Sunday, December 28, 2008

Borrowed Time

He wasn't the smartest guy you've ever met, or the most charismatic. If anything, he was a lot like Rocky in the first and last movie of the series- he meant well, but was goofy as hell. He wasn't particularly well liked, or admired, except in the way that you slightly admire a guy who shows up to work every day and does what he's told.

He was probably 5'8" and in terrible shape. He had a brown beard, as I remember, and a gut to match. He was one of those guys that wears beat up Hanes t-shirts all the time and keeps his cigarettes and lighter in the breast pocket, ironically situated over his heart.

He worked with my father for decades, so I'd known him since I was a kid. We never had more than a passing relationship; innocuous hello's when I stopped by the old man's shop, brief conversations when he called my house for something relating to work. He was a loner though, in every sense of the word. It certainly wasn't for lack of trying- he'd talk to you about anything for long enough to drive you nuts. However, he had no living family, no wife, no kids. He had no one in this world but a caged bird that he lived with in a small apartment in Garfield.

After years of heavy smoking and drinking, he'd been forced to have bypass surgery five years ago while he was in his late 40's. For most, this would have given them a new lease on life, a new reason to live. Not for him. He felt like he was living on borrowed time and had already lived longer than he was supposed to, so he kept at it. Every day, two packs of smokes; every weekend, two bottles of Scotch. It drove my father crazy to see him waste the time he had left on this earth doing the same thing he'd done for so many years, but my old man understands that there's only so much you can do for somebody- we all make our own choices, and it's those that we must stick by.

So when old Walt died three days before Christmas at two years past 50, there was no one there to care. There was no weeping wife, no shocked children. There was no brother or sister to steel themselves to the sight, no mother or father to receive a dreaded call. No... it was just that caged bird that looked on and chirped as Walt drank himself down for the last time. It watched as his heart finally called it quits, and decided that this was too much a burden for an empty vessel to carry on any longer.

He will probably be cremated, and I don't know that there will be a wake of any sort. He will then be gone from this earth, and little more will remain than a taken social security number and a few income tax records.

What Walt failed to realize is the one great tenet of life: there is no borrowed time. Every waking day is a chance to change, to become a force of nature, to bend the world to your will. It's a chance to love and work and own things, to become more than just the collection of numbers that is the only thing that's proven that Walt ever existed. It's a chance to show that you used your time here wisely, and influenced everyone that came into contact with you for better or worse. It's the chance to have people feel that they must pay their respects to you at your funeral, because you a man worth doing that for. And sometimes, it's the last chance to have people remember you, to look down at the ground when you're name is mentioned and nod their heads and say, "Yea, he was a good man."

It's the chance for that bird to somehow break its bars, and take a shot at making it out the window before the last crack closes.

Friday, October 31, 2008


It's been two years since they won again. Three, if you count conference games. They've played their hearts out all year, and just don't have the size or the talent to keep up with the bigger teams, the teams loaded with future D-1 stars and running backs that run like freight trains.

Their town, which has politics like Iraq, seems to be falling apart around them in a civil war of sorts. They get berated for losing by parents hiding behind screen names, and they get angry yells from fathers who decide that they are sideline coaches.

But on this night, they are champions. I have run the field with them over and over this year as their drives succeed, as their drives fail They get stymied in the run game, and interceptions are thrown on fourth downs into the end zone.

But it doesn't get them down. They keep at it. And when a game changing interception gets run back for a touchdown, their sideline erupts and they have hope again. They put their heads down, and they win.

Their quarterback's father died this week. He was a young guy in his 40's who coached many of the players in their youth football days, stricken and taken by a vengeful God in an instance. At 17, this quarterback went to his father's funeral, and was asked, on the same day, to bring his team to victory after a two-year losing stretch.

And as those kids (that's all they are, for all the papers talk about them. Just kids)- as they stormed the field in jubilant celebration, soaking their coach in a gatorade shower and cheering and crying because they finally won, the guy doing the chains drops the first down marker and tells me with a smile, "You see? This is why they play this stupid games...for moments like this."

And when they carried that quarterback off the field on their shoulder pads, tears streaming down his lean face, I know that the only thing that this kid could think of is, "I wish my dad could see this."

It is staggeringly beautiful in that heartbreaking sort of way that only sports and wars can achieve. I can feel my eyes getting damp, and this may as well have been the Super Bowl. I try to interview the quarterback, but when I do, I can barely think of a question that doesn't sound trivial compared to what this kid has gone through in the last week.

All I can do is shake his hand, and hope that that's enough.

Congratulations Pequannock.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I figured that I knew how the world worked. In my 24 years, I at least assumed that this was the one thing I knew. And why wouldn't I? I've been through the shit, I've done some bad things. I've known all the hustlers, the drug dealers and drug addicts, the drunk brawlers, the strippers and whores. I've seen what this world can do to you if you let it.

But lately I've been taken aback by all of the things that I don't know. In part, this stems from the women that I've been attracting lately. That blonde who I used to write about, her family was from Germany. I took this... not for granted, I would say, but I would say that I viewed it far more as a negative thing because of how badly she infuriated me constantly. I didn't appreciate the fact that all of these people still have that uniquely American immigrant experience of coming to this land for a change, for a new life.

But now I've been seeing a girl that is straight off of the boat from Brazil, a girl who certainly looks as ethnic as she is, speaks three languages, and has a degree from some place I've never heard of.

When I thought of Brazil before, most times I thought of The Rundown, and maybe those old vale tudo fight clips you find on the internet where there's six hundred crazed little fidgets packed into some low ceilinged dojo and Royce Gracie breaks some guy's arm out his ass.

She told me she was from Londrina.

"It's not that big," she says.


I'm pretty much figuring that it's a village on the Amazon where a bunch of people are wearing shirts that say Buffalo Bills 1990 Super Bowl Champs and they hide in the bushes when they hear a helicopter.

And I was kind of right, in that there appears to be a big body of water there, that might be a river. Other than that, it's a city of 500,000 with three universities and things like "poverty rates" and sports teams and Mayors and councils. And, it appears, the people actually know what helicopters are.

"That's OK," she says. "We think all Americans are tall and blond and love George Bush."

"Yea... well... at least we don't wear loin cloths..."


"Nothin. Nevermind."

Thursday, September 11, 2008


So I want to know: at what point do all these 9/11 "tributes" and "commemorations" stop becoming emotional and important, and start becoming just a cultish, nationalistic endeavor meant to chain us to a past that we have, on the day to day level, forgotten?

9/11 changed nothing. It didn't give us right to have the foreign policy we've had or to invade a soverign country in the search for weapons and connections that were never there. The families of the firefighters have been used as political pawns, although they themselves have purveyed that by believeing that because a family member of theirs died in the disaster, it lent any more credibility to their political opinion. It tore the fabric of the nation apart, and we have not recovered. The divide between red and blue is still huge, with great masses of people having lost all faith in the electorate that promised to protect them, but failed.

Yes, the whole thing still bothers me. It likely always will. I grew up in the shadow of those towers, and when I look out over the gleaming lights of the Hudson and see the towers that aren't there, it will always strike me as strange. It still, in my eyes, robs the NYC skyline of the mystique and power that it once had.

I hope America is bottoming out. I hope our economy is at it's lowest point, and that we have learned that the pen is mightier than the sword... and it spills much less blood. Why? Because I'm tired of commemorations. These people, New Yorkers, have moved on. The women are remarried, the children call other people "dad". Let us move on. The damage is done, and if it hasn't healed by now, it's not going to. And no fucking memorial service with flag draped balconies and eloquent speeches is going to change that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It Beats a Newfound Flame

"Don't work on Thursday night. We're going to a baseball game."

"Really?" Her dark eyes light up as she flashes a huge, gorgeous smile.

"Yea. I'll be able to explain it better if you actually see it."

She's Brazilian, so baseball to her is as foreign as soccer is to me.

"Hmm... what do I wear there?"

She starts defending herself almost instantly as I role my eyes.

"C'mon! I'm a girl. I have to know these things," she says.

I think for second.

"Well, in America, it's customary for women to go to baseball games topless."

She looks at me, her mouth agape in a half smile.

"I'm serious," I say. "I don't make these rules. It's just how things are here. Like how we use that American-standard measurement thing instead of the metric system. We're just born into it."

"Yes, well I guess I will be the only one that breaks that custom."

"Fine. Go ahead and do that. As long as your fine with standing out really badly and possibly being very uncomfortable."

She laughs at me, and it's her turn to roll her eyes. She already knows to never take anything I say seriously.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Early Sunday Mornings

Mine has long blonde hair. Beauty evades her only because of the hardened authoritarian look in her eye; a cold anger that smart strippers have.

I never know what to say to them. Some guys talk to them like they're just another girl at the bar. I'm never quite sure how they do this.

- Yes, yes, I'm here from Belarus.

- Oh really? For school? A semester away? Parents sent you to experience a new foreign country through your young eyes before you settle into your corporate life?

- No, silly! I'm here to rub my tits in nameless American faces and give handjobs in the backroom.

- Ho, ho! Of course! What was I thinking? Apologies dear.

-But of course.

It's ridiculous really.

A blonde stripper with a huge beak and straight hair decides my thighs look like a great home for her ass. I'm not going to argue, but I always feel a bit bad when the ugly ones come by. I'll hit on an ugly girl at a bar for drunkeness and wingman-isms, but I will not PAY an ugly girl to dance for me. It goes against everything America stands for. She eventually asks me if I want a dance, and I shoot her down. They always get so damn angry when you do this.

After ten minutes, another one sidles up close to me. This is my hard-eyed girl with a body that I can't take my eyes off of. She turns her head to me, says something.

Who knows what she said. How do I reply?

"So... uh... where you... from... honey?" I ask.

I always throw "honey" in there because I'm drunk and thinking I'm smooth and it sounds good. (That's right. I'm smooth.)

She says something, mentions the Ukraine or Belarus. Immediately I think of that Russian war , and I wonder how far the countries are apart. Does she have family near there?

"Ah...they got a war goin on-" and I cut myself off.

"Vhat?" she asks.

"Nothing. Forget it. Give me a lap dance."

"You vant lap dance?"

"Yea. Let's go," I say, getting off the bar stool. 20 bucks left in my pocket on a Saturday night to blow, and it may as well be on her.

"You vant go in bak room? It's 120 vor an houver and-"

I can only roll my eyes. "No. That's not what I asked for. Let's go."

Even when you're actually paying women for their company (or their breasts), they still try to dog you out of more money.

She gives me a phenomenal lap dance, pushing her breasts in my face, then going straight down between my legs. She looks up and into my eyes, like the girls who give the best blowjobs do.

- You know, I used to feel sorry for strippers. For ones like you. I used to think you had nothing to do with what happens in these places.

- No you didn't. You said that to yourself because you were a stupid white kid from the suburbs who never felt comfortable in these places. Now you feel comfortable, so now you hate us, just like the rest of them.

-That isn't true. I felt bad. I hated coming here. I hated these places. I still do.

- Yes. But you come. And you demand lap dances. And you don't care. Because you have learned that we are vultures. We will come and take your money, and if you're one of the unfortunate souls who women disdain, we will rob you blind and leave you naked and duct taped in the gutter. You have learned to take from us, because we will take from you. The only difference is that you still think about it.

Her knee rubs against me, breasts back in my face before she goes back down and looks up again.

- It's a cruel world.

- You have no idea.

She finishes seconds after the song dies, and I stumble back to the barstool. It will be another half hour before my friend gets out of the backroom with red eyes and lighter pockets.

"She gave me her number," he says.

"Burn it."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Breaks My Heart

A man should never have to go through this...


A promising professional boxer and three-time Daily News Golden Gloves champion was shot to death early Saturday after getting into a fight at a Bronx bodega, police said.

Ronney (Venezuela) Vargas, 20, a junior middleweight who turned professional last year, was pistol-whipped and then shot in the chest in his car in East Tremont.

Vargas' death comes just as the Bronx native's undefeated professional career was taking off, making him one of the city's hottest boxing prospects.

"He had a future," said his distraught father, German Vargas, 52. "They didn't just kill a boxer, they killed a champ."

Police said Vargas and five friends got into a beef with two couples at the 2001 Delicatessen on Clinton Ave. about 3:30 a.m.

A police source said the men became enraged after they noticed Vargas chatting with their girlfriends.

"It was a dispute over some females," the police source said. "He talked to the wrong girls, and the boyfriend didn't like it. It was senseless. Stupid."

The dispute so enraged the men that when Vargas and his buddies drove off in a Honda Accord, they followed close behind in a white car.

Several blocks away, on Hughes Ave., the suspects pulled up and blocked Vargas' car.

Then a man came to Vargas' driver-side window and pistol-whipped him before shooting him in the chest.

Cops said Vargas tried to drive off backward, sideswiping several cars before he got out of the vehicle and collapsed in the street.

"His friend got on his knees and held him in his arms, like a mother rocks a baby," said a woman who watched the shooting from her apartment window. "He said, 'Don't die on me.'"

Vargas was pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital. Police haven't made an arrest.

A dramatic surveillance video obtained by The News shows the scene of the shooting, including Vargas' car careening backward and his friends frantically calling for help afterward.

The victim's older brother, Ronald Vargas, 24, suspects the boxer's good looks and rising profile contributed to his murder.

"He was famous in the neighborhood," the brother said. "They called him 'Venezuela.' He was good-looking. He was on his way up."

Vargas, who trained at the Webster Police Athletic League in the Bronx, made his professional debut in 2007 after earning Golden Gloves titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He had a stellar 8-0 record with six knockouts since turning pro.

"He was a good kid. You don't believe it's real," said Michael O'Connor, who worked with Vargas at the Webster PAL.

He lived with his father and two brothers in the South Bronx.

"I love my block," Vargas said during an interview in January. "I love the people around here. Everyone knows each other, so it's hard for me to move out and start my life somewhere else."

Sunday, August 03, 2008


There are people sitting on folding chairs in a half-circle around an old stone fireplace that is the last remnants of a house that stood here during the Civil War. The fire gently paints the stone with its orange light, as the fireflies do drunken dances through the cool, humid air. I sip on whiskey-laced coffee as friends throw cupfuls gasoline into the fire, enraging it but for moments before the night swallows it again. These summer nights are tearing by.

The other night I was at Giants Stadium for the Springsteen concert, another defining moment of my life to be sure. He sang with flair and fury, with the urgent beauty that only passionate men can create. When he ended, he sang to us the three songs that he knows are for New Jersey, and Jersey alone.

As the crowd howled the lyrics to "Jersey Girl" under the view of the peaks of the massive cranes that are building the next Giants Stadium and young couples made out by the cavernous lights that steal the darkness from us, all I could think of was that I wish she was here, and that oh, amigos, life is beautiful... fleetingly so, but beautiful nonetheless...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Go see it

Just saw "Dark Knight", the Batman movie.

It's one of the five best movies I've ever seen. The monologues on truth and justice intertwined with Heath Ledger's immortal performance makes for a beautiful piece of legendary proportions.

Wow. Just wow... and I'm not even a comic book nerd.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shockey and Estelle

I am so glad that that weeping, whiny bitch Jeremy Shockey has been sent to New Orleans where he can flood them with his tears instead of his touchdowns, just like he did in NY. Good riddance.

On another note, it upsets me that Estelle Getty died. I got so many text messages today from assorted people about this because they all know that I've watched the Golden Girls since I was a little kid (thanks Grandma).

Estelle, we will always remember you as that tough talking Sigi grandma that you were. Hope God greets you with open arms... and we know that if he doesn't, you'll smack the shit out of him.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"In the spirit of the Irish people, Osama bin Laden, you can kiss my royal Irish ass" - FDNY Firefighter Michael Moran


The Empire State building was red, white, and blue last night.

When I was a little kid, I remember walking by the World Trade Centers with my grandmother, and asking her why they had those massive cement planters in front of the lobby, taking up most of the entrance.

"That's so you can't drive a car with a bomb in it through the building."

I was not a stupid kid, even at that age; it's arguable that actually, I was smarter than. There were no naive thoughts about why someone would want to do such a thing... I knew politics. I knew war. I knew terrorism.

But also, what I knew, was that they didn't happen in America. I knew bombs went off in places like Israel, or Croatia, Chechnya. I didn't know it would happen to us.

As I looked across the river last night, again feeling that cool breeze come off the water... sometimes it's hard for me to comprehend that 9/11 really happened. It's hard to look at that skyline that I've lived next to my whole life and realize that something like that truly went on, and that I saw it, an 18-year-old kid smoking a cigarette in his pickup truck with friends, listening to the radio, wondering if we were going to war...

It still brings tears to my eyes.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hoboken is Decadent and Depraved (Version 2.0)

The night is oppressively hot, and the only thing that keeps it tolerable is the winds coming in off of New York Harbour. The heavy bass of the drums land in time as Santana's guitar notes drift out of the bar and ride the currents; whoever sings "Maria, Maria" is serenading the streets of this town that is so often packed with wandering masses of overdressed men and women but is tonight a ghost town; empty, echoing, hazy, a reminder that the state forgets everything but the Shore during the Glorious Fourth.

View of NY from across the river...

"She don't believe in shootin stars, but she believe in shoes and cars...."

She is about my height in her heels, wearing a black dress with her long blond hair strewn about. She is cute, but my friend's girlfriend tells me that she would be ugly with short hair; evidently this is a measuring stick for good looking women.

All I really want to do in this town is go to a damn rooftop bar, because I'd imagine that drinking on a rooftop would be entertaining (at least as long as I stayed away from the edge). Of course, that doesn't seem to be happening on this night.

It's been about a month and a half since I've been drunk and my tolerance is lower than ever. The beers hit me quick and furious as shots of Jameson come over the top, doing damage like check hooks from an infighter. One great curved, wall is tiled in gold and looks like it should be covered by a waterfall; cone-shaped lights with an oriental feel hang lazily over the bar, bathing the bartenders in red lights.

She walked up to my buddy immediately after we got there, and started her game. It's a street hustle on a higher class; she flips her hair, twirling it around her neck, bats her eyelashes. She talks to him for a while, and I'm momentarily jealous. Ten minutes later he wanders back over.

"Fuckin girl came out and asked me, 'You gonna' buy me a drink?'"

"You did I guess?" I ask.

"Yea. What the hell am I gonna' say? That's like ten bucks for one of them, but I had to."

Later on it looks like his ten bucks might get him somewhere, as he's sitting on a couch talking to her, trying to work his way in.

Again, he appears after twenty minutes this time.

"Said she had to go home," he says. "Says she was a model. Had a photoshoot early tomorrow."

"On a Sunday huh?"

"Yea... she was full of shit. That's OK though, cause I was an accountant tonight."

---- --- -- ---- --- - -- - - - -

This town is remarkable; I bitch about it but I love it, and in all my hypocritical glory I will end up living here at some point. A writer for the New York Sun once wrote a series of articles on the Mafia violence that owned the Hoboken waterfront, leading to the movie that changed the way people perceived "corruption".

Line after line of old factories still sit here, strewn amongst the row houses that have become some of the most expensive property in the state. Bars, restaurants, and expensive stores line the streets during the day, and the lights go dim for the drinking crowds that rule the nights. All of this, while the heavy multicolored lights of New York City loom across the river, the eyes of the great bustling metropolis with blinking bulbs that brawl with the darkness.

People come out to this town to see each other, to be seen, like celebrities do at a Laker's game. Not that anyone knows anyone, mind you- it's certainly not the kind of place where you see old high school friends... Bruce Springsteen does not sing about Hoboken bars, Kanye West does. Things like that used to grate on me, but that anger isn't there anymore. I have much to lose, and by getting blind drunk at town bars, I'm only setting myself up for the inevitable arrest on a multitude of charges.

It doesn't mean who I am has changed at all, mind you. I'll always laugh at girls like that one who conned my buddy out of a drink, and any man that wears capris is going to get a "Where's the flood, asshole?" comment from me; it's my nature.

Regardless of that, the thing I really like, and cannot find anywhere else except for NYC, is the feeling I get when I'm there. It's one of the few times that my overactive mind never feels like it's missing something. I'm across the river from perhaps the greatest city in the world, and likely with some very interesting people. I'm in good bars with beautiful women, and the world is, for however fleeting, at my feet.

This has been important to me in the last few months, because there has been a nagging emptiness that was there in heavy formality last night. I've dealt with it by sobering up, which is a hell of a change for me... but feeling decent physically has still left me hurting. It's not a straight depression- no, I'm too lively for that.

What it is is a strange existential feeling that simply says, "Is this it?"

I don't have a job so much as a career now, and all my sights are set on that burning city across the river. I've got a car that's far nicer than anything I should own, I get a decent amount of women, and I have no true worries of any sort... but it's missing. The only time I feel good is when I'm lifting or boxing (my only respites in this troubling world) and even those have had to take the backseat since I separated my shoulder.

Other than that, I'm just sitting and wondering, constantly, what I'm doing, where I'm going, how my life is going to be. I hear US Census projections for 2040, and realize that I'll be 56 then. A year older than my grandfather when he died, 34 years older than Ryer when he died. Throw 20 more years on that, and I probably won't be around anymore. Someone will then likely be bitching and moaning about how badly I fucked'em up by dying.

For months, there have been no answers. Drunk, sober, from every height to every depth, there have been no answers. Not in the grimiest strip clubs of the Newark ghetto to the swankiest Hoboken bar, not from the hilly highlands of West Milford to the sand at the Shore. Nothing.

I blew the cigarette smoke out through my mouth in the shape of an "O" when I was on the streets... big holes in the center of the smoke..

I'm assuming this feeling is the reason that women by three thousand dollar purses and guys buy Maserati's.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Red, White, And Bruce- The Campaign to Get the Boss Elected to Governor

BELMAR, N.J.— What started off as typical day at the beach nearly ended in horror for a Bayonne couple and their young daughter, if not for the heroics of one man who put his life on the line to make sure the young girl was safe.

27-year-old Andrea Calamazarotti came to Belmar on Monday with her daughter, Nikki, and her boyfriend of three-and-a-half weeks, Tony, to celebrate, amongst other things, the Fourth of July holiday.

“Well, you know, me and Anthony have been dating for almost a month, and I thought that maybe we should do something special to celebrate…this is my longest relationship in a long time and I wanted to go out, you know? It’s been tough, because he got laid off from the lumber yard a couple of months ago, and my job at the tanning salon has barely been getting me enough money to get a babysitter and go get drunk on a Thursday! Can you imagine?” the blonde Andrea said, snapping her gum incessantly as she talked to the Belmar Sun.

Sure enough, where do all hardworking or laid-off New Jerseyans go when they’re down on their luck? The Jersey shore. And so Andrea and Tony loaded up Tony’s mid-80’s Lexus and drove down to Belmar to enjoy a few days of sun and fun on the beach.

However, the fun almost ended abruptly when the ocean’s dangerous currents reminded beachgoers that while the Shore may be fun, attention must always be paid, especially to little children.

Tony, who is a solid 230 lbs. at nearly 5‘4” and for some reason shows heavy acne scarring on his shoulder and back area, was incredulous at the events, even taking off his sunglasses to look at reporters at one point.

“So, uh, Michelle went to go get me a beer and left me with the kid. I mean, I mean Andrea. Andrea went to get me a beer… ahh, you’re not gonna’ print that right?”

“Anyway, I mean, can you believe they don’t serve beer on the beach? You gotta’ walk all the way the fuck down to Point Pleasant to that place… that, uh… Tiki Bar! Yea, that’s it, to get a beer on the beach. Anyways, I’m smoking a cigarette, watchin’ the kid play in the water and shit, and I go to bury the butt in the sand cause you know they can give you a ticket for that shit, when all of a sudden I hear screaming. So I figure some bitch may in trouble, so I take my shirt off and run down the beach looking for who’s screaming.”

Although no one is quite sure where Tony actually ran too, Andrea came back to her towel and Glamour magazine only to find the lifeguard lamenting at water’s edge as Nikki was getting swept into the ocean.

“I asked her, ‘What the fuck? Why aren’t you going in to save her? And the lifeguard, she just said she forgot her orange floating thing and that without that she couldn’t do anything because she didn’t actually know how to swim.”

The lifeguard, when questioned later, declined to comment, saying only, “They only teach us how to blow whistles- what the fuck do you people want from me?”

“But that’s when HE came,” says Andrea, a bright light appearing in her dull eyes. “It was Bruce Springsteen. He pulled right onto the beach in a red Ford Roadster, and asked me, really calmly, if there was a problem.”

“I told him, ‘Oh my gawd, my daughter’s caught in a riptide’. I pointed out to her, but by the time I did he was already in the water.”

Witnesses allege that the Mr. Springsteen swam in boots and jeans approximately two-and-a-half miles out to sea in order to save the poor wailing girl and swam with her back to shore. Some also say that he managed to grab a wounded seagull that was later found to have the popular candy pop-rox in its stomach, and at least one observer has said that he pushed a stuck party boat off a sandbar.

“I don’t care about any of that. He brought her back to me,” says the thankful Andrea, who now holds her daughter close at all times, having bought one of those retractable children’s leashes that West Virginians are prone to use.

“I’ll never let her go again. Bruce, you’ve got my vote.”

Tony has not yet been found, but it has been alleged that a fight at the nearby bar “Bar B” later that night was started by a short, shirtless, Italian looking man with bad tribal tattoos who was wearing sunglasses.

Although the local Irish cops say that this description has them looking for a “needle in a haystack of needles” in the words of Sgt. Cahill, it is possible that there is a connection between the two events.

Local Republicans have said that it is likely that this was simply a publicity stunt, and have even questioned if Ms. Calamazarotti was paid to let her daughter out of her sight. They have also questioned the existence of “Tony” at all.

Local Democrats were quoted as calling them “assholes.”

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shallow End of the Gene Pool

So how come the girls who are smart are either cunts or they're ugly, and the girls that are hot can barely concentrate on one thing for more than three fuckin seconds? Is this a genetic thing?

I mean, damnit, I got the total package here! I may have a boozing problem and be prone to throwing my life to the gutter once in a while, but I'm a dangerously good lookin fella who is smarter than shit and has the body of damn welterweight fighter. Not to mention, women don't know how misguided I am until after it's too late.

Of course, I've only met a handful of girls that can keep up (and are good looking at the same time) in the quarter century that I've been punched into this place.

Maybe it's time to do what colleges do when they want a better football team and lower the admission standards?

I've already given up looking for brains- I'm going purely for looks nowadays; I've come to the conclusion that as soon as any woman looks at me and opens her mouth to speak, my life becomes miserable.

As a result, my strong deductive reason has lead me to believe that if a woman never says anything of consequence, then my life will never be miserable. They keep talking about shiny things or what song is on the radio, and I'm fine. And like most men, I'd rather have a good looking dumb girl than an ugly smart one... although it is getting to the point now where I really wonder how ridiculously idiotic someone can be and still function day-to-day in life successfully (and I think by "successfully" I just mean feed and clothe themselves and end up in the same place they woke up).

Do I sound bitter? I'm not. It's more incredulous, I guess. People are strange fuckin creatures.

On the bright side, I found out that not only can I change the colors on the display of my Mustang, but I can make my own colors by combining the three primaries on the display.

Between that and the marvelous creation called "interior ambient lighting", I swear this car is like a damn fireworks display. I don't so much want to drive it as just sit in it with my sunglasses on and sling people the six shooter all day as they drive by. Maybe I should be a cop. That's what they do, ain't it?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hey Trash... man i'm drunk....and that poison, it's thick... trying to resist... it's like motherfucking cancer... she's under my goddamn skin..


I am tired. I say my obligatory goodbyes, and begin making my way out of the bar that I frequent so often.

I parked down the block some because the cops pass by there a lot less often, and if I am a bit merry when I walk out, I've got a better chance surviving coming out of down here. As I walk, I see a guy fall into step with me behind me.

He's far too drunk to mean any harm, and if he did I'd end his day very quickly because I'm sober as a priest and on my guard.

"Hey bro.. you need a ride?" I ask.

"Ahh, I'm walkin home dude, I live like, I don't know, down there, not far. It ain't bad."

"You sure?" I ask.

"Ahhh well.... if you don't mind..."

Being as I walked three miles last Saturday morning trying to get home, I feel this poor bastard. It was an hour before someone I knew pulled over and told me to get in because I was obviously too drunk too function, even at 8 in the morning.

"C'mon fucker. It's over here."

As we walk into the vacant lot, he asks, "Which one's yours?"

I point to her. She's silver and the light is gleaming off every corner, and it's clear in my mind that I've replaced women with material things and I am fucking FINE with that.

He opens his gaze through drunken eyes. "Wow... nice ride man," he says, a kind of stunned sound in his voice.

"Goddamn right," I say with a grin. "You puke in her, and I'll kill you."

I say it with a smile, and he half-laughs, like he knows I'm kidding...kind of.

Later on I will gun it through a red light even though I shouldn't, but I can't help it.

I did what I went to the bar to do, and even did a good deed on the way, and walked out sober. Some days, you feel like you ate your goddamn Wheaties.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Who'd have thought...

When I had initially looked at the twisted scrap metal that has become my once glorious black Dodge truck, I could only shake my head as I blew smoke out of my nose and mouth simultaneously. My mother thought I would cry when they towed her away, the shattered wreckage the constant reminder of why women should not be allowed to drive.

She's come around the corner hard, and hadn't seen my poor old girl parked on the road. She's lucky to be alive.

But if there's one thing that can make life a little bit better, and make you realize that certain things are blessings in disguise, it's looking at the brand new silver Mustang that resides where your old girl once was. Leather interior, old school grill, and a purring engine... and it's like the movies, when the lights fade out in the background and "Blue Moon" starts playing and the object of your affection comes to the forefront of the scene and your heart skips a couple dozen beats.

I've got my Eleanor now... and my God, she is straight fuckin' pimpin.

Someone in my family looked at me, and looked at the car, and shook their head. "You know, as you get older, the guido's startin' to come out in you more and more."

"Oh I know. It's horrific... but I can't help it... all I need now is that red pepper thing that those fuckers hang in their rear window."

"It's a horn."


Friday, May 30, 2008

The Dangerous Fat men

I have heard in the past few elections that there are people in this ridiculous mess of a country who like to decide who to vote for "when we're at the polls."

What? What?

Are there really such despicable retards alive in this country that will vote on such short notice and decide which way to go as they're pulling the lever? That's like deciding whether or not to shoot someone as you pull the trigger. Stop pretending you've been paying attention, stop acting like the three minutes of the debate you watched last Tuesday gives you any right to have your vote count equal to mine. That polling lever is dangerous, like a hairpin trigger on a .45 in the hands of a cop at a protest: STEP AWAY FROM THE FUTURE, YOU FATTENED MADMAN RETARD AMERICAN, YOU! Cast away your FOXNews coloured glasses and your McDonald's bag of D grade meat! Open those glazed over American Idol eyes!

I respect people who belong to parties; at least they're trying to pay attention. Sure, both are both horsefucked messes of American politics, most folks probably agree more with one than the other. And I respect Republicans- it's hard to respect such scum, but you do have to respect pure evil when you see it just based on the fact that it's proven to you that it's actually there, and yes, it's that fucking evil.

What I cannot respect is the rambling mass of loons who vote for people based on who they think they would have a better time at a barbeque with, or who they think would change their tire for them if they were stuck. Let me save you the trouble- none of them would would change your tire; McCain especially can't change your tire because it would crush him, and if you have a Jeep you're out of luck because he can't raise his arms high enough to get the tire off the tailgate.

And all of them would get drunk at your barbeque, piss on your table, shoot your dog ("Inadvertently," says the spokeswoman), and then fly your wife to Vegas and get her drunk off of dirty martinis before they banged her. Let's not forget that they are not only "politicians", but they are also "rich", and the last thing that rich care about is your macaroni salad or the roofing nail in your tire or that your wife hates dirty martinies. It's all a means to an end.

I am supporting Obama. He too would probably try and bang your wife, and he might eventually be convicted of some heinous crime that only a politician would think that he could get away with. But I doubt it. He has some kind of honesty in his voice, some sense of urgentness and importantness and swagger that makes you think if another September 11 came around, he might actually be able to handle it instead of riding his tricycle around the White House lawn with cap guns and a WWII helmet over his eyes trying to catch evildoers in the bushes.

He might not send kids to die in the desert sands of countries of foreign countries. He might realize the absolute, resolute ridiculousness of the contradiction in terms that is "preemptive war," something so bizarre and asinine that it could only come from the "President" who invented the word, "irregardless."

I said a while ago that a storm is coming; I was wrong. The storm is here, the torrents of blood and death and horror are here, and the future of this country sways as the ground shakes with the artillery fire in the dunes. Our future is a drunken Jenga game that the billionaires toy with, and every step nearer to the election we get, another piece is drawn out by their long, wicked fingers.

I don't care who you vote for, but if you vote Republican, you have no right to complain when my generation eventually lights you on fire and puts it out with a chain.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quick vote for all you motherfuckers that read this: 2008 black Dodge Charger, or 2008 Black Ford Mustang?

These are my choices. I'll explain later.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Ballad of the Hanged Men

There's a lot of "Mikes."

Probably millions in the US... maybe more. There's probably another million in Ireland. Hell, I'm sure there's millions in other countries; they've all got their linguistic variations of how you say it; Miguel in Spanish, Mikkel in German, Mícheál in Gaelic. However, in all languages, it means the same: it is to be named after the mighty archangel, the warrior of God who cast Satan out of Paradise so long ago, entombing him in his fiery pit.

Somewhere, 35 years ago, in a county in New Jersey, a mother gave birth to a son, and gave him this strong name. She probably had hopes and dreams, like all good mothers do; she probably prayed that he might be like the other millions of Mikes, the ones that had good jobs in offices, young wives, and would raise good, compassionate children that would lead good, strong lives.

But that was not the path that was to be taken for this lad.

I see him now, doing the diddy-bopping shuffle that only people with chained legs learn, as he steps down from the jury box and towards the defense table. The orange jumpsuit stops around his elbows, and his arms are heavily tattooed. He's got a cross on the back of his neck just above the collar line, and his eyes are sunken in that heroin-throttled way.

As I look around the courtroom, I can see it all. I see the kid from Cali with poofy yellowed hair who's wearing daddy's suit; he's probably hear for a DUI. I see the cracked out hood rat who was on the lam for a decade until they finally caught her with large amounts of some drug or another. I see the thick black guy sitting in front of me, his hair wound in tight cornrows. He's waiting for his turn.

And there I sit, with my collared shirt, leather jacket, and small pad to write the notes out, and I am just thankful that for once I'm staying on this side of the bench. I remember how it was to have court dates hanging over your head; it's always in front of you, like when you see a great rising storm in the distance but, for now, only feel the wind slowly getting colder. When you laugh, it's there, and it ends your glee abrubtly. When you're having sex, there's still a part of you that knows when the moment is over with her, your court date will be there. When you're drunk, you'll talk about it. But only when you're drunk.

35 years ago, Mike's mother never knew that this is where he would be. She didn't know that he'd make all the wrong choices, and become a product of the system, in and out of jail for a laundry list of violations. She didn't know he'd be all inked up, the needle's veteran, and begging a judge for mercy... again. I wonder what she would think.

After his case, they bring my boy in.; I'm hear to write about him. He is of average height, skinny, shaved head, white-trash looking. He stands accused of molesting a child multiple times. He looks right at me, and his eyes aren't like the rest of these guys; they aren't sad, they aren't regretful, and they aren't hopeful.

No. These are cold pin prics of ice. It chills me, makes the hairs on the back of my neck rise, and immediately I know that he is guilty and wish that men like him were executed. Slowly. Mercilessly.

I think that if I could kill him with my bare hands, I would do it. If I could twist that scrawny neck 'till the body went limp, and watch them the ravens eat him, I would do that too.

I wonder if his mother is in hell for having him, or if she knew not what was happening when she gave birth to this incarnation of evil.

I wonder how God handles such things.

Friday, May 09, 2008

When in New Jersey...

We're throwing a baseball around in a friends's backyard, playing some kind of accuracy game that does not bode well with my "Wild Thing" arm (like a rocket, but watch the car windows).

Another friend from high school is fixing something on the patio table. He went to college in South Carolina, and has only been coming around again since graduating. Another guy is drunk in a lawn chair and mumbling.

During a bullshit conversation, the guy at the table begins cursing about in frustration.

Then he says it, under his breath, so low that we almost don't hear it: "This sucks almost as much as Bruce Springsteen."

In shock, I miss the ball, but don't bother looking for it. I look right at him, and then at the thrower; he's staring at Table guy. The drunk in the chair is also staring, mouth agape, and then shakes his head as if clearing out the fog and says, "The fuck did you just say?"

Table guy looks at us, an incredulous look on his face. "Jesus Christ, I was kidding."

A tense second goes by.

"Oh.... You gotta be careful with that kinda shit," I say.

"No shit," he laughs. "Forgot I was back in Jersey."

Monday, April 28, 2008


To be Irish is to know that, in the end, the world will break your heart.

- Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Friday, April 25, 2008

Go on and Run Off To LA and Lose Your Mind

The more you change, the less you feel...

"I have to tell you... I'm not around anymore. I took a transfer in my job...I live in LA. I'm not in New Jersey anymore... and I met somebody. I need closure on this."

Fuck. Me. Sideways.

When my phone had rung and I saw her name, I stormed out the heavy doors of the fancy "lounge" on the highway ("whorish upper class broads and the guidos who love them" place) and practically sprinted to my car. "Taken aback" isn't the word for what I was.

"Why did you call me? I was doing fine without you. I didn't need to hear you," I said.

"Because I needed closure. I had to tell you that I'm not around."

Closure. She always said things like that that I never understood.

Closure. I need time. I can't date now.

"Is he rich?"

"That's neither here nor there."

"Funny, cause it was both here and there when I wanted to date you."

"Why do you want to do this now?" she says, a hint of tiredness mixed with arrogance.

"Cause you fuckin' owe me, that's why."

There was no heart in her voice. It came through in squeeks and snaps, but it was not there like it used to be. And call me delusional, but I don't even think it was because she was talking to me that it was absent... it wasn't there at all.

It might be the product of too many business meetings where you hustle some motherfucker just like the slingers on the street... it might be she actually feels bad for what she pulled on me this last year and a half. Who knows. But it was sad.

When I talk, I am emotional. There is that tough darkness under my gravelly voice, but it always shows elation, or sadness, or anger. There is a tone. There is heart. I couldn't change it if I wanted to- I've worn my heart on my sleeve forever, and it's gotten me in brawls, gotten me fired from jobs, but I love it because it keeps me truthful. If nothing else, I am always truthful.

Her... well, she's perfected the art of lying. The art of self-preservation. I doubt whether I could ever be with someone who lied so obsessively and profusely, and they flowed like water over a broken dam. Constant, reasonless, meandering and hammering. It wears you down, like the way salty waves wear down the rocks closest to the water.

Our paths will cross again I think. I hope not, because I hope to never see the lying green eyes again. But they will, because that's what happens in my trainwreck of a life. Anything else would be, simply put, too easy. And then God would get bored. And I can't get boring...

I saw this coming. I have a keen sixth sense with people, as if I can predict who's going to screw me, and who's going to be there. I knew all of this... I foresaw it long ago. I was not looking forward to it, but I knew it was coming.

I'm a different guy then I was, though. I do wish I had never heard from her, but it was not my choice to make. I'm made of tougher stuff than I was, and this heartache is nothing new. If anything else, it's dulled... like getting morphine before you get shot; you still bleed, but at least it don't hurt.

She tells me she won't read this blog anymore. I don't believe'er. She's done nothing but lie to me, and this is another in a long string. It's fitting that it comes from a girl who's been hiding now for years... and now it's not even figurative- she actually left the damn state. That speaks volumes to me.

But what I can say is this car crash won't lay the hustla down.

What can you do, except listen to Kid Rock in that song that always reminded me of her anyway....

Why dont you run off to L.A.
And lose your mind
You've got 15 minutes and
I think your wasting time
Its easy to see when you've lost your mind
But here I'll be when you decide to come back blind
And even though i might break down
And cry tonight
Please pack your shit
And take the first train out of my life

So after all I did, all that I put up with, all that I hoped for, the motherfucker sells me out like that. Well, I got one thing to say to her...

Hey Alex.... Fuck you.

We'll crucify the insincere, tonight, tonight...

Bill Maher catching heat

A poll on The Orlando Sentinel’s website has 46 percent of people saying that Bill Maher should be canned for his comments on the Pope last week. I have heard an uproarious outcry about Maher, who in his apology for calling the Pope a Nazi, said, “The main point I was making was that if the pope, instead of a religious figure, was the CEO of a chain of nationwide day care centers who had thousands of employees who had been caught molesting children and then covering it up, he would have been in jail.”

Let me remind that 46 percent of something that too many people are eager to ignore these day: once, long ago, in the forests and hills of this shining land, men tread with grim determination and rifles in their hands determined to secure the rights that they felt were “inalienable”. They fought with purpose, with the strength of the ideal that no oligarchy, no Establishment, and no King should be able to limit the God-given right to voice one’s thoughts, and no one organization should be able to crucify those who with different opinions. Evidently, this noble ideal is a fleeting one that can be shredded with nary a thought as soon as someone gets offended.

Maher has been thrown off of TV before, once in 2002 when ABC bowed to pressure and decided not to renew “Politically Incorrect” because of his comments about the 9/11 hijackers. If you watch his show (which I do religiously), then you’ll know that he is fond of incendiary commentary meant to disrupt and anger the general public. I don’t always agree with him.

But let me ask– is he lying? If the Pope was indeed a CEO, and that many members of his company were not only convicted of molesting children, but also of shuffling locations so as to avoid indictment, would he not be arrested? Or at least forced to step down? Is this such a reach to think that it would be possible?

As to the “Pope is a Nazi” comment, I think we all know that being as Benedict was a child when he was in the Hitler youth, this is more of a potshot than a concrete truth; Maher knows this. Let me remind you that the man is a comedian by trade, not a news anchor; he is trying for laughs.

Regardless, my point here is not to argue Maher’s ideals- he does a fine job at doing that himself. What I am arguing is the power of certain organizations to silence the valid opinion of a known critic of all that is Powerful. I am arguing the innate right that we all have of believing in our own Gods, following our own politics, and criticizing those who exercise their power at will, and many times carelessly as the Catholic Church does.

Freedom of speech is a precious thing, perhaps the most precious of things. It can slip away in the fragile breeze of oppression, and can be annihilated completely if we as Americans do not constantly watch its back for the wicked daggers of those who refuse to accept alternative viewpoints.

Now, the Great Evil is someone who spoke out against the Church; next, it’s someone who speaks out against the party in power; it is a slippery slope. Do not be caught up in the burning of Galileo’s that we should have done away with centuries ago; doing so is willingly disgracing the tombs of every patriot who has bled the ground red on the slopes of Bunker Hill, in the woods of Gettysburg, on the banks of the Marne, and in the frozen woodlands of the Ardennes Forest. If you are a true American, you will, as Voltaire said, not defend Maher himself, but defend to the death his right to say it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Day Hood Look

"I want you to go to the Courthouse, go cover his trial. 10 AM Monday. It's hard to find parking there, you should probably go down Gra-"

"Don't worry, I been there," I say.

"Huh? What do you mean?" My editor gives me a strange look.


"Ah, nevermind. Don't ask questions. I can get there."


I'm coming back from the Courthouse, and it's been so long since my youthful indiscretions made me an expert on the location of the courthouse and probation office that I've gotten myself completely lost again. I've been driving around the hood for maybe an hour, making rounds in the same roads, nearly running out of gas a couple of times.

As I finally find my way out, I pass the collection of project buildings that rise straight from the ground, dead grass surrounding the brown pillars, piles of garbage and old plastic chairs on the balconies.

It's as if the Earth itself has died around these places. Cracked out hood rats wearing heavy winter jackets in the 60 degree weather stumble along, eyes blazing under flat brimmed hats.

Black kids walk around in groups. One is wearing an oversized red t-shirts, rapping as he walked walked. He leers at me when I drive by, dark eyes under a red hat. If I had been walking instead of driving, this is the motherfucker that would mouth off about a white boy in the hood. I'm not good at much, but I'm a pro at reading people, and I can tell by his smirk that he would mouth off, and then not do a damn thing except let his boys come after me. He might get a kick in should I go to the ground, but that challenging smirk screams about where he's at in life.

One thing that's changed for me, and has changed me, is that I'm no longer that guy with nothing to lose. I'm not working where I used to. I'm not hopeless. I'm not angry, and I'm not so quick to do the things that would get me locked up. I like to think I'm using my brain more. But that kid... no, he's got nothing to lose. And that's the most dangerous type to tangle with. Just like the Peruvian in the club, as opposed to his friend with the wife and kid. One has a reason to stay out of jail... the other has nothing.

When I was walking from the courthouse, I saw a nursery school, with young kids riding around brand new red tricycles. I watched them as I walked by, my view cut by the heavy metal fencing. Across the street, there are signs saying "Vote Santiago- Put Children first!" This is the future of this once great town- the kids. It's a great political catchphrase, of course, but it's the truth. And I look at these five year olds, these purely innocent little beings that deserve to be safe and taken care of, to have their potential fostered and saved.

The next guy I drive by is another black guy, this one maybe in his mid-30's. He is pushing a stroller with his son in it, and he never takes his eyes off of him, always hovering, protective. He is a tough looking cat, but tough in the way that a bear would be if you came near it's cubs- he's not going to start trouble, but be wary of any man who is with a child he clearly cares about so much. It gives me the merest glimmer of hope.

But then I see those dark, smirking eyes again, and I think that these are just the next generation of bangers and wannabe rappers. I hope I'm wrong.

But I doubt it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hood Look

The dance music is pounding, crappy techno like stuff that makes my ears burn and makes me want to hit someone. I keep hoping that they'll play some type of rap that I know, but it never happens.

"I'm going back upstairs, dude," I say.

This is the kind of place where they play hip-hop from 105.1, softer stuff that the girls can shake their asses to. Puffy's Come to Me plays at one point, and it's just like that video- laid back joint, fancy, girls slinking around in sexy skirts, trying to hustle you into buying them a drink.

It was just like this joint.

"Alright, me too," he says.

A friend is dancing like an asshole on the dance floor, looking like a stickbug having a seizure, and I just can't watch it anymore. He'll tell me later that he does it so women assume he's "No threat" and will therefore talk to him.


I make my way back upstairs, look for the two girls I was talking to at the bar before when I was ordering my beer; Erin and Carly. Of course, I think Carly got stood up, so when she came back from the bathroom and saw me BSing her friend it got awkward, and I got caught in the, "My friend is a cunt" trap.

They're gone, but there are wonderously good looking women everywhere. We got here too late, and the beers are $5 a piece, which hurts me on the inside, but I'll pay that much to get into where the dime pieces are, as opposed to the white trash, "I just got out of a Bon Jovi convert" lookers that are normally so attracted to me.

There are candles everywhere, and the walls are a deep shade of maroon. Many of the guys smoke their cigarettes like they're gay, and some jazz band that has enough people to represent the UN is playing "Lady Marmalade" in the back room. There's a lot of 43-year-old guidos around, trying to spike the remaining strands of hair up the way they used to back in the 80's, looking around in vain for their third wife. If there's anything sadder than a guido, it's a past-his-prime guido.

It's getting late, and this place is clearing out. We bounce. But we'll be back. Save your nickels up for this place, but it's worth it.

On the way home, five of us are in the car. I am outvoted. Instead of going up the hill, we are descending.

I look at my buddy. "You motherfucker."

"I love this place," he says.

The buildings are getting worse, delapidated and dark, and the air is threatening. It's raining, so the hood rats aren't out tonight, but when I tell you we're in the worst ghetto in the East Coast, I ain't bullshitting you.

It is dark, very dark, inside, and the girls are still horrendous. Not regular woman ugly, either, but stripper-crack-whore-motherfucker ugly. There are buffet trays out, with some kind of rice and seafood in catering platters, and the chairs look like the ones you get when you're at a party at the American Legion, gold legs and brown seat backs. One guy is getting jerked off at the bar.

One of the black strippers with hazy eyes runs over and rips my dancing buddy's shirt right away, starts kissing his chest, until she gets yelled at by pimpette behind the bar.

The strippers do their thing, begging for money in the way that only those with no way out can. I'm drinking, though, and having enough fun, when the stripper offers to take me in the back. There's no lap dances here, though, and "the back" means "let's sit over there, ten feet away." Grimy.

I smirk. "Sorry honey. No money for that." She keeps trying to kiss me, and I'm bobbing my head and rolling my shoulders so she always misses. I tell her, "I'm going to go get money, I'll be right back."

I'm really going for a cigarette, and have no intention of letting this broad near me again. I smoke outside, crouch down and lean on my knees like I tend to, like the guy from Gladiator does before he fights. I rub my hands through the puddle of rain that's been draining from the skies all night. Grimy ass motherfuckers... you ain't getting near my dick honey, I think to myself. Contrary to popular belief, I do have morals, and flatly refuse to consider paying for any type of sex.

When I walk back in, my stripper shoves her lazy tits together. "You have dollar?"

"I got nothin baby. Sorry."

She gives me a hell of a look, storms off. I probably gave the cunt $15 in an hour for being ugly, more or less. There's nothing worse than a stripper with a sense of entitlement.

The soundtrack for this joint is still hip hop, but of a whole 'nother nature. One of the broads puts on 50's first album, and the tracks are hardened and biting, straight from brutal streets.

"You got the realest and illest killas tied up in a knot..."

My buddy is at the bar, talking to a couple of Hispanic guys. One looks like someone I used to work with, tall and skinny with a shaped up beard, so I join the conversation.

"You mothafuckas are cool, man. I ain't down with that hatin' on white boys shit. I got me a job, a wife, a kid. I work, you know? Some of these mothafuckas down here give you shit just for walkin' through, but I ain't down with that shit. You mothafuckas seem like guys I would work for, you know? Like I'm hanging with my boss or some shit."

I know what he means, cause I've had tons of guys like him work under me, and so has my friend (who owns a construction business). That's why I get along with these guys. I don't pretend to be from the hood, but I know what they're saying, how they act, and how they think. But they can get testy when you're on there turf, and I'm surprised at getting so much respect right off the bat from this guy. It's disarming, and I can tell he's a good guy who gets mixed up in bad things. The cut over his eye that's still healing is blatant, and though he tells me he boxes, it could be from anything.

His boy is cool with us too, but he's far more dangerous. Wide eyed and Peruvian looking, he is short and wearing an oversized black teeshirt with a closely shaved head. He's flipping dollars at one of the hideous strippers who's missing teeth.

We got out for a smoke, three white boys and these two ghetto bangers.

"Motherfucka, I just got out of the county. I aint' never goin back to that motherfucka. But I down with you white boys too, I don't be hatin. When I be in there, motherfuckin white boy came up to me and offered me-" he pauses, counting on his fingers- "six cans of tuna, loaf a bread, three snickers bars, and coffee, jus' outta respect. I said, 'Man you ain't gotta do that shit. I 'preciate it, but you ain't gotta do that.' So I down wit' you white boys. Y'all some cool motherfuckers.'"

"When were you there?" I ask.

"Ahh, 2000, 2001, 2004 I think."

"Who helped you out?"

If there was a white guy in County, the odds are I know him or someone he knows.

"White boy named Paul. Paul the second he call hisself."

I know him. Goddamn. Small world.

As he finishes, a tall Italian kid in a blue Yankees shirt and slicked back hair wobbles outside. The little guy looks at him.

"You a bouncer? We in trouble?"

"Bouncer? SHIT SON, I jus' got out County! Look nigga, no laces!" He holds up his foot, showing off the laceless workboots he's got.

"OOOOHHH shit son. You be gettin' that watered down coffee? That shit SUCKED! An, an, the eggs, fuck, that watered down Gatorade."

Just in case you're curious if someone is lying about going to prison, get them around someone else who's been locked up. The FIRST thing they will talk about is how bad the food is.

Before we leave, a one of the other three with us begins antagonizing the little one, doing small things that piss guys off. He does it intentionally to fuck with people, but he doesn't understand how these guys work.

"Let's go. Now."

On the way home I look at my construction worker buddy, and then the drunken retard in the back who was pissing off our ghetto compatriot.

"He doesn't know you can't do that to those guys," I say.

"I know. You can't do that shit," he says.

"Those fuckin guys... you say somthing little, shit starts, and they're not gonna fight. They're gonna stab you and run. Especially if it's two on five."

"Oh I know."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

That's Right Pimpin

We're drinking in the back of the tremendously crowded bar on Route 46, and the place is overflowing with women and the spattering of guidos that follows the former around like dogs.

I met an old friend of mine from my blue collar days here, along with the broad he hates but bangs anyway. He looks like he just got out of work- torn up jeans, work boots, a long sleeved t-shirt with holes by the elbows. Me? I wore what I wore all day- a pimpin' collared shirt, nice jeans, actual shoes.

He starts breaking my balls about it instantly, "Look at you all suave and shit. And your damn hair never moves, how the fuck do you do that?"

His girl-whatever... is eyeing me the whole night. Later on she'll smack him and point to me, saying the words that no woman has ever said in reference to me: "Why can't you dress more like him?"


He looks at me, shakes his head. "I'm losin' faith in you dude."

Yea, but your girl sure ain't.

Again, I rule.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Beyonce, Jay-Z Tie the Knot.
report 1 hour, 8 minutes ago

NEW YORK (AFP) - US singer and actress Beyonce has married her longtime companion, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, at a private ceremony in New York, People magazine reported on its website Saturday.

FUCK!!!!! My woman is off the market. FUCK!

Damnit Beyonce, we coulda been somethin...

Friday, April 04, 2008


Trashman tagged me 'cause he's a whole bunch of gay. I don't really know how to make links and all that crap, so you're gonna have to bear with me. Damn that Trash is gay.

1. Write your own six word memoire.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play....

Here's mine:
1. "I fuckin kick ass shit. Really."
2. Visual was down a bit with me holding a bottle of Jameson screaming like a black preacher.
3. Don't know how to do this. Big gay Trash did it, click on his link to the right of the page if you'd like to see my queer friend getting a facial (mountains of gay right there).
4. Don't know enough bloggers to pull this off.
5. Might do this later. But it's Friday, so I'll likely be drunk.

Slainte motherfuckers. Hoboken tonight... we ride to ruin...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I always figured when I got older, God would sorta come inta my life somehow. And he didn't. I don't blame him. If I was him I would have the same opinion of me that he does.

- Ed Tom Bell, No Country for Old men

It may just be coincidence that I picked up Gettysburg and watched it again, or grabbed the soundtrack and played it in my car on the way to work today, but Ghost Hunters is exploring the Cashtown Inn tonight. It's a place that I have passed in my travels, and is nearly legendary in the lore of we that have studied the Civil War extensively.

The brief history is that the Cashtown Inn is just that... an Inn at a hole in the wall town in the Pennsylvania hills named Cashtown. What makes it special? It was the headquarters for Major General A.P. Hill's III Corp in the few days before Gettysburg. On the night of June 30, General Henry Heth, one of Hill's brigade commanders, asked Hill if he had any objections to Heth going into the town of Gettysburg the next day. Many of his soldiers had made the long march from Virginia barefoot, and he'd heard there was a shoe factory in the town.

Hill uttered the words that would send over 50,000 men to the boatman- "None in the world."

General Hill

The next day, Heth brought his boys down the Chambersburg Pike, heading towards town... and came under fire from General John Buford's Union Cavalry. Heth's men broke off the Pike, formed battle lines, and attacked... and when they did, every soldier on both sides began making a beeline towards the small crossroad town of Gettysburg- in a day, there'd be over 170,000 men facing murderous hails of bullets on these gentle rolling hills.

On Ghost Hunters, the fella that owns the Inn said something about how when people go into the basement, sometimes the water heater and piping is gone. The whole thing. Gone.

In it's place is a scene 150 years old, where two soldiers are helping one man who seems mortally wounded... and the indicators of the present are erased, like God swiped it away with His mighty hand.

They say it's a residual haunting, like a memory caught in time, bound to replay itself again and again.

Hell, search it online. This is the first picture I found- there's a face in the window at the top.

Here's a close up of the face:

Now, I know more ghost stories about Gettysburg than I could tell you. I know more about the battle of Gettysburg than any scholar you've seen on TV. I know the position and troop strength of every brigade throughout the battle. In seventh grade my teacher let me teach the class for two days about Gettysburg, then concluded it by saying, "You know more than I do."

They say some folks are just drawn to the town, like magic, like they know they should live there.

I think I'm drawn there because these stories... they're all I got. They're as American as can be. For instance, the story of Winfield Scott Hancock and Lew Armistead, two men who were close as brothers before the war, only so they could split up, with Hancock going North and Armistead going South. In a Biblical twist of irony, Armistead led Pickett's Charge against Hancock's men at Gettysburg. Armistead was mortally wounded in the charge. Heaving, on his deathbed, he asked to see General Hancock, only to have someone tell him that Hancock had also been hit. Armistead went nearly hysterical, dying soon after. Hancock survived.

It is said that on the last night before they left California, where they were stationed before the war, Armistead grabbed Hancock on that last night, and with tears in his eyes, said, "Win, if I ever raise my hand against you... may God strike me dead!" I never caught the significance of this story until my own best friend was dead. I could picture me saying something like that to Ryer, because I am overly dramatic like that... and then one of us not making it out.

It is the story of the dead Carolinian, where on his body, they found a note saying, "Tell my father I died facing the enemy."

It is the story of the boy Liutenant who cut the last tendons of his leg off with his pocketknife after an artillery ball shattered it.

These stories, and the stories of their hauntings... they're all I got. I always keep thinking that one day, when I'm old and ready to die, that God will have entered my life, and I'll have made peace, and I'll get to heaven.

But He doesn't seem to be getting any closer. And what if I don't make it long enough? Then I die a half-Catholic, and go... to Hell? If I die in a car accident tomorrow, which is as likely as it isn't, I'm FUCKED.

So I'm left with Ghost Hunters. I'm left with the recording they got of a picture frame sliding across the table, as if A.P. Hill himself saw something important in that old brass frame. I'm left hoping that I'm not one of those miserable, trapped souls that has to reenact the bad scenes in my life over and over. The energy doesn't leave this world. The love you have, the anger, the strength, the loneliness.... that stuff doesn't dissipate. It changes forms... but it doesn't leave. Some things are forever.

Let me be honest with you people- I am absolutely terrified.

Don't ever wonder why I drink so damn much. Although I doubt any of you do.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Fights

I was going to just throw this back in last year's revisions, but it's fucking good, so you're all going to read it.

“Tell Me" is pounding through the speakers in the heaving, sweating bar, and the floor rumbles accordingly. The announcers on TV howl over the din as Mayweather puts on his sombrero and saunters to the ring, 50 Cent rapping next to him: “When I’m out in NY boys blunts and phillies, when I’m out in LA boys wraps and swishes.” The noise in the bar increases ten fold; being overwhelmingly close to Paterson, it’s mostly blacks and Hispanics at this joint.

This crowd is evenly split between Mayweather and De La Hoya, and it's predominantly along racial lines; blacks with dreadlocks and oversized white t-shirts rooting for Floyd, and Hispanics with their chinstrap beards and curvy girlfriends pulling for Oscar. I'm with the Spanish guys, hoping Oscar will pull off the upset.

From the opening bell, though, the fight goes as I thought it would. Mayweather bobs and weaves, going from his flat footed, taunting, open stance to sudden jabs and straight rights, immediately angling out, moving with a grace rarely seen in a boxing ring. De La Hoya tries to cut off the ring and corner him, sometimes successfully. He flurries body shots that appear to land but really don’t, all blocked by Floyd’s elbows. De la Hoya doesn't have enough power to put him down, and although he’s certainly the busier fighter, he’s not hurting Floyd at all. Looks just like every fight I’ve watched Mayweather fight.

Like a switch, Floyd turns it on around the fifth. Oscar’s not catching him on the ropes as much, and the fighters are circling far more in the center of the ring. This is Floyd’s game, and Oscar should know that. Floyd catches him with a straight right with fifteen seconds left in the round that shows Oscar that he’s going to be in for a long night.

It progresses like this, and Mayweather is taking control more and more in this kinetic chess match. Floyd is landing more 1-2’s, fighting his fight and outscoring De la Hoya consistently. The winner is decided in my mind in the tenth, when Mayweather lands another hard straight right that seriously hurts Oscar, knocking him straight back. It might look like just another right to someone else, but I see that Floyd, after the punch lands, immediately pulls it straight back to his chin and is looking for another shot. It’s the tenth round, and he’s not dropping any of his technically flawless punches… and it doesn’t even look like he’s breathing heavy. Oscar doesn’t have a chance in hell.

For the next two rounds, Floyd counters and parries, always throwing punches that land as he’s backing up. It is like he is made of liquid, disappearing and reforming somewhere else. The only other man I have seen move like this is Barry Sanders, another that seemed like all of his body parts could move completely independent of each other, but were somehow not only connected, but in sync. In the end, the judges see it my way, and when they announce the winner I’m hardly surprised.

There are only two things in this world that can stop a fighter with such spectacular hand speed and defensive ability like Floyd Mayweather. The first is a taller fighter with an incredible jab and similarly stunning hand speed. Zab Judah, with his quick hands, hurt May weather a couple of times, more seriously than I’ve seen anyone else be able to. And on May 5th, the only times that Oscar remotely hurt Mayweather was when he began to work his jab (of course, he miraculously holstered it somewhere around the ninth when he decided that he didn’t actually want to win).

Yes, Castillo, the phenomenal body puncher, also gave Mayweather difficulty, but it is that combination of hand speed and strong, hard jab and quick follow ups that may beat Mayweather some day. Ironically enough, Floyd might only lose to someone exactly like him.

The second thing? Well, you know. It’s the boxer’s greatest fight… the one they always lose. One day, Floyd will be a half-second slower, and those hard straight rights that he once dodged with ease will connect. One day, those elbows won’t come down so quickly, and the hard shovel hooks thrown by the Castillos and Hattons of the world will land, and destroy his liver. One day, he will get knocked down, and out. My only hope is that he has enough sense to get out of the game before that happens, before he becomes a shell of his formerly fantastic self, another Joe Louis getting knocked out by a young, hungry Marciano, or another Roy Jones Jr. getting taken out by a mediocre Antonio Tarver.

Like all fighters, though, he will refuse to admit defeat, and will continue until the game has taken more from him than he has taken from it. It is the saddest part of our brutal, beloved sport: the inevitable wearing down of the body by Father Time, and the horrific realization that we are, indeed, mere mortals…even the inimitable Pretty boy Floyd. Maybe I’m wrong, and he’ll retire a champ, giving us the image of this fierce, young killer to hold in our heads until we’re gone….but I don’t think so.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

One Ricky Hatton

I'm strapping the glove to my right hand, which is impossibly hard when your left also has that thick black pad over it.

"Hatton's back on May 24th. Fighting Lazcano."

"I love how you love that stupid limey fighter. He fuckin' sucks. Leads with his head all the time. He's gonna' be retarded."

"That's not my problem. But he's all heart, and that's why he's my man."

I've stated before that fighting isn't like anything else. There's not a team to root for, or some nobody that can fuck it up.... no, the fight game is one on one. You root for one man to go into a ring and be as violent and brutal as he can. Along the way, you learn certain things. You get to know his style. You get to know his personality. You know how much heart he has, when he'll quit and when he won't. You'll see looks in his eyes that mean something, that mean that you know what's coming. No other sport has that, because no other sport has boxing's nature.

You'll never learn more about somebody than when they have been physically knocked down. The reaction that immediately follows is what tells you what kind of persona you have. Do you sit there stunned? Or do you get up angrier? Do you charge back in, regardless of the fact that the next time you get put down, you might die from it? It's never about winning or losing. It's about heart. It's about how you react, and how hard you'll keep on coming, even after you get knocked down.

Ricky Hatton is my favorite because he's just like me. He's not that tall, not that big, and not that talented; however, he does all that he can do, charging in and pounding to the body with brutal hooks, taking advantage of openings upstairs with whipping uppercuts. He'll never outbox you, never out-flair you. He's just going to hustle constantly, and keep pressuring you like his life depends on it... because it very much does. He's not the cleanest fighter, and certainly adverse to rabbit punching or wrestling. It's a streetfight every time with him, and you better be ready to brawl when he walks in.

He is a modern day Micky Ward- not too much talent, but all heart and soul. He dips his head, wraps your arm, and delivers the hard looping punches that he relies on. He likes drinking Guinness and playing darts, and never takes himself too seriously. Maybe it's an act, but I doubt it. He sincerely seems like the type that would buy you a beer at the end of the night when you're out of cash, and there's something to be said for that, especially amongst famous athletes.

Yes, he lost to Floyd Mayweather. But Mayweather, who is the most talented boxer alive right now, is unbeatable. If you have to lose (as all champions do) then it may as well be to the best fighter on the planet.

But on May 24th, our lad will come charging out to the strains of "Blue Moon" once again, and he'll show what champions are truly made of. He'll show us that it's not flair and style that makes champions, but grit and determination.

And once again, like always, we'll be here singing... "There's only one Ricky Hatton."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

On DRAMA!!!!

I recently bitched at the world on a Myspace survey about how women constantly say, "I don't want drama", or "This is a drama free zone". You see it all over online, especially with broads. I am convinced that it's the stupidest damn thing in the world to say.


Looking at me through whiskey drunk eyes while we're outside smoking, I see him glaring at the door.

"What the fuck are you looking at?"

"Waitin' for that motherfucker to come out the door, I'm gonna hit him."

This is my big Irish Army friend who lies to women constantly and gets far too hammered drunk for his own good. He told me years ago that Ryer and I were like the older brothers he never had, and even after all this time it's clear that I'm one of the only people around that can keep a handle on him, that he'll actually listen too.

"Like fuckin' hell you are, he's one of my buddies," I say.

"He's a dick."

At that moment my buddy walks out, and they start jawing at each other, low mumbled threats meant so that the other one could overhear. Both of them are tough kids, and a fight would be hideously ugly and end badly.

I look at my buddy, and now I'm between them. "You don't fuckin touch him, I know this guy."

Then I turn and grab Army's arm, leading him away. I turn to him and point directly in his face. "You don't fuckin do anything. You fucking hear me?"

"But he's a dick, he's-"

"I don't want to hear it. You remember The Departed? You remember the guy who tells people who they can hit and who they can't? Well, that's fuckin' me. And I say you don't fucking hit him."

He looks upset, like a puppy you just kicked, but this is for his own good. "Fine," he mumbles.

"Where do you live? How you gettin' home?"

"I'm walkin, I live down there. Look, fuck that kid-"

"HEY! I don't want to fuckin hear it. This ain't optional. Get fucking moving."

He looks at me open mouthed, as if he has something else to say, but all he manages is a resigned, "Fine..." He turns around, begins to trail off, stumbling down the road.

Had it continued any more, I would have had to pull the Ryer card with my other buddy, and tell him that if Ryer was here he would kill him for laying a hand on Army. I don't like bringing him up, because it can ruin a night quickly and depress the hell out people... but I was not about to watch anyone touch him. As much as I'm like his older brother, he's like my younger one, and I have to watch out for him because no one else will. His parents hate him for being a stupid drunk, his grandfather threw him out, and his friends are shakily loyal. That's bad when you like whiskey and have a big mouth, but there's nothing I can do. I won't watch him get beat down by anybody.


"DRAMA!" And you know what? When I'm on my deathbed, I will wish like hell for ten more minutes of that same "drama" that all the broads hate so much. If you want to drink, fight, fuck, live, then drama is entwined in all of it. Good luck getting away from it.

I fuckin loooooovvveeeee it!

Friday, March 14, 2008


If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones. - John Steinbeck

I will miss them, these fuckin idiots I work with at the shop. They are always whistling at each other, sharp whistles that would make a dog heel. They call out, tap fists every time they pass, call your name and hold their fists up as they walk by, wordlessly. It's strange until you figure out that they're just saying what's up, and that's the way they do it. There is a strong sense of camraderie that pervades the place, as if they were going to war tomorrow instead of just fabricating metal parts.


He's a short, stocky guy with a thick Indian accent. He always adds an "S" to the end of my name; it might because of his serious lack of teeth. We are standing by the time clock waiting to punch out for lunch when one of the Mexicans comes up behind him, reaches around, and grabs his chest.

"Motherfucker! See Irishes, you gots to watch these motherfuckers, there a bunch of fuckin fags around here. Watch yourself Irishes. Especially this fuckin guy, he a fucking tinkerbell." He looks at the Mexican with disdain. "You motherfucker."

The Mexican gives a hearty laugh, and mumbles, "Pendejo"


He stands at a mighty 5'2", ironic because his name is Maximillion. He's older, and wears glasses when he's doing work that requires his close attention. English is not his forte, but when he talks to the other Hispanics he uses great swooping gestures and his voice rises and falls like the waves. Don't ever think that people who don't speak your language are dopey, for this guy is certainly as animated as anyone I've ever met. He is also quiet and watchful, and those qualities often belie a sharp mind.

Alicia Keys' No One reverbs through the shop, ringing off the metal machines and echoes off through the walls. When it gets to the "Oh oh oh oh ohhhhhhh" chorus section, he raises his arms and starts swaying, yelling out the words as he goes. He sees me laughing at him, and he looks at me and smiles, raising his arms in a shrug as you would if you were saying "I don't know"

"Who?" he asks me.

He answers himself definitively: "NO ONE, NO ONE, NO ONEEEEEEEE!!"

He does this every time the song comes on, which comes out to about three times a day.


He strides through the garage door, a cigar blazing and his head bopping to my radio, and Biggie Smalls is halfway through Hypnotize when he catches the beat and starts smiling, bopping his head in the cloud of smoke that trails him and he's singing the words, "Biggie Biggie Biggie, can't you see, sometimes your words just hypnotize me".... This is my tall black buddy, a genuinely intelligent man who is wasting his time working the grunt work that this shop provides. He married a Puerto Rican chick, and has a little daughter who I'm sure, like so many women of mixed heritage, will be a knockout one day. If she's anything like her father, then she will be smart as hell, too. It bothers me that he still works there- there is alot of things he could do using his mind instead of his hands... not to mention the world needs smart black men out there proving that the stereotypes are unequivocally wrong.

I picked up the phrase, "That's right pimpin" from him, and he's truly one of the coolest cats I've ever met.

I bought him American Gangster as a parting gift, and we start watching it at lunch. He gets antsy as Denzel owns the the screen and the tension builds like a glacier, but one where there's an avalanche at the end.

"Irish, you the fuckin man. Thanks man."


He's cool in the way that only an old black man can be. He's another short one, and ambles in the way that old men do. He's got a graying goatee that is often obscured in sweet smelling smoke from the pipe he always has, which he often smokes while simultaneously chewing tobacco and wearing a nicotine patch.

"I'm glad you leavin. Ain't no future here for you. I keep telling these other motherfuckers, "What the fuck you doin here? That tall motherfucker especially. He's bright, ain't no reason for him to work here. I mean, you get hurt and they don't give two shits about it. Look."

He takes the glove off his left hand, and shows me two deformed fingers that are, honestly, a mess. "I done got mashed up twice here. They don't care. You go to retire, ain't no pension. They give you a shit party and throw you out. I'd leave if I was younger, but I'm old, don't nobody want an old motherfucker like me. I'm glad you leavin'."

He's got a calender in his welding booth that has nearly naked women posing, and one shot is of a girl at the beach as the sunset. Her ass takes up most of the shot, and it is a fine ass at that. Apparently he thinks so too, because I haven't seen that calender change months since I've worked there. At one point he calls me "daddio", and it's the coolest damn thing I've ever heard.

He comes up before he leaves and shakes my hand. "It's been a pleasure working with you. I hope you make it. See you when I see you."


He's an oak tree of a man, with a black goatee and a black hat perched on his head. A tan flannel jacket covers his back. He's Hispanic of some type, and he diddy bops through the shop every day yelling out, "Ju liiike it? Ju like it? I looovvveeee it." He doesn't say this once in a while, or even often. He says it every time someone walks by him, or he walks by someone, or he's yelling it across the shop to someone. It got to the point where I really thought that's all he could say in English.

"Hey man! Hey man!"


"Ju like it? Ju like it?"

You answer back, "Hell yeah baby, I like it!"

He smiles, "OK baby, I fuckin' loooovvveee it"

You never let on that you have no idea what he's talking about.

He surprised me today, with perhaps the best thing I've ever heard from a person's lips. We're cleaning metal phalanges when he starts talking.

"Man, life is fucking beautiful man. I a poor old man, ju know? I sixty-four years old. I fuckin happy. I see these young guys, they walk around with lots of money, they miserable! Not happy! Fuck that man! I happy! I like it! I looooovveeee it! Is beautiful!"

This guy is talking about life. Regardless of the fact that he's old, and that I think his foot is rotting off, and he is barely at work because of it... he walks around saying every second "Life is beautiful, and I fucking love it".

Why I really will miss blue collar work is because of the characters. I'm sure there's people like this in the professional world, but there is one thing that seperates us from them, and this fella epitomizes it when, ten minutes after telling me this, he says how he wants to stab one of the other guys in the kidney twenty times because he's an asshole. He then acts out what the guy will look like when he falls, and even though he's serious I can't stop smiling.

I'm going to watch out for these motherfuckers, these crazy, beer drinking, life loving idiots. Management would rape them in a second if they could, and it's guys like me that have to watch their asses, and publicize it when someone tries to screw them. I'll be, like Steinbeck, a watchdog for the working classes, to make sure these hardworking fuckers get exactly what they deserve for doing the job that you don't want to do.

They'll teach you a lot, if you listen. But you have to listen.

I fuckin looooveee it too baby. I really do.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Some call it better...

He's fat, with a goofy jacket that only makes him look fatter and a hat and sunglasses that make him look like a tourist. He lights a cigarette, and starts talking to one of my friends who leers at him with curious disgust. I'm right there with him. We've just gotten off the train and are heading into the heart of Hoboken for the St. Patrick's Day parade and celebration that is a couple weeks early.

"Look, I fought some guy." He holds up a swollen right hand that's not in good shape. "Last night, I fought some guy. He was like 6'10". I got'em though. I always get in fights when I go out... will you guys help me if I get in a fight?"

It takes all I have to not laugh at him. It takes even more to not be terribly dickheaded and tell him that we don't want him following us and BSing. We're being pretty nasty towards him though, being as none of us want to be bothered with this annoying fat man.

"No, we won't," we all say, nearly in unison.

"Oh.." He looks disheartened in a pathetic way. "They told me people in Hoboken are nice... you guys aren't nice."

I look at him when dead eyes. "You're looking for the Yuppies. They're off today."

We swing into a liquor store and buy a couple pints of whiskey for the walk. I put it in my breast pocket, and grab a long straw so I can slide it down into the bottle in the midst of a crowded bar. It's working well, and I'm all over trying to keep a handle on one of my compatriots who is walking up to every broad in front of him and dancing and talking. I am apologizing and bullshitting with a mediocre looking Polish girl about Warsaw or something when I see my friend whirling like a gyre, resisting the futile dance towards the door that the bouncer is making him do.

"Isn't that your friend?" the blond says to me.

"Ahhh fuck me yea it is."

It's been a long while since I got thrown out of a bar, the last time being last St. Patty's day when I connected with a right hook so big that it shattered the bones in my hand and started all my problems. I've never had a bouncer put his hands on me, a good thing because when I'm drunk enough to not listen to you telling me to leave, I'm drunk enough to hit you. It's likely that I'm the guy that Rob the Bouncer complains about all the time (minus the coke habit that the guidos have.)

It's a two way street with bouncers. I'm very respectful to most people, and I don't go out to cause trouble. I know your night sucks, and I'm not there to make it worse. But if you think that the black "STAFF" written on your shirt gives you the authority to talk to me like the cops talk to me, you are sadly mistaken. These bouncers were assholes, and I decided when I was sober that if this guy put his hands on me, he was getting my signature right hook to the body.

"Let's go to Trinity".

"Let's go to City Bistro".

My buddy looks at the girls, blowing smoke up with a quizzical look. "Bistro? Sounds like a fag place. I won't drink anywhere called a "bistro."

I realize how oddly out place I feel here. The people aren't dressed any better, and certainly aren't as good looking as me, but there's a heavy arrogance that wafts off the water, pervades every bar here. The guys are, well, complete metrosexual bitches, and the women have their noses so far in the air that it's a wonder they're not walking into chairs. The bars are hip places, but the people just suck.

I remember playing Hoboken for the State Championships back in my football days. They were all blacks and Puerto Ricans, tough, lean kids and you saw it in their eyes, that look that boxers have when they're coming up through the ranks- they were hungry. They wanted out. No more ghettoes- these boys were playing for their mammas, playing to escape and get to college where the white kids would idolize them for the talents on the field, and there'd be no more bangin'. They weren't like playing the Paterson teams, which were lazy, fundamentally unsound messes. No, playing them was like playing guys who were fighting for their lives.

As I look down Washington Street, with its lines of neon lit bars, $3.50 dark roast coffee latte joints with fake ass French names and red signs, and liquor stores where a pint of JD costs $15, I can only shake my head.

Some people would say the place is better now. You'll hear the catchphrases, the same ones they're throwing around about Newark and Jersey City now. "Safer." "Cleaner." "Happier." I say it's lost it's heart, sold out amongst a sea of commercialism.

Where those kids at now... where's that hungry look? Even though I have a job that is going to be filled with actual professionals, I always want that connection to the streets. I'm not from them, make no mistake; but I know plenty of guys who are. When I start boxing, that's who I want to be around. They'll keep you down to Earth, they'll keep you jabbing, they'll never let you sit back.

That's why I say give me a strip club in Newark any day over this souless mess, give me the place where people are struggling and striving and there's flames in the streets burning like an flash fire and riots are always a step away. That's passion baby... That's fire.


This is baby boomer shit. And you motherfuckers can keep it.