the only way to judge a port
is by the caliber
that pass through.
the only way to judge a port
is by the caliber
that pass through.
Late night at the bar.
I walked out of the bathroom
and there were bodies
all over the floor
Smashed bottles lay everywhere.
Every table was overturned.
Somebody was trying to crawl
off the pool table and
the bartender was crying.
A man on the floor
on his stomach
was trying to reach out for me
holding his jaw.
There was a pool cue
sticking out of his back.
As I leaned down to
yank it out
I said to him,
that’s one piss
that I’m glad I’ve taken.”
It’s the dead of winter
and there is a
big fat fly
marauding around my garage
coming closer and closer
to my head
as it sweeps out
trying to get the most
of the situation
and I sit here
to Stevie Wonder
with a used blunt
in the ashtray
sipping on a glass of Scotch.
I light a smoke.
The fly still gets closer.
Somewhere in Western China
someone is fucking
a blow-up doll.
I was leaning against the bar
absently stirring my drink
when there was a tap on my shoulder:
“Hey, get the fuck out of my way. I need a beer.”
I decided to ignore it. Maybe it would go away.
But no, there were several taps on my shoulder now.
“Didn’t you fucking hear me? Move it! HEY BUDDY! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY! NOW! I SAID NOW!”
I sighed, stood up, turned fully around and looked down at this college kid
that appeared to be the source of the problem.
who looked like he enjoyed mom’s cooking
sleeping in on Saturdays with his thumb in his mouth
like an infant
and generally sauntering through life in his pyjamas
also looked like he would hurt himself a lot more
in the process of trying to hurt me.
I didn’t even say anything. I just looked at him. But I suppose it was enough
because he immediately changed his tune:
“Hey man, I’m really sorry. I’m really fucked up right now. Sorry, man, sorry.
I’m really fucked up.”
He kept repeating it and patting me on the shoulder
and it was pissing me off more than his initial bravado
until his friends dragged him away.
He smiled and gave me the thumbs up
like that strange, one-sided altercation
had somehow made us friends.
I don’t know if he was trying to impress his friends or his girl
if he was really that fucked up or was just an asshole.
Most likely a fine mixture of all of that.
What I do know is that he’s lucky he didn’t try that
on my good friend standing beside me
because he would have fucking killed him.
I returned to the bar and to absently stirring my drink.
Fucking kids. I thought.
We went to an outdoor concert. Big venue.
It was me, my buddy, our girlfriends
years into relationships that were turning bitter.
We both had just gotten over some big fights
but there was tension still lingering and lurking
all over the place
behind words, gestures, looks,
swipes at character made here and there.
As their faces were permanently scowled,
fixed like stone gargoyles,
it was clear that they were adamant on not having a good time.
It was going to be a long day.
Luckily, I brought drugs.
So there I finally was
after parking, waiting in line at the gates
at the washroom and at the beer tent
in one of the many dark green port-o-potties
snuggled up against one another
fixing up a rail on top of the plastic toilet dispenser.
“This one’s for my son.” I said.
I did not have a son.
This was right after I left the group with,
“I’m going to grab a beer, on my own. Shake off the ride.”
“Sure. You do whatever you need to do.” My girl replied in the flattest tone that she could possibly manage. I looked back at her as I walked away and thought:
She’s probably still pissed at something I said in the car. Well, you know what? Good! I don’t take it back!
We’ve had our problems, I’ll admit to that, but you could’ve been a lot cooler about this and tried to make an effort. Maybe smile at me once in a while, hold my hand here and there, you know? Just fucking try and I’ll do the same and we could work on this shambles of a relationship together. But no, it was all quick, curt replies and uneasy distance –cold steel and ice. But that’s fine. You get out what you put in. So if this was the way you wanted it then here you go, here we are, here it fucking is.
It was going to be a long day.
So I got blasted in the can.
The bag of blow which I had purchased from one of my socially outstanding associates was supposed to have been evenly distributed between the four of us but I was doing it at my leisure because:
a) I really didn’t give a fuck.
b) If you were dumb enough to designate the resident addict as bag holder because you didn’t want it on you passing through the front gate and then completely forgot about it then this is what you got.
c) They probably wouldn’t even notice it anyways.
d) Fuck them.
I had to get to a certain level before I could leave the stall. I got there fast. As soon as I came out with the plastic door snapping shut behind me wiping my nose like a blatant asshole I realized that the last line had put me sailing right over into sketch-bag territory. The sun was out without cloud so everything became so vividly bright, hot and real that I had wanted to immediately retreat back into the neutral and enclosed space of the port-o-potty which would have made me look even more like a screaming drug addict.
So I walked out into the din instead.
Suddenly it bothered me that there were insects zipping around and it bothered me quite a bit. Who the fuck did they think they were? The people that milled about the bar tent looked conniving and dangerous. I had to focus on walking as my body felt like a strange vessel that I had recently taken possession of. Most noticeably my heart began thumping like a rabbit’s foot and I starting sweating like a mad junkyard dog.
A brief acquaintance from high school came out of nowhere and motioned me over to introduce me to his friends. I made my introductions and left. I knew him well enough to join them at the picnic table but I didn’t. I got a beer and settled myself into the only empty picnic table left.
It was right beside them.
The thing is…I didn’t like the guy. Never have. He was a nervous little twitcher that just had enough soul to pass as human. His friends were really nice although I could see them folding up like lawn chairs under the slightest pressure and pillow-fighting while washing each other’s hair. But the main problem was that I always became socially inept when I was this high and the thought of talking to anybody made me cringe.
So of course that’s when two blondes approached my table.
I spun around and there they were all fun and bright and hot and tight with everything in the right place.
“Do you mind if we sit?”
Jesus! “Absolutely not, please make yourself at home.”
To anybody else in any other condition this would have been a very good thing.
Me? I panicked.
Not this time. Not now. Get your shit together and put your game face on because we’re live on air and on stage and you’re not going to let everyone down every again. So don’t turtle up and make this silent and awkward because you’re high. Make good with the ladies. Now…NOW!
Not wanting to piss myself off any further I introduced myself and kept the conversation going.
They asked me if I was a peeler. What a strange but intriguing question!
“That depends on how much you’re willing to throw down for some skin.” Okay, I didn’t say that. I mean, I do have a tendency to embellish somewhat in my writing here and there but never to the point where you would suspect that I was doing so. Or so…I…thought.
I actually said, “No, are you?”
They giggled. I love the sound of girl’s giggling so much that I should look into procuring a soundtrack like they have for whale noises and the Indy 500 if somewhere someone were to actually be so fucked as to create a compilation and throw it down on the web.
I just giggled. It’s not the same.
We talked for a spell and because I was such an avid listener I had found out that they were from whatever town going to whatever school and were best friends or whatever.
They also had tents setup in the camping area. That, I heard.
‘How is it?” I asked.
The one smiled. “You’ll see.” She said. They both giggled again. It was magical. I should have brought my audio recorder.
Dear Lord God! I thought. What black magic is this that presents to me two such outstanding females in this dark hour? Oh, what am I to do with these young maidens so desperately in need of this honorable knight’s most noble intentions of saving them from not having mind-bending intimate contact with such knight on a double-header basis?
That’s when my buddy finally found me and came over with a beer. Oh yeah…that guy. I had forgotten about him. For a moment I tried to recollect who else I came with but nothing was surfacing. Upon seeing me with the girls he suddenly became much more animated and interested in everything.
He gave me a look that said: Dude, one minute you’re alone and now I find you with two hot chics? Damn!
I returned the look with one that said: Dude, I know, right? We should make the best of this. In other words, don’t talk or I’ll make you part of this picnic table. That’s right, you better behave or I’ll put a steel-toe up your ass like it’s nobody’s business.
It was a long look.
This was part of our usual banter, except that I was being much nicer. Typically our conversations went like this:
Him: “Yeah Dog, I be all over that ass like white on rice!”
Me: “Shut up. Nobody cares what you think.”
Him:“ Yeah Dawwwg! You the man!”
Me: “Whatever. Fuck off.”
He had been one of my closest friends since college and by this time I had completely resented him. I hated myself for being so mean to him but I couldn’t stop because he was also limited to a vocabulary of ten phrases, some of which included:
a) “It’s all good on the hardwood!”
b) “Why you gotta do me like that, Dawg!” (Daaawwwwwg!)
c) “Cash, money and bitches!”
d) “Gender equality still remains elusive in society for reasons I cannot fathom.” (Just Kidding)
Suffice it to say he is no longer my friend. Goddamn philistines. And I’m a much better person now. You’re welcome.
It wasn’t long after he came to poison everything with his mind that the taller one said:
“OK Boys, we’re off to see the show.”
The other turned and asked, “Are you coming?”
In that moment I thought of every possible excuse that would result in us taking off with them and not having to endure the diabolical wrath of our girlfriends upon return and for the rest of our miserable lives. This is what I quickly came up with:
a) “We got lost. Where were you?” –We might as well have brought the girls back with us….naked.
b) “I overdosed on the toilet and had to be resuscitated back to life!” –They actually might believe that one but do I really want to use it now or save it as a wildcard?
c) “We were abducted by aliens and anally penetrated by Darth Vader.” –Okay, so now I was just reaching.
d) “We ditched you for these girls and now that I realize how wrong that was I am brimming with remorse to the point where I feel that you should put away your petty selfish emotions and console me.” –Yeah, I played Zelda once. It had less fantasy than that scenario working out.
Instead I said: “No. It was nice meeting you.”
They both looked back and frowned and then they were off. I thought I heard a giggle. I was glad that they were going to be okay.
No, I wasn’t.
My buddy (not really) from high-school and his friends, still sitting right beside us, had caught the tail-end of that interaction and as soon as the girls looked away they all sprang out from the picnic table like they were about to burst into a Grease musical piece:
“Dude…Dude! What are you doing? Go! Go now!”
“I have morals!” I cried. “And right now it really sucks!”
I suppose that in the end, despite where we were in our relationship and how miserable the rest of the day and night was going to be with her and how badly I had wanted to run away with these little girls all the way back to their fantastic little tents with them giggling all the way…
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it to her.
And I’m sure there are guys out there that would think:
What kind of man are you to even consider it? You licentious rogue!
Yeah, but those guys live perfectly constructed lives where nothing bad ever happens as everything goes seamlessly as planned. They’ve never chased sleep in a bottle so fuck them. And I’m also really not sure how that is relevant to my argument if I indeed had one but me…yeah, I thought about it. Of course I did. But in life you make your choices and they define who you are. You draw your own lines. I just drew mine.
I received a few affirmative pats on the back
as I watched their fine, young asses walk away.
I looked at my friend.
He was smiling and nodding and giving me the thumbs up.
Why? I’m not fucking sure.
I don’t think I ever was.
I felt the bag in my pocket.
The sun was staring at me in the face.
I forgot what I was doing
and I needed a drink.
It was going to be a long day.
I was at the bar
and looked beside me.
A young black girl
with orange hair
and purple lips
was standing right there
looking at me.
I returned to minding my drink.
I knew from those eyes
that there was something
wrong with her
and I wasn’t very interested
in finding out what that was.
I looked back anyways.
She was still there,
still looking at me.
“Yes?” I inquired.
“You gonna buy me a drink?”
I really didn’t like her face and
her attitude stunk like shit so
“Fuck off.” I said
with the ease of a seasoned veteran.
She gave me the look of death.
I gladly accepted it
and returned to the bar.
“Faggot!” She said
as she shoved past me
really overly-pissed about nothing
so I slammed my drink down
and I waited for a
problem to start
with one of her asshole friends.