Archive for December, 2005

Defeat at Shasta

Posted in Blog on December 31, 2005 by trevorgregg

or, A Tale of Horror and Woe at the Oregon Border

Forces beyond my comprehension aligned against me. A man can only take so much, and so here I sit, broken and ill, back in San Francisco. My fever rages, and my wounds are not yet bandaged.

As I write, I am filled suddenly with a righteous indignation and bitterness. I will hurt something innocent tonight. When the Powers That Be hit me, motherfucker, I hit back.

I rose with the dawn, exhausted and sickly. In preparation for the long and lonely burn North, I went out drinking with my sisters and got four hours of sleep. I played bodyguard and escort, putting on my leather hitman gloves and giving sharp looks to the forward and cocksure doctors the girls went out to meet. I’m terribly protective of them; the girls, that is. Potential suitors recognize the dark in my eyes for what it is; not a typical male territoriality or kind-hearted judgment, but a black and dangerous meanness held in check tenuously by social convention and indulgence for my female friends. Beware, I say, beware. The swine behaved themselves, for the most part, and we returned home around 4.

A wicked storm rolled in while we drank, lurching in from the vast oblivion of the Pacific and beginning its protracted siege of the west coast. It began with a hard rain, and by morning had revealed its true character.

I crossed the bridge at 10, and the waves were already 15-20 feet high. A wretched, omnidirectional rain assaulted me all the way to Vacaville; I say rain only because I don’t know that English has a word for the type of baleful precipitation I witnessed.. Speeding through the grey, violent murk of the storm, I hoped things would calm down as I got away from the sea.

Right.

Into the valley, the storm seemed to at least get a little organized. The rain started falling hard and straight, the wind gusting steadily east at fifty miles an hour. I thought I was home free. Despite three days of delay, disaster, and distraction, I had got myself on the road and out of the bay. No company, no money, no time to lose, no problem. It seemed that whatever dubious circumstances had proceeded my journey had resolved themselves. Evil portents and common sense be damned: on the road and all is right.

I drank a half gallon of Coke in Williams, to stay awake; the first sustenance other than Jameson I’d had in 24 hours. A late night and a vicious illness had unsettled my stomach, and I didn’t trust in my body’s ability to handle anything heartier than high fructose corn syrup and caffeine.

Hours pass. I barrel along through the endless, sprawling dreariness of the valley, up 505 and onto 5 proper heading North doing eighty. A straight shot from here out. The vast grey of the storm gave the already desolate valley and even more morbid look. Grain silos and barbed wire fences rose awkwardly out of lakes, formerly fields. Sheep and cattle huddled around any kind of shelter, and frantic farmers dressed in yellow slickers hustled around on ATVs. The lonely and monotonous plains of California’s interior generally create a meditative, almost trancelike state. You can drive up 5 at a hundred and fifteen miles an hour for five hours without a second thought, lost in internal deliberations and philosophical contemplation. The sheer boring emptiness of it makes it either peaceful or painful, depending on the driver’s temperament. Not today.

Hydroplaning and fishtailing around on the freeway at breakneck speeds detracts significantly from one’s introspection. Gusts of wind like the hand of God would slap my rickety gold pickup from lane to lane, and my poor Toyota rattled like I was attempting orbital reentry.
“Hold together, Juanita.” I said, patting her dashboard. “It’s just you and me baby, we need to do this thing. Just get me over that border baby, and I promise I’ll buy you a tank of premium.”
Dodging drifting bigrigs and rental sedans, tossed around by the wind just as easily as I was, I continued on full bore North. Always North.

The storm worsened.

I stopped for gas somewhere south of Redding, and the second I opened my door the wind ripped the thing open as wide as possible. The hinges screamed. The hard, heavy rain was now falling almost horizontally, defying all defenses and blasting everything and everyone stupid enough to be out in such weather. Things were worse inside the station. The door to the minimart was lashed open, and bucked wildly against the ropes that bound it to the ice machine. Inside, the manager swept desperately, trying to shove the inch of standing water out his store and back out into the storm. Picking my way through floating bags of chips and unopened cigarette packs, I located the bathroom after much bad noise from the lady working the register. As soon as I finished up, the lights went out. In the absence of the hum of the refrigerators and the buzz of the slurpee machines, the barely-muffled shrieks of the storm were all I could hear. I came out to find the store manager weeping, his broom tossed aside. The cash register lady had a rifle out, and I scrambled for the door. She was screaming nonsensically, shouting about the End of the World and the Coming of the Lord.

“Quiet down, you crazy bitch!” The manager yelled through his tears. “Don’t worry about her, man, that thing’s not loaded.”
“Jesus Christ she scared the life out of me. All I want is a Kit Kat and a Sobe.” I said, still huddled behind the candy rack.
“Take whatever you like. We’re all dead anyway.” He was overcome with sobs again. I grabbed my supplies and a free Auto Trader, and headed for the door. The woman, gasping for breath now and exhausted by her frenzy, stared at me with the wide eyes of someone much too close to the edge. She still held the rifle, but I could see the safety was on. I set three dollars on the counter and backed quietly towards the door. Steeling myself before I headed out again, the crazy bitch and I stared at each other for a moment.
“…..”
“…..”
“I’m the fifth horseman, and as soon as I burn Yreka, I’ll be back for you. PRAY FOR YOUR SINS YOU CRAZY BITCH!” I shouted, sprinting out into the madness before I could see her reaction. I heard her screams above the roar, but the rope holding the door snapped and the minimart entrance slammed shut, probably forever. I’d got 3/4 of a tank before the power went out, which should hold me until I reached some kind of civilization. I sped off into the dark.

Two hours later I received a cryptic and garbled phone call from Nate, north of the border.
“…Terrible rockslides…en killed….indefinite closure of I 5…not be o….Thursday…” Cursing my fucking piece of shit phone and the team of chimp fucking Chico grads who engineered the damn thing, I hung up. Whatever lay ahead, I’d find out soon enough.

Traffic stopped dead 30 miles north of Redding.

For 40 minutes nobody moved. Every once in a while, an emergency vehicle screamed by on the shoulder, headed up front. I turned on the traffic advisory station, wary.

You’re listening to the California Highway Patrol Automated Traffic Advisory. As of 11:30 AM, I5 is closed indefinitely north of Yreka. Local ID and chains are required to pass the checkpoint. All traffic will be diverted up Route 97 into Oregon.

Grim news. I pulled onto the shoulder and sped to the next offramp, driving around until I found a workable cellphone signal.

“Nate? Can you hear me?”
“I5 is crushed, man. It’s buried under 400 tons of rock and mud; they might as well just build a new freeway. You’ll have to come out 97 and across 66, over the pass and into Klamath Falls. I can meet you there by sundown, and we can take the snowcat south back into Ashland.”
“I don’t know if I can even make it to the 97 turnoff at this rate. I’m still an hour from Weed and traffic is dead stopped. Let me call you back.”
I rode the shoulder all the way to the front, lurching in front of some maniac in a Subaru to cut in line. The people lined up in their cars gave little protest; most were too scared or too exhausted to care that I’d jumped in. A Ranger, no doubt coopted by the CHP for the day, approached. I rolled down my window; the scream of the storm was deafening. He clung to my door for dear life, the wind tearing at his black poncho, and leaned his head in the window to shout.
“You got local ID and chains?” I showed him my chains, lifting them out of the ammo box I kept them in.
“I’m no local. I went to college. I’m headed for Ashland, I need to get to Weed and head over the mountains to Klamath Falls.”
“You’ll never make it. There’s no way the Klamath pass will stay open after dark, and you’re still four hours away even without this damn traffic. They’ve already got sixteen feet of snow on the ground, and the Oregon Governor has just declared a state of emergency.” He shouted.
“Nonsense! I’m an engineer, I know what I’m doing. I’ve come too far to go back now.”

Indeed, I had.

“I have to keep going. I’m sorry Officer. This is for the best.”
I put my hand on his face and gave the pig a good shove, rolling up my window. The wind caught him, and he tumbled back down into a ditch.

“You’ll never make it!” I heard him shout again. I flipped him off. I cranked the Toyota around the roadblock, fishtailing viciously, and headed northward, away from the endless line of headlights behind me.
Two more checkpoints followed, and I bribed and coerced my way through them with little trouble. These valley types are easily bamboozled by a man with a vocabulary and an IEEE membership card.

I had slowed to a crawl at this point, unable to drive faster than 25 and still maintain any semblance of control. Overturned RV’s and autos littered the shoulders and ditches, wrecked or abandoned by those others foolhardy enough to head for Weed. Bodies of truckers, tourists and livestock were scattered around the roadside, the wind rolling back and forth in a disgusting imitation of life. Perhaps I’ve underestimated this storm.

No. Keep going. Eyes on the prize, Trevor.

I turned the radio back on for comfort.

You’re listening to the California Highway Patrol Automated Traffic Advisory. As of 11:30 AM, I5 is closed indefinitely north of Yreka. Local ID and chains are required to pass the checkpoint. This is no storm. This is the Apocalypse. The end is nigh, none of you will live to see the sun rise again. Repent now, and may God have mercy on your souls.

I clicked it back off.

“I don’t need your fucking negativity.” I yelled at the radio.

At this point, I had to put chains on. Moving forward, even at a slow pace, caused me to drift and hydroplane instantly. With chains on and cranking the wheel 45 degrees into the wind, I managed to inch forward at about 10 mph.

A sign ahead, barely visible through the grey chaos.

Weed: 57 miles.

Fuck, that’s a ways.

I continued on, chains chewing at the asphalt. Even the corpses and wrecks had thinned out by this point. I was utterly alone, in the heart of the thing.

I cannot honestly say what drove me on. Every aspect of this trip, from day one, has ended in complete and utter disaster. Failures and bad omens at every turn. Every sign, every sensibility, was urging me to turn back. To never even go in the first place. With every fuckup, with every mishap, my determination grew stronger. Abandoned by my friends, no copier, no snow to ride the copier on even if we had it, no sun, no money, no hope. It was as if Nature, the Universe, and God had all conspired against me and my goal. Creeping alone that empty four lane freeway in the middle of that grey hell, all I could think of was continuing on. The destination is all that matters. Go. Drive. Win.

Win.

God, Nature, and the Universe tell me I can’t have something, and with all my juvenile and bitter defiance I tell them to go fuck themselves. I fear no Wrath, no Storm, no Divine Retribution. I am a Man, and these are but petty annoyances to me. Go fuck yourself, Universe.

I do what I want.

A shape loomed out of the darkness, stretched across all four lanes. I crept closer, and my meager headlights illuminated a jackknifed lumber truck. It had obviously skidded into the median, and then been dragged as a final, insurmountable barrier across the freeway by some National Guard tank. On one side, the concrete divider. On the other, a muddy ditch with four or more feet of frigid water. 53 miles to Weed, and I can go no further.

I zipped up my coat and stepped out into the chaos.

I weigh about 138 lbs, probably closer to 145 with my various coats and boots on, and I was literally blown off my feet.. The wind and the rain almost knocked me down again, despite a firm hold on the truck. I’ve never felt weather like that, anywhere. The sheer awful noise of the thing…

I fought forward to the overturned logging truck, and grabbed hold of one of the shattered logs.

Around me, the world roared.

“Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!” I screamed.

I screamed myself hoarse.

“Fuck you! I hate you! How dare you deny me this! How dare you!”

I kicked savagely at the logs, shouting and flailing until I slumped against them in exhaustion.

How could it end like this. Here, at the foot of black, looming Shasta. So close. So god damn close.

“Fucking shit hell. How dare you deny me this.”

“How dare you.”

I got the chains off and turned around, finding a hole in the median a few hundred yards down and slipping over to the southbound side.

I was defeated.

——————-

Somehow, the storm got worse. Highway 5 runs dead center through the California flatlands, a narrow strip of asphalt raised five or so feet above the surrounding plains. It crosses various rivers and creeks; the Sacramento, etc. Twelve straight hours of gushing rain had flooded every field I passed. Occasional trees and silos stuck out pathetically, whipping and bending with the hateful wind. The wind, which I was now driving into instead of with, was blowing water onto the freeway from the flooded fields. I was forced to stop several times, dropping into first gear and fording six-inch deep standing water.

Six hundred miles and I hadn’t seen even a hint of an edge to this storm. Not one eye or weak point. Not one glimmer of mercy.

You all know me well, and you know I stretch and contort the truth at times. I’ll admit. Understand, then, that when I say this was…is… the strongest storm I’ve ever seen that I do so without exaggeration. I, a full grown and reasonably aerodynamic man was knocked to the ground like a child. Six hundred miles of swirling, vindictive grey hatred.

I digress.

My phone died around 3:00, after having been charged all night. I once again prayed for the waterheads who designed its’ death. Fuck you, you amateurs, and fuck your shoddy technology.

The headwind kept my speed down to around 65, once I got out of the flooded stretches. Fifth gear and 3500 RPMs would get me to 70, but my gas budget is not what it once was.

Five miles north of Williams, things got much worse.

——————

It sounded like a gunshot. At seventy miles an hour on I5 in the heart of the most evil storm in California history, my passenger window exploded. Supposedly shatterproof glass, carried on whipping winds, filled Juanita’s cab.

Somehow, I didn’t crash. At that point, I had become so familiar with death and danger and disappointment that such a catastrophe didn’t even surprise me. I pulled her over, hazards on, and kicked the remaining half of the window out onto the shoulder. Stepping out into the banshee winds and soaking rain, I stretched my shitty red ski jacket open across the interior of the passenger door. This afforded me at least some degree of protection, if only from the spray of bigrigs in the next lane over.

Who knows what hit it to make it explode like that. A storm like this could have picked up a piece of gravel in Tahiti and turned the thing into five hundred feet per second sniper bullet by the time it reached my window.

I picked most of the glass splinters out of my hands and neck, the only exposed flesh at the time of the explosion. Good thing I was alone, I thought. A thing like that would have killed, blinded, or at least horribly scarred anyone in the passenger seat.

Soaked and bleeding, I drove on, now with nothing between me and the storm.

We came to know each other well.

The next five hours were a Nightmare of Water and Cold and Noise.

Not knowing what else to do, I put on a CD of bootleg Nirvana, and turned it all the way up. Kurt shrieked despair, as only Kurt could, and the storm raged in my passenger seat.

—————-

grandma take me home, i wanna be alone

I drive forever. The road is a slippery four lane eternity.

serve the servants, oh lord

I left something, something precious and broken, at that wreck.

oh denial oh denial oh denial oh denial

The usual hate, the usual madness, the usual emptiness, they all got much worse on the drive back.

ain’t it a shame to beat your wife on a sunday, ain’t it a shame

To be screwed by a human is one thing. To be screwed by Everything is quite another.

still the life that’s inside of me

Limping back into Richmond and familiar territory, there was no place on Earth I wanted less to be than my City.

rape me, rape me my friend

Sitting in dead-stop traffic near Treasure Island, I could hear the bridge moaning under the relentless assault of waves and fury.

i’m not like them, but i can pretend

Now I’m back here, my truck and my soul both shuddering heaps. We are much worse for wear.

the results are always perfect, but that’s old news

Back in the City. New years is tomorrow.

Christ.

-T.

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Ah crap.

Posted in Blog on December 29, 2005 by trevorgregg

Cooler heads and a snow advisory prevail.

I am delayed till morning.

Curses.

-T.

Things Fall Apart

Posted in Blog on December 29, 2005 by trevorgregg

Waylaid by sissies and sycophants.

The Oregon Trip slumped and wheezed, and was declared dead by the medical examiner at 5:45 PM today. Cause of death: chronic wimpyassbitchitis.

The first to go was Ernie, our shady Copy Machine hookup. After rewiring my house this morning, I spent two hours hounding the bastard over the phone. I got through twice, but both times he seemed confused, delirious…

“Is this Ernie?”
“Yeah! Lou? Is that you, Lou?”
“This isn’t Lou, this is Trevor.”
“LOU I SWEAR TO GOD I’LL HAVE YOUR MONEY.”
*click*
*click click click click*
“Hello, is this Ernie? You still there man?”
“Lou please I need at least another week. Some things have come up…”
“This is not fucking Lou, this is Trevor. I spoke to you last week about your spare copiers. I’m in San Leandro now, where are you so I can come pick them up.”
“YOU’RE HERE ALREADY? DEAR GOD!”
*click*

“Hello?”
“Hello?”
“Ernie? You there?”
“This isn’t Ernie… This is… Alan….”
“Ernie you motherfucker I KNOW IT’S YOU! WHERE ARE MY COPY MACHINES!”
“This… Isn’t Ernie…”
“THIS ISN’T TREVOR EITHER. IT’S LOU AND I’M COMING TO GUT YOU YOU FUCKER.”

I slammed the phone down and squealed out of the Safeway parking lot. All the way to fucking San Leandro, the asshole of the East Bay, for nothing. Damn you Ernie. You’ll get yours.

Furious, I sped across the border into Oakland to deposit the thousand dollars in cash I had wadded up in my pocket.

Don’t ask.

Ranger Asshat from the Automated Medford National Weather Service Hotline tells me there’s no snow on Mount Ashland anyway, but that a tropical storm the likes of which we’ve never known is blowing in from the south by Friday morning. No snow, but enough frigid rain to make the roads impassible if the temperature drops. The entire Rogue River Valley is going to be a frozen bog by three oclock Friday afternoon. Motherfucker. Now even God’s against me.

Burning out of Oakland on MLK at ninety miles an hour, I made a few more calls. The Mad Hungarian, an old buddy of mine in Chicago, told me Quint got pinched on Wednesday night smuggling a barge full of Newport Cigarettes across Lake Michigan into Ontario. The mounties have him locked up in some horrific Ice Prison in Ottawa. As far as being locked up in a foreign prison goes, you could choose a worse country than Canada. Still, I’ll bet the poor fucker’s freezing. There’s no way we can even think of mounting a rescue op before the spring thaw. Canadian prisons, especially those holding foreign agents, are patrolled by vicious mounties on mooseback, who carry sniper rifles and heat vision goggles. We have no chance against them on their home turf in winter weather. Stay strong, Q. I’ll see you in March.

Galo, already bogged down in delays by work, called to admit defeat and throw in the towel around four. I cursed him for his weakness, and told him this was just the kind of cowardice I expected from a married man.

Motherfuckers!

The Storm of the Century is raging its way toward the Northwest Seaboard, and I’m sitting in here wasting precious hours.

Fuck it, I’ll go it alone.

Sometimes you just have to sack up and fly solo.

Oregon is a savage and terrible place, especially in the winter. Long gone is Kesey’s idyllic forested wilderness. Oregon’s now infested with inbred survivalists and unwashed thespians. Killing a Californian is nothing more than a felony misdemeanor, and the corpses of yuppies and Sunset writers hang as grim warnings from the 55 MPH signs just over the border. Their mangled limbs and twisted bodies litter the roadside, many of them tied to trees or lightposts by vines and piano wire. If I leave now I can cross under cover of night, hopefully reaching Ashland in secret by 3 AM.

Fuck you weaklings. A six pack of Redbull, a fistful of Dayquil, and 5 or 6 MP3 cds full of Tupac and Johnny Cash are all I need now; friends, company, they’d just slow me down.

Wish me luck you swine.

-T.

Just a’goin over Jordan

Posted in Blog on December 29, 2005 by trevorgregg

Hello, filthy readers.

The New Year approaches with alarming speed. The winds of change blow, frigid and unmerciful, through the streets of our fair city.

Winter’s hold strengthens. But not for long.

Preparations are underway for another reckless and foolhardy trip to Ashland Oregon, site of so much mischief and mayhem in years past. I cannot help but heed the call to travel North, despite the protests of both the instinctive and higher functioning portions of my brain. Whatever vestigial, adrenaline-fueled reptilian piece of my mind controls my will to self destruct is now in complete control, and we leave as soon as our gear is stowed and the weather abates. The drive North is powerful enough to overcome my consuming hatred for snow and The Cold, which amazes even me. After many phonecalls and back alley meetings with questionable folk, I’ve come across just the sort of equipment we need for a venture like this. Tomorrow, when the sun goes down, I’ll meet a man known only as Ernie in a dingy warehouse in San Leandro, driving away with one or more industrial copymachines from the mid 80s.

Don’t ask.

With any luck, Sossegado will be coming in on the Capitol Corridor train from Sactown about the same time. Unit’s been off the radar for a while, and although I’m not permitted to discuss his activities over the past six months, let’s just say there are four dead men in Prague who won’t be selling any more of America’s secrets to our enemies. His vigilance is all that stands between us and a resurgence of communism in the eastern bloc, and most Americans don’t even know his name. Your heroism will not be unsung forever, Unit. This I promise you.

Now I must retire to my den to catch up on some reading. On top of the many other wonderful books, I’ve received two golden and delicious gifts in particular this season: A new HST book and a new Transmet collection. My very eyes bleed with anticipation.

See you fucks on the other side.

-T.

p.s. Pray to your deity of choice for us while in Oregon.

We’re sure to need all the help we can get, in that terrible and primitive land.

They shot my mule and burned my wagon.

Posted in Blog on December 26, 2005 by trevorgregg

“I’m more dangerous than you know, you scuzzy shitbag!” I scream at him.
“Let’s go dude, leave him alone, he’s just doing his job.” I’m hustled away from the bouncer, everyone around me tossing each other those slouchy apologetic embarrassed looks they so love to toss when I’m drinking.
“You motherfucker. I’m a ninja! I know where you live, I’ll sneak in your house and fillet your girlfriend in her sleep for what you’ve done to me. You have no idea! I’m quieter than a cold draft, I’ll get in there when you least expect it.”
“Stop dude, it’s time to go home.”
“NO IT’S NOT. You know how silent I am? I spend every autumn in Wyoming hunting deer with a baseball bat. I feast on venison steaks the rest of the year, only bringing out my ninja uniform on special occasions like sneaking into your kitchen and stabbing your kids you greasy freak!”
“He’s calling the cops it’s time to go.”

My new friends dragged me away from the bar into the rainy night. Despair grips me momentarily; where else can we find an open bar on a Sunday night, let alone on Christmas? Fuck, I’ve ruined it for everyone. I hate god damn Christmas.

“Who are you people and where are we going?” I demand.
“Something else on Haight’s gotta be open.”
“You’re right; these godless swine hate Jesus more than I do, of course they’ll keep their bars open. Why did I even fret.”

We stumble on through the horrid December rain, getting thoroughly soaked in our search for strong drink. I’ve been talkative all night; a rarity. I’ve confessed to crimes I’d forgotten years ago, my gin soaked neurons firing seemingly at random under the onslaught of holiday nostalgia. Bad craziness on the streets of San Francisco.

The girl supporting my weight asks me inane, flirty questions. I respond with outright lies, as seems appropriate.
“I’m half Basque and half Visigoth. Did I tell you that? My ancestors sacked Rome. Burned the whole mess to the ground and started the Dark Ages with a big barbarian raze orgy. You’re not Italian, are you? I’ve got some serious genetic predispositions against Italians.”
She tells me she’s not Italian, and asks me about my writing.
“Who the fuck told you that? I’m not a writer, I’m an engineer. There’s a lot of bad noise on the SF social circuit about me, some gossipy liberal arts bitch jealous of my paycheck and career possibilities has been telling people I’m a writer, that I have some Internet site or something. All complete untruths, I assure you.”
She looks disappointed. She was obviously hoping I was softer on the inside, a Beautiful Person despite the rough exterior, writing haikus about universality on recycled paper. I hate to break her heart.

Not really.

“Honey you need to understand something, about why you and I could never work. You seem like a sweet girl, for a white chick. But I have an iron heart; it pumps nothing but black ink and cheap scotch. I’m terrified of commitment, and am also immortal. Being immortal gives me a very different perspective on life and humanity than you have. Basically, we’re too different for this ever to be anything more than a fling. Do you understand this honey? Are you reading me?”

She nodded yes, and adjusted my arm over her shoulder to bear the burden more easily. Still, her hope was visible in her eyes. Foolish thing.

“Listen honey, I know your kind. You like candles, don’t you? Yeah I thought so. Why is it hos like candles? Explain that to me.”

She looked at me for a second, and we walked on.

“That was not rhetorical. Seriously. Lightbulbs are vastly superior in every way. What’s with candles?”

She proceeded to ignore me, but still we carried on. I felt I had to win her back with stories, if only to avoid being abandoned behind a dumpster in my sorry state.

“You see this scar on my arm?” I showed her.
“I got this in a bar fight with a golf pro in Guam in 1987. Yeah I know, I’m older than I look. I told you I was immortal. Unkillable, at least in the classical sense of the term. Regardless. So I was in this shack called Captain Steve’s Port of Storms drinking grappa with a couple of Polynesians when these golfers show up. I hate golf and I told them so immediately. Things went downhill from there, and this golfer ends up breaking a bottle of High Life over one of the Polynesians’ heads and shanking me in the arm with the thing.”

She looks at me, horrified by my tale.

“Seriously. I learned a hard lesson that night; don’t ever talk shit about the LPGA unless you really know who you’re dealing with. Those evil harpie golf-bitches get mean.

She laughs. I’m back in the good graces.

“I’m overcome with truth. You’re witnessing a rare moment, honey. Rare indeed.”

She thanks me.

“I hit a raccoon once in Atascadero, on the freeway. I felt horrible. I felt even more horrible thinking that I didn’t feel horrible enough.”

“I can’t speak Spanish for shit. My brain only has room for one extra language, and Portuguese has completely supplanted it. I can understand it well enough, but I talk like I have the Downs when I try and respond.”

“I’m completely in love with Claire Danes circa 1998. I’ve never gotten over My So-Called Life. Is that so terrible of me?”

She said it wasn’t. She sensed that my confessions were truer on a deeper level, despite their factual inaccuracies.

“Were you a Ken person or a Ryu person?”

She asked me who Ken and Ryu were.

“I oughtta smack you for such blasphemy. You’re lucky I’m in such a depleted state.”

I woke up on a dock in Alameda, my arms covered with club stamps, phone numbers, and vicious paper cuts. I took bart home.

——————

I devoured The Curse of Lono in two nights, of course. It’s done wicked and beautiful things to my mind, and reminded me why I venerate those I do. Damn I need that tat. I wonder if I could get Steadman to paint something custom for my entire shoulders?

A word to the wise: never, ever put warm clothes on your Christmas list. I made that mistake and ended up with three dozen new god damn sweaters. All of them nice, to be sure, and hopefully there will be enough frigid horrible suicide-provoking SF winter days this year for me to take them all out for a spin. Still, just let it be known that asking for sweaters is inviting disaster, if only by sheer quantity and volume. I’ve got more sweaters than socks. Now I’m too warm and well dressed for my own good. Watch out, fools!

Booya.

-T.

“Clergymen are the ticket scalpers outside the gates of heaven. Religion has been a curse to mankind.” – H. L. Menken

En fuego

Posted in Blog on December 25, 2005 by trevorgregg

The cold sun has set on Christmas Eve, and night has dawned.

I can already feel myself standing straighter, stretching, expanding. I’ve never felt truly at home in the day, as goth and weird as that sounds. I sit holding my cherry new copy of The Curse of Lono, holding it reverently. Thompson, you clever old bastard, of course I’m holding it reverently. You made the fucking thing as big as an Atlas, and big books can be held no other way. God knows if it’s a good book or not, I’m only three pages in. But you desperate fucker, you made sure everyone who held a copy would hold it with reverence just by fashioning the thing to such a scale. Nobody could toss your work about, bending and folding and mangling the thing; it must weigh fifteen god damn pounds. The wings of the book are immense; it’s like reading a dead condor. You’ve still got it, you vicious fucker. One step ahead of me every time. I salute you.

———–

Strange and terrible visions last night… The cold and the strain of holiday life have wrought a wicked havoc on my subconscious, tearing things loose and muddying the waters. A meteor fell up north somewhere, Alaska or Canada… I was working near the edge of the blast radius. Few were killed, the area was so remote, but seeing the snow and forests seared off the landscape had a powerful effect on me, the air full of orange cinders and white snowflakes. Next I was in a room, or many rooms, with great hanging blue curtains. They shifted and concealed, but I didn’t feel too terribly ill at ease. Strange technologies lurked behind these curtains, beeping, blinking complexities that I failed to comprehend. A man, or what I mistook for a man, approached me. His red eyes and his halting speech gave him away, and when he reached to throttle me I kicked him in his temple hard enough to knock a red eye out of its socket. Screeching and murderous, the manthing choked me as I pummeled its iron ribcage. It spit and swore, assaulting me with accusations and lies in an alien language I couldn’t understand. We died at each other’s throats, bloody and snarling.

I awoke in my bed to Dean Martin crooning about a white Christmas, the pale daytime flooding my room.

———–

Saw The Chronic (what?) cles of Narnia tonight, or as I like to call it, The Passion of the Lion, as is my Christian duty. Although it’s difficult to draw the line between what morality can be attributed to the fanatical C.S. hisself as opposed to the antideluvian werewolf demongods in charge of Walt Disney, the simple fact is that the movie drips with it even moreso than the books. I will say this: if you pureed a copy of Lord of the Rings and the King James Bible, then force-fed the mixture to Ron Howard until he shat himself, Chronicles might be mistaken for what he cleaned out of his pants. Regardless, it was enjoyable.

————

Another Christmas passes. All that’s left now is that sledgehammer pray-for-death mid-January hangover known as the Visa Bill.

————

We had a big, angry political discussion over dinner, always a recipe for disaster. Not necessarily for conflict, as my immediate family and I run along reasonably parallel political tracks, but simply a horrid thing to attempt on the holiday of peace and love.

I realize I haven’t told you this in a while… not nearly so often as I should. Eggnog and fudge have a way of bringing out my truest and purest feelings, however. Much like politics. And so, in a rare moment of honesty and sincerity, and in the spirit of holiday giving and American democracy, let me say this:

I truly and deeply fucking hate you all. You are all worthless swine scum shitbags and should be ashamed of yourselves.

I seem to remember a President being impeached for having his knob bobbed in the not too recent past. Remember that? Yeah. That. Now our current First Citizen, the fuck who brought you Iraq 2 – Son of Gulf War and the Miracle of Intelligent Design decides that it’s ok to spy on American citizens. Ain’t nobody calling for impeachment and homeboy is breaking the law.. Keep in mind that this is illegal. Moreso, keep in mind that this is illegal for a reason. So we go to war for no reason and Americans die. Big whoop. So he drives our economy into the ground and puts us in more debt than we could ever hope to recover from. Eh… everyone makes mistakes. So he defies the Geneva Convention and the United Nations, things created to prevent the atrocities of the last century from ever occurring again and usher in a new age of civilized living. Who cares. So he rapes the environment and spies on American citizens without warrants and tortures prisoners and promotes a fascist Christian agenda. This is America. It’ll all work out in the end, right?

You dumb motherfuckers.

I hate, I hate so much my ears bleed and my body shakes. I rage beyond description, as only the young and betrayed can rage. Not at the establishment however. Not at Bush, not at Cheney, not at Gonzalez, not at Viacom. At you. You.

You piece of shit.

There will always be villains, as there always have been. Seldom have the villains ever had it so easy, however. When someone tramples your rights and gets away with it, they are not to blame. You are. Our Fair Government, whose agents pillage and torture and spy and coerce at home and abroad, is there but for the grace of your cowardice. Yours. Every Iraqi orphan who grows up hating America because his daddy was killed by a piece of shrapnel from a hand grenade is your fault. Every tortured prisoner, screaming unheard despair in a cold and bloody cell in Afghanistan is your fault. Every terrified librarian forced to hand over book records to the FBI, every child confused by religion in her public schools, every 22 year old wife waiting by her screen door in Topeka for the day she finds out she’s a widow is your fault. No one else’s, not Bush’s not Satan’s not Bill O’Reilly’s not Eminem’s, yours. Because you fucking idiots let it happen, in America, once the brightest light in a dark and dingy world.

Whether you’re too busy watching wrestling and jacking off and making fun of all those fags going to see Brokeback Mountain and complaining about the Browns losing and hating your stupid job to open your simple-ass waterhead feeb eyes to what’s going on around you or not, it’s your fault. The Ignorant Armies that fill the benches, at trendy churches in Orange County, at Hometown Buffet in Houston, at the Nascar tracks in Virginia, they are to blame.

You twats that think watching The Daily Show and not peeling the Kerry sticker off the back of your Subaru is the same as making a stand against injustice, you are to blame. You despair that free elections have not created the secular democracy in Iraq that you hoped. You fucking idiots, we don’t even have a secular democracy here, let alone in our occupied territory. You dismiss my hate as young angst, as the brazen self-righteousness of an undeveloped mind. There are certain types of poor vision that even those thick bifocals cannot correct, old man. You’ve lived under the yoke of injustice and stupidity far longer than I; my spine is still straight and I haven’t learned to bear such a black burden with such pathetic resolve. Yet.

Every citizen that bends over to take it from these evil, evil motherfuckers is to blame, not just the yokels and fanatics and warmongers that voted them in.

Fucking christ I hate you all.

The world will not wait for you to see the error of your ways. When the dollar collapses and intellectual property is exposed as the fuckup farce it really is and Red armies march across American soil and we take our place in the Third World, it will not be a tragedy.

Tragedy is when bad things happen to good people. When bad things happen to ignorant complacent asswads like you it is not tragic. It is ironic. It is just. It is life.

Every American citizen who doesn’t hate, or worse hates and doesn’t act on it, deserves such a fate.

And when the day comes, and the fires burn and you cry out woe and beg god to tell you how things could have gotten so bad so fast, I will be there. I will laugh in your fat slob face and spit on you. I will dance naked on the corpses of the apathetic millions, and piss on the ruins of our new Babylon. I will shriek with awful glee and kick every one of you fuckups in the festering wounds you’re sure to have, and smile and tell you I told you so. The last thing you’ll see before the world goes blank is that dark boy with the liar’s eyes and the long legs running down your street, cursing your name, hating you.

The meek shall inherit jack fucking shit.

Protect your rights and your brains, shiteyes, lest you get what you deserve.

You fucking idiots.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-12-24-domestic-spying_x.htm
http://www.poe-news.com/stories.php?poeurlid=55312
http://www.newsnet5.com/news/5580743/detail.html
http://www.poe-news.com/features.php?feat=55276
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/12/18/afghan.prisons.rb.reut/index.html
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-12/14/content_3919248.htm

http://www.poe-news.com/stories.php?poeurlid=52890

—————-

Christmas is a beautiful time of year. The sun’s out, it’s warm, thankfully. Cold, worse, snow is a horrid thing. Midwesterners grow to love their snow by the same psychology that kidnap victims grow to love their captors, no matter what manner of awful cruelties they perpetrate. Tomorrow, well today I guess, as midnight just passed, today is another Christmas. Another Christmas.

Newly presented, clothed, and equipped, it’s time to look forward.

More on that another time. My disgust and loathing has made me weary, and I fear I must retire. Great and terrible things lie ahead, friend. For both of us. Perhaps now, at high noon and the top of my game, I will do that which I have always threatened. Perhaps it’s time to walk that last, dangerous mile, and see what really lies at the end of the road.

Make it happen, motherfucker.

Make it happen.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

-T.

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to light out after it with a club.” – Jack London
“In a democracy, people usually get the kind of government they deserve, and they deserve what they get.” – HST, circa 1970

the twenty first century’s yesterday

Posted in Blog on December 22, 2005 by trevorgregg

A weary silence settles on the City, in the aftermath of Winter Ball. Even the rain seems hushed, reverent. One wonders where things can go from here.

Before we begin to look forward, a few more glances over our collective shoulder. Since my hosting the party somewhat precluded my attending the party, stories of mishaps, hookups, and merriment are almost all new to me. Who slept with who, who spilled what on whose dress, who made out with Patrick… the usual. We had our fair share of hearts broken and uplifted, to say the least. Our social web, that tangled mess of friends and ex’s and cliques that already spanned the Western United States (at least the college towns), just got a lot more tangled.

What’s left to discuss but a few overlooked anecdotes, I suppose.

Alcorn, drinking heavily as he directed parking, ordering a cab driver to pull into the lower lot and enjoy himself. He claimed later the cab was not well lit, and that anyone could have mistaken a 55 year old Slav driving a bright yellow Crown Victoria for a guest.

Rousting that huge Asian guy from his varied sleeping places. He must have been taking shots of Nyquil and snorting chloroform at the preparty, because I swear I found the fucker passed out in half the rooms in the house.

The obnoxious Google people… I’d best watch what I say, I suppose. We all know Google people are the secret overlords of the internet, the electronic illuminati pulling all the strings… perhaps these few are not representative of the empire at large. No idea who is friends with these people. None. They keep showing up at my parties, however. Last time, they abandoned one of their own on my couch and drove home to Palo Alto, leaving me to deal with his weird ass. At the Ball, I found one of the abandoners stumbling around near the fountain, perhaps trying to drown himself or find a place to pee. I corralled him back to the porch while he shrieked for his japanese girlfriend, who he referred to only as Japanese Girlfriend, to bring the car around. That was at about 10:30. Another one cracked his dome open on the bottom of the pool, hard drink and a concussed skull combining to make him almost unintelligible. I helped him to the edge of the pool and shouted for his weird Google buddies to take him somewhere for treatment. Compliant and easily frightened in a way that only programmers can be, they hopped up with a start and helped him off into the rainy night. Who are you fucks, and who keeps inviting you to my parties?

Get yourselves under control, Google. You party like sissy highschoolers. You bitches.

Stephanie, forsaking a swimsuit, getting the pool party started off on the right foot.. you go girl.

Me, dancing with some white girl I didn’t know who slipped and fell very damn hard. Serious catastrophe was avoided, and she injured nothing but her pride, but damn girl, whoever you were, two cracked melons in one night would have put me over the edge. There’s only so many headwounds a host can handle. Gotta be careful in them heels, honey.

Many more stories will surface, I’m sure. Although I was there, I feel like I am unable to give the type of true, discerning account of the festivities that my readers deserve, much like the dude selling peanuts at the Superbowl might not be able to give you a dramatic play by play. Yeah technically he was there, but that only counts for so much.

I’m in the process of collecting a massive photo archive of the whole shebang, and if any of you unruly scum out in the Big Dark have pics from the Ball, send them my way. I’ll post the link as soon as I find somebody to host the pictures. and put them on a website. and basically do everything for me because I hate html.

They’ll be up soon.

Let’s draw this whole thing to a close, shall we? It was beautiful, in it’s entirety. Even when Shak’s date was spewing like Linda Blair on rough seas, even when I was muscling some bleeding nerd into the shallow end, even when I was yanking that suicidal ass hat out of the fountain, even when I was sober… I still had a good time.

Plus, we came home with a lot more than commemorative shotglasses and hangovers. We came home with that most desirable and tenuous of currencies, party credibility.

It’s hard to move around in here I have so much party credibility right now. In fact, I’m gonna hire a couple of day laborers down on Army to help me move all this clout down into the garage, where it can be stored until I need it. Lift with your knees, Carlos, lift with your knees.

I can hardly wait till next year.

—————————-

Now that the Winter Ball is past, all that remains is the future.

Much more on that topic, but now I must rest. These foul holidays drain the very life from my bones just as they drain the dollars from my checking account. Tomorrow I’ll start my campaign to cancel Christmas and instate a second Halloween. If you see me with a clipboard down on Market, cussing at the Salvation Army guy and telling passing children that Santa is a demon conjured by Hallmark and Bill O’Reilly to bring about the End of Days, please stop and sign my petition for Christmas Cancellation.

VIVA HALLOWEEN 2.

-T.