My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

July 30, 2006

meandtruckIMG_25181.jpgWelcome to a new and improved Robot, complete with the ability for you, the dear reader, to deposit your two cents worth.

Do you think it makes this too much like all the other blogs, or will you use it?

July 28, 2006

a girl's face

July 27, 2006

roll truck roll
“Roll Truck Roll, take me to my baby
Roll Truck Roll me on home.”
-Red Simpson

This guy wasn’t singin’ no truck drivin’ songs tonight…
trucker

July 26, 2006

I DON’T WANT TO BE AN ANIMAL

I work the door at a bar. A shit-hole place with the fear of health inspectors and undercover vice top on the owner’s list of problems. His problems are different than mine. He comes in in the morning and counts the money behind locked doors. I’m on the night-shift street standing between angry drunks and a bar serving cheap drinks. I’m an asshole. They tell me every night. A fuckin’ asshole.

“Hey asshole, this is my neighborhood. I’ll come back with my boys and we’ll see what you have to say.”

Yes, okay, your neighborhood, but this is my corner. My little house on the corner, the white boy in the vato neighborhood.

Some don’t cop out with threats of friends, they challenge me right there.

“Come on, stop me from going in.”

“I’m not here to fight, I’m here to call the police on faggots like you.”

They don’t like cops. No one does.

It was the worst night I’d had on the job. Drunks kicking newspaper machines, a stolen car from the parking lot next door, gang banger hit and run, and I knew the hitter, saw him with the red eyes/red face that only come from PCP. A gangster favorite – dipped cigarettes, he was spaced out…walked out of here between dimensions, got in and drove his car like it floated on air. Crashed and didn’t hear it!

Someone scored a pile of it, all the locals were flying out of their minds. What else causes someone to light their shirt on fire inside the bathroom at a bar, standing in front of a mirror flexing while it burns in the sink?

Try talking that one out of your establishment. But the law of the land is, keep the law out of here. Don’t involve the cops, because they become involved with you. So someone convinces him that he can leave, and I’m back at the door.

The end of the night is in sight. 1:30 am. Almost last call, then stools go up on the bar, the cue ball picked up mid game and hidden in a draw behind the bar, jukebox off, drinks taken out of hands. A great opportunity for fights.

Learning to watch people, that’s what I’ve learned at this bar. Watch their hands. Are they in fists or in their pockets? Is that a beer in their coat or are they readying a weapon? Look at their eyes, how drunk are they, how angry are they? If words start, how do they position themselves? Do they know how to fight? Chin out or down? Are they standing with shoulders square, talking hot shit or do they pivot a little, get a left ready to block, protecting themselves with a dipped right shoulder ready to fire?

Know your clientele. Clientele? Know the jail birds. Know the street reps. Find out who’s affiliated with who. I started in on some young punk only to find out he was a trigger man. Skinny punks with tough mouths just may be coming up in some bad shit and will kill you. I got lucky. Will you? Point is, bigger or smaller don’t matter. Anger does. And who they want to impress. Don’t die for twelve bucks an hour. That’ll really make you mad.

“The eyes are the other balls,” an old timer tells me. “Keep your palm flat, fingers flat out and rigid, like you are just talking, and make your point right into their FUCKIN’ BRAINS!!! BLA-OW!!!!” and he jabbed at me right into my chest. Had it been an eyeball, he would have given my occiptal lobe the middle finger.

There’s that and kicking someone’s knees backwards. But your best bet is to avoid that. Sure you might win the fight, but you start a war. Personally I don’t have friends in this town. I could get jumped on my way to the 99 cent store for a soup bowl and no one would notice I was missing till I didn’t show up for work three days later. Those people would assume I quit. I’m a white boy on brown streets. Diplomacy is my strongest weapon. I got to keep my eyes open. Got to stay aware.

I made it through the night! Came home. Parked my car on the street and walked down the dirt alley towards my apartment in the middle of the block. Trees grow up on the sides and give it the sense of a lonely country road. It was 4 am and everything was quiet. I was walking with my head down, tired, amazed at the heat of this July in Los Angeles. The hottest on record. Is that why everyone was nuts? I wasn’t paying attention. Most accidents occur in or around the house…

There in the dark alley about where the trampled hair curlers are squashed flat, the purple and pinks of them all dirty, they’ve been there a few weeks now, sinking in deeper to the earth as time goes by, I look up at a noise coming at me.

A dog runs at me. Shit. Good. It’s the stray with the big nipples. I’ve seen her eating garbage before. Running crooked behind her is a male, feral and dirty as well, still stuck inside her. He is confused with their coitus interrupted, run-hopping with a twisted dick stuck in her. She looks me right in the eye, the male finally popping out as they run past into the darkness.

“Pay attention all the time,” I tell myself. “The animals know it. Why don’t I?”

July 25, 2006

gilded pillow of sin
The pot leaf, a poppy flower, a sugar cube dipped in LSD. The pills, I will
defer to a pillhead, who I’m sure could tell me exactly what they were. Just
understand, that like the religion of the cross, they can be abused and they can heal.

This little throw pillow is referencing a suit worn by Graham Parsons that I was lucky enough to see on a trip to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. Country music has been dressing it’s stars in ornate cowboy suits since the beginning of it’s commercialization. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and other movie star cowboys reinforced the image in the American subconscious of ornate cowboy duds.

Gram Parsons was the pre-cursor to southern rock/country rock of the seventies. He went to Nudie Cohn to have a suit made for himself by the master who dressed Elvis and Hank Williams. Nudie’s apprentice Manuel (Manuel Arturo Jose Cuevas Martinez), a native of Mexico who joined the master in the 1950s, actually designed the white suit with the above motif on the back that came to be known as the “Gilded Palace of Sin” suit.

Polly Parson’s, Gram’s daughter, explained that the suit got split up over time, and a woman found the coat in a thrift shop while a man owned the pants. As mentioned, the two pieces were brought together for a retrospective of Manuel’s work at the Frist Center.

July 24, 2006

legs
The endless stretches of highway out west hold so many secrets.

The dead grass in the median was burning. A stainless steel tank truck reflected flames as we drove past at 65 miles an hour. I was going too fast to help.

July 21, 2006

no apologies for what I’ve written, only an apology for not choosing a tense and sticking with it.

This city is trying to kill me. LA, the city itself, wants me dead. It tries to kill me with the decadence, the good times, the hot weather. The people…sex…it’s after my heart…

“This city is trying to kill me,” I told Dave, who is shorter than me, (most people are), and has the confident voice that trains larger men to follow his lead. I like his stories and seek out his advice. We work together at a bar.

He said, “You can’t go back to New Hampshire. The future is an alien to the past. You’re livin’ in LA baby. You’re not a farmboy anymore. Those people will try to kill you if you go back.”

He was right. I was an alien. I know how things work now. Hollywood. Advertising. Things that New Hampshire receives days, months, years later, after they had discharged from LA bars and offices and floated across our country, dripping slowly down into minds so that ideas became trends and to the high schoolers Back East it just seemed like magic came from the tv set. Like alien technology. I was drinking with placenta on my hands…witness to births of cool…not having to wonder where these personalities exploded from, as if from nowhere. Here’s the guy who designed the t-shirt everyone is wearing. This girl writes The Onion. It wouldn’t seem possible when you attend a high school on the edge of an upstate marsh and don’t have a record store to shop at or a movie theatre that plays something other than what Wal*Mart will sell…upstate with cowfields and apple trees that will not teach you anything about dissent. Kids who grow up on dirt roads look at skateboards like they come from Mars. Alien technology.

Did I want to go back “home” for a week and hear people laughing at me in the grocery store? My haircut…my shoes…? Someplaces I could pass as non-alien – until we got drinking and telling stories…I’d sound like a liar…party in Hollywood Hills, Paris Hilton…

But the city was killing me. Decadence. Drugs didn’t mean anything to me anymore, none of them had a forbidden appeal. My veins had residue of continents I’d never set foot on. And pussy. I was older now, and realized how much women liked that. They stepped to me, offered it up in the indirect way of rides, drinks, massages, or just laid it right out… “My boyfriends on the road for a few months and I’m lonely.” Too many bands in LA. Monogomy doesn’t have a hope. There are no prayers.

I had lived long enough to see Pepsi cans change style three or four times. I had seen Coke chase different target audiences. I saw the scam clearly now, how they spoke to us like a good cop coaxing a confession, telling us what we want to hear so we’d whisper, “I love you” like we were lovers not consumers.

But these things weren’t obvious to my parents. My father didn’t believe that Congress was crooked. He swore big business/monopoly was the result of freedom of choice and shouldn’t be regulated. Coke was #1 because it was the best, the best tasting. The best for children. The best for the working poor. The best for America. The people voted. Informed honest elections…
no manipulation…facts are facts when the proof is in the pudding.

I lie in bed till noon…I work at a bar, back on a college-break schedule. I wake up and lie there. I hate my refrigerator. I live alone and can only blame myself for the food in there. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to cook. I can’t go “back home”. That’s what they mean. I get it now. They never said why, but now I know. I’m an alien to the past. I look dangerous. I’m an ugly threat. New ideas, possibly homosexual or something. Ultra liberal feminist stuff…don’t like it.

I’m the threat. What I’ve seen. If Adam had noticed the change and clubbed Eve to death, that’s what I would expect if I went home. Sin is knowledge. I’m dripping in sin. Here in LA sin is a living wage, we make our money on it, slinging mojitos and cosmo’s, some trendy drink…I don’t know what it will be next year…but I’ll find out before my graduating class back home…

My job? Sell an 8 ball of coke to a starlet with semen on her breath from the audition, make an extra buck, everything is ten times larger here, and sin is a glamorous cocktail that we laugh over while in New Hampshire they don’t sell liquor at the jr. market or the grocery store. It is locked up with the state by the highway on the outskirts of town. State Liquor Store, exit #3.

I lie in bed and wonder what dream I’m chasing today? Fame? Is it my guitar or my pen that is going to do it today, going to make me feel better about myself for not being able to hold down a job, not being able to learn something, like math, and do it well, just get up in the morning and go somewhere and do my job…bank teller? auto parts cashier? …I have to do it my way.

Bartend at the coke joint with no management, a bar manager who rides a bicycle in circles and smokes speed leaving the alcoholics and anger management cases in charge. I work 18 hours a week, just enough to pay the rent on my industrial carpeted studio. Right now there are 21 dusty boxes of different sizes in my studio apartment filled with Pyrex beakers, flasks, test tubes and burettes that I’m trying to sell. Pulled from a dumpster with the help of the bar manager. Two grown men in dumpsters. Trying to hustle.

I am a hustler now, I understand what it means. Not a glamorous hip hop crack slanger, just a guy trying to sell someone something they don’t need. Trying to find the guy that needs what I have. Either way, I can’t swing my front door wide open because the cardboard cased stack of glass is in the way. Hustler. Unable to hold a real job. I got fired trying to paint a wall. One of the easiest things, and I can’t keep my mouth shut or show up on time. That’s what they want. Employers.

How do you employ a maniac? I look at the bums under umbrellas in the park, that’s how I’d be without my hustle. I’ve got a few places already picked out. A dry spot with shade. I’d be one of the smart ones. I’d last a long time. I wouldn’t go back east, that’s for sure, to die in the winter next to a heat vent that shut off. Can’t go home…

I’m not looking for a woman to cure the loneliness, either. Tried that. I can’t even enjoy masturbation any more. My dick hurts when I pick it up, and I don’t know where to send my brain. Tired of porn, I try to imagine something new. I’ve tried everything, even little girls, little boys. My parents. I don’t have any imagination left. It all feels so stupid anyway. I feel like demons inside me, and I picture Jesus. I picture him killing demons. Jesus strangling bad men called devils, men like me, with his hands…Jesus has such big violent eyes when he has fingers laced around my throat but I want to thank him for getting rid of the demons.

Once, television was real to me. I knew they were stories, but they came from ideas I’d never had. They were set in locations I’d never seen. Landscapes of sun. Why weren’t we there? Mom, Dad, Sis? Why are we in New Hampshire?

I’m not making it big time either. Just another immigrant story. Most of the time the white guys have it easier. I’m a cream cheese dilettante. A degree, an easy job. The struggle? I make it myself. Cuz I got the language down. I’m tall. That helps. Try being six five someday, you’ll see. The short guys talk tough and punch quick. I just have to hold back, let things sort themselves out.

I’m not even worried about being a drunk anymore. I drink a few, and when the time is right, I drink a few more. No more agonizing, no more all-or-nothing spiritual battles, no more shots poured hoping they kill me. I follow this band or that one, go to the openings, learn a few architect’s names.

I can get by down here in LA, no problem. Won’t get discovered. Gave that acting thing my shot. It’s like the worst 9-5 with a bad boss you can imagine. I’d never get through the breaking in. I’d last longer on a painting crew. But I’m in LA, talking with the writers. They are holy men down here. Hiding in wings or calling themselves ghosts as they write for someone else who has money and ideas.

“Why don’t I know people?” I used to ask myself, riding a ten speed around San Francisco, as was the trend at the time, fuck the hills, you figure out ways around them.

I had good friends, but good friends don’t get your stories published. They don’t offer you the back page of their magazine, because they don’t publish one, they steam clean carpets or screen liver transplant applicants. Real jobs. You have a desire that sends you in search of people who can help you fulfill it. You leave home, then you leave your next home, that’s what I did. My friends played guitars. That didn’t help me at all. Oh, yeah, it was one dream. But not the real dream.

So here I am LA. I’ve met the writers I’ve read about. I’ve seen the people who do what I want to do, sitting across from me in a bar playing obscure music on a Friday night in a place without a cabaret license, so people shoot pool and sit under a dim red bulb to drink and talk. We aren’t here to dance. This is a story tellers bar. People are writing for a living all around me, for the first time in my life. It still feels impossible for me, and I want to go home.

Where was that, again?

New Hampshire?

No way.

July 20, 2006

Part Three

Perhaps the final installment of the criminal misadventures of two homeless aluminum recyclers. Please scroll down to PART ONE to begin at the beginning.

“This is car 26, I’m Code Three on the 2100 block of Sunset, responding to a noise complaint, possible gun shots and car crash on 1400 block.”

“Copy that 26, sending in back up from Rampart Station.”

“10-4”

The black and white prowl car raced ahead of it’s own wail, the red flash of lights like floating blood from the air ripped open by the howls. Officer Hutchinson puts the radio back on the dash and asks his partner, “Gangsters?”

“Either that or some dumb Mexican’s car backfiring. We’ll know in a second. Look for Solo, he’s always hanging around that bus stop lookin’ to jack someone.”

The squad car left stripes of light as it tore up the street heading towards the bar where Jim and Kenny were still stuck inside.

“I can’t walk Kenny.”

“Just stack the cases as I bring them out.”

Kenny was hauling full cases of beer, three at a time, out to the pool table.

“Build a set of steps. We’ll walk out of here. Don’t worry.” Kenny was trying to calm Jim down by talking about construction. The idea of building helps men focus.

Kenny and Jim worked well together. The set of beer stairs was quickly built. One case at the rail. Two cases where you rack ‘em. Three cases at the side pockets, on it went, four cases, five cases high. Kenny climbed up first and hauled himself out into the air. He rose up and saw the squad car blast through the lights a block away so he fell to the rough pebbles tarred into the roof.

He peeked over the edge and saw the police stop in front of two Latino men walking along the sidewalk. The police jumped from their vehicle and tackled the two young men.

“Kenny!” Jim yelled up through the air shaft.

“SSHHH!” Kenny hissed down at him. “The cops are out front!”

“Oh no Kenny. Oh no. I don’t want no jail house baloney.”

“Give me your hands,” Kenny commanded, and he pulled Jim out onto the roof as the officers were sitting on the two Latino youths, who were face down on the sidewalk, legs spread, arms behind their backs and under the knees of each officer.

In the alleyway the shopping carts were empty and waiting, the chrome gleaming from a the shine of a streetlight at the corner. Kenny dropped onto the dumpster first, then supported Jim and his swollen ankles as he lowered himself over the edge.

With Jim inside the cart like a load of groceries, Kenny wheeled his damaged friend down the alley.

“I hate to leave my cart behind, Kenny. It was one of those old Kmart ones with the big wheels.”

“Don’t even think about coming back for it tomorrow Jim. Those cops are gonna figure out they’ve arrested the wrong guys soon enough, and they’re gonna be back around.”

Kenny took a left away from Sunset and the flashing lights of the police who now had the suspects back on their feet and in handcuffs. The cart rattled a bit and Jim was moaning about his ankles as another Los Angeles night drew to a close with justice for all*, and to all a good night.

*a joke on the Rampart police station’s history of profiling.

July 19, 2006

PART TWO

Part two of yesterday’s story, where Kenny Haskins and Jim Pilgrim decide to break into a bar to steal empty kegs to sell for cash at the recyling station.

You can imagine that breaking into a bar would not be an easy thing. But these boys were smart. Like old Saint Nick, they went to the rooftop, and up there was a big old swamp cooler.

Not everyone reading this story will be as informed about heating/refrigeration as Kenny and Jim are. A swamp cooler is an air conditioning unit popular in the dry heat climates. The basic concept is this: water constantly circulates over grills filled with fiber. As hot air from outside comes in across the fiber and evaporates the water, a fan blows the air cooled with condensation from evaporated water down into the room. You can see why hot humid air wouldn’t be effective in this equation.

Jim Pilgrim could tell you the theory behind these cheap forms of air conditioning himself. He’d spent 18 months in the sticky heat of tropical Vietnam, drinking formaldahyde-laced #33 beers under the cool breeze of these contraptions.

“Spit on the back of your hand then blow on it. Feels cool don’t it?” He’d say.

With a set of wrenches and a flashlight, the two men set to opening up the swamp cooler and making their way down the air shaft. Over the course of four hours they got the hood off, and the grills removed. They pried the trap up and the four inches of accumulated water poured down into the room below.

They themselves were entirely baptized in moldy water and grease when they hit the pool table that lay under the air shaft. The pool table, for its part, was soaking wet with water flowing down into the corner pockets and out the ball return. But they were inside.

“Find a light switch.”

“No, what if someone sees the light?”

“There ain’t no windows. Don’t worry. You want a drink?”

“You know I don’t drink Kenny. I showed you my thirty day chip yesterday. I need support right now, or I’m likely to relapse.”

“I’m sorry Jim. Congratulations on that. It takes a lot of interior work to make it that far. I’m of course real proud of you. Real proud. You made it over the hump. Takes a lot of soul searching fer sure. Real proud of you. You have my 100% support. If you don’t mind, I do want a quick shot of tequila.”

Kenny was walking behind the bar with the flashlight, Jim was still on top of the pool table.

“Here’s a switch”, Kenny said, and flipped on a set of lights that illuminated the mirrors and rows of bottles behind the bar. Just then across the room a noise came up.

BAM! BAM!

Two bullet shots ripped through the air and the noise stopped, but the lights of the jukebox still paraded around in a happy glow, enticing drunks to come over and pick out tunes.

“You shot the jukebox!”

“Hey just like that country song!”

“We gotta get the fuck outta here!”

“What about the kegs?” asked Jim.

“You dummy, someone’s gonna call the cops! That shit was loud!”

Kenny scrambled from behind the counter and jumped up on the pool table, slipping on the wet felt. Jim stuck the gun back in his belt and helped Kenny up. Kenny grabbed onto the thin metal strips that supported the tiles of the drop ceiling and tried to pull himself up into the air shaft. Unfortunately a large section of the drop ceiling pulled out of its anchors and Kenny fell back onto the pool table under a rain of acoustic tile dust and chunks.

The metal frame work was sagging and buckled across the whole stretch of the room. A ten foot circle around the air shaft was completely torn out and dangling down to the floor. Jim was knocked off the pool table. He kicked his way out from under the dusty tiles and twisted brackets. The two men stood up and surveyed the destroyed room.

“How do we get out Kenny?”

Kenny stared up into the black hole of the air shaft.

“Maybe the front door?”

But that turned out to be padlocked from outside.

“Get a bar stool!” Kenny commanded Jim.

That was placed on the pool table as sirens could be heard in the distance. Both men froze for an instant. The next instant their bodies made up for it, with unnecessary contradictory spasms as they scrambled over each other onto the stool. It wasn’t tall enough. Two feet short.

“Jump,” Kenny screamed at Jim.

Jim jumped but couldn’t grab the outside edge to pull himself up into the night air. He fell back on the stool, toppling over, twisting both his ankles and sending Kenny off the pool table onto his head, a blow that was only slightly softened by the acoustical tiles on the ground. The sirens were much closer now.

Tune in tomorrow to see if I bother finish this story.

July 18, 2006

Part One

Grass Valley, Vermont 1989

Kenny Haskins graduated high school. No one thought he’d make it, and he was the only 20 year old on the stage; it was a happy day at Portsmouth High School. The principal, especially troubled at the thought of a student of legal drinking age in class with a population willing to pay anything for booze, gave up a silent prayer of thanks he was able to convince Mrs. Mace/ 5th period Algebra to give Kenny a C – for effort so he could matriculate.

“I’m not stupid, I have six years of higher education to prove it,” he told many arresting officers.

Ken was built like a farm boy in a town that had let its fields turn to forests two generations earlier. He had a fighter’s instinct for survival, so he was on his own after just a few years living with his alcoholic father and stepmother…

“Kenny, you asshole, why’d you leave the refrigerator door open?”
“Shut it then, don’t yell at me.”
“You aren’t allowed to go in the refrigerator for a month! Just stay out of it to you learn how to shut the door!”
“I did shut it, the drawer is broken, so it won’t…”
“I can get it to shut, so just stay out of it till I tell you you can go back in it.”

So he was banned from the refrigerator. For a month. She had her husband put a hasp on it and Kenny got the picture. He took a handfull of his stepmother’s gold colored jewely and ran away from home. He was 13.

Los Angeles, California 2005

Anyone can get a gun on Sixth street, if they have 13 dollars or so. Anyone can get thirteen dollars or so on Sixth street if they have a gun. If you don’t have money or guns, God gave everyone a mouth, and a mouth is a real money maker down on Sixth street.

Kenny Haskins never had a gun, but Jim Pilgrim had fought in Nam. Signed on for a second tour even, he liked shooting so much. He kept a little .22 with him.

Kenny Haskins was a can man now. More important he was a dreamer. He knew ways to get rich but he didn’t have a gun. He had a shopping cart and a route and made $100 a week. Most important, he had a way with words. Knowing a thing or two about a thing or two had gotten him across country and through life. He read newspapers and watched history shows on tv. (standing around Sears at electronics displays)

Kenny and Jim Pilgrim were walking a new route, looking for cans, pushing their carts, and Kenny explaining the details of the new plan:

“China’s not a sleeping giant anymore buddy, China’s a hungry dragon and she’s after aluminum. They’re making luminum houses, buses, computers, all kinds of shit. Everything’s luminum. They used to make things and send it here, but now a billion chinks are looking for their own toasters, their own bicycles. I think it’s kind of un-American to send it to them. They’re gonna start making bombs and bullets soon and when our luminum runs out, they’re not gonna send us any… we’ll be fucked for sure.”

“We could just use plastic bottles then, Kenny…”

“They ain’t a bunch of fuckin’ rice farmers sucking off water buffaloes no more, brother. They got a economy now, they got inferstructure. They got a middle class and that means people want AC units. China’s hot as a muther fucker in the summer. You know as well as I do without no one telling you an AC unit has a lot of precious metal, talkin’ copper as well as ‘luminum.”

“AC units are a lot of work tearing apart though. I like cans.”

“They’re gonna put ten million cars on the road in the next few years. Aluminum is on a upward trend, far as pricewise. Thing why we gotta do this job and do it right now…is aluminum is gonna keep gettin more expensive. We’ll be the first to knock over a place. They ain’t expecting now. But this time next year everything is gonna be locked down. Security guards, police at the pay scales lookin’ for hot metal.”

“If they ain’t expectin’ it, why do I need a gun?”

“I don’t want you shootin’ no one, understand? It is a diversionary tactic. It’s another upperhand, see? So there’s no trouble. You want trouble?”

“No, I don’t like jail house baloney sandwiches.”

“Course not. After we heist these aluminum kegs it’s gonna be porno movies and pizza, and a pile of crack big as my fist!”

“We’ll get a room at the Belvedere…I can’t wait Kenny. I want pepperoni pizza. A whole pie that’s still hot, all to myself.”

“Forty bucks for a keg, at least. I bet we haul ten of them out of there. Four hundred bucks! Easy!”

more to come in the great keg heist…

July 15, 2006

A recent article in the LA WEEKLY perfectly captured my opinion on the recent anti-flag burning amendment that barely lost in the Senate. Here is the best part, a bit of dialogue between the
two sides at a Waffle House.

“Hey buddy, my daddy died for that flag.”

“Really? I bought mine. Yeah, they sell them at Kmart and shit.”

“He died in the Korean War.”

“Wow, what a coincidence. Mine was made in Korea.”

No one- and I repeat, no one – has ever died for a flag. See, a flag is just a piece of cloth. They may have died for freedom, which is also…the freedom to burn the fuckin’ flag.

by Dave Shulman
July 14-20, 2006 vol 28 # 34

July 14, 2006

punching
Punching walls over hot girlfriends who leave burn marks on the back of your hands.

July 13, 2006

People ask, “Why do you like old things?”

Take a look at this picture below. It is the future. And the photo below it? It is the past.
I like the past because it gets your hands dirty. The germs on our hands are ghosts of our
selves we leave behind us. We can possess others. There is a spirit world. The virus that
lives in us becomes us, and when we infect another, we live on.

The future kills germs. There will be no holy ghosts without them.
Future
the future
past
the past

signage
Got two flat tires, front and back on the starboard side. Angel hooked me up with some used shoes for 90 bucks installed. He worked hard in that heat boy, and I shook his hand when he was done.
Angel

July 12, 2006

The clouds had flat bottoms.
The window was cold.
They served peanuts
Then announced we were landing.

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