Friday, September 20, 2019

God Save The Dogs

What beautiful skin she had. It was so clear and pale, like immaculate porcelain or the most refined ivory. Such flawless pigmenting, why you could see the colors of every vein in her body as if it were some newly printed roadmap.

Her veins were like a stained glass window in a church. It suited her vocation rather well. With her round face and high forehead she looked like The Virgin Mary, and so she was.

Abigail made a living as a model for artists playing The Virgin Mary. She’d arrive at their studio or classroom in her black goth clothes with a suitcase containing her sandals, Holy Mother gown and large plastic baby doll.

The baby doll came with a blanket with the satin seam pulled off for authenticity. Some artists fancied her exposing her boob to show her breastfeeding the future deity. It’s a living.

Like a paid sex worker she’d ask the artist, “How do you want it?”

“Eyes downturned, as usual. You’re doing something holy”, ordered the artist. Hence she complied and the artists industriously sketched away.

So there she was, clutching her cold baby doll to her plump, pale breast, making sure not to show too much and wrapping the sides of her robe to cover just enough from making things too tawdry.

While she posed she contemplated about what club she was going to go to that evening: would it be Tentacles or Eulogy? Tentacles was the S&M-styled club which played industrial-strength industrial music. She could already hear the pulsating bass line of a KMFDM classic in her head and there would be some severe Rammstein to go.

Eulogy was more of a doom & gloom boom ritual, a darkened room with smoke machines pushing out volumes of smoke while you danced to the Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division and Siouxsie Sioux singing about insane asylums.

Abigail Reeves had two profiles on Facebook: there was Abigail Reeves, blessed religious model. Her page was filled with inspirational messages and pictures of her looking blissful in a field of wheat with messages like, “Born To Be Blessed”, “Singing His Praises Every Day”, et al.

There was a separate page dedicated to her clubgirl persona, Paula Punish. Her sartorial choices were a lot different: leather, latex and simply electrical tape, all in black. Whenever it was a sci-fi theme night there was the occasional silver, but for the most part it was all black.

Two hours later: “Okay, that’s a wrap. Thanks for everything, Abigail. Same time next week?”

“Yeah, sure thing”, she’d mumble, packing Baby Jesus away in her suitcase.

Some art instructors would hand her a check, whereas others straight out handed her cash. She liked that the most.

If she got a roll of cash she’d get in her banged-up PT Cruiser and go straight to her connection’s house in Highland Park and buy a balloon. Her connection was gay so she’d cook the works, tie up and shoot her pay right there in his living room. Her last connection was straight and tried raping her while she passed out on the sofa, so she switched to a new guy.

“I love it when you bring cold, hard cash instead of promises”, Brian the connection croaked.
“Yeah, it makes everything easier”, Abigail mumbled as she watched the spoon glide above the BBQ lighter. “It’s just me and Baby Jesus”.

“Hey, listen Abigail. I’ve got company in two hours, so you can get high and hang out for awhile, but then you gotta leave, okay?”
“Yeah, cool. Gotta get ready for Tentacles tonight, anyway”.
“Tentacles, shit, I forgot about that. I told everyone I’m going to Eulogy tonight”.

“Eulogy plays the same shit every month. Fuck that place”, Abigail growled as she tightened a Stevie Nicks scarf around her arm.
“Can I ask you something? Don’t people see your arms when you model?”
“Hell, no. I wear a robe all the time. They don’t know the difference”, she took the needle from Brian and prepared to plunge it.
“Cool. Hey! Can you get me and my friend into Tentacles tonight?”
Abigail sank the needle into her arm.

Then there was the very next day as there always is a very next day in a story. Abigail Reeves got busy with her social networking. The part-time Virgin Mary went to Facebook and checked out her Messenger: the same old scene with random guys she friended posting pictures of their pricks, some impressive but most looking like expired items from a Bait and Tackle shop.

Most of these messages were accompanied with lovesick messages and meager amounts of money promised to her PayPal account.

Her brief attention was curtailed by Chili, her Chihuahua who was trembling horribly. He limped over to her chair as she was finishing her breakfast and proceeded to simultaneously vomit and eject a stream of wet diarrhea out his tiny behind.

“Jesus, Chili!”

Chili whimpered and lowered his bony little head to the floor as his rectal issue continued to stream on her hip parquet floor. Abigail sprung into action by picking up her cell phone and taking a picture of Chili looking sad.

This prompted the quickest Facebook post Abigail ever posted: under the shot of Chili with his head hung down. “HELP, GUYS, MY PUPPER IS SICK, I NEED FUNDS TO GET HIM MEDICAL HELP”.

Many of her lady friends posted crying faces to show they were sympathetic to her plight, while the loyal thousands of men all pledged to PayPal her more money. Penis portraits would most likely follow, as well.

The professional Virgin considered all the men who followed her and decided to open a Patreon account to sell her nudes, as well as a Kickstarter with many portraits of Chili looking happy. You know, there’s no happier looking dog than a Chihuahua.

The men grabbed the drama of a sick Chili to their collective breasts while a few girls trolled her: “Didn’t you ask for money for a new car last year? Well, where is this new car, you fake bitch?”

Abigail took to threatening many of her male followers with unfriending and even blocking if they didn’t send her the required amount to save her pupper’s life.

Well, the money came in small streams. Since Abigail was an addict it was hard to tell how much of a share the veterinarian was getting.

They say that work is the great panacea to a person’s problems, so Abigail packed up Baby Jesus in her suitcase and wondered if she was getting a fistful of cash at the end of the night.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Palm Springs Man

The sun was blindingly bright, so bright that the only relief would be to close one’s eyes.

Waves of heat undulated and danced in front of Sam’s eyes as he walked slowly down the desert road.

The road was darker than the sidewalk, so bright it made him dizzy.

He was under the thumb of solar imperialism, and the sun owned everything, and everyone lock, stock and barrel.

He was dizzy, thirsty and hungry. Walking for miles under the burning sky had a transformative effect.

His flesh couldn’t melt, but his soul could, and it melted with heat waves dancing all around him like ghosts in the desert.

His back was drenched with sweat from the thick backpack weighing him down and intensifying his body heat.

This was the kind of day where wearing socks didn’t make any sense, because his feet felt the heat burn right up through the boots he was wearing.

The soles may as well be cardboard for all the good they did.

The tall purple mountains which wrapped around the town looked on, not caring.

Tourists walked by shooting disapproving looks at Sam’s disheveled, sweaty appearance.

To them he was hideous – but their thatchy, hairy legs poking out of brightly colored shorts was acceptable.

He returned their horrified stares until he heard a scratching sound below him.

It was a small lizard, upside down, thrashing around, trying to bring itself bolt, upright again.

Sam leaned down and picked up the lizard, closed his eyes shut, said a few Hail Marys and then bit the tiny lizard’s head off.

He chewed on the rest of the still thrashing body like it was a chaw of beef jerky, pretending the blood spurting out of the critter’s body was catsup.

Scooter yelled, “DAD THAT CRAZY GUY JUST ATE A LIZARD”.

Scooter’s father stared with a repulsed sneer while his fat blonde wife dialed 911 on her cell phone.

She wished Sam was black so she could get on the news.

Busting a homeless white man wasn’t going to get her in the papers.

Bugger.

Sam threw the reptilian carcass down and walked over to the gas station across the road.

Scooter’s mom tossed her mullet and yelled, “HEY YOU DON’T YOU WALK AWAY YOU STAY RIGHT HERE, MISTER!”

Sweat drooled down every millimeter of Sam’s corpus.

So delirious from the heat, he walked up to a gas pump and kicked it angrily thinking it was a soda machine.

A few yards away sat a solitary gas can and in his delirious state thought he was looking at a thirst-quenching liter of A&W Root Beer.

Sam unscrewed the cap to the can and poured the remains of what was left in the can.

Wiping his chin, he continued his trek down the road to the baritone screaming of the vacationing housewife yelling into her cell phone.

It can be assumed the local police didn’t care about the homeless eating microscopic wildlife.

A coyote, yes; a road runner, yes; maybe even a vulture – a tiny lizard, no, no bother.

He trudged with a Frankensteinian gallop down Palm Canyon Drive, heading for Vista Chino – deadline, Desert Hot Springs.

In the bright white light he saw vinyl-topped Cadillacs roll in to heavily gated golf courses, the old white men still holding on to their huge sedans in their rejection of hip-hop cruisers.

Many yards later Sam passed newly gentrified motels, still piping in bad Frank Sinatra music but this time for tattooed blondes with piercings and XXL asses.

He could have sworn they were twerking out of their hip-hop cruisers.

Everywhere he went there were misters spraying thin jets of water out as lawn sprinklers ejaculated over all matter of desert flora.

Out the corner of his eye he espied a police cruiser slowly trailing behind him.

It made him paranoid, so he took a sharp turn around the corner.

It led to a quiet side street, but side streets in the desert are never truly quiet, because you can always hear the abrasive music of insects scratching their legs and crackling their antennae all through the day and into the night.

There were rows of banged-up houses lining the road with campers sporting flat tires and sunbaked speedboats that hadn’t touched water in years parked out in front.

Fumes of cooking methamphetamine wafted from a few houses, mingling with dancing heat waves.

“SKYLER PICK UP SOME DORITOS AT THE STORE!” yelled a voice from inside a house behind a teenage girl’s back.

The teenage girl in shorts and flip-flops had corn roll hair.

“AND GET SOME CIGS, TOO!”

“ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT!” Skyler yelled back, still walking.

‘AND -SKYLER!-SKYLER! BRING BACK SOMETHING TO DRINK!”

‘YEAH, ALRIGHT ALREADY!” Skyler yelled, picking up her speed away from home.

The word “drink” triggered Sam’s bladder into wanting to unload, so he warily retuned to the main drag, looking around to make sure the cops were gone.

All he could find for the next half-mile was a private tennis court.

With every step he took the back pack felt heavier and heavier, weighing him down.

He could feel every pound of his load pushing down his back.

The weight pushing down his back created a considerable degree of tension to his bladder.

Too many palm trees were covering the front of the court, making it impossible for Sam to jump over a fence.

Sam walked towards the driveway where a parking attendant was opening a car door and letting a pair of guests out.

“HEY!” he yelled at Sam as he walked past him.

“I SAID HEY! WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?”

A well-groomed silver haired gentleman in a white tennis outfit got out of the car, pushed in his aviator shades and said, “Let me handle this, Carlos!”

The silver haired gentleman’s companion, a young man in cutoff shorts aggressively grabbed Sam by the arm and said, “The man’s talking to you, Buddy!”

Sam tried wriggling free of the youngman’s grasp, but the grip was too strong for him.

“Get off me”, Sam hissed.

“Get off me? Can you believe this punk?” the hustler announced to his benefactor and the attendant, getting cockier by the minute.

Sam kept trying to break free but couldn’t.

The hustler threw Sam against the automobile hood, slamming him hard.

“Leave him alone, Brian. I’ll just chase him out of here”, Carlos appealed.

“No way”, Brian the hustler growled. “Not on my watch, bro”.

Brian quickly slammed Sam against the Cadillac three times in a row.

Sam couldn’t hold it in anymore.

He undid his fly with his free hand and pulled out his hose.

The old tennis bum licked his lips, eagerly awaiting visual bounty.

Sam held his joint out and peed all over the Cadillac.

“YOU PERVERT, WHAT THE FUCK?” Brian yelled, still holding on to Sam.

The heat radiated on Sam’s urine, igniting the gasoline he consumed a little while ago.

The beautiful white Cadillac immediately burst into flames.

Sam was instantly immolated by the burning car, and with him Brian.

The attendant ran to his kiosk to call the Fire Department, but it was too late to save Sam, Brain and the overpriced American automobile.

The masculine bonfire spread due to the dancing heatwaves caressing the flames and spreading them to the nearest palm trees.

The flames spread throughout the entire court yard.

Tennis bums and horny tennis instructors began to run, but it was too late.

Palm Springs was on fire.

Fire and brimstone.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Androgenius

It’s never been considered normal behavior for a grown man to have a conversation with electric appliances, but that’s just what Chris was having with his television set.

He shook his head disgustedly in front of the set by what he heard on the network news.
“That’s the most ridiculous load of bullshit I’ve ever heard”, he grumbled. “What are you doing transmitting this bullshit to me, anyhow? I can’t believe the idiotic crap you’re programming to me these days. Shit!”

The source of his revulsion was a news clip of a far-right statesman, old, white and gray of the male sex ignorantly stating in pompous tones that…”rape is perfectly legal between two consenting adults”. This remark made Chris’s head nearly explode.

Rape wasn’t sex. What was this senile moron talking about? Rape was extremely violent beating of an innocent person and violating their body and destroying any semblance of their self-respect and security. It was the ultimate degradation of a human being, scarring them for the rest of their life. It has made victims go insane and in some cases commit suicide.

Chris’s head throbbed with anger, wishing he had someone to slap, beat, kick, bite scratch or maim. Lawmakers advocating assault; it was the end of all rational thought to him and it made him furious.

**********

Chris had the peculiar problem of being confused for being a member of the fairer sex, a girl, a woman, a lady, etc. Was this point of confusion due to his looks being somewhat feminine or that men simply were too lazy to deduce that he was a man who looked a wee bit different?

Case in point, when he sat in a restaurant with a girlfriend the waiter would ask, “And what would you ladies care to order?”

Was it really so hard to distinguish between him and other women or were these waiters too thick to recognize the difference? Chris never protested aloud about this faux pas but it made him tired time and again.

But it didn’t just come from service workers; he’d get the same remarks from his girlfriends, too.
“I almost hate you – how dare you have better legs than me? Well, as long as you don’t wear shorts no one will ever know”. Ha ha.

What made the whole matter ridiculous was that he wasn’t terribly androgynous. People simply didn’t want to make the effort to notice him, as if passing him by consisted of glossing over the finer points of his appearance. He was not only faceless but sexless.

Things finally came to a head when his girlfriend blurted out to him, “I miss the old Chris. I mean, look at you! Ugghh! You’re just half a man!”

*********

Left to his own devices, Chris began the detestable sojourn of going out alone at night. Now that he was without girlfriend most of his friends had taken sides, meaning his nights were going to be spent alone.

He came home late, about 1 am, and it was a weeknight, in a slight buzz from a few weak drinks tossed back reluctantly. The drinks were now just a distant echo running through him like the forgettable music played in the club.

He lived above a store front on a main street, and he reached for his keys as he approached the entrance. The street was empty and still, no cars to be seen for miles. The atmosphere was dark and tranquil, but it was abruptly disrupted by masculine sounds of whooping and whistling coming closer.

He heard sounds of old boys laughing derisively and getting nearer by the minute. He slightly pivoted to see what the row was from the corner of his eye. Old boys, old boys…stupid, klunky late teenage boys in baller caps and board shorts riding on stick scooters down the sidewalk towards him. Sharp, little lights beaming out towards him from these little stick things.

“I don’t have any money”, Chris grumbled under his breath. “What the fuck do they want?”

“GETTIN’ IT WET, HA!”
“WETTAGE TONIGHT, DOG!”
“DOG’S GONNA BARK TONIGHT, SON! HEEHEEHEE!”

Chris broke out of tension in his body for a second when he got it. “Oh, for Christ’s sake”, he gave a cold chuckle.

“HEY BABY, GET OVER HERE!”
“NOOKIE NOOKIE NOOKIE!”
The boys in scooters were already on his block getting close enough for trouble, so he very slowly pivoted towards them so they could get a full look. He fisted his keys so the largest one stuck out of his fist like a claw jumping out of his knuckle.

“HEY BABY!”
He turned full on to them, revealing a cold, hard grimace pretending to be a smile. He caught the horror in their eyes and wanted to laugh out loud.

“AW SHIT, BEN THAT’S A DUDE!”
“YEAH, WHAT THE FUCK??? I TOLD YOU THAT WASN’T TRIM!”
“DAYYUM, SON!”

They spun their scooters into a complete 360 and almost crashed into each other in the process. Chris could hear some more scattered yelling fading down the street, disappearing into the concrete darkness. He was amused but thanked himself it didn’t turn into some sort of gay bash.

Chris turned the key in his door, walked up the stairs to his apartment and decided to end the lone wolf bullshit as soon as he had the chance. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Writer's Block Can Be Deadly

I'm going through a pretty long period of writer's black. It's been going on for about a year already. There are several factors involved: the destruction of my marriage by my insane ex-wife, an exhausting seven-day a week work schedule that begins with a 5 am wake-up call, and the realization that the United States has embraced both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union as its current role models. I feel so agitated that sitting down to punch out another punk rock crime potboiler has become downright impossible. The distractions and destructions have become paralyzing.

But in the words of super-clown Leo Sayer, The Show Must Go On. My writing can't stop and damn my eyes for stopping. Even crap writing is better than no writing at all. I'll make an effort to produce more work in the coming year. I'll try to balance it along with my folk music project (as mentioned in a previous blog). In the meantime, what do you think of the new Quentin Tarantino film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood? Interesting that, a story about a grade-Z western TV actor who hangs out with a stuntman and gets implicated in a famous murder in the swinging Sixties? Sounds like my novel Crash walker, a lot like my novel Crash Walker. Ha!

Well, I gotta go now. Got to do my goth clown videos and other trash hobbies and damn, maybe even squeak in some writing. I've got a job to do, damn it.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Minstrels Anonymous

I couldn't tell you where my love for the mandolin started, but it started early in life. Maybe it was Ian Anderson playing his great song Fat Man ("people think that I was just good fun, man") or maybe it was all those brilliant Warner Bros. pop records featuring Ry Cooder, but I was so smitten with the instrument that I bought a Nonesuch Records album of classical mandolin music featuring sonatas by Beethoven and Hummel. I've always had mandolin fever but never got into the game. Until now.

Last summer I finally took the plunge and bought a mandolin set - that is, the instrument, a backpack-style gig bag and an instructional book with chords. I went for the completely jet black lute made by Rogue instruments. I set the bridge up and immediately started playing. I was in Seventh Mandolin Heaven!

I taught myself a few chords and started digesting as many YouTube tutorials as my nosy mind would absorb. I also discovered some great mandolin players of the past (Bill Monroe) and the present (young Sierra Hull and the equally amazing Justin Moses).

In addition to playing the easy songs in my instructional book - Wayfaring Stranger, Song of Joy aka Clockwork Orange, and Big Rock Candy Mountain I also began learning some of my own tunes, as seen below.

My decision to engage in acoustic music wasn't as quirky as it might seem. It was a serious decision made regarding my return to music, which I wasn't looking forward to because of my tinnitus. The prospect of performing loud music again was painful just to think about.

That's me at Holmby Park playing my song Husband Material, a song I used to play with my band Trash Can School. I've been playing in parks all over Los Angeles a lot lately and I really enjoy it. It's very invigorating to be able to play outdoors and I try to do it every weekend. Beats playing to a brunch of drunks in some nightclub!

En route to playing all this wild stuff I also got heavily into folk music, and I don't mind listing my favorites: Dave Van Ronk, Tim Buckley (even the gigolo shit), Judy Henske, Fred Neil and even some of the cornball Kingston Trio stuff is decent - check out Hangman by them. Beats Nick Cave at his own game IMO. Listening to these wildmen and women of folk has been a great education in song crafting and phrasing.

In addition to learning my own stuff I'm also learning a few punk songs on my mandolin. I'm working on a cool version of Nice & Sleazy by The Stranglers as well as Ex-Lion Tamer by Wire which I plan on posting soon on YouTube. Keep your eyes peeled on my channel. I've created a monster - a Mandolin Monster and I couldn't be happier.