Duster War of 1987

There is a certain look when one spends more than one hour at the Cecil. Particularly in the lobby, no matter if skin is young or old. There will be dust on it. Life is a cross between the Eastern Block and the Bowery, but glued together with 80’s crack.

I never made a connection of logic or philosophy. Politics never came to mind. The culture of the Cecil was that. Nothing carbon based escaped some kind of violence, for to not be anointed by even the pettiest mugging meant you were not part nor where you inoculated from the pain of not smelling the allegedly greener grasses of the other side. That was the hallucination.

For example, the spiders on the ceiling corners for the most part escaped a hungry bird or angry broom. While waiting to have under aged coffee with Spare Cock Amos, I could always count less than 7 legs on the spiders at any given day. I remember one husky Daddy Long Legs that had 5 legs and two stumps. He said it happened in the great Duster War of 1987. Nature’s hand was forced to mimic the image of the urban Eden. Miller did not exaggerate his nightmare.

Maybe it was just me. I picked up a very different perspective of the beauty ideal. I was fascinated by the prostitutes who at a certain age began to wear gym socks with their Payless high heels. Later on in the 80’s the fashion industry exalted the look as couture. Nothing is new under the Sun indeed. As my curiosity unfolded I began to ask the ladies why. The answer was usually the same. To hide track marks from their pimps. Up until then the word around my middle school campus was that you could only shoot up in the arm or snort. Who knew?

Dogs like people in particular had it pretty bad too. One eyed, three legged, limping, broken full of flies, ribs showing while lapping night’s old fried rice left behind by tourists. Chased away or chained to shopping carts to ward off any bad players. Now, their off spring live in lofts and wear protective dog gear, designer of course.

Life was stunted intellectually and emotionally for many. We either felt nothing or felt too much. We either felt numb or crippling rage. The point was that we were stuck. I say we because I was a witness, I had a home and a middle school to go to, but the Nickel had love. Los Feliz, not much. Either way there was a street pharmaceutical to help it. We either knew how to read, but became brain damaged or where never taught at all. Dogs had PETA and Bob Barker on their side. The people still wait for the upgrade. We the people can do it we are held accountable to our free will. Even as a punk kid I understood that freedom was nice, but useless if one had a broken spirit.

my way…

there is a certain look when one spends more than one hour at the Cecil particularly in the lobby no matter if skin is young or old there will be dust on it life is a cross between the Eastern Block and the Bowery but glued together with 80’s crack

i never made a connection of logic or philosophy politics never came to mind the culture of the Cecil was that nothing carbon based escaped some kind of violence for to not be anointed by even the pettiest mugging meant you were not part nor where you inoculated from the pain of not smelling the allegedly greener grasses of the other side that was the hallucination

for example the spiders on the ceiling corners for the most part escaped a hungry bird or angry broom while waiting to have under aged coffee with Spare Cock Amos i could always count less than 7 legs on the spiders at any given day i remember one husky Daddy Long Legs that had 5 legs and two stumps he said it happened in the great Duster War of 1987 Nature’s hand was forced to mimic the edict of the urban Eden Miller did not exaggerate his nightmare

maybe it was just me i picked up a very different perspective of the beauty ideal i was fascinated by the prostitutes who at a certain age began to wear gym socks with their Payless high heels later on in the 80’s the fashion industry exalted the look as couture nothing is new under the Sun indeed as my curiosity unfolded i began to ask the ladies why the answer was usually the same to hide track marks from their pimps up until then the word around my middle school campus was that you could only shoot up in the arm or snort who knew

dogs like people in particular had it pretty bad too one eyed three legged limping broken full of flies ribs showing while lapping night’s old fried rice left behind by tourists chased away or chained to shopping carts to ward off any bad players now their off spring live in lofts and wear protective dog gear designer of course

life was stunted intellectually and emotionally for many we either felt nothing or felt too much we either felt numb or crippling rage the point was that we were stuck i say we because i was a witness i had a home and a middle school to go to but the Nickel had love Los Feliz not much either way there was a street pharmaceutical to help it we either knew how to read but became brain damaged or were never taught at all dogs had PETA and Bob Barker on their side the people still wait for the upgrade we the people can do it we are held accountable to our free will even as a punk kid i understood that freedom was nice but useless if one had a broken spirit

couch skinning

I woke up mid morning thinking of how many ways can one skin a couch. I slept on the floor boards of the 8th floor room of a woman who used “whore” as her pronoun.  I smoked too many things last night and my head was throbbing. My nose bled some too as crunchy clusters of dried blood dropped onto my arm cupping my head.

Last night, on Werdin Place there were lots of people hangin’ out and doping up. Lounge lizards sitting on about half a dozen couches, right there in the middle of the musky alley. There was one couch in particular that was just foam and wood. It was still very clean, but as hard as I looked I couldn’t  see where the cloth covering had gone to.

So that morning I started off with two canned  espressos and a diet coke that I had in my book bag from last week. Tiffany came in from the shared bathroom down the hall. She was pissed or maybe her traced on eye brows were crooked. I just looked out the door past her calves. Someone was getting yelled at then she slammed the door. Her eyes were hard and mean; beady as hell too.  Tiffany once told me that her momma had an affair with Elvis after her daddy left them to join the Navy. I never doubted her.

Tiffany lit a bong shaped like a big purple cock. A present from one of her many admirers she gasped between inhales. She offered but I politely declined. I was a few years away from wanting to explore those kinds of shapes inside of my mouth. I could see she was offended as she smacked her lips and twisted her neck at me. It hadn’t been the first time so I hid my smile from her.

Taking three long slow drags from the bong she stood up slowly and dropped her worn out Wonder Woman beach towel. The dirty blond pubic tufts flayed from her arm pits and crotch were stiff and wire like. Tiffany sat back down and I could see skin hang like Christmas decorations from collar bones and ribs. She was beautiful in a medical way.

We didn’t talk. I stirred around my back pack and got the works and a rock out.  Tiffany held her chin high and words crawled from her ashy lips. You can cook and shoot if you let me fuck you. She smiled and said she had wanted a taste since last year.  I wasn’t fazed by her condition, but I was inconvenienced because I didn’t really want to walk down to Werdin. I answered under my breath. Tiffany told me to get the hell out of her house. I said ok but thanks for letting me spend the night. I was growing tired at 19. There were 700 rooms at low weekly rates and I couldn’t just yet rent one. All my assets were tied in under the counter investments.

my way…

i woke up mid morning thinking of how many ways can one skin a couch i slept on the floor boards of the 8th floor room of a woman who used “whore” as her pronoun i smoked too many things last night and my head was throbbing my nose bled some too as crunchy clusters of dried blood dropped onto my arm cupping my head.

last night on Werdin Place there were lots of people hangin’ out and doping up lounge lizards sitting on about half a dozen couches right there in the middle of the musky alley there was one couch in particular that was just foam and wood it was still very clean but as hard as i looked i couldn’t  see where the cloth covering had gone to

so that morning i started off with two canned  espressos and a diet coke that i had in my book bag from last week Tiffany came in from the shared bathroom down the hall she was pissed or maybe her traced on eye brows were crooked i just looked out the door past her calves someone was getting yelled at then she slammed the door her eyes were hard and mean beady as hell too  Tiffany once told me that her momma had an affair with Elvis after her daddy left them to join the Navy i never doubted her

Tiffany lit a bong shaped like a big purple cock a present from one of her many admirers she gasped between inhales she offered but i politely declined i was a few years away from wanting to explore those kinds of shapes inside of my mouth i could see she was offended as she smacked her lips and twisted her neck at me it hadn’t been the first time so i hid my smile from her

taking three long slow drags from the bong she stood up slowly and dropped her worn out Wonder Woman beach towel the dirty blond pubic tufts flayed from her arm pits and crotch were stiff and wire like Tiffany sat back down and i could see skin hang like Christmas decorations from collar bones and ribs she was beautiful in a medical way

we didn’t talk i stirred around my back pack and got the works and a rock out  Tiffany held her chin high and words crawled from her ashy lips you can cook and shoot if you let me fuck you she smiled and said she had wanted a taste since last year i wasn’t fazed by her condition but i was inconvenienced because i didn’t really want to walk down to Werdin i answered under my breath Tiffany told me to get the hell out of her house i said ok but thanks for letting me spend the night i was growing tired at 19 there were 700 rooms at low weekly rates and i couldn’t just yet rent one all my assets were tied in under the counter investments

dogs of the 90’s

Spare Cock Amos had gone to Vegas for the weekend. I had his room all to myself if I wanted to stay there. I decided that this time I would play house.

Jeremiah was a bullfrog, etc. The song oozled out of the broken down radio. First the laundry. I put in the entire box of Tide; when Tide just smelled like Tide. I spent my roll of quarters doing one load. The suds were kinda’ thick. Drying was still a dime so I was successful at that.

Heading back to the room Bryan Boyle was waiting outside of SC’s room. He was sweaty and lost.

“Hey.”

“Oh is Amos here, I gotta talk to him bad. I need to talk to him, is he here?”

“Naw.”

“Fuuuuuccccckkkkkk, whadda ya mean he ain’t here, I need to talk to him!”

“Sorry man, he’s gone for the weekend. I’m just crashin’ before I take off. Heidi’s home though she might be able to help.”

I walked into the room and placed the clean linens on an old arm chair. Bryan had teleported off into outer space universe open wide on this arm chair on other occasions.

Turning to listen with intent to the guy on the radio drinking his bullfrog friend’s wine, I couldn’t help but wonder if Heidi had an arm chair too. Heidi despised me on account I couldn’t like her the way she wanted me to.

I got around to changing the bed and dusted some picture frames. Amos came from a good looking family. Groaning and door slamming could be heard. Heidi refused Bryan. I should have told him not to mention my name.

Joy to the fishes. The chair bothered me. It was the junk bunk. I rode it myself a few times. I felt shame. This shame was different than the other shame. The one you feel over something that happened that you couldn’t prevent. The chair, the junk, the Cecil were preventable. I had chosen to fuck up. I wondered what kind of shame Bryan felt, if any.

Bang, bong, ping, bap.

“Heeeyyy! Open the door that bitch called the cops!!”

Sheepish creak.

“Sorry man.”

Bryan sobbed and with his back to the door frame just slid down to the floor.

“I give up.” He slobbered.

“Dude, man you’ll be ok.”

I knelt beside him. His surfer shirt torn at the hems. Little yellow and pink hula girls and turquoise surfboards 3D’ed at me like flashing acid.

My heart broke as tears rolled down his chubby baby cheeks. The rain finally came. We both perked up at the opened window at the end of the hallway. Wet concrete and drunk piss wove an aromatic melody. Joy to Bryan and a little to me. City rain; we knew it well.

We talked on the floor for hours. Just about dreams and normal things and rock and roll. Sure he picked at his arms and cried a little here and there, but Bryan lived a little.

my way…

spare cock Amos had gone to Vegas for the weekend i had his room all to myself if i wanted to stay there i decided that this time i would play house

Jeremiah was a bullfrog etc the song oozled out of the broken down radio first the laundry i put in the entire box of Tide when Tide just smelled like Tide i spent my roll of quarters doing one load the suds were kinda’ thick drying was still a dime so i was successful at that

heading back to the room Bryan Boyle was waiting outside of sc’s room he was sweaty and lost

“hey”

“oh is Amos here i gotta talk to him bad i need to talk to him is he here”

“naw”

“fuuuuuccccckkkkkk whadda ya mean he ain’t here i need to talk to him”

“sorry man he’s gone for the weekend i’m just crashin’ before i take off Heidi’s home though she might be able to help”

i walked into the room and placed the clean linens on an old arm chair Bryan had teleported off into outer space universe open wide on this arm chair on other occasions

turning to listen with intent to the guy on the radio drinking his bullfrog friend’s wine i couldn’t help but wonder if Heidi had an arm chair too Heidi despised me on account i couldn’t like her the way she wanted me to

i got around to changing the bed and dusted some picture frames Amos came from a good looking family groaning and door slamming could be heard Heidi refused Bryan i should have told him not to mention my name

joy to the fishes the chair bothered me it was the junk bunk i rode it myself a few times i felt shame this shame was different than the other shame the one you feel over something that happened that you couldn’t prevent the chair the junk the Cecil were preventable i had chosen to fuck up i wondered what kind of shame Bryan felt if any

bang bong ping bap

“heeeyyy open the door that bitch called the cops”

sheepish creak

“sorry man”

Bryan sobbed and with his back to the door frame just slid down to the floor

“i give up” he slobbered

“dude man you’ll be ok”

i knelt beside him his surfer shirt torn at the hems little yellow and pink hula girls and turquoise surfboards 3d’ed at me like flashing acid

my heart broke as tears rolled down his chubby baby cheeks the rain finally came we both perked up at the opened window at the end of the hallway wet concrete and drunk piss wove an aromatic melody joy to Bryan and a little to me city rain we knew it well

we talked on the floor for hours just about dreams and normal things and rock and roll sure he picked at his arms and cried a little here and there but Bryan lived a little

two aging Fräulein

lenore/would you have fucked Bukowski (putting out cigarette butt)

grady/no (cracking knuckles)

lenore/yeah he wasn’t very handsome

grady/but he was like so fucking deep (blowing clove smoke)

lenore/i’m not a reader sorry i like a good movie (looking for American flag bic lighter in grocery bag)

grady/yeah no i’m not a big reader either (sipping diet coke slurpee)

lenore/i feel like a loser i should have been married by now (sipping fresca)

grady/i’m not worried about that (eyes melt over Brazilian guy’s round tight ass)

lenore/what do you want most of all

grady/(puckers up at sky)to feel

lenore/in control you mean i wanna be in control of everything

grady/no just to feel like feel the petal of a flower or of a beating heart or the pain of a tragedy you know like that kinda stuff

lenore/i wanna have fun and have stuff and go to a big church and have tea parties and furs and cute babies (lights a doobie)

grady/(sips diet coke slurpee and looks at dirty converse shoes) i spent so many years being numb

lenore/who’d blame you though (coughing weed smoke out at diet coke can)

grady/people we’re funny creatures contradictions i guess

lenore/(blazing) have i ever told you i don’t understand you most of the time

grady/my point exactly lenore i feel like i’m going crazy sometimes

lenore/you’re a brainiac always in your head live a little (offers doobie)

grady/(lights up a fifth clove declines doobie)i just have lots of thoughts lenore that’s all (smiles at pigeons)

lenore/you wanna get laid are you lonely my ex brother in law works at circle k he’s good in bed

grady/hmmm no and yeah (lets out a long clove smoke breath)

lenore/there has to be more to this

grady/it’s in you lenore dig deep you’re gold too

lenore/(smiles)wanna go to Med Men with me

grady/naw but thanks (gives homeless lady a clove and water bottle)

lenore/where you going babe

grady/downtown it’s dusk and the saxophones are waiting (dances a little makes lenore laugh)

in regards to Foghat

At 21, I didn’t know two things; how I got through 4 years of college and who played “Slow Ride.” But grunge was growing on me and I still had Miles and Monk, maybe a little Ginger Baker in between.

I also didn’t know what to do other than just ‘party.’ Code for self medicating and wasting life away on account of being lost in the City of Angels.

I was of the streets; my family had good bones, some education, jobs, the normal shit. I didn’t, however we were all lost together but galaxies apart.

I’d walk listening to the organically mechanical jazz of the city. Notes of deep blue pain, orange notes of sorrow, pink notes of hope and black atomic scary love oozing out of the trumpets heralding our demise. Us, all walks of life, us in that beautifully grotesque melting pot of angst.

Needless to say the bad crowd fell into me. I was high functioning, a sweetheart, and functioning high. My world was slow motion in a fast velocity world. Things came seemingly easy. I could crash at the Cecil, I was a regular at King Eddie’s, where everyone didn’t care.

I raised clenched fists, joined the movements in all languages, I was smart. I read, dissected, recollected and debated. Painted, sculpted, drank it and smoked it.

At 22 I started to suspect that in all of my boundlessness I was deeply ensnared in something I had lost sight and perspective of long, long ago. Slow ride. Taken roughly and fast, fast, fast. There was this pain, a loneliness tangled up with self loathing. I had failed. It was complicated. I wanted it to be a dream, but it wasn’t. Like the rest of my human kin I wanted to feel, but I was a coward. Defeat was a drag and at times I thought if I climb down from that upside down cross it could turn very ugly. Rage they called it. I called it ‘why did they.’ I might be able to utter it someday.

It would be two years before grad school. Two years of mayhem. I like the way that sounds. It’s cool. The reality of it is pathetic and sad.

I continually looked for the Fibonacci sequence in their eyes; for reason, for answers to questions I had no idea about. In my life, meaning had lost itself particularly when roles had to be played well to keep up appearances.

Perhaps that’s why I loved the Cecil, the humanity between its walls. The smells, the dust, filth, cheap glamour, the innovation and the sheer will to survive. These where the substances of the gods. In the sterile houses in the hills nothing clung but spiritual death. Their emptiness was empty for empty’s sake. At the Cecil we had been gutted at different points in our lives so all we could do was gasp. And sometimes sing ourselves to sleep. The ride was slow at first then my wheels fell off.

my way…

at 21 i didn’t know two things how i got through 4 years of college and who played “Slow Ride” but grunge was growing on me and i still had Miles and Monk maybe a little Ginger Baker in between

i also didn’t know what to do other than just ‘party’ code for self medicating and wasting life away on account of being lost in the City of Angels

i was of the streets my family had good bones some education jobs the normal shit i didn’t however we were all lost together but galaxies apart

i’d walk listening to the organically mechanical jazz of the city notes of deep blue pain orange notes of sorrow pink notes of hope and black atomic scary love oozing out of the trumpets heralding our demise us all walks of life us in that beautifully grotesque melting pot of angst

needless to say the bad crowed fell into me i was high functioning a sweetheart and functioning high my world was slow motion in a fast velocity world things came seemingly easy i could crash at the Cecil i was a regular at King Eddie’s where everyone didn’t care

i raised clenched fists joined the movements in all languages i was smart i read dissected recollected and debated painted sculpted drank it and smoked it

at 22 i started to suspect that in all of my boundlessness i was deeply ensnared in something i had lost sight and perspective of long long ago slow ride taken roughly and fast fast fast there was this pain a loneliness tangled up with self loathing i had failed it was complicated i wanted it to be a dream but it wasn’t like the rest of my human kin i wanted to feel but i was a coward defeat was a drag and at times i thought if i climb down from that upside down cross it could turn very ugly rage they called it i called it ‘why did they’ i might be able to utter it someday

it would be two years before grad school two years of mayhem i like the way that sounds it’s cool the reality of it is pathetic and sad

i continually looked for the Fibonacci sequence in their eyes for reason for answers to questions i had no idea about in my life meaning had lost itself particularly when roles had to be played well to keep up appearances

perhaps that’s why i loved the Cecil the humanity between its walls the smells the dust filth cheap glamour the innovation and the sheer will to survive these where the substances of the gods in the sterile houses in the hills nothing clung but spiritual death their emptiness was empty for empty’s sake at the Cecil we had been gutted at different points in our lives so all we could do was gasp and sometimes sing ourselves to sleep the ride was slow at first then my wheels fell off

Yucatan

Picture courtesy of Sue Vincent

The evening was cool and the calm was fuzzy and delightful. Abbey walked through the narrow door of 4302 and laid down a paper bag full of spices and stuff. She loved going to Grand Central market to gossip and catch up on the news of her world. Abbey asked if I was going home tonight because her boyfriend was coming over and she didn’t want him to pick a fist fight with me again.

I promised her that I would go to my friend’s house on the west side later tonight and asked her if she noticed anything different about her room. The Pine Sol fumes suckled her dainty caramel nose and licked in and out of her nostrils.

Thank you for cleaning mi reina, the smell takes me back to the valleys and rivers of my town in the Yucatan. Abbey had come to the US in the early 60’s on a travel visa and stayed. She started taking the dried Chiles, peppercorns, cumin and pumpkin seeds and chocolate bars out of the paper sack. Being a little high, watching her pluck each item out of the sack was like watching a jeweler study his precious stones.

Sitting back on the only chair in the room, I asked Abbey about her town in Mexico. She pursed her lips inward and let out an exhausted sigh. Staring at the dim lit ceiling she noticed the freeway knot of spider webs forming on the northern corner.

Abbey looked past the top of my head and stared of the Virgen of Guadalupe poster on the waxy wall. In a little girl voice she described the valleys as having shaded trees and cool patches of grass. The streams, as she remembered were cold enough to soak their beers and sodas when the families of the village would go pick-nicking on Sundays.

Abbey appeared lost and happy reminiscing about her country. Did you know that in the spring time we’d light big fires and because the temperature in the valley was still cold in March, the smoke looked like cloudy fumes against the pitch black sky. And the stars, Ave Maria purisima, the stars were so bright and when you saw them through the smoke fumes of the fires the whole thing looked like a fancy lace veil twinkling with diamonds.

In a melancholy tone I absent mindedly asked Abbey if she missed those nights with the firewood fumes and the stars and cool streams. She smiled wide enough that I could see her gold tooth as she looked down at her old beige pumps and she shook her head telling me no.

The door shook from four heavy thumps. Her boyfriend was in the hallway asking why the hell she wasn’t answering. Abbey cursed under her breath and ordered me to stay quiet and to leave as soon as she let him in. I tried asking her if she was going to be o.k. or did I need to alert Spare Cock.

my way…

the evening was cool and the calm was fuzzy and delightful Abbey walked through the narrow door of 4302 and laid down a paper bag full of spices and stuff she loved going to Grand Central market to gossip and catch up on the news of her world Abbey asked if i was going home tonight because her boyfriend was coming over and she didn’t want him to pick a fist fight with me again

i promised her that i would go to my friend’s house on the west side later tonight and asked her if she noticed anything different about her room the Pine Sol fumes suckled her dainty caramel nose and licked in and out of her nostrils

thank you for cleaning mi reina the smell takes me back to the valleys and rivers of my town in the Yucatan Abbey had come to the US in the early 60’s on a travel visa and stayed she started taking the dried chiles peppercorns cumin and pumpkin seeds and chocolate bars out of the paper sack being a little high watching her pluck each item out of the sack was like watching a jeweler study his precious stones

sitting back on the only chair in the room i asked Abbey about her town in Mexico she pursed her lips inward and let out an exhausted sigh staring at the dim lit ceiling she noticed the freeway knot of spider webs forming on the northern corner

Abbey looked past the top of my head and stared of the Virgen of Guadalupe poster on the waxy wall in a little girl voice she described the valleys as having shaded trees and cool patches of grass the streams as she remembered were cold enough to soak their beers and sodas when the families of the village would go pick-nicking on Sundays

Abbey appeared lost and happy reminiscing about her country did you know that in the spring time we’d light big fires and because the temperature in the valley was still cold in March the smoke looked like cloudy fumes against the pitch black sky and the stars Ave Maria purisima the stars were so bright and when you saw them through the smoke fumes of the fires the whole thing looked like a fancy lace veil twinkling with diamonds

in a melancholy tone i absent mindedly asked Abbey if she missed those nights with the firewood fumes and the stars and cool streams she smiled wide enough that i could see her gold tooth as she looked down at her old beige pumps and she shook her head telling me no

the door shook from four heavy thumps her boyfriend was in the hallway asking why the hell she wasn’t answering Abbey cursed under her breath and ordered me to stay quiet and to leave as soon as she let him in i tried asking her if she was going to be ok or did i need to alert Spare Cock

King Eddy study (i)

riley-so how long you hangin out i’d like to show you somethin

grady-since you put it that way i might stay here and wash their plates

riley-Jesus woman you’re harsh i’m jus lookin for some fun i got let out of Wayside two days ago

grady-really i walked out of Tarzana this morning

riley-oh well yeah i was in for stealing cars and i punched my ol lady but it was self defense you see

grady-(forcing smile and nodding raising eye brows)

riley-so can you help me out a little you’re really cute i’m clean as a whistle too

grady-(forcing smile and nodding raising eye brows)

riley-you wanna beer

grady-no thanks i don’t like it

riley-(inching closer to grady and smiling) wuddah ya like then (wiggling eyebrows up and down)

grady-vodka

riley-ok yeah but afore we order drinks you wanna go out back to the alley we can poke around

grady-ummm what for what are we looking for

riley-(lets out frustrated giggle like Frank Booth) i mean to do it i’m horny you’re really nice

grady-yeah but no i’ll pass i’m waitin for my man you know there might be some good time girls on Central by 4th ask for Melva she’s cool people

riley-(pulls back looks at grady up and down) aint you a whore

grady-naw man i’m a college kid with lots of problems and lots of friends in very low and dark places (winks at riley) so get the fuck outta my face (forced smile sips ginger ale puffs at clove)

riley-(gets off bar stool as he sucks his teeth and looks grady up and down)so you think you’re better than me then huh stupid cunt

grady-(gives bouncer O’Neal the tap out look and blows kiss at riley)

fancy James Brown footwork

Last night was rough at the Cecil. I invited friends from school to party at Turkish Turi’s, but they couldn’t hang. It wasn’t cool enough. Turi was salt of the earth kinda’ people. Rough and say it like it is, but protective of the people around him.

My mother agreed to meet me on Los Angeles Street and 7th on account she wanted to buy some rugs for her house. She was in a good mood and I wanted to bond with her. It had been a few days since I was at her home. I was late to our 12:30 p.m. meeting place.

As I made my way to greet her, my head looked down, avoiding eye contact just in case she was pissed. Mother was German, punctuality was no joke. She had on a beige PONY track suit, very soft and fancy; lady like and proper. Her hair pixied and dark red like cherry wood. Her neck graceful and pale was  adorned by a very thin gold chain and a blue diamond pendant Star of David.

Sitting in front of the Cecil daydreaming and sobering up; anticipating meeting with my mom, I remembered a time when I was around four. She was dressed like an angel, a Charlie’s Angel, bell bottoms, pink lips, rippling feathered hair and white boots. It was the mid 70’s, but my mom loved British rock and with a little Daniel’s in her she started grooving to T.Rex.

Lucy was happy that day, like genuinely happy, laughing and dancing and talking her German tongue to her lady friends and kinfolk. We kids never learned. Then, as I was looking for my can of apple juice, she invites me to dance. “Bang a gong, get it on, bang a gong.”

As the buses swooshed by and the vagrants were getting ticketed in vain on Main, I smiled wide. I was lapping up the memory in my head; a short chubby four year old with red patent leather Mary Janes contorting like Joe Cocker. I bent back, down and sideways, but the coup de gras was the fancy James Brown footwork I threw out there for my mom to see. I’d watch him on Soul Train when my baby sitter would come on Saturday nights.

The world felt better at 1:13 p.m. I was late, but my heart was in the right place. Lucy’s was too. The edge of skid row was my home away from home. It felt like my mother’s arms or at least what I thought her arms might have felt like. It was very unnatural to see Lucy there, so beautiful, but so sick at heart. I was more of a body guard than a daughter. She stayed in a home paid for by a man who was just like the other men who had sent many of the women I knew to exile at the Nickel. Lucy was not only a victim of my father, but her of ego as well.

my way…

last night was rough at the Cecil i invited friends from school to party at Turkish Turi’s but they couldn’t hang it wasn’t cool enough Turi was salt of the earth kinda’ people rough and say it like it is but protective of the people around him

my mother agreed to meet me on Los Angeles Street and 7th on account she wanted to buy some rugs for her house she was in a good mood and i wanted to bond with her it had been a few days since i was at her home i was late to our 12:30 pm meeting place

as i made my way to greet her my head looked down avoiding eye contact just in case she was pissed mother was German punctuality was no joke she had on a beige PONY track suit very soft and fancy lady like and proper her hair pixied and dark red like cherry wood her neck graceful and pale was  adorned by a very thin gold chain and a blue diamond pendant Star of David

sitting in front of the Cecil daydreaming and sobering up anticipating meeting with my mom i remembered a time when i was around four she was dressed like an angel a Charlie’s Angel bell bottoms pink lips rippling feathered hair and white boots it was the mid 70’s but my mom loved British rock and with a little Daniel’s in her she started grooving to T.Rex

Lucy was happy that day like genuinely happy laughing and dancing and talking her German tongue to her lady friends and kinfolk we kids never learned then as i was looking for my can of apple juice she invites me to dance “Bang a gong, get it on, bang a gong”

as the buses swooshed by and the vagrants were getting ticketed in vain on Main i smiled wide i was lapping up the memory in my head a short chubby four year old with red patent leather Mary Janes contorting like Joe Cocker i bent back down and sideways but the coup de gras was the fancy James Brown footwork i threw out there for my mom to see i’d watch him on Soul Train when my baby sitter would come on Saturday nights

the world felt better at 1:13 pm i was late but my heart was in the right place Lucy’s was too the edge of skid row was my home away from home it felt like my mother’s arms or at least what i thought her arms might have felt like it was very unnatural to see Lucy there so beautiful but so sick at heart i was more of a body guard than a daughter she stayed in a home paid for by a man who was just like the other men who had sent many of the women i knew to exile at the Nickel Lucy was not only a victim of my father but her of ego as well

officer Cassidy and the J walking kid

you/so what is the problem now

me/ nothing

you/your father is worried

me/hmmm… i haven’t seen him in three weeks

you/the school district is thinking of recommending a level 12

me/i don’t wanna go

you/it’s for your protection

me/all the shit i needed protection from has already happened

you/ why are you angry

me/why not

you/do you think sarcasm will help you

me/i’m not asking it to

you/your psych tests show you’re very smart

me/i’m a girl

you/(smile)

me/so… are you charging me or what

you/what’s the rush

me/you bore me

you/you made the driver crash his car

me/how do you figure that i was just crossing the street he ran the stop sign thinking i would suck his dick

you/now is that language necessary

me/i’m talking the way you boys do

you/he says you ran toward his car

me/i did not i was crossing the street J-walking to be perfectly honest

you/so you’re saying he was trying to kidnap you

me/no you’re saying that

you/enlighten me

me/he sped up as i was getting on the curb he thought i was a hooker

you/hmmm…are you sure

me/look i didn’t total a car so i really don’t care what you think or believe

you/your dad is worried about you he thinks you’re doing drugs

me/i know he’s doing drugs and more

you/you’re so young why so much hate and rage

me/(smile)

you/well

me/i’m cool man

you/maybe you need to go to juvey for a while

me/on what charge

you/(silent glare)

me/was my mom called

you/she told the principal to call your father

me/(knot in throat) cool

you/the driver wants to press charges

me/that’s fine

you/do you care about anything

me/sure i’d like to visit Bora Bora someday and i love NASA

you/you’re a piece of work

receptionist/the parent said he’s not dealing with this to call the mother

you/were going downtown kid

me/(knot in throat) may i request a copy of “The Catcher in the Rye”

you/(silent glare)