Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Aptitude Test

I crashed out in the evening, yesterday, after another pretty good day. I've been having a string of good ones lately, making money and making plans, so I guess I'm almost single in my head again:

Things are starting to work out.

I woke up about 10 PM, a bit confused about where I was, which is typical for a foster kid: except when I was married, my life has been just one long series of places, none of them "home" as others understand the word, so awakening requires a constant reorientation with time and space.

I reach for my wife. Oh. Yea. Right.

Fuck.

She's one of them now.

I get out of bed and check Drudge and Instapundit. Nothing there worth noting.

Michael Jackson's still dead. Weird. He even died weird.

I surf around a bit, do a few posts, and then realize, as much as I want to, I can't go back to sleep. I couldn't care less what's on television.

What to do, what to do?

I purposefully left my cigarettes in the truck so I don't smoke in the house. I slip on a pair of pants and head outside, grab the pack and sit on the tailgate, blowing smoke up at the sky.

This is going to be a long night.

A guy rides by on a bicycle and it reminds me of the millions of late night forays I used to make around San Francisco. I liked The City then, before it revealed it's NewAge underbelly to me. And one night in Wissembourg, France, the ex and I went for a long 4AM walk around her village, with her pointing out significant places from her youth. It was fun and romantic because it was night, and we were together and, though we were there, we were two "moderns" who had left such an ancient world behind us. Or so I thought.

I can't block out the thought that she's doing other things with someone else now - like killing people - and I wince. Why aren't they in prison after that jerk lost his medical license? I figure I know why and, deciding not to torture myself, go back inside.

I'm new around here so I look online for a 24 hour diner. There's a Middle Eastern place that sounds interesting, so I finish getting dressed and head out with my iPod and a stack of unread newspapers in my hand.

As soon as I plug the iPod into the truck's radio, Billie Holiday singing "All Or Nothing At All" comes on. Yep, that's why I've got this thing, I think:

To hear about the real thing and not that "Put Your Love In Me" bullshit the radio passes off to others.

I barely even look at women anymore. What's the point? In a NewAge culture of being "non-judgemental", people are basically being encouraged to do the wrong thing - and, after being discarded from a 20 year marriage, I'm never putting myself in a position to go through this kind of pain again. "All Or Nothing At All"? I'll settle for nothing, thanks.

As I turn onto the freeway to head Downtown, I feel the rush of the open road take over. The freeway's empty, so I roll down the window and hang my head out, letting the wind refresh my senses. I step on the gas, hard. A live recording of my own band, Little White Radio, comes on, playing my song "I Am The Sky" and I decide things aren't that bad: I've got a nice place now, two cool roommates, and cheap rent. My bills are almost all paid off and, so, I'll be back to playing music again soon. It's what I do and I'm good at it: The roar of the crowd on the recording assures me of that.

When I get Downtown, I look for the Middle Eastern joint but it's not there. Probably closed down. I see a 24 hour Mexican spot and pull in to the parking lot where four white bikers in leathers are talking. They eye me suspiciously, more because I'm parking near their rides than thinking I'm a danger. I give 'em a nod as I get out and they nod back, returning to their conversation.

As I approach the front door of the restaurant, I can see it's filled with Samoans, all dressed and acting ghetto. I don't need this shit, I think, but I go to enter anyway, because I do need food.

Shit, the front door's locked with a big chain on the inside. The place is open but only the Drive-Through is for customers - the Polynesian giants are just friends of the employees, hanging out. Fuck.

I head back to my truck but, seeing the bikers, I ask 'em if there's someplace I can get a decent meal, inside, at this hour. They look at my armful of newspapers and speak as one: "There's a place on 5th.".

Oh well, what the hell. I guess I'll go there.

When I arrive at the dive, there's a drunk guy who immediately tells me he's bored, been drinking red wine, and "looking for a girl who needs a place to stay". Whatever, dude.

I go into the greasy spoon and the waitress is nice and streetwise, bringing my coffee without me asking. I order the "Hearty Breakfast" and open the first newspaper to a story about Sarah Palin quitting as Governor of Alaska. Nobody understands it, and she's indignant. Mitt Romney's moving up in the minds of the GOP. At this point, I think, I'll take Mitt over the others:

He's a Mormon and motivated to do more than struggle to keep his pants up, that's for sure.

Nowadays, that seems like a rarity, whether we're talking about politicians or not.

The rest of the news is boring, or stupidly reported, reflecting the cookie-cutter mentality of the masses - every paper rehashing the same shit - so I finish my meal, leave a too-big tip and head out, pausing in the parking lot for another smoke. Starting up the truck, Chuck Prophet's song about his love for a crazy woman, "Storm Across The Sea", comes on and reminds me of my ex again. There's no escaping music, man:

How did I pick so wrong?

As I hit the freeway to head home, I decide there was nothing I could've done. From the day my father and mother did the deed, unmarried and irresponsible, I was destined to deal with this long line of people who refused to think about me as anything but a burden to their ever-changing wants.

My moms is now a hardcore Christian. I met her when I turned 40 and, later, had to break it off because she refused to stop sending me religious tracts. I don't know what she thinks God's doing for her but, Lordy, he's sure working a mindfuck on me.

I roll down the window and hang my head out again. Glancing at the clock in the dash, I see it's 4AM. I'll get home and get some writing done before work. Today's going to be a better day, I tell myself. It's got to be:

I can (almost) imagine I'm the one in the driver's seat again.

3 comments:

  1. God Dammit Crack, I hate seeing posts like this. Keep your head up. Your a needed voice in a sea of insanity. As usual, I will end this with a hearty," Keep bringing the smackdown to stupid everywhere."

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  2. Keep on going. You're a excellent writer etc,

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  3. You sound normal to me. Being hurt by betrayal is more common than people want to admit. Your quote "How did I pick so wrong" is the worse part. The answer usually is that you tried to help some other hurting person, only to be stabbed in the back when they needed more than you could provide to help them heal their pre-existing hurts. Be of good courage, because you are alive and well and you have developed out of all this hurt a special voice to use in this life for purposes known only to God. I very much enjoy you.

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