Monday, November 30, 2009
The truth is, I getting along alright till I learned his name. Now I have a name and a face to go with these bad thoughts. I gave her a birthday present yesterday when she came to pick up the kids. Setting myself up for more pain I suppose. I really have to get out of that habit. She had brought me some pictures of the girls and my scanner. She gave me a hug and said I was loosing too much weight. I kissed her cheek and went back inside.I called and told her she forgot the power cable to the scanner. She said she’ll bring it next time. I said good bye. I thought I heard her say I love you. I think I imagined that part.
I thought my grandparents lived in the phone. I would imagine a tiny grandma yelling at the ceiling to talk to me. When we would visit I couldn’t figure out how I shrunk down to phone size. Why the road wasn’t all twisted like the phone cord?
My grandparents had a ranch. They had horses, chickens, pigs and cows. I liked to run around and try to scare the animals. I would sneak into the henhouse and toss the eggs on the ground. The chickens fought each other over who got to eat it. I was fascinated by this.
They brought these crates of baby chicks home. I loved them. They would follow me around when I would go see them. I decided they needed more room. I opened up the door and they all followed me out. We walked around the ranch. We walked up to the front porch. We walked into the house.
I stood on a chair surrounded by the chicks and yelled out “I let all the baby chickens out!”
Everybody came running. They started scooping up chicks and putting them in boxes and baskets.
Granma told me “Never, ever do that again.”
It took awhile to clean up the chickens. I stood in the corner for awhile as punishment for being the great emancipator of chickens.
Grandpa solved the problem by putting a lock on the chicken coop.
I had my first cousin. I wasn’t number one anymore. I was the first grandkid, the first nephew. I had everything. Her name was Tanya. She got more then me at Christmas that year. I kicked her in the back.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I get up this morning and just go meh. Not sad, happy or anything. I don’t really care today. Got up, feed the cat, got dressed, had some coffee and just went meh. I’ve lost the ability to care at work. It pays the bills and I have plenty of free time when I’m there to do whatever, but I feel like I’m wasting away here. I’m turning 37 in a few weeks, too late to start looking for something else. I don’t want to start at the bottom again. I don’t want some 25 year old kid just out of college telling what to do.
Don was the first person I met when I moved to Ridgecrest. I was taking a machine shop class up at the college. I didn’t want to be a machinist or anything; it just seemed like an interesting class. I thought Don was one of the instructors. He seemed to know a lot about the work we were doing. If anyone needed help he was always there and he was able to fix the problem.
I started talking to the guy and realized that he was only two years older then me. He was just out of the army and trying to start over. He drove a flat bed truck that was usually loaded with hay. Don would give me a ride from the campus back to the high school. Time went on and Don and I grew to be pretty good friends. It turned out that our families had known each other since the sixties. My father dated his step mom in high school.
It started getting really crowded at my grandmother’s place. My grandpa had Alzheimer’s and was bed ridden. My aunt was a hardcore drug addict and her kids were living there. My dad and I shared a room. Don suggested that I move to his place. His parents had a ranch out in the middle of nowhere. I helped out around the place, feed the animals, and chopped wood. I became a half assed ranch-hand. I dug it. At night we would throw on our black trench coats, find whatever vehicle we could get running and go to town. We didn’t really do much. We mostly sat around Denny’s drinking coffee and eating French fries till we were kicked out.
Terrance came up to me in class and said “I bet you sit around and listen to music.”
Actually yes I do was my response. We spent the rest of the day talking music and comparing briefcases’. We both carried briefcases’ to class. We made plans to hang out on Friday. Don and I would pick him. We went to his house, met his parents and left. After a half hour of wandering aimlessly around the desert we ran into a group of Terrance’s friends. He told us he is going to go hang out with them now and split. Don and I ended up back at Denny’s.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
When you don’t hunt or fish, there is not a hell of a lot to do in Alaska. We mostly sat around watching movies and drink beer. I still wanted more. I saved up and bought a used car. While walking through the halls one day I ran into a guy named Jon. I had a Nine Inch Nails cd in my hands. Jon saw it and asked if it was any good. I told him I hadn’t listened to it yet. We decided to go to his room and give it a listen. We threw the disc on and talked for the next hour or so about music. Jon asked why he hadn’t seen me around. I told him how I had just gotten there and had been hanging out the other guys. He suggested I tag a long to a party of base with him and some friends.
Later that night Jon knocked on my door. With him were Ben, Mike and Blaine. I had the biggest car so we decided to take mine. We piled in and drove to Fairbanks. They were shocked that I had never been off base. Before the party they directed me around town, pointing out cool things I should go check out. I saw the Northern Lights for the first time. To me they looked like red glowing curtains blowing in the breeze.
We went to the party and I met all of their friends. They were all very nice and accepting. We drank a lot of beer and talked till about two in the morning. We decided to call it a night.
We started driving back to the base. I had to pee. Badly. We drove around looking for a place to stop. We gave up and stopped at a vacant lot. I got out and started.
I heard Jon say “Jim! Cops!” Again with the Jim, I hated that name. I figured they were fucking with me. I feel a tap on my shoulder.
“Stop what you’re doing.”
“I can’t, I’m pissing.”
I turn around and this big Fairbanks cop is standing there.
“We just don’t piss wherever we feel like in this state. Next time I suggest you take a leak before you leave. ”
He wrote me a ticket for public urination. He told me he could get me for indecent exposure. I could hear everyone laughing in the car.
I went to court and had to pay $300 bucks for taking a piss outside.
Friday, November 20, 2009
He told me he roomed with me because god wanted him to watch over me. His half of the room was covered in Reba McIntire posters. Mine was covered in Hubcaps, Christmas lights, bike parts and whatever else I could attach to the walls. I didn’t have any girlfriends. He would ask if I was a “fag”. Being from California and not having a girlfriend automatically made me gay in his eyes.
Chuck would invite his church group over for bible study. He ended each meeting with “Let’s pray for Jim.” He called me Jim, another reason to hate him.
I decided I needed to get rid of him. We couldn't just move out without all this paperwork bullshit. So I decided to scare him into moving out. I started collecting Serial killer/Mass murder books. I had trading cards. I started a correspondence with a couple. I gave my number to Richard Hanson and told him to go ahead and call collect. After about two months Ole’ Chuck split. He moved out to some Christian housing thing. I feel shitty about it, but he was an asshole.
Look up Academy Fight Song by Mission of Burma. It fit the situation perfectly.
Molly II the cat is sick. I got out of bed and stepped in cat puke. Nothing starts the morning like warm, wet, smelly cat food between you toes. I had my coffee and sat for a minute and watched the news.
Before I left I grabbed a CD book to grab some music for the drive in. More cat vomit. I don’t know how she did it, but it was everywhere. I scrubbed it out grabbed a disc and split. I hope she’s ok.
I had a dream last night about this girl from my past. We sat on the bed and watched movies. We kissed each other and went to sleep. It’s strange, I’ve never thought this way about her before. I woke thinking that it was nice.
Am I really ready to start moving on? Is that what the dream was telling me? Do I just want someone next to me, or do I actually want another relationship? The truth is I’m scared to death about the whole thing. I’m scared to talk to anyone, scared to let my guard down. Scared to allow my self to go through it all over again. I’m scared I’ll just mess up a whole new relationship. Will there be someone out there that can take the fact that I’m basically a cynical bastard who uses sarcasm as a second language because after thirty six years I’m still a sacred thirteen year old when it comes to women.
Do I just say fuck it and be by myself for awhile and try and enjoy it?
I really don’t know what to do. Part of me says, yes be alone. Another part of me wants someone, anyone to notice me, take me by the hand and make me feel loved again.
So, I’ll go on each day living. If something happens something happens. I’m not going to try and force anything to happen. You can’t change the person you are and someone somewhere will like me just as I am.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
When I was five we had our choice of two sites to play on. The first one was on 24th street. Every kid in the neighbor hood knew that was our site. No one else could play there but us. The other was on some street that intersected 23rd and 24th. We didn’t play there much, a bunch of teenagers hung out at that one.
We decided we wanted to claim it as our own. We walked up to the teenagers and told them we were going to play there. “Fuck you babies” was the response. They said they will beat us up if we stayed. We turned and ran.
WHAM! Something smacked the back of my head. I fell face first in the street.
“Shit man you hit him!”
“Let’s get the fuck out of here before he tells on us.”
Hal and Joey G. (The same Joey G. from the Noel incident) picked me up. My back was all wet. I put my hand on the back of my head. I looked at my hand. It was covered in matted hair and blood. There was a broken beer bottle next to my feet. The bastard threw a beer bottle at a five year old kid. Hal yelled out to the teenagers that we are going to kill them. I started crying. Hal and Joey G. walked me home. My mom threw me in the back seat and we drove to the emergency room. The nurse shaved the back of my head and comforted me. The Dr. came in and cleaned the cut out. He kept squirting water into and spreading it open looking for glass. It hurt like hell. He stitched me up and I was on my way home. I got sit in the library for recess for the next couple days.
We never told anyone who actually hit me. As far as the parents know, clutzy old Verne fell down and sliced his head open.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
We moved out to our own place and I had my own room. She would get drunk and sing sad country songs and call out my dads’ name. Sometimes when she was drunk she would come into my room and get in bed with me. Breathing her horrible wine breath in my face as she tried to make he hold her. I would push away and that would piss her off. “Fine then no one loves me I guess.”
That room became my prison. I was not allowed out of my room unless I had to use the bathroom. All my meals were eaten in the room. I could go to school, but after school I had to back in my room. I would read and listen to music. They became my salvation.
As I got older she got worse. She would walk into my room and tell me things like if I ever had a girlfriend I would be going to hell because it was a sin to touch girls. She told me she knew everything I did because she had microphones hidden around the house.
I had to keep my door so I wouldn’t beat off like my father.
After awhile the yelling and paranoia weren’t enough. She started hitting me. First it was just a slap then a wooden spoon, it moved on to fist and kicking. Hell, she even hit me with a blender once.
She would tell me to get out, that she couldn’t afford to feed me anymore. I’d leave and walk around and be picked up by the police after a few hours. She would call them and say that I had run away.
The worst was in ninth grade. I had gotten a D in some class. I had a ten gallon aquarium with two newts. When she got the report card she stormed in my room picked up the tank and threw it at me. It missed my head and shattered against the wall. Glass, rocks, water and the two dead newts were on my bed. “Clean up your fucking mess you god damned dummy!” was all she said.
The next day it was like nothing happened. She asked where the aquarium went.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
When I went to bed I just started thinking about everything that’s going on in my life and wondering how to make it right. My mind was going a million miles an hour. I couldn’t turn it off. I turned on the radio. I tried to concentrate on the news and turn my mind off.
When I got up I was overcome with sadness. I keep telling myself that I’m getting over this, but every once in a while I’ll see something or hear something that reminds me of her. A song on the radio, A place we used to eat at. Trying to remember every little detail of our life together.
In an unrelated note..
My parents thought I was gay when I was little. Most of my friends were girls. I would hang out and play with them. We would put on plays and do little shows in one of our garages. My dad would say that no straight boy would do that. It didn’t help that there weren’t very many boys on our block. One of the boys would always ask to sleep over and would try to climb in bed with me. Once he asked me if I had any hair down there yet and would I show him. I tried to stay away from him. My parents thought the other boy on the block was a bad kid and wouldn’t let me play with him. So hell, who was I supposed to play with?
Sometimes we would play Happy Days. I got to be Fonzie. Jennifer and Stacy would random 50’s sounding girls names and be my girlfriends. They stood around and cheered and I rode my bike up and down the street. I had stupid little second grade crushes on either them at one time or the other. So I was happy when they held my arm and called themselves my girlfriend. In my mind I was one cool little mother fucker.
Once for Christmas or my birthday, I can’t remember which it was. I asked for a sewing machine. That did not help the “my son might be gay” situation at all.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
In second grade I wet my pants. I sat there for an hour or so in pee pants because I was too embarrassed to say anything. Mrs. Lynn said no one goes to the bathroom unless it’s an emergency. The girl that sat next to me kept looking over at me making this scrunchy nosed face. She knew.
The recess bell rang. I waited till everybody left before I got up. I told Mrs. Lynn what happened. She walked me to the office. I had to call my mom to bring me new clothes. I sat around for another half hour waiting for her to show up. When she did I was relieved that she didn’t yell at me. She just handed the nurse some clean underwear and a pair of pants. I changed and went back to class.
I told everyone I slipped in the boy’s room and landed in a puddle of pee. I don’t think they bought it.
One year later, I did the same thing.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Amelia was a bitch. No other way to put it, just a bitch. She was the neighborhood bully. At five years old we were all terrified of her. She would walk up to us and just punch the crap out of you for no reason. The playground at the apartment complex was hers. We had to ask permission to go on the swings or use the slide. She ruled that place.
One day this albino boy moved in. He came out to play and tried to use the slide. Amelia hit him in the head with a rock. He fell over and started shaking. One of the kids ran to tell Amelia’s parents. Her mom said Amelia wouldn’t do that. She’s a good girl.
The albino kid’s parents ran to the playground. Some ones dad wrapped albino boy up in a blanket and raised his feet up. He was taken to the hospital. He came back with six stitches and a broken nose. He never came out to play again.
Amelia threatened all of us. She’ll beat us up if we said anything.
Two days later Amelia socked my in the stomach because I used the swing without asking her first. I had enough. I waited till she was on the slide. I found a piece of 2x4. When she came off the slide I smacked her in the forehead with it. She cried and ran away.
I was scared. My parents were going to beat me for sure. I ran and hid in my frog toy box in the closet. I was in there for about an hour when I heard the doorbell ring. I could hear muffled voices. Something about suing and bills and that I should be arrested.
My father came into my room looking for me. He called out my name but I stayed in the box. He opened up the closet and pulled me out. He told me that Amelia is a brat and I shouldn’t hit girls. He told me he is proud of me for standing up for myself, but next time tell him instead of clobbering some one with a piece of wood.
We shared a common wall with Amelia’s apartment. The bathroom plumbing went out once time and the plumber removed part of the wall between the bathrooms. We could hear everything that happened in their bathroom. I woke up one morning to Amelia asking for her mom to wipe her butt. She was saying she got it all over and needed help.
I went to school and announced that Amelia can’t wipe her own butt.
She never bothered us again.
There are new people in my life now, old friends, new friends and friends I forgot I had. I don’t know if I’m just using them as distraction from my life or not. I try to concentrate on keeping my mind busy, keeping occupied. I’m trying new things and it seems to be working. One new friend has inspired me to take the plunge and do something I’ve always wanted to do but never bothered trying.
In a way, you still inspire me. I still want to be a better man. You gave me lightness for 12 years and I thank you for that. I never thought I deserved some one like you, and I guess I was right all along. I will never speak an ill word of you. You are an amazing person and I’m honored knowing that I was in your heart for that time we were together.
It’s time to move on.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It seems that the lower dregs have always attached themselves to me. The losers and outcast were always my friends in school. Not pretty enough for the A-list cliques, not rich enough.. I’m more comfortable with them.
We would sit and make fun of them. Their perfect little worlds with parents who always got along, had jobs, never had to wonder where they were going to get dinner, always knew where home was. We would convince ourselves that they only thought they were happy. They didn’t have the problems like we did.
We were so jealous. We had to get our clothes at thrift stores and clearance racks. We would get free school lunches. We wore the wrong clothes. We listened to the wrong music. We sucked at sports and had no clue how to talk to girls. We never got invited to the parties or dances at school.
Of course now that I’m older I realize that they were just like us. They had the same hopes and fears my little group of losers had. They just dealt with it differently.
Even to this day when I see a group of people having fun, I wonder how they do that. How do they talk and get along? Was I born with a defect in my brain? Why can’t I ever be part of the group? After all these years I’m still a bit envious of them. Everybody wants to be popular. Everyone craves attention.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
In 1986 I heard a song on the radio. The station was 88.1 KUCR , a collage station out of
I called the station and asked what album it was on. The next day I ditched school hopped on a bus to
I went straight to my room and put the record on. I was completely blown away. The power , the urgency. Everything was perfect. Every note rang true with me. I understood every word. Everything was about me. I didn't feel alone anymore. Someone understood. Someone knew what was going on.
Whenever I would fight with her I would lay down with my headphones on and dissolve into Zen Arcade.
The name Husker Du translates to Do You Remember.
I had Husker Du tattooed on my left arm. I never want to forget the pain and horror I went through. I never want to forget that no matter how hard things are, there is somebody going through the exact same thing you are. They will survive it and you will too.
We lived in five different places in San Pedro. An apartment, three houses and a travel trailer in a dirt lot. My parents never paid the bills or rent. The first house was infested with cockroaches. I would take a bath and watch the roaches crawl around the walls.
One day I asked if I could go out and play. My moms said yes but that we were leaving soon so don’t go far away. On the next block over was a construction site. I would play in a sand pile there. I took some army men and a plastic tank and went to the sand pile. An hour or so my parents drove up. They started yelling at me for being so far away and that they went to the grocery store without me because they couldn’t find me.
When we got home I was sent to my room for the rest of the day.
I lay in my bed bored out of my mind when I noticed a little hole in my wall. I put my finger in and started pulling out little pieces of plaster. I kept pulling out pieces of wall till my mom walked in and saw the now three inch hole in the wall. She grabbed my by the shoulders and slapped me across the face twice. I had to sit on the couch the rest of the day.
The second house was across the street from the first one. It was lime green and had thick turquoise blue carpet. That’s all I remember about that place.
We were evicted after about three months. We borrowed a little travel trailer and put it on a dirt lot near the harbor. Every night a bunch of men would drink beer in the lot. They would knock on the windows and stare into the trailer. We had to go to the bathroom outside.
The only thing I remember about the apartment is I would go dumpster diving. I found a few gallons of white paint. I decided that the dumpsters need painting. I found a paint brush and painted white stripes down the front of the dumpsters.
I stated Kindergarten while living there. My mom decided I better study before school stated. She bought me a notepad and a pencil. She told me to practice my ABC’s I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. I drew the number eight. I filled the pages of little eights. She took the notebook from me to see how I was doing. When she saw all the eights she went crazy. “My soon is stupid! How did this happen? How can you be so stupid?” I just sat there and said “I don’t know.”
“Go to your room.”
“Don’t come out till dinner”
Mom and dad got drunk. They forgot about dinner.