In Her Arms

in arms

 

The crimes of adolescence

Sometimes hard to understand

Still we knew we had each other

To face innocence hand in hand

On the battlefield of growing up

Finding solace in each others charms

But when I needed her to hold me

She placed a needle in her arms

Our garden once so fruitful

Now withering up dried

Despite how much I watered it

With all the tears I cried

And when I needed her to hold me

Share some cheap champagne

There wasn’t enough room for me

With that needle in her vein

 

And the needle in her arms

Replaced me in her heart

Coursing through her passion

Tearing us apart

And all the tears I cried

Couldn’t make the flowers stay

Because skags a drag that destroys life

And dragged my love away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Needle

In her arms

Took her hurt away

A spoonful of medicine

But our love it would decay

Absorbed in her blood

Becoming her master

Her mister…..

I miss her

But I dismissed her

When heroin kissed her

She kissed back

Now I dress in black

Cause I cast her out

Out in the street on her own

To face perilous harms

The warmth of love our replaced

By the etchings in her arms

Tattoos of despair

Red scars of disarray

I lost her love

She lost her life

I was supposed to guard her

God damn it

I should have tried harder

 

 

She’s no longer alive

Kissed by midnight black tar

Left without a single care

Another shooting star

Burning across the night sky

To its death

At least that’s the story I heard

Or maybe its just how the legend is told

The therapy in her arms

Of her heart took a hold

Left her breathless one night

Was it her desperate passion

That made her tie off and shoot

Could she not live without me

Guess the points moot

Maybe it was on purpose

I will never know

If she held me in her arms

I would never let go

Too little too late

Life’s beholden to fate

 

I pray she found her peace

At least

What she never found in me

Her soul forever forgiven

Unconditionally

Or maybe there’s an angel

On a bright starry night

To pick up her memory

And in her arms hold her tight

 

 

 

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At Least Sometimes

at least

 

 

I tripped over my confidence

Stumbled over my identity

And came to rest on a mask

A midnight mask

I keep it on

It keeps me safe

At least sometimes

 

 

We never share all we are

With anyone

We all hide our truths

Keep secrets on the run

From everyone

Shield ourselves from ourselves

Hide inside our own shadows

And wear a midnight mask

So no one will see

The hidden real me

At least sometimes

 

But careful with your guise

You can’t always hide

If you stash away your self too far

You forget who we are

And become who you were

Again

Or even worse

Someone else’s version

Of who you should be

Instead of the me we all are

 

 

When your midnight mask

Makes us look back at our past

To stare into our own hearts

We find ourselves in our shadow

Trembling in our own fears

Afraid who we appear to be

Is not the true me

Even if it’s a stranger they see

Like it or not in the end

We all face the same thing

The fear that who we are

Can be seen through the holes

At least sometimes

 

Crying to ourselves

Without shedding tears

Yet still feeling the hurt

Pains we alone must face

When peering too deeply into our mind

We see not only our self

But the people around us

We tear off their masks

And wonder if they’re real

Or if they’re hiding too

 

I still don my mask

I find sanctuary in my façade

Comfortable in my strangers skin

Away from who I am

Or maybe who I was

Basking in my concealments

So no one can see

The truth behind the mask

My bones will turn to dust

My memories rust

Always will I wonder

Is anyone really happy

Is this just a dream or a game

The secret game all play

Who wants to win such a game

We all do

At least sometimes

 

 

The First Earth Day

aaaaa

 

So lucky to have grown up with a generation that was conscious and aware of the importance of Mother Earth as well as humanitarian justice and the concept of inclusion . Although admittedly I wonder when many of my generation took on a cynical and self important view on life. But I won’t dwell on their abandonment of doing what’s right because frankly they aren’t worth an argument. Back in 1970 on this day in April even our high school and jr. high ( WTF is middle school anyway?) teachers and administration sided with the students on the preservation of earth and elimination of pollution. They allowed for us to be late without an excuse on Earth Day I provided we walked to school with garbage bags and cleaned up as we went. Great idea, and it worked to perfection.

My Jr. High school had a disproportionate amount of class clowns however and many of us would go to great lengths for a laugh. My usual pension for hijinx was unengaged this day as I took it very serious. Along with three of my best mates we took our garbage bags and walked to school picking up an unseemly amount of garbage. What the Hell is wrong with people to throw so much crap on the sides of the road. I never realized how bad it was and it left a lasting impression. We walked about two miles to school (Uphill in the snow while barefoot) and in the center of the school parking lot was a huge dumpster. We were already like an hour and a half late so of course we stopped by the dumpster to have a smoke before checking in school. I don’t remember what we were talking about, probably what was on Laugh In the night before, but suddenly two of my mates broke out in laughter. They were laughing so hard (possibly from the smoke) they couldn’t speak, they could only point. I turned to see what it was and immediately joined in the laughter.

Someone managed to speak, “Holy shit, it’s Kevin, Tony, and Steve pushing a Volkswagen full of trash!” Yea, those three won the most creative and clever and funny story of the year. They found an abandoned beat up Volkswagen bug and pushed it to school loading it up with garbage as they went. As for the school administration? Be careful what you wish for…..Peace and Happy Earth Day

 

No One Wins

You were the only one Mom

The only one who ever knew

I thought everyone could see them

But scars fade from black and blue

 

You didn’t have my back mom

Let them stomp upon my spine

Never heard me when I cried Mom

And I cried all the time

 

You sent me on my own mom

So dad wouldn’t have it hard

To see the mark upon his name Mom

But his name’s my darkest scar

 

And now I face my own fears Mom

The kind you lived with all your life

I finally understand Mom

You made the perfect wife

 

Rules of life change all the time Mom

And what you always tried to say

Its no good to choose a side son

No one wins life anyway

 

 

 

The Real Information Age (excerpt from JT Hilltops Death After Death)

real

 

I’m still not sure what I was experiencing or why I was hearing any of this shit at all. I mean if I’m dead then what’s the point. Al the creator was right about one thing though, enquiring minds do want to know. So before I go and become, what was it he said, a comet or a fucking quasar or some shit, or before I wake the fuck up or whatever it is that happens after dying I want to hear what he has to say. “Okay who or whatever you are tell me. What’s the truth and why does it matter to me?”

“Oh JT, maybe it doesn’t matter, or maybe it will bring you closure who knows except you? Maybe you’ll even be that one anomaly of humans to find a way to bring back the information you learn in death to your living world, I really can’t say. At any rate, here’s the truth. I’ll start with your misconception of information. You think you live in the age of information well let me tell you when it comes to information those ferns and plants over there are far more highly evolved as a species than you. Vegetation is not just food, pretty to look at, nice to smell, and a source of energy. Vegetation collects and processes information everyday, all day, gathering information from its environment and any visiting insects or animals that happen by. It gathers information from the sun and converts it into chemical energy including oxygen. Can you photosynthesize JT? Kind of ironic that one of the most highly evolved living things cannot master mobility. Not yet anyway. Even the giant fir trees can communicate to other trees. Once attacked by a horde of hungry insects any tree will emit smells to warn other trees which in turn process that information. The other trees then begin to emit chemical defenses to avert destruction. They can both emit and receive information through aromas. That’s understanding information my boy. Can you do that JT? Can you process the information from chemical aromas and plan a strategy of defense? Animals can process lots of information too and either put up a defense, plan a counter attack, or flee based on the info it receives. Most humans believe logic to be their sole possession but even small animals use logic. You see my boy the real information age came about centuries ago but you humans had your eyes and minds closed because you were too busy warring and destroying in the name of  world domination. Evolution JT, that’s in formation being processed and passed in ways to better each and every species. Ants and bees can communicate to their entire colonies through touch or dance, instantly sharing gigabytes of information to the benefit of the whole group. You idiots can’t even agree on what’s right in front of you, like pollution or climate change. You spend years debating over nature while nature continues to move forward through evolution. That’s real information working its magic.

Bioluminescence, instinct like frantic sea turtles running for safety at birth, these are the kinds of useful information passed along. Knowing their environment and adapting to the changes. A fox sees a squirrel track and understands instantly from the intricacies of that track which direction it’s potential meal is going, about how big it is, and even estimate if its worth chasing or a too much energy wasted in a futile chase. From the aromas it can tell how long ago it was there, what it is, and then form a strategy based on where its going, how far away it is, how long ago it left and decide whether to go after it or look for another meal closer and easier to catch. That’s using information. You use Google and fill your brains with tons of unnecessary information. One day you will fill your heads with so much unnecessary information you won’t be able to grasp what goes on around you in the world at all. Or maybe another evolutionary twist will get you to the point where you only process the info you really need. But better of worse your burning desire to know everything is part of your evolutionary drive. That’s why your species invented religion, to quell that unyielding desire to know why you’re here so you could concentrate on survival. Without the various religions to distract you from the truth your kind would have become extinct while chasing answerless questions eons ago. You would not have been able to form survival strategies if you were in a pointless search for why you were on earth. So religions enabled you to celebrate your superiority on earth so you could process the more important information. The drawback obviously was that the diversity of gods you created led to arguments which eventually spiraled into wars.” Al paused as if exhausted, or maybe he was pissed but either way I was beginning to get it. It was actually beginning to make sense yet I was still not convinced that I wasn’t dreaming this whole mess. “That is pretty fascinating Al, but I was pretty toasted last night and this entire thing seems so unreal. I mean maybe I watched a science show before bed and it made me dream this shit about you and evolution.”

“A dream, eh? Good point! Ever wonder why you dream JT?” The smile on his face seemed almost devious. “Your brain takes all the shit you’ve processed and then messes with you by presenting it in an abstract manner. All day long your brain is very busy collecting information from your nose, ears, eyes, and skin. It has to filter out what’s unimportant, put what is important into memory, and still be ready to make split second decisions on even the most mundane things you do daily. Simple things like washing your hands. While your washing thousands of events are happening right where you are standing. Things you don’t see, or rather don’t notice because your brain views them as insignificant so it doesn’t process them. Maybe it’s a tiny hair strand floating by. Knowing its there is of little use to you and your brain concentrate on more important things. Sounds, smells, and sights are in full force around you all the time, so your brain puts you on memory which to you is like auto pilot, while it continues to search the world around you. It’s a very busy job and it juggles many things at once. The brain loves to work and thrives in busy situations making decisions every split second. Then at night you turn out the lights and go to sleep leaving your brain with little to do, not much in the way of senses to process. Now its almost like your brain is bored while you sleep so it makes up frightening images so scary some people wake up in a sweat. If your brain has been overworked it will make it seem so real you wake up wondering if its really happening or am I dreaming?. Other times it will cause you total confusion by showing you something so ridiculous you’ll wanna pinch yourself when you wake. Most of the time you just wake up so confused all you can think when you do wake up is what the fuck that was all about. You remember your sexual dreams as an adolescent? Okay, I won’t go there, just know your brain really enjoyed fucking with you back then and got your body to respond in kind. As if puberty wasn’t hard enough! Pun intended by the way JT.”

I thought it strange he would make a pun, being a lover of puns myself I know it’s considered a poor mans form of humor. But no time to dwell on why he was punning he was obviously not finished reading me the story of life. “You live in an age of over-information son. I’m here to help you sort through all the bullshit so you can move on and understand your role in the universe. In my universe.” Maybe I was over-reacting, or tired and out of sorts but for some reason the last part stung a little bit. “Your universe? So we’re back on that huh, you’re what, God, Yahweh, Allah. The creator of everything? You look so insignificant, no offense, but I really expected the creator to be a bit more, oh I don’t know, regal and grandeur or some big smoke monster or something.” The diminutive scientist/mathematician smiled. “I’m sorry to disappoint you JT, but as I told you before I am merely a manifestation, an image you have created to fit my role. Universes are created by scientists, not gods. So I appear to you as you envision a scientist. This clipboard is a prop. Have you seen me use it for anything? What do I need a clipboard for. It’s even you talking except when the info is over your head. So blame yourself if you’re disappointed, I’m not here to make you feel good about yourself, I’m here to tell you what you don’t know about yourself. If you don’t want to hear let me know and we’ll call it quits and you can just move on.”

TBC

 

 

Remember Her Name

her name

 

 

Even through such weary tired eyes

Her beauty was enticingly apparent

Her lips trying hard to perfect a smile

My sullen image in her hollow mirrors

With tempting allure she rolled us a joint

So we could smoke away all the dirt

The grimy filth of two lost lonely lives

Enlightenment arousing our ignorant bliss

Two lonely souls sharing one special night

But I don’t even remember her name

 

 

Beneath the shine of comforting neon

Two naked bodies glowed into the night

She laid herself sacrificial a cradle of love

Where passionate desire unconditionally lay

Waltzing to the beat of a furious headboard

Hopeful bones melting in an amorous duet

The fires of our passions left silken grey ash

Leaving trails of our comfort confirmed salacious

One night two strangers fell deeply in love

Yet still I don’t remember her name

 

So many times I wished for another moment

Once more to relieve both of our pains

To lose ourselves inside of each other again

Singing songs we moaned tender that night

When demands were left forever unspoken

And all she ever asked to receive in return

A supple memory she could keep evermore

Like the love I cling from my desperate flight

I still remember the smell of lust in her hair

But I still don’t remember her name

 

When I woke up the next morning

I had but one little wish

That we could live that night over again

And again and again and again and once more

But it was one single moment in time

Still I think of her often

But let it pass

Because we both will always have that sapid memory

But she won’t even remember my name

 

Desperation

des

 

Desperation is our motivation

Driving force of the living

Desolation is an abomination

The lengths to which we’re driven

Desperation is our fornication

Driving the force of our love

Masturbation casts ugly aspirations

Hide your hand inside a glove

Desperation drives my soul

Makes you wanna rock and roll

It makes you whole

Or so I’m told

Desperation and desolation

My flirtation is my creation

I’m a little dangerous a little daring

Arrogant humble and sometimes uncaring

Frantic and frenzied full of Goddam envy

Of those who know how to be friendly

Who get stimulation without desperation

And live a life of ease

 

 

 

Desperation knows no consternation

Desperation shaped my soul

Rehabilitation breeds a stronger foundation

But desperation makes me whole

 

Desperation straight into annihilation

A philosophy of doom

Mindless stagnation breeds aggravation

I’m gonna be there soon

 

Desperation drives my soul

Makes you wanna rock and roll

It makes you whole

Or so I’m told

Desperation and desolation

My flirtation is my creation

I’m a little dangerous a little daring

Arrogant humble and sometimes uncaring

Frantic and frenzied full of Goddam envy

Of those who know how to be friendly

Who get stimulation without desperation

And live a life of ease

 

 

 

 

 

JT’s Most Awesome Travels

start

The Beginning

by JT Hilltop

 

Prelude

We all had our demons but sometimes I felt as though I had more than I deserved. Seems I was given a lion’s share of self destructive tendencies and sometimes took to creating my own. Yea that’s me, JT Hilltop, king of demon manufacturing. Never could figure out why, It’s not like I grew up in a dangerous town or in a bad family situation. I mean Centerlawn was like this sprawling suburban paradise beach community jam packed full of upstanding citizens. It was actually once my father’s summer retreat from the perils of his Brooklyn childhood. Apparently my Grandparents took him and my uncles here for two weeks every summer and for them it was like vacationing in The fucking Garden of Eden or something like that. That’s where I grew up, Centerlawn “Lawn Guylan” a sleepy little North Shore haven just below the Gatsby Gold Coast section of the island. A town of great cultural diversity. Irish, Italian, Jewish, German, and various Latin ethnicities flocked to the small coastal town to escape the growing fears of living in the tough cement neighborhoods of New York City, The Bronx, and Brooklyn. It was an innocent and pioneer like community of urban sooner and boomers. They formed close knit ties with diverse neighborhoods where families looked out for each other very closely. Too close for my comfort because made it very difficult to get away with any bullshit, which is supposed to be part of a growing young mans diet. One neighbor saw Joe’s son smoking a cigarette, another noticed my sister with a boy much too old for her. It was like CCTV only verbal. You couldn’t flirt with the next door neighbors daughter without the entire block asking your intentions. It was always a bad situation if my Mom said, “where have you been?” Do I run the risk of telling a lie and hope no one saw me, or fess up with the strong possibility that a nosey neighbor told my Mom she saw me at the mall? If only these were the toughest decisions to maker in this so called Hamlet then I may have lived a simple mundane life like everyone else in suburbia. I’d have gotten a good job, settled down, raised a family. The American dream was right in front of me like a brass ring and all I had to do was reach out and grab it. But alongside that brass ring, was a tempting seductive lure far more dangerous than any forbidden fruit. And I really dug forbidden fruits!
If you knew the right people it was a world filled with money, drugs, crime, and the promise of unrestricted sex but the price was a piece of your soul. A big piece. If you put up your innocence as a down payment you were promised thrilling high speed ride with many salacious twists and turns. It wasn’t hard for my best friend Ken and I to choose to ride that ride. Adventure was in our blood and we thrived on tickling our adrenal glands, especially when we got high. Ah yes, getting high. The norm in high school. More than just a kick or a pastime for us we had turned it into a Goddam art form. Bongs, water pipes, chamber pipes, and assorted “drug paraphernalia” at the tips of our fingers. We could get rolling papers right up the road at the stationery store, or hitchhike into the village and go to a head shop for an assortment of pipes and rolling machines. We even had special names for our smokes, Panamanian Red, Acapulco Gold, Green weed, Skunk weed, Wheelchair weed, and on and on. One friend, Patrick, even had a six foot bamboo pipe that took two people to use. That little beauty filled the whole six foot of length with one hit of smoke so huge it could fill up the lungs of a fucking elephant. And let me tell you when that hit filled your lungs it would take a damn elephant not to cough. That was my favorite smoking implement but it didn’t come out very often. What the hell, I guess I would have had an impossible time sneaking something like that out of my room too. But Patrick’s parents were pretty naïve and he got away with all kinds of shit. Me and Ken had to be careful, our parents were stricter than most. That made escaping or hiding from the cops so alluring. If the pigs catch us at our shenanigans the amount of shit that would hit the fan could cover a football field. Maybe two.

In the backdrop of this little utopia was a huge cauldron of a media inspired sizzling hot generation gap. A war in Viet Nam, a disregard for civil rights, women’s rights, and youth rights, added to the police brutality all over the country had boiled to the top and threatened to spill over into the kitchens all across Centerlawn pitting sons against fathers and daughters against mothers. It was no wonder all we ever cared about was getting high. My brother was in the army and if things continue the way they are my entire neighborhood would be in Viet Nam in two years. Being in high school sucked, but it sure was better than being shot at. Anyway, time for some old fashioned get high, let the search begin.

I. School Daze

A typically boring day in school, cutting class was necessary to keep from dying o0d boredom. So it was time to go and look for a little buzz. By now almost everyone in my high school was smoking pot. So much pot in fact we wondered if that was how it earned the term “high” school. We knew that was just a joke of course but the amount of marijuana in the hallways was really was substantial. I had earned a reputation for being one of the more prolific puffers. I could puff a huge doobie all by myself and still be able to go to any class and function. Except maybe gym. Yea the “jocks” Those boneheaded sports enthusiast loved to pick on us longhairs. They talked like what I assume was the Cro-Magnon vernacular saying well thought out repetitive jokes like “Hey, is that a girl in our gym class? Hey girlie, the girls gym is next door.” So many times I wanted to say something like “Oh I know, I share a locker with your girlfriend”, but I am much too nice a guy. Then again maybe it was because they would have kicked my ass with their Charles Atlas biceps. Not wanting to get sand kicked in my eyes I opted for keeping it an inside joke. They really would kick my ass if they ever found out I had sold and smoked pot with most of their girlfriends at one time or another.

Whenever I got bored, which usually only happened on school days, I engaged in a ritual tradition that Ken and the rest of my band of merry marauders enjoyed engaging in called “Find some Buzz”. We would go in search of anyone that had a joint, or a chunk of hash, and ask them to front us a hit. More often than not when a good friend came by they would ask us if we wanted some buzz before we even asked because we always shared our stash, no one really liked to smoke alone. It wasn’t really unusual for Ken and I to run into each other in school because we had a certain few places we always hung out at that were prime hiding spots while cutting class. Today would be no different. “Hey dude, I have a fucking brilliant idea.” Ken was the idea man and had tons of them. “And we should start saving money for it right now.” As always, Ken immediately garnered my curiosity having blown me away with truly great ideas so often. Ken was brilliant and creative. Many of the other students laughed at him back in Jr. high, because when he moved here from Oklahoma he was the first boy in school to have really long hair. All of five foot tall, he had long flowing blond hair that was parted in the middle cascading over his shoulders and half way down his back. He had a rebel soul and I was drawn to him instantly. Like most of the male students, I had started growing my hair long in part to look cool, but more importantly to piss off my Mom and Dad. Most all of us had developed a twitch from keeping our long bangs out of our eyes. We all wanted to be Beatle “moptops”. But Ken was ahead of the curve and had already grown his hair long like……well like a girl. That was also part of Kens appeal, he seemed to know ahead of everyone else what was in style before it actually came in style. He had gone from a long haired geek freak that was made fun of, to a well respected member of the hippie rebellion ranks. Proudly I admit I had much to do with his rise to “coolness” because I was considered one of the “cool” kids since fourth grade. It wasn’t that I actually was cool, but I had an older brother and even older sister who had created reputations with the teachers. Those reputations preceded me. I was cool by association. I played football and baseball with the “older” kids, got rides in my sisters boyfriends “Surf Woody”, and just always hung out with the older kids. So my becoming Kens friend had helped him gain acceptance and move up the hipster social ranks quickly with my friends. It wasn’t long until they too saw how insightful he was to popular culture and trends. Before the end of the 9th grade we were all growing our hair long, and wearing cool clothes like bell bottom pants and double breasted balloon sleeve shirts. Checks, stripes, paisley prints, the brighter the better and no worries if it doesn’t match. Now we all had real long hair, afro’s, long straight hair, super curly locks or like mine long wavy banana curls.

My first thought was to relieve the boredom so I told Ken, “Cool dude, but lets go out to La Bomba and do a bowl first. You still got that hash?” As always, Ken would came through. “Of course bro, some nice opium streaked black Afghanistan. Lets go asshole.” I hated his “lets go asshole” phrase but he always sang it like a commercial jingle and everyone laughed, so I just dealt with it. Off we went to the parking lot to climb into my car to smoke some hash. My little red Simca, A French sedan type car that was Frances answer to the Volkswagen, “La Bomba” is what we called the car and it was our entire groups pot smoking haven. I never locked the doors because so many of my friends used it at various times of the day, even if I wasn’t there. But this day, at this moment, no one else was around. I could tell Ken was happy about that because he really wanted to talk about his idea. Tell you the truth, I was pretty anxious as well. As he filled his chamber pipe with a small piece of black hash I needed to know. “So Ken, what’s this new idea?” Not a ground breaking or earth shattering way to ask but I got my question out. “ Well, here’s the thing.” I heard the match strike and light up as he put the pipe to his lips and lit the hash. He spoke as he was inhaling and his voice got lower and stranger as he talked as if gasping for a last breath but had to get a statement out. The interior of my little red bomba filled up with the sweet herbal haze of hash smoke. In between inhaling and holding the smoke Ken laid out his plan. We would be graduating in two year’s and with no job or plan for college Ken was open for an adventure. I did have a job, but it was just a job not a career. I was up for adventure too and most likely not attending college either. The choice was basically go to college, get drafted, or leave the country. I was smart enough for college but my grades had fallen substantially over the last two and a half years. I stopped putting in any effort after my Dad called me a worthless communist because I did a project about the dreaded USSR and the positive side of Socialism. I took the point of view that they had some redeeming values. Controversial but worthy of an A+ from my “liberal” social studies teacher. Instead of being proud he freaked on me. What an asshole! Anyway our fates will be in the hands of our government considering we would more than likely be shipped off to Viet Nam. Ken thought we could save up some cash, get a video camera and supplies, and head out to Chicago. “Jesus shit man, we can burn our draft cards and just get the fuck out of town.” His idea was to start at one end of Rt. 66 and travel to the other end to Santa Monica where we could settle in with the hippies of California. “You know man that’s a great fucking idea, we can be like those two guys on Rt 66, I’ll be Buzz and you can be Todd.” Ken gave me a punch, “No fucking way man, I’m Buzz, you’re more the Todd type. If either of them dudes were around today Buzz would definitely be in a band. Todd would have a silver pen!” Ken had a love of guitar and film and I wanted to write. His idea was to basically make a kind of documentary of the trip, Ken with his camera and me with my pen. “Bro, you can write the whole thing down in your notebook.” Yea, my notebook, JT’s bible. I took my notebook almost everywhere convinced I was the next James Michner, Jack Kerouac, or maybe even Ken Kesey who wrote about the life of the Merry Pranksters. My book was full of poems, short stories, or just a few of my abstract observations. Ken’s idea blew me away. To me it was brilliant, the chance of a lifetime. RT 66 was so historic, a television show, the route for all the dust bowlers of the 1930’s who fled to California to escape poverty. Route 66 was the sort of scenic route people took who just wanted to migrate to Los Angeles. I mean Jesus shit, the fucking stones do a tune about it. Brilliant choice, from Chicago to Los Angeles via Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. Ken shot me his infamous shit eating grin and said, “whatcha think, lets go asshole.” I was sold instantly.

I’m Miserable Right?

Jethro Tull - Aqualung

 

 

I’m miserable, right? So I down a glass of vodka…. I’m still miserable, right? Although not quite as miserable as before. So I down another vodka. I’m still miserable, right? Well maybe not miserable but I’m still uptight. So I down another glass of vodka. I’m still mizabell rightio? Well not exactly mizzabrell, I feel kinda okay. Matter of fact I’m feeling pretty shitty good. So I have another vodka. Now I’m feeling it. Matter a fack I may actually be shhhhhh-happy. My oh my that vodka sure is a damn cure all. Onliest problem izzz, when I wakesh up tommorry, I gun be mishabelll all over again. So why’m I so doggone angry alla time these days?

Well to tell ya the truth I believe it began the day I received the letter. Oh yes my brothers and sisters, the letter is coming in the mail for all of us if y‘all haven’t received it already. That dreaded piece of shit envelope with my name on it from AARP. Say what? AARP??? You must want my damn father because I ain’t ready for no bullshit Retired Persons mail. That would make a a goddamn freaking SENIOR! Thinking she was being helpful my baby girl daughter pointed out that it would mean bookoo senior discounts, like at movies and ice cream stores. While she saw savings on really cool things like Netflix and Ice Cream Chill I viewed it as an insult to my entire generation. WTF? We aren’t seniors! We are classic humans who had the good music. We are the generation that had to walk barefoot in the snow uphill both ways just to buy rolling papers at the stationary store. We lived through the drought of 76 when we went three and a half weeks without any weed in town. Not even homegrown. We are far from ready to cash it in and get on the senior tour bus, we’re still digging the psychedelic tangerine flake hippie tie-dye bus tour. Anyway, that’s what started it all, when I got an AARP card reality hit me like a glass of prune juice on the rocks. That’s when I came to understand that I have become the ripped up pair of jeans that are no longer worn but were so comfortable back in time that I can’t throw them away. I am those old comfortable shoes that went out of style years ago but still take up room in the closet. Nowe I’m miserable again.

I was never really a big fan of reality but when it knocks you have no choice but to let it in. And here is the reality….I’m not getting old, I am fucking old! And so it became that my new angry path was the golden road to grumpy old mandom. My sarcastic wit was far too quickly morphing into cynicism and distrust. I was becoming grumpy about everything so I took stock of myself and let reality come in for a visit. Reality entered my abode like a bull in a china shop, it was like a cannonball of facts. Crows feet? I got damn ravens legs. WTF are those wrinkles? That’s just because my skin don’t fit as tight as it used to even though it’s covering twice the mass. The ever increasing midsection of my body went beyond pear shape straight to an amoeba like glutton. Exercise? I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a rep of sit up’s today. The most work out I get is carrying the what I bought at the liquor store into the house. Okay, so getting old sucks and being old is worse but that’s really not a reason to be miserable. No one ever said life would be fair but giving me the knowledge I could have used thirty five years ago just ain’t right. No, that’s not what made me miserable on this particular occasion, it was the culmination of all that reality combined with a recent visit to a local bakery that broke the dromedary‘s spine. I went to get some rolls and a loaf of French bread to bring over to some friends place that had invited us for dinner. The sweet young counterperson said to me, “Have you seen our discount? Twenty cents off on Wednesday.” Well another part of aging is we become far more aware of costs than we used to. Twenty cents is twenty cents so I thanked her, paid and left. But when I got back to the car I began thinking she gave me far more than a twenty cent discount so with life playing unfair I put on my reading glasses and looked at the receipt. It said Senior Discount Wednesdays, 20% off. Puzzled because of oncoming senility it took me 10 minutes to realize she hadn’t said have you seen our discount, but We have our senior discount, and it wasn’t twenty cents, it was 20%. As I left the bakery I went straight to my happy place, the liquor store. Why? Because I’m miserable right? The Hell with this shit, I need another vodka……

 

JT Stays At The Motorcycle Club Safe House

safe house

 

J. T. Hilltop

Disclaimer…in order to preserve the integrity and anonymity of the motorcycle group in this story as well as my own personal protection for disclosing a few of their not so well guarded secrets I will refer to the group as the “Infidels” Infidels were original a name given to anti-Christian religions, kinda like Pagans. So this MC Club are the main rival club of the Angels from Hell and their name has Pagan roots. But I never said that……..

It Won’t Be Long Until You Belong

For reasons I won’t discuss I found myself a temporary resident of a safe house with the Infidels Motorcycle Club. Suffice to say my best friend Archie, who I knew since kindergarten was a member in good standing and it was at his request I was kept away from the world under the protection of his brother Infidels. It was keeping me safe more from myself than anything insidious but there I was, surrounded by a lively bunch of guys whose most obvious flaw was forgetting or simply not caring enough to bathe. (If you know a biker please don’t tell them I said that) To be honest once in the safe house where they let down their guarded style of confrontational outlaw anger and angst they were a remarkably gracious and fun group. They joked both with and about me and I kidded back in an extremely cautious manner. That said it was still my best interest to be aware and respectful of the clubs hierarchy.

The Bayshore Infidels are highly organized motorcycle club chapter with strict chapter rules and a deeply revered caste of social status within the group. My friend was a member in good standing but he had no special attributes, which basically meant he hadn’t earned upper club status through doing time in prison, beating the hell out of a rival club member, or earning the ultimate title of ITCB. That essentially intimated that the person removed an obstacle for a higher up. I Took Care Of Business (ITCB) loosely translates to I’m a homicidal maniac and if you fuck with any officer of our brotherhood you’ll be dead before you can apologize. Archie was a kind and mellow friend back in the day so it came as no surprise he hadn’t reached any of those statuses. Yet. He had however developed a certain air of violent behavior I hadn’t seen since we fought over Tonka toys and Lincoln Logs in kindergarten, and was quite intent of getting me to join his newfound club.

Archie explained to me how I could start off in the socially admired position of “hanger around”. The hanger around has literally no status with the club but is permitted to go on beer runs and clean up after parties to include numerous piles of stale beer stinking puke stains, piss puddles, and an array of DNA treasure troves so gross you don’t even want to guess at what they are or how they got where they did, let alone whom they belong to. As appealing as that sounded doubt had already begun churning up in my stomach. If you last past that for a year or two you may find yourself a member willing to sponsor you. Then you become a prospect and are allowed to begin proving yourself loyal. You do this in a number of ways which may involve getting into a fight with someone who disses the Infidel colors or someone’s bike, or by taking care of the wounded, and by becoming an official gopher and basically holding your head high while any and all members emasculate dissect embarrass harass and generally shit on you for everyone else’s amusement. Not able to wear colors as a prospect but at least no longer on DNA scrub detail unless there were no hanger arounds around. After that the levels and their status in the brotherhood vary but it sounded like a bloody violent and downright disgusting form of fraternal challenges that go on for a very long time before you earn the right to wear the patch, and add 1%er to you jacket. To be honest it sounded more like an unending audition for The Ultimate Jackass Movie featuring The Marquis De Sade.

But anyway I was here as a guest not a hopeful wannabe outlaw on two wheels despite the promise of oodles of drinking, smoking, and ass kicking. Besides, by the look of these behemoth brutes in this safe house it would more than likely my ass that would be on the kicked end and I‘m just not a fan of having my face nor my ass bloodied up. So it was with a modicum or more of trepidation that I joined in the fun we, or at least they were having. For lunch we had a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon premium beer. Aside from my sarcasm PBR’s were a staple not only with the biker crowd but also with the middle class kids that never got allowances so it wasn’t actually out of my social stratus anyway. The shit was cheap and good, two qualities us young know it all dudes liked in both beer and women. So it wasn’t an unfamiliar lunch but considering I was being “kept safe” it did lack a certain nourishment. That aside, it did take the edge off which was helping me get through my 3 days of safe house rehab. So the lunch was good but lacked any substance, but dinner hadn’t yet been considered. For dinner we had two six packs of PBR’s which while not much in the way of real vitamin intake it was jam packed with psychological vitamins. By seven o’clock my head was so numb nothing else mattered, which was after all why I was there in the first place.

I’m guessing it was more of Archie’s girlfriend, or “Chick” or “Mama” Lauren who decided we all needed something solid in our stomachs but at any rate at around 1AM or so Archie, Lauren, another couple who I won’t make a fake name for because I have no clue what their real names are anyway all packed in to a cage(a non motorcycle four wheeled vehicle) and headed out to a dinner. To the best of my compromised recollection I ordered Belgian Waffles. I say this because both Archie and :Lauren laughed their respective asses of the next day telling me I kept calling them belching waffles because my PBR diet had caused an enormous excess of gas.

The truth is I have very little memory of the diner or the waffles let alone any clue as to what I may or may not have said. Suffice to say it was an interesting first safe day with the Infidel Motorcycle Club who were all compassionate endearing, and even charming when away from the perils of everyday life among the citizens. I am forever in debt to to them for holding my hand through a very tough period of not just the three days I had hoped for but extending my safe visit for a five day experience I needed. That group of outstanding if intimidating riders helped me move on with my life free from at least one evil that no longer had it’s deep claws stuck into my circulatory system. Archie and I lost contact again but I have heard that he has since passed, and I haven’t a clue what became of Lauren or any one of the beautiful souls who saw me through my predicament but still I will love them forever.

Peace