Category Archives: jealous insecurities

What We Do Is Secret, or, "I Ain’t Got Time For Any More Of My Own Monkey Business."

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

See, as a kid, when you’re first learning to bathe yourself, you just do whatever the bottles tell you to do. You’re still learning to comprehend written words, and why would you question what the people who make the shampoo put on the bottle? Why would you even think beyond the directions?

Plus – your mother told you to make sure you’re clean. Nobody wants to be friends with The Stinky Kid. Girls certainly aren’t going to talk to the boy with the greasy hair. Well – not yet, at least, but who the fuck is a soothsayer at age six or seven? You just follow directions, and try to take a decent approach to whatever those directions are telling you to do. Obviously, if you’re supposed to repeat something, it must be for your own general good. Why would someone want you to waste your time?

Time is a motherfucker.

You don’t realize what a motherfucker time is until you’re much further along in your timeline of events. Your teens rocket by before you realize how many mouths you’ve forced your tongue into. Your twenties? Shit, man – they go by just as quickly, but with a side-helping of responsibility scattered up in there. Some of those responsibilities are probably things you could have/should have learned to deal with in your teens, but you were too busy at desert keg parties, or stuffed into the back seat of a Nova making out with a girl who had mono, high as fuck on PCP and trying to get your mouth around a nipple through a bra.

You don’t realize what a motherfucker time is until you’re standing outside the door to your apartment, and you know the girl you’ve been living with has moved all of her shit the fuck on out, just by the way the front door looks to you from standing out there. Sure – you tried to call her a few times while you were at work, and then phone rang and rang. But she’s gone, daddy-o. She took everything – even the cats. But that’s cool, because now you can stay up until the small hours, smoking pot and playing your guitar as much as you want. Sure, you have a job to go to and all of that, but it’s a family-run joint – why would they fire you for oversleeping three out of every five shifts?

And then they do. Over the phone. Because you’re such a piece of shit to them that they cannot even stand to see your face around them anymore. On the phone, the owner’s son rattles off your litany of indiscretions. You’d been showing up to work high. Showing up hung over. Calling out sick every third shift, too. Hanging out with “undesirable” people on the clock. Disappearing for an extra hour when you were supposed to be out making a delivery. Pocketing tips that belonged to other people.

They even found the stash of empty and half-empty wine bottles you had out back by the dumpster that you’d been glad-handing off of them the entire time you worked for them.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

At that point, the only thing you can do is try and keep your chin up. Keep moving. Stick and move, stick and move. That’s what you think you’re supposed to do. That’s what all of the movies about being in your twenties tell you to do. Again with the instructions. Why would they be telling you to waste your time?

For a little while after that, you kind of coast on by. No paying gig – your rent is still really cheap, and you can make that by moving small amounts of weed and coke on the side. Plus, every now and then your father feels shitty enough to pay your electric bill for you. You just hang out in your apartment all night long, calling phone sex lines to talk to the faceless girls on the other end for some meaningful human-type contact. The problem with that, is that the phone isn’t in your goddamn name – it’s still under her name – and you’re racking that shit up. It takes a little while for it to catch up to you, but just like everything else – it does.

You don’t realize what a motherfucker time is until you’re at your next gig, working in a goddamn call center. You sit there all goddamn day, working as a directory assistance operator. People call you up, and then they breathe all heavy into the phone. Different regional dialects. Different look-ups. You master it pretty quickly somehow – even banging out a center record seven second listing response time. Once, a guy on a call was threatening to commit suicide. One of the people working there in the center raised their hand for help, and you walked on over and plugged in to the call. You traced his number back on the next screen, and told someone to call the local police to get over there. Somehow, through the magical gift of bullshit you were bestowed, you managed to calm the guy down enough that when the police kicked in his door he just dropped the gun. They promote your monkey ass. You think you’re the shit. You start sleeping with some of the women who work there, making your rounds.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

You no longer have a phone in your apartment, because she had that shit turned off. You’re not mad about it, because it actually makes your life easier. People can just hit you up on your pager, and you can decide if they are worth the time for you to walk down to the Mobil station at the end of the block to call them back from the payphone or not. You take the bus back and forth to work, and when it’s really nice out, you like to walk the thirty blocks home. One night, a car with a couple of good-looking girls rolls on by, and one of them leans out the window and asks you if you need a ride. They pull into the parking lot, and off you go into the night.

You don’t realize what a motherfucker time is until two days later, when the three of you are still laying around in your smoke-filled apartment, and one of the girls starts talking to her friend about her not wanting to get kicked out of school so close to graduation. High School graduation.

When you confront them about their ages, both of them start to howl with laughter. You sit there and sweat starts to roll off of you. You feel like a monster. Yeah, you might only be all of twenty-four years old, but this shit is serious. You live in a state where this shit is serious as can be. You’ve been giving these girls drugs. You’ve been stupid. You got conned by your own lust for attention/human touch.

You kick the girls out and get on the bus to go to work. On the bus, you see a cop who keeps on eyeballing you. You start to panic, and you get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way to work. By the time you get there, you have soaked through your shirt. You look deranged. The people who work under you – your team – they see something is off. You go about your shift as normal as possible. Outside on a smoke break, you tell a guy you work with that you feel close to what happened to you, and he tells you to shrug it off – “we all do stupid shit, man.”

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

A few months later, and it feels like it never happened. You’ve moved on, because time is a motherfucker. You’ve held it down at this gig for a while now. You’ve got money saved. You still move little bits of shit for side money, but mostly you get by on what you make at your honest living. You’re sitting in your apartment, high as fuck and ready to pass out, when your beeper goes off. It’s your mother, so you walk your way down the block to call her back.

She has cancer. No, she doesn’t want you to come to see her. She wants you to stay where you are and keep working. She says that she cannot deal with you and her illness at the same time, even though you offer to move there and help take care of her. She says no. Repeatedly. She tells you not to tell her mother, whom you are extremely close to. She tells you not to tell your father, whom she is divorced from. She wants you to stay there. Period.

Time is a motherfucker.

You don’t realize what a motherfucker time is until years later down the road. Your mother is long since gone. So is her mother. And your father. Almost everyone you ever craned your neck up at to listen to them – they are all gone, every last one of them. So are your twenties, and most of your thirties. Like a fucking flash. Boom. Gone.

You find yourself standing in line at a goddamn Dunkin Donuts one morning, and you get a whiff of something that rings off of the brass bells inside your head. Olfactory flashback. You’re pushing forty now, and this scent rolls back the clock in your head to that back seat in that Nova. Sarah was her name. You remember the way you could taste, while kissing her, that she was sickly. You can suddenly taste that taste. You remember how soft her skin was. You remember how between kisses, she was mouthing the words to an Alice Cooper song that is now stuck in your head. The woman at the counter hands you your coffee, and you just kind of stare at her for a second. She smiles, and you take the change she is offering you. You step outside into the street, and the sun is shining down on you. It feels warm. It feels good.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

For as long as you can remember – even back to when you were six or seven, and still not questioning the instructions on a bottle of shampoo – whenever people ask you what you wanted to grow up and be, you told them you wanted to be a writer. In your teens you used to scribble into spiral notebooks when you should have been paying attention in class. You used to write love letters to girls who were dating your friends, and shove them in between the slats in their lockers. You used to write poetry on the back of your math tests. You used to sit outside at coffee houses, scribbling in leather-bound books. You used to enter yourself into Slam Poetry contests and lay waste to people with thermonuclear shit that was all guts and all incendiary anger. You used to secretly call them hate poems, because you hated all of the people who would walk up to the microphone and whisper nonsense about their gardens or their pets.

Time is a motherfucker.

You don’t realize what a motherfucker time is until you remember that during your period of homelessness, you used to write papers for people. You knew a lot of college students who would much rather party than write for their classes, so you took it as an opportunity to sleep on their couch and get a little coin in your pocket. You used to tell them to bring you little snippets of conversation that they observed, and then you’d pump out two, three, sometimes four thousand word pieces for them out of thin air. They would sit back in their cozy, parental unit-funded apartments the next morning, drinking their fifty bucks per pound Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and soak in what you’d just done for them. They were always in awe of what you were able to do with nothing. Then they’d get you high and drop you off somewhere as they went on to hand in your work with their name on it.

Years later, you find yourself sitting at your desk in your apartment. Lighting smoke after smoke after smoke, staring at a blank screen in front of you. You still want to write. You still believe you can write. When you do write, and people do read it, they tell you that you can, indeed, write. But you don’t believe them. You think they are just petting you, because deep inside of the secret chambers of you, you know you haven’t even begun to try yet. You’ve been coasting for years. Coasting on the fact that you told yourself over and over again that you could write, and other people ate that shit up.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

You stood there for a good long minute, staring at that bottle on your kitchen counter tonight. You’ve been staring at the screen for weeks. You’ve been sitting in that chair, boiling over inside of yourself, angry as fuck. You know you can do this. You know they put “lather, rinse, repeat” on those goddamn bottles just so people would buy more fucking shampoo. It doesn’t have a fucking thing to do with having healthy hair. And it honestly means fuck-all to you – you are as fucking bald as the day is long, son.

All you got, is time.

Time to get to work.

Advertisements

9 Comments

Filed under "whatever happened to...", jealous insecurities, laziness, nuggets of infinite wisdom, who is sean?

Busload Of Faith, or, "Be Careful What You Wish For, You Just Might Get It"


This is just going to be a brief little update, followed by something that I had posted on my old site, back in August of 2006. I’m posting it, because I was reminded of it today when a couple of good friends of mine revealed that they were going through some really rough shit – and it immediately caused my mind to flash back to one of the lowest and most desperate times in my own life.

I’ve been having a rough time with some things lately as well. I’m holding fast to the health thing, and working really hard to maintain the emotionally healthy ideas I set for myself for 2010. The health thing has actually been way easier than I thought it would. Once I established the patterns of eating healthier, my body now craves that healthier food. I’m still chugging down lakes of water daily, and I have yet to have a single soda or a cup of coffee since I began doing this back in January.

Physically, I feel pretty fucking good.

Emotionally, on the other hand…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my sobriety, and about the effect it has on my relationships with people.

I stopped imbibing almost three years ago. It was something I had wanted to do for a while, and had tried to do many times in the past. In the past, I was usually only able to quit for a little while, but it was very hard to suppress my innermost Hank Chinaski (also referenced in the letter posted at the end of this here Ramble) – the allure of a dimly lit speakeasy (and the cast of characters commonly found within it) coupled with the tractor beam of a well-balanced glass of whiskey was a constant niggling, pulling me into those magical and darkened corners. Most of the time that I was in the process of quitting, I was choosing which vice would get to live on – if I was going to stop drinking – I kept on smoking pot and eating bars of Xanax like candy, or if I was planning on giving up the reefer – I would start drinking more red wine and popping Valiums. I was a fucking mess.

Obviously, this wasn’t a very good pattern for me – choosing between one vice or the other.

This time it was much easier, and very different. I didn’t seek anyone else’s help, I just made a decision and stopped. Everything. No more pills, booze, reefer. I gave it all up, and have honestly never looked at the road behind me – I just keep pushing forward. I do not question, at all, my choice to no longer “get fucked up.” If anything, it was a long time coming – and not just for the reasons that would seem easy enough for anyone to suss out.

It was just time.

In the beginning stages of cleaning myself up, I was very nervous about how my friends were going to take it – most of the time that we all spent together involved me drinking brutish volumes of liquor. I was the guy that someone could call at three in the morning and meet up for a drink. I just didn’t give a fuck. And now, here I was, cutting that part right the fuck on out of me. How were my friends going to take it? Were they going to shun me? I really was kind of terrified – I had just been through a lot of really heavy shit in a short period of time (which the letter below spells out), and the few friends I had – I really wanted to keep them, and keep them close.

They actually adjusted pretty well. In fact – quite a few of them confessed that they had hoped I was going to make such a change, because they were worried that I was going to drink myself to death.

In the rightfuckingnow, I’m definitely happy with my decision to clean my life up – I would never go back to being that Sean. But, and this is serious now, at times I feel as though new people that I meet figure out or find out that I am sober (it’s not like I walk around rocking a Youth Of Today shirt and talking about the evils of poisoning oneself with drugs and hooch), and they immediately get fucking weird. Am I an alcoholic? Yeah. Am I a junkie? Yeah. I’ll always be those things – it’s not like I can just erase the memory banks completely – all I have done is change my behaviors and made a decision to no longer “get fucked up.” I appreciate being clearheaded now, and I appreciate the fact that when there is a problem, my first instinct is no longer to drown my sorrows and try to erase the problem – I deal with shit now. For real.

Much like everything else – this might all be in my head – but sometimes it feels like people have a harder time with my sobriety than I do with their imbibing. When people get that wonky look in their eye and feel the need to ask for my permission to have a drink in my presence, that’s when I start to realize that I need to step back a bit, really look at that relationship, and try to figure out how much value there is in it. Is this judgmental of me? Yeah, a little bit. But that’s unfortunately how I have to do things. I’m not concerned with me suddenly changing my mind and running to the nearest liquor store and guzzling down a bottle of Maker’s Mark outside on the sidewalk – the decision to be sober has been made, and I am more than cool with it. What I’m not cool with, is when people who I am emotionally investing in (and let’s get on motherfucking Front Street, people – a friendship is an emotional investment) treat me like a fucking leper or a lesser-than because I’m not rolling the way they roll. If you’re in my presence, and feel self-conscious about your habits, then that is something broken inside of you, not me. Believe that.

ANYWAYS…

So – that’s what has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s funny in a way – there is a lot of truth to all of the koans written about the nature of water. One ripple creates so many more.

Below is this goddamn letter I keep on referencing. I wrote it, funnily enough, in an opiate/alcohol haze back in the summer of 2006. I got clean for good almost three years to the day from today – my last drink was on March 16, 2007 – a shot of Jameson’s for my old man. Not one drop has hit these lips since.

Take care of yourselves, and be good to each other. Life is too fucking short not to.

————————

Dear Universe,

I don’t really know how we’ve ended up in this predicament, but it seems as though we’re at an impasse in our relationship. I feel really awkward writing about our relationship out here on the interweb, but I’m not sure you’ve been hearing me in my attempts at daily commiseration with you.

It feels like this cry for help could be my last shot at some kind of open dialogue/reconciliation with you.

Lately it seems as though every time I reach for your hand, you pull away from me. I’m not sure what it is that I did to offend you, but it hurts. Our relationship used to be so much stronger than this, and I feel very disconnected. This feeling of disconnection from you is leading me into a deeper well of depression, and I am starting to become concerned that the damage is not only irreparable, but also permanently scarring.

My psyche is a wee bit too fragile for this shit from you, Universe, and I honestly expected a little bit more from you than this.

Maybe you think I’ve been taking our relationship for granted, or something along those lines? It seems so cliché, but that’s not about you, it’s about me. I certainly haven’t been blaming you for all of these trials and tribulations that have been tossed my way over the last 36 months or so, have I? I felt as though I was handling things pretty well, taking responsibility for my own complicity in the events that have transpired around me. For some otherworldly reason, I’ve yet to point my finger at you out of anger for the multitude of humbling and soul-shattering moments you’ve laid at my feet.

Is that what you want me to do?

If blaming you is what you want from me, I am going to have to disappoint you some more. I’m not in the blame business, and at this point in our relationship – you should already know that I have outgrown that kind of behavior. Hell…you taught me to love, not hate. So why would you want me to blame you, for things that were/are/will be beyond my control? I can’t do that, and you know it.

Fuck it. Hold up.

Okay. Fine. You know what, Universe? I am a little bit pissed off at you, okay? Maybe I do need to scream at you a bit; to get this shit out of my chest and out into the ether.

Why, oh Grand Universe, have you decided that consistently testing my ability to keep from becoming some fucking mess of a man is so important to you? Was it necessary to take both of my fucking parents from me, before I had the chance to ever feel as though I actually made them proud of me for anything other than mundane bullshit that any mouth-breather on this rock could pull off? Was it totally necessary to take from me a friend that I felt like I had known my entire life, and was motherfucking sure I would end up knowing for the rest of my time here on terra firma? Does it continue to be necessary to have The Holy Rollers judging me and fucking stealing from me what was left for me by my grandmother (whom you also took from me much too fucking quickly, you fucking sadist, you)? Do you think it’s fucking funny that my sister can’t return my calls? Why do I have to be so fucking tested all the time? Putting obstacles in my path seems to be your sick and twisted manner of showing me affection, Universe.

Right now I am screaming the safe word at you, yet you continue to flog away.

I’m not totally sure what it is that I have done to hurt you so deeply that you would act this way, but whatever it is I am sorry. It’s also unnecessary for you to continue to fuck with my friends as well. This isn’t high school – it’s life. My friends are for the most part all goodly people, and I think whatever it is that you have out for me is more than enough. Leave them alone, okay?

The only times I even feel remotely connected to you anymore are during the smallest hours. When I am walking and wandering in the night, headphones set to stun, with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. There are fleeting moments during these meanderings where it feels like old times; memories flooding into my subconscious mind like the connection is wide open again. Remembering my ability to rise above and overcome. Feeling invincible, yet remaining humble within your womb. During these moments, I am almost always close to tears, because I miss the intimacy and closeness of our relationship much more than you could ever realize.

This is having a major impact on my other relationships, Universe. Because we’re so distant, I cannot seem to allow myself to get close to anyone or anything lately. Maybe it’s the usual fear of abandonment shit I drag behind me like Linus (can you fucking blame me, after all the rugs that have been yanked out from under my feet?), I don’t know for sure. But I do know that it’s becoming more and more likely that I will turn into some drier and much more celibate version of Henry Chinaski if things keep rolling this way. Nobody wants to be friends, or “intimate”(do I need to spell that out for you?) with the guy who cannot connect. Nobody wants to hang out with the guy who can’t make any kind of commitment to anything other than the unknown.

I’m not sure if or even how we’re going to be able to reconcile this mess we’re in, Universe. I know that there’s a part of me that’s hollow now; a space that you used to occupy is empty and in need of filling. I used to believe in you without the smallest shadow of doubt, yet here I am writing you an open letter on the interweb like a jilted teenager. Placing not only blame at your feet, but also my disdain. You broke my fucking heart, and you continue to do so on an almost daily basis. You’ve taken away from me almost as much as you’ve given me over the years, and you’ve done it all very quickly and methodically.

This is me, throwing up my hands and begging you to slow your roll. Begging you to give me some room to breathe and recover who I am underneath all of this rubble. This is me asking you to maybe let up a little bit and allow me to find some answers before the next Big Letdown happens, so that the next one doesn’t push me over the edge into the well of insanity that I’ve been dancing on for a while now. This is me asking you from the tiniest portions of my broken fucking heart…for a reprieve.

After all we’ve been through Universe, it’s the least that you could do for me.

Sorry if there was some anger in this letter, but I can’t hold stuff in all the time – it’ll kill me. I don’t want to be some Emergency Room casualty because I kept all of my anger in until my heart bursts at the seams (that’s just not how this story is supposed to end). I’m also sorry if I gripe too much – I’ll work on that.

I hope this letter finds a good place in you, and we can figure out some way to work through and salvage our relationship, Universe. It’ll be worth it if we can. For both of us.

Be well,

Sean

9 Comments

Filed under i used to be stupid, jealous insecurities, nuggets of infinite wisdom, recycled posts from literati messiah, sean likes to curse and use italics, who is sean?

Jump Around, or "This One Is About That Time I Was A Chickenshit And I Am Still Repulsed By Myself Fifteen Years Later(And You Will Be, Too)"

I don’t want to go with you – I shouldn’t know where ‘The Jew’ lives.”

In my long and sometimes ridiculous life, I have always managed to somehow put myself into situations that most people never have to deal with. I’m not sure if this is because I have always been a free spirit who was willing to float along with whatever came my way, or if I was just a moron who was incapable of seeing that my inability to say no to things that were going to excite me was going to put my life in jeopardy.

Drugs.

Drugs always put me into these types of situations. Well – drugs and women. But mostly drugs. When I was in High School, my experimentation with marijuana led me into some sketchy situations, but that’s to be expected when your balls haven’t dropped yet. Meeting up with some kid you’ve never met before to buy a dime bag of Mexican dirt weed near some racquetball courts at a school a few miles away was rough at the time – but I had no idea that it was just a precursor to much rougher connects in my future. I once bought around one thousand White Crosses(Benzedrine) off of this guy I was working with at an ice cream parlor – well, I didn’t buy them as much as he fronted the money to get them and then he started showing up at my house at odd hours asking me for “the fucking money,” or he was going to kick my ass. You know – I still feel kind of bad about that whole situation. I mean – dude could have totally whooped my ass, no problem – he was an angry motherfucker who used to smash sheet-pans on his head at work for fun. But the time he showed up and rapped on my window at 3AM with a baseball bat? That was a bit much for a hundred bucks‘ worth of pills.

I rummaged around in my sock drawer for whatever money I had stashed in there, and shoved it all through the screen into his hand – I just didn‘t feel up to going outside and having a bat-fight with anyone at 3AM.

Fast-forward to around late 1994 or so. I had just got out of the military, and was living in an apartment complex that my father was managing(so his rent would be cheaper) with his new wife. I was working at a record store. I was reconnecting with people I hadn’t seen in ages – people I used to party with in High School and all that. A lot of them were in college – milking their parental units for not just tuition money, but rent, food, all of that important shit that people sometimes take for granted when they’re young. And a lot of the kids that I was friends with were kids that came from money – and that‘s no lie. I had met the majority of them through the punk rock scene in Phoenix, which, in the 1980s, was chock full of privileged kids who were acting out. I mean – who the fuck can scream “Kill The Poor” by the Dead Kennedys while driving around in a Mercedes? Kids in Phoenix. In the 1980s. Usually with me in the back seat, stoned out of my mind and wondering why I didn’t get a Mercedes, and then remembering that both of my parents worked their asses of for what little we had.

One night at the record store, an old friend of mine named Michelle* was suddenly standing in front of me with a huge grin on her face. We’d hung out here and then since I got back to Phoenix, but at the end of my High School years we hung out all the time. She was a great girl – full of life and always happy. Back in the day, I never saw her take so much as a sip of alcohol. She was always responsible and hated the fact that the majority of us boys were always getting loaded and ingesting whatever drugs we could get our hands on. She had already told me that she had been smoking pot a bit – which was a little shocking to me – I just never saw that one coming, not from her.

“I met this really awesome boy and I want you to meet him.” – she was practically bouncing like Tigger. It was almost embarrassing.

“Really? Does he like House Of Pain?” I was then holding up a House Of Pain CD, and couldn’t believe what a dipshit I had turned out to be. Really? This is what I say to my lady-friends when they meet a boy and they’re excited about it? Jesus, I am an asshole.

Michelle said that he did, in fact, like House Of Pain. She also told me that I should let her come and pick me up after work to go over to her place in Tempe to hang out, and meet this boy. She then mentioned his name – which struck a bell in my head.

If this was the same dude that I thought it was, another girl I knew had briefly dated him, and this guy was supposedly a White Power Skinhead. And if it was the same guy – I knew he hated me already, because the other girl had brought my name up to him and he went ballistic.

Awesome.

Driving out to Michelle’s place, I asked her if this was indeed the same person. I mean – far be it for me to judge anyone on their taste in love interests – at that time in my life, most of the women I was interested in were completely insane. It was almost as if I was somehow able to sniff out the women who were bi-polar and had decided that going off of their medication was not only a good idea – but the best choice they had ever made.

“He used to be a Nazi, but he grew out of it. Just give him a chance – he’s really sweet and nice. People change, Sean. You know?”

Michelle sounded so earnest and convinced, that muttering “shave a zebra – motherfucker’s still a goddamn zebra” under my breath made me feel like a dick. I had a hard time believing that this dude was anything more than a White Power asshole – in my experiences dealing with this type of person, there was no mystical or redemption-bound Derek Vinyard-type of character in any of them – no capacity to change all the way, with most of them who claimed to have changed switching up the Nazi rhetoric for that of a more Libertarian or Right-wing type of conservatism(bitching about immigration and Gay Rights – which sadly, they’re bitching about even louder in the rightfuckingnow of MMX). Hate is hate, and as much as I want to believe a person has the capacity within them to transform and release themselves from their own ignorance – I had just never seen it.

ANYWAYS…

When we arrived at Michelle’s apartment, homeboy called her and said he was on his way over, but would be a little while. She sounded really excited and happy on the phone with him, exclaiming “Sean came! I can’t wait for you to meet him – he’s one of my best friends in the world.” I watched her face change a little bit while he was obviously saying something to her on the other end of the phone – her expression like one of those magnetized little beard faces when you wipe it clean, and then her heard mumble “He’s not like that. Stop it. You’d better be nice to him.”

I was already wishing I had trusted my initial reaction to his name, and not come along.

No sooner did Michelle hang up the phone when she produced a very large mound of methamphetamine from out of nowhere. It was chalky and pink-ish, and piled high across the jewel case of a copy of Helmet’s Meantime. I watched her as she moved the pile back and forth with the skill set of someone who had been playing with this tricky substance for a while – the way she used her ID to cut lines out of the pile and move them to the tiniest edges of the jewel case without dumping any of the larger pile off the sides and onto the table was pretty impressive. I watched her then pull out a little piece of a straw she had obviously cut down, and then she fucking Hoovered up one of the fattest and most ridiculous lines of bathtub drugs I had ever seen such a tiny woman snort before.

My sweet and innocent little Michelle, was no longer my sweet and innocent little Michelle – so far removed from the little Catholic schoolgirl who used to yell at me for drinking too much coffee.

“You should do a line of this. It’s really good.”

I didn’t argue – I just cut myself out a line, and blasted that thing right into the deepest parts of my brain. I had only done meth a few times before – I was the kind of super-retarded drug user who would say things like “if it occurs naturally in the world – I’m going to do it,” and I had always subscribed to the whole “if a biker can make it in his bathtub it can kill you” ethos of junkiedom – but this stuff? GODDAMN. I could immediately feel it burning holes into my brain. All I wanted to do was run into the bathroom and watch my pupils swell and contract. My ears felt like I had just rapidly descended from thirty-thousand feet, the sound of the room whooshing in and out like the ocean.

I’m pretty sure I was on my third or fourth line when homeboy showed up.

I was sitting on the floor with Michelle’s roommate, Erica, and her boyfriend – a Mexican kid with a huge, jagged scar across his left cheek, named Mark. I heard Mark very quietly mumble “Great – here comes Himmler,” as Michelle’s new dude rolled right on through the front door like he owned the place. I could see Erica’s body language immediately shift, like the way someone curls up in the dentist’s chair as soon as they hear the words “root canal.” For a moment, I was glad that I wasn’t alone in feeling uncomfortable – but only just that moment, as Erica and Mark immediately went and hid themselves away in her room, never to be seen again.

Fuckers.

I was really fucking high. It took me a moment to actually allow myself to really look at this guy – to take him all in. Roughly my size. Scalp-shorn blonde hair. Jeans. Oxblood boots(with the required red laces – so much for him being in the midst of a “transformation,” right?). A black flight jacket with a Confederate Flag patch on the right arm. A Sepultura t-shirt.

Sepultura? They’re Brazilian. They’re not “white.” Dude has himself some identity some issues, obviously.

“Sean – this is Michael. Michael – this is Sean.”

Michael is staring me down. I slowly get up from the floor, and in doing so notice that he has taken a step back, as if I was going to somehow lunge from my position on the carpet to attack him. I extend my hand out to him, the gentleman that I am, to shake hands after the introduction. I want to draw it back the second he speaks.

“I know who Sean is. You used to hang out with all of those SHARP(Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, for those of you who aren’t up to speed on your gang names and their affiliations) faggots, didn’t you? You‘re a Jew, right?” – he sneers that last bit just enough to get the meth in my body a little closer to boiling, atoms firing all over the place.

I’m not really sure how to respond to him. Part of me does want to pummel him. Part of me wants to just move right by him, and walk out the door. I can feel the humming of impending violence rising off of him, a slow and nasty-looking smirk forming across his face.

“Dude? SEAN? What the fuck, man?”

Looking behind Michael, I see Danny. I have known Danny since I moved to Arizona. We played baseball together. We both went to the same “Alternative” High School. Danny hanging out with this fucking guy makes no sense to me at all – Danny might possibly be the most aloof, most kind-heartedly Spiccoli-esque permanently stoned person I have ever met in my entire life. What the fuck is he doing rolling around with this curb-stomping monstrosity?

Drugs. It is always, about The Drugs.

“Dude – I’ve known Sean FOREVER – he’s cool. Don’t sweat him like that, Michael. He’s cool as fuck.”

With Danny’s Testimonial On The Status Of Sean‘s Coolness, Michael reluctantly shakes my hand and smiles, saying “It’s cool, man. I’m just fucking with you” – which, sadly, would be a refrain that I heard tumbling out of his mouth for the rest of the night and into the early hours of the next day.

Sitting around on the floor like a bunch of kids at a drug-fueled slumber party, the methamphetamine pile was being gone through at an alarming rate. It felt like every ten minutes or so I was snorting more of it into me. The jewel case being passed around between us like a canteen, each person cutting out line after line. Conversations ebbed and flowed from recollections of retardery from the past between Danny and myself, to Michael randomly trying to talk to me about his crazed White Power ideals on Christianity – at one point he tried to explain to me that the reason Jesus was sacrificed was because he was a Jew, and that his supposed resurrection was a Jew magic trick that proved Jews were “of the devil, and never to be trusted.”

My heart was pounding.

Every time he made some crack like this, I noticed that Michelle would instantly look over to me – as if I was somehow going to agree with this asshole. Instead, I did my best to try and stay calm, and try to engage Michael in a way that would not upset him or cause him to fly off the handle. As comfortable as I might have been on the inside of myself with taking him outside and beating him bloody – I knew that the ripples from such a beating would be outlandishly dangerous, considering the fact that most racist skins traveled in packs, so as never to be outnumbered or in danger.

Michael knew this as well.

At one point, as the sun was just starting to rise, I wandered through the apartment to go to the bathroom. As I was walking through the living room, Danny was asleep on the couch, and Michael was trying to quietly mumble into the telephone. He didn’t see me, because as he had the phone cradled between his shoulder and his head, he was playing with the gun he had strapped to his ankle. When I realized what he was mumbling – “Yeah, he’s here. He’s a fucking kike motherfucker with a hook-nose. I can give you the address. How soon can you guys get here?“ – I knew it was time for me to get the fuck out of there. Fast.

Mistakenly, I made the decision to ask Michelle to drive me home.

“Totally. Michael can come with us.”

I tried so hard to give her a look that would translate that this was not what I wanted – I did not want this violent pack animal to know where I laid my head at night – and then I realize that Michael didn‘t want to know either.

“I don’t want to go with you – I shouldn’t know where ‘The Jew’ lives.”

Michelle just looked at him after he said it – first a frown, then a smile, because she thought he was going to say that he was fucking with me again.

He wasn’t.

As she was gathering her things for the ride, Michael got back on the phone, and spoke more clearly into it for my benefit, describing Michelle’s car for the person on the other end, and telling them the basic route we’d be taking back to central Phoenix – all while glaring at me, trying to gauge whether or not this was the moment when my instincts would take over, and the violence between us could finally be birthed.

I was petrified, just standing there waiting for him to pounce.

The ride to my apartment took a nasty turn, as Michael started to unleash a torrent of racial epithets at me in the back seat, while Michelle kept on screaming at him to leave me alone. Me? I just sat there, my head on a swivel, looking out the windows to try and see if I could spot a car full of bald heads, to spot the executioners Michael had sent my way.

As we got closer to my apartment, I asked Michelle to just let me off on a random corner, begging her to stop the car so that I could make my way through early morning back yards, and escape the beating that was imminent. Michael told her to let me out of the car, suddenly screaming – “Just let ’The Jew’ out, Michelle! Get him the fuck out of this car!” She refused, and actually locked the doors to the car so that I couldn’t jump out. Michael turned to me, his face flushed and red, and said to me – “You brought this on yourself, you know that, right? We never forget. We never forget who The Jews are, and you will never forget who we, the True and Superior White Race, are.”

Michelle pulled her car into the parking area of the complex, and I looked at her face in the rearview mirror. She was sallow. She looked back at me with eyes that were druggy, confused, and hung like a dog that was just caught shitting on the rug. I said nothing as I jumped out of the car – the small eye contact between us, and the terror that I knew was in my own eyes was enough.

As she backed her car down the driveway to get out, I saw a beat-up Monte Carlo slowly creeping in front of the complex. Somehow, they had found us, and followed Michelle’s car to where I lived. The car looked to have around four or five people in it – each one of them, bald. They were just sitting in the car, watching me as I tried to take my time walking to the back door of my father’s apartment – which was far too close to the position their car was in for my liking.

Inside the kitchen now, I am looking for something – anything I can use to defend myself. The methamphetamine, coursing in my veins, makes everything I hear sound like it’s right in front of me. I hear car doors closing. Footsteps in the gravel. Muttering. Laughter. I am laying on the kitchen floor, with my head and body out of view, wedged between the sink and the oven.

The footsteps stopped at the back door.

I can see the shadowy outline of four people standing outside my back door. I don’t even realize that I have the phone in my hand on the floor until I hear the operator say “911 – what is your emergency?” Quietly, I beg her to send a squad car over to my address, telling her that there are four people outside my back door who want to harm me – telling her that they are driving a maroon Monte Carlo, and are quite possibly armed. I tell her that I know the precinct is close by, and beg her to send a car as quick as she can. I tell her that I am hiding on my kitchen floor with a wooden baseball bat, and that I cannot wait for the police to arrive – I tell her all of this, with the drug-addled tongue that instantly raises a red flag with the Phoenix Police Department. I can hear the shuffling of feet outside as she tells me on the phone that a squad car has arrived, and to just sit tight until the police come and speak to me.

There is a knock on my front door, and through the door I can hear the sounds of the police radio. I can also feel my heart exploding in my chest – because the fuckers that came to hurt me were at the back door. Opening the door, I am greeted by four officers, one of whom is holding what looks like a black-jack in his hand. The policemen all look me up and down, as if they knew in that moment that I was a complete paranoid fueled by bathtub drugs. Quickly, I tell them everything about what happened, other than telling them about the drugs. One of the officers opens the back door and walks around out there, while the youngest one asks me for my identification, which I give to him.

As he is slowly fingering my ID, I realize that it is probably caked in a film of methamphetamine, and in rapid-fire succession, my mind decides that I am probably going to go to jail.

“Well – we did find this black-jack outside, Mr. Doyle. And as we were pulling up, we did see a group of men running away from the Monte Carlo that is still parked outside. Do you have anywhere you can go – it’s probably not safe for you to stay here for a while?”

I tried to call my friend Brian, but I knew he was asleep. I left him a rambling message on his answering machine, and told him to come and get me as soon as he could. As I hung up the phone, I realized that I had the keys to every apartment in the complex, and I could hide out in one of the vacant ones until I saw Brian’s car pull up.

The police asked me multiple times if I was on drugs, and each time I told them that I wasn’t – which they obviously knew was a lie. They told me to call them if there were any more problems, and the young cop handed me back my ID, and gave me a quick squeeze of the arm as if to tell me that everything was going to be okay.

As they left, I saw Helen – the ninety year old mother of the man who owned the apartment complex, as she was gathering up her morning newspaper from her front door. I quickly walked over to her and asked her if she wouldn’t mind my company for a little while – she was a sweet woman who I looked after from time to time for her son, so the request probably wasn’t out of the ordinary for her.

I went back to my father’s apartment and grabbed the cordless phone, and locked the place up.

Back inside of Helen’s apartment, the drugs were still working their way around inside of me. I asked her if she would like for me to make her some coffee, and she said that would be nice – so I did. It wasn’t lost on me in any way that I was in that moment doing what might probably be the most cowardly thing I had ever done in my life – hiding out in the apartment of an elderly woman, while high on drugs and running from a gang of angry racist skinheads who wanted to beat me to death.

I tried so hard to remain in my own body. It took a while for Brian to call, and when he did I could hear him shaking his head at me through the phone – bizarre behavior like this wasn’t so out of the norm for me in those days – my paranoia when using drugs was always the biggest detriment to any friendship. Brian agreed to come and pick me up, but told me that I needed to calm the fuck down.

Hours later, playing darts with Brian in his living room, I felt this wave of disgust wash over me – I was still terrified, and me being terrified was something that was just totally unacceptable to me. I tried to call Michelle and talk to her, but she hung up on me as soon as I started to tell her what her new boyfriend had done.

I never spoke to her again.

*Yes, I changed the names of the parties involved. And yes – it is fifteen years later, and I am still repulsed that I hid out in the apartment of a ninety year old woman. What the fuck would you have done?

8 Comments

Filed under drugs are bad, i used to be stupid, jealous insecurities, nuggets of infinite wisdom, racism, who is sean?

Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, or "I Prefer Being Called A Soothsayer To Being Called A Prophet"

I’m just going to go ahead and get this out of the way right out of the gate – I know this is not only the end of 2009, but also the end of a decade, which means The Interweb is currently flooded with “End of The Aughts” posts from everyone. While reading a lot of them(I ain’t got nothing but time and nicotine stains on my hands, you lovely motherfuckers), I’ve noticed this common theme:

“WHAAAAAA! EVERYTHING THAT EVER HAPPENED IN THE LAST YEAR/TEN YEARS SUCKED!!!”

It has been very painful for me to read all of this negative bullshit. I mean – I’m a humanimal just like most of you, so I am prone to disappointment and whatnot like anyone else is. And being a member of the current state of our society involves dealing with a lot of extraneous shit that will find a way to drag even the most positive-thinking person into the quicksand of negativity. I get all that, I really do.

But enough is enough already.

(This is the part where Sean puts his funny Philosopher Jones, Esquire hat on – if you want to read something else – now is the time to go ahead and do so – you’ve been warned)

When I am feeling flushed with frustration or anger over the things I see/read/hear from people who are wallowing in their own misery, I try to always remember this very important piece of writing right here:

Feeling deeply the difference between oneself and others, bearing ill will and falling out with people — these things come from a heart that lacks compassion. If one wraps up everything with a heart of compassion, there will be no coming into conflict with people.” – from Chapter Two of The Hagakure

It seems very simple, but in fact, this is a very hard idea to follow through on. I work on it every day – reminding myself over and over again that we’re all just human beings sharing human experiences – what might cause me to react one way will cause another person to react in a totally different way – all based upon our own personal needs/wants/environments, and how those factors influence our emotions.

Sometimes it feels like trying to untie knots with your heart while blindfolded.

I’m a Sagittarius – so this shit is all a naturally-occurring part of my natal blueprinting. Just go through this here site and read the posts tagged “The Spiritual Misadventures Of Sean” if you need proof of that aspect of my being. Most of my life has been nothing more than a Spiritual/Philosophical Quest of sorts – trying to find answers to the big and heady questions most people never think about once they settle into their holding pattern of adulthood and the responsibilities that get thrust upon us once we go out into this Great Big World – the only difference being that I have always been this way, from the moment I was able to comprehend language enough to use it to verbalize what was happening in my scattered little mind.

ANYWAYS…

Back to the “End of the Year/Decade” tip – I’ve written before about how much I cannot stand the fact that people seem to think that being snarky somehow denotes that they are intelligent beyond the comprehension of others. And after reading through a lot of these Year End lists and posts of doom – I’m kind of hoping this trend goes away for good. Seriously.

Maybe this makes me some kind of hippie idealist or something, but no matter how bad my life appears to be in the moment, I always know deep inside the core of my being that I AM GOING TO LEARN SOMETHING FROM THIS. And that right there is the key for my monkey ass – learning. If I’m not learning, I’m not an active participant. If I am not an active participant, I am dead. So – I try very hard to remain, in some way, positive. Even when the shit is b to the a to the motherfuckin’ d. It is just too goddamn easy to get all caught up in the misery of disappointment or struggle. And that shit is just a power trip anyway, stomping your feet and acting all indignant because things just aren’t going the way you had them planned out in your happy little fantasy of what life was going to be all about for you, as if you somehow have the power at your disposal to CONTROL EVERYTHING.

People who lead miserable lives will always cling to that misery. They will say stupid shit to cover up their own insecurities and doubts, and do it in a way that gives them the quick elation that one would get from an inhalant, or possibly from snorting huge rails of methamphetamine. That’s where all that snark comes into play – people lashing out at other people because they have some need to feel superior to something, when in all reality, they hate themselves so much that they feel nothing but inferior to everything.

Like Roberto Duran once said – “No mas.” I’m done with negativity. Done with misery addicts. If you want to roll with me, you have to drop that shit. Not having it.

AAAAAND BREATHE…

Moving forward, 2010, or as it was told to me in an e-mail from a good friend – MMX: The Year We Save The World™ – is all about me getting shit done. Grinding it out. Honing my skill set. Working on my craft. Writing, writing, and more writing.

And working much harder on attaining this very important goal that sometimes slips away from me:

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” – Bruce Lee

I hope that each and every one of you that I call a friend has a wonderful and amazing MMX. You deserve it.

Love,

Sean

Please enjoy the video –

6 Comments

Filed under i used to be stupid, jealous insecurities, laziness, nuggets of infinite wisdom, who is sean?

Ramble On, or "Awkward As Can Possibly Be – That’s Me!"

The clicking underneath the opening of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” sets my mind reeling into Flashback Alley.

I remember the first time I had the record, Houses Of The Holy, in my hands. Twelve inches of a new world for me to explore. The eerie cover art, with a naked prepubescent girl standing on some rocks that are jutting out of somewhere I’d never seen or been to before – it reminded me of those old books about Irish folklore and Faeries my little sister and I had as kids, the paintings and illustrations inside becoming Nightmare Fuel for the long-off-in-the-distance hallucinations of my Drug Years.

I was probably fourteen years old or so. Music was just beginning to grab me by the balls, right around the same time hormones started to play with my mind and cause me to notice girls and their breasts and the way that they smell when you lean in real close to them. Girls and Rock And Motherfucking Roll, a conflagration inside of my belly.

Never-ending fire, with no need to stoke it.

I had just started experimenting with drugs around this time as well – nothing too heavy yet, just smoking marijuana pilfered from an older brother of a friend. He would sneak enough for us to roll a joint out of his brother’s sack, and we’d get high before baseball practice.

Those were always the days where I felt like I could hit a ball seven hundred feet. The spinning of the ball as it was released during batting practice slowed to a crawl, being able to read the laces and see the ball connect with the aluminum bat in my hands, watching it rocket off of it as I pulled the orb into the stratosphere that was left field.

Endless Summer.

I was about to start High School then. I wasn’t necessarily a popular kid in Middle School – I was far too awkward for that. As smart as I was, I was very shy and gangly. I had just lost a bunch of weight during the winter due to a terrible bout with pneumonia. I had my Bar Mitzvah late – I mostly did it out of respect and love for my mother and her family – being Jewish was something I understood and had already come to terms with, but wasn’t necessarily high on my list of identifying characteristics. Maybe if we had stayed in Brooklyn I would have thought differently, but being Jewish in Phoenix was just a target on my back, especially in regard to the awkwardness and grief I caught from all of my classmates – it was as if I were some kind of alien dropped into their world.

But, being Jewish was how my mother and her family identified, and I wasn’t about to upset them in any way. My mother asked me if it was something I wanted to do, and I saw in her eyes in that moment that she was subliminally suggesting that it was something that I should do, so I agreed.

I went through all of the training necessary to learn enough Hebrew to pull off a Bar Mitzvah in less than six months’ time, memorizing and practicing all of the singing from a cassette tape made for me by our Temple’s cantor every morning before school, when my mother said my mind was “fresh.” I would stand in my bedroom, slowly pulling clothes onto my weary and hormone-infused body, singing along with these tapes. My sister, who always identified with my father’s Catholicism, would walk past my bedroom door, shaking her head and making faces at me because of the terrible nature of my singing voice.

There was something magical about hormones and a foreign language coupled with the rapid succession of time and a need to complete a task.

ANYWAYS…

Around the week before my Bar Mitzvah, I became really ill, coming down with a terrible bout with the aforementioned pneumonia. My lungs were full of fluid and phlegm, my body ached and was hot to the touch. Thankfully, every single older Jewish woman from my mother’s family had made the pilgrimage to Phoenix to witness my “coming of age,” so I had plenty of matronly love being spent in my direction – each one of them having some magical cure-all to take away my illness.

My mother’s grandmother was the eldest in the posse, so I latched on to her advice, being the smart and very attuned to the nuance of respecting one’s elders type of cat that I already was. Her methods were simple and old school – flush it all out with lots of hot tea with lemon and honey, and eat as much grapefruit as humanly possible.

We burned that poison out of my body.

Not only did I remove the poisonous pneumonia from my body, but I somehow managed to slim myself down a bit – which was good, because even though I was constantly active – playing basketball daily, baseball year round, and riding a skateboard everywhere I wanted to go – I was just a lump of a kid. As lumpy as could be. Not portly, but just this husky mess of a boy.

Being Jewish got me my first date, too.

My mother had started sending me off to these Youth Group dances and stuff like that. I was always awkward and self-conscious around people I didn’t know, but my mother would tell me over and over again – “Seany, just act like you’ve been there before – that’s how you learn – stop being afraid already.” The Temple we belonged to was a new one, so it really didn’t have a Youth Group as of yet, but my mother was able to find out where she could send me to get acclimated to being around other kids that were supposed to be like me.

I was sent to a dance at a Temple in Scottsdale, full of kids from all over Phoenix. I would go to the dances at my school, but they were always an exercise in me improving my avoidance skill set, as opposed to me actually being brave and asking girls to dance. Dancing has never been anything I was drawn to – it’s just not in my box of tools. I have plenty of rhythm, and I can sit behind a drum kit and break out the funk to let loose an entire room of jump-stepping, but dancing? Not gonna happen, my friends.

Sadly, this has continued into my Adult Life – I never dance. I danced with The Wife at our wedding for one song(Nick Drake‘s “Northern Sky“), and then once more at another wedding we attended, when she forced me to do it by putting the juju on me and telling me it was “bad luck” for the newlyweds if I didn’t comply.

ANYWAYS…

I only knew a few of the kids at this dance, from my own Temple’s incredibly archaic and terrible Sunday School classes that I had been expelled from for being out of line and telling the instructor that she was an asshole for telling me my Iron Maiden shirt was inappropriate to wear to a Temple. I milled around near the walls, like any scene out of a teen movie from the 80s – just skittering and sputtering my way through the motions of being there. The music they were playing was horrible and not like any of the Rock And Motherfucking Roll I was used to pumping into my system of my own accord. No Thin Lizzy. No Iron Maiden. No Kiss. No Aerosmith. No Sex Pistols or The Damned, for sure.

I found a side door after a while, and I snuck outside to smoke a cigarette.

I was standing over by a column next to some bushes, cupping my smoke in my hand near my side when a girl came over to me to see what I was up to.

“Are you smoking?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh my God, can I have a drag?”

“Sure.”

I watched her as she took the cigarette and put it to her lips. The way she dragged on it told me she wasn’t really a smoker, and her black nail polish told me she wasn’t like the rest of the girls inside. Her dress was nice. She had pretty hair – black, with a little wave to it that hung over half of her face. Her eyes were blue, and she smelled like flowers.

“I’m Hailey. You should come inside and dance with me.”

“I’m Sean. I – ummm – I don’t really dance, Hailey.”

“Will you dance with me if I get them to play a good slow song?”

“Sure. But only if you get them to play a Led Zeppelin song. I bet they don’t even have any. That’s all I really listen to.”

She took my hand at that point. No girl had ever held my hand before. I was trying so hard to look and be cool. I didn’t want her to know that I was terrified. I mean – how the fuck was I supposed to react to some girl who just randomly came outside, caught me smoking at a Jewish Youth Group dance, and is now holding my retarded hand? And now this beautiful girl, Hailey, is dragging me back inside of the big room where the dance is going on. The kids that I know are all looking over at me. One kid, Don, nods at me like he’s giving me his approval in some way.

Hailey and I are standing in front of the disc jockey now. She’s asking him, over the din of some terrible J. Geils Band jam, if he has any Led Zeppelin. The disc jockey keeps on cupping his ear to hear her voice, so she reaches over and grabs him by his skinny tie and pulls him in close and shouts into his ear –

“You need to play ‘Stairway To Heaven’ so I can dance with this boy!”

The disc jockey looks over at me, smirking. Motherfucker.

I cannot hear what happens between them next, because he puts on “My Sharona,” and the sea of awkward Jewish teens is churning to the sound of The Knack like the world is about to end, the room a whirling dervish of hormones and lunacy. I want to disappear underneath his table, to crawl under the banner that says DISC JOCKEY ENTERTAINMENT and hide there until everyone else has been picked up by their parents. I could do it – I could totally hide there for hours and hours without anyone knowing I was there.

“Okay kids, we’re going to slow it down a bit now. This next one is a special request – from Hailey to Sean. You kids behave now.”

Fuck.

Hailey is dragging me out into the middle of the area where all the kids are dancing. I have no idea what the fuck I am doing. She takes my hands and places them where she wants them – one on the small of her back, and she gingerly raises up her ass so that my hand is resting right at the top of it, while she takes my other hand and wraps it around her and into the back of her neck. She squeezes her way into me, even though she is roughly the same height as I am, and puts her head into the crook of my neck where it meets with my shoulder. I can smell how clean her hair is. I can feel her body through my own, every nerve ending inside of me on fire.

It feels as though the song lasts for hours. Just the two of us, slowly swaying there in space, our bodies communicating with one another as if nobody else in the world were alive but us.

Hailey chooses this very moment to softly put her lips on the side of my neck, kissing me gently and kindly. I have no idea if she can feel how much I am shaking. I know I am shaking. Violently. But she takes my face in her hand and turns me to face her, opening her mouth slightly as if to say something, but then kisses me full-on.

Thanks, Mom.

After the dance has ended, all of the kids are milling about the parking lot, saying their good-byes and see-you-laters to one another as they search out parental units amongst the fleet of cars. Hailey is dragging me through the lot, hands stuck together like Siamese Twins. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see my mother standing next to her car, watching me cut my way through the masses of kids, being dragged by a beautiful girl. She’s smirking at me.

Hailey introduces me to her mother in a blur. I am polite – my mother trained me well. I don’t really know how to make small-talk at this point in my life – I’m only fourteen years old and have just had my first real kiss, so my mind is all aflutter and in a different world altogether. Hailey’s mother looks just like her, only older.

My own mother has made her way over to Hailey’s mother, and the two of them are doing the introducing one’s self game that mothers must do when their children become intertwined. Hailey is taking to me, but none of it sounds like English, all I can do is stare at her mouth as she forms words that slip and slide in front of me. She’s still holding onto my hand, even in front of our mothers.

Hailey kisses me on the cheek as our mothers say good-bye to one another, some plan set in motion for us to spend some time together in the future, but I’m in no way understanding any of these dynamics. She shoves a piece of paper into my shirt pocket and gets into the car with her mother – not once unlocking her eyes from staring at me.

“Were you smoking, Sean? I asked you not to let any of these people see you smoking. I don’t want people to think you’re a hooligan.”

I smoke with my mother in the car on the ride home, as she asks me how I met such a nice and beautiful girl. I’m just watching the inside of the car filling with smoke, the way the street lights work their way through the little clouds, illuminating them and the spaces around them.

“She came outside and caught me smoking, actually. I had never seen or met her before.”

The next weekend, Hailey and I went to the movies. Her Uncle was our chaperone. She and I spent a little bit of time on the phone during the preceding week, but I wasn’t very good at talking to girls yet, so I didn’t have much to say to her. I just listened as she talked about school, her friends, her little brother – but I didn‘t retain much of it. All I could think about was the way her body felt next to mine, the way her hair smelled, the softness of her lips on my neck – I was smitten, but had no idea how to talk about any of it.

Her Uncle was in his mid-twenties. We met up at the mall near her house across town. I was an idiot, so I was wearing black parachute pants and some bizarre shirt that looks like a knock-off version of the jacket MJ rocked in the “Thriller“ video. She still had on black nail polish. Her Uncle was wearing a Ramones-like leather jacket, had a face full of stubble, and was holding a paper cup of coffee. Hailey greeted me with a warm hug and quick kiss, which her Uncle immediately made a face about. He asked me if my parents were cool with us seeing an R-rated movie, and I laughed and told him it was no big deal.

He went and purchased us tickets to see “The Breakfast Club,” while Hailey and I sat on a bench in front of the theaters, her hand already fused into the palm of my own.

When her Uncle turned around to walk back over to where we were sitting, I noticed he was wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt.

“Hailey tells me you love rock and roll?”

“Yeah. I kinda want to be a guitar player. I love Led Zeppelin and stuff like that. It’s all I really listen to. Well, and I like some punk, but most of my friends think that stuff is too noisy and loud.”

He gives me an odd look, and then chuckles something to himself about the way I am dressed – something about “nice pants, loser.” Hailey is asking him if he needs to sit near us in the movie, if her mother gave him instruction to keep us separated. Again he starts to laugh.

“I’m supposed to sit right next to the two of you. That’s what a chaperone does. Maybe if you two little lovebirds didn’t make it so obvious to your mothers that your hormones were insane, I wouldn’t have to be here at all. They don’t trust the two of you alone. I’m blaming Mr. Rock and Roll here for that one.”

I’m not too sure what he means by that, so I just play along and laugh with the two of them. Shit man, this is my first date, and already someone is making fun of me? If I was terrified at the dance, that feeling is nothing compared to how stupid and weird I feel right now.

In the theater, her Uncle decides to sit on my right, while Hailey is sitting on my left – Monkey in the Middle. As the previews are starting, Hailey leans into me and kisses me on the mouth. Her Uncle reaches down with his left hand and grabs hold of my right knee with enough force to pop it loose from its mooring to the rest of my leg, muttering into my ear with violence in his voice – “None of that shit today, Mr. Rock and Roll – you understand me?”

I suffer through most of the movie with an aching and throbbing hard-on that I try and cover up with Hailey’s jacket. She has her hand on my left leg, and has been whispering into my ear throughout much of the movie. None of what she says makes as much of an impression as the process of her whispering does – each rush of air into my ear causing more pain in my lap, more desire to kiss her. Her Uncle, who I now realize is as stoned as can be, has eaten not only his popcorn, but also mine. He is now drinking my soda, and every now and then he grabs my knee to reinforce the edict he had previously laid down for me about “that shit.”

After the move ends, we wander around the mall for a bit, Hailey’s Uncle keeping a distance of a good ten paces behind us, watching our every move. He keeps on making these sounds whenever we sink into one another while we walk, sounds that remind me of the promise of violence, the way he crushed my knee and my libido in one simple motion.

Outside of the mall now, my mother has come to pick me up. Hailey and I embrace, and defiantly, we kiss good-bye. I felt a little bit more empowered with my mother being in the vicinity – as if her Uncle couldn’t lay a finger on me in front of her. Hailey feels warm and sweet. I ask her if I can see her again, and she lights up and smiles, nodding her head quickly, and then giving me another kiss to ram the agreement home.

I tried to call her a couple of days later, only to have her Uncle answer the phone. I asked him if I could speak to her, and he immediately started laughing into the phone in a very sinister and terrible way.

“She’s not allowed to talk to you, Mr. Rock and Roll. I told her mother how grabby and kissy you were. She doesn’t want her daughter hanging around with some doper who just wants to get his rocks off. Go buy a guitar and get your rocks off on your own, punk.”

I never saw her again.

7 Comments

Filed under dumbassery, i used to be stupid, jealous insecurities, rock and motherfucking roll, who is sean?

"My Arts Is Crafty Darts"

I know I’ve been neglectful, you lovely motherfuckers. I’m not gonna front – I’ve been deep in the recesses of my mind, working on new and twisted magic. It’s not you, it’s me.

BACKSTORY:

Things ’round here have been more than interesting. We pulled up stakes and moved out of Childrensburg, 11211, and into the lovely greenery and Nazi Runes of Little Warsaw, 11222. We’ve been over here since mid-July, and other than one really bizarre and terrible incident – it has been quite nice.

Part of my neglect of this here site, is due to my sudden(and quite alarming) ability to write Real Shit lately. Not that The Rambles aren’t an important part of maintaining my psyche – they totally are. But I’m talking about writing of a Higher Caliber. Like, the type of writing that you feel so empty and spent from coughing it up, that you have to go outside for a long and contemplative walk with just you and your damn self. The kind of shit that flies off the fingers as weight and pain leaves the body. Synergistic and fluid. Magical Work, if you’ll indulge me.


This new and Magical Work was inspired, to a degree, by me finally getting off my ass and taking a little writing course taught by Stephen Elliott a few weeks ago. Now – the class was great on many fronts. On one front, it was good to be in a room with a bunch of other “writers.” I’m not saying anything with a negative connotation when I say this, but I did not feel out of water like I thought I would. If anything, I felt a little bit empowered, listening to the queries and thoughts being brought to the table by my peers in the room, finding myself nodding my head in concert with the wisdom Stephen was kicking out to everyone. I’d say a good 89% of what he was talking about was already in my wheelhouse, and that the majority of what was being shared was confirmation for me that I am “doing it right,” as Ty would say.

It was a good thing for me to do, and I plan on taking some more courses and going to some workshops here in the fall. No sense in messing with momentum, you know?


ANYWAYS…

Last Friday night was a rough one around here.

I had run to the bodega on Manhattan Avenue to go and get us some smokes and some beverages. It was roughly 10:30 or so, and as I was walking back into our building, there was a gang of young and ridiculous-looking kids in their early twenties in the lobby. Most of them actually looked like they could possibly be even younger, maybe even High School age.

I did my polite thing, and excused myself as I dug my keys out to open the door to get into the building. A lot of the kids were holding half-racks of beer, and I could very clearly smell that magically pungent scent of fresh marijuana coming off of one of the kids – he probably had an ounce or so on him, from what my sniffer was telling me.

A party.

Not only a party, but the kids throwing this shindig live right underneath us.

Good times.


You see, part of why we moved over here, and into this specific building, was to get away from this type of dickery. Motherfucking kids these days have this false sense of entitlement, and think they can just do whatever the fuck they want with no regard to anyone within their surrounding vicinity. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking – “What the fuck, Sean? You used to party like a lunatic when you were younger, you hypocritical bastard!” – and you’re not wrong about the partying part. What you’re wrong about is lumping me in with these little nogoodniks. I was always respectful. We always let our neighbors know if we were going to have a few people over. And usually, they were much more apt to not get bugged out by some loud music and pot smoke if we let them know beforehand.

It’s just the right thing to do. Period.

But that’s just not how these New Jack Fuckstains roll at all. They tune out the rest of the world much in the same manner they tune out everything else when they’re high in their room, dicking around on a fucking gaming system until daybreak. As the artist formerly known as Blognigger so verily pointed out this week(and I gotta be honest and say that I fucking HATE linking to SBTVC and all the mouthbreathing “I’M SO MUCH COOLER THAN YOU!” bullshit that goes on over there, but BN is my friend, and I liked this post a lot, so fuck it) – kids are just fucking terrible nowadays.


MMMMMMMMMMM-BA!

Fast forward about an hour and a half. I’m sitting right here at this very desk, trying to get some Magical Work done. All of a sudden I hear a bunch of shit from up on the roof. Little bastards were up there, getting their drink on.

Goddamn it, I was pissed the fuck off.

See, the OTHER reason we liked this place so much, was because nobody was going to be living above us. We’re on the top floor, and for good reason. At our last place, there were these fucking junkie slobs who lived over us.

Now – when I say junkie slobs, please erase the picture of gutter punks or Robert Downey Jr in Less Than Zero out of your pretty little mind. The kind of junkie slob I am referring to here is a breed of junkie that would fascinate Larry Fucking Clark. I’m talking about the kind of junkie that will be outside in subzero temperatures at 2:17AM, trying to put on new brake pads on a car that has no business whatsoever being on the road to begin with. I’m talking about the kind of junkie who goes out and buys a used portable clothes washing machine, because they’re too fucking lazy to go do laundry like a respectable Brooklynite, and said washer floods their apartment. On Christmas Eve. And then causes the people below them to have their ceiling collapse and rain down upon them in bed. That’s the kind of junkie slob I’m riffing on here.

Oh, hello – why yes, it DID rain on my head on Christmas Eve!

So – that’s a big part of why we loved this new spot so much. A quieter hood for sure, but also a lack of disrespectful assholes surrounding us. This building is full of families and older Polish people. Hell, when we first moved in, everyone was eyeballing us, hoping we weren’t crazed Party People.

I decided to go out into the hallway, and let these kids know they just shouldn’t be up on the roof. It was bad enough that they were running around the halls, slamming doors and being loud as fuck. I wasn’t going to sit in here and listen to them stomping around over my head all night. I pay far too much rent for that shit.

As I walked out into the hall, a group of them were heading up the stairs to the roof. This is the exchange that followed, pretty much verbatim:

Me: “Hey. Hey! Y’all should not be up on that roof.”
Some random fuck of a kid: “Is there going to be a problem?”
Me: Cold stare.
Kid: “Are you serious? We shouldn’t be on the roof?”
Me: “Five stories is a long drop, ain’t it? There are families that live under the roof. Kids. Little ones. Please be respectful, or I won’t be.”
Some random drunk girl: “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE. WE CAN DO WHAT WE WANT!”
Kid: “Look – we don’t want any trouble. We’ll get off the roof. Sorry.”
Me: A grin and a wink.

After that, I heard them all scurrying back down to the third floor, where the party was. I could hear them yelling in the apartment about “some asshole covered in tattoos made us get off the roof,” and I felt somewhat better about myself in that moment. They continued to be loud and ridiculous, and I continued to sit here, trying to get some Magical Work done.

I could hear them up on the roof again, maybe around 1:30AM. I figured I’d already said what I needed to, and kind of hoped that one of the older residents in the building would call the police soon, to break up the stupidity.

Around 1:45 or so I heard what sounded like the loudest slam of a door since my terrible teen years.

Less than ten minutes later, I could hear the police, admonishing kids left and right. I even pulled a total Old Man Move, and looked out the peephole in our front door, and could see cops walking kids down the stairs from the roof.

I felt pretty vindicated and went to sleep.

The next afternoon, after we had brunch with a friend, we came walking back over to the building and noticed a lot of our neighbors standing out front in a group, talking. As we walked up to them, we were informed that a 22 year old kid had fallen off the roof to his death.

At 1:45AM.

What I thought was a door slamming, was this poor fucking kid.

He basically fell six stories. From the roof, which would be the fifth floor, all the way down into the courtyard, which is recessed from the street level. He was dead on impact – a beer can was found less than two feet from his body. The superintendent of our building was in the courtyard, trying to wash away all of the blood from the scene. It was terrible. There was still brain matter on the ground and some of it was spattered on the outer wall of the building. I asked him for some bleach, and I helped him wash away the stains.

I have never before in my life felt more terrible about an “I told you so,” as this one.

This building has been as quiet as tomb ever since.

MESSAGE FROM BEYOND:

Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful.”

2 Comments

Filed under childrensburg 11211, drugs are bad, jealous insecurities, little warsaw 11222, true stories from nyc

AN OPEN LETTER TO CHUCK KLOSTERMAN

Dear Sir,

Let me first start off by telling you that I find your work/writing to be quite entertaining and well put-together. I have yet to read anything that you’ve done that I didn’t enjoy on some basic and pleasing level. Most of my friends enjoy your work as well, and we’ve had many a conversation about the points/ideas/riffs you put into your collected volume of work.

That being said, I’d also like to bring to your attention that you, Sir, are a thieving magpie.

I know that we have never crossed paths, even though we live in the same Megatropolis. I’ve even spent time in the same taverns that you supposedly haunt, but I’ve never seen hide nor hair of you (I am certainly not stalking you*, as you’re not my type at all – I’m quite heterosexual). The likelihood of you and I being in the same place at the same time is quite ludicrous, seeing as how you are a well-paid and published author, whereas I am a lowly blogger who works a regular job to support my Marlboro Menthol Lights habit.

There are entire passages in your collected works that seem eerily lifted from my own brain, Sir.

I understand that me even writing this “letter” makes me seem as though I suffer from acute Apophenia (Google it, smartypants), but I assure you – I am quite sure that you must be some kind of alien life form that is sucking my thoughts from deep within the gooey grey matter that is my brain.

Mind you, that entire “33” chapter in Sex, Drugs And Cocoa Puffs was certainly NOT lifted from my thoughts, as I have never been a fan of Larry Bird, The City of Boston nor any professional sports franchise that makes said city their home, Republicans, and/or anyone who they themselves happen to be a fan of these things. I could care less about French Lick’s finest or any of his Celtic brethren (though I did, for a brief time, have a soft-spot for The Chief, as I too was an avid user of THC for a great number of years – but that is neither here nor there).

But the Led Zeppelin thing?

You done did rip that shit straight the fuck on out of my head, Sir.

As I read that chapter (you know – the one where you’re rocketing through the barren wastelands of Montana, “Whole Lotta Love” blaring as you contemplate dinosaurs roaming the earth), I felt my personae disappearing from my being. I started to hyperventilate (and my being a hypochondriac Jew has nothing to do with this), because the passages of words you had smashed together read as if I, MYSELF, HAD SPOKEN THEM.

YOU, SIR, ARE AN EVIL MAN, AND I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU STAYED OUT OF MY HEAD.

It’s not just the stuff about Led Zeppelin, either – the piece about being within close proximity to a serial killer hit close to home, as I once lived in the same apartment complex as “The Phoenix Serial Shooter” (I can neither confirm nor deny that I had anything to do with his general distaste for human life – I just know he was fucking weird, liked boxing, and that he ran like a girl). I also felt as though your ESPN piece about Ali being “the first rapper” was lifted from a conversation I had with my late father, wherein I was trying to explain to him the origins of Hip Hop, and about how he’d actually been exposed to it for far longer than he thought.

All silliness aside – as I stated earlier – I quite enjoy your work. I was recently re-reading parts of Klosterman IV, and found myself actually LOLing a wee bit (and The Wife asked me why I was laughing at you if I hate you so much – so I had to explain to her that using the word “hate” in regards to you is actually my way of saying that I am envious of your abilities, to which she casually replied “That’s so mature of you, honey”).

85% of me would like to challenge you, Sir, to an Aaron Burr/Alexander Hamilton-type duel.

But the other 15% of me knows better. Knowing that my middle name IS Hamilton is pretty much the only mitigating factor that continually dissuades me from doing such a thing (I’m not as think as you dumb I am, you rapscallion!).

In closing, I hope this open letter finds you in good health, and that your prosperity and popularity continue to swell. Everybody loves you, Sir –

Sincerely,

Sean H. Doyle, (NotCurrentlyAWriterFor)Esquire

*Although… I do recall having a whiskey-fueled conversation with my Canukistani comrade-in-non-publishing that loosely ran along the lines of –

Me: “Fucking Klosterman, man. He seems like the kind of motherfucker, that if he were my roommate, I’d cut him up into little tiny pieces and stuff him into a footlocker”.

Him: “Easy there, Francis. Have another whiskey”.

Me: “Fine. I’m just saying – that motherfucker is somehow stealing my thoughts, and he should pay for them, goddammit”.

Him: “Look! A fresh glass of whiskey. You should drink it.”

Me: “Guhhhhhhhhhh”.

Him: “So…about those Leafs…”.

At that point, all I remember is waking up on the steps of a church on Avenue A, wearing a bloodied Darcy Tucker jersey and little else. Fucking sneaky Canukistanis – always trying to stop premeditated murders.

Leave a comment

Filed under jealous insecurities, nuggets of infinite wisdom, open letters to authors i am jealous of, tomfoolery, who is sean?