Excerpt from My First Novel Yellow Socks Confessions of a Non Don Juan

June 4, 2012

An Excerpt from my 2010 novel Yellow Socks- Confessions of a Non Don Juan

 

Skeleton Woman or Things Like Me Don’t Happen To You

 

Christ it happened again. Another notch in my “girls that want to be my friend” belt. It made sense. We were perfect friends and she was real cute too. I kept thinking that I was ok with it. I’d be happy just being a friend again. I keep turning to God for strength to accept my fate as “Friend to all women” that I’m attracted to. My acceptance level seems to be ok. I go to my happy place. I go to my cave. I say the serenity prayer over and over I am sure that I will be ok with this. Yes I will. (no I won’t)

 

Cut to a scene from Fight Club

 

TYLER

Stop it! This is your pain — this is your burning hand. It’s right here! Look at it.

 

JACK

I’m going to my cave. I’m going to my cave to find my power animal!

 

TYLER

No, don’t deal with this the way those dead people do. Come on

!

JACK

I get the point, ok, please!

 

TYLER

No, what you’re feeling is premature enlightenment.

 

Ok. I get the idea. Feel the pain. Feel the hurt. Feel the rejection saturating my heart until I bleed more than just these words all over the place and finger my open sore of a brain as it wants to dwell on her over and over again. Screaming and roaring her name with anger and grief and sometimes a slight relief that it’s done and I know that she will not reject me again unless I go back for more and more or less or a little bite of her cheeseburger and a sip of her Pepsi to tide me over until the next one comes along with better food and spirits for my, for me for. Four scores of seven years itch as I scratch the weathered tired out mongrel of an ego that was left stray years ago in a pound for wayward hearts and letches that can only love and never be loved.

 

The pain of being a friend. A friend. I’ve heard that “Let’s just be friends” millions of times in my life as I gargle a new mouthwash and toothpaste hoping my breath will be the answer to my problem. My problem is as follows: me, myself and I. We altogether are the problem. We want to be loved so bad that we give off the vibe that scares the shit out of women so they just want to be friends. Friends. Friends. I think to myself that will be fine. Friends is ok. It’ll do. I can accept that. Bullshit! Feel the pain I tell myself. Embrace it. the pain is your friend. To hurt is to be alive. I’ve never been so alive. I’m alive. So alive.

 

“Did you ever hear about the skeleton woman?” Morton asked.

 

“Was that a Glam rock band from the seventies?” I ask.

 

“Ha. Ha. Nah. It’s an ancient Indian story. This guy was fishing in the middle of a lake. He was totally into it. He was relaxed. Not a care in the world except catching the next fish. All of a sudden he feels a tug on his line and he yanks it up. A skeleton appears on his line. He doesn’t realize that it’s attached to his line and he gets scared. He starts paddling his boat away from it but it follows him. He still doesn’t realize that it’s attached to his line. He gets out of his boat and runs into the village and he is carrying his fishing rod and the skeleton is still right behind him. He jumps into his Tee Pee and it follows him in. He lies down and tries to hide not looking at it for a while. When he finally turns to look at the skeleton it has changed into the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. She is his. The moral of the story is that he was minding his own business doing something he enjoyed and that’s when the right woman came along. In other words when you are not looking for love is when it will find you. ”

 

“I know that but it’s so fucking hard to stay focused on other things without thinking about how much I want to be loved. Fall in love. Ya know?” I responded.

 

“I know. I know.” Morton said.

 

“We’re a generation of men raised by women. I’m wondering if another woman is really the answer we need.” Tyler Durden

 

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Pornography, Grandpop and Me

March 20, 2012

 

I was 8 or 9 years old when I was first exposed to pornography. Sort of. I didn’t know I was exposed. I lived with Grandmom and Grandpop at the time the real deal Grandparents that copulated a few times- at least 3 times to produce my uncle, my aunt and my paranoid schizophrenic mother. I won the genetic lottery with the mental illness, heart problems, trigeminal neuralgia and my addictive persona. Who knew back then? They were barely treating my mother correctly. How could anyone know I was to become the crazy man boy I am today, maybe tomorrow and certainly yesterday? Too many yesterdays if you ask me or if you don’t ask me. Luckily, I have a disassociate disorder or the good fortune to file them away until needed or they leak out into my other problems depending what’s going on. This has nothing and probably everything to do with my natural consumption and once obsessive passion of pornography.

 

Grandpop took me on errands a lot from what I remember. We’d stop at a bar and I’d wait in the car while he had a few drinks. I didn’t notice what kind of bars at the time but they were what they used to call Go Go Bars. I just remember seeing the words dancers and go go. Sometimes Gramps would take me into regular bars and we’d sit on the stools and I drank soda pop and he drank beer. I didn’t like the smell and the taste was even worse the few times he let me try it at home. Grandpop didn’t exhibit the signs of an alcoholic the way I’ve learned what one was by becoming one and then stopping and hanging out with ex-problem drinkers as some but not all call themselves and sometimes others. Mostly, they/we speak in the first person when sharing experiences, strengths and hopes at gatherings of ex-drinkers. I remember Grandpop seemed to drink beer everyday but he loved it as much as he loved mixed nuts, sharp cheddar cheese and Grandmom’s chicken dumplings. Who doesn’t love Grandmom’s chicken dumplings? I didn’t like sharp cheddar cheese, mixed nuts or beer as a kid. I loved her chicken dumplings. What’s this got to do with porn? I’m not sure but I’ll get back to it.

 

Sometimes I waited in the car no matter where we went except the grocery store where he showed me how to switch price tags and sample anything in the store. He’d open a bag of candy in the candy isle and try some. He’d open a box of cereal and eat some. Anything he wanted to try he did but he was always generous and shared it with me. So grocery stores and regular bars I was allowed to go with him but not these other buildings I later figured out were Go Go bars and porn shops. Flashbacks of the signs on the mostly white painted buildings. Words like “live girls’, “sex”, “peep shows” and the most unforgettable simple letters “xxx”. I just stayed in the car and read comic books and waited what seemed like forever sometimes and went by fast other times. The trips seemed to lessen as grew older. I had never seen him look at pornography at the house or found any magazines at the time or anything. I forget.

 

As he got older he had heart problems like I inherited. He had all kinds of heart surgery so the other memories lessoned. He didn’t stop at the buildings that I had to wait for him in the car. He no longer ate high salt products and drank less beer. He’s sneak sharp cheese, nuts and an extra beer when he could but Grandmom had a close watch on it. Now Grandmom I was told years later had the real drinking problem. She was always drinking mixed drinks and cocktails so I never paid attention since it was in a glass. She was getting drunk right under my nose.

 

I left them when I was 11 years old to become a ward under the legal guardianship of my fourth and fifth grade teacher and her husband. My second or is it third parents (?) were taking on an 11-year-old addict; mental case and none of us had any idea yet. It was agreed that it was best for me to go under their care because they could provide the stability and financial support I needed or at least provide a little more than my Grandparents were capable of at the time.. Even my “crazy” mother gave her consent. I had no idea what was to come and neither did they.

 

I kept in touch with my genetic family. of course, except dad who took off after mom started to go nuts. As an unstable adult I understand. Wouldn’t you? As I approached my teen years Grandpop opened up more and exposed himself to me. Not his penis but his dirty sexual side. He told me dirty jokes and taught me new words referring to women’s body parts. My uncle told me some of the comments he made with him browsing through porno magazines on occasion like “Her clit so big I could drive a truck through it.” Looking back it actually made no sense. I guess Gramps didn’t know what the clitoris was except it was on a woman and rhymed with Dolores.

 

At least I know where my perverted side came from. I got a lot of great things from the G-parents too. I don’t mean to sound like they were horrible people or anything. They loved me and I got my corny sense of humor, charm and social skills from Grandpop and my sense of good manners and when and how to be polite from Grandmom. They also exercised unconditional love in between the guilt trips. That’s not the point. Grandpop and uncles and other people I attracted were perverts like I was becoming. Well, not perverts but I was exposed to the elements that create an objectification of women and exploitive nature concerning sex in general at an early age and carried, developed and refined it into adulthood.

 

I found books of sex stories and a couple magazines of my new dad’s when I hit the age of “discovering yourself as a man” I call it. The stories were graphic but the magazines weren’t too graphic. I was sick and took off from school one day with my new mom and we went to the doctor then stopped at a 7-11 afterwards to get a Slurpee or something. As I threw away some trash I peeked in the trash can and saw a magazine. It was a thick magazine with photographs of real people having real sex. I wanted that magazine so I took it. My new mom decided to let me have it and gave me my first sex talk. Her 2 rule theory that applied to having porn and having sex. – 1. Be discreet and 2. Protect yourself. It’s tough to be discreet as a teenager and it was tough as an adult for me to be discreet but I always protected myself. So I was on my road to sexual exploration. I slowly built my own collection and developed my tastes in what I like and that became a lot.

 

When I was 15 or so I decided to buy my Grandpop birthday gifts he would really love and use- A 6 pack of Budweiser bottles and the latest issue of Hustler magazine. I actually got my new parents to buy the beer and I think I bought the Hustler. I looked older for a teen because I was tall and had facial hair. I was getting served alcohol when I was 16 and 17 years old and cigarettes since I started smoking at 14. I also bought my Grandpop a funny card about getting old. Grandmom was in shock when she saw him pull the Hustler out of the wrapping. Grandpop was embarrassed to see it. I think they thought that their 15-year-old Grandson buying beer for him was bad enough but a porn mag as a birthday gift from your 15-year-old Grandson was much worse. My mind didn’t learn the difference in that rule of discretion my 2nd Mother instilled in me yet. I didn’t master it until I was well into my 30s. Luckily, I “protected myself” as 2nd Mom advised.

 

I never bought or brought up pornography to my Grandpop again. I did increase my collection of magazines and my porn addiction was on it’s way until the videos replaced the magazines then the internet and dvds until finally my world was overwhelmed with so many sexual interests and fantasies (I could write book after book about) that one day they all went away. Maybe other reasons too like getting older, having more important things to do and maybe medications.


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.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Going Out of It: Excerpt from Yellow Socks Confessions of a Non-Don Juan

February 1, 2011

“When one’s in this world, surely the best thing one can do, isn’t it, is to go out of it? Whether one’s mad or not, frightened or not.” Louis- Ferdinand Celine

It’s true, I confess. I want out. Don’t you? Any escape will do. Movies, television, solitaire, drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling, eating, dreaming, drawing, reading, writing, music, dancing, games, working, relationships, sleeping, socializing, surfing the internet, etc.

I’ve personally experienced the joy and escapism of all of the above. Everything I do is a distraction from someone or something else that bothers me. To be trapped alone with my thoughts is the worst thing possible. That is my world. My thoughts. My ideas. My unfulfilled dreams and fantasies. Unrealistic goals that I will never meet. I run tapes in my head of every failure and every success. Wishing to avoid one and get more of the other.

Did I ever tell you about my dancing Grandmother? She has no legs. What has two legs and bleeds a lot? Half a dog. What do you get if you cross a cow with a camel? A lumpy milkshake. What’s Mary short for? She’s got no legs.

See? I’d rather do anything else except write about how I feel inside. Terrible. Thanks for asking. Insanity is the only route I haven’t taken besides Jail and Suicide. I’m too chicken for that. I’ve experienced some forms of insanity like depression and anxiety but not the full-blown Psychotic or Schizophrenic. Not yet. I’m working on it.

There is a fine line between denial and acceptance. I’ve crossed it. I am in denial. Well maybe not now that I’m aware of the denial but I was. Denying all of my pain. The recovery of  failed marriages and relationships. The mourning of a thriving business I once had. The loss of  jobs. The thrill of new experiences of my life like sexual fantasies coming to life. The lack of obsessions because I am obsessed with too much. My heart’s been broken several times in the past years and I didn’t even know it. The pressure of not knowing how I am going to pay my rent yet alone eat in the next month. The bills and debt of the last year or two that I was depressed beyond repair. It’s piling up and it’s all coming out at once.

Add this up with the goddamned heat and the miserable people around me and you get – me- a walking talking time bomb. I repress all of my problems. No closure on them as they say in therapy. I can usually maintain my composure like a tough guy but I haven’t been able to shed a tear for my self in along time. I’m either angry or I have that fake happiness that I even fool myself with.

A rush of fear, anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness, anger, depression and heartache at the same time wearing me down like a sleepless night of pills and vodka while running a two hour marathon that has no winner only destitute losers that beg for someone to take care of them. Take care of me. Hold my hand and tell me everything is going to be all right. I won’t believe you but it’s a start. Maybe then I can at least plant one good foot on the ground and be part of the world instead of hiding from it.

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Nicole Died

August 4, 2010

I just found out that my cousin died. Well, she was my ex-cousin. Ex-cousin in-law technically. She was my cousin’s wife. They weren’t officially divorced so I don’t know what to refer to her as. At one time she was considered a friend. She was even my housemate briefly along with my cousin. I stayed in their house while I was down and out in 2003-2004. Weird. I just posted a story on wordpress.com that I wrote in 2004 about going to see the Cramps with her and my friend.

A little family history. When I was in my early 20’s I found my natural father who had left when I was 5 years old. I was quite the partier at the time. I drank a lot and I was always high. He introduced me to his sister. I guess I should say re-introduced me to her. She had around 10 years sober at the time. She told me about my Uncle and my grandmother dying of alcoholism. She was “planting the seed” in my head for when I was ready to get sober. Eventually I did.

Through  her I meet my 3 cousins. Joey. Patrick and Kelly Ann. We got along great but didn’t see each other much but when we did there was a strong bond there. It’s amazing to be so much like a person that you never see. It has to be the genes. I stayed in and out of contact through the years. The male cousins were big partiers. A lot of drinking and drugging. I stopped and they kept going. In 2003 my cousin Patrick died of a drug overdose at the age of 36. Same as me. But for the grace of God there go I. It was hard on the family and tried to remain friends with the remaining cousins. Meanwhile I met Jo’s wife Nicole. She was tattooed and into punk and rockabilly like me. We shared our love for John Waters’ movies and horror. We hung out a lot. My cousin Joe didn’t like to go out much. She was also sober and he was on and off.

I was stuck for a place to live near the end of 2003 and the offered me a room for real cheap so I moved in with them and their 2 dogs and 2 cats. It was a small bedroom but it served my purposes. I still hung out with them at the house. Right before I moved in Nicole had a gastro-bypass surgery and there were complications. Something was wrong with her gall bladder. She started abusing her pain medications as well. Sometimes she was completely incoherent. I dealt with it and moved out in April 2004.

I pretty much lost touch with them after that and they also separated within that year. The last time I saw Nicole she came to visit me at the restaurant I was working at. She was with my dead cousin’s widow who was also known for doing a lot of drugs and partying. They didn’t look too healthy but I was happy to see them. That was at least a few years ago.

Today I joined my natural father for lunch with my aunt. She told us about Nicole’s death. My aunt wasn’t real clear about the exact nature of Nicole’s death. She said it had to do with her neglected gall bladder and her drug use. My cousin Joe isn’t going to go to the funeral. I kind of want to but I don’t think it would be appropriate. She was using her maiden name so I couldn’t find any information on her. I’m not even sure when it happened.

I guess I’m writing this as my way to say of saying goodbye to her. She was a friend and family after all. Rest in Peace Nicole.


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