Email Morbo2000


Monday, November 30, 2015

The Alcoholic White Junkie Kids Upstairs

You hate the upstairs neighbors.  

The sanctity of the Monday through Friday work week means nothing to them.  You hate the way the two guys ALWAYS stomp around like beasts in heavy, black boots.  The slutty girl is sexy and you even think about her sometimes during your weekly girlfriend/fiancée screw...but she is the worst one of them all.  You hate her the most when it is 3am and they are blasting crazy, Mexican music and she screams her blood curdling AYAY-YAY-YAY-YAY! or BRRRAAAAHAAAHAAA!  From punk music to that damn rap music or oddly enough - country music, the only thing you could say about their musical tastes is they always play it LOUD.  Plus, none of the degenerates in Unit D can walk quietly up the goddamn stairs like normal human beings.  And when they're up there, they seem to enjoy yelling, screaming and throwing furniture at each other.  

You both love and hate your Victorian residence in the Mission.  It is quaint and historical with stunning architecture.  This place is a million miles from the midwest suburb you escaped from when you got a wild hair up your ass and said California...The cost is very reasonable as you religiously pay your student loans, taxes, bills and rent.  And you are so tired of your girlfriend/fiancée wanting to move to Potrero.  

"Nancy and Keith live there and it is SO peaceful.  No crazy alcoholic junkie white kids upstairs.  Explain something to me, my dear.  How the HELL can they afford that place while we're stuck in this Mexican shack?!" your girlfriend/fiancée wails.

You are too tired after another fruitless shift as a DVD Duplicator 2000 salesman to explain.  Again.  It is all the goddamn credit you borrowed so your girlfriend/fiancée can take her fruitless, foreign massage classes.  You are too weary to justify how a halfway decent DVD Duplicator 2000 salesman might make great commissions if it wasn't for the darn economy.  
Your girlfriend/fiancée just looks at you like you're an asshole.  DVDs are the future you find yourself muttering to her in the middle of the night as the upstairs unit shudders, shakes and reverbs with heavy bass music and primal screaming.  

Oddly enough, weekends are never the nosiest times.  But every Tuesday night they seem to go insane.  Maybe a crazy fight between the tall guy and the girl.  Screaming, walls shaking, glass shattering.  Or maybe a party with way too many people JUMPING up and down until your girlfriend/fiancée calls the cops.  Or like when the homeless guy threw a garbage can through their window and ten cops showed up with guns.  Seriously.  What the heck is wrong with these people?  

The odds of living in the Mission WITHOUT a Mexican neighbor is like 10 to 1.  I guess you are lucky.  You live below the alcoholic, junkie white kids.  Or whatever the heck they are.  They are certainly not the family oriented, quiet, industrious Mexican people that make up most of the neighborhood.  That is for damn sure.

"Go tell them to be quiet!" growls your girlfriend/fiancée 1,000 times a month.

Yeah.  Screw that.  While meeting the girl with the purple, pink, black or blonde hair might be interesting, what if the other two freaks answer?  One time, the tall guy stood in the middle of the street and screamed at cars.  He threw beer bottles until the short, bald guy dragged him back upstairs.  Oh and the tall guy had a butcher knife!  Merciful Jesus Christ, what kind of people are these?  Definitely not normal.  

The only tenant that has the nerve to tell them to shut the heck up is Neela in Unit C.  For some reason, they listen to Neela.  But that crazy hippie woman blasts the Bee Gees and vacuums every goddamn day.  Probably because of her four cats.  The same four cats that crap under your bedroom window making sleep disgusting in the summer.  You are probably the only normal person in this subdivided, Victorian nightmare house.

Oh well.  After a quiet, seven Coors Light night you wake up next to your snoring girlfriend/fiancée with burbling, stomach acid and the usual regrets.  The leftover, microwaved, spaghetti last night was terrible.  Only frozen toaster waffles and instant coffee in the chilly, San Francisco morning gloom are there to comfort you.  But duty calls.  You mentally prepare your telephone sales pitch as you shave.  As you put the final touches on the 
DVD Duplicator 2000 salesman look, you hear them approach.

The tall guy and currently, pink-haired girl come stomping up the path with the rising sun at 7am.  No doubt back from one of their debauched outings.  And your day is just beginning.  The 7:22 am Muni to work awaits.  Just like every Monday through Friday.  Clockwork and steady.  You know this will pay off.  Soon?  Please Jesus?  

You can hear them bantering back and forth and laughing.  Very much wide awake like people who have not slept yet.  Drunk people on drugs.  No future but annoyingly happy.  For a moment, you can vaguely remember the good old days.  Days before reality kicked in and started kicking your butt.  Then, the girl sings in a high, clear voice, "Hey Mike: You know we've been noticing you've been having a lot of problems lately!"

What in Sam Hill...?  Your name is Mike.  You approach the double bolted, chained door and stare.

The male laughs and flicks a cigarette at your door as they stagger towards the stairs arm in arm.  My god, he is wearing more black eye liner than the girl and looks like a ghoul. 

"All I want is a Pepsi!" he laughs, squeezing the girl closer.  

As usual, the girl is barely dressed.  Black leather jacket, half shirt and tight jeans.  You notice her jeans hang obscenely low and your heart beats a little faster.  A gold chain dangles across her belly.  It flashes in the security lights like a lost dream.  They STOMP up the stairs in their cursed boots.  And you stare through the peephole for two reasons.  From the weird fisheye peephole angle you can watch them go up the first six steps that shake your apartment windows.  The way her breasts bounce up and down as she goes merrily up the stairs is reason enough.  Sometimes she doesn't wear a bra and has 
tits that stand up and say Hi!  Youth is definitely wasted on the young.
But the real reason is it is time to put your game face on.  A block walk to the Muni bus stop is waiting.  You do not want to come out in the salesman suit as the freaks parade by.  They always laugh when they see you.  

So you straighten your Wednesday, red-striped tie and swallow the last gulp of instant coffee.  As you check your mustache in the hall mirror for waffle crumbs, their stereo kicks in loud enough the vibrate your girlfriend/fiancée's porcelain Disney figurine collection.  The noise is muted through 100 year old wooden walls but you clearly hear and feel the thudding, reggae beat.  You saw only two people go up yet hear a whole chorus of drunks start screaming, "THINK YOU'RE IN HEAVEN BUT YOU'RE LIVING IN HELL!"

Amen to that.  Damn those alcoholic junkie kids upstairs.  But time to go.  Let the girlfriend/fiancée moan about this morning.  She needs to find a real job instead of whining all the time about money.  Another day awaits you.  

It's business time.            

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Ghost Comes In


"HEY!" yells Jason.  "Open the fucking gate!"


"Oh my GOD!  He fucking forgot his key again?" groans Kym.

I look at the clock and it's 4:23am.  Poor Kym has to get up at 5 for her morning shift at the Ferry Building.  Kym rips the comforter off me spilling me from our cozy bed to the icicle air of our unheated room.  Kym curls up in a protective ball, rolls over so her butt points in the air and pulls a pillow over her head.


"OPEN THE GATES OF MORDOR!" bellows Jason in a deep voice.

"Jesus fucking Christ!  Let him in babe!  Tell him I'm gonna kick his ass when I get home."

I put on Kym's flamingo pink robe because I'm naked and the robe is fuzzy, warm and smells like Kym.  I yawn as I make my way to the door. I open it and look down.  Jason is plastered against the metal gate like a squished bug staring at me.

"Damn girl!  You look gooood" purrs Jason.

I unlock the gate and he suddenly lunges at me.  Jason is freakishly strong and easily pins my arms and kisses my cheek as I try and shove him away.  He smells like cigarettes, alcohol and pizza.

"Get off!  Jesus!"

"No.  Not Jesus.  Jasonus!  And I bring you miracles" says Jason slipping me two tiny yellow balloons.  Yellow means quarter gram I think.

"Really?" I ask as he jogs up the stairs.

"Yeah really.  Guy didn't have cash and traded.  Fool!" he yells as he bolts up the last few steps and slams the front door closed.  I hear the lock click.

"Show me your tits!" Jason demands.  I know he is staring at me through the peephole so I flip him off.  The door opens.

"Aww don't be that way" says Jason insincerely.  "I'm gonna go pass out for awhile.  Hey you wanna go meet Kym at the Ferry Building later or lunch when she's off?"


"Cool.  I know she has to get up soon so I'm gonna take a huge coke and beer shit.  Been saving it for home!" chuckles Jason disappearing into the bathroom.

I shake my head and look at the balloons.  Black tar heroin.  Then the phone rings.



And the floor falls away.  A voice from the past.  I pick up the phone and drag it over to the couch, untangle the line and sit down.  The room is covered in shadows and gloom.  A moth drifts by my face.

"What time is it in California?" Mary asks conversationally.

Odd start as this is my ex.  Last time we spoke, she was crying because I left her at her brother's wedding for Kym.  I can detect a sniffle in her voice like she has a cold.  Or she's been crying.  I look at the VCR/DVD clock.

"It's 4:44 am"  I answer pondering this odd, numerical configuration. "Where are you?"

"Australia.  Night time here.  I'm finishing up my internship in Sydney.  Immunology" she laughs nervously.  "Am I bugging you?"

"No.  You OK Mary?"

"Yeah..." her voice trails off and she sighs.  "No.  I just got dumped."

"Oh.  Sorry."

"It's ok.  Still seeing that red haired girl?"

"Yeah.  Well her hair is blue now."

I hear Mary laugh.  Then I hear her gulp something and wince. Probably red wine knowing Mary.  Here it comes.

"My boyfriend Scott, well ex-boyfriend now, broke up with me because I told him something.  And I think I should tell you too."


"Remember in the dorms how I left school the last semester?"

I did.  Mary broke up with me, moved home and most of the summer passed.  Then one night, she called me.  Somehow we started going out like nothing ever happened.


I hear another gulp.

"I left school because I was pregnant."

It is almost 5 am.  A new day awaits.  The mundane, comfortable view of my life vanishes.

"Wait.  How...I mean when...what?"  I gather myself and light a cigarette while she takes another sip.  "What the fuck Mary?!  Why didn't you tell me?  What happened?"

"What happened?  I got an abortion!  And I didn't tell you because...I don't know!  I couldn't deal with you ok?  So I just did it and pretended like nothing happened.  But it did happen.  And I think about it all the fucking time!"

Mary never swears so this shuts me up.  And I shiver in this silly pink robe as a shadow bends over me and studies my face.  A chill from it's presence breathes through me.  So cold.  Beneath the ground cold.

"But...but why?  Why didn't you tell me?!"

"Tell you?  Why?  What would you have done?  Huh?  Nothing!  As usual. Nothing!  I never wanted to tell you.  This was obviously a mistake. Look I gotta go.  Bye."

And the phone goes dead.  look around nervously because something terrible has changed.

I go back to the bedroom.  Miraculously, Kym is asleep with her ass in the air.  I curl next to her, feel her warmth, inhale her breath and stare at her face.  When the alarm shrieks I pretend to be asleep.  Behind closed eyes I hear her start her day.  I need this.  I need Kym's normal routine.  I hear her go in the bathroom, burst out and bang on Jason's door.

"You sick fuck!  The toilet's clogged!  I'm gonna shit in your bed!  Asshole!"

I smell matches, sandalwood incense and a cigarette as she fixes the toilet and curses.  Then she showers with the door open and blasts the Pixies.  Later, I hear her humming as she makes a peanut butter and honey sandwich for BART.  When she leaves I listen to her boots bouncing down the stairs and the metal gate slams Goodbye.  I crawl out to the living room with a sheet of foil and a lighter.  I think about my life and where this new piece fits?    Three years ago...So a two year old child?  Boy or girl?  Does it matter?

I am 21 years old.  A mountain fell on me.  The veil of reality is lifted just high enough to show me the Darkness lies everywhere beyond the illusion.  I smoke a trail of black tar and free the Dragon.  He curls around me protectively and I lean into his scaly, metallic warmth.  For I love my god.  The pathway to the Gods opens up through Kym's glass straw and my steady hand.  I move the silver square across flame and track the tiny dragon.  I exhale the sour taste and fade as the Darkness comes.  


"Yeah!  Super Leaf bitch!" yells Jason.

I wake up and feel an empty Keystone Light beer can falls off my head.  The TV is on.  Mario floats across his problems twirling a raccoon tail.  Outside, the sun thrusts beams of Light into our dreary flat.  And I feel empty.  

"Food" I croak.

"Hey Lover" says Dev who sits on the floor.  "We were waiting for you.  I'm going to Pericos to get some food.  My treat.  What do you want?"

In front of Dev are bones, shells, pebbles and playing cards.  Her hair is wet which means she came over to shower.  I sit up and rub my face.  The clock says 11:21 am.  Wow.  I was out.  Like I don't feel like I belong in this dimension yet.  Since Kym turned 21, we have been cash strapped and hanging out in bars, clubs and shows every damn night.  Piles of coke, MDMA and I gulp pills and psychedelics.  My body and mind is weary.  Without heroin I would never sleep in this madness.  My stomach rumbles.  Yes.  A free burrito sounds great so I lean forward to think.

"Mmmm carnitas?  Like just the pinto bean one with rice and salsa and guacamole?  But no queso.  No crème por favor."

"Ok.  Soy vegetariana so no crème too."

"Vegetariana?" scoffs Jason.  "Que?!  You ate pepperoni pizza last night with me at Donny's!"

"I'm a vegetarian except when it comes to pizza or chocolate cake" shrugs Dev.  "Or ice cream.  Or chicken noodle soup."

"Oh message on the machine dude" says Jason lighting a joint.  "Kym took a double shift at Financial."


That means she is working a 16 hour day.  Her tips and overtime are amazing but she comes home grumpy, demanding coke bumps and is still in manager mode.  Manager mode makes Kym a bully.  Like CLEAN THAT!  YO!  WIPE THE COUNTER!

So no BART trip to the Ferry Building as Kym is already heading towards Union Square.  Dev looks at me like she just noticed me.  And I feel it again.  That cold, empty feeling from my early morning call.  I can feel impossibly large wings beating over me as I sit on the couch pinned beneath Dev's stare.

"What" demands Dev, "is THAT?"


Jason looks at us and shakes his head.  He does not care for such things but I have learned to listen.  I lean forward.

"You can see it?" I ask.

"What is it?" asks Dev.

I look at Jason and then back at Dev.  I rub my face.

"Can this stay in the room?  Like no Kym?  Please" I say through my hands.

Looking through my fingers I catch Dev and Jason share a look.  Both look at me and nod.

"Sure" says Jason.

"Go" says Dev.

"Mary called after you went in the bathroom" I say to Jason.

"And that's why you smoked all that fucking tar?  I sat here watching you wondering if I should call an ambulance all because of Scary Mary?" asks Jason indignantly.

"Who's Scary Mary?" asks Dev.

"His bitch before Kym" huffs Jason giving me shit eye.

I look at the table.  A lot of burnt foil trail art.  Mazes for sad minotaurs.  And I still am really high, stupid and lost.  Like I don't belong here and if I close my eyes...I'll go away.  But I have returned.  And my friends stare at me.  I know I look awful when I nod out on heroin.  Stupefied.  Like eyes kinda open but staring at nothing with weird snoring.  Makes people nervous I'm dying.  I grab the half smoked blunt in the ashtray, fire it up and hit it.

"Oh that sad girl Kym shooed away?" asks Dev.

"Sad?" I ask exhaling ganja.  "You met Mary?"

"I saw her.  Her bitchiness was a mask.  Rage is sadness.  Hmm. Is that why...oh.  OH!"

"What?" asks Jason sitting up.

I grab a cigarette from the table and light it.  The marijuana is heavy but makes the world bright.  A place for truth in the light of the day.  If this was night, I would sit in the shadows and refuse to speak.

"She told me she broke up with me in the dorms because she was pregnant."

"Get the fuck out!" exclaims Jason.

Dev leaves her circle of bones, pebbles and shells.  She sits next to me.  Her brown eyes that search my face for...what?  She pats my arm.

"You let a ghost in.  A lost truth to wander around and follow you" says Dev.

"Damn dude.  That is some heavy shit.  Why did she tell you now?"

"I don't know" I answer.

Why do any of us do anything?  Why do I smoke to tell truths?  Why do I use heroin to escape truths?  I crush the cigarette out and re-light the joint.  I take a lungful and hand it to Dev.

"It was too much for her.  She had to tell you but don't worry Lover. This is sadness but nothing bad.  I can teach you how to be at peace with lost things.  Teach you how to put your happiness and dreams into future hugs."

I look at her, smile and shake my head. " know I love you but often I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Yeah Dev.  You sound insane" adds Jason.

"Oh it's not insane at all.  It is completely sane" assures Dev as she winks at me, takes a hit and passes it to Jason.  "For your children Lover!  All of them.  Make peace with this truth.  Talk to it.  Love it.  It's just practice for the future."

I stare at Dev and start laughing.

"Sorry Dev.  Really I am not laughing at you it's just...I don't think kids are in my cards.  Me?  Family?  Nah.  If anything Dev, use your powers to make sure I am always surrounded by women."

And as the words leave my mouth I know something is off.  A golden gear in my universe clicks into place.  Dev smiles at me mischievously and starts chuckling.  Quiet at first, then some giggles and then shrieking belly laughs.

"Oh my gods!  That's FUNNY!" laughs Dev wiping her eyes.  "No worries Lover.  Women will forever surround you."

I look at her and look at Jason who whirls his finger by his ear and crosses his eyes.  Crazy.  I fall back on the couch and light another cigarette.

"Why no Kym?" asks Dev.

"Yeah that's your woman dude" adds Jason.

Something about Dev's face tells me she knows about Kym's past.  And yes.  Kym shared this part of her soul with me but...but hell, I don't know.  The sorrow in Kym's past is deep and unhealed.  Now I have better view why.  Fuck it hurts so bad.  Like all the What ifs?  Mary had a right to decide but I wish I knew for some reason.  My mind races as Dev's eyes burn this day into my heart. 

I look at Dev and she sighs.  "But Lover!  Kym would..."


"Jasoooon!" sing-songs a female voice.

"Oh I uh invited Autumn over...HOLD ON!" he yells standing up.

Jason looks happy.  None of us like Autumn but hell, Jason hated Kym when he met her.  Dev grabs my hand and squeezes so I look at her.

"Why?" she asks.

"Because" I say simply as Autumn comes through the door sucking the moment out of the air.

"Hey" she says as she blows a bubble, pops it and sucks it through her teeth.  The sound is like crackling electricity.  She takes off her shoulder bag.

Autumn wears psychedelic horn rimmed sunglasses, a rip off Kurt Cobain green sweater, jeans, boots and Jesus and Mary Chain t-shirt.  She opens up her bag and pulls out a package.

"Fedex from my girl in the Emerald city" she says tossing it on the table.  "I need a knife."

Then she looks at me and Dev oddly.  Embarrassed, I realize we are holding hands and I pull away.  Dev watches me sadly.  Jason gets a kitchen knife as Autumn casually pulls a roll of cash from her bag and starts rapidly counting $20, $50's and $100 dollar bills.  She stacks them in piles on the side, counts again, rubber bands them into rolls. Jesus.  Thousands of dollars.  She cracks her gum and shoves the rolls into a Triscuit box.  The she takes the knife Jason gave her and slits open the Fedex.  Inside is a box of candy.

"You ever try Fran's?" she asks while looking at me.

I shake my head.

"Good caramel" she grins as she slits the bottom of the box and bundles of dope rain out.  She tosses me the top with with the candy.

"Jason get me some coke.  Let's celebrate" she says counting the bundles once and then again.

"Celebrate what?" I ask like a fool.

"Fuck if I know" says Autumn pulling off her sunglasses and selecting a bundle.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why do they always fire you on Fridays?

It sucks to wake up, commute and walk into an ambush.  Like why not Thursday afternoon?  Ugh so back at it.  Resume, looking, temp agencies, interviews, etc etc.  Talk about a stressful and most unfortunate turn of events at barely two weeks into quitting opiates!  Oh well, life continues.  Plus I don't have to go back to that shitty job.  Just got to get another one.

I totally feel like this guy:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Blue Girl

"Wake up dude!  C'mon!" says Jason bouncing up and down on the couch cushions.  

Last night I got so drunk I crawled beneath them for warmth and to worm my way away from the all-seeing stare of the sun.  Going to bed at 6:00 am is a bitch.

"Fuck!  Fuck you!" I shove him off and crawl out.  "Oh fuck Jase.  Wait.  Hold on dude.  I'm gonna get sick ok?"

"Ok but hurry up we gotta go."

I stumble to the bathroom, gaze deeply into the stained toilet that always smells of piss because we never clean it.  EVERYTHING comes out in a tidal flood of puke and partially digested bits.

"Holy shit!" laughs Jason from the hall.  "That was like from your soul dude!  If only Mary could see you now!"

"Fuck...", I cough out between gasps and gags, "...fuck you!  Asshole!"

"Hey you gonna eat that half a burrito on the table?  From the smell of your puke, I'd say it was carnitas right?  El Taquito gringo special with some guacamole and pussy hot sauce?  Not Mexican hot for sure because it would burn holes in the floor-"

I slam the door and proceed to dry heave until I collapse on the ground groaning.  Why?  What?  Oh yeah.  Tuesday night.  Cocaine and tequila.  I pull myself up to the sink and mirror.  Eyes like two cherry tomatoes floating in a bowl of oatmeal stare balefully back.  I wash my face and brush my teeth as Jason pounds on the door taunting me.  Fucker.  I only open it when he blows the sweet scent of marijuana under the door crack.

I get dressed and we smoke a lot of weed.  I wish I could go back to sleep under the couch cushions or hell, my futon but Jason will never let me be.  It is a glorious Wednesday morning in the city and we ain't got shit to do.  I watch with disdain as he eats my leftover burrito.  I have a cigarette and a glass of tap water for breakfast.

"I met a guy who introduced me to a guy last night.  A hook up.  Said we can cruise by and pickup" says Jason picking cilantro out of his teeth.

"Pick up what?" I ask.

"Heroin!  What the fuck you think son?"

I shrug, "I don't know man.  That stuff is bad news.  I think I'm more of a weed guy."

"What?  Remember how fucking high smoking that shit got us?  Higher than any fucking weed or pills!  It was like being in your mama's cunt again!  Warm, soft and full of love!" says Jason leering at me.

"Yeah ok" I give in.  The high was pretty fucking amazing if I am remembering correctly but we both drink a lot.  "Where?"

He tells me and I laugh.

"The fucking Loin?  Some random room in the fucking Loin?  And at the end of the alley we turn left and knock?  What the fuck Jase?  Why not just use that weirdo hippie chick at the park?  Dev.  Go find Dev and let me go back to bed."

"Like any drug for sale, you need to expand your contacts" says Jason.  "It's for your own financial well being.  Dev middles.  This dude Sherlock is a source!"


"Well his name is Nate Watson but everyone calls him Sherlock."

"Because he's smart?"

"No!" laughs Jason.  "He's a fucking dumb ass hick from Florida but he's ok.  Let's go!"

"I don't know man-"

"Look" explains Jason, "we are going into the Tenderloin as you have pointed out.  Not the best neighborhood.  And we both know you're a pussy.  But dude, you are a BIG pussy.  Tall, grouchy looking.  You could be mean.  Who knows?  Just don't smile.  Or talk.  C'mon I need you for backup."

And that is how I found my way to my first heroin house and the dead body.  I followed Jason as he walked brazenly and with purpose through crowds of park kids, beggar kids, gutter punks, hobos and crazy, psychotic lost souls.  It's a city thing.  You stare forward, you don't make eye contact and keep moving.  We keep moving until Jason finds the alley.  It's filled with smelly people.  Not smelly hippie people like at the park.  Smelly, dying junkie people.  Zombie crackheads conduct business openly here.  The tang of crack mixes with mentholated cigarettes, humanity and despair as we push through the lost souls.

"Hey man" says a bony older guy in a trench coat blocking our path.  "What are you dudes looking for?  Rocks?  I got rocks holmes, I got rocks, dust, speed-"

"Nah" says Jason casually shoving him aside.

"Ok!  How about a smoke?" says the guy trying to block Jason.

"How about you fuck off?" says Jason.

I see the guy reach into his coat and put my hand on his shoulder.  He whips around and stares at me with the the eyes of a lost animal.  A wild creature, forgotten by men.

"Here" I say holding out a smoke.

Thankfully only his hand comes out of the pocket as his bony fingers reach for the cigarette.  He nods and turns back to the alley.

"Don't feed the animals" scoffs Jason as we approach the end of the alley.

People are everywhere.  They lay on the ground, crouch against the Victorian buildings in the shade and shake.  Most huddle in small groups but some just wander alone.  A girl rushes forward and grabs Jason who shoves her away.

"What the fuck bitch?" he yells at her.

"You holding?  C'mon I have $7 and can get more!  I can make up the $15 if that's what you want baby..."

I stare at the skeleton in rags.  Older than us but ancient from her wounded stare.  Eyes that have seen too much.  Way too much.

"Fuck off!" says Jason.  We come to the door.  It is open and we walk inside.

I follow Jason and my skin tingles.  Nothing is normal.  Nothing is in the right place.  People lay sideways on the ground and stare at us.  Some giggle.  I smell human shit and blood.  Time to go.  But Jason pushes forward.  Then he stops.

And I hear the voice.

"Are you the ambulance people?  I found Alison like this.  I woke up and Alison was like this.  Is she ok?"

Jason turns around.  "Let's go" he says simply.

But I see it.  The Blue Girl lying on the floor.  Her brown eyes are peeled open in pure awe.  Like she saw her God.  Funny how you can tell amazement from just the eyes.  Even eyes that are dead.  Her mouth is obscured with foamy puke.  Her face and neck are blue.  Purple and black limbs with curled hands and feet sprout from the most normal looking and beautiful coral-pink sundress.  But I look at the face.  Oh so blue.  Empyrean blue like the sky at 6 am through our living room window.  When the Darkness is banished from the Earth by the rising sun.  Sol Invictus.

We walk away from this bad dream.  The undead lurkers in the alley no longer shock me.  Jason is silent but keeps a fierce pace.  Out on the street with traffic and sounds of human civilization we slow down a bit.  I stop at a payphone and he looks at me.

"I'm not calling the cops.  They are probably on the way if Sherlock thought we were ambulance people."

"We have to call" I say simply and Jason sighs as he scrounges a cigarette out of his leather jacket and lights it with a shaking hand.

"I'll never call the fucking cops.  She was dead.  You call."

"I will.  What's the address?" I ask.

It is surreal to dial 911 from a payphone as the city operates around us.  Driver's making deliveries.  People coming and going.  Life continues unnoticed, unchecked and not giving one fucking shit about you, me or the Blue Girl.  I tell the address to the 911 lady and hang up as she starts with her questions.  We walk down the sidewalk in the bright sunlight.

"Alright" says Jason.  "Let's go find Dev."


Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Meds ate away my happy bits but sometimes songs stagger me.  Heard this in a grocery store and went home to write All Cops Are Bastards.  Her voice is light in the Darkness.

All Cops Are Bastards

The car is traveling through bridge traffic at roughly 10 - 15 miles above the speed limit.  The CD players is busted so Kym turns to me and sings along to the AM oldies station, "Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you!  Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you...But in your dreams whatever they be-"

"Uhhhh...KYM!" I yell as the truck slides in slow motion towards our imminent traffic related doom.

I yank the wheel and we whip past a semi-truck clearing it by at least two or three inches...Once again, thank the gods for Mario Kart.

"What the FUCK you guys?!" pops up Jason from the backseat.  He waves my Gameboy at the road.  "Kym!  For fuck's sake pay attention!  Hands on the wheel!"

Kym turns completely around which is easy if you never wear a seatbelt and leans towards Jason as I pilot the car through bridge traffic.

"You need to relax Jase" she says turning her head sideways. "You'll live longer."

"Fuck!  Fuck!" 
screams Jason.  "Turn around you crazy bitch!" 

Kym is a distracted driver by nature.  She likes to look at the person she is talking to even if they are in the backseat.  She also has a nasty habit of yanking the steering wheel right when she looms towards the person she argues with in the passenger seat.  Oh and dancing while she drives scares the shit out of everyone.  But I hate city traffic.  So Kym takes the first driving shift as we travel north.  North to Eagle Lake where my mom's family owns a cabin.  Plus Jason and I ate acid but Kym will figure that one out soon enough.

My mom's parents built a cabin in a secluded copse of wood with an amazing view of the lake.  It is another world there.  A world of pine forests, moonlit fields and the solitude and serenity of Nature.  Jason has been up there but it will be a new experience for Kym.  Unfortunately my brother Carl and his fiancee are also there.  Juanita's nice but Carl is complicated.  

After you cross the bridge and slog through the 505 traffic you exit to Highway 5.  Then it's a long straight stretch with flat boring views until you to start winding up Mt. Lassen.  

"I'm hungry" remarks Jason from the back.

I look at him in astonishment.  He is the only person I know that gets the munchies on LSD.  I feel like the car windows are made of ice cubes and the warped world outside reflects this.  Food?  Food is chemical energy my body needs to continue the journey.  Pepsi and gummy bears are all I need to exist.

"Yeah I'm starving too.  Burger King?" yawns Kym as she exits the road.  
We pull into one of the tiny towns that dot the highway artery like parasitic ticks that sell gasoline, cheap lodging and fast food.

"Totally" agrees Jason.

Inside we get some stares.  Kym has a collapsed, black mohawk, I have spiked black hair and Jase is bald but has a clothespin shoved through his nose.  Plus his shirt says All Cops Are Bastards which makes some folk smile and others visibly offended.  But this route is the way to Chico State and UC Davis so it's not like these good townspeople have never seen college-aged freaks before.  Nah, it gets much weirder when you hit the tiny hick towns in Lassen.  I stare at my burger.  The texture is wrong, it keeps wiggling and I think the secret sauce is semen.  I keep opening it up and checking for sperm.

"Not hungry babe?" asks Kym through a mouthful food.  

Kym can skip whole days without eating and then consume a large pizza in one sitting.  I watch in a trance as she wolfs down her burger and shoves fries into her face.  Jason is just as frenzied with his food.  He gulps his chicken hunks down, one after another.  I am convinced he is dipping deep fried, newly hatched chicks into barbecue sauce but I don't say anything.

"Yeah dude can I have your fries if you're just gonna stare at your food like a goon?" he winks at me.

How the fuck does he do that?  We split a sun while we loaded the car.  A sun is four hits of orange sunshine LSD.  Two is borderline crazy.  Three is psychotic.  People who take the whole sun never come back the same.  I push the fries over to Jason and try again to eat the burger.

"You're up babe" says Kym tossing the keys at me and belching.  

They bounce off my forehead and fall on my Whopper 
Jr no cheese.  The damn thing squirms away from the metal and now I KNOW that It knows.  Oh yeah, It knows.  Motherfuckers.

But once I'm behind the wheel, I'm fine.  The rock stations from Sacramento provide us with staticky high school hits and I start to zone out.  Highway 5 is easy because it's straight.  All you have to do is slow down when you get near overpasses or exits because that is where the cops lay in wait.  After that you can go 80mph without a worry.  

"Why do you keep doing that?" asks Kym who is filing her nails.

"What?" I ask startled as she snaps me out of my trance.

"You drop down to like 45 mph every time we get near a town.  It's weird."

"Because that is where they wait" I answer.


"The cops.  If they pull us over they will execute us and burn our bodies.  But like, if I can cruise through undetected, we will totally survive" I answer as waves of purple and red fluke worms wriggle through the sky and shatter in our slipstream.

"What the fuck did you just say?" asks Kym.

"Look" I explain, "they lay in wait under overpasses and highway exits.  If they take us down and see Jason's shirt we're dead."

"Duh" says Jason from the back as he sits up and displays his All Cops Are Bastards t-shirt.

Kym looks at Jason and then at me.  Then she sighs and shakes her head.

"Acid?" she asks calmly.

"Yes" we both answer.

"You're driving my car on acid?"

"He's a better driver frying than you are sober" explains Jason.

We pull over in the next town for cigarettes and Kym takes the wheel again.  Two hours later we are winding through the shady, cool slopes of Mt. Lassen.  Pine tree forests swallow us as we curve past spectacular views of alpine valleys and the lakes beyond.  When we reach Susanville, we pull into the Safeway grocery store for supplies.  

Jason and I no longer function like rational humans.  Kym keeps herding us back to task as we wander away or find ourselves staring at the locals or boxes of cereal.  My god there are thousands of colorful, cuboid cereal boxes floating in this corridor.  Being lactose intolerant, I have barely tried any of them.  Life is cruel.  

"Everything is so shiny and beautiful here" sighs Jason.  

Jason only becomes rational to select a myriad of hard alcohols, mixers, limes and beer.  My only moment of clarity is when I pick out candy, cookies and Cheez-Its.  The rest of the time we follow Kym.  We watch with breathless wonder as she selects meats, vegetables, picnic supplies and breakfast items.  As we load the car, Jason and Kym get to meet their first local redneck teens.  Parked next to us are two hick kids drinking beer in their truck.  Looking around the parking lot, this is a common occurrence.  Huge trucks with teens inside drinking beer.  Apparently the Safeway parking lot is where the local high school kids come to party in this tiny town.

"Man I hate fucking Generation Xers" says a fat kid in overalls wearing a backwards baseball cap.  Then he spits.

"Whoa.  That one looks like the hick in Footloose" says Jason loudly as Kym loads the car and we stare at them.

"Which one?" I ask as I start to pick up on the intensely hostile feelings from them.

"I don't know.  I fucking hated that movie" shrugs Jason.

"Alright get in.  I'm driving" says Kym.

It's an hour to Eagle Lake.  Eagle Lake is still undeveloped and the paved roads give way to fireman trails and red cinder roads.  Somehow with my fucked up sense of direction and LSD, I guide us down towards the lake to the cabin.  And like the free-loading shits we are, we turn up as Carl's fiancee is prepping dinner.  She calmly accepts this as my brother shakes his head and gets up off the porch where he was adjusting the sights on his hunting rifle and sipping beer.

"Jesus!  Look at you guys.  You look like a fucking Cure video" he says shaking his head.  But he helps us unload our stuff.

The cabin is small but there is a trailer out back.  Surprisingly enough, Carl and Juanita took the trailer.  It has all the amenities of the cabin minus a hot water shower.  But Carl knows me.  Worse, he knows Jason and Kym.  Since he loves his girlfriend, he chose the trailer because it was a 5 minute walk away from us.  So they could hang out at the cabin for cooking or showering and then escape to the bliss of their secluded trailer.

In the cabin there is one bedroom which Kym and I take.  Jason gets the couch which he is good with.  I used to sleep on that damn couch as a child and hated the openness of the cabin.  Unlike a city with lights and noise, it is dark, silent and ominous here.  No traffic noise or even crickets.  Pure silence.  An dreadful thing for a city child.  Oh and the heads are weird too.  Severed deer heads watch everything.  Two stuffed pheasants and a poor Mallard duck are nailed to the walls.  Their bills are glued open as they silently scream forever.  Same TV from my childhood too.  No remote.  You walk up and fuck with the knob and antennae until the one NBC channel from Susanville appears in black and white.  

"Let's unpack our stuff and make the bed" I say to Kym who sits on the edge of the bed and watches me shuffle around the cramped room.  

"You're like an ant" says Kym.  "Always rushing to and fro.  Whoa!  Did you see that?"

I look at Kym.  She is uncharacteristically mellow and she sits on the edge of the unmade bed with her legs crossed staring at the window where rays of sunlight slant in.  Her wide blue eyes look a little darker than usual.  Huge pupils.  She holds a nearly empty Snapple ice tea limply in her right left hand.

"See what Kym?"

"The dust...the dust looks like faeries.  Tiny ones floating down with star balloons."

"Where'd you get that ice tea?" I ask.

"Jase gave it to me at Safeway."

I smile.  That fucker.

"I'm going to get some linens from the closet.  I'll be right back."

I find Jason still looking out the window at the lake.

"Dude these birds keep swooping the lake.  Huge fucking hairy birds..."

"Did you dose Kym?"



"Because when we give her coke she throws beer bottles.  It's funny.  I wanted to see what she does on acid."

"She's never taken acid" I point out.

"Ah.  Well dude, you should tell her.  I only put a quarter sun in the Snapple" shrugs Jason.  "Oh hey Juanita just popped in.  She said she's grilling carnitas dude!  I'm gonna make margaritas!  Should be an epic feast.  This place is so awesome!"

I don't know what to say so I leave.  

Inside I find Kym unpacking a huge, locked box that contains her makeup and other cosmetic products.  I sit and watch her take out tiny vials and containers.  She arranges them on the bed and looks up at me.

"Jason dosed you" I tell her.

"That little fucker.  I knew something was up.  Can I kill it with coke or maybe a line of H?"

"Nah.  Just ride it out.  You'll be ok.  It was just a tiny bit" I say knowing there is nothing else to say.

Kym calmly keeps searching through her box and arranges vials and containers of makeup, perfumes, lotions and shampoos.  She forms them in a spiral based on bottle sizes.  Oddly enough, it looks like a map of our solar system.  

"Juanita is cooking carnitas" I say counting the cosmetic jars.  Nine swirled around a pot of French facial cream with a sunflower design.

"Well" announces Kym standing up, "I must shower and get ready for dinner then."

The acid is wearing off and it was pretty clean so I feel oddly sober.  I help myself to another one of Jason's margaritas.  He makes them in a cocktail shaker with fresh limes and they are amazing.

"Muy bien" smiles Juanita toasting Jason.

"Gracias and salud!" says Jason and we all take a drink.

The sun is halfway behind the mountain and the temperature is cooling.  Juanita lights a lantern and some citronella candles to keep away mosquitos.  Kym has still not appeared.  Carl begins to grumble so I shrug.

"Just start" I tell Juanita who has been warming tortillas.  "She'll be out in a moment."

And as I say that the door of the cabin opens and we all stare.  

"Jesus Edward fucking Scissorhands" remarks Carl.

Kym calmly walks to her place at the table beside me.  She is head to toe dressed in black.  Black boots, black jeans and a zipped up black leather jacket.  Her dyed black mohawk is gelled, shiny and combed to one side.  Her face is porcelain white, her eyes smeared thickly in black eyeliner that drips towards painted black lips.  With freshly painted black nails, she takes the margarita from my hand and drains it in three long gulps.

"I am sorry to have kept you waiting" she says simply.

"No problem Kym.  Can I get you a plate?" asks Juanita recovering quickly.

"No thank you.  Just water and an ashtray if you please."

The food is amazing and everyone has seconds except Kym who just smokes and silently observes.  She sits perfectly upright, rigid and only her eyes and right arm move.  Jason makes more drinks and even Carl has one though he primarily a beer guy.  

"All cops are bastards" says Kym suddenly as Juanita was explaining to Jason how to marinade the carnitas.     

"Excuse me?" smiles Juanita.

"I get it now.  I totally get it.  I mean it was like a riddle but I understand" says Kym.

"This is why we are staying in the trailer" shrugs Carl to Juanita.  "Dope is for dopes."

"That gun" says Kym pointing her cigarette at the porch where Carl was working, "what are you going to do with it?"

"That's not a gun little girl" says Carl.  "That's a Marlin 336 hunting rifle.  And what I'm gonna do is get my deer.  One bullet, one deer.  Haven't missed six seasons in a row and going for seven."

"Carl comes up here to hunt" explains Juanita.  "Then we pay a butcher to age and deal with the carcass.  We get steaks, chops, hamburger and usually end up brining and smoking the rest.  The neck meat makes good chorizo."

I wondered what was going through Kym's visual mind as my stomach began to turn.  I like shooting guns but I never enjoyed hunting.  I often missed on purpose as a kid when we'd hunt pigs or deer.  Carl figured it out and stopped taking me.

"I want to go" says Kym.

"What?" laughs Jason.

"What?" I ask surprised.

Carl grins at me and leans back from the table.  He runs his hand through his hair and looks up at the stars laughing.

"Ok.  I'll take you.  Been scouting this dry creek bed that has some good blinds.  But you don't get to touch or shoot the rifle because you don't have a hunting license.  You listen to everything I say and do whatever I tell you and you can go.  And no drugs."

"Thank you" says Kym.  "When can I shoot a gun?"

"Well Wingus and Dingleberry over there" says Carl pointing his beer at me and Jason, "can take you shooting whenever.  Grandpa's .22 rifle is in the lockbox.  There's a .32 in there as well.  But no one touches my rifle.  Period."

"You sure you want to do this Kym?" asks Juanita as she starts to clear the table.  "It can get...a little messy out there."

"Yes.  Yes I do" says Kym lighting another cigarette.  "I'm a meat eater and have come to the conclusion I am absent from the food chain.  The cycle of life and death.  It is unfair for me to eat meat until I understand with my own senses the animal's death."

"That is exactly how I feel" says Carl.  "Maybe you can relate that to my little bro who has been shanking shots for years like the little drugged out hippie bitch he is."

I hear Jason laugh as I get up and get another beer.  

"What are you laughing at Curly?" growls Carl to Jason who unconsciously rubs his shaved head.  "If you had to gut your own meat you'd eat peanut butter."

"Let me gut the deer.  I want to taste the blood" says Kym and everyone gets real quiet.  She looks like an angel of death in the flickering candlelight.  In the silence, the sun slips behind the mountain casting the goddess Nyx upon us as Kym crushes out her smoke and stares back at us.

"The tasting of blood is a privilege reserved for the hunter that killed the animal" says Carl quietly.  "And no way I'd let you gut the animal because if you puncture it's stomach or it's scent glands you'll foul the meat.  But what the hell.  If you don't puke while I do this, I'll let you taste the blood."

"Cool.  What time do we leave?" asks Kym exhaling a plume of smoke.