West Texas Wind

Beauty comes in so many forms
And ugliness is the master of deception
The wind blows all the days of summer and carries the dust in the hot high plains sun
Nostalgia is so damn masochistic
All the time spent living in a past that is just that
All the longing for a time long gone
I go to a place and I have been there before
But that was two or three lives of mine ago
Places remind me of events that I forgot to remember
The familiar becomes the deadly delivery system of that self inflicted memory
I return to the life I live now
It is not changed by the stroll through the past
It is not altered by my need to suffer
It is what it is, the present
And it is persistent like the summer wind
And some days it stings the like the blowing dust
And now in the late afternoon when the siesta should bring comfort
I am haunted by my own desire for things that have gone and blown away
All those things that almost destroyed me
All those beautiful things that I cling to now
And everywhere I look I see the beauty
It is as apparent as the wind




So since I don't have links on the side there I thought I would do a few here.
Here are some blogs that I am obsessed with these days~
This guy has turned into my goto guy...
This is my friend Mateo, he is married to the Russian Princess, I don't always understand what he is saying but I just smile and nod my head. I think he is Super Human.
This anti fellow cracks me up, his shit won't weigh you down.
The perennial miss angelina I actually know her personally and in person and let me tell you she is as epic as she sounds...
Then there is my web guru and mentor...
And my latest obsession raymi, I haven't yet figured her out and maybe that's the point. She inspires me.

and that is my blogsphere today, like any good sphere it is in constant rotation.




When I got back to Austin after my time in Babylon I went to work at Romeo’s. Romeo’s is a restaurant that I had worked at in college. It was a familiar place and it was easy to get hired back on. There were a lot of new people but still lots of familiar faces. Some of the kids I had waited with there back in the day were now managers and the GM was the same. Since I had been gone they had opened another location. I would work most of the week at the south store but on Saturday nights I would work at the new north location.
One Saturday night, during a time that I was just coming out of a long depression, I was desperate to make something happen in my new prison of a healthful-yet-boring existence. This occurrence would become intimately tied to the pirate phase. So one fateful Saturday night I was the closer and it was late in the evening. A couple came into the restaurant, a middle-aged Hispanic man and his obscenely young and obscenely beautiful companion. Beautiful women were no anomaly at Romeo’s and such as in this case they were often accompanied by what would appear to be a suitor. The whole time I was waiting on this pair the girl, and I say girl cause she looked about twenty, kept giving me the bedroom eyes and like I say this was a restaurant. When I took their order she was looking me up and down and each time I would come to the table she seemed to be looking as deep into my peepers as she possible could. I was reciprocating. They finished their meal and ordered tiramisu. I was pretty captivated by this girl but like I say she sort of appeared to be with this man at least for the evening. I was curious. When I presented the check the girl got out her credit card. As I was in the wait station running the card the girl made her way to the restroom. She had to pass right by me coming and going. On her way into the restroom she made eye contact with me. On her way out of the restroom she made and held eye contact with me. I was intrigued. I presented the credit card slip said my cordial thank you’s and walked off wishing that I had asked if that was her husband or boyfriend. This girl was so damn fine I was almost willing to take the embarrassment, but I didn’t, too unprofessional for me. But I was so enchanted with her long glances that what I did next would break the bank in the unprofessional category.
She had picked up the tab. That meant that I had her name ~ Grace R—. I told my manager on duty, Yvette, what had happened and I told her about the long glances and I told her that I was thinking about looking the girl up in the phone book and calling her. Yvette was busy closing the restaurant when I told her this and she was only halfway listening. Yvette was always encouraging and so she absentmindedly said, “Yeah, go for it.” So right then and there I got out a phone book and I looked up the name Grace R— and sure enough there it was. I wrote the number down.
As soon as I woke up on Sunday I started thinking about Grace. I was nervous cause I knew that I wasn’t going to chicken out. I knew that sometime that day I was gonna pick up the phone and use that number. I waited til just after noon. I picked up the phone and dialed. She picked up her end after three rings.
“Uh hi, is this Grace R—?” I said.
“Yes, who is this?”
“My name is Matthew, I was your waiter at Romeo’s last night,” I am a maniac I thought, what am I doing. It was a little awkward at first. I asked if that was her boyfriend or husband she was with and it wasn’t. Turns out that he was an artist friend of hers who had painted her portrait and she had accompanied him to the gallery opening earlier that evening. I apologized for the weirdo nature of the call and I assured her I wasn’t dangerous, maybe insane in the membrane but not dangerous. She said it was cool and she admitted that she had thought I was cute and she had intentionally been flirting with me. We talked for twenty or thirty minutes. It was all very cool and nonchalant. I asked her if we could meet for a drink or something as such and she agreed to meet me the very next night. I got off the line and I was on fucking cloud nine. I couldn’t believe I had done that and furthermore I couldn’t believe it had seemingly worked out. I had picked up a Sunday night shift at the north store and I couldn’t wait to tell Yvette what happened.
When I got to work Yvette gave me a somber look. She was at the bar eating food and she just said, “We need to talk.” My heart sank into my belly. I was all “What, what, what happened.” She said that a man had called the restaurant and complained about a waiter that had called his companion after getting her name from a credit card receipt. I reminded Yvette that I had told her what I was planning to do, checking for her approval and she had said to go for it. And she was all “Well I didn’t think you would actually do it.” And I was all “How long have you known me?” So I presented my side of the story about how we had talked and everything was cool and we had made plans to meet up. Well this was incongruous with what the angry artiste companion had said and we both came to the conclusion that the guy was only mad cause I was horning in on his action. I told Yvette that if she wanted me to I would call it all off, but she said no and insisted that the guy on the phone was just green with envy.
So I saw Grace the next night. We had a good time. As I was leaving her place after cocktails she gave me a long passionate kiss. Yum. I saw her a second time and then a third. On the third date we were starting to get a little touchy feely. We went to one of my favorite bars Club Deville and proceeded to get a bit hammered. We went back to her place and started to engage in some serious foreplay. She had told me that she was fairly recently broken up with a boyfriend, Jesse, and he was still calling her all the time. During this ‘sucky the face and grabby the naughty bits’ session we were having the phone kept ringing. She was just ignoring it. I wasn’t even really hearing it. This went on for the better part of two hours. Finally she asked me if I wanted to move to the bedroom. We had her sectional couch all akimbo and spread in three directions and I had hoped it was leading to the bedroom soon.
We both got naked pretty quick and I was straightaway licking the nappy dugout. That went on until she was pulling at my shoulders to come up and fuck. I slipped on a Trojan and went to work. As is the case often the first time out with a super fine girl and especially since we had been at the foreplay for hours I popped off way too soon. I got mine she ain’t got hers. This doesn’t always happen but it does seem to be directly related to how turned on I am and how much experience I have had with the girl of the moment. No worries. I am quick on the rebound so I assured her that I would be ready again within minutes. She was cool and so we both collapsed down onto the bed for a little post coital cuddle. It had been maybe five minutes and I was regaining strength. I had my fingers back in her pussy and I was getting ready to be ridden. Then out of the darkness came a rap tap tapping at her chamber window. Tap tap tap and then a muffled “Grace…Grace are you in there?”
She put her finger to my mouth and said, “Shhhh…” So there we were buck naked and about to copulate again and outside the window there was someone who was not in the know and I was all the sudden feeling unamused, still horny but unamused. She told me to stay quite and I told her that I had to put on my jeans. I quietly rose from the bed fell down to the floor and located my crumpled jeans. I was a little panicked. I didn’t know how big the guy was. I didn’t know whether or not he had a penchant for violence. I could image him being a little upset to find his true love, and I say true love based on the persistence of his phone calls, in her inner chamber naked with a handsome young rogue. ~The handsome young rogue being me. So I did what I thought was the best course of action in that situation. I found the closet and shut myself inside. I thought this would give her time to get rid of the b-friend.
The next thing I hear in the closet is the sound of glass breaking. The next thing I know he is in the apartment. I hear him open the door to the bedroom still repeating his call, “Grace…Grace…Grace.” And I was all inside the closet praying, “May the Grace of God be with me at this moment.” In the darkness of the closet I could hear the boyfriend saying “Grace what’s going on in here.”
Her reply was evasive, “Jesse? What are you doing here? I was asleep.” It sounded like she was doing quite an acting job. He wasn’t biting.
I could hear him saying “Who else is here?”
And then in just a second more the closet door swung open. And there I was, arms crossed, wearing only jeans, feeling highly unamused. Panic had fled, in its place I was feeling a kind of calm annoyance. I reached out my hand in a gesture of greeting and I said “You must be Jesse.”
He reached out, grabbed my hand and started to pull me out of the closet. For a second I could see in his eyes the tell tale signs of a man ready to fight for his honor. That sparked within me the tell tale signs of a man ready to fight for any damn reason at all. I thought “alright, yeah, let’s git it on!” But that threat of violence quickly passed when the dude realized the scope and magnitude of the situation before him. Then he just kind of lost it and started freaking out. He was clutching at his hair and on the verge of tears and he was saying, “I knew this was going on, I knew it.” And that made me think “Well if you knew it then why did you come, did you really have to confirm it with your own eyes, stupid.” But then I took pity on him.
He was going around the house collecting what I can only assume was his stuff. He was taking knick-knacks off shelves and paintings off walls and he kept saying, “I knew it, I knew it.” I tried to console him a little with some off the cuff ‘shit happens’ kind of condolences. That didn’t help. That agitated the poor peon more. I’m sure he was a nice guy. I could tell by the way he fell apart but at the moment I didn’t really care ‘cause he had just interrupted the most romance I had enjoyed in quite a while. Grace didn’t know what to do and like most women she seemed quick to avoid confrontation. She had done the best she could but dumb ass Jesse had to go and break in only to confirm his suspicions, the fool. I didn’t even want to deal with it so I gathered my clothes and got dressed and I left her to pick up the pieces of this poor bastard’s broken heart. That was a mistake. I should have made him leave. If that ever happens again I will make the b-friend leave. I should have threatened to call the cops ‘cause like I say he did break and enter but it was late and I thought I would just call Grace later.
I never talked to Grace again. She didn’t call me and I didn’t call her. Mutual embarrassment I suppose. What sucks is that since I popped off early I didn’t get to show her what I could do. They probably got back together, her and mister glutton for punishment guy. They probably weren’t even broken up properly. When I got up the next day The Red Irishman was there with his guitar. I told him what happened and we wrote a song about it. Well we didn’t write anything I just sang a song about it and we recorded it. We call that song ‘The Pirate Song.’ It’s a classic. If I can figure out how I will post it in the next few days. Remember kids, always make the jilted lover leave, stand your ground, especially if you have unfinished business. Hey Jesse, I still fucked your girlfriend, hahahaha Yar.




I don’t scar very easily. That’s what I thought. That’s also what I said to Michelle. We were out on the landing at 1929 Page. The back landing was the one that’s in the middle between houses. You know, door out of the kitchen, small landing, stairs that lead down to the garage or to the back yard. That was the smoking section.
So we were out there smoking. It was something like three in the morning. Besides my usual beakdipping of chardonnay we had ingested earlier in the evening some mushrooms, not shitake or portobello, rather psilocybin, savvy? Then as the lot of us were coming down somebody, either Jefe or Ez opened a bottle of Jack. Strong cocktails were made and passed around. Now these people were and are my friends, however they broke one of the cardinal rules of being friends with me. Rule number one of being friends with Matthew Rampage~
1.Don’t give me ANY whiskey
2.Same rule applies for scotch and bourbon although I rarely ask for those but I have been known to ask for whiskey.
Whiskey makes me hot and mad. I hope that changes as I get older and as a matter of fact I have indulged just recently but for all intents and purposes its just safer to always refer to rule number one. But it was deep in the Babylonian night and no one present had there heads about them so it is entirely understandable that a strong Jack and Coke was mixed and put in my ‘not very sober already’ hand. I drank that whiskey and coke and just kept on laughing and ruminating and generally enjoying the deep night. After my cocktail was drunk down I wanted a smoke so I was out on the landing with Michelle.
My house had burned down one week previous. It was the closest thing to a near death experience that I had ever encountered. It was pretty close. You know how they always talk about house fires killing people. I always thought “Oh no, a house fire couldn’t kill me. I would smell the smoke even if I was asleep and I could act, I could jump out a window. Oh no, a house fire couldn’t kill me.” When the smoke from the room that was smoldering finally filtered into the downstairs enough to wake my roommate it was six in the am. I had gone to bed with a shot of vodka and a valium. When the smoke was apparent enough to discern what was going on we all had about ten minutes to get out. If Melissa hadn’t woken me up I would have been toast. A house fire can kill you and it nearly did kill me. I wasn’t quite right in the head after that for a few months or weeks. I was really still mulling it over in my mind one week later.
“I don’t scar very easily,” I said to Michelle. I was thinking of the injuries so far that I had that should have been horrific scars but most had melted away with time. The only scar I had was on my knee from falling off a tractor when I was about 8. I was feeling a little invincible especially after the whiskey and the magic mushroom and the chards. So I says to Michelle “I’m gonna put this cigarette out on my arm.”
She was all “Don’t do that that’s stupid.”
I explained to her this theory I had about not scarring very easily. I also explained that at the moment I thought it would be all good and super symbolic to extinguish a cigarette on my arm. I thought that it would be a good marker of my luck with fire and when in a couple of years it had faded into my thick skin with it would fade the memory of my house fire and with that my brush with death. I have always enjoyed ceremony and symbolism. When one lives in a society that has been stripped wholesale of its ceremony sometimes one has to devise and execute one’s own ceremonial duties.
So Michelle gets clever and in an attempt at reverse psychology and she’s all “OK do it if you want to.”
And so I looked at the cherry on my smoke and I looked down at my arm and I put that mutha fucka all the way out just above my wrist on my left hand. So much was going on in my body and mind at that moment that there was no sensation of pain but rather a great pinpointed feeling of release. Michelle Belle was horrified. I was a little shocked myself. The pain didn’t set in till hours later.
So still under the impression that I had performed some new age ceremony I went back into the parlor there at 1929 Page and showed my waiting crew the damage I had just inflicted on my temple. Everyone was appalled but Mat and Harper were especially put out. What I had just done I think reminded Mat of how he used to act in his post adolescent pre adulthood phase and he didn’t want any part of it. Mat and Harper left soon after that. When I came to my “senses” in the following days not only did I have one hell of a circular scar in a prominent position on my arm I also had to contend with the fact that I had really upset my friends. Jefe and Ez were kinda cool about it, they were maybe more put out than they let onto but the Honans were extremely disappointed and took steps to stay away from me for a while. I felt terrible about all that and my arm hurt like a bitch. Live and learn eh?
That scar is still there. It has been two and a half years. I designed some tattoos that would cover up the scar but I have never gotten any ink done. Some people are hard headed and some people think they don’t scar that easily. Live and learn.


The Honest Blogger Quiz

OK Tony Pierce I dig your blog and I ain't scared of your quiz. This may be as politically active as I get inside of the confines of this blog like maybe ever.

1. which political party do you typically agree with? I like the Green Party I just wish they weren't totally powerless.

2. which political party do you typically vote for? Green Party

3. list the last five presidents that you voted for? Straight Green Party in the last two elections before that I was too young and in my youth I thought I was a Republican so I'm glad I was too young.

4. which party do you think is smarter about the economy? Democrat

5. which party do you think is smarter about domestic affairs? Democrat

6. do you think we should keep our troops in Iraq or pull them out? e'rbody needs to come home now.

7. who, or what country, do you think is most responsible for 9/11? Our own imperialist Foreign Policy and all that meddling we do abroad. Oh and our national treasure = hypocrisy

8. do you think we will find weapons of mass destruction in iraq? No

9. yes or no, should the u.s. legalize marijuana? Yes and I would like a job in the industry either designing print ads for commercial growers or growing commercially myself.

10. do you think the republicans stole the last presidential election? Duh yeah and there is no indication that they won't do it again with all their gas price trickery and the inevitable "Oh look we found Osama just in time to impress the voting public," shit.

11. do you think bill clinton should have been impeached because of what he did with monica lewinski? no, that whole shenanigan was preposterous.

12. do you think hillary clinton would make a good president? Yes

13. name a current democrat who would make a great president: None

14. name a current republican who would make a great president: I hope there is not another Republican President in my lifetime.

15. do you think that women should have the right to have an abortion? Yes.

16. what religion are you? Christian ~ Taoist.

17. have you read the Bible all the way through? Yes well mostly, I skimmed some of the Numbers and Dueteronomy parts where it is just accounting and genealogies.

18. what's your favorite book? The Dictionary.

19. who is your favorite band? Outkast

20. who do you think you'll vote for president in the next election? John Kerry.

21. what website did you see this on first? tonypierce.com



Spell Check

I think it is stupid or at least short-sighted that the Spell Check built into the blogger interface doesn't recognize the word 'blog' as a word. Everytime I use the word blog in a post that I then use blogger's Spell Check on I have to hit 'ignore'. And furthermore the 'ignore all' button doesn't live up to its name.




I think I am at the low point of my creative cycle. About a week and a half ago I was blowing up with words and stories to tell. But right now I'm a little like deflated and I have far less enthusiasm for life in general. I think my cycle is lunar. I've always been at my best during the waxing half moon. Give me 28 days and I should be at the zenith of the current cycle. Then things will get back to their breakneck literary pace. People will be reading my blog then and going~
"Holy shit this is interesting"... and "Damn I wish I could write like this guy"... and "Wow what an exciting existence the Deputy has carved out for himself."
but seriously.
Speaking of 28 days I watched the movie 28 Days Later last night. It was cool. I'm glad I didn't go see it in the theater cause it wasn't that cool and it wasn't very scary either. One thing that I didn't understand was that the Zombies or 'The Infected' didn't really do anything to the healthy humans except infect them. See real Zombies chase humans cause they eat their brains, you see they are relentless cause they are hungry. But 'The Infected' in that movie would just jump on a human maybe bite them or otherwise harass them and the human would be infected. I just don't understand why they were so ravenous only to spread the infection. It doesn't make a lot of sense.
See what I mean by low point in my cycle~
my disbelief in the motivations of 'The Infected' is the only insightful thing I can conjure today. Monday = Suckday




Woah... look at my comments boxes... their hella blowin up. Cha..
I was thinking about my memory purge last night. I am only beginning and like I say I have quite a few more months of telling great stories from memory. However, it struck me last night that maybe now is the time to start making plans and laying the foundation for my next big adventure. All those stories that I'm telling, they didn't happen just by sitting around all slack jawed or by just moseying around in my same old ruts. I had to say ~
"Geez, I'm a little tired of these same old paths and places, maybe I should go somewhere else and do some new things and meet some new people."
And I realize to myself that maybe I am coming to that crucial crux once again. This time though, whatever I do, I need to make some scrilla doing it. Maybe I could be an old fashioned mule. That would be cool but I do have a massive aversion to incarceration so maybe that ain't the route to take. Maybe I could get a job writing travel guides. That seems a little unlikely but its possible. My good Friend Nina "The Dyke" K. got a part time assignment doing that so at least I know someone who landed something as such. Or maybe I could just walk the Earth, like Cain. That doesn't pay though. Maybe I could travel from place to place and do Vigilante work for hire. These are early theories, I am just brainstorming here. If you have any thoughts or if you would like to be the first to debunk one of my flimsy theories just get in line there and tell me what you think in my hugely popular comments section.
Thank You.



I don't have a computer at home. I do all my blogging at work. It kinda sucks. At night when I am chillin' after a hard day of designing and blogging I think of all these great things that I could blog about. Shorter things, poignant things, more interesting things mainly because they are shorter. I could be a lot more prolific if I could blog at home. I could write as much as tony pierce or raymi the minx or maybe even as much as angelina. I could write on the weekends. I could carefully craft posts to include links and pictures. I could hone my skills to include not only my fabulously entertaining memories but also I could expand my repetoire and I could comment on the state of the world and the world of politics and entertainment. I could write about how entertaining politics are and shall be.
All these things could happen if I just got my shit together and get a computer at my home.
I am beginning to make some progress here in this space. I need to take to the next level, kick it up a notch, flibbity jib the jibberson, you know, take it to the hole. I actually have the money right now to do what needs to be done but I'm not sure how much my costs are gonna be on this whole ACL reconstruction surgery that I am having on June 2nd and as much as I need a portal to the electronet at home I really really need my left knee.




I have air obstructing my cyan tube. It's all because the stupid chips in the aftermarket cartridges don't communicate well with the HP 5000. You see Hewlett Packard doesn't want you using any kind of ink except their own private concoction. OEM or Original Equipment Manufactured ink is a way of keeping proprietary rights to ink cartridge sales. There are companies that sell refilled cartridges at discount prices. We get our ink from one such company. When I first took this job it was all kosher using this thing called a Staedler Board. The Staedler Board would fool the machine into thinking that the aftermarket cartridges were the real deal. Everything worked swell. I am a firm believer in "If it ain't broke don't fix it," but some people just don't know when to leave well enough alone. About ten months ago they called me from my supplier and told me that I could take the Staedler Board off the machine that they were switching to this new chip technology that was right inside the cartridge. So we went through this big process of sending back the cartridges I had on the shelf that worked with the S.B. and replacing them with this grand new cheating technology even though their was essentially nothing wrong with the current method. And the last ten months have been an all out fucking struggle. The light cyan and light magenta have never worked properly. Sometimes those stupid chips won't tell the printer how much ink they have in them. As a result, the digital readout reports incorrectly the amount of ink in a given cartridge. Well sometime yesterday the cyan cartridge ran out, empty style and the printer was telling me that it was half full. So I was replacing printheads like a madman and I was only getting temporarily positive results. I replaced five printheads before finally manually checking the ink levels in the cartridges and sure enough the cyan was bone dry, I'm talking light-weight here. So I thought I had it all sorted out after replacing the empty cartridge but apparently the line has an air bubble or its lost suction or some damn fool thing and now I'm dead in the water until they send me a line cleaner print head.

And this my friends is a prime example of why I don't blog from my daily life.

Fucking boring eh?



One Contact

I was in need of a friendly face. I had been in Babylon for about a week. Things were looking and feeling quite grim. The job slash apartment search was lurching forward at the kind of pace one might expect from erosion or distillation. When I came to Babylon Towne I had only one contact. His name was and still is Ezra. That week that I had decided to move to the Bay Area it just so happened that he had come to Austin to install a digital delivery system at 501 Post. The company that he was representing is now defunct. Probably because of their fucking highly inferior hardware. As a result of said dodgy hardware Ezra was in Austin for a week instead of two days while the technician was trying to get that state-of-crap system working properly. I told Ezra that I was putting in a month notice and I was moving out to Babylon where he lived. We seemed to get along well so he gave me his contact info and told me to call him when I got out there. He said that he might be able to get me a job interview. Seeing as how I didn't really know anyone in Babylon I planned to call Ezra for sure.
So I had been out there for a week and I called Ezra. We made plans to get together for dinner. He and his girlfriend had a car so they came up to the Lower Haight and picked me up on a street corner around the way from where I had just been to an "open house." It was one of those affairs where about 50 people were vying for a space in an apartment that had literally been a pantry. I think the rent was $850 for a space that was the size of a largish office cubicle. The big draw was that the roommates were all beautiful people and it had roof access. Wow. It was one of those moments where I thought to myself, "Now what brazen side effect of your naive ego made you think you could just come out here all jobless and homeless and with nary a prospect and all that shit and make it happen...stupid." I don't really talk to myself like that very often but that situation seemed to warrant a little self critique. I was so glad that Ezra and his girlfriend Tera were coming to pick me up and we were all going to dinner like local citizens of Babylon do. It all seemed so friendly and civilized.
So Ezra and Tera picked me up on the corner of Steiner and Hayes and we went to the Upper Haight to a place that I grew to love called Magnolia Cafe and Brewery. Ezra told me that when he was in Austin about thirty people told him they were moving to the Bay Area and he gave his contact info to a number of them but he assured me that I was the only one that had followed up. He told me this not in a put out kind of way but in a much respect for following through kind of way. We had a nice dinner with both Ezra and I talking a mile-a-minute. I had a Cole Porter to drink and I had the Bratwurst sandwich. I didn't know if these two were smokers and I wanted to breach the subject but I didn't know how. Finally we were wrapping up dinner and Ezra was saying how if I needed anything just let him know. So I took a chance. I asked if he knew any smokers and if not I asked if he knew where to get some weed. People had told me that I could just buy it off people on the Haight Street but that sounded terribly dodgy so I was just holding out.
Both Ezra and Tera's eyes lit up.
"Yeah man, we are smokers, I can get you some later but for now I can smoke you out."
So we went out to the car parked right on Masonic and proceeded to blaze. By the time they drove me the four blocks to where I was staying with Jenny Cossey I was more lit than I thought I had ever been to date. I thanked Ezra profusely and he asked if I wanted to come on Saturday to Oakland to his friend Kevin's house to watch game five of the World Series (Yankees v Mets). Not a baseball fan but so grateful for the friendship I accepted. I went to my little room in Jenny's house and I don't know what the percentage was between the weed and the emotion but a feeling of great contentment filled my head and for the first time in Babylon Towne I felt like things were gonna work out fine.
Ezra was really great to me when I came to Babylon. It is a shame the way things spiraled out of control between us. There is a lot I would like to take back but since I can't turn back time I think I'll just blog about it.
Peace Ez.




We left Brighton at midnight. Marcus and his boys Tim and Ben Balde had been promising a wicked party on Saturday night. They had been talking about it for a week. I was excited which was not surprising because in my youth I was generally excitable. Saturday night had come and I couldn’t understand why we hadn’t left Brighton yet, just more smoking and the spinning of more tunes in Tim’s flat. We finally hopped in Marcus’ red Golf and left town at just after midnight.
We drove north for three hours. Our destination was the countryside around Oxford or more properly Oxfordshire. We arrived at the party just after 3a.m. The party consisted of a small valley. There were three separate music areas. There was in order of importance according to my tastes ~ The Drum and Bass house which was actually housed in a small farmhouse, The House tent which was housed in a kind of small circus tent, and the Evil, Rude, Take-You-Down-To-the-Depths-Of-Your-Soul Industrial Techno area which wasn’t properly housed at all. So as a result the valley was filled with some pretty Rude/Evil/Industrial sounds. It seemed there was about two hundred or so people in attendance. Ben and Tim set off into the night in search of acid. Marcus and I set off to find us some pills.
It didn’t take long for Marcus to track down the desired pharmaceuticals. I think he got four pills, well I guess that because he gave me two. I took the first one straightaway. I headed deep into the Drum and Bass house for a few hours of gigging ~ to those of you not in the know gigging = dancing. Once the ecstasy was coursing through my system I got well lost in the night. I remember breaking the second pill and taking it one half at the time at about hour intervals some time after the first rush had worn off. I do remember having a great time and talking to some really cool folks that night. There was this one dude, a black man, who had been dancing right round my space on and off all night. When the sun started coming up a lot of the kids went outside. Well I was chatting with this guy and he found out I was American and from Texas at that and he was highly amused that I was so into Drum and Bass. He kept calling me a Home Grown Rude Boy, a badge that I wear with honor to this day.
As the sun was coming up and everyone started going out of the tent and house and all out in the open, the DnB and the House music got turned down in favor of the Rude/Evil/Industrial zounds. Whoever was controlling the PA from that section took the dawn as a cue to turn that shit up, way up, loud as you like. The valley began to reverberate. The light brought a better understanding of the whole situation. There was this geezer who seemed to be presiding over the crowd. Word was it was his land and this was a party for his daughter’s birthday. He stood in awe at the mash-up he had created and indeed quite a mash-up it was. I had never seen a crowd of such seemingly dedicated party people. Everyone from the slickest wide-boys to the crustiest of traveling crusties was in full effect.
I found Marcus in the melee, he too was having a lush time. I hadn’t seen Tim or Ben for hours. Those nutters had found enough acid to blow the lid off the noggin of the common man. They had spent the night trippin their blessed balls off right up next to the speakers for Rude/Evil/Industrial bizness. They brought out a van that was serving tea. I qued up.
So I’m standing there in the tea line all blissed out from the drugs and the love and the dancing. I’m all happy polite young Texan guy which I just can’t help being. So I start chatting with this older hippie couple in line just behind me. All kinds of~
“Hi, How ya’ll doin,” shit.
They’re all~
“Oh just fine,” looking hella blissed out themselves n’ shit.
And I’m all “What do ya’ll do?’
And they’re all “Oh you know, travel, live, make acid.”
And a little taken aback I’m all “Oh…that’s cool.” All of the sudden I looked into the guys eyes and I could see how deep they went and how they seemed to hold a tiny scale model of the cosmos.
They were really nice and in retrospect I must have seemed as strange to them as they did to me. The guy asked me if I had ever done any LSD. I said that I had and that I liked it quite a bit. He handed me a little piece of tin foil. Inside the tinfoil was the strangest bit of LSD I had ever seen. It was a tiny black crystalline rock. I was all~
“What’s this?”
And he replied, “That’s a microdot, just put it in your mouth and chew it up.”
So I did. It was a little like a pop rock. Remember pop rocks? Within minutes I could feel the effects. It was clean, it was crazy, it was cosmic. I was flying within a half an hour. Everyone was sprawled out on this hillside taking in the morning sun. I was sitting near Marcus and his friends. I had assumed the lotus position and I was lost in my own inner universe. It was lovely.
This slapper sitting uphill from us calls down to Marcus in a loud classless cockney and says “Oy..Oy…Is your mate meditating?”
Well maybe I was but she totally brought me back down to self-consciousness. I think Marcus was afraid for my safety. Some hooligans who were calling me Wanky Yank had already threatened me that morning. I don’t blame them, most Yanks are quite Wanky. Of course Marcus wasn’t too afraid for my safety cause he ended up heading back to Brighton and leaving me in the dubiously capable hands of the Mad Man Tim. I wasn’t ready to leave yet but if I had known what was a head for me I would have gone with Marcus.
We stayed out in those fields till past noon. As the sun got higher in the sky the flowers started to bloom and the histamines filled the air. Now I had ingested through the night two ecstasy pills a microdot and uncountable spliffs. I was dehydrated and as the pollen got stirred up by the morning I began to have a histamine reaction. No one likes to be tripping and wheezy. The police helicopter flew overhead everyone gave them the bird. Sometime after noon we headed back to Brighton in Tim’s abysmal car. I was crammed in the back with this super crusty fellow named Flak. He didn’t have much hair but what he had was knotted up into one long white boy dread. The thing must have been four feet long. The worst part about the car ride back to Brighton was the glaring lack of water. Tim wouldn’t stop for refreshment and all that was in the car was this evil shite called White Lightening Cider. It was like 7.4 per cent alcohol and it tasted, in my fragile state, distinctly like battery acid. I was suffering. The main thing that will exacerbate a histamine reaction, besides more allergens, is dehydration. I thought I was gonna die.
I didn’t die. We made it back to Brighton and Tim dropped me off at Sarah’s house. She was a girl that Marcus had arranged for me to stay with. I was a mess. I told Sarah all about the nights adventures. The acid was still running strong. I was in danger of being gripped by the fear. Sarah said that Sunday nights down at the seafront were big fun and that lots of people met up there to finish out the weekend. I didn’t want to be left alone at her flat where I was sure to be snatched up by the fear so I got ready and we headed down to the seafront pubs for a pint or three.
The seafront was like a madhouse on ludes. All the party people had come down for last orders and were spread out on the beach like a herd of sea lions without a predator on the horizon. It was lovely. I have only experienced that kind of collective meltdown in one other place. That was at the Sunday morning party at the End-up there in Babylon Towne. Do you want to hear about that? Stay Tuned lovelies.




Tom and I had drank the water from a cleaning of the butter churn. Then we went to a burning man party in Bernal Heights. We arrived just as fire dancing on the patio was drawing to a close. I didn't know anyone at the party. I stumbled into the house, exploring. I found my way to a back bedroom where a group of four girls or rather women were sitting around chatting. I think I just bowled up and sat down on the ground next to the bed. I introduced myself and went straightaway into rambling about the Beverage Party and Gagggaccticca County and other personal bollocks. I said something about cosmology and this one beautiful blonde woman asked me to clarify. I said that I understood cosmology to mean a teatise or way of framing or understanding the world and its machinations. I wasn't exactly right but my answer was satisfactory enough to intrigue this beatiful stranger. She kept listening to my bullshit. She had the most beautiful eyes and this great hair. I couldn't believe she was talking to me. We had this electric banter for what seemed like not long enough. There was some talk of age and I didn't think she was a day over thirty and that I thought was a stretch but she kept insisting that she was so very old. I told her how old I was and she said that she had a decade on me. I didn't believe her but I didn't really care ~ so beautiful. My friends came and checked on me, I was OK. The next thing I know she asks of I want to kiss her. I thought she was trying to trick me. I said sure. We kissed. Soon we were sprawled out on the bed making out. The other people had left the room. She flashed me her tits. I was hooked. I never wanted to leave her company. Tom and Jeff once again came to check on me. When they saw me on the bed I think they figured I was doing fine. They said they were leaving soon. I didn't want to go, uh obviously. I don't know how long we had been talking and making out but I guess it was awhile. She didn't want me to leave either and offered to take me home. I said OK with weak knees. My friends left and she and I left soon after. I will never forget this great silver fur lined long skirt she was wearing. It was so sexy. We went out to her truck and really started getting down. I soon had my hands up her skirt and her panties pushed aside. She was grabbing at my crotch and it was all we could do to keep from fucking right there. But we got ahold of ourselves and let go of each other long enough to remember that we were adults or one of us at least. She was gonna drop me off at my house but on the ride back I convinced her to take me to her place. She lived in this great old warehouse South of Market. Her and her friends had spent alot of time and work making it a fabulously livable space. Every time I looked at her I felt weak. We talked and drank til 5am. We didn't fuck cause she said she had a gynocology appointment but there were some other antics. This post has been far too uncensored so far so I will keep those to myself. She said she was going to a chicken show in Sacremento the next day and so I couldn't stay. I got into a taxi at 5am and I was on cloud nine. I spent nine months with Lum, it wasn't long enough. I had to leave because of my own shit and world of mistakes. I had to leave to save my life. I wish to God I hadn't had to leave her behind. I asked her if she would come with me but she couldn't. I understood. She was so good to me. Better than any girlfriend had ever been. My heart was broken. Maybe it still is.



Right now I am trying to remember and write down all the things that I didn't write down when they happened. I am scouring my memory for all the ineresting little episodes that have come across my path in the last ten years or so. I read blogs that record the daily goings on of the authors. There is more immediacy to these blogs. I like these blogs. Right now my daily life isn't noteworthy enough. I hope to get to this stage but I have at least six more months of five to seven posts a week from memory. I am feeling a great sense of satisfaction from doing this. There have been alot of things that happened to me worthy of note. I hope to eventually synthesize my own memories and experiences with things that I hear or make up to create fiction. I'll let you know when I've made that switch.




I had been traveling around Europe by myself for three weeks. At first I didn’t like being by myself. Then I didn’t like being with people. I had left Interlachen early that morning and I was boarding a train from Geneva to Luxembourg. The Swiss have the nicest trains. The Swiss have the nicest everything. I was headed to Amsterdam where I planned to blow the rest of my backpacking money then head back to London. I sat down next to a woman who I thought looked American. She turned out to be British. Nice lady, I believe her name was Amy. Just as we were pulling away from the station a man boarded the train and sat down across from us. He also looked American but my judgment was clouded by weeks on the road and an appalling lack of green. The last I had smoked was in Paris most of three weeks ago. I had tried to buy some hash in Barcelona but ended up getting totally scammed and buying what appeared to be hash but was in fact some kind of rock candy/petroleum product. That is another story.
The man introduced himself as Joseph from Berkley. He was American. He entertained Amy and I all the way to Luxembourg. He was a street performer who was just traveling around performing on the European circuit. It seemed like he was doing well for himself. He was a juggler and he came from a lineage of circus and street performers. He regaled us with all kind of tales. I asked what kind of street performer did the best monetarily. He said that he had a buddy who did the basic ‘paint yourself gold from head to toe and just stand there’ act, and that guy did the best of any performer he knew. Joseph and Amy got along well and he spent a good deal of the trip just flirting with her.
When we got to Luxembourg Joseph and I both got off the train. I spent that first backpacking adventure in Europe without a guidebook. I just didn’t know any better. So I asked Joseph if he knew of a cheap hotel to stay at. He said that he did and that I should just follow him. We found the place he was looking for. It was only a few blocks from the station. As we were checking in it was getting late in the day. Joseph asked if I wanted to go with him to the center of town to see if he could get a show in before too late. I said sure. So we set off to the center of town.
Luxembourg is an old city featuring a massive valley, which is spanned by medieval bridges and great old ramparts. It’s really beautiful. It’s also very affluent. The city center was mostly empty when we got there. I had mentioned to Joseph how bad I wanted to score some grass. He said that being so close to Holland it should be easy to find some. He was looking for a crowd to entertain and at the moment, that moment being right before dusk, there were only a smattering of souls about. Some men were setting up a stage and putting out chairs for some kind of event that was happening later in the evening. There were a few hipster looking cats over in an outdoor café and there was us and that was about it. There were no crowds of tourists to be found. Luxembourg didn’t really seem like a very touristy place. The locals we had seen gave out looks of disdain for the young traveler and his street-performing companion.
Joseph was a juggler and so he opened his suitcase of props and began to juggle. I took a seat on a bench and just dreamed of Amsterdam. A smart looking man in a black vest and wearing small round spectacles appeared in the square. He went over to the outdoor café where the hipster types were straight chillin. I watched. Although from some distance away, maybe thirty yards, I distinctly saw the man hand one of the hipsters a little package. From the quickness of his movement and from the subsequent crane of the neck I could tell that he was trying to be very discreet. I assessed from my own personal experience that contraband of some sort had just changed hands. I asked Joseph if he saw it. “Saw what?” he replied. I said that I just saw that guy give the other guy something in a very discreet manner. He said that maybe the guy knew the coup or could at least point me in the right direction.
The man in the black vest started to walk away. Before he could get out of sight I crossed the square and approached him from behind.
“Excuse me,” I said. He kept walking. “Excuse me…uh pardon me,” he stopped and just as smartly as he was walking he swung around to face me.
“Yes, what is it,” he said.
He looked so the classic European intellectual with his little spectacles and his black vest and upon closer inspection his pocket watch whose chain dangled from his vest pocket.
“I was wondering if you knew where I could purchase some hashish”
He then did the strangest thing. He looked at his watch, and he looked back at me, and then back at his watch and he said, with some hesitation
“Well, er… actually, it is too late today. There will be a guy who comes around here later. He is tall with a pony tail,” he gestured pony tail with his hands, ”he will be able to help you.”
I was taken aback. Of all the answers I could have expected this was the strangest I could imagine. It’s too late today? I didn’t understand. I knew I had just seen him hand a bag out but maybe for him to help me he would have to go somewhere and come back or something. I didn’t know.
I thanked him for the tip and I really was quite appreciative. I started to walk away back to where Joseph was juggling. Just as I was getting back to the bench I turned around and the little man was coming towards me. He approached me and stuck out his hand.
“Here you go,” and he handed me a little baggie containing what looked like about a gram and a half of the rudest skunk weed I had ever seen. You can have this just in case you don’t find any. I thanked him again and before I had a chance to process what had just happened, he was gone.
I couldn’t believe my luck. I couldn’t believe it at all. A stranger in a strange land had just given me weed. Unprecedented I thought. Joseph and I went down into the little valley and smoked a spliff. I got so high I couldn’t see straight.
The crazy thing about that story happened to me next day when I went to Amsterdam. I was sitting in the lounge of the bed and breakfast I had chosen. Café Utopia was the name. I was watching a Euro ’96 match between Holland and France. The bar area had filled with the roughest bunch of hooligans I had ever seen. This dude next to me started chatting with me. At first I was a little scared because he was telling me that the boys there were all real soccer hooligans and that they traveled to opposing teams stadiums and started fights. I assured him that not only was I rooting for Holland in the international match at hand but I was also a big Ajax fan. He was real nice and we talked for quite some time. Near the end of the match he asked if I smoked hash. I found this interesting because I was currently smoking a spliff. I said that yes I did. He then pulled out this brick of dark black hash and he broke off a huge chunk. He handed it to me and told me to enjoy my stay in Amsterdam. When I offered to pay him for it he said~
“Oh no, that’s OK, we have too much here, we grow it in our houses.”
Two strangers in two days just giving me smokables, do you believe that? Well its true. True dat.




Gaggaccticca County is a hinterland, a nether region. It is both above and below the material plane we perceive as Earth. It is the no place that you go when you are six shades of tatwackticca, or spasplackticca, or out of your face, or pissed, or hammered, or drunk, or trippin', or high, or stoned. When ever your flesh indulges in its favorite poison, this is where your mind, yeah your soul goes to wait.
I am The Deputy of Gaggacctica County. I regulate the proceedings. There ain't that many laws in G.C. Basically its like this. Don't hurt any soul and don't hurt your own and you have to go back to your body when you come down ~ That's it.
G.C. is timeless and out of time so you are liable to run into anybody from anytime. The other day I saw a discussion between Jimi Hendrix, The emperor Nero and Benjamin Franklin. The cult of Dionysus is always well represented. The native inhabitants of the Americas are always strolling about rambling like enraptured madmen with all their peyote and hallucinogenic root ceremonies.
Everyone sees G.C. as they wish. To me it is the rolling hills, pink granite and twisted oaks of the Texas Hill country. It varies in layout from soul to soul.
This cosmology is my own invention but did I engender this idea from nothings and ash or were these thoughts bestowed on my ass by the eternal? There is indeed nothing new under the sun.
There is only one political party in Gaggaccticca County. It is The Beverage Party. They promise 'beverages for all, thirst for none.' It is a organization dedicated to harmony and common needs. Because no matter how you get there, or no matter what your soul sees when you arrive the thing all souls share in common is the need for a beverage. It keeps the body alive and it allows the soul a moist human machine to return to after the effect of the precious poison have taken its leave.
See ya'll there.



There's two things going on here. I changed my template obviously and I am still tweaking it with my cro-magnon like HTML skillz. Slowly... easy...
Tadaa, I finally broke down and added comments. Well I didn't break down but Blogger started offering them with their new design and so if you got something to say then just say it sucka
... I'll be back later with a real post.



The Feds

The G-Men loved me. They thought I was a hoot. I was meeting with four federal agents and the prosecutor from the Attorney Generals office. They led me through the questions that I would be asked on the stand. The next day I was set to testify in front of a federal grand jury about my time of possession of a specific videotape. Specifically it was a tape of debate preparation that featured the governor and his advisors. The governor was running for president.
And you guys are all like “Geez Deputy, back it up a bit, what the hell are you talking about.” And I’m all like, “OK let me start from the beginning, the beginning of the summer of 2000.”
I had just gotten a job as Machine Room Operator at 501 Post in Austin Texas. My job was to assist the editors and dub tapes and enjoy the air-conditioned luxury of the machine room. 2000 was an election year. The nation was still firmly cradled in the blessed throes of Democratic peace and prosperity. Who knew how much we would miss the Clinton years? I was feeling particularly disenfranchised as a voter that year and was really put off on the whole two party system and the American political process in general. I had decided that I was a-political. The current administration has changed my mind. But that’s another story.
A company called Maverick Media was handling the Bush campaign. They were subcontracting us for technical services. Basically they were just using our high-end equipment. I’m sure it was because we were the lowest bidder like everything else. No one at the post house was happy about helping Bush but it was a lot of business and at the end of the day the chickens didn’t get to make the decision. So we made countless dubs for the Bush campaign. Some of those dubs were copies of debate preparation. Debate preparation consisted of the governor and his advisors going over the questions that might come up in a political debate usually taped in a fairly casual context. That summer I was way more concerned with Nelly’s Country Grammar album than I was with any presidential bollocks. Besides feeling disenfranchised I was totally nonplussed about the choices. I never paid any attention to any of the campaign bullshit. My only viewing of the tapes would be a glance at the beginning and the end in checking to maintain picture and sound quality.
There was one of those debate preparation tapes that caught my eye. It featured the governor and his advisors in what looked a non descript apartment. I took notice of this one in particular because ~ brace yourself ~ George Bush, our president, governor of Texas at the time, was wearing jeans, sandals and a Curious George tee shirt. You know Curious George, the curious little monkey of children’s book fame. We all know and love him and I guess the governor did too. I thought that was pretty funny. I mean it was cool, the governor never intended for that tape to air in any capacity. I planned to just tuck away that little bit of knowledge and break it out at parties and other social gatherings where liberals needed a laugh. Unfortunately that would be entered by my admission into federal testimony.
At the end of August there was a campaign scandal. Someone had stolen a tape of debate preparation from the Bush camp and sent it to the Gore campaign. The Gore people straightaway cried foul and an investigation was launched. They said that the feds would be coming around to talk to each of us individually. Well a few weeks passed and nothing happened. The rumors continued to fly and still no sign of a federal agent around 501. I was making preparation to leave Austin and 501 Post and move out to San Francisco. The Russian Princess had gotten a scholarship to do her graduate studies at San Jose State. I went to visit her and fell in love with the bay area. I had been meaning to move to a major metropolitan area after school I just hadn’t chose one till I went to San Fran. As soon as I got back to Austin I announced that I would be leaving in one month. I gave 501 my notice. I made preparations. California here I come.
My last day at 501 Post was on a Friday at the end of September. I had given up hope of meeting a federal agent. We didn’t really know what was going on with that case so I think we had forgotten all about it. We were having a little going away party for me when we got the phone call. Some agents wanted to come interview the employees of 501 Post at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon. The boss, George O’Dwyer, told them that it wasn’t really a good time. He suggested they some in on Monday morning. The feds assented and George came and told us what happened. I should have just kept my mouth shut but being a painfully honest individual I reminded George that I wouldn’t be at work on Monday. So he called them back and told them that it was one of his employees last day. I also mentioned to George that I would be leaving town on Sunday. I was planning to have a yard sale and on Sunday my grandparents were coming to load up the rest of my stuff and that was it I was gone. I heard George on the phone with the feds. They wanted my home phone and address. So he gave it to them. When he got off the line he told me that they might be coming by to talk to me tomorrow. I thought I was going down. It didn’t look too good. Here was this investigation finally getting around to our organization and here I was skipping town, moving to one of the most notoriously liberal and counter culture cities in the nation. I was a little worried. I mean I knew that I had done nothing wrong but it seemed like I was in a good spot if by chance they needed a patsy to take the fall on this thing.
Saturday was a beautiful day. I got up early and had everything out on the lawn. The yard sale went well. I sold most of the stuff I didn’t need and I made some extra money for my trip. Around noon some of my friends showed up and in no time we had empty beverage containers strewn about the yard. We were making the most of my last moments in Austin. A bunch of people came ‘round to say their goodbyes. There was practically a party going on in my front yard. That’s when the G-Man showed up.
He was alone which was a good sign. If I was a real suspect they would have sent two. He drove a non descript sedan. Despite the heat he was impeccably dressed in the classic fed man suit. His name was Mike Biascillo. He was older but sharp both in manner and speech. My drunken friends broke the ice by offering him a beer. He declined and asked that everyone go in the house so he could interview me in private. It was just like in the movies. There was the little notepad and the leading questions and the strategic pauses. It was all pretty straight forward. I could tell that they didn’t think it was me, which was a relief. He was mainly getting a feel for the procedures in the machine room and he wanted to know if indeed I was the one who had made the dubs. My initials were on the invoice in question. I answered his questions and we chatted just a bit due to the lovely weather. He seemed satisfied with my answers and he took as many contact numbers from me as possible. He wanted to make sure they could reach me out in Cali. He left in the same classic fashion that he had entered. It was kind of exciting. Tara took pictures.
A couple of months went by. I was making a little life for myself in San Francisco proper. Then one day I got a call on my cell phone. It was Mike Biascillo. He informed me that they feds needed me to come to Austin and testify in front of a federal grand jury. I was an important material witness. They flew me back to Texas. I had to wear a tie. The day of the testimony was fun. I felt important. Things went just like the prosecutor said they would. It was all pretty straight forward. The two things that stick with me that I said that were entered into federal testimony were these ~
I am a-political, which has changed in the last 4 years…
GWB was wearing a Curious George tee shirt during his debate preparations, which probably hasn’t changed.




The Russian Princess says that we should go to the Black Sea. I have never been to the Black Sea so I say OK. She says it would be best if we went to the Crimea, which is in the Ukraine. I point out that my visa allows only one entrance into Russia and if we went to the Ukraine I probably couldn’t get back into the country. She thinks we should take the train but the train goes through the Ukraine. It is then decided that we will go to Sochi and that my Russian companions will take the train and I will have to fly and meet them there some three days after they leave.
As soon as I get off the plane I have a distinct feeling of dread about Sochi. I mention this on a couple of occasions to the Russian Princess but it is promptly dismissed as my poor attitude. Sochi is a town on the Black Sea coast that seems to have had a booming tourist industry at one time. There is a ghostly feeling about its old, sort of run down attractions. The Princess explains that it was a very popular place to vacation back in the soviet era but now that Russians could travel elsewhere other places had become popular leaving Sochi a bit empty and under funded. I could feel sadness in that place~ sadness in the black earth, sadness in the dilapidated buildings, and sadness in the people.
We stay with an Armenian family. They are very poor. They live in a modest shack on the side of a hill in a sort of “side-of-a-hill / impoverished-condominiums / shanty town” type place. The shower is outside and consists of a stall with a curtain and a suspended gas tank that is filled each morning in hopes that the sun will warm the water throughout the day. The outhouse is down the hill and consists mainly of a hole in the ground. The countryside Around Sochi is very beautiful. There is a national forest right up in the hills call SumShit National Forest. This is infinitely funny both to myself and to my companions who are fluent in English. The Armenian family is very nice to us and we spend most of our days in Sochi at the beach.
The beach in Sochi is not exactly white sand Caribbean. In fact it consists of mostly medium sized rocks. When the tide is changing the surf is fierce and the sound of the rocks tumbling is deafening and hypnotic. On our way to the beach each morning we stop at an open market. The produce is amazing especially the berries. Each day we buy bags of strawberries and raspberries and blueberries. There is one lady that makes great pickles. There is another lady who makes the best wine. The wine is sweet and light and so each day we buy three bottles just to sip during the day. And each day that we would return from the beach we would be mostly drunk. There was one night when we had been to the beach and back to the shack and back to the beach again for more general celebration and more drinks. This is where this story really begins.
We are pissed, not angry in the American sense but drunk like in the British usage. We decide we’re all hammered enough and its time to go back our accommodations. Sasha and the girls are walking ahead of myself and Toma. Toma and I are engaged in a raucously funny discussion. I think we are talking about shoes and ships and ceiling wax and cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings. Drunken rambling, gloriously smashed, the world is ours. We are laughing so hard that Sasha, Masha, Katya and The Princess Elena disappear off into the night. This is the end of our third day in Sochi and we have been to the beach and back seven or eight times. Although the home we are staying in is maybe a mile from the seafront Toma and I think nothing about finding our way. As we walk the streets of Sochi the conversation is engrossing. Talk turns to love and life and other topics of great drunken import. We walk by a soviet statue. I remark on how great the Russians are at memorializing things. Toma tells me a joke. Its funny, we laugh. All of the sudden the quiet of the night, that had only been broken by our laughter is absolutely shattered by the vicious bark of a guard dog. The fence line that we had been following bows under the weight of a great German Shepard. We both jump, hearts in our throats. I have a distinct flashback to nightmares I used to have as a kid about dogs. It is as if that dog was for a split second the embodiment of all my fears about dogs. My fear pheromones fill the air.
We move to the center of the street and quickly forget about the scare. We go back to our spirited discussion. All of the sudden Toma looks up and remarks that he doesn’t recognize this street, he says that we must have taken a wrong turn but he can hear the river up ahead and if we just follow that we will get to where we are going.
Then it happens. It all happens so fast but this is what I can work out about the particulars. I hear that bark again but this time much closer and not behind any enclosure. Before I can look back I am knocked to the ground. Her massive paw catches me in the back of my thigh. She hits me with such force that her claws dig deep into the skin causing a serious laceration. I hit my head on the concrete. Adrenaline gushing, I jump up and call out to Toma for help. He has the right idea and his actions teach me the lesson that I take from this tale. He freezes. Hands down by his side he stands motionless. I am freaking out. I don’t understand why Toma isn’t helping me. The Shepard bites my right hand but luckily she doesn’t hold on. She is satisfied with her attack. She has ascertained that we are not trouble and she trots away back to her fence. Lights come on in the compound that she is guarding. Men appear with guns.
After checking on me Toma begins a shouting match with the owners of the dog. The guns don’t seem to deter him. I don’t think any pleasantries are being exchanged but I don’t really know what all is said in that I don’t understand much Russian and the Princess would never teach me any of the good profanities. Toma explains to them that their dog has just attacked me. One of the men goes over to the fence and points out an open gate. The men back down a bit from their initial ferocious stance. They bring out a first aid kit and a girl comes out to tend to my wounds. Basically all that is done is an application of monkey blood and some bandages. These young girls come out and they are interested in me because I am American. Toma tells me that we need to be on our way post haste. We continue in the direction of the river.
When we reach the river I am so freaked out that I cry. I apologize to Toma. He says its OK and he understands. I am not in pain I am just so far from anything familiar and it is dark and I am drunk and now physically fucked up and I just sob. C’est la vie. Toma explains that most likely those guys were local mafia. He lets me in on the exchange of words. Nothing nice was said and I realize it is better that I didn’t comprehend. I am embarrassed.
When we get back to the others and our Armenian family I am extremely humiliated. We explain what happened. My pants are shredded where she got me. The father of the family is incensed. He immediately strikes out into the night I find out later he went to find out whether or not the dog has had her shots. I remember the horror stories that I have always heard about the rabies shots. The ladies take pity on me there is sympathy all around. I have the feeling that my sense of dread was directly related to my fortune there in that place. The Princess balks at this suggestion. The most important thing that I learn however is from Toma. When a dog attacks just stay still. Don’t be threatening and for Pete’s sake you have got to control that fear response. Fucking fear, it’s a lifesaver and the mind killer at the same time. Damn duplicitous universe.



Solar Celebration

I like the weather round here about this time of the year
When the skin comes out to shine
The shorts get shorter and the glances get longer
What you're wearin girl should be a crime

I like when the hunnies and the snowed out bunnies
Get to feelin all warm outside
The halters go strapless and the tops be backless
Wanna treat you in my drop for a ride

I like them brown yellow Puerto Rican and Hatian
Its the bees that carry the heavy pollination
And the birds know the coup its in the migration
And I know the fly spot for a celebration

I like the temp and the hemp that be fillin the air
When the calender strikes the date
I like the green and the trees and the bodies on the hill
And nobody havin time to hate

If you came down here and saw this sky clear
You might like this lush life too
I'm lookin for my tan lined summer fling
And I'm thinkin girl it might be you




This story is all too true.
The World Cup Semi-Final match between Germany and the USA started at four. Four o’clock in the morning that is. The Red Irishman was in town with his girlfriend Ms Blue, they were on their way to work an organic farm just north of Babylon. They had come to my flat to stay up with me and watch the soccer. We were high. I had been on the chardonnay for I don’t know how many days. I gave the Irishman and Ms Blue a little bit each just to make the night feel like day.
I was proud of our boys. The US national team had never made it that far in World Cup competition. As a show of support, I shaved my head during the half. The Irishman helped me with the finishing touches. The US didn’t win the match despite my rough and tumble new look. I really did look like a criminal with my head shaved and my goatee all long and knotty. As the sun was coming up The Irishman and Ms Blue returned to their accommodations and I got ready for work. I was high.
It was a Friday. This was not the first time I had gone to work after spending the whole night up and laughing and entertaining and just generally high. Work was pretty regular. We weren’t even busy that day. I had lunch in the park and I saw Jeben there. He was with this girl that was from Texas but had just moved to Babylon. She was working at the advertising firm where Jeben worked. Babylon Adwerks was the name I think. Jeben said it was his last day working there and they were throwing him a little party. He asked if I wanted to come. I was in a ragged state so initially I said thanks but no thanks. I explained to Jeben why I couldn’t go and he understood. However he said that if I came down there and had a beer after work he would give me a ride back to my neighborhood. That sounded good to me, when you’ve been up for 48 plus hours the Muni always seemed a little grim especially in Friday rush hour. I said that I would be getting off around six thirty and he said things should be wrapping up over there around seven so it sounded perfect. End the day with a beer at a foreign ad firm and get a ride home in a car, I told Jeben I would be there.
By the time six thirty rolled around I was six ways from fried. I had been sipping from my bag of chardonnay all day and although I was alert I was feeling super frazzled and I really just wanted to go home. My girlfriend Jenny had been in the neighborhood of my office earlier in the afternoon. She was running some errands and she called me from the street outside my office. She had offered to take me home then but I told her about the going away party and that I should stay and work a few more hours. I kissed her goodbye and she drove off on her motorcycle. I wouldn’t speak to her till much later that night.
Jeben’s ad firm wasn’t far from my office, just about three blocks up towards the wharf. I stumbled that way with my shades on even though it was overcast and with my hard new look even though I was feeling particularly soft. Do you know that feeling? You know, soft around the edges and with all your nerves raw and exposed to the world. Maybe your soul feels about the consistency of warm Jell-o. It’s hard to keep it together after a lot of sleep deprivation.
When I got to Babylon Adwerks I was introduced around a bit and Jeben showed me to where I could get a cold Guiness. There was a lot of activity for a Friday night there. Mostly it was people hanging around drinking the spoils of Jeben’s departure. Jeben showed me to his desk. He still had a lot of stuff there. I helped him carry it out to his car and I sat around while he said his goodbyes. There were some cute Ad girls around so things weren’t boring. I was drinking and chatting but I began to feel a great sense of impatience and anxiety. Seven o’clock came and went, then seven thirty and now it’s almost eight in the pm. This wasn’t the quick in and out that Jeben had promised but he had the keys and at this point I wasn’t sure I could even make it home on the train. So I stayed around. People from the Ad firm were calling for a trip to the Crow Bar. Jeben felt obliged and like I mentioned I was in no position to strike out on my own so I agreed to tag along to the Crow Bar. I had swilled two Guiness at this point so I was feeling charming in a totally shattered kind of way.
I liked the Crow Bar. Nice dark bar with two nice pool tables and a great Gotham City kind of view out the back windows. The Crow Bar was one of a couple regular bars right in the middle of the titty district of Babylon Towne right up on high street Broadway. I decided to while away the evening and hopefully forget about my crushing late day anxiety with a relaxing game of pool.
I watched a girl from the Ad agency beat this guy really soundly right before me. She was being really nice and flirty after her big win. She was in fact really nice throughout our game. Now I am not in the habit of letting a person win at pool just because they happen to be female. I am not even really a big fan of letting a girl win in hopes of getting laid. I think equal rights and liberation and all that negate the chauvinism of letting girls win. So I played casually but not sloppy and I ended up winning. Well little Miss ‘flirt her way through the game’ was not happy about losing. I think she felt like flirting with me should have been an automatic win ticket. When I sank the eight ball, this girl who had just been laughing and talking freely with me gave me a dirty look, tossed her cue stick on the table and immediately turned her attention elsewhere. This irked me to no end. What a display of ugly behavior. I was a little hurt. She wasn’t even truthfully interacting with me she was just acting interested to get her way. And she wasn’t even polite enough to say good game or I’ll get you next time or fucking anything for that matter. She just dropped it down and walked the other way. OK, one human acting ugly like only humans can, big deal right? Just go about the rest of your night and forget that, I told myself.
I went over to the area where the Advertising people were sitting and drank another Guiness. The Ad people were freaking me out a little. All their conversations centered around what seemed to me to be shallow and superficial topics. These people, who make the ads, that make the modern cosmologies of our lives, seemed to really believe their own press. It seemed like there was a lot of gossip and backbiting flowing over the top of untold amounts of pints and cocktails. This girl leaned over to me and said, not asked but said,
“You are one of those guys that shaves his head cause your going bald.”
I couldn’t believe it, how rude and how untrue. I tried to explain to her that it was part of a ritual to show support for the US team in the World Cup match that I had watched much earlier that day. She wasn’t having it. It was more than I could handle in my fragile state. I stepped outside the bar for a smoke.
Out on the street the energy was just as ugly as inside the bar. Lots of well-dressed men filled the sidewalks. Their wide-boy gazes and ice grills lead their lust filled heads from bar to bar where the women of the titty district entertained their “gentleman” clients. I could hardly enjoy my cigarette over the smell of desire and desperation. Just as I was forgetting about the scene inside the bar the rude girl that had just insulted my ‘ritual of soccer support hair-style’ appeared next to me.
“Can I have a smoke,” she said.
“Sure,” I said, not wanting to repay rudeness with loathing.
She halfheartedly apologized and assented that my hair cut could be related to some kind of ritual. She was condescending. She said she was sorry and that she would like to buy me a beer. I said OK, mistaking her shit for sincerity.
It was getting dark. Inside the Crow Bar night had already grabbed hold of the scene and the fever pitch of sin and decay had everyone right where it wanted them. The rude girl beckoned me to the bar. She asked me what I wanted. I said I’ll have a Guiness please, like I always do when I approach a bar. Well it turned out that she only had enough money to buy herself a drink. I rolled my eyes and pulled out my wallet and paid for my own drink. As we were waiting for the beverages Jeben came over with these two friends and explained that they wanted to get some chardonnay. They knew I was high and they figured I could get some for them.
Now at this point I am still not on my way home. I didn’t know what time it was. I knew that it was nighttime and I was shattered and I wanted to be away from the bar and these people and the titty district and all that shit. I tried to tell Jeben’s friends that I couldn’t get them any drugs, that I had gotten the chards from a friend and I had no real connections. Just then I saw the rude girl pick up both drinks and head for the tables where the Ad people were sitting. She looked at me and motioned with her eyes that she would be over there. I finished my dealings with the two kids who wanted drugs from me that I didn’t have. I asked Jeben when he was leaving and pleaded with him to make it soon. He assured me he would be leaving after the next drink.
I headed over to the bad tables. I found rude girl but I couldn’t see any Guiness. I asked her where she put my drink and she sort of shrugged and said,
“I don’t know, its around here somewhere, you know people are getting a little grabby at this point in the night.”
Well that was it. That was my breaking point. I snapped. I have always had a temper problem but this was a bit more like a psychotic episode. I wanted to get away from these monsters. I grabbed my jacket and headed out into the street. Once out on the sidewalk I really lost it. I started telling everyone I saw in a loud voice~
“You better get out of Babylon before the fire go BAHN.”
To the bouncer of the nearest titty joint~
“You better get out of Babylon before the fire go BAHN.”
To the Japanese business men looking for a little action~
“You better get out of Babylon before the fire go BAHN.”
To the nearest unsuspecting bum
“You better get out of Babylon before the fire go BAHN.”
I started walking downhill back to Battery Street and I stated kicking things, first a sign, then some trashcans, and then a gap ad on one of those advertising kiosks. I was so very lived. I was pissed not only at the current situation but I was pissed at society for being so fucking ugly and I was pissed at all humans for treating each other with such lack of respect I was pissed at myself for not just going home after work. At the bottom of the hill I calmed down a little bit having spent some energy on kicking and screaming.
I headed back up the hill slowly hoping that I would run into Jeben as he walked back to his car. Sure enough just as I was about to cross the street to go back into the Crow Bar Jeben came out with the two friends, a guy and a girl, that he had introduced me to. They were the ones who wanted some drugs. I was calmer now and I told Jeben I had to get home. He was ready to go and they were walking back to his car right now. I thought I had calmed down but judging by the reactions I was getting from these kids I knew that I must have still looked a bit flustered. As we turned onto the street where Jeben’s car was parked the guy took out a flask and handed it to me. It was whiskey. If you are my friend you will never give me whiskey. It has a tendency to make me hot and mad. I was already hot and mad but I took a deep swig anyway. I think that was the last bit of foreign substance that my body and mind could tolerate.
As we rounded the corner to Jeben’s car he went over to some bushes and told us to go on, that he had to pee. Parked right under a streetlight, next to a swank office building, there sat a material symbol of all that was evil and wrong with our society. There sat a brand new four door, BMW sedan, champagne color. Who really needs a 60,000-dollar automobile? What better example of a broken society whose gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ seems to widen daily. This is what was going through my drug-addled mind. This is the real momentary lapse of reason in this story. I was feeling so damn destructive.
Much to the dismay of present company I ran from about 15 feet away and I kicked that car right in the door with all the rage and intensity that had been building up inside me. I kicked the shit out of it. I put a dent in that car that could be seen from space. I took out all that mad at society bullshit on that poor luxury sedan. Panic set in all around. Jeben’s friends look scared and he looked pissed. Jeben said,
“We better get out of here, everybody get in the car.”
As we are all trying to get into the car and get away, Jeben noticed a dude across the street, a concerned citizen if you will. He already had a little notebook out and was writing something down. I suggested that~
“You better get out of Babylon before the fire go BAHN.”
Jeben also raised his voice in hopes of scaring the guy off. We decided to fuck it and we got into the car. Just as Jeben started the engine a police car rolled by. The concerned citizen flagged the car down and within seconds they had pulled up behind us and turned on the lights.
As the officers approached the car I got out and put my hands on my head and claimed immediate responsibility for what had happened. I didn’t want Jeben or his unsuspecting pals to get into any trouble. There wasn’t much to sort out. There was the witness and my confession and the dent. They took me away in the squad car. They charged me with Felony Vandalism because the car was worth more than fifty thousand. In the first booking station they were looking through my possessions. I saw them open my wallet where my tiny bag of chardonnay was tucked back in one of the pockets. I saw the arresting officer look in that pocket but by the grace of God he didn’t find the drugs. Man I would have really been up shit creek if that had happened. They took me downtown. Everyone that I had to tell what happened looked at me like I was an animal. I guess I was. I called Jenny. She called Will. He bailed me out. I used my shoes for a pillow in the drunk tank that night. In my mug shot I look like a hardened criminal what with the goatee and shaved head and not feeling particularly happy about the situation. I didn’t like jail and I never want to be incarcerated again. I got assigned pretrial diversion. I did fifty hours of community service and I paid restitution. I learned a hard lesson. Soon after that I left Babylon Towne.



This is my last day of being 27. Man life has been pretty good thus far. Here is a short list of some of the things I've done since I was born, this is in no particular order.
~I learned to walk and then run and then skip and then mosey and then amble and then swerve.
~I learned to read.
~I went to church a lot.
~I watched too much TV and have seen too many movies.
~I graduated high school and college. College was fun but High school kind of sucked. I've had more fun since I finished school, really.
~I have lived in 27 residences. We moved a lot when I was a kid and I have moved a lot since I left home.
~I waited on a lot of tables. First a Soup Salad Potato Bar place, then Italian, then Tex-Mex, then Italian, then Fine Dining, then Italian again.
~I have wrestled, done gymnastics, played soccer and rugby, skied on water and snow, and have been in only three proper fistfights.
~I have set some things on fire; hearts, minds, fences.
~I wanted to be a comedian, then I wanted to be an artist, I got my art degree and now I want to be a Comedian again.
~I've painted and drawn a lot, but not enough.
~I got hit by a drunk driver.
~I got arrested.
~I recorded some music but not enough.
~I made some videos, some for parties some for school, but all in all not enough.
~I went to Russia, and France, and Spain, and Germany, and Switzerland, and Belgium, and Luxemburg, and Mexico, and Canada
~I went to The Netherlands twice.
~I went to Brittain thrice.
~I have been in love five times with five different women - Courtney, Evonne, Lena, Angelina, and Jennifer.
~I went to live in the heart of deep dark Babylon, and I was possesed by the spirit of the place, I saw that it was destroying me, and by the grace of God I escaped, amen.
~I have made some of the best friends that money couldn't buy.