Saturday, April 28, 2007

Great Notch

I might go to the Great Notch Inn tonight and clear my head. I need to get away from the Wayne bars, the guidos and frat boys and women.... and specifically one. There are always places like that where I can retreat, hang out with a tougher crowd that is not concerned with appearences and the like.

The Great Notch is the size of a bathroom, but it has a porch on the outside where you can sit on warm spring nights. The inside is low and made of wood, and a huge man with long hair who looks like he's on queludes towers over the bar. We told him he looked like the Hulk once, and he smiled and flexed. There wasn't much to flex, because he wasn't muscular... just looked like the type that could throw you through a window if he really wanted too.

Somehow they set up a band in there, and they take up half of the floor space with their instruments. The parking lot is lined with Harleys, and the guys who sit there and drink are the kind that just don't fucking like to be bothered. And that's fine with me, cause today just ain't my day.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pissing in All the Wrong Places

"Lie to any women this weekend?"

"Nah. Remember that girl from last week? Things are going good with her, I finally closed the deal."

"You banged her?"

"No, no, I just hooked up with her. I mean, it was cool. I threw her out of the house when she told me her ex boyfriend was coming to pick her up, though."

"So things are not good, then?"

"Nah, it's cool. I was just drunk."

"Ahh.... right."

"I did spend Saturday night in a cop car though, the cocksucker caught me pissing on the side of Thatcher's."

"You know that place has a bathroom, right?"

"Yea, but I can't really go if there's a ton of people there. So I was outside smoking a butt, and figured I'd go take a piss, so I walked around by that side door that faces the parking lot."

(That side door is in full view of not only the parking lot, but also a major road at the crossection of three towns).

"So this cop rolls up, and yells at me, tells me to get in the back seat. I started talking shit to him, and asks me if I want to get arrested. I told him he couldn't arrest me, not if he wanted to. It wasn't even optional."

"He saw something that said you were in the military, huh?"

"Well... yea. I was talking shit to him anyway, mostly because I was wasted. I mean, what was he gonna' do, seriously arrest me for pissing outside a bar?"

"No, he would have arrested you for mouthing off to him, and then probably resisting arrest when you resisted. Or, at least, he would have arrested me for that. Not you ex-military cocks."

"Yup. He wrote me a ticket, I don't know for what though. What the hell can they ticket you for? Public urination? Eh, either way, he told me at one point to shut up, because I wasn't even making sense. I told him, "Yea... well... you're not making any sense."

"Great comeback."

"It's true, I can't read a damn thing he wrote on the ticket. I also told him that I'm going for the police academy soon. He says, "Where are you gonna' get a job?" I told him New York City, and that if, when I'm a cop, I ever see his ass in New York, I'm going to arrest him for being a dick."

"I can't fucking believe he didn't lock you up."

"The best part of the night was that I saw these girls I hadn't seen in a really fucking long time. You know, I used to be a fuck up and stuff, so when they saw me they were like, "Oh, it's good to see you straightened yourself out, blah blah blah." I thought I was doing good, and sure enough twenty minutes later they come outside to have a cigarette and where am I?

"Sitting in the back of a cop car?"

"Exactly. I didn't get the chance to talk to them again though, or else I'd have told them that he was a buddy of mine and was going to give me a ride home."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Flood

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I'm on a major highway, and I can see the waters rising on the sides of the road. The eastbound lane has already been closed down, the river is a day and half from cresting, and parking lots of businesses are flooding as geese are swimming next to cars that someone should have moved. The National Guard has been deployed, and there are cops everywhere. It's 9 AM, and I have no idea if I will be able to get home tonight. The rain continues on, and somewhere, "Gimme Shelter" is playing on a radio.

You think you control your life?

Don't feel bad; that's a human thing. We all think that we can run our lives, and everything we do is a product of the choices we make (sounding kind of Republican-ish, huh?). It's a nice thought, that we are responsible for what we make of ourselves, and the like Emerson said, we should always land on our feet, no matter what (I once tried to argue with a professor about this, and I asked her how much hardship Emerson ever really saw. She dodge me... liberal cunt.) But yes, we should always prevail! This world is ours, it's yours, we can take it!

Whatever, We're all fucking wrong.


Sure, we control a little bit. But if you thought that you really controlled your life, or, really, that humans really control anything (as a group), then you are mistaken. If you don't believe me, then you should have seen the traffic on this highway the last couple days, people huddled and massed on roadways that were built arrow straight just in case the Russians attacked and we needed to use them as airstrips. You can see for miles, and it is car after car after car, sitting, waiting. Eventually, when it gets bad enough, people start riding the shoulder, and the highway turns into a three lane road, and the cops can't do anything. You'd think a damn tsunami was coming.

And what if one did? Where would we go? People would pack themselves onto the highways in a scene right out of White Noise (the book, not the goofy movie), trying to avoid the great cloud/wave/fire/aliens. Whatever. Does it matter?

But no, humans control it.

Sure.

You think global warming is a joke? Have fun with that. When that tsunami hit on December 26th, it destroyed everything on a cataclysmic scale, and nearly swept away civilization. That supervolcano in Yellowstone is still due to erupt, and one day, a meteor will hit us. A black hole could pop up next to Earth, suck the Van Allen Belt away, and leave the sun to scorch the Earth with it's solar winds. If the Earth got sucked into it, it would rip the molecules that make you up apart, because even gravity doesn't know how to deal with a black hole.

And so, to deal with this, we race around in our cars and pretend that it really matters whether you punch in at 1:02 or 8:48. We pretend that these things only happen in Bruce Willis movies, and that we will never be caught in a flood or an earthquake or get hit by a meteor. We act like that ten bucks you saved on groceries is going to save you. I pretend that by weightlifting, I can beat the odds no matter what happens because I'm strong, and that's what the guys are in the movies who survive.

The flood waters began to recede yesterday, and all that is left are branches and garbage from an angry, overflowing River. We've destroyed it with pollution, and once in a while it rises up and hurls our plastic bags and body parts and used condoms onto the roads and into our backyards, and tells us that we can go fuck ourselves.... because when it comes down to it, the River runs the show.

If you ever thought any differently, then you were a damn fool.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced

It's a mediocre day, the first one in a long while that isn't fucking freezing. The place isn't roaring, but busy enough that I get to stay outside all day and help customers. I'm leaning against the new forklift which has become my ride of choice (it is by far the sexiest piece of machinery I have ever seen) killing time before I get to go home. My Army friend is telling me about how he has developed a terrible addiction to lying to women.

"I was drinking at this bar a while ago, and there was this girl that was pretty hot. I mean, she was decent. So, she starts asking me what I do for a living and shit. At the time I was delivering pizza, and that's a really fucking embarrassing thing to tell a girl. "Yea, I'm a pizza delivery boy." I don't think so.

"I hear that. That's shitty"

"Yea. So I told her I was an investment banker."

I just took a drag from a cigarette and am now half choking on the smoke becuase I'm laughing too hard.

"A fucking investment banker? Are you kidding?"

"Nah. I know they make money, so that's what I told her."

"Dude, I don't think there's many investment bankers that look like you."

"Don't think so?"

He smiles and blows smoke out of his mouth. He's wearing a Red Sox T-shirt, and has fiery red hair that screams, "Irish" like nothing else can. There's tattoos on both forearms, one of which says, "Death Before Dishonor", and above it is a huge scar from a cut he gave himself (that needed eighteen stitches to close) with a box cutter while drunk one night. His pinkie finger on his right hand is probably broken, and there's a huge scab on it from when he punched a brick wall the other night (also drunk, of course.)

An investment banker. Sure.

"Well, anyway, I tell her that, and everything is going smooth. I'm hooking up with her and shit, and she's liking me."

"Right."

"Then she drops the bomb, and starts asking me about my "job". She goes, "So, what do you do as an investment banker?" And I go, "Well.... I, uh, invest. In banks." And then she looked at me and says, "What did you say?" So I said it again. She looks at me and goes, "That's not what an investment banker does."

"Christ."

"Yea. So she says, "What do you really do?" And so I tell her, "I'm in the Army." And what fucking response do I get? "So, uh, you really don't make much money, huh?"

"Hahaha. Good to see she really liked you."

"I told her, "No, I make shit money, and whatever is left I spend on tattoos and beer." She stayed another ten minutes then took off. Fuckin bitch."

"Classy lady. You find the good ones."

"Of course."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Horror Movies

If you get scared by slasher movies, you'd better be a woman or a fag. Yes, I fucking said it.

Seem like a random thought? Maybe, but I've been formulating this theory for a long time, and the last commercial I saw just reinforced it (obviously, one for slasher movie).

Same old story: broken down motorists find refuge in old motel, and end up getting killed or maimed by some asshole with a knife or people that like killing. If this was a bus full of cheerleaders that broke down, then I could see this being horrific. If it was the tour bus for the "Queer Eye" guys, then yes, I could see them fighting back with pillows and tears. But no, this looked like a straight, reasonably regular looking guy.

Honestly, if you're a guy, how exactly does this have you petrified?

It is the same thing that I recall asking everyone when all of the Scream movies came out: how can any man be scared of this? Men are supposed to be tough and gritty, the ones who fight and kill and drag the food back to the cave. If some jerkoff tries to take your cave, you do what you have to do. Whatever happened to keeping a stiff upper lip, closing off your emotions, and doing what needs to be done? What happened to that spirit, that, "We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France and on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender"?

It's no wonder the World War II generation fell out of touch so quickly with today's society, or that of the Sixties. You know what they would have done if some fruitcake sociopath in a Halloween costume was following them? They'd have shot the cocksucker. Or hit him with a shovel. Or stabbed him. One way or another, the murderer would have ended up dead, and the man would have moved on with his life.

These men fought in steaming jungles on Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Guadalcanal, they fought on the murderous beaches of Normandy and in the deeps snows of the figid Ardennes Forest where blood froze before it leaked out of the man. They faced man, missile, and tank, and watched their brothers get blowtorched and blown apart... and then put their heads down and kept moving forward. When they were surrounded, they said things like, "Good, now the bastards can't get away", or, "We ain't retreating, we're just attacking in another direction."

When the Germans gave them terms of facing surrender or anihilation, they sent back single word answers worthy of a Spartan voice, and then sat and fought for 72 days against a force ten times their number. They downed colonels through scopes from fifteen hundred yards between hedgerows, and then switched targets. They were the destoyers of cities, the firebombers of Hamburg, the nukers of Nagasaki. They killed because they knew they had to, or else the other guy would kill them first. They felt bad about it, sure; yet, there was a duty, a job, to be done, and they would not see their children being handed a folded American flag.

Of course, while they were fighting the good fight in the green fields of France, the women were sacrificing milk for their children, stockings for their legs, and copper for their coins, all the while working in factories putting together the killing machines that drove the war against the greatest evil that the world has ever faced, the gravest danger to freedom and liberty that has ever been encountered.

All of that... so we pussy children of the 90's could huddle in a closet wound in desperate fear of some pussy with a blade who's mother never hugged him enough? To quote Eddie Murphy, "Really man? Really?"

By far the worst is when you can see the hero get worried. You can see the fear in his eyes, you can see the panic fighting in his eyes when the camera pans around him. I'm not saying the poor bastard shouldn't be scared... I'm just saying that he should know what has to be done, and not be all weepy eyed about it. You think Arnold was scared in Predator? You bet your ass he was. However, he knew what had to be done after he watched his comrades die; next thing you know, he's in a tree covered in mud with arrows built from branches that explode on impact and a Ka-Bar tied to the end of a tree trunk, muttering the famous line, "If it bleeds, I can kill it." And I'm no even going to go in to how Danny Glover killed a predator in hand to hand combat with it's own weapon.

Now, I've never killed anyone before, so maybe I'm speaking out of turn. Do I think I could? Yea. In fact, I know I could, if I knew that he was trying to kill me or someone I loved. I can only imagine someone who seriously threatened the life of a wife or child of mine... I know me, and I'd turn the knife while I watched the motherfucker die. I'm not saying I ever want to be put in that position, because I hope to God that I never am. But I know me.

I may just be overly cynical about this, because the soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan right now are some tough bastards, and heroism and bravery are not traits unique to one generation or another. But the average man has gone downhill in word and deed.

A friend of mine said it best: "Our generation's greatest curse and greatest blessing is that there has never been a war to fight." He is right on many levels.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Tired

I read an excellent post on The Doorman's blog about his job. Evidently, even though he hates working as a bouncer at a club in the city, he believes that it's a positive place because the people there are striving to better themselves, grinding it out during long nights in the most competitive and intense place in the world- NYC. They don't have much... except for hope.

Now, my job, it ain't like that. If his club is "Livin On A Prayer", than my job is "God's Gonna Cut You Down." It seems like the place is the last stopping over point for those that are about to either end up dead or in jail. On the application for the place, it doesn't even have that box that says, "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" Why? Because they don't give a fuck. They take any and all.

I guess it's a vicious cycle. Most of the fucks who go through there aren't great people, so the bosses don't have a reason to pay all that well. Consequentially, the low pay and shitty hours draw only those desperate enough to work for $8 an hour on Easter Sunday. That's pretty fucking desperate.

It's funny, because even the high schoolers that get jobs there are dumb bastards. They are the troublemakers and the auto shoppers, the burnouts and tough guys. I don't like all of them, partly because it's nearly impossible for me to relate to seventeen year old know it alls anymore... I realize how I was at that age, and realize now that I didn't know shit (When I'm 30 I'll look at this and laugh, and say again, "Man, I didn't know shit back then").

One of the guys who just came back for the spring looked at me today and said, "Man, I don't even know why I came back. This place makes me miserable." The wharehouse is drab and smells like old fertilizer, and the cobwebs stack up in the rafters so thick that I wonder if I might be able to hang from them myself. The mood depends entirely on the weather, and when the bosses are angry because it's rain is thrashing the leaking roof, there's nowhere to hide.

Things are the same year after year after year. Guys I haven't seen in years come back to visit, and say, "So what's new here?" My answer is always the same, no matter how long they've been away, "Nothin'. Nothin' at all." The same stuff is moved around each year, the same rocks sit in the same places, the same spray painted graffiti on the same cinder block walls from 1978. Just in case you were wondering, "Joey Dee was here" at some point that year. Fuckin tool.

On top of this, the people who shop at garden centers nationwide with a religious fervor are always the old ones. If the place doesn't make you miserable, the old people will. It is a constant reminder to my fragile psyche all the time: "Weightlift all you want. Eventually, you'll be just like me, arms folded behind your back, hunched over, shuffling in, haggling over a nickel and tipping the workers quarters. Have fun with those deadlifts. You WILL DIE ANYWAY, son." They are walking death, deaf and lost in their own fog, hitting inanimate objects with the dented bumpers of their Grand Marquis or Crown Victorias, taking an hour to back up the car. These are the men who saved the world in 1945, who cannot save themselves in 2007. My last hope is that God takes me before I get like this.

I'm 22. I'm not staying there. Somewhere, something better awaits me. God bless the poor souls that can't say that. They're the reasons God invented alcohol and Democrats.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fire and Propane

"You need to control your temper more."

"Fuck that cocksucker. My motherfucking hand is gonna' get burned because that piece of shit won't get his goddamn propane tanks fixed."

"I know. I explained that to him. He feels like you threatened him though."

"I never fucking threatened him."

I'm being mostly truthful. I never said anything directly to him, but I did say that if I get burned by his tanks when I'm filling them, we're going to have, "Serious fucking problems." Apparently he thought this meant physical violence. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen... although if I was him, I wouldn't be eager to find out.

When I say I'm tired of working retail, I fucking mean it.