The storyteller unlocks the subconscious
A locksmith using memories as his tool
Reminding us knowledge which lay dormant
Sleeping in the memories of our own hearts
Wishing one day to sort out real from imagined
So we listen with intent hoping to be free
Because feelings that lay frozen in our minds
Plead day to day that they be un-manacled
Free of the fears which lock our hope away
Holding hostage that which we already know
The knowledge that dawned with our births
Stored in the vastness of our repressive minds
Inside the temples of the storytellers graveyard
Where secret knowledge is preached in solitude
So we listen



The storyteller he makes no claims nor judgments
His tales are the dreams of visitors from the night
Imaginary and manifested friends of midnight lore
Some welcome some unwanted but all unfiltered
Preying on our eager and vivid imaginations
Reaching in to unleash our suppressed emotions
To strip them naked exposed unto ourselves
He asks not to be paid in silver nor gold
Only hopes to enter into our hearts and minds
And allow his words soothe or injure wakefulness
Offering no direction nor instruction be followed
Exposing incognito the paths of our choosing
Oftentimes he tell stories of profound love
Allowing many to reflect fondly of experience
So we believe



Yet for others love never seems to be enough
So he recalls stories of deep pain and loss
Sharing the pains he lived through and died from
Exposing himself while revealing our profound grief
And in the end with the many tales he’s woven for us
He blankets us all from that darkness which resides
Obscuring from inside the desires of the incendiary
Coaxing emotions to come bubbling to the surface
In a desperate search to find our own reflection
And fix the broken parts we tried to forget
Whether memories make you sad or glad matters not
It bears no significance once the story comes to end
The teller leaves carrying our hurts without reward
Upon his shoulders to cast into his healing heart
A mutual exchange of what is and what should be
As it was intended


The biggest fish of the fishing rod, a thousand tales from Scheherazade
Saviors of the suicide squad that make us stop and think so hard
Should we disregard our own backyard or traipse on down the boulevard
Scary streets abandoned yards, play at risk of being scarred
Don’t blame the words of the traveling bard its only a tale
The storytellers veil to hide his wails
Be he poet or prophet or teller true
He gives freely of words to me and you
Words plucked from his heart become his art
Right from the start
He writes them down not for glory
Only wants to tell a story
To reveals our eyes to our mirror
Put perspective little bit clearer
So gather round come in nearer
Stand naked before his story moral
Thank him for his message oral
Once he’s gone only words remain
Because no one notices his barrel of pain
They only ask him to tell it again and again
Until he has no story left



Hope I Die Before I Get Old


A Potsink Diary Reflection
Cooking at a rest home was not especially challenging but I’m still in a kitchen, at least sometimes, and I had fun working with Margie and Flo. Margie was not only the big boss but a favorite of the owner so she called all the shots and since we worked together much of the time we became fast friends. I got my kitchen responsibilities done faster and faster so I could have more time on the floor to hang out with the nurse and the aides. We laughed and joked a lot, I was one of only two males working there, but it just never dawned on me that nurses could not only tease with expertise, but they are also practical jokers.
One day as I was flirting with one of the aides Margie snuck up from behind and said to me “Jhay, you afinish so faust today dot we got spayshal job for a you.” A shot of adrenalin started coursing through my central nervous system because the sound of that had an eerily similar ring to it. It sounded too much like the “downtime” Chef Jimmy was so adept at. I thought back to all the mindless tasks the chef assigned me that not only bored me to tears but drained what little sanity I had left in me. In a sheepish voice I inquired if it was in fact anything like downtime but Maggie assured me it was just a small job and she needed help with an SSE. I started to feel a little relief, SSE didn’t sound like it was anything horrible. But an uneasy feeling did come over me when I saw the dastardly dog smile on the other nurses. “Meet us up inna Miss Lemcows room upstair. We meet you dare Jhay.”
When I walked in the room I began to get a tad concerned. After all, this place was loaded with some of the most extremely senile people to ever observe the Civil War. At the very least they read about it in the “Recent History” books. I was called into the bathroom where they had poor Mrs. Lemkaugh sitting naked on the toilet. It was an embarrassing sight for me but Mrs. Lemkaugh never even took notice of me. She wasn’t in control of her faculties and as I would soon find out not in control of bodily functions. I tried to look away but its like a car accident, the harder I tried the more I looked. I was depresses at how depressed the old woman’s body was. Any muscles or tendons in her breasts had long ago lost any of its substance and hung like deflated balloons. Her whole body just seemed so frail and wrinkled. I felt very uncomfortable, as though I were violating her privacy. I guess I was but she was completely unaware of my existence let alone my embarrassment at that violation. I looked away choosing to focus on my Jamaican boss who I was beginning to develop a crush on. In Margies hand was a metal can much like a flour sifter with a red rubber hose attached to it. “Here Jhay, I need a you hole dis can up over da heyd ofa Miss Lemcow.” Totally confused and wondering what the fuck was happening I stared blankly as I grabbed the can. Flo, the sexy forty something nurse leaned up to my ear and whispered “Is this your first Soap Suds Enema honey?” It took a minute for the words to sink in. Now the SSE took on an entirely dark aura. I had heard all three words before but never in the same sentence and certainly not as a single concept, but there it was. Soap. Suds. Enema. Innocuous as three words, I use soap, I bust suds, and I know what an enema is but how in the fuck can all three become one? Pondering the concept it can only mean one thing. I was holding a can of soapy water, so there’s the soap and suds, but where does enema fit in? I looked down at Margie grabbing the other end of the rubber hose and in an instant it hit me. Oh my fucking god in heaven that’s where it fit in, literally. She is sticking that hose in….in..oh my fucking god in heaven she stuck the end of the hose in Mrs. Lemkaugh ass!! “Okay Flo let off de valve.” Flo, the not so sexy anymore forty something nurse, shot me a smile usually reserved for Karmic retribution. She reached up and released the valve. In an instant the can emptied its contents of soapy water and went directly to Lemkaughs ass, which apparently mixed in the contents the Mrs. Lemkaughs gastro-intestinal system was holding on so dearly to. It made the stink carousel of decayed horseshit from my old landscaping days seem like jasmine incense. I gagged as I tried desperately not to breath. At least not through my nose although inhaling that stench in my mouth did not seem an acceptable alternative. I could tell they were enjoying my pain and Flo let out a chuckle. They had gotten me good on this one. “Am I done here?” After I managed to utter my request, I held my breath and very quietly offered a “Jesus shit” mantra “Of course Jayh, you canna go backs de kitchen.” With that I put down my soap suds enema can and left the room. I could still hear the ladies laughing and all kind of sloshing and flushing. I gagged once again as I considered a despicable thought. I feared this wouldn’t be my last SSE and my job around the nursing home was evolving a bit too rapidly.
I was to learn quickly that playing jokes was a way for the nurses to keep their sanity in check. Everyone says don’t get involved with the patients but you really can’t help it. It’s like being surrounded by your grandparents and all their alter egos and they are all so cute. One of the darkest jokes was when Margie sent me into Old Mrs. Carrols room to check on her because she never showed up for lunch. Mrs. Carroll was a staff favorite because she was funny and didn’t seem to have any family. At least none that came to visit. She was kind of in her own little world but she was funny as all hell when she got rolling on shit. “JT? What the damn kind of a name is JT? Whassa mattah, your Mom and Dad couldn’t afford a whole name so they just gave you initials? Where are you from anyway, N Y?” She would say shit like that with deadpan face and so sarcastically accurate it could make a sack of onions cry in envy. Anyway, I went in to see how she was and she was like motionless in bed with her eyes closed. It was eerily quiet in the room which smelled strongly of stale urine. Another aroma I had become accustomed to! Many of the patients, the old folks, had lost control of their body functions. Every room had a cloud of urine stink to one degree or another and the carpets had faded stains everywhere if you looked close. But today the urine cloud was unusually aggressive. It snuck out from the corners of the stained and worn carpet and like a stench poltergeist dancing about merrily in search of an olfactory gland to haunt. And haunt it did. With the unappealing fragrance of rotten eggs soaked in ammonia the cloud of stench creeps into your nostrils and looks for a place to hang out. Sometimes it teams up with the century old shit stink. After decomposing in a ninety year old set of intestines remnants collect in the bowels to congregate. I looked over at Mrs. Carrol who was just lying in bed. But I mean JUST lying! She wasn’t moving at all. I called her name and no response. The silence in the room was the most eerie silence I had ever felt and as I got closer to Mr. Carrol her face was purple and lifeless. I damn near shit myself. I began to shake and knew in an instant that the smell today was so strong because its the smell of death! Something I never ever want to smell again. I was overcome with emotion. Profoundly sad because someone I care about is lying dead in front of me, confused because what the Hell is death anyway, and angry because why did she have to die. I wondered who her family was, if they cared. Had she known love? Is there anyone from her life who’s going to miss her. Then I started thinking how I have to break the news to Mar….Wait! What!! Son of a bitch they knew when they sent me in here! My anger shifted its focus.
When I got back to the lounge they were all laughing hysterically like it was one big god damn joke. My emotions were boiling until I looked at the ladies. They were laughing, but they were crying too. They were trying to cope with the loss the only way they knew. I walked up to Margie, looked her right in the face and said, “Oh yea, laugh now, cuz when I get you back you gonna forget how to laugh at all.” She glared back at me then we all started laughing, and crying, and this weird hugfest started as we all tried to put Mrs. Carrols death away to somewhere. Deep in some mental attic filled with cobwebs so it won‘t effect us. Like I said, we’re not supposed to get attached but it sure is hard when you lose a patient you’re attached to. Real hard.
But that was life at Mimi Dee’s. A mixture of emotions and never knowing what the day would bring. I was cooking again, flirting tirelessly, but had become a fixture. Something had to give. All the young ladies, some from my school, some from other schools, and the nurses. I flirted like it was part of my job. And let me tell you I really dug it. I did feel some degree of guilt because Carrie and I were very serious about each other. Flirting wasn’t exactly cheating, but it wasn’t complete faithfulness either. But still I dug the shit out of so much attention from so many females. Margie would tease me relentlessly about taking me home to her ‘Garden Apartment” when hey boyfriend Bob was out of town. It felt so good but I worried a little if I would ever take it too far. I want to be faithful, but between my raging hormones and insatiable sweet tooth for dancing on the edges of life I had to consider I may one day get too close to that edge. On top of that I knew life was getting stale for me here. I knew I needed to get out of here and get back to proper cooking but I was just so comfortable here, and comfort isn’t something I’ve had much of in my short life. So what do I want to be, a chef or a cheating boyfriend with a job but no career. Something has to give.

Time To Settle Down.

Out Of The Frying Pan Into The Mire (From The Potsink Diaries)

joe K

It wasn’t that I wasn’t used to the fecal matter hitting the rotary oscillator it‘s just I wasn’t thinking the fecal matter would figure into my life. The closing of Cumberland restaurant was a lot to deal with and frankly the furthest thing from my mind was me needing a new job. No longer was I an apostle to a culinary madman, no more waitresses to flirt with, no more free beers or paychecks. I was now saturated with disappointment and disillusionment believing the universe had let me down. Maybe I needed to seek another avenue of employment, to shed the dry snakeskin of the restaurant industry and molt to another field. Actually field sounds right I should get as far away from any kitchen, knife wielding Chef or teasing waitress and do some fieldwork. I need a sacrificial rack of lamb. I should do what Ken suggested and go work landscaping for cash. As fate would have it and timing being everything my brother’s ex boss was in need a laborer. I can labor! So it came to pass that I had became the new landscaper laborer for Munsons Field and Dreams. More accurately put, I had become the new lawn mowing leaf raking topsoil carrying shit spreading go boy. I had chosen to become a hard working laborer having my skin scorched everyday by dermal burning threats the sun makes good on while also enjoying the hearty aroma of freshly decayed organic shit. Not just any old shit, but class A number one horseshit Munson got from the stables. Enough about the perks though, there’s also a downside.
Every day ended the same, my arm and back muscles pounding out a rebellious beat building to a painful crescendo.I try and cool the aches and pains with an ice cold beer but it seem as though all my muscles tightened up into ball of overworked subdermal tissues and tendons screaming at every movement. My skin radiates a pinkish aura from hours spent unprotected by those relentless threats of the harsh sun. It left my neck and shoulders feeling rug burnt adding to my misery. As if that weren’t enough there was an omnipresent stench of decaying crap implanting its neverending carousel of stink deep into my nasal cavity. Deep! One of my less enviable jobs was to take compost, decayed animal shit and who knows what and spread the malodorous mixture across a field. At first the smell of evaporating morning dew so earthy and rich comes up off the ground like a wisp of warm steam in a pleasant tease just waiting for its replacement. Breathe deep and enjoy that nature while you can because within seconds the dank aroma of compost rises triumphantly up the nasal passages. Its a blend of some of the most offensive smells I could ever imagine, if dogs smelled that stench when they sniffed another dogs ass the species would go extinct. The steaming stench of a mountain outhouse combined with a quarantined fraternity bathroom joining forces with week old spoiled milk creating a cacophony of disgust that slowly creeps up my nose making an all out aerial assault on my entire being. The assault continues for hours even after my work day was done. Like pigpen the stench takes on an identity of its own following me everywhere even stalking me all the way to the shower where it finally meets it’s match and scurries defeated into the drain. A small portion of it sets up camp in my clothing as a rank reminder of my newly acquired hopelessness that was eased but never eradicated by the cold beer.
I began doing diet pills every morning to keep me awake and give me the energy to bust my ass out in the shit fields. An expensive proposition because on days that it rained I would be sent home making no money for the day, needing beer and weed to calm me down from the pills. Between the pills, beer and weed I went through all my savings after just one week of solid rain. Penniless I was gloomily staring out Munson’s tool shed listening to the rain wondering how the fuck I got here. As if on cue fate suck its fat foot inside the door forcing its way in. Out of the blue my friend Patrick came by with an offer to become an assistant groundskeeper for a local dude who owns three nursing home properties. It’s a full time job despite weather and Patrick was quitting. The job was open and he promised to recommend me. Think how cool it would be to be able to use my newly acquired skills on three locations where you get paid even if it rains. That’s how it was that I became something different. Now I would be a shit spreader with a title. The assistant groundskeeper of the Vieros Health care facilities. I was still in charge of manure movement but now I can add garage cleaner to my resume. Whatever, I was working and making money on a regular basis again. Besides the work wasn’t nearly as exhausting so life was good again. Adios Munson, now I can concentrate on saving up money to get the Hell out of here.
I found myself spending most of my time at one specific locations, Mimi Dee’s. That was the nickname used by the staff at the Miriam Deegan Adult Home owned by the Vieros one of the richest families in town. They also owned two other homes but I only worked at each once a week. Vieros Ault Home was a full scale nursing home, and the Lighthouse was a health related facility, which is a fancy name for old folks home. The only difference in the two being that about eighty percent of the “patients” at The lighthouse and Mimi Dee’s could care for themselves. Those at Vieros couldn’t even wipe their asses but that was already too much information for me. My concern was making sure all the properties were well kept, trimmed and mowed so the families of the patients would believe that no expense was spared in the upkeep of their parents dwelling. Mimi Dee’s was sort of their flagship home so most of the attention was bestowed on that property. But I was happy mowing lawns and raking leaves, even trimming the shrubs which I knew by name. Not the Latin names, the names I made up for them to keep me sane while spending hours alone caring for properties. Big Zebra, Burning Bush, Sticks, just weird names to entertain me. One great benefit was not having the shit stink hanging around me all day and night.
So here I was in a quaint little Long Island community called Cool Springs working on a property of a former Pratt Mansion turned Rest Home. Tending to the chlorophyll producing zoo of colorful organic plants and flowers busy enjoying their days photosynthesizing away and looking pretty. My boss, Fred drove from property to property and left me alone most of the time. He drove me to Mimi Dee’s, gave me daily chore lists, and went about his business. A questionable bonus was being invited inside for lunch everyday. Not the taste bud tingling foods Jimmy made but it was decent and best of all free. Maybe that wasn’t the best part that would have to be the company at lunchtime. I sat around the table with two other guys, six cute young nurse’s aides, and two nurses. On most days I was the center of attention and I dug that. The free meal was back, the flirting was back, and the paycheck was back. What could possibly go wrong?

Seasons Greed-ing’s


No Virginia, There is no more miracle on 34th street

Thanksgiving is this Thursday and there are some who are seriously in need of your help this year. The disenfranchised franchises of retail stores. Due to “calendar irregularities” the shopping season is six days shorter than usual which may force several CEO’s of major retail stores to cut back on their caviar this year, or worse, be forced to get their children practical gifts this holiday season. But that’s not what worries them most, they’re real concern is about us, the hard working shopping public. That’s why these stores, Macy’s, Wal-Mart, JC Penny (they are personally responsible for keeping the JC in Jesus Christ-mas),K-Mart, Target, Old Navy, Kohls, and Macy’s will have someone ready to wait on you in their stores Thursday. I know I mentioned Macy’s twice but their underpaid accountants project that the stores profits may sink below 40% this year meaning its gains may be less than 6 ½ billion by years end. So taking into account that combined with their concern about you and your family get to-gethers I felt they deserve extra mention. Anyway, I’m asking you to show your support for these struggling companies who are so desperate they are willing to force their low level underpaid staff to get off their lazy asses and get into work on a family holiday. Go shop, to Hell with family. Thank you CEO’s, your generosity borders on patriotic.

So please don’t make plans to stay at home with your family this Thanksgiving, help the CEO’ sit proud in their boardrooms. Open your hearts and your wallets and pull out your credit cards and spend the day (as well as all the money you have, plus some you don’t have yet) the way the Pilgrims would have if they hadn’t been so busy sharing food with Americans. Maybe they did, maybe history is wrong and it wasn’t a feast but a flea market where the Native Americans traded the foods they farmed and the game they slaughtered for whatever the Pilgrims put up for sale. Designer feather headdresses at Gimme-Mart, Cooking pots from The Cellar at Mayflower Stores, trinkets from WM Penn-iless, or the latest in colonial technology from Pilgrims Plug In. So maybe these generous companies aren’t just trying to make huge profits on the backs of their minimum wage employees, maybe they are merely celebrating in the true spirit of Thanksgiving by opening their stores the way the Pilgrims did for the natives. So be patriotic, forgo family fun, get out to the stores and spend spend spend. Not spend time with family, spend your money so the CEO’s can comfortably spend the day with their families, with caviar, extravagant gifts and all. You can get the whole family together for a day of love and sharing any time, but the sales only last for a limited time. While supply last. I don’t know about you but I sure don’t want to be the one to deprive big business of an opportunity to make a few million in profit, that’s downright inhumane. To hell with family, get out there and do the right thing, shop till you drop.

This year we all have a chance to make a difference and get a good jump on our holiday shopping instead of connecting with the ones we love. Be thankful? For what, we deserve what we get! Sure there are thousands of our fellow American who are homeless and starving but people will always go hungry in our country, that’s just how we roll. Besides, I have no clue what their circumstances are but they no doubt brought it on themselves by being lazy waiting for handouts. Screw them, they can have all the empty cardboard boxes after Christmas. Or you can be one of those liberal so good protesters who vow they won’t shop this Thanksgiving day because they’re outraged at the way the company shows distain to the lower classes. Truth is the companies don’t give a shit about the protests, they know your as addicted to spending money as they are addicted to stockpiling it. Their focus groups show we’ll just spend the money in their store on another day and within three years time we will all be so used to stores opening on Thanksgiving the magic behind the holiday will fall prey to commercialism just like Christmas has. By this time three years from now the day will become juts another holiday we can stretch into a 5 ay weekend to get drunk, watch football, and go shopping, because we all know there aren’t enough Sundays to do that in regular football season…

As for me, I‘m going to spend the day as I usually do, inviting family and friends over for a fanfuukkentastic meal, awesome wine and beer, and great conversations. At 12 noon I will stop everything for a half hour while I listen to Alice’s Restaurant Massacre, a hippie tradition I have held up since 1971, and reflect on all the wonderful people that have had passed through my life. If you shopping is part of your tradition go for it, its your option, but consider first to take one moment in time, one day of the year in which no one gives a shit about politics, religion, or any other distractions that seem to rule our lives and put all the garbage aside to appreciate how much we love, and how much we are loved. Love, Peace, and Hope. You can’t find that on sale anywhere but if you really want it anyone can afford it ….PEACE

Monarch Of The Univers (episode II)


Previously on Monarch Of The Universe: I thought I was alone but to my surprise I received an answer. “Maybe I can help.” I looked about the room, no one here but me. Oh Jesus now I’m hearing hallucinations. I walked over to the stereo thinking it may have come from the speakers. Nothing. I laid down and tried meditating when a butterfly fluttered in front of me and landed on my chest. I stared in confusion when out of nowhere it began to talk to me. That is to say it communicated to me, it didn’t actually move its lips and speak, it communicated in an unspoken language it called the language of the cosmos.

Skeptical? God damn right I was skeptical! I was sure this was more five hit of barrel acid hallucinating but this butterfly went on communicating and explained to me that she is speaking to me in a language of time, a language that can be found hidden in every living things DNA if one knows where to look. The communication DNA she called it, even predates the dinosaurs having been mixed into the primordial soup which became life on earth. The language of the cosmos was etched deep into Mother Earths DNA so every splice of living organisms contains the secret language. Okay, sounds like too much acid, I get it, but my butterfly friend assured me that this communication exists in every galaxy, in every universe shared by all living organisms on planets everywhere. She went on to explain how the DNA code is misinterpreted or misunderstood most of the time and thereby disregarded. Life is so pre-occupied with survival strategies and procreation it no longer hears it, and because my mind is so wide open from the unusual amount of LSD I took I’m able to listen. “Just don’t let clouds get in the way” she told me, “clouds refract the real truths.” She assured me that would make sense to me someday, when the Monarch of the universe rises again.” The communication was a kind of swirling current, like a vast ever flowing ocean current and right now I am in a rip tide so to speak. Or so to communicate to be more literal. She fluttered in front of me a danced about in the air until I understood the movements of her butterfly dance was the communication.
Through her graceful movements she imparted an “enlightening” of its transformation of life into my mind with nary a word. Unspoken yet as clear as any story I’d ever heard read aloud. The story was nothing I had imagined a butterflies life to be. They break out of their eggs as teeny wormlike creatures and have an unyielding hunger for milkweed leaves. With no legs, just a some suction cups and a voracious appetite they hang around eating these leaves all day. They have very soft bodies and are loaded with protein so they’re a favorite snack for larger predators. Being so low on the food chain, and moving in such a slow and odd looking way they are a target of bullying by other insects being called names and getting teased. They have strange bodies and they look like what bully insects describe as “fat worms with bad toupees“, or “grub worms going through puberty on steroids“, or just “hairy slugs.” They make fun of the way they hunch up to move calling them crawling baby camel dicks. The ridicule they receive from other insects is brutal and non stop. After a life of being tortured bullied and teased relentlessly they form warm cocoons where they can hide their shame.
Once inside this cocoon they begin to cry and because of the acidic composition of the milkweed leaves in their diets their tears become corrosive and dissolve their worm parts into a gooey liquid like substance. That’s when the magic happens, when a life of misery and shame is transformed into a beautiful free creature that is the envy of the avian world. As the cocoon cools down the substance takes the form of an insect with six legs, a thin yet strong body, and rolled up shoulders which contain no blood. Once outside they pump blood into their shoulders making them puff up with pride forming regal and beautiful wings. The wing are magnificent allowing the little creatures to soar up into the skies. Before they take flight they hide three secrets they learned in their former lives in the dust of the cocoon. Once the secrets are safely stowed away they loudly let out the scream of the butterfly announcing to the world that the Monarch has risen.
I was more than fascinated by the butterfly’s story and I was absorbed completely by its visual language. I understood its tale as though it had been inside my head forever. She spread her wings, circled the room three times before landing back on my chest. Majestic in every sense. Next she stretched out her wings and revealed a bright golden diamond on brown gossamer wings. I had no more images of Olive cheating on Popeye with Wimpy, no more inner warrior winking at me from the mirror, and no more mysterious music sneaking out of my stereo. Just me and the butterfly. The butterfly communicated soothingly assuring me we would meet again but for now I need just remember our communication, remember where the three truths were hidden.

Now I know that seems like just another of my bizarre hallucinations and truth is so did I, but a startling event that transpired cemented the reality of me hearing the scream of the butterfly. My best friend Ken came over bragging to me that he just got some blue cheer LSD and was planning on tripping this week. I had told him about my intense accidental trip, omitting the butterfly part, so he understood that for the time being I wasn’t gonna trip at all. I told him to enjoy but just do one hit at a time and he smiled a big huge shit eating Cheshire cat grin. “JT my man, I got something for you too. I know you don’t want no acid yet but my connection offered my some special pre-rolled joints for five bucks apiece. He called em ‘Cocoon Dust’ and said they are intense and kind of spiritual so I got six, all I could afford. Three for me and three for you good dude.” I was stunned, literally stunned and needed to make sure I heard him, “Cocoon dust? Did you say cocoon dust?” I felt paralyzed but he went on, “Yea dude, its supposed to be the best smoke high you can get, like not angel or green weed, its not like its PCP man, its something like more spiritual or something, kinda like smoking mescaline or peyote. Some Indian tribe in Mexico scrapes cocoon dust and mixes it with ground cactus root and rolls them up. I got you the three, you want em or not dude?” Cocoon dust, holy fucking shit man. I never told him about the cocoon dust and the three secrets and now he is offering me three joints of something called cocoon dust. One for each secret? I could still barely move but was enthusiastic. “Are you fucking kidding me dude? Of course I want them, you’re the friggen best friend ever bro.” He handed them to me and I placed them behind the foil of my Marlboro cigarette box. “When you wanna smoke them man?” Ken shook his head, “No man dude says ya gotta puff each one yourself, its not a sharing kind of joint. What I’m sayin’ is you don’t have to wait for me he says it’s a personal high. Its not the kind of joint you puff and pass, it burns real quick and you only get like three or four hits before it gone and you got take all the hits. Supposed to hit it super fast or something. Funny shit huh? Instead of chugging beers we be chugging a joint made from cactus and butterflies.

Last Day At Windows On The World

a window

Smell ya later

Working at Windows on the World was the most awesome experience I ever had in the restaurant industry. Fast paced and crazy during service but the waitresses were gorgeous. In fact the waiters were gorgeous too, most of waitstaff were Bohemians. The war between the front and back of the house was non existent because the expeditor was a buffer between the two factions and took shit from all sides. The pace of service was so intense we never really had time to build up animosity anyway. But nothing in my career has ever compared to the camaraderie in the kitchen.
Eight cooks on the hot line, four in the pantry, an a dozen or so prepping, and about sixty workers in the kitchen at any given moment. In the kitchen we spent what little quiet time laughing and getting to know each other better. It was like a damn fraternity. For four hours of service we were all we had to rely on, we all had each others backs. We snuck extra chef coats to each other, beers, joints, whatever. We got high after service and met for drinks before heading out to our homes or wherever we went. We became extremely tight nit.
The thing that I remember most was my last day there. They have this cute little ritual they perform for the people that leave that they love. And I was well loved, the hippie cook who played the harmonica into the expediters microphone, made everyone recognize the moment of silence for John Lennon during the global memorial at his death, and the teller of numerous jokes and puns that kept them chuckling for hours. So I was destined for their ritual which to be honest made me happy despite what the ritual consisted of.
In the back of the kitchen were three huge cauldron kettles for soups and the like. Considering we served over a thousand people a night the kettles had to be big. For the last day of any coworker they loved they reserve the largest kettle on the end filling it with an array of obnoxious liquids. Outdated fish stock, outdated eggs, vinegars, wines, anything they could find to make a disgusting smelly bath to dip the departing warrior in on his last day. My last day!
When the shift ended I knew it was coming because I had seen it before. Some fight like hell and end up getting bruised up, some try to sneak away before anyone grabs them, and some, like me, take it as a sign of love and a sort of torch passing. I passed by that kettle two or three times and I gotta say they really went all out for me. Stunk like rotted skunk anal glands, ripe with overripe vegetables, fish guts, and many things I decided were better not to try and identify. This was going to be one gnarly shit bath and I am going to be stinking for days.

My time came, and my coworkers grabbed me and dunked me like four times, worse than Ollie Dee from March of The Wooden Soldiers. I kicked a little and made a big scene out of it but in truth I went in it willingly rather than fighting a losing battle with ten ornery line cooks. Besides I wanted them to have as great a memory of my last day as I would. A lasting memory, although mine would have an added lasting effect of carrying around an odiferous array of decayed and rotted stenches for the next day or three. I came out dripping with gross puddles of digestive waste. Needless to say I gave them all hippie hugs which they tried in vain to escape always happy to share. I always shared my weed and beers with them so I felt it only proper to share my nefarious lingering funkfest of stink.

What I hadn’t considered was my trek home. Even after washing and changing into my street clothes the elevator ride down 106 floors had people congregating as far away from me as possible, and at least two women gagged at the fetid aroma. I was like a walking silent but deadly rank fart after an evening of beer and eggs. I had visions of a visible stench trailing behind me like a stink shadow. Everything in my wake gasped for air. Everywhere I went people turned to look at me shooting me snarly looks. I had no dog to blame and it was clear I was the epicenter of the situate of smell. I stopped in The Market Bar on the ground floor for my last drink with the crew and the bartender asked me to leave. From there I got on the E train to take the subway up to midtown. I felt like Pigpen from Peanuts as people moved to the other end of the car. Finally I decided to ride the subway in between cars hoping the wind would remove some of the foul smelling carousel around me.

But the aroma offended any in its path, even me. Its not like when you let one slip out and wonder why everyone holds there nose because being the owner of the fart, the one who dealt it, the smell never quite seems as bad. But this odiferous cloud of decayed matter clung to me as if it would never let go even offending me. My olfactory senses were forming an official protest threatening to impeach me if I didn’t shower and scrub with entire bar of Irish Spring and then douse every inch of my body in cologne. If I hadn’t gagged six times already from the stink stream I would have been offended but I knew I was about to take the advice willingly.

When I walked through the door I was greeted as I was every night, with the most enthusiastically happy hound on earth, my Afghan Hound, Stella Blue. No matter what kind of day she had she was always overwhelmingly happy to see me and shower me with canine affection. Unfortunately not one second after jumping up on me her ultra sensitive nose began twitching and I know dogs are not supposed to register emotion but there was serious disappointment in her eyes as she stared at me, shook her ears back an forth and ran the other way. Into the shower I went before any further embarrassment. I decided I needed to burn the clothes and I showered four times in a row. I then marinate myself in so much cologne I could have driven a taxi. It took me three days to completely eliminate that dark cloud of revolting essence of BO emanating from my body, and while the “O” finally skulked away the memories of Windows On The World has never faded. Stella finally got her groove back and forgave me, and the ten dozen or so flies that followed me home that night have since relocated. All in all being dunked in a kettle of decomposed shit water was like a dis-initiation imparting not just the squalid stink but a memory of a lifetime to always take with me for surviving that intensely hot and brutally fast paced kitchen, and if my memory serves me correct I loved every stinking second of it……PEACE

Arch Of knowledge


I recently baked an array of cupcakes for a wedding, in which one of the husbands to be is a writer and the other an avid reader. The mother of one of the lucky couple built this arch for them for their ceremony made out of books from the family bookcase, something that if done many years from now may well be an arch made from kindles and Nooks. But it’s a marvelous statement on reading and writing and hopefully will serve as an inspiration for authors to continue their quests to reach out and express. I love this arch because like our lives, it more stories than the Empire State Building. I truly hope their stories for the future are filled with happiness and wonder. Reading is FUNdamental Write on!!!!!

The Needle And The Damage Done


I couldn’t help but fixate on my conversation, or maybe slurversation with Artie last night and the China white heroin. Horse, the big H, dope. Heroin took the starring role in most of the PSA movies we were force-fed in high school as the ultimate villain. The Damien of drugs that was where all roads end and would surely be the death of us all. What worried me mot was that it didn’t worry me at all. My life was slinking along the gutter and rapidly evolving into rotted sewage. Carrie cheated on me and my best Ken is gone giving credence to my “JT is a jinx” theory. Everyone I care about either moves, dies, or gets pushed away by me as I wallow in my self loathing. No doubt just more of my self full-filling prophecy of dying a lonely young man. Just everything in my life sucks right now so what do I have to lose? It was like the angel and devil on each shoulder, one whispering “fuck it JT, just go for it” while the other was telling me to stop and think. What do you have to lose? You can handle it, you can handle any drug. The devil was much more convincing and eventually even the angel agreed I should go for it. The downward spiral was set in motion.
I gave Art a call hoping he remembered me even being there last night. “Here there little man, what’s on yer mind?” I took a breath and proceeded cautiously because drug users have built in paranoia and are always worried about cops listening in on phone. “Ah, I was like thinking about what we talked about last night, ya know, that uh, Chinese thing ya know? Well I think I’d like to try it.” There was a short pause before he understood my idiotic cryptic message. “Oh yea, of course little man, I can hook it up, come over tonight and we can get high. I’m partying with Penny and Pam man that’ll be perfect.” I bubbled with an extra air of excitement.
Penny and Pam, the twins, partying with me and Artie? Jesus shit that was unbelievable. Penny and Pam were identical twins, both with long straight black hair and high cheekbones. Either on could pas for Cher with a body to match. Such long legs an such a high tiny waist. Definitely out of my league but drugs are a fantastic equalizer. It was amazing to see them together, they not only looked the same but sounded exactly alike too. They even finished each others sentences. They were two years older so I would need to put on some extra charm. There was a rumor that Pam had a birthmark just above the hair line of her groin and if I had the chance to find out for sure my life would be back on track. Or was it penny that had the mark? Either way, if I had a chance to be with either of them I would be all over it. I would just need to dance the fine line between experimenting with dope and being a full fledged junkie. This could make me a social outcast or an instant legend depending how it goes! I took extra care in blow drying my hair that evening as if it would matter.
When I finally got to Arties I was nervous. The twins were already there and one of them winked at me. They loved to play with peoples heads and pretend to be each other so I have no clue which one winked but it was exciting either way. Artie handed me a glass of vodka while I pulled out a joint, lit it and passed it around. “Hey little man, go put on a record.” I wish he hadn’t call me little man at that point but on the other hand it showed a special connection between me and Artie which enhanced my coolness status. But pressure was on, which album? I chose a Santana album, Abraxas which would set a great mood and took note that Artie had the “Eat A Peach” album by the Allman Brothers. With any luck that will come in handy later because it had a tune called “Mountain Jam” which was an entire side and was the best tune ever to make love too. Gotta remain optimistic, I need a good vibe.
We laughed and partied for forty five minutes during which it seemed like Artie was deciding which twin he wanted to be with, because it was almost a given he had his choice. He’s ultra cool and the man with drugs so he gets special considerations from most everyone, especially the ladies. “Well my little dumplings, I think the time has come. Lets get high.” They both visibly perked up and began getting prepared. Obviously they’d done this before. “ladies this is JT’s first flight so lets help him out here.” They both smiled huge smiles at me and I was ready. One of them grabbed my arm as Artie began pouring some powder into a spoon and lit a candle.” Roll up your sleeve JT honey an lets have a look at your veins.” She inspected my arm, “Cool Artie, he’s got some big veins here, this one should be easy. I’m gonna tie him off.” Artie acknowledged as Penny or Pam looked at me slyly, “You want me to hit you Hon? I never gave anyone their first before.” I gulped a bit harder than I wanted to hoping she didn’t sense my apprehension. “Sure, I’d really like that but which one are you? I mean like for my record.” They both laughed lightly, “Dose it matter? I’m Pam and that’s Penny but we both answer to either so you choose.” She tied an old necktie around my bicep and tightened it then looked at my forearm and slapped it. “Okay, Pam sounds good, their both sexy names.” I felt like an asshole as they both giggled but Pam looked me straight in the eye, “Listen JT, I’m getting your veins to come up and then I’ll choose one. I’m gonna put the spike in your arm and show you how its done. Next time your gonna want hit yourself.” She smiled and instead of thinking about what was happening I found myself thinking about how pretty she is. Artie had put the spoon with the powder and a little water over the candle flame until it boiled lightly, “I’m cooking it up now JT. Soon as it boils I’m gonna draw the liquid up into the syringe. The spike. Pam’s gonna stick you, then pull back to make sure she hit a vein. When you see a touch of red in the spike it means she’s in and then she’ll pull back slightly then push and pull back and forth slowly. Its called booting. Once you start hitting yourself you decide how much you like to boot but for now Pam will choose. In about ten seconds you’ll feel the most intense high you’ve ever fucking had man so just sit back and enjoy it. Don’t try to talk, just dig on it little Bro.” He ripped off a small piece of a unused cigarette filter, put it in the liquid and drew in the liquid, handing the spike to Pam.
“Ready babe?” Pam snapped a finger at the syringe an pushed up until a tiny spurt of water shot out. “I’m making sure there’s no air in the needle, you don’t want air shooting into your heart. As soon as I get a vein I’m gonna release the tie and start booting.” Pam grabbed my arm and studied it locating the perfect spot then she injected the needle. I did my best not to shake. I wasn’t actually scared but I was nervous not knowing what to expect. Pam smiled at me, “here we go baby, enjoy.” I saw her pull back on the plunger, a dab of red liquid mixed in with the dope infused water as she undid the tie around my bicep. She plunged about half of the liquid into my arm and that’s when I took off.
I watched the plunger as Pam went in and out with it about six times, the last time plunging it all the way and then removing the spike. Immediately a warm sensation traveled across my shoulders into my back. I smiled involuntarily and all I could manage to make come out of my mouth was a long airy “Whoooaaaa!” In an instant every ugly, sad, and shitty thing in the world disappeared. Not one thing mattered. Nothing! A faint buzz sound filled my ears blocking everything else out and making me want to just smile. I never felt so good in my entire life and it felt like minutes before I remembered where I was. The first thing I saw was Pam smiling warmly holding my hand. “How ya feeling JT? You okay?” It was spoken in an even easy tone and Jesus shit I was beyond okay. I looked back at her, smiled, and softly and slowly said, “Holy shit Pam, that, thats incredible. I think my head is numb.” Pam laughed then reached her face over and kissed me tenderly on the cheek, “Its my turn baby, you wanna watch? Watching is sexy as hell” I just shook my head unable to form any rational sentences and rocked slowly back and forth. I looked on as she prepared her own batch of China white. Penny and Artie were gone and I assumed shooting up somewhere else. Everything was beautiful, every minute negative anything from the world was gone entirely. Nothing existed but me, Pam, the highest feeling ever, and China white.
There’s something special about getting someone high for their first time JT. Now your gonna share my high with me.” She dumped a packet of heroin into the spoon and filled an eyedropper with water. Pam had a remarkable sparkle in her eye when she gazed at me and said, “I think this is sexy. Watch what I do and maybe next time you can hit me. Pam instructed me on the proper way to use heroin as she got her hit set up. “I’m ready. I have great veins so I don’t even tie off, I hit a vein every time” She smiled and I thought it was the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. It took everything I had not to blurt that thought out loud and look like a dork. I just smiled back as she rubbed her arm where she was gonna inject. I was still numb, and don’t know how else to describe the feeling. I have never felt so good. In mere seconds I had been transported from a loser seeking asylum in drugs to King of the world with a beautiful woman sharing my moment. I watched as Pam skillfully hit a vein and pulled back revealing the swish of blood, then began booting the dope into her arm smiling the whole time. She put down the spike and looked my way. Her eyes rolled back in her head and her lips parted sensuously allowing a long drawn out “ohhhh” to fill the air with an almost pornographic feel. We began making out and everything after that became somewhat foggy.
I woke up naked with my body wrapped around Pam’s. I didn’t even remember falling asleep but I do remember having the best sex of my life and how for one night every aspect of my life was beautiful. I didn’t want to go back to reality, I just wanted to stay high forever. It never dawned on me what a destructive omen that was because last night was the single most awesome night of my life. We had partied a few hours, smoked more weed and hit each other up one more time before we made it to the floor and made passionate love while listening to “Eat A Peach” I had an opportunity to inspect Pam’s naked body and no birthmark but I had no plan of sharing that bit of trivia with anyone. She began to stir and then woke up. “Hey babe, how was your first flight?” I wasn’t sure how to answer, everything happened so fast I was afraid I was falling in love again but this was much to soon. I was beginning to worry that I fell in love with any female that acknowledged my existence so I didn’t want to sound over enthusiastic “Holy Jesus shit Pam it was amazing.” I was about to blubber “And you were the most amazing chick I‘ve ever known” but Pam interjected, “Well its best we don’t mention this to anyone, I don’t want my boyfriend to find out.” Two shots of heroin followed by a shot of reality. A sure sign of danger ahead.