The broom rack at the greyhound terminal, downtown SF.
June 19, 2012
June 18, 2012
June 17, 2012
It’s late. Let me get these shoes off. That’s better. Take a look at mathew up there. He wears the long hair of a rocker and has the delicate features of a woman, but he is a proud father to that pig in his arms.
I say that to highlight the ability of a father to love. I was once like that small ugly pig that gets into a lot of trouble, eating the garden by the roots, peeing in places I shouldn’t and screaming in a strange voice when I wasn’t fed on time.
Yet my father still held me and loved me.
Having a store turns out to be wonderful. You’re looking at the second piece of art I remember selling. $55 for a discount fortune sign. Painted it on an old board, the white was original, it was part of a door frame. That’s why it has those angled corners.
The idea was to take this crazy hat I’d found, and with a silver garden ball as my crystal ball, go to the flea market and give people a reading. Selling it for $55 shows how far from art and how deep into commerce I’ve come.
You can go down to the mission district of this city and see a hundred people with shops and they have them because they need a platform to showcase their artistic nature.
That’s the crossover. Art and economics. The selling of style. Marketing design. Revealing desire.
Like a woman who knows how to throw her hips so you become interested.
Desire is based in sexual attraction and the collection of material goods fills the space love takes or it’s the arsenal of the love hunter.
Either way we are all destined to collect. For sexual reasons. In the back of the mind. Nesting they call it in the women’s magazines. A nice place to fertilize an egg.
Jimbo took this week off and went north so I spent a lot of time in the shop. Tune in tomorrow and we’ll talk about differences of opinion.
June 15, 2012
We have our first stalker at Mixed Nuts. A young Asian girl, maybe 20. Slightly plump. Black glasses, long black hair. Wears shiny windbreakers, jeans and sneakers.
If you see her in the store, tell her to she aint allowed in and be ready to call the police.
I caught her stealing a piece of chalk and asked her to leave. She said, “I’m taking a break. It’s 6:55.”
It was 6:55. We stay open late to catch the dinner crowd. It was an interesting response. This girl lives in the neighborhood and has been in before. In fact, she was here twice already today before this last and final visit. She picks things up and puts them down elsewhere.
We keep a small notebook by the register to write down items folks are looking for. She signed three different names in it.
Max L. – UCSB
and the last, switching up from her crude block letters, in jumbled cursive,
Jaenno Leule Le…incomprehensible.
Last week she was in, and acted like she was stealing my business card. Took it and shoved it in a pocket really quickly with guilt.
I got a text that night at 12:30
“Hey. Good night.”
A number I didn’t recognize. But I have my suspicions. I didn’t reply.
She’ll be back and it’s gonna be hard to tell her she isn’t allowed in here, because she is crazy and defiant and young and again, unstable.
Wish me luck!
June 11, 2012
June 9, 2012
We bought granola bars at the Wal Mart in Anchorage. This whole trip makes me believe Alaska doesn’t exist. We toured around with an admitted homosexual studying interior design.
Then we got to Whittier. “Things are shittier in Whittier,” says Will. My old pal Will. That’s the Alaska I imagined. This little town of tin sheds, abandoned box cars and dry docks for a wintering fishing fleet.
Two bars in town and 80% of the population lives in one massive military era building. The ground floor houses a post office, a town hall, and a vending machine room, among other municipal necessities.
There is no bar in the main building so we walked in the constant misting drizzle to the Anchor Inn where I was taught Alaskan leg wrestling and competed against two women, both of whom beat me.
Alaskan leg wrestling involves laying on your back in the middle of the bar room floor. Your competitor does the same, facing the other direction – head to foot in other words. As you count “1 2 3″ you raise the leg that touches your competitor, who in synchronicity raises his or her leg as well.
On three you hook your leg around the challengers leg and attempt to lift their body off the ground.
I fought a native Alaskan woman who appeared to be in her fifties and was not more than 5 feet tall, 100 pounds. She did beat me, more because I didn’t know what I was doing and I had been drinking.
My host Will had recently been punched in the face by a woman at this bar, so I was not trying to prove anything tonite other than I was peaceful and non competitive.
Later, outside, I stood alone looking at the high mountains that came nearly to the water. In the springtime the snow is melting and you hear water rushing all around. The glaciers are calving and the snow is shifting, meltwater tumbles down the mountain side.
Nature was thick and closing in so I walked back to Will’s apartment and turned on the tv. He has cable. My cell phone worked. I watched a marathon of auction shows and wondered what wealth I could strip from nature.
The gold, the timber, the salmon were depleted and the rights bought up or protective legislation enacted -the men who pre-dated my arrival had been thorough.
There must be something in these woods I can take to San Francisco and turn to profit! Or not. What’s a junk man do stuck in nature? There is no garbage to sort, no junk to haul. My girl and I walked the edge of the cove, looking for Japanese tsunami wreckage. Some sense of treasure. She found an interesting rock and I put it in my pocket, unsure why. She held up interesting sticks but nothing that would sell. I waved her offerings away.
If only Whittier had a thrift store. Were it only Saturday and there were a yards or garages to have sales. There was only tidewater glaciers, hemlocks, sea otter and bald eagles. Some of us aren’t meant for Alaska. Not till it’s covered in garbage.
May 30, 2012
(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
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
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?
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
Was just talking about taggers in the Mission. This homeless guy in the fruit vendors doorway got hit. That’s ridiculous.
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.