Thursday, May 31, 2007


My Army buddy walks into work for the first time in a week, no doubt to get his last check.

"Where the fuck you been? I thought you were working your last two weeks."

"Dude, I got drunk on Saturday night, and woke up in Philadelphia. I don't know how I got there, or why I was there."

"You get locked up?"

"I don't think so, but there may be legal repercussions for something from that night."

"What'd you do?"

"Don't know. Can't remember. All I know is my parents threw me the fuck out of the house, and I been living with my buddy, working with him and shit. I really gotta stop drinking, because I get so fucking belligerent. I think I told them to fuck off, and that's when they told me to not come back."


"Yea. But hey man, I got your number, I'll give you a ring sometime soon."

"Yea dude. Give me a call when you get your shit together."

Later on, I will bullshit for 20 minutes with two guys who build ponds that I know pretty well. One tells me how he very nearly spent 20 years in Riker's Island for cocaine possesion, but got off on a technicality, and the other will tell me about the time he got an in house sentence in jail, and then, when he appeared before a judge, the judge tried to get him to pay money to the court.

"I said, I been locked up for two months, I ain't got any money. He told me, "There's an ATM out there, go use it". So they put two guards behind me, but they stop in the hallway and aren't really paying attention, so I just kept walking... right out the door. They caught me, but it took the bastards two years."

He crushes his KOOL out on the ground, and then gets back in the truck. If you're a felon, building ponds is the way to go, evidently.

How did I get here?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


There is now the question of whether or not to engage in a boycott of China P. because of the firing of Bill. Some will not go there, because Bill was our guy, and I can understand that. Howewer, it has gotten out that the motherless cunt that owns the place wanted to get rid of us because we are "rowdy", and evidently the place is supposed to be a restaurant. She figured she could do this by firing Bill... and that means that if we boycott, she wins.

I would much rather go there constantly, still be a pain in the ass, and be a gentlemen every time I go to the bathroom (this means pissing all over the toilet paper).


Sunday, May 27, 2007


You know, I thought things were tough before. Now, something even worse has happened, something so terrible that I wasn't sure that such things occurred in this world: Bill the bartender has been fired, and that fucking guy Johnny is taking over at China P.

As it seems, Bill went on his vacation at the perfect time for them, and when he came back, they told him he was fired.

He was a great bartender, and I never payed over $25.00 no matter what I bought. I don't know if there is any other bartender that can put me on my ass after three drinks like that. I am furious, and I shake my fist in anger at the assholes that manage that place that have caused such a calamity. Motherfuckers.

It feels like that episode of MASH where they killed Colonel Blake...

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I'm smoking a cigarette in the loading zone, and it's quiet for once, except for one woman in a parked Honda minivan who's talking on her cell phone. I can tell she by her face she wants to ask me a question, so I try to get the hell away before she can roll her window down but it doesn't work.

"I need... like.. a lot of those... Mexican stones."

"Ok. The Mexican Beach?"

"Yea, those... I have like, 700 square feet. How many would I need?"

"Ahh... a lot. Like 700 bags."

"Oh.... well, see, it's going around a pool. Do you have to, ah, wash them off? They look dirty."

"Well, yea. There's dirt in the bags, so you should wash'em before you put'em down."

"Oh... and, uh, how would I do that?"

Bitch, I can't believe they let you drive.

"Ahhhh.... with.. a... hose?"

She really can't tell whether I'm fucking with her or not, and I can see her face change back and forth between anger and... well, something else.


She knows this conversation is over, and rolls her window back up.

I really should not be working retail.

China P

When I walk into China P. alone around 10:30, there are four girls at the bar, two of which I slightly know. One says hello to me, and she is a beautiful Italian looking girl who just broke up with a guy I went to high school with. She's outgoing enough to always say hello to me, which takes a lot because I'm not the most approachable guy.

An older couple rests at the end of the bar, but they're not saying anything worth listening to. I'm kind of pissed- even my bartender buddy Bill is gone, as he embarked on a two-week trip back to China to see his wife and four girlfriends, so I'm ordering Miller Lites and shots of Jagermeister from the substitute bartender, ironically named, "Johnny". I always wonder who tells these fucking guys what American name to take, being as most of them barely speak English in the first place.

The Italian broad is talking about some club she went to last night, and her three fat friends are emphatically "oooing" and "ahhhing" about whatever the hell the she's saying (it must suck to be the fat friend(s) and live vicariously through your hot friends). Apparently she's dating a black dude, but her stories are boring, so I switch between eavesdropping on their conversation to watching that UFC show on SpikeTV.

Drinking alone is tough business. It's not like I was doing it because I had to... yea, I bet you believe that. Seriosly, it's not bad once in a while because it gives me quiet time to explore the insides of my own head. Shane McGowan had a famous quote about this, but I'm not going to quote it, and if you're that interested you can look it up for yourself. Either way, you sit there, and everything someone says reminds you of something that went on in your own life at some point. It reminds you of a girl, a situation, a time when you were doing blah blah blah and whatever happened. Those girls mention the Shannon Rose a half dozen times, and my mind wanders.

There is one fat one that keeps talking about Bill, and I somehow feel like I'm cheating on him by buying drinks from this new guy. She's asking Johnny about himself.

"So, were you married?"

The bartender says something that I can't understand, holds up his bare fingers. She says something else, and he concedes that he is.

"Where is she?"

"Back in China. I have two son also. 8 and 11."

"Ohhh... you have girlfriends too, like Bill?"

"No, no... I no cheater," he says, but with a smile. He also doesn't explain why he ain't wearing his wedding ring, but he still claims that he isn't a cheater. He badmouths Bill's drinks a little, saying that he doesn't make them taste good enough. I'm about to say something, but then I realize 1) Bill will be back in a week, fuck this guy, and 2) He still controls how much I pay tonight, and he's given me a couple shots for free. I hold my tongue.

Another broad comes in. She is nice looking, but has a voice that makes you want to rip her throat out. It's a combination of a Long Island accent and a nasally banshee wail, and every time she comes here I want to throw her down the stairs.

The hour is getting late, and two of the fat ones get up to leave. A half hour later, the rest of them get up and say their goodbyes to Johnny. He is laughing, yapping, saying something in ChineEnglish that I can't understand. They start walking out, and the beautiful Italian girl looks over her shoulder, stops, and walks over towards me.

"Where are you going tonight? Anywhere else?"

"Nah, this is it." Talk about feeling fucking pathetic.

"Oh, you should come to the Shannon Rose! It's just like Thatcher's, but a lot bigger, it's an Irish place."

"Ahhh... I heard that place is expensive."

"Oh yea, I think the last time I was there I blew like a hundred bucks. I don't remember if it was all on me, or I was buying everyone shit because I was drunk."

I smile. "Well, maybe. We'll see."

"Alright. Goodnight, honey." She gives me a kiss on the cheek and walks away. She's a good girl, and I wonder what the fuck that guy from high school was thinking letting her get away.

I look down at my beer, and my mind immediately wanders to my certain blonde who fucking loves the Shannon Rose. I pay my sixteen dollar bill (good man, Johnny) and stumble out of the bar and into the night, under the streetlights of this same old town. I think I'm going to petition Bill to get a piano in there, so when I sit on those quiet nights I can tell Sam to play it again.

"Not tonight, Italian broad. I am thinking of someone else... and it will take a hell of a lot more than you to get her out out of my head..."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The girl....

It occurred to me tonight that the four or five people in other parts of the country that read this fucking thing might wonder why I have these random posts relating to Johnny Cash, or missing someone, or missing a "certain blonde". I think it's time for me to lay these things on the line, because I realize how off the wall and confusing my posts are.

Last year, I had a good thing going for a long time. I was with a good girl for three years, and I thought, "Well, this is it. This is the one. This is the last girl I'm going to sleep with, the last girl I'll ever be with". I was close to settling down and being done. I really did love her, and God bless her for putting up with all my shit over the years, all the drunken mistakes and asshole behavior that I am prone to... but it was not to be.

My life changed one day in early October when, in a writing class of mine, I was forced to do a profile on a subject in the class. I remember the professor sitting at the head of the squared tables, picking who was to interview whom. She said my name first.

"Steve... why don't you interview..." Her eyes searched across the class. "Alexis?" (Name changed to protect the not-so-innocent).

I cringed.

She came to me after class, and we set it up for a Thursday, I think. Oh, how I dreaded this motherfucking interview! It was going to suck, because not only am I terrible at talking to people I don't know, but I'm even worse at talking to girls that I think are attractive and don't know. To compensate, I figured she was a ditz and I would be able to con my way out of it by claiming it was her fault the interview went terribly. I figured the professor would see my point- we were absolutely mismatched. This broad was completely different than me in every way: tall, gorgeous, dressed in expensive clothes, and utterly cheerful in way that normally makes me sick. I remarked to a friend of mine that she was hot, but didn't seem like she was all there, if you know what I mean (It was only later on that I figured out that my professor likely knew how opposite we were, and that's probably why she put us together.)

On that fateful day, I walked up and saw her sitting on a bench by the student center, talking on her cell phone. I passed from a distance, and saw her gaze over at me. She did not look happy about doing this, either. I held my index finger up in the universal sign for, "Gimme a minute" and went down into the building to get myself a drink. I bought a pink lemonade, then went outside and sat down to get this goddamn thing over with.

It started off as any interview with me would likely start- me being difficult. It's a defense mechanism; people have to prove themselves to me before I give them the time of day. Show me you're not an asshole, show me you're not stupid, and then we'll talk. She asked me where I grew up, when my birthday was...standard fair. I gave curt one-word answers. Then, she made the mistake of asking me about my childhood. I did an arrogant half laugh, shook my head... "We're not going to go there." It was at that point that I think she got pissed off, and closed her notebook.

I took over the interviewing, since I was being such a pric and we both knew this would go nowhere if it depended on me. I began asking her questions, and she answered them all with charismatic laughs and giggling answers, frequently flashing a smile that could put any man on his ass. I watched the golden eyeshadow on her eyes as she looked away while talking, flailing her wrists that held a few gold bands... she talked with her hands constantly. Every time she got up to throw something out, I would steal a quick glance at her ass, because... well, that's what I do. She wore a black shirt and silver shoes, and her hair tumbled down her shoulders in a careless way that I knew took hours to achieve.

She was cheery in her answers, and yapped on about anything I would let her. She talked about her family, her father, her friends, her hopes. Begrudgingly, I realized that I couldn't not like her... and I just couldn't be a pric anymore. It was somewhere around then that we began to actually talk. Not interview... just talk. She disarmed me with her prescence, her lack of anxiety or fear. I marveled at her. She was sexy, but classy; she didn't show everything she had, but she still made you want her. She wasn't a girl you just wanted to fuck- she would be far too difficult to deal with for any man just after sex. She was that girl you fell in love with accidentally, the girl that you pined after because she is, unlike so many others, fun. She was the girl that had all the looks but never needed to use them, because she was too busy making you laugh with goofy noises and sound effects for her stories. A glance from her eyes and a smile were enough to make me want to fucking die.

When I asked her what star she thought should play her in a movie, she mentioned Debroah Messing. I had no idea who this was.

"Well, she's on Will and Grace. Have you ever seen that show?"

"Ahh...that's the one with the two queers, right?"

She looked at me in half amazement. "Yea, the two gay guys and the girl..."

"Nah. Never watched it. I'm not much for those shows."

She laughed at my blunt crudeness, and flashed her smile again.

"Well, how about Reese Witherspoon? I've heard people say that about me, too."

She struck a nerve. I was on a Johnny Cash kick at the time because I'd just seen Walk the Line, and I had literally fallen in love with Witherspoon's June Carter.

"Yea... I could see that." She reminded me a lot of her. A tough chick who didn't take any shit, but genuinely could care about people; it was too ironic. She'd never seen it, but she took my word for it.

She had a boyfriend of years. They were set to get married, and she had it in her head that it would be inside of six years; it seemed an odd number to pick, but at least she was aiming for something. I figured that being as she had a boyfriend of that long, she was safe, because I would never get anywhere with her (no matter how hard I tried). She wanted to own a personal relations company one day, but recoiled at the idea of being just a career woman.

"No! I want kids. I want to see something I made grow up... to treat them as well as my parents treated me."

She freely admitted that she was spoiled, and I would later learn of other traits that were not so flattering, such as a tendency to be selfish, or to disregard the feelings of others. Even being aware of this, however, I knew she had a good heart, and good intentions, and was just wary of letting herself get fucked over. The reasoning for this became clear later- her boyfriend had cheated on her once, and it tore her apart. Rarely do I feel sympathy for people, but this time it tore me apart for her, because even though I'd been through all the shit I've been through (that you've read on this here blog), I've never had someone so close to me absolutely betray my trust like that, and I couldn't imagine what it felt like. Count me among the lucky few that have not been cheated on... I hope never to be in that spot, because I would likely react terribly. I could tell she was still bitter about it, no matter how hard she tried to hide it.

Much of the interview is a blur now. She poked fun at my tough guy image, my incessant smoking and black Harley t-shirt. "What kind of tough guy drinks pink lemonade?" The thing lasted nearly two hours, and it ended with me telling drinking stories (of course). When we both decided we should go, a strange feeling hit me that hadn't been there in years: I don't want this to end. Alas, it had to. We got up, I lit a cigarette, and we said our goodbyes.

As I walked away from that thing, I was in stunned silence on the way back to my truck at what had just happened. Over the course of two hours, I had fallen completely in love with a girl that I should, by all means, have completely despised. I broke up with my girlfriend soon after.

It was much later that I would tell I was in love with her, when she pushed me to the edge and I feared losing her so much that I was forced to reveal how I really felt. On our coffee dates on the blistering cold days of November, there was a thick tension that one could slice with their hand if they moved too fast. We first kissed in a parking lot at the college, and it was one of those heart-stopping moments that people dream about and writers put into movies while "Boys of Summer" plays in the background. As I held her white soft white hand in my calloused, sun-raked paw, I realized that something inside of me had changed. My heart melted when I looked at her, and there were times that I could not talk for fear of losing my composure. I'm typically a hardened stoic... but around her I was made of clay.

There were many coincidences, things I used to tell her were "signs from God." Both of us were supposed to be graduated already. We both took that class though neither of us required it to graduate, and both of us were in our last semesters of our college careers. We both had other relationships, and seperate lives to deal with. And, of course... we both thought we would hate each other. It was only later on that I would find out that she figured I would hate her, and so she immediately disliked me- she thought I would think of her as a "dumb blonde with small boobs" being as I had once made a remark about Playboy in class. She figured me for a womanizer and an arrogant bastard (she was right on one, at least.)

Before I knew her, I thought she was a ditz, a dumb blonde, a high-maintence, unsatisfiable whiner. What I found was a girl that stole my heart from my chest in the first seconds, and has held it in her grasp since then, holding on firmly despite my half-hearted attempts to take it back.

What has blossomed between us is an intense love that is so fucked up and strange, but so real, that neither of us could explain it hard as we try. Never once in those first minutes did I ever think that I would be looking back on this the way I am now. When I looked in her eyes, never did I think that I would still be with her, around her, eight months later. I never dreamed of the passion and despair that could come with loving such a woman, and I never realized that my emotions for someone could run so deep.

In those eight months, it has been up and down, always incredibly passionate but never anywhere near stable. There have been countless dissapointments, moments of absolute joy, and hours of lust. Through all of this, she remains scared of me, somehow. She fears something that I cannot understand, some type of feeling that she has never had before or does not want to deal with. It is tearing me up because I simply don't get it, and I guess I never will. She still keeps me at arms lenth, never quite letting go of her inhibitions, and we go through frequent trauma that is not helped by her tendency to blow things out of proportion... and then there's always my drinking. We go through long periods of not talking, bare bones contact... only always end up back together, if only for a little while.

During those times of tortured silence, this fucking thing, this blog, is the only way I can really communicate with her, because I know she reads it. So, in essence, when you see Johhny Cash references here, they are messages to her, and her alone. When I say I am missing someone, it means that I am missing her... and her alone. And when I say "I love you" , it means that I am loving her... and her alone.

And no matter how much hell she puts me through.... I don't think that will ever change.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Looking back on Saturday night, it's angering me that I didn't react better when that Spanish pric mouthed off to me. Any other night and he'd be eating his teeth, but no, I didn't feeel like starting anything.

Yea I know, I did the right thing and used my head for once, instead of my normal drunken beer balls/muscles. Yes, it probably saved me from getting beat by the cops, and no one would have stopped the fight because we were outside, so I may have gotten stomped (or arrested for excessive force, depending on the outcome). But that doesn't help the nagging feeling that I backed down.

What does help is that for once, my mother said something worthwhile: "If you're going to get arrested for a fight, at least make it worth it... not over some bullshit that never happened."

She's lying, and would lose it if I got arrested for assault. But she's right.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Fights

"Tell Me" is pounding through the speakers in the heaving, sweating bar, and the floor rumbles accordingly. The announcers on TV howl as Mayweather puts on his sombrero and walked to the ring, 50 Cent rapping next to him. It's mostly blacks and hispanics at this joint; it's close to Paterson, and you can fucking tell.

The crowd is evenly split between Mayweather or De LaHoya, and it's along racial lines; blacks with dreadlocks and oversized white t-shirts rooting for Mayweather, while the Hispanics with their chinstrap beards and fat girlfriends are pulling for De La Hoya. I'm with the Spanish guys... it's kind of like jail, ironically.

The whole fight goes as I thought it would. Mayweather ducks and dodges, De LaHoya tries to cut off the ring and corner him, rarely successfully. There are body shots that slow Mayweather down, but De la Hoya doesn't have enough power to put him down. The fight is decided in the the tenth round when Mayweather is outscoring De la Hoya, and it's clear that he's not going to get knocked out. I'm beginning to think that the only thing that can beat Mayweather is Father Time. It occurs to me that watching Floyd Mayweather box may be a blessing. It is like he is made of liquid, dissapearing and reforming somwhere else to his enemy's chagrin. The only other man I have seen move like this is Barry Sanders, another one who seemed like all his body parts could move completely independent of each other, yet somehow were not only connected, but in sync. It is unbelievable.

Later on, I go out for a smoke, and I hear some asshole mouthing off, and it takes me a minute to realize he's yelling at me. "Hey sweetheart, you got a problem?"

I'm leaning against the building, and this wannabe gangsta is mouthing off to me to impress his fatassed girlfriend. I've had my guard up all night because down here I'm the minority, but now I'm drunk and not looking to start shit. Fighting is the last thing on my mind.

He walks over, stands right next to me, is still talking shit. I look at him, and out of the corner of my eye I see a Haledon police car roll by. Take the high road, dick.

"I ain't got no problem, man." I smile at him and finish my smoke.

I walk back inside, start talking to my buddy about this. He tells me that I should have put my cigarette out in his eye, but that it's probably better off that I didn't, because that guy's gigantic Spanish buddy is a big time coke dealer, and has at least one gun on him all the time.

The BADASS song that Floyd came out to:

Saturday, May 05, 2007


"You know what I just realized, bro?"

"What's that?"

"That life is fucking miserable. You think it's cool, and then something terrible happens, and it's just one fucking thing after another."

"You were in Afghanistan for six months, and you just realized that now?"


"Well, welcome to the world. You ever hear that saying, "To be Irish is to know the world will break your heart?"

"No, but I like it a lot."

"You should, cause it's goddamn true. That's why we're the only ones who can hope for the absolute best, but expect the absolute worst to happen and are able to say, "Well, that figures."


"There's no one else that does that. The Russians are always fucking depressed, the Italians are too damn dumb to understand what's really going on, the English are too damn... English, the Germans are too cut and dry... but no, boy, the Irish are the ones that realize that good things can happen... it just won't happen to them. It's a blessing and a curse, this fine mix of idealistic passion and realistic downtroddeness. I think it's in the blood."

"Whatever dude. It's depressing."

"Yea, well that's why we're always drunk."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Good stuff

I need to get into some kind of combat sport. I work out enough; if you take away my constant smoking and binge drinking, I'm in decent shape. I've gone through some physically trying shit, and I've always found it to be a relief from the constant drudgery that was school or my job, and now is no different.

It's amazing how good you feel when someone teaches you an easy way to rip a guy's shoulder out, how it takes your mind off of everything else you're going through. It'd be far nicer if learning this stuff formally didn't cost an arm and a leg... thank God for Army buddies.

Anyway, now I've got one good ground move and one good standup move. That puts me two moves ahead of most guys.