Category Archives: “whatever happened to…”

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.

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

Let My People Go.

Dear Unbutu,

The Wife and I had a great time down on the Carolina Shore – our good good friends Jamie & Demian got hitched, and we made some new friends while we were there. The Wife did a fucking amazing job of making the already stunningly beautiful Miss Jamie even more stunningly beautiful, and Demian looked as handsome as can be in his seersucker suit. The weekend was flat-out gorgeous, and I am still in a sloppy sugar coma from all of that Southern Hospitality. I mean, c’mon – just look at the view we had:

There was a gang of tomfoolery going on over the course of the weekend, which of course tickled me to no end. I’m pretty damn sure that everyone I met had a sense of humor, since nobody hauled off and punched me in the chops for the shit that rolled off my tongue (and those of us in the know, well, we all know how easily that can happen!). It’s always a precarious situation for me, being in a social setting with people I have no clue about – it can be hit or miss as far as how I will behave and/or misbehave. The Wife seemed to be pretty proud of me, even commenting at one point – “You’re getting along with other boys!”

A young fella who goes by the name of Tad, made the mistake of making a passing comment about his former love affair with Jam Bands, which allowed me the freedom to unleash my relentless torrent of streaming hatred for the genre and it’s fans. He was a good sport, since every fucking time he opened his mouth I made him pay dearly by referencing his love for The Colonel. I think I might keep him as a friend, even though he lives in North Carolina, and kept on threatening to get me something called a “leather beard”. He didn’t even call out to warn me that I almost ran over a cop with his car, and I have a revoked license – which is a great way to start off a new friendship.

I met another fine gentleman, who refers to himself in semi-third person as Mike Kelly – which I found eerily similar to me referring to myself in the semi-Messianic third person as Fat Jesus. This cat is wicked smaht, and has a habit of dressing like a French Sailor because he felt like it was appropriate to do so, since he was already at the beach. Mr. Kelly and I seem to have quite a bit in common, which was a nice and welcome surprise – especially since I had no idea there were other people on the planet who take as much joy as I do in fucking with mouthbreathers. There was an incident where some oddball had me cornered, talking my motherfucking head off at one of the three hundred and nine pre-wedding parties of doom, and he commented about Mike Kelly looking a little bit like Buddy Holly. I couldn’t help myself, and set the rest of the evening’s lunacy in motion with one sentence:

You should go tell him that.

The rest of the festivites were a blur of Aquarium Rescue Unit/Phish/Jerry Garcia/Dirty Hippie jokes, coupled with Mike Kelly shaking his fist at me for sending “Trey” (the name Mike Kelly decided to call Mouthbreather Jones to throw him off for the rest of the weekend) into his personal space. Good times*.

*I’m pretty sure I was the only Jew in the entire state of North Carolina.

Getting home, on the other hand, was an absolute fucking nightmare of epic proportions.

Yes, your humble narrator wrote that review. And yes, your humble narrator has bombed The Interwebs with it. I am quite sure I have dropped it on every single travel site I can find, because I am a loud-mouthed Jew bastard from New York City. I have nothing left to say about the subject, and I am quite sure that The Wife and I will be flying First Class from now on, since this kind of shit doesn’t seem to happen to High Rollers.

MOVING ALONG NOW…

Things of interest:

1) The Championship Window for the Phoenix Suns seems to be closed, sadly. That being said, this is as brilliant a eulogy as you will ever read.

2) Rival Schools is going to tour and quite possibly release a new album. This makes me very happy on many levels, because Walter Schreifels is a bad mofo, and has yet to release ANYTHING that I didn’t like. Well, other than the fact that he ghostwrote the entire CIV album, and no matter how much I love me some NYHC, that album was not good.

3) Nick Cave has the creepiest ‘stache. Ever.

4) The New York Rangers have heart. A lot of it, actually. Jagr has manned-the-fuck-up in the playoffs, and if they can pull off another upset tomorrow in Pittsburgh, I’d have to say they have a shot at overtaking the Penguins.

5) My dog is fucking rad.

SEPARATED AT BIRTH:

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DEATH MACHINE, INFEST MY CORPSE TO BE

Have you ever had to clean your way through a pile of dishes so nasty, that the entire time you’re working on them you find yourself fighting back not only your gag reflex and/or vomit – but tears?

THIS IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING A FAIR REPRESENTATION OF LAST NIGHT’S BATTLE.

Back story:

The Wife and I are very busy people. Like – we both have these things called “a job”, wherein people rely on us to do something in order for us to GET PAID. I know this is an alien concept to a lot of you knuckleheads, but after a long day of me surfing the space we call “cyber” hunting around for clues as to whateverthefuck happened to this man:

– I get good and tired, you know? And The Wife? She spends her day being a therapist with scissors, trimming/cutting and coloring the hair of all of the mentally unbalanced and emotionally decimated women who’ve moved to The City in hopes that Sex In The City was really a super-secret hidden beacon sent out just for them.

Basically – we ended up with a pile of dishes that made me feel as though this l’il fella was living in our sink:

YOU BET YOUR BIPPY I WAS SCARED.

Being the trooper that I am wont to be from time to time, I went into this battle prepared – Slayer’s REIGN IN BLOOD set to stun on the trusty I-Pod, a burning Marlboro Menthol Light dangling precariously from my lips.

(Although, in hindsight, I sure do wish I had me a pair o’ these on)

The first task was finding out why the sink itself seemed to be a breeding ground for little gnat-like things that were flying around my head. I tried to organize my assault by taking all of the silverware and putting them into a soap and hot water-filled glass (The Wife has been known to hide a shiv or two underneath a not-so-threatening looking bowl to see if my blood is actually red or not). I then took the skillet that was sitting on top of the stove, and scraped the remnants of a taco experiment into the trashcan*.

MMMM…MEATY GOODNESS.

After I’d set the SKILLET FROM HELL back on the stove top to soak (totally full of the hottest and soapiest water), I started to tackle the mound of “dishes” that were remaining in the sink. I started off small – can’t go too big from the start, or you’ll end up blowing out a wrist(See: EXHIBIT A) – I knocked out all of the little dishes and bowls. They were nothing more than a minor nuisance for me, as the larger dishes seemed to have some substance on them that had adhered itself so strongly that the aforementioned substance was impervious to my determined and Slayer-fueled dish washing skill set.

(EXHIBIT A)

Being the overall BAD MOTHERFUCKER that I is – that pile of evil dishes got knocked the fuck on out. It took me the better part of an hour, but I wasn’t going to give up until the job was done. Sweat running off of my semi-bald pate, I surveyed my now clean and less funky (Sorry, Zombie Bootsy) kitchen with pride – hell, I even scrubbed out the empty sink with some kind of scouring product that made my head all looseygoosey.

FINAL SCORE – SEAN 1, DISHES 0.

*Oddly – at the moment I was taking care of the SKILLET FROM HELL, Tom Araya was screaming about an EPIDEMIC in my inner ear. Lyrical Snippets For Your Amusement included the following:

Breeding fast in poverty
Infectious driving dormant seed
Inside your carcass start to mate
Left in charge to dominate
Waiting to unfold
Raging uncontrolled
Adapt a potency
Death machine, infest my corpse to be

Unyielding kings of agony
Test your body chemistry
Pulmonary overthrow
Possession of your inner throne
Invasions quickly override, malicious domineering strike
Flood your veins commit slow death
Deteriorate your makers met

Perpetual demise
On a fast decline
Killing tendency
Epidemic, permanent disease

Incapacitate, fall into your fate
Pain results in screams, bleed internally
Years will pass before it can be cured

Yeah, it was yet another one of those magical moments when the definition of kismet was not lost on me. But having that epiphany come from Slayer?

Priceless.

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