Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Girl From Moscow Drinks Bourbon

We were out with the Girl From Moscow. A mediocre band was playing and she was dancing upon a riser toward the back of the crowd. She was a much better thing to watch than the band. She’s dark and beautiful. She motioned for a drink. She’s into vodka. Previously I’d explained to her that vodka sucks. You see, the better quality the vodka is, the less character it has. Vodka’s strongest virtue is its anonymity. The ideal vodka is tasteless, and mixes well with anything. Bourbon, on the other hand, has character in spades. Good bourbon should taste like caramel, be smooth and sweet, and go down like fire. It should knock you out like a shot to the head. The devil drinks bourbon, and I’ll drink it with him when I die. I convinced the Girl From Moscow to try Maker’s Mark instead of her weird vodka that I can’t pronounce or spell, which she assures me is very good and comes from some eastern European country that I can’t recall. As the Maker’s passed her lips, it immediately came back out. Quickly and forcefully she spits it back into the glass from whence it came. She looked utterly terrified of what sat in the glass in her hand, and I got a look dirtier than the thoughts I was having of her.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Girl From Moscow

She’s from Moscow, and not impressed with me or anything that I have to say. That makes enough sense. Very likely she’s seen lots of things much more intense than me. She’s a very difficult woman to read. She’s not volunteering much, and it’s taking a great deal of restraint not to turn this into an interview on her experiences in the USSR. She was there for the fucking coup. That naked fact makes her a historically and culturally relevant person. But that’s not what we’re all here for. That’s just a pleasant surprise. That’s bonus content and peripheral distraction. Her boyfriend seems nice. We all know we’re not getting anywhere, fast. I’m doing a great deal more talking than I generally care to, and it’s awkward trying to carry the conversation. I don’t know that we’ll ever make it to the cool part, at least not tonight. Everybody’s going to have to drink more. That’ll help. We might have to take another crack at this in a few nights. Try a new approach. Who knows? They’re new to this, and you can’t rush people. I’m sure we’ll get there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An Ordinary Crucifixion – No. 5

Yesterday I saw a girl in a motorized wheelchair on Penn Avenue. She looked like she was in her late teens. She had a very pretty face. Her hair was perfectly long, straight, and brown. She had great big Hollywood-looking sunglasses, well-applied make-up, and a great big smile. Everything below that smile was pretty deformed. Well-dressed, just not well built. Not very many people have that much soul. Immediately upon catching sight of her, my politeness reflex struck me. I looked away. It’s not nice to stare. However, in that moment, I realized that I wasn’t staring. I was admiring. As I thought more about it, it occurred to me that she was likely proud of the way that she looked that day, and wanted people to notice her. Through my ignorant reflex of thoughtless politeness, I had contributed to a larger, heartless cultural misconception. By the time I had realized this, she had already passed with her friends, and I was already an asshole.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Black Guy and the Fat Italian with the Ridiculous Handlebar Moustache

On my way home from work, I drove past an accident on West Carson Street, at the intersection right on the edge of McKees Rocks. I didn’t see it happen, but I did arrive moments later, and could easily infer how it had happened with the quick look that I stole as I drove past. There was a PT Cruiser driven by a black woman with her husband or boyfriend seated in the passenger seat. She had a giant, complicated, immaculate haircut and fingernails like neon-colored daggers that I could see clearly from my car. He had a shaved head and a well-groomed mustache. They both appeared to be in their mid to late 30s and were dressed very nondescriptly. No aspect of their personage seemed at all dangerous or should have elicited fear in any way. They had just been rear-ended by a fat Italian guy in a Pontiac. He was bald, had a ridiculous handlebar mustache, and was wearing a polo shirt. It looked like he was in his 40s, though it was hard to say exactly. Likely, the PT Cruiser stopped quickly at the light, and the Pontiac didn’t follow suit quickly enough. There was no visible damage. They must not have collided too hard. No damage…at least not at a glance, and really…nobody’s fault. You still need to exchange insurance information, though. At least get out and confirm that everybody is okay and offer a phone number. The Italian guy didn’t want to get out of his car. The woman was being pretty calm, and just seemed irritated, but her husband/boyfriend was livid and standing outside the vehicle, yelling intensely. The Italian guy was yelling back with equal intensity, albeit from inside his car. The last part I saw was the woman getting out and approaching the Pontiac. She probably had plans for being more diplomatic than either of the two men. Good for her. Women can be great that way. The whole thing kind of reminded me of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, only set in Pittsburgh and without all the cool music. I can only imagine if/how the conflict ever got resolved. Traffic in that lane was beginning to back up.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Everything Rose

The heat rose. The street rose. The buses and cars rose. The pedestrians rose. The buildings rose. The volume rose. My blood rose. We all came up from the ground. We all came. We all rose. Nothing would ever fall again.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Neon Burn

The neon lights are burning the street. The bus exhaust is burning my nose. The sirens are burning my ears. The moon is burning the sky. That girl’s nipples are about to burn through her shirt. The bourbon I drank back at the bar is still burning in my throat. The words you said are still burning in my mind. We’re all sadists, and everything is on fire.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hot Stupid

Stupidity sucks, even if it’s hot. Even if it’s wearing leather pants, smells like vanilla, and has an ass like an apple. Stupidity sucks, even if it’s nice to look at while it’s walking around outside without a coat when it’s 20 degrees and the whole world is frozen.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


The gallery crawl happens downtown on the first Friday of each month. These galleries are all very hip and cultural, and I don’t bother applying to these ones. My work would never get in. I can only visit. Normally the work is bad anyway. Tonight, however, it’s awesome. They’ve got some intense African drumming going on, too. Seems like the real thing, as best I can tell. All black guys dressed in brightly colored clothes. They look like they’re probably adhering pretty closely to the traditional article. They’re all wearing matching garb, kind of like a uniform. Most have dreadlocks. There are some really big, beefy-looking guys pounding away, and a feeble little old guy who appears to be the leader. He can work a crowd of white suburbanites like nobody’s business. We’re hanging on his every word. The music is loud, furious, and throbbing. If Slayer were acoustic and African, this is what they would sound like. F u c k i n g a w e s o m e. There’s nobody under the roof who isn’t dancing. There’s beer too, and that always makes cool stuff cooler. Walking to the next gallery, I pass a porn store and a white tranny, walking with a really good-lookin’ black chick. I suppose she might be a tranny too. I can’t tell, and I don’t care. They’re radiant, glowing in the neon lights, heading into the bar across the street. They will take no shit from anybody on their way there. Part of me wants to follow them into the bar. I bet they’ve got more soul than any or all of the hip-looking college kids hanging their bullshit cartoons in these downtown galleries. It’s getting cold, and the heavy, drying taste of beer spit fills my mouth. I’ll likely need to piss soon. The next gallery has a bathroom, and more beer. I stop there. Hit the mens’ room. I can feel the heat of my piss radiating back from the urinal. No backspray, just heat. It was gross but reassuring. I’m hot, and therefore still alive. There’s a gay bar beside the gallery, and I’m pretty sure it’s the one the black chick and the tranny went into. I give it a long hard think, and determine that I’d look like an asshole if I went in there. I’m pretty sure I’d be an asshole if I went in there. In the next gallery there’s a confused Christian hippy girl with an acoustic guitar and enough sappy songs about Jesus to choke a whale. She looks like she needs to eat something. The plot-loss is devastating. Behind me, I catch a glimpse of the overflowing cleavage of a snobby-looking, pretentious, artsy bitch in her late 30s. She’s sporting a plunging neckline and giant bright red glasses. She’s laughing, and her tits are jiggling wonderfully. I’m sure she’s upper-middle class, enlightened, and lives on organic food. If she owned an art gallery, she wouldn’t even let me in the front door, but she’s got a great rack, and she’s showing it off really well. At the end of the night, I can’t complain.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I want to go parties. I want to socialize with elite people, get drunk, and then say crass, inappropriate things to them. I want to be places that I don’t belong or deserve to be. I want to make people slightly dirtier with my presence. I want to buttfuck the daughter of a Bush voter while she’s doped up on prescription meds. I don’t want to be them. I don’t want to be one of them. I just want to be among them. I want to be the turd that cannot be flushed and continually floats back up to offend. I want prestige and a wall of pretense to wear like a flak jacket.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Laughing Asses

You’re the best, you laughing ass. The world might just be a quieter, more focused, intelligent place without you. It’s a fortunate thing that we’ve got you on the job to prevent that from happening, you laughing ass. It’s a good thing we’ve got you handy to mock and debase anybody with aspirations higher than being another laughing ass. It’s great that we’ve got you around to belittle anything more refined than slapstick comedy. Not enough people realize that the world really is just there for their amusement, that anything beyond their current intellectual grasp is stupid, and that other peoples’ pains and struggles are, in fact, hilarious. You’re the best, you laughing ass. You’re the anchor keeping human evolution safely tethered to where it sits, and where it will die, you laughing ass. Thanks.

Monday, December 21, 2009


There was a table of pretentious, pseudo-intellectual, upper-middle class, white, liberal college professors seated behind us. They were talking about Brazil, South America in general, all of the wild and exotic places they’ve been, and how profoundly their travels had changed their lives. They segued from that into a critical analysis of the writing for popular television shows. I wanted them all dead and on fire. It must be nice to do that for a living. It must be nice to make your living that comfortably and be concerned with such ridiculous and trivial things. I must confess that a large part of my scorn was steeped in jealousy. I would love to have the luxury of accumulating degrees, spending my entire life inside a classroom, drunk on information and never having to get my hands dirty. It’s occurred to me that I will never teach anything. I’m too good at what I do to ever waste my time teaching it. I will never be so full of shit that I run from the real world into the pristine safety of academia. Only abstractions can exist in a vacuum, and I’m not an abstraction.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Contemporary Caveman

Nothing elevates the values of humanity higher than a contemporary caveman with a gun. You will be the pinnacle of human achievement, contemporary caveman, not by virtue of your irrepressible creative brilliance, crushing intellect, or social resilience, but with intimidation. You will shame all others with the constant threat of violence, you semi-literate, infantile, hot-tempered mongoloid with a sidearm. Keep buying into the thug shit, because that’s valuable. That will get you a lot of sincere respect. That’s an effective way to fight stereotypes, rise above, and defy social expectations. What can’t be intimidated into submission can be beaten, or even shot if necessary. That’s the most effective way of getting what you want. Know what you want, because you need to want it. It’s important to want things. It’s important to take. Just take. Don’t think. Don’t earn. Take. Thinking is for people less real than you, contemporary caveman. Keep it real. You’re a man. You’re the man, and a man shouldn’t have to think. A man should take.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kitchen Tattoo (The Flaming Paint Brush)

It was a freezing Sunday afternoon in February. Shawn had waited to clean up the kitchen until I got there. Picked up the kids’ toys, swept the floor, and wiped down the kitchen table. His wife was cooking nearby. I stood there. The kids brought me stuff, drawings, toys, messages from imaginary people. Shawn prepared the stencil and stuck it to my arm. While he prepped his needles and gun, his son demonstrated proper whoopee cushion technique on one of the chairs at the table. Then we proceeded to about three and a half hours of drilling into my left arm, planted on the corner of his kitchen table. For the most part, his wife kept the kids away. They’re great kids, but I was relieved to know that the table wouldn’t be bumped during the drilling. We talked while Shawn drilled, and I looked out the kitchen window into the neighbor’s open window. A guy walked by periodically. He seemed pensive. I think he was curious and watching. Afternoon turned to evening, and the sun fell. When it was over, my left hand was asleep. I had to drive home with it still numb and waking.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Art, Motherfucker! ART!

The art world is a great place to go in order to feel like a failure. It’s a great place to develop a drinking problem and a bad attitude. Frank Ferraro, Josh Hogan, and Mark Gualtieri are the only guys I know personally who paint as well as I do. They’re all fucking awesome. Aside from them, I see lots of academic posturing, trendy hipster crap and amateurish junk. None of it has any heart. None of it has any soul. None of it has any grit. That’s all fine. I don’t really care. What bothers me are the rejection letters from all the juried shows to which I apply. I could wallpaper my goddamned house with them, and still have enough left over to wallpaper your house, too. If my work isn’t good enough, whose is? What really burns me is when I go to the show to see what beat me. I’ve made that mistake before. When I see it, I want to cut my eyes out with a box cutter. Who juries this stuff? MFAs do. Gallery owners do. Pretentious shitheads do. They’re arrogant motherfuckers who don’t have the talent and/or heart to make their own work and bring it out into the world. They’re people who have made a career out of their fetish for academia and academic standards, as if those things are a measure of quality. They’re one-dimensional people with no experience outside of the field. These people believe that art needs to be one of three things to be good. It needs to be 1) qualified, 2) trendy, or 3) a vocabulary word. Your art needs to be technically beyond reproach (ie, you’ve got an MFA or an established name), look like whatever’s big at that moment, or be so staggering in its technical sophistication that its lack of emotional resonance is easily overlooked, and questioning its quality is a more difficult task than putting it on a pedestal. This isn’t to say that all art needs to be evocative and emotionally charged. Cold, intellectual art is great too, but there are even fewer people who are good at that than there are of the former type. I’m glad I went to college and graduated. I learned a lot there, and I’m still paying off all of the loans. When I think about going back to grad school for my MFA, I just don’t think there’s anything they could teach me, and I don’t need another $40,000 piece of paper that badly. I can keep reading Charles Bukowski’s books, listening to Lou Reed’s music, pushing my paintings further, drinking black coffee on my own, and whoring myself out to any gallery that will hang me. No qualifications necessary.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Time is escaping like blood from an open wound. It’s escaping freely and in copious volumes, but we are not. We are here, and not leaving. Freedom is drained of its vitality, like a raisin, and the beat drives hard, like a ’71 Mustang. A chipper little girl returns from the bar carrying two beers, one for her boyfriend, one for herself. They each belong to the other. Tomorrow they’ll both go to work, and so will I. Now we’re here. Then we’ll be there. This moment will pass like any other. So will that one. One moment bleeds into the next and into the next. Some are good. Some are bad. None are without choreography. We all belong to our destinations, obligations, relationships, and responsibilities. It’s easier than freedom. Perhaps freedom isn’t necessarily bleeding out like a gunshot victim, but instead is malnourished, like desolate soil that can no longer support life. Regardless, in this club, with this beer, I’m bleeding freedom all over my clothes and the floor. I’m a willful hostage, too scared to plug up the hole and be filled. I’m letting the moment flow through me. It’s one way of going. It feels like freedom, but not quite. It’s a reasonable simulacrum. What I really want is to go home, but not know where home is until I get there. I don’t want a map.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holding the Bag

All our friends left. Jim and Ellen went to Philly. John went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Mike went to Austin, Texas. Brad and Renee went to Portland, Oregon. Dana’s leaving for Raleigh, North Carolina in two weeks. Amy and Stamatis are headed for NYC in less than a year. Pittsburgh is an awesome wingman. It’s great for making other cities look more attractive. Our Saturday nights often happen the same way. My wife and I, sitting at a bar, asking ourselves what we’re still doing here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Three Hot Black Girls at the Deli Counter

There are three hot black girls that work the deli counter at my local grocery store. I think they’re awesome, but I’m pretty certain that they hate me. I’m gently trying to win them over with my cordial, gawky, long-haired, creepy, white guy charm. It might work, eventually. I don’t know. I don’t necessarily need to lay one of them. I just need a smile.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Privilege spoils proportionately. It doesn’t spoil like milk does. It spoils like a parasite. It spoils its host. Privilege creates a want for more of itself. Whether earned or given, it behaves the same way. It is a fat, loud, sexless, suburbanite, SUV-driving, credit card wielding, permed stay-at-home-mom on her way to the mall, fists spilling coupons.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

No Reverse

Nothing can ever be as it was. The past should not be seen as a template for the future. Nothing previous to this moment has any existence beyond memory. What is, is, and immediately falls off into nothing after the cassette playhead passes. We are on that precipice, my friend, precarious, absurd, and smelling of gasoline. There is a lot of road, but none of it is behind you. That’s why there aren’t eyes in the back of your head. You are a creature for moving forward. You don’t have a reverse. Forward is the only way to go. It is that way because there is no other way for it to be. It is where all things go, even when they’re not going anywhere. Forward is inevitable, yet very costly, and occasionally it appears impossible. It’s not what you are trying to become. It is what you must be. Forward won’t let you miss your mark. Your responsibility is knowing where you’re aimed. That is a much greater task than it might first appear to be.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I’m a rivulet of sweat between the rolls of fat on a severely obese man having a massive heart attack. That’s exactly what I am as I sit in traffic in this goddamned concrete obscenity. This isn’t a metaphor. We all deserve to die for this.

Friday, December 11, 2009


We will punish with numbers. It will be a demonstration of quantity over quality. It will be an exercise in photocopying and reproducing. We will exploit unfair advantage and exponential injustice. We will waste and decimate because we do not understand ourselves. We will fly in the face of natural law, punishing, brutalizing, burning, fucking and fucking and fucking. We’re making babies, too-fucking-many-goddamn-babies, goddamn it. We are breeding. We are deserving. We are assuming. We are licensing. We are rewarding weakness. We are disfiguring. We are all wasted lives.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Attic Bathroom

The bathroom at work is a box, and the box is an oven. It’s a hot attic oven that smells like it’s been baking shit, sweat, and original scent Lysol. The fan doesn’t work and the walls are paper thin. You can hear people walking past, and they can hear you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Completely Emptied

We saw our bartender walking down the sidewalk on Carson Street in broad daylight on a Saturday afternoon. It was strange. We almost didn’t recognize him. I don’t think you’re ever supposed to see bartenders that way. It ruins the magic, kind of like when they looked behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz. We smiled and nodded. My wife commented that he and I actually look a great deal alike. He’s just a little more slender, leaner, tattooed, and less muscular. Later, we ended up at the Moose drinking. As we approached the bar he saw us, drew a Guinness and a Woodchuck from the fridge and put them down in front of us. We all chuckled, and he said that when he had seen us earlier outside on the sidewalk he had immediately thought, “Guinness and a Woodchuck.” It felt good to know that even if I was an alcoholic, I was at least a memorable alcoholic. I put a bunch of stuff on the jukebox, the first thing being Motorhead, “No Class.” As soon as it started up, it was met with groans from the bar. Our bartender friend laughed, and yelled, “No Motorhead!” at us. Two other guys at the bar nodded agreement. I guess they get tired of hearing it. There’s tons of it on the jukebox. I also put on some Crowbar, Black Sabbath, and Fugazi for a surprise finish.

We went to a table and sat. We played pool. It took forever because we’re both terrible at playing pool. Eventually our friend Kareem showed up. It was good to see him. It had been a while. He’s still unemployed. A few months ago he got laid off. He’s riding his unemployment until it runs out, then getting another job. He loves it. It’s a pretty sweet gig. I know. I’ve been laid off twice. It’s like a giant paid vacation. I wouldn’t mind getting laid off again. I hate my job and wouldn’t miss it a bit. Regardless, we drank and talked about travel and music and drinking. I already had four in me before we'd gotten to the Moose. Two imperial stouts, one doppelbock, one brown ale, all at different places. Then I drank a few Guinnesses at the Moose. It got late. I had poured down just about all the beer I could hold. I wasn’t really drunk, just very full of beer. I was at capacity. My wife drove. The car ride was long. We had the windows down, and the cool night air rushed in and around us.

When we got home, I took a long piss. Holding it for the length of the car ride was an incredible accomplishment. After I was relieved of that, it occurred to me that I was still burdened. So I took a shit. I was more relieved still. Life was improving by the second. It was, however, very short lived, as I realized then what had to come next. So I got down on my knees to pray to the bowl that still stunk of my recently flushed bowel movement. I wasn’t really too happy about that, though it probably expedited the imminent vomiting. I threw up what had to be a bucket of Guinness and the miscellaneous things which I had eaten for dinner. The fullest, most complete relief that I’ve ever felt in my life overcame me at that moment. It was kind of euphoric in a way. It may have been the best buzz I had had that evening. I was completely empty. I’m sure the toilet was grateful that it was all over, as well. When I emerged from the bathroom I looked like walking hell. My wife thought that I had been at war with something in there, and was glad to see that I had come out victorious. After brushing my teeth, I passed out on the bed and slept like I was dead.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lemmy’s Twin Brother

Lemmy Kilmeister has a twin brother, and he lives in Pittsburgh. He’s been here his whole life, and I had no idea. My wife and I just met him last night, though I don’t recall his name. Lemmy’s twin brother is an extremely talkative 43 year old guy, who hangs out at the Smiling Moose a lot and drinks cheap beer. He knows all about lots of things, such as being in the military, welfare, social security, disability, taxes, art, fashion, music, and college. First he instructed my wife on all of these various subjects. Then I rescued her, took her place, and he repeated all of the aforementioned information to me. Ironically, he doesn’t like Motorhead. He also told me that he’s having a hard time getting laid because there are no single women in Pittsburgh his age. Last year, he only got laid twice, and it was with his ex-girlfriend from Cleveland. My wife and our friend Kareem grabbed a table, and at an opportune moment also thankfully grabbed me away from Lemmy’s twin brother to go sit with them. Three pretty young punker girls immediately took our seats at the bar. From our new spot, we could see Lemmy’s twin brother lean over towards them, and my wife, Kareem, and I toasted all of them.

Monday, December 7, 2009


It was the first Saturday night that had been above 60 degrees this year. There was a gaggle of bitchy-looking girls walking down the sidewalk in front of us. Going the same way we are, though most likely to a different bar. Five girls and a guy. He was a reasonably big guy, but not huge. He was a dopey-looking frat boy, apparently dragged along as security. Everybody appeared to be in their early 20s, probably all good girls majoring in business at one of the various local colleges. They’re only kind of bitchy now. The real carnage won’t start until much later. Just give them a few years. Heads will roll. Blood will flow. The girl at the center of the gaggle was wearing a cardboard cut-out tiara with the numbers “21” on top of it. They were all showing off their gifts as best they could, and they were good. They were very nice to look at. I spent four blocks’ worth of East Carson staring at their asses and listening to all the meatheads in passing cars yelling indecent suggestions to them. Halfway through our voyage, my wife told me that she thought the sound of their heels clomping on the sidewalk sounded like horses’ hooves, and I laughed out loud.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Stephanie’s Back!

The regular guy called off and Stephanie’s filling in for him. Kareem called from the bar to let us know. We were already drinking at a different bar on the same street. We pounded the rest of our drinks and we ran down the street like giddy alcoholic school children on a bright Saturday afternoon. The bar was empty except for the four of us. The beers came one after another. Free shots of whiskey came too. We poured it all down and talked about music and tattoos. It got dark and the bar filled up. The frat boys who like to pretend to know how to drink arrived, and we had to end the Slayer marathon we had been playing on the jukebox. We all had different places to go, except Stephanie. She had to work ‘til close.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A New Bartender

Earlier in the week we were at the Lava Lounge and a guy stopped at the bar to pick up a six pack. He looked like a young Anthony Kiedis, with very long, straight, dark hair. He was very thin and svelte, with very tattooed arms covered in Japanese koi, waves and such. I noticed my wife take a good look at him, and I immediately seized upon the delightful opportunity to give her a hard time. I don’t often catch her looking, so it was very funny for me. He didn’t look old enough to buy booze or even vote, but Greg didn’t even card him. We laughed, and forgot about it.

A few nights later we were back at the Lava Lounge, and he was there again. This time, he was behind the bar serving people. My wife marveled at how young he looked. Obviously he was at least 21, as I don’t believe a bar can hire you to serve alcohol if you’re not. I supposed that’s why Greg didn’t card him the previous night, because he already knew him and knew that he was old enough. So I reached around and smacked my wife hard on the ass and said, “I bet he’d love to hit that!” She replied, “No, he’s too young. He’s probably got no idea what he’s doing.” My wife and I are both 29, but first met when we were 18. I asked her if I had known what I was doing at 21, and she burst out laughing. I said, “Okay, well look at him! Even if it doesn’t last long, he’ll recharge quickly!” She replied, “I’m sure, but it’ll make me feel like a creepy old lady.” And she chuckled. I had no logic with which to retaliate other than, “That’s ridiculous!” The guy had no idea that I was trying to get him laid as he worked the other end of the bar, a cigarette behind his ear, and his black ponytail stopping just below his shoulder blades. I wondered if there would have been a free beer in it for me if he had known. The irony in my wife’s insecurity with her being 29 is that she also looks like she’s only 17. She occasionally still gets carded at “R” rated movies, and always for alcohol unless it’s at a place where the servers know us. I reminded her of that fact, though to no avail. She asked if I would be willing to sleep with a girl that young and it was my turn to burst out laughing. I explained that a girl doesn’t need to be skilled, just willing. Skill is a nice bonus if a girl’s got it, but not altogether necessary. We both laughed at ourselves, and we knew that nobody would be going home with us that night.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Beer Ring

I was sitting at the bar, and it was time to break the seal, so I hit the men’s room. On top of the urinal was a ring of dried beer. Dark stuff. Very apparently from the bottom of a glass that was set there and then removed a while ago. I love beer, a lot, especially dark beer. It’s often hard to part with my beer while I go to the men’s room, but I don’t think I would ever resort to bringing my beer into the men’s room with me. Even at that, I certainly wouldn’t set it on top of the urinal, less than 12 inches from where I was pissing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Filled With Pussy

This place is filled to the gills with pussy, strange pussy. It’s dancing everywhere. There’s pussy lining the walls and halls, dimly lit, smoky, and heavily tattooed. There’s pussy wagging its tail on its way up the stairs, peeking out from under its dress, scarcely covered. There’s pussy at the bar, wearing a thong and a blue translucent plastic skirt covered in zippers. There’s pussy rolling on ecstasy, grinding on everything in sight. There’s drunk pussy swinging from the fucking rafters. Natural and unnatural. Tight and loose. Black and white. Fat and underweight. All flavors. Mean, man-hating, empowered pussy with sharp, angular, spiky haircuts and fierce intellect that won’t stand for any of my shit. Soft, helpless, insecure pussy that’s got to have everything handed to it. There’s pussy with bad taste in music and lots of silly, frivolous, whimsical ideas about life. There are also men here, trying to pass themselves off as pussy. Dressed in leather pants and wearing cosmetics. There’s a wild insanity that is consuming everything here, and it’s hot and moist.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The man mopping the floors was insane. The coffee shop was empty except for the girl at the counter, the insane man mopping the floors, my wife, me, and our two friends Frank and Gail. It was 3:38pm. We were all finished ordering, seated at a table in the giant empty dining room. The girl was still at the counter. The insane man was still mopping. It was quiet and dimly lit. The quiet was composed of our conversation, the sound of the mop, and the lamentations of the girl at the counter. The quiet was periodically interrupted by outbursts from the insane man. He sporadically yelled at the front window as though there were people standing on the other side of it. There clearly were not. Moreover, it was impossible to discern exactly what it was that he was yelling at them.

Eventually, there came a point when I needed to piss. I heard our insane mopping companion working in the general vicinity of the restrooms in the back. He had apparently grown weary of the invisible people on the other side of the front window. I had to risk the interaction. I departed the table, heading for the men’s room. As I got closer, it became obvious that he was in the men’s room, singing loudly. Neither the melody nor the lyrical content could be determined. I opened the door and entered. He had stopped cleaning the men’s room, to sing into the mirror, quite intimately. His face was three inches from it as he leaned across the sink, singing loudly. My entrance into the room startled him immediately, and I felt terrible for disturbing his masturbatory serenade. He smiled widely and began a fast, garbled explanation that I couldn’t understand. I backed out of the men’s room, not having pissed or understood a word of his explanation except for the last six words, which were, “…and they’re not cheering for anybody.” I returned to my seat, bladder still aching. A few minutes later, I saw him emerge, sit, and begin smoking. So I went back and pissed without incident. It was beautiful. The relief was unexplainable. I returned to my seat and the conversation between my wife and friends.

More time elapsed. He quit smoking and disappeared. There was no audible singing. My wife decided this would be a safe time to make her trip to the bathroom, as coffee goes through everybody pretty quickly. Her account entailed her entry into an empty women’s room and an empty stall. This was soon followed by the sound of approaching footsteps out in the hall, and the sound of the insane man’s singing. He knocked on the door. It must have been time to clean the women’s room. My wife shouted that she was in there. She got a retort that, much like the one I had received, was indecipherable. At this point, the girl behind the counter intervened, corralling him away from the women’s room. Neither myself nor our two friends sitting at the table were aware of either of these events. Our table was out of earshot. I was only aware because I was told by her later.

There were no further incidents. He must have cleaned the women’s room. As we all left, he was seated and smoking again. He smiled and said, “Have a good day.” It was the clearest thing he had said yet. We all returned the sentiment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tar and Chewing Tobacco

The road is magical tonight. The show we just saw was great. One o’clock in the morning and a long drive ahead of us, Cleveland to Pittsburgh. It smells like fresh tar and chewing tobacco. I smell like I’ve been drinking, and I have, a lot. My wife hasn’t, and she’s the one driving. Don’t make assumptions, asshole. Fines are doubled in construction zones in the state of Pennsylvania. It’s the law. Not that you can speed anyway, when three lanes are funneled down into one. Horses and barrels line it all with their blinking yellow eyes and white and orange stripes. I don’t have to work tomorrow. So I can enjoy the moment, the air, and the music. We are going home, but we’re not in a hurry. Soon we’ll hit a rest spot and get some scalding hot black coffee. I’m in heaven.

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