Friday, November 15, 2002

I stepped out of my nearly brand new car
into a puddle of vomit
alarmed, but curious I checked the contents
yellow frothy bile and what looked like crackers
a group of homeless men stood
nearby smoking cigarettes
they looked happy and laughed
as I wiped my shoe in a pile of leaves
once you throw up the hard part is over
the pain is gone for now
until the stomach muscles seize again
and even then it's not so bad
quite pleasant like all liquid release
when I came back it was almost dark
and the bums were gone
leaned to open door and long-legged
stepped over the vomit
but the smell remained
or so I imagined

Weird, weird Friday night mood, nursing swill beer Hamm's Special Light listening to Jeff Buckley. And all people and all their pretty concerns amuse me and bore me and even my own life seems mundane and the lawful syntax of language and existence and my perception of it goes gray gloom. Only a temporary November thing. Fricking sunset at 4:30 p.m. thing. Fricking cars and crushed cans and gravestones and unidentified plastic pieces and homeless guys and puddles of vomits and magazine articles about 37 ways to jazz up the holidays.
So what's my fricking afternoon like? Stop by Goat's right after work, but he's not home or, as it turns out later, is sleeping. Then it's home and check e-mail and download music and play guitar. Then it's to the library, where I step in aforementioned vomit. Read magazines, check out compact discs and DVDs. Back home, make dinner (pollack fish, sweet potato, broccoli). Phone calls, contemplate seeing live music. Goat finally calls back. Wants to go see Red Dragon at $1 North Towne Theatre, 9:50 p.m. show. Last week was with Goat at $1 theatre. I sense a pattern. Hope tonight we don't sit in front of a group of loud sistahs with child in stroller. Will Smith don't star in this flick and Anthony Hopkins doesn't seem to draw the African-American demographic.
Last night Goat hung out with a couple waitress friends, got drunk and ate pizza. He said he's broke because he probably bought everything. And Goat's got a car again, yippee, after almost two years away because of second DUI conviction. Not that Goat's a drunk. Sure, he likes a few beers now and again, but he's no red-nosed cirrhosis of liver rummy lush. He's just a bad driver who downed three or four beers of an evening and got pulled over. I don't know. The teetotaler, counselor, Englishman and New Yorker all have different ideas of what constitutes alcoholism.
Goat's picking us up. It's a short trip to the theatre. Strange to not shuttle him around.
Last night's presentation on the Superior Hiking Trail went well. Procrastinator me got away with it again. Sllides came back from lab just in time -- $50 for 20 slides. Ouch! Just got a $50 check earlier this week from TDK mail-in rebate for CD burner I bought this summer. It all balances out.
But where was I? Speaking of 50, that's how many attended the presentation at the Rock County Job Center in Janesville. I presented my lightweight backpacking gear, showed slides and told stories about the trip. Did my best to put little factual tidbits in there. Bottom line, thesis, the SHT is accessible to anybody, whether going on a long-distance trip, weekend or short day hike.
Spent three hours yesterday afternoon compiling notes. Ham me quite pleased to have such a receptive audience. I started off all nervous stumbly-voiced, but got better as I went. Even my jokes went over well. The whole thing lasted about 70 minutes. Mom and Dad Locascio rode with us. During gear presentation I applauded mother for sewing the quilt and tarp. I'd love to give this presentation again.
But that's it. I'm let down and bored tonight. Everything is pale. I feel stupid and ignorant and unenlightened and everything I'm trying not to be. But I do have a balanced diet. I have no addictions, except for the elixir of the gods, Hamm's (From the land of sky blue waters... Waters... From the land of pines... Comes the beer refreshing... Comes the beer refreshing... HAMM's). And outside of being bland, like my mood, it's not a bad beer. Can't beat the price.
"Dolby digital soundtracks contain up to 5.1 channels of discrete audio." -- small print on back of DVD box.

Discrete? Oh, excuse me, we're going to have sound here. Taken from a DVD box label. Textual me reads even the small print. Keeps me amused and out of debt. Discretion is the better part of valor. Discrete audio is technocrat mumbo jumbo bullshit.

"Madalena cried
her mother consoled her
saying to her
poor people are worthless
and are destined to suffer
the only one who can help is the Lord" -- Gilberto Gil

Demarcus Horton, a fourth grader at Kishwaukee Elementary School, called me a four-eyed bitch today. In my crazy class of the day, where none of the kids would sit still and be quiet when I took attendance, Demarcus took the red ball and hit a classmate at close range with it. This was not as part of the game. He was messing around. I told him to sit down and he stooped to tie his shoe. I finally got him seated on the sideline and I heard him say the F word, so called the office. As he was leaving he called me a four-eyed bitch and made fun of my shoes.
Another instance where I admire the taunt of authority represented by Demarcus's behavior, but alarmed at the disrespect he has for classmates and fellow adults. A healthy skepticism towards leaders and authorities in your world is good, but it must be reasoned. Chaotic rebellion serves no purpose and makes one a fool. How to explain this to a fourth grader? I cannot. I saw Demarcus later in the day, still sitting in the office, and he remained unrepentant. It saddens me. Maybe that's what adds to my mood tonight. His dye is cast. Will Demarcus ever amount to anything but a street corner punk? Probably not. And there's nothing this mildly buzzed substitute gym teacher can do. Of course, my elementary school teachers had dire predictions for me, and look how I turned out. HA!

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