out of order substance abuse blog is as follows:
I was walking up to the clock to punch out and the soup with poor social skills was thinking out loud as she placed orders a few feet away. She murmered a sentence most of which I didn't notice, but in the middle of it was the term "Pineapple slingers." Since I was about to punch out, I debated for a second before I fed her lies because tampering with her delicate mind is a coping mechanism to help me deal with the workplace and I couldn't decide if that was something I was willing to do without getting paid. So, I didn't punch out.
"Did you just say 'pineapple slingers?' That's...racist."
"What do you mean?" She used the front of her mouth to form her syllables which made her voice thin and difficult to respect.
"That's a racial slur. It's anti-samoan."
"Yeah." I lowered my voice. "That's like saying 'spear chucker.'"
"Oh my god! Eli and I say that all the time in the mornings!" She went on to explain that the people we order pineapples from sell pineapples exclusively, unlike most of our wholesalers who sell us varying products.
"Well, you just wanna be careful who you say that around. You don't want anybody from Hawaii to hear that."
"Who says that?"
"Ignorant people from the sticks, mostly. And you." Her posture suffered and she frowned because her progressive secularism had been threatened by my ability to instantly generate offensive fiction.
I punched out for lunch and chased cereal bars with black coffee on the curb out back as I beamed with pride that came from a source not very many people would understand.
Hours of work went by and they didn't really matter. One of the more decent employees at the grocery store turned 40 that night so there was a party in his honor. I arrived and found beers. I drank them quickly because scavengers capitalize when availability dictates. I started opening them with my name tag, which was flimsy and of little help. My hand repeatedly struck the harsh edge of the caps and was gradually cut more and more. It was cold out and my blood alcohol level was high so my hands were not very sensitive. It wasn't until I stepped inside from the dark porch where I'd spent most of the night that I noticed the blood. Not too much, but enough. I went all through the bathroom but found no band-aids. The best I could do was fill my pocket with toilet paper and keep that hand wadded in there, the wounds slowly clotting.
The boyfriend of the soup who only recently learned that she was an accidental racist was there and his mouth made noise that warned people of blood by the toilet in the bathroom. He said something about thinking some woman must be on her period, which confirmed my suspicion that, based solely on the fact that he was dating such a huge bitch, he knew little to nothing about vaginas. She probably doesn't even have one and if she does it is probably either lined with thorns, or just the consistency of two cold livers that constantly gravitate inches away from each other.
present tense production note: It had crossed my mind to go to bed sober tonight but I think the preceeding sentence eliminated that possibility.
I went back to the bathroom the next time I had to piss and there was just a little blood on the floor, as though some perioding chick would be like, "Oh, hey, as long as my tuna trailor is bleeding, I should just go ahead and do yoga naked in the ten inches between the toilet and the wall." minimal blood was evident on the cabinet handles where I had looked for bandages. It was dry enough that the toilet paper wouldn't clean it so the hosts would have the pleasure of guessing its origin the following morning. I told my stories and my jokes and talked my shit and drank and bled until my roommate picked me up and took me home. I woke up on the couch fully clothed.
Sunday is broadly viewed as a day of rest, and while that rarely applies to me, on 4/27/08 I had my only day off for two weeks.
It was gross how early I woke up. Even having drank until nearly three in the morning, consciousness came storming up to me before it was even eight. I tossed and turned for a couple hours before waking up my roommate who I usually go to the bar down the street with on Sunday mornings. I was impatient. He said he didn't think the bar was open that early so I called and they weren't. I called the bar up the street though, and they were, so we went there to drink until the bar down the street opened and we could go there. It was pleasant. I napped and we paid a social visit to a guy who lives out of the way a little. We drank more beers and then I had band practice and drank more beers. I thought I would be too drunk to play but my fingers auto-piloted to the right notes.
The roommates and I made it to the malt liquor store
I woke up in the same clothes on the same couch. It was a little after eight this time. There was malt liquor leftover next to me and I sat upright to drink a bottle while I looked out the window and enjoyed the contrast of the branches against the sky. I called people wanting a ride to my car and the only person who answered showed up shortly after. He had been bribed with the remaining bottle and showed up in heart-print pajama bottoms, flip-flops and a Nike hoody. The original idea was that I would give him the bottle to enjoy later and I would get a ride to my car and have a responsible day. He popped the lid off, though, and we traded pounds until it was gone.
"Are you hungry?" He asked
"Yeah, sure. I'm always at least kind of hungry."
"What's there to eat around here?" I assumed "around here" meant my part of town, not my house, because I never have groceries around.
"Um...There's a bar up the street. I think it's fifty cent taco day." And it was, but not until five, so we ordered other food. And a couple pitchers of beer and some pints. Didn't take long for him to be too drunk to drive me to my car, so we called the sandwich shop I work at and recruited the delivery driver of that shift to pick me up and take me across the river to my other job at the grocery store. I sobered up around six that evening and had boring talks until I was finally off at eleven again, waiting on a ride from the first buddy from that morning who had stayed behind to sober up on my couch until he had to work. I was waiting for him in the parking lot when a coworker left the building and invited me to his van. I went to the van and he passed me the bourbon and I pulled. He pulled and said that the taste kind of reminded him of bananas. I pulled again.
"Nothing?" He asked.
"No. Not bananas."
And the first guy showed up and the van guy invited us to a bar. We went to a different bar first and were subjected to karaoke. Terrible. The drunk girl next to me was not shy and when she heard us talking about going to a different bar, she asked if we were going to a strip club and we said no. She said the strippers where she was from were hotter than the strippers around here anyway and referenced some names I didn't recognize, as I indicated verbally. She said they were porn stars and did her little best to immasculate me for not following pornography closely.
"I don't watch a lot of mainstream porn." I explained. "But I was watching this video on the internet a while ago where this chick with an amputated leg bangs another lady with her stump. That was pretty good stuff. And they were both pretty good looking, too. I didn't really get off on it, but I found it interesting. Maybe that's 'cos I always figured I could get along with a disabled lady though. Ya know? Like it would be empowering to be able to carry someone to bed at night as a nice gesture or something like that. So maybe that's part of why I like amputation porn. Maybe I have a trace of an empowerment fetish that gets satisfied there. Also, I wonder how sensitive the stump is. Cos it doesn't seem like the stump would find that much stimulation during penetration. And the stump is broad and rigid enough that it doesn't seem like it would be pleasant to receive, either."
The look on her face suggested that she bit off more than she could chew by instigating coversation with me.
Off to the bar that the van guy invited us to for fire dancing. They played mostly industrial music while the performers took turns with various shapes of poi to ignite and swing rhythmically on chains. Some talented folks, to be sure. One girl danced well while another stood at the other side of the stage with an electric grinder of some sort, applying it to a harness she was wearing that looked kind of like a leather jock strap with a big patch of pewter over her junk, so sparks flew from her crotch and showered the girl dancing with her spinning flames. Good stuff. They finished and we left and climbed buildings. I should have gotten hurt a lot worse than I did. We were on a roof, trying to get up a wall to a taller roof. This tall guy was trying to lift me. He had my feet over his head and I went for a little hop to traverse the desired distance. It did not go as planned. Planned is maybe a strong word. The results following the impulse left something to be desired. The tall guy lost his grip and I lost my balance and got to take a little plunge in the dark. I landed on the lower roof in push-up position, and managed to resist gravity enough with my arms that my nose barely hit the rough, gritty surface. The rigid part of my snout just North of the fleshy portion with the negotiable shape was scratched but not bad, as were my palms. Considering what I understand of physics, though, it still seems like my nose should be embedded in my skull right now. I picked myself up and we pushed on. After landing on the sidewalk after the last building, I saw some friends talking with strangers. I involved myself and the guy who was supposed to give me a ride to my car and I wound up walking around with a new friend. Some girl. A nice girl that I might have been attracted to had she not been a little full-seated for my taste. We walked towards her place and it turned out she lived by some coworkers that I would drink with once in a while. We popped their window screen out with a pocket knife and tried climbing in the window to see if they had any beers I could trade an IOU for, but their microwave was in the way of our best passage so we just bummed around in the courtyard between the buildings. Some neighbors smoking cigarettes on their porch started talking to us. One guy was making bird sounds. My friend recognized him from around town as "The Bird Guy," some local celebrity that walks around making his bird chirps and what-not. Another guy introduced himself and I don't remember his name, but he said that his friends called him Jesus.
"Why?" My friend inquired.
"Well, who do I look like to you?" He had a thin beard and shaggy hair, but he also had glasses.
"Jerry Garcia." He didn't think it was funny and tension followed.
We went across the courtyard and up some stairs to the new girls apartment and I searched her kitchen thoroughly for beer or liquor but came up empty handed. We all sat around and there was a knock on the door and bird guy came in, making his sounds in her dark hallway. My friend and I stood on either side of him, glancing at each other every so many seconds to determine whether or not we should give him the boot, as our host was obviously very uncomfortable with his intrusion. The bird sounds were harmless enough, but beyond that, everything I know about meth abuse applied to his figure and demeaner. Our host said something that offended him and he stormed out before the situation escalated. We all sat down and watched the original version of "The Hills Have Eyes." The girl laughed during the rape scene and put her legs over me. I was covered with muck from all the damp, moss-covered roofs, my nose had dried blood on the outside and a little leaked into my facial hair from the inside, and I had unattended scrapes on my hands and arms. She invited us to stay the night and the part of me that wants my stories to be more climactic wanted to but the part of me that wasn't interested in navigating a frame that much broader than my own agreed with my friend that we should leave. It was after five in the morning. He had sobered up and drove us to my house. We finished the wine and crashed the couches.
I woke up early again in the same clothes on the couch across from the usual couch because my friend was occupying the usual couch, his work shirt and colorful boxers providing a silent metaphor for the usual lack of planning. I showered that morning because I wanted to get all the blood off before I prepared peoples food. FINALLY I got a ride to my car and found a hand-written note threatening to tow me under one of my wiper blades.
Whatever. I made it to work only 4 minutes late for my eleven a.m. shift. I drank coffee and did the bare minimum before punching out twenty minutes early to go to the bar. I was on my second drink and the bell went off, all loud and imposing, when some guy won $600 at video poker. He bought a round for everyone at the bar and I put down my free shot of 101 before I had to meet a lady about proofreading some shit for another website. I ordered more coffee and drank some of her tea and managed to contribute what she seemed to think were worthwhile ideas but she might been charitable with her words after assessing my state. I had to feign responsibility for a couple more hours before I made it back to a bar and drank beer with my mouth and devoured women with my eyes and finally made it home to write in my fucking weblog.
Last night, at work, a girl commented on my fashion. She pinched my gray shirt between her finger and thumb and rubbed them back and forth, saying some noise about how I should get new clothes because that shirt had been worn to a point of borderline transparency and had many holes. I dismissed her observation and continued trying to look busy enough not to get hassled by management.
Today, I woke up to my roommate yelling. I drearily asked if he was yelling at me, which, in retrospect, was probably a stupid question since he was standing in my doorway staring at me and I was in bed alone. We had plans to take my car to his shop to have it worked on. It would have been early even if I had gone to bed sober, but the judgement I'd been practicing since breaking up a couple of weeks before suggested that I drink a couple bottles of wine before bed, and I complied. We made it to the mechanic's shop and while I wasn't asleep standing up, I was rapidly becoming more aware how that could be possible. We walked some blocks and got on the bus. I frequently defended public transportation around the people I knew who apparently had lifelong stints of financial security and sobriety and assumed that it was impossible to set foot on a bus without getting hepatitis, but today I lost my argument. We sat and waited for the bus driver, who was pacing around outside on his cellphone. A tweeker looking guy sat across from us and a tweeker looking couple sat behind him. They didn't seem to know each other but they spoke the same dialect.
"Fucked up weather today." The lone tweeker power mumbled as he tapped his feet.
"No shit." Said the female half of the tweeker couple.
"Fucking Cocksucker." The first tweeker looked at the bus driver outside and continued: "As much as these mother fuckers get paid, you'd think they could do their job right." The bus was one minute behind schedule.
A minute passed.
The bus driver boarded and the 9:50 bus left at 9:52. About halfway through the bus ride, I sneezed. Like, violently. Instantly blood flowed from my nose into my mustache and beard. I had a wadded up napkin in my pocket that I jabbed up my nostril to try to stop it, but the current was too strong. I just sat there and bled. As much as I tried to say that public transportation wasn't gross or even weird, I was the man openly bleeding at not quite ten in the morning sitting next to another grown man in his pajamas who was unfazed. The lone tweeker looked at me with disgust in his eyes as he rocked back and forth and kept tapping his feet. His recessed cheekbones should have inhibited his ability to non-verbally express caution but he still did. At the University stop, a college girl boarded, talking on her cellphone. She looked at me then looked away.
The bus stopped in a part of town I could mostly dig. The sandwich shop I worked at was across the street and about to open so I went in. They asked why was I there, I wasn't working that day.
"I know." I said. "I'm just bleeding. I need some napkins or something."
The middle-aged boss handed me napkins. His dad, the old boss, said: "Why are you bleeding? You didn't put some fucking metal through your nose, didya? Cuz if you did, you deserve to bleed." He was ex-military and conservative and the limited interactions I had with him led me to believe that he didn't value body piercing, which was popular among my coworkers.
"No! It's allergies or some shit."
"Well, in that case, take this." He gave me a wash cloth, which, after a year of employment under him, was the single instance of generosity or concern that could be gleaned from my recollection of our relationship.
"Hey, thanks." So my roommate and I went back to the bus station and I had more bloody rags to manage. I wadded a napkin up my nostril and attempted discretion by tearing off the visible portion, though I did a bad job and still looked remarkably disheveled, apparently. We were across the street from a small market that had coffee on the cheap. I gave my roommate money. I didn't want to hand someone in my industry a wrinkled bill with a bloody hand. I gave him instructions on where the coffee was located and leaned against the front wall of the market. Some guy walked up.
"Ya know, they're still talking about him." He said.
"Yeah. That fat bitch, out in Santa Clara, you know she's been talking about him." He had a Rotary Club Patch on his jacket and was missing more teeth than not. I made a sound with my mouth that was probably monosyllabic.
"Take this." He gave me spare change. Spange. "Keep it between you and me. Don't tell anybody about this under-the-table bullshit."
"Thank you, brother." Was what I understood one was supposed to say in such circumstances.
I pocketed the spange as my roomie came out with the coffee.
Moments later, I spent the spange on malt liquor, because I understood that was what one was to do with spange.
Work happened and I explained to the girl at the beginning of the story that I had been mistaken for being homeless and maybe she had a point about my fashion sense, though I still hadn't changed clothes since the last we'd spoken.
really old months: