Return to Weedville; the Beast I call Ramone


My planned journey to Sobo 151 wouldn’t begin until evening so I took advantage of the day hours to gather some info on how the pot scene has affected the Mile High city. Dr. B. had his own morning commitments so we were to meet up later that night at the Czech bar down on Broadway. I stopped off to see a good friend who I felt could give me one good observation on the weed scene; Oscar is an audiophile/vinyl head with a penchant toward good sound and great rock. Oscar is one of those guys who meets everybody and everybody meets. He took me down his favorite dispensary where they give him discounts on his pot purchases for being a student and other criteria for lowered prices. We did a quick few purchases of some higher than average grade pot and I picked up a couple pre-rolled to give them a taste test. I recall the last time I bought and smoked prerolled joints they were fairly harsh and took true courage to rifle through a whole one. They seemed to have improved those joints a good amount since then.

When the Doctor met me at Sobo we began our endeavor with some good scotch (and I already had a decent amount of THC flowing through me) and headed for the pool tables. We were waiting on a friend of his I’ll call Ramone. I didn’t quite understand when the Doctor told me he was guilty of collecting ‘stray puppies’ but it all clicked in about thirty minutes after I met Ramone. This kid was a young (if I recall all of it right) ex-police officer (recently released from the force), ex-Army G.I. with about 1 percent body fat, caustic PTSD just looking for something to tear into. He was as tightly strung as a compound bow with an eighty pound pull. We hammered down a bit more scotch at Sobo before jumping over to the Lion’s Lair. The Lair is one of those fantastic little joints on Colfax which from first appearance reminds you of a seedy little place designated for the truly depressed and lonely but the Lair hosts some of the finest rock shows Denver has to offer with great acoustics and screaming good talent.

A friend named Whitney was jamming on bass at the Lair. Oscar was there as well to rock the night away. Me, the Doctor and Ramone saunter in and everything seemed to be going pretty good. There was a trio of compadres at the bar, two women and a man. One of the women was beating this guy, not strong enough to have her thrown out for abuse but a bit more harsh than just a playful love tap. She was laying some pretty good shots into his chest. Ramone at some point walks into the conversation with the trio and a series of interchanges between all them took place. My mind was scattered and wasn’t able to hear the brunt of the conversation over the great screaming band sounds but by now both Dr. B. and me had begun to notice a bit of disconnect between ourselves and Ramone. The troubled ex-GI began to promote a more skewed reasoning-it was similar to how Lenny Small from Of Mice and Men might suddenly just wander into another frame of mind. Eerie. He had given one of the two women his phone number and now she was bar flirting with other men so this was the catalyst to his mind shift. He told the Doctor that she was a ‘whore’ for acting like that-after taking his phone number. Ramone was getting more agitated internally but externally he still had that happy smile on his face. The kid was a walking time bomb waiting to go off; me and the Doctor were walking that thin line between keeping him diffused or running for cover. I have to admit, I was more of the mind to run and let the situation explode (just for the sake of that anarchist in me who loves to smile and throw metaphoric firecrackers). Thank god Doctor B. had enough conviction to grab the human grenade and take it out of the bar’s equation. He had to drag the guy in and out of the bar a number of times before it reached a point he was unsure whether he could control it anymore.

I sat down next to the girl who was punching her friend and started up a good conversation. At one point she asked if I knew Jack Kerouac, then felt bad at the unintentional insult she put on me. Her reference to Kerouac was because she thought I had that type vibe of coolness, not because I could have been that old….or at least that’s how I’ll take it. This conversation led into one about my paintings and after showing her some samples, she wanted to arrange an agreement with her to show them at the hotel in Denver where she was proprietor. Now the situation became more delicate regarding Ramone. I didn’t want him blowing a possible business venture by pummeling the proprietor’s male friend so I covertly worked out a plan with the Doctor to get the human bomb out of the equation for the rest of the night. Dr. B. would take Ramone down the street to the Satire Lounge and I could meet them down there soon to help dissuade Ramone’s attention from the ‘whore’ who had him so distracted. It was uncertain whether or not this would work because Ramone’s emotions were overtaking his logic. He would blurt out disconnected phrases to us; at one point he stared at us and said ‘You know….I’m a virgin…’. How could you be certain where a mindset like that was going to go?

The Doctor was on it.


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