Wednesday, May 28, 2008

taking a day

lets see, what have i been up to...

me and L-curvaceous watched half nelson last night. everybody raved about it when it came out a couple of years ago. i can see why. yeah yeah ryan gosling is brilliant and the little girl is some weird black dakota fanning bitch, i get it. but in the end what made me love the movie was it inspired me to do two things: write stories and smoke crack. so in the general framework of my reasoning that movie wins on all counts.

we intended to watch Stardust. i think thats got like, michel phifer and robert deniro in it, but i could be wrong. i remember it got good reviews and bad reviews and not many in the middle, so i figured it was worth a chance. the DVD wouldn't play though. kept halting during the opening credits. we wiped off the disk. blew in the player [nintendo system style], and restarted it a few times, but it was busted. plain and simple. kind of a bummer because we prepared ourselves for something "magical and adventurous," and instead got something "sad and literary." needless to say, L-curvaceous declared it a 'total downer,' towards the middle and curled up on my shoulder and fell asleep.

i went to the dentist yesterday for my final deep cleaning. they did the top of my mouth. it hurt a little. the anesthesia made my lip feel like it hung to my chin. i couldn't take a pull from a cigarette or drink beer from a bottle and my smile looked creepy and weird. like i had collagen in my lips. when the novocaine wore off my mouth throbbed in pain. figures, the one time i need painkillers and i don't have them. cest la vie. i drank beer and took some advil. then i drank more beer and then some wine.

oh, were you wondering how my girlfriend was?

L-curvaceous is great. the other night we were on her vespa revving over the brooklyn bridge on the way to the west village for martini's and tapas and i thought, "we are so new york." and we are.

just a few nights earlier i was djing at a club called the vault [which is really a converted bank vault in the east village] and i was wasted on raspberry vodka and makers mark manhattan'sand spinning new jack swing to a bunch of hipsters. one of my good friends [a black queen named chris who i adore] is moving to amsterdam to do the marketing for adidas. the party was for him. L-curvaceous looked classy with her fancy drink and big tits, working the crowd while i was swaying behind the decks. she left before me and i did a few bumps of cocaine in the bathroom stalls and picked up a couple slices of pizza before i hopped in a cab to go home.

she was awake when i walked through the door but both of us, like the dead kennedy's song, were "too drunk to fuck," so we watched top chef instead [that lisa chick should have gone home. shes as big an asshole, but a lesser chef, than dale]

She teaches pilates. one of her clients is in the fashion industry. L-curvaceous says she acts exactly like janice dickinson. she used to go to studio 54 with ralph lauren [who would ditch her when he found a young boy to bring home] and take quaaludes with celebrities in the exclusive basement room. she also toured with the stones and did heroin with keith richards. now she is some big time fashion exec that makes 600k a year and sometimes when lea goes to her house to teach pilates she waves her hand and says "i don't feel like working out today, grab a glass of champagne and we'll talk about LOST." so L-curvaceous gets a hundred dollars to get tipsy and discuss who is in the coffin. its all very sex and the city.

she also got a new bike. its fancy. we take super long bike rides that, towards the end, make me grumpy because I'm so out of shape. but she encourages me the whole way, telling me I'm "doing great," and that I'm "very brave." she tries not to leave me in the dust even though i tell her to go on without me, to save herself. she wont though. she makes sure i finish with her.

basically she is good looking and smart and witty and clever and totally makes a bunch of money and is living the dream. I'm just along for the ride.

and that's her story.

anyway, I'm totally taking a day off. i deserve one. just figured id update the ol' blog. why not, right?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

in between the lines

so i got all these pills.

some are blue and oval shaped. some are big and white. some are pink. some are broken in half. some are capsules with yellow rings on them. a few are muscle relaxers. others are pain killers. some are trial and i dont know what they do.

i experiment with them. i make cocktails. its dangerous but i dont care. i throw caution to the wind. i take one blue pill and one yellow ringed capsule and i take three halves of the broken ones. i wash them down my throat with beer. i roll a cigarette after. i am a daredevil.

i reason the dosage respectfully. i didnt mix them before i had experienced their effects on their own. the blue ones drug me down into a deep sleep. the yellow ringed capsules were mellow and cannoned small waves of faintness through me. the broken ones warmed me up and added a fuzziness to my veins. the big white one made me feel funny. the pink one gave me a headache. i didnt do those two again.

my man t-pill hooked me up with them. hence the nickname. he brings them too me in ripped sheets of saran wrap or crumpled up napkins. i think this is how they break. he slides them to me behind the bar and i buy him a beer. it is less a transaction than a courtesy. i would probably buy him a pint anyway. he gets them from his doctor, who has been throwing him various drugs since he had spinal surgery two months ago. t-pill doesnt need or want all they give him, which ranges from unlimited refills for every day brand name painkillers to handfuls of samples for yet-to-be-released trial drugs, so he gives a lot away.

lately, because of how busy i am, i havent been able to take them. the pills have been piling up. ive got a few more days of hard nosed work to finish and then i will be somewhat liberated. summer will be here. no more classes no more books no more teachers dirty looks. you know the score.


bonus - best band name ive heard in a while: Sexcrement

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

a quick 48 hours

i took friday off. i drank beer and smoked weed and wrote an eight page paper that went no where. i have to re-write it but its ok. it didnt turn out very good. not all of them do.

i stayed up pretty late writing the paper and drinking more beer and smoking more weed and then finally surrendering to the couch and the television and the remote control. i watched a tivoed episode of top chef and fell asleep midway through it. i woke up on the couch and on the screen was three middle aged people wearing sunglasses and playing poker. i turned it off and went to bed.

i woke up twenty minutes after i was supposed to be at school. there was a dull narcotic heaviness in my bones. i stared at the alarm clock with a dumb look on my face for about five minutes before the alarm went off again and startled me from my stupor. there was a moment where i didnt want to believe what time it was. i wanted it to all be some big mistake. i waited for it to come to me, the big realization that i was wrong, it wasnt 9:50 in the morning. the sun wasnt so bright. school hadnt started yet.

but it had. i pulled on my jeans and slid into a clean t-shirt and i called a cab while brushing my teeth. half an hour later i stumbled into class and mumbled hello and sat down as if nothing happened.

i decided later that day to pick up my turntables from the bar. ive been leaving them there after i play instead of bringing them home so i can practice in between gigs. who has the time to practice anyway? but before then i meet L-thunder at a bike shop to pick up her new wheels.

she recently decided she needed a new bike. a road bike. so she went out and got one. thats her process.

we met in front of the shop and she was still wearing her work clothes and i was still wearing my pajama sweater top. the sales guy already had her bike ready to ride out. there were people every where, trying on helmets and clicking the heels of cycling footwear and squeezing the cushion on the fancy bike seats. guys were dressed in full cycling outfits; tight shorts and shiny shirts and wrap around sunglasses, as if they were heading straight to a race right after they purchased a new heart monitor a pair of tiny socks.

we get her bike and its beautiful. a sleak black frame with those curling handlebars you can lean far into. she giggles while we walk it home. i sit back and admire the large wheels as they turn. we go pick up my bike and take a long ride out to the Verrazano Bridge. we cruise the neighborhoods and marvel at the big houses. we get off our bikes near the park and stare through the trees out onto the river. we ride to a baseball field and watch some kids play catch. then we ride all the way back home. her bike never once gives her problems and when she asked if she looked cute on it i said hell yeah baby you look cute as all hell.

when we get back she immediately changes and goes to meet a friend for cocktails. i opt to stay home to do homework but end up watching porno and smoking weed instead. seeing the night spiraling nowhere i decide to go get my decks.

and were back here again.

i get to the bar and T-pint is already there and he's laughing in and slurring and i can tell by the volume of his voice that belligerence has long settled in. i buy him a pint and, feeling festive for no reason, myself a margarita. the owner comes over and tells me that everything is great and she is smiling kind of maniacally. i text my Money, my dealer, to see if he has weed. T-pint slaps me on the back and calls me an asshole and tells me to buy him another beer. i motion to the bartender another round but switch to whiskey. Money text back to come over and i text back ill be right there. i swallow my whiskey in two gulps and put a coaster on the top of my beer and give T-pint the finger and say ill be right back.

at Money's house he is playing video games with his roommate. i lay the cash down for a bag and pack a bowl from the stash on the table. his roommate is good looking in the way that people who surf and play tennis a lot look good. he offers to make me a drink while Money gets the weed. he comes back with something that taste like iced tea with a hint of vodka in it and i drink half of it in my first few gulps. we all agree to go back tothe bar and pick up my turntables and go to another bar after we drop them off.

we get to the first bar and its at capacity so the bouncer wont let us in. i look inside through the window and see nothing but the black shadows of bodies huddled up against each other. we go to a restaurant where my friend is DJing and order a few more beers and a few more glasses of whiskey at the bar. the bartender is cute and i flirt with her when ordering my drink but she ignores me. the owners of the restaurant give me evil eyes when i try to stand next to the DJ booth so we stay near the bar getting drunk and rejected until its late enough to try the other one again.

the first bar is no longer at capacity and we get to the bar and order a round of beers and i order another whiskey. the place is still packed and we can hardly hear each other over the din of conversation. L-thunder text me and says shes back at the palace with her friend and a pile of cocaine. i tap my friends on the shoulder and we pay the tab and then hitthe store for a few six packs on the way home.

back at the house we smoke cigarettes and do cocaine and i try to remain impressive while not being too arrogant. i dont think i pulled it off. at seven thirty am everyone leaves and me and her crawls into bed and let our skin touch while we drift to sleep.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

here comes the sun

its supposed to be raining but the skies are clear and the tank tops are out, being modeled along the street. the weather man is always wrong. always.

growing up the joke was always "dont trust the weatherman," which seemed odd to me because, living in san francisco, he was always right. i assumed that the belief was just something created for television sitcoms; the weatherman was simply a comedy device. another thing to crack wise about while the kids caused mischief or the super made passes at your wife. another reason to illuminate the 'LAUGH' sign above the studio audience. then i moved to new york.

now i get it.

but thats neither here nor there. the weather man will have his faults just like anybody else. the point is, its sunny today, which means at some point i really should make it out of the house. i cant sit around writing and reading and doing 'work.'

though i have a lot of work and writing and reading to do.

ive got to write a ten page story [ive decided it will be about the time i decided to become a DJ] as well as an original poem [dont know about what] and a critical analysis of a classic poem. i also have to read a book about the poetic form and write a paper about that. plus i have to watch porno.

then again, i need to go to the bank and the post office. plus i gotta go see a band my friends in tonight. so im not trapped in my chair all day. not technically.

ill write more later. maybe. i dunno.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

the chamber

I started my senior year of high school in Olympia, Washington, a small college town not that far from Seattle. It was very quite and green. Large trees loomed everywhere. There were a lot of café’s and a lot of young people and they all looked like they smoked weed but they didn’t. Not all of them. I was living with my aunt, the second oldest under my mother. We didn’t get along very well, but that’s an entirely different story. I was sixteen years old when I got there, and I was sixteen years old when I left. This was all in 1992.

I was one of maybe five black students in my entire school. But it didn’t bother me. I was exotic. A new kid from the city and black to boot. I met a guy named Steven the first day I was there. He was new too. We hit it off pretty quickly.

Steven had a dirty blond mop of hair. His eyes were an icy blue and his skin always looked tan. He wore a dusty leather jacket and had a casual hunch to his shoulders. His parents were divorced but he didn’t make a big deal of it He lived with his dad, who owned a company installing glass windows in office buildings. He was always gone on business trips. I don’t think I ever met him.

Their house was one big bachelor pad. There was a fully stocked bar in the living room next to a huge television with a home theater sound system hooked to it. There was a refrigerator stocked with nothing but condiments and beer. They had sleek leather couches. Black. And where the dining room was supposed to be was a pool table with brown felt instead of green.

We spent every moment out of class talking about, or talking to, girls. Because Steven’s dad was always out of town, we were constantly inviting people back to his house. It was football season and usually, after the games (which took place every Friday), we would explain that there was going to be a small party at Steven’s place involving alcohol, billiards, and a big ass tv and stereo system. We were new and untried so it would take some charm and convincing, but by the second or third week in it had become a pretty standard routine.

Now, by the time I was sixteen I was casually smoking weed, drinking alcohol almost every weekend, and had grown a fond affection for LSD. Aside from Steven, who, despite his privileged and fairly structured upbringing, shared the same unlawful intentions I did, most people in Olympia, or at least in our high school, were pretty square. The day I started I wore a shirt that prominently displayed a pot leaf on it. The idea was that it would attract attention from the crowd I felt most comfortable in: Losers. Stoners. Druggies and Outcast. Not necessarily in that order. It worked to some degree. A few hippies nodded and gave me the thumbs up. A couple punks sneered and smiled. A few jocks tried to give me high five. But no one was truly who I was looking for. They dressed the part, but didn’t live the life style. None of the hippies even knew where to get weed (how is that even possible?), the punks just wanted to sneer and drink vodka, and the jocks just wanted to chug beer and chant orders to their bro’s (most likely for them to chug more beer).

The only person that didn’t balk when I asked where I could score weed or acid was Steven, who, when asked, let a smirk cross his face, grew a greedy look in his eye, and said, “Let me call some people.”

This is one of the many reasons we bonded.

The last night I stayed in Olympia was a Friday. As was the routine, we invited some girls back to Steven’s place for a party (of which the entire guest list consisted of Me, Steven, and these two girls) after the game. I had already decided I wasn’t going to be staying in Washington much longer, so was prepared to make a night of it. I went home and told my aunt I would be gone to Stevens for a few hours (Steven had come to my house once so that my aunt could meet him. She thought he was a decent enough kid but didn’t really trust him. He remarked at how luxurious our furniture was and I couldn’t tell if he was being genuine or nice. I guess I couldn’t have cared either way), and made my way back out the door.

The night was typical. Before the girls got there we played pool and drank beer. We tried smoking some pot out of a can. I almost shot myself with one of Steven’s dad’s guns (remember, even if you take the clip out, there is still one bullet in the chamber. so don’t go faking like you’re going to blow your head off with a 9 millimeter unless you know what you’re doing). Then they arrived and we drank more beer and tried smoking more pot out of a can. We broke off into pairs and separated to get more privacy. I made out with the girl I was with and tried fondling her flat chest. We spent a few hours on the couch grinding in our jeans and she let me finger her but wouldn’t go any further. When the phone rang and it was 10pm I knew and Steven knew that it would be my aunt. He came out of his room shirtless and picked up the phone and made some excuse about how I had been gone for hours. Then he hung up and shrugged his shoulders. I continued dry humping with the girl for a little while longer and then they left. Not long after that so did I.

The walk home was long and quiet. I wandered onto the manicured lawns and looked up into the heavy trees and listened to hear if anyone was watching. I stole glances at the houses. They were all unique. Some one story and some two. Some with serpentine walkways and some with lazy porches. No cars drove by. The only sound was jets overhead and the stutter of distant sprinklers.

I got back to my aunts at two in the morning. She was waiting up for me. We had a small, one sided argument and I fell asleep in my clothes. The next morning I packed my bag and told her I was leaving. I said good bye to my younger cousin, who I wish I had spent more time with. She drove me to the bus station and I got out wordlessly and she sped off. I bought a ticket going to San Francisco. I called Steven from the station and told him good-bye. He knew I would be leaving eventually, but didn’t think it would be so soon. Bravely, he expressed how he wished I wouldn’t leave, but understood why I was going. We talked about the night before and I thanked him for lying to my aunt when she called. He told me he still had some weed and could come to the station and smoke it with me but my bus was already there, there wasn’t enough time. I told him he should try to find a rave to go to, that they were big in San Francisco and that I planned on going to them a lot when I got back. He told me to be careful around guns. We then said farewell and that we would talk to each other soon. We did, once or twice, but we never kept up communication.

It’s a shame. Aside from the green trees, Steven is the only thing I miss about my time in Olympia. I wonder what he’s up to these days

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

slippery slope

I was eleven years old when I had my first drink. No wait, I think I’m exaggerating. I was twelve. It was 1987 and I was a student at Aptos middle school in San Francisco. I was in seventh grade.

By this age, I was already cutting class. Once I got to the level in education where my subjects were separated into six, one hour classes, I began ditching school. It made it easy. First period, whatever it happened to be, was written off. I think I maybe passed one first period course in my entire academic lifetime. By my second year in middle school, I had figured out just how many classes I could skip without automatically failing myself. There was a strategy to it. It was the classes’ right before and right after lunch that would prove most valuable. And I pushed the boundaries of attendance and tardiness as far as I could while still receiving a passing grade. By the time I was in high school, I went to whatever class I wanted. Usually deciding weather or not to stay according to the amount of pretty girls in it or if I liked the teacher. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re talking about seventh grade.

My best friend then was this Mexican kid named Thomas Leon. He had made the transformation from geek to chic in the summer between elementary school and junior high. He began coming his hair backwards, and grew a long, curly shag that fell on his shoulders. His frame swelled with fresh, new muscles. Suddenly his jaw was squarer and his jeans hung looser and more casual from his hips. His voice got deeper. He started attracting girls.

He was with me when I had my first drink. We were ditching our fourth period, the one before lunch.

We never left the school when we cut class. We would lurk around the hallways, ducking around corners and peeking around others. We would look into the windows of other classes, trying to be sly, until the teacher would notice are heads squashed against the tiny window pane. Then we would scurry off, giggling, looking back to see if the door opened. Mostly we would hang out in the stairwell, talking about all the girls we were going to French kiss and tagging on the wall. On this day we were trolling around the lower level of the school, where the furnace and the janitor’s closet and, most importantly, the bookroom was.

The reason the book room was so important was because we knew Rukiya Robinson (a girl that, upon reflection, I realize was pretty awesome, but at the time just seemed over weight) was working in it that day. Me and Rukiya were friends, even though I knew she had a crush on me. I had continually deflected her advances (of course, also giving her just enough to keep the crush going) while pining for another gorgeous, popular, and wholly unattainable girl named Aiesha (who was also her best friend). But we still talked on the phone almost every night, and had about as intimate a plutonic relationship in seventh grade can get. Ultimately she was the first girl I ever French kissed, and ironically enough it was at the top of a hill over looking the city right in front of Aiesha’s house (who herself, was sharing a kiss with Thomas at the time). But this is an entirely different story. Let’s get back to the bookroom.

That day Thomas brought a bottle of tequila with him. I forget if it was planned, or if it was a surprise, but when we met in the yard that morning he pulled it from his backpack, grinning evilly, and said, “Look what I stole from my aunt’s party last night. It’s still got the worm.” He held it in the sunlight and tilted the bottle so we could see and right there in the dark golden pool at the bottom was a pale green worm. It was only about an inch long. My eyes must have fallen from their sockets. I was genuinely thrilled.

I had never wanted a drink before. My mother didn’t drink. Every now and again she would have some wine at a party or if a friend was over, but she never had alcohol stored anywhere. She was a smoker. And no one else in my family drank. Except at church. The only regular drinking I saw was by bums on the street and on television. But when Thomas showed me that bottle, and I saw the sun glint off its glass and that swollen greenish worm float at the bottom, I knew I was going to drink it. I had to.

So we arranged to meet at the bookroom during forth period. I knew Rukiya would be working and she would let us drink it there, hidden from any staff save the indifferent janitors.

We each took swigs straight from the bottle, passing it between us and laughing at the violent grimaces on our face after each swallow. Rukiya was smart enough to pass on this particular crime, she was already nervous because she’d let us use the bookroom to drink in, so it was just Thomas and I, passing the bottle back and forth, challenging each other to take bigger pulls. There wasn’t much tequila at to begin with, but what was there we finished off. Thomas got the worm, swallowing it whole with his last sip, and then we hid the bottle under a pile of dusty boxes we were sure it would take months, if not years, for someone to move.

We were both slightly drunk when we finished. Of course, we acted ten times as inebriated as we really were. I fell into a fit of giggles and fixed an exaggerated slur into everything I said. Thomas kept laughing and pushing boxes over while Rukiya scrambled to pick them up and yelled at us to keep it down. When the bell rang we spilled from the bookroom laughing and stumbling, our echoes bouncing from the empty hall walls like our noodily bodies as we headed into the school yard excited to brag about our adult excursion.

Now remember, I had adopted a spotty record of attendance, so I always had detention. Almost every other lunch period I would spend the first half of the break following the assistant principal and picking up trash while he pushed a huge garbage can around barking warnings to the kids. This was one of those days.

I sobered up pretty quickly when I got in front of the AP, though I whispered in a loose, dramatic slur to my fellow detainees just what state I was in. We strolled around the yard, with me making sure I stumbled around in a sensational fashion behind the AP’s back so that everyone could see how out of control I was. Every now and again I would pick up a loose wrapper and throw it in the garbage can while trying not to make eye contact with anyone. By the time we were done I was tired and hung over. I spent the rest of the day half asleep in class.

After school we made plans to do it again the following week. It’s been a slippery slope ever since.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at