Thursday, January 30, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

Josh, Kale and I had been tripping for roughly two months straight. Acid, for the most part. It was cheap and it was everywhere. Hell, we could get it for free without much effort. And I was determined to figure it out. Which is a fools errand, but I hadn't realized that yet. So, we were coming down, and it was past three in the morning and our lower backs were throbbing. No benzos, no painkillers, no muscle relaxants. It was a very shady scene for three skinny, tweaked out motherfuckers with nothing but cigarettes to rely on. We needed weed. 

San Diego is not San Francisco. It's not that straightforward, getting weed in downtown San Diego in the middle of the night. But we were game. Game as in desperate and chemically insane. 

We drove until we saw a likely dude on a likely corner. He was in his late twenties, black, with dreadlocks. And he knew exactly what we were looking for. Said he could get it and to meet him back in ten minutes. So, we circled the  block, smoking cigs, waiting for the weed fairy to reappear. But he didn't. And then, as we were about to give up, we see a dude. Different dude. This guy is also black, but dirtier and sketchier looking. But we were tripping. What are you gonna do. And I'm focused on race mainly because this is the most epic example of White Privilege I have ever experienced. 

So, we roll up and I ask dude if he is with other dude and he says: "Yeah, man. Yeah. I got what you need." So. Josh parks with the motor running. Kale and I get out to talk to the dude. He nods toward some bushes and we make our way over there. My spidey senses are going fucking crazy, and I can tell Kale doesn't like this either. Then, the dude reaches into his underwear and pulls out a bag of dirty crack rocks. 

"Nah, man. We're looking for some bud. Not crack."

Dude slaps a rock into Kale's hand before we can think of a way out. 

"Hey, man. We're cool. We were talking to another dude, and..."

And then. And fucking then...

The whole fucking silent, blackened San Diego evening turns red and blue. Like a goddamn movie. It's like the lights are inside my skull. And then the cop yells over the speaker:


Now, this next part makes me seem hella shady, but let me tell you the rules. The rules are when you're buying illegal drugs at three in the morning from a stranger on a corner, it's every fucking man for himself. So, I turn and the cop walks toward me. Crack dealer bails. I point in the direction of the fleeing man and say, "I think that dude threw something over there." And then we are in the car. I'm telling Josh to fucking drive, just fucking drive, and we're pulling away; I can't believe we're not getting arrested. Both cops went after the dude. The black dude. Cue White Privilege. 

So, we're driving and we're tripping hard again. We're laughing that desperate, relieved laughter of the damned when Kale says, "I still have the crack rock."

Now, there were many options at this point. We'd just stolen crack from a crackhead in front of two cops. We did not have any downers or weed, and we DESPERATELY needed sleep. I hadn't had real sleep in weeks. So, we did what you do. We went to park. We put cigarette ash in a metal bowl and broke the rock up on top. And we smoked it. And I have never felt worse as a human being. They say crack feels like pure power. This was not my experience. I spent the next two hours trying to convince my friends to let me kill myself. And we never did get weed. Probably dropped more acid. I can't remember. 

I don't know if the dude went to jail, but it wouldn't surprise me. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!


The air is thick and warm, and the sand is impossible to look at; so white, it reflects the sun, blinding you. Keep your eyes closed to a slit. Don’t let the whole world inside. Look up into the sky and watch the birds just glide. I don’t know about time, but, man, Florida is on your side.

Florida ain’t gonna judge you. We grow ‘em weird, and we know it. We’re not concerned about your old life, let it go. You’re in Florida now, which means your life has finally started. Or ended. Really, it’s irrelevant.

The humidity will straight murder you. You will question your life choices. You will cower in the shade, but the shade don’t love you. The shade is a mirage. Humidity don’t care nothing about shade.

Your skin will burn, and your feet will become calloused. You will turn into a sea creature, an abandoned seashell. The sun will baste you and prepare you for your final sleep. But don’t worry; Florida don’t care which promises you keep.


He pulls another tissue from the box, crumples it, sends it to the corner of the room where the trashcan lives. He is not using the tissues anymore. He’s just pulling ‘em. Like he’s at a carnival, and if you pull enough tissue, you win a prize. He’s working on his jump shot. He’s killing time dead. He’s got all kinds of thoughts in his used-up head.

The tissue hits the trashcan and BOUNCE. It’s gone, man. That tissue is a memory. It fell into the cracks of the physical world. Right now, a Leprechaun is using that tissue as a pillow. Sure as shooting.

The voices are audible, but the boy does not listen. Out in the living room, it is all crying and casket. It is black cloth and bad coffee. It is too big for the boy to wrap his mind around, so he doesn’t. He pulls another tissue from the box, crumples it, and throws it to oblivion.


The light is in flux, and the room is dark one second, light the next. The passing cars strobe across the walls and explode in the corners. There is life and death in this room. There is steady breathing. There are twitching eyelashes that scrape the soot from off the night.

There is peace in this room. Gentle silence. Softer than the absence of sound. Sit down and soak it in. Let it pour through you. Open yourself, drink it through your skin. Let the calm become you. Or you become the calm.

This is what happiness sounds like. This feels like tranquility and hope. This is a brief and blinking moment of optimism. Grab it. Appreciate it. Feel it in your chest when you close your eyes. Surrender to it because it is truth and beauty. It is art, not made by man. It is honest.


Beneath the wavering boughs, under the robin egg sky, twisted in the sounds of the trickling water, a girl sits, reading. She is covered in shade, and she is smiling softly to herself. There is a breeze that licks the treetops back and forth against the sky. This girl closes her eyes sometimes. She likes to picture the world of words. She is stepping through the closet to Narnia, to France, to history. To the future.

The sun is warm on her skin, and the shadows dance through the high limbs, shifting with the coming night. She hears birdsong and smells the pine trees, sap softening in the summer afternoon.

The trees will watch over her, as they did her grandmother and her mother. As they did countless generations of birds and snakes and bugs and lizards. The tree is a sturdy Mother. No one is going to chop this tree down. No saw. No industrial logging machinery.

When the world explodes, the tree will smile, watching its legacy in the rear view. Sated.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

You need to back up off me. You need to recognize, fool. This is my side of the sidewalk, and you can’t have none. This is my box full of repurposed air I’m breathing, get your own. This is my show and my friend and my place to do what I want. There’s no room for you. I need it all. Every bit of it. It won’t ever satisfy, and I’ll just keep wanting more, chasing that feeling of freedom. That fear.

I don’t need it, but you can’t have it. Look. There is a boy playing in the grass. He is frightened because the big people are yelling. His eyes are stained and smeared and his breath is ragged. He wants to bury into the rich dirt and dig until he is submerged. And you want to take that from him. Understand? Do you get it?

Back up off me.

Taste this. It tastes weird. You’ve got to read this article, it’s going to make you so mad. I have an unpopular opinion that everyone actually agrees with, can I beat you to death with it? Let’s talk about my mortgage. Let’s talk about professional sports teams. Your sister’s not here? Let’s talk smack about her. Let’s wrap ourselves in dogma until we drown, choking on our misconceptions. Let’s set our imaginary saints against each other and die sinners. Let’s take more than we need just because we can. Let’s be loud for no reason. Let me hide inside this cheap fortress of lies and innuendo. Let me hate because it feels good. The anger is so cleansing. Let me throw myself against this immovable object, just to feel the thud. Let me make assumptions. Let me deliberately misunderstand. Let me put my me-ness over you. It’s the only way.