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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

THE GENERAL: Chapter one; The Backpack

So I've got this story of a friend of mine. It's a story I've told many, many a time but never to such a potentially large audience, and well...it must be. I have this friend I lived with for a while, the General. The General and I had been friends for years and spent a lot of time together, so the inevitableness of our living together had been a long time coming. We had a nice house, inherited by his grandmother, who chainsmoked Winston's on the couch and drank coffee mugs full of bourbon that she'd refer to as 'Jesus Juice'. She died in that house not a year after moving in, and well, General and I were not ones to be choosy at the time, so we took over her lease. Eventually we had to take on roommates to pay the most basic of bills. We ended up with the General's distant cousins who turned out to be Neo-Nazi's (nice people if not misguided...and stupid as fuck), and eventually a serial fast food employee who turned out to have an extensive collection of child pornography. He hid it in a closet by the front door and one of us found it by accident one night. I'll tell you what, the Neo-Nazi beat that dirty bastard half to death before he wiggled free and ran off into the snowy winter night in just a t-shirt and boxers. He was arrested the next day on multiple felony accounts. An interesting house is what I'm telling you, and I don't think I have any arguments. Eh?

So at this particular time, I believe it was just the General and I living in this house. It was located on the outer edge of a cul-de-sac, with a spacious backyard area that led into the front yards of the other houses. One night, myself and Nobody were out at a house party, and I get a phone call. We go outside because it's loud and whoever is on the other line keeps asking me a question I can't make out. We go the driveway and I hear "This is the sherriff's department...is this J?" I look over at Nobody nervously, I fucking hate cops, bad experiences and whatnot, and I know the General has been known to call me J. "Yes, and what, may I ask, is this regarding?" I say, suddenly feeling the need to sound as classy and professional as possible at 2:30am. The female police deputy on the line proceeds to ask me if I know a General (she called him by his Christian name), I tentatively answer yes. She tells me I was first in his call log and he is causing a scene and could I come try and calm him down before things got violent.

Now let me preface this. Don't worry, it'll be quick. A few hours earlier, for reasons at this point not even the General knows,  he said 'fuck off' to Nobody and I, packed a backpack full of liquor bottles, and disappeared out the back door. We didn't see him for a couple hours, he liked to take walks, we figured he'd make it to a park or a bench and sleep it off, end up back home the next morning. You have to understand, this just isn't strange. Sometimes the world reaches a point where a man must pack a NorthFace bag full of liquor bottles and storm off into the night. It's stupid, it's dramatic, yet sometimes we need to do it. But shit, he took a lot of fucking booze this time.

Back to the present, I ask the cop more about what's going. She tells me (seriously) that they have the General CORNERED against a fence and porch, and are contemplating tazing him. Apparently he had been wandering through a neighborhood singing and ranting at the top of his lungs until the police were called. Upon their arrival the General refused to give them identification of any kind or be touched, announcing only his first name and that he was sixteen years old (he was twenty-two at the time). He had become verbally abusive to the officers, refusing to divulge any further information, especially where he lived. We got directions from the officer and as we get closer I get a bad/funny feeling in my stomach. Her directions take us to a cul de sac. The one behind my house. The General had set up his very own Alamo on the neighbors porch (they weren't home) less then fifty feet from our back deck. You should have seen the commanding officer's face when he was informed that their crazy guy lived in the house directly behind him. I thought his face was going to melt off his skull. I watched as the General threw 'smooth' game at the female officers, and swore filthy slurs upon the male cops, the highest ranking officer being the cop who patrolled our high school. He'd known the General in school, and was the only current reason he hadn't been tazed and arrested already. Eventually after threatening to attack an officer with his own, then trying to but instead tripping and falling down the porch steps, they restrained him on the concrete. He was promptly handcuffed and thrown in the back of a squad car. I should mention that Nobody and I didn't just do sit there silently during the course of these events. The police allowed us to approach and plead with the General, trying to talk him out of this obviously futile campaign, trying to stress the seriousness of his situation. He would have none of it. The powerful mixture of whiskey and vodka and rum swirling around his bloodstream had formed together to make him invincible.

It was only after the police had him cuffed and in the back of the squad car that the tough guy facade dropped for a few minutes, as the General swore he was sorry and it'd never happen again and could they please not take him to jail? Then, when the officer from high school intervenes, the General takes it upon himself to use this act of good will from the cops to his advantage(?), and proceeds to resist upon being led into the house. The guy in charge must've felt sorry for him, or was just bored, or just didn't care, but it took four officers to wrestle him into our house, down the hallway (he scratched at the walls and doorways) and into his room and onto his bed. There they smacked him around a little bit while Nobody and I looked on, and then they tried to get him to accept his violations, his tickets. But the General was asleep. The officer got mad, smacked him around some more, demanded he respond to him. The only response he got was from the sandman, and the loud snores of the General, and after a couple more hits to the torso, he angrily stuffed the tickets in the General's pocket and they all walked out the room. However as they left, Nobody and I looked back to see the General, his eyes barely open, hands raised, giving the double middle finger to the cops backs as the walked from the room, grinning ear to ear like a diabolical creature of mischief. Faking it the whole time of course, and he's lucky as hell they didn't turn around or see him. Shit. The rest of the night involved Nobody and I babysitting the General (on police orders) so he wouldn't leave the house or cause anymore trouble. At one point I left him alone for ten minutes with Nobody to smoke a cig and get some quiet. Moments later there he comes, the General, stumbling out the house and down the front path, off on some cosmic mission. Slipped right past that piece of shit Nobody. I ushered him back into the house at which point he almost broke my arm slamming it in the front door cause I wouldn't own up to being the 'prophecy'. We got him back into bed, and he eventually passed out, mumbling and kicking out at the world.

Next day I'm eating a bowl of cereal on the couch and there he comes, out of his bedroom, the hungover and shabby ass General. He's exceedingly confused because not only does he feel like hell and have no idea how he got home or what he did, he has a thousand dollars in violations tucked in his shirt pocket. I could only shrug, laugh, and go back to my cartoons. I'll tell him all about it later.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Palace Love Letters

I fucking love my roommates, and yes, this entire post is going to be about them and us and our house and how things like that make me happy. I've got mad love for all my friends, and I have several who would make and have made great roommates, but right now, I can't imagine having a better living situation with better people then I do now. We've got a little bit of everything here, a wonderful harmonious amalgamation of personalities and character traits.

I've got my buddy G Money. This is a kid I've known since he was stumbling around behind his older brother while we went out and did whatever it was that thirteen year old boys did. We never really become friends, became close, until just last summer. I was living underneath Mr. Haze and his lady at the time, in a place lovingly dubbed the cave. I resided there with E Rock, and life was good. We spent our days playing wallball, smoking, drinking, playing video games. Video games. Thats how it started. I was at the cave one day with the General and G came knocking at the door. You see, he and Texas lived just two blocks down in their own place. Being in such close proximity and sharing all the same interests, these were the times of free love, sex, drugs, rock and roll, the times that birthed the W5. However I digress. G knocked and then walked in the back door without waiting for a response, this was standard, we would have become annoyed had he just stood out there knocking like an asshole. So he came in, and ended up hanging for a few hours, smoking and playing a snowmobile game on our playstation. It was the first time I'd just solo (for the most part) kicked it and shot the shit with G Moneys. I quickly realized this was an important guy to have on your side, he already was of course, being a fixture of our friend group, but it was then that I knew we shared an innate weirdness, something a little crazy and more then a little gonzo, but that we would get along swimmingly. During that summer I became closer with all those guys, we had a lot of fun, and we were a lot of fun. Our houses were revolving doors of people stopping by for a beer, a bong hit, a casual conversation. Then came the winter. G, Mr. Haze, E Rock and I all packed up shop and bolted for Colorado. Over the next six months G and I spent a lot of time together. The way the living situation worked out we had seven people in a 3 bedroom condo, and him and I ended up in the loft. It was great, because it afforded us by far the most amount of room space, but at the same time, the loft was directly above the kitchen and living room, and was cordoned off by tapestries, which aren't exactly soundproof. So yeah, space, but also anytime anybody spoke in the entire fucking house we could hear every word. We were in on every whispered conversation, every secret passed when someone thought no one was listening, we heard it all. Late in the winter we both lost our jobs, him to a broken down car, me to bankruptcy. We spent almost every day together til he left early for Bend, just the two of us, no jobs, nothing to do but get high and play video games and talk about weird shit. A lot of bonding and such. That sealed it, the winter in Colorado cemented the relationship I have with G Money, the little brother I never got to have, my peer, somebody I respect and I know has my back no matter what happens ever. Our minds communicate in some way that if anybody else experienced it, their head would probably melt. Or explode. G and I run along the same janky fucked up wavelength, and we're riding it till we die. I always have him to talk to about shit though, no matter what it is. It's a good feeling.

Then there's Mr. Haze. I've known this curly haired fool since we were in middle school. He used to hang out at my house with his giant curly white boy fro and his Chumbawamba t-shirt, you know the one, with the smiling baby. We didn't spend a lot of time together back then, started hanging out more in high school, cruising the parkway in our shitty cars, me rocking the '79 Volvo and him in his jeep, doing ninety, dogging each others bumpers. Stupid shit, kid shit, the kind of stuff you do when you are sixteen and just given a license to drive. After high school we went our separate ways for a while, hanging out once every so often, but then I moved to LA and didn't see anybody for over two years. Came back and within a couple months had been re-inducted into this group of friends that hung out where Haze lived, over on 4th street. I spent almost every day there, it would've been three summers ago. I'm sure I became a pest at some point, but with the amount of people coming in and out of there, crashing on couches and floors and porches, at least I wasn't alone. Even then, with me there all the time, hanging around Haze and our group of friends, it wasn't really till last summer and then Colorado that everything kind of came together. We've always enjoyed each others company, but we have this rapport that was never fully formed until now. I'm not saying there were any bad elements in our Colorado house, because there weren't, I had exceptional roommates, but I came out the other side with a very tangible and noticeable upgrade in my friendship with some people. Haze is one of the nicest people I've ever met, which often nicely counteracts my predilection towards being a prick, and he's not afraid to step in and tell me I'm being an ass, even though he knows he'll probably only get a 'fuck off' for his troubles. Most of the time he's our level head (although this is most certainly not a full time job for him), he keeps G and I out of trouble as best he can, he backs us when he needs to, and defends us when we need it. He's a standup guy, and we'd all be a little better off if we were a little more like Mr. Haze in some respect. I look up to him, I'm fascinated by him, and I'm consistently curious to see what he'll do next.

You see, this tripod, this trilogy of awesome-ness, this trifecta of triumph, it's the penultimate living situation. I'm in a nice cozy house. I'm a couple minute walk/bike ride to work or downtown, I've got a front porch I spend most of my afternoons on, keeping an eye on my street. I also live with two of my closest friends in the world. People that couldn't be more different from each other when you analyze them individually, but we are all the same where it counts. We have loyalty, we have respect, and we have each other when we fall short in any arena. My favorite times this summer has been when it's just been us, at our house, usually kicking back on the porch, beers in our coozies, cigs in our mouths, good music blasting out our front windows. These are good times, and they need to be remembered and immortalized, for they will fall away just like everything does. I'm not saying it'll never be as good as it is now, cause it sure as hell better be, but it'll never be the same. This house and these people I'm living with, it's lightening in a bottle, it's a flash in a pan, I'm sure as fuck going to enjoy the ride.

For the next nine months, the Weirdie Palace reigns. 512OG.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


It's funny, 1 month and a day ago I posted saying that it had been a month since I posted. I also believe I touched on the subject of how this is unacceptable, and blogs or writing endeavors must be maintained weekly if not daily. If I did not touch on said subjects, consider them touched. I have been without Internet this past month, and yes, it has been difficult. My phone in this day and age can do most of what my laptop can do, but there is no comfortable way to do things like upload pieces or write anything. Into a new house now, cozy little three bedroom with two of my Colorado roommates. Everything seems to be working out great, we're three pretty clean chill guys so it's a nice place to be. A lot of music, movies, smoking, drinking, hanging out on the porch. Garrett and I work a lot of mornings and get off around 3 or 4pm, which is when whichever of us is off first picks up a sixer of shitty tall boys. We sit out on the front porch and lawn, drink beers, smoke cigs, say fuck shirts, and generally mean mug anybody going by who looks like they got an ego on 'em. There's some type of mentality to establish myself (ourselves to an extent) in the neighborhood. We want to be friendly, our neighbors all seem cool and like stable put together laid back people, which is nice and fits in well with our aesthetic. Don't have much else to say at this point, and honestly, this post exists solely to exist. The WiFi just got installed today, I've got a fully functional system again, and I'm still here. I know, empty promises, but I'll make it rain with delicious literary treats for your eyes and mind grapes just keep paying attention. W5.