in order to bring something new to the table and get chinanski off the front burner i’m tossing this in to replace it. don’t get me wrong, i dearly love me some chinanski. but it’s time to move along here. this piece could probably be considered for mature audiences only. or immature audiences only. far be it for me to judge. yeah, right. you’ve been warned.
they call him, ‘little dick’, although, of course, not to his face. that would probably be stupid. the little dick moniker was a result of him owning a pick-up truck. not your run of the mill off the lot pick-up but one of those, let’s see just how really stupid we can make this ride, kind of pick-ups. jack it up to the point that even a normal size person would need a step stool or small ladder to get into the cab. then tack on some huge rims and tires and a winch on the front bumper and you had your classic ‘little dick’ ride. a sort of money pit for vehicles. and a totally useless piece of gas guzzling crap. why anyone would do that to a perfectly good pick-up truck never made any sense to me. other than the fact they all have little dicks and seem to need to make some sort of amends for their short comings as it were. or something.
why indeed? any rate, all the little dicks would say it was for off roading or some such utter nonsense. nonsense because for the most part the bottom half of the frame stays pretty much where it has always been even after thousands of dollars had been spent raising the truck to absurd levels. at any rate, there are any number of little dick trucks out on the road at any time. loud rumbling monsters more suited for something other than a quick trip out for a loaf of bread. however, suited for what is the question.
certainly not as a babe magnet. to even think such would be insane. let’s just say for example, you have a date with heidi klum or jennifer lawrence. fine. you roll up to pick them up in your little dick ride. ah, yes. the date is over before it even began. point. set. match.
another odd thing about little dick trucks, or maybe not, is the fact you rarely see anyone else in the thing other than the said little dick owner. yeah, sometimes maybe some other guy riding shotgun. obviously some other little dick with little money and just riding along for the vicarious feeling that maybe this will make his dick bigger as well. this also falls under, wishful thinking.
it’s a rare thing to see a female passenger in a little dick truck. very rare. and i’m guessing that’s probably for the all too obvious reasons. that being said, you often see women or girls or females driving their own little dick trucks. however, in their equally sad case they are known as, little clits. this doesn’t occur as often as the guy little dick thing but still it happens. little clits are out there none the less. make no mistake. you also don’t see many passengers riding along with the little clits other than maybe some other little clit or perhaps some little dick. what’s the saying? birds of a feather flock together or fuck together.
ok. so, the purpose of this missive has been to bring attention to the all to prevalent, LD(C)DS, little dick deficit syndrome and it’s sister, little clit deficit syndrome. you can make a game of it if you wish. when you’re out and about with the family the first person to see a LD(C)DS and call out ‘little dick or little clit’ scores a point. whoever has the most points by the time you get to where you’re going wins. pretty simple really.
perhaps a telethon is in order. maybe john travlota and tom cruise as co-hosts.
as jake was pulling into a parking spot near frank and mary’s home he noticed frank getting out of his car parked in the tiny driveway. frank spotted him as well. jake waved and crossed the street.
jake, my man. you aren’t going to believe this. i hope you’re ready for it.
sounds good. i can’t wait.
the two men walked up the stairs and frankie opened the front door. as always lake merritt sparkled below. once the door was closed frankie became even more animated.
let’s go in the den. you have to see this to believe it. fucking amazing.
jake greeted the girls and they all followed frankie into the den. once in the den frank waited for everyone to settle down then pulled out a solid rock of cocaine. it must have weighed at least a half pound. it was huge. jake’s jaw dropped.
this my friends is 99% peruvian flake. it doesn’t get any better than this.
frankie set the rock of coke on a mirror. then he found a new razor blade, one that was normally used for taking paint off windows. he carefully cleaned the oil off the new blade then proceeded to slice very thin pieces of coke from the rock. everyone watched with rapt attention. then he took the slices and quickly and expertly minced them up on the mirror with the blade. when he was finished he produced a short silver tube and handed it to mary.
after all of them had sampled the cocaine they sat back and enjoyed the rush.
frankie that is some amazing coke. truly amazing.
glad you like it jake.
damn straight. i’ll take a gram.
make it two. stephanie chimed in.
you got it. so, mary how did the project go?
frankie started to work on the order. mary got up and went into another room. when she came back in she was holding a very stylish rock ‘n’ roll style jacket. it was black with white piping around the collar and cuffs. the lining was white silk. she turned the jacket semi inside out and spoke.
steph and i made the small pockets out of some white silk. the color almost matches. then we sewed the pockets onto the jacket lining. we tried them out using some paper packets filled with sugar. you can’t tell a thing. pretty much perfect.
perfect indeed. thanks ladies. very very cool. jake, we’re getting ready for the stones concert at the oakland coliseum in a few weeks.
yeah, we tried to get tickets but it sold out fast. you guys were very lucky.
frankie just smiled and handed jake a packet of the peruvian flake.
$95 for two.
not a problem. have another hit.
don’t mind if we do.
stephanie and jake spent another twenty minutes or so with frank and mary before they split to head back to jake’s place. as they got to jake’s car stephanie asked.
how’s mr bubble doing? i don’t remember.
we better stop and get some.
ok. may as well steal a few straws as well.
the pair stopped at the 7-11 and jake scored the straws along with a bottle of mr bubble. as he was leaving the store jake found a $5 bill one the ground by the door. he picked it up went back in and gave it to the clerk saying.
someone must have dropped this.
the clerk looked at him like he was crazy. jake just laughed. when jake got back to the car he told stephanie about the five spot.
i wondered what you were doing. you know you’re crazy.
they both laughed.
the victorian was empty when they got back to it. another night with the place to themselves.
cool. much better than sharing anything and we get the bath for as long as we want it.
yes. true. hey, check this shirt out.
jake showed stephanie a shirt with a large blood stain on the left shirttail.
haha. you had to have been wearing that shirt the last time we had sex.
the blood on jake’s shirt was from stephanie’s period.
yep. i didn’t notice until later. pretty funny. huh?
we were lucky i guess. haha.
the two were talking about a ride one evening out in the hills around corte madera. there was a full moon and the dead winter grass looked just like shimmering snow in that bright early summer moonlit night. a lonely two lane blacktop wound through the hills. they were the only car on the road.
stephanie suggested that, ‘they do it in the road’, just like the beatles song. jake was amenable but the road, even with a blanket, was a bit too hard for both of them. jake suggested they try the grass along side the road. he took the blanket and laid it out on the dead grass.
the grass was much softer and things went well until they began to slide down the hill locked together in an embrace. they slid for a good twenty feet before they came to a stop against a small tree. they were both laughing.
the hike back up the hill was something.
yeah, but not before you earned your red wings that night. i had fun.
i know you did. me too. you had a great idea, steph.
yes, i did. now, let’s get into that flake.
for the next several hours the two did indeed get into the almost pure peruvian flake. some wine and weed as well.
oh, boy. very nice. i think it’s mr. bubble time before we can’t manage it.
good point. let’s do it.
they snorted another line then collected what they needed for the bath. weed, papers, wine, some cut up coke, and of course the bottle of mr. bubble. the hot bath with bubbles was as always very nice. the usual ritual of smoking some weed mixed with coke was made even more amazing that night with the flake. several laced joints later they retired back into the bedroom. jake said he needed a glass of water.
he left the room and went to the kitchen sink. he found a clean glass and drank some water. as he stood at the sink electric shock waves ran up and down his spine. electrical explosions rocked his brain. neurons and synapses crackled inside his head. sparks were probably shooting from his ears. he held on tight. but lost track of time and place. jake wasn’t sure how long he had been standing at the sink. he finally made it back to the bedroom and stephanie asked him where he had been.
been? i was in the kitchen getting a glass of water.
you were gone for so long i went looking for you. i went into the kitchen. i didn’t see you. i looked in every room. i even went out on the back porch. jake, you weren’t anywhere here in the house.
you didn’t see me? i was there at the sink. are you sure?
positive. i went into the kitchen. twice. i looked around and did not see you.
sweet jesus. that’s weird. i remember standing there and then nothing. then i remember standing there again and i came back in here. are you sure?
yes, jake. i’m very sure.
to this day jake isn’t sure what really happened that night in the kitchen of the old victorian. was he abducted by aliens? or perhaps he made a jaunt out on some astral plane paying a visit to jupiter or mars? or went cruising on an old inca road with some long dead indians? perhaps a voyage with eric the red? or one to the far east with marco polo? or was it something else entirely? only god knows and he ain’t talking.
at any rate, the story of stephanie and jake slowly began to unravel even further after that night. jake’s vision of love, white picket fences, and stephanie never came true. things never got really ugly in the end and there was plenty of pain and angst to go around for the two of them. for some reason they both made sure of that.
stephanie eventually moved to somewhere on the west coast of canada north of vancouver. the last time jake ever heard from her was a very strange letter he received six months or so after she had moved. a letter that reminded him of a funny yet sad canadian junkie’s letter he’d read in the old humor magazine, ‘national lampoon’.
waking up and smoking a joint had become a ritual. it was a good way to start the day. that and several cigarettes. when he wasn’t with stephanie he just hung out and collected his unemployment check. a small sum but enough to keep him in food, drink, and drugs. plus, a roof over his head and gas for the car. the car was paid for with the money he’d saved while in vietnam.
the chinese lady he saw at the state unemployment office every two weeks or so was very nice and semi amazed that he never secured a job with the leads she provided him. as a vet, jake got a little more attention from the folks that worked there. the thing is he never followed through on any of the leads. jake’s reasoning being he had done his year in nam and he earned the right to screw off for another year courtesy of whoever. he didn’t care. though he knew enough not to say that to the nice chinese lady. that would have been way to stupid. even for jake.
on occasion he made a little extra money working for a concert promoter doing odd jobs here and there for the guy. like running errands and such. the promoter paid cash so there weren’t any problems with the state or anyone else for that matter. plus, jake got to see plenty of good live music.
when jake did see stephanie they spent their time seeing frankie and mary, doing coke, drinking, smoking pot and having sex. in jake’s words, all in all not a bad deal. the only trouble being with jake is it seemed his times with stephanie were getting further apart. jake knew why, he was in love and she wasn’t. not a big problem really. but a problem none the less.
jake began to spend more time with jimmy and bea. they all got along fairly well and bea and jake kept each other company when jimmy was working and stephanie wasn’t around.
home alone late one morning jake was napping when the ringing phone woke him up. it was stephanie.
hey, what’s up?
i called last night and you weren’t home.
yeah, i went to see ‘the godfather’ with bea. the last showing. got home sorta late.
i was going to come over.
how was the movie? i hear it’s great.
best movie i’ve seen in years. it was a zoo outside the theater. we…
a friend is dropping me off at mary and franks. come by and pick me up later. ok? you can tell me the story tonight.
sure. what time today?
late afternoon. i’m going to help mary with a sewing project she has.
alright. see you later then.
jake was thinking stephanie wasn’t real pleased with him spending so much time with bea. he’d tried to tell her that they were just good friends and besides why was she being so jealous? she after all wasn’t even in love with jake. or so she said. women.
last night had been fun though. the ‘godfather’ movie had been a spur of the moment thing. jake had been hearing a lot of good things about the movie and called bea to see what was up. she was home alone and jake invited her to go see the movie. hell, he hadn’t seen stephanie in over a week. bea agreed.
when jake picked bea up they snorted what was left of some coke jake had and smoked a joint of some killer weed a friend had given jake. all that before they left for the movie theatre. by the time they got to berkeley and parked they were both pretty well fucked up.
look at all those people. the line is around the corner.
jesus. ok. bea. you get in line and i’ll go up front and see what the deal is.
jake wandered up to the box office. it was like a mob scene from a movie. he was so stoned he wasn’t sure what the deal was. he asked some of the people in the mob but no one else seemed to know either. ah, yes. berkeley in the 70’s. so jake just stood there trying to figure out what was going on. interesting thing was he was slowly getting closer to the box office window so he just went with the flow.
ten or fifteen minutes later he found himself at the window.
how many tickets do you want to buy?
oh. sure. ah, two adults.
jake got the tickets and hurried back to bea waiting in line.
god what a mob scene up at the window. it’s crazy. i’ve never seen anything like it. people are like animals up there. but we have tickets.
someone from behind him spoke.
you have tickets?
someone in front of them said.
this is the line for tickets. you cut the line to get tickets??
jake looked at bea grabbed her hand and pulled her from the line. they scuttled around the corner laughing hysterically. the mob scene at the box office hadn’t changed much once they got there. bea and jake milled around outside on the edge of the madness. watching.
a few minutes later a theatre employee came outside and said.
the current showing will be over in a few minutes. if you have tickets please, form a line right here.
he was pointing to the left side of the door. jake grabbed bea’s hand again and they made it to the front of the line ahead of the others with tickets. the employee then started to work on the box office window chaos. finally gaining some control of the area around the box office. the ticket selling then went on at a more normal pace.
when the line they were in was finally let inside. bea took over.
follow me. i’ve been here before.
lead on, bea.
she made a beeline for the stairs and took them two at a time. jake followed suit. they found themselves in the loge section. in the front row. the two middle seats. perfect.
god are we lucky or what?
you can say that again.
the thoughts of the evening before made jake laugh out loud. yeah, one hell of a night for sure. he took a shower. changed clothes. locked up then left to pick up stephanie.
later that day jake was back at the victorian. the phone rang.
hi. it’s me. come out and pick me up. i’ll spend the night. and there’s someone i want you to meet.
ok. sure. when?
in a couple of hours. i’ll make us something to eat then we’ll head back to oakland.
sounds good. see you then.
jake hadn’t seen stephanie for a couple of days and he was excited at the prospect of seeing her that evening. he wondered who she wanted him to meet.
the ride out to corte madera was uneventful and the simple meal was ready when he arrived. the two ate while catching up on things.
you’re lucky the cop let you go. what happened to your friend?
this is good. he ran into the same cop and the cop called triple a for him. after he made the call he let him go. then the cop runs into me. amazing. i was surprised my friend made it back to the truck. i couldn’t find it again. i finally found a phone and called jimmy.
men. amazing. let’s clean up and get out of here.
the pair made their way back into oakland to another victorian near downtown and lake merritt. the place was stunning in the late afternoon early evening light.
your friend lives well.
he does ok. he and his wife live upstairs in the rental. the stairs are over here.
what’s he do?
he’s a business man. you’ll see.
from the landing by the front door the setting sun sparkled and danced on the water of the lake. the door was opened by an attractive blond woman.
hi, stephanie. come on in. this must be your friend jake.
yep. mary this is jake.
the two shook hands.
frankie is in the den listening to the new stones album.
the house was enormous but appeared to be smaller from the outside.
wow. amazing. look at all of that redwood trim and it’s never been painted over. it’s beautiful.
yeah, we like it. it’s one of the reasons we still live here. that and the view of the lake.
jake could make out the strains of ‘exile on main street’ coming from behind a redwood door just ahead of them. the three entered.
hey hey, stephanie. long time no see.
the two hugged.
hiya, frank. this is my friend jake.
more hand shaking.
any friend of stephanie’s is a friend of mine. how about a toot?
the four sat down around a coffee table and chatted listening to the stones while frank worked on the cocaine.
you ever do coke before jake?
once or twice. i’m not sure if i got off or not.
yeah. it does do that the first few times. i think you’ll get the picture this time around. help yourself.
frank had cut and lined out eight neat fat lines of the white powder. he handed jake a rolled up one hundred dollar bill. jake took the money tube. settled in over a line of coke and stuck the tube in his left nostril. closed off the other with his right hand and inhaled deeply. he changed things around and sucked up another of the white lines.
he settled back into the couch handing the rolled up money to stephanie. by the time the others had snorted up the white powder jake realized he was high. a slight euphoria had penetrated his consciousness and it began to grow.
i thought you would like it, jake. another line or two?
you bet, frank.
another small pile of the white powder was cut then lined out for the four of them. ‘exile on main street’ and the stones played on. ‘come on and be my little baby for awhile.’
jake, let’s buy a gram and head back to your place.
ok. how much frank?
$40. i have some of the same coke all ready to go. i’ll go get it.
jake paid the man then he and stephanie made their good-byes. frank told them to stop by anytime. jake was feeling good. really good. the best he’d felt in a long long time. on top of the world.
yes, they are.
the coke is even nicer.
stephanie smiled and said, i thought you’d enjoy it. i need to pick something up. let’s stop at the 7-11.
by the time they made the stop jake was flying. and enjoying himself.
what are we looking for?
the bubble bath stuff?
hmm sounds like fun.
upon their return to jake’s place they snorted some more cocaine then made love. afterwards stephanie suggested they take a bubble bath as there was no one else home at the time. stephanie brought some pot, rolling papers, and the coke into the bathroom. jake drew the bath and poured a good amount of mr bubble into the hot water. they both climbed into the hot sudsy water and relaxed. both of them enjoying the luxury and peacefulness of it all. and the cocaine high.
drying her hands stephanie said, ah huh. dry your hands and roll us a joint.
jake proceeded with the task. stephanie asked if jake had ever smoked any coke before. jake said no.
would you like to try it?
sure, why not?
stephanie sprinkled some of the white powder on to the pot. jake finished rolling the joint then fired the number with the added extra up. stephanie was sitting at the other end of the tube watching jake as she sipped a glass of wine.
jake was already pretty well fucked up. however, after the first hit of the cocaine laced joint he was beyond being simply wasted. two words came to mind, interstellar overdrive, though they didn’t stick around for very long. but it didn’t matter much. nothing mattered. the electric jolts got more intense as the night shifted into the next day. finally a dreamless sleep came from a mind refusing to work anymore overtime as the night began to give way to the sun.
the summer of the re-run continues. another sorta travel related riff as it were. and another from several years ago. thanks for reading.
i hear the click clack of your feet on the stairs
what a great line, pure gold from the glimmer twins. who else? i hear the click clack of some lady’s feet on the concrete drive every morning. heels. hopefully open toed. at least i’m hoping it’s a lady. i haven’t looked to see who it is. i guess the fantasy thing is ok for now. i mean it could be some decked out dude or some well, overly well fed mamacita. or it could be heaven in heels for that matter. i don’t want to know. not yet. just that sound is enough to make a man’s mind wander or at least this man’s mind. what’s left of it anyways. wander to all sorts of different spots. then you toss in some thing on cable about vegas and the m i t gang that busted vegas up for a time. and the mind drifts back.
back to vegas and the beginning of the first gulf war. that was the last time i was in vegas, alone. i was supposed to be there with girlfriend at the time or actually my ex, cause i’d wandered off. it just wasn’t working. for both of us. a lovely vietnamese lady. years later we stumbled upon each other again and tried, again, with the same results. i wandered off. again. veering.
i’d had the hotel resverations for some time and i guess i just needed to go and forget or something. plus the new war was about to kick off and it indeed did while i was there. and well, lots of shit slopping around in my addled brain.
vegas isn’t one of my favorite places. never has been. i prefer lake tahoe. it’s more laid back. for gambling, drinking and relaxing. though i’d stay away over labor day weekend. these days i stay away from everything over any 3 day weekend. at any rate those were the days when i did actually gamble. i don’t any more. just the california lottery these days. the super lotto. however, those that know say the horse race deal is the one to bet when it gets big. hard for me to get a grip on shit today. tangents. i will also occasionally bet college football now and again. but that doesn’t count. yes, of course.
ok. so i’m in vegas. the hotel california. may as well have been. i’m in one of the bars in the casino having a drink and playing video poker. taking a break from real poker. ah, yeah, here comes another tangent. 7 card stud. not the texas stuff of today. too much luck involved there. sure luck in all the gambling deals but that game leaves me cold. soo i’m at the bar playing video poker, drinking. a very nice looking lady sits down a couple of seats away. she’s alone. nicely dressed and yeah, sorta hot. she gets a drink and starts dropping quarters in the machine.
well, we start chatting. she’s very nice and bright. we have a few drinks. all is sweetness and light. what could be better? she’s a reader and an ex professional athelete. and italian. how cool is that? a damn trifecta. she says she’s got to take care of something but would like to see me later that night for more chatting and drinking. well, you don’t have to ask me twice. the date was made.
later that evening we meet in the hotel bar. she looks even lovelier than she did earlier in the day. sweet. we have a drink and she suggests we go upstairs to my room and have another drink. fine by me. she’s such a vivacious and intelligent lady i was falling in love. honey, i’ll follow you anywhere. so we get upstairs and of course she turns out to be a working lady. what else could the deal be? naturally. but like i said i was falling in love and working ladies don’t bother me. bills gotta be paid.
it was a really great time. for me and for her. she liked it just as much as i did. the grand finale was right from the cd i’m listening to, ‘parachute woman’, her favorite activity. she did it well. i came in her hair. sorta. i didn’t notice till she was leaving. of course she was in a hurry to leave. another appointment. so i didn’t say anything. yes, yes, yes of course. my bad. a sorta very early ‘something about mary’.
one evening a month or so later i was home asleep on the couch. tv on. the phone woke me up. it was her. i was groggy and didn’t really pick up on just who the fuck it was. i’m like going, who? who? just like some sad demented owl. i didn’t realize it was her till after she hung up on me. then i woke up. i didn’t sleep much the rest of the night. pretty much non-stop brain streaming shit. no, she never called back.
music provided by, the rolling stones, ‘beggars banquet’.
the re-runs keep on coming this summer. this particular one first appeared almost three years ago. originally it was a two part story. this time around i’m running it as one part. it is what it was and it’s more of my history and yours as well. life throws you knuckle curve balls that can sometimes change everything. even if you just stand there flat footed and watch the ball dance by. there are also odd circumstances in history/life that occur in which you are part but just a minor footnote. also, in case you haven’t noticed it, life can deal out irony like nobodies business. thanks for reading.
gentlemen the marines are drafting this month
it had already been a bad morning. a very bad morning. however, those seven words sent an electric shock through the hundred or so plus odd souls in the downtown los angeles army induction center, circa dec 1969. things were bad but they were just about to go completely sideways. but i’m getting ahead of myself.
that december day was the second time i’d been drafted by uncle sam. i’d received an induction notice back in may of the same year. i’d managed to get out of that one. i was still in school and actually doing ok for a change. meaning good grades. hell, i was even on the dean’s list. the school got me out of it but warned me if i didn’t go to another school in the fall i’d be history. i’d already spent one of my lifetimes going to that local community college. three years to graduate from a two year school. it was a good thing i drifted into the theatre department. it meant good grades and a sorta reprieve from the inevitable.
yes, it was inevitable. it was all written a few months before i was born in 1948. harry truman re-signed the draft law act and i was doomed while still in my mother’s womb. oh, sure i could have gone to canada but that really wasn’t an option. my father, my uncles, and my godfather. yeah, my godfather, a lucky to be alive heavily decorated big time ww2 combat vet and at the time still in the army. my dad’s best friend. get the picture? doubtful in these weird times.
there were other various ways to avoid the draft. some of which must have worked or the folks in the draft resistance centers wouldn’t have told you about them. though most of the stuff wasn’t something i’d like to try and pull off. say, like crapping in your pants and peeing in them as well for a week or so before your induction physical. that riff was supposed to work as quickly as it took them to get you out of the building. something i didn’t think any sane person could manage. there was another one not quite as bad. it involved a rotten fish, some thread, a needle, and the guts to string the thread through the fish then leave it there to rot along with the fish. after a few days you would take the needle and thread then somehow or another run it through your knee. either one it didn’t matter. this made for an interesting infection in your knee and with the string left there it made for an even more interesting x-ray. no, i don’t think so. thanks, anyway.
another way to avoid the draft if you could come up with $300 or $400 there were doctors that could get you out. maybe. that was the catch, it was only a maybe. however, $300 back in those days might as well have been $100,000 today. plus my folks were just working class stiffs and salt of the earth types. not much cash at that time and one of the reasons i went to the community college to start with. oh, i had some cash but it would have wiped me out. better to just go with some odds and roll the dice. then see what happens. youth, guile, and bluster.
i’d worked through the summer. sorta. i spent a lot of time at the beach or just dicking about. the fall rolled around and i had no plans for school. i was just going to totally lay around and wait for my next draft notice. my parents weren’t happy about this so called plan but then nothing much they could do about it other than bitch. especially when i told them why would anyone want to hire someone who might get drafted next month? i wouldn’t. that usually kept them out of my hair for a few weeks at a time.
the first or second week of november i got my second draft notice. i recall just sitting in the den holding the unopened letter. it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
the swan song of my civilian life was seeing the rolling stones at the forum in inglewood. the infamous 3am show where mick laments he should have brought along his toothbrush. it had been scheduled for much earlier in the evening as the second show of the night. the first show got started several hours late and things just snowballed from there on out. my girlfriend at the time did manage to score peter fonda’s autograph. i finally made it home after the sun had been up for awhile.
just as a drift since i haven’t drifted yet…that particular girlfriend’s parents hated me. i would be in her college dorm room fucking her or she would be giving me head and the phone would ring and it would be her parents or older brother telling her to dump me. the call would go on and on. we would just lay there naked while they ranted on about me. i didn’t care about the call, her brother, or her parents. she swallowed. then she would make some tea to clear her palette as it were. hey, older brother, listen to this. yes, well, my bad.
the fatal morning finally arrived. it was an early morning ride in the dark from de onta out to san berdoo and the swing auditorium for the draft call cattle call. the first stop of the day. the first stop in what was to become an almost two year long living breathing real life twilight zone episode.
it was a sad farewell. parents hugging kids. girlfriends crying. parents crying. young men trying not to cry. it was a sea of misery. then it came time to board the buses for the trip to downtown l.a. a long silent ride in the early morning darkness. private thoughts and prayers hung in the air like a thick fog.
once into the induction center it was the standard army cluster fuck. sorta. take your clothes off put em back on take em off again and wander around naked for awhile going here going there seeing that doctor getting a needle stuck in a vein. yeah, that deal went down with army medics. probably just out of medic school. medics who got lucky when they were sent to the induction center and not nam. at least for the moment.
standing naked in a line with a bunch of other naked guys is no fun. but standing in that line and watching some guy trying to hit pay dirt with a dull seemingly square needle was even worse. i have never seen anything like it. stab, miss, stab again, miss again. no more stabbing just twist the fucker around until the vein was popped and blood drawn. an amazing sight. some of the more feint hearted souls actually passed out watching that action being played out right there before them in living and breathing color.
after the probing and stuff we were given some sort of written test. i don’t recall anything that was on it. though it would play into what was to come later in the morning.
then came time to sit and wait. a game we would all come to play very well. a game that i can still play today. at some point or another we were taken into a room, 30 or 40 of us at a time. it was in this room we heard those fateful words, gentlemen, the marines are drafting this month.
it was more or less fine and dandy we were going to be stuck in the army for a couple of years. well, not fine and dandy but we were at some sort of peace with ourselves and the whole deal. however, this card from the bottom of the deck was more than any sane person could take. suddenly things got even more grim. i’d heard stories about marine corps boot camp from ex-marines during that time period and it’s something i had no wish to experience. the army experience would be more than enough, thank you.
the army officer who had made that statement let it sink in for a few seconds. not that it hadn’t already shaken everyone of us to the core. in those few seconds i came to the realization, that fuck it, i’m going out the open window if i hear my name and the marine corps mentioned in the same sentence.
sure the open window was 4 or 5 floors up from the street but what’s your point? i didn’t care. there were no windows on the lower floors as my friend, jwfh, pointed out and reminded me of yesterday. they had all been bricked over. all of the escape routes covered. either by bricks or army corporals whose sole mission was not to let anyone out of the building. i guess they didn’t think anyone would be fool hardy enough to take a dive from the 4th floor. yeah, well, think again.
they had taken all of our folders and put them in stacks on a a table at the front of the room. each stack had a separate number and letter code. we all had a number and letter code on our folders. say like 6c or 3a. i don’t recall what mine was. plus, i have no idea just how they came up with that number letter code. something to do with mental and psychical shape i’m sure.
after the stacks were completed the officer announced that the marines needed say, 4 6c’s. so the sargent randomly picked 4 folders from the 6c pile. those names were called out and the young men were told to go wait outside in the seating area. then he told the sargent the marines needed 6 3a’s. more random picking and more very very sad young men told to go wait outside. a different number of folders was selected from each of the piles. it wasn’t over until it was over. the group was thinned out by maybe a third and those among us who’s name hadn’t been called were then given the induction oath by the same officer. you’re in the army now.
once that was completed we were told to go wait outside and another group was called into the room. sitting outside, i have never seen more forlorn faces in my life than the faces on those poor guys who were going to go down to pendleton and marine corps boot camp. on the other hand those of us who hadn’t been ‘selected’ were almost ecstatic. go figure.
we waited around until the marines got what they wanted. we were given a bible, a box lunch, some toiletries then we boarded more buses for a 10 hour ride up to ft ord, on the monterrey peninsula. we were supposed to stop for restroom breaks and an evening meal but the driver was having none of that. there would be no one jumping ship or the bus on his watch. no, sir.
we arrived at ft ord around 11pm or later. exhausted and wired in that weird way. life was to become very very different for us all very very soon.
i do not mean to disparage the marine corps. no way. the story is true and was what it was in those times. pure and simple. without the marine corps we would all be in a bigger fix than we are already in. thankfully, there are those among us who still heed the the call of duty, honor, and country. may god bless them one and all. hopefully, some of those blessings will slop over to the rest of us.
i make no apologies for my time in the army or my time in vietnam. it was a sorta righteous deal that went askew. big time. shit happens. it will never be 1941 again. ever. however, that doesn’t mean some sort of applied force someplace is not warranted. iraq seems to be another vietnam. in the last 40 years it’s the only thing teddy kennedy ever got right. pure and simple.
the main problem with vietnam was we just up and left. a sad bad choice. left them to die by the millions. left them to die or worse in the re-education camps. re-education camps right out of mao and the chinese in the 60’s and 70’s. packing up and leaving without finishing the job was bad juju if there ever was bad juju. that bad karma continues to haunt this once great nation. the worst and nastiest re-education camp in vietnam? the old macv advisory 48 compound in ham tan. the place where i spent my year.
for those of you who’ve stuck with this insanity from my past this is the final chapter of my guerrilla theatre days. ah, actually that isn’t true there is one more story. but not for today. ok. so, in addition to the lipstick i’ve added a photo at the end to give some perspective to the story. thanks again for reading. i do appreciate it. from exactly 44 years ago and some other fourth of july weekend, the final chapter.
this is it the long awaited conclusion to this old sad tale of mis-spent youth. oddly just a short demented portion of said youth. i think it might be a bit anti-climatic at this point but, whatever, it must be done and finished. for whatever reasons, if nothing more than to make me stop thinking i have to finish the fucker. clear the decks as it were or is.
the jfk theatre sorta evolved over a couple or 3 years into several things. it morphed into the abe lincoln deal a few times and that really was theatre on a couple of levels. we tossed in mckinley, as well, which was a short and sweet sorta jack ruby type thing. speaking of jack ruby, we stayed away from that one. i suppose there just wasn’t enough drink to bring us to the point of reeling that one off for the viewing public. tangents and an industrial strength mall coffee jazz working here.
regular readers may remember a certain lady, who for a number of years was a weekly source for buying us all the booze we wanted and gave us a place to drink it. any the ways, at different points she would do road trips. the more famous of them were trips to rosarito beach in ensanada, baja california. i never made one of those as i was usually working for my walking around money. those trips were famous for their drunkenness and upon occasion their almost deadly fireworks. however, i did manage to make one of the road trips though. 4th of july, 1966.
not baja but carlsbad state beach here in south socal or north san diego county. a nice beach campground that sits up on a cliff above the sand and water. i spent an easter holiday there in 1964 during and after the great alaskan earthquake. we sat up most of the night waiting for the tidal wave that turned out to be only inches high. thankfully. carlsbad is not one of my favorite beaches because the water sits at the foot of the cliffs and there isn’t much breeze or air down there on a hot summer day. generally it gets hot enough to melt the wax on a surfboard. that’s hot. though up on the top of the cliff there’s usually a nice stiff ocean breeze. well, the beach deal was set up. seemed like everyone was going. a large contingent indeed. i think we all knew this was probably going to be the swan song for a number of things and it turned out to be so. after all who doesn’t want to miss a swan song?
several people who didn’t have to work, made it down a day or so before hand to set up the encampment. encampment was what it was. the lady was a marine during ww2 and once a marine, always a marine. a very nice camp site. several very large tents, one for the ladies and one for the boys to men, and windbreaks, plus all the almost comforts of home. even a list of ten or so dos and don’ts for the camp site was prominently posted. we arrived on the scene late in the afternoon. several carloads of us. they almost didn’t let us in. some of the group were not 18 and no one in any of the cars was 21 to act as chaperon or responsible party. the lady had to be found and then come down to the main gate and get us in. the only trouble with that was, it put us the park ranger’s radar screen. bad juju, indeed.
the campground was packed as it was the 4th and a long weekend. we unloaded our stuff and for some reason or another, the muses again i suppose, we decided to give the assembled campers a nice rousing rendition of the jfk dallas deal. stone cold sober. in and of itself a first. we had a nice stretch of straight narrow road. several cars, no the chocolate bomb was not one of them. sadly. though we did have a vw with a sunroof. it became the lincoln. squirt guns. a captive audience as it were and the stupidity of youth to pull it off.
i must say the performance was inspired. so inspiring that some of it wasn’t even a part of the original tragedy, like secret service agents being shot and falling off the cars into the sand. yes, indeed, a true spectacle of youth gone insane and wild. mouths were agape. some strange sort of weird madness had fallen across the collective camper consciousness of mr and mrs america that late friday afternoon. something they had not been prepared for in the least. something that made their heads swirl with utter befuddlement and wonder at the crazed scene unfolding right before their very eyes. a scene they had not counted on ever seeing i suppose. yes, well, what can i say? other than the park rangers were far from amused.
in hindsight, i’m glad this was before the time when california park rangers started packing side arms. they probably would have shot us just on general principles. i also imagine when it was being debated as to whether or not rangers should have a side arm the, ‘carlsbad incidents’, (yes, there were more, incidents) were brought up as proof positive park rangers needed guns to save the unsuspecting public from brain addled youths. yes, of course, i whole hardily concur now a days but that’s a drift.
ah, johnny law, at his most perturbed is at times a sight to behold. even to this day. they swooped, from it seemed, everywhere all at once. a very almost swat like tactic. they probably didn’t realize they had it in them but the true spectacle of human weirdness was upon the campground and it was their duty. we were collared and they demanded to know who was in charge. of course, the lady marine was not happy. she was ready for our stupidity when we were drunk but sober was another story. now she had park rangers tramping through her fire base, as it were. looking around.
then one of them spotted the posted ‘list’. he demanded to know what it was, who put it up, and just what the hell was up with number 9. you have to remember these were simpler times and things were just beginning to come unglued at the hinges for america. for you see, rule 9 on the list, in bold print, stated to all concerned: NO FARTING IN THE TENTS. god, the horror. but none the less a simple and common courtesy for your fellow campers. drunk or sober. a rule that should be known to all in the camp. anyways, the lady marine had had it with us, now she’d had it with the rangers. she went ballistic. the rangers retreated but put everyone on super secret probation and handed out a stern warning.
well, with all the pre-dinner sordidness everyone was walking on eggshells at dinner and clean up time. when it came time for drinking, it was a very somber affair indeed. there’s nothing worse than somber drinking for underage drinkers. it adds to the already pent up youthful anxieties and all the angst needs to come screaming out at some point. scream out it did at 0600 hrs the next morning.
there were so many of us there wasn’t room in the tents for all of us to sleep. i was one several who slept outside the tent by the edge of the cliff nestled nicely in the arms of cold beach sand. i was still asleep when i was blasted awake by a squirt gun and screaming. everyone’s 6am wake up call was a re-enactment of the storming of the beaches of iwo jima. yeah, it was in reverse as those doing the show were running, shooting, screaming, and jumping off the cliff only to land a few feet below on a nice sandy lip area. then scampering back up and doing it again. yes, indeed. early morning madness.
the only thing saving the day was the fact that the rangers hadn’t arrived for work as yet. though of course, when they did arrive they paid the camp a visit. technicalities were back then, as they still are today, rule the day. they had not actually seen the rampant insanity with their own eyes so we were granted a stay in being asked to leave the park. post haste. more super secret probation and dire warnings all around should we fuck up or around any further.
yep, we were little angels for the rest of the day. lady marine was not camping happily. especially when we started to mess with the ladies in the group. telling them stories of the dreaded snapping sea land crabs that infested the beach down below. it kept them up on the cliff and out of our hair. though the marine was not happy with them in her hair all day. night came again and more drinking was in order.
that evening it was more of the drinking on a usual basis type deal. vast amounts of whatever. we maintained a sort of decorum however. nothing untoward as we knew it meant an early departure if we screwed up or around. though some of us couldn’t help but go down to the surf line to watch the fishermen do their night surf thing. we would chat one up for a bit and he would gather his stuff and leave. being to drunk to notice we’d just shrug and wander off to the next fisherman. who after a bit did the same thing. this went on until we were the only people left on the beach. left to our own devices. left to our own insanity.
what better way than to show our drunken disregard for the rangers and everyone else’s lack of a sense of humor, then to write stuff in the sand in letters 3 feet high, in order to let everyone know just how fucked up they were or are. the tide was gonna come in an wash it away, right? so what the fuck? rock and roll.
the next morning we awoke to large groups of folks standing on the cliff pointing down toward the water. uh, yeah, the tide had already come in the night before so our insane pornographic ramblings were still visible for everyone to read that morning with their coffee. another visit from the rangers, of course. technicalities once again saving us. no one could prove anything. no one could prove we were the culprits. ipso facto we got off. however, the lady marine was livid. making the rest of that day and night almost unbearable. so unbearable we plotted against the lady marine. what else is a poor boy to do?
it was decided we would sabotage the move out when it came. one of us was to stay with the ladies and help with the tent striking stuff. the rest of us were leaving in the morning. that night we rigged up the main tent so that whoever was inside during the take down would end up underneath the collapsing tent. a sure fire knee slapper that we would not be around to see. as for the guy that was supposed to be helping, he would be off wandering the beach having forgotten it was time to decamp the camp. brilliant. it worked perfectly. only trouble was the poor lad had to drive home in the same car with the lady. she was so pissed she had to let him drive. something she never did on any outing. lady marines always drive.
ok. there it is in all of it’s mad glory. the completed story. it’s out there now and i can forget about it. well, writing about it anyways.
carlsbad state park as it appears today. there was no fence back in 1966.