Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spanish Prisoner

I got taken for all the money in my wallet but my downfall wasn't the fact that I was giving money to get more money, it was that I was trying to help a neighbor who turned out to be a junkie. I already know that the world is crummy but I think I was paying for proof that it wasn't. And I got more proof that it is.

Night Life

My new favorite song ended up in a Bob Wills songbook. It's among the last songs Bob Wills played and it's a reminder that Willie Nelson might be more prolific than Bob Dylan. Nelson has been performing since 1960. Who else is still performing after 52 years? That would be like Buddy Holly performing at Madison Square Garden. Willie Nelson is 80 years old!

The nightlife intrigued me over the years but the plastic smiles and painted tans and fake flirty touches of waitresses lightened my wallet but never filled my soul. People laughed too loud at their own jokes, tried too hard to get drunk and lose their fear of death but it never worked for me. Holden Caulfield used the word "Phony" and that's always been the best description of the games played in bars. Later in life it really is legitimately sad and lonely people with nothing left to lose (and I like them more that way) but the young who were enabled by clueless parents and let down by their lacking society go to initiate themselves into what they think is adulthood. They try and if they can make themselves believe it worked then that's good enough. The years slip away and soon they are back on the same stool, staring bubbles down and oily rags on the teak bar. Then it's authentic. It ain't the good life and it never was my life but I like the song because it is honest bar wisdom.

Exalted King

The Jehovah People were out with the first tulip bulbs knocking on doors and ignoring barking dogs to get the word out about the exalted king. I'm in the land of giant billboards damning you to hell if you get an abortion. "Pray then Vote" is the motto of the region. I'm an equal opportunity hobo so when they knocked on my van I let them in. The woman with the crooked eyes and generic hair was generously proportioned from the neck down. Her dress didn't have any baggy spots if you get what I'm laying down. Our conversation went something like this:

Jehovah Prophet: Hi, I'd like to invite you to a meeting to learn about Jesus, our exalted King.
Oggy: Really? I knew a Jesus in Mexico. Sold me cheap weed. Is it the same guy?
JP: I don't think so.
Oggy: My Jesus was about five foot five. Smelled like sweat. Tattoo on his bicep of a prostitute. He had a tattoo of his grandmother on his back. Funny funny guy. The shit he said...
JP: No. The Jesus I'm talking about is reigning as an exalted King.
Oggy: Yeah, that doesn't sound like my boy. The Jesus I know was a slick gang banger. Heavy into speed and dope and whores. He pimped dozens of whores, yo!
JP: So, the meeting will answer all of these questions. Some believe Jesus died for our sins.
Oggy: Whoa! People dying left and right. When was that? I didn't read about it. Was it in the paper?
JP: Long ago, but...
Oggy: Oh, like last month? I was totally out it last month. You know... [pantomimes injecting heroin in an arm and passing out]
JP: Uh, have you ever wondered how one man's death can mean life for others today?

Oggy: [gestures to the van interior] That question ain't high on my priorities right now.
JP: It should be. We can answer that at our talk commemorating the death of Jesus.
Oggy: Wait, he's dead?
JP: Well....
Oggy: And he's an exalted King?
JP: You see...
Oggy: Because that sounds kind of shady to me. A dead king who has the same name as the guy I bought weed from in Mexico?
JP: The meeting will...
Oggy: Doesn't that sound like a flim flam scam to you? What's this Jesus King fella's phone number? [gets out phone] I'll ring his ass up and get to the bottom of this.
JP: No, you see...
Oggy: Give me his number.
JP: Come to the talk. Bring your questions.
Oggy: Nah. I'm calling 411. [dials 411]. Operator? I'm looking for the number to call Jesus. What? I'll ask. Hey, what's his last name?
JP: He doesn't have a last name exactly.
Oggy: Well, how am I going to call him? The operator needs a last name. What? And a city. So, where's his crib?
JP: Crib?
Oggy: Yeah. Where he hang at? Ooops. I hung up on the operator. Damn it. Can I borrow your phone to call the operator back. Man, it's getting hot. Wanna sit down in my van and smoke a bowl? I won't touch you or nothing.
JP: I'd like to thank you for your time.
Oggy: Hell, it ain't nothing. What I got to do 'cept be neighborly. I'm only living in my van temporarily until the 'conomy picks up again. Know where I could find some work?
JP: Good day.
Oggy: I do good work. Finish carpenter. Mechanic. Hell, I'll buck a mule and deliver a calf. Yes, Maam.
JP: God bless you.
Oggy: Only thing is I can't do drug tests. No.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.