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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

May 30, 2012

lost in a cab

(I don’t write much anymore. I’ll start something and wonder where it’s going. It won’t have the same tempo as my other posts. It isn’t fitting my formula and I don’t have time to experiment. So the story dies unfinished. Here is an example…)

“We were from the mountains. The Atlas mountains. We are Berbers, we were forced to the mountains by Arabs when they came to Morocco. My father left the mountains, the Atlas Mountains, went back to Casablanca and opened a business, a grocery store. He did well and now owns 4. I read somewhere that people without land turn to commerce. People with land are content to collect rents. Easier money.”

My cab driver Yusef told me this story. He was dropping me off in front of my house, I’d spent the night at my girlfriends. She is wonderful, but it’s best not to talk about her. A woman needs privacy.

My apartment is well situated on the top of a hill and has a nice view of ships passing under the Golden Gate Bridge, but I am a renter. A man without land. I myself have turned to commerce. Unlike the Berber’s, or Jews, or Palestinians, I was not chased from my land.

San Francisco was just sitting here, in the West, where everything seemed new. Did I chase a shiny bauble?

(Not ready for another wandering son story. The real point was to lament leaving my favorite brown fedora in that cab, I got so wrapped up talking to the driver. So I start a new one.)

Commercialization turns out to be this generation’s desire. As we transformed from men in suits wearing fedoras aligning with the wardrobe of the powerful, we donned t-shirts and baseball caps, each advertising something we don’t even own. Instead of wearing the clothes of the powerful, we gave up trying to mimic the rich and without calling it a defeat we accepted the subjugation by wearing the labels of corporations, pledging allegiance via silkscreen.

(In the old days labels were on the inside of clothes. They still mattered though. But this rant isn’t working for me either. Normally I just delete it and go to bed, but this time I’d thought I’d share what isn’t working.)

May 26, 2012

drink and drive, go to a bunk bed in a gym

Twin Towers county lock up in LA is overcrowded.

Pablo: The leader of my car asked me if that was my real name. It is. He said my name was gonna be Potato instead. Pablo would cause too many race problems.

Deeper more authoritative announcer’s voice: Pablo is white. Blond curly hair. Twin Towers is segregated along racial lines, called cars. White Black and Latino.

Pablo: …so overcrowded the gym is filled with three decker bunk beds. There’s only one guard for the whole room, they call him the mouse in the hole. He’s up in one corner looking down over everything. But he can’t see over the bunks in the far corner.

DMAAV: It’s this far corner where justice is meted out. No one wants the guards involved since the entire population will be forced to lay belly down with their face in their elbow for up to five hours while guards go through the entire room, tearing up every bunk and searching each individual.

Pablo: The leader of each car meets and they discuss what happened and who was at fault. Then who ever is guilty gets beat down for 30 seconds by his own car. So if I started shit with the Latino’s, the woods, the peckerwoods, the white guys, would beat me down. The Latinos watching to make sure they did it right.

DMAAV: And so life goes in the county jail for a repeat drunk driver in Los Angeles.

May 23, 2012

old friend is better than me and if i give up he always will be. i’m hunting him instead

Oggy has become an amazing writer. It wasn’t always that way. Consistently a chop licker lately. I’d given up on him as a rejected Mamma’s boy, but he turned the venom into anti-malaria pills and he has weirder analogies than me.

It’s hard to read about how bad the world is, but when he took Exxon Mobil’s side against Vermont recently, I saw he broke on through. He lost the knee jerk defense and agreed with the enemy. That’s hard to do. Takes, apparently, over one hundred thousand miles in an old van.

People have made fun of him since I’ve known him, which was high school. If someone calls you fat you look down and grab a bit of your stomach and think, shit, they’re right. He is at the point of ostracism where he looks down and says, fat? yes. I’m eating what you feed me. Can I have some help finding healthy food?

Oggy is the guy you don’t want in your neighborhood. You don’t want him to come visit and sleep on your couch. He’s not fat. He eats vegetables thrown in dumpsters. But the fat is modernity. Yes, he has a computer. Yes he hates computers. He isn’t Jesus. He’s the guy saying, “Jesus still let’s you sin.”

Have you read it lately?

don’t park that van here any more

There’s a radio tower I can see from my window. At night red lights flash along the steel tines. Most of the time the shades are drawn. I don’t care to look.

It’s beautiful. I have seen it. By now television, cell phones and satelites are hitched to the structure and radio still matters but it’s a way to relax, it isn’t vital.

I don’t know what to write anymore. I led a crew of 5 men on an office move, and I’m no longer the bumbling junkman I once was.

I miss it. How can the past be a fantasy? Why did I leave it behind for days full of telephone scheduling and dueling deadlines?

As my business grows I don’t care to write about it. The men I hire are the old me. Artists by nature. Dreamers who have to work so do it as little as possible because they choose not to volunteer for punishment.

Six of us downtown San Francisco moving a video editing company a few blocks…from a sunny street corner to a windowless recess down a hall.

It was a $2000 move but they insisted they would do all the little boxes themselves, have everything ready for the weekend. But who can run a business that is packed in boxes?

It was a long day stacking what they thought they could do and it was clear Sunday was gonna get involved. Downtown is close to North Beach, and North Beach is for strippers. I took the boys to the Hustler Club. I’m a leader. That’s how I lead.

A beautiful mulatto was onstage in pink lingerie and I don’t think people use mulatto anymore. A mix baby about 20 that was light as cream but with kinky hair and the body of an African had the blue tinted stage lights on her.

We sat down and ordered a round. There were more women in their underwear standing around in high heels holding their little tip boxes, small handled grips with a slit cut in for dollars to drop, there were more women than men in there on a Saturday at 1 pm.

A few came and sat with us. The private detective we all know had a girl in his lap without asking, he’s the oldest in the bunch and the girls need a daddy figure.

The women dance to 2 or 3 songs, and never take their panties off, although their bras do come undone. This is the day shift on the weekend when the business clientele is home with the family so the benchwarmers were up. One gal struggled up the pole, losing 6 inches for every foot her hand grappled above her. Bends were truncated, spread eagles were more pigeon like than a Friday night girl.

The waitress came by and said, “There’s a tri-tip sandwich special for $8 we recommend,” but the boys and I agreed eating in a dark strip club sober would be more depressing than the last supper.

A tall woman approached the 4 steps to the stage, she set her tip box down near the edge in the bright light and had a Wet-Ones in her hand.

The hardest part of stripping is making it look sexy to wipe the brass pole down so the last girl’s thigh streaks don’t intermingle with your own.

“Gotta get rid of the stripper smudge”, the woman on our private detective’s knee explained.

I felt like a man. My back hurt. I’d whored myself out to a business man who wanted to be back to work Monday. The girl pushed her tits together, she climbed the pole and controlled her own fall.

May 14, 2012

bagged and tagged


Was just talking about taggers in the Mission. This homeless guy in the fruit vendors doorway got hit. That’s ridiculous.

an old hauler


Passed by the first box truck I ever owned. Sold it to two friends of mine who are doing their own junk hauling. They live in the mission where graffiti is unstoppable.

May 13, 2012

mixed nuts on acid


Jimbo took a 360 degree photo of the shop.

May 12, 2012

road case


This is George. We met online. Two older men in relationships looking for a walk on the wild side.

That sounds weird. George found my website through the beekeeper video on current.com

He called me up last month and told me to get back to writing. We’d never met but he is an old junk man/wandering seeker and he gave me a few words of encouragement.

Between opening the shop and running Hauler! and going to City Hall for permits and all that I was sinking into the boring world of conformity and paper chasing.

It was nice to hear from a total stranger that my writing was interesting and I shouldn’t give up on it.

Thing is, writing doesn’t pay any bills and I’m getting old. I need to create a money machine because I like to drink and buy at the flea market. There has to be something for me to manage when my knees stop letting me jump off the back of a truck with boxes in my hand.

Writing is sinking towards the bottom of the list.

George gave another call last week, said he was coming through the Bay Area working with the Black Keys and would I like a pair of tickets and to grab a drink…I said yes. Finally the website is paying back!

I didn’t sell the trucks or anything, but again, George was awful encouraging and my girl and I loved the show, went backstage, saw the tour bus and got free tshirts. Thanks to George.

So now we need to encourage George, who is a little older than me, a roadie for a huge band, and thinking about how bad his knees hurt too.

In a dream true to a junkman, George lives near a beach in Florida and he combs the beach for driftwood. He dreams of making furniture and home decor from his found objects. Why not? Can we get an amen from you people that George needs to jump in and start bringing his ideas to market? It’s a long slow road for a good idea, and I think it is a good idea, so get started!

May 9, 2012

this may be a bit much but i mean well

Woke up this morning and sorted pennies standing in the nude. For my father. He gets all the wheaties when I’m done. The non-wheat pre-82’s, I take the jug and bury it out back. Another thing I learned from the old man…treasure is created. It’s up to this generation to leave something for the next. Ikea furniture will likely become very collectable because it doesn’t last. The person able to keep an Expedit shelving unit intact through the year 2112 will have an outstanding example of where our collective mindset was in 2012. That’s what antiques are for – portals into old ego.

Another way to look at it is this. Come here, it’s about a conversation I heard in a bar. Someone I know, my age, almost 40, talking to a girl just turned 21.

She says, “I wish I was around for that (partying at bars during the grunge age of the 1990’s)”

He says, “It’s up to you to party so hard now the next generation wants to be like you. That’s how it works.”

Friend, that is how it works. That’s how getting 21 year olds to make out at a crowded bar works. Consider a 21 year old a rare treasure in the destitute pensioner’s pub we call our local bar and you see the allure of treasure. It doesn’t look like everything else around you. Maybe you hunt pennies, the old dull ones, maybe you hunt shiny women with skin that feels like a new Gucci purse – so soft and sweet smelling.

I think the anaology/parable demands us to say childbirth is the same as burying a bottle of high copper content pennies in a jar for the next generation to find. It involves leaving something behind, and so from one treasure hunter to another, older, slower treasure hunter, happy birthday Dad. I am your buried treasure. Nice work.

May 8, 2012

In honor of my father’s birthday I’ve picked up one of his obsessive/compulsive habits- sorting my change. I’m looking for “wheat pennies”, the old ones from the 1950’s that have stalks of wheat on the reverse rather than the Lincoln Memorial.

I also sort out pre-1982 pennies into the small glass jug because they have a copper value double their face value. Jimbo down at the shop has challenged me to see who fills their gallon jug first.

At this point I can see the difference in color between the two different time periods, don’t even check the dates. It’s a lack of shine, the absence of red on old pennies you notice. The old ones are like muddy water.

Happy Birthday Dad!

May 7, 2012

time’s up


It’s nice to be the law, saves the energy spent being above it. The meter reader never pays for parking. Makes a nice crime novel title, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t the meter reader be a perfect sociopathic killer? The little Cushman three wheeled battery powered vehicle silently stalking the unsuspecting victim…meter man…a vigilante for city hall, murdering meter scofflaws…extracting only the proper coinage from the victim’s pockets that provides the necessary restitution…

May 2, 2012

home is where the heart is

When the comment praises me for the information I provide, or compliments my writing as helpful, then it’s spam. No one clicks on the link. Were a spam comment to say something like, “You sound like a real asshole here. Are you still fucking that cottage cheese container?” Then people will be tricked into clicking on the link.

When are homeless people gonna start using cell phones? I hired a long bearded guy the other day, he looked like Oggy Bleacher and was just walking by the dumpster where I was working.

“Wanna help paint?”

“Yeah, sure.”

It was that easy. He was from Belmont California, just a few miles south and home of MRIPs friend, Papa Sean. Wouldn’t you expect him to be from Philly or Jersey or something? Not a local boy. Anyway, this homeless guy used to clean pools in Woodside, Rusty Sunshine’s territory, then he started smoking meth. Now he’s painting a fence around a dumpster, one built to keep people like him out.

“You know any homeless people with cell phones?”

“Some people find them. You can sell them to the Mexicans for $20.”

“Why do people who have no home collect so much shit in shopping carts?”

“That’s the meth.”

“Who’s a homeless hero?”

“whatta-ya mean?”

“Are there any heroes in the homeless community?”

“Glide feeds us. They’re heroes.”

Glide is a church in the Tenderloin, and I was hoping to hear about a homeless guy who has figured out how to hack into ATM’s and spends the money throwing bbq’s out by the train tracks. But being homeless really isn’t glamorous like that.

May 1, 2012

bird house town


In an attempt to bring relics of the past in touch with the youth of today we got a twitter account called mixednutssf.

You might look at it and see an invitation to a little bluegrass/rock show we hosted at the shop.

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