Archive for March, 2014

24
Mar
14

Vampire Chronicles; New Leads, More Bus Issues

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I was disheartened, to say the least, that the one promising lead I had toward hunting down some of Indy’s vampire clan went dry and belly up as I continued my conversation with Visilli, the Greek immigrant who ran a motorcycle import/export business out of his cluttered office at 120. I sympathized for his hard times and didn’t need to hear him describe what ‘other’ means he may be involved in to procure cash to pay his rent so after a comfortable amount of time with him, I split.

By now it was a few hours away from lunchtime and the brisk morning air was not so chilly as to be uncomfortable but still you could tell that winter wasn’t wanting to let go. I parked myself over at the bus stop to make my way back home and spent some time talking it up with the other citizens of Sleepytown who were waiting for their bus connection. I had no idea just how many people started drinking that early in the morning here prior to my waiting at this stop, one of the busier ones in the downtown metro area. Four or five different guys standing around pulling out pints of clear trying to blot out the problems in their lives. One young black man struck up a conversation with me, complaining about how terrible the buses were, how they never ran on time. He was getting more anxious by the minute because he had a doctor’s appointment in a half hour or less and his bus had still not shown up – already it was twenty minutes behind schedule. How familiar this all sounded to me as I thought back on my first attempts at making my way downtown to the vampire club, only to be stymied by the inept running of public transportation. Other men jumped in on the bitchfest we were having and the consensus was that there was nothing anyone could do about the poor running bus problem; I refuse to believe that. I feel if you give up on trying to make the transit system here better then nothing will happen…but it’s not hopeless – just like my pursuit of the vampires is not hopeless. Just because I was thwarted on this one cold lead doesn’t mean I’ll stop – I will uncover them, wherever they manifest.

I tried to stay positive and I spotted out one of Indy’s finest standing patrol nearby keeping an eye on the street activity, walking the beat. I wandered over to the police officer and asked if he knew anything about the vampires here, where they might congregate. He was actually very helpful and gave me some new leads so my earlier feelings of defeat were boosted up a bit. I can’t let this go yet, not without exhausting a few more avenues and I hope that the people of this town will not give up on trying to get a better public transportation system working here; it can happen. Major cities throughout the U.S. rely on their buses and trains and light rail systems to help ease traffic burden, retard the amount of exhaust in our air and provide a reliable service to the public – why can’t the people of Indianapolis have this too?

Until my next saga and entry into the vampire chronicles, I say to all you avid readers…..Welcome to the Church.

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21
Mar
14

Vampire Chronicles: A Maze in 120…The Trail Goes Cold

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So there I wandered on the tenth floor of 120 Market Suites; no drugs or alcohol to cloud my mind, just a bladder full of urine from the coffee drink I ordered downstairs. The greeting lobby on floor ten was laid out in a nondescript manner without a soul in sight. The huge full length mirror that covered the north(?) wall unnerved me…..bad feng shui here which made me wonder who the fuck would want to rent out offices here. I scoured around and discovered the entire tenth floor was domain for some law firm; didn’t surprise me. No vampires here – or at least not the kind I was looking for traces of. I wandered around the maze of dark empty walls and offices peeking my head into places I’m sure I didn’t belong. This was a maze void of humans, excluding yours truly.

I made my way back to the elevator and decided if I was going to search the whole place I might as well start from the top and work my way down. Too many intriguing movie plots led me to believe that the most clandestine choice for a secretive group would be high atop looking down so I went to the twelfth floor. The elevator opened up on the top floor and I leaked out at the desk of some  black receptionist. No time to falter I told myself. Time to put on my game face. You have to approach people with an air of sincerity when asking them what they know about vampires. You can’t pull that off if your hair is skewed out of place badly or you have a wild gleam in your eyes. I was wearing shades so that gave me confidence however in retrospect I suppose they could have just pegged me as ‘stoned’ and for once, I wasn’t. I backed up my claim by handing her my business card to make it seem like I was legitimate – a feat that always gives me added pleasure when any said person I hand that card to actually reads the title on it; this is my Ass Bleeding Morons card which depicts an upside down nun from the classic movie The Devils on a blood red background. I ask the receptionist if she’s heard anything about a vampire club that meets here once a month and although I feel I’m irritating her slightly because I’m interrupting the flow of calls coming through to her, I also feel I have broken the daily monotony with this bizarre question so she lets me go on. I explain what I’m doing and how I was led to this location via the internet and different leads and at that point she actually seems stymied.
“I’ll tell you who you should talk to…Bill. Stick your head around the corner there in that office and talk to Bill. He might know something.”

I go into the office around the corner and walk in and there sits Bill; Bill is the guy with the foreign accent I rode up with on the elevator. He smiles and recognizes me. “Oh hey, it’s you again.”
I smile and get back into the explanation for Bill who listens with genuine attention, taking me serious with what I am telling him about looking for vampires.
“I don’t know anything about that kind of club being here. Perhaps that was back before I came on as the building manager. I’ve been working here about 6 months now so maybe it was before then. They do have a club house area down on the ground floor that used to have parties and things but nothing is going on there now.”

He goes on to fill me in about how he – his true name being Visilli, a Greek immigrant that runs an import/export company off this twelfth floor suite selling  motorcycle parts – took on this part time job as building manager to get rent free office space to run his business.
“Selling motorcycle parts is very tough and I am not making much money” he sighed. “I am having to find other things to do to help me make money”;
there was something emphatic about the way he looked me in the eye and smiled when he said ‘other things’.

18
Mar
14

Vampire Chronicles: The First Step of the Venture

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Damn the futility of this obsession I hold to uncover the vampire scene here in Sleepytown. My pressing insistence to learn the location of their hangout led me to an address in the heart of downtown Indy, a lead that was hampered last week when I tried to depend on Indy’s inept bus system to get me to the purported vampire club. The club info I ran across on the internet stated that the club was open the first Wednesday of each month in the evening and by missing out on the last few month’s of First Wednesday my progress on this saga was fading away.

Now came an opportunity to get something growing behind this investigation. I had the day free so motivated myself to get downtown and do a bit of recon on the locale, get a feel for the place so I didn’t waste half my time stumbling around in some drug induced fog trying to find the address come next First Wednesday. The bus did come this morning (albeit it took forty five minutes waiting for one to show up) so I hopped on and rode to the heart of the city. The club’s address was only two blocks from the infamous Circle Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument so finding the building should have been no problem…the difficult part I perceived was figuring out which floor, suite, et cetera, the club might be hosted in/on. This was the day after St. Patrick’s Day; the bus lulled past beer tents that now stood vacant and somber, remnants of yesterday’s celebration waiting to be dismantled until next year.

The day had a fitting hangover feel to it, a bit on the slow side but before I knew it I was standing in front of 120 Market Suites, my destination. I walked in and saw a ground floor coffee shop with a tired looking barista and no customers to prevent me from picking her brain about what she might know on the vampires. I purchased a latte and casually asked her what she knew – if anything – about the vampire club. She frowned and thought but hadn’t heard of anything.
“That’s not saying much though” she laughed. “There are twelve floors of businesses here so it could be in one of those offices.”

I looked but there was no building directory on the wall or nearby, just a sign-in sheet for guests entering the building sitting on a desk with no security. The lobby walls were green marble and the elevators had moss green curtains that were draped back to expose call buttons. A thin framed peculiar looking man was climbing in one of the elevators and held the door for me.
“Which floor would you like?” He had a thick sounding accent but I wasn’t going to let that throw me into some superstitious fear…just because I was in a building hunting for vampires and this gentleman who sounded like he came from the Carpathian regions of Romania or something invited me into a closed elevator alone with him…..no worries, right? Luckily he pressed his floor number first so I chose a floor two down from his so as not to have to get off on the same floor as him and have that awkward moment.  I made some quick pleasant conversation about the weather to pass the dead air time as we went up.

The tenth floor (out of twelve) came and I got off. The elevator dumped me on some high-end decorated floor that was dark and empty.  There appeared to be someone to my left staring at me so I tried to act natural and turn to them for assistance, then noticed that the person was my own reflection in a wall sized mirror at the end of the hall. Twelve floors of this? Time to start searching…

14
Mar
14

My Momentary Madness, My Superstitious Ways

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Along the way of pursuing more clarity from the big blue marble we live on I continue to fall into the hands of conspiracies, fallacies and yes, even the truth. The problem is that they all get mashed together like different colors of Play-Doh, nearly impossible to separate once combined. The blatant hardline stories involving Elvis and Bigfoot together on a UFO are pretty easy to disqualify and deem fraudulent but the nuances of religion and spirituality, paranormal activity (to some degree) and other seemingly valid arguments of the abnormal can sometimes be quite difficult to just write off….at least for me.

My most recent brush with the peculiar things in life came about when I read some articles on the 11-11 phenomenon. For those of you unfamiliar with this odd occurrence, the 11-11 phenomenon is an experience shared by millions around the globe who find themselves drawn into a puzzling confrontation with the series of numbers ’11:11′. These mostly appear on digital clocks, sometimes in other locations such as posters or time schedules, etc. but they occurrence of this set of numbers, 11 and 11, reportedly increase in one’s life once they begin to experience and notice them. This has become more than a coincidence for lots of people and has driven them to ponder the possibilities of what this iconic series of numbers that suddenly keeps popping up in their lives means. I first found the reports I read to be a bit odd but nothing more; then I began to experience the 11:11 phenomenon. I would walk through the room at just the precise moment when the clock on the microwave was at 11:11. The number was there on a magazine cover, staring at me and taunting me to read something into what was happening. The number showed up on a receipt of items I purchased and that’s when I really started wondering what the hell it meant.

Now I am still left with questions to myself and weigh whether I feel the 11-11 phenomenon is a valid…thing… but keep telling myself that it is more than likely a grand example of what is referred to as confirmation bias; the tendency to fall victim to favoring information that confirms one’s beliefs. People will fall prey to biased searches for documentation of material that will validate their beliefs, especially those beliefs that are more ethereal – religious devotion to a particular god is one of the big ones that comes to mind. Scientific proof cannot be shown to prove god’s existence yet millions upon millions of people believe in one (or many). Just as many humans will favor the knowledge science brings us but within those halls of study there are holes as well. We put our faith behind something like gravity even though we don’t really understand exactly what it is. Faith is a strong monster that dwells within us all yet so many of us have varying flavors of faith that it causes an eruption of attitude polarization among us. This in turn will bring about things like illusory correlation, hunting down items (especially on the world wide machine) to back up whatever theory we may hold in our heads, but where is the true truth. Millions claim to experience this 11-11 madness yet even they don’t agree on what it means. I’ve read that it leads down so many hidden paths of clandestine awareness to the human psyche, a spiritual wake-up call. I don’t doubt that at some point someone will use the 11-11 phenomenon as a defense in a court of law as to why they wiped out some poor innocent bystander who just happened to have four ones painted on their tennis shoes.

I guess my point is, we all fall victim into believing some strange shit. There are certainties that we can agree upon such as if you walk out in from of a speeding bus, you will be hurt. If it’s snowing outside and you have no coat on…you get the picture. The other stuff, the uncertain knowledge that we all carry around or even the not so easy to prove fodder we want to believe, that’s the stuff we need to give leeway to and not use against one another. Life is hard enough to get through when confronted with the obvious, don’t make it tough on others with the unseen superstitions that personally guide you. Believe what you will but don’t force it down the throats of others. If what you believe is truth I have faith that we will all sense it and follow it…..

I need to get to bed before eleven o’clock tonight…….

08
Mar
14

My Sleepytown Brush with Futility

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It seemed the perfect night for my venture to the streets of downtown, in search of the Erois Noir club – the vampire club. All the signs were pointing toward possibilities of a great night for a saga to unfold; the club reportedly opens just once a month and I had been patiently (and not so patiently) biding the days away underneath a blanket of Sleepytown snow…this winter seems to press on forever. The vampire club…in search of the intrigue brought about by their mere mention got me street dressed in layers of hoodies and gloves to venture via city bus to the streets  near Circle Monument Supremo. There was a fingernail moon in the sky which meant I wouldn’t have to worry about werewolves – another added bonus was that this was Ash Wednesday, that holy day when Methodists and Catholics alike don the war paint of religion for the sake of their souls. Certainly on a sanctimonious holiday like this the blood suckers would be in an agitated state; all the more fun for me.

I grabbed my electronica and headed toward Washington Street in hopes of catching an evening bus downtown, a good ten miles from my location. The air was cold but not biting cold as it had been so with ear buds blaring some Screaming Trees I headed south on Franklin Road. As I approached 21st Street I see the INDYGO bus sign that reminds me 21st has a bus that leaks out a few blocks from where I was going so rather than hoof it two miles down to Washington Street I could just as easily stay at this outpost and catch the 21st Street bus downtown; sounded like a solid plan. I got on my phone and checked the bus schedule; I had seventeen minutes before it would show up – perfect. I could fare the cold that long. I waited. Seventeen minutes passed. Fifteen more minutes passed and no bus shows. I look up at the bus sign and see a number to call. Having been familiarized with current city bus travel (while living in Denver) I took this number to be one you could call in and get 1. a list of current times and schedules for your route and 2. a live representative of the bus company on the line to find out if there were any delays in scheduling. I call the number and it pops me to a generic greeting that informs me if I would like to know the Christmas holiday schedule for buses to press 3……Christmas was three months ago.

Giving up on the 21st Street bus I decide to go ahead and venture down to Washington Street to catch that bus to town. Apparently no bus was running on 21st that evening. No sooner had I walked about five or six blocks when what should whiz by me but the 21st Street bus, off schedule by a good twenty minutes and there it goes. There was no use crying now because that wouldn’t bring the bus back so I pick up the pace and work on that 2 miles I have to get to Washington Street. I get about 150 yards away from Washington and Franklin and quickly remember to check the times for that bus; the online schedule shows I have thirteen minutes before the next bus will arrive at Washington and Franklin – perfect timing….and then I look up and see the Washington bus whizz by, thirteen minutes early.

I suppose I can expect some snafus now and then with any city, state or federal run program but this is fucking ridiculous.  This is not the first time I have had these type issues with the public transportation here; a city the size of Sleepytown should not run their public trans this shoddy – either fix it or shut it down and you really shouldn’t shut it down. How hard can it be to make things run on time? I’m not saying the bus and light rail system I had become familiar with while living in the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado were flawless but they weren’t a dilapidated mess like this INDYGO systems appears to be. Growing up here I can recall how efficient the buses in Indy ran; people relied on them to get to work. Now they seem to have become the mainstay for a crowd of individuals who don’t necessarily have to be anywhere in particular at a set time. The drivers are nice enough and informative but they if you ask them about other routes than theirs and why things run on half a leg they shrug their shoulders and leave it at that.

So another month of waiting slips by as I wait with pensive focus on the vampires….they are out there and I want to engage them but what do you do with an uncooperative busline that throws a wrench in your plans? I could have stayed at the Washington Street stop and waited another hour for the next bus but by then my intent was shattered and the night was getting colder. I gave up and walked the two and a half miles back to the solace of the Church to wait thirty more days….
….thirty more days….

02
Mar
14

As Profane as Holmes Cocaine

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This winter madness continues throughout vast portions of the U.S. dumping record amounts of snow and ice with continued subzero temperatures. At this time there is no visible end in sight. I don’t view this arctic vortex being nearly so ‘storm of the century’, as the national and local weather hacks would have us believe but I must admit, it has been a rugged winter. My plans, like so many folks, have been placed on limited priority status…milk and bread runs, not quite so many free nights into the evening air to raise hell or wake my senses. Oh I did see a bit of the moon one night while howling at it, walking through the piles of drifted snow while being courted from the after effects of my new acquaintance; Fireball whiskey.

It was a great night out that evening with a couple of friends as we discussed life, death and taxes over chilled cinnamon flavored whiskey and a bit of the herb.  Classic jazz thrummed off real vinyl albums; the conversation was comforting and the night ran on. Now the fact that I continued this outing by leaving there for a neighborhood watering hole doesn’t take away (for me) the standing therapy delivered by the early initial drink and gather. Landing in that bar just reaffirmed what I had felt earlier as I saw on the face of those at the bar the blessed effects of comradery; we should all come together now and then for the sake of our well being.

So much of my time during this chillfest has been spent pinned up behind the screen of some electronic device merely touching base with those I care for by pressing keys and reading responses. There is a discernible difference between this and real human contact, a real and noticeable difference. It gets so easy to just hook yourself to the Cloud and type away – they make it easy for our convenience but we tend to forget the luxury, the therapeutic bonus achieved from actual contact (or at least close proximity) with fellow humanoids. Networking and online media play can become more profane an addiction than Sherlock Holmes friend, cocaine. As the stories read, when Holmes was between cases and bored to the point of  depression he would slip a bit of the seven percent solution into his veins and have at that violin. Our society has managed to pick up a similar habit in the form of a hand held smartphone.

I suggest to you, pleasantly urge you to get out during these bouts of winter frustration and hold palaver with some friends. As much as you may dread facing some icy roads or a bit of biting temperatures the benefits well outweigh those minor obstacles. The winter will drag on a while (it seems) for us so fight that cabin fever and get out…I’m not saying you have to pull out the hard liquor or anything, but do gather – in person – with someone or a group of someones you know….we’ll beat this storm yet.




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