Archive for June, 2014

29
Jun
14

Walking the Whores Path pt. 2

whores-2

This ends up being a slow process, not one you can recap in an hour or so. I’ve spent days out there on Tenth Street watching these girls (and a couple guys/tg’s as well) and finally gave up on trying to figure out why they do what they do for money. Like I stated before, money is the bottom line. Whether they do it because they have no self esteem or a nasty drug habit or maybe daddy didn’t love them enough…too many variables to pigeonhole them all under one reason guise. What really piques my interest most is the ballet of the hunt.

There are a few different kinds of girls out there. Some are what I refer to as carhops; girls who will only let themselves be picked up by men in cars. They have eyes like hawks and lightning quick reflexes and use those skills to evaluate a potential customer in a matter of seconds as they drive by. The first glance determines what type car is being driven and how many people are inside. They can immediately eliminate multiple bodies in a car and if they see one person, then they see if it’s a man or woman. If it’s a man the next thing they do is try to quickly lock eye contact or see if the man is paying any attention to them walking out there. It’s a quick ballet and certainly it helps if they have repeat customers but I have to give them credit for having street sense like that.

The other group of whores out there don’t really have any title or name classification from me other than hapless. These girls will take on any man riding by on a bike or walking by, find some alley and make some quick cash. It’s a sad waltz indeed to see some girl out there plodding off in the shadows with some guy to make a few bucks and in a perfect world they wouldn’t stoop to this; but this isn’t a perfect world and life goes on down here on Tenth.

I’ll probably continue to watch them as I take my evening walks and talk with the locals but now that I’ve come to know a few of these girls and all the other characters out here I will take it on a more personal level. Once you know someone’s name and share some laughs with them it’s a little different. They now know I’m not out there as a customer or an undercover cop or a serial killer; I’m just another soul on the sidewalk trying to make it another day. Lately the police have been cracking down hard on this stretch so the girls have been playing it extra cool. I sat out there with a group the other night and we enjoyed the evening, and watched cops pick up those not smart enough to stop working. Not every night is pleasant out there. Tonight I left earlier than planned because of a bad aura out on Tenth. A street robbery took place and another incident involved a girl getting her leg stabbed by her boyfriend. Some of the people out there started mouthing at me getting a bit angry wondering what I was doing – cops were slowing down and stopping people to question them. You can say that’s unconstitutional of the police and that people (like myself) have a right to be out there but logic and rights play second fiddle when violence snaps open a situation. They’re trying to keep it calm as they can and that is not an easy job…things happen and tempers flare. Like Kenny Rogers sang, you got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them and tonight…..I fold.

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27
Jun
14

Walking the Whores Path pt. 1

whores

There’s an invisible curtain which separates the quaint neighborhood I live in from a seedier portion of Tenth Street. It’s funny to imagine that I sit and write this sermon in a placid old community filled with happy folks and just a few blocks away lies a sea of dystopia. I am consumed with wanderlust and feel the need to witness and observe “what’s goin’ on” there on Tenth. I’m an urban anthropologist and savor the ruddy streets where human deformities empathize with one another and do what they can to make it through another day.

My latest fascination out there on Tenth is observing the prostitutes that pepper a city long block and a half area close to that invisible curtain. The daytime typically brings out only those that absolutely need to be on the street but the evenings, when the temperatures dip a bit, that’s when the hookers take to the streets. It’s become a hobby for me to sit and watch them work, take note of their m.o. and ponder what it is that would drive a woman to do the things they do for money…..I guess money is the bottom line here.

Observing them was step one but my next phase involved engaging them in conversation to learn more about them as individuals, or at least to learn a bit about their tribe to see if there might be any pinpoint characteristic that sets them apart from the rest of us. Not everyone is equipped mentally and emotionally to handle blowing a total stranger for cash and I wanted to find out what type psyche (or lack thereof) they had. I took baby steps upon approaching them so as not to scare them off. I didn’t want them to think I was some deranged prostitute killer stalking the streets for my next victim so this meant having some finesse in approaching them…walk the line and let them get to see you on the streets as one of those regulars out there just trying to get through the day. Every evening after writing or working on some project I would take my nightly walk along the whores path, that stretch of Tenth where they contain their practice. I make it a point to talk to home owners and bench sitters out here, all sorts of souls out here with good nature but tough skin. Nice folks like the couple I passed by the other night and  talked to. They sit at this one particular bus stop chatting the night away with one another, some evenings until close to midnight. The man’s name is Donald. He’s this old black man who mostly dresses in mechanic’s overalls. Her name is Shaleah. The night we all spoke Shaleah wore this gold shimmy blouse and had a black wig that looked like something from the classic Motown era; as I pass by I ask them how they’re doing.
“Doing fine….you know who you remind me of?” she says. “You remind me of that guy on those tv commercials that sells guns. That dude who says ‘I don’t wanna make any money, I just loooove to sell guns.”
We all crack up over that one and sit a while and talk. I greet people out here constantly, watching the whores, waving and smiling to build up recognition in their minds to let them know I’m not a cop, I’m not a killer, I’m not a customer……

Just what the fuck am I?

22
Jun
14

Vampire Chronicles Addendum: Like Baby Birds Fallen From a Nest

baby-birds

All of us have problems and a majority of us will try and help one another out, even when we are unsure that what we do will make a difference or if it’s might be the wrong thing to do. I consider this the cross we must bear for being empathetic and that doubt and frustration will never end; welcome to the Church.

It was the summer solstice and a blistering heated one at that. I was waiting at a bus shelter with other individuals yet the shell we stood under to shield us from the sun seemed to magnify the intensity of  its heat rather than block us from it. Under the shell with me was a mid-twenties black man laced out in chains and a ball cap who had ridden the bus out with me and was waiting for the return bus back, like me. He was distressed because he had left a bag on the bus coming out that had his mother’s prescription in it so now he had to hope that the bag was still on that bus and that the same bus would show up so he could retrieve it. Along with him was a lady who was suffering from some illness or condition I’m not equipped to diagnose. She had a yellow warning bracelet around her wrist warning that the individual was prone to seizures but no alert number to call or information on what to do should the person start to seize up. She sat on the bus bench shaking mildly while a thin line of spittle fell down her lip. She kept fumbling through her purse to try and grab out a card from her wallet; this seemed to be her main priority at the moment. The drool and shakes didn’t seem to worry her; she had to get a card out.

Watching her became a lot like listening to someone with a stutter-you want to help them along for their sake as well as your own but more often than not, you won’t. I sat down next to her and started asking her if she was okay and if she wanted me to help her get out her card. She wasn’t able to speak and could only communicate with head shakes and eye contact. She nodded yes when I asked if she was okay but just sat and drooled when I asked if I should help her get a card out. I went ahead and made that internal choice to help because maybe it was a bus card and she would need it to get on. I didn’t think the other fellow was going to jump in and help her because she was white and that’s all he would need is for someone to ride through the lot and see him screaming “a black man is robbing a white lady!”. I did get the card out she needed which turned out to be grocery value card; senseless attempt on my part I suppose but no harm, no foul. I figured out I was waiting at the wrong stop for the bus I needed to be on so I left those two behind and hoped the best for both of them.

Later that evening I found myself at my favorite watering hole where I spent the night downing whiskey and beer and even a bit of absinthe….ah, absinthe, you delirious devil….how you tempt me. Well as I bantered with folks and watched some billiards I eventually got led into the discussion of my blog and some of the subjects I have written on, more recently my writings on the vampire known as Red. The ears perked up on one guy there named Nate who warned me to be careful. “You have got to be careful about getting involved with offering yourself to a sang” he said. He proceeded to tell me how sanguinarians would ask to be in control of the cutting which could lead to dire consequences. Rookie vamps could easily cut a main artery and then you’re fucked – death could occur not by the bite of a bloodsucker but by the stupidity of the naive. Nate wanted to go into some personal experience story on this subject but he and I were pretty tanked at that point. It did make perfect sense to me and I would plan before allowing anyone to drink from me to study diagrams thoroughly to find out what the hell I was doing but I do want to have the experience of what it feels like to go through having someone do this to me. I want to see if there is a bonding that takes place when allowing someone to partake of you like that. You can easily write it off and say no, the whole thing is fucking ridiculous, but I have witnessed enough stranger than life things to know that what we believe we know is not always the whole story. In conjunction with having the experience, I would be doing it to help an individual with a problem I see as not being able to appease with an over the counter pill at your local pharmacy.

Nate and I talked some more and he had some interesting takes on vampirism but I told him that I would more than likely continue this line because I see Red’s situation as being (to me) like a baby bird fallen from the nest. He scratched his head on that one so I explained that when we come across a starving baby bird that has fallen from the nest, we have three choices, basically, on what we can do. We can walk away and do nothing, which would weigh on my mind too heavily; we can find a big rock and put it out of it’s misery rather than allowing it a slow agonizing death or we can pick it up and try to nurse it back to health, even when knowing that the odds of nursing it back may be very very slim. I have known folks who have picked up the bird and tried to nurse it back and the majority of them have failed, but tried it nonetheless. I feel like that when it comes to certain situations and this will probably become one for me. Red continues to search for a donor and has yet to find a suitable one so I will continue to talk with her, communicate and see what I can do to help. We all have our problems and most of us will do what we can to help one another, even at the cost of making an inconsequential offering that does nothing in the grand scheme of things – like pulling out a grocery card for a lady with the shakes……

 

16
Jun
14

Our Lesson in Compassion From Men Wearing Dresses

gay-pride

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Mother Teresa

 Saturday started out a rush as I was notified late about the Gay Pride Parade and consecutive celebration in downtown Sleepytown. The night prior had me dredging the streets, ending up at a local coffee house for open mic night. That left me in a state which should have had me sleeping well past noon but somehow I managed to shake off the fog and head for downtown in order to catch the morning display of grandiose floats and men wearing dresses. Last year had me attending the Gay Pride celebration in Denver, Colorado, but now here I was in Indianapolis and knowing there is a booming GLBT community here I expected a good turnout; I was not disappointed.

 The first part of my trek downtown to Massachusetts Avenue (where the parade route runs) reminded me that there is still some prejudice and narrow minded individuals in this world. Ignorance and the lack of exposure to various people and situations in life leave some people to remain real stupid assholes. A few blocks away from the parade route on a side suburb street, four motorcycle police officers were practicing intricate maneuvers on their bikes with their sirens on – practice for leading the parade I assumed and as if to agree with me, a scroungy looking man walked by me going the opposite direction and smiled. “They’re practicing to be in that faggot day parade they’re having.” he said and went by before I could come up with a snappy retort; I knew it wouldn’t matter to him anyway. The breed of slime that still hates ‘faggots’ and ‘niggers’ and all other forms of things they won’t accept is thankfully dieing out in this country. They still exist but their numbers are diminishing….thank god.

 Another detour along the way was a lady with a mental condition who needed help toting an extremely heavy bag to some location she was supposed to move to. I offered to help her and she took me up on it – even proposed paying me to help her. It became evident after lugging this forty or fifty pound bag around for seven blocks, backtracking and trying desperately to pinpoint her destination on my phone, that she didn’t have a clue where she was going and really wasn’t even that sure who she was. I had no time for this and certainly no trained skills to help her so all I could do was wish her well and continue back on my way to the parade.

 The festivities of the Gay Pride parade were vibrant and happy from the word go. Costumed men in dresses and wigs, rainbow bracelets everywhere, women walking hand in hand with other women, men with their arms around each other – love was everywhere and not an ounce of hatred to be seen anywhere along the surrounding route. The parade itself had sponsors like Walgreens Drug Stores and local banks, Cummins Engines, politicians, churches, our armed forces – so many people have turned that back-wood prejudiced stance against people different than themselves and the streets hummed with understanding and acceptance. Smart businesses have aligned themselves to know that the communities we live in are made up of myriad lifestyles and it is not enough to merely sit quiet, you need to let the public know that you support who they are and embrace them into your stores….smart business folks.

 So if you did not attend this year’s celebration, make it a point to go next year and feel the energy that’s created by being in a crowd of thousands that are all loving and accepting of one another. I felt optimistic considering the ratio of people against the celebration consisted of that on guy I passed on the way to the parade and one other guy on his cheap microphone doling out verses from the Bible….I put the odds at two haters to a few thousand non-haters…there’s hope for us after all.

09
Jun
14

The Cumulative Result of Niceness and Nastiness

niceness

Sunday at the grocery store some guy called me an asshole because I brisked in front of him to the checkout counter. Within roughly five minutes I had him apologizing, shaking my hand and wishing me a good evening.  The situation started because his wife (girlfriend, significant other) could not decide whether they had everything they needed. He had that pensive look on his face that showed he was trying to hold his composure but just wanted to get their shit and get out of the store. I wasn’t going to sit and hover there while they decided what to do next so I took my groceries and proceeded to the line. That’s when he threw his head up in the air and said “-and that guy just sniped us in line…..asshole.”

Well I really didn’t ‘snipe’ them because they were still debating whether they were actually going to get in line but that made no difference to this guy. He went over to the self checkout counter with his goods and his pissed off attitude. I could have left it there and let him walk out and continue to carry that unwarranted (at least from me) anger but I thought no, I am not an asshole and I want that guy to acknowledge it. I pulled my cart out of line and went to the self checkout and walked up to him.

“Why did you call me an asshole? Did you really need to do that?”

He didn’t even want to look at me. His girl wanted nothing to do with this confrontation and walked away. He tried the tough guy approach: “if you want we can take this outside.”

“No” I said with some calmness in my voice. “I think we can talk right here about it because all I want to know is why you feel you had to call me an asshole? I’m sorry if you feel I cut you off but I saw you were still trying to decide what to do so I got in line. If it was that important to you I would have gladly let you go in front of me.”

I could tell then that he started feeling like a dick about the situation when he saw I was trying to be nice about it. I extended my hand to shake his and after a moment’s pause, he reached out and shook it. Then he said he was sorry. “It’s all good” I said and he left and wished me a good evening.

More and more throughout the U.S. our streets are being littered with gunfire and this debate continues over the right to bear arms versus the right to shoot up everyone. Last week in my neighborhood some teenager got upset with his girlfriend and shot her; a silly love argument ending with a bullet in some young girl. Seattle suffered an attack from a gunman who many said was a happy, well adjusted young man – luckily he was subdued with pepper spray before he could take down more people. A 22 year old wealthy kid in Isla Vista, California went on a rampage shooting and stabbing people before putting a bullet in his own head, upset because females had rejected him. More and more disturbing situations keep happening and so often it seems easy to merely point at the weapon and say “let’s get rid of all those and the problem will cease.” I don’t think anyone really believes that will happen because America will never get rid of her guns. Neither will the powers that be try to confiscate them from us all – they would much rather try to take you down without firing a shot….they would much rather have you hand them the gun and say “make things safe”.

There is no quick fix solution to what our nation has become. Electronic socializing has replaced flesh and blood relations and we all tend to cry out wondering if anyone is really listening. Anger is quick to draw and faster to react on so a lot of people are beginning to lose their ability to use temperance…..don’t believe out tolerance level hasn’t been heightened? Try waiting on a locked up computer to clear….a mere 90 seconds can cause some people to go ballistic.Violent shootings are becoming more the norm and we need to look at what is causing people to lose their cool and go down that dark road of bloodshed. We need to stop pointing guns at one another because the common man or woman is not the one who made things so difficult to cope with in this country. One person is not the reason our lands are polluted or our health is failing, our streets and infrastructure need tending to and fewer people seem to be making a livable wage. Approach the fuckers who are deterring any constructive efforts to stop those issues in our lives – our governing representatives – and confront them just like I confronted the guy who called me an asshole. Why aren’t they spending our tax dollars on better living conditions for us rather than larger paychecks for themselves? Be kind to your fellow man and woman out there who pound the same proverbial pavement as you because unless we change the way our system is running this country into the dump, these everyday people may be the lifesaver to get you through another day. Have a bit of patience when things around you aren’t moving at the speed of sound because we have all become accustomed to a quicker pace of life, but when that pace slows down due to unforeseen obstacles, don’t let it drive you to the brink of wanting to draw a pistol. The more kindness – or at least cooperation – you can spread, the better the temperament of things will become. Communicate. Cooperate. Have some fucking compassion.

01
Jun
14

Vampire Chronicles: the Q and A Continues

vc-6

 

It was time to get to my notes from Red and venture back into that dialogue. Life goes on and distractions pop in and out of my life but I do eventually get back to this persisting query of mine, this obsession with finding out what I can about the obscure life of these folks who call themselves ‘vampire’. The day started out getting baked from the sun and a good strain of marijuana which then led me on the path into downtown Sleepytown to witness a pop culture convention. While waiting for public transit I got into a debate with this rather large local woman who had that bizarre dialect that’s beginning to seed itself permanently into our society; a mixed accent of urban ghetto speech and hillbilly, which makes for an interesting sound almost as hard to decipher as thick Cajun. My concluding conversation with the large girl left me wondering if there is any hope for us all…things will never change if you don’t help make them happen and she had certainly given up. “That’s jus’ how thangs are, hon, yo, it’ll nevah change.” – her accent was uncanny.

DA: Interesting synopsis on that time of your life. This world of vampires is more complex than I would have imagined and woven through the general data lies personal, subjective slants to how any given presenter will address themselves and their thoughts. Thank god I’ve got heavy drinks to carry my focus on this matter – drugs only when completely necessary.  My intent is to offer an objective viewpoint on vampires and educate people with more facts and less superstition. This has not been an easy search for me to find someone who put enough trust in me to speak and once again, I thank you for that.

RED: I’m a very patient person when I want to be so no need to hurry, you can take your time and ask as many questions as you like. It’s hard to offend me too. It is hard to trust someone with my certain lifestyle. To be honest only four people, who actually know me, actually know about me being a vampire and they have all been my donors. I feel like I live a double life sometimes. I’ve been involved with someone for three years now and not even he knows. It’s hard in a way not being able to open up and share your true self with the people you love. It’s almost like the equivalent to being gay and you aren’t able to share who you are with others for the fear of them judging you or, in my case, thinking I’ve lost my mind. 

DA: Do you feed on blood on a regular basis and if so how often?

RED: When I do have a donor though, I try to feed every two weeks if I can. I’d love for it to be every 7-10 days, but go a bit longer so the healing process for them is longer.

DA: What risks do you find for yourself in regards to feeding?

RED: There are so many risks when trying to find a donor. I always make them get a blood test done before any encounter. If I’m with someone new it takes me a while to trust them. Having a donor who takes care of themselves is very important too. You form special bonds with donors, a special connection. I only had one “preferred” donor,  but that was a few years ago. Now, I’ll take anyone who makes “the cut” from my list of qualifications. As for now drinking my own does no good. There are substitutes for it but nothing is ever like blood. I don’t drink from animals like some do, I couldn’t do that.

DA: Do you (currently) have preferred ‘donors’ that supply you?

RED: I currently don’t have a donor so I am on the hunt again for a new one; I’m picky.

DA: I imagine it’s a hard subject to bring up with a person you feel may be a suitable candidate..almost like talking them into doing something sexual, or at least the taboo of the whole ‘drink blood’ thing would imply. Is that a slow dance to get to the point where you feel comfortable enough to approach someone?

RED: The majority of people, mainly men, assume it’s some strange sex fetish and think they are going to get something out of it, but the people I end up choosing don’t expect anything in return. They are usually happy to help and enjoy the experience. If I had to resort to just asking people solely in person if they’d be a donor I’d definitely take my time with it getting to know them so I wouldn’t just spring something like that upon them.  I guess I’d choose a certain type of person.  I can usually tell who would be okay with it and who would turn it away.

DA: So once you do find someone you find suitable and they are fine with it, what procedure do you use to get the blood? Is it typically a cutting procedure where you get it right at the source or can it be stored, like medical bags you see that hold plasma?

RED: I get my blood usually through cutting my donor. If we had medical bags that would be even better, but generally none of the donors have any way of getting hold of one. I have taken blood other ways but its mostly cutting, which I perform unless they feel like they need to.

DA: Once you have fed do you show any external signs of…rejuvenation or say, something such as your skin clears up or is it more internal where you feel healthier and have more energy?

RED: Once after feeding I notice my color changes and for me its more internal. I feel content for the moment and like I have more energy, like as if I had drank something with caffeine only intense. I feel better physically, less headaches.

DA: I’d almost be tempted to see if I might match up as some donor for you – for the experience of it all.

RED: Alright, sounds good. (smirks) that’s tempting, I’m having no luck finding a donor and it’s starting to show more. I’m hoping I’ll run into more luck soon because going without makes life more difficult.




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