Monday, February 28, 2005

let this be a lesson

I bought some fish yesterday. They are cichlids, F zero Altlamprologus Calvus v. "Cape Chaitika White." F zero = zero generations removed from the wild. These fish were hand captured from the shallows of lake Tanganyika by Zambian fisherman who painstakingly harvested the creatures in small hand nets, braving the region's many lethal guerilla squads. I had been searching for them for months. When I found a shop that had them, I was like a giddy little child.

They cost a fucking fortune and as such they were handled with care-- the shop packed them in a sedative solution so they wouldn't hurt themselves and filled the bag with pure oxygen. To acclimate them I put them in a bucket and poured in exactly four oz. of tank water every five minutes for an hour, lest they be shocked by the change in water chemistry.

When I finally netted them into the tank, they sank to the bottom and flopped over. They are going to die.

Let this be a lesson: anything I get excited about will always backfire. The excitement I feel seems like joy but is ultimately only a device to amplify pain.

I'm not saying nothing good ever happens to me, but rather that my anticipating a good thing curses it somehow.

a. calvus v. "chaitika"

serious as a handshake

I just read that five hockey players have been expelled from my high school for getting BJ's from one girl in the locker room...

When I was at that school you couldn't get the girls to say the word blowjob, much less blow five guys. I guess jocks are different. The question is: did they get kicked out because of right-wing or left-wing puritanism? In other words, was it simple priggishness or was it that since, to paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald, these boarding schools are under the heel of the ultra-liberal Northeastern colleges, they're quick to adopt the politics of the kind of deconstructionist rug muncher who sees all heterosexual sex as rape because she used to get fingerfucked by her uncle in the tool shed?

Whatever, fuck em. If I can't get sucked off neither can you, meathead.


This porn sucks because the director is

A) obsessed with orgies and DP shots, so when you're trying to concentrate on one hot chick getting fucked he'll either pan over to nasty chick getting reamed with a bunched-up condom dick or another guy will suddenly pop it in her ass and you'll be watching two jiggling scrota or

B) he'll have one good straight sex scene but will insist on "cinematically" intercutting with another, unrelated scene to show off how good his editing skills are, which is essentially the same problem-- you're trying to watch the hot chick but you suddenly get the nasty snaggletooth beef drapes one sprung on ya.

And some of this anal sex is just too much- when I see a chick take it in the ass, I want it to look like it hurts, not like she's used to taking a whole arm and this ten inch cock is nothing. There's something really unsavory about a chick who can take it in the ass with relish.

This is what I do on Sundays. I type in my journal and watch the progress bars on my porn downloads. Guys needing to beat off and watch porn is equivalent to chicks with their menstruation, bloody tampons, etc.-- something the one side sees as just a fact of life and the other finds disgusting.

Right now I'm working through the catalogue of Video Marc Dorcel-- they're quite good. You should check them out.

Friday, February 18, 2005

stories about death

So shit... it's rare that I'll go out on a weeknight, because I have to get up at 7 in the goddamn morning. When I do, it's a real struggle not to be a crabby bastard because I'm exhausted from work. Last night I decided to go out and drive halfway across the planet to meet my friends at a bar... on the way in, it was a struggle to stay sane because it's raining today and rain always makes me want to hang myself with my tie. Basically I don't need any outside depressing stimuli because just contemplating my own failures, etc., makes me plenty depressed.

Just as I'm pulling up to the bar Albert calls me and tells a story of how this CMU dramat girl whose career was just taking off spontaneously died of pneumonia last week. One night she was out to dinner with her dramat buddies, saying she had a cold. The next night, dead in the hospital*. I tried to laugh it off and say "Well, you go to a funeral, at least it ain't you in the casket," but Albert was having none of it and insisted on saying shit like "Just think about it Rogier-- a vibrant, beautiful girl struck dead by a horrible illness etc. etc."

So going into this bar I was already depressed. I was with my ex-girlfriend who is still one of my best friends and she started recounting the tale of how another ex had died. I'd heard the basics before. The guy was a hippie; he was on mushrooms climbing a cliff in Big Sur when he fell to his death. But this time she told all the details from the perspective of his best friend, who was also shrooming, and had to watch his best friend die while tripping his ass off. Fuck, i'm shuddering as I type this.. God...

Anyway this friend saw the dude fall eighty feet headfirst onto rocks, and had to rappell down after him. He said that half his face was gone... his brain was exposed, looked like tapioca, but he was still alive, burbling and moaning, trying to speak but his face and jaw were smashed. He tried to crawl toward the sea... the friend held him in his arms and sung to him while he died.

He left behind a wife and baby.

All night I kept thinking about it... the horror of having your face and jaw smashed apart and trying to speak but only groans coming out, somehow trying in your shocked daze to make it to the water... and even more, the horror of being on shrooms and seeing your best friend a mangled wreck, dying and in unimagineable pain.... trying to comfort him, trying to save him but you're at the base of a fucking sea cliff... the guy was apparently never the same.

By the time the other chick we were with told us about her guilt over how she had yet to scatter her mother's ashes over Hawaii I was like "pshaw-- that ain't shit."

* If I were at that dinner, I'd be thinking "that shit better not be contagious"

Sunday, February 13, 2005

thumb story

OK here's what happened with my thumb.

I left Pittsburgh in 2001 and moved out to Santa Cruz, CA-- a little beach town just outside San Francisco. I landed there with a backpack,my guitar, and like $600. I miraculously found a room for $500 that required no deposit and with the remaining $ I bought a mattress and a bicycle. The bike was a yard sale prize, a sparkly-blue one-speed cruiser with "Malibu Hopper" spelled out in candy-colored letters on the side. I got a job telemarketing out of the classifieds and I was in business.

I used to ride my bike everywhere. Work and back was like an hour. In the rainy season sand and brine would blow up form the ocean in the pouring rain and run down the crack of my ass. I would ride drunk, barrelling down huge hills at high speeds after a whole fifth of bourbon. I would ride coked out and on pills. I became one of those prick bike riders who would cut off fast-moving cars and come within an inch of death, then glare at the driver like *they* were the asshole. In two years nothing worse happened than a skinned knee.

One night I was on my way to a friend's house-- completely sober, cruising down a deserted road I used every day. I remember a second there when I felt myself wobble, and I had a long lucid moment of thinking to myself: "I'm about to eat shit." Then I did. The bike flopped over and I flew forward, and my entire weight and momentum landed on my left hand. I staggered to my feet. There was a peculiar searing pain in my left thumb, and a creepy weird kind of exposed feeling, like it was dipped in very cold water. I brought my hand up to look but at that exact moment my heart beat and arterial blood squirted up into my eye. When it cleared my thumb looked like a peeled banana-- skin, muscle and nail stripped back and hanging by a thread from a cracked spire of white bone.

I screamed like the little girl I am. "HELP! HELP!... JESUS GOD SOMEBODY HELP ME!" I waved down the first car I saw, a single mother and boy about 10. There was an ice chest nearby at a closed convenience store and the mom filled the little boy's beanie hat with ice; I stuck my mangled thumb-thing in there. The mother held me lovingly as I sobbed like a small effeminate child. Eventually cops and firemen showed up and an ambulance came. In the back the medics jacked me up on morphine and I assumed my narced-out chatty persona, laughing it up with the crew. There was a problem, though-- a freak highway pileup had slammed the only local emergency room so I'd have to go to another hospital an hour away.

When I got to the backup hospital it, too had experienced a freak pileup, so I ended up spacing out in a little cubbyroom for four hours, staring at my grotesquely mangled flesh while the drugs wore off. I wondered if allowing a severed digit to remain detached for so long was a good idea medically. Eventually a matronly woman came in and sewed me up and my thumb looked quasi-normal again: except for the twists and turns of the various fractures it was normal structurally, only about three times as big and blue and green.

For a while my hand was a useless Chernobyl-baby claw, then it slowly healed and gained utility. Nowadays, it's like I said: fat, numb and crooked, and the nail grew back kind of funny. If you feel along the bone the various joints aren't oriented quite right and once in a while it hurts when i have to open a car door or something. But other than that, it's cool.

And that's pretty much it.

Monday, February 07, 2005

what it means to be horny

Girls don't know what it means to be horny.

I haven't beat off in a couple days. I was at the gym today on the stretch mats and this fat chick came in, not huge but definitely a pig and with this weird kind of Down's-syndromey-looking face, and she got down next to me on the mat and curled up on her back holding the backs of her knees in these tiny little track shorts. And her rhinocerine girth was oriented so that her inner track short leg had flopped open, affording me a view of her fat, swollen, rare-meat -in-a-sandwich bag vagina. And I looked. I kept looking. Not like at a car accident but because I can't help but stare at a pussy, and what's more I got a chubby.

That's what horny means. Not some bullshit I-used-my-vibrator-after-the-Brad-Pitt-movie.

I used to be cool

My life is no longer interesting.

It wasn't always this way. I used to do coke for three days at a time and then crash by compulsively masturbating for hours. I used to roll around with my degenerate buddies in the back of a pickup truck, fucked up on pills, throwing homemade pipe bombs at people's houses. I dated a crackhead and was engaged to a needle junkie. I impregnated one girl who miscarried on heroin and another, a daughter of one of my professors, who was fifteen years old. I went to a mental institution after threatening to jump out the window of my fiancee's apartment. I took 50 10-mg. ritalins in one night. I resuscitated a guy from a heroin overdose in my house by giving him CPR; he had been eating coffee grounds for some reason and he vomited them when he awoke. It looked like potting soil. I fell off my bike and ripped off my entire thumb; it had to be surgically reattached. My girlfriend overslept when we had a date and I reacted by kicking her car over and over, leaving dozens of huge dents. I often had the chance to fuck hot girls but I was impotent from cocaine so I would pretend that I wanted to stop for emotional reasons. I only ever devirginized one chick but I came from the tightness when I got it halfway in-- so I pretended, again, that I wanted to stop for emotional reasons. She was on the rag so I don't think she noticed my nut. I once made out with a man. I have fucked prostitutes on several occasions. I had a medical condition that would cause me to shit myself at work. My left nut is the size of a fist. The first time I ever masturbated, I thought that it was something no one had ever accomplished before and that I would be renowned as a great genius for discovering it. I fucked an obese woman.

That's the kind of shit that people want to read about. But a blog is supposed to be the shit that happened today, which in my case would be laundering and ironing my dress shirts in preparation for my meek white -collar work week. Who fucking cares?

Jesus Christ, dude. I turned into a bore.

the time I took 50 ritalins

One time me & my neighbor Dan got all these Ritalins. They were from Chris, his old roommate from the dorms, who was a fucking story in himself. He was albino white, with cornsilk-fine platinum-blond hair down the back of his neck. He was one of those very computer-oriented guys from school: unbelievably socially awkward. He & Dan would occasionally hang out. They would get drunk, as was Dan's wont, and Chris would ask Dan to hit him, or choke him, or in one instance to throw him down into a thorny hedge. On this one Dan accomodated him. He tossed him into a bush in the freezing cold and Chris emerged triumphantly, screaming "I am a servant of Sauron!"

Anyway, he had ritalins. Tons of them. His parents had sent him to a psychiatrist due to his severe fucking-up in school and he had walked away with a mammoth prescription for the stuff, which he refused to touch because he felt it stifled his creativity. So we were able to buy his entire refill of 100 pills for 100 bucks. We took it home and started in on them.

It so happened that I had a paper due that week, a monster 6-month assignment on which I had of course done next to nothing. I did have a bunch of books from the library and a cursory knowledge of my subject: the tribal warfare styles of insurgencies in Afghanistan and Liberia. So on a coffee table stacked high with obscure history texts we began crushing the pills up with a rusty old dumbell and snorting them. And constantly eating them, too.

Now, the thing about ritalin is that when you first start doing it it feels just ever-so-slightly like cocaine. It gets you up and motivated, and it starts to make you think that everything is a good idea. It lacks, however, that balls-to-the wall coke euphoria... so chasing a coke high with Ritalin, you'll never quite get there. Just almost there. This didn't turn out to be such a bad thing in terms of productivity, because the more rids we'd crush up the more focused I got on that paper, and the thing was getting done. It was great, actually. I churned out 20 pages of perfectly researched wizardry in about 14 hours. Only as the sun was coming up did we look into the pill bottle and realize there was almost nothing left. 100 pills were gone after 15 hours.

That day I had to make it to class so I could turn the paper in. I was a half-animated corpse, staggering across campus, but I made it. Aside from everybody's face getting a little Jacob's Ladder everything was cool; I handed in the paper and felt that I had pulled off an amazing coup. It wasn't until I got home that the problems started.

First thing, and I don't mean to creep you out, but I started taking shits. Weird shits. Weird yellow shits that happened every five minutes, made up of clumps of little undigested pills accompanied by a hot stinging sluice of pure stomach acid. I would be sitting comfortably on the couch and then a supernatural chill would overtake my bowels and my guts would begin to spasm, desperate to spit out the poison. Then there was the wax. Ritalin will make you sweat a sort of waxy, viscous substance if you take one or two per day. If you take fifty, you become a fucking human candle, with this weird thick ooze encrusted on your skin. I would get up from a chair expecting to leave a perfect negative imprint of myself in a giant white mound, like a leaf in concrete. Then there was the skin color thing-- I looked in the mirror on one of my many trips to the can and noticed my skin had gone yellow. Not subtly yellow, like from a tanning machine but bright vomitous yellow like a summer squash. I was aghast at my hideous reflection. This was it-- I had given myself liver failure-- fifty fucking pills! I had acute jaundice, and I was going to die. I ran into the other room, grabbed my roomate and started shaking the shit out of him. Look at me, man! Get me to a hospital, for Christ's sake!

When he calmed me down I realized that the drug was actually fucking with my sight. Everything looked yellow.

After a couple days of jaw-grinding psychosis everything returned to normal. When I realized I would definitely survive I felt not only relief but also a smug self-satisfaction. I felt I had snuck one past the goalie. And in my little drug circle of whitebread college friends I would recount the tale like an Olympian, knowing that it had to be some kind of record.

Anyway, that's my ritalin story.

IBS (part two)

These new tests didn't work either, though. Back at the doctor's I was told to see a specialist for a special screening, a sigmoidoscopy. Nothing to worry about he said, but when he handed me the referral card the word "CANCER" was pencilled in about eight feet high.

The specialist was Iranian. Being from Iran he had been pressganged into trench warfare, gassed by Saddam's army, had his fingernails ripped out by both the Shah and the Ayatollah, etc. As such he really didn't give a fuck about my nancy-boy complaints. We're going to put a camera in the "S" curve (thus sigmoid) of your colon, he said. We're going to make a movie of your insides. It's really nothing; we'll be in and out in no time. For emphasis, he gestured with a hand so hairy he could have been wearing a gorilla puppet.

When the day came I was naturally nervous. After a night of endless diarrhea I had spent the morning giving myself the requisite pre-test enemas. I was wheeled into a room on my side, naked in back, and positioned in front of a monstrous bank of video equipment and machines.

If you've never had anything serious put in your ass it's a hard thing to explain. Before this endeavor an experimental spat-on finger was as fas as I'd gone. This was much, much different. In a sigmoidoscopy they put a snaking metal camera and spotlight into your ass, and twist it around to make a movie of your colon. In order for the camera to have good view, though, they also have to plug in a high pressure hose and inflate your intestines. A second before it went in my ass I heard the jet-engine drone of the industrial air compressor. Then the nozzle penetrated me, and there was a hellish splitting pressure as my intestines inflated like a bicycle tire. In front of me a monitor showed the camera's POV swooping in on my ass, and then it pierced me-- a horrible hard, spindly thumb-thick wire coated in cold, oozy gel. I screamed as the Iranian fed the twisting metal more and more deeply into me, coiling it forcefully around the delicate labyrinth of tissue. In front of me the video feed plunged though a ridgy raw-meat tunnel as it angrily quivered and convulsed. Ungodly cramps ignited my bowels and I felt like I had to take a shit made of glass, fire and steel. My ass began to clench down on the device with inhuman strength. "Relax, relax!" the doctor screamed. "I can't get it in further unless you let me!"

After the test I was allowed to recuperate on a cold toilet, squeezing out blasts of air punctuated by soupy burts of bloody lube and chewed-up bits of flesh. When I finally emerged the doctor was smiling. "We found nothing." He said. "So no virus or bacteria from the tests, no tumors or polyps. This leaves only one thing: Irritable Bowel Syndrome."

So this was it then. When people asked me what I had, instead of some grim Latinate death-pronouncement I would say "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." What the fuck is that? I pictured a little cartoon colon with corncob pipe and beard, angrily shaking its fist.

IBS won't kill you but it never really goes away. There is no cure and no meaningful treatment. 20% of the population has it, which means that 1 out of 5 people around you thinks about nothing but his bubbling, squealing guts all day long. Like I said, though, mine's in remission. So if you meet me on the street don't worry. I'm not about to fall over in pain and shit myself on the spot.

I hope.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

IBS (part one)

I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

It's a stupid fucking disease to have because:

A) It makes me swell up like a pregnant sow and shit hot acid and

B) It has an impossibly stupid name with a kind of you're-just-cranky connotation that compounds the embarassment of having a chronic medical condition that revolves around shit, that makes you take shits of bizarre consistencies at highly inappropriate times and renders said shit-taking just ridiculously painful.

It's actually pretty much gone now but back when I had it I didn't know what it was. That made it worse. Doctors talked about cancer, colitis, Krohn's-- the type of stuff where they have to slice out your colon and your asshole, drill a hole in your side and sew in a plastic pipe attached to a shitbag that you have to empty by hand. What effect this would have on my already limited ability to get laid I dared not speculate. But for months I would just at random have horrible clawing pains in my belly, and then some appalingly discolored substance would fly out of my ass on very short notice and with no regard for my surroundings. I shat myself at work, for instance, several times. Once in a meeting. I shat myself at home and on my bike. You'd think that with repitition any experience becomes normal but shitting oneself infront of one's peers is definitely an exception.

For months there were two dramas going on: one where I was trying to lead a normal life despite the fact that my belly was swollen like a watermelon and I might at any time shit my pants, and another where I was constantly going to doctors and hospitals and being told that it might just be some random infection or it might be some monster cancerous tumor that would kill me very soon. Eventually I had to go to a special lab for some final tests, a hardcore battery designed to ferret out even the most obscure bacteria. They gave me a kit with a series of different scoops, smear cards and jars-- the idea was that I had to take samples of my shit for four days and preserve them in all these different media. They recommended laying saran wrap over the toilet, but when the time came to take the first sample I decided to hot dog it and just hold the cup under my ass.

Over the course of these procedures I learned an awful lot about shit. Measuring out precise amounts with little medical swabs and spoons I got to know it in a very intimate way. For one thing, shit stinks. You knew that already. But the stink of shit when you're practically holding in your hands, the stink when you're concentrating on it up close and not neatly dropping into a sanitized porcelain pool is truly gut-wrenching. It's like poison gas, a fume so offensive you can feel it infecting your eyeballs and tongue. You come to loathe and fear your own body for creating such an abhorrent thing. The warmth it radiates through the plastic sample bag foully conjures the stewing heat of your insides. It makes the finger-sized lump feel like a living being, a vulnerable little mammal trembling in your hands. The composition surprised me: it's thicker and harder than you would think. And it's fibrous, permeated with wiry hairlike strands that hold the mass together. As such I had to saw through the chunks with my blunt little spoon to get the right size, straining and gagging while my roomate pounded on the bathroom door.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

tales of woe

Anyway, I went to get an artificial tan today and no one was at the counter and up on the TV some news show was playing-- it was 20/20's newly-right-wing John Stossel debating Moneyline's neo-isolationist Lou Dobbs about corporate outsourcing, and it was Stossel's show so whenever he would ask a fiery "what-say-you, sir" type question they would cut to the same 2 seconds of Dobbs looking shellshocked and nervously chewing his glasses. The chick came back to the counter, and it was the hot one, and I chatted her up a little bit being that I've been less depressive and more confident of late-- she was by no means an intellectual heavyweight but a nice girl nonetheless. Anyway, once I was in the tanning bed relaxing in the warm uterine glow I naturally began to fantasize about pumping her full of hot nacreous man batter, which of course caused me to have an erection, which is all well and good except that my penis now had, in addition to an extended surface area in general, a newly exposed sub-choad ring and underbelly which had never before been subject to UV radiation, possibly causing severe burns and carcinomas.

I'm pissed because my creepy Nosferatu-esque Bulgarian landlord has just informed me that I have a complaint against me from my neighbor for pounding on the wall at night, that she was "almost in tears," my sexy-from-a-distance-but-"meh"-up-close light skinned african-american valley girl/OC type LA stereotype neighbor chick who wears uggs-and-a-miniskirt and drives an enormous sparkly-blue-nailpolish-colored half-pickup Cadillac Escalade and sits next to my paper thin walls with her multiple failed-actor boyfriends chatting it up with what appears to be extreme mirth at 3 in the morning on a weeknight and operates some sort of Wet-Dry vac or circular saw or other large industrial device at all hours has complained about me-- ME, for knocking on the goddamn motherfucking wall to shut her up instead of ratting her out, because if you get two noise complaints they fine you $100 and I figured maybe she already got complained about by the person downstairs and so if I complain she'll be out a hundred bucks and so instead I took the non-prickish step of knocking on the wall three times in the universal semifore for shut-the-fuck-up, which courtesy has of course ironically come back to bite me on the ass as is the wont of all good deeds. God fucking dammit.