Sunday, January 31, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I have this idea to write today's On the Road without ever going anywhere.
I was talking to an old woman at the grocery store and she told me that it is not safe to go hitch hiking anymore.
"You'd probably get raped or killed by one of those serial killers." She deadpans to me.
"Either that or nobody would ever stop for you."
I nodded my head to her and agreed.
"You'd just die of thirst out in the middle of the desert with your thumb up in the air." She added.
I guess she is right. You can't go on the road anymore. Anyway that's been done before. Plus think about all those serial killers. Jack never had to face anything like that.
I figure the only experiences left in America go something like this…
My alarm clock is blaring at 12:45 p.m.
I need to get to work by 2:30. Not a terribly difficult task, if the city of Tempe wasn't fucking with me.
The Tempe City Council altered bus routes and discontinued bus lines near me. Now I have to walk to a bus stop that's a quarter mile away from my house.
When I get there I stand around waiting.
The internet says the bus should be here. The bus book distributed by the city of Tempe says it won't be here for another 20 minutes. I try my cell phone for the automated bus info, but I am placed on hold.
On the Road.
I decide to ditch the bus stop and start walking to Whataburger.
It's good walking weather. Late January and the sun is out. The sun makes it a warm day, but there is enough of a breeze to keep me from sweating into my underwear.
There's a nice working class vibe here at my favorite Whataburger. All of the fast food workers are "lifers." They don't wash their aprons. They toss the burgers with more onions and lettuce than is necessary.
Most of the workers are Mexicans. But at Whataburger you also get young mothers. I wonder why these young mothers went and got jobs. I guess their food stamps ran out.
I check out the girls because I've always liked skinny moms. I think skinny moms must be genetically programmed to have kids because they slim down so quick from their baby weight.
Even though the Whataburger girls are skinny you can see how late nights and single parenthood are having an effect on them. Babies never go to sleep when you want them to. The girls don't have time to wear makeup anymore, so you can see the dark circles burrowing below their eye brows.
I dig in my pockets to look for change. All I need is 6 dollars and I can get a burger, fries, and "all you can drink" soda at Whataburger.
My Whataburger has the greatest soda fountain in the Valley of the Sun. It can take 2 minutes to fill up a 32 ounce soda. When I press down on the lever to top my pop off the fizz spills over the side of the cup. I take a big whiff and smell all the carbon dioxide in the air.
I text my friends Krystal and Candy and tell them I am tired of work. I tell them since I am late for work I am taking the day off.
At my work if you are six minutes late you get docked a quarter of an hour's pay. At my work if you are six minutes late you are in as much trouble as you would be if you'd called in sick. Six minutes late? You might as well call in.
I find some cash and order my meal. Then I call in sick six minutes late.
I text Candy and Krystal. I tell them that I am eating fries and burgers, and I think we should get stuffed on fast food, and buy a few 12 packs, and head back to my place and get drunk.
Candy and Krystal show up all smiles.
I used to want to fuck Candy. But Candy just had a baby and she looks like she might hold on to the baby weight. Also, I have a sneaky suspicion that the only reason she agreed to meet me at Whataburger was because she loves fast food as much as I do.
I order the girls some food with the remaining dollars on my debit card.
"I am trying to figure a way out to get us beer." I tell them.
Krystal ain't had a job for a few weeks. But she is flush with cash she says. She offers to buy us beer on the way back.
"We will stop by the gas station." She says. "They have cheep 12 packs for 7.99."
I tell Kristal that I have an idea and the idea has something to do with us having sex in the mop closet.
Kristal lets off a big guffaw of a laugh. Food spills out of her mouth and she wipes the lettuce and onions up in a paper napkin.
"What the fuck is a mop closet?" She asks.
I look up from my burger at her and try to decide if I think she is being serious.
"A mop closet is a closet with a mop in it." I tell her.
"And we should have sex in it." I finish.
The girls giggle at me and tell me I am the craziest mother fucker that they know.
"But I have a feeling that won't get me laid in a mop closet." I tell them.
When Candy gets up to go to the bathroom Crystal tells me, "If Candy gets drunk she might fuck you."
"Then we should get her home and get her drunk as fast as possible." I tell Kristal.
I should tell you that I wrote all this down a lot after it happened. I should also tell you that I write better in the shower. If you were in the shower with me when I wrote this you might understand a little better some of the things I am talking about.
I forgot to mention my attorney in this story.
My attorney is a sociopath who likes to beat stray animals to death with two liter pop bottles.
My attorney is always asking me to go to Van Buren with him to go hooker spotting.
Hooker spotting is one of our favorite games.
I spotted Kristal working one night after my attorney ran over a stray kitten with 4x4. The cat wasn't dead, but it wasn't moving either. So my attorney got out of the Jeep to take a look at it.
The cat is pissed and hissing at him.
My attorney decides he needs to get something out the Jeep in order to prod the sick animal off the road.
"The damn thing has rabies or something." My attorney complains.
"Is that why you need to the 2 liter?" I ask sarcastically.
"You know, you really are obtuse. You know that?" My attorney chides me.
I hate when my attorney uses big words on me. I think my attorney thinks I am stupid or something.
"Is that a fat joke?" I ask. "Because I want to know if that is some kind of fat joke." I tell him. "Like I'm all more than 90 degrees or something."
"I forgot you took Algebra II in high school." My attorney says.
"Just give me the fucking 2 liter!" He snorts grabbing for the 2 liter.
I hand the 2 liter over to him and watch as my attorney holds the 2 liter high over his head with two hands and brings the bottle down over the stray cat.
At the last second the cat jumps up and takes off for the sidewalk. The 2 liter explodes in front of my attorney in a splash of foam.
I laugh at my attorney as he walks back to the Jeep wiping his hands on his dress slacks.
"Had enough fun yet?" I ask him.
"Almost." Came his laconic reply.
My attorney and I climb back into his Jeep. He guns the engine and we head home over the Mill Ave. Bridge.
**Who can afford to travel in a recession? Maybe I can! I hope to make a trip out to Cali with some Detroit. Live blogging event of course!**
Saturday, January 23, 2010
"I liked everything about the movie The Road except for the ending."
A new pair of tits is slinging beer from behind the bar. The new tits are wrapped in a wife beater t-shirt. New tits has tats up and down her shoulders. New tits hair is crew cut short and slicked back.
"But I liked the movie." I say.
"The movie is one of those post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi movies about a boy and his father. Only this movie gets a lot of it right."
"I mean the movie is completely fucking depressing."
New Tits pours me a beer. She slides the beer over to me. She gives me a wink. New tits checks me out in that I am not being discreet I am checking you out but you aren't supposed to see me checking you out way.
But only I know she is not really checking me out she is only pretending to check me out because she has sized me up already. She has figured out how I like attention from women. Because she is a fucking genius, New Tits is.
She has this idea that being friendly, but not too friendly, is going to earn her some tips tonight. And since there are only 5 or six other people in the bar and most of them appear to be asleep or dead she might as well hang out near me and Leif.
"Bad things are happening in this movie. Really bad things."
I am talking really loudly. I am talking loud enough for the whole bar to hear me. I am being dramatic. I am using body language. I am using all kinds of vocal intonations and arm gesticulations to get my point across.
"People are dying. Everyone is hungry. There are cannibals everywhere."
I throw my hands up.
"People are committing suicide."
People would rather kill themselves than live in this movie and that makes a lot of sense to me.
"In the movie things are always getting worse. Every time something bad happens and the father and son escape to a new situation, the next situation is even worse than the old one."
I can see the bar is not convinced.
"At one point the father/son team escape from a group of cannibals and finds a cabin. You think to yourself. Nice, a cabin! Maybe they will be safe for a second." I pause for dramatic effect.
"But not for a second." I deadpan.
"The cabin is home to a bunch of cannibals who plan on feeding off a bunch of people they have locked in a cellar."
I look over at Leif who looks like he wants to throw up.
"Jesus." New Tits says in disgust.
"Some of the captives have had their arms or their legs amputated and eaten." I tell New Tits.
"Christ." New Tits finishes.
"The best part of the movie is how there is no hope. Things are only getting worse. No matter how much people try, no matter how noble their efforts at survival are, they just can't catch a break."
Leif interrupts me. "If you plan on killing yourself…I want you to tell me first."
I laugh at him, "Okay, man. I promise."
Friday, January 22, 2010
Well they brought the little bitch back. I think they are just fucking with me.
What do you think?
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"Hold my hair back."
"Why didn't you hold my hair back?"
"I can't believe you didn't stay with me while I puked on you, and I can't believe you didn't hold my hair back as I puked into that smelly ass toilet."
"Why did you bring me to this shit hole dive bar?"
"Is is just because you want to score with the fucking EMO chicks?"
I remind Leif there is no such thing as a 30 year old EMO chick.
"There are only 30 year old hipster chicks, or fastly approaching 30 year old hipster chicks."
The only EMO's I know are 14 year old girls.
I am holding his hair back as he pukes.
The sound I am hearing is like the sound you hear when you pour a pitcher of kool aid into a bathtub. Only the purple splashes hitting your feet in that case would not frighten you.
Leif says, "Are you holding my hair back?" His hair is full of puke.
"I am holding you stupid fucking hair back." I tell Leif.
I tell Leif. "I am keeping your highlights from getting damaged by the powerful stomach acids that are shooting out of your throat."
Leif is drunk. Leif is deranged. Leif insists I am not there. Leif is angry that I left him puking his guts out in the stall of The Tailgate Bar.
Leif has never been to a dive bar. Leif wants to know if he is pretty. Leif wants me to be his pimp.
I tell Leif that all that puking is going to make him thin. I tell Leif that I wish I could puke like that. Then I would have tight abs like he has. I tell Leif that the $10,000 dollars he has been offered by the GENTLEMAN is not enough.
"You are going to be rich and skinny forever." I tell Leif.
I need to get some cocaine. All this hand holding is getting on my nerves. I'd rather be drinking what's left of my beer. The dyke lesbian bartender in the other room is probably pouring my beer out as we speak.
"I look like shit." Leif slurs. His throat is dry and course from all the puking.
I have no idea when my puking sympathetic reflex is going to kick in.
"Your fucking sexy, Leif." I lie to him.
I tell him how I have a semi hard on and I suggest that he make a grab at my dick if he doubts it.
He says it would make no difference.
"Your cock's too small to know the difference." He says suddenly feisty.
I let go of his hair and his head hits the porcelain lid of the toilet and bounces off it. I catch his head before it hits a second time.
"Shut the fuck up!" I scream at him.
"My cock is big enough." I tell him.
Leif is suddenly sorry. Leif is sobbing uncontrollably.
"You've got to pull yourself together man." I tell him. "I am not going out there with you if your lipstick is all smudged up."
"I thought we were friends." He says.
"We are." I tell him.
"I'm gonna take care of you." I say.
"Who do you think is gonna drive you home?" I ask him.
He looks up at me.
I'm risking 6 years in jail. I have 4 or 5 DUI's. All depends on the way you want to count them.
"I am going to drive through Tempe drunk as hell." I say to him. The cops are everywhere I am sure.
"First we are going to pick up Krystal." I tell Leif. "Then we are going to get some WhataBurgers."
"We have a plan." Leif sighs, relieved.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
It took me a long time to come to realize that.
My friends get angry with me when I do things that are not normal. When I do not have normal reactions to things.
When my friends tell me what's wrong with me I just shrug at them. When they offer solutions to my problems, I just shrug again.
I have built up an impressive upper torso from all this shrugging.
I say again to my friend, "I am not normal."
We are eating. We are seated at one of the few places open at 2 am that serves gyros.
I've tried eating at this place a few times. I eat way too many gyros. I eat out too much at Mediterranean food places.
Each time I visit the cafe I try the gyro combo meal. Each time the gyro meat is dry. I hate when my gyro meat is dry.
The gyro does come with cucumbers and a decent sauce. The veggies are good. I like their cucumbers. I like the their tomatoes. I don't normally eat tomatoes, except in chicken gyros.
"Chicken gyros must have tiny diced tomatoes." I tell my friend.
Overall the gyro is edible.
The best thing about the cafe is that it is open very late. 3 am. The next best thing about the cafe is the staff. All very pleasant and quite helpful. I have a crush on the blond working the cash register. I don't think she knows. I am certain she does not remember me.
I think one reason my friend gets angry with me when we discuss life and philosophy is that I don't share his motivations. When I tell him I don't have any reason to do anything he suggests motivations to live by.
He believes his motivations are rational, but I beg off. I am not affected by the rational. That is not to say I am irrational. I can see the logic they offer.
What is it they think I don't understand?
I am the underground man.
I am a patient man. I don't know a lot of people who could stand to be lectured by my friend. The guy talking to me.
I don't let the fact that the logic comes from a man standing over a table full of dirty dishes bother me. I do not allow the fact that the logic only pours out of this fellow when he is high on Marijuana. I don't let that fact alter my reception of his logic at all.
I tell him, "I think your logic may be reasonable. But it is still not compelling to me."
When I tell him this I am drinking ice tea through a straw from a styrofoam cup.
The ice tea is brewed. The iced tea is passion fruit flavored.
If you want to know anything about me you need to know that brewed tea is important to me. I can't stand drinking that imitation tea that flows out of the soda fountain.
The cafe crowd is full of ASU students. Lots of cute girls. If you like that sort of thing. Which I do.
Strange thing about the girls. Every one of them had a touchscreen cell phone. They all look like they 'are using MyTouch's from T-Mobile. They look like they are using the latest Google Android Phone The Nexus One.
Maybe they were Sprint's Hero. I can't be sure my memory is correct. I am sure none of the phones were Motorola Droids. Nothing square or industrial looking in the bunch.
All I can say for sure is that my Env3 sitting on the table next to a bunch of rolled up napkins was jealous of the round lines, brushed silver effects, and vibrant touch screens I saw.
No one in the cafe is talking except me and my friend. All the girls are too busy texting to enjoy their food. Everyone is strangely mannered like in a Science Fiction movie. The ASU girls pick at their Greek salads with plastic forks in unison. No one talks to their dinner mates. Maybe ASU people only text each other now.
There are two flat screen TV's in the cafe. Only one of them is turned on. Somebody turned on the captions, so you could read what is being said. Glenn Beck. He is interviewing a very pretty looking soccer mom.
She seems as confused by Glenn Beck as my friend is about me.
The french fries in this place are quite poor tasting. They are shoes string french fries with curly fry seasoning. I dislike that kind of seasoning, though if you like that seasoning, I suppose you may like the fries enough to give them a pass.
"I am the Underground Man." I tell my friend.
I think this is all I should have to say.
I tell him, "I think this explains why I believe in inertia."
My friend looks at the bill.
"For the quality I think it's a bit much." He says.
"We should really only come here for The 6.44 lunch special." He adds.
I tell him that the late night $5.00 fries and gyro deal isn't too bad.
"But I have to have a drink and feta cheese on my gyro, so the bill is going to be bigger."
My friends asks me what I am waiting for.
I pay my bill. $8.44 for a gyro with feta, fries, and drink.
"I am the underground man." I tell my friend again. "And what I await is my first act of tyranny."
"I did get a coupon for a free gyro that could be used next month." My friend says.
"They give them out to everyone." I give a smile to the girl at the counter with the coupons.
"I think Oliveo's allows the meat to sit out too long and get dried." My friend whispers to me as he gets up.
"But I will be back again to give them another try." I snap the coupon with a flick of my finger and place the card into my wallet.
We both walk out the door into ample parking.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I am out of decaf tea, so I pop a stick of grape bubble gum in my mouth. I just need something to fool my mouth into thinking it's not dry. Dehydration is so 2009.
Cliché about how time flies. About how time presses forward. Maybe I noticed kids playing basketball in the street. Maybe I noticed a gang of hipsters keeping warm at the coffee shop.
They look so young and energetic. They look like Christmas presents. So neatly wrapped in jackets and hoodies. Bright colored scarves dance around their necks. Each of them sipping carefully on chocolate lattes.
I think they notice me watching them.
I am walking quickly home. I am listening to music. I have my sweatshirt on. I have my earphones in. I alternate staring at the pavement and checking out the girls congregated at the outdoor coffee shop.
The guy stares back at me. I wonder what he is thinking. He has a scarf on too. He is drinking some kind of coffee. He is blowing on the lid to cool it down.
I am changing songs on my phone. I am carrying a large soda. The straw is sticking out of the cup. I take a sip when he takes a sip. I am walking past him too quickly to make up my mind about him and his friends.
They are loud group. They all look like they are having fun.
I am having fun too.
I just ate at WhataBurger. I listened to the Atheist Experience Podcast.
It is 10 pm.
I could have taken the bus, but I decided to walk. I feel the exercise is good for me.
I feel young enough.
I can walk to fast food. I can skip the bus and walk in the cold. My toe does not hurt too much today. I am wearing brown socks that soak up the blood from my ingrown toenail. I am sure this is all psychological, but not seeing the blood congealing around my toes is nice. I feel whole again.
That is an exaggeration.
I don't feel that good.
But I won't lie. I only feel pity for the group of college kids. They are so naïve. They are sure that youth lasts forever. They are sure they will remain cute and stylish. People will check out their washboard stomachs. They sneak jealous appreciative glances at the spiffy scarves they wear.
They are so funny to me.
I am laughing as I walk past them.
Some of them stare over at me. And I point at my headphones. I tell one of them that I am listening to a Bill Cosby CD.
"That's why I am laughing so hard." I tell her.
I take my earphones out.
She says that she loved Ghost Dad as a kid.
Suddenly the kids stop milling around. One of them laughs at the girl that loved Ghost Dad.
The girl looks down at the pavement. She has on a purple scarf. She has long, straight brown hair. Her hair wisps around her face and sticks to her lightly colored lips.
She says now she thinks that Ghost Dad is a terrible movie. She says she loved Titanic and Avatar, and says she loves how James Cameron is the D.W. Griffith of the 21st century.
The boy who laughed laughs again at her.
He tells her to stop trying to use Film 101 on us.
"But we all love Avatar." A voice I can't see says.
The girl must have a friend.
"3-D is awesome!" I say.
I don't care what they think.
I think 3-d is awesome.
I think 3-D is the wave of the future.
I am walking away. I am putting my earphones back in. I am remembering that I think all those kids will be dead one day. One day these kids will get old. I am thinking I don't want to be them when they get old.
Being old will be such a drag. Not for me.
Futility is something like an old friend to me. A friend I no longer want to see. But one I stop by now and then, and I try to remember what we had in common before we stopped hanging out.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
She will tell me all she wants is change. That she does not want to get a beer with me. That she does not need a warm bed.
Where does she get off looking at me like that? Like I am going to cut her up and throw her body parts in a dumpster and set it on fire?
I should scream at her fucking face or something.
"You are not even pretty enough for me to leave your burning corpse in a dumpster, you dirty faced slut!"