January 1998

January 3, 1998

live and let live and practice don’t preach

Coach is right: live and let live. But what the hell does that have to do with my “Auslander” tattoo?

Funny how I have had all these weird and wonderful self-discoveries in the last week and yet have not made a move to write about any of it. Perhaps it’s an affirmative sign of the practice don’t preach adoption I made.

January 4, 1998, 10:30 PM

a quick experiment in imagined construction

If I build it, they will come. So coming, they shall seek but to consume. So consuming and exchanging vital life juices for pre-ambient psychosis they shall leave me exhausted, wanting more. If I steal what they would hide from me does that give me the advantage? An example: a woman I once knew spoke today of the storytelling magic of fairy folk and their persuasive surroundings, the concentration of an idea that would give rise to a longing for a belief in a reality that was only a reflection of the truth constructed to ease a young girl’s fear of the unknown.

A flash of imagination.

Taken back several years in my evolution, I threw away months of careful restraint on a bottle of tequila. Midnight found me drawing up at the dance hall bar and ordering a few more ounces worth, as I could still hear the voice of temperance urging me to stop this nonsense and go home. I couldn’t go home. It would be ridiculous to go back from where I had only just come.

In the smoke and electronic din my head began to clear. Before my red and watering eyes floated a vision: blond, strapped together with glistening leather, and whorishly good looks that stared me down like the well-oiled barrel of a gun. I rose to this occasion with unnatural grace and brutalized my way across the hall. I stumbled into her, but she propped me up. I addressed my newly acquired wench-crutch: “Dance with me.”

She did.

Later I could only remember a little. My memory began to develop holes so early in the game, oh how quickly things fall apart. The street in the early morning. She was wrapped in a ball of fur, brave in the chill of December. I held the edge of that great pelt like a child to its mother. A blue taxi, an affluent neighbourhood at dawn. Silk sheets and uneventful slumber.

I awoke, alone and rather sick. She was gone. She had found the strength to leave me there, cold and wet amongst soggy cardboard and stinking trash. I struggled to become vertical, my hands digging into the mush and slopping entrails of alley-muck. I huddled back into the hollow my furtive sleep had created and squinted up to find the sky. It was up there, a thick grey strip that slowly spat on me with its heavenly, invisible lips. The pulse began to come back; a steady whump-whump that flooded my temples with fragments of what had really happened when I’d stepped off that barstool, the one from a half-forgotten yesterday that was mattering less and less as the new day was slipping from me. I didn’t care. I never met that vision. Maybe she was never there in the first place, I only projected what I wanted on the face of a stranger, an impatient stranger with cold eyes and a hot temper. It didn’t matter. I had the warmth of the fantasy to comfort the bruises that were blossoming across my broken pride. I napped a bit to gather some small measure of strength and woke again, this time with a single, creaky eye that stared at a half full bottle of tequila.

I twisted my arm into view. I had been at this bottle for a few days now. The room was a mess of stinking clothing and unwashed flesh. I could feel the bills in the corner pushing their weight of responsibility onto me. It got so heavy that I fell right out of the chair I had been sleeping in and cowered into that corner, a Superman shrinking before his accursed kryptonite. With a manic burst of energy, I gathered the debilitating envelopes up in my arms and found a fire to throw them onto. This seemed to reduce the gravity that was holding me down long enough to find a shower and a clean suit. Completely forgetting to shave or put on a tie, I manhandled the remains of the liquor and went for a walk.

I would stop to think and lose my marbles. It was in those moments I allowed my guard to drop and take the longing glances into myself. I noticed, over and above all the dudes that I had known, that those who didn’t choose know their unknowable selves were the most content. Yet I always felt an odd pressure, behind those eyes, that was always the same: they wanted to look, to partake in the soft and secret fantasy that the road of introspection offered.

It was no small wonder that my walk found me gazing into a set of similar question mark eyeballs. Was it a man, woman, or a child? I knew not, and now I don’t even think that mattered half as much as the fact that I could see my own questioning orbs reflected in the watery pools before me. It is one thing to feel the pressure of someone else’s mad dreams and another thing to be confronted with one’s own.

There I was, oblivious to all else and reeking of agave, falling deep into myself with the help of a total stranger. Again, a wide gulf in the memory opened and I couldn’t help but be swallowed whole, and when spat forth again I’m laid out in a world of white sheets and antiseptic smells. There was a bullet in my leg, but it didn’t hurt much. Some nurse had seen to that with a hypodermic cocktail. I was probably bang-fuck hung over but again, but with no brain came no pain.

I was discharged a day later with a limp and the promise of a heinous bill to pay. Police Inspector McGregor was there to meet me.

“Mr. Mackie? You up for a ride downtown?”

The interrogation room was as comfortable to me as slaughterhouse must be to a steer, but at least there was hot coffee and cigarettes on hand. I remember wondering where I had dropped the bottle because I sure felt like a drink. The inspector materialized alongside another guy, some thick slab of meat who stood in the corner and looked deep into the day after tomorrow.

Then came the questions of who and why, followed by a couple of wheres and hows. I had no answers. Then the beefcake spoke his piece: “Murder is a serious crime, Mr. Mackie. If you give us some information, things might go easy for you.”

I could only stare dumbly at the smoke rising from my hand until logic repossessed me and it took a turn of its own at asking questions. “Am I charged with something here? I figured this was a questioning, not an inquisition.” I didn’t know where those words came from, but they had the desired effect. The two cops looked at each other, then at the mirror hanging on the wall, and thanked me for my time. I was free to go.

Where do we go when given our freedom? It depends on a few things: the length of the incarceration, how much suppression was inflicted during said incarceration, and the psychic state of the former captive. In my case, I took a hot-foot trot to the nearest liquor store.

As I stood in line, pondering those aforementioned factors, I had an intense flash of déjà vu. Everything about that moment was exactly as it had been in some far-off previous existence. The whole warbling trip sent me roaring away on another tangent where I remembered a time where I had been imprisoned for a long stretch and rather savagely beaten. All that time I had sworn backwards and fore that I would change my ways, become something better. I even remember trying to change after they released me. For an entire year I had been a kinder, gentler, and safer me. But in the end I discovered a more fundamental nature: I was a self-destructive sonofabitch, and I loved every second of it.

January 10, 1998

on writing

Where do all these roads lead? I am finding it almost too easy to pave my way. Have I stumbled on my destiny or chosen the easy out? I must side with the more typical solution, the easy out.

Creative suicide, be a writer.
Anonymous motherfucker, that’s the writer.
Words don’t mean shit to the writer,
‘cause he ain’t no plumber,
he’s a motherfucking writer.

I suppose in some far-flung future that’s nearer than I think, someone will discover these dark and immature words and make prejudiced comments on who I was and what drove me. I’ll tell you now: it’s just another part I’m trying to play in this gorgeous production we’ve made out of life.

January 12, 1998

bumps in the night (08:04 PM)

Wham! Bam! Wake up!
Time to chat under the covers
Time to change the sheets
Time to make the money
Time to satisfy my needs.

The traveler woke up well after dawn and got himself a beer. He stood naked on the plain of Abraham and sang quietly to himself. This was his way as sure as it had been his father’s way and all the fathers before him. What was this mysterious way, anyway? He seemed to have it with anyone without any complaint.

The old mule had died in its sleep.
Sometime after midnight the traveler punched out.
The cycle continued, unbroken.

Abstraction, illusion, surrealism. Yeah, baby, yeah! There is no finer an art form than this, and I can almost feel, with certain palpability, what this motion contains: just how wrong I was to say I disliked writing longhand. Energy converted into record, what could be more sublime, or beautiful? Yeah, but where does it go? Out. It goes out. Just out. Like cosmic rays from another star. No destination, only fiery origin. Yeah, baby, yeah!

standing in line for my shot of higher education (09:52 AM)

Satyricon: idol of lechery: sexual overdose god. I wonder where these pop stars get their ideas. It’s a funny thing to recognize another ego and how inflated a head can get. When I look at the scenes playing out around me:

A security guard stands watch over the queuing students, and I wonder at his thoughts. Does he long for a higher education? Is he unhappy with his lot? I think so, if I’m any kind of judge of expression.

A social melting pot, akin to riding the bus. Peoples from all walks of life gathered together for a joint expedition into the unknown. Some have maps and plans; others are just along for the ride. My pen is warm in my tired fingers.

Where do memories come from? Some far distant lightless star that emits thought waves? Are we controlled by newscasts from another star? It seems doubtless, what with the crossed-wire ways we have of doing things. “Aliens in our own backyards” takes on a whole new meaning. Do you find the fascination with the extraterrestrial to be something founded in reality, or just a symptom of a sick society? Forget society. It’s boring, and no one really gives a damn about it anyway. Society is an amorphous concept developed for the sole purpose of finding a scapegoat for all the problems we create for ourselves. And why not? After all, if we’ve got something to blame there’s no need to put in the work needed to find real solutions to our troubles.

Throb. The bassline pounded her psyche, yet she refused to yield without the help of toxins. Throb. The entire dance floor seemed alive with the rhythmic human pulsations; sweat, blood, toxic oils seeping from distended pores. Yet her pupils were fixed at regular dilation. So, she split. She needed to score before the party could affect her in the ways she needed it to.

Across town. Payla was watching the light in her apartment bend and weave in her head. Psilocybin.

Acting like animals. This is the beast that drives us forward, pushing then pulling, formulaic in the sense that it is reaction because of action, Yinning and Yanging its way across the psychic cosmos of our personal universes until we feel most at peace with our inner daemons and lay our bodies to rest.

Fortune smiles on the brave, oh yeah! Does it have a thing going on with Lady Luck? To pick and choose as from the perils of fortune, the fair-natured find themselves outnumbered. Deceit is the quality with which a gambling man may find himself heavily enamoured. Guile, too. And why not? After all, the spoils of luck are surely ill-gotten gains. The less work involved, the greater the payout! Or so it would seem.

I find myself on a bench in the subway in a warm puddle of my own urine. It wouldn’t be so bad except there is a couple heading this way, oblivious of my rotting husk. Closer now, I see this is black, dark in look yet light of step. And he, oh what a sight! An obvious pimp, all decked out in lime green feathers and pale blue nylon. If I had the guts (and I mean that quite literally) I would laugh. They stroll close enough to hear.

“Yeah, it was a score if never I seen one,” the pimp squeaks, “shee-it, but he was done gone flabbergasted!” The guy’s voice is nails on a blackboard.

“He never knew what hit him!” Her voice isn’t much better, but I think she’s just imitating her boss to keep his thoughts from curdling into violence.

I sleep.

January 13, 1998

singular motion theory

Where do these roads lead? Nowhere, if I’m to believe in singular motion theory: we create the road and all its trials for ourselves. This is both true and false. We must strive to debunk absolution as a mandate. Hungry soul, how to placate this fast? Don’t dig too deep, you may strike fossil fuel and cause a thousand headaches for every dollar you receive.

Uh, right. Funny thing read in Esquire magazine last night: other people’s conversations will always sound dumb.

January 14, 1998

the haze lifted, but a fog remained

Faster now. The burning light, the flicker-flicker of the electric flame and all these other distractions that seek to tempt me. I’m full of angst yet feel so empty. I play out some child’s game as though I could ever pretend innocence again. Sorry, not part of my character.

Melancholy. Yeah, baby, yeah, that’s the ticket.

Once the pain clears and the sight comes back, the rush of health from feeling and being is almost enough to knock me out again. This new psychosis that’s been riding my soul pig-back has finally manifested itself and made it through my defence to mandate old reforms. What do I even mean by that?

Verbal diarrhoea. Something like that. Battle, baby, always a-ready for battle. Watch the opportunities for they may pass you by, and it is always better to take a stab at them than let them blindside you.

Sometimes, when the hand is cold, the words look like so much shit. Yet in this shit, as in any, may lodge nuggets of gold.

January 15, 1998

just a fuckin’ tool

“Sweating and steering!” I shout as the music pounds my subconscious. The van skids out and the two passengers I had been hauling since Brandon are tossed against their gear.

January 20, 1998

a short glimpse of banger and masterson

Close enough or not meant to be? Where did the lie come from? Opened up the green enough to allow for an under-par chip that turned into a three-hack double bogie. What the hell was Masterson doing on the course this morning, anyhow? He had far too much on his mind to follow through properly with his drive, never mind deal with the emotional stresses of the upcoming trial and more-than-likely prosecution. Or was that persecution? Didn’t matter. Both options were bad and raised a gamut of stressful hurdles to leap.

“Don’t worry about a thing. Not a thing.” Normally, Masterson would find some comfort in his lawyer’s words, but today John Carmoo’s voice wavered and cracked. He sounded unnatural in the plush of his office.

“Jay, you’ve been saying that so much lately it’s starting to wear thin. I can hear it.”

“Smug, baby, real smug.” Carmoo said “baby” as though he were propositioning an underage model during a photo shoot. “We have got this case by the proverbial balls.” Again, the crack-whine caused Masterson to wince. He didn’t like to feel his own confidence fade, and watching one of the most influential men in LA revert through puberty made his own balls shrivel.

“Listen Jay, I have heard what you got. Now I need something more. There’s a file in Banger’s office,” Banger was the term the two men used to describe Masterson’s soon to be ex-wife, “in which is detailed all the account transactions made since 1982. Now, mostly harmless. However, I’ve remembered a single charge made on the checking account last year that could, and I underline could, tie me in to that blacker business of murder. I need that file destroyed."

“Call up a hacker, pull the file, press delete.” Short, curt, simple. Carmoo was a spitter: he spat out information and it splattered on the floor in wet gobbets.

“Sure.” Masterson had little confidence in Carmoo’s ideas. Too easy always meant unlikely to succeed. “What about the hard copy?”

“Arson, baby. If you’re going to pay the hack you can probably find a firebug, too.”

“Unless the files are in a fireproof safe. Or spread all over town. Looks like we’re fucked.” Masterson started pacing.

“Relax, I got it covered. There are legalities here, Masterson. Forget the destruction bit. We’ll take her out on a technical if it comes up in court.” Carmoo adjusted his tie and rose from the leather reception couch he’d been warming. “Gotta go. Other clients.” He waved his hand, as though the others were annoying flies. “This woman, she’s all depressed. I think its my fault. And that figures, seeing as she knows the odds in her case. Grim.”

Masterson paced. “Fucking file,” he muttered. Carmoo slipped out the door.

For thirty years, Masterson and his wife had celebrated marital bliss. Then Jenny Falstoffe arrived on the scene, and everything changed. Almost overnight, all those years of infatuation evaporated and were replaced with sullen looks and lengthy time apart. The husband and wife both knew what was inevitable, yet Masterson believed he had maintained such a stringent level of secrecy that he was sure his wife would lose a legal battle. Or so he’d thought until she declared full responsibilities for the credit information. They had jointly signed for an account some thirty years ago and she had never once used it. Now she had all the evidence she needed to take every cent of his money and then some. An unfortunate turn of events, to say the least.

“Fucking file.” Masterson had been chanting the phrase like a mantra since Carmoo had left. Now he looked up from his pacing and noticed he was gone. “Fucking lawyers.”

January 26, 1998

genetic cannon fodder (08:07 PM)

Aggression: it is this quality, in violent quantity, that has allowed humans to evolve? It is the quality, the factor, that decides if a species sinks or swims. And now we are moving towards “kinder and gentler” fields? Is this the sign of our weakening? Or innate to a species, does the majority serve as a genetic cannon fodder while a select few are birthed and chosen by unseen galactic mandate to pass the strongest codes along?

morning vapors never solidified (08:05 AM)

Tired yet full of energy, as if I’m being pulled apart. No fun. Got my house in order, so now the mornings seem more organized. If I could write down the dreams, maybe it’d feel more important. Last night was something about fires and halls.

January 27, 1998

the black hole that is me

Strange dreams that reek of mystic vision and supposed fortune. Fortune! How the irony pulls and stretches itself to its limits, like taffy on a spindle. Is the universe laughing at those who would endeavour to pick its locks? I can almost feel the humor, so palpable is the wake of its passing. And these are not waves to ride; a forming riptide, where the only salvation lies in the undertow.

For several years I have observed this phenomenon and every time I’d been powerless to pull myself from it. It’s that trap of ignorance, where I disregard foresight in exchange for a cheap thrill. The length and the distance of the ripples we send make it near impossible to read the signs. Mutation creates warped mirrors and it’s the cracked reflections that cull the humour. Escape from oneself is impossible. So why waste the energy running?

No point to dissolution of entropic forces.

January 28, 1998

a devil’s hand lies idle

Empty. The hand: how brilliant in its construction and how it weaves its patterns of art via the abstraction of complex works and thoughts. So creative and sublime, yet deadly with potential force.

January 29, 1998

the expletive explanation

Same day, same fate. Forcelessness force pushes as always, and a thousand years of cultural programming leaves a bitter taste in my throat as I rage to expel all the indifference I feel.


1998.01.03 – 1998.01.29

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