A Righteous Man

“Woo lookie me, I got cracka Joe’s tie on!”
The mouthwash was gone and the old man was smelling super minty, dancing around my small livingroom, clearly intoxicated. I quit keeping alcohol around the house for exactly this reason. Old Stevedore was 122 years old. He could easily pass for a spry 70.
“Stevedore, we gotta talk buddy.”

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if I’m a modern day slave owner or running an unlicensed nursing home. I think about these things late at night when sleep won’t come.

“Whatchoo wanna talk about SASQUATCH?” There’s that attitude again.

“Look here. I’ve been hearing about some burglaries in the neighborhood. All within A BLOCK of here. The THEIF is stealing some very odd items, Steve.”

The old man gave his best impression of being shocked and offended, wide eyed innocence, totally over the top.

“The old lady across the street said her back door was left open and all that was taken was some cajun seasoning.  Three doors down, that nice family said their little girl’s guinnea pig was stolen, and the intruder left foot prints all over the floor. Bare foot prints.”
The barefoot old man was keeping mum for now.  He was cagey alright.

“The lesbians on the corner said they came home and found a turd on their bed. A TURD! That’s a goddamn hate crime man!  Those bitches were on the channel 2 news last night! They’re actually gonna INVESTIGATE that one! And by the way, where’d the necktie come from huh?  I’m not going down for your shit! All these burglaries somehow happened when I was at work.  I’m gonna have to put you on the Chinese mega bus and send you to Mr. Jimmy until things cool down.  So please, no more ‘hittin’ a lick’, ok?”

“Look hea big man. You ain’t been home none too much lately.   It’s jus habin a lil fun.  You been getting up in some pussy ain’t ya?”

“Yeah, I been getting my share.  I know I ought to be around here for you more.  You’re the only I can trust these days.”  It was true.  I had recently started having some good luck with the ladies.  The best I’ve ever had in fact. Averaging two a week.

“You think it’s just coinkydink dat all ob a sunnen you jus fell out da pussy tree and hit every bitch on da way down?”
It’s true.  This lucky streak of mine was unprecedented.

“It ain’t no fuckin’ coincidence, my man.  I’m handsome and charming.  I look good, I smell good, and all the women wanna fuck me because I’m so goddamn masculine. Besides that, I also believe the gods are rewarding me for being a righteous man. I’m like Oddyseus, dude!”

“Fuck you Oderiferous, fat fuckin’ fish eyed weasel! You ain’t shit! Stevedore is why you been gettin’ lucky wit dem hoes!”

“What are you saying, you old piss smelling black methuselah?” Something told me he wasnt bluffing. But how? He didn’t have the money to pay them, did he?

“You remember when you caught me diggin’ in da backyard? You said I looked like a spook under da full moonlight? That shit hurt my feelings, fat man.”

“I didn’t mean it like that. You know me. I ain’t like that.”

“Hmph. Anyways, I was burying your nasty old underwear. And a lock of yo hair.”

Oh shit.
Guess that explains the mojo hand and the black cat bone next to Stevedore’s pallet.

“You gotta undo it man! These bitches are making goddamn wedding plans before I even pull my dick out! I got em calling my job, one of em slashed my damn tires. I’m just lucky there’s a used tire shop close by or else my ass would be on the bus right now.”

“Oh! On da BUS you say! Yo fat ass can’t ride the bus, but you expect poor old me, one hundred and twenty two years old to ride from casino to casino, listening to all dat jibba jabba, my old bones creakin’, I ain’t gonna do it!  I can’t!”  The crocodile tears were first class.

“Can’t you just turn off the goddam voodoo spell?  One of these lonely bitches is gonna KILL me!  You dont have to take the mega bus. I’ll get you a greyhound.”

“Ok big man. Dat’s mo like it.  But I still want you to do one mo thing fo me.  We gots to go to Big Tammy’s Salon and get some hair outta da dumpsta.”

Just then, a guinnea pig ran across the floor in front of us.

Flowerday Papyrus

Most of the grave markers were old. Old for around there at least. Here and there were some new ones, shiny black stone polished smooth and laser etched with almost photographic quality portraits. All those ones were Russian immigrants.
“Hey, look they misspelled this one. Happily m-e-r-r-i-e-d for forty seven years. Doesn’t sound very merry to me.” Jimbo and Meridith were still getting to know each other. Jimbo always liked walking through graveyards. “You know, one time when I was a kid like 16, I was tripping on acid and I went walking through the Evergreen Washelli cemetary over on Aurora. I sat in the grass and smoked cigarettes and now and then I’d put my ear up against a tombstone to see if I could hear any voices from beyond.” Merideth thought about that for a second, then asked, “So did you hear anything?”
“Yeah. Sounded like when you put your ear against a wall and hear people talking in the other room, real muffled like. I was also high as a kite.”
Merideth was pretty with makeup on, but too fat and not enough tit. Jimbo got lost for a second thinking about Doctor Frankenstein, and how he was rarely happy with any of his women. How he wished he could take the face from one, put it on the body of another, tits from this one, personality of that one. Jimbo knew he wasn’t perfect himself. His main weapon was humor. He wasn’t really very handsome or charming, but he did have an intelligent type of weirdness that baffled them and they’d usually stick around for awhile before they either got bored, or he chased them off.

Out of nowhere, Jimbo tells her, “Heavy metal album covers are the true artistic expression of our culture. The Greeks had their vases and sculptures, the Egyptians had their bas reliefs, the yer-oh-pee-awns had their masters of the brush and canvas. We have Megadeth album covers.”
“Megadeth. Ha. That’s almost like my name.” So much for conversation.

Jimbo spotted a work truck under a tree with a big pile of dirt next to it, and a contented looking Mexican sitting on the tailgate staring at his phone. He liked most Mexicans. They tended not to be sticklers for the white man’s rule of law, happy to overlook minor crimes that didn’t affect them personally. They knew how to mind their own business, an admirable trait in his estimation.
He hadn’t fucked Merideth yet, and thought about maybe trying it here. Should have brought a jacket, he thought to himself. She may not want her bare ass on the ground…
As he was formulating a game plan, Merideth interrupted him and said, “I think I’m gonna steal this gravestone.”
It was small, one of the smallest ones here, not much larger than a standard brick. “It would look cool in my livingroom.” And with that, she bent over and pulled it from the ground, then put it in her purse. You never know what a woman may have in her purse, he mused.

“There’s probably a hundred reasons why you shouldn’t do that.”, Jimbo told her. The grave marker said IRWIN FLOWERDAY, 1822-APRIL 27 1906.

Jimbo fucked Merideth indoors that night. Her ass looked like mashed potatoes, and her inner thighs were discolored a slight brown, but she had a nice plump clitoris, and there was a certain amount of chemistry between them. After the sex Jimbo licked her pussy, and she followed him around like a dog for two weeks after. All good things must end, and this one did like all the rest. He always reminded himself when he met a woman that every relationship they’d both had up to that point had failed.

About a month later, Jimbo was reading a history book about ancient Egypt, and came upon a reference to a 3,600 year old papyrus. It was a sort of anatomy textbook, a forty yard long scroll. It was called the Flowerday Papyrus. Named after Irwin Flowerday.  Small world indeed, Jimbo thought to himself.  He checked the birth and death dates of Flowerday and they matched up alright.  This Flowerday chap made his bones robbing graves for trinkets, and trying to outswindle the local swindlers. He was a two bit hustler, and as far as egyptologists go, he was a bargain basement one.  Now, a hundred and some years later the tables got turned and his headstone is sitting in a fat women’s apartment next to her cat’s scratching post.

Sometimes, Jimbo thought, if you pay close enough attention, you get to laugh along at the universe’s jokes. The only kind of justice any of us can ever hope for is the poetic kind.

Burien part 2

Seattle has been a boom town since the mid 1990’s. From my teen years through my twenties I spent no small amount of time earning a few coins on this jobsite or that one, usually as an unskilled hand, a throw away day laborer, young and strong and large and not betraying even the slightest hint of intelligence or trustworthiness. The foremen and skilled tradesmen looked down on me with contempt and suspicion. My fellow day laborers and I may as well have been Bombay sewer rats in what I perceived to be a modern day caste system. I found that no amount of good attitude or hard work would ever win me a real full time construction job. A driver’s license, a pick up truck and a high school diploma seemed all but unattainable to me, those being the prerequisites for full time construction employment. Even in boom times there are winners and losers, as there always has been, and most winners are unwilling to permit a loser entry to their club. So, I dug ditches or packed forms for minimum wage, unloaded trucks, or stole anything that wasn’t nailed down when there wasn’t work to be had. It’s all who you know, and I didn’t know ’em.

But why all this about jobsites, you ask? Just to mention that it was a construction site adjacent to the music store being the location where my accomplice and I drank pilfered beer that summer evening and concocted an impromptu plot to raid said music store. The way we figured, it would be a piece of cake to clean the place out and turn a tidy profit.
My partner in crime that day was Mr. Clarke, he who fell asleep under the sink, he who I barely knew, and he who would soon reveal his lack of character.

The music store’s backside faced the I-5 freeway. Across the freeway on the other side was a green slope heavily cloaked in trees and brush.
Having surveyed the terrain, we immediately procured two large duffel bags and two large camouflage tarps from Mr. Clarke’s family home, then set to work cutting the cyclone fence behind the store, eliminating the need to climb it later. We then stowed the tarps on the other side of the freeway, under the trees in preparation for our dastardly scheme.
It was well past midnight, traffic was light, and running across the freeway was a breeze.

Back at the construction site now, I noticed a chunk of concrete weighing about thirty-five pounds, laying a mere fifty feet or so from the front window of the music store. Full of cheap beer and reefer, I take the lead, and after carrying the chunk over, I toss it with all my might at the window.
BOUNCE!
I try again.
BOUNCE!
I wasn’t expecting the window to be made of such tough stuff.
After a few more tosses, a small ding appeared. With the claw end of a hammer I went to work on that ding, tearing a hole and then widening it to permit our entrance. It took a lot longer than I would have liked, but after much sweat and toil, it was of an acceptable circumference. I made sure not to disturb the foil security wire around the outside edge of the window, as I knew that doing so would break the circuit and trigger an alarm.

I’d like to point out right now that this music store wasn’t a mom and pop outfit, but a chain store that had a reputation for being less than honest. I was somewhat picky about who I liked to steal from.

In we went and out we came, making four or perhaps five trips to our camouflage tarps across the freeway. The last trip out, my inebriated eighteen year old self caught a sharp edge of the broken window and sliced my leg wide open, broke the window even more, and sounded the alarm. It was extremely loud, 100 decibels or more.
Back across the freeway we go, with me bleeding like a stuck pig.

Within a matter of minutes, safely tucked away under the camouflage tarps, we saw the spot lights and the strobes. Then we heard the dogs. The dogs led their masters to the cut fence and went crazy. They smelled blood alright. These canine sleuths knew exactly where we were, but the cops never did cross the freeway. Mr. Clarke and I dared not even whisper. We breathed shallow and moved not a muscle for over an hour as the dogs barked and the men shone their lights. The incessant barking of the police K9 rattled our nerves and made us both know what it feels like to be the hunted.

They finally must have concluded that we absconded in a truck.

The idea that we were concealed not one hundred yards away was just too absurd a notion for the police to entertain. At first light, we each took a duffle bag and walked away in separate directions, looking like nothing more than two pitiful young homeless men, not worthy of a second glance. I made two more trips to retrieve my share of the booty, and headed back up to North Seattle. Putting some miles between me and the crime scene seemed like the thing to do. I knew of a man who would pay cash on the barrel head for guitars and the like, and I had a good friend who would gladly store the items until arrangements could be made. I had no plans to return to Burien, or see Mr. Clarke ever again.
Mr. Clarke wasn’t much of a criminal. He lived in a large house with his parents, his father was a well respected preacher, his mother a teacher. I think this may have been the first crime he ever committed. He stashed his share of the loot in his bedroom at mommy and daddy’s house.

The temptation to brag and show off ill gotten gains to his middle class peers was too much for him to resist.

One of these friends of his was the son of a King County detective who just so happened to be assigned to the music store case. Life is just full of coincidences. Within 48 hours the jig was up.
He ratted me out with a quickness.

Pretty soon, I’m in an interrogation room with the detective. He tells me what they know and how they know it. If only I were to surrender the stolen merchandise, all would be forgiven. Case closed. My instinct tells me to dummy up, but I’m also thinking, what good will that do? They’ve got me.

I take a chance and play along. Play the part of a nice middle class white kid. Really lay it on thick.
I tell him what a relief it is to finally be caught, the heavy burden of my guilty conscience has been weighing me down. The stolen goods have been nothing but a curse, my black eyes and scuffed up countenance are proof of that, in fact, I was hijacked myself, by a trio of dusky hued savages on my way to a central district pawn shop(all good lies contain a grain of truth) who stole it all away from ME. I’d return it all if I could, but to do so would be impossible, as I no longer possessed it….
The cop was true to his word. I thought for sure I’d end up in a red suit on the eighth floor, but in the end I kept the stuff and walked out a free man.
I have always suspected that this stroke of luck was due to the authorities decision to give Mr. Clarke a break, the good kid from the good family, my own freedom being nothing more than an unpleasant but neccessary by product of that desire to shield him from a blemish on his permanent record. It’s all who you know…

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.
Loudly.
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.”

Click.