Buckle up. It's Monday.
Random Stoner: "Hey. Alright. I came in because I'm ready to talk about that movie."
RS: "You know, there's all that...talk about it this weekend. And, like, it was supposed to be big."
Ah, Captain Marvel.
Me: "I haven't seen it yet."
RS: "No. Noooooooo. I came in to talk to you about it."
I've never met this person before.
Me: "Sorry, I'm seeing it later this week."
RS: "But, it was good, right?"
Me: "I don't know yet."
RS: "Oh, man. I -- Do you have any, like giant -- You guys don't have giant books."
Me: "Like the ones on the top shelf there?"
I point. He walks in the opposite direction. Of course.
Me: "No, there."
RS: "Wow. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww. These are -- what I'm looking for are coffee table books. Motorcycles. Sketch art. You know, for the foyer...or, the, ummmm gazebo? Parlor. For the parlor.
Me: "Sure. We don't have those."
RS: "I need people to walk in when I'm painting and be like wowwwwwwwwwww. This --- this is some --- like A level shit, you know?"
RS: "But you don't --- You seriously haven't seen that movie yet?"
RS: "It's fine. I shouldn't be spending money anyway. I have to --- I need to -- do they do laser printing across the hall?"
Me: "You'd have to ask them. I don't know."
RS: "What I'm gonna do, right? Before my show. I'm gonna have shit lasered into wood. Like a table with good wood, but I'd laser it --- like SPACE. I have 47 --- no 59 paintings I need to unload, you know? Renewal. Like when those anime guys take all of their stuff and --- Do you have any gundam?"
Me: "Not currently."
RS: "Shit. Hey, when did the weed store go? I mean --- not a weed store -- a paraphernalia store."
Me: "It's still there. It's across the park."
RS: "I shouldn't be spending -- Hey, instagram --- like marketing --- I could get you 20%." of what I have no idea.
Me: "Great. You should come in on Friday and talk to the owner."
RS: "Yes! Like I did for the collectible store in Methuen. 20%. I'm not a monster."
Me: "That's good."
RS: "You get my vibe. Social media -- it's -- like 10% for you but maybe you have a friend who can help, and they get 10%, that's TWENTY PERCENT."
RS: "Check out my Instagram. I need honest critique. Like, it's time -- my parents know I'm not like that -- but, like, I need to get rid of these paintings. Even if it's just 100,000. Which is -- which is 10% of what they're worth. You feel me?"
RS: "Let me write down -- what's my insta -- I think -- here. I should go. Do you think they really laser across the hall?"
Me: "I have no idea."
RS: "I'm a mech guy. Captain Ha -- He -- you know."
RS: "I'm not like manga. A little, I guess. But, like -- They need to make a Captain Marvel game. Open world like Tarantino, you know? Or Portal. Yea, Portal. How come there aren't any VR arcades around here where you can walk" he shows me what walking looks like "while you're in the virtual world? All they have around here is pinball."
Me: "I don't know."
RS: "They could make bank on that."
RS: "Friday. You should get people to BOGO. Like, not BOGO, but make people think they're getting a deal. You watch Big Bang Theory?"
RS: "You should youtube the gaffs. It will make you. You get people who smell the comics?"
Me: "No." Ok, a couple of times, but I'm not going to talk about them with this guy.
RS: "It's always wrong but -- how late is the paraphernalia shop open?"
Me: "I have no idea."
RS: "Marketing is key. You get it. You got it. I'm gonna go laser."
Me: "Good luck."
He walks across the hall. I think the entire staff has gathered around him. So he must be equally entertaining there.
His instagram is locked. His follower to following ratio is 1/100. I will not be following him. And, thus, shall never know of his million dollar paintings.
Today I got an e-mail asking me to fill out a survey for a local cookie store. What kind of cookies did I buy, how was the service, would I recommend the cookies to a friend, etc. There was also a section asking me to describe the service in two or three words.
For filling out the survey, I would get two free cookies.
I filled it out positively, got a coupon code, and ordered two cookies and a cookie sandwich (icing between two cookies) to pick up when I was done with work.
When I got there, there were about a half dozen Harvard frosh women. And the two Very Very Very Stoned but happy employees, neither of whom were the very stoned employees from my last trip, gave them a shit ton of free cookies.
At one point, a student asked if they had any peanut butter left. They had one.
Student: "How much is it?"
Very Stoned Dude #1: "I'll flip you for it. Heads, it's free. Tails, it's a dollar fifty."
It was heads.
Everyone giggled, they all eventually got their free cookies, and they left.
Me: "Hey. I'm Adam. I'm here to pick up an order."
VSD #1: "An order? Did you see an order?"
VSD #2: "Check by the computer."
VSD #1: "Is your phone background Kanye's dick?"
VSD #2: "Nah, that's his thumb."
VSD #1: "Whose thumb?"
VSD #2: "Kanye's."
VSD #1: "Oh, here's the order. Maaaaaaaaaaaaaan. OH SHIT."
VSD #2: "What?"
VSD #1: "This is the guy who wrote 'Entertainingly Stoned' in the 'How would you describe our service' box."
VSD #2 (to me): "FOR REAL?"
VSD #2: "You are definitely not paying for cookies tonight. That shit KILLED ME."
VSD #1 (shouts to the back): "The entertainingly stoned guy is here."
VSD #3 comes out from the back. "You are getting a whole bowl of icing in your Bigwich."
VSD #3: "And make sure he gets big cookies, too. I don't care what he ordered. You give him the biggest cookies he wants. I laughed my ASS off when I saw that."
VSD #3 goes back to the back.
VSD #2: "The bad news is, we're completely out of all three cookies you ordered. So you're going to have to pick from what's left."
I pick some basic cookies, and two huge ones for the Bigwich.
VSD #2 puts the cookies in a box, and hands me an overstuffed giant cookie sandwich and a bowl of icing.
VSD #1: "Give him that box of oatmeal raisin cookies we got left, too."
Me: "Woah woah woah. I thought we were friends. Oatmeal Raisin? What did I do to you?"
We laughed, and I left with way too many cookies, none of which I'd paid for.
On my way back to the store, I waited at the intersection with two women carrying salads from Sweetgreen's. I gave them each a cookie and the entire bowl of icing.
If you're going to be out in public, or in, say a comic book store, or a restaurant, SMOKE BETTER WEED. I support your form of relaxation, but I don't want to have to smell your form of relaxation. If I did, I'd hang out with the dealer who is clearly ripping you off.
It's 2017. For every loss of civil liberties, and every disappointing political situation, there are at least two strains of affordable weed that don't smell like you just pulled your rolling papers out of a nervous skunk's asshole.
Or buy edibles. Anything that prevents me from having to Febreeze the store for an hour.
Guys, I am really worried. As those closest to me know, I am fairly particular about what medications I allow in my body. Because I rarely take anything, something as minuscule as two ibuprofen or acetaminophen are actually very effective in helping me manage pain.
Today, I accidentally ingested FOUR BREATH MINTS at once. Spearmint ones. I know that I should probably seek out a desirologist, but can anyone on my friends list advise me on how long before it is safe to kiss someone with this high level of sugar-free sorbitol inside me?
Please don't lecture me on responsible mint use, this was an isolated incident and not reflective of my usually responsible breath regimen
I wasn't sure if this guy in the store was weirdly flirting with me or whether he was just really high.
Then he spent a couple of minutes talking about how much easier it would be to wander around the store if we flipped it upside down and let people walk on the ceiling.
I'm not saying I know for sure if he was high, I'm just saying that I no longer cared if he was flirting with me.
Random Idiot (not giving them credit even for being a loiterer): I wish you'd told me you wanted to buy comics when we were in JP. You shouldn't shop here.
Idiot's Friend: Why not? I shop here all the time.
RI: It's super corporate.
Me: I'm sorry. I don't mean to interrupt but this store is about as anti-corporate as you can get.
RI; No. It's owned by Wal-Mart.
IF laughs uproariously.
RI: It IS though.
Me: No. It's owned by a guy named Tony. He works in the store three days a week, you can meet him if you'd like. I assure you he does NOT work for Wal-Mart.
IF still laughing: Wal-Mart?
RI: One of my friends totally told me this was the Wal-mart of comics.
Me: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that's not us. I've heard some people say that about th place down the block because they're a chain. And they ARE a chain but they are totally not Wal-Mart. They are also owned by a pair of local guys. I don't think you can accurately call them corporate but I get why some people might accuse them. But us? We don't have uniforms, time clocks, a staff training manual. We're not corporate.
RI: But, like, are you sure you're not owned by Wal-Mart.
Me: I am SO certain that none of the comic book stores in Massachusetts are in any way associated with Wal-Mart.
IF still laughing: This is like that time you tried to convince me that The Garment District was run by Urban Outfitters. You need to stop smoking all that weed and listening to your idiot friends.
RI: Shut UP. They MIGHT be owned by Urban Outfitters. You don't know everything, Jason.
Me: I think you should listen to Jason.
They walk around for a bit, Jason occasionally laughing, RI scowling.
RI: OMG the new Lumberjanes! I'm going to buy it!
Me: Sorry, it doesn't come out until Wednesday. All the comics on that table are just out so I can count them and get them ready to put in subscribers' folders tomorrow.
RI: But you can sell it to me, right?
Me: Nope. Not until tomorrow. Sorry.
RI: But I want it. I'll just take it and leave three dollars on the counter, it won't be a thing.
Me: It will. It will be a stealing thing. Sorry, you can't get it until Tomorrow.
RI: This place sucks.
IF: Yea, totally. Want to wait for me at Peet's?
I resist mentioning that Peet's is TOTALLY a corporation and would probably be considered the Wal-Mart of coffeehouses if Starbuck's didn't exist.
IF: I am SO sorry. She's just really high right now.
Me: That's fine.
IF: For real, though, how much do I have to pay you to get that copy of Lumberjanes?
I woke up on Saturday to the same waist-high pile of snow that everyone else in Boston did. I threw on my hat and gloves, picked up my shovel, and began digging out. All around me, neighbors were digging. Mostly it was three or four people with shovels taking care of the spot in front of their house, and their driveway. I live in a corner house, and thus, had to dig out the front porch, the front walkway, the street in front of the house, the street to the left of the house, and the back porch. No big.
Everyone in the neighborhood appeared to have woken up at the same time. adults were digging, children were fwomping in the snow piles, plows were clearing out parking lots, and across the street, the group of guys who smoke so much weed that when I open the windows, you can smell it in my living room, were sitting on their porch (which was still covered in snow), drinking, and watching everyone else dig.
Because the top foot and half or so of snow was the nice powdery kind, it only took me about an hour and a half to dig all the way from front door to the back. Adults were still shoveling, kids were still fwomping, and the guys across the street appeared to be laughing (I had headphones on). As I headed back around the house toward the front door, I saw them waving at me.
I walked across the street, pulling out my earbuds.
"Hey, man." said the most drunk/stoned looking one. "Can you dig out our car?"
I laughed because, of course, they’re kidding, and being high and neighborly.
"No, for real." said the one who walks out to the street at 2 AM to talk to people who drive by the house. I’m sure he’s just complimenting people on their rides and not selling them any of the copious amounts of weed that he burns…for warmth. "We’ll give you ten bucks."
I laughed again. ”A hundred.”
Two laughed. The one who offered me ten bucks did not. ”Ten bucks.”
I shook my head. ”I sold my car when I moved to Boston so I wouldn’t have to deal with parking or snow emergencies. And I don’t need ten dollars. Try one of the kids that lives” and, here, I had to look up and down the street because I had no idea where the kids in the neighborhood lived, “there.”
The dude stared at me. ”I asked you.”
"I said no." I laughed. "Good luck." And I put my headphones back in, and walked back toward my house. My headphones are the lovely, noise-canceling variety, so, while I could see he was still talking to me, I have no idea what he was saying. I’m guessing it wasn’t "Have a nice day."
As of this morning, his car was still completely covered in the, now wet and therefore impossible to shovel, snow.
Last night, on my way home from work, I was on the T, properly headphoned, when I noticed a person appeared to be talking in my direction. I removed my headphones, but the T was making the same noise peacocks make when they catch their wings in a paper shredder halfway through their Diamanda Galas medley, so I couldn’t hear him.
I moved closer to him, and he pulled a joint out from behind his ear and said “I just need to go somewhere and bang tonight.”
"Hang?" I asked.
"Bang." He smiled.
I then moved further away from him, and decided to get off a stop early and go grocery shopping. He did not follow.
Kid: Look, Dad, they’ve got a Wolverine #1.
Dad: *Sigh* Yea, I had the full set of Wolverine when I was in college, but I sold it for heroin and ramen noodles.
Dad: Don’t do drugs.
I must still look like a poet. Or a drug addict. The two aren't necessarily indistinguishable. But while I'm waiting for the train home from Sora's, a guy offers me some trees for some haze, and I don't think he's trying to solve global warming.
I have no trees. The only haze is in my mind, because I didn't sleep much last night. It was my turn to sleep on the floor, and my body clock is more of a blinking digital 12:00 VCR flash (which I suspect is the real reason DVDs were invented).
I get on the train and am surprised to see an old friend back from Africa who shares smacknothing talk with me between Providence and Boston, where I pack, and go to meet another bus. The beginning of my trek to Dallas.
I noted several years ago that Cerberus is actually a Greyhound. I think if Americans were serious about rehabilitating criminals, instead of sending them to jail, they'd put them on a bus for a week. This theory is shot to hell when I discover my first seatmate is fresh from jail and headed to rehab I said no, no, no. He entertains me with the level of lies I haven't heard since I deported Elvis almost a decade ago. And then I fall asleep. Wake up in New York. Grand Central Fuck Yourself Port Afuckenkillyourselfthority. The 9:15 bus I'm supposed to take doesn't exist. The next one is, of course, 11:45, and it will be pack packed. And, of course, the really obese woman in front of me clicks her seat back against my knees, and a woman and her toddler squeeze in next to me. And the baby rarely cries but she kicks and grabs my arm. And the mother's knee is in my hip, and it's like this all the way to fucken Richmond Virginia.
Richmond to Roanoake to everywhichwhere Caroliginiasee, the bus is a hive of crackheads and loud women and crying oh my god kids. And somewhere in Tennessee Nate gets on. Nate. Nnnnnnnnnnate.
If I wasn't stupidly Sorafied (he is not stupid, I am not stupid, I am using it as in wicked, as in hella, as in completely), I'd have noticed sooner how unnervingly sexy he is. Not beautiful like Sora. Not hot like...hot people. He looks like what would happen if Gary Sinese got Tobey Maguire pregnant. And he's of course Irish, and is reading The Hitchhiker's Guide, and I am reading The World According To Garp, which makes us best buddies because obviously we're both nerds who are Irish who listen to The Dropkick Murphys and The Pogues. And everything is a racist joke to him, except the religious ones. And hours pass. He is showing me pictures of his fiancee, asking if I approve. And she's obviously also Irish, and pretty, and, sure I approve of why not her?
"It's just..." and he stares at me, "I've always had a thing for redheads..." And the stare keeps lingering there, like someone sprayed Axe bodyspray in a microwave.
"O...k. I don't really have a type, in that way. But. Good for you."
And he is a kicked puppy that I keep feeding and at my god every stop he wants to know what I'm buying and oh man I'm tired but the conversation and the sleep can't coincide and he has so much to say and instead of a knee in my hip, it's a tongue in my ear, and not in the cool way that Sora does it.
"And I'm a soldier." He says. "So when I say Fuck Bush, I know what I'm talking about and" yip yip bubbledy bloo. And he keeps touching my leg, which is not his beautiful fiancee. And all I want to do is sleep, and I don't think I've eaten anything since my God Boston.
When he switches buses in Texarcana, he takes down all my info so that we can keep in touch. I can't imagine what I'll say if he ever actually calls or writes.
And blissful then sleep until Dallllllllldallllllldalllas. Where poets and old friends and a camera await me.
While the national poetry slam starts in Austin on Tuesday, there is a pre-nationals invitational tournament in Dallas on Sunday night. So I left Boston a little oh god too early. And the rest of my team doesn't arrive until Monday, so instead of competing, I volunteer to record the event. Put down poetry book, pick up tripod and video and lay down on weird angle floor. And so many people I've not maybe purposefully maybe not seen for a while. I am called by hot_rod_poet's name no less than a dozen times (mostly by the same person). This is because all white people from Boston look alike. Even though, according to my last show in Boston, I am actually a 6'2 black man named Wiz.
After the show and some requisite drinks and food, I hang out with my not teammates (another team from Boston comprised of people I have previously been on teams with), and then there is...then there is drunkoolery. And beer? "I want a beer." Someone drunk drunk tipsily tells me.
"I" of course "don't have any beer." I look around for support. There is drunk boy, drunk boy's nearly as drunk friend, Asterisk, and Insaferubenmode, a friend of mine who (obviously) has nearly the same name.
Drunk Boy invites all to get beer with him at the gas station across the street. When Asterisk, Insaferubenmode, and I decline, he says "Anyone who doesn't get beer with me is gay."
He is, in fact, two thirds correct. But Asterisk looks mock horrified and Drunk Boy says, "Oh, you know I'm kidding. I'm as bisexual as they come."
And his friend says "On your face."
And Asterisk and I are of course obliged along with Insaferubenmode to begin BeerQuest. Which fails. But I do get to see Drunk Boy climb a pole and run super speedy across the street and then Asterisk says "I couldn't fuck him. When he gets drunk his eyes go crazy, and I can't tell if he's looking for me or looking at me." And there is much laughter, and you know, I hardly ever spend time with just Asterisk, and we amuse ourselves muchly.
Then Asterisk goes to sleep, and I grab my bathing suit and head to the pool where Drunk Boy, Drunk Boy's friend, pageloads of LJ friend/poets and some sort of family reunion that has nothing to do with poetry but who have decided to record some video of performing poets who are swimming and making, according to the management, too much noise, since the pool is supposed to have been closed for three hours so be quiet anyway.
And it's not that I was looking to see Drunk Boy naked, it just sort of happened, and good for him and good for whichever sex and whichever person he ends up with because well, yea, good for him and everyone involved. And I am involved, but not with him, with Sora and. And. Well, you know. He's no but who is Sora.
And it occurs to me I should have been sleeping hours ago. But the pool. And the computer. And Dallas. And LJ poet friends. And the maniac from Albuquerque (not a slam poet) who is in town for American Idol with his band, a novel he's working on, his website, a team of flying reindeer, the blueprints to Fort Knox, and a whole other wagon full of bullshit if anyone believes the first few piles he shovels at you. And, you know, naked on your face.
And in a few couple maybe less than one hours I'm off to Austin and don't ask me how but you know it will happen and more poetry and dizzy and blur and more naked would be great and I wish Sora were here (though he needn't be but I wouldn't mind naked), but rumor has it Ben is coming in how did this happen stead.
This is meanfunny I guess but I don't know where Ben is planning on staying. But I have an idea. I brought some masking tape. I'm thinking of taping off a section of the hotel room I'm sharing with Wiz, fifteen inches by four feet, and labeling it "Van Seat" in honor of the "bed" I slept on in his house.
It was more comfortable than Sora's floor (but that's not my usual place when I stay over), and didn't smell as badly as the Greyhound seats, but it was still you know a too small van seat for my long legs, and really I just always need an excuse for something to do.