Thursday, August 27, 2009

honey, ca

(still haven't unpacked)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


ten am, swamped in sweat, we left for california. car packed to its outer limits; every window blocked, mirrors visible only if squinting. the first day we drove 800 miles through mississippi’s rotted maw into shreveport, louisiana. checked-in at the hotel; the clerk cleared his throat: you know yr late you know yr really really late. on the sidewalk, we passed two frat boys named chet and kenny who offered us a puff off their blunt. located on the second floor, our room overlooked the pool, which was occupied 24/7 by co-eds. after snuggling down in bed, we realized we forgot to pack the cat’s litter box. yelling balcony to balcony, i asked chet directions to wal-mart? he tripped on an empty bottle of abita take a left out the parking lot, stay straight, first right. on our drive, we passed six prostitutes huddled outside a chevron. at the hotel, useless sleeping pills. woke before dawn. slipped into my clothes, damp from the humidity. the sun rose. we crossed into texas. at a love’s fueling station, i bought a “don’t mess with” post-card for my sister. two coffees later, we saw signs for dallas but not the city itself. at rush hour we rolled through austin. my tires did not complete a single full rotation till at least sixteen miles outside the city, and even then, stop-n-go all the way to san antionio.

san antionio: psychotic heat, concrete bleached past any recognizable shade of white. when we arrived at tom’s house, his dad stood from his lawn chair, waved, then resumed his seat beneath what appeared to be a palm tree. a tortoise crawled out, blinked. when i parked my car on the curb, tom rushed over no no no neighborhood patrol. i moved my car. tom’s dad handed me a spaten: yeah, the neighborhood's nothing if not up my ass about parking and shoes on the stoop. i finished my beer. single swig. removed my shoes and placed them on the stoop next to the tangle of leather loafers, burned-out tevas. inside: the most pristine carpet, hard-wood. tom’s dad handed me another spaten: sorry i don’t have anything harder. out back--tom gave us a tour of his turtles, tortoises, and snakes; his knowledge of each species, as well as reptiles in general, impressed. while i watched the red-footed tortoise sleep, tom fired the grill. filet mignon. wine spilt across a tartan table cloth. after cutting his steak into three equally proportioned pieces, tom’s dad recounted his days in southern california. mostly, the drugs. after dinner we drove to j’s house. the sign on the corner read no playing in the street. tom pointed out each house. two different cars in four months crashed into the same duplex. j. answered the door with a handshake and pack of marlboro lights. i blazed through my first two cigarettes as well as the joint j. rolled. don’t smoke this shit with just anyone. on the radio, doug sahm sang did a lot of cocaine did a lot of rhythm and blues. around midnight the boys brought out the amps, alternated between wonky arthur lee covers and just plain wanking. at some point j. unplugged his bass, stood up, and pulled the blinds shut: i can’t tell if that’s a P.E. instructor or a cop. tom said one last round then we’re out.

when the dew burned off the grass, we drove to lubbock. on four hours of sleep. my sole salvation: two trips to dairy queen, a pack of cigarettes. too exhausted to bother with "touring the town," we walked to the wal-mart across the street from our hotel, bought a large pizza and case of lone star beer. bellies full, tv blaring: fucked twice before passing out with all the lights on.

the drive to flagstaff passed without incident. earth carved up, crazed red, etc. i snapped splotchy pictures through the windshield, did not speed. smoked cigarettes through my teeth. after the last night in the last hotel, we left for LA starry-eyed and laughing. thirty miles from the border, i received the most inane, over-priced, totally illegal traffic ticket of my life. at the fruits and agriculture check-point, a man in tethered twills confiscated my prunes. three hours later, we arrived at our new apartment, unloaded the car, split a speedway stout, burned out.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

san antonio, tx

big wheels keep on turning / proud mary keep on burning