Sunday, September 14, 2008

No. 13 and No.14

sweet little honeysuckle

Last Stand at Crack County (part 1)

Certain combinations of events are bound to be a disaster. Take for instance, this little gem of a bad recipe: one dead aunt, a predator half-cousin, a bar full of Crips, crack, guns, caddy’s, ho’s, and me. *Note: Dear cousin Jesse if you ever stumble across this, I love you but that weekend was a fucking nightmare.

At the Church of Rock:

Funerals are never fun, and not just because someone you loved dearly just died, but also not fun on a whole entire different plane of existence when you are surrounded by gangsters and toothless crackheads who are also, in their own way, mourning as well. That being said, it’s hard enough to deal with the pain of loss when you also have to fear for your own life at the same time.

It’s been about 6 months now and I still can’t even get my head around this one yet.

I guess I should give you a little background history leading up to this event.
My mom’s little biker-babe sister, Aunt Marty, lived in a trailer in the mountains in Washington with super-creep Uncle Ken.
They sold drugs and had a beautiful red-headed baby girl named Jesse.
Uncle Kens drinking habit was as bad as his never-ending beatings on my aunt.
Cousin Jessie rebelled against her wasted meth-head-white-trash upbringing by getting knocked up by a Crip and had a wonderful little baby boy at age 16.
Alcoholism had gotten the better of Uncle.
He died after getting out of prison for trying to kill Aunt Marty.

Fast-forward 4 and a half years.

Mom gets a call from Cousin Jessie, Aunt Marty had just died of a lung and heart failure. It’s not said out-loud, but it’s from crack. That week Jessie spends the night in jail with a DUI, while her boyfriend also is in jail for a fight. Both her parents are dead. Someone else has to take care of her son and his 3 kids. All this and she’s only 21.

So my brother and my parents and I head up to Washington for the funeral. I hadn’t talked to my aunt for so many years she didn’t seem real to me anymore. I had to pull from old memories of her drunken late night phone calls and lessons she taught me on picking psilocybin mushrooms in the wild. She was my favorite aunt.

We show up late to the funeral home. I know my aunt had been religious, but I guess she ended up as a Born Again, or a Baptist. There was a strange tension in the air. I walk up the aisle and sit in the second row behind Jessie and her boyfriend and son. The sermon starts and immediately the preacher is going off. He’s telling us we did my aunt wrong. Who is this guy? He’s staring us down. The audience is agreeing. Adding in “hallelujah’s” and “Amens!” Most of them are missing teeth and have crazy eyes. I’m thinking who the fuck are these people? It’s psycho-babble time.

And boy are we white. I guess Aunt Marty had followed her daughter in taste in men after Ken died. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t give a shit about any of that, but what I do give a shit about how people treat each other. You really don’t notice the color of your skin until people MAKE you notice. I still don’t understand how opportunist-racism works, but found out later why we were the enemy. This was a room full of hate.

///More to come////

Friday, September 5, 2008

Twenty-four Hour Freakshow

Oh man. How do I start this one?
First, I will pre-apologize to anyone suffering from Down Syndrome or Turrets. Or accute OCD. I'm sure they all are very nice people, so if you are a human right advocate or family member of one their tribe then please stop reading. Or read along and think I'm prick. In this case I'm not going to ruin my good time on account of your feelings or their personal well-being.
Let me ask you this: How LUCKY was I to not only have a retarded guy try to run on the treadmill right next to me today, but also to have the good fortune of a completely mirrored wall directly in front of me to watch the whole affair like it was on tv? I suppose if you work with the disabled then you can really picture what I got to see, but most of us in our lifetime don't get the up-close and personal chance to witness all the extreme facial expressions and awesome treadmill mastering that the mentally retarded have to offer.
At first when I saw the guy walk up next to me, I'm thinking, there are 12 other available treadmills in here, guy. Don't try anything funny. Oh, but funny he was. Funny like you know you aren't supposed to laugh in church when you hear a fart but still can't help yourself. And we all know that shit's about ten times funnier when it's not supposed to be. It's a really good thing that I had my headphones on and didn't hear the mumbo-jumbo he was yelling out when his water bottle flew out of the holder and onto his track. Obviously that's not supposed to happen and treadmills can become a Death-mill if anything gets underfoot. But when you're running (or trying to run) like an angry momma rhino, then you can expect that shit is gonna start to fly.
When this happens, I'm about 20 minutes into my run, a little winded, and my face starts screwing up on me because I'm trying not to laugh. Fuck. Really. You try to keep a straight face with that catastrophe going on right next to you. Remember, I'm seeing all this full-frontal too. The whole time I'm thinking, am I an asshole for thinking this is funny? And, is anyone else trying not to laugh? First answer: No, because it really is, and the second: also a disappointing No. Nobody seems to have noticed him or they are all being very stoic.

Oh, yes. The fun for me doesn't stop there.

Pretty soon after being defeated by his squirt bottle Corky gives up.
Exit retard-boy stage left.
I have about eighteen more minutes left to run and where's my goddamn entertainment going? I barely have a chance to finish that thought when just like clockwork, enter crazy Turrets/OCD chick stage right. It's a Fire Walk With Me kind of moment.
I'm the kind of person who believes that people afflicted with Turrets are pretty damn funny. Who doesn't? But when you stick them in a pair of high-waisted pants with the shirt tucked in and give them a bad case of germ-aphobia then they become fucking hilarious.
Oh the pants! And the weirdness! This chick was even better than the guy with Down Syndrome. She immediately caught my attention when she jumped off the Stairmasters like she had just grabbed onto electric eels. I guess the handles must have been sweaty, which is pretty gross, but this lady made an entire production out of it. Again, I was lucky to have the best seat in the house.
So she turns around and starts shaking the heebie-jeebies out and STORMS over to the spot on the wall where the gym keeps disinfectant in a spray bottle. Before picking up the bottle she had to do some sort of angry weird dance for awhile. I think she wiped her hands on her pants about 12 times during this dance. Anyways, the bottle is filled with what looks like blue windex.
First she sprays her hands, wipes, and sprays again. Dances. Sprays. Wipes. Ok. Not normal at all, but fair enough.
Wait. Oh no. What's this?
Her head must have been contaminated too because that gets a hearty three sprays.
Pure genius.
After that little meltdown I thought she was going to leave the gym but why would she do that after all that routine cleansing? She storms back to the same Precor right behind me, and starts patting it down from top to bottom over and over again like it's a white-hot griddle. But not with disinfectant, no, she left the bottle on the shelf. Just with her antimicrobial hands.
What the fuck? I'm still running. Am I really seeing this or am I just getting dehydrated?
Holy fuck.
She gets on the machine and begins marching up and down. I can't believe it.
I'm looking around at other people who have obviously noticed this fiasco and everyone has that smirky grin like "what the fuck, did you see that shit?" look on their face.
I saw a trainer bend over the medicine ball in agony.
People might have missed the Special Olympics that had happened right next to me a few minutes earlier, but not this. Meanwhile, I'm losing oxygen from trying not to bust out laughing. I was fighting an inner demon. Only shear determination and iron will kept me on that treadmill. This was an exercise of the mind. The chick was still marching in place when I left the gym. Elastic waistband pants and polo shirt moving along to an angry rhythm.

Oh, yes. This day was like a fucking miracle.

If there is such a thing, then I swear that I just got paid back in good Karma for the past two full days of teaching. What I had just seen was Tropic Thunder-funny. But even better, because this was a real live show that no comedic skit could even come close to touching.

These were true handy moments at their finest.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lankershim Blvd Part 2. Speed Kills

7:48 pm.
almost got ran over by a man with one leg in a cast and one cut off going 35 mph on the sidewalk. In a motorized cart. smoking as fast as the wheels could spin. That cholo was killin the sidewalks one crack at a time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008