After My First Kiss A Punch to The Heart

 

(from The continuing stories of JT and his quest for Culinary Nirvana)
I stopped off to see Kathy and bought a nickel of gold weed then went to the magazine store to buy a pack of big bamboo rolling papers. I was feeling a bit frisky, which is adolescent code for horny, so I decided I was the one who would set the tone tonight. The four musketeers met up by the corner of the schoolyard near the woods where many of us underage derelicts quench our mind thirsts with beer or wine or sometimes both. I hoped Ken would get out of being grounded, he almost always did, but this time he was busted with weed which was like the ultimate crime of the century or something. Felony pot smoking! Every suburban parent’s nightmare, a child that has been turned into a stoned out zombie from doing the “reefer madness.” Maybe his old man was just too drunk to remember what happened. Or maybe just beating Ken was lesson enough. I flipped when he showed up carrying a six-pack. “ Hey Ken man, give me the cardboard from the six pack, I gotta clean some weed.” This was a ritual in the neighborhood, copping some beer from an older brother of a friend outside the stores then rolling a few joints to get even higher. It was just another night in the land they call suburbia. On this eve we were a group of 12 strong all pounding down alcohol and puffing away on yellow gold high-quality marijuana. Someone suggested heading over to Beth’s because she was having a party and there in an instant and unanimous agreement. Ken grabbed me and pulled me to the side. “JT, did you take those pills I gave you last night?” “Of course I did bro it was awesome. I did the red ones and brought the other 4 with me. I figure I’ll do one and give one to Carrie and you and Sue can have the other two” Ken thought for a moment then said “Lets you and me do the tuies and give the girls one yellow each. The tuies are a lot stronger.” It was decided. We called over the ditz sisters and offered them each a Nembutal. Carrie took it without question and washed it down with some of my beer. A foreign feeling came over me, and somehow I just knew the moment was now. I grabbed her hand and held it like a boyfriend would feeling the sparks instantly. I knew Carrie could sense it too by the smile on her face and the odd twinkle in her eyes. I pulled Carrie in front of me and peered into her soul through her beautiful ocular portals. Without one single word spoken, with just one seemingly small act of mysterious energy, the whole of the cosmos shifted to a slightly uncomfortably yet fully confident and happy alignment. We exchanged nervous glances at first, and then looked deeply into each other’s eyes searching each other desires. Our eyes engaged in the only conversation necessary. With a sensuous and tender movement, our faces shifted slightly and slowly, very very gradually as we moved closer to each other. Maybe she was born with it, or perhaps it was Maybelline, but at that moment no other female had ever looked so amazingly beautiful, and for a brief few moments, no one else in the world existed. I felt a tingling that emanated from my groin and echoed through my entire body out through my fingertips as our mouths opened and our lips met with a furious and gentle tango explosion. All the blood in my body seemed to take the elevator straight to the top and made me wobble so that I nearly lost my balance. With our mouths locked tightly to each other, our tongues danced that tango, tossing and toggling inside each other’s mouths in a desperate search of our new raison d’etre. With slippery hormonal precision, our mouths performed the minute waltz in ten seconds as our tongues danced the entire Swan Lake to artistic perfection. Jesus shit man we were embracing in a wet and desperate lovelock of synergetic bliss. Eyes closed and mouths now hermetically sealed to each other our faces rocked gently as we both drank in the most incredible love infected chemical secretion either of us had ever experienced. We kissed and swapped salivary gland fluids for four or five minutes utterly oblivious to any lifeform outside are now combined nucleus.

My endoreticulum was running amok and scratching my back while it tickled my soul. I loved it! (see? I did pay attention in biology) The only sound in the universe was the soft panting and moaning of Carrie’s throat and the slightly louder moaning of mine. After what seemed like two lifetimes the magic was shattered by a familiar voice when Ken broke up the vibe. “Well, it’s about fucking time you guys.” We broke our lip lock and looked at each other knowing exactly what he meant, and we knew he was right. I think we both felt glad we waited because that was the most perfect kiss and saliva exchange in the history of Cupidon.
From that moment on Carrie and I would become inseparable, holding hands or walking with my arm around her shoulder. We were high from weed and beer, and soon the pills would be kicking in, and even if they didn’t fuck it, I’m in love which as of right now is the best high I have ever felt. Our friends looked at us as if this was how it had always been, no one even seemed to notice how different we felt. We, however, could not stop looking at each other, smiling and kissing the night away. The music was loud, the party was crowded, yet nothing existed outside of Carrie and me. We continued drinking and smoking whenever something came our way, and I gave the weed and papers to Ken and left him in charge. It was getting late, and we were very stoned and delighted. But time was running out in the evening.
No sooner did we decide to leave than a strange tension built up between us. Well not really between us but more like inside the both of us. A sense of anticipation and curiosity filled the small portion of our private universe. Ah, the moment of truth. Should we continue our adventure into adulthood or just take it easy? I felt that awkward feeling because we were headed to that moment we would say goodnight to each other and figure out what the next step of our relationship was going to be. Should I try to cop a feel and touch her breast, maybe take it further tonight or be happy where we are and wait? Suave and cool operator or caring respectful dude? The pills had one scenario and my mind had another. Should I make a move? Fuck man, what if I try for the tit and she gets pissed? Oh my god so much fucking pressure. Tuinols on one shoulder and my conscience on the other. As we walked closer to her house we chatted nervously and pointlessly about nothing. That’s when I realized she was sweating it out too. Well its time to make my move, be a man, do what a real man would do. But what man? Be like my asshole Dad? I’ll never get laid if I’m like him. Like Artie, the scumbag? No, he would probably rape her though I would never say that in front of Ken. Fuck man I have no role model since James got drafted. That’s it. What the fuck would Jameson do? He was caught having sex with his girlfriend once when her old man came home unexpectedly and caught them. They had to break up and James was a mess for months afterward. They got back together of course because they really do love each other but they had to steer clear of her parents. What kind of shit is that? He’s in the army defending I don’t know what an has to hide his relationship. What bullshit! But James was my hero so that was it. I’ll do like James would do. I stopped walking, grabbed Carrie and pulled her close to me. Our eyes met and I could see the look she had was curiosity with a side order of apprehension. “Carrie, I really dig you a lot, and I want us to have a long relationship. This love shit is so fucking confusing! Well if it is love we should be able to talk about shit like this so here it goes. “I want to have sex with you really bad right here and right now.” Her eyes narrowed and she seemed to be contemplating what would be next. I took a deep breath and continued. “But I want it to be right, the right place and time and the right reason. I just don’t think tonight is that time.” Now her eyes began to smile and I think I heard a breath of relief. She smiled the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. Without a single word we both knew it was the perfect choice. “Jesus shit JT, I want to have sex with you right now too but I don’t think, no, I know I’m not ready. But I would have if you asked me to.”

My relief was evident too, and I smiled and said “You would have?? God damn it, now you tell me.” We laughed and embraced each other holding tightly, and I am pretty sure she felt that uncontrollable male muscle pulsating slow and hard up against her hip. Life was beautiful, we were in love, and this new high we found was the best ever. We walked up to her house and stopped just out of sight should anyone be spying on us. We swapped spit, sucked face, made out, French kissed, toggled tongues, whatever the fuck you want to call it for 15 minutes before we said good night. I walked home like each step was taken on a carpet of foam rubber with my head so high in the clouds it took a special request from gravity to keep me on earth. I can’t wait to tell Ken. Jesus shit I hope this lasts.
I’m not sure if the incredible feelings I was experiencing was from love, beer, pot or pills. Most likely it was a combination of all the above but to say my head was spinning would be an understatement. I could feel the effects of all of them having a group hug in my cerebellum, but all I could think about was Carrie. Damn man, I hung out with her as friends almost every day and now all of a sudden I can’t stop thinking about her. I walked straight into my special little spot in the universe past my Mom who was mumbling something about the time, past the dinner table which generally beckoned me over for a tempting bowl of cocoa puffs, utterly oblivious to all the sights and sounds surrounding me. It felt like the giant smile not only went from ear to ear but wrapped around my head a few times. Fuck man, I’m in love!

For the first time in ever, I woke up happy and wide awake. I am ready to start the day a teenager in love. Think I’ll go into the kitchen and surprise my Mom with a kiss. The surprise was on me though because as soon as I got to the kitchen my dear mom was sitting at the table with a bucketload of tears in her eyes and my dickhead old man pacing and just mumbling over and over how “Everything’s gonna be alright.” Mom’s head was shaking, and all she could let out was a desperate sounding sob. She kept trying to catch her breath but sounded like she was going to choke. I looked at my mom, but my words were directed at my Dad. “What’s going on?” My old man looked at me with a shut the fuck up look on his face and spoke forcefully when he said, “Its not a big deal. Jameson has been shipped off to Viet Nam and is headed to a place called Quang Tri. He will be defending the honor of the entire country and our family because he is a brave son doing the right thing.” I knew it was half trying to convince mom, validate his hawkish war stance, and most importantly to him send a dig at my anti-war friends and me.

Mom was becoming increasingly more hysterical, so I chose to let that shit slide for the time being. In the calmest voice I had used with my Dad in some time I intoned outside of Moms audible range, “Dad, Jameson is going to Nam. He is going to risk his life for nothing. Not a big deal? No big deal?” Unfortunately my brazen in love self-began growing balls and my voice raised a few octaves. “ What the hell do you mean no big deal? James is going to fight in a bloody and senseless war halfway around the world.” I was using every ounce of Zen energy to remain composed, but the old shit was feeling guilty and believed increasing his own volume gave him some warped sense of authority. “First of all watch your language young man, you’re still living under my roof. We live in the United States of America and our country needs our help.” I rolled my eyes, yet he continued, “Just because you are a pansy ass chicken who’s afraid to fight doesn’t mean both my sons have to be.” The Old shit felt that his drunken slurring statement was in need of an exclamation point, so he slapped me hard in my face. I was stunned.

The shock converted quickly to anger, and it took every ounce Karma I had to not punch the shit out of his old drunk ass. Mom let out a little scream as my eyes burned holes in the wallpaper and my fingers began to ache from clenching. Being the better person, I headed back to my sanctuary to worship my stereo headphones and pretend I didn’t live in this hell hole of a house. My dickhead father, my wailing mother, and the thought of my brother shipping off to Vietnam for real had completely destroyed the fantastic feeling of love from my first kiss. Fuck them, I’m outta here on my eighteenth birthday!
TBC

Sorrows Never Drown (FML)

sorrows

 

Life at the local tavern

A bar built for the glum

Where my troubles hide in a tall spotted glass

Been hurt here before

Yet still I come back for more

A shot of fuck it and a stool for my ass

 

 

Oceans of tequila and sin

Rivers of forgotten dreams

Breathing stale smoke that helps numb my brain

But its me who is drowning

Three times down I go under

As I keep guzzling worlds are circling the drain

 

 

I keep pounding them down

Yet my sorrows won’t drown

When my hangover starts they come back to appear

Still I drink just the same

It’s an unending game

Because when I’m drunk I just don’t fucking care

 

 

Why do we come back to this vacuum

Chained to mundane desperations

While trapped in a labyrinth built on the life of a lie

Come pour us liquid relief

Our lives are tragically brief

But the rum is why we come here in handcuffs to die

 

Weeks morph into mornings

Can’t even tell day from night

The lost time fills me with anger confusion and strife

One more lonely night

No one to console me

Sorrows never drown so I cry Fuck My Life

 

 

Over/Under…Over Whelmed And Under The Influence

drunk

As a Sous Chef in Soho, after being a line cook at Windows On The World, my career was on track. The Smoking Moon Café was a quaint little 45 seat restaurant in a very hip part of the city. The chef trusted me to run the dinner shift which in truth wasn’t all that hard. A limited restaurant with a lot of specials, the sous chef is a one man show behind the range. Our staff was one dishwasher, one waitress, one bartender, and me. But we all had the right attitude and abilities to make it a fully functional team.
Our clientele were mostly young hip professionals with an edgy style. Very often a diner would enjoy the meal I prepared so much he would send me a drink or a joint, or a piece of hash (quality stuff). Every once in a while a regular would come in an cut up a few lines after dinner then invite us all over for a snort. What can I say it was the eighties, the age of excess and everyone in New York City played a role in the Bright Lights Big City clubbing and drugging culture. The really hip clubs had no signs, one had to be “In The Know” to have the address. That was our clients, we catered to the in the know clientele, many of which came to us for dinner before bouncing around the various clubs.
It was a great place to work, the owner treated us like family, even when he wasn’t there when our shift was over he allowed us to lock up and have a few drinks at the bar before heading out. I was the back of the house and back of the house restaurant people complain about business a lot. Whenever its really busy I bitch wishing for down time, and whenever there’s too much down time I bitch wishing for customers. But on July 4th, 1986 I experienced the most excruciating downtime in existence followed by a near impossible power service. The city was alive with celebration, the streets packed with people in anticipation of the annual fireworks display. This year we celebrated the centennial of The Statue Of Liberty so the fireworks were on the West side that year. Being near the West Side ourselves lunch was crazy busy, I had to come in early to assist the chef, but by dinner just about everyone was out jockeying for a good spot to view the works. By seven o’clock we had had one single customer who only ordered a burger. The area was like a ghost town with everybody and their brother on West Side Highway. It was so slow Moss, the waitress, Eddie the dishwasher an I sat at the bar chatting with Stolie, our favorite bartender.
I mentioned that a customer who had requested a very hot meal had given me a bottle of Mt. Gay rum. I made some my patented dragon juice, assorted hot peppers stepped in sherry vinegar to an order of lamb couscous which I topped off with some harisa. When I came out to chat with him his face was covered in sweat but he loved the meal. He asked me if I like rum. Of course, who doesn’t so the next day he bought me a bottle of Mount Gay, his favorite, to say thanks. Before I knew it Stolie, Moss, and I were in a rum drink competition making each other rum drinks. Eddie didn’t compete but happily accepted the privilege of judging. My concoction was a combo of 151, Meyers, and Bacardi with a drop of every juice I could find then a splash of coke. Delicious and deadly. By 10:15 the four of us were toasted and still not a soul to serve, not even anyone passing by. Closing up in 45 minutes. We were laughing loudly when the door opened and a couple walked in. Shit! Now I am really buzzing and have to cook some dinners. When I started heading to the kitchen I hear Moss say, “Holy fuck!”
From the kitchen door I could hear the decibel level increase rapidly. It was like the floodgates opened allowing customers to come charging through the door. The fireworks were over and we were right smack dab in the middle of the path of hordes of happy hungry people leaving the highway extravaganza in search of a place to eat. Within ten minutes every table was full, a line of revelers out the door. Half hour to closing time, but now closing time no longer existed.
Most restaurant people stay in the field working because we thrive on the pressure. All four of us were thriving our asses off. Moss handled the tables expertly, Stolie made the customers drinks and helped Moss by bussing. I really would need a new ass, thriving or otherwise if I didn’t cook it off I was certain to sweat it off. Eddie was promoted to assistant sous chef and he did a fantastic job. For the next two hours the four of us worked together half drunk on pressure, half drunk on rum. For me the best part of the crazy scene was after the last two tables had been seated, while things were semi calm, Moss came back to the range with her cocktail tray holding one large drink. “The happy customer on table seven wants to send a drink back for the chef so Stolie made you a JT Rum Special.”
I was literally drenched in sweat, rivulets of saline trailing from my temples. I was breathing hard because I had been cooking non stop even slapped myself hard and shook my head many times to try instant sober up, and Moss was standing there, also exhausted, but still smiling handing me a drink. “Are you fucking kidding me? A drink now?” Moss tilted her head, lifted her eyebrows, smiled at me shaking her head yes. All I could do was smile back, “That sounds about right.” I accepted the drink with a laugh, giving half to my newly promoted assistant. We didn’t have our usual close up drink that night, all of us wiped out, but we talked about our fourth of July experience for months after. Those were the days….PEACE

Rudolf the Drunken Santa

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You know Dasher, Pole Dancer was Prancing with Vixen,
Used Comet on Cupid cuz Donner was Blitzed some,
But so you recall,
The sloppiest drunkard of all?

Rudolf the red nose drunkard,
Talked in a very slurry way
And if you could even hear him
You’d say the fuck d’he say

Oh how the other drinkers
Use to laugh an watch him drool
They never let poor Rudolf
Sit with them on a barstool

Then on last call Christmas eve
The bartender came to say
Rudolf with your ass so drunk
Help me get a dead bodies in the trunk
Oh how the other drinkers
Started slurring out with glee
Rudolf look at your own your leg
You should first have stopped to pee

All Shallows Eve

hallow

It comes as a surprise to many that Halloween is my least favorite holiday. The Existential baker is basically a fun loving dude who seldom misses an opportunity to party but like most things these days I feel the celebrations and revelry have spun way out of control. Back in the day we donned wafer thin material over our bodies with a hard plastic mask that fastened with a cheap rubber band across the head. That was the costume du jour. Spiderman,. Superman, Beetle Bailey (What?? It was 1st grade and I was impressionable) , whatever, those hard plastic face masks caused massive facial sweating while the slit for the tongue allowed us to dribble spit inside it as well. Those days were fun. Today however, the average costume costs near $30 with a ridiculously expensive $850 dollar collector edition Halo Master Chief taking the prize for most extravagant. Its become a who can outdo who for the best kid costume sparing no expense. Toddlers and tiara’s for a day. The adult costumes are even worse, many going to crazy lengths to be the talk of the ghostown. There are stores which dedicate their entire showrooms for that one holiday. I guess that’s why the begin advertising in August but at any rate in order to be in the height of Halloween fashion one needs to completely transcend just dressing like a goth or a slut. My Mom’s trick was to fool me into thinking I was a hobo by making me wear my older brothers ripped up clothes carrying a pillowcase as she marked my face with a mascara beard.

beetlebailey

Don’t get me wrong I loved trick or treating as a kid and went to great lengths to choose the perfect costume. I enjoy the fun size bar as much as anyone although today my standards of fun span much more than a half inch of chocolate bar. And of course part of my misspent youth involved some pranks and mischief but in my adolescence I found limiting it to just one day was just inviting trouble. I never did the burning paper bag of dog crap prank but I had my moments. But Halloween is overdone and has been taken to the edge. I mean, how are they gonna top it with the next generation?

With so many of us taking immature adulthood to new heights and responsible parenting to far below sub basement levels perhaps it will become a day set aside for today’s “whats in it for me” irresponsible adults so arrange for a babysitter. Start with a ghost haunting in the home because it would be full of boo’s. Or I mean booze. Picture this, at everyone’s door a stash of alcohol or other happy hour helpers at the ready. We dress up as authority figures, like maybe a mall cop, or “event security” and go door to door with our shot glasses and red solo cups. Ring the bell, and when the owner answers we all yell “Buzz or Beatdown” The owner then either pours a glass of beer or wine, fills a shot glass with their favorite liquor, or places a doob ash side in their mouth and proceeds to give a shotgun of silly smoke all around. I would go with the doob cuz there’s less of a chance of a beatdown from someone stoned than there is with alcohol laden drunkards. At worst a stoner will kick your shin. The occasional home of a chemist or pharmacist may have some prescription drugs or tripping product and everyone in the neighborhood will be sure to stop there before heading home. That would be a hellacious way to celebrate but there will be more sick outs the next day than the ay after the super-bowl.

But its not up to me as to how anyone chooses to celebrate their holiday and my job a it were is to come up with an offering of cupcakes that are themed out for October 31st. So here’s what I have coming up with at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes for next week. The “Drunkin’ Punkin,” a pumpkins cupcake filled with bourbon pecan custard, “Apple Stumble“, an apple cupcake filled with rum raisin, and for the kids “The Tricking Treat,” a chocolate cupcake with candy corn custard and candied topping.

Have a safe and fun Halloween, enjoy the crazy holiday responsibly and remember, never underestimate the power of a cupcake….Peace