, child-support to pay and an ex-wife to sue for access to my children so I can try to set things right with the ones who never did anything wrong or asked for anything more than to be loved. Friends to show that anything is possible, that it can be achieved, you can change your direction in life no matter how low down the ladder you have gone.

I might even buy a pair of size 10.5 flip flops if things go really well. But I would never get rid of the old clown shoes–after all, they have some stories to tell.

Books, Booze and Blues

Boozehound image from dadadreams showing a dog drinking scotch.
Image borrowed from Dadadreams

John Lee Hooker says whiskey and women,
the blues man before asks for another pint.
Pour me a tall glass of that liquid summer
down the hatch and off into the night.
Pounding embers of wisdom shed into fluid form
its time to get wasted to the tune of a misfire
and the sobbing caterwauls of mans plight.
Joy measured into shared company is compounded
misery dissipates in that carefree state. .
Spider Robinson says that Callahan’s is the cure
that telepathic understanding would make us pure.
Three shots of jack and the curtains reveal
magic bullets in glass containers of sin.
Esoteric breakdown of barricades sitting strong
imagining the beauty in words as music hits the song.
Dusty lungs coughing out something foul
to the satisfaction of another cigarette horked down
sitting numb eyed in a daze that seems to follow.
Chest sits warm in dispassionate easy grace
somber living never gets you to these places
never breathing deep enough to indulge in phantom chases.
Down memory lane and into the brambles
a stumbling mess of skull fucked cobwebs
and woven disasters of recollection branches.
Drop those spiders on my spirit and proud face
its not for nothing that they call it a sad display.
But here I’ll sit until the noonday sun
calls out my moon tanned skin for daytime fun.
Polish the bottle child and don’t leave a drop
there’s a ride to be ridden this evening,
no conductor to guide us
and no idea where it stops.





Infectious

Infectious mood imagery.

Sardonic reserves of time kept patience
blending outward in rippling shades of hatred.
Baby, you’ve got that heart shaped gaping wound
says you’re bathed in longing for now not soon.
Nothing moves faster than a synapse firing off kilter
blistering brain waves melting downwind all splintered.
If the days were longer and I could taste your fears
all that we’d share could be understanding made clear.
So if you’ll touch your enthusiastic distaste to mine
lets go passe with anticipation and the cheapest wine.
Show me your ugly that I might gag and spew
my own redolent virus of loving life all over you.

Empathy

Blended souls.

Witticism fades on dribble soaked lips
caught halfway between quip and piss poor joke,
snagged in realization that the statement is not desired.
Flagrant display following an ineffectual attempt
to display the degree of empathy passed across,
mirror the affection and nurturing that is so foreign.
Scrub out those Golems whispering in thunderous tones
where they sit perched atop your clay built heart
you’ve deluded yourself into believing beats so strongly.
Open yourself to a differing of feelings,
a roughshod pillaging of your isolated innocence
protecting you as thistles would from the harm beyond.

I STAND WITH DARKNESS! – JASPER KERKAU — The Writings of Jasper Kerkau

Powerful writing in the vein of personal identity when faced with “to normalize or not” decisions like I’ve been wrestling with. One talented SOB and the grandmaster over at Sudden Denouement.

Drone Boy Reflects

To the top mother fucker.

There is a gaping pressure to perform
and become something more inline
with the standard expectation
that we all face daily. To become
a contributing and upstanding
shill to the mockery lifestyle of
the norm. Where an unabridged story
of what life has really been like
would cause discordant gasps
and choking on $7 coffees. A land
of spreadsheets and data with endless
phonecalls and emails to confirm
that we are all part of this droll
and seemingly futile empire of dreams.
Each moment will be etched as gray
as the moment prior and only
punctuated by the sycophantic
bleating that denotes contrived success.
But there can be joy milked
from every endeavor, every adventure
and journey of any kind. For all I lament
the necessity of this change
I recognize that this, as so much else in life,
is temporary in passing. A gateway
to attain a degree of comfort for myself
and those that I care deepest about.
Walking through the door framed
in expectations is a moment of sacrifice
and service to the good nature of love
where we are willing to endure,
seek to excel, survive and adapt
all for the promise of a more easy smile.
Once the game begins, I enjoy the race
rat or otherwise. I’m programmed
to enjoy the chase, the thrillingly mundane,
the average existence. In some ways
I know the unsuspected truth of experience,
let it guide into appreciation for opportunities
and a day not on the street or going hungry.
For the leakless roof overhead
the potential for participating in the world.
I hate the side of me that is drooling
at having funds available and the luxuries
that they provide. Its almost as though
my inner monsters haven’t been sated,
are waiting for the next opportunity to scorch
away the meat and tender outline
of my flesh gone to pasture in the haze
where hard living is the only pleasure to be found.



Barefoot Lottery Winner Injects Crack Cocaine

An ex-girlfriend stole my shoes once. By breaking in through the floor level hotel room window I was in while I was preoccupied with injecting another fifty units of liquefied crack and vinegar. I even came out when I heard the noise. All I was capable of doing however, was to stare blankly while trembling under the pressures of the locomotive that was my heart careening off the rails inside my head. Didn’t even say anything, just stared.

              It was a bizarre occurrence to be sure. I could only fuzzily sketch out how I had l had hefted her bodily not 30 minutes previously–out into the hallway following what was a reasonable argument taking on unreasonable levels. Now she was snaking out the window to my room dragging behind a pair of black and white Nikes that happened to be my only pair of shoes I had brought.

              Earlier that day I had seen my children for the first time in more than a year. At a supervision center I had ridden the buses and trains for eight hours to get to. Just one hour that I paid for out of pocket. They looked beautiful, he was handsome, she was angelic.

              Far more than I could take

              My ex-wife had structured things so as to ensure I would have to return to my old stomping grounds of New Bedford, MA and this dingy facility if I wanted any access to the kids at all. It was the same city I had desperately sought to get away from during my attempts to get sober. Aside from my children, there was nothing there but the grime and filth and needle strewn streets and shit memories and traumas and fuckups and locations and people I didn’t want or need anything to do with.

                 I had won $10,000 on a scratch it a few weeks before, something that I never thought would happen though I had kept gambling on them periodically for most of my adult life. I had started a new job a few months previously as well. I was living in a halfway house and had been there for nearly 6-months, longer than I had stayed anywhere in several years now. Things were upbeat with many reasons for optimism and putting nose to grindstone while enjoying some happiness for once.

                After seeing the kids I broke down. I knew how much of their absence in my life was my fault, both before and the recent inability to clean up my act.

                I checked into a hotel and managed to track down my ex-girlfriend.

                She was doing amazing, clean, signed up for school to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor—she was really putting the pieces of her life back together again.

                I don’t know if I showed up with the drugs to the hotel and met her, or ordered them after we got there. I do remember using the inside of a hardened blue glasses case as my mixing surface for the rocks. It was good stuff, probably should have just been smoking it, but once you progress to the needle it’s something of an end all be all.

                You mix crack with vinegar or another highly acidic agent to break it back down to water soluble form. I used Braggs Apple Cider with “The Mother” because it was rich in amino acids and somehow in my addled puddle of a brain that meant it was better to use for these particular purposes. That and it reminded me of making salad dressing at the home I had once owned.

                Shot after shot after shot, ringer after ringer after ringer. All she wanted to do was cuddle up and maybe read some of the book she was studying from with me.                

                Rock, vinegar, mix, pull-up, vein, red flash, push plunger, go lightheaded, gasp, nearly orgasm, fall slowly when short gulping air, wind up sitting on the edge of the bathtub shaking head to clear the spots from vision and WHUMWHUM from my ears, rubbing quickly inflating arms to try and minimize the swelling.

                Lost in and to a ritual, there was no mind being paid to anything else but the same rinse and repeat exercise as had just played.

                I realized things had escalated rather dramatically when the chocolate cake was flew past my head, She came at me with those sharpened nails of hers, tried to grab the drugs and throw them in the toilet. Failing that, my ears and face were a good enough post to thud into.. Holding her up against the wall so she would stop ripping at my face, getting spit in my eye before throwing her out into the hallway. I was callous and cruel and willfully ignoring the pointed reality of what I had been doing and how it must have felt to watch me self-destruct so viciously.

                Then she stole my shoes.

                I had smashed my cellphone earlier that evening in some bizarre fit of rage over something seemingly trivial. Thrown it so hard against the wall the mental housing of the iPhone had crumpled as the screen shattered.

                I used the hotel’s lobby phone to call a taxi who took me to get a pair of flip flops at a pharmacy and take me to the hospital for the cuts on my face. The idea of just grabbing some first aid for myself at the pharmacy never even crossed my mind. For quite some time I had become accustomed to just going to the hospital when things had gotten to be too much and I was dehydrated, or crazy from lack of sleep, or desperate for another rehab. It was second nature.

                They thought I was there for chest pains after taking my pulse rate. The EKG came back okay and they let it slide though.

                Eventually I made it back to the hotel.

                The wall in the bathroom was covered in chocolate cake, towels were laying all over the floor. I knew “it” was going to fall apart again with a twisting certainty in my gut born of seeing the same thing happen over and over. Different implosions, different actions at least—but the same result no matter what. Isolated, lonely, confused, ashamed and embarrassed, it never seemed to change.

                When I kept shooting coke for the next two days and had to resign my position I was barely even surprised.