Burien part 1

I’d been in Burien about a week. Burien is basically south Seattle. More of a hard edge than the north side, where I was from. I was 18.
Somehow I met another 18 year old guy, named Nate. Nate Clarke.
The first day we met, we went to a kegger party in south Seattle. This Nate Clarke guy got wasted in the first hour and hid under the sink in the kitchen, curled up like a baby, his ass went to sleep.

I knew not a soul at this gathering.
Being 18, and prone to outbursts of belligerence, I began smashing holes in the ceiling and walls with a pool cue, as there was a pool table on the bottom floor of the house which was hosting the kegger party.
I was soon kindly admonished to refrain from destroying the host’s family home by three black gentlemen around my same age.

Instead of taking the friendly warning, (which is exactly what it was), I decided to impugn the race and insult the female family members of these gentlemen.
They inquired if I was willing to enforce my beliefs with violence, and I answered in the affirmitave.
“I’ll take on all three of you niggers.”
Now remember dear reader, if I’m drunk enough to pick fights with strangers in an unfamiliar town, I am, of course, too drunk to actually fight.
Out in the backyard we go, them hitting me with the short sections of 3 piece pool cues, and me usually falling down before they even hit me. It had been raining and the ground was muddy. Three on one, I was doomed for defeat.
Like a big stupid oaf, I kept getting up and trying to fight. I didn’t really feel any damage being done, I thought I still had a chance for victory.

A very nice blonde girl finally got between me and them. She cautioned that one of their blows was bound to kill me. I don’t believe she cared a whit for my well being, but instead was being a responsible citizen and steering us away from a life changing catastrophe.

The dudes stepped back, and the nice blonde girl told me to leave immediately, which I did. Until I figured out two blocks down the road that my hat was still in the backyard, having been knocked off my head. I turned around and barged back into the yard, demanding my hat, and insinuating that some thief had it.

The nice girl gave me my hat and down the road I walked, in some strange neighborhood I’ve never been before, not knowing where the hell I was or where the hell I was going.

Two days later one of the black kids who had been smashing my head with a stick not long ago, approached me on the street. He shook my hand, said no hard feelings, and insisted we become friends.

That same day I saw Mr. Nate Clarke also. We started drinking beer and hatched a plot to rob the guitar store down the street.


The Future of America

This story is one hundred percent true.

Some bullshit ass bar on the Oregon Coast. Seaside, if it really matters. June 13th at 12:06am if ya wanna get technical about it.

He looked like an average rural white kid. Fit. Handsome. Well mannered at first.

He was wearing the standard garb you’d expect from a kid that lives in Corpus Christie, Texas. Trucker hat. Flannel shirt.

After a few drinks, he says he’s a firefighter. We talk. He says he has a great life. He’s not yet 30.  He seems like the polar opposite of the urban beta male pack that the cities are so full of  these days.

I tell him, “Hey, bro, this next shot’s for you. You’re the future of America.”

I really fucking hope I was wrong about that.

After the shot, he makes an Italian joke, assuming that I am Italian. Everyone named Tony MUST be Italian, you know?   I jokingly tell him I’d rather be a Somalian than an Italian.  At this, he tells me that “people are just people, and the world is changing.  We should “WELCOME AFRICAN MIGRANTS WITH OPEN ARMS.”
Whoa. Where is this coming from?

I thought he was a blue collar, working class, TEXAS kinda guy.

After that little statement, I tell him 3/5s of a joke, just to see if he’s serious or not

Like an ugly woman who knows you had lunch with her for the very last time, he gets kinda serious.

He gets to punching me. In the ribs. The chest. What he thinks are the weak spots.  Sort of how an old buddy would punch you.  Expect he wasn’t an old buddy

He tells me he’s half Irish, half Mexican. Lucky me. How he loves to fight. How crazy he gets when he drinks. How he’s pretty much a bad ass. Laying it on thick.

He keeps punching me at the bar, where we’re both seated. I’m waxing stoic, and he keeps trying to punch me harder. Kind of joking, but kind of not. Testing me.

I say, “Hey. You ever been inside a boxing gym?”

He says “No.”

This dude is almost 15 years younger than my old out of shape ass.

I tell him, “Let’s arm wrestle.”

Right about then,
I swear on my honor,

he started calling me a bully.

Started saying it loud.

Asking for help.

Looking like a mommas boy who’s trying to hide behind his mother’s apron strings.

He showed me his true colors.

This person (I won’t call him a man) started calling out for help.
Proclaiming me a bully.
Playing the victim.
Sounding like a bitch ass south east Portland faggot.

Except he was a firefighter from Corpus Christie, Texas, named Alejandro. (goes by AJ.)

The barkeep came over.

He told her I was a threat.

I was told to leave.

I was wrong about the future of America.

You don’t know what you got til it’s gone

“So, tell me about your drug use?” The room had an antiseptic vibe. Fake wood table with two padded office chairs, not much else.
“Uh, ya know, just beer.  A little bit of whiskey.  I might smoke a little bit of reefer with the negros next door once in awhile.”
“So you wouldn’t consider yourself an alcoholic or an addict?”
“Hey doc, if I could, I would. The damn hangovers are what kills me. I don’t think I could go on a bender these days even if I wanted to.” The thought of being a man of leisure was nothing but a far off fantasy, one that wouldn’t happen for 99% of working guys.
“Would you like to tell me about how you got here, how you wrecked your truck?”
He didn’t want to think about it. Didn’t want to acknowledge it.
“Well, I had just got to work that day. I went behind my truck to make sure my lights were working, and suddenly, I had to take a leak. I pull out my dick, and like….there was two of em.  I had my old regular dick, and then I also had this new dick that was right next to it. It freaked me out.” It seemed unreal to be saying these things out loud for the first time.
“I see….TWO penis’s you say?”
“Yeah that’s right doc. The thing is, it seemed like I just had to do somethin’. I had a date that night. I didn’t wanna be whipping it out on the first date and end up scaring this chick. I mean, a guy with two dicks? What would she think? They were so close together, I wouldn’t really be able to do anything special with both of em at the same time em, ya know?”
“Go on. Tell me what happened next.”
“So, the new dick was, uh, a lot bigger than the old dick. I felt like I had to make a choice right then…in that moment. Like I had to do SOMETHING.”
“Please don’t stop telling me what happened. This is very important.”
“Ok. So I took out my switch blade. I always keep it real sharp. It seemed like a no-brainer to just cut off the old dick, and like, looky here, I just came out ahead, won the dick lottery. So, I did. Sliced it off, didn’t feel a damn thing, just like it was a big skin tag or something.”
“So, you amputated your penis?”
“It sounds crazy when you say it like that. But yeah, I cut it off, left it laying there in the dirt and took off to do my run.”
“That’s quite remarkable. It takes a very strong person to do that.”
“Yeah thanks. But a few miles down the road I start having second thoughts. Like maybe I shoulda gone to a doctor. I wasn’t even thinking about the blood loss…..maybe I shoulda tested the new dick out, make sure it works, ya know? The old dick never let me down, it was always there, always did what it was supposed to do. And I left it laying in the dirt.  I left my poor dead dick just laying there on the ground. What if a stray dog found it……”, the patient was now crying and sobbing, his eyes red, his nose running.
The doctor looked at him with cold, calculating eyes, and said, “Our time is up. I’ll be back here tomorrow. Try to get some rest.” As he walked out of the room and out of the hospital, he felt a giddy joy welling up in his chest. The flight back to Fort Detrick wouldn’t be leaving for another four hours, plenty of time to write his report. Just wait til we drop this shit on the Chinese, he thought to himself with a smile.  LSD was nothing compared to this.

The Great Writer

“So I hear you split with your chick. You guys were together for awhile, right?”

“Yeah. Shits been weird around here. I can’t keep up with the great writer. He goes hard. Last night he came home from god knows where, wearing just his underwear, drunk as fuck, bleeding from his nose. He had four stray dogs with him.”

“Damn dude.”

“Last week at like 3:00am, he barges in my room, I’m boning my chick, and all of a sudden he’s right there next to my face, yelling at me, ‘You fuck like a bitch! Let me show you how a MAN fucks!  Get off!  My turn!’…”

“What the fuck? Who is this guy?”

“John LaFrank.  He’s a genius. I told you that already. Get this, he rigged up a sparring dummy with some old clothes and ziplock baggies full of ketchup, taped ‘em underneath the clothes where all the major arteries are. He’s been teaching my kids how to stab people. My youngest pulled a knife on me last week because I ‘disrespected’ him.”

“So what about your chick?”

“She’s living in the garage with the great writer. The kids started sleeping in there too. Like I said, everything is weird around here lately.”

“Alright man, well take it easy.”

“You too.”


Mongolia’s Violence Guy

“Gantulga has killed another motorcycle rider this week. I was there! The man was trying to sell us electronics, when I hear Gantulga yell ‘etsegtei shaalga’, so I look over to where the motorcycle man had been, and there he was, on the dirt, bleeding a river. Gantulga was dancing over him, swinging that wooden stick, and smiling like a devil.”

Oyuunchimeg silently listened to the young boy’s story. He didn’t mind the occasional murder, he was the oldest man on the steppe, and liked how Gantulga held on to the old ways, riding horses, shooting his bow, even drinking airag still. In the year 2147 most men preferred the clear alcohol sold by Turks.
The number of dead city people was getting to be a problem though, as Gantulga had lately refused to bury them. ‘Let the birds feast on these useless city rats!’ he’d say.

Gantulga seemed very much different since the first time his horse kicked his head, 2 months ago on the first day of the year. Since then, he had been head kicked 17 times. It was obvious early on, after the third or fourth time that he was intentionally getting the horse to kick him.

Gantulga had also been drunk every night since the new year, always trying to show the younger men how to hit each other with fists, never sleeping, and spending many hours in his ger doing mysterious things. As Oyuunchimeg sat on the ground quietly thinking of all these things, Gantulga drunkenly emerged from his ger and proclaimed “I have just written 4 books on how to properly kill motorcycle men and city sissies.” In his hand were 4 leather bound, hand written books. Oyuunchimeg took one from him and tried to decipher it, but the writing was strange to him. Gantulga had never been to the city, and thus had never learned to read, much less write. This was troubling. Oyuunchimeg became worried Gantulga was indeed insane.

The Pool

Me and the younger kid were trying our hand at finishing drywall, when he asked “Can we go to the pool?”   He’s been a good helper, so there’s no way I could say no.  “Tell your brother to put on some trunks and let’s go.”

Fast forward to the pool.  My 2 sons, 8 and 9 years old were playing water basketball, peacefully enough before a group of 3 black kids between about 12 and 14 started in.  I was sitting off to the edge in my street clothes, glancing at a book and periodically glancing at the pool.  I see a little scuffle and walk over.  I told my 8 year old “come out and talk to me over here.  What’s going on?”  He tells me “That black kid keeps splashing me, he spit in my face and called me a bitch.”  I tell him “if he calls you a bitch or spits on you again, punch him in the nose.”

“let’s go talk to your brother now.”  I tell his 9 year old brother “stay with your little brother.  If anything happens, don’t let him get hurt, you hear me?  Stay next to him.”

So, they go back to play water basketball, and the kid spits on my 8 year old son, and calls him a bitch.  Before the 8 year old has a chance to act, his 9 year old brother steps in and smashes the black teen twice, two hits to the nose.  After that, it kinda  turned into an all around scuffle.

The life guards immediately blame my two younger smaller white boys, so I motion from across the pool for my boys to come over to me.  No sooner do they come, now here’s three men of color walking aggressively towards me.  I stand to greet them and the leader of the pack tells me “Yo kid hit my kid.  Whatchoo gonna do about that?”    I lie and say “I didn’t see my kid hit anyone.”  And then, “my kid tells me your kid spit on him and called him a bitch.”   The man with his 2 friends beside him informs me in a menacing tone “you need to talk to yo kid!”  Sorry folks, but if there’s one thing I won’t stand for it’s a stranger showing any sign of aggression anywhere near my children.  Every instinct in me wants to drop this clown, slap the doo-rag off his nappy head (the three guys were also wearing street clothes, not swimming), and stomp his brains out until one side of the pool is pink

As he took another step closer to me, I looked deeply into his chocolate eyes and pointed my finger to the south.  “Walk the fuck away right now.”  The three wannabe gangsters walked away, not before calling me a bitch over their shoulder.  All this is going on at the edge of the pool.  I turned to the military age male lifeguard and said “you’re a coward.  You saw exactly what was going on the whole time, and just looked the other way.  Easier to blame my kids isn’t it?”

I asked my kids if they were scared during the ruckus at the pool.  The 9 year told me “I wasn’t scared and I don’t feel bad about punching that kid.  He never should have bullied my little brother.”  Sometimes walking away is best, and the idea of me hospitalizing 3 people of color in the parking lot, fun as it may be, wasn’t really a very good option if it could be avoided. We left the pool, and got some ice cream on the way home.

Today they learned something.

I don’t know what, but something.

The Last Temptation of Spunky

The voice on the phone was frantic and sobbing, rhythmic, like a song.  Each word was a chord, rooted in notes of desperation   The name of the song is ‘person on the edge’.  We’ve all heard it, we’ve all sung it, maybe you can’t play it on your ukelele, but you recognize it when you hear it

“Spunky’s dead.  Bwa-ha-harm-um-ung-aahhhh…”.  He could barely hear her, which was a blessing.

“I’m sorry, I know you loved that dog.”  The dog was 20 years old, not exactly a full scale tragedy.

“Can you bury him for me?  He-he’s starting to stiiiink-uh-huh-ung-huh-un-hng…”. His mind wandered, and he pondered, how she would react during an actual tragedy.  Are women really this fragile?   He didn’t even cry when his old man died.  He was 14…..

“Yeah, ok. I’ll come over and bring my shovel, be there around one o’clock. Make sure you don’t pass out drunk and leave your door locked again. I got a million things to do today and don’t wanna fuck around with this deal.  Where’s the dog at now?”

“He’s in my bed, I’ve been sleeping with him and cuddling him, I don’t want to let him go….”

He began to laugh, but stopped himself.  “Look, you can’t keep a dead dog in your bed…..”

”I got a towel under him….”

”You can’t keep dead things in the house.  You can’t cuddle with dead dogs.  Put him in a garbage bag and leave it outside.”

”I’m NOT going to put SPUNKY in a GARBAGE BAG!  He’s NOT GARBAGE!”

His mind went back to all the times she complained that his pillows smelled funny, how she was forever irritated in his bed, because he ‘fucked that WHORE on the sheets I BOUGHT YOU’…..

”You gotta get Spunky out of the house.  Your other dogs are gonna start eating him, and then you’re really gonna lose your shit…..”

”They’re not gonna eat him!  God, why did I even call you?  You’re so insensitive!  Every time I call you with some—-“

As he hung up, he casually wondered to himself how many plagues have arisen through the ages due to some goofy woman cuddling a dead thing.  He decided to let her dig that grave herself.