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My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

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

October 13, 2006

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Even your first time in Saigon, if you are walking around very early in the morning, you will see them parked on the sidewalk asleep on their scooter, and again at lunch time, in the heat under a shade tree, they are sleeping sprawled like lions on a branch across the angles of their machine.

However, this is a photo taken in San Francisco.

October 11, 2006

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The war vets are shacked up on government land in old government buildings, part of a non profit program called Swords to Ploughshares. I come by on Tuesday nights and inspire them to write creatively. The first night of class 10 students showed up, eager to tell their stories. The next week only 4 returned.

I’ll bring some fuckin’ beer along next time. Beer and cigarettes. Get my enrollment numbers back up…what’d I do wrong? I started ’em off with poetry. That was the problem. People hate poetry.

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do these kinds of things make you laugh?

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My ex girlfriend Lindsay is probably not at all shocked that I get my haircut here.

October 8, 2006

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Hitler wanted to be an artist, or an architect. I imagine, had he fulfilled that dream, he would have had a more Dali-esque mustache.

Hitler’s advice to Leaders

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This is from Mein Kampf:

The psyche of the great masses is not receptive to anything that is half-hearted and weak.

…the masses love a commander more than a petitioner and feel inwardly more satisfied by a doctrine, tolerating no other beside itself, than by the granting of liberalistic freedom with which, as a rule, they can do little, and are prone to feel that they have been abandoned. They are equally unaware of their shameless spiritual terrorization and the hideous abuse of their human freedom, for they absolutely fail to suspect the inner insanity of the whole doctrine.

George Bush repeats again and again that we are at war with terrorists, and that we will be victorious if we give the government more power over our private lives. If we are good Christians, we have nothing to hide, and have nothing to fear from our Christian leader.

I think that’s why people call George Bush a Nazi.

October 7, 2006

So what if I’m drunk, I have something to say

Reg was sad and sitting on the couch. “You look really tan” I told him.
“It’s the medication. I have a bad liver. I’m not supposed to drink.”
I gave him a beer.
“I’m taking it easy tonight” he told us. “Just a few.”
Glenn was running around half wild looking for a cigarette. “You didn’t bring
any?”, he asked.

I should have. I was counting on him having some.

We were three pathetic bachelors. Way past twenty. Old single men. Listening to Reggie talk about his cure: a country with cheap beer and young women.

Reggie had been taking Panamanian prescription pills and drinking, his liver was ready to shut down. Too much of the good life.

“I never should have gone to the doctor. I wouldn’t’ve known. I could be drinking right now, and just die. Die happy. Now I’m depressed and coherent.”

We were all worried. Life didn’t make any sense. The only thing that made any sense was to work a lot and have money. Money would protect you. Trouble was, we’d given up on work years ago.

Not even this time last year did we realize why money was important. It was a joke to us then. Something people got worried about, like haircuts, because they were caught up in the system. Then we realized, maybe two to three weeks ago, or two months ago, money will save you from whatever length their hair is.

We were gonna die poor, which meant when we got sick it was gonna hurt. And when we wanted to lend our friend five hundred bucks to get his car out of the impound lot, we wouldn’t have it. That’s what hurt. We couldn’t help each other out. The system was too strong, too expensive. We watched each other fall in one by one. Jail, hospitals, mortuaries. Or they married rich and couldn’t hang out with us any more. We were endangered species. Proud noble and without breeding partners.

My retirement plan is to fall off a ladder.” Glenn said. I asked him, “What if it only paralyzes you?”
“I’ll fall down again.”

Working till we die. That was the real option. We didn’t pay taxes, or work 9 to 5. We got some money and went to the bar. We pushed money around like it was sand at the beach. We were throwing ice cubes at the ocean. Somewhere in the back of our minds, that was our retirement.
“If I take care of these people, they’ll take care of me.”
But bartenders and bar flys are songs that don’t make it on the jukebox. Everyone on the block will remember them, but that doesn’t bring in royalties. It’s about money. My folks owed more money on their house than it was worth. How many people had parents that were still renting?

We were the desperate cowboys in a barbed wire corral. The whole lifestyle was pointless in this world. No inheritance. No social security. Truly the best thing to do was to die on the job. Or ride hard, but after 35, it felt like being stupid wasn’t enough to kill you. Now you really would have to try. Just too tough to get killed in this corporate world. So Suicide. That ladder, taking the fall. One day you would have to decide to lead off head first and do it from at least the fourth floor. Happy retirement.

Because the guitar you play and the pictures you draw aren’t gonna make you rich. that was the gamble from tenth grade. “We’ll give everything, do or die. We’ll be famous or die trying.” But it isn’t so easy to die. Well, there’s heroin, but even that is easy enough to live through. It has it’s incentives and motivations for getting up in the morning…noon…evening…you know what I mean. People live for the high.

Unprotected sex, heroin, alcoholism, DUI’s, bar fights, climbing buildings at night unable to walk a straight line, hanging onto dirty thimble-thick rungs 60 feet up the side of an empty warehouse, nothing would kill you. So you worked.

Get up and go to work. Hoping it would kill you. It killed your dad. Why did it take so long? You worked harder. Made more money and cocked over and shit it all out at a bar with people you didn’t know toasting you. “Here’s to Glenn, the tough guy cowboy construction worker.” Oh, they never met anyone like me, and they would tell people stories tomorrow. Their thin soles on the thick carpet in the meeting room would barely leave an impression as they stood next to each other with shaved skin glistening in the halogen light, remembering the guy with the crazy facial hair talking about punchouts and tired muscles from building.

We dealt in enchantment, we built things with our hands. Big tombs for the living to die in, slowly without pain, while our backs cramped and our livers screamed for more. One day we’d shut those desires up by leaning out over thin air. Fuck it.

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First started working with Locke in 1992. He would be standing in the homeowners driveway in his barefeet with a quart of Sierra Nevada on the table saw half gone, measuring the next cut. He wore old blue jeans and a button up shirt with the top three buttons undone.

His body was rock solid, he stood six foot two and must have been a foot and a half thick. He had a reputation up in the hills where he lived for wild living. Wrecked motorcycles, pregnant girls, a whiskey still that burnt down a house.

It’s been fourteen years now, and he’s nearing sixty. Locke wears boots to work these days. And a lot of the muscle is gone. He doesn’t drink quarts of beer on the job anymore. But he still does good work.

October 6, 2006

when those towers came down I didn’t have no t.v. I was in a bar watching the replays and I looked around at the electricians and carpenters and plumbers helpers and fence post hole diggers drinking absently beers as they watched the smoke and dust and how that plane disappeared and I thought why do they want to take this away from me?

But they didn’t care about that. They wanted America to stop taking from them.

October 5, 2006

you know how on eBay people sell a piece of toast with an image of Jesus on it? I took a picture of myself fucking a watermelon & they wouldn’t let me list it. I’m clicking on things & want to be part of the community.

back off, your breath smells like my balls on a bad day. So I haven’t written. Sorry. It’s bill time, end of the month, rent baby. Time to make it. Got some one day job building a photo set in an old hotel. Blue walls, blue floor. 15 hours on the job, gonna be the cover of wired magazine next month, the founder of youtube will be smashing tv’s with a red handled sledge hammer.

Thanks to me.

so they threw me a hundred seventy five bucks. i don’t want to break it down to hourly, because it is way below my rate. But i got these bragging rights.

Spilled a cup of coffee on my camera, so that doesn’t work anymore.

taught my first creative writing class to a handful of vets (war vets) who are living in a group home to get them off the drugs, off the sauce, off the streets. All kinds of vets, men, women, black, grey, jaundiced, sad sad blue, worn out red rimmed eyes, stumps still leaking ten years later. “Most of our clients are dual diagnosed, substance abuse and mental problems.” So the director informs me. “Watch out for graphic imagery, it may trigger a response.”

So the vets file in with tattoos and gold chains, or overweight with polo shirts, “I was hit by a car and this is what’s left” says one guy, he is hobbling and growing hair on his nose. They come with dorritoes and cokes from the machine in the laundry room right down the hall from our classroom.

So back off, I’m busy, plus I’ve been drinking, which is important to me. Just last night I sat around with some guys, we’re old and drinking is part of who we are now. Life without booze would be life without a limb. It happens to people, and they adjust, but who wishes that on himself?

There’s been drinking, and some weed, and a few lines of cocaine before Briar’s first birthday. Needed to be able to talk to strangers…

A week goes by pretty quick when you’re busy.

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