Tuesday, November 28, 2006


"The most important thing to remember about drunks is that drunks are far more intelligent than non-drunks. They spend a lot of time talking in pubs, unlike workaholics who concentrate on their careers and ambitions, who never develop their higher spiritual values, who never explore the insides of their head like a drunk does."

- Shane McGowan

For some reason I identify with this. That's probably not a good thing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bob Dylan Part I

We stand on the top level of the parking deck five stories up drinking beer and watching the rain hammer the ground below us. We lean against the edge of the cement wall, looking down at the people streaming into the main gates of the arena. There's a narrow walkway down there rimmed by high cement barriers, on the other side of which is a fenced in section full of concrete footings and a couple. dumpsters.

I finish my beer and looked at him. "Think I could get it in there?" I said, pointing at the big dumpster.

He spits off the edge, and the wind carries it nearly straight down and it looks like a breaking ball, nearly hitting some innocent bystander on the ground below. He smiles. "They'd have just thought it was rain."

"Yea. Really stringy, thick, disgusting rain," I say.

I figure I'll go for it anyway, and haul back and throw the beer bottle as far as I can, figuring that between the drop off and the rain it'll need the extra velocity. Well, it doesn't, and it sails way past the dumpster and crashes to the pavement on the other side of the barriers.

"Good thing no one was walking there, huh?" I ask.

Someone on the ground looks up at the parking deck trying to see why a bottle miraculously fell from the sky.

"We should probably leave. Like, now," he says.


I look at him as we're walking away. "How fucking awesome would it be if rained beer all the time?"

"That would be awesome."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Breakups and Bar Bullshit

I walk into the Chinese bar that I have been going to since I was 18 ready to waste another useless night drinking. The friend I was supposed to meet fell asleep, but I didn't figure that out until after I had ordered a beer. It's a small, dimly lit bar that never has enough stools for the people that hang out there, and the main attraction is the bartender, an old Chinese guy named Bill. He's a good guy, and if you go there enough and he likes you, he'll get you loaded for under twenty bucks. Being as I've been going there since before I could vote, he's known me a long time.

The brother of a guy I used to be buddies with is next to me, talking to his girlfriend. We exchange the workingman's hello of, "What's up man?" and "Same shit bro."

Bill comes over, and with his hands in the air, says in his broken English, "Where your girlfriend? I not see her with you in long time."

"Nah... we broke up."

He looks disappointed. "Really? Why?"

"Just going different ways is all. Different lives, different paths."

This catches the attention of two girls who were sitting next to me. One is cute but looks like someone who smoked too much pot in high school, and the other one is fat but looks like she's trying. Bill is, as always, trying to get them hammered because...well, that's what he does to girls.

I explain a little more, but I don't particularly want to talk about it, and Bill is a good bartender and knows when to not ask questions (unlike so many others).

The cute girl looks over at me after my little monologue and sees right through it all. God, I fucking hate women.

"How long did you go out with her?" she asks.

"Three years."

She takes it in, looks down. "That's a long time."

"It is."

" She wasn't the one, huh?"

I fucking hate women.

I manage a weak smile which probably comes out as more of a grimace. "No, I guess she wasn't." The night takes a dive and the room gets colder, but she says something that somehow comforts me, and even though I don't remember what it was, it makes me feel better. I turn back towards my beer.

I keep half an ear open to her conversation with her friend and with Bill, and hear her say she is moving to Boston in the morning. I smile and say something about the Red Sox, as is my habit when someone mentions my town. She's going up there to be nanny for some family or something, and even though I think it's a retarded reason to move two states away I pretend like it's interesting. Her and her friend are ogling over some guinea at the end of the bar who looks like he probably wears sunglasses at night, and I just shake my head.

Unfortunately, even though I am kind of interested in what this girl has to say, I don't feel like dealing with anything that has a vagina, so after a couple of remarks here and there over five minutes I pay my tab and get up to leave. I say my goodbyes to Bill, I'm sure I'll see him tomorrow anway. Before I leave I smile at the cute one, but it's a sad smile that I can't stop, and raise my hand off my hip in the classic, "Seeyou later" move.

"Good luck in Boston" I tell her.

She smiles. "Oh, thanks!"

A I'm walking out I hear her say a little too loudly, "He was soo sweet!"

I smile to myself because I know I one-upped the guinea that was "so hot."

Later, the bartender at Casey O'Tooles smiles at me and pushes my hand away when I go to pay her, saying, "Save it, hon." I get her number but never call her.

It's going to be a hard Christmas.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pregame for Dylan

I'm going to see Bob Dylan at the Continental Arena tonight. It'll be cool being in the same building with a man as legendary as he.... and with any luck I'll get a good, drunken, cop-free story tomorrow.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another Fall

The nights are getting colder and the daylight fades out quicker, hightailing it over the horizon way before it used to. Even though I enjoy the cold, I hate this time of year where everything that was once alive dies a brutal death at the hands of the frost. Shore houses get closed up, the Parkway clears out, and it becomes abundantly clear that my time of year is gone.

I wonder sometimes if I could ever leave Jersey. There's a lot of this state that is ingrained in me, including my wonderful hatred of every part of the state that isn't my part. I rank on a certain girl for living in the "New York part of New Jersey" for being from Secaucus, and turn around in the same day and made a (somewhat) crude comment to another about being from Sussex (given the propensity of the town to having wild inbred albinos roaming their forests). Anything North or West of here is too hillbilly for me (I fucking lived there, I should know), and anything too far to the East is where instead of albinos with white hair, we have Italians with too much hair gel who wear sunglasses at night, roaming grimy forests of gray concrete.

The winter makes me hate this state. Maybe not the winter, maybe that's too broad a term. Maybe just the snow. The cold has very little effect on me, being as I've been an outside dog all my life and, over time, developed a thick skin. The cold doesn't keep me from going out, working, or driving, and it helps with hangovers when you walk into a frozen morning's early lights. But then that's the thing with me- I like to keep moving. I don't know what an off night is, and I have no conception of how someone could have a good time sitting at home watching TV all night. I like getting out in the world and being around people (ironic, eh?), and the snow keeps me from doing that, and I'm pent up like a caged cur who wants nothing to do with his captors. Old people slamming on breaks while driving on patches of ice, snow blocking ramps and causing problems....eh, fuck, you can keep it.

Who am I to whine though? I would like the spring far less if there was no winter to kill everything off...paradox at it's finest I guess.

Either way, fuck winter.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Last Great Hope for Humanity

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Dems Retake the House

Today is a triumphant day of victory which I have not seen in years for our party. The people have risen, even in those bumblefuck Jesusland states that I don't expect anything from, and cast off the chains that the Right has placed on us.

What we absolutely need, of couse, is the Senate, but just the fact that we get to retake the House Commitees means that there might be things called "accountability" and "oversight" in this once proud body of legislators that has become a shell of what it once was.

Somewhere, the Founding Fathers are drinking Sam Adams' beer and laughing, holding their dicks and giving the finger to the White House.

Sic semper tyrannis.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Showplace, Part I

The bar is large and square, taking up most of the room in the center of the place. There are two stages behind that bar where the girls dance, and I could tell they were barely trying.

The place smells like piss, but after enough whiskey I never cared. I order another shot of whiskey, and the bartender pours me what looks like a triple. She gives me a crooked smile as I thank her, but she still isn’t getting a tip because it took her a half a fucking hour to get over here in the first place. Even the strippers have told me that she’s a bitch, each time in their cute broken English. Surprise, surprise.

The girls are all Russians, and I get the feeling that the Russian Mob runs the whole show here. I can imagine the sweet blondes in little villages near the Volga, getting snatched off the streets and sent to America to dance on stage and do heroin and be dead by 25.

There are also two doors by the bathroom that the girls look over at whenever you ask them for something you shouldn’t be asking for. It’s a scared, sheepish look, as if they’re unsure of what will happen if they get out of line. As I start drawing my gaze back to the stages, the black one comes up behind me, puts her arms around my chest.

“So when we going in the back honey?”

“Whenever you fucking find someone. Get on it.” I say.

She exhales hard, walks away frustrated. A half- hour later, I see her talking to some guido looking guy in the back by the pool tables. Spiky hair, arrogant, wearing sunglasses at night; I might enjoy this one. She’s smiling at him, rubbing her hands all over him. He’s loving it as she drags him out the backdoor and into the parking lot. I take what’s left of the whiskey and drop the glass on the floor. Fuck that bartender.

I walk out the front door and into the night, head right towards the bed of my truck. I light a cigarette, count out two minutes, and then grab the heavy steel pipe. It’s cold and wet, it must have rained while I was inside. Better off that way. I head around the back of the building.

The scene is unfolding by the back door. She’s got her back to the wall and her hands low, and they’re messing with his belt. He’s kissing her neck, rubbing her up and down. All I can think of is Why the fuck is he kissing a stripper? Whatever. She looks at me impatiently over his shoulder, her eyes wide, saying, What are you waiting for?

I stomp out the cigarette.

He had a lot of cash on him, so I gave her more than I did last time. Lucky her. I drove away in a haze, with smoke slowly filling the cab of the truck. I never tell her my name, because when things go like they did tonight, she’d roll me over in a second; this guy was bloody. I think he was alive…but then that’s not really my concern, what my concern is the money in my pocket and the small fifth of Jack Daniel’s that I found under the seat two minutes ago.

Pulling something like this would get you killed back east, being as the Mob worked the clubs over, and anything that drove customers away was something worth shooting me for. Out here though, it was easier. The Russians were a little more lax, and the area was different. A man could disappear out here in the thick woods and rolling hills, and no one would be the wiser until it was too late. Tom Petty comes on the radio, and I turn it up as the wind rolls through the car…find that saving grace.

I remembered her face, the blonde hair, the slight nose, happy eyes. Oh, you would not be happy with your boy now. I don’t give a fuck. You left me, and there’s not much left for me to care about. I can’t even talk about her without grimacing. I take some more out of the bottle, consider stopping, but at this point I can’t get much more drunk, so what the hell.

Oh shit, I should have stopped. The road is winding and my eyes are going up and down, and all I can think of is her hair and that blood and oh shit I drank too much whiskey it’s all hitting me right fucking now. The road turns slowly and soon enough, I see the bark of the tree that has split my hood in two and is staring back at me through my windshield. There’s blood on the dashboard. This isn’t good at all.

I’ve got to get rid of that pipe, that fucking pipe that has a whole lot of blood on it that isn’t mine. Shit. The door barely opens, and I try to get out. My legs don’t work, and I tumble as soon as a foot hits the wet grass. I try to pull myself up on the bed, but my ribs are cracked and it takes me a minute to pull myself up. I grab the pipe out of the bed, and walk off the road. There’s a river back here, and hopefully they won’t find it if I can throw it out there. I leaned back, and with all the strength I had, whipped it into the darkness. I buckled again, and fell, landing hard on a rock with my left elbow as I heard the pipe splash in the murky black water that I knew was out there. I look down, and I see blood on my hands, and it’s spreading all over, up my wrists and around my fingers. I start raking my hands over the dirt trying to get it off, but the more I do it the deeper the red gets.

There’s a white light. Oh shit. There’s two. They’re headlights. That’s worse than death. Damn. I realize how pathetic I must look, all busted up and dragging my hands through the dirt.

The car door opens, and I see black cowboy boots at my eye level. The door slams, and the boots start walking towards me until they’re right next to my face.

“Little too much to drink?” he asks, in a drawling voice that crawls of the South.

“Fuck you.” I say. He kicks me in the ribs with that one. At least he’s not a cop, then.

“Get up son. I think you better come with me.”

“Suck a dick. I don’t know you,” I say, gradually rising, still hunched protecting my shattered rib that this asshole just kicked. This guy is wearing a wide rimmed black hat and a black jacket. Somehow he reminds me of Ted Turner if he was a bit more intimidating.

“No, son, but I know you. I know what you done.”

“The fuck are you talking about? I didn’t do anything.”

“Yea you did. I done saw the blood.”

“It’s mine,” I say. He smiles. As I look down, my hands are clear. I look back at him.

“Fuck you. I’m outta here.”

I’m trying to walk away, but I’m bleeding from other places, and a piece of the fan is lodged in my leg. I don’t know how I missed that one.

He looks at me, then turns away. Blood runs down and into my eyes.

First foray into fiction. Part II coming soon.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The lack of writing here is due in part to a breakup with a long term girlfriend, far too much drinking, far too little thought, and the abundance of short stories that I am forced to write nearly weekly for this fucking class of mine.

The smoke has got to clear before I can start putting my thoughts together in coherent entries, and my head is in such a hungover state right now it's unbelievable. What I can say is that life throws a lot of curveballs, and just when you think things have calmed down, you get a wicked breaking ball that ruins your day. It is kind of cool, though, to not know what's going to happen in the next week.

Better times lay ahead.