April 8, 2009

Screaming for Dollars



Standing outside cool air Mojo coffee...God what a day...not tired...zonked on trouble...jumper cable hell...battery's good but alternator bad...O well!...bring it on...and mixed up communication with friend via text messages my phone went berserk...sent me message sent before...even the phone conspires to screw everything up...what the hell?...nearly started all over again holy shit can't anything go right?...my fault of course...IT ALWAYS IS!...and then the bit about the proffered house in Marigny...first I turned it down thought it over called back said let's try again...too much government interference...drug-tested forever! if you accept their help...more government bullshit!...ah, I can hardly think about it...left van at Magazine & Napoleon took St. Charles streetcar to Poydras walked all the way to Galvez...30 minutes...to talk with lady I met and already wrote about...yesterday I did what she told me...re-applied for non-service-connected VA disability...shot in the dark...the national lottery!...LIFE OR DEATH!...the difference between writing novel or just thinking about it while swinging a Purdy paintbrush...a stable place to live...sweet dream of homeless...someplace where sons of bitches can't see you can't mess with you...can't understand why you're laughing like a madman through the wall...someplace where you can actually walk naked from the bathroom into kitchen to cook up some rice and beans my favorite meal...people take their places for granted...DON'T!...take nothing for granted especially with the war coming...YOU THINK IT'S OVER??...Ha, ha!...Surprise!...it's just getting underway...They're only fueling up...Pakistan next! Iraq again! Africa! Colombia! India! Somalia! Ecuador! Great places to have a war!...Nobody there except poor people!...go at it...IRAN! what a joy...Iran the monster of monsters...lots of money to be made there!...China?...O what fun..."When a war starts, all bets are off"...I forget who I'm quoting...but I don't want to go on and on about it...already have...nobody listens...Nick says yeah some people listen...all right...some do...but so what?...little changes...all I want to do is go fishing...sigh...screw it!...singing to the choir...and who am I?...go ahead blow yourselves up I don't care...aw sure I do don't do it you're all wonderful people...watch now I'll probably be re-born in a war zone to pay for that...O give it a break Mike...truth is the more desperate I become the sharper I feel...I feel alive!...Yeeeeeooooow!...what a load see me ride the bucking dead horse...razoredged cutting like a butterknife...You have to be alert to come up with this stuff...I'm getting better at it the value of experience...this time I'm keeping my cool!...CURED OF BORDERLINE!...(ha ha)...anybody can see I have a mixed personality disorder...but don't take it wrong...after I fix overemotionalism I have narcissism anti-social histrionic and paranoid to deal with and get over...probably some others too...I'm a mess!...a wreck...a ruin...a basket case...living in a van 67 years old!...what a nut...all I can do is turn them to my advantage best way I can...personality disorders my friends...don't make it too hard!...don't really enjoy this situation...would you?...and don't give me that crap it's all your own fault...I know it!...so what?...doesn't change the situation...what...do you want to punish me?...you already have...you punished me with words...willow switches...abandonment...orphanage...with fists and jail lost lovers and humiliating arrests...you punished me with scorn disapproval and silence...especially silence!...the wrong kind...your rotten silence transmitted by running mouth...bastards!...holding it all in transmitting false or misleading information...false signals false emotions false data false false FALSE!...HONK!...how can anyone know the truth or how to proceed?...it's bullshit okay?..."Hi Mike How are you?"...God I hate that greeting...ask me where are you what are you who are you but don't ask me how are you...I might tell the truth you'll be sorry you asked...this time I'm keeping my cool...No more blowing my top in the van beating my head on the carpet-paneled walls...no more hollering at the clouds three o'clock in the morning!...the other day something went wrong I forget what so much happens...I literally sat in van and screamed my lungs out for about three minutes what was it?...oh yeah it was the same damned alternator...stranded on St. Joseph St. risking tow missing work opportunity...seeing my homeless feet flat on the pavement...guys from the shelter feeding at 5:30 a.m. headed past van for downtown New Orleans where they will wash dishes...bum money...rip people off all day...to buy that shot that joint that hit of crack speed coke or downers to medicate themselves before going back to the lonesome-looking shelter...nothing but lonely men there...lonely as hell but never been there...to sleep together dream together cry out together fart together snore together but apart...not a problem nobody heard me crash & burn...they wouldn't have heard me if they had heard me...look honey another guy flipping out...probably the Depression...glad it's him & not me...I'm glad too pal you have no idea how much I needed that scream...but now I'm keeping my cool...Ha, ha!...screaming my lungs out...Janov would be proud...Stomierowski would be ecstatic...Joey would be out the door...Madeline would be comforting & brave...Margareta would throw her strong osteopath-arms around me and hold me like a wrestler till I pulled it together...then take notes...she would wonder why I was a bucket of tears and definitely would not understand...Swedes are so cool calm & collected...don't know how unlucky they are...couldn't understand why I wept talking about Pushkin...couldn't explain it either...yes I know it was two hundred years ago...father of Russian literature...friend of serfs quiet enemy of Tsar himself a quadroon his grandfather a captured African made Peter the Great's jester...awarded nobility...of course she was right...why get so so emotional over an old murder...but I love his work!...so what...okay I'm all screwed up I admit it...it's the crash dive into emotion from cool unreasonable reality where everybody has a nice day...maybe I was weeping from gratitude...somebody listening to me...couldn't believe this lovely educated committed accomplished determined & talented communist medical doctor was interested in me...but this time I'm keeping my cool...see if I don't...

Jumped engine last thing last nite for cigarette-run & lights went off just before I harbored safely on Race Street...for certain I've been running on battery for a week...good charge Mr. Jefferson!...but finally petered out everything black...knew this was it...destroy the whole electrical system if I keep running on battery...nearly dead broke!...enough for coffee...rising at 6 no sleep worried... computer cigarettes & coffee till nine...calling VA to cancel long-awaited doctor-appt Slidell...won't have the juice won't have the fuel to get across the lake & back...too bad...call early give 'em time to fill the slot...at 10 I call computer boss ask for another advance...no problem...he needs me!...paint ceiling black...not a problem I like to paint flat black on ceilings they disappear...he needs anti-glare and shop-intimacy...already owe him $150 for second fix on this "computer"...okay okay I'll count my blessings...he is keeping me afloat...I know I'm not up to replacing alternator call... I call Mr. Jefferson...genial black man about my age been working on the van for a year whenever something came up cheapest guy in town...pretty good work messes up sometimes who doesn't?...I have to talk him into it...come take it out run me uptown to borrow money then to auto parts store & back...I'll put it in...better yet you take it out and put it in too...more money...pay you in a week or so when some money comes in...okay he finally agrees he's coming with another guy named Joe...they get lost one two three times...cell phone calls...easy ride from Washington Street to Sophie Tucker to Race somehow they take a wrong turn...finally arrive and Mr. Jefferson takes the alternator out but it's a bitch like I thought it would be...takes about 30 minutes...unbelievably long screw...spacers fall out nobody's sure where they were in the alignment...I'm ready to go to Auto Zone on North Broad but they tell me about alternator place on Tchopitoulas near the bridge downtown...we go there...guy says that's an old alternator goes to look anyway & returns with exactly it only better...this one puts out 75 amps compared to my old 55...twenty bucks less than Auto Zone...gives advice...Joe takes me to Napoleon & Magazine to borrow money...back to alternator place...owner corrects connection to diode I spot...off we go!...it's two in the afternoon and boss getting restless he wants to have this done...so do I...tedious work with all that computer stuff around...drop and cover everything...move boxes heavy with electric stuff...painting is hard work don't kid yourself...me I'm old too...so tired of this shit...do it or starve!...ha! ha! ha!...you can't starve in America if you can still walk or talk on the phone...maybe shut-ins who won't ask for help...it happens!...old people isolated lonely many years finally don't give a damn let themselves starve physically already dessicated emotionally mentally spiritually maybe...not me!...I'll steal food if I have to done it before...to hell with the capitalist food monopoly!...steal 'em blind if yer hungry & can't find food...food a human right!...shelter too!...and as far as I am concerned SEX!...ha, ha!...the Abbie in me...haven't had to steal food for years...BUT GIVE MORE MONEY! REDUCE PRICES!...never happen...do they ever go down and stay down?...I never saw it...billionaire food capitalists will never crash & burn...millions socked away...billions!...but oh well nothing I can do about it now...never was...out of my hands!...you think YOU are in control?...good luck with that...maybe with some others you can change some things...some things never change...look at the pirate thing near Somalia...pirates nothing new!...everybody did it...the Phonecians the Illyrians the Thracians the Greeks the Christians Muslims & Jews...the Serbs!...the English Dutch French most infamous European pirates of modern age...Muslim pirates controlled French coast and northern Italy once...controlled passes to the Alps!...Phonecian pirates Roman pirates Vikings...all this from Wikpedia the free encylopedia!...nobody innocent!...Americans issued Letters of Marque let private enterprise take care of it...relieve the Navy...Constitution gives Congress the right!...right to define piracy and track pirates down and hang them...RIGHT ON!...you are on a cruise ship and here come the merciless capitalist barbarian pirate bastards here they come with automatic weapons and RPGs...bad vacation...piracy going UP!...Navy can't control it...BAH!...blow the bastards out of the water!...what kind of an Empire is this...Imagine Julius Caesar going to the UN...Elizabeth the First...at end of Cold War navies reduced trade increased more pirate opportunities!...$13 to $16 billion worldwide losses to piracy 2007...I'm in the wrong business...Cop I know here says he's related to Jean Lafite..."murdering bastard" he says...I think I am related to Redbeard...but pirates lived hungry...couldn't have killed as many as they say...bad for business!...if passengers and crew know they will be bloody-murdered they'll fight harder...but this gang is very different...Somalia pirates are they Muslim are they working for Osama bin Laden?...WHY NOT?... not only can they do their bit for Allah & Jihad they can make a lot of money!...they do!

Mr. Jefferson has to take his wife somewhere leaves Joe who takes me for alternator...then uptown to get money...back to alternator shop...a couple of delays...we go back & start re-install...Jefferson said connect wiring first but Joe doesn't...I mention it he says it'll be okay...it isn't...won't work...have to take it back out...re-install...spacers wrong pulleys won't line up...remove it again!...he is ready to quit...gets mad at me...I soothe him tell him I don't want to make YOU mad I need you man!...he stays...I lie on my back & figure out a different way to align by moving spacers...we do it..takes awhile...IT WORKS!...He jumps battery for last time and finally I make it to work 4 p.m....two hours swinging a paintbrush crick in my neck...finish off this part tomorrow...boss gives me $20 for coffee tuna fish and cigarettes...I come to Mojo and write this...Never lost my cool...I'm getting better at this I think...someday I'll be able to talk about Pushkin without mucking it all up with tears...maybe even tell someone I love without breaking down.

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