Sunday, February 1, 2015

They sell them there... Or so they tell me. I'm not one to argue with old men in white. So I buy a dozen of what he's got and ask for a receipt, for the Mambo of course. My eyes getting better these days. I can sometimes see colors, shapes, and Mary likes that it looks less like dog meat, she's used to the mess- she still hates it I know. After they took out my eye, and the world went up river for a while, I slowly drifted back down to the Jersey shore, and washed up out of gas near the Rahway prison. In Jersey anything's legal as long as you don't get caught. Mary had been going out with a gun in her purse ever since we got back together. The picket fence was real these days,..but when I asked she said it was better if I didn't. Sometimes it really is best if you don't know.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mercenaries Everywhere!!

This place has filled with mercenary warriors. Some are overly loud and draw attention to themselves, otherwise slink in the shadows, but the mercenaries are definitely taking over here. It's been a long time since I rock & rolled Vietnam style. Not sure I'm up for killing babies again- but innocence has a price. Two long years of blissful existential repose later and I'm waking to the fact that I should have killed these motha frackers when I had the god damned chance. The stripes have all been replaced by ex-brass from some 3rd World War I've never heard of. But one thing is for sure- all those teeth don't mean their happy to see me.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Cost

Most people don't know what it takes to live their dreams- what it really takes. You have to be the kind of person who will do anything. Anything. Whatever it takes, whatever the cost.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

part 2

I decide to take the night off. Steam rises from the bridge as I crossover. I see the light of a Blue Train approaching on the tracks below. An old man is playing saxophone somewhere out on the edge. I hear the Lazy Bird sounds through the open car window; I wonder if he’s gonig to jump, but the sound is up-beat and the cool river breeze seems to be singing Chim Chim Cheree. I’m home again, and tired. Dead tired. This time I thought they'd had me for real. A bunch of ugly Russian thugs who dropped by at a Moment’s Notice to sing me a Lullaby; but it was just a friendly call to remind me of a debt. I’m feeling beat to hell but it’s 9:23 so I make a turkey sandwich and turn on the radio. They’re playing Trane’s “Just Squeeze Me”. I’m out like a Heavyweight Champion in 3 minutes with a half eatin sandwich under my chin. Next time I wake it’s Locomotion and I can feel a headache coming on like a fever. I finish my sandwich, grab a slice of sweet pie, an aspirin and a glass of wine. Mmm pie, it’s one of My Favorite Things. There’s more of a chill in the air now and I want to sleep, but the clock shames me awake and that Trane is moving too fast, so it’s chug from the bottle of bad Bordeaux and try to look at the case work again. Nothing can make any kind of sense if you look at it cross-eyed long enough. This case was starting to have a kind of logic to it- if only I could get my head clear to see through the muck. I knew I needed to take some Giant Steps but each time I try to focus on the page a thick syrup oozes out from between the words and my mind gets all sticky. How Am I To Know? I was beginning to feel like an addict after a bad run on the wrong kind of junk– speed balling bad luck. Horse metaphors, Impressions, kept coming to mind, the kind that left me out behind the tracks with a single head wound. I still believed that somewhere was a little white picket-fence and flower garden in a Hamlet; that would be the High Point of my life- but an old friend keeps insisting that I’m Old Fashioned. Thanks gods for them old friends. There Is No Greater Love. Nothing like A Love Supreme.

This posting is a tribute to J.W. Coltrane with many references to his work and life. We grew up together in the same town before coming to the big city. You can’t know what it meant to find this out, or the change in perspective it afforded to know a legend of jazz, a great soul and hero of mine, had lived so close. That first time walking up to your statue on the street brought tears. We both played saxophone, explored religions, and loved sweets to a fault. Old friends are the best- even when time and life separates we still talk; warm tones, erratic flights that set off living sparks, and underneath it all quiet and peaceful, a lovely heart.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chapter 2

I make it to the mid-town animal hospital. The doctors say I’ll never see out of my right eye again, but what do they know? They’re used to treating poodles and chimpanzees. Mary shows up at the hospital and starts crying- and then tries to start an argument in her own quiet way- something about never telling her how I feel. This is going nowhere. I've got to get back to the office. There are bets coming in later. I need to do my job. But what if this had been one of Vinny’s tricks– sending a thug to work me over? It could have even been Wally Steinke who did the job. Can’t think of that now– have to play this out. The eye hole is all covered in gauze and taped with bandages. It's sore as hell and feels goddamn ugly. Mary had brought me a change of clothes. Not the same as my silk suit, boring brown simple, but it would have to do. My keys and wallet are on the table. She’d make a scene if I tried to leave, so I ring the nurse and ask for some more pain killers and sleeping pills. I ask Mary to go for some coffee, and when she is out of the room I make my break. No one stops me. Mary would be pissed for sure, but I couldn't have her questioning my every move. Not now. It was over between us either way, sooner or later. I could feel it coming. I grabbed a taxi back to the club where my car was still parked– used my keys to get in the basement door. Vinny isn’t there, but upstairs there stands Wally Steinke and the look of shock caught on his face is real enough. Maybe he's off the hook, maybe not?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

part 6

The next time I wake my mind is looming over me, brittle, on fire. My skin pealing away. The world’s overbright and screeching angry deamon winds, holocaust winds howl down upon me, rendering me to the bone. The mortal terror, this new horror,.. more than any man can take. My rational mind loses the battle. I open and close my eyes just for a second and think. Focus on something, where am I? sand,...I’m in the desert? But how, that doesn’t matter. Focus! Sandpaper dry heat on my skin, my head feels like an empty melon about to implode- I thump my skull to see if it sounds hollow. No. There is still some living moisture inside. I try to see through the left eye again. This is ridiculous- “Stand Up” I hear shouting! The world is spinning, is the sky up or down? I can’t tell. Close my eye. Damn this Hell– I want to LIVE! “Stand still” I roar. And slowly, I begin to see the horizon, a waverying line of...? The sun overhead, or is that the moon? I’ve got to start walking or I’m dead! I take a step, then another, and then stop cold. How is this even possible, despair floods in and dread creeps in behind. The backwaters rush, fill the hollow existential bottom of my stomach...I’m sick again. NO! I take another step. There has got to be some kinda way outta here!

There’s a road in front of me now, it seems to be leading up an incline. I stumble along the tracks. They must have thought I was dead. The sun is going down quickly but it was just,.... I’m losing time. Why didn’t they shoot me? Maybe they did! I check, nothing wet, no holes. I’m resting on something solid, my arm is against a dirt wall. Have I fallen into a ditch? No, I’m still on the road. Keep walking. Suddenly it’s dark. That happened too fast! “IS THERE NO GOD!” I can’t lose hope- begin to choke out a laugh, at first just a scratching exhale, but then I think of tears trying to pour from that bloody eye hole and I start to roar with real laughter. It’s all so riduculous and meaningless! Must survive just to realize the stupidity of all this suffering. A brief cool breeze blows a few microscopic water droplets onto skin. There is a green forest up above on the road- cool, dark and the quiet mystery of the forest. Ohhh my soul!! A light breaks over the sky and then a sweet female voice, an angel’s voice, cries out to me. This must be heaven. Heaven is a forest with angels singing!! Heaven is a woodland spirit. That’s what they’ve been trying to tell me the whole time- I’m crying now tears of joy.
I’m back in the city again. By the west side bridge- someone drove me here, who? A dark car, I couldn’t see the driver. Will any of this ever make sense?! I’ve lost a lot of blood but know where I am now.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

part 5

Waking in a dark alley I proceeded to vomit all over my newly blood stained Jermyn street silk suit. It’s a gangster thing. I had bought the suit from one of those uptown shops. It was for my cover at Vinny’s club. The fact is I loved that suit and the million dollar feeling it gave me when walking around La Mambo Muerta; all those hot and spicy latin chicks showing off their short sequined dresses and long sun kissed stems. I felt around for what remained of my right eye socket. It was well crushed– couldn’t find the eye– nothing but black on that side and the pain was nauseating. What I saw with my left eye didn’t make any sense, but puking seemed to help so I did it again. Somewhere I could hear a cat meow, maybe it was moving closer to lick up my sick. Hate cats!! But this pussy gave me hope, a sign of life. I moved to lift myself up, maybe even stand, but my right arm doubled-up underneath me. I fall slamming back into a wall with that raw bloody eye socket smashing hard into brick– an unfathomably dull shock and flash of bright red white angry hot.... Later,.. waking again, the cat is on my face licking at my eye socket with it’s tail in my mouth. I spit hard!

Monday, September 1, 2008

part 4

Wally was late as usual. He had a habit of being forgetful too. The combination made it seem like he didn’t care- but he was basically an alright guy for a murdering thug. The place was empty which was rare on a Friday night. I ordered a bottle of their cheapest tequila, the crap the wetbacks won’t even touch on Sunday, and proceeded to get drunk. I had a bad feeling about where this was going. After waiting an hour, five shots of tequila and no Steinke, I got up to leave. The bartender was a big, ugly, stupidly dressed dude and he grunted something about paying- not the usual friendly smiling–faced girl I’d grown used to. What was happening to this place!? I paid for the drinks and left the bottle, I think, and dropped a dollar tip for the trouble I’d caused. I really imagined telling that bartender to go “get bent jerkface!” The next half hour I tried to find my way out of the bar. It wasn’t easy. I kept moving to get around the plush red curtains of the oddly oriental decor at the entrance way, maneuvering towards the door in semicircles. Finally, a shadow caught me in the side of the eye. So did a crowbar. I think they were one and the same.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

That Man I Shot

Drive-By Truckers
That man I shot, He was trying to kill me
He was trying to kill me He was trying to kill me
That man I shot I didn’t know him
I was just doing my job, maybe so was he

I was there to help him but he didn’t want me there
I did not hate him, I still don’t hate him
He was trying to kill me and I had to take him down

That man I shot, I still can see him
When I should be sleeping, tossing and turning
He’s looking at me, eyes looking through me
Break out in cold sweats when I see him standing there

That man I shot, shot not in anger
But when I close my eyes, I still can see him
I feel his last breath in the calm dead of night

part 3

NOTE: see the bulls!it I left for you on the right>>- just follow the "bullsh!t" clues...THE OTHER BLOG!! JEESH!!>>

When I left the office that Friday I hadn't expected any more calls of the bullshit variety– but bullshit has a way of creeping up on you, or at least that's how I'd come to see things while working at Vinny Calhoun's nightclub "La Mambo Muerta". This was my cover, pretending to be a bookie, doing a pretty good job. I was having a bite to eat, something quick and lousy at Joey's Thai food joint around the corner. The greasy spoon smelled of sour cabbage, I think it was their special that day. Joey shouts at me from behind a fresh steaming gassy bowl of fish and seaweed, "Hey Jack! You phone call." It was Walter Steinke again. He wanted to meet up for drinks and shoot the breeze. His wife had left him again the week before, taken the kid and moved to Reno. I wasn't in the mood for chitchat, and I didn't plan on making friendly with a serious mobster like Wally S. But then he said he had some business to discuss with me- something to do with Vinny's little brother Burger Calhoun. Hell of a name for a skinny weasel two-faced pimply geek kid- but that's what Vinny always called him– plus the kid loved burgers (Hell, that's all he ever ate)! If you stood too close you could smell them oozing out of his face. I agreed to meet Wally at the Volcano,... it was a dark and noisy joint and the chick bartender always gave me an extra free round after the first couple of drinks. I choked down the last I could of the crap Joey had left on my plate and paid his homely Vietnamese wife at the door. This was going to be a long night.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

part 2

The evidence had been collecting on my desk for a while- I knew who the suspects were, and I'd been keeping track of their movements for the past few weeks. I was deep undercover. Even my closest associates didn’t know I was a dirty stinken P.I. ex-cop. The ex-cop part had been years ago, and back down east- the P.I. part was my own dirty little secret. I had an office job now. My secretary, or at least that's how I thought of her, she didn't know we were all crooked as snakes. That's why I believed I could trust her. With that kind of innocence maybe she wouldn't even be afraid of snakes,... but what dame had ever not been afraid. This whole job stunk of murder and lots of it. The long, slow, tiresome kind of murder that takes years to dig up, because the corpse has been rotting right under your feet the whole time. I needed a shovel and something solid to stand on before I sank even lower into the muck- but something told me I'd be up to my neck and gasping for breath before this was all over.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chapter 1

The name on the door read Schidlovsky. It was a mess of a name from a mess of a past. I didn't like it any more than I liked the job I'd been given, but some things, when you hold on to them for too long, just can't be cut loose. It was like that for Mary and me. She had held on too tight through tough times and rough nights, when neither of us was sure I'd be coming home. But sure as I was a stinking dirty P.I. ex-cop, she was too sweet to let me go,... so instead, she was slowly forcing me to cut us both loose. It would work out all the same in the end either way. I could feel it creeping closer day-by-day , this was no kind of satisfactory place to be, and this job would see me killed in a moment if I let my emotions show. Some of the goons and thugs I worked for were smarter than they looked. In this city nobody talks about you if you end up on the raw side of a deal gone bad, you just disappear; and I was always one deal away and closer each day to the ragged edge--one slip-up from seeing my name sliced out of the picture--persona non grata but permanently!