Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I'm Trying To Become A Positive Light That Doesn't Fry Flying Insects (But It's Hard, So Hard)

I think I'll start this blog entry with an example of why I hate trucking. In the last one (or the one before, I can't recall) I mentioned I love trucking because of feeling free while driving all over America. No walls, no annoying coworkers or bosses nearby, take my breaks as often and as much as I want, great money, listen to music and podcasts all day, etc. Sure sure, those are sweet perks, but let me highlight some horrors. A trucker can do everything right and still have his/her day (and week even) completely messed up due to other peoples' negligence. I can drive my ass off for 1,000 miles being as perfect as I can be. Turn signals used every lane change. Mirrors checked every few seconds. Cushion of space between me and the next vehicle. Looking far ahead to anticipate situations. Using the left (passing lane) to pass and then getting over. Knowing which exits I need ahead of time and never cutting people off. Doing the speed limit or five over. Paying attention at all times. Being courteous to other vehicles. Allowing merging traffic to find a hole. Predicting stupidity.

I can do all these things while I'm driving every single day for thousands of miles while controlling an 80,000lb vehicle, but all it takes is one impatient asshole in a 5,000lb car texting while driving to cause an accident that creates a three hour traffic jam on a major interstate to completely ruin everything I've done up to that moment. Now I'm behind schedule and the cargo I'm carrying still needs to get to it's destination at its scheduled time. In order to make this happen, I sacrifice what little free time I have. I forgo my truck stop shower. I forgo the Netflix show that night. I drive longer than I want to drive. I drive a little faster than I would normally. I eat in a hurry and skip my breaks. I get irritated and curse and become less courteous while driving. And then, after everything I go through to make my delivery on time, I finally reach my destination only to find out there are five trucks ahead of me and I get to sit and wait for four hours to be unloaded (or loaded, whichever). And then I get to hurry some more and get to my next stop or race to a truck stop and hope to find a parking spot for the night because if truckers park anywhere other than a truck stop we run the risk of having gov't henchmen show up and beat on our door to happily issue a couple hundred dollar ticket for illegally parking which forces us to sacrifice sleep for more driving in order to hunt a different place to park.

An entire work week can be completely fucked up by one single mistake and several other shitty things. Not a single day goes by where something doesn't happen that derails everything I've done to make everything happen perfectly on my end. I can be a perfect trucker every day, but it doesn't really matter in the end. There's no such thing as perfect if everyone else isn't perfect too.

Speaking of imperfection, I recently broke the bumper off one of my boss's flatbed trailers. In my entire driving career, from having a regular license at 16 to being CDL holder for the past 15 years, I've had a perfect driving history, minus a dead dog and a broken mirror and an accident on my record that was no fault of my own. I pride myself on being extremely attentive and professional, but I guess shit can catch up to everyone at some point. I was making a delivery at the top of a landfill in West Virginia. It was 6:30am, still pitch dark, pouring down rain. Where I needed to offload looked treacherous. I got out and used my fleshlight to inspect and assess. With the direction my truck was facing I realized I would have to make a 45 degree turn to get up to the area, so I decided to search for a place to turn around and make things easier. Bad idea. I ended up putting myself into a situation that no tractor trailer should ever be in. Mud, rain, darkness, steep incline, zero space to maneuver. In trying to turn myself around I managed to back right into a concrete barrier that was partially submerged and hidden by earth stuff. It broke the bumper right off the trailer. I then proceeded to put my truck through hell trying to get out and not get stuck or jackknifed. Basically, I did everything wrong to put myself into a situation which I then had to do everything more wrong to get myself out of. Everything about that morning sucked and it bled into the days that followed. My morale shot down to zero and I've been beating myself up pretty hard ever since. I came very close to quitting everything and looking for something else to do for money.

Okay what next? Recently one of my best friends on this crusty planet asked me which Modest Mouse songs were my favorite. She said, "Mick, what are your top five Modest Mouse songs?" to which I replied by giving her my favorite fifteen. Basically, Modest Mouse is one of those bands that became super awesome by creating about twenty super awesome songs. Mind you, they have something like 14 albums spanning a decade and a half, but they seem to have created a bunch of unlistenable nonsense in that period of time. This is me speaking as a Modest Mouse fan. I'm pretty sure they are aware of this. I mean, they have to be, right? When I write a blog or a story or a poem that doesn't hit, I instantly recognize it and strive to do better next time. I might not do better next time, but at least I recognize my efforts and my shortcomings. Okay, so my point in saying all this is to share the list with you, in case any of you were interested in wondering if you might like this band. I do like them, despite their many misses. Matter of fact, they recently dropped a brand new album in 2015 and none of the songs on my favorites list is from that album, if that tells you anything. Okay, without further adieu, here's my list of best Modest Mouse songs:

1. Baby Blue Sedan ("and it's hard to be a human being, and it's harder than anything else")

2. Never Ending Math Equation (Constantly searching for the meaning of life and a purpose for existence... and also how parents respond if asked: they said they said they said they said blah blah blah)

3. Here It Comes (Kind of how I feel about everything and everyone I encounter in life... "Oh, well here it comes. Let's see where this shit goes")

4. Night On The Sun (Feels like a difficult-to-decipher poem that escaped the page it was written on and transformed itself into a more easily appreciated form of art)

5. So Much Beauty (This song nails it perfectly... what I love about being alive)

6. Ocean Breathes Salty (Deep lyrics here. Highlights the pull between life and death; the necessity of taking a time out and a step back; the importance of discovering your purpose, otherwise you waste life and you waste death.)

7. One Chance (Just a great song)

8. Gravity Rides Everything (Just another great song)

9. Float On (the very first Modest Mouse song I ever heard. The interesting and clever lyrics coupled with the melodic and catchy music... I was instantly hooked. I love how they tied this song into World At Large)

10. 3rd Planet (This is the second song I listened to upon first discovering MM and to this day it remains one of my favorites. Love the melody and how the trippy, hard to understand lyrics cause my brain to spiral away from the moment and live off planet and off script for 4 minutes)

11. Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset (The summary of my depressed life and almost every poem I ever wrote)

12. Fire It Up (This could also be titled 'The Seinfeld Song' because it's just a good goddamn song about nothing)

13. Missed The Boat (My number one favorite MM song. Perfect melody, perfect lyrics, perfect everything)

14. Little Motel (My second most favorite song by them for exact same reasons)

15. Steam Engenius (Some people might equate these lyrics to gibberish nonsense, but I think they ring like bells above a school yard filled with missing children who found better ways to inflate themselves on a daily basis)

Honerable Mentions:

*Trailer Trash (an example of when instruments far outshine the straightforward and simple lyrics. I love this musical melody; never want it to end)

*Bury Me With It (a song about a pessimist/cynical outlook on life? hah, count me in)

Drugs Mmmkay!

*Alone Down There (Feels like a shared drug trip between two friends or lovers that slides dangerously close to an over dose. Hard to create that in a song, but they did it here)

*Stars Are Projectors (More drug music. This is the acid trip. Psychadelics are not an easy experience, much like this song. If one decides to try them, expect a long tumultuous ride of thoughts and emotion. Your brain will pulse and swell and your conscious will expand all while you uncover truths about your deeper self and experience feelings of overwhelming fright and disorder)

*Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes (More drug music)

*The Cold Part  (More drug music. Reminds me of the first time I tried salvia... the feeling I had under the influence and the moments that followed upon being released from its effects)

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Earth Is Your Oyster

My last post was terrible. I hate it and I apologize for being such a shit, but I'm going to leave it up because that's what this blog is all about. For those of you who read me, you know I don't really hide behind anything (i.e. my domain name). I am sometimes harshly opinionated, often drunk, and always as honest as I can be with the stuff I write, even if it's brutal. That last entry was no exception. Lately I've felt upset with myself and bored and confused and feel like I'm letting go of huge part of who I am. It takes a lot to excite me and I lashed out at internet strangers in general because I was reading blog pages and it felt to me that people don't really have anything to say anymore. I bet I spent nearly an hour perusing various blog sites, reading everything from food related to online dating to cultural events. Honestly, not a single page sucked me in. Everything felt fluffy and I certainly wasn't in a fluffy mood, so I lashed out and pitched a fit and two of you answered back (which surprised the hell out of me). I appreciate those comments and it strikes me funny how for the past year it's been dead quiet, not a peep, but as soon as I write a lambasting entry and "call you fuckers out" (that's how I worded it before editing) I receive two comments. Haha, that fascinates me. Maybe you are bored too? Maybe something I said made a little sense? After re-reading I do realize my logic was indeed flawed, but the overall point of humans being bored and trapped and surrounded by situations and people that further disenfranchise their spirits, still seems solid to me. I don't know, maybe I'm way off. Maybe the majority of people are extremely happy in life and everything is awesome and my own personal experiences and issues have completely tainted my assessment. I concede this could very well be true. I hope so, anyway.

Now that I'm trucking, I witness a lot of people make very poor decisions while I'm out here driving around the USA every day. For example, on my drive over to the hotel where I'm staying tonight, I watched a tractor trailer traveling in the right lane pop over into the left lane quickly and unexpectedly, cutting off a whole row of other cars which caused everyone to brake hard to avoid crashing. The trucker did this because he was met by a group of three cars all merging onto the highway where he was. Two of the cars merged perfectly, but one of them freaked out and just kept driving right alongside the big rig all the way to where the merge lane disappeared and then found herself driving on the shoulder kicking up dust and debris. I think she expected the big truck to move out of her way and when it didn't, she didn't know what to do. The trucker finally did move over, but he shouldn't have. By doing so he created an even more dangerous situation. As it stood, the only person in harms way was that idiot who didn't understand the rules of merging, but when that trucker swerved over into the left lane like that, he created a danger zone for all the rest of us in his vicinity. The whole thing was fucked up and could've been avoided if people simply understood the rules of the road, and actually it's very simple because there are only three things that can be done when merging:

1) get up to highway speed quickly
2) yield to highway traffic (they are not required to yield to you!)
3) slide into a hole ahead or behind any vehicles already in that lane

That's it; those are the only things that can be done when merging onto a highway, and yet I see it dozens of times every day, people who have no clue what to do and it creates an extremely dangerous situation every time. The vehicles traveling in the right side lane do not have to yield to those who are merging. If the left side lane is open and it's safe to move over, then it's courteous to move over and help those merging cars out, but it's not required so don't expect it! I see so much dumb shit out here that I could literally turn this blog into a Driving Tutorial explaining how to operate motor vehicles safely and correctly, but I'll be (brutally) honest, I kind of don't care. Maybe vehicular deaths are just one way of keeping the human population in check? We breed a lot and we live a lot longer and we don't get killed by wild animals anymore. In nature, a grizzly bear wouldn't care if it ate a newborn human baby or a full grown adult. It's just a random act of hunger that ends one way or the other. Same thing with car accidents.

So, what uplifting topic should I cover next? Wait, let me mix another vodka drink. Hey, did I ever tell ya'll why I prefer vodka over anything else? It's because my grandfather was Russian! So it makes sense that I love vodka so much. Trickle down theory right there, bitches. Oh wait, am I allowed to say 'bitches' in America? Will Google flag my blog for being insensitive? Hmm, I wonder.
Yeah, please don't get me started on the whole Antifa/Feminist/Leftist anti-free speech thing that's happening in this country. The one thing I care about more than anything is the ability for me (and anyone else, even a despicable Nazi) to be able to say or express thoughts out loud and not be aggressed against. If I am not hurting you financially or physically, then nothing else matters. Your feelings can kindly go fuck themselves, they are not protected by the Bill of Rights. The definition of tolerance is NOT forcing people to like or accept you, but quite the opposite actually. True tolerance is: even though I don't like or accept you, I still tolerate you as a human being possessing the same inalienable rights as me, regardless of your idiotic gender identity pronoun. As long as you don't force your way of thinking on me, I will tolerate you being you, as long as you tolerate me not liking you. It's really that simple, people. Being a dick or being insensitive or being ignorant is not a criminal act. It is part of being free and having liberty over our own self. But the second you start forcing people to bend to your idea of what's correct via rules and laws and legislation, that's when I have a huge problem. If this country ends up going down this twisted path of social justice warrior bullshit and we wind up living in version of life where everything we say (or write) is monitored and censored and adjusted to protect the feelings of the masses, that's when I call it quits. I'm serious. If that day ever comes I will do one of three things:

1) start and become part of a new civil war and die fighting for liberty and freedom
2) leave America and become an ex-pat
3) commit suicide via a Rube Golberg machine that I create and upload the vid to the internet

I need another drink already because I'm mixing them in these tiny, plastic hotel cups. Don't judge me! Oh hey, I've got one last neat thing to talk about then I'll stop writing this blog and move on to poetry or short story or novel editing (yawn). Recently I ran out of my Dr Bronners hemp almond soap and went to the store to buy more. Low and behold, Dr Bronners seems to have been replaced with a competitor: Dr Jacobs. (free market capitalism in full effect). Not wanting to go without shower soap, I reluctantly purchased the bottle of Dr Jacobs hoping that it would be equivalent to what I'm used to using. Check it, so I tossed all my shower stuff into my backpack and walked from my truck all the way into the truck stop and rented a shower room. I go in and start setting everything up. I get in the shower and reach for my new bottle of soap but as I try to squeeze some out, nothing happens. I unscrew the lid and see a protective seal. Duh. I try ripping it off with my fingers, but can't seem to get a grip, so I try with my teeth. No whammo. I try and try removing this stupid little seal with my fingers and teeth, but to no avail. Apparently the manufacturer has used some sort of super astronaut glue (the kind not used to keep the Challenger shuttle together) and I am powerless against it. So there I am, naked in the shower, wondering how in the hell I'm going to open this damn bottle. I start listing off in my head all the things I have with me in my backpack that could puncture and open it. My set of keys are the only thing I can think that would work, but that requires me to leave the shower and go grab them, so I pause and look around at my immediate surroundings: a loofah, a bottle of unopened Dr Jacobs, a shower curtain, and... metal shower rings! I smile as I reach up and unhook one of the rings, removing it from its former purpose. I then proceed to rip through that goddamn amazingly thick and strong soap bottle seal with the open end of the circular hook. Works like a charm! I never had to leave the shower.

That little story brings me to my current situation. As I mentioned earlier, I'm renting a hotel room for the night. Overall the room is fine, but one huge negative is the location of the AC unit. The retards who designed the layout of the room decided to install the AC directly next to the desk/work station area, which means while I'm sitting here typing up this blog, the AC blows cold air right into the side of my body. This is almost as aggravating to me as people who can't merge properly. So here I am again, faced with a situation that requires me to use critical thinking. My choices again are few. I can leave it turned off and sit and write in the stuffy heat. Or I can move my laptop to the bed and do my writing from there (grrrrrrrr). Or I can freeze myself while I write. Those are my only options right? Wrong. Here's the solution I came up with:

Upon inspecting the AC unit I realized the plastic air flow vent was not directional, meaning I could not tilt it upward and away. When it's turned on it only blows one way... right at me. However, while inspecting it I noticed two separate removable filter screens. I pulled them out and wrapped a pillow case around them and stuffed them back into their slots just a bit, creating a deflective shield that forced the cold air up to the ceiling instead right at me. Viola! Problem solved. You might be wondering why I just shared these two stories. Well, it kind of ties into the stuff I already talked about. I wish more people would take a quick moment to simply think things through before acting (or reacting). It doesn't take much. Sometimes the answer is right there in front of your face, but if you allow emotion to trump logic, you may end up walking wet and naked to grab a set of keys or end up typing stories while freezing your face off or driving alongside a semi truck on the shoulder of a highway. The earth is your oyster, bitches, eat it. Bye.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

To Those Alive And Reading

I thought writing would always be a part of who I am. It has always been there, ever since that first shitty poem and story I wrote back in high school. I knew way back then that I had found something I loved, but I didn't quite understand what kind of driving force it would be throughout my entire life. Those of you who don't write will never understand the charge a writer gets when he/she first sits down at the keyboard and places the pinkie fingers on the A and semicolon keys and slowly rolls the other fingers inward onto S,L,D,K,J,F and then looks up at the empty screen glowing in front of you and realize you can create anything you want. And if what you create is good enough, or clever enough, or exciting or inspirational or heartbreaking enough... people will read you. And not just people, but history too. If you write something so exceptional, history may remember you forever, your words etched into the fabric of time.

That's pretty powerful shit, right there. I don't expect a Biblical level of remembrance for anything I write, but I did expect to continue writing all the way to the grave, which brings me to this blog entry. Ever since I left Oregon and started trucking all over the goddamn country, I've lost my inspiration to write. I picture my muse out there somewhere trying desperately to keep up with me, but she can't. I drive across too many roads, stopping only for a quick shower and bite to eat, then sleep. Up again way before the sun. There's no time for creativity, you see? The writer in me is dying. Asphyxiating. The vine that once grew my wine no longer grapes. In just ten quick months of life change, it feels as though my roots are buried in sand and I will never produce fruit again. And for those of you who know me, you know this crushes me flat. My fingertips have always been my best voice. I convey my thoughts via writing with a clarity that the spoken moment will never understand, and yet here I am struggling with it. I cannot seem to find the time to sit and write like I used to do. Being a truck driver is like nothing I've ever experienced before. I literally have no free time anymore. When I am awake I am dedicated to The Job and let me tell you what, The Job is extremely demanding and exhausting and stressful. I do not enjoy this level of adulting. It goes against the wildling side of me, but ironically it also accentuates and excites the very same nomadic part of me.When I am driving across the United States in my truck I feel alone and free and part of something not many other people get to be part of. Think about it... you regular nine to five'ers are stuck in buildings surrounded by people you barely tolerate, every day of your life. You clock in the morning and immediately start counting the hours leading up to you clocking out, trapped within walls of restriction. Your coworkers annoy you and your boss is the biggest pain your ass has ever seen, yet you still keep going in. Your paycheck doesn't come close to what you feel would be worth the bullshit you endure everyday, yet you still go in. We are all slaves to something, am I right?

I've allowed myself to become a slave to money. Trucking is good money; more than my nitwit ass has ever made before. I never allowed myself to pursue a career in writing, mainly because I lack the faith in myself that it would take to get my creative ass into gear like that, but here I am now making a lot of money doing this trucking thing and it's all I can think about. For the first time in my life, I've become a small business owner and DOLLARS IN are all I can compute. The old me from ten months ago would give zero shits about this stuff. I hate nearly everything about modern day, normal society. I hate paying regular taxes, let alone small business ones. I hate every republican and democrat President that promises to make things better. I hate Antifa and I hate Nazis. I hate people who have no clue how to merge onto an interstate and I hate the stupid beach scene pad my mouse sits stationary on. No really, it's hella dumb, trust me. I am the most cynical person you'll ever meet in life, I realize this, but it's not due to lack of faith... it's due to lack of interest. Nothing excites me. Seriously. LIFE bores me. Is everything purposeless? Maybe it's not me after-all. Maybe everyone and everything is dying and I have neglected to see the situation clearly.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Pretend I'm Human

My last blog entry was about a sociopath and a broken boy and according to my email inbox and my comment box, nobody reads me anymore. Perfect. I think my blogging hiatus was long enough to have lost any followers/readers I may have gained over the past many years. Now I can write in solitude, knowing that only the walls are listening. And these walls look hungry for absorption. Vertical flatness of being. Manufactured existence. I can hear their bones bend beneath painted skin. They probably need something more fulfilling, but I'll give 'em what I've got and hope they don't start closing in on me mid-sentence.

Okay, so now that I got that over with, what's next? Sex. Sure, why not. Seems like a logical flow of thought. My brain moves straight from "the earth sucks and humans are ridiculous blood bags" to "let's talk about sex, baby". Sure, let's do it. After I'm done writing this blog entry I'm going to watch the following film:
Why? Because it fell on my doorstep, so to speak. And for social studies, duh. I wish that my curiosity of human sexual desire was equally matched by my own sexual appetite, but let this blog entry be my stepping out of the asexual closet, so to speak. I'm sure if you read my last blog entry then you must have thoughts and questions. And since I'm drinking and stuck inside my fucking truck (I said fucking haha) I've decided to pontificate. What does being asexual mean (to me) exactly? Here, let me explain.

Over the course of my life I have been in numerous serious relationships with women. Was even married once. I am capable of love. I am also capable of commitment, although this is where it gets convoluted. In my mind, commitment translates to being honest, faithful, caring, respectful and helpful to another. In past relationships I have definitely been all of these things, which makes me an awesome boyfriend/husband. However, you'll notice sex wasn't included in that list. I am painfully aware of how sexual our species is and how important sex is to a lasting relationship, which herein lies my problem. My sex drive has always been a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10, sometimes lower even, and this poses a massive threat towards me having a lasting relationship with another. And let me tell you what... it sucks. Miserably so.

I've never told anyone this before; this is my big asexual secret. I obviously didn't have to tell my former lovers. They figured it out the hard way and I'm remorseful for allowing it to happen repeatedly. I'm still human, which means I still have the need for attention, affection, connection... and even sex, but only at times. Picture a camel taking a long gulp of water from an oasis. Now picture that same camel walking laboriously across a thousand mile wide desert without having the need to take another drink. Yeah, that's pretty much what my sex drive is like. I don't have the daily, weekly, or even monthly need to have sex. I can literally go months without the desire.

So why am I saying all of this now? Because it's the weekend and I don't have any other shit to do. I'm stuck inside a truck! Because the moment felt right. Because I'm tired of keeping it all inside. Because current circumstances dictated my hand and heart. Because the Clippers lost to the Celtics. Heck if I know, I just felt like writing and this is what came out. Do with it what you want. Comment and ask questions, I'll answer. Forward it to a friend, I don't really care. Honestly, I'm hoping nobody reads this anymore anyway. I'm writing this one for myself, really, but if it makes its way to someone else and they're glad they read it, then I'm cool with that.

P.S. I don't really know if the Clippers lost to the Celtics. Hell, I don't even know if they play against each other. I just picked two C letter sport teams because I enjoy a little alliteration in my life. Alright, I've embarrassed myself enough with this entry, I'll shut up now. Next one I write will be uplifting and much less revealing, I promise. Bye.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Am Not A Sociopath, But I'm Pretty Sure This Guy Is

Hello readers, I have a question. I realize I've abandoned you all and I barely write anymore, but for those of you still hanging around and reading this, I have a question. Do you ever grow wary of meeting new people? Does the idea of meeting and getting to know someone for the first time excite you or cause anxiety? I used to think new people in my life meant new ideas, new stories, new adventures, but I'm beginning to question the whole thing now. Maybe I've surpassed my own Dunbar's number of new people I'm supposed to meet in this life. If this is true, I hope it only counts for Americans because I still want to travel the world and meet new people abroad, but maybe I'm done meeting Americans? Could be.

I've been called a sociopath twice now, both times by someone new in my life. The first occurrence affected me deeply and I even spent numerous therapy sessions discussing the possibility that I might lack empathy for other people. It was decided that I am not a sociopath, but rather a victim of childhood abuse who has difficulty connecting intimately. I agree with this, but I also know that until I REALLY get to know someone, I will automatically assume that you are out to hurt me (and others) in some manner. And let me tell you, it takes a long fucking time for me to finally open up and start trusting someone new. Until recently that is.

My therapist spent countless sessions trying to teach me how to open up and talk about all the bullshit that tries to bring me down. She ingrained in me the importance of trusting and discussing deeply personal stuff with other people. And so I have. I started opening up. A few times actually. And I honestly wish I hadn't. Nobody needs to know my own personal pain. That's not their burden to carry. I don't expect them to; I don't want them to. That's why I write poetry. Anyone who truly wants to know my inner demons can find them screaming at the top of their lungs via my poetry. Go there and read it if you want to get to know that side of me, but fuck off if you think I'll just open up and talk about it ever again. Never going to happen. Sorry, therapist Heather, but I'm unlearning all the progress we made.

I've also had my asexuality questioned twice now. I've never talked about this before, because frankly, it's embarrassing and nobody even understands it. Yes, I am asexual. I don't give a damn about sex. I can go forever without needing to fuck. I don't actively seek it out. Does this mean that I never have sex or that if I do I don't enjoy it? No. Being asexual doesn't mean we lack feeling or arousal. I can be turned on. The problem is, I don't really want to be. I'd rather be left alone really. Even in the company of a beautiful woman who wants to have sex, chances are I'm thinking about short story character development or a podcast I heard or why it took Robin Williams so long to kill himself. Normal shit like that. To me, love and sex are both things I don't really understand. Hence why the majority of my creative writing centers around these topics. I often write about the things that puzzle me the most. Humans are at the top of that list. We are a turbulent, yet predictable species, capable of love and compassion while simultaneously performing the worst acts of violence and hate upon one another. I don't get it. I don't like it. But I also don't shy away from it. I watch murder videos on the internet as a refresher course on just how fucked up things can get. I watch porn as a litmus test to see how sideways human sexuality is sliding. I watch horror movies, listen to politically incorrect comedy (shout out to Doug Stanhope and his Deadbeat Hero album), read books and watch documentaries about historical wars and genocide. For fuck sake, I am a direct descendant of a Russian Jew who escaped Hitler's advance into the mother country! The list goes on and on.

But I am not a sociopath. Nor a psycho. I think about these things a lot. I wonder what causes people to become that way. I have all the right ingredients. The things done to me when I was a church boy is enough in itself to set me on a course of chaos and destruction, but the only person I chose to hurt and destroy in this life was/is myself. I have been extremely hard on me. I have been trying to kill myself via external choices my entire adult life. Things inside me are broken and bent and I hate myself because I can't figure out how to make it not so. I hide a lot, but I also love to socialize. It's human nature to want to be part of a group and be accepted. It's also human nature to hurt and abuse. I've hurt people too. I recently hurt several friends I knew in Oregon. One confided in me his secret and during one of my many drink nights, I blabbed it to someone else. I feel really lousy about it. Another trusted me as their best friend, shared everything with me as I did her, and I commenced to hurt her feelings during a phone call that I unwittingly answered in my pocket with things I was saying after not answering. It pains me when I think about it now after all this time. And the last is someone I allowed into my life on a level deeper than I was comfortable with. I will not say much about this person seeing how I know she's likely reading this, but she got closer than anyone and suffered the most in the end and I'll never forgive myself for it. I cursed at her out of unseen anger for no reason other than I wanted to be left alone. She witnessed the dark side that exists in me, in every human to a certain degree. And if you're reading this and thinking to yourself that darkness doesn't exist in you, I call bullshit. It's there, in some form or capacity, you simply haven't acknowledged it yet.

I write about these things to point out one thing really: that I carry great remorse over hurting people. Those who know me know this isn't my thing. I don't hurt people intentionally. I do, however, fuck up sometimes. I am, after-all, human, as much as I like to pretend I'm not. And the difference between a good person and a true sociopath is... acknowledgement, remorse and apology. I recently had a conversation with a friend who shared with me her awful life experience with a true sociopath. She didn't give me permission (nor did I ask for it) to share her story, but I'll chalk this one up to "never trust a writer" because anything you share can and may be used without permission because writers often feel the end justifies the means. I tried saving the screenshot texts to share (with her and his names blurred out), but I noticed they are hard to read so I'll transcribe them instead. For those of you who care to see what a true sociopath acts like in real life, just read the following break up texts between my friend and her boyfriend of a year and half:

Her: What are your unrealistic expectations?

Him: I dunno. I'm always unsatisfied when I wake up with someone. Always a question of "can I do better". I just want someone with the same hobbies tbh

Her: Like video games and traveling?

Him: Essentially

Her: I like both of those

Him: On a different level. I don't have patience. I don;t wanna teach someone.

Her: I don't travel much because of lack of money & time. I don't much care for your video games but I can sit for hours and play them

Him: I've lied to you too much. I don't want kids like ever. I formed myself on things I thought would make me more appealing to you. I am a lie to you.

Her: Then tell me the truth

Him: I never wanted kids. I never planned on marrying you. I just kept digging a deeper hole.

Her: Why? Why did you try so hard to make me like you?

Him: Because I live to be liked by people. Idolized. It makes me feel power. I have a fucked up complex. I don't care for others feelings as long as they're building me up. Right now that girl she's mad because I didn't answer her calls. And I'm stuck between "do I give up and continue playing all the games that I love, or make it up and pretend to be vulnerable?"

Her: You really are a sociopath aren't you?

Him: I dunno. Maybe

Her: You need help. I don't know if it will work, but you need it.

Him: (crying laughing emoji)

Her: Not even funny right now

Him: I don't care enough to get help. I just want to get through life.

Her: Just don't hurt anyone else.

Him: I can't.

Her: Be single and live your life fucking whoever you want

Him: I can't do that either

Her: Why?

Him: I don't know how to just get people like that. I have to convince them. Make them like me.

Her: Convince them of a one night stand

Him: I'm not that charming

Her: You can be

Him: I like the little relationships though

Her: You made me love you for a year and a half. I'm sure you can handle one night.

Him: I like having the strings

Her: You need to learn to do without. Why the charade with a new person?

Him: Because. I feel even more powerful here than with you

Her: You make me sick. I honestly want to throw up right now.

Him: Really?

Her: Yes

Him: How?

Her: How can you go that long just fucking with me. You knew what I wanted. You knew my goals and had no intention of participating in any of them.

Him: Don't tell anyone of this. Please.

Her: Why?

Him: Because I have a good reputation back home

Her: Not like I know anyone you're gonna fuck over

Him: You can't tell mom. You can't tell my friends or your friends because they know each other.

Her: Interesting. You fuck me over for a year and a half and now you need something from me. How ironic is that?

Him: I didn't fuck you over.

Her: What would you call it then?

Him: A rollercoaster

Her: You wasted a year and half of of my time. I could have been looking for my life partner. Fuck you and your rollercoaster.

Him: You're 20, you'll be fine.

Her: Screw off. Or maybe your new friend Rosa

Him: Rosie

Her: (eye roll emoji)

Him: I thought you cooled off

Her: Is this fun for you?

Him: Honestly?

Her: Yes, honestly. After a year of lies- yeah I'd like honesty

Him: It's not. Because I just lost you both and it kinda blows. But I've learned to look on the bright side so now I have more time to go to the gym, play games and shit

Her: Hmm both? And you said you weren't cheating on me.

Him: Karma lol. Honestly? I lied. The truth comes out now.

Her: How long?

Him: Ready?

Her: Yes. How many?

Him: That night you were super drunk and said you didn;t care, I had sex with that one girl

Her: Which one girl?

Him: When I got to Quantico and told you all about GG I was screwing her. And Rosie was kind of serious since April

Her: I fucking knew it.

Him: So almost a year. And three. Now you can hate me.

Her: I think I might throw up now.

Him: Does it feel better? Or hurt more? I like Rosie because she had more fucked up past than you and your cousin. Her grandpa raped her for years, but made her into really weird shit. It got me going. There's no reason for the other two other than I was shitfaced and wanted to see if I could.

Her: Any other truths you want to tell?

Him: Are you crying?

Her: Nope. You want to make me?

Him: Interesting. I like making people cry. I used to say bullshit to my mom to make her break down when I didn't have my way. You see manipulation is my game. That's why I took psychology to better understand how to break people down.

Her: So any other truths you want to tell?

Him: Your love language "touch" that's why I would refuse to cuddle or hold your hand for no reason. That was your own doing though.. you told me. I can't think of anything else.

Her: I thought I could trust you. My bad.

Him: So are you going to tell anyone? I mean there's nothing I can do about it but I'd prefer you not to.

So there you go, a true sociopath (seemingly born into it). The part where he talks about breaking down and manipulating his own mother makes me wonder how far back his fucked up nature goes? To the womb possibly? I don't know. My own childhood experience was pretty fucked up and I know the damage it caused in me, but even so, I am as far away from this guy as anyone could be. I could never say or think those thoughts about anyone, especially a friend or lover or family member. The level of apathy and cold blooded mindset this kid displays is a clear example of the darkly broken aspect of our species. Those murder videos I watch on the internet... this type of person does it. Those historical leaders who starved millions of their own citizens to death... this type of person does it. That kid, Randy Stair, who hated humanity and proved it by shooting his coworkers and himself to death in a Weis Market in Pennsylvania... this type of person does it. I am not this type of person.

But let's revisit the part of this blog where I called all you people out. The part where I said a certain degree of darkness exists in all of us. I already acknowledged it exists in me. I don't pretend it doesn't. The fact that my friend trusted me enough to share this and I in turn shared it on my blog causes me pause and concern. Am I performing yet another abuse of friendship? It's very possible. Did perceiving this prevent me from sharing it anyway? Not at all. I want to hurt this person who hurts others without remorse. I want him to suffer the nine gates of hell. I want to personally come back to Oregon, stalk him like a prey, and execute his eradication from society before he progresses into a more dangerous monster. But I am not a killer. I am, however, a writer. And even though I no longer live in Salem, Oregon, I am still part of this blog group that is read by many people who live there. My friend is a really good human and I'd bet a million dollars she won't ever call this sociopath out, but I'm not as nice and I have no qualms doing it for her. His name is Mateo Campbell and I am acting as judge and jury when I say he is an nonredeemable piece of shit and should be avoided at all cost.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this guy will evolve into a higher being and do great things during his time on planet earth. I've heard it said that all people can change. And so I ask you one more question, dear readers... what do you think? Are you comfortable knowing he's your neighbor? Does he worry you? Or am I running long against the seams? I have been known to do that from time to time.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

East Coast Fury

I have left Oregon. The Pacific Northwest is no longer my home and the snow covered mountains I grew so accustomed to seeing every day no longer punctuate my horizon. In December of last year I made the decision to move back east. I quit my job of ten years and said goodbye to dozens of friends I made in the decade that I lived there. It wasn't easy this time. Over the course of my life I have relocated many times and experienced many fare thee wells, all of which were relatively easy for me, but this last time around wasn't the same. Something changed. I think the man I was learning to become allowed himself to grow closer to the friends he made. The goodbyes were difficult and four months later I find myself missing them and thinking about all the fun times I had with everyone. Fuck all, I miss Oregon and my people.

So, what am I doing now?
Driving a big rig all over the place. Mostly up and down the east coast, but dispatch knows I'm willing to go anywhere in the country if the load pay is right. I bought this rig off my dad which means now I am a small business owner, which translates to: I am now adulting on expert level mode. I flipped my life completely in an opposite direction. I went from living a simple, stress free lifestyle to one that resembles an 800lb bluefin tuna fighting at the end of a deep sea line & hook. I feel like I bit off more than I can consume.

I'll explain.

I obtained my CDL (commercial drivers license) via a tour bus company 15 years ago when I lived in Pennsylvania. I used a shitty school bus to pass the driving test and then immediately started driving people all around the US and Canada on vacations in a 55' luxury coach tour bus. That was a fun time, not too stressful. After that I moved to Oregon where I became a garbage truck driver. Honestly, I've never had an easier job. Automatic straight truck on a set local route, nothing complex about it. For a tiny moment I learned how to drive a 10 speed semi hauling garbage to landfills and that was my first taste of driving a big rig, but little did I know what I'd be getting into later. Fast forward to now times.

I purchased my dad's 2009 ProStar International truck without ever having sat in it. I've never been a trucker. I had no idea what truckers do. When I got to PA my dad gave me a two week crash course on how to be a "real" truck driver. Suddenly I found myself immersed in a world that I did not understand. Real truck driving is nothing like I had ever experienced prior. Real truck driving is hard, harder than anything I've ever done. I'm now in my fourth month of driving and every day is still a challenge. My biggest hurdle by far was/is learning how to shift a 13 speed. I've been driving manual vehicles since I was 16 but that did nothing to prepare me for shifting a big rig. It's way different. I hate it.

My life is radically different now. I no longer get off work around 3 every day and then go play or explore or hang out with friends or drink or write poetry and stories. I don't get to do that stuff much anymore because trucking isn't just a job, it's an entire lifestyle. It occupies most of my time, day and night. And when I do finally get some downtime I have to use it to grab a shower and eat and sleep. I squeeze those things in when I can and if I have any time leftover, then I can pull out my laptop and write something or watch a movie or read a book. But honestly, I can feel the creative writer in me dying. I'm no longer living a free and exciting life filled with people and experiences and stories, so my inspiration is running out and so is my muse. I guess the good thing is that I'm drinking way less now. I used to drink every single night and now it's few and far between.

I don't have plans on turning this site into a trucker blog, but I'm sure from time to time (when I actually get time) I will be writing about trucking stuff since that's what's happening in my life now. I'm hoping to eventually settle into this and find a way to keep writing creatively. That last story that I started was exciting to me and I would love to jump back into it again. The characters are waiting for me. They have shit they want to do! It's weird to think that their lives depend completely on me. I can bring them to life on paper and make them do things or I can abandon them where they currently are and leave them dangling forever in limbo. Writers are gods, did you know that?

One last thing then I'll post this. One of my main reasons for moving home was to be close to family again. I have nephews and nieces whom barely know me and I want to be cool uncle Mick. I'm enjoying getting to know them and being a part of their lives. It's something I've kind of avoided my whole life. I've never lived close enough to be a solid part of my family and now I am and it feels good. I know what you're thinking and yes it kind of defeats my purpose of being present in their lives while being an over the road trucker, but I do get home to see them way more now than I did living 3,000 miles away. So stuff it!

Okay, that's all for now. Hopefully I'll be back soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Short Story In Progress...

     The guys were kicking it out front of Grant's Bar & Grill, or the 'Grant', as they liked to call it. They sprawled along the sidewalk smoking cigarettes and watching traffic. Sometimes they'd shout at the lookers, the ones who's heads would pivot while passing. The carrying on would increase until the car would exit their view, and then they'd all calm down a bit and go back to harassing themselves or any stranger unfortunate enough to walk down their sidewalk. The Grant was a real piece of shit bar located on Sixth & Hubert, opposite side of town as all the PeeWees (white privileged). Far enough away, in fact, that the PeeWees could completely forget that anyone other than themselves existed. But the Roach Street Crew didn't give a shit about none of that, none of them. Fact, they didn't really care much about anything at all, except getting fucked up and running shit round the Grant.

     Bobby sat atop a newspaper stand while rolling one; the heels of his shoes kicking hard against the plexiglass door while he licked the paper of the finished joint and twisted it between his fingers. He held it up and inspected it from every angle. It was good. He glanced over at Two Step.
     "Here, ya dumb dengo, light it up!"
Two Step took the joint and removed a zippo from his pocket. Holding both up high, he thumbed the lighter to life and began singing a song known only to himself as he pranced down the sidewalk like a fag. Down to the end of the block and back up again. Down and back up, like a real fairy. Until his friends all became lit  and started booing and throwing street trash at him. He stopped his sing song when he got hit in the head with a crumpled soda can.
     "Jeezus, ya fucks!"
     "Just light the stick, ya homo. For chrisake."
The rest of the crew laughed and chimed in and continued hurling insults at their friend as they stepped in closer to form a semi circle while passing the joint around. Just then, a cop car turned in off Sixth and slow rolled its way down Hubert. The Roach's stared hard; their heads on pivot as the cruiser drove by. The cop eyeballed the crew equally hard; connecting faces with names and activities and smiling like a real asshole. When he reached the end of the block he quick flipped his siren and made a "whoop whoop" sound before exiting from view.
     "Ya get a load of that shit?" exclaimed Bobby as he exhaled a plume of smoke. "Which one of you fucks ordered bacon-wrapped chicken?"
The group all laughed as they finished the joint and relocated back inside of the Grant.

     Grant was in his sixties. Retired veteran. Hated everyone. Used his returning home money to open up a bar where he could spend his dying days serving up fucks like these. Though the age gap was considerable, he didn't mind 'em much. Matter of fact, Grant kind of liked having them around. Reminded him of when he was their age. Still fit, not giving a shit, and ready to kill. Two wars, three ex wives and seven children later... Grant was the explosive type who could blow at any moment, depending on the prevailing inner city winds. The Roaches sauntered in and piled onto old bar stools. They slapped their hands against the bar repeatedly and the commotion caused other patrons to turn and look their way. For the most part, everyone knew everyone here, but there were a few outsiders who watched the young crew tentatively and with caution as they continued to bang the bar and yell at the bartender.
     "Why you even have that goddamn song on the box, Grant?" (American Pie played from a jukebox along the corner of the furthest wall).
     "Hey, how long we gotta wait to get served in this dive, Grant?"
     "As long as your mutha waited last night!"
The crew laughed. Others didn't. Grant began pouring beers and sliding them one by one across the bar into waiting hands. One by one, the Roaches sang praises unto his name as they lifted sloshing beer mugs.
     "Graaaant is the ant of my eye!"
     "It's apple of my eye, you ghetto goat!"
     "Whichever fruit... I don't... aw, fuck off anyhow."
More laughter. On the opposite side of the bar, nearest to the bathrooms, the pool table was being abused by a couple in love. Between shots, they would caress and kiss and dry hump against the rail as though their next shot depended on it greatly. The woman wore a skirt that continuously needed pulling down. Her thong panties.. orange.. on display like her own imperfections. Her man stood around 6 foot and wore a muscle shirt and jeans. He looked like the front cover of a magazine. The Roaches spun on their chairs and watched while the two continued making piss poor shots at the table.
     Grant surmised the future way of things and leaned in. "None of your shit tonight, fellas. Please. I've not got the energy."

     Pop Tart was the first to stand. As he started walking past his crew a foot crept out and tripped him up, sending him sprawling. He regained his balance and verbally terrorized his friend while simultaneously laughing. He grabbed his dick through his pants and began thrusting his hips against Bobby's leg. Bobby punched him in the nuts and shoved him off. Pop Tart shot them all the bird and continued walking toward the billiards area. He set his beer down on a table and fished a smoke out; his eyes never leaving the hot blonde's ass. Even after state law forbid smoking in all public and private establishments, the Grant continued giving the Man the finger by allowing his patrons to smoke wherever they damn well pleased. He had been heard screaming, on several occasions, "Just let them gov't pricks come in here and tell me how t'run my business! I fucking hope they try!"

     Cover boy noticed quickly that he had a set of eyes on his girl. In between piss poor shots, he sized up Pop Tart and watched as the guy's friends all commented loudly from the bar, egging him on. It was no longer safe here and he knew it, but little could be done at this point. He was now a mark.

     Pop Tart crushed his smoke against a beer coaster and moved over to the rack of cue sticks attached to the wall. He pulled down the first one he saw and started rolling it around in his hand and talking sexy to it. He held it flat against his cheek, the long end hovering way out into open air, while licking it with his tongue and saying all the naughty things he wanted to do to it.
     "I'm gonna shove you so far up my pussy, baby, oh yeah. Gonna bury you deep."
The couple immediately ceased their sexuality and traded it for an expert level of professionalism that far exceeded the world champ players seen on TV. They tried pretending Pop Tart wasn't there. They tried so hard, but their attempt was halted by a bent over bare ass walking backwards toward their table. Pop Tart had dropped his pants and underwear and was now shuffling at them while smacking his ass cheeks with the pool cue and yelling, "Fuck me real good hard for the money shot!"


     In a last ditch quick effort call, the cover boy decided for a brawn approach to solving the situation he found himself in and kicked Pop Tart hard in the ass sending him toppling over and into several chairs and without hesitation, he jumped in and began beating him with his cue stick, but within seconds the bar cleared and The all the boys were in on the action. The first wave of fists and kicks knocked the cover boy off of Pop Tart. In a scramble to avoid blows, he lost his cue stick and ended up on his back out in the middle of the bar floor. He curled up instinctively as a storm of hardened feet reigned down on his body. Ribs began to crack, teeth loosened, fingers broke, as the Roaches continued their torment. In a moment of strength, cover boy managed to stand up and even swing a few while his short-skirt girlfriend screamed and clawed at them from beside the pool table, but the Roaches made quick work of him, promptly knocking him unconscious with two solid whacks from his dropped cue stick.

     Blood flowed from multiple cuts on his face and head and his eyes were already swollen shut. His jaw went off in a weird angle as unconscious breathing gurgled through. The girlfriend went into full-on freak out mode and jumped onto her lover like a shield showing up late in battle, crying hysterically and slinging curses and kicking at shins with her high heels. She moved like a fish at the end of a hook. The Roaches looked down and laughed and Pop Tart, having recovered from his pantless debacle, walked over and gave one last kick for nothing, but as unbalanced as he was, missed his intended target.

     "That's enough now, you cunty runts! Take your niggerish shit outside!" Grant screamed from his side of the bar, slammed fists and snorted. A crop of grey hair tossed to and fro while his torso trembled into action. Grant would always carry on a lot, but always from his side of the bar. Everything that occurred beyond it was not really his business. He considered it part of the turf war. The battle zone. And he wasn't in charge of that. He manned the booze and the lights and the shotgun he had hidden beneath the register was for the thieving criminals, not for breaking up fights. So he'd just yell and carry on and tell everyone his opinion, but never back much of it up. Fact: he'd already fought his wars twice over and wanted no part in them now.

     One by one, each Roach started to step away from the hot blonde whose tits were was now shaking while she cried and sobbed next to her unconscious boyfriend. The bar sure could become a place for hot torso action in a hurry. Bobby was the first to walk away and as he did he made a clicking sound with his tongue and tapped Pop Tart on the shoulder and Pop Tart tapped Mickey on the shoulder as he walked away and Mickey tapped Two Step and Two Step tapped Fitz on his shoulder and the whole group stepped over to the bar to finish their beers before walking back out into the street. They slapped each other good and bounced around feinting punches and carried on quite a bit as they bid Grant farewell.
     "We'll see you later, ya grumpy stump!"
     "Yeah, why you gotta be so crotchety? We barely got to know the fella!"
     "Save us our stools!"
They laughed and went out the door and left Grant surveying the mess left behind.


     "Ya'll see the eye pop out his head?" Fitz said as the crew made their way down Hubert Street. They moved together like an unrehearsed street performance, each at a unique speed, with varying levels of attention to their forward direction. Two Step dragged a beer coaster along the building walls as they walked. The thin, rounded pad of pressed cardboard bent and flicked as it ran across gaps, indentations, and depressions, giving a pfffft pfffft sound as pieces of itself flaked off leaving a trail behind them.
     "His eye didn't pop out his head. What the hell are you even saying?" asked Bobby. Bobby walked out in front, like always, his eyes darting from faces he saw in windows to other noticeable things happening along the way. He memorized locations of doors. He knew every alley and cross street extension and just about every bar with a backdoor leading into them. For the past four years, Bobby remained the unelected leader of the Roach Street Crew and all the other members remained silently okay with it. He was their de facto frontman; the guy who could brain his way out of most things, but also had the scrap needed to handle what couldn't be handled smartly.
     "I'm just sayin, it looked like his eye popped out. From where I was standing," Fitz replied. "Eyes do pop out yannow," he added.
     "Cheesy crust, your mutha musta butt-fucked a dalmation to have a dip-shit like you for a son, you spotted mutt," Two Step badgered. Everyone laughed, including Fitz.

     The boys continued walking. It was nearing seven Thursday evening and the city was becoming alive with the buzzing energy of a horde of other humans exploring the myriad local businesses with open signs in their storefront windows. Families entered restaurants, couples went into bars, women exited one clothing shop only to immediately enter another, men disappeared into strip clubs never to be seen again. The city life was kicking into gear and the Roaches were just getting started. A commotion could be heard across the street and the gang all turned and looked. On the sidewalk opposite of them, about a block back, an elderly Asian couple began arguing. The man, who appeared to be in his sixties (according to Asian aging standards, but really, who can honestly tell) was wearing a white apron over black slacks and an olive colored dress shirt. Grasped in his right hand, which was currently held high above his head and being used as an exclamation to his sentences, was a three foot beef stick. The end wobbled back & forth in the air as the man waved it angrily at the woman, who in turn was giving it right back to the man. Together, the obnoxious level of their verbal assault rang out like a war song being played at high speed. Foreign sounds and syllables bounced and echoed off walls as passerbys paused to watch and listen.
     "They sure get animated when provoked," Fitz remarked. Bobby and the others nodded. "Sounds like pots and pans being thrown everywhere." Everyone laughed except Mickey. He stood with his hands buried in his pockets and his back pressed up against the wall, not really paying attention. Bobby noticed.
     "Mickey, what's got you buggin?"
Mickey shrugged and looked off in an opposite direction. Bobby stepped over and got right in his face; their noses nearly touching. He stood there, staring deep into Mickey's eyes. The exchange of warm breath could be felt on their faces. Mickey stared back... hard.
     Bobby clicked his tongue and whispered, "Hey Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind... hey Mickey."

Mickey cracked a smile and shoved Bobby away. "Back the hell off, you lunatic."
Bobby laughed and turned back to the action. The crazy Asians were still bickering in the street; the beef stick still flopping obscenely in the air.
     "This is ridiculous. They've went through the alphabet a hundred times already," Bobby remarked.

     The rest of the crew watched as Bobby crossed the street and made his way over to the arguing Asians. Without hesitation, he grabbed the beef stick from the old man's hand and started bouncing like a gorilla back across the street while waving the meat up and down with one arm, beating his chest with the other and making loud gorilla sounds. The couples' bickering ceased immediately as they watched gorilla boy make off with their beef. The old man stood completely frozen, dumbstruck by what just occured, but the old lady snapped into action and chased Bobby out into the street yelling foreign expletives at him. Bobby spun around to face her and the woman stopped dead in her tracks. They stared at one another for a brief moment before Bobby held the beef stick out in front of his crotch with both hands, wiggling it as if inviting her to take it.  
     The angry Asian lady immediately lunged for it, but with the quickness of an NFL kicker, Bobby punted the piece of meat as hard as he could. It split in two: one half went flipping wide right while the other half soared high into the air and made a rubber slapping sound as it bounced and smacked along the city street. The cacophony from the original argument ended and was replaced by laughter from the Roach Street Crew. Bobby looked down at the oriental and grinned. She looked around at everyone looking at her and then over at her husband who still stood motionless in defeat. Having had enough, she hissed disapprovingly at Bobby, yelled a few more quick curses and retreated back to her husband. Bobby replied by clicking his tongue and sauntered back across the street to rejoin his crew who greeted him with high fives and shoulder slaps and a bottle of whiskey.

     "Dude, did you see the look on Mr. Miyagi's face when you nabbed his beef?" asked Pop Tart excitedly. "He just stood there like a dumb fuck... no clue what to do!" Everyone was laughing. Bobby stole a quick glance over his shoulder as though to make sure the situation had indeed ended, and then turned back to his crew.
     "Alright... alright... calm yer nuts, okay? How about we go see Miss Tits. I feel like getting into it tonight," Bobby said as he took a long pull from the whiskey bottle, capped it and chucked it over to Fitz. Fitz unscrewed the cap, drank it dry, then tossed the empty bottle far down an alley. The faint sound of it shattering into pieces was drowned out by the group's audible excitement of heading over to Miss Tit's place. The night was about to get sideways.


     The one hundred year old apartment high rise loomed over the surrounding buildings by six stories and outlived the oldest of them by at least thirty years.