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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

September 17, 2011

someone put wheels on the shed


“That was my favorite place to drink a beer in the city when I was living in my car,” Will says to me as we drive past the little park by Buena Vista.
“Let’s make a travel guide about that,” I said, always trying to turn an idea into money. “Great places to go in SF if you live in your car.”

Of course, it’s action not ideas that make money, but whoever is living in this plywood truck isn’t turning action into cash, so there must be a magic balance of idea and action in order to generate some income.

Anyone have a favorite place in the city when they were homeless? I was in North Beach living in a storage area of a basement and I loved the dead end that overlooked the Financial District. I leaned against the steel rail and said, “I made it to San Francisco.”

September 16, 2011

triple b


Getting my boat towed.

vicky’s on the pill


Sometimes this city looks worse for having garbage collection.

Guy with a beard so long even he forgot what he looks like comes through every Sunday.
The middle aged Asian guy who wears a baseball cap without mesh or the plastic strap in the back dug through about two hundred chopsticks I had and must of found two pairs of ivory ones. He paid $15 dollars for them then left. Shortly thereafter a swarm of Chinese came through and looked only at the chopsticks but no one bought any more.
There’s a guy that always comes through looking for guitars and surf boards and you wonder how such a drunk could be awake so early Sunday morning. His nose is so purple it may attrack fruit flies and drop off his face.
There’s four or five brothers I see every time. Always makes me think of Piney Point Maryland and shipping out in the merchant marines when I work with black guys.
One guy, must be fifty, comes out with his Momma every Sunday and sets up clothes. He takes a chair and sits down with the AM on and hears a ballgame while she gets mad at people, telling me I’m in her spot when I’m not, yelling at a guy over a yard of fabric that he doesn’t come out there to tell her what her prices are, it’s 8 dollars or just leave her be.
I can’t picture a single Chinese seller. I know the Mexican couple next to me, the afghani who sells in the back row, the Russian kid who specializes in lighters, the market is like an ugly stingy version of Benneton where no one wants to give you what your sweater’s worth.

September 14, 2011

joys of junkhauling


You’re looking at a pair of Isotoner gloves, quarterback Dan Marino was the spokesman in the ’80’s. These came down the waste stream a month ago and I’ve been using them as work gloves.

Chip Hawkins was a stone mason, a strong guy with a neatly trimmed beard. He had dark brown eyes that weren’t mean, they looked sad for you, like he knew you were gonna get hurt real bad and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

This was in the early ’80s, Greenland NH was farmland and forest but Chip loved his front lawn. Unlike our lawn, which was created by years of mowing over poison ivy, sawgrass and goldenrod weeds, Chip had a lawn made out of grass grass. Stuff you bought just for that reason. It looked imported from France, stolen from a castle garden and looked strange set down among the scrub forest bordering their lot.

Other facts we know about Chip:
Recovering alcoholic
2nd wife
Dressed up in a clown suit for Greenland’s annual July Summerfest parade and walked behind a fire truck throwing hard candy at the small crowd in front of the school house.

Chip wore a trucker hat with a specially designed brim, what we called the gable, named after the design element of old New England homes. He took the bill and gave it such a wicked crease down the middle the stiffening material was actually broken, creating the effect of a bottomless pyramid, or a proper snow dispersal system.

Things we don’t know about Chip:
Where he came from. Upstate New York we believe.
Why he came to a small rural town in New Hampshire.
How he talked almost from the top back of his throat, like his neck was pinched.

His son Kenneth, who we all called Kenny, became my friend when they moved to town in my 5th grade. Kenny, trying to establish some order, had pushed me down at the bus stop and threatened to throw me in the irrigation pond. I told him there weren’t a lot of kids around to play with so we might as well be friends. Then we were.

That’s how I got invited into the house (split level ranch, new construction) and had the opportunity to go through Chip’s record collection. Here I discovered an important country artist by the name of Waylon Jennings. Chip had the Dukes of Hazzard theme song on 45, and Kenny said his Dad could play it on guitar and sing it at the same time. No one else’s dad in town owned a guitar.

His father sang the national anthem before the start of important basketball games at the high school too. I was told by Kenny a Capella meant no musical accompaniment, and it was the hardest way to sing. It was looking like Kenny had a cool dad.

September 11, 2011

An older man laid off the bottle 3 months ago and decided he finally had the time to clean up his place so the exterminator could come and do his thing. The landlord was insisting.
Drinking sure takes up a lot of one’s time. If ballerinas dance and drinkers drink the drinker is going to have a much messier apartment. You need some room to dance.
An old lonely drunk gets to be a pack rat, placing boxes in the hall, then mail on the box, then a sweater, then the recycling he will bring down tomorrow, more mail, throw a towel over it and start a new pile.
It doesn’t take too many years of drinking before the whole house is a series of paths around the piles.
Like the rodents nesting in the junk, a lonely old man feels vulnerable and wants the high walls around him, wants the tactile sense activated so he hugs the edges, avoids open spaces.
Hanging clothes on doors and light fixtures because closets can’t open anymore, pissing in empty bottles because the bathroom is filled with boxes, things slowly become normal because drinking is important and there’s no energy on a sober day to even begin the process of cleaning house.
This guy got sober and is throwing it all out.

September 10, 2011

mostly done now


Takes a long time to finish something no one’s paying you to do.

you’re dead in the clouds until you’re born

September 6, 2011

raft race winner in background


For the 3rd year straight I was an hour late for the raft race between two of San Francisco’s finest boat clubs: Bayview and Mariposa.

The rules are simple… take a shot at the Bayview bar, run out to the dock and paddle yourself to the Mariposa. Take a shot there, run back to your raft and paddle to the Bayview. Run up to the bar and be the first person to slam down your empty glass. Winner.

Mariposa took first place this year with a raft made of capped PVC pipes duct taped together.

September 4, 2011

80$ used


September 3, 2011

scenic sacramento


September 2, 2011


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