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"If You're Bored Of the Planet Earth" [Bottled Whispers |Engage Time Machine |Channeled Spirits|Magick Mirror]
Jack Babalon

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Confessions of a Fuck Up Artist - Day 16,760 [Feb. 14th, 2018|12:54 am]
Jack Babalon

 

Suffer this habit of living like no one can see me when I should know otherwise. 

Example:After work pulling into what the locals have dubbed 'The Shitty Center Plaza' to pop into Kroger on a supply run when I notice the CHECK ENGINE light up from the corner of the dashboard. Just one more fucking thing I need on top of everything else this year, this decade, this century. Okay, so like we all know a normal soul, bless 'em, would be content to utter a mild swear word or failing that offer a sigh hiding from their gods and employers their absolute and unending contempt for those powers responsible for this current state of unabashed fuckery. 

A normal soul ain't what we're talking about though which means I'm ranting and cursing like a sailor with Tourette's.  I am cursing over the radio white noise bad news, I am cursing through a shopping center parking lot where everyone drives like it's the Purge, I am cursing as door slams with me trudging towards the supermarket. 

Do people see me? 

Yeah, well, fuck 'em! 

Let 'em see me. 

No, more importantly, let them hear me. 

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Confessions of a Fuck-Up Artist [Jan. 28th, 2018|08:02 pm]
Jack Babalon

Got cocky at the Y, overestimated my own strength, tried maxing out on 290 pound on the bench and couldn't get the bar but a half foot off the chest. The ear goggles are blasting my favorite Sabbath - "Children of the Grave" - but it's not enough. Got three cups of strong black coffee coursing through my blood along with enough vitamins to choke a horse but it's not enough. I got a mom that needs me to be stronger than this and friends far away who still believe it's in me to do just that but it's not enough. 

Disembodied spectral arms rise out of the matted flooring, they smoke tendril around the biceps weighing them down with the 45 years of guilt and failure. The ghostly arms coil around my wrists, sink cold down into the veins, send muscles numb and trembling, pulling the bar down to my chest, inch by excruciating inch, but I'm fighting it. Growling deep from belly with teeth wolf barred up at the gravity pulling down into oblivion. 

One of those spectral arms bursts through the center of the bench and a ghostly hand grips my heart to give it a good squeeze sending the bar to plummet but centimeters. Another spectral hand emerges out of the mirrored wall behind me and shoots splayed fingers into my brain. When they wiggle I see flashes of every right thing I never did because I lacked the balls or the wisdom to be who I should've been. 

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The Land of Do As You Please [Jan. 21st, 2018|04:16 pm]
Jack Babalon

 

I was getting drunk when the Government shut down and no one in the bar even noticed. Everyone around us was busy with the work that comes after work - trying to hook up into the warmth of strangers or drink off a few days of black ice death threats or offer helpless prayers to a God so indifferent as to bestow upon the Patriots yet another Super Bowl victory. It was all too much - work, sports, politics, the impending sense of isolation of which we were mutually assured only we suffered. We go through the motions, improv around the damage, food gets chewed mechanically, mounted screens stared at but not watched, peasant beers huddled over as if it was all that kept the cold from getting deeper than the skin. Friday night on the corner of North and Highland as it has been since anyone here can remember. But then this old bag-lady reeking of litter box and Mad Dog bursts through the front doors as if about to object to a wedding or bring forth new evidence to a murder trial. 

"Ain't you fools heard the good news!," she shouted, she growled, she delivered from that mount upon which only she could ascend, "Government's shut down! Ain't no more USA... and between y'all, me, and the walls... I 'spect there weren't really one after all! I mean have you ever really seen the government except on TV or the internet?" 

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The Other Closet [Jan. 12th, 2018|10:31 pm]
Jack Babalon
Yesterday a good third of my country finally came out of the Closet.

Not that 'Closet' where the flames of love and want are starved of light but still not extinguished.

No, this is the 'Other Closet' where white robes hang tucked between Sunday Best and old uniforms that no longer fit. Where the Jack Boots still shine between scuffed up sneakers and beneath boxes of family photos unseen but never forgotten.
And though they've been hinting at 'coming out' for longer than anyone is comfortable, yesterday the President of the United States spoke their truth to our powerlessness - "We're Here, we're Fear, and so long as we don't take your phones away you're already used to it."

Now of course, getting a bit of the jitters around the Grandpa's Old Party, the PotUS has backed away from his statements, but darling fearless leader it's too late for that. It's okay. It's tough coming out Racist but your base needs more than dog-whistles framing your cat-call values they need you to howl with pride.
I say do it.

Because before you dismiss me as just another precious snowflake cold-fronting to the faithful, let me clarify the witness before you.

Though a sustaining member of NPR I am not woke.

Though able to sing along with 90% of the songs on 97.9 "The OG" I am not woke.

Though truth-to-power be posted and shared where I cannot shout I am not woke.

In fact what I am, to my shame, is a struggling racist. It took me many years to see it in my actions and presumptions. It wasn't obvious. It was in harmless jokes and broad generalizations. It was there in me even as I openly despised those who embraced it. Too many years lost before I began to face it within and without. Now I fight the ugly shit that got in my head not one day at time but each waking hour after the next. It's tough. But it's better than hiding scared and angry in the closet waiting for someone to light my way out with a tiki torch or burning cross.
But I didn't get into this fight with this particular skull demon out of shame or ostracization.

It was listening when I was uncomfortable with what was being said.

It was thinking about the things I did that I'd rather forget.

It was asking myself questions whose answers stung both pride and justification.

Am I a better man or some shit?

Nah, but I think I'm in the right general direction and it's not out of some Kumbaya bullshit.

It's realizing how much equally fucked we all are and how equally beautiful or tragic our struggle against those who profit from our being fucked.

Some of you I know voted for our President as a middle finger to the powers that divide us. The Bankers, the Wall Street Wolves, the Boardrooms filled with men who've never known a hard day's work in their life. But tell me one year in if they seem more empowered than scared by your valiant gesture.

The rest of you, you know why you voted for our President, and now that you're out of the Closet maybe now we can have a talk about what it is you need before the War you want with the rest of us so badly kills too many people on both sides. I don't know if we can accept your happiness anymore than you can accept ours. Maybe we'll become two nations.

Or maybe you'll begin to listen, to think, to ask beyond what you believe. It's tougher than cold quitting cigarettes and oxy and liquor simultaneous but life after fear, life after ignorance, life after cruelty, is everything promised in your bible and more.
But none of that can happen until you come out of the Closet fully and embrace the ugly for what it is, confess the viciousness that empowers, and face the rest of the world for what you really are. A monster, maybe not, but monstrous is where this is going and monstrous is how this will be dealt with sooner or later.

So step out of the Closet and take a good look at the Shithole you're in before judging another's.

2017-12-27_11-48-50
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Confessions of a Fuck Up Artist [Jan. 2nd, 2018|10:02 pm]
Jack Babalon
Meteorologically speaking the city of Terminus now sits somewhere between a witch's tit and a gravedigger's ass. Up the block the prostitutes have begun skinning their Johns to bundle under layers of their still warm flesh. The neighborhood arsonist weeps flicking matches at frozen corpses waiting at the bus stop. Wolves circle the gas station at the corner of Columbia and Memorial and the pump's not reading my card. This fucking day, I tell you, begins with me manning the office solo with all other available hands either on leave or in sick bay. Gone now my Space Wifey, my Brother, my Magpie. Back to Jax, back to Andalusia, back to L.A.-L.A. Land they go to get on with the business of living, learning, loving as best they can.

Me? There's nothing here but cancer, cold, and...

... of course one of the wolves pounces on to the hood of the Toyota just as I'm reaching into the glove box for mom's Rutger.

This fucking day, I tell you.

I ease back up out of the Corolla, nice and slow, as a 200 pound feral beast snarls a throat sized bite not but six inches from this belabored sigh. But my right is numb but still strong enough to point the Rutger's barrel straight into a face wide enough that blind man couldn't miss.

"Don't do it, baby!" This cat in bright blue parka with a white furred trimmed hood says stepping out of the Food Mart, "Even if you don't miss the head you still ain't gonna have enough bullets for all of them."

At this the stranger in the parka nods at the other wolves circling me. They're beautiful, an engine of death with a pack loyalty men can merely ape, in shades of gray and white. Their growl a prose that soldiers and the vicious plagiarize. Under the silver dusk their gaze phosphorescent and trained on me - the center of their universe now - to be devoured like the sun come Ragnarok Day.

Not taking my eyes off the wolf on the roof I point the gun at the pump. "Fuck it maybe I take all of us with it."

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no...," Mister Parka takes a step towards me sending two of the beasts to turn on him and bare teeth. No fool he, the man freezes in his tracks, raises mittens up in the air, and stage whispers the advice he just might end up literally be dying to tell me.

"I know you think 2017 was a bad year," he informs me and despite the situation I can only chuckle."Nothing but bullshit and nightmares. But you're wrong, baby, dead wrong."

"Am I now?," I say not taking my eyes off roof wolf crouching back on hind haunches, coiling up for that larynx chomping jump.

"Yes, sir, I'm sorry to say that you are," Mister Parka smiles and the wolves slink back from him, "because 2017 wasn't a bad year it was an initiation and not just for your sorry ass either, Jack. You got a lot of folks who love you, in lands faraway to not just but a few blocks from here."

"Tell them that," I say thumbing back the hammer on the Rutger while bobbing my chin towards roof wolf.

"Oh I am, I'm telling everybody, this year was an initiation. Ugly times ahead, blacker than the belly them wolves wanna swallow you up into. But 2017 wasn't meant to be easy. No, sir. It was meant to separate the whiners and the quitters from the punch drunk desperate. Because I'm here to tell you - in times like this only the Punch Drunk Desperate are truly free. Even if it's only the freedom found at the wrong end of a firing squad (which is both of them really). 2017 was an initiation, Jack, don't blow it now ."

Winds blowing in my ears now so all I hear is white noise roaring and my heart pounding.

They got the wrong Jack matched with the wrong city because my last name ain't London. Wolves, guns, ice, and metaphor this shit is all out of an eighth grade book report.

"So whadda I do here?," I shout watching the fur on the back of roof wolf bristle up.

"Sing, Jack... it's the only way out of this now."

This fucking day, I tell you.

Clicking the hammer back and forward gently as finger eases tension from trigger and with a breath that freezer burns the lungs sing the only song I'm suddenly capable of remembering.

"We're a happy family, we're a happy family
We're a happy family, me, mom and daddy
Sitting here in Queens/ Eating refried beans
We're in all the magazines/ Gulpin' down Thorazines
We ain't got no friends/Our troubles never end
No Christmas cards to send/ Daddy likes men"

Roof wolf gives a confused puppy tilt of a head as big as my chest and closing my eyes I struggle for the rest trying to remember jumping up and down in Brooklyn with the Moms.

"Daddy's telling lies/ Baby's eating flies
Mommy's on pills/ Baby's got the chills
I'm friends with the President/ I'm friends with the Pope
We're all making a fortune selling Daddy's dope..."

I open my eyes and roof wolf is no more. The rest of the pack as well. Mister Parka has vamoosed leaving me standing in the cold pointing a gasoline nozzle menacingly at the pump. Another frosted sigh and I switch up cards and try again. This time the gas flows smooth. Without another word I get back into the Corolla and punch out of the lot.

Next stop the YMCA and after that whatever the next 363 days they got for me.
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Danke Perchta [Dec. 19th, 2017|01:42 am]
Jack Babalon
Don't ask me how but I've fucked-up again big time. Word on the Street is that Frau Perchta's back in town and whispering my name into the ears of men disembowled for not scheduling any vacation days for the Holidays.

Wait, hold up. Frau who?

Perchta, baby, aka the Gut-Splitter. This would be one of the nastiesr of the Winter Witches haunting the collective subconscious of the Folk Teutonic. Have been since long before Mother Rome arrived with her wolf's collar named civilization. One of the tougher archetypes and one I ran across another decade, another life ago. Chick I was seeing at the time opened up something during an ceremonial invocation. It was all runes and menstrual blood and all kinds of hoodoo voodoo chaos amplified on melt-your-face grade LSD. It was January 4th, Epiphany's Eve, and home-girl in her ceremonial birthday suit has got these horns sprouted from her temple and in a voice ancient when a bunch of distant monkeys went shrooming in the primordial dawn she spoke to me.

"As your people grow ever more fat, as your people grow ever more mean, as your people grow ever more superstitious," The words were German yet I understood them despite my inability to sprachen der kraut on some distant blood-atavistic level, "my kind begin to slip through your doors. Your science is but a handful of generations away from being magic and in another millennia will be heresy or myth. Look around you. Your facts have become mutable. Your governing laws ever more arbitrary, ever more distant, even as we gather closer. We're there in the shadows cast by the light of your screens. Stare vacant into the cold campfire glow of your information, we are no strangers to scrolling through pictures that are also words, and as you do you won't see us peeping from the edge of windows or from the corner of your room in the middle of a lonely night. And then one winter soon, as your people begin to see truth and belief as one, my kind will begin stepping into your world. You won't see us at first. At first it'll just be missing children and patterns of murder. But soon, the Witches of Winter will return along with the beasts and gods your kind valiantly fought to forget. When they do I'll find you, Jack of Babalon, I'll find you slow no matter how hard you'll try to hide in a 'normal life'."

"Me?," I say lighting up a cigarette with hands willed steady despite their inclination otherwise, "the fuck did I do, Lady?"

"Nothing," she laughs the way the wind laughed through the forests of the Rhine, "I am Perchta, Splitter of Guts, Perchta the Punisher, Perchta who disembowels those who toil during the winter holy days, but most of all I am Perchta who punishes the lazy and you Jack of Babalon are the laziest. You who were given more than most and did less with every opportunity, every privilege, your kind are offered and squandered it in an impoverished haze of drugs and bad poetry. I am Perchta of the Ancient Ones and I know your name Jack of Babalon and I am coming for you."

"Well," I take the kind of drag off my Camel that you would in front of a firing squad and blow it back at her, "thing is now I know your name as well. Two way street names. Total power and all that. Even if it's just the one you used to manifest within my woman. Perchta... as in Perchta the Gut-Splitter, Perchta the Punisher, but mainly by Perchta the Bound by the will of my Arte (along with a little help from our Lady of Tripping My Balls Off) I command thee to depart back into that plane from which you travelled and do so without harming thy host."

In response my woman by way of Frau Eviscerator lunged forward to no doubt grab a fistful of intestine for a quick bite of Babalon Haggis and promptly bounced off the circle formed of nicotine smoke. With a psychedelically enhanced imagination I formed a seven pointed star within the circle, picturing beams of white light skewering my lady possessed at multiple points. There was the scream of a thousand nightmares relived at once and I watched an old horned crone step out from between the shoulder blades of her host. She went to curse my name along with all those who knew me.

I cut her off by throwing the librarian shush that is the Sign of Harpocrates and the old crone vanished. I ran over to my lady she took me to bed immediately and ravaged the LSD out of us. When I woke up the next morning there was a note saying that she was leaving me, along with all of Terminus, and maybe America too. Something about going to Berlin maybe. Me?

I took it hard but a visit from a manifestation from the collective subconscious puts these things in perspective. Mainly I was worried because I was in her apartment and even though she left town for good she left me locked (from muscle memory no doubt) inside her apartment. We were four stories up in a then affordable Downtown Terminus. Lucky for me she had gone grocery shopping and had also forgot to pack her weed. I didn't 'escape' until about a week later.

By that time of course I had forgotten about Frau Perchta the way you forget dreams or those big ideas that spark on quality psychedelics.

But she never forgot did she?

The cocky poser mage all bluff and acid playing a character out of a comic book.

Nah, man, the Witches of Winter are growing more real every year, and closer than ever in this age of 'Fake News' and 'Moral Relativity'. Which is bad news but the worse news is that the same name doesn't work twice with these creatures. At least when it's not their real name. Stunt I pulled because the veil between our worlds was still intact enough that she could be pushed back through it with a 'common name'.

But that's okay, that just means the old ways of fighting back are starting work again. Outside the temples and circles of Edwardian rules to mastering hawk god bravado and the perfect wisdom that waits beyond the void. The ways of all the Forgotten Gods are at our disposal, the magic of one continent might work against the demons of another in ways unexpected. This is an age of gender fluid shaman and shawoman who are fluent in arcane languages filled with passwords of access and power. Surely I'll find a website or a chat group with the secret name I need.

At least that's what I tell myself so I can sleep at night as the days towards the Eve of the Epiphany grow closer and with it Frau Perchta.
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Death is a Job [Dec. 18th, 2017|01:42 am]
Jack Babalon
I miss when Death was fun.

When Death was the invisible toy lurking between each and every action figure. When Death was dodged by the righteous and delivered to the wicked by the pointing of a stick. When Death was deflected with a swoop of a towel tied around the neck or according to Grandma something akin to a deep sleep from whose inevitable awakening waited something glorious indeed. When Death was the imaginary friend of whom no other imaginary friend dared speak of in their councils on lonely summer vacation days. Death was a trap to leap over just like when the floor is lava and Death rustled in the autumn leaves come Trick or Treat Season.

Later, burning with teenage fire, I thought I understood Death as that which happens to other people, older people, but not me. Not yet at least. I would meet Death much sooner than the Normies, and it would be glorious. Punk rock poet me, ODed in some shithole with quirky character (imagine Wes Anderson's 'Sid & Nancy), around me scribbled poems with the word 'Shadow' or 'Rose' used every other stanza. Death was a hot goth chick just like in the comics I ever so edgily read and when she came for me she'd find a dashing poet, with a bit of Hank Rollins good looks, young and ready to rock out into the Grave Eternal. Death was sexy, Death was glorious, Death was fucking and Death was Drugs and Death was Rock N Roll.

Just over a decade later Death became a mean drunk, the asshole who showed up at a party everyone was absolutely warned not to invite. Death worked the back of the crowd at first. Came for cats in the Scene I only knew by name. Phil Phuck was the first, found ODed before 30, and it wasn't glorious or punk rock, but just him sitting alone in a bar on weekday night, blue-ish, cold to the touch, beer half-finished, no one noticed until well after last call. Death was an anecdote, at first, a cautionary tale that tempered punks while giving self-righteous vindication to straight-edgers. But Death quickly grew from anecodtical to the biographical. One of the best men I ever knew, a brother true, put a gun in his mouth and squeezed the trigger. Madness, depression, lack of sleep, too much acid, coke, ecstasy, weed, whatever. It didn't matter. What my friend, my brother took from himself, he took from me too, and yet he taught me that Death could at least be bargained with.

I was wrong.

Death doesn't play anymore. It renders tragic the faceless extras that fall and seems to be the last, if not inevitable, recourse of our heroes now. Death doesn't come bloodless and summoned. Death is not special effects and stuntmen crumbling and the abstract decimation of faceless extras. Death is not glorious, it is not the method of the wicked and the tool of the righteous.

Death is neither a toy, a look, a bargain.

Death is a Job.

Death is slow motion trauma. Death is dancing at the bar one night then pissing adult diapers three months later. Death is getting lost between the coffee maker and the microwave. Death is a dictionary whose words are slowly being erased forever. Death is the perilous adventure of getting up out of the couch without stage diving into the coffee table. Death is sleepless nights followed by days you're never awake for and you have to remind yourself this is all really happening. Death is drugs that turn pain into a numb monotony and make you feel the opposite of the drugs that will get you arrested. Death is watching HGTV at three in the morning and only because you don't have the where-with-all to work a phone is why you haven't blown all your money on infomercials. Death is paperwork and phone tag and bills piling up on the kitchen table and the smell of shit and piss that you can't shake no matter how many times you Lysol the room or sanitize your hands.

Death is learning to cry on your time and your time alone.

But with age Death now brings something new to me, a gratitude along with its the burden, for the ache I feel at what I will lose is the cost of what I have loved. The greater the ache, the greater the cost, the greater the love. I know a lot of friends who didn't get to know a father or a mother or even have a brother like my Best Bud. Some of them did get to know those people and spent the rest of their life kicking-ass to forget them. I was loved by souls passionate, funny, brave, honorable, and yes, petty, angry, cruel and they were no less loved for being so.

Death now is a job and in its work - overwhelming, maddening, heart-rendering as it is - strength becomes nourished on compassion instead of amped up on cruelty.

Death brings sorrowful wisdom and defuses the shortest temper with the patience of the shell-shocked. Death is a gift no one wants and yet no one can deny when given. Death is the worst job in world but the only one you'll ever dread clocking off of.

Death is a job and like all jobs fundamentally unwanted but one that will cost you more if you half-ass it.
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Terminus: Art & Empire [Oct. 6th, 2017|12:28 am]
Jack Babalon
[Tags|]

The Long Way

Middle Pillar

20170904_153945

Goddess of a Soon to be Forgotten People

hope

Coke Town

Trinity

Flooding The Inner City!?

Playing Chess with Architecture

The Warriors

Eye Rise

Urban Tulpa

Cornered and Shadowed

4th Ward Maggie

Terminus

Down into the Light

Lost Codes

Lets Destroy The Economy For Real :)
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Confessions of a Fuck Up Artist [Sep. 21st, 2017|11:05 pm]
Jack Babalon
[Tags|]

No good comes when you rely solely on the Internet for validation of your existence from the rest of the world. So out into the thunder and the rain the Princess takes me as we embark on Operation Reload. Lightning flashing between the skeletons of future of duplexes and mixed use developments. There's something in the storm that feels personal, as if the sky, sensing that I'm unable or unwilling to weep or scream, does it for me.

We don't talk of ghosts tonight the Princess and I, no Vampire Country reconnaissance for us at the Admiral's Grave. Nor do we speculate on the future ahead, in the macrocosm of this 'our darkest timeline' or the microcosm of just growing old.

Instead we focus on the little things, the quotidian details often as essential as they are overlooked. We find succor in laying out the cartography of back yards, the alchemy of the kitchen, the intricate diplomacy of office politics.

Finally she asks me if I'm in the 'Place' again.

I nod, the sad place, biological deep, where the neurochemically sabotaged narrative of consciousness sea serpent rises into the otherwise clear day. It pushes the right people away and lets the wrong ones play me. I become a fist capable of only boxing shadows or a hand reaching out lonely across burning bridges.

It's okay, she says, knowing full well the damage our brains shit out and poison themselves with driving us to seek better poisons to still the thoughts we can't stop thinking.

We stop on a side road until the rain and the thunder and the lightning cease. We don't say a word. We don't hug or confess or even look at each other. We just stare ahead into the night until the crickets and ambient traffic seep through the window.

You good?, she asks.

Nah, I smile, but better and that's good enough.

So back on the road we go, ready to fumble through the poison and ghosts to a future that doesn't know what to do with us.
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Confessions of a Fuck Up Artist [Sep. 15th, 2017|12:44 am]
Jack Babalon
September in Vampire Country and the season of ghosts is almost upon us.

We're at the Admiral's Grave, the Princess and I, with the woes we exchange feeling clunky as swords heavy with the regret of victories never again to be fought. More than friends, we serve each other as witnesses, living reminders that the dead we name are not ours alone to carry. For there is one truth this world does offer and that is you are never truly alone so long as there remains one friend who can put a face to each grave stacked on your back.

I'm drinking alone as the Alcohol Demon bites each of us a little different, more of a pothead whiskey hits me German Maudlin and Italian Sentimental. For the Princess... there's a beast there waiting to kill the vital spark with just a absentminded sip. This makes her sad but she likes coming here because it's a good kind of sad, like seeing a kid that could've been the kid you had if you weren't a consummate fuck-up, and she's wearing a t-shirt of your favorite punk band and for a moment you can only smile because you're sure you're seeing your daughter from a parallel universe where all the necessary chances didn't come until too late. The last ditch hope of the fuck-up artist is that somewhere out there in endless parallel universes is a world you made good on the potential and opportunities given.

So I tell the Princess about a time long ago, a time before Magpies and Teddy Bears and stage frights and e DJing electric Kabuki funerals for drink ticket plus a plus one. A time here at the Admiral's Grave, sitting in this very same booth we're sitting now, only with Jimmy and Germ and one of them Stopper kids squeezed in with us. Germ had been out 'spanging' (his gutter punk portmanteau for 'spare changing') earlier in the day and ran into some Normie Georgia Tech geek looking to cop a QP of weed. Germ calls the Stopper Kid (I see you now you who I will not name you with your Billy Idol pout on a body that stopped growing at 13 with your Mohawk dyed 'swamp monster' yellow) who in turn calls Jimmy to set up a meet. Jimmy figures he can get rid of some Brown Frown dirt weed he got stuck with and mark it up on the fuck. Since I'm couch surfing at his place and running the books for him as well, Jimmy wants me to come along as an extra pair of eyes. I protest, as the whole thing sounds sketch as fuck, but he insists that my combination of constant paranoia and introversion make me aware of what others miss which might come in handy.

"Just read the prick like one of your books and tell me if we're talking to a narc."

"Whaddam I a mind reader, man..."

"You the one with the bald head, Professor X." Jimmy grabs the top of my dome and gives it a good rub.

Well, as I did enjoy surfing the man's couch and smoking his weed and watching his Run Run Shaw flicks off a stolen DVD player I couldn't exactly decline the offer.

So we're sitting here at the Admiral's Grave, not much later then than it is now, and the Normie's a no show, clocking close to an hour late. Well Jimmy's fuming, pounding back Guinness's like they were water, and you can see he's ready to kick somebody's ass. Thing is we're hoping to move this QP of Brown Frown and use the profits to connect with this cat ready to meet us at Spring 4th ready to put some quality creeper in our hands for a song. So Jimmy's got his pager wailing away, along with like, every punk rocker in the 404 needing a hook up or back up all while his woman, Winter, is waiting for him to come home for Simpsons and Quality Meth Sex.

We're ready to call it quits when Germ's pager goes off (that's the 90s for you, when even the gutter punks had pagers) and he gets the code that the Normie is en route .

So, like fifteen minutes go by, and nothing.

Jimmy's like fuck this and getting up when this dude waltzes through the Admiral here on a cell phone that looks like a Walkie Talkie and with a Fighting Yellow Jacket Jersey. Germ makes him for our guy and is about to get up out of the booth to get the deal going when this old biker gets up out of the booth behind us and screams - "Mother fucker, I told you what would happen if you ever showed your face here again".

Okay, so like holy shit, right, because the Biker is like this old dude built like a barrel of explosives that's been drinking steadily since 1975 and he looks avenge the fallen pissed. The Normie recognizes the Biker, makes the universal Bro sign for 'It's All Good' but that's as far he gets before said Biker punches him right in the face and sends the poor fuck reeling back.

"Good news," I tell Jimmy lighting a smoke, "we're about to find out if he's really a cop."

From there a beat down proceeds and impossible as it sounds no one is doing a damn thing about... except Jimmy. Eventually. Who, clearly exasperated, shoos me out of the booth so he can get up, makes Germ confirm that this is indeed the droids we're looking for, and then wades on over to Fist City happening right there where the front bar adjoins with the now no smoking section to make the condo scum happy.

Jimmy intercedes by tapping the Biker on the shoulder.

Said Biker turns around with a fist coming straight for Jimmy... who and I swear to fucking god here right... catches that mother fucker with some old Caine from Kung-Fu shit. Jimmy and the Biker take turns looking at each other and the punch frozen in fist and m'man says, and I'm totally paraquoting here but the gist is legit - "I don't give a fuck what you do to this fuck, but he was about to buy a lot of weed from me and he's already an hour late. Long story short, if I don't come home with the money my woman is gonna kick my ass worse than you're kicking this fool's right now. So we good here?"

The old biker looks at Jimmy, looks at the bloodied and bitch weeping Normie, and looks back at Jimmy to give him a nod indicating that we were, indeed, good here.

Jimmy releases the fist, the Biker returns to his booth, Germ helps the Normie to his feet, Stopper Kid wakes up out of a Xanax and Draft nap, and me holding a To Go Box filled with a QP of Dirt waiting for the Law to burst in or the staff to kick us out.

But no, this is Jimmy, and ushering the Normie to our booth we make the deal not so sub rosa. Under the table I pass the To Go Box and accept a wad of bills slipped to me in return. I do a quick count, I'm not good with my fists or flow with the charm, but numbers, like words, come easy to me. The Normie's good to the last bill and I give Jimmy the nod. Jimmy informs the Normie that he'll be picking up our tab as a Save Your Sorry Ass fee.

Of course he gets zero argument.

We exit the Admiral's Grave, right there where I'm looking now, invincible, cash loaded, ready to go the club to drink some more and smoke ourselves some real weed finally.

"That didn't really happen," the Princess tells me here in the present as Katya and her man and the Sex Hobbit as well stroll in.

"Sure it did," I laugh in that way you can only laugh in Vampire Country, "you saw it all happen."

"What?," the Princess sips her Sugar Free Red Bull, "when?"

"Just now," I gesture around the Admiral's Grave, "in your head."

She laughs for the first time tonight and it feels good having someone to make laugh.

I finish my drink feeling the thirst in the blood for another but denying it purchase, the Princess picks up the tab and we make our way out.

And for a moment there, between the glass door, I turn around and can swear Jimmy and Germ and that Stopper Kid are coming up right behind me.

Just a moment though and behind me lays that home no longer mine beyond the briefest of visits.

Found not mine
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