Monday, November 30, 2009

You Are Free


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.

Christmas 1975

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

Going back east. ( Dead cows and grandpa)

I had one birthday party when I was a kid. All the neighbor hood kids were there. I got a lot of Star Wars toys.  My birthday cake had Tweedy Bird. I don’t know how I ended up with that cake. I wanted a Star Wars one. I didn’t care really though. I was just happy I was having a party. My mom was pregnant with my sister at the time. It was my last hurrah.
I was excited to be having a little sister. I asked my parents how my sister got in there. Mom went to a library and checked out an extremely graphic book. She explained to me about the penis and vagina. I told all my friends about it.
My dad dropped me off at my grandma’s house. I couldn’t sleep that night. I kept thinking that the next day I will have a baby sister. I got up the next morning. We got in grandpas’ car and drove to the hospital.  I was too young to go inside. Mom’s room was on the first floor. She opened the window and held my sister to the screen. She was dark and screaming.
“That’s not my sister, that’s some Mexican baby.” I said.
My sister came home three weeks later. She was sick a lot and couldn’t eat. All she did was cry and throw up. I would hear my mom yelling at her to stop her fucking crying and just sleep.  I was scared for her. I wanted to take her and run away so she wouldn’t get hurt and yelled at.
She had a few operations. She started to eat and hold the food down. My parents decided we should take my grandma to Ohio for my great grandparent’s 50th anniversary. I don’t remember a lot of the trip. My sister throwing up every half hour or so, an electrical storm in New Mexico. I saw cows getting struck by lightening. My grandma told me not to touch anything metal in the car or I might die. I got my head stuck between the bars on a motel balcony. Dad spread the bars apart and pulled me through.
I remember my great grandparents. Andrew and Anna Kichka, they barely spoke any English. She was a tiny little woman. She just in her chair with a huge smile on her face. I sat at her feet. She put her hand on my head and sang Slavic songs to me.  It was uncomfortable, but I liked the attention. Great grandpa was a huge man. All muscle. He took me to his garden and let me pick raspberries.
I don’t know much about them. I know they left Czechoslovakia, went to Hungry and came to New York in the late 30’s. Eventually they settled in Cleveland.
In 1953 my grandma met some Ukrainian sailor and got pregnant with my mother. The sailor left. No one saw him again.
Some how she and my mom ended up in LA, I don’t know how. No one ever told me about it. I never asked about it. I figured if they wanted me to know, they would have told me.

Mr. Anthony's class

The mornings are the worst time. I wake up imagining she is waking up in someone else’s arms. Waking up after the best night of her life, something only he can do. If I don’t get up and do something I’ll dwell on it all day long.
Her birthday is this week. Do I get her something? Something small and impersonal, or do I just say fuck it and ignore it?


Danny was my own personal bully. We were friends, but one day in ninth grade he decided he needed to beat me. I’m not sure what happened. He would grab me after science class and slam me into the wall, grabbing my shirt and throwing me. I always did the same thing. I stood there. I never moved. I never spoke. He never actually hit me. He would just stick his face inches away from mine and just yell, shoving me harder into the wall.
This got to be a routine. Everyday after fourth period I would get shoved around. He’d stop and I would follow another group of bigger kids to lunch. A few months of this I started to get tired of it. I knew he wasn’t ever going to do anything. It became an inconvenience more then anything. I’d get shoved, follow the kids, go to lunch and stare at my crush for awhile. Hoping she didn’t see Danny shoving me around and thinking I’m some wimp.
He started flattening my bike tires. Everyday I would go get my bike and the tires were flat. Fuck Danny, I got on my bike and rode it home anyway. I’d patch the tires and he’d flatten them. My mom told me to tell the principal. I tried to tell her how that would make things worse.
Eventually he stopped. He got a girlfriend and started ignoring me. She was a nice girl. I couldn’t figure out what she saw in this asshole.  I guess it was that he was a bad boy.
High School started and I never saw him again.

Friday, November 27, 2009



I don’t remember the last time I saw my dad. He used to just show up and take us to dinner. He would hand us a few bucks to buy something for the girls and then would disappear for a month or so.  Dawn said it best when it came to him. He has good intentions, but never follows through.
There was never any father/son bond between us. In fact I think he hugged me once. He said goodbye, hugged me and was walked into the Psych. Ward at the VA hospital in Loma Linda. I was 16, no money, no where to live. Being homeless again didn’t appeal to me. I bit the bullet and called my mom collect.
She picked me up and drove me to her house. The ride over was silent. I could tell she wanted to say something.
We got to her house. She asked if I had any clothes or bags. I told her I didn’t know. Me and dad had split the travel trailer the night before. He woke me up and said we needed to go. I didn’t have the time to grab anything.  We got in the car and he just drove around. Five or six hours later we ended up at the VA Hospital. He told them he wanted to die.
Mom told me I could have my own room back and that she would take me out to get some clothes tomorrow. It was weird being in the house again. I had been gone a little over a year and things seemed different. It wasn’t bad at first. We went to a few thrift stores and got some clothes. We went to the grocery store. She told me to get whatever I wanted.  That lasted about five days.
She made spaghetti one night. She poured us a glass of wine. You’re old enough to have a glass every now and then she said. I sat on the couch with my dinner. She sat on the chair on the other side of the living room.  She looked at me and said
“You think you can just move back in whenever you feel like it? You and your asshole father are just trying to take advantage me.”
“Quite mom, I just want to eat.”
“Fuck you. You do not ever talk to me that way.”
Her plate of spaghetti flew towards my face. I ducked to the side. Spaghetti covered the wall and the couch.
“Clean it up asshole” she said.
I went to the porch and smoked a cigarette.
 I decided I would go back to my grandma’s house in the desert.

I took the bus out there. My dad picked me up.
He said he was only in for three days.  I asked why he didn’t pick me up. He said it never occurred to him he should do that.


I get a call form my cousin.
“Your dad’s dead, he killed himself.”
Way to break it to me gently asshole. I called the Coroners office in San Bernardino.
I’m calling about Larry Robison. I’m his son.
The coroner I talked to was very nice. He asked if I wanted to hear the note he left behind.

Only a couple things stuck out in my mind. He said that he knew his grand babies would be taken care of and that he hoped to come back as a blue jay.

He killed himself in his girlfriend’s house. He took a shit load of pills, wrapped him self in a blanket and shot himself.
His girlfriend called me a few days later. She said that my father died owning her money. She wanted me to pay her the money and pay for a new couch. I told her to fuck off.
Last I ever heard of her.
I called my mother to let her know. She told me she’d dance on his grave. I hung up.
I had him cremated. I took his ashes and buried them in my grandma’s backyard. I didn’t attend the memorial service. I didn’t feel like hanging around a bunch of people that were pretending to like him.
I felt bad for my grandma. All of her kids were dead. Her husband was dead. My uncle, my dad and my aunt killed themselves. My other aunt got drunk and didn’t bother wearing a seatbelt. She died somewhere on Inyokern road, beer cans littered the area.

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

How to make a first impression

I had been stationed in Alaska for three months before I met anybody to hang around with. It seems that an indie rock listening to idiot from California is not exactly prime friend material. I had met a few people, but they were the party boys of the dorm. I went to their parties a few times and hung around on base with them. But that’s it. They had no desire to leave the base. I didn’t have a car yet, so I was kind of stuck there. They were my friends for convince purposes more then anything. They tried to get me to dress differently, buy designer clothes, and listen to popular music. Still, we got along and I did have fun with them.

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

Your Academy

When I was in the Air Force I had a roommate named Charles. I absolutely hated him. He was the anti-James. He was a hard core Christian. He was always going through my crap. I'd wake up and he would be standing by my bed praying. When my friends would come over to visit, He would take out his knives and start sharpening them mumbling loud enough for us to hear about “Taking out any dumb sumbitch that crossed him”. Very Christian of him.

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.

Scattered thoughts, or Please don't take me by the hand.

Woke up sad again this morning, that’s twice this week. Am I going backwards? I thought I was starting to get better. I guess not.

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

A bunch of savages in this town.

Living in San Pedro there wasn’t a lot of places to play. We played in an old cemetery and construction sites. It was the 70’s and there wasn’t a whole lot of security at the sites. Once the crew was done for the day, we would invade. We would run around the half built structures and play Hide and Seek.

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

Deborah Ann

Age nine and ten I had to share a bed with my mom. We were living with another family. My sister got her own bed. I wasn’t allowed to sleep on the floor. I had to sleep with her. She didn’t molest me or anything; she would just cuddle up next to me. I didn’t like it. I wanted my own bed. I wanted to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor. She would play the radio and sing when we were in bed. She would sing the songs that would come on. She made me go to bed at the same time as her. I would lie next to her and she would read and drink her wine sometimes rubbing my head. My dad was gone by that point and I guess she just wanted to have somebody next to her.

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.

7:32 AM

It's not fair if your only intentions to hurt

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stacy, Jennifer, The Fonz and me.

I woke up this morning in a sad mood. It’s been awhile since that has happened. I had a really cool and awkward phone call last night. When we said goodbye it was a little weird like both of us were waiting for the other person to say something else. Very ninth grade.

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

Young Hearts Spark Fire.

In kindergarten Mrs. Wallner would start each day asking if it was anyone’s birthday. At least once a week it would be some ones. They had elevated status for the day. Mrs. Wallner would have them sit up next to her and would sing Happy Birthday to them. At story time they would sit next to her again on a bench while the rest of us sat on the floor. They got to wear a crown made of yellow construction paper. Mrs. Wallner let them choose a cookie form the jar on her desk.

I was born on December twenty first. It was after Christmas vacation started. I would not get my chance to be the birthday king. A few months after we went back to school, I decided I would have my turn. She asked if anyone was having a birthday today. I raised my hand up. She looked at me strangely, but asked me up to the front. Everyone clapped when Mrs. Wallner put the crown on my head and sang to me. I had my cookie. I got the story that was just for me. After class she asked me to stay and talk to her. She asked if it was actually my birthday and that if it wasn’t I should tell her the truth.  I said it wasn’t my birthday and begged her not to tell my parents. She swore she wouldn’t.

I got my first girlfriend in kindergarten. Her name was Noel. She used to show me her underwear on the playground. We would sit under the monkey bars and kiss when no one was looking. On my real birthday she came to my house and gave me a brown and white tank top.

First grade started. Noel was in my class again. We sat next to each other and held hands. It was raining one day and we couldn’t go out to play. Mrs. Kanouse played disco records in the class at recess time and told us to dance for some exorcise. I walked up to Noel so we can dance. She said she didn’t like me any more and was in love with Joey G.  I sat back down at my desk while Noel and Joey G. danced.

The title of this is a song by the band Japandroids. All blog titles are a song title, sort of a soundtrack.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Territorial Pissings

I was in first grade with a kid named Bryan. When there was a fire drill he would cry. He used to take his pants off to pee at the urinal. He always backed away from the urinal to see how far he could go before he missed and wet the floor. He used to stand up and yell “I have to go number one!” The teacher always let him go.

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

The day I got my spine back

The day I got my spine back.

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.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We're Floating in Space

I heard what was our song on the radio was yesterday. I got halfway through before I had to turn it off. I thought I could handle it, but I just couldn’t. I thought I was moving on. In a small way I am. I still love you and still miss you, but each day it’s a little less. I accept the fact that you’re gone and not coming back. Each day is a little lighter then the last. Every once in a while the dark clouds return and rain on me for a bit. I try not to let it bother me. I’m getting better at ignoring the rain and moving on.

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

I'm in with the out crowd

I’m in with the out crowd

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

Zen Arcade

I have a band name tattooed on my arm. It wasn't topical. I do not regret it. If I was in the chair I would get the same one. I've touched upon my upbringing. It sucked. We can agree on that. It shaped the person I am today. I am not bitter about it. I just don't care.

In 1986 I heard a song on the radio. The station was 88.1 KUCR , a collage station out of Riverside. They would play punk and what is now considered indie rock. I heard a song called Broken Home Broken Heart by Husker Du. It was nothing like I had ever heard before. It's like this song was written just for me. A two minute punk rock blast had had captured everything perfectly.

I called the station and asked what album it was on. The next day I ditched school hopped on a bus to San Bernardino. I got off at the Mall. I can't remember the name of the mall. I think it's called the Carousel Mall now. I walked to Licorice Pizza across the street and bought it. Zen Arcade by Husker Du. The cover was bleak. A couple people standing in a junkyard. I looked at the names of the songs on the back cover. I couldn't wait to get home.

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.

The Poetic Half Truths of High School Journal Keepers

I don’t remember when I met her, I don’t remember if we ever talked. I just remember her.  She filled my 9/10th grade heart. I would go out of my way between classes just so I could see her. Every once in awhile our eyes would meet and both of our heads would immediately drop down to our feet. I would sit at a lunch table and hide in with the crowd and sneak peeks while she ate. A little stalkerish, I know, but I was in love. I wrote her name in huge red letters inside my Pee Chee folder. I wrote it inside so no one would know. In my head we would have all these conversations about everything and nothing. At night I would sit in my room imagining what our little life would be like together. I would imagine going to Holiday Roller Rink with her. Holding hands and skating together, Kissing her goodnight at the end of the night, winning her a teddy bear at the carnival, talking on the phone while watching the same TV show. Innocent 15 year old thoughts. To this day I still remember her in her red and white striped bikini, standing up and spreading out her towel.

We recently got in touch again. A lot has changed for both of us. But at the same time a lot is the same. She told me she felt the same way back then. We were both just to damn shy to do anything.

Growing up I would think of her, wondering what she was doing now. Wondering if she remembered me and if she thought of me from time to time.

Am I crushing again? Who knows, I’m just happy that she and are I talking for the first time in twenty years.

Getting to know each other again for the first time.

A brief history of amazing letdowns

I was standing under at palm tree. I was wearing a bright orange shirt with Fred Flintstone on it, blue shorts. I think I was barefoot.
My father was talking to my grandpa. “We’ll have to go to Mammoth.”
“Will you be able to get the whole thing in the truck?” asked grandpa.
All I heard was the word mammoth. I wanted an elephant and they were going to get it for me!  My father drove the truck around. It was White with green stripes down the side. On the trailer was a green elephant painted on it.
That proved it for me. I was getting that elephant. Dad had an elephant delivery truck. They can’t hide it from me.
Dad and grandpa drove off. I didn’t see them for hours. I knew that there weren’t any elephants where we lived so this made sense to me. My mom and grandma were in the kitchen. I was playing in the living room with my Weeble-Wooble tree house watching Yogi Bear. I overheard bit and pieces of conversation. “What do we do with the trunk?”
One of them said. “We’ll deal with that later. Come on, we have a lot of food to cook.”

Elephants have trunks. Elephants eat a lot.

I was excited. The truck showed up. My elephant was here! They pulled in and parked.

“Daddy can I see it can I see it?”

“Well you are sure excited.”
They opened the door of the trailer. My heart sank.

 It was a tree stump and part of the trunk.

I hated my family for a few days after that.

White Trash Heroes

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.