Archive for November, 2013

30
Nov
13

Sprawl Urbana; Citywide Oxidation

sprawl

One of my earliest jaunts out into Sleepytown since landing back among her borders involved public transportation. I have grown not only accustomed to, but actually enjoy the routes I ride via bus for it allows me to peer into the soul of the commonfolk and their everyday surroundings. Bus routes are typically built to accommodate the lay-traveler, the beaten sots that society has dealt a bad hand for whatever reason – not so down and out that they’re on the corner with a cardboard sign, but not so well off that they own a Lexus…or maybe they do have a cardboard sign, it’s a mixture of cultures and castes where everyone on board will respect anyone on board, because we all just want to get home. Riding the bus to me is akin to driving cross country rather than flying. That slow trip along vast stretches of highway expose you to all the wrinkles you would otherwise pass over in mere minutes. I want to see the raw nerve revealed, I want to experience the pain.

I was on my way to meet a good friend who is having a house constructed in the middle of the old school streets in Indy; Central East side, Tech High School vicinity. He has run the course of living in the inner city community, moved out with the wave of urban sprawl to buy a house on the northern outreaches of Indianapolis and now comes back toward the old established neighborhoods to bring some vibrant growth back to an area that has weathered some harsh times. The sleek design, modular house he’s having constructed is a marvel of modern engineering in both look and construction. The thing snaps together with the simplicity of Lincoln Logs (okay maybe that’s a bit of a fucking exaggeration but awfully close) and gives me a sense brought on by Bauhaus perfection – function fits the form. The step outside the box he took having this thing built, where he had it built, is what I consider the personification incarnate to what so much of our country needs right now.

Urban sprawl has plagued American cities for some time now and city planners and theorists continue to debate on what the answer is to solve this problem – or if it should even be considered a problem. As I took the bus toward the heart of Sleepytown I watched the endless blocks of Washington Street whisk by me, empty lots and decayed buildings covered in a slow oxidized cancer that would eventually reduce them to rubble. So what goes in place of these abandoned Iglesias del Dios and tattered burger joints? Only time will tell. The potential to pick up real estate for a lark is ripe right now, but investors are holding onto their cash to find out where the next big wave or urban sprawl will lead the masses. Like bad television show ripoffs, they will most likely wait until one successful, well thought out business begins to make it, then they’ll strike like crabgrass and set root amid something good and right to bastardize it with some inept, lesser quality substitute.

Perhaps, years from now, the location where my friend is having his new house built will be littered with more of the same and small shops and convenient stores will pop up in response. Only time will tell and if that happens, I for one will consider that a natural cycle of urbanization and not feel saddened. Refurbish the old neighborhoods and forget about continuing to branch out into new gated communities – the chase is mindless. Stop ruining untouched areas which push us farther from the heart of the city and concentrate on bringing about a rebirth to the communities once loved. Clean up the fucking mess that was left when they abandoned the heart of your town. Scrape the oxidation off those old communities. Silver just needs to be polished sometimes to make it shine

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21
Nov
13

Touchdown in Sleepytown; New Moon on the Horizon

touchdown-sleepytown

The flight from Denver left late and by then the vicodin I had washed down with a few glasses of scotch had kicked in full tilt. I am not one who cares that much for hurtling through the atmosphere at incredible speeds in a cylindrical tube so self medication is a must. We were informed by the flight attendants that the on board televisions screens located on the headrest in front of us would be inoperable and as a side joke (I suppose) they quipped that they’d be more than happy to do a song and dance to entertain us….I held them to that offer and demanded they do a song and dance for me – two female flight attendants dancing for my pleasure on a full moon night.

A full moon; I hadn’t thought of that until we were on our way over Nebraska. I was leaving the Mile High streets of Denver to start life anew in Sleepytown on the night werewolves prowl and people with mental conditions tend to go a bit off. A fitting time to crossover and mark the occasion but still a bit of superstition that kept me wondering what lie ahead. I was leaving the pioneer spirit of that cowtown in the mountains for life living amid what a good friend described as, ‘Upper Appalachian’ citizens. Upper Appalachian, that was brilliant. He and I continued vaping some organics and debating the subject of life in the Midwest. I will certainly rely on him in the future for a candid point of view and guidance as I make the crossover from Westerner to Midlander.

The full moon continued to stare at me. What would the future reveal to me about the oppressive metropolis I left some sixteen years ago? Ah, Sleepytown; one of the telltale symptoms displayed from sever depression is an overabundance of sleep. A city that kept the spirit of its people well under thumb haunted me and drove me to leave back in the 90’s was out there, looming in the dark as my plane dropped altitude and landed in the city airport. Now my saga begins. A new city, a new era. Aloha Sleepytown.

The possibilities are certainly more open than ever, what with the advent of the technology age growing in rapid spasms. Communication on our world and all around us used to be left primarily in the hands of media overlords that edited and picked the type news they chose to dispense. Our modern society now has a plethora of resources to inform, educate and amuse. Collection and distribution (or marketing) of data no longer relies so heavily on the foot as it does on the keyboard. The potential for Indianapolis is ripe to be exploited so what will they do with this opportunity? The bells and distractions of our high tech toys will certainly amuse the folks here but as far as how they will approach the new dawn of syncrho-infusion to machines?…that will be the interesting thing for me to observe.

So I sign off my first post from Sleeptown and go forth to discover this town all over again, in search of their twenty-first century culture, in search of drugs and entertainment, in search of a new batch of members for this Church of the Ass Bleeding Morons. I greet you…Athanasius contra mundum.

11
Nov
13

The Strange Case of Doctor B and Mister E

doctor-B

 

What a hauntingly beautiful image to leave me with on my last night out in Denver – my friend staggering blindly into the street growling undecipherable words to taxis as they drove by; a fitting closure to my years in the Mile High State before leaving for the Midlands where an unknown Dystopia waits for me.

I had been working to close loose ends for my upcoming cross country move. I stated my intended journey in the last blog post (see A Farewell to the Rockies; My Future Looms in Sleepytown) but now felt it was time to have one final farewell celebration. One last night on the town here where pot is legal and public indecency is a common occurrence. I wanted a Viking funeral to send me off in proper fashion but as luck would have it a majority of my acquaintances were unable to get out or already had plans for Friday night. I should have known that planning something this late would end with few (if any) participants. Keeping that in mind I felt friends or no, I would be going out for one last celebration.

My scope was set on a local Czech sports bar, a favorite hangout on the south side of downtown Denver where the liquor poured free among tough working stiffs that spoke English as a second language. The atmosphere feels foreign enough to be Bohemian but not so alien as to make one feel awkward. Broad shouldered waitresses with industrialist tattoos serving shots to Groznian gents that just want to watch hockey and get drunk. Before I could get my work shirt changed and out the door to the Colfax bus I was contacted by two valued partners in crime, the two souls who always rallied behind the call for celebratory action; my good friends Dubya and the Empathetic Doctor B.

I raced to get my gear together, mustering my entire stash of marijuana and paraphernalia to hand over to Dubya as a farewell parting gift. Where I was going will not allow that substance through their borders without consequences so I had to let go of the nefarious weed…for now. Having all my gear, I walked the five blocks from my place to Colfax, toking on this noxious strain of pot to get me geared up for what the evening may bring. This was so reminiscent of my evenings parting for downtown Denver with little more than hope of discovering good times. Epic adventures are rarely planned but if you never step out the door, they surely won’t appear. How many evenings had I headed out for Broadway and Colfax to watch the failed rally of a political mess during the ‘Occupy Denver’ era? All the evenings I spent watching the various walks of life educate me, the homeless, the downtrodden…the huddled masses yearning to be free. This role of the dice approach became an accustomed habit for me whenever I needed to release the angst in my life. Seeing others suffer helped me keep real priorities in perspective. Any given night on the Colfax line could work out enlightening, or it could fizzle. Either way, this would be my swan song evening in Colorado.

My phone had very little charge left on it, but I continued to keep in touch with the Doctor. He was now at the bar getting a head start on the night’s drinking; time was pressing. Dubya had an earlier commitment and would show up at some point so I bounced along on the bus and tried patiently to wait for my downtown stop, some twenty five minutes away. My whole balanced approach to things was to make it down there not too early as to have to wait for hours on Dubya, but not arrive so late as to find Doctor B trashed having had to wait for us that long. The man would not stop his alcohol intake (now that he was at the Czech bar) so I pressed on feeling I had met the razor’s edge of timing.

The Colfax bus was, as always, a collection of dejected souls. Tragic walks of life that ride day in, day out; I sit among them and don’t know whether to weep or applaud their perseverance. Doctor B texts me these profound words in regards to riding the Colfax line: “when less pain equals more entertainment, it is time to move.” That sealed it for me. It is indeed, time to move.

I arrive at the Czech bar and find the profound Doctor with a fresh gin and tonic. One empty glass next to the one in his hand meant he was at least two up so far. I ordered some scotch and the evening ran on with us participating in those lengthy debates I‘ve become accustomed to enjoying.  We were prepared to wait for some time on Dubya as she is notoriously late, as well as one of the worst persons I have ever encountered when it comes to directions. Even when equipped with smart phone technology, GPS enabled, she will find herself befuddled by the most simplistic directions. While waiting I pulled Doctor B out for a bit of the green bud and after finishing a few bowls, he looks around and states “I think this evening calls for an Andy”; An ‘Andy’ was his way of saying he needed to procure a bindle or two of white powder. The doctor loves to take it to the extreme so I wasn’t about to stop this train. The tracks had been laid so all I could do was enjoy this last ride of the mind in Denver.

Time marches on with the Doctor leaving me at the bar while he hailed a taxi off to get his demon powder. I managed a few more rounds on my pipe before he got back, substance at hand, which mixed in with the liquor and pot and made for a night of even more exquisite conversation. We were still waiting for Dubya who had assured us via the numerous text message and calls that she was well within walking distance of the bar. At one point my compadre slowly began his transformation from the comforting Doctor B to his counterpart, the Enigmatic Mr. B. This Jekyl/Hyde morph of personality would take hold under the most precise measurements of drugs and alcohol and the way the Doctor was putting away both it came as no surprise to me or Dubya (who finally did show up) when the good man began to change into this hideous character. Bits of his formal self still lingered and he was quite the conversationalist but then Mr. E kept bobbing in and out of the dialogue, spewing things that shocked and amused us.

We ended up closing the bar that Friday and went next door where a pizza by the slice joint kept it running until 3AM. This was the last vestige of Doctor B I saw that evening. He was eating a slice that was literally overflowing with sliced jalapenos and just as he finished, I saw the total transformation take place. Nothing of the Doctor was left to be seen. This was the raw beast, Mr. E, in totality. He began croaking incoherent syllables that neither Dubya nor I could comprehend.

“I’m sorry dude” she whispered to me as Mr. E staggered nearby. “I don’t think I can give you a ride back home. He’s out of control and I –“

It was right then that we noticed Mr. E stagger out into the street with these huge red rimmed golf ball eyes, moaning unintelligible words. We didn’t know what to do but stand there dumbfounded as the man spasmed into different lanes trying to slow down a cab. No cabbie in their right mind would stop for such a horror show and we witnessed a few drive by him. I felt a bit bad preparing myself to just run away from the whole scene but just as I was ready to break out into a sprint, I notice that a cab did pick him up; that is the last I saw of the nefarious Mr. E or the delightful Doctor B.

Dubya and I couldn’t help but laugh in wonderment at the event we witnessed and I told her how fortunate I felt to have such a sendoff for this occasion. I will miss Denver and the countless evenings of reckless abandonment I have been fortunate enough to experience, so what better way to end an era than this? Perhaps somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind, the good doctor knew what I needed as a farewell address. This was his way of reminding me what I leave here in the Rockies. The pioneer spirit of the West is alive and kicking, laced with pot and cocaine and ready to accept any melancholy soul out there who needs loved. They held the love for me that kept me alive but now I venture into a new chapter. Aloha Colorado, aloha Doctor B.

05
Nov
13

A Farewell to the Rockies; My Future Looms in Sleepytown

farewell

 

“The Time Has Come” the Walrus said “To Speak of Many Things…”

Lewis Carroll – The Walrus and the Carpenter

 

It’s been fifteen years now since I invaded the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado to come raise a family, get divorced, witness a failed revolution and see the legalization of marijuana. A lot went on in that decade and a half stretch, but now there is a new mysterious fog on my horizon, a new beast for me to bear witness to – back east. I will miss those I leave behind here in the Denver area but feel the era set well in history and Denver will do just fine without me in her clutches. I learned so much here about tolerance of people and how to seek true happiness – I partook in the historical moment of seeing pot become legal on the streets where I lived, not to mention the back-to-back Super Bowl wins from John Elway and the Denver Broncos. The purple mountains majesty shine through on the pioneer spirit out here, and all members of this Church of the Ass Bleeding Morons (Denver Congregation) I managed to befriend will remain stories in my soul to retell in future sermons. I send a fond farewell to the West…you will be missed. Now my sights focus in on the Midwest; Sleepytown.

Sleepytown (in my mind) lies back in the middle of the United States, back where the rows of corn hide demon pig creatures ready to punish you for the mere sport of it. A Dystopian society that resembles a scene out of Pink Floyd’s The Wall to me, where thinking outside the box is deemed dangerous. The city has jokingly referred to itself as ‘naptown’, loosely connecting to some feeling of being a sleepy little metropolis, inspired decades ago by a local radio station that promoted the slang term to emphasize their call letters on the public. I tell myself this should be my opportunity to infuse some Rocky Mountain culture among the natives there – I may think too highly of myself. I do know this will open up so many doors to peer in and witness the demon that strikes against my Church members, fatalistic points of view which trim their hope and belief of a better future society down to nubs. It’s been some time since I wandered the streets there so perhaps a new generation of more free thinking spirits dwell there now, motivated by our advancements in technology and new classes of designer drugs.

Welcome to the Church is the book I wrote which details me following the escapades of this gathering of rebellious people in the West; their fighting the corruption of twenty first century fat-cat moguls, fighting ‘the man’, who was now tech savvy and more deadly than ever. I foresee a possibility of such tribes in the Midwest developing, ready to rattle their sabers at the injustice on their roads and byways.  No, people, the Church of the Ass Bleeding Morons does not only exist in Denver, the Church resides throughout the U.S. – throughout the world! My new venture back to the midlands will be but a new chapter to observe on humanity and what forms of suffrage they face, what breeds of inhuman thugs grace their hallowed halls. Definitely stay reading dear patrons, the change should prove interesting.

 




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