Archive for November, 2008

I can heal the sick and raise the dead

Posted in Blog with tags , , , , on November 17, 2008 by trevorgregg

Music – Beck & The Flaming Lips – Nicotine & Gravy

Construction crews have been working tirelessly on the street just below my apartment for the last two weeks, creating big piles of dirt, traffic jams, and ostensibly doing some kind of maintenance below-ground.  I can’t actually see them from my window, but based purely on the noise, I believe I’ve determined their exact daily work schedule:

5:30 AM – Arrive on site.  Drive all vehicles in reverse so they make incessant beeping noises.

5:40 AM – 6:00 AM – Greet co-workers and announce start of workday by banging on a street sign with a wrench for twenty goddamn minutes.

6:00 AM – 6:10 AM – Unload tools and materiel from back of trucks by lowering the tailgates and punching the gas.

6:10 AM – 6:20 AM – Sort out giant tool piles.  Bang tools together excitedly.  Begin jackhammering.

6:20 AM – 6:45 AM – Saw things.  Continue jackhammering.

6:50 AM – Sunrise

7:00 AM – Blast some airhorns. Turn on World War 2-era diesel generator.

7:10 AM – Stop jackhammering. Yell at someone named “Pancho” for bringing the wrong types of mochas and lattes to the site.

7:15 AM – 7:40 AM Place low-yield dynamite charges into holes in the ground.

7:45 AM – Detonate explosives.  Resume jackhammering.

7:50 AM – 8:10 AM – Enjoy cacophony of car alarms and crying babies set off by dynamite.

8:15 AM – 8:30 AM – Break. Race Bobcat Tractor and Forklift up and down block to celebrate.

8:30 AM – 8:40 AM – Throw pieces of rebar into wood chipper “just to see what will happen”.

8:40 AM – Sound of Trevor’s completely superfluous alarm is drowned out by shearing metal, nailguns, and more jackhammering.

8:45 AM – Drop giant sheet of steel from forklift onto Pancho’s foot.

8:45 AM – 8:53 AM – Pancho screaming.  Sirens.

8:54 AM – Ambulance arrives.  More sirens.

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM  Now that entire neighborhood is awake and off to work, stop using powertools.  Quietly discuss blueprints and survey markers.  Speak to co-workers using your library voices.

10:30 AM – 11:40 AM – Break

11:40 AM – 12:00 PM – Meeting, re: where to go to lunch.

12:00 PM – 1:45 PM – Lunch break

1:45 PM – 2:30: PM – More discussions.  Re-arrange caution tape.  Deploy forty-seven more Detour signs around one intersection.

2:30 PM – Begin loading up tools and materiel.

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM – Break

3:00 PM – Knock off early.

Our hero, elsewhere on the intertubes

Posted in Blog with tags , , , on November 14, 2008 by trevorgregg

I’ve been asked to write some guest articles for sfcapoeira.com, and the first one went up today.

Look on the bright side, suicide

Posted in Blog with tags , , , , on November 14, 2008 by trevorgregg

Music – Thom Yorke – Black Swan

So Prop 8 passed, because every silver cloud needs a smoggy, acid, pollution-riddled shit-brown lining.

Way to go, fucks.  You’ve disgraced your state and disappointed your country.  You’ve shit the bed and everyone knows it.

WAY
TO
GO.

The day I’m proud to be American and ashamed to be Californian has arrived, a perverse and frightening state of affairs that I once thought could only occur in some fucked up parallel dimension, in a place where pigs fly, the sun sets in the east, and the Raiders don’t suck.

Christ, even in our hour of triumph we are beset with tards and fanatics.  I’ve long felt California a fortress, a sanctuary safe from the vile hordes of snaggle-toothed morons roaming the Great Plains of the Midwest and the foul bogs of the South.  I thought we were the Beacon of Hope in dark times, not without a lion’s share of flaws and eccentricities and weirdness, but at least civilized and righteous enough to not get mixed up in the fundamentalist psychoses our nation’s become so (in)famous for.  But no.

Granted, there were signs. I should have noticed.  Depressing portents and evil auguries abound for those wise enough to read them.  The birth and rise of the Megachurch down south, for one.  Hundreds of thousands show up to these modern stadium/cathedrals.  And not just the ignorant and inbred; wealthy, suburban families in places like Orange County and San Diego and Ventura come to these Temples of Suck in goddamn droves, bringing with them their wallets, their influence, and their impressionable and prolific brats.  The Megachurches have done for Christianity what Walmart has done for retail, which is a terrifying thought.

Shit.  I should not be surprised, I suppose.  One cannot count on a state that elects Arnold Schwarznegger governor in our time of direst need to do any fucking thing right.

And yet the burden of blame falls not on Californian shoulders alone.

——

The Prop 8 campaigns, both For and Against, were the most expensive proposition campaigns in California history.  By far.  We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars, money spent attacking (and defending) a fundamental and harmless right of a small minority.  Millions that could have been spent on schools or infrastructure or any other fucking thing besides this ridiculousness.  I’d rather see us spend a hundred million dollars to construct a thousand life-sized talking Michael Jackson robots which could be placed on random streetcorners to entertain tourists.  I’d rather see it spent on dance classes for the homeless, or free food for the super-rich.  Hell I’d rather see it blown on something SERIOUSLY pointless, like prisons or the military.  Anything but a fucking fight over gay marriage. Grow the fuck up.

The sheer waste of it all boggles the goddamn mind.

But where did all that money come from, in these times of scarcity and economic woe?  Did the fanatical and stupid simply pray it into existence at their idiotic Jesus rallies?  Did they re-finance their double-wide trailers? Sell their ritalin-fueled children to white slavers?  Have one big-ass motherfucking bake sale?

No.

They didn’t have to.

Because they got the money from that darkest, most hateful of places in the English-speaking world:

Salt Lake City.

Fucking Mormons.

—–

For a long time, religion and I have maintained a relationship of silent contempt.  We’ve been content to utterly despise each other in relative quiet, occasionally muttering harsh words under our breath or kicking briefly at each other under the table, but otherwise maintaining at least a cursory civility for appearance’s sake.

We didn’t want to make a scene, and make things awkward for our mutual friends.

No more.  Fucking Christians have gone way, way too far with this Prop 8 shit.  Gloves are off.  The Jesusfreaks started it, and it’s up to us to finish it.

When people think of Mormons, the first thing they think of is South Park.  They think of harmless, dim-witted cartoonish boys riding bikes in pairs.  Mormonism is generally considered an eccentric, somewhat silly little branch of the old and huge Christian family tree.

Yeah fucking right.  You nubs have no idea.

The Mormon Church resembles a corporation more than anything else.  It’s huge, absolutely huge, and far more efficient and powerful than the average American realizes.  This is not some cult the first amendment requires we tolerate, living on their little Utah reservation and keeping to themselves.  The Church of Latter-day Saints is a fucking powerhouse.

The Church owns Pepsi and all its subsidiaries, including chains like KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.  The Church has investments that rival those of small nations, and if it were “private”, would be on par with companies like Exxon when it comes to profits.

The Mormon Church is the largest private landowner in the United States.

And of course they pay no taxes.

After all, they’re a church.

So when it came time to make a stand against progress and equality and secularism in California of all places, they dug deep and forked over millions.  Millions upon millions.

They accounted for upwards of 70% of the money invested in the Yes on 8 movement, money that financed a campaign of fearmongering, deliberately misleading commercials, of deceit and out-right threat.

And they won.  Their ability to organize, mobilize, finance and coerce was absolutely underestimated by the No on 8 folks. They succeeded in entrenching an utterly ridiculous tenant of their backwards-ass superstitious bullshit faith in the California constitution.  And we are burdened with the shame and stigma as being one of the few places in the civilized world where gays can’t marry.

Fuck you very much, Mormons.

——-

I imagine my Mormon friends are feeling quite offended and singled out about now.  So let’s not forget the rest of you shitbags that voted Yes.  The Mormons might have paid for it, but you succumbed, you went and Did the Deed, voting that filthy shit in.

You church-going asshats have let us down across the GOD DAMN board.  At worst, you were instrumental in this amendment’s passage.  At best, you were a fucking passive enabler who stood aside while your more fanatical fellows cursed us with this shit.

It’s you middle of the road Jesus people that make me the most crazy.  You lead lives based on ostensibly modern and humanist morals and beliefs, but your mere silent acceptance of outrageous dogmatic shit like the “wrongness” of homosexuality is infuriating.  It’s a fucking disgrace.

You look back, historically, at the retarded-ass laundry list of shit that American Christianity has crusaded against, things like Dungeons and Dragons, Ozzy Osbourne, and inter-racial marriage, and you really get a sense for how absurd these people are.  I try to place myself in the mind of a Christian, and come up with a list of Greatest Threats to My Way of Life:

#1) Gay Marriage
#2) A Black President
#3) Evolution
#4) Witchcraft
#5) Abortion

Compare that to my personal list of Greatest Threats to My Way of Life:

#1) Christians
#2) Economic Disaster
#3) Environmental Collapse
#4) Fox News
#5) Mac Users

You’ll notice that Gay Marriage doesn’t even make the list.  Why is that?

Because it DOES NOT FUCKING AFFECT ME AT ALL.  WHO THE FUCK CARES IF GAYS GET MARRIED?  Homosexuality is not fucking transmissible.  Your kids can not catch gay in a public school.

If you don’t like gay marriage, rather than outlawing it, how about you just DON’T MARRY SOMEBODY THAT’S YOUR SEX?

Let’s make a brief comparison.  I personally hate eggs.  I hate the way they smell, they taste, they look.  I find them utterly offensive in every way, and I will not eat them under any circumstance.  Eggs are gross.  They are wholly fucking repulsive.

And yet I have not spent my time organizing a multi-million dollar campaign to outlaw eggs in the state of California.  Because I’m an adult fucking human and can recognize that my bias and prejudice, fervent as it is, is my own, and should not be forcibly impressed upon my peers.  I know this because I’m not a fucking idiot.  Or a Christian.

And of course it’s not like Mormonism has a fucking leg to stand on when it comes to defining and defending “traditional” marriage.  How about gays can only get married if the husband marries like nine or ten dudes, instead of just one?

I hope your myopic, primitive, disgraceful little proposition gets overturned in court and all the time and money you spent putting it together gets wasted.  I hope all of your kids turn out gay, I hope your goldfish die, and I hope when you make it to the Pearly Gates of your preferred afterlife, there’s a fucking No on 8 poster on the door.

Assholes.

——-

P.S. You people who voted for the high-speed train when our state is in the midst of its worst budget crisis in history and facing multi-billion dollar shortfalls, you’re idiots too.

An army of me

Posted in Blog with tags , , , on November 7, 2008 by trevorgregg

Music – Bossa N Stones – Sympathy for the Devil

Blayk moved to Pacifica a few months ago, out into the hills just south of fucking nowhere.  He’d offered to host the election party, and I figured I’d get out of the city for safety’s sake in case McCain won and a civil war broke out.  The awful directions Google gave me were apparently based Spanish Mission-era trade maps and vague fucking hearsay, and bore not even a passing resemblance to the twisting streets and weird geography of the place.

It took me an hour of driving back and forth between Half Moon Bay and Daly City before I found the place, hidden away in the cold mist.

Even then I had to hop three fences and climb a fire escape to get in, slipping their dog a slice of pizza so it didn’t maul me coming through the door.

Several friends were gathered around the TV drinking cheap wine and watching CNN.

“ABOUT TIME!”
“Jesus Christ Blayk, you live in the middle of nowhere.”  I said, shaking the rain off my coat.  “Need a fucking compass, a native guide, and a divining rod to find your damn house.”
“Pull up a chair.”

Karl Rove and Wolf Blitzer were talking about how the United States is a “middle – right” country, with a solid core of “conservative values”.  I spit out my mouthful of Ernesto Gallo and lunged, driven into a psychotic frenzy by the sheer magnitude of their despicable retardness.

Sapo and Corey managed to tackle me before I kicked in the TV screen, but it was close.

God I fucking hate cable news.

——-

“THEY JUST CALLED VIRGINIA FOR OBAMA!”  Lindsey shouted to Herbert, who was in the bathroom.  There was much yelling and applause.

“WOOOO.” I howled, craning my neck over to drink some some celebratory whiskey.  They’d duct-taped me to the recliner after I’d gone for the TV with an empty bottle during a segment on Fox News about “reactions from the heartland.”  Lindsey told me it was “for everyone’s safety”, and after an initial storm of cussing and futile attempts at escape, I settled in and they gave me a straw for my whiskey bottle.

Friends tie you to a chair when Republican punditry and homerism makes you want to murder everyone.  Good friends give you a straw for your whiskey.  I was lucky to be in such fine company.

Karl Rove came back on, pouting, his jowls shaking in anger, accusing Virginia of betraying its “traditional ideals”.

I started flailing again, the recliner banging back and forth. “MmMMMMMMMMMMRRRRRRRAWRLAKJLSDKFJ FUCKING GO DIE ROVE, YOU DEGENERATE SHIT.  I HOPE YOU GET LEPROSY YOU COCKMONGER. RRRRRRRRRRRA CUT ME LOOSE I HAVE TO PEE.”

“He’s lying.” Sapo said.  “Don’t let him out.”

True enough.

I tired quickly, and stopped straining against my bonds.

“Fucking hate those guys.  Corey, hook me up with a buffalo wing bro.”

I love election night.

——–

“Whaaaaaaaaat the hell is…” Sharon pointed at the screen.

Everyone leaned in, eyes wide, mouths agape.

“What the hell is that?”

They’d just called the Carolinas and Michigan, and suddenly CNN transferred over to another studio, where Anderson Cooper was talking to a hologram.

I didn’t believe it for several moments, and assumed it was a rage and alcohol-induced hallucination.

“SAPO AM I DRUNK OR IS ANDERSON COOPER FUCKING INTERVIEWING OBI-WAN KENOBI?!”

Sapo just shook his head, unable to speak.

My consciousness was totally incapable of processing this seemingly impossible occurrence, and I passed out for several moments.

————-

“…where am I?”  I murmured, opening my eyes.
“..it’s Will.I.Am.”  somebody said.
“From the Black Eyed Peas?”
“Yeah.”

I blinked my eyes against the brightness of returning reality.

“Trevor, it’s not Obi-Wan, it’s Will.I.Am.  Or at least it’s a hologram of him.”

“The future is fucking crazy.”

Not that Will.I.Am. has any more insight on our current than a fictional character from a sci-fi movie would.

“Why the fuck are they talking to him?” I yelled.  “He doesn’t know shit. ‘NEXT UP, WE DISCUSS AMERICA’S ECONOMIC WOES WITH THIS CARROT, AND A LAMP.'”

“Oh how low you’ve sunk, Cooper. You used to be the most respected gay man on TV besides Rachel Rae, and now they’ve got you interviewing no-talent rap stars via grainy space-hologram.”

“Just an excuse to show off their new technology.  He’s probably just the first random celebrity they could find wandering the studio that they could trick into using their… hologram… machine…”

“THEY JUST CALLED NEW MEXICO FOR OBAMA.”

My friends jumped up and down, cheering, while I rocked my recliner back and forth joyfully.

“HUZZAH, BITCHES, HUZZAH!”

———-

By the time McCain appeared for his concession speech, I had drunk myself harmless, and my friends cut me loose.  Sapo was out front, doing the running man on the sidewalk.  Lindsey, Herbert, Corey and the others were dancing around ecstatically while Blayk tried to give champagne to the dog.

Holding a Solo cup in front of her nose, he explained to her that this was a special, historic occasion, and that a celebration was in order, but the dog would have none of it and instead ran outside to bark at Sapo’s crazy ass dancing in the street.

Meanwhile I knelt in front of the TV, laughing like a maniac while McCain tearfully tried to calm the angry, roaring mob-monster he’d created with his unrelenting, contemptible fearmongering.

“That’s right you old bastard.  You take your villainous ass back to the rest home, you despicable fuck.  The Theocracy is overthrown, you and your evil cronies are defeated despite your fraud and hate and bullshit.”

Lindsey and Herbert slow-danced in the hallway.  I could hear Corey shouting into his cellphone, cheering.  Who knows where the fuck Sapo got to.

I drank the last sips from my bottle as the speech ended.  They panned to Palin, crying, and I felt my heart leap.

We fucking did it.  We dodged the bullet.

“Cry, bitch, cry.  I hope you get mascara all over your ten thousand dollar jacket.” I yelled, flipping off the screen with both hands.

“Way to win gracefully, Trevor.” somebody said.

“FUCK THAT.  THESE PEOPLE TRIED TO RUIN MY NATION.  You know how close we came to getting stuck with a tyrant and a retard?  How close we came to disgracing ourselves eternally in the eyes of the world?  FUCK GRACEFUL.”

Fuck graceful.

——

We watched Obama’s acceptance speech, the highlights of which were Oprah’s short, billionaire ass trying to shove her way angrily to the front row and Jesse Jackson crying like little girl with two skinned knees.

We watched a million Chicagoans erupt into deafening applause when he took the stage, and then stand silent as the grave when he began to speak.

We watched rough, flickering footage live from Kenya, from Iraq, from Paris, and realized for the first time that the world was celebrating with us.

I stepped outside and heard America, and the world, breathe a collective sigh of relief.

—–

Blayk came back in to the front room.

“Trevor, STOP RUBBING YOUR ASS ON MY TV.  The people on Fox News can’t even see you.”

“…well it makes me feel better, and if anyone needs a good mooning tonight, it’s those self-righteous vermin…”

But Blayk would have none of it, so I pulled my pants back up, hopped in Sapo’s car, and we drove to the Mission.

Time to start the party.

——

Sapo ran every red light between Pacifica and 19th, on principle.  It was that kind of night. I vaguely remember poking out of the sunroof on the freeway, flipping off a couple in a Camry with a McCain sticker on their back window.

“FUCK YOU, OLD PEOPLE!” I yelled. “WE WIN! HOORAY FOR MUSLIM SOCIALISTS! YOUR REIGN OF TERROR IS OVER. VIVA LA REVOLUCION.”

Sapo blared the horn and we tore off towards the city lights.

“Between you and me Sapo, if Obama really were an anti-American Muslim socialist who consorted with terrorists, I still would have voted for him over McCain and Palin.”

“Me too brother, me too.”

———-

We made it to 19th and Valencia without crashing or being arrested or shot, further proof of the benevolence of the Universe, and encountered a crowd of several hundred standing in the streets.  They’d just stormed the intersection and now, having successfully blocked traffic, were milling around, directionless.  Sapo and I found Angela and Corey in a liquor store and we bought a stack of Budweiser tallboys.

“Wow.  I’m so happy, I can’t believe we did it.” Angela said, sipping tentatively from the can.  Apparently they don’t drink cheap shitty beer in Santa Cruz, and it was a new experience for her.

“All of these people,” I said, waving my beer around drunkenly ,”they don’t understand.  It’s not about Obama winning.  They think he’s the patron saint of fucking hipsters and progress, but that’s not what this is about.”

“What?” she asked.

“Don’t mind him, he’s been crazy as fuck all night.” Corey hissed.

“HEARD THAT fucker. No listen, really, listen.  This is about recapturing America from the whacko Jesus fringe that’s been in charge for the last eight years.  This is about defeating the fucking theocracy.  It’ll take a lot more than four years of Obama to undo the damage those shitbirds have done, to our economy, our environment, our fucking national psyche.  We have so many problems that you guys don’t even KNOW about. But this is a start.

You know I don’t even give a particular fuck that Obama won.  You know what I care about?  I care about McCain losing. I care about our nation standing up and saying ‘Sarah Palin, you are a crazy ignorant country bitch and unfit to work a hairdryer let alone lead a superpower.’ That’s what matters.”

She nodded thoughtfully and said, “You are drunk, and a weirdo.”

“I’m fucking serious. You realize we almost elected a woman who’s five kids are named like… fucking… Cutler, Pesto, Willow, Broham and Kleenex?”

“Sarah Palin does not have a kid named Pesto!”

“She fucking does…” the crowd surged towards us, and my poignant and enlightening political explanations were drowned out by cheers of “YES WE CAN!”

I sighed, cheersed my friends, and gave in.

Fuck it. Be happy for one night.

We shoved into the roaring crowd, chanting, hugging perfect strangers, elated and happy in a way I didn’t know Americans could ever be.

“YES WE CAN.”

——-

Four beers later and I’m sitting on the hood of some unfortunate Mazda in front of the Phoenix talking to a guy named Vic I vaguely know.

“Man, fucking SF.  These kids do NOT know how to riot.”

The crowd had grown to thousands, and maintained control of the intersection despite the half-assed efforts of SF’s finest to disperse us.  They gave up at midnight and just set up barricades.

I was disappointed in my fellow citizens, who were so busy taking pictures and twittering on their iphones and updating their live blogs that they couldn’t even be bothered to set anything on fire.

“Fuck.  You watch baseball Vic?”

“Not really.”

“Well let me tell you, Philly just won the World Series.  They beat the Rays, and expansion team from Florida with about six hundred fans and the lowest payroll in the league. And you know what happened?”

“What?”

“Philadelphia went fucking crazy! They were looting and burning shit and flipping over cop cars!  For like six days! Beating a Florida baseball team is about as impressive an achievement as wiping your ass without getting poop on your hand.”

“Wow. I didn’t even know they had baseball in Florida.”

“Neither did the Phillies! And here we are, we just elected Obama despite everything, and what do we do? Fucking stand around.  We basically just won the lottery, the World Cup, and found fifty bucks on the ground all on the same day, and the rowdiest thing we can do is stop some fucking traffic?”

Sapo stumbled up, chasing a pair of terrified Japanese tourist girls.

“SAPO!” He looked toward me. “LET’S GO FLIP OVER A COP CAR!”

He stared at me for a second, squinting and grimacing, deep in thought.

“MMMMMMMM…. OK. YEAH LET’S DO IT.”

I turned to say goodbye to Vic, but he’d run off in search of safer company.

“ANGELA! ANGELA! C’MON, SAPO AND I ARE GONNA GO START THE RIOTING!”

She looked away and pretended not to know us.

As usual.

———-

“Jesus purple fuck cars are heavy.”  We couldn’t find any cop cars, so we were trying to flip somebody’s Audi stationwagon over so we could set it on fire.

Sapo leaned against a light pole, gasping, exhausted.

“I think we need more people.”

“These sissies won’t help us, they’re too busy thinking of clever things to put on their Facebook status.”

“HEY WHAT ARE YOU ASSHOLES DOING TO MY CAR?” Corey yelled, emerging from the sea of people.

“Corey? This is your car?”

“YES.”

“We were just checking on it.  It’s still here.  Good car man.  Strong.  Very well built.  Hey can I throw my jacket in there?”

We settled for tipping over an SF Guardian newspaper box which was disappointingly metal and fire-resistant, and went back to buy another twenty-four pack to celebrate our riot.

——-

Earlier in the night, around one, we’d run into some of our samba friends from Fogo Na Roupa who had played at our grand opening party a few weeks earlier.  A couple of hippies were running around banging tambourines and pots and pans, and some asshole was playing the Star Spangled Banner on a trumpet, but there was no real music to speak of.  An intolerable situation for any true carnaval person.

The Fogo guys called in reinforcements, and half an hour later Lindsey, Herbert, and a whole contingent of drummers and dancers arrived.  They gave Sapo and I some spare instruments, and the drumming started up.

The place went fucking crazy.

——-

By two, there were several thousand people in the street, dancing and screaming.  The Obama chants, set to carnaval tempo now, were renewed.  People hollered and shouted and embraced anew.  Jose and the others were at the heart of it, pounding away feverishly, the beat echoing off the buildings around us.  Crowded streets full of wild people is samba’s natural habitat, and even the most arrhythmic, tight-jeaned, aloof hipsters were soon dancing themselves senseless, overcome.

Transformed by strong drink and sheer joy, Sapo ran from girl to girl, harrassing them remorselessly to our endless amusement.  Angela and Lindsey led the dancing.  People ran by with American flags, and a thousand stuck-up, jaded assholes looked up at the stars and stripes. A thousand pairs of eyes on the verge of tears.

They felt, for the first time, a rare and ecstatic patriotism that has been for their entire lifetimes the province of only the crazy and ignorant, the rednecked and the boorish.  They felt a pride they’d never known, at least never without the taint of shame and disdain and contempt that American politics begets in us all.

Are these feelings unfounded?

Without a doubt.

Are dark and terrible times ahead?

Of course.

Are we still totally fucked?

Almost certainly.

But we’ve taken a step in the right direction, which is something I haven’t been able to say in years.

——–

Corey found me hiding behind a van with a bottle of purple MD 20/20 around three.

“What are you doing?”

“I just saw my bookie.  I owe that asshole three hundred bucks, so I’ve gotta lie low.”

“You fucking bet on McCain?!”

“Hell yes.  I thought we were fucked. Now let me borrow your hat so I can sneak out of here. Oh shit here he comes.  He saw me. Shit, I’m running for it.”  I dashed across Valencia through the sea of drunken revelers, looking back over my shoulder. “Fuck you! You’ll never take me alive! Haha!”

I leapt up on to the hood of a parked cab and made an obscene gesture.

“YES WE CAN, BITCHES!” I shouted, and ran off into the dark.

——–

I woke up with the sunrise, laying on a bench in a park on Clay, ‘I Voted’ stickers stuck to my face and hair.  I rolled over and puked into the damp grass, and watched the early risers come by, walking their dogs and waiting for the bus.  A homeless guy, peeing in a stormdrain, gave me a thumbs up.

A new world it was not.  My head felt like a mailbox somebody’d blown up with M-80s.  I found a paper, and behind the full page photos of Barack and election results, there were reports of Russian nuclear threats and unrest in Southeast Asia.  There were descriptions of Bush’s final, panicked attempts at deregulation and anti-environmentalism.  Of course the fucker’s trying to wreck everything he can before he’s dragged forcibly out of the Whitehouse.  It’s no-holds-barred assholery from him and his cronies from here on out, since they’ve got nothing to lose.

I walked home in the morning chill, legs wobbly.

Walking up Polk, an old, old Chinese woman pulling a cart full of aluminum cans stopped in front of me.  She had on a ‘Hope’ Obama shirt, ten sizes too big, like a tarp tossed over a fence post.

She looked at my haggard, filth-splattered face, and grinned.

“YESSA WE CAN!” She said in her piping, accented voice, pumping her tiny fists in the air.

“Yes we can.” I said.

I felt a little better, by the time I made it home.