A youthful folly Moment in Time

September 28, 2009
8 p.m., a residential street in the East L.A. area

Walking oh my oh my
my nightly walk, well not nightly, but many nights, when I can walk
and now, the 90 degree days are gone from L.A. for the time being
and hopefully for a year and
to feel the fresh cool air on my face and arms and legs tonight
was like
taking a shower after a long, hard day bent over in the dusty fields, like washing the grime from my skin the grime of hot sticky days
and now it’s cooling down and walking in the night cool air was oh so refreshing and floralizing. Yes floralizing and I love words like that words that don’t mean much
and why is it


is that a UFO something breaks me snaps my reverie in two.
A UFO surely up ahead, half a block down the world drowned out by my headphones but I can see and what I see
is a light, jumping and bobbing and furriness and the light is a blueish tint but small
as I draw nearer my music blares in my ears
but the light is small it is like one of those bulbless lights, the LCD kind
and it is
illuminating 2 little runty piece of shit yappy
dogs that are running around
in the middle of a dark street
and besides them a figure and the flashes of a metallic object
so out of place there in the middle of the dark street
for the streetlights aren’t really light
they murmur, they coat, but they do not illuminate
and this little light bobbing and shining on the dogs
and the metallic instrument in the hands of
the figure
a boy, as I get closer, it’s a boy, 13 ish, not a thin boy, not obese, but big, the kind
of big undefined boy who has more flesh than bone, the kind of boy
who always seems flushed from heat and over-exertion, one of those boys, that’s
this boy
with the dogs
and the scooter
a scooter.
In the middle of the street he rolls his scooter back and forth while
he waits for the dogs to pay attention to him
and not each other
and he has this bluish halogenish light, a small light not large enough to be
of any real use other than to beckon me
from a block away like an
alien spaceship
and the light
is tied to a harness
which circles his scalp.
oh my
oh oh my
it’s like a miner’s hat
only not a hat and
not a miner

only a minor
a minor with a thing wrapped around his head that makes him look like an eery late night cyclops
there with his scooter and toy dogs that
will not obey him
In the middle of the dark street.
What a spectacle
as the dogs finally bore with each other
and begin trotting along down the middle of the street while the large fleshy and undoubtedly red (it is dark) boy
steers his scooter up the street behind them
keep his cyclops wrap-around light
pointing straight ahead
so as to light up the street but only barely signalling his comic and self-unaware early teen presence.
For it is impossible, impossible to look cool or anything
approaching coolness
with a flashlight-sized glare
affixed to one’s head.
explain this
to your friends in 10 years, go ahead, would love to hear that

East L.A. Makeover: On deconstructing the living room closet and mice

There’s an old saying: the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Without going into the etymology or subtle interpretations of this really bleak truism (another post, another time), I’ll just state that as it pertains to household maintenance with a healthy dose of children thrown in, the essence of the thought is resounding and irrefutable. What I’m saying is, DUDE, feel free, be my guest, please, go ahead and make those plans about what you plan doing to your “pad” this weekend; if you happen to have children, you better pencil them in very, very, very lightly. And I mean almost invisibly. Because if you have children, chances are you’ll have to take an eraser to those plans mighty quick.

I’m just neutrally stating a fact. If you have children, and you take the parental role seriously, there is no other way. Your children and their plans are the only thing in your life written in clear and permanent ink.

So why all the bullshit and why am I waxing so philosophical?

Well the weekend that just passed was it…it was to be the complete fruition of stage 1 of my “East L.A. makeover”, the complete cleaning and revamping of my living room closet.

Uhm, throw in 2 major school projects that needed to be completed by Monday and a small bit of pure laziness on my part, and it was a toxic brew of inaction! There was no way I was about to tackle this closet while I had to guide my son through various exercises in writing and gluing and thinking and designing, and there was no way I was going to tackle the closet when by Saturday morning I was already dreading the prospect of opening that door to hell (before I’d even heard of any homework!).

Amazingly, I decided to do something about stage 1 last evening, perhaps for fear of looking like a total slacker who is all bark and no bite before millions of my blog readers. While my son was finally resting following the completion of day 2 of his homework ordeal, I ventured into the closet and pulled out all the bedding and books. Hey, you gotta start somewhere, don’t you?

Let’s just say this “weekend” project might, uh, take a little bit longer than planned. Mice and men.

That’s a lot of warm shit for someone who lives in L.A.

Yes, dramatized, got a problem with it?

Remember what I said about “folding?”

On Zen and Motorcycles. One chapter later.

On Thursday I “detailed” how I bought the popular underground Philosophy novel, “Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance” after an extended period of light flirting with the idea of reading it based on only rudimentary knowledge and fleeting idea of what it was about. The gist of my post? I would “give it a try.”

And I have. I finished chapter one today.

Just as I believe there are no accidents, I also believe there are no “coincidences.”

Sometimes two parallel events or evolutions, entirely unrelated directly, yet sharing the same track, though miles apart in schedule, are bound to meet up because of a speed differential between them…if the speed differential is minute, it will take ages for the two to meet. But they will meet.

And my act of reading this book, while travelling slower than my personal evolution by a matter of a fraction of its speed, has finally caught up. Such is the magnitude I sense this novel reflects upon my current state of evolution.

I’ve only read chapter 1. But Robert Pirsig’s novel has caught up with my life and we will be speeding along this track, nose to nose, for a long while.

What better way to chronicle this synchronization of spiritual elements than by detailing my read on this blog?

I categorized Thursday’s post under “the mind” but in reality, this novel spans all my categories, it is that grand. And as such, it earns its own category.

A Stetson Moment in Time (then)

1982. That says it all.
How young and dumb and tragically clueless and inexperienced could I possibly have been.

Entering adulthood. Like a frightened animal entering
a strange area but nevertheless tempted in the face of danger
only because of the large tasty slab of meat laying on the ground.

That was me, a frightened animal driven forward by the
temptation of meat, female meat. Basically new to grooming, new to creating an appetizing spectacle of myself, but I had
no idea.


I flailed helplessly
behind bad hair
bad clothes
insignificant behavior…I call it that because to call it “bad” may mistakenly give the wrong impression for there was nothing “bad” at all about my behavior.

Just insignificant and un-noteworthy.

Just trying in all my impotent post-adolescent way to make a splash in the adult mating arena.
And that is why I showered myself with
the cologne, the cheap and smelly and turpentine-like cologne
which could free dried paint from your hands.

It came in a bottle the shape of a boot!!!!! In keeping with its Wild West cowboy image,
of course
Stetson has modernized and change its image:

No more molded-glass boot-shaped bottles for Stetson, not like 1982 when image was less refined and less cynical and you
could get away with stupid shit like glass cowboy boots. How far we’ve come and how
easily we find it to
demean the past.

That boot was a nice conversation item, I realize it now, in 2009, when I do a google image search and find nothing resembling that shit-kicking boot from 1982 I shoulda held on to that!

But there I was babe, splashing that Stetson gasoline all over my freshly shaven face and I didn’t really take notice (nor apparently care) that I smelled like the dumping ground outside a cologne-manufacturing plant as I ran out the house in
all my fledgling wannabe testosteronized go-get-em aggression that Saturday morning back in 1982. Running to my weekend mailroom job at the Bank of America in West Covina, California.
To a job staffed entirely by 18-year-old (it seemed) miscreants looking to minimize the doomed impact of a weekend job on our pscyhe, working when we should be sleeping or drinking or smoking or fucking or cruising. The mailroom, all guys, while on the outside we had a floor, a staff of paper-pushing young girls who sat there all weekend day
punching adding machines, writing, copying, 1982, computers not quite as ubiquitous or a standard part
of working life.
All a bunch of cute and giggly 18-year-old girls. I wanted
them to smell my Stetson damnit!!!!

Notice me bitches I yelled with the toxic cloud I wore that day, for I didn’t just want the girls nearby to smell me, but also the girls who were a mile away
such was the deep pungency of my aroma.

And when as luck would have it I hopped into an elevator alone with about 3 or 4 of those girls and I saw 2 of them make “pewww” gestures with their hands as if to waft away a dire scent, I did not take it personally!
I was 18
and blind
and self-delusion is a great thing
for a young man looking to
make a Stetson splash.

It’s only my Xbox avatar, do not fear

Scary thing is, the random body parts and appendages which Xbox Live lets you choose from contain just the right ingredients to create a strikingly virtual clone of me, down to that damn freakin’ mole on my left cheek. The widow’s peak, the strange stubble under my chin…all real to life. Interestingly though, they do not offer the obligatory “soul patch” which is a necessary accessory for serious urban dwellers.

The clothes are a stretch, also…I don’t wear wife beaters in public very often and I definitely don’t have white high tops. Whatever, the cool thing about the Xbox avatar is that you can update or change your wardrobe at any time, and unlike real life you can make yourself skinny or fat, tall or short, pale or dark at the click of a button or some pulls on the controller sticks.

Just waiting for Xbox to offer a virtual club where you can waltz your flashy and dolled up cyber self into and hook up with other hot avatar party whores. Make hot and steamy cyber love.

Yeah, you laugh now…