Thursday, July 24, 2008

You couldn't ask a king.


Yesterday I started taking to thinking a lot on the nature of bad dreams. In different ways they could be nightmares, and in another way they could be rotted aspirations. Or, they're both all the time. Depending on who you are.

I've known a lot of people who have bad dreams in different directions. There's a lot that can happen in sleep, besides passing the time. Do you remember the time I hung from that swingset in the sky, watching the sea in the distance intentedly while whales flipped in and out of the waves, splashing the rolling meadows, and then how I swung to the highest arc and then jumped out of the seat? Do you remember the time I broke everything into splinters until all the world around me was just empty black space and I fell, and then the time I figured out how to destroy the human skeleton from inside the locked human body, without saying a word? And that time with the telephone call, the forgiveness that would not come, and then waking up and getting dressed and going to work with my head down. And how it all happened outside of sleep. The relief cut. That dumb early morning sigh.

Before getting into bed I came over to write this. Before coming over to write this I took a swig of rum, then a swig of NyQuil, then another of rum. Right now I'm going to head downstairs to have another of both, then I'll brush my teeth and see you later.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ants gathering at the foot of the bed.


I suppose it's finally time for bed. It's been twelve days of 24-hour Mickey's and Sparks and Terminal Gravity. Now I feel like I know these drinks like people. People I can trust and people that don't always say thank you but, in the bottom gulps of their pooling hearts, still actually don't resent the open arms they're always showered with. We dropped Julie and Sean off at the airport tonight after dinner at the hands of Shane, our resident chef. After taking in a film with Courtney and Clint, I crawled into the attic to work on some photographs. Tonight I finished arranging forty of them and that's just good enough to be able to resume crawling, this time into the bed. Lately my blood alcohol level has been the exact level of blood. So I've been shivering, and frowning when I have to get out of bed. Tomorrow morning I have another photoshoot in North Portland, so I need to rise somewhat early to catch an appropriate bus.

More than likely tomorrow I will also have the first prints from my recent tour with Unwed Sailor. I'm keeping the thought I have in my head of the Devil's fingers, crossed. After a month-long trip, seeing first prints is a quiet little horror that is always somewhat welcome, but creates a nervous sensation that's not unlike anxiety or stress. And a few beers before coming home, I'll have that too. It will compliment the rum and soda I plan on having before getting on the bus.

Also, I posted the rough draft of a new story here, at Please Don't Leave Me's profile on MySpace. I was pretty surprised that with all the recent goings-on I could actually find the time alone to get a new story done, so I had a pleasant rest that night despite the four Sparks in my system that truly almost had my head squeezed dry of moisture. I think I drank a gallon of water the following morning because I couldn't feel enough moisture in my body to make it to the bus stop under the haze of the afternoon sun without recuperating.

I own a mule?

Good-night, sailor.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A caustic decree. A caustic decree.


When the shower is running on warm and your nose is bleeding and way the light filters into the room and the small droplets of blood splash in the water that divides around your feet as it runs, and you look like two rocks or trees or nameless pillars in a white water stream, and the red blood splashes everywhere, it looks pretty.

As a small tyke and even in my early teen years, my nose used to be a constant fountain of blood. It proved a splendid recourse from class, as I could only just be excused to the Boys Room, where I didn't have to do anything but stand there and pretend I was hurt instead of remaining in class letting life drain through me like wind eddying through canyons and wiping away centuries of stone.

I liked blood a lot, and I always figured girls were into cuts and scars, but girls aren't into nosebleeds, let me say for sure. You don't get pretty, batting eyelashes when your nose is bleeding in school because it looks like some bigger kid just beat you up. And girls don't like a loser.

I wish I'd had chronic stigmata instead of nosebleeds. I bet girls would have been into that. And maybe I could have even been on a television talk show and answered questions about it.

"Yeah, I miss school. I miss being home. But with this stigmata, I just don't have the time for that kind of stuff anymore."

The bleeding's stopped now. Maybe I should start taking vitamins. This late in life, I don't know if I can erase the damage done from a lifetime of malnutrition and then the extra addition of a hobby like alcohol consumption. But maybe vitamins aren't so bad anymway. I'm covered in a lot of little bruises all over my body, by the way. From shooting photographs or falling down, I can't say where their origins were developed. Mickey's is a powerful drink. Thanks, Coffey/McDermott.

Julie's still here at the house, so to speak. We've been shooting for a few days. I think Andrew Kaiser is downstairs in the house. He's taking Julie and Sean out for photographs. Andrew is a wonderful photographer who lives here in Portland too. She's been writing about it in her travel blog.

I have to get going now. The hospital staff is starting to panic and my telephone keeps ringing and it's doctors, and I'm supposed to be picking up a shipment of camera film in the hospital reception area in the sea and I'm late.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Your stomach will have flowers sprout from the lining.

10:38 pm / my attic.

Tonight is the first of a series of twelve, whereupon I am being visited from across the countryside by my friends Julie Coffey, a model and somewhat of a snowstorm unto herself, and Sean Monistat, a musician and an oar to soothe such tempestuous waters.

You know what?

My favorite drink, I believe, since I can't afford to drink margaritas all day, is Sparks. But these people brought the green-bottled Mickey's into my household today. And I used to tend bar at a place in a Southeastern United State, and we did serve Mickey's, and I knew people would lose their minds on this drink, but it never occurred to me to try it myself. Because, maybe, it's a green-bottled drink, and most drinks in a green bottle are not worth paying for, nor are they suited for personally decent drinking even if they're offered to you for free.

Well, I just woke from a late afternoon nap after a five hour photography shoot and a quick dinner with Julie, and I woke up in a puddle of Sparks in my bed. Wet shirt, wet sheets, wet blanket, wet pants. I was covered in fucking Sparks.

Upon investigation by the local sheriff and a detective from the Precinct and some people with medical/law degrees, forensics analysis came up with these salient facts:

1. The table down in the kitchen presents five emptied 40 ounce bottles of Mickey's lined up, and the trash receptacle will offer you the remains of two Sparks and some other local energy drink with an eight percent alcohol level on the easy side of that.

2. I am wide awake.

So, you know, I fall asleep with a can or bottle of beer in my hand all the time. It's fairly natural for me, and a common end to nights. But I balance it pretty well in sleep, and I never have problems. I don't ever spill drinks in sleep. This drink Mickey's turned me inside the devil and out. Now I'm spilling drinks in my sleep. I love it.

I just put everything in the washer; Sean and Julie are asleep downstairs in the guest room at my house in Portland. I believe they are trying to keep a running blog of this week. So I'll have a link to it when I find out where in the Hell it's located, or if it's being done. It's going to be a really fun next eleven fucking days.

"Let's do this" / "see you in the pit" - Jason Hamacher.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Falling backwards down the stairs.

Hello. I have been back from tour for just under two weeks now. Things got a little hectic on the road, and before long it became an uphill battle to put everything down into this blog; I fell behind, naturally. For the next few posts here I will probably re-cap some of the more particularly keen moments. Like, drunken disorder, fights, injuries, black-outs and black eyes and book sales.

I would like to thank everyone who came to the shows and certainly anyone who shelled out fourteen dollars for a book. I had a fine time drinking that money down almost directly after acquiring it, I can tell you that much for sure. Also, it would become appropriate to thoroughly thank my friend Johnathon Ford (from Unwed Sailor) for bringing me on tour again. And to the whole band for making it a pleasant trip and a successful tour and of course, thanks Sybris too, especially Angela and Eric, whom I grew to love and to want to see naked.

Things started to go crazy almost instantaneously the moment we arrived in Austin, but I didn't know it right off the bat. After loading everything into Emo's, Johnathon and I made our way to the Driskill Hotel, which is a tradition of Johnathon's upon playing any and every show in Austin that he does. This was probably my second or third time along for the trip. The Driskill has a beautiful bar, and this really fucking keen Irish bartender named Shawn (if I spelled that correctly).

While Shawn went through teaching us the various acceptable cooling degrees of Guinness and the proper servings and the accepted servings and the absolutely bullshit servings that he does not approve of or even like to talk about too loud for fear someone may get an idea that it's a good idea, some guy sits at the stool next to me, a little to close, and almost nudges me right out of my seat. It was fast and easy to just forget. This sort of thing happens all the time, right?

Johnathon is on the other side of me and doesn't notice it happening, and although Shawn is on the ball at all times, his back is turned to the stranger while he's pouring either Johnathon or I yet another frosty Guinness. By the way, this guy Shawn pours the best glass of Guinness ever. If you ever have the pleasure of being served a beer by him, just watch him pour one and you'll -- or you should, anyway -- agree.

The guy who's just nudged me a little too gruffly has his back to me also. He's really big so I decide the proper thing to do would be to not jump to conclusions and instantly get myself into trouble by opening my mouth.

But the fucking guy nudges me again, harder, and again, almost knocks me from my seat. Neither Shawn nor Johnathon can see what is going on, because they're both on the other side of me. I take a sideways glance and still can't get a good look at this big fucking guy's face, so I don't know if he's just clumsy and drunk or if he's actually trying to push me out of my place at the bar. So I don't say aything. Either way, I'm not letting this guy push me out of having a good time. So I blink, picture koala bears in my head and good-looking girls in checkered dresses on a dance floor or a funeral parlor or something, I grit my teeth and try to forget about it.

A good couple minutes later, halfway into a new Guinness, the big guy shifts about on his stool, his elbow connecting with mine and my beer almost topples. I'm pretty sick of this by now and I say, "Jesus fucking Christ." Everyone at the bar is looking at me like I'm the drunk jerk who's just spilled his own drink probably for the third time that night. Shawn is ready with a towel and wipes away the spilled droplets, and Johnathon's eyeing the big guy now because he finally saw what happened.

Seeing as how this kind of thing can lead quite easily to a truly uncomfortable experience if handled in the wrong manner, I'm trouble-shooting in my head on how best to say something to this guy, who looks about six times bigger than I am, because I'm ready to and if I don't come up with something good soon, I'm about ready to say something stupid. Around this time I've begun to not really be all that concerned if the guy feels like hitting me after I call him out on his fumbling, because I just really want to say something, and loudly.

With his back still to me, I tense my fingers around the chilled Guinness, furrowing my brow. Then the big guy sighs and I hear him whisper out, in a smooth, silky, almost smoky voice, one single line of delicate song. Almost too quiet for anyone else to hear it but me. He sings, to no one, "...I really WISH these snakes were your arms..."

And I start to laugh. "Motherfucker," I say and slap the big guy on the shoulder, and he turns to me finally and starts laughing. It's Chino Moreno.

"Damn," he says. "It's about time, you slow son of a bitch. And I thought you were gonna hit me too, little man."

The line he sang to me was from a song called Kimdracula from his last record Saturday Night Wrist. The last time I had seen Chino had been at that very bar (on another tour stop with Johnathon), a couple of years back, and he was writing that song at the time, penciling in the words on a sheet of yellow notepad paper while drinking straight whiskey with no ice. I'd taken a look at the sheet and pointed to the line about the snakes and I'd said how romantic that sounded and how I was impressed with his ability to say something so lovely in so curt a fashion. He'd invited me to come along to photograph some of the recording sessions, which were not going so well, he'd said, and wasn't actually sure when the devil he'd really get around to putting it on tape anyway. But it's funny he remembered that I liked that line, considering how drunk he was when it happened. That was years ago.

Johnathon and I stayed for a few more rounds of whiskey and I leaned into Shawn and had it all put on Chino's tab (even the several beers and cocktails we'd had before Moreno's arrival). We didn't tell him we were doing that, and I never got an angry call that night, so I don't think Chino even noticed.

Not that I'd have been able to answer the telephone too properly that night. After Johnathon and I left the Driskill, the evening went sort of berserk.

And that was the real beginning of tour.