An Excerpt from my Novel, Yellow Socks: Confessions of a Non-Don Juan

January 14, 2012

This is an excerpt from my 2010 novel; Yellow Socks-Confessions of a Non-Don Juan

Barry

One Sunday I went to the Baltimore Museum of Visionary Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art. I went with a girl I work with named Janet, her friend Lenora, and their Museum Education teacher Barry. Although I’ve shared a few rides and a few cigarettes with Janet I was riding for two hours with relative strangers. Janet picked me up in at 8th and Market where the Patco Speedline (Jersey to Philadelphia train) dropped me off. I got in the car and we made our obligatory introductions. “Hi. Good to meet you.”

I sat in the back seat next to Barry. Janet drove with her friend as co pilot. Barry was pretty cute. She had most of my requirements for a fuck fantasy. Cute face, skinny, decent tits, and long legs. But she’s probably an idiot. She was dressed very normal. Trendy jeans and standard shoes and jacket. I started to write everyone off as an idiot when I first met them at that point in my life. I was also willing to change that if I had to.

Janet’s friend, Lenora seemed to be one of those babbling women. She picked up where she left off before I got in the car. Something about her workman’s compensation not covering her tuition and who she wants to sue. She’s already got a few strikes against her for being beastly looking. I don’t want to feel like this but I do.

I especially can’t stand women that incessantly complain.

When the topic finally switched to something else thanks to Janet, I was still bored. Janet brought up seeing the band or performer or whatever it is called some name I can’t remember but sounds like she’s saying Herbal Essence. “They played on David Letterman and it was the greatest thing in the world and I can’t believe Letterman made fun of them. ” “Let’s put on the their cd.” “I think I have it right there.” They put it on and were singing along and I can’t even describe the crap I was hearing.

I came prepared for something to read. Jim Goad’s Shit Magnet was definitely great escape from this ordinary madness I was trapped with. I read for about a half an hour before Barry wanted to look at the book I was reading. I gave her my best watered down version of who Jim Goad is and his influence on me etc. She was surprisingly interested. So the ride perked up a little.

Conversations became more interesting and so did Barry. She was twenty-nine years old. She has an under graduate degree in Art History. She was working towards her Masters degree in Museum studies. I actually like people that are cultured. I wasn’t used to it on my personal life.. She was also down to earth. She wasn’t pretentious but she knew her shit.

I guess I’ve become a bit of an Art History common sore myself. I’ve learned a lot more than I thought I knew working at the Art Museum for a year. Enough to carry an intelligent conversation to a certain degree. I’ve also gained an interest in outsider, folk and self-taught art.

I couldn’t wait to see Rev Howard Finster’s creations live in person at the Museum of Visionary Art. He was best known for his Garden of Eden junkyard installment in his own yard. Sam Doyle was a nice surprise. I discovered him at the American Folk Art Museum in NYC. Real raw paintings of people on pieces of steel. And I found new artists to drool over. Elizabeth Layton, an eighty something year old artist who does these detailed cartoon style drawings that are almost reminiscent of Alice Neel, another old lady self taught artist with national fame. Barry and I bonded a little more and we seemed to end up together separated from Janet and her friend. Either I was following her or she was following me. In my head I still kept my distance

The Baltimore Museum of Art was also fantastic. The Modern contemporary exhibit is so much more extensive and intense than the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There was plenty of Warhol, and Raushenberg,art etc. Barry introduced me to and explained Zoey Leonard. Zoey Leonard takes fruit and sews it back together after eating the fruit inside. It represents death and decay of humans. I enjoy someone explaining some of the art to me and she was a good teacher. When she took off her jacket I thought that she was a great teacher with a nice ass.

We went through the Cone exhibit.

“In the early 20th century, two Baltimore sisters-Claribel and Etta Cone assembled one of the most important art collections in the world. Visiting the Paris studios of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, they acquired an exceptional collection of art, which they displayed in their Baltimore apartments. The sisters also collected paintings by Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, and Renoir, and a variety of textiles, jewelry, furniture, and African, Asian, and Near Eastern art. Cone Wing galleries provide an intimate setting in which to view these masterpieces as well as insights into the sisters’ diversity as collectors.” A tour guide said.

It was pretty amazing. They also had this virtual reality touch screen that’s bigger than my TV. You can navigate your way around the collection on screen.

We’re all got pretty hungry by five o’clock since none of us but Barry ate all day. I had a pretzel but that doesn’t count. A fellow patron at the Museum suggested this Italian restaurant that I can’t remember the name of. We hit the gift shop then headed on our final mission together to get something to eat.

We pulled up to this Italian restaurant and it was next to a place called Moe’s Seafood. We thought since we were in Baltimore we should try seafood so Moe’s it was. The second we walked in the nasty stank of bad fish hit us. We looked around and it looked horrible. Dirty tables. Smoke filled room. We left and went back to the Italian restaurant. After all, a Baltimorean recommended it so it must be great. We walked in and it was the opposite of Moe’s. It was fancy and we were under dressed. We waited ten minutes to get seated and another fifteen at the table. We were starving so we left.

We walked the streets for another half of an hour before we ended up on Broadway and there were so many restaurants we panicked. So Barry fixed her eyes on a place called Bertha’s with a big sign that said “Eat Bertha’s Muscles”. It was telling us what to do so Bertha’s it was.

Bertha’s was a just a bar when we walked in. There was nowhere to sit. We were going to give it up but I spotted the sign that said Dining Room. We squeezed our way through the bar to the Dining Room. We were seated immediately. The service was fast. The food was awesome. We shared muscles and the laughs. Great conversations and I felt our bond growing even more as Barry shared personal stories and experiences. At one point she touched my thigh while laughing at some joke. I caught myself thinking about her naked. I caught myself thinking it’d be really different to get with a woman that has her shit together. I immediately dismiss these thoughts because they usually lead to nowhere anyway.

The trip home was comfortable. We all spent an entire day together and still liked one another. We were laughing and joking even more. The flirting and the connections were growing stronger and stronger. I knew better. It would all mean nothing to anyone here after a week or two. I shook her hand goodbye and said “it was nice meeting you.” I got out of the car and left Barry behind me.

I never saw her again and it’s better that way. The attraction. The flirting. The exchange of personal information. The temporary connection. It probably meant nothing to her. Sure she’ll say “Pete was a nice guy or Pete was cute.” but it really doesn’t mean anything. She’ll forget about me. Times like this used to mean something to me. Now it’s just what people do. We share moments. We share blocks of time and whether we bond or connect only mean something for that short time. I still remember these times but I don’t feel them anymore.

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2011

December 31, 2011

 

Found a new way not to launch a few businesses.

Found anxiety and loss of job in 2 days

Found no love.

No sex.

No desire.

Made new friends

Traveled. First time in years

Partied and stopped.

Smoked and stopped and started.

 

Found new ways to pay the rent.

Discovered being poor does not suit me.

Survived it anyway.

Found a new art. Photography. Ugly city photos.

Sexy women photos.

Found out my disabilities are true. The hard way.

I tried everything I could think of.

Found new ways of being depressed. Worst ever.

Found 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to get me through.

Found new ways of being happy.

 

Found out what a heart attack is like.

Followed by triple bypass surgery.

Found comfort in my brain-dead state with my adopted mother caring for me.

Found relief, as I felt better.

I found new ways of getting closer to God.

 

Found out about the “system” when a person can not work.

Found about having a car and not being able to drive it

Found taking a bus in Camden sucks.

 

Found my Guardian Angel in my dreams that tries to lead me from danger.

Found out my best friend died and lives with me

Every day.

Found his books I inherited to be nurturing and mind expanding.

 

Found a new way of getting mugged in my own town.

Found out there was a drive by murder the day after Christmas in the center of my town.

 

Found out who my friends are.

Found my family after not talking for years.

Found myself again and again.

Found you.

 

Tomorrow I will find 2012.


Miss You (A Poem)

December 20, 2011

NOTE- I wrote this over a month ago when a special someone in my life seemed to have disappeared. It’s much better now but this poem is based on how I felt at the time. You know who you are.

 

Miss you

I do

Seriously

I keep thinking it’s something I did

Or didn’t do

 

I thought we were mates

Of the soul

Unconditional love

Now you’re gone

 

I understand you have a life

You have problems too

I’ve been too self-centered

To notice

 

I notice

I do

Seriously

Are you gone forever

Or just for a little while

 

Unreturned text messages

Phone calls

Over and over again

Not even a “I’m going through something”

Or a

“I can’t talk now.”

 

Maybe it’s a hint that

You don’t want me

Like me

Love me

Or miss me


Cabbage: the Poem

December 6, 2011

I wake up to the smell of cabbage

I am sleeping on a giant cabbage leaf

The blue . . . no green . . now orange

Rib caged baby lion in a now current

Monster of coolness of sorts sorts the

Mail on his autumn leaves in Louisville

A cup of Earl Grey tea you fancy?

Fancy me? What did I do?

Where did I go?

Carpet cleaners are coming around noon.

Can they, would they spray me down with pink poison?

So, I can breathe again

Slim Gilliard would love the gibberish singing you screech

To me about fried ice cream and potato chips.

Alternatives? Drink snot and call me in the morning.

Call someone before you snuff it, off it, give up.

Please.

I’d like to catch up first.

Not save you. Live, learn and breathe with you.

You can go anytime just talk to me first.

Please

Something in the way she crowds around me

Grinds spines in the old chop shop

Aunt Dollien operated by herself

I should have, you should have

Helped her. Bloody mess it was.

Not she. 117-years-old and still

In charge. We listen and obey

She rides off into the distance towards the rising sun

Like the girl with no name in a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western.

Bang Bang. You shot me down.

Bang Bang! I’m vested and not crying yet

Ready

To meet my Angels. Are you?

Powder blue suntan, flowering yellow hair,

Insects in your eyes, resting, not doing any harm

They need rest too, ya know.

Sink deep into an opiate coma with me

With him, with her, everybody sing

“All we need is Love”

The bed drops softly to accommodate

Our bodies.

“Everybody is just a little homosexual. Whether they like or not” Allan Ginsberg once sang through my departed allies.

The piss in your pants somehow comes off

As a romantic gesture. just not sure who or whom or me.

Romance, courting and foreplay have changed.

Piss, spit and a clean T-shirt is all we desire

Under the brown, dark chocolate brown, chair

That wiggles when I turn on Wagner.

Maybe it’s German. Jewish.

“You should burn it and find out.” Jack said to me

Wiping the cocaine off his Skrewdriver T-shirt.

Salute the master. Carry his bones to the crematory

Make sure he’s powdered. Maybe a nice face powder someday.

Bring your tired looking face back to life.

They call you “face job” ya know?

I call you love.

Is life worth the sadness, the happiness, the ups and downs?

Worth love? Worth death?

Worth money?

(pause and take a deep breath.)

Tuna. Grazed grazed 2 day old fish  marked down 58 percent.

Thank God for the rain or the smell would have turned on the perverts and scared the little girls.

Take me back to the thousand foot

Red tranquil trees hanging over my head

Terrifying peace as the sun goes down.

Dreams don’t have to die

Ya know?


I’m Not the Guy

September 4, 2011

 

I am not the guy your mother warned you about if she warmed you about anyone. I am not the guy your father would play golf with. Your mother and father couldn’t even conceive a person like me. My attitude. My lifestyle. My perversions. My ugliness. My beauty. The delightful deceptive motives and intentions I have about you.

 

Your mother would never dream in a million billion trillion years that a man like me exists. Soft to the touch and rough to the heart. I am a God. I am Satan. I am everything you desire and everything you despise. I am crippled. I am invincible.

 

I love. I hate. I cry. I laugh.

 

I am rage. I am kind.

 

I am you.

 

I am human.

 

I am no one.


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.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Shit. Piss. Fuck. Blah blah blah . . .

August 24, 2011

 

Shit. Fuck. Piss. Etc. Man this new way of life is making my new way of living extremely difficult. Blah. Blah. Blah.

 

My bills exceed my income every month. Ever since I moved in this house of hell in October 2010 with my good friend and now moody, secretive passive aggressive roommate. My  landlord is also a friend and an aggressive no bullshit type landlord who gets upset when money is late for the rent and the electric and water bills he pays for this house. Blaah bla blah.

 

Piss. Shit. Fuck. I’ve been out of work since May 2010. I was living with my adopted mom. I had a lot of money in the bank and little rent to pay. It was a great deal and I wanted to get my creative projects finished despite my little unemployment checks. I published my first novel a few days after I was fired for example. I wanted to carry the unemployment and my savings as long as I could. I picked up a little labor work with my uncle here and there. Life was good. Not for my Mom. I could tell she wanted me out. Blah. Blah Blah.

 

Fuck. Piss. Shit. An opportunity arose that I couldn’t resist. My friend owned the house next door to his and was renting it out cheap. It’s a 2 bedroom house and I knew a friend that I had talked about getting a place together for years. It was all set for October 1st 2010. I had plenty of money to last me 3 months or so. I figured I’d get a job at that point. I know I’ve written about this shit so many times but I need to update it for me and possibly you. Blah. Blah. Blah.

 

Shit. Fuck. Piss. When all other options were dwindling I tried to work. A good friend of mine at the time hooked me up with a phone collections job where he worked. It was straight commission. I have 10 years experience doing phone sales and I had high hopes for this job. I was excited. The guy hiring me interviewed me and hired me pretty fast but kept putting off the training date. A week before I was to start my Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) came out of a 2-year remission. It affected me pretty badly and my Bipolar disorder and anxiety were back in full force. I over slept on my second day of training. I tried calling several times to save my job to no avail. My friend that got me the job told me to just come in person. I was in pain and depression and fear. I lost the job. It was then that I realized that maybe I am unable to work.  Blah blah blah.

 

Piss. Shit. Fuck. It was around this time my adopted mom suggested I pursue the wonderful world of Social Security Disability. She was the last person I know that would support me going on SSD. She has never thought that I was incapable of working. She saw the change. She even read up on Trigeminal Neuralgia and Bipolar disorder. Several acquaintances also suggested I try to apply for SSD. On even had an agency that handles everything for you for a percentage of the retro disability reimbursement called Allsup. I called and started the process back in February 2011. It’s now nearing the end of August and I’m still getting letters and now doctors appointments with their doctors. Blah blah blah. Shit

 

This shit. This piss. This fucking piss shit waiting period could last forever. I have another appointment with a neurologist and then I’m told it will take another month to process and make a decision. I’m kind of happy I get to see the doctors and they can see for themselves what a mess I can be. Blah. After a month my SSD case can go several ways. The best scenario is I get accepted, Allsup takes their cut of my retro pay and I get a check just big enough to pay back the people I borrowed money from, catch up on my immediate bills and then get my barely comfortable monthly check. Blah blah. Or I get rejected and Allsup will fight the rejection and it starts all over again and can take another 3 -6 months or more. Shit. Blah.

 

Fuck, shit piss. The other option is that my case will be moved into another level of evaluation whatever the fuck that means and it will be a few more months of waiting. Then there may be another level of waiting. Waiting. Blah. Fucking blah… My unemployment may be running out in November and if there is no decision by then I am more fucked then I feel like I am now. Blah. Blah blah.

 

Shit. Piss. Fuck. I have had enough. I have never been so broke. I have never had to ask friends and family and friends like this before. My depression, anxiety and face pain are at the extreme. Despite this fact I go numb with denial and escape and want to run, hide (if I could move) or take some deluded yet creative and possibly successful drastic moves. Blahhhhh

 

Bills piling. Shit. If something doesn’t change I could be carless, homeless and broke in even more major debt than ever. Piss. Helpless? Hopeless. I’m not sure. All I know is that I had enough. Enough.

 

Not sure where I will go from here to deal with this shit. All I know is that something has to be done soon before my life is complete udder piss. I have to fuck things up somehow in a different direction. Fly my own . ..blah blah blah… etc…

 

Must win or die trying.

 

 


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