Herb

September 1, 2011

Herb sat on the curb for hours in the direct sunlight. The 100 degree temperatures didn’t bother him anymore. Nothing bothered him as he nodded off in what he thought was a heroin chic fashion. Herb looked like a street bum in his dirty ripped sweater and baggy corduroys. His face was yellow with a coat of sweat glued like mucus on his skin. He was unshaved and his dirty blonde hair was greasy hanging over his shoulders. He was out cold but the sweat was dripping like a retarded full body fountain inside of him. A 24-year old that looked like he was 40. He wasn’t alone.

 

Sarah sat next to him in a summer dress that was once meant to be colorful and comfortable. It was faded and stained under her leather jacket. She wore engineer boots over her unshaved legs to top off the winter look in July. She was still awake and waiting. Waiting for something. Or was it someone? She grabbed the last warm cheap opened beer and took a sip and spotted someone.

 

A man crossed the street towards her. Towards them. She forgot about Herb already. She hid her beer quickly as if it were the police approaching her but it was more of a quick hide to get what she needed. Part of what she needed. As the handsome casually dressed man approached her she stood up as fast as her dehydrating dope sick body could.

 

“Hey. Remember me?” She asked the man.

 

“Uhh. No. Sorry” he said.

 

“You bought me a few beers last week and…”

 

“Sorry. I have to go.”

 

I don’t think he remembered her but if he did he wanted to forget her and avoid her.

 

“Can I get a few dollars from you?” she asked.

 

The man stopped. He thought for a moment while looking at her and smiled. A change in mind.

 

“We can work out a nice deal and you’ll get more than a few dollars.” He said.

 

Sarah looked at Herb who was now awake singing some song about Jesus staring into space. She shrugged him.

 

“Herbie. I’ll be right back. I’m going to earn a little money from this guy. Ok?” she asked.

 

By the time she finished telling Herb he was asleep again. She left him there and got into a cab with the man.

 

His name was Brad. He loved sex. He figured that he’d take Sarah to a motel outside of the city and wash her up first then have his way with her. He had the money to spend and in his mind he was doing a service. Washing, feeding and paying Sarah for sex was better than throwing a dollar in her cup on the street. He’ll take care of her for an hour or so and go back to work.

 

An hour or so later Brad dropped Sarah off on the curb where she found him and left in the cab. Brad was dropped off about 6 blocks away at a coffee shop. He decided to take the rest of his busy day off. He didn’t even need to call work. They knew he’d be back the next day. He approached the counter and stopped to think a minute,

 

“Large boiler maker Brad?” the cute awkward girl with the apron behind the counter asked.

 

“Sure Sue.” Brad answered.

 

Sue rang up his order excited that Brad remembered her name forgetting that she wore a nametag. Another taller and heavier woman named Carrie made Brad’s drink. She knew how to make it best and was eager to please Brad. All of the coffee shop girls were. He only slept with one of them so far and she wasn’t there.

 

Brad grabbed his coffee and gave a secret tip to Sue and Carrie. He paused like he was going to sit down. Sue and Carrie were watching his every move. Brad walked out the door into the blazing hot city sun.

 

“OMG. I love when Brad stops in.” Carrie said.

 

“I don’t know whether I like his tips or his looks better.” Sue said.

 

“I would never date and older man except for him.”

 

“I just want to fuck him”

 

“Yeah. Me too.”

 

“Andrea was lucky o get that.”

 

“True.”

 

They laughed and went back to work ringing up and making coffee after coffee. Making each customer smile with their great attitudes and sincere smiles. They were great at their job. When it slowed down Sue went through the shop to clean up the condiment area and gather trash.

 

“Hey Gary. How’s the novel coming?” Sue asked a customer sitting with his laptop on a couch.

 

“Hey Sue. I didn’t see you coming. I’m still writing.” Gary said.

 

“I love what you’ve read to me so far. I can’t wait to read it when it’s finished.”

 

“You’ll be top of the list of complimentary copies when it’s published.”

 

“Signed?”

 

“Haha. Of course, Sue. Of course.”

 

Sue touched his shoulder and smiled as she moved on cleaning. Gary thought of asking her out for brief moment but went back to writing instead. He was in what he referred to as the “zone”. Gary’s novel was his version of the great American novel. The same goal of many successful and even more failed writers.

 

The novel was called Pictures of Karen. It was about a man named Doty and his life long obsession with Karen. The one that got away. Doty kept tabs on Karen since his early twenties. It’s actually a love story but Gary will have to finish it and you’ll have to read it to decide.

 

Gary’s novel starts off with:

 

“I’ve never loved. I never loved the way I loved her. I thought I loved before and before and once more or so. Not the way. Not the way I loved her. Love her. Love. Her name was Karen. Still is as far as I know. I’ve known her since grade school, maybe even longer. We lived next door to each other for almost 18 years. I watched her get older and mature. I always watched Karen.

 

We used to play house when we were 10 or 11 years old. It was Karen’s version of playing house. She reversed the roles. I had to squeeze into her sister Ann’s clothes. Her sister was only a year older and not much bigger than Karen. Karen even made me wear her sister’s underwear. This explains my cross-dressing and love for women’s underwear, as I got older. Karen would wear my clothes including my underoos. I usually wore Star Trek underoos with Kirk and Spock. I wanted Sulu or Uhura but they only had Spock and Kirk. The were baggy on Karen’s little body as opposed to Ann’s tight cotton panties and a bra on my chubby frame.

 

Karen pretended that she came home from work and I was supposed to cook dinner. We used a kid’s cook set with Play-Doh. Well I did. I cooked and set the table. She kissed me when she came to the table. We usually played when no one was home at her house. The last time we played it was a terrifying experience that may have scarred me for life.

 

We just finished playing house and were getting undressed before anyone got home. We were down to our underwear and Karen’s bedroom door burst open. It was Karen’s sister Ann. She laughed at first. We tried to get dressed and she stopped us.

 

“No. Stay. You 2 are going to do what I say or I’m telling mom and dad and yours too Doty.” Ann said.

 

Ann forced us to –“

 

Gary caught Sheila “the bird lady” reading over his shoulder. Sheila was a regular at the coffee shop and out of her mind. She was tall and skinny and looked like Big Bird. Some people called her “Jesus lady” because she was always handing out religious leaflets and preaching about Jesus. She was whispering his words in his ear. He looked at her and was speechless.

 

“You heathen!” Sheila exclaimed.

 

“Hi Sheila.” Gary said quietly.

 

“Your child pornography stories are going to send you straight to Hell.”

 

“It’s just a fictional novel, Sheila. It’s about innocent kids.”

 

“It’s child pornography.”

 

Gary looked up and saw the customers staring and Sue looked over and shrugged her arms. He closed his laptop and put it away, grabbed his cup and walked briskly out the door.

 

Sheila soon forgot about him and went back to the counter and ordered her 3rd refill of iced decaf coffee for the day so far. She put on a sweater and a raincoat and headed outside with no destination in mind. She only had a few leaflets left and wanted to give them to the right people.

 

She walked a block and stopped on the corner and tried to hand out her leaflets telling people that Jesus is coming and they need to be saved. Most people avoided her like a kid avoids a dentist. It took her almost an hour to get rid of her leaflets. She still had some iced decaf coffee in her hand. It looked like rusty water at this point. The temperature was reaching 104 degrees and it seemed to keep going. Sheila headed back to the coffee shop.

 

As she walked a head poked out of a cab yelling “Hey bird lady. When is the world going to end this time?” It seemed she was well known, especially for her predictions of Armageddon. She had a new date almost every month it seemed. She hasn’t been right yet but who knows?

 

Carl was the guy yelling out of the cab. Carl knew Sheila the bird lady from the coffee shop and the streets. His small pudgy belly moved fast along with his breath from yelling. He was out of shape middle age man. He was in the cab with his work buddy Bobby. Bobby was a handsome tall blond that has managed to remain in the closet for 42 years. He’s had a crush on Carl since their first run in at the Law office when Bobby first started 3 years ago. He could never figure out whether Carl was gay or not. Carl was single and seemed to hang out with and spend nights with men more than women. He’s a very masculine man so Bobby’s gaydar was thrown off. They worked a few floors apart but talked a lot on the elevator after work. They eventually started hanging out. Carl’s guy friends also threw off Bobby’s radar. He never had the courage to just ask and after 3 years it was even tougher.

 

They were on their way to lunch at the Browley Towers Bar and Grille. They both liked the food and the beer selection was pretty good. They walked in like they owned the place. At times they felt like they did because of the way they were treated.

 

Carl ordered the caramelized onion stuffed flounder with glazed pineapple. Bobby ordered a rare filet mignon with a butter fluffed potato and mushroom sauce. They both ordered the newest beer the bar listed. This one was a Russian beer called Tinkoff.

 

“What do you think it means in Russian?” Bobby asked.

 

“Tinkle I assume. It tastes like tinkle.” Carl said.

 

Bobby smiled but didn’t laugh. He thought it tasted pretty good.

 

“I never thought of a guy like you saying the word tinkle.” Bobby said.

 

“Ha. I’m full of surprises. Wait. What do you mean a guy like me?”

 

“Ha. You know. Kind of macho.”

 

“Macho?”

 

“It’s a good thing Carl.”

 

“Oh.”

 

They laughed and finished their food and continued drinking. Carl paid the check with the corporate credit card and pulled out a wad of cash for the tip. Bobby thanked him for lunch. His mind wandered to his crush on Carl. He was feeling pretty buzzed and wanted to tell him now. He made up his mind.

 

“Can we have a few more drinks and talk, Carl?”

 

“Uhh.. Yeh, let me call Marie and tell her I won’t be back in the office for another hour or 2.”

 

As Carl made his call Bobby was getting nervous and practicing what he was going to say in his head. Was he going to chicken out? Carl got off his phone and ordered more beer.

 

“Hey Carl. You know I’m gay and all, right? Have you ever wondered if I liked you?”

 

“Uhh. Well the way you look at me sometimes I get a feeling from you. “

 

“Well I have to tell you. . .”

 

The waiter interrupted and handed them their beers and walked away. The waiter’s name is Phil. He is an older man in his 50’s waiting tables. He is also an actor whenever he can find work. You might remember him from that TV commercial with the guy dressed as grape selling car insurance. Phil was they grape. It was played a lot for a few months on as many slots as it could fill. Phil’s been in a lot plays and made many appearances on movies as an extra. He will keep acting until he dies whether he makes a living off of it or not.

 

“I think I interrupted a gay man proposing to another.” Phil said.

 

“No way.” Stan answered.

 

Stan was a stunning young black college student majoring in Economics. He was there to pay for part of his school. He also liked all of the women he meets. He had a gift with the ladies.

 

“It looked that way. They’ve been coming here 5 days a week for years. They seem very chummy. Extra chummy. You know?”

 

“I guess it makes sense. How’s that work? Can men get married to each other in this state? I don’t know much about gay people.”

 

“You know I’m gay right, Stan?”

 

“Uhh. I do now. Thanks for sharing.”

 

“You never suspected me?”

 

“No man. I thought you were just a lonely old workaholic.”

 

“Ha. Thanks.”

 

“I am a little freaked by all of this but I guess that’s life. Can you watch my tables for a few minutes Phil?”

 

“Can’t handle it Stan?”

 

“No. I’m cool. Just want to grab a smoke and take out the trash.”

 

Stan walked away into the kitchen and grabbed the trash to take out back to the dumpster. The air outside was so humid all he could smell was the rotting food in the dumpster and he gagged a little and threw the bags of trash into the dumpster. He walked around the corner to have a cigarette.

 

“Got an extra smoke man?” a dirty man with a winter coat and wool hat named Gerald asked.

 

Stan knows Gerald from hanging by the dumpster for his smoke breaks.

 

“Hey Gerald. Of course. Here ya go.” Stan said.

 

“Why you out here in this heat Stan?”

 

“I needed a smoke. Little shell shocked from something.”

 

“What could shock you?”

 

“Oddly enough gay people. I just found our Phil was gay. I’ve been working with him over a year and he showed no signs.”

 

“Signs? Hahahaha. What signs do you expect? Pink underwear and fuzzy boas?”

 

“Nah man. No mannerisms. I don’t know. He just seemed normal. I mean heterosexual.”

 

“Who cares whether he slurps a rod instead of chewin clam? You’ve known him for a while and he’s still the same guy.”

 

“Yeah. I know. I’ll get over it.”

 

“Hey ya gotta dollar for me today?’

 

“Heh. Yeah. You’re the cheapest therapist around Gerald.. Thanks.”

 

Stan handed him a 10 dollar bill.

 

“Thank you Stan. See ya round.”

 

Gerald walked to the liquor store and bought the best bottle of whiskey he could find for 10 dollars. Every customer stared at him as he walked through the store and to the counter. The guy behind the counter was shocked that Gerald had money and was being polite for a change. He was a little slower than usual because of the heat.

 

“Hey buddy, take this and promise me that you’ll drink the whole thing. It’s hot out there and I don’t want you dying from dehydration.” A total stranger standing behind him said.

 

He handed him a giant bottle of water and told the cashier he’d pay for it. Gerald nodded a thank you and walked out of the store into the now 105 degree temperature outside.

 

The stranger’s name was Billy. He watched Gerald walk out and open the bottle of whiskey the minute he hit the sidewalk. Billy put his beer on the counter.

 

“You ever wonder how someone becomes like that?” Billy asked the cashier.

 

“No. I just sell booze.”

 

“I always wondered what makes a homeless person become that way.”

 

“Not me. Next in line please.”

 

Billy left with his beer contemplating the homeless and how good his life is and what would happen in his life to put him in that position. Billy headed down the street and gave a few more bottles of water to every homeless person he saw. Most of them weren’t too grateful because they wanted drugs and alcohol. He wanted to do something nice on his way home. He still was wearing his suit from his morning job interview. It was the only one he owned and every hot summer day like this one was ruining it slowly. Billy’s shirt and pants were wet with sweat. He only had a few blocks left to his apartment. He felt good but couldn’t wait to get out of the suit and kick back and have a few beers and watch a little TV before his dinner date.

 

It was a first date with a girl he met on a dating web site called sympathydating.com. The idea was you never knew which one of you was getting the sympathy. Billy hoped she’d be the way she looked on her profile and connected in person the way they did online. Her name was Nancy.

 

He got home and changed into shorts and a wife beater. Billy sat on his giant recliner and leaned back as he turned on the TV. He opened a beer and took a big sip. He flipped the channels and all he could seem to find were Judge shows. He thought about renting a movie on demand. He thought about masturbating. The phone rang.

 

“Yo.” Billy answered.

 

“It’s Harris. I’m outside. Let me in.” Harris said.

 

Billy opened the door and Harris came in from the hot temperatures. Harris was dressed for the heat in shorts and a light button up shirt. He made himself at home but Billy didn’t care. They’ve been friends for so long they were at home with each other.

 

Harris pulled out a baggy of marijuana and loaded his glass pipe. He took a huge hit and handed it to Billy. Billy did the same and got up and grabbed Harris a beer. They drank and smoked for a while.

 

“Ready for the big date tonight?”

 

“I guess. We’re meeting at a coffee shop and then going off to dinner.”

 

“Excited or scared?”

 

“Not really. The same old drill. Coffee conversation will reflect where we go t dinner and how much I want to spend. We eat then either hang out or bail. Either I get lucky or I don’t. Then we either have another date or we don’t. Same thing over and over.”

 

“I don’t miss being single when I think about all of the pain in the ass games and work involved.”

 

“Then why do you complain about your wife all the time?”

 

“You hear me complaining now?”

 

“Good point.”

 

They smoked a little more and Harris left so Billy could get ready.

 

Harris hit the heated city streets and decided he wasn’t ready to go home yet and stopped at the coffee shop around the corner. Sue and Carrie were still working. Sue took his order and Carrie made it. They didn’t know him as well as the other customers but they recognized him as the guy that hits on every girl he sees in the coffee shop.

 

“A small triple shot Cappuccino, please.” Harris said.

 

“Coming up. That’ll be $3.98” Sue said

 

Harris reached in his back left pocket to get his wallet and it was gone. He started freaking and checked his other pockets. He remembered leaving it at his mom’s house before he went to see Billy.

 

“Uh. You’re not going to believe this but I forgot my wallet.”

 

“Do you want me to make a tab and just get me next time. I’ve seen you here before.”

 

A woman’s hand appeared with 4 dollar bills from behind and handed it to Sue.

 

“I got it” The woman said.

 

“No. that’s ok. I can skip it.” Harris said.

 

“It’s no big deal. It happens to all of us at least once. Just Pay it forward.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“No problem.”

 

Harris decided to sit down and enjoy the buzz he was on from Billy’s house. The woman who paid for his drink sat down next to him.

 

“This seat taken?” The woman asked.

 

“Nah. Sit down. Thanks again for the coffee.”

 

“Cappuccino.”

 

“Right. Thanks for the cappuccino.”

 

“Like I said, do it for someone else. Pay it forward.”

 

“Oh. Like that movie?”

 

“Basically. Hi. My name is Nancy.”

 

“Hi. I’m Harris.”

 

“You are Harris or your name is Harris.”

 

“Both.”

 

They talked for about an hour or so and really hit it off. Sue and Carrie were watching. They liked to observe the customers especially if it looked like they were hitting it off.

 

“Listen. I had a really great time talking to you and I’d love to do it again but I am meeting a sort of blind date here in a few minutes and it might look bad.” Nancy said.

 

“Blow him off and we’ll go out to dinner.”

 

“Are you telling me or asking me?”

“Both.”

 

“You’re married. Aren’t you?”

 

“Uh. Yeah. The ring must have given it away eh?”

 

“Yes. You’re too nice to be single. I assumed you were married or gay.”

 

“Both.”

 

They laughed.

 

“You’re pretty entertaining and I have a date so uh. . ’

 

“Wait a minute. Are you meeting a guy named Billy?”

 

“Yes. Well, he told me his name was William. How did you know?”

 

“He’s my best friend. I was just at his house and he told me he’s meeting a girl here. You seem too interesting and are way too beautiful to be dating online.”

 

“Well, I don’t do it often but it’s worth a try.”

 

“Billy’s a good guy. You’ll like him.”

 

“Is he as entertaining as you Harris?”

 

“He’s different. You’ll like him.”

 

Harris said his goodbye and was headed to the door when Billy came in.

 

“What are you dong here Harris?”

 

“I was ah . . warming up Nancy for you.”

 

“Wha. . .?”

 

“Just kidding. I just happen to run into her and. .”

 

“You didn’t make any of your famous moves did you?”

 

“I started to until we figured out she was waiting for you.”

 

“Oh and then you just pulled back after charming the panties off of her?’

 

“I told her I was married. She told me she was waiting for you. That was that.”

 

“That was that, huh?”

 

“Yup.”

 

“Ok. Wish me luck.”

 

“You don’t need it. She’ll love you Billy.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

Harris left and Billy approached Nancy. Sue and Carrie were still watching in between making drinks and taking orders. They knew Billy too.

 

“Wow that girl is popular.” Sue said.

 

“Yeah, I think she was waiting for Billy when that other guy made the moves on her.”

 

“You guys analyzing customers again?” Roberta the manager interrupted.

 

The girls nodded and went back to work. Roberta made her point. She wasn’t a strict manager. She just liked to bust stones now and then. She was a beautiful tall black woman in her 30s with a big chest. Customers loved her.

 

“I’m going to run to the bank. Carl is in charge until I get back. Please don’t break his balls.” Roberta said.

 

“Will you be back before we leave?” Sue asked

 

“I should be. If not make sure you count your money on the register and give it to Carl to count and clock you out. Carrie. I need you to refill everything and brew fresh coffee before you leave.” Roberta said.

 

“Ok.” Sue said.

 

“No problem. Have good day if I don’t see you.” Carrie said.

 

“Thanks ladies.”

 

Roberta headed towards the door with the bank deposit in her hand. Passing Billy and Nancy in the middle of the shop laughing. She smiled at them and out the door. As she turned the corner towards the bank she saw a guy and girl sitting along the wall of the coffee shop begging for change. It was Sarah and Herb. They moved the 6 blocks to the coffee shop. Looking at Herb you wonder how he even moved in the heat and his condition. The temperature lowered back down to 100 degrees. Roberta looked at them for a minute with disgust.

 

“You guys can’t sit here begging for change. You need to leave.” Roberta told them.

 

“Ok. Can we wait a few minutes? It’s really hot.” Sarah said.

 

“No. Leave now or I call the police.” Roberta said.

 

Sarah nudged Herb to wake him up as she drank the last of her bottled water Billy gave her earlier and the warm bear as a chaser. She stood up and grabbed her bag and was more aggressive in getting Herb to move. It wasn’t working so she started kicking him and yelling at him in the most annoying ear shattering voice you can imagine. He opened his eyes and looked at her and nodded back off.

 

“Wake up. We have to leave ya piece of shit.”

 

Roberta was long gone but Sarah knew she’d be back and they better find another spot. The day was winding down and the sun was going down. She finally grabbed Herb and pulled him onto his feet and he barely stood up and followed her.

 

It was still 100 degrees as Sarah and Herb stumbled down the city streets as the sunset.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Conversations with Scar Tissue Past

July 20, 2011

Scar tissue expands every day on my wounded mind.

Sometimes I feel nothing. Denial? Remission?

Sometimes I feel everything. Projection? Frustration? Anxiety?

Scar tissues spreads and strengthens me and weakens me.

Sometimes my past will pop up and surprise me.

“Hey how ya doin?”

“Great. How are you?” *Stutter and shake*

Chocolate shake. Fuck you. I want vanilla. I always want vanilla.

“Livin the dream” *Shimmy, shimmy shakes*

Shimmy my ass. You’re dream must be simple. You must be simple. Fuck your shimmy, shimmy and your Goddamn shake.

“Oh. That’s great I guess.”  *Reelin and rockin*

Ahh.. that’s better. Reeling and rockin… Not living or dying just kind of rockin.

“Yeah man. I am so filled with gratitude for my wonderful life.” *proud statement loosing confidence*

“Yeah? Me too. What are you so grateful about?” *Twisting and shouting*

“I woke up today. The sun is shining. I have love. I have friends.” *it goes on and on and on and . . .yeah*

Doubt and reconsideration of this fool standing before me. Too evasive. Too general. Hides the scars and pain and the past. Denies it.

“Are you grateful you took a shit?’ *sarcastic laughter held in*

“Wha. . ?” *confused by ninja verbal dance moves*

“Are you grateful you found a dollar to buy some food?” *humility or self righteousness (can’t tell)*

The past faded away as I questioned and hustled and even disco ducked..

Hope or hopeless. Doesn’t matter if I remain in motion. Mental motion. . .Keep going and no matter the scars or the past or the pain, the spirit is well. Always is if I tap into it. Do the twist. Shake it out baby. Shake, rattle and roll.

You know how it is, Rockin and rollin and what not.

You cna live your dream. I’m living my life. It’s worth every scar.


Existing in Pain – Daily Rant 2 Days Late

July 15, 2011

Note: I wrote this on Friday but haven’t had the chance to post it. I’ll give you an update at the end.

Woke up way too early. Trouble breathing. Asthma? Then the stomach turned and I had to go. To the bathroom. Funny. I have no bath but I call it the bathroom. I went. Felt a little better.

Face hurt. A little at first. It always starts with a little. It got worse.

Trouble breathing. I was smoking. Maybe I smoke too much. Then the racing thoughts and the heart followed. I made coffee. Good for asthma. I heard. I heard a lot of things so I drank coffee and a lot of water with my 4 morning meds. The stomach and heart beating anxiety kicked in as I tried to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I had to be somewhere to help a friend with a ride this morning. The meds were kicking in. I started to feel a little better as I got dressed and mapped the address of my friend. The breathing was like hyper ventilating. It came and went. It went when the pills kicked in. Pills. Have to take ‘em if I don’t want pain or anxiety. I did.

I got a text just as I was psyching myself up for a long ride. It was my friend’s boyfriend canceling the ride I was to give. The long trip. Over. Now I can stay home and try and relax. Or feel pain and anxiety.

It goes away eventually. Drugs kick in. Feel better. Wear off. Feel worse.

Need a nap. No nap. I guess the stress is up there. Anxiety.

Watched a couple of movies. Did a few tings on the internet. Hurt. Can’t breathe.

All over the place. God. Bad. Breathe freely. Breathe naturally. Breathe short and slow. Loss of breath. Chest pain. Face pain. It’s all running together.

I look up the symptoms and talk to friends that have similar conditions. They confirm that it’s just a panic attack. Combined with my face pain. It hurts.

Don’t want to complain. Complain. Complaints. Revealing my pain to you and everyone else is  . . .  like getting a mew therapist.

Just repeating my day out loud. No answers. Just venting.

Conclusions come after solutions after diagnosis. Am I sure it’s not just  another panic attack in a way I haven’t experienced.

Experienced. Weird pain. Something different.

Do I need a hospital or not?  Go to bed and sleep. Get up early tomorrow to do some work for my uncle.

Good. I’m falling asleep as I write this.

Note: Aftermath- I was hoping that a good night sleep would be the cure. It wasn’t. I woke up at 6:30 am with the deep breaths and panic for no reason. I was tired but that was normal. I drank less coffee and took my morning meds, More face pain. I took pain pills. Everything kicked in by the time I got to help my Uncle at cleaning offices. I was just tired from all of the pain and anxiety the day before. I made it through the work hours. Then I had to go home shower etc and pick up a model for a photography project. It was an all day event but now and then I felt the anxiety and shortness of breath but had to keep going and took anxiety meds. I got through the day and went to sleep early. Woke up today feeling a little bit of the breath thing and anxiety and it slowly went away and I helped my Uncle again and now I just feel emotionally hungover. Tired blah. I made it.


Livin’ the Dre .a . . uh . . . Cliche

June 21, 2011

I sit once again in the comforts of the coffee shop in Collingswood, NJ. I’ve always liked this place. The décor and the music. The owners are great. The workers are great. There’s always an interesting mix of customers. Some I know and most I don’t know. This may become a new hobby of mine: hanging at the Groove Ground in Collingswood. Writing. Drinking coffee.  Living the dream. Living the cliché.

 

I always thought that the people sitting on their computers typing away at a coffee shop were douche bags. Hey look at me. I’m a writer.

 

Yesterday it was slow and casual in here and I had odd conversations with truly weird people. The good kind. The ones that aren’t phony or pretentious just off the wall naturally. I like misfits that are real. In a progressive town like Collingswood it’s hard to separate real people from posers. Down to earth interesting people versus fake pretentious “hipsters”. They do what they think is cool because their little crowd are into it. They are usually the ones that see me reading John Fantte and know who he is. They make comments on my John Waters or William S Burroughs T-shirts. They fool me at first.

 

I assume because they like what I like then they might be cool. Unfortunately I am into a lot the “hipster” culture. I like the things I like because I like it, ya know? I get into a movie or a writer from someone I know that says “Hey Rich. Check out this (fill in the blank) if you like (fill in the blank). I usually end up liking it. I used to dream about hanging out with people with common interests. It was always the hipsters. I tried and saw how annoying and fake these people are. The more I immersed myself in the culture the more I disliked the people and could spot one a mile away.

 

I guess I’m judgmental but who gives a fuck?

So today the Groove Ground was crowded and loud when I walked in and nowhere to sit. I was ok with that because there were seats outside and I could smoke and drink coffee and write at the same time. I bought my drink and found a seat and settled in. The crowd dispersed. As some of then left I noticed their styles were similar to mine. Same glasses. Same hat that I wore yesterday. When I looked at each one I thought “douche!”.  At least I’m not wearing leather sandals like this “douche” “hipster” standing next to me right now.

 

Fuck it. I’m over it already. Just wanted to write about it.

 

My life is still moving along with or without them.

 

I might be living the cliché but I’m also living the dream. My dream, my thoughts, my life. Me.

 

Maybe I’m the cliché douche judgmental pretentious self righteous hipster. Ya know what? Right now I don’t care. It gave me something to write about for the day, right?

EDITOR’S (that’s me) NOTE: I got a better look at the guy with the hat and realized I knew him and he is a pretty cool guy and not a hipster. I guess my Hipstdar isn’t on all of the time. My Gaydar still works for what it’s worth.


Live Book Reading from Yellow Socks Video

April 29, 2011

Now you can read it yourself. Just click the Yellow Socks cover pic.


I want to be Different so I can Fit in with the Different People

December 20, 2010

Hipsters, scenesters I don’t wanna be-sters. At one time I thought I wanted to be one. I always loved the word “hip” but I found out that there is a “crowd” for everything including the “hip”. Ever day, every month and ever year I realize more and more that I am a misfit, an outsider or a freak as I was called in High School.

 

Not that I ever tried to fit into a group but found myself hanging with different “in crowds” through the years and I always come to the same conclusion. I don’t fit. I won’t fit. Now I realize that I don’t want to fit. I don’t really care. I have enough trouble fitting in my own skin at times.

 

The other day I went to Fishtown in Philadelphia to do a book reading and signing of my novel at cool book store called Germ Books. They specialize in UFO, conspiracy theories and occult literature. I might have called it hip at one point. I was semi-early and the owner wasn’t there yet so I went to the corner to a coffee shop. I walked into the shop and the place reeked of hipsters. They didn’t literally stink but there was an aroma of another kind.  An aroma of pretentiousness. Maybe they all weren’t pretentious but I got that feel.

 

Now over the years I have gown less and less tolerant of “clicks” or “gangs” of people. I get extremely uncomfortable around a group of more than 3 people especially if they are of the same age, race, uniform etc. This is no different.

 

The band King Missile had a song called I Want to be Different. The lyrics were spoken and the singer says “I want to be different. I want to fit in with the different crowd.” I used to feel that way.

 

For a moment I thought “This is where I should be reading my novel.” Then immediately thought the opposite. These people would be too worried about how they appear in front of one another and not paid any attention. I assumed that they probably couldn’t afford my novel anyway. Ha. I can be so judgmental at times. Hey- I’m human.

 

As I waited in the long line watching these people and  feeling uncomfortable it hit me that I was dressed and carried myself like them. I had the look and I wish I didn’t. These feelings combined with my claustrophobia and semi-social anxiety I fled as fast as I could to get out and drink my coffee and have a smoke before the reading.

 

When it was time to read I looked around at the sparse room of a handful of people and thought how much better it was in the bookstore with people that are truly themselves and interested rather than part of a click. I don’t want to be the “in” event or the “hip” person to see. I want to be me, whatever that is at any given time and be around people that are themselves. Outsiders, freaks, misfits.

“I’m Hip” -Maynard G Krebs


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