REPORT A PROBLEM
Had a better New Year's Day than NY's Eve. Jo and Chris made dinner. Helen and some friends were there. Good food. Good wine. Good conversation. Mmmmmm, ice cream. We finally popped the cork on the Moet. Helen attempted a traditional Pakistani dance and did well for an Aussie. We talked politics and massage techniques. The girls went for a walk to the top of Bernal Hill. I stayed behind and talked jazz with Rod. We listened to Soft Machine. It was pouring rain when Rick drove us all home. Helen was concerned I'd get wet. I didn't mind. Yes.
Kyle and I were standing in front of the Kilowatt having a cigarette when the blue balloon came bounding down the center of 16th street. "Nice touch," we agreed. We'd been talking about some concern he'd had for a mutual friend. I'd been telling him not to worry, and that the person in question would be fine. It was a question of character, and I had every faith in our friend. Kyle still wasn't certain until the balloon came tumbling by. I noticed a lamp beside the fire hydrant across the street. I giggled at the sight. So Feng Shue.
The cats go out. The cats go in. The cats go "meow" and then "meow" again. The cats are dicks, won't let me write, because I stayed over Jo's last night. The cats go up. The cats go down. They jump on the bed and then all around. I couldn't sleep on that couch last night, and Rod's coffee grinding's an awful fright. The cats go out. The cats go in. To sleep far from home is a mortal sin. The cats go round. The cats go through. I returned to the stinking of kitty poo. I need a nap.
The other night I remembered a Chomsky lecture Becky and I went to years ago. She'd waited patiently in line before the talk trying to get Noam's autograph in her copy of Manufacturing Consent. Her heart was broken as our hero walked away before her turn came. On our way into the hall I jokingly offered to sign the book for her. I thought she might cry as she handed the book and a pen to me. I was honored. After the lecture Noam returned to signing books again. "You can sign under Larry's name," she told him. Chomsky smiled.
These are some things currently on my walls: a print of H.R. Giger's Isle of the Dead, a double feature poster for The Brain that Wouldn't Die and Invasion of the Star Creatures, a calendar by a local artist featuring Escher-esque hands, a Cramps poster from two Halloweens ago, two abstract paintings by Kyle, a Gashlycrumb Tinies poster, a Scott Radke print of a dancer's back, two photos of Brendan and Kyle hanging out, two photos of an Ohio sky that Becky made into a work of art, and my all time best target from the pistol range. Simple? Complex?
Black is white. Up is down. We give up our freedom to a government we don't even trust with our tax dollars because so many of us are scared bunnies since September 11. Schools are considering dropping spelling, SPELLING, from the curriculum. WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Lies embraced as truth. Somewhere Orwell cackles like a hen. I remember when people were actively dreading the arrival of the year 1984. I remember laughing out loud through the "news" specials and retrospective. We gave them the kingdom long ago. Conspiracies don't hide. We look the other way.
The IRS is auditing Edna and Alfonse in separate rooms without a chance to communicate with each other. It makes no difference whether or not Edna or Alfonse actually committed the tax fraud. They are both told the same thing: If they both confess, they will both get four years in prison. If neither confesses, the IRS will find evidence of fraud, and they'll each get two years. If one of them confesses but the other doesn't, the confessor gets a deal from the government and will go free while the other goes to prison for five years. Heh, Mondays.
I've given myself five minutes on this entry. The clock is ticking. I really don't have much to say. Actually, I have plenty to say. I say plenty all the time. For some reason those things escape me under a five-minute deadline. I've written some of my best stuff under deadline, and some of my worst. Mostly best, though. I remember all-nighters in college writing papers cranked off my ass on lack of sleep and coffee. I do well on timed tests most of the time too, unless I can't stop thinking about the time. One minute to go.
Helped Kris move today. While I'm glad he found a cheaper place, I'm going to miss the legendary orange apartment in lower Haight. I remember one barbecue when some friend of Kris' showed up with a scooter matching the paint in the place. So many great parties happened there. But the real weird thing about today was meeting Kris' dad for the first time. He really reminded me of my dad. After the move Kris took me out to Thai Noodle for lunch. We talked about our dads and the similarities became glaring. We're thinking of starting a support group.
Perfection, remedy, health, completion, completeness, imperfection, greatness, goodness, poetry, safety, beauty, woman. These are Roget's hits for "perfect". I've hit every single point. I've asked every last question. Nothing is forbidden, everything is true. My own boundaries are enough. There is trust. There is love. She's honest. She's fun. She's the sexiest woman I've ever met. She's smart. She's clever. She's strong. She's determined. She feels the same about me. She's loving. She's caring. She's passionate. She's wonderful. She's generous when I'm too thrifty, and thrifty when I'm too kind. She wants me happy. I want the same for her.
While chatting with my girl last evening I coined a word: discobered. It was born of a typo. Etymologists be damned. I decided that I should be a word and proceeded to define it. To "discober" is to discover something of a sobering nature. I've discobered that my alcoholic/bulimic roommate has deteriorated to the point where I can't help but picture her screaming in a straight jacket while the thorozine kicks in. She's always been odd, but she'd always had this wisdom about her. It's sad to watch someone hit bottom. It's worse to watch them get comfortable there. Damn.
When I was a kid I wanted to be the Silver Surfer. SKYRIDER OF THE SPACEWAYS the covers read. Sounded good to me. The Surfer had it all. He had cosmic power. He surfed SPACE. And, he got to do it all naked. I've always loved being naked. I never had those dreams where I'm naked in front of a large group of people. If I did I wasn't embarrassed. In fact, if I can see one disadvantage to being the Surfer it's the lack of genitalia. Heh. There have been times when that would have come in handy too.
While clubbing moofingahs with a blerbitty bloo I heard a cantankerous hullaballoo. I looked in the flibber. I looked in the spleam. I even took time to check the hameme. I checked here and there. I checked everywhere. I looked round and round. Surveyed up and down. Nowhere was the blither that brought my day down. As I stood and I skritched, I skritched where I stood, I decided on something that might do some good. "I'll kabloo a kabloozle and bling a kablang," I thought to myself with a thought like a bang. My thought was correct. Oh, heck.
There's a fog in my head. It's been there all day. It didn't come from Twin Peaks. Didn't come from the bay. So my mind just continues this "Dr. Suess" rant. I think and I think and it still comes to that. Faced with blank pages, my thoughts all revert to that wonderful man and his wonderful work. Marvin J. Mooney and The Cat in the Hat chase Sneetches around with a big cricket bat. Yes, Horton is there, and Cindy Loo too, and I love every one of them times googolplex times two. Good night, green eggs and Sam.
The legend of El Destroyo and Protein Jo Jo is known far and wide. They're not exactly crime "fighters". They'd much rather grab a pint at the bar and complain about crime until the cows come home. Sometimes the cows get home quite late. That suits the duo just fine. It's not that they don't have super powers. Oh, no. What kind of heroes would they be without those? El Destroyo can pitch a marble tabletop through the eye of a needle. Protien Jo Jo? Well, you'd better watch out when her power's enabled. Just be glad they're out there.
Jesus and Hitler had a fender bender in the parking lot at the Castro Safeway. Jesus had been picking up some tofu dogs and soy milk for the week. Hitler'd needed toothpaste. Badly. They'd both been cruising the same boy when the accident occurred. He had buns of steel and abs of flame. Hitler imagined the boy in a brown shirt. Jesus went straight for the package. The boy didn't notice either of them. He hadn't even stuck around to be a witness for the insurance, let alone for a quickie. They had to laugh. They were both driving Volkswagens.
It's three a.m. and I'm watching you sleep. My thoughts drift, lazy as leaves, through rivers of possibility. What great potential we have. What promise. What joy. What wonders does our future hold? I want to contemplate it nestled in your arms, but I want to watch your peace a few moments more. So quiet. So soft. You sleep as you wake, angelic and calm. May my heart forever be your pillow. May it be your rock. May you sleep each night knowing the depth and breadth of my love for you. May you want for nothing. Sweet dreams, love.
The "Pigeon Man" lives in the doorway of a bookstore a block away from my apartment. There's a story in every crack on his face, though that face is barely visible through a mound of hair as worn as his clothes. He lived the Summer of Love. I'm sure of it, though I've never witnessed him speak. Sometimes he's sleeping when I pass. Other times he's tending to a wounded "rat of the sky". Such care and patience for something so easily dismissed. Yesterday he sat at a typewriter in the copy store. Today he held copies of his zine.
A drunken bum stumbled over and asked Kyle for change. Kyle shooed him, and the bum turned his bloodshot attention to me. " Argle. Any Change for me?" "Nothin' for ya." At that, the bum moved to REACH INTO MY POCKET. "Dude," my voice came quiet and firm, "don't fucking touch me." Bummy was already moving off before that last word bitch slapped his eardrum. "Damn," Jenny said, impressed, "he certainly respected THAT." "I don't think it was so much the words," Kyle told her, "as it was the promise of a broken neck in Larry's tone." Ah, urban living.
"Asshole," the homeless guy muttered at everyone he passed on the street. "Asshole." "Asshole." "Asshole." "Asshole." The young hipsters were assholes. So were the garage mechanics. Waitresses, sys admins, and bus boys alike were snapped with the wet towel of his feeble, muttered, wrath. Tourists. Foreigners. Americans. Assholes. I was the only person he saw who didn't get an "asshole". I didn't even get a "jerk" or a "have a nice day". I got jack, and shit, at least when I was in earshot I did. If he had Tourette's syndrome or something it was certainly selective. Everyone but me.
I've started to hate shaving. It's not that I want to grow a beard. I don't. I had a Van Dyke once and I looked like Anton Levay. At least that's what Bruce said. A full beard wouldn't really work either. That and I hate the "itchy period" while it's growing. So, I shave. And I hate it. It's the longest part of my shower, and my facial hair is so thick that it takes forever to get every spot. Why am I telling you this? I guess I couldn't think of anything else to say at the moment. Heh.
We didn't win pub trivia tonight, but considering we missed the first round the "wobbly warheads" kicked ass. Of course I knew every answer to the first round and none of the second. I started pulling my weight in the third. Favorite team name of the night: "I've Done it with Mustard". Gigi's "special friend" was most helpful. He'll be a regular team member from now on. And, it's always great to see the Gigster. Notes to self/team: PUT "CRIMEAN" ON THE RIGHT LINE! BASTARD! I TOLD you it was Strauss! BASTARD! Next week: VICTORY IN EDINBURGH. Eat Snacky S'mores.
I love watching the cooking shows on PBS Saturday afternoons. Mike Chiarello. The lovely Lidia and her Italian table. Jaques. Julia. It's nice to have a couple of PBS stations to choose from. If I don't like the show on one station I can usually find something on the other. I'm not a big fan of Food Nazis of the CIA, but I LOVE America's Test Kitchen. Many Saturdays I don't do much else but lay in bed and increase my culinary knowledge. A sexy education, and so inspirational when I finally get off my arse and into the kitchen.
It was the latest in a series of days. An army of bipedal thingies ran thingily after one goddamned thing after another. Flags were waved. Blasphemers blasphemed. The self-righteous carried on righting themselves. Sewers exploded. Mike Tyson went apeshit as part of his marketing campaign. Sometimes eating ears just isn't enough to sell tickets. Ah, well. The "American Taliban" came home to find his "decadent", "liberal", Marin upbringing was to blame for his betrayal of country. Hot tub water too hot? "What did you do during the War on Terrorism daddy?" I laughed. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.
What the hell is this now? An upscale restaurant has opened in Sacramento where the meal is part of a show. The chef is in a Benihana-style showcase and the help play with the food. There's lots of noise and crap that's supposed to be "fun". Are we really so in need of constant entertainment that we can't go out for a nice meal without a bunch of buffoonery? Is nothing safe from "flair"? This is truly the Age of Distraction. I don't want my food juggled. I don't want crap on the walls. Atmosphere's fine. Spare me the circus.
Twilight. The sun pushes fitfully through the maddening density of January clouds and succumbs. A thin strip of gray scenery dangles behind a tweed skyline. An orange-yellow glow sputters from the halogen lamp. Brett sings the words that Rennie wrote about passenger pigeons and love. Sleeping cats rustle. Looking out the window is like seeing a view from space. "There is a sound," Rennie channels, "old buildings cry right before the morning light". I hear the waning sigh of bricks and mortar. Windows blink to life all over town and stare blankly into a Swedish film from 1957. Nothing escapes.
I'm just sitting here procrastinating. There are a thousand-thousand things I could be doing, but sometimes I just want to think over a cup of coffee. Maybe it's the gray wool blanket the weather's thrown over the city. Perhaps I've reached some kind of impasse. Could be I'm just being uncertain. Maybe. Perhaps. Could be. Who can say? Certainly not me at the moment. Right now I'm just listening to Brett and Rennie again. I'm putting words up onto the white space I can't seem to avoid. Maybe I'm avoiding something. Maybe I'm just the weather's wee bitch. Maybe. Perhaps.
Coventry Jack died the other day. He was one of the "Governors of Monkey Island". They were this group of old guys that everybody knew. Each day they'd just sit around the coffeehouse or out in the courtyard drinking the house blend of the day and bullshitting with each other. Jack was an institution on the street. Everyone knew him, and most people liked him. It was always good talking to him. Even when he was being catty he had a certain crusty charm. Coventry was Jack's home. His kids didn't even bother to show up for his funeral. Damn.
Women come a' runnin' when you're in a relationship. This much is certain. At least they do whenever /I'm/ in one. It happened again at the bar last night. They were /staring/ at me like I was a tub of mint chocolate chip or something. I've had to tell more women I'm not interested in more and more creative ways since this whole thing started than I did during my year off. It's all about the ninja skills. It's all about letting them down comfortably and quickly. There's no point in wounding the confused. It's something I'm glad I learned.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling whimsical, I think I'd like to start a cult. Not a cult built around me, but a cult built around the idea that America is a construct rapidly Xeroxing itself out of existence. All is assimilated. Crap is sold back to us again and again. Why not take the bones, as our Founding Fathers did, of the concept and try to improve it somewhere? Surely there must be a fertile island somewhere. Surely there's a faltering nation that would accept the pilgrims with a gleam in their eye. Like some opposite of Jim Jones. No Kool-Aid.
It's been a cold and quiet month. We've all been at the mercy of the weather and the economy. Still, there's been laughter and joy amid the fretting and fighting. I've eaten some excellent food. Drank some damned fine wine. Shared the warmth when the cold front blew in and brought luggage. Tomorrow we move into a larger apartment. The future is written in Sanskrit on the head of a pin, and I've misplaced my magnifying glass. Tears of laughter and sorrow fall gracefully from my cheek. Yin and Yang twirl endlessly on toward the heat death of the Universe.
The Tip Jar