Blackhumouristpress's Blog

July 18, 2017

Snap!

Filed under: america,humor,humour,Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 3:14 am
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Some days you just want to kick the dog. You know what I mean?  You’re frustrated and the damn dog gets in your way.  You kick it and then you feel badly and wish you could change things.  I never kicked the dog though.  I don’t have a dog.  I got nothing against dogs.  When I was younger I had a dog.  It got sick and old and died and then I felt badly and so I never bought another dog.  If I had one, I wouldn’t kick it.  At least I don’t think so.

So how did I wind up in prison?  I’ll tell you because I got nothing but time now.  I’m not joining the born again prayer group or the Aryan Brothers meeting, so I got time to explain it all.

I have horrible insomnia.  I fall dead asleep and then I’m wide awake.  I walk around like a zombie and eat shit that I shouldn’t eat.  I’ll watch Spanish soap operas and I don’t speak Spanish.  I worry that I won’t get enough sleep and that I’ll be wiped out all day long.  I hate the feeling of being at my desk falling asleep and unable to keep my eyes open.  Happens all the time.  So I had a shitty night sleep.  Slept maybe three hours, got up and shaved in the shower, I had baggy eyes like a blood hound.  My suit was wrinkled like I had slept in it and my t shirt smelled like mold because I forgot to dry the clothes in the dryer for two days.  I get in the car and I notice that I forgot to shave one whole side of my face.  I’m running late.  I won’t have time to park at a drug store, stand in line and make the meeting on time.  Why?  Because I already went to the coffee shop and stood in line for almost fifteen minutes because some jag off bought vente lattes for everyone at work.  I’m not kidding.  This fucker made four trips to the car with four cups in the cup holders.  Then he’s on the phone and struggling to hit the prompts on the visa swipe box because he cannot talk and read and follow directions at the same time.  The barista or whatever the fuck you call those marginally employed bust outs who fuck up orders.  He ruined my day.  I paid almost six dollars to get soy in my damn drink.   I should have known when the tool with the bone in his lip and saucers in his ears like and African Pygmy cooking a white devil in a hot pot, did not make eye contact- my order was going to get fucked up.  He even said said to me, “wait… what?”  I hate that almost as much as when black people prompt you to repeat what you said by saying “who?”

I wanted an extra shot of espresso and got fucking soy.  It tasted like shit and now I’m probably growing tits.  I don’t know.  I get so mad that I decide to roll my window down but it won’t go down.  My air conditioning died last year and it’s hot as fuck and I can’t get air or even throw my drink in anger.  I wanted to go back to the cafe and pull the saucer from his ear and break the plate under his lip.  I wanted to pull his beard and tighten his skinny jeans.  Fuck!  I’m tired, I’m late, half shaven, look like I slept in my suit and then something crazy happens unlike all the other shit.  I drop my keys, the only key I have to my car and apartment and it goes down the crack in the elevator shaft.  I go to find the door man who is trained just to say good morning and good bye.  I present him with an issue and it was as if I was speaking fucking Dutch.  The maintenance men look at me like they don’t understand.  After telling the head janitor, the one making union wages, three times, he finally begins to understand and tells me that doing such a thing is like throwing you keys into the ocean.  It will go into a pit of oil and nobody will crawl under an elevator car to fetch keys with the prospect of having the car crush the fool trying to save the keys.  I walk into the meeting late.  I get that feeling I used to get in school when I overslept.  Everyone looked at me.  Wrinkled suit, eyes like a bloodhound, half shaven and fucking late.  I was supposed to give a report on sales.  That was my raison d’être and I forgot the print outs that everyone was to get.  They were on my desk.  I could have excused myself and left everyone feeling uncomfortable and questioning my professionalism for thirty seconds while I ran to and from my office.  Instead I give a plausible lie.  The printer wasn’t printing so alas- no fucking print outs.  I stutter, I stammer, I fuck up common words, my hands tremble.  It’s a mess.  I look out and everyone seems to be looking at me like I’m naked.  I get a text from my boss who is watching my melt down and his text unglues me more.  It reads, “May Day!  May Day!  I’m going down in flames…”. It mercifully ends and I sit down.  Within minutes, nobody is looking at me any longer.  I only have my boss to deal with and I know he is upset already.  Fuck it.  I can get another job.  People come and go.  You divorce this company or that one and keep moving and nobody misses you or gives a fuck so fuck you and the meeting.  I go to lunch at a fake Mexican restaurant.  I sit at the bar.  The bartender doesn’t make eye contact with me either.  I order tacos on corn tortilla and get a burrito with flour tortilla.  My gin is vodka and the tonic is flat, very little ice and a brown shriveled lime.  I quietly reach into my waist band and pull out my gun.  I shoot up every bottle on the shelf, reload and throw my plate of food up in the air like a clay pigeon and shoot the plate.  The bar area looks like a bomb hit it.  I put on my aviator shades and calmly ask the bartender if I could just have a beer…. No lime.  I drank my beer in silence until the sirens got closer.

They got me on a medicine to relax.  Then I got one to help with anxiety.  I have one to help me sleep and another for high blood pressure and another for diabetes.  I go to classes to discuss anger.  I think I might want to take a cooking class too while I’m here.  I think cooking my own food might help me lose weight.  I don’t know exactly and really nobody does know.  Things line up now and then and things happen and then we wonder how people snap.  Life is a crazy place.  Life in America, in a big angry city is even crazier.  I’m just a cog in it’s giant wheel.  Doing my time.  Slowly.  Peacefully.  And that’s all I got to say right now.

October 13, 2014

A Reaction Formation or Nixon with all the Fixins

Filed under: humor,Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 4:22 am
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“What in the hell is this world coming to?” Sheriff Terreblanche asked himself as he lay in bed sweating and staring at the ceiling fan that squeaked with each revolution. It had been days since Terreblanche had really slept. He laid there thinking about all of his birthdays going back to the age of four. After forty-four years, there were many he couldn’t remember. He thought about his own children’s birthdays and he couldn’t remember too many of theirs. He stopped to think about things that happened in his life and so much wasn’t clear. Things were fuzzy and distorted and all he kept thinking was that things were changing so fast in the world around him and more change would not be acceptable… Terreblanche would doze off and have bizarre dreams. He might find himself running a race against Charles Nelson Reilly for a cab in New York, spear fishing on an island owned by Marlon Brando but upon taking an anti-anxiety drug and grain alcohol, he found himself in the basement cell of the prison in Monroe County with former President Richard Nixon.

“Terreblanche… Terreblanche… Did anyone ever tell you what those two words mean in the French Language?”

“Yes Mr. President… It means Earth white.”

“You got it, kid. The French do all sorts of silly things with their language like having letters they don’t need or put things like Earth before white. If it’s a goddamn white Earth then call it such. You’re not softening things by a little bait and switch. Savoir Faire… To know and to do. That was I. I think I defined the political arena and when I walked away from it all, I took away American innocence. And really what is innocence? A stepbrother to ignorance. The Roman Empire came down just like the Greeks before them and they all had their reasons for demise. There used to be a show called All in the Family. You were probably just a lad when it was popular.”

“I remember it, sir.”

  • “ Well Archie was sitting there with his hippie son-in-law, married to the screwball daughter. The son-in-law apparently goes both ways. He’s obviously queer–wears an ascot–but not offensively so. Very clever. Uses nice language. Shows pictures of his parents. And so Arch goes down to the bar. Sees his best friend, who used to play professional football. Virile, strong, this and that. Then the fairy comes into the bar. I don’t mind the homosexuality. I understand it. Nevertheless, goddamn, I don’t think you glorify it on public television; homosexuality, even more than you glorify whores. We all know we have weaknesses. But, goddammit, what do you think that does to kids? You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle and Socrates were homos. We know that.
    You know what happened to the Romans? The last six Roman emperors were fags. Neither in a public way. You know what happened to the popes? They were layin’ the nuns; that’s been goin’ on for years, centuries. But the Catholic Church went to hell three or four centuries ago. It was homosexual, and it had to be cleaned out. That’s what’s happened to Britain. It happened earlier to France and this is no offense to your lineage… Let’s look at the strong societies. The Chinese. Goddamn, they root ’em out. They don’t let ’em around at all. I don’t know what they do with them. Look at this country. Homosexuality, dope, immorality, are the enemies of strong societies. That’s why the Communists and left-wingers are clinging to one another. They’re trying to destroy us. But, goddamn, we have to stand up to this… Am I reaching you, Terreblanche? What’s that you’re drinking and could you spare a little for me?”Sheriff Terreblanche went and got a tin cup and an unmarked bottle of alcohol from a moonshiner within the county and poured some for the president. Ex-president actually.“I call it the Madman Theory, sheriff. I wanted the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war… Just like Truman. My thought was to slip the word to them that, for God’s sake; you know Nixon is obsessed about Communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry and he has his hand on the nuclear button and Ho Chi Minh himself would have been in Paris in two days begging for peace. This business of deposing a dictator before knowing what you’re getting is true madness. In Chile we had a plan. You remove one man for another who suits your purposes and continue on with an agenda… I ask you; does this shit keep the Chinese up at night? Protecting a Jewish state, fighting against a religious crusade for over a decade and meanwhile back at the ranch, sagging pants, mindless tattoos, marriage for gays so that they can adopt children … Again I ask about the Chinese… You fight force with force, aggression with aggression. You take the son of a bitch’s hostage long enough and they feel empathy for your cause and sympathy for your plight. A goddamn worldwide Stockholm syndrome. Any nation that decides the only way to achieve peace is through peaceful means is a nation that will soon be a piece of another nation… But here I am rambling on and on. You’re a small town lawman who isn’t faced with the idiocy of change. The world spins at 27,000 miles an hour but your hair never blows in the wind because it’s slower here. You don’t need to worry yourself about the world around you… Let me get another drop of that sauce… Damn good stuff.”

    Terreblanche looked at the president mop his sweaty brow with a handkerchief. He was afraid to ask what the answer would be of the president. He was afraid to ask why he was within the prison cell in a county jail in a town called Tranquil. The question itched within Terreblanche and so we asked; what is America’s role?

    “Just as America’s role is indispensable in preserving the world’s peace, so is each nation’s role indispensable in preserving its own peace. Together with the rest of the world, let us resolve to move forward from the beginnings we have made. Let us continue to bring down the walls of hostility which have divided the world for too long, and to build in their place bridges of understanding — so that despite profound differences between systems of government, the people of the world can be friends… Sounds good to you?”

    “Yes sir…”

    “Well it’s all just bullshit. Anymore of that moonshine?”

August 12, 2014

Sleep

Filed under: humor,poem — blackhumouristpress @ 6:58 am
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It’s never been clear to me, what will happen to me
Treading water in the sea of infinity.
It begins here and never ends. Right side, lop side a short ride
Through the tube of light.

It’s always worse at night contemplating the unseen, unknown, unsure reality
Somewhere out there with the trinity, Santa, tooth fairy and Easter Bunny.
What’s the expiration date? Fate, it’s worse at night waiting for sleep to come
And when it comes…

Shark week nursing home meals with Pol Pot
Broken bass strings on my upright, uptight
Flooding jeans, E Channel, English Channel, Sunday panel
Scratching heads trying to pin down what went wrong with
Winning hearts and minds
It’s a mine field of bills trying to stop me
From achieving, creating and surviving.
I just need to know how long it takes. Chasing a bus like a dog.
Swimming in an ocean with no land in view, racing a tornado in a field of wheat.
Dead relatives and a pat on the back. Faded memories dumped from a nap sack.
Stalin, Lennon, Ike and Nat Turner tell me to take it easy while we eat dinner. John sits next to George and declares we’re all sinners. From blank slates to tainted meat, I suddenly wake up from the heat. Sweating. Sleep comes hard with a busy mind.

July 21, 2010

Wonder Drugs

            Officer Gomez, Sandra Gomez stood five feet six inches and had brown stubble for hair.  She had a strong jaw yet a very attractive face.  She became a Chicago Police officer five years back.  She served as a young Marine in Desert Storm in the early 1990’s.   As far as women police officers go, she looked butch but yet had a stunningly beautiful face.

            Sandra was a second generation Ecuadorian who looked European.  Her parents had left Ecuador when she was very young.  They had a hacienda like home in Quito that was equipped with servants.  The servants were poor Quechua Indians.  Three Indian women took care of the home and the children.  They wore big skirts and Fedora hats.  Her father heard from friends who did really well in United States with real estate and so the family moved to Chicago.  They moved to the United States and it really never turned out to be that lucrative for them.  Everyone thought that because of their last name, that they were Puerto Rican.  Sandra’s father considered changing their last name to Jensen, which is Norwegian for the son of Jen.  Sandra’s mother, who’s maiden name was Hidalgo, thought that taking on a Scandinavian name was ridiculous.  The family struggled like many immigrant families do but they were happy and well balanced.  Sandra’s family eventually went back to live in Quito where life was much slower and more patient with older people.

            Sandra started to lift weights towards the end of high school.  She had a boyfriend that would slap the back of her arm and laugh when it jiggled.  He told her that he loved Hispanic girls with a little meat on them.  He told her that he was not interested in skinny white girls.  Sandra one day saw her boyfriend coming out of a restaurant with a skinny white girl with blond hair, with her arm wrapped around his.  It had been weeks since he initiated sex between them and Sandra suspected something.  Sandra began to run everyday.  It was hard at first to run two blocks.  By the time she joined the Marines, she was able to run an eight minute mile. 

            Sandra like many women who had low opinions of themselves, felt that she could always do better.  Sandra discussed with an owner of the small store front gym that she would like to be more toned and more muscular.  This store front owner began to give her injections of a steroid that was purchased for dirt cheap in Mexico.  Within three months, Sandra was stronger and looked stronger.  Her stomach was defined and her arms were muscular.  Her breasts became domed shape rather than plump and full.  Sandra could run faster and lift more weights.  The gym owner told her how much money she could make on the side by doing wrestling and stripping aside from entering body building competitions.

 On Monday nights, the gym owner would rent out a suite at a luxurious downtown Chicago hotel and invite men to wrestle women like Sandra.  They would pay $200.00 an hour to writhe and wiggle on a rubber mat, covered with oil.  The same gym owner was able to convince the women to do lesbian porn movies too.  Sandra and the other women became hooked on the way they looked and the gym owner was their pimp.  Sandra’s job was to arrest people who took, sold and distributed other illegal drugs during work but she saw nothing wrong with what she was doing.

            “Sir… You the owner of this building?”  Asked Sandra while pointing her pen at Mort.

            “I’m just the manager of the building,” said Mort, while fixing his glasses, sporting a ball cap that read, “Bass fear me”.

            “I thought this guy here was the manager… What’s your name again?”

            Dwight replied.  Sandra asked to see his driver’s license because she thought he was trying to be funny.  Sandra had decided that if it was not his name, she was going to find a reason to bring him into the station.  Fortunately for Dwight, it was his name.

            “No, I’m the janitor, he’s the manager…  They need managers to watch the janitors and then the big boss watches everyone.  Nobody trusts each other… This is how it works. I don’t need him and he don’t need his boss but everyone need a job.”

            Sandra closed her eyes and held up her hand for Dwight to stop speaking.  The night before, she had wrestled a group of Japanese men who were executives for a drug company.  Their job was to come and tell the Americans who ran their company for them in the United States, that they were being bought out by another drug company and that 50% of the current workers would be let go.  Their company had just developed a drug that helped people with narcolepsy, stay awake.  It worked so well that young twenty something aged clubbers were using it so that they could stay up all night.  Their slogan was a catchy one.  They had a Charles Nelson Reilly look alike with a magic wand, spreading pixie dust over the head of some poor person who was unable to stay awake.

            “Wakie wakie, eggs and bakie…” said the Charles Nelson Reilly impersonator with a magic wand, while laughing hardily with a double chin.

            That became the catch phrase all over the United States and Canada.  The scientists had actually screwed up.  They were trying to make a drug that helped people with insomnia sleep.  It had the reverse effect.  Insomniacs were up for days and felt great as if they had slept.  One of the scientist decided to try it on narcoleptics and voila.  One billion dollars in tests for the FDA and the fledgling drug company had struck gold.  On billboards, on the sides of busses, on the radio and television, was the distinct laugh of Charles Nelson Reilly, a moderately famous dead actor who was flamboyant yet funny. 

 Those who worked for the company thought that they were secure.  The three Japanese men were there to bust the bubble.  There was another company that was purchasing them and only needed a portion of the work force.  C’est la vie.

            Sandra had to wrestle the three hatchet men from Japan men who were in their early thirties.  Through their interpreter, they asked Sandra if it would be possible to have sex with her at the same time.  They were willing to pay her close to $3,000.00.  For them it was a deal since their money was exchanged from Euros.  Sandra declined.  They offered her and extra $1,000.00 if they could masturbate on her.  She went along with that.  The gym owner had cameras set up in the room and caught every second of it.  It became his promotional film for Japanese executives.  It was on the internet but was not easy to find.  Sandra never found out.  Sandra was towelling the spew off of herself at roughly one in the morning while the three Japanese men, grinned like fools and bowed to her as she got dressed and exited the hotel room.  The money was helping Sandra to buy her dream house along the shores of Lake Michigan.  She had several thousand saved in certificates of deposits.  She was a million away but getting closer all the time.  The dream house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright back in the twenties.  It was a swell looking abode. 

            Sandra took her notes of the robbery at the building and left.  She had two hours left on her shift.  With under an hour to go, she would be called to a dumpster where a baby was found dead.  A teenaged mother, fearful of losing her twenty four year old heroin addict boyfriend, put her newborn baby in a plastic bag and threw the baby in the dumpster behind her building.  A homeless man looking for scrap metal and scrap food, found a catatonic new born in a plastic bag.  Sandra experienced many heinous things as a Marine and as a police officer, but that one took the cake.  Sandra worked an extra four hours.  She was the one who had to take into custody the young woman who suffocated her week old child.  In the apartment was a small child, watching Miley Cyrus on the Disney Channel, while sitting on a urine stained mattress in a bedroom.  Sandra fought hard not to break down and cry.  She told herself that it was a job that somebody had to do and it was one that she signed on for and that anything and everything would be possible.

            “Hey sweetie…  We’re going to go for a ride, okay?” Said Sandra.

            “I want to finish watching Hannah Montana though,” said a cute little girl who was almost seven years old.

            “I know honey…  But we really need to take a ride now.  I promise you’ll get to watch your show again soon,” said Sandra.

            “It’s my favorite show…  I want to be like her when I grow up,” said the small girl.

            “Yeah?  I think I wanted to be Wonder Woman…  We gotta go now.”

  Life always looks so much better on television.

January 18, 2010

A Day in the Life of an American Part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 7:51 am
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Trent Kelly was one the fortunate Americans who had a job and for that he was truly thankful.  As a leasing agent for apartment buildings within and around the city of Chicago, he met people everyday that did not qualify to rent an apartment due to poor credit or no job.  They were all less fortunate.

12:38am Friday- Trent returned from playing four games of pick up basketball with young men from a Romanian Christian church who were roughly half his age.  Trent sat and watched the Cleveland Cavalier/Utah Jazz game that he recorded prior to leaving home as he ate roast beef with Munster cheese that had been microwaved.  No bread with the cold cuts and cheese.  Trent slams in a handful of blueberries and a small stalk of broccoli.  He remembers that they fight cancer and have antioxidants.  Trent doesn’t remember what an antioxidant is exactly.  He knows that it fights oxidants with vigor and it makes him feel healthier to know that there are less oxidants within him as a result.

            As Trent tries to decide whether he should have a glass of red wine with his sleep medicine, he watches Shaquille O’Neil miss two free throws and wonders how a man plays the game of basketball for so many years and is still unable to shoot over 50% from the foul line.  He wonders how the man does not take the whole summer in his palace overlooking the smog and over population of Los Angeles from his mountain side home and shoot free throws over and over until the rhythm is secondary just as putting on a panel on a Ford Taurus would be to some poor slob on an assembly line making a great American vehicle in Windsor, Ontario.  It’s a panel that gets put on the right front, just like the last one and ten thousand others before it and after it.  Ten thousand free throws per summer and one is bound to shoot at least 50%.  Lack of rhythm must be the key.

            A television time out it became time to decide whether to have a healthy poor of Fat Bastard Merlot and wash that down with sleep agent that has Diphenhydramine HCI.  Just 25 little milligrams to help with sleeplessness.  Insomnia is a pervasive problem for Trent.  He goes to the bathroom and urinates and looks at his own face in the mirror while relieving himself.  He has dark rings under his eyes like a raccoon and a hint of crow’s feet around the eyes.  Trent thinks to himself that he probably doesn’t appear to be forty yet or at least what he perceived forty to appear like when he was twenty.  His hair is salt and pepper and for the mean time, it’s more pepper than salt.  His head is shaved due to the fact that it is thinning in spots.  Every week without fail, he visits a Ukrainian woman who was raised in the former Soviet empire and only learned to speak Russian.  She tells Trent as he fights sleep in the barber chair, that the current president of Ukraine is a piece of shit and hopes the man who lost in 2004, wins this time.  Trent only faintly listens as he tries not to breathe the breath of the Ukrainian woman who smokes a pack of Marlboro Cigarettes a day.  Trent didn’t realize that the Ukrainians had their own language and that their language was in fact not Russian.  Trent is not thinking about the president of Ukraine or his adversary or the cigarette breath of his female barber from a former Soviet region as he takes the Minoxidil and rubs it on his scalp as he has for years.  He has Minoxidil for his hair and Nair for his back with a spatchula to help reach those troubled areas of his back.

            The phone rings at a little after one in the morning right after Trent swallowed a little pill to help him sleep with a healthy poor of Fat Bastard Merlot.  Trent thinks about the temp girl who answered the phones at the office and how she was not supposed to give out his cell number to tenants but was supposed to give out his email so that he could receive emails instead of calls.  The phone played Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries as loud as could be.  The phone was in the bathroom next to the bedroom where his infant daughter slept.  The same song that played in Apocalypse Now when Robert Duval attacked by helicopter, the civilians on the Vietnamese beach, stunned his relatively new born daughter from her slumber.  While a fragile tenant cried about feces coming up from her toilet and the need for immediate action, Trent’s new daughter went off like a siren.  Trent’s sleepy wife staggered past Trent who was on his cell phone after one in the morning to attend to their child who was woken by a phone replication of a Richard Wagner song.  Trent’s wife didn’t care who it was that he was talking to as much as she cared that he was talking with his day time voice in the middle of the night.

            “I hope you’re saving lives tonight.  There are people in Haiti that are dying.  I sincerely hope nobody is dying,” said Trent’s wife, as she changed the diaper of their screaming new born who was fighting the diaper change with both arms and both legs.

            Trent added two scoops of Similac to four ounces of water and handed it to his sleepy wife who was sitting in a rocking chair, waiting for the liquid meal for their new arrival.  Trent tried to assure the woman that he would get a plumber the first thing in the morning. 

2:10am Friday- the Utah Jazz with roughly five minutes to go, had an eleven point lead on Cleveland.  Trent watched James Lebron undress the entire Jazz squad in a little more than three minutes as an email was coming in.  This is what the subject said;

            NO FUCKING HEAT AGAIN…

            Then the message went on to say…  I KNOW WHEREVER THE FUCK YOU ARE TONIGHT, YOU ARE QUITE WARM.  WELL I’M NOT, ONCE AGAIN, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES.  STAY WARM.

            Now the tenant who wrote this was a stay at home father of twenty nine years of age with 18% body fat and a 3 and ¾ inch penis.  This tenant loves Xbox and comic books and saw Avatar five times.  His wife paid for the tickets each time as well as the popcorn with extra butter and the economy sized cola.  Trent got to play god with this particular asshole.  Trent pretended to be sleeping and would respond to the urgent message until after noon time later that day.

            Now one of the best finishes to a basketball game took place with five seconds to go in the game.  Like a good Disney finish, the Utah Jazz inbound the ball and got it to a man with the last name of Gaines who had been playing minor league basketball in Boise just days before.  In front of a sell out crowd, he hit a three pointer at the buzzer and solidified his chances of sticking in the NBA.  Another email came in.

            “Trent honey, its mommy.  I have decided to come and visit you, your beautiful wife and darling new addition.  I read my horoscope and had a dream about dying early and decided that since I have the time, I will be coming with my husband Bob to spend the week with you.  Life is short and you never know what could happen.  I’m going to need a car and hope that we will not be crowding you if we stay at your place… Hugs and kisses.”

            That single email kept Trent from sleep more so than anything else that could possibly happen.  Even with a sleeping aid and red wine, sleep would be postponed for the night pending the arrival of Trent’s mother from Vermont.

            Now Trent was born and raised in Los Angeles by a single mom who happened to be a hippy.  Trent’s mother was on her sixth husband.  This latest step father was three years younger than Trent, a former Marine and an alcoholic.  Trent got on line and found a motel called the Ambassador on Lincoln Avenue on the north side of Chicago and an independent car rental company that rented Smart Cars for his mother.

5:02 am Friday- Trent stops at a Starbucks.  An effeminate young man with skin tight jeans and two earrings on his lips asks Trent what he would like to drink in a southern belle lilt.  Trent for a moment remembered when being overtly effeminate was as dangerous as being overtly communist and wondered if communism and homophobia died simultaneously.

            Trent bench presses first at the gym.  Four sets of 235 then leg lifts push ups, pull ups and then curls.  Trent’s heart pounds as he takes a hot shower.  Next to him are two old Jewish men that small talk.  Trent listens in.

            “Mortie…  You’re late.  It’s one of the seven deadly sins isn’t it?”

            “What, what… Not getting my tired old ass out of bed and to the gym and for what?  I’ll still look like a wrinkled prune with ball sacks hanging down to my fucking knees…”

            That made Trent smile as he stood naked in front of the mirror, putting lotion all over his body.  Trent could see some muscle tone and a hint of a six pack on his abdomen.  He dreaded getting as old as the old Jews but knew with each day, the time was coming.

8:45am Friday- Trent picked up a yellow Smart Car from O’Hare airport and drove to Midway Airport on the other side of Chicago to greet his mother.  The Smart Car shook as it went 62.5 miles per hour on the Stevenson Expressway.  The news from Haiti was dismal.  The Blackhawks won and the weather would be sunny and above freezing for the fourth day in a row. 

            A Chicago Police officer in a bright yellow raincoat came up and yelled at Trent for pulling up in the fire lane to pick up his mother and her husband.

            “You leave that car for a second and I’ll have it towed…” said the cop.

            “I’m picking up those two people there,” Trent said, combatively.

            “And I’m telling you if you leave the car, it will be towed.”

            Trent had no way of knowing that the middle aged angry officer, had been sent to Midway to keep scofflaws and terrorists from double parking their cars because he had been caught grocery shopping and sleeping in his car by a news television station that was trying to point out just how lazy some police officers were and their abuse of power.  The cop hated standing out in the cold, telling people to move their cars all day.  Do you blame him? 

9:02am

Trent, his mother and step father, were eating at Brandy’s Family Restaurant on Cicero and 52nd Street.  The waitress looked a lot like WC Fields, red nose and all.  Everyone except the girl who rang people up and sat them, were morbidly obese.  Trent didn’t know exactly what to say to his mother and stepfather who he did not like.  He mentioned the fat people.

            “2/3 of Americans are obese now and 90% of them are in this room,” said Trent, while stirring his coffee.  Trent’s latently homosexual step father, who was three years younger than him, starred at Trent blankly.  Nothing was said by either Trent’s mother or the Marine.

            “Musta been a pain in the ass to get to Albany, New York with all that snow in Vermont.  Did you make it to the airport okay?” said Trent, searchingly looking for something to discuss.

            “Well I love to hunt and ski…  Chop down wood and just enjoy god’s green earth,” said Bob, in a manly and quite husky voice.

            Trent didn’t understand the answer to his question from Bob and did not press him for an answer that made sense.  Trent listened to Bob claims of being the outdoors man and couldn’t help thinking about the $1,000.00 phone bill he had to pay for his mother due to the fact that Bob rang up a doozy by calling1- 900 gay phone sex numbers while on a drinking binge.  Bob had no idea that Trent knew.  Trent told his mother that before he would help out with the outrageous phone bill, he had to know first what kind of 1- 900 Bob was calling.  Trent called one of the numbers and heard this recording:

            “You’ve reached The Man line…  Lot’s of interesting men are waiting to talk to men just like you.  Your seconds away from joining the fastest growing network where men meet men…  Just like you…”

            11:00 am- A mandatory meeting was called for all employees of the real estate office where Trent worked.  A bald man who looked like Dr. Phil with eyebrows that looked like gerbils, stood with his arms folded at the front of the room behind a podium.  The owner of the company came in late and the murmur that had filled the room immediately ceased.  The boss started the meeting with a red face and trembling hands.  He was so angry that he literally shook.

            “I called this meeting to put you all on notice.  Someone stole a gift from my desk while I was on vacation and yet nobody knows where it is.  Among us is a thief…  Secondly, I brought my eight year old son in the office and allowed him to look up Nick on Line from the front desk computer and come to find out that someone here was looking at a website called Goats and Blondes.  MY SON BELIEVES IN SANTA CLAUS STILL AND KNOWS ABOUT SEX WITH FUCKING FARM ANIMALS!  I had to learn this from my wife as she learned this while reading him Dr. Fucking Seuss before bed.  You are all being put on notice.  I have hired Mr. Dupuis to monitor everything that goes on in this place from here on out.  This bullshit ends today.  Mr. Dupuis… The floor is yours.”

            The boss received a gift certificate from his girlfriend at work while he happened to be away with his family over the Christmas holiday.  He received a text message from his girlfriend who had purchased a gift certificate to the Love Palace.  The Love Palace was frequented by couples looking for intimacy and fun.  The suite chosen by the girlfriend had a pool with a slide and a trapeze where she could lower herself onto her boyfriend.  The text message read as follows:

                        DID YOU GET THE GIFT CERTIFICATE TO THE LOVE PALACE THAT I LEFT ON YOUR DESK LAST WEEK?  I CAN’T WAIT TO TRY IT OUT.  I MISS YOU.  SEE YOU SOON.

            Upon returning, the boss panicked over the prospect of anyone seeing the card from his girlfriend.  He of course he yelled at his girlfriend for leaving the envelope on his desk instead of giving it to him.  Whoever stole it knew that it was safe to steal since; the boss could not divulge the contents.  The same person who stole the card also was looking at bestiality on line too.  I can’t say who it was.  It just wouldn’t be right for me to get involved in this.

August 10, 2009

Detroit Vacation

This one is not fiction. I left Chicago Friday at 11:00 am. My day actually began or ended depending on how you look at things, when I finished writing a blog entry/short story entitled, “Menage a Trois” at 12:30am Friday morning. I took a sleeping pill, watched highlights of baseball on ESPN and turned in at roughly 2:00am and rose bright eyed at 5:30. I grabbed my hockey equipment and headed to Johnny’s Ice House on Madison Avenue in the west loop of Chicago. Twenty two men rose before the rooster to get some exercise in at 6:30 in the morning. I finished playing, cleaned up and headed north on the 94 to where I live up in Evanston. It may be that everyone is on vacation in August or that everyone is losing their jobs. At 8:00am in downtown Chicago, I was able to take the expressway through the city without applying the breaks once during the twelve mile trip north of the city. I gathered up my clothes and musical equipment and readied myself for the five hour trip to Detroit.

Jason, the baritone saxophone player in the Chicago group I play in called Skapone, showed up in his Cadillac STS. He stood out in front of the house as the dogs howled. He smoked his cigarette and looked past the trees as if he was looking for something. Jason walked in with his Doc Marten Boots, black military pants and black long sleeve shirt. He wore round granny glasses a la John Lennon but with black lenses. Jason stands at five feet seven inches with brown hair on his head that goes where it wants to. Jason has a perpetual smirk on his face that tells one that he is not only sceptical but expects proof at all times that whoever he is talking to, should prove that they are worthy of being heard. We loaded our stuff into my 2006 Dodge Magnum and headed east (actually south in the City of Chicago) towards the Irving Park exit.

Standing on the curb five feet from the homeless guy wearing $100.00 gym shoes and a Cubs hat, was Chris. Chris is one of two guitarists in the band Skapone that is headquartered in Chicago. Chris was wearing a military issue pair of shorts that he bought for $10.00 at Sears. Nobody I know is still buying anything at Sears and in fact the largest icon in the United States once named the Sears Tower, is now named Willis. I have heard from people in and around Chicago that Willis is the name of a British company that owns a majority of the space within the building. I won’t ever call it Willis. I still call it Peking duck, Burma and the dictator Khadaffi. I’m just an old creature of Habit.

Chris jumped in and we were on our way. This trip would not have the same quaintness of Sal Paradise in On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I had a debit card full of money and five one hundred dollar bills in my pocket. There would be no picking up Ed Dunkle in New Orleans to make a stop in Denver and then onto to San Francisco. We were going to play music for the weekend in Detroit and then return to our lives in Chicago.

Jason’s job is to create circuit boards that go into the making of automobiles for General Motors. When he’s not playing music he is working for a company in suburban Chicago that is trying to find a way to make his job obsolete and put him out on the street. Problem is that they need him right now. Jason tells GM that there is a problem with this or that on conference calls with a committee of six or seven on the phone of people that cannot make a decision quickly or at all, in the city of Detroit. Jason has a soft spot for them and drives a Cadillac. Despite what you may hear, a Cadillac is still a Cadillac.

Chris is a door man at a small drinking establishment on the north side of Chicago. He is six feet two inches and resembles an Irish lad. Without hearing his Midwest accent, you could imagine an Irish brogue flowing like water from his lips. Chris is in the running for under achiever of the year and does not even care that he may win. He holds a masters degree in philosophy and checks identifications of young urban professionals who flock to the cutting edge club where there are no buckets of Bud, five dollar wings or Cub games on thirty televisions strapped the walls. Living hand to mouth is more favorable than being a cog in the wheel and so it is for Chris.

We meet our other band member who made the trip in Detroit. Lincoln is an African American or black as most people say when they don’t feel compelled to say something as wordy as African American. Lincoln drove himself separately from the south side of Chicago in his Subaru SWV from 1994 that he loves as much as one could love a non breathing object. Lincoln lives on the south side of Chicago and works as a bailiff during the day at a county courthouse on the south side. Lincoln sings at his Catholic church on the south side, visits strip clubs and lives alone in a condo. Lincoln’s parents both died within the last ten years and his sister married a man from Spain and moved to Seville. Band members of Skapone are his family even though he may not actually like any of us.

Lastly there is me. I can’t fairly and objectively, describe myself. Let’s just say I play bass guitar, sing and am the narrator of this thing. I not only play bass for Skapone but also for Superdot, a similar Ska/Reggae outfit that hales from Detroit. I was going to be the Detroit tour guide for my Chicago compadres for the weekend. I’m in Detroit at least once a month or more. I have to return in just two weeks for a wedding.

I chose to make our stay at the Motor City Casino in downtown Detroit, one mile from the Ambassador Bridge that leads to Canada. The neighborhood surrounding the Motor City Casino has beat up homes that are still occupied but mostly abandoned. The nicest buildings in the neighborhood are the ones that belong to the Teamsters. A banner one block from the casino reads, “Casino workers… Your credit union is right here”.

For me, the sites of factories covered with graffiti without a window left in the structure is no big deal. As we rolled up on Grand River towards the casino, there is very little between the Chrysler Freeway and the Las Vegas style casino that had a dancing light display on the sides of the building. It looked like a mirage in the desert across the blocks and blocks of vacant space that had crab grass and other weeds growing through the cracks of foundations that used to house homes. The boys were in awe. Jason commented first.

“People actually still live here… This is great. I feel safer in this desolate bombed out part of Detroit than back home in my own suburban neighborhood.”

There was nobody on the side streets where there were maybe a half dozen homes to a block and many wide open spaces. We gathered up our things and checked into the casino hotel. The first thing that strikes you is the smell of cigarettes everywhere. Smoking in public places, at restaurants, clubs and hospitals, is all still legal. Everyone but me smokes in Detroit or so it seems. Most people are black but a smattering is white. People are overweight to grossly obese. Lumbering black women with their daughters and their daughter’s children, spending a night at the casino in lieu of a formal vacation, wore sleeveless shirts and tight pants over their enormous posteriors and arms that looked liked thighs that jiggled whenever they moved. For me it’s sad to think that the fractured family spends its family vacation in town at a Disneyland set up for adults to drink and gamble. There is no pool for the children or any play area to speak of. The children stay in their hotel rooms and play video games and watch pay per view movies as they do at home. The only difference is the clean rooms with piped in cool air and a view of Detroit that makes the city look not that scary at night.

The whites at the casino are not unlike the blacks. They are segregated for the most part without problem or incident. They too are overweight and most like spending their vacations or weekend get away at the casino in town. They all queue up in line at the buffet stocked full of a variety of good and bad food alike called the Assembly Line. Four in the morning or four in the afternoon is no different, there are people, smoke, Motown music playing through speakers, cocktail waitresses and mostly working class people risking their earnings and savings at the casino; The mirage in inner city Detroit.

I proceeded to lose forty dollar before taking off for the northern suburb of Berkley which is north and west of downtown Detroit. In Berkley, homes were neat and orderly and there were no pawn shops, barber shops, MB Churches with hand painted signs on the building, staggering drunks, junkies and prostitutes. It is white and affluent and insulated from the inner city. The suburbs are insulated from Detroit but cannot exist without the city. People enter The Berkley Front and sit at the downstairs bar to watch the Tigers play the Minnesota Twins, drink beer and eat fried food. There was one waitress who looked as though she hated life. She never smiled, rolled her eyes over our need to see a menu before eating and wore a tank top t shirt without a bra. Her sagging boobs, frayed jeans and messy hair went well with her demeanour; she did not give fuck, welcome to Detroit, what do you need?

I played two sets in front of a fairly full establishment with the band Superdot and Skapone without event. We earned our duckets and headed back to the Motor City Casino after eating Taco Bell at three in the morning on a park bench, under a waxing moon. Crickets went well with a warm humid night where everyone seemed to be sleeping in the suburbs. When we returned to the casino, there was hardly a parking spot to be found. Heavy bass pumped from old Caprices with shiny rims, jacked up with tinted windows. People filed in and out of the casino at three in the morning. The night was electric. I went up and got into bed and flipped channels as I waited for sleep to come. On three hours of sleep, I played ice hockey, drove five hours, played two sets of music and lay in bed wide awake. Sleep came nearly 24 hours later with the help of a sleeping pill. That and Shark Week, helped me to finally slip down stream.

Saturday was a rainy dreary day. We filed into the car and headed south to suburban Taylor to find a Denny’s since the boys did not want to pay $18.00 a head to eat at the Assembly Line. I was tempted to pay for them for the luxury of not having to travel fifteen miles to find a Denny’s where I ate the exact same breakfast in Seattle, Washington just the weekend before. There was absolutely nothing different in the omelette, dry potatoes or grits. Two thousand miles between restaurants and it may as well have been the same place. I returned the hotel and used their state of the art exercise equipment to try and offset as best as possible all the calories I took in between drinking and eating since leaving home. I spent three hours at the health club between lifting and running. I got my money’s worth there. The boys were antsy and wanted to see something worth seeing in Detroit. The only thing that came to mind in inner city/downtown Detroit was Greek town, a two block area near the baseball and football stadiums, houses Greek restaurants, bars and shops. It’s a great place to people watch and just walk around and not feel too apprehensive. The boys loved Greek town. They loved the flaming cheese, shots of Ouzo and lamb with rice. We got back in the car and headed over to our second show of the weekend which would be an outside block party under a tent in Warren, Michigan.

I took 75 north to eight mile road. Marshall Mathers made eight mile road popular in his movie and rap tunes. Eight mile road is the northern border of Detroit and is eight miles north of a particular point where Woodward Road begins in the heart of downtown Detroit. I stopped for gas at a Sunoco and noticed a sign for a three bedroom brick ranch for sale for $17,500.00 cash. A fucking house could be purchased for less than a new car, a good new car. The party was off of Nine Mile. It was a party of mostly young people that would have rather heard rap than white reggae. Be that as it may, we played our sets and sat around and socialized for a while. Me being a student of human nature, I marvelled at the young women who showed up all dressed up as if going to a night club to just drink cheap beer and shots of Captain Morgan outside. When dance music blared on the sound system after we finished playing, young women under twenty took turns dancing seductively while holding one of the two poles that supported the tent. Young white men with cocked baseball hats and cheap tattoos, bobbed their hands and heads to the music while holding forty ounce beers or full bottles of hard alcohol. I got the feeling that the night was nothing more than a diversion from the mundane routine day to day life of an area that was not much more affluent than the depressed areas of inner city Detroit. It was a front yard with a tent and booze. It may as well have been a night club though.

We made a stop at liquor store on eight mile where you can pay all your bills too. There were no grocery stores around and so the liquor store that looked like an emporium was actually the catch all store for the neighborhood. An Arab man behind the bullet proof glass smiled as he accepted money through the lazy Susan, bullet proof spinner. There were five different magazines devoted to cars, weed and black women with extremely large asses on the counter next to colored condoms on a spinner rack. We were not approached or hassled or robbed. I went in apprehensive but nothing happened. Chris even pissed on the wall that separated the emporium from a vacant lot. A football field away were several young black men who noticed the parked Magnum and large white dude pissing on the wall. Yet nothing happened.

I returned to the casino and slipped a hundred dollar bill into a slot machine and proceeded to lose almost all of it when I hit it. I won $597.00 and cashed out. I then got greedy and lost $200.00 after that. I still came out ahead for a change. We woke, got our things together and headed out on the highway on a hot sunny day. The ramp that takes you from the 75 to the 94 going west has a large factory that is riddled with graffiti and sits without one window still in place. It is the same structure that was covered with a gigantic tarp several years back when the city of Detroit hosted the Super bowl. The tarp helped to keep the eyes of the rest of the nation off of the dismal reality of what Detroit has become and what it looks to be for years to come. The recovery may just skip over Detroit. It has not been a city most would consider inhabiting since before the first men walked on the moon, since Vietnam and since Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. walked the earth. Jason posed an obvious question as we made our way towards Ann Arbor. It is a question that anyone who may live in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago may ask; what is the appeal for you in this city?

The answer is that there is nothing fake in Detroit. Everything in Detroit is really real. If it’s bad where you live it is probably worse in Detroit and yet the people for the most part are no worse for the wear. If I had $17,500.00 cash, I’d by a three bedroom brick ranch there and make it my summer palace. But that’s just how I am.

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