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

December 20, 2009

flagpoles at rest

The Flagpoles played the best show of our careers tonight, and Nikki Stixx (Poles drummer) opened up for us with his own solid band at Simple Pleasures. Yes, the best show of our prolonged youth’s was at a cafe in the Outer Richmond. So what?

December 18, 2009


Helped a woman pick out a Christmas tree today. The lot guy gives you a “fresh cut” with the chainsaw to help the tree suck up water. Notice the bar is on upside down.

December 15, 2009

sm

I’ve tried and I’ve tried to get my images to rotate in Preview, but they won’t do it. So here is a snowman ornament we made tonight at Snacks and Crafts. Wish you could have made it. Thanks to those who did.

December 14, 2009

yo! mtv sucks

jon
don’t try this on MTV

Snooki got decked and they got it on tape. What’s your kid gonna do on tape? Excuse me. Video. I’ve done some dumb things. Many are on tape. Actual tape. Others are on video. I’m an adult though, and one that isn’t worried about employers.

The rain has stopped and tomorrow night anyone who wants to stop by and have some dinner and make Christmas ornaments is welcome to come over. 7 till 9 or so.

December 12, 2009

a junk man such as i


The government requires phone companies to distribute a phone book to every resident. Just another example of how slow it is to realize things are changing.

The rain rolled into town like a ghost dog shaking off pond water, suddenly everything was wet. It’s cold in Frisco, a city of single paned windows and damp air and a constant onshore breeze chinking the temperature down. The homeless start thinking about renting but decide the front won’t last long and move down under the overpass for a few nights. We’ll never know what the rich are thinking, because those thoughts are too valuable to leave floating around a blog like this. Me, I lied on my credit report and told them I make $35,000 a year. I should have lied higher. A woman called and said, “After rent, it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of money left over. Is there any other source of income, alimony or something?”

“No, I’m a junk man, I don’t buy things for myself, I find things in the garbage. The card is to buy materials for jobs, not stuff for me.”

“You don’t have a credit history until around 2000. Is there a reason for that, previous bankruptcy, imprisonment, hospitilization?”

“I was fighting against the modern world, didn’t want a cell phone or credit cards. I guess it was around that time I decided I couldn’t fight it anymore.”

The woman on the phone considered all my answers and approved me for a $2,500 limit on the premier card. It gives me one point for every dollar I spend, and a ten thousand point bonus upon approval.

So this modern world extends me credit, like a warm embrace limited to $2500 a month, it says I’m invited to participate in the second great experiment of the modern world: Capitalism – with a pretty low personal ceiling. A half hearted hug.

As I walk down 16th Street I consider this. There’s a man doing the shopping cart shuffle which involves pushing one cart full of cans, bottles, unknown bulging bags, a twin size foot board with turned balusters all soaking up rain two hundred feet then turning back and pushing the other cart, loaded in a similar manner but with it’s own unique assortment of detritus, up to meet its brother. It’s a slow process, but they say those without money have time.

There’s a book called “Untouchable” by Mulk Raj Anand. It chronicles one day in the life of a man in the street sweeper caste. An untouchable. I began reading it last night in bed as the rain fell slowly, just heavier than a mist and good news too, since it would thwart the taggers out looking for a truck to write on under cover of darkness.

In polite Indian society a junk man such as I would surely be Untouchable. The great experiment of democracy has at least allowed me to consort with people of other professions. But I do at times feel burdened by my economic caste.

It’s a self imposed burden, isn’t it. It’s about wanting respect, and those guys with expensive coats and haircuts somehow get my respect. They see my old wool coat with a plaid pattern and wet dog odor and don’t realize that all I want is to be loved, like everybody else. Maybe I could shower more often. Would that make me easier to love? Yes, I guess so.

Do we create class and caste so we don’t have to love everyone? It would be exhausting I suppose, to love everyone. And then there’s the problem when love and sexuality get mixed up, and you end up fucking your dog. You know what I mean?

So, to wrap it up, I walk down the street in the rain, my wool coat soaking up that ghost dog’s shower, and the smell of my coat turning into kinship with that dog, and I have to love myself first, even if I’m 80 percent untouchable to others.

“I can always touch myself!” I say. Well, proverbially. Things aren’t bad, even in the rain. Well, there are sad things all around, the whore in flip-flops with purple feet standing in the rain, her pimp dry under an awning, for instance. That’s kinda sad. There’s a guy coming up the sidewalk in an electric wheelchair. He has a garbage bag over his lap and the extension cord for the battery charger is dragging along behind him. That’s not sad, necessarily, but things aren’t always easy, are they?

The rain sure is a nice change of weather. It gets me thinking.

December 11, 2009

a strange case of ownership and trespass.

leafblower

Out there in the burbs a guy starts up the leaf blower at 730 in the morning. Sun’s been up twenty three minutes and the cold start of the single stroke is yodeling up to the sky. The guy in question starts at the top right corner of his rectangular front lawn and starts the air stream billowing golden yellow and burnt orange leaves towards the street. In just a few minutes the tiny starter home lawn is leaf free. Now, engine idling, the man strolls out into the street and starts the round up again, driving the deciduous herd up the street to the neighbors house, where two twin maples with matching leaves stand proudly over the single story homes of the block. The man blasts the swirling mass of leaves from the street up onto the neighbor’s lawn, as though the lost herd were happy to be back under the tree they fell from.

December 10, 2009

moffett field trip

moffet
wikipedia says this is an old blimp hangar. At 8 acres inside, it’s one of the world’s largest freestanding structures.

Seano is looking for a diesel panel van, we went over to Moffet AFB to take a look at one. There’s a freaky hangar there, visible from the highway. Sean says it’s so big it has its own weather system inside.

“Heat builds up in the rafters and condenses into rain. Inside.” He tells me.

There was also a little house made out of the nose of an old plane.

planehouse

December 8, 2009

merry f-ing christmas

cribou

December 7, 2009

Owning three trucks in a city as small as San Francisco doesn’t make a lot of sense. “Why am I like this?” I ask as I look for parking, hooking a U-ey with a twelve foot box truck swaying like an old woman’s bingo arm behind me. The GMC groans and creaks like I do getting out of bed, the power steering pump squeals as I jam the wheel hard right, there is a 260 degree blind spot made out of aluminum and painted baby blue so I drive by trust and hope.

These trucks are like sheds. Where I grew up, in a small town named Greenland that was known for growing apples and raising milk cows, sheds were a sign of wealth. If you build a shed, it’s because you have something you want to keep out of the weather. If you have a lot of stuff, you have a lot of sheds, you have a lot of money.

I own these trucks because in my simple mind, it means I’m rich.

December 6, 2009

6 am flea market

Collin came with me down to the flea market. They seem to all be next to a freeway around here. Too many times have people said, “Rolston, you’re kinda weird.”

Well, have you been to a flea market lately? Collin whispers into the plastic sippy lid of his coffee as we pull into the lot, “We’re mixin’ with the lifers.”

I paused, both hands on the wheel as I looked into the open jaw of the ass end of another box truck and thought, “Oh my god. My people.”

Folding tables with legs still nested wedged between boxes, bins and a large dresser. A birdcage and a chandelier. A cup of coffee and a flashlight.

There are some people you talk to at the flea market you would only otherwise meet in county lock up for a drunk in public charge. There are also people with sexualities that are closeted at the mall in full bloom around the porta potties here. You have Chinese guys even the Chinese don’t get. There was a man in leather pants and barefeet with a customized tool belt around his wrist. A wrench, a screwdriver and pliers sheathed in leather like a homeless superhero. The young, the old, the living dead, they all refuse to pay your asking price.

A station wagon as long as a Conastoga wagon counting the horses out front with a dirty white guy whose belly rides against the steering wheel pulls in and whatever that mess is he tied to the roof can’t possibly be for sale. Oh, but it is.

This lifestyle is dependent on wheels. Wheels with space to fill. This is a picture of a van though.

scrambler

photo posted from my iPhone

a new slur

Bud bud ding ding is apparently a British slur against Desi’s. Desi of course being people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. That area you may or may not know so well. I know it through the stories of Chirag, my friend who runs Pardon My Hindi. There is also an AM station here in San Francisco that plays bangara music, which I love to catch when I’m circling the city looking for scrap metal and salable garbage on the curb. The culture has great music, great food, and cool fonts.

Chirag has asked me to never say the budbuddingding, because it is like nigger. Unfortunately it is a very fun combination of words and I’ve been saying it to myself all night since he told me.

“I bought the URL too,” he said. “Go check it out.” So I invite you dear reader, to go to www.budbuddingding and see what you find.

December 1, 2009

ice cream burger

Check out this awesome chocolate ice cream hamburger they serve at Pizzeria Delfina! (Thanks to Burt for slipping it over the line)

i blame conservatives


a lack of art education in public schools leads to pisspoor graffiti

I came out the other morning to find the truck covered in some of the most infantile and downright ugly scrawled paint I’ve ever been burdened to witness. Going right over the name of someone’s business even. Luckily it isn’t my business, but it is my truck. If we weren’t cutting art out of our school’s curriculums I think young people wouldn’t be so bored, so adrift, and those that still were, wouldn’t be doing such a bad job of graffiti.

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