|I think I was a bit too hard on John Kerry. Still recovering from the November '04 loss to Dubya. I loved the way he bounced back in '08 when he fried McCain on the waffle iron. But that's a different story... |
Slow Train To Blogtown
Wednesday, July 13, 2005, Buzz Fugazi
The Unbearable Wordiness of Writing The 1st Graph Like A Deranged John Kerry Speech In Love With The Sickness... Security matters and "that terrorist bullshit"... bonus joke for people who endured "Bad Santa"... More boring and crazy adventures in Chicago...
(Note from the Editor: Posting the Wednesday blog was delayed for reasons that will become apparent in the following dispatch):
I'm on the Metra heading into the city, so I figure I'll read the Sun-Times and find something to have an opinion about. There's the Mid East deal, of course, but not only is Bush making me sick, I am making me sick. Suicide bombers make me sick. I am offended when a Palestinian child is killed. I am offended when an Israeli child is killed. I am the opposite of the President when it comes to children: he is the champion of fetus and embryo rights. I think they are fair game until the 2nd trimester and not beyond that unless they fuck with my car, bust into my house, represent the wrong clique on my block or otherwise disrespect me. It's ok to kill people for lots of good reasons but only if you do it with a handgun face to face or with a baseball bat. Other forms of killing are immoral (except, of course, punching someone to death in a sanctioned boxing event or just sparring around the gym and you sucker-punch someone because they made you look bad... also it's ok to off someone at the gym when you're hooping it and the motherfucker never pass the ball or play defense. Die, wannabe, die! And starting pitchers who give up 5 or 6 runs early and punk out and roll over and wait for the bullpen to come in and chew their arms up with long innings while punky takes a vacation and prays for his punk-ass fastball to come back with an extra skip). For the most part, I am very much opposed to genocide (Is that a Kerry-ism? You better believe it might be! Is his abso-fucking-lutely piss poor campaign at least partially to blame for this living abortion we call Dubya's 2nd Term?)
I was for Kerry before I was against him, but I was against him before that, and until tonight, I was for him again... I need more time to reconsider, but I'm sure he'd rather be where he is and not stuck with the responsibility of the Presidency. Certainly the London bombing would not be putting an extra spring in his step like it seems to be doing for President Bush. Does the length of this paragraph remind you of Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention? Most of the Democrats at the Duval County shin-dig were grooving on it, but me and a couple of guys had to get the hell away from it. We took a long break in the next room at the punch bowl and snack table. This was after listening to a whole bunch of it, but it was ok. After we shared our life-stories and made friends and ate and drank our fill, we made it back for the last three hours of the speech. Somewhere in Outer Space... Kerry's speech is drifting toward the Sun in a large haze that may deplete its energy. Not to worry: a Bushco implode-the-Sun-for-profit expedition is scheduled to get there first... with all the money as cargo.
But I don't want to write about the Mid East, the President, Sen. Kerry, baseball, Florida, or any of my normal topics. I see a Lauryn Hill quote that catches my eye. I think about it for 10 minutes. I throw the Sun-Times in the garbage. I think about it for a couple of minutes then I get it back. I tear off the remaining scheduled games for Cubs and White Sox and write the Lauryn Hill quote in my journal:
"As a young woman, I saw the best in everyone, but I did not see the lust and insecurities of men."---a quote from Lauryn Hill's "first interview in years" lifted by the Sun-Times from "the new issue of Trace magazine" (A total surprise that "Trace" James is publishing a mag and didn't tell me or Funkmeister).
This is an awful lot of writing and my train is nowhere near Chicago. I'm stuck, according to the voice on the intercom, with a "signal malfunction." It's a typical Metra Rail message: Ding-dong! "We are sorry for the delay and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to do everything we can to make your trip a pleasant and convenient experience that resembles a 1950s sci-fi movie. The security guards with guns and black uniforms will only drag you screaming from the train if you act drunk or ghetto. Do not be alarmed. Remain calm. You will continue to hear loud pre-recorded messages blaring out of the speakers every 10 minutes for an indeterminate amount of time. Thank you for riding Metra." Ding-dong!
Loud voices from young dudes on the upper level are blaming "that terrorist bullshit!" and they are wanting "a g-ddamned cigarette!"
Everytime I look up to see what the conductor is doing I see some shaved head guy in the opposite side of the car glaring at me. He reminds me of the character sitting on the opposite side of the bar from Billy Bob Thornton's character in Bad Santa (Bad Movie).
I raise my alert level to "orange." I fully expect him to attack me.
If so, I'm guessing the pre-med hottie who was nice to me in the station won't be much help. She dug through her entire backpack to give me the time, but I was a condescending jerk about her cigarette smoking. She said she's been scuba diving for 7 years and her smoking didn't interfere. I didn't ask, "Do your parents know you smoke?" but I was in that same ballpark. All I could do was sniff and tell her she is kidding herself.
I snap out of my memory of the gal at the station, which remains only a few yards behind me. The train is rolling again. Now the voice on the intercom contradicts the line about signal malfunction. Something about a "security matter" resolved. The train stops again. We're at a station. We don't leave. The doors are open. We wait. The young dudes from the upper level bolt outside for a smoke. Time passes and there is another "security matter." The young dudes will not be allowed back on the train and they are pissed. One of them is demanding a refund. The Metra conductors call the cops. We sit. We wait. The young dudes are venting. I turn on my digital recorder and go to take a closer look.
Miss Pre-med Scuba-Diver does the same thing. Turns out her name is Missi. I apologize for being condescending about the smoking and thank her again for going through so much trouble to let me know what time it is (add that to my list of "things it took me 40 years to figure out"). Missi is cool. So is Heather and her two friends. And Steve. He has his baby's momma's name tatooed on his neck. I'm asking them, "Do you like punk rock? Go to msigarmy.com!" Missi is frantically working her dying cell phone to line up a car ride at the next stop. She tells a buddy, "You know I'll fill up your tank. I always help with gas." She wants to get to North Avenue Beach before the cops chase everyone out.
I go to the upper level to chat with her and escape the bug-eyed gaze of the guy who looks like he attacked Bad Santa in the parking lot. I'm tempted to ask my new pal if I can catch a ride with her, but decide that's too forward. Big mistake. Just after Missi's escape, the train hits a pedestrian. The first two delays were just a warm up for the third.
I should be in Chicago now, but I'm sitting on a parked train and I'm thinking: 'the train is already an hour late... someone is probably dead. Was it a security matter with young smokers that synchronized this train with the person who got hit?'
I'm talking to the professional photographer across the way, but he has his laptop; he is polite, but doesn't need my small talk. The only real communication we have is when the long tall drop-dead gorgeous woman in the short shorts goes by... our heads swivel and we grin.
I end up at the back of the train across the aisle from her. "Can we talk?" I ask. "Will you save me from my boredom?"
She snubs me at first. Her cell phone is buzzing like the phone at a cab dispatch when the bars issue Last Call! She's talking Spanish, but I know the accent isn't Mexican. It sounds a bit exotic for Puerto Rican, but that's my first guess. Not Spain, I keep telling myself, but I keep asking myself: Spain? "I can't quite place your accent," I tell her. She gives me a dirty look.
Eventually I ask to use her cell phone.
She warms up a little for the rejection. "Oh, I'm sorry, baby, but I'm already using up all my minutes and it's almost dead."
"I understand," I told her. "I wouldn't even ask but there's no payphone and if I don't get in touch with my friend I'll end up wandering the streets all night. I'm supposed to be there by 11."
After a silence she asks, "Do you have any condoms?"
I'm blushing, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I do."
She says I can use her cell phone for a couple of condoms while I'm already digging them out of my backpack. The one I got from the free condom basket at Longbranch Coffee House in February looked pretty mint, but two left over from Jaime one year ago look a bit ragged, the rings almost pushing through the package. "Sorry," I say. "A couple of these have been banged around a lot. It's been awhile since I had a girlfriend."
I give her the shortest version ever about what happened with Jaime. "She was from Jacksonville. I fell in love with her, but she was young and went to Europe with a rugby team. She's in England, but she's o.k. She left the rugby team for a soccer stud. She blogs about his football team in Leeds."
Jasmine is from Manhattan and she told me about all the different kinds of men she used to fuck there. She hates Chicago. It's crazy and boring. She misses her Italian boyfriend who went insane from taking too much XTC. All this fucking around but she would like a real boyfriend.
We were talking about how much we hate drugs and all the people we knew who got screwed up doing hard stuff and I told her the good advice of my late great philosophy professor George "Easy A" McClure: Stick to the tried and true. Do the stuff that's been around for a thousand years and we know what to expect from it: alcohol and reefer.
She didn't like that advice. She doesn't like either drug. She gets off on looking hot and knowing she's got it going on. She talked about married women hating her because they know their husbands would rather have sex with her, she talked about men who were angry with her because she is their wildest fantasy and they can't have her. "There are so many haters in Chicago," she said. "In New York I can wear a wig and high heels and come out of the club and ride the bus and it is no big deal. But here..."
"Yeah," I said with sympathy, "our busses are a bit too grungy late at night for dressing fancy and coming out of a club."
The part where she said, "they can suck my dick!" jarred me a bit, but I didn't say anything. Then she said something about knowing who she really was in heart and starting her hormone treatments at age 11 back in Puerto Rico. The others are just pretenders trying to be women, but she started early, so she's the real thing.
"Your family is cool with this?" I asked.
Sadness dulled her anger: "My father: no. He is not cool with it. My brothers: no. My brothers are not cool with it. But my sister..." She stumbled, choking with emotion, fighting back tears... "my sister... my mother... give me so much love." She had regained her composure. "That is the only reason I leave New York."
I pointed my index finger toward the ground, "But you still have your equipment?"
"Yes, I'm not going to do that to myself. It's mine! I cut it and I can never take it back. Guys love my cock. Straight guys..."
"Straight guys?" Straight guys love your cock? What the fuck?
She asked why I didn't get another girlfriend after Jaime. "Well, there's this one gal I like who I met on the internet last weekend." I paused. For a moment I sounded pathetic to myself... wasn't I just as love-starved as a lonely fuck-mad transexual whore? I read her the description I wrote of her in my journal before I met her: "Long tall drop dead gorgeous woman."
She smiled. "That's nice. Thank you."
The train is finally pulling into Union Station. Three hours earlier I copied a quote out of a newspaper and started writing a blog that ended up writing itself. I overheard a conductor say the train hit an escaped mental patient who is still alive. I had a psychological adventure riding the rails. I met three different attractive single women (except one of them has a penis). I didn't get blown up by terrorists, but my attitude still sucks. I can see the attraction of being holed up stoned and alone in a bombproof shelter flirting on the internet and pretending I am Stud-1138.
Long Live The New Flesh.