June 24, 2009

Wind in My Hair



Cellphone America give me a break…I’m smoking at table outside Rue de la Course…three guys talking loud on cellphones…I’m almost surrounded!...sounds like a telephone exchange…why do people talk louder in public than normally?...it’s as if they want you to hear their business and private conversations…look what a bigshot I am...or maybe they do it at office and home too…I talk lower on my Sprint…its delicate audio is sensitive to breath…tough though…mine hit the floor a few times no damage…dudes play with cellphones like they play with themselves…some dudes staring at their palms for hours now...you can play Internet on them...sure I love the new means of communication…Even though it is driving me to the poorhouse!...this Air Card duns me 60 bucks a month...I spent $300 fixing this blue-screened piece of shit $250 laptop computer...God bless it...it’s the lack of phone etiquette...Manners...that I deplore…yes deplore…don’t think I’ve used that word in awhile…detest is my regular verb…neither has any effect on changing a damned thing…did you read that Mike Havenar deplored that and detested this?...who’s Mike Havenar?...semi-homeless dude who writes in coffee houses…oh…tell him noisy traffic on Magazine Street and others nearby shouting on cellphones is the reason…NEXT!…I love idea of bringing back empty telephone booths for cellphone privacy…and to protect us from public histrionics…air condition the booths hell put a TV in 'em that’ll do the trick…bored with the conversation…nobody answering their pestiferous rings…old lady nagging them to death...they can tune in their favorite mindless television show…life as a cartoon…a caricature…funny and livable…and the real scoop the real news up to date all that fits fair and balanced...no mention of the fire hose of puke when you're shot in the stomach...the way explosives rend the body not along anatomical lines.




Early evening cooldown on dirty New Orleans sidewalk...cars passing zoom! zoom! zoom!…bus…ZOOOOOM!…not a pigeon in sight they must be exhausted by heat too...this one pigeon comes here every day this time and cleans up...they ought to pay her...I watch her 15 minutes at a time some days...she gets every crumb...strutty little chick she knows I'm watching her...she comes closer and closer giving me a questioning look...102 degrees today hottest one so far …outrageous-looking woman in 30’s firm suntanned legs focused eyes challenging cleavage intriguing looks...finally gets up and leaves…sigh…I had hopes…but I never made a move...keep hope alive…Ha! Ha! Ha!...lotsa luck Mike…five hours and 22 minutes to midnight...Payday!…Social Security pittance hits the bank I’m waiting with the magic card…spend $300 in two days and hit the road for NYC...I'm hyped...listening to Mr. Tambourine Man..."I'm ready to go anywhere/I'm ready for to fade/into my own parade..."



God You know I will be so glad to get away from hot-assed New Orleans for more than a month…On the road again!...love it...leaving 10 days early taking my time…easier on old engine…stop at Jim’s in Georgia spend some time repairing & re-organizing van…it’s a mess…IT STINKS…stuff I must buy for trip things I must do: a tire...grease job...oil change...replace two belts...anti-freeze ...maybe take thermostat out who needs it New York in the summer?...run cooler without it...maybe re-pack wheel bearings too…fix broken starboard tail light lens…wash the sucker so cops don’t think I’m poor…they stop poor people in dirty-looking old cars...New Orleans cops don't seem to notice...knock on wood...that I'm driving oldest van in the city…they know the poor can’t afford frigging insurance and pull them over to check…a few years ago New Mexico announced it had 20,000 citizens driving without it…I'm not saying I don't have it...I might and might not...depends whether Obama signed my pardon...maybe on return trip stop to see Ralph in West Virginia...Wes in Tennessee…Ralph Pack my first amtrack crew chief…we made Great Lakes cruise together 1960…opened St. Lawrence Seaway…reinforced marine battalion… Sixth Marines…made simulated-combat landings on beaches on four of five Great Lakes…not Superior…first time at sea…Refused to get seasick too humiliating…everybody was throwing up…I’m not a joiner…ran up ladder pushed open forbidden hatch cover...watched the heaving ocean and giant waves raging over entire deck of shallow-draft LST...(Landing Ship Tank)...bobbing on ocean like cork-bobber over a hungry trout…watched the waves and troughs...got a feel for which way ship pitched…anticipated the breakers...bow hitting the next big wave like a giant iron mallet...BLAM!...whole ship shuddering like being rammed by Moby Dick...found the horizon…never got seasick in four years on various ships in the Crotch…see what an extraordinary Irish landlubber I was…showed Joey same trick on our 11-day honeymoon on three-masted windjammer The Flying Cloud II...around the Windward Islands…Martinique to Grenada & back...she didn’t get sick either…I love being on the ocean hate being in it…there are things down there that will eat you!...no thanks…I’m at the top of food chain…I eat them.



Great Lakes tour was something else… we lost a guy overboard entering the Bay of St. Lawrence...by the time they discovered it it was useless to go back for him...water too cold...hypothermia in minutes and dead...we stopped off Quebec City and yelled & waved at the motorboaters...they offered to throw up beer...Sgt. Marino said hell no...no alcohol on a Navy ship...beautiful city I always meant to go back but never did...sailed slowly through the Thousand Islands...extraordinary!...great homes I'd love to live there...President Eisenhower & Queen Elizabeth my favorite queen cut ribbon opening long-dreamed-of ocean-going ship route to continental interior…our little ship so far back from the festivities we didn't see or hear the bigshots...cruisers & destroyers first...we went through locks...first landing we made at Montrose Beach Chicago Fourth of July...million people there they said…when we came off ship loaded with savage marines armed with blanks to defend our way of life the beach looked like multi-colored rocks…getting closer we saw they were colorful clothes…so many people!…never before seen…years later I became addicted to huge crowds in antiwar demonstrations…seems like everybody knows each other…ha, ha!...we do!…and we know we don’t want this fucking war is what! which fucking war?...none of your fucking wars.



Marines charged ashore and The Blue Angels the Marine Corps flying team four bloody fighter jets roared over my head when I was standing atop tractor un-screwing radio antennae.



I swear I felt their heat…scared the shit out of me...I nearly fell off the thing…close air support...small TNT charges going off simulating mines…BOOM! BOOM! POW! POW! rifles machine guns…CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!...RAT-A-TAT-TAT… the works!…crowd loved it…”this thing she called a good old-fashioned war” (Dylan--John Brown)…here’s a strange thing…when we charged ashore some nut charged us...a civilian…cops grabbed him I watched the whole thing…38 years later I met the guy at the Triangle Club in Las Vegas...big AA club where I first seriously tried to stop drinking…nine months dry…I told him about the cruise he told me he was there I said oh yeah?...he said yeah I charged out there to meet you guys...I was drunk as hell and the cops arrested me…man I couldn’t believe it…it still seems impossible to me…but it was him all right…I saw it all right…our memories coincided…not a coincidence either…he helped me out with good advice some tricks & verbal support…hadn’t had a drink in 20 years…but I fell off the wagon anyway and sex was the trigger of course…he had been a private pilot...flew a small Cessena drunk and engine quit…he’d forgotten to gas up…landed in middle of a town...nobody hurt the plane towed away with one broken wing…lucky he didn't get arrested for FWI...(Flying While Intoxicated)...Something up there liked him…maybe kept him around so he could help me…It's all connected...he did his best but I didn’t.



On June 15th I celebrated my third year without alcohol...finally I did something right...anybody badmouthing AA to me I'll set 'em straight...of course it doesn't work for you unless you have had your last drink and want to quit...you gotta hit your bottom...thank God my bottom was higher than it might have been...pure self-disgust at wasting my only life...see I always worked...I might have been living in a van but I worked and had enough money to stay clean busy and out of jail...I might drink every night one two or 10...I wrote in bars...I wrote in so many bars...got up next day went to work and sometimes went weeks without booze...sooner or later though I'd drink too much and something bad would happen...I'd get in a fight or an argument lose a friend or a job or tools or fall and break my ass...if I drank one shot of Brandy & Benedictine after a few beers I inevitably broke out in handcuffs...DUI!...I'd be flying down the road feeling great and whup! whup! whup! that old siren song of confinement...jail...cops...handcuffs...judges...lawyers...fines...higher insurance rates...feeling bad about myself...disgusted...losing friends like dandruff...depressed...quitting jobs...ah to hell with it...the writing isn't going anywhere I have no talent...couldn't focus...I'm going to Las Vegas...Los Angeles...San Francisco...New York...Texas...New Mexico...Arizona...Las Vegas...Los Angeles...Hermosa Beach...Minnesota...San Francisco...Eureka...Mexico...Nicaragua...Canada...Michigan...Seattle...Portland...Willow Creek...Washington DC...Durango...Redlands...Corpus Christi...Charlotte...Orlando...Clearwater...Miami...you get the idea...I'm sure I told you somewhere back there in this blog...those bitter nights in all kinds of weather...listen I hate to go back and read it I'll tell you why...I am an endless re-writer...I'll start fucking with it and it just isn't worth it...I don't have the time the boneyard is calling...I'm putting this stuff out there for your perusal...this is it!...this is the real thing baby the raw resources take it or leave it...I'm Kerouwhacking you with Celineiquies...I'm not changing a thing unless I find it's a lie or worse THE TRUTH...ha, ha!...maybe I'll fix some grammar or move my three little dots around...if something is too bad I'll just delete in in pure embarrassment hope nobody saved it...piece what piece?...a little truth is a good thing don't you think...watch out though...you can say too much and people get disgusted...they don't want to see your innards..I know I don't...on the other hand I couldn't write like this if Kerouac and Celine hadn't shown theirs...



Celine's heartless logic from false premises...dumb decisions...selfish belly brilliant mind generous heart profane thoughts sordid upbringing his criminal attachments...his great medical knowledge fantastic literary contributions and true confessions...Hilarious!...heartbreaking too.



Kerouac laying open his sad generous alcoholic compassionate French-American heart writing 24-hours at a time on bennies...crying howling laughing to great jazz...Bombed on weed and benzedrine...writing a whole book on a roll of teletype paper!...ha, ha!...describing everything in sight knowing it was disappearing forever right before his eyes...get it all down it'll never be seen again...don't let that old railcar diner with worn countertop and plate of melty butter get away...nobody else described Joan Crawford making a movie in the rain and how it made him feel...Visions of Cody my favorite pioneering Kerouac book...tell the truth and let them do what they want with it they will anyway...I wish there was some money in it though...hard to sustain this expensive lifestyle with simple unpaid literary piracy...poor Jack slugging cheap wine hanging with winos in the alley by City Lights...goodbye cruel liver...ah Jack I wish I'd known you...I might've told you a thing or two...you didn't have to die sad & lonely your tongue big as a shoe...it was the booze bub...poison for guys like you and me...should have stayed with the weed Jack.



Well the money came in...I'm sitting in my writing place 3:59 AM with $300 in my pocket and some eggs & grits in my belly that weren't cooked right...but the pain in my side is gone...I should go to bed but don't feel like it...I don't like to sleep...my mother used to say "Mike doesn't want to go to bed because he doesn't want to miss anything"...she nailed me...to a cross...but I got off...ha, ha!...took awhile but I am actually feeling real good for a change...things are looking up...I got this beautiful...job...waiting for me in New York...can't wait to get to it...and the road...oh the blessed open road...the winds of change blowing on my old white hair...same old roads...same old hair...a different Mike.

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